Part 41: Episode XXXVII: SlamMusic: Dilemma
Note: Thank fuck for some new music finally.
So at last we are in the inexplicably limited access Grand Slam area. We do not actually have to participate in this apparent Iron Man tournament as the Sage of Marbule is dicking around in this very room. But, it's actually the only somewhat fun section to be found on this old tug boat. So let's take a look.
Heading down to the tournament arena...
You know how the guard was going on about how this was a deadly blood sport and there was no guarantee of survival...? Yeah...that was a bit of a misnomer... You see, it's not actually dangerous whatsoever to Lynx and company at all. For you see, the Grand Slam is actually...
A glorified Pokémon tournament! Sure, why not? Entry to the event is free of charge and there are fabulous prizes (note: not actually that fabulous) and possibly a new party member to be garnered from victory in the monster cage match.
Our opponent for this battle of horrific creatures (and the occasionally demi-human) is the reigning champion bunny girl Janice. Take a wild guess whom we'll be picking up for winning this entire thing.
Our available monsters for the tournament are tied to Sprigg's Doppelgang summons. This is pretty much the reason we've been dragging her around to Earth Dragon Isle and Fort Dragonia earlier. For the battles Lynx is allowed to select three monsters to pit against Janice's team of three. We don't actually get to see what Janice is busting out until the fight begins. But her selection is always static and the player can run away to reset the match if they do not like who they picked.
For the first round I'm taking a soul stealing ghost, a lion/bull fire spewing hybrid, and a violent 8-year old's crayon doodle for filler.
The first round pits Lynx's creatures against a Beeba -- primitive tribal rival of the dwarves from Hydra Marsh (go slavery!)
A sentient piece of bubble gum.
And a rival lion-bull beast. Copy
The biggest threat of the fight is the Taurminator as it is built like a brick shithouse and hits like a mach truck. But, there is a trick to easily neutralize the ornery foe:
Wraith's can cast a rather buffed version of Hellsoul with a fairly good chance of hitting. Hellsoul is akin to Death from Final Fantasy and our big brown opponent isn't particularly resilient against the magic strike.
The result: the heavy hitter of the enemy is one-shotted before it even gets a single attack off.
Following that, our own Taurminator can violently rape what remains of Janice's squad for a very, very easy victory.
TotalChaos is just there as cheerleader for the group. What? Monsters need moral support too.
Victory in the first round nets a Stamina Belt accessory which heightens the equipped character's stamina regeneration. Pretty handy.
It's worth mentioning that monsters cannot be reused for each round. Once they've been used, they're out for the rest of the gladiator event no matter if they were slain or not. For the next round I'll be using the goblin with a penis shaped head, a creature from the blue lagoon, and Lynx's body builder cousin.
For the secondary round Janice is retaliating with a googly-eyed bat.
The ever popular golden robot model.
And Fantasy Longshoreman X.
This is probably the hardest of the three rounds. The Spearfisher is fairly resilient and likes to use Blue innate elements that cause the freeze status effect. CatBurgler has a couple of strength buff elements and its role is basically just pounding the shit out of the thing and hoping for the best.
The Cybot is the real problem as it is a goddamn health sponge with a massive 1800 HP under its belt. It kicks like a mule too doing upward of 100-150 HP of damage with its special techs and upward of 50-75 HP with just normal attacks.
The Lagoonate (hey...haven't we seen this...in somewhat less corporeal form...somewhere?) is basically assigned to pounding non-stop on the Cybot. Lagoonate can dish out around 100+ HP of damage with each heavy hit and it is locked into 99% accuracy with each turn. This still means a large amount of time chipping away at the yellow android of doom wall of health. But, it's better than nothing.
The SnibGoblin is pretty much useless offensively and is just left to picking away at the equally useless bat foe. SnibGoblin has been brought to the fight as a support unit. Its element grid is full of healing spells and buffs to back up the other two units as they do all the heavy hitting.
Really, the thing to win this round is to hope you get lucky with the Cybot sticking to physical attacks and not deciding to bust out any techs before the goblin can heal. If you make it through this round, you've pretty much got the tournament in the bag.
Round 2 nets Lynx a Resistance Belt which...well...take a guess...
For the final round I'll be taking my own shiny golden robot, one of the birdmen who were beating up Ziggy forever ago, and one of the three-eyed miners we found beneath Earth Dragon Isle.
For this final leg of the competition, Janice has in her bullpen a skeletal flying bird of some manner.
Her own angry rock star hating birdman.
And a cute little element absorbing critter.
This round is far easier than the last one. The strategy is basically having Cybot beat the shit out of everything.
And having the Fossicker equally kick the living shit out of everything. For a thing with stick legs it puts the burly robot to shame in terms of physical damage. We're talking 100-150 per hit.
The massacre order should go skeleton bird, bird man, and forest critter. The key thing to remember is just never to cast elements on the Cuscus and it'll just sit there idly the entire fight waiting to be murdered.
The grand prize for victory in cruelly forcing animals (and lesser races) to battle to the death is a Dreamer's Scarf. This grants the wearer of the fabulous ability to...begin the battle with one level of their element grid already filled.
"Bitches been served. Word."
Lynx and his entourage are unimpressed with Janice's despair attempt to leave. The bunny girl leaps across the arena and stops them...
"I wanna ask you guys somethin'! Where did you find such super-duper monsters!? I wanna come find some more with you!!!"
"Will you stop bouncing around and yelling?"
"Urgh... Okay... You can keep with the bouncing. Just use an in-door voice..."
What?! A female with weight in the triple digits?! Janice, you fat disgusting whore! (BMI 16.3. She's even more underweight than Kid who is considered "thin")
Alright. Enough dicking around playing Monster Rancher. We've a janitor to catch. The possible Sage of Marbule is out sweeping the outer deck outside the entrance to the Grand Slam.
Being that said sage is a tremendous cock, we're forced to chase him in and out of several hatches until he'll finally stop and talk to us and advance the plot.
"As you can see, I am quite busy. I do not have time for a game of tag."
"You're just walking in circles in and out of the ship to look busy. You're not really doing any work at all! So, you obviously have time to tell us how to get into the Dead Sea."
"The Dead Sea...? Why do you wish to enter the Dead Sea? Do you realize humans have stolen our land along with our legendary treasure? Humans will do anything for profit, no matter what the cost."
"You do realize you're talking to a cat, a bunnygirl, and a clown, right? Clowns are minorities too... Anyway, umm...whiny ass 'oh no humans are mean' talk isn't impressing anyone here."
"We have lost all sense of pride, with no dreams for tomorrow. We just cling to the mercy of humans every day. Why must we demi-humans lend a hand to humans? What will you do if I refuse...?"
"Get your eyesight checked..."
"Dude, I genocided an entire species last week for getting all uppity with me about not advancing the plot. You really want to go down this path...?"
"I see... Then prepare yourselves..."
And so the local janitor sage takes up arms with his trusty broom.
It ends poorly....
Seriously, the fight was over in less than a minute. Hell, I forgot to equip elements on Janice and it wasn't remotely an issue. But hey, it's been a while since a decent level-up. Or at least, it feels like a while being trapped on this godawful ship.
"That might just be a concussion. You should probably get some ice."
"Could it be that you are carrying the burden of fate for the human race, no, for all life-forms...?"
"Actually I just want my body back because being a cat kinda sucks... But, let's roll with that if it'll move things along.
"Then let me give you this... I am sure you will be able to put it to good use. But just remember...opening a new gate also brings forth a new misfortune. Do not forget."
"Doot...do-do...dododot... Hum-hum...huh...? Oh right... Enmity misfortune fate. Sure thing, chief."
The sage hands over to Serge a...fiddler crab... Sure...sure, why not?
"Use that item there. Nature will take over from there."
"I think shaking around a fiddler crab statue at a certain point at a coral reef is just 'magic' and not 'nature'. But, I'll let that slide... Seriously, there's a knot bigger than my fist swelling up on the left side of your face..."
Nikki busts in out of nowhere for more really, really boring chit-chat. The skinny version:
"Nah. Humans are jerks!"
"What if I name drop Irenes?"
"Oh pfft... Why didn't you say so? By the way, let's discuss your dad issues."
"CRAAAAAWWWWLLLLLINNNG IN MY SSSSSSKKKKIIIIINNNN!!!"
"Yeah, great... I gotta mop...while I hum a song... I'm going to be passive-aggressive as possible about teaching you."
The sage wanders off...
"A vicious 3-on-1 beating of a cornered old man with a mop has impressed me. Stop by my quarters, we need to talk."
We can now freely travel over to the Magical Dreamers' ship. On to Nikki's cabin...
Music: Zelbess (Not again! Noooo!)
"Well, now that we're all here, here's my idea."
"Mermaid Rock Opera to save Marbule!"
"That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. You've gotta be out of your mind."
"Nuh-uh. The sage taught me a magic song in the last ten minutes. We can totally save all the demi-humans with the power of ROCK! Or at least we can make the monsters get ripped into this dimension so you can kill them all."
"So...you want to have a rock concert to bring physical form to crazy pan-dimensional monsters so they can actively start attacking people and wreaking havoc in this dimension, eh?"
"Heh... Well, I'm in just to see what a comedy of errors can come of that."
"Rockin'! I knew you'd help."
"I shall gat'er all the demi-hümans on dis ship to pläy backup instruments. It will be difficult för hümans to pläy the pröper nötes för our song..."
"But don't we have to bring this ship over to Marbule? Our ship's chained to the Zelbess, you know? And plus we have a contract with that Fargo guy! We can't just leave...!"
"Yes, I know. I don't intend to go with our ship alone. Wouldn't want to disappoint our fans aboard the Zelbess... The only hurdle left to clear now is how to convince my fath... I mean, Fargo. I'll leave that up to you, Irenes."
"I suggest a full blown mutiny. I've got some pretty decent dirt to rally the troops if you're interested and the price is right..."
"Heh heh heh... I trust you will put on a good 'gig!'"
The rest of the band gets behind the moronic idea and begins setting up for the "gig" and wander off... Irenes stops Lynx before he too leaves...
"We seem to have involved yoü in quite a täsk... If there ist änyt'ing at all I can do, I will be häppy to jöin yoü..."
"Will you stop using umlauts constantly?"
"Then welcome to an official guaranteed benchwarmer position!"
Pfft... If her build wasn't "mermaid" then it would almost certainly be "buttertroll". 115 lbs...? I didn't know we were recruiting puffer fish.
Returning to the casino...
Without the whole cheating mechanism in place (since Fargo apparently cannot muster the effort to replace a handle crank) Sneff is cleaning up at the roulette table to the point he's able to pay off his debt to Fargo and escape his indentured servitude. Good for him. Maybe he'll have enough left over for some dental work.
If we head on over to the backstage performer's room of the bar we can find Sneff saying his goodbyes to the juggler pirates as well as
But, he immediately reconsiders and decides to stay anyway.
He joins the party too. But, to be honest he is one of the very worst characters in the entire game. It seems even he knows nobody is ever going to use him.
And that is all there is to be done aboard the Zelbess. It is going to take a while for Ziggy to set up his rock opera and Fargo just stays in his cabin being a moody asshole with not much care for the imminent demi-human uprising.
Oh well, shame that... At last we're free of this godawful chapter!
Janice Official Art - It must suck to have hands bigger than your entire torso.
Janice Concept Art
Irenes Concept Art