The Let's Play Archive

The Way

by Fleshwit

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Original Thread: Let's Play The Way. No, not that one! The RPGMaker Classic!



Why don't you contemplate what's just taken place here while I Let's Play The Way.

The Way is a series very important to me. I first played it as a teen in 2004, when its fourth episode released, which is when the series really came into its fame.

In 2004 it won its second Misao Award for game of the year. Misao Awards are basically the English speaking RPGMaker community's Academy Awards or w/e. Episodes 1-3 all came out 2002-2003 and got the 2003 Game of the Year award but I don't think the larger community really paid it that much attention until EP 4. By now, it's up there with A Blurred Line as an all time beloved classic in the RPGMaker community.

This is a pretty decently written game (albeit with some real clunky ass sections here and there), with a neat cast of characters and a mysterious setting. I like its writing more than the majority of professional games, AAA or smaller studios, despite its severe flaws.

It's six 'episodes' long, and I'm pretty sure each episode is longer than the last. The first episode is only 50 minutes or so long, while Episode 6 is like a 10+ hour behemoth.

How many times have I played this series? Once, when Episode 4 first got so much attention. Once again when Episode 5 came out (Episode 5 also shared the 2004 game of the year Misao since they were both released in 2004), once again when episode 6 came out, in 2005.... and two or three times since then.

The story is a young wanderer by the name of Rhue is searching for his lost childhood girlfriend. That's the plot. The whole plot. I mean, there's serial killings and gang wars and unraveling the mysteries of The Way going on too but the core of the story is... it's almost like a character study of Rhue and the mindset someone would have to have that'd make them search for a probably dead girl for god knows how long almost single-mindedly.

As to the actual gameplay... it does have some serious flaws. Specifically, hidden items and abilities being.... hidden very obnoxiously. Also Episode 1 and 3 are kind of meh in retrospect but we'll talk about why when we get there. A lot of people dislike episode 6 or just don't think it lived up to the prior two episodes. It's very polarising. Episode 2, 4 and 5 are the most beloved ones. Personally? 6 is my favourite. It's just so strange, and that's from an already strange series.

And about those items and abilities being hidden obnoxiously? You basically NEED to use the walk-through if you want to stand a chance of legitimately getting the bad and ''''good'''' endings. The bad ending in particular requires you to win the series hardest boss fight (not actually that hard if you didn't miss too much) and four extremely gimmicky duels (referred to as plunges in the setting, and nearly impossible if you missed even small minority of certain items), and some other requirements like well hidden side-quests. The good ending requires the single most difficult 'normal' plunge to be won among other hidden side-quests and things.

There's a few things this series does really well, and one is that the lead, Rhue, has over 50 facesets (the RPGMaker name for character portraits in dialogue boxes) and they're used incredibly well to make him VERY expressive.

The game is also almost entirely custom systems, including the plunge system which was one of the series big draws. It's also one of the big flaws, for reasons we'll get into, even if it IS very cool and stylish.

Lastly, there's a mix of custom music and music from other sources in the game.

Oh, another Last Thing. There used to be guidebooks to download alongside the episodes. They had valuable setting information on locations, legends and factions, as well as info on the custom systems. Unfortunately, Lun's removed all downloads from his site and I cant seem to find the guidebook anymore. Almost all the information in it is in the game. The stuff that isn't, isn't really important or is game mechanic details.

Let's get started.

Table of Contents

Episode 1: Part 1: Let's Plunge!
Episode 1: Part 2: The Second Asskicking.
Episode 1: Part 3: Asskicking The Third.
Episode 1 Finale: Story Time
The Wanderer's Guidebook.

Episode 2: Part 1: Victory.
Episode 2: Part 2: Reaching Lide
Episode 2: Part 3: Kloe And The Quest To Rid The Way Of All Evil!
Episode 2: Part 4: How Sweet It Is.
Episode 2: Part 5: Barracuda?
Episode 2: Part 6: Rhue of Landorin.
Episode 2: Part 7: How Sweet RNG Is, How I Learnt To Stop Worrying and Love my Sword and Traziun's Food Ordering Advice
Episode 2: Part 8: Marna Stretch Part 1: Gaius, Headhunters, Rats, Woolies and Zealots.
Episode 2: Part 9: Marna Stretch Part 2: So long Marna!
Episode 2 Finale: Turnway and Murder

Episode 3: Part 1: Kaves and Krav's.
Episode 3: Part 2: Blows to the Head.
Episode 3: Part 3: caves, caves, caves! too many caves lately!
Episode 3: Part 4: The Mask
Episode 3: Part 5: Hell, I've Seen Worse.
Episode 3: Part 6: A Farewell To Caves.
Episode 3: Part 7: The Motherless Man, Janwen's Revenge.
Intermediate Update: What If I Lost.
Episode 3: Part 8: Kloe's Fucked Up Life.
Episode 3 Finale: Piss!!!!!!

Episode 4: Part 1: Ki Blast!
Episode 4: Part 2: Lexus.
Episode 4: Part 3: It's Murder On The Dancefloor.
Episode 4: Part 4: Illuminati This.
Episode 4: Part 5: Market Day!
Episode 4: Part 6: Qualifiers!
Episode 4: Part 7: Lab Work!
Episode 4: Part 8: Enhanced Lab Work!
Episode 4: Part 9: Wrapping Up The Lab Work.
Episode 4: Part 10: The Setup.
Episode 4: Part 11: L vs L.
Episode 4: Part 12: *Blush!*
Episode 4: Part 13: Express Tunnel To Hell!
Episode 4: Part 14: The Night The Clock Died.
Episode 4: Finale: The Big Plunge.

Episode 5: Part 1: The Victory of The Big Plunge.
Episode 5: Part 2: The Dark Lyn.
Episode 5: Part 3: Please excuse me while we ditch the rails for a little bit.
Episode 5: Part 4: To Hell with this city!
Episode 5: Part 5: A Few Farewells.
Episode 5: Part 6: The Truth?
Episode 5: Part 7: When the game goes completely off the rails and never halfway recovers... And that's a good thing.
Episode 5: Part 8: Rhue's outta control.
Episode 5: Part 9: The Fortress Beneath The Reflective Sky.
Episode 5: Part 10: The Book of Sermeot.
Episode 5: Part 11: Tying Up One Old Loose Thread.
Episode 5 Finale: The Last Plunge, the Confrontation(s) and The Violet That Danced.

Episode 6: Part 1: It Begins
Episode 6: Part 2: Expositionary Party.
Episode 6: Part 3: Strange Reunions.
Episode 6: Part 4: Kava Kura: Act 1.
Episode 6: Part 5: Kava Kura: Act 3
Episode 6: Part 6: Ghost Witch
The Annotated Version Of Meeting The Girl Proper.
Episode 6: Part 7: Then it's a date?
Episode 6: Part 8: The Dinner Date!
Episode 6: Part 9: Mischief Unfolds At The Dinner Party In No Small Part Due To Rhue.
Episode 6: Part 10: Rhue the Defendant!
Episode 6: Part 11: Rhue the Rhoon!
Episode 6: Part 12: Hollow Victory.
Episode 6: Part 13: Shadows.
Episode 6: Part 14: An old friend.
Supplementary Update: The Books.
Episode 6: Part 15: At last, the Val Parra Cafe.
Episode 6: Part 16: Rhue's Credit History.
Episode 6: Part 17: The Charlatans of Justice.
Episode 6: Part 18: Homeownership Is Tiring.
Episode 6: Part 19: The Phantom Menace (Low Hanging Fruit Title)
Episode 6: Part 20: One Man, Two Title Defenses.
Episode 6: Part 21: Shadow Swords.
Episode 6: Part 22: Mining Out The Truth.
Bonus Ending Update: The Reaches Ending.
Episode 6: Part 23: The Key.
Episode 6: Part 24: The Guise of Serena.
Episode 6 Finale: The End Of The Way.
Bonus Ending Update 2: ?????? Ending.

Post Game Updates
Lun's Play Magazine Interview.
Bonus Update: The Answers?
The Coda
Archive Index