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Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010




I've never seen a franchise quite like Yu-Gi-Oh. It all started with one manga author's idea for games with stupidly high stakes, which turned into card games with stupidly high stakes during the Magic: The Gathering craze, after which said author desperately tried to move away from card games, but that didn't work out, seeing as you can't market anything else quite as well.

And then Konami got a hold of it.

The Sacred Cards and Reshef of Destruction are the seventh and eighth entries into Konami's Duel Monsters line of Yu-Gi-Oh video games. Typical of Konami anime-licensed video games, they are largely cash-ins. There are so many Yu-Gi-Oh games on the GBA alone that it's rare to find one worth your time. There are a couple of really good ones, of course, like Duelist of the Roses and Capsule Monster Coliseum for the PS2, and if you're looking for a simulation of the TCG, there's the Tag Force series for the PSP. However, there are also plenty of mediocre installments like Dungeon Dice Monsters and the infamously awful Forbidden Memories. And oh god, you don't even want to KNOW what they've done to the TCG itself. Or the show.

So where do Sacred Cards and Reshef stand? Well, they certainly have a lot of production value, with high-quality graphics and even voice acting, and if you're a fan of the show, you'll love the various nods and homages to lesser-known facts about the series. Sacred Cards even uses the original, Japanese card artwork for many of the cards, even in international releases.

However, these games do not follow the TCG's ruleset. They actually use an older, experimental ruleset from Dark Duel Stories for the GBC. There are a LOT of differences from the TCG, so you might be bashing your head on a wall trying to figure it out, but in my opinion, this ruleset isn't ALL bad. There's some appeal in what they tried to do here.

Thing is, the difficulty is highly unbalanced in both games. In Sacred Cards, the game is completely broken in your favor and you can blitz through it in about 4 hours, tops. This leads to the game not taking long at all to beat, and with no multiplayer or bonus bosses, Sacred Cards ends up being average by virtue of not offering a lot of playtime, even though what's there isn't outright bad. Fans took notice of that, and asked Konami to bump up the challenge a little for the sequel.

FREAKIN' IDIOTS.

Reshef of Destruction is a complete farce. It's terrible to the point that I have to wonder if Konami wasn't playing some sadistic prank on the fanbase. Not only was it harder, there was a massive emphasis on grinding and the gameplay was slowed down to a crawl. This is not outright incompetence. EVERYTHING that happens in Reshef seems to be intentional. It was so bad that I decided to ROM hack the game just to prove that the changes they could have made to make the game less awful wouldn't have been hard to implement.

But that can wait, because I'm going to play both games, as well as go over the history of the Gameboy Duel Monsters series, because believe me, the early Yu-Gi-Oh games were loving nuts. I know more about these games than I probably should, so it's only natural to document it all so Konami never lives it down.

Contents

Sacred Cards Part 1/4
Sacred Cards Part 2/4
Sacred Cards Part 3/4
Sacred Cards Part 4/4

Duel Monsters on the GBC

Reshef of Destruction Part 1
Reshef of Destruction Part 2
Reshef of Destruction Part 3
Reshef of Destruction Part 4
Reshef of Destruction Part 5
Reshef of Destruction Part 6
Reshef of Destruction Part 7
Reshef of Destruction Part 8
Reshef of Destruction Part 9
Reshef of Destruction Part 10

Ephraim225 fucked around with this message at 22:27 on Apr 30, 2017

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Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Sacred Cards Part 1/4



Here we go. I'd like to point out two things right off the bat: This game has a language select option even in the USA release, and Imgur has removed the ability to sort images by filename. Ugh...this is already going to be painful.



Ye olde name entry screen has Kuriboh hovering over the OK button, which is cute. I figured I should go with a name starting with "Yu" since every Yu-Gi-Oh protagonist has a name starting with "Yu". And we are the protagonist in this game. Forget that Yugi person.



We begin in our room where we get a visit from said not-protagonist and certainly-not-a-protagonist.



Wait, Battle City?



SWEET! I thought for some strange reason they were making a game about a card game tournament, but a tank battle tournament?! I'm down for that any day!



Deck? You don't need cards in a tank battle tournament! What are you gonna do, slice the cannon off with a paper cut?



...Oh.

The plot really is about a card game tournament.

God dammit.

Well, let's not go into it with a negative attitude! What else could you do with a game/show about card games, anyhow? This game follows the plot of the Battle City arc, and that's fine, even though I don't like that particular arc of the show all that much.



Blink animation timing strikes again!

Anyhow we probably should check out the deck the game saddled us with.



Naturally, it's total junk. But we can fix that.

Sacred Cards has very different mechanics from the TCG. Chief among them is Deck Capacity. The 900 cards in this game each have a Cost, and the total Cost of the 40 cards in your deck can't exceed the player's Deck Capacity, which increases with every duel you win.

I kinda like the idea, though not a lot of people did. It forces you to, at first, come up with a good combat plan without being able to use the best cards right away. Personally I think the concept was put to best use in Duelist of the Roses, which features Fusion Summoning. Sacred Cards, despite every other game at the time having Fusion Summoning, does not. Very odd.



This is the stats menu. One mechanic I'm not at all fond of is the Duelist Level. It, too, goes up whenenver you win a duel. If a card's Cost exceeds your Duelist Level, you can't use that card AT ALL until you level up. Unlike with Deck Capacity, where you might have to take a bad card in addition to a good card to balance it out, Duelist Level outright stops you from making a choice like that at all. Not a good idea. It won't bother me too much, though. On with the plot!



We head outside into the town square. This place is called "Domino City" for some reason. I'm pretty sure it's not a real town in Japan.



Tournament organizer and resident rich corporate executive Seto Kaiba lays down the tournament's rules: Contestants roam the city, and if two of them bump into each other, THAT is when a duel occurs. Pretend it's The Hunger Games, only the odds actually ARE in your favor this time. And you don't die if you lose. Maybe.



No borrowing Yugi's deck for a duel allowed! I guess? What a weird rule to have.



Obligatory "Gambling is good for you, children!" joke. Well, the card game WAS originally a Magic: The Gathering homage, so I suppose it's only natural.



Not only are we wagering trading cards, we're wagering specially-made Locater Cards. These are pieces of a map of the city, like a puzzle!...somehow? A-anyway, get six of these and you'll know the location of the tournament finals.



Yugi, Joey and the player all agree to enter the finals together, which probably kills the spirit of the competition, but who cares! We gain control after this scene. You can challenge any NPC to a duel by talking to them with R instead of A.



Bizzarely, however, the game expects you to attempt to challenge every future opponent in the town square at the moment before the plot moves on. None of them accept duels until you do that.



Then you walk south on this screen. I don't get it either. Anyways, let's find someone to duel. Though you can challenge any NPC, only a select few of them have Locater cards you can win from them.



There are three duelists in this alley, and we need to beat one of them to move forward. Let's do it!



Before a duel, you can wager one of your other cards. You don't actually have to wager anything, but there are some great cards you can win from opponents, so I always do it. Also, some of the weakest cards in the game are treated as "Low-level" ante cards. If you wager a low-level card, you can only expect a low-level prize for winning. Don't worry, though, most of the cards you start with are not low-level.



Here's what the playfield looks like. Since the mechanics of this are different from the TCG, I'll explain them from the ground up.

You start the game with 5 cards in hand and draw one at the start of your turn if you don't have 5 cards in hand already. You may play one Monster card per turn, and you can play as many Spell/Trap cards as you want during your turn.



Monster cards are played in the front row of your field. Note the monster's level: If it's 4 or lower, you can play it for free. If it's 5 or 6, you must sacrifice one monster you already have out to play it. If it's 7 or 8, two monsters are required, and 9 or above requires THREE monsters.

Monsters enter the field face-down, as indicated by the green "R". During your turn, monsters you control can either attack your opponent, switch to defense position, or activate a special ability if they have one. However you can only use special abilities while the monster is face-down...for some reason. Let's attack the opponent's monster. If he had no monsters, I could make a direct attack on his Life Points. Naturally the first to reach zero Life Points loses.



When two monsters battle, the attacker's Attack Points are compared to the target's Attack or Defense points, depending on what battle position they were in.

If the target was in attack position, the weaker monster is destroyed and its controller takes damage to their Life Points equal to the difference in power. (Both monsters are destroyed if it's a tie.) If the target was in defense position, the attacker isn't destroyed if they lose, but the target's controller won't lose LP if their mosnter is destroyed. (In this case, if it's a tie, nothing happens.)

However, monsters also have one of eleven Attributes. These have a rock-paper-scissors mechanic to them. If you attack an enemy with a monster whose attribute beats that monster's attribute, they die instantly. No stat calculations or anything. This will not cause anything hilarious in the future.



Here I've drawn a Spell card. Their effects can be activated during your turn. There are also Trap cards, which can be placed on the field and activate under certain conditions during your opponent's turn.

I should mention that any action during your turn can be carried out in any order. There are no "Phases" like in the TCG. This makes the game much more fast-paced, but you can abuse this in a few ways, too.

For example, that Spell Card there is called Dark Hole, and it destroys all monsters on the field, on both sides. However you can Sacrifice a monster, then activate Dark Hole, then play a Level 5 or 6 monster from your hand and get a free hit on your opponent's LP. Very curious.



Anyhow, that opponent wasn't hard to beat, and neither are a majority of the opponents in the early part of the game, so don't expect much play-by-play. Winning duels lets you take their domino collection.

Okay, okay, "Domino" is actually currency. What kind of currency "Domino" is, I don't know.



Beating one of the duelists in the alleyway makes this guy appear in the conveniently located cemetary in the back.



This guy is named "Bonz" in the anime. Western anime dubbers love their terrible pun names, it drives me crazy.



Bonz uses Zombie monsters, which aren't much to speak of. I was able to demonstrate another mechanic this game has though, and it's a really terrible idea.

That blue card there is a Ritual card. If you sacrifice two monsters, then activate the card, it will transform one particular monster into a stronger monster. This one turns Mask of Darkness into "Mask of Shine and Dark".



Well, 2000 is a lot of attack points for this early in the game, but I was already winning by the time I had summoned this mosnter anyways. It's worth noting that all Ritual monsters carry the Divine attribute, which isn't weak or strong against any other attribute. To take down a Ritual monster, you've got to do it the old-fashioned way.

Still, though, you're sacrificing three cards for one with Rituals, and it's almost NEVER worth it. They're not as good here as they are in the early days of the TCG, and in the early days of the TCG, they were barely any good at all.



Anyhow, we beat Bonz and earn a good chunk of Deck Capacity in the process, and his rarest card!



Aaaaand I can't use it yet. Great. Well, the picture alone makes it worth getting!



One down, four more to go! Let's check out the other alleyway.



We find another duelist who goes down just as quickly.



The tried-and-true solution to all your gaming problems: get big brother to do it for you.



The same line. Oh well, let's see what card I win from him



...Woah. I wasn't kidding when I said Sacred Cards doesn't alter most of the original card artwork. Here's some other examples:



Mystic Tomato was changed to not look like a Jack-o-lantern in the English TCG,



Monster Reborn had this ankh redesigned into a giant crystal (though I've seen versions of Sacred Cards where it DOES use the English artwork?) and as for Dian Keto the Cure Master...



...OH GOD. Why wasn't THAT censored?!



A-anyways! Beating big brother causes him to call in HIS big brother!



This is Espa Roba, and he wants a Locater card. He doesn't feature in the anime all that much. I don't know what's up with the "Pipipi" thing he does, it probably has something to do with his alleged ESP. In the show, his "ESP" is just his brothers peeking at his opponent's cards.



He doesn't really need that, though. Espa has a Spell card called The Inexperienced Spy. It reveals all cards in the opponent's hand, which is more powerful than it looks. Remember, effect monsters can only use their effects while face-down. If they're revealed like this while in your hand, they'll enter the field face-up.



Still, he's not that hard and we get a VERY good card from him. Jinzo is famous for his ability to destroy trap cards, and a healthy attack stat for a monster that costs only one sacrifice makes him very nice...but that high Cost makes it so we can't use him this early in. Argh.



I'll take Locater card number two, though!



If you re-enter the alleyway you can listen to Espa's sob story. If you're a dick to him he won't re-match you ever again, if you care.



I once asked how you could possibly shut somebody up with a playing card. Then I remembered I won a Titty Kitty from one of them and came to my own conclusion.

...Let's move on.



We see that Bonz has suddenly been kicked out of his hangout by someone even more goth than he is.



Oh goody it's this guy. This character was nothing but a random "bad guy's minion" in the show and he isn't much more than that here.



He uses the five "Exodia" cards in his deck. The gimmick here is that if he draws all five of them in his hand at once, he wins instantly. In this game, it's near impossible for him to actually do that, especially since in this case he put one on the field, where it can't instantly win for him.

But in the TCG? Oh god. Many, MANY players really hate Exodia players because they do nothing but stall until they get all five cards in their hand, making the game boring for whoever happens to be Exodia's next victim.



So we kick this boring loser out of the cemetary.



Uh...thanks? I'm gonna go get my next Locater card.



I seem to have found the local anime ninja hangout! I can see Yuffie, Naruto, and...



...Rex Raptor? Okay then. Rex doesn't want to duel you unless you have two other Locater cards already. In the show, Rex was the original user of the Red-Eyes Black Dragon, a powerful card that he wagered in a duel against Joey Wheeler and lost.



His duel introduces an annoying gimmick. There are a set of Spell cards that alter the terrain of the field to benefit certain monster types. In some duels, the terrain starts already altered. This Wasteland board raises the stats of Rock, Dinosaur and Zombie monsters by 30% (in the TCG it's just a flat 200 extra points). And with a name like Rex Raptor, I wonder what type of monster he uses!



Unfortunately Rex doesn't put up much of a fight, either. A lot of these early duels are just me running over the enemy with my stronger monsters - not a lot of need for Spells and Traps quite yet. Rex, oddly enough, has Red-Eyes Black Dragon despite him canonically losing it to Joey earlier in the plot. Found another copy, I guess?



Optionally, if you go east of that screen you can find Kaiba Corporation and their new Duel Computer, which you can duel. You earn a LOT of money from this opponent, so it's a duel worth repeating, and the computer is supposed to scale to your own Duelist Level. At least, I think it does.



Anyhow! Beating this ONE NPC out of everyone in the entire city triggers an event flag! How you're supposed to know it's this one is beyond me, but he tells us something's going down at the card shop. What a coincidence! I was just about to go get some new cards. We'll see what this is all about next time!

Ephraim225 fucked around with this message at 00:11 on Mar 6, 2017

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Carbon dioxide posted:

Why the hell would you use imgur while the perfectly fine lpix is available for everyone in this subforum, and made for that purpose by our very own baldurk? Register with your forums account, get one of the multi-upload tools, and that's it.

Well you know I thought Imgur would be fine. Clearly that was a mistake.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Sacred Cards Part 2/4



Welcome to the world map! ...Okay it's a map of just the city, but you know. You enter the world map when you take the west exit in the town square. We'll be checking out what's going on at the Card Shop.



Don't worry, unnamed NPC, I'll be telling everyone how to win at Sacred Cards in no time at all. It's much easier than you'd think!



Really, Mr. Cashier? The game's only been going for like an hour...though I did pick up four locater cards already.



When someone says that to me offline, I'm usually REALLY suspicious, but your outfit is crazy awesome, so I'll stick around.



Okay, now I'm REALLY suspicious.

This guy is called Arkana. He was a one-off villain's minion in the anime. Sacred Cards follows the anime's plot pretty closely, except a player character added in. And since you're the main character now, you replace Yugi in all of his duels. In the anime, Yugi vs. Arkana was an epic battle because both duelists use the Dark Magician, arguably the game's most famous monster.



Before we take him on, we could probably use a deck upgrade. Money you earn in duels can be used to purchase cards. I don't know why you have to do it at this shop, and not the one Yugi's Grandpa owns, which is a location you can go to, but wherever we get cards from, I'm happy to be able to get them.



Kinda wish the interface was a bit less cluttered. Whenever you win a duel, about 20 random cards get added to the shop's inventory for you to purchase. Bosses in this game give giant truckloads of money, so it's very easy to afford whatever you want to buy, especially if you sell the junk cards you don't need.

Funnily enough, you can also purchase Ritual Monsters. Not the Spells, the actual monsters they summon, which makes me wonder what the point of the Spells was. Well, the monsters do have a Card Cost of 255, so that won't be going in your deck anytime soon, I guess, but if they are in your deck, they function just like regular monsters, and still have the Divine attribute.

Anyhow, the shop is a MUCH appreciated feature. I can purchase what I want and not have to deal with random booster packs like in real life, although if you want a particular card, you have to get lucky and hope it shows, and boy, was my luck good on this run - I got the best monster in the game!



...What? She's great, I tell you! 2000 attack points for only one tribute! I mean Toon Summoned Skull has 2500, but his Card Cost is like three times Toon Dark Magician Girl's. Oh, and in case anyone's wondering, the infamous Toon monsters don't have any special powers compared to their normal versions in this game, aside from some of them changing to the Shadow attribute.

Speaking of which! Let's talk attributes! Every monster has one of eleven attributes. If your attribute beats their attribute, you kill them instantly regardless of stats or battle position. Here's how it works:

Shadow beats Light
Light beats Fiend
Fiend beats Dream
Dream beats Shadow

Fire beats Forest
Forest beats Wind
Wind beats Earth
Earth beats Thunder
Thunder beats Water
Water beats Fire

Divine is neutral

Here's the secret to success in Sacred Cards: Make a Shadow deck, it's the best attribute. Dream monsters can one-hit kill Shadow monsters, but Konami made a serious error when designing Sacred Cards. In my entire playthrough of the whole game, I encountered a Dream monster in an enemy deck ONCE. You don't have to take this elemental crap, just use the one attribute they don't counter that often!

And it gets better! The starter deck comes with Witch's Apprentice, a monster that has the ability to raise the power of Shadow monsters by 500 points - they're ENCOURAGING you to do this!



I also pick up Hourglass of Life. This card lets you raise the power of all your monsters by 500 points at the cost of 1000 Life Points, which is a pretty fair trade in practice. It also goes well with a monster called Hoshiningen, who can raise the power of all Light monsters by 500 more points. I don't use Hoshiningen in this playthrough, though, because he also weakens my Shadow monsters.



My other notable purchase is a simple Spell card that destroys the strongest enemy monster. Very handy.



Also located in the shop is the Password Machine. You know those eight-digit ID numbers on the real life trading cards? You can punch that into the Password Machine to unlock the card in the game. You don't RECIEVE the card, it just shows up at the shop for purchase. But you can enter any code you want, as many times as you want. This, however, is cheating. You'd have to be the worst card player in the world to have to cheat at Sacred Cards.



We enter the basement, and Arkana challenges us.



And it seems we don't have a choice, either. Is it just me, or do fictional stage magicians always end up being big jerks?



Oh yes, that's right, he's going to chop the loser's legs off with that giant saw! This is how it happened in the anime, but the English dub censored the sawblades and changed it so that anyone that touches the "Dark Energy Disc" would have their soul sent straight to hell.

Um...not sure how that's an improvement, but this is a video game, so there's no censorship to "save" you this time. Back in my day we didn't need no censors to save us. We had cartoon magician girls instead!



Arkana's duel, and several others in the game, start with a Yami, or "Darkness" field, which raises the stats of Spellcaster and Fiend monsters by 30%. As it happens, a number of great Shadow monsters are also Spellcasters and Fiends. Here, Toon Dark Magician Girl jumps from 2000 to 2600. This allowed me to run over Arkana just like everyone else.



Our prize is Arkana's version of the Dark Magician himself. You might remember that Dark Magician Girl has an ability that raises her power if Dark Magician is in the graveyard (which is what the "discard pile" is called in Yu-Gi-Oh.) In Sacred Cards, using this ability is highly impractical. The Graveyard in this game only tracks the most recent monster sent there, so you'd have to use Dark Magician Girl's abiltiy immedietely after a Dark Magician is sent there. And she has to give up her attack on that turn...and be face down...and...you get the point.



Arkana almost gets chopped, but we save him because we're apparently a pretty compassionate guy.



Then he says some weird stuff and collapses. Uh...what plans are we impeding, exactly? This event can happen the instant the game starts...



Our next destination is the Park. Locater card number 5 awaits us.



A stranger seems to be there, but he says nothing if you talk to him.



We find Weevil Underwood here, who has the locater card we want, but most annoyingly, he forces us to duel all three of his "Disciples" (that was the word he used) before we can duel him.



These duels all begin on a Forest field, which powers up Beasts, Insects, Plants, and Furries. Not enough to pose a threat, mind you. They have some attribute variety, and while I know of one Insect monster that carries the Dream attribute, nobody ever played it. Hm.



One of them gave me this as a reward, ironically enough.



...I just noticed, have I been spelling "Locater" wrong this entire time?



Yeah, this duel wasn't much of an issue for me, ahaha. Weevil does have one trick you need to be aware of, however: He has a monster called Petit Moth. It's incredibly weak, but if it survives a turn, it turns into Larvae Moth. If that survives a turn, it turns into Cocoon of Evolution, and if that survives a turn, it turns into Great Moth, who has 2600 attack points and will gain 900 more if it survives one more turn.

It isn't hard to prevent Petit Moth from making it that far since a Fire monster eliminates any of these in one shot, but if you happen to have Petit Moth yourself, it's a strategy worth considering. Plenty of cards let you stall while your bugs are growing, and Petit Moth stays face-down during all of this if it's in defense mode, which enables you to mis-direct the AI from attacking it, in a way.



Just one more to go! If it feels like I'm blitzing the game, well, that just shows how not-difficult Sacred Cards is.



The only other location open at the moment is a nondescript Art museum.



It's not open, but you can find another character from the anime. This is Bakura and he's more of a tabletop RPG guy than a card game guy. You can duel him now if you wish but it isn't necessary.



Now one thing about Sacred Cards is that it's not very good at telling you what you're supposed to do to advance the plot. One of those "explore everywhere, talk to everyone" situations. In this case, after the fifth locater card you're supposed to go to the game shop in the town square.



And you talk to this guy, which sets an event flag. HMMM, SOMETHING ABOUT HIM LOOKS FAMILIAR.



Three more locations open up when you talk to him. First let's check out the Bridge.



We arrive just in time to see Seto Kaiba wasting a nameless NPC in a duel.



Sidekick? I'm the main character, buddy!



I feel so unloved.



If you exit the screen and come back, you'll find Kaiba has his very own fangirl. Sorry, girl, his heart already belongs to the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. I'm not kidding.



The weird dude from earlier appears and challenges us. This guy is simply called Strings. That alone should say everything that needs to be said. He attempted to use one of the most impractical cards of all time against Yugi, and lost. In this duel, he's going to use one of the best cards in the game against us. And lose.



Oh, actually no, he didn't draw it in this duel. This is where enemy monsters start to get tougher, though. You'll notice this one has 2000 defense, making it a nice big wall. Any time the computer does that, just send out a monster with an attack stat lower than theirs, they can't resist coming out of defense mode to attack it.



The prize is Revival Jam, one of two monsters that can clone itself (I have the other one, Doron, in my deck.) 1500 attack points is pretty good, too, so when my duelist level is high enough (Hrrrrmph.) I'll be using it. This card also forms an amazing combo with Darkness Approaches, a Spell that flips all your cards face-down. Remember how you need to be face-down to use monster abilities?



I don't see how I'm meddling, I'm just trying to get into the tournament finals.



Got it memorized!



Hm. I guess he doesn't like Kingdom Hearts jokes.



Next, we need to set another event flag, so we enter the nondescript Building.



It's a game center! I always wanted to visit one!



To the surprise of nobody, there's a DDR cameo here. We also see Joey Wheeler SLACKING OFF.



He runs off somewhere, and we follow.



He went to the Aquarium. Why are duels taking place in an Aquarium? Because it's Yu-Gi-Oh, that's why.



These duelists don't have portraits, but the boy is named Takeshi. You need to beat him and his girlfriend to set more event flags.



One screen north, we see Mako Tsunami (These dub names...) beating Joey Wheeler. Huh, I'm pretty sure Joey won that duel in the anime. Mako, of course, won't duel you until everyone in the Aquarium is beaten, including Joey and that random NPC next to him.



All duels in the Aquarium start on an Umi or "Ocean" field, powering up Fish, Aqua, Sea Serpent, and Thunder monsters. Most enemies here have the Water attribute, and they tend to be much stronger than what you might have when you factor in the field bonus, so you need a different approach. You could change the field with a Spell to take that advantage away, or you can use Thunder monsters.



I added these to my deck. Electric Lizard even has an ability that lets him stun one monster, stopping it from attacking until your next turn. If you use Thunder monsters, however, there's one dick move you should be careful of: These guys have Penguin Knight, which for some reason, has the EARTH attribute, which is strong against Thunder. Really comes out of left field. I mean it's a PENGUIN, geez.



They had to pad the length of the game somehow, I guess. Now we duel Mako.



Here, I get to demonstrate the Dark Hole strategy I mentioned in the previous update. Tribute your monster...



Activate Dark Hole to destroy all monsters on the field...



Then play a level 6 monster and score a free hit!



Of course I'm so loaded with powerful cards that I could probably do it without being cheap. Anyhow, that's all six locater cards! What awaits us next?

Ephraim225 fucked around with this message at 23:12 on Feb 25, 2017

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


MightyPretenders posted:

Shame. It looks like you skipped the optional duels with Yugi and Mai.

At some point in the game, probably determined by Locator cards, Yugi is hanging around in the game shop. Beating him at this point earns the Beaver Warrior card.

In the Park, there is a guy looking for Yugi to duel, and he won't duel you unless you tell him. In exchange, he also tells you that that Mai Valentine is at the building. She'll bet a Harpie Lady, but no locator cards. She's a change of pace, as one of the few duelists to use the Mountain field. After this, you can drop by the game shop to hear about how he got his rear end kicked.

....I legit never knew you could do either of these. Cool tip though! I might go back and show them.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


AmewTheFox posted:

Exodia is also the most useless victory condition in this game.

Sure, if you're a normal person. Heheheheh.

AmewTheFox posted:

Though, speaking of Dark Hole, are you going to talk about the Restricted List the game never tells you about? (at least to my knowledge)

It doesn't really affect me in Sacred Cards. There are approximately 12 cards on that list, and 5 of those are Exodia pieces.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Hobgoblin2099 posted:

I always liked The Sacred Cards, even though people said it was too easy. A friend of mine even drew the avatar character of this game, even though you can't really see too many details of him.



Also, I believe that The Sacred Cards follows the manga more closely than the anime. Pandora, for instance, was dueled in some magician's tent in the anime, whereas the manga had Atem figure out that the Ghouls were working out of the shop where the Duel Disks came from and he dueled Pandora in the basement of that building. The location in Sacred Cards is based on the latter, from all indication.

Nice drawing. I've heard that that character appears in the GX Manga or some such but I can't verify if that's true at all without reading the whole thing.

I think Sacred Cards and especially Reshef of Destruction are some kinda mish-mash of both the manga and anime, but I'm always happy when the games take inspiration from the very original Yu-Gi-Oh story.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Sacred Cards Part 3/4



The next plot event occurs at the game shop, but hold everything! It's been pointed out to me that I've missed out on a number of optional events! Because in this game, advancing the plot too far causes you to permanently miss sidequests, great idea right? So let's rewind for a bit.

I mean you don't exactly get much that's worthwhile out of them. For example, if you have just one locator card, you can enter the game shop to find Joey there. Challenge and defeat him, and you win this:



2000 attack points? For no tributes? And it's a shadow monster? Sign me up!...oh wait, look at the Cost. 319. Boy am I sick of seeing that text box telling me I can't use it.

In fact, let's talk deck capacity a moment. All monsters get their card cost from a formula. I have yet to figure out the precise formula, but I've got a good idea of how it works: The formula assigns a cost based on how big the monster's highest stat is, and the number of tributes needed. Monster effect doesn't factor in, attribute and type don't factor in. Some monsters and every spell/trap card get their cost from the formula of "however much Konami thinks it's worth".

That means every other no-tribute monster with 2000 attack or defense is gonna cost 319 deck capacity. Now, see, monsters that big usually came with some kind of drawback in the TCG. Panter Warrior required a tribute to attack, Dark Elf required a 1000 Life point payment to attack, Jurai Gumo had a 50% chance to halve your life points with every attack, you get the point.

But in this game, the drawback of "stupidly high cost" outright cripples their usability entirely. The Duelist Level rule stops me from using them for a LONG time, and even if I did grind out the levels needed, 319 is still a good chunk of my deck's capacity taken up by one card that I need luck to draw. Unless the purpose of this was to give the CPU an edge over the player (they don't get to deal with deck capacity, yeah) something tells me we need a new formula.



But enough of my whining about things that don't affect me. (Yet.) See that NPC with the afro? That one NPC out of everyone else starts a sidequest. I guess him standing still is supposed to be a dead giveaway. Beat him in a duel and he'll ask you to point out some easy prey for him, do that and he'll do the same for you. Naturally, we tell him where to find...



...an impossibly strong opponent like Yugi! Actually you can duel him around this point, too, but the prize is just the not-that-great Beaver Warrior. Okay fine, I was kidding about the "easy prey" thing, but it's still neat to find this guy here after you just told him where to find Yugi. Attention to detail!



In return, he tells us where to find Mai Valentine. (The pun is an English dub invention.) She'll duel, but she doesn't want to bet locator cards, as she's dead set on taking card number six from Joey. For some reason.



She is, as far as I know, the only opponent where the duel begins on a Mountain field, which raises the power of Dragons, Thunder monsters, and Winged Beasts. Mai is notable for using one of the earliest decks in Yu-Gi-Oh to use an "Archetype", a series of monsters that share a part of their name and a consistent theme. She uses Harpy monsters, and you can win one from her if you're good.

Come to think of it, if I remember right, the only field spell the game doesn't have a duel start on is the Meadow field. Odd.



Anyhow, back on the main path, a guy in purple threatens us and says they've taken Joey Wheeler and Tea Gardner (Yugi's romantic interest) prisoner.



Alerting the police force or whatever never crosses our mind, apparently.



Looks like a mysterious group of dangerous card players is on the loose! They're committing the heinous crime of winning at card games!



Right, so, the next objective is to beat up all the "Ghouls", because beating them at a card game will make them stop. I could understand if, say, the monster holograms the characters' Duel Discs project had a physical presence, thereby making their attacks actually hurt, but that's not happening for a good four anime spin-offs or so.



The Ghouls all share two qualities: One, they all start on the Yami field. Two, they use heavy amounts of Fiend monsters. Since running them over with stronger monsters doesn't always cut it, including a few Light monsters in your deck is a good idea for these duels.



Typos aside, this section of the game is annoying because you need to beat the Ghouls in every area they appear in. However, they respawn, and you don't know which Ghouls need to be beaten in order to set the event flag (You'll hear a bell sound when you beat the correct ones.) So this part gets a little annoying.



Oh, and check out this card I picked up. This is Trap Master. His effect is to place a free Acid Trap Hole on my side of the field. Where does the card physically come from, you ask? The Acid Trap Hole on my rear end.

oh...oh god I'm so sorry

Uh, okay, so, Trap cards. They activate the instant their conditions are fulfilled, which means you can't save them for when they're absolutely needed. The most common traps respond to monsters attacking. Acid Trap Hole will destroy any attacker with 3000 or less attack points. Other traps including reversing the effect of a powerup, reflecting direct damage, and turning LP recovery into LP damage. Mako Tsunami actually has the best trap in the game: Torrential Tribute. If that one activates, the attacker loses all his monsters and it's seriously infuriating because you can't even bait it out with a weaker monster. Good thing he never draws it.



Here's where the remaining Ghouls are located.



I finally got the chance to use Dark Magician, and would you look at how much power the field gives him! Yugi must be demolishing them left and right. They really ought to switch to another monster type at this rate.



Beat all the Ghouls in the other areas, then return here to see Weevil getting beaten by a guy with a flag on his head. "Bandit" Keith Howard here is an American jerk and he always wants you to remember it.



Okay, Keith, whatcha got for me?



Wow, he actually used different attributes! Good job, Keith, it took more than one turn to beat you!



B-but I'm the one who keeps winning...



Anyhow, head back to the game shop after beating Keith to find Mai Valentine, and she's willing to give us a lead.



Always nice to know Big Brother has our backs and wasn't spying on us in order to knock us out at his own leisure!



At this point, Yugi actually follows you around on the map! I can pretend to be popular now!



We head to Kaiba Corporation, where his security dude won't call him for us unless we beat him in a card game. Of course. Why would it be anything other than a card game. It's not like lives are at stake.



New objective: Find Kaiba's little brother and bug him about it instead.



Of course he gets kidnapped, there's nothing else you can expect from Mokuba.

Oh, and since we're in front of the game center, I should point out a cool easter egg I just now found out: The DDR cabinet in the game center isn't actually DDR, it's Beatmania. How do I know this? One of the songs from Beatmania appears in The Sacred Cards as the theme of the game center.



Another pair of Marik Ishtar's minions. These two are called Lumis (the white one) and Umbra (the red one). In the anime, they dueled Yugi and Kaiba as a team.



Guess what that means!



They insist on dueling on the roof of the building, because the losers are going to have the skylight's glass shatter under their feet. (Uh, in the anime, anyhow.) We get a choice of which one to duel. Make sure you actually know which one is Lumis, because he's the easier of the two. Umbra's deck has a lot more tough monsters with attribute variety. (No Dream monsters, but that goes without saying.)

Side note: They goofed and gave Lumis four copies of one of his (not so good) monsters. You're normally restricted to three of any card, unless the banlist of whatever game you're playing further restricts the number of copies you can have. In this game, the only restricted cards are the Exodia pieces, Raigeki, Dark Hole, Pot of Greed, Harpie's Feather Duster, Change of Heart, Monster Reborn, and you can only have two copies of Heavy Storm.



But you stink at card games.



Marik starts talking through his minion again, and we get a little more info about him. He and Yugi each possess a Millenium Item, which is ancient Egyptian artifact with crazy magical powers. There are, of course, seven in all.



Marik's item is the Millenium Rod, which lets him mind control people. That's how he talks through other people.



Marik then makes the masked pair collapse.



...WHAT! We just saved your life, buddy! Let's throw him off the building!



Well, at least he gave us what we came for. To the Art museum!



Kaiba then tells us where Joey is. If this seems unusually helpful of him, he really just wants us to get rid of Marik and the Ghouls for him.



The Pier opens up on the map, and...gah! Yugi, your sprite is morphing with mine, hurry and get away!



Keith and a bunch of Ghouls block our way. Yugi decides to take all five of the others. No I don't know how that works.



Check this out, I won so much money even the game doesn't know the actual amount!...But wouldn't it be trivial to just...like...print that number on the screen? Sigh...some decisions I'll never understand.



Joey's just ahead, but something isn't right with him.



This has got to be the most elaborate trap ever. Marik forces Yugi into a duel with Joey in which the loser gets drowned. Hey Marik, I've got this great invention you should try out - a PISTOL BULLET TO THE FOREHEAD!



Yugi can't bring himself to drown Joey, so he loses and gets drowned instead.



You then get a Dragon Quest-style "But thou must" prompt. Refusing to save Yugi doesn't actually do anything but make you select again.



Okay, Joey, now it's my turn!...Wait will beating him just drown him like before or is that different now?



Yugi gives Joey a heart-to-heart talk about friendship and promises, and that breaks Marik's hold on him. Wow, friendship really is the strongest thing in the world.



Everyone heads back the game shop, and Joey realizes he's still short on locator card, so we have to wait for him.

At abolutely NO POINT is this ever hinted, but the next plot point is at the Art museum and you're kinda expected to just go there.



A mysteriously lady is there to greet us.



She introduces herself as Ishizu (known as Isis in Forbidden Memories in case anyone played that first) and invites us inside. Plot dump incoming!



She lays out the story behind Duel Monsters. Way long ago in Egypt, wizards and priests battled each other by summoning dark creatures that prey on the weaknesses in the hearts of man. Records of these battles survived to the present day, where a guy named Pegasus J. Crawford decided these horrific beasts and bloody wars would be a great basis for a children's card game!

Okay it goes a little deeper than that, but Yu-Gi-Oh does a horrible job at not looking completely silly on the surface.



Ishizu challenges us. I'd like to take a moment to comment on the actually pretty nice soundtrack the game has. Ishizu's theme is upbeat and mysterious at the same time, and best of all, there's an excuse to listen to it more than once per playthrough.



This is one of the rare moments where the game forces you to play two duels consecutively without saving. If you beat Ishizu but lose to the second opponent, you'll be kicked back to your house (which is also the only save point, forgot to mention) and you have to re-do the entire event from the start.

Thing is, Ishizu gives you TONS of money and deck capacity, so grinding money off of her is very possible if you want to make the game even easier. Oh, and Ishizu uses nothing but Light monsters.



Well, except for that. That is the ONE Dream monster I've ever seen in Sacred Cards and it just rammed headfirst into one of my traps.



After defeating her, she explains that Marik Ishtar is her brother and he organized the Ghouls in order to hunt down rare cards. Specifically, he is looking for the legendary Egyptian God Cards - three monsters based on Osiris, Ra, and Seth. You might have seen them already, in fact, if Ishizu and Strings had pulled out the ones they had in their decks, but then you'd have probably lost. Ishizu wants to stop Marik, because if he gets all three, he can...uh...he, he can...

What the hell CAN he do with them?! They're TRADING CARDS!

I don't want to get into a rant about the plot in a Let's Play, but the "God Cards" are one of the reasons I didn't like the Battle City arc as much as what preceded and followed it.



Ishizu's willing to let a complete stranger handle what's apparently a very important piece of cardboard, but there's one more test first.



We get to duel Seto Kaiba.

It's the moment you've all been waiting for.



Kuriboh vs. Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Three hundred attack points versus three THOUSAND. A chestnut versus the most powerful (normal) monster alive.



KURIBOH WINS.



And in case that wasn't a big enough kick in the balls, I use a spell card to revive Blue-Eyes White Dragon on MY side! That's gotta sting!

But see, there's an AI quirk that can make this even MORE humiliating. He has Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon in his deck, which is a Ritual monster. Now, the player needs a Ritual spell to summon it, but the computer doesn't, the computer just needs to tribute three monsters. Thing is, if the AI decides to discard it to make room in its hand, it goes to the graveyard. And you can revive it. Fascinating.



We even win it as a prize in this duel! This is actually an alternate artwork of Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon - I assume the Ritual spell summons the other version. Alternate artworks exist for the Ultimate Dragon, White Dragon, Dark Magician, Red-Eyes Black Dragon, and Black Metal Dragon.

Oh, and I should mention the game limits you to three copies of any given card unless that card is further restricted by an in-game list of cards limited to two or one copy. However, I tried adding three copies of each version of Blue-Eyes White dragon into my deck - IT WORKED. They were too lazy to stop you from having six of one monster with alternate art in your deck.

It's the most impractical thing ever, but hey, there it is. Now I'm curious if certain card effects interact with all versions of what they're supposed to interact with.



Kaiba says he doesn't need a God card to win duels. And you know what? He's entirely correct. But hey, that means we get to use the God card ourselves!



Sacred Cards was the first game (in the West, that is) to give us players control of the God cards. They WERE printed, but they were just prize cards, they weren't tournament legal until they were reprinted very recently. And...they're highly impractical to use basically anywhere they appear, but let's talk about them anyhow.

The Egyptian God cards in Sacred Cards have a number of common properties. They're Level 12, so they need three tributes. If you have that many monsters, you were probably going to win anyways. However, it should be noted that the God cards have the Divine attribute and are completely immune to destruction by card effect - literally the only way to destroy one is by having higher attack points, and all three of them have 4000 attack and defense.

Now, they aren't immune to ALL effects, just destruction. If you have spells or effects that lower their attack points or stun them, by all means use them.

As for Obelisk the Tormentor (how it got that name is a mystery) he is probably the best one out of all three in this game. His special effect lets him destroy EVERY enemy monster AND deal FOUR THOUSAND damage to the opponent. This should secure victory no matter what, but if it doesn't, you can play Darkness Approaches. Like I mentioned previously, this flips him face down and allows him to use his effect again. Unlike with regular attacks, NOTHING can stop a monster effect.

Anyhow! That update had lots of text in it, but there's still one more update to go for Sacred Cards! The finals of the tournament await!

Ephraim225 fucked around with this message at 00:29 on Mar 6, 2017

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


mateo360 posted:

you got your mask guys backwards Lumis is the white mask and Umbra is the red/black mask.

Woah, go me. Thanks for catching that! Gave me an excuse to check their decks. Umbra looks slightly harder!

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Sacred Cards, part 4/4



Well guys, here it is. The Battle City finals and the grand finale to Sacred Cards. Get comfy, because there are only four duels left to be played, which means a LOT of cutscenes are incoming.

But first, we have another sidequest available! Around the time you get Obelisk, you can visit the Aquarium because...maybe your character wanted to cool off a little? I haven't a clue.



You'll encounter Mai Valentine being stalked by a movie star. This is Jean-Claude Magnum and he's pretty much the definition of a filler character. The anime just decided to randomly have this guy show up right before the finals. Not sure if the manga did that too. Here, at least, he's just a sidequest.



Mai decides to make us take out the trash, and just to increase the pressure, promises to marry Mr. Magnum if we lose.

No, that doesn't actually happen if you lose, losing just boots you back to your house and the game pretends it never happened.



Then why can't you just do it yourself, Mai? You're good at card games, right?

...Right?

So we defeat Mr. Magnum and head back to the game shop. Everyone puts the locator cards together and finds that the finals are being held at a run-down stadium in town.



The finalists turn out to be me, Yugi, Joey, Mai, Kaiba, Marik, Bakura, and that totally friendly dude Joey met right before he was made into Marik's mind slave. Huh.



If you defeated Mr. Magnum, Mai rewards you with a card.



Hey, relax, Mai, I won't use it against you.



Correction: I CAN'T use it against you.



"Marik" is the last to arrive. That face is pretty intimidating, I'll admit.



As it turns out, Kaiba has decided to hold the finals atop a flying blimp for no other reason than he has the money to do it so he may as well. The first match is Bakura vs. Yugi.



What ever could you mean, Joey? Did Bakura manage to get all five Destiny Board cards on the field and win instantly?

Destiny Board vs. Exodia actually sounds like a fun matchup.



Oh yeah, Bakura has a Millenium Item, too. Bakura possesses the Millenium Ring, which has an evil demonic world-destroyer sealed inside of it. I'm dead serious. Actually, the Ring has a FRAGMENT of an evil demonic world-destroyer inside of it, and he regularly clashes with Yugi.



Luckily, Yugi has the spirit of an ancient Pharoah in his Millenium Item!



Ouch, sick burn. Actually, I did check Yugi's decklist. He has only FOUR pieces of Exodia. Which contradicts canon, come to think of it...



Yugi's packing a new monster here, though. It runs over Bakura very easily.



Its real name is Osiris, but 4kids decided to insert a shoutout to Roger Slifer, the Executive Producer of the English dub for the first season.

Know what, he did good work before he passed away two years ago, so I'll let this one slide.



Yes, the God cards can only be used by the CHOSEN ONES!



Sick burn?

Wait. If Strings has Slifer in his deck (as he did in the anime) how did Yugi get it after we beat Strings?! Did he just happen upon Strings's body and just...take it?! That's looting!



Finally, it's our turn. We get to deal with the bad guy because of course we do.



Yugi points out, however, that those who own Millenium Items can tell each other apart, and this guy is most certainly not Marik.

No, his real name is Odion and he's pretending to be Marik. I haven't a clue why he needed to do that. Is the real Marik just not scary at all compared to Odion?



Assuming you even get to play it!



Odion doesn't fool around. This is where the game gets very difficult. He uses strong, defensive Rock monsters, which he can later tribute for either his God card, or another signature monster of his.



That monster is Mystical Beast Serket.

Which is Fairy-type.



A fairy. That's a fairy. Okay I know the fairy type was called "Angel" in Japan, but that's even LESS sensical!



Anyways, Serket has the ability to eat enemy monsters and absorb their attack points. Pretty impressive for one tribute.



Hey look, I have a Spell that destroys a monster, and another that revives a monster.



Yep! You should be careful, though, he has one mosnter capable of stealing his monster back. The Ritual monster, Relinquished, is in Odion's deck and it can steal one enemy monster.

Yes, I am fully aware Relinquished is a Ritual monster you'd normally need a Ritual spell to use. Odion does not care one bit. He can play Relinquished like a normal monster. He's the only duelist in the game to do that, in fact. Well, the player can do it too, I suppose.



Oh, did I mention the God cards can smite unworthy souls who dare play it? Why were they even created and why weren't they DESTROYED if they're so dangerous?



He didn't even get the chance to summon it in that duel, what are you talking about?



Odion gets struck by lightning, and the real Marik reveals himself.



"I'll give everyone really bad paper cuts!"

Marik just so happens to have his own super-powered evil side, created after Marik suffered some very contrived trauma as a kid. Now he wants to destroy the world because come on, that's just what these madmen do.



HE JUST TOLD YOU, GEEZ!



The next match is Joey vs. the real Marik. Why isn't he disqualified for entering under a false alias? I guess there was no rule against it...



Was saying the word "die" really out of the question here?



Marik reveals the third God, the Winged Dragon of Ra, and runs over Joey with it.



Joey falls unconcious and will remain that way until Marik is defeated.



You can wander around the blimp, and can find Marik about to stab Odion, but for some reason he backs off when you find him.



That just leaves these two. Seto Kaiba rather unceremoniously runs over Mai.



The blimp lands on an island formerly used by Kaiba Corporation as an HQ. It's been worn down over time, though.



Ooh, good one. The only thing more fitting is a tomb decorated with Link Monsters.



Inside the tower, we start the semifinal duel of the game. In the anime, there was a four-way Battle Royale to determine the matchups, but we can't do that with this engine of course.



Yugi upgrades his deck here with some great Spell cards, the fifth Exodia piece, and two three-tribute monsters you really DON'T want him to summon.



Unfortunately for him, I have so many powerful cards by this point he won't even get the chance.



We are awarded with the second God card. Let's take a look.



Slifer sucked horribly in the TCG, but here, he's, eh, okay. He can increase his attack by 1500 for every card in your hand, just in case you wanted to make an invincible God even more invincible. I guess it's cool to have an easy road to five digits of attack power.



Okay Kaiba, as long as you actually get your Ultimate Dragon on the field, everything should go smoothly!



Kaiba decides to up the level of awesome by creating a holograph of a gladiator arena for this duel.



Oh, just like the rest of the game, then.



Nice going, Kaiba. He falls unconcious too. It's really all down to us, isn't it.



The only thing standing between us and the ending is Marik.



It begins. Marik has a powerful deck with some of the game's best cards.



He has Ancient Lamp, which summons a strong, 1800-point Fiend to the field, which is further boosted by the Yami terrain. He has another 1800-point monster that can attack directly.



He has Harpie's Feather Duster and Monster Reborn - TWO copies of each in fact, despite the player being restricted to only ONE copy of these. He's cheating. And this is all before you factor in the Winged Dragon of Ra.

But you know what?



My deck packs almost twice the punch and has Obelisk, so it's not like the challenge is that much higher.



However, he has one bullshit card that can ruin your match if he draws it. This is Thousand-Eyes Restrict. Like Relinquished, it can steal an enemy monster. Unlike Relinquished, the stolen monster is powered up just to rub your face in it further. TCG players might remember needing to Fusion summon it, but nope, not in this game! Thankfully Marik tried to use it on the God card, who is immune to the effect.

Now, I could just finish him off with Obelisk right there, but I wanted to end Sacred Cards with a much bigger bang than that. Then I thought of something that would be outright amazing if I could pull it off. What was it, you ask?



Killing a God monster with a non-God monster. I picked up this card from Lumis earlier. The Masked Beast Des Gardius has 3300 attack points, making it the strongest two-tribute monster out there. And it's a Fiend, so this field pushes its attack points all the way to 4290 - HIGHER than the Gods.

Of course you can beat Ra very easily even if you actually let Marik summon it. For whatever messed up reason, Ra counts as a Machine monster, which means the Umi field spell WEAKENS him. The other two Gods don't have that problem, which really makes me wonder why everyone thinks Ra is powerful or dangerous, but what can you do?



How about not only killing it but reviving it to your side as well?! This is technically the only way you can control Ra, since the game ends as soon as you beat Marik. Why the game awards you half a million Domino for beating him is something I've pondered on occassion. Was a New Game Plus mode planned? That'd have been a good thing, the game has so little replay value without a multiplayer mode.



In addition to being weak in the Umi field, Ra's effect is by far the worst of all three: He reduces your LP to 1, then reduces the enemy's LP by however much you lost. If you're ahead in LP, you win instantly, but seriously? Obelisk at least doesn't leave you vulnerable to the Sparks spell! (Sparks literally just does 50 damage. If you kill someone with it it's rather hilarious.)



Kaiba and Joey wake up and presumably duke it out for the coveted Bronze Medal, Mokuba says "Thank-you" for once, and we head back to town.



Ishizu greets us when we arrive.



What? Hell no, they're actually pretty good if you play them right, I'm keeping them! They're safer with me anyways.



Yeah it's another "But Thou Must" moment, so no you don't get to keep them. Hopefully they don't turn to stone or something stupid.



Man, the attention to detail is incredible. They drew a whole portrait just for this one line of dialogue.



Everyone goes home after that, and we return to our normal lives. Would suck if another crisis decided to disrupt our boring routine, huh?



The credits roll, and we're shown mugshots that certainly won't be recycled in the sequel!



Why couldn't they hire him back for Generation 7? sob



This concludes Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards. We still have a hell of a lot to get through.

Next time, we check out the four Gameboy Color Yu-Gi-Oh games, and then after that......the true Shadow Realm of gaming.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Hobgoblin2099 posted:

Incidentally, I do believe that Odion can summon Ra, but I think it just winds up being the Sphere Mode if he does.

You're thinking of Keith in Reshef of Destruction. Sphere Mode isn't in this game.

Hobgoblin2099 posted:

The God Cards weren't destroyed for reasons gone into in the Memory World arc. Yami Yugi needs to win them and use them on Ishizu's Giant Rock of Ancient Egyptian Spoilers to learn his true name so he can pass into the afterlife. This ties in with a subplot about Yugi becoming his own person and so on. I guess this game just decided not to worry about silly things like that, so he'll wander the Earth forever. Cheery!

I suppose that kinda makes sense. I feel that there was a better way to handle the plot point about specific cards being important, but whatever.

MightyPretenders posted:

There's one last secret duel that might be worth looking into, if you go right immediately after entering the Pier. It's nothing compared to the final boss, but it can be the best way to grind up money.

Do you have to do it at a specific time? I just tried going there at the end of the game and found some random duelists and the Mako Tsunami rematch, and none of them had tons of money.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Simply Simon posted:

Did you really finish the game without leveling up enough to use a single reward you got over the course of it?

Oh no, you'll certainly have the level needed to use the rewards by the end of the game. I simply chose not to for the most part. Other than Revival Jam a lot of cards I was winning don't fit my strategy for this run. I think most players will end the game with a duelist level of 275, which covers most of the rewards you get. Of course I still didn't appreciate seeing that "Your duelist level is too low" text every time I won something.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


MightyPretenders posted:

I said the Right, not the left.

.......How was anyone supposed to know you could even go inside that building?! Or any of the buildings?! You can't even see the door!

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Okay what is going on why were there like thirty replies in a few hours?

Oh. That's what.

AlphaKretin posted:

A likely-stacked deck against an opponent that was either in on it or cherry-picked?

A single card can be used to build an entire field in one turn if you know what you're doing.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Gilgamesh255 posted:

I...actually didn't mind Forbidden Memories for the PS1. Sure, it wasn't great, but I didn't find it horrible either; though considering I traded it in, I guess I didn't have fond memories of it either. Liked the music for it, though.


Please don't lynch me for my heresy.

Hey, Forbidden Memories had good music and graphics.

That's all you're getting though.

PMush Perfect posted:

Hey, Ephraim, your link to your balance patch doesn't work. Think we could get a reupload, and maybe a changelog? That'd be rad.

Reuploading. I'll try to remember what I can about it. I made it a long time ago and knew zero ASM though so I'll likely update it at some point.

Download here. The changes I remember are:
- The price of all cards at the shop was divided by 10 to make them match Sacred Cards prices, EXCEPT for the Exodia pieces. They sell for quite a bit still.
- All cards had their Deck Cost halved, meaning less capacity grinding.
- You now earn more capacity and money from duels.
- Some monsters were given additional effects. Example: Queen's Double and Rainbow Flower have the same effect as Mystic Lamp, which is to attack the opponent directly. Nothing that game-breaking, just thought a couple starter cards could use a boost.
- All cards now have their TCG stats. There were a few that originally did not.
- Ritual monsters have had their Divine attributes removed (don't you DARE spoil why I did that)
- Ritual spells were replaced with monster cards originally removed in Reshef of Destruction
- The final boss was nerfed. Believe me, he needed it.
- All opponents now start at 8000 LP.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


SyntheticPolygon posted:

What? That doesn't even seem possible.

If you use the cheat that sets the opponent's LP to zero, you still need to hit them with some form of damage or else the game doesn't check if they've lost or not. So what he should have done was include lots and lots of direct damage cards in his deck - there's a decent number of them.

PMush Perfect posted:

You are a saint. Can you give me the For Dummies version of the directions on how to turn off the Permanent Effects sweep, with the code thing, on VBA?

Open the cheat list, hit the "Code" button under "Add", type a description if you care, then type in 02021C08:01 for the code. Then hit "OK".

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Fionordequester posted:

So...how much trouble have you been having thus far? With the way these updates are paced, it seems like you're flying through the game without much trouble. Did you grind for all that long, or did you just get rolling as soon as you got Hoshiningen and Hourglass?

Grinding for the Hourglasses and trap cards did take awhile, yes. I also don't show myself resetting over and over until I get a duel with a decent opening hand. That's usually required even after the grinding to get a good deck going.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


PMush Perfect posted:

I've been playing the patched version, and it's much more fun.

I noticed that Tristan and Duke still only give 1 Deck Capacity when you win, though.

Edit The Duel Computer, too.

Well I've got a new patch in the works, so that won't be a problem.

Kinda wondering if there isn't a way to make Ritual monsters more..."playable" in this game's engine.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Sorites posted:

He said in the earlier games that Rituals require you to tribute specific monsters, but otherwise work as they do in the real game.

So you need the de facto Fusion materials on the field, and to draw the Ritual card, and to draw the Ritual monster - there is no extra deck.

No no, that's not quite how they work in this game.

In the TCG, you need to draw the Ritual Spell, the Ritual Monster, and then you need monsters on the field or in your hand whose total level stars are equal to that of the Ritual Monster.

In Duel Monsters 2 and Forbidden Memories, you need to draw the Ritual Spell and three specific monsters, and have all those monsters on the field when you cast the spell. (Example: Gate Guardian Ritual requires Sanga, Suijin and Kazejin all on the field at once)

From Dark Duel Stories onwards they changed it. You need to draw the Ritual Spell, have just one specific monster on the field, and two other monsters to tribute. (Example: To summon Magician of Black Chaos, you need Dark Magician and any two other monsters on the field) Gate Guardian and Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon still require three specific monsters, though.

Reshef of Destruction has something pretty hilarious in store regarding all this, however. I'd love to think of a way for Ritual Summoning to still be a game mechanic without being so crappy. I've actually written a card effect for the game with ASM hacking just to prove it's possible.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Reshef of Destruction part 3



We're back after a bit of an unintentional break and being genuinely happy about the conclusion of the current Yu-Gi-Oh season! But now it's back to this. Mokuba's available to duel now. In case you've never faced him in a video game before, he is the biggest joke opponent of all time. Like, you have to lose duels to unlock him in other games.



Anyhow! A random catacomb in Italy it is. Why not a random catacomb in Japan? Who knows, Mega Man and Digimon have pulled the whole "pointless world tour" thing, I won't complain about it here.



Just inside are an elderly couple who have never heard of dueling and think we want to sing. Pretty amusing, actually.



And...Bonz? Seriously? I didn't know he was Italian. And yet he speaks decent enough English. Or Japanese. Or-- yeah enough of that.



Bonz knows something about the catacombs we want to know, but he won't spill it without a duel, as usual.



His zombie monsters are mostly Fiend attribute, except for the clowns. They're Dream attribute for some reason. Pumpking the King of Ghosts is Forest attribute, but he's never gonna summon it.



Then there's this. 1500 attack points for every card in my hand. Maximum of 11,500.



After the duel, Keith shows up basically just to taunt us. Flew all the way to Italy for that, did he?



He's made minions out of the Ghouls, in spite of the fact that in Sacred Cards you can find him in a building you have no idea you can enter, re-match him, and maybe convince him to change his ways. But I guess that's not canon.



Arkana, too? These guys really can't turn their lives around. So Keith tells us what we're looking for isn't here. Like he knows where it actually is.



Bonz knows where to find it, though.



Thanks, Bonz! You're a pretty cool guy despite the zombie face.



Another Millenium Guardian. This one suffers from a very bad AI problem.



You can see that he has me cornered with that Thunder Dragon, which has 1600 attack points and the Thunder attribute.



He then TRIBUTES IT for a Succubus Knight, a monster with a whopping FIFTY POINTS MORE than the Thunder Dragon. It then rams its face into my Dream monster, the attribute it's WEAK AGAINST. I mean, the AI cannot "see" your face-down cards, but come on, there was no reason to throw out Thunder Dragon just for fifty extra points!



With that out of the way, I set up the usual comboes. Not sure if I should feel bad about winning that one because the AI messed up, but we move on regardless.



We get an interesting prize card. Toad Master's effect is to summon Frog the Jam, a monster with way more history and background than a simple frog slime deserves. 700 attack points and no effect, and yet people use him in the TCG, it's hilarious.



Uh-oh, the Millenium Ring! Hope the spirit inside doesn't possess anyone!



Actually he doesn't appear in this game at all outside this one single cameo and the post-game. Did I mention there's post-game?



Item number four is located in a foreign country yet again, but, uh, we have business to take care of first.



See, this game has a really bullshit sidequest, but to start it, you have to duel Mai Valentine. (I think so, anyways. I was gonna duel her anyhow, though.)



Just like before, use Forest and Water monsters to knock her birds out of the sky, whatever attribute they're weak against.



Defeat her, then head to the game shop to find Duke and Tristan dueling.

Yes, they did in fact make a card based on Konami's Gradius game. Of course someone forgot to inform whoever was in charge of translating the cards that "Gradius" isn't the name of the ship, it's the name of the planet it defends. The ship is called "Vic Viper".



Apparently, the two were dueling over who gets a chance to ask Joey's little sister out on a date. Yep, that's Tristan and Duke: Anime love triangle comic relief, though it's mostly a trait shown only in the filler season.



So then Serenity shows up, and Duke wastes no time working his magic.



Pack it up, gentlemen, she's not into boys! Or she might just be too young for the whole love thing, haven't decided yet.



...Okay you know what, I figured these were just going to be filler scenes, but now I'm genuinely interested. This is sure to be a trainwreck.



Let's head back to Mai Valentine and see if Tristan and Duke manage to last long enough for us to get there before they lose.



Uh...my mistake, she seems to have taken advantage of the situation and forced them to swab the deck! This just got very amusing.



They ask what all the cleaning has to do with dueling, so she suggests a "training quest" to get rid of them. Now where would they train? Besides a literal train, that is.



Kaiba Corporation! Duh! Anyone could figure out that's where to go next for this series of scenes.



Ah, they want to train on the Duel Computer. They must know you can farm it for Bear Traps, I guess.



...Or not. Oh man, I wish you could spectate these duels like you can in some of the other games!



Ooooh, I wish I knew a good GLaDOS joke.



"Well done. Here come the test results. 'You are a horrible duelist.' That's what it says! A horrible duelist! We weren't even TESTING for that!"



What do you mean? There isn't some kind of horrible ranking system like Forbidden Memories has.



We head back to the game shop and Joey asks Serenity what we're all wondering now.



Come again?



Oh right, she just thinks Joey's asking about friends.



No incest jokes please, this is not Fire Emblem.



Duke and Tristan are promptly told to shove off, and everything goes back to normal.

So what was the point of all that? These four scenes unlock a sidequest. HOWEVER. If you get the fourth Millenium Item and you haven't viewed all these scenes? You lose access to the sidequest ENTIRELY. The sidequest doesn't even happen until after you get the SIXTH Millenium Item! I mean it's not a sidequest of critical importance, but geez!



So it's off to China, where someone has set up a noodle stand on the Great Wall. Great location for it.



Joey points out that there's something weird about these guys if you attempt to challenge them. Maybe you noticed already just by their sprites. Or you may have noticed they always talk in rhymes.



They turn out to be the Paradox Brothers, a pair of one-off villains from the Duelist Kingdom tournament, and apparently they're under new employment. They're fan-favorites for challenging Yugi and Joey to the first Tag Duel of the series, and they do the same thing with the main characters of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.



The mosnters to watch out for here are Fiend and Forest attribute monsters. The computers are starting to get stronger cards. Oh, and that Darkness field might hurt your Light monsters, since most of mine are Fairy-type.

Now let's see what the reward for this vic-



.......WHAT!?

FIVE HUNDRED EIGHTY-FIVE?! You think a one-tribute defensive wall is worth FIVE HUNDRED EIGHTY-FIVE CAPACITY?! How in the HELL do I even get my Duelist Level that high?! It would take WELL OVER ONE THOUSAND DUELS! The card dies in one hit to any Wind monster no matter how high its stats are! And you know what, this is the highest-costing card in Sacred Cards, but not in this game. There's WORSE!



With Para defeated, Dox does several backflips into the scene. Oh no, there's two of them now! Whatever shall we do?!



How about a surprise appearance by Seto Kaiba?!

Seriously, what the hell is he doing here?



I choose to duel Dox, which looks pretty bad considering he has Jurai Gumo there. No tributes, 2200 attack points, Forest attribute...



...but my Flame Swordsman is gonna heat things up!

...dunno why I chose that line, of all things...



I guess they don't have any Shadow monsters?



Oh, good animation!



Okay, bullshit. Nothing YOU did helped me in MY duel, since this isn't a tag battle, and even if you WEREN'T here, I have two...ACQUAINTANCES, let's say, following me around like lovesick puppies. You don't suppose THEY could have dueled in your place, do you?!

Oh wait, they just stand around and do nothing, the player's the one doing all the hard work in this game!



Yeah, and your plan for accomplishing this IS?!

Mokuba makes some remark about Kaiba actually wanting to help us, whatever, I don't give a drat, I don't need HIS help, he's horrible at dueling. Every character in this game is a bad duelist except me.



Millenium Guardian number four. If there was something interesting about him besides "his monsters are stronger" I'd have screencapped it.



The Millenium Eye! Now we can read everyone's minds and win all the duels from here on out easy...nah, of course not, we'd never USE the items, that'd be just silly.



It's that guy from the intro! And the Millenium Eye was originally owned by...



He insists that his new name is "Sol Chevasky" like changing your name means anything at all.

Probably too much of a Sephiroth clone, actually...



So we take the items back to Ishizu to revive God Card number 2.



Obelisk the Tormentor is the same as he was in Sacred Cards, which would actually solve a lot of issues in the coming--



Oh, right. I forgot. The Gods choose their wielders.



So naturally it would pick the worst candidate ever. I'm the one winning all the duels! Divine prick!



Tristan shows up all of a sudden with something to say about Serenity.



...

...

......The WHAT?

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Oh, oh, would anyone like me to give a full review of Arc-V and why I think it's completely awful, with excruciating detail?!

alcharagia posted:

distant, relentless croaking calling for death

I mean, no they don't, but distant, relentless croaking calling for death

Huh? Did I do something strange...?

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


alcharagia posted:

That's right! When he destroys a monster by battle, you take damage equal to that monster's attack points!

Aha! But I have a card effect that prevents the destruction of my monster in battle!

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Rigged Death Trap posted:

YOULL STILL TAKE THE DAMAAAAAAGGEEEEEEEEEE

I just watched the final duel and it ends with that exact quote.

So I guess I will be posting a review after all. Not in place of a regular update though.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


You asked for it so here you go. Get comfy. It's long-winded and rant-y towards the end.

Well, it finally happened. Episode 148 aired. It's finally over. Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V, the biggest Rank 10 train wreck I've ever seen, has finally concluded. It was...not fun to watch the whole thing. It started out okay, had great character designs, and had plot ideas that could be great if executed well. However, about 50 episodes in, everything took a nosedive as the plot became so incredibly nonsensical it started to rival Kingdom Hearts, which is pretty impressive. I can barely even put into words why it was so bad, but I'm gonna try it anyways.

Episodes 1 and 2 begin with the setting. In Arc-V's universe, technology has allowed holograms to take physical presence, which means Duel Monsters is literally a whole new game. The new kind of duel is the "Action Duel" in which "Action Cards" are scattered around the field for the players to pick up and activate, which in author-ese means "We can rear end pull a save for a character in danger of losing any time we want". Watching characters ride their monsters is pretty cool regardless, though they don't seem to take any safety precautions to ensure people don't get hurt while they play. This technology will certainly not be weaponized in the future.

Our main character is Yuya Sakaki, a self-proclaimed "Entertainment Duelist", which means he has the worst deck in history, but the entertainment value means he wins all his duels anyways: a true anime protagonist. Yuya lives under a bit of a stigma because his father, the world-famous Yusho, was set to duel against the reigning champion duelist, Mr. "I'm not appearing in this show ever again after this duel", but Yusho never showed up to the duel, leading everyone to think he'd backed down out of cowardice. (Really? That's the first thing that came to everyone's mind?)

Yuya is offered the chance to duel the champion in order to redeem his family, so he takes the opportunity. Yuya puts up a good fight in the duel but finds himself cornered, until his pendulum necklace glows suddenly and transforms some of his monster cards into the new Pendulum Monsters, enabling him to pull off a Pendulum Summon and come back from behind.

Yup, he rear end pulled an entire game mechanic! Joking aside, however, the crowd actually has a surprisingly realistic reaction: As far as they know, Pendulum Monsters are Yuya's invention, so he must have cheated. Yuya then realizes he can't actually remember the tail end of the duel at all, so he and his "Yes I am, no I'm not" girlfriend, Yuzu Hiragi, duel each other to figure out the new summoning method.

Okay, so so far, there's nothing completely awful or stupid yet, in fact this is actually a pretty good setup. You have the main character obtaining an entire mechanic nobody else can use, and the next four episodes deal with other characters who are interested in Pendulum Monsters, whether to steal them, outright copy them, or just to see how they work, meanwhile you have to wonder how they were even created and why they're compatible with everyone's duel disks. Unfortunately, these questions aren't answered for over ONE HUNDRED episodes, and it's a bit of a cheap handwave, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Episode 7 onwards is where the plot really gets going. A mysterious "Dark Duelist" and his comrade, Shun Kurosaki, begin attacking students of the "Leo Duel School" and at one point even start...turning them into playing cards...ulp. People initially think it's Yuya committing the attacks, because when the Dark Duelist takes his mask off, his face is revealed to look just like Yuya...except it absolutely does not and they look nothing alike but I'll let it slide for the sake of the plot.

Yuzu encounters the Dark Duelist later on, and he reveals his name to be "Yuto". He also seems to recognize Yuzu because she has the "same" face as HIS girlfriend, Ruri, who has been kidnapped. However, they're cut off when Yuya appears, Yuzu's bracelet shines and suddenly teleports Yuto away for some reason. These are very mysterious occurances, so naturally the characters should be trying to figure out these mysteries, right?

Nope, because it's time for a TOURNAMENT ARC. See this is my first big issue with Arc-V: They frequently delay any plot or character development in favor of just showing more duels even if they don't impact the plot, and even writing in more duels just to fill airtime, because they've got to sell more cards, and where do those get shown?...Don't get me wrong, I'm aware that to Konami, Yu-Gi-Oh is a commercial first and a story second. At least, that's what I'm thinking, considering some of the dumb ideas they come up with.

So Yuya and friends enter a Duel Monsters tournament, during which Yuto and Shun make the big reveal that they come from another dimension entirely. In fact, there are THREE other dimensions: The Fusion Dimension, the Synchro Dimension, and the XYZ Dimension. Yes, they're divided by monster type! And these dimensions also very closely resemble past Yu-Gi-Oh settings: Duel Academy, Neo Domino City, and Heartland City, respectively.

Yuto also reveals that every dimension has a boy in it who looks like Yuya, a girl who looks like Yuzu with a weird bracelet, and for whatever reason the Fusion Dimension, led by a guy named Leo Akaba (who also founded the Leo Duel School, hence Yuto and Shun attacking them at first) led the Fusion Dimension on a grand-scale invasion of their home, the XYZ Dimension, using the physical holograms as weapons. (Told you they wouldn't weaponize that tech!...oh wait. Also, insert Avatar: The Last Airbender joke here.) Yuya and Yuto duel each other, and find that their strongest dragon monsters seem unusually...attracted to one another. Then after they duel, Yuya and Yuto fuse together. Somehow.

The tournament gets interrupted by the Fusion Dimension invading Yuya's Dimension (just called "Standard" because they couldn't think of anything else). They aim to capture Yuzu like they did with Ruri, but Yuzu escapes into the Synchro Dimension with another Yuya-lookalike. The tournament's organizer and son of Leo Akaba, Reiji, decides the best course of action is to take the top winners in the tournament and assemble them into a team of TEENAGERS WITH ATTITUDE and search the Synchro Dimension for Yuzu.

So I just described Season 1 (out of 3) to you. You might be thinking, "well there's a few speed bumps but it sounds kind of okay so far", and really, it was, but Season 2 is where things take a nosedive for a lot of people, because this is the Synchro Arc. Yuya and his team travel to the Synchro Dimension, which is basically a giant clone of the setting of Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds in several, SEVERAL ways. From the caste system, to card games on motorcycles, to Synchro monsters...

Oh, and they also brought back Jack Atlas and Crow Hogan for no reason! Well there's a reason for it, of course: they wanted to sell more cards those characters are famous for using. It's about as subtle as a bunker on a Golf course, and they do it with three other characters later on: Aster Phoenix and Alexis Rhodes from GX, and Kite from ZeXal. Besides marketing, there's not a lot of good reason to include them, especially with the character cast already very much bloated.

Speaking of marketing, the most blatant "buy our cards" moment was one duel later on in which the winning player used an actual structure deck that was released just recently at the time, just in case anyone thinks I'm crazy about the whole marketing thing.

The plot of the Synchro Arc is equally as bad. It starts with Yuya and his team getting captured and thrown in jail. Then they escape and get re-captured again and again and then get forced into another tournament. Nothing of major value happens or gets accomplished throughout the entire season, no new information is revealed other than the Fusion Dimension really wants to capture Yuzu and the three girls that look like her for some reason.

The issue here is that aside from making allies out of Jack and Crow eventually, nothing that happens in the Synchro Dimension ever really sticks with the characters, so you could just skip to season 3 and you probably wouldn't have missed very much at all. And that's fifty whole episodes you'd be skipping, so it's rather unfortunate, to say the least. One of the episodes is even devoted to nothing but flashbacks!

Season 3 gave me a little bit of hope before swiftly shattering it. It starts with Yuya and co. going to the XYZ Dimension, where they witness the damage the Fusion Dimension left after their invasion, and they discover their ultimate plan: Leo Akaba intends to merge all four dimensions together, using the life energy of people turned into cards to do so, and he needs Yuzu and her lookalikes for some reason. Yusho found out and wanted to stop him - that's why he left home before his scheduled duel. And now...the FUN part.

While in the XYZ Dimension, Yuya frequently gets attacked by the Fusion Dimension. In just about every ONE of his duels, Yuya manages to get his opponents to defect to his side by putting on a circus performance with his monsters. I'm dead serious. Everyone just starts joining his side after they're taken in by the children's entertainment. Now, WE know that would never ever work in real life, and I'm pretty sure the writers do too, but this is Yu-Gi-Oh. It's children's entertainment anyhow, so nobody cares if the writing is actually good, right?

After getting Aster Phoenix to defect from the Fusion Dimension, he takes Yuya and co. there himself so they can all take the fight to Leo Akaba directly. More filler duels follow, there's a stupid subplot involving the kidnapped girls getting "physical-holograph" parasites stuck in their brains to brainwash them, Yuya confronts the remaining two boys, who have merged together as well and later force Yuya to merge with them. Then Leo, some ONE HUNDRED THIRTY EPISODES into this series, finally decides to do a plot dump. And if you thought things were stupid up until now, get ready.

First of all, there weren't originally four dimensions, there used to be just one. It was in this dimension that Leo Akaba invented physical hologram technology and used it to truly revolutionize the way Duel Monsters was played. Unfortunately, there's one thing Leo didn't account for: Duel Monsters HAVE SOULS.

Okay, I know this is something the other Yu-Gi-Oh anime all have, but you can't just drop such a big bombshell on us this late in the series! It's barely even foreshadowed aside from Yuya and Yuto's dragons roaring at each other.

sigh Okay so monsters have souls, and they use their newfound physical holograms as bodies, which means they can lash out at people whenever they get angry, and when you're constantly summoned for the sake of killing each other in a card game, you tend to get more than a little angry. Oh, and because the holograms can't be destroyed and evidently have no emergency kill switch, this leads to lots and lots of rampaging monsters. Great job, Leo!

What's more is that the champion duelist, Zarc (Like Zorc from the original series?! Do ya get it?!) is...he, uh...okay so he has four dragon monsters that apparently can make him do whatever they want so they make him turn into a giant evil dragon. Or something. Leo then...he...okay listen to me a moment. This is normally where I'd go on TVTropes to make sure I have all this right, but I'm pretty sure even THEY don't get it one tiny little bit.

So I'll tell you what Leo does to the best of my ability. Take a deep breath. Are you ready? Okay.

Leo Akaba........CREATES FOUR SPELL CARDS WITH THE ABILITY TO SPLIT ZARC AND THE ENTIRE DIMENSION INTO FOUR PIECES.

How? HOW is that even PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE?! Let me reiterate. He created four spell cards that can SPLIT THE GIANT MONSTER IN FOUR. I knew he could make physical holograms, I didn't know he could loving ALTER REALITY ITSELF. What is he, a God or something?! Did a monster give him this power? The hell is this?!

Leo doesn't cast the spells them himself - his daughter, Ray, does it instead, splitting Zarc, the dimension, and herself into four pieces. Ray gets divided into Yuzu and her lookalikes, Zarc gets divided into Yuya and his lookalikes, and presumably every family from the original dimension gets sent to a random dimension, and of course they all lose their memories except Leo for some reason. He figures out what happened, and is now trying to put the world and his daughter back together despite the fact that doing so risks Zarc coming back and hurts a hell of a lot of other people. Guess what happens.

I mean, there's nothing WRONG with one dimension becoming four, and it's rather interesting to think that your main character and his ace monster is actually part of a greater evil villain (Pendulum Monsters are even stated to be Zarc's creation at the time of the split) but there's just so much wrong with how it was executed. Leo Akaba also never gets any real punishment for his stupid decisions, as even though Zarc is revived and spends about ten episodes blowing everyone up in duels, Ray eventually comes back to split him into four AGAIN. Then they spend the few remaining episodes, ah, "purifying Zarc" with "smiles". Then it just ends. Yuya and Yuzu also remain fused with their counterparts, meaning that the other six are basically dead. Doesn't that suck! Hey Shun, your SISTER is dead, does that mean NOTHING to you?!

Anyhow, I've skimmed over a lot of other problems and could probably go into way more detail, but my bottom line here is: we have too many characters that don't have much of an impact on the plot, a villain who's made to look sympathetic yet is also a complete idiot, a generic evil monster that's kind of just there, too many filler duels, too many actions likely taken solely to sell cards, a completely nonsensical "make it up as you go" plot...and worst of all, the missed potential. I could probably go on even longer describing what I'd change to fix the problems. Not that any of my fixes would make Konami more money, but I'm sure we'd at least wind up with something resembling a better product.

I suppose as long as Yu-Gi-Oh makes big bucks for Konami we can expect the franchise to not get destroyed by this mess...but THEY STILL TAKE BATTLE DAMAGE!

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Dexie posted:

Doesn't change that he's complaining about plot elements that are in most or all of the other shows.

It's not that this plot element is present, it's that it's handled much more poorly.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Fionordequester posted:

So Ephraim, out of curiosity...did you watch Arc-V with subs, or did you watch it dubbed (assuming it's dubbed)? I mean, I know for a fact I'm behind on the times, but I don't recall Yu-Gi-Oh having a lot of luck when it comes to faithful script adaptation...

Subs, yes. Arc-V is dubbed up to...the second season if I remember right, but I could only listen to the English dub for ten seconds. I mean, if I know just from that the acting isn't going to be great, then I should probably stick with what I've got going. There were also some silly name changes, too.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Reshef of Destruction part 4



Oh good, I finally managed to update my deck a little. One of the newcomers is the best Spellcaster in the entire game (who is card number 666 if that kind of thing is funny to you) and the other is Mammoth Graveyard. This is, in my opinion, a critical card to your progress. Its permanent effect lowers the power of all enemy monsters by 500 as long as it's on the field, and at 1200 attack points it can handle a good number of monsters from here until the endgame. Not a bad deck cost for it, either.

Yes, I know. It's a permanent effect. You'll have to live with it.



We head to Kaiba Corporation and see these five dudes begging Mokuba to give them a job.



That portrait is just so perfect here. Shame they don't have blink frames anymore.



Oh, we're watching a stage performance? Will there be dancing hippoes? I like dancing hippoes.



Mokuba, there's a whole five audience members. Come to think of it, where's Serenity?



Oh, she's...part of the show? I can roll with it.



...Oh.



Oh NO. It's THEM.



They're filler villains and they've come dressed as their ace monsters.



...but it's only a stage performance for children instead of a horrible filler arc, so I can be amused!



Mokuba calls for a duelist to take them on, and Joey volunteers. By "volunteer" I mean, he just stands there while I handle the duel.



That or he actually believes his sister is in trouble.



Pssst. Serenity. He's not the one doing the hard part.



Only Jinzo actually duels here, and he plays a machine deck. Not unlike Espa Roba, though he's certainly tougher in this game.



I'm getting a lot of mileage out of Slifer here. Though, it is one card out of the forty I've got. No strategy in this game is 100% consistent, unfortunately.



Then they summon their collective ace monster, the Five-Headed Dragon.



The G stands for "God" apparently. So..."Five God Dragon"? What kind of name-- Whatever, it's got only 5000 attack points, so I'm sure Slifer can bring it down easily!



Uh, who are you? I said Slifer can easily bring it down.



...the executive producer has been USURPED! By a security guard dressed up like...I don't even know what!

So yeah, this is Kaibaman and I think this is technically his debut, unless his card came out before this game. Now there wasn't anything necessarily wrong with Kaiba creating a card of himself, because come on, that's just such a Kaiba thing to do.

Then Kaibaman becomes a monster spirit in Yu-Gi-Oh GX. Or something.



Wondering why that security guard earlier had Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon in his deck? Here's why. He summons that and Black Luster Soldier and combines them both.



By the way, Fusion summoning isn't in this game, so you can't do this in an actual duel.



This is actually an...what would you call it? An homage I guess? It's an homage to a filler arc from the anime. I kinda like how this game handles it, to be honest.



The Big Five are a little depressed about their jobs being children's entertainment. But they deal with it and we move on.



Ishizu mentions how it's important to take a break every now and again before telling us where the next item is.

Sure is important to take a break even in the face of TOTAL CALAMITY. So that's why we'll be taking on sidequests! First, we go back to Italy.



Really? Did Mr. Magnum REALLY need another sidequest? Anyhow, Bonz seems to have taken up fortune-telling, so Mr. Magnum asks how to win Mai Valentine's heart for real this time.



I can't tell if Bonz is trolling him or--

NO BONZ YOU IDIOT DON'T DO THAT!



Thanks a lot, Bonz. Just...thanks. Mr. Magnum's rematch here is where Konami decided to pull another fast one, just in case you didn't hate the game enough.



Your worst nightmare: a hamburger. And you must be thinking, "How's a hamburger gonna beat you in a duel?" Didn't you notice? IT HAS THE DIVINE ATTRIBUTE FOR NO GOOD REASON. Now, that's normally something only Ritual monsters and God monsters have. And you might remember Hungry Burger being a Ritual monster in previous games, and the TCG! Well let me explain.

There are 800 cards in Reshef of Destruction, which is somehow less than the 900 in Sacred Cards. Apparently they needed to cut a lot of cards to make room for other stuff in the game. Among the cards cut were all of the Ritual spells - except for three. Black Illusion Ritual, Dark Magic Ritual, and Black Luster Ritual are the only Ritual spells in Reshef of Destruction. However, they kept the monsters even though the spells were cut, except they didn't change any of the attributes, and the computer can use them freely. The player?



The player gets to deal with THIS poo poo. The former ritual monsters cost NINE NINETY NINE, rendering it next to impossible to even think about putting it in your deck, even if you do obtain it. And don't even ask what they cost to purchase from the shop in the first place!



I almost expected them to be immune to effects, too, but that is thankfully not the case, so I still have outs. 2000 attack points is also not impossible to beat, but the best course of action is to never allow the computer time to summon former Ritual monsters in the first place.



To think. The only reward for this is an amusing easter egg.


fortune changes. Oh well.

Included the entire line there because it's actually fairly amusing.



This is a fun little feature. The result of Bonz's ad-libbed readings depend on your name if memory serves. Oh, and this feature eventually becomes unavailable, so better try it when you have the chance.



A...a penguin?



What's that supposed to mean?!...To be fair, I do flip the bird quite often, and people tend to react to my presence with total disgust.



Does anyone in the Yu-Gi-Oh universe have those initials...?



Do I wanna know?



Soon as I figure out how NPCs work, I'm hacking in a duel against the dog. Titty Kitty included.



There's another side event with Tea in the clock tower square.



Bonz again? People are flying all the way to Italy to see him!



And then suddenly a filler character shows up. There's not even a portrait for this one!



.......alrighty! I'm the only one doing the hard work around here, so I may as well do your love interest's job for him!



So this character is called "Johnny Steps" and he plays a music-themed deck. The biggest guns are Light attribute.



You get rewarded with an Elemental Guitar Hero!...I'll try harder with the pun next time.



Then the most adorable little penguin shows up and asks to hire Tea. I'd normally ask who wouldn't want to work for a cute penguin. Then I realized it's actually a perverted old man in a costume. So naturally, we have to give him the boot too.



Just look at the kind of monsters he has...ugh. They had to give the penguin monsters to possibly the worst character.



He starts on an Ocean field, and like in Sacred Cards, using Thunder monsters for this is fine, just watch out for the Earth-attribute Penguin Knight.



You get his ace monster as a reward. Nightmare Penguin wasn't printed at the time, so his level is higher than it is in the TCG, which doesn't help its usefulness a lot. Its permanent effect is to power up all Aqua, Fish, and Sea Serpent monsters. Not bad if you're playing that kind of deck, I suppose.



Tea states the fortune teller predicted she would have really bad luck with the opposite gender today.



I dunno, ever heard of a guy called Jaden Yuki? He dumped his playing-card-girlfriend for actual humans, the horrible man!



I acquired this card a bit later. It's an amazing card. It may look like nothing more than a stronger Dark Magician, but then you see its card effect. At the start of the other player's turn, Mirage Knight disappears and is replaced by a Dark Magician AND a Flame Swordsman. This is because it's really a fusion of those two monsters, but only stays fused for one turn.

Thing is, there's no fusion summoning in this game, so you can just get Mirage Knight and play it like a normal monster. You still need to tribute two monsters, sure, but unless those monsters are stronger than what Mirage Knight turns into, it's pretty worth it in my opinion. What I'd REALLY love to get is Dark Flare Knight. If he's in the graveyard, Mirage Knight is summoned, and it doesn't matter how he gets into the graveyard. You could just discard him there, and he works! It's for this reason that Dark Flare Knight is limited to one copy per deck.



Anyhow, after being sidetracked for a little bit, next time we find out why we're going to Canada, of all places. I hear they have really nice squirt guns.

Ephraim225 fucked around with this message at 08:43 on Mar 28, 2017

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Reshef of Destruction part 5



So we're going to Canada next. These are some pretty random locations for the Millenium Items to just fly off to.



And of course, when I think Canada, I think FOSSIL EXCAVATION SITE! No snow, just an excuse to start our duels on Wasteland fields.



But that's actually very fantastic for Mammoth Graveyard, so I'm game. You can duel some of the NPCs here, who apparently take their cards to work with them.



The screen shakes as we enter the cave.



Tremors are entirely normal.



Well who did you think was going to show up in a fossil excavation site? It's Rex Raptor again.



And of course he knows where the Millenium Item is but we have to duel him first.



Rex is one of the first opponents to really put Equip cards to good use, so expect some scary numbers every now and again. Wind monsters mess him up good, though, as most Dinosaurs are Earth monsters.



Having a God on your side helps too.



Turns out the Millenium Item is, surprise surprise, LITERALLY the next room over.



Public Service Announcement: Dinosaurs are NOT DRAGONS.



This Millenium Guardian doesn't have much stronger cards than Rex did, so let's demonstrate Mirage Knight's effect.



As you can see, instead of one monster with 2800 attack points, I now have one with 2500 and another with 1800. Being summoned face-up means Flame Swordsman can't use his effect, though, which is to destroy all Dinosaur monsters on the field...uh, not that helpful unless you're fighting Rex anyways, I suppose.



The Millenium Rod is our next item, which means it's time for another cameo appearance!



Marik appears and says not to bug him, basically. Sorry Marik, once you've been a Yu-Gi-Oh character, you can't ever stop being a Yu-Gi-Oh character.



Back at the shop, I discover that there's another Toon monster for sale, so naturally I have to add it to my deck!



Well, I'll add it eventually. Duelist Level!



Item number six is in the Galapagos Islands. Sounds acquatic.



And who else do we know to be acquatic but Mako Tsunami.



Fortunately, dueling him is completely optional. I mean, you could take him on...



But considering his deck, I don't recommend it. Hey, it's one of those former Ritual monsters again! And Torrential Tribute, the trap card you have no way of avoiding without a card that destroys traps.



Further into the island is Weevil Underwood, who is also an optional opponent at this point.



He's a little easier than Mako. Though that Parasite Paracide is annoying. It can replace one of your monsters with itself. I'd avoid tribute summoning against him for this reason.



Still, one good Fire monster is usually enough here.



So it's not just us who can casually travel cross-country like it's nothing! Seriously! China is halfway across the globe from here!



Hey, look who it is.



Huh, he must have beaten the Millenium Guardian already! That's one less for us to deal with. Pay attention, Yugi! This person is much better at being useful.



Wait, that's not how Dark Yugi talks.



Yeah it's a fake. I mean, that should have been obvious considering the Millenium Puzzle is nowhere near where we are!



The Mimic of Doom reveals his true self, and we duel!



At this point I think it's worth reminding everyone: I only show myself winning, which might give the illusion that the game isn't as hard as I make it out to be at times. Thing is, every victory occurs mostly because I draw a good combination of cards in my opening hand, and I don't have a TON of good cards to draw, so there's usually lots of resets in between every win. And of course, duels are much slower than screenshots can convey.



So after beating him, he just drops the Millenium Scales and leaves.



Shadi makes another cameo and tells us Pegasus is under Reshef's influence or something. I guess he'd kind of have to be.



Okay, that's six Millenium Items so we should be able to get the final God card--



oh no the card that costs too much to be practical is gone from my deck

They actually force you to re-edit your deck if the God card was in your deck, which now that I think about it, would be very bad if the player had lost every card that wasn't in their deck somehow. Maybe that's why you can't sell a card if you're down to one copy of it.



Bullshit! We have Mirage Knight, and we could get lots of other great cards from Yugi's Grandpa!...if he wouldn't charge so much money, anyways.

I mean, I guess if there was some rule stating that in order to defeat Reshef the last attack on his LP has to be made by a God card, then I'd want them back, but fortunately, this isn't Nightmare Troubadour for the DS, so that isn't the case.

In fact, if our goal is to SAVE THE WORLD why are we restricted by Duelist Level and Deck Cost and the Banlist anyways? It makes no sense.



Hold everything, it's sideplot time. If you didn't view the scenes with Tristan and Duke two updates ago, this won't happen.



I didn't know Tristan had a dog. Ishizu leaves to sort out the God card problem while we go see what's up.



Duke and Serenity explain that they haven't seen Tristan in awhile.

This sidequest is, in all honesty, the most dumbass thing ever, but it's too hilarious for me to complain about it. Well, actually, if you unlock this sidequest, you have no choice but to play it, so that's uncool.



We get a poor sepia tone and a flashback to...a robot monkey?



Wow. That's the biggest leap of logic I've ever seen.

"Tristan's dog sure likes that robot monkey!"
"THE MONKEY MUST BE TRISTAN!"

Duke also guesses that Reshef's influence can cause ANYTHING including this. Okay! Whatever! Let's go with that!



Uh, maybe the monkey JUST ISN'T TRISTAN? I get that the head is similar, but geez.



NO. THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN. That arc is NOT CANON. Don't remind me of that!



So, we ask Yugi's Grandpa about the robot monkey. He mentions Kaiba Corporation makes them.



Joey then assumes Kaiba turned Tristan into a robot monkey. REALLY.



Mokuba says what we're all thinking, then tells us the monkeys FLEW CROSS-COUNTRY TO THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS. I...okay! Whatever! Let's go there too!



But none of them robotic, I'm sure.



...they even have bananas. WHY do they have BANANAS? They're ROBOTS.



Two of them guard the bananas while the other runs up to us and...



...wait what happened? Why are we in the ante screen?



I'm DUELING the ROBOT MONKEY?! Are you for real?!



They even have annoying spell cards, great. The strong Beast monsters weren't enough, apparently.



So of course we have to beat all the monkeys, and the weakest one has to be Tristan, because he's the worst duelist in the entire game. Monkey See, Monkey Duel. (Has that been used as an Ape Escape level name yet?)



One of them dropped this. I guess it could come in handy.



7 Trials to Glory might let you challenge a dog to a duel, but can you challenge a BANANA to a duel?!



The remaining monkey is cornered, and his deck just sucks compared to the others, so we must have our man!...ape? Ape man!



Say, how DID he get all the way here with no plane or anything?



The monkey seems to take a liking to Serenity. Or he just wants to get away from Joey.



Then Yugi's Grandpa comes out and confirms that the robot is not, in fact, Tristan. That was obvious from the start!



So YOU are the mastermind of this train wreck of a sidequest! I should have known all along!



Tristan was okay all along too, he was just out having a banana!



You shut up, Serenity, you believed he was a monkey too.



Well, to me, you do.



You can duel the monkey robot, but there's no point, his deck and drops are the same as Tristan's.



The shop had also added this to its selection. That's all four of the Toon monsters I'll actually be able to use, so I guess this trip has been worth it.

Next time: Oh right, I guess we should do something about the God cards turning to stone.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


BlazeEmblem posted:

I do.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal...f_Palaeontology

Although the location on the map looks like the location is in Saskatchewan, not Alberta.

I suppose that makes better sense. Thank you.

Reshef of Destruction part 6



Finally, it's time to get back to the plot. There are no more sidequests outside the post-game. Unless anyone else can prove themselves more informed than me.



I...Ishizu, you're doing something USEFUL?! Okay, cool. We're told to ask Kaiba about the God cards turning back to stone.



In spite of his card turning to stone, Kaiba maintains the "I don't believe in magical mumbo jumbo" schtick.



And then he leaves just in time for a crisis to strike that only the player will have to clean up as usual.



The Neo Ghouls are here. They're now swarming the entire city, and while you can duel them, it's pointless: they just respawn when you do. Bizzarely, if you lose and get booted back to your house, you have to talk to Kaiba again. This is because the next plot scene is right in front of your house and I guess it'd be odd to just leave your home and bam, plot event.



Remember that kid I said was a manga cameo? He makes an attempt to look intimidating.



That went well. (Examining his body starts a duel, by the way.)



Oh great! The Exodia player!



Espa Roba shows up to defend his brothers.



Ahaha! Cards! Get it? It's funny because cards.

The Exodia player hasn't improved all that much since Sacred Cards. In the previous game, he had three copies of every Exodia piece excluding the head - technically illegal because of the Limited List, but it crippled his deck anyways. Now he has three copies of all the pieces, which makes getting "Obliterated" a bigger threat than before, but it's still very much luck-based. He just has to not draw them and you'll win, as there are no Traps or Spells save Pot of Greed in his deck.



Aren't these faces just amazing?



Espa Roba shows us who the real Jinzo player is and beats the rest of the Neo Ghouls out of this part of the city. They're still everywhere, though, and Ishizu is also missing.



A...habit...I guess it has something to do with him faking ESP in his duel with Joey, but...I don't really get it.



Ishizu was kidnapped. Is Mai Valentine the only female who can't be kidnapped or something?



In order to take down the Neo Ghouls, rather than alert the proper authorities, we have to recruit a team of teenagers with ATTITUDE.



At this point, the Exhibit and the Train Station become inaccessible. Beating the duelists here just causes another one to take their place. You can duel thousands of them and they'll all respawn.



Not sure if this is tied to any sidequest, but you can go to the game shop and witness Duke and Tristan defending Serenity together.



Now it's time for the second world tour. The Neo Ghouls have some strong cards, but they use 99% Fiend attribute monsters. Between Hourglass of Life, Skelengel, and Hoshiningen, I have plenty of Light attribute monsters to get past that with.



Save a duelist's neck, and he joins the city! It's like Digimon World without cyborg dragons that still experience potty emergencies.



What. How did THIS line make it in?! It wasn't even a meme yet!



Over in China, we see Umbra and Lumis attempting to recruit Weevil Underwood.



The jerk almost goes for it, but then decides to turn on them.



For gently caress's SAKE make YUGI do it!



Anyhow, I suppose I should duel Umbra because I dueled Lumis back in Sacred Cards.



ON SECOND THOUGHT NO LET'S DUEL LUMIS



Okay, so they have stupidly high attack monsters, this won't be that--



STUPID FORMER RITUAL MONSTERS!



TOON STREAM OF DESTRUCTION! That's how it's done.



He's pretty much correct.



But they just tried to recruit you.



How do these guys even know to travel the world, though? And I kind of get why they want to recruit Weevil and Rex: The former is the Japanese Regional Champion, the latter is the runner-up. But Mai? Mako? BONZ? What is the standard here?



Another pair of duelists you get to choose between. The guy on the left uses a deck of Fiend attribute monsters like the others. The guy on the right has Light and Dream attribute monsters. Choose wisely.



Rex joins the city! Meanwhile, in the Galapagos...



Pffft. Alright, I admit, THAT line is pretty amusing.



Oh yeah, all these duels take place on Darkness fields, even Strings, whose strongest cards seem to be the Water attribute monsters. A good balance of Thunder and Light can get you through this.



The prize for this is the worst card ever. Jam Breeding Machine creates a Change Slime every turn, but it also stops you from ever summoning anything else. So no, it's not easy tribute fodder.



Mako joins the city! Just one more now!



As we board the cruise ship, we see Takeshi getting robbed. Ha-ha!



Mai seems to be handling them just fine...



Except every time she beats one, another pops in. Oh I know, they must have made dueling holograms, it's no wonder they just vanish upon being defeated.



Pincer attack!



Wow. I know this choice really means nothing, but FINALLY we can say something badass. I just wish Arkana was more freaked out by our confidence.



His deck is pretty well-balanced, so this will not be as simple as the others were.



TOON BURNING ATTACK!



Arrrgh! Not again...this elemental system...well two can play at that game!



Ryu-Ran: 1, Arkana: 0...plus all the other resets I did at this point.



Nice prize, though. They'll never print that in real life.



Mai joins the city! Time to see how Espa's holding up.



The Neo Ghoul population has significantly decreased, thankfully.



Just a couple more around here somewhere, though.



Oh no. Do we have to duel him AGAIN?



Are they still running this show? That's amazing.



Can the invincible Kaibaman stand up to literally the most basic deck in history?



I thought not.



Further adding to the hilarity, the Big Five turn on Mokuba, like you didn't see that one coming.



Espa opts to take down the Big Five while we get to face the Exodia player AGAIN.



They couldn't have let me choose an opponent for this one?! I mean, the Exodia player just has better monsters and added Skelengels to his deck, but it's still a very luck-driven battle. I was not pleased to have to do it again.



Jinzo vs. Jinzo. Wouldn't that be awesome to see in the anime.



Arbitrarily, the next area we need to go to, which was blocked off before, is now open.

Sort of.

Next time: They finally justify the Life Point mechanics. Stupidly.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Hobgoblin2099 posted:

In fact, Bakura just kills him after dueling him offscreen during the manga of Battle City.

Does he kill ALL the likable non-main characters or just Bonz and Pegasus?

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Vauron posted:

They're playing Calvinball with some cards, of course!

This might just be the best way to actually play the TCG.

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Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010


Reshef of Destruction part 7



Now that we know where Ishizu is, the train station arbitrarily opens up for us.



You can challenge the conductor, but he has a surprisingly appropriate reaction.



We have to duel on the train again, and oh god do they have something fun in store!



The train opponents are the first in the game to begin with less than 8000 Life Points. The reason for this is because you have to fight FIVE of them in a row without saving.

If you're thinking the LP handicap is suspiciously kind of Konami to add, I should point out that the more duels I have to play without saving, the greater the chance a bad opening hand in any of them will send me back to the beginning.



Humorously, the conductor resolves to do his job in announcing our destination even after losing control of the train.



Can't really think of anything else to say about these jerks since they start at such low health.



Beating the fifth jerk is a "checkpoint" since you're now free to exit the area, save, and return.



And he ALMOST got me, too.



And just HOW did KAIBA get past all of that before me?!



He tells us to go on ahead while he blasts away the rest of them.



Keith is there waiting for us. Boy, it would be GREAT if we could have seen this coming. Like, if we had some kind of artifact that tells the future. It'd be even better if we could use some kind of mind control, or read minds. Too bad we don't have anything like that, huh?



OH RIGHT. So Keith threatens to hurt Ishizu if we don't give him the items.



He then uses them together with the Millenium Puzzle.



Hey look, it's Kuriball! What, you didn't know Kuriboh was a God card?



Predictably, a duel follows.



Extremely powerful Fiend attribute monsters are the theme here. Keith, in this duel, has a serious Achilles Heel that you actually don't see very often, but it's there. He does in fact have The Winged Dragon of Ra in his deck, but it's not the Ra you're expecting.



It's THAT. No attack points, no effect, and it still costs three tributes, yet the computer sees fit to summon it if given the chance anyways. The TCG actually came out with this card, but it was given a (rather excellent) effect that references its role in this game.

WHY do they keep making reference to this game?! Do they consider it the bastion of game design?!



Uh...Slifer wasn't in my deck, what the hell is this?



Well, at least I get him back afterwards. And Yugi gets the Puzzle back!



Dan Green returns!



Except, again, I have to point out he didn't actually summon the thing.



"How DARE you use us in a CHILDREN'S CARD GAME!"



Keith gets smited. I'm still amused whenever this happens.



Ishizu expresses pity for him even though he kinda deserves it.



Um...hooray? It's nice it has zero cost, I guess...



Ah, it's about time. We haven't had a dumb plot twist in awhile and it was getting worrisome.



Reshef is apparently able to possess the souls of defeated duelists or something, I wasn't paying attention.



Geez, Keith! That's twice in the same continuity you've smashed the puzzle!



Everyone sits COMPLETELY STILL while this guy backflips onto the scene, swipes the last puzzle piece, and backflips out.



The other one kidnaps Mokuba, because we'd gone too long without having that happen. Mokuba really is the Princess Peach of Yu-Gi-Oh.



Looks like we'll be returning to the Duelist Kingdom. It's...nostalgic, if nothing else.



This choice means nothing, but a guy can hope, right?



You built a Blue-Eyes White Dragon-shaped jet plane and you're saying that to ME?



...WHAT?!

Joey, you and Yugi WENT to Duelist Kingdom! You KNOW where the castle is! Hell, Kaiba should know where it is, but he's going alone, of course.



If you're thinking it's Paradox as in the Paradox Brothers, no, it isn't, but I can see where the confusion comes from.



Another character we haven't heard from quite yet makes a return, but for some stupid reason he was renamed "Paradox". Guess who.



SIMON MURAN FROM FORBIDDEN MEMORIES! Wow.



He tells us we need to fully awaken The Winged Dragon of Ra to stand a chance. Fine, whatever, another distraction.



And the only one who knows how...is Marik.



Back to Egypt yet again.



The Pharoah isn't here, genius.



Odion says Marik isn't seeing anyone, so you have the option to leave or challenge him to a duel.

Except for some wacko reason, if you choose to leave, Marik invites you in ANYWAYS. So you can avoid dueling Odion.



However, you should probably duel Odion, because if you can't beat him, you aren't ready for Marik or anything that comes after him.



In my case, the prize card was worth the effort!



We enter and explain everything to Marik.



Of course. He'll awaken Ra if we beat him in a duel. What else did you expect.

By the way, if you lose, get ready to sit through that entire cutscene AGAIN. ARGH.



He has several copies of some of the most bullshit cards in the game. This one stops you from attacking for a full three turns, allowing him to set up whatever he wants...and...sigh.



Back to the drawing board.

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