Part 8: A Desert Toll With No Icy DemonsAs you may recall at the end of the last update, Nadia died in what was more irritating and disappointing than saddening and Jess did a badass thing and made us a flail. Why? Um, because flails are cool? Maybe? Dunno how it connects to Nadia in any way but I digress. The Flail is one hell of an upgrade. Sure, it's not as powerful as the Bomb or Earth Scroll but it's far more convenient. The Bomb takes a while to use and can easily miss whereas the Earth Scroll is currently limited to 3 uses at most, provided you're willing to use items (I'm not... right now). Oh, and the Flail can do something nothing else at this point can: destroy those irritating stone blocks. This opens up a lot of the world map; more than you'd expect, but not a lot. It does, however, grant access to a few... unique locations. The hellhole we have to go to being one of those.
If you speak to several people, they'll all say pretty much the same thing; a place that was blocked isn't any more. How do they know? Nestus told them. How does he know?
Makes... sense. So, uh, the Rahl River is that place near Tarn's Manor that was blocked by a tree stump. We could go there right away, but we wouldn't be able to do anything really. We need an item that we get there, but we also need information on how to actually do things there. Blindly guessing could work, but it's inconvenient. You could pay Yustel for info, sure, but she would be completely useless. Instead, your only hope is a little girl. Yes, it's Sybill to the rescue.
: The great navigator here is the wind. Let yourself be guided by the powerful gusts... If you trust them with insight, you shall find yourself at a great building... a sanctuary.
Well, that's pretty cryptic but it seems to be simple enough. Use the wind as a guide and we'll find the Sanctuary. Wait, no, sorry. A sanctuary; completely different place.
Does anyone else have anything else interesting to say?
Bergus: Well, what about the desert sanctuary? No? Gee, haven't you done any exploring?
Actually, no, we haven't. Good point, kid. Why bother traversing to a desert-y hell without being prepared and seeing some interesting locations first? Plus, there's some things now available that might help. By which, I mean they will help. A lot.
Item Collection (Part 2)|Youtube (Part 2)
Out of everywhere shown in the videos, one of them is especially worth making note of; Inspiration Point to be exact. Aside from the mini-optional-cutscene there's one thing about it that makes it important to remember and that's that it's easy to forget that it even exists. Everything else is simple, and I didn't even remember that the Wonder Essence (best healing item) was available since pre-Coal Mine. What makes it so awesome? Well, it fully heals HP and MP. And even if you don't use it, merely having it is good enough since it will be automatically used upon death. Aside from that, the only other items that are particularly interesting are the one Gilded Falcon (because it's a pain to get), the one Life Vessel, and the one Magic Seed.
Eventually, you'll find your way to the desert without actually being in the desert despite being on the desert screen. It makes sense, sorta, I swear. There's actually a second entrance (near Inspiration Point) that for the longest time I thought you had to use but that's sort of the wrong way. It works just as well, for all intents and purposes, but it means you skip some very useful things. By which I mean a somewhat necessary optional upgrade. Two, at that. So, it's off to the south and the Cliffs of Madness!
Aside from the cliffs themselves, there's only one other place of interest here. Lurvy's Smith Shack is basically just an item store and it does have low prices alright. You can't see it very well, but there's another archway right in front of the sign. You might have noticed some of them before, but they do nothing interesting and are just scenary. ...For now.
Lurvy has some very nice things for sale, but first I can't help but notice that well is open for business! Well, time to jump in and hope for the best.
There's a bit of a fall, and a blocked alcove but they're unimportant. What is important, is that at the bottom there's a Strength Elixir. Strength Elixirs are like Wonder Essences but aren't quite as good; they restore your HP to full and are actually pretty rare to find. There's still more than enough throughout the entire game though. Now with this in hand, it's time to finally visit Lurvy himself.
Lurvy: You goin' buy somethin' [sic], or you just gonna stand there lookin' stupid?
If I could say anything bad about Lurvy it's that he's completely optional but you really have to visit him to not get destroyed completely and utterly. You could never come here, but it makes parts of the game way, way too hard. The next... many, many parts of it to be exact.
His wares are a bit different to Naomi's, and the ones they both have are cheaper here. Herbs cost 4 Gilder instead of 5 from Lurvy for example! Aside from that, the only new things he has to offer are the Strenth Elixir and the...
The Leather Armour is well worth buying. It only costs 120 Gilder so if you can't afford it then you're probably (definitely) doing something wrong. Especially since there's over 120 Gilder available in chests. It's also the first armour upgrade, though even with it the damage taken here is quite a lot. You could go through with the Cloth Armour, in theory, but you'd be insane to try. It also gets outright impossible to beat dungeons with just Cloth Armour eventually. People have tried, they have failed.
Unlike Naomi, he gets new things in when you buy his one-time items. The replacement for the Leather Armour?
Another Life Vessel, of course. This one just so happens to be cheaper than Naomi's too; 400 Gilder as opposed to 500.
After buying both?
It's the little things that sometimes help make things worthwhile. Oh and after buying the Life Vessel what does he start selling? Wonder Essences. If only he wasn't so far out of the way, crazy and unimportant. He might be an awesome character if it weren't for that... Oh, and he has an interesting secret. You can see it in the back room, but you can't get there from the front. If you try it, he calls you a pervert. Really.
Instead, you have to get creative with the terrain outside to sneak in. There's two ways of doing it; one involves scaling the cliffs but that's kinda dull. The other?
And with that odd promise, there's nothing of interest left around here so it's time to scale the cliffs at last and head toward the Despair... Desert.
"Experienced cragsmen?" It's not that hard, but it is a platforming mini-puzzle of sorts. Trying to figure out where to go without knowing in advance can be a bit tricky at first.
If you didn't have enough Gilder for either the Life Vessel or the Leather Armour (...somehow) you will almost definitely have enough for at least the Armour after scaling the cliff.
What should lie in wait at the top of the cliff but a passageway that leads
There is really nothing I can say about this place that is good about it. Everything I can conceivably think of is covered in the video. Oh, wait there's one thing that's good about it. We're not done with the desert part fully yet!
Next time: the so-called desert sanctuary. Kinda curious how anyone else ever found out about its existence...