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when i'm an adult i hope to be a kinder one.
sobre trauma geracional e a dificuldade não só/necessariamente de se conectar, mas de procurar empatia, procurar quem entenda e quem ajude. talvez a única maneira de romper com o rito seja dar um fim completo ao último na linhagem da maldição, mas a bondade prevalece sob a angústia e praticá-la, mesmo ao ver o pior reflexo de nós mesmos em outrem, é a chave para tornarmos pessoas melhores.
outro banger do parun. rip.
you never kill a single human being in this game, instead you help them get out of the fire and rubble of decaying buildings, search laboratories and spacial stations. your only weapon is used to extinguish the fire and, at your most violent act, exterminate robots. being a burning ranger is, at first, helping people, not harming them in any way! amazing level geometry, sonic team was at its peak level design-wise, with a lot of space to roam around and turn your camera to locate where you go next, while your team leader chris guides you if you are lost, with a single button pressing. the animated cutscenes and overall aesthetics, together with a cute english dub gives it a very "saturday morning" cartoon vibe or a late 90s OVA anime. also the songs here slaps, specially the main theme! great game!
the lockdown during the covid’s pandemic made everyone appreciate a little more things that were common and even rejected by some people: going outside, having human contact, not using masks and looking at nature, especially, looking at the sky. can you imagine being deprived of looking at the sky forever? the people in breath of fire: dragon quarter (D¼) don’t even know what “sky” is, instead, they have blue-painted ceilings to simulate it. the concept of “sky” is a legend, living underground for thousands of years, the “sky” for them is almost like “heaven” is for us: it’s paradise. the thing is that pretty much everyone in this world is agnostic.
and is not a wonderful world! full of creatures that were initially created in order for people to have food but some of them went mad and became more like monsters. the air is not good too! is very polluted and if your d-ratio is low, you will live in the worst places possible. oh, yeah, “d-ratio” is a very important concept: D¼’s world has this species of caste system called “d-ratio”, where people have a fraction associated with them, which denominator is always a multiple of 4 (actually, is always 4 raised to an exponent) and the lower your “d-ratio” is, the lower your status in this world is.
you, the protagonist: let’s call “ryu” for the sake of simplicity. ryu’s “d-ratio” is 1/8192, a low rank, specially considering that he is a pig/cop/pest-exterminator-guy in this world – called “ranger”. he can never make the top with a “d-ratio” like that. his partner, bosch, however, has a 1/64 “d-ratio”. he not only can make it to the top but he can even become a reagent as well (basically the people that control this world, the higher class someone can have, they literally live at the top of the world). anyway, ryu and bosch are given the mission of escorting a top-secret-object to a top-secret-lab. shit happens, the top-secret-object is actually a girl with wings called “nina”, ryu feels the urge to protect her, allies with lin from the trinity (a group of rebels) and discovers that the rangers sucks.
if people are agnostic about the existence of the “sky”, nina is a true believer. she does not only have faith in the “sky”’s existence, but far beyond the ceiling painted blue or the stories of the ancients, she wants to see the sky in its best form and ryu feels the need to help her.
in the middle of all of this, ryu even connects with a dragon, earning the power of transforming into a dragon that, in-game, can trivialize everything. you can pretty much win all battles with a single button or a buff + 2 attacks combo. it’s amazing, it can turn all the difficult moments into nothing. there’s no struggle in reaching the sky after all! right? right??
oh, your d-meter is 100%, i guess this is a game over, you have to restart. the whole game.
and this is where the real D¼ begins. as soon as you gain access to all those new dragon features, a meter appears in the top right corner of your screen, probably at 4.00% after you obligatorily use it in a boss fight and is always increasing as you progress through the game. you can always “d-dive”, turn into a dragon and make your life easier but this will just increase the meter. 12.00%, 26.37%, 56.78%, 78.98%, oh no, it’s 100% again and you are not even in the middle of the game. i guess you gotta restart it again.
the thing about restarting your life after failure is that: it’s not easy. you lose a lot of progress, feel frustrated and may even consider if it’s worth it to continue chasing your dreams after so many times failing. however, you have more and more experience as you try and you may reach it sometime. it’s not so different in D¼: every time you restart the game, you maintain part of the money and party xp (experience that you gain in order to distribute it between the party), your skills, the items that were equipped and can even see some new scenes each restart (the so called “SOL system”). not so different from mr.best-action-game-of-2020, huh? D¼ is a roguelite. of course you can just “continue” (restore) the game instead of restarting from the beginning, you always have this option and the decision is yours. except for when your “d-meter” is 100%.
not only D¼ is a roguelite jrpg but it’s also a survival horror: this game atmosphere is very oppressive and claustrophobic. always walking through corridors, avoiding combat since every single enemy can kill you very easily if you don’t have a good strategy for every single battle and even your backpack is limited by the amount of items you can carry: you can’t have 99 “potions”, only 10. you can’t even save it everytime, you need a “save token” that is like resident evil’s ink: it’s very rare, sometimes not even worth obtaining since there’s a big-bad-can-kill-you-in-one-hit enemy in the front of it. the combat also is more like a crpg, having “AP points” to move your character in-map and also being the points you need to attack the enemy. gladly, utilizing items does not take off your “AP points” so you can pretty much survive the next hit even if you already did your movement. the combat depends a lot on positioning and you can even hide behind boxes, go around and hit the enemies on the back (which every single attack hits). D¼ is also a fighting game in a sense, since you have to do combos in order to do real damage in this game: press “circle” while holding “R2” then hit “square”, “square”, “x”, “circle” again and wow! a combo! a critical hit! or it may not even land! you can buy weapons as well but the best ones are obtained randomly after killing strong enemies or opening boxes (that need a key (that you obtain after killing strong enemies)), the same goes for skill. the “steal” skill is probably the best steal skill in any videogame since it’s a passive skill that activates every time you take damage so you can pretty much get fucked up but with a “????????+5” weapon (you gotta discover what it is in a shop (a girl with glasses (that is also the same girl that stores your items that you can take after every restart)).
this c-j-survival-horror-fighting-rpg is a very complex and most of the time miserable piece of gaming. the gritty, melancholic, tarkovsky-meets-anime style of its narrative does not help too. you are never secure in this world, even if you are, it’s more like being comfortable while a catastrophe is happening (not so different from the lockdowns, huh?). still, it is such an interesting and addicting experience, restarting it again and again, seeing new scenes, having new items, doing things faster and faster. one of my restarts i did ⅔ of the game in 3 hours, which, before, took me a lot more. D¼ is a game about perseverance. it teaches you that it’s not your “d-ratio” that will change the world: i mean, which time in history the higher classes actually did something significant for the people? when they did, they were pressured by the lower classes. D¼ tells us to not accommodate our situation but to break the blue ceiling and go all up to reach the sky, like a true dragon. it doesn’t matter how many times you gotta die each day, you can try again and again until you fulfill your dreams.
"man will gain wings and the sky will return to the world"
D¼ was very controversial for breaking with so many structures that breath of fire as a franchise constructed, for being so weird and hard and “unfair” and whatever people were saying back in the day. still is perceived as the black sheep of the series, the game that killed the franchise and this was repeated so much that a lot of people didn’t even try to play it! however, if you open your mind and especially your heart, you will encounter a very frustrating videogame, yeah, but very rewarding, both gameplay-loop-wise and spiritually. in this site, there’s more “backlogs” and “wishlists” for this game than actually plays! and is such a fancy designed experimental piece of gaming that did stuff almost 20 years before mr.best-action-game-of-2020 did and in a better way, in my opinion. so please, you reading this, know that i’m not the roger ebert of game’s writing but i really ask you with all my heart to consider giving it a chance. it’s not so hard to emulate it (even if it does have some graphic bugs) and it’s not so expensive if you live in the states and can buy it for your ps2. don’t mind dying a couple times before discovering what you have to do, just experience the beautiful story of a young dragon seeking for freedom.