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Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Sometime in 2005, the beloved 'The Way' series was wrapping up.
Sometime in 2005, 'Laxius Power 3: The Final Terror' burst into the RPGMaker community's collective awareness and nicked a whole load of awards from The Way (Or so certain people believed. Looking at you Emperor Jeramyu). It was quickly shunned as an embarrassment despite its tremendous victory, in the hopes everyone would forget it and its creator existed someday.

I already told The Way's story, and I don't feel ready to do the Laxius Power story just yet...

But while this was happening, another series that would earn its place as a beloved, Misao Game of The Year Award winning series (it won twice even, like The Way) was beginning. November 2005, 'Arc I' of this new series came out.

It was called Master of the Wind.

It deserved those awards, completely.


https://youtu.be/Y3i74uxxvjM
(Master of the Wind does its best to use every variation of the main Bubba Ho-Tep theme but fails. Still, six of them isn't too bad!)


How to describe this game in a way that sounds appealing? A friend of mine that has also played the series suggested 'The Witcher' except you play as two guys cosplaying as superheroes. Also they fight capitalism, and lots of cheesy rock music is used for the score.
Fantasy superheroes confront criminals, and then capitalists and human supremacists is probably just about right. Also there's a necromancy guild filled with completely trustworthy and ethical necromancers!

Our two primary heroes are Cade and 'Bones'.
Cade's a Wind Mage and uses that magic as a stand-in for superpowers under the guise of Shroud.
'Bones' is a skeleton. The undead kind, not some strange race or fantasy robots. His alter ego is Stoic whose superpower is wearing a cape and bandana while being a skeleton.

This is a long series, longer than The Way for sure. Like The Way it's a story focused game, but unlike The Way it doesn't gently caress its gameplay up pretty badly by virtue of being pretty standard stuff. The plot is a lot more straight forward than The Way and it's even completely finished and not just 'sort of finished?'

The game has some genuinely heartbreaking moments in it, but also plenty of humor. One warning though, the story does take a bit to really get going.



ARC I: It Begins With Andau.
ARC I: Part 2: World Building OR The Game Wears Its Heart On Its Sleeve.
ARC I: Part 3: War Heroes.
ARC I: Part 4: Andau.
ARC I: Part 5: Touten and Tiger.
ARC I Finale: Should we call you both Stoic and Shroud or Shroud and Stoic?
Clean Slate Part 1: Seth and the Council.



ARC II: Sellout.
ARC II: Part 2: Never Argue Politics and Ideology With Your Girlfriends Friend.
ARC II: Part 3: Beach Combers.
ARC II: Part 4: Dican.
ARC II: Part 5: Meet the Villains.
Clean Slate Part 2: The History Lesson Within A History Lesson.
ARC II: Part 6: Setup for the Party.
ARC II: Part 7: Finley Gets Serious.
ARC II: Part 8: Daydream's Debut and Rana's Question.
Clean Slate Part 3: Lysander's Abuse of Women.
ARC II: Part 9: Setup For The Raid.
ARC II: Part 10: Behind The Music.
ARC II: Part 11: Face the Music. (I mean come on, what else could I title this?)
ARC II Finale: Never Underestimate Birds Or Skeletons.
Clean Slate Part 4: The Big Fortress on Dwarven Land, the Elven Lands and the General of Light.



ARC III: Finley Donner Must Die.
ARC III: Part 2: The Birth of Shroud.
ARC III: Part 3: Pearlton.
ARC III: Part 4: My Lodite To Burn. (This 'joke/pun' doesn't even work or make sense on any level.)
ARC III: Part 5: Time for School.
ARC III: Part 6: More of a rant, really.
ARC III: Part 7: The Baron's Big Debut!
ARC III: Part 8: Takes Two Asses.
Clean Slate Part 5: The Last Nightmare.
ARC III: Part 9: The Spell With The Ominous Name.
ARC III: Part 10: Preparing For A Freezing Vacation!
ARC III: Part 11: Terrible News!
ARC III: Part 12: Cade and Auburn.
ARC III Finale: A Song of Ice And Fire And Death.
Clean Slate Part 6: Rebel Scum.



ARC IV: A Helpful Messenger.
ARC IV: Part 2: Ruins of Rellenia.
Clean Slate Part 7: The Gathering.
ARC IV: Part 3: The Necromancer.
ARC IV: Part 4: House by the Sea.
ARC IV: Part 5: And Now For Something Completely Different.
ARC IV: Part 6: Force of Un-nature.
ARC IV Finale: The Die Are Cast.



ARC V: Re-Introduction.
ARC V Part 2: Everyone's Got Their Own Plans.
ARC V Part 3: The First Flashback.
ARC V Part 4: Over and Under.
ARC V Part 5: Affirmative Knighthood.
ARC V Part 6: Volrath Blacksteele, The Dark Knight.
ARC V Part 7: Volrath's Castle
ARC V: Part 8: Freaking Skeletons, Man.
ARC V: Part 9: The Forrest Gump of Solest.
ARC V: Part 10: The Sixth Age.
ARC V Finale: The Upset.



ARC VI: Villains Ascendant.
ARC VI Part 2: Into Trouble.
ARC VI Part 3: And Into The Tower.
ARC VI Part 4: And into the Sun and the Wind both.
ARC VI Finale: Heroes Ascendant.



ARC VII: The Great Awakening.
SUPPLEMENTARY UPDATE: The Guardia Hall of History.
ARC VII Part 2: The Great Aftermath.
ARC VII Part 3: A Start.
Clean Slate Finale: A New Solest Struggles To Be Born.
ARC VII Part 4: The Midnight Guild.
ARC VII Part 5: Auburn.
ARC VII Finale: Battle for Rellenia.
Master of The Wind: Bonus Scenes.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 16:59 on Feb 26, 2021

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Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


ARC I: It Begins With Andau.

In which we meet our heroes and their first apparently recurring nemesis.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 06:05 on Aug 4, 2019

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




quote:

It was quickly shunned as an embarrassment despite its tremendous victory, in the hopes everyone would forget it and its creator existed someday.

Wait what really? What happened? Why the sudden 180?

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


SSNeoman posted:

Wait what really? What happened? Why the sudden 180?

The Laxius games are... Well, they're viewed as lowest common denominator games. That was the reason The Way fans looked down on that series too.

I went over this in the The Way thread briefly, but Laxius Power isn't good in a normal way. I've played Pokemon Reborn to completion myself, and it was for the exact same reasons I've played the Laxius Power trilogy more than once. Because I enjoyed the gameplay on some level, while the writing was so insane I wanted to see what happened next. It's like a typical JRPG written by a 15 year olds ID and completely unfiltered, except I think the author was in his mid twenties at the time.
The game is rife with talk of sex (but nothing explicit) and sexist comments. I can imagine people people maybe being offended but the games always felt too stupid and insane for me to get upset. I wouldn't let a normal game get away with it.
What I can say in its favour is that it's never offensively unfunny like Reborn is at times.

He's also French and did a very poor job translating the games himself. I have a French friend who is also a big fan of Laxius Power for the same reason I am, and he told me the French RPGMaker community named their creepy sex pervert award after him an an insult.

I've seen people describe Laxius series as hilaribad but I've never thought that fit. Neither does just bad. It's a real trip that transcends good or bad.

So, in light of this, imagine now that Laxius Power 1 site allegedly got 1 million hits (who knows how many downloads) in only a year which is an incredible amount for an rpgmaker game -now-, let alone in 2001. It was one of the first major releases for the program in ''''''English''''''', predating many venerable classics in the RPGmaker community and it was very, very big and strange mish mash of JRPG and western CRPG conventions.

Laxius Power 3 came out in 2005 and got 10k downloads in mere months, which is also a staggering amount. I couldn't tell you what its final count was though.

The Misaos have always been awarded by -public- vote, even the nominations and the awards each year are up to the public. That's why there's sometimes a billion awards for very specific aspects of games/writing. People vote on everything about the Misao Awards. So Laxius Power 3 comes out and wins a billion awards but really, the actually visible part of RPGMaker community is embarrassed by it and always has been.

No one talks about Laxius Power, and it's not even hosted on RPGMaker.net. It's been there since the very beginning but they wont acknowledge it except as the butt of jokes. Probably for good reasons too, it'd make the community look like juvenile sex starved creeps.


Just pretend it doesn't exist. Just pretend it doesn't exist.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 10:13 on May 27, 2020

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


ARC I: Part 2: World Building OR The Game Wears Its Heart On Its Sleeve.

In which our heroes explore Port Arianna and its history briefly, and prepare to confront Andau once more.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 06:11 on Aug 4, 2019

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




Adventurin' just doesn't pay as much as it used to huh

Crystalgate
Dec 26, 2012


The arms shop the heroes are working in is so full of JRPG logic.

Anyway, this game has a lot of effort put into it. it will also give you a big taste of PRG Maker XP.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


SSNeoman posted:

Adventurin' just doesn't pay as much as it used to huh

Uhm, technically they're superhe--




Apparently not! I guess adventuring becomes far less profitable when slaughtering goblins and kobolds becomes... taboo... because all races and even intelligent undead, have theoretically come together in peace since the fall of the Gallian Empire.


Crystalgate posted:

The arms shop the heroes are working in is so full of JRPG logic.

Anyway, this game has a lot of effort put into it. it will also give you a big taste of PRG Maker XP.
The shop's really silly, but it's a charm point for me. Anyway, the game really does have a lot of effort put into it, and it's very clearly a labour of love too as it goes about dealing with themes the author has strong opinions about. Sometimes the writing is like being beaten with a slab of ham or having an anvil dropped on your foot repeatedly, but I think it works out well in the end for me.

The question is if it'll work for everyone who reads this thread.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


ARC I: Part 3: War Heroes.

In which our heroes explore a graveyard.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 06:24 on Aug 4, 2019

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




Oh I see we're actually trying to keep our identities secrete, Clark Kent disguise and all. Cool!

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


ARC I: Part 4: Andau.

In which Andau is confronted once more.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 06:34 on Aug 4, 2019

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


ARC I: Part 5: Touten and Tiger.

In which our heroes meet a new (yet somehow familiar) criminal.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 06:59 on Aug 4, 2019

fluffyDeathbringer
Nov 1, 2017

it's not what you've got, it's what you make of it

I really like the way this game handles the love interest character

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




Emma's got her work cut out for her.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


The curse of LPing a game whose cast and story you really love is that you have to struggle with the urge to blab on and on about it and spoil the whole thing. At least, I do.

But yes, if Emma wants things to be serious with Cade she's got... a lot of work to do especially since Cade is actively throwing up roadblocks at the smallest provocation.

Tallgeese
May 11, 2008

MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR




You kind of already did, actually...

Isn't what happened to Lysander's wife a lategame reveal?

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011



That's ancient history though and doesn't come into play in this games story at all. I wouldn't consider the events of Clean Slate to be a spoiler, which is why I intend to rewatch Volraths LP of it and write up a summary plus anything interesting he might say about MOTW. I know he talks a fair bit about why he made these games though, and that's definitely the biggest reason to watch those videos, because the game just isn't very good.

fluffyDeathbringer
Nov 1, 2017

it's not what you've got, it's what you make of it

I also love that we got to beat up what's basically a vampire MGTOW

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Not just that, but a murderous one too. If you count vampirising women as murder. Undead are still a very persecuted minority, so it's not exactly the best thing to be turned into.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 19:05 on Jul 7, 2019

Nissin Cup Nudist
Sep 3, 2011

Sleep with one eye open

We're off to Gritty Gritty land






Fleshwit posted:

Not just that, but a murderous one too. If you count vampirising women as murder. Undead are still a very persecuted minority, so it's not exactly the best thing to be turned into.

What's Bones then if not an undead?

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Nissin Cup Nudist posted:

What's Bones then if not an undead?

Oh, he's definitely undead, and we'll see some people besides ghosts not take kindly to it.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


ARC I Finale: Should we call you both Stoic and Shroud or Shroud and Stoic?

In which our heroes become heroes.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 07:06 on Aug 4, 2019

Slaan
Mar 16, 2009

I GAIN POWER FROM EATING PEOPLE, JUST ASSUME I'M ALWAYS VOTING TO EAT PEOPLE





I, too, want a magnificent anti-rich-rear end in a top hat skeleton bro

Crystalgate
Dec 26, 2012


The heroes have custom artwork, but I'm unsure about most enemies. They look like someone made a better version of the RTP battlers.

Speaking of which, the tileset is very much RTP, basically the default tileset included with the RPG Maker XP. Not too bad really, the later ones look worse IMO. The game also uses the default combat algorithm for at least most attack. Unfortunately, RPG Maker XP's way of calculating damage and chance to hit is rear end. You maybe noticed that the characters have 0 magic defense. This could be an artistic choice, but I can tell that if the authors had given the characters and enemies progressive magic defense, they would have ran into serious problems. Chance is they made magic defense 0 to get around a problem you easily encounter with the game engine.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


I'm pretty sure most of the enemies are XP RTP or packs made by someone in the community, but the hero battler art and the cartoonier facesets seem to have been made by 'Enkur' who I think Volrath and Artbane might even know irl. If they didn't back then, they do now. I'm unsure how long Volrath and Artbane have known each other too but they've since formed Solest Games together.

If anyone hasn't looked up these guys by now, Solest Games have made a commericial game since Master of the Wind that you -might- have heard of. Labyrinthine Dreams.

Crystalgate
Dec 26, 2012


The enemy sprites you see on the map are RTP. The sprites (or "battlers" as they are called) you see in battle are not RTP. They are however made to match the RTP map sprites.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Clean Slate Part 1: Seth and the Council

In which I begin a sub-LP of a shoddy VLP of Master of the Winds unreleased prequel.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 07:10 on Aug 4, 2019

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


ARC II: Sellout.

In which we meet new people and drama happens.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 07:16 on Aug 4, 2019

Nissin Cup Nudist
Sep 3, 2011

Sleep with one eye open

We're off to Gritty Gritty land






: The Game

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011



Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


ARC II: Part 2: Never Argue Politics and Ideology With Your Girlfriends Friend

In which Cade gets into arguments.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 08:23 on Aug 4, 2019

Slaan
Mar 16, 2009

I GAIN POWER FROM EATING PEOPLE, JUST ASSUME I'M ALWAYS VOTING TO EAT PEOPLE





Finley needs to get punched, imo

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Honestly, Cade deserves a bit of a whack too, early on. Finley's just dumb, but Cade's very argumentative.

fluffyDeathbringer
Nov 1, 2017

it's not what you've got, it's what you make of it

I like that about him to, be honest. he's a nice and gentle guy, but he's got an edge to him, too, and that rounds him out as a character

Nissin Cup Nudist
Sep 3, 2011

Sleep with one eye open

We're off to Gritty Gritty land






quote:

You're right... and I don't know how he got all his money. But this business of owning multiple stores... It's unheard of! Nobody's ever done that!
It's like he's trying to just ruin all the world's other stores. People should have a choice when it comes to spending their money. If the same store is in every town, there is no choice. That's not right.

no war but class war

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


ARC II: Part 3: Beach Combers.

In which we attempt to track the latest criminals to their lair.

Fleshwit fucked around with this message at 08:27 on Aug 4, 2019

Doopliss
Nov 3, 2012


Holy crap this game wears its themes on its sleeve. I keep thinking "this is unsubtle, but pretty charming", and it manages to out-unsubtle itself time and time again. I can only conclude it's going to end with killing the spirit of capitalism itself.

I couldn't be more engrossed.

Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Doopliss posted:

I can only conclude it's going to end with killing the spirit of capitalism itself.

Unfortunately, while the game where you kill the spirit of capitalism was my GOTY 2012 and it is a one-man indie game, it's not a RPGMaker game.

I have considered doing it after Master of the Wind and Laxius. Or maybe concurrently to Laxius since that LP would be terrifyingly long...

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




This is one of those games which would've been criticized as "heavy-handed" on its release but nowadays it feels on point.

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Fleshwit
Apr 25, 2011


Like The Way, I think Master of the Wind was 'undiscovered' until it's fourth 'arc'. Though, UNLIKE The Way, it didn't win a Game of the Year Misao before the fourth arc. The fourth arc got the... 2007 Misao I think? And the seventh and final arc got the 2011 one.

Like The Way, I think the games mostly been forgotten since then though. Probably even more so than The Way, actually. You don't really see it winning any high spots on best RPGMaker games ever lists, if it even appears. Which is a real shame.

As for whether people considered it heavy handed at the time, well, I didn't but I also didn't give a poo poo about the stuff it's about when I was a teenager. I couldn't tell you if that's a common criticism or not either. Really wish I could time travel back to the time of various dead-rear end RPGMaker sites and their forums.

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