Part 29: Minecartcoaster TycoonOne quick detour before we move on to more important stuff; we finally have enough small medals!
: Thank you, sire! I shall be your loyal knight always!
With this, Pierre is basically ready for the endgame. Like I mentioned before, the Falcon Sword lets the user attack twice. Combined with Bikill, that's basically quadruple damage. The other items are nice and all, but I just can't pass this sword up.
Anyway, back to trying to find the plot. The game is actually really light on direction right now. You're just expected to wander around and look for stuff you couldn't access before.
Places like this tower!
: Could this be that tower that's supposed to reach up to the castle in Heaven?
Erdrick picked up this level just before going in the tower. Identify is pretty redundant, sadly.
: Somehow, I don't think this reaches quite that far...
: What happened here, I wonder?
: It looks like the tower has been torn apart.
: Whatever happened, it was years ago. Oh, hey, treasure!
There's theoretically no limit to how many small medals you can obtain, by the way. Although there's only a finite number in chests and pots, a few monsters drop them randomly. With a lot of farming, you could get everything from the Medal King.
: I already found the Small Medal!
: Uh, no, more fantastic than that.
: This probably isn't what he meant, either.
Day-Night changes the time of day, appropriately enough. It can actually go in either direction, unlike the Lamp of Darkness which only turns day into night.
: Psssst. Daddy! I think there's somebody else here!
: Another treasure hunter, maybe?
Farewell will restore the entire party to full health, even reviving dead characters, and then Simon dies. He's certainly inherited self-sacrificing tendencies from Papas! This spell can actually be very useful in a large boss fight if things go south, so long as you also have some way of getting Simon back.
: Daddy! That guy has wings on his head like the lady back in Granvania!
: He looks so weary, poor man.
: Once, the Zenithian Castle was accessible from the top of this tower... but now... Look!
: I don't see anything.
: Yes, that's my point! The Zenithian Castle has fallen into the bottom of this lake! But if you still wish to go to that palace, take this Magma Staff with you. If you use this, you'll be able to clear out the rocks blocking the cavern.
: Here, sweetie, I'm putting you in charge of manipulating the lifeblood of the earth.
Used in battle, it harms all enemies with fire for no cost. Nice! Even if Lola finds a stronger weapon to wield, she'll still carry this around in her inventory.
: This staircase was snapped like a twig... scary.
: Well, this is the lake by the tower. That sad man said the castle fell in here...
: I don't think that lake is big enough to hold a whole castle!
: It's hard to tell with all this fog, but I don't think there's any castles here.
: Hey, Daddy, remember that lake back by El Heven?
: Well, hello down there.
So, I don't know why exactly, but the Zenithian Castle is all the way on the other side of the world. I wonder if they shuffled a few things in development, and the Tower to Zenithia ended up by the wrong lake. That foggy lake is something completely different, and we'll come back to it a little later.
: Stone! Yield to my will!
: I said yield! Outta the way!
: That's my girl! C'mon, kids, let's go check this cavern out.
: Awfully spacious in here. This cavern looks constructed. A mine, maybe?
: Yep, minecarts. Called it.
: Ooh! Can we ride it? Please, can we?
: I don't see why not!
: Oof! These tracks are in terrible disrepair. You know, when I was slaving in the mines, we kept things much neater.
These are just the same as when her mother could cast them. Handy for some wistful nostalgia, maybe, but we've got better spells now.
: Whoops, wrong way.
Here's the gimmick of the dungeon; you have to flip these switches to change which track the cart will travel along. Once you're on a moving cart, you can't stop it until you reach the end, and a lot of the tracks travel farther than the screen reaches, so there's a lot of stomping around and trial and error. It can take a while, especially if you're trying to find all the treasure.
Yeah, it likes to taunt you by zooming by chests.
I'd like to take a moment to talk about curses in DQ games. Unlike a lot of the RPGs, many cursed items aren't purely bad. Like that cursed armor we gave Sancho; it has a drawback, but if you're willing to accept it it's really strong armor. That makes curseoff more relevant, since there's reasons besides pure accident why you'd ever put on a cursed item.
I think I ended up giving Lola the extra HP. Repeated loading due to technical problems make the events of this dungeon a little hazy...
The minecart paths get increasingly elaborate and difficult to convey in animated gif form. This track that I'm setting up here, for example, defied my efforts to compress down to a decent filesize. So for the sake of your browser, here's a half-sized version!
: Yay! Another staff for my collection!
This staff is actually useless as a weapon, but can be used in battle for a free cast of Healmore!
We also find this randomly dropped by a monster, which is quite a lucky find! It's the second strongest weapon that Lola can wield. Even wielding this, she can still use all the staffs in her inventory for their secondary effect.
: Hey! Hey mister! Are you OK?
: Do you need some help!
: I don't think he can hear us over the noise of the cart. We'd better stop that thing.
: You can do it, Dad! You're stronger than a rusty ol' lever!
: Well, there he goes, anyway. Look out, kids!
: Gee, are you OK, mister?
: You see, I kinda just got on this thing and the next thing I knew 20 years had passed! Ha ha, can you imagine!
: Ha ha... silly me!
: I really wouldn't know. What's a Zenithian supposed to look like?
: Oh, you know, wings, funny hats, that sort of thing! Anyway! From what I can tell, you seem to be heading to the Zenithian Castle yourselves!
: Well, that was the plan, but I don't see how an old mineshaft could lead to the bottom of the lake...
: Perfect! I'll go with you!
: Um. Sure... Can you fight?
: Not in the slightest! Off we go!
: Well then, shall we?
: We're going, we're going! Settle down!
: I can smell water... I think this must be the last of these tracks.
: Of course! I'm sure this will take us right to the castle!
: ... Well, I'm not exactly sure how, but it's not like there's any other way to go...
: Oh shhhhhhiiiiii
: Yay! SPLASH!
: There is no reason why that should have worked.
: Actually, this is a lot less full than I was expecting.
: But I wonder what caused the castle to fall from the heavens...
: This place is eerie...
: I think it's magic, though!
: Yeah, I can sense something protecting this place.
: Mmm. So can I. That would explain the lack of monsters and drowning...
: Oh, I almost forgot! There's a hidden staircase behind the throne...
: Pfff. Hidden staircase. Please.
: That feeling of protection is getting stronger.
: Not strong enough, though! Something's very wrong!
: Daddy, this orb reminds me of that tired man on the tower...
: It looks... lonely...
: All I know is that's an awfully yellow shade of silver.
: The Golden Orb! It was supposed to be right here... but now it's gone!
You'll have to take his word for that, he runs right in and puts his text box directly over the empty pedestal.
You'll have to take his word on this hole, too...
: This... the hole that was said to be opened when an ancient soul of evil awoke, long ago... So... the Golden Orb must have fallen through that hole and dissappeared...
Monsters climbed up from under the divine castle and stole the source of incredible power. And now you know where Thor stole its opening scene.
: And the remaining orb could not keep the castle afloat...!
Thank you for moving so we can see the scene, Pusan.
: But where could the Golden Orb have disappeared to... Luckily, a faint trace of the Orb's aura still remains on the altar... I will use the aura to meditate on the location of the Orb.
: ... I'm feeling a strange sense of foreboding...
Screenshots don't do this scene justice. Click here for the video.
: Daddy? Was that Grampa Papas?
: That means... The palace will never float again!
: Who cares! You made Daddy cry, you jerk!
: Erdrick, no. ... So. Another thing that Gema has to account for.
: According to legend, the ancestors of the Fairies were said to have created the Two Orbs. Perhaps if you ask the Faerie Queen, she can once again create these Orbs. Somewhere in the world, there is said to be a forest that can take you to the Faerie Village. I shall wait here. I'm counting on you Simon!
: You can't be more specific than that?
: Gee, Dad, I thought you were bestest friends with the Faerie Queen?
: Shush, boy.