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Old/obscure/underrated JRPGs

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

  1. Deflowerer Arcane

    Deflowerer
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Messages:
    1,735
    Yeah, Tsugunai has a lot of heart. Most shortcomings are clearly because of the low budget, but the short story format is fantastic. You start to really care about the villagers' lives.
     
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  2. IPFreely Educated

    IPFreely
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2017
    Messages:
    59
    ^ If I knew how to give you a brofist, I would.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • gimme dem dolla bills gimme dem dolla bills x 1
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  3. spekkio Arcane

    spekkio
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    7,713
    ^
    You must equip the ring.
     
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  4. IPFreely Educated

    IPFreely
    Joined:
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    I don't know what that means.
     
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  5. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Finished 憂楼 ユーロウ (Yuurou) Transient Sands, a 1996 PC98 rpg from Hervest.

    This game starts with a very long intro wherein the main character (Riku) rapes a female commander called Rosetta who vows to kill him next time they meet. It sets the tone for the entire game.

    In the middle of a desert Riku comes across the unconscious second main character, a high school girl called Azusa. She somehow transported to Riku’s world while returning home from school. The main point of the plot is finding a way to return her home (of course, since this a PC98 game Riku immediately suggests sending her back by taking her virginity).

    The way to send Azusa back is stopping the “transient sands”, e.g. sands of time for a moment but of course this is not possible until the evil empire is defeated. Similar to Escaflowne, the main bad guy also comes from Azusa’s world… he’s an Arab scientist, even. Azusa has no role in combat but serves as the brains of the pair.

    Gameplay wise it functions as an action rpg where you need to bump into enemies to hurt them. Normally I wouldn’t play something like this but I was intrigued by the Escaflowne like premise.

    Boss fights in particular are very challenging since they comprise of dodging all sorts of lightning fast projectiles that inflict massive damage… even putting the emulator on 50% speed I could barely finish some (it is not possible to use healing items during boss fights). Maybe grinding before the final stage would’ve helped.

    The gameplay is fun when you actually get to play but is interrupted way too much by overly long and boring sex scenes. I don’t mind intermittent sex scenes interrupting gameplay but this here is a case of intermittent gameplay interrupting sex scenes.

    Overall p. disappoint tbh. At least the ending was very nice and quite Escaflowne like. It’s actually bizarre how similar animu and game are considering they were released in exactly the same time period…

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  6. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
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    Finished Briganty, a platformer/RPG hybrid from 1995 by Giga.

    The main characters of the game are Gady (black mage/monk) and Sephina (swordswoman). For most of the stages one can freely switch between the two characters during gameplay.

    Storywise Gady helps Sephina out finding her sister who was enslaved by a cursed sword she had found in some ruins.

    PC98 platformers are usually a chore to play (just compare PC98 Valis with the Genesis version) but this one is not so bad – controls are still not very good at all though.

    Moreover the game would likely be better without RPG elements (killing a number of monsters levels the characters up) since it’s very easy to farm monsters and level up quickly meaning even majority of bosses will die in a couple of hits (in case of bosses I had it happen often that their HP bar never even appeared, not sure if a bug or not).

    Both characters can perform special attacks but they are rather difficult to execute – for instance 623 + X. Very quick fingers are needed – final special attack is 2146 + X and I could never get this one off. Yet they are not really needed considering the game’s lack of difficulty. Not to mention if everything fails there is OP magic to spam.

    The game is p. short but fun. Plus there are some ladies to bed (not a fan of the game's overall artstyle but CGs are nice).

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  7. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
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    Finished Dragon Knight 3, final game in the Dragon Knight trilogy by élf, released in 1991. This game is the only élf game translated and officially released in the west as “Knights of Xentar”, but tbh I remember not much about that game – the script is mayhap quite different.

    The game starts with a nice prologue recapping some events of the previous two games. After leaving the city of Phoenix Takeru – who supposedly got gud at the end of DK2 – heads to the next town and gets waylaid by bandits and robbed of his legendary armour and sword.

    Takeru starts the game at level 25, but soon he is reduced to level 1 again through a plot contrivance. But it’s p. easy to reach the level cap of 60 way before the end of the game.

    Unlike the first two games the game is no longer a first person dungeon crawler but a third person rpg with overland travel in the style of Alicesoft’s Toushin Toshi/early Rance. Combat is fully automated, unlike in Xentar it’s not possible to use potions during battle so everything comes down to level (when you are max level even the final boss is an autowin).

    Takeru teams up with Baan from Dragon Knight 2 again, plus Luna, the cleric’s daughter from first Dragon Knight, serves as a mage (in Xentar you needed to find magic crystals for her, in the original she has all magic from the beginning). Aside from these two many other characters from 1 & 2 make a reappearance (something to which Xentar players would be completely oblivious).

    The gist of the story is to retrieve the legendary armour and sword from the end of DK2 and use it to defeat the God of Darkness (also turns out Takeru is the son of the Goddess of Love and Zeus – whose name was mentioned at the very end of DK2).

    In passing, something appreciable in élf games is that while sex scenes are plentiful, they are usually over p. quickly.

    Truth be told the game is fun but massive popamole decline compared to its predecessors; it should be considered more as a last hurray to the (original) franchise.

    Lastly, unfortunately the music is quite horrible. The catgirl village likely has the worst tune in any video game, ever.

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  8. Nostaljaded Savant

    Nostaljaded
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Messages:
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    You know there's a related sequel, Dragon Knight 4 right?
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    The PC version is a hex-based, no-grinding, permadeath SRPG.
    A real challenge when playing with a 'no growth seeds usage & no deaths' style.

    Avoid the 3D reboot.
     
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  9. TigerKnee Arcane

    TigerKnee
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1,882
    What's wrong with that version
     
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  10. Nostaljaded Savant

    Nostaljaded
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Messages:
    303
    - Square-based -> different battlemaps
    - Game mechanics for each unit representation changed from 9-unit army to single character with HP (even having more stats, unique skills and turn order based on speed stat do not make me like the gameplay more)
    - Clunky UI and 3D models.

    In short, the brutality of the simple game mechanics in original blends well with the grim situation the party was having.


    I've only played the 1st few maps back then though before the distaste of the reboot got over me, difficulty on the later maps were probably lowered as well.
    Only consolation are the soundtrack and the high-res CGs, but it's not really a plus point as 90s music tones and CGs are good enough to me.

    Do write if there's something good about the reboot's gameplay, I can then do at least a 30% playthrough this time for a better gauge.
     
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  11. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Finished Record of Lodoss War for Sega CD (1994).

    This game quite accurately follows the animu (scenes from the animu are even used in cutscenes) and consists of a series of turn-based battle events.

    Since this is supposed to be a low-level campaign the game is p. challenging at times, in early levels many enemies can oneshot even the fighters (Parn, Gim) but with Slayne’s Shield/Weapon Enchant spells they usually wreck everything.

    Deedlit is quite powerful with a combination of elemental summoning spells (which also look p. cool) and healing/enchantment spells.

    Characters only receive experience upon killing an enemy, making things a bit difficult for certain characters in the beginning especially for the cleric Eto. However, in certain towns there are arenas for training if necessary.

    At the end of the game my entire party was around level 10 but still Parn/Gim would still almost get one-shotted by minotaurs.

    Gim leaves the party at the end of the game to face Karla (the prime antagonist) leaving Parn as only fighter.

    Next-to-last battle event without Gim was against a group of 3 lesser dragons and 4 golems (all of whom almost immune to magic damage)… even with Shield spells Parn would go down very quickly. I managed to win by carefully regrouping, using weapon enchant spells and Slayne’s Sleep spell. Quite a memorable finale, I must say.

    Final battle event recreates Gim getting killed by Karla after which the rest of the party defeats her.

    Unfortunately, though, the game completely unexpectedly ends after Karla’s defeat leaving the rest of the story undone.

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    I was actually looking forward to battling Ashram/Pirotess not to mention the whole shebang with Shooting Star.

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  12. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Finished Star Odyssey for Genesis (1991). Game is known in Wapan as Blue Almanac and was translated only in 2011.

    Main character is a 16-year-old boy named by the player. The game has quite an interesting sci-fi setting and above average story, central to the story is ancient technology coveted by an alien race called Radanians who are willing to start an interstellar war over it.

    Later in the story it turns out the Radanians were manipulated by a main villain whose goal is to literally absorb all energy in the universe similar to Darth Nihilus.

    Main character soon finds a piece of the ancient technology called “Brain”, a sword that allows him to do magic. Magic works by combining 4 elements into groups of 2 and 3. Later it turns out he has a sister with another "Brain".

    Game has a very high encounter rate but high level is not really required to finish the game. The final boss does 600 damage each turn regardless of party level but there’s a secret trick to beating him that turns him into a complete pussy.

    There are 5 party members, 3 of them aliens. All of them have to be named by the player and start at level 1. Combat is not really challenging since at one point an alien joins who has ridiculously high stats and can easily kill everything on his own.

    All in all, this is the game that Phantasy Star 3 should have been.

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  13. CryptRat Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Developer

    CryptRat
    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Nice, I haven't played any yet, but Star Odyssey, Legend of Wukong and Beggar Prince all look fun.
     
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  14. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Finished Crystal Rinal, PC98 rpg by D.O. released in 1994.

    This is another game in the “high school student gets transported to another world” genre. In the beginning of the game during an earthquake both protagonists are transported to a labyrinth which connects all worlds.

    Main characters are Kouhei and Mahiro who used to be friends before but dislike each other at the start of the game.

    The bad guy summoned Mahiro because he wants to use her for her crystal powers (Kouhei is just a tagalong in the beginning) and take control of the labyrinth. Crystals are used to perform magic and the main point of the game is locating them all to escape the dungeon.

    There’s no automapping – dungeon layout is only revealed when locating dungeon floor map.

    Combat encounters are rather rare and most progression comes through triggering story events and/or solving some puzzles.

    I think the artist who worked on Lesser Mern must’ve moved to work at D.O. since the art style looks extremely similar. The game has a stark look which I did not like very much.

    The only part of the game that really stood out for me was the 4th dungeon floor where there’s an interesting sequence of events concerning an introverted schoolgirl.

    Anyway I’ve mixed feelings about this one. Gameplay wise it’s p. solid but there’s an overreliance on tentacle monster rape and redundant sex scenes (even worse, they are interactive). Leveling up is practically redundant considering the “boss” battles are solved by other means than combat 90% of the time.

    Overall D.O.’s worst rpg.

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  15. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
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    Finished Digan no Maseki, PC88 rpg by Artec (1988).



    This game stands out immediately by its hand-painted non-animu art style. Overall the game looks better than some PC98 rpgs that came out years later.

    The game has an interesting setting with various countries, races and cultures. E.g. a race where females are fairies and males are satyrs.

    The story starts with main character Dino marrying his sweetheart in a little village. However soon after she falls ill to an unknown magic induced illness which transforms her into a metal alien thing. Dino’s task is to find a way to heal her.

    In order to leave the starter town one needs to raise 2,000 gold for a horse. Furthermore, a special ring is needed in order to communicate with other races which costs another 2,000 gold. Enemies rarely drop gold; initially the only way to raise money is to do various odd jobs (who also depend on party member). In general, every item tends to be very expensive but money can eventually be acquired quite quickly with a full party. Not to mention at one point it’s possible to gain tons of cash in an arena.

    Every town –even beginning village- is p. big. At night brigands roam around; if you’re not careful (or sleep outside) you might get robbed of all your food or money. Funnily enough there’s a city later on with a brothel. Dino can peruse the whores but might get a disease in return.

    Game has a lot of “Realms of Arkania” like mechanics, e.g. need to eat/sleep, lots of illnesses, wound system. There’s even a sanity meter. The mechanics can be quite a chore in the beginning of the game when Dino is mostly on his own (a doctor joins the party later who takes care of chit).

    I’m actually surprised of all things the game lacks a timed main quest. In fact revisiting Dino’s wife you can see her transformation progressing but the player is merely tricked when the transformation is supposedly complete.

    Similar to Daggerfall, every NPC can be talked to about a lot of topics. Speaking to ppl is necessary in order to advance the story. For instance, to make a plot critical NPC join the party one needs to make ppl in town aware about Dino’s quest to save his wife. Not to mention there’s a certain plot event that completely comes out of nowhere without having spent some time talking to townspeople beforehand.

    The game does not use an experience based system, every battle slightly increases attributes. Enemies can be viewed moving around the map and can be avoided if one wishes to. In fact there are only three story related combat sequences that cannot be avoided.

    The very first combat Dino encounters in the game is very difficult, against a four-armed enemy that hits for >100 damage and one shots Dino when he crits. Basically Dino can only win by pure luck or maybe he’s supposed to grind for many days before continuing the story. Not to mention close combat is complicated by the fact that potions can only be used when a character is not in melee range.

    Something which annoyed me very much is that in early game quite a few enemies will inflict poison status effect. Yet in early towns no one sells antidote meaning the only option is running to a doctor… which is not practical in the middle of a dungeon.

    Another major annoyance was an early part of main story which required curing an old fart. When he joined the party he was pathetically weak and p. much died whenever an enemy looked at him. Later he becomes the best mage in the game and amusingly as a lecher frequently cat calls cute female NPCs.

    In the end the story came down to “it was alienz” which wasn’t too unexpected.

    Soundtrack was p. nice too so overall very :obviously: game.

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  16. Koschey Arcane Patron

    Koschey
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
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    Why are there 3 numbers displayed for HP? Current, max, boosted max or something like that?
     
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  17. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
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    Current HP, max HP reduced by wound, max HP.
     
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  18. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
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    Finished Vain Dream, PC88 rpg by Glodia (1991).



    Glodia is the developer of Emerald Dragon, and it is very much a game in the same vein (developer team is about half the same).

    Like Emerald Dragon the game starts with a very long intro sequence showing p. much the same premise. E.g. an evil empire invading a land and the main character (Tristram) meeting his waifu (Melwyn) who plays an important role in the story – saving Tristram’s ass many times and at one point even becoming main character for a while.

    Of course it is hard to compare to the Emerald Dragon protagonist (Atrushan) who is a dragon, but Tristram is kind of a lame cuck who never really matches up to Melwyn. He starts the game being nearly killed, then gets nearly killed again by womyn and to save him Melwyn even turns down an offer to be trained by the most powerful mage in the world.

    At any rate seeing how the relationship between Tristram and Melwyn develops is nice. In Emerald Dragon there was zero development between Atrushan and Tamryn considering they were introduced as having grown up together.

    The combat system is p. much the same as Emerald Dragon. Melwyn plays the role of magic user – Tristram is never very efficient in combat, his task is mainly to protect Melwyn while she kills everything with magic. Overall I found the game to be more challenging than Emerald Dragon considering there are only three party members rather than five. Not to mention Melwyn is not a healer, healing comes from potions and healing rings.

    Unlike Emerald Dragon enemies can be seen moving around the map. There’s not really a way to grind since after outleveling enemies they will no longer give experience. Furthermore they don’t drop gold but occasionally parts to be traded – you typically need an awful lot of those to make money.

    Near the end of the game I ran into some creative copy protection that would’ve prematurely ended my playthrough; basically every character in the game showed up to make fun of Tristram: “lulz, you been using a copied disk? Now you will never reach the end even though you came so far”. Luckily, I got hold of another system disk.

    The endgame is p. challenging considering it’s very long and no way to buy potions along the way. Without buying as much potions as possible in the last town you’re completely toast especially against the final boss.

    Melwyn dies at the end but Tristram who turns out to be a divine avatar of sorts brings her back by giving up half his acquired power. Considering there’s a Vain Dream 2, I suppose this could be a way to shoehorn both Melwyn and Tristram back to level 1 but from what I looked at it seems Vain Dream 2 is unrelated to 1.

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  19. Great Deceiver Arcane

    Great Deceiver
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,670
    I really like PC88 art, and I think I've asked this before - doesn't the emulator support some shaders to properly process the dithering?
     
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  20. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
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    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Doesn't seem so.
     
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  21. Great Deceiver Arcane

    Great Deceiver
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,670
    Did some quick tests using the Neko Project II core in Retroarch using the GTUv50 shader (I think it handles dithering quite well):

    Some screenshots from the Vain Dream opening:

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    I'm sure you could get some even better results tinkering a little with the shader settings (brightness mostly, in this case). Maybe check it out if you're interested.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
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  22. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    10,734
    Location:
    Fiernes
    Finished Early Kingdom, PC98 rpg by Kure Software (1992).

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    The game has a style similar to Digan no Maseki (possibly same engine) with non animu artstyle. Setting is kind of a magical Mediterranean/Conquistador style à la Risen.

    The game starts controlling three characters called Guy, Kain and Goran who enter a newly discovered country (Gallardo) as colonists. The current inhabitants are a lizard species called Genoa.

    Unlike Digan no Maseki combat is real-time and quite often a clusterfuck à la Darklands. One character can be controlled directly while the rest is automated but it doesn’t work as well as it should.

    However even at the start of the game the three companions can easily hack through many guards… not to mention there’s regenerating health (a big departure after playing Digan no Maseki) with the caveat that enemy health also regenerates; when low on health the majority of enemies will flee to regenerate which turns too many a battle into Benny Hill nonsense.

    The challenge is less in defeating the enemies but rather defeating them quickly and efficiently, not allowing them to escape by careful positioning. To its credit though the game features some large scale battles between armies that would not be possible had the combat not been real time.

    The developer apparently called their combat system “ゴチャキャラ” (literally “mixed characters”), used in all their games (they’re most known for First Queen series).

    There is a party of eight; while most party members are part of the story there are those that can only be found by scouting around and talking to everyone.

    The story is divided into chapters each with an upper level limit, it’s not really possible to grind.

    The plot starts out mostly political rife with assassination, kidnappings and betrayal. It deals with the lack of leadership in the new colony (three factions are vying for power in the main town) threatening to destroy it.

    The overarching story is breaking a barrier that was put up in the distant past and isolating the continent from the rest of the world - basically everybody who enters can no longer leave. It’s suggested there was a precursor creator race who left their “symbol” behind.

    Guy needs to find this “symbol” as “proof of kingship” and become the ruler of the continent. The game has kind of a surreal ending, as the “proof of kingship” turns out to be simply reaching a statue of a woman left behind by the creator race. The statue turns into a living woman. The woman mentions she will watch over humanity and then the game promptly ends.

    Overall the plot is p. well developed; Guy and his party start out small time, solving everyone’s problems mercenary style but gradually get embroiled into something much bigger à la Chronicles of Black Company.

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  23. JackOfOwls Erudite

    JackOfOwls
    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    2,483
    Location:
    Massachusettes
    Not exactly obscure but try and find the fan-translated SNES rom version of Final Fantasy IV, known as "hard type." It is ball-bustingly, prostate-poundingly difficult but if you enjoy a challenge and aren't moderately to severely mentally retarded, you may persevere. The problem is you have to find the exact combination of spells and abilities from your party to fight certain bossses and progress with absolutely no room for error. There were two little cherub-types that joined the party and one of their abilities was crucial to winning a certain fight. Fuck those two little jap-cherubs. I could never figure it out and had to give up only about 20% into the game.
     
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  24. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    Location:
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    Yes, the fan "translation" of Final Fantasy IV, complete with pop culture references, vulgarities, made-up lines, and less faithfulness to the original script than the (admittedly poor) SNES translation. :hahano:
     
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  25. JackOfOwls Erudite

    JackOfOwls
    Joined:
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    Haha, I never got that far to see the parts in your final two screenshots above, but if I had, I certainly would have roared. Too many RPGs are joyless, and seeing that heavy purple prose above in the first 4 screenshots (as deep purple as the gurgling abyss itself in the 3rd screenshot) and those awful references in the last two would have brought me joy :D
     
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