Long ago, there was a world bereft of land.
Humans survived by erecting countries atop Giants.
The Giants awoke.
The world was enveloped in the flames of war,
and the men abandoned their lands and ran.
Nonetheless, there were those who rejected this fate
and continually challenged the Giants.
Words transcribed directly from the game. And right after those lines, without further ado, the first mission starts.
My first impression? “The presentation to this game was about as subtle as an ox prancing in your living room.”
So yeah, as the opening lines state, that’s the basic premise of the game. All that’s left of the world are a few pillars of ruins. Everywhere else is covered by a sea of clouds, and presumably the humans have somewhere to run to after having evacuated their countries built on the Giants.
Man, it is a sad, sad world when you have to start building countries atop living creatures. I mean, Gigant I can kind of imagine, since the top of him is flat, but with Fenrir? He has the backspace of about two miles, tops, not to mention he is a fast, active wolf. There is no way anyone could live on that.
Anyways, now that the Giants have awakened, it is up to our heroes to put them back to sleep. At the start of the game, the entire party has already been gathered, and they are introduced in a very straightforward (read: unsubtle) manner: they all say one line, and a narration gives a short blurb on their background.
Ibuki is a man bent on becoming a hero, who also seems to be the leader of the group. Ren and Yui are his friends, following him on his dream. Ryuma is on a journey to, once again, confess his feelings to the one who loved him long ago. Santiago is a thousand-year old wolf-man seeking to settle some scores. Asuran (who has the same katakana as Athrun of Gundam Seed fame, heh) has amnesia and actually wanders off alone not long after his introduction to find his dreams alone. And finally, Kamo is a hulking Ifrit-man who has shouldered the pride of his people upon himself.
The story is separated into missions, so a lot of your time will be spent completing these within the given time limit. However, preparation is extremely important as well.
First, there’s the standard equipment customization. You have to give certain materials for the shop person (an odd … duck-thing) to combine to form weapons, armors, and accessories. These aren’t shared, and weapons are unique to a character. You can also make things called Mystical Medicine, which ups your stats for one mission if you equip it. Luckily, since they’re consumables, they’re also pretty cheap to make.
Materials are found after beating enemies and after finishing missions. The type of material you get depends on what happened during the mission. For example, you get one type of item from finishing the battle, another for fighting lots of little enemies, and yet another for getting hit by a certain type of attack. Back at the store, there’s also something called a lottery, where you can pay a small amount of money to randomly draw a material for use in fusion.
Ah, money. It’s even rarer than materials, seeing as how the only way to get more is by selling your items, of which you have very, very little. For the first bit of the game, don’t expect to get rich at all, especially with most items selling only for 100 gold or so.
After you have your weapons and armor, you can equip them. You can also equip different abilities you learn, as well as level those up. You do that using colored gems you find the same way you find materials. You can only equip 3 abilities at a time, and those are the ones that appear on the bottom screen during missions, which you can press to activate.
In the “others” section, you can check your inventory, as well as any tutorials you’ve played through. There’s also a mini-bestiary as well as an encyclopedia for perusal. You can also change the character you control whenever you want by going to this section.
The last part of this section is the Sealed Stone Tablets. These are essentially puzzles, which are solved by dragging your stylus over the lines carved into the tablet in the correct order. The hints are supposedly in the game, but I haven’t found any yet. No idea what they do either, so it’s sort of the black box in the game for me at the moment, haha.
Even though I think Blood of Bahamut generally has a great concept, at parts it is a bit awkward and unlikely. I guess it shows the tenacity and adaptability of humans to live in even the harshest conditions? But, I don’t see why Ibuki insists on fighting in human form when he has a spanking huge White Dragon form he can use. This is actually still about 1/100 the size of the Gigant, but it IS about 30x Ibuki’s human size!