Endure This! Run! Part 1: That's How You Treat Your Superweapon?
Well, so begins my crazy experiment in storytelling. And this game.
As you can see above, The Last Remnant was an original JRPG that the company created, and they were very happy about it. Army vs. army battles, an epic storyline that didn't include the words "Final Fantasy" attached, and even the Unreal Engine to show off the graphics in battle. And so begins our tale of one boy's journey to reunite with his lost...well, let's let the story speak for itself.
Ah, a scenic forest. A lovely, serene place to open our tale, where our protagonist decides to stop and smell the flowers.
Flowers that remind him of memories past. By which we mean yesterday. I think. The game is kind of vague on the timeline between this and the first trip to Flashback Land.
Hark, what is that in the distance?
Oh. That. Rush somehow missed the part where TWO GIGANTIC ARMIES ARE PREPARING TO BATTLE EACH OTHER, not more than a kilometer away from where Rush was standing. Trust me, this is only the beginning of a slew of "derp" moments that Rush will have before this game is over.
So who will win this epic battle? Who has the advantage? Will the sheer numbers of Jhana and Raptor beasts win over the heavily armed and armored force composed of the four main races to be commanded in this game?
Oh. Well, they have a gigantic magical superweapon. Looks like blondie with the red-blue suit and gold fringes here will win this fight, just as long as...
Wait, seriously? Your plan was to just drop the giant superweapon onto the middle of the field and hope it wouldn't break? Who the fuck designed it like that? Can't even be arsed to bolt it down to a solid base so you can aim it if it doesn't fall the right way? And how are you even going to transport that thing back if you survive?
Ok, fine, we'll trust that blondie knows how to handle a trash mob of monsters with a magical cannon that can only fire straight ahead.
Rush suddenly spots someone across the field of battle, shouts "IRINA!" and decides that the prudent thing to do would be to run directly into the middle of the battle, where the one-shot superweapon was unceremoniously set up. Despite the fact that the woman in question is facing away from him and looks nothing like his sister Irina, Rush seems to be bereft of leads and decides that whether he lives or dies, at least he will no longer have to bear the burden of being away from his beloved sister.
...or he could just be an idiot. Either way, this leads us into a TUTORIAL BATTLE!
Okay folks, because I'm trying to make this ER somewhat informative, I'll try to explain the basics here as best I can.
Starting at the top is the Morale bar. The more blue is, the more your units are feeling good about themselves, and therefore more likely to launch special attacks. Just below that on the right is a tactical map that shows where your units are (blue) in relation to the enemy (red). Don't worry about things like formation or position for now, as you have almost no control over those things anyways in the middle of battle.
That list on the left displays the units (Unions) under your control. On the right is a list of commands the whole unit will follow. They generally break down into three types here: Standard Attack, Mystic Arts, and Combat Arts. There are lots more Arts, but they don't come until later.
- Standard Attack: Character will whack the enemy with their equipped weapon or weapons.
- Mystic Arts: Damage-dealing magic attacks. Encompasses everything from spark bolts to particularly strong bursts of wind.
- Combat Arts: Special physical attacks, allows a character to make multiple strikes or more powerful strikes. Depends on weapon(s) equipped and experience.
Before you ask: no, you cannot individually select commands for each person within the unit. Just hope that the list contains the commands you want. I'm sorry, but there's no way around this, it is the most annoying thing about this game so far.
Below the commands list is the list of enemy units you can attack. Pushing right or left will allow you to select the unit to target with your selected unit.
On the bottom left and right you will see the leaders of each unit, their total HP (health points), and the pips representing the number of individuals within the unit. Your units also have their own morale and AP (ability points), which determine the arts you can select. Each individual character does have their own HP and AP that they lend to the group with their own arts, but if the Union HP hits 0, everyone in that unit is dead. No exceptions.
Okay, that's enough explanation for this screen.
When an allied unit and an enemy unit first meet each other on equal terms, they reach Deadlock. There are many other versions, but this is the most basic combat situation. They are locked with each other until one unit dies, or intentionally breaks Deadlock to hit another unit (which gives the attacker a free shot later if he decides to pursue you). When a second or third unit gangs up on the first, they get a Flank Attack, hitting the same unit for free and with added damage. And if a fourth unit gets involved, it becomes a Rear Assault, and chances are you're probably dead already if you have four units ganging up on one of yours. Seriously, don't get in that situation.
Don't worry about moving the units back and forth. After you select the commands, the game does it for you automatically.
This being a Tutorial battle, neither side will be able to fully kill the other, but you do get to see some cool fight scenes and you learn some names that you will be using later. Soon, David decides he's had enough of this tutorial, and proceeds to counter the enemy zerg rush with the power of the Gae Bolg.
Despite the fact that the enemies and allies are mixed in closely with each other on the map, somehow David's magical high-tech eyepatch will make sure it only hits the bad guys. Three of the four Generals have a quick chat with each other about this.
Torgal: "Uh, not to rain on anyone's deadly parade, but aren't we also kind of close to the cannon by that logic? She's right next to us."
Pagus: "Yes, but the rifling on the barrel and the proximity of enemy forces ensures that it will only hit a narrow area."
Torgal: "Yeah, about that: Wouldn't it make more sense to aim the cannon from an elevated area, and build a base to absorb any potential recoil? I mean, we could have just fired this thing from a distance, from high ground, destroyed all the enemies in one shot, and not have to risk our lives fighting wild monsters. The End. Honestly, why did we even bring that thing out here if we're just--"
Blocter: "Hey, four-arms, you usin' that there SCIENCE again? What did we tell you about bein' a smart-ass?"
Torgal: *sigh* "Alright, let's retreat."
David uses a special gun-like Remnant, called the "Kellendros," to aim the Gae Bolg. Interestingly enough, he can also use the Kellendros as a magic gun by itself. It doesn't seem to require much more than a few seconds of start up time to aim, which the enemies always give him when he feels like using it, so you think he'd use it in battle every chance he got. Well, that's a mystery for another day.
Apparently, the Gae Bolg is capable of lifting itself off the ground to fire. Maybe David did know what he was doing after all, except for the part where he's going to sacrifice one of his generals just to destroy several low-level enemy units. Or the part where he could have just used this at the start and not had to get his army involved at all. That's just a dick move, David. Seriously.
Y'know, if you told me that there would be a magical gun that teabags the opponent with balls of light in a JRPG, I'd smack you across the face. Then ask which game. Then run off to play something better. But no, I get to watch this happen instead.
Welp, that's the end of this battle. I guess now that we defeated the forces of evil I don't have to play this game anymore right? What happened to that crazy kid from before, anyway? I'm sure he's just another sad casualty of war. It's a damn shame how so many young lives are taken in this--
...oh for fuck's sake. Guess this wasn't the merciful end after all, but a beginning!
Next Time on Endure This! Run!
- Emma discovers her cruel fate!
- Rush relates a tale of woe!
- Rush is mystified by a common noun!
I hope you people are enjoying your Battlefields and your Batmans while I decided to play this thing instead. I will try to have another part up by next week, barring any emergencies on my end. Leave your compliments or tell me what I'm doing wrong. Either way, I'll take it under advisement.