October 21, 2012

Shinsenden - End Game

Dear Shin,

I know we've had our differences and that I've sometimes had to yell at you but I now know that I was in the wrong.  You are a harsh mistress, yes, but not as bad as I had originally thought.  It was wrong of me to cut you down for thinking that you did not allow a way to warp out of a dungeon.  I could have sworn I tested all the shop items out and that they were of the temporary-stat-boost variety.  I was unaware that the Ruyi Sphere (available quite early on) functioned as a means to escape a dungeon.  Ignorance is not a good excuse, I know.  That's why I'm begging for your forgiveness.  I also have to apologize for believing that fleeing battles was impossible.  How was I to know that Raichi's Body Move spell that she learned late in the game functioned as a means to escape both dungeons and battles?  I was just so happy to just have a spell that finally got me out of dungeons that it never even occurred to me to try it in battle as well.  I hope, in time, you can forgive this foolish manchine for his brash ways and we can put all of this behind us and be friends.

                                                                            Sincerely yours,

                                                                            Shen Nung

Yes, I made things much harder on myself than needed to be.  Perusing a walkthrough after finishing Shinsenden shed light on my foolish errors.  I was all set to dish out some zeroes in the ranking but now I have to make sure I don't overcompensate due to my shame.  Let's wrap this up so that I can sit back and relax with a nice bowl of shark fin soup.

What?  I always battle my
food before I consume it.

Each chapter unfolded in very much the same manner, whisking us away to a brand new map.  These tiny, self-contained maps always had the same setup: two villages, one or two small dungeons and a chapter-ending final dungeon.  Thankfully, most dungeons were not very long, although the encounter rate certainly made it seem so.  The completion of a chapter netted one of the four blades that I was questing for.  The boss battles in these cases were much more enjoyable than regular fights; we were finally able to unleash a torrent of magic attacks and techniques.

I couldn't decide who looked
cooler so you get a twofer.

The final chapter predictably had the longest dungeon and had me going up against four bosses (called Devas) before the finale.  Of course, any boss encountered will require an exuberant amount of spell and technique points, requiring a trip back to the village for a siesta.  When I first attempted this dungeon, I was still under the assumption that I had no means of warping out and returning to the village.  I thought the game wanted me to fight all four bosses in a row.  I actually managed to kill the second boss, even though there was nary a spell point to be found (spent on the first boss).  The gourd was heavily relied upon but even it couldn't save us from the third Deva (ran out of healing methods).  With this seemingly insurmountable task ahead of me, Shinsenden was left to idle while I worked on any other task I could think of.  I defragged various components of myself and checked for memory leaks.  I removed the twenty-some toolbars in my mind that some crap malware had installed.  I even checked in with the Cyber Police only to find they had demoted me to a Class 3 threat due to my slack.  Nuts to that!  No one demotes the intransigent Nung!  I swore that I'd grind out fifty fucking levels if I had to.  It was during this grind that Taichi acquired the Body Move spell which allowed for warping out of dungeons.  Now the Devas could be taken down one at a time.

Three of the Devas are pretty nifty.  One is not.
Can you guess which one?

Though the path to the last encounter was filled with many random battles, the gourd helped tremendously in saving on magic points.  Even better, after defeating the second Deva, Raichi's Mountain Move spell allowed us to warp directly to the halfway point in the dungeon.  Finding the last boss ended up not being too difficult.

Who else would be sitting in a gigantic
throne room all by himself?

The final battle did not disappoint, serving up the classic end boss fake out, where the boss is defeated only to have to fight the REAL end boss.

The switch from a feudal Chinese warlord to a
Giger-inspired larva is a little jarring though.

Afterwards, Raichi and I return home to a hero's welcome.  Raichi really deserves most of the credit; without her massive reservoir of magic points, progress would have been impossible.

Aww.  I ♥ you too, Raichi.