The Let's Play Archive

Illusion of Gaia

by ddegenha

Part 30: In Which Will Trims the Hedges

“Through the jungle, three days journey from the native village there is a huge temple. Hopefully they don’t get hungry again and eat Erik in the week I’m gone.”

Ankor Wat Theme
Ankor Wat Gameplay (First Two Sections)

First up in the new enemy pantheon we have the Shrubber, a walking plant that tends to blend in to the scenery until you get close.

Far more annoying is the Zip Fly, which is about what you’d expect. They buzz around, but don’t pay much attention to you and just do their own thing. You kind of have to chase them down, but the good news is that if you can tag them twice they’ll die. And as for what’s lurking on the right side of the screen…

That’s a Zombie. I mean, what else would you think seeing that? You have to destroy the head by hitting it while it’s extended away from the body, and it has to be all in one extension. It takes about three hits to accomplish it, and once the head is destroyed an eye pops out in the chest and the zombie rushes at you until it’s destroyed.

The entire thing is a bit taxing as you get used to the new enemies, so it’s a good thing that the first upgrade is an HP increase that gives us a full restore. After that it’s a matter of heading north and into the first indoor portion of Ankor Wat.

Inside we’ve got a new set of enemies, starting with the Gold Cap. They swing back and forth in a given area, but will occasionally split into two ghostly skulls. Once they’re split they can’t be hit, but they can hit you. After a few seconds the shadows will rush back to where they split and join back up, giving a new opportunity to kill it. In a minor show of mercy, they don’t restore their HP in the process.

Occasionally Gorgons will also drop from the ceiling in a clatter of stone. They’re invincible when spinning and pack a hell of a punch, but otherwise they’re very vulnerable to the Psycho Slider, Psycho Dash, and jump attacks. They’re tied for the second highest non-boss HP, so it can take a minute.

Immediately after the first few enemies we’ve got a Red Jewel. There’s no gimmick item like the mushroom drops from the last dungeon, so any treasure in this one is a jewel or an herb.

The first room also features a Wall Walker enemy, one of two identical enemies that have two different HP totals but are otherwise identical. We can’t even reach this one… yet.

This dungeon is full of ramps like this to cut off access, forcing us to use the Whirlwind to progress. There’s a few more wrinkles, but it’s pretty much a “remember that you have this move” kind of thing.

At the top is the final enemy of the dungeon, the Frenzie. They stick to walls and just speed up every time you hit them. It’s entirely based on how many hits rather than how much HP they have, so Freedan has an easier time dealing with them.

The path leads to a pair of Wall Walkers. Clearing them out opens the pathway you can see here. Probably one of the creepiest Pyscho slider openings.

After that, progressing leads us to a raised platform above a hidden pitfall. And at the bottom…

Opinions differ regarding what this is. Some people say insects, some people say bones… to me, it looks something like roses.

Whatever it is, you can simply walk out and kill enemies until a staircase appears to get back up.

Once back on the first floor it’s a case of fighting back to where we fell. Along the way another Gorgon attack shows up. When they lead down from platforms it causes an earthquake that drops rocks on our head.

It’s pretty much a gauntlet leading down, trying to keep going on a sliver of HP and get some kind of healing. As is standard RPG practice, I refuse to use my stock of herbs.

Coincidentally, I find another one at the end that I will then not use. There’s a bit of a trick here, in that the stairs up to the chest are behind the text box.

Going back up, there’s a pathway full of Wall Walkers. Clearing them gets a much needed HP upgrade and restoration.

We can go all the way back to where we fell down the pit and see the trap. The blocks at the top of the ramp actually act as a launch pad and send us flying. We’ve seen the same kind of blocks…

So the solution to progress is to return to where we got the herb and use whirlwind to launch up the ramp and take a flying leap toward another pair of Gorgons. Clearing them gets us a STR upgrade.

The next section has a ton of Frenzie moving unpredictably around a number of small platforms.

Past those there’s a pathway marked by these statues, which generally mark some kind of significant path. More to the point, the Wall Walker we saw in the very first room is just to the right. Killing him finishes up this section and gets us more STR. Making anything in this dungeon duy faster is a welcome upgrade.

Past the statue door is another large outdoor area, with a truly ridiculous number of enemies scattered about.

The ultimate goal is eventually reach the Dark Space here, but the path is long and winding.

It’s also full of Shrubbers, making some of the actual paths look a bit less open than they are. If you look carefully you can see one just to the northwest.

In other places they actually choke off progress until you kill them.

It’s actually fairly easy to reach the pathway to the next area, but there’s more to discover. And besides, we haven’t gotten our power up.

“We crossed the jungle to the native village. We didn’t understand the language, but they beckoned for us to stay. When I awoke in the morning, only Captain Friezer and I remained. Hunger had destroyed many people during the night. Even our friends. We saw the bodies of our comrades and ran into the jungle. That’s when we discovered Ankor Wat. Rumor says that you can gain immortality here where the spirits live, but all I saw were demons…I’m going back to my friends… if I don’t survive, who would mourn?”

“Friezer… Friezer… where have I heard that name before…Euro?”

“Oh yeah, that guy. Oh. Um…rest in peace, I guess?”

And on that slightly depressing note, we clear out the last remaining enemies using Freedan’s Dark Friar since they’re inaccessible otherwise and get an HP increase. We’re still nowhere near done with this dungeon.

Next update: We’re done with this dungeon.