|Gasha skull is definitely ready to par-tay.|
Oddly enough, the most interesting aspect of CoA didn't even come from the game itself. Due to an incompatibility between the emulator and translation patch, I had crazy glitches happening all over the place. At first it was just the occasional small, square bit of some random sprite showing up near the corners, but this soon evolved into multiple chunks all over the screen, sometimes traveling down the screen in a glorious cascade of crap. Next to go was the music, resulting in an inharmonious cacophony of bloops and beeps which was actually a refreshing change from the singular shitty tune that always plays whilst in the castle (menus have no music of sound effects). Things then got kicked up a notch as opening treasure chests gave me the dreaded white screen of death. After monster encounters joined the party, I knew I was well and truly fucked. A lesser manchine might have given up right then and there, and I certainly toyed with the notion. After all, it's not like there were going to be any big surprises between mid and endgame. The completionist part of my programming, however, forced me to load up an alternative emulator. Unfortunately, savestates are not compatible across emus. Fortunately, Shen is a master of backups, and I had also been periodically writing out to the native "battery" save, which is compatible. Using this secret Shaolin technique, I managed to overcome the glitch gremlin and made it to the final castle of Doman, a demon king who I guess needed a murderin'.
|Meh, it was just copying a file from|
one directory to another, no biggie.
The level included a gauntlet run of all the previous bosses, which now died in just one hit instead of two. The two final bosses, Snow Princess and Doman, both had to be taken down in a similar manner. Each could kill the Shenster in exactly three hits, no variable. They also never missed and almost always went first. This meant that after the first round, in which I had about a 50% chance of dishing out a hit myself, I would have to heal (the only spell that does work) or face death on round three. Success was only possible if the RNG felt like giving me some successive hits. Death meant having to go through the entire gauntlet again for just another chance to roll the dice. There was nothing else remaining to increase the odds either; I had reached max level and had all the best equipment.
|255 and 65535 are computer-speak|
for "Thou shalt not pass."
Even utilizing savestates, it still took me over fifteen tries on Doman since that sob can also heal himself. After killing him, the game decided now was the time to start storytelling — something about Doman masterminding the rebellion that ended Oda Nobunaga's chance to unite all of Japan. Yeah, whatevs. For all my griping though, it was all worth it to be able to get a glimpse of the most epic ending screen of any game on any platform in the entire history of gaming.