Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Dud characters

So I play RPGs. These games have characters, often many characters. But only a few characters are allowed to be in the party, or at least fighting. Those in the party get stronger and stronger, and those who aren't get weaker in comparison.

Therefore, at best, switching characters is an inconvenience: wading through menus, having to choose who to take, and sometimes even having to backtrack to a certain place. At worst, it's a massive pain, as you discover how weak these guys really are.

A while ago, my sister was playing Legend of Dragoon on the PSX. She managed most of the game just fine, but when it came to this one particular boss, not even repeated attempts could get her through. It must have been the fifth attempt when I suggested that she use the dumb, stupid sideline characters that were never used. She beat the boss on the first try.

I was just playing Front Mission 3 on the PSX. So far, I've beaten every battle with flying colours, but this one tiny map with a bunch of powerful wanzers (wanderung panzers, German for "walking tank" and the main unit of the game) were proving difficult. The situation was a bit different, this time I was forced to use one of my dud characters (Pham, for those who have played the game.) My first attempt at the battle failed slowly and dramatically when I got into the unfortunate situation of losing both arms on the two wanzers that were still on the field and ran out of restoration items. I even had these two pilots eject from their walking robots and shoot their pistols at the one remaining threat, but this thing had powerful evasion bonuses, and I ultimately lost.

My second attempt shared nearly exactly the same strategy as the first, but with one tiny difference: I attacked with Pham's wanzer first for each turn. I made this decision after I noticed she had more HP on her robot than my main machine-gunning guy. This tiny difference was enough to seal the battle for me.

So you see, even the dud characters have their time in the spotlight, so don't neglect them.... too often. I do miss the old hey-day of the original Front Mission though, where you could opt to deploy everybody for every battle.

Stupid people, on the other hand...


Alex said...

for legend of dragoon, who did this boss happen to be and which sideline charas were used? i ask cuz i still have LoD and after beating it once never played it again :) - NeoLogiX

tunginobi said...

I don't even remember. I only watched sporadically. I think it was something in a cave, and it was after the green spear-wielding dude was replaced with the other spear-wielding dude who happened to inherit all of his stats, techniques and skills somehow.