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View Full Version : Infinitely Inscrutable? Let's Play Legacy of the Wizard!


Netbrian
10-13-2008, 10:57 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010001.png

Legacy of the Wizard was one of the games that stood out most to me in my childhood. For some inexplicable reason, most of my friends owned a copy, and I would borrow it for long stretches. I never got very far, even when using a Game Genie, but I always loved it. When emulators started becoming commonly available, I had the opportunity to come back to the game.

For those whom have never played the title, it’s a “Metroidvania” taking place within a gigantic dungeon. The game was ahead of its time in its efforts to make different areas stand out.

Of course, it certainly has its flaws. I’ll examine them in excruciating detail throughout the LP, but I’ll mention right now that your character moves as though they were trying to walk on the bottom of a swimming pool. At one point, I considered adding video portions of the game, but decided to have mercy on the tyrants, and not force anyone to watch this slog.

Enough with the introduction, and let things commence!

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010002.png

This game contains five playable characters, each with their own items and abilities. You can play as the father (Xemn), the mother (Maia), the son (Roas), the daughter (Lyll), or the “dog” (Pochi). While there will be limited democracy in this thread, I’ll try my best to do what the peanut gallery would ask me to do. In this case, it shall be to play as the most awkward character available. This is of course, Roas, the son.

I hope you enjoy this experience, because you won’t be seeing him in the foreseeable future.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010003.png

If I had items, I would make a decision here.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010004.png

This castle impresses me. Unfortunately, we won't be able to visit it. Luckily...

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010005.png

Someone seems to have placed as castle underground too.

Netbrian
10-13-2008, 10:58 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010006.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010007.png

In theses boxes, there are items to help you on your way. This chest contains a special magic jar to refill my mana. Note that chests with food or magic jars will respawn each time you visit the dungeon, while all other chests vanish after you open them.

In true Mega Man tradition, jars and food from chest will use whatever palette your character does. Apparently, they ran out of memory for colors.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010008.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010009.png

The spikes in this section of the dungeon are purely decorative.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010010.png

This chest contains money, and will stay unopened for now. I don't have any immediate financial needs, and taking it now would prevent me from picking up monster drops as I worm my way through the dungeon.

Netbrian
10-13-2008, 11:03 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010011.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010012.png

One design element that gets repeated over and over again are “ladders to nowhere”. They’ll take you to a walled off portion of some other part of the dungeon. The gameplay purpose is to allow you to reset block puzzles when necessary, but I’ve always loved getting a preview of places I’ll return to later.

I have no idea why the ladder is blue.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010013.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010015.png

One of the less forgivable design elements of this game are fake blocks. Even more egregious than their Metroid sisters, the greater part of your progress through the dungeon consists of touching each block in turn in hopes to find the “fake” one. There are no visual indicators that the block is fake, nor do they occur in suspicious places. Many hours have been spent carefully backtracking throughout the dungeon, groping the dungeon to trying hopelessly to discover which are fake.

On a more pleasant note, the white thing with a hat is awesome.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010016.png

Note the portrait of the woman near the top. In my youth, I spent over an hour trying to get these pictures to do something. They’re scattered throughout the dungeon in odd places. Never do we find out who the woman is, or why she is the subject of such art.

The discolored treasure chest is, of course, a mimic. In great roleplaying tradition, mimics are far more powerful than nearly anything else in the dungeon. The treasure chest behind it, of course, contains nothing worth the effort.

The fact that this mimic has a visual cue is a terrible violation of the overriding design philosophy of this game. This mistake is not repeated.

Netbrian
10-13-2008, 11:10 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010019.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010020.png

Going down the ladder, I get a chance to grab the glove. I also get a second chance to preview the section of the dungeon showcased by the blue ladder to nowhere. Having found what I came for, my prince heads home. He, of course, cannot use the glove, but do not despair. You will see a lot more of it soon.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010021.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010022.png

Each ďzoneĒ of the dungeon can have a shop in it. This one contains energy tanks for life and mana. I rarely bothered with these items (there are easier ways to do this, and it fills up your inventory). Moreover, this particular shop has some of the highest prices in the game.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010023.png

On my way back, an enemy dropped a scroll. These items will increase your speed and range by 100% for a short time, and they can be stacked. Emulator assisted speedruns of this game will manipulate the RNG so as to always retain the maximum number of scrolls on the character, making them race through the dungeon uncontrollably. This is one of the few ways to make this game tolerable to watch. Otherwise, the snails pace of the character will inexorably lead to madness.

Netbrian
10-13-2008, 11:14 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010026.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010025.png

While you can go back the way you came, it involves making a very difficult jump (for my poor, useless Roas) from the ladder to the floating rock on the right. Eventually, I gave in. The fact that I needed the magic jar in the beginning of the dungeon was a direct result of trying to make this jump.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010028.png

The ladder takes me to this next section (which always reminded me of a ship). I collect a crystal, which allows me to return to the house instantly (but consumes the item). Alternatively, you can simply kill your character off, and be whisked away home, losing only your keys.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010029.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP1/LegacyLP010030.png

One ladder trip later, and my character is home!

I was thinking of putting the idea of what character to use next to the vote. However, the Suidoken LP has soured me forever on the ideals of democracy. I donít want to need a symbol font for my next posts, and I certainly donít want to use this character again.

Next -- the awesome power glove.

Parish
10-14-2008, 12:44 AM
You are a very brave man, and a very sexy man.

Shadax
10-14-2008, 01:37 AM
Aww yeah, this is the jam. I love watching other people playing this game, as it is completely inscrutable to me.

Octopus Prime
10-14-2008, 01:44 AM
I used to own this game, but I was never able to make any progress, since the game is freakin' DENSE man!

This from the guy who managed to beat Hydlide.

Brickroad
10-14-2008, 08:04 AM
This game is hot. I still play it like all the time. And yes, TAS videos of it are completely mind-bogglingly insane.

I've never tried speed running it because I can never find a route that is agreeable to me without much randomness involved. Either I've got to go way out of my way for some item, or I buy that item at a shop and hope enough gold drops to still afford my Shield before the bosses start getting too hard.

Rice Cooka
10-14-2008, 08:19 AM
Ahhh Legacy of the Wizard. I owned this one as a kid. It holds the distinction of being the NES I was never able to make ANY progress in. Seriously, after playing it for hours, I was literally at square 1 with no fucking clue about how to proceed.

Falselogic
10-14-2008, 09:54 AM
You said not to, but I really want you to play as the dog, the entire game! Also his name should be meatbag... Very lame they don't allow you to name characters.

On a completely different note, I've never heard of this game until just now. It looks interesting... Sort of reminds me of the dungeon stages of Kid Icarus for some reason (I hate those stages by the way)...

Is there a story to the game or is the family just a family of dungeon crawlers?

Red Hedgehog
10-14-2008, 11:09 AM
This game is so frustrating, I had to give up on it. And that's saying something for someone who has beaten NES games like TMNT, Battletoads, and the Ninja Gaidens.

Alixsar
10-14-2008, 12:23 PM
This game is so frustrating, I had to give up on it. And that's saying something for someone who has beaten NES games like TMNT, Battletoads, and the Ninja Gaidens.

Seriously. You're insane for doing this. I hope you don't go mad in the process.

Octopus Prime
10-14-2008, 12:28 PM
Is there a story to the game or is the family just a family of dungeon crawlers?

As I recall, the story is:

DRAGON IS BAD! KILL ITS FACE OFF!

'twas known as "Dragon Slayer" acorss the pond, you see, so they had to work some dragon slaying into it somehow.

McDohl
10-14-2008, 12:53 PM
This game is so frustrating, I had to give up on it. And that's saying something for someone who has beaten NES games like TMNT, Battletoads, and the Ninja Gaidens.

I'll see your Battletoads and raise you Solomon's Key.

Red Hedgehog
10-14-2008, 01:41 PM
I'll see your Battletoads and raise you Solomon's Key.

See, I figure if could finish Solomon's Key, you could probably finish Legacy of the Wizard. Legacy of the Wizard, isn't difficult, just incredibly tedious. And making one mistake in a long room often means you need to start the entire thing over again. It's not the type of difficulty I enjoy.

Ample Vigour
10-14-2008, 01:47 PM
Seriously, after playing it for hours, I was literally at square 1 with no fucking clue about how to proceed.

My mom and I wanted to love this game so much. It was about a family going on an adventure together! Pity they decided to make beating the game an accomplishment on the level of punching out Thor. the rocker, not the comic character

McDohl
10-14-2008, 03:15 PM
Legacy of the Wizard, isn't difficult, just incredibly tedious. And making one mistake in a long room often means you need to start the entire thing over again. It's not the type of difficulty I enjoy.

Strangely enough, that's how I feel about Battletoads!

Netbrian
10-15-2008, 12:49 AM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020001.png

Let nobody say I am not eager to please. By popular demand, the next segment will feature the family pet Pochi. Pochi, of course, is the name of every dog in Japan ever. Like many others that share its name, Pochi is actually a giant spiny pink fish.

Pochi is very much like Roas, our prince from earlier. His attacks are a bit stronger, but the range of the bubbles he shoots is about one body length in front of him. Furthermore, as one would expect from such stubby legs, he canít jump very far (paradoxically, this actually makes certain jumps significantly easier).

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020002.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020003.png

This time, I climb down the ladder at the beginning of the game to reach the ground level of the castle. Note the decorative ladder in the lower left-hand corner.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020004.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020005.png

We pass through the castle. Note the two treasure chests sitting in plain sight but in utterly inaccessible locations. You will want to remember the one on the left Ė knowing the exact position of that ladder is significant later on (this is called foreshadowing).

Netbrian
10-15-2008, 12:51 AM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020006.png

Iíd like to draw your attention to the Christmas Tree Monster to your right.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020007.png

So, if Pochi is an even shorter range version of Roas, why was I down on the prince earlier?

The difference is, of course, that Pochi is awesome. As the manual explains, because heís an animal, monsters like him. So he takes no damage from any normal enemy, and in fact, will ride them like a pony. That cleverly disguised mimic heís sitting on? It would execute any other member of the family.

Plunging downward, we visit a cotton mountain.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020009.png

Many of the puzzles in Pochiís quest revolve around taking full advantage of his unique ability. In this case, he uses the enemies as a platform to reach higher places. Then he finds out that the hidden shop is of no use to him, because he canít move blocks.

In Legacy of the Wizard, when you stand upon flying enemies, theyíll often freeze in place, making the jumps a bit easier. Of course, catching the enemy in mid-air is often maddeningly frustrating.

We take another plunge.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020010.png

This room, which imprisons the inanimate dragon with his minions, is the most important location in the dungeon. The room leads to four discrete sections of the dungeon. Each section centers around a single family member and their abilities (except for Roas, whom has no abilities). The role this room plays with regards to the dungeon layout is crucial to understanding this game, which is why the only indication of this is the fact that each dungeon section has its own soundtrack.

For some of the sections, you can use characters besides the canonical one to complete the part. Most speedruns will take this approach. My intent is to play the game at least once ďas it was meant toĒ, and I want to use the opportunity to show off the unique features of each character.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020011.png

The left half of the room is walled off by blocks, so we start at the right. Letís take the upper right-hand ladder first. (The large ladder leads back to where you came).

Netbrian
10-15-2008, 12:52 AM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020012.png

The game subtly indicates that this was the wrong choice by forcing me to reset the game. My poor character cannot jump high enough to escape this pit, and monsters will not wander in to provide a lift.

Letís try the other ladder this time.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020013.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020014.png

Better.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP02000Xa.png

Full Size (http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP02000X.png)

There are many ladders in this room. In some games, this might be an indication of a branching path. Letís try them!

In an attempt to outwit the game designers by doing the least enjoyable rout, Iíll try the one littered with switchbacks. (The chest contained food, which is inconsequential at this point. Pochi hasnít had to take much damage).

By the way, if youíre playing this game on an emulator, speedup is a life-saver in Pochiís section. Falcom loves to throw these long sections of shuffling left and right to proceed at you. As Pochi is immune to damage, thereís no risk involved. I canít imagine that the fact you can do this indicates any problems with the overall game design.

So whatís my reward for enduring this?

Netbrian
10-15-2008, 12:56 AM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020018.png

Not pictured is my futile attempt to carefully check each tile for breakability.

Letís try another!

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020030.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020031.png

If this were a gameshow, I would have a heard of goats and not much else. The correct ladder was actually the one closest to the entrance!

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020019.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020020.png

This passage had to be opened through the fake blocks. Pochi canít make that jump on his own Ė what you want to do is wait for a friendly enemy to come by to use as a platform. Or jump down into some more fake blocks from the top platform.

Some of the spikes in this picture are decorative.

Spoiler Ė some are not!

Netbrian
10-15-2008, 01:00 AM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020021.png

This section of the dungeon has some wonderfully abstract enemies.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020023.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020024.png

The treasure chest contains a jar to refill my life on demand, which is a good find. This shop contains the same merchandise as the one I visited yesterday, but the prices have been slashed to less than half.

I double back to the left, and scurry down the ladder.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020025.png

Oh this looks fun.

Netbrian
10-15-2008, 01:12 AM
See, I figure if could finish Solomon's Key, you could probably finish Legacy of the Wizard. Legacy of the Wizard, isn't difficult, just incredibly tedious.

I agree with you about Solomon's Key -- I actually find it harder than Legacy of the Wizard.

As I recall, the story is:

DRAGON IS BAD! KILL ITS FACE OFF!

If you're interested in the comic version of this story, you can visit http://www.uranus.dti.ne.jp/~sho-dsl/SDSLds4p1.html (I use this web page for a great deal of my information).

Seriously. You're insane for doing this. I hope you don't go mad in the process.

Legacy of the Wizard is one of my favorite games of all time, so it's already too late. I'm also lucky that it's a reasonably short game in comparison to the mega-RPGs so popular on these forums, so my endurance shouldn't wane too far.

Sort of reminds me of the dungeon stages of Kid Icarus for some reason

To me, the closest resemblance is probably Metroid. The puzzles and dungeon layout bear close similarities. In fact, Legacy of the Wizard defines the genre for me more than Metroid does, because that's what I grew up with.

I've never tried speed running it because I can never find a route that is agreeable to me without much randomness involved. Without RNG manipulation, this is a miserable game to speedrun. The control isn't tight enough, and the monster drops are far too random. If you can manage it, I salute you.

McClain
10-15-2008, 09:48 AM
Oh man, this game.

My friend had this game and we never got anywhere in it. We would pick the "dog" and just have fun not getting killed until we got stuck.

I really like the idea of this game. It kind of feels like Super Mario 2 meets Metroid. It would be pretty awesome if someone could make a coherent game with those elements of metroidvania and character switching. Does any other such game exist? Did LotW have any siblings we didn't get here?

DANoWAR
10-15-2008, 10:44 AM
Did LotW have any siblings we didn't get here?

Man, you're gonna love this. (http://hg101.classicgaming.gamespy.com/xanadu/xanadu.htm)

Wolf
10-15-2008, 10:46 AM
Did LotW have any siblings we didn't get here?

You mean, were there any other siblings in the Japanese version? There weren't.

EDIT: Dammit!

McClain
10-15-2008, 12:15 PM
Man, you're gonna love this. (http://hg101.classicgaming.gamespy.com/xanadu/xanadu.htm)

Oh, man, I've even looked at that before and forgot about it. Okay, so if I wanted to, which one of those should I attempt to play?

DANoWAR
10-15-2008, 12:36 PM
Oh, man, I've even looked at that before and forgot about it. Okay, so if I wanted to, which one of those should I attempt to play?

Faxanadu.


Seriously? Judging by the article, neither of them, but if thou must *g*, you should probably try Sorcerian. I haven't tried it myself, as the only experience I have with this series is the topic-giver itself, which was a remarkably short experience (because after wandering the dungeon for half an hour, I turned the game off instead of dying of boredom).

Sorcerian garnered decent reviews in the internet and is one game which burned itself in my mind from reading about it in a game magazine when I was 12. Yeah, purely subjective recommendation.

EDIT: Oh, I just saw that Faxanadu is indeed mentioned in the article. Well, then scratch Sorcerian and play Faxanadu. It's bliss.

Netbrian
10-15-2008, 04:02 PM
EDIT: Oh, I just saw that Faxanadu is indeed mentioned in the article. Well, then scratch Sorcerian and play Faxanadu. It's bliss.

I second the motion. I'm going to go into more detail later on in the thread, but suffice to say, this is not a series that has aged well. Sorcerian is notable for being an RPG platformer where your party members follow behind you like synchronized swimmers, and behave like the shadows in Ninja Gaiden.

Malefor
10-15-2008, 06:03 PM
Oh, I just saw that Faxanadu is indeed mentioned in the article. Well, then scratch Sorcerian and play Faxanadu. It's bliss.

Yeah, Faxanadu is significantly more fun (and easier to understand) than Sorcerian. I eventually got to the point where I could beat the first dungeon in Sorcerian, and I *think* I could get to the dragon boss of the swamp, but my (lack of) reflexes & (lack of) mastery of the arcane training systems was insufficient for me to actually, y'know, win.

Also, controlling a single platformer character >> controlling a party of 4 characters strung out in a line.

Netbrian
10-15-2008, 07:33 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP02/LegacyLP020025.png

Last time, on Legacy of the Wizard, our hero was trapped in a hell of ladders. Before he suffocates, he makes a quick retreat to the top of the ladder, and returns where hence he came.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030001.png

Alert readers may have noticed that my inventory is sometimes inconsistent across screenshots. This is because I finish playing a segment and collecting screenshots, and then do my writeups. Sometimes when doing the write-up, Iíll wish that I had specific photographs. Iíll either restore an old savestate, or simply take a few minutes to retrace my steps.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP03000M0.png

Iíd like to draw your attention to the door right above our fishy friend. These fiendish devices are far eviler than any enemy weíve met so far.

In order to open these doors, you need to use one of your keys (treasure chests also expend them). Simple and conventional enough right?

Not quite. First off, keys are very difficult to collect. Legacy of the Wizard uses a twisted monster drop system that tries to give you whatever you have the least of. So once you collect four or five keys, monsters become far less likely to drop them.

In order to make matters worse, grinding to the collect the keys will generally require expenditure of magic (and for other characters, food). Once your magic gets below about 50%, the game realizes this, and helpfully forces the monsters to start dropping magic jars at much higher rates. The magic jars refill about two points of magic, so you can barely break even. Once this happens, you can kiss your precious key drops goodbye.

Now, the piece díresistance of the game design is that every time you leave an area, the locked doors all regenerate. This ensures that if you donít have enough keys going into an area, youíre back to square one, and will have to grind far too long in order to pass through.

This intriguing challenge will dog us throughout the entire game. :)

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP03000Xa.png

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP03000X.png

We continue on our merry way through a little maze of twisty passages, all alike. This section seems mainly designers an unsubtle way to railroad the player into using the character the designers intended Ė the enemies here do murderous amounts of damage.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP03000M01.png

This elevator shaft is flanked on both sides by areas we will be visiting later.

Netbrian
10-15-2008, 07:35 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030008.png

Helpfully, I am then unceremoniously dumped into a spike-lined pit of death. Spikes in Legacy of the Wizard (at least when theyíre facing upward) are subtler than the insta-kill variety we know and love on the NES. Instead, they prefer death by ten thousand cuts, chipping away at your life total. Pochi has an advantage in this section, in that he can simply ride the enemies over the spikes.

Or, if youíre not a bad enough dude to take a ride on the deformed frog-man (seriously, thatís his name), you can hold the up button instead.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030009.png

This passage of hidden blocks serves a purpose that is beyond our ken.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030002.png

The ďRock BeastsĒ on the top of the room serve a useful purpose. Theyíll drop down on top of you, and you can ride them back upward. Unfortunately, actually pulling this off is hellish, which is why they thoughtfully used this mechanism over and over again throughout the game.

According to http://www.uranus.dti.ne.jp/~sho-dsl/ds4monst/SDSLds4mm.html, the bug enemy Iím on top of is native to Crater Lake, in my home state of Oregon. No, I donít know how the page creator came up with that either. (If someone that can read Japanese better than I can would check this, I would be eternally grateful.)

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030010.png

After finishing another puzzle where you touch each tile in hopes that it will magically vanish, I encounter a granite mountain.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP03000M02.png

I know what they want me to do here, and I refuse. Iím going to take the ladder instead.

Netbrian
10-15-2008, 07:37 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030012.png

Time to gush Ė this area embodies what I love about the game. It does a wonderful job of standing out from the last several sections, and the solid green background works surprisingly well. The delightfully surreal enemies are just icing on the cake. Even if in fact itís just another maze of ladders, the art design gives makes it feel very unique, in a manner Iíve seen in few games of this era.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030013.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030014.png

The green fireballs helpfully give me a ride to the treasure chest, where I get equipped with the Power Glove!

The glove will significantly increase the damage dealt by the magic used by any family member (except, ironically, for Pochi). To compensate, each shot takes two mana instead of one. However, the damage increase is significant enough for most characters that you come out ahead. Expect to be seeing this little number a lot in the near future.

Unfortunately, thereís no more beating around the bush. Iíll have to return to the mountain of pain.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030003.png

Blah, blah, breakable blocks, blah blah. Note that in order to get up here, I lured one of the skeletons into the hallway to use as a trampoline.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030011.png

I am rewarded for my troubles by being dumped in what seems to be the hall of Gak. I poke along through the maze and head onward.

Netbrian
10-15-2008, 07:39 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030016.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030015.png

If I had taken the top path, rather than the bottom one, I would have been stuck. As you might expect, getting from one route to another requires you to traverse the whole maze over again.

I like how the designers carefully made sure that the backgrounds of the two sections line up perfectly, but then threw in an abrupt change of building material.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030004.png

I donít mind telling everybody that this is not a fun jump to make. However, the treasure (lots of money) is surprisingly worth it. Iíll have need of that soon enough

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030005.png

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP03000M03a.png

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP03000M03.png

I think this is another really good example of an otherwise (very) repetitive level standing out because of excellent graphic design. The blacks and reds really work well here.

However, for those actually playing this level, all I can say is that I hope youíre using an emulator with speedup. Donít miss how you have to cross the level five times in order to get to the chest, and three more times to get out.

Netbrian
10-15-2008, 07:40 PM
The treasure chest contained even more money. I use my newfound wealth to make a purchaseÖ

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030017.png

The magic armor (which everyone but Pochi can use) drains your mana while using it, but will instantly kill any enemy you touch. It can be very useful in certain circumstances, and my coffers are overflowing anyway. Iím going to avoid buying items that are used to proceed through the dungeon, but Iím willing to buy utilities like this.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP03000M04.png

That lion would kill any man.

But I am no manÖ

(Note the pillar furthest to the right. It always infuriated me that the thing is not breakable, given the space beyond it).

Deeper. Go deeper.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030018.png

The adorable cat girls in this section are such a non sequitor that you have to love it. Iíd play a spin off game just starring on of them.

In a bold attempt at sequence breaking, I traverse the floor of spikes. Note that if you miss even one of these (quite difficult) jumps, you have to start back at the beginning.

In Mario, spikes kill you. In Legacy of the Wizard, spikes make you kill yourself.

Netbrian
10-15-2008, 07:41 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030006.png

The game has mercy on us, and this wall actually is passable. I would not put it past the designers simply to include a sea of spikes with a dead end.

In fact, Iím pretty sure they do that.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030007.png

I go back down the lower right.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030020.png

You know how Doom 3 tried to create a tense atmosphere by making everything dark and having things jump out at you? This pastel colored level shows Doom what fear truly is.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030022.png

The shop buried in spikes contains nothing interesting, I continue on through the deathtrap. At the end, I am forced to spend way too much time maneuvering the enemies around until I can jump up through the hole in the ceiling. Going back the way I came would involve even more painful key expenditure.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030023.png

Iím back where I started. Maybe I missed something. Letís go back to the right of this level with the flying kitties, and go up this time.

Netbrian
10-15-2008, 07:43 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030019.png

Pro tip Ė none of the bricks in this room are breakable.

Octopus Prime
10-16-2008, 03:47 AM
Well, you've already trumped my grand* experience with this game by showing me regions of that dungeon ne'er even dreamed of by my philosophies.



*It wasn't grand.

Shadax
10-16-2008, 05:43 AM
Man Netbrian, you are a machine.

Also, as for the portraits of the woman: Once you collect all four masks, you can use them as teleporters, apparently. No idea why I felt the need to spoiler text that gem!

Netbrian
10-16-2008, 08:51 PM
One of the ways in which I really got involved in Legacy of the Wizard when I was younger was playing around with ROM hacking. It turned out once I spent some time with the game and a hex editor that this game is extraordinarily amendable to modification, and you can learn a lot by simply changing random things and seeing what happens (a method of learning that I took with me in my current position, where I deal with hundreds of insurance policies each day).

It got to the point where I started compiling what I discovered into an all-inclusive hacking document (itís probably floating around the internet somewhere). Unfortunately, what eventually doomed my project was that I hadnít yet had any experience with real programming, so I was unable to parlay the information I gathered into a real level editor. Later on, I received an e-mail from some Japanese person that figured out more than I could ever have hoped to.

One interesting thing I discovered was that enemies are defined in a manner unique to most of the games Iíve seen. In, say, Super Mario Brothers, a goomba is something that you can put anywhere, and it will behave in a pre-defined manner.

In LotW, each enemy is defined entirely each time itís played in a level. This means that a given enemy sprite doesnít necessarily tell you anything about what the enemy will do, because itís set anew, with different color palettes, AI, and power levels each time. You can even use this to create enemies that are a clone of whichever hero youíre using at the time, though sadly the game doesnít seem to actually do this.

Much of my affection for this game comes from just how fun it was to play around with. The internal structure was so logical that people of a specific, slightly bent, mindset could derive a lot of enjoyment from reverse engineering everything.

Netbrian
10-16-2008, 09:08 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP03/LegacyLP030019.png

Last time on Letís Play Legacy of the Wizard Ė

Having escaped the nefarious femme fatale felines, our hero is trapped in an loop of history, never ending. The loop leads her here, but to what end?

None, as it turns out. This entire section was actually entirely pointless, and one big dead end. :) Itís part of a general turning point where Pochiís section of the dungeon turns much nastier, and much more sadistic. The suddenly cuter enemies should probably have given it away.

The last cul-de-sac has no gameplay value whatsoever. It contains no useful treasure, and is there entirely to take up space. I canít imagine why people say this game is dense, can you?

Note that even though Iíve played this game far more than is healthy for any true human, this fake out has gotten me again and again. Iíve spent countless time getting stumped by this loop, and then giving up in frustration. In fact, I have tried riding the flying ghost enemy next to the fish up the pillar, in a desperate source for fake bricks, only to finally pass out in despair.

The actual route is, of course, back here Ė

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040001.png

Now, before I proceed, I find it time to stop and reflect. And grind for keys. The next room in the dungeon is a giant maze of ladders, fake blocks, and locked doors. Moreover, unlike the previous dozen such mazes in the game, the enemies in the room are all fireballs that blaze past me instantly, which means I canít simply farm as I go. Instead, I have to bring all the keys Iíll need with me. If I collect to few, I have no choice but to retreat, and of course, give up all my progress so far because the locked doors all regenerate.

Iíve mentioned before how hellish grinding for keys or money is in this game, and this is one of the most brutal. Once I collect two or three keys, the well runs dry. In this case, I collected a chest in order to force the game to stop giving me money, in order to increase the likelihood of key drops. The fact that this section is Pochiís makes matters even worse Ė his range is terrible, and he goes through magic fast. This means, of course, that the player runs out of mana quickly, causing the monsters to drop jars instead of keys. Iíve already quit one playthrough because of this hellish section, and I doubt Iím the only one.

Anyhow, once our hero has been rekeyed to his satisfaction, I jump through the magic portal!

And promptly fall back through, forcing me to climb up the giant staircase of platforms again.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040002.png

First order of business is that treasure chest to my right. It will take at least two keys (one to open the door, and one to open the chest), but it could be worth it. Letís take a gamble.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040003.png

You know how my character is immune to all monster damage? And that heís the hero of the day? I think this treasure is Falcomís method of flipping the player off.

I restore my savestate (no, I am not ashamed to admit I used them in this section), and continue to my right. A few keys later, and I find myselfÖ

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040004.png

Note the conspicuous absence of breakable bricks. Iím at a dead end. Hope you packed enough keys!

Netbrian
10-16-2008, 09:11 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040005.png

Back to the right, I continue through this maze. Falcom uses breakable bricks heavily in this part, so I have to check each wall, floor, and ceiling in order to progress. The locked doors often lead to dead ends, slowly running down your precious keys in this lonely dungeon.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040006.png

Finally, Iím at the top! Maybe things will return to normalcy and simply mildly sadistic.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040007.png

Or not.

Posting about Legacy of the Wizard in this thread (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?t=6279) is like posting about Duke Nukem Forever in a vaporware thread. It simply sets the bar so high that you just give it a lifetime achievement award to make it go away.

And if this isnít enough, one of the next sections consists almost solely of block puzzles (you only wish I was making this up!)

The saving grace of ladder hell is that there are no more locked doors. Maybe that would have just made it too easy to find the path. First off, letís try the chest. It has to be more rewarding than the last one.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040008.png

Surprise! The chest is a mimic! Had I not been a fish, the box would have eaten me.

Netbrian
10-16-2008, 09:13 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040009.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040010.png

Falcom is never known for its moderation. When they know theyíve found a good thing, you just donít see them giving up, do you. Remember what I said about the color cues? Yeah, theyíre gone now.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040012.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040011.png

I do have the opportunity to visit this side of the last room. However, nothing piques my interest.

I use the evil chest to catapult myself back into the center of the earth. This is required because of my puny little appendages.

Netbrian
10-16-2008, 09:14 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040013.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040014.png

It goes without saying that if you ever fall down from the ladder, you have to plod your way back to the far right to try again.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040016.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040017.png

As we continue to make the full circle, I end up back here, near the start of our adventures. When our troubles were just a bunch of ladders to nowhere that were not embedded in unsolid rock.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040018.png

In great Legacy of the Wizard tradition, going the wrong direction dumps you back at the beginning, forcing you to start all over again.

Netbrian
10-16-2008, 09:16 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040020.png

Finally! The real treasure chest! And it contains something new Ė I wonder what it doesÖ

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040021.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040022.png

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040023.png

Oh bugger. This canít be good. Double points for the erupting volcano in the background.

At least there arenít any locked doors, so it canít be too scary.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040024.png

Note that the fossils are actually spikes, and will damage you.

Netbrian
10-16-2008, 09:19 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040025.png

After that hell, the boss was mercifully non-epic. It dies to my dies to my ďhold down attack and hope he runs out of life before you doĒ strategy!

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP04/LegacyLP040026.png

Victory!

I actually progressed through much less of the game this time around, but the rooms got unbelievably cruel, and the progress slowed to a dull roar.

Oh, and in case youíre wondering what the crown I found does, the answer is Ė nothing apparent. Which is disappointing for a game that usually does a surprisingly good job of making items useful in a multitude of situations, and avoiding glorified passkeys.

Octopus Prime
10-17-2008, 02:04 AM
I almost thought that Pochi would have something more interesting then a big spider for a boss fight, since his section wasn't based around running around smashing monster faces.

C'est la vie.

Netbrian
10-17-2008, 10:38 PM
Yeah, Faxanadu is significantly more fun (and easier to understand) than Sorcerian. I eventually got to the point where I could beat the first dungeon in Sorcerian, and I *think* I could get to the dragon boss of the swamp, but my (lack of) reflexes & (lack of) mastery of the arcane training systems was insufficient for me to actually, y'know, win.

Also, controlling a single platformer character >> controlling a party of 4 characters strung out in a line.

I nominate you for Let's Play Sorcerian. Synchronized platforming team for the win!

Netbrian
10-17-2008, 10:39 PM
Previously on Letís Play Legacy of the Wizard, a heroic fish saved the world from an evil spider. This was the very first enemy that had shown any animosity toward our finned friend, and was dispatched with ease.

Now, a new legend is about to again.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050001.png

Falcom, being the champions of breaking out of gender stereotypes they are, made Xemn, the father in the family, the character with the most powerful attacks, but limited agility. His ďmagicĒ seems to take the form of throwing psychic axes at the enemy.

This compares amusingly with his son, who instead throws psychic hatchets. Iím sure there are Freudian implications here.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050002.png

Unlike Pochi, who doesnít have any use for items because heís a dog (err, fish?), Xemn has a large arsenal to choose from. In this case, Iím going to take the Armor, the Glove, and the Other Glove.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050004.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050005.png

Remember this item? We found it in the very beginning of the game, on Roasís very first outing, when the game was still fresh and happy. The glove allows Xemn to push (for a very broad definition of ďpushĒ white blocks. By pushing blocks into enemies, you can also kill them instantly. As this does not use mana, it makes it much easier to grind for blood, treasure, or keys.

As anyone who has so much looked at a game can tell you, the only drawback of an item that allows you to move blocks around is the fact that this means your character will be moving blocks around. And Legacy of the Wizard doesnít do anything halfway.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050007.png

This time, we visit the left end of the dragon room. With our newfound might, we can push the block aside, and loot the treasure chest. This chest contains a special scroll that increases our movement speed and magic range for a significantly longer time than mere mortal scrolls. I canít help but wonder if the game wouldnít have been better if the scroll just had lasted forever.

Netbrian
10-17-2008, 10:40 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050009.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050010.png

This shop contains a powerful cowboy boot, but Iím going to wait until I find it in the dungeon naturally. (Actually, I missed my chance to get it in this playthrough, and will have to go back for it soon next time I get).

Heading to the left gives us a treasure in an unusually accessible location Ė

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050011.png

Longinus? Xemn canít use this, but someone else can.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050012.png

Continuing to the left, we find a chest with a special key. This is actually worth twenty keys. Yes, I forgot this was there before I started Pochiís keygrind of hell.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050013.png

Xemn makes heavy use of ladders to nowhere. They reset the room when a block puzzle goes wrong.

Oh, yes, there will be block puzzles. In fact, this entire section of the dungeon could be best described as the ďblock puzzle marathonĒ. Doesnít that sound wonderful?

Netbrian
10-17-2008, 10:41 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050014.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050015.png

Unfortunately, I canít think of a good way to document my progress through these gauntlets. If anyone has any ideas, Iíd like to hear them, but I almost think itíd be more trouble than it was worth. Suffice to say, it involved lots of jumping and sliding (blocks).

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050016.png

Another ladder to nowhere. This one also provides you a hint regarding the whereabouts of the treasure I missed.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050017.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050018.png

The exit to this room has always bothered me Ė itís very easy to miss, and I donít see any good gameplay reason to use a fake block rather than, say, a ladder there.

Of course, in Legacy of the Wizard, the solid-looking blocks lead to the new areas, and the ladders are just embedded in solid rock. So had there been a ladder here, I might well have ignored it. Reverse psychology!

Netbrian
10-17-2008, 10:42 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050019.png

The section on the right is simply a more glorified than usual ďblock puzzle resetter.Ē There is some food here.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050021.png

Previews of coming attractions! Amusingly, this room is one of the features the game shows if you leave it on the title screen too long. Out of everything they could have picked, they chose this?

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050022.png

This section simply required me to push a block through the invisible bricks (fun fact Ė if you push a block through a section of broken invisible bricks, they become visible again. Thereís an untinteresting technical reason for this, but I prefer to write it down to the awesome healing powers of moveable cubes.

By the time I got to the spikes, I said to hell with it and dashed through. What is damage to our Legacy father?

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050023.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050025.png

There are other characters with block manipulation items (heaven had mercy, and this is the only dungeon section where it gets quite this loopy). Many of Xemnís puzzles exist solely to prevent sequence breaking.

It doesnít work, but it certainly infuriates the player.

Note the alternation mineshafts and columns-with-breakable-bricks. Itís a nice throwback to a simpler time, in Pochiís level.

Netbrian
10-17-2008, 10:44 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050027.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050028.png

Dead ends. You can tell that it wonít go anywhere, because there is a ladder. Itís actually the enclave on the far right that leads to progress.

Iím using the power glove right now. It quadruples the damage of my already powerful magic, and allows me to OHKO almost anyone I see.

The armor allows me to destroy enemies I touch. However, it doesnít make me immune to damage, so the goal is to try and graze them without making full contact. Itís a lot like the Touhou Project, but with less yuri.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050030.png

That hole is a fake block Iíve revealed. Itís quite the dirty trick. Iíve fallen into the mouth of hell by forgetting which tile is the fake one more than Iíd like to count.

Netbrian
10-17-2008, 10:47 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/zelda.png

Remember this (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=167424&postcount=30)? This is nothing.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050032.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050033.png

This is what hell really looks like.

Malefor
10-17-2008, 11:33 PM
I nominate you for Let's Play Sorcerian. Synchronized platforming team for the win!

Gah! No way, man. I honestly loved Dawn of War. I don't know how you and Prime can play some of these old games and escape unscathed.

Octopus Prime
10-18-2008, 04:43 AM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/zelda.png

Remember this (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=167424&postcount=30)? This is nothing.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050032.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050033.png

This is what hell really looks like.

Maybe it's just a different circle?

Red Hedgehog
10-18-2008, 11:39 AM
Xemn's section is where I had to stop playing Legacy of the Wizard. I just couldn't bring myself to get through all those damn block puzzles.

Octopus Prime
10-18-2008, 01:28 PM
Gah! No way, man. I honestly loved Dawn of War. I don't know how you and Prime can play some of these old games and escape unscathed.

In fairness, Hydlide was the only bad one. The rest merely suffered from inane puzzles or terrible level design.

Brickroad
10-18-2008, 09:33 PM
I always fall into the mouth of hell. Always. EVERY SINGLE TIME. Even though I know it's coming.

Alixsar
10-18-2008, 09:51 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/zelda.png

Remember this (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=167424&postcount=30)? This is nothing.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050032.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP05/LegacyLP050033.png

This is what hell really looks like.

How can you even play this game? From everything I've seen so far, this game seems less like a fun game and more like sadomasochism.

Mightyblue
10-18-2008, 10:01 PM
Man, once you start to go back and play old NES games, you really are surprised about how many of them are that horrible.

Brickroad
10-18-2008, 10:08 PM
Legacy of the Wizard is one of those games you can only really enjoy once you know absolutely everything about it, kind of like Persona 3.

ringworm
10-18-2008, 10:23 PM
Legacy of the Wizard is one of those games you can only really enjoy once you know absolutely everything about it, kind of like Persona 3.
:|

Netbrian
10-18-2008, 10:32 PM
How can you even play this game? From everything I've seen so far, this game seems less like a fun game and more like sadomasochism.

Where is it written that sadomasochism cannot be fun?

Man, once you start to go back and play old NES games, you really are surprised about how many of them are that horrible.[/I].

I don't think awful is quite the right term for what this game does. The game is neutron-star level dense, and cruel as hell, but the designers definitely had a vision of what they were going for, and they did a very good job realizing it. There aren't many games that mix up the variety and non-linear game design that LotW does. It was also a very early game that encouraged multiple paths through the game, and always has multiple ways of getting items (this isn't featured in this LP, but you can buy all of the key items in shops, allowing for a multitude of different routes). You can even vary which characters play through which sections if you want.

This isn't even getting into the aesthetics of the game. The dungeon design makes wonderful use of the technology they had available, and the designers did a very good job of making different areas feel distinct (in fact, I would say that the artistic aspect of the level design is some of the best on the NES). I plan to devote an entire post to the soundtrack, but suffice to say it too is one of the best of the era.

tl;dr -- Legacy of the Wizard is an awful game, but in a different sense of the word.

Netbrian
10-18-2008, 10:33 PM
Previously on Letís Play Legacy of the Wizard, we did some block puzzles.

One of the more tired video game jokes is laughing at shopkeepers operating in the middle of dungeons. Yes, yes, who would possibly buy from them? It really wasnít all that funny twenty five years ago either.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060001.png

Even so, this takes things a bit far.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060002.png

I continue upward, cleverly avoiding the fake bricks strategically placed to send me back to hell.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060003.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060004.png

The red boulders are a variation on the theme of ďmoveable blocks.Ē Note that in a game that has been pretty careful about this so far, you can get irrevocably stuck here pretty easily if you arenít careful.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060006.png

The last time we saw beautiful cat girls, they marked a dead end. I think weíre safe this time Ė Falcom would never let us skip more block puzzles.

Netbrian
10-18-2008, 10:35 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060008.png

In another throwback to more civilized age, the abstract blob enemies return.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060009.png

This level has interesting enemy design, and good use of color, but I donít have much to say about it. Anything left to remark on block puzzles needs to be carefully rationed.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060011.png

See? Note that the Christmas tree monsters return in a big way, and will stay with us throughout the rest of the dungeon. Their like drop bears, but with pointier ends.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060013.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060014.png

Iím pretty certain all of these blocks werenít strictly necessary.

The goal of the next part of the puzzle is ďblock ridingĒ. Xemn can actually use blocks as a mode of transportation. Unfortunately, itís easy to fall off your block, and itís back to the ladder to nowhere for you. Don't even ask how the physics of this work.

Speaking of physics, powerups bounce.

Netbrian
10-18-2008, 10:36 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060015.pnghttp://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060016.png

I make it past, but the horrors donít end. I honestly donít know why they keep repeating the ďrow of blocks that each need to be moved one space left to progressĒ motif. It isnít even really a puzzle at that point. It isnít even easy to make a mistake and forced to restart, which is really uncharacteristic for this game.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060019.png

The horrors continue. I like the knight ďguardingĒ the inn. Itís quite a nice little touch.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060020.png

The mattock is a key item, and weíll be seeing a lot more of it later on. Letís just say that once you know what it does, it just about makes up for the death march necessary to get it.

And had it stopped there, it just might have been. But no, the non-stop Xemn dance mix continues.

Parish
10-18-2008, 10:37 PM
I would call it "awful" in the biblical sense.

Netbrian
10-18-2008, 10:37 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060021.png

Things are looking up! I am quite impressed by the Gameboy aesthetic for this zone. Note that for a wonderful moment, we can progress simply by walking!

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060023.png

Xemnís dungeon has been mercifully locked door free, and I feel the designers felt they had to make up for it here. The chest contains another ďsuper scrollĒ, which is squandered here.

Whatís most amusing about this area is that there is no reward whatsoever for progressing past the four locked doors. IT just wastes all your time and keys.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060024.png

This chest was forgettable, but didnít take much effort to get.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060026.png

The noir level doesnít last very long Ė itís merely the eye of the storm.

One thing Iíd like to note is that this game actually implements fall damage. If your character falls from a distance that is higher than the character can jump, he, she or it will take a point of damage. Itís irritating, and modern games that try to pull that on players get justly criticized. However, itís seldom brought up in conversations about Legacy of the Wizard and its faults. I wonder why that might be.

Netbrian
10-18-2008, 10:38 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060027.png

Oh, yes. Things like this.

We have the unparalleled opportunity to move whole columns of blocks.

Even better, this isnít even the extent of it. No, this pattern continues, left to right throughout the entire god forsaken area. Each Legacy of the Wizard section is about five screens wide. Four of those five screens will be dedicated to moving columns of blocks to the right.

At one point, I wondered if Falcom was just plain running out of ideas. But no, that doesnít seem to be it. Happy dungeons are all alike, but each part of Legacy of the Wizard is unhappy in its own unique way.

One innovation that makes this even worse than it looks is ďfake lack of blocksĒ. Trying to pass most of the space in this dungeon will result in a block magically appearing to bar your way.

I wonder why Metroid never thought of this innovation.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060030.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060031.png

When you look forward, you shall see a long for ever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts, and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all. You will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty merciless vengeance; and then when you have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains. So that your punishment will indeed be infinite.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060033.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060034.png

In the next section, Falcom decides to let up for a bit. Even the fake blocks arenít as bad as they look Ė the spikes are decorative, itís pretty easy to avoid falling in, and at the cost of a bit of pain, you can continue where you left off by jumping off of one of the enemies.

I also found the return of Eggman a pleasant change. Maybe Falcom, having shown their dominance, will let up a bit?

Netbrian
10-18-2008, 10:39 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060035.png

No.

The enemies look like something out of Lovecraft. That would certainly give a new context to the last level.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060037.png

Speaking of inconvenient store locations, this is getting a bit absurd.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060040.png

At least, the piece díresistance! The next mega-room is something truly epic. Like many games, it combines all the gameplay elements of the previous stage into a potent admixture, with innovative new twists.

This design philosophy can often produce excellent results. The fatal flaw this time around is just what the last set of gameplay elements were.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060041.png

Letís get this party started! (In a cruel joke, the chest contains food).

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060043.png

The last part of the dungeon merely serves as a landing pad for this part of the dungeon. If ever you fall, you have to plod through the last pit to return.

Netbrian
10-18-2008, 10:41 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060044.png

And that part of the dungeon serves solely as a landing pad for this part of the dungeon. Note that the discolored parts of the floor and walls are fake blocks. Miss just one of these painful jumps in tight quarters, and you will be dumped into the stage before yesterday, and receive the opportunity to do it all over again. From the dungeon before yesterday.

Spoiler -- We visit here again!

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060046.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060047.png

For my last act, I traverse these pillars of bricks. The fact that some of these pillars arenít fake is an unforgivable oversight on Falcomís part.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060048.png

Normally, getting this crown requires solving a block puzzle, where failure means a return to start. I, being wimpy, took a bit of pain and wrapped myself around the rock beast instead.

Netbrian
10-18-2008, 10:42 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060049.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP0600B0.png

Boss fights in this game are the opposite of epic, so much so I missed getting a screen shot. To compensate, I photoshopped (well, Paint.NEted) him in to make it look more awesome. I traded hits until he died.

Fun fact Ė bosses in Legacy of the Wizard are not specific to the area. The first boss will always be the spider and the second boss always this lich thing.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060051.png

Is this the end?

Netbrian
10-18-2008, 10:43 PM
No! Remember that I mentioned I missed something last time? We get an epilogue!

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP0600A0.png

Remember the ladder to nowhere? Falcom did something clever here Ė itís a clever hint as to the location of the fake block you touch to get back here and get at the chest.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP06/LegacyLP060059.png

No, thatís not a graphical glitch. Right on top of the real chest, is of course, a mimic, whom will eat you for massive damage if you touch him. Xemn is manly enough to dispatch them in a few shots, and grab his boot.

I could not have thought of a more fitting way to end this section then thoughtless malice.

Next time Ė Falcom and positive portrayals of women in games.

Pajaro Pete
10-19-2008, 02:16 PM
The goal of the next part of the puzzle is ďblock ridingĒ. Xemn can actually use blocks as a mode of transportation. Unfortunately, itís easy to fall off your block, and itís back to the ladder to nowhere for you. Don't even ask how the physics of this work.


This is what hell really looks like.

Next time Ė Falcom and positive portrayals of women in games.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/ichigofrost/dontmakeme.jpg

I've been trying to forget this game since I first played it. Xemn's pushing blocks through the air to ride on them STILL HAUNTS MY NIGHTMARES.

Netbrian
10-19-2008, 08:02 PM
Intermission -- Legacy of the Legacy of the Wizard

I was about to do a giant summary of the Dragon Slayer series and Legacy of the Wizard (Dragon Slayer 4ís) place in it, but frankly, itís been done better here Ė

http://hg101.classicgaming.gamespy.com/dragonslayer/dragonslayer.htm

Summary Ė The Dragon Slayer consists of random unrelated games shoehorned into a family tree. There are lots of spin offs. Very few entries in the series are worth playing.

Oh, and Xanadu was popular in Japan, which amazed me due to the fact that it is unplayable. It probably set back Japanese game design a decade.

I will allow myself this from my large canned post Ė

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/LegacyLP070025.png

Sorcerian occupations rock. I do think that is a Monty Python reference.

Instead, Iíll stick with my value added and go over the other incarnations of Legacy of the Wizard, or Dragon Slayer 4.

There were two versions of Dragon Slayer 4 for the MSX, one for the more primitive system and one for the more powerful. My knowledge of MSX lore beyond that is limited to say the least. The games were ported to the Famicom by Namco(t), and then brought to the US by Broderbund.

Note that one of the most frustrating features of almost all MSX games is that they donít handle scrolling very well. In Dragon Slayer 4ís case, while the game is still divided into five screen zones (but with loading time in between), there is still no horizontal scrolling. Your character simply leaves screen one to enter screen two. Itís quite cumbersome, and makes it difficult for even me to tolerate the game for long periods of time.

One major difference between both of the MSX games is music. The soundchips for the different systems are obviously different, and the MSX music seems to be a bit slower in tempo.

The MSX version also has unique musical tracks for each of the bosses in the game, while the NES version uses the same song for the four.

Pochiís theme also differs between the two systems. To say the least of it, the MSX version sounds rather out of place. My suspicion is that the track is a reprise of a theme used previously in the series. Namcoís decision to axe it was probably wise.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/ds4-01.mp3

Beyond that Ė first, Iíll go over the early version:

Netbrian
10-19-2008, 08:04 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/LegacyLP070001.pnghttp://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/LegacyLP070003.pnghttp://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/LegacyLP070011.png

Left to right Ė Famicom, MSX1, MSX 2

The Dragon Slayer logo is one of the very, very few constants throughout this series, and even that isnít always preserved. Sorcerian and Lord Monarch donít include it.

Netbrian
10-19-2008, 08:05 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/LegacyLP070004.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/LegacyLP070005.png

The use of color in this game has always struck me as really, really odd. The characters are all black and white, the enemies are solid colored, and the items are psychedelic.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/LegacyLP070007.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/LegacyLP070008.png

Despite the extreme graphical differences, the dungeon design is essentially identical to the NES/Famicom version.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/LegacyLP070012.png

The MSX2 version is a big step forward, and also rationalizes the rather out of hand color schemes shown here. The home looks much more familiar, though some of the sprites were redrawn.

Netbrian
10-19-2008, 08:06 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/LegacyLP070014.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/LegacyLP070015.png

The sprites in the MSX2 version were probably the basis for the Famicom port, but most of them are subtly different. This is particularly notable with the main characters (note that the levels themselves use almost exactly the same graphics). The Famicom version also doesnít seem to mix up the enemy color schemes as much, possibly due to technical limitations.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/LegacyLP070016.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/LegacyLP070022.png

The most striking difference though, is the dungeon design. The Famicom version uses the same dungeon map as the original, nearly to a T. The MSX2 version mixes things up a great deal, including enemy placement, chests and their contents, and other things. Itís almost like half of a second quest.

Netbrian
10-19-2008, 08:07 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/LegacyLP070023.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP07/LegacyLP070002.png

In particular, Lyllís section of the dungeon was radically reworked. On the left is the MSX2 version, while on the right is the Famicom version (which follows from the MSX1 version). I love how the room is bisected by what seems to be something from a completely different room in the dungeon.

Iíve always been curious about the dungeon design differences, and have been sorely tempted to play through the MSX2 version. Unfortunately, it stretches even my tolerance for older gaming standards. The controls arenít quite as good as the Famicom game, the graphics come off as a bit of a step down, and while the music is essentially the same, the sound effects seem to be a noticeable step down. All that might be tolerable, but the lack of horizontal scrolling is really a deal breaker. Randomly, Iíve been tempted to try and load the graphics and levels from the MSX2 game into the Famicom ROM, to try and get the best of both worlds, but then I remember that I have better things to do.

One thing that has struck me about Dragon Slayer 4 in general is that for a company that strip mines its franchises enough to make Activision seem the embodiment of artistic integrity is that this is all there is of the fourth game in the series Ė two versions and a port. Despite all the flaws in the game, it is heads and shoulders above most of the rest of Falcomís back catalog, but the company continues to utterly ignore it. Iíd for one love to see them pull the ďtake dated gameplay and add beautiful graphics and a remixed soundtrackĒ move on this game, but it just doesnít seem to be in the cards.

This phenomenon extends to the soundtrack. Ys is obviously the poster boy for how much blood you can squeeze from a stone (when I was younger, I actually made a spreadsheet of every Falcom album I knew about, and I think some songs got more than twenty releases), but even lesser Falcom franchises, such as Sorcerian or Brandish generally get a ton of exposure. Dragon Slayer 4, despite the awesome music and Yuzo Koshiro, has seen a single OST a decade ago, and a single track on a special box CD. Isnít it terrible when the only thing they exploit to death is what you freaking want?

(By the way, if anyone can hook me up with the tracks from the OST, I would be eternally grateful. The song I linked to was recorded directly from the MSX game).

kaisel
10-20-2008, 12:04 PM
I keep trying to play Legacy of the Wizard since I like Falcom and sidescrollers a lot, but this game just frustrates me to no end (mainly the block puzzles). I would love to see a remake of this that made the game fun/more forgiving.

Sorcerian on the other hand is pretty easy, aside from the dragon scenario you can do when you hit a high enough level...

Netbrian
10-20-2008, 12:41 PM
I keep trying to play Legacy of the Wizard since I like Falcom and sidescrollers a lot, but this game just frustrates me to no end (mainly the block puzzles). I would love to see a remake of this that made the game fun/more forgiving.

The thing is, I don't think it'd be all that hard to do. Here are a few minor things that could make the game much more playable --

1. Allow saving/continuing games from Inns.
2. Some sort of indication (like a portrait) showing new players which section of the dungeon belongs to which player.
3. Fixing the drop system.
4. Having locked doors stay that way once they've been unlocked.
5. There are a few specific cases where you have to find a certain breakable brick on the floor of the dungeon in order to proceed to the next room. Usually breakable bricks are handled okay, but in these cases it should really be replaced with a ladder.
6. Some sort of vague, in-game description of what each item does. The game is pretty good about making them intuitive, but one or two items in particular could really do with a blurb.
7. A visual indication of what the crowns do once you have all four.
8. Improve the control of the glove, especially when mid-air.
9. More breakpoints within block puzzles, so you don't go back as far when you fail.
10. Something fun at the dead end in Pochi's stage! (I'm still bitter about that).

I'm a bit surprised you feel Sorcerian is easier then Legacy of the Wizard. I tried the DOS version, and found it even less intuitive. This might be a case where one of the more modern remakes would work better for me though. (Why on Earth don't they just give you the equipment the game forces you to buy before starting anyway?)

Oh, and a preview of coming attractions --

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LyllTwo.png

kaisel
10-20-2008, 06:52 PM
I'm a bit surprised you feel Sorcerian is easier then Legacy of the Wizard. I tried the DOS version, and found it even less intuitive. This might be a case where one of the more modern remakes would work better for me though. (Why on Earth don't they just give you the equipment the game forces you to buy before starting anyway?)


I think it's probably because Sorcerian was one of the first PC games that I played, so a lot of it is probably internalized. Also, there's a scenario or two that really lend themselves to "grinding" (basically have a couple of mages in the party, turn the speed to the highest, and hold the magic button).

One of these days I'll make it through Legacy of the Wizard, I imagine this is one of those games that is fun on an emulator, and terrible on an actual console.

Netbrian
10-20-2008, 08:01 PM
Intermission Ė

The dungeon for Maia has an item required for Lyllís dungeon, and vice versa. The items can also be purchased at shops, but weíre going to get them the hard way. Iíll start with Lyll, and then as soon as I have what Iím looking for, finish Maiaís dungeon. Then Iíll have what I need to finish Lyllís dungeon.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080001.png

Luckily, the ladies of the game are awesome.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080002.png

As I mentioned before, Lyll has an effect on game balance largely similar to Mewtwo, Bo Jackson, and the long straight line in Tetris, and is in the running to be the most awesome character in anything ever. Her magic has a further range then everyone else, and she jumps about twice as high as the rest of her family. She also gets some of the best items in the game.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080003.png

The power boots arenít strictly required to beat the game, but make doing so a much more enjoyable experience. With them equipped, you can jump on any enemy, and kill them instantly.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080004.png

Lyllís section is in the upper right-hand corner of the dragon room.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080005.png

Lyllís dungeon is the least linear of the four, and includes very little railroading. For most games, thatíd be a good thing, but for LotW, that just means itís horrifically confusing in an already brain-melting game.

Netbrian
10-20-2008, 08:02 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080006.png

I love the ethereal color palette used in this level. ButÖ is that a block puzzle I see?

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080007.png

Remember when I said that Lyll was the most awesome character ever? This is one of the reasons why. She doesnít bother with gently pushing blocks around, or mounting them like a horse. No, when Lyll wants to get past a block, she takes her pick axe to it, and crushes it like a bug.

Note that most people will do Xemnís entire dungeon with Lyll instead. She can jump over most of the problems, and cut her way through the rest. She can cut out Pochi altogether.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080008.png

Note that itís actually possible to get through the shaft on the right unaided, though youíre not intended to be able to. You have to wait position enemies exactly correctly to pull it off, and itís frankly not worth the effort.

Unfortunately, in a game as abstruse as this, Iíve spent quite a bit of time trying to pull it off in a fruitless attempt at progression. When you have no idea where to go, itís mighty tempting.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080012.png

Here, Lyll demonstrates her approach to moving blocks, which is to pound them to dust.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080015.png

I do get a chance to grab a second power boot, thus making my backtracking earlier look rather silly.

Netbrian
10-20-2008, 08:03 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080018.png

I really like the color scheme for this level too -- and the return of the blobs.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080021.png
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080022.png

More fake blocks! Falcom is going to drive this concept into the ground. The mega-key will be of great use to us later.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080023.png

I took this picture solely to showcase the different fashions of the enemies on display.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080024.png

The flower extends the range of my attacks for the cost of an extra mana. Unfortunately, the only character that gets much use out of it is Pochi, and weíre done with him.

I like the bleak, melancholy level design here.

Netbrian
10-20-2008, 08:06 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP0800A0.png

Iíve always been struck by the lovingly rendered active volcano found here, deep in the bowels of these hellish ruins. Things like this are one of the reasons I think highly of the game, and appreciate the differentiated dungeons.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080028.png

Just in case we hadnít had enough with spike lined pits, I find what I came for. I then use a crystal to escape.

Iíve kept this section of the LP truncated so as to not spoil the real playthrough of Lyllís dungeon.

Now, for something completely different:

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080029.png

Maia is another gem. She jumps higher and goes longer than her husband, and her attacks are almost as powerful. (Men in this game just canít win).

She also has an absolutely spectacular item selection, and wonít put up with this block pushing for a moment.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080030.png

Remember the Gae Bolg we picked up oh so far back? Stabbing a block will hurl it with great strength across the length of the screen. It will slaughter any enemies in its path, and bounce around quite some time before coming to a rest. Note that if it hits the character, it will bounce the other direction, but inflict unavoidable damage.

Why yes, you will have to get hit with blocks over and over before the game ends. How did you know?

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080031.png

The other item is a set of wings. To be short, the wings turn off gravity.

I have a feeling that jumping puzzles will not make up a significant part of Maiaís gauntlet.

Netbrian
10-20-2008, 08:08 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080032.png

You never have to do this, but the blocks can be blasted diagonally as well. I just think itís really cool.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080033.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080034.png

This look familiar? But Maia gets to be on top.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080035.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080036.png

Just in case you wanted to relive your worst moments.

Netbrian
10-20-2008, 08:10 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080037.png

Our endless journey has come to an end. You can tell by the penguin warrior.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080038.png

Christ. Iím not looking forward to the end of this dungeon.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080039.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080040.png

Somehow, this spike-lined room no longer instills quite the terror it used to. However, I donít think I like the surfeit of locked doors.

Netbrian
10-20-2008, 08:12 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080042.png

Now this? This horrifies me.

The pastel colored wizrobes can float through the walls, live long, and hit really bloody hard. The room is full of locked doors, which means you have to grind hard to be safe. There are also three separate paths, two of which are essentially mandatory. Since the paths donít intersect at all, you have to go through one, get the prize, backtrack all the way, and then go through again. Oh, and the locks reset for every trip!

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080044.png

Mimics? Oh, there are mimics, which hit for a sick amount of damage and are functionally indestructible. I especially like the one at the top, blocking any progress (I think it has 255 HP). Maia also cannot equip the magic insta-kill armor, so you basically just have to kiss your life meter goodbye. And you have to go through this one at least twice.

This room has probably killed me more than the rest of the game combined, save for the bosses. It looks so innocent, but the thing chews souls and spits them out again.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080049.png

AT the end of the top path is this little number. The secret is not to be afraid to abuse your body, and to remember that the blocks will be rocketed in whatever direction you last inputted. Itís probably the cleverest block puzzle in the entire game.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP08/LegacyLP080050.png

Most of the items in this dungeon are pretty intuitive. This one isnít.

Next time Ė more trips through the deadly room of death!

Netbrian
10-21-2008, 11:08 PM
In our last episode, I got equipped with a wondrous object of dubious utility.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090002.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090004.png

We dash out of the room of terror, and then brilliantly dash back in, this time using the middle path. Note that leaving the room to grab the bauble respawned the unavoidable death mimic (itís always nightmare mode in this game).

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090005.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090006.png

One prize for this route is a crystal to add to my collection. I donít think sacrificing my keys to the cause was worth it.

As for the shopÖ

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090007.png

To add insult to injury, the shop on this path sells everything at exorbitant prices.

Netbrian
10-21-2008, 11:10 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090008.png

Now, the last path.

My vital signs are becoming a cause for concern. The nearest inn is seven locked doors and a spike-lined death trap away. No way to go but forward.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090009.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090011.png

The bloodstained spikes are a nice touch, especially given that my characterís life is passing by her eyes. This shop comes much too late in my run, but could help other people.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090016.png

I finally hit upon the sort of rest Iíve been looking for. In a cruel joke, the treasure chest contains food. Unfortunately, Maiaís magic meter is hitting rock bottom, so I canít save my money. Maia has to spend a lot of time at cheap hotels throughout this run, so money can become a problem. This gives me an opportunity to play with my new toy anyhow.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090017.png

This hole passage has always bothered me, and caused great wailing and gnashing of teeth.

In order to progress, you need to play find the breakable brick. Unfortunately, walking over it doesnít seem to reveal it Ė you have to be holding down at the same time. Moreover, the brick is not in an intuitive location. Falcom generally at least tries to put the room exits in at least mildly hopeful looking locations, in order to give you an idea where to look. In this case, they chose an out of the way corner of a basement level.

And of course, should you prematurely give up and return to look for the exit somewhere else, you have to go through the terror room again.

On the other hand, it is a good indicator of what this section of the dungeon has in store for us.

Netbrian
10-21-2008, 11:12 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090019.png

Such as pulling the mouth of hell move on us, and dumping us on a pit of spikes. This pales in comparison to what is to come.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090A00.png

This is.

Oh, it isnít obvious to you? That decorative bloodstain is actually an enemy. Maiaís stage is full of nearly invisible enemies in strategic locations like this. To prevent us from cheating, Maia also cannot equip the armor and bypass these. Expect to here many choice words about this as the game goes on.

To improve the situation even further, the enemies in Maiaís realm all do sickeningly high amounts of damage. Iím going to be hemorrhaging money visiting inns. Due to the fact that Maia has three special items, you also canít use the power glove anymore to power your way through it Ė you just have to accept the pure unadulterated torment. Many of them have a high enough HP that they require quite the beatdown. And they respawn, so god forbid you have to backtrack.

Iíve played Roguelikes more merciful than this (including, but not limited to, Nethack).

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090021.png

This does give us a chance to show off the magic stick Ė if you encounter a locked door with it equipped, youíll spend magic instead of keys to open it. Yes, Iím just a little upset that nobody else can use this thing.

Bonus content Ė can you find the bloodstain in this screenshot?

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090025.png

The next area is pretty bland, and shows the return of the Eggman.

Netbrian
10-21-2008, 11:16 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090026.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090028.png

In order to get this chest, you have to engage in ritual self abuse, and leap in front of the block when it blasts its way back. That way, you can trap it in the area on the left area.

Double points for the levitating spikes right above me.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090032.png

We float past the carnage to our goal. The decorative spikes are not solid, and can be easily bypassed.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090035.png

Wow, thatís subtle. The list of puzzles that one can come up with that involve the Keystick is rather short, which probably explains this. That wonít stop Falcom from sticking their giant rows of locks wherever they can.

These rows effectively prevent you from being able to use Lyll to collect all four crowns. Someone really dedicated that can manipulate the RNG might be able to pull it off, but it would be such an unbelievably tedious and unrewarding experience that Iíd frankly gouge my eyes out before trying.

(Pondering this made me look up some web pages to see how many free sets of keys there were in the dungeon. That inspired me to compare the Famicom and MSX versions. That inspired me to play the MSX version for an hour. I failed at focusing, but did learn that the MSX version jacks prices up for items.)

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090038.png

In this case, itís hardly worth the extra effort. I got another crystal consolation prize.

Netbrian
10-21-2008, 11:17 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090062.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090063.png

In a more benign display of this games unrivaled obscurity, there are secret shops in a few places. Many games include such things, but in this case, you find it by touching the sign that says ďInnĒ. This makes it say ďShopĒ, and thus be a shop.

Yes, thatís literally how this works. I have to pass on the merchandise, needing to save my coin.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090043.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090045.png

Continuing onward, I find a bed of nails. Note that the game wonít let you enter places where thereís only one tile between the spikes and a solid object. Youíll want to fly past this one.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090046.png

At least we can put this mess of a room in a bit more context. See if you can guess whatís disturbing me. Hint Ė whatís with the blue dots?

Netbrian
10-21-2008, 11:19 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090048.png

This section bothers me a lot Ė thereís literally no reason to find the secret passage through the bricks. But itís there.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090049.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090050.png

Note that the sphinx is effectively invincible, and will maul you if you touch him.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090051.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090052.png

I suppose itís possible to get this far in the dungeon without either of these items, but I really donít suggest it. Grinding for keys was roughly as fun as my last root canal.

Netbrian
10-21-2008, 11:20 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090053.png

I love the sword toting bear things patrolling their locked doors. Now this is how you secure a vault.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090054.png

And cat girls are never out of place. I continue my downward spiral.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090059.png

This inn is another secret shop. Perhaps itís some sort of black market. That would explain the land-mine enemy in front of it.

Next time Ė you see all of the above? The next time around, we have that, only bigger, faster, and harder. With more spikey things.

Brickroad
10-21-2008, 11:23 PM
Technically it's the narrow spiked passages that cause Lyll to be blocked in this section, since she can't use the wings.

It's possible to get through Xemn's section with her too, but results in a lot of farming because destroying blocks eats up her magic.

Also I have named so many characters in so many games "Lyll" that I have literally lost count.

Netbrian
10-21-2008, 11:27 PM
Technically it's the narrow spiked passages that cause Lyll to be blocked in this section, since she can't use the wings.

It's possible to get through Xemn's section with her too, but results in a lot of farming because destroying blocks eats up her magic.

Also I have named so many characters in so many games "Lyll" that I have literally lost count.

Correct -- Unfortunately, that passage was a bad example due to the fake blocks.

I haven't tried Lyll in Xemn's section before, but I had heard it works. I'm surprised about the farming thing, as she can jump over a lot of the block puzzles.

Brickroad
10-21-2008, 11:32 PM
Correct -- Unfortunately, that passage was a bad example due to the fake blocks.

I haven't tried Lyll in Xemn's section before, but I had heard it works. I'm surprised about the farming thing, as she can jump over a lot of the block puzzles.

Yes, but she still has to go through the room with all the stone columns. Xemn can push them out of the way (and pretty quickly at that) but Lyll has to chop through them, and the mattock uses magic.

I also learned that trying to take anyone but Pochi to get Pochi's crown is pretty much a crapshoot, since there's a mimic in the way whose bite does like 40 damage. Xemn makes pretty short work of the level, though.

Netbrian
10-22-2008, 12:19 AM
I also learned that trying to take anyone but Pochi to get Pochi's crown is pretty much a crapshoot, since there's a mimic in the way whose bite does like 40 damage. Xemn makes pretty short work of the level, though.

The mimic's bite is a OHKO. I had better luck with Roas (of all characters) than Xemn because Roas can use the jump boots. Unfortunately, I still haven't figured out exactly how the game determines when touching a mimic with the armor on will kill you, and when it will kill the mimic.

And Legacy of the Wizard (150% speed if you wish) video LP. You know you want to.

Parish
10-22-2008, 12:56 AM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090062.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP09/LegacyLP090063.png

In a more benign display of this games unrivaled obscurity, there are secret shops in a few places. Many games include such things, but in this case, you find it by touching the sign that says ďInnĒ. This makes it say ďShopĒ, and thus be a shop.

Yes, thatís literally how this works. I have to pass on the merchandise, needing to save my coin.

I had no idea. That's so completely insane...

I love this game.

Brickroad
10-22-2008, 07:05 AM
I still haven't figured out exactly how the game determines when touching a mimic with the armor on will kill you, and when it will kill the mimic.

The game probably flips a coin, then ignores the coin and does whatever the hell it wants.

And Legacy of the Wizard (150% speed if you wish) video LP. You know you want to.

I'm pretty sure that I don't!

Octopus Prime
10-22-2008, 08:47 AM
Hey, everyone who commented that I was some brave hero for deigning to play Hydlide to completion for your enjoyement?

Hydlide had nothing on this game.

Nothing.

Red Hedgehog
10-22-2008, 01:15 PM
After reading through this, I really no longer feel bad that I never finished this game.

Netbrian
10-22-2008, 07:01 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100008.png

Iíd like to say weíre at the home stretch now.

However, we arenít. I do appreciate the gift of keys. Theyíre redundant in Maiaís level, but help out her children.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100010.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100018.png

I love the enemies in this part of the dungeon. But yes, they kill you as hard as everyone else in Maia-land does.

Oh, and fake block mazes are much easier with the angel wings.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100020.png

Note that the way enemy AI works in Legacy of the Wizard can really throw you off. The sprite of the enemy literally gives you no information as to how it behaves, how much damage it does, or how many hits it can take. Essentially, you have to instead remember the different built-in patterns, and match them that way.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100022.png

At this point, the inaccessible Inns just seems to be a running joke by the game designers.

Netbrian
10-22-2008, 07:02 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100A00.png

I really like the rising pillars in this part of the level, as well as the castle. Note the flying cyclopean enemies Ė these things will decimate your life total, and have the wonderful walk-through-walls trait, so you have to kill them before they get you. Itís times like these when you really wish Maiaís inventory wasnít full.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100039.png

This is some of the scariest foreshadowing in any video game ever.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100045.png

Free magic armor! Note that the wonderful fact that by grabbing it, youíll fall onto one of those bloodstains of death unless you have the wings equipped. And if the stain doesnít get you, the spikes will.

Iíve been experimenting with the armor in an attempt to do Pochiís section sans Pochi. The mimics in the last part of his level are entirely invincible, and will kill any humans that touch them. Sometimes, the armor will kill them and let you live, but sometimes youíll die first. Infuriatingly, I still havenít figured out exactly what decides if you live and die. The random number god bows down to this game in its unholy arbitrariness.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100049.png

This level is a strong contestant in the ďcruelest Legacy of the Wizard RoomĒ sweepstakes. Note first the green splotch on the spikes (spoiler Ė itís an enemy and will kill you!), and the twisty maze of locked doors. There area also the happy invisible enemies in the hall of locked doors, so donít you dare go on autopilot when going through them.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100055.png

In order to even start this challenge, you need to move the brick to the right side of the passageway. Timing when you should throw yourself in front of the charging brick is quite difficult.

Oddly enough, you cannot unlock doors while bricks are flying through the level.

Netbrian
10-22-2008, 07:03 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100059.png

The treasure is worth it though Ė a pair of bouncy boots.

One interesting facet of these boots is while theyíre primary use is in Lyllís level, Maia and Roas use them too. This is especially notable because the game generally restricts mobility items to a single family member. Unfortunately, Pochi and Xemn canít equip them. In between, I stayed at an inn to refresh my body and soul.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100065.png

In order to really get the point across, Falcom started putting these guys on top of spikes in corridors that are only a tile high. The multiple inns in this level really are necessary given the sort of stunts theyíre pulling. Itís been difficult to get screenshots of them because half the time, I only notice them once theyíve already hit me.

As Brickroad noted earlier, you cannot cross spiked lined corridors like this without using the wings, and thus canít get this far with any character except Maia. (Falcom put a single set of spikes right before the jump boots to reiterate this). Iíve been amused by the fact that this is about as Falcom goes in trying to come up with puzzles that need the wings.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100069.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100067.png

And so the day of reckoning begins.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100071.png

(I tweaked my emulatorís color settings a bit, which is why the tones in this section are a bit odd. This has been fixed, and wonít show up in later sections. I thought about replaying the section to get better screenshots, but then sanity prevailed.)

Netbrian
10-22-2008, 07:04 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100073.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100074.png

The most obvious sadism in this screenshot is the dirty disappearing block trick. However, it gets worse.

On the center of the right side of the screen, you might notice a tiny teal dot. As you probably guessed by this point, yes, itís an enemy. And yes, it does heavy damage. And yes, now they can move (you can see the whole sprite if they ever decide to jump). Iíd complain, but honestly by now, Iím just glad they waited until the section was almost over before they threw this at us.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100077.png

You wouldnít believe how infuriating these things are. Note the heavy damage to my life total.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100081.png

A fake block dumps me into an inn. Iím going to pass for now Ė Iím doing my best to save my gold in order to buy an item in Lyllís level.

The design of the room means that you canít jump out unaided. Normally this isnít a big deal, but this is the last chance to swap items before the boss, so it would have been nice to have one more inventory slot available. There are some fake blocks to the left of the inn, but they lead precisely nowhere.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100085.png

Note the cyan dot on the lower right Ė in one of their least forgivable moves (and Iím ready to forgive a lot in this game), Falcom started adding enemies blocking corridors that canít be hurt until you run into them (Pochiís stage had these too, but for obvious reasons, it wasnít notable there). I swear I am not making this up. Every time you pass through here, you pay a toll in blood.

Netbrian
10-22-2008, 07:06 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100091.png

After passing another row of locks with landmines, I look both ways, and then return to the inn. I want to be rested before the next boss. Hopefully heíll be fairer than the rest of this mess was. So far, boss fights in this game havenít been a big deal in comparison to the trip to them.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100093.png

I appreciate the background Ė the pillars are a nice touch, and theyíve varied the color scheme.

Our enemy is a baby dragon.

Fun fact Ė Romancia, Dragon Slayer 3, is known as ďDragon Slayer JuniorĒ. Here we have ďDragon Slayer Slayer JuniorĒ.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100097.png

And heís hard. As. Hell.

Each one of his shots aimed at you hit for about a fifth of your life total. They travel extremely quickly, and are hard to see against the dark background. The first several tries, I got destroyed before I could even see him.

Remember, Iím playing on an emulator. Had I been on a console, it would have been back to start for me.

Now, the thing to keep in mind is that most people by this point will have the shield item, which is sold in Lyllís section. When the shield is equipped, your character is immune to the enemy shots, making the game much more reasonable. I was very tempted to just go back and get the bloody thing.

Two discoveries prevented that. Usually I have the shield by this point, so I donít have to delve into fighting bosses so intimatelyĖ

1. I found out I had been wrong about the bottles. The fancy bottle is life, and the boring bottle magic. If you have a bottle equipped when you run out of the stat in question, itís refilled. (Yes, it would have been nice if you just had to have it in your inventory, but Falcom doesnít work that way). This would explain why I havenít been able to get them to work for the last decade and a half.

2. You can attack the enemy shots with your own magic to cancel them out. This means you can proceed in mild safety by simply blasting away in front of you (hereís another possible use for the flower). Unfortunately, this doesnít work as well when you get closer to the enemy, because the shots will often come out so fast that they miss your wall of magic. In fact, several times the shots killed me after I had killed the enemy. (Guess what Ė this means you lose).

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100103.png

Like so. Poor Maia is doomed.

The difficulty is compounded in that in order to do half decent damage, you want the power glove equipped. That means you wonít be saved if you die. Since the boss and his attacks utterly devastate your life total, itís hard to switch back and forth in time.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP10/LegacyLP100105.png

Eventually, I prevailed.

Next time Ė The final crown. And Brian learns from his mistakes and buys the bloody shield this time.

Netbrian
10-23-2008, 09:08 PM
Hey guys?

Rockgaea is hard.

Netbrian
10-23-2008, 11:04 PM
In our last episode, we went through the most incredible vault Iíve ever seen in a video game. Ninja-invisible enemies, line after line of locked doors, spikes, and a dragon at the end. Traps deemed to wimpy for Legacy of the Wizard find themselves an alternative position in the Tomb of Horrors module.

Before we start Lyllís section proper, I want to buy the bloody shield. First order of business is a recapitalization initiative.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110001.png

Before I get the fifty gold in the chest, I mercilessly slaughter the wandering monsters on my way. The power boot makes far, far easier than it was by allowing me to kill enemies with little life loss, and no magic loss. This prevents the drops from degenerating, and allows me to build up quite a hoard.

It turns out (after visiting every shop in the dungeon) that the shield is only accessible to Lyll, but not in her section of the dungeon. I had to verify the location with a guide.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110B00.png

This is actually in Maiaís dungeon. In order to get the shield, you first have to destroy the block in the same column as the pillar. Destroying that block reveals an Inn, which you can then visit (there isnít a door, and that doesnít matter). Next, you have to transmogrify the Inn into a shop as we did earlier. Finally, we can buy the shield (this is the only place in the game you can buy it).

How could I have possibly have missed this?

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110002.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110003.png

Surprising nobody, the spring shoes allow us to jump higher, at the cost of a mana per jump.

But wait! What about fall damage! Whenever you fall from an altitude higher than your normal jumping height you take damage?

Do jumping boots change the limit before you take fall damage? Do they eliminate it altogether?

No. Falcom eschews such things. This means that whenever you make a jump using the boots and you end up at the same place you started, you take fall damage. None of the sissy pandering we see in todayís video games!

Lyllís stage represents the very essence of this game. Itís far less linear than the other three stages, and includes some very open areas. Maia in particular can loot much of the stage quite effectively (though she canít finish it). Before I knew how the dungeon layout worked, this could crush my soul as easily as the invisible enemies, just because it was so easy to get lost!

Due to this, I donít actually have to proceed through most of this section of the dungeon to get the crown. And thatís disappointing, because Lyllís level has some of the most memorable and evocative level designs in the game. So the next part will be a tour!

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110A01.png (http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110A00.png)

This is the entrance level (you might have noticed we got stuck here with Pochi. The treasure chest above the spikes contains another crystal.

Netbrian
10-23-2008, 11:05 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110C01.png (http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110C00.png)

Above that is this section. Falcom decided to pull a variation of their favorite ďfake blocks trickĒ. Instead of just vanishing, now the fake blocks turn into spikes!

What amazes me is that they only do this very sparingly, and itís obvious (after youíve been stabbed once) which blocks turn into spikes. I expected them to have an entire room, two tiles high, where you just walked over block after block, praying they were real.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110D00.png

To the left of that is this area. Note that people going back to the house from the dragon room use the ladders on the left. This is mostly notable for the high number of bouncy enemies.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110E00.png

Here we have the other side of the room where we take our leap of faith into the dragon lair. Note the festive colored Christmas tree monsters. The sphinx doesnít even do nearly as much damage as his sphinx friends elsewhere.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110F00.png

Then we go here. The buildings in the background are well done, and I appreciated that Falcom isnít throwing the demonic dire wereslugs that Maia (and Pochiís) level loved so much.

Returning to the entrance room, we go right.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110G00.png

Note that the rockbeasts patrol many of the ceilings here. As I mentioned in our last visit, I would often use them to cheat my way up when I was younger. In doing so, I was cutting my own throat, since now the game expected me to have items I didnít have.

Netbrian
10-23-2008, 11:06 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110H00.png

On top of that is this room. We see a suspicious looking sword, underneath the ubiquitous woman. But how do we get it? All the walls and floors are solid.

Going up will take us to the path that eventually leads to the crown. Going down takes us to items and shops. Weíll go down first.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110I00.png

The red blocks here are all fake. As far as I can tell, they were just added to make the room look nice, as they arenít going to confuse the player in the least.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110J00.png

Like her pet dog, Lyllís level also has a land of mimics. The game is nice though Ė you have the space to jump on them with the power boot to open the chest safely, and the chests do far more reasonable damage than weíre used to (though it wouldnít take much to be more reasonable than ďyou die instantly if you touch me ever.Ē) Below here is the area we explored to get the wings.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110005.png

We already featured the rest, but Iíll note this fun feature ďfake spikesĒ. If you use the mattock on the blocks, they turn back into spikes.

Now, we go up and into the dungeon proper.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110K00.png

I love pink pastel color schemes like this area. The blocks are easily chopped aside, but do prevent other characters from using this route.

I'd say the color scheme was because Lyll is a girl, but that would bring up the question as to why Maia's dungeon color was blood.

Netbrian
10-23-2008, 11:07 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110006.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110008.png

We see a little blast from when we first got the glove.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110010.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110011.png

More cat girls! The mess of breakable bricks does nothing to stop Lyll, goddess of war and destruction. (The dungeons where you go right to left play hell with screenshots, because I keep getting confused.)

Netbrian
10-23-2008, 11:10 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110013.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110023.png

Bye kitties. This section has blocks that donít show up until you touch them (or you can just use the boots to skip this mess). Echoes of Megaman anyone?

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110024.png

A few things are notable about this level Ė

1. The enemies are really unusual, and donít appear much anywhere else in the game. I always wondered about this.
2. If you miss your jump and fall in the pit, you return here Ė

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110004.png

Thus spoiling the cheerily painless dungeon. Note that Maia can actually fly through the ceiling and cut into that area, skipping the last sections

Netbrian
10-23-2008, 11:11 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110027.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110028.png

Which is probably why they put this giant row of blocks in. Sorry Maia.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110029.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110030.png

Oh, ouch. And Falcom was doing so well. This is one of those nasty jumping puzzles, and a bad note to finish the dungeon off with.

The three blocks between where the breakable bricks end and the pillar begin are all fake. However, you donít trigger the blocks until you stand directly on them (rather than on two of them at the same time). You have to make a short hop over to the end of the pillar. If you fail, you get dumped to the bottom and have to try again. Getting this puzzle right took about as much time as the rest of the dungeon combined.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110031.png

(Note that thereís an invisible block preventing you from getting the crown from the right.)

Letís play the fourth boss, RockGaea!

Netbrian
10-23-2008, 11:12 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110032.png

Iím a failure, and get murdered.

Oh, and I tried to break the blue bricks to get a better sniping position. Falcom was too smart for that.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110037.png

Thatís better! Now Iím immune to shots (which hit for forty damage each). This should be easy right?

Of course not. You might notice that Rockgaeaís life meter has room for one hundred life points. He actually has two hundred fifty five. The life meter wonít actually decrease until weíve done the first hundred fifty damage. Moreover, we canít use the Power Glove and the shield at the same time, so our damage output is limited. Some of the other bosses also had high life totals, but because we used the power glove (and we tended to fight in closer quarters since they didnít hurt as badly), we could cut through them like hot butter through a knife.

Oh, and did I mention that there is no visual indication when a boss takes damage?

So for most of this fight, we will be having no idea whether or not Rockgaea is taking any hits whatsoever. Several times, I spammed magic at him, only to find out when I died that I had apparently not quite been in range.

His shots travel very slowly, so they act as kind of a shield for him, making him even more difficult to hit.

Oh! I need the mattock and jump boots to get here, so I canít bring spare life or mana! The misanthropy suppressed in this chapter has come out all at once. We have a boss that takes almost half our life meter if he so much as looks at you the wrong way, and no way to tell if weíre accomplishing anything whatsoever.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110039.png

Most people suggest firing from the top left, where Rockgaea canít go. I tried that, and then got discouraged and swore. I then used a cheat code to give myself infinite life and mana, and still couldnít manage to win using that strategy.

What I came up was to position myself on a broken pillar, and wait for him to jump to meet me. Then Iíd fire from under him while dashing to the other broken pillar. I had much better luck doing this.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP11/LegacyLP110040.png

In memorandum, other than the absurd boss, the dungeon section was a nice lightweight change from the horrors of earlier. Even before I knew the game, getting lost is a far better challenge then insta-kill mimics.

Please, please, please donít let the dragon be like this.

Netbrian
10-23-2008, 11:13 PM
Hydlide had nothing on this game.

I actually tried Hylide, and got too frustrated and quit. Legacy of the Wizard is strangely compelling, so I'm willing to put up with more (I'm like that with Roguelikes and collect-a-thons too).

Parish
10-23-2008, 11:39 PM
Because this thread fills me with inexplicable glee, I share with you a wondrous gift: Yura's Legacy of the Wizard remixes (http://www.gamemusic.ca/remixes.html). There's some other stuff there, too, but the LotW stuff is what you want.

spineshark
10-23-2008, 11:40 PM
This LP is super-heroic and I'm enjoying it a lot.

I don't have anything useful to say, but there's something I love about such bizarre and somewhat evil game design.

Brickroad
10-23-2008, 11:50 PM
Taking on Rockgaea with Lyll! Brave, brave little elf!

Obviously the boss is easiest with Xemn, which SUCKS because you get some important items in Xemn's level (so you want to visit early) and backtracking there takes forever.

Also I am convinced Rockgaea is impossible with Pochi due to his absolutely horrible range.

Parish
10-23-2008, 11:51 PM
I'd say the color scheme was because Lyll is a girl, but that would bring up the question as to why Maia's dungeon color was blood.

Take that one up with Alison Cooper, bub.

Alixsar
10-24-2008, 02:01 AM
This is the most ridiculous game I've ever seen.

Fixed. This isn't a game; this is an audition for sainthood. You'd have to be awfully patient and forgiving to get to this point.

Kirin
10-24-2008, 07:31 AM
Just trying to imagine actually playing this game without some sort of cheat code makes my head hurt.

But what I've really been meaning to post for a week but keep forgetting to by the time I've actually read through the updates is this:

You know that enemy you keep calling egg-man or something? I can only see him as one thing, and that thing is totally awesome: Indiana Kirby.

Brickroad
10-24-2008, 07:34 AM
Just trying to imagine actually playing this game without some sort of cheat code makes my head hurt.

What a coincidence! LotW happens to have the most completely obtuse and inscrutable cheat code in the history of video games. I'm talking like the crazy shit you used you invent on the playground to impress your friends, except it actually works.

Indiana Kirby.

YES.

Patrick
10-24-2008, 11:58 AM
What a coincidence! LotW happens to have the most completely obtuse and inscrutable cheat code in the history of video games. I'm talking like the crazy shit you used you invent on the playground to impress your friends, except it actually works.


explain please! (or maybe Netbrian is planning to do that)

This is my favorite LP since FF1.

Brickroad
10-24-2008, 12:00 PM
explain please! (or maybe Netbrian is planning to do that)

This is my favorite LP since FF1.

If this LP is anything like FF1, I can tell you two things:

1) netbrian's already planning to explain it, and

2) he hates my goddamn guts for spoiling it so early. (My nemesis was Sven. Damn you, Sven!)

nimling
10-24-2008, 12:28 PM
So that's how to deal with the rock boss...

I remember getting to that point, and dying often (and, being back in the day, having to slog through Maia's level several times).

Netbrian
10-24-2008, 10:06 PM
I donít want to understate things, but Legacy of the Wizard has one of the best soundtracks on the NES and of its era. In this era, Falcom was fortunate enough to stumble upon the little known Yuzo Koshiro. He composed the music for Legacy of the Wizard, Ys 1 and 2, and Sorcerian, among other things.

Unfortunately, unlike his later arrangements, Yuzo Koshiro does not own the rights to his compositions at Falcom, nor does he receive royalties for the ungodly numbers of Ys remixes crushing the world under their weight, not all of which he approves of (source -- http://www.squareenixmusic.com/composers/koshiro/biography.shtml )may be a contributing factor to the lack of official remixes of these songs. He no longer has much contact with Falcom, and apparently relations are rather bitter.

On a personal note, Iíd like to add that the remixer of his music (Ryo Yonemitsu) managed to annoy Koshiro, I still think he does a very good job. On the other hand, I enjoyed Portrait of Ruin largely because of the soundtrack, so Koshiro deserves a great deal of credit.

One of the things that still amazes me about the music is how distinct everywhere sounds. Few dungeon crawlers of that, or any era, can manage to show so much variety. Each area sounds very distinct, and I think the ďcentral areaí theme captures the very essence of ďdungeonĒ.

The best way to enjoy the NES soundtrack is either by playing the NSF file, playing a MIDI file, or going to http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=WkdOyiuG6VY&fmt=18 . MP3s can be tricky to find.

(While browsing YouTube, I found this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhaTN9FQR1M of a Legacy of the Wizard ROM hack. Unfortunately, consider me less than impressed).

For the MSX version, things get a little trickier. Itís certainly worth seeking out if only for the tracks not heard in the NES version. Unfortunately, there doesnít seem to be an NSF format equivalent for the MSX. On CD, it was released as part of Falcom Special Box '91, which is not remotely accessible. There was also a cassette version released in 1987.

If you have access to iTunes Japan, it can apparently be found there too. http://detail.psearch.yahoo.co.jp/i/eeKNFQfqVMPEv_eHpd6Px3/

In addition to the official mixes, there are the (very) occasional remixes. In addition to Yuraís songs (linked to by ToastyFrog here -- http://www.gamemusic.ca/remixes.html ), there also seems to be an unofficial Japanese album available here Ė

http://www.lkd.topaz.ne.jp/lukardow/towf01.htm

Unfortunately, you have to buy the full album to hear the remixes. If someone wants to help me out with this (my Japanese isnít that good), Iíd really appreciate it (obviously Iíd pay back anything).

Netbrian
10-24-2008, 10:07 PM
And now, I step off my soapbox and play.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120001.png

That portrait has always stood out as odd. What could it before? Who could it be of? (In the MSX1 version, there were two portraits for the password system.) Is it just a vestige?

Maybe itís of the heroes of one of the older Dragon Slayer games?

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120002.png

Once again, we enter the breach with Roas, the only person able to wield the crowns and dragon slayer. It makes you wonder what sort of qualities the artifacts look for in a person Ė and why they didnít choose his far more deserving sister.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120003.png

Roas can use the largest number of items in his family. Unfortunately, his choice of items is worse than anyone besides Pochi Ė no wings, no way to deal with blocks, and no keystick. The one saving grace is that he can equip the jump boots.

I choose two shoes and a crown, to be the best dressed hero the world has ever seen.

The question arises Ė what the hell does the crown do? This may have been something good to establish before we went through hell and back to collect them.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120006.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120008.png

Lacking any direction, we return to our origins. The food heals us after the mimic mops the floor with poor pathetic Roas. At least it isnít the species residing in Pochiís level that just kills you instantly.

Netbrian
10-24-2008, 10:09 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120009.png

We stare at the portrait.

The question arises, who is the portrait of? This game has no princess to save, and she resembles none of the main characters. Maybe sheís a metaphor for the game itself Ė you keep seeing it, and not understanding the purpose. However, you keep slogging through, hoping to comprehend the alluring yet demanding vision.

In any event, pre-calling Mario 64, I jump into the portrait, ready for whatever fate awaits me.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120010.png

Well that was anti-climatic. Roas gets dumped back at the beginning. I think this is fully consistent with the portraits as an embodiment of the game itself.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120011.png

Letís try this portrait. It has a different color, and is kind of on a pedestal.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120012.png

All right, this madness must end.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120013.png

This section is like a Legacy of the Wizard clip show. Roas teleports around the dungeon, showing random scenes from the past because our writers are on strike.

Netbrian
10-24-2008, 10:10 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120014.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120017.png

LikeÖ. The room of terror, except with a far less powerful character. The pathetic Roas seems to have no ability, yet is thrown around by a cruel and merciless fate to face to worlds with enemies far stronger than heíll ever comprehend.

In other words, heís Rincewind without the self preservation instinct.

Oh, and note the second screenshot. Had I not brought the jump boots, I would have stuck forever. Same goes for my keys. I run myself ragged to the dragon room.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120018.png

Hey, wait. How am I supposed to get out?

The answer Ė resetting or using a recall crystal. There is no alternative. :)

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120021.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120022.png

Fool me twice? The gray portrait also hurls us to where there is no escape.

Falcom truly is a harsh mistress.

Now, Roas canít get anywhere interesting in Maiaís quest (I found this out the hard way Ė he gets trapped if you try to continue further), and canít proceed through Xemnís at all. Pochi doesnít have any portraits, so that leavesÖ

Netbrian
10-24-2008, 10:12 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120023.png

Our beautiful Lyll.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120024.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120025.png

The portrait here looks promising. After playing for the last two weeks, Iím impressed that Falcom resisted the temptation to force you to use a crystal to escape with the dragon slayer. Didnít bring one? Guess youíre buried alive.

Note the green portrait in the pink puffy place. But the blocks block me!

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120026.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120027.png

Note that Roas, even with the jump boots, cannot get to that ledge on his own. He has to wait around for an enemy to show up to get a boost from. If you try and enter from the left, you get blocked again.

Netbrian
10-24-2008, 10:13 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120028.png

That looks nice and obvious. It even has a golden glow surrounding our lady of pain.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120029.png

It then dumps me into mid-air and I fall back to the beginning of the level (yes, they really do this. No, I donít think anyone is surprised anymore). I restore my state and fall correctly this time.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120031.png

Who would have thought?

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120033.png

Victory!

There should have been some epic music here I think, and the screen flashing when you get the sword. Despondent, I go deep into the portrait, ready to go home to rest before the final battle.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP12/LegacyLP120034.png

Or try to at any rate. Our mistress has other ideas.

At this point, I give up and use a crystal. Soon, it will be over soon.

You know, Roasís section could really have been a lot more interesting. It seems like they should have showcased all four sections to some extent, and had longer paths, rather than just hopping Lyllís land. It seems like a bit of a waste.

Next time Ė Dragon Slaying?

Netbrian
10-24-2008, 10:25 PM
So that's how to deal with the rock boss...

I remember getting to that point, and dying often (and, being back in the day, having to slog through Maia's level several times).

Honestly, the only reason I used the method I did is because I got scared at not being able to see the life total. Firing from the top of the level is probably less risky.

I was seriously tempted to use an emulator that allows you to view the RAM in order to verify whether or not I was accomplishing anything.

I don't have anything useful to say, but there's something I love about such bizarre and somewhat evil game design.

It reminds me of certain sorts of ROM hacks, only better. Or playing games with a caprious DM.

Obviously the boss is easiest with Xemn, which SUCKS because you get some important items in Xemn's level (so you want to visit early) and backtracking there takes forever.

I think Pochi could be done with the stupid flower thing. His attacks are easier to dodge than Archwinger.

Xemn would have been a much better choice, and would have allowed a slot for better items as well. Lyll wasn't that bad once I ignored all the guides and took more risks.

Oh and I'm going to be grabbing RHEM and playing it over the next month, just so I can blurt out all the puzzle solutions. Thought I'd let you know (hey guys! The portrait is the truck!)

Indiana Kirby rocks.

Shadax
10-24-2008, 10:42 PM
What a coincidence! LotW happens to have the most completely obtuse and inscrutable cheat code in the history of video games. I'm talking like the crazy shit you used you invent on the playground to impress your friends, except it actually works.


I first heard about the cheatcode right before I took a nap, and when I woke up I texted Maggie to tell her about this crazy dream I had about Legacy of the Wizard, only to look in my browser history and see that it was real.

Netbrian
10-25-2008, 10:32 PM
This is it. Our family has collected the four crowns, and retrieved the ancient dragon slayer.

Now all thatís left is to find the dragon, and execute him, thus sealing this terrible dungeon until the end of time.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130001.png

Roas, the only one unworthy enough to touch it, grasps it in his hand, and exits.

His mind ponders but one thing Ė what the hell does this thing actually do? My magic is still these tiny little hatchets, and I still do the same damage!

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130002.png

Mired in confusion, Roas rouses himself long enough to drive his sword into the taunting painting. A hollow vengeance for the horror she put him through.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130028.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130029.png

ErrÖ Wait. How do I get in there?

Roas ponders this for a moment, watching his life drain away as he attacks enemies. Despairing, he prepares to leave through the passage on his left.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130A00.png

Oh damn.

Netbrian
10-25-2008, 10:34 PM
It turns out the Dragonslayer was a glorified card key. You fight the dragon like a boy, with no items. The sole saving grace is unlimited magic.

Unlike Rockgaea, the dragon has only 100 HP. However, he takes hits much better, and turns out to be a much longer battle.

His pattern is simple. He wanders from the right to the middle of the screen. If heís close enough to the player, heíll flame you for ten life a hit. Once heís gone far enough, he flies back to the left. However, if you get close enough, heíll immediately descend upon you with his hellfire. And yes, he has a longer range than you.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130007.png

You have a choice. One method is a hit and run Ė hit him a few times and then jump back when he flames.

Or, if you can manage it, get close enough to him to avoid his flame. This is a bit riskier, but ends the battle much, much faster. However, it does have a drawbackÖ

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130009.png

In a wonderful finale, if youíre too close to him when he loses, his burning corpse collapses onto you, and destroys you instantly (this counts as a loss. Today, it would have just given you the ďbad endingĒ.)

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130011.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130012.png

Thatís better. Once youíre between his legs, the battle is mercifully short, and you can run him through with ease.

Netbrian
10-25-2008, 10:35 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130013.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130014.png

How cute! My family was awaiting my return!

They all look soÖ domestic.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130016.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130017.png

We come home, and find our dog-fish-thing awaiting us. Our quest is over forever, until the day comes when another dragon should terrorize us. (Hint -- we're fourth in a series of eight or nine, and spin-offs enough to make Mario blush.)

Netbrian
10-25-2008, 10:37 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130019.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130020.png

The credit music is awesome. Note that somehow human parents have an elf for a child. While theyíre the ďDrasleĒ family, their last name is canonically ďWorzenĒ.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130B00.png

Looks like Square isnít the only game company that wiled away the hours with their monster manual.

What page is the Derudeathgadedo on again?

Netbrian
10-25-2008, 10:39 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130023.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130025.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130026.png

As with many NES games, we get the incomprehensible names in credits. This was either because games are the sort of low occupation deserving of a pseudonym, or because Falcom is horribly adverse to giving credit to individuals.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130027.png

Fin.

Netbrian
10-25-2008, 10:41 PM
Glitches Ė

Legacy of the Wizard has a fairly simple engine, but that doesnít mean people havenít beaten it to a bloody pulp, and found some weaknesses.

First, there are random walk-through-wall glitches that some speedrunners make use of. I tried to get them to work, got irritated, and broke things. Basically, unless you play the game frame by frame, they arenít worth the effort.

The second glitch worth mentioning is the pause jump trick. Basically, if you pause the game while your character is falling, and then unpause, you can make a second jump in mid-air. One of the nice things about this glitch is that it doesnít require much precision. I didnít make use of it in my run, primarily because half the goal was to show off as much of the dungeon as possible.

Third, if you are playing with a pad that allows this, holding the left and right keys simultaneously your magic will stay in place rather than travel as usual (it lasts longer the further your range). Some people use this to defeat bosses more easily because of how it radically increases your damage output.

Now, on first glance I wrote this off. On normal gamepads, someone could never press these buttons, so itís just an emulation oddity.

ExceptÖ This glitch is present on the MSX versions of the game. The MSX version was designed to be playable with a keyboard. So either Falcom doesnít have much in the way of playtesters, or they knew that this was there and left it.

It certainly raises more questions than it (or I) will answer.

Netbrian
10-25-2008, 10:42 PM
Now, Legacy of the Wizard has some honest-to-god codes in it. What are they? Iíll say this.

Many of us got our chops debunking the fake cheat codes popping up in forums. Whether it was moving the truck to get Mew, or the nude raider code, this has always been a way to separate the newbies from the veterans. You could tell the fake codes, because they often required you to do something very precisely multiple times. That way, if you didnít get a result, it could be blamed on your failure to do it exactly correctly.

Legacy of the Wizard exists to put us in our places, and implements cheat codes in its own special way.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130033.png

First, on the title screen using the second player controller, hold up+right+A+B on the title screen, and then hold left+down+select on the first player controller. Then press start. Youíll hear a tone if you did it right. (Unlike this Konami code, this never quite caught on).

By the way, you can actually play this game with the 2P controller. Or, in great MM3 tradition, sabotage your friendsí efforts to play this game.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130034.png

What are the visible effects of this cheat? Immediately, not much. However, the portrait now comes alive and acts as a sound test. I plan to exploit this in the MSX version to get MP3s for the game.

But there is another effect.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130035.png

I exit the house, using any characterÖ

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130036.png http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130037.png

Now, if you go to the overworld shop (I never had a reason to visit it in normal play), and try to buy the crystal you canít affordÖ Nothing indicates that something magical has occurred.

Netbrian
10-25-2008, 10:43 PM
http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130038.png

Surprise! You now have magic armor in your inventory! This utterly illogical cheat only works if you put in the code prior.

Oh, was that not opaque enough for you? Are you feeling cheated that Legacy of the Wizard, a game of legendary density stops at that arbitrary sequence?

Fear not!

Now, this set of cheat codes reeks of voodoo. Despite my extensive knowledge of the game, I have no bloody clue how or why this works. Thus, there are probably steps here that are unnecessary. Unfortunately, I have been unable to discover the most minimal possible cheat, so there shall likely be steps not strictly necessary.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130039.png

Any character that can equip the armor will do. I choose Xemn, mostly because all other web sites say use Roas.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130040.png

I then waste away all my magic blasting at windmills with the armor in my inventory. You hear a tone when you run out.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130041.png

Now, while holding B and Left on the second controller, press right and A on the first controller with your cursor over the painting (contrary to certain web sites, you only need to do this once, and you donít need to be exactly on the eye). When you do this, youíll hear a tone.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res10gez0/LotW/LP13/LegacyLP130042.png

It raises an interesting philosophical point Ė can a game be designed to sell a strategy guide that will never exist? I think Legacy of the Wizard strongly answers in the affirmative, and I think there is no better way to end this LP with a display of opacity that exemplifies everything that has come before.

God, kill me now.

Brickroad
10-25-2008, 11:09 PM
Netbrian, thanks for the awesome LP. I think you really got to the core of the LP phenomenon here; play a game nobody else wants to play, so they don't have to do it. SIX THUMBS UP!

LotW is still one of my favorite NES games, but I would have never developed a love for it if not for some decent online walkthroughs to help me learn its most intimate secrets. Such as basic gameplay mechanics.

And yeah Lyll is my favorite forever. (Fun Lyll Fact: she is adopted. No, really, she is an elf but the rest of her family are humans.)

Parish
10-25-2008, 11:22 PM
Kill you? My good man, we intend to canonize you.

nunix
10-25-2008, 11:33 PM
As with many NES games, we get the incomprehensible names in credits. This was either because games are the sort of low occupation deserving of a pseudonym, or because Falcom is horribly adverse to giving credit to individuals.


On one of the Into the Score podcasts, I heard an interesting theory: publishers didn't want other companies poaching their programmers or musicians. Pseudonyms as defense mechanism!

Thanks for the LP. I've got a friend that's crazy about this game, and it's where I first heard about it, but that was only 4-5 years ago, I think. Did this ever get Nintendo Power coverage or anything? Never saw it in a magazine, never saw it on rental shelves. I wonder how you guys found this game as a kid.

Ample Vigour
10-25-2008, 11:44 PM
This was something more than an LP.

The world has changed, and I will not rest until I find out how.

mr_bungle700
10-26-2008, 12:42 AM
Netbrian, your commitment to a game that so clearly despises you is inspirational.

Or tragic.

Or both!

Malefor
10-26-2008, 02:40 AM
Yeah, this LP was bloody amazing. Three cheers for Netbrian!

Also, on a side note, on Friday I visited a game store that had not one, but two used NES copies of Legacy of the Wizard on their shelves. Needless to say, I passed up the opportunity to purchase near-infinite frustration in a gray plastic package for $1.95 - this LP is all the Legacy of the Wizard I will ever need.

Octopus Prime
10-26-2008, 04:45 AM
You brave, brave hero. Were I wearing one, my hat would be off to you.

Errr... I'm wearing a blanket, but I won't take that off to you, because it's cold, and I wish to stay warm.

Netbrian
10-26-2008, 11:44 AM
Apart from that, all I can say in this post is you are forever the hero of the Let's Play forum, and I award you this Purple Heart Container in honor of your physical and mental damage sustained documenting the game.

Any mental and physical damage occured long ago in the midst of my youth, yielding what you see today.

One of the wonderful things about this game is that even with a game genie, nobody I knew could beat this game. It was just that extreme.

And yeah Lyll is my favorite forever. (Fun Lyll Fact: she is adopted. No, really, she is an elf but the rest of her family are humans.)

I always figured that the Elf thing was just grafting D&D classes onto pre-existing characters.

You may be on to something with the adoption theory though -- tell me how people with these (http://www.uranus.dti.ne.jp/~sho-dsl/Title4.jpg) proportions could ever have reproduced.

Kill you? My good man, we intend to canonize you.

Oh dear.

On one of the Into the Score podcasts, I heard an interesting theory: publishers didn't want other companies poaching their programmers or musicians. Pseudonyms as defense mechanism!

Thanks for the LP. I've got a friend that's crazy about this game, and it's where I first heard about it, but that was only 4-5 years ago, I think. Did this ever get Nintendo Power coverage or anything? Never saw it in a magazine, never saw it on rental shelves. I wonder how you guys found this game as a kid.

This is entirely consistent with what I know of the game industry then.

I don't think there was ever any Nintendo Power coverage (and god knows that if ever there was a game that needed it, it was this one), but my impression is that it was actually pretty common nonetheless. Almost every friend I had with an NES owned the game, and I just mooched off of them. I didn't buy it myself until the NES was retro.

The world has changed, and I will not rest until I find out how.

Well, I think we just increased the range of "fun things to do together as a family" in what will surely be tragic way.

Netbrian, your commitment to a game that so clearly despises you is inspirational.

Or tragic.

Or both!

In retrospect, applying what Legacy of the Wizard taught me to my personal and romantic life hasn't worked out very well so far.

Also, on a side note, on Friday I visited a game store that had not one, but two used NES copies of Legacy of the Wizard on their shelves. Needless to say, I passed up the opportunity to purchase near-infinite frustration in a gray plastic package for $1.95 - this LP is all the Legacy of the Wizard I will ever need.

Never forget Malefor -- I did what I did out of love for the game.

No, seriously.

Malefor
10-26-2008, 12:47 PM
Never forget Malefor -- I did what I did out of love for the game.

No, seriously.

Hey, man, more power to you. Your love for the game shines through in the fact that you finished the LP at all.

That said, trying to play this game on a NES cartridge rather than through emulation seems like a good candidate for the 10th circle of hell to me.

Pajaro Pete
10-26-2008, 12:48 PM
Never forget Malefor -- I did what I did out of love for the game.

No, seriously.

Yes I believe we have a term for that (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battered_person_syndrome).

McClain
10-26-2008, 03:34 PM
It raises an interesting philosophical point Ė can a game be designed to sell a strategy guide that will never exist? I think Legacy of the Wizard strongly answers in the affirmative, and I think there is no better way to end this LP with a display of opacity that exemplifies everything that has come before.

God, kill me now.

Dear God! It's like every playground cheat I ever heard ... except that it's REAL! Mind Asploded!

You are a king among men, sir.

Stiv
10-26-2008, 06:16 PM
This was truly amazing, and it's a testament to your ability to explain the game that I couldn't figure out what was going on in half of the screenshots but still enjoyed reading. I'm not hateful enough to play the game myself, but you made it seem fascinating and actually a little awesome.

Congratulations.

Red Hedgehog
10-26-2008, 06:34 PM
Thank you so much for this. Now that you have shown me the full glory of Legacy of the Wizard, I no longer have any desire to try to finish this game. (Mostly because I would try to do it on the NES).

Godspeed, sir.

Netbrian
10-26-2008, 06:49 PM
Yes I believe we have a term for that (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battered_person_syndrome).

I have no idea what you're talking about. (http://ivan.noetica.ru/images/Sakaki%20to%20Neko.jpeg)

Falselogic
10-27-2008, 10:06 AM
Amazing and Congratz, I second Parish's canonization!

Thinaran
10-27-2008, 12:29 PM
You may be on to something with the adoption theory though -- tell me how people with these (http://www.uranus.dti.ne.jp/~sho-dsl/Title4.jpg) proportions could ever have reproduced.
Two words: Harpy ooze.

Thinaran
11-09-2008, 03:56 AM
Come on, noone here watched Elven Bride?

q 3
11-09-2008, 07:22 PM
For the MSX version, things get a little trickier. Itís certainly worth seeking out if only for the tracks not heard in the NES version. Unfortunately, there doesnít seem to be an NSF format equivalent for the MSX.

That would be the poorly publicized KSS format (http://www.geocities.com/q_321/) (get Dragon Slayer IV, and everything else there while you're at it - see if any of the tracks in King's Valley 2 sound familiar!), which plays in Winamp via the rather inscrutable MSXplug (http://www.pokipoki.org/dsa/index.php?MSXplug) (just stick with the m3u files, for your own sanity).

McClain
11-10-2008, 08:16 AM
I just want it to be known that this LP inspired me to pick this game the other day when it was spotted at a Goodwill.

That's right, I BOUGHT a copy of LotW.

Stiv
11-11-2008, 11:32 PM
I actually saw a copy of this boxed, complete with manual, for $10 at the local game shop the other day. I strongly considered picking it up but then remembered I'd have to be fucking crazy to do that.

spineshark
11-11-2008, 11:45 PM
Shit man, now I'm going to go looking for it tomorrow. It's not like I'd even use it, but at this point I'd see it as a fascinating oddity of itself.

And, that said, still a poor use of $10.

Netbrian
11-12-2008, 05:31 PM
Shit man, now I'm going to go looking for it tomorrow. It's not like I'd even use it, but at this point I'd see it as a fascinating oddity of itself.

And, that said, still a poor use of $10.

I'm not sure where you live, but $10 is too much. The game generally goes for $2-5, even at overpriced used game stores.

Octopus Prime
11-12-2008, 06:32 PM
Even then, I can think of a better use for $2 then Legacy of the Wizard.

Speaking of... what WAS the Wizards Legacy, anyway?

Pajaro Pete
11-12-2008, 06:58 PM
Madness

Ample Vigour
11-12-2008, 07:12 PM
Madness

I was lollin'.

Aquadeo
11-13-2008, 05:27 PM
I was late to this Let's Play party (LttLPP), but my jaw has been on the keyboard since Page 1. Everyone's said it already, but I must say it once more: congratulations.

Red Hedgehog
11-13-2008, 09:16 PM
I'm not sure where you live, but $10 is too much. The game generally goes for $2-5, even at overpriced used game stores.

Well, with box and manual for $10 isn't bad. Cartridge only, it shouldn't be more than $2-5 or so.

dtsund
10-15-2011, 01:12 PM
And Legacy of the Wizard (150% speed if you wish) video LP. You know you want to.

I'm pretty sure that I don't!

Ahahaha.

Netbrian
10-15-2011, 06:32 PM
Does anyone have suggestions for webspace where I could reupload the images?

MetManMas
10-19-2011, 12:16 AM
Does anyone have suggestions for webspace where I could reupload the images?

Have you tried Imgur? (http://imgur.com) They're undergoing maintenance as I'm posting this, but it's been pretty reliable for my image uploads.

I'd love to see this LP with screenshots again.

Glass Knuckle
10-19-2011, 09:09 AM
I'd love to see it too. This LP was before my time.

recentteen14
10-19-2011, 01:23 PM
I hope it comes back up as well- its one of the few games I have at my house that I never got to go and play very much of because the cart was messed up...

MetManMas
10-20-2011, 12:27 AM
I've got a working cart, but I never freaking make it anywhere. The best I've done without password abuse* is defeating the boss in the northeastern side. I appreciate the scope and variety of the labyrinth, but the level design's a mazey mess and it's easy to screw yourself into an unwinnable situation.

* With password abuse I've got right to the final boss and beaten the game once.

TiKi
11-20-2013, 04:01 PM
I COME FROM THE FUTURE
anyways the images are broken, is this a glitch on my end?

Octopus Prime
11-20-2013, 04:03 PM
No, this terrible future has caught up with us all now.

This is what it is like to live in John Connors time.

TiKi
11-20-2013, 05:28 PM
Back to the Legend of Kyrandia LP for me, I guess.
Oh well, at least that isn't a bad consolation prize.