Author Topic: Daria plays Faria.

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DariaRPG

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Daria plays Faria.
« on: April 15, 2015, 04:57:08 PM »
Oh dear god that's a terrible title. :P

Anyway I started playing Faria the other day, I'd like to play through my NES RPG library in full and well how can I not like a Game Arts title? Lunar Dragon Song aside anyway.



Round 1:

About the game:
Faria is an action RPG, and not a kinda-sorta-straddling-the-fence Zelda clone either; There's XP to be had, and a ton of monsters are gonna bleed so I can accumulate it. World map battles are random and trigger an environmentally appropriate arena to fight in: think Chronicles of Radia War (if you've played it). These battle tends to be hard because you have to line up perfectly along either the x or y axis to hit enemies. Dungeon's are populated with set monsters, I find the close-quarters easier for monster bashing as you're generally already facing an enemy when you enter. There's just a lot less dancing around to orient yourself.

The initial story of the game is that you're a traveller who has sailed to the Kingdom of Faria, upon your arrival word is buzzing about town that the princess has been kidnapped by a wizard. What's an inexperienced vagabond to do but invest the whole of his life savings in weaponry and armour and set off on an impromptu rescue mission?

Initial Impressions:
A lot of love went into the character art. As par for any NES RPG the main hero is a generic faceless avatar for the player behind the controller, but the NPCs are distinctive. Sure every soldier in Faria looks identical, but they look unique to this particular game; It's world building. I like it. If anything Faria seems influenced by 80s era studio Ghibli, it gives the seemingly medieval world a whimsical scfi-fi flair. My next realization is that this game is tediously hard, I foresee a Dragon Quest level of grinding in my future.

Progress:
Upon talking to the locals I learn that the Kingdom's princess has been kidnapped by an evil wizard (zero points for plot originality) and that I should travel north to speak to the king. I decide that nudity is perhaps a dangerous lifestyle in the wilderness and spend all my money on a dirk (second worst weapon) and some pelt armour (second worst armour). I neglect to buy a bow or healing potions at this time. I aimlessly wander around outside looting aliens (seriously these monsters are trippy looking, it's refreshing to battle creatures that aren't derivative of slimes, kobolds, or orcs) and racking up the XP (slowly). I let my prowess with the dirk get to my head and dive into the forest where I'm promptly eaten by some sort of gigantic blob. Dying apparently costs you half your gold on hand and doesn't affect your XP. Good to know.

I purchase some (healing) balms and strike out for the castle. King welcomes and implores me to rescue his daughter. He shows me a photograph and she's apparently some sort of insect in a cocoon. Did I mention that I get to marry the princess bug if I rescue her? Yuck. He also gave me some money (yay!), which I promptly lost when I stepped outside and died (boo!). I can only assume no one else in Faria is brave (dumb) enough to volunteer for the job if the king is handing out bags of money to just anybody who shows up for the job. Maybe I should be concerned about this wizard after all? Nah....

Now that I've spoken to the king I can cross the bridge north of town and enter a new town: here I learn there's an invisible tower to the east I can't enter, a tower to the west populated with deadly monsters, and a cave to to north with a monster that can only be vanquished by a sword I don't own. I stock up on supplies, and new equipment and head out for the western cave. The dungeons in Faria are vaguely Zelda-like. There's more corridors of course, but there was a block I had to shove over to open the front door. Some of the floors are made of ice and you slip-slide around while fighting, other floors are like conveyor belts that slowly shove you across the room, and some rooms spontaneously burst into flames (died once!). I end up exploring the tower twice between deaths and can't discover a reason for being there: although I did find a sweet pearl I can sell for some decent cash.

I head back towards town. I read the manual. I also stop to explore a conspicuous patch of foliage near the town: Holy crap! The princess bug is taking a nap in these woods? Eureka: quest over! Suddenly a mysterious voice laughs at my folly. So apparently that's not the princess, damn insects all look alike.

Back in town I buy a hyperspeed1. The first time I saw it for sale I assumed it was some sort of use once potion, but it's more like a pair of speed shoes. According to the manual I move faster in dungeons and world map battles. Sweet! I also need to save up some money to buy a light so I can explore that cave to the north (I assume).
« Last Edit: April 15, 2015, 05:28:03 PM by DariaRPG »
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DariaRPG

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Re: Daria plays Faria.
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2015, 05:02:03 PM »
I originally planned to just grab a couple screenshots online to illustrate what I was talking about with the character art, but there doesn't seem to be too many resources available. So I booted up the ROM and snapped a few instead. I don't plan on running through the game twice, so this is it on pictures unless I break out the cell phone while playing.





« Last Edit: April 15, 2015, 05:03:43 PM by DariaRPG »
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Re: Daria plays Faria.
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2015, 05:05:03 PM »
Round 2:

Armed with a pen and pad of graph paper I'm determined to take this dungeon down. By the way, the speed boost I bought is amazing. I don't know why the game just didn't make the player character move faster by default, but fighting is much smoother now. I've also come to realize that this dungeon is littered with secret doors. Also, secret doors are truly secret - to find them you have to walk around the perimeter of a room and shove yourself into the walls. If a passage exists, it'll just appear. Although I'm fairly certain the doors can only appear in the middle point of a wall, but I'm not positive. One thing Faria does not do is hold your hand, the original Zelda had a decent difficulty curve, you were eased into the play mechanics slowly. Secret doors were always hidden behind cracked walls and even then it wasn't something you needed to worry about until the second dungeon. Faria laughs at Zelda and its soft tutorial; sink or swim bitches.

Even with this additional knowledge and a fairly detailed map the dungeon was still a fairly formidable labyrinth, but at least I no longer felt like I was stumbling around in the dark. Rooms started to make sense, basically I had to track down pushable statues in order to open up new passages, once I'd discovered them all I was able to venture forward into the lair of the dreaded badger-gator-thing. Luckily I'd just levelled up (new levels restore your HP) and found a healing balm in a secret room so the boss was pretty easy considering. Just had to dance around and poke him with my sword until he died. Incidentally, I have a bow, and a full quiver but can't figure out how to shoot it.

Defeating the badger-gator brought me face to face with princess bug, only now she's a fully grown butterfly woman. Much less icky than the cocoon I was expecting. She seems happy enough about being rescued so I escort her home. Her father's pretty happy about the whole thing too. Faria is apparently a fairly conservative kingdom and doesn't recognize same-sex marriages as the king informs me that I cannot wed his daughter on the grounds that I'm girl. This comes as a shock to our intrepid hero, Damion, who had always assumed s/he had a penis. To make matters creepier the king (jokingly?) suggests we get married instead. I dunno why he seems so obsessed that someone swap fluids when I'd honestly prefer some money. But to celebrate he announces that the townspeople should eat his 2-day old caviare (what a cheap ass!) Also maybe I'm just an overly suspicious person but the princess seemed way too eager to know where her father had hidden the royal scrolls. Hmmm....

Before I have a chance to ponder this further a guard bursts into the room and announces that all the townspeople have fallen sick from eating the king's food. Upon hearing this harrowing news the king exclaims: "my bad!" and reveals he had purchased the caviare from a mysterious masked man. I suppose the moral of the story is never buy rotten seafood from shady looking strangers. Of course being the sole capable adventurer in the entire kingdom it falls to me to travel across the sea and bring back the poison's antidote. Great.


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DariaRPG

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Re: Daria plays Faria.
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2015, 05:05:36 PM »
Round 3:

In order to shoot your bow it's not enough to simply equip it and purchase arrows. You also have to go into your inventory and select use on the arrow item. If a game is going to insist on having a finite arrow supply I prefer the Zelda method of literally shooting your money. It's inhibiting purchasing arrows in increments of 50; even if you're stingy with them you'll nearly always run out in the middle of a dungeon.

It's also hard to stock up on back-up arrows as your inventory space is extremely limited. When you view your inventory you can move the cursor down to the very end of the window, I don't know the exact number but let's say it contains 20 slots, the game only lets you carry about half that number, say 10 items. Now I don't know whether this is a bug or if the game latter gives you an option to expand your inventory. On top of this all your equipment takes up inventory slots as do the tools you need to advance in the game. Consequently each slot left over has become extremely valuable real-estate. At this point in the game I have a very real dilemma choosing between carrying more healing items, offensive components, or quick escape tools.

Back to the story, I take a boat across the "ocean" (looks more like I'm riding a ferry across a river). This new continent contains two towns, a cave, and a tower. There's a bridge to another island but it's incomplete. Upon questioning the inhabitants of the Township of Tourism I learn that I'll have to cross the broken bridge to reach the Township of Medicine (of course). Incidentally, towns have real names which appear to be gibberish but are probably Romanized Japanese. While I won't remember their literal names they also have catchy nicknames. Anyway... In order to repair the bridge I'll have to track down a mystical seed. I'm given no clues as to where to find it though.

Since it's not as if an entire town of squirming villagers are eagerly waiting the edge of their toilet seats for my return I decide that this is the perfect opportunity to grind for money. The Township of Paper (huh?) sells a sweet looking fire sword for only 3800 gold.

Gold drops in Faria are random; when you kill a monster they may drop as little as 1 gold coin (common) or sometimes as much as 100 (rare) and often times they drop nothing at all. Running through the first tower from beginning to end netted me about a thousand gold. So 3800 is no small number. At this point in the game I have about 500 gold in my pocket, and after a couple hours of wandering around in the cave, tower, and over world I make it to about 3200 before dying – at which point I lose half my gold. Screw the fire sword, I buy the next best thing for 2000 instead.

Dragon Quest uses the same financial death penalty, but after the first game the series allowed players to safely stash excess gold in a bank. Faria implements a similar concept, players can visit the jewelry store and exchange gold for gems at a 10% loss. The downside to this system is the gems take up precious inventory space. Still I think next time I attempt to horde gold I'll cash it in.
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DariaRPG

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Re: Daria plays Faria.
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2015, 05:06:16 PM »
Round 4:

So slight retraction on the inventory system, as it turns out you can equip as many as 250 arrows a time. This is plenty to explore a dungeon with. One thing that kind of sucks is the game allows you to use more than 250 arrows but they just disappear, a fact I didn’t realize until I had “eaten” a few hundred arrows. Whoops! Still being able to shoot your bow with impunity adds a level of strategy to the battle system that was sorely needed. So many enemies are “speedy”, like the snakes in Zelda, they wander around aimlessly until they lock onto to you, then beeline for your jugular. Being able to safely pick them off from a distance is literally a life-saver.

A gossipy villager mentions that the monster in Broww tower can’t be defeated without a special stone, given the gold mine none too far away I assume that I’ll have to go there to fetch it. Caves in Faria are pitch-dark, hopeless to explore without a (flash)light. This I already have, but I’ll also need to stock up on batteries. Although I can buy them in packs of 50, I buy 100 just to be safe. This turned out to be a good idea since your light depletes batteries over time. Caves are pretty much just big mazes; they’re difficult because even with the light you can only see a wedge of three squares in front of you. I’d previously wandered around the mine while grinding yesterday so I know I’ll have to map it to get anywhere. This turns out to be a tedious but not impossible task. I work my way around the perimeter. Occasionally I’m interrupted by a random battle but eventually I worm my way to the center of the labyrinth where an old man is waiting in the dark to hand over the stone. Talk about having a boring job. He confirms my reason for being here with a not-so-cryptic riddle: “Scissor monster hates gold stones”.

In hindsight it was a good idea I brought extra batteries; I used up 51 while exploring.
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Rucks

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Re: Daria plays Faria.
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2015, 05:18:24 PM »
ok, this is a pretty good read

if not long as hell lol


Aeolus

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Re: Daria plays Faria.
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2015, 06:00:13 PM »
ok, this is a pretty good read

if not long as hell lol

I'm more impressed by the fact that somebody out there still remembers that this existed and is playing through it for the internet.
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DariaRPG

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Re: Daria plays Faria.
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2015, 03:29:04 PM »
Round 5:
With the bridge out I have nothing better to than wander aimlessly around town striking up chit-chat with the locals. Apparently they’re being terrorized by a certain “Scissor Monster” who hangs out in the nearby tower. Luckly for them I just so happen to be carrying around this anti-scissor monster gold stone in my pocket. So I suppose the tower is my next stop, on my way out of town an incredibly ugly woman yells at me to talk her husband, I hurry inside her shop expecting an urgent bit of news but all he has to say is the Tower of Broww has one stone statue. I’m sure I would have figured that out on my own but thanks… really…

The patch of trees outside the town look fairly suspect so I stop to check it – Hory Crap! It’s a dragon! Why are the town people so concerned about a monster hiding in a tower when there’s a dragon in platemail hanging out in their backyard? He appears harmless enough though so I’ll uh… spare him the wrath of my blade for now.

The tower of Broww seems pretty straight forward compared to our last tower. It’s pretty much a symmetrical circle, three stories high. There was something like 20 flights of stairs and crap ton of secret doors, so mapping was again a necessity. Eventually I fight my way to the boss room where I encounter… a giant pair of scissors. Huh? I don’t know what I had imagined with a name like Scissor Monster, but probably not something so literal. He’s easy enough to kill though, I just had to take down a few waves of flying scissors and then dance around and poke him with the sword again.

Back in town the villagers are understandably grateful for my amazing feat of heroism and in thanks an old man gives me his seed (Eww). I trot over to the bridge, sprinkle some old man seed (ugh), and restore the bridge to the township of medicine (yay!). Now it’s a simple matter of grabbing the cure and winging my way back to the poopy villagers.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 03:47:53 PM by DariaRPG »
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Aeolus

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Re: Daria plays Faria.
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2015, 06:44:18 PM »
Round 5:
With the bridge out I have nothing better to than wander aimlessly around town striking up chit-chat with the locals. Apparently they’re being terrorized by a certain “Scissor Monster” who hangs out in the nearby tower. Luckly for them I just so happen to be carrying around this anti-scissor monster gold stone in my pocket. So I suppose the tower is my next stop, on my way out of town an incredibly ugly woman yells at me to talk her husband, I hurry inside her shop expecting an urgent bit of news but all he has to say is the Tower of Broww has one stone statue. I’m sure I would have figured that out on my own but thanks… really…

The patch of trees outside the town look fairly suspect so I stop to check it – Hory Crap! It’s a dragon! Why are the town people so concerned about a monster hiding in a tower when there’s a dragon in platemail hanging out in their backyard? He appears harmless enough though so I’ll uh… spare him the wrath of my blade for now.

The tower of Broww seems pretty straight forward compared to our last tower. It’s pretty much a symmetrical circle, three stories high. There was something like 20 flights of stairs and crap ton of secret doors, so mapping was again a necessity. Eventually I fight my way to the boss room where I encounter… a giant pair of scissors. Huh? I don’t know what I had imagined with a name like Scissor Monster, but probably not something so literal. He’s easy enough to kill though, I just had to take down a few waves of flying scissors and then dance around and poke him with the sword again.

Back in town the villagers are understandably grateful for my amazing feat of heroism and in thanks an old man gives me his seed (Eww). I trot over to the bridge, sprinkle some old man seed (ugh), and restore the bridge to the township of medicine (yay!). Now it’s a simple matter of grabbing the cure and winging my way back to the poopy villagers.


"But wait! Rock crushes scissor. And paper covers rock. Kiff! Search them for paper. And bring me a giant rock."
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

DariaRPG

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Re: Daria plays Faria.
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2015, 06:53:00 PM »
Round 5:
With the bridge out I have nothing better to than wander aimlessly around town striking up chit-chat with the locals. Apparently they’re being terrorized by a certain “Scissor Monster” who hangs out in the nearby tower. Luckly for them I just so happen to be carrying around this anti-scissor monster gold stone in my pocket. So I suppose the tower is my next stop, on my way out of town an incredibly ugly woman yells at me to talk her husband, I hurry inside her shop expecting an urgent bit of news but all he has to say is the Tower of Broww has one stone statue. I’m sure I would have figured that out on my own but thanks… really…

The patch of trees outside the town look fairly suspect so I stop to check it – Hory Crap! It’s a dragon! Why are the town people so concerned about a monster hiding in a tower when there’s a dragon in platemail hanging out in their backyard? He appears harmless enough though so I’ll uh… spare him the wrath of my blade for now.

The tower of Broww seems pretty straight forward compared to our last tower. It’s pretty much a symmetrical circle, three stories high. There was something like 20 flights of stairs and crap ton of secret doors, so mapping was again a necessity. Eventually I fight my way to the boss room where I encounter… a giant pair of scissors. Huh? I don’t know what I had imagined with a name like Scissor Monster, but probably not something so literal. He’s easy enough to kill though, I just had to take down a few waves of flying scissors and then dance around and poke him with the sword again.

Back in town the villagers are understandably grateful for my amazing feat of heroism and in thanks an old man gives me his seed (Eww). I trot over to the bridge, sprinkle some old man seed (ugh), and restore the bridge to the township of medicine (yay!). Now it’s a simple matter of grabbing the cure and winging my way back to the poopy villagers.


"But wait! Rock crushes scissor. And paper covers rock. Kiff! Search them for paper. And bring me a giant rock."

Haha! Yeah, I realized after I'd posted the write up that the whole quest had been an elaborate game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. I still can't decide if that's stupid or clever. :P
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Aeolus

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Re: Daria plays Faria.
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2015, 06:59:14 PM »
Round 5:
With the bridge out I have nothing better to than wander aimlessly around town striking up chit-chat with the locals. Apparently they’re being terrorized by a certain “Scissor Monster” who hangs out in the nearby tower. Luckly for them I just so happen to be carrying around this anti-scissor monster gold stone in my pocket. So I suppose the tower is my next stop, on my way out of town an incredibly ugly woman yells at me to talk her husband, I hurry inside her shop expecting an urgent bit of news but all he has to say is the Tower of Broww has one stone statue. I’m sure I would have figured that out on my own but thanks… really…

The patch of trees outside the town look fairly suspect so I stop to check it – Hory Crap! It’s a dragon! Why are the town people so concerned about a monster hiding in a tower when there’s a dragon in platemail hanging out in their backyard? He appears harmless enough though so I’ll uh… spare him the wrath of my blade for now.

The tower of Broww seems pretty straight forward compared to our last tower. It’s pretty much a symmetrical circle, three stories high. There was something like 20 flights of stairs and crap ton of secret doors, so mapping was again a necessity. Eventually I fight my way to the boss room where I encounter… a giant pair of scissors. Huh? I don’t know what I had imagined with a name like Scissor Monster, but probably not something so literal. He’s easy enough to kill though, I just had to take down a few waves of flying scissors and then dance around and poke him with the sword again.

Back in town the villagers are understandably grateful for my amazing feat of heroism and in thanks an old man gives me his seed (Eww). I trot over to the bridge, sprinkle some old man seed (ugh), and restore the bridge to the township of medicine (yay!). Now it’s a simple matter of grabbing the cure and winging my way back to the poopy villagers.


"But wait! Rock crushes scissor. And paper covers rock. Kiff! Search them for paper. And bring me a giant rock."

Haha! Yeah, I realized after I'd posted the write up that the whole quest had been an elaborate game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. I still can't decide if that's stupid or clever. :P

Given everything else you've described on top of this being a GameArts game, its right in line with the tone of the rest of the game.
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DariaRPG

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Re: Daria plays Faria.
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2015, 03:17:59 PM »
Round 6:
I bring the cure back to Ehdo village where everyone is understandably… relieved. However, rumor has it that something strange is now going on in the castle and the tool shop owner personally asks me to check it out. Apparently peasants aren’t normally allowed in the castle, but being the local hero I get special treatment. Go me!

Turns out he had a good reason for concern as the King has mysteriously turned to stone! Again being the only person in the kingdom who can be expected to get things done the princess begs me to restore her father to a state of non-statue-ness. Otherwise she offers no clues or incentives.

Back at the town where I defeated the first tower the people are all abuzz with news about a lady passing out golden weapons in the nearby lake. Coincidentally the cave to the next continent is populated by monsters who can only be harmed with golden arrows. So I head on over to the lake to toss in a sword just to see what’ll happen and some big ol’ ugly bitch shows up, yells at me for littering, and helps herself to some of my money (whoops). Next I toss in a stack of arrows and a pretty young girl shows up and turns them to gold for me (yay!).  

Besides being needed to advance to the next area the Golden Arrow is pretty sweet, it slowly restores my arrow supply. Also that ring I got for defeating the giant pair of scissors slowly restores my HP. Both are very useful albeit slow.

The next cave is pretty spacious and not very maze-like. I start out mapping it but I gave up as it wasn’t really necessary. Heading toward the middle-y area eventually brings me face to face with a Boss monster. He circles around me and I pretty much have to keep counter circling him whilst pelting him with arrows. Like every other boss he goes down easily. I soon locate the stairs out and find myself in a vast desert continent.
I appreciate the change of scenery, especially in the battle arenas but damn do these monsters move fast.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 03:31:31 PM by DariaRPG »
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Re: Daria plays Faria.
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2015, 07:40:11 PM »
https://twitter.com/xkeepah/status/589211015042072576

this is apparently relevant but I don't know why.
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DariaRPG

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Re: Daria plays Faria.
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2015, 08:34:02 PM »
https://twitter.com/xkeepah/status/589211015042072576

this is apparently relevant but I don't know why.

Is he doing a rom hack? I can see how the game could benefit from some improvements. Enjoyable but flawed would be an apt description for Faria.
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Re: Daria plays Faria.
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2015, 09:03:17 PM »
https://twitter.com/xkeepah/status/589211015042072576

this is apparently relevant but I don't know why.

Is he doing a rom hack? I can see how the game could benefit from some improvements. Enjoyable but flawed would be an apt description for Faria.

All I know is that the page doesn't exist when I try to view it (its probably something wrong with my browser or version of Java since I'm still using prehistoric Java 1.7.such and such due to not being able to upgrade due to Java no longer supporting Windows XP).
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.