Part 1: Dinosaurs?Video: Intro
After the familiar blue SEGA logo, we're greeted by an actual title screen! It's not a very interesting one, but things have moved along since the days of "Shining in the Darkness", released the year before.
Then we get a generic excuse for a plot that won't actually have much to do with the game at all and you may as well skip it but watch the intro video anyway for its rocking soundtrack okay.
(Try to ignore the fact that no one takes goblins seriously so starting a war with them is kind of laughable, never mind keeping at it for that long.)
Here's the opening shot. Actually the game pans over this but I pasted it together because I can.
Narrator: DUKE HECTOR BARRIC IS FORCED TO RETREAT TO HIS CASTLE.
He's not wearing pants.
The goblins mass for their final assault.
"My kingdom for a third-level fighter!"
Our ways will pass from this Earth by nightfall.
Let the bards praise our courage.
"But not our strength."
"...I mean. They're goblins."
It's possible that Barrick's men would have fared better if they didn't wear mail skirts with nothing under them. A punctured femoral artery can have you passing out from blood loss in less than half a minute and goblins are pretty short so it's a nice shiny target for them.
Narrator: BEFORE THE GOBLINS ATTACK, THE EARTH BEGINS TO TREMBLE.
Again, I'm pasting these together; in-game, they show one face at a time.
I like how the goblins is like "what the fuck is going on" and the human is all "I JUST PISSED MYSELF WITH FEAR"; very authentic.
Obviously, we're all rooting for the goblins in this conflict, right?
Narrator: THE SKY RIPS OPEN. MAN AND GOBLIN ALIKE ARE SUCKED INTO THE VOID.
And so the game shows us...
...with some nice goblin upskirt action
Honestly, I think this is a pretty cool scene. It's very... fantastic.
The castle has been transported
to a valley with impossibly high
cliffs. A red sun flares, circled
by floating continents. The horizon
appears as the bottom of a basin.
The text scrolls up over the screen, followed by...
...another title screen. And a nice-looking one, this time!
Welcome to Dungeons & Dragons(R) Warriors of the Eternal SunTM.
Let's dive right in, shall we?
The first screen should be familiar if you've ever played a D&D-like game before. We need to make four adventurers, choosing from seven different types, and roll their stats as well.
Our choices are:
The big, dumb guy who does all the heavy lifting. Fighters can use all weapons and wear all kinds of armour. Their only special abilities are a lot of health and the ability to generally hit the things they're aiming at. Boring, but effective.
Slightly less effective at hitting things than the fighter, clerics can wear all sorts of protective gear but only wield blunt objects, because they're not allowed to spill blood (note: the people who designed D&D had never seen someone actually killed by a warhammer). They're the only characters who can use "divine" magic, which is generally healing/protective in nature, and you should always have one around.
Nowadays we call them "rogues" because the word "thief" was confusing stupid people into believing they couldn't do anything but steal shit. Stealing is not an option here, but they can detect traps and sneak around. They can wield swords, which is really all you can ask for, but can only wear leather armour. They also have less HP than warriors and priests.
The game calls them "magic-users" but fuck that noise. MAGES (I will also accept "wizards") wield "arcane" magic, which is generally damaging/disabling. They can't use most types of weapons or armour, but if they survive long enough to get the good spells, they won't need it.
All human units can reach level 14 in WotES.
Racial stereotyping at its finest, all dwarves (or dwarfs if you prefer) are basically fighters, but can only reach level 12. This is supposedly offset by other advantages like magic resistance, a Scottish accent and the ability to drink a lot of ale, but honestly, I don't give a shit.
Elves are fighter/mage hybrids. They can pretty much do anything a fighter or mage can, but they pay for it with slow level progression which caps at level 10. They're the only demihumans worth using.
Useless piece of shit
Some people call these things "halflings", "hobbits" or any number of other things. Their levels cap at 8, which tells you everything you need to know. We are not bringing a halfling.
A quick review of the stats for those of you who are unfamiliar with D&D mechanics; feel free to skip this otherwise:
STRength: Affects how hard you can hit things.
INTelligence: How dumb you aren't. Supposedly important for mages. No idea if it actually does anything here.
WISdom: See above, but for priests.
DEXterity: How nimble you are. If this is high, you get a bonus to your AC.
CONstitution: Basically endurance. If this is high, you get a bonus to your HP.
CHArisma: Personal magnetism, ability to manipulate others, and depending on who you ask, your looks. Effect in this game: unknown.
All of the above are randomly generated between 3 (really bad) and 18 (really good). You can just keep re-rolling until you get a set of stats that you're happy with. Or forever, if you feel like it.
LEVEL: When this goes up, you gain more HP, more spells (if you are a caster), and get better at hitting things. Stats do not increase on level-ups in D&D. Every time you defeat an enemy or otherwise accomplish something useful, you gain some experience points (usually shortened to EXP or XP); how many you need is shown under NXT LVL. In the picture above, the fighter needs 2000 EXP to reach level 2. The actual number varies depending on class.
HP: Hit Points, your health. Getting hit lowers HP. If it reaches 0, you die. If all characters die, it's game over. Levels and high constitution affect this. Recovered through rest, magic or potions.
AC: Armour Class. The lower this is, the harder you are to hit. D&D doesn't use a defence stat - you either take full damage, or none at all. Protective gear and high dexterity affect this, as can some magic.
GOLD: Come on, you don't need to hear this.
Also, you can select one of four colours to represent each character: red, blue, green and yellow. Useful if you have two or more characters of the same class.
For the sake of demonstration, I've taken the liberty of creating a group of
We have a priest who will also hit things, but not quite as hard, and heal people once he actually learns how the useless son of a bitch. The skull icon is "turn undead", which may or may not be useful; I neither know nor care right now.
We have an elf, who will be stabbing things after boring them to sleep. Because no one likes elves. Those fuckers. Her one saving grace is that she comes with the Sleep spell, which is really handy in the early game.
Last but not least we have the mage and god fucking damn it does he suck right now. He comes with a stick and a single magic missile - which is a great spell later on, but nowhere near sufficient right now.
Once we've built a party, the duke addresses the newly created group.
There is a new enemy here.
Our people need allies to survive, but the guards must defend our castle.
You have been chosen to explore our new home.
Translation: you are expendable, nobody loves you, get the fuck out of my house, seriously, why were you even here in the first place?
The gods have given us a second chance.
Serve me well and bring us allies.
If I was looking for someone to blame for this mess, and I'm not saying I am, I'd probably suspect the gods first. They're dicks.
Anyway, this is where the real story begins; no goblins in sight, but we're in a fucked-up place and there's always new creatures willing to eat us. Our mission, regardless of what we were just told, is to kill them all and take their stuff.
Here's the main overworld exploration screen. WotES doesn't fuck around with something that pretends to be a mouse cursor and thank whatever for that. Instead, it uses the d-pad to walk around and navigate menus the way a proper console game does. The characters' actions are controlled by the A and B buttons. Note that each character has two icons left of their portrait; those icons correspond to the A and B buttons, so if there is a valid target, pressing A will prompt Adelphi to use her sword on it, then pass the turn to Oban. C is a "skip" command that just brings up the next character. This makes for rather quick and easy navigation, but it can take a while to get used to it.
NPCs are wandering around the area and will talk to us if we bump into them (we don't have a button for interaction that doesn't involve bloody murder! Thankfully, it works out okay).
The "camp" menu has all the usual stuff on it, including...
...the "options" menu where we can get rid of those fucking HP bars oh my fuck how I hate those useless pieces of shit.
I will pay you well for anything that can help me in my studies. Hopefully what I learn will benefit you as well.
All the towers can be entered, but the doors aren't always visible. Here's one that is, and it contains the duke's advisor/court mage/crazy scientist dude.
The other towers are slightly more interesting.
Once you're in a building or cave, you enter a 3D first person mode, similar to Eye of the Beholder (or, to a lesser extent, Shining in the Darkness or the original Phantasy Star). Like EotB, combat in here takes place in semi-realtime where you move around and swing your weapons at anything that gets in your face. Party and enemies move along a grid and can face one of four directions; attacks are aimed in the direction the unit is facing. And just like EotB, it is eminently breakable.
These places aren't very interesting; once you've seen one wall, you've pretty much seen all of them. Sometimes descriptions pop up in the text window, but the things mentioned there are rarely visible on the actual environment. But hey, skeletal arm in a shackle!
What is interesting is that there's an enemy right here in the dungeon!
An enemy who starts off by smacking Adelphi in the face!
As you press A or B, the character currently selected uses the weapon or ability listed in the appropriate slot, and, should you hit, the damage pops up over the icon you triggered. Here we see Lodhian landing a really shitty hit with her spear. I like to keep melee weapons in the A slot and special abilities or ranged weapons in the B slot, as seen here (actually, this is the default setup for these characters...)
We kill the "warrior" but not before he does a number on Adelphi. Note the new expression; it's the "oh shit I'm fucked" look right there. See that Fighter HP at work!
In the next cell, there's a giant rat. It's less threatening than the last guy.
Because I'm an idiot, I reloaded my save. Why? I don't know. Anyway, here's a nice torture chamber...
...and hidden behind a secret door...
...are the Gauntlets of Ogre Power. These set the owner's strength to 18, which is... pretty damn nice.
The southwestern tower.
There is nothing interesting in here...
...nor in the southeastern one; that's the end.
Here's the armoury. Right now, there's nothing interesting on sale, just leather armours. They'll get more stuff as the game progresses. It's probably a good idea to buy one or two of these before setting out...
There's also a chapel...
...with a graveyard! Most of the stones have some kind of inscriptions:
It seems to be some kind of tradition in WRPGs to add "witty" tombstone inscriptions.
Some of these names belong to people who worked on the game...
...and some of them belong to completely different people.
I found this all terribly amusing when I first played this game. It was the first time I saw anything like this.
You know what they saw? Goblins.
I think this one is my favourite, along with "the water was cursed".
But the fun doesn't end there.
The tower in the corner holds another underground area.
These, too, are developers.
They're amusing and all, but the real point of this place...
...is a secret door, inside which...
...a curiously nameless warrior lies.
The grave holds some magical chainmail which we shamelessly loot. Blue items represent a +1 enchantment; it boosts our AC by one point more than an ordinary chainmail would. Given that we can't even get normal chain at this point, it's quite a haul.
Note that Oban's AC has dropped from 7 to 2.
This is where we go to resurrect dead people if we have any. But we don't. Which is good.
Weapons are sold here, in case you can't tell.
I buy slings. Slings for everybody.
You want ranged weapons. You need ranged weapons. Use them. Abuse them. Love them.
Here's the magic shop; it has nothing but a scroll with the "Shield" spell on it, which sucks.
However, the corner holds a small dungeon, with some good loot in it.
A scroll with the Sleep spell at 1, and a Wand of Lightning behind the secret door, both of which Mortlach really wants.
Resting will allow your casters to scribe the scrolls they have, as well as restore HP. Arcane casters don't learn new magic as they level up; they must have something to teach them. Scrolls can also be used to cast the spell written on them once, but that is a waste if you don't know the spell in question yet.
Here's the spell select screen. As a first-level mage, Mortlach can cast one spell per day. I'm giving him Sleep; it's more useful right now.
Here's a tavern. Wouldn't be a proper RPG without a tavern.
...and the tavern has a cellar.
There's a +1 axe in a secret room.
Adelphi wants that. She wants it badly.
A "plus" where weapons are concerned affects both damage and hit rate. One point is quite respectable, given the kind of numbers we're looking at right now.
In the northeastern corner of town, there's a sort of residential area. Man, even I have a bigger apartment than that.
The tower in the corner holds our last piece of loot for now; Lodhian gets the +1 sword because she's the only one who A, can use it, and B, doesn't already have an enchanted axe.
(The map actually listed that as a normal door.)
Back out again, the NPCs have various more or less useful info for us...
"Visit swamps asap: check."
The war. With the GOBLINS. I'm astounded they made it this far to begin with.
Eh, they're beastmen. How sane are they to begin with?
Also, remember to gather your party, or you'll never hear the end of it...
I think we're going to need it.
He may have a nicely equipped torture chamber next to his privy, but he's very kind and patient!
Read: "And no teleporting out of THIS one like you did last time Adrian you CHEAP FUCK I worked on that campaign all night you utter cunt and also your wizard is struck by lightning and takes 4000 points of damage because Odin hates him and by Odin I mean me."
How do you know that when we only just arrived?
"Put off going to the north for as long as possible: check."
"Head southeast: check."
But the most interesting thing of all:
Ready to leave town?
We're heading southeast. To the swamp.
...that's not a dinosaur!
oh my shit what the god is this fuck
...so, anyone feel like doing this over again?
Possibly with a bunch of slightly less retarded adventurers.
(Though honestly, the current setup is actually a pretty good one with both magic and physical combat abilities.)
A few notes, though:
MUST BE THIS TALL TO RIDE ---------------------
No goddamn halflings.
Also I'm going to need at least one mage and a cleric. This is not negotiable.
So yeah: suggest names, classes, genders and colours, or vote to keep the original party, and we'll see what happens in the next part.
City Theme - Self-explanatory.
Wizard Theme - Plays when you speak to the wizard in his tower.
Azcan Wander - Overworld theme outside the city.
Azcan Combat - Battle theme in the same area.