Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates.
I'm playing games but won't have any updates until after New Year; expect Farland Story 2 on the other blog probably next weekend, and then back here for Kishin Korinden Oni.
This is the third (and last) game in the Tenshi no Uta series. I played the first two, which were for PC Engine. Some places (such as GameFAQs) incorrectly say this is a remake of the PC Engine game, which it is not.
The first game took place in a fictionalized Britain, with Christianity explicitly replacing the pagan religions. The second game was a direct sequel and began in a different world but ended up in Britain again. This game is still a sequel to the first two but takes place many years later, entirely in another world, and has only a tenuous connection to the previous games. The plot it mostly a rehash of elements from the first two games.
The battle system is pretty standard AMID (Dragon Quest II style). The only innovation is a negotiation system. Before each battle, you can choose to talk to enemies instead of fighting them. They might get mad and attack you (usually with a free turn for them). Otherwise you can choose a language to speak to them in. At first you only have gestures, but you can learn other languages throughout the game. After that they still might get mad with the same result. The negotiation can also fail. But if it succeeds you can ask them for money, gold, items, or friendship. Any way it turns out you gain some negotation experience and if you at least tried to talk to them your friendship level with that monster goes up. Sometimes monsters will show up randomly in combats and attack the enemies if you're friends enough with them. This all makes the random encounters somewhat more interesting than normal.
The main character, Reyard, is the son of a blacksmith. One day he encounters a mysterious girl named Krana in the woods.
Soon, Krana is abducted by Rannell, the son of a local Duke. Reyard of course decides to go after her along with some friends. He meets up with Leon along the way, an expert swordsman who helps Reyard train. It turns out there's a resistance movement against Rannell. Reyard is able to join up with them and beat up Rannell, rescuing Krana. Now Rannell is sought out by demonic powers and becomes a demon.
One odd aspect of this game is that at certain points, you are just awarded bonus levels (4-6 levels, but it may depend on how much grinding you did). Overall the difficulty level is not high, but there are parts where the enemies hit hard and it's tough to run away from them. There were one or two dungeons where I got a bunch of game overs, but by the end of the game it's not too hard.
Once we get the five symbols, we're in the last stage of the game. The three Lucifer generals are in a long cave leading down to the underworld.
By this time I did not find the game very difficult. Sophia heals, everyone else attacks, and a few buff spells make it pretty easy.
Lucifer is at the bottom in the underworld.
This is not a bad game at all. It's no masterpiece but it's definitely worth a play, especially with the patch. The lack of voice acting is unfortunate compared to the first games but I thought this was a more fun game to play. The story isn't as interesting because it lacks the real-world Britain of the first games and the idea of the conflict between Christianity and the pagan religions. Instead this is just a normal RPG world with demon names taken from Christianity. I think if we could have Tenshi no Uta II with the SNES game's system that would be the best of both worlds.
So I was going to make a short post about this game but I'm not sure I could add anything to the Hardcore Gaming 101 coverage of it, and CRPG Addict's series on Knights of Xentar (the English localization). The game is not really worth playing.
The main mystery surrounding this game is why Megatech Software decided to make the changes they did in the localization. In the original DK3, Takeru comes to a town during his journey with no real goal, and thieves accost him. He normally doesn't like to draw his sword against humans so they're able to beat him up and take his stuff. In the English localization, he stumbles into town drunk, and the same thing happens. In DK3, he goes to beat up bandits to get his stuff back and figures out that the leader is actually a demon. In KoX, there's this bizarre dialogue about the bandits coming to the town and impregnating women with "demon seed". Desmond (the KoX main character) smells really bad and has a tiny penis, neither of which is in DK3.
So why did they do this? My only guess is this. They were trying to introduce the world of Japanese eroge to western players who were totally unfamiliar with it. Perhaps they felt that they needed to make it more crassly comic and insulting to make it less creepy or offputting to an audience who might not have reacted well to a cartoon porn game that took itself (fairly) seriously. But I really don't know. I also wondered if the localizers themselves found the game creepy and were taking a kind of revenge by translating it this way.
There are two more Dragon Knight games that I will be playing -- I will at least start the Dragon Knight 1 remake for PCE which is still another year or so away. Dragon Knight IV is an SRPG that was released for SNES, Playstation, and PC-FX (the followup to the PC Engine). I'll be playing the Playstation version (which seems to be the most polished remake) on my other blog relatively soon.
I've already finished Tenshi no Uta so that post should come out this weekend.
The system and the way the game works is nearly identical to the first game, so please review my post on that game. The only major change is that you can now level your classes up to 10 instead of 5. There are also more missions than the first game, and there is more story. The game shares the same flaws as the first game, but I liked it in spite of that -- the game was clearly created by people who were familiar with playing tabletop RPGs, and each mission feels like an abstracted tabletop gaming session. In my experience, only Pool of Radiance shares that quality, and I would say that in some ways these two Sword World games feel even more tabletop-like than the AD&D Gold Box ones. (However, I think that this game goes further towards standard video game RPG elements than the first game did.)
As in the first game you start out creating a character. This time I went with a Dwarf Fighter-Priest. One visual change in this game is that you have the option to see the dice rolling for everything. This slows down the game a lot and I did not enable it, but I think that if you knew the actual SW tabletop rules this would be a useful option. Although I don't know how authentic it is; if you had the SW rulebook could you actually know exactly what die roll you were aiming for? The game itself does not tell you.
You can then go around the Inn and recruit some characters. I went with these:
My main party was Arveil and Kurisu who were focusing on fighters (I leveled up Kurisu's priest ability until he could use Cure Disease since that seems to be the only way to heal it), and one Sorcerer and Shaman.
I got a comment from an anonymous user that aligned with something I had been thinking for a while -- the progress on this blog has slowed down too much because of the SRPG blog. I want to do both projects, but I think doing a 1-to-1 alternation is naturally prioritizing the other blog because the SRPGs tend to be longer. Lately I haven't even been averaging one game a month on this blog, which is far too slow.
I have two possible fixes for this -- one is to do 2-to-1 favoring this blog unless the SRPG is very short (like Tenchi Muyo! I just did which only took me 4 days). The second is to play SRPGs and the SNES RPGs at the same time so that I always have a post to make here each weekend. This might be a better option although I have never liked playing multiple RPGs at once. Or if readers have any other ideas?
Tomorrow or Sunday I will have a new update with Sword World SFC 2 and I have started Tenshi no Uta so I will have updates here for the next few weekends and hopefully I can go more quickly here in the future.