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Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Why don't you contemplate what's just taken place here while I Let's Play The Way.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sip0_aGanpY

The Way is a series very important to me. I first played it as a teen in 2004, when its fourth episode released, which is when the series really came into its fame.

In 2004 it won its second Misao Award for game of the year. Misao Awards are basically the English speaking RPGMaker community's Academy Awards or w/e. Episodes 1-3 all came out 2002-2003 and got the 2003 Game of the Year award but I don't think the larger community really paid it that much attention until EP 4. By now, it's up there with A Blurred Line as an all time beloved classic in the RPGMaker community.

This is a pretty decently written game (albeit with some real clunky rear end sections here and there), with a neat cast of characters and a mysterious setting. I like its writing more than the majority of professional games, AAA or smaller studios, despite its severe flaws.

It's six 'episodes' long, and I'm pretty sure each episode is longer than the last. The first episode is only 50 minutes or so long, while Episode 6 is like a 10+ hour behemoth.

How many times have I played this series? Once, when Episode 4 first got so much attention. Once again when Episode 5 came out (Episode 5 also shared the 2004 game of the year Misao since they were both released in 2004), once again when episode 6 came out, in 2005.... and two or three times since then.

The story is a young wanderer by the name of Rhue is searching for his lost childhood girlfriend. That's the plot. The whole plot. I mean, there's serial killings and gang wars and unraveling the mysteries of The Way going on too but the core of the story is... it's almost like a character study of Rhue and the mindset someone would have to have that'd make them search for a probably dead girl for god knows how long almost single-mindedly.

As to the actual gameplay... it does have some serious flaws. Specifically, hidden items and abilities being.... hidden very obnoxiously. Also Episode 1 and 3 are kind of meh in retrospect but we'll talk about why when we get there. A lot of people dislike episode 6 or just don't think it lived up to the prior two episodes. It's very polarising. Episode 2, 4 and 5 are the most beloved ones. Personally? 6 is my favourite. It's just so strange, and that's from an already strange series.

And about those items and abilities being hidden obnoxiously? You basically NEED to use the walk-through if you want to stand a chance of legitimately getting the bad and ''''good'''' endings. The bad ending in particular requires you to win the series hardest boss fight (not actually that hard if you didn't miss too much) and four extremely gimmicky duels (referred to as plunges in the setting, and nearly impossible if you missed even small minority of certain items), and some other requirements like well hidden side-quests. The good ending requires the single most difficult 'normal' plunge to be won among other hidden side-quests and things.

There's a few things this series does really well, and one is that the lead, Rhue, has over 50 facesets (the RPGMaker name for character portraits in dialogue boxes) and they're used incredibly well to make him VERY expressive.

The game is also almost entirely custom systems, including the plunge system which was one of the series big draws. It's also one of the big flaws, for reasons we'll get into, even if it IS very cool and stylish.

Lastly, there's a mix of custom music and music from other sources in the game.

Oh, another Last Thing. There used to be guidebooks to download alongside the episodes. They had valuable setting information on locations, legends and factions, as well as info on the custom systems. Unfortunately, Lun's removed all downloads from his site and I cant seem to find the guidebook anymore. Almost all the information in it is in the game. The stuff that isn't, isn't really important or is game mechanic details.

Let's get started.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Episode 1: Part 1: Let's Plunge!
Episode 1: Part 2: The Second Asskicking.
Episode 1: Part 3: Asskicking The Third.
Episode 1 Finale: Story Time
The Wanderer's Guidebook.



Episode 2: Part 1: Victory.
Episode 2: Part 2: Reaching Lide
Episode 2: Part 3: Kloe And The Quest To Rid The Way Of All Evil!
Episode 2: Part 4: How Sweet It Is.
Episode 2: Part 5: Barracuda?
Episode 2: Part 6: Rhue of Landorin.
Episode 2: Part 7: How Sweet RNG Is, How I Learnt To Stop Worrying and Love my Sword and Traziun's Food Ordering Advice
Episode 2: Part 8: Marna Stretch Part 1: Gaius, Headhunters, Rats, Woolies and Zealots.
Episode 2: Part 9: Marna Stretch Part 2: So long Marna!
Episode 2 Finale: Turnway and Murder
Oddities.



Episode 3: Part 1: Kaves and Krav's.
Episode 3: Part 2: Blows to the Head.
Episode 3: Part 3: caves, caves, caves! too many caves lately!
Episode 3: Part 4: The Mask
Episode 3: Part 5: Hell, I've Seen Worse.
Episode 3: Part 6: A Farewell To Caves.
Episode 3: Part 7: The Motherless Man, Janwen's Revenge.
Intermediate Update: What If I Lost.
Episode 3: Part 8: Kloe's hosed Up Life.
Episode 3 Finale: Piss!!!!!!
ODDITIES II



Episode 4: Part 1: Ki Blast!
Episode 4: Part 2: Lexus.
Episode 4: Part 3: It's Murder On The Dancefloor.
Episode 4: Part 4: Illuminati This.
Episode 4: Part 5: Market Day!
Episode 4: Part 6: Qualifiers!
Episode 4: Part 7: Lab Work!
Episode 4: Part 8: Enhanced Lab Work!
Episode 4: Part 9: Wrapping Up The Lab Work.
Episode 4: Part 10: The Setup.
Episode 4: Part 11: L vs L.
RECAP!
Episode 4: Part 12: *Blush!*
Episode 4: Part 13: Express Tunnel To Hell!
Episode 4: Part 14: The Night The Clock Died.
Episode 4: Finale: The Big Plunge.
INTERMISSION



Episode 5: Part 1: The Victory of The Big Plunge.
Episode 5: Part 2: The Dark Lyn.
Episode 5: Part 3: Please excuse me while we ditch the rails for a little bit.
Episode 5: Part 4: To Hell with this city!
Episode 5: Part 5: A Few Farewells.
Episode 5: Part 6: The Truth?
Episode 5: Part 7: When the game goes completely off the rails and never halfway recovers... And that's a good thing.
Episode 5: Part 8: Rhue's outta control.
Episode 5: Part 9: The Fortress Beneath The Reflective Sky.
Episode 5: Part 10: The Book of Sermeot.
Episode 5: Part 11: Tying Up One Old Loose Thread.
Episode 5 Finale: The Last Plunge, the Confrontation(s) and The Violet That Danced.
Intermission



Episode 6: Part 1: It Begins
Episode 6: Part 2: Expositionary Party.
Episode 6: Part 3: Strange Reunions.
Episode 6: Part 4: Kava Kura: Act 1.
Episode 6: Part 5: Kava Kura: Act 3
Episode 6: Part 6: Ghost Witch
The Annotated Version Of Meeting The Girl Proper.
Episode 6: Part 7: Then it's a date?
Episode 6: Part 8: The Dinner Date!
Episode 6: Part 9: Mischief Unfolds At The Dinner Party In No Small Part Due To Rhue.
Episode 6: Part 10: Rhue the Defendant!
Episode 6: Part 11: Rhue the Rhoon!
Episode 6: Part 12: Hollow Victory.
Episode 6: Part 13: Shadows.
Episode 6: Part 14: An old friend.
Supplementary Update: The Books.
Episode 6: Part 15: At last, the Val Parra Cafe.
Episode 6: Part 16: Rhue's Credit History.
Episode 6: Part 17: The Charlatans of Justice.
Episode 6: Part 18: Homeownership Is Tiring.
Episode 6: Part 19: The Phantom Menace (Low Hanging Fruit Title)
Episode 6: Part 20: One Man, Two Title Defenses.
Episode 6: Part 21: Shadow Swords.
Episode 6: Part 22: Mining Out The Truth.
Bonus Ending Update: The Reaches Ending.
Episode 6: Part 23: The Key.
Episode 6: Part 24: The Guise of Serena.
Episode 6 Finale: The End Of The Way.
Bonus Ending Update 2: ?????? Ending.



Post Game Updates
Lun's Play Magazine Interview.
Bonus Update: The Answers?
The Coda

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 03:00 on May 10, 2020

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Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Episode 1: Part 1: Let's Plunge!

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 08:27 on Jan 27, 2020

DarkParchment
Sep 23, 2016

A new power is rising! Its victory is at hand! This night, the land will be stained with the blood of Rohan!


Wow, I figured the first ''real'' fight would be the old classis ''can't win, get wrecked'', but the cutscene rear end whooping was FAST.

I never heard of ths game, sounds interesting to follow!

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


DarkParchment posted:

Wow, I figured the first ''real'' fight would be the old classis ''can't win, get wrecked'', but the cutscene rear end whooping was FAST.

I never heard of ths game, sounds interesting to follow!

Yeah, Strata pretty much yells SNEAK ATTACK and then hits Rhue with his sword so hard he skids and leaves a blood trail in a split second. Strata's no joke and I think this scene and his theme really sell that.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Episode 1: Part 2: The Second Asskicking.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 11:50 on Jan 27, 2020

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Episode 1: Part 3: Asskicking The Third.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 17:22 on Jan 27, 2020

Solumin
Jan 11, 2013




This describes the writing and pacing so far. But you've already mentioned that.

I've never really touched RPG Maker games, so I'm interested in where this goes.

Woog
May 2, 2013


I remember playing this a long time ago. It had some cool ideas but a lot of them kinda fall flat.

And just LOADS of minigames. Might need a minigame counter to keep track. At least it keeps the gameplay fresh?

Oh, and blood. Lots of blood. If it wasn't obvious already. Anyway, looking forward to this.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Episode 1 Finale: Story Time


Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 18:15 on Jan 27, 2020

Cloacamazing!
Apr 18, 2018


Oh cool, it's one of my favorite RPGMaker games!

I still have the Wanderer's Guide Book saved, so if anybody is interested, here you are: https://www.file-upload.net/downloa...deBook.doc.html

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Cloacamazing! posted:

Oh cool, it's one of my favorite RPGMaker games!

I still have the Wanderer's Guide Book saved, so if anybody is interested, here you are: https://www.file-upload.net/downloa...deBook.doc.html

Oh wow. This is a pretty early version too. He was still make newer versions of it as episodes came out. I remember there being some discrepancies between versions. And yeah, there's a whole bunch of nice lore stuff in it. Some of it winds up being pretty irrelevant. Like, I don't think Shifters and Sensers come up at all really?

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


The Wanderer's Guidebook.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 18:34 on Jan 27, 2020

Cloacamazing!
Apr 18, 2018


Shifter - People who are able to shift their aura's, usually by attaining a certain state of mind.
Senser - A person with the ability to sense other wanderer's auras.

The terms Shifter and Senser aren't used, but I can think of several examples for both. I'll point them out when it becomes relevant.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Cloacamazing! posted:

Shifter - People who are able to shift their aura's, usually by attaining a certain state of mind.
Senser - A person with the ability to sense other wanderer's auras.

The terms Shifter and Senser aren't used, but I can think of several examples for both. I'll point them out when it becomes relevant.

Well, for one thing, when Gaius uses Beyond Oneself, the message is that 'Gaius shifts his aura'. But I don't remember it being discussed in much detail if at all.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Episode 2: Part 1: Victory.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 05:34 on Jan 28, 2020

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Episode 2: Part 2: Reaching Lide

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 07:33 on Jan 28, 2020

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


Looking back on the story in retrospect, Gaius leaving the group and then re-appearing almost immediately seems odd to me. It doesn't seem to serve any purpose with regards to the story. Perhaps it's another case of plans being changed?

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Twiler posted:

Looking back on the story in retrospect, Gaius leaving the group and then re-appearing almost immediately seems odd to me. It doesn't seem to serve any purpose with regards to the story. Perhaps it's another case of plans being changed?

There's no purpose in it that I can tell, except maybe that Gaius had to go perform his 'duties' and just wound up meeting them again by chance. From a story writing perspective, it's a little odd and pointless, but it'd make sense for the character. It's the first meeting that sticks out to me for reasons I'll be able to explain a lot later.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Also, uh.... He left again. Already. We wont see him again for a while. lol.

Tallgeese
May 11, 2008

MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR




I am glad that someone is finally LPing this series. It is one of the best.

Wish I could find more like it.

Out of curiosity, you plan on showing off the Scarred?

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Tallgeese posted:

I am glad that someone is finally LPing this series. It is one of the best.

Wish I could find more like it.

Out of curiosity, you plan on showing off the Scarred?

I'm showing off everything. I'm even going to talk about all the weird stuff in the code of Episode 6.

Tallgeese
May 11, 2008

MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR




Very nice. May the Purpose guide you.

Maybe I'll finally find out from this LP where the song "A Reflective Sky" is from.

Tallgeese
May 11, 2008

MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR




Oh, as an aside since I just noticed this and did not want you to miss it, one of the updates uses Rhue's portrait for "You all right Rhue? You look sick.".

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Tallgeese posted:

Oh, as an aside since I just noticed this and did not want you to miss it, one of the updates uses Rhue's portrait for "You all right Rhue? You look sick.".

Right, thank you. Fixed now. And I keep forgetting to give my thanks to Cloacamazing! for the guide book every post, so here it is. Thank you.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Episode 2: Part 3: Kloe And The Quest To Rid The Way Of All Evil!

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 08:19 on Jan 28, 2020

Cloacamazing!
Apr 18, 2018


quote:


Hi there, obligatory Alex cameo (tm)!

I swear, there's a rule somewhere that every RPGMaker game needs to have an NPC with this sprite sit in a tavern and talk about how he's the chosen one. Except for the ones that use Alex as their main character, of course.

Psycho Lawnmower
Apr 1, 2011

For the cow-borrowing glory and infinite wisdom of Elmal! Cheese for everyone!

Ahh, Kloe. I admit, not the best entrance for her or anyone involved, but memorable. I find Lyrra to be the most interesting, but all of the girls shine in their own way.

This game is great, in that "You know that this game really was a passion project and it shows" kind of way. Play the whole series like a year or so ago. So glad someone else is LPing it-thanks for taking the Plunge.

Head Hit Keyboard
Oct 9, 2012

It must be fate that has brought us together after all these years.

I remember playing this way back in the day. Got to the end of Ep5 like, months before 6 came out, and then I got very very lost in 6 and never finished. Maybe now I'll finally figure out what was going on.

100 HOGS AGREE
Oct 13, 2007

by Nyc_Tattoo


Grimey Drawer

god, i remember playing these in high school. i think i restarted like 8 times either as new chapters came out or because i kept missing treasure.

i don't think i ever finished it.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Episode 2: Part 4: How Sweet It Is.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 08:59 on Jan 28, 2020

Tallgeese
May 11, 2008

MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR




My memory is a bit hazy, but did I not see a mirror behind the shopkeeper?

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Tallgeese posted:

My memory is a bit hazy, but did I not see a mirror behind the shopkeeper?

Can't interact with that one. There IS one in Lide you used to be able to interact with but Lun disabled it in the 2.0 versions (intentionally or not I don't know). It's a little bit until we get that opportunity anyway. The rest throughout the series are still usable though and still have their... tracker.

Cloacamazing!
Apr 18, 2018


I checked in RPGMaker and even the dialogue for the spoiler bars has been replaced with a comment saying "Player never comes back here."

(Also, new page anyone?)

GenderSelectScreen
Mar 7, 2010


College Slice

That Plunge minigame is really random.

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




BTW OP are you using Irfanview? It'd help a lot since it only takes pictures of the client area so the game's window elements don't show up. You an also use it to resize portraits to keep em mostly the same.

You might also wanna use LPix.org with the Rightload plug-in, it'll be way faster and more reliable than imgur

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


SSNeoman posted:

BTW OP are you using Irfanview? It'd help a lot since it only takes pictures of the client area so the game's window elements don't show up. You an also use it to resize portraits to keep em mostly the same.

You might also wanna use LPix.org with the Rightload plug-in, it'll be way faster and more reliable than imgur

Right, I'll take a looksie. I was planning on going back and fixing the portraits sometime soon anyway.

Regallion
Nov 11, 2012



Oh geez why is that still the same page.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


I just finished going back and fixing the portraits, with only a few exceptions, like Wes and Dana.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Episode 2: Part 5: Barracuda?

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 10:00 on Jan 28, 2020

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Gloomy Rube
Mar 4, 2008





I remember this game, I think I got to part 3 or 4 before ending up losing interest. I'd been playing Legion Saga 1 and 2 and was looking for more stuff along the same vein (So not Legion Saga 3, ho ho) and came across this. I'm not sure what turned me off it, but it might have just been that I was trying to marathon it all at once or something. Plunging always felt like a weird system to me.

Looking forward to seeing where this goes and what stuff I missed! Thanks for doing this LP!

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