Part 28: Episode XXIV: In Which There Are Race WarsMusic: Time's Grasslands
Welp, that was surprisingly easy. Serge is back in his home world!
And I suppose that is a wrap. Serge is back home. Lynx can't really do fuck all to Serge from his bizarro dimension. There is no readily apparent threat to the world that needs preventing. There is no real reason to care about the alternate dimension in general. Serge could probably just crawl back into bed and write off the whole adventure as a bad trip...
But, that wouldn't make for much of a game, would it? Oh well, let's soldier on. Nothing has really changed in Arni Village. Indeed, nobody seems to have noticed Serge even vanished. Leena is slightly annoyed Serge bailed on her earlier. As far as she is concerned, he just took off when she was droning on about memories.
I mentioned earlier that I missed a picture frame. It is on the Element merchant's stand and she'll give it up for free upon search. It is awful. Let us never speak of it again.
Before we head off to the next plot thread, let's take a quick trip to Hydra Marsh. The party now can explore it for no readily apparent reason. Well, other than the townsperson at the entrance no longer cares much about public safety anymore.
This is due to the fact the Hydras are now extinct in Home El Nido as well. It seems an enterprising young band of adventurers have murdered the last remaining Hydra and harvested its parts for a quick buck. Which is in stark contrast to the alternate scenario where an enterprising young band of adventurers murder the last remaining Hydra for an antidote cure for an outlaw vagrant.
Supposedly, this has upset the resident dwarf population, causing them to depart the swamp for greener pastures thanks to the coming toxic quagmire it will likely become with no Hydra. I'm sure that won't have any ramifications in the future.
If we return to the dock where we initially met Leena, a kindly old fisherman will sail our party over to Water Dragon Isle for a mere 100G. Considering Serge is swimming in over 50,000+ gold in the old war chest, I think we can swing that.
"But there's something strange... I don't see any of the fairies that usually dance around the pound. Oh, pardon me. There's a small village of fairies on this isle. It should be just beyond this pond. I don't know what brings you to this isle, but it's best to ask the fairies to learn about the place. In the meantime, I'll be 'round here fishing. Just call me if you wanna head back."
So, the idea for this next part is to hop on the unusually sturdy lily pads floating on the surface of the pond and riding them across to the little islands, eventually making our way north. There are a number of minor items scattered about on the west and eastern shores. But, as in Another World, Fairy Village is in the upper part of the region.
Upon reaching the upper end of the pond, the party is greeted by the lovely sight of Fairy Genocide!
"This land is the new home of the dwarves... Humans are not welcome here. Begone with yourselves!!"
So, it seems the murder of the Hydra caused the dwarves to immediately pack up and violently move into the fairy's turf, massacring them all with extreme prejudice because...
"Hi-ho! Why can't you damned human scum just live in harmony with nature?" <snaps fairy's neck>
"Are you shitting me here...?"
The only way to teach jerks committing fantasy genocide is of course to give them a taste of their own medicine. This, of course, calls for a complete purge of the dwarves from the area. Let none of the xeno scum stand!
Dwarves are all yellow innate little bastards that come in three varieties. There are the hardiest standard dwarves which lead the packs. These ones like to use element based attacks and are the toughest of the dwarven brood.
Daggy Dwarves are slightly quicker and more evasive. The also share a fondness for magic based attacks.
And Daffy Dwarves spit when they talk and are always outsmarted by cross dressing rabbits. Also, they prefer physical attacks.
Chrono Cross dwarves also evidently have extremely strong vocal cords and can scream damaging war cries for a decent amount of damage. I imagine it is like a very nasally nerd screech given their huge schnozes.
The rivers of Water Dragon Isle running red with dwarven blood later...
In Home World the entry to the Water Dragon's lair is not barred by ice, allowing passage further into the now dwarven infested inner catacombs of the island.
"Defy me and you will face the consequences!"
"...Breaking a mild sweat?"
Serge and friends are cast into a battle against a huge swarm of dwarves. This is one of two whole mandatory battles of this sequence. We really don't actually have to commit full dwarven eradication but...well fuck dwarves. This dwarf horde is no big deal. It is just an annoying battle for taking so long to complete.
The full company of dwarves can perform the Hi-Ho Chorus attack, which seems to entail the whole lot of them screaming at the top of their lungs. This attack is exceedingly annoying because the animation takes a good 10-15 seconds each time and they'll likely bust it out two or three times before enough are slain to prevent it.
Doubly so due to the fact it does about as much damage that is to be expected of a bunch of short jerks screeching angrily at people. Add to this dwarves have pretty high stamina and like to attack often. Their attack animations last about five seconds as their stubby little legs need to trot up for their ankle-bitter attacks. As a result, this battle takes forever with nothing but minor pecks and no real threats.
Defeating the ill-tuned dwarven chorus nets yet another level-up for the party. Up to an even dozen.
"Seriously...didn't humans just murder the big tough legendary beast protecting your old home...? This should come as such a surprise..."
"Pfft! Details! Minor details!"
"This will not happen a second time! Retreat! Tallruf, Bearduf!"
The surviving dwarves haul ass off the waterfall and take refuge further in the Water Dragon's lair. Aww...that's cute... They think they can escape Serge wiping their species from this world like excrement from a boot.
Several rooms of the wholesale dwarf slaughter later...
"However, there is no way I can allow you to leave here alive. You will pay for not heeding our warnings...with your death!"
"Yeah, cause that worked so soddin' well the last time, shortcake."
"Hi-ho! You'll regret this human."
The dwarves are no longer fucking around and bring in a fucking tank to combat the terrible human invasion...of a whole three people... Hi-ho!
Hi-Ho Tank is undoubtedly the most difficult boss of the game thus far. It hits like a...err...well a tank... It's heavily armored with 1000 HP (the most of any enemy yet.) And it comes packing two supporting dwarves for back-up.
The tank's primary attack is the ElementShot, which will blast off a good 150-175+ HP worth of damage on a single character. The ElementShot has the annoying ability of attacking with the opposite innate color of the character it is targeting, making it extra potent. Two shots from this will kill any unhealed party member at this point in the game, making it highly dangerous.
In addition, the tank can ram into a target for a good 40-60 points of damage. It likes to do this soon after using the Element Shot to finish off a weak target since dwarves are dicks like that.
Lastly, the tank has a strafing turret assault that can hit the entire party for a good 20 HP of damage. Like I said, the dwarves have stopped fucking around.
That all said, the two dwarf helpers should be the first targets for this battle. Primarily, due to the fact the little bastards can repair the Hi-Ho Tank for 100+ HP of damage if it dips into critical levels and we don't need that nonsense on top of an already difficult battle.
All said, the tank itself is very susceptible to green elemental attacks and they should be used whenever possible to whittle down the thing's energy.
The Dwarf Chieftain does his best Die Hard 2 impression upon the destruction of the backbone of the dwarven armored division. Of course, I don't think Bruce Willis gut gutted on shrapnel upon landing. Minor oversight...
The defeat of the metal monstrosity of dwarf engineering gets us lucky star #13.
Music: Departed Souls
"If by 'driven off your land' you mean 'repelled from invading foreign soil' then yea...welcome to exodus, chief."
"Is there no land on this planet where we can live in peace? Oh, Goddess of Fate, why are we dealt such a hand..."
"Yer mob literally just commit ethnic cleansin'. You seriously ain't trying to act sympathetic are ya? I just recovered from me death bed. I really don't wanna get sent back for my eyes rollin' outta my head."
"Are humans really the greatest species on this planet?"
"Been that way since 'round 65,000,000 BC, small fry. I know you folks are a retconned in sub-species and all in this series. But I woulda thought you'd have gotten the memo by now."
"Seriously, pal. You were just smashin' about with a soddin' smog spewing tank. I don't think that thin' popped outta damn turnip patch."
"Silence human. We are the ones dying! It is entirely your fault for having driven us out of our incredibly toxic swamp that was only being held together by a load-bearing monster from turning into an uninhabitable quagmire! Don't you see? You greedy humans and your wrecking of the environment caused us to mercilessly butcher another peaceful race so we could move into their much more vibrant and hospitable land to turn it into our new industrial stronghold. You monsters! Hi-ho!"
"Seriously, you're as sympathetic as the shit I took this morning. Have fun hi-hoing in hell."
And so the
"...Serge. Is it alright?"
"'Serge is it alright?'"
"You do realize there is a trained medical professional next to you, right?"
"Uhh...yeah about that..."
"Oh, right... Duh! Doc, is it gonna be alright?"
"I err... I really couldn't tell you..."
"The hell not?!"
"Well...it is a fairy, dude..."
"I am not trained to handle fairies, fae, or tiny folk in general. It is just a malpractice lawsuit waiting to happen..."
"Ergh... They are...umm..."
<rubs neck> "You see the thing is..."
"I do not feel their presence in the caves anymore..."
"What are you-?!"
"I am sure it is safe outside as well."
"Way to be a dic-"
"I am talking about the dwarves."
"Oh...right... Of course. My mist-"
"What, dude? Did you think I was talking about all the dead fairies? That would be a total buzz kill."
"We need to go further into the cave. It will only be a little while..."
"Oh, sure. Do not mind me... Just bleeding out... No big deal."
"Thanks fer being understandin'."
The party ditches the critically wounded fairy and ventures further into the cavern...
Music: Garden of the Gods
"There is naught to be surprised about. It is but a trifle for we 'Sleeping Dragons,' who hath dwelth upon this land for ages... Mount Pyre, the land thou seeketh is home to the 'Fire Dragon.' Unless thou quench his red blazes, it will prove a difficult journey."
"I was never a fan of sequence breaking anyway."
"But man do people bitch if ya take it out..."
Serge is now bestowed minty fresh breath forever and ever. Such is the power of the dragons and Double-Mint Gum.
The Water Dragon also hooks Serge up with the very first summon of the game: Frog Prince. That was nice of him. We'll check that out later.
Hi-Ho Tank Destruction
Garden of the Gods