It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

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It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Doctor Thunder on Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:32 pm

Note: The actual updates will be videos. This is just the preliminary wall of text to get all the initial information out of the way.




Iji is a freeware game made by independent Swedish game developer Daniel Remar back in 2008, using Game Maker, a program most (myself included) would likely take one look at and realize that making anything halfway decent with it requires a level of programming knowledge well beyond that of someone who just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. The reason I bring this up has more to do with Iji than anything else. The game's humble origins and less-than-impressive source engine are part of what makes Iji, as a game, so impressive. The gameplay is mostly linear, but the story can take a substantial number of twists and turns, all depending on your actions. It's actually possible to go through the entire game without killing a single enemy (sort of), bosses included (even more sort of), and the story will almost constantly reflect that (for real this time).

The controls are tight, and are probably the only game I've ever played where mapping the up arrow as the "jump" key has actually worked really well, which is a small accomplishment in and of itself. There are several ways to play through the game, at least two ways to bypass virtually any obstacle (but usually far more than that), a catchy original soundtrack, a weapon fusion system, and enough unlockable content to put almost any other game to shame. With that said, there's just one rule I'm going to need to make for the thread:

No spoiling the story or the secret stuff: This should be a no-brainer, and this is really just precautionary. In all likelihood, Gaunt and I are the only ones who have played this game long enough to spoil anything, but it's better to be safe than sorry. There is a lot more going on in this game than the first playthrough is going to show, and I'd rather let the secret stuff stay secret until we get to it. I doubt it'll be a problem, but just in case. We'll be playing through the game normally the first time, but really weird, specialized builds can be shown off then.

Oh, and just for reference, the screencaps for cutscenes aren't mine. I tried, but auto-scrolling text and scenes that move forward on their own tend to be tough to capture in their entirety when I have to minimize the game to paste each image. It would have required me to play through each cutscene multiple times in order to get everything, which just isn't feasible. Those images are hosted by "professorscissors", who also LP'd this game. The in-game screenshots are mine, but anything with the hand-drawn art is going to be from his blog, unless otherwise specified.

Right then. Onto the game...

OST: Main Menu



We're going to be playing on Hard to start off, since higher difficulty levels decrease our maximum level, and we want to have as much customization as possible. If I weren't trying to show off what all the bosses could do, I'd play on Normal, since the level cap there is 50, as opposed to Hard's 40 and Extreme's 30, but since bosses don't get all their attacks on Normal, we can safely ignore it. 50 levels tends to be far more than anyone could feasibly need to break the game over their knee, so we should do just fine with 40. Ultimortal is special, but it's not actually available to us yet, so we'll come back to that later.

OST: All That Can Wait













DOC
Okay, we're done.

BECKER
Are you sure we should do this? What if she malfunctions, or dies? I want another week to make sure.



BECKER
What good will it do if we can't perfect her? They have an army, and we have a potential soldier at best. Even with that gun we found -

DOC
Look. As long as we can do something, that's better than nothing at all. I'd rather see her alive again at least once before we die.

BECKER
Hm. Like she'd make that much of a difference.

PLAIT
Stop bickering already. Should we wake her up or not?

DOC
Yes. Yes, of course... there. Now, first we should check mental stability, sensory response and...wait, what's that sound?

BECKER
What's wrong?

DOC
Oh no...everyone to the safe room!

PLAIT
TOO LATE! THE TAS-AAAAAH!















IJI
Bro?! Can you hear me?

DAN
Keep your voice down! Yes, there are microphones in these speakers, but you shouldn't talk or the Tasen could hear you. I can talk as much as I want. I use all the speakers at once, and I don't think they understand any human languages.



DAN
...inside. That's why I'm stuck in this control room. They're called the Tasen, and I don't know why they invaded this complex or if it's possible to make them leave, but I'm trying to find out - and I need your help to do it.

IJI
Y-You're lying! That's -

DAN
Calm down and listen. It's been six months since the Tasen invaded this place. Since then, a team of researchers trapped in here tried to study their Nanotechnology, to find a way to stop them. THey managed to make a cyborg soldier out of the only suitable survivor they could find, using the Tasen's technology. You are that cyborg.

IJI
N-No! Y-You're just making this stuff up! It's just a dream, isn't it?!

DAN
Iji, calm down!

IJI
NO! I...

DAN
IJI!



IJI
I know.

DAN
Your goal is to talk to one of the Tasen leaders, and convince them to take their spaceship and leave.

IJI
But, why hasn't anyone done something about them? Hasn't the rest of the world noticed what's going on here?

DAN
I think we'll have to take this one step at a time. You really have to get going soon, or the Tasen will find you.

IJI
Okay.



IJI
Hhh. Alright, I guess I'll try.

DAN
I'll direct you to a Tasen Elite called Krotera, so we can have a talk with him. Remember his name. You have the ability to understand their language, and your personal Nanofield alters what you say, so they can understand you too. Stay on your guard; everyone in this complex is under orders to kill on sight. Don't bother trying to communicate with anyone but Krotera. I'm sorry, but we have to do this... good luck.



Right, so before we venture into the unknown and potentially-deadly, here's the hand we've been dealt:

We've got a shotgun to start with, and it's got an unlimited amount of ammo. This may sound impressive, but compared to what those guys did to an entire planet in that last cutscene, Iji may as well be running around with a pea-shooter. The good news is that the guys we're going to be fighting for the first few sectors forgot their anti-pea-shooter shielding, so the shotgun is actually a pretty decent starting gun. We can do much better, though, and with some careful attribute-allocation, we'll be toting around a pretty insane arsenal before long.

That's where all of you come in. See those stats in the lower right? We get one point to spend per level, so that means we've got roughly forty points to spend throughout the game. On Hard mode, our maximum level for each sector is four times the sector number, so some simple math should tell you how many sectors we've got to deal with. Simple math would be wrong, in this case, but that's not something we need to worry about until we've finished the game. Now, I could just make a crazy optimized build and march straight through all the enemies, but that wouldn't be any fun. If I was going to do that, I may as well have just played the game on my own. That's why you guys get to vote on where I put my points in each sector. the top four choices for each sector get picked, and in the case of any ties, I'll just pick one of them.

Here's what all the stats do. Keep in mind that you can select each stat more than once per sector, and certain skills don't give any benefit at all until you've sunk a few points into them. Those stats tend to be some of the more important ones, though. Each stat also grants Iji with a special ability once she maxes it out. Some of them are good, others just plain ludicrous, but all of them are nice to have.

Health: Each point gives you two extra health. We start with only two, but since the enemy needs to go through our armor before they can even scratch our health, two starting health actually makes us tougher than most of what we'll be facing in this first sector. Losing any health at all completely refills our armor gauge, but since later enemies tend to go straight through our armor and attack our health directly, we'll want to put at least a few points into this eventually. It's not a requirement for now, though. Two health is easily enough to get us through at least the first couple of stages. Rank 10 ability: Any time Iji takes health damage, that damage is reduced by one, with a minimum of one point of damage.

Attack: Each point increases the amount of damage Iji deals with all weapons. This is one of those stats that makes a pretty big difference, but you won't notice it unless you've been neglecting it for a while. While this isn't essential (the late-game weapons are ridiculous enough on their own that even an attack stat of 1 is still enough to wreck anything eventually), powering this up makes things take less time. Rank 10 ability: Decrease the reload time of all non-rapidfire weapons by 20%

Assimilate: Each point increases the maximum ammo capacity for all weapons that use ammo, while also increasing the amount of armor the green nanofield pickups recover. Probably the least important stat to max out, but by far one of the most useful if you're planning on using the high-end weapons, which we are. If you want to see explosions, putting at least a few points in this before the end of the game is a good idea. Note that this stat is effectively worthless until we get some more weapons. Rank 10 ability: Green nanofields now also recover 1 point of health, red nanofields now recover one additional point of health. Unless you screw up really badly, this effectively makes Iji invincible.

Strength: Aside from shooting, Iji can also kick enemies. Every enemy (and most doors) has a hidden "weight" stat, which Iji needs to exceed with her strength stat in order to harm them with a kick. If she does, her kick will send them flying backwards through the air and deal one point of damage, going straight through their armor (for reference, Iji's shotgun needs three or four shots to deal that much damage to most enemies). It's usually not a good idea to get right up in an enemy's face, since most of them can melee Iji right back, but the most important part of having a good strength stat is being able to break down doors, which will allow us to find secrets and bypass certain obstacles. Rank 10 ability: 50% more invincibility time after taking damage, most weapons no longer have recoil for Iji.

Tasen: Ranks 3, 6, and 10 give us new Tasen weapons to play with. The Tasen are the jerks who killed everyone in here, and their weapons tend to be on the more "solid" side of things, specializing more in bullets and rockets than in energy weapons. These are also our only method of creating our own explosions, outside of weapon-crafting, which we aren't going to be able to do until the next sector. Rank 10 ability: Pick up one additional ammo each time you find a Tasen ammo pickup. The real prize is the rank 10 weapon, but we won't get into that just yet. Suffice to say that the lackluster special ability is an extremely necessary balancing factor, because the rank 10 weapons are ridiculously good.

Komato: Ranks 3, 6, and 10 give us new Komato weapons to play with. Who are the Komato? Good question. We'll be meeting them later, and they'll be bringing us weapons. The first few sectors are just us against the Tasen, though, so we won't actually be finding any of these until Sector 3. The Komato specialize in energy weapons, though, and they have by far the better weapon fusions of the two paths. There's no saying we can't get both, though. Also keep in mind that, with one exception, the only way for us to get new weapons is to level up our two "weapon" stats. rank 10 ability: Pick up one additional ammo each time you find a Komato ammo pickup. Again, the ability sucks, but the rank 10 weapon is great. The Tasen get the better rank 10 weapon, but the Komato's rank 3 and 6 weapons are much better, especially the rank 6 weapon.

Crack: Each point makes you more like Tony Montana allows you to hack more things. Crack is pretty much the "do anything" stat. It's by far the best stat in the game, if only because of the sheer number of things you can do with it. It allows you to hack turrets and make them your own, disable enemy weapons and shields (if you can sneak up on them), unlock doors and supply crates, and fuse better weapons. That last one is especially important. Each weapon fusion has a required Crack level in order to make it. While we can't fuse anything until the next sector, leveling this up regularly is an absolute requirement if we want to see any of the crazy weapons. Rank 10 ability: Increases the amount of time you have to successfully crack something, failing to crack something doesn't cause Iji any adverse effects anymore.

So before we venture forth, let's get out first vote for stats. There are four points available to us in this first stage (this can vary), so what do we want to get?

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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Lynkzero13 on Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:22 pm

My vote is two in Strength and two in Crack. Dem doors are important to be able to take down. Also, who needs more health, anyway?

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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Kiri Ame on Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:29 pm

I vote Crack and Health, with any distribution. If only because Skyrim gave me a slight obsession with making things tanky. We need to have all the health.

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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  GameGuru on Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:43 am

Iji is one of those games I keep meaning to play, but never get around to playing. It's in a genre I like and in a style that looks good, but I never get around to playing it.

Either way... I agree with Kiri, Health and Crack!
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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Oni-Lord on Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:07 am

One in health, two in attack, and one in assimilate. I'm always paranoid when it comes to ammo, so getting a boosted amount from the start sounds pretty sweet to me.

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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Ud the Imp on Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:25 am

Health, Crack, and Assimilate
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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Aken Jizo on Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:27 am

Attack and Crack.
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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Gaunt88 on Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:18 am

Thunder gets a shiny new internet for making this LP. Iji is a brilliant game that you should all go and download right now. It's free, so you have no excuse not to =P

Or just watch this LP, I guess. If you want to be lame -n-

Anyway, when I play I get pretty paranoid about Health. Then again, Thunder's correct in that it's not always vital right away. I'd say go for crack, strength and assimilate.
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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Aken Jizo on Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:00 am

I do have an excuse, ACTUALLY! It's 5:59 in the morning and this computer would make it run slower and more choppily than a Mac 2. It can handle most things just fine; I have no idea why video games just make it go Evil or Very Mad .
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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Gaunt88 on Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:27 am

That sucks. While Iji isn't too graphics-intensive, it does sometimes chug a little when things get crazy near the end of the game.
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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Doctor Thunder on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:05 pm

The winners were Crack, Health, and Assimilate, so I'll go with 2, 1, and 1 for those (Crack got so many votes that putting less than two in it wouldn't have made sense). I'll be streaming the first sector, then I'll see about getting something better for that later.

Sector 1

Sorry about the game's music being a little on the loud side. I may end up disabling the music for later videos if that turns out to be a problem.


Last edited by Doctor Thunder on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Doctor Thunder on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:55 pm

Secret Stuff:

But what if we had sunk all four of our points into Strength?

Well, for starters, we could have kicked open that door in the beginning...

Secrets Video 1

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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Aken Jizo on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:13 pm

That partial screen thing is kinda weird, and your voice got kinda drowned out when the soundtrack decided it wasn't rocking hard enough and during some of the fighting, but other than that, great videos. 8/10 will watch again. I do have to ask, though: what was up with your mouse cursor?
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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Doctor Thunder on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:22 pm

The partial screen thing and the mouse cursor are both quirks of Livestream. Even if I don't end up getting a better replacement for it, I can fix both of those for the next video. I might need to turn the music off for that, though, or possible go without commentary for some of it. I might just leave the music on for the secrets videos from now on, and just not record commentary. Thanks for the feedback, though.

We're going to need some votes for the next four point-allocations. Oh, and since Supercharges have been talked about already, I'll start including those in here if we can get one in the sector we're about to go to. We're not going to be able to get Sector 2's Supercharge unless we have a rocket launcher, which means a Tasen stat of 6.

We've still got three unspent points from the first sector, and we'll be getting four more in this one, so if you guys want to see some new weapons right away, you can vote for that. With that said, we've got plenty of time to upgrade our stats, and there's no hurry to get them. But, in case this would influence anything, the first boss is at the end of Sector 3.

Happy voting, guys.

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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Gaunt88 on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:23 pm

It'd be a shame to have to mute the music altogether, Iji's soundtrack is one of its best features. Maybe just decrease the volume in general?
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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Doctor Thunder on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:25 pm

Iji doesn't let me do that, unfortunately.

Never mind. I got it. I could probably even redo the videos if you guys would rather. The sound shouldn't be a problem anymore.

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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Gaunt88 on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:33 pm

Can you do it through livestream, then?

EDIT: Ah, cool.

Anyway, I vote we put enough points into Tasen to get the machinegun at least. Then spread the rest around crack, assimilate and attack.
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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Oni-Lord on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:36 pm

I vote for getting the machine gun too. Then put the remaining in strength for maximum crotch-kicking.

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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Gaunt88 on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:43 pm

Ah man, watching this video reminds me, the track in the second half of sector one ("Something Green", I think) is probably one of my favourites in the game. I love how, as Aken said, it decides half-way through that it hasn't been rocking out nearly hard enough and throws in a sweet guitar riff.
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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Doctor Thunder on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:45 pm

Yeah, I like the music a lot too. Fortunately, any potential rocking out shouldn't get in the way of my snore-inducing riveting commentary from now on. =P

On a more serious note, would you guys rather I redid the videos so the sound doesn't swell up over me speaking, or should I just leave them? I honestly don't mind one way or another, since redoing them would only be like twenty minutes of work for me.

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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Dr. Keith Fetus on Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:05 pm

@Gaunt: But what if I already played the game? tongue

Ah Iji, I really enjoyed this game. Man, I can't believe all this was made with GAMEMAKER of all things though. Took a look at the source code, and wow. No wonder this took him 5 years.

Well if you can, I would like you to redo the videos. I really had a hard time hearing you.

Voting? Why cracking of course! All points into crack!
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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Doctor Thunder on Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:12 pm

No problem, I'll redo them sometime tomorrow, then.

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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

Post  Kiri Ame on Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:02 pm

Hmm... I'd vote for getting enough to get that machine gun, and then put the remainder into Crack or Strength. We need to be able to kick some doors into tiny shards, or else what's the point? Rolling Eyes

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Re: It's not genocide if it was self-defense! Let's Play Iji!

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