The Let's Play Archive

Ephemeral Fantasia

by LJN92

Part 16: Days 32-35 - Kanonical

Days 32-35 – Kanonical

Where we last left off, Xelpherpolis subjected us to a cruel and unusual form of torture by hiding his McGuffins in some really boring dungeons.

Now we continue our torture experience by completing the last of Xel’s dungeons. I should briefly mention I benched Rummy in favour of Claire due to Rummy’s poor performance and Claire’s ability to heal.

For the next one, where do you think it might be? In a greyer, duller dungeon? Perhaps a larger maze?

Now Playing – Forest

We’re half right: it’s not a dull grey maze, but it is a bland green forest maze. The “Forest of Illusion” hides the Earth artefact, which is somewhat fitting.

While this dungeon is pretty annoying to navigate, the true horror here lays not with getting around, but with enduring the encounters.

These here are “Unicorns”. They’re one of the less threatening enemies in the area, and the most they’ll do that’ll irk you is heal all enemies. But you’ll be praying to see them soon enough.

The enemy Beak is attacking here is called a “Rainbow Butterfly”. It can absorb HP when attacking, but it’s not very threatening either.

We also have “Forests”. They hit a bit harder than most and take more punishment too, but they’re not threats.

The threats are as follows:

“Flower Spirits”, and…

“Star Spirits”.

These are some of the worst encounters you’ll have in the game ever. First of all, they primarily attack with magic. Both variations of Spirit have an attack that hits an area of people for 300-500 a pop. The Flower Spirits also tend to attack with a single hit magic spell which can do up to 900 damage.

These in of themselves wouldn’t be so bad if not for two factors: both variations of Spirit can cause status effects, particularly Sleep. Like I mentioned back on Ghoul Island, magic attacks don’t break you out of Sleep, so if they get a lot of you under and then lay on the area attack spells, you could easily get wiped out.

The second factor is Ephemeral Fantasia’s obnoxious ambush system. Ambushes tend to be an overwhelming majority of encounters, meaning area effect spells hit everyone and all the enemies get to attack first. It is entirely possible for you to get into an encounter with 4-5 of these Spirits and for them to unleash all their area hit spells at once, killing you before you even get an attack in. Yeah, that’s the level of bullshit we’ve hit here.

In Ephemeral Fantasia, you can save almost anywhere, except inside dungeons. That means you have to run through a dungeon without getting wiped out or you’ll have to start from the beginning, whether on a fresh loop or a reloaded save. Given how the Spirits can wipe you out so casually, even if you’ve grinded to high heaven, this is an incredibly obnoxious feature. Had I not been playing on emulator with access to save states, I may never have been willing to put up with this dungeon (or the game at all really).

The sole saving grace is that this dungeon is completely optional and never needs to be touched. But if you want to get everything, you’ve got to go through it.

In the middle of the dungeon we find this random stone acting as a voice for the “Tree Spirits”.

Of course we want to leave, but we can’t leave if we want to experience all this game’s dumbass content.

Tree Spirits: “Then I ask. If you make the right choice. The trees will show you the way.”

This prompt doesn’t matter.

Neither does this one, but different answers elicit different responses.

“It’s because I can’t let the bad guys go.”

Tree Spirits: “Do you believe you are the “justice” ones. There is no absolute “justice” in battles. Battles are merely incompatible interests. Everything is relative. What you are doing is nothing more than satisfying your own ego.”

“It’s to protect our freedom.”

Tree Spirits: “All people on Pandule have the same time. Is it not your freedom to use it as you please? Even though your hands are not being forced. Why do you still repeat the same actions? Are you happier following a pre-destined path rather than thinking for yourself? What you are doing is nothing more than satisfying your own ego.”

“It’s to save the one I love.”

Tree Spirits: “Who could be happy with that? Would the one who loved you be happy? Even if it saddened no one. Could you ever find happiness? What you are doing is nothing more than satisfying your own ego.”

I think the writers were satisfying their own egos by writing pseudo-philosophical claptrap.

Whatever you choose, the Spirits continue…

Tree Spirits: “….Since the island’s closure, an eternity has passed.”

Apparently you need to answer “yes” here to proceed, but I’m not certain.

Tree Spirits: “Best you go. Go to your final battle. We now wish to see this.”

The screen shakes, and the paths have now changed. The way to the boss is now open.

We must continue to follow an obnoxious, winding path, fighting off Flower and Star Spirits as we go, hoping and praying they don’t cheap shot us to certain death.

Eventually, we’ll find our way to another pedestal like in Ano’s Ruins, and find…

Click here to see Mouse cut down General Foress.

Now Playing – Combat

General Foress, accompanied by enemies of the kind we’ve been facing this whole game. These guys are not threats, and neither is their General.

Now Playing – Treasures

The Earth Crown, AKA the Holy Crown, is now ours.

But now…we have to go back. Back the way we came, fighting all the enemies as we go. You’d be fucking hope you remember where you came from, or you’ll be lost in these woods forever and doomed to death by Spirit.

You must also take care to find your way back to the Tree Spirits stone. That’s the only way to change the path back to how it used to be to let you out of these hellish woods.

The sight of this busted down Gaeatect wall will be beautiful to anyone who has braved this entire dungeon. Freedom is nigh.

But not truly, for there is one last dungeon to get through. It is nowhere near as obnoxious as the Forest of Illusion, but it’s as tedious as any dungeon in Ephemeral Fantasia.

The last thing we have to get is the Water artefact. Where might we find a water doohickey? Maybe underwater? Or maybe somewhere icy? There’s all kinds of water themed ideas…

How about inside a coal mine? Granted, it’s a coal mine that runs under a lake, but really people, surely we could do better than this for a water themed dungeon?

Now Playing – Coalmine

The first part takes us through the actual mine. It serves no purpose other than to waste time.

Weak enemies, no threat.

Still not threatening, but the “Thunderbolts” (the birds) can paralyze, hit a wee bit harder, and take a bit more of a beating.

These pallet swaps of the Sea Gule’s tentacles can decrease your offensive power, but that barely matters when we still one shot them.

Now Playing – Sea Cavern

This is where the real dungeon begins. True to form, it’s a dull grey maze, in the same shade as the bottom level of Ghoul Island.

These “Flatfish” typically take two strikes to kill and hit a bid harder than most. Not hard, but tedious. They can also heal each other, but not for a lot.

“Aqua Sods” hit a bit hard but not threateningly. “Horned Catfish” have an electric paralysing attack. Not hard, just tedious.

By the way, which ones do you think are the Horned Catfish? If you guessed the ones with the horn like snouts, you’d be wrong. No, it’s the blue thingies with the little antler-like things that are Catfish.

This thing’s a “Metafish”. It’s boring and weak.

We have to find two switches in this bland, featureless maze and turn them on in order to proceed with this teleporter here.

Once the teleporter is on, we can take it down to this more traditionally grey, featureless maze. Because we really needed this dungeon to be less water themed.

Puzzle Thingy: “one extinguishes another, one absorbs another, one incinerates another, and one surpasses all others. If you are to open the road, these 4 souls of the spirits must be visited in the order of wood, fire, water, then time.”

The essence of this puzzle is that there’s a bunch of switches that vaguely describe what element they’re associated with.

This one’s water.

This one’s fire.

This one’s wood.

And this one’s time.

Once you’ve figured out which one is which, you press them in the order suggested by the thingy, and you’re good to move on.

The next room is perhaps a mocking metaphor for the Ephemeral Fantasia experience: a bland, featureless walk through a dull, grey area which is obnoxiously large and forces you to fight too many encounters to count. There is no reason for this place to be as large as it is except to annoy and frustrate the player. Why anyone would think to make their game this utterly boring is beyond me, but they succeeded.

Eventually, we find ourselves to the pedestal in the middle, where…

Click here to see Mouse battle some sea monkeys.

General Laker lays in wait, accompanied by Xelpherpolis’ 1st Monkey Marine Corps (Holy Beast Marines) and some “Warning Fish”. I decide that, rather than endure the tedium of whittling them down normally, I’ll just have Beak Rage Wave these assholes into oblivion. Two is enough.

And now for the tedious march out of this dungeon. Not as dangerous as the Forest of Illusion, but definitely much more tedious.

Once out of this dreary maze, you’ll once again breathe free. But you’ll be confused: what else are you supposed to do? You have the McGuffins, but what next?

Turns out, if you just wait around, the plot will happen….

At nearly 8PM on the 4th day of the loop after getting one of the artefacts, this soldier will come and find you. It doesn’t matter where you are, he’ll find you. I even went to the Celestial Village once and this guy teleported up there to find me.

(Huh?! What could it be?)

Soldier: “I have been sent by General Bagoth! The innkeeper’s daughter, Rinna, has been kidnapped!!”

I want to quickly mention that Rinna will be kidnapped even if she’s in your active party when the time comes.

We then cut to the inn.

Now Playing – Tension

Rinna’s Father: “A short while ago, a large man in one of the festivals masks appeared in the dancer’s dressing room and took Rinna! According to those who were there, he said that if we wanted to see Rinna alive again, we were to pass this on to the musician staying at the inn!”

We then cut to Mouse’s room, where everyone has gathered.

Now Playing – Consultation

“It says to bring the treasures to Ano’s Ruins tomorrow morning at dawn and to come alone.”

“Yeah, but you can feel their panic. It proves how valuable the treasures are.”

“What are you going to do, Mouse? Ha. Ha. I already know what your answer is going to be!”

“Mouse has a thing about rescuing women, right!”

“What Rummy’s asking is not what you are going to do, but what we will do when you go.”

All that claptrap about knowing what we’ll say, and they still give us a choice. A non-choice, mind you, but we still get to say “NO” ever so briefly.


“Hey, Mouse! Don’t you care what happens to that young girl?”

“Calm down everyone. I’d never let him get away with that.”

Saying “YES” just ends the scene with Mouse nodding, and we’re set free. We have nothing to do but wait until nearly dawn, where Pattimo will force us to the duel….

I think you know what’s going on here.

When I first saw this scene, I thought it was my fault Rinna was in this outfit, because I had changed her to RindRinna when I got her and never used her again. However, I since discovered that she’s in this outfit no matter what. The devs just felt this horny. It makes a technical sense if we assume Grantus grabbed her before she went off to dance, but it would be so easy to just not have it play out like this. They made a deliberate choice to put her in the sexualised outfit.

Now Playing – Grantus’ Theme

“Thanks for coming. I’m impressed that you actually came alone.”

“We’ve decided to not let anyone else in the party intervene, just as you requested.”

“I don’t mind…instrument. If you didn’t come with him, he’d be totally unarmed. And I could hardly accept victory under such conditions.”

“There’s something I wanted to ask you. If you wanted to exchange the hostage for the treasures, I’d understand, but why the duel? Let’s say you kill us. Wouldn’t we just get reborn again because of Xelpherpolis’s magic time loop? There’d be no end to it.”

“Ha. Ha. I see you haven’t figured it out yet, have you? From the very beginning, you never lost your memories of your experiences. You were able to help awaken your friends from the spell. Why do you think you could do that?”

”Because the Princess touched me and I got a tingly feeling on the inside?”


“The KANON is the name of the Time Clan, a tribe that once prospered long ago. The tribe had garnered so much magic power that it could manipulate time. Xelpherpolis is one of its descendants, and is one of the most powerful members of the tribe.”

And so the game drops a reveal on us that we’re SPESHUL!! because of our secret family lineage. Yaaaaaaay.

You’ll remember I pointed out Loreille touching Mouse at the beginning as the apparent catalyst for our awakening. It sure seemed like the case: it’s the same thing Mouse did with each person he recruited, and the same little theme played every time. It was an obvious pattern, and yet now it’s actually that we’re from a secret bloodline of whoevers who can use time magic. Why even?

It doesn’t even gel fully with what we’ve been told: Grantus suggested that some people just awaken from the time loop arbitrarily himself when he attacked Rinna ages ago. Why would being cognizant of what’s going on infer we were a KANON too?

Anyway, let’s get on with this silly reveal…

“Most people don’t recognize on their own that they are KANON. And while we aren’t of the stature of Sir Xelpherpolis, we do still have KANON blood flowing in our veins. The reason Sir Xelperhpolis was drawn to your music and chose you as part of the island’s entertainment is probably because he sensed some kinship with you.”

“That’s impossible!”

“So, now you two know. If a descendant of the KANON fights with an intent to kill, then it’s possible even in this time continuum to really “kill” your opponent. Haven’t you noticed that all of the Time Demons and my men that have been killed have not been reborn when time loops back around?”

”Uh, no? There’s hordes of those things! I must have killed thousands by now! For all I knew, they WERE coming back each time!”

“We can banish people just as Sir Xelpherpolis banished the bandits from this time-space continumm! Now, let’s settle this once and for all! Mouse!”

Rinna starts to stir.


It is at this moment I come to a terrible realisation: not only does Rinna have breasts large enough to notice, but this outfit is designed for maximum cleavage. It shows off all of it, from top to bottom.


Rinna feebly attacks Grantus while showing off more of her disgusting outfit. This is a truly nauseating experience.

Grants eventually just gently pushes her off him, probably uncomfortable with this young of a girl so close to his crotch.

“It’s all my fault! I’m so sorry!!”

Grantus then shoves Rinna away from him…

”Was your real plan to get me convicted of paedophilia?”

“My apologies to you young lady. I used you simply because of your connection to that man. All I wanted was a duel.”

”Couldn’t you have kidnapped literally any of the rest of my friends and allies? Like the ones who live in the palace?”

”Lord Xelpherpolis said he didn’t want me making a mess in there.”

“You…you’ve got to be kidding! There’s no way Mouse would ever lose to you! That does it! I’m gonna fight now too!”

“Don’t worry. Mouse will take care of it!”

”Just sit back and don’t make me see any more of your jailbait costume. You’d just embarrass us all in a fight anyway.”

“Oh, all right.”

Now Playing – Combat

For some reason, a random bird swoops in and sits on Rinna’s shoulder. She also took my deepest wishes to heart and self-censored her costume.

The bird then flies away, and the fight begins.

This time, Grantus hits a lot harder, but he doesn’t have much HP, so he goes down in two hits.

“No. No! I won’t! Unless it’s Mouse’s voice, I’m not doing anything you say!!”

“Ha. Don’t worry. I…lost.”

Now Playing – Ruins

Mouse comes rushing over to the collapsed Grantus, but he gets back up.

“Same goes for you. You were not only strong. You were a more than fair opponent.”

“Don’t worry. In some way, my wish has been granted. I was bored. Year after year after year the same days repeating here on the island. While it may have been entertaining for Sir Xelpherpolis, it was agony for me. I wanted to engage in a heated battle. And if, as a consequence, I disappear from time, that might more desirable (sic). Maybe I’ve been looking all along for someone who would stop me…Who would stop this.”

“On the day of the wedding, there will be a magic spell cast on Loreille’s room. You won’t be able to get in without that key. If you don’t get the treasures and the Princess….Now, hurry. There isn’t much time left!”

We then cut to shortly later…

Presumably the two of them made this grave.

“Grantus the Iron Beast, We will never forget you. No matter how many hundreds of times time loops around.”

If we hadn’t recruited Rinna by now, she would join us here.

(18:00 is really the latest you could go.)

But rescuing the Princess will have to wait for another day.

Join me next time, where we take Pandule’s palace by storm.