Part 4: Ancient Path to Death
Had a bit of a chat with our fellow competitors last time, alongside quite some creepiness from the resident creep, Piu-Piu. Now is the time to go and get the second ring, presumably for our companion Musiea. And so we find ourselves in this nice looking place, with not such a nice name.
The map is again seemingly useless, although as I mentioned before, with a bit of practice you can learn to read them.
Throughout this whole area we'll be criss-crossing back and forth over this river and the waterfalls. Also I got an item here from a chest, it's a Serum, which replenishes our MP. This has a bit of a limited use because (a) most of the time we'll want to cast a spell in pair with Musiea and (b) Musiea already has a MP Half ability.
Of course, soon we run into our first random battle... with a couple of apes. I decide to do a pair attack, and this will demonstrate some of its benefits. As you may remember, Escher as an "always-on" physical block ability which gives him a chance to block an enemy physical attack.
So when the first enemy tries to attack, this happens.
Even the rate of activation is not that low, because the second enemy's attack suffers the same fate.
More importantly, it earns us the Analyse ability which points out any weaknesses/characteristics that an enemy may have. This is especially useful for boss fights.
In one of the subsequent battles, our repertoire of elemental spells continues to fill out. Needless to say, this is a fire spell.
Even in this area there are still bits of electronics showing through the nature.
Let's not forget the puzzles, though, because soon we reach the first one.
This one is more conventional block moving puzzle. Basically, you can move any block in any free direction. Once moved, the block will travel until it hits an obstacle, or an edge. If it hits you (if you are standing in its path) the whole puzzle resets to the beginning. The remaining number of moves is, as always, in the top left.
Puzzle Solution Video
There are still a number of these corridors...
Here, in one of random battles, we get the Sexy Pose skill. This is passive skill, that when equipped gives us a few % discount at Piu-Piu's shop. I am not even going to say anything about this. The skill is definitely equippable by both male and female party member. In any case, this is only worthwhile until your money earning rate surpasses the spend rate.
Soon after this, it is of course time for the second puzzle.
Puzzle Solution Video
In the next battle we get the Steal Item skill. This is useless. The only seemingly worthwhile items can be stolen from bosses, and even they are pretty worthless (I will cover this later on). You can finish the game without ever needing to use this skill.
Eventually, in one of these tiled corridors, we come across Eluca and Zhamo.
If you want to be a warrior, act like one.
...How can I do that?
There is no big secret to it. You just have to fight without fear of death. That's it.
I would never want to fight someone who could do that.
Thank you for teaching him what it means to be a warrior.
Hey, I didn't do anything like that. And make no mistake. I don't care if you're kids; if I have to fight you, I will kill you.
I wouldn't have it any other way.
You know Escher, you resemble Eluca a little.
Ha ha... That for example.
My country can't afford to lose Zhamo now...
...nor can I.
Getting out of the corridor leads to the midpoint boss of this dungeon; which is apparently a giant turtle with a forest growing on its back. Oookay then.
No better time than now to use the Analyse command. It shows us that the boss has a characteristic of Gale and weakness of Blaze.
Luckily the Cremate spell covers exactly that situation, so...
...this battle won't last long.
The boss can barely touch us now...
..and the end result is inevitable. As expected we get the Tortoise genes. Note: I don't really cover every single gene plate/ability that we get as they are not always that interesting. I will however point out some specific uses of particular abilities that help in defeating the game.
As before, we'll pop out of the dungeon for a bit, primarily to replenish Escher's MP which is still a little bit on the low side.
Here we for some reason find Mana standing alone. Where is Ayuta, I wonder?
I could really think of several other things about this whole place that are considerably more bothersome than that.
My gosh, you're right. I hadn't noticed. Why would they do that?
...Perhaps they don't want us to see outside?
Don't go getting friendly with someone we may end up having to kill!
...It's none of your business who I get friendly with!
Oh well. Let's go see what our favourite creep is doing.
Again this thing about 10,000 years. It would be nice to know what that is all about.
So what can I get for you today? You that know you *have* to buy something before you leave?
Although, if you insist on leaving... you could just leave Musiea behind.
The only thing I care about are money and women, and Musiea is my kind of woman.
Come on, Musiea baby! You are always welcome here!
Ugh. Let's go.
Time to move on to the second half of this dungeon.
It's a bit icy/crystaly (can't really tell).
The path to the left is blocked with some kind of crystal structure...
But if we go round the other way, we reach this overhang with a conspicuous looking boulder on it.
But of course. Pushing this down will destroy the thing blocking the path. So we can now return there.
And there we find our mysterious friends Olgar and Vahti fighting some monsters.
Yeah, you know, a wager.
Whoever kills the monster first, wins. What do you say?
Interesting. Very well, I accept.
And so we are thrust into a standard battle with a couple of monsters.
In fact, I manage to deal the finishing blow on both of them (by using the Cremate spell). Unfortunately, the conversation that follows will always be the same, no matter how well you do in the battle.
Oh yeah, Good to see that this axe isn't the one swinging you around.
(This is bad... I didn't think he'd be this strong...)
Well, don't let it get you down. Here, I'll tell you a little secret.
The reason I was able to kill it so quickly because I already knew its weakness.
Its weakness? How could you know that?
Simple. This is the second time I've fought them.
What... how is that...?
You'll have to figure that out for yourself.
As mysterious as always. Also, annoyingly, this conversation is happening just after we got the Analyse spell and the game here completely ignores its existence. But oh well.
In any case, we can continue past the blockade now...
...and, inevitably, it leads to a puzzle.
I must apologise for the fact that this and the next video are without sound. Unfortunately I had a mishap with the recording software and lost the sound part. Normally I could just replay this part again, but the game only keeps one save, and by that point I had already saved the game again, so I would have had to start from the beginning to record the puzzles with sound.
Puzzle Solution Video
In any case, solving the puzzle leads to another blockade, so we head the other way into a corridor.
And here in a chest we find this.
It is a clothes upgrade for Musiea, and it is slightly better than what she currently has. This happens relatively often that you find weapons/clothes in a dungeon chest better than what Piu-Piu is currently selling and we'll see it at least a few more times.
Soon, it's time for the last puzzle in this dungeon.
Puzzle Solution Video
And then we reach another boulder. We already know what to do.
So we can now pass through the path.
In one of the battles, we learn the Counter skill. This is unfortunately an active skill, so you have to actually cast it and then you will counter the next enemy attack. Not super useful, as you can instead simply attack twice for a similar result. However, there is a similar PASSIVE skill called "Auto-Counter", which is way more useful and which we'll get a bit later.
After that, we finally reach the boss area, but...
Is that... blood?
...Dammit... once I become immortal...
So, you're sick?
Well, don't expect any sympathy from me. It serves you right.
At that time the boss finally decides to appear...
Well, what can you do. Let's fight it.
It's a huge elephant, which uses various kinds of stomps as its main attacks.
But Escher's Trompe L'il is not bad against it.
Eventually it casts a wind spell on us.
Which we counter with expected results.
This is inevitable. Of course, we gain Elephant genes.
*wheeze* *cough* If you want to kill me... now's your chance.
I'll pass. If I killed you now I'd be just as cowardly as you.
Hypocrite. If I were you, I wouldn't hesitate.
...Shut up! I'm not a hypocrite!
Then kill me! You hate me, right?
I said shut up!
I won't do it, I'm not a coward like you!
I guess getting your revenge doesn't mean to you as much as you thought.
And he runs off back to the main area.
Musiea gets her ring, finally. What happens now?
Let's return to the big hall.
There, Agent appears again with ominous words.
So, you know how in TV show previews they sometimes say "In next episode, someone dies"? Well, looks like that's where this is headed too.......