Recent posts

Umihara Kawase / Re: Umihara Kawase now availab...
Last post by Alc - May 28, 2022, 12:47:12 PM
Quite a surprise to see the original in gaming news today! Anything that brings the games to a wider audience is always going to be good news in my books.

I think it's a real shame that it's not available outside of Japan, though - there's so little Japanese text in the game (and an already-existing translation hack as a guide) that it seems silly not to bother, but localisation is a peculiarly expensive business even putting aside technical concerns, so I guess it's not a surprise.
Umihara Kawase / Umihara Kawase now available o...
Last post by sol-alpha - May 28, 2022, 03:42:25 AM

So it only took around 5 years and 2 months but Umihara Kawase is finally available on Nintendo Switch!... On the Japanese Nintendo Switch Online service.

If you don't know it's pretty easy to get access to play games from the JP NSO apps, assuming you are already paying for an NSO subscription on your account that its region is set to somewhere outside of Japan, all you have to do is make a second Nintendo Account (I'm pretty sure you can't use the same email you used for your original Nintendo Account) and set that Nintendo Account region to Japan. You then make a second user profile on your Nintendo Switch and link the JP Nintendo Account to that second profile. You now have an account that can access the Japanese eShop which will allow you to download the NSO apps.

Because your Switch detects an account that is already paying for an NSO subscription, you do not need to pay for a Japanese version of the NSO subscription. Once you've downloaded the Super Famicom NSO app, you can access the app with your user profile, you do not need to use the Japanese user profile on your Switch to access it.

Now you can play Umihara Kawase on the Switch. What can you do differently on this game on the Switch compared to playing other versions?

1) Considering Umihara Kawase (SFC) never released outside Japan, you can now play the game with SNES controllers that were released for Nintendo Switch assuming you own one of them.

2) Rewind function: Playing any game on the NES/SNES NSO apps give you access to rewinding up to 30 seconds by pressing and holding the ZL and ZR button at the same time (those buttons are on the SNES controller for Switch). Since Umihara Kawase is the most difficult game in the series when it comes to its high rate of randomly spawning enemies, it's very useful to just rewind back a few seconds and avoid losing a life.


Could Umihara Kawase appear on the SNES NSO service outside Japan? Possibly. The fact that Panel de Pon got released on the NSO service outside Japan sets the precedent (especially considering that Nintendo of America in the past really screwed up the Panel de Pon IP thanks to putting the Tetris trademark on it in the West i.e. Tetris Attack).

Umihara Kawase / How the game could have sold b...
Last post by Princess Rescuer - May 18, 2022, 01:03:21 AM
Umihara Kawase is a fantastic game. Problem is, it's also unkind to new players, and one that very few will stick with to the point of mastery. The mechanics are more intuitive than they may seem, but the game does a poor job of teaching them. You will only succeed with lots of study or trial-and-error, and most players get turned off and pick a different game by then.

I cannot stress how important a good first level is. They can make or break a game. Many players are very impatient and have plenty of options, so you better make it count. Some of the most famous designers understand this.

In Super Mario Bros. 1, you start on the left end of the screen, facing right, with a bunch of negative space. This implies that you should go right. You're given a chance to see how the mushroom moves before you get it, and how it changes gameplay. The different pipe elevations teach you that holding A longer makes your jump higher (with no text) and being trapped in the pipes but being safe means you can try getting a running start and experiment with the game's physics. The hidden 1-up is placed in a part where many players will discover it by accident. Going in pipes and getting lots of coins tells you that you should try going in pipes. And this is all done without words.

The first stage of Mega Man X1 isn't just a good stage, but an excellent tutorial for new players who aren't that familiar with the conventions of video games. Subtle things like Mega Man X shooting on the main menu (which implies charging and shooting is possible), shots going through the legs of the slow-moving tall enemies (teaching you to jump and shoot), sliding down the wall (teaching you that wall sliding/wall jumping is possible), and suggesting that the player needs to find armor upgrades (when Zero shows up, easily defeats Vile, and he has armor while MMX does not).

Similarly, Sonic 1 turns what would be a boring tutorial into a setpiece. Just by watching him go, you are being fed valuable information about how the game works. If Sonic goes fast enough, it's not just cool, it's USEFUL. He can go through loops, smash through walls, fly off ramps, and becomes more powerful against enemies. This encourages you to go fast rather than play it cautious and safe.

Umihara Kawase, on the other hand? I have showed the game to plenty of players. They play it once, struggle to understand it, and say "that was cool, thanks for showing me" before leaving the game for good.

First off, the reaction to seeing the lesson videos is "Who's doing this"? After you press Start, you should be playing the game right? Players don't want to watch videos, they want to play the game and figure it out. And while I mentioned watching Sonic go as a positive, that's something the player figures out and earns before learning a bunch of things about the usefulness of going fast and why they gotta do it. The one lesson you get in Umihara Kawase doesn't cut it.

The first thing players struggle with is catching fish. They hit the fish once, which makes it dizzy, then they run into it and don't know what to do next. It's not obvious to anyone that hasn't read the manual or watched tutorials that you need to hook the fish AND run into it to catch and eliminate it. They also struggle with urgency- a respawning enemy will almost always get them before they figured out where to go next.

Another thing is one of the game's most useful techniques- the Backsling. Players need to go up, but how? Almost every player thinks they need to press up to take them upwards, but they actually need to press down while holding the hook button. This isn't self-explanatory for most players. How will pressing down help them upwards? Halfway through the first level, Field 0, and the game has already thinned the potential player base quite a bit. This is bad, and this is probably how it's always been.

How would I fix this? Here's an idea- on Field 18, there's a conveyor belt that pushes an extra life off the field, and you can get it if you're fast enough. What if something like that were in the first level? The conveyor would only be on top of the surface, and not on the wall next to it. There would be a pit underneath. You would attach yourself to the wall, then fling yourself on to the conveyor after the extra life falls and you press down to try to get it, missing the chance but being flung upwards. That's how a player might be taught that pressing down flings you up- and next time, if they do it fast enough, they'll have enough time to get the extra life.

For enemies, you have an enemy that's either trapped in a shallow pit (meaning you can still hit it but it turns around) or on a small platform (meaning it can't get to you) and you can get it from a safe distance, catch it, and have a chance to see that enemies respawn before you continue, being given a decent chance to run away fast enough.

These are good design ideas to subtly teach new players about the game, and neither of them involve taking control away from players with video lessons, text, or having to read manuals. The rest of the game is a masterpiece that deserves to be played by more people, and a better first impression could have sold it.

How would you have designed the game better?
Myastere -Ruins of Deazniff- / Re: Myastere: Ruins of Deaznif...
Last post by KawaseFan - May 08, 2022, 02:26:09 PM
Quote from: CyanideBlizzard on April 21, 2022, 08:53:46 PM
If I died to something, it never felt like I was cheaply hit.  With the exception of the bees.  Even with 1.05, I'm surprised they're still as big of nuisance as they are.

oh god the bees :(

Hoping to replay this at some point - based on the timing of my last post in this thread compared with the news posts on Steam, I would've played version 1.02, so it'd be nice to check out the updates.
Off-Topic / Pokemon: Complete multiple Dip...
Last post by Princess Rescuer - April 22, 2022, 01:56:52 AM
I am an experienced strategy guide writer. Though I must admit, my guides have niche appeal at best. They are guides for games not many people care about. Umihara Kawase games are mainstream compared to them. Even my Goldeneye guide is for an obscure difficulty that hardly anyone cares about. But today, I have a treat. A guide that will help you live the dream- to Catch Em All. And get a Diploma. MULTIPLE Diplomas even! This guide is inspired by a dual input TAS (of Red and Blue) and a joke in the Honest Trailer (again, for Red and Blue). While it doesn't necessarily have to be for Red and Blue, that is what inspired this. It's time to take the meme to the extreme and meet its full potential!

Trading is a feature intended to promote social activity and teamwork among Pokemon players. Both games in a generation are intentionally missing Pokemon in order to encourage trading, with the goal of getting exclusive Pokemon. There's one problem though- like most multiplayer features in a game, trades are almost NEVER mutually beneficial. 1 player gets something out of it, the other player is worse off. It's a feature that, outside of idyllic collectivist rural villages in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Iran (heh) where kohais are eager to do the bidding of and please their senpais, has most likely ended more friendships than it started. Especially in individualistic, self-interested countries like the USA, Canada, Quebec, Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, England, New Zealand, Australia, and Russia (heh), where every player has one goal in mind- to be the very best of the best of the best! (At least according to the creators of Pokemon). So trading, the efficient and social method for being prepared for any challenge and completing the Pokedex (which grants players the Diploma). You will be prepared for anything- the Elite Four, postgame challenges like the Symbols in Emerald or the Black Tower from Black 2 are no match for you! You are prepared for anything!

Due to Nintendo handhelds being extremely popular, and region-free, getting the equipment is the easy part. You should easily find two machines- two GBA SPs, two Regular DSes, two 3DSes, whatever you need- on the cheap. Depending on the generation, you need one of each copy of the generation, be it Gold and Silver, Diamond and Pearl, Black 2 and White 2, whichever one you want to excel at. And a Link Cable, if you're playing on an older system. If you're rich, or if the systems are dirt cheap (which they should be if you're retro-collecting them), this should be the easy part. Be sure to get enough chargers as well. If the games are GBA or older, bear in mind that you can also utilize the Game Boy Player if you don't want to risk running out of battery and losing progress. If you are poor (or just thrifty), DS and older are also region-free. Trading must be done between two copies of the same region, so you can import two of the cheaper/cheapest ones. Knowing more languages certainly helps. You probably shouldn't attempt this challenge if you don't like being too powerful- as you can also access non-Rare Candied Level 100 Pokemon that can destroy everything with relatively little effort.

Normally when trading, you need to negotiate and try to make it sound worth it. You don't need to with this method- because in this playthrough, you are the kohai, dilligently and productively doing the legwork for your senpai. By buying multiple of the same machine and starting, you have willingly and eagerly agreed to the servitude and bidding, for rewards which your senpai will reap. You will venture, you will catch and level up all of the Pokemon in your version, and then agree to the most disadvantageous trades imaginable for cannon fodder beginning Pokemon to hand your powerful Pocket Monsters over to your senpai- which is completely okay and not at all abusive or enslaving- because the senpai on the other file is also you!!! Now you will play the other copy- and trounce the game with your hopefully very powerful Pokemon you got from your Kohai's gratuitous obedience and generosity in order to easily catch your version's Pokemon- and good thing too- because the roles are about to switch between you and the other you.

You will repay your former Kohai, now enjoying the ease and luxury of your servitude (and getting their rewards sooner thanks to their hard work from before that directly benefited you so you can can shower the other you with the other version't best and most exclusive Pokemon as well with no negotiations or battling-for-keeps or anything inconvenient like that if you were to go outside and hunt down any strange player who happened to still play the old favorite you prefer.

There's no need to "make it up" to anyone else or be "fair" to them- when it's just you, friendships with yourself that border on indentured slavery are perfectly consensual and permissible. As long as you enjoy hard work, you will have no reservations going on lengthy quests and adventures in any Pokemon region, begrudgingly- no- cheerfully toiling away with the most tedious tasks and challenging battles with gigantic and powerful beasts who would swiftly gobble you for breakfast, enjoying the meager rewards of luxuriously bequeathing your spoils onto your other self, happy to bask in their brilliance thanks to how much more powerful you've made them. It is worth it- as you switch roles and make their job of braving the world and showering you with foreign specialties that much more pleasant.

Now that you are such a cool, amazing, brilliant, genius, productive, victorious champion, you have earned yourself not one, but two Diplomas. You deserve it- your prowess to work smarter AND harder has netted you two of something most kids would be ecstatic with only one of. Equality, compromise, negotiation, logic, all a race to the bottom. Your galaxy brain is far too spacious for such simple and obvious solutions. You are more interesting, deep, multi-faceted, smart, and powerful than that. Rather than being a people-pleasing simpleton, you have shrewdly purchased multiple machines when one would satisfy- and employed two opposite-attracting personalities to do so. You have studied and learned to be both the servant, extraordinarily hardworking, thorough, with boundless generosity to ease and please any superior. You tell them you are not worthy, but indeed you are worthy. Worthy of being the main source, the prime wellspring, of your world's quality. You are, at the same time, the master, whose eyes will do more work than your hands, yet commands levels of power and control that moves mountains and changes destinies. You absorb the finest gifts and the most luxurious treasures- and everyone is happy when you do- because you end up using it for great purposes as well. Such relationships would alert the authorities if practiced with another person- yet they emanate beams of radiance and a masterwork of cognition when linked together in the same mind, the way two machines link together to facilitate trades advantageous to a single side.

But wait! If you are even wealthier and more ambitious (or just foolishly optimistic) there is even one more method! Get more than two of the same machine, one of one version, and as many of the other version as other machines remain. You may even require just two machines, and numerous cartridges of the other version. The same kohai-and-senpai dynamic applies- though this time, the unique cartridge is the senpai while all cartridges of the other version are all kohais, suiting the interests of the senpai file (all are you as before). What, you ask, is the purpose of more than one kohai file? Why is it superior to a single other one? In the event of a nonlinear game or specialized team, this method ensures all the trades with the senpai file will all be optimal.

When it comes time to feed all kohai files, the senpai file's team of even more powerful (with less/no downsides/sacrifices) will be able to collect as many exclusives for one (or as many as needed) kohai files- and it will be even easier! If the postgame or toughest challenges of one particular version compared to another is much more challenging for you, make sure the unique one-cartridge version is the one you struggle with and will be the master copy (in more ways than one) getting the best of everything. If you've ever wanted to trounce the daunting Gen 5 Hard Mode, for example, this is the way to do it. If you struggle with Pokemon and can't be bothered to play the game optimally by learning everything there is to know, this one-sided trading method can be abused to victory.
A year later, I've finally gotten the chance to revisit Myastere.  I started a whole new file from scratch, and this was with the 1.05 version on the Switch.

I have to say, I do think there's something really special here.  With the way you can whip around the levels and get stealth kills, the game can be incredibly fun.  Elements of it very much have that Umihara Kawase feel good moment when you hit that perfect wire shot, albeit to far lesser difficulties.  Those were easily my favorite moments of the game.  Being able to find the quickest way from point A to B while zipping around the stages.  Nothing ever felt cheap in that aspect either.  If I died to something, it never felt like I was cheaply hit.  With the exception of the bees.  Even with 1.05, I'm surprised they're still as big of nuisance as they are.  That, and the tentacle creature that splinters off when you kill it.  Thankfully, they're few and far between.  The game works extremely well on a smaller screen as it does a larger one, and when everything clicks?  My gosh, I lose track of time playing it.

I'm inbetween on the visual fidelity.  Going for an underground location allowed them to be more generous with their simplicity in level design, but there's definitely an inconsistency with quality when it comes to our heroine, our stages, and our enemies and bosses.  While I really liked the idea behind some aspects, such as the knights/paladins and the Deazniffs, seeing things like bees, pigs, and weird monster blobs created such a tonal clash.  It felt like there were creatures from three different games in there.  The knights were well explained, and the monsters are explained too but they just felt so out of place design wise.  I did enjoy them, and the challenge of figuring out the best way to beat them, overall though. 

As for the script?  I completely understand that Studio Saizensen is extremely small, and thus their resources are rather limited as to what they can and cannot do.  Even with that in mind, I'm in disarray that they've left the state of the translation like that.  Last year, I was hopeful that they'd look into either touching it up or hiring someone to come in and update it.  It would be an additional expense, but considering that Myastere is far more story driven and focused than anything UK related it desperately needed it.  Sadly, they've done nothing with it.  and I can't help but to fear that's only going to reflect negatively on them with Western audiences down the road.  It speaks a lot to a company when your indifference on their understanding of a story and the characters within falls on deaf ears.  and surely they must, because Myastere has taken a pounding and mostly because of that.  I remembered the translation being bad, but it wasn't until I replayed it (and played more of it) that I realized how utterly atrocious it is.  and it breaks my heart because so much work has gone into improving things within the game, yet the most glaring flaw of all has been left.

Myastere reminds me of a band.  Their promotional EP showcases some promises, but is very much rough around the edges.  I certainly wouldn't want it to be something that replaces Umihara Kawase, but I also feel like Saizensen gained a ton of knowledge from working on this title.  Knowledge that could be put to use to create a sequel that improves upon everything from the first one.  I mentioned this before, but I was hoping for a game of this styling when Fresh was being discussed.  and this didn't disappoint in that aspect, but it really did in several others.  Yet I very much enjoyed myself with this title.  Because when it clicks?  My gosh, it's so much fun.
Off-Topic / Cosmic Race Pro Tips
Last post by Princess Rescuer - March 21, 2022, 06:04:28 PM
Cosmic Race is an infamously maligned PS1 game. It's one of the earliest ones, coming out in January 1995, being the first game outside of the launch library to come out for the famous console. Since then, it's become an easy target for negative reviewers, who make easy jokes about the unusual controls, then proceed to point out how long and tedious the titular cosmic races are. Indeed, the tracks could have used some editing, but despite being an "asset flip", it's still a game that required at least some effort to make. And it's not nearly as horrible as many other games on the system. It's certainly playable and has a nice visual style and soundtrack. Unlike many other PS1 games, it's also short.

In Cosmic Race, you do not accelerate with the X button. Instead, you use R1. In order to turn, you use the D-Pad to turn and the face buttons to rotate, so you're turning by pressing a D-Pad direction and a corresponding face button together.

There are five different vehicles to choose from- a motorcycle, a robot, a car, a propeller, and a flying van. Although you may think top speed is what matters (and it does when it comes to time trials) you want a balanced vehicle that turns well too for safety. The problem with the fast vehicles is, it can be difficult to steer them out of the way of incoming obstacles and turns. You don't have unlimited chances like in Mario Kart- there are limits on both the damage you can take or the course out timer. The slow speed of some of the vehicles doesn't necessarily harm you when you have the ability to more easily fly low towards the magnet road, making you go much faster.

The first world is a typical well-vegetated "grasslands" type world, with lakes and mountains. These races are pretty linear, so they won't be too difficult. Use this as an ample opportunity to learn how to stay low and move up and down when needed. Also learn how to prepare or react when things suddenly appear and you have to go up to evade them. The draw distance is very bad in this game, so get used to it in World 1. Your focus should be on speed, which you gain by staying low to the ground and making the most of the magnet road. Enough speed will give you a generous lead which will allow you to slow down when the goal is near. Not only can you miss the goal, but turning around to get it puts you "off course" and takes away those precious course out seconds. Being well in the lead buys you some time to slow down and approach the goal more carefully. Also, when you finish a course, you are presented with some menu options- one of which lets you save and another lets you repeat the race you just finished. This may seem unappealing, but I suggest replaying some of the races in the first world to get you used to the controls, draw distance, mechanics, and the length of most of these courses. You might not be motivated if you haven't built up the patience. In worlds 2 and 3, the tracks get much longer, and you may not be motivated to continue if you haven't gotten used to how long they are. You need to have gotten into a state of mind where the track length doesn't bother you and you don't mind memorizing long, boring tracks. If that doesn't sound appealing to you, then just do repeat playthroughs and play consistently.

In World 2, you have new things to contend with: currents, big leaves that get in the way, and sharper turns. This is quite a step up from World 1. Here's how to deal with it: for the currents, go low to the ground and come back up. For the leaves, go around them not above. For the sharper turns, cut some corners. It's okay to waste some course out seconds on them. In one of the tracks, the goal is behind a rock, so slow down before approaching it.

World 3 is a lava world. You will have to do lots of moving around in this world. Not just turns, but up and down for all the pyramids and lava flows. It's generally fine to stay high since the ground will raise up to reach you and maintain your speed. Focus on survival over speed. There isn't much risk of losing these races once you've done them a few times. Most likely, you'll bump into flying objects and run out of energy. Stay out of their way and focus on cautious progress. Don't lose your way with the turns either- the lava world is visually dense and it's difficult to find your way back.

You're almost finished! The final world is a space world. It's a nicer place with better music, but you still have some difficulties to contend with. There are sharper turns than ever, and if you go too far out of course, it's nearly impossible to find your way back in. Not only that, but the short length of World 4 courses means your lead opportunities are slimmer than before. Just memorize these courses. Have a good balance between speed and being prepared for strange turns. These tracks are short, don't have many obstacles, and are at the end of the game, so just don't give up. And that's it- you can now watch the credits. That game wasn't so bad, was it?
Off-Topic / Goldeneye Dark License to Kill...
Last post by Princess Rescuer - February 23, 2022, 11:34:58 PM
In 2013, a popular gaming YouTuber named WhoIsThisGit made a video called "The Most Powerful Characters in Gaming Ever #12. In it, he went over two levels featuring extraordinarily durable characters in Goldeneye- Alec Trevelyan in Cradle, and Baron Samedi in Egypt, first going over how strong they are in the 00 Agent difficulty (the hardest regular difficulty) and then the special 007 mode with a new challenge where you drag the red crosshair all the way to the right of the screen while holding A to ensure that each of the four stats, Enemy Health, Enemy Damage, Enemy Accuracy, and Enemy Reaction time. The former two can go up to 1000% while the latter can only go up to 100%. Still, this creates the most deadly enemies in the game. After decades of James Bond audiences used to him easily taking down powerful bad guys and their minions, DLTK is an interesting role reversal.

In particular, Git greatly struggles with both levels, mostly Cradle. On both 00 and DLTK, he uses Invincibility. He has a sped-up video where he chases Alec around for nearly 20 minutes dual-wielding Magnums, only able to barely scratch him on every pass. Adam Bozon, earlier that year, has proof of being able to beat this challenge, without cheats, in less than a minute. Git would probably be convulsing on the ground if he saw it. And in (January) 2020, Eric Liikala improved the time even further with a new strategy that makes killing Alec with enemy grenades from below the control console room more consistent.

DLTK is a challenge that began to be taken seriously in 2004 (or earlier). Since then, all 20 levels have been completed on DLTK. Despite how popular of a game Goldeneye is, however, very few people care about it. Only 11 people have completed Train at the time of writing. Despite how much more there is to improve and how much freer the WRs are, DLTK remains unpopular because levels take longer, attempts can end with a death very easily, and well, it's boring. The levels on this difficulty require much more commitment.

DLTK has completely disappeared from James Bond games since. Even The World is Not Enough didn't have it, with 00 Agent as its highest difficulty. Perfect Dark did have its own DLTK, but with compromises. First off, in that game, headshots and unarmed beatdowns are instant eliminations. And there's also the fact that the pause system is more convenient... TOO convenient, allowing you to pause, unpause, pause, unpause, pause, unpause, pause, unpause to line up shots easily and with little urgency. I'm not even certain the upcoming remaster on the Switch and Xbox Series consoles will include it- despite the fact that it's an insignificant mode to the overall 100% completion and it was already included in the original. Maybe the XBLA one from 2007 just wasn't finished. Or maybe they'll patch it back in if it's not included in the initial release?

DLTK is only possible on all levels because of the dated, crappy AI, who you trick and exploit in order to win. Normally, you run past enemies or tear through them, but in DLTK, each enemy is a threat, so you must outsmart them. Stun-locking them with Slaps is one idea, but it leaves you vulnerable to an attack from one of his mates. Instead, you need to utilize blockades, explosions, throwing knives, enemy gunfire, and anything else you can use to your advantage without wasting too much ammo. And you will need to be VERY patient.

One way to get better is to practice with Enemy Damage at 0%. Or incrementally increase the Enemy Health and Damage until you're at 1000 at your own pace, then keep 1000 once you're capable of completing that level with it. Another way to practice is with cheats that enable weapons not available in the level, to get through it more easily and teach you things about enemy placement and behavior, which you gradually improve out of.

For example, in Bunker 2, you have the example of using barriers and explosions to your advantage. The jail that you are captured in is actually your friend. You can open it and the enemies can't, so you can throw knives at them from behind the safety of the barrier and they won't be wasted- you can pick them back up again. They won't become more dull either. Later on in the stage, you can utilize some stealth to trick guards into herding themselves together in a room full of explodable things by firing at the ground to create a bunch of noise, which they are alerted by. You don't even have to open the door, you can just shoot through the window!

Explosions do lots of damage and have good range. It'll take 10 well-placed headshots with any other weapon to kill a DLTK enemy. Not only does that require precise aim and take too long, that's too many bullets wasted, and you are in real danger of running out in DLTK mode. Instead, you need to learn how to lead enemies into explosions, farm grenades off of them, and even run right past them so far, they'll lose track of you. If you can complete DLTK levels without resorting to any Slaps, you're doing it right.

The enemies also have 100% Enemy Accuracy, so you need to learn how to mitigate it entirely. Enemies have aim and eyesight so poor, they can't see through barriers and even above open pits. Use this to your advantage. In addition to that, enemies will also have a hard time seeing you if you're crouching past them in an area full of obstacles. You most likely will have to deal with enemies at some point as they will follow you, but you can at least use this to gain a more advantageous position on them.

The Enemy Reaction Time? Don't worry- it's pretty glacial. Just stun-lock them with gunfire whenever other enemies are gaining or you have nothing else. Though there are some enemies with body armors on them already. They won't be stunned or thrown by explosions at all. You need to hide behind walls and make sure they can't get clear aim at you. Keep your distance so they can't reach you that easily. Make sure nobody is behind you. Make the most of explosives on these enemies as well, as they can at least clear the extra health granted by the body armors, even if it isn't visually represented that way.

Another thing is Control Styles. Use glitches involving Control Styles to your advantage (such as shooting in cutscenes). If you are more comfortable using the C-Buttons (On the N64 version, don't know if the Series will change this) then use them to move, then change the control style in the pause menu back to one that uses the Control Stick when you need to aim. After you're done aiming, change it back. You can also utilize partially opening doors and then quickly closing them to get some easy shots in, and the enemies won't bother doing something about it after seeing you there (because they likely can't and are dumb).

It will take you hundreds of hours to master DLTK. I don't just mean beat each level; I mean MASTER them. Learn plenty about the game's quirks and exploits, as well as polishing up your precision, and get the most optimized times you can muster.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing in any DLTK session isn't success- it's LEARNING. Experiment and fail faster. Try things that have never been done before.

If you have any questions or problems, contact an experienced Eliter on the subject. I would recommend Adam Bozon, Eric Liikala, Bryan Bosshardt, David Veach, or David Cliff. You may be able to find someone else... or keep on plugging away at figuring it out on your own.
Off-Topic / Re: (Negative) Lasting Through...
Last post by Princess Rescuer - February 23, 2022, 05:28:46 PM
For me, it's less about the general consensus of "quality" and more about ownable, finished games for cheap that won't rely on things like Cloud Saves, at least a few of which will be good and up your alley.

I've found that it's not even classic games, or even hidden gems, that are preferable to the prices and rigors of modern gaming- even games with bad reputations and few defenders are preferable. For me, at least. I'm also FANTASTIC at coming up with new challenges and techniques to REALLY stretch a game out. I don't even NEED "long JRPGS". Though there are quite a few good ones that don't get enough attention and should be more than enough.

One HUGE problem, especially closing out with Nintendo, is the increasing reliance on "online" and subscriptions. The newly announced game in what is in my opinion the PREMEIRE Nintendo franchise, Wii Sports, will focus more on the online. In fact, the online option on the main menu is the biggest. It's a subtle change, but a bigger emphasis on the online mode hints at the desire for more subscriptions and less ownership. It's the perfect planned obsolescence where they can pull the plug on it as soon as the next console's been out for a while and enough people have bought it, like what they're doing for the Wii U's eShop (which I LOVED). The Switch VC is invariably the worse service and it's unlikely many of my favorites will make it back. It may not even have Turbografx-16. And then there's the fact that Nintendo's online is slow, laggy, and full of disconnects, and they expect you to pay for Cloud Saves which are more volatile and less ownable. Why bother?

When they announced that Mothers 1 and 2 were coming to VC, I ordered a Mother 1 cartridge. I own it and I will do the same for the other two on reproduction carts. I have it for when I'm interested.
Off-Topic / Hydlide Special Permadeath%
Last post by Princess Rescuer - February 23, 2022, 04:55:26 PM
Hydlide. Ugh, HYDLIDE! It sounds so wretched and foul, like you're puking as you say it. HYDLIDE!

At least that's the impression one would get from the general consensus of Hydlide on the internet. This comes from a lot of it being from vocal Western gamers who got the game in 1989 rather than 1986, when it was already greatly dated compared to its contemporaries, especially The Legend Of Zelda 1 and 2.

There's a rumor going on around this small forum that I am hard to please. Not really. I've actually stuck up for some of the most maligned games ever in the past. It's not that my standards are high, it's that my tastes do not match most other people. Case in point, the Famicom game Hydlide Special. In North America on the NES, the game is just "Hydlide", though the Famicom version is Hydlide Special in order to differentiate it from the MSX version. I will be referring to this one specifically, using the "Special" title, the way modern Zelda fans add the subtitle "The Hyrule Fantasy" to Zelda 1 to make it more specific, or add "64" to the titles of N64 games.

One serious issue I have is not living up to my name enough with my tastes. I'm guessing it's because plenty of these games are already so popular as to not need my input. Hydlide Special is... still a popular game. Popular enough for NES cartridges to be cheap and Famicom cartridges to be dirt cheap. It's mainstream by my standards anyway. Probably one of the most mainstream (in East Asia at least) games I like, surpassed only by the likes of Wii Sports. It is not a "Zelda clone" but rather the entire Zelda series is a "Hydlide clone".

In Hydlide Special, you control Jim, one of the weakest characters in any action-adventure game. While he is a weakling (and a coward who's bad at fighting, which we'll get into), I find him far more compelling to play as compared to the overwrought power fantasies of today, and even ones that would come soon after. Having a main character who dies easily, even at max level, and doesn't have the most game-breaking abilities ever is REFRESHING. And completing the Permadeath challenge with such a vulnerable character, which I'll get into, is immensely empowering in ways that the game-breaking abilities in so many other games could only fantasize of being.

Jim's main weakness comes from the fact that he is terrible at face-to-face conflicts. Facing enemies head-on will most likely result in them biting off a large chunk of Jim's small, oh-so-precious amount of health, which he needs to stand in grass to slowly regenerate. The best way to deal with every enemy is to stab them in the back. I'm guessing that before Varalys's invasion of Hydlide, Jim was probably not a noble hero and more likely part of a craven criminal gang, which is where he learned such cheap and dishonorable battle tactics. When running behind an enemy and attacking, they are defenseless to counter him and will go down quick. You don't even need the back, you can just attack from the side. This is the strategy for every enemy in the game, regardless of strength, and given how tight some of the environments are, it's not always simple to do.

In addition to that, Jim also has five magic abilities, unlocked when he has enough magic power to use them. The most useful ability, by far, is Turn, which spins enemies around and sends them in the opposite direction. It sounds like the most useless ability in gaming history, but in this game, making enemies face the back so you can easily attack them unhindered is very important. It's the first magic ability you unlock and it's the least costly by far, which adds to its usefulness. The others are purely situational and there are two, Wave and Fire, that only need to be used once in an entire playthrough.

Despite the aforementioned problems, Hydlide is actually quite an easy game to beat normally. You have the greatest power of all: in-game savestates. Not only that, they're BETTER than normal savestates because they can reset enemy and item positions. They're quick and easy, and you can use them an unlimited amount of times. The only danger is hitting "Save" when you meant to hit "Load" or in reverse. Other than that, they're a potent tool for greatly reducing the game's overall difficulty.

That's why the new challenge, Permadeath%, which I'm not sure has been completed by anyone, is so compelling.

In Permadeath%, there is only one rule- no use of the Save command and no Passwords. No other changes than that, except that trivial challenges have now become sources of grave danger. Your health drains shockingly fast in battles, so one careless mistake can end your run. The game has suddenly gone from Agent to Dark License to Kill. It can be outright unfair sometimes as you can go into a cave, or a screen transition in a cave, and be cornered by monsters that eat you for breakfast. This can even happen with the final boss.

First off, un-plug your Audio cables and leave nothing except the Video cable in. Play the music or podcasts of your choice. If you are streaming the game, now's the opportunity for your viewers to Song Request.

Princess Ann of Hydlide has been turned into three fairies, rendering her ability to rid Hydlide of Varalys's armies of monsters completely useless. It's up to you to rescue all three. The first one can be gotten within seconds of starting, provided you search the correct tree. You should wait until you're at a high enough level to use Flash though. Also, you need to find a Cross in a treasure chest, which you will need later. It's out of the way, but out in the open and unguarded. You can now begin fighting slimes. I recommend grinding on the strip to the right of the screen where the Fairy 1 Trees are. It's small and manageable, with no rocks or Kobolds, not to mention there is only healing grass and no trees. Now, you're not completely restricted in what you can do. You do have the option to make the grinding much faster if you're capable of going into the Wisp Cave, collecting the Sword upgrade, and getting back out. Problem is, you'll need to be quick and have memorized the layout of the underground sub-area, as it's completely dark except for you and the enemies. I personally find it safer for players new to this game (and this challenge, basically everyone) to grind to Level 3 before battling the Vampire and then getting the Sword from the Wisp Cave.

As far as the Vampire goes, he's pretty simple. You should have the Cross by now, making him possible to defeat. Just wait and bait, and have a Turn at the ready to make him vulnerable. He should go down in a few hits. You'll have the Lamp, one of the most useful items. Before the Wisp Cave, you might want to go to the Armor Cave and get the Shield. You will need to kill 3 Lady Armors to get a Shield, which will make the Wisp Cave (and the rest of the game) much easier. You don't have to get them all in one go- you can kill one, go back out the bottom right exit you came in, and regenerate your health. If you're boxed in on the bottom right by a Gold Armor, you can leave the screen with the Armor Cave hole and come back to reset it. Make sure you kill 3 Lady Armors in a row- killing one other enemy will make you have to start over. Now for the Wisp cave. You have a tight and linear labyrinth to go through, meaning your dodging options are limited. In general, run in and out as quickly as possible and regenerate enough magic for a Turn in case you need it.

Now that you have the Sword, you can relax a bit more. Gain a few more levels on Zombies and use the Key to get the Jewel. Go into the Roper maze and make it into the cave with Gold Armors and Lady Armors. Defeat enough Gold Armors to make the Ring appear- one of the three items to make Varalys appear. You need more levels, in fact now is your opportunity to reach Level 9, which you will do by battling Eels. Wait in the water until an Eel comes up. And remember Turn is your friend. Once you're at the max level, you should have a Cross, a Lamp, a Sword, a Pot, a Key, a Jewel, a Ring, and a Shield. They Key will be in one of several chests, and you can't load savestates until the key is in the chest you start right next to, so save that one for later.

Now that you're nearly done, it's time to collect the Fairies. Fairy 1 is south of the starting screen. Search the trees and use Flash if the Wasps get too much. Fairy 2 is trapped in a random moving tree on one screen. It's obviously much safer to get it when you're this powerful. Fairy 3 is only obtained by defeating both Wizards on one screen with a single Wave, which shouldn't be too hard. You can stand in the canal or the land to the right of the canal to aim uninhibited. If you miss, you can just regenerate. Now you will fight the Dragon, one of the most surprisingly chill moments of the run. Run up, hit him, retreat, regenerate, repeat. After that, use Fire to burn the tree next to Varalys's Castle and go inside to break the Grave, which will drain the water in the water corridors. One more item to collect, a Ruby, and you're ready to battle Varalys.

Varalys is definitely intense in a Permadeath run, but not insurmountable. Even though you're probably desperate for this run to be over, take it slow and steady. Flash the enemies away, hit him a few times in defense mode, then go to back through the upper left enterance to regenerate health. This is a safe zone where no enemies can reach you. You are completely safe here because the enemies are so dumb. The Dragon gave you a Medicine, but try as hard as you can to keep it. Don't go into attack mode to get the battle done faster. Be as risk-averse as possible until you win.

After that, leave the TV and the Famicom on and don't press any button. Leave the game on the Congratulations screen with the reformed Princess Ann of Hydlide giving you congratulatory bows of gratitude for as many days as you like to remind yourself of your magnificent achievement.