Part 52: Episode XLVII: Lynx and the Dinner with the Master of Hell's Kitchen
Fuck me... I don't wanna go in the sewers... Don't we have all this ridiculous magic in our possession? The only obstacle between getting to Riddel and us is a rusty iron gate and two storm troopers... I mean honestly. We just killed some ageless guardian of a dead future like yesterday... This is just silly.
Before heading down into the grimy depths, let's take a quick pit stop. If we return to ZOAH's quarters in the manor we can pick up his Level 7 Tech from the treasure chest in the back of his room. Unfortunately, he's not quite up to snuff to use it yet. But, that will change very soon.
No use putting it off any longer... Using Norris' gift, the equally rusted and unimposing grates to the sewage system are no obstacle.
Music: Death Volcano
Welcome to the bane of every video game dungeon line-up: the sewer level. So, for whatever puzzling reason, they decided to design this stage like it was something out of a 16-bit game with everything built in nothing but assorted 90 degree angles with the camera straight in front at a high angle. I believe they were trying to make it visually boring as humanly possible.
Upon stepping about ten feet into the sewer, the party is swept into a current and whisked back to the early sewer section we briefly visited back in Home World. Who's up for barrel pushing and switch flipping?!
Another world actually has TWO whole barrels to make a bridge over the gap in the waterway of which a small child could easily mount. This allows the valve to be turned in an upper area.
The party then has to backtrack all the way to the end of the first sewer section, climb upstairs, go up a flight of stairs, down the hall to the kitchen, take the hatch there then navigate the waterway to make it to another valve and turn that.
Then turn more valves, backtrack some more, go down several more waterway corridors to turn another valve. And there are a couple points where you can slip down a water chute and get tossed back to the beginning of the dungeon if you're not careful.
On top of that, the sewer is just full of these pricks. Being that there is nothing but cramp corridors and they make a bee-line for the party on sight, you're basically forced to do battle with nearly every one you come across.
They've not inherently difficult enemies. They just drag battles out for-fucking-ever since they have an absurdly high stamina regeneration, allowing them to attack pretty much every 2-3 actions any party member takes. And since they come in groups of 3-4, that means basically every five seconds one stops to slowly waddle up and stab someone for piss all damage. On top of that, they love to use ice based Blue innate magic that freezes characters, dragging the slow as molasses fights on for even longer.
Fuck these cone headed mongoloids.
Like fifteen to twenty minutes of dull as dishwater gameplay later...
After what feels like forever, the party finally makes it to the end of the place, only to be greeted with an equally uninspired boss fight. It's such a forgettable battle that they do not even bother giving it proper boss battle music.
Meet Roachester from Rochester. It is a big gross bug that does big gross bug things. Mostly involving the little baby buggies hanging out on its back.
JitterBug causes its brood to spaz out and swarm the party for really pretty pathetic damage.
And BugKamikaze does the same thing but to a single character for equally mediocre damage output. It also can claw at people. But, that is barely worth mentioning.
The solution to the fight is to bust out your biggest can of Red innate Raid and go to town. Follow up with a suitable rolled up newspaper and/or burly helmeted bondage gear clad strongman to finish up the job.
Oh well. That was quite the easy level-up coming off the heels of Miguel. Indeed, whose bright idea was it to put the fucking sewer level as the follow-up to probably the best dungeon in the game?
Following the extermination of Roachster, a series of three ladders leading upward are open to the party. The one on the far left leads to an empty cell (one that would be occupied by Glenn, had we not recruited him in this playthrough.) The middle one contains some random guy that will just freak out if we try to barge in. The third one, though...
"I miss the smell o' the sea..."
"Okay... Now, we don't know what is up there... We need to keep cool... Not need to start a ruckus and alert everyone. Got it?"
"LET US BEGIN THE SNEAKING MISSION."
"Sir, there is a something in the way..."
"Crud... Looks like something is up there... Alright, let's double back and try..."
"I HAVE A TACTICAL SOLUTION."
Zoah shakes the shit out grating beneath the cot Fargo is resting on...
"Somethin' down below!?"
Luckily, Fargo is unusually receptive to loud men yelling from beneath his prison cell bed and demanding to enter up his backside.
The bed gets shoved out of the way and the party proceeds up...
"Ugh... I really need to invest in a 'Hi! My name is SERGE!' nametag..."
"JUST CALM DOWN..."
"Arg... How am I to calm down with ya yellin' in me ear?"
"DO YOU REALLY THINK LYNX WOULD BE HERE?"
"He's right before me eyes, ain't he!?"
"THIS IS NOT LYNX. HE IS SERGE ON THE INSIDE."
"Ye be settin' yer self up for a prison rape joke with that claim. But..."
"I kicked your butt and your overgrown parrot's butt to prove myself. Then you cheated like a prick and used knock-out darts on me. THEN I had to save your asses from real ghost pirates."
"Ergh... Quite t-the...tall tale, there...matey... But..."
"Hmm... It is strange that he'd be here... But I'm honored that you come save me. I owe ya one."
"WE ARE HERE TO RESCUE GENERAL VIPER'S DAUGHTER."
"Oh, is that so. Well, you ended up savin' me anyway. Let me help."
"Sure, Cap'n. Happen to have se-"
"DO YOU KNOW WHERE GENERAL VIPER'S DAUGHTER IS?"
"...What beef cake said."
"Aye...! A young lass was taken to the cell next door. That said... Well, how do we get outta here?"
"Where the hell did you get that prison key from...?"
And with that Fargo storms off, beating the shit out of the whole...two guards on duty... Right... Let's see what's happening next door.
Meanwhile, in the torture chamber...
"You are the cook, Orcha! What have you done to him!?"
"We had him eat some Quadffid seeds, found in Hydra Marshes. It has the power to release one's dark side. After that, we just ring a special bell and next thing you know, we have Hell's Cook, Orcha!"
"How horrible... But, why Orcha...?"
"We needed him to steal the Dragon's Tear from Guldove. Of course, his true self has no idea what he has done."
"That sounds like an unnecessarily convoluted plan... Surely the Empire of Porre has...real spies and infiltrators...?"
"Of course! But, does employing standard spies involve corrupting the souls of innocents?!"
For reference, this is the Quadffid. It was the thing blocking the path in Shadow Forest during Ziggy's recruitment back at our first visit to Viper Manor.
Lynx and his crew bust into the room...
"Are you...talking to me...? I'm afraid I cannot do that at the moment..."
"Oh... Meh... I just always wanted to walk into a room and say that..."
"You are... Sir Lynx. But why are you here?"
"Zoah... You do not actually have to tell everyone that... Especially, ass clowns we are going to kick the crap out of anyway... In fact, it's better they DON'T know who I am to leave the element of surprise. Aren't you like...supposed to be some elite soldier? Shouldn't you know this stuff?"
"THIS CONCEPT OF SURPRISE IS UNFAMILIAR TO ME."
"THIS MAN IS NOT LYNX. HE IS S-"
"Zoah?! What did we just discuss?!"
"FORGIVE ME. I GOT EXCITED."
"WE ARE JUST HERE TO TAKE RIDDEL BACK."
"Don'tCHA go interferin' with my cookin'!"
"Actually, you'll make a fine ingredient for my soup! Let's get cookin'!!!"
Our second boss battle of the day is against Hell's Cook Orcha. Despite being the demonic core of all culinary arts, I'd be more afraid of Chef Gordon Ramsay than this push-over.
His move set is limited to whacking people with frying pans for maybe 25-50 damage and very low level Red innate magic that is lucky to break into the second digits.
Maybe he had a few other tricks up his blackface wearing sleeves (had he a shirt), but ZOAH was elbow dropping him to death and Norris shooting him in the face quicker than you can fry an egg.
And another speedy level-up is earned for our troubles. Nothing like a quick and tasty meal.
Upon the possessed, obese chef's speedy defeat, the trained soldiers and their commander all immediately flee in terror. How did Porre conquer the better part of the world, again...?
"Seriously, Zoah... We don't need to tell every piece of cannon fodder my life story. Besides, weren't you under the impression that I was some ghost considering I am dead and buried and all in this world?"
"DO YOU REALLY WANT TO ADD THAT LAYER OF CONFUSION TO PEOPLE ON TOP OF YOUR BODY SWAPPED CONDITION?"
"They saw my gloatin' as a weakness and used me. I need more discipline..."
"I swear...people win just one chili cooking contest and it goes *straight* to their heads."
"I wanna make it up to you. I wantCHA to take me with you. I wanna help..."
"Uhh... Well, I am dead in this world and also had my body swapped with a furry. You mighta heard of my old self? Unleashed a bunch of monsters? Wants to crush humanity or some crap? Serge? Anyway, I'm from another dimension where I am NOT dead. We just came back from a frozen metropolis from the year 2400 that was sent back in time to this era from its place in a dead timeline that was erased by some kids killing a few billion years old evil alien sandspur that was going to cause the apocalypse. Anyway, that place was guarded by my girlfriend from the other dimension's long lost dad and will killed him to gain access to a wormhole between the two worlds so I can get my body back. Also, I met you in a dream forever ago where we were infiltrating that Fort Dragonia place with this Australian thief girl, Kid that I thought I stabbed to death, cuz that is what happened in the dream, but it turned out it was really a body-swapped evil version of me that did it. So, still wanna join?"
And so the first party member we ever saw (alongside Kid and Serge) finally joins as our... 29th recruit...
ZOAH'S TOSS & SPIKE