Friday, 22 February 2013

Dead! - Aquaria

"My story will become your own, and yours will become mine."

There was a time when I was just a fish woman in a crystal. I broke free. I sung songs to the fauna of Home Springs. I collected many recipes. I acquired knowledge of my past, not through, but by slaying underwater manifestations of gods. I got laid in a clam.

I did this and much, much more.

Ahh crap. I'm dead.

I suppose it was only a matter of time...

If you remember, I was approaching the Sun Temple when I last saved. I enter the temple...though it looks more like a workshop with all these mechanical fish swimming around...

Sun Temple!
The start of this area is your pretty standard Aquaria fare...I have not a clue what to do. I amuse myself by bouncing of the walls to reach a new area.

Bouncing off the walls...
Which contains a very surprised fish...

:O Fish
Still unsure as to what I'm meant to be doing, I swim back to the main area. The hallway, if you can call it that, contains two interactive gears, which, I can power. To power them, I need to spin the mouse around my character to generate waves, which turn the gears. It takes me a while to get the knack of this...I expend a hell of a lot of energy spinning the mouse frantically around on my desk. Again, I get some weird looks from my flat mate.

Moving the gears lowers and raises the water in the level. If you've played Ocarina of Time - it's basically the water temple. I swim to the far right hand corner of the map and see a gem lodged in a I drag this to one side, then lower the water in the level.

What happens next is basically a series of events where I move the gem, raise the water, move the gem, lower the water, etc, etc.

My wrist is developing RSI.

I bring the gem to the surprised fish. The sunlight in the room hits it, and the gem begins to radiate. It then falls out of its cup for some reason. Now, I can drag the gem around and it lights up darkened areas. Magic! On my travels I find a recipe for Royal Soup! Excellent.

By appointment of her majesty...
I enter into a weird robot beetle production centre, and follow them round the assembly line; gem in tow. After a while, I enter an area where the water rises and falls of its own accord! I deposit my gem somewhere safe and proceed.

Sup fellas? Fellas?
There are spiky balls in this area, which I will hit depending on the height of the water. I'm pretty low on ingredients, so I take my time, swimming cautiously to avoid any damage. The music is getting sinister...

Spiky Balls.
...which means its a boss battle! Hurrah!

Dance of Death
I consider that the way to defeat this worm fella is to lure him over the spikes and wait for the water to drop, but he seems to take damage whenever I shoot fire at him. Plus he's moving way too quickly to stay in one place. I eat a spicy wrap and continue to pew pew him, whilst avoiding his attacks.

Take this, and that, and this!
He goes down rather easily, especially compared to the other two...but then again he was a lot smaller. As with every boss, I hold my head in my hands, no doubt questioning the monster I myself am becoming. I also get a bit of story.

Turns out there were these bubble fish people, that were really good with machinery or something. They liked the sun. But the sun was bad for them. Then they got head aches.

Ouch....get me the paracetamol..
I wasn't really listening.

But now, I'm a sun fish! Which means I can explore the darken abyss place...if I can remember where it was...

I swim around for a while and discover Arnassi Ruins...which seems to be the home to the seahorses of Aquaria. There are tons of them. There doesn't seem to be many enemies in this part of the map, which makes a nice change.

There doesn't seem to be much to this place. Some musical notes, but nothing seems to happen when I play them. I swim up and find an area where I can leap out of the water. I launch myself gracefully and fly towards the left hand side of the screen. I crash into the water and my character gasps. I've just launched myself towards a massive crab...

Woah...what now?!
This dude has two basic attacks, which are amazingly easy to dodge. When he attacks with his claw, he leaves his eye vulnerable. After you attack the eyes a few times, it reveals a weak spot on his arms which can also take damage.

After a bit of fishy firepower, the claw falls off, and like any unprofessional surgeon, or should I say sturgeon (I shouldn't) I move on to amputate the crab's other claw, without his permission.

If I just remove your claw...
The patient is quite miffed at this, as you can imagine, and launches himself straight at me. I lose a big chunk of health. I eat one of my poultices and proceed to deal with the angry crab. When he launches at me, he reveals another weak spot...the sort of weird face he has for an arse. After he attacks me, I swim under and fire more bolts into his arse face.

He was totally Armless....heh
He falls, and as the junior doctors prepare to deliver the bad news to the crab family, I get two achievements (WOOT!!) and then pick up his possessions - which seem to be the very latest in crab fashion. And hey, it even fits me! What are the chances.

Aww yeah. Li?
I put it on and try and show off my new clobber to Li, but he's nowhere in sight. In fact, whenever I'm in trouble, he buggers off. I could have really used him during crab surgery...and with the angry worm thing earlier. Hmph. Men.

I'm desperately low on ingredients, so I head to the forest in order to stock up on leaves. As soon as I enter the area, I'm greeted by the nutter sea horse. His attacks are pretty lethal, but there are so many leaves in the area, I just make poultices to my hearts content; though I realise this is counter productive. One of his mates turns up, so I switch to the fire daemon mode and spam the right mouse button.

Easy fella!! Oh...and Li is back!
After dispatching the crazy sea horses (waaaaa, waaaaa!) I swim around the area, taking in my surroundings. The underwater forest is huge. I reckon there must be something decent to find in this area, as the monsters here are much tougher than normal. I've collected tons of leaves, but I'm burning through them all because of all the hits I'm taking...

Back off buddy! (where is Li?)
I decide I'm probably not meant to be here right now, perhaps its an area for later in the game. I swim up and try and find my way out, when another nutter sea horse slams into me. I leg it into a cave, which turns out to be the nesting ground for some angry monsters. Where the hell is Li?!!?. I swim around them, trying to avoid nutter sea horse's barrage of pain. Ooof. Another chunk of health is taken away...and then another. I open the menu and eat some more leaf poultices. These cave monsters are going ballistic too, and start firing a ton of missiles at me, I quickly take them out, but nutter sea horse is pissed. Understandable...I killed his mates.

I open the menu.

I can't make any more health items.

In fact, I can't make anymore items at all.

I stare at my recipe book for a while.

I return to game, fully aware of what happens next.

It's been a while since I had to write one of these up, and indeed I did actually convince myself that I would be writing a different summary in a few weeks time, after completing this title. I'm not entirely sure if the forest is one of the main areas of the game story, the monsters in here seemed incredibly powerful, compared to the rest of it, perhaps it's like a side-quest or challenge thing? Regardless, the constant high damage should have served as warning enough to leave that place.

What would I have done differently? For starters, I should have used the shield song more often. I found that after unlocking the deadlier abilities with the other fish forms, I tended to favor attack over defense. Had I remembered to deploy my shield at the end, I reckon I would have survived.

I should have been constantly on the look out for ingredients in each area too, as the whole reason I went to the forest was to stock up. If I had more items, and paid more attention to the recipes, I could have made better "potions" with what I had.

That all said, Aquaria really grew on me over the last 3 or 4 weeks, and if I was playing this outside of the blog, I would have jumped right back in to it. I'm really gutted I have to stop now.

The start of the game is quite slow, and a bit boring, but it becomes something truly different after you unlock the fire daemon song. It's a decent blend of old school metroid/castlevania games, and if you are a fan of that genre, I highly recommend you pick it up.



Playthrough: 21/02/2013
Difficulty: Normal
Time until death: 7.9hrs (according to steam!).
Achievements: 6
Final recipe count: 16 (4 pages in my cookbook)


  1. Replies
    1. I know! What a boob! I was proper getting into it too. If we ever finish the list I'll def go back and try and clock pretty sure I was near the end.

  2. I wonder if there is an Ecco the Dolphin emulator