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03 September 2011 @ 07:01 pm
Well, the summer's drawing to a close, and so this community will kind of drift into a dormant state. Until perhaps next summer, or if interest picks up, anytime before then!

I might still post some retro game related ramblings here or on my personal journal, depending on my mood. Every once and a while I might pop in to suggest a rom to play or something like that. For example, I'll probably whip up a little post about Sweet Home, a wonderful NES game to play around Halloween!

This community will always be open for anyone wanting to post about the games I uploaded before (Terranigma, Live A Live) or for suggesting other roms for people to try out. Peace out, for now!
14 August 2011 @ 09:36 pm

If you thought there wouldn't be any Flintstones-style cars in this chapter, YOU WERE WRONG.

Meanwhile, our heroes spy dinner...

... or maybe they're the ones becoming dinner? Oshiiiii

... aww :3

You gotta work to earn your keep. It's the same back then as it is now! More or less.

Even civilizations without spoken language know what a Y button is. Obviously.

You press said mystical button to sniff around and find your prey. Following the scent and hunting down some food is your job at this point in the chapter.

... just try not to think about it too much. They didn't have the luxury of playing fetch with them back then. At least you get to listen to the amazing battle music.

Delicious, non-specific meat.

That's a sneak peek at the prehistoric chapter of Live A Live! Once you get a bit further, things start to get very interesting. This part was just covering the basics and introducing you to combat, pretty much.
04 August 2011 @ 09:46 pm
Here's the rom!

So what's Live A Live?

LaL is an offbeat RPG developed by Squaresoft in 1994. It was never released outside of Japan, but thanks to the awesome folks at Aeon Genesis, we can experience this game in English!

Live A Live consists of separate stories spread across several chapters. These different scenarios are rather unique settings for RPGs to be set in. For example: the caveman chapter contains no dialogue, since, well, language hadn't been invented yet. The ninja chapter is essentially Metal Gear Solid in RPG form: you have a choice of killing as many (or as few) guards as you see fit to complete your mission, and much of the chapter involves avoiding being detected.

The game is also deceptively innocent on the surface. Sure, those wacky chapters sound like fun, but underneath the surface lies some of the most unexpected, profound twists and turns you'll ever see.

What's the gameplay like?

Live A Live has a grid-based battle system. Your character can freely move about, and when you're ready to attack, you select one from a list and target any enemies in range. If you stand still, the enemy won't attack, but for each step you take, the enemy's "ATB gauge" will fill, and eventually they'll gain an opportunity to strike back. It sounds complicated, but it's actually pretty simple to figure out. As long as you remember that you can't just wander around the battlefield aimlessly unless you want to get smacked, you'll be fine.

The game isn't terribly difficult and most chapters don't even allow you to grind, let alone require it. The one thing you should keep in mind is that only the items/equipment you have on your main character will carry over to the final chapter, upon completing that character's scenario.

What chapter should I start with?

The caveman chapter, despite being somewhat offbeat, is actually one of the more "standard RPG-like" scenarios. The space chapter has almost no combat, and the wrestling chapter is nothing BUT combat, to name some chapters I'd save for later.

One hint I'll give about the caveman chapter: overleveling a certain female party member until she learns powerful attacks will make the boss much easier!

So let's play some Live A Live! I guarantee the game will surprise you, and the graphical limitations actually work in the game's favor when conveying the story. Never before have 16-bit sprites blown your mind like this. And did I mention the incredible soundtrack by Yoko Shimomura? I'll be posting it and some fan-made albums later on. Some of the best SNES tunes ever made, in my humble opinion.
29 July 2011 @ 05:24 pm
With LJ being... LJ lately, I haven't had a chance to spam you all with reasons to play Live A Live, among other important things! What a shame.

In the meantime, though, I've uploaded some Terranigma music to share with you. Think of it as a present for being so patient with this poor website: http://www.mediafire.com/?iowplgmm2bcq7kq

Included in the link is the Terranigma original soundtrack, as well as a remixed "doujin" album by Zephyr Cradle. Only one of the songs on there is from Terranigma, but I uploaded the whole thing for completion's sake. Other tunes in that album include tracks from Seiken Densetsu 3, Final Fantasy X/Tactics, and Valkyrie Profile. All good stuff.

Also, here's some rambling I did about Live A Live last year, shortly after finishing it for the first time. As you can see, I was more than impressed by this game, so I'm hoping it can have the same effect on others, too!
21 July 2011 @ 06:03 pm
Unfortunately I haven't been able to play much Terranigma lately myself, but it's definitely due to less time and other distractions, nothing that the game itself did wrong.

However, as the summer itself continues on, I'd definitely like to get at LEAST one more game out there for us to play. For anyone who's dabbled with Terranigma, please feel free to continue playing and posting here about it, if you wish. I'll definitely be finishing it up at some point, hopefully not too far from now, and sharing my thoughts about it as well. I'm particularly interesting in hearing about the name differences from schattenstern, no rush, though!

Starting this Sunday, I'll be putting Live A Live on the table for us to play. This is the real "star game" I've wanted to spread around and get more people exposed to. It's also a game I've personally completed, so I'll be able to give hints and advice much better than I would be able to for Terranigma.

The way Live A Live is set up would allow us to tackle portions of the game as a group together, since it has selectable chapters that aren't terribly long individually. We could set a goal of completing one chapter per week or so, and believe me, this is a MORE than generous amount of time for some of the chapters. Some of them can be completed in less than an hour.

I'd like to have people interested in playing along sign up by commenting here so that we can be a bit organized and plan ahead, plus it'd just be nice to know who's going to join the party, you know? Note that Live A Live is an RPG that could easily be controlled with a keyboard, so if you were having trouble with Terranigma for that reason, LaL should be a much different experience.

I personally consider this game to be an amazing 16-bit title both because of and in spite of its "technical limitations", and I'm hoping it will impress many of you, as well!
I've juuust about made it into Chapter 3 of Terranigma, which is around where I stopped playing the first time. Not out of anything the game did wrong, mind you, but I simply got distracted by too many other things.

Near the end of Chapter 2, there's a part in the game that is most easily identified as the "goat scene". I won't spoil anything about this because I think it's a perfect example of an older game being able to convey emotion and genuinely moving, thought-provoking scenes despite their limitations. Perhaps it's even because of those limitations that the scene works as well as it does. No voice acting, just text. And yet the way the text scrolls across the screen at the pace that it does, even the choice of font color... it all comes together to form something only games like this can express.

The fact that the scene really takes the player off-guard, as it occurs right in the middle of a dungeon, also works in its favor. A sudden curveball thrown your way that you really weren't expecting at all. Especially due to the tone of the scene, as the storyline scenes before it were... well, different, let's just put it that way.

I should be able to cross over that line to Chapter 3 tomorrow, where I'll begin to experience uncharted territory, at least for me! I'm pretty excited about it. For as long as I've put off finishing this "series" of games, I really do want to see it all now.
So, for those playing Terranigma, how are things coming along for you? Not running into any trouble, I hope.

Myself personally, even though I haven't had that much of a chance to play this week, I'm making steady progress. If memory serves me correctly, I should be near the end of Chapter 2. The 2nd chapter bumps up the difficulty a bit combat-wise but the puzzles seem to be slightly easier, so bear that in mind as you go along.

Chapter 2 takes place in some... interestingly familiar locations, perhaps to some? Definitely the last places I'd have expected to travel to in a video game.

Oh, and a friendly welcome to schattenstern, who *gasp* has actually played this game before! I assure you this will happen less and less as time goes by. It's something I will pride myself on. Still, it's nice to have an expert among us for our first game together!

I'm beginning to think the six-week plan for our games will work out the best, because I've been able to make slow-yet-decent progress even though I'm playing plenty of other games right now, not to mention real-life stuff going on. Once we wrap up Terranigma, I think most of our other game playthoughs will follow this same structure, unless it's an exceptionally short game.

[As an aside, I think it's perfectly fine to "sit out" on some of the games we play and participate with others, if that works out for you. I do encourage everyone to at least give each game a shot, because this is all about experiencing those things you otherwise might overlook... but don't beat yourself up over it, either. Just something to consider.]
10 June 2011 @ 07:18 pm
I know several people here are still dealing with school finals and various other real-life things, so don't feel bad if you didn't get to play Terranigma yet, or just haven't made much progress! I just gave the green light last week since it technically was the beginning of our scheduled playtime, so I didn't want to hold anyone back.

Myself personally, I've started up a new playthrough, but I'm still in Chapter 1. I had forgotten that the game is conveniently broken up into chapters, which makes it easy to tell how far you are in the game without mentioning specifics!

Some impressions of the early game. No spoilersCollapse )

A couple of hints for the early gameCollapse )

That about covers it for now, I suppose. By playing in short bursts, I'm hoping to at least complete Chapter 1 by the end of this weekend. Slow but steady, and all that!
In case you hadn't heard of the site, The Backloggery recently re-opened registration. It's a site where you add games you're currently playing and post small updates about them, and it helps you keep track of your progress in your unfinished games.

Although this community is here to talk about our progress in the games we're playing, sometimes you might want to keep personal notes about exactly where you are/what you're doing for reference, or maybe just show off what you're playing currently. That site is excellent for doing so, so I thought I'd give it a small plug.

Note that its servers are pretty stressed right now due to an influx of a lot of new people (and I'm sure not helping that here!), but you should be able to register and add in some games, such as Terranigma, for example.

(mine's here, if you want to see what one looks like or add me so we can be bestest backlog buddies, if you haven't already)
03 June 2011 @ 05:56 pm
It's time to kick off our summer gaming session with the SNES classic that never quite made it far West enough for my tastes, Terranigma! Grab the appropriate version of the SNES9X emulator here if you don't have it already!

Since this is our first time really doing anything in this community, we'll just play it by ear. The general format I had in mind was for people to post new entries if they had something they needed help with in the game, or if they wanted to talk about some aspect of the game (characters, plot, music, etc). I was also planning on posting a "check-in" topic each week to see where we all stand in the game and get a general feel as to how things are progressing.

I can't stress this enough: don't worry about keeping up with the community's progress in general, or about finishing the game in time. The whole point is for this gaming to fit itself into your schedule in whatever way it can. 20 minutes of play each night, or sessions lasting a couple of hours per week - whatever works for you. The emulator format especially allows for playing for short periods here and there, so take advantage of that.

Depending on how we progress, we might end up extending this game over the one-month allotted time, which is perfectly fine with me. We'll see how it goes!

Anyway, dive in and enjoy! I'm interested to see what the members here think of this game, and especially 16-bit games if they've never played any.