Saturday, February 11, 2017

Game 1 - GDLeen Part 3

At the end of the last post I had just gotten a second magician, Rood. We've been tasked with going to a temple to Gavana, where a follower of Zuul, an evil god of some sort, has taken over along with the Bavalis. Unfortunately Fana is immediately captured when you reach there, so it's good the game gave me this extra guy, although I still know nothing about him except his name.


One nice thing about the game is that the escape dungeon and "warp to town" items are very cheap, so it's easy to go off to the next place without grinding and get away if you're hurt. In the temple there are a bunch of ghosts; former followers of Gavana who are wondering if he really exists. You can quickly beat the Zuul follower but then you have to head down to the basement to find Fana. You do find her, and the Bavalis soldier isn't happy about having to capture her as a sacrifice. Another Bavalis soldier, a commander, lets you pass without attacking so you can find the truth about what's going on. The truth is a computer called Zegma, which has come to believe itself to be Gavana.

The second boss fight

This isn't a very hard fight; Zegma doesn't do much damage so as long as he doesn't critical you to death you can use Rood's magic to heal and beat him up quickly. Once he's beaten he realizes he's not actually Gavana, but just a computer. He tells Ryuu that if he can make it to Coldarn he can escape back into space. We take the "gate of time" to the Gavana Temple in Edona, the capital of the Mayoor.
The Gate of Time
We must find Tal Ho!
 In Edona we learn that in order to meet Gavana we have to make it through Coldarn, but the Messenger of Gavana there will block us if we don't have the qualifications. The only one who has those in the area is Tao Ho the magician (another one!?), so it's off to find him. Edona is pretty big and has a number of shops, so I made sure to upgrade everyone's equipment and buy a lot of Monster Repellent to cut down on the random encounters somewhat. A bizarre feature of this town is that there are random encounters in it -- GDLeen doesn't seem to believe in safe places.
The only shop with a toilet.

I had forgotten about the old RPG problem of townspeople blocking your way.

Tao Ho is in the Grande Ruins, so it's off to find him. The dungeon is run of the mill, but once we fight through a lot of encounters and grab treasure chests, Tao Ho is there...and sends us on a fetch quest back to the town for a magic book in a tower that's in Edona. He's trying to save a girl beyond the door but can't get through.

Thanks a lot, Tal Ho.

 The tower is another monster-filled dungeon that has more chests and random encounters, but eventually we reach a boss guarding the Spellbook:

"Foopy"? Presumably there's a better way to romanize that.
The boss doesn't really have much threat; with two magic users capable of casting powerful heal spells, the only potential problem is an unlucky critical. Barring that you just beat him up and then take the Spellbook. Time to head back through the whole Grande Ruins to reach Tao Ho again. Once there, Tao Ho pronounces Rood to be useless, and he leaves, so I guess he was just a placeholder character until Tao Ho joins:
Tao Ho
He's at a lower level and knows fewer spells than Rood. I recognize him from the image in Digan no Maseki, the prior game based on the novels, so I guess he's probably a prominent character in those books. Now with the spellbook we can open the door and go in to fight Hatty:

These names sound better in Japanese, I think.
Hatty's a little harder than the prior bosses. He casts defensive and healing spells, and hits pretty hard -- I died the first time because I wasn't healing enough, but the second time I used strength up spells on Ryuu and got luckier with Hatty's actions, so he went down. He does mention that Zuul followers have stolen the secret treasure of Edona. Now we save the girl and go back to town. Apparently the secret treasure was a Heavenly Rudder, necessary to control the ship, so now even if we can get to Gavana, Ryuu won't be able to return to Earth. The Edona priest suggests we go find Oro, who knows more about the Gavana legend and might be able to give us another way. Meanwhile someone comes in to tell Fana that her mother is sick, so she has to leave the party for a while to go care for her -- she promises to follow us.

The graphics of this game are very dreary, as you might be able to tell from the screenshots. There's a lot of dull green, brown, and grey. It makes walking through the various areas more tedious than it otherwise might be. From glancing at a walkthrough just to see my progress it looks like this is around the halfway point in the game.


  1. I rarely see games with random encounters inside towns, so that's interesting.

    Also, good progress so far.

    1. Eh? That happens in Might & Magic and Wizardry.

      Also, I'm wondering just how much these 2 franchises have influenced JRPG development.

      Both games bar no holds in mixing fantasy and sci-fi. Almost every fantasy JRPG I've played have been extremely liberal in including modern or futuristic weapons (firearms and laser guns)/vehicles (airship and submarines)/characters (robots and cyborgs).

    2. Wizardry and Ultima III are the two biggest influences on JRPGs -- I don't think Might and Magic registered much.

    3. The first two Ultima games were full of ray guns and spaceships and time machines. Wizardry didn't really have sci-fi elements until #6's ending (which segued into #7 going full sci-fi)

    4. Of course the sci-fi/fantasy mix in this game comes from the source novels, which is less likely to have been influenced by video games. Mixing sci-fi and fantasy was a staple of Western books at the time, although I don't know how much of that had made its way to Japan (or if Japan had that same "tradition").

    5. I believe the originator of the "fantasy world as artificially-constructed experiment/theme park/safari" was Philip Jose Farmer's World of Tiers series, which were published in the 1960s and were translated into Japanese as the 階層宇宙シリーズ. The World of Tiers series was also listed in the "Inspirational Reading" appendix of the 1st edition AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide.

  2. You're right. I guess the "last boss is a frickin' computer" had to start somewhere.