Let’s Talk About The Granstream Saga

The_Granstream_Saga_Front

People, people, people… this game. This game is one of the first RPGs that I ACTUALLY completed and it has scarred me for life for many, many reasons but seriously, if you get the opportunity to complete this game, YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHY I HATE THIS GAME. In all seriousness, I don’t hate it because it’s shit. I hate it because of what it did to me as a gamer and as a person and FOR WHAT IT MADE ME DO. I was not old enough in the emotional sense to have to deal with what I had to do and if any other game makes me do the same thing, it’s instantly in the bin. Seriously. I am NOT going through all that shit again without good reason.

So aside from my emotional trauma which is very real and not at all made up for the purposes of reviewing this game OH GOD THE HORROR… DON’T MAKE ME DO IT YOU BASTARDS… Ahem. Yes… Sorry. Anyway.

OK, so plot-wise, you’re looking at the main character on the box art. That guy is you. He is typical anime boy: no parents, has a random magical artefact, doesn’t know what it does, saves the world. Typical fare all in all. He’s named after a unit of time which I have struggled to find any decent jokes about because realistically, trying to make the words decade, minute or epoch funny are incredibly hard and it’s five past ten in the evening, stop judging me. His name is EON which is probably the Japanese spelling for Ian only slightly cooler because Ian doesn’t look that funky on paper and yet EON does… although in the UK, we have an energy supplier called EON but it’s stylised as E:ON and I’ll have you know that colons are not cool, particularly when you have a class of 20 kids who don’t know how to use them because who even needs to them these days amirite? No I’m not right but fuck it, that might make someone giggle or it might make them scowl at me in public IF ONLY THEY KNEW WHO I WAAAAAAAAS.

Oh yes, the plot: (IRONIC COLON USAGE!) EEONN and his magical not-father Valos are dealing with a crisis involving the continents of the world sinking into the sea because in this world, the continents levitate over the sea because of some MYSTICAL ORBS and when are there not mystical orbs in RPGs these days, but basically there are some OTHER mystical orbs that allow pieces of land to be cut off from the rest of it so the continents stop sinking as much. These orbs are all gone and everything going to go to shit because RPGs. Eventually, E:O:N finds out that he has MAGICAL POWERS – or at least his funky bracelet has – and he can turn any broken object back into its original form and can create a copy of any other object. Basically, if he was so inclined, and maybe in another usage this might happen, he could counterfeit every coin in the world and be the richest bastard who ever did live but if that’s all he decided to do, we’d have a very short game. Plus, too much money = too much weight = too much sinky sinky = too much death. Probably.

Anyway, there’s some other characters involved along the way included the most inept sidekick you think you’ll every come across in the shape of a very small bird who starts off as an irritating little fucker and ends up as an irritating little fucker but with at least the ability to turn into a GIANT BIRD who can help you travel around a bit, something that is rendered completely useless moments after you find out he can do this because you find a MAGICAL TOWER which scares the living shit out of you when you find it because:

FUUUUUUUUCK, FLOATING HEAD. IF THIS THING’S APPEARANCE DOESN’T FUCK YOU UP, YOU ARE A BETTER PERSON THAN EVERYONE ELSE WHO PLAYED IT BECAUSE LOOK AT THIS THING.

So this thing is your new form of transport. It’s a giant tower. Seriously. It’s a giant tower with a floating head in it. I’d have preferred a spaceship or a dragon but I suppose it had to have something to set it apart from the rest of the endless number of RPGs to come out during this period of gaming. I mean, it’s not as if there’s anything else that this game could be remembered for is there?

Oh wait.

Reason number 1 for my mental scarring. How is it POSSIBLE for a game released post-1995 to feature characters WITHOUT faces and be considered ACCEPTABLE? I can accept no faces from a Net Yaroze game, that whole shebang was kinda built of no face-technology but even SOME of those games had faces. HOW DOES THIS NOT? It totally gives the game a feeling of unerring creepiness. How do you tell how your character feels and I can tell you for certain that it’s not through the dialogue because if you followed that you’d end up just thinking everyone was really polite and happy all of the time. Nor is it through the AWFUL voice acting which is de rigeur for this kind of game in this kind of era and it isn’t as bad as anything that’s on that awful voice acting website that you need to google as soon as you can (after reading this) because that shit’s funny as anything.

Anyway, back to the magical orbs and EIEION finds a MAGICAL GIRL, who’s not magical in that way but she can restore the continents to their former glory by reciting a magical verse because she’s clearly MAGICAL which means they start to float again, saving everyone. There, she’s clearly magical! She does all the saving but you find the verse for her because there aren’t any such things as books or no one writes anything down or nobody wants to remember what is essentially the most important thing that you could POSSIBLY need right there and then because IT’S ONLY OUR LIVES AT STAKE, PEOPLE. Fucking ridiculous that no one would consider THAT. I mean, get over yourselves, it’s not all about you, you selfish bastards. LEARN TO WRITE THINGS DOWN THAT MIGHT SAVE US ALL. PRICKS.

So yeah, magical orbs, magical bracelets, magical girl and magical bird who turns into a giant magical bird. It’s all very magical, if you hadn’t guessed.

SPOILER ALERT.

Anyway, before I go on, I have to point out that this next paragraph (i.e. the one about why I’m scarred for life with every game ever now forever) is a MASSIVE, MASSIVE SPOILER. You have been warned.

So as you level up, you learn new magical spells because MAGIC and RPGs and the very last spell you learn is one called GENOCIDE. Seriously, you are given the magical power to KILL PEOPLE EN MASSE which is HARDLY the kind of magical power you really want to be giving random people, no matter whether they’re the hero of a random RPG that nobody bought. The even worse thing about it is that technically you HAVE to use it. There is a moment where the game says: ¬†USE GENOCIDE? and you have NO CHOICE because if you don’t, it send you into the endless cycle of dialogue choices that basically say: ‘just fucking press yes, ya twat’ followed by ‘stop being a der-brain and say yes’ followed by ‘we haven’t got any options for saying no, just fucking press yes’ followed the same three choices over and over until you stop trolling the game.

So I’m scarred slightly more now than I was, only for it to get slightly worse. EONANDON has to make a decision right at the end which essentially means you have to complete the game twice to get two separate endings. When you fight the final boss, you need more power and to do that, you have to sacrifice yet ANOTHER one of your comrades, either the magical girl or the not-magical girl. Only a pure and loving soul can enter your bracelet (I am not making this shit up) and you have to choose who it is. THIS GIVES YOU THE POWER TO KILL THE FINAL BOSS. KILLING THE ONE YOU LOVE.

Oh OK, game, I’ll kill THE ONE I LOVE to KILL THE FINAL BO-does any of this sound fucking ridiculous to you because reliving this shit is making me really feel queasy that I even vaguely liked this game. The fact there are no faces and the characters move around like mechanical dummies is inexcusable for that era of gaming, almost copout-y in a way and to have to make that kind of decision, REGARDLESS of whether it’s a game or not was just… yeah. I don’t like this game anymore.

Also, fuck you, final boss. Just… just fuck right off. This whole game was just a giant dick move from start to finish and BOOOOOOOOOOOO to it.

Anyone recommend a good therapist?

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