Keeping the Backlog Beast at Bay, One Month at a Time

Over the years I've stockpiled a ton of videogames. I have too many games on my Steam account (Damn you bundles and Steam sales!) and quite a few unplayed PS2 and PS3 games (Damn me!). So for the past few months, I've been making it a goal to try to finish at least 4 new games every month, I won't guarantee that I've done this every month however. I figured that if I play them at this rate, I would go through most of the game I want to play (it would be crazy to think that I would be able to finish all my games, so I'm limiting it to the games I want to play). Of course, doing this with RPGs will be difficult, since most RPGs are hella timesinks (Still haven't finished that Dragon Age 2 playthrough that I started earlier this year). So here are the rules that I've put in place for myself, they don't really matter since I can always bend the rules but it's nice to have something in place that I can follow.

The Rules:

  • DLC does not count towards this, unless it has enough content to justify a spot in the list. So expansion packs like The Shivering Isles count, but something like a BioShock Infinite's horde mode DLC probably won't.
  • It has to be new games, so games I've played already don't count towards this. Kinda incentivizes you to play your unfinished games instead of doing replays.
  • The games have to be finished in the month to count, so starting a new game a month before and then finishing it the next doesn't disqualify it.

That's about it. There are probably other makeshift rules, but they are too unnecessary to list. Onto the games I finished in October.

Games of October 2013:

Mark of the Ninja

After months of owning and not playing Mark of the Ninja, the advent of a recent Humble Bundle finally reminded me that I had the game on my Steam account. This

The special costumes you unlock look pretty badass too.

game reminds a bit like the recent Batman games. The stealthing is not frustrating and the enemies are super dumb. Also, the game gives you a ton of

options to mess with the enemy AI. It almost feels 2D version of the stealth portions of the Arkham games: Enter room, take out dudes one at a time, watch as the AI freak out and start

doing dumb mistakes like shoot at each other. The gameplay is top notch, however it is way too easy to fall into the trap of using the same solutions over and over (I was a fan of using those man eating bugs to scare every bad dude in the vicinity as an opening move). And although the game is fun to play, the story feels like an afterthought. The ending is just... weird. Feels kinda like they put in a plot twist and a choose your ending choice for the sake of it. Tonally, it feels like it was trying to do too much, while the story stuff before the last bit is paper thin at best.

GTA: The Ballad of Gay Tony

The mission involving a celebrity blogger and base jumping was GOLD.

Because of the recent GTA V hype, I had decided that I must finish the rest of the GTA IV addons that I had been putting off. I think The Ballad of Gay Tony is definitely an improvement over The Lost and Damned. I preferred the upbeat atmosphere to TLaD's gritty biker culture thing. Maybe I just don't understand biker culture, but I felt that nothing worth caring about happened during that DLC. Its plot definitely had a hint of something that would eventually inspire the plot to Red Dead Redemption however (dude's style of living is dying out and he just doesn't fit in). But enough about TLaD, Gay Tony has an atmosphere that was just enjoyable. The new side stuff like club management and base jumping are welcome additions to Liberty City. The new characters are probably one of the best in the GTA IV storyline too. Luis and his interactions with Gay Tony are always fun, and even when things got serious you can always tell that these two have known each other for a long time. The scenes with Brucie and his brother are hilarious, I like that Brucie acts way different in the presence of his brother. Also there is Yusuf. The game still plays like GTA IV, but the new stuff makes it wholly enjoyable.

F.E.A.R. 2

Yeeeeeeep...

FEAR 2 started off promising. It even felt like an improvement to the first game in some spots. You can aim with iron sights and you can actually push over stuff in a room to make your own cover. But that feeling of the game being a better FEAR did not last after the first few missions. FEAR was never about the scares for me, but in this one it even seems like kind of an afterthought. There are basically 3 types of scares in the game, each one followed by a spike in string music: The one where Alma pops up and it turns into a QTE, the one where a new enemy type is introduced by popping up in front of the player's vision (cue QTE), and the one where dudes die in front of you when you turn a corner. None of them are all that scary. The game also gets a bit samey halfway through. The enemy types don't seem to change much (there is always a heavy dude, and then followed by smaller fodder). And your time slowing potion is basically infinite, making the game basically a cakewalk, even on the hardest difficulty. But still, it's not bad if you want to shoot dudes in the face and see them slowly fall to the ground. Also, this game's got mad ghost problems. Oh yeah, this game is part of the Humble Bundle as of this moment.

BioShock 2: Minerva's Den

Since the folks at 2K decided to give all of us BioShock 2 PC owners on Steam free copies of the Minerva's Den DLC, I figured it might be the time to finally play through Giant Bomb's 2010 DLC of the Year. Let me start by saying that I knew the big twist at the end when I started this (that you are playing as Porter). This would probably be reflected in my opinions of this DLC. So Minerva's Den unsurprisingly plays a lot like its main game. You run around as a big daddy drinking liquor, killing splicers, hacking stuff, and stealing other big daddy's kids. The narrative sets to explain one of the main underlying mechanisms that govern Rapture, The Thinker computer. And while the world building is nice, it feels a bit unnecessary; I guess this is why it's an addon. I didn't really care much for any of the characters in this DLC. The main antagonist felt like a sub-Sander Cohen, and Porter was just a dude telling you what to do. The audio diaries strewn about serve to give a bit of a backstory for both main characters, but it's just not enough in my opinion. Maybe there wasn't enough time to grow attached to these characters, but the story felt pretty bare. I will say this though, the attention to detail at the very last bit of the DLC is pretty great. And on another note: Tenenbaum's role, despite being advertised on the DLC's store blurb, is surprisingly miniscule. She just seems to be there; they could've removed her and nothing would've changed about the story.

Also, the PC version seems to crash a lot from my experience. I'm not sure if this is the result of removing the GFWL stuff.

Other stuff that I've been playing:

Silent Hill 2

Replayed this two days before Halloween. It's still pretty good even though I know this game inside out and it has ceased to be scary for me.

Dead Space 3: Awakened

Isaac and whatshisface bro it out in space. It certainly has an interesting ending. #MoonCrew

Skullgirls

Skullgirls is a pretty great fighter on the PC. It's a shame that its community is super small.

It's been my goto fighter since its PC release. I'm not really good at it, but it's still fun. The PC community is really dying though. It's a shame because it's a competent fighting game that is still being supported by the devs (there are at least 3 more characters in the works and the game gets patched like every week). And the online uses the delicious GGPO netcode. If you like Marvel-style fighters you should consider trying out Skullgirls. 'Cus I don't want to see this thing die off like MK9's PC community.

I'm also messing with the Unity3D game engine:

For the past few weeks, I've been looking up some 2D games tutorials for the Unity engine in my spare time. I already know a bit (emphasis on "a bit") of the C Sharp programming language, but I'm still fairly green when it comes to creating something big like a video game. But you know what, I figured that I should at least try. So I had decided that I should probably start small if I want to get things done. A shmup like Smash TV shouldn't be too hard to program, and while I was at it I decided that implementing randomized dungeon layouts might be fun. Sounds simple enough. However, even something like this can be a bit difficult to make. It took me an entire week to create a successful dungeon generator; I think I might've overcomplicated it. The implementation of "doors" is a bit easier, it only took me an hour or so it hook all that up. I haven't implemented anything else besides that, because writing enemy AI is hard stuff. The art is reused art from the 2D tutorials I was following, because I don't know where to begin when it comes to drawing and animating sprites. Here's a link to the web player for my little experiment:

http://thunderslash.site90.com/mazetest/mazetest.html

Please keep in mind that it's pretty much nothing right now. I hope that if I keep at it, it might start resembling a game. I hope that I keep at it.

Edit: Oops, something messed up when I posted this and it ended up with a billion images for Mark of the Ninja.

Edit x2: Did they remove the ability to tag pages to a blog? It's not sticking for me. Bug?

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ThunderSlash Destroys His Backlog: First Target, Entry 20

*Spoilers for the game Brave Fencer Musashi*

Entry the Twentieth:

The final battle awaits us now! Last time Fuhrer Flatski summoned Dark Lumina, a giant in a speedo… It is time for Musashi to seal him back into where he belongs!

Ahhhhh LEGS!

The Dark Wizard chases Musashi through a series of bridges and gaps. After a few minutes of running and jumping, he reaches a small round area. Here, his longtime rival awaits him.

Better late than never!

The princess has been kidnapped… again. Kojiro demands Musashi to a duel to the death. But before that can happen, the Dark Wizard comes along and knocks the princess somewhere far off, and then absorbs Kojiro. What the ****?!

Daaayyyumm! THOSE THIGHS!

This doesn’t look good. The giant transforms into some kind of alien lizard thing. The first thing to come out of its mouth is “DUEL…” I guess it also absorbed Kojiro’s personality to go with it. It chases Musashi as he hops his way up a tower.

Kinda reminds me of the Matrix... somewhat... Okay, it doesn't.

The chase itself isn’t the problem though. I am more afraid that I might miss a jump and die. Who knows when was the last checkpoint. After what feels like forever, I finally make it to the top.

Somehow I doubt that she would resist being kidnapped.

How convenient, the princess isn’t harmed at all. Time to face that green alien!

Oh noes! Part Two!!!

This can be a really easy fight, or a hard one. Depending on if Musashi has learned any special moves. For me, this fight was easy. To damage Dark Lumina 2, Musashi has to hit the jewel sitting atop that alien’s head. The thing is, with the right timing and technique, Musashi can keep on hitting that jewel in succession. Because for every smack that jewel takes, Dark Lumina 2 goes into a 2 second stun. So if you take advantage of that stun, you can easily hit it until it reveals its weak point.

After Dark Lumina 2’s health bar is depleted, it explodes (like all good endbosses), leaving behind…

Oh no!! It's A POWER RANGER!

Oh god, this thing is annoying. It cycles through 5 different types of attack patterns, and in between those patterns you have about 4 seconds to get him to reveal his weak spot. To get him to reveal it, you are supposed to assimilate him by using Fusion’s abilities. It takes about 5 seconds to charge up Fusion for the assimilation, which means that you cannot charge it up right after the end of an attack!

Somehow it's greatest weakness is something that had no significance in the story.

So what you have to do is charge it up whilst dodging his attacks. Kinda hard since Musashi automatically walks when he is charging. After 5 or so smacks on his weak point with Lumina, Dark Lumina 3 dies… thus ending Musashi’s journey.

Some time has passed since Dark Lumina was resealed. Fillet’s parents, the king and queen of Allucaneet, have returned from their vacation. They are still oblivious to the events that have occurred while they were gone. Musashi tells the princess that he is going to go return Lumina to its rightful spot.

I think that was the queen that asked you the question.
THE END!

And thus ends the first game in my PS1 backlog. Thank you for accompanying me through this journey. And I hope that you enjoy what I’ve written. See you next mission (when I feel like doing another one)!

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ThunderSlash Destroys His Backlog: First Target, Entry 19

*Spoilers for the game Brave Fencer Musashi*

Entry the Nineteenth:

We are in the final stretch of this game boyo!

After grooving the crap out of Topo, our hero Musashi heads deeper into Soda Fountain, hoping to destroy that last Crest Guardian.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of major setbacks…

For one… There’s this:

I don't see why he needed to yell... or was that spell?

That Cappriciola guy’s got our princess!

Musashi runs up the spiraling ramp, only to be stopped by the other major setback:

Jesus Christ! That thing's got eyes all over it!

Sky Crest Guardian: Tower of Death

Damn this thing is huge! Musashi’s Sky Scroll auto-activates, thus giving him the ability to fly for the duration of this battle.

This Crest Guardian’s main way of attacking Musashi is through its many eyes. The eyes will shoot off lasers in a pretty predictable pattern, along with that are lightning columns that try to fence off Musashi’s path and crevices that jut out of the tower. To beat him, Musashi will have to attack a constantly moving weak point, always to be one of the tower’s eyes. Overall, this fight was a pushover. Its attacks, while strong, are so slow that it is easy to dodge. Plus, it doesn’t have periods of invulnerability that the other Crest Guardians have.

This thing needs to control its temper.

So this Crest Guardian is easily offed.

Why do rays of light always come out of these guys? I didn't poke any holes in them.

“Musashi received The Tower of Death’s core. The Sky Crest has been liberated.” Before I can activate the crest behind Musashi, Capricciola and Flatski show up with their hostage.

Dammit! More Faux German accent!

Flatski demands that Musashi hands over the powered up Lumina in return for the princess. Musashi, of course, doesn’t comply. So Flatski orders Capricciola to shoot Musashi. But for some reason, Capricciola also doesn’t comply. For a fuhrer, this guy sucks ass! Flatski throws a hissy fit, and Capricciola goes into melodramatic mode and reveals that Flatski killed his parents. Also he reveals that he is a prince… and also Jon.

Too many unnecessary plot twists to be had here! Jon takes aim at Flatski, but before he can squeeze off a shot Rootrick pops up and shoots him in the back. This pressures Musashi into handing over the sword. Flatski then throws the princess off the platform he’s on, and she does this hilarious faceplant onto the ground. Now with Lumina, Flatski goes on to activate the Sky Crest. But I was gonna do that anyway! Couldn’t he just wait a little longer!?

Why does he look like a vase in this picture?

With the Sky Crest activated, the sword is now unlocked. It releases this giant oily body builder guy. Behold what Lumina has been containing inside it: DARK EVIL GIANT BODYBUILDER GUY WEARING A SPEEDO!

I would show you the speedo, but the screen was too small.

The giant then goes rampant. He kills off Jon, and chases after Musashi. Musashi and the princess escape the room, but not before Lumina, the sword, returns to Musashi.

NEXT TIME: THE FINAL BATTLE !

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ThunderSlash Destroys His PS1 Backlog: First Target, Entry 18

*Spoilers for the game Brave Fencer Musashi*

Entry the Eighteenth:

Let’s see now, last time we murdered those two thieves. So it mean that we have one more Leader’s Force member to fight! Sweet, we get to beat up a girl with satellite dishes for ears.

I load up my save to find Musashi in some courtyard area of the Soda Fountain. I guess this was the area right after Ben’s fight.

As you can see from the picture, this place is populated with giant knight enemies armed with bazookas and machine guns. Hmm… Reminds me of A Link to the Past somewhat. I assimilate the bazooka knight’s abilities with Fusion to give myself a better chance at offing the enemies in this area. And this ability is STRONG! It does over 300 damage per missile! The courtyard is split up into small sections, each blocked off with a security gate that shoots lasers at you. There is a linear courtyard filled with the knights, then a hedge maze, then more linear courtyard now with mechs and robo-bushes that shoot lasers at you, and then finally another linear courtyard with the enemies before in addition to statues that shoot lasers at you.

So to sum it all up, a courtyard made up of lasers.

The area ends in a cliff with an elevator leading into the castle. And this place is packed with mechs and laser bushes!

I use up all my BP killing these enemies with missile spam, then went in the elevator. Now, I am in the inner area of Soda Fountain. Damn, there are a lot of enemies and gates in this area! Thankfully, most of them drop a lot of health pick-ups. Although, at times I have to use my EX Drinks.

These gates are the most annoying of all though. I cannot use my missiles against them because of those stupid flying pig helicopters! My missiles auto-home in on those flying things. And apparently they can’t hit them and will just spin around them before exploding! Grrr! I am forced to use my melee attacks on these gates, and they take forever!

--30 minutes and a couple of Cheeses later--

Phew, I am finally done with that gauntlet of Thirstquencher security… Now, where am I?

I CHOOSE NEITHER!

Oh. ****. She is apparently challenging Musashi to some kind of rave dance-off.

Only one problem… Musashi can’t dance!

“How To Dance With Style: First, Topo will dance. Watch how she dances and remember her graceful moves! Next, it’s Musashi’s turn. He must keep up with Topo.”

Oh, that sounds easy enough.

“Each time you fail you get zapped.” DAMN IT ALL!

“Start groovin’!!”

First song, I miss a step and…

AUGH! There goes a chunk of my health.

A few more tries and few EX-Drinks later:

Aww yeah! Musashi is putting up a ferocious dance battle! His feet ain’t stoppin’!

Second song, and I didn’t miss a single note! Third song, and Musashi successful grooved himself to victory!

No wai!

Damn straight! I didn’t spend all those hours playing Bust-A-Groove for nothing! Err… Forget I said that… >.>

After out-dancing her, Topo reveals to Musashi that he was being used to power up Lumina. That way they can get the sword without doing all the dirty work. Nooooo! I feel like Solid Snake!!! She then tells Musashi that the last Crest Guardian is somewhere in Soda Fountain. Hmm… Might as well kill it, and then use that powered up Lumina to kill EVERYTHING THAT STANDS IN MY WAY!

NEXT UP: The Last Crest Guardian Is Crushed Beneath Musashi’s Mighty Dance Powers!

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ThunderSlash Destroys His PS1 Backlog: First Target, Entry 17

*Spoilers for the game Brave Fencer Musashi*

Entry the Seventeenth:

Time to head over to that place of no return! From Jon’s clues, I’ve gathered that I am supposed to activate a Wind Crest located somewhere near Steamwood during the morning of Skyday, when it is raining. Also, Farmer McRice gave me big hints… (Actually, he gave me the answer to the riddle).

Well, here I am! At the right time and location, under the correct weather conditions!

Crest!

I activate the Crest and a pillar of wind lifts Musashi off the ground and propels him upward.

Holy shit where am I!?

Some kind of temple? Or maybe this is that Thirstquencher Empire place, Soda Fountain? Well, I pound a few floor switches with the Earth Scroll so that the door to the inside opens up. Except… that it doesn’t lead me inside. Just brings me a little bit closer to the top of the building. Second floor, and I have to use my Fire Scroll to light up some pedestals. Doing so lifts the platform upward. Turns out that the last and final scroll is up here!

Sky Scroll GET!

“While activated you can hover over areas by holding down the X button.” Sweet! Now I can fly!

But suddenly, a giant floating island gets up right next to the floating temple Musashi is on. Oh, so that is Soda Fountain. Cappriciola reveals himself through a side door and orders Musashi to give him Lumina.

Thank you for assuring me... dumbass...

Really? You aren’t gonna try to bargain for it or anything? He isn’t even threatening Musashi. Musashi realizes the colonel’s incompetence and gives him the finger. The colonel laughs it off leaves Musashi. But Musashi ain’t having none of that! He boards the floating empire through a series of pipes and engines.

At the end I am greeted by Ben.

He doesn't look too happy.

Oh look, he wants to fight. This fight isn’t that hard. But damn, he hurts a hell of a lot. One hit from him can take more than 50 HP. Just need to dodge his bombs and boomerangs. After beating him, I move on to the next area.

Ugh, this area is a labyrinth. Multiple doorways and branching paths, if you pick the wrong way it resets you back to the beginning. Through countless trial and errors, I find my way out of it and to the next boss fight.

He doesn't look too smart.

Ed’s fight is a bit easier than Ben’s. This is because his attacks a way slower than Ben’s. He has 2 main methods of attacking: the first is a giant Hadoken beam that follows Musashi around the room (it’s easy to dodge because you can jump right over it), the other is a type of bomb that has a blast that spreads throughout the whole room (also easy to jump over). So overall, I didn’t lose much health in this fight.

NEXT UP: The last member of Leader’s Force goes down!

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ThunderSlash Destroys His PS1 Backlog: First Target, Entry 16

*Spoilers for the game Brave Fencer Musashi*

Entry the Sixteenth:

“I wonder where those giant ants come from…”

Well, obviously they came from that giant vent atop that cliff!

Back in your hole! - Marcus Fenix

This one. Inside, the corpse of the ant that had climbed in greeted me…

Squishy.

I guess it did die right after losing all that green blood. Oh well, I head deeper into the tunnels. A dense purple fog covers the way deeper into the cave, I use my Wind Scroll to get through it since I’m pretty sure any type of weird colored fog is dangerous.

Whoa, it looks like I am inside another section of the mines. There are wooden rafters everywhere, and those oscillating thingamabobs.

Spikes! My Weakness!

Dead ends like these don’t stop the Brave Fencer! Just one quick move from the Earth Scroll sends those boulders crashing down, making a makeshift bridge!

Reminds me of Half-Life a bit.

Aha! What?! Giant fans again!? That doesn’t stop the Brave Fencer! I will use you to reach higher places!

Spikes on an ant's ass, my TRUE weakness!

Giant purple ants? Dead once the Brave Fencer sees them! As for the red ones, they are invincible. So I’ll just have to dodge them. Also, they hurt a ton!

I find a cart that Musashi can climb into. I jump in and initiate a minigame that is kinda like Wormhole.

Nothing is safer than riding a trolley made of 4 pieces of wood.

As the cart moves along, you will have to dodge flying ants, stalagmites, gates, and other stuff that for some reason is in the way of the cart’s path. You get four lives, if you get hit 4 times you’ll have to start over. Pretty easy if you just pay attention. Extremely easy if you pause the game every time you see something ahead (“heheheheheh”). At the end of the path, there sits some Wind Scroll-able dirt. I grind through it and…

It seems to be a giant bug, young sir.

LAND RIGHT ON TOP OF THIS! The Wind Crest Guardian: Queen Ant! This is probably the hardest boss fight so far, since it feels as if it takes forever to get the Queen to reveal her weak spot. Again, there is a pattern to it: Jump around like an idiot dodging her stomach spikes, claws, larvae, and grab attempts. Every single attack except for the larvae take out a nice chunk of health from Musashi. After a while, she will get exhausted and that is when Musashi is supposed to smack her face. Unfortunately, that doesn’t damage her life bar. Instead, you will have to do this a couple of times before her tail end glows. But because of the purple fog covering that end, Musashi will have to activate the Wind Scroll to get to it, which thankfully auto hits it for you. Do this 3 times and…

Glowy orbz!

Dat bitch is down!

Wind Crest Liberated! CHAPTER END!

CHAPTER 6 START! The Sword of Luminescence!

Musashi wakes up in a forest with Jon and his dog Leno in front of him. Jon tells him that he has been looking for the scrolls all this time… JON SUCKS AT TREASURE HUNTING CONFIRMED! Jon tells Musashi of a clue he found that could possibly lead to the Sky Scroll.

The text is in red, it must be important!

Then he says his goodbye to Musashi. What? Is he gonna kill himself or something? And also warns him that he should get prepared, because there is no turning back. Dun dun dunnnnn!

To Be Continued Next Time! When we figure out what those clues mean!

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ThunderSlash Destroys His PS1 Backlog: First Target, Entry 15

*Spoilers for the game Brave Fencer Musashi*

Entry the Fifteenth:

“I can’t believe she was a fake! Well, I should look for the remaining scrolls.”

According to the mayor, “There was a secret cave that led to a sublime tower…” located somewhere near the reservoir. The next scroll might be there, so to the reservoir we go! Oh yeah, I had previously activated the water crest in this area, so now that one half of the area is not filled with water new places are revealed. I followed a path till it ended with a fire crest.

That crest looks angry...

I use the fire scroll to activate it, and it spits out a column of lava. The lava strikes the ceiling revealing a way out. I decide to climb out, let’s see what awaits us up there. And sure enough, there was a scroll at the next area.

WIND SCROLL GET!

Musashi can now resist strong winds by creating cyclones! Also, strong cyclones can dig holes in certain places.

Like the ground that I am standing on right now? I try it out… Holy crap the Musashi fell right through the floor! Right onto an area where those two Thirsquencher girls are standing.

Who are you calling kid, woman!?

With Musashi unconscious, they plot to take Lumina from him. But thankfully he wakes up in time… to a blast from Bubbles’ gun. This encases Musashi into one of those green crystals that I’ve been freeing the castle people from. Gingerelle scolds Bubbles because apparently this green crystal stuff is kinda hard to break open. They both warp out of the scene to tell their boss what’s up.

Oh no, I am trapped inside a crystal that my sword can destroy.

And now Musashi is stuck… Oh wait I have Lumina! I break the crystal from the inside and escape back to the village. The village is in a panic when I got back, something about a gigantic ant attacking the gondola office.

It’s trying to get the pea soup and syrup inside, “Oh…” Then Musashi has a brilliant idea.

That's just pea soup... I think...

BAM! Ram that ant with the gondola! The ant escapes, despite it losing like a few gallons of green blood, into some kind of vent on top of a cliff. I guess the next course of action is to find the source of these mutant ants.

NEXT UP: INVESTIGATING THOSE GIANT ANTS!

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ThunderSlash Destroys His PS1 Backlog: First Target, Entry 14

*Spoilers for the game Brave Fencer Musashi*

Entry the Fourteenth:

“’Something troublesome?’ Better ask the shop people!”

It's tax season!

Apparently Fillet has been visiting the shops in town and taking all of their money. I guess the castle needs their tax, but 100% is a lot of tax…

Kurt at the toy shop says that to get his revenge on the princess, he’s gonna sell action figures of her! Oh hell yeah, I’ll be your first one to purchase this!

Note to self: Buy Fillet figure once he starts selling them.

But for now, I guess my Bubbles and Gingerelle action figures will have to do…

Pew Pew Pew!

“What are you looking at? They aren’t dolls or anything!” >.>

Whooo! Action Figures!

“STOP STARING AT ME! DON’T JUDGE ME!”

After I was done playing with my toys, it’s time to get serious. So I head over to Steward Ribson, intending on asking him about the Princess and her money-taking actions. But of course things don’t turn out as smoothly as I hoped. Fillet disappeared a while back… probably during the time I was at the ice palace.

Now that the gondola has been repaired, I can use it to get in and out of the castle. Musashi tells Ribson that he will be on the look out for the princess, then we high tail it out of there.

STEAM!? STEAM!? STEEEEAAAAAAM!?

Uh oh… Steam… Steam… FFFFFFFFFFF- Not THAT again!!!

I head over to Steamwood just to make sure…

Aaaand there is definitely a problem here. At the entrance of Steamwood lies Fores the administrator… He gives Musashi a valve handle.

“I locked her in there.”

Who?

“The Princess…”

Oh… crap.

“Then the brat… She made Steamwood go berserk!”

DAMN! NOT THIS **** AGAIN!

Seriously! Go fix that damn tree yourself!

Yep… There’s that familiar timer in the corner… 24 minutes till Steamwood explodes… Even Musashi is raging inside: “Steamwood… Grrrr… Not again!?”

Time to head inside and do this all over again, so I insert the valve handle I just got into the entrance…

That's the kind of royalty we need!

Inside, the Princess mumbles something about being promoted. Musashi notices that she has a tail and pulls on it. Then the imposter reveals who she really is: Topo, one of the 3 thieves from Leader’s Force, working under Colonel Capriciolla. She disappears in a puff of smoke and leaves behind the profits she took from the town shops. Time to fix this steam leaks…

This time… it’s a bit more difficult. The valves for each sector of the area have been removed and placed all over the place. So I’ll have to gather them before I can do any valve-turning.

MOTHERFUCKER took mah handle!

For some reason, this one doesn’t feel as difficult as the last. I didn’t mess up at all in the timing of the valve mini-game. That’s a relief… Hopefully, this is the last Steamwood related thing in the game.

Release that steam!

NEXT TIME ON BFM: Finding the next Scroll!

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ThunderSlash Destroys His PS1 Backlog: First Target, Entry 13

*Spoilers for the game Brave Fencer Musashi*

Entry the Thirteenth:

I remember Steward Ribson suggesting I ask the castle’s three mercenaries on the whereabouts of the Thieves’ Hideout last time, so the logical thing to do is to talk to them. Apparently they each have a piece of a letter:

“Meandering Forest. Four Way Path: Gold, Knight, Knight, Knight, Bishop.” – From Mercenary Potrowst

He also suggests that this might have something to do with the game Shogi.

“Left, Right, Right, Left, Straight ahead.” – From Mercenary Stue

“Duh… About the Knight… D, don’t worry about which way y, you’re facing. Go straight ahead (up).” – From Mercenary Meitlofe

Geez, even their speech abnormalities are carried over to the letters they write… Unless this is some kind of TRICK!

First thing I should do is to see how Shogi works, and I recall that the castle library contains a book on it… But then that would mean I would have to visit… him…

NOOOOOOOOOOOO!

No! NO! Have you been waiting for me for 40 days straight!? Let’s just get this over with… tell me all you know about Shogi.

So Shogi is basically chess… the Gold can be moved one space in any direction, except diagonally. The Knight can be moved two spaces up and one space right or left. And the Lance can be moved any number of spaces up.

So I guess there will be some kind of puzzle waiting for me at Meandering Forest. I make haste and head over there with my weeks-old cheese as backup sustenance. Mmm… Cheese…

At the Meandering Forest, I am greeted by this awesome song... And a sign.

'Nall wat am sayin'!

Ugh… this is some kind of maze, I will have to use the clues gotten from the mercs to reach the hideout.

Left once… Knight (Up Up Right)… Uhh Knight (Same as last one I think)… Oh crap it’s snowing… Knight (this time it’s Up Up Left I think)… Then it’s “Bishop/Straight ahead.”

Oh hell yeah! I cannot believe that I got that one right my first time through! Straight ahead is the thieves’ hideout! Some kind of ice palace.

When in doubt, choose the first option.

Inside, I am greeted by Gingerelle… one of those Thirstquencher gals. Too bad Musashi doesn’t know that. She tells him that the thieves are gone, and calls him darling like 7 times.

Sounds like a type of beverage.

Oh well, she doesn’t seem that dangerous… yet. Let’s explore this place.

This place is populated with robo-penguins! Ones that shoot bullets once you smack off their heads! And to make things worse, I don’t think you can assimilated them. Also… There are karate wolves. And annoying mime bots that mirror your moves.

PENGUINS!

After a bit of puzzle solving and key finding, I get the L-Shoes, allowing Musashi to walk up slippery surfaces!

Oh god, in the process of finding a way deeper into the palace I got myself poisoned! After getting all the keys, I find my way into this area:

Hmm... Chilly.

There is a dragon statue at the far end of this room, I wonder what will happen if I touch it…

Who 's that Crest Guardian! It's ice ONYX!

Oh god I am dropped into this chamber with the next Crest Guardian: Frost Dragon! I have to fight this thing poisoned!

Oh god oh man oh god oh man OH GOD!

Get away from me! It chases me to a wide open arena and there the real battle begins! Like the other Crest Guardians, beating it is a matter of finding a way for it to reveal its weak spot, and then smashing that spot with Lumina. After a couple of hits on that weak spot…

LIBERATION!

Meanwhile at the Thirstquencher Empire…

That sounds like an understatement.

Cappricola is pretty pissed off at the two thieves… Plus, something about Topo’s plans.

Chapter 5 START: The One That Nests Underground

I get back to the village and the mayor seems pretty depressed, he tells Musashi to ask the stores about it… “Huh?”

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ThunderSlash Destroys His PS1 Backlog: First Target, Entry 12

*Spoilers for the game Brave Fencer Musashi*

Entry the Twelfth:

Apparently I am supposed to do something with the rock-salt given to me by the mayor. Hotelo mentions something about a “slug-like” boulder that is next to a beach. So I explore the areas around town for a while for this boulder.

I head to the forests looking for anything that might look like a path to a beach. On the way I find a pair of Legendary Goggles, now I can appraise stuff without the help of the pawnshop! One sign points me toward “The Isle of Dragons”… That sounds kinda like a beach! So I follow the road that it pointed me to.

That's a giant slug...

This boulder looks enough like a giant slug! I use the rocksalt on it and it shrinks and slithers away. Turns out that it was really a slug… I head deeper into the area and find myself in front of a giant body of water. Oh look! There is another scroll in the water! But I can’t find a way to the scroll that wouldn’t require Musashi to drown. I’m betting that this has to do with the calendar. So I take a look at it…

A Calendar Made For MEN... and aliens.

These symbols look just like the symbols of the elemental scrolls. The scroll that is underneath the body of water has the symbol that kinda looks like a frowny face. So I have to wait till it’s the fourth day of the week? If the first day is Sunday, then I’ll have to wait till it’s Wednesday. Time to sleep till it’s time! Also, the blacksmith at the castle upgraded Fusion for me, so now it’s yellow-ish!

After 4 days of sleep, I head back to the scroll. But the place was still unreachable, maybe I’ll wait one more day. A day later, and still nothing changes… But the next day the tide recedes! YES!

FIRE SCROLL GET!

Fire Scroll Obtained!

Oh snaps, after getting the scroll Kojiro shows up with a hostage, Fillet!

“So you saw me do that flashy stuff right?”

“Yes, I had to put on my sunglasses.”

You know what I mean Laharl.

IT’S TIME TO DUEL!

Ehhh, that wasn’t much of a duel. All I did was run circles around him as he shoots his projectiles, then when he’s done run over and smack him with Lumina. Anyways, Princess Fillet is saved!

Well, I do have this big-ass talking sword.

Back at the castle, Ribson suggests that I find the thieves that tried to burn the village. And Fillet is really insistent on finding all 5 scrolls…

Oh... so that's his name. I've been calling him Geezer.

NEXT UP: Finding the Thieves’ Hideout!

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