Thursday, January 28, 2016

Game #50: Traysia (Genesis) - Move Along; Nothing to See (Finished)

A fitting generic ending screen to a run of the mill RPG
I rarely suggest not playing a game, but this one can be skipped entirely. It holds no value over other RPGs, and is slightly incomprehensible in its presentation. I finished it though, and will give it a proper burial. The worst part of this game was getting stuck in chapter 3 for nearly 3 hours. I was making good progress, but couldn't find my way into the Town of Swordsmen. The reason being the entrance wasn't a kind the game had used before. Up until this point moving between the different towns was done through visible stairs.
This one is in a random otherwise unremarkable indentation in the southern wall
Before I found it, I completed a side quest in the Thieves' Town for some extra gold. It had a secret passage in the wall that led to the treasure I sought. After finishing that off, I thought maybe the game had a similar hidden passage to the next section, and that's how I found the entrance. The Town of Swordsmen had a colosseum style arena I could grind in (didn't bother), and a random NPC that revealed Banegie was a princess in a far off land called Alkishea. In the Noblemen's Town I found a store with Water Sticks. Previously I'd found that characters could equip multiple sticks, and their defensive power would stack. I hadn't thought much of it since the stick bonus was very slight; however, these new sticks were about as powerful as the best armor. For weapons and armor (including shields), the game automatically removes the older item of the same type. Not so for sticks.
Seriously, there's nothing in the game or manual to suggest this shouldn't be the case
I'm fairly certain it's an exploit of some kind because from then on my team never took another point of damage. I wrapped up the Town of Adventurers by facing off against the rogue mages, reporting back to the king my findings, and finally assaulting their leader. With his dying breath he mentioned Floyd. So, our team headed north in a stage coach provided by the king.
*Plop*4
By this point I wasn't really paying attention to the story for two reasons. First, it's a bit incoherent. The bad guys are bad because they found some ultimate power they can use to control people by making them lose all their memories (only revealed in this chapter). Second, combat was completely trivial and became a huge time sink with little gain, which turned me off to the game as a whole. The townspeople in this area had their memories wiped by the super awesome powerful spell called the black (balls of) light. A guardian witch didn't do her job, and asked the party to stop the wizards to the north. She directed me to a temple where the last wizard to oppose the rebels stood. I arrived just as he fell, and once again reaffirmed that the party was the world's last hope.
How can I remember memories are missing if I don't recall them?
There's a very sudden scene after the screen above where Banegie declares her love for Roy, and asks him to give up on this fool's errand before he forgets everything. Apparently left with only one memory, that of Traysia, Roy commits to finishing the job. Banegie leaves, unable to continue to watch as Roy loses himself on this quest. When Roy faces Floyd and the queen of mages, he loses all memory and is left wandering outside aimlessly. Banegie returned and helped him remember his quest by showing him Traysia's pendant. The queen was a pushover, and Floyd disappeared once more. Seriously, they let him escape again!
The only spell in the game worth anything (it can target any enemy), Roy is the only one that can cast it
After the battle, Banegie once again disclosed her burning passion, but Roy was having none of it. So, Banegie (and the other two) accompany Roy back to the town of Johanna to better understand his commitment to Traysia. There they find Floyd had taken over the town and ruled it as the ultimate authority.
*Plop*5 (Final)
Finding the triggers to continue the story was difficult in this chapter as well. First an old man in the second floor of the inn spoke of a mysterious man that arrived by boat. Next, south of town, was a lighthouse where the keeper retold the story of the wizard who burned down the mayor's house with him in it. Guards then came to arrest us for progressing the story. The party appeared in a dungeon (I don't consider it a *Plop*) that must be navigated in complete darkness.
The only visible object aside from the party was a treasure chest with a really good sword
Once I escaped that hell, I still had to deal with Floyd. Somehow getting caught removed the man that guarded his castle. I found Traysia in the dungeon... well, heard her from the dungeon, but there was no way in. I had to talk to a blind architect that sent his assistant in to show me the secret entrance. He was a bit hard to locate, hiding in a southern corner of one of the screens. The reunion with Traysia was bittersweet as Banegie acted as a diversion while we escaped. (Completely unnecessary, but part of the plot.) The party charged in to save her, and drove Floyd away once more. This time to a previously inaccessible temple north of town.
By this point the game really liked throwing in screen transitions without any visible indicator; the game asserts there are stairs here
The final dungeon didn't have much of note. After Traysia and Banegie were rescued, I didn't see much reason to continue butting heads with Floyd. He's not much of a villain. Again, he's just evil and mad because I didn't let him conquer the world. Every time he escaped it was completely unreasonable. He didn't even poof. The screen just fades in and out, then he's gone. This time though, I faced off with him in combat for the last time.
Wait, is this the same guy?
Seriously? Froid? In the first battle I fought him he was named Floyd. In every dialogue since then it was Floyd. In the final battle, it's Froid. I suppose one could say I care about this game about as much as the developers. To put the final book end on this disappointing story, Floyd has a final trick where he turns himself into a human bomb and Banegie shields everyone from the blast. Bye Banegie; guess we'll never know if you and Traysia would have hit it off.
"Love her as I would have loved her" -- pretty sure that's what she meant
Roy and Traysia get married, and Magellan and Bellenue go traveling back to her home town. Roy opens a tavern and shop to supply other adventurers with supplies. No mention of kids though, so I can only imagine what depravity Traysia underwent in that dungeon of Floyds. The end.
I suppose the town of Johanna is in this picture somewhere
Elapsed Time: 6h55m (Total Time: 14h29m)


Combatant - The worst part of this game is the combat. There's no challenge, and spells are useless. The AI is completely broken, not just due to the pathing, but also because none of them ever use spells. Walk up and attack is all they understand. Even the mages only have physical attacks. I'm not sure Floyd had a physical attack in the final battle because he only walked up to my characters and just stood there. Leveling up matters very little, and combat options are limited. Running is actually the best thing to do since it serves to save time.
Rating: 2
This is the "black" dragon from the cover art... I guess they had to throw him in somewhere
Admirer - There's hardly any customization in this game. Character sprites don't change with equipment (imagine 10 sticks sticking out of each character). Spells are purchased, and it asks to select a character to learn it, but everyone gains the spell (if they can use it). Controls are stiff, and the game stutters while moving, and freezes after speaking to NPCs.
Rating: 2
Is that Banegie's grave they're going to "relax" on?
Puzzler - The main quest is often obscured by the translation. There is a side quest, and it's mildly interesting, but doesn't add much to the game. There aren't any puzzles.
Rating: 2
As the only non-Japanese name, I'm going to start the blame list with this guy at the top
Instigator - The story doesn't only suffer from translation issues, it's bland and jumping between chapters gives it a disconnected feeling. There are inconsistencies as well, from the minor Floyd vs. Froid to Roy being gone for many years (mentioned multiple times) even though the final scenes plainly state he was gone for one year. There are no decisions (although some false choices are presented), and nearly every NPC has nothing to offer towards completing tasks. Banegie was the last line in some random royal lineage that will never again see the light of day because they're now all dead.
Rating: 1
A whole year?!
Collector - There are a lot of items in the game, but nowhere to store them; jewels, trinkets without description, and a lot of equipment get sold for a pittance to make room for new gear. None of it really matters though. Sticks are cheap and just as good as other armor. Weapons are the only thing worth buying. Healing items (food) are worthless as they can only be used outside combat. There's no way to have a full collection. Checking status between equipment is annoying as it takes 3 screen transitions (about 10 seconds) for each item.
Rating: 2
I guess Roy can get anything he wants now
Explorer - The world is uninteresting, and sparsely populated. Each section of the game gets cut off as soon as the next chapter begins. There weren't any unique or interesting discoveries. The music was the best part, and very enjoyable. The graphics looked dated, and I wondered if this was intended for or a port from a lesser known system. Often locations in one chapter are blocked by invisible barriers until plot points are met.
Rating: 3
This was the only time the game actually acknowledged the invisible barrier
Final Rating: 12 [20%]

It's hard to believe a game that looks like this would score lower than Wizardry or Double Dungeons. This just isn't a fun game, and missing the mark on nearly every aspect of an RPG. If I had some evidence to back it up, I might even claim this was an unfinished product and rushed to production. This game makes Phantasy Star III look polished. Please, if you're thinking of playing this game, do yourself a favor and pass on it.

Speaking of Wizardry, we have the second scenario up next. I'm glad this isn't a PC version that requires party members from the first game. I'm hoping the re-balance they had to do to accomplish the lower levels means they made the game a little more manageable. Granted, I'm expecting to die a lot, but with a little luck I can avoid losing the whole party to an unrecoverable position.

8 comments:

  1. From what I see, Nihon Telenet made Traysia originally for the Mega Drive (as Minato no Traysia (港のトレイジア)) with a copyright date of 1991 though apparently didn't come out until 1992, and then brought to the U.S. by Renovation Products about 10 months later. No excuse for the poor graphics on the Genesis (late NES, perhaps, would be fine)... Happily missed this one as a kid.

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    1. Glad you missed out on it. I think a lot of people did as I don't hear much about it in the first place. Not even among the bad games of the Genesis.

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  2. This is one of those rare Genesis RPGs I've never bothered to track down. Everything about it just seems so blasé. Hopefully you enjoy Exile - another Telenet game - a lot more.

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    1. Well, Exile has a different feel to it, but I hope so too. I don't expect it to disappoint as much as this.

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  3. Bad RPGs like Traysia just aren't worth your time unless you can at least enjoy reviewing them, streaming them, making videos of them, or blogging about them.

    Can permadeath in NES Wizardry II be avoided by hitting the RESET button at the right time, just like in the first NES Wizardry? If so, then I enthusiastically recommend hitting that RESET button early and often!

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    1. Well, hopefully this review will sway a few not to waste their time with it. Then at least my time with it might be meaningful.

      I think that's the case, but I'm not going to use it. I've already had a full party wipe, and now working my back from it. Level 10 out of 13 until I get another mage with Malor that can teleport in and out to retrieve the dead party members.

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  4. "After Traysia and Banegie were, I didn't see much reason to continue butting heads with Floyd." I think you're missing a word in there.

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