I'm starting Live A Live, and I'd like to report back on my findings regarding the first scenario I played.

You're playing Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name, and you're tasked with saving a town from a gang of bandits. Problem is, there are 13 of the gang and only 2 of you - Clint and his uneasy ally, the bounty hunter who's after the price on his head but has put aside their rivalry to help the townfolk - so you're tasked with scrounging up materials for traps from the town to thin out the bandits' numbers in the 8 hours you have until the gang strikes at dawn.

I love that light shining from the windows on the street, by the way.

When I heard of this gameplay premise, I thought it was going to be a tower defense-ish challenge relying on the strategy of how and where to lay down your traps. That's not the case, though; you're just finding materials under a time limit, leaving trap placement to the townsfolk. The challenge, then, turns out to be How Fast Can You Ransack an RPG Town. Like much apparently in Live A Live, it's a play on RPG conventions: can you identify where hidden items are likely stashed in RPG village furniture? (Incidentally, make sure you drop stuff off at the saloon intermittently; don't be like me and collect all the stuff and then give the townsfolk their assignments, or most of your slowpoke cowpokes will run out of time to set their traps, rendering their contributions useless.)

The reason why I'm writing, though, is what happens after the showcase boss fight, where the number of enemies you'll face will differ depending on how successful your trap-setting was. You'll always face the gang's leader, though, and upon his defeat, he'll...transform into a horse.

This should have been a full screenshot, but I was too shocked to get one. You understand.

The horse will then run away. The townsfolk will then recall how the gang was rumored to be the remnant of the 7th Cavalry - Custer's regiment - said to have been wiped out in a battle with the Sioux & Cheyenne (Little Bighorn). One of the townspeople will then draw the only logical conclusion:

"I wonder if that horse absorbed all the hatred of the cavalrymen who died?"

The story offers nothing to gainsay this and leaves her word as definitive, so, yes: we are meant to conclude the leader of the gang, the final boss of the Western scenario, was an evil horse who survived Little Bighorn and sustained itself on the hatred of those killed there. It is the Zeromus of horses.

In the post-credits scene, Clint's bounty-hunter rival will catch up with him on the prairie. He hitched a ride...on the Doom Horse, Destroyer of Worlds.

Unfortunately for him, Doom Horse shows no loyalty to one of the men who engineered his defeat, turning tail and leaving him in the lurch while Clint rides off into the sunrise.

I've played only a little over an hour of this game, but I'm fairly confident it's going to be great.

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