Part 7: Fairy Tales: Rowwwwwr?
: Oh, don't be a wimp, Puckle. Let's go see what's up this magic impossible stairway that the vanishing elf lady made?
: Oh! You came! Hurry, you must meet with Lady Powan!
: Aw, I was kind of hoping for a tour. OK, lead the way.
Bella leads Simon through the small elf village to the throne, which is on top of a ziggurat sort of thing for some reason. Elves, am I right?
: My, what an adorable little warrior...
: She's beautiful!
: A... adorable?! He may not seem powerful, but--
: Hey now, if the elf queen thinks I'm adorable don't screw it up for me!
: No excuses are necessary, Bella... I know all that transpired...
: That's a little creepy, actually...
: Simon... that is your name, yes? You must possess some wonderful sort of power that enables you to see my kind...
: Well, I can heal people with the power of my mind, and I can throw this boomerang really far. Do those count?
: Therefore, Simon, I must ask a favor of you... Will you accept?
: I didn't come all the way to Neverland just to refuse an adventure!
: Our treasure, the Flute of Spring, has been stolen away by some unknown force... Without this flute, we cannot bring Spring into the world...
: It has been pretty cold lately. It's like the middle of April!
: Simon... I beg you... will you return the Flute to us?
: I just said yes, didn't I? I used my out loud voice and everything!
: Oh! You will help us?
: Bella, I don't think I have a crush on your queen anymore.
: Bella... you will accompany him...
: Yes, Lady Powan!
: Simon... I will pray that you successfully reclaim the Flute!
If you haven't noticed that she doesn't have a cool portrait, Bella isn't a main character. She's level 7, and doesn't gain any experience. Although you can control her in combat, you can't use her healing magic outside of combat, which is a pain in the neck. You can't steal her stuff, either.
Yeah, she's pretty irrelevant. Oh, well, an extra fireball here or there never hurt!
Let's ask around and find out if there's any clues where to find this flute. The fairy town is full of fairies that look just like Bella. She doesn't even get her own sprite.
: Master Simon, please, we implore that you listen to Lady Powan's pleas.
Remember, not Bella talking.
: If it continues this way and we are unable to bring about spring, the world will freeze over!
: The vile thieves of the Flute have set up their hideout inside the Ice Mansion.
: At last, a clue!
: A place where fairies, humans, and monsters can live together? What was she thinking?! That's why our treasured Flute was stolen!
: I am shocked and appalled to discover racism among elves!
: Good enough for me! Let's go get that Flute!
The fairy lands are all frosted over. The land isn't very big, and the few mountain ranges in the way are easy to get around. Pretty soon, Simon finds the so-called Ice Mansion.
: It's just a hole in the side of a mountain! Who names these things?
: All right, on the other side of this door is another adventure!
: WHAT? It's not fair! LOCKS ARE SO STUPID!
: Wow, calm down, kid! Let's just get back to town, maybe someone knows how to get through here.
Frustrated, Simon heads back to the fairy town to question the natives.
: She even allows a slime like me to live in this village.
: It may be young, but there's no doubt about it! But how could the Underworld's Assassin, the Killer Panther, ever be tamed by a human...?
: Well, some bullies kicked it a bunch, and then my friend gave it a shiny ribbon. That seemed to do the trick!
: By the way, have you heard about the Dwarves of the Western caves?
: Nope, can't say that I have...
: Well, seems that a long time ago, they discovered a way to make something called the "Thieves' Key" and were banished from the village. If only Lady Powan had been in power... that never would have happened.
: Well, why didn't you just say that in the first place?
: Well, you could sell me that pointy thing there. I bet it'd fit in Puckle's mouth!
: Are you ready to go find that key now, Simon?
: Actually... I'm really tired. I walked all over the island going to that waste of time fake mansion.
: What! If you hadn't started kicking that door until you got winded, you wouldn't be so tired!
: Not listening, Bella! Hey, innkeep! Hook me up!
After a quick nap (in a bed with a clear view of a skeleton taking a bath) Simon wakes up back in his own bed at Sancho's home.
: Don't know what you're talking about, Dad, I was busy on a wild goose chase trying to save some silly fairies. Don't suppose you'd mind saving the Faerie Kingdom for me, would you? They're... kind of annoying...
: Hey! I'm right here!
: What? The Faerie Kingdom is in trouble? Wa ha ha! Sleepy head!
: Yeah, didn't think so. Worth a shot!
The stairway in the basement is still there, and Simon heads back to the Fairy Kingdom.
: NOW can we go get that key?
: I just woke up! Let me warm up a bit first...
Upper increases one ally's defense. Usually not worth Simon's time to cast.
: OK, let's get this dwarf business over with!
There's a sign right inside the cave. Of course, Simon doesn't know how to re
Dammit, woman! dawwblocked. Anyway, the monsters in here aren't worth commenting on, they're just the same stuff we've seen before.
: Dwarves are cool with me raiding their penny jars, right?
: Do you hear something, buddy? Oh, hey, there's people in here! ... Sort of!
: I didn't steal the Flute, I swear! Zaile did it! It was all him!!
: That fool, Zaile... What, was he thinking that I was exiled by Lady Powan? Bah! What an idiot! And then he tries avenging me by stealing the flute! Human... please accept the secrets of the key as my humble apology.
: Sure, that sounds great! ... ... ... Why aren't you giving me any keys?
: The secret of the key has been sealed deep within this cave.
: Of course it has.
: Please, lead Zaile back onto the righteous path for me?
: I wonder what's down this hole?
: Has that question ever been answered with anything good?
: Bones and gunk. Great!
: Heh heh. You here to find out how to make the Thieves' Key? But too bad, I'm gonna find out first, suckers!
: Good luck with that down here, weirdo.
: Ooh, can I have that?
: Ha ha ha no.
: ARGH! Here, too?
: Calm down, calm down. Look, there's something up there.
: It had better not be locked.
: ... Who said that?
: YES! Victory! A ha ha ha! I have the power now! No portal can bar my way! I am unstoppable!
: God, kid, relax!
: See? The stuff isn't even that special.
: Not the point!
Armed with the power of unlocking, Simon heads back to the Ice Mansion. The monsters out here are starting to get a little more interesting, but still nothing that can't be mowed down without paying attention.
Mad plants can cast surround, which can make them slow to take down with melee attacks. But firebal isn't affected... By the same token, Magician's can cast stopspell, but that doesn't stop them from being smacked with a club. Troglodytes summon Healers, big deal.
: Ready, Simon?
: Nope! Let's go see what's over there first!
If you couldn't guess, this is an ice level. You step on ice, you slide. You don't actually slide all the way until you hit a wall, just a few squares, but it does make getting places in here an exercise in indirection.
: Eat it, door!
: Aw, man!
There's nothing interesting down those holes, you just have to climb back up. Down those stairs, on the other hand...
... is a bunch of junk.
These guys can put you to sleep, which can be annoying if they catch you off guard.
: I think I'm getting the hang of this sliding around. Wheee!
: Why couldn't I be the flying kind of fairy?
: Hey pal! You seen an evil guy named Zaile waving a stolen flute around?
: But Powan is a villain that banished my grandpa from the village! If you want this Flute back, you better be prepared to fight for it!
: What's your problem? Don't be such a jerk! HOLY CRAP why does this kid have an axe!?
This... is not the most intimidating boss. He just attacks, and sometimes steals your magic. I think he can heal himself, too, but he didn't last long enough to do it this time.
See? Magic Water, strangely enough, restores your magic. A handy thing to keep on hand in a pinch.
: You know it. Now, listen, you've totally got the wrong idea.
: What? The one who exiled my grandpa from the village wasn't Lady Powan...? But the Snow Queen said...
: Who the f
: Ha ha ha ha... I was a fool to think that I could use a child as a tool to further my ambitions... I should take matters into my own hands... beginning now!
What's this? Unique sprite, gloating, superfluous transformation? Why, I think it's time for Simon's first legitimate boss battle! He grows up so fast
OK, so, the Snow Queen has mostly ice themed powers, obviously. Icebolt hits one person, freezing breath hits the whole party. It doesn't do THAT much damage, so the fact that I don't have any multi-target healing isn't a big deal yet. She can also Heal herself, so you need to be able to hit her hard enough to outpace that. Fortunately, she sometimes wastes a turn catching her breath, so she's clearly a boss fight for little kids. She doesn't have any of the really mean boss moves we'll see later. If you have Bella Decrease her defense and then keep up on healing, the Snow Queen is no problem. If you're dumb like me and don't bother to save Bella's MP, she's a little harder.
But not that much harder.
Healmore.. heals.. more. Still a single target spell, it'll be workhorse healing for a large part of the game.
Also the Snow Queen dropped a Wing of Wyvern, who cares.
: What? The Snow Queen is actually an evil monster?! It seems like I was completely tricked...
: Hey, it happens. Now, about that flute...
: Oh crap!! My grandpa's going to kill me! I gotta get home, quick!
: ... Your grandpa? The one you were trying to avenge just now? You live with him? You didn't think to run this plan by him first?
: Well, this was a total success! Let's hurry back and give Powan back her flute! Hey, I have a Wing of Wyvern that the Snow Queen dropped, this'll save a lot of time!
: No wai...
: Owwww... Oh, right. Indoors.
A quick Heal cures Simon's mild concussion, and he staggers outside before warping back to town. A valuable lesson in ceilings has been learned today!
: Yippee! Spring can finally come!
: So, someone thought to freeze the world over, did they? I just hope that this isn't the calm before the storm...
: Shocked and appalled!
: Simon... you have done very well... With this, I can bring Spring back to the world... I don't even know how to thank you... Ah... let me make you a promise... When you grow older, should you ever have any troubles, do not hesitate to come to these lands. I promise to be of help to you on that day. Do not forget this promise, alright?
: Trust me, I'm not forgetting a thing that happened today.
: Hmm... It seems that we must say our good-byes now...
: Simon... I'll never forget you... take care, okay?
: Was it all just a dream, Puckle?
: ... You're right. Of course it wasn't. That would be dumb.