Part 33: Why did it have to be dragons?Last time, Simon had totally just recovered the Golden Orb from his own childhood and repaired the Zenithian Castle and absolutely did not take his kids on a gambling bender.
As you might expect, the Zenithian Castle lets us reach a new area that was otherwise inaccessible. You can even see it clearly on the world map.
There really isn't much of the world left! Obviously, our destination is...
... this little island that I could have visited long ago and just forgot. Oops!
: Hey, this is where we found you as a statue! What are we doing back here?
: Just curiosity. The family here had a young son that was kidnapped while I was trapped here. I wonder if they ever found him again.
: When Gigo left, it feels like he took the life of this family with him...
: Ahh... If only someone would be kind enough to bring back Master Gigo.
: Mmmph! Daddy, you're hugging us too tight!
: Cut it out! You're embarassing us!
And then I stole the grieving mother's medal.
Anyway, back at the plot. This is the actual island that the Zenithian Castle allows us to reach.
The only thing on it is this tower.
: Cover your ears, children. .... FFFFFUUUUUUUU
: There's got to be another way into this place.
: Well, looks like we're just going to have to jump!
: Uh... hold up, Dad, I think I have a better idea.
: Hunh. You know, I've been falling down dark holes for a long time, and getting a rope just never occured to me. I wonder why. Well done, son!
: That is one ugly dragon statue.
As you might expect, the floors get a little bigger as you go down.
: I think someone's in trouble in there! Hurry up, we have to go help her!
Oddly enough, there's no maze or anything in the way. Just head down and back up.
: They're still around here somewhere... Get away as far as you can from this place lest they find you... Ughhh...
: Is she...?
: I'm afraid so. Come on, there's nothing else we can do for her.
: Let's go get the monsters that did this!
: Wow, what is that? It's huge!
: It looks like a giant version of that ugly dragon statue in the fountain. This whole tower is built around it.
: It's not any prettier at this size. Ugh.
As it turns out, this dragon tower is full of dragons! These guys are your regular fire-breathing, fire-proof assholes.
These guys, on the other hand, are fairly weak and provide little experience, but they're worth about 1000 gold a pop.
Pulling this lever opens the front door. It'll stay open even if we leave and come back, which is nice.
This isn't cursed or anything, but no one in the current lineup can equip it. It's not that great; good but not top-end defense, and no special qualities. Can't argue with the price, though!
: Eew, gross. Why don't weird temples ever clean their basements?
While this place looks like a maze, it's actually pretty straightforward. None of the branches are very long, so even wandering aimlessly doesn't waste much time.
It does have some asshole residents, though! The farewell crags like to sacrifice themselves to revive and heal their comrades. The metal dragon isn't too dangerous, but he has a true dick move; he's the only source of the very best armor in the game, and he never fucking drops it. Stupid low drop rate. Jerk.
They do give Erdrick this very important level up, at least. Healus is about as strong as Healmore, and affects the entire party. Including members still in the caravan, if the caravan is with you, which it currently is not.
: I should have known.
: So you must be the pesky Simon that Lord Gema's been talking about!
: Gema's here, too? Good. I can deal with both of you at once.
: You're not worthy of death by Lord Gema's hands... But me? I ain't so picky!
Gonz here is basically a joke. He has no special moves, doesn't hit very hard, and can't take much punishment. He's tougher than the random monsters, but not by much.
: Good work, son. If there was ever a pig that had it coming... One more, Father. Just one more...
: Look, Daddy, he was guarding something!
: Whoa, it's glowing! What is this thing?
: It's about the size of those empty eyesockets in the big dragon statue upstairs.
: That probably means there's another one around here somewhere, and I think I know who'll be holding it...
: There you are, you son of a bitch.
: Of course you do. Lola, Erdrick, meet the monster that killed your grandfather.
: Ho ho ho ho. Well, now is not the time for fond remembrances anyhow... My only regret was that I hadn't killed you back then... But I won't make that mistake again...
: Just try it.
: We won't let you hurt our daddy!
: I'll make toast out of you as well! Ho ho ho ho.
Watch the fight here.
Gema is a much more serious fight than his underling. He has a strong physical attack, and an even stronger magical attack. You should probably make a quick trip back to town to top off your MP before going up against him. (I did not do this.) You need to get your buffs up and stay on top of healing the whole time. With only three party members, this can be tricky while still doing enough damage.
Keep up the punishment, and Gema will finally go down.
And he spits out a bossload of experience. Bedragon is an amusing spell, I'll get back to it in a moment.
: We told you!
: You can't hurt our daddy!
: Erdrick, Lola... thank you. Papas would be so proud of you. I'm proud of you.
: Well, let's go find out what those idiots were trying to keep from us, shall we?
: Now, wait, is it our left, or the dragon's left?
: The hand that makes an L, Daddy!
: Hey, they're glowing. Wait, what's the statue doing?
: Oh. Gross.
: Dragon worshippers are weird.
: That... is the most beautiful stick I have ever seen. I feel like it was made for me. It must be mine.
This is Simon's ultimate weapon. The King Metal Sword technically has higher attack power, but not enough to really be noticable. The Dragon Staff has a special power that, while of limited practical use, is pretty goddamn awesome.
It turns you into a GODDAMN DRAGON.
: Look, Daddy, I can do that, too!
: Umm... did either of you notice that those dragons are fireproof?
: At least they're consistent with their motif.
: Hey, look, there's some sort of ball on that pedestal!
: It looks pretty important. It's a ball, on a dragon shaped pedestal, in a dragon themed room, inside a dragon statue, so I guess that makes it...
: ... Let's just take this back to the castle and find out if the Zenithians know what to do with it.
: Oh, here you guys are! What's up?
: You see, a very suspicious fellow has been snooping around here...
: There has never been anyone by the name of Pusan amongst the Zenithian Folk!
: Do you mean the bartender who looks nothing like a Zenithian isn't a Zenithian at all? Pusan, just what is going on here?
: You are just as I though, warriors with both wisdom and courage. Now... may I please have the Dragon Orb?
: What? How did you even know I have it? You'd better start explaining before I hand you anything...
: As you can see, I am but a frail man. I could never defeat you in battle, so I have no choice but to give up the Orb...
: Wait, what?
: Is this reverse psychology?
: You're not going to explain anything until I hand you this ball, am I?
: Orb. And no. You want the exposition, you have to pay up.
: Augh. Fine.
: Thank you very much. I feel a new strength flowing through my body...
: No... no... it... can't be!!
: What? Is that it, the orb turns you into a dragon? Here, let me show you this wicked rad stick I found...
: Ma... Master Dragon!!
: Rules supreme? Wait, like... God? YOU are the entity we've been praying to?
: That's the basic gist of it. Sorry I wasn't around to answer those prayers, by the way. It is my pleasure to meet the Legendary Hero and his noble blood. It seems that whilst I was masquerading as a human, world peace had been broken.
: Uh, Master Dragon, sir? Why were you masquerading as a human?
: Because I don't fit in minecarts as a dragon, of course. The gates of the Demon World have been forced open and the Demon Lord himself seeks to come into this world. However! It seems to me that you have the power to impede such!
: Who, me? Are you pointing at me?
: What part of "Legendary Hero" was unclear, son? Of course, I will lend you my strength.
: What, like, metaphorically? Spiritually?
: No. Take this with you.
: What?! Ew! ... Oh, wait. BELLS. OK, never mind.
: Without your efforts, I would have probably been trapped in that weak human body forever. Thank you, Simon!
: I'm so embarrassed! All this time I thought him suspicious...
: He doesn't exactly radiate "supreme being", does he?
: This is all due to your valiant efforts! Oh thank you so much!
: So, what do these bells do, anyway?
: Wait, call you?
: Well, yes. Ring the bells, and I will come carry you where you need to go. What did you think I meant by 'lend you my strength?'
: Let me get this straight... You're the Master Dragon.
: So I'm told, yes.
: The supreme being of this world.
: I don't like to brag, but...
: And the world is facing destruction at the hands of a Demon King...
: And you, our Lord, the target of our prayers... Want to give us a piggy back ride!?
: Thy will be done.