Part 13: CoulrophobiaChapter 11: Coulrophobia
The ghost manor is a very... interesting dungeon. I'm not even sure you could actually call it that, really. The manor has 3 floors, with the bottom two having two doors a piece, and one door on the very top. However, most of them are locked. There's only door we can go into at the moment.
: ...shriek... sharply...!
: That sounded like... a.... g... g.... ghost!
: Wind... wind... wind! Mark and remember.... whooooooooo!
: W... w... w... what is he talking about? Let's get out of here!
Ah, unless the ghostly voice starts telling us to kill our uncle, I think we'll be okay.
The manor doesn't have random battles as such. Instead, what happens is that each time you enter a room...
You get into a fixed encounter.
Here we see the main gimmick of the whole dungeon. If we try to attack these things normally-
It does... star amount of damage.
If we want to start doing a numerical amount, we have to do something special. The ghost did babble on about wind... and Hiro's useless magic set is called Wind magic. And this whole thing is supposed to be a magic test. And I am clearly already preparing to cast a wind spell.
What do ya know? It knocks the hood off, and now the attacks will do damage!
There's not much more to this floor once you figure this out. The now unHooded Imps only have one major trick up their sleeve, and that's this:
They'll... pop their head off at you. The tell for this is when you see that trail behind them. This inflicts sleep, but half of my party is immune to that.
There's no treasure and there's no other enemies than the Imps on this floor. Moreover, you have to go into every room and clear every one, even all the dead ends. It's not that interesting. I hope that no one is heartbroken if I skip to the end.
And here is the end.
I like to imagine that the ghostly voice just shouted "bang!" right there.
: W... what was that?
: It sounded like a door slamming open or shut.
: D... do you think it was a... a... ghost?
One thing thing about the ghost manor in this version is that because nothing respawns, you can go back to town and top off any time you want and never lose progress. I'd recommend healing up after every floor.
This is all quite different from the remake. The PSX version really cuts down on this dungeon a lot; it's fair bit more traditional and straightforward. The enemies also respawn, so you also can't run out and heal whenever you want.
After I top off, I head back to find that a door on the second floor is mysteriously open.
: Shutters? What shutters? Hello?! For a ghost, you sure are vague! Geez!
Close the shutters? What could that mean? Well, let's find out what's on this floor.
Oh god what the hell is that.
Waaaiit a second. They're flying... and they're girls....
Some loser posted:
: Those flying girls are impossible! I couldn't even scratch them!
The way you defeat these things is a bit more oblique. And no, you don't use Boomerang. But "closing the shutters" doesn't refer to anything Hiro can do, nor Jean. Close the shutters... send them to sleep?
However, one attack will wake them up, so you'll want to take them out quickly. By the way, if you forgot, when you press defend, you can't actually control where your character goes. And sometimes if they run across an enemy while they're defending, they'll attack it. Yeah. Guess what happened to me. Jean's Needle Step, thankfully, will take them out, and you can afford the cost.
Aside from being invincible while awake, Susie Deaths also have some interesting attacks.
When the Susie Deaths have a straw out, they'll do... that. It drains MP. It drains about 3 or so, which isn't much on its own, but it can add up. Right there, though, it decided to target Lucia, who has none to drain. Good job.
Their other attack is just a run of the mill attack.
So the Siouxsie Deaths aren't really any worse than the imps, just slightly more annoying.
Although that is kind of cute.
Like the previous floor, there is no treasure, and nothing else of note. Now you actually aren't forced into a fight when you enter the room, you have to talk to the weird flying girls to trigger the fight, but again, you have to kill them all anyway. If you try to run past, you get teleported back to the start. And the ghost has more advice?
I don't even know.
Also, I realize now those are canopy beds, but that still looks weird as hell to me.
Yeah, there is nothing else going on. Next!
: There it is again! Now that I think about it, it's probably not a ghost... They wouldn't be using a door... w... would they?
Why can't ghosts use doors? If a door can be a ghost, ghosts can use doors! Don't be so quick to assume anything about doors or ghosts, Ruby.
Anyway, after healing and coming back, it's time to take on the final leg.
: Feet? Salvation? It doesn't make any sense!
Actually, this is the most straight-forward mysterious ghost voice has been.
Anyway, what's our gimmick enemy this time?
Oh, no, we're not fighting a wall. We're fighting... the bricks. That makes even less sense.
The Knuckle Busters are probably the most interesting enemies in this whole manor. Like everything else, they're invincible until we do whatever special attack we need. But unlike the other two enemies, they won't do anything until we knock them out of their invincibility. We can't hurt them, but they can't hurt us.
You might have guessed that the key here is dancing. It doesn't matter which dance skill Jean uses. And while Jean's Butterfly Dance doesn't do direct damage to multiple targets, it does inflict poison on them, which the game counts for triggering their active state.
So unlike the other two floors, you can knock enemies out of invincibility in groups, rather than one at a time. And since Jean is the fastest character, I don't have to have my other characters sit around until they can finally hit the enemy. This means that unlike the previous floors, this is kind of fun and actually requires some thinking. This is a pretty good time to show off Hiro's new skill, actually.
Sybillium Sword is Hiro's first AOE Sword skill. (Sybillium was also the name of a skill Kyle got in the original game, but it was a different skill.) It's a steep 15 MP, but it does decent damage to a group. Unlike some of the later games, Lunar 2 doesn't actually tell you which enemy falls into your AOE, so while this looks like it hit all three enemies in the center, it only hit two. When you're aiming this skill, it seems like you can assume that anything below your target will get hit, but nothing above it. At least, that's what it seems like.
As you might imagine, this whole thing is a bit MP intensive, especially if you're trying to be careful.
The rewards are decent, especially the MExp. Everything else here drops shit for experience.
There's also only four of these encounters. This is by far the shortest and most straightforward floor. Even still, by the end I was pretty drained of MP. And I went back and topped off, because, as you might of guessed...
This boss. This fucking boss.
Welcome to the sound of my nightmares.
Every time I play this game, I keep forgetting about how much of a fucking pain in the ass this boss is. No, you don't have to use one specific attack to hurt 'em or anything. But, well... you see, he has this drum. He'll attack you with it.
And it inflicts Daze on you.
And he kept doing it! By the way, that brings Hiro down to the red. So this guy can 2-shot Hiro too. And inflict status ailments.
It's certainly a good idea to have plenty of herbs on Jean. Ronfar can cure Daze with his Clean Magic (and, yes, he's preparing to cast it on Jean in this screenshot), but Hiro's still two steps from death.
At least the Magic Tester decided to show some mercy and use his other attack, Trouble Bubble, instead.
That hits two characters and inflicts sleep. Since I've got two party members with immunity to sleep, that move isn't nearly as bad.
By the way, don't let anyone remain Dazed for long. They can fuck you up if they gets a crit. But at least I was preparing a Clean Magic, so that danger is out of the wa-
At least Lucia is casting. Finally. Whatcha gonna pull out, girl?
Wait, what? Is that a heal spell? Uh, Ronfar already took care of that, mostly, but if you could patch him up or maybe heal some status ailments...
Or you can just heal yourself. For no reason. I hate you Lucia.
At this point, I'm desperately trying to get this boss fight out of the first phase. Yes, this is another multiphase boss fight, and the first phase is by far the worst. If Lucia helps you out, this goes by so, so much easier.
Or that could happen instead. At least Lucia is completely nonthreatening while Dazed.
Nonetheless, Ronfar's starting to run out of MP for Clean Magic, and I'm just desperate for this phase to fucking end already.
YES! YES! YEEEESSSSSSSS!
I think I'm going to go cry now.
I actually didn't know (or forgot) that Dazed characters can cast. Fortunately, it only takes a single Needle Step to knock him back to his second phase. Ronfar shakes off Daze in the next round, and the since the Magic Tester loses its drum after the first phase, so it can't Daze me again. Instead of that, it can...
I don't even know.
Thankfully that only hit Hiro, otherwise Ronfar would be out and I'd be up shit creek.
It can still do the Trouble Bubble, but by now the worst is over. As long as you have enough MP for healing and attacking and such, we've won the fight.
Speaking of which, we have our first Star Light use! Considering how badly this fight went, a Starlight and two or three herbs is not a bad item cost.
And now we're finally into the third, and last, phase. It has the same attacks, and it falls quickly.
Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck. You.
By the way, this not the strangest fight I've had with this thing. One time, I didn't think to get the Fresh Ring, and the Magic Tester put Hiro to sleep. And since characters that get put to sleep take double damage... Hiro was fucked. Not long after, Jean took a dirt nap too. It was just Lucia and Ronfar. So for shits and giggles, I put the game on AI.
And then they didn't die. Lucia started... fighting the damn boss.
It definitely helps that in that run, I got the guy out of the first phase quickly enough. If Ronfar got Dazed I'm pretty sure I would have been fucked. But, no, I got through it. Lucia actually took the thing out by herself. Now, I certainly prefer for Hiro and Jean to get the experience rather than half of the remainder going to a deadweight, but I kind of wished that happened this time just so I could show it off. Oh well. At least it's over.
Well, we killed it. Now what?
: You idiots! You totally destroyed my mega-magic tester!
: Well, I guess you did pass...
: Ta-da! Congratuations, you're a winner!
Yeah, that's about right.
: My name is Lemina Ausa, premier of the prestigious and world famous magic guild of Vane.
: He he! Did I surprise you?
t̵̝͙̺̼̯ͤ̑̕hͧͪ̃͜͏̤̭ͅȇ͖̫̼͙̞̜̻̼͚̌̒ͬ̓̀͠y̠̜̔ͮ ̤̘̖͔̓͂́̉͝w̶̴̛͈̮̪̲̠͉ͮ̉̎ͣͣi̴̷̤̲̰͙̩̿͆̅̑͟ͅl̢̠͚͇̤͋̔͒ḽ̵͋̔̒̎͌ͬ͠ ̛̮̗̼̬͎̿̓̔ͪ̃ͩ͞n̼̫̝̘ͦͯͅe͈͕̹̼̥͂ͥ͝v̢̟̟̺̦͂̔̑͛̋͊e͇̗ͩͯ͒͋́̊́r̝͖̔ ̝̭̘̮͈͈͖̓ͯ̽̐͒͠f͕̺̣̟͓͉̐į̴͓̹̗̘̬͕̍ͪ͋̊̐ͣ̚͠n͖̈̐̽͛̇͂̇̀ḑ̵̦̃̕ ̛̱̣̌̔̌̄ͨ̅ͫ̚y̎̑ͨ͒͆ͦͪ̒̇҉̶̺̻̤̥̖̠́ͅo̶̙̖̟̟ͧ̿ú̷̹̲͎̐̉͗ͣ͒ͩͤ̀r͛̀̓̇̒͌̔͛҉̡͖̣͍̘͚̞ ̜̯̖͎̱̲͕̋͢b͖̙͖̥͙̭͈̠̆̽̔̑́o̷̯̤̣̫̝̬͕͒̊͂̍̽̃̂͒d̵̶͖̦̞͈̖̙̘͇͌̅̑́́͞y̨̹͍͛̓ͪ͠
: By demonstrating your skill with the various test monsters I've placed in this mansion, you have now passed the offically passed the entrance exam for the magic guild of Vane.
: If you join right now, you'll be charter members! And you'll also become part of the rich history and tradition of Vane. So, what do you think? Do you want to join the magic guild?
: It sounds really nice, but we're really in a hurry. We have a quest to finish.
: Oh, don't say that! At least say you'll think about it. Please! Please! Please!
Seriously, how many beans does Hiro consume? Does he do a raw vegan thing or something?
: Well then, if you finish this quest faster, you can join the guild! So, I'll tell you what: I'll go with you to speed up this little quest of yours. I'm sure you can use an extra hand, especially one skilled in magic!
: B... b... but we didn't ask you to...
: Oh pooh! Just shush up and let's get moving!
Ruby, just tell her you all are wanted fugitives. That would get her off your case pretty quick.
: I hope that once we finish your quest, you'll join the guild. I'll do my best to speed things along. Just think about it, okay?
: Don't you think you're being a little... er... pushy?
I mean, seriously, Lemina knows nothing about these people. For all she knows, they could be unusually skilled cocaine smugglers! (I'm sorry, K-A game. Banana smugglers.)
: This magic guild sounds quite enchanting...
: Watch it, Lucia. This girl sounds desperate. If you say any more, you'll probably find yourself hog-tied and being dragged to this magic city.
: Oh, c'mon Ruby! She's not that bad! And besides, we could use her in battle!
: Okay, Ronfar! That's enough! She's off-limits to you!
: Hey! I wasn't thinking anything but pure thoughts!
: Pure what? Lust?
: Are we gonna talk or are we gonna move? Time's slipping by! Let's go!
So... we're not gonna mention the whole "being hunted by Leo" thing. And, you know, Jean still doesn't know either...
Oh whatever. New party member!
As you can imagine, she is our squishy mage.
...wait a sec. Let me compare something...
....Hiro has less HP than the mage. 1 less, mind you, but he still has less HP. And higher base wisdom. Hiro royally fucked up on his character sheet.
Anyway, Lemina has the same Wisdom Robe Ronfar has, and she has a Water Staff.
Lemina gets both Flame magic and Ice magic. For Flame, she has, well, uh, Flame, her single target spell, and Fire Ring, her area of effect spell. For Ice, she gets Ice Pick and Ice Wall.
Both of them, you guessed it, need Magic Experience to level up. And they're both good spell sets, so you're gonna want to level them up. For now, it may not be a bad idea to just focus on Lemina's spells for now. Both Ice and Flame get pretty good spells at level 13. (Of course, so does Dance. Health... eh.)
Lemina's final spell set is Mystic Spells. The somewhat misnamed Spell Sucker is a silence spell that I've never used, and Magic Swiper steals MP from enemies. Which is nice, but Lemina has such a massive MP total (although not as much as Jean's; jeez!) that it's not as nice as that same spell on, say, Ronfar. Still, it's a solid skillset.
With Lemina, we have a complete 5-person party. That didn't take long.
It's definitely a good idea to set your battle formation, something I've consistently forgotten to do. Obviously you want your fighters up in the front, but since enemies sometimes surround you, it's a good idea to put Lemina in the center, just to be safe. Also try not to cluster your guys too close together to avoid taking too much damage from AoE spells.
That's enough futzing around for now. Let's get a move on.
In the remake, there's this whole scene with a magic carpet after the manor, but nothing like that in the original. Next time, we'll we going around the mountain.