Part 43: The Unsettling Ruins of Catan
Welcome back, everyone. We're approaching the end of the game, with very few places left to explore on the world map. That means this update is going to be a short one: we're going to tackle the last side quest, and leave the main story for next time.
Our destination is a large island south of Norsland. It's mostly just empty terrain, but there are a couple places of obvious interest. The first is this nondescript camp in its southern area.
Oh hey, I think we know these people.
Yep, it's the Rovers, first met all the way back in Chapter 1. They've named the island Catan, though they don't appear to have any permanent settlements.
Many of the locals talk about the island's mechanical inhabitants, which suggests an immediate connection to the ruins on Tundraca.
The camp's sole shop has a small handful of equipment. Most of it is fairly lackluster, but the coif of glory could be worth an investment.
That's probably a good idea.
I think the player is expected to come to Catan after getting the ship, which would necessitate an overland trek from the coast to the camp.
The headman gives us an overview of the island, including directions to the other point of interest.
The only other thing of real note is a Tiny Medal hidden outside the camp's fences.
Although we don't actually have to fight Catan's monsters thanks to our airship, we may as well check them out. The names are, not surprisingly, all referential. Most of them are unremarkable, though, using just weak physical attacks. Nightriders stand out as the lone exception, using both Laser and the more dangerous Dual Laser.
Since there's not much else to see here, let's head north.
The building the Rover headman mentioned is pretty easy to spot. It's surrounded by mountains and rivers, so without the airship there's no way to access it.
The interior is another high-tech structure, which more or less confirms the link to the Tundraca ruins.
There are a few treasure chests containing items from the previous dungeon as well.
There are also a handful of empty rooms in the place. There are also no random battles, and together they do a surprisingly good job of making the place feel abandoned.
Another side room has treasures locked behind a door.
Although there's no message here, I have it on good authority that this door can only be opened with the electronic keycard we found on Tundraca.
Inside are more items from the other dungeon, including a second power glove.
As before, the stasis pods here have all failed. Whatever secrets this place held likely died with its frozen inhabitants.
With nowhere else to go, we head to the big central door. As with the treasure room, our keycard opens it right up.
We encounter another room full of stasis pods and... wait, what?
Yes, it seems that at least a few of the pods have survived the ages. Unfortunately, we don't have a way to open them and free the inhabitants.
Finally, we head into the obviously-important central room.
The lights start flashing red, so that thing on the wall is probably going to attack us.
Oh wait, yes it is.
Somehow we've been transported into the Matrix to fight the boss of this place, the IronGaia Virus. This is a pretty rough fight. The Virus has very high defense and a variety of abilities in the form of various programs.
On the damage side, it often uses Program 66 to damage the whole party with lightning, but it can also use Programs 19 & 85 to hit single targets (very little for the former, around 400 for the latter). It can also inflict status ailments with Programs 42 (Stopspell on the whole party), 73 (single target Discord) and 5 (single-target Surround). Finally, it can heal itself for large amounts of damage with Program 27 and drain the party's MP to 0 with Program 13.
It took me way too long to realize that the physical strength of Holdana's party wasn't going to with this one. With Akira and Curly able to deal solid lightning damage (the boss's weakness) and Curly able to heal HP and conditions with ease using Curaga, the fight became far more manageable.
We get an extra 200 EXP for beating the boss, which is frankly a pittance.
Oh shit, 1337speak!
That's... probably bad.
The computer explodes, but the world fades to black as our heroes are overtaken by stasis.
We're alive! And just in time for another info dump!
Well, that certainly puts a new perspective on the world as we know it. It also does a good job of playing up Mephistocles as a threat, given that he set the world back so far that even after thousands of years it's at nowhere near the level of technology it once was.
In case you were curious about the time frame here, this guy tells us it's been over 4,500 years.
Since I know some people will be curious, I checked, and yes, the terminal by the active stasis pods did update.
In case you were curious, yes, the ancients also invented the teleportals.
But while information is nice, here we have the real prize for finishing this dungeon. Mithril gear is incredibly strong, as well as incredibly expensive. When it's finally time to outfit our party for the endgame, we'll likely be coming back here.
And that's it for today. Next time, we go look for the last Divine Artifact.
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