Part 42: Xtreme Psychotherapy!Chapter 42: Xtreme Psychotherapy!
Doma Castle...you may recall that a few folks had mentioned that the place was haunted.
The place is empty as ever, but we can have ourselves a quick nap in the castle full of evil spirits. Nothing bad could happen from that.
Actually, if you don't bring Cyan, nothing happens at all.
When the group wakes up, it turns out that Cyan is refusing to rouse himself. Where's a basin full of water when you need one?
Curley: I'm Curley!
Larry: I'm Larry!
Moe: I'm Moe!
In the original Japanese, this trio was known as Sueño, Sogno and Rêve, the Spanish, Italian and French translations of "Dream." I think I preferred their original names better.
Dream Stooges: This man's soul is ours! Today we dine well!
To be more accurate, they say this one at a time before hopping into Cyan's head.
And then we just hop in after them. I guess being able to possess people for trippy fight sequences is just an inherent talent that all JRPG protagonists have.
Music: Mystic Forest
Welcome to the Dreamscape. As you might have noticed, we start out with just one party member. We'll need to find our way to the other two members quickly, as this place is brimming with enemies that use status effects.
There is a consistent place that you go to through each of these doors, but the only way you'd figure it out is with trial and error.
Eventually though, you'll end up on a platform with one of the party members.
Once you've got two characters at least, this area becomes a lot less annoying. These enemies love doing instant death attacks and status ailments, so it's not a good idea to mess around with them.
The Critic enemy, by the way, is another example of censorship, originally showing off...well, everything below the chest. Apparently having a female character wearing no pants whatsoever was a bit of a hard sell.
After we've scared off another little urchin and acquired our third party member, we're free to head off to...
This door, normally blocked by the third Stooge.
Dream Stooges: Good, everyone's here! Let's rumble!
This battle certainly seems like it'd be a hard one, what with facing three enemies at once, if it wasn't for the fact that the toughest one only has 15,000 HP.
Following the standard theme of three-enemy battles in Squaresoft/Square-Enix games, the Brothers Stooge have a Delta Attack. While you'd expect it to be some powerful attack that rocks the entire party, it actually just turns one character to stone. That's weak, man.
Individually, they also have their own specific gimmicks. Curley (the floating one) can revive his dead comrades with full health. Moe (the one in front) can cast Haste and Bolt 3. And Larry can...run away, and cast Ice spells, I suppose.
I should also mention that each of the Stooges has a weakness to a status ailment that shuts them down for the entire fight. Curley can be put to sleep, Moe can be stopped, and Larry...
Is weak to Instant Death. The Air Anchor is very helpful for that, as it's guaranteed to kill a foe the next time that he does anything.
You can't steal anything from the Stooges, and you get nothing for winning, so this fight is little but a pleasant distraction at this point.
But killing the Dream Stooges wasn't enough. We need to go deeper...
Now we're on the Phantom Train. Sure, why not?
Also, there's a flashback filter version of Cyan being chased by ghosts.
In the compartment, we encounter another situation where you need Sprint Shoes.
When you pull the switch, the crate shifts out of the way of the treasure chest and you have to quickly run around to the other end before the crate shifts back. If you succeed, you get a Genji Glove, so it's definitely worth it.
Too bad that the enemies in this area don't have the flashback filter placed over them too. That would have been a nice effect.
Actually, if we forget, we can always just walk back. It's not nearly as dramatic as this book suggests.
The treasure box up here is blocked by this moving chest. Fortunately, there's another box right next to the door with a "lump of metal" in it that we can use to weigh it down and claim another Flame Shield.
This next area looks complicated, but it really isn't. The solution involves pulling levers in order to move things.
I don't think you can really call it a puzzle when the answer is spoiled for you in the room before you encounter it.
You can mess around with the levers in the Phantom Train's control room if you like, but the instant you leave...
So we're riding Magitek Armor now, which I guess is allegorical for Cyan's fear of technology or...something.
We catch a brief glimpse of Cyan again before he's chased off by other people. This dream stuff is weird, man.
The main reason why I took Terra along for this sequence is because of this part, because she has access to all of her Magitek abilities from the start of the game. Seeing as Edgar's Tools and Gau's Rages are blocked off while they're riding the armor, it's helpful to have Terra along.
Don't forget to encounter one of these guys before moving on to the next part though, as they're only available in this section of the game and the Rage associated with them is just too good to pass up.
The game actually tricks you a little bit, as you have to go back the opposite way through one of the sections in order to see this screen.
Anyway, since we're following Cyan and all, might as well pilot our heavy tank-like equipment over this tiny bridge.
It works as well as can be expected.
Well, at least we're back in the castle again. Suddenly...
"Where are we!?"
Elayne: We're inside... Cyan's soul... My husband... Cyan continues to torture himself... He failed to defend Doma... The world's slowly dying... and then there's his family...A beast known as Wrexsoul is taking advantage of him. Wrexsoul is a composite monster, made up of wretched spirits who were dispatched in meaningless wars.
Owain: They're wreaking havoc on Papa! Please help him!
Owain: Papa doesn't deserve this!
Music: Cyan's Theme
Sure, dead folks! I'll get right on that!
But before we do so, we can poke around the castle to find flashback scenes of Cyan and his family, like this sparring session, for instance.
: Excellent concentration! With a little more practice, you'll be Doma's best fencer!
Owain: Yippee! Papa praised me! I'm gonna tell mama!
: This is part of your training. We must all learn patience.
Owain: Oh...I love fishing!
: What do you want from me? A soldier doesn't say things like that!
Elayne: Hush, Owain!
Owain: I heard that!
Okay, enough awkward poking into someone's personal life.
Wrexsoul: You're too late! His pain has reached critical mass! Nothing can stop his feelings of rage and despair!
Captain! His angst levels! They're off the charts!
Wrexsoul: I grow stronger now with his anger, hatred and guilt! And I hunger for... you!
Music: The Decisive Battle
Wrexsoul starts the battle by possessing a random party member. If you want him to show up again, you have to find the party member he's occupying and kill him or her dead. Naturally, copious applications of Life 3 and Doom are the keys to victory.
The Soulsavers aren't really much of a threat, but they constantly revive themselves if defeated. That's because Wrexsoul's gimmick removes him from the battle, programming-wise, and so if these things weren't there, the battle would end automatically. In fact, most people would end this battle by just X-Zoning these things and dispensing with the possession gimmick altogether.
I'm not most people. For defeating Wrexsoul the legitimate way, you get a Pod Bracelet, which is decent, but some might argue that it's not worth wrestling with the dumb gimmick of the fight.
: I heard my wife and children calling out to me! Their voices finally gave me the strength and courage to come to grips with my own suffering.
Owain: Papa's strong!!
: No... I didn't do anything... then... and I can't now... I'm a man with no honour...
Elayne: No! You have entirely too much...My beloved... we'll always be together...
Owain: Papa... we love you!
Suddenly, Elayne and Owain combine together into...
The Aura, a sword that's actually a lot worse than the one we got off the Fire Dragon.
Elayne: We'll always be...at your side...
Cyan's soul cleared itself of all doubt and confusion.
Cyan's swordsmanship attained it's peak level of skill.
Much like Sabin's sparring session with Duncan, this is a quick way for Cyan to obtain his ultimate ability.
Also, if we check the throne, there's a new Esper for us on there.
By far the flashiest of the Espers we've seen thus far, Alexander does Holy-elemental damage to the entire enemy party for...
Well, Cyan was never the best spellcaster.
No Level Up Bonus
Alexander's growths aren't bad, but the spells he teaches aren't exactly that helpful. That and the lack of leveling bonuses make him a little weak overall.
Next Time: We polish off the last character-specific quest and make ready to storm Kefka's Tower