Part 14: Chapter XIII: Back to the BeginningChapter XIII: Back to the Beginning
Challenge: Show off more dragon forms, and don't use Kyrie on the first boss
Yeah, I've got two additional forms, and you'll see both in this update.
Last time, Garr attempted to kill Ken, and it ended disastrously. We pick back up an unspecified amount of time later.
It seems like Garr has gone back to his ways, hunting dragons.
: ... ... Ken? Do you recognize me? I've been looking for you for years... Ever since you vanished from Angel Tower... Then, I heard stories of a dragon appearing in an old mine... Ken......... This is your.........
It doesn't matter what you choose, Garr responds the same way.
: I've killed many of your people... Many dragons... I thought that was my purpose... But... Anyway... Let's get you out of here first, eh?
Garr places a bag on the ground
: Here's your gear... If you want to hear what I have to say, come with me. I shouldn't stay here very long...
Here's our new and (not at all) improved Ken, starting off at the same place he was before, Dauna Mine. Starting off at the same spot is symbolic n' shit.
: If you want to kill me... You have the power and probably the right to do so... But you didn't kill me, even... Even after I tried to kill you... Just like the dragons 400 years ago... If the Brood had fought back... It would be us instead of them that turned into chrysm like this. Why did they let us kill them??? Why did God have us kill the Brood!? I may not have the right to say this... But I want to know the truth... That's why I ask you... I ask you to let me live until then... Thank you... Now, let's get out of this mine
The first part is the exact same place from the intro, just expanded. No encounters yet.
But heading the other way on the platform nets us a Vitamin, a Life Shard, and a Magic Shard. Not bad.
The elevator. Marvel at it's lack of a cord or door
: So... This must be where you were born... The strong Brood aura must have called out to you, eh, Ryu?
: That's right... I called out to him...
This is B1. Still no encounters, but that box has a Light Clothing, a fairly weak armor that's only purpose is that it has a weight of 1, increasing your agility. Following the path takes you to a shop though, in case you need to stock up.
But B2 is the way out, so we head there instead.
Our first new enemy is the Giant Roach. They are harmless unless paired with a Fire Slug (from the Dump, they make a reappearance here). In that case, they use a Skill called Douse that lowers your flame resistance, leaving you a sitting duck to Firebreath. Fortunately, it has a low accuracy but still, take care of them (or better yet the Fireslugs) fast. They can also teach Jump.
And these are Zombie Doctors. When weakened, they cast Vitalize on the whole enemy party, killing each and every one of them. No idea why they're even here.
Here's the puzzle of the day
And here's our prize. We need to hit those switches so Garr can move the cart, have it land in the space, and then let us walk across the top to get the treasure.
So let's shove off.
Here's our prize a unique, missable sword. Stronger than anything we got (unless you bought an incredibly expensive, heavy ass sword in Junk Town. It's wind elemental and has a weight of 1. We equip it immediately for the agility boost.
Did I mention the cart is loaded with explosives? Because sometime between when Garr entered the mine and now, a giant rock materialized, blocking the path.
Bye bye rock!
: ..Ken... Why do you let him live...? Why do you let our enemy live!?.
: A dragon...?
: Can you hear it, Guardian? Can you hear our spilt blood crying out for vengeance!?
Dragon Zombie: Guardian... It's been...what? 400 years? You, who tried to exterminate us... Where are you taking Ryu?
: I...I'm taking Ken to meet our God...
Dragon Zombie: Why? To make a sacrificial offering of the last dragon?
: To learn the truth... To learn if the war we fought 400 years ago was right...
Dragon Zombie: Ha! Ryu...Kill him! Avenge our people's memories!! They destroyed us! The Guardians killed us all! No!? Why not!? Don't you despise him? Don't you hate him?
Dragon Zombie: Silence! You have no right!
And the fight against the Dragon Zombie begins. This is where the game takes off the kid gloves. Dragon Zombie has a whopping 2500 HP. However, if you learned Kyrie from Hondara (or leveled up Garr to the 20's where he learns it on his own), you can OHKO him. We won't be doing that.
This is Rotten Breath. It deals no damage, but poisons the party.
Also, instead of crouching over, Ken now stands tall when getting ready to transform into the first new dragon form of the day.
This is the Wildfire, the Golden Whelp. Your health is reduced to 10% of what human Ken's is, but his defense shoots through the fucking roof. In this battle, using Charge (an attack that does damage based off your defense), it does 400-500 damage. It's more of a novelty than anything. It's made by combining the Miracle + Thorn + Reverse Genes.
This is Bone Dance, DZ's (hey anyone else remember Discovery Zone? Good times) other special attack. It confuses everyone. Other than that, he's got a strong physical attack.
But this is what we'll be using to win this, the Miracle Gene, and I threw the Flame Gene in there too, due to the Zombie being weak to it.
The Miracle Gene is special. It combines all your party members into a massive, mean looking turtle thingie. It's got huge HP, Attack, and Defense, but it's slow as hell. It's absurdly broken...for now.
This is Meteor Strike, the Behemoth's version of a breath attack.
Flame Claw is the name of the game here. As a Behemoth, it'll do around 500-700 damage, making short work of this guy.
Dragon Zombie: Reviled one! Why must you always interfere? Why do you always restrain us!?
The Shadow Gene contains poison and death spells. Not too useful, but it's used in a few special transformations.
: Are you of the Brood...?
: Ken...What was that...? A true dragon... That's what it said, right? What does that mean? Hmmm... You don't know either, eh?
And now we got the Fusion Gene, one of the most fun Genes to play with. Basically, using it creates a cool looking dragon form based on an ally in your party. It acts similarly to how the character is supposed to (IE, while you can create a physically strong Nina, the Nina Dragon will always focus on magic). It doesn't work with Garr, however. It'll just turn you into a basic Whelp. Makes sense if you think about it, the Guardians aren't native to the world AND they're the Brood's enemies.
Also, that woman? She's very similar to a character in Breath of Fire II, leading many to think it's her spirit. And it would make sense, but there's again no proof.
The rest is uneventful. In this room, flip the switch 3 times to get the platform to where you can exit.
Chief: Well now, well now, Mr. Garr... Were you able to get rid of that dragon for us... Huh? Who might that young fella be?
: Don't worry about that... I took care of the dragon for you... It's gone
Chief: Really? That's good news! That dragon... He ran around spitting fire on people... killed some of my men... Destroyed our machines and made a pretty bad mess o' things here...
Ken, whose been shaking his head during that conversation, collapses, overwhelmed by guilt.
Chief: Something wrong?
: He's all right... Just tired
Chief: ...? Anyway, thanks a lot Come on down to the office and get your payment from the boss.
: This may not help... but don't judge yourself too harshly. You're not quite in control of yourself in dragon form. Just try not to think about it...
I'm still waiting on my coffee
That dude in the rocking chair is Gary from the intro. After going to the next house and getting our payment, we exit and make camp.
Ken has a nightmare. And it speaks volumes about his character that his idea of a nightmare is him hurting people.
: Can't sleep, eh?
Ken joins Garr at the fire
: I have to apologize to you, Ken... Not only for trying to kill you, but... I don't know if it's right to take you... To take you like this with me... as I search for God... But...Why did God see it fit to try to destroy the Brood... that's a question whose answer you have a right to know. After leaving the mountain, we'll head east to Wyndia, and then to the eastern lands To Angel Tower...
And there you have it kids. Our goal for this half of the game is to track down God and ask him shit.
I accidentally lied last update. THIS is the last region we'll discover for a while. And here's our new world map music. I prefer the other one, but this one isn't bad.
But first, let's check in on the faeries. Why not?
Cadis proceeds to yell at us for disappearing. Apparently if left alone, faeries die as evidenced by the distinct lack of Elkhair and Mayfly. It's our job to help them prosper. I've got big plans for this place.
This is the screen we'll be operating from. Free faeries are at the top. Each faerie has a set rank at abilities, evidenced by the various colored bars. The longer the bar, the better they are at said job. Red is hunting ability, green is strength for clearing and building, dark blue is merchant ability, and sky blue is intelligence. I got lucky and got one each with red, green, and sky blue maxed out, which is perfect for what you need to start.
Typically, you want 1/3 of your population hunting at all times, and until you have all 8 rooms built, you also want faeries clearing and then building. For now, we set one faerie to hunting, one to clearing, and one to being a culture scholar.
Scholar is the only job open initially. You can choose to have them be a scholar of jobs or culture. Scholar of jobs will have them open up jobs, and culture will raise your culture level.
Culture is a level that goes to 7. Basically the higher it is, the faster your village develops. Development is measured by the amount of battles. Once you get things going, you can check in every 5 battles or so for new stuff, but for now we can get away with doing it every 10 or so.
And if you're willing to put in the time now, you can get some absurdly, incredibly, MASSIVELY broken shit.
Welcome to Syn City. It's everything you expect.
While here, buy some Steel Gauntlets, the Thieves Knife, and a Silver Mail and Rood Spear if you can afford it, but that last one isn't necessary.
This guy only sells this stuff. And that's a coding error. While there IS an item that gives you unlimited Skill Ink usage, this isn't it. Manly Clothes are a Soul Gem in armor form, and only equippable by dudes.
But there's nothing to do here quite yet, so we leave.
Ogre Road is our destination.
Slashers are a palette swap of the Rippers from way back when. They have an attack called Mind Flay, which does physical damage and lowers your intelligence.
And while you're here, slash these bushes for some Horseradish. Trust me on this.
Just south of there, you can climb up a rock outcrop and find this, one of the most broken things in the game. It stops time for everyone in battle, ally and enemy, except the user.
Vagabonds are the other new enemy, and they're the counterpart to Trickers, and often appear together. While Trickers are fast and weak, Vagabonds are strong, slow, and fairly tanky.
As we're about to exit, we hear something and see a shadow darting through the trees.
: Is this the monster? The tiger...?
The Weretiger will wreck your shit if you don't transform. It's incredibly fast and incredibly strong. Use the Miracle Gene and go to town, and eventually it'll escape.
This is Blitz. Blitz makes the user recreate domestic disturbances by throwing various furniture at all enemies in exchange for halving the users HP.
Mount Levett is my least favorite place in the game. It's incredibly short, absolutely NOTHING happens here, and the game makes you pass through the mini dungeon every time you need to pass through. It's the ONLY "road" dungeon that does this.
Blue Goblins are our new enemy here, and they use Jolt. Not too threatening.
And we're back in the Yraal Region. Where all Ken's troubles started.
But we can't pass to Wyndia for now. They're conducting an investigation, so Garr suggests having a look around.
But upon arriving in the village, Garr decides we should sleep in beds tonight. As someone who slept on the floor for 3 months once, I can definitely say that's a wonderful idea. I love camping, but sometimes you just want a bed.
Old woman: McNeil village has problems... there's a wild tiger on the loose, and the mayor's under investigation for wrong-doing... But we're still open for business--gotta make a living, eh?
: A tiger, huh? I wonder if it's the same one that got away from us on Ogre Road?
Old woman: Got away!? You mean you didn't kill it!?
: Should we have...?
Old woman: A few days ago, that tiger showed up, wounded...It ran up into the Cedar Woods, up north of here! I'm not blaming you or anything... But you should stay away from the forest! There's nothing worse than hunting a wounded animal!
: Perhaps we are not to blame...... But would you like us to take care of the tiger for you?
Old woman: Would you? Oh, that would be wonderful! I'll give you a special rate on the room as thanks!
And we get a free room for the night. Killer!
When we wake up, we see Loki in the village. Gotta say, Ken is a fucking saint. At the very least I'd be threatening the guy.
The Cedar Woods description has been changed, reflecting the state of the region.
Ken steels himself, but he's got to face the past.
: You want to go alone? Hmmm... It's my guess you know something about that tiger... In that case, I'll wait for you here.
Ken walks alone, and hears a tiger growling the entire way up. Turning the corner he sees...
The music really makes this scene
: ... ...Ken? Is that you? Was that you... on Ogre Road?
: Doesn't that beat all. I never imagined I'd get beat by you, Ken! I wasn't holding back at all! Still...I mean... It's nice to know you're OK, Ken I mean, I thought...
: On the far end of Ogre Road, there's a black market. The guys who tried to kill us--the ones working with McNeil-- came from there... It took me a while, but I finally tracked them down... I kept an eye on who went in and out of the black market from the road.
: I kept on attacking them... I thought I would avenge you and Teepo, but look how I ended up...
: I feel a little better now... knowing that at least you're alive and well... But I can't stop! Not until I teach those guys not to mess with me... or my family!
And Rei disappears, off to avenge Teepo.
Remember the scene in the cabin on Mount Glaus, where Rei is saying he can't use something but doesn't say what it is? THAT'S what he was talking about.
: What happened to the man-eating tiger? To the village...?
...You know what? I can never bring myself to feel even a little bit bad for Loki here. Fuck him, man.
We go towards the manor to see if Rei came for McNeil. Along the way, Garr starts to piece together everything that happened that put Ken into the path of Balio and Sunder and, ultimately, his life.
: I think I understand now... Why Rei hates these people so much... The mayor's behind all this, right? This may not be for me to say, but... Aren't you interested in getting revenge, Ken? Like Rei? I see... I suppose things would get out of hand if you used your power...
But it seems he's safe.
: Mr. McNeil, you have been found guilty of smuggling... In the name of the King of Wyndia, I hereby arrest you
McNeil: N-n-n-o! You've got it all wrong! It wasn't me! Really!
: We know a thing or two about your friends Balio and Sunder ...the ones who work for the organization you told us about... but they...
: ...are dead... yes?
: Garr? And...Ken!?
: Long time no see... This is the infamous mayor, eh?We might be able to tell you a little something about that organization, but first... I think you should send him off to Wyndia without delay
: All right, Garr. Return to the castle and take Mr. McNeil with you
And the party goes to the nearby cow pasture to catch up.
: Hmmm... the power of the Brood... Ken...
: I don't know what to say...it's all so big...
: I only just realized that while I have fought the dragons for almost 500 years, I still know almost nothing about them... Of course, Ken himself is the one who must be really curious about them... right, Ken?
: I see... Let's concentrate on more urgent matters now, OK? Don't give me that look! What if Syn City is the headquarters of that gang? We should go check it out! No matter how hard we think about it... We're not going to figure anything out about the Brood just standing here! So we should take care of the business at hand-- the investigation! So let's get going! You know how to get to Syn City, right?
And once again, the fact that GARR WORKED DIRECTLY WITH BALIO AND SUNDER is blatantly ignored. Did anyone ever think he might know something useful?
And, as you can see, Nina has matured a lot. She's very much a take charge kinda girl now, thanks to her time with Ken.
: Oh, and by the way-- don't worry about McNeil...No matter how strong that tiger is, he won't be able to break into the castle!
You barely see it, since it's not even half a second, but Rei flits through the trees again, after eavesdropping.
Back on Mount Levett, there's a trapdoor here, containing a Gold Hairpin for Nina. Make sure you get it.
Also in the faerie village, Gwyneth Paltrow's baby was born.
Anyway, back in Syn City...
: That smell...it's blood.
Another great piece of music never played again
Rei has clearly been here, and spared absolutely no one
This guy explains what happened. Rei appeared and demanded to know where the dude in charge was. Rei has gone off the deep end with this.
We also pull a Robin Hood and rob these guys.
: A tiger...it has to be Rei! He must have given up on McNeil and come here...
: He's still trying to make it up to himself. For that time long ago when he couldn't protect Ken.
: But... What's the point in doing that now? Besides, if he kills the boss, how will we be able to interrogate him?
Before entering, make sure Ken has Influence in his Skill list.
Looks like we got here just in time.
Mikba: Aargh! What do you think you're doing!? Do you know who I am?
: I know who you are... You're the don of Syn City--the high and mighty Mikba, right?
Mikba: .........Well, then-- You know what'll happen to you if you mess with me, right? I'll ignore what you've done to Syn City... Just as long as you stop your little game now, OK?
: That's what your men said years ago... when they came to kill us--that our game had gone too far...
Rei slashes at Mikba, drawing blood.
: But unfortunately, I'm still a kid at heart, you see... I just don't know when to quit...
Ken and Nina quickly enter.
: ...Ken...I thought you might show up. If I'd been as strong then as I am now... Maybe I could have saved Teepo... But I never wanted to hurt anyone... That's why I just kept goofing off, playing robber. I was afraid of my own strength...
Mikba does something terrifying. Nina, fortunately, has her eye on him, but keeps quiet for some reason.
For the love of god, don't bring Garr to this fight, no matter what you do. I don't care how underleveled your Nina is, do NOT bring Garr.
Mikba: Afraid to hurt people? You, a man-eating tiger!? Our power's been given to us by God to use as we see fit! Use it to make your life better--like me! Ken, huh? You're the punk who killed Balio and the others, aren't you? Good! I can tie up all the loose ends at once!
And the fight against Mikba begins. Mikba is the biggest roadblock in the game, and the only boss you can't straight up cheese the fuck out of. In addition to his ridiculous defense, he has a high attack power, high reprisal rate, EXTREMELY high Lucky Strike rate, the Quake spell, Resist (no damage for one round, extremely dangerous with his counter/Lucky Strike rate), and Venom Breath. He's a tough fight no matter what you do. Not even dragon transformations will phase him.
That high reprisal and Lucky Strike rate are why Garr is useless here. Nina's agility helps, and one Slow spell lets both her and Rei EX turn Mikba. Ken and Nina are nothing but support this time around.
Step 1, revive Rei.
Once Rei is out of critical health, he'll automatically transform into his Weretiger form, the only thing that will significantly damage Mikba. Weretiger greatly increases Rei's attack, I think it triples it. However, he is under berserk status. It's like Confusion, but it's more focused towards enemies. So while he will go after your allies too, it's not nearly as much as he'll go after Mikba.
Let's fix that.
Influence will make Weretiger attack whoever is selected until the target is dead or the caster is dead or transforms. Amazingly useful for Rei. From here it's just a matter of keeping Rei's health up. Watch out for his Quake spell, too. He tends to cast it when near death.
But eventually we are victorious.
Mikba: Happy now, you freak tiger? This is what your power's for... to get rid of those who get in your way. .........Too bad, but it looks like the people you're looking for...Balio and Sunder... have already been killed by that kid there... (cough)(cough)uhhhhhh
: The Power of the Brood...? You're saying... you used it on them to avenge us... Is that right, Ken? What have I been doing then? Does it mean anything, Ken? Even now, without your help, I probably wouldn't have won... What do you say? Why don't you and I go get them... Go get those fools in McNeil Village who let them do that to us! With your power... We'd kill 'em all in no time, eh!?
: Hold it! In the name of Wyndia, I won't allow you to get away with that!
: I was just kidding... Ever since Ken beat me on Ogre Road... I realized I wouldn't be able to even the score... I thought that if I used my power... changed into a tiger, I'd be stronger than anything else... But in the end... I wasn't even able to control my own power. All I did was just run around attacking things...
: But hurting people is not true power, is it? If that's all the power of the Brood was based upon... I would have had no hesitation in exterminating them
: The Brood fought a war... and almost destroyed the world...Isn't that the power Mikba was talking about?
: Probably... The same power of death and destruction, only on a scale completely beyond yours or his...
: How many times do I have to say it? Ken's not going to destroy the world or anything!
It's nice to see that no matter how much Nina matures, she's still the same old Nina.
: Why is there such power... Such dangerous power in the world?
: Now that the Brood have been destroyed... The only one who can answer that is our God...
: So that's why you want to go meet God? You don't joke around, do you? I've got a few questions of my own! Like why do people like Mikba and me have our powers?
And now we found Rei!
But before leaving, bring Rei inside the guardhouse and pick the lock to the door, to get the Deluxe Rod, the newest fishing rod.
And apparently, Rei never heard anything about Teepo...
So now it's time for a different kinda vote. I don't like referring to it as the "Faerie Village" so come up with a name