The Dexmaster: Dan
De La Rosa
A Terrible Author Review by Meatballsub
The Dexmaster; Lord Dande; Lavos Gates; Dan the Man Entertainment; Dr. Genno; Dan De Le Rosa. If you were in the OHRRPGCE community in the early 2000s, then you've heard at least of one of these names. If not, you are probably wondering what all of them mean. Is it a group of OHRRPGCE users? Nope. In fact, it is a single person named Dan. Why does he use so many names? I haven't seen anyone use that many aliases except for Rinku Hero/Rinku/Rydia/Raft/Rell! Although the excessive use of nicknames didn't make sense for Rinku either, he actually made a good standing for himself in the community. I don't know why Dan refers to himself with so many different names. I guess he is just too awesome to be held down by a single handle.
Even after almost a decade, Dan De La Rosa remains one of (if not) the worst OHRRPGCE authors thanks to his consistent stream of fecal-quality games. If you've followed any of my reviews before, you will probably remember the quadrilogy review on the Billy the Gnome series by Gnome. Although he proved to be a terrible author as well, he is nothing compared to Lorde Dande. Why? Read on further and you will discover why I think Dan De La Rosa might be the absolute worst author in OHRRPGCE history.
Let me lay out the Dexmaster's gaming timeline first:
6th Year - Created 3/6/2001
Legend of the Super Asians - Created 3/24/2001
Ultramons - Created 4/13/2001
1st Year - Created 5/19/2001
The Ultimate RPG - Created 6/10/2001
Scenario 001 - Created 7/2/2001
Robowarz - Created 8/7/2002
Here, we have seven games created within an 18 month period; yeah, seven. Before taking a brief look at each game, let's examine what features most of Dan's game share across the board:
Dan is so awesome that he even stars in most of his own games! In addition, his friends, such as Windell, appear in most games as well. Often times, Lord Dande will be sporting his best pair of blue jeans and a super hero cape. Not only is he fashionable, but he can save the world too!
Plot and Mechanics
A Dexmaster game is not complete without stealing ideas from well-known commercial games. This can range from the Zelda series to Pokemon to Chrono Trigger and beyond. Sometimes, he will even goes as far as to copy entire introductions from other games!
Another feature most games do not lack is the use of cuss words. For being such a little lad (middle school at the time I think), he has quite the mouth. Oh well, everyone knows your awesome factor goes up exponentially with each and every cuss word you implement into your game.
Frequency of Battles
If you are on a map with random battles and are NOT getting into a skirmish every step or so, then you aren't playing a Dexmaster game.
Length of Game
You can beat all seven Dande games within about 30 minutes. Some games are only a minute or two long!
Stage of Development
Besides Dan's 48 Hour Contest game, every title is said to be in "demo" stages.
The boy obviously has a Bill Gates fetish, as he appears in several of the games. Sometimes, Gates is just an innocent bystander living in the world of the Dexmaster, while other times he is a crazed clown hybrid that collects Ultramons (more on that later) and rides bicycles.
Graphics: Ripped and Pooped
The Dexmaster prides himself with some of the worst graphics ever. His strongest point is making bad graphics even worse by typically deforming walkabout sprites in some form or fashion.
Now that you know what to expect, let's get on with it. First up is 6th Year; Dan's first title. It gives us an idea on what the Dexmaster is capable of creating as an OHRRPGCE user.
Before firing it up, check out the bundled text file for important information concerning the story. You will discover that the plot was created using Byako's Instant Plot Generator. Below that passage lies the plot itself, which is supposed to be what the game is about. Loading up the game, the first thing you will notice is the title screen. It reads "Rise of the Dexternites". I'm not exactly sure how this represents "6th Year" in any way, but I guess that it makes sense to the author. That's all that matters, right?
Remember that generated plot in the text file? Apparently, it was put there for a joke, because the introduction leading up to the control of your character has nothing to do with it. Why one would waste their time generating a plot that they aren't going to use is beyond me. I have a feeling that the generated story would have turned out better than Dan's own creation though. The loading screen shows an old man similar to Dr. Wily from Mega Man in a laboratory, babbling about his creations that were supposed to or did help him take over the world. However, they are dying, or they turned on him, or something. Regardless, it seems that Dr. Genno is not happy about the current matter and wants his creation's power for himself or wants them destroyed. Oh, and he is backed by the Soviet Union, as per his flag on the machine in the background. The next screen shows Dan, our hero, waking up having no idea where he is but at the same time is certain he has never been at his current location before. That makes a lot of sense. After the dialogue, you are in control of Dan and are free to explore the city around you.
As you can obviously see, little to no care was used in creating the graphics for 6th year. The walkabouts are absolutely terrible, and are even missing some of their animations. In their current state, the hero walkabout sprites have some sort of fish-like disease that causes their faces and eyeballs to expand when they walk east or west. In addition, they have a duck walk when traversing north or south.
The first home you come to is your best friend's, Sean. As the two converse it is obvious that neither person is surprised by seeing the other, which doesn't make sense if Dan is doing the whole "amnesia" thing. Nevertheless, you can continue searching the city for more stuff. You will find Bill Gates and a crazy old man in town, or run into your friend, Windell, at the city entrance/exit. Apparently the two of you are in the same boat, because Windell doesn't know anything about the area either. You two decide to team up and figure out where you are, even though you could just ask your friend Sean since he is a native of the area. I guess that would make too much sense though.
After Windell joins your group, the demo is pretty much over. You can attempt to stomach the insanely high battle frequency and make it to an incomplete town in the northeast, but it really isn't worth it. You've already seen all that 6th Year has to offer, and you only had to play two minutes to do it!
Legend of the Super
Next up is the Legend of the Super Asians. Once again, we have a title screen that does not match the actual name of the game. You might think that the game is also about Dragon Ball Z, but it is not. It is about Super Asians, not Super Saiyans. They are a lot more awesome than their Dragon Ball Z counterparts. That's not all! Dan also manages to leech the entire opening sequence to Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, strips it down, and puts the Dande twist on it; ultimately making it a whirlwind of suck. He even goes as far as stealing the introduction music as well. In other words, we are working with a Dragon Ball Z meets Zelda storyline. Great.
Dan, the super Asian, is tasked with finding Jennifer, who has been taken by someone. That's about as far as you can get in the story. There is even less gameplay here than there was in 6th Year. You can walk around a bit and fight the same bandit in town an infinite amount of times, but that's pretty much it.
It looks as if Dan started to rip a Final Fantasy-styled sprite, perhaps Sabin from Final Fantasy VI, but got lazy towards the end and butchered it even more. Every other aspect of the game is as terrible as in the first game. I was also quite disturbed at the battle backdrop. There's some sort of guy who just sits there and stares at you the entire time, and apparently has a blue, blob-like substance as a torso. I have no idea who or what he is, but he freaks me the crap out.
Having enough, I decided to take a quick look at the text file that's bundled in with the game. To my surprise, I actually found a credits section. My God, really? It seems as if the author took more time writing this text file than actually working on the game! Someone is proud of this atrocity, and that makes me want to vomit.
Continuing on with the tradition of confusing title screens is Ultramons. According to the title screen it is Ultra -P Ultimate Monsters; copyright 1999. The game file itself wasn't created until 2001, and Dan himself calls the game Ultramons. I'm not really sure what to make of that. Perhaps this was the first game from Dan that was reincarnated in a different RPG file?
Once again, Dan relies on a commercial game for the main idea behind his project. This time the victim is the Pokemon series. In the introduction, you find that Bill Gates is the ultimate Ultramons master, and orders you to win the eight elemental badges, defeat the Ultramons League, and ultimately show down with Gates himself. What is an Ultramon, you might ask? Why, an Ultramon is anything that can fight. Floating heads, bartenders, fat ninjas, yourself, your douche bag-looking friend, that hot girl named Jennifer; they're all game. Easy enough, right?
Well, it looks like Dan and his friend, Sean, aren't in it for the sport anyways. They are just bored kids that want to get rich quick and they just happen to have the frog from Star Fox at their Ultramon disposal. Hand in hand, they head off into the wild blue yonder in search of foes to battle and championships to conquer.
If only the game was as fun as it sounds. Basically, all you are able to do at this point is fight a few battles and that's it. You can also admire yet another butchering of Final Fantasy walkabout sprites. There is no gaining new, unique Ultramons or anything else exciting. Again, we just have an incomplete game that comes to a sudden halt.
The Golden Age; Year One! Are we finally at the Golden Age of Dexmaster's games? Not quite; in fact, this is probably Dan's worst game ever. It's definitely not worthy of being associated with a Golden Era, period.
Feel like getting your good Samaritan act out of the way in one minute? Then 1st Year is the right game for you!
You wake up in your home, and your uncle repeatedly gives you bread. You walk outside, and encounter a homeless man. He asks for bread, and you give him some. He says thanks, and the demo is over.
It’s bad enough that Dan released such a terrible example of a game. On top of that, he has the nerve to tell you to wait a year for a more complete game. Seriously? What I’ve seen so far is a game where a man gets loaves of bread and feeds the homeless. No offense, but if Jesus isn’t the star role in this game, then I'm not waiting another year for a more complete version.
The Ultimate RPG
So what popular commercial game has Dande not stolen from in some form in his games? So far we've seen Zelda, Pokemon, Final Fantasy, Star Fox, Mega Man, and even some Dragon Ball Z elements in Dan's games. How about Chrono Trigger? Besides the opening sequence, The Ultimate RPG is essentially made up of ambushes from the Ku Klux Klan and ideas from Chrono Trigger. The introduction is pretty cool though. It seems as if Dan and his classmates fight against a giant head of one of their school teachers. Who hasn't wanted to punch one of their teachers in the face before? Very classy.
The year is 2004, and Dr. Genno has been preparing the resurrection of Lavos Gates for 20 years. He decides it's time to unleash him, and Lavos Gates single handedly destroys the world. Great idea there, buddy.
Nine years later, Alex Chiu, Dr. Genno's faithful assistant, gets an urgent call from Dr. Genno stating that he needs to see him ASAP. With nothing better to do than assist the man who destroyed the world, you set off to help your old friend out, with whatever it is he needs done.
You find out that nine years earlier, as the world was being tore apart, that Dr. Genno discovered an ancient Egyptian tablet that more or less spoke of a prophecy that could prevent the world from being destroyed. Alex, being the nice guy he is, decides that he can be the guinea pig that goes back in time to help make the prophecy come true and hopefully prevent the resurrection of Lavos Gates. It would have been nice to know this tidbit of information before so I wouldn't have to live in ruins for nine years. Thanks, man! The story continues to get really stupid, so I think I'll just stop there.
At least you can tell a minor improvement in some of Dan's graphics here, mainly the tiles. He still ripped some of his walkabout sprites though, and that whole town that has Wandering Hamster tiles. Sadly, there is nothing "Ultimate" about this game except for the bout with the teacher head at the beginning. Still, it is definitely not Dan's worst title, but isn't his best either.
Isn't it ironic that Dan’s only complete game is a 48 Hour game? Although it still sucks, I’m amazed that he actually completed it. Once again borrowing ideas from every source imaginable, Dande makes an abomination of a game. Look on the bright side; at least we finally have a Dexmaster game that doesn't star the Dexmaster himself.
Instead, Scenario 001 uses Star Fox's Slippy as the main protagonist. He has been in several of Dan's games and has a unique appearance in each one. I do feel sorry for him this time though, as it seems that he is battling a severe case of Graves' Disease. Nonetheless, Slippy is tasked to help Earth with the investigation of some recent happenings.
Wow! Finally, a game from Lord Dande where you don't get into a random battle every step! Is the author finally making some right decisions when it comes to game design?
It doesn't appear that way. I guess there's only so much Dan can do that's actually good for a game before making things worse. Not only does he make obvious references to Star Fox, but also takes a stab at the Arfenhouse series with the introduction of Pringles Cans and Housemaster looking dudes. It turns out that you have to battle different Pringles products in a Pringles factory for most of the second half of the game.
Now I'm not saying that one can't make a game about Pringles and weird looking people, but Dan has proved time after time that he cannot make a game without stealing another person's idea.
Last up is Dande's final game; Robowarz. Created almost a year after his 48 Hour Contest game, will Robowarz be another dud under Dan's belt or will it prove otherwise?
Robowarz stars Gyro 77, a robot who essentially goes haywire and turns on his makers. He makes a break for it, but meets resistance along the way. The battles are very simple and there is no music, which makes everything a bit anti-climatic. Even the boss battle at the end of the demo is a pushover, although he will take a couple of minutes to down.
Wait, that's it? No references to Mega Man? No stolen sprites from Final Fantasy? No introductions from Zelda? It only took Dan making six other games to figure it out, but yes, it seems as if we have an original game in the making here. Although the story itself isn't strong, it still is a major jump in the right direction for the Dexmaster design-wise. It's too bad that he vanished from the community shortly after releasing this game. It seemed as if he was right at cusp of basic game design, and could have possibly improved from then on.
Some things are just not meant to be though. One cannot argue that Dan De La Rosa had quite the run in the OHRRPGCE community. It's not very often that an author is capable of creating a metric ton of crap games without improving more than a hair. I don't think that one could argue the fact the he is among the worst authors in OHRRPGCE history. Perhaps he will come back on day and surprise us with a completed version of Robowarz or another original game? I doubt it though. I just hope that wherever he is and whatever he is doing, he is putting more effort into it than he did in the OHRRPGCE community.
Rest in Peace, Dan. You will not be missed.