Part 2: Chapter II: Killing Things With Fire: Totally Not a Contemporary ConceptChapter II: Killing Things With Fire: Totally Not a Contemporary Concept
Before anything gets done, or anyone gets brutally impaled:
Being an RPG on the NES, the hero sees it amusing to go out in the dangerous countryside with his blade tucked deep into his bag.
The extra dagger is for one our Song buddies, seeing as both of them are quite naked. One of them will have to stick to having a kung-fu army until we get to the next city.
With that being said, the journey begins! In case you were not listening to Mrs. Liu's sage advice to go west, the programmers decided to throw in roads to everywhere for this entire game, so no chance of ever getting lost.
(Especially seeing how the world map is designed; we're in the top right!)
Literally two steps later:
Battles in Destiny of an Emperor are exactly how typical RPG battles play out- you input everyone's commands at the start, and whoever has the highest SPD (a hidden stat) attacks first. Of course, once when we get into a battle with the first warlord, priorities become important, as no point wasting eight turns killing all the rebels who are hitting five soldiers a hit when the big guy is taking out 50 soldiers.
Hitting "REPORT" lets you see the stats of the enemy, but seeing as they are all the same in this battle, it's not so important. This become important when engaging commanders and warlords to decide what to base your priorities on.
There's also this amazing command called "ALL OUT" that I love Capcom for. I'll let the next image do the showing.
When up against small fish like this with absolutely no chance of losing, it becomes extremely tedious to enter the attack button over and over again, especially seeing how long enemies can survive compared to other RPGs. So our friends over at Capcom thought this through, and invented the "ALL OUT" command, which sets the computer to do all the attacking. In the meantime, you can skip the boring part, make a sandwich, go pee, or do whatever you need to get done.
With a little bit of effort, going all out, and frameskip, the battle meets an abrupt end.
Keeping in mind we just got 200 gold, gold comes pretty easy in this game, and you should never need to grind to get equipment.
A few more paces west, and we arrive at our destination! Can anyone guess where the next two destinations are going to be?
Most of the time, there will be a Walmart greeter in every city we visit.
"You must recruit stronger warlords if you want the final victory."
The main problem here being the lack of "strong warriors" present in this entire area, which really makes this phrase easier said than done.
"My family was murdered by the Yellow Scarves. Please avenge their deaths."
Someone's not wanting to bring honour to their family name.
"Qingzhou Castle, in the north, is still occupied by Zhang Liang and his Yellow Scarves."
Look familiar? Apparently, in China, only two types of houses exist, the other one is even more basic than this one.
Like Suikoden, the playable characters are easy to pick out from the NPCs, as they are usually the only ones who are in houses, or decked in armour.
"My name is Mi Zhe. I'd like to join you in your fight against the Yellow Scarves."
"We will serve you faithfully" and plagiarize the guy before me
While he still sucks, he is a step up from Song Yong, as INT will soon become an important aspect.
Looting and gifts allow for us to buy a robe for the naked Liu Bei, as well as a Flail for Mi Zhe. What about Song Yong, you ask?
At any rate, the plot has been held off for surprisingly a long time. How about we finally meet this Tao Qian guy?
"Liu Bei, your name precedes you. I hear you intend to eliminate the rebels known as the Yellow Scarves. I have wanted to do that for years but I fear I am in my final years and lack the strength. As you see, I am sick and without an heir. If you succeed in dispatching the Yellow Scarves, I will make you my heir."
Jackpot, mom knows best for her son! As expected, we are the only ones who are going to do anything about the rebels, as no one has bothered in years.
So after a brief rest in the inn, which is amusingly low priced as it is required to rest often, we set off in no direction, as no one gives Liu Bei any clear ideas where to start.
Some guy said something about a castle up north, so why not try that?
Random encounters can be really easy, even at the final stages of the game and you don't always have to fight five foes.
"Ha, ha, ha. You insolent fool. You think you can threaten us with such a small force? We'll crush you in one breath."
However, it isn't that easy, as the guy was serious when he was talking about places being guarded. Almost every city, and every gate trigger warlord battles when you step on them. This is an easy battle, and hopefully the priorities should be well defined.
However to Zhang Liang's dismay, his plan does not work at all. With the soldier accounting for both HP and DMG, as long as you kill off a fair chunk of his soldiers before he gets to attack, he'll only do laughable, mook damage for the rest of the fight.
I don't know if it's just this run in particular or in general, but people really do not like Zhang Fei.
To offset the ration idea, you get large amounts of it by defeating warlords. With the sheer amount of warlords in this game, rations literally come pouring on the party to the point that you don't need to buy any. Even if you did (you filthy grinder) they are extraordinarily cheap.
It's also to my surprise that Liu Bei is in fact, not a tiger general.
Here, the game is an elitist prick, and expects you to know that the tactic obtained is in fact an offensive fire tactic. Tactics are gained among certain people as the party gains levels, in this case, everyone but Zhang Fei and Guan Yu learn this tactic. To make matters possibly more confusing, it doesn't matter who learned it, everyone can use it, so long as the character who knows the tactic is the leading tactician.
Tactical Ability (herein called TP) is also gained among certain people, and translated directly to MP. While the MP system is similar to Mario RPG's system of a pooled TP amongst everyone, the leading tactician determines how big this pool is.
(i.e- Liu Bei has 20 TP, while Mi Zhe has 14, if Liu Bei is the leading tactician, the party will have 20 TP to use, while if Mi Zhe is, the party will have 14.)
Although Liu Bei is statistically the superior tactician, we make Mi Zhe the leading tactician, as the leading tactician is automatically shoved to the back of the battle roster. We don't want Liu Bei back there, as he needs to be up front to sponge all the attacks.
In this city, the Walmart greeter decides to go on strike, subsequently being quite rude to the party.
"Hey boy! I'm Ma Yuanyi. If you are foolish enough to attack the Yellow Scarves, you will find your impertinence very costly. Go ahead! Attack!"
If you decided to talk to him right off the bat without healing, then you're probably screwed. As shown, tactics make a weak Song Ren who usually does 5 DMG become an average attacker.
Because he's the only general in this battle, the same tactic we used last battle applies here as well: focus on him, trivialize his ATK power, then go all out.
Once again, Zhang Fei has taken the beating of everyone ever.
"I admit, you have bested me. Let me live and I will give you some information. Go south-west and you will find Mt. Daxing, the citadel of the Yellow Scarves. Zhang Bao and his rebels are there."
Also see: the other pathway.
"According to prophesy, Liu Bei must tame the five tigers before he can conquer the dragon"
Cool, we've only slain two mooks so far, and fortunes are already being told about us!
Other than that, there's nothing else to do in Qingzhou, save getting another member.
"I hear you are raising troops to destroy the Yellow Scarves. My son Chen Deng is a martial arts master. Allow him to join and you will never regret it."
"I'm Chen Deng. I am happy to serve."
Now we're starting to get somewhere with our recruiting! With him in the team, the obscure Song brothers go back to farming.
Or they would have if I remembered to recruit Chen Deng in this run.
"A rebel at Mt. Daxing named Zhang Bao is said to know black magic"
Also inconsistently known as a good leading tactician. On a serious note, Zhang Jao (Zhang Bao's older brother) was said to be given a magical scroll by a hermit over 100 years of age. As a result, he gained the power to summon rainstorms to halt battles and prevent any challenges to him. In this game, both him and his brother can hurl bitchy fireballs (at the rate this game is headed, most likely in Zhang Fei's direction), and heal themselves.
Anywho, might as well see what this is all about, Yellow Scarves don't impress our team too much.
Will Zhang Bao overcome Mi Zhe as a better tactician? Read on.