Part 59: DS Quest for the Sand Pearl part 2Holy shit, I'm not dead!
DS Update 4: Quest for the Sand Pearl part 2
Last time, our heroes set out from Kaipo on a quest to find a cure for Rosa's desert fever. Will they succeed? Only one way to find out!
We pick up right where we left off: outside of Damcyan, with our newest party member, Edward, in the lead.
Before we dive into our next dungeon, we've a bit of exploring to do. And by "exploring" I mean "looting," naturally.
This place is a wreck. I'm sure no one will miss a few trinkets. Although, since this is Edward's castle, is it technically looting?
The dungeons are in about as good shape as the rest of the castle. You can see on the lower screen there, there's loot to be had!
Guard: Are... are you a friend? I cannot see your face. Please, don't let... don't let the treasure fall into their hands!
Don't worry, buddy, we won't let anyone get their grubby hands on it (besides us, of course).
I can see the loot, but the cell door is locked, as cells often are, and I guess Edward didn't think to frisk the guard for his key.
Fortunately, this wall has a hidden switch.
This can not be good dungeon design, though...
Oh well, I'm not about to complain!
The first cell is empty, but...
Secret passages are your friend!
No, I have no idea why the cells are interconnected. I guess dungeon design really isn't Damcyan's forté...
Enough rambling. There's loot to be had! This'll go in my "savin' this for later" pile.
Another slip through the walls and,
Rydia and Edward already have Feathered Caps, but I'm sure I find someone who can use this!
And where there are secret passages, there are... hidden staircases? It amuses me that this staircase is only "hidden" because of the camera angle. Eddie here can see it just fine.
Makes you wonder what the characters in the game think of the player, at times. The game looks very different to them. What's blatantly obvious to them can be nearly invisible for the player. Likewise, I doubt Eddie is privy to his stat numbers. Doubtless such knowledge would make him terribly depressed...
More loot! I like this castle, except for the whole, you know, being destroyed in a massive fireball thing.
In the remaining chests there are: an Antidote, some Eye Drops, a Gold Needle, a feather of Phoenix Down, and an Ether. All useful stuff that is no adventurer should leave home without!
Of course, that's not all! Three of the four corners of this place have hidden items.
From the other two we nab some Holy and Iron Arrows to go with our swank new bow.
Checking my party to make sure Edward is safely tucked in the back row,
and we're ready to set out!
Our hovercraft lifts off, kicking up a small puff of sand. It's a cool little touch.
And we head northeast, over the shoals.
I go a bit too far to the north, but I decide it couldn't hurt to check this place out anyway.
We'll be coming back here later, of course, but let's have a quick look.
Yep, that is certainly a wall of ice, and we haven't a Fire spell to our name! I wonder if some of those Red Fangs we picked up would work...
Eh, probably not worth the bother. Focus! We need to save Rosa first.
On the way out, I get jumped by these guys. Spirits have 86 HP and they're weak to holy, which we do not currently have access to.
Well, I suppose this is as good a time as any to demonstrate Edward's abilities. They're much improved in this version!
He starts with these three songs. They cast Sleep, Silence, and Confuse, respectively, on the entire enemy party.
But these guys decide they're better at Edward's job than he is.
Fffff. Well, these guys aren't much of a threat anyway, Rydia can take 'em.
See? Our little murderess is coming along beautifully.
No, Eddie, no you are not...
I don't bother with those abilities too much. In general, your time is better spent smacking the enemy down than messing around with status effects. Of course, Eddie isn't too good at smacking, so he gets a pass!
Edward dusts himself off in his victory pose.
Aww, look at him, he thinks he actually contributed something.
Anyway, here it is! Here's our destination for today.
Here there be antlions, and other things, and treasure.
Speaking of other things, here's a new enemy! Domovoi are upgraded Goblins. They have 100 HP and no elemental weaknesses.
Since these enemies are far from threatening, I have Edward fuck around some more, this time with Lullaby.
He misses one, but sleeps the other two!
One of which is immediately dropped by Rydia. Damn, kid! Remember when she was struggling to break triple digits?!
Yep, you saw it here first, folks, she just out damaged Cecil!
Edward celebrates by playing his harp at this guy really hard.
The result is... less than impressive, to say the least. I wonder if Rydia could do more damage with her normal attack?
But, since that Domovoi was already weakened, that piss-poor attack was just enough to drop him. Good job Edward, you killed a thing!
Yeah, yeah. Don't let it go to your head.
Another new enemy! These things boast a respectable 190 HP and an easily-exploitable ice weakness.
Their defense is pretty damn decent,
as is their offense. Sure, Edward has about as much defense as a wet paper bag, but that thing still just about one-shot him!
Where would you be without Rydia to keep you out of trouble, Eddie?
Not bad, Cecil, but watch this!
Aww yeah! Needless to say, Rydia is invaluable in this dungeon.
First loot of the dungeon! I guess it couldn't hurt to have extras of these if I want to use Edward's Salve ability.
Crossing a cool bridge,
with loot on the other side! Spider Silk casts slow, damn handy!
Good job, Edward. That sure was... a thing.
Oh well. Eddie gained a level!
He gets marginally less sucky, but more importantly:
He learns a new tune! This one is far more useful than the other three!
It's a healing spell, and those are always useful!
When he uses it,
it restores a little HP.
And then more, a few seconds later.
Basically, it produces a Regen-like effect for a few turns. During that time, Edward cannot perform any other action, but your party is healed over time.
It's quite useful. It gives Edward something to do, and frees Rydia up for asskicking.
Level up for Cecil! Poor Cecil, he's been kind of ignored lately, hasn't he? Well, he's still good! There's just not a whole lot to say about him.
And Ryida is growing more murderous with every level!
And more levels!
More stuff for the pile.
Our exploration is coming along! Have a look:
We've gone everywhere we can go on the first floor. That little sliver at the bottom is accessed from elsewhere.
Therefore, we move on!
And find more new enemies.
Yellow Jellies are similar to the Red Mousse in the last dungeon. They're gelatinous blobs of a mere 60 HP,
and a crippling thunder weakness. Rydia can wreck these guys just as easily as Tellah did the Red Mousse.
Oh yeah, before I forget: party quotes!
Nice to see everyone is keeping their heads in the game this time!
I take a little detour into a side passage. Experience has taught me that taking the long way always pays off!
Just as I thought! I spy some treasure.
How dare you get between me and my treasure?
These things have 130 HP and a fire weakness... which we can't do much about.
Fortunately, both Rydia and Cecil can one-shot them. They hit fairly hard, at least on our boy Eddie.
All in all, they are easily dispatched, and Eddie even profits from the endeavor!
Oh, yes, does he ever profit!
The Lamia Harp nearly triples his offense, for what that's worth. Its added effect is a lot more useful, too- being Confuse, rather than Sleep.
I toss it on Edward tout de suite!
Let's just continue our
Edward's offense is... better, I guess? I wouldn't quit your day job if I were you, Eddie.
Oh, this thing. This actually reminds me. I picked up one of these in the last dungeon, but here it's more useful.
It imparts a slight stat upgrade to Rydia, but more importantly,
it can be used as an item, just like the Rod. The difference is...
it acts as a free Blizzard! Definitely worth your while if you know you're facing enemies weak to ice.
Huh. Those things can drop Crosses, apparently? (Cures the Curse status effect).
Oh, yeah. Eddie leveled up too.
I already picked up one of these, so... I suppose I can sell it?
Through here is a somewhat special area.
For one, it lets us complete our first floor in this dungeon!
Obtained 5 Potions
Eh, well, Eddie can use those, I guess.
There's a save room in here, but I'm not terribly concerned about that.
Loot, on the other hand, loot always concerns me! That Emergency Exit should come in handy when we finish this place!
I do save and Tent up, though. There's no reason not to.
Moving right along, and grabbing more loot.
And getting more murderous.
And finally I have a reason to show off Edward's Salve ability!
It's much improved in this version! Using it let's you select an item to use.
Which Edward will distribute to the whole party.
Did I mention at full strength? Because he doesn't do any of that "splitting a single Potion among the party" bullshit. The drawback is, it does actually use that many Potions. Eh, who cares? I have plenty of 'em, and they're cheap!
The party profits nicely from that one, too!
Not bad, not bad at all.
And that's another floor complete!
Obtained 3 Phoenix Downs
Yeah, yeah. I'll just add them to the pile.
Oh hey, look at that. It's the end of the dungeon!
The Antlion's Den isn't that bad at, as far as dungeons go. But, if you get lost as much as I do, it can take awhile to get through.... Plus, I fight everything. Running from battles is for the weak!
At the bottom of the pit, Edward has words for us.
Edward approaches a patch of sparklies on the ground.
The Antlion emerges in a cloud of dust!
Here, Let me take one of her pearls.
Uh, Eddie, I don't think that's such a-
Time to unleash hell!
Oh GOD that thing is fucking terrifying!
Say hello to our boss, ladies and gentlemen!
She has 2,000 HP, and she hits pretty hard.
Edward will be on heal-bitch duty for the duration of this fight.
And this is one very compelling reason to give Rydia the Ice Rod. The Antlion is weak to ice. Flinging those free Blizzards in its face will rip through its HP in a damn hurry!
Yep, Cecil, just sit back. Ryida's our main damage-dealer for this fight. Let the lady handle it.
Now, the Antlion works a little bit differently here than it does in other versions.
Oh, that does not look encouraging! Brace yourself, Cecil!
Holy fucking shitballs ow!
Yeah, Edward, you do the heal-bitch thing, and keep doing it!
Oh look at that. Her eyes changed color. That's interesting.
The game even alerts you to this fact, in case you didn't notice.
Sadly, I already had an Ice Rod queued up, so...
A heavy blow,
Ow! Not as bad as I feared it would be, though!
Yeah, so here's the deal: when the Antlion's eyes are white, it counters physical attacks. When they're red, it counters magic. Pay attention to the eye color, heal as necessary, and it's not too hard. Its non-counter attack isn't all that threatening.
Cecil will want to to his usual thing.
Put Rydia on healing duty when the boss' eyes are red.
Edward should keep singing Life's Anthem. Constantly. That should be the only thing he does, other than tossing the party a Potion if Rydia is otherwise occupied.
Cecil's damage is pretty respectable when he's under Darkness.
He's actually on par with Rydia! Impressive, Cecil, impressive.
Edward is... less than impressive. Whatever. He's pretty much dead weight in this battle anyway. Cecil and Rydia have this shit handled.
Between Cecil's Darkness-fueled sword stabbing it in the face, and Rydia showering it with ice every chance she gets, the Antlion doesn't survive the onslaught for long.
It sinks into the sand and disappears. Well, good job, team! And by "team" I mean everybody except Edward.
The party gets a nice chunk of EXP, but Edward is the only one who levels up, this time.
He's becoming... marginally less useless, I guess?
Edward strolls on over and,
It makes no sense. Why would an antlion try to harm us?
Monster populations are swelling, and beasts once harmless now turn hostile. Something is afoot.
Right, let's go!
Is Rydia the only one with her head in the game, guys? Seriously.
At least we're back on track, now.
Yes, Eddie, but that would require you to be, well... not you, wouldn't it?
Doin' what this lady says!
Let's go. There's no reason to stick around this damp, nasty place any longer.
And we're out! Let's head to Kaipo.
We go east, then south, and follow the shoals down
And, BOOM, we're back in Kaipo!
Wasting no time, Cecil rushes to Rosa's side.
Our inventory pops up, allowing us to select our newly-acquired Sand Pearl.
The screen flashes white and,
Rosa climbs out of bed!
What were you thinking, Rosa?
But... I knew it couldn't be true.
Forgive me, I didn't mean to make you worry. But, Rosa, what's this talk of a man named Golbez?
Cecil! You're not even going to so much as hug the lady?! She almost died for cryin' out loud!
His Majesty has been acting even more peculiarly since Golbez came to Baron. He is not himself.
I can't but sure, but I have a feeling Golbez is the one manipulating the king- to gain the Crystals for himself.
The Water Crystal you took from Mysidia... The Fire Crystal of Damcyan... Fabul's Wind Crystal, and the Earth Crystal of Troia.
Oh, Edward, you're still here?
It's thanks to him we were able to save you.
Yeah, right, Cecil. That's bullshit and you know it.
Do you feel better now?
If Damcyan has fallen, he'll be swift to move against Fabul.
But how? There is only one road that leads there. It lies through Mount Hobs, and the way is blocked by a wall of impenetrable ice.
Rosa strolls on over, all business.
No, I can't...
But you're a summoner. Surely you've learned the spell? It's the most elementary of all-
You don't sound so good, Rosa...
You have a good point, Cecil, but...
I won't be a burden. I am a white mage, after all.
The lady has a better point!
Yeah, and good luck keeping her away! Rosa is a woman who knows what she wants.
That's the spirit, buddy.
I will. Thank you, Cecil.
Now, make with the hugs and all is forgiven!
No? Oh well, maybe later. We got a new party member!
Edward's a touch upset, understandably. Seeing Rosa and Cecil together brought up some painful memories, still all too fresh.
Anna... I'm so lost without you.
Come to think of it, I wonder what kind of party member Anna would have made, if she had survived instead of Edward?
I mean, the girl had some serious guts, after all.
Ack! Where'd that thing come from?!
So, we've a fight on our hands. Don't worry, it's hardly challenging.
This thing is a bit stronger than the garden-variety Sahagin, but not by much. And its defense must be piss-poor if Eddie can do that much damage to it!
Even so, he gets some ghostly encouragement.
The Sahagin doesn't hit too hard. Just keep an eye on Eddie's HP and you're good.
Hey, that's the spirit, Eddie! You'll be breaking triple digits in no time.
Anna: But you must believe in yourself!
I think she's giving the guy a bit too much credit, personally.
I... I will try!
Anna fades away, and our boy is on his own.
I see... no improvement whatsoever. What the hell kind of useless pep talk was that?!
Oh whatever. The thing's dead, in any case.
Yeah, yeah. Good job, Eddie. You really killed a thing this time.
Anna has a few more words for Eddie before she departs:
Morning at last! I wonder how well Eddie slept after his brush with death? My guess is, not well.
Then why the hell didn't you at least hug her, you idiot?!
Oh, you're going to be a big help, Rosa, believe me!
I'm glad too, Rydia!
We now have a dedicated healer in our party, which frees Rydia up to do what she does best!
Rosa, what the hell are you doing in the front row?!
That's better. Now Cecil has 3 squishies to protect. He's good for it, don't worry.
Listen to this lady, Cecil. She knows what's up!
Old man: Humor an old man and return to see us again sometime, won't you?
One last thing, and it's easy to miss. The game gives you no clue whatsoever that it's here.
Head back to where Eddie fought the Sahagin (next to the dancer), and there's something shiny on the ground!
I guess Anna left us a parting gift... or maybe Edward actually managed to beat it out of the Sahagin?
In any case, I'll hang onto this one for now. I'll mess with Augments soon, don't worry!
And that's all she wrote, kids! Next time, we'll scale Mount Hobs!
This update was a day early because I'll be doing stuff this weekend. Next update may be delayed for the same reason. I'm already behind so it's not like it makes much difference!