Many SPOILERS are contained throughout these posts. You have been warned!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Goemon's Great Adventure (N64) playthrough log part 1/3

Goemon's Great Adventure screenshot Goemon's Great Adventure screenshot

This is reminding me a lot of SNES Goemon 2, except it starts off a LOT harder. I'm getting game overs even in world 1. The movement is entirely 2D sidescrolling, but sometimes the 2D path twists and turns through the environment in 3D, which adds some depth to the stages.. I think the main thing that's making this harder than I'm used to is that the screen is way zoomed in, so I have to constantly take my time inching forward when I don't know what's coming up, otherwise I get ambushed by enemies and die right away. Also there seems to be some lag with your jumps and it's really easy to miss a jump and die.. It takes some getting used to this unforgiving difficulty, but it's very fun and each level is satisfying to beat.

The intro cutscene has voice acting, but the rest of the cutscenes don't since I guess the N64 can't handle too many voice clips... Wise Man has now created a ghost-reviving device, intending to use it to revive various famous women. Ebisumaru wants to use it to see his ancestor, James Dean.. Then suddenly they get attacked by Bismaru, Ebisumaru's descendant from the future.. He steals the machine and uses it to control Impact and attack Edo Castle, and also kidnaps Omitsu again because why not.

You get passes for beating each stage for the first time. The stages have some branching paths, which sometimes just lead to harder or easier alternate routes, or dead-ends with health/money/powerups, or alternate exists or hidden passes. Also the towns have some sidequests involving going back to previous stages that you beat and doing something like collecting a special item, or killing certain enemies or racing, etc.. what makes these sidequests interesting is they usually force you to explore the stage and go through the alternate paths that you normally not have found otherwise. Also the stages have a day/night cycle and harder enemies come out at night, that's really cool.

The first town has Sasuke join the team.. You can only switch characters at these teahouses, and some stages have warp platforms leading to a teahouse.. Goemon gets the chain pipe here from some guy dressed as a woman and loitering in Goemon's house for some reason.. The chain pipe kind of makes Goemon's ryo throw ability obsolete. Also Goemon has a double jump in this. Ebisumaru is the worst jumper, but he does have a butt slam attack that can let him high jump. Sasuke's fully powered up kunai can be thrown as a projectile, but I kind of prefer the range of Goemon's attacks more..

After getting 5 passes from the first world, the path to Edo Castle opens up. This whole place is under seige. Kurobei the cat ninja shows up and tells us about the machine that's controlling Impact and that we have to get to the top of the castle to destroy it.

These castle stages are really long, but they at least have checkpoints and opportunities to restore your health. I also found a gold fortune doll here which maximized my armor/health/weapon and from there I was able to make it to the end no problem. The boss at the end is similar to the bosses of the first N64 game. You just run circles around him and hit stuff back at him. After killing the boss which was controlling Impact, they get to where Omitsu is. Then the Wise Man shows up, bringing a 2nd robot he just built, a female version of Impact. Then you start a battle against Bismaru's giant robot, Bismaru Elegant... Impact is in the background in this battle, and he seems to be fighting the Bismaru robot along with you. I didn't know at this point about the ability to throw a baton to the other Impact to switch between them. Didn't even need it.

Then Bismaru runs away to Ryugu Island, which seems to be a giant turtle... The stages here have underwater sections that only Yae and Sasuke can go through, and some of the passes here are kind of hard to find. The 2nd town has Yae joining your team. She has the mermaid ability and bazooka, and she also gives Sasuke an upgrade that lets him swim underwater. Ebisumaru's rival, Obisumaru (not to be confused with Bismaru), is sneaking around in one of the houses, and you can challenge him to a race on Frog Mountain which requires you to know the shortcuts and also execute it really well and not mess up at all.

With 10 passes (although you can have up to 14 by now), the guards let us through to Ryugu Castle. This is the most complex and difficult stage yet. There are multiple underwater sections with a lot of enemies that ambush you.. I found a gold fortune doll in one of the underwater sections which made it a lot easier.. but still it took a few game overs before I was able to memorize the stage well enough to get through it with most of my health/lives remaining. The section right before the boss has you being chased by a spikey boulder, and you have to keep turning around and shooting it before it gets too close to you. Then the boss which is a fish robot who is actually really easy. It just has a few attacks you can easily avoid while cutting the ropes to damage it, and sometimes it electrocutes the water.

Then the 2nd Impact battle, however, caused me a lot of trouble. It's another fish robot.. it keeps disappearing into the background and charging towards you from some random location. I realized you were supposed to watch the bubbles in the background to figure out where he is, but it was still really hard and I got my ass handed to me several times. Also I had to look up a guide to figure out that you had to use the baton pass to the other Impact to avoid his unavoidable attack. Once I figured that out it I was able to beat him.

That's about as far as I got so far. I'm really enjoying this.. It seems like the developers intended GGA to be a true "return to form" for the series, bringing back a lot of things from older games that the more recent games did away with.. like fortune dolls being temporary attack upgrades, pass hunting required to get through the checkpoints, etc.. and practically all of the enemy and character designs in this are things that I recognize from the previous Goemon games.

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