Part 27: On the Trail of the FellowshipWelcome back, everyone. Today's update is going to be a bit short - it took a while to actually play, but there isn't a huge amount to show off.
We're currently following the path of the Fellowship of the Stone, trying to figure out exactly where they (and their precious cargo) ended up. The journal page we found in Queensbridge indicated that they were headed for Indhopal, but we're actually going to head west first, to the site where Arborlon used to stand.
Larry earns himself a level on the way, and in so doing acquires a new shapeshifting spell, Wolflord. Where Wolfman doubles the user's attack power, Wolflord doubles both attack and defense. It'll be very handy for boss fights.
We head across a bridge and arrive at a bare patch of earth.
It's really just a giant hole in the ground, but there are a couple items of interest, like a journal page.
I'm genuinely surprised the author didn't go with Lord of the Rings for his joke names.
No new information, but it does give us a little more insight into the story.
Presumably this is where the stone will go once we've recovered it.
With the pit explored, we head north.
One new enemy type roams this area, the kaiser. I only met two and surprised both of them, so their abilities remain a mystery for now.
We find ourselves at another city, and just before we enter, we're attacked, earning Karla and Wolff some levels.
Oh hey, this place is nice.
It turns out we're way off course. Jardin is the third quest location. We could do it, since we're here, but we'll continue our hunt for the Fellowship while the information is fresh in our minds.
After returning to Paranor and consulting the world map, we head south out of the city and turn east. This eventually brings us to the Monaboraba Desert.
More levels are gained en route.
Although it doesn't actively harm us, Machin Shin's presence is clear - a massive sandstorm hits us almost the instant we enter the desert.
Not far in, we spy what must be the city of Aleksandria.
As we get near, the wind pushes us away, which seems like a confirmation of this suspicion.
We also get pushed away from the southeast corner of the desert, which is odd. Perhaps there's something there.
The desert is home to a couple new enemy types. Dirt dragons are strong and durable, while hermits have a poisonous sting. Neither is especially dangerous.
Still more levels for us.
As we near Sudash, the storm dissipates.
You may remember us seeing this journal page during Raj Ahtan's chapter, though we had no way to get to it at the time.
Seems like things started to go pear-shaped pretty early.
What can I say? I laughed at this.
North of Sudash are the two Towers of Ziam.
Raj Ahtan visited this area as well, but again, he couldn't get in. Now that we have the Magic Key, we can.
The Towers look much like other dungeons we've seen.
The Towers are home to zombies and lost souls, as well as several new types of monster. Most of the are undead, so abilities like Bonebane and Spirit Skean are super useful.
Glorjes don't seem to do much apart from physical attacks. Porkuses use Pus to inflict slow as well as Charge, a weak physical attack against the entire party. Like morkuses, they're very slow and spend some of their turns doing nothing. For the undead, we now have to deal with phantoms. Like their weaker palette-swaps, their like to inflict Chaos on the party and are immune to physical damage.
The northwest corner of the first floor has a set of treasure chests protected by a damaging floor. The pixie cape protects against several status ailments and could be very useful against for that use them. There's not much need for it here, though.
On the east side is another journal page.
Yeah, things did not go at all well for the Fellowship, but at least their notes are thorough enough for us to track them.
Through the first doorway is a nice-looking room with a bridge over a pond.
The next floor up has two side rooms. One contains a chest with a Moon herb, while the other has a save point. It seems a bit early for that, but whatever.
Floor 3 is... uninteresting.
Floors 4 and 5 just require is to walk around gaps in the floor.
Floor 6 is technically the same, but at least it's somewhat visually interesting with the little island in the middle.
Finally, we're atop the first tower.
We cross a bridge and descend into the second tower.
Its top floor is small and contains nothing of interest.
Floor 5 has probably the easiest-to-find Tiny Medal in the entire game.
Floors 4 and 3 are both short and sweet.
Floor 2 is a maze. Oh boy! It's at least fairly small and quick.
It also lets us take a peek outside and grab HP and MP refills.
The bottom floor is... yet another maze. This one's significantly bigger and more of a pain to navigate. The two chests each contain stat-boosting seeds, which are nice but not essential.
Finally, we reach the end and step outside.
All in all, the Towers of Ziam feel like a bit of a letdown. They're pretty unremarkable in terms of design, and the mazes just feel designed to waste the player's time with more random battles. They're inoffensive, but definitely not a high point.
Luckily, they're also pretty short. We only gained a handful of levels here.
That's it for today. Next time, we'll continue east in search of the White Elfstone.