Part 35: And with my teeth I shall tear his throat
Sadly, the update title does not refer to the Inn Master, much as I'd like to visit bodily harm upon him after the whole Hemble thing.
The royal family here has a dangerous secret that could spell disaster...
Hey, hey. Just who are you, Roan?
That Gate must not be opened... ever!
I will explain later! This is where we get into the castle.
Gate Guard: Prince Roan, these corridors have not been used for a while. Monsters have taken them over.
Do not worry, I have my friends with me.
Please take care of the Prince! The entire country is relying on you!
Okay, so Cyrum hasn't had the best writing so far, but we're going to meet some cooler characters soon and th-OH GODDAMMIT
Look, I know the gimmick's wearing a bit thin, but Carro really is that stupid. Pictures speak louder than words.
that's it. that's all it does. i just don't understand
Anyway, sewer level. It's mercifully short and straightforward, though, so I don't mind so much. Just a little block pushing and a little switch throwing to extend bridges.
Like the guard said, there's monsters in here - mostly Dragonoids and Chameleons. They can still kill a party member or two if they really put their mind to it, but this is by no means a hard dungeon.
Treasure around here's pretty boring. This is a hat for female party members that gives 26 DEF and level 1 resist.
The new enemy though, hoo boy.
HP: 3600 (from 920)
Abilities: Bloodsucking (~900 damage, -1, Lifesteal, Cancel), Fiora, Poizn (~150)
Weak to , Resistant to
Concept Art: Here.
So, here's the thing. They've got the moveblock spell and a decent special attack, with solid HP (if convenient weaknesses) backing them. A solid low threat level enemy. They've got a really cool design, too, and Bloodsucking looks brutal as hell:
Some of you may remember that one of the fixes I used for this game made Poizn crash my game. I had not identified the cause at the time, so I blamed the PC port like any upstanding Grandia fan. That said, redoing my bug count at this point would be incredibly inconvenient, so let's pretend I called the game out on bad model transparency or something and move on with our lives. Bug Count: 27.
Since past-me didn't know what the problem was, Shhh!, cancels and simply running away worked well enough to avoid the crash.
While we're on the gameplay side of things, let's talk about Millenia's new move. Like some kind of demonic Mega Man, she's absorbed the powers of yet another piece of Valmar, and were this not Hard Mode, it would be the most broken thing in the game.
Put simply, Spellbinding Eye pauses an enemy unit on the IP bar for a while. Unlike with Sleep and Paralysis, they don't get knocked back to 0 IP, they just freeze where they are for the duration of the move. Also unlike Sleep and Paralysis, no enemy in the game can resist it, bosses included. Millenia and a friend with a stock of SP-replenishing items could permanently lock down at least one part of every boss you fight with her in the party from here on out.
Rather than even attempt to balance such an overpowered ability, the hack simply turns it into exceptionally accurate Paralysis plus some damage. RIP, Spellbinding Eye. You were ridiculous.
Ain't got much else to say about this place. Throwing the switches moves the gears into place and starts them turning, which extends the bridges.
The switch we want is the one up here, though we have to go up and around using a different ladder to get to it.
Hitting it rotates this gear near the exit (which we previously passed) allowing it to turn the gear responsible for opening the exit door.
Carro leaves us when we go through it. Good riddance, you bioluminescent freak.
Just a little while ago. I am sorry to have made you worry, Marie.
Marie, please stop crying.
Marie: Yes, of course... I'm sorry. I'll stop crying. Oh? I didn't notice your... friends?
We have all traveled together. They have helped me more than words can expres. Marie, please show them around the castle.
Marie: Certainly. I am honored to be your guide.
Marie's got a rather... unique way of giving directions:
Marie: [deep inhale] Uuuuuuhhhhh... For the dungeon, from the entrance go down the stairs to your right. At the bottom of the stairs, go all the way down the hallway until you reach the room called the "Room of Demon-Sealing." Due to its terrifying name, ordinary people should never actually enter the Room of Demon-Sealing. Haa haa...
... That's amazing! She said all that without stopping to take a breath...
Marie: [deep inhale] Uuuuuuhhhhh... For the reception room, from the entrance go straaaaiiight forward. When you reach a door, it opens into the reception room. His Majesty's office is on the other side of the door in the back. Through the door in the back of the office is His Majesty's private chamber. Unauthorized persons keep out! Ha ha...
... Wow, she amazes me. How can she say all that in one breath?
Marie: [deep inhale] Uuuuuuhhhhh... For the reception hall, face away from the entrance and go out the rear right door. Right now, it's just an empty hall, but it is where people gather for ceremonies. When it's crowded, people fall in the moat. Since it takes time for guards to come and since people can catch colds, visitors must refrain from falling in the moat. Ha ha...
... And I thought I could talk fast! This lady beats me hands down...
Marie: [deep inhale] Uuuuuuhhhhh... Facing away from the entrance, the door on the left leads to the staff quarters. The front room is the guards' room, and behind that is where we ladies live. You are free to visit the guards' room. If you wish to enter the ladies' chamber, you must knock and ask permission first. Otherwise, please stay out. Ha ha...
Remarkable. She speaks as if fueled by a great zephyr. She uttered all of that with a single breath.
Yes, that's why people who visit the castle want Marie to be their guide.
So much pride in your work! If this castle were under siege, with guards like you, it wouldn't stand a chance!
Guard: Gyaaah! Wh- wh- who goes there!? Do you always barge into people's rooms?
It's your Prince and his party.
Guard: Huh? It's... it's... Prince Roan! I'm... I'm sorry, I was taking a break. Pl... please forgive me!
Ha! Do not worry and do not be afraid. After you rest, however, I'd like you to go back to work.
Roan, don't be so easy on him. If you don't discipline your men, they'll just take advantage of you later.
OK, OK. I will discipline him later. We must get going now.
So, are you ready to resume your post?
Guard: Yes! As soon as I've gathered my gear, I'll go back to guarding the castle!
Oh, have I?
Elise: Oh, sure you have! After all, I've been taking care of you since you were just a baby.
You are incomparable as always, Elise.
Elise: If only the Queen were still alive, how happy she would be... [sob][sob]...
Please... Please do not cry.
Elise: Oh, Prince Roan, I'm so happy you're back. And my, how you've grown since you left!
Elise: If only the Queen were still alive. How happy she would be...
Our destination is the Room of Demon-Sealing, in the basement.
Ah, Prince Roan! You have come back safe... Thankfully, the Gate has not yet been opened. Yet I feel a strong power behind it.
I see... Thank you, Menory, for doing a good job of guarding the Gate of Darkness while I was away.
Oh, my friends, let me introduce Menory the Demon-Sealer...
Prince Roan, I am honored by your words. Guarding the Gate of Darkness is the role of my people...
Now what exactly IS that door...?
It is said that it will open when the People of Darkness have regained their pride.
The power of Darkness is said to lie on the other side of the Gate. It is also said that it may trigger a great disaster... or even war.
Prince Roan, if I may interrupt... the other day, His Royal Highness had words of praise for me. But that is not all...
Astonishingly, His Highness said that... soon there will be no more need for me to guard the Gate of Darkness!
WHAT!? So father also knows that the Gate of Darkness will open...
How odd... but I still have the key.
Yes, the medal that the Prince took with him when he left the kindgom. It is the key to this Gate.
Go figure. I thought it was a necklace to go with your tiara. Er... back when we first helped you find it, of course. Huh. So it's real.
Yes. This medal is the precious key that my family has guarded for generations. It is also a memento of my late mother.
This medal is passed down to the one who will inherit the throne. He must decide if the Gate is to be opened.
And yet... What does father intend to do with this Gate?
...I agree. Where is the King?
His Highness must be in his office on the top floor.
Come, we must determine my father's intent!
Talking to Menory again before leaving:
Right. Menory, please take care of yourself!
Thank you, but I must do my part. If I meet my end here, then that is my fate.
Now, Prince... You must go see the King immediately.
OK! But I'll be right back, so hang in there, Menory!
Yes, but I see you are late, Roan. We have been given guidance, and now we shall move to regain our lost pride!
What are you saying!? Are you saying we can regain our pride once the Gate is opened and the Day of Darkness has come?
But we do not know what disaster may result! We do not have to be bound by history! We do not HAVE to be "The People of Darkness!"
Easy, my son. The messenger spoke of hope beyond that Gate. Hope for our people.
And now that the Day of Darkness draws near, it is a time not for words, but action!
How idiotic! I will never give over the key! My medal!
Hmm, I note that you act not with dignity, as befits royalty. But no matter. Your medal is no longer needed.
The preparations are already made. The time to open the Gate of Darkness has come. No one can stop us. Prepare yourself!
Just what is about to happen?! Who - or what - are the People of Darkness?
Let me tell you why we are called the "People of Darkness!"
Roan pulls off the coat of arms, revealing a second one underneath.
The People of Darkness are those who fought with Valmar against Granas long ago...
Yet no one worships Valmar now. This is an old scar from the distant past... long ago.
Which means the "messenger" must have been Valmar...
* B O O M *
The earth moves and trembles... There is trouble below!
The Gate! The Gate of Darkness... opened!? It cannot be. The medal is right here!
Dammit, we need to be downstairs! Move!
Roan! I heard a tumultuous noise and came to see. I'm relieved to see you're safe and sound!
Is there a boat we can use?
That won't be a problem. I did hear that something strange happened down by the Room of Demon-Sealing, though.
I bet Menory is worried. Paulk, would you stay on the lookout for anyone suspicious?
Of course. But, Roan, please be careful.
The party runs up to check on Menory.
You all right?
Pride... that man... power to lead Darkness... His Highness has been fooled. That Bringer of Ruin must not be free...
Mareg begins sniffing the air.
What is it?
Is it Valmar? Is Valmar sealed inside?
No, it is...
Yes. One of my kind is definitely near.
Could it really be Melfice...?
While I'm dying to see what's behind the Gate of Darkness, Menory is just regular dying. Wouldn't hurt to stay by his side a little longer.
Menory! No! Don't die!!
Prince... I... have lived long... My... body is old... It's fading away...
Menory... You must not die...
But... My spirit... is eternal... I'll watch over you... and this country... Roan... you will be... a fine king...
Menory... now rests in peace. Menory, please watch over me and the Cyrum Kingdom...
Roan... I know this is hard for you, but we must make sure his death wasn't in vain.
Yes... yes, you are right. Let us go, Ryudo!
This isn't right... Looks like we're inside a machine.
Not the kind of place you'd expect to find the Granasaber... I'm not getting that Divine Sword feeling.
The center must be much further in...
We don't have much time. Whatever this "disaster" is, we're going to have to take it apart now before it's too late!
Official Art: Roan, Menory and the King of Cyrum