Part 29: Down the Rabbit Hole
Leaving Roger's house, we head north toward the ruins of Nemeton.
The place we want to go is actually in the chasm itself. More relics from the aliens who built Neam, perhaps?
No, we're going to cast Feather Fall and jump. Lucia goes first to, um, test it.
Yeah, it might be a little dangerous, but this ladder ought to do the trick.
And like that, we're at the bottom. The natural rock very quickly ends at a place decidedly unnatural in origin.
Although this place has been sealed and inaccessible for centuries, if not millenia, there are tons of chests in here. This one has a Face Guard in it. I don't know how it got there, and it's probably best not to speculate.
Just past the entrance, we come to the first of many puzzles. This place is huge and complicated, so I'm going to be simplifying my route through. If you want to know exactly how to get everything in here, there's a fairly good map over on Gamefaqs.
This one is simple. You just step on the floating blocks and ride them across.
We follow the path after taking the first block. Halfway to the next block, an automatic fight starts.
The monsters in the Neam Underground are huge and fairly challenging. Ofnir here can cause Delay. The other two monsters are Calamity Orb, which can cast Surge and Heaven and can also cause Slow, and Otheon, which can cast Rage.
I-I feel really sick... It's like something down here doesn't want living creatures around...
A place this steeped in evil and curses is rare. Something really horrible must've happened here...
Aw, come on, old man! I've told you about fighting Albert here about a dozen times already! What are ya, senile?!
Um, ah...who are you again?
We ride the blocks around a bit until we get to the back wall and grab a Mana Seed from the chest.
Eventually, we make it to the exit and grab a Talisman of Luck from the chest before riding the red block down.
The next level is a little more complicated. The floating blocks (the right-hand blue block) come in two colors: blue and gold. This time, they're paired with what I'll call "docking blocks", also in blue or gold. Stepping on a floating block will make it move straight across to a docking block of the same color. If there isn't a block of the same color across from the block, it won't move.
There are switches scattered around the room. Pushing one changes the color of all the floating blocks.
Lightning quick, that one.
A little switch-pushing and block-riding gets us to the upper-right corner and a chest containing a Hit Area Expand.
We make our way to the left side of the room and grab a Thera Seed from the chest.
With a bit more riding around and juggling with the block colors, we finally get on the block that takes us to the exit.
We ride the red block down to the next level again.
The next level is pretty neat. There are two blue light bridges and two pink light bridges. There's one switch in each color that rotates the matching bridges.
The bridges rotate clockwise to the next available opening. The blue bridges each have two possible positions, so they pretty much operate in unison.
Yes, Yuri, I already explained that. This isn't an episode of Blue's Clues, you know.
Now we can reach this chest with a Seal of Vitality and reach the switch that controls the pink bridges.
The bridge on the right only has two positions while the other one has three, so we just have to keep pushing the switch until the bridges look like this.
That let's us get to this chest, containing a Lottery Ticket.
From there, it's back to the pink switch. After a couple more presses, the bridges line up to provide a path to the exit.
We take the path down and end up in the most complicated of the puzzles.
This one has blocks that float...
Blocks that rise and fall between levels...
Switches that control stacks of blocks...
Which will move to provide bridges across gaps or unblock paths.
Although it isn't that hard to get to the exit, there's a bit of running around and back-tracking involved to get all the treasures. There are three, one on each level.
The chest on the bottom level has a Leonardo's Bear.
The chest on the top level has the Phenex Crest (Raise Up). I can't help but feel like this is a Final Fantasy reference.
The chest on the middle level has Joachim's last transformation item. This one, I feel, needs to be seen.
That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Joachim uses Viagra to force a transformation to Grand Papillon. Wrap your heads around THAT one.
Eventually, we get to a switch on the north wall of the middle level.
This one lowers a stack of blocks that were blocking the way to the exit.
We run up to the top and ride the block to the exit.
This level has a tunnel leading into a new area.
This brings us to a small chamber with some very nice mood lighting.
It also triggers a cut-scene.
As the others move forward, Karin hesitates.
I don't know. I hear a voice calling me...
Just then, there's an indistinct whispering sound. Karin loses it.
Grandma...? Grandma?! Is that you?!
Yuri reaches for her to try to calm her down, but Karin just pushes him away.
Hey, relax. There's nobody there.
But I'm sure that I heard her! It was my grandmother from back home! She needs my help!
What's wrong? Why do you sound so sad? I'm right here! Don't worry!
There! Did you hear that?!
Get ahold of yourself. Don't listen to what dead spirits say! They can steal away your soul!
I believe that something here is trying to frighten us...and turn us away from our task.
Don't let it bother you. That wasn't her, you know. Your grandmother's soul is safe.
...I guess so.
Let's finish our job and hurry back. I don't like this place.
My family is from Munich, fallen nobility you might say.
If we ever get the chance, will you come visit there with me?
Sure. No problem.
My, that sounds nice alright!
Hey, no one asked the peanut gallery.