You Can Play Six or Seven Games, or Just One! Let's Play Live-A-Live!

I really like the Kung Fu chapter. It’s such a change in pace for the structure, and theme. I’ve thought about how to present the choice of pupils, but I don’t know if there’s a better option, unless you remove the choice entirely.

In the Wrestling chapter, I usually fought Moribe Seishi, Jackie Iaukea, Namcat, Great Asia, Tula Han, then Max Morgan. Looking back, I don’t think I tried to get all of everyone’s moves. I mainly got Tsuda from Seishi, and Aloha Clap from Iaukea, then just out ranged everyone for the most part until Max, where I got Max Bomber. I got some other moves incidentally, but it’s tough being a blue mage without a healer, especially when you don’t realize that reducing enemy stats reduces the probability of status ailments.

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The Strongest

If someone told me “You have five minutes. Prove that Live-A-Live is different from other RPGs,” I would show them this chapter. For the most part, Live-A-Live tries to adapt the style of other media: the Kung Fu chapter is a movie, for example. While this creates some interesting settings, it can still feel similar to other RPGs. In this case, they creators decided to try adapting a different genre of games: fighting games. Trying to adapt a fighting game into RPG mechanics sounds like the worst idea, but they did a lot with this weird premise.

Everything about this chapter does a great job of recreating the aesthetic of a fighting game. The boss select menu looks exactly like a character select screen, the characters themselves are references to either real life fighters, like Max Morgan, or archetypes of martial artists, like Tula Han, and since the music was composed by the composer of Street Fighter II, Yoko Shimmumura, it sounds like it belongs in a fighting game.

While the move-learning mechanic is a source of frustration for many players, I think it’s the best way to handle the lack of leveling up in this chapter. It adds a strategic element to the order you face the bosses. This sort of mechanic could easily create a “best path,” but I think they managed to avoid it in this case. There are definitely tiers. For example, Max and Asia should be fought last. Jackie, Tula, and Seishi should be the first three bosses you fight because their techniques are useful. Namcat isn’t particularly dangerous if you can avoid his spinning knee, but his techniques aren’t important so he should be fought fourth. But after this playthrough, I feel like I could really take this chapter in almost any order. The only decision I would need to make would be to fight Seishi first; anything after that could be in any order. Tsuda is the best move in the game, and I will never stop using it. I would take it into other games if I could.

I should mention that the plot and characterization is thin for this chapter, but you probably should have expected that. It can take years and multiple installments for fighting games to develop their characters, so it’s all part of the aesthetic here. As for what little characterization there is, I think they did a good job of making Dwayne legitimately cool. He had two character scenes, but they were both made to set him up as a determined fighter and it worked.

Overall, I would rank this chapter third out of seven. I really appreciate the experimental approach, the techniques are interesting, and I appreciate the short length.

What do you all think? For those of you who haven’t played the game, would this chapter convince you that this isn’t your everyday RPG?

I’m going to leave the poll open for a bit longer. Right now, I’m thinking about closing it on Wednesday. You all can keep suggesting names for any chapter, even if we won’t do it next!


Poll’s closed, and next up is Ninja! Time to figure out how on Earth I’m going to have this chapter make sense…

I forgot to mention it, but the ninja has a suffix with his name, -maru, which means “complete” or “circle.” To use the suggestion as an example, Bortmaru would mean “a circle of Bort” or “a complete Bort.” If we used the intended meaning, it would mean “a circle of lightning bolts,” which is actually kind of cool.

As always, there’s a six character limit on name suggestions.

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Let’s go with Kyojin


Yeah, I really love the feel of the wrestling chapter - the feel really stands out, even if there’s little to no story

It’s been a week, but I’ve finally got the first update ready!

This entire chapter contains wanton murder and senseless killing, committed by the protagonist.

A Sneaking Mission...

Time to look at the most confusing chapter of the game!

OK, I know the stories are sendups of clichés, but this is pushing it.

At any rate, we can get an early look at our villain.

The man on the right was making click-clack noises as he was walking, so he’s probably not human. It looks like our adversary keeps some weird company.

: How are things progressing?

: Hah! At last, I have him in my custody. What else is there to report?

: We simply need to strip off the shell and give him a nice new finish. The work will commence tomorrow at daybreak.
: Good.

: I’ve not had fresh human in ages!
: As you wish.

: I see… So, you were unable to complete your mission.

: If you were to be killed, what would become of the Enma shinobi? I myself would go, but these old bones don’t move quite as freely as they used to…
: But, my lord…

: … I am loath to delegate a top secret mission of such grave importance to any other. Except, perhaps…

: The man I have in mind has not yet finished training, but he shows incredible promise. He is already better than many of our finest. He is likely our best bet.
: Ahah! What is this man’s name?
: He is called…

This joke is probably on its last legs, but I felt compelled.

: Bring him here. Immediately!

: Well then. I am sending you on a mission of grave import.

We actually don’t know what we’re trying to do yet. We’d better get a mission briefing.

: Perhaps you’ve heard of the Ode Clan… It is one of the many families who seek to take advantage of our nation’s chaos, with the ultimate goal of deposing the Tokugawa shogunate. Ode Iou is holding a political prisoner in his castle. Though your ultimate goal is to rescue the prisoner, how you achieve this is up to you. You might become as the shadows, silent as the stars… Or you could simply kill everyone who sees you. However! Whichever path you take, none must be aware of your presence. Do I make myself clear?

OK, now we’re ready.

Or not.

: Allow me to teach you my secret art…

:Press the Y button when you are being pursued by the enemy… So long as the button is held, you will become one with your surroundings. None shall be able to see you. I am confident that you will master it with little difficulty.

And we’re off!

:radio:Secret Life

The feudal times of ancient Japan are drawing to a close. As the era draws to a close, the future has become fearful and uncertain for many. And yet, there still remain those whose silent acts can change history’s course…

Is it life that awaits him in Ode Iou’s sprawling castle…? Or death…?

:radio:Sound of Shinobi

Our insertion was successful. Bort can start his infiltration!

Unsurprisingly, Bort is quick and strong, but he’s about as fragile as can be.

I don’t focus on inventory, but I wanted to show off that Bort starts the chapter with healing items. He came prepared!

Finally, a demonstration of this chapter’s gimmick. The Invisibility Cloak will make us intangible as well as invisible; enemies will just sail right over us while we’re using it. However, we can’t move while using it.

But stealth isn’t everything.

:radio:Killing Field!

Most of the enemies in this chapter have individual names. It’s neat, but I won’t be recounting the names of all of our victims.

These guys give us a good chance to show off Bort’s starting moves. First up is Shinobi Slash. It’s decently powerful, but there’s nothing special about it.

Cross Slice hits the eight squares next to Bort, but it’s weaker than Shinobi Slash.

Finally, Blazing Firefly is our first ninpou. It acts as a desperation move. Most enemies are willing to chase you over fire tiles, so you can use this move to give yourself breathing room. You’ll need to get off the fire pretty quickly though; Bort’s health is miniscule, so even damage tiles can end him.

And this brings us to the chapter’s overall gimmick: Kill Count. We can kill zero enemies, one hundred enemies, or any number in between. I’ll be showing off a normal run where we don’t care about kill count and a condensed pacifist run because it really changes a lot of the chapter. I won’t be showing the murder run. You get no reward and the chapter doesn’t change a whole lot. At any rate, we should go through the building in front of us.

As luck would have it, we’ve stumbled upon a password briefing.

: Mountain!

: River!

This mechanic isn’t super important for our current run, but it’s nice to keep track of it.

: Hah! Serves him right. With this password system in place, we will easily be able to tell friend from foe. Now, get to your posts!!

Let’s take a closer look at this hallway: we’ve got three options.

To the right, we have this mook guarding an item.

Bort really needs this.

While I was in this room, the bell went off. This means that the password has changed! This happens at regular intervals throughout the chapter.

In the middle room, we find the password master.

He’s stronger than the guys we’ve been facing, but he’s not too difficult.

And the final door is a hallway to more doors, as well as a new enemy type.

These guys are dangerous. They can match you in a damage race, so you need to get the first strike.

I also have a new technique to show: Water Arts. This has a chance to knock an enemy backwards as well as create damage tiles. Water tiles are really weak, but they’re still not something Bort should be on top of.

Through the southern doorway, Bort comes across this scene.

We take down this guy, but we ignore the woman. No matter what run you’re on, you’ll want to avoid harming the women. Even on a 100 kill run, killing women at this point is a bad idea.

Up north is the exit. We’ve cleared out our first building!

There are two of these blue-haired samurai out here.

At the end of the path, we come across more guards. But first…

There’s a hidden man over here! I decided to let him live.

There’s also a hidden door here, but we can’t access it yet.

Now we can go through our first password check. Two of these options are always wrong: Ode Iou and Potato. The password alternates between River and Origin on the bell.

However, we need the experience.

Bort is never going to survive if he doesn’t level up.

Now that the area is clear, I can show off Bort’s incredible speed! His dash is twice as fast as all of the other characters, which can come in handy during a pacifist run.

Inside of our next building is a room with four doors and a samurai.

Flame Arts is a safer version of Blazing Firefly. It does more damage without creating damage tiles, so it’s more useful in most situations.

The door on the middle-right has these two. We kill the blue-haired samurai for the experience, but we spare the orange-clothed one.

The door on the middle-left contains this. There’s nothing to do here.

And on the far left, there’s a hallway to another area.

The password-protected door guards this empty room.

The center door leads here. The samurai here is too strong to fight, but there’s still an opportunity for us.

There’s a hidden path to the attic here!

In this part of the attic, we find more armor for our fragile Bort. We then head back to that second hallway.

The door on the far right leads here. The first two doors are hallways back to the first hallway.

The one on the right leads to this room.

The man on the right is a merchant. His attacks are really weak, so he’s basically free EXP.

Finally, we need to check out this room in the first hallway.

There’s another pathway to the attic.

: Hold it right there! … I’ve never seen you before…

This password check is different from the others. If you answer Ode Iou, he responds “Isn’t that the name of our leader?” If you answer Potato, he responds “Isn’t that my favorite dish?” You have to answer with one of the potentially correct answers, so the passwords aren’t totally useless on a murder run.

We’re not on a murder run, but we do need the experience.

This ninja actually has Shinobi Slash and Cross Slice. It doesn’t make him too dangerous to fight, however.

Up in the attic, we stumble across this scene.

: Shhhh…! Keep your voice down! They might hear us! We’ve come so far. It’d be a shame if they caught us now!
: But, Dad…

: I know. Not only will it restore our family’s honor, but we’ll be big hits in town after we spread the wealth around a bit…
: C’mon, let’s hurry!
: Wait a sec! This place is probably littered with traps. I’ll go first…

Oh look. It’s that samurai we spared earlier.

:radio:Killing Field!

(Music Stops)

That face sure looks familiar, doesn’t it?
And now that the game has said “Watanabe” I can stop being coy about this. Every chapter has a Watanabe scene, which revolves around the death of a father. Some, like the Wrestling chapter’s, are only implied. It’s a weird way of tying things together, but I think it’s neat.

This is what they were after, and it’s why we let the samurai live. If we had killed him, they would have taken this and ran. Unfortunately, we’re going to need this money.

These peepholes are littered around the attic. Let’s check them out.

This one is a good way of keeping track of the password. If you ever forget what’s going on, you can just return here.

This information gives us our first objective: retrieve the storehouse key! For now, it’s our only lead.

On the way out, we’re stopped by an enemy ninja. He doesn’t slow us down much.

Nice! Now we’re a ninja.

It’s time for a lap around the rooftops! First up is this building. We couldn’t get into the ground floor, so let’s look at the top floor.

There are a couple of treasure chests for our trouble.

And we have a miniboss! One ninja can put us in a bind, so five ninjas can really ruin our day.

Luckily, one of our enemies dropped a Fuujin’s Scroll, which gives us access to this!

Only one of these ninjas is real. Kill him, and the rest fall apart.

We get a gauntlet and more money for our trouble.

We’re coming up on the castle’s gate, and one of the many rude things this chapter has in store.

The center tile of this room is a trap door. It’s not dangerous, but it can be really annoying.

We’ve finally reached the end of the rooftop track.

It’s the top floor of the Storehouse, and it looks like they forgot to lock it.

And with that, our first objective is complete!
What awaits Bort in the ground floor of the storehouse? And where is the prisoner we were sent to rescue? We’ll have to find out… next time!


I tried to get this up yesterday, but my internet fought me the entire time.

Securing The Hostage

:radio:Sound of Shinobi

Last time, we’d just secured our first key. To use it, we need to get back on the first floor.

Bort decides the best way to get there is by jumping down the trap door.

We haven’t cleared out the area in front of the storehouse yet, so let’s get that squared away.

These guys look like a password check, but they actually just turn you away no matter what.

With them gone, we can get into the storehouse!

It’s a well-stocked storehouse too. There’s a couple of attack items, some equipment, some healing items, and more money.

More importantly, the storehouse is home to the lost souls. They spawn from the enemy in the corner; as long as she survives, the souls will keep coming. We don’t need any grinding for now, but I leave the enemies alone in case we need them later.

But that’s not the only locked door we know of! We should also check the building Goninja was hiding in.

Well, this looks simple enough.

:radio:Killing Field!

But this is the Ninja chapter, so it’s never that simple.

I do get a chance to show Poison Mist. It’s not super useful; it does terrible damage and the poison effect rarely triggers.

Uh oh. Looks like these two want to avenge their fallen brother.

And so do these guys. It’s a good thing they didn’t all come at once!

:radio:Sound of Shinobi

Our reward is another key, but where do we use it? It doesn’t work on the front door for the third building, so we’ll have to keep looking.

Thankfully, we’re not out of areas yet!

What kind of evil castle would this be if it didn’t have a secret underground passage?

The passage leads out to the moat, which is still swarming with guards.

The fight with the ceiling ninjas gave Bort enough experience to learn Shuriken Storm. This is a very useful move. It does solid damage and has infinite range in eight directions. It can’t hit directly next to Bort, but that’s what Shinobi Slash is for.

Bort can’t dash when he’s in the moat, but he does get a new sprite.

Oh. See that shadow just ahead of Bort? That’s one of this chapter’s bonus bosses.

We’re not getting anywhere near it. Remember how the King Mammoth couldn’t be encountered accidentally? There’s no such mercy here. That evil fish will just kill you in an instant.

But enough about that, we’ve found the dungeon! We’re here to rescue a prisoner, and our Basement Key should work on these basement cells.

Let’s start from the top of the prison and work our way down. This is a little tricky; the guard is too dangerous to fight right now, which is why I’m currently invisible.

Let’s start with these gentlemen.

Or not. Either this is a bizarre trap set by Ode Iou, or Bort just murdered two confused prisoners.

Next up is this guy, who is a trap. If you agree to feed him, he takes a healing item and gives you nothing in return. Instead, you’ll just be brought back to this screen. If you don’t want to kill this man, your only option is to avoid speaking to him altogether.

We’re down to one more prisoner up here, so here’s hoping.

That’s promising!

: You were sent to get me outta here, right? Great! Let’s get going!

Well then, let’s get to rescuing Ryoma!..Have we heard the name Ryoma before?

Did our lord send us on a rescue mission without telling us who we were rescuing? That’s wildly irresponsible!

: However…

This is just a regular blue-haired samurai, so he’s easy to take out.

I’m just going to assume that Ode Iou knows more about our mission than we do, and say that this is our actual target. Let’s get him out of here!

Well crap.

(Music Stops)

: I’m afraid I can’t let you go. You must be here to rescue that man, but that’s quite impossible, you see.

We’ve found one of Ode Iou’s inner circle. The pentagram, to be specific.

: Hehehehe…

: Still want to try it?

This is one of the few actual hints in this chapter: fighting him right now isn’t actually a good idea. But we persist anyways.

: And here I’d thought you were smarter than that. You really are a fool! Now… Behold! I will send you to my Master!!

:radio:Killing Field!

This boss is based on a real historical figure: Amakusa Shirō was the head of a rebellion of Japanese Christians in the 1630’s, hence his battle cry.
His chant of Elohim Essaim might also be a reference to his faith, but I’m not entirely sure what it means. “Elohim” is Hebrew for God, but “Essaim” isn’t Hebrew at all. It might be a mistransliteration of the Hebrew name for the Tree of Life, but who knows? The phrase itself was apparently used to summon demons in an old anime called Akuma-kun, so the writers are probably just referencing that.

Anyways, the fight itself is a little difficult but uninteresting. Shiro can hit hard for two spaces in any direction, and most of his attacks can push you around. He also has a health-draining attack that can prolong this fight. Finally, don’t make water tiles like I did. Those heal him.

: I am im-mor-tal…

While that fight may have been a wash, it does clear up what our next step should be.

Say goodbye to the lost souls!

Not so convincing this time around, is he?

:radio:Killing Field!

Defeating the lost souls taught Bort his next move. Strength of the Ninja is wind-based. It’s pretty powerful and it can put enemies to sleep, but it has a charge time. It’s a little risky to use while we’re on our own.

: D-defeated…! No! It can’t be!!

In case he didn’t reference Christianity enough, here’s one more for the road! It’s a little thing, but I’m surprised he says “Master” and not “Lord.” Anyways, we need to get back to that dunge-

Or he can just come to us. That works too.

: And here I was tryin’ to catch a little shut-eye… Oh well… Anyway, I am absolutely famished! Got any grub? No? Ah, well… Shouldn’t have thought so, given the circumstances… Huh?

Either option will move the scene forward, but I see no reason to lie here.

: That must mean…

: Excellent! I’ve had just about enough of this place… I suppose I’ll let you lead me out of here!

Alright, we’ve secured our objective!

Ryoma has fairly good stats. His weapon is pretty incredible though. The Yoshiyuuki give him +40 attack, and we can’t remove it.

For comparison, here’s Bort. They’re pretty similar, but Bort is two levels behind.

:radio:Killing Field!

Since we have another party member, I decide to go take out that warden I avoided earlier.

Ryoma has three techniques. Quickdraw Wolf Fang, in addition to being my terrible D&D character, is a pretty good pistol technique. It does decent damage and inflicts a debuff.

Warning shot is a bit more limited. It doesn’t do damage and it can only shoot on the diagonals, but keeping your enemy from moving can be really useful.

Finally, Polaris Single-Blade is pretty powerful, and it has a chance of paralyzing the enemy. Not a bad list of techniques, by any means.

:radio:Sound of Shinobi

If you never investigated the ninja hideout, this is where you can find a Basement Key. Good luck with that though, this warden was still kind of a rough fight.

Since we’ve rescued our hostage, we’ll just be making a beeline for the exit.

We’re pretty close to this building’s entrance.

These guys don’t want to let us leave without a fight. Thankfully, only one of these guys is as strong as the warden we just fought.

Once we’re out of this castle, it’s a straight shot out of here!

Oh, right. I forgot about these two.

Well, at least they gave us a nicer looking kill count. 45 isn’t bad! Now, let’s get Ryoma back to saf-

: Let’s try staying here a little longer, hmm?

Oh. Well, I guess that’s how it’s going to be. Will Ryoma have his meeting with the castle’s lord? Why did our clan not tell us this would turn into an assassination mission? We’ll have to find out…next time!

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OK, this is going to be a large update. After this, the rest of this chapter’s updates should be short.

Welcome To The Madhouse

:radio: Sound of Shinobi

The castle’s front door is still locked, so we need to use the secret passageway again. Also, Ryoma apparently has enough room to stand up comfortably. I guess Bort just thinks that crawling looks cooler.

Ryoma has a unique snorkel sprite, which is neat.

We blazed past this room in the previous update, but there is a weapon for Bort here. It’s the first in this chapter, I think.

:radio:Killing Field

This guy was smart enough to bring bodyguards with him.

They don’t save him.

:radio: Sound of Shinobi

We also skipped a secret in this hallway.

The woman here will mimic our movements, so we can’t catch her. That’s fine for this run, but since I’m not doing a mass-murder run, I’ll show off how to reach her.

If you leave and re-enter the room, she’ll hide in this box. It’s locked, so we can’t reach her.

The trick is to stay invisible for an extended period of time. She’ll eventually think you’re gone.

Luckily for her, we have no intention of harming her.

Instead of leaving the castle, we can check out these two doors.

On the left, we have a trap!

: Who’re you? (wink)

Okame-no-Kata is not a difficult boss, but she can take you down if you’re not careful.

That’s not what makes her a trap.

: Who’re you? (Wink)

This is. She’ll chase Bort for the next 16 rooms. And unlike the other supernatural creatures, she counts as a kill. And, since she’s a woman, we’ll miss out on a secret item later on.
Ode Iou’s castle is the point where this chapter takes the kid gloves off, and will actively screw you over.

So let’s not do that. Instead, let’s go through the door on the right. It takes us to another room-o’-doors.

In the middle door, we find this. The old man is good for EXP.

On the left, we have these two chests containing birdlime, which is an adhesive that can be used as an attack item, and more money.

On the right, we have…this guy.

I guess it’s afraid of us? Maybe we should check out that cushion it was on.

Nope, never mind, that was a terrible idea.

radio:Killing Field

Let’s meet our first Trap Master. This guy is the laziest. “Oh, I’ll just throw a bunch of logs at them, whatever!” You only need to open up a path; destroying the trap master will get rid of the logs.

:radio: Sound of Shinobi

We go up the stairs to find more branching paths.

Up north, there’s a storeroom. Most of the items here aren’t useful, but that woman is guarding a jar with more money in it.

Unfortunately, she’s an enemy combatant. We’ll just ignore her; we’ll miss out on the item if we fight her.

To the south, there’s a hallway of doors. Thankfully, they all head in the same direction.

Unfortunately, it leads to another room of choices.

We came from the door on the left, so let’s check the door in the middle.

This is a pretty difficult fight, but it won’t keep us from getting that item. I’m not really sure why though, Okame-no-Kata was pretty clearly supernatural but she still counted.

Oh good. It’s just a room full of goodies.

You know what, fine. Sure, whatever.

Let’s just keep moving forward.

We’ve got another hall of screen doors to go through. Good, these make sense.

Hopefully our path is obvious. There’s not much to say about those rooms, I hope this chapter doesn’t get too boring.

What? You’re not used to seeing slightly blood-thirsty ninjas around here? I find that hard to believe.

Looks like it’s time for another brawl!

Umm…Hello? Who are you?

Sir, is everything alright!?

: And I will kill humans!

:radio:Killing Field!

This lunatic has pretty high health for this enemy type, but his attacks are mostly unimpressive. His name, according to a quick Google search so forgive me if I’m wrong, would mean “Complete Wisdom.”

They have pretty over-the-top names though.

Thankfully, I managed to avoid his most dangerous attack: he can instantly kill either of your party members if they’re next to him.

:radio: Beat

Let’s see what was in Hannyu-maru’s room. Maybe this monk is responsible for his demonic powers?

Or he can just summon a tiger, sure.
The tiger is the same enemy as the Kung Fu tigers, and the new enemy is called the “Dumb Monk.”

:radio:Killing Field!

They give us a good chance to show off Bort’s new move: Sand Arts is an area attack. It’s described as “sealing ninpou,” but I’m not sure if that ever comes into play.

The monk has a pretty powerful move: it does good damage and can put us to sleep.

After saying this, he just fades away. Things are weird and getting weirder!

:radio: Sound of Shinobi

The next room is slightly more sane.

It only has a man who can magically count our kills. That’s normal for this castle.

The room through that secret door contains more attack items.

Further into the castle, we have this room. Let’s go left first.

It leads to a bedroom.

We sure showed him, I guess.

Let’s go through the right door next.

In the attic, we find more traps.

:radio:Killing Field!

The first trap is a standard gauntlet. You won’t have the health to fight all of them, but you should kill at least one so you can get to the trap master.

The second one is a more difficult version of the log trap. The solution is the same, just kill one so you can leave and kill the trap master.

If you go south, you can find this armor.

This is a less obvious case of the trap masters; the grey statue is the master in this case.

For the final trap, we just need to kill all of the fire Buddhas.

:radio: Sound of Shinobi

After getting out of the attic, we find this little tea room.

…That’s a pretty obvious trap, man.

Just in case it wasn’t, the game put in an even bigger red flag.

Let’s fall for it.

It just puts us at the jail, so we can eventually make our way back.

: Look, I’m in a hurry. Please just take a seat on the cushion and relax!

: Shoot! How did you know it was a trap? All right, I’ve turned the trap off. Don’t worry, it’s quite safe now! Come, come! Sit down…

I don’t know audience, what do you think?

: Shoot! All right, you win!!

: By the way… How did you like all of the little gadgets set up around the castle? Oh no, they’re not ALL traps! My wonderful mechanical body, for instance…

:radio:Killing Field!

After delivering the best battle cry ever, the castle’s trap master decides to face us. Now, this fight is the same as the other trap master fights: kill the master, and the others traps will go away.

However, these traps drop an important item, so we need to destroy all of them. The shuriken method seems too slow though…

Thankfully, we still have attack items!

Now, all that’s left is the hellish puppet.

He’s really dangerous when he’s at a distance, but if you get close this is all he can manage.

After a few sword strikes, he goes down.

The zenmai is the important item I was mentioning. By the way, this screenshot is from a different fight; I forgot that I can’t take screenshots after recording videos, so I had to do the fight again. Whoops!

: My God! My body won’t stop!

Welp, we’re two for three. We’ve taken out the circle and the puppet.

:radio: Sound of Shinobi

Through the door, we have this room. This room is important, but we’ll ignore it for now.

As we soldier on, we stumble across this scene.

: Heh… Don’t matter. I’m afraid you can’t live now that you’ve seen us…

Well, I guess Bort’s somebody.

Thankfully, we’re strong enough to take on four ninjas at once now.

: What a strong man…

Let’s look at both of these options. First, let’s agree to stay with her.

: Ode Iou doesn’t have any daughters!

: Ahahahahaha!! You must be the man that Lord Iou was expecting…

: If you fell for THAT you must be REALLY thick! If only you had accepted my offer!

Ryoma actually did research before being captured, so he saves us from the fight. There’s a fight here, but we’re a little unready for it. Thankfully, we can have an easier fight if we take the other option.

If you speak to her a few times, but turn her down, you’ll get a new option.

This won’t deprive us of the secret item, but I’ll explain why later. For now, let’s keep moving.

Here we are. Ode Iou is behind this door.

We’re not going to fight him yet, but here’s a look at these creepy guys.

Instead, we’ve got a few more things to look at. This is the room with the traps in them; since we took out Genmai, the traps spontaneously broke down.

We’ve not looked at this attic yet: it has a grappling hook and a Genji’s Helm.

The second attic takes us out here.

Which, in turn, leads to a third attic.

This gauntlet is the most interesting chest in this attic. It might be obvious, but avoid that pits. They’ll send you back to the jail.

One more attic: this one has another grappling hook. This is the best benefit of getting rid of Genmaii: it stops these gears from turning, which makes navigating this room a lot easier.

Finally, the attic lets out at the first screen door hallway. I’m sorry if you’re confused by the castle’s layout, but at least part of it is by design. This castle is a nightmare to navigate.

Thankfully, this room’s trap has also been deactivated. The middle chest contains the Castle Gate Key, which unlocks the front door.

Now, let’s look at one more secret in this attic. This particular pit is where you want to fall.

It leads to this room. You have to go in a c-shaped route; every other tile is a trap door.

Our reward is footwear. Really. I’m not sure what the joke here is.

The only way out of there is through the jail which reminds me, we never checked out this guy!

It has not worked out once, but let’s try letting him go.

Well, that went well. It’s about time a prisoner was happy to be out of jail!

By the way, by “someday” Goemon meant “right now.”

He’s refilled a lot of the chests around the castle. It’s not the most useful, but it can be a nice way to get more money if you’re on a pacifist run.

Speaking of money, this room is where that money finally gets used. We want to put three coins into this slot.

This changes the room’s place in the castle.

This must be that “mechanical friend” that Genmai mentioned in the beginning. Let’s stick that Zenmai he was carrying around into it.

We get a crazed robot for our trouble.

After a pretty easy fight with him, we get another party member! His name is a pun on the ninja’s default name: Oboro. I think T-rob would also work as a robot name. Anyways, let’s go get him battle-tested!

Whoops. Looks like O-robo suffers from fall damage. He’s also not water-proof, so we need to be careful in the water. If either of these happen, he’s gone forever. Finally, he’s afraid of mice. They won’t break him, but he will fight us if we bump into one.

Thankfully, that’s the only trap door in that room. We can get out by putting another coin in the room’s slot.

His stats are absurd! And he’s only level two!

For comparison, here’s Bort’s stats at level eight.

There aren’t too many good stopping points, so I’ll just bring the update to a screeching halt. I think I’ll put up this chapter’s bonus bosses next, since that will give me a chance to talk about O-robo. In any case, I will see you all next time!


This chapter looks impossible to play unless you have a walkthrough … Or are willing to play through multiple times

After finally catching up in the ninja chapter, there were two things I noticed that were little easter eggs:

[spoiler]In the scene where the 5 ninjas descend one at a time to attack you, I noticed that their name was “Goninja”. I think this may be a very subtle reference to Gorenger, the very first japanese super sentai series (known in the US as Power Rangers) which famously featured 5 members who would pose dramatically before fighting

As for Genji’s Gauntlet, that’s a long running item in the final fantasy series and is generally some of the strongest armor in its game (the same holds true for the rest of the genji armor, but the gauntlets were the ones that stuck out in all games)[/spoiler]

@Mozz, it only looks that way. You can kind of bumble your way through this chapter without a problem, but it will be more frustrating. A lot of the things to screw you over only screw you out of hidden items, a special run, or O-robo. But if you want to do or have any of those, you will probably need a guide whether it’s a walkthrough on the internet or just notes you made yourself.

@Bearpigman, this game will throw out references like mad, and I won’t even pretend to catch all of them. I didn’t even realize that Genji equipment was from Final Fantasy, that’s a neat intra-company reference.

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OK, time to cover the bonus bosses. Even though I’m posting this now, consider this a “non-canon” update. Any equipment or experience I get in this update will not be used outside of it.

Surf and Turf

:radio:Sound of Shinobi

So, if we’re going to take on these bonus bosses, we’re going to need a few more levels. Unfortunately, our options for grinding are very limited.

With Gennai dead, this is pretty much our only option.

O-robo’s moveset is made up of moves we’ve already seen. Most of them are Bort’s, but there’s a few wildcards. For example, he learns Earth Rending Fury at level 16, which you may remember as one of Jackie Hula’s moves. I guess Gennai was a big fan of sumo wrestling and taught his robot how to be a sumo wrestler.

In order to cut down on time, I tried to use a level up cheat. However, the cheat only worked on Bort. As a result, O-robo only made it to level 6 by the time Bort hit level 16. It’s recommended that O-robo be at least level 12.

I very quickly ran out of patience, so I’ll be using level 6 O-Robo instead. This probably just cost me more time in failed attempts, but oh well.

We’ve already seen our first bonus boss; he lives in the castle moat. Unfortunately, O-Robo is not waterproof. So how do we bring him into the fight?

We just wait right outside the moat, and let the fish come to us!

The last thing you hear before you die.


Meet Lord Iwama, our first bonus boss.

Thanks to our ghost-powered training session, we have some new moves to show off. Ryoma never learns any moves beyond his initial three, and O-robo never learns anything we haven’t already seen, but what about Bort?

First up is Chill Wind. It’s a pretty powerful spell, but it comes with a charge time.

Blade of Wind is one I might go back and grind for before facing Ode Iou. It’s a ninpou-based replacement for our Shuriken attack, and it’s really useful.

Shura’s Yin is the only non-item source of healing for Bort in this chapter. It can be useful under the right circumstances, but you’re usually better off using your healing items.

Phoenix Fire is the last of the fire-based moves. It has more range than the rest, but it has a charge time. It’s more useful for crowd-clearing than for dueling bosses.

Top Spin is highly situational. I’m sure there are bosses that can be completely chumped with this move, but it’s not a very useful move in general.

Shadow Mirror is a little unusual. It can only hit on Bort’s left or right, and he always faces away from his opponent when he uses it.

And finally, we have his ultimate technique. Bronze Leaf has a charge time, but it deals absurd damage along with debuffing stats. It will be his go-to attack for this fight.

With that showcase out of the way, let’s look at what makes Iwama a threat.

Poseidon’s Whip is his basic attack, and it inflicts poison. That would honestly be bad enough, but he’s not done.

Throw Down makes a return, and it still brings paralysis with it.

Finally, Iwama has his own version of great eruption. Thankfully, water only deals around 8 damage, and Bort’s equipment lets him heal water tile damage anyways. The rest of our party is pretty thoroughly wrecked, however.

So, now it’s time to talk strategy. Bort will be spamming Bronze Leaf for most of the fight while Ryoma gets in Iwama’s face to act as a distraction. Normally, O-robo would be our second heavy hitter but…

I did not make a smart decision for this fight. Instead, he provides healing items for his team mates to keep them in the fight. That doesn’t last too long though. Eventually, he and Ryoma fall prey to Iwama’s power over the tide. With no one to keep Iwama in place, Bort has to switch to instant moves.

As a result, Blade of Wind is what brings the fish down.

Like the King Mammoth before him, Iwama drops his own accessory.

:radio:Sound of Shinobi

What inspiring last words.

Unlike the Cola Bottle, the Suijin Scale does not bring absurd stat boosts with it. It’s certainly not a bad stat boost, but not really worth the risk of death-by-fish.

Our second boss is a little more hidden.

First, we need to go back to this hidden passageway, which is under the stone lantern. We want to be in this exact spot, with the diamond on the very bottom edge. We then want to head up two tiles, which will trigger a click sound, and then head back down.

As a result, we find a pot.

This is an alternate way to get Bort’s skills. For six koban, he gets Shadow Mirror, and for ten koban, he gets Bronze Leaf. We already have those techniques, so we won’t be using it.

If we head north, we no longer find the exit. Instead, we come across this room with a sword in it.

Of course, we can’t just waltz up and take it.

This isn’t just pompous posturing, we actually have a chance to just turn around and leave.


Unfortunately, we’re going to go through with this. Meet Majin Ryunosuke. “Majin” is a word that roughly means “Demon,” and he’s certainly earned that title.

This isn’t a move unique to him, but it’s one you’ll be praying to see more often. Half-Moon does a small amount of damage, but inflicts sleep. That’s easy to deal with when you have three party members.

Unfortunately, this move has the exact same range. Rock Crusher is just a hard-hitting move.

Soundkiller Sword is a little easier to deal with. The damage is split randomly between the targets, so it can range from “survivable” to “battle ending”

And finally, Road to Ruin. Everything about this is dangerous. The damage output, the stat debuffs, and the range all make this a dangerous move.

Before I start detailing the fight, let’s look at what Suijin Scale can do. This isn’t a bad move by any means, it’s just not too useful for this fight. The stat boost is probably more important in this case.

The strategy for this fight is the same as Iwama’s fight: Bort is the damage-dealer, Ryoma keeps him in place so Bort can land his hits, and O-robo keeps everyone alive.

Ryoma can’t land any of his status effects, so I have him use some attack items to boost his damage a bit.

I go all out with spamming healing items, so I manage to keep everyone alive this time. Also, look at that. He doesn’t even dissolve like the other bosses; he just poofs out like he’s a normal enemy.

He’s one of the hardest fights in the game, I can’t believe he just gets the normal defeated animation.

Anyways, here’s our reward. But it looks like somethings a little off about it…

Yeah, you can get two copies of this sword if you defeat Ryunosuke before freeing Goemon. It’s not worth it; I’ll have to explain why in the next update.

As for the sword itself, it’s an absurd upgrade. This has the same attack power as Ryoma’s sword at +40. Unfortunately, if you can get this sword, you’re already overpowered, so it doesn’t really add a whole lot.

Which is why I’ll be going into the last boss fight at level 8. I won’t pretend that it’s some sort of challenge run, but I do want to capture a normal boss fight instead of a pushover. Speaking of which, that’s coming up next! Bort will finally finish Ryoma’s mission…next time!

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The Future of Japan

Alright, let’s start wrapping things up. Let’s see how these three fare agains-

:radio:Killing Field!

…Two! Let’s see how these two fare against Ode Iou!

So, this is why I did the bonus content before the end of the chapter; it was the best way to show O-robo in action. This is also what makes the second Masamune completely useless; O-robo can equip it, but he’ll die before he can really use it.

:radio:Sound of Shinobi

At any rate, we should keep moving.

These Eight “Great” swords aren’t really that threatening. Even without our extra equipment and EXP, this fight is easy.

: Well done! You’ve shown me how worthless the men in this castle really are. After all, they did let my sworn enemy get this close to me… But that’s of no consequence. I shall show you one who should be more than a match for you.

Uh oh. This might be a little tougher than our last historical enemy.

: The greatest swordsman that ever lived!

The game gives you a chance to save here. Musashi has to actually make contact with you before the fight starts.

: Ah well, I guess it’s just bad luck for you that we now cross swords…

:radio:Killing Field!

…You’re looking a little green there, Musashi. You sure you’re up for this?

YUP! He’s more than ready for us!

He can cover most of the field with some hard hitting attacks, and our non-ninpou ranged attacks don’t really do much against him.

And if he’s not hitting hard, he’s debuffing us!

There’s not a whole lot Ryoma can do here; his pistol can barely scratch him, and I’d like to keep my distance for the time being. Let’s try one of our attack items, the Shinobi Birdlime. That might be good for a laugh.

Jesus! I guess Musashi can’t deal with a simple bird trap!

In the end, Ryoma proves himself to be the better swordsman. Good for him.

: Not many men could defeat the great Musashi…

Now that he’s been dealt with, it’s time to chase down Ode Iou

:radio:Sound of Shinobi

But first, we need to deal with the last member of his supernatural council.

: You’ve pierced my very heart… Is it so wrong for a princess to fall in love with a Shinobi…?

At this point, Ryoma interjects like he did in the last update. Let’s just get straight to the fight.

:radio:Killing Field!

We could have fought her when we first met her. If we did, this hallway would just be empty.

Yodogimi has a very spell-based moveset. First up is this attack that drains health and stats.

Next up is a poison fire, which is just as absurd as it is incredible.

Finally, she has a seduction attack because of course she does. In an effort to reduce the amount of status effects, it just causes drunkenness.

Drunkenness is basically confusion; it causes your character to move erratically, but you can still attack where you want to.

And yet another falls to Ryoma’s blade.

:radio:Sound of Shinobi

: Then it looks like that princess wasn’t one of the 74 slain…

Bort adjusts his kill count accordingly, which is why killing her doesn’t keep you from getting the secret item.

Once we get up these stairs, we’ll be right outside Ode Iou’s door!

But first, it’s time to finally get that item!

It’s!..Really, really underwhelming. It’s hard to believe that they would make a single point of vitality a secret item, isn’t it?

Of course, that’s not the real secret. If you wait around in this room long enough, the maid will come back.

Now we’re talking! The IQ boost will make all of Bort’s ninpou stronger, which is always useful.

But enough about secrets, it’s time to finish our mission!

: It appears that you have beaten Musashi. Looks like I’ll just have to kill you myself… It’ll be just like squashing a tiny little bug!

:radio:Killing Field!

Ode Iou tries to be a threat by merely owning a gun.

It can do some decent damage, sure, but how does it compare to Ryoma’s gun?

Only slightly better.

He does have a technique to buy himself some breathing room, but it’s not going to be enough.

Ryoma could probably solo this boss fight.

: Hehehehehe… Interesting… But then, fighting in close-quarters such as this isn’t any fun, is it?

Of course, this isn’t the real final boss fight, as you could probably tell from the lack of MEGALOVANIA.

The real fight is going to be on the roof, as it very well should be!


I think “sublime” is being a little generous if you ask me.

The Frogsnake Demon doesn’t have a damaging attack, but he can still do a number on your health. The poison status effect and the poison tiles really add up with every passing turn.

He also has this debuff attack. He doesn’t try and strike you down; he just tries to keep you at bay while you succumb to the absurd amounts of poison.

Ryoma, however, has absolutely no problem with swiftly striking his enemies down.

(No Music)

Yeah Ryoma! I mean, who’d be dumb enough to let that happen? No politics in my thread please.

There’s a slide whistle here, so that was probably a cannonball.

: Huh? Who am I?

Nope! The Enma Shinobi are really bad at mission briefings.

One last historical reference for the road!

: You know, it’s kind of sad. We struggle and fight over the temporary rule of an artificial “nation." Why go to war for such a fleeting goal? Why sacrifice so many lives? It’s kind of silly, is it not? But… For better or for worse, such seems to be our nature as people. We can’t change that any more than we could change the past… But, I know that one day, everyone will live here in peace.

: I’m surprised a man such as yourself is a Shinobi.

That’s…actually a good offer. Our shinobi clan just threw us in here to sink or swim. Maybe Bort’s talents are better used elsewhere.

What the heck, let’s go with Ryoma.

: We’ll have to prepare a feast on the ship tonight!

: The sun is coming up… One day, the Land of the Rising Sun will see a new dawn as well! I’m sure of it!!

And with that, the credits start rolling!

Unlike most of the other chapters, the end credits don’t show more of our protagonist’s story. Instead, we get a “greatest hits” of his finished story.

And so, Bort-maru completed his mission, as well as Ryoma’s.

So, that means it’s time to start the next chapter, right?

Not quite! One of this game’s feature that I never thought I’d get an organic chance to explain is the ability to redo chapters. For example, if we wanted to have Yuan or Sammo to inherit the Puncha style, we could just replay that chapter. In this case, I get to do a pacifist run! I’ll explain why I’m doing this in this way when I do my write-up for this chapter.

Even though this chapter isn’t quite finished, I’ll go ahead and open the poll for the next chapter since we’ve seen the credits.


  • Cowboy!
  • Mecha!
  • SciFi!

0 voters

Vote away, everyone!

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OK, time to close out this chapter for real!


:radio: Sound of Shinobi
:radio: Killing Field!
:radio: Secret Life
(Same deal as the Kung Fu bonus update. Just listen to your favorite track, they’re all good.)

I won’t be detailing the entire playthrough. Instead, I’m going to describe the general changes and point out things I either forgot or think are neat.

First off, we need to sneak past these two. The solution may be obvious to some, but I’ll explain it anyway.

You just run away. This is actually a good way for the game to teach you that running is almost always an option. If you don’t realize that you can run, you can’t start a pacifist run. It means you don’t have to worry about ruining your pacifist run because you didn’t hide in time. It’s one of the few mercies this chapter will give you.

Our next big change is how we deal with passwords; they actually matter now.

You’ll only need to do a given guard’s password check once. After that, they’ll let you through every time.

Finally, we have to deal with enemies out in the wild. This guy is between us and the exit, and he’s really fast.

So we need to use our cloak to dodge him. Between our speed, our cloak, and our passwords, we have almost all of the tools we need to get through a pacifist run.

I thought I’d show that you can still get the Basement Key, just dash past this guy after cloaking yourself.

The Storehouse itself is also more important in this run. “Pacifist” is a bit of a misnomer because we will still have to fight, we just won’t kill any humans. Therefore, you’d do well to level up from a few of the lost souls here. I recommend at least level 6.

These guys still won’t let people through, but the moat is crawling with enemies. So how do we get inside?

Why, through the way that I completely forgot to show off, of course! You actually can still use the moat, but I thought this would be easier.

First up is the gear room, but the gears are spinning this time. You can only go in the direction they’re moving, so your mobility is limited.

Flipping a switch changes the direction of one of the gears. You can only flip each switch once, so it’s just a matter of flipping every switch in this room.

These are more important in this run, so I make sure to grab the one in this room.

The next room is the room with pits, but it’s more difficult this time. Every path has these new pits that open and close on regular intervals.

I decided that dealing with that was more trouble than it was worth, so I used the Grappling Hook here. This was a mistake.

But before I get into this, let’s see what this murder-detecting man has to say!

He then hands over ten healing items. You have to watch Bort go “Hmm…Castella” for each one. It’s a little goofy, honestly.

The next attic is the room that I should have used the grappling hook in! These little robots are terrible creatures. They will pick you up and through you in that pit if they touch you. It is absurdly difficult to get through this room without being caught.

So I don’t. I still have the Basement Key, so I can escape pretty easily.

I’m showing this to draw attention to something. “Pacifist” does not mean “no one dies.” As long as Bort doesn’t personally kill them, the game will be okay with it.

And here’s the last of Gennai’s traps. This is right outside his tea room. There’s supposed to be a ladder here, but it’s retracted if you try and climb it.

A pacifist can only get three of the money items, so freeing Goemon seems like the next logical choice. However, if you go to this room after Gennai dies, you’ll notice that someone is missing.

Ryoma broke out of jail on his own, which means we can access the money in his chest. We don’t fight Shiro on this path, so I assume that Ryoma took care of him.

Finally, we need O-Robo to get into Ode Iou’s chambers.

We totally murdered those men, but since it happened in a cutscene, we’re okay. I guess it’s an accident because a mouse prompted this, but this “Pacifist” run has had seven victims so far.

Finally, we have to deal with the Great Eight Swords, or whatever they called themselves.

Ryoma just starts shooting in the air during that last GIF. Ryoma is waaay cooler when he’s not in our party, isn’t he?

At this point, the story resumes as normal.

Unfortunately, Ode Iou’s gun isn’t a bonus item.

It does mean that he doesn’t have it during his boss fight. It was the only thing that made him close to a threat, but he doesn’t even have that now.

Afterwards, things proceed as they did last time until after Ryoma calls Ode Iou a joke.

: I have many, many enemies. There comes a time when one can no longer fight… It will just lead to more and more hatred. I know that you don’t kill without cause.

: I think it is better in your hands than in mine…

We get Ryoma’s sword! It’s just as strong as the Muramasa, but it’s even less useful because there’s no one left to fight. It’s a cool symbolic reward though.

And so, we end with Bort the pacifist instead of Bort the murderer. I’ll have the final thoughts post up later today.

I think I’m going to leave the poll open for a bit longer. The polls normally get around nine votes, so I’m going to try holding out for at least that if I can. If you see this without reading the rest of the updates, you can go ahead and vote too! As the voting implies, the stories can be read in any order, so you don’t need to have seen the others to decide which one we see next!

Secret Orders

Before I really get started, I should make it clear that I don’t hate this chapter. I don’t hate any of the chapters, I just like some less than others. That being said, I was frustrated during this chapter more than I probably will be for any other chapter.

This chapter is hands-down the worst chapter to LP. There are tons of events to capture, a lot of branching paths, but not a whole lot of actual variation in what happens. There’s no plot, it’s just a bunch of stuff that happens. It makes it harder to portion out the update and kills motivation. The stealth gimmick works, but it never integrates. There’s a stealth portion and an RPG portion, and the two portions never really work together. And to top it off, I wasn’t sure what media this was really trying to emulate. Ninja stories aren’t exactly rare, but this didn’t feel like a movie in the same way the Kung Fu chapter did. It wasn’t until partway through this chapter of the LP that I realized it was emulating another type of game. It was trying to pastiche old Sierra adventure games.

That made the whole thing a lot easier to tolerate. That’s why there’s just a bunch of puzzles with a bare-bones plot, that’s why there’s so many ways to fail, and that’s why doing a perfect run almost requires you to fail in others and know the “right” way. It followed the dramatic structure of an adventure game. That is, there is a setup and a climax but a bunch of nonsensical stuff happens on the way there. It was even pathetically short once I knew how to approach it; my final pacifist run was about two hours, and that was with capturing video and screenshots. It was still frustrating to play, but understanding what it was meant to be made it more fun. It was all part of the chapter’s aesthetic.

As for the characters, our two heroes are interesting for different reasons. I like Ryoma because he’s a little clownish, but he’s still a competent party member. His actions in the pacifist run really sell his character for me.

As for Bort…he’s kind of a monster! It’s really difficult to kill all 100 inhabitants, but the game will not punish you if you do it. Bort is still treated like a hero for slaying Ode Iou, no matter how many people he murders. Sure, some of them are combatants, but the game barely distinguishes between combatants and civillians. That’s the main reason I wanted a “canon” pacifist run. The sword is useless, but I did not want to put a villainous Bort on the same level as Bonk, Li, and Dwayne. That may be childish, but I thought it was worth doing.

My commentary felt really dry at points, but this chapter is difficult to talk about. As I keep saying, it’s just a bunch of stuff. It can be fun to watch, but it’s hard to even begin writing about.

All in all, I would rank this chapter fifth out of the seven. It’s still rough going, but it’s kind of fun in it’s own frustrating way.

I say this every chapter, but I really mean it this time: what do you all think? If this was your favorite chapter, why? Is there anything you like about it that I didn’t talk about?

I think I’m going to go ahead an close the poll. Even if we get the three voters that seemed to have dropped off, the most they can do is tie. Besides, the polls been open for long enough. Next up is the Cowboy chapter! I’m still taking names: Six Characters and the name will be The ______ Kid. Our names so far are the Baby, and Ninety kid. Sorry @Kzinssie, “Nineties” was too many characters. If you want to submit an alternate name or a different spelling, go for it. Keep suggesting names everyone!


Having never actually played this chapter I think it’s actually one of my more favorites. I think I just really like the aesthetic they’re going for. And any story that gives you a robot ninja is good with me!


Time to start the next chapter!

The Good, The Mad, and the Crazy

Before we start proper, you should probably have this website open. You’ll need it eventually.

Oh man, we’ve already got a tumbleweed! This is some pure-strain Western!

That door animation plays every time someone uses that door. I won’t show it every time, but trust me, it’s there.

: Barman, post this up for me.

: A new wanted poster, huh?

I don’t normally show the default names, but I wanted to show that the cowboy’s default name is longer than what is normally allowed.

Which is really frustrating in this case because The Nineties Kid was a pretty good name. Instead, we just have to pretend that’s what everyone is calling him.


: My trusty friend here’s gonna put the final period on your little ol’ life.

:radio:THE WILDS

Oh look, Mad Dog has a one-square sprite in the same style as Ninety. Wonder what that could mean.

The Nineties Kid has quite a few starting techniques, although you can probably guess what they all have in common. Single Shot is instant, and has infinite range.

Double Shot does more damage, but has shorter range. There are very few times where you will use Single Shot instead of Double Shot.

Hollow-Point Shot tries to lower the enemy’s level, but it has a charge time.

Piercing Shot also has a charge time, but it can hit all enemies in a line.

Finally, Ninety has a counter move. I think it activates on any gun attack, but I might be wrong.

I could only capture one of Mad Dog’s moves, but something tells me we’ll run into him again at some point. Lightning Shot shoots a random amount of bullets, which affects its damage output.

This fight is impossible to lose. Ninety counters all of Mad Dog’s moves, Mad Dog dies after two counters, and he cannot kill Ninety in two turns.

(Music Stops)

And so, our hero left his enemy to slowly die of exposure in the desert.

Or maybe not. The next town wasn’t that far away, I guess.

“Too quiet…” would have been too cliché, even for this game I suppose.

Ninety’s equipment is looking a little rough. His stat spread is interesting; his highest stat is speed. I guess it’s because he’s a quick-draw gunslinger, but I’m imagining him sprinting faster than his own horse.

Anyways, let’s do what a proper cowboy would do, and immediately wander into the saloon.


…It would appear we are not welcome.

: You want, yes?

: Wait, that’s not right.

Bizarrely enough, these are the friendlier bar patrons.

And this guy just trembles whenever we talk to him.

Oh well, let’s see if we can at least get a drink.

: W-what’ll it be? There’s no need t’pay, o’course…

Ninety hasn’t spoken or moved, but he’s still clearly winning this fight.

…I seem to remember that Stetsons were starting to replace trilbies and fedoras, did that ever pan out?

Unfortunately, Annie does not join our party, despite being the only townsperson to show any backbone so far.

Wow, those references are almost as blatant as what I changed the thread’s title to. HISTORICAL EDIT: A Magnificent Fistful of Dynamite!

Oh. We’re doing this then, are we?

At least Annie is having none of it.

I’ll at least explain this one: “Getting the Bulge” means “Gaining the Upper Hand.”

And now he’s beating up children! This guy’s a real winner, ain’t he?

:radio:WANDERER (Whistle)
This track only plays for one loop, but it’s great.

: Here, lemme buy you a drink.

You know, Ninety could probably use a cool glass of milk.

Screw it, Ninety is too thirsty to deal with this dumb insult.

Unfortunately, this just starts an infinite loop of milk.

…If we try to remain silent, we start another infinite loop. Of course, there’s no way this guy wasn’t get shot.

:radio:THE WILDS

As you may have guessed, Pike is a complete joke.

As in, “goes down from a single attack” level of complete joke.

(No Music)

: So you ain’t with the Crazy Bunch…

: Wow!

: … Billy …

: But we can’t just keep on like this forever!

: Annie…

: But Sheriff! This here traveler…

For those keeping score, this is the fifth character to barge into this scene. At least we know he survived.

…Wait, you forgot about that? I thought that’s why you were scared of him! Are you just terrified of everyone now that you’re town is being threatened?

: There’s a mighty big reward on this here feller’s head… An’ I, Mad Dog, am fixin’ to collect it!

: You’re lying!

Trying to stay silent isn’t an option. Ninety has to tell Billy the truth.

He doesn’t take it well.

: Heh…

God, I bet Mad Dog is sooooo proud of that line. He’s probably gonna be bringing it up every chance he gets.

: You scared Gold off… I’m gonna run you through the mill!!

Because that went so well last time.

: You sad that this’ll be the last time we tangle? Ah well, I feel the same… But them’s the breaks, Kid!

: You know how this works, right? We stand back to back, then we each take five steps, whip around, and… see who’s left standing…

: These two…
: They noticed 'em!

: If they worked together, not even the Crazy Bunch could stand up to them…

: Well now…

: Okay Kid! The duel’s off for now.

Most of the slang in this chapter is ridiculous, but “Bone Orchard” is a great name for a cemetery.

Our heroes decide to regroup in the saloon.


Let’s ask around. Not all of these characters are useful.

: I know you can beat ‘em!
: We be traveling entertainers!
: We beeeen involved♪ In something we did not not foresee♪
: Let us run away♪ This is Danger Town♪…
: We really ain’t much fer gunslingers…
: If there’s anything I can do…
: We’ll help out! Just tell us what you need us to do!

Some detail this chapter’s mechanics and backstory.

: You know, Success Town used t’be real lively durin’ the Gold Rush times… I’m sure the Crazy Bunch is fixin’ t’get our hard-won riches!
: If you do manage to rustle ‘em up and run ‘em out, we’ll give you this town’s money as thanks.
: The Crazy Bunch’s big bug is the sole survivor of the lost Seventh Cavalry Division… Fellow by the name of O. Dio. They’re a lawless bunch of varmints. Dio’s probably got wind of today’s fuss. He’ll be right along, I’ve no doubt…
: I know you’re strong an’ all, but there’s two o’ you an’ fifteen o’ them…

After we’re done talking, Mad Dog has an epiphany!

: How about we set traps t’thin ‘em out a bit? Certainly couldn’t hurt… But ya know…

(Music Stops)

To the surprise of no one, Annie is the first to volunteer.

: Me too!
: I-I’ll give it a go.

: We can’t let them control our lives!
: But…
: Yeah!
: No more rollin’ over dead! You in, Gibson?

: And so…
: After all…
: We shall…


Nice! Normally it takes most of the story to get the townsfolk to help!

: My pa… He ain’t fit to wear it!

: Sometimes, you just can’t win without toeing the line. Nineties Kid…

: You hold onto that badge for me… ‘Til this is all over with. ‘Til I can be a real Sheriff again!

: It’s decided, then.

And with that fourth-wall breaking comment, I’ll end the update. Next time, we’ll prepare for a fight against the Crazy Bunch!

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Oh, I already missed the Ninja chapter. I’ll try to find time to post my thoughts about it. I really like your comparison to the old Sierra adventure games though.

One difference in this translation patch, compared to the old one that I absolutely don’t understand is why they changed Ninety’s default name. In the old one, he’s the Sunset Kid, as opposed to the Sundown Kid, which is obviously an overly literal translation.

Here’s a little piece of trivia for you: This is the only chapter in the game where characters stand unaligned to the grid. You can see it when Ninety and Mad Dog turn their backs on each other for their “duel” before their first steps.

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I kind of prefer Sundown Kid, if only because it sounds more like Sundance Kid, and trying to be subtle about references seems out of character for this game.

Also, thanks for providing all of this trivia! It’s really cool to hear about all the little differences between the two versions of the English patches.

Welcome back!

Ninety Unchained

When we last left our heroes, they were ready to start building their defense against the Crazy Bunch!

This chapter doesn’t have a Y button gimmick, but that doesn’t mean it’s conventional. This part of the chapter is a scavenger hunt. We need to find enough traps to protect the town.

And it all starts here! The slingshot is our first trap.

: I may not be able to fire a gun, but I can fire a slingshot!

The rest of the townfolk have a few things to tell us.

: The town may be small, but the sun’ll be up before you know it. You probably won’t have the time to look everywhere.
: They’ll be here at sunrise, as usual. The bell will sound exactly eight times before dawn. We have to find the materials for traps and set ‘em up before then.
: If you spend too much time looking for materials, we’ll run out of time to set ‘em up.

These three explain the other part of this chapter’s gimmick: time. We have eight fictional hours to find and deploy all of these traps. Your best option is to find all of the traps before setting any of them; that way, you’re not making trips between all of the buildings in town.

: The Crazy Bunch ain’t stupid. The same trap won’t trick ‘em twice.
: I guess it’d be better to set a bunch of different types of traps, si?

These guys are a little important. Some of the traps have more than one copy, so it’s nice of the game to tell you that you can only use one of each.

: I run an inn across the way from here.
: Wonder if we’ve got anything you can use?
: My brewery’s on the western end o‘ town.

If we weren’t going to check every building, this would be more useful. They do point you in the direction of where the actual traps are, though.

: I am a trap-setting person♪
: I do nothing♪ Nothing at all♪
: You are of the searching types♪

And the traveling band doesn’t know anything about this situation, which makes sense, I guess.

All right, time to start grabbing everything that isn’t nailed down. All of our healing items for this chapter are things that are not good for you, oddly enough.

The door on the left leads here. The chest just has more bourbon, but there’s something about this cupboard…

Oddly enough, this secret room contains a trap that has copies, so you wouldn’t even need to find it.

: Takes a bit o’ time, though. Should we make one?

We’ll need one of these to use as a trap, but it doubles as an attack item. I usually make as many as I can find, but it’s not strictly necessary.

The room to the right of the stairway is a storeroom. It only contains oil and more healing items.

Once we get upstairs, we can find the office on the far right.

: It’s this month’s profits. P-please!

Interacting with the money does nothing but waste time. I’m not sure how time passes exactly, but I know it passes during this scene.

In the middle room, there looks to be a bedroom.

Whoops, it’s Annie’s room.

: Urgh… Too bad, Kid…
For some reason, this is an event flag.

You need to learn how to poke around a wardrobe in Annie’s room before you can poke around the Barman’s, I guess.

: That’s…a bit of a hobby of mine. It’s a pin-up of a dancer named Jennifer. I guess I can hand it over, if you really think it’ll help…

In fact, this will be helpful! The poster is another one of our traps.

Finally, the leftmost room on this floor only contains a cigar, which is a healing item. Yes.

Unfortunately, I spent too much time messing with my screen capturing software. We’ve already spent an eighth of our allotted time in one building!

:radio:Under The Fake

We need to get a move on!

First up is this little shed. It’s got someone’s Tequila’s stash, but no traps.

Next is this cute little house. I wonder who owns it?

Whoever it is, I don’t like them. This room contains one potful of oil.

Rest of the house: Completely barren. I have done nothing but waste my precious time!

This must be the barman’s brewery.

And this is why the barman pointed us in this direction: we’ve found two traps here! The carrot is easy enough to find, but the coal tar is hiding in plain sight: no other barrel like that can be interacted with.

This looks like some kind of stable.

Surprisingly enough, this is also a trap. Even after seeing it in action, I’m not sure what it actually does.

This must be Wayne and his wife’s Inn.

Oh geeze, we’re a fourth of the way through our time!

And all of these rooms are useless!

The developers were really sneaky for this trap. Unlike the carrot, the cocktails, and the dung, the rope is unique. If you don’t check under the stairs, you’ll miss out on it!

This looks like some sort of restaurant, but I’m not sure.

There’s another trap “hiding” here, but it’s more obvious than the Coal Tar.

The Frying Pan is an accessory that gives us a Vt boost as well as increasing our evasion rate around firearms, but we’ll be using it as a trap.

Yet another barn in this town where no one has a horse…

The Shovel, another one of our traps, is hiding under this wagon.

This house has an empty bottle in it, and nothing else. It is the saddest house.

Now that we’re at the Sherriff’s house, we get at the heavy-duty equipment!

The Dynamite here is our strongest trap.

And we can get an upgrade for Ninety’s weapon!

As we move unrelentingly forward, so too does time…

While the Peacemaker is intrinsically linked to all Westerns from now to the end of time, I always link the Buntline to Colonel Mortimer from For a Few Dollars More. In real life, it’s associated with Wyatt Earp, but that’s due to a most-likely fictional biography.

There’s nothing on this balcony. It exists only to waste time.

Here’s the last stop on our tour. For some reason, I think this is a post office. No idea why I think that, though.

First, we get one more Molotov Cocktail.

Second, I realize that every other room in this building is empty.

Despite being anxious about running out of time, I manage to waste even more back at the saloon. I’m not even sure what I was trying to do.

At any rate, we can start setting our traps. Here’s where this chapter can differ from person to person: you can set as many or as few traps as you’d like. The only one that really makes sense in my mind is saving the frying pan, but you can just keep all of your traps if you want.

As for the physical act of setting traps, we need to rely on the townsfolk for that. There’s a simple logic puzzle involved, but I’ll just list everyone in order from fastest to slowest. I’ll also put their dialogue for setting traps.

: Should I set one up too? / I’ll be back!
: I ain’t just gonna roll over dead! Can I help? / Okay, I’ll be back!
: Should I set one up? / I can’t stand this!
: I work faster than Wayne. / Gotcha!
: I work harder than my husband! / Okay!
: I’m more useful than Clint. / Right!
: I may not be very strong, but I’m certainly better than Gibson. / Sure!
: Of we three♪ I am more useful than Pancho♪ / I’ve set it up♪ The sweet trap of love♪
: Of we three♪ I am more useful than Delos♪ / I am going♪ Without worrying of the dangers♪
: Can I do something too? / I’m going now…
: Let me help you with something too! / Okay!
: Of we three♪ Sometimes I am helpful♪ / I do not like it♪ But I cannot help it♪ That is the life, you see♪

Out of the traps we have, two of the are unique to certain townsfolk. Only Billy can use the slingshot, and only Annie can use the Frying Pan. I have Delos listed last, but he’s not actually the slowest. His speed is randomized. Sometimes he’s the slowest, but other times he finishes immediately.

That being said, it doesn’t really matter how quickly everyone works. Even the slowest person can set a trap in four hours.

Since Delos is a wildcard and Billy needs to use the slingshot, Delos and Gibson get off easy. This also reminds me, the bar’s song has different mixes based on which members of the band are present. Since it’s just Delos, the music is just maraca shaking.

The people setting traps don’t just disappear into the ether, you can actually see them setting traps throughout the town.

Now that we have a few seconds to breathe, let’s look at our party’s stats. The Peacekeeper Badge helps Ninety avoid gunfire, and Mad Dog is, statwise, just a worse version of Ninety.

People will file back as they finish their tasks.

It’s a little tedious to just wait though…

Thankfully, the barman is back before long.

He’s our way of time-skipping. Every drink we order will pass time until someone finishes setting up a trap, or the clock rings.

Let’s just skip ahead to the climactic battle, shall we?

(No Music)

: After walking three days and three nights, we’ve finally found a town, Watt!

(A shot rings out!)

There is no mercy for the Watanabe clan.

Even with every trap in place, Dio makes his way through.

: Or else… I’ll turn the bar into a beehive!!

: Yeah…


: In the unlikely event that, well… If we’re killed, you’re the only one who can protect the townsfolk.

I’m not going to be showing off most of the alternate dialogue in this chapter. It looks like the writers didn’t want Ninety to speak without the player’s input, so they make you “chose” dialogue like this. Most of the options are just infinite loops.

Mad Dog only comforts Billy if you stay silent. Otherwise, the two of them just leave.

Normally, O. Dio only has around two lines before his fight begins. Since we used every trap, we get a more elaborate scene.

(Music Stops)

…Are we? I thought Pike just left. Did we kill Pike?

Also, why are we alone?

: Haha! Seems your friend’s run off! How sweet!

: I’ll help!

: Heh! What can the spineless Sheriff do?
: No need to worry, Kid. I won’t get in the way…

: Doesn’t matter how many rats you rustle up…!


Let’s talk about Dio. While Odie is still the most difficult fight, Dio is the most dangerous Chapter Boss.

And it is entirely because of this attack. When fighting Dio, stay away from his diagonals. This attack will always kill you.

This attack seems familiar! Despite sharing a name with Ryoma’s technique, this attack doesn’t have the same effects. It has a chance of lowering levels rather than a chance of paralysis.

Surpisingly, Molotov Cocktail is one of Dio’s weaker attacks. It does more damage than Warning Shot, but it doesn’t have cause any debuffs. Once you get in close, you’re a lot safer.

While I’m at it, we never got a good look at Mad Dog’s techniques! First up is Sidewinder. It only hits on diagonals, and I’m not sure if it’s supposed to cause status effects. The purple color effect usually means some sort of debuff, but it never activated when I used it.

Here’s the Texas Jitterbug; it instantly hits all enemies in an area around Mad, including those rocks that I thought were part of the background.

And here’s another look at Lightning Shot. Mad also has Single Shot, but there’s no need to show that off again, I think.

Finally, here’s the effect of making most of the healing items in this chapter booze. We can’t heal without getting drunk, which seals all of our techniques except for Single Shot in addition to making movement weird.

Generally speaking, this boss isn’t hard once you know about his Gatling Gun. You can just stand next to him and plink away. It’s a good thing Ninety was good with traps!

Meanwhile, in an alternate universe where Ninety isn’t very good with traps!

Things look considerably rougher.

: So, you’re the ones who wasted Pike? What d’you think you can do…


This fight is significantly harder! Your best bet is to bust out the attack items.

Here’s the Molotov Cocktail in actions. It’s useful, but it’s not the most useful item…

That would be the Dynamite! This is our best option for softening up this absurd mob.

This group is also our best chance at seeing the real power of Piercing Shot and Texas Jitterbug.

There’s not a whole lot of change to the endgame, though. Once you clear out the Crazy Bunch, it’s just a matter of closing the distance.

##And now, back to your regular universe!

I’m just as confused as you are, Mad Dog.

I find that hard to believe, Sheriff!

: When the 7th was annihilated by the allied Sioux and Cheyenne forces, they only spared a single horse…

Amazingly, this is actually true. The only survivor of Custer’s Last Stand was Comanche.

There he goes…

: That could very well be…

There’s something really funny to me about an incredibly angry horse, but I can’t put my finger on exactly why…

: I-I mean, Stranger…

So much for being nice to kids, eh Mad Dog?

: This is between him and me…Right Kid?

:radio:THE WILDS

Mad Dog might be insistent on this fight, but what about Nintey?

This is the only fight in this chapter you can run away from. Looks like Ninety is willing to let Mad Dog go…

Luckily for Mad, The Nineties Kid isn’t a vengeful monster.

##Meanwhile, in an alternate universe where The Nineties Kid is a heartless monster!

##And now, back to your regular universe!


It’s time for Ninety to head out.

: How can we ever thank you?
: Mister! … Thank you! Also… I have a request.

: It don’t mean anything… I feel like… I’ve redeemed meself, badge or no!

Couldn’t agree more, Sheriff.

: There’s… There’s something we need to apologize to you about. Truth is… We don’t have any gold left…

I don’t think Ninety ever cared about that money.

(Music Stops)

This song doesn’t start up until Ninety signals that band to start.

: Now I remember! Known throughout the West for his arm, fast as lightning… Someone was always out to challenge him to a duel. Eventually, it got so bad that his town was attacked by an entire band of outlaws… He couldn’t do anything, so he put a price on his own head, and wandered the desert, in search of a place to die…

And with a tragic backstory and one final reference, the credits start rolling.


The credits seem to focus on Billy.

The credits may be rolling, but the game isn’t over yet!

I can never pin down how evil Mad Dog is supposed to be. This scene makes him look like a straight up villain!

:radio:THE WILDS

This fight isn’t to the death, so you can just fire away.

And this is how our chapter closes: with a goofy chase scene.

Five down, two to go!

Another short but sweet chapter is over, so it’s time for our final chapter select!


  • Mecha!
  • SciFi!

0 voters

I’m not sure how long I’ll leave the poll up. As always, feel free to recommend names for our spherical robot and our psychic biker. Names have a six character limit.

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