Part 20: Hill of Destiny and Level Forest(I apologize in advance, I didn't realize the bilinear filtering was on when I recorded this. Future updates will be nice and properly pixel-y)
So, Mystic Quest Reborn. It's a hard-type hack that rebalances the game to be more of a challenge, allegedly, but to be frank, it completely misses the mark in just about every conceivable way. We'll get into the myriad of ways it fucks up making the game harder in an interesting way, but before we get started, I just wanted to say that it changes almost all of the music, including the boss theme. Fuck. That. Shit.
Anyway, let's get this trainwreck rolling.
Art, it's been a while! How you doin', buddy? You look a little...beefier than I remember. You been working out or something?
The plot is exactly the same as vanilla Mystic Quest, unless things dramatically change later in the game. We'll be skipping it because we've all already seen this shit!
Right, so let's go ahead and get the basics out of the way. Yes, that fucked up HP bar is normal. For whatever reason, we start with 290 HP instead of a multiple of 40 like the UI is clearly designed for. Even if we were to get healing, that would still be our max, and as much as I love the HP bar display, that looks goddamn awful so we'll be switching over to the numerical display as soon as I can.
Anyway, nothing out of the ordinary here, right? What could possibly go wrong?
Oh, the Behemoth has Counter. Of course the Behemoth has Counter, why wouldn't it have Counter?
He also hits a lot harder, but because of our HP pool being so much higher, it's functionally like nothing has changed at all. In fact, he's actually easier. In the base game, if the Behemoth gets a crit on you, you're fucked unless you also get a crit or he misses. Under these new numbers, we can tank a crit and then some and still come out on top. Way to go, romhacker!
Anyway, Captain Exposition does his whole thing and tells us to beat it and meet him in the Level Forest.
And as before, we help the old man and get the Tree Wither so we can recruit Kaeli. On to Foresta!
One of the goals of the hacker was apparently to make it so that we, the main character, are more powerful and less just tagging along with our amazing partners. Instead, they're supposed to complement us, by having more specialized gimmicks compared to us being a great all-rounder. He...sort of succeeded, I guess.
Kaeli only has 210 HP compared to our 290, but she's way tougher than we are. Once we get a few levels we should be reasonably caught up, but for now we have to tread lightly. She comes with 3 casts of
Like so. I mean, seriously. What the hell was the point of this?
What, you thought getting Cure would be that easy? Come on scrub, this is Mystic Quest Reborn. You're going to use those Potions and be grateful for it.
Right, let's hit the Level Forest.
Standard stuff, at first glance. Brownies are now Goblins, but nothing seems out of place yet.
Haha, you fool. Of course the Goblin has a counter. He has ~150 HP, so Art and Kaeli can combine to bring one down per turn, but someone's going to eat a counter in the process.
The actual layout of the forest hasn't been changed, but enemies and item boxes have been shuffled all around. Again, I have no idea why this was done, but it was.
This, however, is a nasty surprise. We have no way of curing poison, and the fuckers have just enough HP that they won't go down to a 1-2 punch from Art and Kaeli, leaving you with both people poisoned and no way to cure it outside of running back to Foresta and hitting the bed. And if you leave the Level Forest, all the enemies respawn. You cannot reach the Minotaur without fighting at least two enemies, one of which is basically guaranteed to have a Slime.
The other side of the forest, just for completion's sake.
Gonna take a break and go back and heal before going after Minotaur. No idea why everyone in Foresta got new sprites, apparently yellow and blue just isn't in style these days.
I got lucky, and the first Goblin fight didn't have a Slime. I tried running away a couple times to see if I could get a similar spawn here, but no dice.
Kaeli has less HP, so I made her eat the Poison counter. Life will remove poison, but only in battle, and she's going to need healing before Art will. Also, somehow she gained 9 defense since she initially joined.
So, a fun tidbit: enemies are no longer targetable with White magic. Aside from meaning that we can't just chump this guy with Life, that means we've lost a major source of damage against Flamerus Rex. Not looking forward to that fight.
Anyway, Minotaur has three attacks. Axe is the one you want to see, since it does ~30 damage a shot. Screech is tolerable in small doses, as it doesn't do any damage on its own, but it'll lower our defense. Roundhouse is the one we have to watch out for, because that does 90 damage a pop before we factor in any defense drops. You get one guess which attack he uses the most.
Oh, and he has Counter. Of course he has counter. Literally everything has a counter.
Anyway, he goes down really easy. Kaeli gives us her Axe and we're off to see the world on our own, right before I regret not farming a few more levels before Kaeli leaves the team.