Ordinarily, I wouldn't post something like this, but this is a bit of an accomplishment for me.
Ten years ago, I bought a PC Engine game called Shiryou Sensen: War of the Dead, one of the first horror-themed ACTION-RPGs. I'd played it on a PC Engine emulator a few times, and felt it was worth owning.
It's a frustrating game, with event triggers that don't always trigger, an annoyingly long password system, and a feature/bug that prevents levelling up past a certain point (by killing you). Frustrating, to be sure, but the game is also a lot of fun and has a fairly intricate plot.
I've been playing the game off-and-on for the past ten years, constantly going over my notes, re-translating things I got wrong, and trying to piece together an interesting story. Thankfully, much of the game is in Hiragana and Katakana, so I wasn't stuck trying to decipher complex Kanji. Despite being functionally illiterate when it comes to Japanese, I got by.
I decided to play War of the Dead over my Christmas break, starting from the beginning and using my notes as a guide. Rather than dig my PC Engine Duo-R out of the basement, I used an emulator instead: the demo version of Magic Engine .98 for Mac OS 9, which I downloaded onto Nadia.
The timed-demo version only allows for five minutes of play before timing out, but the authors themselves suggested a workaround: save your game in the emulator and reload. This gives you another five minutes of play, and you can repeat the process indefinitely.
And so, I played through Shiryou Sensen: War of the Dead this weekend, in successive four-and-a-half minute chunks. Going by my notes and not using a walkthrough.
This morning, not half-an-hour ago, I finally beat the game.
Not much of an ending, a little blurb about the main character, Lyla Alphons, and a cute picture of Lyla and support orphan Carol suggesting they all lived happily ever after.
Still, after ten years, it was worth it.
Now, onto something else... I never did finish Ys II...