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Friday, September 21, 2012

Legend of Dragoon - Roadblocks

I have hit my first major roadblock on my journey.  This is one I knew I would reach at some point, and usually appears in the same fashion in almost every game I have played.  I have reached an enemy I am simply unprepared to handle.  Be it through lack of leveling, improper management of resources, or a poorly designed difficulty curve, I almost always run into a monster that I am unable to defeat on my first few tries.  Now, of course, I am not complaining about this fact in the least.  Racking the recesses of my brain for different tactics and techniques I can apply towards solving my problem is one of the things that has always attracted me to RPGs,  I feel like they are games you play with your mind as much as any other skill or dexterity.

What is true however, is that when one reaches one of these roadblocks, they are forced to finally sit back and gauge the personal worth of its removal to them.  This is particularly problematic in games, as games are (for the most part) meant to be fun and are seen as a means of entertainment.  This is something that is easy to convince yourself of when you are constantly moving forward, making progress, and making good time in the process.  Once all of that stops however, you are forced to step back and say, how much fun am I having and is it worth the hassle that getting past this obstacle will cause me?  (something in that sentiment is probably applicable to life as well... but I don't know if I'm smart enough to find it.)

In this particular instance, the answer for me is "tons of fun" and "absolutely, yes."  So there is little need for concern there.  I have been loving Legend of Dragoon thus far and as such had been moving at an even clip.  I am actually surprised I made it as far as I have without running into a stopgap such as this, or even really having lost many battles in general.  The first wall I reached in Legend of Dragoon was earlier on, in disk 2, on the ghost ship.  I was told by a friend that if I were to open the coded chest within two tries I would get an Ultimate Wargod accessory, which allows you to auto-complete your chained attacks.  This was very appealing to me as I am simply not great at quicktime events (which I do recognize as a fault of mine, and not of the game I'm playing itself) and as such there are some combo chains for certain characters that I simply have never seen, so such an item would be a great boon to remedying that situation and helping me to build up my characters.  I spent two nights trying to open that chest, but as it is a random sequence of numbers each try, it seemed more a test of luck than of skill.  Luckily, that was more of a wall that I was able to sidestep by releasing the grip of my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (which did take me two full evenings of gameplay to do...) and simply convincing myself to move on (I opened the chest for one of the lesser items instead.).

Now, however, well into disk 3, I have come upon the battle with the Dragon Blocker Staff... or rather the magical hunk of whatever (I swear, on some of these games it just seems like they randomized a bunch of polygons and applied the texture of a building and then were like "yep, that's a monster alright.") that the staff is stuck in.  The problem is admittedly in part (actually, probably mostly in part) due to my personal hubris.  Upon passing the last village on my way to the next dungeon (or arena in this case) I noticed that every item being sold was magic based, and offered all kinds of protections against magical attacks.  Now, due to my previous failure to obtain an Ultimate Wargod for free, my gold has been precious to me, since buying one costs roughly 10k gold (or whatever the Legend of Dragoon currency is... I think it only says 'g', which I guess doesn't have to mean gold at all.) I had decided to save my money since items you obtain during questing often overshadow those you had just bought moments ago.  So I left the village with no magical protections save the ones I'd had prior, and of course headed straight into what was sure to be a slew of magical battles.

After spending two evenings trying to get past the one battle of which I speak, I decided to cut my losses and backtrack to the village in which I had passed up these now coveted magical protections, and lo and behold I am not able to leave the arena without having acquired the staff.  So now, here I sit, pondering both the game and my commitment to my endeavors as I rack my brain for the best way for me to put this chapter to rest...

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