Sunday, August 11, 2013

Game 17: Destiny of an Emperor (NES) - And Bei Begat Feng

I've heard "Role Playing Simulation" is the Japanese term for this genre
It's hard to believe the game is only just getting started; it already feels repetitive. As repetitive as a strategy game. As repetitive as Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Apparently they've done a great job at simulating the source material.
I am fame!
I was a little reluctant to write this post. The amount of material doesn't seem to warrant a full write-up, but the amount of time should. There is very little deviation from what I've done so far: siege a castle, defeat warlords, recruit random generals, repeat.
Well, *try* to recruit random generals
After being stuck figuring out how to cross the river, I thought I'd face further challenges. I  found reordering my guys changed the marching order on the screen as well as battle. This meant I could now have Han Zhong speak on my behalf.
Ignore Liu Bei standing next to me
Across the river the Zhang brothers were waiting for me. The other two generals that joined them in the head on castle siege were nowhere to be found. This made the assault much simpler, and the brothers were killed. Wait, killed? This surprised me, as I always heardNintendo of America went out of their way to censor dialogue so that "kill" and "dead" were removed from all released games. I guess a few cases slipped through.

Back at the castle, as expected, Tao Qian appointed Liu Bei as his successor. I wonder what would happen had I turned Qian down. What I didn't know is this meant he would no longer lead us in battle. Instead we would be led by Liu Feng. Who?
Who's your father?
Apparently while I'd been traveling, Liu Bei had a son or adopted a son, or this guy who is now leading my party is from a completely different Liu family. Well, let's just roll with it. The unbreakable oath taken at the beginning of the game doesn't seem as solid anymore.

My exploits in suppressing the Yellow Scarves spread quickly, and a messenger from Cao Cao (I remember him being important) was sent to urge us to deal with Dong Zhou. Dong Zhou's army had been fighting the Yellow Scarves as well to the south, but with them out of the way he and Lu Bu have made a power play.
The report on Lu Bu shows he is very strong
I could give a list of generals I've fought, those I've recruited, and the cities I've passed through. The amount of details though is about as interesting as reading those passages of the bible that list out the lineage of certain families. I'll try to keep it to minimum.
Is this going to on the final?
Beyond Dong Zhou's initial encampment I found a cave that contained a gold key. I thought this might be a side quest, but it unlocked a secret door in someone named Wang Yun's house. Hidden there was the Gemsword, a key item to recruit Lu Bu. Yet, even having faced Lu Bu with the Gemsword, I haven't been given the option to recruit him. Maybe I should use it on him?
Cleverly hidden from those poor colorblind gamers
While chasing Lu Bu and Dong Zhou, I heard a prophecy: Liu Bei is to unite the 5 tigers (Guan Yu and Zhang Fei are two) and defeat the dragon. The intro suggests someone named Huang Zhong is another. I suppose Lu Bu is either one of the tigers or the dragon. Currently it's the only quest I have beyond "kill the next warlord."
Or, kill the next warlord three times...
I've attempted to get a handle on the tactics, but I've found they fail too often. I'm not sure what prevents success, so rather than waste my points on failed attacks I store them to heal. At least the defensive ones don't have a chance of failure.
Everyone tried to cast fire and failed on the two generals
After a number of castles I finally arrived at Chang An, the final haven of Dong Zhou. This castle is near a river, so in addition to fire tactics I could attempt to use water; however, so can the enemy.
Chang An, finally
Tactics are strange. It seems I learn them in a set order, but I also unlearn some to make room for others. Once I learned water protection, I lost fire protection. I'm pretty sure I would rather have both in exchange for a dead tactic like increase agility.
Never a success when I use it
With the help of elixirs I stocked up on, I managed to keep my health up, and defeated Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu. Although, I have a feeling Lu Bu got away, I finally killed Dong Zhou.
Who's the next warlord?
I summoned Liu Bei to Chang An. When he arrived so did a messenger from Cao Cao. He informed us that Yuan Shu had found the imperial seal and planned to us its authority to appoint himself emperor. I guess he's next on my list.
This is Zhao Yun; he would like to join me, but he's already employed
The random battles have been getting steadily more difficult. Chang An gave me a chance to upgrade my equipment for the first time since the beginning. Not every castle or town has all amenities: inn to sleep, record keeper to save, bar to organize army, and the shops. I'm lucky to even find an inn.

I haven't needed to purchase food; my reserves were growing fat just from conquering. Due to my savings I was able to purchase all upgrades available. Even so, I ran into a random battle worse than any set battles. I think I might need to build up some levels or get more generals.
Luckily I was at full health entering this battle
Zhang Fei and Guan Yu are the only ones that gain more soldiers with each level. That means I need to recruit new generals to stand a chance against more powerful enemies. It leaves me with little connection to the generals such as Yang Jin, a pirate, or Wang Gui, who I can't remember why he joined me. Oh, how I'd love to get Lu Fan or Han Xian on my side. I expect soon Liu Feng will be replaced by someone more capable. Maybe Liu Bei will come back with better stats.

Sessions Time: 3h23m (Total Time: 6h05m)


  1. Go go mighty morphing power generals! :)

    1. It took my longer than I'd like to admit to understand the reference.

  2. I can't help but think that the battle system is a result of squeezing RoTK's army combat mechanics into something resembling Final Fantasy more than Dragon Warrior, I suppose. It doesn't seem like an elegant solution, but then Capcom and RPG games won't be mixing well for quite some time after Destiny of an Emperor.

    This game did receive a Famicom-only sequel and has been translated into English. I wish I had the time to give it a whirl.

    1. I think this was their first RPG, but Willow and Sweet Home turned out well within the same year. Probably different teams.

    2. Maybe it's like Windows: every other one is good. Breath of Fire was pretty mediocre, but Breath of Fire II was really good.

    3. ARGGGG.

      Windows 3.1: Good
      Windows 95: Bad
      Windows NT: Good
      Windows 98: Good
      Widndows ME: BAD
      Windows 2000: Good
      Windows XP: Good
      Windows Vista: Bad
      Windows 7: Good
      Windows 8: Bad

      SEE? There are multiple cases where it doesn't work out, most notably 2000 and XP, both of which were excellent, and this doesn't even count the sever versions, which have all been excellent.

    4. I thought 2000 and NT were server versions. Discounting those (because no one really used them in mass consumer products) it actually fits very well.

    5. I used NT on the desktop but yes, it was a server product. 2000 had both server and desktop versions; my high school was all 2000 for a long time. However, XP came out a year after that, so it vanished pretty quickly, since it didn't have long to build up an installed base. CBC was also on Windows 2000 for a long time as I recall.

    6. Late to the party, but depends on how you look at it. While it was released for home use, you pretty much only saw NT for business/office use. I don't know anyone who had NT at home, especially with a fairly ridiculous (at the time) memory requirement. There were also multiple versions of NT.

      Windows 3.1 (Good) Pretty much a new product, I'm not sure what we're comparing it to. There were plenty of issues. You also had a Win32 add-on, WinG, plus Windows 3.11, an entirely different release.

      Windows 95 (Bad) There was a Windows 95 "A" and "B" release. "B" was an improvement. Compared to Windows 3.1(1), this was an improvement, but not as good as...

      Windows 98 (Good) This is entirely subjective. Windows 98 was better than Windows 95, but not terribly good. Microsoft got smart and released all the patches to Windows 98 as an entirely new product (Windows 98SE) that most notably added USB support. 98SE is the version people refer to as good.

      Windows ME (Bad) There's no dispute here. I don't know what Microsoft was thinking. I'm fairly certain they weren't.

      Windows 2000 (Good? Bad?) Windows 2000 brought in a lot of firsts. It's the first version of Windows to entirely drop DOS in favor of the NT kernel. It's also the first attempt at merging the 98 and NT lines into one operating system. Business OS meets home OS. It similar to Windows 95 in that it's an improvement over its predecessor, but not as good as its successor. So which is it? Good as previously listed or bad like Windows 95?

      Windows XP (Good) Plenty of early complaints about this one. It wasn't until Service Pack 2 that this OS started to gain ground. (See 98SE).

      Windows Vista (Bad) Yup. Another rushed product with buggy new featues no one wanted.
      Windows 7 (Good)
      Windows 8 (Bad) Haven't used this one, but the reviews aren't stellar but...
      Windows 8.1 (Good) At least from what I've heard.

      So, ignoring the ambiguous rating for Windows 2000 (even though most all of them are ambiguous), the Bad/Good cycle really isn't too far off the mark.

      So I come across Zenic's blog as a result of reading the CRPG Addict and Trickster's blog and get interested in reading about console RPGs. I'm catching up (obviously I'm close) and my first post is about Windows systems. Go figure.

      Anyway, fun reading so far and, well, I'm not looking forward to being caught up. Then I'll have to wait for the next post like everyone else!

    7. The only person I knew that had NT at home worked as a net admin during the day.

      Glad to see you around Cush, and good to know you're enjoying your stay. I try to post at least once a week, but life gets busy sometimes.

    8. Thanks, glad to be here. I know what you mean. I teamed up to play Front Mission 4 (PS2) with a friend, so game time consisted of times we were both free. Took well over two years from start to finish.

    9. I used NT in 2005 when I was with Atomic Energy of Canada; being a high school student we got the oldest computers around. It was pure 95 in the UI, but was far, far more stable. Programs would crash without taking the whole OS down with them (and Word 2000 crashed a *lot* on us due to the huge images we kept trying to make it handle).

      I knew people who far preferred 2000 to XP, at least before SP2, as it was much easier to manage, and didn't screw around with the UI as much.

      Basically, there are some trends, but it feels like people are only looking at the really common versions (No 2003 Sever, 2000 Server, NT, etc) so that they can make an old Star Trek law apply to Windows.