Part 77: DS Mini Where'd all the Flamehounds go?Special treat for you guys today: bonus update!
DS Mini Update 20.5: Where'd all the Flamehounds go?
Hello everyone! The rest of the Tower of Babil seemed way too much to dump on you all at once, so I've broken it up a bit. The rest of it will still be really fucking huge, but let's see how this works out!
When last we left off, we had limped, bruised and battered, into a timely save room. This Tower has been beating us senseless up to now. Let's see if we can do any better today!
There's still some treasure to collect,
and some new enemies to fight!
We met the purple dude in front back in the Tower of Zot. His friends are new. Evil Dolls are palette swaps of Marionettes, and like their counterparts, they have no elemental weaknesses. (Again, you'd think dolls would be flammable, but alas, no). They have 1,319 HP, and they can cast various spells, such as Protect,
You know, giving Cecil an attack boost and driving him into a killing frenzy doesn't strike me as the best idea.
Eh, your funeral, buddy!
Yeah... not the best idea at all.
After that battle, I got a sudden, and ultimately stupid, idea.
Since I'm not using Rydia's Whip, maybe I should equip a staff on her instead? There's a lot of ice-weak things here. Maybe an Ice Rod would be a good choice? (Hey, at least it raises her Intellect.)
Anyway, there are a bunch of doors here. We'll go through this one first.
I feel I should mention that this place is an absolute nightmare to play blind. Which is what I did my first playthrough. With all the alternate paths and frequent (and brutal) random encounters, it's stupid easy to get lost, even with a map. If you're going to miss completing any map in this game, chances are it's in the Tower of Babil. (And yes, you do get a prize for completing them all). Naturally, it's also a one-off area, so you can't ever come back here. Make sure you complete all floors and fight all the enemies before you leave!
Another lone treasure chest.
At this point, if you didn't see this coming, you should really see a doctor because you're clearly brain dead.
Another day, another Searcher. Let's see what it throws at us this time...
Huh. A new enemy. How about that?
Gentle reminder: don't take these things lightly.
They're not nearly as bad as the Flamehounds, but that counterattack of theirs stings pretty bad!
Right. So, this thing is a Stone Golem. They're packing 8,721 and they're not weak to anything in particular, but they do absorb earth. Just keep Titan far away from them and you'll be fine.
Their defense is pretty beefy, so having Kain Cry his bitter crocodile tears at them is recommended!
They hit fairly hard,
but so does Cecil!
Oh, and my Brilliant Idea of giving Rydia the Ice Rod?
Yeah... not so much. The Ice Rod has clearly outlived its usefulness. Oh well, it had a good run! Tellah really needed it, because his MP pool was so pathetic, but Rydia doesn't have such problems. Plus, you know... Osmose.
The party profits quite handily from beating that thing!
Good. More murder, more!
Oh, we profit quite handily indeed! Unlike in the GBA version, Haste is super useful, especially when combined with Slow. It makes the ATB gauge fill about twice as fast. You'll run circles around the enemy with this! Its only drawback is it can't be multi-targetd. Toss it on someone who can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Rydia is an excellent choice, since Haste stacks with Fast Talker!
Speaking of Rydia, let's get her a proper weapon. The Polymorph Rod doesn't do anything special (it casts Toad, if you recall), but a 3-point boost to Intellect is nothing to sneeze at!
Enough going off on tangents. This is our prize from that chest, and it's damn nice! This is going straight to Cecil. I'd like to see those Flamehounds wipe me again!
Next, we head to the south. There are two doors. Ooh, tough decisions!
Well, you'd think so, but you'd be wrong. This room is empty. It doesn't even count towards map completion. What the fuck is this shit?!
Well, at least the western door has something.
I'm not even going to say anything about this.
And behind Door Number Three...
Let's just cut right to the chase: I murdered it. Brutally.
This is my prize. Cecil can have this.
And Kain can have the Shield. Now two of my beefiest frontliners resist fire attacks. Those Flamehounds don't stand a chance! Maybe?
The exit is to the northwest, and so is our map completion.
Obtained 5 Hi-Potions
*Yawn* Without Item Lore, these things don't heal nearly enough HP to be worth the bother. Bah.
Meanwhile, have a new(ish) enemy!
We haven't seen any Flamehounds in awhile, have we? The first few floors, I was beating them off with a stick! Where'd they all go? Are they plotting an ambush?
Anyway, returning to the task at hand: this is a Steel Golem. (We actually fought these back in Eblan Castle, but ignore that for now.)
Ah hah! Thank you, Cecil. As you can see, they're weak to ice. They also have 6,630 HP, but with that ice weakness, they shouldn't last long.
All right, I can recognize when I'm being mocked, stupid game! How dare you taunt me with this?!
Oh well. I always like level ups.
Ooh! All is forgiven, game, all is forgiven!
This is a momentous occasion! Cecil has learned all the spells he will ever get!
His spell selection is rather paltry, but helpful. He gets a bunch of great support spells. Still, he'll be stuck with that measly Cura spell forever, which is just sad. Would it have killed the devs to at least toss him Curaga? Haste would be nice too...
Eh, I shouldn't complain too much. It's a fine spell selection.
Oh hey. Remember these guys? We fought Skuldiers back in Eblan Castle too!
Well, we don't need any Stop/Break cheap tricks anymore. We're strong enough to go toe-to-toe with these things now!
Yep. These things used to tear through us, now we can tear through them! That's pretty satisfying!
I haven't been getting my ass kicked so badly, so I have Rosa use Pray.
The MP recovery is small, but it does wonders for my peace of mind. I'm terrified of running out of Ethers!
Hey, Rydia needs the MP, OK?
She's a busy woman, with a long list of things to murder!
There are a couple points of interest on the next floor. First, this Arctic Wind tucked away in an easily-overlooked corner.
Second, this long, narrow path in the middle.
At the end of which is a locked door. This is clearly important! We can't do anything with it for now, though.
I got jumped by another Steel Golem on that pathway. Yang profited. It also dropped another Gaia Hammer. It's not funny anymore, game!
Now... Hang on. That green thing looks familiar.
130 HP? Are you fucking kidding me?! Yes, this is the same Leshy we encountered in The Antlion's Cave. What they're doing here, I cannot even begin to fathom. I'm pretty sure even Rydia could one-shot these.
I mean, seriously.
It's not even funny!
Rydia is the greatest.
Another triple level up?! My word.
Kain is clearly happier holding a proper spear.
Murder levels continue to rise!
God job, Rosa. Keep at it!
Oh, yeah. Remember how dangerous these things were at first, with their Thundara-against-the-whole-party shenanigans?
Yeah, not so much anymore.
Incidentally, this is something I really like about RPGs: visible progress. You can go back to earlier levels in the game and steamroll things that used to give you trouble. It's strangely satisfying. There have actually been studies done on this phenomenon: the appeal of small, incremental rewards. Something to do with Game Theory, I think. It's been awhile since my last psych class... Maybe one of you psych majors out there can chime in!
Speaking of progress:
We've made made murder progress, too! I love it!
To the far east, there's another treasure. Whoop-de-doo!
Obtained 5 Remedies
And that's another floor complete! In fact, that's two floors complete without a single Flamehound encounter... The hell is going on?!
Not that I'm complaining! No, I am certainly not complaining. Please don't hurt me, RNG!
New enemy! We haven't seen that gray Armadillo palette swap before. It's called an Ironback. It has 2,166 HP and no particular weakness.
They fall quickly enough, and level up for Cecil.
Now, this next floor is interesting.
You can plainly see there's stuff on the other side of that wall, but there's no way to get to it. We can't complete this floor yet. Perhaps we'll have the chance later!
For now, we just have to move on.
Onto the next floor! We're getting close; I can feel it.
Oh wait. This does give me a chance to emphasize something.
Remember I said if you're up against multiple enemies, it's better to use Summons, rather than Black Magic?
Yeah. Ifrit was doing about five times that! Summons are OP as fuck!
Killing skeletons is still good experience, regardless.
This door is special.
Another save point? Already?! Gee. I haven't had nearly as much trouble the past few floors. It went a lot faster!
Still, I won't pass up the opportunity to heal up and save my game. Getting cocky only invites disaster, especially in this game!
Now, that's the door we came in, so...
Damn it, don't interrupt! Jerks.
Can't argue with the results, I suppose.
Oh, oh yessss. She's started learning the third tier of spells! Yes, yes, yes!
One thing I will say about this tower: it's balls-to-the-wall hard, but it just shits experience at you, doesn't it? I've gotten a lot of level ups!
See over there? There's more to this floor too. We won't be able to complete this one, either. Damn. I hate leaving things unfinished!
What is with all the interruptions!
You know, all these random encounters don't help my tendency to get lost at the drop of a hat, game!
Ah, these are nice. I like these. I could use more...
OK, here we go. Through this door...
Mother of fuck go away!
I wouldn't even bother showing these battles, but I keep levelling up, and I think a string of level ups with no explanation would be rather confusing.
Anyway, this floor looks suspiciously like The Boss Floor, so I'll stop here for now. We're not done with this place yet, by a long shot, so I'll see you guys again on Friday!