Part 2: Ninja - Update # 1 - Obama-maru(Sorry about the late update. I chose the Ninja chapter as the one to start with specifically because there's a lot to do - only to underestimate the amount of work required)
When we last left off, Obama
: Selling these fine leather jackets?
: A likely story! Your odd features betray you as a filthy gaijin, out to
: Are you kidding me? Blue hair is as Nipponese as mom's apple dumplings.
: We'll see about that. Hand over your birth certificate! And don't try to fool me with any certificates of birth, either!!!
I've had enough of your disingenuous assertions. Ninja slash!
Two guards down.
: Oh, you guys want some as well? You're getting some.
Two more guards latter
: Well, that puts any ideas about a "sneaking mission" to rest. I was always better at just taking down anyone in the way, anyway. Except for that "kill every witness" chain in Inatokimura . Well, not a lot of kinder-gardeners wandering around here. I hope.
Moving on, Obama gains valuable intelligence that he is unlikely to ever use from the blathering guards
And starts exploring, starting with the right-most room. Obama dashes really fast, so he can easily avoid generic guard here... but Ninja-slashing him is so much easier.
Obama gains Water Arts. Not a disgusting status effect that reveals invisible enemies, but rather a slow healing field that we're never going to use.
More importantly, the chest contains our first armor, which we'll be using for a while. Procuring on site isn't a picnic.
The next room contains our first proper samurai enemy.
: An intruder!
Still not much of a challenge.
Moving on, another new enemy
: I bet I'll get a promotion for killing you!
At our level, this is a genuinely challenging enemy. If Obama didn't have the chainmail, he would certainly lose a slugging context. But he does, so this guy drops as well. Another nice thing about the battle system - your hp always resets at the end of a fight. You only ever need to use healing items if you're in danger of dying from damage taken in the fight you're currently in - no slow erosion of your health over a long string of random encounters (and you don't get any random encounters in this chapter, at least).
The room below us has a guard chasing a concubine. He dies, she lives.
The room above has a way out. And two more wandering guards.
Nittai Saburo and
We hit level 4 and gain Flame Arts. This is a pretty good ranged area fire attack, which we'll be spamming constantly for the next few levels. Unfortunately it doesn't scale well enough to be worth it latter.
These two regular guards (Sukeroku and Kinji) die in two Flame Arts hits. Before Obama moves on though:
Aha! A hidden merchant. Necessary if you're going to kill everyone, but I'll probably leave him alone.
I do like the even level progression here. We killed every man we've encountered so far, and the guys who proved a serious challenge just few battles ago are a speedbump now.
It takes 100 xp to level up, regardless of level. You can easily grind if and when you find repeating / random encounters, but you don't necessarily need to if you're fighting normally. On the other hand, if you're sneaking around, starting to fight in the middle of the level would be quite difficult.
The middle room. Obama kills the guard and leaves the samurai alone, for a reason that will be revealed shortly. In any case, the right-most room reveals something new and useful about the castle:
Obama kills the merchant here. Merchants are weak, but have a sneaky revolver attack that might one-shot us if we stand exactly diagonally from them. In fact, many enemies have that specific pattern of powerful attacks.
And delves into the secret passage...
: Hold it right there! I've never seen you before.
: Isn't that my favorite dish?
: Ode Iou.
: Isn't that the name of our leader? I'm asking you for the password!
: You're not one of Ode's men!
Still not a problem. Ninja's have some strong attacks, but Flame Arts messes with their AI - they try to get into position only to be hit by damage and retreat. Going up:
: We did it, Dad.
: Shhh! Keep your voice down! They might find us!
We've come so far. It would be a shame if they caught us now!
: But, Dad... If we can get our hands on that strongbox, the Watanabe clan will finally be able to...
: I know. Not only will this restore our family's honor, but we'll be big hits in town after we spread the wealth around a bit...
: C'mon, let's hurry!
: Wait a sec! This place is probably littered with traps. I'll go first...
Hah, I see you, thief!
: Ok, no looking back now!
The battle theme starts....
STAB STAB STAB
: Go for it, Dad!
End battle theme. A moment of silence...
Kid sneak drags his fathers body away. And yes, had we killed the samurai, the chests here would have been looted by the time we got there.
Unlike the sneaks, Obama has absolutely no trouble getting to the boxes. Two of them are empty, and the last one...
I wonder how useful it will be. The rest of the attic contains some healing items and some peep holes.
: Password check... Mountain!
: Oh... Oh damn, I messed up. What time is it again? Ah, I remember! River!!
That would have been useful if we ever bothered with passwords. Next.
: Wh-wh-what do you mean? If there are any changes you need made, just tell me...
: All right...
: Thank you, Minister.
Also, freaking rats. They infest the rafters and do their best to stop you from moving around quickly by getting in your way and squeaking.
: Hah! Who'd have thought the storehouse key was being kept IN the storehouse?
: Uweeheehee! I LIKE this!
And... highly disturbing.
Obama grabs some shoes
And drops down to challenge and old man.
: An invader! Get him! Get him!
: I'll kill you in the name of lord Ode!
: Ah, fudge.
and Shimofuri Suzume
This takes a bit of careful maneuvering (and the use of some healing items) but Obama takes the two out.
^ Here you see the beauty of Flame Arts. Honestly, at melee range you want to use your regular attack, I just miscalculated.
And we get their little old man too.
Dinging at Level 5, gaining Poison Mist, shitty status effect we're never going to use.
Take out this guy (Yowa Izo):
Head back to take out the samurai
Papa Sneak is avenged!
Leaving the women alone...
When Obama enters the harem, his first reaction is to lay down and take over.
Taking out the minister
And Daikokuya the merchant.
Having run out of stuff to kill in this building, Obama heads outside.
Same old, same old. Really not a problem now.
More guards, getting boring...
Yeah, they die. However, we hit a bit of a snag.
There's no way to get through that door (the storehouse door next to it just locked though, so we'll be going in there latter). If we hadn't explored the attic thoroughly, we might be at a loss. As it stands, we go into the right area:
We get this guy.
And if we proceed in the direction he came from:
Now that's proper ninja sneaking. The ground is for chumps. Heading into the attic of the small house right below where the merchant was hiding
: Three ninja!
: That makes five.
: In all... That makes five... Five ninjas!
Yeah, whenever you have a battle that starts with one enemy being highlighted separately from the rest (and some other clues) there's a good chance taking that guy out will destroy the rest. Remember this, there will be a test latter.
: You shouldn't have messed with me, that's what you shouldn't have done.
Oh, he's already dead. Oh well, loot time.
And some money. Genji's gauntlet is surprisingly crap, offering a modest defense increase for a noticeable drop in speed, so Obama sticks to his Shinobi glove.
More rats. The middle tile in this room opens up to drop you into the entrance to the castle. Quite annoying.
The "best" and shortest path involves climbing down this tree, moving the statue
taking a walk down a long secret passage
and emerging in the moat
to be greeted by friendly ninja.
Kodama and Aoba.
The short path is not for us though. We stop by long enough to kill them and ding level 6, gaining Shuriken Storm - a mildly damaging attack with an extremely long range. But after that, it's back up the wall
into the Storehouse attic. A Storehouse Key and a great healing item found here.
: You are absolutely shitting me.
Afraid not. There's a bunch of levers that get pulled so that the pathways are properly aligned
so that we can make our way to the grappling hook
Sling it over the pit
Get some misc crap along the way
And drop down into:
A corridor. But that corridor leads to:
: Son of a bitch.
Yeah. You basically have to navigate a constantly changing pattern of drop-tiles
: Well at least there's crap
And if you ever try to dash somewhere... well, floor-drop out of nowhere.
You could say that I'm not a fan.
We meet an old man, he dies, we keep going only to run into
: What... what are those things?
: Nevermind, I'm making a break for that chest...
: Let go, I WILL ninja-cut you!
Hooray for ninja-pouncing lessons. We land relatively unharmed.
: You might as well give up any hope of getting out of here as long as I'm on guard...
: Pfft. Are you a stupid pit or a weird automaton thing? If not, I'm pretty sure I can handle you.
: He disappeared!
: Clearly we are dealing with a genius.
: Oh well, off with your head.
He's actually moderately tough, so we get to use some of the crap we got from the attic chests
From his corpse we loot a Basement Key, which allows us to unlock the cell doors
: You were sent to get me out of here, right? Great! Let's get going.
: Well, that was easy enough. Let's unlock the door and...
: However... you're not!
Still not much of a problem.
We don't have any food for this guy, and the foreigner couple
and Nice just attack with pistols.
: Way to show gratitude for rescuing you from whatever horrible fate you had in store, morons.
There's an obvious exit to the left, but we're heading into the secret passage to the right
That leads to another level of the jail cells.
With another, moderately harder jailer guy. Shuriken Storm proves itself, since he only has melee attacks.
: Hey, another Ryoma. Let's hope this one isn't fake.
: Baaaaaaaaaaa -ah, forget it. I'm not even really surprised.
Welcome to the pit of death. The place from which I'm sure we have no chance of escaping.
: I finally have you.
: I'm afraid I can't let you go. You must be here to rescue that man, but that's quite impossible, you see. He's out there, you're in here, and I'll never be beaten by a filthy shinobi!
: (It's obvious this guy likes his monologues... Let's not give him a chance to talk me to death...)
: Hehe... I am immortal... Still want to try it?
: Hell yes.
: And here I thought you were smarter than that. You really are a fool! Now... behold! I will send you to my master! Amen!
This is our first real boss, and he can be quite resource intensive even with the right tactics. Still, a proper beating later...
: Didn't I tell you? I am IMMORTAL.
: Oh no, you're not. Not without those weird ghost things to rejuvenate you.
The Lost Souls don't really have any attacks, but they take very little damage from most of what we can throw at them. Thankfully, Flame Arts one shots them. They all regenerate over time, so we have to use Obama's fast dashing ability to the utmost to get them all. With all the souls dealt with, we challenge blondie once more...
: Stop! Repent...!
: Aww, is baby scared? Is baby desperately bluffing now that his "immortality" is gone? Time for baby to be mercilessly hacked into tiny bits!
Not that I'd know anything about that sort of thing, you see.
: I've been... D-defeated! No! It can't be! M-master!!
The room turns bright... and someone crashes right into it.
: That's what you get for not learning how to pounce properly.
: Hu-huh? My word, all this noise... And here I was trying to catch a little shut-eye... Oh well... Anyway, I am absolutely famished. Got any grub? No? Ah well. Shouldn't have thought so, given the circumstances.
Huh? Haven't seen you around these parts before. You a new recruit?
: Hell no.
: That must mean...
: Excellent! I've had just about enough of this place.
I suppose I'll let you lead me out of here!
You have successfully freed Ryoma!
Hell yeah. I believe that's more than enough progress for one session. Join us for the thrilling conclusion next time, as we lead Ryoma out of the castle!