Part 56: Tarazed is Horrible
Through this door lies Tarazed. It's time to break in and find Baelheit.
Music: An Archaic Soul's Wordcraft
The music for this dungeon is good. That's basically the only positive comment I have on this dungeon. I will, however, say that the overall experience of this update wasn't as sinfully painful as I remember it being. So I guess that's also nice.
First of all, we have this central hub of sorts. We'll want to head to the left first. Also, note the two save flowers to signify that this dungeon means business.
Throughout this dungeon, we can find several notes on how to make the Celestial Tree magnus. Fortunately, someone figured this out for me and posted how to do it on GameFAQs, so we don't have to.
Hmm...might as well go in alphabetical order. That usually doesn't steer me wrong.
So, see this hallway? This hallway is about 3/4ths of the dungeon, copied and pasted. This place has five floors (though you only have to deal with three at most per block, at least if you aren't doing much exploring [like me]), and most floors have three to five of these hallways.
And of course, no crappy dungeon would be complete without one-way escalators. I don't know why people insist on putting these in games. It's terrible design, even in-universe. Who thought one way staircases made sense? Baelheit? Nah, I bet it was Shanath. You know he must have had something to do with this.
This dungeon has the usual soldiers and bots of little consequence, as well as the buddy cannons form the Wicked Gawd fight (the Wicked Gawd itself is thankfully Coliseum only). They are as bland as ever. There is one enemy worth seeing, though...
Afrobot! These guys are Dance Kings (yes, that's their actual name) and they are...actually pretty weak, but I had to show off the utter silliness of these guys.
Anyway, I'm trimming out most of the dungeon because it's mostly just a maze of copy/pasted hallways that nobody cares about. This is the destination of Block A. Hey, it looks like they're about to fire on Hassaleh! We'd best put a stop to that, hmm?
Fortunately, someone dropped a high-ranking security badge, so we can access everything important in the area, including this door. It's nice to know that even the incompetent soldiers got to live on Tarazed.
Now, for the most part, I would classify this as a boring dungeon. But these rooms are what push it into outright bad territory.
Welcome to the Heartwing Maze! To get through this place, you have to heartwing dash through the blue blocks. If you touch a blue block while you aren't heartwing dashing, Sagi gets engulfed in darkness and booted back to the start. If you try to turn too fast, Sagi automatically stops moving to reorient himself, and you get booted back to the start. There are a few spots where you can safely stop to refill your dash gauge or reorient Sagi's position.
This place nearly broke me my first playthrough. However, upon replaying, I've come to realize that it's not quite as horrible as I recall. I mean, I still don't think these puzzles are fun or a welcome addition to the dungeon in any way. But it doesn't make me want to ragequit anymore. Maybe I've gotten more mature, or maybe I'm just less terrible at the mechanic.
Oh yeah, I should mention that if your heartwing meter fills up completely and Sagi gets fatigued while you're trying to break through blocks, you get booted back to the start. However, since I have Gena's Pinion, I can Heartwing Dash forever and never get tired. It's pretty helpful. If you screw up enough times, Milly and Guillo will do some hoodoo and give Sagi their hearts' power, which does the same thing temporarily.
And on the other side of the room, we see the true source of Tarazed's power...
...Yeah. So apparently Baelheit's speech about not relying on the tenebrous power of a god was a bunch of baloney and he is, in fact, a huge hypocrite. Good to know.
It's one of Malpercio's afterlings! Isn't there some way to save it?
OK, I'll help too.
Sagi begins to glow...
Yeah...It didn't hurt like when the other afterlings were defeated...so I think so.
Cool, I guess. I'm not entirely sure I understand what happened, but it's good to know we have that ability n-
Operator: Signals suggest a high energy reading in the A Block afterling isolation chamber, followed by the room's collapse.
Captain: Collapse? Just what the devil...Report to A Block immediately and investigate the cause! Move out!
Approximately 1/4th of the soldiers in the room leave. Hmm, I have a feeling I know how many more times I'm going to have to do something like this...
Thankfully, we don't have to do the heart maze in reverse. The collapsing room even leaves us a nice path to escape.
Apparently I was in such a hurry that I never stopped moving to get a halfway decent picture, but the computer ready to fire at Hassaleh is now inoperable. Go team!
Eventually, we make our way back to the central hub (remember, the two save flowers?). This room is off to the right, and this computer switches the direction of the escalators. We can use it now since we have that imperial keycard crest thingamabob. Or at least, one escalator nearby. Thankfully, we only have to use this the one time, it's not really a major mechanic.
Our next path takes us past this huge pane of glass, where we can see...
...Baelheit walking deeper into Tarazed form the control room. I guess this is our ultimate destination, but Sagi refuses to enter because there are too many guards. Guillo's Frigid Queen's Festival disagrees, but I suppose they had to have an excuse to make this dungeon fucking enormous.
Further along, we have the elevator (can you call them that if they move horizontally?) that takes us to the remaining blocks. Let's continue with the alphabet.
Time to rescue Diadem!
This maze is a bit odd in that it's impossible to solve as it is. You have to make your way to a dead end (two blocks down and two blocks left of where Sagi is), and then the maze reassembles itself to become doable. Kinda annoying, but it doesn't really make it that much harder just longer if we screw up.
I wonder if the other hosts heard Malpercoi's voice like Sagi does. He was the only successful malideiter, so it's possible that he's the only one who can talk to his spirit. I wonder if one of the other hosts got another chunk of Marno put in them? If so, would that split Marno's consciousness across both (if both were successful)? Did the other member of Team Seph have their consciousness carried on in Bein or Celsica or the other subjects?
And so another fourth of the soldiers clear out...
And another block crumbles apart.
To C Block!
Like I said, I'm cutting most of the crap out, but you can be assured that I spent a good hour trying to navigate this place.
...it's weird, really. That doesn't seem that long on paper. BKEWLO's final dungeon probably took me two or three times that, after all. And yet this feels so much longer...
Okay, we should probably stop this cannon, even though Palolo could probably block the incoming shot with his feet or something.
This is probably the easiest heart maze. The very beginning is the hardest part, the rest points are all fairly straight shots form each other and there's no dead-end switcharoo points like last time.
I wonder if these afterlings are the same ones we've encountered throughout the story? They probably are the last one looked like a fish, like that one we fought at Lake Botein. If we're meeting them in the same order, that would make this Bein, and the next Celsica.
If they are, then I hope we're giving them a little peace. Actually, I guess I hope that either way.
Just showing off that there is a little more to the dungeon that corridors and heart mazes. It seems silly to only have one public bathroom in the place, though. But I guess that's better than the zero bathrooms most places have in these games.
Do we gotta save Anuenue? C'mon, let's not and say we did.
This maze has two dead end twister panels. Otherwise it's the same as ever.
It occurs to me that we're draining the power of a floating continent that has who knows how many people on or approaching it. This is probably pretty dangerous for all the people living here. I hope they can get out safely when Tarazed inevitably crashes down due to our tampering/Baelheit's hubris.
And now the control room is empty, save for the captain...
Now we just return to the window, and Sagi will be willing to jump through.
I should mention that I believe you only have to collapse two blocks before Sagi will go, but if you don't collapse all four then you have to do extra battles here. I figured I might as well do them all to save the afterlings, even if it's not really necessary.
And, after bisecting the Captain, we can head on...
Join me next time as we beat up Milly's dad.
I originally intended to have a Decision Time about Pac here. Unfortunately, I got myself wedged into a point of no return, so it looks like Pac is sticking around. I think I can live with that.