The Let's Play Archive

Illusion of Gaia

by ddegenha

Part 18: In Which Will Slides Into Home

The Ocean Palace of Mu

Alright, we’ve finally reached Mu. It’s a… strange area with a strange history. Mu is a legendary lost continent that has been placed in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, connected with Atlantis, and supposedly the common ancestor of the civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and other ancient countries. It was also tied in with a supposed ancient civilization called the Naacal, which sounds an awful lot like the Nazca. To complicate things further, the statues here resemble the Olmec heads which are found in the southeastern region of Mexico. Geography has indeed taken a holiday here.

We’ve got the Slipper enemies from the palace itself with the new threat of the Cyclops, a kind of stone golem that attacks by flinging rocks and attacking at close range. The latter hit like a pile of bricks, and they take a considerable amount of effort to bring down. They have 26 HP, which is 10 more than the various Cybers and more than twice as much as the ‘Pedes.

The gimmick for this dungeon is that there’s water covering parts of it, and we have to lower it to access new areas and proceed forward. It involves a LOT of backtracking, but the good news is that as long as you don’t leave any enemies you kill stay dead.

That said, this dungeon pulls absolutely no punches and will happily ruin your life. Two of these guys at once requires some careful maneuvering and quick reflexes.

The real issue comes in with these bastards, the Flashers. They teleport around and fire projectiles at you that are HOMING. You can use telekinesis to block them, but it requires quick reflexes and it’s hard to pull off reliably. They’re the cause of a lot of pain and suffering in this area, and it doesn’t matter if they’re on one of the lower levels. They. Will. Find. You. Anyway, a little further on we come to a promising chest…

“Oh, now that’s just bullshit.”

More Slippers in their liquid and slime forms, along with another one of this dungeon’s gimmicks. The circle there is a type of repulsion field that will bounce you back away from the direction you’re facing when you run into it.

Right now they’re mostly obstacles, but later they’ll be very useful. We’ve also got Skuddles, and clearing them out lets us proceed.

The next obstacle is a series of spikes that come up, which we have to time precisely. The builders of Mu were kind of dicks.

Nearby there’s a room we can enter, but its purpose isn’t exactly obvious at this point. A bit more on that later…

“Okay, I don’t know who’s emptied these chests but I’m going to find them and…”

“Hey Will, have you noticed that the chests are always at the intersection of where the statues are looking?”

“And like that, you’ve just completely stolen my thunder.”

You might notice that I’m running a bit short on life. This is the message you get if you get killed and have to restart using your jewels. I actually managed to avoid death for a bit after getting this image, to explain the difference of DP between this and all the other screenshots.

In order to progress we have to find a secret chest at the intersection of two statues and get a Statue of Hope. Presumably if this chest had been visible it too would have been ransacked. Obviously, the Statue goes back in the room we found. And when it’s on the altar..

“The ocean holds a power…”

“I’m just going to leave now before you guys get any further into your weird ritual.”

“It looks like we can now explore new areas.”

“New areas full of things that want to kill me. I’m overjoyed.”

With the expanded area we can see a few tantalizing treasures just out of reach. Obviously we have a bit more to do here…

The new level reveals a new hazard, a stationary trap type that extends out to attack Will when he passes by. It can’t be defeated or blocked, only bypassed.

We’ve also got access to a new level past this row of spikes, which requires a well-timed Psycho Dash to pass. The other side has a very welcome Dark Space, which we can use to restore HP and get some more information.

“Sea water still covers land in many places on the continent. When the water is gone you will discover the location of Rama, King of Mu.”

“Wait, as soon as I started my journey? How much of this are you arranging?”

“I wouldn’t ask that question if I were you.”

The bright blue pathway here is a ramp to another level, which is the real purpose of the bubbles we saw earlier. Clearing out the Slipper gets us access to a bubble that we can run into and then use that momentum to boost up to the ramp to that level.

You kind of need Freedan at this point to deal with enemies who are harder to reach, like the Cyclops in the previous area and the isolated enemies walled off in their own areas.

More to the point, we’ve also got situations like this one where you have to hit the switch to lower the spikes, then book it to make it past before they come back up. Freedan’s got a slight advantage, but you could probably do this as Will.

Circling around the central flooded region we’ve got a narrow maze of pathways with a strategically positioned trap that it’s pretty much impossible to avoid completely. You’re going to take at least some damage at this point, unless you time it almost perfectly. On the other side of the maze...

“Be careful not to overlook the cracks in the cliff.”

“Switching back already? You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“You can now use the Sliding Attack to pass through small passageways.”

“That doesn’t mean I have to like it.”

Turning back at this point means that we still have to run the gauntlet back as will. At least we’ve got a health refill at this point.

The cracks that Gaia is referencing look like this. You have to run toward them and press the attack button down to do a baseball slide through the gap.

This opens up a whole new area to explore, although some parts of it are roped off until we clear a few more enemies out.

Speaking of, the difficulty cranks up at this point. Three Cyclops with a trap in the middle, requiring some fast footwork to get through.

On the other side we clear out some terrain and get our first stat upgrade in the dungeon, a STR upgrade. Because of the multi-layered nature of the dungeon, you don’t get stat upgrades until you clear all layers of a given area. This includes areas that are underwater, and enemies we can’t reach until their areas are drained.

“Seriously? How many of these things did they have?”

“This seems awfully familiar. Yada yada yada, ocean power… you guys were kind of stuck on this Rama guy, weren’t you?”

“I’m a bit more worried about the fact that there are four of them here and we’ve only found two statues. This might be a bit of a long haul.”

Next update: The conclusion of this dungeon and THAT boss.