Friday, February 3, 2023

Live-a-Live Remastered, Pt 2 - Imperial China


This game got a "best RPG" nomination at The Game Awards and it was well-deserved. Was surprising to see it pop up there and I'm glad it achieved some recognition.

Here's the marketplace. Not only are the visuals three-dimensional compared to the SFC version, I also really like what they've done with the light / shadow effects. Really impressive stuff that makes me want to see more SNES era classic RPGs get redone.

Shifu's goal is to find and train a disciple. Who will I go with this time? Last time it was Yun, the spry youth.

Banditos are afoot here in the woods. The place is THIS close to being paradise, too.

Gorgeous environments here, just watch out for the tigers.

Here's one of the 3 potential disciples, the girl. She's a real sass-machine.

Shifu starts with an arsenal of special attacks, and by the end of the chapter he'll have taught most of them to his disciple of choice.

Do it! Do it!

Her name is Lei and she's the one I'm choosing this time.

So much SASS.

Next up: The marketplace. Even though I've already found the disciple I want, I still have to recruit the others.

Here's Yun, the jobber goon for a bunch of gangsters.

If we don't accept him, the gangsters will probably kill him. I go ahead and say no lol

He then hounds our heroes for a while until you say yes.

Third disciple is this large rotund man, Hong, who eats constantly.

That's all 3, off we go to do Kung-Fu Training!

For their first lesson, they must break a boulder with their fists!

...then have broken hands for the rest of their training?

Lei immediately insults the dojo. I...don't see any problem with it. Sorry it isn't ::raises pinky:: fancy enough for you.

What follows are training battles where your foes gain stats and learn abilities based on how you attack them, and what abilities you use. I focus the training sessions entirely on Lei so she can be formidable in the final chapter.

I like how the other two basically did nothing and they're exhausted. I think Hong might be dead.

Shifu is pleased, and nods approvingly like Mr. Miyagi.

Hong makes an innocuous statement, only to realize that...

...Lei is no lady, she's a little sassy rapscallion.

She then steals Hong's lunch, drops trou, and whizzes on Yun.

It's clear Shifu has a lot of work to do to get Lei to be a better person.

Would it kill Shifu to buy a bed or something?

Yun is the most dedicated, and keeps practicing even while the others sleep.

I'm still not picking you, Yun.

Shifu beats down Lei! As she gains levels, so too does she gain humility.

Eventually Lei knows everything Shifu knows. Which means it's time for him to go and be old in peace.

But wait! It seems the banditos have been pillaging the marketplace and nobody can stop them. Nobody except the Kung-Fu school!

Our heroes march down to the marketplace to give the bad guys the what-for.

The aptly-named Ou Di Wan Lee is the leader of the banditos, and the toughest martial artist in the land. He won't take kindly to Shifu's interference.

...and that's what happens, as the bad guys wreck the dojo.

This whole scenario is absolutely the story of Only The Strong, one of my favorite movies, which came out a couple years before the original game did. A martial arts dude falls into training a group of various troubled youth, then they run afoul of a group of local banditos who retaliate way too harshly, prompting the martial arts dude and his surviving students to go and face them down.

Unfortunately, the wreckage isn't even the worst of it.

They...they killed Hong and Yun. Those sons of bitches!

Basically, whichever character you chose as your primary disciple is the only one strong enough to survive the attack.

Shifu buries his students, and mentally notes that he'll be the third stone before too long. Man, this guy is just obsessed with his own death.

Time to smash the enemy Kung-Fu fortress! The martial artists here are all giant grown men, so in reality Shifu and his student would probably get clobbered.

Karate Kid is another movie this scenario borrows from a bit.

After beating up all the guards, we arrive at the High Table of evil Kung-Fu'ers. Each of these is their own miniboss fight and some are tough.

It takes... a while to go through all of 'em.

The multi-boss fights are the toughest, like these big bastards.

There's also the Lady Squad.

Shifu ends up locked in combat with a couple of assassins, leaving Lei to fight the final boss one-on-one.

This makes for what COULD be a very tough fight, depending on how much you trained.

I trained a lot, so I unleash hell!

Lei then kicks the bad guy all the way off the table...

...and into a nearby gong!

Shifu offers more words of wisdom, then...

...keels over.

As he predicted, he's now buried with his students. The town is saved and the bandits are defeated, but at what cost?

Either way, Lei is ready. Definitely considering her for a main character in the final chapter, but we'll see.

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