Part 44: Red Dragon CaveChapter 38: Red Dragon Cave
We're finally at the the last Dragon Cave. The Red Dragon Cave. It's a cave. It sure as hell is a cave.
So I was looking back the video for this update, and realized that this whole thing took two goddamn hours. Which might explain why I'm a bit... numb about the whole thing. Or maybe I'm ready for the Dragon caves to be over. I don't know.
The first floor's unremarkable, just some treasure, but the next one's annoying.
It's basically a regular floor, but the path is obscured.
You'll want to go up first for some treasure, then back down.
Like so. If you go down from here, then left, there's a chest with a Starlight. Get that, come back here, and go left.
Once you realize that none of the paths are truly hidden, there's always some sort of hint, this room isn't difficult.
Although I still missed that piece of treasure the right time around. And no, there's no trick to getting it, you just go left. There's a weird quirk in the movement systems of these games where if you press against the wall you don't stop, you'll keep moving. It can kinda mess you up in this stupid room. Anywho, it's Angel Tears, always worth getting.
If you go to the left you can get another Fresh Ring, and straight up leads to the next floor.
We can't do much in this room yet. If you remember, Mauri mentioned something about stopping the lava flow. Since we don't have rain cloud this time 'round, we'll have to find a different way. For now, go up the side of the lava river, and once you reach the top, go left.
The floor after that isn't worth talking about; it's just a transition. Oh, you know, we haven't talked enemies yet. Let's do that.
The Wind Genie resembles the Aqua Elemental in more ways that one. They have a similar special, a party wide attack, which they also telegraph by holding their sword behind them. Unlike the Aqua Elemental, the Wind Genie's only use their special as a counter to normal attacks. Otherwise, they'll do nothing when they're in that position. And, oddly enough, they can get into position and unleash their special attack even when freezed.
Oh, and Jean's new claw inflicts freeze sometimes. That's nice.
Nonetheless, Hiro's Poe Sword demolishes the shit out of them. Why?
Because he's harnessing the power of Satan, of course.
The Soul Yanker, on the other hand, does an assortment of magic attacks. It does Fire Ring (piiiidly damage), Flame Shot (not so piddly), and one more.
That's based around their location, and they have a tell for it, so you can avoid it if you so please. But it's really not that bad anyway.
What's most notable about Buzz Boy, other than their weird ass design, is that they're not weak to ice like everything else is. So Hiro doesn't curbstomp them.
Their special attack kinda sucks. I guess.
And hey, look who's back! These Necromancer are slighter different than the ones in Serak Palace, they have more HP for one, but like the ones in Serak Palace they reflect spells and heal themselves.
Also, I think they can mute you. I think, anyway; they always targeted Lemina, and she's got a Tri-Ring on. Mute just makes sense to me.
Now this didn't happen with other spell reflecting enemies, but sometimes Lucia's spells will bounce off them! That's not catastrophic by any means, but annoying. Jean's attacks or Poe Sword will put the Necromancers down quickly anyway.
The hard part about fighting the Red Dragon cave is keeping your MP up. It's a long ass cave and you can only steal MP from the Soul Yankers (and they're very reluctant to give you much.)
But the upside is that the enemies are very, very generous. I gained a lot of levels here, both regular ol' levels and magic levels. Hiro gained five levels! Everyone else gained about three. At level 36, everyone gets their last level-based skill. Everyone except Lemina reached level 36 before the boss, so let's welcome our new members of the level 36 club!
Hiro's Dark Sword is... interesting. The hint text tells you it's "Split Battle Mode." Uh... yeah. I have no idea. Anyway, Dark Sword will do 999(!) damage to certain types of non-boss enemies. What types? I'm... not 100% sure. Apparently anything that's "not undead," although I'll be damned if I know what that means. (Although considering it did nothing to the Necromancers, that makes sense.) It's 30 MP, which is a bit steep but not that much worse than Battalion Sword. Honestly, I never really use it. Maybe I should.... If you were wondering, Dark Sword isn't in the remake. They replaced it with a single target damage dealing skill.
EDIT: Er, he sorta has Dark Sword. He gets a skill called Concussion Sword, which is kinda like it. Kinda. Thanks for reminding me dis astranagant!
Blue Dragon Chop gives Jean her only all enemy skill. It's nice to have one, I guess.
Lemina doesn't get this until after the boss, but I'll include it here for convenience. Pressure Cooker... is also weird. Apparently it "reduces level," whatever the fuck that means. I've heard conflicting things on what it does, but from my experience, I'd say it reduces stats in general. I'm not sure for how much, or any exact numbers. Lemina doesn't get this spell in the remake, either. Again, it's replaced with a damage-dealing spell.
EDIT: Prism gives us a better run-down on what it does:
Pressure Cooker does indeed reduce all stats. Most enemies are set to have X stats +Y per level, and have an included level, so they lose some of the Y under Pressure Cooker. It actually works on a fair number of bosses, though usually only once - you can even hit parts of the end boss with one!
It is also capable of glitching one boss up real bad, IIRC, because they forgot to set it up right. The boss heavily resists it, but you can get some nonsensical numbers if you can make it stick multiple times anyway. I never succeeded in landing it, so I can't verify if it actually happens. Lucia learns an identical spell except it's harder to resist.
Finally, last but not least Ronfar gets:
Aside from regular old levels, we get a lot of MExp for magic levels as well. At this point, I'm just putting points into Ronfar's Health and Lemina's Ice. I'll put MExp into Flame later, but that's it.
Ronfar's Health and Lemina's Ice have every single spell upgraded to the second level now. In the remake, your spells only upgraded once, but here we actually have a third level to go. We're not going to get any third level spells until their skillset reach level 27, so it'll be a while.
Anyway, back to the dungeon itself, after the brief pointless room after the first lava flow room, we have a second lava flow room.
But this time we've got sliding platforms
It's not very exciting.
The platform you see up top doesn't lead anywhere. If you go down a bit, there's a platform there that leads you where you want to go.
From here, go left and exit the room.
This leads to a room with four altars and four floating orbs. There's no puzzle or anything here; just go and up to all the altars, press the button, and watch the rocks fall.
Although the way the screen is positioned, it's hard to see it. Anyway, once you've pressed all the buttons, go back out to the second lava room.
And the lava flow's been plugged. Let's cross the now lava-free bed.
If we take the bottom route, we'll be done with the cave. However, stopping the lava also opens up the first lava river room, so I'm gonna go back.
Fortunately, there's a platform here that will take us across the lava, so it's a quick trip back to the first lava room. Once in the first lava room, ignore the first lava bed and go to the bottom.
There's a lot of treasure here, and it's all pretty awesome. (This shield protects against sleep, by the way)
You especially want this. Not only is it a good piece of armor generally (although sadly I'll finally be giving up that sweet agility bonus) it teaches Ronnie's Revive Magic. Two characters who can revive? Yeah, I want that.
An awesome robe for Lemina, also anti-sleep.
Hey, the game just decided to give me one of these. Cool. (Also the Love Pendant provides some resistance to fire attacks, which you might guess is slightly useful here.)
And finally we have a helmet to round out Hiro's new set of armor.
Now, you'd think it's a no-brainer to go back, but there's a little problem.
For whatever fucking reason, they disabled the White Dragon Wings here. Yeap, once we beat the Red Fiend (and you know that's the boss. Don't play dumb.) we gotta walk all the way out. I have no idea why they force you to do that, other than to make sure you go back to the first lava room so you can pick up the treasure. Going back for it before beating the boss does make this dungeon last longer (there's a reason Hiro gained 5 levels here) but honestly I wanted this stuff for the boss.
Anyway, let's trek back to the second lava room again.
And let's go beat this boss already.
The Red Fiend can be nasty. It has 7425 HP, the highest of any boss we've seen so far, and its special attack can do some nasty damage.
I embarrass it.
First off, Hiro does ridiculous damage to the fiend. And that's unbuffed, by the way. Applying a buff to him bring that damage to the 700's, easily. Combined with whatever damage Jean or Lemina bring to the table, this boss fight is already limited to 10 rounds, give or take. So we've already got that going for us.
For whatever reason, the Fiend didn't feel like using its good attacks against me much of the time. It does get two attacks, but it only ever targeted Jean, so whatever.
This is Fire Blast. I seem to recall it doing better damage than this, but a) it targeted Jean, who's away from everyone and b) her Wind Pendant provides fire protection.
Finally, when it turns pink, it does Gatling Flame, an actually dangerous attack. Dragon Angel Crests protect against the attack, which is why Lemina and Ronfar don't take damage from it, and Hiro and Lucia were protected by Magic Shield, but it did 151 to Jean, so you can see how it can be dangerous without the right protection.
It didn't last long enough to do that attack more than once. Why?
The final nail in the coffin is Jean on Blue Dragon Vigor. Some of you may have been wondering why everyone's been hyping the spell so hard, since I've not gotten great returns on it. Well, a) in the Borgan fight I used it wrong and b) it's a bit situational, and the Black Fiend is not a good situation for Blue Dragon Vigor. However, the Red Fiend doesn't have the insane defense the Black Fiend does, so each attack does about 100 damage, and with the Wind Pendant, that means she get 10 of those. She's doing a minimum of 1000 damage. Not counting criticals, and she got two of those. That brings her damage to about 1300 or so.
And that's unbuffed, by the way. Buffed? She's doing more 110 to 120 a hit. Her second go at Blue Dragon Vigor had her both doing more damage per hit and getting more critcals. She did just under 1800 damage. That's about 20 percent of the boss's HP. Here's a video of her rampage if you want to see it for yourself.
Point is, it lasted a mere five rounds. I think I'm starting to see why they replaced Blue Dragon Vigor in the remake.
In any case, that's done. Let's go release the last Dragon.
: How come nothing happened?
: Are you sure that you're the Red Dragon? Maybe you're really just an annoying little flying cat.
: But... I'm supposed to be a Red Dragon...
: ...Ruby, don't be afraid to claim what is yours.
: What?! Lucia, I'm not scared of anything! What are you talking about?
: Your fear is what prevents the power from embracing you.
: ...you can sense my feelings, can't you? I just don't want to leave all of you if I change into the Red Dragon... But, I do have this strange feeling. I've seen the other Dragons. Something's changed inside of me. I think I'm scared to grow up... If... if I have to leave all of you, I don't want to become an adult...
: Hiro, you finally found someone for you. I... I know what I must do...
I think little Ruby's finally figuring something out.
: Ever since I can remember, I dreamt of the day that I would claim my birthright and become a full-fledged dragon. Now that the Dragon Aura is released, and I stand ready to claim that prize., Zophar tightens his merciless grasp. My only hope is that I will be strong enough to make a difference... and maybe even save our world! Dragon Aura, I stand ready. Embrace me with the power I need to complete my destiny!
They grow up so fast.
: Whoa! I never knew you had it in ya, kid! You're the cutest Dragon I've seen.
: You conquered your fear, Ruby! Congratulations!
Even Lucia's being sweet and supportive
: Thank you Lucia. I will fight to protect this world and the Goddess. Lucia, take care of Hiro for me... okay?
: What?! What do you mean, Ruby?
: You know what I mean, Lucia.
Seriously? Lucia, at this point you're just playing dumb, girl.
: I... I...
: Now that all the Dragons are released, we must assault Pentagulia! The Goddess awaits!
No, sadly we don't get to walk around with a motherfucking Dragon just stepping on everything in our path. Apparently she wants to keep some challenge in the game. Good fucking luck with that.
: Now, if I can just get Nall to show me that morphing trick! Anyway, here! Take this, Hiro! You're gonna need it, I'm sure.
And with that, we're finally done with the Red Dra- oh wait, we have to walk out. Yay.
You may wonder if Ruby being a full fledged Red Dragon changes anything in combat. And it does!
Instead of polishing off an enemy with 3 or less HP, she'll finish them off if they have 6 or less. Wee.
Oh, speaking of the Red Dragon, let's check out our last Dragon spell!
Red Dragon Anger, eh?
...it may not have been the best idea to test out a fire spell in a fire cave. Still, most attack spells in this game aren't great, and Red Dragon Anger isn't an exception. Pass.
At this point, all that remains is walking out. You don't need to see any of that, so we'll leave off here. Next time... could it be... ~~more optional content?!?!~~
Yes it is.