The Let's Play Archive

Mystic Quest

by cardinal direction

Part 10: Lessons on Fire Safety by Shrug and Reuben

10. Lessons on Fire Safety by Shrug and Reuben

I can’t really place my finger on why, but I like the Lava Dome. The music from the Volcano is worlds more engaging and interesting to me than Wintry Cave/Ice Pyramid. Then again I’m willing to forgive a lot if the music is good. There’s some cool treasure to be found here, there’s some jumping, there’s no dumb gimmick like invisible enemies here... and it’s actually pretty short if you don’t go down all of the optional paths. While the treasure here isn’t as cool as the Ice Pyramid, it’s still pretty neat, but we’ve picked up a lot of good stuff in this zone.

If you’re looking at the map (thanks to Gamefaqs again), then our destination is that blue circle. We’re going to hit up Room 1 first though.

And we’re already running into new enemies. Hot Wings are more or less Stony Roosts that picked up Flame Sweep and a fondness for 80s music. They’ll only heal once something is in its injured state and they seem to have lost their petrifying counter so they’re not too much to worry about.

Reuben also has a chance to shine here since you chose to keep his Fire resistance. For reference, Shrug is taking almost 170 damage from their Flame Sweep while Reuben takes 36 or so.

We’re actually only going to Room 1 for some new enemies.

Fangpires are capable of confusing you with Sonic Boom and draining a little health away with Drain. They also have Tornado. They’re really not a big deal unless they confuse Reuben...

...and he decides to attack you.

How can you not love a dungeon where you haphazardly leap across lava to beat up monsters for explosives?

Adamant Turtles are nothing. Shrug, even at his lower level, can kill them in one hit with the Battle Axe. Reuben just smashes them into paste. They’re still weak to Thunder, but why bother with that?

Referring back to the map, we’re headed to Room 10.

I have no idea why Ninjas would just hang out in a volcano, but well, here you go.

I’ve also never understood what the hell is going on with their injured sprite. Are they falling through a hole in the floor? Bowing for forgiveness? Did Shrug basically just destroy everything from the neck down?

They’re weak to Blizzard and Thunder, but again, sort of a waste to use magic on them. They can blind you and use purely physical attacks so they’re pretty easy to deal with.

That insignia in the floor is what we’re trying to reach but this is actually out of the way of where we should be.

Avizzards have the honor of being the first and one of two enemies that Reuben won’t kill in one hit. They’re pretty boring enemies. Like everything else they can confuse you, but they’re really just walls more than anything.

Back on track. That nice chest is guarded by a lot of monsters and that’s sort of the Lava Dome’s ‘thing’: A whole lot of enemies. Sometimes they’re clustered together and you really only have to fight one, other times you just have to fight throw narrow corridors. You stand to gain a lot of levels here if you want.

IfritIflytes are the second enemy here that Reuben doesn’t immediately just flatten. As you might have guessed, they’re wimpy Jinns. They’re weak to Blizzard.

Their Japanese name seems to be Cyclops so that’s a thing, I suppose.

Dang, looks like we’ll have to pass on that treasure for now until we have something that can solve such a dastardly puzzle.

It’s sort of backwards that Stheno is the trash enemy and Medusa was the more dangerous one but hey.

She’s nowhere near as bad as her sister considering that Reuben can one-shot her, but she can counter with petri-touch so keep that in mind if you attack her.

Barring any deaths by petrification, we’re pretty much assured to never get another game over after this. Considering that we can now bring party members back to life, and they all have Life themselves, we’re good to go.

There are just perfect gold bars in the volcano, I guess?? Past these two is Door 11. Giving you a choice between enemies to fight is another thing the Lava Dome does so there are a few spots like this.

There are also a lot of “one-way” drops like this.

Next up is Door/Room 2.

I’m pretty sure fighting all of these guys would bring Shrug more than halfway to another level and he just got one.

But before we go deeper in, we’ll want to take this staircase that’s off to the left.

Lo and behold, the Lava Dome’s second treasure.

The Moon Helm makes this dungeon a lot less threatening. Where Shrug was taking almost 200 damage from fire attacks, he’ll take about 70 at the most now. Avizzards were only doing 12 damage with Fire so you won’t want to miss out on this. Shrug is on his way to becoming an unstoppable death machine. Unfortunately, the next helmet isn’t as cool but you can’t win them all, I guess!

Alright, time to take the right path. That leads us here and the rest of it is basically a straight line.

It ends at this switch, which opens up the big door on the left. Now it’s on to Door 3.

And that gets you to the second half of room 2. From here on out there will be a lot of narrow paths with mandatory encounters. Ugh.

Like so. This is one of two rooms like this in the dungeon and it’s about as fun to go through as you might expect.

And I’m not sure why they didn’t just put Flazzard here but this is the last of the Basilisk line. Salamands have picked up Thunder and they can hit pretty hard but that’s about it for them. Everybody say goodbye to the Basilisks!

I remember hating these rooms as a kid because I felt like it took me forever to get through them. I guess that’s not really the case but you really notice getting funneled into enemy encounters here.

This place seriously has a lot of battles, if you haven’t noticed. I’m fighting the bare minimum and Shrug’s already gained two levels. Granted, Shrug is a pretty low level so he’s gaining them faster than he normally would at this point, but if you need to grind or something then this might not be a bad place to do it. The boxes contain Cure Potions but it’s unlikely that you’ll need them.

We exit out of Door 4. You could climb up that cliff to a side room in Door 6 but there’s nothing of value in there so we’re going to head up the staircase to Door 7 instead.

And we find ourselves in another of these rooms. They’re much shorter than I remember.

The “challenge” is getting around those inconveniently placed gold bars. There are two exits here and we want the one furthest to the right, Door 8.

This has nothing to do with directions but I find myself not paying any attention to health with the life scale so it was a bit of a surprise for me to find Reuben as low as he was.

And that will lead you to this door. I was always sort of curious why this boss got a special door and the others before it didn’t. I guess it doesn’t really matter but it’s the little things.

After a jumping ‘maze’, you’ll find this dancing machine.

The Dualhead Hydra is a much rougher tumble than the Ice Golem. Where the Ice Golem was a straight damage race, this is more along the lines of a war of attrition. It’s not weak to Blizzard, just like every other boss in this section of the game. And as with Medusa before it, you can’t really just force your way through here because of all the status effects flying around. White is going to be your best friend for this fight because it’s almost three times as more powerful as Shrug’s normal attacks.

Good thing we got the Moon Hel-

met. The Hydra hits very hard, in case you couldn’t tell. This is with fire resistance, I’m not sure Shrug would survive without it here. Juggling between casting White and keeping Reuben’s sorry ass alive can be a challenge if you want that spell to be your main offense.

It’s not a horrible strategy to just keep healing while Reuben plinks away at him. I mean, it’ll take you forever, but it’ll get you there.

It has quite an arsenal at its disposal and nearly every single one of its attacks hits incredibly hard. Poison and paralysis are thankfully ineffective against Shrug, but Reuben... and as you’ve seen, Thunder and Flame Breath are pretty powerful. There’s also Stone Gas, which is guaranteed to put a stop to your offense.

These aren’t even the physical attacks, and those can hit for up to 400 damage. Dualhead Hydra is pretty scary compared to Ice Golem.

This could cause some tension if you have some low health. Scrunch can really hurt. I’m pretty sure if that was a critical hit then it would have just killed Shrug then and there.

By the way, this is a pretty crummy hydra considering it hasn’t grown back any heads.

For reference, it would take about 10 Whites to put this guy down but he’s on the ropes now. You might benefit from keeping Reuben on manual and just curing with Life rather than using Cure. I typically just keep my party member on auto because I don’t really care and they usually do what I want anyway, but the AI’s not smart enough to use Life as a healing spell in my experience.

And then this happened. Petrification is the worst.

Since Shrug is the last to move, it’s pretty much lights out if Reuben gets petrified and the boss decides to throw out another Stone Gas. The speed bonus from the Knight Sword is enough to where he’ll occasionally move second, for whatever reason, so it’s a good idea to have that equipped for healing duty if you happen to be playing along and are also underleveled.

Sort of wish I had done a low level run but Shrug would have been dead almost constantly and that wouldn’t be very fun to watch if you ask me. I believe I’m like 5 levels ahead of doing a low level run so I’m actually not as weak as I could be.

But as with all of the Vile 4, it falls to some tenacity and a couple of plucky youths.

What? When was this? Who just talks about this?

The ellipses here make it like Reuben delivered that line with a whole lot of , like “uh, the southeast, you idiot, gosh”

And then the volcano erupts and kills them both, the end

Nah, just kidding.

Next time: The Life and Death of Reuben

If this hard mode hack is Mystic Quest Reborn, I was thinking of showing a bit of that later on because it is just totally unbelievable garbage. I mean, I guess it has a handful of good ideas but proceeds to execute them in the worst way possible. I wouldn't do all of it because it is a ridiculously huge slog but I'm not sure if there'd be much interest in what is basically Kaizo Mystic Quest but let me know if I'm wrong about that?