The Let's Play Archive

Azure Dreams

by Krysmphoenix

Part 2: First entry into "that ancient tower."

Krysmphoenix posted:

Hmm...I was hoping when I mentioned the deadline some people would pile on one group of names, but that didn't happen. So I'll just roll dice to figure this out. It seems to be the most fair way to do it.

1. Rico - Drakie
2. Adol - Dogi
4. Red - Vmon
5. Dude - Drak
6. Adol - Dogi (listed twice so it gets two spots)
8. Chet - Chet
9. Maxim - Foomy
10. Mamoru - Mic
11. Maxim - Foomy (listed twice)
12. Sam - Max

Sweet, perfect for a d12.
I rolled a 10, so Mamoru and Mic it is! I've never seen GaoGaiGear (say that three times fast) before, so don't expect any inside jokes unless I get bored enough some day to take a look at it.
Post-LP note: I was secretly hoping someone was going to suggest Inigo as a name for Koh.

"that ancient tower."

Alright, we have our names now. Mamoru will now replace Koh and Mic will now replace KEWNE.
But, when we start a new game and pick any name besides Koh, we get this little exchange that is different.

: Wreath! You did well! He's a boy! Ha ha, he looks just like me.
: Have you thought of a name?
: Let's see... How does Koh sound?
: Koh... no. I feel there is a name that better fits him.
: I've got it! Mamoru! How's that!?
: That's good! His name is Mamoru. It's as if God Hunter Noventa picked that name for him a long time ago!
A nice little touch. Anyway, moving on...

: By the way...... Umm......
: I'm Mamoru || I am Mr. Mamoru.
That's MISTER Mamoru to you!
: Yes, Master Mamoru!
Even better!
: You are a beginner, aren't you? I can tell. OK! I will teach you many things about the tower. Let's go.
And so, we enter the mysterious tower...


Yeah...I gotta agree. This place looks pretty nice, not at all like a giant hive of monstrosities one might possibly expect. Dangerous? This place looks pretty regal to me. It'd make a great place to live. Rearrange the shrubberies, put up a couch, put a chandelier over this magic circle thingie here and...
: Oh, before that, I have to tell you something important, so listen up and remember my .
And boy does he have a lot to say. But, we aren't here to see Mic explain the how the game works, thats my job! First let's take a look at our HUD.

1. Current floor. There are forty floors total.
2. Current level. I don't remember if this game has a level cap, but I think it's somewhere around fifty.
3. HP / Max HP. We restore HP just by walking around or waiting. Monsters too, but it's a little slower for them.
4. Money count. There are no shops in the Tower, so this actually tells you how much money you have collected so far on this trip. If you escape the tower with all of your loot, this money gets added to your total spending money back home.
5. Life Bar. It's normally yellow, when you take damage, it starts filling up from the side with a red color. As you level up, the hilt on the sword expands. (Note: I seem to recall an NPC in the game mentioning that this bar did something else...something about dealing less damage when there is more red in the hilt, and taking damage puts more red in there. But my memory of this is really foggy, so for now, just treat it like a simple Life Bar until I can confirm/disprove this.)
Not pictured (but you'll see it plenty of other times): The Green Minimap. Green areas marks open tiles that we can walk on. The yellow square is Mamoru. All the red squares are monsters, including familiars such as Mic since they are monsters too technically. Blue squares are items, dark green is the elevator to the next floor and pink are traps.

1. Picture of the Monster. For Mamoru, we get a different picture based on current status effects. Most are pretty silly so I'll try to show them off too.
2. Genus or element. I'm going to use this interchangeably. There are three, Fire (red), Water (blue) and Wind (green). A box around the symbol means the monster is in its native Genus. Mamoru doesn't get a Genus, and is exempt from Elemental Rock Paper Scissor. (Fire < Water < Wind < Fire)
3. Collar. We have a red collar, and we can find a blue collar later on. This simply shows which collar is being used for this monster. We can quick select our monster to change its AI or give it a command for this turn with R2 for the Red collar, and L2 for the bLue collar.
4. Name. Self explanatory.
5. Species. The species of the monster. Mamoru is a "TAMER" species and Mic is a "KEWNE" species.
6. Level, already mentioned.
7. Current Status Effect. HLTH means Healthy.
8. Hit Points, current and max. We are booted out of the tower if Mamoru loses all HP, but monsters just disappear and go back into our inventory. Fallen monsters can't be brought out, but a rare item can revive them.
9. Mana/Mystical/Mammal/whatever-begins-with-an-M Points, current and max. Monsters need MP in order to move. Every attack, every step, every turn out of the bag takes away some amount of MP. Without MP monsters will fall to the ground and glow dark blue leaving them completely helpless.
9.5 Weapon and Shield strength. (See the MP slot for Mamoru's status.) This tells you how much of a bonus you are getting from your current equipment. We have nothing equipped, so it's flat 0s.
10. Attack and Defense. I'm pretty sure Attack only affects physical attacks and does nothing for any of the Magic stuff monsters can use. Defense however does help against spells cast against you. Some monsters can reduce your ATK and DEF, so that's why MAX is listed. There are healing items that can help restore those values should they get reduced. (Note for Mamoru: Weapon and Shield strength is not added to these numbers. Think of this as Mamoru's stats without equipment.)
11. EXP is marked by a series of stars, and makes it hard to tell how much EXP is needed to level up. We have no EXP so we get no gold stars.
12. Known Magic Spells. Mic starts with knowing the "Brid" spell. Monsters can learn new spells through Fusion. The spell's element always changes with the monster, but the spell has a certain element that it belongs to marked by the box around it. The spell is more powerful in that element and will level up and become more powerful alongside the monster.
12.5 Current Equipment. (See Known Spells slot for Mamoru's stats) Tells you what equipment we have on. We have no equipment, so this box is empty.

From selecting Items at the menu, we get here. We can hold up to twenty items, and there is a second page that is visible when you actually have items to put there. We are currently holding a Pita Fruit (given to us by Wreath from the last update) and Mic. Yes, monsters take up inventory space even when they are out.

From selecting M Select at the menu, we get here. This screen is next to worthless because when you select a monster, you get the same options as you would get if you selected the monster in Items. On the right are the options you get when you press X on a monster.
Collar puts on/off the collar, effectively taking them out/in the bag.
Return boots them out of the Tower and sends them back home. I may do this if a monster gets knocked out.
Line Up, takes us to the Line Up menu.
Command, takes us to the Command menu.
Name, lets you rename the monster.

From selecting Line Up from menu or from Monster Select, we are sent here. Monsters try to stay in a certain square next to Mamoru, and you can determine where that square is in by using Change Line Up.
Change AI changes what your monster does normally. 5 lets the monster attack directly and occasionally use spells. 4 lets them attack directly, that's it. 3 has them follow you and back you up with Mixture Magic, which I'll explain later. 2. has them just follow you and 1. makes them sit there and do nothing. Option 2 is completely useless, but 1 is actually helpful and I might use it later on (you'll see why).

From selecting Command from the menu or from Monster Select, we are sent here. We can manually tell Mix what we want him to do, but for the most part the AI does a pretty good job. After telling the monster what to do, it won't do it right away though. The order of turns go Mamoru > Our Familiars > Enemy > Back to Mamoru.
Direct means just a basic attack. Direct: Brid means Mic will use Brid which costs 10 MP and shoots out a powerful fireball. Helpful, but too expensive to use often.
Mix.: Brid uses Mixture Magic, making our attack into a more powerful attack. Brid gives us either Flay Finger or Flame Sword, based on whether or not we have a weapon equipped. (Flay Finger for unarmed.) Apparently this costs less than a direct attack, MP wise, but I'm not sure if I believe the game because some of the more powerful Mixture Magics use up a ton of MP fast.

But what about Fuse and At Feet?
Fuse requires the second collar, which we don't have. At Feet I'll explain with traps later on.

Here, we find our first item. We can find orbs balls on the way. They function like wands in Nethack, with so many charges. Once we are out of charges, we are left with a useless item. However, balls are pretty powerful and are a great alternative to dying. This Fire ball casts Brid, just by a different name and a little more damage.

And our first sword. Copper Swords are pathetic and weak 2 ATK swords that are outclassed by every single other weapon in the game. This weapon has no redeeming qualities.
Also, weapons and shields can have a +X or -X value directly changing how much of a bonus they give. We can use special items to increase the bonus and traps can reduce the bonus. However, your weapon will never be weaker than your bare hand, no matter how many rust traps you stumble on. Oh, weapons can also be cursed meaning you can't unequip them. Thank god this game does not have blindfolds. I'm pretty sure I'm not the first person to play Nethack who has put on a cursed blindfold by accident.

Yet Another Stuipd Deaths aside, this is a herb. A Medicinal Herb, exactly which restores about 40 HP. These are very useful since they are pretty much the only item that will heal you. There are also tons of other Herbs and Fruits (like the Pita Fruit) you can find, but most are useless. Some will cause status effects, and you should throw those at enemies.

This is a Wood Shield, a weak and pathetic 2 Def shield that doesn't suck as much as the Copper Sword. Unlike the sword, this won't rust because it is made of wood.
Also, I had to rotate the camera to see the shield hidden behind the elevated terrain. I'll rotate the game sometimes for better screenshots, but for the most part I don't touch it.

Our first monster egg. If we hatch this, we will be given a monster. However, eggs start off with a color, that won't tell us what kind of monster is inside. If we ID them, we'll know what is inside and how warm the egg is.
If hatch an egg back home, the monster will start off at lv. 1. If we hatch an egg in the tower, it will start off at the same level as either the Tower or Mamoru (need to confirm this, because I never do it for the following reason) but it will stay in the tower if we leave. So this is pretty much a waste of an egg, but could allow us to get much further. I still say it's better to raise them at home.

Alright, you see that green little pipsqueak there? That is a Pulunpa. They are pathetically weak and easily killed. Their stats are atrocious and it should be easy to one-shot them once we hit level two or three.

So to show off our Mixture Magic, here is Flame Sword! It takes away Kewne's turn to use it though.
And it dealt...5 damage. That' Really weak...

The Pulunpa attacks back! You see that blue effect there? That means this monster is Water-Genus, which is why our Flame Sword did so little damage. So even though it is weak and pathetic (and possibly nutritious for breakfast) it gets to live. Remember, the Elemental Rock Paper Scissors goes Fire < Water < Wind < Fire.
What's that you say? How weak are Pulunpas? see that attack? It did 1 damage.

I finish it off with a normal attack to save Kewne's MP by telling him to stay still this turn. This attack did 5 damage...the exact same as Flame Sword. That's probably because both Mamoru and Mic are lv. 1 and so is Mic's Brid spell which gets used for the attack. It'll get much better soon.

And here we have our first trap, which Mamoru is currently standing on I should tell you, most traps are not automatically visible like this. They start off invisible, and then appear once they are activated. Once a trap has been activated it won't work again unless you manually force it.
This is what At Feet does. In the menu, shows you the item that's at your feet. You can activate traps again this way. For most, you would be stupid to do so, but there are maybe four traps that I could find a practical use for. Also, if you'll notice there is a Medicinal Herb here as well. This is the one from the inventory, but I'm holding it right now. If you are carrying an item in your hands, At Feet also shows anything you have in your hand as well. You can directly use anything in your hands and at your feet. It's like a special 21st and 22nd inventory slot.

And this is the elevator. The orb there changes color, so don't get shocked if on some other screenshot it changes to something completely different. There at least one elevator per floor. Sometimes there are two, but only by fluke of random floor generation. I think I might have seen three once.

Ah, this is one thing that bugs me about this game. When you go up, the game asks if you would like to save, so you can reload from this floor at a later time. There are just two problems with this. One, it defaults to "Yes," meaning when you mash the X button trying to get through this, you might accidentally save your game.
Second, is the lengths this game goes to to prevent save-scumming. It's pretty good, actually, you load the file, and it re-saves the file right away to as if you died in the tower. This way if you try to savescum, you lose everything you had. Problem is, sometimes that messes up and you lose all of your inventory anyway, though that usually happens if you save in the tower multiple times in one trip. But I'll be using savestates so that won't happen.

Anyway, I'll end this update here, gotta finish this trip and get that all recorded.