rock-vagrant-scissors story

Continuing the discussion from the zodiac ache, feel free to throw this post back in that thread if it ever opens up again:

[quote]People struggle with VAGRANT STORY because, even with the in-game mechanical encyclopedia, it’s too easy to overlook how the affinity system works, and how important it is.

Put simply, every time you attack an enemy with a weapon, you are simultaneously playing three different games of Rock-Paper-Scissors, and depending how those games play out, your attack will do trivial amounts of damage. The three games are damage type (blunt, piercing, slashing), damage element (fire, water, light, dark, etc.), and monster type (dragons, humans, elementals, etc.).[/quote]

I would add that these are tiered in terms of their importance to damage-dealt. so damage type is most important, affinity is second, monster type is very much third. weapon affinities can be easily customized using gems and buff spells (which are absolutely necessary), so ultimately you only really need three different weapons at any given time to inflict a non-miniscule amount of damage on any given enemy: one edged, one blunt, one piercing.

it’s tricky because when you open up the menu the first thing you see is monster type, even though that’s the least important stat! it’s also the most obvious gamey conceit so players focus on it the most, then wonder why their +100 beast weapon isn’t doing as much damage as they would like. it’s probably because you’re fighting with an edged weapon when it’s weak to piercing, or whathaveyou.

the first however many hours are populated mostly with enemies weak to edged weapons, and those are also the most available, so when players suddenly hit a wall where they can’t do damage, it’s usually because the game threw an enemy at you that is resistant to your weapon type.


Yeah… that was the trick. I hadn’t actually looked at a guide, and I wasn’t great at assessing the underlying causes of variation in performance, so I just put equal importance on everything.

I always thought the targeting spheres was the coolest thing I’d ever seen, and the fact that Parasite Eve seemed to do something similar made me really want to play it, but it just never happened. By the time I finally finished Vagrant Story the barely registered in my perception.

Basically Vagrant Story is a great argument for playing games with gamefaqs open the whole time

It’s also worth mentioning how clunky and unintuitive the controls are, just the sheer number of times i put away my weapon instead of going into attack mode or jumping.

Also that the pre-title screen cutscene and the opening cutscene both contain important plot setup information, and are both completely skippable

It’s a really beautiful and unique game worth experiencing in some form or another but boy, is it impenetrable at first blush.


I want a remake where they put weapon switching on the dpad or a ring menu or something

also increase the resolution of course and run that dope playstation filter that old sb thread was about like 4 times

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it’s a game that needs a remake real bad in general.

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also a wizard mode where you can fly a camera through all these diorama cube worlds seamlessly

(real game still needs seams between rooms ofc)

giving ashley more of the metal gear moveset just for increased movement joy

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Love Vagrant Story. I have lent out this game to five different peeps through out my life and not a damn one of them could figure it out / liked the game.

I think I played this game at the right time in my life. That is when I didn’t have a lot going on so I could just play the crap out of it, pay attention to every little thing to figure out how the system works. Matsuno games have a style that screams you are playing a Matsuno game. He is like the Yagawa of RPGs and I love it.


The final boss is probably one of the nastiest instances, being of a rare type that you really have no choice but to intentionally grind a weapon with what few recurring enemies or that single dummy of the type there are, there’s no real way to “naturally” build up a good weapon for the fight.

Though I think part of what hangs up people on VS damage is a matter of perception, as far as numbers go they’re pretty low. So many RPGs have you doling out regular damage numbered in hundreds if not even thousands by the late game, but I think VS never goes beyond a thousand HP for even bosses.


I was one of those who got completely stuck and never returned to the game. In a 2005 Insert Credit discussion, I mentioned my frustration with the game and Intentionally Wrong wrote up a helpful guide for me. I have saved those notes all these years for when I finally revisit the game, but that hasn’t happened yet.


Wow! I guess I once had a much firmer understanding of how this worked than I remembered I did. I shouldn’t be surprised that we had such a similar discussion 12 years ago, but it still kind of blows my mind. That was one-third of my life ago!

the opening cutscene is so goddamn well directed: the cinematography, the credits, the music. jeez.

also,i want to exist in a world where it would still be okay to have full-blown 3d cinematic presentation like this and no voice acting. just let the body language speak for itself. alas…:frowning:

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So the part I quit at was the dragon in the foggy forest. In fact, if I recall correctly, Vikram was giving me tips in the relevant thread about weapon affinities and spells, and none of it was working out. By that time though I think I had also grown fairly bored with the combat’s mechanics. It seemed like the design was trying to approximate the experience of playing a tabletop RPG, but I just didn’t like how it was comparable to Simon. Preferences, I guess.

Past that I think the most annoying thing was having to pause and navigate a menu with a bit of a delay every time I wanted to switch weapons, which, considering the affinities, is a more practical concern than a lot of other games. The lack of a quick switch between, say, just two weapons in real-time was annoying.


Also omg that IC thread is full of the weirdest posts and opinions


how about we get more of Ashley riots goofy ass hair and his weird semi-backless Man Outfit, how about that square enix.

there’s a lot of good things in vagrant story but alas I have given it up. that’s never stopped me from mining it for ideas for dungeons and dragons table stuff. just remember: Ashley riot’s hair and outfit. the name Ashley riot. omg.


to that end this is the faq you want open:

this is one game where weapon crafting really worked for me. I would sit down to play the game and wind up spending 3 hours in the craft shop tinkering around.

one of my biggest irritants was the time it takes to save.

desired Vagrant Story remake fixes:

  1. weapon switching shortcut
  2. reduce save/load time
  3. glorious PS1 polygon upscale filter
  4. robust camera mode

there is something disturbingly sexual about this jock Ashley that I wish I could Infinitely Undiscover

Avatar/comment synergy at maximum levels.

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Vagrant Story is a proto-Souls-like, that’s another thing I love about it.

just one guy/gal with a big ass weapon of their own devising, slicing their way through a dankly haunted city for vaguely occult reasons, and new game+

Plus the first boss in both Dark Souls and Vagrant Story :wink:

thread you’re making me want to fail at playing vagrant story for like the fourth time

if they remastered this game with non shitty load times, better menus, weapon swapping and presumably some upscaling and whatever other visual chicanery I would be pretty happy.

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