The Let's Play Archive

Lunar: The Silver Star

by Camel Pimp

Part 27: Black Dragon Cave

Last time, we got a tip that the Black Dragon Cave might be nearby. Let's go check that out.

Oh, a new enemy type popped up. Wolf Guards. They exist.

Wow, that doesn't look pleasant.

But the came is just a little bit to the west. Let's go!

One thing that you can't see is that the cave walls actually sparkle a bit. It's a neat touch to liven up this overused tileset.

The enemies are... interesting. The Lagoon Goons are, like most goons, prone to appear in large numbers but are ridiculously weak and nonthreatening. (They can attempt to... poison you? I think it's poison. It never succeeded.)

Demi-Diablos are slightly more intimidating. Slightly.

The Ultra-Raptors, though, deserve some note. Do you recognize them?

How about now? Yes, these guys were bosses way back when the most urgent bit of business was whether or not we could stay in Vane. I'm not sure if their stats are 100% the same; the guidebook has seperate listing for them, and it lists the Ultra Raptor as having stronger stats. Ultra Raptors do take a while to defeat, so they probably aren't the exact same monster. Then again, they were bosses, and the guidebook is full of mistakes anyway...

Still, the enemies aren't especially scary and the cave itself is surprisingly easy to navigate. There are no branching paths and the floors are small. If nothing else, it makes finding this:

-fairly easy. The Holy Clothes is the best piece of armor for Nash and Mia. For now I'm putting it on Mia because of her sad HP, but Nash will get one in time. Spoilers there is more than one set of Holy Clothes in the game.

These are just above the Holy Clothes. Now, I have mentioned these before, but again I got the description from the guidebook and it's hideously wrong in this case. It claims that Rainbow Drops seal attacks for all enemies. In actuality it is a single-target item that works on your allies. I looked it up on a FAQ, and it says that Rainbow Drops cast Jessica's Holy Defender on an ally, which seems correct.

Other than confusing treasure, there's not much else to the cave. On the third floor, however, we run into... an old man?

"Are you seeking, per chance, to become Dragonmaster?"

No, I just like exploring demon infested caves for giggles. What do you think?

"Show it to the village elder in Marke. It should open some doors for you..."

Oh, hello event experience. Haven't seen you in a while.

Kind of strange to put this in the middle of the cave. At least it should be the middle. I can't go anywhere else. Unless...

Yeap, thought so.

At least it wasn't pointless, as we got a nice weapon upgrade for Alex. Albeit kind of a morbid one.

Furthermore, Mia and Jessica learned some spells. Sand Spike is yet another all-target attack spell that Mia has by the buttload now. Heal Litany cures the entire party of status ailments. Which could be useful if status ailments were more threatening in this game.

Since this was a bust, and we have no idea how to get into the real Black Dragon Cave at the moment, let's hit the road again.

Last time, we learned that Ghaleon had taken the singing girls to Ruid. Furthermore, the villagers from Burg were taken to Talon mines. Now, no one actually told us where these places are, but I have a feeling I might find one of them to the far southeast. Just a feeling.

It's a decently long journey, so you do want to heal up before you undertake it (another handy usage of the Dragon Wings!) Along the way, there are some...

...interesting sights. The entire southwest portion of the Frontier is dotted with pools of bright blue water. It's a bit... jarring juxtaposed against the desolate wasteland and acid pools.

Just a teeeeny bit.

Once you hit the pools you want to head east. Before too long you'll reach a little settlement.

"This town was created by Master Ghaleon to mine the surrounding mountain."

We finally found where they took the people of Burg.

"They call me Scruff. The Vile Tribe got me when I was hunting. Now then, where did they capture you?"

And it's not only Burg. All of the people the Vile Tribe's been capturing got sent here. Only a percentage of the captured are outside; the rest seem to be in the mine.

"He's stronger than an ox! To escape the mines, you have to best him in a one-on-one battle. The sad thing is, it's impossible to beat him!"

If you recall (I don't blame you if you can't) the villagers of Cadin mentioned of their own being forced to work for Ghaleon to ensure the town's protection. Doesn't seem like anyone is here of their own free will.

"I think Master Ghaleon has the right idea! Hail Master Ghaleon!"

Well, some people are.

These seems like a good point to mention one of the biggest differences between the remake and the original. If you recall (or don't) Alex's hometown was not kidnapped en masse in the remakes. Furthermore, the Vile Tribe only seems to abduct the singing girls in the other versions. So... who works the mine?

The Vile Tribe does, of course.

As one-note as this angry NPC's statement is, it sums up the motivation of the Vile Tribe pretty well. Considering the Frontier is even more desolate in the remake, it makes sense. In the original, the Vile Tribe is just evil. As one dimensionally evil as a cardboard cut-out of Satan eating a baby. The remakes try to paint them more sympathetically. In the remakes, the Vile Tribe are just trying to get out of the Frontier, get a better life. I actually find that it works, although it has the odd side-effect of making Xenobia seem even worse (if that's possible). Actually, re-conceptualizing the Vile Tribe this way breeds potential for Xenobia to be an interesting character, but trust me what I say that never happens.

The true scope of the difference is quite massive, and I'm afraid I can't really give it justice without a massive amount of text. Certainly the upcoming dungeon is completely different. As to which version of this part is better... I'll leave it to you all to discuss.

: How disgusting! We have to put a stop to this madness!

Although in either version, Talon is not a very nice place.

Not at all.

"The cities of Marke and Ruid lie on the other side of the mines."

We have both sufficient motivation and need, so let's bust this operation.

The mines aren't particularly special; it's easy to navigate and it only has two new enemy types.

Mecha-tanks are study, slow walls of HP. Magic works pretty good on 'em.

The goofy fellows with swords are Lizard Commanders. They actually have more HP than the tanks, but less defense. They take a beating, but aren't too notable.

However, the treasure does deserves note. Not because it's good, but because...

It's complete trash.

Complete and utter trash. A Holy Flute is the best piece of treasure in the entire place. Everything else tends to be food or discarded clothes. Which is surprisingly fitting, actually.

A few floors down, we start to see people.

"I was captured and brought her to slave almost non-stop for his precious iron ore. <hack> <hack> <hack> All my friends are already dead. I must be next."

Many of the other miners are in the same wretched state. However, one tells you something rather interesting.

"I think they're working deeper in the mine."

And sure enough, if you go just a bit further on...

"So, you're battling Ghaleon! Alex, you remind me so much of the young Dyne... But enough reminiscing! You've got to find a way to get us out of here, young man."

I- I recognize this guy! He hung out in the town square, if I recall. It's good to see at he's safe. I wonder if everyone else is-

However, in the midst of this reunion, Alex's dad has something interesting to say.

"But where's Luna? Oh how terrible! Luna's been kidnapped? Alex, you must find her before she gives up all hope of being rescued. I know she’s probably crying in the dark somewhere right now. You must find her!"

"Alex, I have tell you about a secret I've kept for a long time. Many years ago, Master Dyne came to me with a baby and a strange pet. He asked me to care for them, no questions asked… and, of course I did. Alex, you know them as Luna and Nall."

Wait, wha-

"You must find Luna before it’s too late… Dyne must have had his reasons for hiding her with us all those years ago. We can’t let him down!”

He's not too ready with follow-up details though. All we can do now is move on.

And leave Alex's parents behind. I- I guess it makes sense. After all, not that we can afford to have everyone tag along. But still...

Behind the two, there are a series of tunnels. Most of them contain another Burg townsperson. The tunnel too the far right, however, leads you to...

And if you needed further convincing that Nall speaks the truth...

: This is terrible! How can Ghaleon sink so low as to enslave little kids?!
"It's okay. I know that Dragonmaster Alex will set us free! Alex... <hack> you have to promise me that you'll kick Ghaleon's butt!"

Don't worry buddy, he's getting a special punt to the derriere just for you.

The way further into the mine is the second tunnel from the left. We spot the rest of the people Burg along the way.

"We work night and day, but it's never enough. They're working us to death! I just want to live long enough to see Ramus one more time..."

That's Ramus's nanny. So the man belong (there is one. Trust me) must be his dad.

"I heard through the grapevine that Ramus is in Meribia. Have you seen him lately? I hope he's doing all right."

On the one hand, he runs a successful business. On the other hand, his business is... erm...

In any case, the end is a just a short bit away. Time to beat this "unbeatable" commander.

"I cannot allow you to pass this point. Don't test my resolve, or I'll be forced to kill you... you won't turn, and I can't allow you to pass or my family will pay. Then I'm afraid I'll have to kill you here. Sorry."

He dies in a single round. Next.

"Let's see how you fare against Taben's Dragon Tanks!"

You didn't think that was it, did you? No, this is the real boss.

He lasts two rounds

“You might be strong enough to even beat Ghaleon! You bested me… you may pass… I'm going to free the slaves of the mine and head home to my family. Once Ghaleon learns I’ve let someone past this point, I’m sure he’ll make good on his threat to harm my family. I hope you get to him before that happens. Good luck.”

But he's a hell of good sport about it.

Nothing else we can go here, just head on and hope he stays true to his word. Let's continue on.

Next time... well, we're not heading to Ruid yet. We'll have to make a little detour along to way. But it'll be a profitable detour at least.

(Also Mia learned two new spells. Trouble Bubble and Flameria. I'll give you three guesses on what they do.)