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Angelic Layer


Posted: 01 Mar, 2017 17:35
Last Edit: 17 Mar, 2017 23:34
Official Topic Post for discussion about
Created 01 Mar, 2017 17:35 by

(Soon to be) Release Notes:

• All battle-based achievements are TKO-only. I hate doing this, but the game is way too easy as it is, and if you miss an achievement in story, the game really isn't so long that you can't go back and get it again later anyway.

• However, the tutorial-battle against Wizard WILL auto-end on Turn 92, and at that point in the game you ONLY have the starter-moves that aren't very powerful and Wizard has 80 HP. As far as I can tell, you don't have enough CONCENTRATION points to effectively beat him in time, so the only way to defeat him in time is to use "layer out". Since he rarely moves and rarely attacks, this is not a difficult battle, but if you take too long, it can still be missed.

• You CAN use "time over" to win for the story mode battles. However, you can NOT use Time-Over for Piffle Princess rematches OR the post-game battles. And unfortunately due to how the timer works, you can't beat the enemy on the "last turn" of the timer because the timer does not actually advance to the "next" number when you win by Time-Over, so beating your opponent on "01" turn remaining is not possible.

• "My Own Angel" opens up after beating the final boss and saving. At this point, your progress in Advance Story Mode is transferred to MOA and Advance Story Mode is set to only allow "Begin" rather than "Continue". If you restart Advance Story Mode at this time, it will erase My Own Angel and restart everything. So if you missed achievements from ASM, you should probably finish MOA first before going back to get them.

• I've had only one of my currently-understood-to-be "Battle-ID" address cause a problem. This was because there are some story-based events that happen mid-battle, but in my first playthrough I beat them before they happened. Only in my actual achievement-test-run did some of them happen. Most of them were unchanged, but I had *ONE* problem where Shirahime's special-event changed the Battle-ID, so that was ALT-grouped. I'm about to do one more test-run, but as far as I know that's the only one that needed to be fixed .. but you might find more, I'm not sure.

• Just because battle achievements are TKO-only doesn't mean Layer-Out is a bad tactic... there are two achievements for doing it, but also towards the end you're going to need a LOT of money to buy everything unfortunately, and using layer-out would be the easiest way, although every NORMAL battle is only 10 pts a piece, and I'd guess that you might need around 4,000 to 5,000 pts to buy everything for the three buy-everything achievements. That's about 500 battles not including what you get from story battles(and story battles do give more, but you only get to fight them ONCE, and if you restart ASM to replay them your money is back down to zero).

• There are a few tricky points in terms of language-barriers; I can read some of it, but unfortunately I don't *quite* know how to translate-hack a game, the things I read online aren't helping, so it's going to be untranslated for the time being. Sometimes knowing the anime helps with knowing what to do, such as with the first battle, Icchan asks you to rent a table, so you need to go to the desk and talk to the lady, then after being mistakenly given a free tournament-entry ticket, you talk to Icchan again to eventually start the battle. At another point with a late-tutorial with Wizard, you are asked to use "Middle Kick" and the battle won't progress until you do. He then asks you to use A-button to GUARD on his attacking-turn and the game won't progress until you do, then afterward the B-Button for ESCAPE. Later on, it's usually just a matter of walking around and talking to people once or twice to advance plot. The plot itself is almost directly taken from the anime, so again, if you've watched the show, you probably know what's going on.

• As far as I know, there are no "missables" as far as the game is concerned. Achievement-wise, the first 24 achievements must be gained in Story Mode. Do not save INSIDE the stadium on the chapter where you fight Wizard for the last time if you're not finished with the Piffle Princess rematches yet.... once you ask at the front-desk to enter the battle, you can walk around the stadium and buy things from the shop, but you're locked in until you fight Wizard, and for the final battle you are locked into the stadium to fight Athena. You can enter the stadium to use the shop without locking yourself in, but once you talk to the lady at the front desk, you have to go on to beat ASM and continue into MOA, where you will then be unable to get the ASM-based achievements. I have the Piffle Princess rematches locked to ASM because it means preventing at least ONE specific auto-kill move-module that I can't otherwise block reliably.

Game-wise, this is like a very very light-weight MegaMan Battle Network game, which is kind of neat in its own right. But just as the characters in the anime use rhythm to time their movements, you also use button-commands(albeit not really tied to rhythm, but just streamed into a small command-entry window) in order to attack.

There's also a text-only "module system" that allows you to arrange your moves, which also makes it sort of like the Battle Chips in MMBN. Some are gained from beating characters in story-mode, others are bought at either of the two stores in the game, and some are gained in battles in the post-game.

Longplay - best I can find, incomplete at 8-chapters, but there are about 14 total chapters not including the post-game.
Wikipedia - No mention of the game at all on Wikipedia

Posted: 03 Mar, 2017 16:42
Last Edit: 17 Mar, 2017 23:06
Just some real quick basic-menu translations .. move-translations can be found at GameFAQs.

***Actually, the move-list on GameFAQs was incomplete, so I made my own below. vvvvvvv

天使 - tenshi - Angel ---- This doesn't appear until you have Hikaru.
セーブ - se-vu - SAVE ---- Say "YES" to save your game. Yeah, it's technically se-bu, but it's vu in this context.
そうさ - sousa - "That's it"(?) ---- Not sure why, but this is the Control-Type Select option.
ヒント - hinto - Hint ---- Receive a helpful hint! ..... in Japanese.

Control Types:
---Default: Up = Up+Right, Down = Down+Left, Left = Up+Left, Right = Down+Right.

---Alternate: Press each "diagonal" on the D-Pad to go that direction, but individual Directions do nothing. Even though this sounds like a less-confusing option, it actually feels a bit sloppy because pressing the exact corners of the D-Pad is not always easy to do(depending on the controller you use, maybe default keyboard is easier, I'm not sure).

Tenshi Menu:

ステータスを見る - sute-tasu (w)o miru - "View Status"
----Angel's Name: Hikaru(might be changeable in "My Own Angel Story")
----Misaki - Level
----PHYSICAL - this is Hikaru's HP
----CONCENTRATION - this is essentially Misaki/Hikaru's "MP", required for every attack(and move?)
----(these I grabbed from the FAQ:)
----Hand Attack------Defense------Evasion
----Leg Attack-------Hit-----------Potential
----Angel Points(MONEY!?)

In "My Own Angel" mode, you are given three new menu options. In order, they are essentially "Switch/Choose Angel" (between Hikaru and your custom Angel), "Change Name and Appearance", and "Change Parameters". Basically, you can completely remake your custom Angel no matter what you do to it in the opening-dialogue of My Own Angel mode.

アイテム / 防具のそうび - Item / Equipment for Armor
Here, you can equip the items/armor-gear you buy from Piffle Princess with your Angel Points. Off to the right side, you can see how the stats will be affected. They will go up on one side when you equip something, and show what the actual value is without the item/armor. Top to bottom, it lists them in order of Hand Attack, Leg Attack, Defense, Hit, Evasion, Potential.

Again, from the FAQ:

"""Hand attack - Effectiveness of upper-body attacks carry
"""Leg attack - Effectiveness of lower-body attacks
"""Defense - Overall defense
"""Hit - How likely you are to connect with an attack
"""Evasion - Dodging success rate
"""Potential - Critical hit potential

モジュール(SOMETHING, the kanji is really compact in this game) -- Module (Change?)

In this menu, you can change the "modules" that Hikaru can use to attack in battle. They're sort of like the CHIP-attacks in MegaMan Battle Network, but only seen as text and in Hikaru's animation.

You can rearrange or newly-assign moves, and the lower-left menu will tell you how many points of CONCENTRATION each one takes to use in-battle.

Pressing START on a move will let you see details about it. I can't read every kanji, but from context, I think the top number is the Attack-Power it has, the next is Hit-Rate, or "the chance this has to succeed". And the third number appears to be "Potential", so the critical-hit-chance it has I suppose. I don't see the "Hand Attack" kanji in this description, which is unfortunate, but I suppose for the most-part you can guess that it's a hand-attack.

Posted: 08 Mar, 2017 04:01
I'm mostly writing these notes as a quick-guide for any future players who attempt the set if/when I'm able to make it, otherwise I'm also mostly writing them as reminders for myself.

Battle System:

Although a chip-like MMBN battle-style is used for selecting moves, this game borrows from the anime's idea that most of the players devised their own style of "rhythm" in order to move and fight with their dolls on the layer. After the match begins, you are asked to move to a tile, then you are asked to select one, two, or three moves from the list of moves you saved. After confirming the number and type of moves you want to use, you press "L" and select "YES" to continue to the Rhythm-phase.

Each move you selected has its own base-style of button-input...if you input one move, you will press the button-combos for that move, if you put in three, you'll be doing three button-combos in a row.

If you over-use a specific move, that move's base-style becomes more difficult to pull off. "Jab" starts as one press of the "A" button... later on it becomes two-presses, and after that I think the spacing between both A-button-presses becomes smaller and smaller.

Failing a move of course means you won't perform that move. But on top of that, if it was part of a necessary chain of combos, you'll also fail the subsequent move even if you entered it correctly.

After executing the button presses, your attack will "play out" .. depending on the defending unit's AI, it might block or evade one or more of your attacks, possibly breaking your intended combo if it relied on one of them connecting.

Then the enemy will select their moves and another "rhythm" game will play out, this time you have two main possibilities: ESCAPE with B-button, or GUARD with the A-button. Later on when you buy or gain CTR-moves, you can counter with the R-button, but it rarely works even if you do it right. ESCAPE will evade all damage but has very low chance to work, and may never work on some moves. GUARD will always work, will sometimes reduce damage to 0, usually takes damage down to a low amount otherwise. You only get those two main attempts to block damage, and the rhythm game won't directly tell you what moves are coming, and sometimes there are more moves than you can guard or escape against. So you kind of have to choose which red-blocks you want to guard or escape and hope the rest aren't too bad. As with your moves, if you break their combo, you usually stop their remaining attacks as well. But if you try to evade on a knock-down move and get hit, even if you guarded on the next move, you'll still get hit.

After the enemy's turn, the Timer(turn-number) ticks down by one and it's your turn to move again. I've never run out of time, but I assume the Angel with the highest-proportional-HP wins the round if the timer runs out, if it's anything like the anime.

Each Angel has their own HP and "MP" labeled Physical and Concentration. Each move consumes some concentration, and you gain about three back at the start of every round. All moves can be used once per round, but since they use varying amounts of Concentration, you might not be able to use them every round. All players have a max of 20 concentration no matter what. The most powerful move you gain uses 12 concentration(as far as I know). Usually beating a chapter will make Hikaru's level go up, so she becomes stronger and gains more HP, but Concentration always stays at 20-max. There are also two moves that increase your concentration when used successfully, but they can't be used to allow a higher-concentration-move before you have those'll just increase the amount of Concentration you gain on the next round.

Your move-list, or "Modules" as they're called, only has so-many slots available. The trick is that some moves take up 2, 3, and even 4 slots, so you have to choose your moves carefully so you have something worth doing even at low-concentration, or have moves with requirements that actually have their required-combo-move available. For instance, foot-stomp is kind of useless if you don't have a knock-down move before it, and those usually require two-slots. "Rolling Leg Lock and Throw" is a Counter-move, I believe it takes up 4 slots, and as I've never seen counter-moves work yet, it would be a big waste of space for just the possibility that you might counter something.

Not every module deals damage, some move Hikaru, some move the enemy, some do both. Some enemy-displacement-moves seem unnecessary, but they actually put the enemy into a No-Guard position that makes it impossible to block your low-hit-rate moves, as long as they can hit them in that position(most moves can't hit a knocked-down enemy unless it specifically only hits knocked-down-enemies). With the right setup, you can easily Layer-Out an enemy after a mere two turns. The only caveat is that these enemy-displacement moves have harder button combinations on top of the harder button combinations of the low-hit-rate moves you're trying to use, so using both together might mean a guaranteed attack, but it's also harder to pull off.

Even still, with the Layer-Out option of defeating enemies, the game is actually kind of easy. It's unfortunate, but a good amount of moves in the game are wasted on just using the same tactic to Layer-Out I'm sure if I'm able to, I'll be making the usual no-frills story-progress achievements for the main part of the game, and then include versions requiring you to actually defeat your opponent "fairly".

After beating the game you gain access to "My Own Angel" which just has a small bit of free-mode where you now own two angels, Hikaru and the way you set her up, as well as a custom-made one where you choose its name, Call Out message for battle-start, and one of four head parts and one of four color-palettes. Most of the later players are around to challenge again, but some of the earlier players are now gone, which is unfortunate. A few times you are able to replay those earlier-players at Piffle Princess....on the second-to-last chapter, walking into the Skill Up Room will cycle between 9 different players three at a time, but after beating the game only a few of them are if I'm able to find their IDs and know who you're fighting against, you'll need to do whatever special achievements on them before beating that second-to-last chapter.

Looks like there are 14 different chapters, and assuming 15 required battles. One character seems unaccounted for ... I thought they'd make me fight him at some point, but so far it seems like he was just a sort of joke-reference but you can't fight them... maybe. Anyway, might be able to squeak out 28 to 30 achievements out of it if I can find the things I need.

Posted: 13 Mar, 2017 02:46
Last Edit: 17 Mar, 2017 17:00
Apparently the Move-List-FAQ on GameFAQs is incomplete, so I went ahead and did some quick translation work of my own. This is not going to be a very detailed list since I'm only familiar with the moves I use the most, but still.

It's not intended to be an end-all-be-all as it's just a slightly modified Google-translation for what I could SEE to read (like I'm totally not blinding myself squinting at "Mao's Technique"), but this might be helpful to others anyway.

------------These are in the current order ONLY because of the way I bought and fought different players. YOUR list may look different. Do not rely on their order to know what you're selecting.

No-Guard - The enemy is placed in "No Guard" and is unable to block or escape your next attack.
Knock-Down - Similar to No-Guard, but cannot BE attacked without Foot-Stomp(or something else?)
Knock-Back - usually induces Knock-Down too, forcibly throws the opponent back one or two tiles.

If ANY character is knocked down, they forfeit their move-turn and get back up where they lay.

(CTR) - Any CTR move is a counter move, activated with the "R" trigger during the enemy's attack-phase. Rarely works, not sure if the animation is ever shown. I've never seen it work yet, although I think I've seen damage applied without animation? Not sure myself.

MOST MOVES take up more than one slot.

Most of the good moves take up two slots, some take three, and a few take FOUR. I can't remember at this moment, but I think you can only assign 10 slots, so a move must be able to fit into the remaining slots in order to be added to Hikaru.

Each attack has its own "button combination" rhythm(not really a rhythm exactly) to pull off. Usually the better moves have harder combinations, but I feel like Astral Emission is way easier than Rolling Thunder.

A move can only be used ONCE during a turn. It can be used any number of times during the battle, if you have the CONCENTRATION/MP to use it.

ONLY THREE MOVES can be used in a single turn. You don't have to use all three. You end your selection and begin Rhythm-input by pressing "L" and confirming with "A".

IF YOU OVERUSE A MOVE, it's button combination will gradually become more and more difficult. It's easy to overuse a move like "Middle Kick" because it can induce a quick layer-out win, but if the enemy keeps blocking it or dodging it, you'll quickly overuse it.

Astral Emission is gained from Shuko in the My Own Angel post-game. Almost always instant-death.
——— I can't actually ban this, so I at least locked some achievements to story mode where you do not have access to this move...otherwise it's pretty easy to use and usually destroys everything.

Ashibarai, aka "Trip", assuming it results in Knock-Down and does Leg Damage.

Uppercut: Hand-damage that also floats the enemy up into No-Guard.
——— Might not be able to hit them with all moves during this?

Idou x1 - Move x1, despite it's name, there is no x2 or higher.
———Very important move for recovering from Knock Down or closing the distance more quickly.

Uraken - Backward Fist
———Hikaru just spins in place and punches the enemy.

(CTR)Counter Kick
———Can only be activated during the enemy's attack phase. Not recommended.

Kiaitame - "Charge" ... since making the image, got a better translation that says "Yell For"
——— After your Rhythm-phase is entered, when this move triggers, you gain extra "CONCENTRATION"(MP) - it cannot be used to pay for a move in this turn, because you only get the extra "MP" after the move executes successfully, but you'll have more CONCENTRATION on the next turn.

Kiaitame x2 - same thing, but you get MORE CONCENTRATION - at the expense of an extra slot.

Kick Combination - a three-wide Knock-Down attack

Catch and Throw - this does no damage, but tosses the enemy up into the air to float for a turn
———Similar to Upper Cut, this puts the enemy into air "No Guard"
———Despite the name, this does not do Knock-Back movement.

Grapple and Replace - this does no damage, but swaps your position with the enemy
———This can easily be used to combo into a knock-back-move for a layer-out.

Dance of Death - Gained from Ringo in the post game. Just does a distance kick-damage.
——— Might induce knock-down or knock back?

Jab x2
Jab x3 -- All of these are low-cost single-hit attacks that progressively add one more attack.
———Quick and hard to block, racks up damage fast for comboing into something else
———All but Jab x3 take up one slot, Jab x3 takes up only two, which can easily replace both of the first two.

Jump Kick - jumping Knock-Down leg-damage
———This can target up to two tiles away. Seems easy for the enemy to block.
———You land directly beside the enemy afterwards.

Jump Punch - same as Jump Kick, but targets only one-tile two spaces away from you, and does hand-damage, induces Knock-Down
———Despite also being a jump-attack, you stay in place after the attack, two-tiles away.

Straight Punch - just a simple and cheap straight-punch to add as a combo for other damage-moves

tsukidashi - "One After Another" - Hikaru slams an open palm at the enemy's torso, sending them flying
——— This does a whopping TWO-tile Knock-Back to the enemy for easy layer-out wins.

Hyper Mode - Gained from Blanche in the post-game, supposedly increases your attacks
———True to the anime, this move gradually consumes the user's HP, but only 1 per turn(I think?)

bakkuten - Backward Somersault, used frequently by Hikaru in the anime, this does no damage.
———If you're knocked down and can't move away from the enemy, this could get you out of trouble.

bakkuten x2 - same thing, but you move two tiles away ... having said that ----

=============BOTH OF THESE SOMERSAULTS *CAN* KILL YOU BY LAYER-OUT!!!=========== be careful with that. XD Totally not speaking from experience there.

Backflip - No-damage, but induces No-Guard, lifts the enemy over your head and onto the tile behind you
———This move is crucial for quick layer-out strategies as you can combo into a knock-back attack while they're in No Guard.

Hizageri - Rising Knee - hard-hitting leg-damage ending with knock-down.

CHINESE KANJI - "Mao's Technique" A sliding kick-punch that might do knock-down?
———Gained in the post game, can hit up to 3 tiles away directly, 2 on the sides.

Foot Stomp - Starter attack that can ONLY attack a knocked-down enemy.
——— Can attack 2 tiles away, but you land directly beside the enemy afterward.

(CTR) Magic Guard - Never used it, it's a counter move that rarely works.
———If it's like the anime, you bounce the enemy back. I have no idea.

Mawarikomi - Revolution - Opposite of Backflip, this puts Hikaru on the tile behind the enemy in front of her.
———Amazing move for setting up quick layer-out wins or just pushing the enemy closer to the edge.

Middle Kick - Starter-move easily overused for its ability to knock back and knock down the enemy.

Lariat - Similar to Middle Kick, it knocks the enemy back, but you follow through and land beside them.

(CTR) Leg Lock Throw - if this is like the anime, Hikaru grabs the enemy by the throat with her ankles and spins them around while throwing them to the ground far away.
——— ... but in the game it rarely works, so ..

Rolling Thunder - Lightspeed Suzuka's signature move, can hit from two tiles away and does Knock-Back and Knock-Down damage.
———It's basically a further-reaching tsukidashi, but much harder to pull off.

(CTR)Rolling Thunder - I imagine this is the same thing, but as a counter. Would be amazing to pull off, because this would only require tapping the "R" trigger once.

Rolling Sobat - I had to look up what Sobat even is. This just does a wide-kick with knock-down, maybe knock-back as well?

One-Two-Combo - this just rapidly jabs the enemy about three times, seems like a harder version of Jab x3 in some ways.

As far as I know, those are all of the moves in the game, but I'm really not sure.

There seem to be 14 Angels to fight in the game. I *REALLY* want to fight Ryo Misaki's three or four Angels, but as far as I know his inclusion in the game is a joke..? He just runs off and I can't find him anywhere, so I've never battled him. If there's some way to force him to battle let me know, otherwise I have no idea.

I've kinda forcibly stretched the set to be 46-planned achievements....mostly to artificially make points less for each achievement because in some ways, the game can be kind of easy. Nothing has been made *yet*. There are some things I wish I could do, but the RAM is way too dynamic, so I can't track specific things like I want to. We'll see what happens. Since the game is more story-based than action-based it probably won't get too many plays, but I think it's a neat take on the MegaMan Battle Network style of gameplay and making it more physically involved while applying it to the Angelic Layer license, it's at least neat for that.


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