Part 13: Non-Stop Old-Man-Chat Action
Update 13: Non-Stop Old-Man-Chat Action
WARNING: This update contains massive Phantasy Star II spoilers. In any other game it'd be surprising that we managed to get this far without seeing any spoilers for previous games at all, but this is Phantasy Star III.
Our killer robot is now a killer aeroplane. Finally, 80% of the way to the end, this game actually has something good about it. It won't last.
We can fly around the map pretty fast, although we can only land at airstrips. Most worlds have an airstrip fairly close to each Layan palace for easy travel, although some (like Aridia) don't.
Our current destination is Skyhaven, which is on the world of Frigidia and can only be reached by flight.
Frigidia's overworld has some new and exciting monsters. Okay, so they're not that exciting. Banshees cast Foi and are easy to kill.
Maybe this town on the west side of the world is Skyhaven?
Guess not. This is still an interesting find, though: Mota was one of the planets in the Algo system in the previous two Phantasy Star games, so maybe we're finally going to find out how Phantasy Star 3 relates to the rest of the series!
"For 1,000 years we have kept the past alive. Listen well and you will hear of our plight.
We're the descendants of the people of Palm, a planet that once circled the distant star Algo. Palm was destroyed by an evil being that haunts us every 1,000 years, bringing death and ruin. This evil incarnate is known as Dark Force!
The people of Palm were thinkers and creators. They knew of the plans made by the evil being. When the vile Dark Force stirred 1,000 years ago, preparations were made to escape from Palm. Our ancestors built a fleet of 400 spaceships."
With a flash of yellow light and an odd crunching noise, Palm disappears.
"This armada escaped the destruction of Palm and set off into space to find a new homeland. Our ancestors thought they had at last escaped from the clutches of the undying master of evil. But Dark Force managed to slip aboard a ship. It destroyed all but one of our sister ships before Orakio and Laya trapped it on Alisa III. Now there are only two ships left of our fleet: our ship, the Alisa III, and the Neo Palm."
Okay, so we just got a gigantic infodump consisting of more or less the entire backstory of the game. Let's break this down a little.
The Algo system, the setting for the previous two games, had three planets: Palma, Motavia and Dezoris. In the English translation of Phantasy Star II, they got abbreviated to Palm, Mota and Dezo, and that's what this game calls them. Then Phantasy Star IV went and changed the names again because Sega's translators can't make up their minds, but I digress. The point is, about a third of the way through Phantasy Star II, Palm got blown up (by a satellite crashing into it; yeah, PSII had its share of dumb plot points too).
The whole mass-evacuation idea is new to this game, and it's not clear how the people of Palm could actually have built and launched all those colony ships: all technological systems in the Algo system at the time of Phantasy Star II were under the control of an evil supercomputer, which was itself under the control of Dark Force. The Phantasy Star Compendium, an official fanbook, retcons it a little by saying that the ships were left over from an evacuation plan for a natural disaster several hundred years ago. In any case, it's far from the stupidest bit of plot this game throws at us, so let's just go with it for now.
The Alisa III itself, by the way, is named after Alis (or Alisa), the protagonist of Phantasy Star I.
The shops on New Mota have the second-best armour in the game. At this point, you might as well save up until you have enough money for the best armour and go to Mystoke to buy it.
New Mota does sell the best weapons in the game, although most of them will be made redundant once we pick up our Obligatory Legendary Endgame Weapons. Get at least one Planar Slicer for Kara and one Planar Claw for Mieu. If you have the money, get a Pulse Vulcan for Wren, too: it does about 100 damage to all enemies.
Actually, don't get any of these things, because you shouldn't be playing this game in the first place.
Anyway, back to our actual destination. (Oh, yeah, did I mention that all that backstory we just saw comes from a completely optional and missable town that nobody in the whole game tells you about?) Skyhaven is floating in the skies above Frigidia, a little to the northeast of Mystoke. It shouldn't be too hard to find.
We land on Skyhaven to find a cyborg welcoming committee...
... and more old men ready to dump info on us!
"... the barren wasteland of the dome named Terminus.
A word of ultimate power has been lost for ages. This name can empower the weapons of legend. To discover the lost name, you must first find all five weapons of ancient legend. The name of power can be learned on Sage Isle, in Draconia, the world of old Cille and Shusoran. Our dungeon holds the aqua parts for Wren. These will enable you to wrest Orakio's Sword from its watery tomb and to visit Sage Isle.
The ancient heroes used the Legendary Weapons. These are Orakio's Sword, Miun's Claw, Siren's Shot, Laya's Bow, and Lune's Slicer."
Now, if for some reason you've been paying attention to this game's plot, you might have noticed something a little off here. Cille and Shusoran are in Aquatica, not Draconia. The game manual actually makes a note of this mistake and tries to paper over it by claiming that the councilman has, and I quote, "become a bit senile and confused these last few years".
Well, there'll be all the time in the world to worry about continuity errors later. For now, we're headed to Skyhaven's dungeon to get the last set of parts for Wren.
This dungeon is where the game's challenge finally starts to ramp up a little. Skyhaven Dungeon is large and annoying and full of dead ends.
The enemies are getting serious too. Mantises can cast Zan for close to 20 damage to the whole party, and Demonesses can hit a single character for up to 50 damage. Of course, we have enough healers in our party to do okay even without relying on unlimited healing from the Force Shield.
This dungeon also has the least creative enemy in the whole damn game. It's a big ol' ball. It actually has one of the better attack animations (although in this game that's not saying much): it opens up to reveal a bunch of machinery inside, which somehow hurts you.
To get to this Star Mist, take the path to the west below the stairs and bear southwest. There are only two of these in the whole game (unless you bought some in Cille or Shusoran before they were destroyed), so you don't want to miss it.
Backtrack a little, then bear northwest for a while before heading southwest for a Moon Dew and a Laconian Ribbon for Mieu. From there, getting to the end of the dungeon isn't too bad. Backtrack until you're just west of the Star Mist and head all the way north, then bear northwest for a Royal Crown for Gwyn, then backtrack a little and go southwest.
If you did it right, you'll reach an area with a Hunting Bow and Wren's Aqua Parts. I hope you brought an Escapipe along, because walking out of this dungeon would suck. I didn't bring an Escapipe along
Once we're out of there, we can start searching for the legendary weapons. We already have Laya's Bow and Lune's Slicer, so that just leaves Orakio's Sword, Miun's Claw and Siren's Shot. First, we make our way back to the world of Landen and head for one of these docks.
This isn't quite as awesome as becoming a plane or even a submarine, but it ain't bad.
Remember way back in the first generation, when that boatman told us about Orakio's sword being used to imprison Dark Force in this sunken palace?
Time to get our submarine on and see if that sword's still sharp after all these years underwater.
Engraved on the floor is "I hold Dark Force."
The screen starts to shake. That's almost never a good sign.
"Tremble, fools, for I roam the worlds again! Other matters await me, but we will meet again!"
You have learned Megido, destruction incarnate!
Okay, so we accidentally freed Dark Force and somehow this caused Adan to learn a new technique. In Phantasy Star II, Megid was the main character's most powerful and dangerous offensive technique: it did enough damage to kill all non-boss enemies, but at the cost of halving the whole party's HP. In this game, though, we can't even use it -- it appears under the Order Techniques section, but there's no way to select it in combat.
On the bright side, we did get Orakio's Sword, which is stronger than any sword we can buy.
Remember that crazy old cyborg named Miun who was looking for Orakio? Now that we have his sword, we can go to Aridia and pay her a visit.
Be careful when you're travelling outdoors in Aridia: it's full of monsters called Gnashers.
They only have 60 HP, which means they'll die in one hit from anyone with a decent weapon. So what's so special about them, you ask?
Well, they have five times as much attack power as the final boss, so they're guaranteed to one-shot whoever they attack. This can be bad if you're ambushed by two of them. I'm not sure if their absurd attack power is a bug or a feature: in this game, either possibility seems plausible.
"I'm so glad to meet you again before I..."
Good thing Mieu's been better maintained than her "sister". Miun won't be needing this claw any more, so we may as well pick it up. All that's left is Siren's Shot.
We don't have any clues as to Siren's whereabouts (in fact, we still wouldn't know who he is if we hadn't played through Ayn's generation). If we have the bright idea of travelling to Azura and looking for him there, we'll find that the spaceship from Mystoke to Azura is gone. The only other lead we've got is Sage Isle on Aquatica, so let's head over there.
It's this cross-shaped island in the far east of the world, reachable only by sea.
The cave isn't too complicated: there's one very long wrong turn you can take, but otherwise it's straightforward.
There are lots of new monsters to be found here, and they're fairly strong. Caliphs and Impfouls are easy to kill, but can hit the party with Zan for about 20 damage. Wraiths are a bit tougher and can hit the party with Gra for close to 30 damage.
Drakes are even tougher, but can only hit a single character with their attacks and Foi techniques.
Head to the northwest corner of the cave for a Royal Shield (sell it), then take the second passage down. (Don't take the far left passage: it just leads around in a big loop.)
Oh, look! It's even more old men with exposition for us! At this point, all they'll tell us is that the five legendary weapons have been scattered across the worlds and they can't help us until we collect them all.
Now, head all the way to the northeast corner of the cave and take the final passage to the south for a Royal Emel and a Vulcan, which both sell for a decent amount of money. Keep going south and take a short detour to the west for a Royal Sword (which you should also sell), then head east.
Well, look who it is!
"Who? Who is it?"
Just bear with me here, you'll find out soon enough.
"I nursed my hatred and attacked Layan people. But on Sage Isle I found that the Layans are not our real enemies. I am sorry for my mistake."
Oh, okay. I guess we can forgive him for murdering most of the population of two cities, then.
Siren's positronic brain overloads and he leaves behind a chest for us, containing Siren's Shot. This gun does close to 200 damage, but it only hits one enemy at a time. It's up to you whether to have Wren use this or the Pulse Vulcan.
In any case, we've finally got all five of the legendary weapons. Next time, we'll talk to the sages again, learn the ancient word of ultimate power, and finish this damn game once and for all!