Part 2: Sacred Cards Part 2/4Sacred Cards Part 2/4
Welcome to the world map! ...Okay it's a map of just the city, but you know. You enter the world map when you take the west exit in the town square. We'll be checking out what's going on at the Card Shop.
Don't worry, unnamed NPC, I'll be telling everyone how to win at Sacred Cards in no time at all. It's much easier than you'd think!
Really, Mr. Cashier? The game's only been going for like an hour...though I did pick up four locater cards already.
When someone says that to me offline, I'm usually REALLY suspicious, but your outfit is crazy awesome, so I'll stick around.
Okay, now I'm REALLY suspicious.
This guy is called Arkana. He was a one-off villain's minion in the anime. Sacred Cards follows the anime's plot pretty closely, except a player character added in. And since you're the main character now, you replace Yugi in all of his duels. In the anime, Yugi vs. Arkana was an epic battle because both duelists use the Dark Magician, arguably the game's most famous monster.
Before we take him on, we could probably use a deck upgrade. Money you earn in duels can be used to purchase cards. I don't know why you have to do it at this shop, and not the one Yugi's Grandpa owns, which is a location you can go to, but wherever we get cards from, I'm happy to be able to get them.
Kinda wish the interface was a bit less cluttered. Whenever you win a duel, about 20 random cards get added to the shop's inventory for you to purchase. Bosses in this game give giant truckloads of money, so it's very easy to afford whatever you want to buy, especially if you sell the junk cards you don't need.
Funnily enough, you can also purchase Ritual Monsters. Not the Spells, the actual monsters they summon, which makes me wonder what the point of the Spells was. Well, the monsters do have a Card Cost of 255, so that won't be going in your deck anytime soon, I guess, but if they are in your deck, they function just like regular monsters, and still have the Divine attribute.
Anyhow, the shop is a MUCH appreciated feature. I can purchase what I want and not have to deal with random booster packs like in real life, although if you want a particular card, you have to get lucky and hope it shows, and boy, was my luck good on this run - I got the best monster in the game!
...What? She's great, I tell you! 2000 attack points for only one tribute! I mean Toon Summoned Skull has 2500, but his Card Cost is like three times Toon Dark Magician Girl's. Oh, and in case anyone's wondering, the infamous Toon monsters don't have any special powers compared to their normal versions in this game, aside from some of them changing to the Shadow attribute.
Speaking of which! Let's talk attributes! Every monster has one of eleven attributes. If your attribute beats their attribute, you kill them instantly regardless of stats or battle position. Here's how it works:
Shadow beats Light
Light beats Fiend
Fiend beats Dream
Dream beats Shadow
Fire beats Forest
Forest beats Wind
Wind beats Earth
Earth beats Thunder
Thunder beats Water
Water beats Fire
Divine is neutral
Here's the secret to success in Sacred Cards: Make a Shadow deck, it's the best attribute. Dream monsters can one-hit kill Shadow monsters, but Konami made a serious error when designing Sacred Cards. In my entire playthrough of the whole game, I encountered a Dream monster in an enemy deck ONCE. You don't have to take this elemental crap, just use the one attribute they don't counter that often!
And it gets better! The starter deck comes with Witch's Apprentice, a monster that has the ability to raise the power of Shadow monsters by 500 points - they're ENCOURAGING you to do this!
I also pick up Hourglass of Life. This card lets you raise the power of all your monsters by 500 points at the cost of 1000 Life Points, which is a pretty fair trade in practice. It also goes well with a monster called Hoshiningen, who can raise the power of all Light monsters by 500 more points. I don't use Hoshiningen in this playthrough, though, because he also weakens my Shadow monsters.
My other notable purchase is a simple Spell card that destroys the strongest enemy monster. Very handy.
Also located in the shop is the Password Machine. You know those eight-digit ID numbers on the real life trading cards? You can punch that into the Password Machine to unlock the card in the game. You don't RECIEVE the card, it just shows up at the shop for purchase. But you can enter any code you want, as many times as you want. This, however, is cheating. You'd have to be the worst card player in the world to have to cheat at Sacred Cards.
We enter the basement, and Arkana challenges us.
And it seems we don't have a choice, either. Is it just me, or do fictional stage magicians always end up being big jerks?
Oh yes, that's right, he's going to chop the loser's legs off with that giant saw! This is how it happened in the anime, but the English dub censored the sawblades and changed it so that anyone that touches the "Dark Energy Disc" would have their soul sent straight to hell.
Um...not sure how that's an improvement, but this is a video game, so there's no censorship to "save" you this time. Back in my day we didn't need no censors to save us. We had cartoon magician girls instead!
Arkana's duel, and several others in the game, start with a Yami, or "Darkness" field, which raises the stats of Spellcaster and Fiend monsters by 30%. As it happens, a number of great Shadow monsters are also Spellcasters and Fiends. Here, Toon Dark Magician Girl jumps from 2000 to 2600. This allowed me to run over Arkana just like everyone else.
Our prize is Arkana's version of the Dark Magician himself. You might remember that Dark Magician Girl has an ability that raises her power if Dark Magician is in the graveyard (which is what the "discard pile" is called in Yu-Gi-Oh.) In Sacred Cards, using this ability is highly impractical. The Graveyard in this game only tracks the most recent monster sent there, so you'd have to use Dark Magician Girl's abiltiy immedietely after a Dark Magician is sent there. And she has to give up her attack on that turn...and be face down...and...you get the point.
Arkana almost gets chopped, but we save him because we're apparently a pretty compassionate guy.
Then he says some weird stuff and collapses. Uh...what plans are we impeding, exactly? This event can happen the instant the game starts...
Our next destination is the Park. Locater card number 5 awaits us.
A stranger seems to be there, but he says nothing if you talk to him.
We find Weevil Underwood here, who has the locater card we want, but most annoyingly, he forces us to duel all three of his "Disciples" (that was the word he used) before we can duel him.
These duels all begin on a Forest field, which powers up Beasts, Insects, Plants, and Furries. Not enough to pose a threat, mind you. They have some attribute variety, and while I know of one Insect monster that carries the Dream attribute, nobody ever played it. Hm.
One of them gave me this as a reward, ironically enough.
...I just noticed, have I been spelling "Locater" wrong this entire time?
Yeah, this duel wasn't much of an issue for me, ahaha. Weevil does have one trick you need to be aware of, however: He has a monster called Petit Moth. It's incredibly weak, but if it survives a turn, it turns into Larvae Moth. If that survives a turn, it turns into Cocoon of Evolution, and if that survives a turn, it turns into Great Moth, who has 2600 attack points and will gain 900 more if it survives one more turn.
It isn't hard to prevent Petit Moth from making it that far since a Fire monster eliminates any of these in one shot, but if you happen to have Petit Moth yourself, it's a strategy worth considering. Plenty of cards let you stall while your bugs are growing, and Petit Moth stays face-down during all of this if it's in defense mode, which enables you to mis-direct the AI from attacking it, in a way.
Just one more to go! If it feels like I'm blitzing the game, well, that just shows how not-difficult Sacred Cards is.
The only other location open at the moment is a nondescript Art museum.
It's not open, but you can find another character from the anime. This is Bakura and he's more of a tabletop RPG guy than a card game guy. You can duel him now if you wish but it isn't necessary.
Now one thing about Sacred Cards is that it's not very good at telling you what you're supposed to do to advance the plot. One of those "explore everywhere, talk to everyone" situations. In this case, after the fifth locater card you're supposed to go to the game shop in the town square.
And you talk to this guy, which sets an event flag. HMMM, SOMETHING ABOUT HIM LOOKS FAMILIAR.
Three more locations open up when you talk to him. First let's check out the Bridge.
We arrive just in time to see Seto Kaiba wasting a nameless NPC in a duel.
Sidekick? I'm the main character, buddy!
I feel so unloved.
If you exit the screen and come back, you'll find Kaiba has his very own fangirl. Sorry, girl, his heart already belongs to the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. I'm not kidding.
The weird dude from earlier appears and challenges us. This guy is simply called Strings. That alone should say everything that needs to be said. He attempted to use one of the most impractical cards of all time against Yugi, and lost. In this duel, he's going to use one of the best cards in the game against us. And lose.
Oh, actually no, he didn't draw it in this duel. This is where enemy monsters start to get tougher, though. You'll notice this one has 2000 defense, making it a nice big wall. Any time the computer does that, just send out a monster with an attack stat lower than theirs, they can't resist coming out of defense mode to attack it.
The prize is Revival Jam, one of two monsters that can clone itself (I have the other one, Doron, in my deck.) 1500 attack points is pretty good, too, so when my duelist level is high enough (Hrrrrmph.) I'll be using it. This card also forms an amazing combo with Darkness Approaches, a Spell that flips all your cards face-down. Remember how you need to be face-down to use monster abilities?
I don't see how I'm meddling, I'm just trying to get into the tournament finals.
Got it memorized!
Hm. I guess he doesn't like Kingdom Hearts jokes.
Next, we need to set another event flag, so we enter the nondescript Building.
It's a game center! I always wanted to visit one!
To the surprise of nobody, there's a DDR cameo here. We also see Joey Wheeler SLACKING OFF.
He runs off somewhere, and we follow.
He went to the Aquarium. Why are duels taking place in an Aquarium? Because it's Yu-Gi-Oh, that's why.
These duelists don't have portraits, but the boy is named Takeshi. You need to beat him and his girlfriend to set more event flags.
One screen north, we see Mako Tsunami (These dub names...) beating Joey Wheeler. Huh, I'm pretty sure Joey won that duel in the anime. Mako, of course, won't duel you until everyone in the Aquarium is beaten, including Joey and that random NPC next to him.
All duels in the Aquarium start on an Umi or "Ocean" field, powering up Fish, Aqua, Sea Serpent, and Thunder monsters. Most enemies here have the Water attribute, and they tend to be much stronger than what you might have when you factor in the field bonus, so you need a different approach. You could change the field with a Spell to take that advantage away, or you can use Thunder monsters.
I added these to my deck. Electric Lizard even has an ability that lets him stun one monster, stopping it from attacking until your next turn. If you use Thunder monsters, however, there's one dick move you should be careful of: These guys have Penguin Knight, which for some reason, has the EARTH attribute, which is strong against Thunder. Really comes out of left field. I mean it's a PENGUIN, geez.
They had to pad the length of the game somehow, I guess. Now we duel Mako.
Here, I get to demonstrate the Dark Hole strategy I mentioned in the previous update. Tribute your monster...
Activate Dark Hole to destroy all monsters on the field...
Then play a level 6 monster and score a free hit!
Of course I'm so loaded with powerful cards that I could probably do it without being cheap. Anyhow, that's all six locater cards! What awaits us next?