I enjoy playing and creating games (mostly RPGs) and have a love of story and characterisation above graphics. I've been into RM* since '96 and have used all makers - started on the PSX makers, found and used a patched version of the SNES RM, then moved to RM95. When I found RM2K I finally decided to join some forums and I've been a part of the community ever since.

Absolute Justice

Site last broken: 7th January, 2017
Before that: 24th May 2016
Wolf and Kid
Save your best friend, a wolf.



Current Site Staff

Good yell, ta! >.<)b

Joyfully Rewarding Players' Guts: Winning or losing - are you really the boss in this fight?

Most developers do...

Joyfully Rewarding Players' Guts: Winning or losing - are you really the boss in this fight?

Honestly, a lot of times I've played games with unwinnable battles, I've not been too bothered about them. They're usually very good at making it obvious that you're not supposed to win - whether it be by having a lot of talking going on in the battle, having it be the main bad guy you're fighting or having other aspects that let you know you can't win (like someone in the party going "They're too strong! Hold out a bit longer and we'll try to escape!"). Another way out of unwinnable battles is breaking the battle before you die - basically going "you have 20% HP left, let's cut it here".

Pretty much the evil bad guy isn't killing you straight out for a lot of reasons - they might want to know where you got your information about them having stolen the super power weapon of doom, might want to steal your powers and add them to their own, might decide they need to break the rebel army's spirit by having them watch their leader die in a horrific way, might choose to let you live long enough to suffer by watching your family burn in the flames of their righteous indignation...

Even a demon lord might feel compelled to quell any future opposition by thinking about taking you captive after trouncing your ass in battle and then going "see these little shits who thought they could stand up to me? yeah, watch me eviscerate them. this is what happens when people fight against me! this will happen to you!" Usually, though, something happens after the battle that allows your party to escape - maybe an army attacks his base suddenly and he has to go kill them off before they get in and steal his super weapon, maybe he's knocked off the precarious bridge you're all on by an ally throwing an airship gust at his ass, maybe magical mcguffin suddenly shines a holy light that sends him running, maybe he breaks a nail. Something happens, though, and suddenly you're safe!

And yes, there are times when he chooses to just walk away, but a lot of the time those things end up making sense for him to do that kind of thing because of his personality or character. A lot of bad guys tend to have issues and those issues usually end up being their downfall but part of character-building is showing that there are those issues to exploit in the future, so the cocky villain who decides to slap you around and laugh in your face about how weak you are and leave you to bleed to death (a slow and painful death, btw - not very merciful) isn't being nice and isn't being dumb, but is assuming that he's rocked your shit hard enough that you're not going to be able to do much more than die. That's not him being a bad character, that's just luck that your party managed to be stalwart enough to survive long enough to get some help. You can bet he doesn't do that a second time.

You seem to forget that the main thing is this - the bad guy is used to people dying when he leaves them half-dead after a good old battle. He's not used to dealing with STALWART HEROES OF JUSTICE who JUST SO HAPPEN to be lucky and/or MAGICAL enough to survive after taking a stomping. He's likely killed thousands just by spanking their asses in battle and then does it to your group only to have them come back.

Coming back is when the kid gloves come off and he really wants your face stomped. Unless he has plans... then he's willing to let you live another day.

Joyfully Rewarding Players' Guts: Winning or losing - are you really the boss in this fight?

Actually, for the Gades fight it is played as a True Unwinnable fight. Most people never found out it was winnable the first time around - however when you beat the game for the first time you got a new game plus that gave you much greater EXP and Gold during your second playthrough. In that playthrough you level up a lot faster and when you get to the Gades fight you are essentially over-levelled for it. It comes as a complete surprise that you can actually beat Gades at all - which is one of the reasons it's so memorable.

The issue with the Balio and Sunder fight in Breath of Fire III wasn't really the guide (though that was an issue) but that it just wasn't done well as a losable battle. By that I mean that there wasn't any actual real pointing out that you had to lose because you had to last a certain amount of time in the fight before you were supposed to lose. If you didn't you got a game over. This was a bad design choice because your first loss was going to be very fast due to the difficulty level - getting that game over made you think that you had to beat them. So then you'd try your best to beat them not knowing that all you needed to do was last a set amount of time.

Personally, frankly, I prefer both sides of the coin as long as they're done well.

I like a well-designed 'you are supposed to lose this to continue' battle just fine - as long as you understand that you're supposed to lose and you don't waste much in the way of items to keep alive during.

This is where the real annoyance comes in - if you have a game where items are hard to get a hold of, using them up in a battle that you're supposed to lose is pretty painful. I've seen games get around this by blocking your access to the item menu during this kind of battle, which is a nice idea and a good way of showing that you can't win - that it's a scripted battle.

That said, it can absolutely fit your story to lose in a battle against a superior foe who doesn't go out of their way to kill you. They can throw you in prison instead and force you to use your brain to get out (escape room style) or leave you on the brink of death in a tower that's about to explode or have to play the merciful card for the sake of proving loyalty/'goodness' to some of their current allies or just aren't cold-blooded killers when it comes to kids or have other things to do in a short amount of time or be testing your skills because they're setting the heroes up for a fall. There's a lot of reasons for someone to walk away from people they've just beaten the crap out of without actually putting them to the sword.

Honestly, if you're going to do battles that leave your party on the floor, make sure they're scripted in such a way that you don't question the idea that you can win. I played a game once where I spent about half an hour on a battle because it was too easy to keep fighting and wasn't being killed. I was supposed to give a cool new trinket I'd picked up to the enemy in order to trigger an end battle event, but cool new trinket! I didn't want to give that shit up! I wanted the new trinket for myself! So because the enemy wasn't hard to deal with I just kept playing, waiting for the battle to be over so I could keep the trinket.
Spoiler alert: there's no way to keep the cool new trinket. :<

So yeah, design your "You Lost" battles well.

5 Steps to Write Better Female Characters

Another thing to point out is that it's okay to have a character who is weak or traditional and wants to remain that way. There's nothing inherently wrong with having a woman who is content to be the damsel in distress or wants to find a husband as her main goal in life. As long as they're not the only woman in your cast, they're not a problem because realistically, there are women out there who are like that. There are as many shades of womanhood as there are stars in the sky.

Physical rebellion isn't the only way a woman can be strong. Beating up an enemy isn't the only way for a woman to be strong. Brow-beating her male allies into submission isn't... etc.

There's nothing wrong with a female character who hangs on the arm of the hero and begs him to save her... as long as that's not all she does and exists for (and even then, some women are perfectly fine with being trophy wives and the like - they get what they want out of the deal whether that be admiration and jealousy of their peers, the love of the man they love and the right to call themselves Mrs. X on all their stationary), as long as they aren't the only women represented.

That said, give me a Tifa who beats the shit outta enemies and gets the guy in the end and doesn't care a crap how others perceive her womanhood and I'm happy. Or a Nanami who can kick ass and take names, but still has a soft spot for her little brother and believes in the friendship between Jowy, Riou and herself and worries about the war and wants to run away from the duty she and her brother signed up for but still keeps trucking and DOES run away at some point because she can't handle the pain of knowing she has to fight against someone she considers family due to the choices he and others make, and realises that she can't protect her brother any more and that he needs to step out of her shadow but waits for him to come back to her after the war is done so they can nab Jowy and go forge their own path into the future together. ;p

Joyfully Rewarding Players' Guts: complete pleasure (or pleasuring completionists)

I appreciate how Lufia II handled this kind of thing (and you'll find a lot of games along the metroidvania genre do this well) in that going back to most places is possible. In the case of a place being destroyed (I think there's only a few of them) they don't hold items that are special and most things you get can be found in other places (like the optional 100 floor dungeon of randomosity). You can also eventually get an item that lets you check to make sure you got all the items in a dungeon (it chimes as many times as there are chests left to find in there). There's even a place to buy back items you sold in the past, just in case you regret selling something.

I also appreciate games that give you a percentage count on what you've missed. Not that I don't love games that don't give you that, but it's nice to know you got 100% of everything in Dark Cloud or Okami. X3

Joyfully Rewarding Players' Guts: complete pleasure (or pleasuring completionists)

I am the kind of player who wants to get everything if (reasonably) possible and will feel bad if I can't. It'll drag down a part of my experience and overall feelings for the game if I noticed I couldn't get x or y item that I knew existed. Now, if there was a chest I skipped by accident that had a potion or something silly in it, or there was a monster drop that I didn't care, no big deal. However, if getting those chests means I miss out on future loot, you can bet I'm gonna go back there and nab that shit, and if it's no longer possible to get it, I'm going to be salty.

How to make a demo

Because talking about how AAA games do things (even if the facts are wrong) has no real comparison to how indie and hobbyist games should be approached. They're like comparing lemons and oranges, except in this article's case the oranges were described as fish.

That is, an argument was made that 'all these people in the industry say not to do so so it's bad' when the facts are that there's a lot of games out there in the industry that do so and do very well for themselves. So, yeah, presenting something as fact when it's really not tends to backfire a bit.

March 2018 Misao (im)Possibles

Weird, for some reason my search included commercial games. I've now removed them since they aren't actually viable for Misao nominations. The new count is:
24 full games
14 demos

Which makes 38 the new total for March.

March 2018 Misao (im)Possibles

In the past three months:
January = 53 total
February = 33 total
March = 45 total

Keep in mind that there were some demos and full games that got minor updates that I didn't include in Feb and March lists because the lists would have the same games over and over again over minor things like patches or general fixes, so if all of them were shown it'd be a little more.