Part 30: A small favor for LudmanOnce again, we have a vague goal, but no real directions on how to go about it. Still, Simon found the fairy village once before, how hard can it be to find it again?
Actually, I know perfectly well where to go, but there's a few little side tasks I want to round up.
: Hey, kids, this is where your mother and I were married! I wonder how the Ludmans are doing... Well, there's Mr. Ludman now!
: If something out of the ordinary happens, report to me at once!
The soldier leaves the city, and Ludman heads back home, too preoccupied to notice Simon just down the street.
: Maybe he doesn't remember you, Daddy.
: There must be something serious going on. Want to help out a strange man, kids?
: Aah, God has truly been watching over you, hasn't he?
: Well, maybe God is watching, but he still blinks from time to time.
: Simon... Please... lend us your strength... Since a few days ago, my husband has been acting odd... it happened after he spoke to that traveling merchant... But he won't tell me a thing... and I'm so very worried about him...
: Don't worry, Mrs. Ludman. I'm sure he'll tell me what's wrong.
: We have ways of making him talk!
: He's standing right in front of you, yes.
: No... we must save our superficial stories for later... For now, will you please hear out my plea?
: Jeez, it sounds urgent. What have you gotten into, old man?
: To the North of this city, on a small island to the West of a mountain village... Upon the mountain village's Western isle, there is a small shrine.
: What is it?
: No one has ever given me such clear directions before. Can I hug you?
: Ah! No, wait, crisis first!
: I need you to see what color that jar is...
: And then bring it back?
: No, just leave it there.
: Should we break it?
: No! Just check the color! I know it's an odd request, but please, I beg you to carry it out. If the jar in the shrine on the small island Northwest of here glows red, hurry and return here! I just hope that it's some sort of mistake... if not...
: I think Mr. Ludman might be losing his mind. If crazy runs in the family, you kids dodged a bullet.
: "When the jar glows red, then a most vile creature has returned..." He said it when he was reading through an old diary he discovered... Master Simon... Please... please help out the Old Master...
: Daddy? Why are you just standing there?
: They're older. I... it didn't hit me before. Eight years, gone... I should be as old as they are.
: Don't be silly, Daddy! You're exactly the right age!
: It's really you, Simon! It's been so long now... God, we've talked about you so much these past years. Who's we, you ask? Let me introduce you, then. This is my wife, Flora!
: Thanks to you, we were able to get married... I've been living happily with Andy ever since... *blush* But to tell the truth... there is one thing that troubles us...
: You see... Lately, Flora's father has been acting very strangely! He's always restless and sometimes I swear he'll just start shivering!
: I implore you! Perhaps to you, my father will open up his heart...
: We already talked to him. I'm not sure I understand what he was talking about, but we're going to get to the bottom of this, I promise.
: Please, I beg you! Listen to Master Ludman's worries... please help him...
: Oh, so you're the one that started all of this!
: Hey, it was like that when I found it! So I went and told Master Ludman, but he just told me I was out of my mind! Got right pale though... I wonder if I said something wrong...
The shrine isn't far away at all. Honestly, it's pretty hilarious that THIS is the one time the game holds your hand and gives you super specific directions to a place you've probably already visited when you first got the ship.
Granted, without the Magic Key, you couldn't have gotten in, and you might have forgotten this was here.
: Don't think I've forgotten you, door. You can't keep me out any longer!
: Oooh, this is spooky.
: I bet there's tons of bad guys to beat up in here!
: Wow. One room? I feel like everything I knew is a lie. Lola, don't stamp on the skeletons, sweetie.
: Welp. This looks ominous. We'd better get back to Ludman and find out just what in the world is going on.
: Couldn't wait for us at the bottom of the tower, no...
: I didn't...
: No, I'm not psychic... I could just tell by looking at your face... We do not have time... quickly! Come this way!
: Over a century ago, my great, great, great grandfather stood just as we stand right now. He conquered the powers of the demon and sealed him away inside of the sacred jar... But now, that seal has weakened so that it is nearly non-existant... Most likely, the monster will seek my blood out to exact revenge for its confinement. After that, it will surely go on to destroy Salabona...
: You didn't think to mention a blood curse when you were trying to set me up with your daughter?
: Why do you think I was looking for a hero? I must return to the house to prepare for the battle... Simon... will you watch over here while I am gone...?
: ... what am I watching for?
: You'll know it if you see it!
: What's that sound?
: What's that smell?
Ladies and Gentlemen, behold Buorn the Behemoose.
Click here for the boss battle.
This is actually a pretty tough fight. There's no gimmick to it; Buorn just hits hard and can take a bunch of damage. I actually swapped my lineup a little, and am using Simon, Lola, and Pierre. Actually, I'd have swapped out Simon, too, but...
Anyway. Lola and Pierre are here to show off the power of the falcon blade.
Like I said, Buorn hits like a truck. Simon's going to spend almost the entire fight on heal duty.
Pretty wimpy, right? Even granting that Pierre attacks twice, this isn't a whole lot of damage. What happened to the awesome power I was talking about?
: OK, Mr. Pierre, you're ready to go!
THAT is what I'm talking about. Also, Decrease stacks up to about 3 times or so. Pierre and Lola make an amazing team.
Yeah, can't get complacent. Still, we're tough enough to hold together so long as we keep the heals flowing. Just keep smacking him around, and eventually:
Down he goes!
: Huh? Looks like he dropped something...
: Yes! YES! You see that, kids? FINAL key! No more doors taunting me! My life is complete!
: Uh... what about Mommy?
: My life is ALMOST complete!
I haven't played the DS port, but if it doesn't include the line 'Joy cookies' I don't want to.
: I can't believe you killed it while I was making preparations... Simon, great job! Ah... what a day! What good news! Wa ha ha ha! I didn't think it was possible, but I'm even more impressed with you now! From now on, I hope that we can continue to work together like this... as family!
: Yeah... sure... Just let me know next time you need a tower-sized mountain of stink killed.
: But a word of advice, Simon. Simply having children does not make a parent. Ironically it is only when *you* learn from your children that you become a true parent. But don't worry. I know that you will be a fine father!
: Learn from us? That's just silly!
: Yeah, Daddy already knows everything!
: I thought for a moment that I would never see the Master smile again... Thanks to you, we were able to remove the threat before mass hysteria broke out!
: I will pray everyday for safety on your travels...
: For the monster, it must have seemed like only a few days had passed... It didn't even notice that old man Rudolph was missing... Can you imagine? *shudder*
: So... dreamy... *blush*
: Eh? You ain't my wife? He he. Yep, you gotta show these women who's boss! Wa ha ha ha!
: Is that true, Daddy?
: Um. Your mother and I always knew who's the boss.
: Hey, that's not a real answer!
OK, first order of business is to get some use out of this new key. There's actually not many places to backtrack to. First, the Medal King's castle.
: Hey, King! I found some more medals!
: Great! Bring them here!
That's actually about it. There's only really two more places to backtrack to. One of them will turn up in a bonus episode later, and the other is part of the normal game progression. So it's back to wandering the earth, looking for clues.
: Say, I met the fairies in Santa Rosa before, maybe they'll be there again...
: Oh, god, this place looks terrible...
The only shop in Santa Rosa (and it only shows up in the third generation) holds some really powerful weapons. They're also very expensive, so I just picked up a long overdue upgrade for Simon.
Interestingly enough, Erdrick can equip Papas' sword, although as you can see it's much worse than the Zenithian sword. Still a nice touch.
: Hello? Fairies? Anyone home?
: I don't think there are any fairies here, Daddy...
: But when I see how strong my daughter's been growing up, I have a newfound hope. I've learned from that, that it's never truly an end. Just a new beginning.
I'm starting to think that DQV has a theme running through it.
: Oh God my ears
After nightfall, the weapon shop owner can be found here.
: Even this weapons shop, I only began thanks to the weapons he found in a cave years and years ago.
: ... I didn't find any weapons like that in the cave.
Well, got a nice new sword, but Santa Rosa is otherwise a dead end. Simon moves on, revisiting Ruraphin next.
: Stay close kids. This town is a maze, I don't want to get lost.
: It's because he does too much for someone his age.
: But for anyone that joins the Order of Light, it's said that they and they alone will be saved.
: This is just a rumor but, a long time ago, a lot of people were enslaved by the Order to build their temple...
: Order of Light!
: Oh, darn, spent all my money on a new sword. Will you take an IOU for your filthy book of lies?
: Hmmm... I'm sorry but you don't have enough money, so I can't sell to you!
: I wonder how the crazy old man is doing...
: I knew it. I knew you'd be back, so I've been waiting all this time. *cough *cough* Yes! Finally I've brought back another ancient spell. It may be a little difficult to use, but I'm sure you'll be able to master this spell.
: Ready? Listen up real good... The name of the spell is... Chance!! If you use this spell during a battle, something will happen... The only this is, you won't know what! Think carefully before using it.
: If I think about it, can I figure out what will happen?
: Naw, not really. In fact, it doesn't really matter what you think about. Phew... I'm actually tired this time... Oy vey...
: ... Get some rest old man. I'm sure I'll find a good use for this spell.
Just like it's described, Chance has a completely random effect. Maybe something good, maybe something bad. For some reason, it's also pretty expensive, which makes experimenting pretty unappealing.
This dungeon here is actually optional. It's possible to have visited it before now, and been unable to get in. Maybe if I had, I could have worked it into the story instead of just shoehorning it in here. Oh well!
Boom is a much stronger version of Bang. 8 MP to do about 60 damage to all enemies is pretty useful!
If you did come here earlier, this door would keep you out. But now that we have the final key, Simon can not be denied!
: Huh, this stone? I wonder why not?
: Daddy! I hear noises!
: Put it back! Put it back!
The gimmick of this dungeon is that if all of those face panels on a floor are covered by a stone, then no monsters will be encountered. The monsters in here are tough. I'm probably underleveled at this point, to be honest, since I've done no grinding at all.
After the first floor, the monster panels start out uncovered, and you have to find the blocks to cover them up. Or you can just find the stairs and move on.
This is one of the rough encounters you can find in here. The Evil Master can summon more Blue or Red Eaters... or it can summon more Evil Masters, which can summon others in turn. If you can't take them down faster than they summon in, you're boned.
Decent treasure to be found, though! The Elven Amulet helps you resist status effects.
Barrier helps protect the entire party from spell damage. Crucial for boss fights. Zap does even more damage to all enemies than Boom does.
: No fair!
Bounce can send a spell back at the enemy. I find it doesn't usually work when you most need it to. Revive is like Vivify, but with a 100% success rate.
: Stop getting better spells than me!
On the bottom floor of the dungeon, there's a hint of the last puzzle and its reward.
: So we just have to cap off a face or two. No sweat.
: ... Ugh.
The last floor is the biggest, and you have to find the four blocks tucked away all over the place, while fighting off monsters than can wipe the party if you get low on resources.
: Wow! Look, Dad, it fits you perfectly!
: I think it was meant for you!
: What the hell is it doing here, then?
Dubious origin aside, the Royal Cloak is badass. Huge defense bonus, and elemental and spell resistance to boot. This is the best armor in the game, bar none.
OK, enough dicking around, it's time to get back to the plot. There's only one place left on the map we haven't visited. It's actually right by Salabona; it's yet another place you might have visited earlier, but couldn't do anything there at the time.
: This place gives me the creeps... My sense of direction is getting all messed up.
: I guess someone lives here! Maybe they can help us out.
: But it doesn't seem like any ordinary Joe can find this path. Of course, if you were able to see fairies, you'd also be able to see this path though...
Yep. It's your standard Nintendo style lost-in-the-woods map: exits don't always lead back to the screen you came from. Without a guide, it's an exercise in walking around hoping to stumble on the important spots.
Mind you, I DO have a guide, so I know where all the treasure is.
Even the junk I already have.
: Huh? I don't see anybody...
: But they're right there!
: Don't you believe us?
: ... Hello? Who's there? You'd better not be a ghost!
: Of course!!
: Hmmm.... Well, what can I do for you?
: Well, we want to go to the Fairie Village.
: ... Well, you don't seem like bad people... So I'll take you there.
: I don't know why, but I kind of feel old.
Next time: Fairie mischief!