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Thread: Dark Cloud Series Discussion Thread

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    Clobberin Monster The Kirbinator's Avatar
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    Dark Cloud Series Discussion Thread

    I noticed that there may be some interest in the Dark Cloud series among BitF members. I am a huge Kirby fan, but I have a strong interest in the Dark Cloud games, as they are my favourite video games that are not on a Nintendo platform. Here is dedicated to the discussion of Dark Cloud, Dark Cloud 2/Dark Chronicle, and a potential Dark Cloud 3, with the former two games being PlayStation 2-exclusives. Note that there is a complete lack of Dark Cloud series-specific message boards that are in English and independent of the gaming networks.

    These games are made by Level-5, though those games are now Sony properties.

    I enjoyed the games very much. I must say that Dark Cloud 2 is better.

    A person from another forum was kind enough to create these icons for Max and Monica:





    First up in the discussion, does anyone notice the similarities between the Ridepod in Dark Cloud 2 and the Tankbot in Kirby's Epic Yarn?
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    Clobberin Monster The Kirbinator's Avatar
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    Re: Dark Cloud Series Discussion Thread

    Here is a review of Dark Chronicle/Dark Cloud 2 I wrote up:

    Game: Dark Chronicle (also known as Dark Cloud 2 in the United States and Canada)
    Genre: Eastern Rogue-like Action RPG
    Platform: PlayStation 2
    Date of Release: 2002 (Japan)/2003 (rest of the world)

    See here: http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/dark.../1900-2911113/ and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Chronicle (note that the Wikipedia article has unmarked spoilers)

    The below are my personal observations. Note that I am not going to spoil anything major. Note that I call this game Dark Cloud 2, because that is the North American name and I live in Canada. Dark Cloud 2 is a sequel of Dark Cloud. Dark Cloud 2 is generally regarded as a major improvement over the original in many departments.

    Characters and Story:

    Dark Cloud 2 has a steampunk setting in a fictional continent. The story is quite standard, but its characters are standouts. The two playable characters are Maximillian (or Max for short) and Monica Raybrandt.

    Max is a 13-year-old boy genius who can invent all sorts of wacky inventions. He has short blond hair, has eyebrows, has large green eyes and a short pointy nose, and wears a hat. He is 4' 7" in stature and weighs 100lbs. He wields a hammer on his right hand and a gun on his left. He also pilots a robot, known as the Ridepod. It can shoot missiles, can wield swords, and can fire lasers. Oh, and the Ridepod looks similar to that of the Tankbot in Kirby's Epic Yarn. Max carries an amulet embedded with the Red Atlamillia, a mysterious round gemstone that brings him and his close allies a century to the future.

    Monica is a 15-year-old princess who has very long reddish hair, has large reddish eyes and a short pointy nose, and wears boots. She is 5' 1" in stature and weighs 95lbs. She wields a sword on her right hand and carries a brassard that shoot balls of concentrated magic from her left arm. She can also transform into various monsters using her Monster Badges, allowing her to speak with them. Monica wears a bracelet on her right wrist embedded with the Blue Atlamillia, a similar gemstone that brings her and her close allies a century to the past. Both Max and Monica are good-natured teenagers with a kind heart.

    Both Max and Monica have customizable clothes, which can be purchased or invented.

    A person from another forum was kind enough to create these icons for Max and Monica:





    Here is the story:

    Max is from Palm Brinks. He lives in a mansion with his wealthy father and a few servants. However, Max does not like to live in luxury, as he is very curious about the outside world, as well as the whereabouts of his mother, especially given that Palm Brinks is a walled town. Max often hangs out with Cedric, who is a master engineer; Max is Cedric's apprentice. One day, Max receives a ticket to the circus. The circus is run by Floatsam, who wants Max's Atlamillia. Max and Floatsam fight against each other and Floatsam, using his mecha known as Halloween, chased Max across town until Max descends to the Underground Channel, where Max meets up with a friend named Donny. There, Max goes across the Underground Channel to go to the outside world. However, Max needed the Ridepod to bring down a few bosses before he can enter the outside world.

    Floatsam and Max fought atop a train near the forest of Sindain and Floatsam exploded himself, but Max is safe. Max then meets Monica, who arrived from a century in the future via her Atlamillia, who explains to him about fixing origin points, which had been destroyed by Emperor Griffon's army fifteen years prior. Floatsam is a henchman of Emperor Griffon. Earlier, in Castle Raybrandt, Monica was shocked to see that her father, King Raybrandt, died from Gaspard, who is employed by Emperor Griffon as an assassin.

    Max and Monica then visit various sites across the western half of the continent (the eastern half is not shown) to repair their origin points using Georama, as well as travel back and forth through time using their Atlamillia. The rest, you have to play to find out.

    Graphics:

    Dark Cloud 2 has anime-style cel shading and is one of the earliest games to have such a graphics style. It is very beautifully done and looks hand-drawn, especially for a game made in 2002 in Japan. Because of that, as well as it being released close to Wind Waker, there had been numerous comparisons between the two games.

    Audio (including music):

    Dark Cloud 2 has orchestral music. The game's menu music sounds much at home in a Kirby game. The music for Palm Brinks has a very Parisian feel with the accordion. The background music and the battle music smoothly transition between each other. The game's credit music is called Time is Changing and is sung. Listen here: http://50.7.60.82:777/ost/dark-chron...inal-ver.-.mp3 Dark Cloud 2, unlike its predecessor, has voice acting (see below).

    Gameplay:

    Dungeons are randomly-generated. Battles are similar to that of 3D Zelda games, complete with the lock-on system. The player can switch between Max and Monica. Both Max and Monica can charge up their attacks, though they cannot move and attack at the same time, though the Ridepod can move and attack at the same time. All weapons have a durability check, though when they are damaged and/or broken, they can be repaired.

    Max and Monica themselves do not level up. Their weapons level up instead through the collection of absorption points. Items can be spectrumized and synthesized to power up the weapons, as well as to "evolve" them. Max and Monica can consume Fruits of Eden to increase their HP permanently, Potato Pies for Max to increase his defence permanently, and Witch Parfaits for Monica to increase her defence permanently. Note that Fruits of Eden, Potato Pies, and Witch Parfaits cannot be purchased or crafted, only found in certain areas outside of dungeons.

    There are a few things that can be done in Dark Cloud 2. There is the invention system, in which Max takes three photographs to come up with an idea for an invention. There are many things he can invent, ranging from weapons to food to clothing. The Georama system allows the player to construct entire villages using Geostones (found in dungeons) to create buildings. Max can go fishing and place his fish in an aquarium. The fish can be eaten or it can be used in fishing competitions to win prizes. Finally, there is Spheda, which is a golf-like minigame that Max plays. The ball, known as the Time Sphere, changes colour whenever it is ricocheted and the sphere must reach the Time Distortion in a limited number of shots (and the sphere must be the opposite colour as the distortion when it enters the distortion). Completing Spheda in various dungeons grant prizes.

    Difficulty:

    Your mileage may vary. The game is quite challenging at times, especially in the bonus dungeon that opens up after completing the main story. Spheda is perhaps the most challenging part of the game, but is very fun. What do you expect from Spheda? Spheda is derived from the Italian word for challenge, sfida, and Spheda is pronounced the same way as the Italian word.

    Overall:

    There is a very good reason why Dark Cloud 2 is my favourite non-Nintendo game. It is the Zelda of the PlayStation 2. I recommend this game to Zelda fans, Final Fantasy fans, and Chrono Trigger fans.

    Interesting Facts:

    Max is voiced by Scott Menville, who also voiced Robin, as in Batman's sidekick, in New Teen Titans.

    Monica is voiced by Anndi McAfee, who also voiced Phoebe in Hey Arnold!

    Emperor Griffon is voiced by Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker and the Joker, as in the Batman villain.

    Some of the Dark Cloud 2 soundtrack has premium remixes (found in a CD sold separately in Japan) by the composer of Final Fantasy music and by the composer of Chrono Trigger music.

    Bump:

    I have corrected the heights of Max and Monica and added their weights. I have also corrected the objective of Spheda.
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  3. #3
    Clobberin Monster The Kirbinator's Avatar
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    Re: Dark Cloud Series Discussion Thread

    It may be a necro bump, but it has important information.

    See here: http://blog.us.playstation.com/2015/...-ps4-tomorrow/

    It has been officially confirmed. Dark Cloud 1 is available worldwide for the PS4 for US$15 since December 6, 2015.

    It is great that so many people are discovering this great cult video game series. I would love to get it, but I don't have a PS4.

    What do you think?
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  4. #4
    Clobberin Monster The Kirbinator's Avatar
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    Re: Dark Cloud Series Discussion Thread

    Here is another necro bump, but this time for Dark Cloud 2/Dark Chronicle:

    "Dark Cloud 2 Comes to PS4 Next Week"
    "Dark Cloud 2 is the Next PS2-on-PS4 Release"

    It became available worldwide for the PS4 on January 19, 2016 for US$15.

    As I said earlier, I don't have a PS4 and I consider this the better Dark Cloud game.

    What do you think?
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  5. #5
    Clobberin Monster The Kirbinator's Avatar
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    Re: Dark Cloud Series Discussion Thread

    Compare and contrast the two versions:

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