This is a grand game!
I noticed absolutely no bug whatsoever, first off. Good job. The music, gameplay, options, customization, versatility, side-quests, and visuals are all superb. However, I'm not sure if it's a bug or not, but I found a common (white) weapon and it costs 0G to upgrade every time. I maxed it out for 0G. Or is this some special type of weapon that I found?
Err... wait... what was the name of the weapon? O_o
A very good game, i really like it!
Regarding nbomb's review, "it is boring because it forces newcomers to have prior knowledge of rpg's", I believe he may have not noticed the top-left corner of the game screen when you are in town. The "?" button is very useful for those who do not understand what to do - I was clueless for a fair bit in the beginning as well until I skimmed through the simple manual.
I was surprised to find that the dialogue is presented in the Visual Novel style - gotta' acknowledge the good first impression it gave. Still, I find the posture of the characters at times awkward - hunched backs, lazy eyes, forever unchanging facial expressions ... Moving onto the Stats page, the character avatars have a slightly similar style, akin to Valthirian Arc (also an indie RPG). The sprite that moves around in the dungeon map is - of course - small, but not overly chibi like most games (that follow a generic JRPG fashion). Animation for moves are done with satisfactory results, I've only trained my characters until level 15 so I can't be sure if every skill has a unique animation for itself (not including foes who sometimes have the same skills as your mercenaries).
The sound is fitting and cheery with a bit of relaxing effect to it (I'm talking about the town's background music!), and thankfully there are a number of soundtracks that are changed from scenario to scenario (dungeon, battle, dialogue, etc.) There're sound effects too in battles when you cast buffs/debuffs and inflict damage on your enemies, so that's a plus!
Controls are entirely dominated by the use of your mouse. To interact, click on icons for things to do when you're in town such as buying potions/ethers, or to choose moves during a battle, or to switch equipment in the Equip page, etcetera - you get the idea. To move in the dungeon, click on the location you want to move. "It gets annoying when my character is stuck behind a wall!" There's also another way - click and draaag. Tristam's sprite will move constantly this way (though your mouse better be grasp-friendly or your finger will ache after playing the game for over an hour). Tip: You don't have to stop at a treasure chest, just run through it.
I have to be frank here, this game really sucked me in. I spent at least 6 hours of gameplay before doing a review for it. (And I'll break down the review for gameplay into different paragraphs because it's just so immense.)
Unlike a strict and inflexible skill learning system, the author has implemented a creative skill tree method in which you can focus all your AP (Ability Points) to one job - each character having the option of 3 jobs - or distribute them however you like.
I do agree with dragonslash's remark regarding the Equipment Upgrade. It. Was. Annoying. For me, at least. And yes, I too concur on his idea of adding the "Upgrade All" idea - I had the moola, but I still had to upgrade - painstakingly level by level - the gears individually. Call it a troublesome drag.
There is a mini-game (Zombie Defense) to kill the monotone, and if you want to get better equipment than the white-coloured ones, then you should feed your pet slime (yes!) from time to time. Where else can you dump your Shiny Bone and whatnot junks? (I think you can sell it, but doubt it's worth much.) I'm a bit disappointed about the Pet aspect. I don't know about others - and more than half probably don't care for this - but I would love to *raise* my Slime and summon it into battle as a skill.
The storyline is unlike most I've encountered. You're not a hero aspiring to save the world, you're not the lost child of some legendary hero who is now searching for his/her father, and you're not saving a damsel in distress whom for whatever reasons the villains need to abduct. You are just looking for a witch to take a picture of her getting pwned by an upholder of justice - so he claims - who has no characteristics of a saviour at all. Original, amirite?
Art: 4.5 stars
Sound: 4.5 stars
Controls: 5 stars
Gameplay: 5 stars
Storyline: 4.5 stars (silly satire)
Overall: 4.5 stars (4.7 stars)
There are good adventure RPG flash games, but this stuff is the deal.
Something was missing. I am having a lot of fun playing it though. Great job!