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Action RPG

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Dragon Warrior

been playing dwi+ii(gbc)-i and i can feel the game i was gonna make way back in highschool. i felt it when i imagined fighting a Druin (which were renamed to Eyeder for the gbc ver.. who knows) and i felt it when i picked up Princess Lora (um.. wasn't it Gwaelin?) and carried her back to the castle. wouldn't the Druin be a 32x32, and move like a giant slug? as you carried her back to the castle, wouldn't you be able to toss Lora (Gwaelin?) down if you encountered a monster - so you could fight it - and then go up to her and press (A) to pick her up again?

(give dw-i a z:la treatment)

anyways, i mentioned it in #gamedev and Washu helped me decide to make some useful notes about it. since those days in HS i've wanted to give dragon warrior-i a zelda:la(gmb) treatment - a realtime experience. i don't really want to change the thing drastically, just that. if i keep things simple, i can certainly see the project hit the ground running.

(sleep spell devastation)

as i'm writing this, i'm playing the game, and man i gotta mention that the Sleep spell, when used by monsters in the game, is devastating to a character of any level. at level 8 when i was fighting MagiWyverns, i was getting torn up by the beast while i slept, and now that i'm at level 17, i'm being destroyed by the MadKnight guarding Loto's Armor. why am i sleeping through being struck with an axe? i just don't get it. at least in the final fantasy series, if you were sleeping, a single physical hit would always wake you up immediately. damn.

(name changes)

i'm not sure whether this is relavent to anything or not, but here are some name changes for the gbc version from the nes version:

Gwaelin -> Lora
Erdrick -> Loto

Small Shield -> Leathr(shield)
Broad Sword -> Steel(sword)
Erdrick's Armor -> Loto(armor)
Hand Axe -> Iron(axe)
Large Shield -> Iron(shield)
Half Plate -> Iron(armor)
Full Plate -> Steel(armor)

Fairy Flute -> PxyFlut
Fairy Water -> Repellant
Gwaelin's Love -> LoraLuv
Fighter's Ring -> War(ring)
Dragon Scale -> D-Scale
Stones of Sunlight -> Sun Stone
Silver Harp -> ShinyHarp
Staff of Rain -> Rain Staff
Erdrick's Token -> Loto Seal

Brecconary -> town of Tantagel
Hauksness -> Domdora
Cantlin -> Mercado

Dragonlord -> DracoLord
Drakee -> Dracky
MagiDrakee -> MagDracky
Green Dragon -> Dragon
Warlock -> Druin
Wizard -> Druinlord
Druin -> Eyeder
DruinLord -> EyedrLord
Wraith Knight -> DeadNite
Metal Slime -> Metaly
Ghost -> Spooky
Axe Knight -> MadKnight

(hiding the castle cellar)

i had issues before about minor things, i just have to remember what they were. one was about how to hide the basement at Tantagel castle - if you're allowed free passage around the castle, then the hidden staircase becomes super easy to find. if i put a rock over it or something, you could push that aside to find it.. but then i'd have a push action that would only be used at one point in the game - so another way is probably better.

if we're keeping with the original's pacing, we need to force the player to go get keys from Rimuldar before they're allowed to have the Stones of Sunlight (Sun Stone). If we keep the locked door in the back, like they have it, then we have to move the basement inside - or possibly put up a wall around the back of the castle, so that it can't be gotten to by going around back. the same goes for the key shop - why go to rimuldar when you can just walk around to the back of the castle and buy them for 12G more? we have to take away that access by not letting the player in.

(blocking access to town behind golem)

another issue i had was about the Golem. you're not allowed into Cantlin (Mercado) until you've destroyed Golem, but how would you keep the player from just running around Golem and getting in? perhaps the fortress town's guards have the gate shut so the Golem doesn't get in? that would work pretty well. i could even have the guard(s) pop up onto the ramparts around the gate and watch when they heard the first strikes, and then open the door when Golem goes down, or shake their heads when you die.. ^_^

(monsters only drop gold)

monsters in dragon warrior only drop gold. i can either have the gold pop out of the monster as an item you need to pick up, as in zelda; or i could have the money get put into your inventory automatically like in the mana series. if thats all they're worth, then why bother the player with item drops - but it is going to become the focus of the game engine on its next iteration.. so i guess it depends on what i want out of it in the end.

(weapon sweeps)

i can only assume all of the weapons will act the same, quarter- or half-circle sweeps. i just played zelda:mc and the half-circle arcs really cover a player that only has four aim directions. as the weapons get stronger, their size could increase - but having the Bamboo/ be really small would sorta suck. i probably shouldn't have different sized arcs though. the issue of having two attack methods - sweep and thrust - (as in final fantasy adventure) might make an interesting addition, but if it means more work, it probably shouldn't pan out in the first version of the engine.

(visual inventory)

i'm going to change the inventory over to a visual style, where everything will take up 1 space, like in zelda. i want to have the zelda:la button assigning, as it worked really well then. equipping armor is going to be a little different, as the armor will be residing in inventory - so either button will likely just equip the armor. as i am pressing for a more diablo-like inventory, i want to have a little info window pop up for each item you have the cursor over. this window will give relevant description and stats info about the item selected.

we still need to have a stats screen, but we're going to need a spell select screen too - unless we stick it to the inventory. you could also (L) and (R) between the stats, inventory, and magic screens. that would probably work better than having it done as it originally was, through nested text menus. magic should be allowed to be equipped much like the items - zelda style.

(stats)

there's still alot to think about. i want to put some thought into the stats now. i don't know exactly how the stats are used by dragon warrior, but its worth taking a stab at the answer. Strength score STR is probably used to pick a base Attack Damage. the Agility score AGL likely judges who goes first in battle, and is probably used in the hit/miss calculation. GRD is apparently the player's Guard, and is the base score for your Defense; thats what the booklet says. obviously Attack ATK and Defense DEF ratings are the numbers after everything equipped has been added on.

the Agility score is pointless unless i wanted to tie in move rate and weapon sweep speed, but thats more complicated than i'm going to go with for now. the game engine will hopefully take that into account eventually.

does having a base Guard makes sense? should a level 20 warrior should take less damage naked, than a level 1 warrior naked? if we're taking the HP difference into account, then shouldn't that be enough there? i don't think there should be a base Defense that increases each level. HP increasing should cover your skin getting thicker. if you want more DEF, equip armor.

since you start the game unequipped, i have to account for weaponless battle. however, since weapons have to be equipped, does that mean we have to allow the player to punch if there isn't anything equipped to that button? if i just didn't let the player do anything, it doesn't seem like it would be fair. why not let the player use his fists? it doesn't seem like something worth adding to the first version - its limited only to the start of the game, where the player doesn't have anything. in zelda:la, you don't get a weapon right away - just a shield. they tell you to go to the beach and there's your first weapon. if we make sure to tell the player to take the cash and go to Brecconary, it would work better in my mind to not let the fisticuffs into the first edition.

i've unequipped everything in my dwi+ii(gbc)-i game and the base Attack is indeed the Strength score, and the base Defense is the Guard score. I don't see a problem with that. what i'm going to be stuck at now is how to calculate basic physical damage, assuming monsters have only Attack and Defense scores. this should be the subject for my next entry.
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