Part 5: Towertropics
Update 4: Towertropics
At the end of our last episode we'd come to the reluctant conclusion that the way to explore this ocean world was through its cave system.
There's actually quite an extensive system of interconnected caves going on here, although only one path will lead you to your destination.
Others end at dead ends like this, with nothing of interest and no option but to retrace your steps.
This looks like another dead end, which could be a bit confusing the first time you play it. However, the upper left biscuit hanging off the island is actually the floating island that the townie told us about.
I've got to say that a floating island is a novel way of getting from place to place. How does this thing even steer? We have no real guidance at this point, but we now have freedom of the seas.
While floating about you do get into fights. Magicians are my favorites on this island, mainly because they're relatively easy to kill and give out a lot of gold.
The borders of the sea are a weird patterned border, which feels very unnatural. At least on the first world they made a pretense of geography being the restricting factor.
In the northeast corner of the world there's another town, accessible once you get the boat/biscuit/island.
me under the sea.
This is only the beginning of a tide of exposition.
A lot like the Oxyale, only no fairies will be bottled in its production.
Don't go near
Rather cryptic for a warning, but fair enough. I have to wonder what motivates this guy.
At last we get some kind of exposition. The King of Dragons and the Blue Dragon are having some kind of a fight, which we're probably going to have to settle to get out of here.
The town also has a weapon shop with upgrades available. It's a bit annoying, but the next level of agility weapon up from the rapier is the sabre, and at 2050 gold it's not cheap. On the other hand, with enemies giving out 120-240 gold each it's possible to afford it.
Now that we've got access to more equipment, it's time for a bit of upgrading in stats and equipment. This is what we look like coming into this world, and we'll see what they look like before Sei-Ryu
Now then, it's time to apply one of those universal RPG truisms. When someone tells you not to do something, you must immediately go and do that thing. Here's the old man's cabin. More of a hut really, but it's not like they know the difference.
Well, he doesn't seem so bad as all that. Pretty helpful, all things considered. An interesting thing here is that square of gravel off to the old man's right. If you don't want to walk around the maze around his hut, you can just step there to leave.
Directly to the south is an island with, you guessed it, a single palm tree in the middle of a regular forest. They're REALLY not trying to make this hard here once you've got the whole floating island thing figured out.
Hey, a pirate! And I think that the thing on the far right is a jaguar which, while the image still isn't quite right, is at least some kind of big cat.
The whirlpool is conveniently to the west of the second town. It's nice that the Airseed worked. If not, that'd have been pretty embarrassing.
What's this now? A town under the sea?
Full of people giving convenient information that'll be helpful in the upcoming dungeon? Don't mind if I do!
There's a cave to the south of the town that I didn't feel it was necessary to show. Probably the premier instance of dickery is shown in this particular image. The exit on the left leads to a dead end that's large enough to keep you scrambling around for a bit. It's the further one from where you start, so the instinct is to head for it, but this time they're messing with your head.
Sei-Ryu lives in a pretty swanky palace.
Which is guarded by octopi who can actually put a pretty decent hurt on you if they get a chance. Luckily they're weak enough that they usually don't get a chance.
The game clogs up your 8 space inventory further by having you carry a key around along with the airseed. This is one of the few RPGs where you not only can throw away plot required items, but will have to at some point after they're outlived their usefulness. Normally, however, they had enough foresight to allow you to pick up more. Logically though, if the airseed is producing your oxygen, shouldn't you be able to drown yourself if you threw it away?
I really like the layout of this place, just because in some ways it very much reminds me of a walled palace that's been carefully laid out. I'm guessing that's the result of the Dragon King's influence.
It's rather convenient that there's a device like this, but you have to wonder why it was built. Did Ryu-O or Sei-Ryu have such a bad memory that they needed a reminder built into the treasure room?
It seems pretty careless to just leave this thing lying around with such an obvious hint and a huge security vulnerability in the town. It's interesting that unlike games which had been put out previously, you have to stand next to what you're looking at rather than on top of it.
BAM! Dragon out of nowhere!
The Blue Dragon of the East, Sei-Ryu is revered in Japan as the guardian of Kyoto. A statue of Sei-Ryu stands in Kiyomizu temple, and is said to drink from the temple fountain at night. He represents the East, Springtime, and the element of Wood.
Fina is nearing the apex of her mutant powers, but as of right now she has no offensive abilities. The utter lack of control on mutant powers is one of the biggest problems with them. Cupi has turned into a Rock, by which they probably meant Roc, in preparation for the fight. Vyse and Aika, meanwhile, have pretty respectable scores in their best attributes for this point in the game and as much HP as they can get feasibly at this point.
The Blue Dragon falls, but that's not the end.
About the only way to become a dragon is to eat the meat of one of the fiends. Cupi has become a Dragon Prince, trading some agility for a wider variety of attacks and more magic.
Next time: Finding Ryu-O and moving onward.