Wednesday, January 9, 2013

TEXT PLAY: Legend of Mana (PlayStation; 2000): Issue #47: Getting Hammered...

Well, better late than never, I guess...

Yeah, this is kind of like the scene in Ghostbusers II where the Titanic arrives. I've been meaning to get to this for a long time now. I could have done it any time after I got the Ulkan Mines up, but I was pissing around with other stuff instead.

So here we are, the last issue before I get into finishing the game, and I'm finally opening up the blacksmith portion of the workshops. Why? Because I couldn't do the Niccolo missions I thought I had left. A pity, right?

I know it's possible to make some good weapons and armor in this part of the workshop. Or at least that's what I've been lead to believe by the Legend of Mana Yahoo group I'm in. It just sounds more labor-intensive than I want to get into right now. Kind of like wild doves, bullheads, or home-made frittered fish: a hell of a lot of work to get to a finished product that's ultimately worth it.

The first part of this is to help that Watts guy we met last time we were in the Ulkan Mines. In this case, the dumbass has lost his hammer. He says that if you find it for him, he'll teach you how to make and temper your own weapons and armor. Finding it's not really a hard thing to do. The Dudbears living with Roger in the mine somehow got their hands on it. Getting to their den in the mine isn't even really a problem because there's something called the Dudbear Express that'll take you right there if you talk to a sign that's right at the entrance to the mine. The path between the Dudbears' den and Watts' lab isn't difficult, either. I think I may have talked about that before, but it has been awhile.

The second part of this is where Watts actually teaches us how to use the forge he built for us in the workshops. In a nutshell, he says that if we've got the right materials, we can improve our weapons and armor, and even make our own if we want. He starts off the tutorial by telling us that we've gotta hammer the crap out of things, but goes on to explain that it's just something to get learners to think, because it's more the materials and ingredients put into the weapons and armor that make them stronger and give them special properties. Which is good, because if it had more to do with how hard we hit or the number of strikes of the hammer, I'd have had to try to make a good joke involving this song.

Like I said, this is kind of a labor-intensive thing to do in a video game, but I guess it can be worth it if you're willing to make the effort. But at least it does give me another chance to say that this is one of the instances in the game where it actually demonstrates how flooding a player character with dropped items can actually be part of a good game mechanic. I think I kind of understand how it all works together when I'm actually using all these things to make items that aren't just dropped by other monsters later in the game and/or just purchased in a shop at some point. I think what I'm saying here is that I understand this better than I did in games like Final Fantasy 8, for example, where all the crap items the party were used to not only upgrade weapons but also to be turned into magic and other expendables. I didn't quite understand how all of that was supposed to work. I guess it isn't that much simpler here or in Final Fantasy 9, either, but I think it may be explained a little better.

I kind of wish I'd gotten to this earlier, because it could have come in handy. Or at least I'd have understood it better. At this point, though, I'm just ready to finish this game, so once I figure out what kind of weapon I've made for myself while practicing with the forge, I'll just get on with trying to beat this thing. See you then, folks. Stay safe, have fun, keep gaming and DFTBA.

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