Part 59: Episode LIII: Lynx and the Black Nightmare of MarbuleEpisode LIII: Lynx and the Black Nightmare of Marbule
Music: Magical Dreamers ~ The Wind, Stars, and Waves
Note: This music plays non-stop (looping from around the 0:30 mark), even in battles, until further notice. Or...about the next twenty minutes in real gameplay time. It gets...a bit old after a while...
"Uggghhh... That was......the stupidest goddamn thing I have ever seen... Urrrggghh...."
The party quietly excuses itself and departs to the boat. Elsewhere...
"What...the hell was that... That wasn't how it went... At all..."
"Oh, Zelbess... Does this song call out to your heart? You taught me this song... For a long time, I've been trying to regain what I've lost, but to no avail... But now... I feel as if the one important thing has finally returned... Thanks to the irreplaceable treasure you left behind."
The music picks up a notch in tune...
"I'm proud o' me boy... Well, one outta two kids ain't bad..."
Back at the boat...
"I'm making amended with me past to power up, boy. Keep quiet!"
"I see... Sure, why not?"
"Her dream is also my dream... Zelbess... I promised never to use this attack again, but there is no avoiding it... Please forgive me... This time, I will protect you!"
And so with the power of BURNING PASSION Fargo regains his ultimate Tech for the upcoming battle. Reasonable enough, I suppose.
Welp, those inter-dimensional beings aren't going to kill themselves...
The party is automatically transported to Marbule...
"I-I-I know they're harmless, but they've grown in numbers!"
"Yeah, some dude on that cruise ship joint did a magic rock opera to bring the monsters into this dimension so we can kill 'em or something. The uhh...less said about it, the better..."
"If these monsters are somebody's bad dream...then...whose...? O-Or what's...? Dream...? Then does that mean that if these monsters die, someone or something will wake up?"
"I bet the dreamer is 10 times as nasty as this nightmare. It's probably some big, huge, gnarly dragon!"
"Uhh... Err... Yeah... Well, I think I'm through with my investigation here... Don't get the wrong idea... It's not that I'm scared or anything! Well, take care."
"Watch out for the ghosts."
"Yeah, dude. What do you think is worst than living nightmares...? Ghost nightmares!"
"Uh...yeah... Of course! Well, gotta go!"
So now all the transparent creatures milling about have been given physical form in this realm and are...err... Well, still just sort of milling about. But, now that they are given flesh and bone there is a new objective for Team Lynx:
Yes, the foul Lagoonates that have been forcefully willed into this world must be wholesale eradicated in order for the slightly less grotesque non-human mutants to return to the land they admitted they just immigrated to in the first place. I am sensing a bit of hypocrisy with this whole set-up. But, maybe I'm imaging things.
Lagoonates are...absolutely pathetic. Especially, with a pair of Blue innates. Their only offensive attack is "Just4Kicks" which is basically a Blue innate Ryu style Hurricane Kick.
At this point in the game it is luck to even damage any of the characters and if it does, it's lucky to break double digits. So, this part of our adventure is pathetically easy. However, there is one nifty trick than can be done here to at least make the tedium of ethnic cleansing a bit profitable. Now, Lagoonates come in groups of two to three and will without fail spam Just4Kicks and maybe some blue innate buffs. This quickly will fill the Field Effect blue in no time flat.
If that's not enough, Fargo has his shiny new Invincible tech. This seems to consist of Fargo rushing the screen...
And slicing several Japanese characters into pieces before doing the same to his foe.
He then joys a drag from his cigar as his enemy falls down dead, since Fargo is just a manly man that gives no fucks like that.
The point is, it's very easy to fill up the field effect and cast the FrogPrince summon if you just slap the thing on Irenes and let the Lagoonates do their thing. Now, a summon may seem like overkill for enemies that do basically no damage. But, there's a very good reason for this. See, if we have Fargo and Lynx soften the targets up then Irenes come in with the kill with FrogPrince:
The monsters will drop Shiny Material. Shiny Dew is a key component in some of the highest level weapons in Chrono Cross and murdering the shit out of enemies with summons is a quick way to produce said material. Doing this in basically every fight here will net in the ballpark of 20+ of this material for very, very little effort.
And hell, when you're done with the slaughter, there's a free inn at the entrance to Marbule to instantly fill-up the Star Level to max. It almost seems like cheating. But, hey. All's fair in love and monster squatter butchering.
And that's about it for Marbule. Basically twenty minutes or so of twelve or so forced battles with enemies well beneath the party's level and the isle of the demi-humans is freed. The only challenge is to remember to un-mute your television set when the Magical Dreamers music goes from somewhat catchy to grating as shit at around the ten minute mark.
Enough dead Lagoonates to supply an entire sushi restaurant chain later...
Upon slaying the final Lagoonate, we receive a notification the dragon god of Marbule has awoken in the other world. Guess whose ass now needs some kicking?
Upon Marbule's cleansing, we'll find the Zelbess has docked on the shores of the island. There really isn't much of a wrap-up for this sidequest other than getting some brief thanks from Ziggy in his dressing room. But, let's board the Zelbess for one more recruit in the ship's seemingly endless cornucopia of new party members...
Heading below deck and into the café area...
"I always get like this after a gig, you know..."
"Yeah... That was uhh... That was a...thing..."
"Pretty sad sight, ain't it? A grown woman, moping around like a little girl."
"I dunno... The view is still pretty good from where I'm standing..."
"I know our gig is just a show, but I do have feelings for him..."
<nods head> "Uh huh... I agree... I see... Seems that way... Really.... Mhh-hh... I know..."
<nods> "Sure... I see... Seems that way... Uh-huh... Wait, what?!"
A back-up dancer in a pop band...? Sure.... Sure, why not? I think she's the first woman to make sense in having such a skinny ass figure.
In any case, we'll now be making the hop over to Another World to deal with our first elementally themed dragon challenge out of six.
Music: Another Marbule
I don't think I ever mentioned Another Marbule up until now. Mostly, because there is no reason to come here storyline wise until now (though it does have a very nice element shop which sells nothing but Trap elements that should be hit up often.) Usually, it's just filled with bigoted demi-humans that hate humans and are just kind of xenophobic jerks. However, they're now all freaking the fuck out at the newly awaken Black Dragon.
Should we visit the town with a team entire of non-humans, this blue fellow will hook us up with yet another atrocious frame never to be used.
Apparently, those pan-dimensional Lagoonate specters were the dreams of laziest of all the dragon gods bleeding into the other world. Now that its dreams have been violently murdered, it's awaken and kind of cranky.
This dragon is unique in that it is pretty easy to avoid fighting it. If you fuck-up the Save Marbule quest (by basically speed running through the first tedious visit to S.S. Zelbess and never recruiting Irenes or seeing all those extra scenes in cat form) or by missing the concert event (if you piss around doing too many sidequests or slaying dragons you can get locked out) then the dragon will never wake up from its slumber. In that case, it'll just roll over and hand over its sacred relic with no fuss. But, you miss out on a level-up star, a free summon, and the chance to steal some top tier equipment. And we don't want that.
"You shall provide some much-needed exercise."
"Can I...can I even make any jokes about a lazy black dragon and not sound racist...?"
"'Tis a fool's gamble matey."
"Figured as much..."
Time for the battle with one of the token Elemental Dragon Gods: The Black Dragon. The Dragon Gods, despite their titles, aren't really all that difficult. They've got the usual set-up: super resistant to elements of their innate (actually, they'll absorb and regain HP from magic elements of the same color) and weak versus the opposite element. They all also, of course, come packing the full arsenal of elements aligned with their color.
Being that this is the Black Dragon, Lynx really isn't too great in the magic department by the dragon cannot really do much offensively to him either. I personally prefer bringing one person of the opposite element and one of neither element.
And by that I mean Fargo. You see, all the Dragon Gods have a very, very useful steal and Fargo is the only person at this point in the game that can nab 'em. The dragons all have "Plates" that can be stolen. Plates are both pretty decent armor in their own right. But, they have one very special attribute: they completely absorb elements of the same color. So the Black Dragon's black plate will just gobble up damage from any black innate enemies. These are, needless to say, very desirable equipment. So expect Fargo to get very experienced in dragon slaying by the end of our quest.
As for the Black Dragon himself, I found his physical attack to be his most damaging ability. He'll hit a single character three times in a row for around 60-90 damage each time. That can add up fairly fast.
He also possesses a stock dragon breath technique that hits everyone for 100+ damage and has a chance to cause blinding. As a rule of thumb, parties ought to stock up on healing items for any and all status effects of whatever element they're doing battle with that day.
The Black Dragon really doesn't like people trying any pesky White innate attacks on it, what with the crippling weakness and all. It'll immediately retaliate with an AntiWhite element to seal all White magic to anyone getting uppity with exploiting its weakness. But, that's not much of a big deal. The best strategy is really to just wail on it with physical strikes and to occasionally cast non-black elements just to break up the Field Effect. This is really just a battle of attrition against the dragon's 3900 HP of energy.
But, soon enough it'll return to the slumber from whence it came and the party will receive its 30th Star Level for their efforts.
Black Dragon is also kind enough to drop a new summon to tool about with as a bonus prize. Isn't that just generous of him?
And with that Lynx receives his first Dragon Relic: the Black Thermos. Alrighty, then...
Miki Techs Demo
Fargo's Level 7 Tech Demo
Miki Official Artwork - Welp, at least we finally have someone to make Kid's outfit look conservative.
Magical Dreamers ~ The Wind, Stars, and Waves