Game Review: Marie’s Room

Image result for marie's room

Hello everyone, I am the Baumeister, and welcome to my review of a game I picked up on Steam a couple of day’s ago: Marie’s Room.

So, I saw the game as I was browsing around on Steam, and after reading through the premise and some of the reviews, I felt like I should grab it. And after all, as of this moment, it’s free on Steam.  So, simple click of the mouse, and I had the game.

The gameplay is pretty simple.  You walk around with WASD, and holding the left mouse button while hovering over named objects allows you to examine them.  Simple as that.  The gameplay is all about exploration, similar to another game that I’ve played, Gone Home.  However, unlike Gone Home, in which you have the entire house to explore, we only have just the one room to explore.

Like Gone Home though, it’s more about the story than it is about the gameplay.  We’ve got Kelsie, was sent to retrieve Marie’s journal, and instead got warped back to the past.  Here, it’s all about filling out Marie’s journal through exploration.  Not everything will prompt a journal entry, and there are a couple of components that require exploration (including the final piece of the puzzle).

It’s a short game (I finished my first playthrough in roughly about 35 minutes), but its a well done story that I think that everyone should experience.  It ends on a relatively happy note, after doing the final reveal for the story.

If I haven’t said it enough already, go check it out.  You won’t be disappointed, unless you’re an action games kind of person who is looking for blazing guns and glory.  If you are, then this isn’t the game you’re looking for, move along.

Until next time, I am the Baumeister, and I have been, obediently yours.

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Baumeister Plays: Final Fantasy I: Part 5

Image result for Final Fantasy I

Hello everyone.  I am the Baumeister, and welcome back to my walkthrough of Final Fantasy I.  Last time, we made it to Elfheim, and got lost trying to figure out where to go next.  Well, we stumbled across this abandoned and dilapidated castle, so why not go inside?

Western Keep

As we enter the keep, we see that there are bats flying around the Keep, similar to what we found in the room in the Temple of Chaos ruins.  The bats are harmless, letting out a “Kee!” as we interact with them.  From the entrance way, I went right, and went up and around until it took me to a junction, in which I went left, then up.  There’s nothing to the north, so we went down the way.  There’s a room, but as we approach the door, it’s locked by the Mystic Key.  We’ve got to be close to getting this key, right? So, we retraced our steps back to the beginning of the Keep, and went straight through the other door.  And there’s a guy here.  It’s a King.  Astos has taken everything that belonged to that castle, and this king asks us to go to the cave in the southern marsh to retrieve his crown, which is supposed to be able to reclaim the castle.  Exit the inner chamber, and the keep, and start heading south.  When we can, head to the coast in the west, and follow the coast down south.  At the southernmost tip in this area, there is a hole.  Enter the hole when we are ready to go.

Marsh Cave

We’re going to start out by going north in this rather deep cave.  After a while, we find a staircase that leads us down the stairs into a open area.  Going all the way down through this section of the cave, we find a chamber.  In this chamber are two treasure chests, containing Broadsword and 620 gil.  But, before we could open these treasure chests, we ended up gaining another level!

  • Maksim
    • HP +29
    • Strength Up
    • Agility Up
    • Endurance Up
    • Luck Up
  • Kumar
    • HP +22
    • Strength Up
    • Endurance Up
    • Luck Up
  • Ans
    • HP +26
    • Agility Up
    • Intelligence Up
  • Agata
    • HP +4
    • Intelligence Up
    • Endurance Up

After opening the treasure chests, head back out of this chamber and go north through the cavern.  Towards the top of the chamber, there’s another chamber with a solo treasure chest that contains 680 gil.  Leave this chamber, and head east to another chamber and a fourth treasure chest that contains a dagger, then leave this chamber, head southwest to the stairs and exit this chamber.  Now, head south through the cave to the other end of the cave.  Enter the room, and go down the stairs.  When down the stairs, exit out of any one of the doors.  Head northeast out of these doors to a chamber, but it’s empty.  Leave this chamber, and go south all the way to the bottom of the map.  Enter the doors to the chamber, and find an empty treasure chest. Ok.  Why is this treasure chest empty? I had to look this up to figure out why.  The game is programmed so that if a chest containing a specific item is picked up elsewhere in the entire dungeon, then all like items will disappear, leaving behind empty chests.  While as an item collector I dislike this bit of programming, I do find that it’s an interesting choice that disappears in later installments.  Leave this room, and unless you want to explore more of the cave for empty treasure chests and more enemy encounters, head right and go around the stone pillars.  Head through the large empty room, and down the stairs to the third floor.

Once you get down the stairs, start by entering the room nearest to the stairs and open up the treasure chest containing a “Steel Plate”.  Exit this room, and head east.  Skip the next two rooms and enter the last room on this row.  The treasure chest in here contains 295 gil.  Leave this room and move down to the next row.  Skip this room, and the one directly to the west, and enter the one second from the left (going left to right).  In here is an opened and closed chest.  Open the one chest that we can and obtain a “Cottage”.  Enter the last room we haven’t gotten to yet in this row and open the treasure chest to find a “Copper Armlet”.  Down the next row, and again, ignore the first room in the group.  Head east, and skip this room for now.   Just from the look of this room, it seems important.  Continue east, and enter the next room for a treasure chest with 385 gil in it.  Exit out and enter the last room in this area, which contains an empty treasure chest.  Head south, and investigate the doors, which are another one of those Mystic Key.  In fact, all the rooms on this bottom row are sealed and can’t be opened without the Mystic Key.  Curses.  Anyway, let’s return to the room with all the fancy statues.  Approach the treasure chest to get attacked by Piscodemons.  Take them out, and open the treasure chest to get a “Crown”.  Now, we can retreat all the way back to the world map.

As we arrive back in Elfheim Town to refresh our stocks and heal up our party from the long and grueling journey that was ahead of us, I want to point out something.  Up until now in my playthrough, everyone was gaining experience at the exact same pace.  But, since Ans and Kumar died in the fight with the Piscodemons, there will be times where Maksim and Agata are going to be stronger than the other two.  I knew it was going to happen eventually; I was just making sure I could hold off the inevitable.  Which, almost making it to Lv 10 with everyone at the same pace is pretty good right? Anyway, once we’re done gearing up, head on out back towards the Western Keep.  We have a crown to deliver.  Along the way to the Western Keep, we got some level ups.

  • Maksim
    • HP +29
    • Strength Up
    • Agility Up
    • Intelligence Up
    • Luck Up
  • Agata
    • HP +24
    • Strength Up
    • Intelligence Up
    • Luck Up

Western Keep

Enter back into the keep, and head back into the inner chamber where the King awaits us.  Approach the king, and interact with them.  Surprise! It’s the King of the Dark Elves: Astos! We’ve been duped! He’s now got the Crystal Eye and the Crown, and wants to be the true Elf King.  It’s time for a battle!

Boss Fight: Astos

So, Astos looks intimidating, doesn’t he? And he certainly can be with his Reaper attack, which is an instant kill against our party. Not so bad if he doesn’t take out the Warrior first.  He also has a lot of magic spells under his belt like Slow2 and Haste, and has a good amount of Evasion (that, or my team still has a major problem with Accuracy.  Either way).  So, I’m using our Red Mage as a magic attacker, who seems to be doing a fair amount of damage compared to all of the other physical strikers.  In fact, in this battle, Ans was the MVP, doing the most damage out of the surviving characters.  Speaking of Ans, he and Kumar both gained a level up out of this fight!

  • Kumar
    • HP +3
    • Strength Up
    • Agility Up
    • Intelligence Up
    • Luck Up
  • Ans
    • HP +28
    • Strength Up
    • Luck Up

With the defeat of Astos, we obtain the Crystal Eye.  Now, we can return this item to Matoya! Exit the keep, and head back to the ship, which should still be docked outside of Elfheim Town.  Make sure you heal up and revive everyone before heading back to Cornelia and travel back to Matoya’s Cave.

Matoya’s Cave

Enter the room where Matoya is and interact with her to give her back the Crystal Eye.  In return (not sure if she’s all that gratuitous since she was all “gimme gimme gimme”), we obtain the Jolt Tonic.  Talk to her again, and she unceremoniously tells us to get out.  So, let’s do so and head back to Elfheim.  Think this Jolt Tonic will help the prince out?

Elfheim Castle

Now that we’re back at Elfheim Castle, we need to return to the room in the northwest where the prince is sawing some mighty logs.  As a bright white light envelopes the Castle, the prince opens his eyes.  And he seems to be wide awake already.  He first thinks that he’s dreaming because he sees the four Warriors of Light (our party), and then hands the Mystic Key over to us.  Good! Now we can unlock doors! Our first order of business with the Mystic Key, heading towards the back of the castle to unlock the door that we couldn’t get past on our first visit.  Inside is a “Mythril Hammer”, 400 gil, 330 gil, and “Bronze Gloves”.  Make sure to equip those who can use those items, and exit the castle.

That’s where we’ll leave off for right now.  We’ll start backtracking next time to see if we can’t find that Nitro Powder.  Thank you for joining me on this journey.  Until next time, I am the Baumeister, and I have been, obediently yours.

Baumeister Plays: Final Fantasy I: Part 2

Image result for Final Fantasy I

Hello everyone, and welcome back to my walkthrough of Final Fantasy I.  Where we last left off, we had geared up and were about ready to set off into the world.  Exit town through whatever exit we wish, and we can begin our journey northward to the Temple of Chaos.

Overworld to the Temple of Chaos

Alright, we are ready to move on and get into some combat! On the overworld and in dungeons, most enemy encounters come in the form of random encounters (which will become a staple off the series).  There will be occasions, mainly boss fights and other scripted encounters, where the enemy will be on the overworld map.  Speaking of random encounter, here comes one now.

Battle

Alright, so here’s the battle screen.  On the right is our party, while the enemies appear on the left.  There are five options we can pick in battle. They are:

  • Attack: Physical damage with equipped weapon
  • Magic: Use equipped spells
  • Items: Use items like Potions, Antidotes, etc.
  • Equip: Change equipment as needed during battle to fit the situation
  • Flee: Run away. As stated before, this is based off of luck and agility stats, so the thief will have the best chance of fleeing.

For now, just choose attack.  Especially in my case, where I don’t have any offensive magic.  For the most part around the castle, all one will find is the Goblin enemy.  As long as the attacks hit, most of the characters will able to wipe out the goblins in one shot.  After the battle, we will gain experience (the number on screen seems to be the amount of experience per person.  So for example, if there are five goblins who give 6 EXP each, dividing it equally among the four party members, we get 7 EXP.) and gil (if a goblin drops 6 gil per enemy, and using our example of five goblins, then we’d walk out of the battle with 30 gil.)  After the battle, we can go back to the “Collections” page, and see that we have a couple of options opened up to us: “Bestiary” and “Art Gallery”.  Checking out the Bestiary, we can see that there’s an entry on “Goblin”.  Also, check out the “Art Gallery” section for some original artwork for the game.  Right now, all we have there is “Goblin”, but you still should check it out.

Goblin

  • HP: 8
  • ATK: 4
  • DEF: 4
  • MAG. DEF: 16
  • Weakness: None
  • Resistance: None
  • Gil: 6
  • Exp: 6
  • Defeated: n=how many individual creatures you’ve defeated.

While in battle, there are three different ways one can start out the battle.  One way is going in as equals; the second way is that our party can have the advantage (pre-emptive strike), while the third is our party going last (Enemy strikes first).  Also, I do like the touch that the backgrounds of the battle change based on what tile we are standing on (grassland vs forest).  I would recommend running around Cornelia until the team has at least reached Lv 2.  That way, we can move on and take on some of the stronger enemies in the north.  Speaking of Lv. 2, here are the stat increases my team received.

  • Maksim:
    • HP +28
    • Strength Up
    • Agility Up
    • Endurance Up
  • Kumar
    • HP +26
    • Strength Up
    • Agility Up
    • Intelligence Up
    • Luck Up
  • Ans
    • HP +27
    • Strength Up
    • Endurance Up
    • Luck Up
  • Agata
    • HP +26
    • Strength Up
    • Agility Up
    • Intelligence Up
    • Luck Up

Right now, it looks like all the stats that went up did so by 1 point.  Maybe that will change as we get further along in the story with higher levels increasing stats higher.  Let’s hope so anyway.  As soon as we go up the peninsula, the enemy types start to get diverse and a little stronger.  Also, as we level up, our base experience will go up, but our health won’t replenish, so we will have to back to the INN.

Make sure you go back to Cornelia Town and buy the magic that we want to equip for our mages, and some healing items for when we run out of MP.  When we are ready, continue going north until we reach the Temple of Chaos and head inside.

Temple of Chaos

Man, this place sure has seen better days, hasn’t it? Inside the dungeon, there are new enemies to take on, as well as some rooms to explore.  Going left directly after leaving the stairs, there’s a room that contains a “Leather Cap”.  Make sure to equip it to the one who can use it the most.  In this case, I gave it to Agata which boosted her Defense a whole whopping point.  Going north from here leads to a identical building, but this one has two treasure chests, one containing a “Potion” and the other containing a “Tent”, which will be helpful if your HP is running low and don’t want to take the time to run all the way back to town.  Grabbing these items will open up the “Item Collection” section in the “Collection” page.   Following the path east, we come across another room, with a locked door that we need the Mystic Key for.  The room to the south of this one (southeast corner) also requires the Mystic Key, which means we will have to come back to this area later.  So, we must continue forward.  Also, we should have leveled up at least one more in this area (assuming we fought all the enemies of course).

  • Maksim:
    • HP +25
    • Strength Up
    • Agility Up
    • Endurance Up
    • Luck Up
  • Kumar
    • HP +25
    • Strength Up
    • Intelligence Up
    • Endurance Up
    • Luck Up
  • Ans
    • HP +2
    • Agility Up
    • Intelligence Up
    • Endurance Up
  • Agata
    • HP +3
    • Strength Up
    • Agility Up
    • Intelligence Up
    • Endurance Up

Stats still went up by one, and there’s a huge difference now in health between the attack classes and the magic classes.  Don’t forget to go and heal whenever we can (and when we level up) to keep our HP up to full as best we can. Also, if our characters faint, we have to head back to town.  When they die, they move to the bottom of the list, so be careful and reorder as necessary.  Once we are ready, head back to the starting staircase, and head upwards to the doors.  Go through the doors, and we found a girl who is sleeping (fainted?), a bunch of bats and what appears to be our knight. Approach and hit “X” to go through some dialogue that explains the knight’s motivations, and how we can’t stop him.

Boss Fight: Garland

Alright, it’s our first major boss fight of the game.  He hits pretty hard (doing about 12-13 points of damage to the Warrior class equipped with the best armor we can buy), and has higher defense than most of the enemies that we have fought at this point, and a rather high evasion skill (that, or my team can’t hit the broadside of a barn. Either way really).  After several rounds of physical attacks, he will eventually go down, giving us a fair amount of EXP and gil.

Once the boss battle is over, we get another scene in which we talk to Sarah, and take a return trip back to the Castle for yet another scene.  The King is forever in our debt for saving his daughter, and truly believes that we are the Light Warriors and sets us upon a task: to rekindle the light of the Crystals.  As promised, he builds us a bridge (man that’s fast).  If we talk to Sarah, she gives us a Lute.  That is found in our “Key Items” pocket, so it’ll be important later.  Now, that we’re done in Cornelia, we can move right along to the next area.  Leave, and talk to the NPCs if you wish (there’s one that mentions that the Lute “can destroy the door to the source of all evil.”…whatever that means.  Again, I’m sure it’s important, or else it wouldn’t be in the “Key Items” section.

As we leave the Castle, we get a cutscene with a bunch of the King’s workers building the bridge across to the next area.  After the cutscene, leave the castle.  Stop off and finish up with any business that you wish to accomplish in town, and then head towards the bridge.  As you get on the bridge, the game will go into a cutscene.

“And so their journey began. As warriors of light, the four youths faced a staggering mission and a stormy destiny.  The four crystals they carried remained a mystery to them…In ages past, those crystals had radiated a dazzling light.  The time for heroes is at hand.  Darkness must be banished so the light of peace can illuminate the world once more.”

Well, there’s our official game open.  We must have completed the introduction then.  Well, good for us.  Onward we go!

And that’s where we’re going to stop for this section.  Thank you so much for reading.  Coming up next time, we’ll start in brand new territory; ready for our next adventure.  New enemies, new items, and a whole lot more questing will be on our docket.  Until next time, I am the Baumeister, and I have been, obediently yours.

Baumeister Plays: Final Fantasy I: Part 1

Hello everyone.  I am the Baumeister.  Welcome to my first game walkthrough.  Ever since I first started playing the Final Fantasy series in 2004, I was hooked on the game series and this style of RPG in general.  Recently, I wanted to collect editions of every numbered game in the series, minus XI and XIV (since I’m not a fan of MMORPGs).  After a recent spree, I have all but four of the major games.  But, enough about that, we’re going to dive in to the first of the Final Fantasy series.

Image result for Final Fantasy I

Introduction

 

Before we get right on into the game, I am going to disclose to you, dear reader, that I am going into this game with a high degree of blindness.  I’ve gone about as far as taking one lap around the outside border of the Chaos Ruins, which took about 45 minutes to an hour of time.  That’s about it. This isn’t going to be a complete run with finding all the items, grinding to find drop percentage after beating enemies.  This is going to be me going through the game, getting everything I can.  I hope that you bear with me as I roll right along through the game.  As a heads up, I am playing the Final Fantasy Origins version on the PS3.

Pre-game Intro

“A great darkness shrouded the world. The wind died. The sea raged. The earth began to decay. Only a prophecy kept hope alive in people’s hearts: ‘When darkness veils the world, four warriors of light shall come.’ And after journeying far, four young warriors did at last appear.  In the hands of each rested a mysterious crystal…”

We get two parts to the pre-game intro.  We get a CGI game where a warrior wielding a sword fights a dragon.  The warrior (possibly our warrior) has one of the four crystals.  Then, after that, we get the lore above as the camera pans over the world.

Starting the Game

After hitting start, and selecting the difficulty (in this version, there’s an option for an “Easy” difficulty), it takes us to the new game screen.  Here, we can choose the name for our characters and their classes.  Now, there are a LOT of ways of doing this.  There are six classes to choose between the four characters.  Those six classes are:

  • Warrior: “Powerful fighter and weapons expert”
  • Thief: “Agile rogue with nimble fingers and precise attacks”
  • Monk: “Warrior monk strong in both body and mind. Fights best unarmed.”
  • Red Mage: “Dabbles in both white and black magic.  Also a decent fighter.”
  • White Mage: “Mystic specializing in white magic to heal and protect others.”
  • Black Mage: “Deals great damage to foes with black magic. Physically weak.”

There are some people who will be like “you should have used that party, or this party.  What in the &*#@! are you doing?!” My answer to them is: it’s my playthrough.  If I end up with a really bad party, then I’ll have to suck it up and deal with it.  Anyway, speaking of my party.  I have a random name and number generators up and ready to go.

  1. Agata the White Mage
  2. Kumar the Thief
  3. Maksim the Warrior
  4. Ans the Red Mage

There we go.  It may not be the best party, but it may not also be the worst party either.  I think an all white mage or all black mage party would be the worst.

Anyway, we find ourselves right outside of the city, and I feel it’d be a perfect time to explore the menu screen so we can get familiar with it.  To do this, hit “Triangle” on the controller.

Menu Screen

Alright.  So, on the left side we have our four characters, and a whole bunch of numbers beneath their name, class and level.  We’ll come back to those.  On the right side, we have four separate boxes.  The top box has seven options to choose from (which we’ll get to here in a second), the next box looks to be a location box (current location: Cornelia).  The third box has a listing of Gil (400), time played (example: 0:03), and Steps (stps) taken.  The last box contains four grayed out crystals.  Hmm.  So, let’s take a look at our options.

  • Items: Where we find all the items that we will pick up or buy on our journey.  Three major options: “Use”, “Sort” and “Key Items”.  Use is exactly as it sounds.  We select the item using “X”. “Sort” will sort items in specific ways.  But, since we don’t have any items on us at the moment, there’s nothing there.  “Key Items” will hold the most important items that we will need to carry (and not lose).  To select those options, tap “Circle” once to get up to those options.  Tap “Circle” again to go back to the menu (and out of the menu).
  • Magic: So this is where all the numbers come from.  In this game, there are eight levels of magic one can have.  Starting out, we have no magic spells, but our mages have a 2/2 charge on their Lv1 spells. Don’t worry, we’ll find some later.  Note: Our thief and warrior do not have access to magic.  Tap “Circle” to access the “Use” and “Drop” parts of the menu.  Both do exactly what they sound like.
  • Equipment: This is where we can equip all our party members with gear to help them defeat enemies easier.  Once we select a character, there are five options.  Weapon (WPN), Shield (SHD), Helmet (HLM), Armor (ARM) and Gloves (GLV).  Not all characters can wield every weapon, and as stated above, the Monk does better without any weapons.  If we tap “X” on “Equip”, we can choose the individual slot and equip items from there.  But, since we don’t have any equipment, we can’t do that.  If we “Circle” back to the top, we can choose “Optimize”, which will give us the best possible equipment our characters can wear, and “Remove” will take all the equipment off.  Note on the bottom right, there are four stats: ATK, ACC, DEF and EVA there, with arrows pointing to the right.  When manually assigning equipment, we can see just how much our stats go up.
  • Status: This is our stats screen.  On the top is our character, class, level, current EXP and amount to next level.  On the left hand side is our Health (HP) and our various MP slots.  On the right is our various other stats that determine how well we do in battle.
    • STR: Strength: How hard one can hit during battle.
    • AGL: Agility: How fast one is.  Helps determine attack order in battle.
    • INT: Intelligence: Determines how powerful spells are in game.
    • END: Endurance: Helps reduce damage, but cannot be raised by any armor buffs.
    • LCK: Luck: Helps determine if we can run away, among other functions.
    • ATK: Attack: The stat that actually governs how much damage one can possibly do in battle.
    • ACC: Accuracy: How often one can land a blow in battle, as well as how many times one can attack in battle.
    • DEF: Defense: Based on what armor is being worn, determines how much damage can be taken per hit.
    • EVA: Evasion: Determines how often we can be hit physically.
  • Formation: Can decide where we want to put our characters in terms of battle.
  • Memo: An option in certain ports of the game where we can do a temporary save of the game, just in case it’s been a while since the last hard save.
  • Config: Options menu.
    • System: Customize the game system between Default and Custom
      • If we tap “X” while “Custom” is highlighted, we can select some of the Extra Settings.  All of these options are defaulted to “On”.
        • Auto Target: “If a targeted foe has been defeated, the next attack will be redirected.” Switch between “On” and “Off”.
        • “Circle” Dash: “Hold down the “Circle” button while moving to accelerate.” Works great in towns and dungeons; switch between “On” and “Off”.
        • Battle Support: “Allows use of Life1, Life2, Stona and Gold Needles in battle.” Switch between “On” and “Off”.
        • Button Info: “Displays information on button usage during battle.” Switch between “On” and “Off”
    • Cursor: Default or Memory: either returns to the top of the line, or stays exactly where we left it.
    • Text Speed: number 1-4, the lower the number, the faster the text speed
    • Window Color: Can set the window color using RGB values.  Values go from 0-31.
    • Controller: Can set how we want the controls to be.
    • Sound Output: Set between Stereo and Mono.
    • Vibration: Whether or not the controller vibrates.
    • Screen Adjustment: Can adjust where the screen sits on our screen.
    • Collections: What we’ve collected over time.  Since we’ve been sitting here analyzing the screen to start out, there’s nothing here.  There are four slots all with grey question marks.  We’ll check this out later on in the game.

So, with our team, we have a wide variety of stats going on here.

  • Agata the White Mage:
    • Lv. 1. 0 Current EXP with 40 to Next Level
    • HP: 28/28
    • MP: Lv. 1 2/2
    • STR: 5
    • AGL: 5
    • INT: 15
    • END: 10
    • LCK: 5
    • ATK: 2
    • ACC: 5
    • DEF: 0
    • EVA: 53
      • Currently a bad attacker, but high intelligence to cast spells, as well as a decent evasion stat.
  • Kumar the Thief
    • Lv. 1. 0 Current EXP with 4o to Next Level
    • HP: 30/30
    • MP: 0/0
    • STR: 5
    • AGL: 10
    • INT: 5
    • END: 5
    • LCK: 15
    • ATK: 2
    • ACC: 5
    • DEF: 0
    • EVA: 58
      • High agility and luck will help us run away from battles should we need to.
  • Maksim the Warrior
    • Lv. 1. 0 Current EXP with 40 to Next Level
    • HP: 35/35
    • MP: 0/0
    • STR: 20
    • AGL: 5
    • INT: 1
    • END: 10
    • LCK: 5
    • ATK: 10
    • ACC: 10
    • DEF: 0
    • EVA: 53
      • Already a tank with 10 attack, and can take some hits as well.
  • Ans the Red Mage
    • Lv. 1. 0 Current EXP with 40 to Next Level
    • HP: 30/30
    • MP: Lv. 1 2/2
    • STR: 10
    • AGL: 10
    • INT: 10
    • END: 5
    • LCK: 5
    • ATK: 5
    • ACC: 7
    • DEF: 0
    • EVA: 58
      • Kind of a jack of all trades here.  Endurance is low, so they won’t be able to take as many hits.

Alright, with all of that nonsense out of the way, let’s move right on where we are at right now.  We are currently sitting outside of this decently sized town surrounded by a forest with what appears to be a castle to the north.  For now, we are going to head towards the castle.  To move, use the “D-Pad” on the controller.  Move up to the castle to move on.  If we start off in town, however, there will be a guard standing at the exits of town, and will automatically send you into the throne room of the castle.  For this walkthrough, I walked into town first, then got escorted to the throne room to the King’s Chambers.

Castle Cornelia and Cornelia

We automatically get dialogue as soon as we get transported to the castle.  After our party proves that we are the “Warriors of Light” with our crystals, we get tasked with saving the King’s daughter, Sarah.  Sarah has been abducted by Garland, a knight that once served the King of Cornelia.  He is hiding out in the Temple of Chaos, which is to the north.  Our true goal is elsewhere, so the King makes us a deal: we save his daughter; he builds a bridge so we can be on our way. Once we regain movement, we can be on our way to explore around the castle and talk to various people in the castle.  The NPCs in the castle don’t have a lot to say, but we can talk to the Queen who implores us to get her daughter back.  However, a place of interest to note here in the castle is on the 1st floor on the northeast side.  You have to loop around the castle to get to it.  When interacting with the doors, it will tell you “The door is locked with the Mystic Key.” Ooookay, but how do we get the Mystic Key? Well, if you talk to either one of the bearded men in this area, they’ll tell you:

“Our ancestors sealed weapons away here and left the key in the elven prince’s keeping.  He was to guard it until the Light Warriors came.”

Well, whoever this elven prince is, I’m sure we’ll have to meet him eventually.  After all, that’s already a major tease to give us these locked doors with promises of something good behind them.  Anyway, after that’s done, head out of the castle to the overworld, and then walk into (on) town.

We are now in Cornelia (and will actually explore it).  Ignore the Inn for now (we’ll come back to it here in a bit).  North of the Inn are four buildings that we are going to want to explore.  Starting with the southeast of the four buildings, it’s the weapon’s shop.  Since we have absolutely zero equipment, it wouldn’t hurt to get outfitted now? Shops have the same basic layout.  There’s a “Buy”,”Sell” and “Exit” options.  When we go into buy, we can see what is being offered by the shop, how many of those items we happen to carry, and in the case of the weapons and armor shop, whether or not the equipment that they are selling is better or worse than our current equipment.

Cornelia Weapon Shop:

  • Nunchaku: 10 gil (12 ATK, nobody in the party can equip it.)
  • Knife: 5 gil (5 ATK, Warrior, Thief and Red Mage can equip it.)
  • Staff: 5 gil (6 ATK, Warrior, Red Mage and White Mage can equip it.)
  • Rapier: 10 gil (9 ATK, Warrior, Thief and Red Mage can equip it.)
  • Hammer: 10 gil (9 ATK, Warrior and White Mage can equip it.)

Choose which weapons we want to equip our characters, and leave the shop to enter the Armor Shop.

Cornelia Armor Shop:

  • Shirt: 10 gil (1 DEF, everyone can equip it.)
  • Leather Armor: 50 gil (4 DEF, Warrior, Thief and Red Mage can equip it.)
  • Chain Mail: 80 gil (15 DEF, Warrior and Red Mage can equip it.)

Make sure that if we haven’t done so, to equip everyone’s equipment.  An interesting thing to note: the heavier the armor, the lower our evasion stat gets.  So, for example: Maksim’s Evasion stat went 53 down to 38.  Moving right along, we’ll head to the northwest corner of these stores to the Black Magic Shop.  There’s only two options here: “Buy” and “Exit”.

Cornelia Black Magic Shop:

  • Fire 1: Lv 1 Spell: 100 gil (Inflicts 10-40 fire damage. Red Mage, Black Mage, Ninja, Red Wizard and Black Wizard can equip it.)
  • Sleep 1: Lv 1 Spell: 100 gil (Puts foes to sleep. Red Mage, Black Mage, Ninja, Red Wizard and Black Wizard can equip it.)
  • Focus 1: Lv 1 Spell: 100 gil (Lowers a foe’s Evasion by 10 points. Red Mage, Black Mage, Ninja, Red Wizard and Black Wizard can equip it.)
  • Bolt 1: Lv 1 Spell: 100 gil (Inflicts 10-40 lightning damage. Red Mage, Black Mage, Ninja, Red Wizard and Black Wizard can equip it.)

Huh.  I wonder what those other three classes are. Do we become them later on in the game? A question to ponder for sure down the road.  Anyway, since we currently have only 140 gil, we should probably move right along to the last shop in this quad: the White Mage Shop.

Cornelia White Mage Shop:

  • Cure 1: Lv 1 Spell: 100 gil (Restores 16-32 HP. Red Mage, White Mage, Knight, Red Wizard and White Wizard can equip it.)
  • Dia 1: Lv 1 Spell: 100 gil (Inflicts 20-80 damage on undead foes. White Mage and White Wizard can equip it.)
  • Shld 1: Lv 1 Spell: 100 gil (Raises Defense by 8 points. Red Mage, White Mage, Knight, Red Wizard and White Wizard can equip it.)
  • Blink: Lv. 1 spell: 100 gil (Raises own Evasion by 80 points. White Mage, Knight, Red Wizard and White Wizard can equip it.)

Well, since we currently don’t have any healing items, it makes sense to buy Cure 1 for our White Mage.  Note that we can only buy three skills per level.  Which is a drawback for the Red Mage, since they can only have three of either level skill, whether it is Black or White.  But, since we have a White Mage, we can convert our Red Mage’s magic slots for Black Magic. But, we’re going to need to grind to get all the magic for our characters.  Crossing the bridges in the northeast corner of town, there’s a church.  Here, if our a member of our party dies in battle, we can come back here (and for a fee of 40 gold here), we can revive them to 1 HP.  It’ll be really beneficial to stop here first before hitting the INN so we can make sure the recently revived party members are back up to full health.

Below the church is the item shop.  Here we can buy curative items that we can use during battle (or only on the overworld in the case of the Sleeping Bag).

Cornelia Item Shop

  • Potion: 60 gil (Restores a little HP.)
  • Antidote: 75 gil (Cures Poison.)
  • Sleeping Bag: 75 gil (Restores a little HP to party.)

As stated above, Sleeping Bags are only good on the overworld map.  It would be beneficial during the course of grinding for gold that we pick up some Potions and Antidotes, since Cure only has 2 charges on it at the moment.  Now, we can head for the INN.  To our left are the beds that we will be sleeping in when we stay here.  To the right are a bunch of bearded men.  These four men will give your more advice about certain aspects.  Going clockwise from the upper left corner:

  • Equipment
  • Items
  • Monsters
  • Magic

Talk to them if we wish to learn more about those topics.  Whenever we’re ready, talk to the innkeeper and say that you want to stay.  This is important because sleeping (at least, in an INN, as far as I’ve tested so far) will allow us to save.  I would recommend doing as much saving as we can when we can.  After all, the INN can be kinda pricey after a while.  Once we’ve saved our game, we walk out of the INN and start off right outside.

And that’s where I’m going leave it for today.  Thank you so much for making it through this read to the very end.  Hopefully that we’ve gotten a majority of the technical stuff out of the way, we can move right along through the game.  Until the next part, I have been the Baumeister, and I have been obediently yours.

Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance: Fractured in More Ways Than One

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another video game review.  This round:

Yes.  Dream Drop Distance.  The last full release game in the Kingdom Hearts universe, at least as of this writing.  It’s been a very long journey to get here, and man, do I have to say that this game does feel rather…disjointed.  Now, yes, this game was originally released on the Nintendo 3DS, and so a lot of the actual gameplay is a little disjointed when it comes to the Flowmotion and Reality Shift commands that we get in the PS4 re-release as a part of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue.

Now, I do mention that this game is “fractured”, and it is.  In more way than one.  But, before I begin…

There.  This game is fractured primarily in it’s personal story by playing as both Riku and Sora trying to make it through their Mark of Mastery exams.  But, as soon as the first world, we learn that there’s something a bit…amiss here.  Sora and Riku never really interact with each other in person, only seeing each other through a portal in one world, and reaping the benefits of their actions in other worlds.  That, all comes to a head in The World That Never Was, when you finally realize that Organization XIII, yes, the “same” Organization that Sora and Riku “defeated” at the end of Kingdom Hearts II, is after Sora.  Looking to make Sora a “vessel” (I’ll explain shortly).  The story ends with Riku becoming an official Keyblade Master, while Sora looks to strengthen himself on his own personal journey.

That brings me to Organization XIII, and trying to use Sora as a vessel for a piece of Xehanort’s heart.  One of 13 pieces.  Does anyone else think that’s just a little bit…overkill? I mean.  Look at Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter.  He has seven Horcruxes, and in the end, it backfired on him because of the power of love conquering all in that case.  Here, it’s 13 dark entities, each bearing a little piece of the original.  How is this going to work out in the end? Will that little piece of heart get destroyed when the bearer gets defeated? Or will it return to Xehanort? And we only see a select handful of characters here…Young Xehanort, Ansem, Xemnas, Xigbar, Master Xehanort, etc, all in the name of resurrecting Kingdom Hearts and the [chi]-blade, uniting the seven Keyblade users of light and the thirteen seekers of darkness, with Sora seemingly being the key to it all.  And it will all come to a head in Kingdom Hearts III.

Kingdom Hearts III can’t come soon enough, and if what I’ve read about Kingdom Hearts 0.2: A Fragmentary Passage is true, we can get a taste of just what Kingdom Hearts III is going to be like.  But, I’ll tell you more about that in the next review.  Until next time, I am the Baumeister, and I have been, obediently yours.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Final Mix: A Great Way to Give Us Backstory

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another edition of my video game reviews.  This round, we’re looking at:

Image result for kingdom hearts birth by sleep final mix

And as previously stated throughout these reviews:

Seriously.  Take my warning here.  If you don’t want this game spoiled for you AT ALL…turn back now.

Image result for abandon hope all ye who enter

Alright.  So I’m going to do things a little differently this time around.  See, this game is broken up into different sections, following around each of the three main characters until the final clash comes around.  So, as I complete each section, I will put when I completed that section, and my reviews about the character’s story.  So, let’s start off with…

Terra.  For the record, I cleared this section on June 8, 2017.  And what a section to start out with.  When initially given the option to choose between the three characters, I was perplexed as to who I would start with.  After doing some research, I found that the game sequence told us to start with Terra.  Which is fine with me.  See, Terra is a “strength” character.  Which means that his attacks are usually physical based.  Granted, I did load up his Command Deck with a whole bunch of magic attacks.  Oops.

Anyway, the main gist of Terra’s story is that he’s trying to figure out what he wants to do with the darkness in his heart.  Is he going to succumb to it, or will he fight it and become a strong warrior.  And fight it, he does.  Throughout the story, with each event that comes along, something gets revealed to him that makes him certain of the direction that he chooses.  Which is his friends.  A noble thing to be sure.  But, it doesn’t work out for him in the end.  In fact, it works against him as he ends up letting the darkness take over.  Which doesn’t bode well because we get the formation of the younger Xehanort in the end as Xehanort possesses Terra. We get left on a bit of a cliffhanger though.  We beat this younger Xehanort (as we fight Xehanort in our mind wearing our traveling armor), and at the end, Terra (at least, we assume it is) in his armor kneels underneath the evaporating light of Kingdom Hearts.  We will have to wait to see where the story goes from here.

Next up is:

Ventus.  He certainly…looks familiar.  For the record, I cleared this section June 12, 2017.  Ventus is the speed user of the trio, with rapid attacks and quick movements.  There is so much to Ventus’ story, and a lot of that is crucial to the main plotline of the series. To keep it short, Ventus was once the apprentice of Master Xehanort.  Xehanort disapproved of Ventus’ progress, so he used his Keyblade to separate the darkness from Ventus; which became the boy in darkness, Vanitas.

Look familiar? Anyway.  Most of Ven’s story revolves around finding his friends, mainly Terra.  Along the way, he makes a lot of friends, and also spurs back the dark Vanitas along the way.  In the end, Ven fights off Vanitas, who has somehow managed to forge a very unique looking blade (possibly the chi-blade), and fights Ventus in a very unique arena that is very familiar to long time Kingdom Hearts players.  After the fight, both Ventus and Vanitas vanish from their battlefield, but are they still around? Much like Terra’s story end, it ends us off on a cliffhanger.  Do we have another combined character like Terra-Xehanort? Or did they both completely vanish? And how does this face get to become Roxas?

Last solo story belongs to:

Aqua.  For the record, I cleared Aqua’s story June 17, 2017.  Aqua is the magic user of the three teams, and it took me a bit to get used to her fighting style at first.  With her low strength stat, it’s a little more critical to plan her attacks using the command deck because her keyblade strikes are much more ineffective than Terra’s or Ven’s.  That being said, Aqua’s story is one of tying up loose ends, so to speak.  That is, if you’ve played through it through the recommended manner (which, is another good thing about this game, you don’t have to play through this game in the order recommended by the developer).  And to answer my earlier question, Ven and Vanitas did fuse together, only to be…unfused by Aqua.  Most of Aqua’s story happens after both of the guys arriving on the separate worlds (minus Radiant Garden, Deep Space and Keyblade Graveyard).  Oh, and Aqua is the only Keyblade “master” between the three of them, after passing the mastery exam at the beginning of the game.  Along the way, she’s looking for her friends.  First on orders form Master Eraqus, and then just for herself, as she’s worried about them and wants to make sure that they are ok.  Her kindness and compassion may just be the saving grace for our trio…or will it?

It’s time for the FINAL BATTLE!

First off, before I forget, in order to get the final battle, you have to find all of Xehanort’s reports.  There’s one that you’ll miss if you skip the Mirage Arena.  Anyway, we get a interesting cutscene where we get the locking of The Land of Departure, transforming it into Castle Oblivion.  After that cutscene, it’s back to Radiant Garden for the final battle against Terra-Xehanort, and the Guardian.  And as soon as the battle is over, Aqua dives into the darkness after Terra, and sacrifices her light for him.

And, during the course of all three stories, we get various scenes with the main trio of Kingdom Hearts: Sora, Riku and Kairi.  Throughout each of these different stories, each of the three characters get some recognition in their own way, whether it’s with Riku and Terra; Sora and Ven; and Aqua and her interaction with Kairi.

Now, I’ve finished all of the playable games within the 1.5+2.5 ReMix.  I’ve got 2.8 on order, which includes a new-to-the-universe game sequence that involves Aqua that I can’t wait to play.  But, until then, it’s on to the next game.  Until the next review, book or otherwise, I am the Baumeister, and I have been, obediently yours.

Kingdom Hearts II: (Over)Reaction Time

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another video game review.  Since Opening Atlantis is taking far longer to read than I expected it to take, I figured I’d grace your screen with another Kingdom Hearts franchise game review.  And for those of you who haven’t made it this far into the series,

Now, I’ve off and on played through this game, but I cannot remember for the life of me if I had beaten the final boss.  That doesn’t mean much, considering just how many games that I’ve played over the course of my life, and just how long it has been since I first played this game all the way through, as the original PS2 release.

That being said, there’s a lot that has changed since the addition of all the extra content in Final Mix.  From the Absent Silhouettes, to the Mushroom XIII, to even the Cavern of Remembrance, which I have still yet to complete, this game has a LOT going on, that sometimes it can be too much to do.  Then, there’s the reaction commands.  While I do think that it can certainly turn the tide of battle, it also does a lot of harm.  Unlike the first game, where there were no reaction commands, and all of the battles turn into a hack and slack attempt at defeating bosses, it feels like this game relies too much on them; to the point where the final fight with Xemnas is over-saturated with them, and there’s not a lot of Keyblade strikes.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE this game.  There is the constant theme of love (seriously now, can Sora and Kairi just kiss already), and the constant battle between light and dark that is prevalent between our core group of travelers, the Heartless and Organization XIII.  Though, I always felt the mid-game explanation of using the Keyblade to power up Kingdom Hearts kinda went by the wayside though.  I think there should have been more hesitation on Sora’s part there.

However, I do love the update to the series with this game, and the expansion of the series as a whole with this game (referring to the Final Mix).  I’m really, really getting hyped for the last numbered game in this “series” (since I do have a feeling that it may live on with a whole new storyline after III).  You should totally put all the time you can into this game to collect all of the puzzle pieces, treasure chest, and unearth every last secret going into the rest of the series.  Speaking of, I’m going to dive right on into Birth by Sleep, the last playable game in the 1.5+2.5 ReMix pack on the PS4.

That’s all I’ve got for you now folks.  Thanks for reading.  As always, I am the Baumeister, and I have been, obediently yours.