We don't always like being nonplussed

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Black Matrix Zero, Part 2: Hats

Actually, it's possible that the Priest's name is Incest. He is Father Incest. Yeah.

"Father Incest, we need your advice!"

"No, you don't. Clearly, bad decisions run in my family."

"On your mother's side or your father's side?"

"It's one side."

Then this guy shows up. His name, according to Knight Guy Fidem, is Veil. ("Beiru," but "Veil" is my best guess.) It seems as though he wants to take Matia away.

And then we get to a screen where we can save! Finally. From top to bottom: Yup, Uh-Huh, Item, Shop, No Clue Here Either, System, and Sortie.

The top one gets me Cain, and I can check his equipment or magic from the next menu. Top is equipment, and he has a Short Sword and some kind of armor. Bottom is Magic, and he's got 1/1 but no spells. I'm guessing it uses the Dungeons & Dragons-style magic system where you have a number of spells per level that you can cast. ...or I'm an idiot and it's just telling me that this is page 1 of 1. SPOILERS: it is the latter.

Next choice down is interesting: there's a counter for BP in the corner, and for 3 BP I can choose one of two options for the Short Sword, which would add an INT or VIT bonus to it. Item shows me two potions, Shop is blacked out, the one below it has seven pages of entries for something but they're all empty so far, and System gives me Save, Load, or Config, which is dull text speed and mono/stereo stuff. Time for battle!

And here we are. This will end poorly for Cain, I think; he's Level 1 and his foes are Levels 3, 6 and 15.

And here's our Battle Menu! From the top: Move, Attack, Magic, Use Item, Equip, BP, and (I suspect) End Turn.
The BP Menu gives us this. Bet that'll be important later.

I make the only sensible decision when faced with people who have 23 combined levels on me and hide behind a pew. This menu's kind of interesting: I think I know these options from Super Robot Wars/Taisen. That'd be Guard, Evade, and I'm betting the last is Counter. I choose to evade, because these guys will probably take out poor Cain in one hit.

Start on an empty space gives us this menu. The options are Turn(as in End, I think), View Units, View Items, The Empty 7-Page List, Thing It Won't Let Me Select, Config, Interim Save. I end the turn and prepare for the worst. Veil moves forward. I end turn again. Veil moves back. Nothing to do but move up, I guess.

And they kill Cain and leave to go after Matia. Father Incest is upset. Then Mephisto and Luca show up. Mephisto says something or other and his wings vanish.

Then I get a choice: either White or Black something or other. I'm assuming Luca represents the Evil path here, and Mephisto represents Good, counterintuitively.

This is an important decision, one that will dictate the entire rest of the game, and it's taken screens and screens of dialogue and Cain's imminent death to get here. Like Mazinger Z, Cain has the potential to become a God or a Devil to all mankind.

I'm going with Luca because I like her hat. Mephisto vanishes, and Cain screams in agony. I guess getting infused with Bad Mojo hurts. Big shocker there. Cain gets up full of Rage and Ouch. Niko heads for the hills, Fidem returns and we go back to Battle Prep.

Father Incest's name is given as "Furie," which I suspect is Japanese for Friar. Just a guess, though. Looks like I'll have to kill him, which isn't too surprising considering I'm a demon and such.

...this is the point at which I give the fuck up on using the Gamecube and Game Boy Player for this review and resort to emulation. I apolgize for this, but it's not avoidable at present; I've changed computers since my last Flail, and the capture setup has about a one in six chance of seizing up my PC so badly I have to hold the power button to shut it down. So the screencaps for this one will be clearer, but actual GBA resolution (240 x160), so kinda small. Sorry, guys.

Speaking of being sorry, bye bye Friar Incest.

Aha! BP stands for Bio Points. They've got to be the game's upgrade currency. Hopefully we'll learn how to use them soon!

I then get the choice to be able to upgrade Cain. Not sure what the options are, but I chose the first one.

As Friar Incest dies, Cain seems to be feeling a little bit of buyer's remorse re:demonic powers. But the hat has spoken.

And Cain says goodbye and sorry-for-killing-the-Friar to Niko, and sets out with Luca and the Blue Asteroid to find where Veil has taken Matia.

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