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Silicon Rose

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Growlanser II [Jun. 27th, 2004|06:45 pm]
Silicon Rose
[Current Mood |irritatedirritated]

So I'm at the final battle of GLII (normal route, for the one person that currently understands that and the many that may possibly understand it in the future), and I can't beat the final boss.

It's very frustrating because, like so many times before, it's a timed battle, with actually a very short timespan. And at that point, all of the enemies can cast magic, yes, even that bastard holding a spear over there, yes, he can heal. And cast attack and protect and make my life a living hell... er. Anyways.

So what does one usually do when one can't beat the final boss?

Well, first you hack around with your characters, saying, well, maybe if I equipped this armor on these characters and switched around their weapons, maybe this would work. In GLII, that means playing with Weapon Rings and Spirit Gems. Playing with Spirit Gems is roughly along the lines of creating a good Magic deck or equipping your character with Elements in Chrono Cross... you're looking for combinations that are going to turn your party/weapons/army/whatever of choice into an outright killing machine before which everything must bow its head and recognize you as master.

Or something like that, anyways. Enough to beat the current battle in front of your face, at least.

I tried... around 10-20 of those combinations before giving up the ghost (screaming in frustration all the while) and deciding to go off and power level.

Growlanser II isn't exactly designed for power levelling. To give you all some background, the battle system in Growlanser I and II (and presumably III, since I believe it's based on the engine from II, and probably IV as well), involves a weird mix between an RTS (real time strategy - think Starcraft), a tactical RPG (ala Final Fantasy Tactics) and your standard Japanese RPG.

In GLI, your characters were usually placed on the battle field either in set positions (in plot battles), or in the formation you happened to be in when the enemies noticed you (in random battles). GLII did away with this, and you start battles in a set formation, regardless of whether they're plot or random. (This actually has to do with the fact that GLII has a really whacked travel system involving dots on a map, whereas GLI had a walk around the world sort of mentality. Except when you had Teleport. ;_; Teleport...) You don't place characters (in the FFT sense) at the start of battles at all.

I was about to write a really long description of the battle system, but I'm going to set that aside for now. I'll just get into the meat of why and leave the details to the side.

There are two very big things that irk me about GLII as opposed to GLI. GLI had items. GL2 does not - which means that if you didn't have someone preparing a Cure spell BEFORE character A got into red hit points, well, put your hands together and pray, because they're probably going to be dead before you can get one off. Irk two is that, while in GLI every character got experience based on the enemies that were in the battle, no matter what they did or didn't do, in GLII you only get experience for things you kill (or a relatively small amount from casting support spells).

Adding to the frustration of Irk #2 is the fact that the barrier between life and death in GLII (at least for me, perhaps I'm playing it wrong), is so BLOODY SMALL that you can't push most of your characters off to the side and let one person get most of the kills. But, since it's real time, it's hard to manage your team of eight people in such a way that characters B and C knock the enemy down to the point that character A can finish it off relatively easily. In other words, you crawl along at about 100-200 exp an enemy, getting about one or two kills a battle.

Oh, and as a side note: GL follows a mixed experience system. When you go up a level, the amount of experience to the next level goes up a bit, and the amount of experience you get from enemies goes down a bit. So something that gave you 200 experience at level 1 might give you 1 when you're level 5-10, and you'll need more experience to level as well.

The Japanese website I've been checking says you can get to about Lvl38 off enemies, then it's down to casting support spells. One thing that makes this bearable is a one use item you can get which knocks your character down 10 levels while leaving their stats and skills mostly untouched. Of course (want to say it with me, folks?), this item is extremely rare. You can swipe it off of one enemy (to my knowledge) in the game or get one, count 'em, one from an extremely short side quest.

I used the one I got from the side quest and am hoping to get my main character powerful enough using it to beat the arena into giving me that one enemy I need to steal from.

Aside from that...

Yesterday I beat Haruka Naru (Haruka Naru Toki No Naka De - trans: In a Far Off Time), which is a dating sim published by Koei for girls. It follows a plotline which is reminiscent of Fushigi Yuugi and, to steal the words of a friend, involves a great deal of informal psychotherapy. I picked up two endings (Eisen - who needed so much help it drove me nuts - and Takamichi), then set the game aside for a long winter's rest. Next time I'm using a bloody strategy guide. I am NOT playing the go-to-random-places-and-hope-you-get-what-you-need game again. I reset so many bloody times in the second half of that game that I almost threw the controller through the wall.

In any case, the reason why I bring this up is because GL has a bit of a dating sim element in itself, prompting the line last night, as I was trying to beat GLII and make it 2/2 in the day:

"Okay, this is it. This is just it. I had to sit through everyone telling me what a great person I was and how much they resepected me and, on top of it, how much they love me and want to be with me right before the final boss in Haruka naru. And that was fine. Silly, but fine. It's a dating sim. But now I'm standing here in an RPG, and we're standing just about right outside the final boss room as he's preparing to take over the world, and you want to play 'develop the relationship'?! Don't we have better things to do?!"

And if you want to hear the final thing that steamed me about this scene... well, it could be considered a spoiler, so ICQ me if you want to know and I'll tell you directly.

~sigh~ A-levelling we'll go...

[User Picture]From: cyfis
2004-06-27 11:11 pm (UTC)
I don't remember having all that much trouble with the final battle in GL2. If I remember right what you had to do was make sure you had buffs, particularly Resist as some of the boss's spells are nasty (using Fire or None element resist abilities is also a plus) and then just use Hans and/or Charlotte to knock off all their spellcasters. Though considering that you have Warmer and Celeb instead of Lyell and Arietta, this strategy might change somewhat. Depending on the ending, the person who shows up with Wein in the center lane changes, and generally I re-equipped Wein to take that into account (if his partner's a spellcaster I give him figher stuff and vice-versa).

As for Harukanaru . . . why yes, yes it is. There are a number of times when I feel like your role is more armchair psychiatrist than miko as you try to sort out all the teenaged angst. Eisen, in particular, has a pretty serious self-esteem issue, which is why I didn't touch most of his plot with a ten-foot pole the one time I finished the game. I had Yorihisa and Tomomasa's endings on that one I think.
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-06-28 12:36 pm (UTC)
After I'm finished with him, Wayne is probably going to mow through the three random enemies in front of him, pound the bigger extra after them, and cut the main boss in half with that scythe of his.

Yorihisa and Tomomasa had some of the lowest affection ratings in my game... I think the only one worse might have been Yasuaki. For some reason, I just couldn't understand him worth a damn and kept saying the wrong thing all the time. Tomomasa kind of made me nervous (vague Touga vibes), so I stayed clear of him.

Eisen was... interesting... because half of the time you had to pat him on the head and be nice to him, and the other half of the time you had to give him a verbal smack. It was sort of hard to tell which was which. At one point I selected to do the latter when I was almost certain it was the wrong thing to do... and it raised his affection for me. I think I'd like dating sims better if I felt that what you said really had any connection to how the person felt about you or felt in general. I've selected a rather innocuous choice in Wizard's Harmony before just to have the conversation take an entirely unexpected direction and the girl get angry and walk off. Um... okay? Are you SUPPOSED to be playing this with a strategy guide?
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[User Picture]From: cyfis
2004-06-28 02:32 pm (UTC)
Tomomasa is actually one of the more well-adjusted and angst-free characters in the game, which was why I went after his plot despite the vague Touga vibes. That and he's the equivalent of Hisui from Haruka 2, and Hisui amused me greatly. The thing is that since it's a dating sim, they're Not Really Shallow Womanizers et al.

As for what to say . . . I'm sort of wondering whether it's a cultural thing, a dating sim thing, or just me being socially inept, because I had some of the same difficulties trying to figure out which responses were "correct". Some of it's background, like ie, oh that made them angry because of this little background detail which I'd completely forgotten and so forth.

I still recommend a strategy guide though.

As for the ego boosting - that's a feature of dating sims I think. I found it really rather embarrassing, but barely tolerable if you look at it from the equivalent of shounen shows where the hero has to fight the main villain and all his allies are there giving him moral support and so forth.
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-06-28 05:32 pm (UTC)
I may play collect the pictures in the future, so maybe I'll give Tomomasa a second chance. I WAS sort of surprised to find out the plot behind some of the characters, though I caught on to Tenma's REAL fast. Ooh, plot stick!

Yeah, some of it is background, definitely. I've kind of smacked myself over the head after doing something when I realized where the character was coming from, but sometimes... sheesh. I think Haruka Naru had one of those choose between 「ええ。。。」,「うん。。。」or「。。。」, which drive me nuts. I know there's a difference between the first two, and yeah, I've got a rough idea of what it is, but really, making you choose between two forms of "yes" is a little over the top.

Maybe it is just cultural.

I think the "best" part was in Wizard's Harmony where choices that were as trivial as the above (to my gaijin mind) resulted in massive differences in the conversation, where the main character proceeded to go off on the other character. That's one thing I have to say about Haruka Naru - the game didn't hijack the conversation quite as much.

I will be using a strategy guide from now on. I don't need this kind of frustration.

^^;; Maybe I'll try that. Moral support. That's it.
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[User Picture]From: cyfis
2004-06-29 06:38 am (UTC)
Oh Tenma's plot is very obvious indeed. It seems a bit traditional. The Black Dragon Miko in Haruka 2 is the sister of Katsuzane, who is also Chi no Seiryuu. Don't ask me why.

As for the yes . . . I haven't actually played Haruka 1 that much myself, just once through the game. 2 seems to have less vague conversation from what I could tell, but that could have just been me.

Well it could be worse. You could be in a doujinshi of a shounen series that thinks it's a dating sim.
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2004-06-29 09:30 am (UTC)
... right. Apparently it's just a cursed position. ^^

And as for the doujin series - AVERT! AVERT! Well, unless it was a gag doujin. That could actually be funny.
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-06-28 02:03 pm (UTC)
By the way, I think that rant about Haruka naru sounded really bad... in its shortened form it comes down to roughly: "Gosh, will you all shut up! I know I'm all that and a bag of chips, now can we go off and fight the final boss?"

Oof, arrogant.

It's just that in a dating sim... well, frankly, I didn't have the highest affection or belief ratings with some of the characters, and they were still telling me they thought I was the best thing since sliced bread. (Or cooked rice, given the time period and location it was set.) And there were eight of them, all of whom had to weigh in. I'm not really the type to like gratuitous ego boosts without good reason behind them, so... suffice it to say the game took me wrong. If the characters had been courting me instead of the other way around, my affection and belief rating would have gone through the floor after that set of bunk.

Meh... I've been an irritable person of late.
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