Part 14: The Boss Parade
Now that we've gotten that last level, it's definitely time to head to the final battle at Death Heim. In case it wasn't clear, the new island we're going to is actually just to the east of Northwall and directly north of Fillmore.
"You wouldn't even believe how ready I am."
One final time, we spin-dive down to earth!
The Final Countdown
For the final battle, the rules are pretty simple. We're going to fight all six of the previous Act II bosses in a row, followed by a final battle. We aren't healed after each battle, and uses of magic aren't restored. If you die, you simply return to the boss you died at and continue with full health. You don't, however, get any more magic when you lose a life so you have to use it carefully. Magical Stardust or Aura are must haves for this section, as they're very effective on just about all of the bosses.
Our first victim is the Minotaur, who wasn't much of a match for us even when we had less than half of the life we do now. The bosses don't pick up any new tricks for these fights, either, so you can go with the same strategy...
Or you can burn through one or two scrolls to give yourself a huge boost and conserve some life for the next couple of fights. The Minotaur actually makes a huge target, and takes ridiculous amounts of damage from these spells.
Next up we've got Zeppelin Wolf, who doesn't really fit in with the rest of the crowd. His general humanity is just off-putting until he actually changes shape.
You can use Aura when he turns into a wolf, but this is a good opportunity to conserve some magic and just kind of grind through it with sword attacks.
Next in the shoot is Pharaoh, who's actually a bit annoying to fight a second time if you're trying to conserve your magic. His habit of dropping on top of you and then slowly rising up is likely to cause 2-3 damage to you, and it's hard to win a damage race that way.
Instead, it's probably better to use a couple charges and deal with him quickly. At this point you should still have about four charges left if you started with seven, and we're about halfway through the bosses. The good news is that you really don't need to save anything for the final boss and you'll see why.
After each fight you're returned to this screen, where the eyes and forehead gem of the boss you just defeated fade to black and the one you're about to fight starts to glow. It's a nice little touch, rather than just sending you from fight to fight.
Next up: Fire Wheel. This one feels a bit more recent, but it's actually been a bit. He's kind of a pain in the neck, especially since he likes to run back and forth across the bottom of the screen and can be hard to hit more than once while he's doing that.
Your best bet is to try and get above him and see if that doesn't tempt him into going up into the middle of the screen and shooting out projectiles. That's also a good time for some magic to soften him up. All in all, though, he's actually not too bad.
The fifth boss, Kalia from Marahna, is about where you're probably going to start running low on magic. This is kind of unfortunate, since most of us cheesed this boss with a couple of easy spell charges and didn't bother learning the "proper" way to deal with it.
The best method is to move closer to Kalia until she tries to drop a platform on your head, and then ride it up to get within striking distance. Time it right, and you can get about three attacks in per ride.
The method isn't exactly full proof and you're going to take some damage, but it's still a matter of tedium rather than anything else.
Finally, we come to the Arctic Wyvern and well...
Yeah, that turned out about as well as can be expected. Still, five bosses on one life isn't at all bad.
By this point you're likely to be about out of magic, so this boss has to be dealt with the old fashioned way. He's likely to cause significant damage on the way out, but it's relatively straightforward. You just have to avoid his ice shots and position yourself to swing when he dives in. Time it right and you'll do three damage for every one he does. It still hurts, but them's the breaks.
It's time for the big man.. literally as well as figuratively.
"He can't possibly be as hideous as all that."
"Nope, he's actually uglier."
So, the first phase of the battle with Tanzra is pretty simple. He's a floating head that goes immaterial and summons a swarm of blue meteors. Afterward he will be briefly damageable, although you don't have time to chase him down.
Luckily, we get the sword enhancement bonus from Aitos for free, so you just have to swing in his general direction. Each hit takes off two of his HP, so this portion goes really fast.
Of course it is a portion, since this wouldn't be a 1990s RPG without a multi-stage final boss.
"And just when I thought it couldn't get any uglier "
His first attack is a series of orbs that go out a set distance and then re-converge. It's easy enough to avoid you just have to position yourself in the middle of the pattern and you'll escape all damage.
Once that attack if finished his target area will briefly open up. You have to hit the blue spark at his core, but at any other time the rest of his body will block it. After a few seconds he'll shoot a blue bolt of fire in your direction, but it's so easy to avoid that they might as well have skipped including it.
After that he'll move in a circle around the screen, releasing pairs of sparks that will chase down your avatar in short, jerky movements. You can destroy them with your sword, and there's a brief window even when they're actually touching you where they can be destroyed without damage.
After that, the cycle starts all over again. If you're fairly low on health, as I was, it's sometimes best just to let yourself die and start over with a fresh life bar. Because of Tanzra's tiny target area, magic isn't really all that useful. It's all about your sword.
With the defeat of the evil one the skies clear, and good triumphs over evil at last.
"I don't. Shiftless buggers can figure out their own problems for once . and aren't you the one who's always been bugging me about a vacation?"
"Let's take one last look at each of the thriving towns we helped developed."
"Oh yes, one of the men of Fillmore had the ability to predict the future."
"Yes, and you remember exactly how well that worked out for him. Most prophets aren't so careless as to fall victim to things that haven't happened yet."
"From birth, all people are guided by a force called destiny. Because people are unaware of their destiny, they may not experience all that life has to offer. The man who quietly accepts his destiny is also the one who becomes a great leader and person."
"Oh no you don't. There's no such thing as destiny, and I should know. I definitely didn't intend for any of these people to be the idiots they turned out to be. That's all the proof of free will you need."
"Oh yes, there was an energetic boy named Teddy. I know we are supposed to treat all people equally, but since he was such a likable young boy, he received much of our attention."
"You mean because he kept getting himself into situations that quite literally required divine intervention."
"Oh, do you remember the people of Bloodpool had to draw lots to decide who was to be sacrificed."
"I knew I should have waited five more minutes!"
"Yeah, I'm pretty amazing that way."
"People said they were drawn into the pyramid by its magical powers. But should we believe this? The monsters living in the pyramid were nothing more than reincarnates of the human slaves who built the pyramid. Their spirits remained, drawing people's minds to the pyramids."
"I don't see why one precludes the other. The reincarnates of the human slaves could have developed magical powers."
"Now, the pyramid is sealed and their souls saved. They will be reborn as human beings."
"They were already reborn, remember? Do try to keep up."
"of the continuous lava flow. Their leader passed from this life right before your very eyes. I am certain he dedicated his whole life to informing people of your existence."
"You mean above and beyond the constant lightning strikes, earthquakes, and the angel flying around destroying monsters? I don't think I really needed someone telling people about Me."
"I hoped Aitos would become a beautiful town representative of his great spirit."
"Surprised me too, but they didn't seem to mind the crowding. When your entire coastline is a tropical beach, though "
"I felt very sad when the town's two leaders were tempted by the wicked mirror. But human beings have a tendency to choose the easier way when faced with difficulties."
"That's odd they didn't mention anything about a mirror earlier "
"I felt obligated to lead them in the right direction."
"That was kind of how you were designed. I'd be a pretty poor Deity if you didn't feel at least that much."
"I didn't. Most of their being cold was their own fault."
"The people here overcame many problems. Their two leaders were telling us that when they found the two initials on the might tree, they felt a certain affection toward what or who had left the initials."
"I believe you meant 'who or what', but getting back to the subject that's just human nature."
"The sweethearts who had lived here long ago, but were killed by monsters. Their spirits have since come to dwell in these bodies. If my story is correct, the sweethearts have finally reunited after a long separation."
"Could have happened. It's not like we paid any attention when we were shoving all of those souls back into bodies. Just based on the odds, it was bound to happen at some point."
"Even though they don't remember, isn't it a beautiful story?"
"Sure. I'm riveted to my seat."
"Well, for lack of anything else to do "
"As cultures and lands become more advanced, do people tend to forget those who helped them?"
"People tend to forget who helped them given five minutes of distractions and shiny objects."
"Should we yearn for a time when people will no longer need to ask for our help?"
"I can't believe you'd ask that question, considering how many times they were asking for our help in these six towns."
And with that, a final view of our developed cities, seen from far above as GodJesus and his Angel depart from a world where they're not longer needed.
It takes a few seconds, but reveals something a bit odd about this world...
"I really should have built a bit more landmass on this one they're going to be pretty surprised when the sea people rise up out of the waves in a couple more millennia."
Cue the credits! 23 years ago, and it's aged remarkably well. I could run through the credits, but there's not much to say there. Instead...
Thanks for reading, everybody!