Playing through JP Eternal Blue: Things to Know?

For discussion of Lunar: Eternal Blue, the original game for the Sega CD
Post Reply
User avatar
Sonic#
Pao Tribe Chieftain
Posts: 4653
jedwabna poszewka na poduszkę 70x80
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 3:27 am
Location: Here, there, everywhere
Contact:

Playing through JP Eternal Blue: Things to Know?

Post by Sonic# »

Well, I'm playing the Sega CD Eternal Blue for the first time on the Mega Drive Mini 2*. I just got Ronfar and rescued Lucia from Leo.

The big issue is that I don't know Japanese. I know some hiragana and katakana, so I can sight-read names. I can also notice basic words when spoken - when Hiro says "boku" in his first monologue and Lucia says "watashi" later on, I know they're both saying "I." Finally, I have figured out the basic menus and abilities. Thankfully, the icons for magic abilities help a lot compared to The Silver Star.

Otherwise, I am essentially in a no-read playthrough. Thankfully the visual storytelling is good enough that I get the gist of what's going on, especially leaning on previous experience with EBC. I don't get the NPC dialogue, but I am surprisingly still enjoying the combat, the animations, the music, and the subtle details in architecture. (The planet/moon/star motifs in the first dragon tower are great.)

With all of that in mind, are there any places that may trip me up that I should look for? I have guides available if I get stuck, but so far the only hitch was in Larpa getting the order right in talking to the mayor, going to Ronfar, and so on.

*FWIW, I've also had fun with the other games I've tried so far, including those with an English translation included. I love the experience of diving into these games and figuring them out. Ichidant-R is great.
Sonic#

"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

"Just as you touch the energy of every life form you meet, so, too, will will their energy strengthen you. Fail to live up to your potential, and you will never win. " --- The Old Man at the End of Time

User avatar
Alunissage
Goddess
Posts: 7306
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 10:31 am

Re: Playing through JP Eternal Blue: Things to Know?

Post by Alunissage »

I've only played up to just after Lucia is healed, so I'm pretty rusty too. I last played this game in Japanese in something like 2003, stopping just after Borgan. My distinct recollection is that Borgan is harder in the Japanese game than in the NA one, and he's legendarily hard in the NA one.

The story wasn't changed much in the remake, so you probably won't have much trouble figuring out what to do. In general the dungeons are more dungeony (mazelike, requiring things to do besides just bash through monsters) than I recall them being in EBC, and a few have clues in the dialogue. One is the manor near Takkar, which has three clues (one for each floor, perhaps?) to tell you how to handle each type of enemy you encounter there, and I don't remember if that was also the case in EBC. In English, the first clue is "Wind...wind...wind...", the second clue is "Dancer, dancer, light on your feet, your skill(?) is the key to salvation", and the third is "Close the windows and open the door of possibility." Or something like that; I don't remember the exact phrase in the second clue but "dancer" is the important part. You'd probably figure this out from trial and error, but considering that Hiro's wind spells pretty much suck in this game it might be a while.

I assume you've figured out the powering up magic spells option in Ruby's menu. Only some types of magic can get powered up (elemental, Health, Dance, and Chance), and they're the same ones that change names and become more powerful (and expensive) in EBC, so they'll be familiar both from that game and from SSSC, which modeled its spells on EB's -- Lemina's Flame and Ice spells are identical to Mia's. The max magic level is 30, and all spell groups follow the same pattern of new spells gained or old ones morphing into stronger versions at specific levels. I don't remember what they all are, but you gain the fourth spell in the set at magic level 16. I usually didn't use Ronfar's Chance spells too much other than the first one, Chance Dice, but that one is kind of fun -- there's a different effect for each of the 11 possible totals, with the most common (7) being just restoring the MP the spell cost to Ronfar. In the Illusion Woods there's an enemy that keeps summoning more of itself, and there was one battle I only survived because Ronfar got the roll that poisoned several enemies and four of them died at once. There were at least 40 enemies in that battle in total because of the summoning thing and only having two attackers at that point because Lucia had split or been knocked out meant that I couldn't take them out faster than they could call more of themselves.

I'll stop here because I'm starting to veer into specifics that are just part of gameplay rather than advice related to being unable to read the language, but let me know if you do want more specifics, or information on what accessories or items do, etc. Or a map or something, because the overworld is complex and it's entirely possible to lose your way. There's also an entirely missable one-room treasure cave not too far from where you are; I think that's the only "secret" on the overworld.

User avatar
Sonic#
Pao Tribe Chieftain
Posts: 4653
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 3:27 am
Location: Here, there, everywhere
Contact:

Re: Playing through JP Eternal Blue: Things to Know?

Post by Sonic# »

Thank you for all the details you provided, Alunissage.

I just went through the Illusion Woods, and mazelike is right. It tapped deep into my love of mazelike dungeons, as I double backed on my path at one point and still have no idea if I got every chest. I'll keep that tip about the manor in mind.

Yes, I did find the magic upgrade system after leaving Gwyn behind. I hope dumping all of that into Hiro's underwhelming wind spell was okay! I knew it only worked for some spells, but I didn't know the exact criteria for what was upgradable (elemental, health, dance, and chance is useful). I had not remembered the tip about the upgraded spells being like what happens in EBC, so that gives me an idea of what to look forward to.

So I fought the same enemy you're describing in Illusion Woods, the one that summons copies of itself ad nauseam. After defeating about ten of them and there still being three, I used Chance Dice and Ronfar rolled a 12. He immediately KOed himself and Lucia, leaving Hiro to (narrowly) finish the fight. I could only laugh at what happened.

I'm enjoying wandering the overworld and not knowing where I'm going, but I can't resist asking about a missable one-room treasure cave, if you remember where that is.
Sonic#

"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

"Just as you touch the energy of every life form you meet, so, too, will will their energy strengthen you. Fail to live up to your potential, and you will never win. " --- The Old Man at the End of Time

User avatar
Alunissage
Goddess
Posts: 7306
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 10:31 am

Re: Playing through JP Eternal Blue: Things to Know?

Post by Alunissage »

Haha, I had the double-6 thing happen to me too. Wasn't sure if I should spoil it for you what it does. I think that's the only one with negative effects. Here, I'll c/p from my notes:
Chance dice effects:
2 large damage to all enemies
3 mutes all enemies
4 poisons all enemies
5 paralyzes all enemies
6 puts all enemies to sleep
7 restores MP consumed by spell to Ronfar
8 raises party's DEF
9 raises party's ATK
10 restores HP to party
11 restores MP to party
12 large damage to party

"All" enemies is modulo whatever random factor goes into determining whether a target receives a status change, of course. Ronfar's second Chance spell is either 1E or 1A depending on result, third is 1E or OS (damages enemy or Ronfar), and the last one is an all-revive. I never used them much though so I can't tell you if they're worth the risk. Unlike EBC, the spells don't change in scope as they morph; they just do the same thing to the same targets, only stronger. N.b., Ronfar's third Health spell is my favorite.

Levelling up Hiro's Wind spells is pretty reasonable in the beginning, when every MP counts and so Boomerang being 3 MP instead of Poe Sword's 4 is helpful. It's just that once you get other party members it's usually more desirable to power up their spells because most of the time Hiro will be attacking rather than using magic and when he does use magic his Poe Sword is consistently strong. His second Wind spell is AZ, like Kyle's Power Sweep, so it's only useful if he's surrounded by enemies. Similar reasoning applies to Leo.

The treasure cave is to the east of Takkar (Temis) and the Ghost Manor. Go all the way east and down around the lake, then uphill.

User avatar
Temzin
Black Dragon Wizard
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 3:28 am

Re: Playing through JP Eternal Blue: Things to Know?

Post by Temzin »

Good man, you chose the superior Mega Drive Mini 2, even if you have to slog through in a language you don't know! That is some impressive grit, like the Americans who used to dedicatedly fight their way through glorious Final Fantasy V before it was ever translated. Better still, you are playing the vastly superior MCD version of the game for the first time, what a joyous experience I haven't had since I was 12! EB remix is the false Neo Vane to this superior original, in my view. Better art (on-model with Kubooka's originals, instead of the B-team from Gonzo that was somehow hired for EB remix, to distress even of the creators), much better music instrumentation, better dungeons, no missing scenes. Universally on (Japanese) twitter you'll find people saying they prefer the original EB, and I hope you are having a great time seeing why!

Anyway, Alun is the one to ask for the details of the game's layout, although I can from memory recall most areas too. As you mentioned, an English-language guide on gamefaqs or something should generally tell you what to do.

General missable stuff: yes, the secret room north of the haunted mansion village in the mountains. Unlike the remake, you can also visit the two optional dungeons near Borgan's mines, Dragon's Nest and Lionhead, in the main game and not just the epilogue...they'll be super hard in the main game, but you do get different treasure out of it each time!

Other places you might get stuck:

When you fight Linus/Lunn, he has an attack that turns himself invisible, and you won't survive if you can't find him! You can either level up Jean's otherwise disappointing dance magic (was it level 13 or so?) to get the move where she does a "bunshin" split image of herself, which will always track down Linus, or you can take your chances with her horizontal karate move (the one that hits in a full-screen horizontal line), which may or may not find him.

When Ghaleon confronts you on your way back to Pentagulia once you've freed the dragons, it's not just the shoddy one-shot scene of the remake. Instead, he turns Hiero into rock to test how Lucia feels about him, and so she (you) make a costly detour back to the Blue Spire to save him. It's a marvelous scene, but you wouldn't guess what to do if you had only played the remake and didn't speak Japanese.

You'll get stuck in Zophar's castle, not because of langauge but because it's the best and most elaborate RPG last dungeon in history, outside of maybe Ultimecia's castle in Final Fantasy VIII.

In the epilogue, you might be confused about where one of the dragon eye jewels is, because the remake's water ruins don't exist here. Instead, Nall will send you to a tower way in the snowy north, around where Burg should be in my own imaginings.

General strategy: I think Hiero's wind magic really sucks! I always pour into Rong-fa and Lemina's magic, and anything left over can go to Jean (I guess) or Leo later. I think Leo's third earth attack is these rock daggers, which for some reason insta-kill certain enemy types. I like it.
aka Maou

User avatar
Alunissage
Goddess
Posts: 7306
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 10:31 am

Re: Playing through JP Eternal Blue: Things to Know?

Post by Alunissage »

I did not know that about Leo's earth spell. I will have to check it out!

I got sufficiently stuck in Zophar's castle that I looked in the guide (which I'd actually found on the shelf in a bookstore before I bought the game) and found that I had been mistaking a teleport pad for background art.

Jean's Dance needs to be 16 for the spell you mentioned against Lunn. I know I didn't know about using it when I first played so I must've survived somehow. Her charm dance (the third one?) is also good against the assassins in the sewer.

I couldn't remember whether you can get both main game and epilogue treasures from the two optional dungeons or if you can't get the epilogue one if you already got the main game one. There's also an optional battle on the top floor of the Dragon Ruins (after getting the jewel, which is on the second to top floor) which is tough but gets you a piece of equipment for Lemina, I think. I've always thought it was a shame that the last battle is just Hiro even though you get cool stuff in the Epilogue for other party members.

Oh! In Pentagulia when Mystere joins and leaves and Leo joins and leaves, you can unequip him of everything but the party mask, if you think you want his stuff to sell. I don't remember if anyone else can equip any of it. My recollection is that this wasn't possible in the remake, so that's why I mention it here.

Anything you've seen about the Lemina Bug is the NA version only, so it won't apply here, btw.

User avatar
Sonic#
Pao Tribe Chieftain
Posts: 4653
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 3:27 am
Location: Here, there, everywhere
Contact:

Re: Playing through JP Eternal Blue: Things to Know?

Post by Sonic# »

I just got to Zulan, after getting Lemina, navigating that quite long mountain pass dungeon, and doing the whole Nota - Carnival - Mystic Ruins sequence. Those ruins are quite a maze, and I'm sure I missed some things merely by not double-tracking as I made progress. I did loop around the platform puzzle a couple of times to figure out the sequence for getting those chests. There wasn't much else hard to figure out in this section, except that I walked the wrong way on the world map for a while and found the locked ruins before getting to Carnival. (Also, the EBC map confirms I wasn't misremembering where the Mystic Ruins were; in EBC they're east of Carnival, but in EB they're south.)

I've been dumping MP into Ronfar so far, but I'll switch it up to give Jean/Lemina some more attention. I don't mind leveling Jean up a little more (16 should be doable) for the sake of making a few fights easier.

Temzin, thanks for some of the background and reception history. I quite liked EBC for what it was, but I can see now why it would have been a step down for people who played EB first. The animations and art certainly look great, and I catch myself pausing to listen to the music at least once each session. The only thing I like less are the random encounters. I think I prefer the pacing of exploration when I know a combat is about to happen (see Earthbound or the Lunar remakes), versus being interrupted continually. But that's such a fine point of complaint that I don't hold it against EB or other titles.
Sonic#

"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

"Just as you touch the energy of every life form you meet, so, too, will will their energy strengthen you. Fail to live up to your potential, and you will never win. " --- The Old Man at the End of Time

User avatar
Sonic#
Pao Tribe Chieftain
Posts: 4653
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 3:27 am
Location: Here, there, everywhere
Contact:

Re: Playing through JP Eternal Blue: Things to Know?

Post by Sonic# »

So I've just finished Taben's Peak and Vane. A few notes:

1. I was surprised that there were bosses (or minibosses?) underneath Vane. I double-checked, and there is nothing like the Evil Eye or Fleshsucker in EBC. Fleshsucker especially has one of the most gruesome designs, and its petrification attack knocked out Hiro early. I did figure out which item heals petrification, at least! I like that change; the lack of random encounters makes it so much easier to go back for those chests once Lemina is okay with it.

2. I didn't know or remember that there is only one bath scene in Eternal Blue, not two. (The first one at the ruins is missing.) I think I'm okay with that. It's one fewer opportunity to have Ruby claw up Hiro's face. It also makes what's between Hiro and Lucia feel like a slower burn, if that makes sense. (And that impression may not be accurate depending on the dialogue I've missed.)

3. I realized I had misremembered when Jean realizes that the Masked Man is actually Lunn. That said, with the mask, the voice acting, Lunn's absence, and the hair, the connection is still pretty obvious.
Sonic#

"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

"Just as you touch the energy of every life form you meet, so, too, will will their energy strengthen you. Fail to live up to your potential, and you will never win. " --- The Old Man at the End of Time

User avatar
Temzin
Black Dragon Wizard
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 3:28 am

Re: Playing through JP Eternal Blue: Things to Know?

Post by Temzin »

Excellent progress! Since the additions in EB remix were so few, it made the subtractions all the more glaring, including all the missing bosses: that includes the ghouls in the old Vheen trial cave, where they should be, as well as Sieg the Risen (Phantom Sentry), the gunslinger you fought in the mountain pass after the haunted mansion, who is  really the Star Dragon in disguise! This makes it so much cooler when you track him down in the epilogue. <<---this is a spoiler only in the sense that there's a light connection here to the epilogue that is sadly gone in the remake. If you want it to be a surprise, come back to this spoiler when you get to the epilogue. Anyway, the dialogue from the mountain pass:

Sieg: Hmm hmm hmm.
Lucia: ?! This presence...it couldn't be?!
[battle]
Lucia: Stop right there! Why are you impeding me? Cease this at once!
Sieg: Hmm hmm hmm. Of course, fully understood. I shall not impede you...Lucia of the Blue Star. Fear not, I shall never appear before you again... Take care. Hmm hmm hmm.
Lucia: ....
Ruby: Lucia...what the heck was that?
Lucia: He is a being utterly unconnected with you who live in this world. Do not concern yourself with him. Now, we must hurry on...


Yes, the bath scene comes much later. Because there's only one and thus one embarrassed reaction as opposed to remix's two contrasting reactions (uninhibited and then embarrassed), it's a bit more subtle and I didn't really notice the "becoming human" message as a kid...not that I minded!

You may actually be remembering correctly about Jean and the masked man! For one thing, I recall that Jean's past is clearer earlier in Japanese than English but I can't be sure. And in EB remix she has an early flashback in the woods, I think, which makes it more obvious. We might need to check with Alun on this one, though.
aka Maou

User avatar
Alunissage
Goddess
Posts: 7306
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 10:31 am

Re: Playing through JP Eternal Blue: Things to Know?

Post by Alunissage »

I'm pretty sure Jean only makes the connection about Lunn in Pentagulia. She shows him the mask and he says something like "Jean, you always were my best student." And then locks her up, of course.

Interesting to see the translation of the scene with the Phantom Sentry / Sieg. It's been many years since I played that part but I think he just says to her that her time to be here (on Lunar) is not yet, not that she won't see him again. There are probably screenshots on the main site.

The development between the two bathing scenes in EBC is valid...but only just, to my mind. I mean, it's a reasonable bit of growth (though perhaps a bit sad because it makes her less comfortable and trusting with Hiro, while not really being backed up by more comprehension of human social interactions that I recall), but both scenes still seem pretty gratuitous to me. On the other hand, the one in Taben's Peak in EB is just kind of random sitcom stuff without any particular connection to character development other than maybe Lucia singing for enjoyment. I think. Again, it's been years.

I'll be interested to hear what you think of Azado, as it's pretty much the part that's the most different from the remake. Well, not so much the end result as the town itself. Since this probably won't be at all clear in a different language: the glowing balls outside of houses are beads that people purchase from the priests to protect them from monsters at night, and there's a big line of people waiting to buy them since they only work for some amount of time, like a week. The whole bit in EBC with a priest and his kid and stuff is unique to the remake.

User avatar
Sonic#
Pao Tribe Chieftain
Posts: 4653
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 3:27 am
Location: Here, there, everywhere
Contact:

Re: Playing through JP Eternal Blue: Things to Know?

Post by Sonic# »

I was sidetracked by the holidays, but over the past few days I've gotten back to Lunar 2.

Thanks for the tip about Azado, Alunissage. I found it initially difficult to follow what was happening, but your summary helped me piece it together. The overall trope (unmarked houses are attacked at night) feels like both a Biblical plague and a protection racket. The sequence felt more straightforward than in Complete; the big focus is on what the church is hiding rather than saving a boy. IIRC, the remake gives more reactive reasons, (like the kid) why Leo would investigate the temple. In this original (peeking at a few localized screenshots to confirm details), Leo enters the temple to trap the party, hears about a monster, and sticks around with Hiro to hear the full story. In other words, Leo actively chooses to listen to what Ronfar is saying and then to what Hiro is saying, without needing someone in immediate distress to act.

I had my first crash here, leaving the temple with Leo. The game started to enter a battle but stayed on a blank screen. I've had that happen one other time since, in the White Dragon cave. I'm not sure what causes the issue or whether it's game- or emulator-related.

Pentagulia was fun. Indeed, Jean shows Lunn the mask and is thrown in jail. The symmetry of each character confronting their antagonist was nice, and the tower design was fairly straightforward for once! Again, I especially appreciate the animations and voice acting; Lucia's outrage is palpable, and Ghaleon's Japanese VA is growing on me. Obviously memory biases me, but it feels obvious (esp. after the party escapes) that Ghaleon is up to something.

Finally, the White Dragon Cave is a tricky dungeon. I figured out pretty quickly the gimmick for each wing of the dungeon, but the teleportation puzzle was especially confusing. I figured out what doubling back would do after the first run, but knowing when to use the same teleport pad twice took a few tries to get right. The moment when the dragon theme kicks in and Nall transforms was amazing.
Sonic#

"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

"Just as you touch the energy of every life form you meet, so, too, will will their energy strengthen you. Fail to live up to your potential, and you will never win. " --- The Old Man at the End of Time

User avatar
Temzin
Black Dragon Wizard
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 3:28 am

Re: Playing through JP Eternal Blue: Things to Know?

Post by Temzin »

I am so glad you are enjoying it! The extra animations in Pentagulia and the Dragon Caves make such an enormous difference to me. Everywhere they went missing in the remake felt "cheap" to me, even if the originals were just a few frames...that's still more frames than the character portraits they rely on in the remake. The small things like that, together with the better music usage (remix overused the Beyond the Silence theme in places where it didn't belong, and rarely used the Magic Trial theme, for some reason) make a big difference when enjoying the original.

I remember having lots of trouble in the White Dragon Cave when I was a kid and being super under-leveled for some reason. I was glad I hung onto that fire sword from earlier!

Edit: at the rate you're going, I can tell you to get ready for maximum fun with the finest dungeon ever made in the form of Zophar's Castle. It is so infinitely cool and complex and aesthetically interesting compared to the massively simplified remix, and that's to say nothing of how they completely botched the final battle (see my photo to the right) compared to the profoundly haunting and exciting original. I'm thrilled for you to experience and feel like breaking out my Mini 2 this spring (too busy) to do the same!
aka Maou

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest