The Let's Play Archive

Lunar: The Silver Star

by Camel Pimp

Part 32: In Which I Desperately Try to Stay Awake

Okay! This time I have my Dragon Wings equipped and am actually ready to enter the Grindery!

But wait! Just one last bit of business before we enter (I promise!). The overworld enemies around Meribia have changed quite a bit. A lot of them are also seen in the final dungeon, but Asmodeus is only seen at this point. Again, as the Grindery is so close to Meribia, it's surprisingly easy to miss this enemy. They're nothing interesting, but the design is neat.

"This will have to be dealt with in a most unpleasant manner... for him! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Did Ghaleon have PA speakers installed on the Grindery? Ghaleon is melodramatic enough to do that. Besides, what would be the point of taking over the world if you can't spout maniacal laughter at each and every peons you squish with your castle-tank?

Finally, at long last, we arrive at the Grindery. Normally, I'd give you a run-through of how you'd go through the dungeon, but for this one, I've decided to provide maps instead. I did manage to find pretty good maps at this old website, so I'm yanking those. I'm honestly pretty surprised I found any at all.

The Grindery is probably the most labyrinthine and tedious dungeon in the game. While not on the level of old Phantasy Star or whatever, it's still pretty tricky to navigate. And there's no treasure, so wandering around has zero benefit. Of course, what makes the Grindery truly crushing is the enemy encounters.

Does that fellow in the center look familiar? If not, go back and re-read update 24, because that's the boss of Taben's Tower! Actually, it's only 1/4 of the boss, but still. While 1750 HP is pitiful for a boss, even if there are four of them, for a random encounter that's ludicrous! The HP of the encounters in Althena's Tower ranged from 400 to 600, and that was a big step up. The tanks are resistant to physical attacks to boot! It is perfectly feasible to kill them with Alex and Kyle's normal attacks, it just takes over four rounds of solid attacking.

And you will need to do that, because the Knight Tanks are not a rare encounter. At all. Most of the fights you get into will include a Knight Tank.

Some will include two! Yay.

Now, Alex's dragon spells can help against them.

And Holy Light will kill them outright, although you don't get experience for it. (Sadly, it doesn't do that for bosses. It just hurts them a lot.) But I hope I've properly established by now that dragon spells are expensive. And while I've got a nice cache of Vigor Seeds, I don't have enough to cast Holy Light every battle or multiple Dragon Quakes. Mia and Nash (mostly Mia) can help, but still they're only contributing approximately 300 to 400 HP of damage a round.

Moreover, that's not the only re-purposed boss in this dungeon!

Remember this guy? The tank, not the spear goons. He was the other unimpressive boss of Talon Mines. Although the Dragon Tank is rarer and gives more EXP, it has less defense so it's far easier.

Even though both the Knight Tank and the Dragon Tank give damn good EXP, they're so tedious (I know I've been overusing the word, but I can't emphasize "tedious" enough) and resource draining to fight that they're not worth it. Although I was at slightly lower level that most people would be when they play through the game, I probably could have skipped most of the battles and wouldn't have been too adversely impacted by it.

I say probably because I fought every single fucking battle.

And all I got was Magic Camp! It's Magic Box, but it casts on all enemies. I cannot think of a good reason you'd ever use it.

Every even-numbered floor there are a series of tubes with walk-ways connecting them. As you can tell, they're far simpler and easier to navigate than the odd-numbered floors.

However, there are multiple staircases leading to the 3rd and 4th floor, and there is a dead end, so that can trip you up. Dead end aside, the third floor might be a bit easier to find your way around in than the first. The third floor requires you to go up and down several times, but the floor itself is broken up into smaller sections as a result, so there's less room to be lost in.

But thankfully, the Grindery only has five floors. And... fire elemental? What is that?

: Are they using this huge kettle to generate steam?

I guess we found the engine.

Powered by magical sentient flames. Because that's how steam engines work.

The Fire Elementals have a surprisingly large amount of HP. It also doesn't help that I failed to properly heal up prior to the battle, and refused to use any healing items during the battle. This battle takes more time then you'd think. But it's still not interesting. So, in the meantime, let's switch gears and look at the remake.

As I've mentioned, the Grindery actually comes earlier in that game, before Alex becomes a (true) Dragonmaster. Now, if you recall, in the remake Ghaleon captured the Dragons rather than kill them like he did in the original? Why?

Because in the remake, the Dragons power the Grindery. All throughout the Grindery, you see dragon limbs imbedded in the tank. Kind of an... odd decision. To be perfectly honest, I find it a bit goofy looking.

But enough of that. The battle is won and-

Kyle and Jessica both learned their final spell. Slayride just does a boatload of damage to a distant enemy, nothing too exciting and kind of worthless as Kyle's main function is to get right in the enemies' faces and absorb hits. But Jessica's Althena Litany is awesome. It restores all HP to all party members. It's expensive at 30 MP, but not prohibitively so. Basically, dying to boss fights should no longer be a problem.

: They must have been waiting to take on more water here...

Well, I wasn't expecting the top of the steam tank from hell to look so pleasant.

But we can't enjoy the view long, and soon we're pitted against Ghaleon's elite for-

Or... those things. Okay.

Anyway, I somehow eked out a narrow victory, but... I get pushed back away?

: ...but we can't give up!

I wasn't planning on it, no. I'm not sure why we're being even the slightest bit cautious if all we're up against is Lagoon Goons, though. Anywho, the coast is probably clear now.

Wait, what no-

Oh you've got to be fucking kidding me.

Yeah, a lot of soldiers that Mia could fucking one-shot! Urgh. Fine, I guess we'll try again, but I have a feeling it's not going to go any differently the third time.


: We need to get some help, or we'll never make it!

But, in our darkest moment(?) something miraculous happens.

Hey, it's our buddy Tempest!

And his ladyfriend!

: We'll take care of these soldiers and cover you, so you can get through.

Ain't that convenient. By the way, this also happens in the remake! But, it happens at the beginning of the Grindery, not the end. Also, the enemies Tempest and Fresca are standing against are a piece more threatening.

With that... bizarre aside, we reach the top of the Grindery.


"I think he'll self-destruct before he makes it.

Strangely... observant ones at that. Seriously, what the hell are fairies doing here.

"Likes pixies, so he had the Vile Tribe capture us for his garden. It's beautiful here, but it's still a prison."
: That's right! No matter how beautiful Ghaleon makes it here, you're still prisoners!

Oh. Well, ain't that... kind of pointless malevolent.

And they aren't even tending the garden or doing any sort of work. Ghaleon's got oddly happy dud inste-

: When I was a child, master Ghaleon used to take me for garden walks... he even used to pick flowers for me. And now look! He's become this hideous monster that I don't even know.

"Did he invite you to join him, also?"
: What are you? A Stepford wife? Can't you see what's going on here?

Somehow, I'm thinking the fairies pixies have a better grasp on reality than the humans here.

(Also, Ghaleon still has the kidnapped women?)

"I think he's lost touch with reality. He's destroying all the things he used to care about."

Depressing case in point.

: Those nefarious zits on the butt of humanity deserve each other! We'll take them down, together!

But at least Ghaleon's making friends?

"Let me help you."

It's not all depressing, as this pixie who refuses to hide behind a text box will heal you! Certainly appreciated after wading through wave after wave of tanks.

Sadly, we can't stay in this oasis for long. Let's continue on.

"You know, you're the first guests we've had since he became the Magic Emperor."

Oh, that won't do. Let's drop on and bring him a nice present. Like some murder pie.

My one-liners could use some work, I acknowledge that.

Welcome to Ghaleon's Palace.

This dungeon doesn't really exist in the remake at all. However, the remake's final dungeons are actually structured similarly, in that there is a large, sprawling dungeon leading into smaller final dungeon. The sprawling part is Althena's Fortress. Althena's Fortress doesn't exist in the original at all. It's a bit easier to navigate than the original's Grindery, but it's longer and a bigger pain in the ass.

The main reason why it's a bigger pain in the ass is because... a certain someone shows up and decides to make things fun.

What she does is randomly cast sleep on two random party members every battle. Including the battle in which you fight her. Admittedly certain accessories do help, but it's still so annoying. Perhaps my earlier bitching about the Grindery was unfounded.

And what takes the place of Ghaleon's Palace? Althena's Tower, actually. Yes, Althena's Tower is actually the final dungeon and stronghold of Ghaleon in the remakes. It's bigger and harder than in the original, but still a breather after the Fortress.

But that's enough of the remake for now. Ghaleon's Palace is like the Goddess Tower (of the original) in that each floor is four separate rooms connected in the center. However, Ghaleon's Palace is a bit more complicated. While the basic layout is simple, most floors has a barrier blocking off certain sections, making it a bit of a maze. It can be a bit disorienting going up and down so many floors, so it helps to check the save screen every so often; on it, the game tells you what floor you're on.

At the beginning though, you want to go right and then downstairs.

Goodies! The only ones in Ghaleon's Palace at all, as a matter of fact. There are two Seeds of Vigor and two Herbs of Althena. A nice little refresher from the Grindery.

After you've raided the basement, go back up and head up the flights stairs to your immediate left. Keep going until you hit the fourth floor. The fourth floor has no barriers, and there's nothing of note in the previous floors, so feel free to basically skip 'em. However, on the fourth floor to the left, we see something interesting...

"A lot of other girls have been kidnapped and imprisoned here like me!"

We finally come across the missing girls. Interesting note: in the remake, Ghaleon does in fact let them go after he discovers Luna's true identity. There really is no reason to keep them around, after all.

From there, go up until you reach the ninth floor. There's another missing girl along the way.

"One day, Xenobia just popped up, grabbed me, and disappeared! She said I might be the Goddess Althena, and brought me to this awful place! Say... you wouldn't happen to have some Hagen-Daz with you, per chance? That freak Ghaleon is a total health nut! He won't allow it. I'm in like, total sugar withdrawal..."

You've been kidnapped by an evil madman taking over the world... and his health food policies are what get you? ...are you my dad?

On the floor above the coffee house lady there's yet another kidnapped girl.

"I've been trying my best to find a way out of this place, but to no avail. I've got to get home. Grandpa must be worried sick about me!"

You have no idea kiddo. You have no idea.

: Luna! Do you know where she is right now?
"She went to the top floor along with a man wearing a terrible mask! You know, I think the man in the mask called Luna "Althena" instead... She told him he wasn't worthy to call her that, then spit on him... Oooohh! You should have seen how mad he got!"

I don't know about you, but I'm kind of having trouble imagining that.

Anyway, Lily is on the seventh floor. On the eight floor there are no girls, but there is a pool to the south.

It also restores HP and MP. While I appreciate the chance to heal, it seems a bit redundant.

Once you top off, go back to the right room and get to the ninth floor. On the ninth floor, head to the top room and go back down to the seventh floor. Why?

There was one more treasure chest; I lied. But this one is needed to progress.

From here, you need to retrace your steps. Go back to the ninth floor, go right, then back down to the seventh. This time, head to the left room. From there, just keep heading up.

"My looks, my voice
Did seal my fate
So here I was brought
I'm so scared!
It's so strange!
Please take me home!"

You know, it's kind of that the goddess was not reborn into the society where people literally communicate by singing.

On the left side of the ninth floor, there is a locked door. So there was the reason for all the roundabout running around.

Before we go through the door, let's discuss the enemies that pop up in the final dungeon.

The Arch-Fiend (the blue guys) cast a strong single-target fire spell. They also have a devastating three attacks. The Roardusa only attacks once, but...

He also has a confusion spell up his sleeve. Fun.

The Mynotauros are expendable, but the Ultra-Fiend both looks scary and is scary. He likes to blast the whole party with lightning. He also has the highest HP of any monster in Ghaleon's Palace at... 580. Which, if you're up on your math, is less than the Knight Tank's 1750. It's not even half. And they don't have the defense advantage either; the Ultra-Fiend has about 60 less defense than the Knight Tank.

If you want to grind, do so in Ghaleon's Palace and not in the Grindery. The enemies in Ghaleon's Palace don't give out as much EXP as the Tanks, but it's so, so much easier to kill them. Frankly, as long as you have all of your spells and Alex's third attack, you should be good. Speaking of which.

Finally. As Alex has eclipsed Kyle in attack power by a fair bit, the extra attack is very, very nice.

But enough messin' around. Let's get on with the show. What's behind door number one?

Oh, that was easy.