Part 17: Yes, They're TrekkiesUpdate 017: Yes, They're Trekkies
Usually you start yelling and tell us where we're going next.
Oh, right. I was just feeling a bit... zoned... out...
A҉̣ş̣s̠̙̳̝͓͘u̪̪̯͖̘ͅm̨͉̬̲̱̙̖ͅi͘ṋ̹̣͝g̮̻̪ ̼̱̭̱͡d̢̩̜̟̰͉i̗̼̝̹̫r̷̩̼̭̺̭̥e͉̪͈͙̟̝c͇̣̤t̪̣̪̜͙̠̖ ̛̦̪̟̭c̛͉̻ọ̖̩̘̺̭͟ͅn̛͎̫t̺̖̥͡r̪o̹̗l̡̮̲
Is he okay?
He's just been staring at nothing for a while now.
I think we should get him to a temp-
Hey gang! Sorry for worrying everyone, but I just had a fabulous idea!
Alright, this is even more worrying than you being unconscious.
I think we should all take a break from this world-saving business and take a vacation! I've got an itinerary all planned out!
Yay! I knew Deadeye cared about us!
Hm, well, this does seem all in order...
Now hold on, we should put this to a vote-
We could do with a break.
Wonderful! First, I've booked a lovely bed and breakfast for us...
A bed and breakfast in Bootleg Bay?
Just feel that soothing sea breeze doing you a world of good!
I bought a t-shirt and a sea urchin smoothie!
C'mon, Richmond, at least you're seeing this, right?
Such rustic charm! Such picturesque placement nestled among the hills!
Let's get this over with.
Well dang, gang! Looks like some rude intruder is taking up our rooms!
How rude! We should help out Mr. Fire Lord and evict him!
Come on, Deadeye IS acting out of character, isn't he?
Please, Agnes, maybe he's just turning over a new leaf! Let's see where this goes.
Welcome to the Halls of the Fire Lord, an area that we probably should and could have done a while ago, but not quite as far back as the presence of goblins indicates. The goblins are a ruse, though, and this dungeon in general is just fucking terrible. Let me show you the map.
Fucking look at all those overlapping rooms.
So the entrance is always you drop on this pillar, surrounded by drops into lower rooms, you've got nine options, and each of them leads to relatively similar rooms. Your task is to run through them and open all the doors, not killing a boss or pulling a lever or something, nope, opening doors. No hint how many there are, nor how many you're missing, only way to know you haven't yet opened all is to return to the Fire Lord and have him chide you for not being done yet.
Aside from the layout being a newbie-punisher, this place also has ogres, and ogre raiders, and ogre chieftains, sometimes in large amounts. Characters that can handle the goblins might well be way out of their depth attempting to handle the ogres.
Considering the repetition in rooms and the enemies we've seen before, there isn't a lot that's worth showing off in this dungeon.
The big stone heads warp you back to the Fire Lord if you talk to them. If all party members carry amber, it eats one chunk and warps you back. If one or more are missing, it eats a chunk of HP(I think about 10% of max? 15%? Thereabouts.) from everyone and still warps you back.
This is the big battle of the dungeon, the way it's built up you can't cheese it with Ring of Fire or lure enemies away from groups or anything. You're generally left facing everything head on, which is fine if you're like 20 levels above the rec, but less so if you're at or slightly below recommended amount.
Wow! This place even has a workout room!
Those are prisoner cages, Bobelix
Revolutionary new ways to lose weight!
It also has a couple of traps, like this corridor. Can you even see the drop that the party is perched right above? I sure couldn't. Thankfully most drops in the dungeon, aside from the ones off the starter pillar surrounded by holes can be reversed by casting Jump.
In any case, there's only one real oddity in this dungeon. Take these three drops in rapid succession and...
This fellow looks unusual...
This creature isn't mentioned in any of my monster textbooks at all! Maybe if we come across more of them, I'll have learned more... but they certainly do look different from any other creature so far, don't they? Clearly immune to physical damage, though, good thing we managed to simply blow it up with magic.
(Note, even though everything SAYS it should be immune to physical damage, I'm quite sure I simply smashed it with weapons)
Let's get back to that Fire Lord and tell him we cleared out his vermin problem.
Well gee whiz, gang, helping the ol' Fire Lord took up so much time we're about to be late for our next stop!
Richmond, buddy! Y'all mind taking us to Silver Cove? I booked us another surprise!
Well... I... since you're asking me nicely for once... what's the harm?
You took us to the Eel Infested Waters? Are you trying to get us killed?
I̟ ̲̥̜̟͇̗n̼̯͇e͚̝v̨̲͔̥͙̙̖e͕̲̟ŗ ̪̰̞̹̥tṛͅy̺̳̭̫͎,́ ͉͖̜ͅI̹͞ ̠͉s̨̮u̝̺͖c̭͖̝͎̖͈c̷͈͔͖e̯͇͠e̛d͖́.͔
What the hell was that?
I said: I thought Richmond would enjoy the local wildlife and Bobelix might like to see the Castle Alamos gift shop!
Oh boy, I hope they have plush minotaurs! Or maybe T-shirts!
And I suppose it couldn't hurt to ask the locals a bit about the creatures and history of the area...
You realize you're all going to pay for this later, right?
I can't tell if this is just crustiness from old digitizing of photos or if she's supposed to have a fungal infection on her face.
Powerful items, eh, Deadeye? Bet you'd like use to collect some of those so you could sell them for large amounts of money?
Why, it hadn't even crossed my mind! There's so much more to life than collecting wealth, you know!
I knew you were a sensitive soul deep down, Deadeye!
Okay, yes, I agree we should be a bit suspicious.
For now, let's go along and see what his plan is.
We won't be entering Castle Alamos just yet, but it looks surprisingly non-hostile. I don't... really remember much about it despite having beaten this game before, but looking at the map fills me with dread because... oh boy. It looks bad.
In any case, the Eel Infested Waters! There are three locations of interest here. Castle Alamos, the Master Light Magic trainer and the game's second fixed artifact. Sadly it requires 200 Strength to acquire, and even after giving him some sippies from the Crazy Fountain in Silver cove, Deadeye can't quite handle it, since it's one of those sword-in-the-stone things.
The local environs are... surprisingly non-hostile. In the sense that we can sort of casually shoulder our way through them.
Probably the most common are...
Agar's Pets, Monsters and Abominations. All three types focus on Druids in combat, and despite being immune to "Magic" that just means the Magic damage type, not spells, so meteor showers and starbursts still tear them apart. Not to mention plain swords and axes. Not that melee with them is always a good idea, though, they're not powerful, but the Pets and Monsters can Paralyze, while the Abominations can Stone party members. Somehow none of them manage to land any of those conditions.
The waters nearby, meanwhile, contain water spirits and their versions(which are all trivial), and...
Sea Serpents. They have a relatively punchy ranged cold attack in all three incarnations, but the worst thing that the top-tier type the Sea Terror, can do is to make the party Afraid. After Castle Darkmoor, though, it takes a lot more than mere "heavy damage" to inspire terror. Probably the most troublesome thing about them is that, being in the water, they're near-immune to Starburst and Meteor Shower, which makes actually fighting them take a good while. Of course, their corpses also drop to the seafloor when killed, so they don't even produce any loot and... yes, well, we'll be flying past most of them.
Down south, on the foot-shaped island, is this little structure you might easily dismiss as just a tavern, but if you look around the back...
This is a super sweet buff. Now the multiplier for Day of the Gods and Hour of Power is 4x skill value rather than 3x skill value, so any time we're not dealing with fucking Flying Eyes, we're now a good deal stronger.
Let's get the hell out of here.
Agreed, the wildlife is a bit too interesting here!
The gift shop only had plush flying eyes.
Aw, everyone's tired of tropical Bootleg Bay and Eel Infested Waters? Well, I hear y'all. So howsabout we go somewhere nice and chill to relax? I know just the place!
Oh, yeah, my idea of relaxation is getting frostbite in the mountains north of Kriegspire.
C'mon now, it's just a bit farther!
Oh, oh! I see something! Looks like a place!
Good eyes, Bobelix, that's just the place we were gonna visit! It's got a lot of deep, historical value!
And a gift shop!
Ooooh! Agnes, can we check it out?
If it's above the freezing temperature of my meat, then hell yes.
Agar... Agar... Agar... where have I heard that name before?
This does feel like the classiest place we've ever visited, though. It's got pillars.
And a chandelier!
Bit of a pest problem, though.
Well I suppose it's in the name, you'd expect to find Agar's Monsters in Agar's Lab, yes?
Hm, what a conundrum! Perhaps we'll have to trigger multiple buttons to lower this wall and-
[one cast of Jump later]
(I do technically go back later and press the necessary buttons to get some XP out of the spawns that result, but for now we're too smart for this dungeon)
Oh boy oh boy oh boy.
What's got him so excited about fighting these things?
I think he realized that super-sized chickens means super-sized drumsticks.
Fighting the big chickens is pretty trivial, as mentioned, they get fucked up pretty well by swords and Implosions, and the only thing they manage to land is a couple of Paralyzes. Behind them, though...
Is a button! Pressing it opens a pit in the floor behind us...
Yeah, this and Castle Darkmoor are the only two locations in the game to feature these fucking things. But here they're a lot less annoying since they're not blasting you with Dispel Magic through the fucking walls. It still seems to be more due to level geometry more than just mere aggro, though, as some of the eyes aggro while still in the floor and never hit me with their bullshit until I pop the lid on their hiding places.
Proceeding to the third and bottom-most level of Agar's Laboratory, the wandering monsters are now mixed Agar's Pets and Flying Eyes, which ups the difficulty a bit, but not greatly. The Maddening Eyes that Dispel my bullshit remain terrifically sturdy, but I can spare Bobelix to re-cast Heroism so everyone else can maintain maximum beatdown strength even in the face of multiple dispels. The most important thing turns out to be, oddly enough, blasting away the Flying Eyes before they lose me actions with their Sleep bullshit.
Ice blasts constantly zoom across this room, but when they hit the far wall they explode into more ice projectiles, thus making them actually slightly dangerous. There's also a chest on the far side, but... you can already see the Flying Eyes' graphics partially clipping through the wall back there. So it's obvious that some pop out when you open it. Thankfully when they're in a monster closet they can't maintain distance vertically or horizontally, and hitting them with weapons tends to be the fastest way to take them down.
For double mockery, the chest is also fucking empty. It's literally a trap.
There's only one lich in this dungeon, and it's a named lich, Agar himself! He's not very threatening, though, being just a Power Lich with marginally greater hit points. All the Flying Eyes and Maddening Eyes hanging out with him are far more scary and, once again, it's a fight where I had to skip in and out with Lloyd's and Town Portal to not get overrun, as I was running low on both spell points and hitpoints about halfway in.
He also dropped this sweet fucking piece of gear which Richmond will never let go of. Our Light Magic buffs are now through the roof in terms of power, especially as we're done with the parts of the game where any pricks can take them away from us.
Now, how about a nice cauldron to round things off?
Shame this one just kills you... or does it?
This is an easter egg, as NOTHING in the game indicates this, but! But! There is one condition under which this cauldron does not kill you.
If you're cursed(easily accomplished by a visit to the nice harpies of Whitecap), it instead gives you +50 Intellect, which can be done multiple times until your Intellect stat is above 255. Everyone ends up a hyper genius from this. Everyone. In addition to being a big boost to spell points for Deadeye, Agnes and Richmond, this also provides a big boost to resisting Insanity. In MM7/8's improved engine it would've had even more advantages, but for now, I'll take it.
Not that I'm expecting it, but an ancient lich better have some proper damn loot.
And he does, those two chests have some VERY good high-level stuff that yields upgrades for just about everyone, and also...
Oh shit! This was the asshole responsible for Flying Eyes existing at all!
Oh by the gods, we have done a good thing this day.
If only we could kill him twice.
Dang, y'all, if I knew you enjoyed doing good deeds this much, I'd have booked a trip for somewhere else entirely! Richmond, old pal, mind sending us on off to Blackshire?
There's some folks what need your help! Y'even talked to them before!
I checked the ol' quest log, and some poor lady is worried about her fella who went here and never came back!
I̼̙͓̤͖̱͚'̯̺̬͈m͖̻̮̼̺ s̸̪̭̠ur̟͙̤̦͚̞̜e̟̮̘ ̰̱̤̳͎̪͝y̻͍̼͕͍o̳̳͚̝͎̲u̪͙͈̣'͚̯̫̱̬̬̤l͚͓̤̹̟̻̺͢l̰͎̜͍̘ ̞̱͇̕b̻e҉̤͓̩̤͓̘̻ ͇̕f̶̼͈̩͈̭i҉̪̣͎ń͔̘͔̙͓ȩ̙̬ ̜̼͜h̟͕̯̳e̡̮̦̫r͍̮̳̖͇̹͍e̛̠͉͈̳͎̗,̛͚̻̳̯͈͓ ̶̱i̬͓̰̰n͙͉̰͘s͠è̟͚̖̯͍c̸͈̤̦̜̹̫t͍̠͉͔̖̩s͙̖̫.̶̝̼̦̫̙
Welcome to scenic Temple of the Snake, which has some... oddities.
While the layout and such is fine, some parts of it feel like a debug or test dungeon at points, despite it actually having a quest pointing to it, unlike, for instance, Agar's Laboratory, or the Hall of the Fire Lord which has no quest directing you there(though it does have a quest once you're inside).
For instance, the place has a bunch of friendly peasants walking around. Now, if they were just standing still, they'd make sense as, y'know, peasant statues, and maybe that's what they wanted to do, but couldn't get working right. So instead I have to invent my own lore for why a bunch of oblivious idiots are walking around a temple filled with snake ladies.
Hmmm, must be captives of the medusas.
Don't worry, we're here to save you!
tfw no big milkers mommy snake gf
I don't understand this man, is he foreign?
Just... pretend he doesn't exist, Bobelix, for him, death will be a mercy.
The peasants just walk around unbothered by the murderous medusas, and this time we can't really keep our distance from them, they will get all up in our grill and start some bullshit.
Watch your footing, everyone, there's a big pi-
Yeah, that's the top-tier dragon enemy in the game hiding down there! With 90 resistance to everything(averaging about a 55% damage reduction)! And tons of hit points!
What's the matter, y'all chicken? Let's get 'im!
The only thing to do is to buff everyone and then just start swinging until it goes down, healing as necessary, and repairing the gear the fucking thing breaks. We'll get more into their stats when we meet them "formally," but just putting a dragon in a goddamn hole in here is part of why I consider this place a bit of a "debug" pit.
It goes down, and thankfully we can still Jump out of this hole, it's just exactly shallow enough for that.
So next, you head down this ramp and-
-a hidden teleporter warps you back to the top. I spend a while trying to get past it(it might be a floor trigger, I reason, that I can jump over), attracting some medusas with my attempts.
> big venom sacs lol
And in the middle of the fighting, Agnes gets turned to stone. Son of a bitch, it's about the one status effect I haven't found a curing spell for yet. I did find like 500 stone to flesh scrolls in the Temple of the Moon, but I didn't consider that I'd be fighting Medusas again later and so I sold them all. Pro move, me.
The rest of the party blenders the medusas and I hop back to Blackshire to unstone Agnes. The teleporter's still in our way, though, what's the real way to progress?
It's a button back in the goddamn dragon pit.
Next up for stoning is Deadeye.
K̺̝̺̭̬ͅz̹͓͍̳̤̯̹r̥̱̣̺̱̰̘͘t̢͍̭̲̤!͔̳̯̙̤͍͢ͅ ̢̙̹̠͓̜C̠o͇̜̤nn̝͎̻̱e͖̘̱͓̰͙͝c͟t̺̞ị̵̭͖̰̗̟o̘͍ṇ̶ ͉͓͡ṱ̳̳̫̹͖́o͇͓͖͠ ̻̭p̫̲͓͖͕͍up̟̰̬̼p͕̜̳̘e̠̘̮͢t́ ͏f̟͘a̤̣̩͜į͕l̲̼̙in̻̳̣͈̣̼g͇!̲̠̺̣̙̣ͅ
Which is undone in time for the next room.
...where are we and what's with the idiot gazing lovingly at the monster?
only plebes dont appreciate monster girls, constrict me mommy
No, seriously, what the fuck is going on?
Uh, you don't remember bringing us here while insisting you were taking us for a vacation?
No, no, the vacation was the other locations, this was because he wanted to help us do something heroic.
You were being really nice to us!
Are you guys listening to yourselves right now?
We had a pool going for whether it was brain damage or demonic possession.
The last thing I remember is hearing a weird, smug voice...
Ha! Pay up, Richmond!
In this room I accidentally wing a peasant and the rest of them turn hostile.
noo their taking away the gfs stop them
This ends about as well for everyone involved as can be expected. I'm also somewhat pleased that all the turned-to-stone pictures are unique. They could easily just have used a generic one for those.
Poor Emmanuel here is the sucker who went to explore the temple and whose wife asked us to save him, it's mostly just an excuse to go beat up some monsters and collect some loot.
Hang on, I saw something back in the Temple you missed.
There was this damn buzzing in my head that got louder whenever we got near this wall. I bet whatever jackass was messing with my brain is holed up in there, let's go kick his ass.
It is I! The all-powerful Q!
Yeah, the hidden bonus boss is called Q. I never actually realized this was a Star Trek thing until this playthrough, though it seems super-obvious.
And he's actually pretty damn tough, with an insane 16000 hit points, he has about eight times as many hit points as the second-toughest enemy in the game. Thankfully, with all resistances at zero, the party is at least delivering beatings to him at full power with every swing. His base attack damage also isn't greatly high, but he blasts away with Finger of Death roughly every second or third attack instead, or at least it feels that way, though FAQ sites suggest it should be a mere 10% of all attacks.
He manages to blast Agnes with it successfully three times, and the problem is that even though Bobelix can raise her from the dead easily enough, dying also zeroes out spell points, so if he blasted Bobelix next, there'd be no one left to do any raising.
Through sheer luck, you have dodged my vast machinations and terrible traps, but your journey ends here!
I think it takes me about five minutes to hammer him down to the low end of his HP meter and, finally...
I'll be back... next... season...
The reward for killing him is the Horn of Ros, a unique item. As long as a party member carries it, if they examine an enemy, they can actually see its numeric HP total rather than a vague bar, which is mildly handy. He was also guarding two chests(trapped beyond even Deadeye's skills, they almost killed the party, twice) containing a decent amount of solid vendor loot.
Well, what now? I missed the adventure and my brain feels huge.
Oh, I've got an idea about that, and I think you'll like it.
Suck it, circus!
I suppose this adventure wasn't all bad, they got something to bond over, we saw some new places, destroyed the source of Flying Eyes...
And I got a neat Castle Alamos t-shirt!
No resting on our laurels, though, what's up next?
12 of 12 Promotions gotten
6 of 6 Council Quests completed
1 of 1 Traitors unmasked
1 of 4 Memory modules located
A: Get back to the plot already.
B: Huh, what are all those gold pyramids for? You should go find out where they can be cashed in.