Part 34: That's Ninja Thinkin'
Update 33: That's Ninja Thinkin'
"Hey, if killing Dawn is the Ninja plus quest, what the hell am I being dragged along for?"
"I don't see why you shouldn't be here. I was able to reach Dawn as part of a mixed party last time, after all -- and considering how that fight went, we ninjas certainly aren't going to be able to assassinate her without some outside assistance."
"Huh. Drewjitsu was complaining about Murray earlier, and anyone he hates can't be all bad. How about we take a break from our quest to see him?"
Sure enough, the portal takes us to the back area of Murray's Cave that was previously unreachable. So much for that pointless series of tests.
"Ah, Murray. It's an honour to meet such a renowned adventurer. Is there something we can do for you?"
"Well, that's convenient. Time to go back to Dawn's Mist Bog and kill two birds with one stone, then!"
Remember these guys and how they tore apart half the party last time they visited Dawn's place? Well, they're still quite capable of doing the same to us now. Fortunately, it's possible to either hide from them or bribe them with food, and in the room behind them...
... is the permanent Luck boost area.
"These are not as magically delicious as advertised."
+10 to Luck really isn't worth the trouble of winning/avoiding a tough fight, especially when you can just wait for the Circus to come around and raise luck that way. Oh well.
"If you're all done rolling around on the floor, maybe we should do what we came here for and kill Dawn?"
"This is it. I hope you're all completely prepared: I've seen for myself what a deadly opponent she can be."
"How'd they surprise us? Finding Dawn in Dawn's throne room is about the least surprising thing I can think of."
"It's not like we were gonna run away anyway. Get ready to die, Dawn!"
"Wait, wait, that's no good. Dawn, this is the twilight of your life!"
"I hate to say it, but that was pretty lame too."
"Are you just going to stand there and bicker, or can we make with the stabbing already?"
"Ah, yes. Terribly sorry about that."
"That enough stabbin' for you?"
Now that Dawn's allies are both dead, it's merely very likely that she will wipe out half the party with her group attack, instead of almost certain.
For reasons best known to herself, she decides to use a physical attack. With the whole party attacking her, she's not likely to live to attack again.
"Whoa, I actually got the last hit in? Uh, I mean, another villain foiled by the great Hong Kong Phooey!"
"Very good. Now, I think it's time we returned to Murray and claimed our rightful reward!"
"I really have to wonder what Dawn did to piss him off this badly. But hey, at least we get rich out of the deal."
"100,000 gold? This is all the richest man in Cron can afford to give us for eliminating his nemesis? I can't say I'm not disappointed."
"Well, maybe it'd be more if some damn fool adventurers hadn't broken into my vault."
Unlike most quests in M&M2, this one can't simply be repeated as soon as you finish it. I'm assuming it resets itself after a month or a year or something. Killing Dawn also fixes the swimming pool at Murray's Resort so that it temporarily boosts the party's Speed to 65 instead of damaging you.
"Now, let's head to Mount Farview and claim our Plus!"
"Ah, there we go..."
"Wait, what gives? Where's my 5 million experience points?"
"Hmm. Perhaps we shouldn't have brought outsiders along after all. Well, perhaps if we return to Dawn's throne room on our own and take a trophy of some sort, that will be sufficient to complete the quest."
Looks like I've outsmarted myself, folks. Unlike all the other Plus quests, Dawn doesn't simply refuse to fight you if your party has non-Ninjas in it. She'll quite happily attack anyone at all, but the party must consist only of Ninjas and Robbers to gain credit for the Plus quest.
Well, looks like it's time to go back to Dawn's Mist Bog again, this time with a new party. What could possibly go wrong?
"Hey, you're still alive!"
"Oh no, not you again. Listen, can we just say you killed me and leave it at that? I won't tell anybody if you don't."
"Sounds like a fair deal to me."
Fun fact: as far as quests are concerned, successfully hiding from an encounter counts as defeating it.
"Wait, so we didn't get credit for the time we did kill Dawn, but we did get credit for the time we didn't kill Dawn? My head hurts."
"There's a secret passage in this wall. Now that Dawn has been dealt with, I don't see why we shouldn't reform our previous party and do one last bit of exploration in this cavern..."
"Wait, Orb Guardians? How do we know that these guys are guarding an orb?"
"What do you mean? It says so right there, doesn't it?"
"I... guess it does."
"Godobor, get out your healing herbs or something! We're being slaughtered!"
"I'm trying, I'm trying! They're not working!"
There's a slight complication to this fight: it's in one of those areas that blocks all magic. That includes magical items. We have to fight a group of monsters with 300 HP and brutal attacks, and we have to do it with no source of healing whatsoever. They also have a chance to drain spell points when they hit us, but, well, that doesn't make much of a difference right now, does it?
Also, the game gets snarky when a character tries to perform an action that's not possible, like using magic in a no-magic area. Talk about adding insult to injury.
"Nice going, Nakazawa. That was a close one."
"Maybe if you bothered to give all your hirelings decent weapons, it might not have been quite so close."
"What was that?"
"Well, well, what have we here? The rumours are true: Dawn found the Element Orb, and now it's ours for the taking."
"What's going on? I can't lift it off its pedestal!"
If you don't have what it takes, trying to get the Orb fails without so much as a message: it just plain doesn't go into your inventory.
"Wait! I remember something about this from the Nomadic Rift Cavern!"
"So we need to return to town and borrow those four items from the adventurers who collected them? Very well. The Element Orb is worth any inconvenience, after all."
"This had better work. You don't want to know what I had to do to get all of these."
"What, you actually offered something in trade? You didn't just intimidate their bearers into submission as you always do?"
"Well, sure, but you don't want to know how I intimidated 'em."
Of course, leaving Dawn's cavern and returning means we have to fight the Orb Guardians again. It goes about as well as last time, but hey, any landing you walk away from is a good landing, right?
"Finally. Now, all we gotta do is get back to--"
"Oh, that's just great. How are we supposed to get the orb out of here?"
"Wait, I know what we have to do! We can simply use the portal in this cavern to travel to Murray's Cave, and return to town from there!"
"The portal's not working either. What now, wise guy?"
"Oh, I give up. Nakazawa, take this orb and see if you can find a way to get back to town with it."
"And how do you expect me to do that?"
"You're a ninja, aren't you? You figure something out."
Having given the Element Orb to a hireling and dismissed him, the orb is no longer in the party's possession, and their egress is unimpeded. When they meet back up with Nakazawa at the inn, the orb will still be in his inventory.
Yes, this is actually the intended solution to the puzzle. It's in the hint book and everything. I love it when you're not only expected but actually required to abuse game mechanics just to finish the game.
"It sure took us long enough, but we've earned our Plus and found the legendary Element Orb. Not bad for a day's work."
"What a waste of time. I've already got my Plus. Why am I helping you losers?"
"There's no need to be like that, Tarquinn. We've found the Element Orb, after all -- surely that's worth something to you?"
"I'll bet it's worth something. The question is, would we be better off selling it at auction or finding a private buyer?"
"Ha! I can't say it's not a tempting thought, but even if we wanted to, we'd never get away with selling such a legendary artifact. That was a most amusing joke, though."
"What? Who was joking?"
"Hey, is it really necessary for every ninja in the party to be carrying around all these lockpicks? Only one of us is going to be opening chests."
"Ah so, only one of us open chests, but different one at different time! Not all in one party like this all the time."
"I've got my Plus! I'm really somebody now! Not that I wasn't already, of course."
"I should have just run off with the orb and never come back."
Well, that's all for today. Next time, we can go after the Divine Intervention spell in Druid's Point Cavern, finish one of the two remaining Plus quests (Barbarian or Sorcerer), complete some of our other outstanding quests, or just go explore some dungeon or something. Vote now!