March 08, 2012

Destiny of an Emperor - End Game

It's too bad the gemsword doesn't have a use outside of recruiting Lu Bu because I ended up having it for the rest of the game.  Trying to give the sword to him in the next encounter left him bewildered as to what it even was.  This is the same sword that had Lu Bu completely destroying the city of Luo Yang in his search for it and he doesn't even know what it looks like?  Well, I'll be damned if I'm going to waste a general's turn repeatedly shoving this gemsword under his nose and waiting for it to sink in.  After a few more fights involving Lu Bu, he ended up dying and the gemsword was ours to keep.  Mmm, shiny.  There was no time to admire the gemsword, though, as a messenger bore news of Yuan Shu somehow getting the Imperial Seal and declaring himself emperor.  One of his first orders as emperor is to confiscate all the girls of the region.  Admittedly, this is pretty much the first order I would give if I ever get the slightest amount of power.  For the townsfolk though, it was a matter of alarming concern.

Come join us for cocktails at the
recently opened Hung Wang's.

The road to Yuan Shu was similar in structure to the rest of the major story arcs.  A bunch of castles and fortresses stand between Liu Bei's army and the chapter's main villain.  A multitude of generals are fought and recruited along the way as well (over a hundred are encountered by the end).  All these generals and places are named and soon after I stopped writing detailed notes, the names all began to blur together.  Even the game itself had problems giving personality to the generals.

Them's fightin' words.

In one side quest, this name blurring proved more aggravating than it should have been (blaming no one but myself).  In seeking out a general named Zhu Ge Liang, the army has to visit many different locations and always ends up being just one step behind.  One of these locations is the village at the very beginning of the game.  When one is backtracking through places, this means that places at the beginning of the game are visited last (still blaming self).  After finally finding him back at his house, we were dismayed to see that he was taking a nap.  His wife told us that she'd call us when he woke up.  So we leave and do some stuff and come back.  Still napping.  Go do more stuff.  Still napping.  K, let's revisit every goddamn place and see if we can trigger some kind of event.  Still napping.  Trying to interact with Zhu Ge Liang brings up a Yes/No dialogue on whether we'd like to wake him up.  Saying yes pisses him off, he yells a bit, and then he goes back to sleep.  Saying no means you just leave him alone.  Maybe I'll try saying yes ten times in a row.  Nothing.  Now I'll try saying no ten times.  Hey, why does trying to tap through no seem so sticky?  I have to tap twice instead of once.  Well, it turns out not doing anything after the first tap is the key to having him wake up.  Five seconds of patience is required.  Tricksy, game, real tricksy.

Just join our army, you ass.

Oh, and then even here Zhu Ge Liang still doesn't join.  He buggers off to castle whatever because he feels like having a little chat with Lui Bei.  So, again, the chase is on.

Yeah, we "finally" made it, you fucking ass.

The difficulty starts to ramp up near the end as more generals have the An Sha (instant kill assassination) tactic (even random encounter generals can have it).  A resurrected general only gets 400 soldiers and the only available healing tactic is one that heals each general for 5K or so.  Really soaks up the available tactic points which are needed for the major bosses.  The toughest general, Si Ma Yi, is fought several times before the final fight.

That's what she said.

Don't worry.  That caption will be used sparingly.  Anywho, between An Sha and Ji Mian (negates all enemy melee attacks) tactics, the fights against Si Ma Yi are quite difficult.  Just take a look at this terrifying final boss.

Adorable hat though.

It took a few attempts until Lui Bei's generals managed to keep the enemy tactics contained while they simultaneously beat on Si Ma Yi.  After he fell, the remaining generals were cake.  Lui Bei has become emperor and peace has come to all of China.  But for how long?