The glorious new SaGa thread/eternal festival - http://www.mmcafe.com/ Forums


Original message (3130 Views )


user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"The glorious new SaGa thread/eternal festival" , posted Sat 19 Sep 11:18post reply

It is time for a glorious new (Romancing) SaGa thread!

One of the finest delicacies the Cafe offers to the English-speaking internet, in addition to house specialties SNK and Dracula, is SaGa conversation. Use this thread to talk or inquire about any of the works of our stylish and ingenious master Lord Kawazu in addition to posting the hopefully boundless amount of upcoming SaGa-related news. For me in particular, there is a special occasion:

“At last, the hour is at hand to correct the error of the Goddess Althena Maou from fifteen twenty-two years ago.”
Twenty-two years ago, I got SaGa Frontier and resented it more than any game I’ve ever bought at full price. Four years ago, after a decade of gradually acknowledging Kawazu’s evil genius, I fully submitted to his will. Today, THIS VERY DAY, I have finally acquired the RomaSaGa 2 remake for Switch, so I’m going to being Maoublogging my way through it here like I promised Mosquiton and others three years ago.

But I need your help! I’m not going to read any guides and look forward to wandering around aimlessly and getting randomly killed in the finest SaGa/early PC RPG tradition. Still, it would be great to hear who I should play as to get some of the best dialogue, or at least who not to play as, plus any missable but fun stuff…like, in FFVI terms, I want to know that I should wait for Shadow on the floating continent so he doesn’t die permanently. Help me, Kawazu acolytes!


Previous threads:
The (sort of) RomaSaGa 2 thread
Year of SaGa, plus the splendid RomaSaGa2 dissertation
Recent musings





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...

Replies:


user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P Requiem





"Re(1):The glorious new SaGa thread/eternal fe" , posted Sat 19 Sep 20:44post reply

OK, after 5 minutes of laughing evilly in my evil chair of doom, time to answer.... to this thread and not answering any of the claimant's calls for help.

I've been mourning this tweet for the last month, and now you should too. I was really sure an HD port of Minsaga was underway as that sounded an obvious follow-up to RS2 and 3's rereleases. Yes, it would require a different type of work that wouldn't be reusable in the gacha, but... come on now. The game doesn't even have that many bugs that would need to be fixed by Saga standards!
Of course, the ideal scenario would be a triple pack release, HD remaster of Minsaga, and an emulated port of the SFC and the Wonderswan versions. And of course put all that on PC.
I guess the main issue is that such a project wouldn't be releasable on mobile, and that's what SQEX requires for every small and middle sized project, apparently...







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(2):The glorious new SaGa thread/eternal fe" , posted Sun 20 Sep 08:05:post reply

quote:
OK, after 5 minutes of laughing evilly in my evil chair of doom, time to answer.... to this thread and not answering any of the claimant's calls for help.
Alas, Kawazu's Chosen are as merciless as the man himself!

It was midnight yesterday when I fired up RomaSaga2 for the first time, which was enough time to watch random villagers walking around in seeming safety saying, "if only the Seven Heroes would appear," before getting instantly obliterated by suddenly appearing monsters without a word or cutscene between them, all before the title screen came up and I fell asleep. I feel like this is the most appropriate possible return to SaGa for me.

As for the tragic injustice Kawazu is facing re-releasing RomaSaga 1 while Nomura throws away money on garbage that takes years to come out, his most tantalizing suggestion is a pixel version of Minstrel Song. The most positive thing about that tweet is that it came in response to a fan saying that we have to Keep the Faith by raising voices periodically to re-release Minstrel Song even if it's not remastered, and finishing with "Our Lord God/Kawazu, the SaGa Collection is already out, please consider this request!"

He is listening to us. He knows we're here. He may even be reading this very thread.





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 Sun 20 Sep 12:28]



user profileedit/delete message
Star Platinum Carpet- S.P.W. Board Master





"Re(3):The glorious new SaGa thread/eternal fe" , posted Mon 21 Sep 00:54post reply

quote:
random villagers walking around in seeming safety saying, "if only the Seven Heroes would appear," before getting instantly obliterated by suddenly appearing monsters without a word or cutscene between them

Ha! That scene always cracks me up. These villagers should be playing the gacha game instead if they want Rocbouquet and Bockhorn in their party!

Anyway.

There are very few missable things, and even less important missable things. You can miss characters, but honestly, there's 30 of them in the game and they're all interchangeable, so it's not a big deal.
One thing in RS is that there are no artificial highlighting of important information. Everything people tell you is potentially important. It's part of why the games have such a small script compared to other RPG of the era: they don't like to repeat themselves. Speak to everyone when you arrive in a new town. Listen carefully to what quest givers tell you, and don't assume they'll act like most quest givers in other games. If a guy asks you to clear the monsters of the second floor, don't go clear the monsters of the third floor as well "because you're there".

The biggest easily missable thing is after you've beaten the first hero. Once then, remember that you can use your bed in the castle to sleep for free. Remember to talk to everyone in town. You'll probably figure it out.

Important stuff: you can run away from 99% of battles at no cost. The game is build around that. Use it.
Save everywhere, every time you've done something. Save before and after every difficult battle. Save after every battle when you've sparked a new tech. I don't mean you should reset the moment any of your characters loses 1LP; after all, the game is about periodical party wipes. But having a backup of the last 5 minutes can save you many headaches. The game is "save anywhere" for a reason.

As for what to build, the choice is yours. You can focus on a few weapons/spells and beat the game with that, or you can go the other way and decide that every party wipe, you'll get entirely different characters and weapons/spells than the previous time. Good for variety, but may require more grinding.
If I had to chose, I generally feel that the fencing foil and the mace are the two weakest weapons, but their level counter is shared with spears and axes, which I personally love very much. Earth magic sucks early on, but can unlock pretty cool shit in the end, while Air is the opposite. Light, Fire and Water are all cool.

At the beginning, do not give money to the forge. Their weapon/armor updates can be helpful, but you'll need the money for something much more important in the first half of the game.
How money works: the ministers on the left of the throne room tell you how much you have in your coffers, and how much you gain each battle. It's "each battle started", so if you run away from every battle, you'll still gain some money. The forge works similarly; their offering changes every battle, and once you've ordered something, they'll make it in 15 battles. All that is not important information BTW: if you know you're going to need 2M for something soon, but you really want to upgrade your bows for some reason, and you're wondering how many battles you'd need to do for that... well, you're already far into the deep end. No need to think about it at the beginning. Ignore the forget early on.

Pyjama Gerard is totally useless, the poor boy. The first time you take control of him, you can ask Emerald (right of the castle) to make him less terrible. One thing I generally do is to remove his sword and make him use his weak little punches while the rest of the party is doing the actual work. It doesn't make him less useless, but it allows the general level of martial arts to start raising a little bit. The poor boy is doing his best. Take care of him, maybe he'll grow out of his pyjamas.

Some chests in the Somon house are trapped. The mimic are extremely hard and don't offer fantastic rewards, so feel free to avoid them until Gerard has become stronger, or even ignore them completely. The other chests have good stuff though. Save before opening anything!







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(4):The glorious new SaGa thread" , posted Tue 22 Sep 12:48post reply

Thanks to General Iggy's generous tactics, I'm almost ready to embark on this journey, but the sense of danger emanating from SaGa games is still palpable two decades after Frontier, so you'd better believe I'm studying up so I don't end up flattened like those hapless villagers in the attract mode!

How? Why, downloading and printing the digital manual from the beautiful and hexa-lingual RomaSaGa 2 website, of course! As Iggy has said before, Kawazu is in the business of getting us closer to the D&D and early PC RPG basics that he, Sakaguchi, Horii, and other pioneers loved and tried to recreate on video game consoles, and I can't think of anything more pen-and-paper-RPG-like than printing a 30 page Rule Book and excitedly studying it before I properly start a video game, which is exactly what I'm going to do. The art is great! Join in the fun and/or this deadly campaign!





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...
Professor
5811th Post



user profileedit/delete message
MMCafe Owner


"Kawazu: We still have 2.5 months !" , posted Sun 27 Sep 16:01post reply

We only have two and a half months left with the 30th anniversay of the Saga series.
People might have been expecting an announcement today,
but again we still have two and a half months.
So, maybe we might be able to make a new announcement?








user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P Requiem





"Re(1):Kawazu: We still have 2.5 months" , posted Sun 27 Sep 18:46post reply

quote:
We only have two and a half months left with the 30th anniversay of the Saga series.
People might have been expecting an announcement today,
but again we still have two and a half months.
So, maybe we might be able to make a new announcement?




-cries in mobile-
Wait, it could also be like Scarlet Grace which when it was announced in 2015!
-cries in waiting 4 years for the game to be ported on Steam-

Oh well, time to buy another random console for a single game. Speaking of, I recently noticed my Vita has disappeared. I haven't touched it since Scarlet Grace was released on Switch, so maybe it took it upon itself to stand on its tiny legs and go find a new home where it will be more needed than mine.







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(2):Kawazu: We still have 2.5 months" , posted Mon 5 Oct 07:19:post reply

quote:
We only have two and a half months left with the 30th anniversay of the Saga series.
-cries in mobile-
Wait, it could also be like Scarlet Grace which when it was announced in 2015!
-cries in waiting 4 years for the game to be ported on Steam-
Ye of little faith! I speak with the crazed, fundamentalist zeal of one converted as an adult when I tell you that this is more than enough time for the announcement of a suitably excellent SaGa game (all games remade on a Seiken Densetsu 3 engine?!?!). Remember when it took an extra year of Scarlet Grace? That's because even you, Shogun Iggy, cannot fully bring yourself to defend proto-SaGa Final Fantasy II, of course. He knows and we must repent.

Meanwhile, I completed my extensive study of the instruction book and stared the game. Having a bard narrate to your own character, who will then be irrelevant for I-don't-know-how-long, is pretty classy, even if the suits were so frightened people would be bothered by this that they put a big old "don't worry you will see your character one day" in the instruction book (in the same way they thought you might not know you should play Nier Automata multiple times and wedged in a big dumb "THIS IS NOT THE END OF THE GAME" sign after Route A).

The obviously sinister Seven Heroes' shadows from the opening screen look like cool predecessors to Final Oiyoiyo XII's Judges.

It's neat being able to re-roll every fight like we were working on paper, though then again, I might prefer having a better roll to begin with.

I don't understand how Emerald could make Gerard less useless by teaching magic, then end up being such a bad character herself! How am I stuck with a magic user with only 13 JP!? Because I am a humanitarian, I can't even have her destroyed and replaced. What did I do wrong?

At least I followed Iggy's dojo and made pyjama-wearing Gerard punch everyone empty-handed until he became good at it, though now he has inherited Leon's Bastard Sword and swings without mercy. I think it's neat that there's a story branching option almost immediately. I have obviously done the right thing by crushing impudent goblins terrorizing my town rather than returning immediately to Kujinshii's house.

Things I notice in the Switch port: obviously, everything is worth it since it upgrades the game from FFIV graphics to FF5.5 graphics (if only it were FFVI graphics with mist effects and more parallax!), but I keep wondering if I'm dealing with the fiddly artifacts of a cellphone port, or if the original also had you clicking on say Equip and then a vertical column of character names rather than having nice character portraits along the side, and if attack options in battle always moved from left to right rather than a vertical list.

Also, the fabled SaGa quick-save also seems to be missing---the best I can do is save regularly, then do Menu->Environmental Options->Return to Title->Really->Yes, Really. That doesn't seem very fast!





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 5 Oct 09:36]



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P Requiem





"Re(3):Kawazu: We still have 2.5 months" , posted Mon 5 Oct 19:28post reply

quote:
That's because even you, Shogun Iggy, cannot fully bring yourself to defend proto-SaGa Final Fantasy II, of course. He knows and we must repent.

What slander is this!
I shall have you known, sir, that Final Fantasy 2 is... a game!
And even a video game as it is!
Verily!
It is also a game that... can be played!
I hope this firm rebuttal will cleanse my name from any unjust slander thrown my way.

As for Emerald, I think she's OK after a few fights to have her find her marks. Her JP is a bit limited at first, indeed, so you'll need to be a bit stingy in the first few dungeons. Remember to put her behind your Imperial Cross, as she's very susceptible to dying if people look at her the wrong way.

The UI is unfortunately faithful to the original game. It's not ideal. That was one of the area the remake could have improved the game, but decided not to because reasons.
As for the quick reset-reload, it's indeed removed from the remake (in RS3 has well) and it's a tragedy. I suspect some kind of stupid hardware maker guideline that prevented them from implementing it on iOS or Android, and then the limitation got kept all the way to actual gaming devices.

Once you've finished RS2, which will undoubtedly happen soon as I can hear your faith in Kawazu strengthening from the other side of the world, continue your journey into RS3, a slightly less good game, but so much prettier. My personal SFC artstyle ranking is FF6 < RS3 < Rudra no Hihô.







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"DISCO SEWER returns" , posted Tue 6 Oct 10:02:post reply

quote:
I shall have you known, sir, that Final Fantasy 2 is... a game!
I hope this firm rebuttal will cleanse my name from any unjust slander thrown my way.
Truly! I cannot argue, especially since like all crazed fanatics I have a Secret Doubt, which in my case is that I've never actually played FFII or FFI (the FFII Emperor sez: ウボァー). I wonder if the various FFII remakes sacrilegiously expunged Kawazu's system to make it more like other FFs. Anyway, get ready, it's:

The return of the fabulous SAGA DISCO SEWER PARTY, in an exciting attempt to broaden the SaGa fanbase and thread poster list:

Sewer (RS1): Is it a cosmic irony that one of Itoken's finest tracks must be announced as "sewer" even when performed live by legitimately talented musicians (internet rumors claim it was meant for another scene, which makes sense since it is a variation of the Final Trial theme), or is Itoken so skilled that even a lowly sewer track is a masterpiece?

Canal Fortress (RS2): After a disappointing track in the game's first actual sewer, this theme is hot like fire and a canal is probably connected to a sewer somewhere, right?

Honorable mentions from 1990s contemporaries: Underground Waterway (Chrono Trigger), Mysterious Cave (Lunar~Silver Star Story), [your selection here].

Speaking of the Canal Fortress, it's cool that you can track down a thief on the rooftops and, rather than feeding her to the wolves, use her to enter the Thieves' Guild, and then shortcut into the canal! It feels a little too contemporary to have the leader of a country mixed up in a shady business and literally consulting illegally with thieves, but on the other hand, the game got easier, so thanks, Cat! Also noted during the thief-chasing quest: at night, everyone goes to sleep and leaves their buildings, including the horses. The shopkeepers going home make sense, but where do the horses go to sleep when they're not in their stables!? And speaking of horses:
quote:
RS3, a slightly less good game, but so much prettier. My personal SFC artstyle ranking is FF6 < RS3 < Rudra no Hihô.
I'm almost certain I remember the most famous RomaSaGa 3 image used in ads being the one of someone riding a horse (rare in RPGs!) through a very colorful forest!





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 Tue 6 Oct 10:07]



user profileedit/delete message
Star Platinum Carpet- S.P.W. Board Master





"Re(1):DISCO SEWER returns" , posted Tue 6 Oct 19:37post reply

The fortress mission can be done in 3 ways: the easy way where Cat has neutralized all the guards and even points toward the chests, the sneaky way where you pay someone to smuggle you in and have to go into the fortress while all the guards are patrolling, and then the suicide-mission way where you charge forward and try to take the gate, and then all the guards are on high alert. The boss can be quite though, so limiting the amount of battles before the fight is definitely the way to go.
quote:
I'm almost certain I remember the most famous RomaSaGa 3 image used in ads being the one of someone riding a horse (rare in RPGs!) through a very colorful forest!

Ah! Yeah, it was one of these rare moments: a cinematic in a Saga game! But the person on the horse is Monica, and who cares for Monica when Khalid and Katarina exist, as you shall see.

On a totally different topic, but since beautiful SFC pixel work was brought up: Tactics Ogre is 25 today!





Just a Person
2247th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"...Now THAT's unexpected" , posted Sun 29 Nov 02:28post reply

SaGa Frontier will be remastered for PS4, Switch, PC, Android and iOS. Not only is the game getting better graphics, it'll also include content that was cut from the PS1 version such as Fuse's chapter and events from Asellus's chapter. No word on more content for Lute's chapter or on more integration from Red's and Blue's chapters to the other stories, however.

Still, that's way more than I'd ever expect Square Enix to do, so... yay?





Maybe I'm this person right in front of you... nah probably not though.


user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P Requiem





"Re(1):...Now THAT's unexpected" , posted Sun 29 Nov 20:58post reply

quote:
better graphics


[citation needed]

I'm quite intrigued with the new Fuse chapter, and the few events that may make some of the stories less... patchy.
But let's look at the bright side here: if SQEX doesn't see any problem with re-releasing ugly 2D games like that, that means an HD remaster of Unlimited:Saga is now within the realm of possibilities!

Hey wait where are you goi





KTallguy
1573th Post



user profileedit/delete message
PSN: KTallguy
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: KTallguy
CFN: n/a
Red Carpet V.I.P- Platinum Member





"Re(2):...Now THAT's unexpected" , posted Mon 30 Nov 11:15post reply

I am late to this thread as I have been playing RomaSaga 2 on and off, and I have 3 waiting in the wings.

I actually have a soft spot for U Saga... I bought it at 50 dollars on release, and never got very far, but I love the soundtrack, art, and concepts. I would love a remixed version that isn't so furiously random and obtuse (but then it wouldn't be Sagaaaaaaaaaa).







user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(3):...Now THAT's unexpected" , posted Tue 1 Dec 02:43post reply

quote:
I am late to this thread as I have been playing RomaSaga 2 on and off, and I have 3 waiting in the wings.

I actually have a soft spot for U Saga... I bought it at 50 dollars on release, and never got very far, but I love the soundtrack, art, and concepts. I would love a remixed version that isn't so furiously random and obtuse (but then it wouldn't be Sagaaaaaaaaaa).



I also wanted to chime in and say that I greatly enjoyed my first playthrough of Scarlet Grace, in which I played as Urpina. Out of curiousity I tried starting off the other scenarios, and holy cow the one with Leonard is hilarious! He and his crew are bumbling oafs, and seeing them stumble into the events I encountered with Urpina and being idiots about them is rather amazing. I don't know when or if I'll actually complete that playthrough, but I am enriched by having knowledge of that.







user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P Requiem





"Re(4):...Now THAT's unexpected" , posted Tue 1 Dec 03:48post reply

quote:
I also wanted to chime in and say that I greatly enjoyed my first playthrough of Scarlet Grace, in which I played as Urpina. Out of curiousity I tried starting off the other scenarios, and holy cow the one with Leonard is hilarious! He and his crew are bumbling oafs, and seeing them stumble into the events I encountered with Urpina and being idiots about them is rather amazing. I don't know when or if I'll actually complete that playthrough, but I am enriched by having knowledge of that.

Yes!!! Leonard and Elizabeth are adorkable! I was a bit disappointed by Talia's and Balmaint compared to Leonard and Urpina, they're not as charming (even Talia's bored/contemptuous ice queen shtick got old after a while, maybe I wasn't in the mood).

The main draw/issue with Leonard is that he's the... well, he's the Lute of his game. Meaning everything is open, and you can go wherever you like, which can be difficult to follow (I'm not even sure he needs to complete 3 out of the 4 main quests? His interaction with Firebringer is hilarious at least).
Well, he's Lute, except he has as much scenario as the others, and it's fun, and he doesn't look like a homeless lunatic, and he's in a good game.







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Romancing Perfect SaGa 2 vs. Lute Frontier" , posted Tue 1 Dec 12:17:post reply

Look at this glorious SaGa thread! Soon, double digits of Cafe posters the English-speaking internet will be playing!

I will start with the best things! Romancing SaGa 2! I haven't made any progress but I meant to note how neat it is that even in a game with minimal story, certain things are expressed powerfully in systems, like how Leon how to deal with Kujinshii's fatal attack by "learning it" via the in-game system at the cost of his life and then passing it onto his son via the game’s succession sytem.
quote:
he's Lute, except he has as much scenario as the others, and it's fun, and he doesn't look like a homeless lunatic, and he's in a good game.

He is listening to us. He knows we're here. He may even be reading this very thread.

[SaGa Froniter] is still much better than Frontier 2 and Unlimited, in my opinion. And SquareEnix should definitely remake it someday and include the missing parts this time.

Iggy and Just a Person, look what you have dooooone!! My cold sweat at the thought of SaGa Frontier again being unleashed on the world was mixed with a feeling of horrified admiration when I heard they were actually bold enough to do it. Then again, the further away I get from the time when I actually paid real money for it, the more having said vagrant character with literally no story or having Blue's ending crash the game starts to sound like art, and less like a criminal conspiracy that must be prosecuted.

quote:
an HD remaster of Unlimited:Saga is now within the realm of possibilities!

Hey wait where are you goi

Hahaha, All pre-orders of Unlimited:Saga Special Edition will come packaged with their own personal Iggy to serve as advisors through the strange worlds of imaginary numbers, random number generators, and shockingly beautiful art that you will never survive.





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 Tue 1 Dec 13:38]



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P - IGGY ARI !

"Re(1):Romancing Perfect SaGa 2 vs. Lute Front" , posted Tue 1 Dec 18:34post reply

quote:
Hahaha, All pre-orders of Unlimited:Saga Special Edition will come packaged with their own personal Iggy to serve as advisors through the strange worlds of imaginary numbers, random number generators, and shockingly beautiful art that you will never survive.

Hey now, we Unlimited zealots may end up trialed at The Hague, but you have to admit that Hamauzu is a stark improvement over Wagner as far as war crime music goes.





Just a Person
2248th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(2):Romancing Perfect SaGa 2 vs. Lute Front" , posted Tue 1 Dec 22:00post reply

quote:
Iggy and Just a Person, look what you have dooooone!! My cold sweat at the thought of SaGa Frontier again being unleashed on the world was mixed with a feeling of horrified admiration when I heard they were actually bold enough to do it. Then again, the further away I get from the time when I actually paid real money for it, the more having said vagrant character with literally no story or having Blue's ending crash the game starts to sound like art, and less like a criminal conspiracy that must be prosecuted.



Well, to be fair, it's not like this remake will be a best-selling title anyway. I suppose Square Enix will be happy enough if the sales are equal to the costs of remaking it (which should already be pretty low).

And who knows, maybe this will get them interested in remaking Romancing SaGa 2 (hopefully in a way that makes the remake faithful to the origin material). Of course, there's also the danger that they will decide instead to remake FRONTIER 2... oh, the horror.





Maybe I'm this person right in front of you... nah probably not though.


user profileedit/delete message
Star Platinum Carpet- S.P.W. Board Master





"Re(3):Romancing Perfect SaGa 2 vs. Lute Front" , posted Tue 1 Dec 22:37post reply

quote:
Well, to be fair, it's not like this remake will be a best-selling title anyway. I suppose Square Enix will be happy enough if the sales are equal to the costs of remaking it (which should already be pretty low).

The good thing with the SF1 remake is that they appear to finally have warmed up to the idea of using AI to enhance these old backgrounds, something they hilariously refused to do for lesser titles such as FF8 and 9.
I would imagine that now that they finally know how to do, any further titles (SF2, U:S, but also Legend of Mana or... I don't know, Parasite Eve ?) could benefit from it.

.... or, you know, they could just do a SQEX and keep on doing their shit remake for everything that isn't Saga because they just don't care.





Mosquiton
2475th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(5):...Now THAT's unexpected" , posted Wed 2 Dec 04:02:post reply

quote:

The main draw/issue with Leonard is that he's the... well, he's the Lute of his game. Meaning everything is open, and you can go wherever you like, which can be difficult to follow (I'm not even sure he needs to complete 3 out of the 4 main quests? His interaction with Firebringer is hilarious at least).
Well, he's Lute, except he has as much scenario as the others, and it's fun, and he doesn't look like a homeless lunatic, and he's in a good game.



Well, I can't say I'm very familiar with the game, and I am pretty sure I did not pick Lute when I rented SaGa Frontier once (and most certainly only once) way back when. I know I tried starting a few games and picked the robot one of those times....

But, I wanted to see SaGa's version of a homeless lunatic, so I looked up art for Lute. Maybe this is common knowledge, but I found it interesting that he seems very clearly inspired by the classic Fool from the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck.

Visually, his facial expression, body language, and small animal companion all map to the card. In terms of his personality/scenario, he's aloof and carefree, has no set path, and makes it up as he goes along.

But apparently playing as Lute is confused and not much fun? Perhaps he's a bit too Fool-ish, and Leonard is just Fool enough?





/ / /

[this message was edited by Mosquiton on Wed 2 Dec 11:47]

Just a Person
2250th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(6):...Now THAT's unexpected" , posted Wed 2 Dec 20:35:post reply

quote:

The main draw/issue with Leonard is that he's the... well, he's the Lute of his game. Meaning everything is open, and you can go wherever you like, which can be difficult to follow (I'm not even sure he needs to complete 3 out of the 4 main quests? His interaction with Firebringer is hilarious at least).
Well, he's Lute, except he has as much scenario as the others, and it's fun, and he doesn't look like a homeless lunatic, and he's in a good game.


Well, I can't say I'm very familiar with the game, and I am pretty sure I did not pick Lute when I rented SaGa Frontier once (and most certainly only once) way back when. I know I tried starting a few games and picked the robot one of those times....

But, I wanted to see SaGa's version of a homeless lunatic, so I looked up art for Lute. Maybe this is common knowledge, but I found it interesting that he seems very clearly inspired by the classic Fool from the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck.

Visually, his facial expression, body language, and small animal companion all map to the card. In terms of his personality/scenario, he's aloof and carefree, has no set path, and makes it up as he goes along.

But apparently playing as Lute is confused and not much fun? Perhaps he's a bit too Fool-ish, and Leonard is just Fool enough?



From what I remember, the problem with Lute is that his campaign is pretty much non-existent. After his first (short) scenes, the player can spend any time they want gaining levels and recruiting party members (and gaining levels for the party members) until they decide to move on with the story... which basically involves going to one single location where they will face a series of battles until reaching the final boss and that's it. And I don't remember if there was even any indication of what the player had to do to move on with the story.

That's something I found strange in the announcement of the Remastered edition: SE announced Asellus is getting new scenes (and she needed them, don't get me wrong), but there's nothing said for Lute. Or for Blue's ending. Or for Red finally being able to be recruited as a party member in the other characters' campaigns (Blue couldn't be recruited either, but Rouge could, and that's part of the plot twist involving them, I guess).

EDIT: oh, there's also the matter with Emelia's clothes: her gimmick was supposed to be that whatever costume she was wearing would grant her different skills and could be evolved and leveled up separately, but this gimmick ended up severely downplayed in the final game...





Maybe I'm this person right in front of you... nah probably not though.

[this message was edited by Just a Person on Wed 2 Dec 20:45]



user profileedit/delete message
Star Platinum Carpet- S.P.W. Board Master





"Re(6):...Now THAT's unexpected" , posted Wed 2 Dec 22:02post reply

True, Asellus ended up having the most developed scenario in the game, and while it's good she's getting new stuff since she's the best character... Emelia really is the character that would benefit the most from any addition. Her story was really disjointed. Red, Blue and Rouge were fine, T260G was cute but I don't remember her story at all, and Coon was.... urgh. The monster mechanic was such a pain I don't think I finished him.
quote:

But apparently playing as Lute is confused and not much fun? Perhaps he's a bit too Fool-ish, and Leonard is just Fool enough?
Lute is basically a Romancing Saga 1 character. He has a short introduction, and then you're free to walk in the world wherever you want in whatever order. It can be good if you already finished the game a few times and try to aim for specific things, but if you don't, it's just a lot of aimless wandering until you stumble by chance on anything (quite fitting for a Fool character, as you mentioned).

Scarlet Grace's Leonard is similar, except the team keeps talking and commenting on any random thing happening along the way, so while it can be very confusing to start all these events without rhyme or reason, the banter keeps pushing you forward. Also, the general attitude of the group is "eh, whatever, let's pretend we didn't see that", so even if you end up messing up some quests or entirely missing them, you fell like the group is on the same page as you, which is quite refreshing.







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"SaGa Group Therapy Session" , posted Thu 3 Dec 01:52:post reply

Hello, friends. My name is Maou and I'm really happy to be joining today's Group SaGa Therapy Session. I'm hoping that Iggy-sensei and my peer counsellors can help me work through some of these psychological issues.

Attachment issues - RomaSaGa 2: I never let any party member die permanently, and now I'm having a hard time letting go. I have beaten the Canal Fortress boss five times and repeatedly reset in order to get the perfect successor and not lose any nice combinations. How can I move forward in my life, and into the next 250 years?

Trust and forgiveness issues - SaGa Frontier: SaGa Frontier is coming back but I've never forgiven it despite giving it repeated chances to become a better person. Am I wrong to hate it now rather than encouraging it? I kept a list of our past interactions:
1. Emelia: couldn't find my way out of jail 5 minutes into the game and considered this an inauspicious start.
2. Lute: wandered around aimlessly and getting randomly killed. Gave up.
3. Red: was thrilled by upbeat Alkaizer theme and liked that he went on a date, so decided to trust the tokusatsu approach. Felt betrayed when no romance (or Romancing) occured and game had a 43 second ending.
4. Riki Rac(Coon): forgave the game again and got excited by outstanding Confrontation with the Cabellero Family theme, but realized it was still the same game. Beat it anyway but trust never returned.

Help me, peers!

PS: Mosquiton, you'd better believe that the Fool figured into my therapy! It's a great observation that made the game (briefly) more appealing. He may also be the Shakespearean fool and the wandering minstrel (minstrel song?!) combined into one, but the problem may be that Frontier is really Much Ado About Nothing.





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 Thu 3 Dec 05:06]

Mosquiton
2476th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(1):SaGa Group Therapy Session" , posted Thu 3 Dec 04:25:post reply

I feel I understand Lute better now.

Well, I'll just imagine everyone nodded silently in approval at my astute observation that Lute is basically the RWS Fool card, and assume that they are likely pondering the other tarot-related elements of Frontier and other games in the series.

Content that I have contributed to the discourse, I now grant myself permission to bask in the unspoken and invisible (but still very affirming) validation before going back to my dull work project.





/ / /

[this message was edited by Mosquiton on Thu 3 Dec 04:27]



user profileedit/delete message
Star Platinum Carpet- S.P.W. Board Master





"Re(1):SaGa Group Therapy Session" , posted Thu 3 Dec 22:58post reply

quote:
Attachment issues - RomaSaGa 2: I never let any party member die permanently, and now I'm having a hard time letting go. I have beaten the Canal Fortress boss five times and repeatedly reset in order to get the perfect successor and not lose any nice combinations. How can I move forward in my life, and into the next 250 years?

Normally, the first successor will be of the same class as your previous emperor (after Gerald) and the others will be random (baring special circumstances). One thing to keep in mind is that death is not a big problem in this game, at all levels: if the selection of characters is not to your liking, you can pick whichever you want, then take your naked emperor alone in the wilds, get into any battle with a monster, get killed, and see what the random offers you this time. There is a limit to that (something like if you get 8 or 10 version of each class murdered as emperor until the point no class remains, then you're fast-tracked into the end?) but that's an enormous amount of senseless killing and if you reach that point you were basically doing it on purpose.

quote:
Trust and forgiveness issues - SaGa Frontier: SaGa Frontier is coming back but I've never forgiven it despite giving it repeated chances to become a better person. Am I wrong to hate it now

No. Frontier 1 is better than Saga 1 or Frontier 2, but it's still below average. Yes, Unlimited Saga is better, yes I said it.

quote:
Well, I'll just imagine everyone nodded silently in approval at my astute observation that Lute is basically the RWS Fool card, and assume that they are likely pondering the other tarot-related elements of Frontier and other games in the series.

Ah! No, as far as I remember that's the only element related to the major tarot arcanas in the game (if other characters are inspired by them, it was too subtle for me to notice).
I do remember some imagery related to the minor arcanas, such as cup and swords and wands? Maybe related to the magic system? My memory is fuzzy.





Mosquiton
2477th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(2):SaGa Group Therapy Session" , posted Fri 4 Dec 02:10:post reply

quote:

Ah! No, as far as I remember that's the only element related to the major tarot arcanas in the game (if other characters are inspired by them, it was too subtle for me to notice).
I do remember some imagery related to the minor arcanas, such as cup and swords and wands? Maybe related to the magic system? My memory is fuzzy.


Yeah, I was a bit disappointed that Blue wasn't striking an "as above, so below" pose. A lot of RPGs draw on tarot since it's a pretty great "mystic symbolism starter pack," but the art influence for Lute is unmistakable and really stood out to me. Same pose, different gear and travelling companion.

So I actually spent a bit of time looking up Saga Frontier and tarot. After questing to gather four cards (corresponding to the four suits), you can obtain the gift of Arcane Magic.

Included in the set are four suit-related spells (with wands/batons being replaced with what's translated into "shields"...or, going by the art, "plumed helmets") and four spells that correspond with major arcana: Magician, Death, Tower, and Fool.

Tower apparently is the strongest spell in the game, draining all your magic points and channeling them into a massive thunder attack, inflicting ruinous damage upon its target.





/ / /

[this message was edited by Mosquiton on Fri 4 Dec 02:22]



user profileedit/delete message
Star Platinum Carpet- S.P.W. Board Master





"Re(3):SaGa Group Therapy Session" , posted Fri 4 Dec 04:24post reply

quote:

Ah! No, as far as I remember that's the only element related to the major tarot arcanas in the game (if other characters are inspired by them, it was too subtle for me to notice).
I do remember some imagery related to the minor arcanas, such as cup and swords and wands? Maybe related to the magic system? My memory is fuzzy.

Yeah, I was a bit disappointed that Blue wasn't striking an "as above, so below" pose. A lot of RPGs draw on tarot since it's a pretty great "mystic symbolism starter pack," but the art influence for Lute is unmistakable and really stood out to me. Same pose, different gear and travelling companion.

So I actually spent a bit of time looking up Saga Frontier and tarot. After questing to gather four cards (corresponding to the four suits), you can obtain the gift of Arcane Magic.

Included in the set are four suit-related spells (with wands/batons being replaced with what's translated into "shields"...or, going by the art, "plumed helmets") and four spells that correspond with major arcana: Magician, Death, Tower, and Fool.

Tower apparently is the strongest spell in the game, draining all your magic points and channeling them into a massive thunder attack, inflicting ruinous damage upon its target.


Ah, it was a school of magic! So random.

God, Frontier 1 is such an ugly, ugly game.





Mosquiton
2477th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(4):SaGa Group Therapy Session" , posted Fri 4 Dec 04:36post reply

quote:

Ah, it was a school of magic! So random.

God, Frontier 1 is such an ugly, ugly game.



You know what they say, ugliness is next to godliness.

...

Wait a minute, I guess nobody says that? Well, the remaster does look at least a little less... smeared across the screen.





/ / /


user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(5):SaGa Group Therapy Session" , posted Sun 6 Dec 02:37post reply

quote:
take your naked emperor alone in the wilds, get into any battle with a monster, get killed, and see what the random offers you this time
The astounding brutality at the heart of RomaSaGa 2 both breaks my heart, and takes me back to the game's roots in story-lite PC RPGs where the focus is on systems, and thus winning and surving rather than feeling bad about your party members kicking it.

I love the sheer strangeness, even for a SaGa game, of the succession system. SaGa already "breaks" the console RPG rules by taking you back to the D&D basics combined with its own odd growth systems, but the era-jumping is totally wild.
quote:
You know what they say, ugliness is next to godliness.

I really appreciate Mosquiton's inquiry into the hidden tarot world of SaGa Frontier, though it also reminds me what a hugely disappointing gap there is between the game at a design level (beautiful concept art! field graphics that look nice when the game doesn't move! neat tarot references! 7 protagonists!) and the implementation level (awful in-battle art! field sprites that animate worse than a 16-bit game! terrible scenarios!).

The remaster boss battle they showed almost looked attractive here when gussied up here...but my memory does not fail me, and I know that the game is in the same batch as Wild Arms 1---the sad and deadly genre of Indecisive Early PS1 RPGs that have hideous fake 3D battles and barely late-SFC-level 2D field art, while Saturn RPGs were going all-in on beautiful 2D art since they knew their 3D was bad anyway. I guess Frontier 1 had to die for PS1's sins so we could get the astounding beauty of Frontier 2 and Unlimited, and those weird Mana games too.

I think SaGa Therapy is working.





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...


user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"SaGa: the final Frontier" , posted Fri 12 Mar 12:22post reply

Ready or not, SaGa Frontier remake comes out April 15, and you bet your asses it's going to be brutal! Based on the truly amusing premise that people have fond memories of the original, there is now ample commentary in both English and Japanese about how the new eighth character Fuse will let you nostalgically revisit the seven beloved [citation needed] original characters and put them all in your party at once. This is slightly like watching a kid enthusiastically tell you about the awesome things going on in the scene he's set up with all his action figures arranged around the room where you should nod and smile good naturedly, but the good news is that the graphics are less awful this time, and we can always dance all day to the infinitely splendid beats of the Nakajima Manufacturing Plant music if nothing else.

But actually! What's legitimately interesting is that prolific scenario writer and Original Gangsta Benny Matsuyama is co-writing the new Fuse stuff. The dude wrote the novelization of Wizardry back in the Year of Our Lord Kawazu 1988. LEGIT. And the scenario for Imperial SaGa as well as Wizardry Gaiden 2~Curse of the Ancient Emperor. And also nearly every short story included in Square guidebooks since 1997. That means not simply that he has produced the only known SaGa Frontier official fanfiction, but that he's a good enough writer to grit his teeth and write a FFX-2 story, god help him. And, he did the same for Romancing SaGa Minstrel Song, more importantly. So we know he's into it!





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...


user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P - THE FOOL

"Re(1):SaGa: the final Frontier" , posted Fri 12 Mar 19:38post reply

quote:
the good news is that the graphics are less awful this time

This is the real [citation needed]!

My understanding is that you need to finish a character to play as Fuse, and the more characters you've finished, the more you can do with him. Which... I guess is a fine idea, but... I don't know if I have it in me to finish that game 7 times again.

I'm also not sure about hiring Blue in the party. I liked the twist of his scenario: that he's the evil twin to Rouge's hero (he gets his magic by killing people instead of befriending them, all the other characters can get help from Rouge while Blue doesn't help anyone but himself, and apparently, while Blue gets trapped in hell fighting demons for eternity, Rouge is saved by the power of friendship and escapes after killing the main bad guy). Hope they managed to keep Blue's arsolery in Fuse's scenario.







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"24 Hour Kawazu People" , posted Fri 2 Apr 12:25post reply

Get ready, people! SaGa Frontier, everyone's least favorite SaGa game, is getting its remake released on April 15! In its honor, I shall...charge my Switch and get back to RomaSaGa 2 again, I guess.

However! For those truly brave souls and/or those inspired by Mosquiton's excellent look at all the game's tarot references, I should note that they've finally got some things to truly entice/trick you into playing it beyond the better (?) graphics. While talking about "quality of life improvements" and "SaGa" in the same sentence is usually an absurd concept, these are actually really good:

-Markers for the doors like FFVII International so you can finally see where the hell you are
-Double and triple speed
-Ability to run from battles (how did they manage not to even have a RomaSaGa 2 "reroll" mainstay like that in the original?!)
-A scenario chart that tells you what's happened and where to go, thus making Lute's 100% directionless scenario semi-comprehensible
-A cutting edge function to auto-equip optimal equipment (What? That first appeared in FFVI in...1994, you say? Well.)


I double-dare you to play it!






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...


user profileedit/delete message
Star Platinum Carpet- S.P.W. Board Master





"Re(1):24 Hour Kawazu People" , posted Fri 16 Apr 01:10post reply

During the live stream where Kawazu rejoiced about how we're all going to play Frontier 1 again and suffenjoy it very very much like it was 1997 all over again, he mentioned that Romancing 1, Frontier 2 and Unlimited still remain to be ported, and that he hoped they will be eventually. I hope Unlimited is not too far in the future (at least close enough so that the gacha will still be around to pay for the port). I remember he was very particular about whether to port RS1 SFC, Minstrel Song, both together, or something else... Honestly, a simple HD port of Minstrel Song would be more than enough, but I'll buy anything really. I'm going to force myself to play Frontier 1 and I've been actively campaigning for U:S since 20 years, so I think I'm in so deep that I could even force myself to replay RS1 SFC.

Anyway. Kawazu was happy and smiling and he said he's making good progress on the new Saga game he's working on, so what else could I ask for?







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"SaGa Month is the new Earth Day" , posted Mon 19 Apr 15:01post reply

Emperor Kawazu is indeed smiling upon as all this April for SaGa Month, which includes miracles such as the English language press not only talking about SaGa (!) but praising SaGa Frontier remastered(!!). Naturally, I am avoiding it in favor of RomaSaGa 2. But I have questions!

1. Will my territories eventually ditch me for being too soft? I am a nice emperor, and rather than pound the armed merchant ship captain and steal his boat, I freed some enslaved miners and cleaned his cargo hold instead. I want to be nice.

2. Do weapons intuitively relate to job type? I'm assuming that my heavy solider should be good with swords and bad with bows or spears, but it's not really clear how the job relates to individual weapon skill levels or equippable stuff. Like, what makes this speedy but weak thief a thief?

3. Is there an advantage to having each character use multiple weapons most of the time? I have a martial artist with no weapons at all who is good at punching and kicking people, but should he also be learning to use weapons? And do two-handed swords actually prevent you from properly using multiple weapons or shields like FFVI?

4. I have the magic research lab but magic besides healing Holy magic still sucks. How long do I have to use Holy and Wind types (which the Iggy-sama archives tell me are best) before they are fun?

5. Everyone always talks about the secret mermaid. Am I going to accidentally miss the secret mermaid? I will be very annoyed if I do.





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...


user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P Requiem





"Re(1):SaGa Month is the new Earth Day" , posted Mon 19 Apr 19:00post reply

quote:
1. Will my territories eventually ditch me for being too soft? I am a nice emperor, and rather than pound the armed merchant ship captain and steal his boat, I freed some enslaved miners and cleaned his cargo hold instead. I want to be nice.

No, once they're part of your empire, they stay, unless specific events happen and wreak havoc in the region (there's only 2 events like that I believe).

quote:
2. Do weapons intuitively relate to job type? I'm assuming that my heavy solider should be good with swords and bad with bows or spears, but it's not really clear how the job relates to individual weapon skill levels or equippable stuff. Like, what makes this speedy but weak thief a thief?

Nothing, really. Thieves will probably have higher speed and generally start with short sword skills, but they can also occasionally get other stuff (bows sometimes?).
But basically, when you hire a character, look at their stats. Does this specific thief have high Int? Then you can just teach her Fire magic and burn the entire world with her if you want.
There are some difference with some jobs being more likely to learn certain skills I believe, but honestly, it's super minimal so you can ignore that.

quote:
3. Is there an advantage to having each character use multiple weapons most of the time? I have a martial artist with no weapons at all who is good at punching and kicking people, but should he also be learning to use weapons? And do two-handed swords actually prevent you from properly using multiple weapons or shields like FFVI?

No, once a character is focused on something, leave him there. Especially because your goal should be to raise the level of that stat for the next generation, so if you spread them thin, they won't raise it that much. Also, the more techniques they spark this generation, the more will be available in the library for the next one and it will be easier to manage your list for your characters. Interestingly for martial artists, punch and kicks have two different learning sets (so if you keep kicking, you'll end up learning better kicks). I don't think the same applies to throws yet, I think it's a RS3 thing.
However, while focusing on something is better, it will be useful to teach everyone some basic healing spell (water, or when you unlock Earth Heal or Moonlight, those). Even someone dumb as a rock can benefit from being able to heal his teammates. You can also give them potions of course, but that's more micromanagement than I like.
As for the shield question, if a character is equipped with a single handed sword and a double handed one, whether or not they'll be able to use a shield depends on which weapon they use at the beginning of the round. If on that round they use the single handed one, then the shield is in their other hand and the double handed one is in the vast black hole they carry in their bag. And then next round it can be the other way around if you like.

quote:
4. I have the magic research lab but magic besides healing Holy magic still sucks. How long do I have to use Holy and Wind types (which the Iggy-sama archives tell me are best) before they are fun?

Yes. I mean, no, Wind is only useful early on and then falls down pretty quickly, while Earth is the opposite and you should try to raise it to the 4th spell at least. Light is stupidly strong. The third fire spell has its use, and the 5th one is very powerful. Water has a lot of utility to it.
Each school learns more spells as the magic level raises (so, something like... the second spell is around 17, the fourth is around 25, and the fifth is around 30? something like that).

quote:
5. Everyone always talks about the secret mermaid. Am I going to accidentally miss the secret mermaid? I will be very annoyed if I do.

You may miss her if you wait too long! You should talk more to the people of the town that wander outside to see if they have more to say about it.


------
On another topic... God, Frontier 1 still sucks HARD.
The remaster is a valiant effort to fix some of its issues, but it made me realize that "they didn't have the time to finish it" is not a proper excuse for the game when the art style, from the very beginning, is just an unreadable mess. The fact they got rid of the grid makes moving around a chore, plus they made everyone (enemies as well as the player) move at SF2T speed which makes avoiding enemies entirely based on luck rather than skill, even though RS2 and then 3 made that part (skillfully avoiding enemies by learning their patterns) part of the fun of exploration.
They captured lightning in a bottle in RS2, perfected it in RS3, and then decided to ignore everything they learned when moving to Frontier 1. I really don't understand how they ended up there.
The PS1 generation was so, so bad.







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: robotchris
XBL: robotchris
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: n/a
Tailored Carpet V.I.P- Platinum Member





"Re(2):SaGa Month is the new Earth Day" , posted Tue 20 Apr 04:01post reply

quote:
On another topic... God, Frontier 1 still sucks HARD.
The remaster is a valiant effort to fix some of its issues, but it made me realize that "they didn't have the time to finish it" is not a proper excuse for the game when the art style, from the very beginning, is just an unreadable mess. The fact they got rid of the grid makes moving around a chore, plus they made everyone (enemies as well as the player) move at SF2T speed which makes avoiding enemies entirely based on luck rather than skill, even though RS2 and then 3 made that part (skillfully avoiding enemies by learning their patterns) part of the fun of exploration.
They captured lightning in a bottle in RS2, perfected it in RS3, and then decided to ignore everything they learned when moving to Frontier 1. I really don't understand how they ended up there.
The PS1 generation was so, so bad.


Despite knowing better from spending time at the Cafe, I've gone ahead and bought Frontier 1 Remaster in the hopes that somehow I'd like it now, after being endlessly frustrated about it back in the 90's. I just... guh, the sprite work and the backgrounds, and even small things like the the way Red animates, are all just... I don't know, I guess I shouldn't have foolishly thought it might seem better, somehow. It's ambitious as hell, and has just so much going on all over the place, but sometimes ambition is misplaced.

I guess it's back to RS2, then, which I also own, along with RS3, but which I keep getting stalled out in.





You have to carefully reproduce the world of "Castlevania" in the solemn atmosphere.


user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(3):SaGa Month is the new Earth Day" , posted Tue 20 Apr 04:44post reply

quote:
On another topic... God, Frontier 1 still sucks HARD.
The remaster is a valiant effort to fix some of its issues, but it made me realize that "they didn't have the time to finish it" is not a proper excuse for the game when the art style, from the very beginning, is just an unreadable mess. The fact they got rid of the grid makes moving around a chore, plus they made everyone (enemies as well as the player) move at SF2T speed which makes avoiding enemies entirely based on luck rather than skill, even though RS2 and then 3 made that part (skillfully avoiding enemies by learning their patterns) part of the fun of exploration.
They captured lightning in a bottle in RS2, perfected it in RS3, and then decided to ignore everything they learned when moving to Frontier 1. I really don't understand how they ended up there.
The PS1 generation was so, so bad.

Despite knowing better from spending time at the Cafe, I've gone ahead and bought Frontier 1 Remaster in the hopes that somehow I'd like it now, after being endlessly frustrated about it back in the 90's. I just... guh, the sprite work and the backgrounds, and even small things like the the way Red animates, are all just... I don't know, I guess I shouldn't have foolishly thought it might seem better, somehow. It's ambitious as hell, and has just so much going on all over the place, but sometimes ambition is misplaced.

I guess it's back to RS2, then, which I also own, along with RS3, but which I keep getting stal

-- Message too long, Autoquote has been Snipped --


Here's a question for Iggy: so SaGa was terrible at the outset on the PSX... what was the first SaGa game on post-SNES hardware that you thought was a genuinely good game, and not merely an interesting curiosity but too flawed to be much more than a collection of interesting but poorly executed ideas?







user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P - THE FOOL

"Re(4):SaGa Month is the new Earth Day" , posted Tue 20 Apr 05:19post reply

quote:
so SaGa was terrible at the outset on the PSX... what was the first SaGa game on post-SNES hardware that you thought was a genuinely good game, and not merely an interesting curiosity but too flawed to be much more than a collection of interesting but poorly executed ideas?
I understand from your very carefully worded question that you know my immediate answer will be Unlimited Sa:ga and you will not take my bait?
FINE, then, if one cannot have fun anymore on this board.

I guess the only real answer is Minstrel Song, then. It is a genuinely good game, extremely deep, taking the few elements of Romancing Saga 1 that didn't suck (the world and map) and added RS2 and 3 combat system with a healthy dose of elements from Unlimited Sa:ga (carefully choosing those would work well in such a game rather than, like, the stupid deterministic wheel). They also replaced the character art (for something worse) and the music (for something immensely better).

Wild Card is a blueprint for U:S (and officially not a Saga game, though we know better), and that leaves the interesting remake of Saga2 for Nintendo DS, and then Scarlet Grace which I consider potentially the best game of the series if nostalgia wasn't allowed a voice. Imperial Saga and Re:Universe are obviously out of the running.







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(5):SaGa Month is the new Earth Day" , posted Tue 20 Apr 09:12post reply

Just as I foretold! For SaGa Month, it’s not just me and Iggy talking about SaGa, we have now approached the greater-than-or-equal-to-5 threshold of people talking about SaGa, which my distant memory of mathematics tells me rounds up to 10, which is DOUBLE DIGIT INTEREST!

Shogun Iggy, thank you for your RomaSaGa 2 advice, and please try not to think about all the fun I’m having while you are instead playing SaGa Frontier. I just know you are doing your cultist duty and getting all eight endings to please Emperor Kawazu so he blesses us with a new game by 2022, right? Right????

Just a Person, I actually think you will enjoy Frontier a lot since you were warm-hearted enough to enjoy the original, and the remaster really is prettier and the system adjustments are good!

Karasu, I’m so glad you’re back! As penance for being away, you must now beat Frontier with Lute without a strategy guide or the new in-game hints and all will be forgiven.

Fun stories from RomaSaGa 2 to avoid scaring off any potential New Believers with talk of SaGa Frontier: Yesterday some idiot wrecked the bridge I’d spent good money having built, and thought I might have to sail somewhere else to see what was happening on the other side. Instead, I accidentally stumbled into Cumberland and a royal succession battle, and helped the ailing king decide on the best successor (his beautiful and smart adult daughter who funds schools, of course), and then fight off a coup attempt. But apparently I could also have selected the underqualified son who was still a boy, to the delight of a scheming official, leading to near-war with the older son which I might’ve had to mediate…and then if I’d abandoned the son to his exploiters or just left town, I would’ve later found only a ruined post-coup castle haunted by the ghosts of both murdered sons. And these are all incidental NPCs! This is cool.
quote:
first SaGa game on post-SNES hardware that you thought was a genuinely good game

I understand from your very carefully worded question that you know my immediate answer will be Unlimited Sa:ga and you will not take my bait?

This is all fine, but while we know that U:Saga is unplayable as an RPG without the special pre-order edition’s magical talking Iggy dakimakura that tells us what to do next (what’s that, only Toxico and I had one of those, you say? Err...), it is already a 100% success based on perfect music such as Overture, March in C, Space-Time Travels, and Wings that Soar Heavenward. You see, U:Saga is actually a rhythm game with psychedelic numbers and sprites in the background that just happen to be adjustable to play like an RPG if you really want. So in other words, it is one of the biggest successes in the modern music game genre and thus needs no qualification as the first great post-SFC SaGa game.





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...
Just a Person
2295th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(6):SaGa Month is the new Earth Day" , posted Wed 21 Apr 20:50post reply

quote:

Just a Person, I actually think you will enjoy Frontier a lot since you were warm-hearted enough to enjoy the original, and the remaster really is prettier and the system adjustments are good!



That's great to know; thanks! I know Frontier 1 is a heavily flawed game; it's just that I love the diversity of settings and stories that were placed in it (even if this diversity ended up as a mess of a game).

One thing I read about this new version is that Fuse's "story" is actually the possibility of experiencing a short version of all other stories from his point of view, right? Which is a nice idea... except this should have been Lute's scenario, not Fuse's - if I remember correctly, Frontier 1's story implied Lute's wanderings led him to help all the other heroes in their own journeys, becomes Friends with them, and then all of them helped Lute in his Journey (which is why his "journey" only has his final mission instead of a full-fledged story).

Giving this gimmick to Fuse instead of Lute may be a wasted opportunity. Oh well.





Maybe I'm this person right in front of you... nah probably not though.


user profileedit/delete message
PSN: robotchris
XBL: robotchris
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: n/a
Tailored Carpet V.I.P- Platinum Member





"Re(6):SaGa Month is the new Earth Day" , posted Thu 22 Apr 00:47post reply

quote:
Karasu, I’m so glad you’re back! As penance for being away, you must now beat Frontier with Lute without a strategy guide or the new in-game hints and all will be forgiven.


good heavens, I'll... try? Maybe that will be signature Sisyphean task~~! Much less uncomfortable than having my liver eaten continuously by a vulture! I've been at a bit of a loggerhead lately with vintage RPGs where I have to delicately balance relying too much on FAQs and not having any fun with using no FAQs or internet at all to play it and having no fun. It turns out I have little or no actual Saga Frontier memory to rely on, so everyone cross your fingers for me.

Anyway, kinda back. I don't have the energy to post like I used to, but I'll stop by from time to time. The Saga thread was a no brainer, and honestly I also wanted to make sure Professor is okay since I hadn't heard back from him by other communications. Thanks to Red Falcon for asking!

No need to worry over getting back to me though, Professor! I hope you're feeling better soon!





You have to carefully reproduce the world of "Castlevania" in the solemn atmosphere.


user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(7):SaGa Month is for yak-herding" , posted Tue 27 Apr 05:08post reply

We interrupt everyone's ongoing suffering in SaGa Frontier to bring you the latest episode of the RomaSaGa 2 traveller's log:

In order to find the much-discussed mermaid, I decided that the town named "Mermaid" might be a good bet. Unfortunately, I currently have an empress and not an emperor, and lesbian mermaid love was not (yet) available in Kawazu games in 1993. Instead, I went to the west and encountered the agrarian-nomad split, but happily without the armed conflict part. The settlers think the nomads live an overly difficult life, but the nomads herd these rad yak-like sprites called Muu (or maybe "Moo"), so it's a fair trade. I look forward to my next party of pirates and yak-herders.

Hey, I have some questions!

Magic still sucks! Why? Holy magic has Moonlight for cheap healing, but I have the "gather your ki" move from martial arts anyway. I have the magic research center and my wizard has Holy and Fire around levels 8+, but my sword/spear/martial arts do 180 damage on basic and 300-700 on special moves, whereas I've never managed more than 175 damage on a fireball. I guess it's neat that the stuff doesn't miss, but how long till this becomes better than bludgeoning my enemies?

Speaking of bludgeoning my enemies, I don't know what weapons are good on what enemies (punching skellingtons seems to work well). I like swords, spears, and bows because of their techniques, but what are everyone's favorites and why?

Hey wait I have something nice to promote SaGa Frontier: the profound and increasingly Jojo-like gorgeousity of the new promo art. The downside is that unlike FFVI, where Amano's awesome artwork at least feautured in the menu screen, there's no sign of the image art anywhere in-game in SaGa, which makes the contrast worse.





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...


user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P Requiem





"Re(8):SaGa Month is for yak-herding" , posted Tue 27 Apr 07:14post reply

Yes, the herders are cool! Though they use maces and maces are kinda meh. But who cares, it's about having a rad party, not min-maxing like boring youtubers. Also maces and axes share the same skill level, so raising one helps the other.
quote:
Yes, the Magic still sucks! Why? Holy magic has Moonlight for cheap healing, but I have the "gather your ki" move from martial arts anyway. I have the magic research center and my wizard has Holy and Fire around levels 8+, but my sword/spear/martial arts do 180 damage on basic and 300-700 on special moves, whereas I've never managed more than 175 damage on a fireball. I guess it's neat that the stuff doesn't miss, but how long till this becomes better than bludgeoning my enemies?

For Light, Light Ball is a cheap AOE, which is a rarity at the beginning (Also it blinds). Moon heal is better than the martial art heal (also it heals other people. Hard to heal yourself with martial arts if you're dead).
For Fire, the Fireball is rather OK in my experience? Self burning is useful if you're facing a boss that uses fire: when you selfburn, you are immune to any fire spell or attack. But that's a very small niche. You can also try to set a suicide bomber with it, but that's not recommended.
I checked: the 3rd Light spell unlocks at level 10 Light. It's a slightly stronger single target spell that's critical against undead. Not particularly useful... until you face undeads.
The 3rd fire spell unlocks at level 13. Again, stronger single-target spell, but this one has a chance to paralyze. VERY useful. Maybe it's also critical against plants? Or some plants? I don't remember.

All in all, especially at the beginning, magic is more of a side-dish. Having a character with both a weapon and a spell allows you to use one (your emperor mostly) to dispatch weak enemies quickly with your side-specialty, and arrive to the boss of the level with your main weapon at full capacity. Also, it gives mages something to do when no one needs a buff or a heal.

For the rest: if you haven't started using Earth/Wind/Water, you can ignore for the moment. The 3rd spell of water unlocks at level 6 and can be mildly useful (but the second spell of water is very important the moment you fight enemies that inflict statuses, so teach it to anyone who doesn't care about fire). Earth Heal, a very strong healing spell that also cures confusion I think, unlocks at level 11 of Earth. Also, I like Rose and her scarf when she does magic. No, not the annoying Italian one.
Air just sucks, if you haven't started ignore it for the moment.
The trick is that if you wait until later, when the enemies are stronger, you will have less trouble to raise the magic's level, so it may be faster to wait until next generation to go from 1 to 11 in Earth than to start now.

Spoiler for advanced magic:


Spoiler (Highlight to view) -
Very useful spells are Fire's 5th (level 29), Water's 5th (totally broken, ignore it if you enjoy battles)(level 26), Earth's 4th (level 18), Light's 5th (level 30). Air just sucks.

FOR SOME REASON, however, you'll want to push all schools to level 15 and maybe even to level 25 before the middle of the game. Especially 15 for water and earth, and 25 for light and fire. Mayyybe Air to 25 if you want to enjoy a certain niche character, though this will come at a price.


End of Spoiler



Also, some spells get new properties when the level goes up. At level 20 the fireball explodes, or the moon light also heals blindness, for example.

quote:
Speaking of bludgeoning my enemies, I don't know what weapons are good on what enemies (punching skellingtons seems to work well). I like swords, spears, and bows because of their techniques, but what are everyone's favorites and why?

Some enemies are weaker to things than others, yes. As you've seen, blobs are immune to blunt damage (maces, martial arts) but very weak to magic. Skeletons resist pierce damage well (spears, and especially bows are useless against them) but they are weak to blunt. I think slash damage (swords and stuff) are generally neutral against anything?
Personally, I really like spears and axes. I like bows too, but they tend to be on the weaker side damage-wise... but they have great AOE so depends on the occasion. Also, hidden parameter on bows: do not equip a gauntlet (any type) or a full body armor (because those include gauntlets) on your archers. For some reason, it lowers their accuracy with bows. Never understood why.
The only weapon I dislike is the short sword. Almost never feels worth it. I'd rather have Aries doing wind magic.







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(9):SaGa Month is for yak-herding and U:S" , posted Wed 28 Apr 13:17post reply

quote:
Shogun Iggy's battle tactics school
Now it all makes sense! As the rescued Super Mario Bros. 3 kings say, "Thank you, kind racoon. Please tell me your name."

And now, we shall all sing Amakakeru Tsubasa (Wings that Soar Heavenward) like a hymn, either as an offering to Emperor Kawazu in the hopes that the devout suffering of SaGa Frontier remake players shall be rewarded with a (slightly more friendly) Unlimited Saga remake, or simply because it's one of the top three game vocals ever made. It's probably been translated elsewhere but I bet it is bad and wrong, so try this instead:

Pounded by the dark rain, I wander the night
My body wounded, my footsteps heavy
What I should have protected was taken, my dreams faded
My battered heart, wracked by pain
Where is the constellation that should guide me?
Wither has the light of the moon vanished?

If I had wings that soar heavenward
I would leave this darkness for a place where the light pours down

Spreading white wings, flying from the darkness
Passing through thick clouds, towards the azure heavens
Silver stardust fills the air
The boundless horizon, the morning light
The warmth of it filling my heart

If I had wings that soar heavenward
I would leave this darkness for a place where the light pours down

This world where the brilliant light does not reach
Even if all hope fades,
I cast these wings aside and fall to earth
For this darkness is the world where I leave my footsteps


...come to think of it, maybe this song is secretly about playing SaGa Frontier. Anyway, I hear you needed to finish U:S with all seven characters to even hear this in-game. Obviously, it's worth it.





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...


user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(10):Legend of Mana HD is for Iggy/yaks" , posted Tue 1 Jun 10:35post reply

Hello, class! Have you all been good students and memorized Amakakeru Tsubasa in both Japanese and Maou-approved English since we last met? What's that? You have, AND you have been playing RomaSaGa 2 and/or Frontier remake at least once a week rather than wasting what's left of your youth on other, lesser video games or making friends in real life? I knew sensei could count on you.

Because I am stuck between a rock and a hard place in RomaSaGa 2, which means literally between a two-sprite tall giant or one of the game's seven superbosses, and must now go save villagers from man-eating ants in the distant grasslands instead, we are now making a very special digression:
quote:
Iggy sez: [SaGa Frontier] looks like the degenerate offspring of the Donkey Kong Country style, with more ambition and less money. SQEX abandoned this line and went with the lovely directions of both Frontier 2 and Legend of Mana.
That's right, I have chain comboed SaGa into Seiken Densetsu, to remind you that the gorgeous-weird Legend of Mana HD is coming out this month. It even works because these two series were both mangled into "Final Fantasy" titles in English in the early days to make Americans care about RPGs. What I'm saying is that we have now reached the proper stage in history when Seiken Densetsu is riding on SaGa's coattails, since it would have otherwise been lost in the random thread given that...well, have you seen what happened to this series for the past two decades?

What's that? Did I actually play this game, you say? What a stupid question!! Of course not, but I am content just to look at its beautiful pictures and to play its perfect soundtrack on repeat since approximately 2005. Take, for example, Hometown Dominia, or the unbeatably catchy, uh, Diddle's Organ (look, I didn't title these tracks, people). I also recall there were these excellent little ducks with soldier hats.





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...


user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P Requiem





"Re(2):Re(10):Legend of Mana HD is for Iggy/ya" , posted Fri 25 Jun 00:46post reply

Oooh, I didn't know the remaster of LoM came with a rearranged OST supervised by Shimomura herself. That's the best thing about the game, so that's really nice. Too bad about the mismatched resolution of the sprites and the backgrounds.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLYABR49Fpk







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: robotchris
XBL: robotchris
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: n/a
Tailored Carpet V.I.P- Platinum Member





"Re(2):Re(10):Legend of Mana HD is for Iggy/ya" , posted Fri 25 Jun 03:21post reply

quote:
Maou Mana-ism


I've been thinking of picking up Legends! Even though I've bounced off of both the original and the PSN release! I'm completely Sisyphean when it comes to Mana games!

Like with SaGa, which I am likewise doomed to repeat the mistakes of my past for eternity, I've always been a little fascinated with the PS1 era of the series, full of odd decisions and overblown spritework. I've never really loved the series, but I think I'll always be fascinated by it, and work hard to try and love it, because so many people I know absolutely swear by it.

quote:
Iggy's issue with the resolution mismatch

I don't love this either, and it seems to be an odd choice for a company like M2 to make, so I wonder if there might be some sort of reason behind it. The thing that irks me is the choice to use a crisp, modern, easily localized font for all the text, even though I know for sure that particular choice isn't going away and will be dropped into any remaster project ever.





You have to carefully reproduce the world of "Castlevania" in the solemn atmosphere.


user profileedit/delete message
PSN: KTallguy
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: KTallguy
CFN: n/a
Red Carpet V.I.P- Platinum Member





"Re(3):Re(10):Legend of Mana HD is for Iggy/ya" , posted Tue 29 Jun 16:05:post reply

quote:
Oooh, I didn't know the remaster of LoM came with a rearranged OST supervised by Shimomura herself. That's the best thing about the game, so that's really nice. Too bad about the mismatched resolution of the sprites and the backgrounds.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLYABR49Fpk



Wow, I didn't know that the OST was remastered!

My personal favorite... wow they really went all out with the orchestrated feel!
https://youtu.be/pktzEJoTHD0

LoM is one of those games that I LOVE in theory, but in practice there are a bunch of little annoyances. Battles tend to drag on and on (you can't skip or run from them), and I think you can put yourself in situations where it's impossible to get the "good" ending very easily (reminds me of Valkyrie Profile).

But the idea of planting a seed and having a map grow out of it is so neat. The concept of adjacent maps affecting one another depending on their element tickles my brain in fantastic ways. I don't think LoM was able to take these concepts far enough though.

Still, I miss the experimental nature of LoM and the SAGA series... the PS1/Saturn era was so creative.





[this message was edited by KTallguy on Tue 29 Jun 16:06]



user profileedit/delete message
Star Platinum Carpet- S.P.W. Board Master





"Re(4):Re(10):Legend of Mana HD is for Iggy/ya" , posted Tue 29 Jun 17:59post reply

quote:
Battles tend to drag on and on (you can't skip or run from them)
I think you could? Holding LR for a few seconds?
Anyway, the remaster decided that it was not possible to fix the many issues with combat in the game (which I tend to agree with) so they added an option to disable all combat in the game. That's a very, very good move! I'm not sure how it affects the bosses...
Well, even if you still need to do some battles to raise your level, at least it will lower the issue with backtracking.





KTallguy
1582th Post



user profileedit/delete message
PSN: KTallguy
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: KTallguy
CFN: n/a
Red Carpet V.I.P- Platinum Member





"Re(5):Re(10):Legend of Mana HD is for Iggy/ya" , posted Tue 29 Jun 21:05post reply

quote:
Battles tend to drag on and on (you can't skip or run from them) I think you could? Holding LR for a few seconds?


Oh really? I guess I never found that option?! I'll have to try that, thanks!

quote:
Anyway, the remaster decided that it was not possible to fix the many issues with combat in the game (which I tend to agree with) so they added an option to disable all combat in the game. That's a very, very good move! I'm not sure how it affects the bosses...
Well, even if you still need to do some battles to raise your level, at least it will lower the issue with backtracking.



That's a smart choice. I like those options in the other remasters, I wonder if they could add an option like that to an Unlimited Saga remaster down the line :)







user profileedit/delete message
Star Platinum Carpet- S.P.W. Board Master





"Re(6):Re(10):Legend of Mana HD is for Iggy/ya" , posted Tue 29 Jun 22:35post reply

quote:
That's a smart choice. I like those options in the other remasters, I wonder if they could add an option like that to an Unlimited Saga remaster down the line :)


That's really something I'm intrigued about.
I've playing a few remasters recently, and I think the Saga remaster team is fantastic in that they showed in Frontier 1 how they identify precisely the issues of the original game, and fix them with the limit of their budget and what you can do without changing the experience for people who loved the game originally. It is especially interesting in Frontier, which was a very flawed game. In that aspect, it's an excellent remaster of a bad game (compared to Megaten 3, which is a bad remaster of an excellent game).
I don't know what the main issues with Frontier 2 are (besides having been released at the wrong time, and having a beginning too boring to convince me to push forward) but Unlimited is a different case: it's very easy to pinpoint all the issues of the game, but finding adequate solutions to those is an entirely different beast.
Even the lack of explanations for the systems: how do you do that without adding walls of text at the beginning that no one will read? Maybe make a specific "starter mode" where the game lock you with Laura and takes off all random for a few hours to guide you through specific cases...?

The wheel is of course an issue, but I don't know how you solve that either. Removing it and replacing with merely button presses is not feasible, since the chances are percent-based. But also, replacing it with a skillcheck and the RNG influenced by the percentage of your skill would be infuriating, since you would still have those XCom moments of missing a 99% shot.
Replacing the wheel in battles might be easier, though it would come with a different set of issues (mostly UI to allow combo breaking sequences to be easy to understand). There's also the issue of the wheels being deterministic rather than random based on your percentages... Which is a blessing in some cases, a case in some others. I really don't know how to solve that outside of adding a separate "wheel-less mode" and leave the responsibility of the choice to the player, which is a bit of a cop-out.

Finally, there's also the issue of forcing players to pick a skill at the end of a dungeon, meaning that grinding lower-difficulty dungeons leads to weakening powerful characters. It is a fantastic design and I love it in all its devilish trickery, but it is very annoying when you don't expect it and plan around it. This can be solved with either a warning ("Characters X and Y are more powerful than this quest and risk of learning a weaker skill! Do you want to continue?"), allow to shelve characters for specific quest so you leave your super-powerful guys and just go with the hero and some trainees, or simply a toggle "easy mode/normal mode" where you're allowed to say "no" to some skills in easy mode, along with other refinement.

I really can't wait to see how they'll solve the Unlimited Sa:ga problem, really. Especially since once it's done, the only thing left is a remaster of Minstrel Song, which (rights for the Minuet aside) should be easy.





Just a Person
2323th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Echoes of Mana" , posted Thu 1 Jul 21:56:post reply

This is the title of a new Mana game to be released next year for iOS and Android, featuring characters from the entire Mana series.

It probably won't be the best game ever, but it looks quite good to me. But I wonder why the SD1/FFA heroine doesn't appear in the illustration... I know she wasn't a combatant and was only there to heal the hero (or to be the damsel in distress you need to rescue in some parts of the game), but still, it'd be nice to have her with the other heroes (even if still only in a support role).

Unless the developers changed her design after that 3D remake where she was blonde with a plain white dress and I missed it.





Maybe I'm this person right in front of you... nah probably not though.

[this message was edited by Just a Person on Fri 2 Jul 05:56]



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(7):Re(10):Legend of Mana HD is for Iggy/ya" , posted Fri 2 Jul 01:51post reply

quote:

That's really something I'm intrigued about.
I've playing a few remasters recently, and I think the Saga remaster team is fantastic in that they showed in Frontier 1 how they identify precisely the issues of the original game, and fix them with the limit of their budget and what you can do without changing the experience for people who loved the game originally. It is especially interesting in Frontier, which was a very flawed game. In that aspect, it's an excellent remaster of a bad game (compared to Megaten 3, which is a bad remaster of an excellent game).


What are the problems with the remaster of Megaten 3? I haven't played through the original.

A much more visually impressive remake of the old 2D FF games compared to the slapdash mobile versions is coming, but in sharp contrast to their approach to the visuals, we get this line:
quote:
*This remaster is based on the original "FINAL FANTASY II" game released in 1988. Features and/or content may differ from previously rereleased versions of the game.

(Link: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1173780/FINAL_FANTASY_II/)
Releasing raw FF2 gameplay in 2021 so that they can claim to be the Dark Souls of FF i bet







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(8):Re(10):Legend of Mana HD is for Iggy/ya" , posted Fri 2 Jul 02:27post reply

quote:
*This remaster is based on the original "FINAL FANTASY II" game released in 1988.
Proving Iggy’s point that the SaGa remaster team and Lord Kawazu’s faction are rightly ascendant! No more grafting some other person’s gameplay onto FFII! Indeed, FF’s presence in this Holy SaGa Thread is only justifiable at all when referring to A) early SaGa games that were futilely rebranded as “FF Legend” abroad (and by the transitive property, Seiken 1 as FF Adventure) or B) FFII as the fateful origin story of SaGa.
quote:
Releasing raw FF2 gameplay in 2021 so that they can claim to be the Dark Souls of FF i bet
Uh oh, your computer must have a virus that caused you to mistype—this reference is still too modern! In the spirit of the coming SaGa Empire above, I believe you meant to type: “raw FFII is the Dark Souls SaGa of FF.”





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...


user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P Requiem





"Re(8):Re(10):Legend of Mana HD is for Iggy/ya" , posted Fri 2 Jul 06:01post reply

quote:
What are the problems with the remaster of Megaten 3? I haven't played through the original.

Many people have complained about technical stuff, which to be honest I'm not super bothered by (even the sound, which is still super compressed... well, sounds the same as on PS2, and with earphones, it still sounds as it used to. It could have been better, like LoM, but at least it's not worse). But what makes me mad is they haven't fixed some of the many minuscule annoyances in the game that would have made the experience much more pleasant (especially for a game you're supposed to replay a few times to see all the endings).

I'm not asking for the game to be easier (after all, difficulty is part of its charm. That's why everyone knows Dark Souls under the nickname "the Megaten3 of action-RPG"). But there are some elements in the game that are just there deliberately to waste the player's time without any positive, that should have been fixed in the Maniacs version (though it fixed a lot of them already, because Vanilla Nocturne was unbearable), and really should have been removed now that 20 years have passed.
For example, a hidden magatama can be obtained by playing a sokoban game at some point. The game is good and the levels are challenging... however, the progress is not saved. So you have to stay on the minigame until you finish it, or you'll have to start over from scratch next time. Even while using a solution to get rid of the thing quicker, it still takes 30 minutes to get your magatama, and much longer when you want to actually solve the puzzles yourself... It makes something that should have been a nice diversion a chore.
It really shouldn't have been a huge change to allow people to quit the game, save, do something else, and maybe come back later, do a couple more levels (especially since the last ones are really difficult...) But no, the remaster doesn't change that.

Another thing that really annoys me is the position of the shortcuts in the optional dungeon (which are positioned after the door that's blocked by something on the surface, so you have to go through a long dungeon, trigger the cutscene, walk all the way back to the entrance, find the next key in the overworld, go back, go again through the dungeon you've already done twice, open the door with a shortcut that's now almost useless... and do the same thing 3 more times).
It's really barely a remaster. It's a port on modern machines with some technical hiccups (and DLC). They could have fixed so many small annoyances and decided to do nothing, it's infuriating.
Well, that's not true, they did change the inheritance laws so that you can do them manually instead of being at the mercy of an infinite random like the world's most boring slot machine. So they were not opposed to change things! Why didn't they do more! GHAAAAAH.

It's still the best game of the entire megaten galaxy of games, though.







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Itoken in concert" , posted Sat 15 Oct 10:47post reply

Now hear this, fellow mad disciples: SaGa composer Itou Kenji is playing piano in a concert of his music on March 11 next year, and ticket sales start next month on November 13. It’s right across from Akabane in Kawaguchi (so we also technically get to yell Saitamaaaa (Saitama is actually great)). If you are anywhere near Tokyo that day it would be truly idiotic to miss this! (Alas: I should be back to Tokyo but then gone again by March, but if not, let’s go!)

We have already been promised a performance of Battle with the Seven Heroes from RomaSaGa 2, so make sure your body is ready. And if the burning intensity of the legendary sewer disco returns, there’ll be a heat advisory before it’s even spring.





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...


user profileedit/delete message
Star Platinum Carpet- S.P.W. Board Master





"Re(1):Itoken in concert" , posted Sat 22 Oct 04:13post reply

And it seems we have the name of the next game! "Emerald Beyond" sounds weird, but also, so does "Romancing Sa.Ga" so no reason to complain here.

There's always the chance it's another mobile game, but since both the mobile gacha and the browser game are doing fine even though they're a bit old, the risk is low. Maybe "Emerald" is linked to "Scarlet", and we'll follow-up on the systems of that game?
I hope we'll see something soon, it's been years since Kawazu said he was working on it!







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Fri 6 Oct 19:29post reply

Throw away your other video games, SaGa Emerald Beyond comes out next year! I can only assume Shogun Iggy is busy uniting the realm or recovering from his Japan trip and thus unable to report in full, so instead Kawazu's Chosen are providing a fill-in-the-blank-adventure for all to enjoy in the meantime:

I am ______ly excited about SaGa Emerald Beyond, which features six different protagonists but will be _____ times better than SaGa Frontier. I feel particularly _______ about the seeming inclusion of Bomberman in the form of Diva Number 5, and hope that she can use my favorite Super Bomberman 2 weapon, the _______. I would gladly sacrifice ______ in an insane ritual just to have this game release _____ days early.





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...
Just a Person
2523th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(1):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Fri 6 Oct 23:24post reply

quote:
Throw away your other video games, SaGa Emerald Beyond comes out next year! I can only assume Shogun Iggy is busy uniting the realm or recovering from his Japan trip and thus unable to report in full, so instead Kawazu's Chosen are providing a fill-in-the-blank-adventure for all to enjoy in the meantime:

I am ______ly excited about SaGa Emerald Beyond, which features six different protagonists but will be _____ times better than SaGa Frontier. I feel particularly _______ about the seeming inclusion of Bomberman in the form of Diva Number 5, and hope that she can use my favorite Super Bomberman 2 weapon, the _______. I would gladly sacrifice ______ in an insane ritual just to have this game release _____ days early.



It will have six protagonists, but it seems that two of them will share the same story/route? That's unusual for a SaGa game; would they count as "a single unit" (like the Project X Zone pairs)?

It's also surprising that it will be released next year already. Even if it's just December 2024, that's still quite early; hopefully this doesn't mean that SquareEnix will commit the same mistakes from SaGa Frontier 1 and release a game missing important parts of some characters' routes (then again, nowadays they could always "complete" the game after its launch via DLC, I guess).





Maybe I'm this person right in front of you... nah probably not though.


user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P Requiem





"Re(2):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Sat 28 Oct 02:49post reply

Yes indeed, Emerald Beyond!
I am all sorts of excited about it of course, even if the PS Vita visuals sting a little in 2024.
There has been several interesting interviews of our lord and savior Kawazu and his Horsemen. It's always strange to see that the general Saga series producer is Ichikawa; it happened years ago and I guess it makes sense that Kawazu would be fed up with all the administrative tasks and want to be able to focus on the creative side of things, but it's still weird. Apparently, he started working on the first ideas of the game as soon as they started the work on porting Scarlet Grace on Switch and PC, because he was bored of the mundane and/or administrative tasks involved in the ports. Bless his heart.
It's also weird that Kobayashi Tomomi is not working on the game in any capacity, which would be her first time since RS1? I guess she's happier drawing Saint Seiya fanfics with her high school friends, and who could blame her. All in all, the guy they're using has honed his craft on the gacha and other products (Kuramochi Satoshi). He has an interesting vibe, somewhat inspired but distinct from Kobayashi, and I don't dislike his work at all. Fortunately, Itoken is still there and there is nothing to comment on this as we all know it's going to be amazing.

Kawazu boasts that the game will be the most open-ended Saga game, which would be crazy after how flexible and rich Scarlet Grace was. Design-wise, it's going to be interesting how they're building over SSG: they are going in the opposite direction yet building on the same design language, including the UI, so whatever the result the game will be interesting to analyze.
SSG's main design goal was "let's remove everything that's superfluous in a RPG to retain only the best". U:Saga already removed towns (very smartly), SSG even removed the dungeons. It was fantastic. At the very least, EB doesn't seem like it's walking back on that aspect, as the videos have shown the character walking on a world map similar to SSG's, with only the hub of the "Emerald Path"(?) being your average "3D model walking in an environment with the camera on their back".

Since you can't really remove anything from SSG anymore, Kawazu explains that SEB's concept is "what particularly Saga element was lacking from SSG?". They surveyed the younger people in the team, those who grew as fans of the franchise before working on it, and it apparently showed to Kawazu how his series means different things to different people.

So far, the two main Saga things that SSG lacked and that SEB is bringing back are obvious: first, the game returns to the GB/Frontier1's mishmash of worlds, with this Emerald path to link them rather than a tower or a space craft. Once again, things are going to be weird. If we can have as many complex quests each region as SSG had, the regions are going to feel much more lively than the drab single-screen spaces of SF1, so I'm eager to see the result.
The other typical Saga thing that SSG cut down, and that I'm happy to see back, are all the different races. One of Saga's defining features was always having surprising characters in your party, mechas, squeletons, moles, snowmen, lobsters or racing cars. But instead of using the same division as GB saga/SF1, the game is starting fresh, which is exciting to see. The races are humans, monsters and mecha (so far so good) but also marionets, vampires, and "short-lived life forms". It's not clear what their gameplay mecanisms are, or how many characters are there (it's possible the only vampire would be one of the MC, and the marionets are limited to the marionetist MC?), but already we've seen the two FBI agents (the blond cowgirl and the hijab-wearing sniper) have recruited a giant cat in their party, so weirdness is already on the menu.

The battle system is the biggest question mark, as it seems quite different from the "timeline puzzle solver" that SSG was. The battle designer apparently decided to rebuild the system from the ground up, and his CV includes Unlimited:Saga and some Kingdom Hearts spinoff, so the only two options for the game are "absolute genius" or "total disaster" with nothing in-between.
My fingers are already dancing in excitement writing this sentence, and I can't wait for next year.

Also, of course I'll roll the gacha as fast as possible when these characters are added. It's weird that rolling a pity in the gacha for a JPEG of a character might cost me more than buying a full copy of SEB that will keep me engaged hundreds of hours, but that's the gaming industry in the XXIth century.







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(3):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Tue 7 Nov 23:37post reply

quote:
It's also weird that Kobayashi Tomomi is not working on the game in any capacity, which would be her first time since RS1?
the guy they're using has honed his craft on the gacha and other products (Kuramochi Satoshi). He has an interesting vibe, somewhat inspired but distinct from Kobayashi, and I don't dislike his work at all.
I knew something seemed odd from the promo art, though at first I thought they just had sort of CG-ified some Kobayashi art along the lines of the weird pseudo-Amano character portraits in modern ports of FFV and FFVI. I'd be sad that Kobayashi's exquisite art is missing if not for the fact that Kuramochi's is extremely good. Man, just look at that webpage! I have a personal stake in helping Diva Number 5 revive her human body so that I can see her astoundingly beautiful character art again...and that's despite the fact that I love Bomberman! I don't really understand the hijab-and-cowboy aesthetic at all, but everyone else looks good, and Iggy reminds us that the original Makai Toushi SaGa games were basically about a weird mesh of robots and monsters and whatever else.
quote:
The battle designer apparently decided to rebuild the system from the ground up, and his CV includes Unlimited:Saga and some Kingdom Hearts spinoff, so the only two options for the game are "absolute genius" or "total disaster" with nothing in-between.
This is somehow much more exciting than "another turn-based RPG" or "every vaguely Devil May Cry-inspired action RPG battle over the past two decades." In preparation for this potentially gorgeous pain, please sing the gorgeously painful lyrics of Unlimited Saga ending song Amakakeru Tsubasa, Wings that Soar Heavenward, with me. I didn't translate them for my health, you know!...anymore than Emperor Kawazu made SaGa for your health, in any event.





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...
Mosquiton
2521th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(4):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Sun 12 Nov 01:46post reply

quote:
I don't really understand the hijab-and-cowboy aesthetic at all...


Bonnie and Formina seem to give off some OneeChanbara-adjacent vibes. Bonnie is more than three quarters of the way there with her outfit, she just needs a sword. And a sniper rifle always comes in handy during a zombie outbreak scenario.

I'm sure they'll be fine against whatever squids/robots/magic space dragons/chaos and death-incarnates they'll run up against.





/ / /


user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(5):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Sun 12 Nov 14:00post reply

quote:
Bonnie and Formina seem to give off some OneeChanbara-adjacent vibes.
I knew she was reminding me of something important! Either that, or the shirtless cowgirl newscaster in Cowboy Bebop. "Amiiiiiigo!"
quote:
I'm sure they'll be fine against whatever squids/robots/magic space dragons/chaos and death-incarnates they'll run up against.

Given this throwback mashup to SaGa Fronter and arguably to the Game Boy Makai Toushi SaGa ("FF Legend" I think they called them abroad? Adventure?) I have high hopes that we'll be able to devour monsters, eat their meat, and eventually defeat god as well.





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...


user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P Requiem





"Re(6):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Thu 21 Dec 06:41:post reply

Important update: MOLES ARE BACK IN THE PARTY THIS IS NOT A DRILL MOLES ARE BACK
And apparently they don't need glasses anymore.

It seems this particular family lives in a giant cordyceps? I hope we'll find out the cordyceps is growing on the carcass of a giant termite.
Scarlet Grace (and before it, Unlimited:Saga) removed so many things that people generally thought were necessary to a RPG that one of the key goals of Emerald Beyond is "add some of that Saga weirdness back", so I hope the mole is only the beginning of good things to come. The party size will be smaller than in Scarlet Grace, which can be a very good thing if they replace the copy and paste characters with new, memorable ones. I'm especially curious about the "short-lived life forms", who die permanently but leave a seed behind to grow back something similar but different.

Finally, it seems there was one last thing that could still be removed from the RPG canvas: Kawazu, in his all-emcompassing wisdom, reached the conclusion that healing was just a way of prolonging battles, so he decided to... remove all sorts of healing from the game. We'll have to deal with mitigation, buff/debuff, crowd management and team building to make it out alive.
I am Beyond excited by the GOTY 2024.





[this message was edited by Iggy on Thu 21 Dec 06:42]



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(7):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Fri 22 Dec 07:51post reply

quote:
Important update: MOLES ARE BACK IN THE PARTY THIS IS NOT A DRILL MOLES ARE BACK
And apparently they don't need glasses anymore.




Moles needing sunglasses I think is one of the best ideas and games where moles don't need sunglasses must find ways to make up for this deep flaw







user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P Requiem





"Re(8):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Fri 22 Dec 21:33post reply

quote:
Moles needing sunglasses I think is one of the best ideas and games where moles don't need sunglasses must find ways to make up for this deep flaw


Technically, they need glasses for almost everything when you think of it.
The thing I loved the most with the RS2 moles was that when they were focusing to cast a spell, they would close their eyes and removed their glasses. So adorbs.
(technically it's the sprite sheet from the gacha game in the style of RS3, but, well, close enough)





Mosquiton
2522th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(7):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Sun 24 Dec 05:23post reply

quote:

Finally, it seems there was one last thing that could still be removed from the RPG canvas: Kawazu, in his all-emcompassing wisdom, reached the conclusion that healing was just a way of prolonging battles, so he decided to... remove all sorts of healing from the game. We'll have to deal with mitigation, buff/debuff, crowd management and team building to make it out alive.
I am Beyond excited by the GOTY 2024.



I've actually always wanted to see a system like this (among other considerations that would make encounters less battle-of-attritiony and slugfestish). Sadly, I have not gotten around to making one myself yet, so I'm quite happy to see SaGa take a crack at it.





/ / /


user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(8):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Sun 31 Dec 17:53post reply

quote:

Finally, it seems there was one last thing that could still be removed from the RPG canvas: Kawazu, in his all-emcompassing wisdom, reached the conclusion that healing was just a way of prolonging battles, so he decided to... remove all sorts of healing from the game. We'll have to deal with mitigation, buff/debuff, crowd management and team building to make it out alive.
I am Beyond excited by the GOTY 2024.


I've actually always wanted to see a system like this (among other considerations that would make encounters less battle-of-attritiony and slugfestish). Sadly, I have not gotten around to making one myself yet, so I'm quite happy to see SaGa take a crack at it.



Making healing not a part of combat is something a good few other games with RPG elements have tried doing!

In fact, in the first X-COM game, the medikit only provides healing if it is being used to cure stacks of fatal wounds (which deal damage over time)! Otherwise, there is NO in-combat healing mechanic!

I think one of the major points about how dull healing can be comes from the availability of healing coupled with its power. When it's just always there, and combat is balanced around the expectation of you being able to heal every turn, then the only way for it to be exciting is if you occasionally get hit by huge things which take off huge chunks of your life and need to make decisions about who to heal, and that has its own problems. Needing to take specific action in order to heal, or having a limited healing resource, can make things a lot more interesting.

A lot of tabletop games with armies don't have any healing mechanic, along with units that only have like 1 hit point! And these might even have a campaign structure!

I do think one valuable feature healing provides is a way for players to deal with the randomness of results which the game can throw at you. Whether it is random critical hits, or enemies randomly deciding to all attack one guy, or a mistake the player made, or damage which can vary along some range or whatever else, healing can help give the player a means of handling systems which inherently have a great deal of variation in their results.







user profileedit/delete message
Star Platinum Carpet- S.P.W. Board Master





"Re(9):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Mon 1 Jan 00:23post reply

Indeed! The reason that it excites me is that it fits well within Kawazu's evolving design sensitivities from the beginning of his career as a weirdo game designer auteur.
Strictly in the JRPG space, he has always been critical of the fidling with HP as a waste of time. Already on SFC, Characters were automatically healed at the end of combat, not requiring the player to go to the sub-menu to use potions or antidotes, while FF in the other room kept having this useless fiddling up until... FF13 I'd say?
That was balanced by very powerful enemies, and real possibility of danger from even the mobs to wipe out one character, which goes along with healing generally being very strong (most of the time, a healing spell should push the target to max HP instead of adding 20% of max HP). And since it would suck to have game over situations behind every corner, faint is more likely to affect only one character rather than the group, which is meaningful thanks to the LP system, and the LP being a scarce resource to manage.

Also, another important aspect of the healing in SaGa is that "being KO" is not a separate status from "having 0 HP". No phoenix down, you just need any potion to wake up someone, which lowers the inner complexity of healing to focus on the act of healing. And finally, the games are allergic to AOE heals, and place a very high premium to them (either not existing at all, or costing a unique item, or even costing LPs) so you have a lot of intentionality on who and when you want to heal.
All that culminates in giving the series a specific strategy around healing: being turn by turn, healing being simple and KO being potentially costly, there is a very interesting tug of war about deciding when to heal a character not because they need it now, but because you predict they're going to be hit hard and try to soften the blow proactively. This creates opportunities to feel really smart when your prediction comes true, the enemy hits the character, you heal him before he faints, and then the enemy does an AOE which would have killed him if you hadn't strategized properly. This all goes with positioning allowing to channel agression of enemies to specific tank units, or the very basic Saga strategy of "never have your main healer heal themselves, have someone else heal them because they may get one-shot and then you're out of a healer".

This all culminated with my one true love Unlimited SaGa having HP indicating stamina rather than health, and lower HP raising the chances that you'd lose LP, the actual life of the character. That means having 0 HP doesn't mean a character would faint, they can continue using their moves and being hit, but being at high danger of losing LP. This means the HP healing, however, was very generous for a Saga game, including character being able to rest during combat (and that's generally required) and other amazing battle systems that are obfuscated by the silly wheel system.

Minstrel moved back to a subdued Romancing-like system, very solid and stingy with HP recovery (with some godly intervention to help).
Scarlet Grace was a step in a different direction, with an increase in the possibilities of managing agression, with very powerful defensive moves, and clarity in the targetting system of enemies (a clarity that's quite reminiscent of the Firaxis XCOM). Healing spells then insert themselves into the wider spell system, which makes every spell using turns as the resource (the way SG removed other resources like MP or WP to cast super moves is also worthy of note here btw).
Healing is a key part of the game, but it makes it even more strategic since it's impossible heal someone that needs HP now: a KO character is basically lost, because a healer will take 2 turns to get them back to their feet, and casters are very vulnerable while they focus, so you need to dedicate a tank to avoid then getting stunned and losing your healer.
Unfortunately the system would have been too demanding for non-masochistic players, and the game resorted to having an AOE heal spell that costs 3 turns, which is very expensive but is often the safest option in the risk/return scenario. I think there would have been a way to make solo heal spell work, but it would have required to rethink who can learn spells and how to use them, and a learning system like Romancing 2-3 might have been too easy? I'm not sure what the ideal situation would have been.

So, while Emerald Beyond has a different battle system from Scarlet, it has elements it can use to do without any healing system. Managing agression and target defense are already in the series DNA, it's a matter of making them strong enough to take over the lack of healing, without making it too powerful to the point of making HP irrelevant.
One thing that the series doesn't have a strong record on is the buff/debuff systems. It seems to be introduced in Emerald as a way to handle strong enemies, and I'm a bit cautious about it because I don't want the game to become Megaten... So I'm curious to see the direction it's going to take.







user profileedit/delete message
PSN: Ishmael26b
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: Ishmael26b
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Tue 2 Jan 02:49post reply

I just wanted to say that this was an interesting conversation to read. I've not spent a lot of time actively thinking about the game engines in RPG's, so to think about how a seemingly ingrained mechanic like healing is dealt with is intriguing. The fact that oftentimes a party character is reduced to standing on the sidelines pushing the "heal" button shows just how much, or little, thought can go into this system.







user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Wed 3 Jan 17:21post reply

Making healing very limited in availability has also become a common element of the roguelike games which have come to be a dominant part of gaming over the past several years, and many have converged to similar ideas of the SaGa games: shield-like buffers of durability that are like SaGa's HP and will restore often, coupled with much more limited and hard-to-restore points of durability more like SaGa's LP.

Amusingly, I think Darkest Dungeon wound up independently re-inventing Unlimited Saga's stamina mechanic in a way: reaching 0 HP doesn't automatically kill your character, but put's them at Death's Door, and each further hit they take while at Death's Door has a chance to truly kill them. Some abilities will instakill someone and bypass Death's Door entirely! In Darkest Dungeon 2, enemies have a more consistently behaving version of Death's Door in the form of Death Shield, where they can take a fixed number of hits at 0 HP (unless you invoke an ability which bypasses Death Shield and instakills). When Darkest Dungeon released a Versus mode, I remember playing a match with another player and we sat there punching each other at 0 HP for like half an hour because we always rolled success for Death's Door and eventually the game server disconnected us! Our Eternity Battle was Just Beginning!

And yeah, I think Kawazu's longtime experience and experimenting with tabletop games certainly pushes him towards finding and making things which are tabletop-esque. However, I also think that there are things which are uniquely video-game-esque that come in the form of "this would be impossibly clumsy to try to handle in a tabletop setting and a tabletop game might try to make an elegant abstraction of it, but if it were actually simulated and presented as-is in live video game form it is easily grasped and intuited by the player". For instance, it is a great delight to see a building turn into swiss cheese as your missed shots gradually blow holes in it.

All this is really making me wonder about how to make an RPG in which healing is the focus and most interesting thing in the game, and not just the focus as a byproduct of it being the most effective action in the game. Not the anti-thesis of Kawazu, since underpinning it is still the notion that healing is inherently a drag on the combat/game, but more a counter-thesis to Kawazu.







user profileedit/delete message
Star Platinum Carpet- S.P.W. Board Master





"Re(2):Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Wed 3 Jan 21:32post reply

quote:
All this is really making me wonder about how to make an RPG in which healing is the focus and most interesting thing in the game, and not just the focus as a byproduct of it being the most effective action in the game.

I've never played an MMO, but one can look in their direction for dedicated white mage classes? That's the only thing those players would do, I hope they'd make their gameplay somewhat interesting? Or is it just cooldown watching and casting buffs before they expire?
I suppose the difficulty is also properly targetting your healing spell when your party is not 5, but 50 people.

Maybe the issue is that one expect the healing to be instantaneous. If healing is just a mirror image of DPS, then the healing system needs to be as intricate as the damage dealer's, and the enemy's damaging abilities as well...
Or maybe the actions of the healers need to be more subdued. Like, making healing actions proximity so you need them close to the action instead of sleeping in the back row, and a healer's key mecanic would be their ability to reach each team mate without catching stray hits? (I think Darkest Dungeon sort of has that?) It would be interesting in a Tactics Ogre-like setting maybe. Focusing the healing with templar-like front row classes, that would leave the back row of wizards and archers vulnerable because they'd be sniping from far away, unable to get healed without collapsing the front row?

With all the games about being an alchemist/weapon shop in a fantasy RPG setting where you support the heroes in their grand quest of dungeonning, maybe one could make the fantasy Two Point Hospital equivalent. The heroes come back with all sorts of broken bones, covered in acid or digestive goo, arrows through both knees, petrified by the local gorgon, and you need to appropriately cure them over time. Or maybe that would be more of a fantasy Surgeon Simulator?





Mosquiton
2524th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(9):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Thu 4 Jan 06:17:post reply

quote:

Making healing not a part of combat is something a good few other games with RPG elements have tried doing!

In fact, in the first X-COM game, the medikit only provides healing if it is being used to cure stacks of fatal wounds (which deal damage over time)! Otherwise, there is NO in-combat healing mechanic!
....
A lot of tabletop games with armies don't have any healing mechanic, along with units that only have like 1 hit point! And these might even have a campaign structure!



Oh, I've definitely played my share of XCOMs (even Terror From the Deep!). But I was thinking more of traditional (as far as SaGa is traditional) serial-encounter JRPGs where your party essentially lives in a constant state of combat.

I actually see tabletop games as being intimately connected the root of the healing problem. D&D plucked the seed of "hit points" from games where the things being hit were giant pieces of metal (i.e., warships) and planted it within comparatively fragile biological bodies.

So with a human, HP doesn't really make sense as representing structural integrity that either holds up or doesn't. It can't really be considered an innate physical quality. You do gain more HP as you gain experience and rise in level, but while you might expect a body to become more muscular for a barbarian, it doesn't really make sense for a wizard to somehow generate "bigger muscles," "more blood," or "more meat" by reading books and completing quests. And there must be limits to how buff a fighter can get. Unless you start growing in size when you level up (which would kind of be a fun idea in actuality), or the body becomes so dense that a 6'4 barbarian weighs 900 pounds). Maybe the flesh and organs of adventurers is more like metal, moving ever toward a more resilient and perfect form. After all, could a bronze sword pierce the diamond heart? Similarly, a platinum groin need not fear a leather boot.

What exactly is happening when an enemy removes hit points from you? Video games almost universally elide this by showing you some damage numbers. But what exactly is the nature of this damage?

It's difficult to determine that "damage" can be taken as literal in most cases. Can the diaphanous wings of a giant dragonfly survive being contact with a two-handed battle axe? In Final Fantasy, yes. Could an unarmored peasant sleeping in a bed survive a sneak attack to the face from a half-vampire wielding a magic sword? In Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, yes (damn that level scaling).

Even worse is when the visual fidelity of the on-screen action clashes with the abstraction of "hit points" or "health." Why does hitting a dragon's foot enough times cause it to cry out and die? I guess it was keeping all its HP in its big toe? Or maybe its like Talos and all of its ichor just kind of leaked out? (Shadow of the Colossus brilliantly makes good on this idea.) And from the enemy's perspective, is something similar happening with your character? Are you being battered around like a juice box until you finally spring a leak (or someone punches a straw into a soft spot the top of your skull)? Vandal Hearts actually seems to follow this logic, come to think of it.

You can only accept that what you're seeing is some sort of theatre... unless a cutscene plays where injury happens "for real." Even though it kind of detracts from every other awesome and powerful attack that you performed yourself, it's often still satisfying when you see something really take (as when Crono leaps onto the Dragon Tank for the coup de grâce... man, I wish they did that for every boss).

So it's pretty clear that hit points aren't directly connected to your literal lifeblood and vital signs, but instead represent "how much damage you can avoid or mitigate." So how exactly would a cleric restore this resource? Is it patching up broken skin to keep the blood from leaking out? Is god running back the clock and telling you that you didn't get hit in the first place? Are you getting slipperier, more rubbery, luckier? Are healing potions basically just caffeine/energy drinks that make you more alert and better able to avoid "potential damage" like a sleepy office worker on their morning commute?

I'm kind of rambling at this point, but I do want to shout out SaGa's life points, which I think is an interesting mechanic that smartly acknowledges the degree of abstraction going on. It also reminds me of wuxia films where everything's kosher until that one attack really hits and a plume of crimson erupts from your mouth (internal vs external injury, with hemoptysis being the telltale sign that "damage" just happened for reals).

Sadly I don't have time atm to continue or to go back and make sure any of this makes sense (edit: well, I tried). And I didn't add links (for those that are unfamiliar, at least look up Vandal Hearts for that juicy burst). I didn't get the chance to bring up alternatives like "wound cards" and location-based damage, or bring up other interesting alternatives...but I wish everyone that read this a Happy New Year and reiterate that I'd like to see more experimentation around modeling conflict in games—including non-violent, non-physical conflict, even. Maybe we can instead heal injuries to the psyche with warm emotion, or apply the figurative balm of words to treat blows to the ego.

quote:

[Iggy sez play an MMO, plus]... With all the games about being an alchemist/weapon shop in a fantasy RPG setting where you support the heroes in their grand quest of dungeonning, maybe one could make the fantasy Two Point Hospital equivalent. The heroes come back with all sorts of broken bones, covered in acid or digestive goo, arrows through both knees, petrified by the local gorgon, and you need to appropriately cure them over time. Or maybe that would be more of a fantasy Surgeon Simulator?


I am also on board with this idea, and wanted to mention that I heard healing in FFXIV is fairly rewarding from a mechanical standpoint.

FINAL EDIT:

Also, Iggy, only vaguely related but I can't find 宝石の国/Land of the Lustrous on streaming.





/ / /

[this message was edited by Mosquiton on Thu 4 Jan 07:04]



user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Thu 4 Jan 15:19:post reply

As usual, SaGa's ability to undermine RPG orthodoxy (or return to pen and paper RPG roots) leads to the best discussions! Kawazu's Chosen are pleased. I love everything happening in this thread:
quote:
What exactly is happening when an enemy removes hit points from you? Video games almost universally elide this by showing you some damage numbers. But what exactly is the nature of this damage?
I've maybe occasionally posted my pet theory here more as it related to hitting people with swords in Soul Calibur, but the idea works here too: maybe we can think of the health bar or HP as just the probability that a particular attack hit and injured you. A more experienced RPG chara with higher HP might have gotten better at dodging injurious attacks, though even they couldn't avoid a fatal blow forever; ditto with Siegfried hacking people with his huge sword. Each "hit" or reduction of health bar could actually be an ever-decreasing statistical probability of avoiding a one-time fatal hit on repeated trials. (While people think of "tempting fate" or "your luck running out" in almost HP-like terms, what is actually happening is that the odds of getting the same result from say a 50:50 probability over repeated trials decreases, 1/2 X 1/2 X 1/2 X 1/2...you can't keep fishing out the red sock out of a drawer with equal numbers of red and white socks forever, even if you put it back in each time.) Maybe HP is your "luck"/probabilty running out!

...of course, as Mosquiton said, most designers are probably just using HP or health gauges as (boring, violent) unquestioned video game design assumptions, but maybe they shouldn't! Bushido Blade might be the smartest game ever with its lack of health bars (I think). Or, taken to the logical extreme of visionless designers who really really aren't questioning the legacy logic of video games, we have endless, meaningless numbers flying out of enemies in FFXIII, probably anethema to Kawazu and SaGa. Even detractors can admit Tim has a good point here in his old FFXIII commentary: "Enemies in Final Fantasy XIII have literally hundreds of thousands of 'hit points' [...] you will never see the total number of an enemy’s hit points, though you sure as hell will see the stuff out of the amounts being subtracted from that hidden number [...] Why do we need all these numbers? We are asking this question with an honest motive. Why does it have to be numbers? Final Fantasy XIII already went so far as to give the enemies life meters — those horizontal green bars representing enemies’ health, which we mentioned earlier. Why can’t we ditch the numbers, and just use the Life Meter and the Break Meter?"
quote:
You can only accept that what you're seeing is some sort of theatre... unless a cutscene plays where injury happens "for real." Even though it kind of detracts from every other awesome and powerful attack that you performed yourself, it's often still satisfying when you see something really take (as when Crono leaps onto the Dragon Tank for the coup de grâce... man, I wish they did that for every boss).
This gets at it exactly. The oldest question since the earliest RPGs with real stories was "why can't I use a Phoenix Tail to revive Tella/Galuf/General Leo/Aerith/whoever just got story-killed" outside of battle? Square sort of started to indirectly address what HP might be by labeling zero HP characters with the status "unable to fight/wounded" in the field menu in FFVI onward, sometimes even "KO" in English I think. In Lunar~Eternal Blue, your wasted charas even had little stars above their heads. But why would your game end if everyone were just knocked out? Without meaning to, these designers are indirectly relying on the genius of Kawazu's Life Points (LP) you lose most often when enemies attack your vulnerable downed body as you inch towards actual death of a chara: once everyone is wounded or KO'ed, presumably there is nothing to stop the monsters from actually killing you, at least in my interpretation. The Wuxia "now, a punch that actually hurt" logic works here too.

Dragon Quest, in its simplistic wisdom, inches a little closer to its own thoughts about HP: when your characters reach zero, they are dead, so you'd better go to the town church and use their supernatural power to bring people back to life! This sort of breaks down the wounded/story-dead HP differentiation in ways that makes a General Leo or Aerith death more difficult to portray. Phantasy Star II actually so obliterated zero HP charas that you are actually just having the town clone shop "recreate" them, woah! Then again, it was also the earliest RPG I know of to feature a major character death, and no one was talking about going to the clone shop to revive her, so I guess HP was destined to be muddled as early as 1989!

So I guess what I'm asking is: can the next SaGa game feature no HP and characters getting wounded/gone forever in a purely Bushido Blade-like fashion!?





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 Thu 4 Jan 16:13]

Lord SNK
607th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Red Carpet Regular Member



"Re(2):Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Thu 4 Jan 17:50post reply

quote:
So I guess what I'm asking is: can the next SaGa game feature no HP and characters getting wounded/gone forever in a purely Bushido Blade-like fashion!?


Fire Emblem historically had permanent death, but allowing that in a strategy game is easier than a heavy story-focused RPG.





Mosquiton
2524th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(2):Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Fri 5 Jan 06:28post reply

quote:
A more experienced RPG chara with higher HP might have gotten better at dodging injurious attacks, though even they couldn't avoid a fatal blow forever; ditto with Siegfried hacking people with his huge sword. Each "hit" or reduction of health bar could actually be an ever-decreasing statistical probability of avoiding a one-time fatal hit on repeated trials. (While people think of "tempting fate" or "your luck running out" in almost HP-like terms, what is actually happening is that the odds of getting the same result from say a 50:50 probability over repeated trials decreases, 1/2 X 1/2 X 1/2 X 1/2...you can't keep fishing out the red sock out of a drawer with equal numbers of red and white socks forever, even if you put it back in each time.) Maybe HP is your "luck"/probabilty running out!



This is actually more or less how Uncharted approaches it.

A while ago I'd wanted to do a game where you control your character's position in real time and see the hit percentages for you and your enemies move around and change elevation/change lines of sight (I guess it would be something like a real-time XCOM). But then I realized I didn't have free time or a development studio.





/ / /


user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(3):Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Sat 6 Jan 10:53post reply

quote:

A while ago I'd wanted to do a game where you control your character's position in real time and see the hit percentages for you and your enemies move around and change elevation/change lines of sight (I guess it would be something like a real-time XCOM). But then I realized I didn't have free time or a development studio.



Some of the newer tactical games like the Mario/Rabbids one and Persona 5 Tactica eschew moving a target-destination cursor in favor of letting you actually run around freely inside the entire allowable movement zone, updating targeting lines and whatnot as you do so!

I vaguely recall another tactical game that kinda did something like that but the title eludes me.

One of the things which the AD&D 2nd Edition books describe about hit points increasing with level is that hit points don't just describe becoming physically bigger, but also a lot of things that come with experience: how to tolerate pain, how to roll with a punch, how to brace yourself for a hit, etc. It was an explanation that I really liked! But I also agree that it's far from a perfect system.

What is somewhat ironic is that the idea of "dying is a roll that happens when you are injured" is actually how vehicles worked in the older Warhammer 40k rules! There was a completely different armor and HP system for non-vehicle units (i.e. infantry and anything organic-ish including big demons), where HP = 0 means death. For vehicles, weapons would have to roll some dice and see if they exceeded the armor value of side of the vehicle the weapon hit, and if it exceeds that value then the hit is a "penetrating hit" and you roll on a table to see what the consequences are. These can range from "vehicle explodes catastrophically" to "the wheels/thrusters are damaged and the vehicle's movement speed is reduced for the rest of the game". There was even a rule for what happens if you just equal the armor value, in which case it's a "glancing hit" and has different rules.

Some weapons had all kinds of bonuses to armor penetration rolls, which made them excellent tank busters, while some weapons that were excellent vs infantry had poor armor penetration. There are plenty of cases where certain weapons simply cannot penetrate the armor of certain vehicles, so there's simply no point shooting them at vehicles.

The latest Warhammer 40k unifies the armor and HP system for vehicles and non-vehicles, and vehicles now use the same armor saving throw system as infantry, and have wounds like infantry instead of the armor penetration event table. Together with the addition of critical hit and critical wound rules, all weapons now always have a chance to hit and deal damage regardless of the armor and toughness of the target. So the way they make vehicles feel durable in relation to infantry is to give them high toughness, high armor, and WAY MORE HITPOINTS that the average infantry man. This makes hordes of grunts with weak guns able to damage vehicles which would have been impossible in the past, along with helping vehicles not feel like they have no durability whatsoever against strong anti-armor weapons. As someone who doesn't actually play the game often, I actually dislike this change because it makes the simulation fantasy weaker! However, I can see how it makes the game much more approachable to play and more balanced for people who play more competitively.

The popular tabletop game Gloomhaven has a pretty unique approach to damage, where the player units and enemy units have different rules. Both have HP, and any units which hit 0 HP die. But player units all have their own unique little deck of cards, and whenever you take damage you have the option to lose cards instead of take HP damage. Every action you take requires the use of cards, and if a character runs out of cards, then they are "exhausted" and removed from the remainder of the battle. So in this way, player characters in Gloomhaven never "die". However, healing HP damage is absolutely a significant part of the game what with potions and character card actions. Amusingly, this healing actions further abstract the healing of status effects because the total number of actions you can take are so limited: if you needed specific cards for healing poison, healing bleed, etc. those effects would be incredibly powerful. So instead, when something is "healed" and possesses a curable status effect, the status effect is cured and no HP healing occurs (i.e. a regular healing potion can cure you of poison or bleeding, but when it does that you don't get any HP healing from it). This is an abstraction that really works well for this game, but would make status effects feel absolutely worthless in a game where healing is more readily accessible.





Mosquiton
2526th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(4):Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Sat 6 Jan 14:35:post reply

quote:

Some of the newer tactical games like the Mario/Rabbids one and Persona 5 Tactica eschew moving a target-destination cursor in favor of letting you actually run around freely inside the entire allowable movement zone, updating targeting lines and whatnot as you do so!

I vaguely recall another tactical game...


Even before than Valkyria Chronicles, there was a weird game that did this in 2004. It was actually pretty interesting.

But what I meant was a game that was completely real-time but took direct control of accuracy out of your hands (just not completely). I know a lot of people would hate that, but I think there would be some weird and interesting stuff one could do in that space.

The 2E rules are exactly what I was thinking of when I said "how much damage you can avoid or mitigate." I get it, but it's hardly bulletproof (har har). I remember coming up with numerous ridiculous scenarios to try and undermine this concept (my friend's character in all cases would be naked and facing a bizzare and dire situation). But when you're seeing a realistic depiction of action on-screen, things get wonky.

I am grateful that there are plenty of smart people who have done interesting things with violence = math, and I do sometimes enjoy complicated simulations, but for traditional RPGs where you don't want to be bogged down too much. A refreshing potion, and you're good to go! It's tempting. But still, I want less hand waving and more innovation! I have quaffed so, so many potions in my life. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the new SaGa brings to the table.

Finally, as much as I complain about HP, I accept that there are good reasons the concept is used so frequently. I hope I will be able to keep my own personal HP high as I proceed through 2024.

Oh yeah, the Gloomhaven system sounds pretty cool! I do enjoy cards, so gamey and so honest.





/ / /

[this message was edited by Mosquiton on Sat 6 Jan 14:46]



user profileedit/delete message
PSN: zonepharaoh
XBL: n/a
Wii: n/a
STM: n/a
CFN: zonepharaoh
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(5):Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Sun 7 Jan 03:26post reply

quote:
Oh yeah, the Gloomhaven system sounds pretty cool! I do enjoy cards, so gamey and so honest.
While it’s a different topic than advanced HP Theory, I would love to ask Kawazu for his thoughts on Gloomhaven. We spent a few hours with the physical version trying to set it up, but with the digital version I think we have a digital simulation of a pen-and-paper RPG that is trying to simulate a video game RPG that is in turn based on pen-and-paper RPGs. I believe this is the same idea as a US restaurant serving its approximation of the Japanese recreation of American California roll sushi that was reverse-imported to Tokyo as a curiosity after people had adapted sushi into California rolls in the US. Are we closing in on the source, or is it a fractal mise-en-abyme?! Either way, Gloomhaven is hilarious.

Related topic: if SaGa’s HP/LP isn’t eventually adapted to Bushido Blade-style gaugeless fights, should it become the world’s first fully action-based tactical RPG?!

Or as Mosquiton noted before, maybe we need a game with mental fights and psychological healing that is basically that ojousama high society insult game Iggy keeps sending me Line stickers of. As foundational Makai Toushi SaGa tells us, defeating god in battle may be all about attitude.





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...


user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P - IGGY ARI !

"Re(5):Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Sun 7 Jan 09:25post reply

quote:
Some of the newer tactical games like the Mario/Rabbids one and Persona 5 Tactica eschew moving a target-destination cursor in favor of letting you actually run around freely inside the entire allowable movement zone, updating targeting lines and whatnot as you do so!

I vaguely recall another tactical game...

Even before than Valkyria Chronicles, there was a weird game that did this in 2004. It was actually pretty interesting.
Isn't that basically the system of Sakura Taisen 3? But less interesting because no one is Furanse-?

I lost track of the conversation, also because I started playing a totally unrelated game: Aliens Dark Descent, an XCOM-esque game that's to Aliens what Alien Isolation was to Alien, in that it's a game that tries to stay true to its source material.
In Aliens' case, it means the space marines are not W4k übermench, but they're scabs who betrayed their working-class upbringing by joining Peter Thiel's private police. They're mostly experienced in dealing with striking miners, which make them feel all machismo about themselves, but the moment they're against something that's actually fighting back with more than stones and sticks, they're worse than useless. Unfortunately the theme of motherhood hasn't yet appeared in the campain I'm playing, but I have hopes.

Anyway. The way it works is that you have a squad of 4 marines, but you move them as a unit, they're always together or trying to remain together. Some resources are common to the squad, some are specific to each marine. It's a bit like playing a MOBA where your character can sometimes send some of its limb away for a short order before coming back to the main body.
Health-wise, individual characters have armor and health points. One thing that made the HP concept silly in JRPGs is that you can count HPs in the thousands, when "1HP" doesn't measure anything anymore. Here, you have 4 HP (maybe 5 or 6 by the end?), which means some encounters can end very badly very quickly. Critical hits are also a thing, and they can take a character out of action temporarily (concussion) or permanently for the mission (coma, dismemberment), meaning you need to sacrifice another character to carry the inert marine back to the base to be healed, while the xenomorphs are trying to do the same and abduct any vulnerable or isolated marine to bring it back to the nest where he's lost forever. So, even "not dying" can very bad and have drastic consequences in the immediate, medium and long term.

The other aspect of health is the mental health of all these marines, and the game borrows some light touches of Darkest Dungeon here, where every bad thing that happens (which means "anything that happens" really) raises stress, and when stress reaches a threshold the character gains a trauma (such as paranoid, thinking everyone in the team wants to feed him to the xenomorphs and gaining stress the more he's close to the team; or pyrophobic, gaining stress any time you use fire; being trigger-happy, meaning they waste more ammunition and aim worse; or having emotional outburst that basically drag down the mental health of the whole squad). So you need to keep track of the health while in combat, of the mental health outside of combat, and of the resources all around since health packs (and anxiolitics) are very limited.

So, contrary to XCOM, which lets you start with interchangeable throwaway grunts who have a high chance to die on their first missions but who become stronger the longer they survive, until you have a squad of superheroes raining death on the invaders before they even spot you, in Aliens Dark Descent, while you do gain some powers as you level up (which you do by progressing in the campaign, not by killing xenomorphs), your characters also become more and more damaged, having paid a heavy toll both physically (missing limbs) and mentally (becoming less and less stable to the point they become a liability the moment you field them in your squad). So there is a sense of progression for sure, it's just that the progression is towards the "bad" part of the arrow, without being totally "grim as an esthetic" like Darkest Dungeon tends to be.
It's not a perfect game, it lacks some polish/budget and is limited as much as it benefits from the franchise it's from, but it's a very interesting game.
Anyway.
What were we talking about again?

quote:

FINAL EDIT:

Also, Iggy, only vaguely related but I can't find 宝石の国/Land of the Lustrous on streaming.

Isn't it on Amazon Prime? Or on Crunchy Roll? Maybe it's one of those things that depends on the country and you need a VPN?
...
...
...
... OK 5 minutes later I ended up looking up how I could stream "The Bride Was Wearing Black", my favourite French movie from the 60s, and it's incredibly annoying.
The future of streaming sucks.
The future sucks.
Game over, man, game over!





Mosquiton
2526th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(6):Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Sun 7 Jan 12:54post reply

Dark Descent has been on my list for a while! Maybe I'll get to it in 2024.

quote:

Isn't it on Amazon Prime? Or on Crunchy Roll? Maybe it's one of those things that depends on the country and you need a VPN?


Wait a minute, my wife got a week of Amazon Primae for 99 cents and there it is (I could have sworn it wasn't there for Canada earlier). This new year is already full of surprises. I will at least watch a few episodes.





/ / /


user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(7):Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Sun 7 Jan 18:41post reply

quote:
Dark Descent has been on my list for a while! Maybe I'll get to it in 2024.



I haven't beaten it but I highly recommend it! I think it's one of the best Aliens games ever made!

Because of how you frequently return to the same expansive maps and gradually explore them, it's more of a survival horror+dungeon exploration game than an X-COM "clear randomized maps of enemies" game. You use the APC as a sort of fast-travel between parts of the current map! You can cower around the APC as a horde of xenomorphs are about to show up! You can seal up rooms and then take a rest in them!

Quite importantly, it correctly understands an important experiential thing which the Firaxis X-COM team and many other games which have followed it have gotten wrong in their notion that having your guys move slowly and overwatch and enemies run into that overwatch is BORING. No, having all your guys advance slowly and then all hunker up in overwatch is THRILLING when you as the player are SCARED!

---------

So this makes me want to briefly re-visit the idea of how machines in RPGs could be. One of the things that is very cool about them is that they have the inhuman property of being more able to go about functioning even when discrete elements of them are getting blasted up. A person stubs their toe and finds themselves hopping about in pain, a person gets kicked in the nads and is doubled over on the ground, and these aren't even the kinds of injuries that could seriously see a person die instantly of shock!

Meanwhile, a car gets a door smashed in but the car still works, a galleon gets a hole blasted in it by a cannon but it can keep sailing (provided the crew inside didn't get all killed/maimed by the splintering wood...), a robot soldier gets an arm blown off but keeps on going, etc.

In Mechwarrior, you have this very idea of things like an arm getting blown off by accumulated damage and then the excess damage proceeding inwards... which would be a strange damage model to try to apply to a human being. Conversely, the holistic "this person has 10 HP over itself" that feels more normal for a coherent living entity doesn't always satisfyingly capture the "well chunks of this machine can get caved in and it's ok" aspect of a machine.





Just a Person
2545th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(8):Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Tue 12 Mar 05:44:post reply

I don't know if anyone else here is following the news on SaGa Emerald Beyond, but SquareEnix has already shown trailers for Tsunanori, Ameya, Bonnie & Formina, and Siugnas. Diva No.5 will probably have her trailer shown in early April, while the game's release is scheduled for late April, I think.

There is also information and artwork for 32 additional characters (I'm not sure if all of them are recruitable party members or if some of them will be enemies or NPCs), 9 "worlds" and some special rules for certain types of characters like Vampires.

It seems this game is following Frontier 1's concept of getting very different storylines, settings and rosters and mixing them all together... which is exactly what made me love Frontier 1 (I mean, how often do we get to see a Henshin superhero, a fratricidal wizard, an amnesiac robot and a teenage girl turned into a half-vampire/mage/elf/X-Men mutant in the same game?). Let's see how this will work out this time.


UPDATE: Square Enix released Diva No.5's trailer, and also showed 11 more characters and 3 more "worlds", plus special rules for Mechs. This game looks crazier and crazier... and I love it.





Maybe I'm this person right in front of you... nah probably not though.

[this message was edited by Just a Person on Fri 5 Apr 09:16]

Just a Person
2545th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(9):Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Fri 5 Apr 09:25post reply

By the way, in case anyone here is interested in learning more about this game's lore, characters and gameplay aspects, Gematsu has some pretty detailed articles (they're also quite long, so be warned):

Part 1 (general information)

Part 2 (Tsunanori and Ameya)

Part 3 (Bonnie & Formina)

Part 4 (Siugnas)

Part 5 (Diva)





Maybe I'm this person right in front of you... nah probably not though.


user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(10):Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Sat 6 Apr 15:45post reply

I was shocked and delighted to hear that each platform got a different demo with a different playable character! What a fun stunt to pull!





Mosquiton
2532th Post



user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(2):Re(10):Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Sun 7 Apr 00:03post reply

quote:
I was shocked and delighted to hear that each platform got a different demo with a different playable character! What a fun stunt to pull!



I was shocked but not delighted that Tsunanori is a complete dingus....





/ / /


user profileedit/delete message
Star Platinum Carpet- S.P.W. Board Master





"Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Wed 10 Apr 20:17post reply

So, yeah, there’s a new Saga in town!
SEB continues the design-by-subtraction philosophies initiated in the series around the time of Unlimited, then pushed to the limits with Scarlet Grace. It was difficult to go further than SG, so SEB merely refines and fixes some issues that arose in its predecessor.
Like SG and US, Emerald Beyond has no cities, because talking to non-descript NPC in the hope that one of them will make something happens is boring. A menu is fine.
Like SG, EB doesn’t have dungeons, because mowing through hordes of weak mobs just wastes time (also makes you question how this world functions at the ecosystem level). Important battles only, harder battles, and fewer trash treasures.
What’s left for the player is the core strategy layers: first, building a team and making them stronger, then, more importantly, win battles.
Regarding the setting, SG had a classic fantasy world with 4 playable characters, each with a main scenario. Once they finish their main scenario, they’d have to clear a variation of the other main scenarios, twice, which would trigger the final boss sequence.
These three-out-of-four main scenarios generally take the player around most of the regions of the game, letting you decide how you want to visit them, and what you do there. Roughly speaking, each region has a self-contained mini-scenario, like a small campaign module of some table-top RPG. Some of those mini-scenarios need to be cleared to progress in a main one, while others are entirely optional.
These mini-scenarios are generally very open for a JRPG, without fail state other than “all your characters died”. Some have different success paths, leading to different rewards, others are simpler, or allow the player to do wrong choices that have bad consequences for everyone involved, without forcing you into one of the “correct” or “virtuous" paths. Once the team had their little adventure in the region, it’s time to resume the main trip onwards to the next region.

Almost all these aspects return in EB. One of the key failures identified in SG was that the game was too bland. Too many copy and pasted characters, not enough demonic sentient race cars, philosopher lizard-pirates, not enough speaking lumps of rock, not enough weirdness you’d never see in another RPG.
So EB went the other way full swing. Instead of regions in a world with internal coherence, the game is divided in independent worlds similar to the Gameboy Sagas or Frontier 1: each small world belongs to a different narrative trope, so you can go from a western to a samurai movie to tokusatsu to post-apocalypse and so on.
Playable characters are as varied, and the game gives them unique game systems on top of that. We’ll be playing:
- Kusanagi Kyô’s twin brother fixing the balance of the elements with his dispassionate wit and his army of puppets.
- A magical girl balancing her secret identity as a Japanese schoolgirl and her need to recover her magical powers by collecting cats, each with their own little portrait and description (has Kawazu entered his cat-dad era at the same time as me?).
- A robot soprano who lost her song and then decides to trade her human-like body for a walking-rice-cooker-with-sawblades body to embark on a self-discovery trip with her manager, a werewolf, a talking plant, and historical Celtic warrior Boudica.
- A valley girl and a sniper in hijab who team up to unveil a conspiracy to murder the president of the United-States-adjacent world in this game.
- A vampire lord who wakes up from a long slumber, only to discover someone stole his dark throne, so he takes his harem of snacks with him to get revenge. It is literally a harem of snacks: a group of dudes each with a specific body identity that inform a cliché personality like characters from a dating sim (they don’t even have names, only functions), and the vampire can feed upon one of them to make him his personal knight and give him special powers. However, when you need a different knight for a different purpose, the previous one decays and becomes a weak thrall.

So, yeah, it goes in all directions at once, and across 17 worlds not particularly grounded in narrative consistency and believability (I’m especially eager to visit the world that’s inside a giant cordyceps that has devoured a now dead, giant-er insect). Each world has its own mini-campaign, similar to SG (or RS2 and 3, or games like Dragon Quest 7), and the game alternates between serious, high-stakes drama for the inhabitants of a particular world, and the absolute randomness of the greater universe, underpinned by the fact the main characters merely visit this place for a short time but has places to go.
One thing that we haven’t seen enough of yet in the demos is the freedom for the players to impact the mini-scenario in a variety of ways, including some very un-JRPG-hero endings. After all, you could accidentally destroy a city in SG and have the hero merely say “woops, we fucked up, time to go before consequences catch on to us, thoughts and prayers to the survivors” and RS2 allowed you to wipe out an island population to get some cool treasure, so chances are EB will have some hilariously terrible outcomes too. The demos already showed some variability between players so it’s a good start.

The game has a bit more text than what Kawazu has usually done after Frontier 2. He’s particularly delightful when writing short and to the point, when a few well-chosen words reveal an entire personality. So far, EB likes its exposition a little too much to my liking, but maybe it’s just because it’s the opening sequences (I mean, there’s too much text, but the comparison is with other Saga games: I wouldn’t be surprised if all in all the game had half the amount of text FF4 had in its day).
Fortunately, there are still a few good punchlines, no one ever dwells on to explain at length something any player would have caught on in the first 5 seconds, and I’ve seen Diva and Ameiya already have some dry, almost passive-aggressive comments on what is happening around them (there even was a lengthy joke on quantum physics that sent me roaring with laughter).
From what I’ve gathered, the English version is also very lively, maybe too much? Apparently the Kyô-lookalike is particularly divisive in EN (I haven’t played his demo, so I don’t know how he is in JPN, but apparently his EN voice is bad?). The robot also has a thick Irish accent that seems to be either charming or grating (I read someone’s opinion that it really felt like an American cramming as many Irishisms and Britishisms as possible at every opportunity, which sounds very unnatural for native speakers). I can’t really comment on that, but hopefully it’s still palatable for most readers (and anyway, if you have to over-translate a game in strangely obnoxious ways, this is the best game to do it)


Gameplaywise, simplicity is for weak-willed people. Here, we have 6 races, all with their own progression systems: humans, robots, monsters, “ephemeral creatures” who die and revive continuously, puppets, and our good friend the lord of vampire being a race on his own. The magic system is grafted on top of that, and some relics also allow other races to have a version of the monster system (which unfortunately abandoned the “eat skeleton meat to become a racoon” sort of nonsense: the monster merely absorbs monster souls, which give them a skill if they have an open slot). The formation system also comes back, each position in a formation having an impact on speed, stats, aggro manipulation, resource generation, etc.
The game honestly doesn’t explain a lot of the finest points of details; it merely gestures toward each system when they are introduced “this is a thing! Play with it and see if you can figure out how to best use it!”. Saga zealots have been delighted since the demo release, trying to parse the information, exchanging hints and hypothesis on how the magic system works, what certain icons mean, how the ephemerals revive, how some of the still missing systems will play out in the full version, and so on and so forth. For people more used to a modern, user-friendly experience, things are less rosy.

Battles use the same bizarre system as SG: each friend and foe is placed randomly on a timeline at the beginning of each turn, each character can take only one action, but each action consumes resources that take time to generate, and more powerful actions consume more resources, so any character who doesn’t get to act simply guards (or if you want to put it the other way: in order to have a character defend, simply don’t give them any order). Defending was extremely important in SG, and it will probably be even more crucial in EB, because the game doesn’t have any HP healing anymore as it only “artificially lengthen combat” and “adds tedious micro-management”, according to our lord and saviour Kawazu (I’m not 100% with him on this one, but I am very open to be convinced and then receive punishment for having doubted his wisdom).
Each action has a priority that moves its user forward or back on the timeline, and some actions can also kick back their target down the timeline. The goal is to align characters in a way that would create the bigger combo, while avoiding enemy configurations that would allow them to do the same.
The main difference with SG is that the rules of combos have been entirely re-thought. Instead of making sandwiches, EB asks you to make uninterrupted lines. This makes basic combos easier, long combos harder, and enemies more dangerous if you don’t separate them properly. Other systems exist, especially one if a character is totally isolated in the timeline and suddenly steals the show (which can also end the battle if it’s an enemy).
So far, the system looks very nice and complex, along with solving some of the issues of the battles in SG (most notably that boss battles tended to lack individuality).
Unfortunately, one issue from SG that remains is that you’re still required to pay attention to battles, even the easy ones that you would want to expediate by smashing the A button.

The demos don’t allow to repeat battles, so we can’t grind or strengthen our characters for the moment (it has already been confirmed that it’s a voluntary limitation for the demos, and the main game will have more flexibility there). It means that they all end in a boss battle that range between challenging and extremely hard. I have never heard of a game demo that intentionally makes themselves harder, and then hope the pain will convince the players to buy the full game… although it’s a choice that tells a lot about the target audience.
The developers clearly know they won’t breach into mainstream gamers consciousness (especially since the budget they received for the game was whatever pocket change SQEX found behind the sofa, and the marketing department ignored the game so hard the head of localization has to make his own promotional videos on YouTube). So, yeah, the game is ugly (also Kobayashi retired as a designer, and she’s been replaced by the much younger Kuramochi, whose style is similar but too busy for my tastes) and runs poorly on Switch. But they know the game will sell to the 50 000 crazies who speak fluent Saga and no one else, so there is no reason to make any sacrifice to reach the wider public, either in terms of themes, designs, accessibility, or consistency. I’m not sure the SQEX management would have let them have an evil gay vampire or a respectful depiction of a woman in a hijab as main characters if they had any kind of visibility, and with the way things have gone down recently, it’s probably a good thing they flew under the radar.

I have the diffuse feeling that this understanding that SQEX is sending the game to die has had an impact on the game, and EB does something Saga seldom ever did: they make plenty of references to older games.
It probably started as a necessity rather than a choice: most of the 3D models are recycled from SG, and several monsters of Minstrel Song also appear barely touched (I supposed that’s why its remake was fast-tracked and Frontier 2 was left on the back-burner for later).
But on top of that, some of the newly created monsters are interpretations of monsters from the 2D games, which is new as Saga always changes the entire bestiary and doesn’t have anything equivalent to the chocobos, the malboros or the metal slimes.
There’s also a girl cosplaying a character from SG, one of the main systems of the game is helmed by the professor from the 2nd Gameboy game (he looks like the Yellow Devil of Rockman, but cute), and some NPC have names that call back on characters from older games (the golden lion from SF1, the final emperor from RS2). I wouldn’t be surprised if the cordyceps was eating the termite queen of RS2, if only because she used moles as food then, and the cordyceps shelters a family of moles living happy lives now the insect is dead.
All these callbacks have no impact on the game of course, but I’m wondering if Kawazu knows that it’s the last game he’s allowed to make and lets the team make a final salute to the fans, before all the developers are fired/sent to the salt mines to work on a new MMO FF7 Multiverse GAAS that SQEX executives are sure will make bank this time.

Ah, something I forgot: Itoken does the music, so of course everything is amazing. There’s even a sequel to MS’s Passionate Rhythm! I can’t wait for the OST to be available somewhere.

Conclusion: GOTY.







user profileedit/delete message
Platinum Carpet V.I.P- Board Master





"Re(2):Re(10):SaGa Emerald Beyond" , posted Tue 16 Apr 23:28post reply

quote:
So, yeah, there’s a new Saga in town!
SEB continues the design-by-subtraction philosophies initiated in the series around the time of Unlimited, then pushed to the limits with Scarlet Grace. It was difficult to go further than SG, so SEB merely refines and fixes some issues that arose in its predecessor.
Like SG and US, Emerald Beyond has no cities, because talking to non-descript NPC in the hope that one of them will make something happens is boring. A menu is fine.
Like SG, EB doesn’t have dungeons, because mowing through hordes of weak mobs just wastes time (also makes you question how this world functions at the ecosystem level). Important battles only, harder battles, and fewer trash treasures.
What’s left for the player is the core strategy layers: first, building a team and making them stronger, then, more importantly, win battles.
Regarding the setting, SG had a classic fantasy world with 4 playable characters, each with a main scenario. Once they finish their main scenario, they’d have to clear a variation of the other main scenarios, twice, which would trigger the final boss sequence.
These three-out-of-four main scenarios generally take the player around most of the regions of the game, letting you decide how you want to visit them, and what you do there. Roughly speaking, each region has a self-contained mini-scenario, like a small campaign module of some table-top RPG. Some of those mini-scenarios need to be cleared to progress in a main one, while others are en

-- Message too long, Autoquote has been Snipped --


Enormous Iggy posts about SaGa are one of the best things about mmcafe, and I'm always glad to read them!

I was surprised at how sluggish the game is on Switch when Scarlet Grace ran so smoothly on it. I like that one of the starting weapons the magical girl has is just a plain old gun, but then you win a fight and get a magical gun. Or that the goddess of magic sends you a clone to help you in your fight, and then the clone can level up and it remarks on this. It's got a devil-may-care attitude that embodies the best of pouring out a box of toys and making a story with them.