Part 5: Chapter Five: Pandoras Tower
: Let us speak with the people here. Perhaps we can discern what exactly it is that troubles them.
: It seems this peaceful town is being troubled by a plague of undeath and the Wizard of Karma is to blame. Let us ascertain the severity of the situation. We wait until nightfall, then see what happens after dark.
: So it is true
: Princess. The situation is far more dangerous than we anticipated. Should we not return to Winlan and request reinforcements?
: No. This may be part of some plot to draw away our defenses. Even if it is not, Zog would certainly not miss an opportunity to strike whilst Winlans garrison is undermanned. I am afraid that it is now even more important that we accomplish this task by ourselves. Let us leave town and press on to Karma.
: Is that ?
: Karma? No. That is Agua, Princess. As far as we know it is sealed and abandoned, and has remained so for many generations. Karma Tower is to the west.
: Through the forest?
: There is a traversable path through Ramui Woods. If we follow it correctly we should reach the tower before long.
Music: 23 Forest
: The woods are so silent
: Stay alert, Princess. Who knows what might be hiding in the shadows of the trees here.
At long last, we encounter a new enemy!
This fellow is the Spider. It deals around 10 damage per attack and has four times as much HP as a P.Bug. Ninas guardians can take him down in short order, but hes likely to get an attack in before going down. Plus they like to come in pairs, or accompanied by P.Bug fodder. If thats not bad enough, they occasionally inflict Poison on your party members. Whilst not nearly as lethal as in, say, Final Fantasy X, poison is still something you want to avoid since it means taking damage or wasting time using an Antdt.
Aside from a new enemy, the forest also has another feature.
: These are mushrooms? Oh, I recognize these from Restorative Flora A Guide to Natural Medicine. Even raw, these mushrooms can be a potent restorative.
: You are well-read, Princess.
: If you say so. I would much rather experience the world firsthand than spend all day cooped up indoors learning about it through books.
Pressing A when standing on these mushrooms recovers the party leaders HP.
: Look, more mushrooms. I shall just take some for later-
: Princess, wait. What are those things half-buried in the grass?
: Hm? Those are oh!
: Human bones, Princess. These mushrooms are poisonous. Best steer clear.
Some of the mushrooms are poisonous and will cause damage, however.
Overall this is a fairly short forest, just a single area with one entrance and one exit. The long trek from Winlan to here means Nina is now level 7, and has gained a luck buff and a strength buff to add to her repertoire of spells.
: I assume this is it.
: Indeed, Princess. Let us proceed with caution there is no telling what manner of vile traps the Wizard has set for intruders.
Music: 14 The Wizard Plots
As with Camlon keep, this dungeon has healing pools. In addition, hunting around and opening chests nets us two M.Drops, which heal the entire party up to full health. The enemy encounters in Karma Tower are recycled from previous areas, along with the newly discovered spider.
: There is running water, and the stairs are free of dust. This place is definitely inhabited. I wonder what lies downstairs?
: This is an abomination. The Wizard of Karma truly is a monster.
: Let us return upstairs, Princess. I believe I saw another path leading upwards to the next floor.
: Princess, be careful. A strange specter lurks ahead.
Meet Morte, the first miniboss of the tower. Hes not too tough, although he does have somewhat high defense. Luckily, Nina can buff her companions up so that they deal around 20 damage per hit, so he goes down without too much trouble.
: I hope that was the only specter the Wizard had in his service.
: Such spirits are often summoned in pairs. We will probably have to face another at some point.
: This tower is a rabbit warren.
: Didnt we come this way earlier?
: We have not come across these holes before, at least.
: It seems this is as far as we can go. What now, Princess?
The correct choice is to go back down the stairs and jump down the right-hand hole. The left-hand hole leads down to the bone-filled room in the basement.
: I feel a ghostly chill from the floor above. I fear we may be close to the second specter.
: There it is!
Meet Mortea, Mortes sibling. Hes exactly the same as his brother, except his defense and attack are significantly higher. Nina should spend all her time buffing and healing whilst the guards attack.
: Ugh that last one was strong.
: An extending bridge?
: It retracted behind us! Is this a trap of some kind?
: I do not think so.
: See? There is a control panel on this side as well.
: Princess! These must be the kidnapped village girls. We should see if they know anything about what lies ahead.
: Indeed! Do you know if it is here or not?
: Excellent! Let us go quickly and retrieve the cure for the Kings poison.
: Princess be careful theres something about the air in here that turns my stomach
: No time to worry about that! Look behind you! We are ambushed!
: We cant let the Wizard use people for his experiments.
: Ah. Ahahaha Oh my. What have we here? Princess Nina herself has come to visit? How wonderful. Just one moment, please
: Ack! Gas!
: It certainly improves the atmosphere of the place dont you think?
: Its the Xeon Gas!
The battle begins with all three party members at 1 HP. Its impossible to win, so I wont bother recording a video of it. The only thing you can do is try to run.
: I cant leave both of you here!
: I shall flense the flesh from your bones, then feed the marrow to my pet monsters!
This time you have to lose. The Wizard uses high-powered ice magic to obliterate the party.
: Now its your turn, fool. Stand still while I gouge out your throat.
: Even if I die here, Winlan will hear of this eventually! And when that happens, theyll send a legion of troops to rescue the Princess!
: An empty threat.
: Now I will complete my experiment, using the princess as my subject.
: We wont let you!
: With such high-quality materials my success is all but assured. Eternal life is finally within my reach!
The injured soldier transforms into a bird and flies off, pursued by several black dragons. Were back to Ryu for the next update, who is no-doubt about to partake in the age old heroic custom of Princess-rescuing.