I made it loop in case you wanted to see it a few more times to take it all in.
After struggling for a few seconds to get off this screen the conventional way, I eventually figured out I could press up at the door to go inside.
It turned out that they were just a harmless NPC, here to tell me to see the King right away! Apparently he has me confused for a tough adventurer who gets shit done against incredible odds.
I'm pressing the punch button every time he hops over, but he's shrugging off every hit. I can't tell if I'm even doing anything.
I've found another pair of (unmarked) doors to investigate too. Did the invading monsters steal all the signs or something?
The King explains that the Elf fountain water has been cut off, and only I can resolve the situation. Mainly because he's already sent everyone else who wasn't busy smoking or selling something, and they all got themselves killed.
I should go check out the other buildings and see if there's anything more deadly than keys and food to spend my cash on before I head back to that locked door.
Well I paid my cash but I've got no clue what it's given me. Actually, I just noticed that he refilled my health, and I'm really hoping that isn't all I'm getting for my money.
Oh shit, don't tell me that these two just refill my health and mana gauges and that's it? Well I just totally wasted a third of my cash. Great.
This is the default setting for the screen as well; when I walk in from the left that monster will always be there, meaning they probably hid him there deliberately. -10 points for cruel game design.
I think I'll equip this right now in the shop, and I'll leave the rest until I've unlocked the door and gotten some extra cash.
Oh fuck it, I'm going out through the door and making a run for it. I'm so sick of this town now.
60 SECONDS LATER.
Damn I suck at this game so bad. I'm never going to get anywhere in this bloody thing if I can't even hit the enemies. It's completely hopeless, I might as well just give up now.
Well not quite at square one, the game did let me keep my dagger. It turns out that the reason I was doing so badly in combat was because you can't equip weapons inside the weapon shop. So now I've got a blade in my hand, and I'm dying to try it out on something.
And I needed to kill two of them to earn the cash to get the locked door open, because some asshole had locked it up again. My first key had broke in the lock, so I had to buy a new one. That locksmith is a devious bastard.
The NPCs give me cryptic info about the "Tower of Trunk". It reminds me a lot of games like Battle of Olympus, Castlevania 2, and Zelda 2, but in this I feel like I have more of a fighting chance to figure it all out.
I hope this shield actually helps, because I'm really struggling in fights right now.
Ten minutes totally wasted.
I just wish my guy wouldn't move so damn slow. It's not so bad in combat, but the walk to the shops feels like it's taking longer each time.
EXACTLY TEN MINUTES LATER.
I wonder if this is the 'Tower of Trunk' the people in town mentioned. Looks more like a giant sandcastle to me.
After a few tries I managed to swipe it with my sword while jumping down the gap, and after a few more hits I was free to jump across. And fortunately it turns out that these guys drop health pick ups instead of money, so I was able to get enough life back to survive the journey back to town. Because I wasn't going to push my luck trying to get any further in that condition.
My magic power doesn't regenerate, but I can't help wasting a little to wreck these two assholes for wasting my time earlier.
LATER, INSIDE THE SANDCASTLE.
I spam all the hadoukens I have left at him, and it turns out to be just enough. He explodes into coins... and a pickaxe. Well, a mattock, same thing. It'll get me through that dagger-proof wall just as well.
Though I did get to keep the bloody mattock, so it wasn't a wasted trip.
I can't afford to take any risks now, because I have a theory that if I get my guy killed again, that wall is going to close up and I'm going to have to go all the way back up to kill the bloody dragon again to get another mattock. Or not, because I'd actually just turn the game off and never touch it again.
LATER, IN THE NEXT TOWN.
I managed to get my poor hero killed again a few minutes later, and found that with his new title he gets to keep a fair amount of xp, and receives 500 Golds after respawning. This gives me an idea...
SOME ADVENTURING LATER.
I actually tried backtracking to buy some interesting gear I noticed in another shop along the way, but that dagger-proof wall came back like I thought, so I'm trapped on this side until I find another mattock.
FIVE MINUTES OF ADVENTURING LATER.
I get the feeling that's the stuff though, right over there on the left. Across this chasm and behind a wall. Game designers love to play that trick, showing you the goal right away but making you go around the long way to get to it.
A FEW SCREENS LATER.
Though I will award it 20 points for not having bottomless instant-death pits (yet), when a single missed jump could mean that I'd wasted 15 minutes of gameplay.
And then I walked back out to stab the guy dropping the boulders in the back, and he dropped a boulder on my head. So my hero automatically drank the Elixir to save his life. Meaning I've totally wasted my time here. I tried to stab him in the back for revenge... but he dropped another boulder on my head and I woke up at the church.
I was feeling some more negative thoughts at this point so I screamed gibberish at the priest, and he again screamed gibberish right back at me. Only this time his gibberish seemed more complex, more like... a game password. A mantra to remember. Seems like a good time to turn it off I reckon.
This game is an awkward pain in the ass, but I actually want to keep playing. It doesn't seem so unfair anymore now that I understand it better, and I found it easier to get into than a lot of the other platformer rpgs I've played on the site. So I guess I have to give it a gold star for entertaining me.