Part 36: Chapter Thirty Six: Oracle of the Ages
: Well, were back in Spring. What now?
: First, I want to take a short rest before going onwards.
: Theres a small pond to the east thats supposed to be good for fishing.
: Hmm, perhaps Ill give it a try.
: I like it here. The atmosphere is peaceful and the weather is nice. Maybe Ill come here with my wife once this is over.
: We gotta beat Zog first, big guy. I get the feeling its gonna be a long road yet.
: Yes, youre quite right.
: Whoa! I think I got a big one!
: Wait, thats not a fish! Thats-
: Its a set of armor. It looks ancient.
: Let me see. Th-this is the DragonAR?! But but it cant be!
: Looks pretty real to me, snake lady.
: This makes no sense! Why would the legendary armor worn by the hero himself be lying around in a duck pond?
: Well Im certainly not complaining!
The DragonAR is the second best armor for Ryu. Hes already wearing the best armor in the game, the LifeAR we picked up way back when we first recruited Karn. The DragonAR has five less defense but ten more Active and slightly more magic resistance.
: Anyway how do we reach Scande from here?
: Theres a cave behind the waterfall that leads down towards Carmen and Tock. We came through there as part of our escape route.
: You can just about see the entrance through the water.
: Be careful not to lose your footing and be swept away.
There are random encounters in the cave, but no new monsters to categorize.
: You said you came past Carmen and Tock on your way here, Mogu.
: Thats correct, although I dont really know much about them other than theyre a town and a tower
: Carmen is a free town. The people there are clanless and hold no allegiances to any particular ruler. Tock is a sealed tower near the town nobody has been able to discern its true purpose yet, although the prevailing theory is that it has something to do with the TmKey.
: Wow, you know a lot, Nina.
: Read it in a book once?
: yes. Quite.
: Carmen is to the south of here. From there, Scande lies to the southeast.
: I can see a settlement just ahead of us.
: Lets stop at Carmen and work out how were going to cross into Scande.
: Thats a good idea. Scande is surrounded by high mountains on all sides, and most of the passes will be heavily guarded.
: Something isnt right here. The town is too quiet.
: Hello? Hello! Can you hear me?
: Ryu. Everyone here is frozen, some even in mid-stride.
: Wh-what is going on? No matter what I do, nobody will react!
: No. Look one person still moves.
: Time has stopped?
: Oh, yes sorry. My name is Alan. Carmen is my hometown. Ive been travelling for some time now. I came back to find the village frozen in time. Nobody will move, no matter what I do.
: Frozen in time, huh. And the only key in Zogs possession just happens to be the TmKey.
: Didnt you say that the TmKey was connected to Tock, Nina?
: Thats what I read. It looks like our best option is to go there and investigate.
: Oh, right. Dont mind me Ill stay here and see if theres anything I can do.
: The doors are open.
: The seal was undone recently. Whoever froze Carmens time is probably still in the tower. Most likely its that woman we encountered in Tunlan.
Thus we enter Tock, the next dungeon. And, hey, theres a new enemy waiting for us!
Enter the FireHeads. FireHeads have high defense, which they like to buff even higher with magic, and like to cast high level fire spells like Inferno. Their physical attacks do around 50 damage, but overall theyre not too tough.
Tock contains a unique puzzle element. The glowing arrows will teleport the party two spaces in whichever direction they point, phasing through walls and other obstacles.
What follows is a maze of such arrows.
: Argh, why do these places have to be so complicated?
: Well, it wouldnt do for just anyone to waltz in here and fiddle with devices that control time, would it?
This room is short but contains a G.Tiara (Worthless as armor but sells for a lot) and a GuardSH (Decent shield).
This room is a goddamn maze that makes my head spin, but at least the battle background changes to reflect it. It also has some new enemies.
The D.Rider, for instance. Hes pathetically weak and gives little gold or experience, making me think that his inclusion here is a mistake of some kind.
The Widow is essentially an upgrade of the Spider from way back at the beginning of the game. Not much to say other than that.
There are two chests in here. One contains an AgileHT, an excellent helmet that boosts Active. The other contains a WolfSkin, unique armor for Bo.
: Grr the Dark Dragon woman is up ahead!
: I was wondering when you people would show up. Youre pretty tough if you made it this far.
: Hmph! We crushed two of Zogs top generals when they challenged us! What makes you think youll do any better in a fight?
: You misunderstand. You defeated Mote and Cort in battle, but I have no need to engage you in combat. I dont even need to fight you at all!
: What do you think? I stopped time in the village. This is just the beginning! Soon itll be like this all over the world! Ha!
: But why? Carmen has no strategic value. There is no reason to freeze time there!
: There is reason for me. At long last I can give that cursed place the punishment it deserves!
: That unfrozen man from before is still there.
: What? Someone moved? Thats impossible!
: It cant be
: Whatever! It makes no difference! Be swallowed by the vortex and begone from here!
: Were being sucked in!