IntroductionWelcome to my LP of Sweet Home, a J-RPG which never saw the United States.
It was made back in 1989, and was based on a horror movie of the same name. Kind of like Willow, my last LP. It's been rated as one of the scariest games on the NES, and... wait a second... is that... oh no... no...!
Ahem... anyway, as the title screen implies, the ROM of Sweet Home was fan-translated. Hence, everything in the game is now in English.
With that said... let's get our ghost on.
Huh? Um, no thanks Kazuo. Your normal name will suffice. At least it's longer than four letters and not all in caps unlike SOME RPGs of the time...
Here's part of the soundtrack for your listening pleasure. Since it's in three big parts, I'll let you know where to go in the track for where we are in the game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A8O5KA3m5o
We start at the beginning, naturally.
Delicious fresco... or is that fresca? I always mix those two up.
Our five brave heroes, and only one doesn't have a twin.
As you can see, Resident Evil wasn't the first game to use the slowly opening door technique.
Asuka: ...Mamiya's fresco. I'm sure! The fresco used a special tech-
No, why did you cut off? Why-
Taro: What the-
Ohgodohgodohgod why am I doing this oh god
Great, just... great.
Something is... different...
BITCH IS FLOATIN'!
Emi: What's going on!?
The haunted mansion is haunted! Who'da thunk it?!
Taro: We have to escape!
Best idea I've heard all night, Taro!
Kazuo: There has to be another exit. We better search the mansion.
Sounds good, Kazuo. Then...
Hammertime! Don't worry, that's just the pause button working its magic.
There are five party members in Sweet Home. Each one has its own unique stats and one special piece of equipment. Three of them possess items which must be used at some point to advance in the game, whereas the other two have items that will help immensely in two other ways. More on that when we get to them.
Okay, going from left to right...
Akiko - Despite the nurse outfit, Akiko is a TV show host coming with the group for the big scoop on Mamiya Mansion. She's among the lowest in stats, and her item is not vital to clearing the game. Although believe me, it's much better to have her around than not. She tends to be quiet and reserved, and rarely has any dialogue.
Asuka - Asuka, the blue wonder, restores art and is something of a maid. Her stats are neither particularly strong nor weak. She doesn't talk much either, but she possesses the most-used unique item in the game, so her presence is required.
Kazuo - Kazuo is the leader of the group, and the organizer of this entire excursion. As such, he's got the highest all-around stats of any of the characters. He also has a puzzle-solving item that must be used to advance in the game.
Taro - Apparently his name was "Taguchi" originally, but it wouldn't fit in the game window. Anyway, Taro is the cameraman. He's about the same as Asuka in terms of stats. His item is used for puzzle solving, but isn't necessary to beat the game.
Emi - Kazuo's daughter. I'm... not sure why he brought her, really. I mean, this isn't exactly Disneyland. Well, anyway, Emi's probably the fastest party member, but her other stats fall somewhere between Akiko and Asuka/Taro. Her item must be used often in the early part of the game to advance.
This is the starting HP of every party member. Kazuo is half-again as tough as everyone else, so you'll probably want him to handle the brunt of the various battles we'll be getting into.
This is the main menu.
Party - Switches the lead character to someone else. Anyone living can be selected to lead. If they are somewhere else in the mansion, perspective will be switched over to them. Note, however, that you shouldn't do this if there's a hazard in the area, as bad things can and will happen to idle party members if that's the case.
Item - This command will take you to the current party's inventory. You can also use and pick up items in this section.
Talk - You won't have to use this one often. Your lead character will talk to whoever... or whatever... is in front of them.
Kazuo talks to Taro.
Kazuo: Taro don't worry.
Yes, don't be alarmed about the evil ghost that just sealed you in a haunted mansion. Riveting.
Emi talks to Akiko.
Emi: Call if you need to open a door.
So apparently Emi is a master of unlocking.
Team - Use this when facing another character to have them join your party. You can have up to three people in one team. This means that you will be having at least two separate groups at all times.
Kazuo teams up with Taro.
Kazuo: Should we team up?
Taro: Sounds good to me.
Kazuo attempts to team up with Emi when he already has Taro and Asuka in his party.
Kazuo: Should we team up?
Emi: Let's go our own ways.
Discipline your child, Kazuo. Sheesh.
The Team command can also be used to separate the current lead character from the group.
Kazuo: We better split up from here.
Taro: Take care.
Look - Also known as the "sometimes makes scary shit happen" command. I won't spoil it for you. Try looking at everything that seems out of place.
Save - Sweet Home supports one, and only one, save file. You can save anywhere you wish, but be careful. You might get into a hopeless situation, and the only solution (Unless you use save states) is to start the entire game over.
Quit - You can exit the game with this. It also lets you delete your current data if you're of a mind to do so.
Now, the first order of business is to form your teams. Based on HP alone, the logical spearhead team is Kazuo, Taro, and Asuka.
Thanks, Kazuo, I almost forgot.
Lighter - Kazuo's unique item. Most often used to burn ropes that bar passage. Yup, no going under them.
Vacuum - Asuka's unique item. Its uses include eliminating patches of broken glass and cleaning up frescoes. We'll be using this item a lot.
Camera - Taro's unique item. Takes pictures, naturally. Used on frescoes to find secret messages.
+Kit - Akiko's unique item. It's used to cure three out of four status ailments which exist in the game. Hence, although it's not necessary to finish the game, it's very unlikely that you won't be using it.
Key - Emi's unique item. Opens a lot of locked doors, especially in the beginning of the game. Note, however, that it will not open all locked doors in the mansion.
(Mamiya Mansion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A8O5KA3m5o#t=1m14s
Let's try using the Vacuum on that broken glass up near the doorway.
Asuka: Used Vacuum...
Voila. No more glass on that square.
This is the only warning you get to team up before leaving the room. In this case, group 1 is Kazuo, Taro, and Asuka. Group 2 is Emi and Akiko.
Wow! What a mansion!
Kazuo: This place is huge! Hmm... that left room...
Left room, eh? Okay.
A dining room!
...Wait, no it isn't. Nevermind. Okay, I hit my Resident Evil quota for the LP. Anymore and I'll get shot.
Items of interest in this room from left/top to right/bottom (This will be the default): Tonic, Wax Candle, Fresco, Fruit Knife, Letter.
Let's start with the letter.
Kazuo: A letter...
"Welcome to my home. Photograph my fresco, for therein lies a clue to the way out!"
Kazuo: It's from Ichirou! And that must be the fresco.
Well, let's go look at the fresco, then.
(The fresco: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiKU...related#t=4m36s)
This is the basic fresco menu. This one's given to us, but they're not all laid out like this. Some, for example, will be covered in dust.
Look will tell you if something is obstructing the fresco.
Kazuo: A fresco... but how to preserve it?
Leave will exit the fresco menu.
Item will allow you to use an item on the fresco, such as the Vacuum or the Camera.
Pray is... a weird little function. It appears in almost every situation in the game. It can be used to make attacks stronger, solve puzzles, and avoid dangerous situations. Sort of like MP, because there's a set amount for each person. Tonic restores "Pray Points" (PP) as well as HP when used.
Anyway, this one is easy all we need to do is use Taro's Camera.
Kazuo: Used Camera... Letters appear!
After equipping Asuka with the Fruit Knife, giving Kazuo the Tonic, and giving Taro the Wax Candle, we're done in here.
If you recall, there was a locked door on the right side of the main hall. Let's send Emi and Akiko over to investigate.
Emi: Used Key...
Let's... bring everyone back together before continuing.
That's better... Okay, let's go.
A note. And a rope bars the passage.
Emi: A note...
"Kenji, the frescoes contain clues. I think they're grouped by date."
Sounds like we're not the first ones to visit the mansion. Let's try using Kazuo's Lighter on that rope.
Kazuo: Used Lighter...
Fire. Is there any problem it doesn't solve?
So. A blue wisp, writing on the wall, a skeleton, and two planks of wood.
Blue wisps are one of the many hazards we'll be encountering. If one touches a character, they'll be "spirited" () away to a random part of the mansion. This will only take you back to previous sections, so you can't go anywhere you'll be stuck in... usually.
Skeletons are skeletons and writing is writing. Let's check them for-
...A doll? Really? This is like the intro to Earthbound 0 all over again.
(Battle theme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H11v...feature=related)
Combat time! Our basic battle menu looks like this. Even though it shows everyone's HP, only the people in the current party may act. In this case, Kazuo, Taro, and Asuka.
Attack is self-explanatory. Equipping weapons will cause more damage, but anyone can attack unarmed.
Tool lets you use an item. There's surprising flexibility here. For example, Kazuo's Lighter is effective against certain enemies, as is Taro's Camera.
Call allows the selected character to call for help. You can select a character that isn't in the party currently to come assist in the fight.
Pray shows up again here. Use it to inflict greater damage to your opponent. Try to be clever about using it, but don't hesitate to Pray if you need to take down a tough opponent or if you want to avoid status ailments.
Run attempts to escape from combat. Doesn't always work.
...done! Evil Doll defeated! 1 experience!
Oh. That was easy.
Let's check out the skeleton.
Fascinating. What about the writing?
Kazuo: Written in blood... Power of the heart... Overcomes evil...
Must... avoid... Captain Planet jokes...!
I'm all right. Let's collect the two Woods down there and proceed.
In this room we find a Silver Knife (Off screen slightly) and another Wood. This one is blue! Sadly there is a reason for this.
Hmm... a dark room... let's regroup.
Just inside the previous room...
Ack! This guy looks a lot tougher than the doll! Let's call for help!
If you call for help, the screen immediately switches to the character called for.
From that point, you have about ten seconds to join the battle before that Call ends. You can have more than one character Call the same person, and they'll get a fresh ten seconds each time they're called.
Avoid wisps along the way, as they WILL still teleport you if you touch them.
Since Akiko and Emi are in the same party, they both join the battle.
Wisp shot fire!
Kazuo takes 1 damage!
Kazuo attacks! 4 damage done! Wisp defeated!! 2 experience!
The Wisp goes down the next turn under all five characters' attacks. Another reason to call party members into the battle is to make sure they get the experience. Only active participants in the fight will get experience and level up. You'll want everyone to be in peak condition.
Coming up next: More mansion mishaps!