Monday, November 17, 2008

Truly a Woman after my own Heart...

With all the interest in the Eligible Girls in Rune Factory 2, I remain devoted to a character one cannot marry: the female Blacksmith Tanya.

As a collector of edged weapons and erstwhile martial artist myself, one of my favourite activities in the original Rune Factory was my ability to forge fabulous weapons.

I am looking forward to the day when I shall be able to obtain a forge of my own in Rune Factory 2. Meanwhile, though, when I visited Tanya one evening, she happened to remark:

Tanya: Shooting stars apparently have ores inside them you can’t find anywhere else.
Thinking about it really gets me excited.

I feel the same, Tanya, in ANY world. Meteorites have been used to forge steel of superior and rather mystical types variously known as 'damascus', 'watered steel' or 'wootz'. Pattern-welded blades actually are created using a different technique from Wootz, but both are termed 'Damascus Steel'.

For a number of centuries, this was a lost art in the Western World, although bladesmiths in the Arab world and in Southeast Asia never entirely lost their ancient knowledge.

It is rather ironic that blades crafted in the West during the so-called 'Dark Ages' were far more complex and superior in quality to anything fashioned for another thousand years or so. It was only recently that Western knifemakers were able to fathom the techniques that created such fabled swords as the sword of Sutton Hoo and indeed to forge copies.

Meteorites are not the only source of the metal used to create Damascus steel or Wootz but they are one of the most ancient. Each meteorite in fact creates its own unique pattern in the blade and weapons and armour containing metal from meteorites have been prized throughout history for their beauty and magical properties.

For Tanya to speak ot the special ore found only in 'shooting stars' delighted me. I wonder if meteorite or a meteorite blade is one of the special items in Rune Factory 2. I would doubt it somehow, but it will be interesting to follow this hint nonetheless to see if it leads anywhere.


Nami said...

That's cool. Meteorite blades? They sound strong... I bet that would really help in Rune Factory 2.

Anonymous said...

I loved the forging in RF1. Trying to max out those skills and make every item was one of the fun challenges of the game.


Synth said...

I loved the forging in RF1 too, but I hated the fact that I was already over the story before I could make the best blades. But I wouldn't even need them as after the great time-sink I became so powerful that I went through the dungeons like a hot knife through butter :D
Anyway, RF2 seems more challenging, but I'll wait a bit in case there will be some major glitches and a fixed version will come out later.

Freyashawk said...

I personally feel that in any Harvest Moon game, you have to be aware of the old proverb: 'everything in its own season'. Completing the items list is an end in itself. There is no need to forge the most powerful weapons in order to complete the plot. It therefore becomes one of the rewards of peacetime... Return to a cave or caves to collect the ingredients and forge the weapon... This is where a game like Rune Factory or Rune Factory 2 is a challenge in terms of the player's own expectations. In the 1st Generation game, I became really impatient at the start of the first Summer season because I could not open the gates to unlock more areas in the Caves... When I discovered there was no way to unlock them at this point in the game, however, I relaxed and allowed myself to ENJOY the game.
There are games where goals must be achieved in a specific time frame. This is not one of them. You can marry as quickly as possible in order to move forward to the next generation, but you will lose some of the pleasure and delight of experiencing all possible events with the characters. The many delightful events in any Harvest Moon game may be the icing on the cake, but without the icing a cake is a little less satisfying. What is the rush anyway?

Freyashawk said...

Nami, blades made entirely of meteorite actually are not very practical, although they can be quite beautiful (and valuable!). It is when meteorite is mixed into the metal that the result produces a superior blade. In making wootz, the blacksmith actually does mix all the metals together, then heats them in a crucible before forging the blade. This is the so-called 'Oriental Damascus'. The early Western smiths created 'pattern-welded' Damascus swords by twisting rods of different metals together, then beating them into a blade. The Sutton Hoo sword is an early pattern-welded sword found in a
5th century ship burial in England.
I have a couple of knives of both types but they are not antiques. They are modern blades.
Meteorite creates its own unique patterns in any blade when it is added. I'll try to post some photographs at some point.

Synth said...

It's not about rushing. I would've been even happier happier if it took me more than one ingame year to finish the main story part. But I don't like obvious time-sinks. I would've preferred if each next cave/dungeon were much harder so that I would want to spend more time training before advancing. And not just killing time (and monsters) while waiting for winter so I can advance the story.