Last game you beat (including Famicom)

Started by Doc, July 29, 2006, 11:29:29 pm

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February 05, 2023, 12:03:50 pm #840 Last Edit: February 05, 2023, 12:09:45 pm by Ghegs
Got Swords and Serpents back in December, started playing it a few weeks ago, and today I beat it. I played it proper old-school - wrote down my passwords and made my own maps:

I bought graph paper, a mechanical pencil, and an eraser pen just for this project.

And overall I liked the experience, though the game definitely has its issues. This was the first time I had ever made my own maps like this, so it was a pretty interesting change of pace. It certainly slowed down the pace a bit, but the game is slow-paced as it is (menus have a horrible lag, push a button and it takes a good second before anything happens), so I kind of had to put myself into a certain mental state to take things slow when playing this.

The exploration was fun and there's a  fair amount of secrets to be found, though ultimately most proved to be pointless. The combat was by far the simplest and weakest aspect of the game.

Characters have exactly two options to take in battle - do a physical attack or use magic. If the character's class is not a wizard, then the options are limited to just attacking. There's no guarding, no front line/back line, you can't choose which enemy to attack, or anything fancy like that. Well, you can run away at least. Battles are always against only one type of enemy, to a maximum of 8 opponents. And no enemies have any names or descriptions so they're just bats, red bats, green bats, wizards, yellow wizards, another type of wizard, some kind of gnome or something, etc.

The game doesn't even tell you the turn order and there doesn't seem to be rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes your character can do an action, sometimes they can't. Even what they do is a mystery, one of the enemies just "attacks" (which one? Who knows?) and one of your character's name switches to read either Hit or Miss. Some enemies can attack all of the characters at the same time, which is a real pain late in the game when there's 8 of them and you're sitting there, wondering when your turn might come up...

I pretty much ignored attack magic completely and just used it for healing, buffs, and other effects. One thing I did like is how instead of the mages getting new spells as they gain levels, they're found within the dungeon, encouraging the player to really go through every nook 'n cranny.

Defeated enemies drop money, occasionally loot and you get XP from killing them, and money can also be found within the dungeon, but it's mostly useless because it can only be used within 3 shops scattered around the dungeon, and everything they have to offer can also be gained from enemy drops and the best equipment can only be found either from drops or as hidden items. I only bought like two or three items in the early game and nothing else after that.

Speaking of items, there are no potions or scrolls or anything like that, only items are either weapons or armor. Only way to heal is via heal spells, and the only way to regain MP is from Temples (three in the whole game) or Fountains that can be found occasionally. This kind of puts a timelimit on your exploration, as it can only last as long as your mages have MP, especially since one of the spells allows you to pass through (some) walls, and it's mandatory to get through some floors. The game actually allows you to kill yourself if you find yourself in a place from where you can't get out.

The max. character level is 16, which I hit somewhere around Floor 10 (out of 16) without any grinding, after which XP is completely useless.

Most of my complaints are about the combat, which gets pretty tiresome from floor 11 or thereabouts onwards. The exploration and map-making was still enjoyable, and there were some puzzles in there as well. There are actually directions dropped throughout the game, at multiple floors, how to navigate the very last floor, that was pretty cool. Again encouraging/rewarding exploration and writing things down.

The moment you fulfill your quest and bring down the dragon, you get a single-screen "YOU HAVE DEFEATED THE DRAGON" -message and...that's it. You do get additional passwords of your characters which I guess technically can be used in a New Game+ fashion, but, haha, no.

The thing about the game is that because of the passwords, and what data they store, it kind of forces you to into long play sessions. It takes a few minutes to enter the passwords when starting the game, and few to write them down when you want to save your progress, so you want to do that as few times as possible. The passwords also don't store your amount of XP, only the characters levels (they are all always the same level), so you don't want to stop playing right before levelling up. Of course that becomes moot after hitting the level cap. So I ended up playing mostly on weekends when I knew I could put in several hours of gametime, and I even then I had to pause the game and leave the console on for longer periods.

I'm really bad at estimating how long I've spent on a game, but I guess somewhere around 20-30 hours. With my maps I could now do another run a lot faster. Maybe far off in the future?

Jedi Master Baiter

Section-Z. I've finished this game before, but I think I used a Game Genie. :-\ Now I can say I truly beat it (but I had to look up a guide to find those dumb required warps).


Mystery Quest. My pirate US version cartridge is titlehacked as "Super Barbie"
Long, repetitive and boring after second castle... but yet somehow still addictive as hell  ;D

no, I only passed it once

Jedi Master Baiter

Gyruss (FDS cart conversion)

I beat this game long ago on the NES with the 30 lives code. Now I beat this one with the 30 lives code. The ending on the FDS version is much cooler than I remember the NES version being.