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Author Topic: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!  (Read 15353 times)

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It all started with Final Fantasy 2 -- the NES version, mind you, not the one we got on the SNES that was for reals Final Fantasy 4. It was a radical departure from the even-by-that-time established kill-monsters-for-experience-points game mechanics.

A few more refinements (on the Game Boy, no less) and we have the SaGa series. And the first game in that series to be released under that name was...


In 1998, for the PlayStation.


Those seven people? Well, five people, a robot, and a little fuzzy-tailed critter of some sort. Those are seven plotlines of varying quality, each one of them a... well, protagonist. I hesitate to use the word "hero".


We're starting with this one, for the purposes of game mechanics I'm gonna explain.


For each quest, you're prompted to create a set of System Data on your memory card so the game can keep track of what you've accomplished overall. More on this... much later.

Well, let's get started.
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 07:47:15 AM »


She looks around her cell a bit.

Emelia: Although it's not my taste...

It's a prison cell, it's not supposed to appeal to anyone's tastes.

Emelia: I guess it's better than nothing.


A flashback!




Emelia: No, that's too mean.




Before the wedding? Isn't that bad luck?


It is cafeteria food. You are in a cafeteria. Are you dense or something?


Actually... looking around the room, this appears to be a ladies' prison. I guess it appeals to some peoples' tastes after all.


Woman: You're new, aren't you?

You know the rules, Emelia. On your first day you've gotta beat someone's ass or be someone's bitch.


Annie: The last time I beat the crap out of 3 guys who turned out to be pretty rough customers.

...you beat the crap out of your customers? Do I even wanna know what you do for a living?

Annie: I thought I'd be safer in jail, so I smacked a couple of guards around to get in. Hey, you're pretty good lookin'. What're you in for?

Well, if Emelia can't find someone to beat up...


Looks like bad luck already hit.


She dashes into the next room as the screen fades, ruining the screenshot.


A green-haired man leaps out of view just as Emelia enters. No, that's not a purple duck beak, it's the pad on his left shoulder.
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 07:59:24 AM »


Emelia: He must have killed my... Why do you keep asking me the same questions!? Why don't you do something?


You don't learn his name in this scene, but this is Fuse, da chief (or something like it) of IRPO. IRPO is the Inter-Regional Patrol Organization. You know. The cops.

Emelia: What are you saying? You think I killed him?
Fuse: Your boyfriend was an outstanding officer. It seems odd that he was killed without any kind of struggle...

Dude, the fight wrecked his entire house.

Fuse: Unless he was caught off guard.
Emelia: This's outrageous! Yes, we had a fight. But why would I kill Ren? I was going to marry him. I loved him.


Lack of stress on any one word always made this parse a little oddly to me. It sounds like he's continuing the interrogation, but he's repeating Emelia's question. "Why did you kill him? That's what I want to know!"

Fuse: Ren and I go back over ten years, back to the Academy. Unlike me, he was a nice guy, a good cop. I couldn't believe it when I heard he was dating a tramp like you. Now tell me why you shot him! Was it rage? Jealousy? Or did someone else hire you?
Emelia: Crazy... You're crazy. You're trying to pin this on me without one shred of evidence. I want a lawyer.
Fuse: Lady, the evidence is there. Let me assure you no one gets away with shooting an officer.




Emelia: Is he some weirdo or something?
Annie: No, no. Just listen to his announcement.


I've seen this movie before.

Warden: This is your chance to earn the freedom you've yearned for. To get away from this stinking hellhole forever.

Dude, it's your prison.

Warden: It's simple enough. In the center of Despair is a giant stone on which the Freedom Rune is inscribed.

Ooh. Irony.

Warden: I'll grant a pardon to the one who manages to touch the stone, guaranteed!

Okay, maybe not.

Warden: You have exactly 5 minutes and you're not allowed to attack any of my guards. We'll start in exactly 3 hours. Good luck to you all.




It's the sort of prison where they intentionally let all the inmates run around for several minutes without any supervision on a regular basis. You mean that doesn't happen everywhere?

Emelia: Is the warden encouraging us to escape?
Annie: Only one prisoner's ever made it and God knows what really happened to them after that.
Emelia: Are you going to try?
Annie: Yeah, why not?
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2013, 08:01:29 AM »






"Escape"... yeah, I've seen this movie before.

Liza: I heard about your situation. Hang in there.
Emelia: All right.
Annie: Let's go.
Emelia: Go where?
Annie: There's a hole under the bed.


Worst. Prison. Ever.




Our first dungeon!
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 08:19:30 AM »


This is the status screen. I'll break it down.

Name and Race are pretty obvious. There are four races in the game: human, mystic, mec, and monster. I'll go into more details about the others later. Emelia, Liza, and Annie are all humans.

Humans are, like in every game, flexible and adaptable. They can learn all sword, martial arts, gun, and magic techniques with few limitations, depending on their natural talent and a bit of RNG luck.

HP is exactly what it is in every other game: if you run out, you fall uselessly to the ground. But in this game that means you also lose one LP. You can be cured from 0 HP as long as you have LP remaining. Enemies can attack you even when you're lying unconscious at 0 HP; this always takes 1 LP. If you run out of LP, you can't be revived until you get proper medical attention (which in an RPG means staying at an inn).

WP and JP are waza points and jutsu points -- MP for special physical attacks and MP for spells, respectively.

Strength is the same as it is in every RPG. It raises damage with sword and martial arts attacks.
Quickness is also about the same, covering initiative order in combat and the ability to evade incoming attacks.
Intelligence raises damage with sword and gun attacks, and ever-so-slightly affects the rate at which humans learn new skills.
Will affects damage with all attacks, and accuracy with swords and martial arts.
Psychic is resistance and recovery from most status effects.
Vitality decreases damage from incoming attacks and raises resistance to "sleep" status.
Charm does not a damn thing beyond affecting the accuracy of charm status effects, increasing it if you cast the effect yourself, decreasing it if it's cast on you.
Defense reduces your damage from attacks. The single number here is actually a misnomer: there are actually eight different kinds of attacks and a given piece of armor may protect against them differently. The "elements" are slashing, crushing, piercing, fire, cold, electric, force, and status effects.

The list on the right side of the window is Emelia's equipment. Since she's just in plain clothes right now, it ain't much -- just a shirt and some boots. (Uh... no pants?)
To illustrate the point about defense above, the Silk Shirt is defense 3 against most attacks, but defense 11 against cold-elemental moves. Nowhere in the game is this kind of information actually told to you.

As for Emelia herself? Well, as protagonists go she's not that great. She's somewhat talented in swords and martial arts, but the worst character in the game at developing magic and gun skills. This scenario tries to suggest a gun as her ideal equipment, but don't fall for it. It's a trap.

In this game we'll be developing Emelia mostly as a martial artist.


Annie has better base stats than Emelia does right now, but has truly abysmal skill development. She's almost as bad as Emelia with guns and magic, and has less talent with swords and martial arts than any other human in the game. There's not much to redeem Annie overall, but the game forces her into the party a lot so we're stuck with her.


Liza is Annie's polar opposite. She's generally regarded as the best martial artist in the game, naturally talented in several powerful techniques that work well together (but more on that later). But she's also one of the most talented characters in the game with guns and spells, and not too shabby with a sword either. She's one of the best characters to have on your team due to her wide skillset; it's a shame so few scenarios offer her as recruitable. In this game we'll be training her mostly as a martial artist, but may teach her some gun skills and sorcery later.
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 08:30:07 AM »


Anyway, dungeon. Full of pipes. Are we escaping through some absurdly wide drainage pipe leading out of Emelia's cell? How big was her toilet?


Escaping the pipes, we drop into a locker room.


And immediately hide in a locker from the guard on patrol.


There's a LightBazooka in the corner, mostly hidden from view. We grab it before we leave.


It's this way.


Well, that escalated quickly. This is one of those games where random encounters appear on the map, and if you can get away from the monster on the map, you don't have to fight them.

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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 08:34:01 AM »

Well, you can't avoid monsters forever. We get into a battle!


With a flying sword robot!

Emelia isn't equipped with a sword or a gun, and doesn't know any magic, so she's limited to punching with her tiny womanly fists.


Liza is also not equipped with a weapon, but has some previous training in wrasslin', giving her a few more options. Only Punch is free, though -- all the other skills consume WP to use.


After battle, your stats go up. This is a game system without experience levels, remember?

What stats are raised depends on three things, in approximate order of importance: the difficulty of the enemies you fought, the character's natural abilities, and what they did in combat.

Emelia's growth is naturally centered around will and vitality. Liza's is based on intelligence and quickness. Annie... has better HP growth than the other two, I guess, and develops strength and charm more quickly than any others (but still slower than Emelia's and Liza's will, vitality, intelligence, and quickness growth).

If they use sword skills, characters are likely to grow their strength, vitality, HP, and WP. Gun skills develop quickness, will, HP, and WP. Martial arts develop strength, WP, and HP (but at different rates than sword skills -- swords grow WP faster, martial arts develops strength and HP faster). If you use magic, you're more likely to grow intelligence, willpower, psychic, and JP. And if you dick around doing none of those things -- using items, for instance -- you can take solace in that at least your HP will go up a little.


Another fight, this time I get a shot of Annie's starting sword skills. Is that a Rabite? (No, it is using its large ears like wings to fly around. It is a Rabbat.)


Easiest laser grid maze ever. (The lasers are only visible in Emelia's scenario, making this harder for anyone else who comes to Despair. I think there's a helmet that makes them visible, too. Gotta check.)


Annie: Hurry, Liza. I got a bad feeling about this.
Liza: They made sure we'd waste time here. Let me try one more time.
Annie: Oh, oh. Something's coming. Take this.
Emelia: A gun? I don't know how to use a gun!!

She really doesn't.

Annie: Just aim and pull the trigger. No biggie!




It's the dungeon boss, of course.
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 08:40:56 AM »


From his size on the map, I kinda figured he'd be... bigger.


Emelia is equipped with an AGUNI-CP1 automatically. Well, it's better than punching.


As Annie and Liza bust out their better skills, they form a combo. Some attacks "send" certain attributes, and some "receive" attributes. If two characters move one after another (based on the initiative order as determined by quickness), and the first attack sends a variable the other receives, the attacks form a combo.


In this case, Liza's RollingCradle and Annie's HardSlash are compatible to combo together, so we have a move where Liza grabs the centipede monstrosity and rolls it around in a series of grapples and throws, and just as Liza gets up, Annie steps in and whacks the thing with her laserknife.


Combos increase the damage of the attacks that make them up, ignore some measures of the target's defenses, and if the attacks cause status ailments, make those ailments more likely to strike.


Emelia gets squashed by the bug, running out of HP and losing a life point.


The creature then does an area attack against Emelia and Liza both, forcing Emelia to lose another life point. If your protagonist runs out of LP, it's game over -- gotta beat this guy fast before Emelia's corpse is too thoroughly violated.


A combination of HardSlash and RollingCradle every turn does the job nicely. The creature's body disappears, and its skull flies off in a panic.


How convenient.
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 08:42:34 AM »


This looks promising.


Ooh, glowy.

There's a slow clap!


Well, one intelligent, lean, mean fighting machine. Annie and Emelia came too, though.




End of Emelia's first chapter!
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2013, 08:44:59 AM »


Emelia, why are you back there?


:hurr:




Ducklips reappears!












Our intercessor chases Joker, but then...


Emelia passes out, like a champ.
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2013, 08:52:08 AM »




Dude, buy her dinner first.










Secret society = crime. Way to go, Emelia.


...that's... comforting...




Dude in shades: I KNOW you know how incompetent they are. An outlaw like Joker can't be caught by conventional means. That's why we're here. What are you going to do?
Emelia: I'll never forgive Joker. But what are you people after? Why are you following me? Are you also interested in Cube?

wtf is cube

Mr. Sunglasses: I guess I'd better fill you in. I'm sure you've heard a lot of crazies talking about ancient civilizations like Atlantis and Canberra. The truth is they don't know what they're talking about. They don't realize that Trinity is using their ancient technology today, or that the real ruins of those cultures are everywhere.
Emelia: What about Cube?

Yeah, what's the deal with Cube

Cool Shades Bro: We don't really know what this Cube thing is, but it seems like it can be used to produce energy more powerful than that of nuclear power. Joker wants this and we want to stop him from getting it.
Emelia: And that's why you approached me.
Deal With It: Will you work with us?
Emelia: Give me some time to think.
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2013, 09:04:43 AM »

There's a scene change, and we're given control to talk to people.


Like in Final Fantasy Tactics, sometimes the quote that comes first is the one on the bottom.

Emelia: Are you also interested in Cube?

I'm kind of interested in Cube, like what the fuck it is and why it's important. Shades' "It's a power plant" explanation left much to be desired.

Annie: Not really. I don't really care what they do. All I want is some quick cash. I've got a little sister and brother to take care of.
Emelia: Must be tough.
Annie: They're both in institutions. My sister is being adopted by a nice foster family. But, my brother's a trouble maker.
Emelia: But, I bet he's your favorite.
Annie: Yeah, that's true. I think we'll get along fine.

Character development! Surely this is important information that will be expounded upon later! (No it won't.)


I was nearly dead and I realized that the only person I could really count on was myself.

...and Roufas, I guess.


I guess so.


I know you are but what am I?

Liza: That's up to you. Never mind I got you out of Despair and Roufas saved you from Joker.

Yeesh. Passive-aggressive much?

Liza: That was just part of our plan.
Emelia: What is Roufas like?
Liza: He's one of the heads of Gradius. He's also the commander of the Koorong district. He's tough, good with guns and very smart. Are you worried about him?
Emelia: .. ..

For whatever reason, ellipses in this game are two periods long, and the writers tend to make up for it by doubling up.

I'm going to go with the idea that anytime an RPG character says nothing but ellipses, they're actually farting. Makes games better that way.

Especially Suikoden 2.


Can't think of any reason not to!

I mean, I can think of about a dozen reasons not to, but whatever.
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2013, 09:16:10 AM »


Emelia: Hi, I am Emelia.

Pretty sure everyone in the room knows that already, chief.

Roufas: First, you need to go through basic training. We've got to put some muscle on that skinny body of yours.
Emelia: Training? Nobody ever said anything about that.
Roufas: Well, you should have asked. Now, let's begin. Annie, you be her partner.
Annie: Don't worry, Emelia. It's a piece of cake.

Your training is a cake?


Oh.


You get into a fight! Sort of. It uses the combat engine, but you just take shots with a TrainingGun at one of the targets until you empty the clip.


"And not that I'm going to actually tell you this, but you have to go in whenever you want to advance the plot, too."


what are you even


We reappear in the sewers.


Sewers full of slimes.


Well, that was easy. Some basic training.




Roufas...stay alert, we might need you at any time.

Talk to Roufas again.


Roufas: Well, you still have a rune from Despair, don't you? You might as well collect the rest. Go to Devin to ask where you can find the other three.

Talk to Roufas again!


Roufas: Need credits, huh? This is the campaign fund.

Miss Tron, we found some money! Anyway, scene change.


Shouldn't you be asking Annie that?

Emelia: Yeah, I am OK. By the way, what's Annie like?
Liza: She looks open and easy going. But actually she's the complete opposite. She grew up in a very tough neighborhood. So, she knows how to take care of herself. She's hard-working and serious about her work, but never opens up to anyone. You probably understand her better because you're both the same age.
Emelia: You're really kind, Liza.
Liza: Me, kind? Everyone tells me I'm too bitchy.
Emelia: I don't know about what others say, I know you're kind.


Liza joins permanently. We head outside.


Annie: Did Roufas say something to you?
Emelia: No, he said I am free until the next mission.


Annie also joins. Might as well, right?
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 09:24:29 AM »


We head to the port. The world of Saga Frontier is split up into several different "regions", and it's hard to tell if they're tiny parts of one large world, different planets or planetoids, alternate dimensions, or whatever.


We hop a ship and fly/sail/dimensional rift to Devin.


I have an idea. Let's go that way.


...tacky.
















Yes, Devin is chock-full of psychics, fortunetellers, and diviners. Your fortunes can change which indicates how a few global variables are set in-game, but without a well-documented guide about which fortunes read from what parts of the game code, what that game code does, and where to go to exploit it, it's all kind of useless.




There's a shrine maiden here who can tell you about Time and Space magics, but we're here to ask about runes.


I like the Rabite statues out front, though.
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2013, 09:42:20 AM »


Yeah! Found it.

All right, I'll sum up what she tells you and more:

There are twelve schools of magic in the game, most of which come in opposing pairs. There's Light and Shadow magics, which are naturally opposed given their nature. The Arcane (tarot cards) and Rune (symbol) magics are an opposed pair. The Realm magic of the Magic Kingdom and the Mystic magic of Facinituru are an opposed pair. Mind magic opposes Evil magic. Time magic and Space magic oppose one another. And I guess by process of elimination Mirage and Life magic oppose one another. :shrug:

Only one character in the game will learn any Evil, Time, Space, Mirage, or Life magic, so we'll cover those when we meet those characters.

Humans and Mystics can buy spells from certain vendors -- like the one in the screenshot above, for Rune magic -- but can't know spells from two opposite schools at the same time. Furthermore, each school has several spells that aren't for sale. You have to develop those yourself, and to develop spells in a given school, you must have the "Gift" for that school.

Realm magic and Mystic magic automatically grant their gifts to people born in the Magic Kingdom and to the Mystic race, respectively. Eliminating those two plus the five single-character schools listed above, and that leaves Arcane, Rune, Light, Shadow, and Mind magics.

Characters who collect all four runes or all four tarot cards receive the gift for Rune or Arcane magic, respectively. That only covers characters who are present for all four collectibles for each one -- so in this game, only Emelia, Annie, and Liza can have the gift for Rune magic, since they were the only ones to collect the Freedom Rune.
The gift for Mind magic is distributed in the region called Kyo. Light and Shadow magic gifts can be attained in Luminous.

Anyway, this person tells us where to find the four runes needed to acquire the gift:



We head to Shrike.


There's a tomb on the bottom-left corner of the map that looks promising.




Roufas joins the party! He's not too shabby with swords, but excels with guns and magic. He starts with the gift of Mind magic, and a couple spells from that school.


We leave Shrike.




Rouge joins the party! He's a dedicated magician, as you may have guessed, but he's still better with a sword than Annie. And given how the game intrinsically links skill with magic and skill with guns, he's not a bad shot either. He starts with several Realm spells, and being from the Magic Kingdom, has the gift to develop more.


Luminous, as you may have deduced from the name, is the home of Light and Shadow magics.


The gift for Light magic is gained by completing a short maze.


There are no monsters, but you have to open the way forward by shining the beam of light on these wall symbols.


This means you can get this gift in about two minutes if you know the puzzle solutions.


Flip mirrors, move prisms...


There are seven scenarios. You'll be doing some sidequests in just about all of them.


In this puzzle, the beams of light pass through colored barriers that change their hue. Shining different colors on the door here results in different effects (including a couple monster fights, the only ones in the Labyrinth).


Only one worth worrying about is purple, though. Sanctuary Stones are like Tents from Final Fantasy, restoring your party to full. They're rare, though -- you'll only get one or two per scenario, and they don't transfer between scenarios.


White light opens the door, and we're done.


Everyone present has the gift for Light magic now.
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2013, 09:48:22 AM »


We need some better equipment, so we fly off t--


A roar!


How... distressingly organic.










I glossed over most of this conversation because it doesn't matter in the slightest. Yes, we're in Tanzer's body. Tanzer is a massive interdimensional beast who swallows ships on what appears to be a regular basis. Nomad has no effect on the game at any point, so nobody cares about the rest.




The guy in the karate gi and topknot takes us to a little village of sorts. Again, I'm skipping the dialog here because it doesn't matter in the slightest.






Fei-On, for that is this man's name, joins the party. He's the best martial artist in the game overall, but Liza has a bit of an edge based on exactly what skills each of them are likely to learn. He has better strength growth than anyone else we've seen yet, but is best with willpower and psychic.


Of course, Tanzer is full of monsters that also got swallowed and live in his bizarrely spacious interior ecosystem. Here we see a bird struggling to figure out how to cross a narrow gap to attack us.
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2013, 09:55:36 AM »


And I finally get a screencap of skill development! Humans are the only race who can do this -- sometimes when they choose to use a sword or martial art skill, a lightbulb appears over their heads and they "Spark" a new skill instead. Here Emelia's punch turns into Chop, which has a chance of blinding the target. Chop is then permanently added to Emelia's skill list, to be equipped or removed anytime.


The chance for sparking depends mostly on how hard the target enemy is. But here's the catch: everybody has a different list of what they're likely to spark -- that's what I mean when I say that so-and-so is good with swords or that this person is skilled at martial arts: they're likely to spark more skills, or more useful skills, than others.

For a specific example, Annie is only likely to spark six sword skills: Smash, BearCrush, Deflect, DeadEnd, RisingNova, and RosarioImpale. Emelia has talent to spark seventeen, and Liza twenty-two. Annie has natural talent with eleven martial arts abilities, Liza eighteen, and Fei-On twenty.

There's a remote chance that a character can spark a skill they're not talented with -- when I played through this scenario before this LP to check that the game actually worked, Annie sparked 2GaleSlash, a powerful attack that hits all enemies, before I finished collecting all the Runes. Emelia soon followed. Neither of them have the talent for those skills. But it's a remote chance -- while it's possible to turn anyone into a skilled swordsman or a comprehensive martial artist, you're better off playing to an individual's talents.
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2013, 10:01:53 AM »


Gun and magic skills work a little differently. They're learned after the battle is over, when your stats go up. If you used a gun, there's a chance of learning a new gun skill. If you cast any magic spells, there's a chance of learning a new spell of the same school you cast if you have the Gift for that magic.

Whether you learn a new spell depends on how hard the monsters you just fought were, some natural talent, and the difficulty of the spell. Spells that are available for purchase are easier to learn than the advanced magics you have to develop yourself, of course.

Humans can learn gun and magic skills, but Mystics can only learn magic. When I refer to a character's talent with magic and guns, I refer to a single statistic that effects both. It's essentially a scale of zero to eight, with my current party standing with Emelia at zero, Annie and Fei-On at one, Liza and Roufas each at six, and Rouge at eight.
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2013, 10:11:08 AM »


The maximum party size is five, and Fei-On makes six. He's still present, though -- he is the first member of an alternate party I can throw into battle instead. You get three of those, for a maximum of fifteen characters recruited. For any battle, the two parties who don't participate regain a bit of their WP and JP, which don't naturally regenerate (your HP is restored to full after each fight).

I do a lot of grinding and start running low on WP for Liza and JP for Rouge, so whenever I run into a single weak enemy I throw Fei-On in there to deal with it himself and let Liza and Rouge rest.




Anyway! Tanzer is a maze of sphincters and stuff. Get sucked into one, and you're spat out somewhere else.


After a bit of labyrinth-wandering (and a lot of grinding, I really wasn't ready for this part yet), I reach the end.


Um... okay.


Slide into a boss fight!




This is the slime pool Fei-On mentioned earlier. There are three BigSlimes and a HugeSlime, which are fond of using defense-lowering and HP-draining acid abilities. Hidden behind the HugeSlime is the Vitality Rune, which someone has to Touch to win the battle.

Did I mention that destroyed Slimes tend to reappear after each turn, and that your position on the field determines which monsters you can attack? No, Rogue can't target the HugeSlime with his Implode spell every turn unless he gets the BigSlime out of the way first. This battle is a slog.


As always, combos help -- but I don't have any area-of-effect or attacks-all-enemies skills yet, so I can't wear down all the enemies at once.


Ha ha! Victory (or Vitality, I guess) is within my grasp!


A slime shows up just to cockblock Rouge.






Liza jumps in to collect the Rune instead.


That little slime, crawling up to me in this screenshot? Automatically joins the party. He's a monster, which aren't very good overall -- and Slime isn't a very good one as monsters go, either.


HWWWAAARRRRF


Tanzer spits us back out at Koorong, but we have places to go. We head to Scrap, which is where we were headed when Tanzer swallowed us in the first damn place.
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Re: Plots to Make Fun Of: Seven of 'Em! -- Let's Play Saga Frontier!
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2013, 10:20:15 AM »


Namely to the Scrap Junk Shop, the second-most-famously broken thing in the game.


The price and quality of goods are based on your leader's HP. You can spend a flat price -- in this case 300 credits -- to take three items from the scrap pile in the back of the store.




It's randomly-determined what you get, and half the time you get a RepairKit (restores HP to mecs, which normal healing items and spells don't fix), a BrokenBumper (defense 1 accessory, useless), or a piece of Junk (defense 2 accessory, also useless).

So as it's intended to be used, the Junk Shop is a waste of money and time. Thankfully, it was coded in a hurry and not thoroughly tested, so it's buggy as hell.




Open up the Sell menu and the game will get very confused about what a certain set of internal flags mean.


If you offer to sell an item you actually have, this flag confusion changes the quality of goods available from the initial value based on your HP to a new value based on your current money. If you have more than 1800 credits, you'll be pulling the best gear off the shelves anytime you're not getting your 50% shot at utter crap.

And if you offer to sell anything on the sell list, you can go back and collect more items. Offering to sell a HyperionBazooka, down at the bottom, lets you go back and pick seven more things.


Yeah, that's much better than the Knife (or if I'm lucky, LaserKnife) I'd pull out of this pile.

You can repeat this bug exploit as many times as you want, having to only pay the initial buy cost for your first round of purchases. Better yet, the Junk Shop buys back those mostly-useless RepairKits, gradually increasing the value of the items you're getting as your cash holdings grow.


Yeah, that's the stuff.


Better still, almost all of the swords you can pick up from the scrap heap can be pawned off in Shrike, increasing your money further.

We don't have any decent swordsmen on the team, but everyone gets a couple LethalGuns  and ExcelShields, with a set of WarlordArmor, MirrorGlass helmets, and FeatherBoots as armor. Now we're set to take on Tanzer, no sweat!

...oh.

Right.
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