Part 3: Chapter Three: Cursed MountainTheres nothing left to do in Newhaven, so lets leave town.
Music: 06 Were Rangers
We find ourselves on the world map. Unlike the prologue, the world map here has its full functionality unlocked. That means random battles, so lets go over the battle system mechanics a bit.
Music: 07 Cross Counter
It doesnt take long before Bosch and Ryu encounter their first ever random battle against a Gunhead. Once again, unlike the prologue we can win this fight legitimately, but before then, lets take a look at the battle menu:
Attack: Basic physical attack. Everyone has this option.
Unique Skill: A special skill that differs between characters. Ryu has Guts, whilst Bosch has Snipe. Ill discuss these further in just a moment.
Special: Magic, basically.
Items: Opens the inventory and allows the use of consumable items.
Down the side we have two other options:
Auto: Puts the battle on autopilot. Characters will spam physical attacks without player input until the enemy is a bloody smear on the ground. Useful against weaker enemies.
Flee: Party attempts to run from the battle.
In addition pressing L brings up the Defend option, allowing a character to take reduced damage for a turn in exchange for not attacking. Pressing R brings up the Switch option, which lets the player switch the party's Formation.
As the party attacks, the Gunheads HP bar is displayed. Its covered by a question mark now, but defeating an enemy once will reveal the HP of future enemies of that type.
A short while later the Gunhead goes down and leaves behind some meager spoils. The GBA version of the game tripled the money and experience dropped by enemies, so grinding takes a lot longer in the SNES version.
Returning to the world map we find a strange sight a fish leaping out of the water to the left. Since we lack the money to afford much bait we cant do anything with it yet, but later on it will be possible to partake in a fishing minigame wherever these fish appear.
A few steps later and the party is thrust into another fight against a Green Goo. Green Goos and Gunheads are pretty weak enemies who only have basic physical attacks, so it quickly goes down.
I walk around until another Gunhead appears. With Ryus health lowered, this is an excellent opportunity to show off both his and Boschs unique skills. First, Ryus unique skill is Guts. What does it do? Well
It causes him to power up, DBZ style, healing his wounds in the process. Ryu is only level 1 right now, so it barely heals anything, but it can prove useful later on if a healer isnt handy. The lower Ryu's health, the more HP it will heal, and it has a 1/8 chance of failing. What about Bosch, though? What does Snipe do?
Its a luck-based technique where Bosch performs a physical attack against the target. The attack will either deal critical damage to a single enemy or hit for only 1 damage. Unfortunately that makes it pretty much useless.
Ryu levels up after the battle. Not only that, he also learns Rest, a special skill that advances time. Now we can change day to night and back again pretty much on demand.
Walking around a bit more triggers yet another battle, this time with multiple enemies. Two Green Goos are accompanied by a Bubbleback. Bubblebacks are probably the toughest enemy around Newhaven they hit relatively hard and are smart enough to Defend occasionally.
It doesnt help it, though, and Bosch gains his first level up. He learns Heal, which restores 40 HP to a single target. Naturally its a very useful ability.
Back on the world map another strange sight is revealed a patch of shaking grass. Pressing A whilst next to it will draw the party into a new area, but first its a good idea to make Bosch the party leader by pressing L or R.
Music: Hide and Seek
Doing so brings the party to a hunting zone with many wild animals. Bosch can use his crossbow to hunt them for their meat. Killing them drops a Roast, which acts as a health-restoring item and can be sold for 200 zenny, which is amazing compared to the pitiful amounts dropped by enemies. Its a similar mechanic to Breath of Fire Is hunting system, just on a smaller scale.
After a few more random battles, Ryu and Bosch level up again. Bosch learns Purify, a skill that removes poison. Thats it for now in terms of gameplay.
: Hey, look! The circus is here!
: Bosch, we really dont have time for this.
: Come on, Ryu! You only live once! Lets just take a quick look.
: *Sigh* Just a quick one, then
Music: 14 Crazy Dance
: Lets see whats on offer
: Oh! Gimme a ticket!
: Dammit, Bosch. This is why -I- should be the one taking care of our money.
: No time for this crap, I wanna see the Grassman!
: Oh! Oh! This must be it!
: *Sigh* Honestly, youre like a little kid.
: Feast your eyes upon the one, the only, the Grassman!
The curtain opens, then closes a split second later.
: The Grassman, ladies and gentlemen! The wonder and terror of our time! If you wanna see him again, go back through the line and pay the nice man out front! See you all next time! Youve been wonderful!
: Man, that was lame! We barely even saw the thing! I want my 30 zenny back!
: Okay chuckles, Ill definitely be handling the money from now on. Come on, weve got a pet to find.
: There it is; Mt. Futabi.
: Hmm. Ive heard some strange things about that place
: Same, but money talks louder than rumors. Cmon buddy, lets go.
The party now enters Mt. Futabi. In terms of random encounters Mt. Futabi has a high population of Gunheads floating around, as well as a new monster to fight. Ill be using the same approach as I did in the Breath of Fire I LP and categorizing new enemies as they appear.
These guys are LilGoblins. Theyre right bastards and its really unfortunate that I ran into three of them here. They do around 10 damage with physical attacks and take two hits to kill. In addition, they seem to have frighteningly high critical hit rates. Thankfully they have a tendency to run away after one of their fellows bites the dust. Either way, expect to have to heal a lot of damage after encountering them.
: Eh? Ryu? Did you just say something?
: No. Why?
: Nah. Must just be my mind playing tricks on me.
Inside the cave lies a healing fountain. In another throwback to the first game, these fountains replenish the HP and AP of the entire active party. And its a good thing we found one here, since there are some new enemies that like to hang out inside the mountain.
Mug Spiders, for instance. Their attacks can pack a punch and, worse, they have a special ability that can poison a character. Luckily they tend not to appear in large groups, unlike a certain other enemy in here
The Spotted Leech. Theyre weak and do little damage, but theyre also fast and come in packs. Since they go down in one hit theres not much else to say about them.
Finally, we have the Corpse, Mt. Futabis resident undead enemy. These guys have a gimmick where every one of their attacks either critically hits or misses, which can be a huge pain depending on how much the RNG likes you.
During the next few fights Bosch levels up and learns Protect, a status buff that increases defense.
: Okay, I definitely heard something that time.
: I heard it too. Were clearly being watched lets continue as if we havent noticed.
: Bosch, watch out!
Music: 10 Ill Do It
The first real boss fight of the game is against the three harpy sisters Parreaux, Pijo and Putti. Since its the first boss battle youd expect it to not be too hard, and it isnt the trio will spend the second turn arguing over who gets to eat Ryu and attack each other, making the players job somewhat easier. The three sisters only have physical attacks and will concentrate on Ryu, so its a good idea to have Bosch cast protect on him to beef up his defenses. Parreaux is the strongest, so taking one of her sisters out first is a good idea. With the odds evened the remaining enemies should fall before too long.
: Crap I hope Suzie didnt find her way onto their menu! We better find her fast!
: Cats and dogs, huh? Come to think of it, we never were told what kind of animal Suzie is. Well, whatever lets just press on.
: Hey, this rock is blocking the cave. Alrighty! Lets push it out the way!
: Uh, Bosch
: *Sigh* Lets just go in the cave, Bosch