NES

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Continuing with my theory of “increasing complexity,” STED is still adding new elements.  Now, there’s enemies that are strong to weapons and weak to magic.  In the path to Mong Town, there’s a splitting enemy that is weak to magic.  An enemy destroys your ESP skills (the first one in your list) and there’s another one near Mong that destroys the first item in your inventory.  These skills are rare, but can be very annoying if ill-timed.  Poison appeared near the second town, and sleep pops up near Mong.  A final new element is that you start to get limb damage in the path to Mong, due to the enemies using targeted hits.

Here, there's enough leg damage to get the paperdoll to show the damage.

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Mirai Shinwa Jarvas

Mirai Shinwa Jarvas is a 1987 Taito game.  You can tell what you’re in for as soon as you google the game, since many Japanese players compare it to Hoshi Wo Miru Hito / Stargazers and call it a kusoge.  It plays a bit like a Zelda clone, but has a layer of baffling user interface issues.  The translators were aishsha and Pennywise.  Ignoring some missing punctuation, they did a pretty good job.

At the start of the game, the astronaut hero finds a tile to his right that he cannot walk on.

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Esper Bouken Tai is related to an Arcade game called the Psychic 7.  Psychic 7 is basically a game where you explore a maze full of monsters and collect items for points.  Various characters have different strengths, and you can use them to pass various obstacles.  This game is a NES game from 1987 from Jaleco.  It takes the same characters, and puts them in a sort of Metroid like maze.  You explore the maze and free your partners and gain various things to help you explore.  Unlike Metroid, there’s a mix of friendly and unfriendly objects that you can talk to.  The translator aishsha translated the game recently, and considering the era of the game, it’s quite competent.

The boy, Akio, hops past a payphone in the early parts of the game.

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So far, I’m facing the sharp difficulty curve in the early part of STED.  Basically, when you hit the “Red” bank of levels, your stats almost double, so you need to push ahead to that point so you’ve got the stats to handle upcoming trials.

Usis' stats at the beginning of the game.

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Cosmo Police Galivan

Space Sheriff Gavan is a tokusatsu TV series that ran in the 80’s to 90’s.  Clips of the show were used in VR Troopers for some of the scenes.  A metroid like adventure RPG was produced for the NES and it seems to be a port of an Arcade game (which was much more in the vein of a side scrolling action game.)  When it was translated, the name became Cosmo Police Galivan.  It’s a 1988 game, from Nichibutsu.

The fire blade is level C. Note that the Metal blade has way more experience than it needs, due to exploring to try to get the fire blade.

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Double Moon Densetsu

Double Moon Densetsu (Double Moon Story / Legend of the Double Moon) is a game that’s often compared to a clunky Dragon Quest clone.  It was published by Masaya in 1992 and developed by NCS.  As best as I can tell, other than the Langrisser / Warsong series, the companies didn’t do a lot of RPGs.

Walk any farther out than this, and you're likely to die early in the game.

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STED Update

Updating my progress in STED.  So far, I’m just getting into the “Red” set of levels.  These provide a major stat boost.  Unfortunately, this also seems to bring in a slightly stronger group of enemies near the far town.  I need to earn about 600 to buy the next weapon upgrade for the hero.  Each grinding run to Hyu has about 200 gold net profit, unless if it goes badly.

The poison status effect is in action on the hero. This is in the middle of opening a treasure chest found after battle.

Interestingly enough, poison doesn’t seem to act like a standard status effect.  I believe it blocks you from healing, but it doesn’t cause flashing on the map, or persistent damage.  Another annoyance was that before doing a grinding run to Hyu, I had 40 HP on Actes, and almost 30MP on Corona.  Since it’s very easy to die, it’s actually simpler to die and clone your characters rather than to heal the body damage.  As I recall, the next area of the game is the first that starts to make you need to heal your character’s body damage.

When I say that the controls are awkward in STED, it’s kind of hard to explain what I mean.  After all, there’s a certain level of awkwardness in any NES game, due to the size limitations and conventions of the era. A good example of this would be how you talk to people.  In STED, like many early RPGs, you must have the person facing you, and then you bring up the menu and select talk.  No modern game would force this to be the only way to talk.  How various games handle this more archaic system is relevant, however.  For example, in STED, you can ‘bump’ a person to make them face you.  This is nice compared to some systems that make you hunt down a villager and try to force them to face you.  On the other hand, if you try to talk to a person not facing you, you get nowhere fast in STED.

Someone in Orvis talks about the ancient robot "Reedpark." This scared kid may imply the robots are scarce or scary in this world.

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STED came out in 1990 and was published by KAC.  The developer was ADK (Alpha Denshi) who seems to have not really done that much other RPGs.  It feels like a Phantasy Star clone in that it has a number of elements that are similar to the series.  For example, the talking cutscenes look a lot like Phantasy Star.  The implications of a conspiracy also resembles Phantasy Star’s dsytopia.

The opening cutscene in STED. Your characters are answering a distress call from a planet.

I’m going to talk about the beginning of the game, since it progresses fairly slowly.  The main problems with the game’s translation and gameplay don’t come up until later in the game, so it’s worth it to examine parts of the game.  Another issue is that due to the translation there’s a lot of chances to read between the lines, which means that you can read more into the story.  Note, I am not blaming the translator at all for the translation.  From what I read, the text was stored in an incredibly difficult manner to translate without knowing where each line was used.

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Elysion

Elysion is an action RPG, with a curious beginning.  It’s a 1988 NES RPG and it was published by Tokyo Shoseki.  The developer was NEC Interchannel. It plays a bit like GrandMaster.

Here, a character talks with the king. Much like Dragon Quest's king, he offers you the first quest and ressurects you from death.

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