Part 27: Chapter XXVII: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Plot BombsAs implied by the title, the next few updates are going to have a whole lot of dialogue and due to being near the end of the Act so strap yourselves in. For those of you who have played ahead, please mind the no spoiler policy.
Inside the Shrine we get three new enemies, the first being the Demon. It gets a lot of critical hits and casts Death on the party, and Death in this game actually has a surprisingly high chance of hitting. Take them out quick-like.
And here we have an infamous enemy, the Bot. Bots have a quirk that you can exploit in order to pump their EXP reward to utterly absurd levels (65535 experience EACH) relatively easily. While the most efficient method requires a piece of equipment and a few moves we can't get until Act III, I'll showcase the basic idea.
Step one: hit them with a water-based attack.
They're now burst open and disabled, allowing you to heal the damage you've deal to them until they repair themselves a few turns after bursting, which lets you hit them with water again. Bursting a Bot doubles its experience, and it stacks. You can see how this can be exploited by now, right?
That's a LOT of experience for this point in the game for three weak enemies, and that was with just one go-round. This is the best spot in the entire game to grind, at least until the point where you kill the Bots instantly during the routine, but at that point you should have more than enough EXP to handle most things.
So, through the ruins, we find this room with two levels.
This is a consumable item that increases defense.
Hopping across the room we come to a dead end. Great.
So now we have to go down, press the button, and go back up while the pillars are raised. The time limit is actually incredibly strict here, so you don't have time to screw around.
In a battle on the way, though, Cray gets Stone Pillar at last. Now Ershin doesn't have to do his role in all the strong combos.
Oh yeah, the worst part? If you want the items below (including a very nice ring) you have to wait for the pillars to fall then repeat the process.
At least we find a new enemy on the way, Protobot. Protobots are like Bots only with a trick up their sleeves if you try using a combo attack on them.
It's secretly a kamikaze robot.
And now Scias knows the secret and ancient art of blowing yourself the fuck up. Sacrifice kills the user and lowers the enemy's HP to one. Extremely useful, but I don't think it works on bosses.
So now we're past that stupid pillar thing and on the home stretch. Let's go topside. By the way, you might want to leave a few spots on Ryu's skill list blank for this next bit.
: "This is where The Endless are summoned. It's permeated with a powerful aura...I can feel it...countless gods...dragons. I bet we'll be able to speak to the dragons here. Don't worry - it's not too hard. Remember how you freed me from that armor? It's just like that. All right, here we go. Close your eyes..."
: "What is this!? I feel a presence...'tis like unto one of the Endless. Doth it mean the time hath come?"
A brief walk later and we find Mami once more.
: "Is something amiss?"
: "Looks like it might be makin' ready t' blow..."
: "It means the god o' the mountain's angry at somethin'."
: "A-yuh. They say there be a god livin' inside the mountain, an' that if he gets angry, there'll be a horrible disaster...at leas', that's wha' the stories say."
Fou-Lu stands quietly for a moment, then begins walking up the path.
Pic-a-nic basket jokes punishable by being sacrificed to the volcano god.
I feel sorry for it already.
So Mt. Yogy really, really sucks for Fou-Lu. There's a very real chance of dying here even before the inevitable boss fight. Fou-Lu, you see, is weak to fire. This is a freaking volcano. You can imagine the sorts of monsters that live here. Since Fou-Lu has no way to heal himself beyond Rest (which IS on Ryu, right?) and healing items that are few and far between, it can get pretty ugly. The saving grace is that Fou-Lu can still steamroll over most enemies with physical attacks or skills he has from Ryu.
Cairns are weird little things. They escape within three turns if you don't use earth magic on them, and if you do, their EXP doubles and they turn into hellishly powerful magic users. Fou-Lu can just slice at them a bit and note how crazy their defense is.
Black Goos are bastards. They throw Flare and Death at Fou-Lu like nobody's business, and if you try to turn into Astral to even the odds, they get even nastier.
They throw a move called Ebonfire at you that's purely non-elemental magic damage, which means no resistance will stop it. Very handy to have, very nasty to face. Oh yeah, by the way, this is why I said to have Ryu's skill slots open. Mt. Yogy is an opportunity to get a ton of moves way earlier than you should.
You'll likely end up using most of these by the end of Mt. Yogy.
Another reason Black Goos are bastards is that they use Timed Blow when they're low on health, meaning that they kill themselves (denying you EXP) and dealing damage to their target equal to the health they had left (which is usually a lot.) Nice move to have though.
Blitz is another move to get here, which takes off a quarter of your health and deals a ton of damage to all enemies on the field.
Alright, we're in the last chamber, let's see what's in here.
Well what the fuck.
The big stone...thing wakes up and roars down at Fou-Lu.
Oh good God, it's a battle of the goofy speech patterns. All it needs is Ershin and we could get a full-fledged rap battle going.
: "Thou art not a god. Thou are but a mere shadow, something that hath drunk of the dregs of the power of gods and believe that doing so maketh you a god yourself. Thou hast been affected by our and the others' power, that is all."
: "Me not understand puny man. Puny man talk funny. Does this puny man think me stupid?"
: "Perhaps...perhaps the word needeth not gods? What sayest thou?"
: "Puny man not making sense. Me not understand puny man. Me kill puny man."
Boss Video XIII: Marl
This took me like 6 tries.
The earth shakes, then all is still.
: "The Endless are summoned to this sphere...this changeth the very balance of Nature herself, flooding the world with energies both powerful and dangerous, and doth cause those beings easily influenced by it to think themselves gods..."
: "What, then, do mortals thinketh?"
Heading outside, praying that an enemy doesn't kill us....
Oh hey, it's Mami and Douche.
: "What did you do!? What'd you do to t'god o' the mountain!? Normal folks don't be going around, doing stuff like that...who are ya? No...WHAT are ya?"
Ladies and gentlemen, the dragons.
: "You're the dragons that watch over this world, right?"
: "Indeed, young dragon. Thou hath already met us. I...am P'ung Ryong, The Wind Dragon."
: "As you probably already know, I called you here so we could talk about Ryu here."
This is Ni Ryong, the Mud Dragon. We've met once already back at the dam.
: "As you know, Ryu is incomplete. I'd like you to share your power with him...if he is able to gain the powers of the ancient dragons, then maybe Ryu can become whole."
: "Whilst we do not seek to see thee fail in thine endeavor, Deis...know this, thou who art without form of thine own...
This is Sa Ryong, the Sand Dragon. Also known as the asshole who crashed the sandflier at the start of the game.
: "As thou art aware, the other half of the Yorae Dragon be the First Emperor of the Fou Empire, Fou-Lu."
This is Ch'o Ryong, the Grass Dragon. Gender unclear.
This is the Rock Dragon, also known as The Nameless One. Sadly no relation to The Nameless One from Planescape: Torment. Or is there?
: "Ryu shall become complete...by joining with Fou-Lu shall he do so. This destiny he cannot escape."
: "What do you mean he can't escape it!? We don't want him to join with his other half! That's why we called you - to help us prevent that from happening!"
: "Um...this might be a stupid question, but...why do you want to prevent Ryu from meeting the Emperor? Is it really that bad?"
: "You remember what the Abbess in Chek told you about the 'pillars of light' and all, right? Think about it for a second. Here, we've got Ryu - just born and fresh out of the gate. On the other hand, we've got Fou-Lu, who built the Empire and has been alive for centuries. Who light do you think is bigger? Is stronger?"
: "You mean...if they merge, Ryu will be...be swallowed up by Fou-Lu and disappear?"
: "Hear us, Deis. We who watcheth over this sphere must e'er strive to maintain a position of neutrality. It matters not which becometh a god, does it not?"
: "It matters a lot to me! Once he becomes a full god, I need Ryu to send me back to where I came from!"
: "Thou wouldst use a god's power for thine own benefit?"
: "And how are the people in this world any different!? They yank us from our worlds and make us into their gods! They make us work for their benefit!"
There's a puff of smoke and Deis's illusion disappears, showing Rhem once more.
: "In this borrowed body, forever!?"
There's an awkward silence among the dragons, and an awkward update end on my part. I apologize, but the next part...well, it kind of needs its own update.