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FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012





What is this?

Released in 2000, Vagrant Story was one of the final original games released by Square for the Playstation.

The game was developed with an iconic team led by Yasumi Matsuno (Tactics Ogre series, Final Fantasy Tactics and XII). Members included other Ivalice series alums Jun Akiyama (Event Director) who co-wrote with Matsuno, Akihiko Yoshida whose artistic style has returned for Bravely Default, and a score composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto.


Aside from personnel, is there anything else connecting this with the Ivalice games?

A lot of winks, nods, and references. Similar themes and styles are common too (The game is framed In Terminas Res, like Tactics). Sadly, beyond fan service and easter eggs, it is not.


The Game

The story follows Ashley Riot, Riskbreaker of the Valdenia Knights of the Peace as he pursues a powerful cultist with a hostage of nobility through the ruined city of Leá Monde. If you ignore the manual, or the second movie that plays from the title screen, you won't know that the events you play through have already happened, and you go through the game to see what leads up to it.

This is an Action RPG with quite a few features that are still around today, like equipment customization and regenerating health. Baffling enough, despite being released before Final Fantasy X and without voiced cutscenes; this game has skippable cut scenes and better lip synching.

The LP

I'll show off what I know, but admit I don't know everything, just enough to be dangerous. Feedback is welcome if you see me doing something completely wrong, or if you have a strategy on an upcoming boss.

That being said, no story spoilers. As for the suggestions I asked for above just keep it generic (use 'such and such attack', no need to say it's a dragon).

Like Tactics, the game graces us with not one, but two movies if you remain idle on the title screen (Tactics had three).

Without my Muttering here

Note – I have not commented on this video, as the bulk of this is presented through cutscenes in “The Greylands Incident” The differences between these can be chalked up to the story being pieced together from witnesses; it's a dramatization based on unreliable evidence. The game is the “truth”... or is it?

The Game Begins here.






















FeyerbrandX fucked around with this message at 22:53 on Jun 30, 2016

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FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



Miscellaneous updates
















Armor combination







Weapon Combination

Now that I'm able to start bending weapons to my will, I'll show a very, very brief summary of what combines with what into what.

For a full description beyond my cliffs noes version, please check out this list: http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/914326-v...story/faqs/8485 (note there are some spoilers to the 'rare' weapons, as far as that they exist).


Consider this a general footprint of any other Type x Type combination, with minor differences. The sweet spot you really want to target early on is a given tier weapon combined with a tier or two better.
For most things, this is a great idea and can't go wrong. There are things to be wary about though. I could have gone right after Duane and combined the rapier with the scimitar and got a 'better' weapon. However, the rapier is the only piercing sword, and wanted to keep that in this playthrough. I am very glad I did since the alternatives to piercing are either a dagger (horrible range) or 2 handed (no shield, basically double, likely leathal damage on AoE attacks). Maybe a single-handed axe, but meh to that.

Now we're fast approaching the point where that rule changes. The ante-penultimate (usually tier 10, aside from axe/mace, staves, or crossbows) weapons don't abide by that rule. They combine with themselves to go up a rank (Rank 10 + Rank 10 = Rank 11. 2 Rank 11s make a Rank 12, the best that can be made).


When you combine one type of weapon with another, things get stranger. Most combinations turn into one blade or the other, and unless you're trying to push affinity or class bonuses onto another weapon really isn't a useful plan.

But combine one blade of a given tier with a second type of similar quality and the result changes to a third type. Polearms and daggers can become a sword, great sword, or crossbow of decent quality. Keep this in mind in a video or two. If I didn't get that shamshir to drop earlier I would be exploiting this feature to get the second best creatable sword like I do all my other play-throughs.

Found this on the oocites archive; http://www.oocities.org/xo_pitseleh/VS-08.html Much easier to see weapon combinations, but at the cost of being crazy huge.

Update Title Decoder Ring
Most of the video titles are tenuously attached to something in the video. In case it isn't clear what, here's what passed for a thought process:

Without a Thrace – The Rhomphia is a Thracian weapon.
Apocrypha – as a bonus episode of sorts, stories contemporary of the Bible might be familiar, but are not canon.
EMET – the Hebrew word to bring a golem to life
Goliath – The Philistine Giant that David defeated. Duane is that type of roadblock when not being recorded.
Epimethius – Prometheus’s (forethought) slower brother, for all the “oh yeah, couldda did that” moments.
Subsiste – Stop, Hammer Time. My fixation on the Fire Elementals hammer pants.
Karkinos – The crab buddy of Hydra, who pinched at Hercules’ heels while he murdered the Hydra.
Ichthys – Greek for Fish.
Lantern Waste – The entry point of Narnia, another mysterious forest.
Izuna Drop – The Dark Elemental has a mask like Vega from Street Fighter, Izuna Drop is one of his attacks.
Moria - Some book has a mine called that filled with Orcs. Maybe the Nibelungeng saga?
Rule 76 – Ferengi’s Rules of Acquisition - “Every once and awhile, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies” The game being very nice to me with getting through that room with the Imps.
Meine Lichen – Meine Liebschen, my love.
Malleus Malificarum – The Witches Hammer, the book for identifying witches, including the torture impliments to get confessions.
The Sound of One Hand Clapping – I think it was supposed to be a pun on the Zen Koan and the Hand of Light, but the Hand of Light didn’t feature heavilly in the episode?
To Vex – A possible translation of the word “Gremlin,” plus the problems I had in the recording.
Path to Phillipi – As the story is reaching the climax, in the play Julius Caesar the ghost of Caesar foretells Brutus “Meet me at Phillipi” where he meets his end.
Curly – Aria of Sorrow’s butchering of Kali’s name.
Scheherazade – the storyteller of 1001 Arabian Nights, stories that featured djinn.
15:11-32 – Gospel of Luke, the parable of the Prodigal Son, in this case the revelation of Sydney.
Acta Est Fabula, Plaudete. Latin for “The Play is Over, applaud” as this is the end of the plot.
Vox Absurdi – Rather than Vox Populi (voice of the people), Voice of absurdity as I ramble about my theories.
Curb Stomp – nothing but brutality
The Road Not Taken – A Robert Frost poem about travelling in the woods. Since I’m going off path, I’m taking the road less traveled.
This Way to the Egress – Escapeway video, PT Barnum allegedly put signs teasing this in his museums to try and trick people into getting to the exit by making it sound interesting.
Key to the City – Got the Gold Key
Dissiper – French for Clear, as in clearing up the Grimoire translations.
Victoria Supra Mors – Victory over Death, which is what happened.
Fear of the Dark – Iron Maiden Song
Idylls of the Kang – Arthurian Legend Idylls of the King, with the Engrishy Translation Twist
Broken Chain – no chain abilities
Close Enough for VKP Work – Close enough for government work, a quick and dirty end to the series to keep it from lingering on beyond a second Four Job Fiesta season.

FeyerbrandX fucked around with this message at 22:47 on Jun 30, 2016

MaskedHuzzah
Mar 26, 2009

Come now! Look me in the eye and tell me - isn't this the face of a guy you can trust?

Lipstick Apathy

Oooh, I've been waiting for a VLP of this game. Looking forward to more of this.

TwistedSynapse
Dec 31, 2012

Voted Most Purple Wizard
2007, 2009, 2011, and 2014


One of my favorite PSX games

I love how trying to explain the mechanics to most people results in lots of

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

The greatest of feasts



TwistedSynapse posted:

One of my favorite PSX games

I love how trying to explain the mechanics to most people results in lots of

Almost as much as when you explain the plot. Then it progresses straight to and never comes back.

WaltherFeng
May 15, 2013

50 thousand people used to live here. Now, it's the Mushroom Kingdom.

I loved FFXII so I tried this game as well but the mechanics were so incredibly cryptic. I gave up after couple bosses.

Mr. Highway
Feb 25, 2007

I'm a very lonely man, doing what I can.

WaltherFeng posted:

I loved FFXII so I tried this game as well but the mechanics were so incredibly cryptic. I gave up after couple bosses.

When I was younger, I started and restarted this game a good dozen times until I figured out the mechanics. The reason I stuck with it was solely because I enjoyed what I had/was able to play and wanted to fully learn the game. When I did, I felt so proud, and this became one of my favorite games.

Then I got to the last boss and ran into a repeatable glitch in which nothing would happen. The boss would just sit outside of my range, sitting, not doing anything.

Zyrden
Mar 25, 2012

Climbing gear.


Love this game, even it's odd combat system. I never fully figured out the crafting though.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



WaltherFeng posted:

I loved FFXII so I tried this game as well but the mechanics were so incredibly cryptic. I gave up after couple bosses.

I think I have a good guess about the boss.

As for cryptic mechanics, my younger self solved it with just sheer

Hope those who didn't make it to the end enjoy the ride. I make no warranty about playing optimally, just hopefully entertainingly. Heck, unless I replay some footage, I've made some bone-headded moves for either the 3rd or 4th video.

dis astranagant
Dec 14, 2006



I hope you show off Accursed Umbra so I don't have to again.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



dis astranagant posted:

I hope you show off Accursed Umbra so I don't have to again.

If I play like I usually do, I'll probably pick it up before the end. I intend to show off that type of thing during the course of the game (or a bonus episode failing that), despite every fiber of my being screaming out against using them because of reasons.

Verbose
Apr 22, 2006

Mike believed in the shooting star, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then,but that's no matter. Tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... and then one fine morning-
So we beat on, subs against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.


DAMASCUS SHIELD OR BUST

Arashiofordo3
Nov 5, 2010

Warning, Internet
may prove lethal.


I still have the strategy guide for this game. I loved it to pieces, and thought it was one of the most interesting games I'd ever seen back when I discovered it some time in the 90s. I keep thinking to go back and play it at some stage. I'll be watching this LP eagerly.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



Arashiofordo3 posted:

I discovered it some time in the 90s.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought this came out in the 90s. But it came out in 2000, I think in May in the US.

It really doesn't help that it uses "O" as confirm, like games before FFVIII did, but it came out closer to IX.

Also

UPDATE

dis astranagant
Dec 14, 2006



One thing to note for anyone following along: training affinities is mostly pointless. You can easily fix them with gems and only the highest element counts. The bonus from having high affinities is much lower than the bonus for using the right element and type for the job. Having full DP and PP are more important and far easier to manage.

The reason why you have to save when using storage is because storage is just a way to get your items out of memory because each weapon and armor piece is a fairly hefty data structure. A full storage saves about 14 KB of memory and storage eats 2 memory card blocks on its own. That doesn't sound like much but the PS1 only has 2048 to use and they almost certainly needed to find room somewhere.

dis astranagant fucked around with this message at 07:05 on Jan 27, 2015

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



dis astranagant posted:

One thing to note for anyone following along: training affinities is mostly pointless. You can easily fix them with gems and only the highest element counts. The bonus from having high affinities is much lower than the bonus for using the right element and type for the job. Having full DP and PP are more important and far easier to manage.

Thanks for reminding me, I did explain in a different take. The class and affinity bonuses are 1 point of damage for every 4 points of class or affinity

dis astranagant
Dec 14, 2006



FeyerbrandX posted:

Thanks for reminding me, I did explain in a different take. The class and affinity bonuses are 1 point of damage for every 4 points of class or affinity

They're a little better than that, at 100 they're worth 25% of the total strength of the relevant weapon or armor. It's just a lot less work to keep your DP and PP up (also 25% bonuses) and use gems to boost class and affinity. The only time you might need to sperg about them is the Asura time trial since she's just bullshit.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



FeyerbrandX fucked around with this message at 04:28 on Feb 4, 2015

Tomapella
Aug 18, 2007

It's only fair to tell you,
I'm absolutely cuckoo.

This is definitely one of my favorite games of its generation, despite its flaws. Sakimoto created what is possibly my favorite game soundtrack of all time, and there are parts of the story that have stuck with me through the years like very few game stories have. The actual gameplay is fairly clunky, but playing through it again last year and going into it knowing how the mechanics worked I was surprised at how much quicker it went than I remembered.

Seriously, though, that music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xP0dFTlxdo

Arashiofordo3
Nov 5, 2010

Warning, Internet
may prove lethal.


I never got very far in this game, but the Durahan was a boss that I found really intimidating. Due to the fact I was really young when I first played this I wasn't very good at the chain attacks. So my trick was to stand on one of the platforms and attack him with the Seventh Heaven from where he couldn't hit me back.

That said I loved that guys design. Hell, I'm getting the urge to pull out the old strategy guide and give it one more read through.


Tomapella posted:

This is definitely one of my favorite games of its generation, despite its flaws. Sakimoto created what is possibly my favorite game soundtrack of all time, and there are parts of the story that have stuck with me through the years like very few game stories have. The actual gameplay is fairly clunky, but playing through it again last year and going into it knowing how the mechanics worked I was surprised at how much quicker it went than I remembered.

Seriously, though, that music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xP0dFTlxdo

The music in this game is awesome, its so subtle and underplayed that it often goes right past me when its going on, but I always end up picking it up. Really adds to the mood of these early segments. Can't say how it plays out later into the game. But I'm going to be really excited to see what they came up with for those sections.

MaskedHuzzah
Mar 26, 2009

Come now! Look me in the eye and tell me - isn't this the face of a guy you can trust?

Lipstick Apathy

Hrmm... you start in the Wine Cellar and move on to the Catacombs from there. I wonder if that was an intentional Bard's Tale reference?

Iretep
Nov 10, 2009


I think the game map is based on an actual city so there might be some logical reason why the wine cellar and crypt are so close.

Razorwind
May 20, 2010


Oh hell yes, this game.

The feel and atmosphere of this game is great, definately enhanced by the shakespearian flair in the writing.

I still have this game, slightly shattered box but disc still runs.

Always thought the Dullahan's entrance was awesome.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



For a completely random and coincidentally unrelated to everything question... anyone have a strong feeling about South Park (Or Team America World Police) or Rocky 3?

Marogareh
Feb 23, 2011


I loved this game so drat much when I got it back then and still do. The sound design is incredible for such an old game and the music is so loving good. I remember being able to one shot everything with my bare fists after beating it so many times.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



UPDATE


Combination Crash Course

To spare you nearly 500kb of text, here's the simplest summary of combining I can think of.

1 - 95% of the time order doesn't matter in the type of equipment made. The other 5% is a a tier in difference.
2 - For different types of armors, the results seem to be grouped in these trends.
Crossing types will end up in at best an equal piece of equipment, bust usually a tier or two lower. A bad helmet and the best armor will result in a piece of body armor 4 tiers lower. (There may be a reason to consider this, but at this moment they're well above our scope).
The most useful application of this is combining two different types of armor that are in the same tier; it will create a third type of armor in that same tier [Helm and body armor become leggings](except the lower tiers, which just make one of the first two types)



I'll try and parse some more later

FeyerbrandX fucked around with this message at 02:30 on Feb 5, 2015

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



UPDATE


No with 100% less caterwauling.

Also, for some reason I remember editing in more tables, but the edit didn't take. Here are the remaining tables for armor upgrading.







Spreadsheets and singing, doing a bangup job of driving away thread participation.

Edit: Oh yes, next video will be the one with That Boss. Will something finally usurp my hatred for Boxes and Ghosts?

FeyerbrandX fucked around with this message at 05:34 on Feb 8, 2015

Arashiofordo3
Nov 5, 2010

Warning, Internet
may prove lethal.


I always really loved the Golum boss, because it drew on real world magic. Plus, for some reason I always remember fighting him next to the giant chasm in the floor. Always just seemed really evocative to me. Hey here's this gaping hole in the ground, and here is an embodiment of the earth's power. Have fun!

I remember nothing of the game beyond this point, so I'm really excited to see what happens next!

Invenerable
Aug 7, 2005


I really like your trick with Fixate at the end. I played this game a lot in my teenage years, and that bit of trickiness never occurred to me.

Also, regarding your mention of that spell doing the most damage we would see in the game, the scaling of magic always frustrated me. In retrospect, it makes perfect sense: NG is supposed to be based around weapons and chains, using magic for support. If you want to get your Archmage on, you have to wait for NG+ or beyond. One-shotting bosses with some of the later spells and post-game equipment was highly satisfying after plinking and plunking away at several of them in NG, when I didn't fully understand the weapon system.

dis astranagant
Dec 14, 2006



Magic is just as equipment based as melee. If you go (way) out of your way to get a decent staff on your first run you can kick a fair bit of rear end with AOE spells.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



UPDATE


Also, glad you enjoyed the fixate trick. It was completely spontaneous. "Gotta use the spell sometime, here, hold my beer and watch this!"

Seyser Koze
Dec 15, 2013


Nap Ghost

The first time I played this game, I pretty much beat it in the most tedious way possible, which was to tote around a separate weapon for each enemy type and swap back and forth. Also, never ever ever using combos, because killing an enemy in five individual hits gives your weapon five chances to gain affinity but a single five-hit combo only gives one chance.

It must have actually worked pretty well, since I was one-shotting a lot of enemies pretty quickly. I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone ever, though.

Bacter
Jan 27, 2012

Nie wywoluj wilka z lasu, glupku.

Oh man oh man oh man I LOVE this game. I mean yes, I hate it for all the relevant reasons, and beat it in a very non-ideal way, but oh the setting and the monsters and the characters and just.... I love it.

George
Nov 27, 2004

No love for your made-up things.


I can only hope that one day this game gets the same remake treatment that TO:LUCT got.

dis astranagant
Dec 14, 2006



Seyser Koze posted:

The first time I played this game, I pretty much beat it in the most tedious way possible, which was to tote around a separate weapon for each enemy type and swap back and forth. Also, never ever ever using combos, because killing an enemy in five individual hits gives your weapon five chances to gain affinity but a single five-hit combo only gives one chance.

It must have actually worked pretty well, since I was one-shotting a lot of enemies pretty quickly. I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone ever, though.

That's actually the way you're supposed to do it, the combo system is mostly an addon for people who can't figure out the rest.

Free Drinks
Dec 16, 2006

Oh, my God; I care so little, I almost passed out.


If it isn't number one it is very near the top of the list for the number of times I have started a game but never finished. I remember enjoying it every time I've picked it up but by about half way though I would always get disenchanted by the game and give up and play something else. I've tried a few times recently to soldier though but I still can't do it. I have to thank you FeyerbrandX for doing this lp, I can finally see all the poo poo in the game with out doing all the tedious stuff myself.

Thank you.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



Seyser Koze posted:

The first time I played this game, I pretty much beat it in the most tedious way possible, which was to tote around a separate weapon for each enemy type and swap back and forth. Also, never ever ever using combos, because killing an enemy in five individual hits gives your weapon five chances to gain affinity but a single five-hit combo only gives one chance.

It must have actually worked pretty well, since I was one-shotting a lot of enemies pretty quickly. I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone ever, though.

I admit that's my preferred method too, but at least at the start the type of weapon trumps affinity as we'll see shortly. I'm fighting against it in this LP though to avoid too much menu madness. But if I do fall and fail to resist it, It'd break down to 3 weapons; Human and Phantom, Beast and Dragon, and the Evil Dead.

e: ^you're welcome.

dis astranagant
Dec 14, 2006



I try to do that myself but type defense tends to make me just say gently caress it and gem on what I need. It ends up usually being more like great axe, blunt object, spear, and random silver thing that dropped recently. Maybe a staff if I'm feeling cheeky.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



UPDATE


Even though it doesn't look that bad, I do think this was a royal mess. It does go to show that even if you aren't optimally set up, all problems can be solved with

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Space Bat
Apr 17, 2009

hold it now hold it now hold it right there
you wouldn't drop, couldn't drop diddy, you wouldn't dare


I've always liked Vagrant Story, especially its graphics. There's something about low poly models with such great textures that always looks good to me.

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