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28 December 2005 @ 12:56 pm
My horse is smarter than i am  
I'm in the middle of three games right now. As in i actually played all three last night, this isn't counting things like Advance Wars DS or Tales of Symphonia which i'm taking a short break from to play new stuff, or Zelda Ocarina of Time and Tales of Destiny, which i'm going to get back to someday, really :)

Played an hour or two of We Love Katamari. Finished off several new levels, and i'm probably up to about 10 or a dozen planets now. I'm a little confused by the snowball level. It's fun, but what exactly is the goal? Is there some ideal proportion between head and body we're supposed to be aiming for? And does rolling up things other than snow help you or hurt you or not matter at all?

Anyways, after awhile of that i decided to try out Shadow of the Colossus. After going through the intro i did a little bit of jumping and stabbing and other playing with the controls to test things out. Then i followed the advice of the tutorial and hopped on my horse and followed the beam of light. Well, except that the beam of light went off a cliff, so i turned the other way and tried to find my way out of the temple, but there was a ramp i couldn't get my horse to go up, so i went back to the cliff.

I stopped at the edge of the cliff and decided that exploring on horseback seemed like a risky proposition given how "bad" the controls are and i didn't want to ride right off the cliff. (As far as i can tell the controls work exactly like they intended, they just intended it to be like trying to control a real horse =P) So i hit the jump button to dismount from my horse, and jumped right off the cliff. *sigh*

So i fall to the bottom of the cliff and take about 1/10 - 1/8th of my health bar in damage and look around and see no way to get back up the cliff to my horse. I did find a save point and saved the game on the assumption that i'd _eventually_ be able to get my horse back. So i start walking along the cliff looking for stairs or something, and after about ten or twenty seconds with no success my horse suddenly shows up behind me. I still have no idea how he got down. Maybe there's some stair around the other side i hadn't gotten to yet. Or maybe my horse isn't really that smart after all and he just followed me off the cliff. But in any case i decided to not worry about it and try and find the first Colossus.

So after a little bit of riding and a couple tries at climbing and jumping i finally get to him. And why yes, he _is_ large. I again followed the advice of the tutorial for awhile and shot at him with a bow, which as expected did pretty much nothing except get his attention. Then it suggested that i shine the lght of the sword at him to "reveal his vitals." So i tried to do that, except when i actviated the light he suddenly seemed to be facing the wrong direction, and while i was arguing with the controls trying to get him pointed the right way i suddenly see a very large club coming towards me. Wham. Ouch. There goes about a third of my life bar.

So i back up switch some of the options on the controls areound (putting both the camera _and_ the controls on vertical inverted mode) and try again and this time i get the light beam pointed at him and... nothing happens. I'm not sure what was supposed to happen but it sure seemed to be not doing it. However since i'm actually pointed in the right direction this time i can see him wind up and get ready to smash me, so i start running to the side and the club just barely misses me, but i take some damage anyways. I don't know if it just clipped me and i didn't see it or if there's a radius effect.

In any case i decide screw this, i'll just run up and stab him. From hearing about the game through various sources i know how this bit is supposed to work, so i run up to his feet and get stepped on. Okay, maybe that's not how it was supposed to go. However on the _second_ try i manage to grab onto his ankle. I stab him a couple times and big spurts of black "blood" start coming out and after the second or third stab it seems like a hamstrung him or something cause he fell over. I took this opportunity to climb a bit furter up and when he got back to his feet i started stabbing him in the butt. More blackish stuff sprays out and after the second stab or so he shakes himself or something cause i suddenly lose my grip and fall to the ground, taking a little more damage. I thought that was going to kill me, but i still had a little sliver left which was just enough to let me make one more attempt to grab onto his ankle and climb up, except i got stepped on again instead and died.

But by that point madduckdes had shown up and was hanging out with coraa, so i decided to be social like them.

Then after madduckdes headed home i played some Castlevania DS while listening to coraa and jmpava play Civ4. They finally added the music back to the opening like they had in the first Civ! They also have Leonard Nimor as the narator which is just funny :) I so need to get a copy of that. And a computer to play it on. It looks like i can get a reasonable deal on a Dell right now for $1100, with "free" shipping. However that's with no monitor. Dell with no monitor for $1100 vs Compaq with 17" LCD but with Windows XP Media edition instead of XP Pro for $900? Seems like it would almost be better to get the Compaq and buy my own copy of Win XP Pro and just wipe the computer completly and reinstall.

Of course as i'm trying to make this decision we just had a _third_ Dell computer at work literally undergo meltdown, complete with a shutdown message about a "thermal event." They claim this is a "known issue." I sure hope "known issue" means "we figured it out after releasing that batch and fixed it in the newer computers" and not "we figured out what the problem is and decided not to worry about it," or "yeah, that's part of our incentive program to get the long term warranty." :)
Kirinkirinn on December 28th, 2005 10:19 pm (UTC)
Katamari snowman stage: is basically supposed to be relaxing. AFAIK, you get a "great" clear no matter what size your ball is. I think items do make it a bit bigger. If you have time to kill, you can attempt to make a snowman face with stuck objects... also, there may be a couple unique objects in that level for the item collection, if you care.

Colossus: Cliff? On the way to the first Colossus? Surely you don't just mean the edge of the temple? Which has two giant sets of stairs leading outside from just a bit off to the left or right? Heck, if you do jump off the front ledge (which you can actually do losing hardly any damage if you use R1 to hang off it), you can run ahead a bit, turn around, call your horse, and watch *him* use the steps. Which is probably how he got to you. He's smart. ;) (Ok, in all honesty I think he does occasionally "cheat" if you get too far away from him, but you have to be *really* far.) (And yeah, I think he does contro rather like a real horse.)

I died on the first battle too, getting stepped on while getting used to the controls. The deal with using the sword to find vital points is like this: aim the beam at various sections of his body, and where it gets most "concentrated" is where the points are. Rather the same as pointing towards the colossus hideout from afar, really. Though also, as long as you have the sword out, the relevant points will get little glowy symbols when you're close to them.

You're on the right track with the ankle. The next point is much higher up, though. It'll let you stab them anywhere, but if it's not a vital point it'll do negligable damage and just annoy them.
DonAithnendonaithnen on December 29th, 2005 03:24 pm (UTC)
Hmm, i wonder how big you can actually make the head? :) Once you get to a certain size you probably can't help accidently tripping over the body :)

And, yes, i _do_ mean the edge of the temple. Yes, i _did_ suck that much :) The second time i figured out where the steps were, i probably would have figured out the first time pretty easily if i hadn't immediatly vaulted off my horse and over the edge :)

Okay, i kinda see how the vitals thing works, but it still seems pretty iffy. The glowy symbol thing obviously works a lot better :)

So where is the second point on the first guy? Or do you just mean the symbol on top of his head?
Kirinkirinn on December 29th, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC)
There seems to be a practical limit in the snowman stage, because growing via snow alone gets slower and slower. The one time I tried to keep going for ages I got big enough to pick up the frozen mammoth, but not a lot bigger. I don't think you can ever get the trees and houses in that stage, but you can get most everything else, including the ski lift chairs and occupants.

As for vitals - both spots that make them fall over and spots that let you do lots of damage have glowy symbols when you get close with the sword. And yes, it's often as easy to guess and approach with the sword out as it is to attempt sword-light-beam targetting. So, yeah, the first guy just has the ankle spot for tipping him over and the head spot for finishing him off.

The third guy is kinda psycho. I needed a hint -_- though you could just as easily get lucky on the bit I was stuck on.
DonAithnendonaithnen on December 29th, 2005 11:53 pm (UTC)
Weird, i totally didn't see any glowy spot on the ankle of the first guy, i just got lucky.

Haven't actually made it to the third guy yet. I made one attempt last night but missed the jump from the issolated block onto the second part of the ramp and turned the game off after plunging down a couple hundred feet into the water :)
Kirinkirinn on December 30th, 2005 02:31 am (UTC)
I missed that jump more times than I care to remember. -_- It really forces you to figure out the exact mechanics of the backwards-jump. I suggest practicing it somewhere low down on the ramp for a little while.

Mastering it'll come in handy if you ever try to climb the temple, though. ;)
Kelem Kilnarakkaranlikmelek on December 29th, 2005 08:00 am (UTC)
Shadow of the Colossus: So far as I know, the horse is incapable of running off cliffs. If you run him at a cliff, he'll make angry noises and stop. (Which he also does if you run him into walls). He will jump short gaps, and down fairly small cliffs sometimeswhenhefeels like it. And yup, generally if there is a way for him to get to where you are, he'll find you -- which is useful sometimes.

Also, further help on the 'vitals' thing -- generally, I've noticed if you've got the sword out, you don't really even have to shine it. So long as you're nearby the area and have the sword out, the places you're supposed to hit show up as blue glowy symbols. Although also you can aim the light around and it can show the blue-glowy-symbols from a ways away.

Most of the colossus attacks end up causing small amounts of damage, even if they don't hit you -- in particular the quadruped ones, when they rear and bash the ground with their frontlegs. It like, causes the ground to shake and you usually fall over and take damage if you aren't on the horse or jumping at the time.

With the first colossus? I suggest ignoring the tutorial when it says to shoot him with arrows, just run up behind him and grab his ankle while he isn't paying attention to you and stab the glowy bit so you can climb him. And probably rest until your grip recharges on that little ledge on his back before climbing up to the next blue-glowy-thing.
DonAithnendonaithnen on December 29th, 2005 03:28 pm (UTC)
See! The horse _is_ smarter than me! :) Although it would be nice if he would sometimes _not_ come to me. He kept scampering across the battlefield while i was fighting the second colossus. Sometimes he would be getting terorized by the colossus, sometimes he would be trying to stand right in front of me while i was trying to aim my bow =P

There's a first glowy thing? I completly missed it somehow. I only found the one on the top of his head. And after fighting the second boss i realized i was probably supposed to shoot the first guy in the ankle _first_ and then climb on him while he was lying down, rather than try to climb on while he was moving and _then_ stab him in the ankle and make him trip.
Kelem Kilnarakkaranlikmelek on December 29th, 2005 06:53 pm (UTC)
See, I never managed to get the bow to work on him. I just ran up while he wasn't facing me and grabbed his ankle, then stabbed the little blue-glowy-point there to make him fall down. ('Tho? The first time I played that I was a bit daunted to go anywhere near him, ended up hiding for waytoolong behind one of the rocks so he couldn't hit me. x.X)

The horse does some annoying things in the fights that he's there for, 'tho. There's one where, for me? He kept running back and forth (because I was sitting on a rock where the colossus couldn't get at me? and he'd run over and whinny at me, then see the colossus and run allll the way to the other side of the area) and everytime the colossus came by, it'd hit him and he'd fall over.

But yes. I heart that game, it gives me glee to find newplaces in it -- they don't really have anything to do with the plot, but it's fun, y'know?
DonAithnendonaithnen on December 29th, 2005 11:54 pm (UTC)
Ack! Everyone saw the little glowy spot on the ankle but me! :)

Yeah, i've been doing a lot of hiding in corners and such. For the second guy i found you could stand right at the base of the ramp and he'd walk right up to you and then stop at the edge, so you could stand there taunting him :)

I haven't actually done much random exploring yet, just fighting the monsters, but i intend to do that later :)