Shenan Dragon

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Por wyrdwad

Paladin (787)

imagem de wyrdwad

24-02-2017, 10:24

Man, so this is a game I checked out completely at random, because it looked kind of interesting. Wasn't sure what to expect, as the scant few screenshots I WAS able to track down showed either really nice, detailed visual novel sections, or hex-based strategy RPG sections (?!), and it was VERY MUCH UNCLEAR whether or not this was going to be a porn game.

It's actually listed as an adult game online in a few places, but thus far at least, despite being published by Technopolis Soft (who are apparently known for their adult titles), it's actually not -- there have been a few characters in suggestive poses and/or wearing skimpy bikini armor, but no actual hentai content (whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, though, is up to you!). Wink

But that's beside the point -- the main reason I'm posting here is, this game is excellent! It's kind of a hybrid board game + turn-based RPG. The world map is a series of hexagons, and you can choose to land on any space that's not blocked by tree, mountain, or water tiles (though if you move more than one space at a time, it costs you money -- $25 per hexagon). Once you land on a space, you're transported into another board representing the contents of that space, wherein you'll find paths, treasure chests, dungeon entrances, shops, healing springs, and also thick brush that conceals hidden treasures and staircases (which you need to clear away before you can see what's there). Sometimes there are secrets, too -- fake trees and walls that you can clear away like brush, water sections you can walk through, etc.

There are also wandering monsters who move one space every time you do, and if they land on your space, you fight them in battle... which is dice-based, kind of like Rune Master/Rune Monster, but also card-based, with the various weapons you've purchased or found represented by cards with limited numbers of uses per battle, forcing you to strategically choose on each turn which weapon is best suited to the current combat situation.

It's actually a really well put-together game -- innovative and unique, easy to figure out, and it has three completely separate campaigns (boy hero, girl hero, and princess), which is also pretty cool. The graphics are quite nice, considering the style, and the music... well, the music is probably the weakest part. It's not bad, but it's all rather loud PSG fare, and it tends to speed up or slow down its tempo ever-so-slightly whenever new information is being written to the screen.

Still... it's really good! Way, WAY better than I was expecting, and I'm really finding myself addicted to it.

The only problem is... there is basically NO information about this game online. Not even in Japanese! And while I've been able to figure out most of how it works (it's fairly self-explanatory if you've played a lot of JRPGs and board games), there are a couple points I'm unsure on:

  • What is the formula used with dice rolls? The amount of damage I do, and the amount of damage I take, seem pretty arbitrary sometimes. Granted, if I roll an 8 on either die, I'll probably end up hitting the enemy and doing a fair bit of damage, and if I roll a 1, I probably won't -- but the amount of damage I deal and receive each turn seems to have little other connection to the numbers on either my two dice or the enemy's two dice. It's a long shot, but does anyone have any idea how this works?
  • There's a counter on the bottom-right corner of the screen that shows a little soldier next to it. This is because there's a mercenary guild hidden on the world map, and if you find it, you can recruit mercenaries to join you. I recruited four, and sure enough, that counter on the bottom-right corner of the screen increased to 4... and that seems to be the ONLY effect it had. I can't, for the life of me, figure out what the mercenaries actually DO. They don't seem to help out in battle at all, they don't show up on the map... they just tick up that number, and that's it! I thought maybe they might have something to do with the first option on the button-2 menu (which is something like "ASSIST"), but that option appears to do... absolutely nothing. Except corrupt some pixels along the top of the screen. So, uh... anybody know what the mercenaries do? ...Anybody? Wink

I don't really expect anyone to have answers for me, but hey, I figured it couldn't hurt to ask!

Also, I just wanted to talk about this game! It's awesome, and deserves a lot more attention than it seems to get. I think a lot of people must have dismissed it as "just another porn game," when in fact it's not a porn game at all -- it's a full-fledged RPG with really nice character art, great visual novel cutscenes, and an innovative approach to exploration that will definitely appeal to anyone who enjoys tabletop gaming. It's got music with inconsistent tempo and long load times, but is otherwise a really solid experience that feels totally unique compared to any other MSX game I've played thus far -- a definite hidden gem worth a look!

-Tom

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Por Sama

Ambassador (2061)

imagem de Sama

24-02-2017, 18:33

According to the manual, you can select 'support' as a command. Apparently you get to select how many mercenaries you want to dispatch and to which hex you want them to go, after which they set out to battle the monster in the selected hex. Mercenaries can attack only once, so you should think carefully when using them. At least that's what the manual says.

About the amount of damage done in battle: according to the manual it is the sum of the damage done by the card you selected plus the outcome of the dice roll. The monster apparently also draws a card, which may also be of influence. I don't remember how it worked in the game anymore, because I haven't played it in twenty years, but this is the information the manual gives.

Por wyrdwad

Paladin (787)

imagem de wyrdwad

25-02-2017, 04:05

That's super-helpful, actually! I don't know why, but I've never tried selecting the "SUPPORT" command from within a hex -- I've only ever tried to use it on the world map. And given the function you're telling me it serves, it makes sense that that wouldn't do anything!

As for the dice rolls, I hadn't considered that the card might have a set value associated with it -- I just assumed that better cards would give you a better dice multiplier or something. So even just knowing that that's how the cards and dice work together helps a lot.

Thanks very much for the informative response!

-Tom

Por wyrdwad

Paladin (787)

imagem de wyrdwad

25-02-2017, 23:54

Hmmm... Actually, I just tried this, and it turns out I can't open the menu from within a hex -- I can only open the menu on the world map. So the world map is the only place I'm able to select the "SUPPORT" command, yet the command doesn't appear to actually do anything when I do -- it just causes the top part of the screen border to get corrupted.

Would you be able to scan or photograph the section of the manual that discusses this?

-Tom

Por wyrdwad

Paladin (787)

imagem de wyrdwad

01-03-2017, 09:45

I've created a video showcasing my attempts to use the Support command, if it helps debug the problem at all:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4i_ETTRcOc

I'm also currently preparing a 30-minute gameplay video, for anyone who's interested in seeing a little bit of this game in action. The quality's not great (I was able to improve it slightly over what you see here, but not much), but it should still give you a fair idea what the game is like. I'll post again when it's up -- but in the meantime, if anyone has any ideas about this bug (?), I'd be eternally grateful for your help in resolving it!

-Tom

Por wyrdwad

Paladin (787)

imagem de wyrdwad

08-03-2017, 08:35

I hate to triple-post, but figure I'll stay true to my word and post the link to my Shenan Dragon gameplay video, if anyone is interested. I explain the gameplay in detail via the description and comments, too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SZ1hjQqp8Y

Since recording this video, I've successfully beaten the heroine's campaign, though I have yet to start either the hero's or the princess' -- the heroine's took me over 10 hours to complete, so this game is a pretty sizable time commitment. Not sure I'm ready for another just yet! But I will eventually take down all three of this game's routes -- it's too addictive for me not to!

...Still would love it if anyone can shed any light on the support command, though. I feel like I'm missing an important part of the game by not being able to send mercenaries into battle.

-Tom

Por DJANGO

Master (173)

imagem de DJANGO

26-03-2017, 08:22

Partial english translation THERE

Por DJANGO

Master (173)

imagem de DJANGO

27-03-2017, 10:09

Por DJANGO

Master (173)

imagem de DJANGO

08-01-2019, 18:01

Does anyone have the original game?
because there are some bugs in the version that we find on the web when we select in the menu "SUPPORT" as said Tom and in the intro the picture of the girl does not appear, it is the previous picture that changes color

Por DJANGO

Master (173)

imagem de DJANGO

08-01-2019, 18:17

Por wyrdwad

Paladin (787)

imagem de wyrdwad

08-01-2019, 18:30

Since posting this topic initially, I was able to grab a complete-in-box copy of the original game from eBay, and can confirm that these bugs exist even on the original unmodified game disks. It looks like this was just a very lazy port of the PC-88 version of the game, which probably wasn't tested thoroughly enough to discover those two bugs.

The PC-88 version of the game isn't entirely superior, though. The MSX version has better-looking still images by far due to the superior color palette of the MSX2, and while the music is much simpler, I like the arrangements better in the MSX version -- the originals on PC-88 use strange instrumentation that sounds like circus music. Wink Also, the MSX version halts dice rolls after 5 seconds or so, so you can see in advance what numbers you'll get and can decide in advance what move you want to perform IF you're willing to wait. The PC-88 version does not -- the dice rolls continue randomly fluctuating forever until you select a card. This could be seen as cheating, but I kind of feel like it's a form of strategizing that benefits the game overall.

The PC-88 version of the game runs MUCH FASTER, however (transitions between screens and to/from battle are nearly instantaneous), which is definitely something that I feel could have been replicated in the MSX version with a bit more programming know-how.

-Tom

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