Part 19: GroovecubeUpdate 19: Groovecube
Music: Alchemic Blast
As I left the frigid area of the cave, I ran into some enemies and they dropped Frozen Rain, so I wanted to go back and grind some more. Turns out if you leave and return there's a bunch of Growloons, so I went on a little extraction rampage.
I think these are the only enemies here, and unfortunately they didn't give me any more Frozen Rain like I wanted, but aren't Ice Puni just adorable?
I made a few miscellaneous stops around the world, although I forgot to try and turn in my Growloon kills. For some reason that sidequest never really registers in my head, which is bad because they cash rewards are pretty decent...oh well.
I checked up on my characters in the base, but no new conversations to report...
All right, Duran is pretty far away. From Kavoc, we need to head south through Lapis Woods, curve around to the Tower of Airfen, head east towards the Puni God, then pass it and start winding up a path to the north, which eventually leads us to...
Music: Huge Game Table
Oh, Ka Luda's Playground. I both love and hate this dungeon. I like the giant chessboard (well, mostly) and I like the music here a lot, and as far as I can recall this is the only place that this theme plays.
On the other hand, the enemies here are assholes. The little dudes with axes, Assassin Dolls, hit hard (okay, everything hits hard) and like to inflict poison on top of it. I remember them being super common, but for some reason I only encountered them the one time.
This particular enemy setup has a few baby pigs with it, who are beginning of the game enemies that are just here to be extra targets. This actually worked to my advantage because one of them was placed just right so Klein could Wide Item a Flame to hit every single target here. Then Lita killed the dolls that survived in one Claw Swipe. It was pretty great.
The totem pole fellas are mostly healers. In retrospect, that's another thing about this game that kind of stands out it seems like enemies in this game heal more than normal, and our healing options are...not more limited, exactly, but they're either synthesis items or alchemy items, with very little in the way of proper healing magic, so you can't just spam Cure3 or whatever to win everything.
...That's my usual strategy, by the way, which might explain why I have so much trouble staying alive against meaner bosses in this game.
Oh yeah, Lita picked up Dodge, which is a passive ability that allows her to completely avoid attacks at random. I guess leveling the ability up makes it proc more often?
Sentries are jerks. They have loads of HP and defense and like to deal a good 40-50 damage to two or all three characters every time they attack.
They also have a head toss attack, which seems strictly worse it takes a turn to charge and it's single target and not notably stronger. Too bad they rarely use it.
Also, maybe I just got tremendously unlucky or something, but the golem enemies here avoided my attacks more often than really seems reasonable. Lita's Jump Kick even missed once or twice. Considering they're already tanks, this could be kind of infuriating.
Anyway, I burned through a lot of Healing Waters (and Water elements to make more) in this place. The dungeon isn't even very large it's only one screen, albeit a decent sized one with a maze made out of chess pieces but the enemies are so strong it can be tense to keep up with their damage output.
I went ahead and slapped this on Klein for the stats. In retrospect I might give him back the Sorcerer Support for the MP regen property, but since we have Blue Bull products and the Mana Jar alchemy item, I think it's not really necessary anymore.
At least the enemies here give loads of exp, I guess. The enemies in the ice cave were giving less than half of this, and the next hardest enemies before them were probably giving half of THAT.
I also encountered some of these ghost ladies the ones from Iris' Resting Place that have single digit HP. I was running kinda low on MP at the time, and the boost to Spirit Elements to make more Mana Jars was much appreciated.
(well it would have been except I think this was actually the last fight I got in here but it's the thought that counts)
I wonder if Lita's level up gains reflect how far she is into Murder Mode or not? Either way this is a pretty decent level up.
Towards the far side of the table, we can find this delightful new alchemy item. This and the Mark of Courage could make a devastating combo, especially with Lita at maximum anger.
Phew! I survived...THIS time.
I mentioned that I don't remember where I got these, so here's a record of me finding one in a sack somewhere. Maybe I'll use it to make a Metalest Pipe or something.
This item, the Lightning Rod, is pretty straightforward lightning damage. Sadly I am a bit lacking in Lightning Elements and the only Mana who can handle them (Silwest) has a 3x modifier on Lightning, so I probably won't be using these much anytime soon.
-edit: I tested this out at Shitenshi's behest and it's actually really strong so I'm gonna try and be good about actually using these when I need Klein to kill things.
Okay, let's head on to Duran!
Music: Village of Snow and Glass
Well, that's pretty much the town, so...Who's ready to go?
We haven't even had a look around, Delsus.
...You just HAD to say my name, didn'tcha?
It is! You're Sir Ghaleon Ashley Delsus Delvarood!
Uh, who the hell are you? I've never seen you before! Go away!
The NPC runs off, presumably to tell everyone the news...
Yeah, okay ~Ashley~.
Don't call me that!
Music: To Each Their Own Way
Huh? What? You must have me confused with someone else. I'm an only child.
I'm your sister, dummy! It's me, Faith. You're the chief's son, remember?
Faith proceeds to give Delsus a great big hug.
...Now do you see why I didn't want to come?
I never knew Delsus was the village chief's son.
Well he is! And he left without ever saying goodbye! I was worried about you.
Oh come on...you're a big girl, now. You shouldn't be so dependent on this village.
We should ask the chief about the Eternal Land of Mana.
You don't need me to come, though, right?
Of course we do. Who else is going to talk to him?
Well...it was nice knowing you.
Duran is one of my favorite towns, though this is tragically offset by it's lack of people who can do synthesis. Check out those stained glass houses.
Items frequently spawn up here. Twisted Lando is fairly rare, so it's nice to have a place where I can maybe find more. Snowbugs pop up a lot throughout the town as well.
Delsus' sister is in this temple at the north part of town, though she doesn't have anything interesting to say. I believe we can also travel directly here through the fairy's house now via teleporters.
Music: Fun Shopping in Duran
Oh look, it's baby Delsus. Do you remember me? I'm Granny Jajima...
Oh hell no...
Did she just call you baby Delsus?
That doesn't seem right, meow...
Where have you been all this time? I was worried about you!
None of your concern, granny! Leave me alone, alright?
What's wrong with you? Don't you remember who taught you to stop wetting the bed?
Okay, okay...I'll quiet down. I just don't want you running off again.
Granny Jajima sells some pretty nice stuff, including superior quality cloth for some of Veola's recipes. She also has every variant of Stained Grass, and a hugely expensive Golden Gear that must be vital for some super item or something.
Music: Eternal Ground
Hey dad...what's up?
What are you doing here? For your information, I disowned you.
My friends wanted to ask you about something.
I have nothing to say to you. Leave me.
What the hell!? That's no way to treat your own son!
Son? No son of mine would betray his own flesh and blood. Delsus once ran away from this village. His father didn't even know if he was still alive...
He's still your son! You can't ignore that!
Let it go, Lita. He's too stubborn to listen.
But it's not right...You two are family.
Please, sir. We can't get to the Eternal Land of Mana without your help.
...The Land of Mana, hmm? I'll help you...On one condition. Delsus must pass the Test of Parodius. Otherwise, I won't tell you a damn thing.
That's right. The test you've been running form your whole life.
...Fine, old man. Whatever you want.
Bring me the treasure from Ka Luda's Playground to pass the test.
No sweat. This'll be a cakewalk.
A treasure? I don't remember there being anything there, though. I guess we'll have to look a bit more closely.
Anyway, we can explore this room now that the cutscene's over, and...
I have no idea what this does, but I feel like my life is better for having found it.
Join me next time for more Ka Luda's Playground!