Part 13: Through the Cramped Darkness
The first things that really stands out in the Underworld are the giant mushrooms. It's entirely possible to just consider them to be obstacles and ignore them, but you'll miss out if you do.
A couple of the mushrooms have healing springs, which is actually rather a disappointment compared to the others.
Ordinary treasure is also available for the taking. I haven't bought Magic potions, but they're essentially ethers. Running out of magic hasn't been a problem in the game thus far.
At about this time I decided to experiment a little bit. Turning Marle into a Removed gives her a huge boost to MP, more HP, and an improvement in most stats. These will only improve with better equipment. Earlier in the thread someone suggested that cyborgs and the like might do less damage with the Mystic Swords. After a bit of experimentation it's clear that the Mystic Swords are actually a special class of weapon that isn't penalized by form changes like others might be. Marle does the exact same amount of damage as a Removed as she did as a human.
A couple more dark crystals, bringing our total to, I believe, 8 or 9. Really need to do something with these soon.
Chrono eats a giant drumstick and turns into an Anubis. Rather than having a plethora of late game forms like earlier titles, in FFL3 the forms stabilize at about this time. From now on Chrono will be in one of two beast forms, alternating as he gains levels. Marle is going to be a Removed from now on, and around level 40 you're going to be an Anubis no matter what.
This is hardly a bad thing, as Anubis not only regenerates about 100 HP per round but also has OAll as a passive.
One down! I'm inclined to think that by Emblem they mean the Imperial Seal.
In order to continue we've got to take this cave down into the Chasm.
The dark floor does a relatively decent amount of damage with each step. I'm rather struck by how well Chrono blends in as an Anubis.
Wandering throughout the Chasm there are a couple of caves that allow you to climb to the top of pillars and get items. The Cure3 is forgettable, but Metal gives us half of a pretty good shield.
Some, however, just end in weird cliffsides. I accidently ate some monster meat just prior to this picture, by the way.
I missed the shot of it, but at one point you can see what looks like a giant fanged mouth on the ground, which contains a mini-dungeon.
There's a few relatively pedestrian treasures in the place, including at least one magic stone...
There are also small rooms hidden in secret passages that you probably don't want to miss.
We've also got the final attack unit for Talon. E-Ray does about 750 damage to everything on the screen, meaning most enemies are about 3/4 dead before anything happens. It makes grinding trivially easy.
I'm sure you've all heard of the whole Muramasa and Masamune thing before now. This is the cursed sword Muramasa, which will do damage to the wielder if used. It's staying in inventory for now.
One more pillar has an elixir. Looking back, I realize I've never actually used one of these in this play through.
There's a little town squirreled away here, which is very much like future Muu in that it's inhabited by monsters that will attack you on sight. As a note, Dion has been given the Morph spell in case you were silly enough to throw it away.
As far as sheer horror goes, I think the Dwelg have some of the best designs in the game. That thing is truly nightmarish.
Yeah, I hear a bunch of teenagers rammed their flying time machine into his sandstorm and stabbed his face in.
No kidding? drat, kids these days.
It's such a big deal that even these guys know about it.
Naturally, the Dwelg consider humans to be tasty snacks. Considering some of the goods they have, I'm surprised they haven't overrun the surface.
Chrono tries a bit of trickery with the chief Dwelg...
You'd better stop them!
But they even got Jorgandr. We need more support.
Alright, take the guard at the North Stairs.
As you wish.
Luckily these guys aren't too swift.
They have the same message as the Muu shopkeepers did, interestingly enough.
The Dwelg magic shop has some of the best spells in the game. Magma is an incredibly powerful Quake variant that might be the most damaging spell in the game on single targets. White is very powerful against a number of enemies, and Nuke is a mainstay that does about 850 damage to all targets. Fatal isn't something that really interested me, but it could be useful.
Even better are the Dwelg equipment shops. Hermes boots are the best in the game, and the Hecate, while having slightly less defense than other helms, provides a bonus to magic and great magic defense. Power armor is the second best armor in the game and provides a boost to agility and attack, while Light armor has better defense and magic defense. The Defense is a stronger sword than any of the Mystic swords but is hamstrung by how many enemies have damage resistance. Of note is the fact that you can buy missiles and nukes in the store here.
The West Towers are a pair of linked mini-dungeons with a switch to reverse gravity and put you on the ceiling. Essentially you have to do each tower at least twice, hitting the switch in between to reverse orientation. It's actually a fun little gimmick since it doesn't wear out its welcome.
I could really live without the Vulkan at this point, but it's at least sell-worthy. I guess we didn't quite get to 9 Dark Stones previously..
Another component of the final Mystic Sword is also resting in the tower. Only one left!
Meanwhile on the way out we get loaded down with another Cure3 and a rare Fire Stone. Unfortunately, many of the lost magics are rendered obsolete by the advent of Nuke.
They just have to keep bringing up the human eating!
It worked. You are soo talented, and they are soo dumb.
Excuse me Mr. Exposition, you appear to be a bit lost...
Well, 2 our of 4 isn't bad...really... I suppose we could go back and get some of them before doing this, but it's not really necessary.
Not for much longer.
We need it to defend our world from the Masters. Thank you! Can I ask who you are?
And with that they vanish, having completed their cameo and given us one of the most important items in the game. Captain, Fry, and Jane don't do things halfway.
Which is at this point one of only about two places we haven't been.
The real irony is that this is the icon for a Sei-Ryu type dragon. Yes, I'm fairly sure he has seen them before. It's interesting to me that this town is probably the only one we've seen with actual monsters running around. Other towns here have had robots, cyborgs, and beasts, but no full blown monsters.
Uh... kind of..? All the parts for two and two that are actually working?
Next time: Home invasion, mad science, and the run-up to the final dungeon.