The Let's Play Archive


by Opendork

Part 1

Hello, everyone! I'm Opendork.

And I'm Fron, the protagonist of this little game... so he tells me.

Monstania was only released in Japan, in 1996, and I'm only playing it now with a translation from Aeon Genesis, who also brought you Live-A-Live. As a result, it's going to need some introduction.

Monstania is a very fast-paced strategy RPG of sorts. It's very simplified and not very menu based at all, unlike "real" SRPGs. It's short, but interesting and pretty fun. I like it enough to be doing this thread, at least.

I like existing, so we're both cool.

I'll be explaining what makes it all unique as we go through. Take a look at the translation page if you want to know more in the meantime.

Well, whenever you're ready, Fron.

I don't have anything else to say.

Then away we go!

It looks like someone's using a volcano to make popcorn.


Oh... I guess was a glowing ball of magic or something.

It's a fairy.

Nobody's cared about fairies since Zelda ruined their image with Navi and Tingle.

Tingle ruins the image of everything he touches.

We're five seconds in and already we have to start up the JRPG cliché counter.

Oh shit... do I have to kill some sort of fucking super-demon?

Relax, the game is outright LYING to us right here. There aren't demons in this game.

You are here.

Now they're talking about me and I still can't make any sense of it.

A forest late at night? A mysterious ball of light that turns out to be a fairy? I think we just started playing that other Mana game.

So this is where I make my entrance, pursuing my longtime goal.

Sure, that's about right.

He knows because he can see the ball of light droppings.

It's gigantic, blindingly bright and it emits a humming sound. It wasn't hard to follow.

Do you guys always shout "Exclamation point!" when something surprises you?

Shit... a kobold.

(Alright, so there's a bloodthirsty wolf man in the bushes. If it saw me it's going to attack. I might be able to take it if it's alone. Then again, if it isn't I might get killed.)

So, kobolds are like werewolves, but dumber. They're naturally pretty weak.

(I could try running, but then it'll get help and I'll definitely have a group of them after me. I'm going to have to go over there, kill it fast, and pray. Oh god oh god I hope I don't die horribly.)

Fron runs out to mercilessly slaughter it. It shouldn't present a big problem.

Tia appears! She's billed as Fron's "childhood sweetheart" by the game.

What's all this running into the woods at all hours like a lunatic? Are you really so obsessed with seeing a fairy that you can't sleep one night without sneaking off? What's all the noise over there about?

Well in THAT case just be careful, alright? Would you like a battle tutorial?

I'll pass. I've got people for that now.

What are you talking about?

Never mind.

Alright, Monstania is a strategy RPG, but it's nothing like any of those
games with Tactics in the title. You control the characters directly. After
you take your turn by moving or performing an action, the enemy takes theirs.
Sometimes the enemy gets two turns for each of yours, or vice-versa. This
time, the only tactic we need to walking up to the kobold and mashing the
attack button.

This thing isn't really tough, but if you get unlucky and miss too much you might take a lot of damage in this fight.

Fron and the Kobold lock... swords? It has a sword, too, right?


Anyway, they're pretty evenly matched in terms of damage, but it's an easy

Are you all right, Fron?

Well, we lost about a third of his HP in this fight, but it actually went really well.

I'm alright. Let's just get out of here before- oh dammit why did I go and say that now another one is going to show up.

Isn't that exactly what you said last time, word for word?

I think it sounds cool.

Here's the action menu. The moves are listed alongside the AP cost to use
them. To recover AP, you can press Y. It skips your turn. but restores 1 AP.
It can also be used to make enemies come to you so you can have the first

Jump moves you ahead two spaces, and recover is an ability all characters
have. For just 5 AP, you regain a good chunk of health.

(I think I'm ready. I can do this.)
Alright! Let's go kill that thing!

That's the spirit!

I didn't stop to recover AP, but as long as this goes as well as last time it-

Long story short-it didn't. Look at Fron's health.

I would have liked to have kept that blood.

Monstania has leveling up and item collection like any good RPG, but it's a
bit weird about it. You don't gain experience, and enemies don't have a
percent chance for drops. The levels you gain and the items you collect are
predetermined. They will always be the same for a given battle. For this
reason, you need to be careful to conserve items.
This time around, Fron leveled up, learning Sonic Boom. It's not too strong,
but it can be aimed and used at a distance. We also got a cure-all, which
restores all HP and AP for a character.

I've looking for this for years... and tonight I came so close.

Alright! I get it! You don't need to call out my name every time you say anything!

Well maybe if you'd running out here on a hunch and getting jumped by kobolds for one single twenty-four hour period, I could stop.

Fron is a man on a mission. What mission, and why? The latter of those questions is never satisfactorily explained!

Hey, I've got my reasons.

I've heard that one before. Specifically, I've heard it in every RPG Japan ever made.

Next you'll be complaining about the overuse of ellipses.

Well, now that you mention it.

Hush... I hear something.

It's that...

Worlds brightest flashlight!

Dammit! It flew away.

Well it wouldn't be mysterious if it didn't, now would it?


Never mind. Let's just go...

Well, that's the end of the first battle. Next up is the highway.

What crazy adventures are in store for the next episode?


Well shit.