Part 2: Double Dog Dare of DoomWell I'm getting antsy so let's get this show on the road. First order of business, names.
I'm naming the male lead after my father who just happens to have the most generic name ever. I'm also using the version of his name most suited for a thirteen year old boy.
As for the female lead, I'm going with Mindy because it's kinda like my mom's name.
With the naming taken care of we can get straight to some tight gaming right guys?
Of course not, it's an RPG. This might take a minute. The good news is there are promises of misadventures. Those are almost always better than regular adventures.
Guess we're starting with a typical day at school. I think I remember Illusion of Gaia beginning like this too.
As soon as the teacher leaves the trash talk begins. So just because I'm talented at using magic it doesn't mean I'm talented. Is that what you're trying to say Butch?
You want me to climb to the top of an ancient tower with some guy named Duke? I was sure this hazing was going to involve candles in my ass and testicles on my forehead! (Not that you're gay or anything right butch?) I am so there. What do ya say Duke?
Strange, Duke doesn't seem to quite share my enthusiasm for having an awesome adventure. I'd better do some research on this tower. Maybe it's haunted or something. Easier yet, I'll just ask some of the other students.
So to summarize; this tower you want me to climb is a ten thousand year-old relic that was built to contain a powerful item of unknown function? I don't see how this could possibly go wrong.
You know, I'm not so sure about this anymore. I really wish dad was here, he'd know what to do. Since he isn't around I better go ask the closest thing to a father figure around these parts. The school headmaster.
Uh excuse me sir I'm in a real bind, you see me and the other guys were talking and...
Way to blow me off, asshole. You need some sensitivity training.
Well if I can't talk to the headmaster maybe one of the upperclassmen could give me some useful advice on my problems with peer pressure. Hey Archie, should I do something dumb just because somebody dared me to?
While in no way helpful with Johnny's plight he brings up one of the things that makes Paladin's Quest unique. In order to use magic in this game you have to sacrifice your HP. There is no MP at all. As a side effect of this there is no healing magic in this game. Meaning the majority of healing is done through the use of potions, which are cheap, plentiful, and refillable.
On the topic of things that make this game unique, many have criticized it's art style. But I for one like it. The colors are bright and vibrant, and make for some of the most surreal gaming experiences outside of Earthbound. It certianly doesn't look like any other RPG you've played. That being said:
The character portraits aren't very good. Some of the non human ones are decent looking, but the ones for the humanish characters, especially the hero, are terrible. Normally I'd criticize Johnny here for being an anime cliche pretty boy, but since he's only thirteen, and likely doesn't even have pubes yet, I'll give him a pass in that regard. Now back to the plot.
Wow. Cute, demure, and underage Magical girls, plus a lecherous old man. As long as we're at the bottom of the Anime stereotype barrel do you have any born heroes or biomechanical monstrosities you can toss my way?
Every RPG needs this guy. I'm serious. It just doesn't seem like a proper game without at least one.
Well I think that's enough walkin' around trying to learn things. Time to get my boy Duke and get to climbing that ancient tower of doom everyone is so on about. Hey Duke let's get this show on the road.
With a name like Duke he's gotta be pretty . There's some kind of rule about names like that. Just like how every girl I've ever known named Erika or Michelle has been hot as all getout. Let's see the no doubt grizzled face of my new traveling companion.
Guess not. I think I'm going to be doing all the heavy lifting this trip. Oh well, let's get to it, Duchess.
This Tower of Gabnid place is pretty neat. There&'s elevators and technology stuff everywhere! I think we're pretty high up though. You'd think there'd be a lock or a guard, or at least a warning sign. Someone could get seriously hurt.
Sweet! Fifty bucks. Even if I decide to give The Duchess half I can still afford that copy of Soul Blazer I've been wanting. I keep hearing that game is awesome!
Besides 50 bux, no tower is complete without a few monsters to gnaw on the ankles of any potential urban explorers. The fauna here consists of the obligatory rats.
And these purple flying things called Heliopods.
Don't worry about us though because The Duchess and I have a battleplan
I use some of my precious lifeblood to cast the only spell I know (SFire) and The Duchess holds my potion bottle.
I am the god of hellfire!
Well there doesn't appear to be a way to get over there. I guess a little structural failure is to be expected after ten thousand years. Best not to worry about it though. I'm sure there's nothing over there, and that I'll never be coming back to this tower again in my life, ever.
Looks like this is the end of the line Duchess. Mission accomplished. I guess fifty whole gold was the fabulous treasure everyone was talking about after all. Still I think I better give this pedestal a closer look.
Hmm to touch it or not to touch it? Who am I kidding? There really isn't a choice here. If I don't put my hand in this indentation then we don't have a game now do we? Well here goes nothing.
That was a very, very bad idea in retrospect.
Nothing says "Welcome to your Doom!" like a total screen whiteout. Well except maybe that guy from Altered Beast that actually says "Welcome to your Doom!"
Aw hell, the whole tower's shaking. We've got to stick together if we want to get through this.
Hold up a minute Duchess.. I mean Duke. We gotta think don't panic!
Rub in why don't ya? Lousy narrating box.
Pretend I can make an animated .gif again.
Well combat started so there's got to be somebody there, but it's so dark I can't see anyone. Uh Hello? Anybody there?
Oh. Fuck. Me. I just crapped 'em.
Stay calm stay calm (maybe I can bluff my way outta this) Okay large terrifying shadow thing. Back the hell off! I got a Kn. That is I've got a knife! And I will cut the hell out of you if you don't back off.
Terrifying shadow thing:...
Alright you asked for it then ha cha cha!
Who am I trying to kid? If I wanna scare this thing off, I gotta use my patented Big Honkin' Akira Toriyama Style Energy Blast Attack!
That seemed to work a little better. Maybe this thing isn't so tough after all. It if was really that strong it wouldn't be hiding in the shadows would it? Okay then let's give this thing another taste of the flame!
Yes, confirmation box, this is what I want to do. Thanks for worrying about me though.
Yeah! Suck that popsicle bitch!
Shit it moved! I think it opened its mouth. This isn't good. Either I'm going in, or something's shooting out.
Oh Christ, this is going to hurt sooo bad.
3003 damage! mommy...
Well it's good to know I didn't die in advance.
And it's official. Our protagonist is not a mute.
Okay, last thing I remember I was fighting a gigantic shadowy figure and was engulfed in a shower of red and yellow flame. I don't have a scratch on me. So I guess it must have been a dream. But if it was a dream how did I get out here? Also why am I wearing my school uniform? I was in the tower. Maybe something in there gives off mind altering radiation, and it was all an hallucination. That would certainly explain the part where a pink haired fairy boy ran out on me when I needed him most. Well, whatever the case I better get back to class.
Well shit. Something has leveled the entire academy. I suspect the horrible nightmarish shadow creature that breathes ghostly flames. I better look for survivors.
Butch? Duke? Guard who won't let me outside? Little kid who just wanted to go home and see is mom? Is there anyone out there? Oh hey, the headmaster. I remember, he was in the next town over, trying to get his swerve on with a thirteen year old girl when this all went down. He should be able to tell me what to do, and organize a search for survivors. After all he's the greatest spiritualist on the continent. Hey Headmaster! We're in real trouble here. People could be trapped in the rubble. We've gotta help them. What should we do?
And he's yelling at me. Everyone is dead, and he assumes I did it. Not that I'm not responsible mind you, but I resent the fact that he didn't investigate a little first before he started blaming me.
Dal Gren? So you know what that thing was, you knew it had the capacity to destroy the world, and yet you didn't take even the slightest precaution to keep students from mucking about inside the tower that contained it? Suddenly I'm not so sure who's fault this is. Anyway, since you'e the expert on this thing you've gotta think if of a way to stop it.
You have got to be kidding me. You Want me to stop this thing? Are you nuts? Hey, don't you walk to the side to let me leave this town! This conversation isn't over old man. You've got a share of the blame for this coming too.
Come on old man. I haven't even held a girl's hand yet, and you want me to find a way to stop an ancient terror bent on global destruction? Alone? Are you out of you mind?
Fine, I get the picture. You aren't moving from that spot even if the whole world goes up around you. You'd let a thirteen year-old boy strike out on his own without even a clue how to where to look. While you just stand here and crap yourself over and over again. Well, somebody has to try, an God knows it isn't going to be you is it headmaster? Duke, Butch, Archie, sorry guys, but it looks like I gotta save the world. See you in the next world. I'm outta here.
We have logo
And with that, the wouldbe savior of the world is cast out of the ruined Magic Academy with only a knife, a potion bottle, and a single fire spell. Johnny doesn't even have a hint about where he should go next, or what this Dal Gren thing even is. This was a sound plan to save the world you threw together you incontinent old perv. But I guess the end of the world is preferable to you actually getting off your old ass and doing something.
To Be Continued!
Hope you all enjoyed this entry. I'll post another update sometime before noon tomorrow.