Makai Kingdom: So it shall be written, so it shall be liveblogged:
IntroductionOur sordid little tale of conquest begins in the Forbidden Library, where Zetta voice credits has discovered the location of a book called the Sacred Tome, which contains all of the secrets of all of the Netherworlds in the Underworld. He's seeking it out because if he doesn't find it, the oracle Pram prophesizes that his Netherworld will be destroyed. As he Power Walks toward the book's lectern, he is stopped by the thunder god Raiden, whose master has ordered him to destroy Zetta. Zetta laughs off Raiden's threats, and the two of them begin fighting. A battle tutorial ensues, but Zetta isn't fully interested in telling it, urging the player to check out the Help menu for any questions. The objective of each battle is to kill off every enemy with red life bars. There's no friendly fire immunity, so anyone caught in the targeting circle of any of the skills you use will be affected, like it or not. The battle begins with me controlling a level 2000 Zetta, equipped with a Zetta Sword which makes him zetta powerful. His opponent is a level 1000 Raiden, who has a thunder drum, four level 100 Incubuses flanking him, and about half as much HP as Zetta. Zetta starts off by using a sword skill called Zodiac to get rid of Raiden's bodyguards. Raiden retaliates by beating on his drum and zapping Zetta with lightning, but even with all of that power on his side, he's no match for Zetta's otherworldly sword skills, and the battle winds up being completely one-sided. Zetta, unimpressed, notes that Raiden's fighting style reminds him of someone. He doesn't take more than a few seconds to ponder it as he indulges in a bit of Evil Gloating. When he opens the book, he expects to hear good news about his overworld being saved, but instead finds an entry saying this:
- Male Warrior: A powerful melee class. Good with swords, morningstars, spears, and axes.
- Female Warrior: Same as the warrior, but her attacks favor speed over strength. Has proficiency in daggers, swords, rapiers, and spears.
- Healer: Basically, she heals stuff, both inside and outside of combat. Not powerful, but necessary if you want to survive in the underworld. She can use daggers, spears, books, and syringes.
- Male Magician: Old guy who can use elemental spells with devastating effect. Is able to use daggers, books, drums, and boxes.
- Female Magician: Like the male magician, only more girly and younger. Daggers, books, magic staves and magnets are her forte.
- Thief: Is good at stealing items from enemies. He also can hold more items than other characters for this purpose. He can use daggers, rapiers, UF Os, rifles, and fishing poles.
- Merchant: When outside of battle, she sells weapons and armor. At higher levels, her inventory grows, and sale prices decrease. She can use spears, nunchakus, bazookas, and hammers.
edited 4th Mar '10 6:45:17 AM by WillyFourEyes
edited 4th Mar '10 11:18:32 AM by WillyFourEyes
A healer named Kashiwa!
Her name is Japanese and translates to "Oak Tree".
She's a tree-form druid who likes smiting mean people with wrath-bolts and tentacles of rape-y doom.
Mmmm, rape-y doom... ^_^
Episode 1: Pages of TragedyZetta decides that it's time to get a new netherworld to conquer. He doesn't trust Pram to grant his wish without screwing it up (see: his dog house), so he asks Micky to do it ("in the name of Dark Lord Valvoga"). Writing down the wish in the Sacred Tome sucked away some of Micky's mana power. Pram states that more powerful and complex wishes drain more mana from the user, and creating a new netherworld would likely erase a lesser demon from existence. Ophelia, Dryzen and Micky argue briefly about what Zetta can do to repay him for granting his wish. Zetta thanks Micky, but also calls him a pushover. There's now a Dimensional Gate at the castle, which Steve, Meredith, Kashiwa and others can go to travel between netherworlds. Steve approaches the gate, and heads toward "Beginner's Lounge".
Stage 1-1: Meet MickyAs Zetta travels down to the new netherworld, Pram insults Micky for being too soft on Zetta. Ophelia slyly notes to Pram that she left a little "surprise" waiting for Zetta as soon as he landed.
edited 5th Mar '10 1:02:32 PM by WillyFourEyes
edited 5th Mar '10 5:59:05 AM by AweStriker
"The only Overlord I trust is Zetta," he continues. "He gave me life, and also the power to grant life. I can use my powers to get some more allies from us, easily." "Are you sure that's not going to hurt you?" asks Kashiwa. "Creating another life from scratch is a hard thing to do." "Maybe for you," Zetta interjects, "but for an Overlord like me, it's a piece of cake. I gave a bit of my power to your 'leader' there just for this purpose. It won't cost you anything at first, but if you want more powerful minions, you'll need to fight hard and get more Mana." Meredith sits down in front of the doghouse, sharpening her dagger and pretending not to be interested. "All right, 'leader'," she murmurs. "Go ahead and do your thing. I'll be over here...sleeping." Steve walks over to the other flower and hums a spell. A bright light washes over the flower, and after a few seconds it disappears, leaving an old bearded man in its place. "Hmm...?" the man grumbles. "How did I get here? And who are you?" Steve extends his hand as a gesture of welcome, but the old man ignores it. "I'm Steve", he says. "You're in the Overlord's castle now." "Overlord? Hmph...I'll show that Overlord a thing or two about what it means to use magic!" "Hey!" shouts Zetta. "I'm standing right here, you know." A few minutes later, Steve uses the same spell on the other palm tree, and out pops a girl with pink hair and matching robes. "Hiya! I'm Morrigan!" she says, grinning from ear to ear. "Nice to meetcha!" He then does the same with the two weeds, creating a boy in a suspicious-looking hat and a girl in a baggy blue outfit and a pouch hanging off her left hip. "...Io," says the boy. Steve waves to him. "'Yo' to you, too." "Not 'yo'...'Io'. That's my name. EYE-oh. Got it?" Io walks up to Steve and tries to palm a few HL from him, but fails. "Yeah, I got it," says Meredith. "By the way...your technique needs work." Kashiwa walks up to the other girl, who is unpacking weapons and other assorted goods and laying them out in front of the shop. "And who might you be, young lady?" "Name's Nabiki," she says. "If you've come to buy something, I'm the girl to ask." "Since Steve brought you into this world, that officially makes you part of the team, right? So...what exactly is going to happen with all of the money we spend?" "It goes right into research and development, of course. You get to research my development as I get stronger when you spend money." "That doesn't make any sense," says Io. "Neither does being born from weeds or flowers, but hey," says Meredith. "It's a weird universe, this Netherworld..." Io takes the Rapier lying on the ground and puts it in his pocket. Steve purchases a pair of books for Astral and Morrigan, and spends a little bit on Nabiki to buy her some Nunchaku. "I've got some armor, too, if you want it!" Sadly, Steve doesn't have enough HL to purchase any just yet, so he orders everyone to come with him to the next area.
Stage 1-2: Micky's CelebrationAnother tutorial, this time on lifting and throwing. Zetta notes that everyone can take items with them if they're holding them once they complete the mission. He also teaches the gang about extension maps, which will pop up if an object or enemy is thrown out of bounds. The army's opponents this time are the same as on the first map, but there appears to be an extension map to the east. (The main map is worth only 100 points, but the extension carries 300, which will be necessary to complete the map satisfactorily.) Zetta summons everyone into battle, leaving not one person behind. "You guys again?" says Steve. "This time, we've got a numbers advantage, so you'd better watch out!" The team begins an all-out assault on the bodyguards. Steve, Meredith and Nabiki easily take out one, but Io and Kashiwa have trouble disposing the other. Astral and Morrigan use wind and fire magic on the samurai before he gets a chance to attack. While they think they've won, a new map springs up to the east, populated with three pumpkinheads, who move forward to attempt to attack. Kashiwa treats her wounds, and Astral takes out the other bodyguard before he can hit her again. Io spots a nice-looking flower on the east side of their starter map and runs over and takes it. "Ooh! That looks so cute," says Morrigan. "Can I have it?" "Sorry," says Io. "Finders keepers!" "Aww, you're no fun." She, Nabiki and Meredith team up on one of the pumpkinheads, who attempt to fight back, but turn out not to be quite as dangerous as their freakish appearance leads them to be. While Astral practices his magic on an unsightly rock, everyone else gangs up on the two pumpkinheads. They come away with a small flower, a weed, and a mysterious item called a "Gency Tonic" for their troubles. Meanwhile, Pram and Valvoga are watching the battle on celestial television. Pram and Ophelia are mildly amused by the carnage taking place on Micky's netherworld. Micky is again mocked for being too soft on Zetta, and he retaliates with a Lame Comeback about him having seniority over Pram, who promptly shows him up by demonstrating a Battle Aura capable of cowing him into subservience. Author's Note: The flower Io picked up on this map had four stars next to its name. When used to create a new character, it provides a boost to the character's starting stats depending on how many stars are displayed (and also allows for more allocation of skill points). It's a good idea to pick up these items when you see them. Also, defeating the pumpkinheads in battle has added it to the list of creatable characters. It can use daggers, rifles, flamethrowers, and wrenches. Since we don't have any firearms in the shop yet, pumpkinhead's utility is going to be quite limited early on.
edited 5th Mar '10 2:11:15 PM by WillyFourEyes
- Warehouse: Can house several characters at once.
- Academy: Very expensive, but boosts experience growth of anyone who is summoned from it.
- Hut: Cheapest of all of the buildings. Increases attack power by 10%, and has a wider range of summoning.
- Raider Hut: An upgraded hut; this one increases attack power by 20%
- Outpost Tent: Increases defense by 30%
- Fortress: A spiffy-looking mini-castle that boosts attack power by 30%.
- Command Center: Increases defense by 40%. Only Warriors can wish for it.
- Hospital: Restores 10% HP every turn. Only Healers can wish for it.
- Library: Increases weapon mastery rate by 50%. Only Magicians can wish for it.
- Shop: Increases money gained in battle by 50%. Only Merchants can wish for it.
- Graveyard: This building actually damages your characters 10% each turn, but causes nasty side effects to any enemies it gets dropped on when summoned into battle. Only Thieves can wish for it.
Stage 1-3: Micky's AnthemAuthor's Note: This is a fully Randomly Generated Level, so it'll be different each time the party comes to this area. Upon landing, the team notices a group of rogues brandishing weapons and grinning menacingly. They don't seem to be fully organized, so Zetta calls in the whole team to dispatch them. "All right, minions!" says Zetta. "Time to go to work! And whatever you do, don't let any of them touch me!" "What happens if they do that?" asks Io. "Then I'm afraid you'll all just have to walk back to the Overlord's Castle, won't you?" The party collectively gulps, and then heads off into battle. They emerge on a beachfront, with only two enemies - a female warrior and two carrot men. There appears to be something beyond the ocean, but they can't tell yet. The carrot men retreat while their leader comes forward by herself. "That was your last mistake," Meredith says to the rogue warrior. "Not even worth wasting my magic on," says Astral as he shocks her with a bolt of energy from his magic book. Killing her reveals an area with a rogue merchant and another warrior. Oddly, this new tract of land appears right next to the beachfront. Nobody seems to want to question where the water came from, or where it's all going to go. While the team is focused on getting rid of the two carrot monsters, the second warrior sneaks up behind everyone and attacks the Sacred Tome. Everyone, including the attacker, hears a loud CRACK! and simultaneously feels a sharp pain running through them. "You fools!" said Zetta. "Look what your carelessness has caused! Next time, protect me, and don't let anyone sneak attack you like that again!" Astral kills off the warrior before she gets a chance to attack the book again and cause any more damage, but the enemy merchant sucker-punches Io and knocks him out. Astral and Morrigan press onto the second map and destroy a key stone, seeking an opportunity to cause more chaos. "You know, you've already completed the objective," says Zetta. "You guys can leave whenever you want." "They don't look so tough," says Steve, pointing his sword in the direction of the new monsters that sprung up. Two of them gang up on Morrigan and take her out with their knives. The others rush forward to assist Astral as he tries to hold them off. Nabiki takes one of the palm trees and sticks it into her pouch of holding. "Gather everything you can!" she shouts to everyone. "Io would have wanted it that way..." They defeat the leftover pumpkinhead and collect a bit of experience and money, but because Zetta was attacked, they don't get any material rewards besides the ones they had ganked from the battlefield. Zetta chides the team for letting their guard down, and orders them to go back to the battlefield and do it all over again. They have a bit more success this time around, as they face off against fewer enemies than last time. They get much more in return this go-round, including a chest protector, a traveler cape, some steel plate armor, and linen armor. Nabiki announces that she has some new inventory, but Steve realizes that he still can't afford it yet. The party gains the ability to create carrot monsters, who are good with swords, spears, shovels, and hammers. They also get 10% more experience and mana than everyone else, which would make them good classes to use for transmigration. Steve takes the plants and rocks they took and places them around the castle to provide more atmosphere for the place, but with complete disregard for feng shui. He orders everyone to get their wounds treated before going on to the next challenge.
Stage 1-4: Micky's Blessing"Hey...what's with the weird music?" asks Morrigan. Kashiwa listens intently, and her ears pick up an intense tune with trumpets and violins playing in the distance. "I think we're about to fight a boss," says Kashiwa. "Stay on your guard, everyone!" says Steve. The party descends into battle, as usual. They are met by four unarmed carrot monsters, which they dispatch easily. "Hey!" says Io, noticing one of the carrots carrying a rock over its head. "That one's got the key!" Io pulls out a UFO and uses it on the rock, wresting it from the carrot's hands. Astral destroys it, revealing a path leading to an open field with more mercenaries. They are dispatched, opening the way to a hill with a raider hut on top. A samurai carrying an axe comes out and stares them down. "The name's Redonis," he bellows. "I rule this underworld. If you punks want to take it over, you'll have to go through me!" "All right," says Steve, flashing a Twinkle Smile toward him. Redonis stomps and growls. "No! That's not how it works! You're supposed to lay down your arms and surrender! Grrgh...fine. Men! After them! If any one of those louts leave this rock alive, I'm putting it on your heads!" Redonis' pumpkinhead mooks don't listen, wandering off in random directions. "Forget about the pumpkin men!" says Zetta. "They're worthless! Go after their leader!" Steve holds up his sword and points it towards Redonis, who is running toward the group at full speed. "This one's mine." "Hold on, there," says Meredith. "Don't think you're going to get this one all by yourself. You've got backup, you know." Against Zetta's better judgment, they go after the pumpkin men first. Redonis strikes and cleaves Morrigan, killing her off in one hit, but with his own back exposed, Steve delivers the finishing blow. "Cowards..." Redonis says as he slumps to the ground, dead. Zetta congratulates the team on a successful conquest, and points out that they'll be doing his battles for him. Pram, who was watching the whole battle from above, is impressed by Zetta's ruthlessness. One Netherworld captured, seven more to go!
edited 6th Mar '10 5:16:57 PM by WillyFourEyes
- Micky - the wimpy overlord we started the game against. His netherworlds tend to have enemies with a high amount of HP.
- Pram - Her netherworld is small, and mainly contains units that are capable of using magic. Hers would be the "easy" choice.
- Babylon - His netherworld is large (just like him), and he has a mix of normal and "unusual" monsters. His would probably be the "hard" choice.
Episode 2: Arch NemesisZetta informs the team that not only can they invite themselves onto the battlefield, they can also bring buildings with them. It's possible to put players and items inside and bringing them onto the field that way, and it's much quicker to do. The facilities will grant bonuses to characters stored inside them during battle, as I'd detailed above. Steve uses one of the special palm trees to generate a pumpkinhead named Satan, and grows Caerbannog the evil carrot from one of the "ordinary" palm trees. He gives his new creations weapons, and he takes them out with him onto Micky's netherworld for a little bit of "training". [Gonna Fly Now Montage goes here] After the team does a bit of training, they descend to Babylon's netherworld, which is fittingly called "End of World".
Stage 2-1: Babylon's Rest AreaAs soon as Zetta lands on the new netherworld, his arch-rival, Alexander (a.k.a. Alex, Alejandro, or Zetta's favorite personal insult, "Asshat"), appears. They've been at war with each other since the last time the Sacred Tome had kept count. Neither of them can agree on who's "won" more battles. Alex cracks book jokes, but Zetta shrugs them off and does some more Chaotic Neutral gloating...until he falls can't can't get up. "Who's the Overlord now, bitch!?" says Alex, who then takes some pot shots at Salome and her relationship with Zetta before jacking out. Babylon's overworld begins populated with a trio of hellcats wielding nunchaku. Two of them have their eyes on a pretty flower on the west side. On that same side of a bridge is a raider hut filled with a pair of bomberheads. They're physically strong, but unarmed. "All right, boys and girls!" shouts Zetta. "Everyone ready?" The warriors file into a facility of their choice. There's plenty of room for everyone, so there's little fighting or pushing done. They all give the thumbs-up to Zetta, and he air-drops the buildings onto the battlefield one by one. Steve's party (comprised of him, Meredith and Io) jumps out of the doghouse and wastes no time in eliminating the hellcats, while Astral and Morrigan rush to assist Nabiki in the shop. The two bomberheads move in to attack, but are no match for Morrigan's team. Steve's team takes control of the Raider Hut vacated by the bomberheads, and Zetta air-drops the hospital containing Kashiwa and the others into battle. An enemy thief attempts to capture the hospital, but Satan (the pumpkinhead) successfully kicks him out. An army of rogue mages attempts to secure the hospital, but they, too, fail. Recruitable monsters gained this stage:
- Hellcat: High mobility, but low offense. Excels with katanas, morningstars, nunchakus, and fishing poles.
- Bomberhead: Slow, but has decent HP and SP. Good with heavy weapons, such as gatling guns, bazookas, flamethrowers, and bombs. We don't have any of those right now, so we won't be using bomberheads at all until later.
edited 8th Mar '10 5:08:53 AM by WillyFourEyes
Sub-Episode 1: Happy Dungeon 1The team is loaded into their buildings and dropped in what appears to be a cave. (No boxes of scraps here, sorry.) There are four Happy Dolls guarding the area in the north. While they are very well organized, they are not very well armed. There are also assorted treasures to the south, including a pendant that looks almost like the one from which Steve was created. After the buildings are dropped in, Steve orders Graz, Nabiki and Io to loot whatever they can find and return to base with it. Morrigan notices one of the owl dolls attempting to attack the Sacred Tome, but she picks it up and harmlessly tosses it back. The dolls don't directly attack the team, but instead try to attack them (one by one, of course) while they're still in the houses - specifically, the doghouse where Steve and Meredith are housed. The invading doll is level 3, but Steve and Meredith are both level 5. They never had a chance. The team celebrates victory shortly afterward. They don't get any points for the dolls they defeated through thwarted home invasion, and that means they don't get any bonus point prizes. Luckily, Io and company were able to pick up an Imperial Seal (labeled simply "Imperial" in this game), a Diver (lets you skip ahead in really deep dungeons), another Gency Tonic, and some Shoes (increases mobility slightly).
Now, then...while exploring dungeons (either storyline or otherwise), there's a small chance that a random map affect will occur when an extension map is spawned. These will either summon a specific group of enemies onto the map, or give a status effect to everyone on the map (this includes allies and enemies). Here are a few that I've encounters so far:
- One Last Wish: Everyone is hit with "Gamble" status (shown by sweatdrops). Attacks against a character under Gamble will either miss completely, or kill the character in one hit.
- Taking a Break: Everyone is hit with "Amnesia", which limits all of their offense to basic attacks.
- A Thief Appears!: Generates Thief units equipped with UFOs. They don't attack directly, but try to steal whatever equipment you have on you.
Stage 2-2: Babylon's Castle RuinsThe gods are wondering why Alexander suddenly showed up to disrupt their fun. It was almost like he knew that Zetta was about to shop up. Ophelia and Dryzen indirectly accuse Pram of giving him a sly nod and wink to Zetta's location. Pram, in retaliation, gets all glowy and Death Glares at Micky. Micky freaks out, and cowers before the might of the oracle's maidenly Battle Aura. At this point, Babylon suddenly remembers that he has to go iron his dog, and exits stage left. Micky's scream of terror unwittingly generates some hellcats down below, and Zetta is dragged into battle once again. "Disperse, loyal battle monkeys!" sayeth the Overlord of Overlords. "Do my bidding and bust a cap!" Oh, if only we had guns at this points in the game...we could make that part literal. All Zetta can see of the castle interior once he materializes is an H-shaped corridor guarded by hellcats at each of the north and south edges. He sends the team in to dispose of them, when suddenly a wave of dark energy washes over the field, cutting everyone's life force in half (this effect is called "Hell's Field Takes Life"). Kashiwa tries to undo some of the damage, but only manages to help out Nabiki, Io and Caerbannog before the next group of monsters (which consists of metal golems, wood golems, and mud-like creatures called Tar Men) move in to attack. Astral and Morrigan fall again, as expected. Io heads back into the shop to lick his wounds, while Graz and Steve come out to try to trim the suddenly overcrowded field of monsters. "Uh, guys? A little help here?" says Steve as he puts his new Tornado Slash technique to use, which only winds up spawning more baddies. Graz gets taken out by one of the tar men, leaving only five combatants to stem the tide of encroaching monsters. Steve's crew now finds itself on the defensive, as they are vastly outnumbered by the enemy. They continue to hold the line, and eventually gain some ground when they find that the remaining foes are unarmed. Zetta decides that enough is enough, and orders the team to return to base to recuperate. New monsters acquired on this trip:
- Metal Golem: Low mobility, but high HP and defense. Best used with heavy weapons, such as gatling guns, cannons, drills, and wrenches.
- Wood Golem: Good attack and defense, but low magic resistance. Are good with Morningstars, Axes, Hammers, and Shovels.
- Mud Creatures: Decent HP and defense. Can makes the best of short-range weapons, such as swords, spears, drills and shovels.
Stage 2-3: Sleeping Babylon"You know, I'm really starting to hate cats," says Meredith. Graz hisses at her, and then goes back to cuddling up next to Morrigan. Upon further inspection of Babylon's netherworld, the group lands in an area that looks a lot like the bridge they saw in the entrance to the castle ruins. Astral, Morrigan and Graz are sent out first as punishment for their initial failure. They get lucky, as the small group they meet there is killed with little resistance. A group of angry hellcats and wood golems, brought onto the map by way of Energetic Power! appears to the south, but the group ignores them after they defeat the initial patrol. "Zetta was right," says Astral. "That old fart of a dragon just doesn't have what it takes these days. If I had enough mana power, I'd create a netherworld so vast with monsters so powerful that the lot of you would wet your pants in terror at the very sight of them!" "You mean, like Baal?" asks Steve. "Don't be ridiculous. Nothing's scarier than Baal."
Extension Map Effects 102:
- Hell's Field Takes Life: All active units' HP are reduced by 50%.
- Energetic Power!: Summons units with high attack power armed with strong melee weapons.
- The Power of Magic: Summons magician units armed with books.
- Fast Asleep: Puts all enemies to sleep. Beneficial to you.
The monsters they encounter are getting tougher, and the monsters never stop coming, so the team spends some time in the castle hacking away at Babylon's leftovers in order to earn more money to upgrade their equipment. Nabiki's inventory has expanded slightly to include drills, katanas, and morningstars, which Steve has put his eye on for later acquisition.
edited 12th Mar '10 10:06:34 AM by WillyFourEyes
A few more Map Effects were discovered on this journey!
- Then, everyone was gone.: No enemies are spawned; just dead trees and rocks. If this is generated when you have fulfilled the point requirement and there are no more enemies, the level is completed.
- Infestation of Thieves: Similar to "A Thief Appears!", this generates a few thief units with UF Os. There doesn't seem to be any strength differential between the two effects, though.
edited 14th Mar '10 8:15:28 PM by WillyFourEyes