Part 3: Cry, pee your pants!!Video: The Nightmare
Music: The Nightmare
Ari runs through a black void.
He suddenly stops, frightened of something.
King Stan's face appears from the darkness, laughing, and...
Music: Home Sweet Home
It looks like it was all a dream, perhaps caused by reading fantasy novels in bed.
Since it's morning, we head to the kitchen to get breakfast.
What's wrong, honey? You look pale. You had a nightmare? Oh poor thing. Look, it's beautiful outside. It's so peaceful here! Forget about that dream and go have some fun in Tenel!
No one else is home aside from Ari's grandparents, so we head outside.
Music: Forest of Willkur
Mysterious Voice: I am the same old ordinary boy. What a relief!
Mysterious Voice: That's what you're thinking, isn't it!? Hahahahaha!! Too bad!
King Stan suddenly emerges from Ari's shadow, once again startling him and causing him to lose his balance.
...This is nothing but reality! You are the obedient servant of the Evil King Stan, forever! Hee hee hee. Hee hee hee... We'll be together for a long while, boy! Get used to it! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
While Stan gloats, his evil butler James appears from the aether.
Oh, Master Stan. It's a fragrant morning isn't it? How about breakfast, Master? Madam's omelet is the best.
James, we don't have time for breakfast. From now on, I'll use this boy and initiate my plan for world conquest! To begin, I'll drive the nearby village of Tenel into... An abyss of nightmarish horror! Ha ha ha ha!
I'm so proud of you, Master Stan! So proud to be in your fiendish service. Your James is always by your side with passionate devotion! At least, after I finish my omelet.
Well. Off to the village slave! Let us go!
Good luck Master! Hurrah! For Master!
Well, the omelet, the omelet...
James enters the house by simply walking through a solid wall. Our destination is Tenel Village, but first I'm going to go back inside and head into the kitchen.
It's true madam, you're beautiful, kind and a great chef! Your husband is far too fortunate.
You're too flattering, James.
Simply the truth Madam.
Whoa, what's going on.
......Whoa! You are here, slave! Ha ha ha, I didn't notice.
Alright, we're just gonna head to Tenel Village and pretend we didn't see any of that.
Along the way, we run across a couple of villagers. Our goal is to drive them into "an abyss of nightmarish horror" so I guess we might as well get started on that.
Curious Villager: Hey Ari! I heard you learned a funny trick! Everybody in the village is talking about it! Your dad is all excited, telling everybody about it!
Stan emerges from Ari's shadow.
Curious Villager: Wow! Cool! Where'd you learn that, Ari!?
What is he talking about? Humans perplex me sometimes.
Troubled Old Lady: It is my favorite hat. My late husband bought it for me... Oh, what should I do!?
Heh heh heh, whimpering old lady. What powerless animals human beings are!
I am completely elastic, like this! It's a trivial task to retrieve your lost hat!
Thankful Old Lady: Oh, thank you very much! You must have been sent from heaven!
Hey, old bag! You don't understand! I am pure evil, through and through! Evil King Stan! The name says it all! Da ha ha! Fear me! Kneel and grovel before me!
Thankful Old Lady: Oh, thank you god...
No, not like that!
Thankful Old Lady: Thank you, god...
Continuing down the path to Tenel, we encounter other villagers and introduce them to Stan as well.
Shut up small fry! Gaze upon my horrifying visage and fear it!! Cry, pee your pants!!
Playful Kid: Yipee! The shadow! The funny shadow! I saw it! Cool Ari!
Don't get fresh with me, you suckling! Do you know who you are talking to!?
Young Gentleman: Ha ha ha, you shy boy! Ari's father told me, you're a kind gentle shadow!
Young Gentleman: Ha ha ha, it's funny that you're shy! Why don't you be my friend? Ha ha ha!
After talking to all the nearby villagers, we head into Tenel Village (if we try this before talking to everyone in the area, Young Gentleman will stop us and suggest we introduce Stan to everyone.
humans should be awed, terrified and flee in every direction... And while quaking with fright they are supposed to swear obedience! But, but... Look at their reactions!
Oh well, things happen.
What is that silly answer! A loyal servant always says "Yes indeed, master", right!?
Whatever. The only thing we have to do is display my evilness through action. And let humans know what terror I can bring! Now, let us get going, slave! We will drive the village of Tenel into horror and despair!
Ari heads through the village gate.
Music: Theme of Tenel R
Okage does an interesting thing with its soundtrack. Whenever you're indoors, it plays a different mix of the town theme. The two tracks sync up as well, so the indoors mix picks up where the outdoors mix stopped. Of course, in an SSLP you end up entering a building for a single screenshot and a couple sentences, then you're back outside. So instead of repeatedly linking the two themes whenever I'm in a town, I'll just alternate between the two.
This is no task for I, a vessel of pure malevolence! But hey, I might as well do it, ha ha! Now, how shall I go about this? Slave, first gather information. It's essential for proper subjugation. Remember that!
Most of the stores in the area are closed due to the ongoing water shortage, but we can still get into the butcher's.
Butcher: There's no way you can handle meat without water. But we've kept the tradition of not even once closing the store since my father's days. Here's the deal... That Ground Beef that I sold you yesterday. I want to buy it back. How about it? I'll pay you 30 Sukel.
Butcher: Thank you! Here's the money! Yes, now I have something to sell. I can keep the store open today!
Ari has acquired 30 Sukel!
The Ground Beef we bought yesterday for 20 Sukel has no purpose in the game, except to bring it here today and sell for 30 Sukel. 10 Sukel is a pittance, so it's really not worth going through the effort to buy and resell it. If you don't sell it to him now, you'll have the Ground Beef stuck in your inventory, worthless, for the rest of the game.
Now that we're done with that, we head out into the village to gather information for Stan's conquest.
Mwa ha ha! I knew it!! The dark raging fire that is my unyielding evil freezes his soul. A perfectly normal reaction. Ha ha ha!
Scared Guy: Wha... What's this? Hey, nice trick. Anyway, I don't care about that. I've got to tell you! There's a ghost in the church!
Hey!!! You are scared of some low rank evil being and not scared of me, Evil King Stan?! Fool human!
Scared Guy: Brrr, scary! The ghost must be eyeing the treasure that's stored deep within the Church!
Hey, don't ignore the Evil King here! Humans truly have no sense!!
Scared Guy: They say it's an important treasure! If we ever lose it, our village is finished! Oh no, that would be terrible!
We're in business. We'll get the village's treasure and laugh as they wallow in misery. He he, if it's indeed an important treasure, it must be something that can enhance my evil power. He he he, I can hardly wait to have it in my grasp!
We continue trekking around the village and gathering information for Stan. In the process we learn that the water shortage has probably been caused by a tightened valve in the Church's waterway. But because of the ghost, no one is allowed to enter the Church. If we want to go inside, we'll have to get permission from the Village Office.
Gossip Girl: If you succeed, you'll be a super star! But, maybe there's nothing you can do about it.
This girl doubts the powers of an Evil King! With King Stan on our side, an ordinary ghost couldn't even hope to defeat us!
We head to the Village Office to get permission to enter the church. Ari's dad is the Assistant Manager, so he should be able to get us in.
But first, that RPG compulsion to talk to every NPC is flaring up.
Competent Looking Clerk: Our job as public workers is to ensure the stability of the everyday lives of the villagers. But there is one more job we have. And that is to manage the villager's "Classification List".
How would you classify me?
Competent Looking Clerk: You were... Ummm, let's see... I can't remember. You're in somebody else's shadow somehow... Oh, I don't mean to be rude... I'll check it for you.
Open the Church door. Hurry lowly being!! Open the door immediately!
Hi Stan! What brings you to the Church?
It's not much of a business. Nothing much, at all. He he he...
Don't be fooled by him, dad!
Oh sure, by all means. I have a feeling this will be interesting. I'll leave the door open!
Sometimes it feels like people don't even hear the things I say...
???: Oh, please wait, Master!
James warps in via a JRPG spell effect.
...No, no, don't reveal it all. It is a delightfully evil plan, Master! However, there is one thing... Ari, you're a rookie and not so sharp, so you should at least try not to be in Master's way! So long!
James leaves, and we enter the church.
...I have no idea what the point of that scene is.
So far so good. We haven't seen any ghosts yet, maybe that was just a rumor!
We head into the basement through a side door.
Open the valve in the room at the end, and the water should flow again.
Thanks for the tip, inner monologue! We head through the green door by the fountain, and...
Music: The Cellar
So you're the third class demon, who stands in the way for my ambition! Step back! Keep your head low!
Ghost: Booh, baaah! (Whoa, what a weird shadow!)
Ha ha ha! Look at it slave! This low rank demon, he cowers before my divine dark power!
How can power be both dark and divine, exactly?
Ah, I see. You want to pledge allegiance to me?
Ghost: Bubabubaboo... (Getting hungry... He's weak-looking. He'll do.)
Yes, very good. Once you become my follower, your existence will be devoted to me!
Ghost: Booh boo ha! (Time to chow!)
Video: The Church Ghost
Music: Fight of the church basement
We're thrust into the first battle of the game, with a Tricky Ghost and two Perky Frogs.
The window on the right is a list of the last 5 actions to occur. On the left is our Party information, and the small box at the top informs us that this LP gets a 10/10 rating.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of the battle system, here's a quick rundown of our stats.
Most of the stats are very self-explanatory. EP is simply Okage's way of abbreviating Experience Points, Attack, Defense, Luck, and Agility follow the RPG standard. Magic serves a dual purpose, though. Magic affects the power of your special attacks, but it also affects your LP, or Labor Points. Your LP is the sum of your entire party's Magic stats. Your LP serves as MP for the entire party, so using a character with a low magic stat can make your spellcasters less effective simply because they can cast less before running out of LP.
You also may notice the "Neutral, Normal, Normal" under Ari's HP. "Neutral" refers to the character's element. In addition to Neutral, there's Fire, Ice, and Thunder, which form a triangle of weaknesses. Fire beats Thunder which beats Ice which beats Fire.
The two boxes labeled as "Normal" indicate any status ailments or curses a character has. Status ailments go away after battle (except for disabled), but curses remain. A character can only have one status ailment or curse at a time, but a character can have both a status ailment and a curse.
That's pretty much it for our stats, so let's get into the actual battle mechanics.
Just like a real Final Fantasy, the orange bar labeled "AT" fills at a rate determined by your Agility, and when it fills all the way up, the character gets to act. When you're inputting commands, all action is paused. For now, we attack a Perky Frog.
As soon as we've selected our action, Ari charges at the enemy and quickly dispatches him.
Now the enemies' AT bars have filled. Okage attempts to speed up battle by having all enemies who are ready to attack go at once, rather than slowly taking their turns one at a time.
This is appreciated, except Okage does an annoying thing where instead of doing set damage, an enemy will hit multiple times. In this case the ghost hit three times, twice for 1 damage and once for 5, instead of simply hitting once for 7. Since multiple enemies attack at once and all enemies deal damage in this way, the damage you've been dealt quickly scrolls off the top of the history window, and it can be easy to lose track of exactly how much damage you've taken.
We dispatch the other frog with another attack, and then just as the ghost is about to attack, Ari's AT bar fills up. So the ghost is stopped in his attack animation while we decide what to do.
If we choose to attack, the ghost will carry out his turn, and then Ari will act. However, I'm thinking I might want to heal after this attack, depending on how much damage the ghost does.
If we pick "defense" we're actually given two options. We can defend, or we can wait. Escape would normally be under this menu as well, but we cannot escape from this battle. If we choose to wait, Ari will sit there with his bar full, and when I press the X button, the action will stop and the menu will reappear. Wait serves a second purpose as well, but that won't come up for a little while.
After the ghost's attack, we pick up Ari's turn and heal with a Nut.
This being an RPG, we also have spells. A spell will either cost HP, LP, or nothing at all. Decoy costs nothing, it simply makes enemies more inclined to attack Ari. I don't think I've ever actually used Decoy, because if Ari dies the game is over, so why would you ever want all the enemies to focus on him?
Overdrive costs 15% of our max HP.
I forgot what Overdrive does twice over. It enables the "burst" command on the attack menu, but it also increases the character's attack power (using burst cancels the buff effect.)
Regardless, it would have been better to use at the beginning of the battle. I just didn't think to say "Oh, I should totally show off spells, too!" until after killing the minions.
So this is burst. It hits all enemies for about as much as your regular attack. It's not enough to kill the ghost, but we can easily finish him off with a regular attack.
By the way, when you kill an enemy, it will turn into either a bag or a chest. If it's a bag, that means that enemy dropped Sukel. A chest means it dropped an item.
Experience works differently from most RPGs. It always takes 1000 EP to level up, and enemies give progressively less and less EP the more you outclass them by level. It works more or less like it does in the Paper Mario games.
After hitting level 2, Ari's EP continues rising and stops at 357. For some reason, you can never earn more than 1357 EP from a single battle. I have no idea how they chose "1357" as their max, it seems completely random.
Oh well, never mind. I did get rid of that floor-scrubbing demon, who turned against me!
You didn't help at all, Stan. You just got huge and watched.
Mmm? Look, slave! That must be the treasure, that the villagers were talking about!
What is this? It's just a piece of a broken machine! Grrr! They've tricked me! They will all pay for this! My wrath will know no end, boy!!
Well we got what we came for, but while we're here...
It's the sound of water flowing!
And with that, we've solved Tenel Village's water crisis.
I'm a guy who loves concept art. Unfortunately, there's next to no concept art of Okage anywhere on the internet and the art that is out there is in terrible resolutions. I still like to see the changes designs went through during development though, so I'll be posting relevant concept art every once in awhile. Here's concept art of Tenel Village, which still looks pretty much the same.