Part 5: Ghost storiesNow that Bianca's tagging along, let's take a quick look at her starting stats.
Big agility, bigger intelligence, Bianca has the makings to grow up to be a fine mage. For now, though, she doesn't have any special spells or abilities.
Turned away from checking out Bianca's dad's awesomely gross disease, the kids head out to the mall instead.
: I've been saving up for two months to buy that head band!
: Well, I do have enough that I could buy it for you, but...
: New sticks!
Just about everything here is an upgrade for either Simon or Bianca, and it wouldn't be hard to grind out some cash to get the best of everything. I don't, just because I don't feel like it, and instead just snag Simon that cudgel that caught his eye.
Yes, Simon can use that copper sword there, no matter how much I go on about how he loves sticks. I like to imagine he just swings the sword like a club anyway.
: Hey, what are those guys doing?
: You kids stop that right now!
: Come on cat, let me hear you meow!
: Stop it! The poor thing's scared sick! Give it to me right now!
: Heh, she wants us to hand over the cat! What should we do?
: How about you walk away before I try my new stick out on your head?
: Hah! Thought so!
: Wait, I know! You can have it if you can beat up the ghosts of Lenoire!
: Good one! The cat for the ghosts of Lenoire!
: Uhhh, fine! No problem! Bianca, what are the ghosts of Lenoire?
: It's just a stupid story. There's a bard over at the inn that's been telling it to all the kids.
: But these two could not have children, and so their royal line could not survive. The palace was deserted soon after.
A cloud passes over the sun, casting the whole town in shadow, and the bard plays a creepy tune on his flute.
: The end. Well? Scary story, eh?
: How the heck did you do that thing with the light?
: Bard magic. Anyhow, little boy... the moral of the story is to stay the heck away from the Palace of Lenoire!
: But it's also to keep little boys like you from leaving the town on a whim.
: It's not a whim! We have to go beat up some ghosts so some bullies will give us a cat!
: Points for creativity kid, but no dice.
: I don't know what's on the other side of this wall, but I want it.
: What a cute girl she is! When she grows older, she'll no doubt become a beautiful young lady.
: I don't think you're a healthy role model, ma'am.
: Well, shall we head back to Santa Rosa, then?
: But Dad, there's this cat, and these kids are...
: You can tell me about the kitten on the way back, son. We need to get going before it gets dark.
: Oh, Papas! Don't you dare go home after just a few hours! Why don't you stay over, at least for the night?
: Oh, alright... how can I say no to such good friends!
: Good good... this way please...
: Well, we'd better get to bed, or we'll never wake up before dawn! Goodnight, son...
: But Dad, those kids...!
: I said goodnight! You can say your goodbyes in the morning.
: Bianca? Is that you?
: Good, you're finally up. Well come on then. We have to get moving.
: What? Why? It's the middle of the night! Where are we going?
: Where? To Lenoire, silly! We have to beat up those ghosts and save that poor kitten! The castle of Lenoire is supposed to be all the way North of this city. Come on then!
: Hey, why don't we just steal the kitten while the bullies are asleep?
: That's actually a good idea! Their house is over here, let's go!
: Ah, man! Locks are stupid!
: Guess we have to do it the hard way!
: Shouldn't someone have relieved him for the night watch?
Outside, it's worth running around a bit to give Bianca a chance to catch up in levels.
A couple new monsters out here, nothing special.
: Ow, these kitties scratch pretty hard! How did those bullies catch one?
A bit of grinding later, and Bianca picks up the first offensive spell of the game! Blaze is modest, single-target fire damage. Or it would be if I bothered to go rest up and get Bianca some MP. For now, Simon's doing all the real fighting.
: This is it, the Palace of Lenoire. Let's go beat those ghosts!
: Argh! Locks are so stupid!
: Calm down, jeez.
: I think I see a ladder way over there.
: Ew, someone popped these slimes, they're all flat.
This level, Simon picks up Antidote. It's just as useful as it is in every other RPG (not very.)
After shimmying up the side of the building, Simon and Bianca find an open door in and bravely head inside.
: Well... this is creepy.
: Nowhere to go but forward, I guess!
: I was wrong, THIS is creepy.
: Stop poking it, Simon!
: What's the matter, scared it'll jump up and get us?
: ... Bianca? BIANCA! This isn't funny! Where'd you go?
: Oh jeez. I'd better find her!
: Nope, not in here...
: Or here, either. Oh, hey, yoink!
Wing of Wyvern takes you back to the last town you visited, but can't be used while indoors.
: Uh... what's that noise? I'm not scared of you, ghosts!
: Yuck, that was disgusting!
: Oh, uh, hi Bianca! What took you so long?
: Hey, that's my line! Oh, nevermind... That just really made my skin crawl.
: Come on... let's keep going.
: Who is that?
: It's one of the ghosts! Get her!
Trying to talk to the ghost makes one of the bookshelves move to reveal a staircase down, and then the ghost disappears.
: Umm... OK... I wasn't expecting that. Hey, what's that note she left behind?
: Hey, there she is again!
: Why is she laying down? Do ghosts get sleepy?
: These ghosts aren't angry or scary at all! What's going on here?
The next floor down is pitch black.
: Hey, look up ahead... I wonder what that light is...
Stop chasing after lights!
Surround reduces an enemy's chance to hit. Sometimes helpful against hard hitting foes, but I usually forget to use it before the midgame.
: Oh, hey, some lights that aren't trying to kill us!
This room is straight right as far as you can go, then straight down. Let the bonkbonkbonk noise of walking into a wall be your guide!
: Oh, hey, the other ghost! Hey, where are you going? Come back here!
: I guess there really are evil ghosts in here. OW! Hey, no fair, I haven't even gotten to cast Blaze yet!
: There you are!
: It's so sad! We have to help them, Simon!
: I know. First we have to find that torch he mentioned...
: Here it is!
Although you can only see a few feet around yourself, you can't miss the stairs down. That didn't stop me from forgetting to screenshot them, though!
: What an ugly statue.
: I think it's following us!
: Hey, what's the big idea?
Miniboss! It's not actually hard, I just never bothered to buy new gear or rest up for new magic. Getting knocked out is a quick way back to town, if you don't mind losing half your cash!
: I'm soooo sleepy... Let's rest up for now, okay...?
: What about the ghosts? Dad and I are leaving in the morning!
: We'll think of something. I'll handle it myself if I have to. See you tomorrow. Good night, Simon.
: Oh Simon... I must have Duncan's cold! *sniffle* *sniffle*
: You just stay in bed, Dad. Don't worry about me, I can take care of myself.
: Attaboy, son.
Later that night, Simon and Bianca head out again to deal with the ghosts once and for all!
: You're getting really strong, Bianca!
Decrease is another status effect type spell. This one decreases an enemy's defense, which is super useful. One decrease is easily worth more than a damage spell against any monster that we don't one-shot.
: Rematch, jerk!
Unfortunately, the walking statue doesn't respawn, so we can't farm that defense seed.
: There's the old man ghost again!
: Umm... OK...
: Waaaaah! Ooof!
: Thanks for breaking my fall, Simon! Now where did Mr. Erik go?
: That door just opened up on its own!
: So did that one!
: Yeah, but what's behind this door that didn't open?
: Well, I could use a little rest...
: Wait, what?
Sleeping at this inn heals you normally, but you wake up outside the front door! An old man is staring into the mucky pond.
: C'mon, Bianca, let's walk all the way back AGAIN. Wouldn't have this problem if that stupid door weren't locked.
: Finally! Let's get this over with!
: As a reward... You can be the main course!
A trapdoor opens up before Simon can jump out of the way!
: Damn it.
: These aren't skeletons!
Firebal is like Blaze, but hits a group of enemies.
: Wait a minute, how come you're a higher level than I am now?
: Girls grow up faster than boys do!
Gale is like Firebal, but wind instead of fire. I usually prefer to have Simon just beat things and save his magic for healing.
Passing through the front door from this side unlocks it permanently. This means you can use the cursed inn without having to make the whole trek again!
: Finally! That stupid lock was driving me crazy!
: Listening to you whine about it was driving me crazy!
: Guess I have no choice but to eat you instead!
: Those weren't skeletons!
Names don't get any more appropriate than that! Like most first boss's, he's not really a challenge, just need to keep your HP up. You can usually heal faster than he can hurt you, and casting decrease on him first means he doesn't take long to beat down.
: What? No way! You tried to feed us to a bunch of skeletons!
: THOSE WEREN'T SKELETONS!
: Oh don't say that! Spare me, please!
: Oh, fine. I'm not entirely sure how to kill you, anyway.
Heh heh heh. Thanks! You've got the makings of a fine warrior, little boy...
: Woah, hey, grabby!
: That was so romantic! Don't you think someday you'll be in love like that?
: Eww. No. Girls are gross.
Man, that 'next morning' placard would have been so convenient this whole LP.
: What can we do? We have no choice...
: Damn straight!
: Well, I guess we did promise, and you guys really kicked some ass! So here, the cat's yours!
: Well, let's get going!
: We have to name the kitty, don't we?
Well, thread, you heard the lady! Hurry up and choose one! Bianca knows better than to let the goonmind name her cat something stupid like 'Chairman Meow', so you have to pick one of her suggestions. Voting ends when I feel like playing out the next batch of the game! Vote for Borongo, Puckle, Chirol, or Grolin.