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Old 05-02-2012, 12:18 AM
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Default WHAT A HORRIBLE NIGHT TO HAVE A DRAGON'S CURSE. Let's play Wonder Boy III!

Warning: Some of the .gifs in this LP have segments where the screen changes colour rapidly. I don't know if this is the sort of flashing that can trigger photosensitive epilepsy, but I do know that I don't want to cause any seizures. Apparently in some browsers you can stop gif animations with the escape key (doesn't seem to work in chrome though), so if you're sensitive I recommend trying that. The images I'm most worried about are the boss fights, which end with a few seconds of flashing. There's one in the third post of this first update. Also the animations after the first boss in this update have a background that cycles from red to black. Again, I don't know if that'll cause problems, but if you think it might give you trouble then please don't risk it.

Anyways, hello and welcome to my LP of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, the 1989 sequel to Wonder Boy in Monster Land! It's one of the better Master System games. I'm sure some people reading this will think I'm damning it with faint praise there, but us Sega kids know that what I'm saying is it's really quite good. Really quite damn good. The plan for this LP is I'll play the game through in the usual way, then show off some secrets afterwards, including WE5T 0NE 0000 000, the hidden boss doors, the Hades Armor glitch, and maybe the Tasmanian Sword glitch and associated sequence break. Let's kick off:



Kshhhhhhhh



V-whum.



Deh-Dah!



Good advice.



Here's the first difference from WBiML: A menu, and the option to continue! Let's see where I was up to:



Oh. Well, password save is better than nothing, I suppose. Passwords in this game are made up of numbers and letters (upper case only), with the letters I, O, Q, and S not being used (I assume so that you won't get them mixed up with 1, 0, and 5. If only all game password systems were so considerate!). At the moment I don't have any passwords, so I guess I'll have to go back:



Spooky! Readers of my previous LP might remember this plot from that game: WBIII starts shortly before the end of WBiML, with a simplified version of the last stage and a much easier version of the final boss. The Castlevania series would later steal this idea for Symphony of the Night, but you could argue that the theft is justified by WBIII more or less taking its plot from Castlevania II.



Here's our man! Note the green hair, another change from WBiML. Let's see what he can do.



Attack!



Jump!



Jump and attack!



Duck!



Duck and attack!

Yeah, he's quite a guy. Check out those stats:



Pretty sweet. I don't know how much you all know about numbers, but 255 is the highest number there is and that's how much attack power and how many defence points Wonder Boy has at the moment, thanks to his legendary gear. His charm points aren't quite as high (perhaps due to the green hair?), but they aren't relevant at this point in the game so that can be forgiven. Also note that he is a HU-MAN.



A monster! Gross!
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:20 AM
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I make quick work of the giant cobra. It disappears without dropping so much as a coin.



I fight another, again getting nothing for it.



An intersection! I'll dig out my map from WBiML. As I recall, the lower path is the way forward.



What.



Another change from Monster Land: The correct path here is the top one.



Unlike the giant cobras, cyclopses have a reaction sprite when you hit them.



So, in Monster Land you had to go down at this juncture. Having learned my lesson from the first intersection, I go right instead.



Whoops. I'm back at the start.



This time I get it right. In WBiML, the correct path here is to the right.



I deal with the giant bats and head right, just like in WBiML.



Aww phooey. I'm back at the second room.



To my surprise, a cyclops drops a fire ball.



I head down, miss out on a heart, take the left and almost fall on a wandering bone (according to the manual. The name the game itself gives is wandering born).



Off to the right is a locked door. I can't open it.



To the left are some steps and the metallic core of the castle.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:21 AM
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This door leads to the MEKA Dragon. An epic battle ensues (warning: there are a bunch of flashing colours in this .gif. I don't know if they're the sort to trigger photosensitive epilepsy, but be careful just in case):



Once again, there are some changes from Monster Land. For one, the dragon has put on some weight, despite all the running it does now. Also, instead of a dot that changes colour, you get a hit point counter in the top right corner. Just like in WBiML, you can only damage the dragon by hitting it in the head, but when you do this happens:



It's pretty sweet.



The dragon still throws fire, but it doesn't do a whole lot of damage. Before long:



Ka-Pow!



This little spirit dude appears at the end of the fight. It starts dropping coins, then swoops:



What you do here is jump over the thing and get some cash.



What I do here is forget which button jumps and which button attacks, and guess badly.



The screen flashes, and I'm transformed!



I step outside. I wish I could've collected that money that was just floating there, but I guess it was not to be. Let's check our stats in this new form:



Lizard-Man is a lot weaker than Hu-Man, even with the Legendary gear. Oh well. Let's see what he can do:



Jump!



Spit fire! That's pretty cool, actually.



Duck!



Duck and spit fire!

I am prepared to declare Lizard-Man a winner.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:22 AM
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This enemy will always drop a large heart. Lizard-Man is suspicious, but his powers are useless against it.



Just like in Monster Land, it refills all your health. Unlike in ML, you don't get any points for it. This game doesn't have scoring.



We're back at the locked door, but still keyless.



Oh. There we go.



Thank goodness we can leave this terrible monster castle behind.



Just as soon as I complete this escape sequence. You might've noticed that the background has been flashing from black to red since I killed the dragon. Yeah, the place is falling apart.



Blocks fall from the ceiling for a while, then I reach a dead end. Game over, I guess?



Of course not. The falling blocks conveniently form a staircase and I make good my escape. Outside even the sky is changing colour.



Another locked door, and me without a key. Why even bother though? The place is falling apart. Obviously no one will ever enter there again.



I face some skeletons (in-game name: skelton). Unlike wandering bones, they have heads. I'm not sure if that makes them more or less creepy.



This master skelton has a hat. I've always thought it looks more like a nightcap.



I show 'im who's boss and clear out.



Just in time!

OK, now that we're finished with Wonder Boy II, time for number III to start for reals!



Hey! What happened to my health? And why does that church have a cleaver stuck to the door?



And why is the priest a smoking pig with an eyepatch? My guess is that WB took the cleaver off the door and threatened him with it to get him to relinquish this password. Anyway, if you'd like to continue the adventure at home, you can use this code to pick up where I left off! The game is readily available on virtual console. I don't recommend this code though: it's pretty much the second worst possible in the game (if I didn't have that fireball I picked up in the castle, that would be the worst). Play the extremely easy first level yourself and actually get some cash from the boss.

Anyway, I'll leave it there for today. Join me next time for the adventures of Lizard-Man!
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:17 AM
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Hooray! I knew you'd get to it eventually!

Also, I'm preeetty sure those are just windows in the doors. And you neglected to mention the master skeleton also has an eye patch. Eyes are in short supply in monster world! The average person only has 1.9 eyes!

Also, man, this game. Between this and Phantasy Star, there was a point in my youth where I was quite jealous of how my cousin had a Master System when I just had an NES.

Also, wow. That title screen really shows off the SMS graphics Thing. It had a way bigger color palette than the NES, and could use more in a given sprite, but it was almost never satisfied and insisted on DITHERING THE HELL OUT OF EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME. A lesson I have taken to heart.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:19 AM
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Awesome LP thus far! I love this game to pieces and am glad someone else picked it up after I dropped the ball.

One question: why the SMS version in particular? I've only played the PCE/TG16; are the glitches SMS-specific?
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:18 AM
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This game is absolutely fantastic, and a good part of the reason I've never played past the first stage in WBiML. It also took my friend and I over two years to finally beat because of one simple room in the last stage. I'll lament over that when we get there, though.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Googleshng View Post
Also, I'm preeetty sure those are just windows in the doors.
I know that now, but I first played this as a kid and I had some strange ideas about what some things in the game were. Aside from the knives on the doors and the nightcaps on the skeletons, I also always think of the red cyclopses in the castle as male and the green ones as female despite them just being a palette swap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djSyndrome View Post
One question: why the SMS version in particular? I've only played the PCE/TG16; are the glitches SMS-specific?
Mainly just because it's the only version I've played. From what I've read the differences between versions are mostly in the graphics and audio, so I'd be interested to hear if you spot any major changes to the game itself. No idea whether the glitches/secrets change between versions.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:10 PM
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This game is so hot it deserves two Ts: HOTT.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:43 PM
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Yesssssssss. Let us discover the secret of your power.
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  #11  
Old 05-03-2012, 02:24 PM
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Love the animated gifs.

This game is the Master System's equivalent of Blaster Master - Clunky and frustrating in a lot of ways, but also inventive and increasingly more rewarding the deeper you get into it.
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  #12  
Old 05-04-2012, 09:28 AM
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Yay! You did a great job with Monster Land. Very excited to follow along and see how you play through. This is my favorite SMS title, next to Zillion.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:31 AM
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It hardly needs to be repeated, but your GIFs are the best things.
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  #14  
Old 05-04-2012, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha jammer View Post
Yay! You did a great job with Monster Land. Very excited to follow along and see how you play through. This is my favorite SMS title, next to Zillion.
Have you replayed Zillion lately? It... hasn't aged quite as well.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:59 PM
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Technical question: are the gifs running slowly for anyone? They should be running at 50fps, giving a speed similar to the real thing, but I've noticed that on my phone they're going pretty slowly.

Also, did anyone find that my boss gifs in the Monster Land LP were too fast? They were made with only every fifth frame because they were running too slow on my old computer when I used all of them.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:55 PM
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Neat, I like these LPs. Gifs look fine to me.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yimothy View Post
Technical question: are the gifs running slowly for anyone? They should be running at 50fps, giving a speed similar to the real thing, but I've noticed that on my phone they're going pretty slowly.

Also, did anyone find that my boss gifs in the Monster Land LP were too fast? They were made with only every fifth frame because they were running too slow on my old computer when I used all of them.
The gifs are running super smooth!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Googleshng View Post
Have you replayed Zillion lately? It... hasn't aged quite as well.
I have in fact! This is most likely a heavy dose of nostalgia talking but I still think it's pretty great I enjoy the feeling of exploring this enormous underground base and finding secrets and power ups. Also LOVE the music. I also find that it's gotten a lot easier for me to remember the room codes now vs when I was younger. To be fair I played a LOT of Zillion when I was a kid, so I can pretty much run through without getting too mixed up in the lower levels of the maze. Also, listen to both of these remixes.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:03 AM
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Default Lizard-Man, part the first.



Here's Lizard-Man where we left him outside the church. The game doesn't really tell you what to do from here. The intro let us know that the Meka Dragon has the power to curse, but there's nothing there about how to break the curse. Luckily, I have the manual, so I know that I need to find the Salamander Cross. Where? Who knows! I'll just have to explore.

Let me just take another look at my stats:



Holy hell! My stuff! Apparently somewhere in my escape I dropped the legendary gear. I guess I also ran across an elephant and took its tusks? At a guess I'd say this is supposed to be bone equipment, implying I took it from the skeletons I fought on the way out of the castle, and it didn't survive the translation (although this version of the game wasn't released in Japan (I think it didn't come out there until the PC Engine/Game Gear versions), I'm pretty sure it was made there). Or maybe the ivory in question is the lizard-man's fangs? Anyway, my stats now suck.



I take a look around town.



The nurse is pretty inexpensive, but I have no cash and full health, so I don't need her just now. If you're wondering what's going on in her portrait there, I believe those are her hands holding a chart.



This door is locked.



I need to go out and get some money. The question mark at the top is an item that this guy won't sell me. My charm is too low (presently 3). Maybe he knows about the elephant. Personally, I think Lizard-Man is very charming.



A chest!



Sweet! My health is doubled!



Before I go back, here's a little secret:



A hidden store! Too bad I'm too ugly for this guy to deal with! Whatever this stuff is, it's pretty expensive. The other items cost 160, 360, and 640 gold.



I take the lower door back up, and exit through a door that only exists when it's opening.



I take the last door left in town. It leads to a room with a well. I go for a swim. Actually, Lizard-Man can't swim, but he can hold his breath for a very long time.



Off to the left is a dead end. The chest you see there is the one I just got a heart out of. I head right and find myself at the base of another well. Unfortunately I can't climb out of it, being unable to swim.



I am able to breathe fire underwater, which I have to say I find more impressive than swimming anyway. You can only have one fireball on screen at a time. If you hit the attack button again, the one on screen will disappear to make way for the new one. If you're like me and you tend to mash attack when threatened, this can be kind of irritating.



I take the steps and head out into the seaside area of the game.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:05 AM
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It's pretty much business as usual: cross some platforms, kill some snakes.



These little crabs can't be hit while standing, you have to duck. This is actually a big weakness of the Lizard-Man form.



As you can see.



A little while later I meet a roper.



It hits me.



This little hut leads to an underwater dead end. It's how you get out again if you fall during the earlier platforming bits, since Lizard-Man can't swim.



These green crabs take two hits. All the palette-swapped enemies have the same pattern of strength: red ones are weakest, green intermediate, and blue the strongest.



I carry on for a bit and score an arrow from one of the crabs. They're a somewhat useful item that you can fire straight upwards. Good for flying enemies, but it's usually pretty hard to actually hit things.



Luckily I'm a crack shot.



Or not. These clouds zip around from side to side following you and dropping fire. They aren't much of a problem on their own, but when you're trying to fight other stuff at the same time they don't make things any easier. That was my only arrow, so I'm just gonna have to deal with it.



Clouds are especially problematic when you have to duck (i.e. stop moving) to be able to hit things.



I'm not really sure how this happened, though. Guess I wasn't quick enough on the trigger. There goes my revival potion! This isn't the huge setback it would be in Monster Land though. Potions are easier to come by, you can carry up to three at a time, and they aren't as useful anyway. In WBiML a potion would restore all your health, but in WBIII the amount you get back is random, often as little as one heart.



I manage to kill the crabs, though not before taking another hit. I quickly go through the nearby door and find a shop that won't sell me anything and a room with a treasure chest containing the key I need to get through the door back in town.



I set off back to town, but miss a jump and wind up underwater.



Off to the left I find a room with a treasure chest.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:06 AM
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It drops a few coins, and one of each magic. Could've used that thunder dealing with the cloud a few minutes ago.



I head back to the right and find the door to the surface, then promptly fall back into the water.



There's a way out straight away, but I might as well take a look around while I'm down here. No way into that lower passage at this point.



Here's the boomerang in action. It's probably the most useful of the weapons, since even if you only have one of them if you catch it on the return you get to use it again.



I reach a dead end, so I head back to the right and make my way out again.



Turns out it's not a dead end if you go into the water at the far left of the area. I head across and find:



Another dead end.



The door at the start of the area takes me back to town. Now that I've got some cash, I pick up the mythril armour and shield.



Equipping them gets me a significant defence boost, and the change of clothes improves my charm. I head back into the store:



And the guy will now sell me the sword. With all my stats quadrupled, it's time to put my new key to use:



I squeeze in a heal, too. Note that with my increased health limit the nurse has quadrupled her price.



With the key I can reach the next level of this tower, and from there the door in the sky that leads to the desert. This game has pretty good level design, but it doesn't always make a lot of sense.

Anyway, that's it for today. I was planning to do Lizard-Man in one go, but I'm halfway through and this is the third post of this update.

Oh, and here's something I forgot in the first update:



It's the opening castle map. Much simpler than the same area in the previous game. See if you can spot where I drew the map wrong and corrected with copy-paste after scanning!



Here's the town. It's not really to scale very well.



And here's the seaside area. This is where my maps get really inaccurate. There should be more islands than I've put in, for one thing, and the door at the top right is in a separate building from the big curvy thing. Still, I think you get the gist.

Next time: boss fight.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:11 AM
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God I hated the Charm stat. It's not the last time you'll find yourself unable to buy something without buying something else first!
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yimothy View Post
It drops a few coins, and one of each magic. Could've used that thunder dealing with the cloud a few minutes ago.
Fighting a cloud with thunder... Is that like fighting fire with fire?
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:39 AM
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Default Lizard-Man, part the second.



At this point you can go either to the left or to the right, but I'll save myself the bother of showing off the game over screen and just take a left. We'll be heading the other way a few updates from now.



This is pretty much the desert in a nutshell: you fight a bunch of snakes and fire flowers.



Oh, and you jump over fire ant lions.



I'm not great at jumping over ant lions. I tend to wait for the high fireball and jump immediately after it, which is the worst time because the next one goes out as soon as it lands. Still, getting hit can be revealing:



There's a cave down here! You can easily get out with the spring blocks, but let's have a look around first:



It's a pretty lengthy area, and I'm pretty bad at fighting fish, so I'm not in great shape when I find the door.



Inside is a chest with some coins, some fireballs, a charm stone, a heart, and a potion. Not a bad haul, and I'm much further from dying now. Plus:



My CP has gone up! Each charm stone you get increases your charm points by one. Get enough of them and you'll be able to buy more things! If you're nuts, you can also use them to sequence break, but I won't be showing how until the final update of this LP.



I make my way back up to the surface. This is the leftermost boost out of the underwater area, and pops me up through the toughest (bluest) form of fire ant lion.



Glad I didn't have to jump over that.



The clouds (the game's name for them is hovering smog) make another appearance in the pyramid area, but they're much easier this time since they fly at a height where you can hit them normally.



The flowers also show up again. The ground level ones are a real annoyance.



These two wells are the ways in and out of this pyramid. But first:



What could be waiting on the far side?
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:41 AM
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A goblin and the sphynx! Unlike in WBiML, this sphynx has no riddle, just a door. First though I have to deal with the goblin. Lizard-Man doesn't hold his shield, so he has no defence against projectiles besides dodging them. Unfortunately they'll still hit you if you duck. I bravely advance:



And take an arrow to the face. Note that my revival potion has been exchanged for a health refill in the second shot there.



This definitely would've been useful before I got hit.



I manage to get hit immediately on leaving, then discover that the arrow won't hit you if you stand on the lowest step of the pyramid. That'll be useful information next time I play this.



I head back over the pyramid and make my entrance. The door on the lower floor there leads to the one on the upper floor. It's how you get back out.



These guys are the third enemies in this area with "fire" in their names: fire stones. They flash before shooting fire at you.



Faeries don't drop anything when you kill them. Jerks.



It's not a complicated area.



The price has gone up again, but I don't want to get killed out here so I splurge.



They didn't really put a lot of effort into hiding this key. If you miss it on the way up you just go back a single screen. You might notice that the lock on this door is red, where the lock in town was green. I think the difference is you need a new key every time you go through this door, while green locks stay open once you've been through once. You can only carry one key at a time, and I think that chests which contain keys are refilled whenever you use your key.



I guess these are the catacombs. It probably would have made more sense to enter the pyramid at the top and work your way to the catacombs at the bottom, but whatever. These giant toads will jump at you when you get close. If you stop at just the right place you can hit them with your fire breath before they do.



Or you can attempt to hit them when they land and get hit by them instead.



That's more like it!



Fire stones are a bit more of a threat when you have to deal with other enemies at the same time. The green toad in the last shot moves independently of you. It's usually easiest to just walk under it as it jumps and move on.



The game takes it up another notch: I can't shoot this toad without getting close enough that it jumps.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:43 AM
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I can just walk under it when it does, though.



Goblins are actually easier to deal with in this area: I can just stay below them and jump up to attack when their backs are turned.



The ancient pharaohs' most devious trap yet: a spring floor! It's much harder to avoid things when you're constantly being flung into the air.



I'm pretty good at this game, guys.



There's really no excuse for this. Luckily fire stones don't hit too hard.



I'm not certain, but I think willow wisps drop hearts more often than other enemies do. I'm gonna claim that this one managed to hit me because I was dodging that fire ball.



I still have no excuse for this, though.



When you're getting to the end of this area keep an eye out for a fire ball going over your head. That's a sign that you need to be careful. Once you can see this fire stone, you need to jump over the next crenellation in the floor.



There's a secret passage!



This full health restore and revival potion are just what I needed.



Here's why I had to jump: there's no floor down there.



I believe you can drop down on either side of the room, but the left is easier because the fire stone on that side won't hit you. Inside the door:



The Mummy Dragon!



Despite my getting hit here, it's a pretty easy fight if you know what you're doing.



The dragon moves up and down at the side of the screen, then comes at you. This is your chance to attack.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:45 AM
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It's thrown back and comes at you again slightly higher up. Hit it again.



Again it's a bit higher, but you can still hit it.



After three hits it's too high for me to reach anymore, so I hide in the corner while it pukes clover everywhere. Gross! This is a real bugger of a thing if it hits you. Unlike WBiML, if you get hit again while you're still invincible you'll be knocked back as if you weren't, just without the damage. It can be really annoying.



I manage to get slightly more gold before the sprite catches me this time.



I re-emerge back in the pyramid. Since I just used my key, I take the chance to get another.



Here's the Mouse-Man's power. You can stick to these checkerboard blocks to walk on walls and ceilings. To my knowledge, this is not something actual mice can do. Here it's mostly good for avoiding enemies.



In theory, anyway.



Mouse-man's other power is he sucks at combat. His reach is terrible, and he can only block low projectiles with his shield. At least it's a step up from lizard-man not being able to block anything.



Sometimes it's a bit hard to tell whether or not you're in wall-walking mode if you're standing on the floor. Here's how you tell: In the shot above, I am not stuck to the floor. In the shot below, I am:



If he's moving his legs, he's attached. You make it happen by jumping against whatever you want to stick to and pressing the d-pad perpendicular to the surface.



My small size and stick-to-itiveness allow me access to this room.



The chest contains some money, a couple of charm stones, and a health refill.



I buy the dancing shield, then take the other door for a shortcut back to town.



The shield gives a pretty good defensive boost. Note that even before changing any of my equipment my stats are greatly improved over those of lizard-man. There's also the password for where we're at now! Check out the map (I didn't draw one for the catacombs because A. Despite the evidence so far presented to the contrary, I only have so much free time, and B. It's a straight run to the left and then down one screen at the end):



As is becoming the standard for this LP, it's fairly inaccurate, but it gets the point across. Join me next time, when I climb a mysterious tower and also a less mysterious tower.
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  #27  
Old 05-16-2012, 01:33 PM
StriderDL StriderDL is offline
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So long, Lizard Man. You sure....breathed fire well.
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  #28  
Old 05-24-2012, 06:16 AM
upupdowndown's Avatar
upupdowndown upupdowndown is offline
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Mouse-form is so cute! Can you flip between forms at all?
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  #29  
Old 05-24-2012, 06:48 AM
StriderDL StriderDL is offline
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If I recall correctly, there is a room later on where you can switch forms. But that's dredging up a 20 year old memory, so maybe not. I don't think there's any reason to switch back to Lizard-Man, though. Unless he has a buoyancy thing going on?
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  #30  
Old 05-24-2012, 06:56 AM
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alpha jammer alpha jammer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upupdowndown View Post
Mouse-form is so cute! Can you flip between forms at all?
That ability unlocks later in the game. For the majority of it you are stuck in one form or another as you go from dungeon to dungeon.
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