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HaroldofTheRock
Jun 3, 2003



Pillbug



Knights in the Nighmare is a Nintendo DS game developed by Sting Entertainment and published in North America by Atlus on June 2, 2009. Considered a blend of strategy RPG and bullet hell shooter, the game has notoriety for not only being strange as heck, but extremely complicated…perhaps to a fault. The game has a difficult learning curve; in fact there is a significant level of knowledge you must have just to get through the first battle. As a result, the game asks a lot out of new players. Those that persevere will find that the game is extremely well designed, and once understood, the mechanics make sense within the game and become second nature. Most importantly, the game is fun.

Gameplay involves a setup phase and a battle phase. You set up your guys on a preparation screen by selecting their weapons and which knight class you want to use. Positioning, enemy type, one-chance-to-get items and more dictate your strategy. Once you are ready, the battle phase begins and you spend a round scurrying from enemy fire and commanding your knights with the stylus. The game starts off fairly slow, but before too long, the action gets rather fast paced and nerve wracking.

lol why doesn’t someone just wake them up? The story so far concerns a kingdom in peril. Starting a new game grants us the following information:

The Gleivnir Kingdom is a nation consisting of twelve orders of Knights, and has existed for thousands of years.

Something bad happened. Reeal bad.

Almost everyone is dead.

A thief has taken something very precious from Castle Aventheim, the capitol.

That’s it. The story in this game is presented in both normal cut scenes, and flashback cut scenes that are shown out of order. The plot is fairly dense (I guess Sting wanted a complicated story to go along with their complicated game). I personally don’t understand every nuance of the story, but playing through does provide a good enough gist.

This game is one of the most melancholy, bleak titles I’ve ever played. I would like to preserve that atmosphere during the let’s play, but within reason…no one wants to watch a video that depresses them. While we’re on the subject:

Spoiler policy: The game does have some interesting twists. I would appreciate it if spoilers were kept to a minimum and properly tagged.

LP format: I have beaten this game twice. I understand most of its mechanics, but a few things still elude me. The playthrough will be somewhat blind as I have forgotten a lot about the plot and specific stages/bosses/what have you.

This game needs to be presented in video. I will be doing the first few videos with live commentary, as I feel it will allow me to efficiently describe what I’m doing and why. The first few videos will, by necessity, have a large amount of information on gameplay mechanics so that the laser light show you watch will have a rhyme and reason. Eventually I would like to shift to post commentary, but only after I think I’ve covered the important details.

To supplement the videos, I will have post entries that will cover the mechanics stuff I’ve gone over, as well as a brief plot synopsis. I think I understand most of the game mechanics; if I state something incorrectly, please set me straight!

In addition, I am a little paranoid that I will not do a good job explaining all the mechanics. I would like to urge people to post questions in the thread if I’m not being clear, or if I do something that doesn’t make sense, etc. There is also a decent chance that your question “why didn’t you equip the axe when you fought with a warrior” will be answered with “oh I’m glad you asked, it turns out I’m an idiot.”

Update schedule: I would like to keep new videos coming out at a regular pace, but full disclosure: I really don't know wtf I'm doing, and I struggle with the capture and editing process. As a result, I’m slow as hell. I’ll do my best though.

This is actually a good time to give a huge thanks to the Sandcastle thread and especially forum user Mastigophoran, who wrote the script I’m using to format the video (I don’t know how the hell it works). In addition, she was also extremely patient with my idiotic questions. We’re talking really stupid questions.

Having said all that, let’s get this ball rolling:




0. Knights in the Nightmare Introduction
Description of Knight classes in the game
Post regarding the plot of the game
1. Scene 1, Rounds 1 and 2 (covering how to attack, Law/Chaos phases, the time limit, and equipment screen is introduced
2. Scene 1, Round 3 (covering battle winning conditions, magic points
3. Scene 1, Round 4 (covering Knight recruitment, key items, Pause talk)
4. Scene 2 (more info on breaking objects, new class: Hermit, gameplay element: punishing enemies)
5. Scene 3 (new Knight class: Lance Knight. Discussion of movement on the field. Interrupting enemies. Changing an enemy's elemental affinity.)
6. Inventory Management. General gameplay details, too numerous to mention. No story progression.
7. Boss fight! Clash with the Werewolf Jaime. New Knight class: Archer. How not to collect key items.
Forum post on how Height/elevation works on your attacks
8. Scene 5. New Knight class: Duelist. Hiding mechanics.
9. Scene 6: Suspicion in the Air. New Knight class: Wizard
10. Scene 7: Sacrificial Lambs. New Knight class: Priestess
11. Leveling mode.
12. Scene 8: Gathering of the Four.
13. Scene 9: Her Own Purpose.
14. Scene 10: Liberator's Proposal. The Armored Maiden joins us.
15. Scene 11: The Gatekeeper of Doom. Boss fight! Clash with Rivulia the Judgement
16. Scene 12: Whisperer in the Shadows
17. Scene 13: Those Who Seek Ancardia
Bonus Video 1: footage of the Hound enemy's special attack and the animation that plays if you idle on the title screen.
18. Scene 14: Wings of Darkness. Boss fight! Clash with the Fallen Angel Melissa.
Plot recap video 1, covering main characters we've met so far. Featuring a lovely, inaccurate map.
Plot recap video 2, covering the flashbacks we've seen so far, set in chronological order.
Plot recap video 3, covering the present time cutscenes we've seen so far.
19. Scene 15: Fruitless Efforts
20. Scene 16: Knight in Tainted Armor. Boss fight! Clash with the Black Knight Gunther.
21. Scene 17: A Presence Draws Near
22. Scene 18: The Yearning Souls Boss fight! Clash with the Fallen Angel Melissa -- Round 2
23. Scene 19: The Lost Dominion
24. Scene 20: Menace at the Castle Gate Boss Fight! Clash with Beast King Dotaurus (and Garm)
25. Scene 21: Impending Threat
Bonus Video 2: Garm's maul attack and discussing Pamela
26. Scene 22: The Desperate Cardinal Boss Fight! Clash with the Fallen Angel Melissa -- Round 3
27. Scene 23: The Witch's Pawn
28. Scene 23.5: The Guardian of the Chamber Boss Fight! Clash with the Titan Scoppio
29. Scene 24: Assault on the Tomb
30. Scene 25: The Heart Astray Boss Fight! Clash with the Gladiator Leonil
Bonus Video 3: Leonil's attacks
31. Scene 26: The Rise of the Witch
32. Scene 27: A Man with a Lion's HeartBoss Fight! Clash with the Sniper Aquina
33. Scene 28: The Eye of the Battle
34. Scene 29: The Lion and the DragonBoss Fight! Clash with Cardinal Capehorn
Bonus Video 4: More Capehorn fights for funsies
35. Scene 30: Where the Current LeadsBoss Fight! Clash with the Fallen Angel Melissa -- Round 4
Bonus Video 5: Maria
36. Scene 31: Deep into the Night
37. Scene 32: The Accursed Ones
38. Scene 33: The Forsaken Race
39. Scene 34: Descendants of DragonsBoss Fight! Clash with Vilgo the Immortal
40. Scene 35: The Outcasts of OldBoss Fight! Clash with the Witch Vienna
41. Scene 36: In Possession of the Body
42. Scene 37: The Cardinal's Keepsake
43. Scene 38: The Two PursuersBoss Fight! Clash with the Cursed Piche
Bonus Video 6: Alternate fight with Piche
44. Scene 39: Venturing into the Labyrinth
45. Scene 40: Placing of the Seal
Bonus Video 7: Rush Count Requests
46. Scene 41: The Breach of the Sanctuary. Boss Fight! Clash with the Devout Sacchito
47. Scene 42: The Princess' Pride
48. Scene 43: The Witch's Vexation
49. Scene 44: Distant MemoriesBoss Fight! Clash with Princess Alier
50. Scene 45: An Ambition to Transcend All
Bonus Video 8: The Lord of Aventheim Castle
51. Scene 46: The Arbitrator's Destiny :siren:Boss Fight! Clash with the Dark King Zolgonark
Bonus Video 9: Zolgonark showcase
52. Scene 47: Law and Chaos :siren:Boss Fight! Clash with Melad Margus
52. The Endings
Bonus Video 10: Dept Heaven Episodes Plot Overview

HaroldofTheRock fucked around with this message at 05:05 on Jul 10, 2016

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HaroldofTheRock
Jun 3, 2003



Pillbug



There are seven different classes of Knights in this game (and once special class). Each Knight class has a different attack pattern and a special ability. I will be leveling up one knight from each class…which is a pretty lousy strategy, but don’t worry, it will be fine. I mention The Tome of Lost Souls in this section...which is the collector’s art book that came with preorders for the game. I got a copy from Amazon for like $12, and it is totally worth it if you want more details about the game.



Warriors
“I’ll cleave your skull!”
Faces: northwest, northeast
Mobility: none
Weapon: Axe
Sex: Male only

The warrior is probably going to be the single most used class in the game. Featuring a decent attack range in Law phase and a very good range in Chaos, warriors are able to administer damage over a good area. In addition, there is a very important feature to their attack – it is the only way to completely destroy an object on the field. This is mandatory for getting certain key items, and also needed to gather materials for weapon upgrades. In addition, they are one of the three Knight classes that can attack in the northwest/northeast directions—and the only one that can consistently and reliably do so in Chaos phase. Because of these reasons, warriors see a lot of play in the game.

Our warrior:
Johann Elliot of the 11th Order

"I've only just left, yet I already miss home..."

Class: Warior
Atlus.com says this of Johann:
“A young, timid boy who joins the knights to make his mother proud. He treasures the things she sends to him from home.”
The Tome of Lost Souls says this:
Sullen Axe
“Johann is always worried about the well-being of his mother, Nadia. He is incredibly homesick, but he continues to endure because he wants to make a difference in the kingdom. Lisbet tends to worry about him and does her best to take care of him. Johann has a secret crush on Leier, but he is afraid to tell her how he feels.”

Johann is a bit of a sadsack, which I think is why he appeals to me. It's also pretty clear that he doesn't really want to be a Knight, but did so out of obligation/duty/whatever. He likes Leier, but unfortunately, we won't meet her this playthrough. You just want to give him a big hug and tell him everything’s going to be alright! Without mentioning that he’s dead.



Hermits
“Revenge is mine.”
Faces: southwest, southeast
Weapon: Daggers
Sex: Female only
Mobility: none
Hermits have a few interesting mechanics to play around with. They see a significant increase in their charge speed the higher their elevation is. They also possess the ability to inflict status effects on enemies when they attack in Law phase. The status effects are quite varied and, if taken advantage of, can be devastating. Plus hermits are just plain cool. I quite enjoy using hermits.

Our hermit:
Moira Chateletze of the 11th Order

"I wanted to support him..."

Class: Hermit
Atlus says this of Moira:
“A calm and collected woman with combat experience to spare. She is engaged to Wunsche of the 4th Order.”
The Tome of Lost Souls says this:
Iron Rose
“She is a strong and beautiful woman who commands a great deal of respect from her subordinates. Her unit has been known to get rowdy at times, but she has a lot of pride in all of them. Although she is generally calm, when Moira gets angry, she does not hold anything back, and her subordinates have learned how to keep her content. Moira is currently taking care of the stray dog that Cress found, and she is betrothed to Wunsche.”

Not really much of a hermit, is she? I like Moira; first impression is that she has a stick up her rear end, but she's really an approachable person. She was supposed to get married to Wunsche. Unfortunately, he is not available to us in this playthrough, so she will most likely never see him again...



Lance Knights
“I shall crush my foe.”
Faces: any direction
Weapon: Lance
Sex: Male or Female
Mobility: one or two squares when charged in Chaos Phase
Lance Knights have two very obvious attributes: They can attack in any direction, and they can move on the battlefield. Movement requires being charged while in Chaos Phase; the movement itself is a rush attack. Lance Knights cannot move if the elevation difference is greater than 1.0. While in Law Phase, Lance Knights have a long reach straight ahead and can often nail multiple enemies or objects that are lined in a row. Additionally, a Lance Knight's attack has a knockback effect.

Our Lance Knight:
Alonso Updike of the 11th Order

“What do you mean I talk too loud!?”

Class: Lance Knight
Atlus.com says this of Alonso:
”A spear-wielder, Alonso is highly critical of others and slightly arrogant. People know him for his booming voice.”
The Tome of Lost Souls says this:
Savage Impaler
”He looks after the rest of the order almost obsessively. Alonso’s expert knowledge on spears is almost unmatched, and local blacksmiths are nervous about dealing with him because of it. However, what Alonso is best known for is being a very loud talker, and his comrades talk about it behind his back frequently. He is aware of how loud he is, but he has no desire to lower his volume.”

Alonso earned his place in our roster by virtue of being a loudmouth. Well, he also started with a good amount of vitality and his elemental affinity is lightning, which gives our group a little diversity. We are definitely going to see Alonso being used a fair bit in this game, as his movement capabilities are essential to positioning our other Knights.


Archers
“I’ll carve you into pieces!”
Faces: Southwest, Southeast
Weapon: Bow
Sex: Male only
Mobility: none
Archers have quite a few details to them. Their Law Phase attack is a single square that, once charges, cycles through the available ranges until you release the stylus and attack. In addition, a Law Phase attack will afflict the enemy with the “stun” condition, which freezes them in place for a moment and grants a minimum of 100% damage to them from the next received blow. In Chaos Phase, their attack range grows from a single square to a small AoE, and again cycles through available ranges like the Law Phase attack did.

Both Law Phase and Chaos Phase attacks will, upon lifting the stylus, lock down any targeted enemies so that they cannot wander out of the attack during the animation. This is unique among Archers and helps guarantee you that the enemy will receive damage. Furthermore, each square hit by an Archer’s attack is a valid source of damage for the enemy, meaning that large enemies that cover more than one square will receive damage from both squares, as long as the Archer’s attack lands on them.

Finally, Archers see a huge decrease to their charge times if they are on a higher elevation block. Getting an Archer on a 12-Height block nearly removes the charge time completely.

Our Archer
Dreyuss Koubelka of the 11th order

“Wow, the world is a pretty big place.”

Class: Archer
Atlus.com says this of Dreyuss:
“A pure-hearted boy from the countryside who has a hard time finding his way in the royal city. He shows great promise with his bow.”
The Tome of Lost Souls says:
Eagle Eye
“He is an excellent Archer, and he knows it. Dreyuss has a tendency to be blunt and rude at times, but he always means well. For a young man who spends most of his day focusing intently on targets, measuring wind speeds, and searching for strategic firing locations, he has a surprisingly horrible sense of direction. Dreyuss studied archery under Legaard, and he is fortunate to have Frances looking after him like an older sister.”

Dreyuss is a young whippersnapper that we see get killed by the werewolf, Jamie, in the flashback cutscene of Scene 4. (It looks like Firenz was giving him some valuable life lessons for naught.) I do expect him to get a lot of play during this run, as Archers are able to cover quite a bit of ground and do good damage.



Duelists
“Fear my blade!”
Faces: Northwest, Northeast
Weapon: Rapier
Sex: Female only
Mobility: can move one square forward in Chaos Phase, regardless of height
The most striking thing about Duelists is that they can move on the battlefield, even climbing up to blocks of higher elevation. There does not appear to be a limit to how high of a block they can jump up to. This movement is a function of their Chaos Phase attack and can make it possible to reach strategic locations. However, it is possible for a Duelist to hop her way into a corner and get stuck, like a cat in a tree. Be sure to plan ahead before moving a duelist or you may have to restart the Scene.

Another notable weakness is that yes, the Choas Phase attack is a move…so it’s difficult to really plan on attacking with a Duelist in Chaos Phase. She’ll keep hopping up the map until she gets stuck! Unfortunately, this often limits a Duelist to landing one or two key attacks in Chaos Phase at most, and secures Warriors as the preferred means of attacking Northwest and Northeast in Chaos Phase as they will stay in place when the attack triggers.

The Law Phase attack is a straight line in front of the Duelist, with a small AoE at the Duelist’s location. The attack pattern actually kind of looks like a sword; appropriate.

Duelists will knockback an enemy when the blow lands. Knocking an enemy off a high elevation can potentially hurt it severely; unfortunately it is difficult to pull this off due to the fact that Duelists only face Northwest and Northeast. This significantly limits how often your opportunity to shove enemies off a cliff comes up.


Our Duelist
Hilgard Rei Merkitas of the 2nd Order

“This is a conspiracy. Make no mistake of it.”

Class: Duelist
Atlus.com says this of Hilgard:
“A pessimist at heart, she often compares herself to her knightly comrades in hopes of finding redeeming qualities in herself. It seems she is aware of some secretive information...”
The Tome of Lost Souls says this:
Striking Lily
"A pessimistic young woman who tends to over-think the situations she is in, Hilgard is often fawned over by the men around her. Her best friend is Janus, whom she thinks of as an older sister at times. When tragedy swept Aventheim, she was one of the first to be caught in the middle of it…"



Priestesses
”Follow my lead. We’ll obliterate the enemy!”
Faces: southwest, southeast
Mobility: none
Weapon: Rod/Mace
Sex: Female only

Priestess are capable of covering quite a bit of ground with their attacks in Law Phase. Additionally, it seems that many of their weapons have the attribute of launching enemies and knocking them to the ground when they are struck. When this happens, you are presented with the ability to switch the enemy’s elemental affinity; a small box appears next to the monster and if you spin it, the element will change. This can be very useful if you couldn’t fit enough weapons to cover all the monsters’ elements; just change it to something you can exploit. Note that this is not exclusive to Priestesses, but it does seem like their weapons do it frequently.

In Chaos Phase, Priestesses attack with “gram” traps, similar to a Wizard’s attack in Law Phase. I don’t particularly care for grams, and do not plan to use them very often.

Our Priestess
Lyzz Linda Ragford of the 2nd Order

“People know I work hard. But the truth is, I lack the confidence to do any less.”

Class: Priestess
Atlus.com says this of Lyzz:
”Orphaned at a young age, Lyzz became a quiet admirer of the skilled knights around her. She can often be found playing her flute.”
The Tome of Lost Souls says this:
Light Bringer
”Her loving parents passed away while Lyzz was very young, and she was adopted by Isabel. She is constantly unsure of herself, so she puts everything she has into each task she undertakes. When Lyzz joined the knights, Ernest saw she had great potential but lacked the confidence, so he took her under his wing. She has also become good friends with Woosh, and she holds all her superiors in high regard.”



Wizards
“They’re in for a surprise!”
Faces: Southwest, Southeast
Weapon: Rod/Staff
Sex: Male only
Mobility: none
Wizards are something of a straightforward class in this game. Their Law Phase attack leaves a “gram” on the field, which is basically a booby trap. When a ground-movement type enemy walks over it, the gram is triggered and attacks the enemy.

In Chaos Phase, Wizards must wait a long time to charge up, but once they’re ready, they can unleash a damaging attack that covers a huge area—13 squares! They’re well suited for sitting in the back, nuking enemies.

Our Wizard
Frieber Will Permeal of the 2nd Order

“A teacher’s finest moment is when the student surpasses him. Such is my daughter.”

Class: Wizard
Atlus.com says this of Frieber:
”A divorced man who devoted himself to his daughter, Annalot. Though he is getting on in age, he is well respected and still lends his expertise to the young knights.”
The Tome of Lost Souls says this:
Sable Adept
”He is a veteran Wizard who cares deeply for his peers, but his greatest concern in life is the welfare of his daughter, Annalot. Frieber spends a lot of time with Lillian and Hilgard, and he treats them like family. As he grows older, he does not cling to the past, but rather, he embraces the younger generation of knights who will one day be taking over.”

HaroldofTheRock fucked around with this message at 16:08 on Oct 12, 2015

HaroldofTheRock
Jun 3, 2003



Pillbug



Originally this post was going to be an updated review of the plot as each Scene was played. But you know what, no. The plot has a ton of details that I'm not going to spell out, after three scenes it was apparent that this post would've been enormous by the end of the LP.

Instead, I have copied my plot speadsheet to google docs for people to review, should they be interested. The formatting is awful and there are a lot of typos (I'm usually typing notes furiously as I watch the cutscenes), but it does provide the plot information we've seen so far. It also contains some random notes I wrote to myself, in my attempts to keep the plot straight.

Knights Plot Speadsheet

In addition, there are three plot recap videos which cover what we've seen up to Scene 15:

Plot recap video 1, covering main characters we've met so far. Featuring a lovely, inaccurate map.
Plot recap video 2, covering the flashbacks we've seen so far, set in chronological order.
Plot recap video 3, covering the present time cutscenes we've seen so far.

HaroldofTheRock fucked around with this message at 04:56 on Sep 12, 2015

SystemLogoff
Feb 19, 2011

End Session?



Glad this is up, can't wait to see how this goes.

Also, don't be afraid to plan out your explanations so you're not so nervous.

Good luck!

Fat Samurai
Feb 16, 2011

To go quickly is foolish. To go slowly is prudent. Not to go; that is wisdom.


This game. I wanted to like it, but getting all the items in the stages was repetitive as hell, so I ended up getting burned pretty early. The game mechanics were very original, though.

I'll be following this.

Yapping Eevee
Nov 12, 2011

STAND TOGETHER.
FIGHT WITH HONOR.
RESTORE BALANCE.

Eevees play for free.


Soiled Meat

If dodging attacks is getting in the way of explanations, perhaps it might be a good idea to pause (or do something similar, like go into that Conversion menu we saw at the end of the third video). We can still see the UI pretty well even with the screen dimmed.

The mechanics of this game are certainly somewhat unique so far, which seems par for the course for Sting. (I've read or watched LPs for Riviera, Yggdra Union and Baroque; all of which are earlier games of theirs. Each one is fairly strange in its own way.) Looking forward to seeing more of this one!

Fat Samurai
Feb 16, 2011

To go quickly is foolish. To go slowly is prudent. Not to go; that is wisdom.


Yapping Eevee posted:

If dodging attacks is getting in the way of explanations, perhaps it might be a good idea to pause (or do something similar, like go into that Conversion menu we saw at the end of the third video). We can still see the UI pretty well even with the screen dimmed.
One of the problems of LPing this is that the game expects you to go through a very long tutorial (about 30 mini stages/text screens, can't remember right now) before playing Stage 1 instead of introducing concepts one at a time. I cannot watch the videos right now, but I'm guessing explaining all the Chaos and Law and kind of attacks and damage and items and scenery and... while playing a bullet hell game is kinda difficult.

I'd suggest screenshots with game mechanics ITT.

Logicblade
Aug 13, 2014

Festival with your real* little sister!


There definitely seems like a lot to take in. Nevertheless this does look like an interesting concept for a game. I say it might be best just to infodump the mechanics on us via screenshot, it seems really distracting to explain things while being bombarded by bullets.

Orcs and Ostriches
Aug 26, 2010




The Great Twist

I've been on the edge of LPing this game ever since Yggdra Union and I'm so glad someone else decided to do it. I'd agree with others that item collection really drags the game down (see every Dept. Heaven game) but it's still pretty fun and has a pretty unique presentation and gameplay.

Mraagvpeine
Nov 4, 2014

I won this avatar on a technicality this thick.

After looking it up, this game is part of the Dept. Heaven series. Should I see the previous games/LPs first?

Fat Samurai
Feb 16, 2011

To go quickly is foolish. To go slowly is prudent. Not to go; that is wisdom.


Mraagvpeine posted:

After looking it up, this game is part of the Dept. Heaven series. Should I see the previous games/LPs first?

Yes you should. But only because they are good games with unique mechanics, not because you need to in order to follow this one.

Riviera is one of my favourite LPs.

D3m3
Feb 28, 2013

Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?

Oh man, this is a really exciting let's play to see! Thanks, dude, for playing this game so I don't have to!
Because, when it first came out, I tried playing it, and very quickly got really overwhelmed by the mechanics. I rammed into that learning curve like Wile E. Coyote, nothing seemed concrete enough to help me, and I stalled out a few scenes in. Which was a shame, because the stuff I'd bought the game for, the hints at tone and story and general different-ness really excited me, and part of me always wanted to get back to it... But then I lost 90% of my DS library in a storage incident, and I never ended up thinking about it again until now. Now, at least, I'll be able to see the stuff that made me want to play the game -- and maybe get some tips if I want to tackle it for myself again one day.

Orcs and Ostriches
Aug 26, 2010




The Great Twist

Mraagvpeine posted:

After looking it up, this game is part of the Dept. Heaven series. Should I see the previous games/LPs first?

They only have the vaguest relations to each other, in terms of mythology. They're technically in order, but they either take place so far apart time wise or world wise that you don't need to know much from Riviera or Yggdra Union. Riviera at least builds up the lore that does get referenced a little bit, but you can go into this one blind.

Giovanni_Sinclair
Apr 25, 2009

It was on this day that his greatest enemy defeated, the true lord of darkness arose. His name? MARIO.


I got a digital copy of this game when I bought Yggdra Union for the PSP a while back and been meaning to play it. Anyone know how it plays different on the PSP compared to the DS version?

Argas
Jan 13, 2008
SRW Fanatic






Giovanni_Sinclair posted:

I got a digital copy of this game when I bought Yggdra Union for the PSP a while back and been meaning to play it. Anyone know how it plays different on the PSP compared to the DS version?

IIRC it just controls differently because no touchscreen. It has bad loading times apparently.

This is one of those games where I beat the game and I still have no idea if I'm playing it right.

BlazeEmblem
Jun 8, 2013

Uh oh. Do I use Ariadne thread or Goho-M?



Orcs and Ostriches posted:

They're technically in order,

Not exactly... Riviera was released first, and in chronologically last in the timeline. Gungnir was released last, but is currently the earliest story.

Anyway, I am so glad that someone is LPing this. I love the Dept. Heaven series, so I am always eager to see an LP of one of the games.

Since you are doing the DS version instead of the PSP version, are you going put up a side post about what was added to the PSP port?

Orcs and Ostriches
Aug 26, 2010




The Great Twist

BlazeEmblem posted:

Not exactly... Riviera was released first, and in chronologically last in the timeline. Gungnir was released last, but is currently the earliest story.

Anyway, I am so glad that someone is LPing this. I love the Dept. Heaven series, so I am always eager to see an LP of one of the games.

Since you are doing the DS version instead of the PSP version, are you going put up a side post about what was added to the PSP port?

That makes more sense. Riviera didn't fit as the first, chronologically. I was going off some old, poorly translated info I guess. Do you have a link to any of the series info? I stopped following around the time Gungnir came out.

BlazeEmblem
Jun 8, 2013

Uh oh. Do I use Ariadne thread or Goho-M?



Orcs and Ostriches posted:

Do you have a link to any of the series info? I stopped following around the time Gungnir came out.

There hasn't been much info after Gungnir came out, so you aren't missing much. Here is a link for a bunch of translated material: http://disaresta.livejournal.com/82669.html

Be warned: the translator has an extreme obsession with the series, and a lot of that filters into her comments.

azren
Feb 13, 2011




Looks interesting. How does this play out on the PSP?

Regarding your commentary, you are definitely doing a good job of explaining things; I feel like I understand pretty well what you've been talking about.

Edit: things change on the page when you leave it open for an hour...

HaroldofTheRock
Jun 3, 2003



Pillbug

Hi guys, thanks for the replies. I have some things to go over with you all:

1) Generally, I'm a nervous, mushmouthed spaz in real life, so I do apologize if I come off nervous, annoying, or hard to understand or whatever. A LP is really out of my comfort zone, but I do hope I can grow into it.

2) A few people have suggested saving the mechanics for screenshots. I am planning to make short posts briefly covering the mechanics that I mention in the videos, but I'm worried if I go overboard with it, there's just going to be a giant blob of information that will get unwieldy and intimidating for people to read (kind of like the way the game's tutorial is).

In all reality, the game's tutorial is pretty thorough and has the information you need, and is presented well. It's just that there's so much crap to remember that you've forgotten most of the lessons by the time you reach the end. With the videos, I'm trying to implement mechanics as I use them...the reason why I'm doing live commentary (would much rather be doing post) was so I could described mechanics as I performed them. However, if the majority of you think it would work better to leave the mechanics for screenshots/forum posts, I'm happy to switch. I have one more video to edit and publish, then if the people speak, I can sure change to a more regular commentary done in post and focus the mechanics in the thread. So please, let me know your preferences.

3) I have never played the PSP version of this game, but that hasn't stopped me from being very opinionated on it! A supplementary video discussing the PSP version is on the "maybe" pile, but one thing I can say is there is a huge difference in the soundtrack. In the LP videos I talk up one song in particular, and AweStriker in the Sandcastle thread had the suggestion to link it separately:
DS version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fNqUb_XAz0
PSP version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fqh_tngvcHc
Check them out!

4) I've never played any other Dept. Heaven games, but it is my understanding that a major character in Knights in the Nightmare appears in the other games as well, and is significant to the plots. This is just going off of what I've read in the Dept. Heaven wiki: http://deptheaven.wikia.com/wiki/Dept._Heaven_Wiki

Orcs and Ostriches posted:

I've been on the edge of LPing this game ever since Yggdra Union and I'm so glad someone else decided to do it. I'd agree with others that item collection really drags the game down (see every Dept. Heaven game) but it's still pretty fun and has a pretty unique presentation and gameplay.

Hey I really hope I'm not stepping on your toes with this LP; if you still feel the desire to do one, please do so! One of my regrets with this LP is that I'm pretty ignorant to the other Dept. Heaven games, you'd certainly have more interesting things to talk about than I do...

D3m3 posted:

Oh man, this is a really exciting let's play to see! Thanks, dude, for playing this game so I don't have to!
Because, when it first came out, I tried playing it, and very quickly got really overwhelmed by the mechanics. I rammed into that learning curve like Wile E. Coyote, nothing seemed concrete enough to help me, and I stalled out a few scenes in. Which was a shame, because the stuff I'd bought the game for, the hints at tone and story and general different-ness really excited me, and part of me always wanted to get back to it... But then I lost 90% of my DS library in a storage incident, and I never ended up thinking about it again until now. Now, at least, I'll be able to see the stuff that made me want to play the game -- and maybe get some tips if I want to tackle it for myself again one day.

I'm probably going to come off as a real blowhard with this, but I do want to say to anyone that's watching this LP because they tried the game but struggled with the mechanics: if you watch enough of the LP to get a decent grasp, I really urge you to stop watching the LP at that point and pick up the game for yourself. Games this unique and fun don't really come along that often, and you really should, in my opinion, savor it and experience it yourself.

Orcs and Ostriches
Aug 26, 2010




The Great Twist

HaroldofTheRock posted:

Hey I really hope I'm not stepping on your toes with this LP; if you still feel the desire to do one, please do so! One of my regrets with this LP is that I'm pretty ignorant to the other Dept. Heaven games, you'd certainly have more interesting things to talk about than I do...

Nope nope nope. I just really wanted to see it done, and worse case scenario I'd pick up the torch. I'm far from an expert at this game anyways, so it's nice to see someone else's approach to it. Besides, I apparently sound like a stoned robot when I talk, and you are much more commentary friendly. Now all I have to do is waffle on Gungnir until someone takes it.

I say go with the live commentary and introduce new mechanics as they become relevant. You can probably skip certain mechanics as well, until people are more familiar with the gameplay, and then go back to a more detailed explanation when it's more fitting. The learning curve of this game is like a 90 degree angle, so it's a lot to take in at once.

Tendales
Mar 9, 2012


The 'nope nope nope nope' reaction to seeing the huge wall of tutorials is normal. They're not even exactly short tutorials, either. I kind of suspect what you're supposed to do is just try to play the game, fail, and then go back and look up the specific things you didn't understand. Then you play some more until some new mechanics foul you up, so you go and view the tutorials on those, and so on.

I couldn't get too far in this game, just because my DS had reached the point in its lifespan where the touch screen simply wouldn't calibrate properly any more.

PotatoManJack
Nov 9, 2009


This looks really interesting and potentially fun. It definitely looks like there's a pretty cool games sitting beneath that wall to entry of tutorials.

Will be watching this one!

Rangpur
Dec 31, 2008



I wouldn't describe the game as 'hard' for roughly the first half or so. Confusing as hell, but not difficult to beat. The trouble is that beating it requires a long term plan from the very beginning or you'll get curb-stomped when it starts throwing the real bullshit at you. There's also a trigger to determine which ending you get which is stupidly obscure. Not complicated, just... Really loving obscure.

Great music though.

Fat Samurai
Feb 16, 2011

To go quickly is foolish. To go slowly is prudent. Not to go; that is wisdom.


HaroldofTheRock posted:

1) Generally, I'm a nervous, mushmouthed spaz in real life, so I do apologize if I come off nervous, annoying, or hard to understand or whatever. A LP is really out of my comfort zone, but I do hope I can grow into it.

Now that I've had time to watch the videos, everything is coming along nicely, so don't worry about this. You have already gone through most of the battle mechanics (only movement and breaking stuff left, I think?), so next videos should have less infodumps.

No breaking the chest, though? That's bad form.

Gamma Nerd
May 14, 2012


Rangpur posted:

I wouldn't describe the game as 'hard' for roughly the first half or so. Confusing as hell, but not difficult to beat. The trouble is that beating it requires a long term plan from the very beginning or you'll get curb-stomped when it starts throwing the real bullshit at you. There's also a trigger to determine which ending you get which is stupidly obscure. Not complicated, just... Really loving obscure.

Great music though.

Obscure really seems to be a great description of this game's systems. Along with "obtuse" and "convoluted". Games like that are really intriguing though, and this LP makes me want to track down a copy! Thanks, OP. And there is nothing wrong with your voice.

Bogart
Apr 12, 2010

Time to button mash!


If you're concerned about stammering, perhaps try making a rough live recording, and then dub it over after the fact in post-commentary. For what it's worth, though, I think you're doing well, though. I remember getting this game that Christmas and just being confused to hell about it.

HaroldofTheRock
Jun 3, 2003



Pillbug

New video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P45zLi-kIg wherein I botch a jump cut pretty obviously, but since I finally got the audio to sync up properly (after hours of trying), I decided "let it go".

Thanks for the comments, guys. This is the last video that I currently have recorded, so time to make new ones. If anyone has strong opinions on the screenshot/live commentary matter, please let me know!


Fat Samurai posted:

Now that I've had time to watch the videos, everything is coming along nicely, so don't worry about this. You have already gone through most of the battle mechanics (only movement and breaking stuff left, I think?), so next videos should have less infodumps.

No breaking the chest, though? That's bad form.

Yeah, breaking stuff is in this video and movement will be when I get a duelist, but besides those things there's just so many smaller details to fill in. Knights' vitality, transoul (shudder), item upgrades, high ex skills, hiding, boss fights, interrupting enemies, changing enemy elemental affinity, the list goes on and on.

As for the chest...check out the new video!

Man Dancer
Apr 22, 2008


The recorded play time at the end of the first stage resembles mine. I remember being mortified about missing anything, and I still had a physical reaction when you ended the stage: I could have sworn that you missed a key item here, but it's actually in the second level.

I've recently started playing the Mage Knight board game, and that game definitely gives the same vibe: lots of relatively simple and distinct mechanics almost (but not quite) adding up to a totally overwhelming cognitive load.

This is making me want to break out my busted old fat DS to see if I can get this game running again.

mastersord
Feb 15, 2001

Gold Card Putty Fan Club
Member Since 2017!


Soiled Meat

in regards to your save problem, if you're using a flash-card or emulator, have you tried RAM save states? Most games I've tried it with tend to work.

Elric
Mar 31, 2011




Oh god. This game. I have played through it several times, and I still barely understand what the gently caress happened.

namad
Nov 7, 2013


This game looks amazing, but when I tried to play it the actual gameplay mechanics were too brain-melting for me. It was like asking me to rub my belly and pat my head at the same time, I just don't have a brain that can split in half like that.

Hopefully this let's play will allow me to enjoy the interesting mechanics of this game without having to update my brain to version 2.0.


edit: Btw, any particular reason the videos are unlisted?

namad fucked around with this message at 01:20 on Nov 17, 2014

PotatoManJack
Nov 9, 2009


Definitely enjoying the updates so far, but am definitely looking forward to when updates are more about gameplay and less about mechanics

BlazeEmblem
Jun 8, 2013

Uh oh. Do I use Ariadne thread or Goho-M?



While pause talks are fun to read, there is a problem with using them on the DS version - to see a pause talk, you need to have your wisp hovering over the knight, and that will select it to use an attack, draining time. The PSP version doesn't select a knight when you hover over it (you have to press the x button to select the knight), so you can see a lot more pause talks without having an impact on your score.

Having the chance to read the pause talks is likely why the PSP version lets you reread all of the pause talk dialogue you have unlocked (plus other things they say, like when you recruit them, transoul, exile, etc.).

namad
Nov 7, 2013


Oh also before I forget are there any direct sequels to this game? or after this combination did sting go back to more traditional rpg strategy titles?


edit: Also for anyone who's played both which version has better controls? psp or ds? does the psp even have a stylus? (I have a ds but I have a buddy with a psp).

namad fucked around with this message at 03:57 on Nov 17, 2014

BlazeEmblem
Jun 8, 2013

Uh oh. Do I use Ariadne thread or Goho-M?



namad posted:

Oh also before I forget are there any direct sequels to this game? or after this combination did sting go back to more traditional rpg strategy titles?


edit: Also for anyone who's played both which version has better controls? psp or ds? does the psp even have a stylus? (I have a ds but I have a buddy with a psp).

There are no direct sequels to this - after this game, Sting created Gungnir, which was closer to a traditional SRPG but still had fairly unique gameplay; Hexyz force for the PSP; several Yggdra Union spinoffs; Generation of Chaos: Pandora's Reflection (with Idea Factory); The Neptunia spinoff with Noire as the main character; and a couple of Date-A-Live PS3 games.

As for controls, the DS is much easier to handle - you control it with a stylus, so your movements can be more precise. The PSP version uses the analogue stick, and has separate buttons for speeding up or slowing down movement. I have never had a problem with the PSP controls, so I have spent most of my time with that version.

Orcs and Ostriches
Aug 26, 2010




The Great Twist

I found the PSP controls serviceable, but I liked the DS controls better. It seems like it was pretty well thought out for how complex it is.

azren
Feb 13, 2011




Elric posted:

Oh god. This game. I have played through it several times, and I still barely understand what the gently caress happened.

Those games are the best. I've played through the Legacy of Kain games at least twice each, and I'm pretty sure I've got a decent idea of the timeline for that series.

Gologle
Apr 15, 2013

The Gologle Posting Experience.

<3


When's the next Department Heaven game, Sting? Apparently they have at least thirteen games in the series.

EDIT: I'm actually horribly wrong. I could swear there was a quote floating around that there are 11 planned games, including the ones already released, but I can't find it anywhere.

Gologle fucked around with this message at 16:21 on Nov 17, 2014

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HaroldofTheRock
Jun 3, 2003



Pillbug

New video is up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2aLs6wpIDY


KNIGHTS WE RECRUITED LAST TIME

Johann Elliot of the 11th Order

"I've only just left, yet I already miss home..."
Class: Warior
Atlus.com says this of Johann:
“A young, timid boy who joins the knights to make his mother proud. He treasures the things she sends to him from home.”
The Tome of Lost Souls says this:
Sullen Axe
“Johann is always worried about the well-being of his mother, Nadia. He is incredibly homesick, but he continues to endure because he wants to make a difference in the kingdom. Lisbet tends to worry about him and does her best to take care of him. Johann has a secret crush on Leier, but he is afraid to tell her how he feels.”



When I originally uploaded it, youtube would not let me select 720p...but now the option is there. What is that all about? Was youtube still processing it or something? What-everrr!!

Also...taking suggestions for low-key, pleasant tunes for me to stick in place of the battle preparation music (like where I put the Metroid music in this video)

mastersord posted:

in regards to your save problem, if you're using a flash-card or emulator, have you tried RAM save states? Most games I've tried it with tend to work.

I'm recording this on a 3DS with a capture card, so unfortunately, that won't work.

namad posted:

edit: Btw, any particular reason the videos are unlisted?

Not really, I happened to watch a LP here that had unlisted videos so I thought I should do the same. I don't really care if people want to share the links or whatever, maybe I should switch them to public?

BlazeEmblem posted:

While pause talks are fun to read, there is a problem with using them on the DS version - to see a pause talk, you need to have your wisp hovering over the knight, and that will select it to use an attack, draining time. The PSP version doesn't select a knight when you hover over it (you have to press the x button to select the knight), so you can see a lot more pause talks without having an impact on your score.

Having the chance to read the pause talks is likely why the PSP version lets you reread all of the pause talk dialogue you have unlocked (plus other things they say, like when you recruit them, transoul, exile, etc.).

Yeah that is a real nuisance with the DS version. If you are really quick, you can actually trigger the pause talk before your time drains, but you have to be perfect with your timing. By the way, does the PSP version have the hidden Yggdra easter egg? With the DS version, if you have the Yggdra Union game in the GBA slot, the tutorial instructor is Yggdra instead of Maria, and there's apparently another character that pops in between scenes occasionally. Pretty cool surprises.

Gologle posted:

When's the next Department Heaven game, Sting? Apparently they have at least thirteen games in the series.

EDIT: I'm actually horribly wrong. I could swear there was a quote floating around that there are 11 planned games, including the ones already released, but I can't find it anywhere.

Well the released games are actually numbered: http://deptheaven.wikia.com/wiki/Dept._Heaven_series

Gungnir is labeled as episode IX, but aside from that who knows what's going on.

HaroldofTheRock fucked around with this message at 03:56 on Dec 14, 2014

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