Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Mysterium: Metal Soul

The intro text has the ant tell me that they're sorry for making the monsters, because they created them when exposing metals to sunlight. That's...uh...that's...what? Is this magic metal? My head hurts again. The ant gives me a scroll he says can help me.

Nice, starting off right next to a monster. A phoenix. Dunno if that's the technical in-game term, but that's what they look like. The scroll, which is actually on the floor, tells me that I can drop stable keys into acid for a shield against metal creatures.

Oh, oh, very nice, monster number 2. Who needs game design when you can just throw ten thousand enemies at the player. Still, this gives me the theory that aiming has something to do with dodging. During my next combat, this seems to check out. So there actually is some skill to it. The element of the level is salt. That's right, salt. I'm not supposed to put it in acid. Curiously, it seems the game finally bothered hiding the lizard.

In theory having finally understood the game's combat system I should be having fun, but really, its just a step above those games where your crosshairs also function as targets. You're still liable to get hit, so it doesn't really feel that skill-based, and this doesn't really make up for the rest of the game's blandness.

Halfway through the level, I find a note that says to put the salt into acid, then mercury to get some kind of mixture. A few combats, and one well-placed healing item later, I have found the exit and most of the vats. As I turn around at the acid vat, being earlier in the level, where I already killed all the monsters, I am assaulted by a Djinn. This wasn't summoned by the game, he just popped out. Great...just great. There are a lot of them around, not just Djinns, but ghouls too. This puts me in a tricky spot because I wanted to mess around with my useless items on this level. Is this some kind of timed respawning or is this level unique? I've accidentally left the game running in the background before and nothing bad popped up. Curious...curious...The mixture, naturally, I have no idea what to do with it.

Still, I find something to do in-game. With sulfer (water>fire) I get a weapon that's getting close to maxing out my attack power, and with salt I get an easy health item. I'm going to take a gamble and drop the crystal items, they're mostly just saying meaningless mystic sayings and I suspect they're just information.

Level 6, more meaningless text, and another key. The element of the level is antimony. Bit of an obscure choice, but whatever. There's a bit of trickery going on in this level, the lizard is at the level exit. I got lucky, since I had the key to the door. There just wasn't much to say here. The game keeps giving me advice that ends up screwing me. Here, a scroll tells me to make a teleportation item. There's literally no need for such things in this game. Instead I make a weapon and two healing items out of the levels supply. I'm this close to maxing out my attack power.
Level 7, because I wish this game over with soon enough. The element of the level is lead. Its not a very helpful element, only having a few keys as an item of value. And the level gave me a lot. However, I did notice that summoned monsters drop an item. I got a healing item out of a pool of acid this way. I'm running out of torches by now, which is...eh, I don't really care. Which once again, sums up my attitude towards this game. The game is pulling the typical Dungeon Master trick of having you shift directions. It did it last level, but it wasn't noticeable unless you went into a very optional area. Here its annoying. There are also a lot of doors here that are optional.
Gotta say that I don't really care for how this game is set up. Having to write down combinations of materials, spinners, and monster respawns are all good and dandy in a PC RPG, where you can be expected to track all this stuff down. Here, in a Game Boy game, where you can't actually save, it all seems to be overshooting the system somewhat. I suspect this is all just a way to heavily pad out the length of the game. On a real Game Boy, I'd probably have restarted the game several times. Or more realistically, sold the game off cheaply.

This Session: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 50 Minutes

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