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Julius

Live A Live (22nd July 2022)

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

How did you tackle that chapter, @Glen-i? Did you go all out stealth or all out attack?

Not actually finished it yet. But I hate stealth, so pretty much everyone who catches me has to die.

So naturally, I'm at 86 kills, further proving how awful I am at stealth.

I just beat the second superboss. Massive lols from me when I accidentally petrified it! I was only using that skill because it does loads of damage, didn't expect it to actually work! Recorded a video, but can't share it.

I guess it's time to go and finish this chapter. The Gameplay Tips don't seem to hint at anything else.

EDIT: OK, now I'm done. Better then Prehistory, but traversing the castle was a right pain at times, so I think I enjoyed China more. For a stealth based scenario, it wasn't as dreadful as I thought it would be.

Wild West is next for me.

Edited by Glen-i
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6 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:
6 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

I do agree with what @Julius said in that although the chronological order would have you playing the prehistoric era first, it doesn't really leave a good first impression. I certainly wasn't impressed after playing through it but this next chapter has certainly changed that.

I've started to enjoy the battle system a little more now as well.

It's interesting how chapter order is colouring our impressions of the game.

This is how it's been going for me from a battle standpoint:
- distant future -- err?
- imperial china -- harder to lose than emerge triumphant.
- shinobi -- I restarted my demo progression on this to try stealth, so it was a lot of hiding and fleeing.
- modern-day -- done with before I could finish my coffee.
- prehistory -- now we're talking. Hunting grounds where I can level? Gimme it. Thrown out onto plains to fend off stronger enemies? I'm all over it. A shop system to trade items for others? Sure why not! At last, the training wheels are off! :bouncy: 
- near future (currently playing) -- Golden Sun with attitude. Leave it to me and I'll clean up these mean streets and be double the level of the next party member by the time they join.

I enjoyed the distant future and imperial china for how they played out in other respects.

4 hours ago, Glen-i said:
4 hours ago, Glen-i said:

Fair warning. I've found 2 superbosses in Edo Japan. Damn you, Gameplay Tips! You're too tantalising!

  Secrets of Edo Japan (Reveal hidden contents)

The Gameplay Tips kinda hinted at three, but it turns out one is instead something ridiculously helpful instead. Don't know if I could've beat that boss in the Hall of Lanterns without it, so fair warning, try and find that if you're going for it.

Unfortunately, the other superboss, while super easy to find (as in, you really can't miss it), is in a situation where I can't bring said super helpful thing, so I'm gonna have to go for it without.

On the other hand, I found a room that has respawning enemies as long as you don't kill the woman there, so now Oboromaru is at level 16, and has a stupid powerful attack, so I'm gonna have a crack at it later.

 

You've a keen eye for these. I thought there might be one going off the gameplay tips, but two? Must be cryptic.

3 hours ago, Glen-i said:

EDIT: OK, now I'm done. Better then Prehistory, but traversing the castle was a right pain at times, so I think I enjoyed China more. For a stealth based scenario, it wasn't as dreadful as I thought it would be.

No joke. I feel like that that one took me longer than it should because I found it difficult to keep a clear picture (or any picture to be fair) of how it connected.

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Wild West done. It's short, but I'd be damned if it wasn't stylish! Those series of camera shots of the town near the start were really cool. Liked the gimmick too. Very solid chapter.

1 hour ago, darksnowman said:

You've a keen eye for these. I thought there might be one going off the gameplay tips, but two? Must be cryptic.

Spoiler

Well, I assume the one you thought meant something was the Path of Shuttered Lanterns one. That one's definitely hinting at something.

The second one is more subtle in that the tip lists off Lord Ode's guardians. Three of them show up in the chapter's intro and you fight them during the chapter, but the tip lists four of them. "The Lord of the Deep" is unaccounted for. That was suspicious.

That said, it's very easy to find that lord of the deep, and despite having around 2,000 HP and giving you an accessory for winning, it doesn't actually play the boss music, but I count it as an optional superboss anyway.

And while it doesn't lead to a superboss, there's another secret alluded to in the tips about that clockwork dude.

OK, I noticed it after playing the first two chapters, but after Wild West, I'm gonna throw around some thoughts on where this is going. As a reminder, I've done Prehistory, China, Japan and Wild West. So mind the spoilers.

Spoiler

I know I'm not the only one who has noticed the naming similarities of the final bosses of each chapter. But Wild West gave it much more context then others.

As far as I see it, there's some kind of demonic thingy that possesses something and tries to take over the world. The T-Rex in Prehistory, various people in China and Japan, and a horse in Wild West (WTF at that one). Even if someone comes along and kills it, it never truly dies. The Sheriff pretty much says so himself. He also says it never sleeps, so it keeps coming back periodically.

I'm not sure how this is gonna get sorted in the end, I'm gonna assume time travel comes into play to get the main characters together for some kind of final battle. But that's just me guessing.

Present Day next.

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Back in from work and ready to play. I read there was a secret weapon for not killing a single person during the Japan chapter. Gonna attempt that now.

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Back in from work and ready to play. I read there was a secret weapon for not killing a single person during the Japan chapter. Gonna attempt that now.

Huh... Guess I should've expected something like that.

It's a weapon though? Can't imagine it's much better then the one the superboss gives you though. 40 attack is pretty damn sweet!

EDIT: Oh right. Present Day done, not much else to say about it. I guess it was fun trying to bait the opponents into using their moves so you can learn them. The fighting game aesthetic is also funny. It nails it pretty well.

Moving on to Near Future now.

Edited by Glen-i

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29 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

EDIT: Oh right. Present Day done, not much else to say about it. I guess it was fun trying to bait the opponents into using their moves so you can learn them. The fighting game aesthetic is also funny. It nails it pretty well.

It does what it does well, but would have been nice if it was fleshed out more. Grim ending.

29 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

Moving on to Near Future now.

Do you know if there's an optimal way to use:

Spoiler

robotic enhancements?

Or is it a case of as and when you get em?

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, darksnowman said:

It does what it does well, but would have been nice if it was fleshed out more. Grim ending.

Do you know if there's an optimal way to use:

  item usage (Reveal hidden contents)

robotic enhancements?

Or is it a case of as and when you get em?

OK, this is just me spitballing, so it might all blow up in my face, but...

Spoiler

So, going by the UI of the chapter select screen. The only characters who will matter in the end are the main characters. (Except China, for obvious reasons)

For that reason, Akira seems to be the most valuable character in Near Future, so I've been giving him all the best equipment.

As for robotic enhancements, I found nothing in tips and tutorials about limits to them. So I've just been giving them to robot turtle at every opportunity. (It's not like Akira can use them) Even if that turns out to be a bad idea, it won't matter because I doubt he'll be important after the chapter ends anyway.

 

Edited by Glen-i

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1 hour ago, Glen-i said:

Huh... Guess I should've expected something like that.

It's a weapon though? Can't imagine it's much better then the one the superboss gives you though. 40 attack is pretty damn sweet!

It's the same sword. 

Just got me another party member (Geno eat your heart out :p ) and I think I'm gonna grind levels before I take on the super bosses in this chapter. Bit hard to do when you can't kill anyone though. There's only a single area that allows for it when going the stealth route. Luckily the enemies drop in a single hit.

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10 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

It's the same sword.

Ah... Well, that's that sorted then. Can't equip both!

You had me worried for a sec...

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1 minute ago, Glen-i said:

Ah... Well, that's that sorted then. Can't equip both!

You had me worried for a sec...

Apparently you get the better/true ending doing the stealth route. No idea how different they are though. ::shrug:

With you killing people, which support character did you get? I'm curious if you can get both or is it just one or the other depending on your route? 

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48 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

OK, this is just me spitballing, so it might all blow up in my face, but...

  Hide contents

So, going by the UI of the chapter select screen. The only characters who will matter in the end are the main characters. (Except China, for obvious reasons)

For that reason, Akira seems to be the most valuable character in Near Future, so I've been giving him all the best equipment.

As for robotic enhancements, I found nothing in tips and tutorials about limits to them. So I've just been giving them to robot turtle at every opportunity. (It's not like Akira can use them) Even if that turns out to be a bad idea, it won't matter because I doubt he'll be important after the chapter ends anyway.

 

Just wondered in case there was something I wasn't privy to. I dumped them in in batches and it didn't seem to do a great lot of use. I mostly just passed on that character's turn as all they did was plink, mostly.

The only info I can offer in return is that in the back room of the home base there is an instrument, if you interact with it more than once you will hear a selection of little ditties. One might be more recognisable than the others. 

That's the near future finished and... was that the best chapter? I think it might well have been. Another one that took some turns for the darker. Always wanted to party up with Johnny from Chrono Trigger. I was level 17 or 18 by the end--didn't feel like I was grinding at all. :cool: 

 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, darksnowman said:

Always wanted to party up with Johnny from Chrono Trigger.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who immediately got that vibe :D

Didn't get the chance to play yesterday thanks to adulting (woo... :nono:) but from the sounds of it, Near Future or Ancient China might be the ones up next on my agenda.

Bit of a shame the Twilight of Edo sounds like a little bit of a mixed bag going off this thread (at the very least in its layout), though, as I was looking forward to being a ninja! I say that like it's a rare occurrence: I'm always looking forward to being a ninja :p

Edited by Julius

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

With you killing people, which support character did you get? I'm curious if you can get both or is it just one or the other depending on your route? 

I managed to get both in my party at one point, but I had to ditch one chasing a superboss, so I'm not sure what would happen if you take them to the end.

Edited by Glen-i

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21 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

I managed to get both in my party at one point, but I had to ditch one chasing a superboss, so I'm not sure what would happen if you take them to the end.

He doesn't float very well, does he? :D 

Spoiler

It looks like you can't take Geno Mark II to the end. When doing a stealth run he charges at the 3 enemies standing at the boss door and takes them out but he breaks in the process. If you don't have him then the pacifist run can't be done.

I tried taking him to the fish boss but he always sank. Reloaded the thing numerous times but it still wouldn't work. I had to find a way back through the castle that didn't require me to go into the water. Absolute pain in the backside but I managed it.

In the SNES version the fish would come close to land and so you could use him. Not the case here. 

Took out one of the super bosses and got me a new weapon. Need to go up 3 more levels to unlock the cheap move that will take care on the next boss. :p 

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Pacifist run complete.

Spoiler

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I stand corrected, the weapon you get from doing the pacifist run is different from the one you get for defeating the super boss.

Spoiler

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I echo the others feelings in that this chapter was a bit of a slog, especially when I couldn't kill anyone. I eventually got used to the map and figured out where to go but there were so many hidden doors, stairs to take and attics/lofts to search that it all felt a little confusing at times. Still, I did enjoy the Japan setting and the music throughout the stage was great.

Once I levelled up the main character to 16 I unlocked a move which pretty much decimates everything in its path. The last boss was a pushover because of this. Just the way I like it. :D 

The Wild West setting is next but I think that will be me done for today. Playing through the Japan setting took up most of my night and I think I'll take a break and start a new story tomorrow evening. 

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Played through Imperial China, which was the fifth chapter I played through. 

FYjW1AXUsAErjBZ?format=jpg&name=large

Spoiler

This is easily my favourite chapter so far. 

FYjW1AMUsAAch3Q?format=jpg&name=large

My three favourite historical settings for storytelling are the Wild West, Edo period Japan, and...Imperial China. So I'm having myself a feast over here with this game :D 

It just completely nails the vibe, from the colour palette, to the fuzzy haziness of the fog in the Zhangjiajie-like spires, all just contributing to this ancient Chinese watercolour-like aesthetic. Could it go further with it? Sure, but I think it really just nails that ethereal vibe often found in film and TV depicting ancient China, so that's a great job done there, in my opinion. 

I just love how this chapter was set out, it was very simple, but I feel like of all of the chapters I've played so far, it knew exactly what it wanted to achieve from beginning to end, such as the awesome payoff you get at the end for things set up as early as the opening scene, meaning it could have a tighter structure. The opening shot of this chapter is great, the opening scene tells you so much, going around recruiting Hong, Yuan and Lei gave me Suikoden-lite vibes with each location feeling nice and unique (and kind of like Kung Fu Panda? Especially in Hong's case!), I loved the training sequence and how it played out mechanically with them learning your moves (after the first round I went all-in on Lei as I figured someone should learn as much as possible, but then...), and I didn't really see the deaths of Hong and Yuan coming, but it was a great moment in the story of this chapter for how it pushed my survivor, Lei, and Shifu further. 

Loved the gauntlet that was the Indomitable Fist...even if I do think it might have overstayed it's welcome. Perhaps the battles could have been spread out a little more, or we could have dealt with them in the village first and after saving the villagers head towards their fortress (hell, save the village and spread those same battles between the village and the end of the fortress and I think it could have worked much better, rather than a gauntlet within a gauntlet in the form of that final room). The battles were fun at least, especially with Lei still learning moves as we made our way through, and that final confrontation was awesome.

Again: loved this chapter.

The music was easily my favourite here too, I loved all three of the new tracks: The Shifu Descends from the Mount, Clash in China (the awesome oriental battle theme with a catchy beat to boot!), and my favourite, the tranquil and mythical Unto the Birds the Heavens, unto the Fish the Seas

But that final scene...that final scene was perfect for a bunch of reasons. Lei breaking the rock showing that she has, in some ways, surpassed her master (but then still recognising her flaws, balancing out her earlier hotheatedness), talking to the graves, looking off to the distance having secured the legacy of her master, and my absolute favourite blink-and-you'll miss it moment...

FYjW1AIVEAAKCZn?format=jpg&name=large

...her name changing for a single line - the final spoken line of the chapter! - from Lei to Earthen Heart Master, cementing the fact that the pupil has truly become the master. 

FYjW1AKUIAAMs8f?format=jpg&name=large

This and Present Day are the two where I think if you made a cocktail out of them and fleshed out the battle system and story some more, you could have a fantastic JRPG on your hands based on the premise here alone. 

Fantastic stuff :bowdown:

That leaves me now with Twilight of Edo Japan and The Near Future left to do, think I'll likely do them in that order based on the mixed reception here that I've seen to the former and the much more positive reception seen for the latter, and then it'll be stepping into the unknown. 

9 hours ago, Glen-i said:

OK, I noticed it after playing the first two chapters, but after Wild West, I'm gonna throw around some thoughts on where this is going. As a reminder, I've done Prehistory, China, Japan and Wild West. So mind the spoilers.

  Spoilers now (Reveal hidden contents)

I know I'm not the only one who has noticed the naming similarities of the final bosses of each chapter. But Wild West gave it much more context then others.

As far as I see it, there's some kind of demonic thingy that possesses something and tries to take over the world. The T-Rex in Prehistory, various people in China and Japan, and a horse in Wild West (WTF at that one). Even if someone comes along and kills it, it never truly dies. The Sheriff pretty much says so himself. He also says it never sleeps, so it keeps coming back periodically.

I'm not sure how this is gonna get sorted in the end, I'm gonna assume time travel comes into play to get the main characters together for some kind of final battle. But that's just me guessing.

Present Day next.

Spoiler

Yeah, I noticed this too, and agree with a lot of what you're saying. 

The fact that it never seems to die - and that at the end of The Wild West, even as a horse, it's the final survivor of a battle which just won't stay down - makes it seem like a vengeful spirit...and in a game like this, I would have to imagine it's something we'll get an explanation for, given the amount of hopping around we've been doing. 

So, maybe the eighth chapter which is on the back of the box has something that goes sideways which explains this - either for the hero of that chapter or one of the characters in that chapter? And then the chapter following that could be focused on resolving whatever the fallout is of that once our team of misfits come together?

On 7/24/2022 at 9:09 AM, darksnowman said:

The boss music peaked for me here too. It seemed to fit the battle so well (the visuals, the setting, the face-off between those characters, it being the only (proper) battle in the chapter--I was pumped up) and now hearing it recycled at the end of every chapter in different settings, it's quickly lost its lustre

Yeah, I agree. Megalomania is a really hectic and fun track but man...there's so much which could have been done here to keep it fresh! For example: a secondary melody or B-section based on the time period you're in, using the instruments used for the other themes in said time period? It would have got the point across still but just added a nice depth and some new flavour to it rather than forcing a great track down your throat until you relent ::shrug:

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Posted (edited)

OK, so I've gotten into some nitty gritty with the item upgrade system in Near Future.

Spoiler

There's really little reason not to dabble in it. Almost everything is improved going through it. Most things can be improved multiple times even. A lot of the useless equipment from the start of the game becomes way better with this.

In particular, most defensive equipment can eventually become a Biker's Belt, which is a pretty good accessory. But refine it again, and you get a Jushin Wrestling Shirt, an amazing piece of body equipment. I got three of those sharpish, and used the rest of my tat to make 10 Biker's Belts. Refining the Baseball Glove twice gets you a great weapon as well.

The B-Ball Shoes become the Steel-Toed Boots (Don't refine that again though, and don't touch the Cap either, they both get worse)

But the real good stuff comes from refining the Napalm Grenades, you can get some accessories that give Taroimo more skills. Seeing as he's a robot, I wonder if I can shove them on Akira at the end of the chapter, and then transfer them to that robot from Distant Future later? Gonna try that.

Don't worry about the item upgrade failing, BTW. You don't lose the original item if that happens, so just keep trying, and use that cutscene skip button to speed things up.

 

Edited by Glen-i

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Posted (edited)

Near Future done now. I looked for ages, but couldn't find any optional bosses, I'm gonna assume there's nothing there, seeing as nothing in the tips jumps out at me.

Spoiler

Who doesn't like a massive mech fight? Great finale to a more standard RPG style chapter. It does it better then Prehistory. Kinda surreal to find out that Golden Sun's Mind Read psynergy isn't as original a mechanic as I first thought.

I was worried that it was going to pull the "it was all a dream" gambit with the credits transition. Luckily, robot turtle was still around during the credits, so that's good.

Playing with Psychos is my favourite standard battle music so far. That sax is just too good!

Going by the skills available, Akira is going to be very useful, thanks to his ability to heal other party members. That will no doubt be useful. His bonkers range helps as well.

Only Distant Future left now.

Edited by Glen-i

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Glad to see you also enjoyed Imperial China, @Julius. Out of the 3 chapters I've played it's easily the best of the bunch. I see you picked the same student as I did.

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Man, the western chapter is a big disappointment. You spend half the time talking to NPCs and the other half waiting until the sun rises. Such a shame because I was looking forward to this one the most due to the setting. There's very little to this chapter at all. :( Saying that, some of the lines during this chapter were pretty funny.

Spoiler

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FYmjohtVQAATgwt?format=jpg&name=large

 

 

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Man, the western chapter is a big disappointment. You spend half the time talking to NPCs and the other half waiting until the sun rises.

When you say waiting for the sun to rise, you mean sitting at the bar drinking repeatedly, right? Makes time go quicker.

Anyway, that reminds me. Question for those who have finished Wild West.

Spoiler

Did you kill Mad Dog, or did you run away from the final showdown?

I noticed in the X menu that "Flee" wasn't greyed out, so I legged it.

Anyway, currently playing Distant Future.

Spoiler

Oh balls! It's a Mother 3 Ultimate Chimera situation! That was my least favourite part of that game! Those kind of instant death encounters in RPG's always stress me out!

 

Edited by Glen-i

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2 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

When you say waiting for the sun to rise, you mean sitting at the bar drinking repeatedly, right? Makes time go quicker.

Anyway, that reminds me. Question for those who have finished Wild West.

  Wild West spoilers (Reveal hidden contents)

Did you kill Mad Dog, or did you run away from the final showdown?

I noticed in the X menu that "Flee" wasn't greyed out, so I legged it.

 

Yeah, yeah, I know hitting the bar makes the time speed up. Still doesn't change the fact that there was sod all to do until the event happened.

I made the opposite choice to you.

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That's the Present Day chapter wrapped up.

what-the-hell-was-that-smoking.gif

Yeah, this game is falling fast in my estimations. There better be some kind of good pay off for these stupidly short chapters. At this point I feel the presentation of the game is doing most of the heavy lifting.

 

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