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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:28 pm

Thanks Pierrot! I'll be sure to put those games on my watch list (and take SMT if OFF of my watch list :lol: )
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opa
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by opa Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:07 pm

Started pokemon blue again. I figured this time I'd go easy on myself and do every exploit I want. It took resetting my game boy thirty times but I caught a level 100 Gengar in Viridian Forest. Time to demolish Brock. I may catch a couple of Mews for the heck of it.
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by MrPopo Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:09 pm

I picked back up my Might & Magic VII save. I'm starting to make some actual progress (onto the second map past the prologue), though I'm still early enough in character building that there's a lot of frustration when it comes to my stats vs. enemy stats. Fortunately, the game still uses the system of fixed number of enemies, so going methodical is still a good strategy. I'm also still super cash strapped when it comes to skill training; once I get everyone at Expert on their primary stuff I'm expecting things to go much smoother.
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SpaceBooger
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by SpaceBooger Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:53 pm

Playing Vay (Un-Worked patch: lower spell cost, no automatic HP/MP refill when leveling up & Inn are only 4 gold).
I bought this after playing Lunar and gave up. For some reason I decided to start again. I'm farther than I have ever been and just got the second orb - the wind orb.
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pierrot
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by pierrot Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:06 pm

I still don't own Vay, but I do kind of want to play it at some point. it seems like a pretty bog standard JRPG, though. Is there anything that sets it apart from other JRPGs?
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SpaceBooger
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by SpaceBooger Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:22 pm

Vay is a pretty standard no frills RPG. The story is well done and the cut scenes are nice.

The speed of the game is the best part. It has the fastest battles of any RPG that I have played... Even though there is one every three steps. The loading and speed of the battles are quick-real quick. The dungeons are not too big or too complex. The speed of the battles make grinding, which you were need to gain 2-3 levels between each dungeon, tolerable and not annoying.

I'm playing the Un-Worked Design patched version (returns stats to the original Japan release) so my only compliant is that when buying or equipping gear, magic, or items there is no description to what it is or what the stats are. I printed out a list of items and equipment to keep track to see if one item was better than another. If you are playing the original US version - the game is a bit more frustrating: most spells cost 200-600% more MP and the INN costs a ton.

I started playing it again because of the novelty of finding the patch, but now I'm determined to beat the second RPG that I ever bought. (Yes I was one of the few who bought a SEGA CD from Toys-r-Us back in the 90's and bought the games new of the shelf. After buying Vay I moved on to SNES RPGs.)
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by pierrot Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:26 pm

Is it still easier overall, even without the automatic recovery on level up? Not having item descriptions is definitely a pain. I'm so stubborn, though, that I usually just plow through, and try to figure out what stuff does as I go.

That's good to know about the battles being snappy. That's usually a plus in a game that's not really doing a lot with the battle system. I know it's a pretty big deal for a lot of Japanese gamers, too. At least with older RPGs. Going back to the Megami Tensei talk, one of the reasons people don't like the remake of Megami Tensei II on the SNES as much is because the battles aren't quite as snappy as the NES version.

Do have any idea about how far into the game you are?
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by SpaceBooger Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:03 am

Having the HP/MP restore makes the game easier... I'm not sure.
The US version the cost to use magic is crazy high so you almost need the automatic MP refill on leveling up so right before the boss you level up and restore everything while in the dungeon.
Here are examples of the MP increase for healing spells:
Jap -> US
Balm 2 -> 10 [+8 (500%)]
Neuman 9 -> 40 [+31 (444%)]
Restore 18 -> 80 [+62 (444%)]

In the JAP version, the cost of spells is lower but you have to use them sparingly if you want to use magic against the bosses or have a ton of items to refill HP and MP.

I think what makes the JAP version easier is that item stats were higher and the enemies were a bit weaker both about 10% different. Some say it evens out since you automatically restore HP/MP at every level so that harder-hitting enemies are not a big deal.

Victor Ireland himself posted back in 1994 that they purposely increased Vay's difficulty:
As you have guessed, Vay was made harder than the Japanese version. Much
harder. We wanted to be sure that all the "your games are great, but the
combat is brainless" letters were not written for naught. Maybe it's
a little too hard (just slightly), but at least it's not too easy. By the
time you reach the closing animation, there'll be a sense of accomplishment.

Popful mail is our next game. It's an Action/RPG originally programmed by
FALCOM!

DBTH - Vic


To see the difference between the versions of Vay check out The Cutting Room Floor it has tons of information about the differences.
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Nemoide
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by Nemoide Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:47 am

IIRC the last (or maybe second-to-last) of Vay was made RIDICULOUSLY HARD in the American version. Apparently Working Designs were doing some last-minute fiddling and didn't have time for a test-run after changing some values in that boss.
But I still beat the game when I was in high school; it just takes some grinding.

And it really is bog-standard JRPG. I had already played the Lunar games and Popful Mail on Sega CD when I got Vay and it gave me the bare minimum of what I wanted. It's okay. WD's loose translation adds a bit of charm IMO, but at its heart the game just isn't that special.
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by Ack Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:57 am

Eye of the Beholder III

Thus begins my going after the final piece of the Eye of the Beholder trilogy. Some background is needed before I get into the details though:

The EotB series was originally developed by Westwood Associates and published by Strategic Simulations, Inc., known as SSI. However, after two entries, Westwood shifted away, and SSI decided to handle development of the third game on its own. While the basics of the game were there, this meant that some key lessons regarding design were lost, and some subtle but significant changes were made to the gameplay when EotB3 was in production. However, the most notable feature, being able to port a continuous party over from the previous title, was still implemented, thus it is possible for those playing on the PC to run a single party through the entire EotB trilogy; in fact, considering monster choices in the third game at the start, I'd say it was pretty much expected.

When I say there were some key changes, I mean it. For example, one of the most unnoticed but critical differences is that monsters in EotB3 no longer move while the party is resting. You will never be forced awake by something crossing your path while you were trying to heal, which means if you can rest, you are completely safe. To make this slightly more difficult, SSI has a radar system which prevents the party from resting if a monster is too close. This may mean something is on the other side of a wall, so you might actually be safe, the game just registers that you're not.

So, how significant is this change? You can actually rest at a key moment during the final boss battle. Considering how tough the Westwood final bosses were, this makes the EotB3 finale a cakewalk by comparison.

Other major changes include some asshole level design that is viable but cruel. While EotB2 featured a section where you could not rest, null magic areas, and some nasty monster choices, the game never forced an underwater section. EotB3 does, along with null magic zones, forced limited resting areas, mazes, and tough monster fights right from the start. The changes make the game feel more like Dungeon Hack, developed around the same time for SSI by DreamForge Intertainment. The difference in Dungeon Hack is that you can actually turn off the chance for an underwater level. You can't in EotB3, so you're forced to use particular gear and specific classes to get through.

In fact, the magic using classes are vital to the point you cannot progress without them in EotB3, because you need Water Breathing and Dispel Magic spells, along with the usual Create Food & Water, Healing, Restoration, and so on that a Cleric provides. Up to this point, I've said a Cleric is the most important class in these games, and this is true due to the food and healing aspects; now you need to be sure you brought a Wizard too, or else you're screwed. Thankfully this trend changed in Dungeon Hack to just needing a Cleric...which is actually pretty funny, since you only have one character in that game, so why bother playing as anything else?

Now, EotB3 does provide one other important change, and that is a skippable section if you feel your party is good enough. In the beginning, you have the option of entering a mausoleum for two levels to find a Thief NPC, a Rod of Restoration, an ax to cut trees, and a special item that moves trees in the forest maze. Alternatively, you can find an ax outside, head into the forest, find an Everburning Torch, and burn the trees out of the way. The Rod of Restoration isn't that important if you have a high level Cleric, and since the enemies in the mausoleum can drain your stats to the point you NEED the Rod if you lack a Cleric, and I lacked a Cleric, I instead decided I'd rush to get a Cleric.

REMEMBER: CLERICS ARE FREAKING REQUIRED GODS IN THESE GAMES.

If you do not start with a Cleric, then the game starts as a mad dash to get one. I mad dashed, skipped the mausoleum, grabbed an ax, found the torch, and made my way through the forest maze full of invisible enemies to get to the city of Myth Drannor and grab one of two Clerics. Along the way, I found a Ranger who is also a Were-tiger, and I find his power so annoying that I may drop him and just bring both the Cleric NPC and the Cleric/Wizard NPC for the hell of it.

But back up: invisible enemies at the start? Oh yes! In the very first area, you're up against ethereal ghosts that require magic weapons to hit. In the mausoleum, you're fighting stat-draining zombies. The forest maze has minotaurs and invisible outsiders with two mouths and high attack stats. Myth Drannor has chimeras that shoot fireballs. All of these are nasty critters that would utterly trounce a level 1 party. My party is around level 9-12, and I can easily kick the asses of most of these guys, but they've been run through the gamut of the last two games to get to this point. Starting here would be tantamount to suicide. If you are at all interested in this series, play it from the start and port your party over.

Now I'm through the forest maze and sitting in Myth Drannor, a ruined city that takes up two map tiles. I've cleared out all of the chimeras and hags in the first map and am now working on slaying the trolls and wyverns in the second before I make my way into the Mage Guild to start the next proper dungeon. With a Cleric, this is generally easy, so long as I watch out for the wyvern's deadly poison. Once I finish that, I'm onto the Tower to take on a god. That should be fun.

A few other small changes: lock picks no longer work, so the Thief is only useful for fixing a few specific levers. Also, there are no petrifying enemies in this game, so Stone to Flesh is now useless. That said, paralysis, poison, and stat drains are still around, so keep your Cleric stocked up on spells.
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