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  • Locked thread
rannum
Nov 3, 2012



Hobgoblin2099 posted:

It's a pretty obscure secret, yeah.

considering there's no post-game, endless game or ng+ maybe these obscure secrets were to encourage replays?

oh i missed a duel, let me replay the entire game again, hot dog

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Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Duel Monsters on the GBC



Welcome back! Before we get to what's probably the highlight of the entire LP, we're going to look at the very, VERY old Duel Monsters games on the Gameboy. Sacred Cards is the seventh Duel Monsters game, but the series started on the Gameboy with this: Duel Monsters 1. This is the very first Yu-Gi-Oh card game ever, predating even the TCG, although the very first Yu-Gi-Oh video game was a Capsule Monsters game on the PS1. The Duel Monsters series spans eight games, and after the eighth Konami focused entirely on yearly releases of TCG adaptations.

These aren't the most interesting games in the world at first glance, and in fact playing them is rather repetitive. However, these games are completely loving insane. I don't know how else to put it. Most of what I know about the games comes from an acquaintance of mine in the speedrunning community. His name is Froggy25, and he reverse-engineers these old games as a hobby, so thanks, Froggy, nobody would know Konami's dirty little secrets without you!

Now then, hopefully you don't mind lots and lots of text, as this is going to read more like a Hardcore Gaming 101 article than an LP, so here goes!



So, Duel Monsters 1 gives you a selection of opponents to play against and ask you to beat them all five times to advance to the next stage. It can get a little repetitive, and unfortunately this pattern is repeated in every game up until Sacred Cards, which gave us something resembling an RPG instead. I suppose there wasn't much else they could have done on hardware this old.



The artwork certainly makes that much clear.



Gameplay is EXTREMELY primitive. You can play one card per turn, there are no trap cards, no ritual monsters, and the only effect monsters are Exodia and Petit Moth. There are 315 monsters and 50 Spell cards (which the computer never uses, oddly) making the game largely about numbers. Yes, it's even MORE simplistic than the infamously terrible Forbidden Memories on the PS1...but is it worse than Forbidden Memories overall?

Well, actually, I'd say it isn't. If all you want to do is make the credits roll, then it's not that bad because the best cards you can get from every opponent...are also the most common. Forbidden Memories had you grinding your heart out for decent cards until someone found a way to manipulate the random number generator. I'll take this game over that any day.

On the other hand, if you want to 100% this game...ahaha...we'll get into that.



An odd quirk about this game is the way Equip Spells work. The first Equip Spell you play raises a compatible monster's attack and defense by 64% instead of a flat 500 points like in other games. The second Equip Spell elevates that to 256%. Add in the 30% boost from Field Spells, and certain monsters can actually break five figures, which causes glitches for some reason.

Also, though this game has Fusion summoning like Forbidden Memories, there are VERY few combinations that work in Duel Monsters 1, and none of them are even worth it.



Anyhow, stage 2 has NINE opponents, which you select by choosing a location on this map. The map is cool, but it was annoying trying to find the opponent I needed to beat next since they don't display names or win/loss records on this screen.



Then you have to beat Simon Muran from Forbidden Memories five times. He uses a random deck from one of the other opponents for some reason.



Then you have to beat Pegasus five times. After that, the credits roll.



Then you have Dark Yugi as a "post-game" opponent.

So beating the game is not hard, but collecting all the cards is, well, it's something else. Random drops are painful as is - I wrote a program to dump the game's list of random drops for every opponent, and there are some really awful rare cards you must grind for. We're talking 1/2048 chances. But as mentioned, those aren't even good cards anyways.

However, I noticed that some cards outright don't appear on any of the loot tables. How could that be?



Well, for one thing, there are some cards you will never, ever see, such as Black Luster Soldier. They aren't unused, though, they're tournament prizes. Yes, Konami ran tournaments for this game, and evidently they were popular in spite of how primitive the game was. You enter one of those, you win, you get an exclusive card on your cartridge, like Mew from Pokémon.



But that's only the beginning of Konami's horrific ideas. There are several cards obtained only by inputting a password on the title screen. These are not the 8-digit codes on the real life cards, this game predated the TCG. Instead, you have to input a wierd-rear end button combination on the title screen with VERY tight timing, then punch in a text password to get the cards. They aren't worth it in the slightest, either. They're just more junk monster cards.

Hold on though, it gets WORSE. This game has Link Cable trading and Link battling. It also has Link Monsters...nah, I'm bullshitting. But here's something I'm not bullshitting. You remember how Pokémon has Trade Evolutions?



This monster right here is called Change Slime. It has an incredibly stupid ability outside of battle. Sending a Change Slime and two other specific cards to another player through your Link Cable will cause your partner to recieve a different card entirely - for example, if you send Change Slime, Red-Eyes Black Dragon, and Summoned Skull, your partner recieves Black Skull Dragon. Better hope he agrees to send it back to you!

I'd ask what they were thinking, but then I noticed something else. Red-Eyes Black Dragon isn't on any of the loot tables, there's no Change Slime trade combo to get him, and there were other cards we still had no idea how to obtain.

Duel Monsters 1 can trade with its sequel, and sure enough, there are "trade evolution" comboes not only between two copies of Duel Monsters 2, but sending certain cards from Duel Monsters 1 to Duel Monsters 2 can result in a "trade evolution". One of these does in fact result in a Red-Eyes Black Dragon. But that couldn't POSSIBLY be how you get one, can it? Trade it from the sequel? What?

I was stumped, Froggy25 was stumped, which meant there was one solution: Google the Japanese internet to hopefully find a Japanese resource.

Well, it just so happens a Japanese blog opened up not a week ago and had posted the info I was looking for. Upon reading what I'd found, I was hoping to the Egyptian Gods that Google Translate was making a mistake, but it wasn't.

Each opponent in the game has a list of ten cards they will give you, one for every TEN DUELS you beat them in. These aren't random. So you can indeed get Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Red-Eyes Black Dragon, Petit Moth, and the Exodia pieces...

BY DEFEATING THE CORRECT OPPONENT ONE HUNDRED TIMES.

Who the gently caress is going to play the game THAT MUCH?!



Is this image of Exodia WORTH FIVE HUNDRED DUELS TO SEE?!

We're not even done. In order to incentivise Link battling, they made it so every 10 Link battle wins gives you a bonus card. Oh hold on, I meant every 10 Link battles against DIFFERENT PEOPLE. You can win up to 20 cards this way, so that means you need to find 200 other people who also play this game, because the 20th card can't be found anywhere else:



See that? That's Tremendous Fire. You might remember it doing 1000 direct damage in the TCG. Well, in Duel Monsters 1, it does FIVE THOUSAND damage. If you draw two of these on the first turn, you win. Nothing can stop direct damage. And you can make yourself invincible by having 36 Tremendous Fires, because...



This game doesn't limit the number of copies of a particular card you can have in your deck.

Except to get any copies of Tremendous Fire nowadays, you would have to find 200 people who actually like this game, have every last one of them link battle each other, and OH, did I mention that in this game's Link battles, the loser always gives up one of his cards to the winner?! Holy poo poo, Konami, I know Magic: The Gathering had an ante rule, but at least you could ignore it if you wanted to not gamble! Here, we have no damned choice!

And if you drop below 40 cards, the minimum required for a deck, you can't play the game ever again unless your opponent gives the card back! Or you enter a password.

"But Ephraim, couldn't you just delete the save file and start over?"

Sure, if anyone bothered to DOCUMENT THE BUTTON COMBINATION THAT WIPES THE SAVE. Froggy25 had to reverse-engineer the game code to find it!

See how crazy this is? Well that was just game ONE. There's three more to talk about.



This is Duel Monsters 2: Dark Duel Stories, not to be confused with Duel Monsters 3, which was given that name when it was localized.



The goal of this game remains the same: Beat everybody five times to advance. Dark Yugi is the endgame opponent like before, HOWEVER, he has a 3/2048 chance of being replaced by one of three other opponents every time you duel. Yes, being able to fight the other endgame opponents is determined COMPLETELY BY CHANCE. But hey, you only have to beat them 30 times for their rare cards instead of 100! Cool?



Fortunately, we have actual character portraits this time, but boy do they look weird. I think I'll duel Mai Valentine today...



......you ARE wearing clothes, right?

Anyhow, let's talk gameplay changes. A number of new mechanics were added that actually make Duel Monsters 2 fairly decent.

First, you can play only one monster card per turn AND as many Spell or Trap cards as you wish, thank goodness. They also added monster Attributes like you saw in Sacred Cards.

Second, with the extra 355 cards they added to this game, Fusion summoning now has all the same combinations that Forbidden Memories had, so now you can summon the Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon as long as you have the right cards. Problem is, you can't fuse two monsters in your hand and put the result on the board; one of the materials has to already be on the field, which is more than a little frustrating since monster life-span isn't really known for being that high.

If you make a successful fusion, however, you can play another monster card, and since your hand refills back to five cards at the beginning of each turn, more fusions means you get to your good cards quicker! You can actually use strategy!

This is also the game that introduced Deck Capacity, though the formula was very different from Sacred Cards. It's simple: to figure out a monster's card cost, combine their attack and defense, then divide by 100. This is a bit unbalanced because it means Curse of Dragon, a 2000-attack monster, is worth more to Deck Capacity than Jurai Gumo, who has 2200 attack, simply because the latter has far less defense points.

Oh, and Duelist Level was also introduced. You know what I think of that.



Lots of Spell cards are outright overpriced to the point of you never being able to use them, no matter what. Look at Tremendous Fire. They nerfed it down to 1000 damage and still made the cost 255.



Anyhow, Trap Cards make their debut here, only in this game, you only have one spot on the board for traps, and at the start of your turn, the trap you set disappears. It's only their for one of your opponent's turns, which severely harms how useful they could have been. Anything that counters a spell card is also completely worthless against the computer because they never use those, and even against humans, good luck predicting the exact turn they'll attack or use that spell.



Ritual cards were also introduced. They work exactly like in Forbidden Memories, which means they combine three specific monsters into one. And since the Divine attribute didn't exist yet, they don't even have that advantage. That would have been the final nail in the coffin, but Konami decided to hammer it in with a loving sledgehammer:

Ritual spells are CONSUMABLE. Use one, and it disappears from your deck forever.

Yeah...how much more unusable can we make them?!

The final new feature of Duel Monsters 2 is the card passwords. You can enter the 8-digit codes found on real life TCG cards to obtain that card in-game, and there is a secret code that makes Yugi's Grandpa appear and give you another card after every duel. HOWEVER. Your deck capacity has to be over 600 to enter a code, and every password you input drops your deck capacity by FIFTY, and your Duelist Level drops along with it. I hate this, let's move on to the third game.



Duel Monsters 3, known as "Tri-Holy God Advent" in Japan, renamed "Dark Duel Stories" for the localisation - the only GBC game to get one, and I'm alright with that, this is basically the best GBC Yu-Gi-Oh. No bullshit card collection, Rituals aren't consumable and work just like Sacred Cards, though I have mixed feelings on the rule changes.



You know the drill: Beat everyone five times. I believe Forbidden Memories was out at around the same time as this, so a number of that game's characters appear here. The endgame opponent is Dark Yugi as usual, but a password can change him to one of four others. Thank goodness it's not luck-based this time.

But any time you want to change the final opponent, you have to put in the password again. Oh, and passwords are free to use now, so you can get every card just by looking those up.



Onto gameplay changes. At long last, we have monster effects!...okay there aren't that many and very few of them are actually good, but it's progress, right?

They also added monster levels. Up until now, monsters required no tributes to summon, ever. But now you do need tributes, same as Sacred Cards. The card cost formula was adjusted to take off 10 cost for every tribute required, but they tend to be very bad at balancing a monster's value on the field with how many tributes it takes to get it there.



Fusion still works, but now whenever you create a new monster, it can't do anything until next turn. You can also fuse monsters but keep them in your hand. Great! They don't need to survive a turn on the field! Oh wait. The tribute rule exists, so creating Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon in your hand does you no good. Oh well.

You also don't refill your hand at the start of every turn anymore.

The biggest new addition, however, was Card Construction. You will never see this again in any other game, but here's how it works. Winning battles now gets you a "Card Part" and you can combine two parts to make your very own card. Unfortunately you can only make monsters with no effects, but still, it's a really neat feature. Let's look at some of the cards you can make.



There are some pretty wacky combinations, even if you are basically sticking a head part on top of a leg part.



There's no real logic to the stats you end up with. The best combinations result in 2000-point, no-tribute monsters, and if you get lots of those, you can steamroll the game with superior monsters, although endgame opponents are just flooded with broken spell cards (which the computer uses, finally.) However, constructed monsters can't be fused, so you have to keep that in mind.



This one is probably my favorites even though it's complete junk.



Something tells me that when they made these, they designed a bunch of monsters and then came up with the idea to mix-and-match them afterward, because some of the combinations feel like natural matches.



Some of them even became real cards in Duel Monsters 4, which we'll take a look at next.



The fourth and final GBC Yu-Gi-Oh is absolutely insane. It has some of the dumbest changes to the game. Taking yet another bad idea from a good game, Konami decided to split this one into three versions: one for Yugi, one for Kaiba, and one for Joey. The version you play determines your character, one opponent becomes unavailable entirely depending on your version, and in one of the dumbest moves I've ever seen, you are disallowed from using certain cards depending on what version you play.

That's right, you can earn any card in any version, but if you're playing the wrong version, you might not be able to even use it! Was Duelist Level not enough?! The really sick part is, this is the first game to give us the Egyptian God cards, way before Sacred Cards. Guess what? The opponent that drops the God card usable in your version can't be fought in that version.

As for gameplay, the only new addition is the Graveyard. It's hilarious to think that it took three games for it to be implemented, but now that you have Monster Reborn, you kinda need it, right? Oh, and unused traps don't disappear anymore, and the card cost formula matches that of Sacred Cards now.



Their other really stupid change has to do with monster levels. See this card? You might own it in the TCG. You might also remember its level isn't that high in the TCG.

Well, for any monster with 1400 or more attack OR defense, Konami decided to severely inflate their levels! BRILLIANT. This severely slows the game down and was a terrible idea in my opinion.

Can you imagine how Kaiba must feel? His Blue-Eyes White Dragon is LEVEL NINE. Three tributes needed. What a fantastic idea.



As usual, beat everyone five times to advance the game. There are two secret opponents you can unlock with the right password. I've never seen them before and I have no idea who they are, but their faces amuse me.

Since we're reaching the end of this little adventure, I'd like to close by showing off some of the cards that were in this game that didn't make it into Sacred Cards. They had some really neat ideas back then, all things considered.



Of course with stats like that, you'd have real trouble finding a use for these guys.



But who doesn't love PIRATES?!



The designs are so good, yet their stats are so tiny!



An electric wallaby, however, is the greatest idea in history.

Anyhow, that's all I have to say on the "classic" Duel Monsters games. I completed all four of them just to give them a fair shot. None of them were completely awful but they were certainly very "meh". After Duel Monsters 4, they made Eternal Duelist Soul and Stairway To The Destined Duel for the GBA, both games that followed the TCG ruleset and are fondly remembered.

And then they made Sacred Cards.

And then they made Reshef of Destruction.

Ephraim225 fucked around with this message at 07:00 on Mar 11, 2017

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


That first game sounds dreadful and somehow the fourth game sounds even worse.

Surprised to see the Puppeteer of Doom in the second, as well as the Mimic of Doom/Gay Clown. Why on Earth would they make Ritual spells consumable?

I remember playing Dark Duel Stories so much in elementary school. It was my introduction to a number of things from Battle City. By the end of the game, I'd always have BEUD and Thousand Eyes Restrict in my deck, though it really sucked if someone used Change of Heart to steal your BEUD since it's pretty much unbeatable. No traps in the game can kill it and it has no elemental weakness. You basically have to use Crush Card or your own Change of Heart or something to get rid of it.

I always wondered why they didn't put Gamma and Valkyrion in the game, though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziT_oPvNT-k

Blueberry Pancakes fucked around with this message at 07:14 on Mar 11, 2017

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Hobgoblin2099 posted:

Surprised to see the Puppeteer of Doom in the second, as well as the Mimic of Doom/Gay Clown.

The Mimic of Doom isn't in the game, you're probably looking at PaniK or "Player Killer of Darkness".

Hobgoblin2099 posted:

Yami Yugi theme

Ah, that song. It actually originates from the Capsule Monsters PS1 game I mentioned:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrBWa14Ecek

Ephraim225 fucked around with this message at 07:21 on Mar 11, 2017

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


Oops, my mistake.

And I had no idea that song was that old. I only know it from DDS, Falsebound Kingdom, and Duelist of the Roses.

Nissin Cup Nudist
Sep 3, 2011

Sleep with one eye open

We're off to Gritty Gritty land






Ah, Dark Duel Stories. I played a lot of that game as a kid

As a kid, I didn't understand most of the mechanics so I played the biggest beatstick I had every turn

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

MY PAPER SOLDIERS
FORM A WALL
FIVE PACES THICK
AND TWICE AS TALL





I replayed DDS recently, and honestly, most of the fusions just aren't worth it. Just make a bunch of 1900-2000 custom cards and

Nissin Cup Nudist posted:

so I played the biggest beatstick I had every turn
Do that.

I also remember that they accidentally made King of Yami ('King of Yamimakai' apparently) level 4 instead of level 5. I loved that card, and remember being very upset that the 'real' version was nerfed so hard.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


PMush Perfect posted:

I also remember that they accidentally made King of Yami ('King of Yamimakai' apparently) level 4 instead of level 5. I loved that card, and remember being very upset that the 'real' version was nerfed so hard.

I just checked my version and King of Yamimakai is certainly level 5, not 4.

...but then I saw that Toon Mermaid magically became level 5 instead of 4 like her non-Toon version, so I have no freaking clue what's going on anymore.

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


I want to say that stars can be given or taken with spell effects. Powering down a monster would make it have less stars than normal, I think.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Hobgoblin2099 posted:

I want to say that stars can be given or taken with spell effects. Powering down a monster would make it have less stars than normal, I think.

Stars aren't affected by power-ups. Level can be reduced or increased in the TCG but it still doesn't effect attack points or anything.

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


I thought that was how it worked in DDS, but it has been years since I touched the game admittedly.

MightyPretenders
Feb 21, 2014



Hobgoblin2099 posted:

I thought that was how it worked in DDS, but it has been years since I touched the game admittedly.

I can see where that mistake comes from, since DDS uses the term Level when changing a monster's stats.
It's consistent from DDS to Reshef that 1 stat level = 500 Attack and Defense.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Reshef of Destruction part 1



Take a deep breath. It begins.

As I stated at the start of this, Reshef of Destruction is a horrific mess. I feel that there is some very real evidence here of Konami having some serious ill will against the players. And that's a real shame, too, because everything aside from the game design - the music, the graphics, even the dialogue - it's all done rather well, it's just you have to suffer so much to get to it.

For that reason, I made a balance patch for the game a while back. However, I feel that that patch broke the balance in the player's favor. For this LP, we're playing by the game's rules. Mostly. Reshef is unfair, that's for sure, but I'd like to preserve that experience to an extent for the purposes of the LP.

Speaking of ROM hacking, I'm also considering overhauling the game completely with new cards and other modifications, as I do have that capability. I'll be mentioning some of the modifications I've made as we go, just to rub in how easy it would be to fix this mess.



Name entry screen is still the same. I'm not really sure if you're supposed to be the same character from Sacred Cards. On one hand, you have the same house in the same location. On the other hand, all your cards, money and duelist levels from the previous game are gone. Really. Every single thing. I know you can't really transfer data from another game in the GBA era, but come on!



We get an intro movie with a mysterious machine in flames.



The God cards lose their colors.



A sword crashes through the clouds and scatters seven stars across the--

Oh wait, that's from an enjoyable game.



Then this thing shows up, and...



...are we REALLY doing that?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7m3HREbUXU

Veni veni venias, ne me mori facias...veni veni venias, ne me mori facias...



Cut to me and Joey working on decks together. We see the translator has decided to show Joey's brooklyn accent in the text. Either Nob Ogasawara was held at knifepoint and forced to marathon the English dub, or he was trying to save space this way.



Completely horrible! Only two spell cards, one trap card, and the strongest two no-tribute monsters only have 800 attack points. Where the hell are all of my good cards?!



The plot kicks off with a duel tournament on a Rank 10 Train!

...Oh, that's a deck in modern Yu-Gi-Oh. Level 10 Train monsters.



You're right Yugi, this game is terrible!



It seems the Millenium Puzzle has up and vanished overnight.



So we head outside and tell Tea Gardner about it. Oh, but who's that in the bush?



Ishizu. Didn't you say we would never see you ever again? Or did I forget to screenshot that?



The eponymous Reshef, so horrifically evil they made him into a real monster card in the TCG and made him the villain of the Capsule Monsters anime.

Can someone tell these people to stop reminding us of when Yu-Gi-Oh sucked?



Someone has conducted a ritual to revive Reshef, which also causes the God cards to turn to stone and the Millenium Items to vanish. Ishizu asks if we can help her with this. We accept.



Of course you did. If I'd said "no" you would have asked again and again until I gave the answer you wanted to hear. Forget Duel Monsters, Yugi should go into politics.



What a coincidence! The first Millenium Item is in the last stop on the Duel Express, which we were going to go to anyways! Anyhow, we gain control after that rather lengthy cutscene.



Yugi and Joey follow me around the map in this game. Their pathfinding is a little strange though, you can get them stuck on objects, heheh.



Ah, but the fun is over as soon as you look at your deck. Crap cards, your deck capacity starts at 1600...just like the last game, really. Better get to work building it back up.



There are a number of random NPC duelists throughout town - about ten of them. They all have crap decks, but you can beat them only one time, so you might as well. Pictured here is a character from the manga you had no idea about until I mentioned it just now. It's a nice little shout-out, though, and it's references like that that make me sad this game is so bad.



If you head to the game shop, you'll find Tristan Taylor and Duke Devlin, and you can duel them both as much as you want. Tristan is not worth playing against in the slightest. Duke has some cards we want, so here we go.



Even though the Battle City tournament is over, you still have to ante a card if you want to win a card, and they did something extremely annoying: You can't ante or sell a card you have only one copy of in your trunk, and that's not counting if a card is in your deck, either. If you lose too many duels - and you WILL lose - you run the risk of running out of cards to ante.



That's nothing compared to the duels, however. See that gold cursor? That's the "Permanent Effect" cursor. It sweeps the board, searching for cards with any of the new "Permanent Effects" - which is a misleading term; they're more like "active as long as the card stays on the field". For better or worse, many effects from the previous game are now Permanent Effects.

It takes two whole goddamn seconds for that stupid cursor to sweep the board. And it will sweep the board every loving time you make a move. After an attack, after you discard, you name it! Two seconds may not sound like much, but this drags out the length of the duels to a loving absurd degree. Why does the game need to do that? It's not like they already had two loving games doing the same thing without artificial extra lag.

Oh, and if the cursor actually FINDS a monster with a Permanent Effect?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LAl5iHxGOA

I don't understand it. How, I say, HOW does this get past testing? Oh! Oh! But here's the fun part. I'm sad I didn't discover it until now, but there's a way to disable the cursor sweep with no effects on gameplay. All you have to do is set RAM address 0x02021C08 to anything other than 0 with a cheat code. If you know how Gameshark or Codebreaker works, you can make that into a code yourself.

This disables both the cursor sweep and any text boxes during your own turn, but aside from a few graphical problems, there's no effect on gameplay. Your card effects still work regardless, and the game is still playable - heck, it's even MORE playable than before. Not sure how to implement it in a ROM hack yet, but hey, this works for anyone with an emulator anyhow!



Oh right, the duel. Duke has monsters with 700 attack points or less for the most part. That's a little difficult for us at the moment, so it's time for plan B.



Set up a monster with 700 or more defense, pray he doesn't do anything to kill it, and eventually...



He runs through his entire deck. I think I neglected to mention you could win that way. Probably because you never needed it until this game. So, for beating a tough opponent we should be getting lots of money and capacity!



Wh...what. ONE deck capacity?!



You can't even buy a can of cat food with that kind of money!

This is about as much as you can expect from EVERY duel from here on out. Opponents you can only face one time give you THREE Deck Capacity, repeatable opponents give you ONE. The money almost never hits four figures, either. In order to improve your deck at all, you've got some big grinding to do!

I mean, I get it. Sacred Cards gave you massive amounts of money and Deck Capacity, so it makes sense to nerf it, but THIS? Do you have ANY idea what the implications of this are?

Remember the Duelist Level mechanic? I neglected to mention that Duelist Level goes up by 1 for every 3 Capacity earned. In Sacred Cards, this meant every duel ever would make you go up at least one level. Bosses made you go up ten levels! Now consider how that plays out in Reshef of Destruction. Stronger cards now take even longer than before to make available!

But it gets worse. I want to do a little experiment. Before you look at the next screenshot, open up notepad or something. Write down the first thought that pops into your head when you view the picture, and I'll see if I can't guess what it will be.



Was it something to the effect of "Hey, what's that Life Point counter doing th-- OH GOD NO THEY DIDN'T"?

Well yes they DID. You now start every duel with the amount of Life Points you ended the previous duel with. You can restore your LP back to 8000 at your house, which is still the only save point. So be sure to go there after every stinking duel! It's just another level of tedium added to the mix, and it isn't contextualized in the slightest, either.

There ARE situations where you'll have to face multiple duelists in a row without your LP refilling, and come to think of it, that WAS a game mechanic in one of the other video games. As in, an optional game mode.

I can fix that very easily just by writing in another line of code to set your LP to 8000 before every duel. Oh, and you can't give yourself over 8000 LP with a card effect and carry that over into the next duel, they set you back to 8000. Actually, there's unused functionality in the game for forcing the player to start with even LESS than 8000 LP, so thank goodness that never happened!



Shut up, Duke. It's certainly deeper than your crappy dice game, anyways.



So let's go shopping. You actually buy cards from Yugi's grandpa this time around. Inside, Yugi and Joey wander around and can be challenged to duels if you like.



The shop functions as usual: Every duel you play adds a random set of cards to the shop stock. But what the HELL are these prices? Four thousand for an Equip card? I earned only 67 Domino from Duke, and you wanna charge 4000. That Panther Warrior there is even worse, I'm pretty sure it's five figures!

Well, I can tell you what happened here. What Konami did was the most effortless thing ever: They multiplied all card prices from the previous game by 10. Either Domino City is suffering pretty bad inflation, or Yugi's grandpa is a big jerk. Oh, and instead of getting 50% of a card's value when you sell it, now you only get FIVE PERCENT. So in my ROM hack I re-wrote the code to change it back to 50%.



Yugi himself is a pretty easy opponent so long as he doesn't bring out any big tribute monsters. Joey is a little harder. I should mention that these two now have voice acting during duels. In the Japanese versions of this and Sacred Cards, they always did, but this is the first time we hear the English voices.

It's limited to them just saying "It's my turn!" and another quote when they attack with their best monsters, though. Gets annoying.



So! After beating Duke, Tristan, Yugi, and Joey one time to prove that I could, I fired up a cheat code to set their LP to zero, meaning I just have to damage them once to win. I do this because you have to grind off these guys a LOT and if I've already proven I can win once, it doesn't matter if I cheat to save time grinding.



Duke drops Hourglass of Life, which keeps its usual effect. You'd think it would be bad considering any LP you pay doesn't come back after the duel, but no, you need this thing more than ever.



Yugi drops Spellbinding Circle and the Exodia pieces, both of which aren't that good as cards, but they sell for the most, so grinding those in order to purchase something you really want is a good plan.



Here's my purchases: Hoshiningen, and the greatest dragon monster ever. Boy do I wish he was actually good.



Hoshiningen's effect from Sacred Cards, which powers up Light monsters and weakens Shadow monsters, was converted into a Permanent Effect in this game. It comboes great with Hourglass of Life, and Konami had also caught onto how overpowered Shadow monsters were, so they made sure to make Dream monsters more common.

You can also win the famous Time Wizard and Baby Dragon from Joey, but they're a little too impractical for me to use that strategy.



Heading on over to Kaiba Corporation, we find our first optional side event!



This is Rebecca, a character from anime-only filler episodes. That doesn't make her a bad character, though. This game actually makes good use of characters from filler episodes through optional events.



Do you love Mr. Bear? He hates you.



Oh, of course he isn't a stuffed animal. THIS is a stuffed animal.



Rebecca's grandpa was the one that gave Yugi's grandpa the Blue-Eyes White Dragon card, but Seto Kaiba tore it up and Rebecca's not happy about it. Huh. Did that also happen in the manga? I'm confused. Which continuity is this?!



MOTHERFUCK I hate you. Get used to this too, everyone makes the player do everything for them.



They even have the nerve to give you the loving option to turn her down, but then they force you into it anyhow. Hope you didn't walk into the cutscene with a lousy deck! I guess you could just not wager anything, but still.



Hourglass of Life will save your hide here. Rebecca is way the hell harder than a duelist available at the start of the game should be, but a good number of her cards are Fiend attribute. That means Light monsters knock them down fast.



She even set this in defense mode instead of using its effect to destroy both it and one of my monsters. Whoops!



After the duel, she tells us what she really wanted was to put America back on the map, considering they don't have many good ones with Keith and Pegasus gone. Even though they aren't gone, and...nevermind.



Yeah yeah yeah, go grind some more Deck Capacity then try again. We never see her again in this game, unfortunately.



You can also duel the security guard, who acts like he's never played despite me beating him in the last game.



Boy do I wish I had Monster Reborn now.



I actually won this card from him! I mean I can't use it yet, of course, but they're kind enough to tell me what it does. Pot of Greed is excellent and you should get one for your deck as soon as possible - it's limited to one copy per deck, though!



Finally, the Duel Computer is operational as well, and comes with three difficulty levels. From hardest to easiest, they can best be described as "Cheating Bitch", "You Wish You Were This Overpowered," and "What A Digital Dummy".

Anyhow, that's enough exploring around town! Next time we hop a train and hopefully get this scavenger hunt underway!

(Egads, are these getting too wordy, I wonder?)

Ephraim225 fucked around with this message at 18:48 on Mar 15, 2017

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



Oh boy, Reshef of Destruction.

I think this is the right time to quote Yuya, and say that the fun begins now.

Also I don't think the update was too wordy.

Funky Valentine
Feb 26, 2014

Dojyaa~an



Is this the only game that has Joey going full Brooklyn Rage?

Zore
Sep 21, 2010




I remember slamming my head into Reshef as a kid. I think I only managed to get a little past where you are.

serefin99
Apr 15, 2016

Mikoooon~
Your lovely shrine maiden fox wife, Tamamo no Mae, is here to help!



Oh, I remember Reshef now. I hate Rebecca. When your strongest monster is probably around 750 ATK, her Cannon Soldier is a friggin' nightmare.

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


The depths of my hatred for this abomination unto game design know no bounds.

I never even beat Rebecca because the lovely deck you're stuck with at the beginning can barely beat the opponents with crappy cards, let alone her decent ones. Not helped by the fact that she's an encounter only available early on and the plot of this game loves to poo poo talk you and call you weak at every turn just to add insult to injury.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

MY PAPER SOLDIERS
FORM A WALL
FIVE PACES THICK
AND TWICE AS TALL





If there are video games in hell, Reshef of Destruction is one of them.

get that OUT of my face
Feb 10, 2007



The Sacred Cards struck me as having a perfectly fine difficulty curve. Why Konami took a wrecking ball to that and added a bunch of bullshit to Reshef of Destruction, we'll never know. But their Yu-Gi-Oh games seem far more miss than hit.

Also, your updates are a good length. No need to change them.

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


Why does Isono have Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon?

Ephraim225 posted:

Rebecca's grandpa was the one that gave Yugi's grandpa the Blue-Eyes White Dragon card, but Seto Kaiba tore it up and Rebecca's not happy about it. Huh. Did that also happen in the manga? I'm confused. Which continuity is this?!

Sort of. In the manga, Arthur Hawkins technically exists, but he's not named nor is any real detail given on him unlike in the anime filler. Rebecca is also not mentioned at all in the manga.

Blueberry Pancakes fucked around with this message at 05:20 on Mar 15, 2017

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Hobgoblin2099 posted:

Why does Isono have Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon?

Don't worry, there's a very, VERY good explanation for it.

Hobgoblin2099 posted:

Sort of. In the manga, Arthur Hawkins technically exists, but he's not named nor is any real detail given on him unlike in the anime filler. Rebecca is also not mentioned at all in the manga.



I love learning all these little details.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Reshef of Destruction, part 2



Welcome back to Reshef of Destruction, and its brand-new world map! Yes, we do eventually get the Yu-Gi-Oh! world tour, why else would they represent Domino City with only a poorly-resized recycled map of it from the previous game? For now, we head to Domino Station. For anyone crazy enough to try playing along, here's a brief list of some easy-to-get, really good cards for any deck.

Like in Sacred Cards, wagering a "low-level" card results in a "low-level" reward. Thing is, you might actually want some of those "low-level" rewards. All duelists in the game drop the same "low-level" rewards, so get all of these from Tristan:

Eatgaboon - A trap you start the game with. Destroys one monster with 1000 or less attack, gets the job done early on.
Infinite Dismissal - Negates one attack from one monster. Doesn't sound great, but it usually lets you stall long enough to tribute something.
Darkness Approaches - For recycling Hourglass of Life's effect. Not a lot of other uses for it I can think of, since many effects you would have used it with are now Permanent Effects.
Stop Defense - VERY situational, but I'm gonna mention it anyhow. It switches all defending monsters to attack mode. I dunno, maybe some enemies are walling you with their Mystical Elves or something?
Black Illusion Ritual and its required monster Dark-Eyes Illusionist - Ritual monsters are back, and about as useful as they were before, but I dunno, maybe you'll get some use out of Relinquished.

As for specific opponents and their actually good cards, you know that Yugi drops Exodia pieces and Spellbinding Circle, which are worth the most money, and you know Joey has decent if expensive monsters. Duke Devlin has these:

Hourglass of Life - You know what this one does.
The Inexperienced Spy - Revealing the enemy hand, as mentioned, stops their monster effects from working. Again, due to Permanent Effects this is not as practical as it looks but I'd still keep it in mind for certain opponents.
Heavy Storm - Duke's rarest drop. It wipes out every card on the field. It works with the Dark Hole trick and gets rid of traps too. Its deck cost is pretty high, though.

Finally, you have to beat Rebecca to get to it, but facing the Duel Computer on its lowest difficulty gives you a shot at winning Bear Trap, which destroys one monster with 1500 or less attack points.



Armed with better cards, we head to the station. If you tell him you're not a duelist you can defeat one of the NPCs here, but only once. Remember, any duelist you can only beat one time gives three whole Deck Capacity!



Oh, and you have to beat the conductors in duels to win tickets onboard. Well, that does make sense, at least.



It doesn't matter which you pick. Also, what the hell is this? Only two of us have to duel, but if we win all THREE of us get on board? Win two, get one free?



Anyhow, my special friend mops them up fast, Joey commends Yugi but tells me I'm too slow, I remind myself never to invite Joey to my house ever again, and we enter platform nine and three quarters.



This man's intimidating chin gets him a free ticket as well!



More random duelists you don't have to fight, except you do because every little bit of Deck Capacity is desperately needed. There's no point of no return until you get on the train, so return home to save as often as you please.



I managed to get a really good recovery card to save myself trips back there, though. Helps me stay alive on the train, too. The only recovery card better than this is Dian Keto the Cure Master, for 5000 LP. Overpowered much?



There are duelists on the train, but forget them. You want to conserve LP for what's coming, so play only the one required duel to move onto the next car: the train conductor.



See? I told you Stop Defense would be a good card! If I had it in this run anyhow.



No, I opted to pay LP for a power-up instead!



We advance to the next car, and hey, look who's here...how did he get ahead of us?! Did he just enter this car directly?...How does this tournament even work?



Oh goody, a way for the developers to justify starting on the Yami field.

Oh well, the music you get for this duel is actually really good. The rest of the soundtrack is pretty good, too, but this song plays a LOT during the endgame, it's epic.



PaniK is a very early hurdle for most players. Unfortunately, he decided to pretend this is Sacred Cards and the problem with Shadow monsters wasn't fixed.



Watch as his Shadow deck rams right into your Dream monsters! Which you do have, right?



If you don't, Hoshiningen is there to weaken the Shadow monsters for you.



After defeating him, the train comes to a stop, and he books it.



There's a family you can duel on the third car, and this is your only chance to duel them. DON'T. You do NOT want to risk losing, because if you lose to these jerks you get to face PaniK AGAIN.



Once you're OFF the train, however, you're safe because you can now travel to the Art Exhibit directly on the map.



PaniK is seen shoving the guard out of the way and heading downstairs.



But, hold everything! If you go to the train station again you can find another manga cameo! I think. Can't imagine what Kaiba's old butler would be doing here unless he was fired. You can duel him for more Deck Capacity.



Anyways, we've had our fun, time to find PaniK.



That is the greatest face.



This is the Millenium Guardian. They all guard Millenium Items somehow. Guess what, we get to beat them in a card game to earn the ancient dangerous magical artifact.



They seem to like Dream monsters. Not a whole lot else to say, I got through it easy.



We are bestowed the Millenium Necklace, which lets us see into the future!



Dark Yugi appears and has this look that says, "This is the future that awaits a game with Link Monsters in it!"

Okay fine, Yugi kinda just sits there and wonders what the image means.



Then Kaiba shows up for no other reason than to taunt us, tell us we're wasting time, he's the best, etc. Is there a point to this scene?



You'll also find a Kaiba cosplayer just off the train now.



A quick visit to the shop yields these. Oh no. They're nerfing the big trap cards. They're finally doing what they should have done in Sacred Cards, only they waited until the worse game to do it.



No we can't use it to cheat in duels. Oh how I wish.



But never mind that, another manga cameo appears and declares he'll stop us by beating us in a card game!



This guy is one of the major hurdles of the game. You've really got to step up your deck to overcome some of the monsters here, and that means grind more!!



He leaves a video card behind. How do you play a video on a card? Put it on your duel disk of course.



That guy from the intro appears and taunts us. More pointless taunting and daring us to get the rest of the Millenium Items before bad poo poo happens.



The game then replays the intro cutscene in case you forgot.



Only in my case, the emulator glitched. VBA doesn't like Yu-Gi-Oh.



Isn't that lucky, the items all scatter about the world at random, and two of them wind up in the same town in the same country.



That random NPC couple from the previous game makes a return appearance, and can be dueled.



This is not recommended. They're starting to get cards that let you steal enemy monsters.



The only counter to that? FLIP THE TABLE! Final Destiny destroys every card on the field AND the hands too, reducing the game to a topdeck war. Hey, sometimes it's the only option you have left, so.



Yeah you guys go on ahead and be in a good card game. Vanguard or something, I don't know.



You're kidding me. Why the hell did they bring back Mr. Magnum?



Mai isn't taking his poo poo this time though.



Nice monster animations! You can wander around the ship after that scene finishes.



It's a casino on a cruise ship! I like this, it's making reference to Mai's background as a casino dealer. This NPC, when challenged to a duel, refuses and wonders what the point is if money isn't involved.

Um. You can win Domino in duels and you can bet big money trading cards.



Oh come on, Mai! You just beat him, why should either of us have to do anything more?



You know, you could make Joey or Yugi do it. They have better decks than me!



Lucky these are the best cards Mr. Magnum can come up with.

This time.



Mai rewards me with access to the cargo hold. Wait if Mai knows there's "Mysterious Cargo" does she know about the Millenium Item...?



The second Millenium Guardian isn't much better than the first.



The Millenium Key is ours!



Then Shadi appears and tells us that we can expect a cameo from every original owner of the items. Gotta include every character somehow, right?



Anyhow, collecting two of the items allows Ishizu to...



Resurrect the Executive Producer!



Ah, there's that "chosen one" stuff again. Even though it's probably clear by this point that I'll be the one doing anything useful while these two sit behind me and watch.



Wh...WHAT?! Can...can you DO that? Did you not see what happened to Odion in the last game when he tried to use a God card?! I don't want to get smited! It's not even that useful in this game anyhow.

Well, let's take a look and hope we don't get smited.



The God cards are largely unchanged from Sacred Cards. Slifer's the only one to have a real change, and that's changing his effect into a Permanent Effect. Saves you some time, but he's still not that good in my opinion. Oh well, into the deck he goes!



Wait, what? Italian...catacombs? What was even the point of including Italy in the game if it's just going to be some catacombs?



Well, next time we casually fly across Earth to find the next Millenium Item. Geez, this is Battle Network 4 all over again.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

MY PAPER SOLDIERS
FORM A WALL
FIVE PACES THICK
AND TWICE AS TALL





Hey, at least BN4 is playable. Kinda. Mostly.

I'm not sure which is my favorite of the GBA Yu-Gi-Oh games. Worldwide Tournament was fun, but kind of really same-y and a lot grindy, despite the attempts to fix that. Maybe GX Duel Academy? Which one was it that had Duel Puzzles and the real-world card packs. Was it 2006? I lost a lot of time to that one.

PMush Perfect fucked around with this message at 10:34 on Mar 18, 2017

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



Ephraim225 posted:



But, hold everything! If you go to the train station again you can find another manga cameo! I think. Can't imagine what Kaiba's old butler would be doing here unless he was fired. You can duel him for more Deck Capacity.

Hobson/Daimon does appear in the anime. In fact, it's the anime that names him, he's just "Kaiba's butler" in the manga.

quote:



Yeah you guys go on ahead and be in a good card game. Vanguard or something, I don't know.

Too bad that'd mean they would never leave Japan again.

quote:



Nice monster animations! You can wander around the ship after that scene finishes.

Huh, it isn't censored. Surprising.

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


Clearly the moral guardians couldn't get past the ridiculous opening act either.

MightyPretenders
Feb 21, 2014



Yugi thinks that the player can use Slifer because the two of them could both see the necklace's prophesy. There is no real explanation for why that happened.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


MightyPretenders posted:

Yugi thinks that the player can use Slifer because the two of them could both see the necklace's prophesy. There is no real explanation for why that happened.

Well, they could have just made Yugi the player character, that would solve 99% of the plot issues that come up.

Jen X
Sep 29, 2014

Pathetic.
Awful Games Done Quick 2018 Survivor




What the gently caress is a link monster

Blueberry Pancakes
Aug 18, 2012

Jack in!! MegaMan, Execute!


Ephraim225 posted:

Well, they could have just made Yugi the player character, that would solve 99% of the plot issues that come up.

That actually would be a pretty compelling game, especially given that the last arc of the original series (and part of R) involve Yugi having to handle dueling on his own rather than relying on Atem.

Heck, since Atem has been removed from the equation, you have an even better reason to go that route.

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP



GeneX posted:

What the gently caress is a link monster

The newest way Konami is trying to shake up the game.
Unlike pendulum which was an addition to rules link mons come with loads of reworks and removals of rules.
Now monsters from the extra deck can only be summoned in the extra monster zone or in a zone that has been linked.





Anything.more and youre going to have to look it up yourself. This is the biggest rulechange in the history of the game.

Ramos
Jul 3, 2012




Rigged Death Trap posted:

The newest way Konami is trying to shake up the game.
Unlike pendulum which was an addition to rules link mons come with loads of reworks and removals of rules.
Now monsters from the extra deck can only be summoned in the extra monster zone or in a zone that has been linked.





Anything.more and youre going to have to look it up yourself. This is the biggest rulechange in the history of the game.

It probably says a lot that I was able to process about 30% of that. Man, it's been a long time since I played Yugioh.

MarquiseMindfang
Jan 6, 2013


Ramos posted:

It probably says a lot that I was able to process about 30% of that. Man, it's been a long time since I played Yugioh.

I haven't played since 5DS started. I am way, way out of my league.

rannum
Nov 3, 2012



MarquiseMindfang posted:

I haven't played since 5DS started. I am way, way out of my league.

I think the gist is it stops you from special summoning a bunch of monsters so long as you have room. Now you get one (1) special summon unless you put an entirely different, dedicated Link monster.

So instead of summoning like 3 blue eyes ultimate dragons you can only summon one, unless you put a (fusion?) link monster in a spot first

mandatory lesbian
Dec 18, 2012


GeneX posted:

What the gently caress is a link monster

a terrible loving idea konami has come up with

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

MY PAPER SOLDIERS
FORM A WALL
FIVE PACES THICK
AND TWICE AS TALL





gently caress y'all, Link Monsters are Konami finally having an answer to rein back in the powercreep that's been climbing up the game's rear end since they invented the phrase 'Synchro Fusion'. Yeah, it comes tethered to an unwieldy mechanic, but anyone complaining about Link Monsters without having seen the absurd Calvinball-Mornington-Crescent-Rocket-Tag YGO has turned into can eat my Duel Dick.

serefin99
Apr 15, 2016

Mikoooon~
Your lovely shrine maiden fox wife, Tamamo no Mae, is here to help!



PMush Perfect posted:

gently caress y'all, Link Monsters are Konami finally having an answer to rein back in the powercreep that's been climbing up the game's rear end since they invented the phrase 'Synchro Fusion'. Yeah, it comes tethered to an unwieldy mechanic, but anyone complaining about Link Monsters without having seen the absurd Calvinball-Mornington-Crescent-Rocket-Tag YGO has turned into can eat my Duel Dick.

I have seen the, quote, "Calvinball-Mornington-Crescent-Rocket-Tag YGO has turned into," and Links are not the solution. I can sympathize with wanting the game to slow down. It's why I don't touch any meta decks period, since I prefer my duels to last more than 2 turns. But what Links are doing isn't 'slowing the game down'. They're cutting off its legs, throwing it into a pit of starving tigers, and yelling, "Run, Forrest! Run!"

tl;dr anyone who legitimately thinks the Link mechanic will be healthy for the game can eat my Duel Dick.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

MY PAPER SOLDIERS
FORM A WALL
FIVE PACES THICK
AND TWICE AS TALL





serefin99 posted:

I have seen the, quote, "Calvinball-Mornington-Crescent-Rocket-Tag YGO has turned into," and Links are not the solution. I can sympathize with wanting the game to slow down. It's why I don't touch any meta decks period, since I prefer my duels to last more than 2 turns. But what Links are doing isn't 'slowing the game down'. They're cutting off its legs, throwing it into a pit of starving tigers, and yelling, "Run, Forrest! Run!"

tl;dr anyone who legitimately thinks the Link mechanic will be healthy for the game can eat my Duel Dick.
Maybe it's wishful thinking, yeah. It's entirely possible we're just gonna return right back to the days of Kozmo Or Bust. But I WANT TO BELIEVE.

MarquiseMindfang
Jan 6, 2013


PMush Perfect posted:

gently caress y'all, Link Monsters are Konami finally having an answer to rein back in the powercreep that's been climbing up the game's rear end since they invented the phrase 'Synchro Fusion'. Yeah, it comes tethered to an unwieldy mechanic, but anyone complaining about Link Monsters without having seen the absurd Calvinball-Mornington-Crescent-Rocket-Tag YGO has turned into can eat my Duel Dick.

I remember I used to play Crystal Beasts and my turns would take 3x as long as anyone else's because once that shtick gets going there are a million and one options in any hand and picking the right path through them takes time.

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PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

MY PAPER SOLDIERS
FORM A WALL
FIVE PACES THICK
AND TWICE AS TALL





I used to play Gem Knights. Ah, the heady days back when being able to fuse multiple monsters in one turn was just a cool deck gimmick.

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