Maplestory M has been met with mixed reviews from Singaporean millennials who grew up playing the original Maplestory; or Maplesea as it was known in Southeast Asia. Some millennials praise the game for its portability while others lament the introduction of popular mobile game mechanics like the ‘Auto-Battle’ function.
“Huh? Auto-Battle? Then play for what? Lame sia… How is that a game!?”
Regardless of which camp you’re on, the one thing that everyone seems to agree upon is the nostalgic value of Maplestory M. If you’re a Singaporean millennial, you’d probably remember the endless hours spent after school just training your Maple character instead of studying for O Levels!
Unfortunately, Maplestory M isn’t quite like the old MapleSEA and you might miss some of these traits from the original game that the mobile one sadly lacks:
1. RIP Old Login Page
Ah! The beginning of a long and fruitful journey. Millennial maplers would remember the original MapleSEA log-in page along with the unforgettable soundtrack that went with it. It was here where teenage millennials created their first characters with cheesy usernames like: xXLonelyBoii92Xx or xXHaPPiGurL96Xx.
2. Before Scania there was Aquila
Millennial Maplers who began their journey on MapleSEA in 2005 would remember the three original worlds that were available for play: Aquila, Bootes and Cassiopeia – Aquila being the most populated channel. Nowadays, we have new worlds like Scania, Zenith, Luna and more on Maplestory M.
“Eh what world are you in?”
“OMG EVERYONE IS IN AQUILA! WHAT YOU DOING!?”
“Wha…but I level 42 there already leh…”
But one thing hasn’t changed though: characters are still locked in their specific worlds. That’s right. The old mistake of creating a character in a different world from your friends still exists. So do ask your friends about the world they created their character in before you start your journey.
3. JOBS & CLASSES GALORE!!!
Back in 2005, MapleSEA began with only 4 character classes: Warriors, Magicians, Bowmen and Thieves. Since then, the game has added the Pirate class and expanded their number of jobs to 43! Unfortunately, most of these jobs aren’t yet available on Maplestory M but rumour has it that we might see more additions in time to come.
4. ‘CC Plz’
A common phrase that was used by millennial maplers before ‘Auto-Battle’ became a thing. In MapleSEA, experience is earned through hard work and endless hours of keyboard-thumping. Typically a mapler will find a good location with lots of monsters to train their character. The problem arises when another player decides to train within the same spot. This results in having to share the experience points received from killing monsters.
Shared experience points means longer training times and without an Auto-Battle function you can be stuck playing at the same experience level for days! Hence, the birth of the phrase ‘CC Plz’ which stands for ‘Change channel please’. Basically, the player who came second to the spot needs to change to another server channel to avoid disrupting the spot finder’s experience points.
However, with Maplestory M, all you need to do is turn on the ‘Auto-Battle’ function and let the game’s artificial intelligence play the game for you – goodbye to hard work. It’s easy to see why millennial maplers who grew up with MapleSEA feel salty about the new function.
5. Orbis ShipBefore the age of instant gratification, games actually made you wait to get to your destination. Cue the Orbis Ship. Maplers who wished to travel from Victoria Island to Orbis had to adhere to waiting and traveling times. A typical trip on the Orbis Ship took about 15 minutes! Plus, if you’re lucky (or unlucky) enough, you might just meet a Ghost Ship along with the notorious Crimson Balrog – further adding to your travel time.
6. A-Cash Cards from 7-11
A-Cash (Asiasoft Cash) cards were the original way to purchase cash items on MapleSEA’s in-game cash store. This happened before online transactions were available. Millennial maplers would rush to 7-11 stores after school to buy A-Cash Cards so that they can top-up their digital wallet. From there, they can buy exclusive equipment and cosmetics from the MapleSEA cash store. These cash items were attractive and gave your character the added bling as compared to the average non-paying mapler.
7. Maple Free Market
Hardcore maplers would remember engaging in online trade through the Free Market. It is a location in the world of MapleSEA that allows maplers to set up shop and sell rare and exclusive equipment to other players. Like an actual market, the free market was usually filled with endless lines of text messages and maplers running around trying to score the best deals. Unfortunately, the Free Market doesn’t exist anymore and has been replaced by a new auction system.
8. Rage Quit inducing Jump Quests
Most millennial maplers would have experienced their first rage quit through MapleSEA’s jump quests. It required maplers to patiently travel up a vertical obstacle course featuring plenty of tiny platforms that were easy to fall off from. The worst part is that it gets harder the higher you go. From moving traps to banana-throwing monkeys, the quest proved itself as a test of patience; especially when it throws you off the course as you are reaching the end.
9. Yes, there was a ‘Singapore’ map
What is MapleSEA without Southeast Asian worlds right? In a bid to appeal to Southeast Asian players, the game released a ‘World Tour’ expansion that featured new Maplestory worlds that resembled iconic places in Southeast Asian cities. One of the countries included was Singapore! [Yay!] Singaporean maplers could enjoy travelling around a digital world with national icons like the Merlion and Esplanade in the background.
Gachapon is a feature in MapleSEA that is much like the actual Japanese toy vending machine ‘Gashapon’. The feature provided random in-game items for every Gachapon ticket purchased from the MapleSEA cash store. It might even be the main reason millennial teenagers bought A-Cash cards in the first place. The thrill of knowing that they might get something rare was enough to keep them buying more Gachapon tickets!
11. Buy/Trade Fame!
Fame was a feature in MapleSEA that is unavailable in Maplestory M. It’s a point system that tells other maplers how popular or well-liked you are by other maplers. Each mapler’s fame points is presented in their profile page upon clicking their character on the screen. You could either increase or decrease a mapler’s fame depending on how you felt about them.
Eventually, some maplers got creative with their character’s fame points. They would either pay other maplers to increase their fame or do a 1-for-1 fame increase. Why though? Well, other than getting street cred, this allowed their character to use rare items that required a certain level of fame.
12. Getting to Sleepywood for the first time
This is probably one of the most telling points that Maplestory M is different than the original MapleSEA – maybe even more suited for casual gamers. Sleepywood is a location in the middle of the Victoria world. In MapleSEA, getting to Sleepywood for the first time meant that you would have probably spent a significant amount of time playing the game.
Maplers in Sleepywood tended to be around experience levels of 30 to 40 – levels that you could only get after days of playing. In Maplestory M however, players can reach Sleepywood at an early stage of the game and at a lower experience level as well. It’s quite a way to kill off the prestige that Sleepywood once had, but as with all things, change is inevitable!
13. The Legendary ‘Mr YaNdAo’
Probably the best known player in all of MapleSEA. Mr Yandao was the first mapler to reach level 200! It was the maximum experience level of the time and no one had ever attained it before. Quite an impressive feat when you consider the number of hours that went into training the Mr Yandao character. Rumour has it that it was a single maple account that was run by 3 guys who played on rotation.
But like the millennial maplers that disappeared from MapleSEA, so did Mr Yandao. Whatever happened to him/her? No one knows. Now the character’s legacy remains the stuff of urban legend.
Growing up doesn’t mean you should stop gaming!
Adulthood doesn’t always have to be a sign that your gaming days are over. Even if you can’t spend hours in front of your PC or gaming consoles anymore, you can always turn to mobile games like Maplestory M! There’s even a good number of retro mobile games to download from Apple’s App Store or Google Play!
Don’t like mobile games? Then try out party console games on the Nintendo Switch! Admittedly, some of these games are rather casual as compared to what you might have played in your teen years but at least it’ll relive some good memories of your schooling days. All that’s left is to call up some friends and have a good night of gaming!
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