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Old/obscure/underrated JRPGs

Discussion in 'jRPG Weeaboo Discussion' started by Stabwound, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Pots Talos Educated

    Pots Talos
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Long Island
    I saw Terranigma brought up but no one ever mentions Illusion of Gaia. While the game is simple, it's story and music are really great.
    It's also not a very long game so like Chrono Trigger can be revisited and enjoyed without a huge time sink.
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  2. Grampy_Bone Arcane

    Grampy_Bone
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    Illusion of Gaia is by far the worst of the Soulblazer trilogy. Pure hack and slash with none of the interesting systems of the prior game or the follow-up. Annoying, stupid characters, and the hero attacks with a fucking flute.
     
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  3. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
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    Finished Dragon Souseiki, a 1992 PC98 rpg by Basho House.

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    Setting is a pre-Incan civilization called Tiawanoko near Titicaca lake (≈ 1000 BC).

    Main characters are Guy Pendragon and his friend Topa. In the game intro it is shown they are born in an underground city in Yucatan which is destroyed by a dragon. Guy and Topa both lose their parents and eventually make a journey to Tiawanoko together.

    Arriving in Tiawanoko Guy and Topa apparently are on a quest for a chosen woman (the daughter of the sun). Topa is apparently the leader of the “Buu” tribe of the underground Rorutoon empire destroyed by black magic. The true quest though is unravelling Guy’s legacy.

    Exploration is first person but combat works like Phantasy Star, with the characters visible on screen doing shit.

    Game features a ‘learn by doing’ magic system where spells become more powerful the more they are cast. Leveling is slow, money hard to come at least in the beginning. The dungeons are p. fun to go through, not too long and not too short and a good balance of puzzles and combat.

    Artstyle is somewhat different but overall I liked it.

    I liked how the entire area in the game was interconnected; you start at Tiawanoko town and slowly explore the entire environs around lake Titicaca from there (even the bottom of lake Titicaca) – initially this means quite a lot of backtracking although sometimes there are “shortcuts”.

    Cusco (future capital of Inca empire) and Nazca highland are also prominent locations in the game. There’s actually a decent puzzle on Nazca where the “mouth of the condor” needs to be found.

    The game is very story driven, as the plot progresses Guy acquires new party members, first of which is a girl called Chiki. When you get her Chiki is rather frail and has naught but a puny dagger but her critical attack rate is very high.

    Second party member is a big burly warrior called Gus who has information on the chosen woman in exchange for some assistance. Gus is strong but also very slow in comparison to Chiki… basically p. useless.

    During the journey Guy occasionally is contacted in his dreams by a blonde woman called Myui telling him he is from the red tribe… the black tribe are his enemies.

    Game is fairly challenging; party members will never have a lot of HP in comparison to enemies who can sometimes land a critical hit and do over 100 damage if you’re not careful – magic is useful and meant to be used often. Unfortunately for a very large chunk of the game you are forced to take along the stupidly inept Gus (it’s game over if any party member dies).

    The bulk of experience in the game is gained not by combat but by furthering the storyline or completing side events.

    Unfortunately, after defeating Kordoon Topa is killed in a cutscene by the main villain losing a very valuable party member. Luckily at that point a new p. powerful party member shows up; Myui herself shows up, a cleric of the white tribe.

    Myui is basically the “chosen woman” Guy was looking for but at this point this is no longer the main plot point. She belongs to a tribe of protectors of the royal bloodline who’ve been living in Machu Picchu for 2,000 years.

    It is also revealed Guy has royal blood; his father (who belonged to the Dragon tribe – red/white/black tribes are all offshoots of the Dragon tribe) was the founder of the primordial Inca empire. Not to mention Guy is 700 years old (Toba was 500 years old).

    After Myui joins Gus (finally) leaves and Chiki can be added to the party again. Both ladies are way stronger than Gus. Myui is immediately useful with an arsenal of support spells (including a teleport spell) that come in handy when getting through a temple filled with gold golems that hit like trucks. However her best spell is called Quetzal that transforms her into a feathered serpent that is ridiculously powerful in melee combat. But even without any magic Myui is a better fighter than Chiki.

    The final dungeon in the game is ridiculously big (a very long way to backtrack should you teleport out) with a lot of tough “minibosses” before the final boss that most of the time can be cheesed with the Sleep spell.

    At the very end, though, Guy faces the Big Bad on his own which is p. badass. The game was engineered so that Guy only reaches the level cap of 20 after beating the boss’ first form; the boss’ second form is fought in dragon form – the spell which Guy learns at level 20.

    The ending could nary be happier, as Topa is brought back to life and both Guy and Gus get the girls.

    Overall, this is a good game. There’s a hint at a sequel at the end but it never came.

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  4. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
    Joined:
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    Nagai Go is obsessed with the theme of final battle between Armies of Heaven lead by angels against Armies of Devils lead by Lucifer, and Armies of Beast lead by Satan. Most of his major series revolve around it.

     
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  5. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Finished Illusion City [Gen’ei Toshi], a 1991 PC98 rpg by Micro Cabin Corp.

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    The setting is future Hong Kong which was turned into a cyberpunkish dystopia after a demon invasion.

    The main character is a “DIVER” (Demon Intercept Vital-Erase Runner) called 天人 and a police officer called 美紅, which are Ten’nin/Tien’ren and Miku/Meiphen depending on whether the names are read in Wapanese or Chinese.

    In the very beginning of the game Tien’ren is hearing a voice in his dreams referring to itself as Daasa. Daasa wants to be freed by Tian’ren to reawaken the latter’s apparent own ‘divine’ power.

    After he wakes up Meiphen arrives with a girl called Houmei who was attacked by demons and SIVA hoodlums – SIVA being the corporation in charge of Hong Kong. Furthermore Houmei’s twin sister Shaomei was kidnapped – SIVA is joined at the hip with a weird demon worshipping cult who want to involve her in a ritual. Their exact motive is to summon forth Agartha (a legendary city tied to Hollow Earth mythos).

    Tien’ren and Meiphen have various weapon specializations, the skill level of which gets better with use. In the beginning of the game Tien’ren is good with handguns and swords, whilst Meiphen is good with rifles and a cord-like weapon called zanshi.

    Third companion slot is for temporary characters of which there are various: the main characters’ adoptive father (a priest), a hoary mercenary (who dies in dramatic fashion). Near the end of the game even Houmei becomes party member – she fights with claws like Nei used to.

    For such an old game the game is very “cinematic”, not only are there many cutscene but basically every conversation with a plot important person is completely automated. The in-game cutscenes and animations are certainly technically impressive for a game this old but I found it a bit excessive.

    Like in Phantasy Star games, the entire party is visible moving around the map and doing shit during combat. In fact, considering Tien’ren’s looks calling this game a mix of Phantasy Star and Snatcher would be an accurate description.

    Basically the point of the game is to find and defeat the 8 SIVA underling each of which rule a part of Hong Kong. Each of the 8 has a piece of the Daasa statue that needs to be reassembled. Upon recovery of each piece new elemental spells are unlocked.

    Combat encounters come in the form of thumbleweeds/clouds that can be dodged if one is so inclined.

    There’s a very large assortment of weapons in the game but the more exotic ones are extremely expensive. In fact, even very basic items are quite expensive – a simple mana potion costs 2,100. At least in the beginning of the game one needs to be p. frugal with money and it’s never really worth buying scrolls and special ammo.

    For some reason though melee damage seems to be much superior to guns. Meiphen with her whip-cord-thingie killed probably 90% of enemies, at least until she is briefly kidnapped near the end of the game.

    There are many magic spells in the game but little to no feedback on what they do. Luckily game manual and information is available on MSX Repository.

    Like in Phantasy Star, there are very powerful armour and weapons available to purchase right at the start so once these are acquired after some grinding the rest of the combat in the game is mostly trivial. Level doesn't need to be absurdly high to beat the game either.

    I didn’t grind in the beginning due to too much backtracking so the first bossfight was p. challenging due to low on resources and likely being underleveled, I won it by a hair.

    A couple of bosses in the game are introduced during an intimate moment with their ‘significant other’, who later tag along in the boss fight and get killed along with the boss.

    Furthermore two of the male bosses are shown to be sexually manipulated by a female boss and tricked into death at the hands of the main characters.

    It’s not a bad attempt to make the main villains seem human despite their powers in comparison with the Big Bad, a generic demon king. Indeed another of the major villains is shown falling in love with Shaomei and rebels against the demon king after her untimely death. In the end he even becomes an ally.

    In the end of the game it turns out the game’s plot is basically “what’s in a name”, e.g. the 天 and 人 part of 天人are reunited. Of course main character refuses to become a god and ends up fighting his other half in a p. kewl but overly long magic duel (but who thought it was a good idea for the boss’ final form being a giant lobster/shrimp).

    Last but not least, the OST is quite memorable.

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    Seems the MSX version which looks better than the PC-98 version, is partially translated. However the emulation for this device is apparently far from perfect.



    For comparison this is how the intro looks on Sega CD:

     
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  6. SkyeWelse Barely Literate

    SkyeWelse
    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Just out of curiousity, why did you say that you thought the MSX version of Illusion City looked better than the PC-98 version? I know it's a good version but I've personally found the PC-98 version superior in terms of appearance and sound. I mean generally a version for a 16 bit system is usually going to outshine a 8 bit system. I'm a big MSX fan as well as Pc-98 and while this game was made during the end of days for MSX exclusively for it's Turbo R system which did beef up the computer in terms of using a much faster R800 processor, it was still limited to the resolutions set by various MSX screen modes, and a 16 color pallette. To me the colors and sound on the PC-98 version pop out more for me. Also I think the last two disks for the MSX version has some kind of issue which halted the project from a hacking standpoint whereas the PC-98 version may be different. Since I'm personally invested in the PC-98 version getting a fan-translation it could be that I'm a bit more biased towards that version though. I also own it CIB for PC-98 so I plan on preserving scans of all the contents at a later time.

    Also neat that that game had a release on the Mega CD. I had not seen that until now. Love the animated openings that are different but not sure I love much else about that version so far. The in-game graphics look very washed out.

    -SkyeWelse
     
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  7. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Character portraits look better to me plus no separate dialogue screen when using the TALK command which annoyed me a lot in the PC98 version.

    The Mega CD version likely censors the (p. tame) sex scenes.
     
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  8. CryptRat Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Developer

    CryptRat
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Messages:
    3,354
    2 decent short translated free RPG Maker indies with interesting combat if nothing else :
    - StandStll Girl :
    The game is a very linear dungeon crawler with a ridiculously dark story.
    You control only one character with only 3 stats (damage dealt, speed and hit points) but you've got to equip the 5 skills (and/or items) you'll bring to battles and new skills have to be unlocked via hidden requirements. Enemies' skills as well as yours are varied, with a couple of status alterations. Battles are short, the combat system is simple but efficient, basically you get one action point per turn, actions require a different number of action points, you don't spend any action point if you guard and guarding at the right moment is the key. The game isn't hard mostly because you can save wherever you want but still enough to be fun.

    - Liar Jeannie in Crucifix Kingdom (you need to install RPG Maker XV RTP or whatever it is to play the game, there's a link on the page) :
    It is also a very linear dungeon crawler, with classic phase-based combat. You control 2 base characters + up to 2 summoned ones. Monsters appear on the map and you can generally avoid them if you want. The twist is that there's no experience and your skills and stats are entirely determined by your equipement consisting of items crafted from material left by dead enemies. Non-boss enemies respawn so you're not punished for experimenting.
    The game is fun, well balanced and definitely not easy. There are a couple of elemental weaknesses and status alterations. Battles are short but interesting, monsters as you can deal a lot of damage, I often died against roamming monsters. The boss battles are fun.
     
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  9. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
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    Finished Alshark, a 1991 PC98 RPG from Right Stuff (same developer as Chilam Balam).



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    Main character is a young man called Shion Asman (Assman?). The childhood friend/girl next door is called Shouko Penrose.

    The setting is a sci-fi universe with three major players: the Mars Federation, Zolius Empire and Willian Kingdom. Mars Federation are basically humans, Zolius the Klingon knockoffs and Willian are Vulcan like.

    The game looks a bit more primitive than Chilam Balam (not to mention previous game I played was Illusion City from the same year). However cutscenes look very good.

    It is possible to not only dual wield melee weapons but also wield a gun in one hand and a melee weapon in the other (heck, one character can dual wield bazookas). On planets it’s possible to travel in hover crafts/tanks and such in order to cross water or simply to survive the enemies.

    In the beginning of the game a meteor drops on the planet Shion lives on and he and Shouko go off to investigate even though they were forbidden to do so. Both their fathers are at the scene researching it.

    Oddly in the starting town there are zero shops, so it’s necessary to make do with the weapons and little items you can scrounge around. In a couple of towns it’s possible to take on some small jobs for money.

    During combat only Shion can be controlled, other joinables are AI controlled (they’ll also use spells on their own). However they have some unique skills that can be used in the field, e.g. Shouko has healing/teleport & Joe has repair/analysis skills.

    AI is generally competent but of course there are moments when AI won’t heal when they need to. There is no numerical feedback about damage inflicted, but enemies will become red when near death.

    When Shion and Shoko arrive at the meteor scene a ship of the Zolius empire is also at the scene and their fathers are taken away. However, their fathers resist and in the following cafuffle somehow when Shoko’s father touches a Zolius gun something wakes up and he seems to turn evil, killing Shion’s father. He mentions the word “Alshark” before flying off with the Zolius ship.

    Returning to his hometown, strangely enough Shion’s mother left without saying something. Next task is to find her with the help of Scrap Joe, former acquaintance of Shion and Shouko’s fathers. Scrap Joe can upgrade the robot that doesn’t level automatically.

    Turns out Shion’s mother left the planet, luckily Scrap Joe got a self-built spaceship to chase after her. The ship can be equipped with various weapons and armour; Scrap Joe can craft armour, weapons and engine/frame/turrets for spaceship.

    Once you hit space there are rather annoying space battle random encounters. On planet surfaces it’s possible to use hovercrafts, tanks, etc. which are sometimes the only way to reach certain locations.

    Not shortly after leaving the first planet Mamon shows up again, robobro gets scrapped (though an improved version of him later joins the party) but a new party member is gained, > 2m high warrior womyn called Welda. She’s half-Zolius and cyborg (but without a full cyborg body).

    At this point there a couple of mission for the Mars Federation, like investigating a drug from the Zolius Empire that acts on junk DNA and causes either rapid evolution or rapid degeneration.

    Once you gain access to the spaceship the game becomes somewhat freeform; it’s possible to visit planets in whichever order but enemies might be much too strong. The spaceship can be upgraded – especially upgrading engine is important in order to be able to do “hyperspace jump” and travel to star systems instantly rather than do everything manually.

    Eventually when Shion finds his mother it turns out when the meteor fell she merged with a primordial pure energy being from inside the meteor and became “Alshark”. Shouko’s father merged with Alshark’s enemy. Since Shouko’s father joined up with the Zolius Empire and threatens to conquer the galaxy, Alshark’s mission is to prevent this.

    Of course Shion as the main character as the “chosen one” receives the hidden power and Alshark mainly serves as a guide. At this point Shion & Co break away from the Mars Federation, steal their spaceship back and become free agents.

    Around halfway through the game Alshark’s enemy is defeated and Shouko’s father saved; however Shion loses his mother in the process. The rest of the game basically comes down to taking down the Zolius empire.

    Final dungeon is quite annoying to get through, enemies are very strong even with best equipment. Final boss though is a complete walk-over (other bosses in the game have millions of HP and take ages to kill).

    And oh yeah, it ends on a cliffhanger.

    Plot and character wise there are definitely some parallels with Libros de Chilam Balam; in particular main character having a red-headed girlfriend who is kidnapped at one point early in the game. Not to mention, the smack-talking older bearded dude and a focus on parental issues.

    Difficulty wise I found the game about as challenging as early Phantasy Star games.

    Regarding the music, peculiarly enough the main theme that plays inside towns is VERY familiar to the main theme of the Russian game Farewell to Dragons. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

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  10. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
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    Finished Emerald Dragon, originally a 1989 PC88 game by Glodia.



    Main character is a blue dragon called Atrushan who grew up with a green haired girl called Tamryn whom the dragon tribe found shipwrecked. Before she returned to the human world he gave her a horn she could use to call him at any time. After three years she calls him when her world is about to be engulfed by demon hordes (though as is much later revealed, her true purpose is finding out who she really is).

    The PC98 version is a PC88 port and a p. ugly game outside cutscenes, with occasional very difficult to read fonts as well. Apparently FM-Towns version is best.

    Atrushan in human form meets Tamryn again in her village in the beginning of the game and they start to travel together.

    Combat is kind of similar to early Ultima games. Like in Alshark only main character can be directly controlled but it is also possible to give direct commands to party members if one so pleases.

    Strangely enough even though the game is older there’s full combat feedback unlike in Alshark. The biggest issue in combat is Tamryn often not healing when she’s supposed to. Though she is forgiven as eventually she gains the ability to literally shoot laz0rs from her hands and use mass paralysis spells.

    Indeed Tamryn is supposed to be the best waifu yet Falna, the second female party member, gets way more development as a character ànd is a much more diligent healer.

    Only Atrushan and Tamryn gain levels in the game while party members’ stats are static. However they are usually quite powerful when they first join. They don’t gain levels automatically but only as the story progresses. There’s quite a big and varied cast and very bad things tend to happen to non-permanent party members.

    As a slight oddity, in towns there are casinos where you can play slots and poker…

    The game world is not very big but there’s a lot of back tracking. There are a couple of murderous forest dungeons in the game that you’re supposed to navigate by means of a yuge red dot on a tiny map.

    Story wise the game is about beating the generic demon king however there’s a twist that he was merely summoned by an ancient technologically advanced race called “Horus” responsible for the curse that destroyed most of the dragons in the past. Tamryn is revealed to be of this race (it’s why she has green hair) and in fact is heir to the throne. The ‘emerald dragon’ must be resurrected in order to restore a goddess.

    Final boss of the game is p. forgettable, some Horus stooge who is introduced five minutes before the game ends.

    There are also a couple of elaborate sub-scenarios/sidequests but I ignored them due to too long backtracking (zero fast travel/teleportation in the game).

    Music wise, I could swear some tracks were reused in Alshark.

    I enjoyed this better than Alshark due to more dynamic combat and though encounter rate was high, there was zero grinding required to finish the game. Playing naturally I reached level 130.

    The game ending hints as a sequel but apparently soon after the game release the developers broke apart.

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  11. Great Deceiver Arcane

    Great Deceiver
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    Dithering really is a lost art. Don't PC-88 emulators allow for some kind of blending filter so you can actually experience them the way they were supposed to be?
     
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  12. yes plz Arcane Patron

    yes plz
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
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  13. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
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    Glodia had nothing to do with the SNES port. From what I looked at the beginning of the game is already completely different, who knows what else.
     
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  14. Jacob All Men Are King Kong Patron

    Jacob
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    Location:
    City
    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    I love this one's graphic :love:
    Turns out if you take the time to learn how to design a neat looking UI and pixel art (online tutorial is very handy), RPGMaker game doesn't have to look like ass.
     
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  15. agentorange Arcane Patron

    agentorange
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    4,798
    Codex 2012
    Is there a tutorial to learn to make such custom UI for rpgmaker.
     
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  16. peacegamer Novice

    peacegamer
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Dragon Knight - TurboGrafx

    I found this much more enjoyable than the original one. The game plays much easier and it has Automap system. Has voice over with good voice acting.

     
    • Informative Informative x 1
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  17. peacegamer Novice

    peacegamer
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Finished Dragon Knight 2 Turbografx

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    Several improvements from its prequel.
    Has some plot twist.
    It is a good game. However, I feel bored around the last part of the game.
    Luckily Dragon Knight 3 was created in different engine/environments.

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    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
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  18. Beastro Arcane

    Beastro
    Joined:
    May 11, 2015
    Messages:
    6,098
    Loved watching my cousin play it as a kid. I played it a few years ago and it wasn't too bad, finished it in an evening.
     
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  19. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    10,734
    Location:
    Fiernes
    Finished Romansu wa Tsurugi no Kagayaki (ロマンスは剣の輝き), a 1995 PC98 rpg by Fairytale.

    Main character is a turbodweeb peasant named Rune who saves a bathing princess from a direwolf in the beginning of the game. Hoping to see her again he joins an adventurer contest to retrieve magical orbs. Of course soon he becomes embroiled in a battle against evil, the plot is actually fairly interesting.

    The main character lives in a church and starts the game with a mage party member and priestess party member. Later a cleric, dragon, loli mage and Elf join. There’s also a scholar character who can be leveled up even though she can’t do anything in combat.

    The character system is uncharacteristic for a Wapanese game, i.e. all experience gained is shared and can be freely divided to increase character attributes as one sees fit. Weapons are not bought but merely improved at a smithery similar to Suikoden.

    There are no random encounters: enemies are hand placed and visible moving on the map. There’s a big twist before the final chapter of the game and both the princess from the beginning of the game and one of the main villains become party members.

    The story has a lot of silly humour but is actually overall p. enjoyable with a couple of cool characters and an actual competent main villain. The game has a very nice ending as well (though it depends on which waifu you are forced to choose at one point).

    Game actually got a sequel on Playstation too but on first glance it looks like kiddie animu shit (but at least it has a hentai OVA). Might check it out, though, curious whether it follows up where the game ended.

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  20. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Messages:
    5,468
    Location:
    California
    I had the same experience. As a kid it seemed infinitely large and varied. When I came back to it later it was clunky and not much fun.
     
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  21. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    10,734
    Location:
    Fiernes
    Finished XIX Gize!, a 1991 PC98 rpg by Fairytale.

    Main character is an adventurer called Shion who finds womyn locked in a crystal orb in the middle of the desert. Womyn is called Fishiss and wants Shion’s help in locating the remains of an ancient palace where she has some business.

    Game is a pure dungeon crawler with no automap. It is a very similar game to X-NA from the same developer.

    Unlike X-NA the game is very short and overall p. unremarkable except for a couple of interesting puzzles. So overall not much of a waste of time.

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  22. IPFreely Educated

    IPFreely
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2017
    Messages:
    59
    Threads of Fate

    Tsugunai Atonement

    I like them both. They seem to have faded from the collective memory of JRPG fans.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 6
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  23. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    15,048
    Location:
    In quarantine
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Threads of Fate is awesome. Mint ftw
     
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  24. Siveon Bot

    Siveon
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,430
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Tsugunai looks interesting, although critically and commercially ignored. What do you like about it?
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
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  25. IPFreely Educated

    IPFreely
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2017
    Messages:
    59
    I liked the "short story anthology" approach to the game rather than the big, sweeping story approach that most games have.

    Combat is okay, soundtrack is great (by Yasunori Mitsuda). No terrible voice acting.
     
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