I’m going to start this Izuna-related post by talking about another game completely.
There is a particularly effective tactic in Everquest called “kiting”
No, really, this is about Izuna, I’ll get back to her in a second.
The tactic involves fighting something by hitting it with ranged attacks while running away from it fast enough that it can’t get you. The thing you’re fighting follows after you like a kite on a string, hence “kiting.”
Most MMORPGs since Everquest have some sort of mechanic that makes kiting a less-powerful tactic, and EQ has gone back and added anti-kiting mechanics to most significant NPCs.
OK, now back to Izuna.
One of Izuna’s main points – and here I mean the game, not the character’s “main points“, you perverted bastards – is that it’s turn-based; every time you take a step or attack, everything else on the screen gets to take a step or attack. This means that you can, for example, run away from things, but you can’t run away AND attack because that would take two turns.
This little bit of balance got thrown right out the window when they added “haste boots” to Izuna 2; they allow you to take two steps for every one step everything else gets to take.
These aren’t much help in most dungeon environments, because it’s very common to get surrounded in the cramped and narrow corridors that represent most of your dungeon-crawlin’ experiences, and then you’re pretty much done for.
On the other hand, they turned every boss fight into me running circles around the boss and peppering him with shuriken at range while he followed me, like the aforementioned kite on a string, until he fell down.
ONE boss was a bit of a worry, because she actually had a ranged attack, but she used it rarely enough that I was able to heal up between her attacks.
On the other hand, even though the bosses themselves became non-issues after I scored a pair of haste boots, the dungeon grinding to GET to the bosses was pretty consistantly challenging, and I went through an awful lot of escape talismans and near-death experiences getting leveled up adequately.
End result: Approximately fourteen hours of button-mashing, item collecting, and light side-questing culminating in a glorious, if seriously cheesy, victory with an enjoyable story payoff and a few bonus dungeons opened for me that I am going to ignore because they’re for the Hard Core Roguelike Fans and I am not a Hard Core Roguelike Fan.
Mind you, my normal playtime was on the order of 15 minutes per session, so 14 hours took me 20 days to play through.
Also, from the “relevant-to-my-interests” category: If you’ve helped a couple of minor NPCs out with side quests on your way through the game, they wind up building an onsen in the last town, which of course means a mildly naughty all-the-girls-in-the-onsen picture.
I would like to point out that, when I was helping out the NPCs, it wasn’t because I knew what the final result would be, just that helping them out seemed the nice thing to do.
Addendum: 20 minutes of googling fails to turn up the reward image for finishing the onsen side-quest, so I can’t share it with you. I am shocked, shocked I tell you.