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

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Monster World IV playthrough log

Monster World IV box cover artMonster World IV box cover artMonster World IV box cover art

This game is quite a bit different from the previous one... Monster World 3 was linear, but this game is even more linear. There are very few junctions that you have to decide between, and most of them are just small side paths that lead to a dead end with a chest. there's only one central hub town, and doors that lead directly to the 4 main "levels" of the game. There's no interconnected overworld like the previous games.

The RPG mechanics are also very simplified...there's still weapons, armor, and shields you can buy in town, and little blue gemstones that are scattered around the levels and town that increase your hearts by 1 for every 10 you collect... but that's it. There's no magic abilities, and it doesn't seem like there are any metroid style things where you need to backtrack when you have some new ability...

I kinda like it though. The levels are much longer and more difficult in exchange for being more linear. The blue "pepe" thing that follows you around can be used to glide, double jump, or activate switches or do other stuff to help you get around obstacles, and often you NEED to make use of these abilities to progress.

All the pepeloos in town are yellow... and when I hatched a special blue one, the villagers commented and said this one is very rare... one of them even said this blue pepe is a bad omen...

The library in the palace has some interesting references to the heroes of previous games in the series...


I missed one chest in the volcano level, and couldn't go back for it without restarting the whole level from the beginning. I decided I'll go back for it after I beat this level.. it turned out that wasn't even the half-way point... the level in total took me like nearly an hour to get through... it's incredibly long. The enemies and obstacles start to get more and more difficult and you really need to master using pepe's abilities here...

The two bosses I had to fight in this level were very easy... and then I found out the door to the volcano area gets locked forever after you complete the level... So I can't go back for that chest I missed.. oh well.. as long as it didn't have life gems (according to the guide I think it's an elixer)

12/09/2016

I got much more into this game now after playing through 1.5 more levels.

The 1st level, the volcano, was the home of the earth spirit. the 2nd level, a water sanctuary, is the home of the moon spirit. it seems like every level has several "sections" and at least 2 bosses. So the game kinda tricks you into thinking there will only be 4 levels when really it's more like 10-12 ish levels.

Before you can get to the 2nd level you have to explore the town a bit more. The villagers all have different things to say now, and a new building is opened up where you can get the moon medallion. also, before the 2nd level you can go to the tree in the palace garden and get a "pepe fruit" to make your blue pepelogoo grow in size. I'm not really sure what advantage this gives you... he seems to have the exact same abilities as before.

The first part of the 2nd level is above the ocean, with easy jumping electric blob enemies, and jumping fish over bridges that shoot lightning at you. I made the right decision in swapping my fire shield for a thunder shield. As long as you have the right shield, it's very easy to block enemy projectiles, and other than that the enemies are very easy to defeat in close-combat.

The 2nd part of the moon level is the stream sanctuary... This place is a maze of pipes and doors... actually it's not really much of a maze at all. Every junction has a right way to go and the wrong way just leads to dead-end with a chest. Again, this game is very linear compared to the previous monster world games.

After the "pipe maze" part, there's an easy miniboss and then a section involving water currents. Asha can't swim, so she just sinks in water and falls into either a water current or an electric trap that makes you restart from the beginning of the room. To get out of the water, you have to call your blue pepelogoo and he'll lift you out and let you double jump out to land. this section also has electric gates that you can only get passed after you use your pepe thing to blow out a certain torch. This dungeon design is kind of like a linear zelda dungeon, where it's more about figuring out the puzzle than figuring out where to go. Also there are certain large fires in the way that you can only put out by finding a bucket, and then finding a flow of water and using that to fill up the bucket and then using that on the fire. The 2nd boss here is also very easy.

Again, there's another pepe fruit in the palace garden that makes my pepelogoo grow even bigger. But I still don't understand the purpose. Now it's actually worse because I can't carry it on my head while walking around.

Also, all the villagers are angry and irritated now. most of the palace guards aren't even doing their job anymore, and there's just a lot of yellow pepelogoos floating around on their own without their masters... The queen says she doesn't care about Asha's quest anymore... Something weird is going on, I'm kinda curious to see where the story goes from here. I quickly found the sun medallion and then headed to the 3rd level, the desert, home of the sun spirit. I bought some better armor and a stronger sword. the strongest armor is also available now already, but requires a lot of grinding to get it.

This desert is all frozen over... I totally wasn't expecting that (even though there is a world map in the palace where you can clearly see a snow world, I didn't put 2+2 together).

The first section is just a very easy straight path, with some jumping ice enemies and these goofy looking bird enemies or something, I can't really tell what they are... Eventually you come to a pyramid that is all frozen over and turned to ice... There are 3 doors here, and one of the doors has a face ontop of it and it tells you to go through the other 2 doors first and complete these 2 dungeons as a test before it'll let you go through the main door.

These pyramid dungeons actually have a bit of non-linearity to them. you can go either left or right. Both paths look similar and lead to similar doors where it asks you for a button combo password, and you have to find the message that tells you the password somewhere else in the level... There are several floors just like this with some variations and some vertical sections... Eventually I found a dungeon map, making it easier to find out where I'm going and where I've been (no compass though). The signs that give you the button combo password keep getting more and more cryptic, and you have to figure out some parts of it with brute force.

This dungeon is actually fairly lengthy. you have to go around and find 5 statues, and then there's some hints as to where to put each statue to get to the boss. The enemies here are mostly just ice-shooting snakes, and sword wielding enemies... and later there's a couple shield+sword wielding enemies that are pretty tough to take out. it's easier just to skip them really... The boss is still very easy though.

And that was just the first of the 3 pyramid doors... I had to stop at the 2nd one for now because I looked at the map and this one looks even bigger than the first one.

12/10/2016

The 2nd pyramid dungeon is all about hidden doors. You need to throw your blue pepelogoo around to get him to find all the hidden doors that contain areas with a statue... but after this I seriously don't get what the hint is for arranging the statues, I just had to look it up on gamefaqs to get passed this part... Then there was another easy boss, and then back to the door with a face on it.

I had to answer a quiz from this pyramid face to get into the 3rd pyramid dungeon... This place is very straightforward compared to the other 2 pyramid dungeons. It's just a linear path on icey floors, with some doors that lead to an area with a statue... Some of the enemies here are very tricky especially with ice physics. finally got to the final boss of this level, defeated him easily and rescued the sun spirit.

Back at the town, everyone is still irritated. Some people are saying that the queen has been cursed and that's why she is acting weird and not doing her duties... When I went into the building on the far east side, the old woman there, who has been warning me about the pepelogoo creatures all along, started freaking out at a yellow pepelogoo that showed up in her house... And then the yellow pepelogoos all revealed their evil true forms.. none of the other townspeople seem to notice anything is wrong, while these evil looking creatures float around everywhere..

I can't afford the +15 legendary armor yet... when I went back into the palace, the palace guards are now enemies that attack me. Back at the fountain, there's now a new character there who asks Asha if she is the legendary hero, and then says he'll give her the wind medallion if she goes and saves the queen.

The queen is also an enemy, and she uses her evil pepelogoo to float in the air and shoot projectiles from above, only sometimes coming down to let me get a hit... this is nuts. It's the first time a boss battle in this game has actually been difficult. in fact, it doesn't feel like it should be possible to beat this.. I think it's one of those things where the battle just ends once you get down to your last bit of health. The queen then shoots a missile at me and my blue pepelogoo (the only one that isn't evil) takes the hit. Then I'm back outside in front of the fountain. the blue pepelogoo seems to be back in egg form now. That guy gives me the wind medallion, and now I have to do the 4th level without the pepelogoo's help.

The 4th, final door leads to a cloud land.. there are some cloud enemies that are a bit tough but reward a lot of money... then there's a flying carpet section which is just an autoscroll section and the carpet is a platform that moves in a set sequence. it's easy to fall off here and have to restart.. but eventually I made it to the sky palace. This place is fairly linear, but it has some tough platforming setups with a lot of obstacles that kill you in one hit (dying just means restarting from the beginning of the room with 1 less heart though).

About half-way through sky palace, I find some small people that I can't talk to because their voices are too low... then I get to a magic door that shrinks me as I go through it. I wasn't expecting this at all...

The mid-boss is a giant blob monster that summons smaller blob monsters. You can't damage it at first and can only make it move to the right. eventually you get to the door that makes you grow back to regular size, and then you can take the boss out easily.

The rest of the Sky Palace has some pretty tricky parts as well, including some really tough conveyer belt platforming and wind... then I get to the boss of this place, and defeat it easily, although I did have to use the elixer by this point. The wind spirit, the last of the 4 spirits, are now restored... but the town is still overrun by mind controlling monsters.

I found out that Legendary Armor I passed up on earlier, that was my last chance to get it, so now I'm stuck with my 10-heart armor. I went to fight the queen again... and again it was a battle that you can't win, and when you get down to one health a cutscene happens, where Asha tries to summon her blue pepelogoo, and then it suddenly shows up, and is huge now. It starts singing a melody that forces the monsters to retreat back to their underground dimension. The queen and everyone else in town turned back to normal, back to they were before they started becoming obsessed with pepelogoos. That shopkeeper's husband is now friendly again and he has the strongest sword available.

With the strongest equipment (aside from the legendary armor), I jumped into the hole the monsters made, and started the last level of the game. This place is just a completely linear path that contains every enemy and almost every boss you've encountered up until now. It feels awesome being able to take them all out easily now with the strongest weapon, and the all-elements magic shield I have comes in handy too.

The last boss is pretty easy. a giant eyeball monster.. its weak spots are completely unprotected, like most of the bosses in this game, and you can mostly just wail on him while avoiding at least some of his attacks to get through the fight no problem. It also has an unavoidable attack that turns you to stone, and you stay like that until you get hit. At some point, the blue pepelogoo comes in to help and it gets turned into stone, making so that Asha can focus on killing the boss without being turned to stone herself.

That was alright... The story is certainly more interesting than previous Wonder Boy games, and the linearity allows the game to be more focused on challenging platforming rather than puzzles and mazes... I like this more than the game before this (Wonder Boy in Monster World, thought that was way too easy), but not as much as Wonder Boy in Monster Land or The Dragon's Trap.

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