Part 3: A Terrible Night for a CurseWhen last we left, our hero deity had just told his followers to go ahead and hold onto his stuff for him. Moving right along...
"Oh for My sake, can't you see I'm busy right now? What'd you do, find a four leaf clover?"
" and? There's four people being carried off by a bat right now, since none of them will let go."
"A fisherman repairing his boat along the sea shore found an unusual scroll. We present this to you as an offering. Please accept it."
"You are forgiven."
"Good riddance to bad Bats."
"You know the deal, put it in the storehouse with the statue. Just make sure you don't bang them together or I don't know what would happen."
" please tell me they didn't do what I just told them not to just to see what would happen."
"It wouldn't surprise me, Master, but I don't believe I saw any explosions from the temple."
"With a way to cross the river, we can build homes over there."
"How did sealing monsters teach them to build bridges?"
"I don't see the overlap myself, Master."
"Oh well. I guess I work in mysterious ways tell them to take the long way around. I don't want them wasting perfectly good housebuilding materials on bridges."
Bing! We're well on our way to actually being able to do some fairly impressive things. With this level we've got the ability to use Wind Gusts, which have story uses and can also blow enemies away. They'll pop back immediately, but it can give you some breathing space. Next level: 700 population.
This is the optimum bridge location in Fillmore, because there are limits to how many structures you can have in a given area. The number is 128, and if you build more than 1 bridge in Fillmore you're going to be unable to get the highest possible max population. To accomplish this you have to build parallel to the river and then come down this way. Once we seal the monster's lair, we won't be able to move the selection square so you have to have all of the other squares filled out before hand.
"That's it, I'm going on a vacation. No more monsters "
"Oh? I don't believe I said anything about vacation time when I created you. You think I'm going to deal with these yahoos on my own?"
"I really need a union."
With the second civilization level-up each house will now hold 8 people. Effects will vary between Fillmore and other places, but here the fields are going to get replaced by giant manor houses.
"This should be good time for the praise and worship to start rolling in since we've killed all the monsters."
"Hey, you're getting a bit preemptory here. Don't forget who's the Deity here."
"I see the same thing every night. In my nightmare, the gruesome monster Minotaurus appears through a big hole to the southwest."
"Wait, what big hole? There's no big hole to the southwest."
"Oh, calm down. There's nothing to worry about it. You're just seeing something that'll probably never happen. I'll go take a look just to make you feel better"
New houses and a large mansion. We've still got some growing to do, but these will make it much faster.
"My Lord, that is quite a large hole."
" I didn't put that there. Let's just get rid of this and quietly sweep the whole thing under the rug."
"Sir GodJesus, they don't have rugs yet. They haven't been invented."
"Then I'll create one for us to sweep this under."
There's actually no time limit here, so it's worth it to wait for our current population counter to run out. Next level: 900 total population. Every life point counts.
As you can see, Fillmore's population is at slow. That basically means we're not growing anymore right now. The way it works is like this: Each town has a base population, and you then get one additional population for every 50 points you earn in the simulation mode. Fillmore has a base population of 500, and I scored about 10,000 points in the first stage end result, we're maxing out here at slightly over 700 population. The other limiting factor is space. Fillmore's theoretical max is just over 900, but we're going to need to earn more points for that to happen. Thus, the second action stage.
"Hmm I'll take one of those, and two of these and you keep the other three until I'm good and ready. Not that I need magic for anything, you understand."
"Yes, I completely knew that would happen."
The highlighted item is a Source of Magic, which gives us MP to cast spells in action stages. Each spell costs 1 MP, so we've got two casts of Magical Fire now.
A nice touch is that the level actually fills up and the changes can be seen from above. I'm curious as to how they did it, but it looks pretty neat.
Now that we've got a spell, we have to select it. The game isn't quite smart enough to figure that we want to use what we've got rather than going without.
Magical Fire is pretty basic, but each casting does as much damage as three sword swings. You're also completely immune to damage while the casting animation is taking place.
"You said that earlier, but this guy just popped out of nowhere. Are you sure this time?"
"Of course not, but I don't see anywhere else for monsters to hide."
Every time, I just enjoy the whole Mode 7 spinning zoom. Back when the SNES was produced, this was a huge advance.
Seriously, watch the video. The music is epic.
"Angel, how did this get here?"
"I moved it down here as soon as we saw the hole, Your Divinity.
"Do you have an entire storeroom full of these things or something?"
" maybe "
Our first palette swap! Red goblins can jump and throw daggers at an angle to surprise you. One thing to note is that spikes generally cause damage rather than killing you. In the Japanese version, touching spikes was instant death.
There are also flying skull bats, which love to pop out of the darkness and interrupt your jumps. There are actually two routes to take to get through the first section, and this is on the slightly shorter route.
Eventually either way you're going to end up facing this guy before going on. He's fast and he's the first enemy you deal with who's actually got a sword similar to yours. You're going to take some damage fighting him, and it's usually better to just take your lumps and fight it out quickly. This is a good place for Magical Fire. One alternative is to let yourself die if you're as badly wounded as I am in this screen. You keep your points, so this is actually a valid tactic to increase your point total.
Going the other way gives us an option to restore HP with a hidden apple. It's worth poking around into any hidden pathway you find just on the off chance that you'll find something interesting.
At any rate, defeating the skeletal warrior opens this gate to let us move onto the rest of the level.
The route leads up a vertical shaft that has some completely superfluous spikes and faces in the walls that spit glowing balls of damage.
Falling spikes. Another staple of the platforming genre.
The final boss of Fillmore is a pretty straightforward fight. He drops down on your head and starts swinging away with his axe. If you open up the distance, he throws the axe at you.
The best option is to just stand your ground and keep swinging as soon as he gets in range. He's got a lot more HP, but you can swing faster and take advantage of mercy invincibility to take his HP down faster than he can take yours. Magical Fire can also speed the process along.
"Do you think we'll be able to pretend that whole thing didn't just happen?"
"I don't see how we could, Sir GodJesus."
"Oh. My. This is awkward."
"Right before he passed away, he was heard to say, "I was finally able to be of some help to the people of Fillmore."
"I'm sorry for your loss? Angel, a little help here!"
"He died bravely, ensuring the safety of the people of Fillmore.
"With the elimination of all monsters, we can now control the town by ourselves. So, please visit other lands and make them as peaceful as our town, Fillmore. There are people praising you outside of this shrine."
"Er.. yes, we'll just be going now. Keep up the good work, and all that."
And with that, our first area is completed. You can see slight changes to the buildings once you've completed an area, in addition to the people constantly circling around your blinged out temple.
Next update: Manticores, idiot children, and a lake that I certainly wouldn't drink out of.