Part 4: In Which Tristam is an Asshole.Music: Bone Dungeon
Today we're tackling the Bone Dungeon. It's the first proper dungeon in Mystic Quest, and it doesn't take very long to show its true colors; namely that Mystic Quest's idea of "challenge" is to give enemies paralysis (which stops you from doing anything until it either wears off or you heal it), confusion (causing your characters to attack each other, or even themselves, and this is not limited to attacks. Biting a Flare or White spell because someone was confused is not pretty, and it will happen.), or both, depending on how hard it wants to fuck you up the ass (and later enemies will be given petrification on top of it all).
Now, given this is Mystic Quest, it's not nearly as bad as it sounds, but anyone who claims that they sleptwalk through the entire game is full of shit.
Jumping right in, the first new enemy is the Sand Worm. His scrunch hits fairly hard (a trend that will continue throughout the dungeon), but he's also got a quicksand attack that will knock off about 30-40 HP and lower your speed. I don't know how much, but it's significant enough that after it happened to Tristam, I went before him. He's weak to axe attacks, so he'll go down fast.
The first room is a big circle with enemies going around it. There's two chests off to the sides like this, one on each side with Ninja Stars.
After cleaning the room out, we head down this lovely hallway skeleton. The box had cure potions.
Ooh, shiny. Actual chests always contain armor, spells, or something similar (with two exceptions; the first being in the Sand Temple, the second being a long, long time from now). Unfortunately, we can't reach it yet.
Oh god, he's got an idea, this is going to end terribly.
Tristam deals with walls with extreme prejudice.
Tristam, not satisfied with trying to con us out of 9000 GP, will settle for getting 30 from us. Telling him no...
...will result in him cutting the price in half. There is no option to go cheaper than this, so pony up the 15 GP. It's not like you should be in any shortage of it.
At first glance, the bomb is an amazing weapon. It hits much harder than Tristam, it'll never miss, and though it's limited by ammo, much like Tristam's ninja stars, there's ammo all over the fucking place. There's two big drawbacks though. First, you have to target every enemy alive at once. So even if you all you wanted to do was blow up the sandworm, you're going to have to target everyone. This is a problem, because the second drawback is anything that targets multiple enemies loses strength as you target more enemies. This is most noticable with Magic, but the bombs paint a pretty clear picture. With only one enemy, they can one-shot anything in the dungeon. With three, the steel sword will outdamage them. I tend to stick with Axe for reliability. This shot also features Tristam's correct resistances.
Now that we have a way to clear obstacles, let's go take care of that chest.
The shield family is another one that starts with nothing but defense, and quickly gets amazing. The final shield, among other things, nullifies both petrification and paralysis.
Next room. Oh, Mystic Quest, you shouldn't have. It's not even my birthday, and look at all this free experience you're giving me!
Next up are the Rocs. They're weak to shooting weapons (which Tristam's ninja stars qualify as) and they only have about 90 HP to begin with, so they shouldn't pose any threat whatsoever. They've got a couple attacks, but nothing too dangerous. The only things that make them annoying is they have a blinding attack.
Blind does exactly what it says on the tin. Your accuracy goes right down the shitter, and it's one of the few status ailments that persists after battle. Bombs aren't affected by this accuracy drop (nor is magic) so if you don't feel like using a heal potion in battle, just blow them the fuck up.
Speaking of bombs:
There's a few ninja stars hidden back there.
Skeletons are one of the more annoying enemies. They're the first ones capable of confusion, which will fuck you up big time, but other than that they're not too bad. Headbutt does a moderate amount of damage, and their sword is pretty weak, but it seems to have a pretty good chance to critical.
Them being the first proper undead we've come across, we throw a few White spells at them. As you might have guessed, Cure works quite well (it's classified as a "zombie" attack for some reason).
Life, bizzarly, does jack shit.
Unlike most of the other white magic, enemies actually need a cure weakness for it to do damage. Life and the other two spells will work regardless of whether or not they're weak to said spell.
We're not even out of the first area, and we're already seeing pallet swaps. Gorgons are the next step up on the "asshole" meter in this dungeon. They're not capable of confusion (as far as I know), but they've got Body Odor, which paralyzes a party member, a poison breath attack which deals about 70 damage to both of you and sometimes poisons, and their regular attacks are nothing to sneeze at. Tristam can still one-shot them, so take them out as quickly as you can. Same wounded sprites as the Behemoth (as all the pallet swaps).
So remember last update when I said that Tristam being able to poison and paralyze with his attack was great in theory, but kind of useless in function? Yeah, that doesn't apply to us. We're poisoned, paralyzed, and basically waiting for death so we can try again, unless the paralysis wears off early (it doesn't). Fuck confusion.
Next obstacle is another hallway skeleton. Just blow up the weakened section and--
SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT
Welp, so much for that. There's a secret room off to the right here.
There's nothing in here but ninja stars, but it's kinda interesting. It's technically the same "room" as the boss, but you can't do anything from here.
Further in, there's another precious hallway skeleton to desecrate.
Final new enemy of the update is the Minotaur Zombie. He's about the worst the game will throw at you for this dungeon. He's got enough HP to survive even an attack from Tristan, can inflict confusion, and hits pretty hard. His big downfall is that he doesn't have immunity to Poison/Paralysis, so even though Tristam won't kill him, he can incapacitate him.
In the second to last room before the boss, we find these precious little things. Seeds will refill all your magic charges at any time, making them more or less an "I win" button. The game keeps them very scarce, as this is the only source of them until the third area.
The final prize before the boss is the Quake Magic. Quake is our first black magic. It hits every enemy for earth damage (which isn't great, the skeletons are weak to it, but that's about it), but it's pretty strong.
As you might have guessed, it shakes the ground a bit.
This is the end of the road. Boss fight imminent.
I have the power of the Crystal of Earth!
Meet Flamerus Rex. For as ferocious as he looks, he's not really that bad.
First and foremost, no, Life will not work on him (unless you have a PAL game, as TimothyDallas points out, in which case it will work flawlessly). He's weak to Cure, and Quake will hit him hard for those of us doing things legitimately.
He's got a few attacks on him. First of all, his big unique attack is the Bone Missle, which will knock about 80 HP off of someone. It's the little things that count with this game, like the unique animations for an attack that we'll never see again.
He's also got Poison Flour, which will poison one party member, and Sleep powder which puts someone to sleep. He's got a couple other physical attacks that do anywhere from 80-110 or so damage, and Rip Earth, which does about 80 to both party members.
Once you knock him down this far, he'll start throwing out Rip Earths much more often, but he'll go down pretty quickly at this point.
Once he's down, Tristam runs over to claim his treasure.
Huh, well look at that. That sure is handy. One crystal down, three to go.
While Art is concerned with things like saving a quarter of the world, Tristam moves to show us up.
Goddammit why do you get all the good toys Tristam.
Fine, asshole. At least we got some Benadryl out of this.
The other treasure is the Sand Coin, which we'll need next update.
And with that, Tristam promptly ditches us. This will not be the last time this happens.
Next time: We finish up the earth area.