Part 4: Update IV - The Return Of Bopping AroundUpdate IV - The Return Of Bopping Around
♪ BGM: Thyrik - 7thguntz.mid ♫
And now, we're back in Thyrik. And as we all know, blood text telling us which city it is, which only shows up the first time we enter it, can only mean somebody very particular is entering the city...
We are going to turn only one more human into a vampire. One single young lady, to be more precise. She shall become our daughter... our daughter for all eternity. It has to be the right one!
Well then, let's see if we can find a girl here that can meet our expectations.
The option menu can also be accessed via the 1-9, +, -, * and / buttons.
Well, then! Yes, much like the last game, this game also has a separate menu that you can access from an item that sits in your inventory. Might as well take a look at that.
When we head into the menu, we see that Valnar and Alaine are both at the max level from the last game. Why do I get the sneaking suspicion that's not going to last?
Also, looking into the skills, Valnar seems to have gone the same way we made him go in our playthrough, with nothing but light spells.
Alaine is fucking cheating, though - Apocalpyse and Chaos are both level 45 spells! You can't have two of those!
Oh hey, the game also gives us a tutorial for the main menu, that's helpful! We'll go and check that out. You'll also notice the save stones. Much like the last game, we have a single use item that allows us to save. Now, on Easy, you actually get a save crystal, which is an unlimited use save stone. On Medium, you start out with 10 save stones, but on Hard, we only get 5. Limiting the amount of times we can save to make the game more difficult is... kind of a dick move, really. However, I'm still going to try to live with it until it becomes totally unbearable before I just give myself a save crystal like I did in the first game. Anyway, on to the tutorial!
can select the category you wish. With ENTER, you can access the category. There are the following categories:
you can browse through all the quests. You can return to the menu with the ESC key. A number on the picture shows the recommended level for the quest.
That sounds like a really good feature. Knowing whether you can take on a quest or not beforehand is preferable to just running head-first into enemies that murder you.
to the difficulty level, determines the ending of the game.
Also a good thing - telling you right away what determines the ending you get.
to look at the map of the world, which shows all castles and capitals.
the duration it takes for the pop-up window in the skills menu to appear.
Yeah, I guess we can remove this. Now, let's take a look at this menu ourselves.
We only have one quest going right now. This also makes for a good reminder what exactly you were doing if you haven't played in a while. The other game had something like that too, but it didn't look as nice.
Our status is as follows:
Playing Time: 0:36
Secrets: 0 of 1250
Humans you sucked blood from: 0
Humans who died in the process: 0
Transformed humans: 0
Converted humans: 0
Number of battles: 0
Amount of escapes: 0
Tax revenue: 0
Disturbances among the population: 0
Filar in the castle: 0
This already spoils some things - apparently we're not going to get our money from silver mines this time around, but rather from taxes. Also, our starting humanity is 50 on Hard, 60 on Medium and 70 on Easy. And since there seems to be not only transforming humans in this game, but converting them as well, we could have used some more humanity leeway.
In the map menu, we get to see the map again. I guess that needs to be overhauled, since, y'know, Tradan is now kinda dead. Also, Thyrik here doesn't show up on this map, since that city wasn't in the original game.
In the running menu, I notice that we don't have the full party visibility activated, so I turn that on because hey, that's another thing that RPG Maker 2003 can't do by default and you have to do weird workarounds to get it, and that's neat.
For the battle music, we get four choices.
♪ BGM: A Very Dark Day - VD2Kampf1.mid ♫
♪ BGM: Blood, I Need Blood - ADemon.mid ♫
♪ BGM: Crush Them - Xboss06.mid ♫
♪ BGM: Death Is On Its Way - companile.mid ♫
"Blood, I Need Blood" is a remix of the Stage 1 theme from Castlevania: The Adventure. Don't recognize the other three except for the fact that "Crush Them" is actually a big boss theme for Vampires Dawn I - I think it only got used for Vincent Weynard. I end up picking "Crush Them" because I like that one the most.
The text menu just allows you to change your mind about the choices you made back in the first part - at least regarding the text boxes. No backsies on difficulty, though.
And this stuff just isn't even relevant to us yet, so let's just ignore that. So, that's the menu done with, which means that we're now going to move on to bopping around town, talking to everybody. But before we do that, let's take a look at the maps for Thyrik, because they're quite interesting.
This is the map we get of Thyrik during the bit with young Nyria.
This is the map we get of Thyrik during the bit with older Nyria.
And this is the map we get of Thyrik during this bit with Valnar and Alaine. Turns out that over time, a village can actually grow! But not if you're Asran, which apparently didn't change at all between the time of the Holy Crusade and today. Anyway, let's get to exploring.
You'll note that we have a new menu for talking to people. The old one had four options and was made in text only, but this one has six options and is made with fancy graphics! Our options are to talk to the person, read their thoughts, suck their blood, transform them into an item, convert them into a vampire, and exit the menu. For this bit, using anything but "talk" or "read mind" gets a "why are you doing that" from Alaine and you don't get to do it. So, what does this person have to say and think?
You'll also note that this guy has a generic portrait. A lot of characters in this version of the village have a generic portrait for some reason.
That's your house, so you should have something to eat here!
Well, since you simply walked in here, I thought you were going to give me some delicious ham or something like that out of good will...
Out of good will? Some HAM?
Hmmm... ham! There's just nothing better...
(No wonder this guy has a few pounds too many!)
Hm. Let's see what he's thinking, though I think I can hazard a guess.
Or some bread and dripping. Hmmm... damn it, I just can't decide again.
Do you want to be like your dad?
Nah, Dad's always eating everything away from me! I can't get big and strong that way!
Your dad eats everything away from you? Poor child!
Sometimes I get really scared. Recently, we didn't have any more food left in our house, and then Dad started to look at me with a weird expression all of a sudden!
...I'd rather not think about it!
But there is so much food on the table!
Yes, but Dad said it's his dinner, and that I can't have any of it! I'm not supposed to become like him, after all! We can't afford that...
What a barbaric way of raising your child!
Ohhh, I am so hungry! How am I supposed to become a great hero if I don't get anything to eat! Hopefully, Dad leaves a few crumbs for me again...
In general, I'll just put the thoughts of the person after the part where we talk to them. Now, it's time for the best part of this exploring - looking at book cases!
"The Brief Existence of the Sausage".
Lots of cookbooks for all kind of flavors.
Hm, here are lots of cookbooks. Looks like someone likes to eat.
Good day! It appears you are very polite towards strangers.
Yes, that's true, I guess. Someone here has to show the famous hospitality of Thyrik.
What rock do you live under? Every man and woman knows the famous story of the sick man who managed to stagger into Thyrik with his remaining strength, and how he was heartily welcomed. And then he received the best medical treatment you could wish for.
Well, we really have never heard a story like that before!
Oh, all right. I just came up with that! But still, I want to make Thyrik a place of friendship and joy! I'm working on that every day.
Well, that truly is a commendable attitude.
Thanks. But now I have to look for other strangers who I can welcome just as friendlily as you!
Well, in that case...
Oh, strangers! I'm going to show them what hospitality means! First, I'm going to greet them, then I'll give them some welcome chocolate. Afterwards, I'm going to invite them for some tea, and then offer them to spend the night at my house. THEN they will know about the hospitality of Thyrik. Although, what if they have vermin? Fleas, lice or ticks? ...oh, I think they won't be disappointed if I simply greet them...
No, thank you, we don't wish to spend the night in town.
In case you change your mind, you know where you can find me!
Pffff... when I look at those guys, I'm almost getting total goosebumps. Scary folks!
Haaaaaaang on a second...
Hello! You look like you're not from here.
Well, so do you two!
That's right, well observed. We're from Klennar and... we're visiting friends.
Well, I just came from Düsterburg, and hell's gone loose there. And so I thought I'd go on vacation with Julie a little.
Julie? Your girlfriend?
Heh heh, no, my dog! Anyway, we'll be staying here for a few days, until duty calls again. Düsterburg wants to be saved, after all, and somebody's gotta do it.
Well, I wish you some relaxing days!
Oh, that Wahnfried is driving me nuts! Also, I should go out with Libra again at some point. She's so grouchy lately! But who's going to take care of Julie in the meantime?
So yeah, that just happened. Asgar got his appearance in Unterwegs in Düsterburg, and now Grandy gets his appearance in Vampires Dawn. Don't try to imagine how this appearance can actually be worked into the story of Unterwegs in Düsterburg. Even if you somehow explain this away as happening before Wahnfried erased Grandy and Libra from the timestream and therefore not being remembered by them, you can't possibly explain Asgar's appearance in UiD. And EVEN IF you manage to twist yourself into a pretzel and somehow explain that, you can't possibly marry that with Alaine becoming the Baroness of Shannar and gifting a portrait of herself to Wahnfried. And that's not mentioning something that's going to be coming up.
And thus begins the descent into madness. Here's the deal: We're playing on Hard, and there's one particular mechanic that will fuck us pretty hard unless we fuck it right back. There's a guide online on how to fuck it right back, and I'm going to attempt to follow it. The first step on this guide is "find as many secrets as you possibly can, because every Filar and every item you can sell for Filar counts". There are some other steps, but we'll get into those when those become relevant. For now, we "unf unf unf" our way around every room we can find, trying to find every possible secret.
Yes, by telling us where we can find the nicest girl in the village!
The nicest girl? I guess you are a few years too late. The love of my youth Nyria has left a long time ago... sigh... she was soooo beautiful!
And now, there aren't any nice girls in this village anymore?
Oh Nyria! Why did you have to leave me?
Uhm, I guess we better leave him and let him indulge himself in his thoughts.
Oh, Nyria! Nyria! Nyria! My beloved NYRIAAAAAAAA!
Disgusting! Come on, leave him, Valnar!
Drunk as a skunk...
I ain't not drunk... Naaaaah, I... not drunk *burp*...
Anything else I can drink? More beeeeer?
I guess we should look at the items we find as we find them. So here we have some healing items, one healing a decent amount and one healing fuck all. Also, I guess this is a good opportunity to mention that Vampires Dawn was not immune to the scourge of HP Inflation that took place throughout all of JRPGs. Whereas our crew's HP would cap out at 500~600 HP in the first game, in this game it caps out at 3000+. Also, the biggest boss in the first game had 7000 HP, whereas the biggest boss in this game has 16000. Though if you're playing on Easy, that 16000 gets cut in half. So those are some ballpark numbers we're going to be working with.
What do you mean?
Didn't you notice? Beer's gotten more expensive! And the monsters these days don't even have one tiny bit of Filar! I have to drink here on account! Sad, sad...
So here we have a hint towards this game doing the same thing the previous game did - monsters don't drop any gold. You can't grind for money in this game, which might turn out to be a bit of an issue. But we'll find a way around it, I'm sure.
Well, you don't have to drink beer.
Hey, I'm a warrior! That's part of my image!
What horrible times! Terrible times! Catastrophic times! The worst times of all times! Truly, these are the worstest times. If even a warrior cannot afford some beer...
We would like to know who the most popular girl in this village is.
The most popular girl? She already left a long time ago... Nyria was her name, and she was one hell of a woman!
And what other kind of girls are there in this village?
Well, there are several of them, but I think you should go and see for yourselves...
Thank you for your help, regardless.
Not a problem!
Oh, I hope these are paying customers! Everyone else here's been drinking on account for weeks! As if there aren't any jobs here!
Uh, hang on a second...
...nope, we're dead broke. Also, god damn, Glazius in the thread must be on to something here. There is no way Nyria gets everybody's dicks so wet they stay that way for years even after she left the place for greener pastures (well, redder pastures, given the way we left the place she went, but I digress). This place has to have a fetish for murder she fulfilled to the utmost.
In the next house, we find some money! Every bit helps.
Well, actually, we are looking for a nice girl.
Excuse me? What sort of people are you? I'm not dealing with that sort of things! You should try again in Uruya!
We didn't mean it like that!
Yes, yes, of course not!
Oh, never mind...
It's time for me to find a girlfriend. I always kind of hoped that Nyria would come back one day, but looks like that won't be the case. And I don't want to die a virgin, after all!
Hello! Pardon me, but I am busy at the moment. I have to clean half of the house before my husband gets home from the bar!
In that case, we won't keep you.
That disgusting dust is everywhere! I wish there was an effective way to deal with that!
They say the town Tradan was completely destroyed!
But that happened a long time ago.
Oh? Dang it, why am I always the last to learn about stuff like that?
Well, it happens...
Now Tradan was destroyed! What's going to happen next? When even whole towns get obliterated. I hope that doesn't happen to Thyrik as well... brrr... I don't even want to think about that! Otherwise, I won't be able to sleep soundly!
There's a door here. I don't know how I noticed that there was a door here. I guess I just figured "there's no way this house doesn't have a door, the house wouldn't be here if I couldn't go in".
Hey, here is a copy of the book "The Secret Arts of Dr. Man Tu Chi"!
Whooee, take a look at this, Alaine! My goodness...
Ugh, Valnar, what are you reading this time? Obviously, these people were young and needed the money... the things some people are willing to put themselves through...
Hm, just some very embarrassing books about the humans.
Thank you! We didn't want to be much of a bother.
No problem. Feel free to take a look around...
We'll do just that...
Fortunately, it's so peaceful in this village. That way I don't have to worry about the well-being of my family...
garlic, holy water, and crosses. They are incapable of entering churches, and they are the embodiment of pure evil. An encounter with a vampire is always fatal.
Hahaha, have you ever read such nonsense before?
No. Always these terrible prejudices...
Here is a book about two inmates of the lunatic asylum in Shannar. Hmmm... it's about two brothers who always thought of themselves as the best and only criticized others. Different opinions were abhorrent to them, and in order to emphasize their personalities, they called themselves "TheByteReaper" and "Wizard0815", which, however shocked the general public and caused them to send them to Shannar to the lunatic asylum. Of course they had a lot to complain there as well. And then, they complained happily ever after... very unympathetic, those two...
I wonder if this is a lighthearted jab or Marlex genuinely calling people out for being complainers.
Another secret. A status effect healing item is always welcome.
Excuse me, we didn't want to be too bothersome. We're just taking a look around.
That's all right. I'm living here peacefully with my son Jan, who truly turned into a wonderful boy!
Glad to hear it! It's great you can live here so happily!
Thank you! I hope Jan will become a great adventurer some day! And that he earns riches and fame! That would make me very happy.
He will. I'm sure of it.
Oh, my little Jan! I'm sure you will be a great adventurer!
Hello, little girl. We're just looking around a little, and we're having a chat with your nice family!
Yes, that's good! After all, talking is fun! I enjoy talking, and talking frequently! Daddy says, sometimes, I'm talking too much, but I don't agree! Only someone who talks, can...
Uhm, I'm sorry, little girl. I think you're right, but our time is running short.
Oh, what a bummer. But if you want to talk, I'll be here!
Hopefully, these two want to talk to me! I get the feeling Daddy doesn't even listen to me anymore! Even though I only ask him a few hundred questions per day at most!
Hello, little man.
Mommy told me not to speak with strangers! But for you, I'll make an exception. After all, you look like you are really nice!
Cute little boy!
Here, take this lollipop, you are my friends now!
✝ Lolly received!
Unfortunately, we don't have any gifts for you!
No big deal, eventually, you're going to find something, and then you can come back here...
(Such a nice little kid!)
Hey, they look really nice! I bet they are very friendly!
This lollipop is actually part of an unmarked side quest I didn't know existed. The thing is that I didn't find any real walkthrough for this game, just disjointed guides about particular things, like marked sidequests, treasure maps and such. Basically, what we do with the lollipop is we bring it to that kid that was hungry, and in exchange, he gives us a teddy bear. We bring that back to this kid, and we get an angel amulet, which is a piece of equipment that gives +5 to Intelligence. Hypothetically useful, and it would have been worth money, so missing out kinda sucks. I'll see if we can end up coming back for this.
Anyway, there is still a ton of this village to go, and I'm already hitting 20K characters. I'm trying to keep updates shorter, so I'll cut it here. We'll continue bopping around town next time.