: Tomorrow danger, but tonight you stay safe with me. I don't even charge you, eh?
: I've got a bad feeling about this...
SUCKY SUCKY FIVE DOLLAR?
I'd be worried about the Whore of Babylon instead.
Wait, this is supposed to be the cradle of civilization, a Babylon-alike. Hmm. Uh. Maybe I mean the Wicked Whore of the East. That's it, yeah.
This is one of the more unique areas of the game. It consists of several floors, each with a small number of enemies on it, usually around four. You don't have to defeat each enemy to traverse to the next floor, you just have to make it to the next staircase. Also, this isn't Mysterious Dungeon; each floor has an established design, as well as a staircase leading to the previous floor, and when you're ready to leave you have walk all the way back up. Fortunately, this is the only dungeon like that in this game (that I recall), but we'll be seeing more like it in AtL2.
Every time you get to a new floor, the characters are all piled on top of each other. Although enemies can only attack whoever's on top, group spells will affect everyone standing in that spot. Also it makes for some awkward situations.
"Arc! Tosh is groping my ass!"
"You wish, kid."
Gogen tests his explosion spell on Kukuru. (As he should.) As anyone who's ever played an RPG can tell just by looking at him, Gogen is useless except in the realm of attack spells, which is why I didn't bother getting shots of his cane attack. If I knew how, though, I would get sound clips of the voice acting during this spell, which as someone else said is pretty cool. He pronounces it "EXPLOOOOSIONNNN!", emphasis on the "n" and everything, and sounds like he's both constipated and has a cold.
Thank Motsin, then. I uploaded his file to a different service so it could be heard by all (and actually, this is a decent mix... this was on the OST, wasn't it? It's too familiar). It's here, with the spell in question being at 2:08... although if you're listening, you'll know it. Instantly.
Actually, "costipated" would be better used to describe the noise he makes when using the Dream Knock spell.
When defeated, werewolves get naked for some reason and run off, through walls if necessary.
A couple more notes about this dungeon. It's not necessary to keep the party close together to move on to the next floor; only one person needs to make it to the staircase, and the rest will warp along.
More importantly, this place is LOADED with treasure chests. Most are regular items, some of which will renew when you return to the floor later on, but several are useful pieces of equipment. You know, things we'd actually want to use, as opposed to the throwing aids we've been getting up to this point.
Life getting you down? Demi Monks on your ass? Finding yourself at a loss for words? Try Hard Nettle, the ONLY grayish inventory item proven by doctors to relieve Silence!
Hard Nettle. Nobody knows how to use it.™
Now Arc has his own healing spell. It removes all status ailments, but kind of sucks in the actual healing department.
Here's what we came down here for. Like Chongara said, the dungeon goes deeper than this (MUCH deeper), but we shouldn't be trying to deal with that until later. We'll definitely be returning, though... we want those treasures.
Oh look, Tosh learned a move.
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
WRAPPED UP LIKE A DOUCHE
ANOTHER RUNNER IN THE NIGHT
...goddamnit, it's deuce DEUCE DEUCE DEUCE DEUCE
Yeah, this attack doesn't do any damage, and it only hits one enemy. Don't worry, we're getting there.
That reminds me, we still haven't checked out Poco's new toy.
This is what should happen at every drum solo.
Told you he was a bad motherfucker.
: We've fulfilled our part of the bargain. Now tell us where the Guardian is.
: Yes, yes. Deal is good if pot is real. I have to inspect it first, eh?
That line is just too goddamn easy.
Which is probably why it was ignored by my dear partner, who decided to go with... I dunno. Actual humor.
HE'S STARING INTO MY SOUL
Scratch that. He's not above cheap gags either.
: This is Summon Pot. Our deal good. Now then, tell Chongara why you want to see Guardian.
: Is that a biiig business? Chongara just want to know. No reason. Really.
: The Guardians shall play a pivotal role in our mutual survival.
: I'm not certain I understand it all yet, but we do need to contact them all...and soon.
: So, please, if you will, tell us where we might find the Guardian nearby.
No need to be so cordial, Arc, you just plowed through a dungeon for the grimy Osama stand-in. Arguably, you should be on opposite ends of the ass-kissing scale. Except no one wants to picture Chongara doing anything to their ass.
Wrong. I've seen fanart.
: What do you get from saving the world, eh? Riches? Fame?
: Believe it or not, some people do good, not for personal gain, but for love of others.
: Mmmm. Eeeeyaaaah...Not for personal gain...Hmmm...is stupid, eh? Mmmm! You are one hero man talked about...
FLASHBACK Deedly-oo, deedly-oo, deedly-oo
Oh no! Chongara's about to die in the past, creating a time paradox! (Unless this were Zelda: Oracle of Ages, in which case Chongara would suddenly disappear mid-sentence in the present and things would continue more or less normally.)
He looks familiar. And ugly.
Jesus christ, it's like Arc and Gogen had a love child.
: Ah...you saved Chongara. Many thanks are yours. You are beautiful man. Hero, yes?
: Chongara is grateful, but treasure mine. Saw treasure first. I cannot give treasure.
Yoshua: One day a boy shall cross your path who fights not for personal gain, but for the good of all.
Yoshua: I ask only that you favor that one with your assistance. With that, your debt to me shall be repaid.
Yoshua: Remember my words. The boy shall come from the East, seeking the Light Guardian.
: Chongara won't forget. Sounds like boring, stupid boy. But I will help, eh?
: What? Oh...well, Chongara show you way to Azenda Highland next day.
: It is biiig day tomorrow. Now we sleep, eh?
Just as the party gets used to the faint smell of dead wet camel enough to fall asleep, it's time to go the volcano.
Chongara's attack power isn't great, he doesn't technically have any real spells, and he's even more massive than Poco so he takes the longest to move. He still proves useful in one way no other party member can be, though.
He can summon, and in this game summons act as entirely new party members. They can move around, attack, and cast spells, and they stay on the battlefield for as long as they can sustain enemy damage (or until the battle's over). What's more mind-boggling--and I didn't even notice this until my second playthrough--is that they can gain experience and consequently become more powerful as well. The only thing that seperates them from the other party members is that you need Chongara to call them to the field.
How did you not notice this? Because what's been ignored here is that Chongara's summons are always "Level 1" in terms of casting cost. Instead, they count as entirely new characters, so they level on their own.
I always left them at level one, too, aside from the Mofly. More in a second on him.
Oh, and the fact that they kind of suck. Still, that can be remedied with level-building, and they aren't necessarily meant for the attack power anyway.
As suggested from the earlier menu screen, healing kelacks are for healing. It's not like we needed more characters with healing spells, but these guys heal for over 80, which is 20 more than what even Arc has at the moment. Plus, since Arc, Poco, and Kukuru have other things they could be doing, it's nice to have someone in the background whose sole purpose is healing.
Kukuru has a purpose? Could've fooled me.
I swear I'm trying to cut back on the Kukuru-bashing, but god DAMN that was an easy opening.
Chongara also currently has access to the Floor-Making Mofly, which is a gimmick if I ever heard one.
A fucking awesome gimmick, though.
It makes floors. Actually, this particular map has several floating islands with treasure chests where it's necessary to use the Mofly to get to most of them...
...but there's not many places where you can place tiles to your strategic advantage or anything. The Mofly makes an OK fighter, though, if you need an extra guy on your team.
Cheap strategy for some areas with the Mofly: Have it make a few tiles in the middle of nowhere on any map with gaps in the floor. Arrange the characters so someone's a meatshield, and everyone behind can spellcast. Proceed to slaughter everything that dares attack your genocidal train.
Chongara's only other ability is basically Scan, but with a twist. The first time you use it you get a quick flip through the enemy's stats, items, and skills, but anytime after that, if you open up the menu with select...
Fully-fledged enemy stat list, complete with crappy fanart!
And it works on allies, too. Try to fill out the entire pokedex.
Chongara can also throw his pot at the enemy, because why not?
Getting back to this fight specifically, the enemies are pretty nasty. The bats, which are EVERYWHERE, can take out almost anyone in two hits. Fortunately, they can be taken out with one strong strike themselves. It's best to clear them out before taking on the rock monster things, which are strong but slow-moving.
They can even give Tosh a run for his money.
The last enemy is a stone golem blocking the doorway, which has a high defense and could probably do some serious damage to the whole party if it wanted to, but instead it decides to sit at the doorway until someone approaches, and then commit suicide.
When Mephadin Doorlords Attack.
Chongara died and nobody cared.
Arc delicately props up Chongara's corpse so they don't look bad for the camera.
Pinhead and Chucky had a baby. I can't think of another explanation for this.
That little bastard reminds me of some random enemy from Chrono Trigger. I just can't recall whi- IMPS! The imps! Those are the ones! He looks like an imp fucked needle-Kirby.
Light Guardian: At last you have come, young hero.
Light Guardian: You have shown a heart full of courage to come this far. Now, show that you possess a spirit of wisdom by listening carefully.
Light Guardian: Humankind has sacrificed the truth of our existence on the altar of selfishness.
Light Guardian: They have destroyed the natural wonder of this world to satisfy their greedy desire.
Light Guardian: Their illicit acts have weakened our power and opened the way for monsters to come.
Light Guardian: Even now, as the world turns to darkness and monsters of every sort appear...
Light Guardian: ...the people of this world fail to see the error of their ways.
Light Guardian: And so it comes down to you, brave Arc, to vanquish the beasts that threaten this world.
Light Guardian: Seek out the other Guardians and slay the beasts that restrain them.
Light Guardian: Then, listen to the tale each has to tell and gain their Power Stone. But, do not mourn a future of darkness.
"We all know Lavos dies in the endgame anyway."
Light Guardian: For you see, if you succeed in freeing all the Guardians, the future shall be only one of light.
Light Guardian: I trust in the light I sense within your souls that you shall accomplish your task.
Light Guardian: Therefore, I know that these gifts shall serve your mission well. Use them in good health.
Light Stone Received!
Received the King's Image.
[Scene missing. Sorry, I accidentally deleted a portion of Light Guardian speak. If you feel you're missing out, reread one of the above sentences.]
: Ooh, Chongara know this thing! With the King's Image you can steal experience of another.
: It is mine! The King's Image good payment for Chongara, eh?
Indeed, the King's Image can only be used by Chongara. When it's equipped, any experience that summons earn goes straight to Chongara. This is probably why it took me so long to realize that the summons could actually USE the experience.
PROTIP: Chongara has no skills that level up. The only time you ever want to level him is to be a meatshield for other characters. So long as he can summon, fuck 'im. Let them keep their own experience.
Chongara then returns to his store to pout.
Oh, no. CHONGARA'S GETTING SUCKED IN
He's just going to hijack the airship, guys. (Not that the King will care.)
: Why? You only get involved when there's a profit in it, don't you?
: Well, Chongara can change mind. After Guardian talk, Chongara's mind is new thing.
: So, if Chongara join you, my great talents be so helpful to big fight, eh?
: All right, then. But you had better be on your best behavior!
: Gogen, what is our next destination?
: The stone shall guide us now...behold!
Okay, you can't tell me they're not making this up as they go along.
The party, the guardians, or the writers? Hard to tell, really.
: Mysterious robe men who have much strange power in Amaidar...Greyshinne, eh?
I thought Gogen was the sage.
: Well, strange robes or not, we shall depart for Greysinne without delay!
Up next on Arc the Lad: I don't think eight party members per battle is enough!