Saturday, May 6, 2017

Game 6 - Maka Maka Part 2

Despite the bugs I am making progress through the game, and as long as I don't hit any game breaking bugs I should be able to finish it.

One big annoyance is dying (called "groggy" in the game). As far as I can tell, nobody ever learns a spell that can revive a person, and the one revive item in the game is very expensive and only shows up in stores over halfway through the game. Reviving in town is free, but this means that if enemies get a lucky critical or gang up on one person, you have to leave the dungeon. For me, the net effect of this is that I just want to overlevel outside of the dungeons and then run from every random encounter once I'm in the dungeon. I've always been averse to grinding -- I prefer to move on with the game and only do the "walk in circles levelling" if I absolutely have to. I guess other games have difficulty with reviving as well, but somehow it seems like the random encounter enemies do a lot more damage in this game.

I left off last time just having beaten the Gourmet Queen. So the next step is to head to Gourmet Castle and beat the Gourmet King:
Another gross enemy.
The next part of the game involves the Ul Ul people, who are an obvious parody of Ultraman. We need the power of Ul Ul Man in order to rescue Dr. Pascal, turned into ice.
...but Ul Ul Man is too old.
You first have to go through some hoops to get to the Ul Ul Planet, and lose Johnny along the way. But this frees up your party to get Ul Ul Boy. In order to teach Ul Ul Boy the technique to unfreeze Dr. Pascal, you have to make your way up Ul Ul Tower. This place is a buggy mess where I kept getting caught in black screens where I couldn't move and had to use items to escape the dungeon and try again. I've also been having more problems with the spell window -- I mentioned before that only the main character's spells can be used outside of battle. But sometimes even that doesn't work, and you get a list of glitched spells and a cursor moving around outside the box. Sometimes if you have another character use the hero's spells, it only takes off that character's TP, other times it subtracts both the main character and the using character's TP.

Finally you get UB's technique and the Ul Ul Car, which lets you go around more quickly and without encounters. If you run into a barrier it's an automatic encounter, which is a good way to level up. You also get a rocket that lets you go to any town you've visited for free. This let me go back to the initial town and pick up a powerful dress for the girlfriend. 

Now we've unfrozen Dr. Pascal and fought this creepy face:
This was in the commercial
Dr. Pascal and the assembled scientists can't turn your parents back human, so we now have to look for Dr. Maka Maka. The goal is to find a ship, and the bizarreness starts again. In order to get the ship, you have to do the following:
  • Get slapped by a "huge hand old woman" to swell the main character's face
  • Find another "huge face" guy who agrees to let you fight in the arena
  • Fight a boss in the arena, win the Silver Fruit 
  • Give the silver fruit to the "huge bowl boy" who uses the liquid in his bowl to heal you and protect you from future swellings
  • Defeat "huge hand old woman", then she gets attacked by a seagull and thrown into the ship, becoming part of the ship and thus allowing it to be piloted.
What is going on!?

The next area has a large field of flowers that blocks your way, with fairies that kiss you and cause illness. The whole area is all female enemies:
Queen Bees and rambunctious girls
Once again the progression of the story is off the rails. You have to turn female so that you can get into a hot springs and get something that will protect you against the fairies. But to do this, you need the help of Michi, a guy who turned into a girl because of Ramone, a catwoman in Ramone Castle. After delivering some love letters Michi helps you in and you turn into a girl. Michi also turns back to a guy but it turns out the guy she loved was also a guy, so she turns back into a girl forever and later joins your party.
Now you can go to the women's hot spring, then turn back into a guy and go to the fairy park, where it turns out the fairies are actually noses with legs that you have to fight as a boss fight. (Incidentally, while you're women you can't get into fights, presumably because they didn't want to program additional battle sprites and animations.)

Next we continue our goal of reaching Atlas Mountain to find Dr. Maka Maka. First we need to find the legendary Silver Sword to be able to kill some beast awaiting us. This involves going through a cave that is as bad as the Ul Ul Tower with glitches -- there are constant graphical glitches showing random terrain on the sides of the screen, and you can once again get caught in black areas or in the middle of a wall and have to escape the cave.

Atlas Mountain has mostly ice enemies, which makes them good targets for Ul Ul Boy's fire beam and the girlfriend's fire spells. In general the random enemies in this game are strong, with many of them having attacks that hit 2 or all 4 of your guys for pretty harsh damage.

Once we reach Atlas mountain we have to go through a number of challenges before we reach the "monster" that the Silver Sword is necessary to beat (by the way, if you drop or sell the sword you can't finish the game -- this would be a pretty stupid thing to do, but the game lets you do it.)
Even a werewolf isn't allowed to be a normal enemy
This is an annoying fight because the only thing that hurts him is the main character attacking with the Silver Sword, and the boss has a heal spell. Everyone else can only heal or use support magic (UB has useful defense down and attack down spells). This took a long time to do, but I was probably underlevelled.

The werewolf turns out to be Dr. Yan, who Dr. Maka Maka did experiments on. Now we discover the research notes and diaries, and learn that Maka Maka wants to turn the entire world into water fleas, and our main character's parents were the first victims. Now we have the end goal in sight, to find the Maka Maka castle and shut down Dr. Maka Maka's dreams.

I should say more about the party characters I've picked up so far.

The main character is a college student and a silent protagonist. He has ice-related spells and fortunately some heal spells (since you can only use his spells on the map). He fights with swords.

The girlfriend gets unusually powerful equipment compared to everyone else, and has fire spells and fights with a ribbon

Johnny is a travelling explorer; he uses a box to sneak onto the plane at the beginning and then always appears in a box after that. He throws knives. (He leaves the party after being squashed by the Ul Ul ship)

Ul Ul Boy is a ripoff of Ultraman. He has a really useful command that damages a group with fire damage and hurts him for about 20 HP. His weapons are a glove.

Masa is a chef, trying to be the best chef in the world. He has very few spells, mostly just sword techniques. His weapon is a kitchen cleaver. (He leaves the party to train more to be worthy of the Masamune)

Michi (in the last image above) is the stereotypical "cool schoolgirl" but in this case is a man turned into a woman by a magical fountain. She uses yoyos as her weapon.

There are two more characters that I haven't gotten yet.

A major question about this game that often comes up on Japanese sites is whether it would be a good game without the bugs. I'm not so sure but I'll withhold judgment until I finish the game.


  1. Really good progress.

    It's realy nice to see such a detailed playthrough of this game.

    1. It's certainly an unusual game. With all the standard fantasy world games out there, at least I can say Maka Maka tried something different.