Happy new year! I haven’t been playing RS3 at all on vacation because it’s inconvenient to set up my laptop, so instead I loaded up Another Eden for the first time in over a year. I’m doing the Tales sidequests. I’ve always thought this game is pretty good for a F2P mobile game with gacha elements — my main complaints are that the main story characters are worthless compared to what you get even just from normal gacha pulls, and the equipment is too hard to forge. Apparently I’m way behind now because I’m only on main story chapter 31 but they are up to 90-something now.
Here’s a reminder of the remaining games upcoming for the current year:
I’m going to take a break from posting for the Christmas holidays; I may or may not have some filler posts like this scheduled during the break, but I will be back with normal updates on Jan 7 (Romancing SaGa 3)
This post will collect the information on the Farland series and include some of the remakes that I did not discuss in other posts.
The main Farland series consists of 14 games originally for computers, and eight games for various consoles. The console games are mostly ports, but a few of them are more extensive remakes and one is an entirely new game.
The original series
The first 7 games came out for PC-98 and the eighth for Windows. It seems like six of the games have fan translations.
Two games came out for the Super Famicom. The first was just called Farland Story, but it was not a direct port of any of the games. Apparently it’s roughly a combination of the first and second games but not just a straight adaptation. As I said in my review, it’s an incredibly boring game. It’s about the most basic, laziest implementation of a strategy game possible.
The second game for SFC was an entirely original game. It was still bad, but slightly better than the first one.
The second game was remade for Sega Saturn as “Farland Story: Dance of Destruction.” The Saturn version is nearly identical to the SFC version; the graphics look the same. They did not voice the text.
There are two changes that make the game a bit easier to play. You can turn off battle animations, and there is a “gather” (集合) command that moves everyone to the same place, which helps with the parts where you spend 30 minutes just moving your guys to get in range of the enemies
In addition to the SFC games, there was Farland Story FX. It is similar to the SFC version but apparently it’s a closer remake of the first two games together. I’m not going to play either game enough to determine all the differences.
As expected, it plays on the strengths of the PC-FX console with animated sequences and fully voiced dialogues. It has a “speed” mode that cuts out the walking animations and also lets you skip battle animations but the “gather” feature isn’t there. So it’s better than the SFC version but still the same basic bland/boring gameplay, I think.
This version was then ported to the Playstation.
There are some minor graphical differences, you can skip the pre-battle text by pressing start, and there is text for the speech in the pre-battle sequences, but other than that it seems to be the same game. This is probably the best version to play if you really want to do it.
There were two games in this series, both for Windows. The first one came out in 1996 and got a 1998 Saturn port, and the other came out in 1997 and has a 1998 Saturn and a 1999 Playstation port. I’ll reach these games later, and I will be interested to see if they solve any of the problems with the original game. Given that Saga 1 came out immediately after the 8 Story games I’m not hopeful, but we’ll see.
Farland Odyssey and Symphony
The four games in the Odyssey and Symphony series were never ported to any consoles, so they will not be covered here. The first Symphony game has a fan translation. Since 2002 when Symphony 2 came out, there have been no more Farland games. The TGL company still exists (now as a subsidiary of Entergram) but it doesn’t seem like the series will ever continue.
Romancing SaGa 3 (ロマンシング サ・ガ3), released 11/11/1995, developed and released by Square
This is the sixth SaGa game and the last one for the Super Famicom. My experience so far with the SaGa series has been rocky. I found RS1 to have some good concepts but overall seemed sloppy and unbalanced, and I was not able to finish it. RS2 was bold in its attempt to introduce radical new systems and a new way of playing an RPG, and while I enjoyed it to a certain extent, I thought the game was way too difficult. I managed to get to the final dungeon but I was unwilling to do the grinding necessary to win.
I will have to wait until I finish or abandon this one to be sure, but it does seem like this game is not as difficult and easier to play than the other ones. Basically the designers took some aspects of the RS2 battle system and went back to the RS1 style that is closer to a normal RPG. The designer evidently wanted the player to have to balance the usual RPG combat with business trading elements and a war combat simulation, but the latter two were essentially relegated to minigames and the focus is on the RPG play (although the business minigame is the best way to get money).
As in RS1, the game begins with you picking a character, and you do a small event connected to that character. I chose Katarina, a 24-year old noblewoman.
The graphics are overall excellent, which is probably to be expected from a late 1995 game by Square. Katarina has to deal with a potential coup in the kingdom, which turns out to be headed by a demon. Once that’s dealt with her family heirloom sword gets stolen. She cuts her hair and changes to adventurer’s gear to go out and find it.
At this point you are left basically to yourself to go out and find things to do. You can open up new areas by either hearing about them from people in towns, or taking a ship to a new place. There are basically no leads on finding the sword. Based on the opening narration and something we hear early on in Lance village, it looks like the overall quest is going to depend on sealing four Abyss Gates to stop some evil from entering the world, but there isn’t much in the way of clues to pursue that either.
So as in RS1, your basic task is to go around, collect information, and find things to do. Fortunately you don’t have to repeatedly pay transport costs the way you did in RS1, so it’s more forgiving in being able to travel around. The difficulty of the monsters is less variable than in RS1 and the fixed battles tend to be fixed in difficulty also. So some of the early game is finding out what you can do now and what you may have to put off until later.
The system is very similar to RS2. Each character has a skill level with each weapon, although they got rid of the confusing “tech points” system of RS2. After a battle you can get a bonus HP, a tech point, or a skill level in a weapon (which I think increases damage). You can “spark” new techs by doing a basic attack with a weapon — you have to have a sufficient skill level, and the enemies have to be high enough level for it to work. Once that happens, if you use the tech in battle enough times it will become “mastered” and then anyone can equip it.
There is also magic which you have to buy from people in towns.
Also like RS2 you have formations you can set that give various bonuses, although if you get attacked from behind or hit an enemy while running it will break the formation. Finally, you can have 6 characters and if you put your main character in the 6th position you enter “commander mode” where you give AI commands to the other people, they regain HP and heal status effects between turns.
Finally as in RS2 each person has HP and LP. HP are fully restored after each battle. If you get to 0 HP, or if you get hit when you are already at 0 HP, you lose an LP. If the main character hits 0 LP it’s game over, and if any other character hits 0 LP they are gone for good. However, you can restore everyone’s LP simply by resting at an inn.
At first I tried to find things myself without a walkthrough but I immediately got stuck — you can save anywhere and I got in this mission where you get put in a cave to deal with the monsters, but they shut you in so the monster will take you as a sacrifice. The boss is this horde of rats above, which slaughtered my party several times, and you can’t escape from the cave. So I went back to a previous save before I entered.
It turns out what you are supposed to do is run from the boss fight (which normally is not allowed), then go back to the beginning of the cave which will activate an event that lets you go — I’m not sure how you’re supposed to figure this out.
The party members I have there are ones I just happened upon in towns.
Anyway that’s an introduction to the game. Money is very hard to get; I think you are supposed to do the business sidequest minigame but I haven’t found out how to activate it yet. The monsters give almost no money as drops.
I’m not going to do regular updates during the Christmas holidays. I have a filler post scheduled for next Saturday, and I most likely will not have an update the 31st, but I’ll be back on the 7th by which time I probably will have finished RS3 and be playing Dragon Quest VI.
You have to cross some mountains and go around a castle to get to him but I didn’t find the stage all that difficult. I had Sherufanir’s arbalests help from below the castle, and using Decline and magic spells helped clear out some of the enemies before my main force got into the castle to win.
This stage seemed to be very similar to the previous one, and the same tactics worked. Ivar shows up to the right but I just ignored him and he left after a few turns.
I was annoyed to find out here that somehow I had done things wrong and Landius could not get the final class promotion. I was rather confused by the card drawing at the beginning and I tried to consult several sources, but apparently I never understood it correctly. This is also where I started seeing that McClain, Ricky, and Angelina were going to be dead weight most of the time, I’ll talk about this later. But the GameFAQs walkthrough that says you should make McClain and Ricky Serpent Lords is not good.
This is the usual “Defeat Bozel” stage. Here you have to kill Bozel, get Landius to the back and pick up the Langrisser, and then defeat Chaos with Landius or one of Landius’ units. The first time I tried teleporting Landius up to Langrisser but that didn’t work at all. So instead I used a slow and steady advancement and mostly ignored Chaos (who wasted a lot of turns). In the picture above I think I am using Heal 2 to restore my health.
To beat this stage I teleported Landius directly to Emily — I found this was the only way to save Lansford. He can’t die as an NPC or you lose the stage, but he has no AI at all. There are strong pikemen near where he starts and he goes straight for them on his horse and dies within a couple of turns. But once you have control over him you can move him down away from the pikemen, and use normal tactics to beat the stage.
At this point you get a love scene with Landius and another girl. I tried Sherufanir and Angelina but my love points with them weren’t high enough and they turned Landius down. Only Listil the demon accepted:
This is the final stage and unfortunately it’s where my playthrough came to an end. I tried this stage several times, with different strategies and different pre-battle formations. I went back and cleared 26C again using the stage select code to class up Sherufanir, Lansford, and Naal, and I used the shop code to be able to buy anything, and I still couldn’t do it. The enemy archers and ballistae were too strong and I couldn’t take out enough of them (or their commanders) to stop them before the decimated my forces. Teleporting Landius up to the top didn’t work because he couldn’t get a turn quickly enough to avoid being killed by the enemies up there.
The problem is that too many of my characters were just outclassed and useless, particularly McClain, Ricky, and Angelina. Even at Angelina’s hidden Dragon class, with the best buyable equipment, she could not attack anyone, even grunts, without dying or being reduced to 2 HP. Her Archangels were fine but the enemy archers would just go for Angelina herself and kill her in two attacks. McClain was utterly useless. Ricky could do a little bit but not enough.
Lansford, Listil, and Landius were fine, and Sherufanir and Naal were useful, but that just wasn’t enough to be able to beat all the Meteors and archers.
So this is where I’m going to end my L4 playthrough, unfortunately. I may possibly redo the game when I reach the PS remake of it — if I do, I will do the A or B route, make sure I can promote Landius to a secret class, and do more sensible promotions for McClain. Angelina, and Ricky. But for now, I’ll have to end Langrisser IV here.
I had a busy week so I haven’t finished L4 yet. Should be done next weekend.
Stage 16 – This is an annoying water stage, where your people are on various boats. I used Angelina’s flying units to take out all the catapults and then slowly moved everyone up to beat the boss. The guest units that came in were mostly useless.
At this point the story branches into three routes. If you put it in Der Langrisser terms, the A route is the “light” route, the B route the “Chaos” route, and the C route the “independent” route. I went with the C route, which requires you to have the sisters love values at a certain point, you have to activate the event where Emily realizes that Landius is her brother, and you have to choose to reject the alliance with the demons before stage 17.
Stage 17C – I tried the Der Langrisser independent path but was not able to beat the first stage because I was left with only three commanders, one of which I had not levelled much at all. You are also left with 3 here but on the whole they were a bit better, and Landius was strong enough to basically win the stage by himself — I mostly went for the enemy commanders to shorten things.
Now the demon Listil and her companion Naal join; Sherufanir mentions later that it’s odd Landius rejected the alliance with the demons but then immediately got two demons on his team. Listil is a healer and Naal an attacking magician, although Listil’s MP start pretty low.
Stage 18C – I found this stage to be fairly easy; there are plenty of Meteor casters but at least on this stage the enemies quickly run out of MP and with three commanders able to cast heal it’s easy to recover.
This was a slow, but not especially difficult, stage. We fight against Sherufanir and Selena. By moving slowly and using troops with good affinity I progressed to the bottom. I did have a difficult time dealing with Selena along with Sherufanir’s spells and the other enemies but Landius was able to deal with Selena and from there Sherufanir by herself couldn’t do much.
Stage 20C – This is very similar to 19C, you’re just beating Sherufanir and Selena again. Of course at the end of this stage Bozel brings out Langrisser and Alhazard and revives Chaos.
Stage 21C – Much easier; you start out vs. Sherufanir and Selena but quickly Sherufanir joins your team and Selena as an NPC. Selena won’t die and will help out with the healing, and there are not very many spellcasters.
I found this stage to be quite difficult. I went very slowly at first, killing all the archers and spellcasters near the start with Sherufanir’s arbalests, and Decline + magic spells. After that I started moving forward but the trolls are strong, and then once you near Bruno, he pulls out a cheap trick that turns Sherufanir and Angelina into enemies. I tried to rush the stage but Bruno’s arbalests were able to make mincemeat of Landius. Plus, you have four enemy commanders that all cast magic spells plus some nasty archers.
However, if you just wait a turn or two, Jessica shows up and disables the arbalests. This gave me enough of an edge that I could kill the archer commander, just walk past the demons (with healing sent up from Ricky and Listil) and then defeat Bruno.
Five stages left; I should be done by next weekend.