Part 13: In which the game stops being shitty
Today we tackle the Lava Dome. It's the got the bitchin' music from the Volcano, a ton of side paths (it's actually really short if you ignore the side paths), and two very important items in it. It's probably my favorite dungeon in the game, but it is very easy to get lost in. Also, if you're emulating and haven't done an actual hard save to make Reuben have the right resistances, now's the time to do it, because every enemy (or damn near close to it) in here can use fire attacks. Here's the map (once again, thanks to Gamefaqs), and away we go.
First new enemy is the Hot Wings. They've got all the moves of the Stony Roost, as well as predictably picking up Flame Sweep.
First stop, room number 1.
Fangpires can be annoying in groups, but that's about all they're dangerous for. They can cause confusion, and can hit for about 220 damage or so, but overall are pretty easy to deal with.
In room 1, it's a quick jump and murder to some explosives.
Adamant Turtles are a slight upgrade from the Land Turtles. They've gained a fire attack and can still paralyze with Body Odor, but are still weak to axes and thunder.
Back outside, we run into some Ninjas. They can blind and multiply, but what makes them annoying is their crazy high critical rate. Though much like most enemies, they're still quickly dispatched by Reuben.
Next up is room 10.
The first treasure for the day is immediately off to the right.
Iflytes are toned down Jinns, and are one of two enemies in the dungeon not immediately killed by Reuben.
Medusa is also reduced to a regular enemy here. She's got all the same moves as her sister, and she's picked up Petritouch as a counter. Fortunately, Reuben can one shot her, so it's not a problem.
Finally, we get the Life spell for ourselves. This pretty much means that any challenge the game might have had left (barring any complete bullshit like Medusa's status effect spamming) is completely out the window now that we can revive our partners, all of whom have Life themselves.
The room exits out door 11 on the map, where we pick up some refreshers. I don't think I've actually explained those yet, but they restore any lost stats in battle (like how, say, Quicksand will reduce our speed). It's as useless as it sounds.
Avizzards are the second enemy not immediately killed by Reuben. The only thing really dangerous about them is that they can confuse you. Hell, their fire attack did less than 100 damage to Art and he's not even strong to fire.
Next up is door number 2.
The Lava Dome is full of rooms like this, where there's a ton of enemies, but you really only have to kill one to actually move on. Before we take care of that though, we're going to take the northwest stairs.
That will bring us in here, where there's the second treasure.
The Moon Helm gives us resistance to fire, which helps a ton in this dungeon. Anyway, now we go back to room 2, and take the right path.
That brings us to our first objective in the dungeon, which is to hit this switch, opening the door to the boss.
Next is door number 3, which puts us on the lower side of room 2. The box has some cure potions.
I don't know why, but I find these rooms really annoying. There's two of them in the dungeon, and they've both got a lot of items and enemies to kill so I dunno.
Two pallet swaps in the same region? Really? Salamands are the last upgrade to the Basilisk family, picking up Thunder in addition to the Flazzard's skills. They can hit for 200-300 damage, but that's about all.
Anyway, that will bring us out into the room below the Moon Helm, where there's yet another group of enemies just standing there waiting to be butchered. I gained three levels by the time I finished the dungeon, and was fairly close to a fourth if my memory serves.
We emerge from door 4. There's a side room up the climbing things, but there's absolutely nothing in it. Instead, we go up the stairs to reach door 7.
Second one of these rooms. First, we'll take the southwest exit.
Last side room. Between this and the previous room, there's about 30 explosives and a set of cure and heal potions, which was quite a relief. I entered the dungeon with 99 explosives and I had about 59 after picking all those up.
Going back to room 7, taking the southeast exit will bring us here.
Once inside the doors, it's a small jumping puzzle and we're at the boss.
Reuben is still far and above the damage we can do with any of our weapons, but we're better or equal otherwise.
Meet the Dualhead Hydra. Like Medusa and the Jinn, he doesn't have any clear-cut weaknesses (including water, bizzarely), so start the fight off by Whiting the everliving fuck out of him if you've got the charges.
As for his offense, he's got pretty much every "breath" attack. Poisonbreath, Parabreath, Flame Breath, Thunder, and he's even got Stone Gas along with a few physical attacks, and all of them hit like truck. You'll be delighted when he uses Parabreath because it only does about 150 damage to both people, as opposed to his Scrunch attack, which'll do about 400 damage to one person or Flame Breath, which does about 300 damage to both with fire protection. God help you if you missed the Moon Helm.
The key to beating him is a war of attrition. Don't be afraid to stop attacking and throw out a cure spell while Reuben keeps at him, because if someone goes down and he throws out a Parabreath (or worse, a Flame Breath), things will go downhill very quickly.
Eventually he goes down. By far the hardest of the Vile Ones. Of course with a Vile one down, we know what that means.
Three down, one to go.
Wait, why aren't you leaving? Why...goddammit Reuben. Suddenly, there's an earthquake and...
Yeah, the volcano just erupts with us inside. We shake it off like it ain't no thing.
And with that, we're done with the Lava Dome.
Next Time: Cleaning up the Fire Region and ditching Reuben