Gameplay Journal – 10/10/2020

Boy howdy 🤠

Today was a somewhat eventful day, but sadly I didn’t really do much progress… I was feeling a bit fatigued from Suikoden’s length (though it’s actually one of the shorter on the PlayStation, I’ve just been taking forever in the game haha), so I decided to play something else.

Final Crisis’ opening illustration, before the game opens for real.

Both of the games I played today had their versions hail from the NEC PC-88, much like Ys, which I beat a few days ago. We have Final Crisis: Terrestrial Defense Police by Group R204, published by Techno Grard. And Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu, published and developed by Nihon Falcom.

Final Crisis, stage 1.

First off was Final Crisis. A sublime shmup with smooth animation on the ship and fluid speed. Challenge level wasn’t too high but I only made it to stage 2: Plant, before quitting. The options flanking the ship on top and underneath reminded me of Zero Wing (a game I really don’t care about, memes or not) but thankfully it plays much better. One of the hidden gems in the J-PC sphere.

Xanadu, facing the wall of the first building in Level 1.

Xanadu was a Computer RPG by Nihon Falcom that helped inspire a lot of early JRPGs. Its gameplay opens in a village where you train your stats, then you head to the underground, solve the Copy Protection puzzle (iirc head to the bottom, turn left until the ladder is offscreen then turn right. Rightwards is an item store and leftwards is the entrance of the first area), and then it’s off to Level 1 you go.

You basically do what you’d do in any RPG, walk around killing enemies and gathering experience and money. You can buy weapons and armor, but guides advise to save money for food, healing and keys to explore the towers, which are the game’s main dungeons, as enemies are limited. Leveling up is used by storing experience in Temples, but you have to be careful about Karma, else Temples won’t accept you.

A good starting set of stats is roughly, 80 Strength, 100 Charisma (for low prices) and the rest can just be 10 or 20. So far I couldn’t find where to buy keys but if a picture of the Saturn version I saw was right, it seems to be the guild. I guess keysmith wouldn’t fit on the sign (game is in English) and “key” was too obvious.

Dragon Quest and Suikoden were not played today, but Dragon Quest, NES version or otherwise, is an easy game to beat, especially with fast forward. Emulators used are ePC8801MA with the PC8801-MC system bios, Dragon Quest used Nestopia Zombie Edition and Suikoden uses Mednafen’s PSX core.

Published by KobaBeach

Queer nerd who likes RPGs a bunch. Not rocket propelled grenades you dummy! Subpar at Japanese but plays JRPGs in Japanese, still.

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