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Tirkiss ~Princess Shade~
Type: Action RPG (similar to Zelda)
Year of Release: Unknown
(earliest mention I found was 2008)
Language: Mostly Japanese
(have translated screenshots of menus)
[Z]: Slash Sword / Confirm
[X]: Hold to Run / Cancel
[C]: Use Item
[V]: Menu Screen
Feeling Your Way Around
Thankfully, though the game is in Japanese, it's pretty easy to understand how to advance the plot in most cases; most events start in the castle by talking to certain people (or in some cases, spending a night at the inn in the Bar, or later on, visiting the Mage's house and talking to him). If you hear a fanfare after talking to someone, check to see what you received (it might be an Item, a Sword, an Armor, or a Limit increase).
There are also hexagram-sealed stones throughout the game; plot advancement will eventually allow you to destroy these, starting with green ones first, then yellow, then red.
The menu screen is pretty easy to understand also; here's some translated screenies. Click to see full size.
Menu Screen (Main)
Menu Screen (System Options)
In the overworld. You have freedom to go and grind where you want within current story confines.
A boss fight. Note the grid and the stream of danmaku coming from the boss. Our heroine is standing on the right side, firing back.
* Main Link (MediaFire) [Ace Of Hearts]
What It Is: Tirkiss is a charming little RPG where our tough female protag helps out the kingdom's princess (who is cute and an excellent conversationalist but useless in battle) several times, eventually culminating in defeating a certain someone she didn't like from the beginning who takes over the kingdom.
Has an Introduction: The first thing you'll be asked to do on first load is to select your button configuration. It will ask for them in the order listed on the left. After that, you'll see that you're accompanying the adorable princess back to her castle in the introductory "dungeon," culminating in a boss fight against a large slime. After that, the game properly begins, and you'll be allowed to start exploring the map.
How the Overworld Works: In the overworld, you have increasing amounts of freedom (based on your story progression) and can go where you like within your current ability. There are no time limits on the world map, and you can force enemies to respawn (for grinding purposes) by leaving the region and coming back. Also, once you have the Ankh, you'll be able to warp to any statue you've activated anytime you use it (which doesn't consume MP).
How Dungeons Work: In dungeons, you're presented with a choice of one or more paths to take, trying to find your way to the boss. Most screens contains an objective you must clear (called a "Destiny"); usually, it's to either defeat all enemies or to make it to the exit (if that's the goal, several tiles near the exit will be glowing in rainbow colors; in such rooms, it is your option whether you want to kill the enemies or not), although there are certain rooms in some dungeons where you'll have to survive the time limit. In any event, when the objective is clear, the game will declare "Destiny Overcome," and assess how you did in that room, presenting you with your next choice(s) of room(s) to go to.
XP & Leveling: Rather than leveling immediately upon qualifying for the next level, our heroine has four individual statistic types (HP, MP, Strength, and Defense), and you'll be given opportunities to raise these as you like whenever you sleep, which is usually at the Bar (apparently, she has an inn room in the back). You'll note your Limit is pretty low at first; you can increase your Limit by finding or receiving Medals of Qualification (which don't show up in your inventory as an item, but you'll know you got one when you see that your Limit has increased). Your overall experience level is calculated from the sum total of statistical points you currently have. When you open a chest, or hear a fanfare after talking to someone, always check to see if your Limit increased via getting a Medal rather than getting equipment. (Always talk to everyone you meet when given an opportunity; Medals aquired that way are often missable.)
Note on Grinding Money: Our heroine apparently has a strong magical affinity for coins and gems; if the screen is clear of enemies (whose presence interferes with her focus on this), you can slash twice to auto-collect all the money onscreen.
Sword Danmaku: Many of the swords you acquire are capable of shooting a stream of projectiles; press and hold the Slash button to use your sword's danmaku power! Using your danmaku consumes MP outside of boss battles, and will show your hitbox while in use (in the form of a little heart). You are not allowed to sell swords in this game because each has unique danmaku; some are more powerful, or do something special (one even fires backward; there are some enemies who will hide when you face them).
Using Items: Get into the Select Item menu and pick one to use from the list of stuff you own, then hit the Use Item button. Many items are magical and consume MP to use.
Boss Fights: Boss fights in the game are rather unique, in that unlike regular enemies, they will shoot actual danmaku at you in many cases. (As a result, it's important to note that during boss fights, you're in a special realm where using your sword danmaku does not cost MP, though using magic items will still cost you as appropriate). Granted that you have an HP gauge, if you've got good HP and Defense, you should be quite happy with the fact that it will take quite a few hits to kill you - especially if you have either of the Healing Wands or are carrying a Potion. Note also that though using your danmaku is obviously encouraged during boss fights, you're still able to slash normally, so if the boss is somewhat approachable, that's another tactical option.
Game Over Gauge: If you die, you'll be introduced to the Game Over Gauge. As I died a few times but not enough to fill it to 100%, I'm not sure at this time what actually happens if you manage to die enough to fill it the entire way. Deaths fill the gauge 10% each (at least, on Easy).
Earning Excellent Difficulty: At first, only Easy and Normal are selectable; however, beating the game on either of those difficulties unlocks Excellent difficulty for play.
A list of the items I know about in this game. Keep in mind that using anything other than the Ankh or a Potion consumes an amount of MP appropriate for the power of the item.
You can get one at the Shop, or sometimes find one. Due to the nature of the game, you can only carry one at a time (if you find one in a chest when you already have one on you, you can elect to use the newly-found spare immediately or trash it). Heals 3 hearts.
You'll get this near the beginning of the game. Warps you to any statue you've activated.
If you manage to win this at the auction house in the neighboring kingdom, it allows you to check your current play statistics (like total time played, damage dealt, that sort of stuff).
You'll get this pretty early too. Heals you a bit.
You can't get this until quite late in the game; heals you fully.
Casts a low-level fire spell that homes in on nearby enemies.
Summons lightning that strikes onscreen enemies.
Summons up a gust of (seemingly cold) wind that covers the entire screen.