Thursday, June 26, 2014

Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale: 5/20 hours

Shortly into the second week, the game introduced a new mechanic - customers could request specific items that are not on my shelves. At first, this was somewhat aggravating, because my inventory was not diverse enough to satisfy my customers, but after awhile, I stocked up on various low-cost items and could, at least, make a few quick sales.

At the end of each day, the game grades you on your performance, and this is another fun bit of humor. The lowest rating is "Like Father Like Daughter" and the highest is the wonderfully understated, "Exceeds Expectations."

In the interest of exploring more of the game, I sponsor a couple of dungeon expeditions. My first adventurer is a kid named Leo, who is your typical perky JRPG swordsman. I learn, from events in town that he is kind to animals and desperately poor (at one point, you meet him in the chapel, praying for food - as I said, this game can be grim if you think about it).

Every five dungeon levels, there is a boss. They are pretty simple to beat, but each one has a fun little twist. My favorite was Reginald Drisby, a giant mouse with a grudge. While fighting it, red and purple mushrooms sprout out of the ground, and if Reginald eats a red one, he heals, and if he eats a purple one, he falls over and becomes vulnerable, so you have to run around, dodging attacks, and smashing the red mushrooms before they can be eaten.

I enjoyed myself so much that I wound up failing my second loan payment. My plan was to get the money in the last couple of days, but I got hit with a couple of negative events that halved the price of the bulk of my inventory, and was unable make it.

Poor Recette got kicked out of her house, and had to live in a cardboard box. . .

But it appeared to be just a dream. The game restarted on day 1, and I had my entire inventory, but none of my money. It was a little annoying, but on the balance it helped me more than hurt me. Leo retained his xp and equipment, and after unlocking the second dungeon, my warp points were retained.

This allowed me to get to the end of the dungeon, where I met Charme, the Lady Thief (that's literally how she introduces herself). Naturally, I had to fight her, but it was a pretty easy battle. Because she is an NPC with a character portrait, you don't kill her. Recette even invited her to the shop (my reaction was exactly the same as Tear's). The reward for this is a "very odd vase" worth 21400 pix! That's enough to almost single-handedly satisfy my week 2 bill.

Selling it is a bit tough, though. And my financial situation isn't made any easier when I accidentally buy a 5000 pix statue (I thought I was selling one). Luckily, I get a customer who wants a special order for a treasure, and I'm able to unload both at once.

When the special order mechanic is introduced, the first person to take advantage of it is Caillou, a kid mage (and colossal asshole) that I'm sure is going to be another adventurer. Speaking of which, when Charme visits the store, she gives me her adventurer card, but I haven't yet had a chance to use her. I have, however, had a chance to discover her serious alcohol abuse problem, and to meet another, as yet unnamed adventurer who is also knee-deep in debt (because everything in this game is both adorable and dark).

So far, I'm enjoying the hell out of Recettear, and I expect the next 15 hours to fly by.

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