Eternal Sonata (360): COMPLETED! AGAIN!

I was getting fed up with the dungeon crawling to kill Rondo, so I decided enough was enough. I went and explored some lower (or rather, higher – they’re basements, remember) levels and found two better weapons and some more armour, before leveling up my characters some more. With Jazz and Allegretto on level 75, and Falsetto on 70, I thought the time had come to try Rondo again.

And she was easy! Well, not easy exactly, but I didn’t need many items, and had her on the ropes constantly – two (or even three) 6 Harmony Chain combos each turn soon had her wiped out. Aces!

Then it was onto the final floor, with the final dungeon boss and the final soul shard. It was the penultimate end-of-game boss again, only harder. Except he didn’t really seem a lot harder, probably as I’d now leveled up some 25 levels to get to him. Killed him first go, although used all my items and Jazz was dead when I did so. Phew! Claves resurrected!

Finally, it was time to return to the scene of the final chapter and kill the real end of game boss again. I won’t spoil it for anyone by saying who it was, but now I was on level 79 with weapons and armour twice as powerful as before, the boss could barely touch me. Even a full-on, most powerful attack, which i didn’t block, managed just 2,500HP damage. When you’ve got over 40,000 to play with, that’s nothing!

And then I watched the end of game sequence again, which is exactly as it was before.

And no crashing today!

Eternal Sonata (360)

So I spent three hours building up the stats of my characters, and killed enough baddies to get the almost-100-million gold to buy one of the soul shards. So I went and tried to kill Rondo again.

And died.

So I bumped the levels of my characters up some more, and swapped Viola out for Falsetto (as Falsetto can built the multiplier up way faster). With Jazz and Allegretto both on level 66, and Falsetto on 58, I tried again. And died. Again. Gah!

Eternal Sonata (360)

This Mysterious Unison dungeon is a bit hard, isn’t it? Well, you perhaps don’t know, if you’ve not played it. But yes, it’s hard.

I’m up to (or rather, down to – they’re basements) Floor 11 now, and finding the baddies there give me a whopping 3,000,000 gold each fight. So that 99,999,999 gold soul shard doesn’t seem so difficult to get now!

At the end of Floor 11 was another boss – Rondo. Again. Only she’s bloody impossible this time around, having far too much time each move, and having twice as many moves as I get. Since the Mysterious Unison dungeon only has one save point (right at the start) and you can only really return to it at the end of each floor, dying at the hand of Rondo meant losing some 30,000,000 gold and 45 minutes game time. That’s worse than when the game was crashing!

Eternal Sonata (360)

Um, yeah. So I completed it last night, but one of the end of game bosses dropped an item called the Hero Crest, and I wanted to know what it did. Mr Internet told me that there was another dungeon, near the Double Reed Tower (where you “end” the game), that you could open with the crest. So I did.

And bloody hell, is it hard in there.

To start with, there was another boss that I’d beaten previously, but then the whole dungeon became filled with more of that same boss. And hard-as-nails pirates. Pirates who, when they fight, fight in threes. Not only that, but one of your characters gets a turn, then all three pirates get a turn each, basically meaning they get three times as many attacks as you do. And if they ambush you, you’re dead, as they get three turns in before you even get a chance to block. And even if you do block, they can kill you in two hits anyway. Gah!

Thankfully, you can just run past most of them.

You can’t run past the other bosses though. More repeat bosses at that. I’m in the dungeon looking for bits of Claves in order to resurrect her, and I’ve found three bits so far. And someone wants me to buy another for 99,999,999 gold. When I only have 81,000 gold. So that’s not going to happen. Hmm.

Eternal Sonata (360): COMPLETED!

I was right about how close to the end of the game I was, but still there was another chapter after Chapter 7. It was very short, though.

Before that, though, I had some more previous bosses to kill again (adding to the SuckySuck(TM)-ness of the end of game proceedings), and then, with the Xylophone Tower completed, it was time to kill the big dragon baddie thing that Legano (I think that’s his name) turned into. He was actually pretty easy, though.

Then, the game crashed. Again, and again, and again. I couldn’t progress any further, as although I’d saved my game after killing the boss, it wouldn’t let me start the final chapter. I cleaned the cache and physically cleaned the disc, and finally it let me progress. Where I had to kill, well, a bloody great spoiler, actually.

And that was it. The end sequence was almost an hour long, with cut scenes and story, and then some strange “life lessons” from the characters, then the credits, and then a strange little bonus cartoon about Mr Snail and Mr Caterpillar. No, really.

My “game completed” save says 24 hours, 2 minutes. That’s a bit shorter than I was expecting, but still puts it in the realm of “long game” – in my book, anyway. Overall, it was a great RPG. I loved it from start to finish, and the only frustrations I had were with the crashing in the latter half of the game – which seemed to get worse and worse the further in I got.

So that’s the first game of 2008 I’ve completed. Hurrah!

Eternal Sonata (360)

So I completed all of the Xylophone Tower (with two bosses I’d already beaten, again – that didn’t bode well), and opened up Noise Dunes. That led me to another tower, which appears to contain more bosses.

Bosses I’ve beaten before. Again. Which means that Eternal Sonata has a SuckySuck(TM) bit. darthvadernooooooooooo.jpg

And then, to make things even worse, once I’d killed a boss and was mere millimetres from a save point, the game crashed again. I’d forgotten to clear the cache (which I have to do all the time now, or it crashes). Bah. So I had to kill the boss again.

Eternal Sonata (360)

Allegretto and Co leapt into the giant swirly hole thing, and vanished! They awoke to find themselves, um, somewhere. With lots of dead people. Glowing, ball-like dead people. Yes, really.

And there’s a desert that I can’t enter, instead having to climb the Xylophone Tower (to hit a switch to open it), which is full of somewhat difficult baddies. Well, they’re difficult as I’m trying to kill them with some of the characters that are on lower levels at the moment (such as Polka, who is crap). There are some “listen, then repeat” musical tests in the tower too, and I’ve done two so far.

I get the feeling I’m somewhat close to the end of the game now. I’m pretty sure the end of game boss will be in the desert.

Eternal Sonata (360)

No crashes today, although I’ve doing the cache-cleaning thing every time I start the game up now, just in case.

Went into Mt. Rock, and got blown around a lot and found some chests (mostly containing stuff worse than stuff I already had), before finally catching up with Prince Crescendo. Then Count Waltz (is he allowed to be a Count? He’s only about 12, isn’t he?) appeared with a million flying dragons-wot-have-donkey-heads and tried to convince Polka to go with him. Which she did, until he slapped her and then we all had a lovely fight.

Which I won. But that’s not the end – oh no. Leguto (Waltz’s butler, I assume) drank some thing with a glowing Agogo in it, and became a huge monster, ripping a hole in the world and doing a runner.

But that’s Chapter 6 done! Hurrah!

Eternal Sonata (360)

Had another couple of crashes to start with today – again at the shopkeeper. Cleared the cache again and it sorted it again, though.

The Aria Temple was a bit strange. Besides the large areas with no baddies in them, and the big room with nothing but baddies in (that can be totally avoided), there were several treasure chests that kept moving. I’d go for one, get jumped on by a baddie, kill it, and then the chest would move! Bizarre.

At the top of the tower was Rondo – the woman who killed Claves. And Falsetto came back too, and we all had a fight.

With Rondo dead (well, I assume she’s dead, anyway), and Chapter 6 begun, it was back to the castle, only to find Crescendo and Serenade have both done a runner. They seem to have gone to Forte to sacrifice themselves for Baroque. I don’t really understand how that’s going to work, but still.

We went after them, through the warp gates of the To Coda Ruins. That didn’t take too long, and soon we’d left the ruins and found a scary old woman next to a Cello Tree, who asked Polka to take a fortune reading. The reading turned out to be bad, but no-one said exactly what it was. Then the woman vanished. It was all very odd.

Now I’m about to enter Mt. Rock. Ooh!

Eternal Sonata (360)

After some hunting around on the internets, I eventually found what appears to be a method of clearing the game cache (documented here), which seemed to work and so I could carry on playing without it crashing every 25 seconds.

Played for another hour or so, finding a book in the forest outside Baroque, returning it to a bloke in the castle, then returning through the forest to the Aria Temple. I’ve not entered it yet, though.

Eternal Sonata (360)

Um, yes. So other games don’t exist at the moment, it would seem. And plenty of time has been spent on this again today too – taking me from 13 hours to over 16 hours game time, according to the save files.

Killed the pirate captain first of all today, which gained Salsa a new hat (um, great), and then we reached Baroque, where it was snowing. Lots. We decided to leave, after a concert and lots of shopping and exploring, and headed for Ritardando via a frozen mountain path. Where the game crashed as soon as I met the first baddie. Luckily, I’d saved literally seconds previous. Made it over the mountain (well, up it then through the lava-y interior – seems it’s a volcano, not a mountain), and somehow ended up back in Agogo Forest, where March was waiting.

March, and Fugue – the guy who almost killed Chopin and Polka right near the start of the game. So I had to fight him again, and killed him!

Everyone split up then. Polka went home, March and Salsa stayed in Agogo Forest, and Beat and Chopin decided to go back to Allegretto and Beat’s hideout in Ritardando – where Allegretto had already arrived. We were sent on a mission to rid the church basement of “ghosts”, and we joined by Viola, March and Salsa, although Allegretto chickened out and went to see Polka. The “ghosts” were easy to kill, and after some 40 minutes of story cut scenes, pretty much everyone then ended up back in Baroque again. Everyone except Claves (duh, she’s dead!) and Falsetto (done a runner in the rain), that is.

Jazz suggested we walked round the town a bit, so we did. Spoke to a priest who suggested we go and look at the Aria Temple, and then went to a shop to stock up on supplies. Except the game crashed again. Bah. I’ve not got to re-do much, though. Still, it gave me an excuse to stop.

Still really enjoying the game, though. I’ve had several aborted RPG efforts over the last few years; particularly Lostmagic and Lunar Dragon Song, both of which were crap (although for different reasons), so it’s nice to play a good, well written RPG for a change.

Eternal Sonata (360)

It’s far too easy to spend lots of time on this without realising. I started early this afternoon, and then suddenly it was dark outside.

Chapter 2 was soon over. I had to fight Tuba again on the bridge by the fort, and although I won, he took out the bridge and we all fell to our watery deaths. Well, not quite.

The beginning of Chapter 3 showed that my party had been split into two groups. Allegretto, Viola, Jazz, Falsetto and Claves in one, and everyone else (presumably at that time) in the other. The whole of this chapter was based on this group, which, having reached the Andantino base, split further leaving just Allegretto, Falsetto and Viola. With those, I solved some puzzles in a graveyard, and then there was a cutscene with Claves’ long and drawn out death speech. Yeah, to hell with spoilers – she’s dead. Probably.

And then it was Chapter 4! As expected, I was now in charge of the other group of people – Polka, Chopin, Beat and Salsa. They’d been rescued by a boat, the captain of which (Crescendo) appears to look exactly like Jazz, only with blond hair and no earring. Anyway, soon after chatting with people on the ship, pirates attacked!

I took the party over to the pirate ship, found a key (eventually) to the pirate captain’s room, and then died. Bah.

My game time says almost 13 hours! Blimey.

Eternal Sonata (360)

This Chapter 2 is a bit long, isn’t it? I’m still on it now! I found the boy at the bottom of the cliff, eventually, and then stayed the night at his parents’ inn. The next day I went Castle Forte (having another, more successful, “jam” session on the way), but couldn’t get in.

Instead, some bloke called Tuba who looked like a cross between Ramm-Man from He-Man and Birdie from Street Fighter Alpha decided to fight me. I won, but we all got chucked in a dungeon anyway. A dungeon with the girl (Salsa) I was looking for in it! And a dungeon Allegretto could break us out of easily, what with him being a thief and stuff.

We went into the gaping hole in a wall in the dungeon, which turned out to be a secret path back out to a place on the Hanon Road, where I’d previously seen a strange rock. I’d already guessed that was where we’d come out. Bumped into some people coming to rescue Salsa as we exited the rock, saving them a job. We’re all off back to goat-girl’s village now.

Eternal Sonata (360)

Right, the Fort is all done and dusted, and I worked my way along the road to Forte City, killing green flying angel goats on the way, and helping a traveling salesman by fighting some dragon things with rocks on the ends of their tails. As you do.

Sold all Beat’s photos (mostly of mice and onions) to him for 500 gold or so each, which I thought was pretty good, but the photos I took after that sold at Forte City for waaaaay more – one of an angel goat’s arse got a Rank B rating and netted me almost 5,000 gold, and a mugshot of the same goat for me almost twice that. So much money! Even stocking up on loads of items (which I’ve not really used much of yet) and new armour and weapons has barely even lightened by purse. Excellent.

Anyway, so in the city I found the inn, and the girl there has lost “Phil” and I need to find him. It seems he may have fallen down a cliff, so I’m making my way down now, killing bats and having a “jam” with an old man, who gave me an F for my mad muzik skillz and told me I was sad. Pff.

Eternal Sonata (360)

Really enjoying this. Even the (some would say) tedious repetitive battles. But they’re fun! It took me at least another hour to figure out how to get out of the fort (the switches move a room that acts as a bridge – aha!), and had to fight a bit armoured wolf boss thing on the way, who wasn’t exactly easy, but was certainly more manageable than all the other bosses I’ve fought so far!

It’s all that leveling up, I think. Oh, and my party is now at Level 3 (or at least, can be Level 3 if I so choose). That means less thinking time and more action time in battles, but more “slots” for magic attacks.