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Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Thanks haha. When the final boss dipped under 100 HP, I realized the "complain on TT" trick worked again lol.

Started up Shining Force CD on my hacked 3DS. I've beaten book 1 on this before, but burned out on book 2. I may or may not do the same this time, since I did just play book 2 on Game Gear... but I do want to check out book 3 and attempt that final fight, even if I can't pull it off.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Is that hacked 3DS the old or New model? I've been tempted to get one just to hack - I've resisted the siren's song and been completely legit through the entire 3DS lifespan (rocking the old XL).
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
It's a New 2DS XL, to be specific, sorry. I think it has to be a New model to run things like Sega CD and SNES and such. I played Ys V on it and use it as my Sega CD emulator (among many, many other things, such as Theatrhythm Curtain Call with all the DLC including the Japanese exclusive stuff) because I love portability.

They're worth hacking - you can do quite a lot with a hacked New 3DS. If you ever do hack it, keep in mind you can only have 300 icons on the menu, whether you put them in folders or not (I've come close to that limit - there's so much to do with a hacked 3DS lol).

Shining Force CD runs very well, fwiw.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
That makes sense. The older models would struggle much like the PSP did, I reckon.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Ugh, Mayfair and Stock are four levels behind every other member of my Force when they join. That really sucks, especially because Mayfair is just a healer. Dangit.

Shining Force CD is fun so far, though. Playing the books in order, of course. I like the second battle, where everyone washes up on shore and has to scrounge around them for a weapon to use. Other than that, though, the battles so far have been pretty straightforward (which is what I get for playing this after Final Conflict). Still, it's fun! Dunno if I'll ever get used to CD quality music while playing a Shining Force game from the 90s lol
 

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
I finished up SF 1. I tried to not grind up until near the end to get the last couple characters promoted; usually I grind on the ship battles since the seabats give a lot of experience but here I only started grinding on the Kain battle in Dragonia since it's so easy and it's the point where pre-promo weapons start to suck. I tried to add Alef and Torasu and it didn't go very well for either one, and I didn't even get bolt or aura 4 out of it. I wasn't needing to heal much, so my healers except Gong (who quickly became outclassed in strength and whose MP was unimpressive) lagged way behind all game. Probably should have given the black ring to Khris to give her some offensive options.

Mae was a fucking wall against all comers and Gort got more HP than I expected,and both didn't take much to become attacking fiends either. MVPs however might be Balbaroy (who got most of the stat-boostong items) and Kokichi (who is a fucking precision sniper with the valkyrie equipped).

Now it's time for Shining Force CD, which I intend to play as stupidly as possible. Grinding up everyone on the first battle up to level 7 or so, and then finishing up after everyone drops their protect ring so I can buy them back later.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
The issue I'm noting with units on my cheat-o-grind SF II playthrough isn't that the late prepromote additions or even promote additions isn't that they're bad or even lacking in stats (from a promote at 20 perspective), it's that the game's level calcs all reset on promotion and don't take into account that extra 20 levels of prepromote class time. The Hero broke 100 HP around level ~12ish HERO and Peter broke 100 attack around that same period, but non-SORCs or NINJ units have screwed up spell progression and it results in a really odd difficulty valley until you hit Northern Parmecia where non-physical attacks start to become prevalent alongside boss double turns and attached cheating on MP. Then the increased stats from that extra 20 levels just gives you a buffer or the requirements to handle the higher difficulty settings.

There's still some outlier units regardless; Chester has really good growths and is only really held back by the terrain move penalties for centaurs. If you hold onto him until you get the PGKN promote item he then becomes one of the best units in the game, because all of the arrow units have shit attack and HP growths, for example.

And yeah, you sorta need that on Super or Ouch difficulties because those are both the equivalents of Lunatic and Insanity difficulties in FE (Hard is pretty much the intended normal difficulty for SF II at least), but there's still that weird disjointed feel to it.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Now it's time for Shining Force CD, which I intend to play as stupidly as possible. Grinding up everyone on the first battle up to level 7 or so, and then finishing up after everyone drops their protect ring so I can buy them back later.
Oh, that's what you meant by dropping the Protect Rings, I didn't realize that'd make them show up in the Deals section of the shop. Dangit lol
 
Enjoy! If you haven't already, play Final Conflict, it's insanely good. Meanwhile I will probably play through Shining Force CD after I'm done with Final Conflict because of this thread lol. I miss the series too.
I muddled with a rom back in the day, need to play through it proper as I think that was not even with a translation patch.
 

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
Oh, that's what you meant by dropping the Protect Rings, I didn't realize that'd make them show up in the Deals section of the shop. Dangit lol

I probably should have known because I've done stuff like this in the other games, but I didn't even consider it (because the game doesn't give you any reason to think about your equipment right when you start it) until I saw it on the 5 hour run from the other week
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
It's less applicable in II, but you can also drop cracked items into the Caravan there and they'll repair.
 
Every time I near the end of SFII I'm amazed how far hitpoints and damage have scaled compared to what I'm used to. Feels like defense becomes secondary to pure HP after some point.

I've always peg Sword of Hajya as the best Game Gear one, but what do you guys think? Is it actually better or just the nostalgia? The whole Game Gear series blends together and doesn't stick into my long term memory very well.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
It's the same with SFI, regarding that shift: Most of the bosses have powerful attack magic or a secondary attack they use often that targets magic resist instead of defense.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I've always peg Sword of Hajya as the best Game Gear one, but what do you guys think? Is it actually better or just the nostalgia? The whole Game Gear series blends together and doesn't stick into my long term memory very well.
Having just played through Sword of Hajya and Final Conflict (and being, iirc, about 1/3 of the way into Book 1 on Sega CD), it's Final Conflict for me by a mile. They're all really good, though.
 

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
It's the same with SFI, regarding that shift: Most of the bosses have powerful attack magic or a secondary attack they use often that targets magic resist instead of defense.
Honestly SFCD Book 1 is probably the one where this is felt strongest, since a lot of the characters wind up with relatively low HP values compared to many of the other games.
 

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
Beat SFCD book 1. Man I remembered Apis being a lot more frail than he was in this playthrough. Absolute beast. I take my previous statement about HP values back; maybe I didn't promote at 20 that time? I will say that none of my mages unlocked their level 4 spells; Yeesha ended at like level 5 promoted because of how damn frail she is.

The taros monsters at the final battle of SFCD give a ton of experience, though, so I may grind up some levels for when I start book 3.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I’ve started playing Shining Force 1 with the intention of following through to most of the series. Took a little while to get used to the slightly clunky movement in town and having to choose an option from a menu to talk or search - last time I played this was an iOS port (though not the one that’s currently available) and I think maybe I was more forgiving of the controls because I was using a touch screen.

Anyway, the battle interface remains good. Even if I did lose the first fight very quickly (went too far forward with the MC and he went down in two hits). I kinda like how stripped back it is. Unless I’m missing something, you can’t show enemy ranges or get a damage estimate before attacking, so I’m not spending time checking those things. I think this goes well with the forgiving unit death mechanics. I can just throw my guys at the enemy and see how it goes rather than plotting every move super carefully like I would in a fire emblem.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
The only way to "see" enemy ranges is by bringing their status screen up, seeing what their MOV stat is, and counting squares manually to see how far they can get, while remembering that some tiles impede them further, like mountains or sand. I think you press the A button on a Genesis/Mega Drive while hovering over the enemy unit to see their status screen? Been a while. In any case, there's no option like Fire Emblem to display their ranges neatly on the map.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Correct, and the movement degradation isn't just by terrain type but also unit type; i.e., centaurs take huuuuuge movement penalties for anything but grassland and road. Internally it's setup as a multiplier to the move cost per map square.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I’m gonna try and not use that so that I don’t wind up spending the whole game carefully calculating ranges and planning moves around them. I’ll just eyeball it unless doing so really starts to cost me.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I’m gonna try and not use that so that I don’t wind up spending the whole game carefully calculating ranges and planning moves around them. I’ll just eyeball it unless doing so really starts to cost me.

If you're playing on Normal difficulty, this approach will see you through the game just fine.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I did lose the first battle on my first attempt, and my mage got killed on my second attempt. Not a strong start, but raise is cheap.

The first time I played shining force, many years ago, I almost got stuck somewhere deep in the game because I kept losing the main character and with him half my gold, until I reached a point where I could no longer afford to raise other characters.

First time I played SFII, I didn’t realise you could interact with the caravan once it started following you, so I never changed my active party members.

I’m pretty bad at shining force, is what I’m saying.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I feel like, for the most part, the games generally get easier as they go, though there are a couple tough battles scattered throughout (the chess battle in SFII, the final battle in Final Conflict ffs lol, etc.). Your characters are super fragile in the early game, and that first battle in SF1 has a pretty small map, so it's easy to lose a character or two there.

In any case, Egress spam to gain levels is the way to go, if you don't mind grinding a bit.
 

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
Honestly I think they expected you to lose that fight the first time around, so that you'd know that you don't have any significant consequences for failure. I did the first time I played, and that's how I learned about the recruitable hidden character Gong.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Beat the Red Baron fight after I forgot about the whole Dark Sword > Desoul + Two boss turns in a round deal and got my hero instagibbed, and now I'm on the traditional long grind to get the good fancy mithril weapons for the crew I bring to the endgame.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
It's a shame what happened between Sega and Camelot. The Powers That Be changed and had less faith in Camelot's type of games as they didn't make enough money for them. The original Shining Force team was decimated before Shining Force II and they had to make it with a load of first time developers. The budget never increased regardless of success and when Camelot gave up on the situation they didn't have the rights to the Shining Force IP. Thanks Sega.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Yeah, by all accounts SF II was incredibly rushed. You can sort of see how they wanted to make a gigantic RPG crossed with a SRPG and only a bare skeleton of that's left in the game.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
...and yet Shining Force II is still the best game in the series, at least in my opinion.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Sure, it's a lot of fun to play, but it's also hard to ignore stuff like all story and characterization vanishing after the Grans segment outside the few big moments that made it in. There's just big swathes of nothing outside a few tantalizing bits of town NPC lines going from the Grans escape > Bedoe > Creed > Mitula/Nazca > Arc Valley, and every party member that joins just gets their recruit convo and their base lines as development.
 
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