Alright, off we go!
First we have to make the system data, which will keep track of our exploits (and also assure that this game takes up an entire PS1 memory card, which was a pain in the day). We have to give it some information...
None of this affects gameplay, so I'll just enter basic stuff.
I'll go ahead and give it my actual sign...
Can't actually remember if I'm AB or not, but I'm not about to admit that to a video game.
Why? We'll find out eventually! (Hopefully)
Now, onto Red.
Red and his suspiciously Lego-esque father are driving along, discussing BlackX. IRPO, by the way, is the Inter-Regional Police Organization, basically a Secret Service/FBI/S.T.A.R.S./whatever. They'll pop up now and then.
Red's pop only wants to help save his old buddy Dr. Klein from BlackX, a noble purpose. Let's hope he doesn't randomly get killed or something...
(That's a giant bad guy stomping the hell out of their car, if you can't tell. I had about half a second to snap the picture. )
Poor Red, his car's totaled. Oh well, it's not like they burned down your house or anything.
Well, maybe your family is ok...
We're sent into battle against Shuzer, one of the top guys in BlackX. This is mostly an introductory battle, though...
As we don't last long.
Luckily, a masked man comes to our aid!
This is Alkarl, and he quickly forces Shuzer to retreat.
Red is rather injured, so...
A quick powerup saves the day!
Red is not a fan of the horn.
Alkarl explains that the only way to save us was to forcibly draft us into the ranks of the Superhero.
Wait...this doesn't sound all so cool anymore...
Anyway, Red takes up a job on the region ship Cygnus for his civilian persona.
A friend of our father's, Hawk, is our superior. We'll talk to him when we want to advance the plot (as the Cygnus coincidently tends to go places where BlackX is afoot).
Red proceeds to do exactly what any true superhero would do...
Hit on his co-workers.
She accepts, but heads off to do her job, and we are given control of Red, finally. Let's check our stats:
Red's stats are pretty decent, for now. Being a human, he gains stats randomly after battle, in typical SaGa fashion. Humans can do pretty much anything, from swordplay to magic, but most characters are good at specific things. Red tends to favor physical combat, like swords and fists. Also, WP is basically your MP for weapon skills, and JP is your MP for magic. HP is restored after every battle, which doesn't actually make the game much easier. LP is lost when you get knocked unconsious in battle, and if it goes down to 0 then that character cannot be used until you go to an inn (if your hero loses all their LP, it's game over).
Here's some of our initial items. We'll equip the weapons. Of note is the Backpack. Humans can carry four weapons, shields, or items, as well as four pieces of armor. The only items you have access to in battle are those you equip, but equipping the Backpack gives you access to anything in your inventory, making it quite useful. It's not made of sapient pearwood, but it'll do.
Exploring the Cygnus, we find the pay room. We'll be coming here often.
Here's BJ&K, the ship's mec doctor. He can heal us, and perhaps do even more later...
We run into a couple passengers. Yup, that's fellow playable character Emelia, with her boyfriend Cloud Stri...er, Ren. You'll occasionally run into the other heroes in the quests, and sometimes even get the chance to recruit them.
They argue about something. What is it? We'll find out in Emelia's scenario!
Silly Red. This is an RPG. You're supposed to take people's stuff.
At any rate, we continue on.
Here's an external shot of the Cygnus. The various regions in SaGa Frontier are basically their own little planets, and these inter-regional ships allow people to travel between them. Think Kingdom Hearts and Gummi Ships, except less gay.
Our first destination: Las Vegas!
We're too poor to gamble (also, the game won't let you ).
A BlackX goon is casually gambling. Could others be here? (SPOILER: yes)
Yes, that's Emelia. Again. Why is she here? Again, we'll find out in her story (we'll also find out that it apparently took Red and Hawk something like two months to land the damn Cygnus, considering how Emelia was earlier).
Red finds some more BlackX guys, and tries to pick a fight. They run off, and Red follows down to the Parking Lot, changing to Alkaiser in the elevator.
Shuzer is not amused.
Like a good super-villain, Shuzer retreats and we engage the goons.
Normally we'd be fighting as Red, but for most of the first part of his quest, we'll be using Alkaiser. Later on, we'll only be able to transform if we're alone or if all our companions are unconcious/blind. Being Alkaiser gives our stats a hell of a boost and lets us use extra moves like RaySword.
Humans learn new attacks in battle by "sparking," which brings a little lightbulb above their head. They'll use their new move (with no WP/JP cost), and from then on you'll have access to it. Using a sword lets you spark sword moves, while fists can spark fist moves. Alkaiser learns his unique skills by using RaySword. The one we got here is Brightfist, which is like a punch, except...
...with a lensflare!
The goons are optional, though. The lil' bug in the back is our target.
Despite being the boss here, he falls easily. But then...
OH GOD GIANT EYE
Even with triple power, though, he still sucks.
That's the end of the first part. Next time: some grinding, and more superhero-ing!