Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Game 32 - Majin Tensei II: Spiral Nemesis wrap-up


  1. Turn type: Player/enemy turns.
  2. Maps: Medium. Terrain gives bonuses.
  3. Character Customization: On level up, you can assign a point to any stat.
  4. Character Development: Standard XP level system.
  5. Party Size: 16 monsters plus 5 humans.
  6. Equipment: Five equipment slots.
  7. Game Flow: Roughly 50-60 stages, some optional ones. There are multiple paths but only a few stages actually change for that.
  8. Saving: You can save out of battle, and at the beginning of each turn.
  9. Death: If any of the human characters die, it's game over. Demons who die cannot be revived.


I enjoyed Majin Tensei 1 even though there were problems with it, and I would say that generally MT2 improved on it in every way except maybe for the in-battle monster graphics, which I don't consider a big deal. 

The story barely existed in MT1. The MT2 story does get a little lost in the last part, and involves time travel, but overall it's entertaining and has some memorable characters. The atmosphere, as usual for MT games, is a change from the typical bright fantasy -- you're in dark, crumbling areas of Tokyo and eventually on different planes of existence.

The gameplay is similar to MT1; I do like that the monster recruitment is easier and doesn't depend on picking basically random choices from a talk menu. It seemed generally like it was easier to keep the enemies from swarming my guys although you do have to be careful of the long range birds and such.

The multiple paths in the game are the usual Law vs. Chaos. As I said in my last post, I think that taking the Law-Light path with the recruitment items gives you a team that's so powerful you no longer need to bother with monster recruitment or fusion. The Neutral path offers the best opportunity to fully exploit that aspect of the system. The fact that you have to have a high levelled human character to get good units means you can't spread the XP around to all the human characters and you'll inevitably end up with 3-4 of them being useless.

A big complaint about this game was the long enemy turns. I found that in BSNES even just with a x3-4 speedup it was more than enough that I never noticed this.

So overall this was a good game; this has a fan translation and it's definitely worth a play.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Game 32 - Majin Tensei II: Spiral Nemesis (Scenes 5 and 6)

The Law-Light path definitely makes this game a lot easier, especially if you got the Eden Bugle and Bell of Revive earlier in the game. With the full army of Angels and the increasing number of powerful weapons and armor you get from the stages, nothing can stand in your way. There are still some tricky parts and you can't just move your units with no thought at all, but it's not very hard.

I feel like the way to play this game that would offer the most strategy would be to take the Neutral route, which blocks you off from all the broken bonus units, but gives you the widest freedom in recruiting and fusing demons. Even if you did take the Law-Light route, not having the Eden Bugle and Bell of Revive would give you about half of the angels; enough to give you an edge but not completely break the game (maybe).

Scene 5 - Amnesia

This is the Angel place. I messed up the turn count on the first one but didn't want to restart.

There's not too much to say about the stages here -- they're all fairly easy with the Angel army. You have to watch out for the birds and foxes that have advantage over your characters. This stage has an optional area:

I took a Frei that I had fused, Bishamonten, and a couple of powerful angels. The foxes have advantage but still die to Gabriel or the like.

Scene 6 - Paranoia

The final scene is where the Angels really show how overpowered they are. In contrast to Amnesia, Paranoia is covered with terrain that slows your movement to a crawl, and lots of damage floors. To clear the stages in the time limit for the bonus weapons, you basically have to move your main character towards the enemy base as far as you can every turn, and you'll get there with one or two turns to spare. Of course, having eight flying Angels makes the terrain a joke since they can go anywhere. 

The stage in the picture above has a mean trick. By this point, most of the human characters are useless because I made sure Naoki got high enough levels to recruit good monsters. So I left them at the start here -- unfortunately those generators make hydras starting around turn 5 that can attack across the void. So you have to move the weak humans to the bottom right.

In the two pictures above you can see the nasty terrain. The bottom one is especially bad. When they give you 30 turns for the optional weapon you know it's going to be rough; those mountains are 1 space per turn. I made it on turn 30 exactly.

The bosses are all fairly easy; my main character was so powerful by this point that I could just attack once with Michael or Gabriel and then have the main character finish the boss off with a double attack. Once you beat all the demons here it's time to go to the final boss (at least on the Law Route), who is Satan.

This stage doesn't have the rough terrain, but it also has no occupy or time limit; all you have to do is beat Satan. I imagine that just sending Michael and Gabriel up there would have finished it pretty quickly but I thought I still had one stage left (there is a stage after this for the Neutral route), so I killed everything and had Naoki finish off Satan, who really couldn't do that much.

So the timeline is restored, DIO is possibly dealt with, and Karen finishes her mission. You also get each of your demons to give a farewell message.

Like I said, I think this game would have been more strategic without the broken angels but it also probably would have taken me another week at least.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Game 32 - Majin Tensei II: Spiral Nemesis (Scenes 3 and 4)

Stage 3

We go back to 1995 to stop Ogiwara from killing Naoki's parents. I continued to develop my guys and try to move the main character up as many levels as possible, and recruit monsters when available. It's especially important to have flying units -- they tend to be weak, but they're often important for protecting the base or reaching enemies.

Make sure that you have a Pixie (which you can get before this) before doing Shinjuku. It's a pretty mean secret, but if you don't have that you won't be able to get some of the most powerful units in the game on the Law/Chaos routes. It opens up Ikebukuro, which has an important item (the Eden Bugle) in it.

The first few stages weren't too bad. I thought Ginza was the most difficult one in this scene.

The base looks safe because of the blue buildings (which can't be crossed by non-flying units). But there are flying devils at the top who will come down and get you. It's good to have a Houou-type unit (the birds) because they have double advantage against the devils; I was able to hold out against them with just my bird. But that's just the beginning.

The multi-headed dragons at the left are Yurungs, who have very long range and a high attack power. They can only attack long so if you can get to them they can be taken out. But they can't be easily reached because of this Lilim who has a ridiculously high HP. Meanwhile the generator is spitting out ghosts. You just have to make sure you don't move into the Yurungs' area of attack and slowly whittle down the HP, then deal with those 4 harpy things surrounding the generator. Then I was able to move up and take care of the Yurungs. But it's not over yet.

There's a second set of Yurungs. The movement rate goes down so low through those buildings that it's hard to reach them, and the foxes make it hard to send flying units up to deal with them. I had an Archangel I had fused in the Remix station, who was a big help. By using my own Yurung I had recruited from a previous stage, I was able to take out the foxes enough to allow the Archangel to go up and defeat the Yurungs, retreating to heal when necessary (the bird could not do it because the foxes have range 2 attack).

Once they're all taken out the stage is basically over, but that's a rough one.

After that it's smooth sailing. The end of this scene has Ogiwara, and depending on your responses to him you'll be set into the Law, Chaos, or Neutral routes. The responses aren't very obvious, though. I wanted to do the Law route.

Scene 4

After killing Ogiwara, I headed to 2056 Tokyo to take down the demons that had infiltrated and taken over the government there. In this scene, if you did the 15 turn clear in scene 2, you get a bunch of powerful neutral units -- Bishamonten is the best, although he also is somewhat of a secret unit. You have to clear Sideopolis-9 in 15 turns.

The main stage of interest here are the second-to-last and last. The first has you going around a big spiral to the end.

Of course there are generators, long-range units, and fliers. This map takes a long time but with Bishamonten and others it wasn't too bad. The last stage is interesting.

Throughout the stage there are sets of these dragon units. The dragons are so powerful that even my strongest guys could barely hurt them and died in one hit. I imagine if you really knew what you were doing you could bring units here that could deal with them, but the saving grace of the stage is that the dragons do not move unless you're in their attack range. So the key is just to watch their range and make sure none of your units ever move into that range as you make your way to the top of the screen.

The boss is not difficult.

After this comes the second decision point, where you choose between Light and Dark. It basically deals with why you are going to the two other worlds connected to Earth (Amnesia and Paranoia). I went with Light, so I'll be getting the most powerful angels.

Scenes 5 and 6 have turn limitations for optional content on almost every stage, so this will be interesting.