The Let's Play Archive

SD Snatcher

by Slowbeef

Part 4: 3. "My first day on the job and now this."

3. "My first day on the job and now this."

And with that, Jan Jack Gibson and Gilian Seed head off to Pier 17 to hunt down potential Snatchers!

Jan and Gillian get out of the... uh, tricycle.

And with that, the two split up. Even though this is an RPG, you never really get anyone else in your "party" - it's just Gillian versus the world. That blue thing above Gillian is a videophone.

We can use it to be a coward and go back to Junker HQ.

Well, there's no sympathy from Mika or the Chief for slacking off, so we'll head back to Pier 17.

Welcome to the dungeons of SD Snatcher!

Unlike most RPGs, SD Snatcher shows you all the enemies onscreen, so you theoretically have some control over when you get into battles. That said, Gilian runs faster than all of his enemies, however, there's a delay if you stop moving before he starts again. Enemies don't have this delay. This means Gilian takes corners very slowly, and can't turn on a dime.

In other words, if you're walking to the right and an enemy gets in your way, and you want to go up to get around him, you'll have to:

- Start moving right.
- Stop.
- Press up.
- Wait a second or two before Gilian actually starts moving up.

In that second, the enemy can correct its course to block you or run into you, making it relatively tough to avoid combat.

And of course, if you do manage to avoid too much combat, Gilian won't level up and you'll lose later battles.

Let's take on our first enemy...

The Insector! Now to explain combat! Well, to start, the stats.

Those yellow meters represent life bars or HP. The number on the right of the yellow meters is a numerical representation of HP. Here's the really weird part.

If you go to 0 HP, you die, of course.

However, enemies? You don't have to bring them down to 0 HP. Usually, if you get them to about 25% of their health, they'll blow up on their own and you win the fight. (Shrug.)

Note also that enemies have a stat that you don't: ACC (accuracy).

Most of the stats are self-explanatory, but we'll get more into them with the next enemy.

Gilian has 5 battle commands. ATTACK, well, attacks. METAL turns the battle on autopilot. If you've killed an enemy of that type before, Metal will "run a battle report" and fight for you. Typically, you won't want to do this, just because it's... well, more boring to just sit there, I find.

DRUG and OPTION are items that let you use your healing items and auxiliary weapons, respectively. Finally, ESCAPE lets you attempt to run from battle. Note, if an enemy has a higher SPD level than you, you can't escape.

Gilian: Hey Metal, why don't you fight this one for me?
Metal: Gilian, as you should have been aware, I can't run a battle report until you destroy a Metal Creature of this type at least once.
Gilian: (Whoops! Forgot all about that.)

Gilian: Alright, one insector. This shouldn't be too hard. Let's just ATTACK here.

Note the blank space next to the Blaster. You get to bring 3 weapons out into the field with you. When you go to attack, this is where you choose which one to use.

After you select the weapon of choice, your cursor appears on the grid.

Aim it at your enemy like so.

Insectors take up exactly one grid spot, as does the Blaster aiming reticle. So, here, there's nowhere to shoot but the body of the Insector itself. Aiming at an enemy's various weak points becomes an important part of combat with later enemies. (Actually, all enemies except this one.)

Sounds pretty clever actually, right? Wait until you've done it your hundredth time before passing judgment.

Shooting an enemy drops its stats depending on where you hit it. Since, again, there's only one place to shoot an Insector, you don't get much of an option about what stat you want to drop.

So, all you really care about is dropping enough of its life to destroy it.

Annoyingly, enemies with a higher SPD rating have a tendency to sidestep, meaning you can miss what you were aiming for. Wait, did I say a higher SPD rating? Actually, this pretty much happens with any enemy with any SPD rating. In fact, this will happen 1 out of 3 times. It's really annoying and will cause Gilian to miss more often than not.

Now, technically, this Insector had about 4 HP left when I killed him (they don't bother with the HP subtraction of the killing blow), but again, you don't need to drop enemies to 0 HP to destroy them. I don't really know why, but I'm not looking that gift horse in the mouth.

As you can see, the enemy gave me XP toward all my stats, and a little more of a boost toward SPD. Whatever.

Also Thevma proves himself a lazy fan translator and says you get "GOLD" from battle. You couldn't have just made it "CASH", man? Fine. Robots drop gold. Whatever.

Though wrecked robots remain onscreen, they'll respawn if you leave them off-screen and come back. Now I want to show you something about the third enemy I fought.

This fucker kept side-stepping, dodging my shots. Incredulous that the third enemy in the game was actually about to kill me, I just kept shooting at it, thinking that I'd manage to kill it with a lucky shot.

No such luck. I died.

And that's your Game Over screen, if you were wondering. There's no savestates on NLMSX - the emulator that runs this game the best - so I restarted. This time, I played it a lot safer.

That's for previously killing me, you wanker!

That white meter below shows how close you are to levelling up. An XP meter. Handy, I guess.

There's not much else to say about the first floor of the Pier 17 building. I leveled up and fought all Insectors.

And now to check out the second floor.

The second floor introduces a new enemy and more in-depth combat strategies...

This happy fellow is known as the Digit Rock. That blue thing in the visor is one of his/its eyes. You can also aim at its legs on the side, the gun on top, or the carapace (back).


Well, attacking different parts lowers its stats. If an enemy dodges too often, you'll want to take out its legs to lower its SPD. If it hits too hard, you'll want to attack its weapon to lower its STR, or its eyes to lower its ACC.

More often than not, you'll want to blind it by bringing its ACC down to zero.

If you render it defenseless, by lowering its STR to zero and destroying its weapons, a robot will typically self destruct. This takes 1 HP off Gilian and denies him any experience. (Though he still gets... ahem, GOLD.)

But to ultimately kill a robot, you'll have to hit the body to lower its HP. Hitting legs or eyes or guns doesn't lower HP. Again, you don't have to get it to zero to win. But annoyingly robots tend to move a lot, which means you won't hit where you intended, or might even miss entirely.

Robots also hit hard, and you'll have to be at rather high levels to survive wars of attrition with them.

This means most of your battles will be spent not killing the robot. You'll have to drop its stats first. Over and over and over again.

Digit Rocks tend to be a pain in the ass until Gilian reaches Level 5. Until then, I recommend the "blind first, kill second" strategy for them. At this point, battle tedium hasn't set in yet, so you might as well level up on these things as much as you can.

(Battle tedium is the term I use for when I get bored with my thirtieth Digit Rock, drop my strategy, and just try to avoid them.)

Digit Rocks are very wide, and all enemies step to the side to get out of the way. This means if you aim at the eyes or carapace, even if it tries to dodge, you'll hit something. Except for their dumb names, Digit Rocks are really nothing to write home about.

Metal: Gilian, you're wounded! You'd better take some Junker's Rush!
Gilian: <<gulp!>>
Metal: Please use extreme caution! You only have four left!

I think you get the idea on how the second floor goes.

What's this?

Yeah, I just said-

Oh my God! A time bomb!


Oh, the memories!

Coming up: Will Gilian and Metal Petit escape? Er, I'd... I'd think so, yeah.

Version Differences

- The time bomb occurs after Gillian meets up with Jean in the factory in original Snatcher.

- The time bomb is hidden in Jean Jack's navigator in the original.

- Gillian also meets Insectors after seeing the time bomb in the original.

- Combat in the original Snatcher is fun.

Relevant Snatcher Media

Gillian and Metal Gear encounter a time bomb.