Part 5: Hellmouth Hill
Aquaria is saved. Time to check in for plot.
This is where Remastered's story starts to diverge from the original's. In that game, Phoebe is a regular NPC telling you to talk to Spencer, but here she's gone. It's a minor point, but still interesting to me.
Either way, we still need to go visit Spencer.
Otherwise, everything plays out the same. Spencer talks about his plan to rescue Captain Mac and gives you the key to get the Venus Shield. There is a bit of new dialogue in the end, though.
Nope! Phoebe is nowhere to be found.
A couple new battlefields, but they can wait until we get our next partner. The new cave has nothing accessible at the moment as it requires another crest, so let's check out the northern entrance to Focus Tower.
Old Man is still here and says the same thing. Only now the statue you used to jump across in the original is a switch to open the way forward to Fireburg.
Venus Shield chest is the same...
...except for one little difference.
Yes, this chest has Odin inside. All he does is Pyro with the rare physical, nothing too threatening. White spam helps a good bit.
As a bonus, Benjamin learned Curaga from leveling up! Still only has one damn attack spell, though. He's pretty much Ness/Lucas from Earthbound/Mother 3 in having one powerful magic attack and then buffing/healing magic to complement his strong physicals, though here that magic attack is only single-target.
The Venus Shield is a huge upgrade and boosts Wizard a good bit as well. No paralysis resistance like the original, which is...unpleasant.
Anyway, we've got the way to Fireburg open, so onward we go!
Unlike the Fire tomes, I'll actually use some of these.
Skipping one more battlefield for now.
Our next partner is kinda depressed at the moment, meaning we need to hit a plot trigger first.
The shops are pretty spread out. The bomb salesman wanders around outside, there's a guy that only sells seeds, and then this potion seller. Oddly enough, no one selling Phoenix Downs.
There's a person selling spell tomes as well. I guess that's one way for Benjamin to cast multi-target magic.
And there's even someone who sells the permanent stat-boosting refreshers. I honestly don't think any are that useful besides the +100 MaxHP one, but then I'm kinda winging this entire thing so take all my gameplay advice with a tablespoon of salt.
Eh. Alright, then.
Anyway, up to this point, the game has followed relatively closely to the original script, besides some slight wording differences here and there. This is the point of the game where the dialogue changes quite a bit and new dialogue is added, so I'm going to do you guys a "favor" and start transcribing the new stuff. Using the old sprites because screw the effort to rip/find the new ones myself.
Poor grammar and spelling will be kept intact, of course.
Benjamin! Long time no see dude! What brings you here? Not more Elixir I hope...
Ha...No, I'm here for the Fire Crystal.
So...still trying to save the world, huh? Well there's no Fire Crystal here. Well not in HERE anyway.
It's Benjamin, and thanks, I'll do that.
I'm pretty sure you didn't need this trigger to talk to Reuben in the original. Tristam doesn't really say anything when you talk to him before talking to Reuben in the original.
Also it looks like this message is misspelled here, too.
On paper, the Battle Axe seems like an alright upgrade. It feels like more monsters in this area are either weak to the sword or resist the axe, plus from what I can tell it doesn't stun like the Knight Sword does. It...really doesn't seem to be worth it at first glance.
I talk to Reuben, and the dialogue starts similar to the original. Reuben's upset that his dad is stuck at the monster-infested mines and that his dad's friend ditched him. As to why...?
Tch. Let's pay him a visit then.
I'm going to give you all a moment to savor this bio. It checks pretty much every teenager's grimdark OC checkmark.
Much like the original, Reuben is pretty much an exclusive physical attacker. He has no magic, though he does have a couple cool techniques I'll go into shortly.
He can also dual-wield and equip axes, so I give him the Battle Axe (and Benjamin his Flame Armor). The Wrist boosts attack and gives immunity to Blind. Good stuff.
The guy's door is locked, so we have to talk to Tristam to advance the plot.
We went to the house in the pit, but the guy wouldn't let us in.
Maybe try knocking?
Just kidding. You two want in? Then take this.
This opens the door to the house in the pit, where the coward guy is hiding. He even has a name in this version!
Sorry, I didn't mean to alarm you.
What do you want?
I want to know why you left my father alone in the mine!
Look, no one is blaming you...
...OK, I expected this punchline and still laughed. I'm an easy target, what can I say.
Look, we need your help.
My help, what can I possibly do?
We need Mega-Grenades to shift the boulder to free Arion. Do you have any?
Sure, here, take these Mega-Grenades.
Yet another nice tier up damage-wise, though even these don't really do the trick against the monsters around Fireburg.
They're cheap, too!
Getting Reuben and the Mega Grenades unlocks two more battlefields, so we have five to burn through. First, the two in the Aquaria region.
Phanquids and Sphinxes, nothing new or exciting. That's fine, we can look into Reuben instead.
The Morning Star is an axe, just like in the original, but can also do a one-turn stun much like the Knight Sword. The damage of two weapons are combined. I have no idea about how the hit-rate of both weapons works, I think it's both hit or neither hit. Basically it just shows the attack animations, maybe does both weapons' effects, and just adds the damage together or something. Either way, if the foe doesn't resist axe attacks, Reuben can do solid damage.
Unfortunately, solid damage isn't enough once we hit Fireburg, as those enemies are nasty, so Reuben's two techniques come in handy there. Both do reduced damage (I think around half of a regular attack?) but do other stuff. Iai Blow has a chance of inflicting instant death, based purely on observation probably around 50% of the time, which isn't too bad. Infliction will give random status effects as long as the attack lands, and I've seen Paralysis, Sleep, Confusion, Silence, and Blind pop up. I have seen status effects also get overwritten, oddly enough (like Blind getting erased after a second Infliction attack). Still, that's a good chance of nullifying an enemy if they're vulnerable.
And of course Reuben can do some sick damage with crits.
The second battlefield has Gathers and Mages. With Mega Grenades, this battlefield burns down fast.
Jellies use a decent physical and a decent poison attack. I end up bombing them away.
This battlefield is nothing but Edgehog Pies. These guys are the biggest pain in the ass I've encountered yet.
Their Blind status is ineffective, not even landing on Benjamin, and their physicals aren't anything to write home about. They have two paralysis-inflicting attacks, though, and neither dude can resist it. So have fun!
At this point I just throw spell tomes at the problem. A long time later, we're done!
Last battlefield has Red Caps and Flazzards. Red Caps are weak physicals and are by far the least threatening enemies we can face.
In addition to some decent physicals, Flazzards can cast Flare for ridiculously high damage. Two will outright kill someone.
Now remember that Reuben has no magic (he doesn't even get Life like in the original), and we can't buy Phoenix Downs in Fireburg assumingly due to oversight, meaning we'd have to backtrack to Aquaria or Foresta to buy them. Yep!
So who's ready for our first brand new dungeon?
Hellmouth Hill is basically a one-room appetizer before we enter the Mine from the original game. There are some new enemies, of course.
Zombies have a nasty attack that can inflict Poison, as well as stuff to stun you. They can also do nothing. They have a lot of HP and seem to resist axe attacks, so they're major pains to deal with.
Red Bones attack and can confuse and inflict sleep, I believe. I didn't really fight that many, so they didn't leave much of an impact on me.
A second Battle Axe. Sure, why not.
I give it to Benjamin for awhile before swapping back to the Knight Sword since, despite having less attack, it seemed to do more damage overall.
Otherwise, a simple area with not much else of note.
Except that this thing actually works. That's kinda cool.
This is Scarmighound. It's not too bad as far as bosses go.
Its scariest attack is Firaja, though that hurts Reuben and his piss-poor Wizard stat much more than Benjamin (the Flame Armor helps a ton too, obviously).
Otherwise, attack buffs win the day.
...I guess your (sic) right. We shouldn't get over-confident just because we defeated some mangy old dog, huh?
...I don't think it would hurt to take a break...
What happened to Mr. Hero all of a sudden?
*huff*...I haven't stopped all day...
I'm now curious about the time frame of the events of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. Not enough to try to look it up, but hey.
Oh, yeah, Phoebe's here now. Sure, why not.
You know this girl?
Yeah, this is Phoebe, a girl from Aquaria. She helped me get the Crystal of Water back.
A GIRL? I'm the lady priestess of Aquaria!
Anyway, what are you doing here? I thought you were in Foresta.
When did this happen again, you'd think I'd have run into her at some point during the-ah forget it.
The Crystal of Fire, right? Of course I'll help you, that's why I'm here. You two can't do it alone, you need magic...
Hey! I thought we took pretty good care of that monster back there!
That wasn't a monster, that was a puppy dog!
First puppy I've seen with three heads!
...Anyway, who are you?
My name's Reuben, I'm with Benjamin here to rescue my Dad, he's trapped in the mine.
Ah, that's bad, this place must be swarming with monsters. Anyway guys, let the girl handle this!
Hah, what's she gonna do, zap me?
Who didn't see that coming, raise your hand so I can shame you.
You might have noticed the menu being a bit odd for a two-person party, and now you know why. Now we can have up to four people in our party!
Next time, we tackle the Mine. At this point, who knows what's going to happen next?