Part 26: Episode XXII: In Which Ghost Pirates Are DicksEpisode XXII: In Which Ghost Pirates Are Dicks
"Serge, don't forget to clean out the litter box before you go out..."
"Meow meow meow meow! Meow meow meow meow! Meow meow meow meow meeeeow meow meow meow! Meow meow meow meow meow...meooooooowwww!"
"Arg! Actually, I am in really bad shape financially. I pay money to my ex-wife as part of our divorce settlement, among other bills... I just had no choice but to make you pay for lunch the other day. I'm really sorry."
"In the jungle, the mighty jungle... the lion sleeps tonight!"
"Oh in the jungle, the quiet jungle... the lion sleeps tonight..."
"Ugh... Can't I just dream about tits like a normal teenager...?"
"Be on your guard. There is something going on outside."
Up on the ship's deck...
"What's up with the fog today...? You can't even see the water out there........ I-I-I ain't scared..."
Suddenly, there where ghost pirates. The lone pirate found himself very scared. And then he died...
Back below deck...
"I fear ghost pirates are about."
"What? Ghost pirates are attacking the real pirates? We're in the middle of a [b]pirate war[b]? Is that what you are saying?"
A pirate skeleton bursts through the door...
"Yes, Serge. That would be what I am saying."
"What on earth are you doing?"
"Discovering my bandanna tastes like moldy toilet paper..."
So, the pirate ship is now overrun by skeleton pirates and assorted wraiths. All the creatures present are black innate and none are particularly threatening.
Crossbones attack using the SwordDance attack; which proves to be less of a "dance" and more of a "spastic flailing" of their sword. It hits for a good 50+ HP of damage. But, considering Serge can waste two Crossbones before running dry of his first round of stamina, they are mostly harmless...
The other noteworthy enemie of the dungeon are Dead Beats. Which are basically undead goombas and are roughly as deadly. Okay, I suppose that isn't too particularly noteworthy. But, they do have a special function later on. It is worth mentioning that these little buggers shit out iron like it's no big thing. So, if you have any scrubs that aren't entered into the Metal Age yet, it is a good time to step right up.
Music: Phantom Ship
"Well, padre...you're the priest. I was hoping you had some idea."
"Some say when there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth."
"So, doesn't anyone have any ideas that are not taglines from B-movies?"
The angry privateering ghosts have completely overrun the vessel and the living pirates are doing a fairly piss poor job of fighting them off by themselves.
On top of that, it is apparently past pirate curfew and the only route to the upper deck is under lock and key. Now, annoyingly enough, we need to go track down this key to get out of the death trap of a ship.
This means basically systematically going from room to room, helping each and every pirate and asking whether or not they're on key duty. It is mandatory to talk to everyone before the key actually appears, so no skimpy out on the heroism.
About ten minutes and two floors worth of dead err...undead pirates later...
Of course, the very last set of pirates the party comes across is the ones with the salty dog on key duty. Is there any game that has a ghost ship area that isn't dull as hell...?
Backtracking all the way to the start...
The unlocked passage leads down to the armory. According to one of the pirates, we can work our way to the upper decks by scooting along the catwalks on the outside of the ship from here.
On the outer hull, there is a cowardly pirate hiding out and mixing some brews. I suppose now is as good a time as any to get shitfaced. This guy will offer up a taste of his special sauce to Serge for free. It gives a random chance of completely restoring HP, removing everyone's status ailments...or poisoning Serge.
Just like real booze!
In any case, the highly unsafe and entirely nonsensical path leads the party into the storeroom. And...huh...that overgrown white rat looks kinda familiar.
The little critter plays a game of hide and seek across the area. After six or so times of chasing it down, it will finally stop for a chat.
"Hey, you're that thinger I let out of the lab. I'd expect you to be eating peasants or breeding like crazy or something by now. The heck are you doing in here?"
"I'm a stowaway. I wanted despewately to see de sea. When I woke up, there were monsters all over de pwace! It weally scared me... Anyway, I want to see de world because all my life, I've been wocked up in a wab... Can you bwoaden my view of de world?"
"Sorry, chief. I've been to two different worlds now and there ain't much to see in either."
"Too bad. I've alweady decided to tag awong with you."
Well, gotta catch 'em all, I suppose. At least the unsettling woman/flower hybrid will have something to hang out with now.
In any case, the path around the side scaffolding of the ship eventually leads back to the top deck. There a heated battle between man and ghost is taking place. I guess the real ghost ship wasn't too appreciative of the jerks with a fog machine trying to muscle in on their turf.
The party is thrust into a couple of battles against the spectral horde upon reaching the main deck.
Now is as good a time as any to talk about Pip. Pip is a character with a very unique gimmick. He is basically a blank slate as far as combat development goes. His innate color will change depending on what elements he uses. In addition, the pudgy little thing can evolve to stronger forms with the use of certain aligned elements (toward an eviler slant with red, yellow, and black or an angelic side with green, blue, or white.) So yes, it more or less really is a Pokémon.
Pip's default innate color is white, which is quite useful in this area.
Especially, since his innate alignment carries over to his unique techs. His first of which is pounce. Which, like the name suggests, has him leap into the face of an unsuspecting foe and claw its eyes out. Vicious business.
A couple of err...re-dead ghosts later...
"Cap'n! Look out!"
"Tsk. Puns... The dead simply cannot stand them."
"I must have turned into a zombie when I wasn't looking..."
A fresh batch of wraiths assaults the pirate crew, leaving Serge and company to bail out Captain Freddie Mercury.
We find the good captain getting thoroughly molested by vengeful spirits. Oh well, shame that...
Fargo, in an act of extreme manliness, manages to free himself and punch the ghosts to death. I can see why this guy is in charge.
"Yer name's Serge, eh!? Go take the wheel!"
"Uhh... I think I left my mariner's license back in my sock drawer..."
"No time ta fuss! When I tell ya to do it, YOU DO IT!!"
"I'm countin' on ya!"
"Man yer stations! It's time ta show these monsters what we're made of!!!"
"Serge!!! Keep yer head high! They're comin'!!!"
Another swarm of the skull spider buggers attacks. But, this time they've got a new trick up their sleeves. Or, whatever the spider-skull equivalent of a sleeve might be.
Meet Dead Head, the final boss of our struggles on the high seas. Dead Head, like every enemy during this section, is another black innate creature. But, this one is significantly more annoying than the rest of his brood.
The first order of business should be to use Serge's Dash&Slash ASAP. Even if it means having Serge dip down into negative stamina status.
The reason for this is that Dead Head casts Diminish as its opening attack during the conflict. Diminish is an annoying status effect that temporarily halves all element damage the party can dish out. Yeah, Dead Head is one of those assholish bosses that loves its status effect attacks.
In addition to Diminish, it likes to follow-up with a tech that inflicts the entire party with the Cursed status. Cursed causes reduced attack accuracy and all damage taken drains Stamina.
It also has a lesser version of that attack that will re-inflict anyone with Cursed should they dare cure it. Dead Head also has a handful of other status ailments such as Imbecile (lowers intelligence and thus element effectiveness) and blinding.
Fortunately, the thing wastes so much time giving everyone a runny nose and tossing mud in their eyes that it doesn't spend a whole lot of its turns on the actual offensive. Indeed, I think during the entire battle it maybe decided to actually throw two or three physical attacks into the mix of belching smog and muck.
And so, being the load bearing boss that it is, the ghost ship and its undead horde vanish return to Davy Jones' locker in the abyss.
But, on the plus side the bout of ghostbusting results in yet another level-up. You can never have enough of those!
"You said you were headin' to Fort Dragonia to go after Viper and his men. Let me give ya some advice. Mount Pyre is a fiery hell. Without any protection against fire, you'll lose strength fast."
"How fast are we talking here?"
"Lower Norfair without a Varia Suit fast."
"Although I haven't heard much about him recently. I wonder if that dragon's still alive... Actually... I haven't heard much about the other dragons, either. And those monsters we just beat... What's goin' on nowadays...? I tell ya, even the sea seems ta have changed its nature..."
"I take it the Flying Dutchman out there was a new addition?"
"I never thought I would hear something like this from a pirate."
"In the name of Davy Jones... What have we done...?"
"You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"
<sigh> "Let's just get the hell out of here..."
Do Bizarro World Serges Dream of Zombie Panthers?
Dead Head is a nod to Zombor from Chrono Trigger. Both were undead enemies, battled during a siege, and composed of the merging of several lesser enemies into one entity.