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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Favorite Tunes #94: Do the Mario

Favorite Tunes has been MIA for a little too long for my liking so I've decided to bring it back. As the subtitle suggests, this is a Mario-centric edition, specifically, the Super Mario series.

Slider - Super Mario 64 (N64, DS)



Super Mario 64 may feel a bit aged in the control department when compared to Super Mario Sunshine and the Super Mario Galaxy titles, but it's still a fine game and did a exceptional job of propelling the plumber into the third dimension. Slider, is usually a theme heard during racing segments such as the one with that huge, annoying Penguin in Cool, Cool Mountain. It's actually an arranged version of the game's Main Theme.

Clock Tower - Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)



One of the most anticipated 3DS games in 2011, Super Mario 3D Land was a much needed title for Nintendo's then fresh 3D handheld that was lacking in killer apps for the unit's launch. 3D Land took many inspirations from Super Mario Bros. 3. Not only did it feature the return of one of my favorite power-ups, the Tanooki Suit, but the levels were also on the short side. The last time I did a clock tower stage in a Mario game (Tick-Tock Clock in Super Mario 64) the frustration I felt was almost on par with that of Castlevania III's Clock Tower level. Thankfully, the Clock Tower stage in 3D Land is far more tolerable.

Special World - Super Mario World (SNES)



Mario's first 16-bit title on the SNES and a launch title, Super Mario World unfortunately had fewer power-ups than it's predecessor, but this didn't prevent it from being another benchmark Super Mario title. The familiar Super Mario Bros. Theme seemed to become more and more hidden with each successive game. In Super Mario Bros. 3, if you wanted to hear the tune, you had to use the Music Box to put enemies on the world map to sleep. Make it to the Special World in Super Mario World, a world which houses the most brutal levels in the game, wait a few minutes and that music we all know and love kicks in.

Comet Observatory 3 - Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)



Releasing in 2007, just one year after the Wii was on store shelves, gamers were treated to the next 3D adventure. After the somewhat disappointing Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy had a lot to make up for. It did that and a thousand times more. The planetary gameplay mechanics of Super Mario Galaxy, coupled with some awesome level design, rivals that of Mario's best 2D exploits. It was the first Mario game to use a fully orchestrated musical score. It also gave us Rosalina, my favorite female character in the Mario universe. The third version of the Comet Observatory theme uses more instruments than the previous two, making it sound as if the theme has been fully fleshed out.

Athletic - New Super Mario Bros. U (Wii U)



New Super Mario Bros. U's soundtrack can certainly be accused of being lazy. Most of the tracks are ripped straight from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Much of the new music came from the world map themes but the game did give us Acorn Plains and the pretty head bobbing Athletic theme, which of course, is an arrangement of Acorn Plains. I actually prefer this over the original theme.

Bowser's Highway Showdown - Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)



A sequel to 3D Land, Super Mario 3D World greatly expanded upon 3D Land in a plethora of ways. It added multiplayer, Rosalina as an unlockable character, gave each character their own style of play a la Super Mario Bros. 2, introduced the Cat Suit and featured some of the best level design not just in the Super Mario series but in video games as a whole. 3D World deserves each and every ounce of praise that it gets. Bowser has always had a history of being associated with rock music. As great as his orchestral themes in the Galaxy games were, it was great to hear Bowser rocking out once again, and with an awesome set of wheels, no less!

Favorite Tunes Database

Monday, August 18, 2014

Best Levels Ever Vol. 1

Meet the sister series to Frustrating Levels in Gaming. Where as that feature bemoans the level aspects that make them a chore to go through, Best Levels Ever is all about giving props to awesome, fun, well-thought out level designs. 

World 3-6: Mount Must Dash - Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)



Super Mario 3D World is bursting at the seems with brilliant level designs, with just about every stage having its own unique feel to it. World 3-6 incorporates elements from what is arguably the plumber's best spin-off series, Mario Kart. Using the classic Mario Circuit tracks from the original Super Mario Kart as the level layout, Mount Must Dash is all about moving at break neck speed. Boost panels are scattered all throughout the level, discouraging slow movement. This level can be a little tricky when three or more players are involved, especially if everyone isn't on the same page. But when it's just one person or everyone playing is in sync, blasting through Mount Must Dash feels as cool as a summer breeze. Then speedy nature of this level makes it great for time trial purposes.

Magnet Man Stage - Mega Man 3 (NES)




Mega Man games have been lauded for the exceptional stage designs. Egoraptor even pointed out the the Classic Mega Man games have been excellent teaching tools for players without holding their hands. Magnet Man's stage is a shinning example of this. Magnets obviously play a big roll in this stage and you're introduced to several of them early on. These magnets fly through the air as you traverse over bottomless pits while avoiding the magnetic pull. Once you get below the surface, more magnets are introduced but instead of pulling you upward, these are wall mounted, so they pull you left or right. Nothing too threatening, but you can get pulled into a few enemies if you aren't careful. At the level's midway point, those blasted disappearing blocks make an appearance and this is by far the most challenging portion of Magnet Man's stage. The disappearing blocks are divided into mini sections. The first section is easy to pass through but by the second section, those wall mounted magnets make a return to screw up your jumps. By the time you reach the third section, you'll have to deal with those infernal blocks, the magnets and bottomless pits. This last block section is usually the one that has players seeing red. It can be difficult, but the level slowly introduced you to every single one of these hazards one step at a time. You really can't say it's unfair because the game didn't spring it on you. Not only is Magnet Man's stage fun and challenging, but it comes with a super catchy, upbeat musical theme.

Stage 4: Dice Dance Days - Gunstar Heroes (GEN)



Treasure's first game is arguably their best. Of the first four levels the game let's you choose in any order, the fourth one is easily my favorite. It begins with your standard run and gun fair, complete with a few mini bossers, but when you reach the halfway point, the stage throws you what has got to be one of wildest curve balls in the history of gaming. On the wall is a giant board, not unlike the fold out ones you see in board games. Each square on the board is it's own mini level and when you go depends on what number comes up when you throw the die. You could be sent to do battle with a Pong-inspired boss, a creepy-looking smiley face, a tiny shoulder with insane strength, a maze, the list goes on and on. Gunstar Hereoes was already a stand out game in the genre with it's combined weapon mechanics and melee moves in addition to the gun play. Dice Dance Days just helped further cement it as one of the most astonishing run 'n game games ever.

Grassland Groove - Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)



A savanna in Donkey Kong Country? This may seem out of place, but considering all the jungle and forest locals in the series, it really is surprising that it took them this long to place this kind of environment in the DKC games. When you're not admiring the lovely scenery set against a sunset backdrop, you'll be platforming on dancing trees, climbing across swaying giraffe necks and moving down stone, grass covered snakes. Grassland Groove has oh-so-crystal-clear inspirations from The Lion King. The only thing missing is the Circle of Life playing as background music, but considering what David Wise came up with, it's highly unlikely that you'll miss it.

Stage 3 - Contra ReBirth (Wii Ware)



All out action is par the course for a Contra game but each entry always has a level or two that is just flat out crazy awesome. Such a level from Contra ReBirth comes in the form of the third stage. You start out on a supply truck and are soon assaulted by mooks, a barrage of missiles and a ninja robot that throws so much ammo at you, you'd think you stepped into a Cave shooter. At several points in the stage you'll have to quickly platform across robotic camels while making your way back to another supply truck. One misstep during these segments can end up costing you many a life. The third stage of Contra Rebirth is undoubtedly the most adrenaline filled stage of the whole game and is an excellent contender for the most outrageous level in the history of Contra titles.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Game Art #68: Mega Man Gallery

How often has Mega Man been the central feature for Game Art? I know he crops up pretty often in these segments, but the Blue Bomber is one of my favorite video game characters so it really is hard for me not to give him his due, especially when I see some art work that catches my fancy. As per usual, enjoy.

By JassyCoCo
By RobShields
By einen
By Ian-the-Hedgehog
By AndrewDickman
Pixiv ID
By wavechan

Friday, August 8, 2014

Latest Purchases #73: Birthday Edition

So my birthday was last month and I felt that I should treat myself with something special. At first I wasn't really sure what I should get but then I remembered my love for one of my favorite series ever. And I went on a Dragon Ball binge.



fye had all five seasons of the original Dragon Ball anime series so I snatched them all up. It's been years since I've seen OG Dragon Ball and watching it again is bringing back so many memories. When I was watching it on my days off on Toonami, I was getting home in time to catch uncut episodes on Toonami's Midnight Run. Currently, I'm on season three.



A few weeks ago while I was browsing in Barns & Nobles I saw these Dragon Ball Full Color Saiyan Arc volumes. Released last year in Japan to help hype the new Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods film, these are fully colored versions of the Saiyan Saga manga. Unlike the colored pages of the Viz Big editions, these are not only printed on bigger, higher quality paper, but the colors used in these editions are also much better and brighter. The end result is one of the best manga releases of Dragon Ball manga. Right now, only the Saiyan Arc is available in America. Japan has the entire Z portion of the manga in a total of  what I believe is 20 full color volumes. No doubt Viz will release the remaining arcs for western audiences. Barns & Nobles had a special on manga where you buy two and get the third one free. I found this out after the lady at the register rung me up and I ended up saving a cool $20.



Long before the Goku knew the origins of his otherworldly strength, the world of Dragon Ball was very lighthearted and the other cast members was on a much more even playing field. This was the early stages of Dragon Ball, stages that some fans contend is superior to the later years. Despite owning the Dragon Ball manga in it's entirety, I haven't let this stop me from picking up different versions of the manga that Viz has released. These Dragon Ball 3-in-1 volumes aren't quite like the Viz Big editions. The paper isn't of the same quality and there are no color chapters to speak of. These however, do sport the sweet redrawn covers that were used of the 2003 re-release of the Dragon Ball manga in Japan. I've got a post on Dragon Ball releases that I've been wanting to do for a while now so I'll elaborate on all this later.



Dragon Ball: The Complete Illustrations. This book originally came out in Japan in 1995 after Dragon Ball had ended. It didn't get translated and released in the west until 2008. Inside this book are tons upon tons of full color illustrations of numerous Dragon Ball imagery. Just thumbing through it, I've come across a a few pictures that I've never seen before. Again, this book came out after Dragon Ball had ended so there isn't any artwork from Akira Toiryama from the 2000s and onward. I've seen a lot of the images in this book before, but its great to have so much of it packed away in one hardcover book.



I've had my eye on this DBZ t-shirt for weeks and I've finally made it my own. You've got a good chunk of the heroes, the three big bads and of course, Goku in the center striking a mean pose. This simple looking Batman t-shirt is honestly one of my favorite Bat shirts. Sometimes less truly is more. Much as I like the gold emblem behind the Bat symbol, I think the shirt is worlds better without it. I picked this up as my way of continuing the Batman 75th anniversary celebrations. As per usual, at my fye, buy one t-shirt, get the second for half the price.



Long have I heard of how the Phantom Blot was Mickey's greatest adversary in comics. The fifth volume in Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse comic strip series, I had forgotten this book was due out back in May. I still haven't read the previous four volumes, only thumbing through them and considering this comic strip series spans 45 years, it will probably be a looooooong time before Fantagracphics Books finishes it up. So I should probably start reading what I have on my plate soon. In this volume, Mickey gets pupils! Huzzah!



This Yoshi hat is one I'd seen in fye for some time now. I didn't think it was bad but I thought $17.99 was a lot of bones at the time. Good thing for me I came in when they were slashing prices on a lot of stuff and they had it at a super discount price of $6.49. It is now one of my favorite hats to wear, which isn't saying much since I've only got two of the things. Gotta build that hat collection.



I've been going through different anime series available on Netflix. One such series was Girls Bravo. At only 24 episodes, it seemed like one I could get through rather quickly. I've heard of this anime but hadn't seen it until recently. While I don't know if I'd call it one of my all-time favorites, I liked it enough to the point of making it a part of my anime library. For the uneducated, this is definitely not an all ages anime.

Hello Kitty. Dressed up as M. Bison. Even dressed up as one of the most despicable video game bosses, that is still freaking adorable. I never thought I would any kind of Hello Kitty merch, but then, I saw this for less than $4 at fye. Bargain prices are my weakness.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Death of Printed Instruction Manuals

"Say goodbye to paper." This is the slogan that is splashed across the packaging of every Boogie Board LCD e-writer device. There is no denying the fact that we are rapidly racing towards a digital world. But when something is gained, something must be lost. The times, they have a changed. With digital devices making it easier for our reading and writing needs, paper is going the way of the Dodo bird. In the paper vs. digital war, digital seems to be the clear victor since it takes up less space and its accessibility is infinitely easier. One such causality in this war are video game instruction manuals and I'm finding their loss a bit difficult to cope with.

It didn't really sink in with me that gaming manuals were disappearing until I bought my 3DS two years ago along with Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7. Mario's latest 3D adventure had me raring to go and I thought I'd take a glance at the instruction manual, and well, just a glance is all it really ended up being. Much to my surprise, the manual that came with Super Mario 3D Land was more of a folded pamphlet that showed nothing but the basic controls and nothing more. Had Nintendo turned into some tree huggers or what? The Big N had always delivered some of the finest instruction manuals even back in 8-bit NES days. To see such bare bones manuals from them was quite the reality slap.


You can find out about the story of Kirby's Adventure
in the opening cut scene, but the manual also explains
it to you, complete with nice, colorful pictures.


I really, really should have seen this coming. I myself had begun to embrace digital media, beginning in 2010 when I picked up a Wii. The list of downloadable games I purchased from the Wii Shop Channel is quite hefty. Sure, many of them are digital versions of games I already own, but there are quite a few that I never would have been able to obtain if not for downloadable distribution. We gamers from the NES days love to laugh and joke about blowing in the carts to get them to work, but having the ability to fire up Mega Man 3 without that hassle saves me a lot of frustration. When I picked up a PlayStation 3 earlier this year, I ventured out even further into the realm of digital gaming. Sonic CD, NiGHTS HD, and Zanac x Zanac. My PS3 digital library continues to grow. But as I said in my intro paragraph, the loss of paper manuals is a tough pill to swallow and the rise of digital media has largely attributed to the decline.

Box art has improved a great deal for video games in the west. In previous console generations, it was usually Japan and Europe that got all the sweet-looking box art. Video game manuals weren't just there to instruct you on how to play the games. They were also a means for you to get a look at the original artwork. The manuals for Super Mario Bros. 1-3 were filled with illustrations of Mario, power-ups and the numerous enemies you would encounter on your journey. There seemed to be an understanding on the makers of these manuals that they didn't always have to be dull, lifeless, light booklets filled with nothing but informative text, which sadly, is what lots of manuals have become these days. True, the whole point of an instruction manual is to give the player guidance on how to play the game. But when they were bursting with pictures of the non playable characters, mooks and the like, you got the feeling that they were meant to be much more than a simple "How To" book.

Mario, demonstrating his various jumps
from the manual of Super Mario 64.


You've all heard the saying actions speak louder than words. Not all of us pick up on things through instruction or words. There are those of us that are better educated when we've got a visual. Why just tell the player how to slide when you can actually show them by providing a detailed image of the executed action? Mario had always been a jumping fanatic long before the leap into the third dimension but by moving him to a bigger playing field, his jump game was expanded tenfold. Double jumps, triple jumps, long jumps, back flips, wall kicks, boy howdy, the nickname "Jumpman" was more well earned than ever before by the time Super Mario 64 arrived. The two dimensional drawings of the 2D Mario games may have been absent in Super Mario 64's instruction manual, but the 3D models of Mario performing his various acrobatic feats were no less a welcome sight.

Long before the days of the internet and spoilers, manuals were also great for showing you what lied before you. The Sonic the Hedgehog platformers were especially good with these, providing brief explanations about each zone along with a screenshot. The American manuals were colorless compared to their Japanese counterparts, which were by and large much better manuals and I'll get to those in a bit, but still, they weren't too shabby. Seeing images of Star Light Zone gave me a bit more incentive to press on in Sonic the Hedgehog. What's more, the Sonic manuals also told you how to dispose of the Badniks that littered each level. Coconuts giving you trouble? Attack him from underneath. Catakillers making you lose rings and lives? Spin attack him from the front. Yeah, you could find out how to handle these guys by simply playing the game, but the thought of explaining it via manual was still appreciated, at least from this gamer's perspective.

As I've said before, instruction manuals were a great source for original video game artwork. What kid doesn't love looking at pictures? The Japanese manuals for the Sonic the Hedgehog platformers were overflowing with illustrations that it was liking having a free art book to go along with your awesome game. What's more is that these manuals were loaded with cute little sketches, some of which wouldn't be available to the outside Sonic fanbase until the release of the 2012's The History of Sonic the Hedgehog. You can tell that the folks at Sonic Team really went above and beyond caring with those manuals. It's enough to make me want to grab Japanese editions of Sonic 1-3 & Knuckles just to have paper editions of those manuals.



Words, however, do matter. As much as I love looking at the illustrations in game manuals, it is important to tell the player how to play. But that doesn't mean you have to be boring about it. One of my favorite instruction manuals is from the SNES game, Uniracers. When I rented this from Blockbuster in 1996, I was fortunate enough to get it with instructions. It's one of the few video game manuals I've read from cover to cover, not because Uniracers was an overly complex game. Written by Steven Hammond, Uniracers manual was not only informative and well written as a good manual should be, but it was freaking hilarious. It was almost impossible to read a page and not laugh out loud. It even poked fun at those memo pages that you more than likely never used. It was one of the few times where a manual's text out-shinned the artwork, though those CG images in the manual were cool to look at.



So print game manuals are disappearing and its made me a sad panda. Some of the digital manuals I've seen have been nothing but boring strings of text. However, it wasn't until I started writing this editorial that it occurred to me that not all is lost on the digital manual front. Nintendo has been putting out some pretty nice digital manuals for their games. The digital manuals for NES Remix and NES Remix 2 use the in game sprites to decorate the manual and go along with the text. Furthermore, you can spot some of the Famicom's design signatures on the pages. With NES Remix Pack coming to American later this year, I can only hope we'll get a printed version of this nostalgia inducing manual.




Those that backed Yacht Club Games' Shovel Knight with $15 or more could download a digital instructional manual from the game, which is loads better than the digital manual. It looks to be a homage to the manuals from the NES days, with tons of character art to go along with the accompanying controller actions.

Digital manuals like the ones for NES Remix 1-2, Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D World make the lose of print manuals a bit easier to deal with and are an excellent way to remind developers that care can and should be placed in them. I'm hoping more developers and publishers take a look at what Nintendo and Yacht Club Games has done with their digital manuals and follow suit. If companies going to provide gamers with instructions on how to play the game, then the very least they can do is make them look appealing, even through digital media.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer Gaming: 1994

NBA Jam (SNES)



In the summer of 1994, I had entered the Blockbuster World Video Game Championship. My local Blockbuster presented entries with games to play for the championship and one such game I had to play was NBA Jam.

I've never really been big into sports titles. The last basketball game I played before NBA Jam was Double Dribble on the NES a game I liked immensely largely due to it's arcade nature. I was well aware of NBA Jam's popularity but I had no desire to play it. But being involved in Blockbusters's tournament, that meant that I had to. To my surprise, NBA Jam wasn't a simulation basketball title, but was firmly rooted in arcade style play. I was chanting "Boom-shakalaka! He's on Fire!" and so many other of the game's catch phrases while making slam dunks and breaking backboards. NBA Jam was not a serious basketball game and that's what I loved about it. Had I not been in Blockbuster's game tournament, I might not have discovered this one.

Super Metroid (SNES)



My first experience with Metroid was with Metroid II: Return of Samus on the Game Boy. The general opinion is that Metroid II is the worst entry in the series (although some may give Other M that dubious honor) but I enjoyed it enough to give Super Metroid a look, especially after seeing the TV spot for it.

Giving this one a rent from Blockbuster, and still not being well versed on how Metroid games work, I fired up one of the three files already in progress and went exploring. It didn't take long before I realized that I was lost and so I deleted one of the files and started over. Upon starting over, I was introduced to plot, spooky scientific facilities with all personnel dead and Ridely! Had I played and finished the original Metroid before playing this one, that one minute countdown to escape the space station at the start of the game probably wouldn't have freaked me out. But what was even more frightening was the Chozo statue that came to life after I picked up some missiles. I've been cautious around those things in every Metroid game since.

Mega Man X (SNES)



Yeah, my 1994 summer gaming was chock full of good times on the SNES. I played and finished Mega Man X 100% back in January during my three day rental period. When I was in Toronto, Canada with my uncle and cousin, I was given $250 to do whatever I wanted with. One game that I picked up was Mega Man X, it was one of the first games that I bought out of my home state.

I guess I was feeling brave because I kept subjecting myself to self imposed challenges like beating Storm Eagle without the dash boots or taking on Armored Armadillo with just the Mega Buster. Anyone that knows anything about the first Mega Man X knows that these stunts really aren't recommended, but I can assure you that they are quite doable.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Currently Playing #20: Mario Kart 8, Shovel Knight

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)



I don't know if this is the best entry in the long running Mario Kart franchise, but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this is one masterfully made game. I've been racing across the tracks of Mario Kart 8 for nearly two months now and I cannot stress enough of my amazement of this game. Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS was an incredible game, and was one of the early titles that made that insane $250 price tag a little easier to swallow for those that adopted the 3DS early. I wondered how Nintendo would manage to top themselves after such an outstanding effort. I'm inclined to say that they've done it with Mario Kart 8.

One thing that makes Mario Kart 8 a more enjoyable experience than previous titles is item management, mainly, that blasted Blue Shell. Regrettably, it still exists in the game, but the odds of it being handed out to the stragglers has greatly been reduced. Its actually quite rare that a Blue Shell will cost you a race, so you'll no longer feel like the game is punishing you for your success. The Super Horn, a new item introduced in Mario Kart 8, is perfect for getting rid of an oncoming Blue Shell or almost any other items that threaten to ruin your day. Now if only Lightning was given out at a lesser degree to racers that are behind. In a lot of ways Lightning has replaced the Blue Shell as the most notorious item because. It strikes without warning and the odds of you having a Star activated when someone uses it are slim to none.

I feel I'm being too negative on the items now. Really, the way items work in Mario Kart 8 is the best they've handled in a long time. Outside of Lightning and the Blue Shell, and arguably the Red Shell, you have to be in close proximity to get a lot of the other ones to work. Also, you cannot have more than one item at a time. If you've got a Green Shell and hold it behind your kart for protection, you won't be able to pick up another item until that Green Shell goes bye-bye. This changes the game up drastically and places an even greater emphasis on how you'll use the items given to you. I've found myself being a much more cautious driver as a result of no longer geing able to stock up items and discovered that sometimes I'm better off guarding my back rather than trying to take out the racer that's ahead of me.

This is the first Mario Kart game that I've gone online with and I'm pleased to say that things turn out quite well. The online races are very smooth and I've never had a problem finding others to race with. I usually do good enough to where I can get points added to my overall online racing total and while I don't take first often, it's always elevating when I do. Yesterday, during an 11 person race, I stole first out from the leader at the last minute thanks to Triple Red Shells. I hit the lead racer with one Red Shell and then another not far from the finish line. Even better, I did this racing as my Mii.

Mario Kart TV is a great addition. There's nothing like savoring your best moments and watching them over again, especially in slow motion. I never thought I'd get this much mileage out of Mario Kart TV and Nintendo simply has to include it in future installments.

Shovel Knight (Wii U, 3DS)



I never really kept up to date on this game following up to it's release. I just watched gameplay videos of the demo and I knew I had to have this game. "Coming soon" seemed like a means of torture for me whenever I checked the eShop only to see that the game still didn't have a concrete release date. Well the game has been out for about a month now and I've been playing and loving it both on the Wii U and 3DS.

I've heard some complaining that the game is too short or that once you beat it, some of the fun is diminished due to know how bosses work and where things are. With the length, I think that just makes it more replayable, and I've played Mega Man games more times than I can count and they didn't suddenly become less fun because I found out how bosses work. So, to me, that doesn't seem like a valid criticism.

I know other people have cleared the game in under 9 hours but I'm taking my time and enjoying Shovel Knight. I'm trying to get as many of the achievements as I can, well, the reasonable ones, at least. I still don't have all the armors and I'm missing one of the relics, so I'm probably gonna have to hit YouTube to find it.

I really hate dying in this game because if you perish at a particularly bad spot, getting your lost gold back can be impossible and if you die multiple times, you lose even more gold since the game doesn't keep track of all the gold lost in each spot, just the very last location you died in. Dying over and over again really hurts.