Part 4: Chapter Four: Cave Story
: Daytime again. If I keep a steady pace I should reach Winlan just as the sun sets.
: Heading south will take me back to the ruins of Nanai, but whats that up north?
This strange symbol on the ground will be significant later. Like the animals that sometimes appear after random battles, we cant do anything with it now. Speaking of random battles, it is now possible to use the E.Key we recovered from Nanai in battle. It triggers an earthquake that deals exactly 30 damage to every enemy on-screen regardless of defense. It may not sound like much but rest assured that the E.Key is incredibly broken when paired up with another weapon well be finding later on.
: I dont have time to be fooling around here anyway. I have to press on and rescue Sara.
: The ruins of Nanai *Sigh*, I really wish I could have prevented that.
: A cave in the mountains? No time, have to get to Winlan.
: That must be the city. And I made it just after sunset, like I thought I would.
: Wow So they do have wings after all. Oops, better not stare.
Winlan is the biggest town so far. It has multiple tiers as well as a functioning Inn, item shop and weapon shop. It also has windmills, which is just groovy. First lets check out the weapons shop.
The weapons here arent any better than what we currently have, but the ChainML is a great defensive item thats worth every GP, seeing as how it adds 12 defense without taking away any Active. Next up is the item shop, which now has a new feature.
Item storage. It is now possible to store both items and money. Inventory space becomes rather limited late in the game, so this feature can be a godsend depending on how much you want to carry around. Aside from that, the item shop now stocks the Acorn and Charm items, which heal AP and restore status respectively.
: Its a beautiful city, but I cant stay here long. I had better request an audience with the King. That way I can quickly ask for permission to cross the border into the next kingdom over.
: No! If word gets out that the King has been poisoned, our people might panic! Keep this quiet until we can get the Remedy. It may be very difficult to find.
: Show him to one of the guest rooms please, and ask him to stay.
: Dont worry. I can take care of myself.
: Very well.
: Well, the journey was rather tiring. And it is after sunset I suppose its worth losing a day if it means I can see the King.
: Ill just rest here for a moment
: I must do my part to save the King and the country.
: As the heir to the throne, it falls to me to discover a means to restore my father the King to his former health.
We are now in control of Nina. Nina begins at level 5 with very low strength and defense, but lots of intelligence and a variety of magic spells. All of Ninas spells are white magic, including healing spells, buffs, status restoration and anti-undead magic. She is essentially a white mage with wings. Like Ryu, the character of Nina is a staple of the Breath of Fire series. There is a character called Nina in every Breath of Fire game.
Ryus inventory transfers to her, so she has access to all of his healing items and the E.Key.
: Before anything else, I should visit father to see if his condition has worsened.
: Do not say such foolish things, father. You must save your strength. How could this have happened
: So, cowardly Zog now stoops to poisons and trickery, does he? Such craven actions cannot be allowed to stand. But wait if the Wizard of Karma did this, then he may very well have the Remedy for the poison. Hmm
: Now, how to sneak out without alerting the courtiers? Oh, but before then
: I shall just borrow a few things from the treasury. No sense in heading out unprepared.
Gear includes a SuedeHT and a SuedeSH, which raise defense a lot at the cost of smashing Ninas Active down to 2.
: Before I go, I wonder how that young man from before is doing?
: Hmmm Hes talking in his sleep.
: Someones name? A girlfriend?
: Well, it is none of my concern anyway.
: It seems I made it out without being seen. I shall use the moonless night as a cover and pass into Romero via the mountain caves. Then I shall cross over into Karma and give that wizard a right good thumping until he gives me the Remedy!
Before that, I stop off at the weapons shop to upgrade Ninas remaining equipment. The dress she comes equipped with is apparently made out of solid lead, since replacing it boosts her Active up to a massive 21.
: I had better hurry.
: Here is the cave. I will be in Romero in no time.
: Oh, blast.
: Need I remind you that self-defense classes are part of the royal curriculum? I am quite capable of protecting myself.
: Be that as it may, we cannot allow you, the heir, to risk yourself in this manner.
: *Sigh* Very well. But not a word of this to anyone, understand?
: You have our word, Princess.
Our party now expands to three with the inclusion of the two soldiers, imaginatively named Sr-1 and Sr-2. They join at level 8, three levels higher than Nina. Its a good thing they decided to join up, because Nina herself is very weak in direct combat.
The enemies in this area are much the same as they were for the previous two dungeons. Ninas main role here is that of a healer and buffer of her starting spells, one raises defense, another heals damage and another cures any abnormal statuses. When properly supported, Nina can be instrumental in keeping the party alive during combat.
: Do these caves go down very far?
: No, Princess. However, the road through here is somewhat poorly maintained, so be certain to mind your footing.
: Hmm. There is a lot of water down here. It must have been percolating down through the rock for thousands of years.
A chest down here contains the I.Ore, which will come in handy in a certain plot event later on.
: These bridges look to be on the verge of collapse.
: Like my companion said, the road under the mountains has not been properly maintained in some time. And why bother, when adults of our kind can simply transform and fly over? This neglect is probably the cause of the monster infestation as well.
Another B.Stn can be found to the north.
: Theres a slight breeze coming from this staircase, Princess.
: Then we are nearing the end.
: We are definitely getting closer to the surface.
: Ah! Sunlight!
: We have emerged, Princess. Romero is only a short distance westwards.
: Let us hurry onwards. If we tarry too long the King may never recover.
: We have arrived at Romero, but the atmosphere here it seems tense. And why are there so many more men here than women? I have a terrible feeling about this.
And thats the end of todays update. This chapter was mainly setup tomorrows update is where things really start to kick into high gear.