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muteKi

Hashtag give it to gilly
Chimerae are indeed real bastards. I think the fight is oddly easier if you just sit still and mostly wait for them to come to you -- especially if you wall around your weaker/lower HP units. But yeah, it's absolutely great times for Domingo there if he's got Freeze 4, and the chaos breaker giving a free freeze 3 on use is also incredibly helpful.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
Well, I finished Legacy of Great Intention. The penultimate fight wasn’t too tough, though I got bottled up in the middle corridor for a bit which is of course what it’s designed for. Darksol got in one attack which took out Diane (immediately after she hit level 20, my only unit to max out), but everyone else survived.

The final fight is pretty tough - I barely had enough MP to do the job. I was initially planning to get a few points of XP for my guys and then egress, raise Diane and come back, but I wound up carrying through on the first attempt. I had a couple of melee attackers who weren’t doing much damage (Amon was dealing 1 HP per attack, for example) sit on the spawn points for the minor enemies, and had everyone else attack in as spaced a formation as I could manage. I started on the middle head, which seems to have had the most HP. Enough that I started to wonder after a while if it just had infinite HP so long as the other two were alive, but eventually it dropped down from ?? points to an actual number and I was able to follow through. By the time I reached the last one on the left, I was down to my last shot of freeze 4, and beyond that I had to pick away at it with low level spells and melee attacks. Eventually finished it off with a blaze 1 from Alef, my weakest mage. Guntz, as usual, was probably MVP of the physical units. I gave him the mobility ring, so he didn’t have problems getting about in all the earlier mountain/forest levels, and he’s nigh invulnerable to physical attack and had the Valkyrie so his attack was very high, so he gained levels ahead of most others and was the only physical attacker I had left doing above 20 points to the dragon. Would have been nice to have had Diane back, probably would have finished quicker.

On to the next! Would Shining Force CD be the correct follow up?
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Yes, well done. The trap corridor is evil, well done on surviving it. I'd go for CD next, 2 is only tenuously connected.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I tried to play Shining Resonance the other day. On the plus side; the combat is pretty fun (way more enjoyable than any given Tales game), but on the other hand nothing about the game shows any degree of affection or even interest; it feels like it was made just to make sure a copyright doesn’t expire.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I’ve gotten around to starting Shining Force CD. I’ve done the first two battles. Very fan fiction vibe to the opening scene, with a few returning characters and then your party made up mostly of the kids of SF1’s party arriving. Odd to have Lowe calling for a healer when I’m pretty sure he is one.

I’ve noticed a few very welcome quality of life improvements in this game, with the ability to call up a list of status screens in battle instead of having to find the units and select them individually, and the way the shop shows not only who can equip an item but also what difference it’ll make to their stats. Thank goodness for that.

At the start of the first fight I called up the status list and saw everyone was equipped with mid-game weapons, accessories, and herbs, which I thought was pretty neat, somehow failing to realise in advance they would all be lost after the fight. I beat the first two enemies in the second fight bare-handed before figuring out I was supposed to search the stuff washed up on the beach. Seems like they’re keeping up the tradition of mixing things up between fights, which is good.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Shining Force CD is so good. I really need to complete it one of these days. Looking forward to your posts about it!
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
The music on the Game Gear ones are fantastic, yeah. Though, I do like both, really.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
In stage 4 there’s a chest way off on the left of the field that you have to send someone down a long path to get meaning that unit is basically out of action otherwise. It contains a medical herb.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I’m at what I assume is the last fight of chapter two, starting to think I should have gone with a higher difficulty than “Normal”. It’s not super challenging at the moment. Still, I am enjoying the way the maps encourage splitting up my team and mostly seem to finish pretty quickly. SF1 has a lot of maps with expanses of sand or mountain that really slow you down, so you wind up spending heaps of turns just getting to the enemies. Though in a way that also encourages dividing the team - any unit that moves quickly (mostly flyers) winds up getting there first.

Most of my guys are about level ten. My most recent recruits came in at four and five, so I’ve been feeding them most of the kills and they’re catching up. I guess if I were looking for more of a challenge I could promote early, but on the other hand if the units are going to carry through to the other books it might be best to make them a bit stronger.
 

muteKi

Hashtag give it to gilly
I think the biggest change between normal vs. pain is the base attack level of enemies. I'm not sure even magic attacks have any real change and to be honest once you start encountering regular magic users they're the ones you need to watch out for. You probably won't lose out on much if you promote most characters at level 18 vs 20, but I like to try to do runs of the extra special final chapter where I have as minimal a death count as possible.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I’m still playing SFCD. Currently pretty far into book 2. I played the game gear version of this on 3DS but remember essentially none of it. I wonder how close the versions are?

Anyways, I was kind of annoyed when units I’d had in book 1 started showing up at much lower levels than I’d left them. I put work into those guys expecting it to carry through! I guess having my end game units available relatively early in book 2 would remove a lot of the challenge.

I like the way book 2 splits your party into two. It gives a chance to use all the characters and also results in smaller battles which makes things feel snappier. I’ve just reached the point where they meet up again, and after a pretty lengthy fight had the enemy completely on the ropes when a combination of a heavy hit and the turn order not going my way meant the MC got taken out and it was back to camp for me. Slightly frustrating but it’s all more exp I guess.
 

muteKi

Hashtag give it to gilly
I’m still playing SFCD. Currently pretty far into book 2. I played the game gear version of this on 3DS but remember essentially none of it. I wonder how close the versions are?

Biggest difference is that for some reason level 3 spells are I think as powerful as the level 4 spells are supposed to be in the GG version. Restoring the standard behavior (level 3 spells are not as powerful) sounds like it might make things easier, but enemy HP also gets a massive boost in SFCD book 2 -- so enemies take more to go down in general.
 
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Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I’m done with SFCD now. I beat book 3 and took a brief shot at 4. I’m pretty sure I could beat 4, but it seems like it would be tedious - lots of time spent waiting for MP to regenerate. I don’t think I’ll bother. Kind of annoyed at the character selection, too, in that there isn’t any. If I’d known in advance which units would be in book 4 I might have used more of them in the rest of the game. Also I think some of my carefully raised units were replaced with generic versions of the same characters because their levels were lower than whatever set minimum the game will boost your units too if they aren’t there already.

Anyways, book 3 is pretty great. The first two books seem to be fairly exact copies of the GG games. Book 3 cuts loose a little. Particularly with enemy reinforcements. Having all the bosses from earlier in the book show up midway through the last stage was a pleasant surprise.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Do the CD games offer up any kind of visual improvements or is it just the GG games brought up to Genesis levels?
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
The Sega CD version of the GG games look very similar to Shining Force II on Genesis, but with CD music.
 

muteKi

Hashtag give it to gilly
It's basically the SF2 engine with very small tweaks here and there. Any weapons, enemies, etc. that appear in SF2 will have that respective art used. And of course the much-appreciated resolution bump
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I’ve started on Final Conflict, up to I think battle eight or so. Big fan so far. It starts really easy, but it’s gotten more interesting pretty quickly. The enemies seem to be positioned so that engaging one group will aggro the next group, so you have to work quickly to avoid being overwhelmed. That said, my MC hasn’t taken more than one point of damage from a physical hit in several stages, so he’s really only vulnerable to magic or my getting complacent and sending him out too far.

This game is really pretty, surprisingly so for how low-res it is. All the little field sprites are quite good, but the portraits in particular are excellent.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I'm back in - finally playing through Shining Force III, using (apparently) the fan translation of scenario 1, titled The Titan of Aspia by the translators. Does anyone know of the differences between the fan version and the retail English release? Apparently the ending is more accurate to the original Japanese version, but I wouldn't know since I've never beaten III haha.

Anyway, the game is quite fun, and runs well on my Fenrir ODE, meaning it loads faster than on disc as far as I can tell, which makes the game move along at a nice clip, since screen transitions are nearly instant as opposed to needing to load when using the CD (though maybe my laser was dying, or something, who knows). I'm currently in chapter 4, and the design so far reminds me of Final Conflict in many ways - each battle has a gimmick or something where whatever strategy you devise when you first enter a battle has to be changed on the fly. Often it's just adds, which admittedly is kind of uninspired, but at least it changes things up midbattle. Several times so far, though, it's been really interesting things like the train battle, where you have to try and save some refugees while avoiding getting run over by two trains, while fighting two different groups of enemies. It's super interesting and fun!

The story so far is fine, if a bit more complicated than I was expecting for a Shining game. There are a ton of NPCs, though from what I gather many of them will appear in the later two scenarios.

I adore the art style and presentation, even if the camera is VERY early 3D, in that the developers were obsessed with swingning that thing around as much as they can lol. It's not nauseating or anything or even off putting, it's just not something that is done any more, really. Every time you enter a door or an attack animation starts, the camera zips around in a circle as if to say "look at what we can do now! The freedom! Let's spin the camera again~~~~~!" It's very charming haha.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I like the battle design to the very end (the last battle is very complicated and frankly, well designed, if a bit ridiculous in its scope lol), but I question making the final boss have an unlimited use Spark 2 while also having SIX HUNDRED FUCKING HP, WHAT THE HELL
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Beat Scenario 1. There's not a bad battle in the bunch, though some are annoying (and yes, even after beating the final boss pretty handily, he still has FAR too much HP). Masqurin was my MVP for that battle, as Blaze 4 did anywhere from 40-80 damage per cast, and only cost 8 MP, and she had a MP regenerating ring, so she did most of the damage to the final boss, until the end when his hard to reach mages started healing him and I just rushed him with my whole team. Final battle took me three tries - the first time I completely misjudged where the safe area was and was unprepared to run to the correct area when the second team flipped the switch. The second time I was just underleveled, and by my third try I'd gained enough levels so the battles weren't too tough.

According to the sleepy wizard on the load screen, there was only one secret character I didn't get - Penn, apparently (I'd been spoiled on Hagane's location for years, I don't even know how I knew about him since I'd never made it that far in the game prior to this playthrough. Probably an old magazine, or something). The rest I found on my own, surprisingly enough, not that they're all that hard to find.

I finally beat Shining Force III! I've not done that before. Now to see what gets carried over when I load my clear data in Scenario 2...
 
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