The Return of Talking Time

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Old 02-13-2012, 04:01 PM
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Default The Earth was the only one that looked sad - Let's Play Illusion of Gaia

Journey into the Dark Side of an Ancient Civilization

Radiating an ominous light in its path, the Chaos Comet threatens the
existence of the planet. Battles erupt and a tentative peace is returned
to the lands. Danger lurks as the Chaos Comet orbits and dreadful
beasts lie waiting.

In the Age of Exploration a boy named Will is born. Tragedy strikes
during an expedition to the Tower of Babel separating Will from his
father. Telekinetic forces awaken as Will returns to South Cape. Armed
with his transformation abilities of two great warriors, Will must save
the planet.

Gaia, Will's guiding spirit, bestows magical powers and advice along
his journey. With the help of his friends Will must battle relentless
enemies and solve the puzzles of the ancient ruins. Patience and
knowledge are essential to reunite this father and sun.

-transcribed from the back of the box

Illusion of Gaia was one of my absolute favorite games on the Super Nintendo, and remains so to this day. I've probably invested more hours on it than any other game, and spent far too much time trying to get to know the game more than any man should. But, now, that works out for the benefit of all of you, as we play this old favorite of mine!

Table of Contents
1.South Cape
B.Dark Space
C.South Cape
D.Jeweler Gem
E.Seaside Cave
F.Casting Call
G.It must be some kind of psychic power thing
TECH1:Logos and Names
2.Edward Castle
A.The Princess and the Porker
B.Bill and Lola
C.Something began to happen...
D.Edward Castle
E.The King and Will
F.An Expedition Begins!
TECH2:Words and Worlds
3.Edward Prison
A.Following In Father's Footsteps!
B.Cleaning Up the Sewers
C.Follow That Dandelion!
D.Music for Plants

Last edited by Elements; 05-18-2012 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:10 PM
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Default Preface

Illusion of Gaia, as most of us here know it, has a richer history of re-arrangement than most titles limited to the SNES. The game, in fact, has four main variations in existence! And we'll be looking at all of them!

The original version, is, of course, the Japanese version, Gaia Gensouki. This is one of the versions I'll be discussing the most, as it has a considerable number of variations from the later versions of the game!

Of course, the game was translated into English as Illusion of Gaia. This is the version most of us are acquainted with, and the version we'll be playing most of this LP through. A great number of changes were made to the game for this version, and that's the exciting stuff I'll be talking about! Not a simple translation, this game changed a little of the system, changed graphics, changed dialogue, and totally re-invented how most of the bosses behave! Oh, boss talk will be fun!

And then, there's the European version, released in several different languages. This version is entitled Illusion of Time, choosing to focus more on the "ki" than on the "gensou" of the Japanese title, I suppose. You'll be hearing almost no mention of this version from me, because as far as I've been able to discern, the title screen is its only variation from the official NTSC release.

However, I will be discussing:

The beta verison of the NTSC release! I'll talk about this version a mild amount, as the versions most of us played had all the changes this version had, and then some. The main thing of note in this version is that many script changes were made between this version and the final English release. This version in general is much more faithful to the original Japanese script... though, you'd do well to note that I said "faithful," and not "accurate." Many errors.

I know a lot of us here have played through Illusion of Gaia, and by now, most of Talking Time should be fairly acquainted with the early bits of the game due to past LP efforts. So, to make this a little more interesting for all of you, a lot of this LP will be spent focusing on the differences between the various releases of this game! Some little, some large! Of course, plenty of time will go to the core LP itself!

From here on, we'll be alternating between two sorts of updates.
First, gameplay updates, in standard LP fashion.
These will be followed by technical updates, detailing the distinctions between the various releases of the game, or just noting various subtleties of the game. For clarity's sake, When referring to the various versions of the game, I will refer to each by its own title:
  • JAP = Gaia Gensouki
  • BETA = Soul Blazer II
  • NTSC = Illusion of Gaia
  • PAL = Illusion of Time
That said, let's begin our expedition, shall we?
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:35 PM
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Third time's a charm? Either way, looking forward to it.
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:42 PM
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Schweet. This is, so far, one of only two LP threads that I've subscribed to, other than my own. I'll be looking forward to this with bated breath.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:08 PM
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Looking forward to another killer LP, P3!
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:13 PM
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Hell yes. This is one of those games I picked up at a used game exchange shop for like $5 several years ago, never did finish it. This might convince me to pick it up and play it again.

Although, if it's like other Enix titles of the same era (notably and recently attempted The 7th Saga for example), then realistically I'll probably end up quitting after the first few dungeons. But I'll be watching this LP with much interest!!
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:28 PM
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P3 you're back!

Glory days.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:48 AM
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I consume every Illusion of Gaia LP I come across, and this shall be no different. This is such a genuinely charming game, better than the sum of its parts.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:04 AM
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I LOVED this game. Excited for the LP!
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:57 AM
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I don't think I knew that there were big changes from the Japanese version, or indeed about the existance of a US demo version. I am very excited now!

(I enjoyed this game quite a lot every time I played it, but I think it's my least favorite of the unofficial trilogy. I liked Soul Blazer and Terranigma more.)
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:54 AM
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This is a good game, and this already looks like a good LP. But can you escape the curse of the IoG LP?
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:15 PM
Giampi Giampi is offline
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I was very excited for the previous IoG LP and gushed about it for several paragraphs. Then it died. So I'm not going to do that here.

Looking forward to this LP. In a very calm manner.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:15 PM
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Super awesome. Love this game, and loved your EVO LP. Looking forward to it!
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:21 PM
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I'm just going to consider this as the direct sequel to Mr. Elements EVO LP.

No see Gaia's in it and everything.

This is clearly the only answer.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:14 PM
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I'm a localization fiend, so this sounds like it's going to be awesome. And generally, it'll be great to have a complete Illusion of Gaia LP. I truly love this game.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:18 PM
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Default GAME1A: Introduction

♫The Age of Exploration♫

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Illusion of Gaia! This game was produced by the Quintet team at Enix as a spiritual successor to their earlier title, Soul Blazer. It was released for the Super Famicom in late 1993, and didn't hit U.S. shores until nearly a year later, where it was published by Nintendo themselves. It was released along with a fair bit of press from Nintendo, including a t-shirt (which I would kill for) and a Nintendo Power cover (which I do own, but, sadly, have it boxed up far away. The game seems to be fondly remembered by most, but never seemed to become a major hit for whatever reason. In my case, it was the very last SNES game I acquired before moving on to N64 and PSX, and it still managed to become one of my absolute favorites.

As advertised on the title screen (and the back of the Japanese box), the game's story was penned by Mariko Ohara, a known Japanese science fiction author, while the character designs were down by manga artist Moto Hagio, whom I know many of you here are more familiar with than I.

At any rate, lingering at this title screen briefly will cause a brief bit of backstory and framing to play out.

One of the aspects of Illusion of Gaia that appeals to me is its heavy attachment to real-world ruins, relics, and wonders. Pictured here, for example, are moai of Easter Island, and the Great Sphinx of Giza.

As the narration continues to ponder about the meaning of the constructs of lost cultures, images of familiar relics continue to appear, to include a trilithon of Stonehenge, the Tower of Babel, and a crystal skull.

Lastly, we have the Cambodian temple complex of Angkor Wat, along with a warning that many explorers never returned from investigating these sites.

An image of such an adventure drives the point home, as the narrator wonders whether these deaths were mundane, or something more? A foreboding warning of disaster follows, as the camera pans over the world, stopping to rest upon the Tower of Babel. The music then begins its loop as we return to the title screen, which eagerly beseeches we press the start button. And so we do!

♫Start a Journey♫
This brings us to a series of menus laid over a faded cartographer's map, accompanied by a mellow remix of the game's main theme. This map shows the small coastal town of South Cape, in the fiefdom of the nearby ruling Edward's Castle. This is where are story begins, but in the future, the shown location on the map will adjust itself to that of our most recent save file.

If you're very curious and don't mind potential spoilers, you can view the full map here.
And if pixel maps aren't your thing, feel free to view the map that came included with the game, which also includes notes on several of the historical locations we'll be visiting in the game (the same potential spoiler warning applies).

Moving along, we have no "diary" at this point, so when starting our journey, we've no option but to start from the beginning! Some very base configurations follow, and then we are on our way!

♫South Cape♫
Our story begins in a schoolhouse, accompanied by what we will come to know as the standard town theme, though most every town has some subtle detail unique to it, such as South Cape's seagulls to suit its coastal ambience. Our protagonist, Will, sees fit to introduce himself to us.
Originally Posted by Will
My name is Will.

A year has passed since
I went to the Tower of
Babel with my father.

My father and his party
met with disaster.

Somehow, I made it
back to South Cape...

I still can't believe
my father is gone.
I'll never believe it...

When I grow up, I'll
be an explorer and
see the world.

Somewhere, I will meet
my father...
So, surprise of cliche surprises, our protagonist is an orphan. At least his amnesia is limited to only a small window of time. It seems that Will's father was one of those unfortunate adventurers that the game's introduction told us about, and Will should have been one himself, yet managed to somehow mysteriously return with no memory of how he did. A mystery is afoot, and our junior globetrotting archeologist is determined to solve it!

However, Will is suddenly snapped from his daydreams of finding his lost father by the sound of the teacher rapping on... the wall, I guess? The teacher then announces the end of class, and casually announces that demons are wandering around outside town, so we should bring our parents if wandering. Demons should... really be a bigger deal? Is this a normal occurence? Is this something our fishing town is equipped for? I guess that's just the world we live in. Not that we care about that right now. We're busy suppressing our sobs after just being told we can't wander without the parents we don't have. There's only four students - is it that hard to use some tact with them?

Our classmates, however, are simply delighted that another schoolday is over. The first of them, the purple ametrope, Seth, presumes we're game for the usual after-school routine.
The second, the ever orange and puerile Erik, declares that he has to check in with his mom first, like a sissy, and then tells us that we should do the same, like a tool.

The last of our friends, is the veridian athlete, Lance, is already proving himself to be the best of our buds by keeping his mouth shut unless we approach him, and then clarifies that our usual meet-up spot is a seaside cave. But do we really feel up to it, with our orphan hero status fresh on our minds? We approach the teacher for some counsel, but receive only flowerful prose.
You shouldn't have expected any more from a character with only a single sprite.

We begin to leave the school through its normal entrance, but hesitate at the door. No, we do not feel up to some schoolyard games this afternoon. Instead, we will head to the roof of the school, giving us a scenic overview of the town of South Cape.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:29 PM
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Default GAME1B: Dark Space

However, before we can take in much of the city from our scenic overlook, we are distracted by a strange light on the roof of the building!

What could this strange ball of light possibly be?

We approach a citizen of our fair town, who un-suspiciously spends his days atop the schoolhouse. We inquire with him about the eerie light, but he seems wholly oblivious to it! Are our eyes playing tricks on us? Have we gone mad? The concerned citizen takes this opportunity to caution us to stop jumping off of high places, but can't be bothered to stop us.
I would stop you, but I'm forbidden from laying my hands on children anymore.

Oh, cruel world, why can't he see that our dangerous leaps are a cry for help?

Actually, considering what a traumatized youth we are, maybe we should just go ahead and fling ourselves at this ball of light and see what happens. However, as we approach, something stranger still occurs!

The wisp of light tranforms into a doorway to darkness! Truly, this is something dangerous and foreboding. We eagerly cross the threshold of darkness!

♫Dark Space♫
Crossing through the portal leaves us in Dark Space, a mysterious void occupied by naught but distorting nebulas, crystalline floors, and a TERRIFYING CREEPY HEAD ON A PEDESTAL!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!! It's eldritch tentacles curl over the dining pedestal eager for the feast of our flesh!

This nightmarish creature claims to be Gaia, the source of all life, and declares that we are a special individual bearing the "Dark Power," and that this power is the reason that we alone were able to see and use the portal to the Dark Space. She also informs us that Dark Space will be used as our save point. Ah. That's nice to know. However, we inform... ...her... that that's quite all right, and we'll just be going if that'll well enough with her.

She consents to staying her meal for now, and we run as fast as our little legs can carry us, and fling ourselves from the roof, while laughing maniacally, our mind broken by staring into the infinite darkness, and learning that it is inside usssss!!

However, as always, we land intact. Curse our boyish rough-and-tumble physique! We remain quite shaken from our encounter with the terrifying hag head awaiting us in the darkness, when an upstanding young gentleman stops us to educate us on the finer points of sprinting. Well, it does restore some sense of security to know that we can flee at will, and not only when consumed with heart-stopping terror. Oh, hey, is that our house?
Running away is the best answer to all problems!
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:42 PM
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Default GAME1C: South Cape

Since we are an orphan hero, we are in need of some sort of legal guardian, and that comes in the form of our deceased mother's parents: Grandma Lola, and Grandpa Bill. Hey, maybe we're named after him! We flee home in terror, but our grandmother's mind is unable to move beyond food. Dinner isn't ready yet because you're trying to prepare it in a bookcase, grandma.

Hoping to find more aid in our grandfather, we seek him out upstairs, only briefly stopping to yet again wonder why our house of three has but a single bed. However, as we try to inform him of the nightmare that assaulted us, he only laughs about his perception of our rambunctious behavior. It seems that we may have to seek out our friends after all.

Outside, we encounter a woman flustered by carpetbaggers, and a peddler trying to equip the townsfolk against the demons. However, he is quite determined to leave us unarmed! Does this man not realize the horrors we're facing!?
Getting more serious for a second, one thing I really like about South Cape is the level of detail put into all of the townsfolk. Each one has their own specific route. This salesman will start his day by harrassing this woman, then move steadily south, going door-to-door. This woman will patrol this street, transporting jars back and forth. It's a very small detail, but I can't think of any other 16-bit game where every townsperson had such defined paths.
If only some adventurous youth would come break all of these pots! But in what sort of game would a child do that? ...sigh...

We stop by our neighbor's briefly, where he's lamenting the shortage of assets the tile artists provided him with. I guess we should be impressed that Grandman Lola is able to bake pies with no oven or stove available. We then make our way to the southern-most part of town, where another jar-rotater standing outside Seth's house feels pity for the poor, purple lad. We should have a talk with these parents of his!

But upon opening the door, we are assaulted with pottery! Our day just keeps getting better!

Seems we're not the only one with a troubled childhood! Seth's parents have just concluded their latest bout of domestic violence, are are now waging the cold war of silence. Which is extra-awkward when you live in a one-room house. The father defends his frivolous spending on our approach. I like to imagine that the jar sitting beside him was one that managed to strike its target.
Originally Posted by Seth's mother
It's no joke!
That man!

I put up with it for
Seth's sake, but if it
weren't for him, I'd have
left long ago!
This is why I love video games! Where else would I get to walk in on awkward arguments between couples, and hear them complain about balancing their dead romance with the responsibilities in their lives oh right in my every day life.

Thinking that the odd couple might not enjoy having one of their son's friends stopping by at such a time, we travel next door to Lance's home. We discover that the reason Lance seems more capable than our other friends is that he's already well on his way to orphan hero status - down a father, and the mother quite ill. Truly, our childhoods are the happiest in the world!
Originally Posted by Lance's mother
Your father has been lost at
the Tower of Babel
for a year now...

It seems like
only yesterday...
It takes the game an incredibly long time to bother mentioning it, but Lance's father was actually lost on the very same expedition as our own father. However, since he still had a mother at that point, he was able to stay home, rather than coming along as we did. This knowledge makes her musings a bit sadder, as she's probably thinking or her own missing husband.

Lance's mother frequently wanders into the cellar, where she checks on a pot resting below. We follow her example, and find that the jar contains our first item of the game, a Red Jewel! Lance's mother discovers us pilfering her belongings, and swiftly throws us out.

She was hiding those goods throughout her home for when her own son finished his ascension to orphan hero.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:54 PM
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Default GAME1D: Jeweler Gem

Pressing Select will bring up our item palette, as the button config calls it. From here we can use/equip items, rearrange them, discard them, or view a summary of our condition. Selecting an item will provide a brief description of it, revealing that the Red Jewel is a bartering item. Viewing our condition reveals our pathetically meager stats, and our equipped item. You'll note we have 8 HP, meaning that each of the 4 health spheres on the top-left of the screen represents 2 hit points. We also see that the disembodied head of Medusa didn't know what it was speaking of when it said we had the dark power. That Dark Power window is clearly blank! We are also delighted to find that we have our very own style. So fresh! None of the South Cape kids can compare to our style.

Pressing the 'B' button uses our currently equipped item, the Red Jewel. This causes the jewel to suddenly take flight, as shown by the quite non-red glimmer of light above our heads in the last screen shot above.

The jewel continues to spiral upwards, and we fervently give chase! However, as it continues ever north, we are stopped at the town's entrance by a man determined to not let us cross paths with demons. He reminds us that our teacher told us not to leave town without our parents, which in turn reminds us that we have none. We've lost our parents, and we've lost our first treasure! We are a horrible explorer.

Fortunately, we had our very own Red Jewel stashed away in the bell of the school house! However, as we retrieve it, our eyes wander to that terrifying ball of light, and we cannot resist flying down rooftops in terror. Leaping down from the front of the school house places us on Seth's roof, where yet another citizen spends his days. He should really look into that. Maybe it would distract his parents from their quarrel.

Just wanted to see you give us our gem back. This man is Jeweler Gem, and is the closest thing to a store this game has.
Originally Posted by Gem
Is that right.
How do you do.

Once you hold up the
Red Jewels, you'll
have to come running
to my place.

I am a famous master of
disguises. If you saw
me in another town,
you wouldn't know me.
Seems like a completely trustworthy individual to me!

Well, since we've already begun unwittingly making down payments on this man's wares, I suppose we might as well invest further until we have something to show for it.
So just what are we buying?

Well, that list doesn't look so bad. Collecting Red Jewels serves as a sort of easter egg quest for you to do in Illusion of Gaia.

There are fifty of these jewels hidden throughout the game, and we'll receive various rewards as we collect them, as seen on this list. The game's manual actually included a strategy guide for the entire game, so anyone that bought the game should've had no problem finding them all. However, these could be quite a headache to anyone else, as your ability to backtrack is very limited in this game. We'll be finding them all, of course.

Our red jewel colelction is 4% complete! Yay! At any rate, the only house left in town we haven't been to is Erik's. We've already established that everyone else in our circle of friends has a rather troubled home life, so what will Erik's dilemma be?

I think I hate you, Erik. I think I have envy-fueled hate for you.

We begin exploring Erik's home, first finding his father gazing out the window... which should actually be facing the hillside our own house is built upon.
Originally Posted by Erik's father
Everyone is jealous
of this big house...

It's nothing.
We moved to this town
before anyone else.
Well, we seems like a humble enough fellow. Some lass that I presume to be the maid waits on the other side of the room.
It's the little things
in life that make you
rich or poor.

Well, heard any good
Some people measure their quality of life in gossip.
And, upstairs, we find Erik's mother who IS ON FIRE! Whelp, so much for the member of our entourage without the tragic backstory.

It'll be an awkward afternoon in the seaside cave today.

Originally Posted by Erik's mother
Don't worry, I'm not on fire.
It's just a treatment
for my sore body.

Cleaning this big house
all day makes my
brain ache...
Cleaning generally doesn't stress the brain much. But, you might be a special case, lady.

On the roof, we find the town's female children, who apparently don't attend school. Or maybe every boy in the town is a troublemaker and we all had to stay after. At any rate, they seem to be playing a game. The girl in the hat will slowly count to ten, while the other two girls try to race towards her. Upon reaching ten, she suddenly turns around, and they must freeze in place. I always liked that her response to you varied depending on whether she'd turned or not.
Come play with us! Forever and ever...
No rip of the hat sprite for you all. I'm pretty sure the hat is actually a totally separate sprite floating above them. As she never even moves, I don't think it's even attached to her. She's just standing under a perpetually levitating sun hat.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:04 PM
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Default GAME1E: Seaside Cave

That's not how to race, girls! Like this!

The poor little girls seem to be becoming aware of the fact that they're doomed to spend all of eternity trapped playing this rather awful game. Undoubtedly, the sun hat is cursed. Worried that we might be caught in this limbo as well, we do what we always do when faced with problems: Jump off a roof!
I'll take any excuse to leap of a roof, really.

Watch out below, lady! This silly woman may chastise us, but she will relentless rush below us each and every time we leap from this roof. She wants us to do it. She likes it. She spends every moment of every day standing in front of the tallest house in town, eagerly and wistfully eyeing the rooftop, praying she will see a human form flung from atop it, that she might break the fall of. So, either she's quite determined to stop our ill-fated suicide attempts, or she herself has a feisty death wish.

Originally Posted by Wistful woman
I envy you when I see
the sea breeze blowing
your hair like that...

Not like mine,
under this scarf....
Or perhaps she is simply hoping that if we fall upon her, we will dislodge the atrocious headwear she has permanently grafted to the digital skull of her sprite. Truly, the most tragic backstory the game has yet to shock us with!
Heading down to the docks, we find a young fisherman sadly lacking in the muscle strength to perform his trade. On the other side of the docks, we find the entrance to the seaside cave, where our friends have been awaiting us for several posts!
A man that cannot fish has no place in a seaside town...

One detail about our protagonist that I've always loved is that when he enters areas filled with a breeze, such as the docks here, his sprite will reflect it, taking up a windblown animation. His normal idle animation is simply a single frame from this (and the blinking spite, used every other time we passes over that frame in windswept mode).
My flowing locks are the envy of all the town's women.

It was natural for the
four friends to call
this seaside cave their
second home.

Usually, when lessons
were done at the school,

they gathered there to
talk and play games
until sundown.
So, apparently the narration has decided it wants to be third person again instead of from Will's POV. Fair enough. We find that our clubhouse is pretty lame, consisting only of a table, some chairs, some cards, and a grumpy bust.
Originally Posted by Lance
What is it, Will?
It's late.

I'm playing cards
with Seth.
Wait a minute.
Will, your wild tales of stone horrors commanding you from the darkness are becoming very tiring.

Seth boasts about the superior intellect he's acquired via the inherent attribute bonus of glasses, when suddenly Erik arrives in a panic, cutting the music to a halt. Not quite a "returning from Dark Space" panic. More like an exciteable little brat panic. Where was he, anyways? We combed the whole town!
Originally Posted by Erik
Ah! News! Big news!
The Princess of Edward
Castle has run away!

They say she came to South Cape!

Lance and Seth rise from their seats, but the music resumes, having realized Erik was making a fuss about nothing. Lance, disappointed that Erik had nothing truly exciting to report, accuses Erik of liking.... ...girls... ...ewwww!!
Originally Posted by Erik
LIAR! Maybe the soldiers
will come here
looking for her!

The soldiers from
Edward Castle look so
cool. I want a steel
helmet, too.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:10 PM
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Default GAME1F: Casting Call

Lance takes charge, Seth re-affirms that he is totally not into those yucky girls, and Erik feels disappointed, as he always should. Upon moving to the spot Lance specified for us, the group meeting begins.

This might be a good time to introduce these friends of ours.

First off is Lance. He's always seemed like Will's best friend to me, due to him being the most adventurous of your friends, and having also lost his father in the same expedition as our own.
Quit being the protagonist! I'm the alpha male around here!

Next up, Erik. He's the baby of our group, and is reflected by his childish demeanor and total worthlessness to the party. But his dad's got money, so we let him hang.
I'm the dead weight! You know every group has one!

And, lastly, Seth. He's just your average kid with a drunk for a dad and his parents constantly fighting, so he spends all his time escaping into books and hiding out in a cave. He'll grow up to be juuuuuust fine!
Depression and intelligence go hand-in-hand!

With the introductions out of the way, let's get back to that meeting!

Originally Posted by Seth
Everyone's here.
What should we do today?
Originally Posted by Erik
I want to see Will's
mysterious power.

You haven't seen it?
He can move things
without touching them.
Originally Posted by Lance
He moved the statue that's in the
corner of the cave.

Show me again.
Will showed those things to you because he was terrified of what he was becoming, not so you could parade him around doing tricks!

Soon, everyone will know! Our dreams of being South Cape's resident masked avenger are now ruined!

Speaking to Lance or Seth at this point will give us a little guidance, while Erik continues to remain dumb-founded that we weren't riveted by his news. While facing the statue, we can press either shoulder button (L/R) to rotate our flute (hey, we have a flute!) before us, drawing the statue towards us! Our friends hop up and down in awe!

Seth reveals that he apparently has seen us work our magic before, so I'm kind of lost on Lance's "you haven't seen it" comment.

However, we're sad to learn that this curious power of ours only works on this single statue. How convenient that it was here! Kind of a lame limitation on our power, though. Maybe we wouldn't have made a great super hero after all...
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:18 PM
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Elements Elements is offline
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Default GAME1G: It must be some kind of psychic power thing!

I'm trying out for our school's color guard!
This ability serves a variety of roles in the game. As shown here, it can pull select items to us, which serves as this game's alternative to push/pull puzzles, but it can also be used to block weaker projectiles, or for whenever you just wanna' strike a pose.

Lance now wants to test our ESP by laying out several cards, and having us pick out the Ace of Diamonds. But we've had enough of this.

We're no show-freak! We're outta' here!

Or we would be if we could be. Lance stops us at the door.
Originally Posted by Lance
What, Will?
Going home already?

It's not dinner time
yet. Let's play a little
while longer.
Man, this Let's Play entry has been going on long enough, Lance! Begrudgingly, we pick up a card.

Apparently, we do have some sort of ESP! Or at least dumb luck!

I kinda' wish I'd named the LP, "It must be some kind of psychic power thing."
Originally Posted by Seth
Yeah, it must be
some kind of psychic
power thing.

If I didn't know better,
I'd think it was magic.

Most people have
five senses...




and touch.

I think Will's psychic
power is some kind
of sixth sense.
That's kind of the definition of psychic. I think Erik understood that if he asked it, and if Erik understood it, it's safe to assume everyone did.

It wasn't that complicated, Lance. It really wasn't. At any rate, our friends are now bored with our amazing ability to guess cards and move a specific statue with baton twirls, and go back to their card games, finally releasing us.

Upon exiting the cave, we find that the sun is setting, and decide it's high time we make our way home. But what's this? The fisherman we saw earlier has changed his fishing spot, but has managed to bring up naught but a pot.

Change your fishing spot
From the sea you will draw naught
But a simple pot

But inside this pot, we find yet another Red Jewel!
This is one of the most frustrating jewels to get, as this fisherman just chooses a random spot to be at every time you enter the map. Essentially, you just have to run in and out of the cave, praying the game decides to be generous enough to move him to this spot.

This brings us to enough jewels to get our first item on Gem's list, the Herb!

First useful item, get! Always looked more like a lettuce-heavy taco to me. The Herb will restore 8 HP, aka 4 bubbles worth of health, which is exactly how much we have right now! Yay, we accomplished something this update!

We equip the herb just for safety's sake, and make our way back home. We also catch the last townsman on the way there, who has been wandering all over town talking about a star that seems to be approaching Earth. I'm sure that this will in no way come to involve us!

And, so, we return home, and conclude this update!

Have a seagull GIF I had issues fitting in:
This update ended up being ridiculously larger than I expected. Maybe I shouldn't explore future towns in quite so much depth? Or maybe you all loved it just fine; who knows? You do! So let me know. Also, I might have gone overboard with the GIFs. Maybe just some sprite sheets next time? We'll see!

NEXT TIME: Pigs, princesses, and prisons! All at once!
But before that, our first technical update!

Last edited by Elements; 02-15-2012 at 07:54 PM. Reason: Tacos
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:43 PM
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Sky Render Sky Render is offline
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I wouldn't worry too much; my updates tend to weigh in at about that big too, and you're doing a great job of it so far. I will say this, though: try not to set up too much that you're going to have to do for each update! Not just in-game screenshot gathering, but in terms of bonus stuff like spritework, too. It's easy to become overwhelmed and put off updating when you put too much on your plate.
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:54 PM
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ProfessorS ProfessorS is offline
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Wow! Looks like this is going to be a hell of an LP. The detail is fine, but like Sky Render said, don't be afraid to cut back on the animated .gifs if you think you're going to get burned out. I've seen too many great LPs fizzle out due to the amount of work they required.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:33 PM
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Elements Elements is offline
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Default TECH1: Logos and Names

Forgot to say it in the first update, but many thanks to everyone for their kind words at the start of this LP! Also, no one needs to worry about me hitting burn out with this game. You're just lucky I'm not trying to rip every single tile as I go.
I'll save that for next year's annual period of IoG obsession.

Our first technical update will be a rather tiny one, as we haven't progressed too far into the game yet. As such, we'll mostly just be addressing some of the localization choices made with the cast.

Was everyone here already aware that the Enix logo is green in most countries?

Probably. Not sure what's up with that. Gaia Gensouki's title is a little more dynamic, with some animated lighting behind the logo, and little sprites of the game's leads running on a nice parallaxing background.

The beta release for the US changed the color of the logo to purple, and translated the title into Illusion of Gaia. However, they also placed an homage to the Soul Blazer (Soul Blader in Japan) logo above it, in hopes of drawing gamers' attention to the fact that this game was its spiritual successor!

Once Nintendo got their hands on it, their name came first, and text was added around the Enix logo to specify that they were producers, but not publishers of this release. The title screen itself was completely changed, now showing the Earth, which moves to the left, and is adorned with a more decorative logo. Less moving parts, but the new static components are arguably better drawn.

When ported to various European countries, the Enix logo was changed back to green, and the title was changed to Illusion of Time for whatever reason. The Earth just stays centered in this version.

In Gaia Gensouki, Will and his friends receive their schooling in a church, complete with cross and preacher! Even in Soul Blazer II, the cross was replaced with a robed figure, and the preacher referred to as "teacher." The robed figure looks pretty cool, though, so I don't mind the religious censoring too much.

On of the more known changes is to the names. In the original version, the protagonist's name was Tim! All the Japanese names were maintained in the beta, but many of them were renamed in the final English release. You'll also notice that in the screen from the beta, "Tim" has "Light Power" instead of the correct "Dark Power." Maybe they thought it just didn't suit a hero? Silly. Especially since it continues to be referred to as Dark Power everywhere else in the game.

Lance was originally Rob. He's also the only member of the group of friends to refer to himself with "ore" rather than "boku," if that sort of thing interests you.

Seth was originally Morris. You can also note some of the minor script tweaking between the beta and the official release here. I won't be bothering to point these out most of the time, because I'd be posting the whole game's script if I did that.

And I already did that when I was younger.

Erik was always Erik.

In Gaia Gensouki, it's quite clear that these girls are playing Darumasan ga Koronda, which is fairly similar to Red Light, Green Light. I just learned from wikipedia that apparently both games are considered variants of an Australian game called Statues? Huh. And apparently the names of games get parenthesis around them in Europe. Who knows.

You know, I always liked that Seth said he liked adventures better than girls. I would've expected him to be a much more typical bookworm. And it turns out, he was.

In Soul Blazer II, Seth's whole explanation of our powers is much more awkward. Also, you can rest assured that if there was a modern fan translation made from Gaia Gensouki, they'd probably have Seth Morris calling Will Tim an esper here.

And even though I said I wasn't going to show every bit of translation/localization that varies between SB2 and IoG, I'll go ahead and throw up some quick examples here, just to give you an idea of what sort of changes were made. Most of them are fairly subtle - I believe the main cast got most of the heavy changes to their dialogue.

There's one other technical detail to the manner in which dialogue is presented in this game, which I should mention! Even by now, everyone should have noticed that all characters with any significance to them get their own font color. However, it's not just that! Each character also has a different unique pitch to the sound effect of their dialogue scroll, to match their voices! Nice! However, this is barely noticeable past SB2, because the Nintendo-published versions have most of the game's text appear instantly, rather than scrolling, limited the sound effect to a single blip. It robs most characters of a bit of their "voice," but speeds the game up a bit.

This last bit doesn't really have anything to do with localization, but I guess I can put anything "technical" here, too. That's what it's for, right? Just wanted to point out that you can get ahead of Erik here. After everyone finishes telling him they don't care about girls, you can rush to your "seat" at the table before Erik reaches it. You can then rush and move the statue quickly at Lance's request, and while he and Seth leap in surprise, Erik will still be walking along. The furthest I've been able to string him along is in that last screen, where he doesn't arrive at his seat until Lance is laying out cards. Amusingly, if he doesn't reach his seat until after you've moved the statue, upon reaching it he'll have his surprised leap humorously late.

Aaaaand.... that'll be it, this time around. Look forward to our next technical
update, featuring some more graphical changes and renamings!
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:08 PM
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Dawnswalker Dawnswalker is offline
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I knew that the beta had different names, but I never knew that the game's dialogue was different as well. Interesting!

Please don't post any Moto Hagio art in your tech updates. I think that was what killed the first Illusion of Gaia LP, and I still see Erik's face in my nightmares. But if by chance you have any that wasn't shown in that LP, post that shit!
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:59 PM
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bobbywatson bobbywatson is offline
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Just seeing those pictures put the South Cape music in my head.

Great work so far, Elements! Now I kinda want to dig up my SNES and the IoG cartridge and play it for a while... Even though it brings back bad memories of getting in and out of houses for that fisherman to be in the right position so that I could get the jewel...
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:26 PM
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Octopus Prime Octopus Prime is offline
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Man, I hope the third IoG LP is the one that actually finishes the game!

Its already pretty dang good!
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:13 PM
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Cyan Cyan is offline
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Originally Posted by bobbywatson View Post
Now I kinda want to dig up my SNES and the IoG cartridge and play it for a while...
Ha! I totally just did.

Had to blow in the cartridge a few times, but the saves are still working. Still as fun as I remember.

Got through the first real dungeon.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:38 PM
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narcodis narcodis is online now
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Yeah, this prompted me to dig out my cartridge as well.. really enjoying this game. Already at Freejia. Following a gamefaqs guide for the Red Jewels only. I wanna know what 50 of em gets me!
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