Let's talk about Rudora and 16-bit Square - http://www.mmcafe.com/ Forums


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Maou
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"Let's talk about Rudora and 16-bit Square" , posted Mon 27 Jul 04:51:post reply

Inspired by Iggy's mention of Rudora No Hihou and increasingly uneasy about randomthread balling all conversations into the Mu/Void, I propose talking about some of Square's late-generation 16-bit SFC games that receive relatively little attention. Alternately, it can be the thread about old Square games I have played or owned yet not spent more than an hour on.

Rudora: Iggy reminded me of Rudora No Hihou, the Secret Treasure of the Rudras, which sounds really interesting, but which, like 90% of the population, I never played because I was too busy with FFVI and Chrono Trigger (and honestly, if we hadn't been doing that, we would have been dying through Dragon Quest VI). The spell-creation system sounds enormously clever and the Indian-influenced story sounds unique. How do people feel about it? It's evidentally even gotten a fan translation in English long after the fact, I hear.

Live-A-Live: Every so often, this poor neglected game gets mentioned on the side of some other thread, often with some level of warmness. I played it about a decade ago for about five minutes and never really gave it its due. Any crusaders?

Bahamut Lagoon: I've had this one in my closet for years and years (after buying the poor unloved thing for about 500Y in perfect condition), and even played the first hour or so before grounding out. Maybe I should've kept going?

Treasure Hunter G: Okay, so no one actually played this one.





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

[this message was edited by Maou on Mon 27 Jul 05:35]

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Iggy
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"Re(1):Let's talk about Rudora and 16-bit Squa" , posted Mon 27 Jul 05:28post reply

Thanks for not letting me derail the DQN thread any further.

Rudora
When the game came out, I was fed up with Romancing SaGa3, Seiken3 and FF6 (I was never fed up with RomaSaga2 and kept playing it until Minstrel Song came out).
My Japanese wasn't good enough to understand the plot fully. Still, the grammatical concepts of the spell creation (prefixes mean this, suffixes do that, radicals mean this and that) were awesome, and letting a boss attack until he did his own hidden technique that you would memorize, write down, then use (you, the player, not you, the character you're playing as) was taking the Rockman concept to whole new levels (though it forced you to keep a paper and a pencil near you when you played, which when you think of it is actually great and something most of us don't do anymore in this XXIst century)(and it's a shame).
The system was inevitably broken, since you could get superawesome magics very early in the game, but balanced by the clever formulas used to calculate damage (at low level, super awesome magic didn't deal much more damage then the low-tier ones, while requiring 10 times the MPs).

The graphics were awesome, as it was one of the very few RPGs that used animated sprites for everything, not only your own main characters, and everything moved very smooth. The maps were pretty, and the characters detailed enough to feel completely different from a story to the other.
The principle of having 3 different characters moving around during the 15 days before the Apocalypse, and having their actions impact on each others and the world itself was brilliant (you could either play each character to see the end of his personal story but without understanding the full plot, or playing them all day after day to get a picture of the whole scenario)(and you could just let a character rot while playing the others, learning new spells, and get back to it with new, cheaper and awesome-r spells to speed things up).

Finally, the other personal reason why I love this game is that I did it again a few years later, when I could read everything that they said, and enjoyed it like it was a brand new game.

Live-A-Live: This is one of the games (with Wild Card on WS and maybe Majora's Mask) that I feel are sorely missing from my videogame knowledge in the same way not having read Don Quijote prevents me from being the literature geek I fancy myself to be. I have a few friends who keep telling me how awesome it is. Every fucking time I see them. So I started reading Quijote.

Bahamut Lagoon: This is a very mysterious game for me. I bought it when it was released, finished it countless times (I think it had a new game+ feature, and I had several saves in parallel, trying to feed different things to my dragons...)
But I can't remember anything about it. How can I have forgotten so much about a game I poured a few hundred hours in? Maybe I just used these hours to totally empty my brain and not think about anything. I think I remember the game to be rather repetitive and not very challenging...

Treasure Hunter G: Treasure who?

Not a Squaresoft game... at the time, but sometimes I feel my attachment to Tactics Ogre might be a little irrational. I don't like the Fire Emblem formula at all, so that's already half of the tactical genre out of the way... But I don't like any of TO's successors either. I loathed FFT's small groups, unbearably complicated scenario and early brokenness with passion, and TO on GBA felt just like a toned down version of the game I loved.

I recently had an interesting discussion with a friend on how Seiken 2 (which I don't particularly like) was 10 times better than Seiken 3 (which I loved and play through at least 12 times), and I think he managed to convince me on a few points... which fortunately I forgot as soon as I came back to London.





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"Re(2):Let's talk about Rudora and 16-bit Squa" , posted Mon 27 Jul 07:30:post reply

{You called?

I got a deja-vu when I went to change my profile, so I decided to search a little:
Live A Live (from this post on)
(found actually using google. The search function, it did nothing )

My opinion on the game is basically on a post there.

Simple, straight, innovative/gimmicky (see it as you will), short, charmingly stereotypical stories, and a simple and overdone yet true "message"...
A bresh of fresh air onto the genre, with really wonderful music.

Edit: Right after both posts linked on that thread, BTW, a certain Maou started wondering about Treasure Hunter and Bahamut Lagoon...
Seems you haven't taken that thorn out yet?

quote:
Iggy on Rudora


Damn, now you made me want to play it...

quote:

Live-A-Live: This is one of the games (with Wild Card on WS and maybe Majora's Mask) that I feel are sorely missing from my videogame knowledge in the same way not having read Don Quijote prevents me from being the literature geek I fancy myself to be. I have a few friends who keep telling me how awesome it is. Every fucking time I see them. So I started reading Quijote.



And damn again, now you're making me feel proud of myself.
I did read Quijote out of curiosity, and certainly enjoyed the second part (Less famous but much better than the first).





貧乳神・・・

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[this message was edited by Sensenic on Mon 27 Jul 07:32]

Maou
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"Re(3):Let's talk about Rudora and 16-bit Squa" , posted Mon 27 Jul 10:43:post reply

quote:
Right after both posts linked on that thread, BTW, a certain Maou started wondering about Treasure Hunter and Bahamut Lagoon...
Seems you haven't taken that thorn out yet?

Hey man, I feel like I haven't seen you posting for ever! And you're right...looking back, I see that I didn't care about Treasure Hunter G then, either. I still have a sort of mocking curiousity about it, though, that is usually reserved just for SaGa. Now that the musings I had in that old thread about unloved 16-bit Square SFC games are their own thread, I hope to hear more, especially about Live-A-Live and Rudora! Maybe someone can really make me play Live-A-Live this time! I still probably won't play my copy of Bahamut Lagoon, though.





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

[this message was edited by Maou on Mon 27 Jul 10:51]

Spoon
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"Re(4):Let's talk about Rudora and 16-bit Squa" , posted Mon 27 Jul 13:04post reply

Seeing as how both Live-A-Live and Rudora were translated into English by AGTP, both should be played by all those who never got around to learning Japanese!

Except that even now I have yet to play through Rudora, though I'm one of the people that went and downloaded and play Live A Live multiple times. In fact, I've downloaded and played Live A Live on every computer I've owned that was able to run a SFC emulator. Hmm.

I'm not sure if MEGALOMANIA is my favourite boss fight music, but there certainly aren't many Squaresoft boss fight songs I like as much as it.





KTallguy
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"Re(5):Let's talk about Rudora and 16-bit Squa" , posted Mon 27 Jul 21:47post reply

I got up to the future part of Live-A-Live, it was very fun but I lost my save file... I loved loved loved the Ninja level!

I do want to check out Rudora, too bad they don't have it on GBA/DS.





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Sensenic
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"Re(4):Let's talk about Rudora and 16-bit Squa" , posted Mon 27 Jul 23:43post reply

quote:
Hey man, I feel like I haven't seen you posting for ever!


Oh, it's always nice to receive a warm welcome. Thanks ^_^
Guess it's because I tend to lurk more than post ^_^; which I do only once in a while, when there's sth I really want to tell and I'm not feeling too lazy to write it. The fact that my posts almost always end up as poorly written messy walls of text doesn't help.
/(;n_n)

So normally I'm satiated enough just by leeching delicious info and clever remarks from this place.

quote:
And you're right...looking back, I see that I didn't care about Treasure Hunter G then, either.


I tried it out once, years ago, but couldn't get past some point in the beginning (sth blocking the world map and didn't know what to do), so I left it.
Same for Bahamut Lagoon... I liked its graphics a lot... (so bright!) but couldn't get around to it.

Although, back in the day, the cause for the disinterest might have been the not-so-uncommon unfinished translation patches that would suddenly forget the English and start spouting mojibake, to my frustration.

quote:
Now that the musings I had in that old thread about unloved 16-bit Square SFC games are their own thread, I hope to hear more, especially about Live-A-Live and Rudora! Maybe someone can really make me play Live-A-Live this time! I still probably won't play my copy of Bahamut Lagoon, though.



On LaL... there's little I can add, other than, "go try it! ( _)-o"

I mean, at least one of the chapters should have the gameplay/plot/setting suited for you:
- an almost-completely adventure RPG, with no battles, just an intense plot of serial murder and people on a closed space slowly losing their trust in each other? - Future Chapter.
- You enjoy the different and original fighting system and want to fight with no other worries for plot whatsoever? You have a fighting game-like RPG, where you just choose your next rival and duke it out. - Present Chapter
- You want an infiltration Metalgear-esque gameplay, with moral choices on whether you achieve your goals by killing people or not? (and far more secrets than should be allowed on such a short story) - Bakumatsu chapter
- You're sick of the blahblahblah kill God, listen to my tragical past, it's all a metaphor for the Power of Friendship triumphing over evil mumbojumbo? Then perhaps you'd enjoy an RPG with not one single word spoken, just little drawings and roars, before language was born - prehistoric chapter
- Are you sick of supposedly strong Royal Guards or ex elite soldiers starting at level 2 or 5? Perhaps you want to start -and play a whole story- with a badass character who can truly wipe the floor with his enemies from the very start, all while searching for a disciple to pass his knowledge onto - China chapter.
etc.

Just keep this in mind: the stories will never be original. On the opposite, it will be like playing an "alien" movie, a 90's anime, an spaghetti western or a chinese martial arts flick. But therein lies their charm, in living interactively the different stories, lives, you have watched so many times.
The surprises... will come later.





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Time Mage
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"Re(5):Let's talk about Rudora and 16-bit Squa" , posted Tue 28 Jul 00:15post reply

Indeed, seeing you around again is great... On the other hand, the very moment Maou mentioned Live-a-Live I knew you'd appear here :P

quote:
normally I'm satiated enough just by leeching delicious info and clever remarks from this place.


You know, I could really use that as my signature, too.





(secret goal of this message: showing my new avatar >_>)





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Nate
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"Re(2):Let's talk about Rudora and 16-bit Squa" , posted Tue 28 Jul 03:24post reply

quote:

I recently had an interesting discussion with a friend on how Seiken 2 (which I don't particularly like) was 10 times better than Seiken 3 (which I loved and play through at least 12 times), and I think he managed to convince me on a few points... which fortunately I forgot as soon as I came back to London.



Seiken 3 has better character development and party variety going for it, as well as three separate sets of final bosses depending on your main character. Plus the black rabite and other little weird bonus things you could spend hours messing with like item seeds. Also other system-related things like increasing the limit on items and changing how charge attacks worked were good ideas.

Seiken 2 was really...grind-intensive especially to get magic up to scratch (Dryad, ugh). In its own weird way, the grinding weapon/magic levels was kind of fun, though. Plus the variety of weapons kept things interesting. I would also say that I find more tracks from Seiken 2 memorable. Which is not to say that 3 did not have good music.

They're both good but very different.





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Time Mage
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"Re(3):Let's talk about Rudora and 16-bit Squa" , posted Tue 28 Jul 05:38post reply

Seiken 2's battle system was, in my opinion, poorly designed. Charging for ages to get level 10 power for your weapon then when you're about to release, get hit and lose the charge wasn't fun at all. Heck, even if you managed to get the attack, the time needed to charge was a lot of time doing nothing.

Secret of Evermore, while being as uncharismatic as a game can be, had a very, very solid battle system, with less charge levels and that very interesting alchemy idea for the magic attacks. And the music was great, too.

I started Seiken 3 several times but never got too far. A pity, because I think I would love it.





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Sensenic
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"Re(6):Let's talk about Rudora and 16-bit Squa" , posted Tue 28 Jul 05:39post reply

quote:
Indeed, seeing you around again is great... On the other hand, the very moment Maou mentioned Live-a-Live I knew you'd appear here :P


I've been read like a book!


On the other hand I'm not the only one who's rather away as of late... *nudge, nudge, elbow blow*

quote:

(secret goal of this message: showing my new avatar >_>)



Someone's been hyped by Scribblenauts (and Post 217) too, eh?
I can't wait to get my hands on it. (or rather yes, I can, so many games to play...)

And enough derailing! \( .)

*goes to sneakily try Rudra a little*





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"The rise of the sinistals." , posted Tue 28 Jul 07:14post reply

Back in the days I always complained that rpgs games focused to much in fighting and that there it wheren't way to many weirds things to do in game. I had that complaint until I meet Lufia 2 The graphics wheren't that awsome, the music was regular, the battles wheren't that difficult at all, but... but! the core of the game is puzzles. After 3 or so dungeons, every important location that you have to access, or every dungeon that you have to clear holds in very simple and clever puzzles where you could actually get pseudo permanently stuck if you wheren't sumarto enough. Can become quite enjoyable and some of the puzzles are challeging even after 2 and 3 playsthroughs. The game also posses "after clear game content" which was not usual for it's day.

Rudra it's a marvelous game. Everything that Iggy said sums up my feelings for the game. Another important note is that the characters in their own differents routes find "different" set of spells; so keeping track of what you like outside your saved game is a good idea. Also, another good point is that the routes where very different concept wise and could crearly kept you interested. For example one lead was the brawns no brain knight, other was a young holy priest and another one was a....

Spoiler (Highlight to view) -
body snatching ghost who used corpses to interact with the land of living. It was a nice touch that some of the corpses he used where... "produced" in the other routes

End of Spoiler









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Maou
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"Re(1):The rise of the sinistals." , posted Tue 28 Jul 10:43post reply

Ah, this reminds me, Seiken Densetsu 3 is another Square RPG that I own but never played more than five minutes of, oops! Then again, mysteriously, inexplicably, I've never played Seiken 2. But then, these aren't quite in the category of "forgotten Square SFC games" (though given how the series devolved into rubbish, maybe they will be forgotten by guilty association), so I will not worry about them.

Estpolis/Lufia II and Toxico: Oh! Yeah, it's not Square so it's "off-topic," but I don't care, because this little game is important. Two music tracks, Battle 1 and Towers of the Seal, are outstanding. It's a strange game in that even though it's a "story and combat RPG," it's really the puzzles that are the great part. I always looked forward to solving them, far more than I did to the okay battles and the massivley outdated 1991-era story. Oddly enough, the story is highly effective in two spots, and I'll spoil all I want because it's fifteen years later: the unexpected marriage scene (even though it was probably cribbed from Dragon Quest V) and the passage of time making it a two-act story even though the acts themselves are meaningless, and the tragic ending, of course. Even with the empty characters, the sadness of the ending lingers because the archetypal act of sacrifice is so moving and because it's so rarely done in an ending. Excellent.





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

Amakusa
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"Re(2):The rise of the sinistals." , posted Fri 31 Jul 16:17:post reply

quote:
Ah, this reminds me, Seiken Densetsu 3 is another Square RPG that I own but never played more than five minutes of, oops! Then again, mysteriously, inexplicably, I've never played Seiken 2. But then, these aren't quite in the category of "forgotten Square SFC games" (though given how the series devolved into rubbish, maybe they will be forgotten by guilty association), so I will not worry about them.



Seiken 2 was also called Secret of Mana.

I actually liked both 2 and 3, for different reasons. 3 had a superior battle system (it's also one of the few games where the Poison status isn't a complete joke), but even though it had built-in replayability I couldn't be bothered to actually use anyone other than the spear girl.


quote:

Estpolis/Lufia II and Toxico: Oh! Yeah, it's not Square so it's "off-topic," but I don't care, because this little game is important. Two music tracks, Battle 1 and Towers of the Seal, are outstanding. It's a strange game in that even though it's a "story and combat RPG," it's really the puzzles that are the great part. I always looked forward to solving them, far more than I did to the okay battles and the massivley outdated 1991-era story. Oddly enough, the story is highly effective in two spots, and I'll spoil all I want because it's fifteen years later: the unexpected marriage scene (even though it was probably cribbed from Dragon Quest V) and the passage of time making it a two-act story even though the acts themselves are meaningless, and the tragic ending, of course. Even with the empty characters, the sadness of the ending lingers because the archetypal act of sacrifice is so moving and because it's so rarely done in an ending. Excellent.



Lufia 2 wins props for its big puzzle focus (most of them were of the good variety). I also liked its relatively simplistic story and found the characters surprisingly charming in spite of the fact they were simple archetypes. Of course, as far as the story goes I think knowing that two of those characters are going to die ahead of time is what made me appreciate it more. A lot of people I argue this point on because I think it's particularly important that you do know how it ends, especially since that seems to be the intention by nearly replicating (with some obvious differences) the entire sequence from the first Lufia game.





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I will rule the world and find that truly good cup of coffee.
"Dink-a-dink-a-dink-a-do."

[this message was edited by Amakusa on Fri 31 Jul 16:18]