The Let's Play Archive

Ephemeral Fantasia

by LJN92

Part 15: Days 31-32 - Grey and Dull

Days 31-32 – Grey and Dull

Where we last left off, we time looped during the time loop and broke out of the time loop so we could get back to breaking the time loop. Also Beak showed up and joined the gang.

Let’s first talk about Beak, shall we?

Up till now, we’ve been starved on really good physical fighters. Rummy’s not bad, but her usefulness begins to taper out as the enemies get tougher to beat. Bagoth is a good physical striker, but he has no area attacks.

Enter Beak: he’s a goddamn monster. After upgrading his weapon to maximum and doing a little grinding, he will eventually overtake Mouse in terms of damage output (or match it if you boosted Mouse’s attack like me). He has a series of single-hit attacks leading up to a 3-hit combo called “Catharsis” that is as good as Mouse’s Ray Slash, if not better. Beak also learns an area-hit attack called “Holy Wave” which between Mouse’s Charging Strike makes fights a lot simpler. Also worth mentioning is an attack called “Rage Wave” which will hit ALL enemies….and all allies. It’s a double edged sword which can easily kill members of your party (maybe even wipe you out if used at the wrong time!) but it can seal the deal on a tedious fight, and all you have to do is shove some berries in your mouth afterwards.

Suffice to say Beak is now a mainstay of my parties.

Anyway, to move on, we just sleep until the next loop, where…

Now Playing – Tension

“Come with me at once!”

We cut to the demon reactor.

“Because of the danger from the constant trouble, I’ve set it at a half-shutdown state. I get the same answer no matter who I ask.”

“Xelpherpolis changed the essence of time…! That’s the only thing I can imagine.”

We then cut to Xelpherpolis in his evil lair, accompanied by evil music.

Now Playing – Three Cadres

Jawarro: “I made the islanders believe in a new “5 days”. Now, no one knows the treasures’ location.”

“Good work. Now, leave the rest to me.”

“He’s not a petty thief!...As an opponent, he’s got some backbone to him.”

“I’m trusting you to take care of this, Grantus. I am entrusting you to protect the 3 treasures and Loreille until the wedding ceremony on the 5th day.”

Grantus leaves.

“He wants to fight little ol’ Mouse. He knows that if he’s guarding the treasures, they’ll probably attack. Can’t say I don’t understand how he feels.”

We now cut to Mouse and the gang discussing the problem in his hotel room. Incidentally, if you didn’t have certain characters (like not recruiting Kyte or leaving him on Ghoul Island, letting Rinna get mindwiped, or leaving Rummy on the beach), they won’t be present for this cutscene.

Now Playing – Consultation

Plosi, who gave you permission to speak? Why are you even here?

“It seems the locations of the ceremonies for the three treasures are known to no one on the island. At the wedding on the 5th day is the first time they’ll be seen by everyone. It seems that only a few of the palace staff even know where the ceremonies are to be held.”

Why is it necessary for you to open your creepo mouth, Plosi?

“Maybe Xelpherpolis has left us alone here in this cell of time because he’s so sure of himself. Because we’re thinking that as long as we’re in this time, there’s nothing we can do. It’d be a different story if we could defeat Xelpherpolis.”

“It doesn’t look like it’d be so simple to defeat this Demon God.”

“And it probably has something to do with the three treasures. He probably wanted to hide the Holy Gem, the crown and sacred sword from us.”

“The 3 treasures….You mean, if we have them, we can defeat Xelpherpolis!?”

“No, not exactly. Most likely the 3 treasures are somehow related to “Time Manipulation Magic”. This is only my hypothesis, but…the 3 treasures are the key items that power the grand magic that closes time.”

“The wedding between the Princess and Xelpherpolis serves as a ceremony that will only increase his powers and from that moment on, time will start to reverse. So, if we can find the treasures and steal them, we’ll be able to…!”

“If we do that…the evil powers that control the island will disappear…!”

“Ha, ha, ha…that’s true.”

Everyone makes some gesture of affirmation and then start to leave.

“I need to return to the lab and search for the evidence to support my hypothesis. If you need me, stop by the lab.”

Mouse nods.

“And…and also…”

“I’ll help clear away his sadness.”

We are then prompted to pick party members, and then we can leave. My party members for now shall be Rummy and Beak.

With no clear goal, let’s immediately go see how Ano’s doing, shall we?

“You want to know how things are going? It’s a tight battle….It’s vague, but I think I’ve figured out the principle behind the ceremonies. It fits if the treasures are absorbing all the spirit power accumulated in the island. But there are hardly any resources available on Spirits. I wish there were some experts on Spirits I could ask.”

This is our cue to go find an “expert on Spirits”. Pattimo referred to the Celestial people as being “closest to spirits”, so it must be them, right?

Wrong. The Celestials have nothing new or interesting to say about Spirits. They don’t even point us in the right direction. I really don’t know who is supposed to point you to where you need to go.

Who we need to find is the “old lady” who had those 4 daughters scattered across the island (no, not even they mention where there mother is, or that she’d be an expert on Spirits). In order to reach the “old lady”, we must traverse the BLANDEST, DULLEST, GREYEST DUNGEON KNOWN TO MAN!!!

Now Playing – Coalmine

There is literally not a single speck of colour in this dungeon bar some brown, wooden bridges and the occasional treasure chest. I thought that Ghoul Island’s dungeon was a bland, featureless maze, but this one here really takes the cake!

Click here to experience the sheer blandness that is the Quarry Ruins.

This place is called the “Old Quarry Ruins” and you find it north of Gallhint’s forest (known as the “Dark Forest” on the map). In order to pass through it, you must follow a very specific path, else you’ll get extra lost. I once stumbled in here before I needed to and spent a good 30 minutes completely lost and trying to find my way back to the start. I suggest using PyroFalkon’s walkthrough (the Rummy ass man, yes) if you want detailed and specific instructions on how to get through this place with your sanity intact.

Even the enemies here are dull and grey. “Rogues” are the little white-ish things that do nothing but nibble on you. The “Moving Walls” don’t do much damage, but they can paralyze.

These enemies are “Demons”. Not time demons, mind you. Demons can hit pretty hard, at least compared to all the pathetic weaklings around.

Demons are often accompanied by these indescribable things called “Strange Persons”. They can paralyse as well.

Once you clear the Quarry Ruins, you’ll come out into a world map space just before the “old lady”’s shack. Be sure to grab the map piece outside (and another offered by the “old lady” herself), else you might have to go back through the sodding quarry!

Here’s the “old lady”, actually named “Ugly Hag”.

Ugly Hag: “That’s right. I’m the ugly, old witch. Yep, a hag. Thanks to a secret potion, I’m more than 200 years old. I can’t even remember my own name. So be honest about it and call me “hag”. So, can I help you with something?”

You can get this far even if you come here before Ano needs a Spirit expert. Once he does, talking to the Hag will start a cutscene…

Now Playing – Ugly Hag’s Theme

Ugly Hag: “Of course, I’m rather particular about my Sorcery Book Collection. I’ve got a substantial collection of books on spirits.”

Ugly Hag: “I’ve got 4 daughters who have bookstores all over the island. Have you ever had your HP restored? But, these girls, even though they’re sisters, they don’t get along. They always fight over who’s the most beautiful. I want you to meet all of them and rank their beauty. If you do that, I’ll gladly lend you the book.”

And that’s that. If you hadn’t met the sisters by now, you’d have to go find them, at least so you know their names.

For reference, the daughters are named:

Each one purports to have a special beauty trait (like the best eyes, or being the sexiest), but these don’t matter.

I believe she means “Did you meet them all?”. I don’t believe it’s necessary to actually talk to them, but unless you’re using a guide, you’d need to find out their names by talking to them.


Ugly Hag: “Then, please decide! Which daughter is the most beautiful?”

The real challenge here is not picking the right order for the daughters but just remembering their names. You have to spell them correctly, including capitalising the first letter. It’s not really hard, but if you didn’t pay much attention to their names, you might get this far and realise you’ll have to go back and commit them to memory.

Once you’ve entered them all correctly, no matter what order…

Why this mattered to the Ugly Hag is beyond me, but we’re done.

Ugly Hag: “As promised, take the Spirit Dictionary with you!”

And that’s a wrap. Let’s head back to Ano.

It should also be noted the Ugly Hag is a vendor who sells some decent late game items, like Mega Berries and Leap Potions. Perfect if you never discovered the Celestials (although frankly I’d say they’re easier to find). She will also offer a map piece after buying from her.

”Told a 200 year old lady which of her daughters I’d rather bang.”

”…I see. Thanks. I appreciate it. I might be able to solve the mystery with this. Come back again tomorrow.”

Now we have to wait 24 in game hours, and…

“When those treasures unleash the power of the spirits, it serves to expand Xelpherpolis’s spell of time. First, to close the time on the island, it was necessary to absorb the power of the island itself. By utilizing it as anti-energy, it interrupted the flow of time on the island.”

“Hey, hey, Ano. Can’t you explain it in a way that’s easier to understand?”

“…! Oh, sorry. In other words, Xelpherpolis used the spirit’s powers for his own purposes. One gem absorbed the power of water, a crown absorbed the power of the Earth, and a sword absorbed the power of fire. Then all the powers were released, but these powers shouldn’t have been tampered with. The crown and saber are nothing more than decoration. The gem-like items attached to both are what actually causes the spirits’ powers to crystallize. In order to take in the spirit’s powers, a location where the powers of water, fire or earth are concentrated is necessary. There’s one more important component. It is this S.Encyclopedia itself. In the book itself is a type of spirit power. If you don’t have it, you won’t be able to get near the locations where the pure spirits’ powers are being collected.”

Our task is now as follows: go to places where “spirit energy” gathers, and find the McGuffins that power Xel’s ceremonies.

But where could such McGuffins be? Ano suggested they would be in locations were relevant spirit power was concentrated. We’re going to go after the flame doohickey first. Where do you think that would be?

Now Playing – Ruins

If your answer was “some ruins in the middle of a forest”, then you’d be right! No idea how you’d guess that, given this location has nothing to do with fire, but it is what it is.

This location is called “Ano’s Ruins”. Why it is named that is never explained. Maybe Ano was the first person to find the ruins? They’re shortly north of the Woodcutter’s Village, so it’s hard to believe a group of people who make a living chopping wood didn’t find this place yonks ago.

Inside the ruins, our path is barred by a wall of pure Plot. Obviously they put these here to prevent players from getting inside the spirit places until they knew they needed to. Pattimo won’t start talking until you’ve spoken to Ano about this.

“Hold on a minute! We might be able to use that potion Rummy had.”

If we hadn’t brought Rummy with us, we’d have to go track her down and ask her about this. This is also why you can’t just leave Rummy on the beach forever. But since she’s with us, she speaks up…

“But I buried that potion thinking I never wanted to see it again. If you check the Southeast corner of the backyard at my house, you should find it.”

As Rummy said, we can find her “potion” buried in her yard. Now we take it back to the Gaeatect wall…

“We’re in danger, so let’s evacuate.”

We cut outside, the screen shakes, and we can go back in…

The wall is down. We can now get through this dungeon.

And what kind of dungeon is it?


This place is nowhere near as obnoxious as the Quarry Ruins or even Ghoul Island, but it’s still boring and tedious.

These enemies, pallet swapped Nons called “Dons”, can hit pretty hard normally, but also have a nasty tendency to perform suicide attacks that hit even harder. You can encounter whole groups of them that will reduce you to nearly nothing quickly.

These assholes are the worst. “Gold Walls” are immune to most physical attacks, meaning the most obvious way to beat them is using magic. There’s a few problems with this, at least for me: Mouse has no proper offensive magic, and Beak has no magic whatsoever. Rummy has spells, but her magic damage is pathetic, especially considering Gold Walls have a good 2000 HP (I think). If you don’t bring a decent mage to this battles, like Claire, you’re gonna have a bad time.

Fortunately, the “Dirge” spell that lowers enemy morale and makes them run away works well here too.

The danger in these “Harpies” is that they have a magic spell that can hit everyone at least as hard as a Don’s suicide attack. They also have enough HP not to go down in one hit most of the time. They can also heal all enemies, extending the length of any fight and allowing the other enemies to whittle you down.

This thing, called a “U-Man”, is perhaps the least threatening of all enemies in Ano’s Ruins, but it can poison you, which is annoying in any long term fight, especially if you didn’t bring a good healer.

On the second level of the dungeon, there’s a puzzle that requires you to step on tiles to proceed. The tiles are in rooms set out in the manner of a clock (because time, haha geddit?), with each room having a number of tiles corresponding to an hour on a clock face (like three tiles for the 3 o’clock room and so forth).

There’s a plinth thingy in the middle of the dungeon that reads:

"The Time Family is a 3 person family -- There was the laidback father, the hard-working-mother and the energetic, happy child. One night the 3 went to sleep with their pillows lined up toward the North. But the family had a problem. They tossed and turned all night. In the middle of the night, everyone had their pillows toward the East. And the mother had tossed and turned all night. The energetic child was a problem too. It rolled 300 times. When it woke up, where were mom and dad?"

Confused? Me too. According to PyroFalkon’s walkthrough, the line of logic here is that the people rolled 300 times, and there are 60 minutes in an hour, and 300 divided by 60 is 5. So they would move 5 hours if she rolled once every minute. Clockwise, this would put them at the 8 o’clock position, but counter-clockwise, at the 10 o’clock position. He admits this is not explained in game, but that’s the solution: first step on one tile in the 3 o’clock position (where the family started) and then step on a tile in the 10 o’clock position (I think you have to step on two, and then go back to the 3 room and step on a different tile than you started with?). Then, the 12 o’clock room opens up, and the stairs take you further down. What a puzzle.

Why we needed this arbitrary block when we already had the Gaeatect wall is beyond me. Anyway, after the game pointlessly tells you the spirits are out of the way, we can now approach the middle, and…

Click here to watch Mouse fight an army of monkeys.

Now Playing – Combat

We fight a boss fight. “General Magnato” flanked by “Holy Beast Engineers”. These guys aren’t really threats. At beast, General Magnato will manage one attack that’s as nasty as what the Harpies can do, but as this is a standalone boss fight, it’s not as dangerous as random encounters that come one after the other.

We defeat the General, and…

Now Playing – Treasures

We obtain the “Flame Saber”, also known as the Sacred Sword. Not once in this dungeon did we see anything relating to fire. So much for Ano’s theory, huh?

This is technically enough. If we don’t bother doing anything else, the plot will proceed, and you never need to get the other artefacts. All you need is one, and the others are optional.

But we’ll be getting them anyway.

Join me next time, where we endure the single worst dungeon in all of Ephemeral Fantasia.