Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Game #50: Traysia (Genesis) - Dreaming of Better Times

Game 50

Title: Traysia
Released: 1992 (February 1992 JPN)
Platform: Genesis
Developer: Telnet Japan
Publisher: Renovation Products
Genre: RPG
Exploration - Top-down
Combat - Turn based
Series - Standalone



And don't come back if you lose it
This has got to be the most generic fantasy RPG I've ever played. End post, end game, nothing to see here. Even the story doesn't bother to give much motivation. The main character, Roy, has a good life, but he's always dreamed of other lands. So, he says farewell to his girlfriend, Traysia, and follows his traveling merchant uncle to another town. He's there left to fend for himself as his uncle has to travel to other lands that only allow merchants. Something tells me this traveling thing wasn't well thought out.
*Plop*
The first NPC gave me the lowdown for the game. Visit towns, find out what the mayor or sage wants me to do, and get it done. Magic shops for magic, weapon shops for weapons and armor, item and general stores for food and accessories, and inns to save the game. It costs money to stay, so saving is only possible with enough gold. Strangely, the save happens before the party is healed, so upon reloading I either need to stay again or find a doctor that specializes in only healing.
Question: "Would you like to continue playing the game?" -- I foolishly accepted
The mayor of Salon, fondly called Master, was getting groups of men together to defeat the monsters that were attacking merchants as they passed the nearby forest. I got paired with Magellan, a tank-like character that uses swords (like Roy except better); Banegie, a mysterious knight covered from head to toe in full body armor; and Floyd, a mage capable of using fire, thunder, and lightning spells. They came with additional gold and items that allowed me to purchase the best equipment available for every member.
Magic in battle is always cast in a straight line
The combat system is rather unique to a Genesis RPG. It begins by selecting an action for each character: fight a target, cast a spell, defend (and move), or attempt a party retreat. Once actions are assigned the turn is carried out in a deterministic order based on character speed. The first town has nearly every spell in the game, and they're all relatively inexpensive that it's possible to purchase them all before fighting the first boss without much grinding. Even so, they're hardly worth it, and healing isn't possible during battles. Moving in combat follows a set pattern, carrying out vertical movement before horizontal. If there's someone in the way, then it'll cancel that character's turn. Leveling up produces only small gains for most characters. Every battle (except one) has been a cake walk.
Cahoots, there's a word you don't see very often
Turned out that Floyd and the master were the bad guys. They're running some kind of scheme to lure all the men and adventurers from Salon into the woods, and killing them off in small groups. Before he fled, Floyd mentioned he would frame the party for the murders. The boss of the cave isn't even worth a mention, but the fighting caused a cave-in that forced me to seek help from the Stone Village on the other side of the mountain. Unfortunately, I ran into the one enemy that could wreck my party at this stage of the game. Crawlers killed Roy in two hits. If Roy dies, then it's game over. Playing it a little safer I was able to avoid death by having Magellan tank difficult enemies, exploiting the AI's movement.
No indication, but the wood is at this one spot even though there are trees everywhere
The mayor of Stone Village suggested I seek the forest to the west for some wood. Once collected, a craftsman offered to build me a raft. He said it'd take some time and to meet him by the river later. After finding yet another specific location, this time along the river, that triggered an event, I received the raft. Taking the raft back to Salon resulted in the loss of the raft, even though I was told I could use it as much as I wanted.
It's not all about you, Magellan!
Back near Salon the party had a touching time with some character development. Roy shared that he was traveling just because, and dumped Traysia for the unknown. Magellan mentioned that he traveled for the same reason, left behind the love of his life as well, but now could no longer return home. Banegie was just your average adventurer wearing full body armor. I liked how Roy's story included cutscenes along with a melody full of melancholy.
One of the memories Roy recalls of Traysia as we assume he's describing it to the others
Waiting for us in Salon were a couple of warlocks from the North. Floyd was one of their own, but betrayed them. Now they're seeking revenge. The one dressed in red put the town to sleep to protect the party from the wrath of the townspeople, as my name had been so tarnished that my story wouldn't be accepted as truth. Bellenue joined, and I found Floyd and the master hiding in a previously inaccessible portion of a house on the north side of town.
My confidence in this translation is shaken
I'd like to take this opportunity, as I tried to grind Bellenue up a level, to point out that this is not a well polished game. In addition to an eyebrow raising translation, the walking is not smooth, there are load times between screen transitions (e.g. entering buildings, exiting towns), and stat growth is very slow (1 HP levels are very common for Roy). Scrolling the screen seems to take a pause every half screen, and after speaking to an NPC the game freezes before resuming. There are times where the sprites will flicker around the screen. Add in the oversight of saving at an inn before healing the party, and it says to me that this game wasn't play tested. I just hope it's actually beatable.
The game is separated into chapters
Defeating Floyd and the master freed the people of Salon, but Floyd escaped while he weren't looking. The sage in town assured us that the townspeople would one day know the truth. I bought out the magic shop, and headed off to the next adventure. Oh, and we had another party revelation. Bellenue reaffirmed her commitment to destroying Floyd, and Banegie turned out to be a woman. "This is the beginning of a new adventure!" the party exclaimed.
*Plop* 2
The next area was rather simple. The enemies were only slightly more powerful, and I had plenty of funds to purchase all the new (best) equipment. This made all the fights in this chapter very simple. I arrived outside a Gypsy camp where I learned that the kingdoms of Lyudes and Iyuves were starting to war. The mayor of the Selvies asked me to speak to the kings then return, and both told a similar story. They were attacked by the other kingdom, and were gearing up to retaliate. The Selvies stayed neutral, but the mayor revealed he'd seen some rebels in a nearby cave.
Oh, you mean that cave where I found a suspicious robed man that wouldn't let me in?
During my travels through the desert I ran across a sword master that I bested easily. (Actually, he nearly killed Magellan). On the advice of the mayor, I broke up the rebel forces, but the kings did not believe a third party was inciting the war. I spoke to the wise sword master, and he suggested I kidnap the prince and princess of each kingdom to make them listen. Somehow my party thought that was a great idea, and so did the prince and princess when I asked them to steal away with me in the middle of the night. They ended up falling in love with each other during their travels to the swordsman's hermitage, and their union united the kingdoms.
It's always the advisor
Even though the kingdoms were no longer at war, I had some unfinished business with the rebels. There were ruins to the northwest that had previously been sealed by a mysterious force. In them I found and dispatched the rebels. Everyone left alive thanked me, and I headed off to the Town of Adventurers.
*Plop* 3
Each chapter is completely separate from the previous with no way to return to previous lands. I contemplated this after getting stuck in the Town of Adventurers. There were no random encounters, and nothing of note beyond the town. The town is actually reportedly 13 layers of towns built on top of each other collectively known as the Empire or Sandora. Roy had his pendant stolen in the Town of Thieves, but recovered it from the mayor after yet another heartfelt retelling of the love he left behind. Roy then agreed to help him by attending the school of magic in the Town of Mages. The mages had their own trouble as a group of rogue mages burned down the school after I graduated. Each town is locked, and only the mayors have the keys. The king in the Town of Kings granted me audience to discuss the matter of the rogue mages.
I found many Book of Magic, but I have no clue what they do... probably nothing as I bought all the spells already
I met the king, and he told me to seek out the Town of Noblemen to further my investigation. Someone else made mention of South Town, but all I could find were North and East towns. I found some craftsmen that were used to build an underground house, then were left to rot in a cave. Under East Town was a strange room that constantly spawned battles with some kind of spectres. I was now at a dead end with no idea how to get to South Town, Town of Noblemen, or Town of Swordsmen (also mentioned by random NPCs). I spent another 2 hours looking for them, but I'll save that for the next post.
So do I... so do I
I like the idea of a town that takes the focus away from combat, but doing so in this game actually glares light on the drudgery of walking around, the sluggish dialogue crawl, and the incomprehensible description of events. If this were a better game, then I might welcome exploring such a town, but here and now I couldn't stand searching each town, especially when I got stuck. I'm hoping the game wraps up soon.
There are supposed to be hints about what to do next from the party, but they're completely worthless
Elapsed Time: 7h34m (Total Time: 7h34m)

4 comments:

  1. Traysia is definitely finishable, I promise. You're at or beyond the halfway point. Incidentally, the interconnected-town area has the only optional sidequest in the game, AFAIK.

    The game can be obtuse about where you have to go or what you have to do next. I think I consulted a FAQ a couple times. It's typically a matter of visiting the right spot, or talking to the right NPC at the right time, in order to trigger a cutscene of some sort.

    Running from battles is quite easy to do as long as you have every character attempt to run, and there is no penalty. I enthusiastically recommend running from any random encounter that seems too boring or annoying.

    I never encountered any bugs that could make the game unwinnable. I did encount two beneficial bugs that can make an already easy game ridiculously easy, which I'll summarize in ROT-13:

    Bug #1 (Infinite Money) - Vs lbh pbzcyrgr gur fvqrdhrfg va gur vagrepbaarpgrq gbjaf, lbh pna gnyx gb gur thl jub erjneqf lbh bire naq bire, naq ur'yy tvir lbh zbarl rnpu gvzr. V oryvrir guvf bccbeghavgl tbrf njnl bapr lbh rkvg gur thl'f ebbz.

    Bug #2 (Nearly-Invulnerable Party) - Lbh pna rdhvc zhygvcyr fgvpx vgrzf ba rnpu bs lbhe cnegl zrzoref gb znxr gurz vagb avtu-vzzbegny jnyxvat sbegerffrf.

    This is really a terrible game. Gorgeous cover art on the box, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually finished the game shortly after this post went live. I find bug #2 on my own, and gladly abused it to get through the game as quickly as possible. Also, there must be something more to bug #1 as I talked to him more than once, and don't remember him mentioning the reward (only to come back next month). The main trigger I was missing was locating the door to the Town of Swordsmen, which I'll cover in the final post out soon (TM).

      Delete
    2. I personally exploited the infinite money bug when I played Traysia, because I wanted to buy the best weapons and power though the rest of the game as quickly as possible. Even when kitted out in the best gear, battles take way too long.

      GameFAQs probably has a better description of how to do the bug in its "cheats" section than my summary.

      Delete
    3. I read the description on GameFAQs, and I don't think it's 20K gold each time. I did talk to him twice, to make sure he wouldn't offer the cave again, and I only had 12K gold after that. I didn't know that's all you had to do to get the money again. I think this game really is just better left alone.

      Delete