Despite the bugs I am making progress through the game, and as long as I don’t hit any game breaking bugs I should be able to finish it.
One big annoyance is dying (called “groggy” in the game). As far as I can tell, nobody ever learns a spell that can revive a person, and the one revive item in the game is very expensive and only shows up in stores over halfway through the game. Reviving in town is free, but this means that if enemies get a lucky critical or gang up on one person, you have to leave the dungeon. For me, the net effect of this is that I just want to overlevel outside of the dungeons and then run from every random encounter once I’m in the dungeon. I’ve always been averse to grinding — I prefer to move on with the game and only do the “walk in circles levelling” if I absolutely have to. I guess other games have difficulty with reviving as well, but somehow it seems like the random encounter enemies do a lot more damage in this game.
I left off last time just having beaten the Gourmet Queen. So the next step is to head to Gourmet Castle and beat the Gourmet King:
|Another gross enemy.|
The next part of the game involves the Ul Ul people, who are an obvious parody of Ultraman. We need the power of Ul Ul Man in order to rescue Dr. Pascal, turned into ice.
|…but Ul Ul Man is too old.|
You first have to go through some hoops to get to the Ul Ul Planet, and lose Johnny along the way. But this frees up your party to get Ul Ul Boy. In order to teach Ul Ul Boy the technique to unfreeze Dr. Pascal, you have to make your way up Ul Ul Tower. This place is a buggy mess where I kept getting caught in black screens where I couldn’t move and had to use items to escape the dungeon and try again. I’ve also been having more problems with the spell window — I mentioned before that only the main character’s spells can be used outside of battle. But sometimes even that doesn’t work, and you get a list of glitched spells and a cursor moving around outside the box. Sometimes if you have another character use the hero’s spells, it only takes off that character’s TP, other times it subtracts both the main character and the using character’s TP.
|This was in the commercial|
Dr. Pascal and the assembled scientists can’t turn your parents back human, so we now have to look for Dr. Maka Maka. The goal is to find a ship, and the bizarreness starts again. In order to get the ship, you have to do the following:
- Get slapped by a “huge hand old woman” to swell the main character’s face
- Find another “huge face” guy who agrees to let you fight in the arena
- Fight a boss in the arena, win the Silver Fruit
- Give the silver fruit to the “huge bowl boy” who uses the liquid in his bowl to heal you and protect you from future swellings
- Defeat “huge hand old woman”, then she gets attacked by a seagull and thrown into the ship, becoming part of the ship and thus allowing it to be piloted.
What is going on!?
|Queen Bees and rambunctious girls|
Once again the progression of the story is off the rails. You have to turn female so that you can get into a hot springs and get something that will protect you against the fairies. But to do this, you need the help of Michi, a guy who turned into a girl because of Ramone, a catwoman in Ramone Castle. After delivering some love letters Michi helps you in and you turn into a girl. Michi also turns back to a guy but it turns out the guy she loved was also a guy, so she turns back into a girl forever and later joins your party.
Now you can go to the women’s hot spring, then turn back into a guy and go to the fairy park, where it turns out the fairies are actually noses with legs that you have to fight as a boss fight. (Incidentally, while you’re women you can’t get into fights, presumably because they didn’t want to program additional battle sprites and animations.)
Atlas Mountain has mostly ice enemies, which makes them good targets for Ul Ul Boy’s fire beam and the girlfriend’s fire spells. In general the random enemies in this game are strong, with many of them having attacks that hit 2 or all 4 of your guys for pretty harsh damage.
|Even a werewolf isn’t allowed to be a normal enemy|
This is an annoying fight because the only thing that hurts him is the main character attacking with the Silver Sword, and the boss has a heal spell. Everyone else can only heal or use support magic (UB has useful defense down and attack down spells). This took a long time to do, but I was probably underlevelled.
The werewolf turns out to be Dr. Yan, who Dr. Maka Maka did experiments on. Now we discover the research notes and diaries, and learn that Maka Maka wants to turn the entire world into water fleas, and our main character’s parents were the first victims. Now we have the end goal in sight, to find the Maka Maka castle and shut down Dr. Maka Maka’s dreams.