Part 8: The Fool and the Fool Who Follows Him
Yesss. Page 2.
Chapter 8: The Fool and the Fool Who Follows Him
The plot so far, in Dragon View:
Alex, the drawn stabbist and last-round draft pick of the Isle of Keire's sacred soldier team spewed foul language at the lady-killer-wizard Argos after that stone cold sorcerer snatched Katarina, ordinary girl of Rysis, to kidnap for the cycle. Deported in a sheet metal overcoat and armed with a pig-sticker and a boomerax, Alex chased team evil to Miraj, where a sisterhood of stunning sorceresses safeguarded the secrets he would need to give further chase.
Alex stands in the desert breeze at the gates of Miraj, city of ladies.
We were here, seeing what we could find out about our next step in toppling Giza.
Oh, how nice. At least we got the right Miraj.
"Our powers prevent demons from entering Ortah temple."
Ooo. I like a girl with hidden powers. Thing is, I'm pretty sure we need to get to that temple, and the locals seem less than forthcoming in how we may so progress.
"Demons, using magic to veil their identities, worked subtle guile and enchantment upon us! In our confusion, they gained entrance to the Temple! Please, Hero...! Enter the temple and slay the vile invaders!"
Well come on, I'd better go and hack to death the mess you people made. Subtle guile and enchantment. Pah! Excuses!
My official guess is that the whole lot of them are just lonely, and these demons in masks were the first people in forever to offer so much as one long, creepy-hugsworth of companionship.
Ah, perfect. Since Lord Yuna is waiting, let's go off and do absolutely anything else.
For example! Huh. We've actually been to Hujia before, haven't we, Alex? I am tempted to go there right away, but I suspect we have even more important things to do here before I dash off.
Ah, brooding about the recent creepy hug incident. She may never touch anyone again. Moving on.
"I have lost my magic, and here I will die...unless...Unless you will give me your crystal."
Hand it over.
"Oh...! Thank you! Ha ha ha!" The figure laughs. "My magic has returned, thanks to you! Bye now, ha ha ha!"
Uh...I'm a little unsure about the cackling, but I'm pretty sure we did the right thing, here. I rarely need to use the crystals to refill my stars anyway.
"In battle, the Magic Mirror reflects an enemy's attack!"
We'll keep that in mind.
The woman goes on to say, "Use it when you find a glowing emblem emblazoned upon the earth."
The man looks thoughtful, "Prof. Methraton likes this quiet town. He visits us often."
The glowing emblem bit is no lie. The man is just blathering by comparison.
"Go next door and ask if she'll give it to you."
Clearly. And if you think that she'll just give it to you, you've never played a video game before.
I am Ruth. I came, responding to Yuna's call.
Alex is apparently incapable of forming a sentence in Ruth's presence, because all we need is one simple key. Come on! Fine.
Let's go talk to Lord Yuna.
I've been awaiting your arrival." she says in a silky voice, "I am the High Sorceress of Yuna.
And I'm the LPer of Kaz, this is my mindslave, Warrior of Alex.
I know you wish to enter the Ortah Temple, but it has been buried in sand since times of old. The Temple itself judges if you may enter. Play for it the Sand Melody, to request passage. The temple will hear.
The temple will hear? So this "temple" is actually a giant sand creature that I have to awaken? Why do I have to go and do all that: didn't you idiots let a gripload of demons in not five minutes before I got here? Can't do us the same solid, huh?
Fine, give us the sheet music we need, or maybe hum a few bars in that silky voice of yours.
Ruth holds the key, go to Ruth's house."
Gruh. Back to Ruth!
"In the neighboring house there is a secret cave...Let us break the seal and enter. The Ancients laid traps to guard against unwelcome visitors. Step cautiously."
Wait, hey, dungeon? I thought you were going to give me a...I dunno, harmonica lesson, perhaps?
Okay. Dungeon it is.
Oh, who am I kidding. If I could give a dungeon as a final exam, I would.
In this panel we get to see the synchronized swooping of the imps and Alex, too. The floor is noteworthy as a platforming element: it conveys Alex to the pit. Fall in the pit and you'll arrive at basement level and have to climb back up.
The imps reach their maximum menace in a room of this kind. They pose no physical threat at all at this point in the game, but if one strikes you in the air, say, you'll fall on the conveyor and be stunned long enough to perhaps get foisted off to the bottom level.
Those dragon statues are going to get more and more common as a dungeon element as we go on.
I must have caught this while in blinky hitstun from a bug attack, as Alex seems to not be there.
Another platforming challenge, but not a difficult one.
This bridge will crumble away gradually after you step on it. So step on it! There are imps in this room too, I seem to recall, making for yet another irritating possibility.
Hope you brought a bomb with you. asterisk If you did, you get to fight the imps and grab the score. By and large, treasure chests are unopenable if you're in your fightin' stance.
The score takes up a key item slot in Alex's inventory and changes what sound effect occurs when you play the horn. This new sound has one distinguishing feature from the old one, which we'll see in a minute.
Mysteriously, the dungeon exits to a different house on street level.
"The horn holds the essence of the Ancients of Ortah. Play upon the horn to awaken the spirits.
So...right here? It might be kinda loud in this little room, but if you say s...
As the notes echo from the walls of the sand cave, the Ancients will reveal your path. Take this map to find the temple, and take care."
Oh. Got it. Anything else?
"Remember," Yuna prompts, "When you pass the Quicksand Cave, play the melody. The seal should melt before you."
The young sorceress cautions you. "The Ancients have accepted you. But demons make the temple perilous. We fear for your safety."
This young sorceress changes her opinion about Alex from hope to worry after finally seeing him in person. Can't say I blame her. Could mistake him for a hunger artist.
the woman says dejectedly, "Hope alone will not save us..."
Who went and pressed your deject button? You see this boomerax? Its name is hope, and it will be more than enough to save you and the rest of your cadre of incompetent guardians.
Seriously the one thing you had to do was not let demons into Ortah Temple. Gah!
Come on, Alex, we've got to go fix their mess.
There's this little mark on the ground where the focal point of the parabolic-ampetheatre-shaped valley rests. Play the horn and this sunny path appears for us to follow. Except I have another idea. Hey Alex?
Let's go collect some stuff, and really make those desert-bound sorceresses sweat. The horn, from as soon as you get it-score or no-will make these three lion statues crumble away, revealing caves beneath.
Press the X button, and the Hauza will show you its fantastic power!
Again those crafty ancients and their knowledge of the X button. Marvelous.
Alex spins around a bunch and lets Hope fly. This is one-to-one the same as the sword technique. Same cost in hp, same 10 piercing damage. Different inherent range of course, and sadly it doesn't make a glowing dragon head appear out of nowhere. It makes Alex disco dance, though, which is just as good.
Entering the second lion.
Holy blap! This one is an entire dungeon! This place doesn't make effective use of the imps at all. If those wall mounted lasers did more than 1 damage to Alex at this point, then maybe it would be something. They don't activate very much, so nah. Even as a OHKO they'd be manageable.
Our first time encountering mummies!
Now, I didn't go out of my way to gain levels or anything. I had to collect some jade at some point to afford the health upgrade, and I had to wait around for the gold (red) sandworm awhile back, but other than that, no grinding. These guys fail to put up a fight. They're pretty cool looking, though.
They have one attack where they shoot a punch glove at you and another where they breathe sand at you. I have a feeling we'll be fighting plenty more of these.
And another new enemy. You can tell we're getting somewhere now that Alex and I are officially fighting against wizards.
The grunt wizard has mastered the flight, blink, fire, and wind spells, allowing him to control space and dart out of the way often just in time to avoid a sword to the lil' caster. They are kinda quick and could be a pain...if only their piddly magic attacks did anything much.
The mirror has two functions, each of which is rather useful, neither of which is necessary.
We'll get to those when they come up.
"What do you think?"
Keep the fruit.
"Please come again if you need my help."
There's a better use for the apple dollar. I see the possibility of a magic-heavy run of this game which, aside from being a total pain in the ass, would make use of the crystals pretty heavily, and use the sword for nothing more than collecting the fruit you're going to need for this exchange.
Having visited the three lions, and still in a mood to make the sorceresses sweat, I send Alex back to Hujia to make good on the mountain of jade he's stashed away in the meantime.
Back to Kazdra later, check. I'll need to build up another stockpile before then...so I'm almost out of things to do before saving the sorceresses hot, sweaty asses. Hoom.
Maybe the local monk will know of a time-waster?
"Find the crests of three points each, and use the Mirror. It will guide you from there. 1 crest is in the grass plains, 1 in the snowfield, 2 in the desert, and 1 is half way up Mt. Badsel."
Oh right! The Magic Mirror! Here's how this works. You go around to anywhere you see a glowing blue triforce on the ground and mash the A button (with the mirror equipped) to go in. Sometimes you get a woozle, sometimes a dungeon. After talking to this guy, though, each triforce gets a mark on your map.
We know how this works and we love it.
Back down from the snowy cliffs and off to the lake area, we upgrade Hope to level 4, and an aqua blue color.
Finally back in the desert, we go south and discover this triforce as well. I'd show the map except this one isn't on any map I have at the moment. Couldn't pass up more weapon energy.
"You must have fire boots to go on." He warns you. "The flames will surely consume you otherwise!"
He isn't kidding, so let's come back here later (but still before we have anything called fire boots).
Alex shows off the level three ice attack in the Quicksand Cave. It doesn't do much to the blobs of living mercury, but it sure does look cool.
With that I'm finally out of ways to waste time before undoing the Miraj Sorceress Guardianship's collective fuck up.
Which I'm going to hold off on doing until next time (take that, MSGuard!).