Part 49: Episode 48: Shrine of the Silver MonkeyThe demand for magical death by water has been heard! For now, however, let's see what's happening in...
Last time, a fire alert opened the door to the Northern Path of the Neo Ark for us, so let's head up there. Not to put out a fire or anything, that'd be ridiculous!
Nope, we're going to murder an organic power generator! The Ark is weird.
This side of the park is the Rainforest Zone, remember.
Neo Ark Tunes
: I can hear a far-off river. The undergrowth prevents any off-roading here.
Well, this place seem quiet enough.
Seriously, this is Jurassic Park as fuck!
So now we meet the final variation of Strangers, the Horned Stranger. As you might imagine, these guys are the strongest kind of Stranger, and easily the most dangerous. Here, I am foolishly taking a potshot at it while it lunges, which gives me a very small window to dodge.
Granted, I pull it off, because I'm pro as fuck
There are a few things you can do to make dealing with Horned Strangers much easier. The first is magic. They're vulnerable to Poison, and a blast of level 3 Pyrokinesis can hit them for upwards of 400 damage. Alternately, just bait them into attack and run behind them. A shot to the back is a guaranteed Critical Hit on Horned Strangers, so it's something to keep in mind.
Eventually, they go down like any other ANMC.
With that handled, I wonder what's past here?
We don't actually need to go to the Temple of Tone-Loc or whatever yet, but there's some monsters down here I wanna shoot, so let's do it.
The twisting forest path to the temple is kind of annoying, because at certain corners, a Horned Stranger will leap out of the foliage to attack. The annoying thing is that there's three of them all told, and they seem to be completely terrified of upstaging their buddies, so one won't attack until the previous one is dead. It just makes the whole process take longer without being more threatening, really.
Some cool camera angles around here, though.
At this point, I remembered to apply the results from the last Magic Vote. Level 2 Healing is faster to cast, which is nice, and Level 3 Pyro does such crazy damage that Aya basically has a grenade launcher with her at all times now.
I do like the water effects here, cheesy though they may be today.
blah blah blah shoot the horny stranger in the back blah blah
Fireballs look remarkably like punching a Sun in the face now, which is nice.
Okay, we finally made it to Olmec's Temple and...
Here I discovered that the explosive effect on standard Buckshot can also flip over beetles. Which would be nicer if Plasma wasn't already dirt cheap.
Goddamn, I love this gun.
So what's the deal with this thingy?
: It looks like the relief and the pattern on the stela have shifted...
So, here's the deal: Spin the thingy until it lines up with the other thingies. They through this super simple puzzle in here because this area also possesses the dumbest puzzle this side of Adventure Games.
The game doesn't expect you to realize the significance of the lines and dots just yet, but c'mon. It's shaped like a clock. It's numbers. Each dot equals One, each line is Five.
But that information is useless to us at the moment, so let's just head on up this bizarre tourist attraction.
And now everyone who's ever played this game just had their eye start twitching uncontrollably. Don't worry, we won't be doing any DDR just yet.
Times like this I really miss prerendered backgrounds.
: The design is intricate. It...It's looking at me!
There's nothing else to do up there at the moment, so let's check out this one last thing and get back on track.
: [Temple of Tlaloc] "To call upon Lord Tlaloc for rain, dance the steps of Tlaloc's dance. The maize steps. Red, White, Yellow, Blue. To open the gate to the altar of strength, start with red. To revere Tlaloc in his glory, begin with blue. Keep the sacred observances, let your heart guide your steps."
: It's smaller than the real thing. I wonder why they built this? It's a little grandiose for a visitor attraction. Trying to find modern society in the ruins of an ancient civilization?
: I wonder if ANMCs need this... If they need some kind of god. It would be hard to ask them in their current violent state.
Eh, religion is a touchy subject anyway. Let's just head back to the main path and continue on.
Ooh, an underwater corridor. I always liked aquariums more than zoos, anyway.
Something big swims overhead ominously.
If you hang out in here, you can actually see whatever it was swimming back and forth behind the glass.
: ...pfffft hahahahahaha!
: It has been theorized that human evolution began at the water's edge. The subcutaneous layer of fat in humans is a relic from that time. What if humans had never left their watery environment?
Behold, the most graceful sea creature in history.
: Though it restricts land movement, their thick fatty layer provides protection from cold and enemies. The Fatty's well-developed arms also help in food acquisition. The Fatty can dislocate its arms for improved reach to grab prey from the safety of the water.
This is the same way the indigenous Goon acquires Mountain Dew without having to get out of its computer chair. Truly a miracle of evolution.
: One powerful blow from this skilled hunter knocks prey out cold.
: Yeah, I'll pass on that, thanks.
: This zone is home to the ANMCs known as "Divers." It has been said that humans began as ocean-dwelling creatures. The slight webbing between our fingers and our light body hair are relics from that time. This theory also holds that we first learned to walk upright in the water.
Is this stuff a real theory, or are they just making shit up? I'm genuinely curious, but not enough to actually Google it.
: The Divers are our concept of humanity's ultimate form... If we had never left the water! Their smooth, hairless skin, flipper feet, and great lung capacity make them kings of the deep. They're excellent swimmers, of course. And they can stay submerged up to 40 minutes! In exchange for losing walking legs, Divers hand a light-emitting organ to draw prey to them! This special organ can also be used to paralyze prey remotely. This breed has been one of the most successful ANMCs at our facility.
: The Divers are grouping... They're looking this way... Checking me out.
: Hey, gurl! What's yo sign?
Okay, let's leave.
Upstairs, the Divers decide they want to fight. Hey, remember how they're weak to fire?
Now remember how I have fire bullets?
Before we go, there's a little sign over here.
: There's a stone stela here. Blue, white, red, and yellow tiles decorated with gilt designs. I've seen this design somewhere.
So, this is the first of two combinations we have to put in back at the Temple of Talalah. This is also the simple of the two, so of course, it's the optional one.
But let's keep exploring before we fiddle around with any of that nonsense. This area is crawling with Bog Divers, so if you've got fire bullets, keep 'em handy.
: It's too far to jump, though.
Oh well, I'm sure there's not some sort of optional boss with a swag reward over there or anything.
Hey, are any of you irrationally afraid of beetles? Specifically swarms of beetles? Maybe...don't play this game, then.
That looks like the building housing the mitochondrial generator.
So let's go the other way!
This handy dandy map adds the full map of the Neo Ark to our GPS. Which, for us, means it adds a whooping ONE extra room! Terrific.
Uh, the WHAT testing area?
: [No entry allowed on this level] A lift that can't be used!?
Oh boy, another one of these things.
This is the combination to open the door to the Generator room (I forgot to check it, but it is locked). This is also the annoying one. The previous combo was simple: Simply press the color the number of times that is indicated, then go to the next color. This one is trickier: The numbers this time around are actually the order you need to step on the indicated colors. I hope you have a note pad handy or gamefaqs
This handy sign tells us what exactly these generators power.
: "[This power plant uses only ANMC organically generated power] Given a 1cm thickness, the potential membrane energy of mitochondria can reach as much as 200,000 volts. The energy needs of this facility and its artificial climate system are almost entirely met by these two ANMC dynamos! We will continue ANMC power research as a part of our quest for renewable, non-petroleum, clean energy sources."
Time to go back to Talos's Temple!
So, here's how the temple dance works. Step on a colored tile, it glows and you hear a vague little chant in the background. You use this to input the two combinations. This puzzle isn't about deduction or problem solving, it's about memorization and running around in circles for 15 minutes. It sucks, and I hate it, so I'll spare you the lengthy process and just break down the solutions for you.
The combination to open the gate to the generator takes longer, so I get that one out of the way first. The correct combination is R,Y,B,W,B,W,R,Y,W,B,Y,R. Fuck it up, and you have to go back down the pyramid to reset it and start over.
This also triggers a bunch of Hot Zones to spawn.
So, I take a moment to take care of those.
The second combination is easier. Simply step on Blue 6 times, White twice, Red 3 and Yellow 5 times.
This makes Tali'Zorah Vas Aztec's head pop up like a Rock-em Sock-em robot.
This reveals a lever. Throw the lever and...
The bridge slides over, allowing us access to that little island!
A group of Bog Divers greet us as we enter this bonus little area. Isn't that nice?
Hmmm, this appears of be a mysterious tropical island with a metal hatch on it.
Okay, we'll go down there, but I have to push a button, I'm out.
So, in this little circular room, we have a bit of a gauntlet. Nearly a dozen Bog Divers will come at you from the pool in the middle in waves of three. It's not a huge problem, however, given their easily exploited fire weakness. With them so tightly grouped, a well-placed Pyrokinesis can hit a whole group of three at once.
: I'll drown if I open this.
What an odd little detail.
Once we slaughter our way through the Bog Divers, we find something was watching from outside.
Meet the Sea Diver. She's an optional boss with her own music and everything! Essentially, she's just a over-sized Bog Diver, completely with a severe weakness to fire.
The biggest difference is her method of attack. She'll sweep her lightning breath across the floor in a slight arc, so if you don't keep moving until she stops, you're getting a zap in the face.
But, with Firefly shells and liberal usage of Pyrokinesis, the Sea Diver get flushed.
We even snag a bonus Protein Capsule for our effort!
: Wait... There's something shiny floating...
Ah, the reason we came down here. The Crystal Skull, when attached to Aya's armor, grants a bonus 25% damage to ALL ATTACKS. I love this thing. A free ticket to Murdertown is well worth that stupid temple dance.
It ain't worth the smell, though, so let's bail.
After putting down the Sea Diver, she's no longer lurking in the water outside the tunnel. In fact, nothing is. The water's empty. A nice detail, I think.
But now, we need to reset the bridge to reach our destination.
Flipping the switch triggers ANOTHER FMV of the bridge moving. I wonder if they couldn't have put that money to better use giving a CGI intro to a boss like the Glutton or the Ivory Stalker...
Oh well, far be it for me to question the budget decisions of the company that made Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Join me next time as Aya waxes philosophic about life after shooting a whale in the face.