Part 15: Some Crystal? How did you forget?Now that we've gotten ahold of this Rusty Sword, it's time to see what all the fuss is about.
Dime Tower? In the Desert of Crystal? .. How?
That sword will help you. Use it in the Cave of Ruins. You'll see it.
The Sword of Legend shows its real power only when it approves of your using it. If you're a real Knight of Gemma it will help you.
So between you and Bogard I've risked my life for this rusty piece of junk, and if it doesn't work it's because I'm not good enough? Not because a couple of senile old men forgot where they put the actual Excalibur and pointed me toward another place that happened to have an old sword in it? Do you know how many damn old swords I've run across in the past few months?
Don't worry. ... Now go! The Cave of Ruins is in the desert near Ish.
Alright, off to see Dr. Bowow... maybe he'll make a bit more sense.
The ultimate magic book of Nuke is sealed by Lich. Go north to the Palmy Desert and defeat Lich!
Wait a second. Cibba said you're familiar with this Cave of Ruins. You've been there before, right?
Oh, aye, all the time when I was a younger man.
Then one could logically deduce that you in fact know the magic of Nuke.
I don't see where yer goin' with this...
What if... and I know this is going to sound crazy... what if instead of going to fight a dangerous monster I stayed here and you taught me how to use Nuke?
Lich is in the Palmy Desert!
At any rate, the Palmy Desert clue might be confusing if you somehow thought the desert around Jadd was the Palmy Desert, as you might reasonably do. In fact, we need to land at this little island with the palm trees instead.
As you can see, the precursor dungeon to the Cave of Ruins isn't exactly all that great looking on the outside...
And is even less impressive on the inside. You're actually seeing right here all that there is of this particular dungeon. Two rooms with staircases, no new enemies, no nothing. I'm unsure whether they were trying to take it easy on the player, or whether they just decided that making an actual dungeon would require
After struggling through that incredible dungeon we end up here, a nice calm area before a battle that can be a serious pain in the ass.
Boss Fight: Lich
The first thing you'll notice about Lich is that the bastard is big. His fighting area is unusually cramped, and he takes up about a good third of it at any one time. Lich usually moves in a variety of figure eight pattern, but there's not much chance of evading the pattern if you're caught within it. When he hits it can take as much as 70 or more HP off, resulting in a quick death. Lich also throws skulls around, but a well time swing of the Zeus Axe can knock them out of the air. It's a slog match, but it's winnable with some work. Probably the most important thing is to not waste your time when you're hit. Keep swinging, and heal when Lich is out of reach.
He explodes into messy chunks when you win, but the explosion itself will cause damage. I had two other shots of this battle with Rock at 0 hp, having been killed after Lich was already dead.
This is the only prize, but it's more than worth it since it's the key to our continued quest.
Visually the Nuke spell isn't terribly impressive. Nuke costs 3 MP, making it the most expensive spell in our arsenal. For that cost it's practically guaranteed to destroy any enemy it strikes and is faster than lightning bolt, but there are still a few enemies that can shrug it off.
blow with Nuke in the desert. .. Find it!
I'm not even going to ask you for better directions to the area you're supposed to be so familiar with, you senile old bastard.
Before getting to that, however, a little bit of wandering in the desert finds this place. It's yet another one of those random magic shops scattered around the world.
I seem to recall that running into the right crystal would cause a point or two of damage, but it didn't seem to work. Maybe I misremembered, but at any rate the actual crystal is by the sea. Destroying it results in this little hole opening up...
Which leads to some unexpectedly elaborate ruins. Actually a pretty nice area.
We're introduced to these snails and mirror enemies immediately afterward. The snails are pretty simple to deal with, but the mirrors have an interesting attack. They actually shoot your image at you.
The ruins are also inhabited by these robots, which fire thin lasers at you. They're strong against most physical attacks, but magic or a morning star can deal with them pretty easily.
The dungeon is actually very straightforward, with no real hidden areas. On the plus side, however, the second best shield in the game is sitting out for us to grab.
A few old friends show up, even though by now these enemies are far from a threat. I rather like the fact that they still reuse these enemies. It'd be a bit boring to only see the one or two new enemies in a dungeon.
The Dragon Sword is also here, giving us an even bigger boost above the Zeus Axe. We're nearing the top tear of equipment in the game.
Monsters from Iflyte's cave make another appearance, although that's not the really important part of this room. It doesn't look like it, but this is your last stop before...
Boss Fight: Mantis Ant
Mantis Ant Battle
You start this battle at an immediate disadvantage since you're going to lose about 2/3 of your HP going through the barrier to get at Mantis Ant. The boss itself is fairly unimpressive; he's got a nice sweeping movement pattern, but it's possible to avoid it through a well-timed sword charge. It's probably more important to take advantage of the long time periods he tends to spend up at the top of the room moving slowly back and forth. This gives an excellent opportunity to repeatedly get good hits in. There is some risk in the tactic, however, as he can surprise you when he actually moves.
It's a rather nice touch that they put in so many different ways for boss enemies to die. It makes them a bit more unique even in death.
Now that we're at the end of the dungeon, it's time to pull out our key.
I think it's a nice twist that the Rusty Sword is actually more important at this point as a key than as a weapon.
We're immediately transported out and given this message, from who knows where. Gotta love the vagueness of this part of the game.
The actual location is southeast of the magic shop I pointed out earlier. If you've played the game before, you might have noticed that this screen doesn't have any enemies even before the events in the Cave of Ruin.
With a mighty heave the Dime Tower thrusts itself from the sands. I'd love to know what kind of system they have set up to make the tower rise and fall.
Next time: We'll explore the penultimate dungeon of the game.