Part 83: Episode LXXVI: Serge and the Ladders of Terra Tower
Well, it just so happens there is a suitable landing space with convenient side-entrance access into Terra Tower. I'm not sure why we couldn't just fly the damn ship to the summit of the Dragonian citadel and skip all this filler that is coming up... But, I guess it is too late to question it now.
Upon entering the tower's back door, the party is almost immediately bitched out by a giant yellow orb. Get used to seeing these big preachy things. The Dragonians fucking love 'em!
"Any of you jerks know what the heck an 'ochre' is...?"
"Ya got me."
"Any class of natural ears, mixtures of hydrated oxide of iron with various earthy materials, ranging in color from pale yellow to orange and red, and used as pigments."
"Any of you jerks know what the heck an 'ochre' is...?"
Music: Terra Tower
In any case, the orb draws in the party to fight the first of many elementally themed robots. Meet the Terrator: the Earth Guardian. You know what is green, dual wields swords, and murders the shit out of yellow robots in thirty seconds flat...?
That's right! Our pal, Glenn! Terrator does absolutely nothing interesting, so you'll forgive the abrupt battle. It just uses yellow elements and shit. We've seen quite enough of that for a lifetime...
But, we've now found the star level that answers the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. So, at least that was something...
Terrator also coughs up a YellowField element. This will, as the name suggests, instantly turn the Field Effect to the Yellow innate color for all your summoning Golem and ThundaSnake as well as Tech buff needs. Spiffy.
The next room leads to a central chamber that is most certainly breaking at least a dozen safety regulations. I guess the Reptites didn't invent a lizard equivalent of OSHA.
Annoyingly enough, the party has decided not to bother with their usual ability to jump 20+ feet and thus a small three foot gap is enough to cause twenty minutes of circling around the area to circumvent the ruined path. Terrific.
Terra Tower is a fairly lengthy dungeon. Not unlike the last Dragonian ruin we explored, Fort Dragonia. Unlike Fort Dragonia there are...no puzzles or gimmicks or anything to break up the pace of dungeon crawling...
No...it's pretty much just following a 100% linear path fighting enemies the entire time. There's not even any music until about half way through the joint (that music from before stops right after the battle.) Just ambient noise and the sound of running water broken up only by the awful battle theme music when getting into fights...
I mean, the place looks very pretty and all but actually playing it is just a chore. Mostly since it's kind of hard to tell where to go at times and the areas are just choked full of enemies who will make a beeline for Team Serge on sight, forcing us into way too many meaningless battles to pad the length of the journey.
The local flavors of enemy encounters include spooky staff wielding shades...
...small laser firing orbs that said shades will occasionally shit out. Quite literally. They just erupt from its nether regions and start firing lasers. It's bonkers.
There are also winged eggplants. Yeah...I dunno either...
Also, angry, chubby owls. Since the Reptites are all about nature and owls and natural and shit, am I right...?
None of these enemies are the least bit difficult. I have my entire party decked out in Prism Mails and Helmets at this point, so most are lucky to even deal any manner of damage whatsoever and it's a small miracle if anything outside bosses breaks into the triple digits.
Eventually, whilst exploring the coral labyrinth, the party will come across a weak bit of support and go tumbling down to the bottom of a room that took five minutes to cross.
They'll then promptly get swept down a sink hole and unceremoniously drown.
Okay. Maybe they just get pissed out the bottom of Terra Tower instead.
Here, the party has a rather peculiar encounter with one of the denizens of the ancient...alternate future...structure. This is getting kind of hard to keep straight.
"Serge... You finally made it this far... Serge..."
"What was that...? Are ya human?"
"Well, it's a giant talking rock face so I'm guess either 'no or 'not anymore'."
"When I was still human, I was locked up here, and I have been here ever since... This tower is a fortress belonging to the ancient Reptites... A symbol of revenge, brought against mankind by the Dragons... With the defeat of FATE, the seal has been broken and this tower has surfaced... In the eyes of the Dragons, we humans are the foes..."
"So I heard..."
"A brain that has developed abnormally to 3 times the original size in the span of 3 million years... We humans have evolved at an enormous rate because of our contact with Lavos's flame... In a sense, mankind is Lavos's offspring..."
"I don't remember a giant space hedgehog in my family tree..."
"We humans are extraneous to the planet... Now... How will you fight, Serge...?"
"Gonna fight off my urge to take a nap with this boring talk. After that, it's clobberin' time!"
That is basically the only break in monotony for this first half of Terra Tower. After that, it is simply more climbing and fighting...
...followed by even MORE climbing and fighting...
On the way up, Janice's ultimate weapon is found off the beaten trail. So is Sneff's "Pack of Lies" card deck. I'm not sure why Terra Tower is so D-Lister friendly. I'm guessing they ran out of time to deal with the people with unique weapons and just went "fuck it!" and scattered the last bits in this dungeon.
After about twenty minutes of dicking around on coral vines, we finally find ourselves back in the central chamber we began in. Now, things get kind of tricky...
You walk around to the other side and push down not one, but TWO conveniently placed and structurally unsound pillars. And...that's basically the final puzzle of the game. Can you tell they kind of ran out of development time around here?
The background music finally kicks in full time upon entering the next area. It persists non-stop, even in battles, until further notice.
From now on tons of these creepy cherub looking bastards fill the halls. Also, very easy to deal with. Just so long as they don't start eating people...
At the edge of the area is yet another uppity orb that feels compelled to chew out humanity for not recycling and what have you. Didn't the Reptites burn down a village and surrounding forest in Chrono Trigger...? And they lived in the middle of a fucking volcano cluster! Where did this planet loving nonsense come from?!
"Yeah, like I never heard that one before... You lizard guys are terrible at giving speeches. Sheesh."
Next up is the Red element themed robotic centaur. How fire spewing war machine robots are a product of a supposedly peaceful, benign race is beyond me.
Pyrotor likes to cheat and fill the Field Effect quickly by spamming Tablets several times in the row at the start of the battle. But...there's a little hitch in this plan. You know what else is a Red innate friendly subject...?
Glenn and Serge's X-Strike dual tech! Thanks for the big buff, chief. Still would have hit four digits without it. But, the extra few hundred can't hurt.
And another one bites the dust. Only four more to go if the element theme continues.
The pyromaniac machine also drops a RedField. They really want New Game + to be a complete breeze with this stuff, don't they?
Following that whole spiel, the next bit involves...that's right! More fucking climbing! Stairs were an affront to nature, you see...
...Had to open my big mouth.
There is a free Spectral Glove on the way through this clusterfuck of ladders and stair wells. Considering the glove is far and away the largest weapon class for party recruits, that was nice of them to give a free top tier version of it. Terra Tower also has a good 3-4 Rainbow Shells if you've been slacking on that front.
More climbing shit than an Uncharted game later...
Finally, the party finds something interesting in this godawful maze of hippie dinosaur nonsense. Well, something interesting and...
Something...slightly out of place... Does this look familiar to anyone...?
"...Viper Manor!? What's goin' on...?"
<groan> "This...this is gonna be stupid... I can feel it in my bones... Yup... I feel it..."
- The Terrator's Japanese name is "Doll Clay". Sure, why not?
- Olmec the big sad stone face is the remnants of a scrapped playable character. He is possibly supposed to be one of the workers from Chronopolis that was imprisoned during the war between the Dragonians and Future Humans some 10,000 years ago. Evidently, the idea would have been you could go back and recruit him after defeating the Fused Dragon God.
- The Pyrotor's Japanese title was "Doll Magma". See! They're not death machines created by the
totally full of shit peaceful earth lovingReptites. They're just colorful dolls!