Part 9: Riddles! Also, Plumbing.Chapter 7: Riddles! Also, Plumbing.
(Alright. Let's get this stupid orb back to the stupid tower so we climb some more stupid stairs.)
(I do hate to bring it up, but this orb doesn't resemble the sphere we used to unseal the tower.)
(No, I've been thinking that, too.)
(But Trog can hear thought. Would have listened?)
(Is figured speech?)
(Are you asking me if it's considered speech or if it's a figure of speech?)
(If you're more tolerant of spelunking now, I'd like to see what else lies on the seabed.)
(Sure, why n—wait, you're a goblin?)
(Well, you know how it is with Sei-Ryu. You're hungry an hour later.)
(Doesn't look like there's much up here.)
(It's a reflection, Trog. They can't put an entire town on the bottom of the— )
(Well, shows what I know.)
(At this point, we should stop assuming that any known law of nature or physics still applies.)
(I've been rolling with it for a while now, honestly.)
(I have got to hear the explanation on this one.)
(Welcome to New Atlantis, travellers. Odd to see you down here.)
(Is it? I'm not so sure anymore.)
(Is having airseed, too?)
(Airseed? Oh, yes. The dry-landers are fairly ingenious when it comes to travel. In a few centuries, I imagine they'll have vehicles that can come down here.)
(We have a floating island!)
(Don't be silly, that's not possible.)
(What are you guys doing down here, anyway?)
(Mostly living out our quiet little lives. Our ancestors lived in the sea without worry. This is all that's left of our traditional society.)
(Oh, don't be! With men and women like you above ground, our legacy is safe.)
(You honestly don't know?)
(We came from the tower's base. It seems we're a bit behind the times.)
(We are the Espers, a race descended from the great empire of old. Through the blessings of Lady Isis, we can adapt to any environment—given enough time, of course.)
(But what does that have to do with Rezen? She was born on dry land like the rest of us.)
(Some time ago, the more daring of our people sought refuge above the waves. Through them, our lineage has spread throughout this world—and, if your town is any indication, through the tower. The union of Esper mutability and humanity's hardiness will be the next phase in evolution. It's all but inevitable.)
(Hold up. You're saying I'm descended from Atlantis?)
(A distant relative, but yes. You are as much an Esper as the rest of us. Your telepathy alone proves it.)
(Oh. My. God. This is awesome.)
(See, Rez? You're not a freak, you're just a hyper-adaptive child of a lost underwater empire!)
(Eeeeee! I wanna be a mermaid! Can I be a mermaid?)
(I'm afraid not. We can grow gills, but changing forms is solely the domain of monsters.)
(Have you heard the news? Sei-Ryu is no more!)
(What?! Isis be praised, we're free of his tyranny! Is the orb...?)
(Ah well. I'm not surprised, given its powers of teleportation.)
(...Let's say, hypothetically, someone did have that orb.)
(For instancing, we.)
(How does the whole teleport thing work?)
(The orb itself only generates ambient energy. In order to harness it, you'd need its simulacrum focii.)
(These focii... they wouldn't happen to look exactly like the true orb, would they?)
(Why, yes! They would!)
Apparently, if you check a fake orb after your fight with Sei-Ryu, it warps you back to the floating island. I just went through those caves one last time for no reason whatsoever. The game's straight up trolling me at this point.
Fifteen men on a dead's man chest, yo ho ho and a bottle of root beer~
Rezen, you're old enough to drink in most civilized countries.
I like root beer more!
I still can't believe we had to walk all that way. What is this stupid orb even good for? It won't teleport us around without the fakes, and it won't get us any further in the tower.
Trog know of man who is helping. Take wheel?
We're letting Trog steer? That seems... unwise.
At this point, I'm willing to try just about anything.
Ha! Man spoken of has wisdom. Will know where is sphere.
Oh. Oh no.
No no no no
NO NO NO NO
Well, look who's back.
I am going on record right now as being against this idea and everything that comes from it.
You've been learning since we last met. I'm impressed. It usually takes longer to grasp.
I have no idea what you're even talking about! What is wrong with you?!
Is being rude again! Honored Grandfather deserve best to offer.
Nope, I'm not doing this. You guys talk to him if you want. I'm leaving.
Wait! Come back!
What can you get...
This is seriously the worst day of my entire life. I've got a useless magic stone, I smell like seaweed, and that old coot is either too senile or too crazy to help us.
Maybe some retail therapy'll help you feel better.
Indeed. We have to replenish our supplies, anyway.
So help me God, if you start your sentence with "You look like the kind of woman..."
Why would I? Stuff like that never works.
Excusing Trog, but what is? Thing have potency.
A fine eye for quality, sir. You look like the kind of man who demands the best.
That is a rock and you are not fooling anyone.
Yes, but it's a very good rock.
Trog is weigh quality next to cost.
Because I've themed my characters' loadouts, you're not getting the full picture of just how many damn weapons there are in Final Fantasy Legend. In addition to everything we've seen so far, there are whips, rocks (yes, you can throw rocks at an opponent), magic staves, laser weapons, psychic swords, and gods know what else. Outside of guns and martial arts, most weapons are tied to one of three stats—strength, agility, or mana. As a general rule, everything with a sword icon next to it is strength, and any weapon without an icon is going to use agility. Mana weapons are painfully obvious, but there's no reason to fiddle around with a Rod when Rezen can use a Saber without any issues.
Hilariously, rocks do gun-style damage. It kind of makes sense; you just huck it at someone and hope for the best.
Is not happy. Rock was good deal.
You are not buying a rock with our hard earned cash. That thing was a hundred gold. One hundred.
Buy two while on sale. Is better buying bulk.
Which would've been two hundred gold, which is even worse than... than...
Bucket with an empty bottom.
Oh dear. Whatever the old man had, it's spreading.
Dente! How much is two longswords, three gold helms, and four potions in gold?
Ah, let's see. One hundred and thirty-two times 2, carry the hundreds place, add to that...
Is nine hundred eighty-nine.
...my word, he's correct. How did you do that?
Don't know, don't care. Hey, rock salesman! Do you have anything for nine hundred eighty-nine gold?
I got a battle sword in the clearance case. I've been trying to get rid of it for weeks.
We'll take it!
See? You trade in all that cheap crap for one good, useful weapon. That's the riddle.
How did you figure it out?
What happens when the bottom falls out of a bucket at night?
Oh dear. This again?
Don't you get it? The reflection goes away, and you look up.
You see the real moon!
Here's what you asked for.
Thanks for the riddles. It took me a while, but I finally got it.
Got what? Oh, I'm just an old man who likes puzzles. Don't overthink it.
Honored Grandfather have effect on Elly. Will share wisdom?
I'm afraid I don't have any of that. If you're desperate, though, I can tell you a story.
A long time ago, there sprang into creation four pure Ideas—Love, Courage, Honor, and Sacrifice. These Ideas united all of mankind under their banner, bringing peace and joy. As the people grew in power, so did the Ideas. Soon, they were powerful enough to take form. They became the Aeons...
The people began to worship the Aeons, and they were happy... for a while. But the Aeons grew greedy, and before long, each had forgotten the Idea from which they came. They began to treat their worshippers as pawns, then slaves. The people cried out in their suffering and abandonment. It left an opening in their hearts, and into that opening crept... the Demiurge.
The Aeons saw their worshippers turn to the Demiurge, and instead of jealousy, they felt... fear. Their ancient eyes could see what the Demiurge portended. And so, to protect their people—and in penance for their arrogance—the Aeons hid themselves in the one place they could not be found. They scattered their essence throughout the universe, hiding in every tree, stone, and blade of grass, waiting for the day the Demiurge could be undone... quietly influencing what was once their people to find peace and prosperity once again.
Wow, that's some story. But what's a Demiurge?
No one really knows. I've lived a long, long time, and I've never figured it out myself. In our world, the term is an idiom for "event of great calamity." Beyond that, I don't know.
If you don't know, it's going to be really hard for us to find out.
Flatterer. Here, take this and get out of my hut.
You're bright. You'll figure it out.
It was an honor to meet you, your highness.
Oh, stop that. I'm just an old man.
If you haven't figured it out by now, Rez, I don't know what to tell you.
Here we go again!
Actually... you guys wait here. I have one last piece of business to take care of.
Hey, rookie. Find what you were looking for?
Sure did. Thanks for the intel. We found some grenades that came in handy.
Whew! Brought out the explosives, huh? Just what the hell were you fighting?
That's classified. Anyway, how's business going?
Lousy as always. Seas are a helluva lot calmer than I've ever seen them, though.
You never know. They might just stay that way.
So what if they do? My trade's still wrecked. There's no more boats around here.
Good point. Hey, while we're on the subject, there's an island outside town that wasn't there before. It's all yours.
What? What am I supposed to do with an island?
You're bright. You'll figure it out.
Sure am. Let's motor.
Okie dokey! We got the orbs. Now what?
Try ram together? Maybe make sphere.
Oh, of all the harebrained—
It appears the power of percussive logic carries the day once more.
Onwards to glory!
Or more stairs. Whichever!
Tower climbing is pretty boring outside of subzones and treasure. I'm going to fast-forward through most of it, but I want to do a quick round-up of specific monsters from this area.
At this point, you'll regularly see Atom Crabs, Eagles, Conjurers, and Medusas. All of them need to be dealt with immediately if you're going to fight them. Conjurers can cast Fire, and Atom Crabs and Eagles regularly hit for 100+. (I want to emphasize that my front line is wearing the best tier of armor available and is still taking that much damage.) On top of that, remember last update when I said I should buy a bunch of Golden Needles? Guess what cures Stone? Guess what Medusas do? Now guess what I didn't buy.
If you're not grinding to the point of game breakage, you're going to have to be careful here. There's a lot of agile enemies that will block your first run attempt, and you probably won't get a second without losing someone in the process. If you eliminate the most dangerous groups first, you can make a ton of gold without a whole lot of effort. If you fuck up, you'll be resetting and/or heading back to the House of Life.
(As an example, I moved the cursor one spot farther than I should've when picking Rezen's target, hit a manticore instead of a conjurer, and ended up with a dead Elly. So, don't do that. Take it slow, and you'll be fine.)
Well, this'll probably suck.
Have swimming trunks?
Oh, just wade in there, you pansy. It's water, it's not going to kill you.
Trog not swim as well. Is hesitant.
That's why you should always come prepared.
Oh, you got lucky and you know it.
I would hardly call this lucky.
Dente, after an amazing run of ass-whooping, is back to where we started. Since he's just eating everything we come across, I haven't really bothered documenting how monster level-ups work. Previous FFL LPer "ddegenha" ( DON'T LOOK AT HIS LP YET THERE'S HUGE SPOILERS IN THERE YOU BIG DUMMY ) drops some knowledge on us:
I can explain, if you don't mind. The monster evolution system is built with a slight bias in your favor to try and make monsters more useful. What monster you become is based on the intersection of your current monster "family" and the family of the meat you eat, and is based off the higher level of the two. However, if there's a blank spot in the chart the game looks UP first rather than down. A gazer is a level 7 monster, and eating the jaguar meat turned you into a jelly group but there is no Jelly at level 7. There is one at level 8, however, so you became that... and then eating the plant again turned you into an eye, but since there is no eye monster at level 8 you turned into a level 9 eye monster, or seeker.
Unspoken here is that you can go down in levels the same way. So long, Seeker, you were awesome while it lasted.
(Also totally read ddegenha's LP after we're done here, he gets into a lot of technical details that I don't cover. Just not right now!)
There's no one around for miles!
I'd wager they were carved by a long-abandoned civilization. These "pocket" worlds seem capable of supporting entire cultures without anyone knowing.
Well, they're kind of ugly if you ask me.
But generous! Got anything else, Mr. Fish?
Well, ask a stupid question.
This is probably the weirdest area in the entire game, and that's saying something. Other than a huge strip of fish statues to the north, it's entirely water. The statues will give you up to three X-Potions if you talk to them. (You'll have to speak to the "tail" due to programmer indecision about whether you need to be on or facing what you're talking to.) The fourth and subsequent times you talk to them, you get a monster encounter—usually manticores and conjurers. Conjurers cast Fire, so you really don't want that. Grab the three potions, then check one more statue:
Hey. Hey you.
Fish is talking. Trog have bad sushi?
If you did, it's affecting me, too. What's up, statue?
Little tip for you.
...the tower. Be careful when you leave and arrive. There's no telling when that'll be.
Thanks! I have a question, though. Why is this whole place nothing but water?
Joe over there left the sink running.
Oh sure, blame me!
Who are you talking to?
The fish! He gave us a neat tip.
Uh... that's a statue, Rez.
Is wise! Tell friend Elly, O Fish One.
Great. They've finally lost it.
I suppose it was just a matter of time.
Doop dee doo. Stairs stairs stairs stairs stairs stairs treasure!
Is that anything like "duck duck goose"?
Cannot fit two duck in goose. Works better inside turkey.
I am intrigued and wish to learn more.
Enough yappin'. What's in the box?
Looks like you win, Elly!
It's gear, Rez. There's no winner. It goes to whoever needs it.
In that case, can I get a gu—
Besides, this thing looks like it barely works. Manual load, too. I doubt it'll be that helpful.
Eyes north, soldier!
I wasn't—I'm just trying to avoid her stone gaze!
Boys are gross. Hey, Elly! Try the new gun you found!
Copy that. Point, squeeze trigger, and—
GAH! This thing is firing tiny cannonballs! How do you even hit someone with that?!
Muskets are of questionable usefulness. They do way more damage than a Colt (to the tune of 100+), but they also get a pretty significant accuracy penalty. I don't know if raised agility can compensate for this. I suspect not. This seems like the kind of thing SaGa/FFL would bake into the weapon just to see if you'll use it. (Spoiler: We do)
Wonder what's in here? Desert? Forest? Some messed up jungle made of metal and tears?
"Hospital" is not an answer I would've predicted.
Wow, these guys are in really bad shape. Are they tower climbers, too?
I'm afraid so.
Close enough. All that's left is me and an orderly. But we swore an oath, and we'll still do what we can for anyone who comes in here.
Just how many people have been through?
I've honestly lost track. Since the tower was unsealed a few decades ago, there's been a steady stream. For every one that leaves, it seems like two more replace them. Calcified limbs, traumatized minds, blindness... All in the name of so-called "paradise." It just about tears my heart out.
Decades? We unsealed it last week!
Remember what friend fish is saying. Time does not work. Tower is strange.
Ah, so you're the ones that broke the seal.
Yeah. Sorry about that.
*shrug* Inevitable. If it wasn't you, it would've just been someone else.
The Demiurge! THE DEMIURGE!
Woah, the what now?
Be careful with that one. He's suffering from PTSD. Lashes out in his sleep, screams at the top of his lungs for no reason... It takes both of us to calm him down once he gets going. He's cooperative enough, but there's only so much we can do.
Um... hello, sir. What were you saying just now?
*pants* I don't know. I never know. I have these horrible dreams. Nurse! I need a fresh set of sheets.
Of course, right away.
Look, I don't want to pry...
I'm afraid we must. Shortly before you woke up, you were shouting about something called a Demiurge.
I don't know anything about that. Sometimes I just scream gibberish. Look, you guys seem like you're alright. Let me warn you about something.
If you're out to climb the tower, give up now. It's hopeless. Even if you manage to put away all the fiends, you still have to deal with their boss.
And who, exactly, is that?
Who do you think, skeleton? The Archfiend Ashura.
Now get out of here. You guys are marching to your deaths. I got no more appetite for it.
Always more, always worse.
Are we really going to end up like him?
We haven't yet.
Whatever. The point is, we took down two fiends all by our lonesomes, and everyone said it couldn't be done. We've got the chops, we'll see this thing through.
Dente? You okay back there?
Yes. Well, no, actually. What that gargoyle said... it doesn't make sense.
What, about there being an archfiend?
No, that's entirely plausible. It's just... It can't be Ashura. That's not possible.
Ashura's supposed to be the Aeon of Sacrifice, right? Didn't he hide with the others?
Precisely. None of this is adding up.
Trog do math and agree.
Reassuring, I suppose.
Again with the stairs!
We are in a tower.
I spy with my little eye something that starts with GIMME TREASURE
Just a knife? It's really hit or miss around here, isn't it?
Well, your Saber's in pretty bad shape, and we don't want to run you out of spells. It might not be a bad idea to try it out next fight.
Is next fight already! To arms!
We'll handle the manticores. Rez, use that new knife of yours to keep the eagle busy!
Roger! How about a little stab, Scarecrow?
That doesn't even make any sens—
Fuck this shit, we're out of here
Rez, what the hell did you just do?! You can't make someone explode just by stabbing them! ... Can you? You can't, right?
Is possible! Trog saw with eyes.
I'm going to put this dagger back in its sheath, and we're never going to talk about this again.
The P-Knife is the first weapon we've encountered that uses Mana as its base stat. Mana-based hand-to-hand weapons are pretty rare; the only ones I remember are the P-series weapons, rods, and a weapon which shall remain mysterious for now. As you can see, when used by someone with a mana rating of sixty eight, the end result is pretty much an insta-gib. I bet Rez can shell out critical hits with this thing, but since it's a rare weapon (for now), we'll put it back on the shelf.
Ah, they've been redecorating.
Trog is not liking.
Yeah, wood panelling kind of went out of style a while ago.
Though it appears fish statues never do.
At least these don't talk to you!
(We need to get her out of here before she starts swinging that dagger of hers at imaginary elves.)
Have seen before!
Argh! How did he beat us here? We have to find out how he's doing it, or he'll get to the top before us!
Relax. I'll handle this.
I bet you will
Hey. Didn't expect to see you again. How's it going?
I'm well, thank you! Always a pleasure to see you.
Hat Guy is quick! Share secret?
Well, you never told us your name, so we kind of had to make one up.
Oh, that. Sorry, I have a lot of aliases in a lot of places. I try not to give out my real name. It makes things a lot easier.
Ah. You're a thief.
That's somewhat of an oversimplification. Anyway, I like "Hat Guy." It's kind of charming.
You haven't answered our question, though. How are you making your way up the tower before we can break the seals?
I don't want to give away too many of my secrets, but there are... other ways through the tower. Subtler ways. Secret paths. They can be found, but it takes a great deal of time and resources. Usually, by the time I've found them, you've broken one seal and are racing to the next.
I guess beating up fiends and breaking seals is kind of dumb if there's an easier way.
Not at all. We're just taking two different paths—subterfugue against the direct approach. It'll be fascinating to see who wins. Speaking of which, I've hit a huge snag. My sources tell me the next fiend has already consolidated control over his world, but he's spread himself too thin in the process.
I was hoping to use that against him, but too many people around here already know my face.
Ha! We are men, Hat Guy! Fight through!
Too much work and too much hassle.
What, fights? Pfft. They're no big deal, I do them all the time. You want something really tough, try crossfit.
Yeah. You should try it sometime. I know a gym in Base Town. We could work out together.
I don't think I'd be very good at it.
That's alright, you can just watch me.
Okay we're leaving now bye
God. Thanks for getting me out of there. I was crashing and burning so hard it wasn't funny.
What? Oh, no. That was great.
I pulled you guys back here because I think we can steal his idea! Nobody knows who we are. We can sneak in and pretend to be guards instead!
Stealing an idea from a master thief so we can pretend to be guards for a fiend. Something about this whole set-up just seems... wrong.
We do need to defeat the fiend and take his sphere to continue. This door is sealed.
And it's not like we have any better plans.
Ugh. I guess we'll have run a dark op, then. Let's get out of here before Hat Guy catches on.
Here goes nothing...
Now that's what I'm talking about!
I have to admit, it's quite a change from the worlds we've already encountered.
Trog? What's wrong?
...Trog is home.
Next Time: Once You Geaux Tiger, You Never Geaux Back