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Let's Play! Romancing Walker

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#1 Sir Exal

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 12:54 AM

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I’ve been meaning to do a Let’s Play of this game for a while, and here I'll get a few eyes looking, at least.

Romancing Walker, 30 seconds of Googling tells me, is an RPG Maker game made in 2001 by a user nicknamed Flare. It, like 90% of RPG Maker games, is a standard JRPG-style game, with the exception that Romancing Walker has a friendship level and dating sim aspect fused into the spine of the game. The protagonist ends up meeting six girls (with a secret seventh possible) to join his party, and the game makes your choices affect how well the six stereotypes--erm, girls, like you, with the ending changing depending on your choices. Think of it as RPG Maker times Dragon Age: Origins divided by Tenchi Muyo.

But this wouldn’t be enough to warrant a LP, so it’s noting Romancing Walker is also quite abysmally translated. This is odd, as I’m not positive that it was made in Japan. The game attributes its translation to someone called rm2kfanboy, but based on the translation, it means the mysterious rm2kfanboy tried to translate a game from Japanese to English without having a firm grasp on either one. It makes me think that Flare is American, and the supposed rm2kfan is just a puppet for Flare him/herself to disguise the fact he/she has the spelling and grammar skills of a first-grader with no fingers on his right hand. Mistakes are ubiquitous and frequently hilarious. Combine that with a juvenile sense of humor, sometimes odd mechanics and classic anime character types, and it falls firmly into the “curiosity” index. When it’s good, it’s pretty damn great, but when it’s bad, it’s a train wreck, having derailed into a ditch and leaking toxic waste on the RPG as we know it.

With that said, let’s introduce the heroes of this farce…

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Ryle Lastor: “Wandering Swordman of Lavas”

Ryle, in the first of many mistranslations, is a typical RPG hero, like so many RPG Maker protagonists before him. A swordsman with a case of wanderlust and the attention span of a chihuahua, Ryle sets off on a journey to avoid having to live in his zero-horse town any longer and gets involved with the fate of the world, because if he didn’t, we wouldn’t have a game.

Ryle, quite fortunately, is not an Idiot Hero, but has a surplus of bad luck that turns him into an Accidental Pervert annoyingly often. He’s also rude and confrontational to jackass levels. But, naturally he has a strong sense of duty and a good heart, not to mention irresistible sex appeal, apparently. Must be the androgyny. Chicks dig the androgyn-look.

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Caris Burnfist: “Paladin of Burning Flame”

Caris’s personality is basically that of Lina Inverse: brave, well-meaning but a tad greedy, easily offended and hostile at times. Lina or, say, any other anime heroine. Hmmm. Combine this with a deep fondness for fire attacks and she seems to exist only to torture Lyle. We had to get the slapstick in somewhere, I suppose. But she also has the strongest feelings for him, always pushing him to be better. What an unexpected character trait! She also is the First Girl, so take from that what you. Overall, the standard heroine, so kinda dull. Did you ever take the canon endings?

She has some of the most powerful attacks, but they’re all fire-based, so she lacks the flexibility of characters like Latyss and Hayami. Still, she’s one of the better characters to have by your side in almost all situations.

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Orubia Aquary: “Priestess of Healing Water”

“Orubia Aquary?” Makes me wonder if the names were translated or not. Orubia isn’t a priestess of anything, it seems, but she heals, so she must be a cleric, right? As Lyle’s childhood friend, she’s one of the closer to him. Serious, quiet, and much more likely to be disappointed than angry, Orubia is more often than not the dere in the tsun asylum that is the party. She’s not quite as deep or involved as the others, but that’s because she’s pretty normal to begin with. Viva la low maintenance.

Orubia is a healer, first and foremost; while other units have healing moves, thank goodness, she’s the best at doin‘ it for the HPs. But she can lend a quite capable offensive hand if needed, and is the only girl who consistently learns Holy attacks.

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Latyss Grynwind: “Elven Summoner”

Or “Rathis” if you prefer. An elf, so of course she has every facet of elvish personality: quiet, nature-y, a tad prideful, and all about teh magic. She’s also the most shy and easily embarrassed of the harem, possibly due to the fact I’m not sure she’s supposed to speak English well. ‘Course, having language problems in this game is like being scarlet among red. The narrative spends a lot of time on her, and she seems to be the author’s favorite. (Mine too.)

While, as you’d expect, her health and physical attacks are low, she gets the most powerful and most varied attacks of the group, later being able to summon those classic spirits Undine, Gnome, Efreet and Zeppo, making her excellent to use in any situation.

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Hayami Raienji: “White Class Shinobi”

Because White Anglo-Shinobi Protestant didn’t fit. Isn’t white the lowest rank anyway? Meh. Hayami is a ninja, from a secret ninja base in a secret ninja town in a secret ninja area, and the fact that Lyle learns these facts shows how much they’re intent on keeping these secrets. Hayami is outgoing and cheerful, and is also notable for having the biggest breasts in the group, which is pointed out at nearly every…goddamn…opportunity. She also has an annoying verbal quirk that has to be seen to be believed, but is in overall pleasant character.

Battlewise, Hayami has superb attacks and learns seal moves that hit all enemies sooner than the rest of the cast does, but she lacks attacks with the sheer power to stand up against boxes. Sure is cute though, and I’m not even a redhead-fancier.

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Fina Delstar: “Descendant of Savior”

I’m not sure it should really count as a “descendant” when the Savior in question is your mother. Hmm. Fina is one of the more straightforward characters in the game, and her position of ‘messiah’ comes with courage and righteousness. When your birthright is that of savior of the planet from the forces of darkness, I think you can be excused if you’re a bit self-righteous. Although she doesn’t spend a lot of time around people, so rude, etc. etc.

Fina learns a sequence of moves throughout the storyline, so leveling isn’t quite required, but they’re quite powerful and fun to watch. But the main reason one uses Fina in battle is the fact you are required to use her in the last sixth of the game or so, and it’s GAME OVER if she dies. Spending time with her is almost a necessity.

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Mariel Shells: “Gunner and Gadget”

Triumphantly returning from her last appearance in Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers, the face that launched a thousand furries plays…Wait. No. That isn’t right.

Muriel is a Genius Ditz in the most definitive sense of the trope. She has guns, bombs, missiles, and all those cool things that are absurd an anachronisms in the world, but who cares, as they’re cool. But that means she’s a downright infuriating space case, saying things so dumb that they horrify the other characters, and sometimes, I’m fairly sure, the creator and translator themselves. Muriel’s annoyance factor is a MegaMihoshi. It is 3.2 GigaGumshoes. Fps stands for Facepalms per second. I cannot tell you how truly mind-boggling Muriel’s ditziness is, and it’s clear it’s not all planned.

Now, Muriel’s attacks are good, you power her up with items, and her attacks are fun and unique, not to mention she gets a Revive spell. She also appears pretty late in the game, making it quite easy to get her to the requisite relationship level quickly. But again, her personality makes me want to go into the file and edit her out of the game so much that it almost isn’t worth it.

There you go, the ladies of Romancing Walker. I’ll take votes throughout as to who to spend time and wind up with. Run-through in earnest to start soon.

#2 videogameman


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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:55 AM

Hayami Raienji: “White Class Shinobi”

#3 Soberguy


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Posted 19 February 2010 - 11:09 AM

I vote you turn off the game and talk to a real girl.

#4 Sir Exal

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 03:07 AM

Part the First: A Man and Three Babes

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The title screen. I should note that I don’t know who the pink-haired female is; no one who looks even slightly like her ever appears. A sweet guitar and piano midi plays over the title screen; all music is original or at least not stolen from anywhere copyrighted; it’s nice to play without a U2 midi or the tinny tune of no Uta blaring in my ears.

In any case, after selecting ‘New Game,’ it prompts me to either “Start the Game with Lucitta” or “Skip & Straight to the Game.” I never like to start before the girl does, so I’m choosing the former option. Besides, that last part isn’t even a full verb phrase.

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The mysterious sixth girl, Lucitta…against a field of coasting blood spatter. Hmm. She introduces herself, greets me, and then tells me to answer a few questions. Naturally, I can’t not answer the questions, so her ‘threat’ is darn meaningless, but it’s nice to imply I even have a choice. I won’t bore you with the questions; they’re behavioral inquiries that give you bonuses on relationships to the early girls, and all pretty pointless. After the questions, she encourages me to find her in the game, then asks how I’d like to start the game, “From the Introduction” or “From the theme song only.” In for a gil, in for a gald, I always say. Introduction!

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Oh, somehow, Lucitta, I doubt that.

The introduction appears in the time-honored tradition of text on a backdrop of slowly moving clouds.

In the beginning, the universe was created. This…

Wait, no.

This story takes place at 1200 BE, 1200 years before the Ernest Time (AE) is used.

That’s…entirely unhelpful without context, but okay.

Many civilizations evolved into the creation of magic, and with this power, the people began to flourish under various cultures…

2 drinks every time a sentence’s meaning is completely obscured through poor translation.

But the long lasting peace and prosperity made them lack of awareness of any kinds of threat and this led them into total vulnerability...

And it made them lack of resistance to an orbital nuke.

The peace began to break apart at 127 AE, and the CAUSE of this was…

Hmm. So I guess it DOESN’T take place at 1200 BE, now does it? The screen zooms in and is replaced by clouds on a yellow sky and a monstrous silhouette.

The Lord of Darkness, CHAOS.

CHAOS does not take non-capitalization of his name lightly.

CHAOS summoned its minions all over the lands of Ernest, and it began to decimate the continents into ashes one by one..

All horror and pain of the living, the negative energy, is the power source of CHAOS, and it is feeding on the souls of perished victims.

That’s right, it’s a emo-powered monster.

None of the brave warriors who challenged CHAOS ever came back alive, it seemed the end of the world was near…

Then it happened…A beautiful maiden came one day, along with the only HOPE to save the lands of Ernest!

Cheap BOOZE!

Later being known as the Savior, Fina Delstar.

Flare survived from the countless battles with overwhelming odds against her.

Bad translator! Getting one of the characters’ names wrong, in the prologue no less! In the corner for ten minutes!

And that’s right, the savior is the AuthorAvatar.

And her inner strength developed gradually after numerous tragedies, especially the death of her loved ones…

If you ever need to develop inner strength, guys, just kill everyone you love. It’s the only way.

Finally on one day, Flare became the most powerful warrior in the history of mankind!

Sigh. You know, whenever I see a backstory like this, I always yell, “Why aren’t I playing THIS game?”

She transformed into the “Sacred Dragoon” and the CHAOS was banished into the Dark Dimension.

Flare shoots a fireball, a pained roar comes out, and the background switches again, to a galaxy against a starry backdrop. Let’s get to this space level, eh?

20 years have passed since the war…

“War,” “slaughter,” it’s a fine line.

The Lord of Darkness is gone for now. However…

Those who live by the forces of darkness, silently anticipating the return of the dark lord…

What? What do they do? Are they lying in wait? Plotting their revenge? Selling cookies so they can go to band camp?

Around this period, An young adventurer is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime.

It then prompts me to choose a theme song, and when I do from the choice of three, goes into a highly animated, amazing for RPG Maker theme I wish I could show you. Credits such as “Direct and Produce by Flare” (nice of her to get the veggies) appear. A couple highlights:

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Here, of course, is where I got the titles for the first post. “Gunner and Gadget” included.

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Presumably, you’re supposed to sing this in Engrish to the tune of the music playing. “Countless carrenges to come…”

“All the names and places in this game are fictional and have no affiliation to any organizations.” Well, that’s a relief.

Into the game! Bare text begins, “A small village located at the Northeastern part of Factoria continent. Lavas Ville.”

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My character lurches toward insanity as he talks to himself, saying how pleased he is he has finished his training, allowing him to go out into the world. Expository text informs me that this is Ryle, the main hero of this game, as if I couldn’t figure that out. He further confirms with himself that he’d better get going, but first best bid goodbye to everyone, as ‘it’s’ a long trip. He also comments on the beginner’s guide he’s received, but interior monologues that he ‘doesn’t like reading.’ Oh Ryle, you loveable scamp! Notably, I can climb on that ladder in the back, but it doesn’t go anywhere and I just look silly.

By searching my bookcase, I find HOT Lover magazine and a HOT Membership card. The former contains only tips you could probably figure out yourself, the latter will be useful later.

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Contrary to its name, Lavas Ville is not consumed by fiery molten rock. Darn. But its population is comparable to that of Pallet Town, so it doesn’t take me long to talk to everyone. They all receive titles like “Elven Girl’s little sister Preshes” and “Shisho (Mentor) Brad.”

Which is another thing this game does: Gratuitous Japanese. A lot of Gratuitous Japanese. Questionably accurate Gratuitous Japanese, as a shisho is only a trainer to sumos. You’ll see.

Preshes (artistic license or colossal misspelling? You be the judge) cries at her ‘big brother’ leaving, and my mentor says I’m ready, but warns that I won’t learn special moves by leveling up. Why the hell did I become a warrior then?! I want fourth edition rules! Onto the ladies, starting with ..

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Her name is Caris Burnfist. She is the only daughter of Ryle’s mentor, Brad.

RPG Maker 2000 users will note that she’s the default first female hero sprite, but there’s so much original art in the game that this is forgivable. She says that today is the day, then asks…

Caris: So how do you feel? Are you ready for it?

I assure her that I am ready, as my mentor is the apparently masterful Brad. After she insults me, I get the first relationship choice of the game:

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Pow. You’re always given two choices and a ‘Hint,’ although the hint is pathetically useless and/or patently obvious; this one, for example, informs me that depending on my choice, her feelings for me may improve or “just do the opposite.”

I reassure Caris that I am not the cocky bastard I seem to be by all accounts, and she deems me mentally ready for battle, as I am not overconfident. My rating goes from 5 to 7 with her. I find a yaoi manga, “HBoy Limited Edition,” in the shelves. Ryle gasps, “Mentor…I understand.” I move on, slightly weirded out.

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Her name is Latyss Grynwind. She is an elf maiden and a very private person.

An elf maiden, eh?

Ryle: I’ll be gone for a really long time. .. But I guess you don’t care. Haha…

Latyss: …

Ryle, for some reason, is surprised at her ellipsis of silence.

Latyss: Did you already see Orubia?

Ryle: I gotta go.

Okay, now they’re just having two different conversations. Latyss soliloquies, but evidentially Ryle’s role of main character grants him telepathy, as then Ryle asks if she will worry about him at all.

Latyss: Uh? Let me see…about 2% of what Orubia would worry.

She certainly knows a lot about my best friend. After that suspiciously specific answer, I act obliged to even receive a little bit of attention, and Latyss assures me if she didn’t care, she wouldn’t even talk to me. Somehow, this raises her attraction level, 5 to 7 again. Her mother, meanwhile, says it will be “lonly” when I‘m gone. Mrs. Grynwind, you’re trying to seduce me…or already did.

#5 Sir Exal

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 03:08 AM

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Her name is Orubia Aquary. She’s been friend with Ryle since childhood.

Orubia: So you decide to go…Dear Ryle.

Ryle: Yeah. Finally I am independant.

Orubia: …That’s true.

I am given the choice to leave simply or keep trying to cheer her up. Because I don’t know when to quit, I continue.

Ryle: Come on- Aren’t you happy for me leaving this village?

Orubia: I am. I really do.

I wish these absurd errors were either nonexistent or at least easier to make fun of; as they are they’re just taking up space.

Ryle: Then good! Come on, no more long face! My training with Shisho (mentor) is finally over! I really want to see you happy.

I’ll spare you the rest of the dialogue as Orubia is somehow encouraged by what boils down to “I’m great! Be happy for me!” and is somehow cheered up. She bids me until we meet again, and her relationship rises from 8 to 10.

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I leave as promptly as possible. Having no actual plan, I meander pointlessly south and follow the path to the southern bridge; if I attempt to enter what is clearly a dungeon in the west, Ryle dismisses it by saying he has “no business here.” Nice ambition, sport. Ryle, more prepared than I myself knew, wants to go to “Southern Cray city." The guards at the bridge inform me that they are limiting the number of people crossing, as “Large number of deaths occurred just recently.” If I want a pass to get across, I’ll have to speak to the elder of nearby Lailai Town.

Ryle consciously thinks that it’s the town northeast of here, as if there are any others, and I head there. Hmm, no random encounters yet… Lailai Town is naturally bigger, having several shops, a wealth of NPCs, and…

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The first of the, very typical for this game, moronic non-jokes. Pointing out clichés in your own game is not funny, Flare or rm2kfanboy! It’s just stupid! Grr.

The majority of NPCs in town give you gameplay tips; only “Traveling samurai girl Sakura,” who advises me to use bullets or arrows on flying enemies, as melee doesn‘t hit them well, gives you information that you might find useful if you’ve ever played a RPG Maker game or practically any RPG at all. And she finishes off by saying “So De Gozaru (That’s Right!)”, and I have the suspicion that it’s not. Not at all.

As I go through the town, looting bookshelves (the sentinel shelves are often more helpful than any NPC) I end up at the Elder’s house. I ask for the all-important pass, but of course, it’s never that easy. He informs me that if even if I had a pass, I couldn’t go, because…

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“Quick, take all your clothes off!” “Why?” “Do it, or you’ll be KILLED!”

Suitably confused, Ryle asks why, and the Elder claims that everyone traveling that way alone are “ambushed from nowhere,” and groups of two or more reach the city safely. How he knows the nature of the attack is anyone’s guess. When Ryle asks if he can get a pass if he brings his “buddy,” the elder further explains that his box of passes was stolen, uses a sad face as punctuation, and says that pieces of its lock were found in the Kah Mana Shrine, to the west. The Shrine is long-abandoned, and full of monsters, natch.

Ryle announces his intent to find the passes himself, and the elder wishes him good luck on finding his own lost property, but explains that I need two people to enter the shrine, not because of the aforementioned killer, but because it needs two people to open the path. Ryle asks, “So I need one more person, right?” and his kindergarten math is affirmed. But where could I find one more person to go with?

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DUN DUN DUN!! I leave the old man stewing in his own filth and head back home, that Elysian place I have not laid eyes on for…less than half an hour. How much did it change in these ten minutes? How much…did I change? But who to take with me?

NEXT TIME: The first signs of a party, the first dungeon, the first battles, and Ryle gets hit on the head with a rock in another attempt at comedy.

#6 videogameman


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Posted 22 February 2010 - 10:53 AM

is it time to vote?

#7 Sir Exal

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 01:13 AM

Part the Second: Like Ten Bats Outta Hell

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As I reenter Lavas Ville, the voice of God comes down and informs me of the ‘nonlinear’ nature of the game. He then takes the time to advise me to save before relationship decisions, in a line that reeks of , “Well, you were gonna do it anyway.”

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And no sooner do I save that His will be done, as by looking at a random rock next to Caris’s house, Ryle says it’s a practice stone, and I receive a choice to train or not. The hint warns me that this will start a scene with Caris. As I see little reason to not talk with her--for now--I pick sure.

Ryle takes a mighty swing, but upon first contact with the stone, the sword, made merely of iron, shatters on the unforgiving rock. What the hell was I thinking?! But no, my sword (listed in the equipment menu as a “Survival Knife,”) is apparently made of adamantium, as it holds. No sooner do I begin practicing that Caris materializes directly next to Ryle, causing him to “Ah?!” in surprise.

Lyle: Oh, Caris! How long have you been here?

The last half-second, why?

Caris: Oh, I just stopped by. I knew it was you from the sound of the strike

Just stopped by? It’s your damn house!

Ryle is surprised she can recognize him by sound, ignoring the fact he is the only one anywhere nearby with a sword. Caris replies that his style is recognizable. Ryle is concerned about his predictability, but…

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Wait, what?

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Caris responds--Okay, this doesn’t make any sense at all.

Caris leaves after telling Ryle to clean up after himself, and he agrees. Her attraction goes up, as nothing turns on the ladies like watching a man pound a rock with his mighty sword. It’s like a novel cover!

No one in town seems to notice I was ever gone. Thanks a lot, guys. Well, Orubia sounds like a good traveling partner; after all, she is just my childhood friend…

I explain the situation in a quick fade-out, and while Orubia first thinks I’m here to ask her (strangly elderly) father.

Ryle: (Can’t you figure this out by now? We didn’t become friends few days ago you know)

Orubia: Oops? Did I say something weird?

No weirder than most of the dialogue, honey. “OK! You WIN!” yells Ryle, and says that it’s her he’s there for. Orubia is perhaps logically concerned; she says she has her father to take care of and she’s not even a real mage yet, though how she determines that is beyond me.

Orubia: And from what you said earlier…we have to live together, right?

Ryle: (Come to think of it…She’s right!)

Oh, my! What kind of wacky hijacks could this cause?

Orubia: …. Yu, You don’t have to worry about that. I won’t leave here anyway…

Ryle: I understand. I shouldn’t pushed you so hard. Sorry!

Orubia: But… I’m actually glad that…that you asked me to come.

Awwww. Orubia’s relationship goes to 13. Remember this conversation.

I decide to ask Caris to come with me, and while she agrees, she says she wants to be able to quit at anytime, and, she has a few demands…

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Yes, she actually said that. I can get her the first two, but ‘on and on’ is out of my control. Even Ryle thinks she’s not the right choice. I load my game and go ask Latyss. When she’s ten feet tall. The Hints during the choices warn that if I take one of the two girls, a relationship will be harder with the other, but this is a complete lie.

I explain the situation to Latyss, and she, fortunately, has a very good rationale for going with me.

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Yes, Latyss, this is one job the Invisible Man simply cannot do. She decides to go with me, and walks into my body, like any good RPG party member. So, Ryle, if your logic holds, it’s better to share a room with someone who barely cares about you than a girl you’ve been friends with all your life. Awful convenient you forgot. Oh, I’m onto you, Ryle. I’m onto you.

With my new pet elf in tow, I trek to the Kah Mana shrine. Entering it, Latyss observes it’s too dark for a shrine, and Ryle states that it’s more like a ruin. Will the thrilling dialogue never end?

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Latyss reads a plaque written on the ground, and, yikes, it looks like we’re boned, as I hardly know this girl, much less trust her. That childhood friend a’ yours is looking pretty good now, huh, Ryle? Latyss theorizes this is what the elder was referring to, that it’s a test of courage. I don’t remember anything about courage, but maybe odd extrapolation is a elf power or something. In order to communicate with each other, Ryle gives Latyss something called an “Insect Flute,” to sound when she wants to leave or something. Whatever.

“Watch out your steps,” Latyss warns as I walk south, and go down a quick flight of stairs. And it’s not long before my first random battle.

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Against, oh lord, Goddamned Bats. I shouldn’t have to tell you anything about the battle system; it’s the same as any other RPG. The bats don’t do much damage, but even these first enemies take a couple hits to dispatch, so they nibble a bit on Ryle. Not long after I defeat them, Ryle stops, scoffs, “Tsk! Annoying guys are coming!” presumably with a “Haha!” at the end to match the lip flaps, and more bats attack.

And so this is one of the more interesting factors in Romancing Walker: scripted random battles. They’re no tougher than other random battles, and usually net you a reward. It’s not particularly necessary, but it’s a little different, which is always good.

I net a potion from defeating the bats, and as I blaze a path through the dungeon, I open a chest and get five more, as well as Breakfast Jello, which refreshes MP. Later, I find a Bronze Sword, which I immediately equip; Ryle now can defeat the bats in one hit at times. Another encounter, and…

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Monstrous Spiders. Goddammit, are you trying to satisfy EVERY cliché? Spiders are tougher than bats, but sometimes skip a turn under the guise of “building up strength,” so there’s a nice trade off. I defeat the enemies in my way, and everything seems to be going well, yet Ryle complains that he’s already walked for a long time and yells out, wondering where the pass is. Kah Mana does not suffer whiners well, as the ruins settle, the ground shakes, and a rock falls on Ryle, sending him to the ground.

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Ryle groans in a way that I hope makes as little sense to you as it does to me. Now, normally, I’d say, “insert WhatAnIdiot music here,” except it ALREADY DOES THAT. Ha ha! Laugh at Ryle’s misfortune and possible concussion! If it wasn't funny, game, it's not going to be funny if you put in music to imply that it was.

Ryle gets up and continues on his way, nothing affecting him, making that last scene COMPLETELY POINTLESS, and goes into the next room, which appears to be a dead end. He steps on a panel on the ground, and a bridge comes into existence on the other path. Somehow, Ryle sees this, despite it being on the other side of a wall. X-ray vision, suddenly? Anyway, he blows on the insect flute, which somehow informs Latyss that he’s ready for her to enter the shrine. “I should start going!” announces Latyss, and I gain control of her.

#8 Sir Exal

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 01:14 AM

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I dash through the passages with Latyss. When battling, Latyss has a “Slicer” equipped, which is a distance weapon and thus, slaughters bats. I stick to using her more powerful offensive magic to repel spiders. Suddenly there’s a hole in my path! Oh no, how will I get across a gap like this? Wait-Latyss is resolving to jump across? Perhaps a QuicktimeEvent? Press Return to not die? I brace myself, and--

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*Hopping sound effect.* Um. Well. That was anticlimactic. She does this twice more, with another pit and a falling rock. Since I don’t have to do anything, all I can do is sit back and ponder the purpose of such scenes. To show off the divine dialogue, perhaps? Meanwhile, in an alternate universe where I brought Caris instead of Latyss…

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Caris also has this move, which defeats scripted battles, “hiding monsters,” instantly and for the complete reward, which is convenient (there’s several scripted battles in Latyss’s trek here alone) yet kind of odd. Why introduce a unique mechanic if one is going to subvert it immediately? In any case, back in our world, Latyss fights through battles scripted and otherwise, crying “It was self defense…“ after one scripted on with spiders. Elves are kin to all creatures, or at least when they remember to be.

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Finally, I reach the final room. Ryle has mysteriously vanished from the aforementioned panel, but the bridge remains, and I cross it to the altar, where a chest awaits, presumably with the desired passes inside. Latyss immediately recognizes such an easy item as a trap, and the boss battle springs into action!

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Batty batty batty batty batty batty batty batty. Ten! Ten bats! Ah, ah, ah! “Are you mad that I intruded to your layer?” Latyss asks, “If you hadn’t been so persistant, I would have let you go…”

But she quickly gets over that hippie crap and decides to use a new spell she’s just been experimenting with on the bats; one that attacks all enemies at once! Convenient!

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Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like “Dragon Slave,” but it’ll do. Caris would have to last a couple turns before learning her area attack, resulting in the bats attacking in a sound effect symphony well described as “Bllump! Kssh! Bllump! Kssh! Bllump! Kssh! Bllump! Kssh! Bllump! Kssh! Bllump! Kssh! Bllump! Kssh! Bllump! Kssh! Bllump! Kssh! Bllump! Kssh!”

All the enemies are immediately killed. “Even an ambush won’t work if you are very WEAK,” ‘quips’ Latyss. She takes two passes, resulting in the first splash picture of the game. Purdy.

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Latyss feels amazingly emotional over this hunk of bronze, thinking of it as, “the first thing I worked with for Lyle,” which is odd considering her mild apathy earlier. Hmm. 7->10.

I walk back through the temple to reach the entrance, where Latyss calls Ryle back from the fifth dimension, and walk triumphantly to the Blue Bridge, flashing my new bling.

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You’d better believe it, bitch.

NEXT TIME: In a Southern Cray minute, everything can change. In a Southern Cray minute, things can get pretty strange.

#9 videogameman


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Posted 23 February 2010 - 10:07 PM

Enjoying it so far. Favorite line is “Quick, take all your clothes off!” “Why?” “Do it, or you’ll be KILLED!” :rolleyes:

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 01:27 AM

Friendly warning, I'm going to move this thread! Just let me know whether you would rather have it on the RP or Fic board.

#11 Sir Exal

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 02:38 AM

FanFiction, if you must; but I thought this was really the most appropriate place for a playthrough.

Part the Third: What’s Yours is Mine

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After crossing the bridge, where nothing worth mentioning happens, I wander around the countryside for a bit; Ryle’s only at level 2 and Latyss is at level 4, so he needs the training. The enemies in this area are a bit tougher than the ones in the forest near home and in the dungeon, but nothing I can’t handle..

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Oh, Hell.

Meet the Runner Way (Ba-dum tssh), perhaps the unfunniest of all of the non-jokes in this game. The second I see those words, “Runnner Way encountered,” I sigh. What the hell is it, anyway? A stick figure with a tape dispenser for a head? There is in fact a “Dasher” enemy, but I haven’t seen it. In any case, after it introduces itself, Ryle responds to it in kind…

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Y’know, not that it succeeds often, but I thought that this game was SUPPOSED to be funny. Right now, I think making this into a comedy is beyond the ken of either man or beast. Or whatever the hell Runner Way is supposed to be. The next lines, verbatim:

Runner Way: I’ll stride! No matter what they say! AIM to the TOP! (copy right/Gunbuster)

Lyle: Better get rid of this moron before it does anything stupid.

Oh, it’s far, far too late for that, Ryle. And if it were made today, you know Runner would be yelling, “Who the Hell do you think I am?!”

So the battle with the thing begins. For the first two turns, it buffs its own agility while I whale on it. Then on the third turn…

Runner Way: Don’t expect me to be as weakling as the Dasher! Take this! “Aero Dash!”

Lyle: What THE?!

Runner Way: Superrrrrrr-Daaaaash!

Ryle: It’s heading this way!

Oh no, it’s going to crash into…ussaveYOURSELVES (Crash!) Well, I mean it was a while to go, but at least it’s got some kinda super-attack. At least it’ll put up a fight so as to be not completely pointless--

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Runner Way: Noooooooooo - !! *Disappeared into horizon*

Ryle: Go hit a rock or somethin. You idiot!

And I get experience for this. For watching a nauseatingly pointless skit. I feel like I’m playing a fetish-centric D&D game with a bad DM. A horrible DM. And this isn’t a one-time encounter, no. This happens consistently in the area, more than most normal enemies. And there are four more “Runner” type enemies!

And I just looked up the Dasher in the code--and after two turns, the Dasher SELF-DESTRUCTS, with a sigh of, “no regret for my wonder years.” Couldn’t make this up if I tried, folks. Maybe we’ll meet the others and see their stupid skits. Because if I have to suffer through it, you do too.

So, sickened by that last encounter, I head to Southern Cray city, hoping it has a time machine where I can get those 30 seconds of my life back.

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When we enter, Latyss emerges from Ryle’s body and observes that the city has no one on the streets in the oddest way possible. Ryle figures it’s due to that “Single Person Killer” mentioned earlier.

Latyss: But as long as you’re with someone, it’s not that bad.

Ryle: But what if that person is someone you dislike the most?

Latyss: Of course, that would be really bad. I rather get killed by the suspect.

Ryle: So Latyss, how do you feel now? Am I torturing you?

Latyss: Eh? Maybe…

Ryle: I knew it! *heads down*

Not only are elves haughty, they actually emit a aura of shame all lesser races must bow to! Don’t ask a question you don’t want the answer to…

Latyss: Hm! *trying to hold laughter*

Ryle: (Huh? She was only… Latyss was joking?)

“I can’t believe anyone would WANT to hang out with me!” And Latyss’s character isn’t defined enough for us to be surprised she was making a joke, so that falls flat. Her affection goes up by one point.

Somber background music plays as I head to the inn, not because I need healing, but because that’s usually how the plot is advanced in the game. Ryle asks for a room. “Because of recent incidents, please stay at the same room,” the keeper instructs. Ryle panicks. “God I forgot about that” he thinks. Latyss merely thanks him, making Ryle dismiss her as clueless. Because she doesn‘t want to make a scene, she‘s clueless? (Well, she is just an or-din-ary girl..)

They ascend to the room. What sort of wacky misunderstandings will commence? At Ryle’s concern, Latyss says that while “I don’t not trust Ryle,” She does take…precautions.

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Ice magic: the pepper spray of 147 AE. But for god’s sake, there’s two beds! This wasn’t even a problem in the 70s! Push the other bed to the other side of the room if you really need to, but there’s no problem here!

Ryle: Just hold on for sec!! Are you going to turn me into block of ice and toss me out?

“Actually, just that first part, but now that you mention it…:"

Latyss: As long as Ryle doesn’t make any trouble, I won’t hurt you.

Ryle: I won’t I swear! You can even tie me up over there! Just spare me the ice will ya

Latyss: Hm! *trying to cover the laughter*

Ryle: (She LAUGHED again? Seeing Latyss smile twice a day…is like a miracle!!)

This is like a Paul Simon play without subtlety or cleverness. I wish Ryle would stop being amazed at small things; he hasn’t spent enough time with Latyss to KNOW how she behaves. Ryle valiantly volunteers to sleep on the balcony, saying “I don’t know if I can control myself with a girl like you,” somehow insulting himself and complimenting Latyss at the same time. Latyss objects.

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I don’t know! The plot has been exceedingly unclear about this! No one’s said anything about sleeping singly, just traveling as a singleton. Latyss says not to worry, the magic barrier will stop him. But not the killer, apparently.

During the night, Ryle rolls in his sleep and bounces off the barrier, and he is dismayed to find it takes up the entire room Way to trust him, Latyss. Text informs us “During that night…a sad man sleeps while his body being stretched stiff at room #201. Ryle is tired the next morning, and Latyss says he has “patched eyes,“ whatever that means, but can’t bring himself to admit why to Latyss. Another, different, WhatAnIdiot fanfare plays. Sigh.

Our heroes decide to find clues via asking townspeople about what really happened here. The shops are closed, most people are at the church, praying that their god saves them from this killer that is easily thwarted, and there are actually very few people living in the town, even fewer of which are interesting.

A woman in one of the houses informs me that the killings started when her son found an odd stone in the Dangann Mine 5 days ago. They petitioned the capital Factoria Castle to help, but were ignored. Possibly because it‘s a building, and not a person. “Bakana!” yells Ryle, which the game misinforms us means “How could this happen?” The whole conversation is too dull to transcribe, so here’s what her husband has to say about the situation…

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Indeed. The woman says going there is too dangerous, ignoring the other person in my body, but relents and gives me the mine key. I head to the mine posthaste, before I am bored asleep.

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The mine journey is mostly uneventful; I fight vipers, imps, a few bats, and their more powerful PaletteSwap cousins, Vampire Bats, but nothing can do much damage and I have plenty of healing potions. Levels are gained, Latyss learns a new spell, a sign informs me I need a rope to get down to a lower level about five steps away from a chest with the rope in question, I loot the room for items and money and such, etc.

Lyle: Ugh… I hate these wiggly caves.

Latyss: … Stop whinning.

Thank you.

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I see a save point half-lying, half-inside a table, so I heal up and save before utilizing the rope to descend into the darkness. For I Have to Use the Rope.

#12 Sir Exal

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 02:41 AM

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As I navigate through the next room, Ryle stops, feeling a “Dark wave,” but there’s no graphics, so hell if I know what’s there. Latyss is oddly assertive, especially as her plan involves charging headlong into the unknown, though she does think Orubia’s magic would be useful, for seemingly no reason at all. She’s determined, knowing that if she dies, Ryle dies too, though why this is a negative outcome is beyond me. I continue, wondering if all this buildup will be remotely worth it.

Holy crap, a giant rock. They behold a number of odd stones, and when they approach they are thrown into the boss battle. Soul Eater encountered!

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Apparently, Ryle can read the descriptions. Latyss, too, shows knowledge into the mechanics of the game, as she comments that physical attacks won’t work against it. Ryle thinks, and decides he needs information, so he says they should fight it for 5 turns, but neither of them can die, basically shattering that fourth wall until Ryle just orders me, “Keep everyone safe for 5 turns! Regular attacks are useless!!”

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It’s not very effective…

Nothing hurts him, so I stay defensive and healy for the five turns. When it ends, Latyss runs at the normal plodding pace of RPG Maker characters to get away, and Ryle gets zapped and pulled toward the stone. Of course! It all makes sense!

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And people couldn’t interfere because it would be harder to pull them…or something. Ryle tells Latyss to run, trying to make a HeroicSacrifice with only a little sacrifice and no heroism (“Think of Preshes! Your sister needs YOU!”). Latyss is blaming herself (awww, look at those puppy dog eyes…makes you almost ignore that stray code tag).

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Ryle looks to be doomed, but we can’t have a game without a protagonist, so…a voice comes from nowhere!

????: Begone the evil spirit! Impure heart! Shall be washed away with pure light-! CLARE RAY!!

“Gaaaaaarr!” the Soul Eater gaaaaaarrs, and Ryle is released. Latyss rushes to his side. But who saved them?

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Orubia Ex Machina! (Lookit her fingers glow!) She’s come here with Caris and arrived in the nick of time! So everyone’s affection rises, and I defeat the Soul Eater in an arduous bat--wait. No I don’t. No final boss battle. Apparently Orubia just did in one move what I didn’t stand a chance of doing at all.

Worst. DM. Ever.

Next Time: More Hijinks Ensue. More “Hilarity” ensues. Emotionality ensues. Reality comes nowhere close to ensuing.

#13 Sir Exal

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 01:55 AM

Part the Fourth: Doctored Miss Ninja

Emerging from the mine, Ryle decides that the group of now four should rest at the inn in Southern Cray city and head to Lavas Ville come the morrow. Orubia asks, “Why not now?” Narrative imperative, bitch! *Backhand*

No, Ryle explains it’s getting dark, and a dusk color immediately sets over the scene. Crows caw for some reason--guess it’s like an owl hooting. I feel asleep.

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Orubia asks an excellent question. Who told you to think?! *Backhand* But one that will not be answered, as I now must head to Southern Cray city to rest up.

Naturally, the city has somehow already been informed about my victory over the Soul Eater, by which I mean I almost died and my girlfriend cast a spell, and the streets are lined with NPCs again, thankful they can go out of doors without risking being slowly pulled to their deaths. The shops are open now too. I head to the inn with half of the population of my hometown in tow, and the innkeeper is quite impressed with my harem-accounting skills.

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I’m sorry, what? One of these people might be my sister, for all you know. Do you honestly think I WANT to see them undress or whatever the hell you’re implying?

Innkeeper: Here's your key! (Please try to keep it down, okay?)

WHAT? Are you implying…no, there’s no doubt. You’re implying that I wish to have some sort of reverse-gangbang ménage a quatre? I can’t even figure out the mechanics of such an act! This is absurd! I wish we weren’t in a land without lawyers so I could sue your ass for harassment!

But for some reason, Ryle ascends to the room, where the girls are not thrilled that there is only one room (and only two single beds!).

Caris: Lyle…Why are you in our room?

Ryle: I have no idea.

First sensible thing I’ve read all day.

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I’m not transcribing this whole stupid scene, which the FOX’s sitcom writers would call dull and formulaic. Everyone thinks it’s Ryle’s fault (it is for not insisting on another room!), Caris threatens to kill him, Latyss threatens to kill him, Orubia is heartbroken at the whole thing, and Ryle is an idiot. “Don’t you TRUST me at all?“ No, Ryle, again, they barely know you. Caris and Latyss ask, “You want it HOT?” “Or you prefer COLD?” And what do you want on your Tombstone? Whee. Eventually, Ryle wises up and goes to get the other room.

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I wish this was Oblivion so I could kill you right now.

Latyss leaves the inn quite obviously; I pursue and find her blatantly defying the city’s anti-loitering laws. I am given the choice to talk to her or not, and I have no reason not to.

Latyss is guilt-ridden from the close call in the mine that I can’t bother to look up the name of, and says if she hadn’t pushed, Ryle wouldn’t have had to have been saved by a poorly disguised deus ex machina. Ryle assures her it was his stupid fault for even trying, and thanks her for even accompanying him; she didn’t have to. The elves’ aura of shame strikes again! She says she was happy Ryle asked, and agrees to help…kinda. Okay, now she’s just jerking Ryle around.

Her affection is up to a whopping 16 by now; I’d better slow down if I want anyone else to like me at all. Together, we return to the hotel. By the way, had we taken Caris at the beginning, she would have simply been scared for Ryle (completely forgetting Hotelroomgate), and charmed us with this splash page.

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I return to the hotel, and the girls and Ryle discuss the recent happenings, and Ryle, Caris and Latyss are stunned to find out that Shisho (mentor) did not send Orubia; she went herself. I don’t remember her ever saying that Brad sent her, but whatever. We’re supposed to be surprised, so let’s be surprised.

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Does someone have the knowledge of Japanese needed to tell me how far off all this Gratuitous Japanese is? Or at least a copy of My Japanese Coach?

Bah. Caris reminds Ryle that he owes his frakkin’ life to Orubia’s timely entry, so he forgives her. Orubia’s father realized what might be causing the abductions, and poor Orubia made an abrupt decision. Ryle doesn’t want her to risk her life again, to just let him die, as he has no family to worry about, but she has her father. In other words…

I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me, I’m just a poor boy, from non-present family, I’ll give my life to the monstrosity! Orubia whimpers, “at least 1 person will be sad,” but Ryle ignores it, because he has to be oblivious to their affections. It’s like Newton’s Fourth Law or something.

But the sapfest ain’t over yet, folks! Before the night is over, Orubia enters my room, asks if we can “take a breeze,” whatever that means, and lures Ryle to the balcony. She apologizes for not going with Ryle the first time, and Ryle assures her that the whole life-saving thing makes up for it.

Orubia: …Some, somehow you are very kind to me today.

I’m not usually? Dammit, game! What kind of dick have you put me in control of?! Ryle actually hears my objection.

Ryle: Waita sec! Haven’t I been nice to you all the time?

Orubia: I didn’t mean that…

Ryle: Don’t be so rash any more. I don’t want any more trouble than you do.

Orubia: You mean you don’t want anyone to get involved?

Ryle: It’s not that…

Loners are awesome! Why don’t you get that?

Orubia: Dear Ryle… I won’t ask you too much. Will you please let me help you…just a little bit?

I might, if I was a woman! Zing!

Orubia: People need each other’s care and help to live on.

…Are the luckiest people…In the wooooorrrrlllllddddd… Sweet as Splenda with a slightly less unpleasant aftertaste. She quickly leaves before admitting her fondness of me, because, again, Newton’s Fourth Law. 17 affection by now, wow!

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Ryle, you dumb bastard.

The next morning, we set out back to Lavas Ville, and my harem disassociates from me as quickly as possible. Everyone in town, particularly Brad says things to the effect of, “You got in a *vulgarity*-ton of trouble, but you didn’t get anyone killed, so it’s fine.” Latyss sums it up well.

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Well said, elf. Well said.

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I decide to return home and stand on my bed. That always helps me think. Drifting again into madness and not wanting to put anyone else in danger, Ryle decides to set out on his own, as now there’s apparently nowhere where I’ll need two people, or talents other than swordplay, to go. The voice inside Ryle’s head informs me, “Ryle became a lone Swordsman… “Ranger”!” Hoo-rah, I suppose. Does this mean I’ll allegedly be the main character while hobbits do all the footwork?

The NPC at the entrance to Lailai informs me that I should stay at the inn, and after I blow 15 gold there, Ryle says, “I remember there’s a nice spot to build “it” near Blue Bridge little to the north.” I’m really beginning to dislike not knowing what the hell he’s talking about. The spot is indicated by a blue arrow, and when I go there, I learn Ryle has come to the perhaps forgone conclusion that an area with only two towns that are possible to access is not the best place to have an adventuring career. He’ll build a boat with material I never knew he got to leave his old life behind!

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He builds a Mini Boat before any of the girls notice, and as I sail along, at an arbitrary spot, he says he can’t go back after this point. “fine with that?” Hell yeah! See you, people I’ve known all my life! I’m on a boat! I’m on a boat! Take a good hard look at the mother*vulgarity*ing boat!

#14 Sir Exal

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 01:56 AM

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I sail west, and immediately find a roadblock. Or seablock, whatever. Ryle gets in touch with his inner pirate as I muse how useful it might be to have someone capable of powerful abilities beyond normal man right now. Ah well, not like I knew anyone like that.

With that egress blocked, I figure I am now required to go to the nearest, and only, town, which floating text informs me is Volcana Town.

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By the way, this is what sea battles look like. Heehee.

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Odd. Volcana Town seems to have held on to radically different traditions than the rest of the general area, despite being a very short boat ride from where I just was. And apparently they still call their bars “Pubs.”
No time for culture shock, though, as I...wander around looking for something relevant.

Owner’s Daugher: Welcome to our store-! Tehee


Yahiko: A customer in a long time! This one is on me.

That ain’t it. (Is Yahiko even a possible Japanese name?)

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Ryle: B..Boy?!

A boat, how the hell else?! And why is Ryle offended by the use of the word “Boy?” Is he…not one?

Sigh. Finally, I talk to the redhead at the table at the bar/inn.

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I don’t need to know much of Japanese to know “Kuno Ichi” doesn’t mean “Female Ninja.” Wait...shit, it is? Well...er, it needs to not have a space. How does poor country boy Ryle even know what a ninja is? No, wait, I know how. Ninja educators. You learn what a ninja is without ever knowing the teacher was there.

“This Kuno Ichi (Female Ninja) is called Hayami Raienji.”

Hayami: Greetings! Sessha (I) am Hayami. A White Class Shinobi (ninja).

Ryle: Oh-! The mercenary troop of ninja! The White Class!

Ninja educators leave no footprint, only history, geography, and pre-algebra.

Ryle: I’m Ryle, from Lavas Ville.

Hayami: Ryle??

Ryle: ?? Is something wrong?

Hayami: Umm…no, it’s nothing. Actually Sessha (I) have a favor to ask you.

Huh. Apparently…I’m somehow known, and even popular. Somehow.

Ryle: What? Forget it if it’s hiring you. I don’t have any mission for you, nor the gold to pay you.

Hayami: No, not at all. Sessha (I) just want to use your boat to reach eastern continent.

Ryle: !! To the east? Sorry, I can’t.

“I’m barred from the region. There was some…unpleasantness involving a woman walking down the street. I mean, if you’re gonna look like a masseuse, don’t be offended if I ask for a happy ending! How was I supposed to know she was a lawyer?!”

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Hayami pleads a little, and Ryle agrees to help her if she helps him reach the western continent. Apparently I began right smack dab in the middle.

Hayami: Makoto de Gozaru? (Really?) Sessha (I) am glad to be in your service.

Stop pretending you know Japanese, dammit. Ryle is concerned that she can’t join without a contract, but she says she’ll take care of it.

Hayami: Then, Sessha will accompany you, Ryle Dono (sir), until we reach the western shore.

Dono is the only honorific kept intact; Orubia calls Ryle ‘Dear Ryle,’ for example. Why did they keep the honorific like that, especially with a space instead of a hyphen? Yet another mystery of Romancing Walker that will never be solved. Hayami joins the party.

Before leaving for, if not greener, other pastures, I stop and grab some items, including a second blade for Hayami, who dual-wields. The item shop sells World Tree Leaves, the Fenix Dwn of this game; why in the world a Japanese-themed town sells a piece of Yggdrasil, the Norse world tree, is beyond probably anyone.

I sail south to the rocks. Ryle asks if there is any way to break them, and Hayami says she’s not strong enough, but says they could use the Iwa Kiri Maru.

Ryle: Iwa Kiri Maru? You mean the katana (sword) which can break through stones?

Okay, now I’m impressed. The true translation, but not the common one, which just uses it as a particular type of sword. Aha.

Apparently, this legendary sword was, in a orgy of convenience, buried right near Volcana, and left their when the volcano erupted, AND Hayami has an ability that allows her to see hidden items. That ability is…X-Ray Vision. Well, NINJA X-Ray Vision, am I right? “You can count on Sessha,” Hayami reassures me.

Are you annoyed yet? The thing is, “Sessha” doesn’t always mean “I” in the game. She’ll also use it for “me” and occasionally, “myself.” Aarrgh.

She instructs me to go into the menu, select skills, and then select “X-Ray Vision.” Ryle says, “Just WHO is she talking to?” despite this not being the first time such a thing was referenced. Ho ho ho, the mirth.

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Good a time as any to show you the main menu; the skills list and magic points are indicated by the universal sign for magic…the Star of David. Eeeeuw.

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Ninja X-Ray Vision! The sword is easy to find once I know where it is. “Here gozaru!” yells Hayami, which the game doesn’t even pretend there’s a translation for. The sword of legends in my grasp (I have the POWWWWWEERRR!) I return to those frustrating rocks. Well, first, due to a glitch, I can get it repeatedly. So I nab four of the things, just for fun. Only Hayami can use it, and it’s two-handed anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

Hayami braces to assault the stones, and...nothing happens. I’m surprised there’s no fanfare. However, something better DOES appear, and it would make Barbie jealous.

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Well, aren’t those just--oh, god, look at her hideously deformed hand! It’s--it’s like a claw! That’s just cruel, man, just cruel. God, I can’t look anymore.

Hayami: Sorry! Sessha can’t stand straight while the boat is rocking…Sessha didn’t want to ask this, could you support Sessha.

To paraphrase the great Jan Brady: “Sessha, sessha, sessha!” Gaaah.

Ryle: Ah! Okay! I got it! Here, I am holding your waist! (Wow! She got a great body!)

Polite of you to notice, Ryle.

Hayami: A-Ano.. (Umm) Don’t just grab Sessha, please hold Sessha tight!

Ryle: (Oops!) Sorry, is this alright?

Hayami: Please stop moving around your hands, Sessha can’t concentrate…

Somehow, the groping helps settle her.

Hayami: …This time, Sessha can do it! Hoo…

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She attacks, and the rocks explode in a quick animation. You know, Ryle was on the boat too. How did him holding her negate the effects of the rocking boat? Hmm.

Hayami: Ryle Dono! (Sir Ryle!) The rocks are totally…

Hayami: Ano (Umm)… You can let go of Sessha now.

Ryle: S-SORRY! *both hands off*

Come on, now, that isn’t even an action!

Hayami: It’s, It’s all right. Sessha do not mind at all.

I knew a girl like this once. Cute one. Huggy.

Ryle: Oh, mmm, Let’s head toward west!

Hayami: By the way Ryle Dono? You interested in “those” things?

Apparently, she used to be a cage dancer. She was quite open about her body.

Ryle: Wha… What are you talking about?

Hayami: When Sessha was X-raying back then, Sessha saw “woman pictures” among your belongs.

Quite open about a lot of things. Showed her favorite sexual positions (while clothed, of course) once. It was…odd.

Ryle: “Woman pictures?” HBoy LE!! Dope! I should have got rid of it.

[Here I thought it was yaoi. Huh.]

Hayami: You nauhty boy. *chuckles*

She woulda reacted that way too. Heh, when she hugged me, I had to tilt my hips away from her.

Ahem, ignore me. Anyway, this raises Hayami’s affection even more than normal, so she’s already up to 14. Impressive for someone I just met.

NEXT TIME: I fight evil trees and the most well-armored ninjas you’ll ever see.

#15 Sir Exal

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 02:07 AM

Part the Fifth: Scarecrow and Miss Raienji

Never thought I’d see the day…I’d see a big boat coming my way…believe me when I--

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Oops! Huh, I must say that’ s one of the most reasonable roadblock explanations I’ve seen. It’s not a waist-high fence or anything. Nicely done. So, instead, I head to the one piece of land accessible by boat, where I quickly disembark. Nice of the western continent to be so close.

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The HELL? Ryle built that thing from scratch with his own two hands, and he’s gonna give it to the first tart who flashes her tits at him?! Hell, no! Not in my damn boat!

Hayami: Ano…(Umm) Ryle Dono… Can Sessha join you?

Can who join me? Oh, right, you. You know how confusing that gets?

Ryle: Huh?

Quite articulate today, huh, Ryle?

Hayami: Although Sessha crushed rocks, Sessha can’t just take your boat… And…

When Hayami’s the voice of reason, you know you’re in trouble.[/I]

Ryle: And?

Hayami: Sessha sense the danger around here, you’ll need a local guide.

Ryle: But what about your mission?

Hayami: Once Sessha have the boat, the rest of schedule become very flexable. (Besides, there’s something to CHECK…)

Have you noticed that Hayami does manage to keep her verbs straight? Sessha (I) sense, instead of Sessha senses, for example. It’s odd how much attention can be paid at some points and completely ignored in others.

Ryle: You are right. I really need your help since it’s my first time here.

Hayami: Indeed? Then…Sessha will be in your service again.

You will serve me! How good ARE you? The world will be mine!

Ryle: I feel like there’s some hidden meaning to this…

Hayami is just waiting for the right moment to slit his throat in his sleep. Nah, Hayami just knows Ryle is likely to get himself killed if he wanders off alone.

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So, given that I can’t go in the forest (I can go to Factoria Castle “some other time” says Hayami), and the evil trees around here can only withstand a couple of hits (let‘s ignore the fact that Hayami‘s supposed to be as powerful as fifty men), I guess I’ll go in the nearest town. “Dual West town,” says the entrance text. Unfortunately, Dual West is not set up like Symmetry City. Drat.

There’s very little in Dual West that’s useful, and even less that’s interesting, so I’ll just head to the nearest plot point. Hail, NPC soldier style #2! What have you to say?

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Ooh, now I know the word Curse, and can say it to other--oops, wrong game.

The guard discusses the plot of the game thus far, monsters, killers, and now “some WACKO" just became the new High Chancellor. And this is different from normal politics how? Buh-ZING! Having completed his expository duty, the soldier leaves, at a rather laborious pace, and the conversation doesn’t resume till he’s left.

Hayami: Ryle Dono… you should pull yourself away from the capital.

Ah, but you cannot, the capitol is like a vacuum, pulling in everything, not even letting light escape.

Ryle: Why not?

Why not indeed?

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Um…no, that’s basically everything right there, Hayami.

Hayami: And so far, Ryle Dono has not been content with the capital’s recent policies. Sessha know Ryle Dono will soon charge into the castle to contest your complaints…

“Objection! My complaints have no basis is fact and are composed with the elegancy of a third-grader! My complaints has no place in these hallowed grounds, and I should be thrown out of this building of state bodily and attacked by dogs!”

Hayami: Then you’ll lose your life to the hands of White Shinobi!

Ryle: !! But you’re on their side! I hear traitors get punished severely by leaking information.

Ninja educators strike again!

Hayami: Sessha can’t just seat around and do nothing…from now on Sessha am out of White Shinobi!

“For you, a man Sessha met yesterday!” And, honor-bound, Hayami immediately committed seppuku.

Hayami: To tell the truth, all White Shinobi, except Sessha, are being brainwashe and being controlled.

Actually, that makes you the top suspect!

…Actually, sounds like a good reason to turn in your badge and kunai. “This whole clan is just under the chancellor’s thumb!” “You’re outta line, Hayami!!” “YOU’RE outta line! Everyone’s outta line! The whole goddamn dojo is outta line!”

Ryle: To be able to hypnotize the White Shinobi of Iron Will…Who could it be?

Hayami: Sessha can’t tell you that. They will put Ryle Dono on their black list.

I’m a known dissident and you’re a runaway from the most powerful ninja clan in the land. I think we’re pretty much screwed already. A choice appears: “Go rescue them together!” Or “I’ll handle them myself.” Now now, no one said anything about rescuing anybody…

The hint suggests Hayami likes being calm and helpful, whatever that means, so I say the first option. Hayami points out “Single Shinobi alone can handle 50 regular soldiers,” but Ryle refuses to be daunted by the downright insane odds. Hayami is inspired by this suicidal confidence, somehow.

Hayami: (...Just as I thought. This man must be the…)

The? The what? The chosen one? The Hero of Time? The effing Mua'dib? WHAT?

So, having resolved to do what he had already been resolved to do, Ryle heads out of Dual West, hopefully never to return, and sets out toward the forest in the west, when…it begins raining. Ryle is confused, perhaps at the idea that water can fall from the sky. Hayami snaps into action, pushing Ryle away just in time to avoid a diagonal line from cleaving his sprite in half. “Oowa-!” he oowas. “Show yourself!” commands Hayami, and the opponent quickly obliges, for reasons known only to ninja.

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Oh, sonnovabitch, they ALL do that? This is why they were brainwashed, because people couldn’t STAND them otherwise.

White Shinobi: Sessha won’t allow the traitor like you to live! Kakugo! (Ready to die!)


News travels very fast in Ernest, as always. A glass-breaking noise is made for some reason, and the ninja attacks.

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You do? Well, I wisth you’d tell me, brother! He looks more akin to a knight or one of the guys from Fallout than an actual ninja. I bet that full chainmail shirt really helps stealth, right?

Hayami: Ryle Dono! Let Sessha take care of him! Run away!!

…Unless you both count as 25 people, you’re kinda screwed both ways, guys.

Ryle: Too late! He knows my face now. We better capture him alive.

Ryle’s like the phantom of the opera that way. Anyone sees his face must be captured. And his fondness for killing fat men.

Hayami: It’s impossible to capture a shinobi by ordinary men!!

Ryle: Wait! Look at that! What’s that thing on his shoulder?

If he’s anything like me right now, a chip.

Haymai: That’s?


Hayami: Sessha senses evil energy from it!

White Shinobi: Chickened out? If you wont come, Sessha’ll attack you first![/I]

Ryle: That thing on his shoulder might be the cause of his brainwashing!!

Or, alternatively, something he picked up while swimming in a lake.[/I]

Anyway, yell yell yell, threaten, battle start, concentrate your attacks on the thing.

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Oh, come on, Ryle, I think the iddle ninja can take a few lumps. Why are we being so concerned about his well-being anyway? He is trying to kill you!

Actually, as only Hayami has group moves right now, and the ninja is tough enough, it’s okay to unleash a couple. Defeat the ninja, firmly busting the myth of the undefeatable White Shinobi, and a quick blurb appears before game over that Ryle was arrested for killing the ninja, which almost makes sense. Almost.

The fight takes longer than it should, mainly because the “Monster Seed” (well, of course it’s evil if it’s called that) gets turns and spends them defending or healing, and if you do too much damage to the Shinobi, he cures them both for quite a bit, but Ryle’s learned a move called “Triple Slash” at this point, and the ninja doesn’t do too much damage, so it’s easy enough to best him. You’d have to try in order to kill the ninja though.

…Did I say “longer?” I meant “a lot longer.” Jeez, that was annoying. Finally, the monster cell dies. “Look! That wierd thing fell off!” announces Ryle. “Urg?! Where am Sessha?” says the ninja, making me severely question saving his life. Hayami quickly explains, (“Sessha was brainwashed?!”) And the battle ends.

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The ninja’s sprite changes from black to white, and we quickly grill the ex-brainwashee for information. His name is Gohu, and when Ryle asks for information on the castle, the screen fades out, and we are told that “Ryle about the capital from Gohu.” Ninja educators strike again.

Ryle: Now the capital is controlled not by the king, but by the Prince Dyss and the High Chancellor Xaktor.

“Yes, that is precisely what I just said.” What the hell was the point of that fadeout!?

They converse more on the subject, guessing the Xaktor is the controller behind the whole situation, probably on virtue of his exceedingly evil-sounding name. I mean, an X, a K, and “tor.” This guy couldn’t be MORE evil.

Ryle re-re-resolves to go to Factoria, Goku--erm, Gohu disappears to investigate how to free his comrades (the same way, right?) and Hayami wants to accompany Ryle. It’s the Ninja way or something. 20 attraction.

With that done, we enter Lilith Woods, which, of course, doesn’t exist for certain denominations.

#16 Sir Exal

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 02:08 AM

The monsters here--pythons and lizard things called Kamerio, which just sounds to me like random letters--are considerably tougher than anything thus far. My potions and Hayami’s jutsu get quite a bit of a workout as I wander through the dark forest.

Needles appear! It’s a trap! I have to give up half of my medallion, and can’t put together the silver--wait, no. Hayami can stop the damage or poison from the ninja traps, although it only works 5/6 of the time. Also, she mentions that I can use her X-Ray Vision to spot the traps, though it seems kinda pointless if to spot them, I can avoid them only if I don’t have to avoid them. Weird. She usually says something nonsensical as she deflects the trap, such as, “I am also trained in the art of shinobi!” And down street on the flipflop, timepants.

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(Seriously, did Romance of the Three Kingdoms have any ninjas with X-Ray vision? Am I missing something?) Also, the music here is pretty damn cool, as opposed to most of the others that got infuriating pretty damn quickly, especially when I minimize it to write all this crap.

Okay, I navigate the forest, getting Ryle up to level nine by the time we approach the last part of the one-area-long forest and are “ambushed” by a boss battle with “the one desires blood,” something called a Ramia. Y’sure you don’t mean “Lamia,” game? “Tsk! A tough enemy!” Ryle tsktsks.

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Um…thanks, but doesn’t the whole idea of weaknesses go out the window when the game just point-blank tells me the weakness of the bosses? Or did the game just think I’d be too stupid to try the elemental attacks? Sigh.

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Even though she lowers Ryle’s attack, fairly neutering him, the battle goes quickly, aided as I am by Hayami’s elemental “nin-scrolls.” Nin-scrolls? Really? Halfway through the battle, the Ramia laughs “Not bad! This is getting interesting… Killing you with full power would be more fun!” She ISN’T left handed! The Ramia summons two more Ramiae. “Arg! The Reinforcement?!” yells Ryle nonsensically. Fortunately, Ryle learned “Aura Strike” from a bookcase in Duel West, so it’s not much harder to defeat three than one, plus the middle one’s already damaged. Ryle does die temporarily, but I’m able to get him back on his feet and not defeated. The game, by the way, does call the effect “DEAD,” which raises some interesting theological questions.

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I have to use some Breakfast Jelloes to regain MP, especially as the last one keeps healing herself, but eventually I mercilessly slaughter three unarmed women and get out of Lilith.

So I head north to--

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Oh, hell.

Ryle: Whatever, what is it with your donut shaped head?

That’s one of only many, many questions I have.

Gigan Dasher: This is currently popular form for running!

Ryle: Only for you guys.

Gigan Dasher: Then let you guys taste my horror!

Ryle: You guys already done enough harms. This world’s own image has been completely ruined.

To his credit, this one actually does attack once. But sure enough, on the third turn…

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Ryle: What the!!


Gigan Dasher: HA! My dash is not as wimpy as Runner Way’s!!

Gigan Dasher: Woowaaaaah-!


Gigan Dasher: No[skull]

Ryle: What an idiot. It was simply charging straight. I could easily counter it.


There are no words. None. I can’t imagine who or what would find any of this the least bit funny. I have read nutrition fact sheets that are more humorous. It’s-it’s just….gahhh.

Okay. I’m fine. Let’s just keep going, and-- “FLARE Bat encountered!

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FLARE Bat: Your fate ends here!! Let me see how long you can survive, while disobeying your own creator!!!

Three exclamation points there, one more than normal. That means it’s really, really loud.

Ryle: Howcome you always try to mess up the game’s image and background?

FLARE Bat: So I can give more spice to the player, otherwise repeating similar battles over and over again.

The school shooter didn’t like Mondays. The *uncreative* doctors were just following orders. FLARE wants to give more spice to the player.

Ryle: And that’s the best you can come out with? A stinking BAT?! Get outta here…

FLARE Bat: What the F?! One insult after the other! Prepare to DIE!

My psychiatrist thinks I make these stories up. And just in case you think it’s a real battle, the second I hit it, FLARE is offended.

Ryle: You don’t belong HERE!! Now BEAT it!! You STUPID computer nerd!!

Look! Look! I’m making fun of myself!! It’s hilarious hahahahahahaha!

FLARE responds via swearing in non-alphanumeric symbols.

Next turn, Flare flies into the sky, declares it’s time to end it…and steals a potion and flees. That’s it. “It’s a pathetic move…but it’s PISSING ME OFF!”

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I agree with Ryle’s sentiment. And actually, there’s a second set-up. “Go home and fix more bugs, you SOB!!” encourages Ryle, but I think there’s about a dozen things I’d want him to do first.

FLARE Bat: How DARE you! I am the one typing all your phrases here!! Have some respect will ya![/I!]

Doesn’t that give him all the more reason to hate you?

Ryle: I CURSE myself for being made by some sorry ass bat like YOU!!!

See what I mean? I’d hate everything if my dialogue was anything like that.

FLARE Bat: [i]That’s IT!! You ungrateful…little BRAT!! I’m gonna press the RESET on you! I SWEAR!!!

…and the rest is identical.

I’d like to apologize on behalf of whatever cruel and sadistic god did this. FLARE wasted everyone’s time--his own writing that tripe, mine for playing it and writing it down, and yours for reading it.

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Well, I used up my update’s picture allotment with all that monkey crap in dog crap, so we’ll enter the castle town next update, it seems.

NEXT TIME: OR WILL WE? “No! My humble peasant village!”

#17 Sir Exal

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 02:44 AM

Apologies for the delay; I had tabletop stuff to attend to.

Part the Sixth: Now & Then, Here & There & Here Again & There Again & Here Yet Again &…

Last we left our demented duo, Ryle was planning to confront the High Chancellor of the continent about his massive corruption and abuse of power, not to mention his army of brainwashed ninja bodyguards.

…You get the feeling he hasn’t thought this out well?

As I approach Factoria Castle, it begins to rain. This can only mean one of two things: a high-pressure front has collided with a low-pressure front in the stratosphere, causing clouds laden with water to form and ultimately get too heavy for their own weight, causing the water to fall to the ground as precipitation…

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Or that, I suppose.

Honestly, what kind of ninjas are these if I’m warned of their advent by the motherfrakkin’ weather?! If it’s communication, what the hell happened to bird calls? And why exactly do they have this precipitation no jutsu anyway? These are seriously some of the more un-ninja like ninjas I’ve ever seen.

Hayami guides Ryle away from the castle by the wrist as if he has down syndrome, and we abruptly find the game without an immediate goal. Trying to enter the castle again causes Ryle to growl, “After we’ve come this far…!“ And tried so hard, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter. I wander around like an idiot for a while before attempting to re-enter Lilith Woods.

Hayami talks about all the defenses, summing up “Basically it’s impenetrable.” Okay, I’m hearing a lot of problems, but no solutions. Suddenly, Hayami’s spider sense tingles. Someone’s approaching! “I finally found you…” says a mysterious voice, which usually isn’t a good thing for RPG characters.

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Oh, dear god, it’s a Na’vi! Kill it! Kill it with fire!!

No, of course, it’s Latyss, having “made the contact with the elementals” through her magical powers, allowing her to travel on the winds and making it impossible to find a foundation in her shade. But no pleasant, Pocahontas-style epic has brought her here--

Latyss: The royal army attacked the Lavas.

And they immediately burned to death--oh, right.

Ryle: W-what did you say?

Latyss: Everyone’s fine… Thanks to Brad’s leadership, we managed to fight back…somehow.

This is more impressive than it sounds, as the population is Latyss, Orubia, Caris, an old man, a elven housewife, a little girl, and Brad himself. The revolution is teenage girls and middle-agers, apparently.

Ryle: But why the capital would attack us?

Latyss: They accused us of challenging the royal authority by solving the caseat Southern Cray by ourselves...

Ryle: What? That’s nonsense!!

No kidding!


Respect my royal authori-tah!


“They even admitted this was a pretty damn weak reason, but that we’d all be dead, so we wouldn’t be able to point out the stupidity.”


“So we threw you to the wolves to save the town. The snipers just moved into position.”


“But Brad knocked the helmet off one of the soldiers, and she fell asleep. She says her name‘s Terra.”

Ahem. So it’s back to Lavas we go, after a quick meet ‘n’ greet of the two girls. Naturally, I have to walk there and absolutely nothing happens, except perhaps “On the Way” or “Every Day is a Winding Road” playing. The traps have disappeared from Lilith, which is nice; but Latyss is severely below the levels of Ryle and Hayami, though she levels quickly. I return to my hometown again, and are teleported directly to Caris’s house, where every plot-relevant character thus far assembles.

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Brad? Honestly? I’ve been trying to forget I come from here this entire time. How long was I gone, anyway? Two days? Hayami deflects blame, pointing out “Sessha am also being responsible.” Gaaaaaaaaaaah.

The group has a long, boring discussion over what the hell just happened. The soldiers seemed as out-of-the-loop on the invasion as the townspeople were, save the fact the Southern Cray was some sort of ruined experiment. Yeah. Everyone is not fond of the fact the town has managed to make enemies of the biggest army on the continent, and Hayami points out that if the situation escalates, the White Shinobi might be called in. And Preshes has too much blood on her hands already. The next time Ryle feels a yen for adventure, he’d be well-advised to read a novel.

They decide to hide in Volcana, as it’s the most out-of-the-way town, for a certain value of ‘out-of-the-way,’ and because Hayami has a hiding place there. She’ll have to chase the Goonies out, but after that, they’re golden. We take a brief comedy break for the other girls to be peeved I gifted Hayami with a boat, and then break.

Everyone in town seems to be ignoring the fact that I was the one that visited the imperial army on their humble hamlet, and are just happy Ryle’s okay. Before leaving, though, I need to decide on my party for this time. I consult a conspicuously blinking red exclamation point in my house, and are taken to the party assmblage scene.

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The girls jog in place nervously as I choose. Naturally, all of the characters say a small line when selected, chose, or rejected, depending on one’s relationship with them. This time, I think I’ll go with Orubia and Caris, as I haven’t spent much time with them as of yet. Caris says, “Alright alright! I will accompany you then,” as if she’s doing me a favor or possibly trying to sing the Clarissa Explains it All theme song.

I grab new weapons for my girls in Southern Cray, like some kind of fusion of Hugh Hefner and Charleton Heston., including a Hand Bowgun(slingshotjavelinrifle) for Latyss. The animations change with the weapons, which is a nice detail. To bad the big picture was completely ignored.

I reach Volcana with, once again, nothing of interest happening. Hayami ushers us into her hideout, accessible by moving a conspicuous lantern.

Ryle amazed by this. Ryle is easily impressed.

I am immediately thrown into an unspeakably dull cutscene where the characters sum up the plot once again, merely for the benefit of characters who weren‘t there. Where’s that goddamn fade to black now? Eventually, as all their plans are near-suicide, they realize…

Brad: We can’t make plans until we have some idea about enemy’s status.

Silence, secondary character!

Hayami: Not only that, the capital might have sent its troops to various locations to find us.

I think you’re vastly overestimating your importance.

Ryle: And don't forget this island is so small that once they tracked us down, we got no place to hide.

Latyss: Indeed. Once they come here, sooner or later they’ll find this hideout.

A burst of logic! Be nice to it, it’s in a strange and lonely place.

Ryle: Anyway, let’s go to the castle. We don’t got much time.

But--wait a second--didn’t we just decide that was idiotic?

Hayami: Ryle Dono, Sessha can’t with you sinse they know Sessha very well.

Ryle: They’ll recognize you for sure. Then I will go spy on them along with 2 more members.

Yeah, let’s not bring the one person here experienced in covert reconnaissance and stealth!

No, no, I get this. Think about it. All of the White Shinobi are guarding the castle…except Hayami. All of the White Shinobi were brainwashed…except Hayami. The White Shinobi are as strong as 50 men…except Hayami. Hayami doesn’t make it rain when she comes. And Hayami apparently can’t sneak worth a damn. The explanation?

Hayami ISN’T a White Shinobi! She’s just some wannabe stalker of the group who likes dressing up as a ninja and pretending to cast related techniques by using scrolls! She’s nothing but a fraud!!

Excuse me, erm, moving on.

Caris: Well, you decide who to bring with among Orubia, Latyss and I. You can take only 2.

Ryle: Hey, wait a minute, Orubia!

Brad: Caris!! This is not a game!!

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Brad can’t go cause they saw his face, the girls get their way blah blah blah I am so done with this scene. Caris and Orubia are once again electromagnetically strapped to my body.

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Boy, Hayami’s hideout is huge. Does she regularly have the complete populations of minor towns stay over?

Everyone seems oddly unconcerned about my suicide mission, and more interested in their temporary digs. Thanks a lot, pricks. I leave the hideout of the damned and head out of town, to the boat, across the water, through the Lilith woods again, and into the castle town.

Well, I’m here, so let’s get to spying! Let’s talk to this guard over here--oh.

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Note also the regal-looking woman. Factoria is home to the rich and noble and nothing but the rich and noble (how that works, I have no idea), except for the maids and the shop owner, who informs me that the tax are high and the “punishment for not paying it is too horrible to know.”


All the upper-class in town are absurdly cruel to a downright ridiculous point. A woman in a graveyard informs me her husband was executed literally for “voicing his concern” about the kingdom’s policy. And as for that guy in the mansion…

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And then he yells at the maid, ha ha ha. That ain’t working. That’s the way you do it. I talk to another guard, and am surprised when he addresses Ryle by his name and a disconnected honorific, but not for long.

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No, goddamn it, it’s not. “It’s Gohu.” That’s what you say. And if it was this easy to disguise, why didn’t the fraud come along and just disguise herself? Gah.

“This person is ninja?” Orubia asks, losing command of her sentence structure. Gohu explains there are something like 20 controlled White Shinobi in the castle. Ryle somehow figures out that means there are essentially 1000 men in there, giving everyone an “Oh, crap” moment.

They figure if there’s a way to attack the Shinobi one at a time, they stand a better chance, but that’s still difficult, not to mention it took an (alleged) Shinobi and Ryle to defeat one last time.

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…I’m going to assume that somehow made sense. A whole lotta nothing gets decided, and Ryle says he must return to Hayami before they take any action. This is thrilling gameplay, folks, watching people talk and then running back and forth across the landscape. It’s like playing the Metal Gear Solid games, except I can‘t push the shoulder buttons in to boredly zoom the camera in and out!

#18 Sir Exal

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 02:45 AM

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Well, at least the girls are getting experience. I walk back, once again, to the hideout, and report, bizarrely, to Brad, even though he’s possibly the least informed of the characters to report to. Why not just report to Preshes or something? Or the futon?

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…and who the hell is this staring intently at my neck?

“Ryle, meet bachelorette #5. She’s a friendly girl with a fondness for cooking and a willingness to settle for less. Her turn-offs include the forces of CHAOS.”

This is Fina Delstar. She is the only daughter of the legendary Sacred Dragoon Flare.

They make their legends quickly ‘round these parts. There is a quick round of shocked faces, as Hayami explains she asked Fina there. Damn it, Hayami! We’re wanted by the royal army! You cannot just keep having booty calls here at all hours of the night! Fina doesn’t want any accolades because of her mother. “I was an ordinary girl until 2 years ago…”

Ryle: (How can she call herself ordinary…)

“Ordinary: of a kind to be expected in the normal order of events.” She was completely normal! Maybe she didn’t have magical superpowers like the rest of you idiots!

Fina: Please don’t think of it as: Savior’s Daughter = Sacred Dragoon.

My brother would point out that the syntax makes that equation impossible.

Fina: Just remember that I’ll help you as much as I can in my abilities…

Orubia: Let us work hard as one team.

“Now start dusting, Fina, you can vacuum later.”

Ryle: Well, I won’t be expecting too much from you. Still, you are an addition to our team. Welcome! We don’t have enough troops nor time to wait now.

And the question of how Hayami knows the savior of the world is left unasked and unanswered. Caris identifies her sword as the “Rune Disaster,” and after a bit of talk of formality that would make much more sense in Japanese, she talks about her sword.

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All others have to keep it peacebonded except during performances, for all days of the con.

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Ryle: Dragon Gene? You mean the Draconic Aura which is needed becoming the Sacred Dragoon?

Ryle, stop pretending you know what we’re talking about and go play with your blocks.

Fina: Correct! Well, to be more accurate, it means having the dragon bloodline. My mom received the Dragon Gene from other person.


So they talk about the sword mind-numbingly for a while. It’s apparently part of an ancient sword called the Draconic Buster, which had a absurdly powerful spell called Omega Wave, which apparently “vaporized single continent” once. So it was split into two. Halves of the most powerful sword ever. One of which is currently in that hands of a teenage girl.

Get off single continent now, folks.

Fina: Actually I haven't seen it yet, the sword transforms as it reacts to the Dragon Gene. In fact, this Rune Disaster changes its shape and power along with my personal growth. (level-ups)

Thank you, game, there’s no way I could have figured that out. More semi-humor, Caris comments that she must be quite powerful now, Fina is humble yadda yadda. FINALLY, Ryle tells them about what he learned from his high-risk spy mission. They realize that there is absolutely no useful information whatsoever, and they are still boned, as they wish to mount an attack on a castle guarded by over 20 impossibly power (at least in theory) ninjas. But Fina has a plan!

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Fina claims the move can destroy the Monster Cells quickly. Ryle points out that she’ll have to be on the bait team, codenamed “Team: Dogmeat” to do this.

Fina: We need a diversion team no matter what! Because there’s no way out once we’re surrounded.

She certainly is willing to run into certain death for people she just met three seconds ago.

Caris: She’s right! I also agree with her plan!

You’re such a *vulgarity*ing brown-noser, Caris.

Ryle: But you might end up ambushed by a bunch of them!?

And the award for “Most improperly used interrobang goes to…

Fina: I sure that there’s no way that all of them can attack us at once.

Ryle: Huh?

That Ryle, always either utterly clueless or…no, that’s basically it.[/I]


Fina: If the High Chancellor hired those ninjas to protect him, then they might just do so. But he will lose the people’s trust on royal authority if the foreign army is used instead. Knowing that risk, he’s still using ninjas…to just protect himself? Don’t you think that’s a little awkward?

Ryle: So you’re saying the Chancellor hired ninjas to protect something other than himself?

Fina: If that’s the case, each ninja at the various points cannot leave his post.

Feel free to explain that through the five katana in your lungs, Fina.

Fina: That means we can attack them one by one which is more plausible! And in my opinion, the Chancellor is being overconfident about security because he hired the White Ninjas. For they are strongest mercenary army that he can find out there…

Dude, Hayami’s right there. So Fina shows she has two brain cells to rub together, even if the conclusion makes very little sense. This, of course, leaves the others shellshocked.

Ryle: You…you are absolutely right.

Orubia: Miss Delstar, you are increable!

Hayami: Sessha can say like mother like daughter.

Latyss: Much better analytical skills than I expected.

Than YOURS, you dumb elf!

Caris: That’s her saying of “You are very talented!”

So they decide to split into two teams: Diversion and infiltration. I’d like to remind you this is the exact plan that was dismissed as suicide not one post ago. Fina wants Hayami as a meatshield--er, to catch up with the ninjas.

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Fina, that is a pretty goddamn big assumption.

Ryle: After I organized my party, the mission begins! To the Factoria Castle!!

Annnd…Ryle’s just completely nuts now.

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“I cut myself to let all my shame onto the floor…It’s just like that one song I wrote…”

So back ONCE AGAIN to the castle, meeting another Gigan Dasher AND a FLARE Bat. Mother of god, Amtrak is better than this! Gohu says that the place is still lousy with shinobi, and suggests sneaking in at night, under a cardboard box or something.

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“You shoulda seen us during the gay rights speeches, hoo man.”

At the hotel, Ryle suggests “Why not stocking on supplies now?” but I just advance time to the night.

I begin my tactical espionage by…walking up to the front door. While trying to talk my way past the guards, a guard calls Fina “You flat-chest,” a name which I cannot imagine anyone has ever called anybody, and she…overreacts.

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Twasn’t funny in Slayers, tisn’t funny now.

The text boxes hilariously refer to them as “Gate guard on left” and “Gate guard on right” for the purpose of giving them separate grunting noises. “I’d better watch out from now on, especially commenting on breasts,” thinks Ryle, but…I can’t say I’ve ever consciously needed to stop myself. It’s not polite conversation with women, for gods’ sake.

In the castle, 5 ninjas are supposed to be with Xaktor (giggle) so Hayami & crew have to fight 15, never more than two at once. Good thing this major castle is deceptively small.

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The rest of the plan, forgetting that only Fina’s supposed to be able to beat the ninjas.

So, which two home girls (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed--er, Caris, Latyss, and Orubia) do I choose to accompany me? Vote, and the most popular, or however I decide, I’ll take with me.

NEXT TIME: Xaktor, the Black Ranger! And a twist involving Ryle’s parentage you will never…see…coming!

#19 Sir Exal

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 02:43 AM

b]Part the Seventh: Fun Storming the Castle OR The Prince and the Other, Lesser Prince[/b]

Okay, when last we left our heroes, they began the first stages of mounting an all-out assault on a major government building, with plans to attack every guard in the citadel and then to kill the chief of state. But we’re the good guys, so it’s okay.

We got one vote for Ryle to be accompanied by Caris and Orubia, and one vote for Caris and Latyss. I will decide this with an analysis of the best one to take both humorously and gameplay-wise.


“…Did you just flip a coin?!

Ryle has chosen Caris and Orubia, because he’s tired of suffering through Latyss’s aura of shame. Let Fina feel it for a while. (Hayami, in case you haven’t noticed, has no shame.)

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I take control of Fina, Latyss, and Chesty LaRue first. They have their determined faces on, ready to face this challenge. Hoo-ha! Latyss is a bit behind in level, but that won’t last.

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Shhh. Be vewy vewy quiet. I’m hunting ninjas. Huhuhuhuhuh.

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A few meaningless threats are exchanged, and the battle begins.

Fina: So all I have to do is attack only the Monster Cell on shoulder! Then the ninja will become normal!!

Hayami: Roger!

Latyss: I should use single target spell to attack just the Monster Cell!

She’s lyrical, and does not realize it! There’s nothing new in battle here. While Latyss’s attacks don’t do crap,. Fina‘s Victory Buster defeats the things in nearly one hit, and the ninja doesn’t pose enough of a offensive threat to be challenging. Perhaps unsurprisingly, their strength is quite exaggerated.

Once freed from the dubious control of the Monster Cell (biggest one cell I’ve ever seen…) Hayami and Fina exchange a few words with the liberated Shinobi, at which point he disappears to cover the gate or something, despite the fact that having them fight the others would make things very easy. Ah, well, nothing worth doing is easy. …No, wait, nothing in Romancing Walker is easy.

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I walk up the stairs and to the next ninja. Oddly, they don’t care about my intrusion until I actually talk to them. “Your life will be Sessha’s,” he threatens. This doesn’t sound absurdly awkward to them? Really?

Fina: Only attack the Monster Cell! My Victory Buster will inflict heavy damage to it!

Hayami: Just be patient for little longer! We will help you!

Latyss: Should be carefull about choosing which spells to use. Avoid the group attack spells.

A Victory Buster and a few attacks later, he’s free and they have the exact same conversation with him that she did with the last guy. Hmmm. I approach another ninja.

Fina: Only attack the Monster Cell! My Victory Buster will inflict heavy damage to it!

Hayami: Just be patient for little longer! We will help you!

Latyss: Should be carefull about choosing which spells to use. Avoid the group attack spells…

Oh, hell, they say this before every battle.

I wander around. One ninja guards a treasure chest.

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What? Fina wants the treasure, but Hayami tells her not to act like a common thief. Fina apologizes, and says it’s a “habbit” from being a poor peasant, as if that excuses anything.

White Shinobi: You can keep entertain yourselves after sent you to hell!

What? The battle begin--I’m sorry, but, what?

Fina: So all I have to do is attack only the Monster Cell on shoulder! Then the ninja will become normal!!

Hayami: Roger!

Latyss: I should use single target spell to attack just the Monster cell!

Okay, I lied. They switch between the two conversations before the battle. Both are still really, really annoying. After the fight, I go to open the chest.

Hayami: You sure you going to open it no matter what?

Wait, is that a threat?

Fina: I just want to see if there’s any item that can help us in our mission.

Hayami: Sessha think that’s not the REAL reason

Fina: (Oops! She got me!)

So you put a kleptomaniac in our party. Thanks a whole lot, game. But the item happens to be a Factoria key, what for opening doors in the castle, completely validating Fina.

Fina: See! I told you so!


Fina: We are just borrowing this key under the name of justice!

In the name of the moon, I will borrow this key!

Hayami: ……

Twice as silent as before.

Fina: Give me a break! I can feel a little bit of guilt too!

But you don’t have to! I couldn’t move forward in the game if…eh, forget it.

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Hayami, of course, doesn’t say anything when I loot other treasure chests. Latyss puts on her Clothe and Wizard Hat.

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Call the exterminator! This castle has a bad infestation of…horribly deformed Godzookie-like creatures. Yeesh.

But (aside from the occasional distraction) as above, so below for fifteen ninjas, one at a mothereffin‘ time. The quick conversations after I talk to the ninja vary, but nothing exceptionally clever or anything. Defeating the White Shinobi elicits a wail of “I killed the ninja first,” “It’s too late now,” or some combination of the two. Most everyone says identical things after I kill the monster cell, which goes to show you the bizarre priorities at work here once again. Occasionally, we get a dumb skit, as the one with this particular ninja…

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Fina: I only heard from the others, it seems you guys end up helping the bad guys…

White Shinobi: Really!? Maybe a wire or two still hanging on Sessha’s arms and legs?!

Fina: What do you think you are?! A nutcracker?

White Shinobi: Jesus! You need to control your blood sugar Miss, and take it easy. Get some of those iron pills and calcium too.

They’ll raise your base stats! Fina, fed up with the nonsensical dialogue, tells him to go to the entrance, saying it’s freaking dangerous for him. He, entirely reasonably, points out Fina’s probably the most dangerous person around, angering the Daughter of Savior even more. Hayami moves in.

Hayami: After this mission is completed, Sessha will……you, okay?


White Shinobi: Really!? Sessha will pursue this mission even if it means risking life!


Fina: What did you tell him?

Specifically, or just in general?

Hayami: Sessha told him that he shall be rewarded with large amount of his favorite treats after this...

Now, hold on, that still just might be a double entendre.

Fina: Did you just bribed him with mere snacks?

Hayami: Why don’t we just hurry to next target now?

Fina: Never thought the famous mercenary force would be easily tamed by some candybars…

Haymai: Haa… *sigh*

I’ll eat your candybars anytime, babe. Once again, a gag fanfare plays, which is perhaps the worst part of these moronic skits; the music implies that I’m too stupid to realize it was supposed to be funny. Or, perhaps, Flare just realized that there was nothing funny about it. I heal in front of the magic fireplace over there and move on.

And there’s one skit summable by this one screenshot…

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Fina: (Why must my chest be so small and flat L)

Goddammit, game, why you make me hate you?

Actually, as I do the dull task of clearing the ninjas from the place, hopefully raising the property value a bit, I’ll mention something about the combat that I realized I haven’t mentioned before. While many of battle animations are nothing but the default slashes, bursts and fires, some of the normal attacks and many of the later moves are much different. Oftentimes, they show a quick flash of the character attacking, (Latyss firing her Bowgun, for example). These change with the weapon equipped! Fina has an odd one, too, where she merely stands, points her sword downward, and her sprite moves diagonally downward on the enemy. Whee!

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#20 Sir Exal

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 02:45 AM

After all the ninjas are defeated (repetitive, but it’s better than just wandering back and forth), we walk back to Ryle’s group. The group makes the astounding conclusion that Xaktor has kidnapped the King for leverage on the prince, which anyone could have told you. Ryle brings up a plot hole.

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Ryle: He rather use these cells on those ninjas who are already famous for being 100% royal to their employer?

Ryle, stop trying to make sense of the plot. You’ll give yourself an aneurysm.

Ryle: That kind of bad dude whould leave the prince alone?

Are you a bad enough dude to not leave the prince alone?

Caris: Why not brainwash the king at the first place? Seems more efficient.

Ryle: Looks like Xaktor wants the whole world; starting from Factoria. That’s why he chose the prince who would be more useful in the long term than the old king. If the prince dies, he must find someone else to continue the throne.

Ryle descends back into nonsense. You were doing so well too. They plot some more involving assassinating the king and using it to start a war with the neighboring kingdom of Meldia. Where have I heard that before? Ah, yes, everywhere.

Ryle commands Fina’s group to busy themselves with rescuing the king, while he goes and commits suicide against Xaktor. Fina points out that they might all want to fight Xaktor, and that they have fifteen ninjas under their command, but Ryle dismisses her, saying that the ninjas have “other things” to do and telling them to search the (locked!) dungeons. We take control of Ryle again, finally. I take a glitched shortcut to get up to the throne room quickly. Xaktor confronts Ryle...Someone rearrange the letters so we know Xaktor’s name before he joined Organization XIII.

Ryle: What’s the purpose of doing this? You want to rule the kingdom. Is that it?

Ryle doesn’t even need Xaktor here.

Xaktor: Are you…interrogating MOI? Ryle Lastor?

Uh, no, you’re Xaktor. I’m Ryle.

Ryle: ?! (He knows my name?!)

Xaktor: Or perhaps, I have called you a wrong name? Oh yes, you have another name too… Second son of the 25th Factoria King Acemel Prince Ryle S. Factoria…should I call you that Your Highness?

Dun dun dun!!

Caris: Ryle is…? Prince of the Factoria Kingdom!!

Orubia: Dear Ryle IS?!

“We trust you implicitly, obviously evil man.”

Ryle doesn’t fall for it, but Xaktor points out he doesn’t waste time on jokes, “So you should know whether I was a lie or not.”

Xaktor: To someone like me who just took control of Factoria, the biggest threat is you, Prince Ryle… You, being kind and fair like your brother, is the best leader those rebels need. Which I personally dislike the most- …I shall commemorate this day from now on!

“Everything’s coming up Xaktor!”

Ryle: I don’t care about the fact that I am a prince or not!

Those are the possibilities, yes.

Ryle: But because of your childish dream, countless lives being lost…THIS I have to take revenge of!!

Uh, yeah, what did the Soul Eater have to do with anything again?

Xaktor attempts to destroy them with a snap of his fingers, but

Ryle: "Where are the ninjas?" It's written all over your face

That’s a very specific look.

Ryle: It’s the basic tactic. To tie up enemies hands and feet by themselves.[/I]

Even Caris and Orubia have no idea what the hell that means. It seems the shinobi have finally proven themselves useful and freed the remaining five. Xaktor is only temporality discouraged.

Xaktor: If I loose my hands and feet, then I use have to use what’s left to finish you off. That simple.

“Come back here and I’ll chew your kneecaps off!” Xaktor says he’ll go all Gor on the girls, and they refuse, and he threatens some more

Ryle: The decisions made from such an attitude is easily overthrown! You are like a 3rd rated politician. Only those with no values could have done such things like: brainwashing, authoritarian rule…

Satire! Xaktor gets tired of the accusations and attacks. Finally.

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The boss battle goes as normal for a few turns, and then…

Oh no! He’s using the monster cells to control Caris and Orubia.

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Oh wait. It didn’t work. Because Ryle was really fast all of a sudden. Hmm. I defeat him with ease.

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Ryle: You underestimated the strength from people’s heart too much. And this is what you get.

Mati arrives too late for his one power once again.

Ryle: Once you seize and oppress people’s heart, they eventually will bounce back to you with the same degree! I don’t know much about the royal leadership and all, but someone like you will never fully control it. If you can’t figure that out by now, than you are not good enough to rule the kingdom!

So, uh, if you don’t know you can’t rule the kingdom…you can’t rule the kingdom? Someone please make sense of all this for me. Xaktor attacks again.

Xaktor: BEGONE-!! I’ll rip your body into pieces and throw ‘em into burning hell!


Caris: That’s what’ll happen to you!

Orubia: I can’t allow you to keep hurting other people!

Xaktor: SHUTUP-!! I am the ruler of you insignificant low-lives!!

So, Andross, you show your true form! …That I apparently missed taking a screenshot of. Hmm. Well, a dark purple and black flame appears behind him.

Ryle says physical attacks are useless, but thinks he’s not a tough as the Soul Eater, whom, you’ll remember, was beaten in one attack by Orubia. Naturally, though, this time it isn’t so easy Very little hurts him, until…

Ryle: Damn! His Dark Wave became much stronger!

Orubia: Dear Ryle! I will handle this!

Ryle: Orubia?!

Orubia: But 2 turns! I must concentrate and charge the magic for 2 turns.

That’s…useful to know.

Orubia: Magic Octagram…OPEN!

‘Octagram?’ Eight tiny weights, perhaps?[/I]

I have to ‘protect’ her, but it’s not like he fights any harder in the meantime, so Orubia soon charges up.

Orubia: Wave of evil, lost souls in darkness, BEGONE by crossing light!!

Say that out loud, right now, and see if you can get through it without giggling. Betcha can’t.


“Hory Closs!”

Xaktor: What theeeeeeeee-!!

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And so, once again, we are saved mid-battle by a new power suddenly appearing. Xaktor is repeatedly weakened by the Holy Cross repeatedly, so by the end he’s not even dealing damage. Guess we didn’t need even a slight challenge.

Defeated, Xaktor explodes. I’m not kidding. Ryle obviously needs some time to think about this, so he shoos the girls out of the room. He'll help the Prince to his room.“I have legs, you know.” Ryle goes over to Dyss.

Ryle: Prince Dyss is my older brother? Gotta be not true.

He carries him to his bed, and just before he leaves, the apparently awake this whole time Dyss tells Ryle what Xaktor said is true. Ryle is apparently the illegitimate child of the King and a handmaiden and his birth was (quite badly, apparently) quickly covered up. Flare insists on making this more complicated than it needs to be, with a simultaneous assassination plot and Xaktor pretending Ryle died and using the power over the king to gaaaah this doesn’t make any sense.

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Ryle, perhaps not being able to decipher the Dan Brown-level plotting, says that he’s just Ryle Lastor, and Dyss is the only prince. Ryle is fine the way he is, thanks, and refuses to even try to claim the throne, or even the princedom. Ah, if only elections worked this way!

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I walk down to the prison, where my harem and dear old daddy await. Soon, he awakes, and Acemel, which is really annoying to remember, thanks us and has us escort him up to his room. He wants to make the rescue public. “Parades, meetings, book signings, Oprah, the whole deal. Then you can go on a VH1 reality show in a couple years!”

But Ryle refuses, to everyone else’s astonishment. Ryle points out in yet another monologue that the King and the Kingdom would look kinda silly if the people knew they had to get help from a few people from Podunk, Nowheresville to get the monarchy away from the hands of a usurper.

Everyone agrees, and the king admits Ryle’s birthright. Everyone’s surprised at the truth, even Hayami, who already suspected it. This is the worst-kept Royal secret since Charles cheated.

Ryle doesn’t let his father of the hook, however; Xaktor did a lot of bad crap, killed a lot of people while he had control over the country. Somehow, this is the King’s fault for letting him blackmail him into power, and “I can’t forgive such man as father!”

Caris: Hey! That’s too far!

Ryle: You be quiet!

Caris: !!

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With Factoria liberated, we warp back to the inn to pat ourselves on the back and get the next non-story hook.

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Everyone’s happy, everyone’s attraction goes up by one or two if they were with me, the triumphant music is cool, and we return to let the people of Lavas know it’s safe to return to their home! Hurray! My, what a short game.

Sigh, no such luck.

NEXT TIME: I play psychiatrist, then ambassador. Hopefully, my pictures are better too.

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