Part 13: More Plumbing.Chapter 10: More Plumbing.
Everybody now! Ehn ehn ehn, doot doot doo, deet deedledeedledee
Alright, troop. First thing we should do is—
Hey, it wasn't me for once!
Welcome to Floors 15-20! Yes, that's a Gazer. The game is done fucking around.
You have to be extremely careful from here on out, because unless you cleaned out Secret Town's inventory, you can't bull your way through. There are enemies in here that hit harder than you have the HP or armor for. Furthermore, these monsters have some pretty impressive agility scores. Run doesn't work quite as well as it used to, and as a consequence, Rezen or Elly aren't locks to act first.
Honestly, it's feast-or-famine for our guys. Damage-wise, they can handle pretty much any party of monsters in 1-2 turns. The problem is, one action is all some of these guys need to finish off a party member. To stay alive, we have to pick our spots carefully and swap Rezen's Ice book out for Cure when needed. There's no point in keeping Cure equipped during combat. It's either a KO punch or manageable damage.
Indeed. I find it quite disturbing they're able to penetrate your armor with such regularity.
Believe me, you're not the only one.
Trog is not worried! Elly is tough!
Yeah, but that doesn't mean I like broken ribs.
Wait. Did anyone else just hear glass breaking?
Is not Trog. Carry nothing of glass.
WELL LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING MEAN GENE, TOWERMANIA'S RUNNIN' WILDER THAN EVER, BROTHER
Trog respect shouty word man!
Oh, c'mon. Everyone knows wrestling is fake.
Hari-Te! Hari-Te! By Gods!
What is Hari-Te, anyway?
Trog is honestly not knowing.
Harite, according to cursory internet research, are the open-palm chest slaps that sumo wrestlers use to back up their opponents. That's boring, though, so pretend it's your favorite pro wrestling finisher instead. I choose Stan Hansen's power lariat so that, after the wrestler hits someone, I can scream LARIATO LARIATO LARIATOOOOOOOOOOOO. Then I reset the game because Rezen's dead.
Hari-Te hits for about 100 damage, but wrestlers really like targeting Rez for some reason. They come in singles and cough up 600 gold a kill, so if I've saved recently, I'll brawl with one or two of them. Otherwise, I'm running.
YOU THINK IT'S FAKE? WHAT? UNREAL? WHAT? STAGED? WHAT?
Rez, what did you do?!
I'm sorry! I always thought, y'know, they don't actually hit people!
Well, clearly you were mistaken!
THE MAN OF THE HOUR, THE MAN WITH THE POWER, TOO SWEET TO BE SOUR, OOH YEAH DIG IT
Quickly! Into door!
Are we back on Cloud World?
No, is not Trog's home. Feels... different.
Well, it looks like Muscles isn't following us, so we might as well investigate.
I am... a bit concerned about the weather up here. It seems much more violent than Cloud World's.
Eh, clouds are pretty sturdy. I'm sure we'll be fine!
Fee Fi Fo Fum, I'm gonna kick your scrawny bum
This subworld is kind of boring (and dangerous!), but a necessary visit for one of the treasures. You'll mostly see Ogres up here. Ogres are the Onis' big brothers, and while their Punches aren't as bad as Horn was, there's usually 3 or 4 of them, and they're fast. On top of that, their HP is so great that Rez can't one-shot them without using Death. They can gang up and clobber a party member very easily if you're not careful.
As you can see from above, you'll hit "wind gusts" as you're walking around that will slide you along to a fixed destination. It's not as bad as it sounds, but it does make getting around a pain. There's some high level potions around the edge, but we're here for one specific item.
Ugh. There's no fighting this wind. We're going to have to leave the chest behind.
Sorry, Rez, but we can't risk it. The currents are pretty bad up here.
Actually, I may have an idea. The wind is our enemy only because we're fighting it. What if there were a way to use it to our advantage?
It's so crazy, it just might work.
Or get us all killed.
Hmm, let's see. Treasure, death, treasure, death... it's a tough call.
To get this chest, you'll have to ride the current while holding left on the control pad. Due to the mechanics of FFL's controls, bumping into obvious triggers like people and chests is the same as facing it and pushing A. Do it right, and you grab the Vampic Sword as you go by. It's not hard, and it's not a long walk to try again. You'll want to do it as few times as possible, though, since there's ogres all over the place.
That thing looks evil and awful and I can't believe you're seriously considering using it.
C'mon! It's gotta be better than the last magic sword we got.
That is an impressively low bar to clear.
Worry-warts. Here, lemme draw it.
See? Nothing to worry about, it doesn't—
Blood for the Blood God Ïa Ïa
The Vampic sword is one of the best utility weapon in the game, and it pains me that Rez's HP is such that it's not really useful. In a playthrough with two mutants and/or a kinder RNG, it's going to end up being your boss-fight weapon. Besides the obvious HP drain, it's Mana-based. With the right wielder, you can really ruin someone's day.
Y'know, between that sword and your spellbook, I think half our gear might be plotting to kill us.
How do you know I'm not in on it?
Just a joke. Ha Ha!
Well, that's less than comforting.
Trog is sleeping with eyes open now.
Treasure chest again.
They're really laying it on thick, aren't they?
Seems like the gear's better the farther we go, too.
You know... I've been thinking about something lately. It's most likely paranoia, but...
No, I've been getting a weird vibe, too.
It's just too much of a coincidence. The farther along we go, the better and more useful the treasure gets.
Trog not is understanding. What does friend say?
It's almost like someone is providing these items. Like it was some sort of...
That does sound pretty paranoid. C'mon, guys. The stronger the monsters, the stronger the gear they'll be using. If we raid their stocks, we're going to find better stuff.
You're right, it was a silly idea. Forget I mentioned it.
Great, another weirdo weapon we don't know how to use.
I'm getting pretty fed up with weirdo weapons. Throw it in the sack, we'll ask somebody about it the next time we see a weapons shop.
Assuming not killed by it yet.
I suppose we should steel ourselves for whatever crime against man and nature we're about to witness.
Seriously, you'd think we'd learn to stop visiting these places. Nothing good ever happens!
We have to check them all, Rez. We don't know where the fourth sphere is.
Hey, a beach!
Yes, but I suspect it's not meant to be one.
The pond is drying up. We've only got a tiny spring left. Please, I'm begging you!
Is... is nothing can do. Trog is not Odin. Cannot make weather.
We can't keep living like this! We'll shrivel and die! Oh, Lord Ashura, why have you abandoned us?!
Yup, that seemed about right.
I dunno. It still beat Hell.
How on earth do you justify such thinking? They're suffering!
They still have hope, Dente. Maybe we can find a way to fix it!
Stranger things occur. Trog know. Was there when happened.
Not pictured on the way because it wasn't worth it: Jellies start cropping up around this area. They have Melt, a ton of immunities (including O-Physical, which mercifully only reduces damage by half instead of preventing it), and a whole lot of HP. You know what else they have? 40GP. Seriously, that's it. They're not worth it, just leave them be.
Maybe friend Dente is right. World is nothing but gaming.
Seriously, I think the tower's getting to you guys. There's no way someone just left this stuff out for us.
No way, huh?
I am putting this on my head, and we are going to move on.
Aah. That hit the spot.
I feel bad drinking from this thing when the jellyfish are out of water. Maybe we can bring some of it back to them.
That's not a bad idea.
Prolonging the inevitable, I'm afraid. Still, anything to reduce their suffering.
Hello, friends! Is owner of spring?
Trog, who are you talking toooooooh my GOD
This fight. This fucking fight.
I guess I should elaborate. FFL's random number generator is horrible. It's not random. It's not even pseudo-random. There's apparently no internal timer the game can use to generate pseudo-random numbers, so it seeds a constant value when you start a new game and uses event checks (like user input) to increment. Unfortunately, due to... well, you know the rest, but the integer for RNG checks is saved into your file.
In layman's terms, it's not random. It's deterministic.
What this means to us: I saved at the pool, then waltzed down the hallway and got jumped by these assholes. That thing in the middle? It's a Triceras. Do not fight Triceras. They have an attack called 4-Horns that does 250-300 damage. I didn't remember that and made the mistake of attacking the Seeker first. The Triceras immediately pasted Elly for 325. No big deal, though. Reset, reload, walk forward, and...
This time, I shuffle around attacks so that the Triceras gets targeted first. The good news is, he goes down quick! The bad news is, a Seeker fries Rezen for 110 and forces another reset.
At this point, I repeated each of these scenarios twice each before I realized something. The combination of reload, steps taken, and actions taken were resulting in the same thing happening, and just about every combination I could think of ended up with a dead character. Because the RNG wasn't random, I was locked into a situation where I seemingly had to lose a party member. It's a real head scratcher.
Eventually, I stumbled upon a fix. Once again, Dente as a Seeker bails us out. Seekers get Gaze, which inflicts paralysis—and, if you remember from last update, the only monsters that have O-Para/Poi on a regular basis are undead. We paralyze the opposing Seeker for maximum irony, then Rez uses Armor and we cross our fingers. Sure enough, the Triceras targets her, doing 40-50 damage (against someone with 99 defense). After that, our combined attacks drop it. Paralyze the Anaconda next turn just to be safe, and we can slaughter what's left at our leisure. A quick trip back to the healing spring, and we can get on with the LP.
As I've said before, when FFL is firing on all cylinders, I love it to pieces. When the rough edges screw you over, it's miserable.
Here we go again...
*splash* Oh ugh. What is this, a sewer?
The water is certainly stagnant, but I'm fairly sure it's sanitary.
Yeah, except for the green goop.
It's algae, Rezen. Perfectly natural and nothing to be alarmed about.
Trog satiates thirst! Is full of vegetables and mineral!
Well, that's about the most disgusting thing I've seen.
Okay, I'm going to halt the narrative here, because I want to make something clear. I embellish the story a whole bunch. There's not a lot to FFL outside of the major plot events, so I need something to plug the holes. There's a lot of slight of hand involved with twisting existing dialogue, writing new stuff around individual screenshots, and generally bending the entire universe to my whim.
So, to make it absolutely clear I have not done anything to this next part, I am going to present these screenshots, completely unedited or amended, in the order they occur.
God dammit Bob
Seriously! Why would you even do that?
It was just some random puddle! I was done with my candy bar! It seemed like a good idea at the time!
Ugh. Do we really have to play plumber here?
It couldn't hurt. The situation may be amusing at the moment, but the rising tide will eventually become dangerous.
Oh, well, here's your problem. The...
Trog remove! Garbage is no match for Trog's might!
All yours, champ.
Nice! I think that got it!
...I take it back. That was the most disgusting thing I've ever seen.
Friend Rezen have more hair than before. Has grown manly?
I do believe that's not hair covering her.
gross gross gross gross grosssssssssssss
More than likely, we've fallen to a lower level on the tower.
Uh oh. I think the algae thing finally broke her.
You guys! Don't you realize where we are?
Is mushroom kingdom?
Water! Food! I'm sorry to have doubted you, Lord Ashura!
Did we just...
We did! We saved both worlds at once!
This is the most moment in the game, and the timing is fantastic after everything that went down in Sky World. Also, after you fix the drain, both places go from the generic overworld theme to the wistful town theme.
Feels good, man.
Well, if the water's fixed down here, that means the other place must have dried out. Let's go take a look.
I don't know about you guys, but I feel pretty darn spiffy right now.
Agreed. It's nice to be heroes for once.
Pah! What is talking? Were heroes from very start.
Hey, now that everyone's not worried about drowning, I bet they'll have more to talk about.
Let's get to it!
I'm Gen-Bu, the Black Turtle.
I'm Byak-Ko, the White Tiger!
...the hell kinda games you guys play around here?
Oh, they're just silly myths! Everyone knows the four "fiends" are just constellations in the night sky.
Should be telling them?
I don't see a reason to. They're safe and happy. Let's leave 'em that way.
Woah! This wasn't here before.
That's our fort! Now that we've finally gotten the water level down, we can go clean it out.
Hey, since you guys unclogged the drain... There's some stuff that's been there forever. We don't really have a use for it. Help yourselves!
Well now! Isn't that generous!
Gaaaak. It smells really bad in here.
Mildew and stagnant water'll do that to you.
Why is cloud? Was stone moments before.
I have a theory, though it's a bit far fetched.
I'm willing to consider literally anything at this point.
Thanks to the tower's shenanigans, this "fort" is dimensionally displaced. We're actually in a secret storeroom from the ogres' world.
How would that even work?
The area beyond the fort door corresponds to a different location in space and time. They're "stitched" together by the tower's magic.
So, what you're saying is...
It's smaller on the inside.
Enough gum flapping! Let's open some boxes!
Oh ho ho! What do we have here?
It's got the same handle as your Psi Knife, so it's probably a Psi Sword.
Screw it, then! I'm using the knife from here on out. Here, Elly, you can have my light saber.
I am almost certain that's not a good idea.
Oh, c'mon! It's a lot lighter than a sword. I'm sure Elly can handle it way better than some clunky rapier!
How's this thing work, anyway?
AAAAH TROG'S HAIR IS FLAMING
Hmm. Well, just be ready to duck a lot!
We're outta here. You guys take care!
I'm the Archfiend Ashura!
Sure, why not.
It's fascinating to see how commonplace elements from one world become myth in another.
Yeah, it is. It makes you really think—about our religion, philosophies... Pretty much everything we thought we knew.
Oh? And what's your take on all of this?
My take is that we're bound to bump into whoever "Ashura" is on our way up the tower. If you used to worship him, Dente, I'd start prepping for that.
The thought had occurred to me. But, no matter. We'll handle that when the moment arrives.
Oh what the hell.
Perhaps is like the bed of nails. Good for feet!
You first, then.
In a complete dick move, the game surrounds the healing spring on this level with spikes. If you remember from Hell, spikes drain HP. Fortunately, it's only 1 HP per step, so you can still heal up. You just lose that one last HP to troll you.
Oh, and while we're here—want to see how hard Triceras actually hit?
Quick, Trog! Catch her on the way down!
Keep in mind this is three of the four times this attack can hit. If all four had hit, Elly would be redecorating the walls right now.
We seriously need some better armor. I'm tired of bleeding out of my faceholes.
At least I've got that Cure book to patch you up!
It's not going to last forever. Besides, I'd kind of like to get through my day without massive physical trauma.
Trog is wanting many things. Wanted pony when but a boy. Never received.
I can't tell whether or not you're sassing me.
Is way Trog likes.
Hey, check out the new—fuck he beat us here again
Not by much. You arrived a couple of seconds after I did.
Some coincidence, huh?
I don't believe in coincidences. We're fated to meet as we climb this tower. For what or why, though... We'll see.
Hey, let me ask you something.
Do you ever get the feeling climbing this tower that we're... I don't know. In some sort of game?
No, I don't believe I've ever felt that. You?
No! Noooo. Pfft, of course not. You're silly. Don't be silly.
I mean, unless you want to be silly! I like silly.
Sure I mean no I mean oh god my mouth is not working why are these sounds coming out of it
I'll handle Elly, you guys finish up here. Nice to see you, Hat Guy!
Well then. Given your "sources," I suppose you've already heard about the debacle on Cloud World.
Yes, I did. I was actually fairly impressed you took my idea and ran with it. Maybe you ought to leave manipulation and general skulduggery to me, though.
Will not be problem in our future. Grenades are easier. Friend Elly can buy more.
At any rate, I wish we had similar secrets to share with you, but it seems you're always one step ahead of us.
I'm sure you'll pay me back one day. Speaking of which...
This isn't advice, it's a warning. The next world is a very dangerous place. If you insist on walking in the light instead of the shadow, stay on your toes.
Hold up, you guys. I'll be right back.
Oh! Hello again.
Hey. Look, I'm just going to come right out and say this.
Would you... I mean, after all this is over, if you're not too busy...
Would you like to go out to dinner or something? Maybe see a play after?
Oh, my! I would be delighted.
Well? How'd it go?
Elly and Hat Guy! Is couple gods could be proud of.
Let's not jump to conclusions. Besides, we still have to get through this next world.
Gah! What happened here? This place looks like a war zone!
Trog guesses war happened.
Yeah, okay. I set myself up for that one.
It's... very quiet. Eerily so.
I agree. There's nothing out here. No plants, animals, or people... just metal. It's not right.
Well, if nothing's out here, there's nothing to worry about! C'mon, let's poke around some.
What? Why are all you guys giving me funny looks?
Rez. Sweetie. Don't turn around. Just walk to me very, very slowly.
Why? What's behind me?
Next Time: Neo-Atlantis is About to E*X*P*L*O*D*E!