Part 7: Prison Break, Dem StyleHowdy, folks, and welcome back! Last time, on Breath of Death VII, we were thrown in prison by some dick, and that dick's nephew, Erik, was also in the prison. Erik, for reasons that Pepe Le Pew would agree with, had the key on him and let us out. Today, we're going to go kick his uncle's ass, so let's dance.
The enemies around here are pretty fucking hard. It that they hit like mad bastards and have gobs of health.
I saw a couple of "DEFEAT" screens around here; I'll even show you one!
Those other cells and their doors are just for decoration; we're not going to be searching every nook and cranny of the prison to find stuff.
I'm not sure why this Executioner gave up on killing those Escapees, or why they decided to band against us. Maybe the Escapees are hoping for a lighter sentence in exchange for their civil service.
Meh. They're nothing special.
These guys, however, are fucking assholes.
Erik is all about giving and taking damage, and Smash! reflects that nicely.
Like the other zombies we've met, Erik can poison enemies by puking on them.
He can also help others regenerate a bit of health per turn, but 36 isn't enough, and with enemies becoming 10% stronger each turn, and hitting for more than 36 a turn, it just can't keep up with the rigors of battle. It's a good idea, and one that I like on a physical tank/shit wrecker, but it's just a little too weak to be truly effective.
And, for whatever fucking reason, he has the Dodge ability, instead of the Protect one, like Dem. Lita has the other Protect. I'm...I'm not sure why.
Erik has tons of health; at max, he currently has 350, which is much more than anyone else.
Executioners also have Decisive Chop, which is a much harder hitting version of this. I've seen it do around 150 damage before.
Escapees aren't worth much, but some battles down here will get us around 600 EXP and 1,000 Gold.
For such a small town, Motherbound has a lot of jail cells. I think there are more cells than people!
That must be the solitary confinement cell to the left.
Also, in this world, Andy Dufresne started digging out of the wrong wall.
In RPGs, I always wondered why the developers bothered putting a weapon upgrade fifty feet from where you recruit the character. It seems like it would be just easier to give them the upgraded version.
Though, this offers double the Strength boost of the vanilla Axe.
No new enemies, just a level up.
Okay, not bad. I like that.
My gut reaction is to take this, since the Magic boost is higher, but I take the lower Magic boost in exchange for a boost of 30 Will.
If any of you reading this has an argument for why I should have taken another choice, feel free to bring it up. There's not exactly a ton to discuss about this game, so if I can get a few things going here and there, I'll
Unfortunately, not much is ever done with these suits of armor.
They're purely set decoration.
Which I have no problems with, but it seems almost cliche to have some armor come alive and attack, and this isn't the kind of game that seems like it would shy away from cliche.
I try to say something to break the monotony of screenshots, but sometimes, it's hard.
I'm showing this because there's more path down there, but I never wandered further down. I'm not sure why.
But, all the same, I bet it's just an armor upgrade for Erik, or a bit more money. Both of which I would have liked, but are unnecessary. He'll have an armor upgrade soon enough.
Jesus Christ on a crutch, how big is this prison!? And why is it such a maze!?
Yup, that's a chasm. I'm not sure why it's here.
I mean, maybe they're not worried about prison upkeep, but that just seems like a hazard for whoever is coming down here.
Speaking of hazards...
Armors are the new pain in the ass around these parts.
Not a ton of HP, but by virtue of being a living suit of armor, they have extremely good physical defense.
Magic is the best way to drop them, and the quickest.
Multi-Strike is a 148x3 attack. It should be doing around 444, but like I said, these guys are tough.
And, what the hell, here's Blind in action.
It's another Stun sort of move; Sleep is the same way, but it doesn't seem like anything can wake them up.
Moving along, we spot our next path forward.
No spoon for this prisoner!
Probably had a skeleton cell mate and just used his skull as a scoop. That seems like the most effective way to me.
How much of this prison is there!?
Good God, I think this prison could hold the population of every town we've been to!
'course, if this is left over from the old days, this area might have had a larger population and warranted a larger prison area.
Getting into a fight seems like a good sign that I'm thinking about it too much.
Ugh, Knights. These guys are assholes, too.
They have enough HP that, without using a bunch of MP, it's hard to drop them in a single round.
They're also not messing around with their physical attacks.
Most of my fights from here on are against Executioners and Knights, which can lead to a lot of pants-shitting moments.
Over here, there's a save point. We're still a bit of a ways from the boss, but this area is so damned long, this save point is nearly required.
That's one thing about this game that is a bit of a pain. The dungeons turn into gigantic sprawls, with tons of encounters; they're limited, sure, but you have to get through the limit before they stop showing up.
It can be a bit of a slog, where you're wondering where the hell it is going to end, and if you have the resources to make it to that end.
That valuable historian training was key in providing this expert analysis.
Then we probably never will! Why is it here? Who the hell knows!
I've never had a game developer post in one of my threads (well, a developer that worked on the game in question, that is), but if there was such a poster around, I'd really like to know some of these things.
Okay, yeah, that sounds good. I like a stronger Deathblow.
Ah, but this Deathblow will grow stronger as the combo count does, like the other, but with the combo boost, the higher that combo goes, the more damage we're going to deal. I go with the B option here, just for that extra potential damage.
Alright, we can heal the entire party at once. I like that. That's a good thing.
This will keep our healing single target, but it won't fuck with the combo while doing so. I end up taking Heal Wave, since if it's a desperate enough situation that I need to heal everyone at once, I'm not going to be that concerned with my combo. If I need single target healing, I have Potions.
Anyways, if we could get a developer in here, I'd like to ask them about their thought processes on the battle design, how they figured out that was the system they wanted, where the idea came from, that sort of thing.
I'd also like to ask them about some of the writing. I know the bare bones style is a throwback to old RPGs where the story was on the backburner compared to everything else (Final Fantasy comes to mind). I suppose all the references were thrown in to try and be funny, to add some humor to the game, but there's a lot of untapped potential here, such as further exploration of a world comprised entirely of the undead.
For a background, it's very interesting, and could have plenty to be written about, but here, it's just background. The world could be replaced with normal people and I'm not sure there would be much of a difference.
Is there truly a point for this world to be comprised entirely of the undead, or was it just supposed to seem vaguely interesting? Breath of Death VII came out in 2010, when Daybreakers, the Nightmare on Elm Street remake, Survival of the Dead, Jonah Hex, Resident Evil: Afterlife, and a group of other horror films came out; was it trying to cash in on the new horror craze? Supernatural was going strong at this point, and the Walking Dead had started that year; was this game trying to crib off that sort of world, to try and keep people interested, by mixing the supernatural with a world we're familiar with?
The zombie craze was still going strong; was this game's setting trying to entice people through that?
They're not using this world to tell any sort of grand story, nor are they using it to make some sort of statement about anything.
To me, they're using this setting just because they're using it, but it seems that they didn't fully know why they were using it.
Almost as if it seemed like it was the thing to do, but without having any real, concrete reason to do so; other popular forms of media were using it, so that must be the right choice.
And why not take this opportunity to explore a little more into what an undead world would be like? Are worries of food and water still pressing on the mind of every citizen? Are certain occupations still considered highly dangerous, even though not every worker would require air? Are positions working in hazardous conditions cornered by a certain species of creature?
Ultimately, this game's biggest problem lies within its writing; not just because the story is barebones, but because they waste the setting they created. They created a cast of characters that could have been incredibly interesting, that could have been living and breathing, despite their undead status; they've given us a cast of characters that have personalities comprised of air and no reasons to care about those characters beyond what they can do in battle. They wasted their opportunity to not only create a stunning world, but to also create characters that were worth a damn, and not standing on their abilities to belch out a meme or make a reference to a different work.
And since this game had all of those possibilities and all of the potential lying within it, seeing the creators take that and do nothing with it, that is the game's biggest fault. They could have done something with it all, but instead, they chose to do nothing. It's disappointing. Just...Disappointing, especially when coming from a genre where the story and characters are often considered to be a more important factor.
Hey, we're nearly out of here! And we just wandered into a book maze.
Oooh, a level up!
Okay, an assload of unavoidable damage, but only against machines. I like that, even if it is limited.
But this is limited, too. It will give us an edge on mech-type enemies, but Lita isn't going to be hitting over 800, without a spell, by herself. I go with Comp Virus, because if I'm fighting more than one mech, I can have Lita and someone else focus on one, while the other two break another one down.
Who arranges their books like this!? Why would you? You are not Oswell Spencer!
Okay, let's get the hell out of here.
Uh, is this the right way...
...Or is it over here...
Oh, hell where am I?
OH GOD IT'S ALL GONE WRONG
SO VERY WRONG
Okay, let's try that again, but without the part where I get my shit stomped.
This is the end of the dungeon, so I take the moment to finish off what battles I have left and get a few levels.
Erik gains his first level!
I see no problems with giving a mountain of meat some extra HP.
Erik is, by far, our slowest party member, but we're not going to be fixing that. He doesn't also really need the Magic boost, since his job is to smash shit as hard as he can. He gets the extra 30 HP.
Yeah, there's no questions about what I took.
Okay, I like that, that's a good spread.
...Yeah, we'll go with the magic one. I like that better.
Off to the boss!
After we go through the last bit of padding in this dungeon, that is.
Just a few rooms of this.
I'm not sure why. Isn't this place long enough?
I say as the boss is ten feet away.
C'mon, just give it up. I don't even know why you hate us!
Wow, he's a big fuckin' dude.
Who would have thought that zombies would be so sturdy?
Like with most boss fights, you want to beat his ass before he beats yours.
He has a full-party attack that does a fair bit of damage.
As well as the ability to just slap the shit out of you.
All in all, this isn't a hard fight, but one that will end your run if you're not paying enough attention.
Everyone gains a level here, which is just the sort of thing to trip my trigger.
Dem gets the boost to Strength and Vitality, since those are kind of his thing.
Alright, Hailstorm is getting stronger. I like that.
And this one has more hits with it? I'm taking this one!
Now that's quite the boost in power.
As is this, and I have the chance to instantly kill them? Well, I'm not usually the type to go for that sort of thing, but fuck it, let's try out the 25% chance of Instant Death.
Ooh, Erik gets a Technique to hit the entire enemy party.
Or one with three hits and random targets? It's worked out well for Hailstorm so far, so I see no reason to break away from that.
I'd love to! Erik, you do the honors.
Oh, that's right, you're just a one-note fuck.
You thought that because we asked permission to visit some old ruins? What the hell kind of logic is that!?
I've already said my piece about the writing here, but... is how I feel after reading that.
Yes, give us permission to go save the world. Since we can't just break some laws and go do it anyways, that wouldn't be proper. True world saving only happens in cases of politeness and following the rules.
We could have achieved this same effect by decapitating him when he asked, you know.
Don't be coy, game. We know he's sticking around because he wants to bang Lita. He's like a rotting version of Pepe Le Pew.
You were already doing a good job; one of the citizens was cool with your rule, so that means they all are.
On that note, we're going to leave off here. Next update, we're going to go through that cave and possibly reach Langsong.