Part 3: Demon Cave
Stepping out into the past, it's immediately obvious that the landmass is a bit different this far back.
Oh. Well, I guess it kind of has to happen, doesn't it?
He's not even in the right place.
We are looking for Units of Talon. And you?
I am looking for a place to build a new town.
How about east of the Palace?
Thank you. Come and see my town when you pass by. I think I'll call it Dharm.
You didn't even know who he was and you still told him to go build a town where Dharm is going to be?
It all worked out in the end, didn't it? This time travel stuff is hard.
On a related note, he looks about the same now. I can only imagine senility is the only reason he didn't recognize us in our time period.
Heading toward Elan, we run into one of the most disturbing of all encounters. The Trixter is actually a robot. That's right, there are evil robot clowns flying around in the past.
There are also giant mushrooms, but that's really a small detail in comparison.
The same trip introduces us to the SeaMonk and Big Eye monster types. The SeaMonks are relatively harmless, but leave humorously oversized chunks of meat when defeated. Big Eyes can be annoying right now using paralysis, but later versions can turn you to stone.
Visiting the area where the North Tower stood reveals...nothing. So evidently that Tower was built after Dharm for the specific purpose of holding the Float spell?
Elan is even more sheltered than it was in the present.
Huh. We'll have to see about visiting that.
Aww, a kid as a shopkeeper. Trade you a lollipop for a sword, kid?
Cash or get the hell out.
I kind of wonder if these people have done nothing their entire lives but tell people where Cronos and Granny are.
Is that how you're breathing while up to your scalp in the bath?
He speaks the truth, but we won't be seeing this for a bit.
Lara in the cave.
Chrono! Not in front of all the kids!
Huh. Come to think of it, are there any adults in this town?
I haven't seen any, and it's kind of creeping me out.
Well, now that we've heard of this place we must immediately go there.
Well, not in the next quarter century or so he won't.
Hey, I don't remember a town th.... oh.
If only we could find this magical seed! By the way, nobody in this town mentions its name, but it's called Lae.
Yeah, that's pretty much a given now that we know it's not going to be there in the future.
Presumably this is the result of the disease of which they speak.
It's too bad the town has to go, since they've got some magic we couldn't get anywhere else. Aero is a mainstay for the next few boss battles, and fire's an obvious choice. It's a bit weird that it takes so long to get the basic elemental spells in this game. We can also get our first technique and a few other upgrades here.
One of the odder things about this game is that you'll sometimes get armor upgrades back to back. It's often still worth it to spend the money on new armor whenever you run across it, but when it's in the same shop thats just kind of blatant.
cure the illness. It's a unit called FlushEx. Please take it.
Do you think part of the problem could be that he doesn't have a Talon to use it in?
Shhhh. Keep moving toward the door.
Those are some of the most frightening starfish I have ever seen.
Looking around the world, there are a few areas that are blocked off by high mountains. They'll probably be significant later, though.
This must be the cave they were talking about, with a weird patch of soil near it.
It's suspiciously large and well built. Only the lack of levers and deathtraps rules out dwarves in the construction.
There's an immediate influx of new monsters. Generally speaking the large monsters are much better designed, and I think the Headless are one of the coolest monster classes. The fire elementals also manage to look somehow cute.
The treasure here isn't really all that impressive, being either things that we can buy or not discernible improvements. On the first floor we meet...
Lara was taken by Dogra. I came to rescue her.
Wait! Leave it to us.
is needed in the future.
Well yes, but there's also the small matter of the dozen or so children you left to fend for themselves in a cave. They might be hunting the fattest one with makeshift spears by now.
Elder of Dharm raised us!
Exactly as planned...
Familiars are a class of beast that usually have very strong magical abilities and can be a useful choice at times. I also like their design. Thoth is a representative of another good group, but it's weird that they picked a generic design for a group of monsters that should, by rights, all have different heads. I'm fairly sure Thoth should have the head of an ibis. The AirMaid is just...strange.
About midway through the cave there's a point where there are two different stairs down. In a bit of a mind screw, both will actually lead you down to the same place as opposed to one leading to a dead end or something like that. It's not supposed to be that reasonable.
This is what I'm talking about. A cure 2 potion for a treasure? If I wanted to have one of those I'd have bought it.
The path further down into the cave is blocked by this strange apparition.
Who's quite literally beyond words.
GRRRR ... EGRRRR
Something's wrong with her!
Really? What was your first clue?
...No. Just no. This is one of the worst battle sprites I have ever seen. Her head's way too big, and that's the least threatening stance I've ever seen. At least that part is appropriate, since as far as bosses go Lara's more of a speedbump than anything. She's got no really threatening attacks and less HP than the Water Hag did 4 levels ago.
Mmm... hmmm... Where am I?
You've just had a bad dream.
And been sleep walking. Down several flights of stairs and through a couple of bonfires, thus resulting in the numerous injuries you've received and all the burns.
Her stats are nothing special, but on the plus side she does come with a pretty good spell list.
Her official character art...eh, it matches her sprite in quality, that's all I have to say about it.
The next boss looks like some kind of yam.
Normally a guest's level is a pretty good indication of what level you need to be in order to finish the section they're with you for, so we're in good shape for this one. For the most part Frog and Lucca are going to be our main damage dealers in this fight.
Well, it certainly beats the "You dirty scums" line from FFL2.
You must be Borgin!
Boss Battle: Dogra
Compared to the last couple of unique enemies we've dealt with, Dogra is quite a step up. He's the first boss with assistants, and I'd swear that those witches are stronger than they should be. Chrono and Marle are going to be concentrating on those for a bit while Lucca and Frog use Aero. Lara contributes in her own special way with Lit1. Dogra has about 3,000 HP and can do as much as 200 damage on a good attack so it might be necessary to pull Chrono or Marle for healing. As a note, healing magic in this game doesn't work according to magic power: Cure1 will heal 30% of the Target's HP, while Cure2 heals 60%. As a result, it makes sense to spread healing magic all over your group.
I can't find anything about what a Dogra is, other than a tribal group in India. At least one Faq suggests the name comes from a 1935 surrealist novel, but I have no idea of the source.
That question might have been better asked before we'd repeatedly hit him with swords and blasted holes in him with magic. Dogra expires without giving us more information.
He was evidently sitting on a treasure chest with another Unit, however.
Next time: Well, we're pretty much done here. Time to see what Cronos has found.