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A member registered Nov 23, 2016

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came back for the good ending. it didn't seem all that different - the special final boss fight with spoilers powers was a cooler finale than the standard ending, but aside from that and the dialogue I had missed w/ Huppo, the character beats were pretty similar. Don't take that to mean I'm coming away disappointed - I was replaying to see what I had missed throughout the game more than I was to change the outcome of the story. i didn't really have my hopes set on the power of friendship fixing everything where the power of 4/5 friendship had faltered.

it was definitely an easier game on second go-around. knowing when I got healed, when people got killed (and so when to take their equipment), and how to better use everyone's abilities streamlined a lot of parts of the game where I was running thin. even near the beginning, I didn't realize on my first playthrough that wilderness areas had fixed encounters along the paths with no respawns. I stuck to the path to avoid depleting my healing items and missed out on the cyberknife and such.

I also stacked HP/MP recovery early and often. in particular, rumor + his cigar + empathy was enough to grind as long as i liked in the wasteland, which bought me the hammer of truth and got me fairly overlevelled to boot. I barely used items besides stimpacks for the back half of the game.

The power level of the party seems like a tricky thing to balance against - as soon as you feel self-sufficient enough to grind, you can get strong enough to overcome the limitations on healing and income. it did take me a second playthrough to develop the system mastery to pull that off though.

in any case, it's a cool game you've thrown together here and it stuck to my brain enough to come back for seconds.

mild spoilers past here, small bugs and notes

I forgot to mention it before, but I ran into a game crash at the start of the utopia slash encounter second phase. It happened after losing at least once in my first playthrough, but I can't recall if it came before or after her monologue and sprite change.

There's a room in Cramp's mansion - I think a lab? Got a bunch of notes to read, the eyeball trap you have to defuse in the mutant cells room, and the lion painting. It's missing a south wall, you can walk into the void around a cultist encounter. lost my screenshot though

I like stance powers; it was a shame that I only got to use Huppo's max-bond special stance for one boat section where I was already too overpowered to get much use of it.

Even then it'd be risky unless you put some kind of low-health alert in. I kept getting blindsided by Aide showing up to battles at 1hp, I don't have the attention span to remember to heal whoever's rotating in for a boss fight.

Of course, you shouldn't fuss with this sort of thing at this point. The game's been finished for 2 years and it'd take a lot of re-tuning specific encounters if you had to account for players showing up half-dead and resourceless. I only brought it up because it occasionally, and seemingly arbitrarily, undermined the scrambling-to-stay-alive gameplay dynamic that I was otherwise appreciating.

lmao no I turned down bug-smushing in the very first downtime and missed out. I'll come back for that sometime, now that I have my hopes up for a huppo VN portrait

That makes sense, although it sounds more like an RPG Maker problem than a you problem. I can hardly complain too much about free heals, I suppose.

I had a lot of fun with this!

The restriction on party restores added a cool layer of tension to the stock RPG mechanics. Towards mid- and late-game this wore off some (especially as party members got access to recovery skills) but early-game definitely nailed the vibe of being a pack of unwashed strugglers against a brutal setting. I don't specifically play games for masochism, but stuff like spending my last funds on a revival item and immediately using it after a random encounter because of Posh's paper-thin defenses is a level of strategic miscalculation most story-focused games don't offer. It made me much more inclined to do shitty or degrading things for money/survival than I would in another game (in a good way).

In all the RPGs that have you literally trash-pick items, this is probably the one where it felt the most appropriate and had the most riding on every dumpster check. I appreciated the variety of flavor text in those as well as the check that let me know which I had already searched.

The soundtrack rips, too.

Some spoilers below this point

The central goal didn't seem that important to me but I was invested in the ostensibly secondary "make enough money to live" and "don't let everyone die" objectives and I appreciated that several other party members were with me on those.

While I appreciate the deliberate mechanical screw-yous described above, I felt there was some stuff that surprised me in a worse way - for a game with "few to no full heals" I ended up getting plot-full-healed without warning sometimes after using up some precious recovery items. In other cases, I didn't get an option to go post-dungeon shopping or fully explore an area because I had "completed it" and "had no reason to go back".

The downtime mechanics were a nice touch and helped flesh out the party a lot. There was a little element of "I should pick the right option to maximize the bonuses this'll give me" but I still mostly was making choices on roleplaying instead of character optimization. That said, I felt as though I barely knew some of the later members, and they were forced into flatter arcs due to the brevity of their time in the story. There also felt like less and less of a party dynamic as the characters that knew each other died off and it became a pack of people only connected through Tilda. I liked the variety of combat roles, although I cheaped out on fully equipping and couldn't grind very often so I never got to see some characters or abilities shine. The burn book was a great touch, though, especially the cute little "Likes: Me uwu" notes.

I kind of didn't like what Omen's power brought to the story. Not only did she explicitly or nearly-explicitly spoil every character death past that point save the last, it seems to me to run against the struggle-to-survive-in-hell theme of the story to be able to point to someone and say they're going to die no matter what. I don't mind that conceit in every case and it can work pretty well, I think it just fell flat for me here, especially since it more or less became the core of Phede's and Huppo's arcs from the moment she joined. It also felt a little overemphasized compared to some of the other powers that would ordinarily lean on the plot - Rumor often couldn't get a good read on plot-critical characters, and Guuchi only managed to redo a bad situation once in a way that mattered.

I don't mind MSPaint graphics in general and I think that they complement the atmosphere of the game quite well. The aesthetic swap-outs at the end were a nice way to bring home the impact of the style's crudity/messiness. The overworld sprites were a little weak but I liked the visual character designs and the portraits and battle graphics showcased those well.

I'm not entirely sure but I think the broken glass weapon for Aide might be taking off health even in the fights where he's not in the party - when he rotated in, he often had 1 hp left.

Don't take all of this to mean I didn't like the game! I think it's an excellent production for the scale; this is just the byproduct of my digesting it for a few days since I finished it.

I can see in the soundtrack that there's multiple endings; I think I got the "good" one with two rounds of the final boss and maxed-out relationships for Sloppy, Phede, Omen, and Gucchi, but is there any guide to make sure?

Having a lot of fun with this! I think there's a small bug - the copy for trading in a Plasma Blaster at Val's, in the Robot episode, calls it "Plasma Blaster@coin". Is it supposed to show that extra tag?

Happy to play freelance QA. I dunno how much of those weirder issues are your problem to begin with - my computer might just be allergic to RPG Maker on some level (I'm pretty sure the video freeze happened on one of the stock visual effects, which, ???)

I'll give it another shot sometime, seeing as I didn't get past the ending on my first try. Thanks for looking into this stuff.

I ran into a few issues:

The client wouldn't let me install, I keep getting "Cannot read property "build" of undefined". I'm on Windows but don't have RPG Maker installed. I've seen this with other RPG Maker games though and it's no trouble to go the web download instead.

The enemy descriptions in the manual seem to have placeholder text and all just say "Tips about it".

In the first room with an Ensnared encounter, both cell entrances seem to lead to the same room.

Sometimes the background for battles was just a blur-filtered screenshot of the current map, instead of the corridor graphic, like I had opened the pause menu.

There were a couple of typos in the pre-Reliant dialogue (where you get judged for how many fireflies you spent, I think), I didn't write them down though.

The rendering froze during the Reliant fight during the animation for Light Touch (not for the first time that battle either). The game was otherwise unfrozen - the music was playing and there was audio feedback when I navigated through the menus, but I had to close out anyway since I couldn't read what I was doing.

I liked the monster designs, the rabbit theming made for a distinct band of creepy guys.  I thought some of the strategy was a little off - I never bothered to fight the Sustaining except to heal a bit before running, and I always cheesed my way around wandering NPCs if I could avoid a fight. I definitely enjoyed the brevity - not that I was having a bad time, I just like a game I can play for under an hour and have a good time with. The manual looks slick as hell too.

I was able to get the normal ending, mostly thanks to discovering and thoroughly exploiting a bug that allowed me to leave home and go work another shift after returning from the first. Gaming or cooking after arriving removes the "it's night, can't go back out" message and lets you return to the field to hustle further. This let me rack up multiple workdays without advancing the calendar. There might have been some smaller bugs too - I think the news alerts didn't always line up with actual price hikes - but I didn't pay very close attention for them.

I still got a bunch of game overs and ended the game at 30 hp, with only one day to spare after collecting the rent. So the bug might not be a total game-breaker, especially considering how risky it is to catch the plague or something just after heading out - I only used it if I was still in mostly-good condition.  It could be more exploitable - I might not have hustled hard enough while the hustling was good significantly less dangerous in the early game. I might also just have bad plague RNG.

I don't fuck around with 50/50 odds for escaping unless I have to, so I fought most encounters and ended the game at level 6. That said, if I was in over my head, Coughing Fit never seemed like a better option than just trying my luck escaping. I found hunger the easiest resource to manage, so I made a lot of complementary use of the single-attack move that stresses you out and the move that burns stress but makes you hungry.

I suspect there'll be plenty of media that sets out to capture the fear and isolation and historical impact of the pandemic once it's in any sense "behind us", but I think this game does a good job at specifically emphasizing the more mundane lose-lose-lose situations people face every day.

It's a very angrily-written short story of a survival horror RPG, in a good way. I like that it uses a straightforward turn-based RPG format but denies the agency or power that would normally grant. You just have a level 6 capacity to cope with this part of the collapse of an individualistic society.

I liked the glitch effects and  vaguely nauseous graphical style.  Some of it ran like shit on my laptop which is probably in-theme. in conclusion fuck them biiiiirds

Last post for now with overarching thoughts. I'm glad I've been able to help catch loose ends and I hope that some in-depth player feedback is helpful even if much of the game is already built.

The Party

Spending money on abilities is a fun way to play with resources, especially early-game when funds are tighter, proportional costs are weird narratively but seem necessary to keep them from getting spammable later. Her stats ended up on the tankier side for me which was great because she basically spent the whole game off-balance.

I thought her bluntness and impatience for bullshit played well off all the surrounding bullshit. I liked the arc of her clawing her way back on top of her own life situation, even if I accidentally overshot the plot on that.

Bribe - used it a few times, sometimes to see if it works. Didn't really need it most of the time, even if it was always the most "affordable". Wish it worked on the chaser minibosses.

Spray - early-game mainstay, kind of determined how well the fight was gonna go on its own. I think the few times I used bribe as intended were when a spray failed me. Still useful later on if there are more beefy enemies, it's usually good to debuff or stun a few.

Business Talk - gimmicky save when I was overlevelled to fight the first sewer wrath slime by alternating between this and lunge. Rarely used but always key when I did use it. Locking down any enemy for 2 rounds is great when fighting only one enemy.

Self-Care A - used it on Kyrie for fights where I wanted to her to fuck something up in a hurry. Shame it doesn't have any priority but I guess that's on me for not paying enough attention to the AGI stat

Self-Care B - never used it at all.

All Business - seldom used it, by the time I got it, Ramona's basic attack was dealing enough damage to be worth it to preserve her attack stat in most circumstances

Loud Speech - I think I used it with Erase Presence, once. Which was a cool synergy. I just didn't often need to draw aggro

Shank - Used it pretty often. When Lunge got accidentally downgraded I switched over to it as my Lunge replacement

Rummage - Used it sometimes, if I was using All Business or couldn't deal much damage with Ramona in a fight for whatever reason

Lunge - mainstay the entire time I had it. Big damage and a defense debuff that everyone could leverage. The defense debuff on Ramona barely registered most of the time.

See you in hell - eats HP for breakfast. If you have the healing items to use it, and you're in a boss fight, you use it. I know it's going to get nerfed but I think I'd have had it equipped to someone even if it was doing half the damage.


Basically never used his physical attacks at all. Gave him all the magic pills - it seemed like a waste of half the effect to use them on Kyrie or Ramona's MDF alone. I didn't really pay attention to whether enemies were doing physical or magic damage until I noticed them nulling off of him.

I liked "silence" as an esoteric magic element and his phone-artifact dialogue quirks. I felt like it was odd that he doesn't really interact with anyone in his own life besides the other two party members. Kyrie and Ramona's isolation make sense but he's got an online social life, and I think he alluded to roommates. It'd be nice to see him as he relates to people he's known longer.
Also, I wasn't sure that his bat attacks were "magic" attacks at first, or if the magic was just in that they had guaranteed aim, mostly because my brain is stuck the physicality of hitting someone with a baseball bat. I'm still not sure of the relative damage of each attack skill or if they all do the same base damage.

Concentrate - basically any turn he didn't have something more important to do.

Shut you up - reliable, nice to have late-game when another magic attack might wake or unstun someone I don't want to

True silence - used on occasion. If I didn't plan well I got fucked over for several turns in a row. One time kyrie got confused in Blood rush before I dropped this and I just watched her run into walls for 4 turns

Erase presence - used rarely, see synergy with Loud Speech

Silence is bliss - late game magic attack of choice, no contest

Swing for the fences - sometimes useful when up against a bunch of little guys but usually too costly once Kyrie had Hunt Down

Pretend it's not there - only just got this, too much money and resources to bother spending MP on healing at this point, plus hidden is a drawback if I'm using it on anyone but devon

Redirected noise - pretty good when there are two big enemies on the field, takes one mostly out of the question for a few turns

Forced sleep - I used it in about the same circumstances as redirected noise, it was good to have a backup option or turn off someone's attacks all the way sometimes


Star of the show (in combat) for most of the game since arriving on the team. Never a wasted turn. Her evasion was pretty good for most of the game so I never felt like she was much of a glass cannon, especially with her mask up stance and HP boosting items.

Her class title was a wild surprise. Coupled with the lore about how adventurers just sometimes up and get addicted to killing, I think it was a well-timed escalation of the degree to which this setting is openly fucked. I did feel like there were a few too many cutscenes and dialogue beats after that in which the party encountered someone she'd want to target and held her back. There's too many assholes in the city for that to not get a little stale. I am curious to see how they'll explain this to Jasper.

Death threats - pretty frequent flier. often use them the turn before switching from Mask up to Blood rush.

Focused blow - used sometimes, especially if blinded or dealing with an evasion-boosted enemy, but usually the other two party members had "guaranteed hit" locked down

Mask up - used in more fights than not. Longer fights, I'd switch to this for her to lay some opening buffs and debuffs or throw items at people. Shorter ones, if I thought I could grab a few extra hundred HP

Blood rush - also used more often than not. Really my preferred method to make big hp numbers smaller of all the means available to the party. It seemed to me that the attack debuff affected the strength of non-basic attacks, so there was still a reason not to be in any stance sometimes.

Hunt down - better than swing for the fences most of the time - cheaper to spam, higher damage (in most circumstances). Missing one or two of a pack of enemies didn't really matter too much to me.

Vengeance - surprisingly not used very often, I think because if I was trying to kill one target then I'd just activate Blood rush so that I didn't need to keep Kyrie near dead. Maybe used it once or twice to get more damage out of a defensive Mask up turn.

Friendly advice - unlocked this early, also a great buff to throw on at the beginning of longer combats while Masked up

Crocodile Tears - barely used, takes a lot of HP for an unreliable counterattack for one turn from a character with low defenses. Not a good tradeoff against reliable damage on my own turn (like Hunt down) for cheaper.

Game balance

At the beginning of the game I was having an authentic level 1 fuck-you experience. I couldn't walk to the first interesting things in the forest without risking my entire life and losing progress from my save. Spray was an unreliable option, Bribe was a costly one when my finances were measured in bags of chips between Ramona and death. Recruiting Devon was probably the first thing I should have done. The wall that I was running into could have probably inspired me to buy a hint, but I forgot that system was there by the time I realized the wall was there. Honestly, they could stand to advertise more.

Between recruiting Devon and Kyrie, I was still struggling, especially with world-map chase bosses, increasingly because I was hoarding stat pills. Recruiting Kyrie evened the odds a lot. When I started using up my stat pills it tipped over into being on the easier side. Most of my game-overs were pre-Devon, a handful happened pre-Kyrie, but I don't think I hit game over more than one or two times after that.

I think my playthrough might be an anomaly due to both my cluelessness with stat pills and tendency to wander and grind aimlessly. I didn't run very often because it wasn't very reliable (even after clearing two strata in the tower, I can't escape, like, wasps), and fighting my way through usually cost less than the bribe. The encounter rate and random spawns in dungeons are erratic - sometimes encounters appeared within 3 steps of each other - which is completely thematically necessary, probably, but meant I waded through piles of enemies that didn't really pose much of a threat whenever I went somewhere intended for earlier in the game. Since the drop rates on pills remain fairly consistent across most enemies, you can effectively grind for bigger stats most anywhere. My finances turned around when I started selling enemy item drops in bulk and 100%ing the quests I took instead of getting partial credit. I think I ended the game with about 67 souls sold and hadn't even noticed when multiple collectibles started hitting their cap at 99. I still really enjoyed the game and only rarely turned my brain off for fights even when those fights were one-sided.

Level scaling felt a little out of place. Your stats get bigger with higher levels, but when enemies' stats rise in tandem, it feels pretty meaningless. I don't mind the concept that you'll never get strong enough to one-shot a raccoon, but having the raccoon's level go up alongside mine muddled what levels were supposed to represent. I feel like it's too baked into the game math to really recommend any alternative at this point, though. Once I knew it was happening I stopped caring about levelling up except as a means to acquire more skills, and started keeping an eye out for level-free stat boosts. Because of this, I took 1 level-down stat-up potion by accident and the other 4 or 5 when I figured I was at the end of everyone's skill chain - didn't seem to have any drawbacks at that point

In combat, I paid a lot of attention to status effects and abilities and very little to stats. I very occasionally checked a foe's MDF and DEF to see if Devon or Kyrie should deal with them but most of the time I attacked with the ethos that damage was damage. The exception was the Company Man miniboss with the defense-swapping move where I could definitely tell who was hitting for single digits and who was hitting for triple.

I liked that there were multiple valid options for equipment most of the time instead of standard RPG escalating bonuses. I feel like the final loadout of the party was an intentional one that played into how I used each character. I didn't ever feel like anyone had too few choices, although some were easier to rule out than others. The cheater's bat looked enticing at first glance but I was not about to start using Devon's basic attack at that point in the game. The happy charm was interesting - I might put it on Jasper, I didn't find any of their skills terribly critical for the 5 seconds they were on the team.

I wish I had some kind of guide to status rules and effects that was more concrete than trial, error, guesswork, and playing through Slimes previously. Even the way that buffs and debuffs apply to both defense or both attack stats at the same time wasn't clear at first - the crossword of MDF/DEF and MAT/ATK is clever but wasn't obvious enough for me.

I liked the semi-random stat-up and stat-down events when eating out, resting, etc, but those tapered off in impact as I got to higher levels.


Aside from the beginning with solo Ramona getting a lot of games over, I did feel like I usually had a couple of things to do at any given time. Sometimes I'd go back into a dungeon I had already cleared to see if there was anything else worth checking out, once I had enough resources or team members to feel comfortable wandering around - that's how I got revenge on the scorpion nest in the warehouse and found the hidden shrine. I didn't end up using hints at all - an itemized quest list was more than sufficient.

I feel like the Tower is much more central to multiple plot threads than I had initially realized. Besides recruiting Devon and saving Jasper, it seemed like I could have altered the outcome of the Manor dungeon by visiting there first, or pursued the thread with the cultists in their base. I stayed away for most of the game because basically every third or fourth adventurer NPC was a walking PSA that dungeons were deathtraps, and because I never had to visit to follow the plot threads already in front of me (aside from recruiting Devon or rescuing Jasper). It might work against the open-endedness of the game a little but it might be good to put a little pressure on the player to go check it out - maybe there's a rule about not accessing tier 2 quests until you clear stratum 1, or some loot you sometimes find like the hint tokens or special keys that can only be (usefully) redeemed in there, or not being allowed to take more than one of uzbek's quests in one day but have you considered going to the Tower instead? Or it could be left the way it is - I just felt that climbing at the end of my playthrough made me feel like I had missed out a little.

I felt like the maps were large and detailed enough to capture the locations they depicted. There wasn't a lot of detail or texture to some locations but those things take time and assets and I really can't blame you if downtown's gotta have vague undefined block towers. It might be nice to have a map somewhere that does nothing mechanically but gives you a better sense of where the bus is taking you. I thought it was a little odd that the non-recurring NPCs all used the same sprite but once I got used to it it didn't really bother me.

I liked running into the cast of adventurers throughout the game and seeing how their dialogue and situations changed as you progressed. I'm terrible with names but I think giving them some of the limited budget of character portraits and overworld sprites was a good choice.

Other thoughts

I tried some of the other music tracks and liked them, but for the tone of this game nothing really beats the default battle music. Some of the soundtracks I liked added a lot of intensity to the boss theme but added way too much intensity to the standard battle theme. The default music lends a somewhat goofy, somewhat sardonic vibe to what are often decidedly nonheroic encounters which I thought was more apprioriate than anything more serious. It also fits way better with all of the overworld music.

I didn't turn on :) mode because I didn't actually read what it did until after playing through. For some reason I got the impression that it was mostly dialogue changes and that it didn't add additional encounters or content.

There are a handful of cool stylistic touches like the battle-open splash or the encounter title drops that I appreciated. Even if the art budget is "what you can draw in your free time" I think these helped nail something distinctive. I also think the portrait style for the characters and battle effects is quite nice. Outside of the red-and-black of Slimes it comes off a lot more cartoony (which fits the tone and the music just fine imo) and its pretty effective at helping me distinguish the cast (even if I'm shit at names). I never quite figured out who was in Devon's attack animation though.

My favorite enemy was probably the business slime.

I'll pick this up again when there's more content to roam. I might even start a new file - even without two or three "test" redemptions of the $1000 quest I'm feeling like I kind of sailed off the difficulty curve at some point. Also, now that I've bothered to read what it does, I'd like to try out :) mode from the jump.

Good luck with the rest of the game!

moderate spoilers

Played for a bit longer but didn't really figure out where to go with anything. Poked at a few systems I hadn't yet looked at, took a few more notes, but I think I'll put the rest down until the full game is released. I'll write up some thoughts on the overall balance and experience later.

bugs and other issues

The conversation with the musician outside of Trish's trapezoid has the same bug as the Butcher's bounty - you can't respond yes or no, you just get billed $50. There's also a line in that conversation ("I'm not sure how far I'll get into...") that reaches the screen border.

The $ cost for bribe and other skills in the UI is an absolute lie. The menu promised me $10 and then I spent $260 to (successfully) bribe a car to fuck off

Healing from the potion in Trish's illusion world also heals bar drink effects. Makes enough sense, just a surprise.

Blackjack dialogue: "The minimum bet is $10, m'am" > ma'am

The hint line tells me I have nothing going on in the sidequest department, and takes my money and gives me a hint token without actually giving me a hint if I ask about the main quest. 

Can't press "x" to cancel the bus menu, unlike a lot of other menus.

I found the place in the menu where you see the artifact ability description - that was my mistake. In the menu, though, I think it might be unintended that all characters show a useless "AM 0/0" bar on their pause menu stats.

other notes

Found two lockpicks in a chest in the tower. Found a soul in another. Just wanted to share

I have a habit of accidentally skipping dialogue or options boxes but I feel like it's worse with the church meditation cutscenes than any other event. I end up picking the first choice before I even get a chance to read.  Maybe requiring a button press to make the multiple choice options show up might help?

"Pretend its not there" applies "hidden" effect, not mentioned in its description, which fades after a few steps (unlike when you carry off-balance between battles) with a popup alert. Seems like a deliberate effect although it makes the skill more situational for me because hidden fucks up all but guaranteed-accuracy attacks and the skill seems to go off with priority, before anyone else can attack with it.

Happy to help!

Looks like the tower was 90% of what I had left in the game. I would have completely missed the encounter with Jasper and Quinnith at the docks if not for the heads-up. The boss at the third stratum wasn't trivial and I completely wasn't expecting a fourth party member for it, but I don't think I felt on the ropes too much with a stockpile of every healing item and four party members to carry them. The company man miniboss was tough at first but I ended up with a fairly effective turn 1 lock-in strategy of shank > kyrie aggro stance > death threats > mute all.

The self-insert miniboss was a fun diversion but I went in expecting a joke boss that couldn't actually cause a game over and got my ass kicked. I don't know if I misinterpreted the situation, but a boss fight that you trigger by talking to the NPC twice at a weird side area two floors into a no-save zone was unexpected, and the auto-heal made it seem like it was designed to be unfairly hard to win (I didn't try very hard to win, because I misconstrued it as a repeatable test-your-strength kind of fight, so I can't actually speak to how fair it is). I travelled back after the game over but didn't talk to the NPC twice, and I missed my chance to try the fight for real. My thinking was that I wanted to save once I cleared the stratum and come back, and that the bus stop was a surreal but persistent part of that floor. This was at least true for the chandelier, which I also saved for a second climb.

Since no new quests are available at the bar, I might dip back in and try some more of the bounties. I was completely expecting the adventurer-killer to be Quinnith and Jasper to be a victim he was setting up to ambush in the Tower, but it seems I have to look around more than that.

I ended the game at level 14 with $6421 (pre-rent, which is currently around $2k) and 10:33 playtime. I spent a lot of that time wandering and not a lot of it running from fights or bribing them, so I got lots of items and stat pills - I could barely believe that the raccoons in the forest still dropped those when I returned to sell souls. I'm not a completionist usually but I have a lot of patience and little common sense so I'm not surprised I've been playing for over double the expected playtime. I think I bought 4 illusion level-down potions too (at least, I don't know why else Ramona and Kyrie would have 5 mat). I can kill a car in one round which would probably be an achievement if I were playing this on steam.

1115 hp, 71 atk, 83 def, 5 mat, 51 mdf, 70 agi, 23 luk
razor dirk, mack's eyepatch, casual fighting slacks, bulletproof business shirt, blessed work shoes, focus charm, tanky armband, tiny skull
got her church meditation skill
possessed at the shrine, got better

997 hp, 26 atk, 60 def, 101 mat, 112 mdf, 58 agi, 71 luk
basic bat, blessed shades, dark shorts, cutesy punk shirt, laced boots, sleepy flute, lucky feather, devon's phone

953 hp, 85 atk, 54 def, 5 mat, 33 mdf, 73 agi, 63 luk
blessed construction hammer, cat shawl, jogger's shorts, casual shirt, jogging kicks, lucky feather, holy heart necklace, tool belt
got her church meditation skill

Bugs and other issues

Perfect lunge exhibits the opposite effect of its described "upgrade" - Ramona is left off-guard, but the target is not.

Equipment list overlaps with character description in a fully-equipped character's status page.

No character description for Kyrie in the status menu.

Typo: "It's a more expensive restaurant" has no punctuation when visiting the restaurant at the docks

I found the schematics outside the Chandelier's chamber before I fought it, but AFTER I fought it, Balsamo showed up outside the arena as though we had been working together and as if I had given him those schematics to build me a weapon with which to kill the Chandelier. This was something of a lurch since the last interaction I had with that character was his suicide in the secret basement of the Manor. While I was reckoning with that, he and Devon talked about a bat that I hadn't even found yet. The fight itself wasn't terribly hard - the Chandelier dealt a lot of damage but I kept it locked down with the sleepy flute and business talk to the point that it only got in one round of actual attacking.

Other notes

I'd like to redact my earlier report as I have medically determined that Stanley can bleed when he attacks you at the docks.

The cultists' petty theft is very trivial at my current level of wealth. I think I got two $15 robbery events in one sleep. I'm surprised its not at all scaling proportional to wealth.

Blessed construction hammer offers a 15% def buff but it looks worse than other options point for point, since that doesn't seem to get calculated in to stat deltas on the status menu.

It would be nice if I got a description of the skills given by artifacts like the sleepy flute. I think the description for the tiny skull is inaccurate - it deals over 1000 damage when I use it with Ramona. Which really helps with the whole killing a car thing.

I like the little joke of "failed" appearing when business mindset stance is applied.

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major spoilers

I like how the "normal" areas are getting more and more hazardous as you complete quests - I definitely feel more able to handle the onslaught than when the wrath slimes first started showing up, but the slog means that you don't really reach a point where you feel like can take it easy. The one exception is the sniper attacks - I don't think it's off-theme for the party to get shot at at random, but what usually ends up happening is that one starts looming when I'm talking to an NPC and I end up paying an HP tax for the conversation. I have no idea how complicated it would be to freeze wandering enemies during conversation, but getting shot at inescapably is more obnoxious (to me) than getting jumped by one of the KKK-looking white-robe roaming enemies or getting run over by a car, even if I end up losing more health or using more resources in the latter case - I'd rather get fucked over in the battle system than an arbitrary -150 hp/all. I'd honestly just pay the mob back what I found in the sewers plus interest if it'd get them to lay off.

Without paying that much attention I managed to amass enough money and saleable resources to pay off the rent. I didn't expect the game to end when I did that so I'm glad I saved first. I think this is mostly due to a combination of being stat-pilled to the gills (I fight most battles instead of running and every so often rummage through my inventory to use up 5-10 of each pill) and decent drop rates on most resources, including souls. Plus, now that I'm struggling less, I think I'm getting more from the tier 2 quests than the partial credit I got for the tier 1s. I didn't even need to sell the cursed scale.

I think I'm stuck as far as Uzbek's quests go, so I'm seeing how far I can get in the tower now. I tried dropping a Total Silence on the Messenger boss in the hopes of preventing him from summoning the two other health bars that Spray revealed but ended up with everyone muted EXCEPT those assholes.

I've been playing 1.3, or at least I installed 1.3 over 1.2 over 1.1 (I mentioned that the itch client doesn't let me install properly on Windows 10?) If reloading my save on a fresh install might fix some of this, I'm happy to try.

Major bugs:
I don't seem to be able to close out the graveyard quest for good. I completed it once (and fought the cultist with the lightning rod, not the one with the gun, if that makes a difference) as the last quest in the Tier 2s. That didn't open Tier 3, and when I investigated the board the same quest could still be accepted. I accepted it again and ran into the cowboy adventurer with the hint to the location of the cultists' lair, but there was a blue NPC talking about how they were still cleaning it up blocking the entrance. I was able to turn the quest in to Uzbek again (for another $1000), and I found that it still wasn't removed from the board. A less scrupulous player than me could probably just generate infinite money 1 grand at a time.

In the manor library, there are some roaming big flower enemies that spawn after you read the clue. I don't know if this is true for all of them, but the leftmost one (which was closest to me on triggering their spawn) didn't despawn after I beat it, and in fact triggered the same fight twice over before I was able to get away.

Minor bugs:

I used Shank on Stanley at the docks but I don't think he bled. I could have missed it, truthfully.

Several of the puzzle clues in the manor disappear visually on inspection, but can still be interacted with.

The bounty for the Death Pugilist just ends the interaction if selected.

Dialogue issues:
Several lines appear cut off by the dialogue border, probably because they're just long enough to fill it without a linebreak. I documented a few I noticed:

  • Thrifty Adventurer conversation outside the manor: "something my friend dropped last time we were here"
  • Drinking Adventurer in the bar: "seems like everyone's going out on this big job, huh"
  • Confrontation under the graveyard: "the hearts promised me..."
  • Fishing adventurer in the parking lot: "I love to fish..."

The music app instructions say that "0" is the default themes, remarks that 00 is an old classic if you select it, then tells you that you don't own the record (although it still assigns the default).

The dialogue for the Shield Adventurer outside the graveyard switches sides on the screen for no apparent reason. She also doesn't have a portrait in the bar after the quest.

The right bookmaker at the casino doesn't have a text box for the first line of dialogue. Like the background is missing.

Typo in the paying-off-your-landlord scene - "neccessarily"

Grammatical typo in Swing for the Fences skill description

Minor Sequence Breaks:

I inspected the fake bookshelf in the Manor before walking into the Library at all.

Lacking a reason to revisit after recruiting Devon, I didn't return to the Tower until I had already taken down the Restroom Killer in round 2. I encountered him for the first time in the bathrooms next to where I recruited Kyrie, right after I recruited her, so it seems pretty likely that the conversation about serial killers will happen out of sequence for other players besides me.


The rules at the arena say you will only be healed if you win, but I didn't get healed after a 2-round of the toxic vibes fight. It's unclear if you only get healed for staying in 4 rounds or if you just don't get healed period.

Why can only Kyrie open artifact gachas? Not that it matters but it's odd to select the item and then select her (with no other party member selectable).

Eating at the restaurant downtown promised +15 max health but gave +20 and a stomachache. It could be random to some extent, I only used it once and only because I'm rich now.

When choosing a battle theme, it's odd to have to check your inventory for the record numbers and then switch to your phone instead of just using the record in your inventory. I have no idea what the limitations of RPG Maker are with regards to item usage scripting and soundtrack swapping but this UX seems a little out-of-the-way.

It was a shame to miss out on the manor safe puzzle. I found clues for the first, second, and last digits but didn't run into the third and now, even after turning in the job and Uzbek saying that someone will go clean up, nobody wants to go back into the safe room. Which makes sense, nobody wanted to see that, but the safe is behind the boss fight and if it wasn't for my insistence on checking side paths first I wouldn't have known what the clues were even for.

moderate-major spoilers

I realized that part of why I was getting my ass kicked so often is because I had been amassing a hoard of stat ups and forgetting to use them or putting it off. I used them, got the level-down potion from the illusory bartender, and opted in at the shrine all in short order and things seem to be a touch easier.  Nobody even died during the room 2406 quest although I imagine that was balanced to accommodate a possible 2-character party. It was refreshing to be able to deal with things like the Double Wrath Slime and the Prankster Rat King where before they were inescapable game-overs. A hard mode in which the pills have a 0% chance to drop could be an option for masochists, though I can't speak to how mathematically doable that would be, past the rank-1 missions.

On the shrine: I visited the church after - I don't know if that "traded off" the big stat up and I didn't do a before/after comparison to check. The creepy statuses in combat went away though. I didn't keep it around long enough to see if it was going anywhere, I figured anything with that much foreshadowing had a good chance of getting me killed and with my newfound stat-boosted overconfidence I didn't want to leave that risk on the table while save rationing.

Some little issues I ran into:

Couple of lines where Ramona's dialogue starts with "Ramona>" and Kyrie's with "Kyrie>" in the downtown sewer Faunshalt Family conversation.

In Patrick's bounty office there's a bounty on the Butcher. When you read it, there's no opt in or out prompt and you automatically lose $50 and get a complimentary hint token. The dialogue (and trade) was totally repeatable, I don't think I signed up for anything.

I also killed the rat guy before even meeting Patrick so when it prompted me to go see him I was despairing that I had  forgotten an NPC's name.
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minor spoilers

It seems like in the left room in the warehouse dungeon (where you get the razor dirk) the north exit leads back to the entrance room. Ran into that in 1.2, upgraded, confirmed it's still like that in 1.3.

Also I think the cost of the Bribe skill isn't being correctly reflected in the menu? I'll check next time I use it but I could swear it said $10 and charged me $15. I genuinely didn't make much use of it before the warehouse but I'm trying to be a little more pragmatic about fighting every single enemy since I learned that they're scaling with my level.

I just got the Rummage skill so I'm pretty excited for longer fights to hinge less on a turn-1 diceroll of Spray.  I'm vaguely concerned by the image of Ramona scrambling around the battlefield scraping together residues for the world's nastiest perpetual stew.

Minor, but you get a line about "the two of them are still looking for Kyrie" if you investigate the women's restroom after recruiting her but you get the cutscene and encounter if you investigate the men's.

Also the "Pills" conversation shows up in both the bar parking lot and right outside the apartment after recruiting Kyrie.

I'm enjoying how the combat has opened up with three party members and I appreciate the different skill cost systems they all work with. I also ran into the street to avoid a wrath slime and got kyrie pasted by a car before ending up in combat anyway. It's nice that that isn't an instant game over anymore but the game's essential quality of spitting on you while you're down seems undiminished.

the "depressed ex-adventurer" NPC at the docks changes sprites depending on the direction from which you talk to them. itch isn't letting me upload screenshots in the comments though

I can keep posting these as I run into them or I can dump a handful at once.  whichever is less annoying.

I went to both the clinic and the church with a downed party member, but neither seemed to be able to do anything about it. The way it was phrased, I thought the church might be about curing the stat-downs from being KOd, but I didn't even get that much out of them. I could be misunderstanding the point of both buildings.

I entered combat with Ramona down (specifically, I confronted the prankster rat guy after giving him 5 stingers) and combat opened with the "Ramona is down... -1 something or other" message. Is that supposed to compound like that? (the combat did not go well)

I was! Sounds like it could just be a bug that shows up when you reload a save from before 1.2.

Love the new battle open splash!

I opened my 1.1 save in 1.2 and got 3 distinct phone calls in a row as soon as it loaded

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minor spoilers

Still playing through this. Even if level scaling is making the Sewer Wrath Slime a tougher fight than intended, I found it managable by alternating between Lunge and Bribe to stall for another Lunge. I was able to get Devon but didn't realize that the Wrath Slime vendetta meant an inescapable unbribeable boss fight would be appearing on basically every map. I think that means I should stop rationing saves - they're not even $10 yet.

Couple of little bugs I ran into:

The conversation markers on the map started appearing when Devon joined, which made me remember the marker I triggered before recruiting any party members, I think in the room north of the woods bus stop with the attacking flowers? I wasn't sure if that was a bug or a very contextless flashback/flash forward at the time.

You can see a lot of health bars for the empty slots in the Stanley fight if you use Spray. Also you get a Broken Flute even if you win without trying to grab it before the fight? I'd understand if it was intentional, and maybe I missed a line at the end of the fight, but nobody seemed to say anything about it being broken until I turned it in at the Bar.

It would be convenient if the shop interface showed a comparison against what you already have equipped, instead of against baseline stats and a net stat delta. If that's an RPG Maker limitation it's not a big deal.

Still plenty of stuff left to dive into here. I'm really only inching my way through and things like Wrath Slime and Stanley revenge attacks tend to make me regret my frugal approach to saving.

Oh, this was all on 1.1 I think? So if anything changed in 1.2 I haven't checked it out yet. Nothing shows up in the itch client install options on Windows 10 so I downloaded it and forgot to keep it updated

No worries, big projects make it easy to miss the little things. None of that stuff ruined the experience at all but it seemed like the kind of thing you're looking to clean up in a demo version.

Completely forgot about the tip hotline but it turns out pinging the dev on itch with a small bug report gets you the same info for free.

I didn't realize that enemies were always scaling - I thought the purple slimes were the result of me triggering the treasure jacking event. I also assumed that knowing how to pick locks was a skill that another party member was supposed to bring to the table and figured that all of that was gated off for later. Looking forward to diving back in!

minor spoilers

I don't know whether or not I've "screwed myself out" of getting the second party member - I can see him outside the Tower but I don't know how to give him a means of communication. In lieu of that, I'm struggling with just a level 4 Ramona to take on the Raccoon Flute guy with or without the flute. I don't know if I have to complete a specific mission (or any mission) to recruit him but I do feel that grinding my way to a comfortable level at which to face him is a bit of a steep trek. Without any other party members or reliable abilities (except for Bribe, I suppose?) I'm reluctant to explore any place with enemies tough enough to speed up the grinding. I did enjoy discovering the small sewer dungeon outside the apartment and finding that the green slimes were easy enough pickings to mow down. I barely minded the treasure-jacking punchline, the real prize was easy loot. The purple slimes that replaced them were less generous. I also abused going to bed for the night for the free heal until I realized that that was adding to the rent. I'm halfway tempted to fish my way to housing security, an impulse mostly tempered by the suspicion that there's a system in place that depletes the fishing if you do enough of it in one day. Or maybe the big fish were just hiding for that third trip.

In attempting to find other places advance the "recruit someone else so I stop dying alone in the woods" sideplot I encountered a few small issues.

In the clinic, the second door on the right locks the game after the narration.

There's a seam in the tree tiles on the left edge of the docks.

You can run freely in the downtown sewer-dungeon, despite the rule about only running in "safe" places, although the effect on the encounter rate is... dramatic.

I think that other people have mentioned them but the random calls cycle pretty often. They're a nice touch and add to the stressed-out gig worker vibe, but maybe when the pace of the game is more defined it might make sense to make some of them one-time only scattered throughout the plot (and replace the rest with terrible spam callers. is Ramona aware her car insurance is expiring? it's not a bug if its annoying on purpose)

Lastly, I like the "DO YOUR BEST/DO YOUR WORST" splash on entering battle, but it's often half-legible due to the overworld background not contrasting against the black. The first few times I saw it I didn't get a chance to read it. If it plays for every battle in the entire game it's not that big of a problem, but it diminishes the impact of the first couple of appearances if it's half cut off.

I enjoyed Slimes a lot and I'm enjoying revisiting the setting premises that were mostly only alluded to or flashbacked about there. This seems like a much more sprawling project with a very different vibe - an intentional throwback to much meaner early console RPGs with some additional negative feedback loops strewn about as a reminder that capitalism. The screenshots (more than my own stymied progress) seem to indicate you've made some decent headway on that sprawl - best of luck with the rest!

I had plenty of fun rolling through without picking up on it, although I did use Divine Touch and Suplex all over the place - all I really needed to know was that it kept their Numbers lower and/or made mine bigger. I don't use RPG Maker and haven't played more than a handful of RPG Maker games so I figured that's where the knowledge gap was. This wasn't the most ~~~strategic~~~ combat system ever but it being weird and a little messy worked well with the vibe of the rest of the game and that counts for more imo

This was a fun 3 hour binge. Died once to the second boss but reasonably smooth sailing past that. I have no idea what any status condition did but the Bonk skill made the second-to-last boss a cakewalk so I'm guessing it was good to keep them away. orange's sprite getting all excited for his turn is pure art

Of course you shouldn't overhaul anything at the design level at this stage! I don't even think the issues are that big of a deal, I just wanted to share my thoughts.

I had a lot of fun 100%ing this. I'm not usually a completionist but it was easy and rewarding to explore one bite-sized chunk at a time, especially with how many secrets were crammed into each corner of the map.

It took me about 5 hours to complete without a guide, although I wish I had noticed the game speed modifier before I won - exploration demands backtracking and retreading the same couple of rooms can get a little tedious at the 1x speed.

Some SPOILER-HEAVY thoughts and minor bugs -

I tend to explore in depth before I explore broadly and so I was able to rise to ranks 2 and 3 having barely scratched the surface of some places. Once you can carry three items at once, item-shuffling becomes kind of trivialized - either you're going somewhere you expect to swim or somewhere you expect to run, but rarely both. That's not against the design of the game but I will say I don't think that the item swapping was a big part of my experience after the first hour or two.

I thought the mole puzzle was a little confusing - it wasn't very clear to me that, upon them simply appearing, I had done everything I needed to do. I thought it was a bug that they wouldn't reappear or that I couldn't get them to show up while I was close enough to talk. I'm not even sure where I saw the factory entrance mole, and I don't think I was close enough to the pillar mole to for it to be visible when it appeared. My expectation was that I would have to speak to them; I only completed the mission accidentally by returning to the mole room to reread the dialogue. The reward for that was nice, although, as the very last thing I managed to do in the game, a little useless - but you can't really prevent that.

The other puzzle I walked away from with a slightly sour taste was the effigy puzzle. It's not that the solution didn't make sense, but the True Key room you go through to get there had some (I think unique) statues that really threw me off. I left the area and did the whole magic pot journey all over again just to be sure I was recreating those exactly! I liked the actual effigy, I just felt that that was an unintended red herring (at least for me).

I found it slightly annoying that the map button defaulted to showing me the 3D world map. I liked that perspective, I think it helped make the game feel like a comprehensive world instead of a bunch of stitched-together rooms, but 99% of the time I was hitting tab because I wanted to check where I was and where I was going on a room-by-room basis.

I really enjoyed the little stuff hidden in out-of-the-way places for map completionists like myself to find. The weird little creature in the sky with coffee was great, as was the hint guy's lair.

I also thought the magic pot areas were a neat concept. I've only played the version where the patched-in hint was present (was it the snow guy dialogue? the map?) but it added a fun puzzle to retracing your steps to already fairly out-of-the-way places. I liked the flavor of them being mostly "special" places - shrines and such. Full disclosure, I superimposed the hint map over the tab-menu map in an image editing tool, but this is the kind of game where taking notes is hardly cheating.

There were a handful of small bugs I ran into -

  • I got a crash during the Ice Master fight - unfortunately, I didn't copy the error, but I think it mentioned an alarm. It may have had something to do with an attack triggering on a hand that was above the ceiling of the room. That was the only crash I encountered, though.
  • The treasure mimic boss behaves oddly if you bring one of the chests from two rooms prior into its arena. Specifically, when it charges, it'll bounce off the chest as if it were the screen edge, go reeling into the actual screen edge, "land" in midair, and then charge across nothing as if it were on the ground. More silly than harmful, and not terribly useful to cheese the fight, since it still bounces around and the chest can vanish or get in your way.
  • Particle effects from torches and the magic jar tend to go into overload when you pause or look at the map for a while and then resume. Induced some surprising lag, though nothing harmful. Something similar is possible if you hold the spawn-vines button while standing close enough to a torch that it can burn them on instantiation.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this, enough to write up a small essay of thoughts and feedback. Of course I wouldn't expect you to change it post-release based on a rando itch comment but I like to ramble when my brain's been this deep in a game.

Looking forward to what you make next!

Just saw it on Windows 10 - clean reinstall got me past it, though