Video Game: Pier Solar and the Great Architects
Pier Solar and the Great Architects
is a SEGA Megadrive
/Genesis eastern RPG
published in 2010.
It is to date the biggest RPG
and only game developed in the 21st century for this system (other games have been published after year 2000 but were developed during the 90s, namely Beggar Prince
, Legend of Wukong
and Star Odyssey
). It was originally planned to be released in 2008 for the Megadrive's 20th anniversary, but development issues postponed its release to December 2010.
A HD remake has been released for Steam and other platforms, with a Dreamcast version on the way.
This game provides examples of:
- Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Played straight with better weapons, armors, accessories and medicines. A stay at the inn is always 10 gold coins though.
- Behind the Black: It's where chests, switches, or platforms are hidden.
- Bigger on the Inside: Typical for an eastern RPG.
- Blackout Basement: The maze under Ludon city.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: Roberto Bechtlufft of Gagá Games fame translated most of the game to portuguese, but had to leave the project and someone else (who isn't credited) finished the job. To his surprise, a few awkward portuguese spelling errors appeared and he had to explain what happened.
- Bonus Boss: Defeating Ryan the lion in Assac's arena is hard and optional but gets you some always-useful cash and more importantly, an item that opens late-game access to a unique piece of equipment.
- Bottomless Magazines: Played straight with Alina's bow/crossbow/speargun that never runs out of arrows/quarrels/spears. Averted with Edessot's thrown weapons that are in limited supply, take room in your limited inventory, and can (usually) only be found in limited chests, not bought.
- Bounty Hunter: You meet one early in the game. Zellini also disguises as one at some point in the game.
- Critical Existence Failure: Whether at full health or nearly dead, the characters perform just as good. However, their combat portrait and sprite will reflect their condition.
- Crush. Kill. Destroy! / Killer Robot : You'll have to fight one in one of Timpo's factories.
- Combat Medic: Alina (see Staff Chick too). In Kruller's case, this trope is both played straight (he can only heal DURING combat) and subverted (he can't heal without gathering first, and his non-magic attacks are rather weak). He's more of a mage with some healing abilities.
- Competence Zone: Averted. While Hoston, Alina and Edessot are teens and often considered as children, they are accompanied by adults who are more able due to their higher starting level only. It evens out during play.
- Cool Big Sis: Alina to Edessot.
- Distress Ball: Subverted. Early in game, Alina leaves to go forth on her own, but Hoston and Edessot quickly catch her up, and she did not need to be rescued either.
- Drop the Hammer: Rudy's weapons are hammers and maces. One of his special attacks involve a Hyperspace Mallet.
- Dub Name Change: The game has a reference to Phantasy Star's Gamer Miki in the form of a character named Mikomi. The portuguese translation names her Miki, because "Mikomi" sounds like the portuguese words for "eat me".
- Dying Race: The Goaman (Goamen ?).
- Elemental Powers: Enemies and characters alike can have elemental (fire, water, earth and air) attacks, magics and/or resistances. Typically, Hoston's and Rudy's attacks are earth-based, Alina's water-based, Edessot's and Zellini's fire-based, and Kruller's air-based. Equipping accessories can give elemental resistance, while only enemies can have elemental weaknesses.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The city of Oasis.
- Hammerspace (Game type) : This is where your inventory is stored, although you're limited in number of DIFFERENT items you can have. Edessot seems to have his own hammerspace (basic type) as well to store his recon robot Lossa.
- Gadgeteer Genius / Science Hero : Edessot, who lives in a workshop, assembles and disassembles robots, can repair trains, and fights with tools.
- Global Currency: Gold seems to be that : merchants accept it everywhere, enemies carry gold coins, while chests can contain gold coins, block, bars... or "metal coins" (no amount stated), worth... ONE gold coin!
- Heroic BSOD: Hoston suffers one of these shortly after Rudy, his father, dies in front of him after taking a fatal attack from Kloneo. It doesn't last very long, before Alina and Edessot get him back on his feet.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: After you defeat his soldiers, Ironhart jumps into the fight, and then you're doomed to lose. Happens at least twice in the game...
- Hub City: Verahansa may be the biggest city of all 16-bit RPGs.
- Improbable Weapon User: Edessot's weapons are tools (ranging from lighters to chisels to saws...), while Kruller's attack animation pictures him fighting with... juggling balls!
- Identical Grandson: Subverted. Some people notice that Hoston looks like his father Rudy, but no one ever mistakes them.
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Of course, there are treasure chests hidden in forests, jungles, mountains, etc. And their content will never be spoiled or rotten either, however long they've be stored there...
- Inn Security: Subverted. Some stays in inns are mandatory to advance the plot, but that does not mean you won't get your usual rest either. Not sure if they are always free, though. See also Trauma Inn below.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: And how! A Timpo citizen even blames you for this, but without consequence.
- Level Grinding: Leveling up is slow and hard at first, but it gets better.
- Life Drain: Kruller has such a spell that targets all enemies.
- Limit Break: During battles, each character has a 5-level Gather gauge, which can be filled up by using a "Gather"/"Send Gather" action or an item. Gather levels add a multiplier to the character's attacks and spells (up to x4) and allow him/her to use more powerful attacks and spells. Gather does not decrease after using a power, but when hit by some heavy attacks, sending it to another character, or after a round or two if it was at max level.
- Limited Wardrobe: Played straight, though Alina tears a part of her jacket at some point. That doesn't show anywhere.
- Lost Forever: What can happen for some items if you're not careful enough, as several places can only be visited once and/or before a certain point in the plot. Made worse by the fact that some chests can only be opened by backtracking to them much later in the game once you have the necessary skill/key to open them... and they contain some of the most important treasures.
- Mighty Glacier / The Big Guy (Class 2): Rudy.
- Mini-Game: There are some in the game. Played with when you're getting ready to help a farmer harvest watermelons, but eventually... not.
- Money Spider: Most enemies are animals, yet you still earn gold when you defeat them. Subverted with Ryan the lion, since it's an arena bet.
- Multiple Endings: Towards the end, Hoston is given a choice between using the Piers Solar to rewrite history to avert all the horrible events of the game, at the cost of his own existence, or to continue to see his journey to the very end.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Ironhart does not sound like a very nice, caring person indeed.
- No Exportfor You: Zigzagged - the planned Japanese version was eventually not released because of the lack of Japanese translators to proof-read it, however the game exists in English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese, runs on all Japanese, American and European consoles, and can be bought from anywhere in the world.
- Palette Swap: For some enemies. They keep the same name though, only their stats change.
- Pamphlet Shelf: Book shelves are neither overly common nor contain lengthy texts, but they may be critical to the plot's advancement. Some spell books can be bought in stores, read, then sold.
- Parental Abandonment: Averted in Hoston's case: finding a cure to his father Rudy's illness despite his mother's advice is what starts the whole plot, Not to mention that Rudy will later join the party... and more.
- Random Encounters: Yup. Exceptions (fights YOU can decide to start) are very rare.
- Shout-Out: Lots:
- Side Quest: There are some of them in the game, with varying degree of complexity. Examples include delivering a letter, grabbing bunnies in Reja forest, collecting some stuff for a bounty hunter, fighting a lion for a prize in an arena, and navigating a maze in Ludon city.
- Simple Staff: Mohu's weapon is a staff. Kruller's weapons are staves too, although his fighting animation shows him using juggling balls.
- Steam Punk: Steam boats, trains, robots, and 19th-century-style factories in a swords and bows world.
- Trauma Inn: Usually one per village. Some other places also allow you to rest, either one time or at will (e.g. the Goaman's hut, a given spot while climbing up Meho moutains, or the Ice Castle), while some others do NOT have any while you could really use one (Hunting Lodge anyone?). Sleeping at or visiting the inn is sometimes needed to advance into the plot.
- Universal Driver's License: Averted. Only Edessot barely knows how to drive the train he just repaired... and even fails the first time he tries!
- Urban Segregation: The Timpo district of Verahansa is poor, while another district gathers the noble folk.
- We Buy Anything: Except plot-critical quest items, of course. Price may change according to the buyer, though.
- Welcome to Corneria: Downplayed. The programmers usually made the effort that NPCs get two or three different things to say before starting again. What they have to say may even be real-life information or hint.
- We Sell Everything: Subverted. Smaller hamlets may have only one or few shops, but bigger cities have several shops or market merchants that may sell the same goods at different prices. Shops are usually specialised in weapons, armor, or accessories/potions/miscellaneous stuff.
- Whip It Good: Zellini's weapons are whips.