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Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."


I've included scans of some relevant pages of the official player's guide we used during the LP below the relevant video.

Videos:
================

Episode 01 - Legend of the Seven Dimensions


Episode 02 - Neil Gaimond


Episode 03 - Hidden Chests

Mushroom Kingdom:


Episode 04 - Buffalo Mallow

Croco:


Episode 05 - Mack

Mack:


Episode 06 - Fancy Plaids


Episode 07 - Do Re Do

Belome:


Frogfucius:


Super Bonus 01 - Lost Episode 01


Super Bonus 02 - Lost Episode 02


Episode 08 - Geno!

Bowser:


Rose Town:


Episode 09 - Reverse Santa


Episode 10 - Nya!

Geno:


Bowyer:


Episode 11 - Goomba Stomping


Episode 12 - Yoshi Racing


Episode 13 - Mole Dwarves

Moleville:




Episode 14 - Don't Touch Me

Punchinello:


Episode 15 - Minecart Madness


Episode 16 - Teary Eyed Reunions


Episode 17 - Let Him Die

Booster:


Episode 18 - Gird Your Loins


Episode 19 - Jump!

Knife Guy & Grate Guy:


Episode 20 - The Suite

Marrymore:


Episode 21 - Farting Around the Church

Bundt / Raspberry:


Episode 22 - Fuzzy Pickles


Episode 23 - Sackit


Episode 24 - Do The Thing

Shaman Merchant:


Episode 25 - Trials and Tribulations


Episode 26 - Fried Calamari

King Calamari:


Episode 27 - 1v1 Me

Jonathan Jones:


Episode 28 - JoJo

Yaridovich:


Episode 29 - Shootin' Beetles


Episode 30 - Thornet


Episode 31 - Cricket Jam


Episode 32 - Tasty

Fortune Table:


Belome:


Episode 33 - Good Guy Bowser


Episode 34 - Metaphorical Cake


Episode 35 - Gettin' Sauced


Episode 36 - Heavy Troopa


Episode 37 - Chumpy


Episode 38 - Look The Other Way


Episode 39 - Read the Room

Valentina:


Episode 40 - Watering Eggs

Birdo:


Episode 41 - "Sincere" Thanks


Episode 42 - Seed and Fertilizer


Episode 43 - Volcano Dragon

Hinopio:


Czar Dragon:


Episode 44 - Ride the Bus


Episode 45 - Pipe Haus


Episode 46 - Robert Omb


Episode 47 - Exor

Exor and Boomer:


Episode 48 - Culex Time


Episode 49 - Hiphopanonymous

Factory Info:


Countdown:


Episode 50 - Remember Monster Rancher?


Episode 51 - Poor Bowser

Cloaker & Domino:


Episode 52 - Nostalgia Intensifies

Smithy:



================

The year is 1996, and Nintendo is several years into the lifespan of the Super Nintendo. Meanwhile, Square has already released their sixth Final Fantasy game in Japan (Final Fantasy III in the US), but they haven't had much luck reaching audiences overseas. Square needs a way to get a foothold in the US market, while Miyamoto is apparently mulling over the idea of having Mario star in his first RPG. Worlds collide, entire galaxies are destroyed, and from the resulting cosmic debris, Super Mario RPG is born. To this day, it remains one of the most beloved RPGs of all time and a cornerstone in my childhood memories. With 3D graphics that were groundbreaking at the time (and remain charming to this day), a fun and engaging battle system, memorable characters, and a wonderful sense of humor, Super Mario RPG truly is a game for the ages.


The Story
================

Our story starts out like any other Mario adventure. Peach Princess Toadstool is minding her own business, when Bowser swoops out of the sky and kidnaps her! Believing that prevention is for suckers, it's up to Mario to save the day again! But when he arrives at Bowser's Castle, all is not as it should be...

================

Characters:
================

The Heroes



It's Mario! Need I say more? You know him, you love him, and this time the Italian Stallion is starring in his first RPG! But don't expect any dialogue out of him. Mario stays true to Nintendo's silent protagonist roots and in a wonderful bit of lampshading, has to communicate to the entire cast via charades and general mummery. And I love it.



Princess Toadstool (or Peach, as you may know her today), is just that: princess of the Toadstools and the Mushroom Kingdom. Kind and generous, she is everything you'd want royalty to be. Her only flaw is the fact that she appears to be very prone to kidnappings, especially when Bowser is involved. Though hopefully, she'll have a more important role to play this time around...



Mallow is a tadpole who lives in the ponds near the Mushroom Kingdom. He's a bit of a crybaby, and can't jump very high for being a tadpole, but the kid's got heart. He's sincere, kind, and has a strong sense of justice. He also happens to be the party's mage.



If you know anything about this game and haven't heard about Geno then... well I'm just surprised. Geno became massively popular among fans of the game (I myself am no exception and love our mysterious blue-caped friend) to the point where, if you listen carefully, you can still hear cries of "Geno for Smash" on the wind... I won't say anything more about Geno, because frankly the mystique is part of his allure.


The Villains



He's big, he's bad, and he's back to his old tricks! Bowser serves to get the plot rolling right off the bat by kidnapping Princess Toadstool in what is possibly the shortest RPG setup of all time. Bowser starts off as the game's main antagonist. That is, until we get a visit from...



Meet Smithy! He's a giant sword, he can apparently do magic stuff, and he's out to do... nasty stuff! He pierces the sky, landing directly in Bowser's Castle, and sending our plucky plumber packing. Now Smithy's henchmen are rampaging across the land, and Mario's never faced a villain quite like this before...


================

Ceraph fucked around with this message at 14:17 on Oct 9, 2019

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Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."
Episode 01 - Legend of the Seven Dimensions


Welcome to my Super Mario RPG LP! This one has been in the works for a while now, and I'm super excited to finally start posting this. Joining me will be Alex and Jackie, who you may remember if you watched our Earthbound LP. Alden will... presumably be joining us at some point, though our schedules have yet to line up. But here's hoping!

Anyways, it's time to kick off our adventure in the Mushroom Kingdom and beyond! Ostensibly, Mario RPG is very similar to Square's other RPGs at the time, borrowing many mechanics from Final Fantasy VI, but it does shake things up a little bit. Firstly, the timed attacks mechanic brings some of the action from the Mario series to the turn based battle mechanics. You can press the "A" button during specific parts of either your party member's or an enemy's attack animation to increase or decrease the damage respectively. The bonus is pretty substantial (I'm not 100% certain, but at least in the beginning of the game it appears to double your attack / defense) so you are heavily incentivized to learn the timings of attacks. I really like this mechanic, as it makes the turn based battles a bit more involved than they might be otherwise. Even if you've got a boss's strategy memorized, a poorly timed button press could be devastating, so you can't just sit back and let the fight unfold.

One of the other big RPG formula changes is having a general "Flower Point" pool for the entire party, rather than having each character have their own magic pool of some sort. It doesn't really impact us right now, but it makes for some pretty interesting choices down the line.

You can also jump in the overworld, which seems a bit trivial, but really makes the game feel like a Mario game. It also opens up the level design and makes the world feel a lot grander.

Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead
Much as I enjoyed using ZSNES, that is a garbage emulator and it had freezing issues when equipping stuff.

Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."

Scalding Coffee posted:

Much as I enjoyed using ZSNES, that is a garbage emulator and it had freezing issues when equipping stuff.

You have no idea how right you are, but I couldn't get any others to work with video capture so... here we are haha.

Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead
http://www.retroarch.com/index.php
Not even retroarch?

Genocyber
Jun 4, 2012

Oh poo poo, a SMRPG LP. A VLP even! I'm always up for an LP of this game, especially with one of you being blind to things.

Ceraph posted:

You have no idea how right you are, but I couldn't get any others to work with video capture so... here we are haha.

What program are you using to capture footage?

e: Having now watched both episodes fully, some clarification on mechanics stuff you brought up.

For defending from enemy attacks, you can only defend against physical attacks, but you can defend against all physical attacks. Additionally, there are two defend timings. The first timing gives you a few frames of leeway and will merely reduce the damage you take, while the second timing is frame perfect but nullifies all damage and any additional effects the attack has.

You don't need to follow a guide for the bonus stats ups. You can go into the choice, see what you're getting, and figure out which is the best choice for that level up that way. Though with Jackie's A/B confusion that may not work out as intended... Also for some characters it's "better" to focus on one particular bonus stat due to their focus. I.e. Mallow is never going to rely on physical attacks so focusing purely on his magic stats is "better." Air quotes because this is easy no matter what you do. I just really like getting into this game's mechanics.

Genocyber fucked around with this message at 03:06 on Sep 16, 2017

Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."

Genocyber posted:

Oh poo poo, a SMRPG LP. A VLP even! I'm always up for an LP of this game, especially with one of you being blind to things.


What program are you using to capture footage?

e: Having now watched both episodes fully, some clarification on mechanics stuff you brought up.

For defending from enemy attacks, you can only defend against physical attacks, but you can defend against all physical attacks. Additionally, there are two defend timings. The first timing gives you a few frames of leeway and will merely reduce the damage you take, while the second timing is frame perfect but nullifies all damage and any additional effects the attack has.

You don't need to follow a guide for the bonus stats ups. You can go into the choice, see what you're getting, and figure out which is the best choice for that level up that way. Though with Jackie's A/B confusion that may not work out as intended... Also for some characters it's "better" to focus on one particular bonus stat due to their focus. I.e. Mallow is never going to rely on physical attacks so focusing purely on his magic stats is "better." Air quotes because this is easy no matter what you do. I just really like getting into this game's mechanics.

We're using Bandicam to record footage.

Also, I had no idea about the second frame perfect defend window. That explains a lot haha. It's always fun learning more about what goes on under the hood of these games.

I had considered focusing on specific stats instead of going for the bonus stats, and we might try to focus on getting Mallow more magic at some point. Mario I feel like is a good enough all around character that we can just go with the bonus stat option. Like you said, it doesn't make a huge difference, but it's always fun to try and min/max your party.


I haven't heard to retroarch, I'll have to give it a shot.

Carbon dioxide
Oct 9, 2012

The real question is why you already got a second video in that playlist but haven't posted it here yet.

get that OUT of my face
Feb 10, 2007

Yes, Doo Play RPG crew is back! I won't be able to share little tidbits or Nintendo Power scans this time but I'll enjoy it all the same.

Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead

Ceraph posted:

I had considered focusing on specific stats instead of going for the bonus stats, and we might try to focus on getting Mallow more magic at some point. Mario I feel like is a good enough all around character that we can just go with the bonus stat option. Like you said, it doesn't make a huge difference, but it's always fun to try and min/max your party.
It does make a huge difference. Sticking to Hammer for several levels makes regular enemy attacks do no damage for most of the game and makes your Jumps hit like an angry god. The game got really boring that way since the few enemy mages did any real damage.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012

Scalding Coffee posted:

It does make a huge difference. Sticking to Hammer for several levels makes regular enemy attacks do no damage for most of the game and makes your Jumps hit like an angry god. The game got really boring that way since the few enemy mages did any real damage.

Isn't jump technically magic, and also has a hidden damage boost for each time you use it. So power doesn't have an effect on it.

Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead
I defeated the optional super bosses like they were chumps as soon as they were available. It feels like Jump is a physical attack unless you can show me what a star only bonus character looks like.

Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."

Carbon dioxide posted:

The real question is why you already got a second video in that playlist but haven't posted it here yet.

Sorry about that, I had the video scheduled ahead of time and then got super busy before I could post it here. I'll have the post up later today!

FeyerbrandX posted:

Isn't jump technically magic, and also has a hidden damage boost for each time you use it. So power doesn't have an effect on it.

Scalding Coffee posted:

I defeated the optional super bosses like they were chumps as soon as they were available. It feels like Jump is a physical attack unless you can show me what a star only bonus character looks like.

Doing a little research online, there seems to be a consensus that Jump is in fact boosted by your magic attack stat, not your physical attack stat. I do remember hearing about the bonus damage based on number of uses, but I completely forgot about it until you mentioned it. The formula I found is:

Jump damage = (timing factor) (25 + Mario's Magic Attack + (1/2) (number of times Jump was used previously) target's Magic Defense)

So if your goal is to maximize the damage of Jump, then putting some bonus points into the star can be very beneficial. I did not realize the physical defense from picking hammer every time was that significant, but I feel like since you can do the timed press to defend against physical attacks but can't do it for magical attacks, that almost makes magic defense the more important stat, despite the fact that most attacks in the game are physical.


get that OUT of my face posted:

Yes, Doo Play RPG crew is back! I won't be able to share little tidbits or Nintendo Power scans this time but I'll enjoy it all the same.

Thanks! I hope you enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed playing it so far.

Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead
I would love to see what an all star run would look like. I wasn't supposed to beat that other boss, but he kept making dumb mistakes and I won by clutch. Magic defense is the most important stat, because of the inability to defend against it.

Scalding Coffee fucked around with this message at 22:06 on Sep 18, 2017

Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."
Episode 02 - Neil Gaimond


We encounter a couple of new mechanics in this episode that I really like. The first one is every once in a while enemies will drop what I like to call a "lucky flower" when they're defeated. The lucky flower will confer a bonus to the character that defeats them. The bonuses that can drop are:

"Once More": Get a free turn
"Lucky!": Have the opportunity to play a mini game after the battle to double either your coins or exp
"HP Max": Fully restores that character's HP
"Attack Up": Increases attack by 25
"Defense Up": Increases defense (not sure how much)

I can't say for sure, but it seems like the Goombas along Mushroom Way drop more "HP Max" lucky flowers than other areas of the game. If this is true, it's a nice tutorialization of the mechanic, while also making the early game where you only have 1 party member a lot easier.

We get our first level up, and actually get to see the bonus stat mechanic in play. I really like this mechanic, because even if there is an optimal build path for each character, it gives you a little bit of freedom in how you want to build your characters. If somebody is really lacking in the HP department, you can dump a few bonuses into HP to even things out a little bit.

The level up also demonstrates the damage calculations a bit. I love how simple the damage calculations are in this game. Goomba was doing 3 damage with his basic attack, then we got 2 points in defense and he was doing 1 damage. It makes it a lot easier to get an idea of how your level up / gear will affect you in battle.

We also hint at the hidden chest mechanic, even though the chest in that area is actually not hidden at all but super visible. Super Mario RPG has 39 treasure chests that are invisible until you jump up and hit them. Thanks to my handy dandy player's guide, I have the locations and screenshots for all 39 of them! I hope to show them all off during our playthrough.

Genocyber
Jun 4, 2012

Ceraph posted:

We also hint at the hidden chest mechanic, even though the chest in that area is actually not hidden at all but super visible. Super Mario RPG has 39 treasure chests that are invisible until you jump up and hit them. Thanks to my handy dandy player's guide, I have the locations and screenshots for all 39 of them! I hope to show them all off during our playthrough.

I'm betting you miss 1. You know the one.

Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead
Spacing out flower items is very helpful for dungeons.

Nidoking
Jan 27, 2009

I fought the lava, and the lava won.
When replaying this game, I don't think I ever use the syrups that recover FP because I've always got an FP increasing item handy for a full recovery plus.

Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."

Scalding Coffee posted:

Spacing out flower items is very helpful for dungeons.


Nidoking posted:

When replaying this game, I don't think I ever use the syrups that recover FP because I've always got an FP increasing item handy for a full recovery plus.

Oh my yes. Flower tabs are amazing as full FP recovery items. I do use syrups sometimes, but only if I really need FP in the middle of a fight.

Genocyber posted:

I'm betting you miss 1. You know the one.

Oh I know exactly the one you're talking about. We'll just have to find out :cheeky:

Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."
Episode 03 - Hidden Chests


It's time to hit up our first major town: Mushroom Kingdom! We can stop by the item shop and pick up some new equipment. Notably, the Jump Shoes are for sale, which let you use Mario's "Jump" special on enemies that would normally not take damage from it (like the spiny enemies on Mushroom Way). It also gives Mario's stats a small boost, which is a touch I really like. All of the accessory pins not only have a special effect, but they affect the wearer's stats as well.

We also find the first chunk of hidden treasures in Mushroom Kingdom, which has three! Including the infamous one above the throne room, which as far as I recall, is the only one you can miss

I also did a scan of the Player's Guide page for Mushroom Kingdom. The Player's Guide has a lot of nice high resolution renders of characters and even some items that don't actually have visuals in game, so I thought I'd include some of them in the posts. There's also some nice write ups on the cast as well.



It's got these really handy icons for where the hidden treasures are on each map, which is suuuuper useful. We also meet Mallow, who is our first party addition! Mallow is 100% the mage of the group, so we're going to want to pump him up with a bunch of Magic Attack bonus levels.

Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead
Those shoes are the best item in the game. Also helps clothe him since he is only wearing a shirt and no pants.

Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."

Scalding Coffee posted:

Those shoes are the best item in the game. Also helps clothe him since he is only wearing a shirt and no pants.

There's a couple boss fights where I like to have specific status immunity, but those jump shoes are gonna be Mario's go to accessory for most of the game.

Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead
Is it spoiler to say what other things can freeze the game with this buggy emulator?

Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."

Scalding Coffee posted:

Is it spoiler to say what other things can freeze the game with this buggy emulator?

I have yet to find another recording set up that works, so the heads up would be greatly appreciated haha. We tried using RetroArch, but the game ended up being super laggy while recording and I wasn't able to find any settings that ran smoother.

Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead
Poisoning bosses messed up the game and the poison damage isn't even worth it. Poisoning enemies would be worthless.
Have you tried Snes9x?

Coolguye
Jul 6, 2011

Required by his programming!
there's a special build of snes9x that's specifically set up for recording TAS runs. snes9x-r, i think? i forget, i'd have to check. that's the best way to record if you're not doing a netplay run, since you can do a ram and input recording that boils down to one save state per frame, and when you have things working EXACTLY the way you want, you can just record via screen grab using bandicam or OBS.

Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."

Coolguye posted:

there's a special build of snes9x that's specifically set up for recording TAS runs. snes9x-r, i think? i forget, i'd have to check. that's the best way to record if you're not doing a netplay run, since you can do a ram and input recording that boils down to one save state per frame, and when you have things working EXACTLY the way you want, you can just record via screen grab using bandicam or OBS.


Scalding Coffee posted:

Poisoning bosses messed up the game and the poison damage isn't even worth it. Poisoning enemies would be worthless.
Have you tried Snes9x?

I will have to look into that and do some testing. Thanks for the tips, guys!

Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."
Episode 04 - Buffalo Mallow


We encounter our first star in today's episode! I love how they implemented the traditional Mario star mechanic in this game, letting you win entire encounters outright just by running into the enemies. It really maintains that good old "I've got a star and nothing can stop me now!" feeling from the older Mario games. To keep them from being completely broken, however, they do not respawn. Also Alex started to explain an exploit you can use with the stars, but he got it a little wrong. Luckily we haven't encountered it yet, but the game over mechanic in this game is fairly unique. If you lose an encounter (IE everyone in your party faints) you get sent back out to the file select screen. When you load your game, your progress has been reset, except for any levels and experience you obtained. Chests containing stars are among the things that get reset when you reload your file. What you can do is save right before getting a star, get a crapton of experience from the star, lose the next battle, and do it all over again. We won't really be abusing that, though, since this game is pretty well balanced and I don't think we'll hit any parts where we need to do any serious grinding.

We also fight Croco! I've included Croco's blurb from the Player's Guide below (I blanked out half of the page because the next boss got included in this page as well). Their strategy is pretty spot on.

Reimou
Jan 20, 2015
Oh, seeing that attempt to equip something freeze the emulator reminded me. The emulator has a similar lock happen when you get the fifth star piece, and it's unavoidable because the game makes you look at the star pieces you have when you get the fifth one. It's a ways off for now. I wish I knew a workaround besides using a different emulator.

Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."

Reimou posted:

Oh, seeing that attempt to equip something freeze the emulator reminded me. The emulator has a similar lock happen when you get the fifth star piece, and it's unavoidable because the game makes you look at the star pieces you have when you get the fifth one. It's a ways off for now. I wish I knew a workaround besides using a different emulator.

ooooooh craaaaap. Well I will definitely try and get this whole situation figured out before then. I have figured out how to swap save files between emulators, so at least there's that.

Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead
I think they censored Croco's dialog in a rerelease. Mario games are too hardcore for some audiences.

Genocyber
Jun 4, 2012

Scalding Coffee posted:

I think they censored Croco's dialog in a rerelease. Mario games are too hardcore for some audiences.

The translator for this was Ted Woolsey, and I'm 90% sure that at least half the dialogue is nothing like it is in the Japanese release.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012

As the video said, "kero" is the sound a frog makes... roughly. So consider it roughly croak.

Croak Croak
Cola.

Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead

Genocyber posted:

The translator for this was Ted Woolsey, and I'm 90% sure that at least half the dialogue is nothing like it is in the Japanese release.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXkxMd_xcYM
About 30 seconds in.

Genocyber
Jun 4, 2012


Oh, I didn't realize that's what you meant. That's neat. The PAL region never did get this back in the day, did they? That's probably why they made this change now.

Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."

Scalding Coffee posted:

I think they censored Croco's dialog in a rerelease. Mario games are too hardcore for some audiences.

That is pretty cool, I had no idea they did that. Though I guess it makes sense, given that that's hardly family friendly language in the UK.

Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."
Episode 05 - Mack


It's time to head back to Mushroom Kingdom to pick up Mallow's cricket pie, but the town is under siege! Much to our dismay, the town has been overrun by Shysters (who are just shy guys on pogo sticks). You can collect a few items but saving various townsfolk from the Shysters (the best by far being a Flower Tab). We can also revisit the vault and collect the prizes there again (though this is the last time we can do that).

It's also time for another boss fight! This game really does do a good job of throwing boss fights at you on the regular even if they're not all over Star Pieces. This time, Mack is up on the chopping block! Mack will be joined by 4 Shysters who respawn occasionally. We want to make use of Mallow's multi-target Thunderbolt to take out the Shysters while having Mario focus on using Jump on Mack. Mack is actually weak to Thunder damage, but Mario's Jump still packs quite the punch. Mack's Magic Defense is 20, compared to his 25 Physical Defense, so we really just want to rack up our Jump counter as much as possible in this fight.

Also in a note not directly related to this episode, I did some testing with Alex the other day and I think we've figured out an alternative recording setup that will work with RetroArch and SNES9x. No menu freezes in the test we did, which is encouraging. It's gonna take a little while to catch up to what we've recorded already around Booster Tower but it should be well before the potentially game breaking freeze that Reimou mentioned.

Anyways, below is the rest of the page I posted last time, with the bio on Mack.

Reimou
Jan 20, 2015
For as much flak as Mallow gets, he's your best (and certainly most FP efficient) source of multi-target damage for basically the entire game.

Ceraph
Feb 26, 2013

Say, "fuzzy pickles."

Reimou posted:

For as much flak as Mallow gets, he's your best (and certainly most FP efficient) source of multi-target damage for basically the entire game.

He's a good source of multi target damage for now. But once we get the Mushroom Boy at Seaside Town and can get as many Rock Candy as we want, Mallow will be completely obsolete.

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Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead
I think you could kill Mack's group if Mallow had more magic attack boosts. I think the Thunderbolt attack powers up by the end of the animation or after the sound.

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