Part 14: Bonus Update 7.5: RivercityBonus Update 7.5: Rivercity
Voting's pretty close this time, but exploring the clouds is a vote head of returning the tiara right now and I want to play some Xeen, so that's the winner!
As the map and the latest update both show, the hintbook isn't blowing smoke about Rivercity being the game's largest town. There's a lot going on here, and it's an important early destination for all the spells and skills you can learn, not to mention the experience and treasure. As with Nightshadow, some of the labels on the map are wrong: 6 should be 14, 14 should be 13, and 13 should be 6.
The Sorceresses are in the northwest, the Yang Knights are in the west and the Robber Bosses are in the southwest, while the eastern half of town just has Insane Beggars and the occasional Robber here and there. It's possible to visit Rivercity's shops in relative safety even if you're not at a high enough level to easily clear out all the enemies.
Rivercity Cleric Spells
Acid Spray: 8 SP. Caster sprays a fine acid mist on all the monsters in front of him, inflicting 15 points of Poison damage on each monster.
Actually from the Temple of Yak, not Rivercity. Hitting every enemy within visual range in front of the party can't save a spell that does only 15 damage, unless you make a beeline for the Temple of Yak to get it at a very low level when it's still relevant.
Beast Master: 5 SP + 2 Gems. Hypnotizes a group of monsters into stillness until they overcome the spell.
Another spell from the Temple of Yak. Works only on animals, but has a decent chance of success against them. I still prefer direct-damage spells or buffs over status ailments for most purposes, but there are a few specific enemies where Beast Master can be useful.
Cure Paralysis: 12 SP. Removes the Paralyzed condition from a character.
Paralysis is kind of an uncommon condition, but since it completely prevents the victim from acting at all, this spell can be a life-saver in combat with paralysis-inflicting enemies. The condition does heal on its own with rest, though.
Cure Poison: 8 SP. Removes the Poisoned condition from a character.
Finally! No more recasting Suppress Poison twice a day until we get back to a temple: now we can just cure it.
Day of Protection: 75 SP + 10 Gems. Simultaneously casts Light, Protection from all elements, Heroism, Holy Bonus and Bless for the bargain basement price of 75 spell points.
The Protection from Elements effects included in this spell are weaker than they would be if you cast them individually, but all the other spells are cast at the caster's normal level. At higher levels, Day of Protection is an amazing bargain, since it lets you cast spells that scale with level without dealing with the scaling cost. Even if you don't need or want the elemental protection, the other buffs make this spell good value by level 13.
Fiery Flail: 25 SP + 5 Gems. Caster fires a jet of flame at one monster, inflicting 100 points of Fire damage.
Even though it doesn't scale with level, 100 damage stays relevant for a long time. This will be a solid damaging spell throughout most of Clouds, although the shine comes off it somewhat earlier in Darkside.
Frost Bite: 7 SP. Draws the body heat out of a monster, inflicting 35 points of Cold damage.
Look up at the spell immediately above this one, remember that you get both at the exact same time, and ask yourself why you would ever want to cast this. Okay, some monsters are immune to fire, but in that case your Cleric might just be better off healing or using physical attacks.
Hypnotize: 15 SP + 4 Gems. Like Beast Master, this spell hypnotizes a group of monsters into stillness until they overcome the spell, except that it works on monsters rather than animals.
Our third spell from the Temple of Yak. I think the distinction between this and Sleep might be that the targets don't wake up from this if damaged. Don't quote me on that, though.
Power Cure: 2 SP/level + 3 Gems. Heals a character of 2-12 points of damage per level of the caster.
The most powerful healing spell we'll see for a good long time. Even so, it's inadequate for keeping up with the sheer damage output of late-game monsters.
Walk on Water: 7 SP. Allows the party to walk over both shallow and deep water.
Essential for crossing deep water, like oceans. You need this spell in order to get to certain places efficiently. You don't actually drown or anything if this spell wears off while you're on open water: you're just stuck until you recast it.
Rivercity Sorcerer Spells
Day of Sorcery: 40 SP + 10 Gems. This spell is a super saver plan that simultaneously casts Light, Levitate, Wizard Eye, Clairvoyance, and Power Shield on all party members.
Not quite the bargain that Day of Protection is, since only one of the spells included in the package scales with level. Still very convenient, and starts to look like good value at around level 15 or so.
Enchant Item: 30 SP + 20 Gems. Bestows magical power to an item that has none. The more powerful the spellcaster, the better the chance for a powerful item.
Doesn't do anything at all until the caster is at least level 10, and even at higher levels the results you can get are limited: you can never get the most powerful materials or properties through enchantment, and there's always a risk of turning your weapon or armour into something useless. It's not impossible to get a useful item out of it before you're at such a high level that even the best possible results are obsolete, but the odds aren't exactly in your favour unless you want to save and reload a lot.
Fantastic Freeze: 15 SP + 5 Gems. Reduces the temperature of the air around a group of monsters to absolute zero for a moment, inflicting 40 points of cold damage on each monster.
Pro: it's multi-target cold damage. Con: it doesn't scale with level, and becomes weaker than Fire Ball and Lightning Bolt by level 9. Most things that resist both fire and electricity will resist cold as well.
Finger of Death: 10 SP + 4 Gems. Bloodlessly slays the opponents the caster points to.
This spell's description is an outright lie. It does a flat 50 points of damage to a group of monsters, if it works at all: chance of success is based purely on a hidden monster ID value, and it only works on humanoids and animals. All in all, this makes for a fairly restrictive set of circumstances in which Finger of Death might be worth casting. It's pretty good against Yang Knights if you're feeling a little lucky, I guess.
Lloyd's Beacon: 6 SP + 2 Gems. This spell allows you to magically return to a place you have already been. Cast the spell once to set the beacon, and again when you wish to return. Each party member may have their own beacon.
Best utility spell in this game or any game, especially if you have at least two characters with Sorcerer spells (even a Ranger or Druid will do). It allows you to teleport to and from almost any location in the game. Since each caster can have their own beacon location, you can plop one down at a stat-boosting or health-restoring fountain, the other in the middle of a dungeon, and shuttle between them as you please. If you find an item that casts the spell, you can even have your non-casters set up beacons too.
Time Distortion: 8 SP. Warps time, giving the party just enough time to run away from a combat.
Since running away from a battle normally happens one character at a time, and any unconscious characters who are left behind will die when the party escapes, having a guaranteed safe way to escape is useful. Of course, it's even better to not get into fights you can't win in the first place.
See you all next update. Keep watching the skies!