Part 9: Chapter Nine: Dead Rising
: Its gotten rather late all of a sudden.
: It is just me, or does something seem off about that man over there?
: There is no energy in his movement. The stench of grave-dirt rolls off him in waves
: Stand back, everyone. This man is one of the undead.
: The entire village is crawling with them. What could have done this?
: When I first came through here I heard that the Wizard of Karma had tainted the soil and caused the dead to rise. I saw some of them myself, but they did not seem threatening so I chose to press on. I thought that the Wizards death might cause the dead to return to their graves, but
: The soil remains tainted. If I focus I can smell the rot. If left alone it may spread to the surrounding regions.
: Perhaps the village chief will be able to help us.
: Greetings, village chief. We were attempting to gain access to Agua when we noticed Romero was being plagued by the undead. Is there any way we can offer you aid?
: Agua, you say? Interesting. I happen to know some things about that place that might prove useful. Very well; perhaps we can help one another.
: Speak to my wife upstairs for more details on what needs to be done.
: The old crone in the graveyard told me about it, but ever since her husband returned from the dead she denies all knowledge of it.
Zombie husband reveals a hidden passage under the headstone.
: The hole is not deep. We can drop down without injury.
There are two chests here. One contains the WtrJr, the other a mere herb. A ladder to the south drops the party just outside Romero.
: The old man wasnt very specific as to where the cave was.
: He said it was to the west. We should start by heading in that direction, then Ill scout around and see what I can find.
: I see it! It is to the south, surrounded by a small lake.
This is Ease Cave. Ease Cave isnt too complicated the paths leading to treasure chests arent nearly as long or complex as those in Lament Woods. It does bring two new enemies to the table, however.
Meet the Ameblob. Ameblobs have the annoying ability to heal themselves, and they can also cast first level fire spells. They also get smaller and smaller the more you damage them, which is a neat effect.
These fellows here are Mages. They can cast many horrible spells like Blast and Spark, so its important to capitalize on their low defense and floor them before they can dish out the pain.
The first level doesnt have anything interesting to offer, and it doesnt take long to find stairs down to the next level.
Heading straight north loops the party around to the next staircase, but bypasses all the chests. Its no big deal though, since the only accessible ones contain a herb and a T.Drop.
North leads to an upwards staircase and a small room on the floor above with two chests containing a BronzeHT and an Apple. The former is defensive gear that Ryu can equip and the latter is the next step up from Herbs in terms of healing items. South leads to the stairs to the next level.
: The water in here it is saturated with magic. It pulses with life and vigor.
: Lets draw some with the WtrJr and return to Romero.
The party is automatically transported back to Romero, whereupon a cutscene takes place.
: I can feel the energy spreading through the soil.
: The smell of rot and decay is fading too. I do believe weve done it, Ryu.
: Weve done our part. Now its time the chief told us what he knows about Agua.
: You have purified our land and laid the dead to rest once more. As thanks, I will provide you with the means to enter Agua, which has been passed down the line of Romero chiefs for generations.
The other chests contain an assortment of nondescript healing items.
: Thank you, chief. Now we must hurry on to Agua before the Twin Towns become afflicted with drought.
: ! Look! Agua descends!
: I wonder what awaits us inside? Another set of trials, no doubt.
Agua is full of enemies weve already encountered. After a random battle Nina levels up and learns Warp, an incredibly useful spell that lets the party teleport to any previously visited town. Aside from that, this dungeon contains some new features.
: This door is locked. Well have to find another way around.
These locked doors will remain barred to the party until a certain character is recruited.
These floating platforms are also new. They travel in one direction and drop the party off on the other side of sheer drops.
Later dungeons will involve complex puzzles using many of these platforms, but for now its just a simple matter of hopping off on the other side.
: I can hear the air whistling through the cracks in this wall. Ryu, there is a hidden chamber on the other side.
: I dont think I have the strength to break it, though.
Next we have these cracked walls. As with the locked doors, we cant do anything with them until we recruit a future party member.
: We made it to the other side of that door quicker than I expected.
This floors platform puzzle is a bit more complicated but still not too hard. The treasure chest contains a SunHT, which isnt really worth equipping due to its high weight. Ditto for the IronSH, which can also be found on this level.
This chest, on the other hand, contains the ThiefCL, armor for Ryu that increases his defense by ten points. Unlike the other items its actually worth the trade off in Active points.
This floor is similar to the one below, only the chests on it contain a Bracelet and a HairBand, good armor for Nina.
: I can see something glowing over there, on the other side of the pit.
: I feel a strange presence in the air be cautious, everyone.
: A guardian I have read of such creatures. Beware, everyone - such power is not to be trifled with!
Meet the Wisp. Most of the other bosses, aside from perhaps the Knight, havent been too tough overall. Not so with the Wisp, who will crush you into paste if you arent paying attention and will seriously put the hurt on you even if you are. Hes fast and will always attack first, and one of his two basic attacks hits all three party members for quite high damage shieldless Bo will be hit for around 40 damage each time. On the plus side, he doesnt keep going for a bit after you deplete all his HP like all the others before him have done. I got lucky this time and he only used his hit-all attack once towards the end.
And with that, the party receives the KngKey. Next time, Ryu and co. venture east to find the stone robot and foil the Dark Dragons plans once and for all.