Howdy, y'all! Freezair again, and I'm back for another round of Let's Play-ing madness! Only this time is madder than the last time!
Because this time, I come bearing ACTUAL VIDEO! Yes, that's right! Me and my buddy, sporadic troper Endermage, have gotten together and are actually recording ourselves playing the game in real-time! You don't have to read! Just sit back and watch! Avoid unsightly eyestrain!
And that's not all! You know what else this LP has in it that's shiny and new?
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION! *fanfare*
Yes, folks, that's right: This will be an interactive LP. That means I need input from you, the readers in the comments section! You will have the ability to influence how I play the game! Doesn't that sound exciting?' Doesn't that sound fun? Doesn't that sound like an oppertunity to make me name my party members highly immature things? Come on! You know you want to!
Ahhh. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, allow me to introduce: Our subject for this LP.
Eternal Eyes is a PlayStation RPG released in the late 90's, published by Sunsoft. Does the name Sunsoft sound familiar? If you read my last Let's Play, you know that Sunsoft was also the company behind the last game I did, Ufouria. In fact, I even mentioned Eternal Eyes in that LP's intro! Fuh-fuh-foreshadowing!
Eternal Eyes is a tactics RPG, sort of like Final Fantasy Tactics, except not. It stars a young boy named Luke (well, usually he's called Luke), who lives with his sister in the kingdom of Gross. Many years ago there was this war with this evil goddess, their parents got dead, etc., etc. It's all very standard JRPG stuff. The point where it gets interesting is in that, in all the rest of the JRPG kerfuffle, Luke discovers that his family is descended from a tribe known as the Crimson Eyes. Their two defining characteristics were A) crimson eyes (duh) and B) the fact that they could use magical, marble-like gemstones to bring puppets to life, which they used as their servants and defenders. Therein lies the gimmick of the game: Instead of recruiting your usual tactics units like soldiers, archers, and clerics, you instead command an army of monster-like magical puppets to whup your enemies into submission.
Let's not beat around the bush. This game was released in 1999, right around the same time a certain other JRPG was immensely popular; one which involved be-capsuled monsters, of the sort one could easily fit in one's pocket, if you will. The US release sporadically refers to your magical puppets as "Mappemon," and the decision to use a somewhat "monstery" units system was no doubt influenced fairly strongly by Pokemon. But while other Poke-clones of the era went for the jugular, ripping of Pokemon as closely as possible by having 1-on-1 RPG-style battle systems, Eternal Eyes gets major props right off the bat for actually daring to be a different genre from the norm. As such, in the world of games that owe something to Pokemon, Eternal Eyes sticks out. It doesn't hurt that it's actually a pretty competent little tactics game. It's not as deep as the Final Fantasy Tactics series, no, nor is it quite as strategic as the Nintendo Wars series, but it's good fun, it has good spritework, and it's got its own way of breaking your brain into itty-bitty pieces. I like it. I hope you do too.
Eternal Eyes is a tactics RPG. The primary gameplay takes place within a series of levels, each one made up of a grid. Within each level, there are several monsters, all of whom must be defeated to clear the level. You (the player) control Luke, your Hero Unit, and up to three of your magical puppets/Mappemon. Both you, magical puppets, and enemies have a truly bewildering array of stats, not all of which are even shown. To greatly oversimplify here, you have physical stats, magical stats, and movement stats. Physical stats affect physical attacks (giving and taking), magic stats affect magical spells (ditto, as well as effects for non-attack spells), and movement stats affect things like how many spaces on the grid you can move, as well as how you deal with obstacles. Magical puppets also have gem alignments and elements.
About gems. One of the big things about this game is its gem system. Whenever you defeat monsters, you gain items, and roughly 7 times out of 10, it's a gem. Gems have numerous uses: They can be used to create Magical Puppets by combining them with "blank" dolls. They can be given to magical puppets to increase their stats, evolve them to make them stronger, or teach them magic. They can also be used by Luke to cast spells or lay traps in battle, since he has no magic of his own and must use gems or items. There are six colors of gems, each with their own flavor:
- Red: Fire-elemental spells, and attacks that attack a wide range of enemies at once.
- Green: Healing spells and stats buffs. Green attack spells are rare, and tend to be "signature spells" for specific monsters.
- Blue: Water-elemental spells, and attacks that attack enemies in rows or cross patterns.
- Yellow: Earth and wind-elemental spells, and attacks that do high damage to one enemy.
- Pink: Yes, I did just use purple. They're called "pink," but look more purple-ish. They're almost exclusively stat buffs and debuffs, and "splash" spells (I.E., random elemental spells depending on the puppet they're used on).
- White: Spirit-elemental spells, with some of them carrying the possibilities of instant death.
As well, there are four "affiliations" within each gem: Holy, Beast, Wisdom, and Power. Each Puppet has one of those four affiliations, and can potentially learn one spell per each of those affiliations—so they can have a "Green Holy" spell, or a "Blue Power" spell, etc. Some gem/affiliation combinations have a high likelihood of being certain spells (most puppets will learn the spell "Temp" if given a "Red Power" gem, for example), but others can be more random based on the puppet itself (one of your starting puppets, Mooscue, learns a unique attack spell in Pink called "Moosfire," when pink spells are usually buffs). It's kind of a lot to wrap your head around at first, I know. Just think of gems as being "capsule spells."
As I alluded to before, you need gems to power up your puppets. You and they will level up via battle (100 EXP to a level), but you need gems to use spells. You also need gems to evolve. Puppets have five stages, and can evolve when they reach the right level and are given the correct color combination of gems. Which must be given to them in a very specific way, as well.
Finding gem combinations is a right pain and I will unapologetically be using a guide for it. Learning spells and getting stat boosts is a lot easier, though. And that's where you kiddies come in...
Here it comes! Here's your role in all this!
I am going to be asking for your help with a couple things.
- Thing the First: You will help me decide what puppets to use! When I get "raw" puppets, you will help me choose what gems to create them with (each color-affiliation combination leads to a unique starting puppet). When puppets evolve, they also typically have branching evolution paths. You will help me decide which path to take! You can choose based on aesthetics, but I'll also provide some stat info if you want to be all strategic about it.
- Thing the Second: I want you to help me name my puppets! Puppet names can be up to eight characters long, and use alphanumeric characters. You can name them anything. Anything. I will entertain just about any suggestion, no matter how ridiculous, unthreatening, or immature it may be. However, if I get multiple suggestions, I will probably end up picking the one I like the best.
- If I get no suggestions, rather than wait around for you lazy bums, I'll be naming my puppets with the aid of Behind the Name's Random Renamer.
- Thing the Third: I will also be taking general suggestions on which puppets to take with me, what to do, etc. For example, when we get new puppets, I will probably ask whether to train it or to progress, etc. You are also free to chuck out any suggestions you like, no matter what they are, at any time. I'm listening to YOU, peanut gallery! In fact, you could say that I'm your puppet. (Within reason, of course. Also, cwutididthar?)
Are you ready? Sure you are! Let's dive in!
Welcome to... Let's Play Eternal Eyes!