Madou Koukaku Review

17 05 2013

我が名は不死騎兵隊団長、レクシュミ・パラベルム――

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And I appear only once at the very end of a non-canon route.

;_____________;

Madou koukaku ~Yami no Tsuki-Megami wa Doukoku de Utau~ (魔導巧殻~闇の月女神は導国で詠う~),  is Eushully’s 14th project, and the latest expansion to the world of Dir Lifyna – the fictional universe of Eushully works.

Forgive me if I butcher any Romanization.

The story is about a country in Raulbhach Continent Eastern Mainland, the Melkia Empire.

melkia

Synopsis

Melkia empire controls more than 1/3 of Eastern Mainland territory, has been under a long fought war between its neighbour, Yun Gasol Federation. The one to break the stalemate was Yun Gasol, utilizing its newest catapults and large scale operations. With that, Reimless fortress fell, and Centakus, one of the four major city protected by the Four Marshals of Melkia, was captured.

It is during this time a young and ambitious general, Weissheit Tsreinder, makes a bold foray into Centakus, and his entrance into the history of Dir Lifyna.

Background

Melkia empire is known for its Magic-Tech (magic technology, which I can only describe as technology with magic instead of electricity). The empire is governed by one emperor, and is assisted by 4 great marshals, each protecting a side of the empire. Furthermore, Melkia Empire has made pacts with its Northern and Western neighbours: a non-aggression pact with Levinia, and a mutual front against the Majins at Steel Cage. The latter pact netted Melkia empire four magic-powered humanoid weapon dolls, imitated after the four moon goddesses: Belura, Arutanu, Nafukasu, and Ryushion, called Madou Koukaku. The Melkia empire has been researching this ancient technology that the dwarves and Rune elves together made, and is hoping to discover something that’ll revolutionize the empire now that Magic-Tech is nearing its limit.

Girtania Melkiana Emperor was one that has tasked himself to change the state of Melkia Emperor. He focused only on bringing results in his researches of Madou Koukaku, disregarding the means, and through taboos he was able to finally create a weapon capable of mass destruction, the Farla Carla Cannon.

Soon after the cannon has finished its proto-testing, the capital city of Melkia Empire suddenly froze overnight, imprisoning both hundreds of thousands of the Melkia nation and its Empire. The event later known as The Crystallization of Invitia.

With no one knowing the details of the crystallization, disputes amongst the four great marshals broke out, and we, the player, is given the choice to how the history of Melkia unfolds.

Characters

Weissheit TSURIIIIIIIINDAAAAA. Instead of introducing all the characters, I’d like to discuss the characters more generally. Eushully has made a huge crew this time, almost all the countries in Eastern Mainland has one or two important characters, and most of the female ones has a “route” sort to speak. However, it should be duly noted that it is instead the male characters that have very bountiful unsuspected seiyuus, sporting from Norio Wakamoto as the narrator/antagonist (if you choose to be!) to FujiKei as fake rider, to Lockon Stratos as our protagonist (if you play pso2, I think even Doudou/John is there).

If you aren’t that crazy into seiyuus though, the characters themselves are mediocre. Excluding the floating moe machinegun desu no~ (Ryuun, the madou koukaku of Eida), Liesel the perfect faithful lieutenant/slightly maniac engineer, and Yun Gasol’s King Gurandos, you don’t get that much out of character development and interaction.

This is because each country seem to have their on standalone story which doesn’t quite intertwine with the main overarching story of Weissheit and Melkia Empire. Most of the character interaction comes from you specifically selecting individual events, so they are chapter independent (just depends on whether you have successfully conquered their territory or not). And there are almost no crossover parts between characters of different factions.

That said, I still ended up liking quite a few of the characters (mainly because I tend to fawn over the cute 8bit/deformed battle sprites and ending up carrying some bias in the ADV part). Really liked Garums and Bell, especially during training bits. I thought they were very sweet characters being so devoted. Wish I had a oneesanmadou koukaku like Bell who would dote me in very un-forward ways…

 

I still think Aru’s voice is weird for her character. Though the irking feeling tuned down abit in the latter portions of the game.

Gameplay

I’ll actually refer to the Eushully wiki on this section. They have really detailed description on all things Madou Koukaku, but gameplay especially. I’ll just leave some tips from my experience would be:

1) Don’t invade the elves.

2) Probably basic, but avoid casualties and retreat when necessary. However, it is only the generals themselves that will heal: the troops wont.

2) When city-building in doubt, build mines and surround them with trees (though you should check with the materials you can get in the territory first, and see if it is minerals you want).

3) Obey your battle formations. I mean specifically for the types where the area of attack is circular for the formation, don’t try to do what I did and give the general a range upgrade+ranged troops. It doesn’t quite work out…

4) Generally, diplomatic measures for the “good route” means be as passive as possible. You can, however, attack the northern tribe.

5) Try to keep environment value above 60ish for population to grow.

6) I found money to be pretty powerful early. You can buy the materials for upgrading important structures from the shop. Building the mercenary hideout improves the income of a city by S.

7) Just like in FTL, pause to win. (But if you are intent on keeping it realtime, turning the “selections stick after command” in the options might help).

8) Do not invade the elves ;_;.

Gameplay was pretty fun, though might become repetitive after so many invasions and every turn battling/capturing. I personally thought the city building was more enjoyable but needed more implications on the battle than the occasional weapon upgrade (for example, have upgrade for troops), and the battles could use more depth since I essentially just stuck with the 1 meatshield 2 glass cannon strategy.

Random After Thoughts

There’s the issue of chronological inconsistency in Dir Lifyna when you consider the timeline and Hishera’s appearance with the append. While it is addressed by Eushully, stating that this append was a “what-if”, it doesn’t bode quite well with diehard fans of the series. I have to say adding Hishera really brought not that much to Madou Koukaku other than an initial excitement of a cameo appearance. It might’ve been better to leave the cameos to time independent characters like Wilfred from Kamidori or Maou from Himegari dungeon meisters.

I think a strong attraction of Madou Koukaku lied in it being part of the vast Dir Lifyna lore. It is The nation that has The Colossal Airships and this was a chance to give more colors to the blueprint.

If there were abit more to it than you, as the player, gathering materials and making it in the factory without any events of how Weissheit managed all of it, I would’ve probably been more willing to give more credit to the scenario.

While it probably meant to augment the gameplay section, the fusion of creatures turned out to be too cumbersome for me and I just ignored it after a few experimentation. The process involved you capturing two creatures of a specific type, fuse them to form a lesser form of the end product, then fusing the lesser forms to get the actual fused creature.

Imagine my surprise when I gained a general by visiting a brothel multiple times. I’m not exactly sure what I should interpret out of this when the prostitute has more governing skills than some of my other actual military personnel.

While Asheld may have wanted doll H, I was somewhat glad I didn’t have to go through another weird one…*coughxuseRehmiNozomucough*

Picture walkthrough:

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15 responses

18 05 2013
Asheld

Hey that’s a false accusation! I was only genuinely, PURELY, surprised Eushully didn’t do it when considering how much focus they had in the story.

Also predictably, Eushully manages to release a patch containing random fixes that make the gameplay easier on you after your first run only after I finished it. Particularly speeding up combat and such. This is why it sometimes feels like it’s better to wait until a while after release to touch the game ;_;

Then again later there’s probably going to be append 2.0 so I’ll end up replaying it for the heck of it at that point I guess. I heard Riseru’s route is pretty decent.

18 05 2013
warum

ww. We’ll just leave it like that.

19 05 2013
Carrots

Why is that in the kamidori pic, Will says that melkia is in the north of resperent, while in the first pic the melkia is pointed south east of resperent??

19 05 2013
warum

I drew the picture and I might be dead wrong. I’ll fix it up! Thanks for the catch.

21 05 2013
warum

Update: I’ve consulted the most knowledgeable Eushully person I know and I was brought to these images http://i.imgur.com/NbirUNo.png http://i.imgur.com/S10dvcl.png.

Which states basically Melkia, part of the Avatar province should be to the East and not North of Resperent like the Kamidori screenshot indicated.

Sorry for the confusion on my part. Hope this clears things up. (Summary: original marked location was approximately correct, Kamidori image might be mistaken.)

4 06 2013
feal87

That’s preposterous Warum! Aru’s voice was awesome! I played the whole game two times just to hear that strange, but lovely accent…:D

7 06 2013
warum

I-it was just different than what I imagined!

4 07 2013
Algester

no Weiss will have it hard if suddenly a loli elf girl barges into his castle and declares she is his wife got me wondering only

4 07 2013
Algester

so warum your against the idea of boning your swords eh… then it looks like… nah…

6 01 2014
MadGod

Whaaa, I want to play this so much, but my Japanese is too poor to understand it. Is there no kind soul out there to take pity on us muggles?

I have some understanding of spoken Japanese, but miss a few words + no voice acting for Weiss and nothing makes sense anymore.

6 01 2014
warum

Well, there was this translation for God Catching Alchemy Meister…

6 01 2014
MadGod

Yes, I’ve already finished it , got hooked on Eushully games and now I can’t have more…

7 01 2014
warum

I think your best bet is to use TA/ITH at this point. There’s a really good guide here on how to set it up (there’s actually a premade ready to go bundle): http://amaenboda.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/an-aero-gamers-guide-to-using-atlas/.

The game has several names in katakana though, so if you can distinguish those it’ll help with deciphering.

Or lastly, I guess you’ll have to wait for another fan translation. In anycase, sorry couldn’t be of more help. Wish you can sate the Eushully-lust!

9 01 2014
MadGod

Thanks for the tips. I’ve already tried TA on it, but the machine translation is so bad it’s a complete killjoy. I find Google translations to be slightly better than Atlas, but not enough to make a difference.
I decided to start on some courses to learn to read Japanese. I already have a decent vocabulary so once I go through all the grammar I should be able to understand mostly everything with a little dictionary help. The real issue though are kanji.
Don’t know long it’s gonna take me, but I somehow doubt a fan translation is going to come sooner. Also I’m Romanian, there’s no sound in Japanese that you can’t find in Romanian so it’s extremely easy for me to pronounce. Not to mention that Japanese grammar seems like a piece of cake compared to ours.

Hopefully in about a year I’ll be posting my own review.

10 01 2014
warum

(b’v’)b

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