The Let's Play Archive

Azure Dreams

by Krysmphoenix

Part 11: The game literally vomits loot your way!

Post LP note: Somehow we got into a nice discussion over which Roguelikes were any good. Including it here.

Namingway posted:

Also, I never really heard of the roguelike genre until recently. All I know is that I really like this game and Lufia 2's ancient cave. What other good roguelikes are out there?

Mehuyael posted:

The only Rogue-like I've managed to get into and enjoy was NetHack. Probably because it was the first I tried getting into. By the time I tried looking at others I was too used to NetHack's key setup and game mechanics. If you want games more like Azure Dreams though you'll want to look for Mystery Dungeon games. They're simpler since they're meant for people who might not be interested in learning how not to die to army ants repeatedly. And then still die to them.

Krysmphoenix posted:

As far as roguelikes go, there aren't too many out there because they are not incredibly popular. First off, I should mention that some people consider games like Diablo and Torchlight to be roguelikes. I don't. Those games merely have a random dungeon generation algorithm, but I feel like they just aren't close enough. In addition, I honestly feel one of the defining features of a Roguelike is that is is NOT real-time and that it is turn-based, allowing you to carefully plot out what to do.

Beyond that, I put them into two categories, Mystery Dungeons and Traditional. You'll find a lot more Mystery Dungeons if you go to a store, and they almost always have "Mystery Dungeon" in the name. Of the two categories, I consider this group to be much easier, because often when you die, you just get kicked back to town and keep your level and maybe some equipment. Azure Dreams is in the Mystery Dungeon category because of how painless deaths are in comparison (and although you lose your levels, your monsters don't).
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon is getting popular, and I personally enjoy the Chocobo's Dungeon series, although mostly for the chocobos (the Wii version is pathetically easy, but I enjoyed it and am currently playing through it again on the side). There is also Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja and its sequal. Not having a DS I never actually played these, but I heard that they were a little bit harder than most other Mystery Dungeon type roguelikes. Also, Dwarf Fortress' Adventure mode has been likened to a roguelike. I'm planning on learning how it works so I can mess around and explore the horrid aftermath of the new DF LP that started up.

And then the Traditional Roguelikes. Most of these are free and open source, you just need to know where to find them. Rogue started the genre (thus the name) but Nethack is what made it popular. Angband and Tales of Middle Earth (ToME) are also pretty popular, though to be honest, I haven't tried them.
Be warned though, these are HARD. You thought me getting beaten down to a pulp in front of you guys by a sudden Monster Den on the third level was embarrassing? You haven't been killed by a small kitten, while helpless. Despite what it looks like, Azure Dreams wants me to win. Nethack has been out to kill me every single time. I've been playing it on and off over the past few years, and I still can't get past Minetown. Nearly every single Traditional Roguelike features Permadeath, meaning once you die, it's really game over and your save file is deleted. Like "Hardcore" mode in Diablo, only this is the default and only setting. (Except for debug mode...)
That said, because of its difficulty, the rewards are worth it. Like any incredibly difficult game, if you can beat it, you will feel better about yourself for the rest of your life knowing that you have done the nigh impossible.

Davzz posted:

Incursion is kind of dead at the moment though. I would recommend Crawl Stone Soup since it's still actively being developed, plus the graphical interface is rather convenient.

As far as Japanese roguelike goes, I think the classic one that should be played is probably Shiren The Wanderer. There's a official localization for the DS port of the SNES game but I suppose if you're cheap you could always play the fan-translated SNES version. I'm kind of partial towards the later Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games too, kind of sad that a series of silly mistakes means it'll probably not get an LP for a long time.

Krysmphoenix posted:

Yeah, despite how much I love roguelikes, I simply cannot stand to play with ASCII for an extended period of time, mostly because one symbol ends up being recycled for way too many things, and it can get a little hard to tell things apart.

Shiren the Wanderer is another good one, and I feel it plays the most like Azure Dreams, because you start at lv 1 each time. It's like doing my "Manliness Challenge," because there are no monsters to raise. There's some weird storage system they use but I never figured it out while I was playing the fan-translation.

Drox posted:

Everyone who wants to get into roguelikes needs to try three games:

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon (easy, cute, fun)

Shiren the Wanderer (cute, fun, dickish at times)

DoomRL (it's an ascii roguelike with gore, what else can I say? besides that it's super simple and very action-y feeling for a turnbased game)

Nick Buntline posted:

The DS version of Shiren is one my favorite rogue-likes - I played the hell out of the SNES translation that was done, and the DS version is that but even more. And anyone who claims the Mystery Dungeon games aren't as cruel as a normal rogue-like has never had their first move on the Ravine of Illusions be onto a riceball trap, with the slow sinking realization that there are skeleton wizards and cell armors approaching from both directions.

god damn it do you know how many melds that shield had

Krysmphoenix posted:

I will claim that on a regular basis, Mystery Dungeon games are not as cruel as traditional Roguelikes. That said, both have the potential to be incredibly cruel in their own ways. Case in point, Monster Dens.

Nick Buntline posted:

this is the monster that curses your weapons
this is the monster that rusts your weapons
this is the monster that sends your weapon flying out of your hand into another monster, destroying it instantly
this is the monster that ruins items on the floor
this is the monster that ruins items in your inventory
this is the other monster that ruins items in your inventory
this is the monster that makes you permanently starving to death
this is the monster that just sits there dealing damage to you from anywhere on the floor it feels like

The ability to save progress makes the Mystery Dungeon games nice, but if they don't want you to make any more progress you really just don't.

There was near unanimous support for giving our new Noise the name of Honky. Works for me. Almost all of you were alright with going for the Theater, and Nick Buntline even mentioned a few specific items we should include in the house. Specifically Wallpaper 3, Fridge, Washing Machine and Table. Total the items for the house were $7000.

To the left is the Table, and to the right is the Washing Machine. The bottom picture shows off the Refrigerator. Most of the time when you examine the object you get the same description the game gives you when your about to buy it. All in all, I think even these small additions to the house really make it much nicer.

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention was the bath in the house. The first upgrade features a nice indoor bath....

...whereas before, we're pretty much left with a giant barrel that leaves us in plain view of everyone walking around.

: This gave the town a much nicer feeling to, it didn't it? I'm touched. We owe it to Ghosh and Mamoru mostly.
: That's good. || Yes, you owe it to me.
: Yes, yes.
I'll be honest here, despite Ghosh being an asshole, at least he helped build the fountain and this thing looks pretty cool. Oh, and speaking of Ghosh, the asshole approaches.
: Magnificent, Nico. A beautiful place like this really suits you.
: Heh heh heh.
: It's Mamoru who's not a good match for this beautiful place or for you.
: Neither do you. || We make a good couple.
What are you talking about, Nico's been my friend since birth, of course we are a good match!
: Who's the couple you're talking about, Mamoru?
: Nico, let's talk about culture and love.
: Alright.
: Aha ha ha ha. Ahem.
And they just walk off, leaving me all alone. Jerks. Well if Ghosh is going to take my friend, I'll take his sister!
Post-LP Note: This got a good laugh out of me.

13/f/cali posted:

"Hey Selfi, how much money has Ghosh given you today. 0? Well in that case, I will give you 0... PLUS ONE! Awwww yeahhh."

: You seem to have nothing but failure in the tower as well. Human life is so fragile, you know. Take good care of it. Ha ha ha.
Screw that, she's still a bitch. Although if you read her statement correctly, she implies that Ghosh is failing in the tower too. Well of course, I'm beating him up nearly every other trip so far.

Some of these buildings have no strictly defined location, and can be placed on any of the open lots in the city. I choose right here because it's close to the bar. The Theater will be up by next update.

Next stop, the Restaurant, as per usual. Next on the list is Crystal Curry ($90).
: The rice in Monsbaiya is famous for its uniqueness in that when the rice is fried, as heat passes through, the rice grain twists. But Koppe is something else. When he makes fried rice, he manages to get each and every last grain twisted, adding texture to the rice. It takes fried rice to a whole new level.
That...that's not possible, right? Although I'm suddenly wishing it was, that just sounds awesome and as per usual, delicious. Seriously, who translated these things? The rest of the games translation is pretty mediocre, but these are simply phenomenal. Anyway, we go visit Cherrl after this.
Post-LP Note: On "Food Porn"...

Agean90 posted:

There need to be more games that put huge amounts of effort into translating food porn to the detriment of everything else.

Drox posted:

Redwall: The Game

Charles Bukowski posted:

Preposterous! Now if you'll excuse me, I have an appointment with a fresh garden salad topped with cream dressing and an aged bottle of elderflower and black currant wine.

Kgummy posted:

Is this a joke? Because a quick google search reveals there ARE Redwall games, but none by that name.

Drox posted:

It's not a Redwall game unless it has screens and screens of descriptive text explaining how food tastes, smells, looks, and sounds.

(It was a joke, I didn't know)

: I'll probably be like this for the rest of my life.
: Don't think in that way. || You'll be fine Cherrl.
Don't say those things, Mamoru's going to go find that Healing Herb and make you better!
: No, don't dislike me. I'll think about getting better.
Until we actually find the herb, she ends every conversation with...
: Phew...I think I'm getting tired.
So we let her get some sleep and go check on Jorda to see if he's got any new ideas for the town.

: I've been thinking since the last time, on what the people of this town would enjoy, and came up with the idea of a [Casino]. What do you think? Gambling can be a lot of fun. But don't tell anyone this was my idea.
This always makes me laugh. The priest tells you to build a Casino. The casino uses a slot machine game that you can time properly to get insane amounts of money, and another roulette like game that you can time properly to get insane amounts of money, although this one is harder.
There's just one problem. The Casino costs $100,000. For that money I could build a gigantic house with a swimming pool and its own bowling alley.

Post-LP Note: This started the MegaChurchCasino joke.

Kgummy posted:

I say when you get the Casino, put it as close to the church as possible. Right next door if you can.

Krysmphoenix posted:

How is right across the street (East to West that is) from the Church?

Bifauxnen posted:

I second the idea of the Megachurch Casino.

Kgummy posted:

That's a perfect location.
"I'm sorry pastor, I don't have any money to give to the church."
*Walks out and goes straight to the casino*
"Yes, I'd like to bet all this money."

Pretty typical stuff. I'm sure I'll find a good wand in the tower, so I bring along a Wind Crystal and a Pita Fruit.

Floor 1

So I feed Blue October the Pita Fruit right away to boost its Max MP. Like the proper Medicinal Herbs, Pita Fruits boost MP if the monster is at full MP. Blue October has the potential to be a very good monster that can carry me to the top of the Tower, so I want to boost it up constantly.
But because of my awesome shield, the first floor is pretty uneventful.

Floor 2

It's hard to tell, but there are gold coins (which we haven't seen yet, only copper and silver so far) in front of Selfi and Ghosh. We just kinda stand back and watch.
: What are you talking about? I'm the one who damaged him the most. So the money is mine!
: I treat you as my big brother in town, but it's different here in the tower.
: It's my money!
: It's mine!
By this point, I try to sneak up and take the money, but I'm spotted.
: Huh, it's Mamoru.
: Hey! Puffy lips.
: Selfi. How dare you talk like that? As a member of the legendary Rode family, and as the sister of the best swordsman in the world. I'm so ashamed of you.
What the...did he just stick up for me?
: I'm so sorry Brother.
: Mamoru! It would be a million years before such a peasent like you could talk to Selfi. Don't you ever go near her again!
He then takes the gold coins and they leave together. Oh hell no, I am so going to flirt with Selfi just to piss this guy off. (Which is like the only reason to go for her in the first place...)

Floor 3

One of the things I never really went over is that when you are in battle, the game kinda zooms in on the attacker. This applies even when you are hit by a Blind Trap (like I am right now) and can't see anything. So based on where the camera zooms in, you can figure out where the monster is. When you defeat the enemy, you aren't told what it was, but based on the sound effects and the experience gained, I can tell it was a Troll.

Speaking of Trolls, this is Mamoru's 100th kill against Trolls (Hammer). I was about to do an animated GIF to celebrate, but I realized that I probably shouldn't even try since I'm not doing them properly in the first place. If you guys still want me to, I'll keep doing them though.

Floor 4

Oh well, this sword is temporary anyway.

Mirror shields are, in my opinion, the best shields in the game. They don't quite have the same power as Diamond shields, but they do share the rust-proofing. What makes me love Mirror shields is exactly what it sounds like: they reflect stuff. Specifically magic such as Rise and LoDown. Since I'm boosting the Diamond shield right now, I'll put this in the safe as a spare.

...if I start saying that Fire Crystals aren't this common, will I find more?

Floor 5

I notice that the less rooms a floor has, the more monsters and treasure I'll find clustered together. Every floor seems to have the same amount of monsters and treasures, despite the size. Unfortunately, this can lead to situations like this.

Another tribute picture to Mamoru's 100th kill of a species.

Floor 6

I found a Hazak seed, and fed it to Blue October to boost its ATK. This filled up its MP because I fed it an item giving it 3 MP back natrually. So I fed it another Pita Fruit. Then a Medicinal Herb. So that's +1 ATK, +2 MP and +1 HP so far and I haven't even used Blue October to kill anything yet!

I needed one badly. I've got like 5 red sands piled up back home.

Floor 7

Sweet. Manoevas make pretty decent familiars because their clones absorb lots of hits (and you can kill the clones for experience too). And they have another feature that helps out a lot too, but more on that later.

We're at +5 now. This shield keeps getting better and better.

Floor 8

Correction, total increase of +2 HP.

Floor 9

Well, this is a fine way to start off the new floor. Still, because of my shield I'm just fine. In fact, I decide to use the Malicious bell I picked up a few floor back and leech even more EXP from these guys.

Wow, this room has a ton of items, especially the orbs. That seed there is a Mazarr seed that I immidiately feed to level up Blue October.

Just like the Hammer Trolls and Cyclones, I get my hundreth kill on Blumes, and promptly my 101st kill as well. I think I may have done a typo though because I recorded killing 44 Blumes total this trip.

Floor 10

Sweet, an expensive item to sell for loot.

I actually saw these guys coming from a distance away down an adjacent hallway and met them around the corner, deliberately placing myself in this narrow hallway so they can't gang up on me.

...and yet the Bow Trolls fired anyway, or at least one of them did. Even though the Volcano was in the way. In fact, I think the Volcano dodged the first shot allowing the arrow to hit me instead. The Dev Team definitely thought evasion to ranged attacks out. Always surprises me every time, even though I've known this fact for years.

Floor 11

Sweet, another Mirror shield. I hope one of them is cursed because they sell pretty well on their own.

Floor 12

I nearly had a heart attack when I came back in the room from a different camera angle, because I did not see it the first time and I ran right over it. I'm lucky it didn't activate.

The moment I see a Kraken, out comes Blue October. I still can't one-shot them from above yet, but it's pretty darn close.

Griffons, however, don't stand a chance.

Floor 13

One thing that I'm doing now that I didn't do before was BUC test my inventory whenever I found a De-curse scroll. By BUC test, I mean equip all of my items to see if they are blessed with a modifier or cursed. Unfortunately because of the De-curse scroll, I have to stop the moment I put on a cursed item, and use it if I want to go back. Stupid me, I had a cursed mirror shield, and had to uncurse it to get my Diamond shield back. If I didn't BUC test the Mirror shield, I could have sold it for tons.

Remember how back with Mic I said I was doing more damage with a Scarlet wand and Flame Sword than any other wand? The same applies with Stream wands and Blue October's Mixture magic. I did 67 damage against a Griffon at the same height with the Stream wand, and only 60 with a Money wand from above.

Finally got a Nyuel. Here's the description for them.

"Monster Book" posted:

No. 22 NYUEL Habitat: Plain
A domestic monster used for traveling through deserts and for pulling carriages. It is very friendly to people, and even a wild one is not much of a threat. It can adapt to almost any environment, and transforms differently depending on how it is raised. The monster represents the personality of its master.

Floor 14

New Troll type already. This uses a Sword. When I carried a Troll Sword, it mentioned something about bypassing shields. I didn't notice it, probably because I was one-shotting everything.

"Monster Book" posted:

No. 46 GARUDA Habitat: Monster Tower
This is a kind of monster that has been protecting the Monster Tower since ancient times. Why they protect the tower is unknown. Its body is half machine and is thought to be a magical life form created by a magician. Once it detects danger, it attempts to divide the enemy.
This is a Garuda, they hit pretty hard too which is annoying. They can also "Abduct' your monsters, which basically warps them both to a random part of the floor. Fortunately I never let a Garuda get close enough to Blue October, I need that mixture magic to live, dammit!

Floor 15

Remember this item. Also, the map is upside down because I hit a Reversal trap, which flips things upside down. But the D-pad still takes you in the same direction it did before, so the interface screw is negligible at best.

Honestly, I don't like the Garudas and I want to get moving on. Plus Blue October's MP is starting to concern me because I fed it so many Pita Fruits to increase the max MP.

Floor 16

This is hard to tell, but this is actually a Manoeva. Starting at Floor 16 onward, all Manoevas you encounter will morph into random objects next to them. The moment you stop next to the Manoeva, it will drop its disguise and get the first strike. Like the troll variants, they also improved their stats compared to before, so for the kill count I'll be listing them as Manoeva v2.

"Monster Book" posted:

No. 11 BARONG Habitat: Prairie
A strange monster that consumes any substance, transforms it inside its body after ingesting enough nutrients, and then vomits out a new substance. Its internal constitution is currently unknown. It does not live in a pack, and is a loner.
So what does this mean for us? We can pick up items and throw them at Barongs, and they will turn into any new item.
Let me say that again. THESE MONSTERS LITERALLY VOMIT FREE ITEMS FOR YOU. Well, okay, maybe not free items since you have to throw something to get something, but Barongs have a high rate of producing rare items, at least compared to finding one in the Tower. But this also takes up a ton of MP and they lose it pretty fast morphing items for you.

So I feed it this Leolam fruit once it runs out of MP. Because it just ate something, it has a little MP again, and it won't lose any because of the Leolam fruit. This allows me to harvest items for a longer time, which is good because these guys are rare. They only appear on Floors 16, 26 and 36, and even then appear only seldomly. This Barong is the only one I find. The only good item I get is a Shomuro seed which goes straight to Blue October to give it more DEF.

This was a critical hit, by the way. Barongs also have a shit ton of HP, and survived a 77 damage Blizzard Sword right before this critical hit. Fortunately, this killed it.

Floor 17

What the...what is a Hammer Troll doing here? Floor 17 is weird in that it spawns all three types of Trolls...with the exact same stats they had on previous floors. So this Hammer Troll is pathetically weak and dies easily.

"Monster Book" posted:

No. 42 PICKET Habitat: Bush
A monster that loves to steal. It steals anything whether it be money or other objects. It often hides in an ordinary bush, and if you step on it, your belongings could be stolen.
Did anyone else notice that the picture of the Picket had it carrying a medal? Possibly the Water Medal? But, this isn't the right Picket. The Picket we are looking for appears on a higher floor and is all white. Either way, these things have the Fast trait, allowing them to take two actions for every one of mine. Allowing two moves, two attacks, or one of each. They can also steal your items, and immediately teleport away. This Picket steals a Sea seed, which I don't care about. You can find them later, but they run away from you. When you kill it, you'll get your item back.

Eggs are totally rare in this game. Honest! I use some Truth glasses on it, and it's a Nyuel egg.

In the corner you can kinda see another Picket. By this point, I'm a little concerned. Blue October's MP is decent, but still getting low. I'm carrying TWO eggs that I don't want stolen, and I already got the first earthquake warning, so if either one gets stolen, I might never see them again.
So I wind crystal it out of there.

: 18 Pulunpas, 4 Noises, 21 Trolls (Hammer), 18 Flames, 24 Cyclones, 20 Baloons, 33 Manoevas, 44 Blumes, 21 U-Boats, 16 Clowns, 16 Dreamins, 21 Trolls (Bow), 9 Volcanoes, 13 Griffons. 278 KILLS TOTAL
7 Traps Discovered.
Reached 100 kills for: Troll (Hammer), Cyclones, and Blumes.

Snow Shoot Assists: 1 Volcano, 2 Griffons. 3 SNOW SHOOT KILL-ASSISTS TOTAL
Blizzard Sword Assists: 2 Trolls (Hammer), 3 Dreamin, 1 Troll (Bow), 9 Volcanoes, 7 Griffons, 11 Krakens, 15 Nyuels, 17 Trolls (Sword), 24 Garudas, 4 Manoevas v2, 1 Barong, 2 Pickets. 94 BLIZZARD SWORD KILL-ASSISTS TOTAL


Typical morning, beaten awake by Nico. You know what, Ghosh is more than welcome to steal this part of her from me.

Our Manoeva. It can transform into other monsters (and take their passive abilities, like Barongs object morphing) and it has DeForth as a hidden spell. DeForth is like DeHeal except it heals completely. It's elemental variants will still heal a lot, but not a 100% heal. This is not a Trait, Nyuels are just funny awesome like that.

This starts with DeHeal, and like Squirtle, it can evovle later on. Actually, all of the monsters that start with spells will evolve once they hit lv 20 (except for Mic, he's special and stays the same). In addition, besides the Nyuel's somewhat sucky stats, it also gets a HUGE MP restore every time it eats an herb. Any herb.

: When you look at me, I think my heart skips a beat. ...what do you think?
: Should I get you a doctor? || You're joking again.
: Chuckle. I like that about you, Mamoru. ...but if you're saying that seriously, you've got to have your head examined., what will it be today?
I sell a lot of the extra loot I have, including the orbs I found for $9560. Not bad, but I don't think anything is going to beat that last trip for a long time. I'm now at $27804.
: The city of Monsbaiya is looking better and better... ...and I'm becoming a better and better woman.
: You're a tomboy. || Yeah, yeah, sure.
: Hey, that's rude.
[i]Oh please, not like you've been any different.

Anyway, now that I'm starting to climb pretty far into the Tower, updates are going to take much longer, so I'm trying to cut back on the screenshots I take. I've been trying to limit myself to interesting stuff that happens, we'll see how long that lasts though before it starts getting too long even with that.

Oh, and lets try to get a name for our Manoeva and Nyuel. Both are awesome monsters. I'm halfway considering fusing Blue October over to the Nyuel using a Leva Fruit so we have a monster with both mixture magics, and can regenerate MP easily (and I think the ½ MP Consumption trait will carry over too). I think that will really help push me far in the tower. As per usual, let me know what you guys want to see happen.
And of course, if you want to add more stuff to the house, let me know. For now, I'm kinda saving up for the Casino, but I don't mind spending a little.