After 15 years, I've made it to Disc 2 of Lost Odyssey

Howdy!

I had to share this. As the subject line reads, I've finally made disc-swappingly good progress. I've always adored this game and have started it at least ten times across two XBOX 360s and two XBOX Ones. I've fallen away every single time before finishing disc 1 due to the game's difficulty, variability during boss battles, and my inherent misunderstanding of key game mechanics.

This year, I finally started again with the intention of seeing what I was missing and really thinking about the mechanics and what the game expected me to do. The evil bogimoray AGAIN nearly drove me to just ditch the game for good, but I truly attempted to gear up and to level properly and fully grasp the strange but also frankly straightforward (eventually) magic leveling system, and all the pieces finally fell into place.

I'm off to Disc 2 now, but I wonder if anyone else had anything like this prolonged love-despair relationship with this wonderful gem of a game. Such a relief to finally get to see more of the dang thing.

@“SHC”#p76982 I've definitely started the game about 4 times and never made it more than a couple hours in. I never even made it to a difficulty spike so uh… I actually am less encouraged to revisit, ha ha. How have you found it since understanding the system? Is it rewarding, or did it not quite get there for you?

@“exodus”#p76985 Hey, Brandon! I really enjoy the world and the story and dialogue (but only in Japanese, since I really didn’t like Seth’s voice actor at all in English, and she’s terrific in Japanese), but without the system really falling into place, I found the first major boss basically impossibly frustrating.

This time, better understanding that the immortal characters (Kaim and Seth) are so versatile considering how they can basically learn anything as well paying attention to leveling up abilities via what items everyone is wearing completely changed the game. The bosses are still quite difficult thanks to unpredictability (strategy guides, for instance, are only decent pieces of advice oftentimes unless you’ve really over-levelled), but with a modicum of strategy, some basic grinding, and the expectation that you might have to retry a boss a time or two, I’ve found it much, much more enjoyable.

I probably did over-level, but it wasn’t egregious. I really was determined to see more of this game whose back… three-fourths?… I know nothing about, and the plot SEEMS to be taking off now that Disc 2 has begun. I like the laid-back exploration of the cities where there’s a surprising amount to see and de-puzzle, and with some thoughtfulness regarding the magic and item systems and the slightly-confusing-at-first and easily overlooked nature of linking your skills with other characters (completely understandable after a few minutes of experimenting, IF you think to do it… haha), I am finding the rewards to be worth the effort so far, even considering all the grumbling I’ve made about some of the more obtuse decisions in the boss battles, which I could mention if you wanted more details that fall into, I suppose, spoiler territory.

Having typed all that, I’m not sure it SOUNDS very fun, but if it’s approached with more of a hang-out/relaxed attitude but with some real, intentional attentiveness, I think the game really snaps into focus. Sakaguchi and the team and writers have really put some neat stuff in here, but finding it isn’t really the easiest thing, at least it wasn’t for me, as the time-scales aforementioned have shown. If you’re ever wanting to revisit it as a more longer-term gaming prospect, I think you’ll get over the hump fairly easily, maybe even if you just glance at a guide to make sure you’re not missing something they kind of elide over in the tutorials. It’s an earnest and thoughtful game, and those short stories are even worthwhile overall.

I also played and finished part 1 of Fantasian last year, and it has MANY of the same overlapping hurdles/ideas, but since I was able to get through it on the first try, I guess he/they smoothed them out a bit, or I was simply paying better attention this time. The story/writing in LO is much, much better, though, I guess obviously. I know auteur theory is debated in most any collaborative art form, especially games, but, gosh, Sakaguchi’s games sure do seem all of a piece/cut from similar cloths.

Methinks you took that game’s title way too literally.

Unfortunately I cannot offer solidarity with your tribulations, however I can offer words of encouragement along your path to continue and finish this game!

I played and finished Lost Odyssey upon release on the 360, and loved it. I've never replayed it since, so my memory of it by now is faded and vague; I couldn't tell you anything about most of the boss encounters, or anything about the levelling mechanic. I've forgotten it all. I remember the combat mechanic with the closing ring thing and that was kinda neat. I remember the genuinely _good_ (perhaps brilliant?) "kaim's memories" short story segments. I remember wishing more of my friends played this game.

Stick to it!
I wish I had some sage advice to offer that would help you on your way, but unfortunately the best I can offer is that it is a really dang good game and I believe it is absolutely worth experiencing what it has to offer.

@“rejj”#p77003 Good words. Thanks for the push! I will do my best this time to finally see it through.

@“chazumaru”#p76997 Couldn't agree more. Haha…

Lost Odyssey was a weird one to me because it was one of those instances where everyone in my environment was thoroughly loving the game, while I was personally struggling to like it, and it led to one of those situations where you end up questioning yourself and wondering if you're weird or stupid or something for not “getting it”. This led me to abandon my first playthrough in the middle of disc 2 and actually starting the whole thing again in order to try to find that thing everyone was finding so appealing. In the end I think I reached disc 4 (where the game basically opens up and you can use the flying ship) before abandoning it. The irony being none of those friends who were loving it so much actually finished the thing and I was actually the one who reached further.

I remember liking the dream/pseudo-VN segments quite a lot, but struggling to care for the main plot. Specially the main antagonist, a dude named after the spanish poet Luis de Góngora (and that quite amusingly got renamed to Gengara in the Spanish localization, I guess to avoid triggering people to think about classic literature while playing videogames or something) and which I have always thought it had one of the most boring and uninspired designs for a jRPG villain ever.

[upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/BAnayJG.png]

Come on, this is like just A Man. You can't possibly expect me find to this dude menacing or interesting at all.

Jokes aside I appreciated what the game was aiming for with the more mature tone, aesthetic and the designs by Inoue. The Uematsu soundtrack was stellar as well, but the game wasn't without faults. All things considered it was refreshing to play an RPG where most of the party felt like people over their fourties and acted as such (minus the two extremely annoying children lol). I also remember the combat system having some interesting nuances and quirks, and overall my memory of this game was it being an interesting take on the classic jRPG tropes and structure, at a time when Japanese RPGs were painfully absent/non-existent, minus a couple of exceptions like Eternal Sonata and Resonance of Fate. Honestly I'd like to revisit it at some point.

@“JoJoestar”#p77014 I see what you mean, but I did think the villain design was a nice change of pace since he did look a bit “normal” and unassuming. And of course, Uematsu's score is really nice and hummable as usual.

I'll be very proud of myself if I can see this through. I'm hoping I've got the mechanics dialed in enough that I can be prepared for Sakaguchi's trying boss battles and somewhat uneven field battle difficulty. I'm really interested to at least see where this darn story goes. I like that world.

>

@“SHC”#p77032 villain design

Wasn't only the design though! I remember the guy being the most archetypical and boring Evil Dude ever, and frankly not having anything interesting to his motivations or general behavior during the game. But I may be wrong! Your experience with the game is a lot fresher than mine.

Gongora is a bore-a

That Bogimoray took me two whole tries to beat, and for some reason gets a bespoke theme:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQeW8M3F_KU

That game took me over a year to finish, and it might've been for the following reasons

  • - absolutely hating life in the city I was in when I started the game and needing to move, then having to find roommates for the place I ended up, on top of other life bullshit
  • - having several other big games on the go at the same time (a problem I have nearly resolved, I just gotta finish FFXIII, Witcher 3, Yakuza 0, oh and FFV)
  • Come to think of it, I've had the relationship you paint with Final Fantasy V! I originally played the FF Chronicles version for PSX back when it came out (2001). I have a vivid and possibly too personal memory to share about my final attempt to finish that version in 2007 and getting almost to Gilgamesh. It's my bedtime though, so. I'll sleep on it.

    I started a playthrough of the French translation of the game by [Terminus](https://traf.romhack.org/?p=patchs&pid=754) on my 3DS back in 2020, and was having a blast! I was blazing through it, until… I decided I needed every blue magic, and then I couldn't play the game without a guide nearby. My progress ground to a crawl and I stopped sometime after getting the airship.

    I enjoyed Lost Odyssey a lot, especially it's battle system and anti-grinding approach to EXP. You could tell Mistwalker saved their top animators for certain cutscenes, and the character animation and staging in those scenes really shine. The kids really got on my nerves, though, especially anytime they had to start singing.

    Also: **the tits.** The tits on Ming and Sarah are just outrageous. You don't see such enormous chests on such overt display outside of dating sims nowadays*, if that, and in this game no one acts like they're even there (I would need to excuse myself to keep from glancing constantly). Magic tits that only the player can see. It's so dumb to think that this was unremarkable character design back then. This is about a decade and half late, but: get a grip, Sakaguchi &co. Hire some women!!

    [size=10]*sorry, I'm a naïve **child** and forgot about Xenoblade and probably lots of recent JRPGs

    @“JoJoestar”#p77039 there is one cool thing about Gongora: his prog/rap boss track, Howl of the Departed. (Listen carefully at the one minute mark—there's unmistakably some “Those Who Fight Further” in there.)

    @“connrrr”#p77047 Your final comments on the ladies‘ chests had me chuckling. I was just showing my wife Ming’s giant, extremely blue-veined orbs, and we had a good laugh. I know they… stood out to me years ago as well.

    I, too, have that habit of starting too many games at the same time and drifting from all of them or hitting a road block and moving on. We shall see if a narrower focus helps me with this one.

    As for your 2007 story, if you feel like sharing it, certainly feel free. As for Gongora, I have never gotten deep enough into the game to really know who the ultimate villains are in it anyway, so perhaps I had written him off as a power hungry lackey or something.

    Thanks for all the feedback, everyone. Guess it was worth cracking this baby back open for all this if nothing else.

    One last thing from me tonight: if I get though this, I also think I owe it to Blue Dragon to knock it out once and for all, too. What a charmer, although I don't recall why I drifted from that one after quite a few hours. I always think of that weird little vocalization of battle updates in the field…

    @“JoJoestar”#p77014 I wrote this yesterday at 1AM and reading it today again I was surprised at the amount of typos.

    @"connrrr"#p77048 Yeah, didn't get to this track in particular but the soundtrack in general was one of the highlights on this game definitely. And you are totally right about the boobie ladies, I think I played this at a time and and age when I wasn't as aware of these things as I am now but yeah, lol.

    Maybe one way to make this Gongora person more interesting would have been exploring the life-long rivalry the historical figure had with Francisco de Quevedo? Those two guys hated each other's guts so much they even dedicated entire poems to make fun of each others noses.

    >
    >

    Once there was a man stuck to a nose,

    > it was a superlative nose,

    > it was a scribe-nose and a nose-executioner

    > it was the sword of a very beardy fish,


    >
    >

    It was a sundial very poorly calibrated,

    > it was an alchemist beaker lost in thought,

    > an elephant lying face-up,

    > a more nosiliy nosed Ovid Naso,


    >
    >
    >

    It was a galley's battering ram,

    > a pyramid from Egypt,

    > of the Twelve Tribes of Noses.


    >
    >
    >

    It was in noseness truly infinite,

    > A whole lot of nose, a nose so fierce,

    > that on Ananus face it would have been a crime.

    Imagine if people insulted each other like this nowadays, Twitter would be a lot more fun!

    @“SHC”#p76994 I remember playing through Lost Odyssey and loving it when it came out while I was in high school. I don’t recall it being overly difficult, but there were some tough parts that took a while to figure out the strategy. The one thing I recall is that the game had a lot of loading screens (I think that was common that generation, but I remember being a little annoyed by it even at the time). I remember the game being unique and refreshingly different from Final Fantasy and other JRPG’s. I’m planning to replay it, so I’m curious to see if I still feel the same when I revisit it.

    Anyway, I made it to the final boss in Fantasian, and kind of gave up after dying enough times. The battle is too long and you have to plan out your moves so perfectly… I think if you were able to handle that, then you should be able to beat Lost Odyssey.

    I‘ve been reading this thread with lovely memories of playing Lost Odyssey only for it to dawn on me that it’s…

    ### _**fifteen years old!?**_

    [Matt Damon old man.gif]

    @“Syzygy”#p77893 I came here to share this exactly. What an amazing timing, feels like we almost summoned it!