Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Game 1: Phantasy Star (SMS) - Getting Acquainted

"Today I met Alis. What a day for introductions. Her brother died right in front of us at the hands of Lassic's robot enforcers (storm troopers?); lucky for us they don't appear sentient as they had little reaction to Alis running to her brother's aid (too little too late), and then swearing revenge on their leader. With his last few breaths Nero told us to avenge him and of a man that could help: Odin.

So we were left standing at the scene outside her house, alone and with only a name to go on. Too much had happened for her to ever return to her house; it never felt like home again, never again a place of rest or comfort. A kind neighbor, Suelo, asked us to stay with her as long as we needed. That same day we found Nekise who passed on to us an item given to him by Nero, a Laconian Pot. We've learned that Laconian is the strongest material known in the galaxy so this pot must have some worth, but we have not been able to pawn it anywhere for no shop keepers can pay its worth.

*Plop*! Okay, now what...

And so begins the journey into Phantasy Star. Like any new place, story, or world, it's a little awkward the first time I'm just plopped into the midst of things. It's strange how different our approach is in real life compared to games, wherein we typically find a new place and immediately start exploring and talking to everyone. When's the last time you went to a new town or the airport and just started chatting up every person you could find? It's an interesting take on life: everyone has something to add to the story, or my goals; some will need help, while others will offer it.

What the *&/%! A talking cat!

Anyway, the early levels are very difficult. Alis can only suffer through 1 battle with 1 monster, no more. I've been wary of this, and only been wiped out once due to some foolish overzealous exploring. If I didn't have a place to heal for free, then money would be very tight. Other than the tough combat, things are progressing well. Clues led me to locate Myau and Odin, and with their help, I believe I've grinded for enough experience and mesetas (money) to make combat less of a pain for now. Continuing to follow the piecemeal hints I found a cake store on the fourth floor of a dungeon, which I'm guessing will allow access to speak to the governor of Paseo (he likes sweets) and on to my next clue.

Demand is so high he had to move into a dungeon and charge exorbitant prices.
It's still early, but after the rough start alone with Alis, things have really picked up, and I'm definitely enjoying the game. One thing that bugs me though, which is not limited to this game, is the search command in the menu. I've yet to find a purpose for it here, but it leaves a lingering thought that I'm missing something if I don't search everywhere. It just takes so long to do that, so I've moved on from searching at every dead end. A second thing is the "lock and key" mechanism used for "quest items" that only appear once you're told about them. I know I searched the location where I found the dungeon key and the compass before learning about them, and nothing was there.

Fitting abbreviation for this item so late in the game.
I'm not at a lack for things to explore yet: there's a cave, Iala, southeast of Scion mentioned, which has some strong enemies; Baya Malay has a strange locked door, possibly by magic, and is located north of Scion; I'm told of a cave west of Parolit that leads to the Gothic Forest where I should find Dr. Luveno's lab, and a spaceship he's working on (although currently my path there is blocked by a river); Medusa is still lurking out in the world, and has a powerful axe; and lastly is Motavia where I'll deliver the cake, explore the planet as much as I can, and find a man named Noah as mentioned in the secluded Eppi village.



    To me, that's: "YOU FOUND SHiT. So What, Dude." XD

  2. I think the periods would find better use as an extra letter. Players are smart enough to realize SHRTSWRD is short sword. SHT. SWD. is just unfortunate. I'm not impressed with the treasure chests in dungeons so far. When a chest contains a sword that sells for 15, another chest has 30 mesetas, and the monsters drop 50 - 200 mesetas, I have to wonder why there are chests in the first place. Maybe all the monsters took all the money?

  3. Monsters raiding chests before you even get to them. Who said they didn't have good monster AI back then? ;)

  4. There is something classic about shortened weapon names to me, am I the only one?