On Rhyship Island
The Misadventures of Tron Bonne (aka: Tron ni Kobun!)
a lot of searching, dead ends, and an eternity on a file-sharing network,
I finally have gotten a chance to play the apocryphal middle sibling
of the Megaman Legends/Rockman Dash series. The Legends games really
rubbed me the right way, with a lot to explore and do that turns a game
that can conceivably be completed in about three or four hours into
something that looks and feels like something much bigger and
more enjoyable. It's a lot like Metroid in the sense that your forays
into the caves and ruins were limited only by not being able to jump
high enough, or not having a weapon that could break down a blocked
pathway. I always found that sort of adventure a lot more enjoyable
than obligatory key-fetching and power-leveling. Something about not
having to build the largely decorative Zet-blade in Megaman
Legends, for example, made going through all of the mini-games and fetch-quests
to build it seem more enjoyable. It didn't hurt that it had the atmosphere
and charm to keep your attention, either.
despite a 180 in terms of focus, carries that sort of optional advancement
close to its heart, which makes completing all of the minigames and
subquests all the more fun. For the first time, Megaman's latest incarnation
is nowhere near the spotlight, and you take on the role of the genius
pirate Tron Bonne on a mission to raise one million Zenny to free her
brothers from the chunky grasp of Lex Loath and his narcissistic business
partner/hitman Glyde. So Tron sets about earning the 1,000,000z through
hard work and clever marketing of lawn care products.
mean, looting and pillaging the island of all its valuables. So instead
of wandering Ruins and collecting treasures as per the other entries
in the Legends series, the game is broken down into sets of minigame
missions ranging from flat-out bank-robbing action to crate puzzles.
I must confess that didn't sound nearly as much fun as it turned
out to be. The presentation is one thing to be sure. It uses the same
simple, somewhat blocky character models seen in Mega Man Legends (2?)
to good, cartoony, effect, only now when there are dialogue scenes,
we get hand-drawn character portraits on-screen, saving us from the
sometimes unnatural appearance of a 2-D face on a 3-D talking head.
There's also a lot of voice work accompanying the game, giving it a
feel sort of like an anime without the animation, or maybe one of those
dating sims. Your onscreen avatar for most of the actual game is the
Gustaff mech (or a variant), which is as much a command center for the
Servbots as your battle machine. You fire Beacon Bombs from the head
turret which signal all of your little charges to rush in and hit a
switch, steal a truck, or throw bombs recklessly. There are plenty of
useless Servbot tricks as well as the expected attack and task runs,
like Beacon Bombing the water and watching the happy little Servbots
float and splash, or tagging a Servbot and causing the others to chase
it in circles.
biggest boost this game has in terms of style, though, is the sheer,
unadulterated joy your childlike servants get from damn near everything.
They rush around town, aiding your plunders with chipper cries of "YAY!"
as they rip off police car lights and tires. They portray crime and
evil in such a delightfully positive light- after all, Tron is doing
this to rescue her brothers from an even worse crook. When all is said
and done, the Bonnes pretty much are only pirates because they have
game missions consist of two 'Action' missions (Bank Robbery and Sart
Farm), two Puzzle missions (Primiki and Teche Harbors), a three-part
'RPG' segment wherein you control a remote drone and rely on the Servbots
to recover the Aurora Stones, and a 'free' dungeon that can be visited
as many times as needed to raise money and find items. Beating missions
unlocks new parts of the Gesselschaft (your home base) as well as giving
you money towards your ultimate one million goal. The 40 Servbots all
have their own strengths, weaknesses and quirks to find and exploit.
They all have Attack, Speed, and Brains attributes that go from 1-4,
as well as a Sloth rating that goes up if you neglect to take them on
enough missions. Don't worry- you can straighten them out in the Torture
Chamber. There's also a Casino level available for high-stakes Bingo
and High or Low. (I like the fact that Glyde is the Queen in the deck
of cards they're using.)
for the new characters the game brings out, only Glyde (and his smarmy
Birdbots) makes a return visit in the sequel. I guess there was only
so much they could do with Officer Denise*,
as funny as she was to pick on. We get a little better look at Diggers
in action, which is odd since the other two games are ABOUT a digger.
I especially like the older digger wearing Mega Man-like armor and a
tattered cape. He looks like Clint Eastwood trying to play Rock. Granted
he doesn't do much but he looks cool standing there.
gameplay has a few changes from the norm, like not being able to recover
health effectively aside from bringing your own refuels. There are only
two special weapons to speak of, the Gatling and the Bonne Bazooka,
plus armor and life upgrades to work towards. The bulky Gustaff can't
do the quick-turn or safety roll motions familiar to Legends veterans,
which makes sense but leads to some extra unecessary damage.
think the most tragic shortcoming of this game is that there just weren't
a lot of them made. I had to resort to downloading a buggy emulated
version that liked freezing up on cutscenes and had characters occasionally
stuttering like Max Headroom either due to encoding error or RAM troubles.
This also denied me the Legends 2 demo and the delicious goofy missions
ontained therein. If I ever get the chance to get it legit, rest assured
I will. Or maybe I can just have some of my shorter friends rush into
the house of someone who's got it. Yay! Yay!
full name is Denise Marmalade, and her theme is called "Police
Lady." Police Lady Denise Marmalade. Lady Marmalade. Get
it, it's another music reference like Rock and Roll and Tron Bon(n)e.