Part 3: Dungeon KeeperPreviously on Hyperdimension Neptunia, the goddess Neptune suffered amnesia after a severe head injury, met a weird nurse, and convinced her to help her fight monsters. And now, Hyperdimension Neptunia.
Status Page Update, Nurse_Girl_Compa, Date Lost:
So my new friend Nep-Nep and I went out to try and beat all the monsters attacking Planeptune.
No, no strong monsters here. I searched for dungeons with weak monsters. Were not ready for the strong ones yet.
What? Only weaklings? Then Ill wait where I wont encounter any and you can come get me when you find the boss.
Th-Thats not fair! Were a party, so were basically soul mates.
Abandoning your party now goes against the rules of this world. Youll get punished by the goddess!
Goddess? So not only are there monsters, but theres a goddess here, too?
You didnt know? Silly amnesia but forgetting even the goddesses? Oh, you poor thing!
Aside from Planeptune, there are three other landmasses: Lastation, Leanbox, and Lowee.
Each planet is protected by a goddess, and people go to the Basilicom to worship them and help govern each land.
We have no idea where the monsters are coming from. Their power just grows and grows.
Everyone thinks its due to the goddesses weakening powers. Heated discussions take place every night on the Basilicoms blog!
Basilicom? So what kinda place is that? Is one nearby? Do they bake cookies?
Nep-Nep, enough banter. We should get going before the weak monsters get tired of waiting for us!
Nep-Nep kept stopping and looking funny like she heard something, which was weird.
LWE Feinne Presents Neptunia Game Mechanics:
The game gives us a bunch of tutorials, which I will summarize with a bit more practical detail in this update. The first explains the three methods of completing dungeons: Obtaining items, defeating monsters, or finding an exit. In the first, we are asked to acquire some number of drops from a specific type of monster in the dungeon. In the second, we are generally asked to defeat a boss (though some will ask us to kill normal monsters, effectively an easier version of item collection because you dont have to worry about drop rates). Finding the exit is quite easy, just look around.
The menu is a menu, shock and awe. Amusingly most of its functions arent available as of when the tutorial happens, but lets open it up anyway so we can take a proper look at it.
We can see the characters we have at the top left. We cant actually access things like their equipment yet, but well be able to later. We also cant look at our party formation or key items, but thatll change soon. One thing to note is that we can save at any time from the menu, so if were concerned about something being difficult (some things actually are) we can save right before we deal with it.
Treasure chests are pretty obvious in the dungeon. This one gave us a Wooden Sword, which is an upgrade for Neptunes weapon. This is where it lets us look at the equipment screen, so lets.
So, we have four equipment slots. We have a weapon, armor, an accessory, and clothing. The majority of our stats come from the first two, with the second two being largely but not entirely cosmetic. Ill show some later, since Neptunes alternative outfit is pretty cool. Shortly after we pick up that chest it throws us into a fight.
Combat is deceptively simple. When a characters turn comes up, they have a store of AP that they use to attack. You attack in four hit combos, made up of some mix of Weapon (triangle), Physical (Square), and Gun (Cross) Attacks. Right now these combos are just basic attacks in some order, but as we progress in the game well be able to set up a lot of very complex combos with different contents depending on our situation. We can also Defend, which is often a good way to end a combo against a powerful enemy. This first scripted battle gives us something interesting:
The R/W discs are magic skills. Theyre effectively summon skills, in that we can change the image that appears when we cast them. I dont use them much because there are generally better options. Oh, and after the fight we see some green stuff fly out.
Reflex is an item that well see the use for soon. Its not exactly a healing item, but its connected to the healing mechanic of this game. Well see that soon. First we need to get a couple more key items.
The Planet Hammer is Neptunes and it allows her to break obstructions in the map. The Descent Bell is Compas, and it allows her to call out monsters for us to fight. Most of the time this will result in us fighting a series of encounters, after which encounters will be turned off for a short time. Its super handy honestly and also has another use well see at the end of the dungeon.
Healing in this game is really quite interesting. We heal using something called Item Skills. These require items such as Reflex to use, but we arent able to directly control them. Instead, each Item Skill has a set of trigger conditions. We get Item Skill Points based on our level, and the number of these we assign to a given Item Skill determines the chance it will trigger when its condition is met. Right now we just have basic healing Item Skills, but well get a lot more as we level up and our strategy for apportioning Item Skill Points will be kind of complicated for a few of the more difficult battles. Lets look at an Item Skill.
For example lets look at Neptunes Nep Bull. It can trigger when she takes damage if she is below 50% health at a set probability, and restores 30% of her health. We need to be careful, though, because multiple Item Skills cannot trigger off the same condition. If we make weak healing items too likely, we can easily be dragged down without seeing our more powerful ones go off. At the same time, we can easily run ourselves out of items if we try to rely entirely on the more powerful and expensive items.
In combat, enemies have a health and guard bar. As we damage enemies, their guard bar also goes down. If we fully deplete it, they go into Guard Break. This replenishes our AP, makes the enemy briefly more vulnerable to damage as the bar refills, and allows us to chain combo counts between characters. Generally when you Guard Break you want to skip all animations to maximize the number of hits you can get in.
We are able to add elemental properties to our gun attacks with Bullets. Well get more of these as the game goes on, and if were using the right ones we can get more damage and much more guard damage out of gun attacks. This is pretty important for characters who do their best damage with guns, like Compa. Okay, were almost done with these, just two more.
So I mentioned Monster Call has a second use. There are runes on the ground in the dungeon sometimes, and if we use Monster Call on them we can summon special monsters like bosses to fight. This is how well summon the boss were supposed to kill in this dungeon, for example. Okay, now just one more tutorial at the start of the boss fight.
Hard Drive Divinity (or HDD as well call it from now on) allows CPUs in their human form to transform. They get substantially more powerful in every way with basically no downside. Well transform Neptune into Purple Heart as her first combo in basically every fight. Anyway thats it for tutorials for a few, now back to whats going on.
Like Nep-Nep said there was a boss in the dungeon creating the monsters.
When we got to the boss, Nep-Nep transformed!
Boss Battle: Guard Vermin
Needless to say this is not a serious fight. He hits harder than the random enemies youve been seeing in the dungeon but now that Neptune can transform you should be able to trash him pretty quickly. For the most damage, transform then focus on Purple Hearts circle attacks while using Compas shooting combo. He very well might die before you can even Guard Break him. Beating him gets you a suspicious key item, the Planeptune Key Fragment.
And then when she turned back to normal she started talking to herself!
Video- Neptunes Quest
Histy! Thanks for that awesome tutorial. Whats up?
Histy? Nep-Nep, whore you talking to? Um nobody is here except for you and me.
You cant hear her? Histy, can you talk to Compa, too?
I apologize, but at this time you are the only one I can speak with.
Please pass my words to your friend when I am through. Also, I do not think I am comfortable with the name Histy.
Sorry Compa, Ill just tell you what she says later. Anyway, Histy, I found something weird and shiny just now!
You refer to the Key Fragment, I assume. That is an important item needed to release me from this seal.
Seal? Where you at, anyway?
I am uncertain. Somebody has locked me away somewhere in this world.
Please, please release this seal and save me!
In each land, you will find a Key Fragment. First, please collect these items.
I guess she can hear someone named Histy that nobody else can, which is really unfair.
Unfortunately, I have little information on that. I only know there is one on each landmass. You have collected one already.
Each piece is guarded by a strong adversary. Find the fragments by defeating these foes.
So, I get that I hafta save you, but should I really do all this for someone I dont even know?
It is only natural to feel that way. Others did not trust me, either.
However, you are my last and only hope. Please do this and save me!
Hmm, its tough for me to say no, but finding all these thingies sounds like a real bore-chore.
Are you concerned? There is no need. I am sure you can do this.
No, I mean, Im gonna do all this stuff just to save one person Cant it be like, to save the whole world?
How honest. As I said, I am the worlds everything and the world is mine. Saving me is tantamount to saving the world.
Huh? Really? Oh, well, okay then! Dont stop there. Pump me up some more!
By defeating the various monsters in order to obtain the pieces, you will save countless lives all across the world.
Killing two birds with one stone. I like it! Anything else to boost my drive?
I wish I could add one million Credits to your savings but that is a little beyond my control.
Thats so much! I better get my stomp on!
But I guess were going to try and save this Histy person, which will save the world.
What are you two talking about? I I want to be included, too Nep-Nep
Oops. Im so sorry, Compa! Lets go have something to eat and Ill talk to you about it for hours and hours!
But Compa, Histys voice will never reach a cry-baby. Cmon, buck up, kiddo.
Fine. I understand.
Were going to stick around Planeptune for now, there are still a lot of monsters here.
LWE Feinne Presents Neptunia Game Mechanics:
Hey, we get some new tutorials!
We can shop from the world map. We can buy weapons, armor, processor parts that change our status in CPU form, cosmetic items, and healing component items. The stores lineup will change as time goes on, as the tutorial suggests.
We trigger events and open up new dungeons to search through the Explore menu. Not all dungeons are plot related. Some are time-attack style dungeon quests we can repeat for rewards. Well be doing this quite a bit for reasons. Ill explain later when it comes up. Just be glad youre not doing it.
Oh yeah, so we can customize our stats changes when Transformed with Processor Parts. I generally prefer the relatively balanced Purple or a bizarre mismatched mix that end up with a net positive change, but as I get complete sets Ill probably show them off just for kicks. Anyway, were finally done with all the words and this update, so Ill catch you next time.
Next Time on Hyperdimension Neptunia: Worms! Have we finally met someone sane?