Lockhart Underground Retro Group:

11.19.22 – 11.26.22

Let’s play Growlanser II: The Sense of Justice (Videogame, PS2, JP 2001 NA 2004). You, Wein Cruz, are being interviewed and tested in order to join the military. You partner with Maximillian Schneider (Max) in your first combat test. This is the game’s tutorial to get you familiar with in game controls and menus. It is a bit disconcerting at times as Max sometimes talks to you as Wein and other times says things like “To the right of the HP and MP meter there is another gauge called the WAIT meter” essentially addressing you as the game player. But then, I’m doing much the same thing to readers. After the test, you and Max are off to defend Starkberg from invaders. You are thrust into a skirmish that requires protecting citizens along with defeating the attacking monsters. It’s an exciting and fairly challenging first battle but once you are successful you have an opportunity to rest and shop before continuing the story. The game has a nice Auto Save feature and you are able to save at will, even during combat. Your next duty is to investigate where the monsters are coming from. After defeating monsters in the ruins, you and Max return to find that your services are no longer needed in Starkberg. Max becomes a politician as you continue to train, now as a knight. Two new companions join you as prepare for a mission to save a village from marauders. This is a good time for you as the game player to learn about the attributes of characters and how rings and gems work to enhance and add to your characters’ abilities. The Archives at Burnstein Capital will assist you. Once you eliminate the immediate threat, you and your companions (Charlone and Hans) head to the Magic Academy on an errand, giving an opportunity to explore a new region along the way. Explore… meaning to read about each site you visit. There will likely be a couple of random encounters to mix it up a bit. Remember to find a village and recharge MP at an inn after each battle. Ambush! You quickly learn, if you haven’t already that working as a team is critical to survival. If you do, Grandshill is a great place to heal because of its proximity. The build up to the next battle includes some intrigue. You are off to meet Max but there is a surprising development. Surrounded by soldiers in a misunderstanding, you and your companions must flee, hurting as few solders as possible. You escape but some soldiers are killed. The result is that, as a game player I fail this mission. However, Wein, Hans and Charlone are allowed to continue the game. At this point, I don’t know how failing this mission effects the overall gameplay and/or story. Xenos joins the party and the four of you rush to rescue Xenos’ sister, a hostage of a band of mercenaries. This is not an easy battle (I learn after a couple of failures) and I have to regroup and do some grinding to prepare and better outfit my team.