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|High Stakes 2|
Title screen of High Stakes 2.
High Stakes 2 is a text-based role-playing game made in 2003 for the TI-83 Plus calculator by Gregory McLeod and published by McLeodGaming. It is the sequel to another one of Gregory McLeod's early games, High Stakes, made the same year. It continued the story of the original game while also expanding on its gameplay mechanics.
The game begins with Rako having a friendly fight with Kara through VR. Rako notes that it has been boring not having any monsters to fight ever since being crowned king, so he stops at the castle's new Quest Club to see if there is anyone he can help. There, the quest broker Kraig tries to pretend that there are no quests for him, but he then reveals that the Royal Senate told him not to mention any, as kings can't be sent off to fight or they could be killed. Kara agrees, but Rako insists on going out anyway.
Kraig says that there is only one quest available that he does not even know the legitimacy of: through a secret underground passage in the ruins of the old Grande Castle, there is some kind of indestructible monster that must be investigated. Rako believes it to be an easy task, and the Royal Senate allows him to take the quest, since no one knows if there even is an indestructible monster at the castle. After some preparation, Rako leaves for the castle.
Rako soon finds the entrance to the castle after cutting through the forest. From there, there are confusing rooms filled with monsters, which he navigates through. Along the way, Rako encounters two powerful boss monsters, including the fire-based Guard Serpent and the water-based El Agua Beast, which he manages to defeat. He then finds a cave where a strange voice calls upon him to face the "ultimate challenge" for defeating them, leading Rako to face the ultimate boss: the Dark Dragon.
Rako manages to defeat the Dark Dragon and then goes back home to his castle. There, he asserts his friends that he was able to take care of himself, and Kraig suggests getting back to training in case he decides to go on another adventure.
Being a direct sequel to High Stakes, the game's mechanics are very similar to how the original works: the player must progress forward through a linear series of battles against monsters, with visits to different locations in-between. Like with the previous game, the player also has to manage their health points (HP) that decrease every time they are attacked, which can be restored with potions that can be collected from battles. Gold can be used to buy more potions, as well as various other items, from a shop in the castle at the start of the game. The player also has a set amount of experience points earned from battling, and earning a certain amount of them levels the protagonist up, increasing their attack power and maximum HP and special points (SP).
Like in the first game, battling is the main focus of this game, and the battling mechanics are almost exactly the same as well. The player must engage in turn-based battles against enemies encountered either randomly in the overworld or at certain points in the game. Like before, The player can attack, use a special attack at the cost of all their SP, use an item, or attempt to run from the battle. The main difference, however, is that the player now has the choice between four different special attacks, with each being more powerful than the last. At the start of the game, the player can only use the Normal one, but the other three become available as the player levels up: Slash at Level 11, Flame Strike at Level 15, and Explosion at Level 20.
After completing the game, talking to Kraig during the epilogue segment allows Rako to partake in additional quests similar to the main adventure. However, the base game has no quests to partake in, as the quests were meant to be made post-release for players to upload the game's files to after completing it. As of the game's release, no official extra quests have been created.
In late 2004, Gregory McLeod announced on his website that he was working on a set of short quests for the game called Quest For High Stakes 2. Aside from their short lengths compared to the main adventure, almost nothing is known about what the quests would have been or how many there would be. It was to be released sometime after the completion of S.I.M. Combat but was likely cancelled due to Gregory McLeod ending development of TI-83 Plus games.
- High Stakes 2 is the final sequel to a TI-83 Plus game that Gregory McLeod would release.
- The Chapter 1 group file for this game does not contain the program file required to walk in the overworld, thus making it impossible to progress beyond this chapter by normal means. The same is true for the action program file in Chapter 4.