There's been a little bit of a delay in me playing this game, but it has (almost) nothing to do with the game itself. I had some trouble sleeping yesterday and as a result, all night last night I wound up nodding off. It was nothing serious, just your typical 10-second micronaps, the kind where you close your eyes to blink and then become startled when they don't open up right away. I like this game enough even to play it when I'm not feeling 100%, but it's still Half-Minute Hero, so, you know, it can be quite a disadvantage to lose a third of your available time.
I'm also a little fuzzy about the ongoing plot. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's ever played an rpg that the eight elements you defeat in the first act are actually holy guardians who seal away an ancient evil and that the suspicious newcomer who relayed the Queen's uncharacteristic orders was actually a dark sorcerer who had kidnapped her and replaced her with a compliant doppelganger. I mean, that's rpg 101 stuff there. It's like, there's going to be an ally that winds up on the wrong side of the conflict and then later you have to face him in battle, because of course there is.
However, I think my sleep-addled brain might have missed something, because Half-Minute Hero: The Second Coming seems to be playing this plot completely straight. One of my favorite parts of the original game was the way each individual level would distill the essence of an entire sprawling rpg epic into one single bit of clumsy and fatuous exposition. "Grr, I am Evil McEvilface and my toast was slightly burned this morning and for that the world must PAY!" It was weird and clever and gently punctured the self-seriousness that can sometimes plague the genre.
The sequel still has its funny moments. The Time Goddess is still the lovably amoral ditz she was in the first game. The Knight is still the same kind-hearted idiot. But they find themselves in a story that takes itself much more seriously (and, indeed, with possibly one exception, all of the comic-relief type characters are holdovers from the first game). There's a hierarchy to the bosses you fight and they all consciously serve the same sinister agenda. Their motives may be stupid and evil, but they're not off-the-wall bonkers like some of the first batch of evil lords.
I'm hoping that there's going to be some big payoff for all of this. Like maybe the extended seriousness is a setup for a much funnier slow-burn joke. Or at least that the silliness quotient will be ramped up in the coming chapters once this revenge plot is dealt with.