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Another's Thoughts

A little while back a member of the community, Unity, played Heroes of Tsufana upon request, and here's what s/he had to say:

"Dragon Fantasy: Heroes of Tsufana by Ephiam is an old-school type RPG. My first RPG was Dragon Quest 1 (or Dragon Warrior 1 as it was called on the NES over here at the time), where grinding, finding treasure, and exploration based on hints you got from NPCs were core gameplay mechanics. Heroes of Tsufana brings back the feelings of those days and those early RPGs, and does it well.

An upfront warning: if you're used to more modern RPGs, be warned that you're going to have to grind for EXP and money, and that rather than having a clear next step in your quest, you're going to have to explore and pay close attention to hints given by NPCs about where to go next. Some may find these to be detriments, but they were a part of the experience in early RPGs.

I found the game a lot of fun to play, and I liked the callbacks to old Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy games. While you start off with just two characters, you get your full party of four pretty early on, as well as a ship so you can explore the world.

Opening up most of the world so early can be a risky move, and some may be turned off by the slew of places that are now open to you, but I found it interesting. It brings me back to old games where if the monsters in an area are outright destroying you, you're probably not supposed to be in that area yet.

The heroes each have a nice variety of abilities fitting their classes, and the game makes exploration feel very rewarding. I've really enjoyed the experience, and will most likely be continuing it after I've finished playing the rest of the game.

I didn't find a lot wrong with the game, but I will point out a few things:

-First, there's no wrap-effect on the world map, so you can literally sail to a corner of the world and the game will stop you there (See my screenshot here). I'm not sure why the wrap option wasn't chosen, which would fit the emulation of the early NES games.

-Second, some towns lack space for you to travel to a single line of tiles. If NPCs are in that line, you have to painstakingly wait for them to move (see my screenshot here, where, if I want to go west, both pathways are blocked by NPCs). This was indeed a feature of old NES RPGs, but not a welcome one, and providing bigger areas to walk would make navigating through certain towns a lot easier.

-Third, the graphics used in dungeons were repetitive. The ones I encountered came in two flavors: caves that always look like this, or interior dungeons that always look like this. Even Final Fantasy 1 went to lengths to make varied locations, using different tiles to make dungeons look somewhat distinct. A little more variety would certainly be welcome.

All in all, these are ultimately small complaints in what's a great retro-style game. Well done! I've liked this one.

Also, as an added bonus to the content of this blog and a little something for you to look forward to in the future: Heroes of Tsufana will (eventually) be remade using VX ACE. When? After I've completed Dragon Fantasy REMADE. I've already laid the groundwork for when I do get to it, but that day is at least a year down the road.

Progress Report

Slowly, slowly...

The FINAL update for Heroes of Tsufana which will feature the (optional) bosses designed by several of the members here is slowly making progress, but I'm over halfway there, so just a liiiiiitle longer and it'll be finished.

I figured that while Desertopa and I finish overhauling the script for Dragon Fantasy REMADE that I'd complete this final update on the side. Once it (the script) is finished, though, I'm going to be focusing all of my attention on DFR to complete it as fast as possible.

One of the newest features that the latest version of HOT will include is something I'm sure you'll all love: the ability to dash! That's right, now you're no longer bound by the slow walking speed utilized in the original to make it more "oldschool." I thought players would appreciate something like that, so decided to include it in the upcoming update.

I also renamed most of the spells, added a ton of additional optional content, and changed a few BGMs around just in case you were sick of listening to the same songs over and over again.


Lost Media

Some may have noticed, and others not, but the Let's Play that was completed by Thomsstout1947 some time ago has regrettably been lost/deleted. According to Thomas, an unknown individual hacked into his Youtube account and deleted (near) all of his videos, resulting in an incredible loss. He'd been in the process of uploading his Let's Play of UPRC's "Blackmoon Prohpecy" when the incident occured, causing several hundred videos to be lost.

With that, I am going to delete that portion of the project's "Media" section, but must first let it be known that I am truly appreciative of all the hours he poured into making those videos! Thanks, Thomas! It may not have lasted long, but perhaps someone else will come along again someday and do something similar.

Progress Report

New Additions

Here is a small list of the additional content you'll find in the upcoming update:

-Harder enemies with remixed or entirely new skills and/or attack patterns.

-A "Run/Dash" button which will enable you to speed your way through the dungeons and across the overworld.

-Renamed spells, new music, etc.

-The MP cost of certain spells has been increased/decreased, dependent upon the user and the effectiveness of the ability; stronger spells now have an even steeper MP cost.

-Monsters have now been divided into various types: BEAST, UNDEAD, FLYING, DEMON, PLANT, and MAGIC.

-Armak has a slew of new abilities, most of which involve an effectiveness against the different "Types" that enemies have now been divided into.

-The game will now utilize the plug-in that displays (numerically) increases or deceases in MP, ATK, DEF, etc.

-Even MORE optional bosses and areas. Said bosses are a part of a small "event" that I hosted wherein users were able to submit their own bosses to be implemented in a future update.

-Most equipment (especially weapons) has been given a considerable price increase.

Game Design

Want to have a Boss designed by YOU featured in the next update? Look Inside!

For the next update I was looking for something a little MORE, and wanted to give you (the players) a chance to have a boss monster of your design featured in the next update of Heroes of Tsufana.

As some of you may (or may not) know, there are already several bosses in the game that were designed by a few well known members of RMN: Sir Kentonus (by Kentona), and ENUO (by UPRC). Yours could be next!

What I'm looking for is roughly three extra optional bosses to add into the next update: one for players within the level range of 8-12; another for 18-25; a final for 30+. KEEP IN MIND that due to the style and design of this game that the bosses you will be submitting CANNOT be too complex with abilities and skills outside of what the basic RM2K3 battle system is capable of.

What do I need from YOU? Simple:

-A graphic for your boss monster that matches the NES side-view style of the game.
-List of abilities that your monster will utilize.
-Weaknesses and Strengths (elements that may be effective against or absorbed by the monster).
-Brief history of your monster and the type of environment they'll be fought in (Cave, Castle, or Tower).
-Due to balancing purposes I'll have to be the one who assigns stat values to the monster. Just tell me if the boss is supposed to have LOW, MED, or HIGH HP, STR, etc.
-You can reference the Character Info page to find out when each character learns a certain spell, etc. that may work in the strategy against the boss.

You CAN submit a boss for each category (Early, Mid, and Late-game), but I will only be choosing three of my favorite submissions to include in the game.

Have any more questions? Then fire away!

The elements used within the game are:

The common status ailments are:
Death, Poison, Confuse, Stop, Berserk, Sleep, Blind, Slow, Gravity, Mindloss*, Stun, Silence, Haste, Power, Defense, Magic, GainHP, GainMP, Weak**, Broken***, Shatter****, MgcLoss*****

* Destroys 50% of target's MP on the turn they're inflicted
** Lowers ATK
*** Lowers DEF
**** Lowers INT
***** Inflicted character loses 1% of total MP per-turn for several turns.


A Small... Delay

I'd planned on doing my own creator-done playthrough of Heroes of Tsufana and uploaded its various segments to Youtube, but that was BEFORE I'd experienced problems with my old laptop. Sadly it (the old laptop) thinks hard about working these days, so if I'm blessed with a moment of luck and am able to access my video-capturing software I'l definitely stick it on a USB stick and transfer it to my current computer.

I'd wanted to do this as a sort of walkthrough for players who may have found themselves stuck, though regrettably I fell behind due to finding other games to play, etc. and then my old laptop jumped over a digital bridge.


Completion Time?

I'm curious: How long did it take those of you who may have downloaded and completed the Adventurer's Edition to reach the end of the game? I never implemented the timer, etc. until the very end, so my run-through didn't apply, sadly. SPEAK UP! I DO NOT WANT YOU TO FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE! THERE CAN BE NO PEACE!!!

Game Design

Higher Difficulty? Insane, Lunatic, etc.

I've been throwing around the idea of adding an even higher difficulty level into the game for the past month now, but have finally decided to ask you folk for your opinion before starting anything. Think it's worth it or that it would at least be a neat addition to the downloads page? There would be no extra content, mind you, but the enemies would get a SIGNIFICANT boost to their stats, etc. I might even consider going into "unfair" territory seeing as how this download would be completely optional and up to the player.

Anyway, regardless of whether or not I go through with this, those are my thoughts regarding this project for the moment!


Bugs/Crashes/Erros And Other Issues.

Recently the user "Freedom" sent me a PM saying they encountered an error within Vlad's Castle at the end of the game wherein if they defeated any of the four bosses there they were given an error message and the game would crash on them. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? If so, then where? Any information regarding bugs and other issues would be GREATLY appreciated!

For reference, Freedom was playing the Adventurer's Edition of the game.

I couldn't find what was causing it myself and didn't have it happen to me, so I'm hoping it's just one isolated freak occurrence and isn't secretly plaguing everyone's copy.


Anything Else?

So recently I added a Page detailing the newly-added "Elemental Devils" set of optional boss enemies which includes where they can be found, their skill set, stats, etc. but is there anything ELSE you folks would like to see? Equipment list, small walkthrough, or even a list of very concise directions so you can reach the end of the game with as little hassle as possible? Fire away! Your input is always very appreciated. =)
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