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I've lost my Way!

Hello! I'm happy to notice that he Way (first episode, but it can include also the next ones) finally become a featured game of Rpgmaker.net! Ok, so welcome to the final chapter of this series of reviews that covered the whole famous 2004 masterpiece by LunCasari. If you did not play the previous game or if you missed the past entries, here they are!

The Way Ep 1 - The land beneath the sky
The Way Ep 2 - Echoes of the past decry
The Way Ep 3 - A lost love carried on
The Way Ep 4 - Words to a lonely song
The Way Ep 5 - Everyone bleeds

Ok? Ready? Let's go!
The Way Ep6 - Truth hides nothing, starts with a nice bright background with many citadels and a long list of playtesters (a lot more!). The game starts with the last scene from Episode 5, where Rhue and Gaius arrived to the final destination... but a last trip awaits our protagonist! Time to discover who is the mysterious Phantom Killer, but FIRST let's explore a dreamlike world that resemble Estrana, the huge city of some episodes ago. But what is this place?


Mmmmhhhhh... tough choice indeed!

Hold on a moment. I warn you that the game is just doing a complete 180 on everything from story to gameplay style (that's why this title!): while the protagonist is still Rhue, combat does not change and the Plunge duels are still present, the adventure isn't anymore linear and there is a lot of missable content, different endings and a ton of minigames. Unfortunately the heroic Jabbo, author of the walkthrough, stopped at half of this episode! Uhm at the time I had no one else that could help me, but I guess that now there should be a let's play on youtube or somewhere else. Uhm I hope!!!

Anyway let's go back to the review. This time you start alone, like in other episodes, but the aim is to collect allies and form a party! Oh yes, I told you that this time it was different! But wait there is more, because now not only you can check their stats but characters also level up! Yes, it's not a joke and it's totally a new (even if present in almost every other rpgmaker2000 game) feature in this series (in the end I noticed that Rhue was always the strongest one, probably due to all the advancements earned absorbing items with the usual permanent upgrades that were introduced from the first episode).

A funny thing about the party members is that (spoiler incoming)
all the inhabitants of this shadow realm version of Estrana are DEAD! (except for Rhue of course) So expect to add to the team many of the characters that died in the past episode (Gaius, Traziun, Kloe and Scatha aren't present of course, being them alive!), while Sorya... well she will be recruitable only IF we killed her of course! Otherwise she won't be present at all.



Oh yes, you can even buy a house and furnish it. Luckily the inside is much better than the outside appearance may suggest!

Luckily there are still no random encounters but only enemies that can be avoided (well, except for bosses of course).
But the game isn't about party combat only, of course! Expect lots of minigames, plunge duels, puzzles, stealth sections, traps. And revelations.
I will mentione three parts I liked a lot: the play at the theatre, the part in which you buy a house and you have to furnish it, and the epic tournament that can lead Rhue to become the Pharaphalyn (the legendary god-like swordsman of the world of the Way, even if due to the particular setting it's debatable if this is real or just a dream) after winning an extremely difficult optional duel. It's a great satisfaction, but really difficult considered that it's also a part that can totally avoided.

Ok, now let's talk about the graphics and sounds: well this game is pretty good, first because there those still life pictures aren't widely used anymore (just in a couple of areas, luckily!) and all take place on traditional maps, and that's also the reason why I liked Episode 4 so much. Second, because there are a ton of different character, charsets and also facesets with different expressions, this time much more than the past episodes! Not only there will be some characters never seen before (Icabod, Moffat, the tournament rivals, etc.), but also the old ones, due to the party-based structure of this adventure, have more exchanges (two of the party members, for example, had just a couple of lines of dialogues on the past episodes, here they are both present almost from the start of the game).

Anyway there are also some things I did not like, for example the darkness of some areas (maybe it was done to create atmosphere!), a dungeon in which you have a sort of "gunk" that obscures the visuals... why? I hated those parts!

Now the music. This is great as usual, Luke wacholtz's song "Truth Hides Nothing" theme is really haunting and memorable, fits perfectly the theme of this episode. Another good excellent theme is the usual ending one. These were both memorable and got stuck in my head!


Ok, time for an interrogation minigame! The system is a bit obscure so try your luck here!

Final Verdict
The Way Episode 6 is a strange beast: lots of differences from the other episodes, lots of content that is also missable, anyway all is still fun, even if I can see why the fanbase was at first disappointed. Happened to me too, but I still have to admit that this is a good game, despite the departure it takes from the previous episodes I loved. The Way Episode 6 finally reveals many things especially about Rhue, anyway a lot is left unexplained.
And now the endings, there are three: bad ending, silly ending (that's the hardest to get, if I remember correctly) and the normal ending (that's the one I prefer and considered canon by most players also because it's the more logical final outcome of the three).
I hated this episode in the beginning, not because it was bad but because it was different. Anyway it's good (even if some parts are a bit awkward and rushed and do not reach the level of some of the previous episodes), full of things to do and events, totally different from most other rpgmaker games I played.
Ok, that's the end of the way, now time to speak about something else...


The Extras!
Ok, as usual here's the interesting details and easter eggs of this last episode!


The Charlatans of Justice
These five guys form a group that will give some side quests (that include both stealth and combat) to Rhue, and if you played the series and talk with them, their names will sound somewhat familiar. Why? Well these five are the Way playtesters that LunCasari inserted into his game!


The Phantom (no relation with the Phantom Killer... maybe!)
Ok, if the Charlatans were the playtesters, most players believe that instead the Phantom is none other than LunCasari himself! And the reason is simple, he talks about his paintings and there's a clear parallelism with Lun work. Here he address to the players who loved the series why he didn't make Episode 7 and finish The Way properly. Yes, Episode 6 is the last one and the story is concluded but he left a big chunk missing (the mysterious book of Sermeot, the Pontifex Maximus... all these were mentioned in Episode 5 as extremely important and faded into nothing!) so you could say that The Way is both a complete and an incomplete game!


Similar name, different game!
Here's a homage to another great dev of one of my favourite games. I wanted to end with this one since Lishernon is the person who started the Misao Awards, and one of my first reviews (probably my worst one, I guess) done yeard ago was on that great game called Three the Hard Way! That and the Way series are among my favourite rpgmaker games still today.

THE END

Posts

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Dyluck
For thousands of years, I laid dormant. Who has disturbed my slumber?
4682
The Way and Three the Hard Way are two of my favorite RM games ever. Nice screenshots. It's been so long actually don't remember most of those scenes. Btw not sure if you know, but Lun's official forums had fans who posted tons of theories and stuff, including secrets they found by opening the game in RM and finding Lun's code comments on certain event objects.
author=Dyluck
The Way and Three the Hard Way are two of my favorite RM games ever. Nice screenshots. It's been so long actually don't remember most of those scenes. Btw not sure if you know, but Lun's official forums had fans who posted tons of theories and stuff, including secrets they found by opening the game in RM and finding Lun's code comments on certain event objects.

Heya! Yes, I visited these forums loooong ago, anyway I still have the game with my 2015 saves lol! I remember in the first episode you can see the protagonist original appearance on one map, and a couple of secrets are accessible only using Rm2k.
There is a cool series of the whole game on Theletsplayarchive that give lots of interesting details for examples about some things that were planned, like Lexus fate that can change depending on how many Lexus points you get. The problem is that you cannot earn enough Lexus points to change anything so there is no change possible... also Traziun points can be get on the first episode but have no relevance at all. Pity!

The Way and Three the Hard Way are great games, on par with Alter Aila, A Blurred Line, Onyx and the others I mentioned other times around here.
Great series!

The Way
Three The Hard Way
Rise of the Third Power

The ultimate trio
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7345
All I can really remember during my time in The Way was the woman with the mask who talked with Ssssssssssssssssss~
author=Darken
The Way
Three The Hard Way
Rise of the Third Power
The ultimate trio


And what about... The book of Three???
Three ghostly roses???

Funny that you mentioned RoTTP... I playtested it (very cool!) but I was also able to find the original old version in a german site.

author=Corfaisus
All I can really remember during my time in The Way was the woman with the mask who talked with Ssssssssssssssssss~




Aaaaaaaaaa I hate Scatha because the duel with her in episode 3 was almost impossible the first time I played and I had to restart the whole series to get more upgrades to be strong enough to win. -_-'
This guy did a text-playthrough of The Way and it's really interesting. He goes into different theories and behind-the-scenes stuff while giving his commentary. Highly recommended!

By text-playthrough, I mean he played through it while posting screenshots and written commentary. I'm not sure if there's a name for this.

https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3884921#post493456699
author=dethmetal
This guy did a text-playthrough of The Way and it's really interesting. He goes into different theories and behind-the-scenes stuff while giving his commentary. Highly recommended!

By text-playthrough, I mean he played through it while posting screenshots and written commentary. I'm not sure if there's a name for this.

https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3884921#post493456699

Yeah, that's the one I mentioned earlier, the same I found on letsplayarchive.

theWay

There you will also find some complete playthroughs of other classic Rmk games like A Blurred Line and Romancing Walker!

It's very interesting because I saw many things I missed and remembered some I forgot, well my first playthrough was about 17 years ago! I remembered I also downloaded a savegame to be able to see all the three endings (one in particular requires to do many tasks and at the time I wasn't willing to spend a lot of time, also because I did not like Ep 6 so much!)... now it would not be necessary!
well my first playthrough was about 17 years ago


I... yeah same for me, I still cannot process that number.
author=Darken
well my first playthrough was about 17 years ago
I... yeah same for me, I still cannot process that number.

Well the funny thing is that it's even older: when I played the first episode it was 2006 (it was the last update of the game), but the game was released during the 2002-2005 period (earning the 2003 Game of the Year award). 20 years ago. Anyway probably it did not received a lot of attention until some years after the release.
When I first played, Episode 6 was only just about to come out. Thanks for reminding me that was 17 years ago, heh.
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