Part 15: Ready to Take on the World
Last time, we agreed to kill a god.
Stepping on the altar draws his attention, but he figures out the ruse pretty quickly.
The Kami isn't an especially fierce opponent, relying mostly on standard physical attacks with occasional uses of Gouge, which hits the whole party. He also brings two wolves with him, and their coloration suggests some kind of elemental affinity. I never did find out, though, because...
They can be put to sleep.
Curly also managed to poison the Kami itself, causing to to take around 100 extra damage per round.
As the readers surmised, this isn't really a god in the "almighty" sense; it's a minor deity of some kind of local terrain feature (specifically the mountains). It goes down pretty quick.
For our troubles, we receive the Shaman's thanks, as well as level-ups for our entire party. Akira learns Upperself, a spell for boosting his own defense, while Curly gets Return a couple levels before any of the heroes do.
Hiroji gifts us with a ring that boosts all stats, which goes to Akira.
With the Kami slain and Haikkodo at peace, we can move on to the Katana Mountains beyond.
The two men at the entrance summarize the place fairly well. The Katana Caves have a bunch of branches and dead-ends. It's not quite as bad as they make it out to be, however, since many of the paths lead toward the main route, and the overall design makes it fairly easy to keep from getting lost.
The monsters in the caves are mostly things we've already seen, though a few of them can be rather dangerous. Samurai are the one new arrival, but they're not too noteworthy. They have fairly high evasion, but only use weak physical attacks.
At the north end of the caves is a dead-end with a treasure chest and a bunch of corpses. You should know what's coming.
A Shadowgigas can be a somewhat dangerous opponent at this level, but we have two characters who can cast Blaze, so this goes pretty quickly.
The beast guards a bladerang, a duplicate of the prize for finding 10 Tiny Medals.
Although any of our party members can use it, I give it to Curly, providing him with a pretty decent physical attack.
Fighting the monsters here gets everyone to level 6. This is a noteworthy level for both Akira and Curly: the former learns Heal, and the latter learns both Expel (which drains MP from enemies) and Bikillself, which... applies Bikill status to the caster. Bikill doubles a combatant's attack power and can potentially turn Curly into a devastating fighter.
There's a save point about halfway through the caves, and from there it's a fairly straight shot to the exit.
We emerge a fair distance south of Haikkodo and continue our trek to Okasa.
We spy a shrine en route and decide to take a look.
Besides a teleportal, the shrine contains two chests, one of which holds a rainbow seed. This raises all of a character's stats (including HP and MP) by 1, making it the most valuable type of seed.
The teleportal takes us to the shrine we saw earlier, and the button on the wall opens the door. We can now walk back to Haikkodo without going through the caves again, though Return makes that pretty unnecessary.
The priestess still talks about the door being closed, which is a bit of a disappointment.
South of the shrine is a volcano, though there's no way to reach it.
Outlaws make their first appearance here in southern Jumongu. They use an ability called Burgle to steal small amounts of gold, but it's not enough to be really annoying.
Finally, as night falls, we arrive at Okasa. But we wait for daylight to enter, better explore the city when it's more active.
I think there are a couple of other cities that are close, but this statement is basically true. Okasa is huge, and some of the NPC dialogue hints that the creator was pretty proud of it.
Our destination is very close to the city gates, but we're not headed there yet. There's a whole city to explore! As usual, I've left out the bulk of the searching and items, but there's some dialogue that's relevant.
Several NPCs make reference to a market that only opens at night. We'll have to check it out later. The inn also hosts a group of NPCs who sleep during the day, which is a subtle way of reinforcing that the Nightmarket is worth checking out.
West of the entrance, a group of frogs has infested the city. They have shops, but none of their stuff is new or especially interesting.
One of them does drop a hint about how to find the Tiny Medal in Froggerton, though, making it possibly the only non-asshole frog in the game.
There's a tantalizing treasure chest visible from inside one of the buildings in town, but the door leading to it is locked. You might recognize it as the type of door that can be opened by the Thief's Key that Zefiryn found. Unfortunately, Akira doesn't have access to her stuff, so for now it remains sealed.
Sounds like we have another well dungeon.
Except, not quite. While the area under the well is quite expansive, there are no monsters living here.
At the other end is a small courtyard containing a chest with a Cloak of Evasion inside. This would be a nice boost for Curly, but Akira is going to need it more.
There's also another one of these weird locked doors down here.
Another NPC references the events of the previous chapter, creating some continuity. As far as I know no one actually died in Kaybee, so the relatives he mentions should be fine.
I feel like this is an especially egregious case of the author talking directly to the player. But I can't really complain; I'd probably have done it too.
Someone finally refers to the War on Terror by name. The thread title actually makes sense now!
This feels like the purview of Balthalas specifically, and Holdana killed him, so it should be fine.
Now this is some interesting information. Vegeta is in Jumongu's north coast, so the lighthouse must actually be on an island.
These sound like things that couldn't possibly be foreshadowing.
There are a couple of shops open in Okasa's slums during the day. One of them is notable for actually selling wizard potions.
We buy the Smokebomb from the first shop for Akira. The ability isn't terribly reliable (less than a 50% success rate per character, I think), but Smokescreen is such a powerful buff that it's still worth having.
Sounds like someone I would love to
Unfortunately, we can't get in. Can't be letting just anyone into the rish neighborhood; one of the nobles might have to interact with a poor.
This is the second reference we've seen to Mount Neverest, but more importantly, it mentions the Magic Key. Perhaps that's what we need to open those weird doors?
At the jail, we learn that only one person has ever escaped it, and it's Niddly Fucking Wormwood. Feels good to know his corpse is rotting in a monster-infested dungeon.
Curiously, the stairs that leads down to the dungeon can't be traversed.
Okasa boasts a huge library, and each section of each shelf is a separate searchable object. There are a handful of scrolls here, but getting them is a chore.
More world-building that is definitely not foreshadowing something we'll do later.
Okasa is so extravagant that it even has a public pool. This is a serious sign of wealth.
Someone even hid a treasure chest in it, and one with a fairly valuable item, at that.
And of course, we're not above raiding the changing room and stealing people's clothes. Because, as has been stated, we're heroes.
That's about all the city has to offer that's worth showing off, at least during the day. Let's come back after dark and see the Nightmarket.
Like the public pool, the Nightmarket is an ostentatious show of wealth. The layout reminds me a lot of the Night Market in Trials of Mana, which is almost certainly not a coincidence.
The Nightmarket has a significant number of shops, several of which sell the best gear for sale in the chapter. There's a lot here that I'd like, but finances are a severely limiting factor. We grab some chainmail for Moe and Shemp, and sell some scrolls to buy and Insomniac Headband. I'm not normally the type of player to buy equipment that resists specific status effects, but this will pay off.
And that's all for the city itself. Let's go do what we really came for.
The interior of the coliseum is quite spacious, with room for the fights and an audience. There's also a save point for use between matches, which is exceedingly convenient.
And this... is my biggest gripe with this chapter. I mentioned in the first update for this chapter that Akira would be earning way more EXP than his allies, and this is why. Akira has quite a few Kumite battles, and he alone gets experience for them. I'm the type of player who prefers keeping his characters' levels as close as possible, so this grates on me.
That registration fee miiiiiight be an issue, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
In case you're wondering: yes, pretty much all of the Kumite opponents are references.
The waiting room has a pot that restores the party's HP and MP. Like the save point in the lobby, it's very convenient.
Every fight begins with a fancy opening screen that gives it a proper fighting game feel.
Glass Joe's introductory dialogue says pretty much everything you need to know about him. He does nothing but use weak attacks and is in no way a challenge.
And yes, the battle music here is the fight music from Punch-Out!!
Victory was pretty much assured.
Between matches, we get a break to save and shop.
I'm... not sure that metaphor works.
Ms. Sandman is much tougher than Glass Joe in that she actually has a chance to win. Her name is a pretty clear giveaway about how she likes to fight.
Of course, we have an Insomniac Headband, so this trick is worthless. She also uses Flamer to deal fire damage, but it's not much of a threat.
To her credit, she does have one other trick: using Surround to shut down our physical attacks. Unfortunately for her, Makibishi never misses, so this doesn't help her either.
Frank Dux is a real-life martial artist and fight choreographer, according to Wikipedia.
Just one more fight to go in the Minor Circuit, and it's actually a mild challenge.
Frank mostly uses straightforward physical attacks, but will occasionally spend a turn using Charge Up. After that, he uses a regular physical attack, which makes the Charge Up seem pointless - but his next action will be Precision Strike, which deals a good chunk of damage. With Heal at our disposal, though, we can actually tank his best hits and still win. I did say this was a mild challenge.
Akira continues to pull ahead of the rest of the team, hitting level 7 and learning Return.
I think that this EXP reward, at least, goes to the whole party.
This isn't a request; we can't fight any more battles until we run some errands.
Yeah, this is kind of a big deal. Even if a player were insane enough to grind out 50,000 gold, the need for a sponsor forces the next leg of the story to be completed anyway.
Luckily, as Minor Circuit champ, Akira is considered to have distinguished himself enough to enter Noble's Way.
The guards on the bridge still give us the same spiel before letting us through.
We're going to ignore the nobles for the time being, though, and check out the imperial palace. We can't get inside, but we can check out the barracks.
In case you forgot that this chapter is Dragon Ball Z, this chapter is Dragon Ball Z.
The captain is kind of a tool, honestly.
Outside the palace, we find a chest containing a new item, an elixir.
The barracks also contained out 10th Tiny Medal of the chapter, so we head back to Vegeta to trade them in for a Bladerang. I mention this entirely because, having equipped this on Moe, we now have an entire team with attacks that can hit every enemy, further trivializing most random battles.
After that, we return to Okasa. Noble's Way isn't actually very big (only three houses), but its size and splendor make it seem lived-in.
The first man we meet is polite and all, but won't sponsor us.
The next nobleman we meet immediately assumes we're the hired help. Wanting to avoid conflict, we don't deny his assumption.
Upstairs, we meet his wife, who apparently gets the same treatment.
And so, being the heroes we are, we steal his pants.
No, they don't do anything. They will merely serve as an eternal reminder that we stole some asshat's clothes.
The last house in Noble's Way has a wall around the entrance, which a few people have directed us to check.
The master of the house is much more willing to help us, in exchange for a favor. No reason not to hear him out.
Dow Jones Locker is probably the worst pun in the entire game and I absolutely adore it.
And so we're agreed. He gets the heart, we get our sponsor.
Having no clear leads, but also no other real direction to go, we head west then south over a bridge, where we find a small town.
I like this place already.
The Princess Bride is my favorite movie, so this reference could not possibly have been allowed to go unappreciated.
Ooh, that could be useful. Maybe he'll give it to us.
Or he might simply give us the silent treatment.
Well, that explains it. We'll have to return another time.
Outside, another pirate tells us about the abandoned lighthouse. The ghost infestation is news, but doesn't dissuade us from wanting to check it out.
With nothing more to do in Koby, we head back across the bridge and to the west. Akira gains a level on the way.
We eventually arrive in the town of Ichiban, which you might recall as being the hometown of national hero Son Goku.
The shops here sell some pretty decent stuff. The iron apron in particular stands out as a solid engineer-only armor that's better than chainmail. Unfortunately, we can't actually afford any of it, as you'll see.
On the west side of town is a man looking to sell his fishing boat.
And this is why we couldn't buy anything. We barely have more than 2,000 GP.
At least it's good for a level for Shemp.
Basically, we're limited to the waters around Jumongu - no visiting the rest of the world quite yet.
And there she is. She's not much, but she should get us where we need to go.