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Post subject: Re: Feedback thread
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:02 pm 
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Recca wrote:
That's a nice useful website indeed. I wish that I would've known about it back when I was still beta testing this game instead of painstakingly taking the time to figure out how to solve each puzzle! :lol:

By the way Wildbill, I've sent you my final report for the game which I was currently beta testing. It definitely was a breeze to complete compared to Shiki Eiyuuden for sure. I have a feeling that just about every other RPG out there will now feel simple compared to this one, heh!
So, that's good news concerning the next possible release. This brings up a point that really tedious puzzles do not please a lot of RPG players.

I've been watching a fellow's progress who has released three rather lengthy narrated YouTube videos of Shiji that cover a span from start to the other side of the tunnel near Luoyang. Obviously he doesn't care for the puzzles. This gentleman decided to make his recordings "blind" and quickly got killed in the countryside and stuck on the puzzles.

He was not shy about expressing his disdain quite verbally (profanity warning). In his third video, he wandered into a "wrong" area and got wiped out with two quick monster blows. A helpful walkthrough would have hinted where to go and warned about the rest of the dangerous areas, those not mentioned by NPCs.

Shiji Video 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7eV0KbSWIk
Shiji Video 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFEd08AUPxw
Shiji Video 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLW9h6wBe_g

Another YouTube poster shows the puzzles being solved (French) At the 29 minute 45 second mark

Shiji Video 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhFv5rT88Z0

Regarding the puzzles, I have two theories why the author added these:

1. Ancient Chinese philosophers, sages, strategists, and tacticians took a convoluted approach to many carefully laid intricate plans for battles, fortifications, and such, and the puzzles serve as a central metaphor of their mindsets.

2. The Japanese author is enamored with puzzles, and this feature may be a reflection of his personal tastes.

The answer may be a bit of both, but my clear message regarding Shiji is that this game is NOT FOR ANYONE who absolutely loathes hard puzzles.

Since I've searched all over the net for Shiji resources and found virtually nothing except a few Japanese sites (some with similar complaints about the puzzles), this WWW board may be the best and only resort stuck players have for the moment. Therefore, I encourage people to post any useful observations they may wish to share.

I will add a few hints for the new area beyond the tunnel near Luoyang:

Spoiler! :
Upon exiting the tunnel, stay away from the new cave to your northeast. Instead proceed in a generally southern direction and find the small compound. Also, depart Luoyang with plenty of healing items. Leading up to Luoyang, don't run from so many battles. You may still receive some EXP if you do, but identify and fight foes that drop healing and other items, then you will be better stocked and maybe have some surplus equipment to sell in Luoyang where you may purchase even more healing items. The idea is to stay alive until you reach the compound south of the tunnel exit, not explore the new countryside thoroughly (yet).

Enter the compound FROM THE SIDE. Once you finish the compound successfully, receive some items, and learn some skills, you are close to gaining your first permanent ally. From the compound, head northeasterly until you encounter a "Wild Dog" event. Then, it's time to do a bit of grinding and raise both fighters a few levels so you're no longer so doggone weak. Once you have Lin in your party, the next town is northeasterly from the compound.

Nothing is stopping you from going back through the tunnel with Lin so you can gain a few levels each and pick up even more healing items in Luoyang before you return through the tunnel and look for the second town.


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Post subject: Re: Feedback thread
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:25 am 
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I think that you're probably right on both accounts. It does certainly feel as if not only were these difficult puzzles made as a representation of sorts of ancient Chinese philosophies and wartime strategies, but also as a homage to what some of the types of puzzles and brain teasers that must have been enjoyed by either one or more of the Japanese staff members that worked on making this game. They might also be a way of illustrating the fact that the game's hero must train both his mind and body equally in order to become a true hermit. In most RPGs, heroes only need to work in order to become stronger as either a knight or warrior. In this game's case, the hero needs not only to learn how to fight by mastering whatever various forms of martial arts are present at the time, but must also study hard to increase his knowledge, thereby honing all of his collective skills as a whole. No doubt, the message is that a hermit is as close to perfection as a human may become or something along those lines anyway. At least, that's the impression I got when playing this game.

While the puzzles did match this spirit in a sense, they still felt very out of place and frustrating at times for an RPG. Games such as those in The Legend of Zelda series, Brain Lord, Crusader of Centy and Tales of Phantasia/Eternia did a better job of incorporating their respective puzzles into an RPG type setting. These are of course all action based RPGs and not turn based ones. However, various turn based games such as those in the Lufia series and Dual Orb II, among others, had different types of puzzles and mini-games that were still enjoyable and less painful to get through for the typical RPG gamer. Perhaps some fans of this game may like them, but they do seem to be quite a deterrent for most people wanting to play or replay this game, myself included. If I wasn't beta testing it at the time, I probably would've quit a long time ago if I was just "playing it for fun" as it were. I still find it a bit incredible that I even managed to finish play testing this game in the first place! The historically accurate based story line was interesting, but the gameplay, not so much so...


"Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind."
- Edward D. Morrison (Tales of Phantasia)


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Post subject: Re: Feedback thread
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:04 pm 
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Someone posted a bunch of useful links on the GameFAQs forum:

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/57 ... n/79277121

From those links, looks like this game is considered a "kusoge". :lol:


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Post subject: Re: Feedback thread
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:44 pm 
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umegamer wrote:
Someone posted a bunch of useful links on the GameFAQs forum:

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/57 ... n/79277121

From those links, looks like this game is considered a "kusoge". :lol:
Haw-haw...! I guess a number of native Asians found the puzzles irritating. Other valid observations are high encounter rates underground and unbalanced battles if you stray. Good comments I’ve heard are the music. People have posted tons of sound files on YouTube.


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Post subject: Re: Feedback thread
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:48 pm 
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Congratulations on yet another release! Given the comments above, it’s not high on my yet-to-play list, but whether or not a game is considered good is IMHO irrelevant, as long as you guys had fun translating it! I celebrate every new release (especially for the SNES) and least this way, we can all play the game and form our own opinions whether it is good or not. If anything, there is always great looking sprite art to look at.

Thanks again and keep up the good work!


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Post subject: Re: Feedback thread
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:45 pm 
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Kergon wrote:
Congratulations on yet another release! Given the comments above, it’s not high on my yet-to-play list, but whether or not a game is considered good is IMHO irrelevant, as long as you guys had fun translating it! I celebrate every new release (especially for the SNES) and least this way, we can all play the game and form our own opinions whether it is good or not. If anything, there is always great looking sprite art to look at.

Thanks again and keep up the good work!
We appreciate the comments. Of course, we just change Asian words to English (where we can). We never try to adjust game mechanics, encounter rates, add new Easter eggs, or anything of that sort. I can see the frustrations, though. Someone reported even in the Far East, back in the day, some gamers attempted to return their carts to the store the next day. Now, that IS sort of funny! No similar problems here, though.


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Post subject: Re: Feedback thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 7:27 am 
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It was a great surprise to see this game get an English translation so soon after I first heard about it! I came across this title when trying to discover new music, and to say I loved what I found would be an understatement. One of those rare instances where every track feels like a great addition to your life, and in such a soulful style I hope to imitate once it's had some years to sit with me...

As for the game itself, I tried playing one night and then never got around to it after that. I believe I got to the point where I had three party members. I remember a fire, postage stamps, and people yelling at each other...that's probably all wrong! :lol: This will definitely be the kick I need to do the rest...or hit the limit of my patience, but hopefully the first one! From what you guys have shared, there's a whole lot of intrigue to this one that I never knew about, so I might come to find what you all see in it as well.

This unique misshapen gem is a joy to have on my 3DS in a language I understand. I don't have enough thanks for all of you who worked on it! :D

(Coincidentally, this English patch dropped around the same time as the first one for my all-time favorite game, Bushi Seiryuuden. Any of you into that?)


A stamp for your book? Sorry, I don't have one.


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