Tag Archives: The Sword of Hope II

Sir Leopold has waited way too many years for a whomping

Right now, I’m only concentrating on a handful of videogames while I wait for the remainder of 2012 to fill in. Namely, these babies: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked, The Sword of Hope II, Metroid Fusion, and Borderlands. And, strangely, we can add…Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King to the list. Yeah, that one Level-5 RPG from way back in the day, circa 2005. Let me explain.

Well, as readers of Grinding Down already know from yesterday’s post, I’ve been immersing myself in another PlayStation 2 RPG via the Persona 4 Endurance Run over at Giant Bomb. This has been a constant reminder of the numerous great RPG/JRPGs that live on that system, many of which I still need to play some more or even ultimately finish. I won’t name them all just now–lucky you–butĀ DQVIII, a game that I ate up like endless bowls of shrimp-flavored Ramen during my first few months in a new, Internet-less apartment in Clifton, NJ, suddenly called back to me. Like a sailor to a siren, and I went wide-eyed and mumbling, not sure what was to unfold.

Loading up my last save from six or seven years ago was downright disorienting. I mean, yeah, there was some immediate familiarity thanks to the 150+ hours I’ve dumped into Dragon Quest IX, opening back up in a church to that unchanging churchy tunes, with Akira Toriyama’s art style bright and clear and a colorful world as far as the silent hero’s eyes could see. My quiet guy’s name is Taurust_ with a bonus blank space at the end because I remember not knowing then what the confirm button was and accidentally adding an empty space at the end. Oh wells. It’s not like I played the game for that lo…oh wait, my save slot says 82 hours. Dang it.

And throwing caution to the wind, I immediately went to the spot where I guess I last stopped at, and that place involved a boss battle fight with an evil winged dog named Sir Leopold. Hmm…yeah. If there’s one thing I struggle with remembering about Dragon Quest VIII, it’s the story stuff. I mean, I know that I’m a mute, and that the king is Yoda, and the horse is his daughter, and that fat dude has a funny accent, but that’s really it. It might be beneficial to read a wiki or even the back of the box at some point, but whatever–fight turn-based style first, ask questions second. Except no, that didn’t work out. Sir Leopold wiped the floor with my team of four, and we woke anew back at a church with half our money gone.

So I’ve been wandering a bit and re-learning the ins and outs of the world, as well as the menus and other systems at play (casino, monster team, mini medals, item creation, and so on). I completely forgot I could summon a sabertooth tiger to ride. I’ve grinded a little bit, raising all four team members up a single level, so that’s good, but probably not good enough to take on Sir Leopold again just yet. I think I need better armor and weapons first, but to get those…I need gold, and I need a lot of it. Trying to see if I can earn a decent amount with casino BINGO, but that probably is a super slow process.

But I’m okay with dipping back into Dragon Quest VIII, even if it’s only to grind a bit and ultimately get nowhere. That Sir Leopold boss fight seems nearly impossible from where I stand, and it’s not even the final fight of the game. Not sure. I’d love to see how it all ends, considering I definitely wanted to see how it ended back in 2005, but somehow got distracted with shiny things likeĀ Final Fantasy XII and Rogue Galaxy. The music is, no surprise, gorgeous, and the battle system remains simple yet addicting. Unlike IX, you do not get to see what skill you’ll get when leveling up and assigning points, which is frustrating, but definitely keeps you guessing and crossing your fingers for something stellar. Between these two games, I’ve collectively used up over 250 hours of my life. Blimey, gov!

The Sword of Hope II is srprsngly fntstc and addctng

A few days ago, I treated myself to $10.00 of spending e-bucks for the Nintendo 3DS eshop. Y’know, my favorite place to buy digital videogames. I kid, I kid. Actually, it’s gotten a whole lot better since I last perused the shop with a purpose, and I saw a whole bunch of strong contenders, but sadly, most of those titles costed $7.00 or $8.00, and I’m always trying to get the most for the very least. Yes, I shop at The Dollar Tree quite frequently, and yes, I’m proud of it.

Anyways, here’s what I actually ended up getting, leaving my account with just $0.40 left over:

  • 3,2,1…Words Up!
  • Kirby’s Pinball Land
  • The Sword of Hope II

The first two listed above are perfect for quick gaming on the side. 3,2,1…Words Up! is quite similar to a Facebook game I used to play with family members called Wordtwist, wherein you are given a bunch of letters and a time limit, and have to create as many different words from those letters as you can. Less stressful and more fun than Quarrel, that’s for sure. And pinball is pinball, no matter what character or theme or brand name you slap in front of it.

Most surprising of these purchases has been The Sword of Hope II. It’s a game I’ve never heard of before, and the sequel to another game I never heard of. Both were released long, long ago in the early 1990s for the Nintendo Game Boy, and I was only interested in Mario and Tetris back then, so it’s not shocking that I missed these releases. Chances are, you did too, and so it’s a little strange to see the second game in the franchise get a re-release for 3DSWare, but I’m guessing that, of the two, it is the superior adventure.

Now, I can admit that it is not a superior adventure in the grand scheme of adventures, but it is a lot of fun. It’s old-school RPGness in the style of games like Wizardry and Bard’s Tale, with single-screen rooms and text-based actions like “look,” “hit,” and “open.” You control Prince Theo, who is sent out into the wild to recover the Sword of Hope yet again (um, see the previous game, I guess) to stop some evil wizard guy. Yeah, it’s generic story-stuff and not entirely examined any deeper than that. Since claiming the game’s wiki page on Giant Bomb as my own, I’ve scoured the Internet for more details, but there isn’t much out there. So I’m updating the page as I play in hopes of nailing down who did what to whom and why.

Battles are turn-based. You can attack, use magic, or opt for an item. Some characters learn spells, others attack with melee weapons, like rapiers, swords, and knives. I only have three characters in my company so far, and here’s how they break down: Theo is strong with sword, Mute is magical, and Nina is a waste of space. Winning battles earns money and experience, with the occasional special coin, which you can sell for a smooth 150 gold. It’s been pretty clear when I am supposed to be grinding, too. Y’know, RPG stuff.

The most entertaining part of The Sword of Hope II stems from the character limit problem on the Nintendo Game Boy had. It starts pretty innocently enough, with CAVE BHD WTRFALL:

I get that. Not enough room for all the descriptive text. I can still quickly read that as CAVE BEHIND WATERFALL and move on with the game. But then Prince Theo and company arrive here, and I’m stopped dead in my tracks, mouth agape, completely befuddled:

The…what? Fort TNT? IT’S GONNA BLOOOOW!

Oh, oh. All right.

There’s even more brain-bending names that don’t fit throughout the game, including some humorous items and weapons in shop menus. Like the WDN BMRNG. But I won’t spoil ’em all. I highly recommend you check the game out if you have a 3DS; The Sword of Hope II is only $2.99, and it’s a solid price for some straightforward RPGing that is more addicting than first impressions imply.