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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:15 pm
by pierrot
Well, it's official. I'm now not sure whether I hate Skyward Sword, or Zelda II more. I was forced to look up where the last stupid town was, because at no point does it even suggest that the hammer has another function, and why would anyone even think it would? (Key, I just started watching through your recordings, so I'm sure I'll get to it eventually, but how in the world did you figure that out? Is it in the manual? Curse you, manuel!) I also had to figure out what one magic container I missed, because I wasn't allowed to get the last one without it, which I needed to even be taught the spell that's required to get the friggin' master key, in order to even get past the first door in the sixth palace, which I found the entrance to without any problems, even before actually finding that last damn town, because--this game has stupid fucking priorities, and thinks it's more fun to bog a player down in contrivances than actually having interesting puzzles to solve.

After all that crap, I steamrolled the sixth palace, because if this game isn't being a complete dick, it's just lying over and dying. I mean, WTF was that boss. I didn't even have to move. It never even stood a chance.

So then, obviously, the game doubles down on its dickitude with one of the stupidest gauntlets I've ever seen. After a few attempts, and finding out that the "Spell" incantation can be used to make things easier, I just made a mad dash for the palace, because it's not worth actually staying and fighting most things in this game (just take the hit, and run past). As I'm doing this, and still barely about to make it to the palace, I'm thinking, 'There's just no way,' but after a couple of screens in the seventh palace, I found out that the game, finally, at the very end, is actually throwing the player a bone, and not starting back at Hyrule after a game over.

The seventh palace is a stupid, asshole, nightmare. I don't care what you think of the game up to that point, this last palace is atrocious. Fireballs everywhere, and jumping shit shooting sword beams like Link dreams about. Dead ends. Oh my god, the dead ends. So as I'm standing around, half falling asleep because of how boring this game is, just jumping on horse heads repeatedly to replenish magic, so I can lightning the piss out of the blue swords-birds, I have ample time to think about why this game sucks so much. I mean, by all rights, it shouldn't. Both the NES Zelda games are highly derivative of the early Dragon Slayer games (Metroid kind of was, also). The early Dragon Slayer games rock (except Romancia--no one likes Romancia). Ergo, Zelda II is awesome. Except it isn't, and really that seems to come down to what Nintendo failed to steal emulate from Falcom, and Kiya: Good game design. In particular, good mazes. It struck me when I thought about the last chapter of Kaze no Densetsu Xanadu, which was like this beautiful tribute to the first two Dragon Slayer games. A 31 floor dungeon of pure bliss. Routes that wind up and down floors. Hidden doors, springboard tiles through multiple floors. A constant need for the next linchpin to progress just a little further. Puzzles. Oh my god, puzzles everywhere. All the while, this burning desire to collect the ultimate equipment, buried deep in the floors, behind sealed passages, and only accessible through meticulous exploration. It was the perfect distillation of the impeccable mazes of Dragon Slayer, and the delicately woven pastiche that is the route through the floors of the tower in Xanadu.

Zelda II is none of that. It just dicks you over with, 'Here's your palace. There's nothing worth your time here. Have some sucktastic enemies, and get fucked. Oh yeah, and false floors. Have fun--or don't. We don't really care.' Despite the murderous rage I felt after being sucked in by the gravitational pull of lava (?), when I was in fairy form, I eventually got to the boss of the palace. I lightninged his face into existence, and died shortly after. I was pretty well not interested in continuing, so I decided to see if it would still start me at the beginning of the palace, if I saved. Of course it didn't. Fuck you, game.

Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:41 am
by pook99
@pierot: that was a great rant.

I personally don't know who thought the idea of false floors was a good one, it is an old video game trope that, thankfully, has completely died out. I think we all agree the worst offender is castlevania 2 but there were an annoying amount of games that would have you just randomnly fall through a floor with absolutely no visual difference. That is trial/error and memorization at its worst. Even my beloved Mega Man series had a false floor section in one of its games(I think 3 but they all kind of gel together in my mind)

Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:33 am
by pierrot
I haven’t played a whole lot of Simon’s Quest, but at least there you have a tool to actually find the false floors before falling down them. Mega Man, also, tends to give some hints about the false floors, and some weapons to search them out, as I recall.

Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:36 am
by noiseredux
pierrot wrote:I haven’t played a whole lot of Simon’s Quest, but at least there you have a tool to actually find the false floors before falling down them.


pfft, a waste of good holy water, though!

Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:50 am
by pierrot
Granted, but I feel like that might have been Dracula’s plan (or whoever the schemer for that game is). Get him to waste all his holy water on floors. Little did he know that Simon had been hoarding it.

Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:33 am
by marurun
Simon's an innately holy dude. He probably just pees in the bottles. But still, carrying around that much delicate glass is clearly a logistical issue. Further, I hope he has great shoes, because he's littering everything with broken glass. He'll cut his feet to shreds!

Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:49 am
by pierrot
Maru, I think what you may have established is that Simon was the true enemy of the people.

Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:14 am
by MrPopo
pook99 wrote:Even my beloved Mega Man series had a false floor section in one of its games(I think 3 but they all kind of gel together in my mind)

Mega Man 2: Wily 4. The game at least nicely has a harmless false floor before the false floor over instant death spikes, so that you can be informed it is a mechanic, and Lead Bubble lets you detect it.

Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:57 pm
by Sarge
pierrot wrote:I was forced to look up where the last stupid town was, because at no point does it even suggest that the hammer has another function, and why would anyone even think it would? (Key, I just started watching through your recordings, so I'm sure I'll get to it eventually, but how in the world did you figure that out? Is it in the manual? Curse you, manuel!)

Heh. This is where I got stuck when I was a kid, and once I read "Jeff Rovin's How to Win at Nintendo Games, Vol. 4", I knew what I needed to do. A buddy of mine lost my manual, which does have that crucial bit of information, but that town is also the only place in the game where you can't just walk over the correct tile and enter. I think it's the one place where the lack of consistency in the rules hurts the game.

Otherwise? I love Zelda II. No, really, I do. I tend to replay it every few years. It was a love-hate-love relationship, but it's stuck on love now. I replay it more than the original NES game, which is saying something. Whether that is the quality of the game or the person making the statement, I leave to the reader. ;)

Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:04 am
by Ack
1. F.E.A.R. 2
2. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
3. Ultima III: Exodus
4. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
5. Far Cry 2

Yeah, I've wrapped up trapsing around Africa, screwing up an unspecified nation that probably would have been considerably better off had no Europeans ever shown up on its doorstep. End result: I sent a bunch of civilians unharmed into refugee camps and either get the delightful choice of blowing myself up using a car battery and dynamite or putting a gun in my mouth.

If you think that's a brutal ending, I also murdered a troop of my mercenary friends over a briefcase of diamonds. Though to be fair, they drew first, so I didn't have much choice. That's not so true for the variety of faction commanders, officials, DJs, doctors, journalists, and other folks that I humiliated, threatened, or openly assassinated as a hired hand playing both sides against the middle. Yeah...I never really was the good guy type. And now pretty much everyone is dead, the country is an anarchic shithole, and millions are displaced...but still alive. Small victories, folks.