Monthly Archives: December 2019

SRPG Game 27 – Langrisser II (Stages 22-27)

Finished! I found the late stages were not all that difficult; having an entire team of 4th-class characters with some 5th-class was sufficient.

Stage 22

I found this was the last tricky stage. The beginning is tough because of the meteor users at the center. I was able to take out one with ballistae when he decided to come through the wall at me, but the other one I had to take the long way around.


Bernhardt can either be killed or approached with Jessica; I just took him out again. Now we have Riana and Lana back — I was going to make one an Agent and one a Summoner, but I only got the Agent.

Stage 23

In this stage you have to find the Holy Rod in one of the rooms and then carry it out (or beat all enemies). If you leave the rod the enemies will try to get it sometimes rather than fighting you, which wastes their turns. Hein has finally gotten Zone, which removes the enemy stat bonuses — this was a very common and useful spell in L1 PCE but I think they realized how good it was and made it much rarer and harder to get.

Stage 24

I tried to have Lana and Riana use monks in this stage to raise their levels; it’s a bit difficult because it leaves them so exposed to the enemies and the monks are pretty weak, but I did manage to get Lana to class 5. Lester sat in the water to distract the other enemies while I went across the bridge.

Stage 25

This is a wide open space with a lot of horsemen. I intended to do a lot of levelling with Phalanxes, but it turned out that I wasn’t careful enough about protecting my commanders and many of them died. Rather than restarting I decided just to finish the stage with the remaining units, assuming I was strong enough now to win the game without everyone being at class 5.

Stage 26

On the first turn, I used Hein and Lester’s ballistae to eliminate all six of the meteor users hiding in the walls. Once they’re all gone the rest of the forces aren’t too bad — Egbert is somewhat powerful and he only took a while because I was trying to use Lana and Riana a lot.





Stage 27 

Final stage. At first I tried to use only the commanders and make a rush for Bernhardt but that obviously didn’t work. Next time I played normally and it was pretty easy — I destroyed Bernhardt’s throne with a meteor, then used Magic Arrow and Lightning to get him down to 3 HP. Elwin finished him off.


The final sequence has different endings for each character — there’s a good and best ending based on their kills, and then a bad twist if they died during the game. I don’t know the complete formulas but I know this is in Der Langrisser as well.

Wrap-up to follow.

SRPG Game 27 – Langrisser II (Stages 15-21)

Stage 15

Ugh, I hate these stages where you have to cross rivers because so many of the units and commanders are bad at it. The main difficulty of the stage, besides that, is that dark priestess Lana comes in with reinforcements. I failed the first time I tried it because I was being too aggressive. There are ballistae on the other bank to frustrate you as well.

On my winning run, I kept everyone back except for Lester and the flying units, who cautiously took out the initial water guys. The reinforcements arrive then, and I dealt with them before moving south. Lana was really hard on this run for some reason and I had to use a lot of effort (and help from Scott and his angels) to take her down.

Once she was gone I crossed on the right side, took out the ballistae, and then dealt with Imelda. I never bothered with the enemies on the left.

Stage 16

This is Leon’s last stand. The enemies will generally rush you, and if you try to cross the bridge the wizards in the castle Meteo you. I used Hein’s ballistae to take them out, while the rest of my units dealt with the people coming across the bridge. Once everyone is beaten but Lana and Leon, Leon will come down to deal with you himself. I just beat him by ganging up on him with spells and other things, but that means I didn’t beat Lana or get the hidden item.

Stage 17 

Emperor Bernhardt. I started out by using spells and ballistae to take out the magicians near the start, and then proceeded slowly forward. Once those initial enemies were gone the rest of the stage was not that hard since the other magic users don’t have horrible spells, and Bernhardt and Bozel didn’t seem to do much. I finally got Elwin to his 4th class so now I have Scott, Elwin, and Hein at the 4th level. One thing that bothers me about Langrisser is how hard it is to catch up commanders that are behind, because of how ineffective their units and bonuses are.

Bernhardt himself was easy; you can destroy his throne with a Meteo which gets rid of his 40% bonus. I got the items here; the Masaya Sword gives 2x EXP. I gave it to Jessica because I really want her to get to the 4th class but the stat minuses are going to make it hard.

Stage 18

I had the villagers stay put. I left Arlong behind with pikemen to deal with the reinforcements, but he and Keith together were not able to deal with them so I had to eventually use ballistae as well. Other than that this map wasn’t too bad. I didn’t defeat Lana.

Stage 19

Time to steal a boat. Despite the Meteo casters on the boat itself I didn’t find this stage to be overly difficult. I left Jessica and archers back to try to deal with the reinforcements but even so she didn’t quite make it to the 4th class.

Stage 20

Finally 4th class for Jessica. This ship-to-ship battle is a bit annoying because of space limitations but the monsters themselves are not that hard. I have heal spells now that can deal with Meteor; that and ballistae can usually remove the threat of the Liches while I deal with the other monsters.

Stage 21 

Ooh this is an annoying stage. I hate any stage where you have to move through water because so many units are slow. I switched the Masayan Sword to Arlong since he’s the last person not at their 4th class. This is pretty much the same enemies we’ve been dealing with; the Golems are new but the strong units of Elwin and other 4th class people are powerful enough to take them down.

6 more stages left.

SFC 1994 Game list (first half)

I’m going to start making lists of upcoming games that collect what I’ll be playing, skipping, rejecting as not an RPG, etc. This post will cover the first 6 months of 1994. The bold games are ones I’ll be playing.

Sol Moonarge (PCE)

Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblems (SRPG, I did this on my other blog)

Brain Lord (Questionable as RPG, came out in English)

Gaia Saver – This is supposedly a kusoge

Emerald Dragon (PCE) – This game is on the SNES as well, but the PC Engine version is supposedly better.

Star Breaker (PCE)

Majin Tensei (SRPG, already played)

Hiouden (SRPG, I did this on the other blog)

Xanadu (PCE) – An original action RPG developed directly for the PC Engine by Falcom

Uncharted Waters II (Questionable as an RPG, English release)

Kabuki Rocks

First Queen: Olnic War

Day of the Idea – By the same people that did Maka Maka, but this is supposedly much better.

Eye of the Beholder (Computer port, English release)

Shin Megami Tensei II

Kenyu Densetsu Yaiba (This is close to an action RPG but doesn’t quite cross the bar for me.)

Kerokerokeroppi’s Adventure Journal

Shadowrun (English release)

Super Robot Wars EX (SRPG, played)

Blue Crystal Rod (Not an RPG)

Princess Minerva (PCE)

Monster Maker – Dark Dragon Knight (PCE) – Another kusoge

Final Fantasy VI (I might actually play this, we’ll see when I get there)

Great Fursuit Adventure: Dream Palace – Another kusoge

Dark Kingdom

Popful Mail (I might play this one; there’s a PCE version as well but it’s substantially different.)

Cosmic Fantasy 4 Part 1 (PCE) – This game got split into two parts; the other 3 CF games have been not great so I’m not expecting a lot out of this one either.

Ultima Gaiden: Plot of the Black Night (released in English as Runes of Virtue II)

KO Beast: Revival of Gaia Complete Edition (PCE)

Slayers

Zig Zag Cat – I assume this got put on a list because you can buy things and there are towns, but it’s not an RPG.

Brandish (English release)

—-

Quite a few PCE games here — 1994 is really the end of the PCE’s RPG life; there are a handful in 1995 and one in 1996.

SRPG Game 27 – Langrisser II (Stages 8-14)

Stage 8

This stage is on a big bridge. You have a turn limit, but it’s really lenient. Bowmen help with all the flyers, and having my own flying squad helped with the crowded bridge at the left. There are reinforcements that come in. I was able to beat Zolm but Vargas was too difficult so I just let him be. One of his minions killed Elwin and I decided I didn’t have the right personnel on that side of the bridge and I didn’t feel like restarting or trying to maneuver people all over there.


Stage 9

You have to defend the people in the castle of this stage as a goal but I’m not sure they can actually lose; there are only two squads against them and with the castle people standing on the walls they have really high defense.


Stage 10

Another slime/monster stage. Unfortunately Riana is gone for a while so other people had to fill her shoes with the Guardsmen. You start off against Lester, but once the monsters show up he switches to NPC and helps out a lot against the water enemies. The rest of the water guys you can lure onto the land where they’re much easier to defeat.


Stage 11

This was the hardest stage so far. There’s an area of fire that keeps expanding, and if you try to play it slowly Jessica will jump out ahead and die. I had to reload many times losing commanders, and even on my winning try the majority of my grunt units died. Apparently there’s some bonus if you keep people alive; I haven’t seen it yet but maybe it’s not actually displayed.


Tornado was a huge help in this stage (both from Hein and the griffon guy). I was able to class up a few people now so I have a Dragon Knight (Sherry) and a Serpent Knight (Lester). Scott made it to High Lord but he left along with Riana.

Stage 12

The ostensible goal is to get the Dark Rod but Egbert filches it before we can get there, so it’s just beating the enemies. The initial ghouls that come at you can do a lot of damage if you’re not careful; I used some spells to weaken them and then finished them off. I would have liked for Jessica to kill most of the slimes but I couldn’t really manage that.

There is a secret level but I decided not to do them this time. They have overpowered items.


Stage 13

This stage felt like a breather after the last few. It’s in a town again and there’s no real time limit, and the monsters don’t rush you. The main difficulty is Vargas, but if you have all your spellcasters against him plus other units he will eventually go down.

Stage 14

I wasn’t actually able to do a lot on this stage. The goal is to take the Langrisser before Leon can get to it. This is easy with Sherry as a flier, and in the end I decided to just take it and leave most of the enemies alive — I hate to give up the XP but I didn’t feel like I was strong enough to hold off Leon. Now Hein can use Ballistas, which is very useful.

Stage 15 is not easy! I’ve already restarted twice and I’ll have to do it again but I think I can beat it this time. 

SFC Game 41 – Shin Momotaro Densetsu wrap-up

Overall I would say this is a pretty good game for this period, although it had the potential to be a great game if the designers had been less tied down by old NES-era standards.

The story and characters are fun; Momotaro doesn’t talk and none of them have huge depth, but if you’re familiar with the Japanese folktales it’s fun to get all the people on your team. There are a lot of optional side characters to get too, although most of them aren’t very useful. There are other optional things too like adding services to your castle. The animals that follow Momotaro can also be developed. I didn’t do this much but I think they can be more useful if you take the time to feed them and such.

The battles are only so-so. With a few exceptions it’s pretty standard AMID, and with this plus the slow walking I think a speedup key helps a lot. I absolutely hate the “main character hits 0 hp = game over” system that I’ve seen several times in previous games. This game is not as bad as some others about instant kill things, but the final boss takes some luck because of this system. If Momotaro gets hit by 3 attacks in a row he’s gone unless you’ve done some serious overlevelling.

The enemies have a lot of variety and it’s not just a bunch of palette swapped enemies. The graphics are serviceable — the sprites are tiny NES type, but I guess that fits the somewhat cutesy mood of the game (despite the rather dark storyline at points).

The real downside is the interface. It’s too cumbersome to do things like heal, trade items, or equip things. Final Fantasy VI is coming out in 4 months so it’s annoying to see companies still clinging to the old ways.

On the whole I did enjoy the game and it’s definitely one of the better games I’ve played on this blog so far.

Next week I’ll post a list of games I’ll be playing and skipping in the first half of 1994.

SRPG Game 27 – Langrisser II (Stages 1-7)

Langrisser II (ラングリッサ―II)
Release Date: 8/6/1994
System:
Mega Drive
Developer: Masaya
Publisher:
Sega

I decided in the end to play the original version of Langrisser II first. There are at least four significant later versions of this game:

  • Der Langrisser (1995) for Super Famicom, which made some changes to the system and introduced a branching storyline
  • Der Langrisser FX (1996) for the PC Engine FX, a fully voiced remake of Der with different graphics
  • Langrisser Dramatic Edition (1998) for Saturn, which added more routes and remade the graphics again (perhaps based on the Playstation version)
  • Langrisser I&II (2019) for PS4, switch, etc. This is a complete ground-up remake.

Langrisser II sticks the closest to the original game. A number of the changes made since Langrisser already appeared in the PC Engine remake of the first game (like the hidden final classes, the shop, and the spell system) so this game feels very familiar to me.

Some of the changes from L1 PCE:

  • You can equip three items instead of just one
  • The class upgrade paths are much meatier and have more choices
  • L1 was vague about how your character gets stronger leveling up, but this time you get actual stat increases.

Stage 1

The main development I immediately noticed is the amount of story. There is far more dialogue than Langrisser 1, and possibly more dialogue than any other game I’ve played so far.

This stage is somewhat like L1’s first stage in that you’re not meant to kill all the enemies; your main goal is just to stop Baldo from escaping the map. I took out the units near the starting point and then used Elwin plus Hein’s magic missile to take down Baldo before he retreated. I actually died once, but you can save any time you want so you don’t have to go back very far if you lose.

Stage 2

Scott joins the team. Here, too, you’re not expected to kill everything. There are strategies on how to do so but I just followed the story and escorted Riana out of the back entrance. The only wrinkle is that there is a hidden item (speed boots) so first I had to take Elwin down towards the tough enemies to find it. The annoying part was that Rolan’s soldiers kept standing on the spot where the item was. I had to reload once because I was running out of time, but eventually I snatched it up and then headed north to complete the scenario.

Stage 3 

We’re still escorting Riana. The enemies on this stage are pretty easy so it’s good for levelling — I got Hein up to his second class (I went with Warlock) and Elwin to level 9. Sherry comes in to help with the boss.

Stage 4 

In this stage we have to protect the head priest of the temple. This might seem imposing but for me the enemies never even reached him. Partway through the map Morgan charms Riana and she starts attacking, but she mostly went after Hein’s troops which weren’t doing much anyway. Sherry comes in after a while which clears out most of the top enemies. Elwin lost all his soldiers and I took him by himself up to recover the hidden Angel Wing — fortunately Morgan chased him and wasted his turns. I was not able to beat the horse knights with my forces so I just took out Morgan. Sherry classed up to Shaman and Elwin to Knight. I plan to make most units get their secret classes, but I think I’m going to make Sherry a Dragon Lord.

Stage 5

In this stage several squads run away to the north; I wasn’t able to chase them down. The main enemies here are werewolves but they aren’t too bad. The horsemen I now have with Elwin help against the soldiers and such.

Stage 6

I split my guys into two on this stage. I had Hein with his bowmen go after the fliers, and later the Assassin reinforcement with help from Keith (who shows up as an NPC). The rest of my force went after the others. Once I had the battle under control I sent up Ledin by himself to get the Runestone hidden at the top left. All this does is let you reclass by sending you back to your default class; given how long it takes to level this seems counterproductive but I guess if you keep your spells and stats it might work?  

The bowmen in general are quite useful — I don’t remember them being able to attack from a distance in L1 but I may just have forgotten in the year or so since I played the game.



Stage 7


Finally the guardsmen are useful! This stage has a bunch of slimes and zombies. I took the chance to level Riana as much as I could, and she was able to change to a Healer. Now she has monks but there aren’t any undead in the next stage so I don’t know how effective they’re going to be. There’s another hidden item here but it’s actually in the immediate area. I once again split my team, taking Hein and Scott over to the right to deal with those enemies.

The game has 27 stages so this is about 1/4 of the way through. It’s fun so far and not too difficult although I imagine the difficulty will increase later.

SFC Game 41 – Shin Momotaro Densetsu (Finished)

Once you get the ship and diving castle, most of the game is open to you. The next section is fairly non-linear; your main goal first is to get the remaining eight star pieces. One has to be fished with a fishing rod. Another is in a cave. One is simply sitting on the ocean floor. One is in hope city, you just have to give a man some food and you get it in return. With the three I already had this puts me at seven. The mirror shows that the last one is on the Demon Island which I can’t get to now.

So the next step is to save Lord Enma, the boss of the first game. To save him we need to be able to dive the castle even farther into the ocean, which requires the services of a man named Gennai Hidari. He needs the Mermaid Tear. Unfortunately Karla has attacked the Mermaid Village and slaughtered the mermaids.

But a few survived, and after healing them, they were able to show me where they hid the tear. So now with that, plus the help of the Wind and Thunder God, Gennai is able to rejigger the castle so it can go even deeper, leading us to where Enma is trapped.

To save Enma we have to lose 500 total HP. Each person goes in turn and loses HP until they die (why not switch out at 1 HP?) and Enma is freed. Karla tries to cause a cave-in to trap us underneath the ground, but we escape with the help of Shuten Doji, and end up on an island where Princess Kaguya’s village is (we’re still trying to save her). Enma also joins us. He has two moves a turn, which is pretty useful.

At this point the best place to level is underwater with invincibility. Level 41 is enough to beat the game with a few more level ups from the remaining dungeons.

Kaguya’s grandfather gives Momotarou a mirror that will show the way to the Hero equipment that he lost at the beginning of the game. The sword is in the lake in the village, but it has lost all its power so it’s useless right now. The armor is in a cave on the sea floor. I could not figure out how to get the helmet for quite a while — it’s on a small island that moves through the ocean, but even when I went to the place the mirror showed it wasn’t there. Finally I found out from a walkthrough site that it won’t appear without first visiting this place I thought was optional, that you need 90 popularity to enter.

This gets you into the Star Road, based on the Tanabata legend. I’m not sure why this allows the island to appear, but afterwards we get the Hero Helmet.

The Boots are in a tower where we also have to face Rashomon demon. But the tower itself is pretty good for levelling.

Apparently even if you win you continue on. Now Momotarou finds another warp to the moon, and we make our way back to the moon palace where the game started. The boss awaiting Momotarou is Daida, who stole our stuff at the beginning.

He’s surprisingly easy given how often he beats you up throughout the game. Anyway after the fight he decides to join Momotarou but Karla just kills him instead, and of course goes whining back to Basara saying that Momotaro stabbed him in the back.

Now that Momotaro has the 8 moon pieces we can revive the Phoenix.

The Phoenix is able to carry Momotaro across the Styx River to Hell, where Karla awaits. He tricks Momotaro by promising to save Kaguya’s life if he (or Ajase) tells him the truth about Kaguya. It turns out that Ajase is part Moon part Demon. I’m not sure why this is so important to Karla, but he afterwards goes back on his promise and kills Kaguya.

We take her back to her village where the grandparents look after her along with Ajase, while we go deal with Karla. The final dungeon is fairly long and in several parts. The most annoying is the first one.

If you take the wrong rope it breaks and you have to go back to the beginning across the lava and begin again. Next up are a cold hell, a burning hell, and several other floors. Along the way I found Enma’s strongest equipment. Finally we reach Basara’s area and fight Karla himself.

He goes down easily, and next up is Basara.

Basara’s all attack makes it tough, but with steady healing and use of MP restoring Luck Mallets (which you can get from the sage mountain and chests), he’s not too bad. Basara is ready to form an alliance with humans, but Karla reappears — it was just an apparition that we killed. He goes to kill Basara but Ajase throws himself in front of Karla. Karla then takes Ajase’s blood which turns him into a huge monster. He then poisons the seas and sinks most of the continents of the world. Fortunately at this point we get a chance to save and rest before taking on Karla, the final boss.

He’s pretty tough mostly because he’s unfair — one of his moves attacks 4 times. If 3 or 4 of those attacks go to Momotaro, it’s game over unless you have one of the auto-revive items. I lost the first time. After that I gave Momotaro two of the auto-revives and just kept using all my MP restore items on him so he could use his Rokkaku attack. As Karla loses HP he turns to stone, and eventually turns completely to stone.

Now Kaguya, who is back alive, gives Momotarou the Moon Bell, which he throws into the sea. This cleanses the ocean and apparently the continents will come back — but isn’t everyone on them dead? The game just ends at this point but it seems like 90% of humanity got wiped out at the end of the game and they don’t really deal with that at all.

I guess as long as our party and the three animals survived it’s OK.

SFC Game 41 – Shin Momotaro Densetsu (Part 2)

This is quite a long game, but I hope I can have it finished by next week.

One other system I failed to mention last time is the “popularity”. As you progress through the game you gain popularity, but you can also lose it by letting your comrades die in battle and making wrong choices. If you get over 80 you get discounts and over 90 or 100 you start getting other good things — I can’t keep it much above 80 though because it goes down 1-3 any time your guys hit 0 HP.

Last time I had just managed to wake up Netarou, who moves and lets me pass the bridge. Ajase, one of the sons of Basara, is growing increasingly suspicious of Karla and tries to fight Momotarou, but leaves seeing how honest his fighting is.

Now we progress to the odd Smile Village, which has an area with a lot of bizarre monsters.

They’re worth a lot of XP but do strange things like ask you quizzes, feed you onigiri, and such. There is one good encounter, though — a friend that makes you invincible for a short time. Normally this wears off quickly enough that you can only fight one or at most 2 battles. But, if you use the Demon Flute you can repeatedly call encounters without moving and level up easily. You can also go anywhere else on the map with Momotarou’s warp spell.

Smile village has a strange singer menacing the town, but he goes down easily.

Next up is Hope Village, which is all in darkness which requires you to solve some puzzles to get access to the central tower, and then fight Ashura.

He’ll join the party afterwards. Now Hope Town opens up; it’s a huge town with a lot of shops. There’s also a lot of slowdown; I recommend bsnes’ overclock option to deal with that. There’s also a secret woman’s bath which lowers your popularity but gives you a special picture that I guess is a standby of this series.

Now a castle gets built for Momotarou very quickly, which becomes sort of a base to hold all your extra characters. But soon, we meet the Wind God:

He blows away all the characters, leaving me with just Momotarou. Kintarou can be recovered pretty quickly, but the rest take a while. It’s actually better to switch around your party so Urashima isn’t there because losing his healing for a long time hurts. I found the best party member to replace him is Mashira, that singing dude that fought us earlier.

His attack has the keyboard, and he can do various moves by playing songs. I don’t know how you’re supposed to figure these out without a walkthrough, but for me the most useful are:

  • Copy the attack stat of the strongest character (Bb, C, B)
  • Heal everyone (uses MP: C# G# E)
  • Attack all (D# F# A)

Next the party proceeds to the cold north, where Yasha Hime is injured. Healing her (with Ashura’s help) requires an item from a cave.

 After the party is together, I proceeded to the southern continent through a cave, and then proceeded to the “new village”, where Karla had crucified some of my characters.

Karla sends us on a quest to recover some item for him, but partway through Ajase appears and agrees to help us, and we head back to recover our party members. After some fighting, Karla just burns the city down and then sends Wind and Thunder God ahead to put poison rain all over the land.

Chasing them on, we arrive at Sarugani Town.

This is a difficult fight. Ashura can get a duplicate of himself out so that you can heal twice, and then if Mashira copies the attack power he will be a decent fighter. Once Thunder God is down it’s much easier. After this, Wind and Thunder God decide that Momotarou is right and join the party. Meanwhile Karla continues to lie to Basara to trick him into to continuing his fight against the human world. We also get a ship here.

I still have 6 of the moon crystal parts to get. I got the third by getting a strange monster on my team and then going to a town with a bunch of other strange monsters. After this I went to the Mechanical Village and upgraded the castle so it can fly, and also dive in the water.

That’s it for this update — time to go seek out more of the moon crystals.