The Let's Play Archive

Survival Kids

by ThornBrain

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Original Thread: Controls Go Funny for a While - Let's Play Survival Kids! [VLP]



---Game Description---
Survival Kids is a relatively unsuccessful Game Boy Color game by Konami, better known nowadays as the precursor to Lost in Blue on the Nintendo DS. It's a top-down, Zelda-ish adventure/survival game where you play as an unlucky 10 year old with an adventurous but incredibly stupid dad who takes only you on a comically large boat straight into a storm. You wash up alone on a deserted island and must gather food, make tools, and suss out a way to get home alive. The game didn't sell well, but it's liked well enough by the people who've played it for being, at the very least, well put together for what it is. Doesn't excuse having 8 different endings, some of which seem to be based on a factor to happen that we cannot remotely pin down.

---LP Description---
This will be a very quick LP. I'll have seen just about everything within the first few parts, so the whole LP will only be 7 parts. All 8 endings will be shown off, two of which were graciously recorded by Word on the Wind (remember the unknown factor I mentioned? Yeah, fuck those endings). Word on the Wind also provides additional information that the videos missed in the section at the bottom.



---Additional Details from Word on the Wind---

Part 1

Word on the Wind posted:

One neat little note is that time doesn't advance and your statistics do not decay whenever you're in a situation where you're separated from your knapsack. Apparently the thing is Drew's reverse phylactery or something because as long as she doesn't have it, she's immortal.

Part 2

Word on the Wind posted:

As for the Helicopter Ending, one interesting note is that you can't enter the mazewood until Day 2 proper, elsewise the edge of map transition has a 1-tile animated "Fog" cloud that inexplicably exists to prevent your progress. This fog cloud doesn't appear at any other point in the game that I'm aware of and it's not like delaying you from getting to the batteries on day 1 is especially hindering. I can only imagine it's there to encourage newer players to focus on foraging and things before trying to advance.

As an aside, Honey restores 25 health, 50 Hunger and 50 Fatigue, there is only one item in the game that has a greater restorative capacity, but that's not for a good while.

Part 3

Word on the Wind posted:

So here we see hostile animals for the first time. I'm not certain if Thorn is aware of this or not, but there is actually an exploit in what passes for the combat engine. If you hold your movement direction towards the animal you're attempting to shank, their action will be canceled, allowing you to chain-stab with near impunity. Occasionally a hit will get through but as long as you're not one hit from death you're never actually in danger from the wildlife.

Speaking of shanking, there are four weapons in the game, three of which we've seen. Bar none, the Knife is the best as it has the most utilitarian uses and is the most accurate of the melee weapons, combined with the above exploit and you simply do not need anything else for hunting.

The Bow having range and a lot of power behind it is next best, but you need to dedicate two slots of your very limited inventory to accommodate both the Bow and the Arrow. Personally I value my inventory more than a bit of convenience.

The Axe is pretty awful as it's utility is limited to scripted events and it's accuracy is deplorable. It hits somewhat harder than the Knife, but in the time it takes to chip down a target with the Knife, the Axe has yet to hit once, especially against dodgier targets like Rabbits which go down from one Knife hit anyhow.

I'll go over the last 'weapon' when we see it.

Part 4

Word on the Wind posted:

And here we start to see why I came to be involved in this LP at all. I'll explain it after the "Condition" in massive air-quotes actually comes up, but suffice to say that every guide out there is damn wrong.

The gators can also be paralyzed with the paralysis grass that can be found around the island. Usually I take the boulder shortcut back to the front half of the island to pick those up and take care of some things necessary to reach the back of the island that we haven't see quite yet. I find it rather amusing that gators would eat grass at all, but hey.

The Hammer is predictably the fourth weapon and it's absolutely dreadful. It's accuracy is even worse than the Axe and on top of that, you can only swing it in the cardinal directions. No diagonal hammer blows for you. The one saving grace is that it hits fairly hard, but the swings land so seldom it doesn't even begin to be worth it.

And lastly as I mentioned before, the Weird Berry is the best restorative item in the game. You're under no obligation to use it at any time, so you could hang on to it until you're in the final stretch of the game if you've a mind to.

Part 5

Word on the Wind posted:

Since this update is a bit dry for me to discuss in-depth things, I'll instead focus on some overall design decisions in the game.

First off, the mountains have many caves that don't go anywhere and have insignificant items inside, these mostly exist so that you can make use of the Torch. The Torch itself works in the rain, but you can't start a fire with the Kindling while it's raining. The caves allow you to get out of the rain long enough to use the torch so you can see where you're going. One could argue that you could idle your time in the cave to avoid the extra Fatigue gain of being out in the rain, but it's wholly impractical to do so as you still need to go places and get stuff in order to progress/not die anyhow. Further the mountains are so full of things to stab that you shouldn't have any fatigue problems in the first place, that's not even counting the Hot Spring which restores 50 Fatigue.

Next, the placement of items you need. For the most part, the game is very good about giving you what you need when you need it. The game doesn't do much to arbitrarily pad itself out like say, Lost in Blue. The only times you have to go out of your way to acquire a resource is in the very early parts, where the game wants you to look around and become used to your surroundings; when you screw up and store something you need in a place you shouldn't (Like say, depositing the Fishing Rod in the Ship's storage, rather than the Hut) and.... well the OvalGem.

Oh, the OvalGem.

So, since Thorn mentioned it in the video I'll consider that enough of a go ahead to say TO HELL WITH THE OVALGEM AND WHOEVER THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA! Every guide out there is damned wrong. They all make the claim of "If you don't examine the campsites, the OvalGem will be at the sparkling spot in the desert." This is a damned lie as the videos demonstrated, and the fact that I had to do several runs to get the footage for the ending that requires it solidifies that. Hell my first time playing the game, I examined the campsites, found the person and got the OvalGem from the sparkling spot and not the Pendant. To date, I don't know what kind of arcane, viking witchcraft ritual is needed to make it spawn. It could be RNG, it could be involvement of other factors such as taking the monkey or not, taking X amount of time to get to that point, getting earthquake'd at, repairing the hut and so on. Hell, maybe it's something that emulators just don't like and the guides aren't wrong. I have no idea. For the record, it's set in stone from the play-through, you can't change what spawns in the desert be say, saving beforehand and reloading in the hope for a different result. The game has made it's decision and you will deal with it.

Part 6

Word on the Wind posted:

Caring For Your Unwanted Bastard Stowaway!

The other child (who for brevity I'm going refer to as the boy) does not have any random elements to his level of care. His deal is actually very simple. He'll only eat things that would boost your Life score, so Cooked Meat/Clams/Fish, Honey, healing Grass/Fruit and probably the Weird Berry. Feeding him one Life boosting item will wake him up. From there his health will -slowly- tick out. His statements will reflect his current health in a vague way. Giving him Life+ items, brings his timer away from starving. If you feed him things he'll actually take when his counter is basically full, he will gain affection. Meanwhile if you don't feed him once he's 'active' for about two weeks (Going through the ruins for the first time can cause time sneak up on you) he will starve. Regardless of his state, he always says that he feels sluggish when you insert all but the MoonGem and unveil the Ruins. His state can still be changed at this point, there's just no indication one way or another. I don't know for certain if his state 'locks' in either 100% or Starved once you reach either state.


Also, the Grass that states "It's bitter" is an antidote for poison. It's use is only revealed if you eat it while poisoned.

Extra - Push&Fish

Word on the Wind posted:

Typically you go to the spot by the river where it says, "Fish are swimming" and use a Big Rock. The first time you do it however, you just auto-get a small fish. When doing the mini-game proper, you just collect one fish and you keep it. Game's over.

Part 7 and closing thoughts

Word on the Wind posted:

As much vitriol as I have about Sue and his Schrodinger's OvalGem, I really like this game. I've played the hell out of it to the point that at one point in time I had the exact effects of all items (Restorative amounts, etc) and details of everything not sparkly in the desert memorized. I first learned about this game in a Nintendo Power I read in a bookstore once and it was one of the first games I went to play when I got into emulation. I had never played anything like it before and the idea of taking what you can find and hand-crafting the tools you need while learning the skills to survive was something that strongly held my attention.

I bought Lost in Blue when it came out and was thoroughly disappointed for a variety of issues, not the least of which was the sexist undertones; but what got me more than anything was how making tools and such items was entirely automated and you had to wait for your guy to tell you how to do it. It didn't have the accomplished feeling of looking at a situation, going through your inventory and puzzling out how to accomplish your goal. So disappointing was it that I didn't give Lost in Blue 2 a run until Succinct and Punchy's LiB1 LP started. It's decidedly a better game, but I just like Survival Kids more; with the ever-optimistic Adventure Drew, simple but effective puzzles and pleasant if repetitive soundtrack.

When my personal situation improves, I'd like to do some LPs of my own, but in the meantime running support for LPs that I can meaningfully contribute to suits me fine. Thank you Thorn and Olivia for LPing the game. I was glad to help, even if it was about as ghetto of a collaboration as it could be.


(By an-artist-complex, TheStrawhatNO!)

(By dijon du jour)

dijon du jour posted:

Adventure Drew!
Come on, gather 'round!
Let's eat things we find,
on the ground!
With Drew and Sue,
and Link the simian,
The fun will never end unless we reach the one hundred day limit

It's Adventure Drew!
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