Getting through the Intro... (Hopefully?)
So as we start the game, we are taken through what appears to be a credit sequence, but all the words are in (wouldn't you know it) runes. The images seem to focus on this one guy for a good portion and him playing with a glowing ball. He is clearly our main character, though I don't know what's up with most of the areas and images that they are showing. After a bit of showing some fairly strange images they show us some female characters all sitting together, so I'm assuming that is a show case of the various people that he can take as his love interest.
Now that we are past the opening credits, a lovely title screen is presented to us so that we can be sure that we are actually playing “Runecraft: Tides of Destiny” and not some other game.
While typing up that last sentence though, a video started, that is focusing on the female main character. It spends a good portion of the video with her hugging some sheep looking thing. Really overall this sequence is even more confusing than the male main character's sequence, as we aren't even shown places. Instead we are assaulted with flashy colors in the shape of flowers.
Back to the title screen, we see we have four options. The obvious two of “New Game” and “Continue” as well as one for “Memories” and a last for “Rankings”. Of all those, only Memories isn't clear exactly what it is, so when we go there we see that it's just an easy way to replay videos we unlock in the game. There are two videos unlocked, and taking a glance at them we can see that the guy's name is Aden, while the girl's name is Sonja.
Ehh... enough of this nonsense, let's actually play. So we start a new game, go through a loading screen and are presented with our two heroes in some sort of temple. Some credits role as they move in doors and suddenly they are in this strange void vortex thing standing on a platform. A gate raises up and splits the two apart, with Aden telling Sonja to go on while he deals with some monsters. Of course at this point they both have ??? as there name. I guess this means I get to name them myself soon enough.
Some impressive attacks happen in video and then I'm given control of ??? to fight the monsters. At this point I hit square repeatedly until the three attackers are dead. Sure I do some very amazing attacks, but all I do is hit square and point my thumb stick in the direction I want to keep moving. Perhaps fighting will get more complex as I learn more.
After the fight it appears that ??? and ??? have some how gotten back together and are standing in front of some sort of altar in this void temple. ??? lets ??? have the honors of doing something and ??? assures ??? that she's got it. ??? starts to sing then, and I'm not sure what the words are but with no background music it doesn't really mean much to me.
Suddenly we are no longer in the temple but instead on a road through a forest on a sunny day. A squirrel looking thing is crossing the road with his acorn, and we see the guy walking down the road in the distance. He seems fairly happy as we hear the girl say good morning to him. Our male ??? says something that I took to mean “What's up” but apparently the girl took to mean as “Crazy girl why are you following me and saying good morning to me.” because now she's angry and going on about how she's adorable and brought him lunch.
He takes a moment to point out that she's being a bit strange, and then looks a gift horse in the mouth by asking why she makes him lunch all the time. So clearly she has a crush on him, and either he's to oblivious to notice, doesn't care, or is teasing her by pretending one of the first two. They banter some more, and eventually they reach a fork in the road where they get to talking about where he was even going to begin with.
Apparently he's heading on over to Weber's fields to do some work but is stopping at the Dragon Shrine first so he can make a wish for safety on his 30 minute boat ride. What could go wrong in 30 minutes? Actually it's a video game, I'm sure somethings bound to go wrong in the next five minutes.
The girl then starts talking about how the guy is something called an Earthmate, and then they talk about how this helps grow crops. Blah blah blah. So he's a magic farmer and is like the Superman of farmers helping out where he's needed when he's able. More banter between the two transpires until we hear a roar from the skies above.
The two look up and see a number of dragons, but instead of one of them swooping down to eat a couple of foolish kids for a nice afternoon snack they just go on about how the dragons are protectors and that there is a new one up in the skies. Then instead of talking about something important like what this new dragon will be eating, they instead go on about how the dragons are going to get in the way of their ability to get tans.
It then goes into Anime style graphics as it focuses on a pond, and clouds start to roll in. A strange light comes out of the fountain, and our two characters cling together for protection. Voice overs then start talking about protecting the island in the past present and future, because they love the people that live on the island. I don't know, I get the feeling time travel is going to be involved in this game.
The dude starts to wake up and instead of being by a pond near a dirt road in the forest, he's next to a pond near a paved road and a wall and still in a forest. Hum I'm strongly thinking he's in the future right now. Though while they pan the camera around the girl isn't to be seen anywhere. When she starts talking they show a somewhat transparent image of her, and neither of them can see each other. Hum, perhaps she's in a different time or something, yet still have a link to each other. Though of course this doesn't occur to either of them, and instead they each think the other is playing games. To be fair I wouldn't think time travel if this happened to me.
Of course nonsense rears it's head when the guy looks in the water and suddenly she can see him. For some reason she's thinking he's hiding in the water. He raises the point of the whole breathing under water thing. She of course decides to hear none of his logic (haha so much like a woman to not think logically), and instead proclaims she'll pull him out. Instead of us seeing her move though we see the dude move toward the water and begin to reach in.
While some confusing dialog happens with the girl wondering why she looks like the guy, a new person shows up on the scene. This girl, who's name is also unknown to us for some reason has Mako Eyes, and when our guy looks at her special music starts playing. Oh I do think our unknown male hero is smitten. She talks about having seen a white flash, and came over to investigate. She says something about the situation being weird, and of course the hero misunderstands and claims that they aren't weird. Mind you we still don't know where the other girl is exactly, and he's talking in the plural. That says weird to me.
She introduces herself as Odette, and that she runs an inn, and offers to let us use a room if we plan on staying around for a while. Finally our male main character gets around to saying his name, and while the game defaults it to Aden, I think I'll switch it to Syntic. Odette believes that to be an unusual name, but doesn't clarify if that's unusual in a good way or a bad way. The female main character also gets around to introducing herself, and again she defaults to Sonja, but I'm changing that to Yivvy.
Odette says it is nice to meet Yivvy, but is of course confused where Yivvy is actually. It's here that I'll need to pause (or more correctly not advance the dialog), as I need to get back to work. But perhaps after work we'll find out the answers to some important questions:
What's up with that void temple? Was that a dream, a snippet of the future, the past, or something else entirely?
Where is Yivvy? I've some ideas currently, and am fairly sure they are about to be answered in the next couple of dialog advancements. My current idea is that Yivvy and Syntic somehow became fused together.
If they are in the future, how far into the future are they? At least long enough that a road was paved and a wall put up. Considering that I didn't know what the rest of the area looked like before hand, I've nothing else to go on right now.
Why does Odette have Mako eyes? Is she going to start talking about a family reunion?
Does anyone else notice that other than pressing X to advance the dialog that the only other thing I've done is mash on the square button to kill some monsters? When are we going to get to the runes? When are we going to get to the Factories? I heard something about growing crops. When do I get to do that? How about saving the game? When do I get to save the game? (I would rather not just leave my game paused like this.)
I like a good intro as much as the next guy, but yes I do get a bit impatient when I've spent the majority of a two hour lunch break in the intro of a game with no actual game play. Admittedly I was taking notes while the intro went on so it took a lot longer than it would have normally, but I sort of do expect the games I play to actually have game play. Luckily this game becomes mostly game play once you get past the first couple of days, with story line mixed in with your daily activities.