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Highwang
Nov 7, 2013

No Pineapple?
No Thank You!


Latest episode: Rajyaki, Part 3; Alternate Ending feat. TorpidTypist (Sept 10th)




About this game:

Muramasa: The Demon Blade is Vanillaware's 3rd game released, and probably their most successful game ever. Released in 2009 on the Nintendo Wii and HD Remastered on the Playstation Vita (of all things) in 2013, the game covers the turbulent stories of two individuals as they inadvertently find their way across the legendary Muramasa swords and a mysterious technique known as the Oboro style. Muramasa TDB is a very action-packed game complimented by its gorgeous art styles, fantastic interpretations of Japanese folklore, great writing across two separate plots and an amazing soundtrack, so I decided to LP it.

Plans for this LP

This will be a full playthrough of the Vita version of Muramasa. Going to go and do everything: every Sword, every challenge mission, every ending, and the Vita DLC "Genroku Legends." I'd eat all the food but sadly that's irrelevant to anythinggently caress that we're eating the food, food episode confirmed. While this sounds like a lot, a good 80% of it comes naturally just from playing the game. Commentary will most likely be solo unless one of my friends asks to join in. Episodes will be broken up into a Tuesday/Saturday format, with Momohime episodes on tuesday and Kisuke episodes on saturday. I will try to keep commentary consistent enough in each plot string, but I would recommend watching them in release order just in case since there's some interesting observations across them.

I should also probably mention that this series is technically considered NSFW. While there's nothing overtly sexual or pornographic, there are a lot of revealing designs and japanese anime tropes (re: hot tub scenes) that might get you fired at work. Be careful guys.

I'd also like to do a mythology series much like I did with La-Mulana, though I honestly haven't the foggiest idea on where to look up said information. If someone in the thread can help, you'd contribute to a more in-depth LP.

Rules:

Gameplay tips are fine since I'm all for discussing strategies and poo poo. No plot spoilers though, much like Odin Sphere before it this game has a pretty drat good plot and dropping those bombs ahead of time would kill the fun factor. If you want to request something done in the game, I'll try to get to it but I record in chunks so it may take a while to get to them.

Relevant links:

Shameless self plug of my Odin Sphere stream archive
An interview with George Kamitani where I got most of the meat of Episode 0's content from.

Table of Contents

Lets-Play of the Demon Blade (i.e. a playlist)

For the main campaign ToC, its recommended to go left to right rather than binge a campaign










Post Game!







Genroku Legend DLC!







Special Videos






Highwang fucked around with this message at 00:07 on Sep 11, 2016

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Highwang
Nov 7, 2013

No Pineapple?
No Thank You!


Reserved for...something maybe?

Highwang fucked around with this message at 22:10 on May 14, 2016

GamesAreSupernice
Jan 3, 2014

Oh, whoa! Check out the Viewing Globe, shorty!


Nothing I love more than seeing someone play a game they enjoy.

Fat Samurai
Feb 16, 2011

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


I'm irrationally angry at Fighter getting pummelled in that D&D clip.

Also, I'm a sucker for weird mechanics, so this seems right along my alley.

Omobono
Feb 19, 2013

That's it! No more hiding in tomato crates! It's time to show that idiota Germany how a real nation fights!

For pasta~! CHARGE!



Man, I love this game. I 100% everything but the farmer DLC (because I don't care if dude is a farmer and not an ultra badass having his dodge and double jump so inferior to the normal characters is not fun).

Game balance has its problems, longsword normal attacks really should do 1.5x/2x damage of what they do considering the amount of wind-up and recovery frames they have, but drat if the game isn't pretty.
(also gently caress ninjas, some of the ninja variants are actively unfun)

Prowler
May 24, 2004



Loved loved loved this game. Do you plan to show off ALL of the sword skills? Did the Vita version add any additional swords/techniques?

So many of the skills are ridiculously worthless. Others are just ridiculously OP, like basically any of the attacks of the spinning variety.

I also cannot get over how amazing the soundtrack is. The fact that every song has an alternate version for battle that flow seamlessly in and out is amazing. And it's not simply the whole "You now have Yoshi, so let's add some percussion." Songs like Graceful Quiet A and B have so many different instruments/layers, it's fun to listen to try to see how many you can count.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgsms2jxsFE

Vs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O--vJbNNHc

Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007


I'm still incensed that the fuckin Vita was the only platform to get the Remastered version. The original is serviceable but has some quality-of-life issues and the translation is horribly threadbare.

Chimera-gui
Mar 20, 2014


Someone else can probably explain this better than I can, and correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the Japanese cremate their dead both to save space and for semi-religious reasons?

Chimera-gui fucked around with this message at 22:08 on May 3, 2016

Highwang
Nov 7, 2013

No Pineapple?
No Thank You!


Chimera-gui posted:

Someone else can probably explain this better than I can, and correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the Japanese cremate their dead both to save space and for semi-religious reasons?

For space, yes. Though I thought that was more of a modern practice. Religious though, I'm at a loss.


Oxxidation posted:

I'm still incensed that the fuckin Vita was the only platform to get the Remastered version. The original is serviceable but has some quality-of-life issues and the translation is horribly threadbare.

Yeah I'm of the opinion that Sony bought and remade the game to promote Vita sales honestly, but that's just my tinhat logic. At least Odin Sphere HD is getting the full gamete of current sony consoles.

Chimera-gui
Mar 20, 2014


Highwang posted:

For space, yes. Though I thought that was more of a modern practice. Religious though, I'm at a loss.

As I understand it, the Japanese consider rotting corpses impure though again I might be completely wrong on this.

Also the "little green angry ball of ectoplasm" is actually a Hitodama, basically balls of supernatural fire said to be the souls of the dead.

AweStriker
Oct 6, 2014



Oh, wow. The Legends release retranslated... a lot.

The difficulty names, the blades' names... it's almost like a completely different game; I'll be sure to keep tabs on this.

Smornstein
Nov 4, 2012


I always thought of Muramasa's hands being cut off as an execution thing. Like if he doesn't have hands on his body when he dies he won't be able to forge swords as a ghost. The Vita remake is superb and the reason i bought a Vita TV because this game is absolutely gorgeous in HD.

EponymousMrYar
Jan 4, 2015

The enemy of my enemy is my enemy.


This game is so pretty.

I kinda wish they localized the voices like they did for Odin Sphere though, especially if they actually translated the sword names.

Shifty gimbal
Dec 28, 2008

Hey you... I got something to tell ya

Biscuit Hider

This game's got some weaknesses but I'll be damned if it isn't among my top three reasons why I still have a Wii sitting around somewhere.
I never got all that good at hard mode, though. I can't imagine managing some of the later challenges on hard.

e: It looks like the Vita version has "chaos" and "rpg" mode? Are they the same as the standard and hard mode of the Wii version? I remember the Wii hard mode having your swords break at nothing, taking blocking/reflecting damage, and if all three swords got broken you were probably screwed since they'd still take their sweet time to regenerate.

Shifty gimbal fucked around with this message at 06:10 on May 4, 2016

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP



I really like this game

Small aside: Longswords are good, but only if you're Kisuke.

FractalSandwich
Apr 25, 2010


This isn't necessarily obvious, and I find it pretty funny: the 百 momo in 百姫 "Momohime" sounds exactly the same as 桃 momo "peach". 100% of the 1 native Japanese speakers I've polled about it were pretty confident that it's a deliberate joke about the other princess called "Peach".

Gimbal lock posted:

e: It looks like the Vita version has "chaos" and "rpg" mode? Are they the same as the standard and hard mode of the Wii version? I remember the Wii hard mode having your swords break at nothing, taking blocking/reflecting damage, and if all three swords got broken you were probably screwed since they'd still take their sweet time to regenerate.
They're the same. They just changed the English names.

AnotherGamer
Jan 12, 2007
Please change my name to "The Guff Machine"

Why do you call Quick Draw "item crash"? This isn't Castlevania.

Highwang
Nov 7, 2013

No Pineapple?
No Thank You!


AnotherGamer posted:

Why do you call Quick Draw "item crash"? This isn't Castlevania.

Cause I like the term. I correct myself by Kisuke-1 or Momo-2, can't remember which.

RydogZeta
Feb 14, 2016


I played the hell out of the Wii version and its one of reasons I got a Vita.
As we see with the Blue Monk one thing Vanillaware is really good at is monster design.

Skippy Granola
Sep 3, 2011

It's not what it looks like.


Oh man I finished the main story final ending not too long ago. This game was a really solid surprise - liked it a lot more than that fuckin dogshit game Dragon's Crown, that's for sure.

Funny to see the differences in style showing up already in the thread - I couldn't stand longswords. Way too slow, hard to keep folks off balance, ruined my air game.

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

timeless Ned Flanders style


Highwang posted:

Cause I like the term. I correct myself by Kisuke-1 or Momo-2, can't remember which.
You corrected yourself in the first video already, but then again, who cares?

Personally, I have no idea how it works anyway . Some meter fills up and then you can do a special attack based on the item you have currently equipped??

Akujiki
Nov 25, 2013




FractalSandwich posted:

This isn't necessarily obvious, and I find it pretty funny: the 百 momo in 百姫 "Momohime" sounds exactly the same as 桃 momo "peach". 100% of the 1 native Japanese speakers I've polled about it were pretty confident that it's a deliberate joke about the other princess called "Peach".

I'd actually bet more on it being a nod to Momotarou than Mario.

Omobono
Feb 19, 2013

That's it! No more hiding in tomato crates! It's time to show that idiota Germany how a real nation fights!

For pasta~! CHARGE!



Skippy Granola posted:

Oh man I finished the main story final ending not too long ago. This game was a really solid surprise - liked it a lot more than that fuckin dogshit game Dragon's Crown, that's for sure.

Funny to see the differences in style showing up already in the thread - I couldn't stand longswords. Way too slow, hard to keep folks off balance, ruined my air game.

I feel the longswords actually have the better air game (as long as you connect with the first hit) but not better enough to justify having them over shortswords. Longswords' good points are not good enough for their speed is what I'm saying.
Although, some specials are so strong that you don't really care about the chassis they're attached to.

Simply Simon posted:

You corrected yourself in the first video already, but then again, who cares?

Personally, I have no idea how it works anyway . Some meter fills up and then you can do a special attack based on the item you have currently equipped??

Quick Draw is your usual anime Iaijutsu slash. It's a full screen (and beyond in bigger arenas) attack, it crushes guards, it recharges over time, gathering souls shortens the charge time, if your active blade gets broken it instantly recharges. You also can't Quick Draw with a broken blade, so if your three equipped swords are broken you're mostly screwed (this last statement is true in general in Muramasa)


Fun, risky thing with the monk boss: you can try to attack those things he throws in the air (e.g. at 15 minutes in the video) and if you time it right you'll deflect them into the monk for quite a decent bit of damage. (You time it wrong you get them in the face for a lot of damage and a broken blade)
Generally speaking by the time they've stopped spinning and are dropping down it's too late.

FractalSandwich
Apr 25, 2010


Akujiki posted:

I'd actually bet more on it being a nod to Momotarou than Mario.
Could be. There's also a secret third reference that's actually much clearer than either, which is to the "night parade of a hundred demons". The first characters of 百姫 "Momohime" and 鬼助 "Kisuke" together are the same as the 百鬼 hyakki there. This one is called out explicitly in the name of Momohime's story, "朧剣百鬼夜行", which this version translates as "Pandemonium of the Demon Blade", as seen here in the video.

AnotherGamer
Jan 12, 2007
Please change my name to "The Guff Machine"

You covered the low slashes and the guard breakers earlier but I don't think you said much about other basic mechanics yet, specifically the midair dash thing you can chain up to 3 times. Might be other things as well.

Highwang
Nov 7, 2013

No Pineapple?
No Thank You!




Episode 2 starts as act 1 for Kisuke. Time for badass ninja adventures.


FractalSandwich posted:

This isn't necessarily obvious, and I find it pretty funny: the 百 momo in 百姫 "Momohime" sounds exactly the same as 桃 momo "peach". 100% of the 1 native Japanese speakers I've polled about it were pretty confident that it's a deliberate joke about the other princess called "Peach".
This wouldn't surprise me considering the initial launch system being the Wii, could've been a cheeky callback/homage to Princess Peach.


FractalSandwich posted:

Could be. There's also a secret third reference that's actually much clearer than either, which is to the "night parade of a hundred demons". The first characters of 百姫 "Momohime" and 鬼助 "Kisuke" together are the same as the 百鬼 hyakki there. This one is called out explicitly in the name of Momohime's story, "朧剣百鬼夜行", which this version translates as "Pandemonium of the Demon Blade", as seen here in the video.
Now that's a bit of trivia I had no clue was there. Amazing.

Evil Kit
May 29, 2013

I'm viable ladies.


Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if both meanings were intended, the japanese do love the hell out of wordplay after all.

Chimera-gui
Mar 20, 2014


And speaking of the Japanese language: If you see a heavy amount of profanity, it's usually because the translator added it. Fansubs are especially infamous for doing this in an attempt to spice up the series.

In fact, a friend of mine did a video on the most infamous fansub mistakes for one of her favorite series. Enjoy her frustration with fansubber idiocy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIMc4TVLudU

Chimera-gui fucked around with this message at 04:54 on May 8, 2016

Omobono
Feb 19, 2013

That's it! No more hiding in tomato crates! It's time to show that idiota Germany how a real nation fights!

For pasta~! CHARGE!



The contrast between Kisuke's rudeness and Yuzuruha's extremely polite speech (my understanding of Japanese is somewhere between 0 and i, and yet I can tell that her speech oozes politeness) is fantastic.

Man, the big ninja. In the great scheme of things, not a difficult boss (you may have to deal with up to four at once during post-game), except you simply don't have the instruments to deal with him effectively at this point of the game. Add the enrage and the fact he actively punishes the air game and you have the recipe for a possibly frustrating first boss.
Oh, yeah, and Kisuke has two longswords in the beginning, making a boss that punishes mistake harshly even more of a pain.


Vanillaware's designs are really pretty most of the time, even if now and then you just have to ask, WHY? (See Dragon's Crown Amazon and Witch)

Ubiquitous_
Nov 20, 2013

by Reene


I got used to the longswords over time. Their slow swing actually makes it easier to knock back multiple projectiles at once, and they stunlock a lot better since they can hit multiple foes. They also tend to get the stronger special attacks, aside from Cyclone (though I think that appears on some longswords, too). They're also way more powerful on average than short swords.

I usually always had a toss up of short swords and longswords, based off of their general strength at the time.

Zoig
Oct 31, 2010



I'm pretty excited to see this game get a proper lets play, Muramasa is probably one of the best Wii games out there, and I never even knew it got a rerelease on the vita (though being on the vita I can guess why).

Looking forward to this.

Akujiki
Nov 25, 2013




Chimera-gui posted:

And speaking of the Japanese language: If you see a heavy amount of profanity, it's usually because the translator added it. Fansubs are especially infamous for doing this in an attempt to spice up the series.

This depends on a number of things, actually, including what you define as profanity. If you define profanity classically (as in, profane words, that show disrespect to God), then you're correct. If you consider its more modern definition as a basic synonym for vulgar language, Japanese actually has quite a bit of it.

In an effort to establish Kisuke's manner of speech (his speech is very informal and he uses incredibly rude language in addressing people), vulgar language is a pretty reasonable thing, and it's not really what I'd call a "heavy amount". Guy's using language that would get him outright fired in Japan (address your boss as "teme" and see how long you stay employed!).

Do some groups overdo it? Naturally, but generally speaking if you have any history with fansubs you know which groups are troll subs anyways

Omobono posted:

Vanillaware's designs are really pretty most of the time, even if now and then you just have to ask, WHY? (See Dragon's Crown Amazon and Witch)

I dunno, one of the later bosses here kinda shows where Vanillaware's mind was at for some of that stuff.

Akujiki fucked around with this message at 10:06 on May 10, 2016

TooMuchAbstraction
Oct 14, 2012

Hubris

Fun Shoe

Not to mention that fox girl in the Momohime levels.

Highwang
Nov 7, 2013

No Pineapple?
No Thank You!




For those wondering, I do intend to cover everything we've talked about but I recorded the first 2 acts in a batch. Peoples comments will start being addressed in act 3.


Akujiki posted:

This depends on a number of things, actually, including what you define as profanity. If you define profanity classically (as in, profane words, that show disrespect to God), then you're correct. If you consider its more modern definition as a basic synonym for vulgar language, Japanese actually has quite a bit of it.

In an effort to establish Kisuke's manner of speech (his speech is very informal and he uses incredibly rude language in addressing people), vulgar language is a pretty reasonable thing, and it's not really what I'd call a "heavy amount". Guy's using language that would get him outright fired in Japan (address your boss as "teme" and see how long you stay employed!).

Do some groups overdo it? Naturally, but generally speaking if you have any history with fansubs you know which groups are troll subs anyways
I think for me it might be a clash of mindsets since I played the Wii version first. The dub from Marvelous(?) didn't really portray kisuke as a violent or rude person, so it feels like an abrupt shift to see him like this.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








Regarding animated flaming wheels, Wanyudo is definitely a Japanese thing. The yokai himself is the result of an ironic (?) punishment for having tortured and killed people in life, and hence he constantly rolls between the world of the living and "Hell" (potentially Yomi, land of the dead?) collecting the souls of the unwary.

That said, there exist other variants on flaming wheels in mythology. Greek mythology features Ixion, who repeatedly violated xenia (ancient Greek hospitality which was super important to maintain on both sides) to the point where he tried to make off with Hera after being invited to Olympus. Unfortunately for him but fortunately for the gods, he was instead tricked into loving an illusion made of clouds, and the resulting descendants eventually became the wild and rowdy centaurs. Having demonstrated his ingratitude and hubris, Ixion himself was then bound to a burning wheel which eternally raced across the sky in punishment.

But what are likely the earliest variant of a mythological flaming wheel are the Judeo-Christian ophanim. Unlike Wanyudo and Ixion, the ophanim were always holy servants of some sort (eventually construed as a choir of angels) who act as the wheels of God's chariot/throne. Their design is of two flaming wheels intersecting orthogonally covered with eyes, which goes to show why angels would often say "Be not afraid!" or something similar in the relevant texts. Seriously, angels are sometimes described as looking like Lovecraftian monsters. The cherubim, who actually pull that same chariot/throne, carry four wings and four faces instead of just looking like a winged human toddler.

Chimera-gui
Mar 20, 2014


Akujiki posted:

This depends on a number of things, actually, including what you define as profanity. If you define profanity classically (as in, profane words, that show disrespect to God), then you're correct. If you consider its more modern definition as a basic synonym for vulgar language, Japanese actually has quite a bit of it.

In an effort to establish Kisuke's manner of speech (his speech is very informal and he uses incredibly rude language in addressing people), vulgar language is a pretty reasonable thing, and it's not really what I'd call a "heavy amount". Guy's using language that would get him outright fired in Japan (address your boss as "teme" and see how long you stay employed!).

Do some groups overdo it? Naturally, but generally speaking if you have any history with fansubs you know which groups are troll subs anyways

Admittedly I was generalizing when I said that since I can see a character in a franchise meant for an older audience being more inclined to use vulgar language. The kind of inappropriate levels of vulgar language I was talking about was the stuff in a more PG series like the one in the video I linked.

Omobono
Feb 19, 2013

That's it! No more hiding in tomato crates! It's time to show that idiota Germany how a real nation fights!

For pasta~! CHARGE!



Highwang posted:

Food Porn

Good old Vanillaware. And now I'm hungry.


I think Jinkuro didn't kill Momohime's fiancée. Isn't he Yukinojo? What happened is that when Jinkuro tried his body steal technique on the guy Momohime shielded Yukinojo and got swapped instead.

AweStriker
Oct 6, 2014



So many mispronounced names - I caught Yuzuruha in Kisuke's first video but Kumagoro got it here too...

The umbrella enemies are kasa-obake, which is a specific type of tsukumogami, which are a specific type of youkai (an extremely broad term that also includes, for example, tengu and kappa). Tsukumogami as a category are kind of "object sprits", where something inanimate kind of develops a life of its own. If the concept makes you think of The Brave Little Toaster you're not alone and I don't think I ever watched that movie. In this game, the karakasas' rusty knife attack has very little startup and is not good to get hit with.

Chimera-gui
Mar 20, 2014


Small Oni do pop up in media every and then with one of the most recent examples being non-boss Oni in Yo-kai Watch like Leadoni.

And while I don't know period this game is set in, Ryuu ga Gotoku: Kenzan was explicitly set during the Edo Period if you remember Egomaniac's LP of it.

Oh and the word rancor actually existed before Star Wars was a thing.

Chimera-gui fucked around with this message at 21:36 on May 10, 2016

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Morroque
Mar 6, 2013


Back when I helped run a Kirby fansite, I had to do write ups on a lot of the definitely Japanese stuff that didn't normally translate well. The enemy that grants the parasol ability in the Dreamland 2 and 3 games are also like those karakasa enemies in the last video. As well as the kappa and such.

The sources I found on tsukumogami stated that regular objects turn into tsukumogami 100 years after their creation. Objects that were treated well turn friendly and helpful. Objects that were treated badly turn into monsters that will attempt to kill people. I suppose the mythology was supposed to teach small children the value of recycling or treating possessions with care.

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