Part 21: Holy ShrineToday's update is a bit short: the dungeon takes some time to actually navigate (especially if you don't know what you're doing), but there isn't a huge amount to say about it.
Our final bonus dungeon is this castle, located in about the same spot as the vanilla Castle of Ordeals. Naturally, there's no convenient landing spot next to it.
Instead, we have to land at this patch of grass here...
As make our way around the mountains to get to the dungeon.
Welcome to the Holy Shrine. This place is filled with a host of new monsters. It also has a terrible gimmick.
Yes, much like that one floor in vanilla Ordeals, the Holy Shrine is a teleporter maze. There aren't as many teleports here, but they're spread across some very big areas, so a wrong turn can set you back quite a bit.
My very first encounter here is this ultra-rare fight; it occupies just one of the 64 random encounter slots for the dungeon. And I think my emulator's RNG might be a bit wonky because I ran into it twice. Gold golems are immensely tough, with sky-high defense, resistance to all elements, and immunity to status ailments. Buffing is basically required for fighting them.
If you need money, though, it's probably worth it. This fight dropped so much GP that it couldn't display properly. I mathed it out at 55,000. The fight is rare enough that grinding for gold golems isn't worth the time, but it's a nice bonus - or would be if our party needed the money.
Priests are a new spellcasting monster with surprisingly little focus on healing. They open with CHKR, then switch to HLY2 (which doesn't hurt our heroic party), then decide they've had enough of your shit and cast PERL. Paladins don't have any real tricks, but they're quite tough and, near as I can tell, totally immune to status ailments.
After taking the western teleporter from the entrance, we arrive here.
Heading south eventually brings us to this room and its guarded chest.
Holies are strong and tough, but not inordinately so. Spells that deal dark damage will wreck them, as well as most other monsters here.
The chest contains the last unique armor, the Karna Plate, named for a legendary hero from the Mahābhārata, a Hindu epic. As we have no paladin, it does us no good.
After grabbing the armor , we take the nearby teleporter and wind up in a hallway.
We take the left-hand path, much like at the entrance, and find ourselves at a mirror image of the section containing the Karna Plate.
There's a chest here too, and it contains the dungeon's ring, the HOLY Ring. It's... pretty worthless. HOLY's damage is so low by this point that, like the BOLT Ring, it probably won't get any use. Ranger gets it anyway because why not?
After grabbing the ring, we head back north and west, and teleport to this small room. Not much choice here.
That teleporter takes us to this hallway. All the rooms here contain chests, though only one (the fourth one on the left) contains actual treasure.
But what a treasure it is! the HEAL Staff is really goddamn good, which is probably why it's only available this late in the game. Cleric is the obvious choice to hold onto it.
Sacreds are, well, sacred cows. They're basically just stronger bulls.
We also run into some wizards around here. They open with FIRE and only get worse from there; they can wreak real havoc if not shut down quickly.
There's one last teleporter outside the boss room, which is a quick exit for parties that need it.
We're just gonna go fight the boss.
Our last bonus boss is Seraph. Her big trick is that she has CUR4 in her spell routine, which means that parties facing her have two options: rush her down at top speed or turtle up until she heals, then rush her down before she can do it again. In practice, most parties shouldn't have much trouble with the former tactic.
Seraph's physical attacks hit fairly hard, but aren't too dangerous. We use SLD3 to further mitigate the damage.
Her first spell is IVS2, making her much harder to actually hurt.
We counter with the ring we got way back in the Earth Cave. It doesn't entirely mitigate the bonus, but it does enough to let our fighters land most of their attacks.
Her next spell is HEX, which can cause some real problems. Only Ranger was affected here, and he was able to restore himself with a CLNS potion the following round.
Third, Seraph breaks out PERL. With SHEL up, this isn't much of a threat.
I believe her 4th spell is CUR4, but Viking took her out before that.
The expected rewards.
Killing Seraph lets us grab the last two ultimate weapons, the Paladin's Judgment and the Priest's Benedict. Not much use for our group.
And with that, we've finished all four bonus dungeons. We're now prepared to do the Temple of Fiends!
Next time: We do not do the Temple of Fiends.