Part 4: Lady in RedChapter 3: Lady in Red
Welcome, everyone, to the Blue Spire!
It's quite pretty!
It also has a pretty theme!
There's a door to the left, but it leads nowhere, so we head to the right.
Despite its fearsome appearance, the Blue Spire is really straightforward and quick to run through. If you recall Althena's Tower from the first game, with five smaller rooms connected to a larger center room, it's much the same. There are some dead-ends, but by and large it's easy to navigate.
But don't think it'll be a cake-walk, as they added the first hard enemy in the game. The Crystal Knight is the only new enemy in the tower, but it's a doozy. When their little shoulder crystals start blinking really fast (it's a rather subtle tell), they unleash the pain.
It's a lot of pain. Their other, less scary attack is a dive attack, but if it the Crystal Knights decide to gang up on one of your guys, they can knock you out.
Like so! Unlike the first game, a knocked out character does not get removed the fight. If I had an item that could resurect, I could get Gwyn back up. But I don't, not yet, so this can be a bad situation. Fortunately, like the first game, characters get resurrected after battle, and all of their status ailments cured.
I'd like to mention that if only one of your guys gets away, the game will still not count it as a party-wipe. Unlike Lunar 1, this information will be useful to us.
Other than those fuckers, there's not much more to say about the tower.
There's an herb hidden away in the dead end on the fourth floor, and there's another one on the fifth floor.
There's also a not-insubstantial amount of money on the same floor.
After that, we come into this narrow passage-way. The music's been replaced by wind noises.
After Lunar 1's succession of brown caves, this is an absolute treat for the eyes.
I'd also be remiss in failing to mention that the battle background changes here, too. Also, we must be high up or the Blue Star is preparing to slam into Lunar.
: The ancient writing speak of a secret way to the top floor somewhere in here. We must search this room thoroughly to find it.
All right! Let's get cracking!
So it's all up to us, then? Okay.
Fortunately, it turns out ancient secrets are really obvious. Hey, Gwyn we found it!
...nevermind. Let's just go.
And then suddenly...
: Wha- what's happening? Where? Hiirooooo!
: I... I... think this must be the secret room grandpa was talking about! I hope that Destroyer Leo's looking for isn't lurking around here...
Hiro ain't liking the odds either.
Either way, there isn't an exit. So... might as well have a look around.
: Look at that. It's just floating there! Do you think....?
: *Gasp* Woooow!
Oh honey, Hiro ain't gonna save you from what's coming from the other side. He can barely kill mucus.
Waaait a sec... there's a familiar (naked) sight.
Well, no longer naked.
: Hi- Hiro...
Hiro, I hate to break it to you, but you may have to change your cape when this is over.
So... uh... you gonna kill us now or what?
: It- it looks like a girl!
I believe Hiro has now noticed that as well...
: My name is Lucia. I have come from the Blue Star on an urgent mission. Your world is in grave danger! I must see Althena immediately! Take me to her!
Uh. Yeah, I'll... get right on that. Man, this is the one time were it really would have been helpful if she was some farmgirl we knew...
: She looks like she could be some sort of goddess or something! What are we going to do, Hiro?
: Ruby to Hiro! Hello!
: She's the.. most beautiful girl I've ever seen!
Oh dear... I don't think our protagonist is thinking with the correct head any more.
: What are you babbling about? She's not even human! Snap out of it!
: Ow! Knock it off Ruby!
Thankfully, our pink flying friend is around to remind our hero to keep it in his pants.
: Hey! Where you going?
: I have come to this world to seek Althena. My search begins.
No, she means the burger joint "Althena's." There is only one Althena; why is this so confusing to people!
: I don't know if I can help you, but I'm willing to try!
: Who are you?
: Oh... sorry, I'm Hiro. And, uh, that's Ruby.
: In the flesh...
: If you are residents of this world, you must help me find the Goddess Althena. It's urgent that I find her. The fate of your world hangs in the balance.
And then she warps us out. Wait... what would have happened if Lucia here hadn't come around? I suppose Hiro and Ruby would have just starved to death. Man, the people who build this tower are dicks.
: You had me beside myself with worry, young man! I've been looking all over for you! Where in tarnation did you go?
That's a good question. I'm not really sure.
: Oh dear! Who's this you've found?
: Her name is Lucia. We found her in a room with a big crystal jewel! And guess what, Grandpa Gwyn! She's from the Blue Star!
: By Althena herself! A girl has traveled to us from the Blue Star?!
: Hiro, we've got to get out of here. If Leo find her, we're in big trouble, and so is she. We'll talk later... let's go!
Wait, why are we in trouble? Because we're here and Leo didn't really want us here? Well tough titties, buddy, we do what we want! Or that this chick might be that destroyer thingie... although I'm thinking that a soft-voiced pretty anime chick is not going to turn out to be the destroyer of worlds. Just a hunch.
For now, let's just focus on getting out of here. Our mysterious new friend joins us for now.
Although for some odd reason we can't select her at all in the menu. Can't even check her stats or equipment. Yet she appears below on our line-up. And look at that HP! And look at that... lack of MP. It's not zero; it just plain doesn't exist! This just keeps getting weirder...
Let's take her for a test drive, then.
Huh. I can't control her.
While I still believe she's unlikely to be the destroyer, it's starting to seem more possible.
So as you might expect there's not much challenge as you descend. As a matter of fact, this is a pretty good time to grind a little bit. Sadly, your experience now gets split three ways, even though Lucia doesn't seem to need it, but still it couldn't hurt to get a level or two.
I elect just to get through the dungeon. Like Lunar 1, I'm going to try and get through this game without (much) grinding. In Lunar 1 you only needed to grind in one or two spots, otherwise you were fine with just running through. Hell, I was still over-powered by the end! I'm not going to have as easy a time with it in Lunar 2.
Oh! And we can now get pre-emptive attacks, which didn't happen in Lunar 1. Nice. Lucia celebrates with an over-powered spell called Soul Rush.
It just flat-out teleports the enemy away. And I still get experience for the battle! Sweet.
So as far as I know, the game will not stop you from power-grinding. I haven't tested it, although I'm not sure how many levels I could reasonably gained before the whole thing became far too much of a hassle.
So, I found out the game DOES stop you from power-leveling with Lucia! You have to reach level 7, which is still a fair lot of grinding. This is what happens:
If only she could seal off the random encounters in other places. Thanks to Mercury_Storm for informing me of this!
Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled LP.
Lucia has a lot of spells; I don't think I managed to get her to use all that she had. This is Spark Cannon; it does a lot of damage to one target. I'd rather she'd use her other over-powered spells, but let's not look a gift horse in the month.
So we make our way down the spire.
Suddenly, Lucia just stops in her tracks.
: Hiro, I don't think she's human... her magic is too strong.
: Perhaps she is a destroyer as Lord Leo said. But, why would she come here? Hrmph! Fiddle m'boy... it makes no sense... no sense at all...
Speaking of no sense!
: Look! What's happening to Lucia?!
: Is this Althena's world? I- I do not sense the aura of her magic power. But then... perhaps the evil hides it from my sight.
: 'least not like any other I've known. But, I can't believe she's a destroyer.
In order to progress, we have to talk to Gwyn while Lucia's just floating there. Kinda odd, but okay...
: Lucia says she came from the Blue Star. But, did she say why?
: She came here to meet the Goddess Althena!
: Goddess Althena? You mean, the one that the cultists serve?
No, I mean the Goddess Althena who works at- wait, "cultists?"
: I can't believe that it could be the same one.
: I must find out where she is...
And now Lucia's decided to join us on the ground. If she can basically fly, why bother walking is my question...
Oh this can't be good.
: Who is it? Who's there?
: Oh no... it can't be!
: My my... sweet princess of the Blue Star. Welcome.
: It is... it's Zophar.
Zophar? Who's Zo-
Oh god acid flashbacks!
: Mwhahaha! Yes, sweet Lucia. It's been a long time my dear. I'm crushed that you haven't stayed in touch. But I'm very patient. I know that you'll come to my way of thinking, eventually.
: I will never submit to you! What have you done with Althena?!
: Althena? Ho ho ho! Sweet Lucia... why don't you ask her yourself? Oh dear, I've forgotten, you don't know where she is! What a pity.
: Zophar, I will not allow you to corrupt this world. Dragon power, shine forth! Fill me with the strength of ages! Empower me to overcome the destroyer in our midst!
Oh sweet! She's gonna lay the smack-down on that faceless motherfucker! Get 'em Lucia!
That... does not look like ass-kickery.
: Hmm hmm. Lucia... that was... quite unimpressive...
: Oh no! What happened?
: I'm afraid I had to seal away the power of the four Dragons. You see, very soon, you will be all that stands between me and total domination!
: Tell me darling... was it good for you? Now that I've stripped you of your power, you are nothing more than a helpless bug, waiting to be crushed.
: I... I... can't... Too... strong...
: Save that precious breath, child. You'll need it to find Althena. Your little needle in my haystack... Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha!
: Zopher... you can't...
: It's no dream, Ruby. These are strange goings-on... strange indeed. Hmm, yes, it seems that this Zophar fellow has cursed her very soul. If we don't break the spell, she'll most certainly die.
: Ungh... I have to... Althena... before... ungh...
: Young lady, save your strength. You can tell us all about it later.
: But... time is... I must... only Althena can... Zophar... ungh...
: Come, Hiro. We've got to get her back to the house. Maybe one of my books will give us a clue about how to break this curse...
Oh dear. Tell me, how bad is this curse?
Oh it's bad. It's pretty bad.
: Hiro, I'm scared. This is too big for us. We don't belong in this struggle. If only we hadn't taken that Dragon Eye jewel from the ruins...
This... has been one hell of a day. How could it get worse?
Oh. That. That's how it could get worse.