Part 22: Mysterious CastleToday's update is another short one. We have one last area to clear out before the Temple of Fiends, and while it's on the short side, I want to give the final dungeon its own update.
Before I forget to mention it: we hit level 25 walking back to the airship from the Holy Shrine. Not exactly an exciting place to get it, but there it is.
Our destination is on this mysterious little island directly south of Melmond. Although it's quite possible (and even likely) to glimpse this place earlier in the game, the only ways to find it are chance or a very vague clue.
You see, this mystery castle is the only dungeon not shown on the in-game map. It's kind of in the middle of nowhere, and it's possible to play through the whole game without learning of its existence. Luckily, it's not mandatory, but its contents are helpful.
The entrance is fairly unimpressive.
Each room contains a ladder down, as well as an NPC who tells us what's located below. These items should be familiar to vanilla players, but they've been repurposed for UCE. As you might have guessed, there's one room corresponding to each of the four elements.
The earth floor is... somebody's storage unit, apparently. I have no idea what, if anything, all this furniture is supposed to signify. The path to the end is winding, and linear, but it's not a maze or anything.
The monsters here are mostly drawn from the Earth Cave and are not a threat.
And the end of the path is a chest, guarded by a very expected spiked tile. It's not even a challenge.
Our prize is, as promised, the Rod.
The right-hand room on floor 1 leads to the fire area.
This floor is another linear path, but filled with lava. It's really nothing special.
At the end is another guarded chest. With both Hereward and Anduril able to deal bonus damage to casters, this is another complete nonissue.
The Crown is ours.
The second chest from the left leads to the water area.
This floor looks nice and open, but those blue tiles?
They're actually exits back to the previous floor. This floor is probably my favorite in the castle. It's a linear path, at least it offers something a bit different.
Morbols are basically stronger ochus. I didn't even give this one time to hit me with anything, so I'm not entirely sure what they inflict.
Third treasure acquired.
Remember the robot in the Mirage Tower?
I did mention that it wasn't a red herring. It's also the clue I mentioned at the start of the update; this island is (far, far) southwest of the Mirage Tower.
This floor is another linear path, comprised of hallways and rooms. It's quite boring.
One last chest. This shouldn't be much tougher than the others.
Yeah, remember the MagiTek encounter from the Time Tower? Now we've got four of them. This encounter is kinda bonkers. Unlike the other chest guards, these guys have to be taken seriously or you will die.
Our strategy here is simple, but as effective as we can get. Priority one is casting WALL (or SHEL, but I prefer the former). The MagiTeks' beam attacks are lethal and need to be mitigated. After that?
Exploiting the Magiteks' vulnerability to petrification is the best way to win this fight. By the time we cast SOFT on three of them, the fourth should be nearly dead from attacks by Rogue, Ranger, and Viking.
Despite the danger, this fight can be extremely lucrative. If you can handle it, it's by far the best grinding spot in the game.
And we finally get the Cube. What do these items actually do, you ask? You'll just have to wait and see. In any case, we're done with this dungeon.
Except... No. No we're not. I did mention that this was an excellent grinding spot, didn't I?
All told, this took about 20 minutes.
And here's the reason I did it. With a party this focused on physical power, it would practically be a crime to go into the final fungeon without HST2.
Well, folks, we're about as ready as we're going to get. Let's go kill Chaos.