The latest installment from Sabotage, the creators of 2018’s The Messenger, is a terrific throwback that takes lessons from the best 16-bit RPGs of the past while ignoring all the annoying elements that make some of them hard to go back to. You can certainly dive into the blind, but I highly recommend reading This update is on the game’s Kickstarter page. Entitled Prologue – The Two Alchemists, it lays the groundwork for the Sea of Stars universe in which it is set and establishes two important characters I was grateful to have known more about when I started the game.
Get to know the introduction
To quickly recap, Ifurol and Rishan are the two alchemists who discovered the secret to immortal life, but it turns out that immortality is kinda terrible and the two came to this realization in opposing ways. Aephorul turned evil and gladly spread chaos across the world using monsters (known as Dwellers) and became known as The Fleshmancer. Resh’an embraces goodness and tries to make life better for humans by combating Aephorul’s shenanigans. Resh’an does this primarily with the help of the Solstice Warriors (which you play as in Sea of Stars), which uses the power of the Sun and Moon to battle Aephorul’s Dwellers. If left unchecked, the population will turn into world eaters, which is bad.
So, to recap, Everol, A.KA. The Fleshmancer is evil. It creates monsters called inhabitants. The Solstice Warriors fight the population so they don’t turn into World Eaters. Rashan is the good guy. There’s a lot more to the story, but these are the elements and characters that are useful to know before hitting the start button.
It’s also interesting to note that Sea of Stars takes place in the same universe, but many years before the events of The Messenger. There’s no need to play The Messenger before Sea of Stars, but if you do, there are some fun references worth looking into.
Destroy the locks
This is taught in the game, but it never hurts to give him a little extra focus. The icons that appear above the heads of the enemies are the attacks that you have to use against the enemies. For example, the enemies above will do an extra powerful attack in 2 turns, so the best way is to prevent at least one of them from performing that attack in the 2 turns provided. Odd fish enemy, on the left? You have to hit him with a sword attack twice (which is a Zale AKA blondie attack if you get the right timing to hit the button) for one turn. On the next turn, you must use the sword attack that is enhanced by the sun attack. This will break the locks of most of them, preventing them from taking a turn. I like this system, because it forces you to mix things up and use all of your team’s special abilities to score a huge bonus.
Swap characters with reckless abandon
Often, in RPGs with interchangeable group members, you find some favorites and stick with them. In games where you can switch characters in the middle of a fight, it usually takes a turn. In other games, you can only switch party members between battles. In Sea of Stars, you can switch party members at any time without any penalty. Experience is all shared in one big pool by everyone, so you don’t have to worry about making sure which character spends more time on the battlefield than others.
Ingredients are plentiful, and they are used to craft HP and MP recovery dishes, and regrow them as you visit ancient sites. They are used for cooking, but they can also be sold to any merchant. You can only eat 10 dishes at any one time, so I ended up with a lot of leftover ingredients. It’s always a good idea to keep a few of whatever ingredients you find on hand, but feel free to sell 25 berries to put you on edge to grab those ingredients that are out of your price range.
You can climb more than you realize
If the box seems out of your reach, feel free to approach the different walls and ledges and tap A/X/B. Valere and Zale are amazingly skilled climbers and can often go higher than you might expect. The coastal city of Brisk is especially ready for locations you might not think you can get to until you give it a try.
Get the Hawk-Eyed Macaw
Sea of Stars offers artifacts that can be used to enhance your gameplay. You can buy and play some items to make the game easier, but not all of them are directly related to the difficulty. Protruding sails, for example, make your boat move faster, which is very convenient. One of my most used relics, especially in the latter game, is the Hawk-Eyed Macaw. With this effect, the parrot will tell you if you’ve got everything on every island on the map. Parrot is particularly useful for the following tip.
Collect all the rainbow conch shells
Early in the game, you’ll start finding chests that contain rainbow shells. Near the halfway point, you will meet someone who collects it. I highly recommend going out of your way to grab all of these. There are many worthwhile rewards available for finding them all, and I’m grateful for the effort.
And on that complementary note, be sure to talk to your group members while camping. This is where you’ll find clues about the various side quests, which are worth pursuing, such as collecting rainbow shells.
For more on the game, check out Detective gameSea of Stars review.
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