Part 20: The Stone Giant; The Real Watcher in the WaterLast time, a lot of things were collected (prematurely) and the closest thing to a sewer level was done. The biggest thing that came early was, easily, the Water Book. As you'd no doubt expect, the book is a far more potent form of the scroll, and the animation is changed slightly. Where the Water Scroll healed you slightly, the Water Book fully heals you. It can also hit an opponent upto 5 times, as opposed 3 from the Scroll.
Unlike three of the scrolls, none of the books are optional but they are easy to miss (with one exception). The remaining three books are all in dungeons, and if they weren't they'd be acquired already since the entire world is explorable once you get the Fire Wand.
If you haven't destroyed the three head-statue-things yet you can't get into the next dungeon. The only one it's easy to forget about, is the one on Inspiration Point and once you get the bow you could get rid of them all without any fuss. Yes, you don't even need the Spring Bean to open the dungeon if you don't want to, though there's no reason not to do so (the one by the arch can be destroyed the "normal" way from here).
Hosted (Part 2)|Youtube (Part 2)
Nirude's Lair is one of the more interesting areas; two entrances, but only one leads to the actual dungeon. If you don't enter the left foot at some point before finishing, then that's another permanently missed Gilded Falcon. Since you need to enter the right foot to enter the dungeon you can't skip the Underground Waterway as you might expect.
What Nirude said at the end there was quite... interesting. Septimus' research vaguely stated that Melzas was some dark force from outer space, but here Nirude says he was created from the prayers of people without a god. The manual refers to an alien that came to feed off of people's spiritual entry and that this creature is merely believed to be Melzas.
The Earth Book is way easier to miss than it looks (I've done it once and that was a lot more recent that I care to admit...). If you don't get it before finishing the dungeon then you can't get it at all. It's not the hardest to miss though; not even close. As for what its new animation is, well...
Unlike the Water Scroll, this one does have an apparent downside. On the one hand, it has more power... on the other, it's far more likely to miss. Only killed one enemy and I intentionally went somewhere with a few.
Anyway, I believe Nirude said something about a crest...
That's not all there is for finishing this place, though. In addition to the magic book and the crest there's one more thing, only far more useless.
As you'd expect for the water equivalent of the Sand Cape it has a very limited use. It has a shorter time of being useful, though, than the Sand Cape (one dungeon), but unlike the Sand Cape it's only used for an optional dungeon. The only one at that; remember what Nestus said about the Pond? We needed this to check that out.
: Besides, from what I witnessed of your skills, you don't require help from such weak ones as us... Good luck, Alundra!
Following this, Miming and co. walk off to never be seen again. There's the ones that are around in the Underground Waterway still, sure, but you'd never go there again. It's kinda ridiculous how the few dungeons that aren't one-time give you no reason to go there once you've finished them anyway (aside from maybe Magyscar... and only then it's if you don't manage the torch thing).
This little guy gives you 50 gilder as an apology. That's all there is around here, as well, so time to head back to Inoa which is made much easier by using the arch to teleport to just north of the Reptile Lair and walk the whole two screens back rather than trek there from here.
When you get back to Inoa, Meia has seemingly gone missing and Lutas wants to speak about something.
Lutas: There's something I need to ask you. My life has been in danger several times recently. Once, I was about to be smashed by a boulder of tremendous size. Ronan appeared at the last minute to rescue me. You and Septimus must have discussed this...
This doesn't affect much, but it does influence the dialogue here a little. It's a "choice" in the same sense that Nava's prompt was one too, but it doesn't just change one dialogue box.
Lutas: But...Why did Ronan save my life after putting me in harm's way?
So, yeah, it makes no difference at all really. It doesn't even have an influence on the next scene, which comes up the moment you leave the house.
: I don't understand why Ronan saved Lutas' life. But, I have the feeling you do. So...Sybill's dream told you that if Lutas died, his spirit would return as the Holy Sword? Ronan saved Lutas to prevent you from obtaining that sword. But how could he know? I don't think Sybill would tell Ronan something like that... Wait! Have you...prayed to Melzas? When I first came to the village, Ronan wanted me to pray. Of course, I refused..........What? You prayed? I thought you might have. To pray is to allow the gods into your mind.
: Let's go to the Sanctuary and destroy the statue so Ronan has nothing to worship! That's the only way we can be certain to drain Melzas of strength! Let's go!
Sure, sure, but first let's see how insane Giles has gotten lately and get some other more important things out of the way first.
In a way, I kind of feel sorry for Giles since he's just completely losing his mind slowly... but then I remember that he's a complete tool and acts like something of a minor antagonist at that.
Didn't Lutas mention Septimus? Let's see what he has to say about Ronan as of late.
: Several weeks ago, Lutas and I were walking near the coal mine. A huge bould tumbled off a nearby cliff and rolled straight toward Lutas. Ronan appeared out of nowere and shoved Lutas out of the way, saving his life! Ronan might be praying to the gods, but he wouldn't destroy the village. We must look elsewhere for the true source of this evil scourge that has descended upon us.
Now with that out of the way, we could go speak with Ronan at the Sanctuary but there's something else to do first;
Reaching this place is a bit harder than simply swimming there. You have to jump off of a bridge near King Snow, and head into a small whirlpool there which somehow causes you to come here. Ordinarily, the larger whirlpool here would spit you out onto the land just north of here but with the Aqua Cape, you are instead transported to...
You can't leave until you reach the chamber at the end. Aside from that, there's really nothing much to say about it. It's certainly not the worst optional area conceived (that goes to pretty much every remake devised) but it could be better. Still, it's a short enough dungeon (the walk out doesn't add much time, nor is it all that different aside from some falling rocks). Once you leave...
It's gone for good, of course. Even the optional dungeon is a one-time affair. The sword you get for doing it, the Fiend Blade, isn't even that good. It's barely an upgrade to the Sword. It makes some enemies now take two hits instead of three... and I do mean some. Lizards, for example, still take three hits. And that's with Olga's Ring equipped.
Next time: Confronting Ronan.