Part 14: Don't Play It Again, Sam
Update 14: Don't Play It Again, Sam
Now that we've got all five legendary weapons, let's see what the sages of Sage Isle have to say!
They... don't seem to have very much confidence in us.
"We now give the Grantz technique to Mieu."
Grantz has now been added to Mieu's Time technique list. Like Adan's Megido technique, we can't actually use it for anything.
"Orakio's twin brother turned into a fiend. Untold suffering awaits us all if you fail."
Before returning to Skyhaven, Mountaineer requested in the thread that I head to Endora on Draconia and show you what the people there have to say.
"... fly out from Cape Dragon Spine toward the sea."
That's right: if Ayn was never born to resolve the situation with Siren in the second generation, Lyle goes out and fights him on his own, further cementing his status as the greatest badass in this game. There's still no explanation given for why he can turn into a dragon in the first place, though.
Well, that's that. On to Skyhaven!
"Use the Nei weapons to destroy Dark Force. Our task is over; yours truly begins now."
The sages on Sage Isle said that the council at Skyhaven would "empower our weapons", so let's check our inventory and see what's happened.
Orakio's Sword, Lune's Slicer, Siren's Shot, Miun's Claw and Laya's Bow have transformed into the Nei Sword, Slicer, Shot, Claw and Bow, the strongest weapons in the game! Make sure to re-equip them. In the case of the first four weapons, they've gained about a 10-20% boost in damage; in the case of Laya's Bow, it's gone from being the weakest bow in the game to the strongest, and Gwyn can now do about 2/3 the damage of Adan, which is pretty respectable.
The Nei weapons are another of this game's few callbacks to Phantasy Star II. In that game, they were a set of weapons and armour created by an ancient wizard to be used against Dark Force. It's not at all clear how they could possibly have ended up on the Alisa III, since Palm was destroyed long before PSII's main character even found the weapons. Also, the set in PSII didn't include a claw or a bow, and did include a lot of stuff this game's set doesn't, like a shield and a helmet.
By the way, did you think you'd seen the last game-breaking glitch Phantasy Star III had to offer? Well, you're in for a surprise, because there's one more left.
To see the glitch in action, at least one character's inventory must be completely empty.
When you talk to the wise man who transforms your weapons into the Nei weapons, suddenly all the colours on the screen go funny.
Now, open up the menu.
Everyone's name is fucked up!
And the stats of everyone who had an empty inventory are fucked up, too. The Damage rating doesn't actually have any effect on how much damage they do, but the Defense rating means that most enemies will do 0 damage to them with physical attacks. Speed can either go up or down, depending on the character.
Anyway, that's enough fooling around. Let's reload our save state and finish this game already.
As the council at Skyhaven told us in the previous update, our destination is a floating city in the final dome-world, Terminus. All the caves leading to Terminus are sealed and there's no way to enter them, but we can reach it through the Layan palace on the east side of Frigidia.
For a barren wasteland, it doesn't look so bad, does it?
It's also a great place to grind if you want to do so for some reason: the monsters are powerful (usually doing 40-50 damage with single-target attacks and 30-35 damage to the whole party with techniques), but they tend to give excellent experience and meseta.
Those Baneful enemies are based closely on the design of similar spellcasting enemies in the first two games, by the way. So if you're wondering why they don't completely suck and actually look kinda menacing, that's why. The parts of this game that are good are not original, and the parts that are original are not good.
There's nothing of interest on Terminus besides this floating city, right in the middle of the dome. If we arrived here before getting the Nei weapons, they'd be friendly and welcoming, and they'd introduce us to their ruler, Rulakir, the twin brother of Orakio.
Okay, so maybe Lashute isn't so friendly and welcoming after all.
Now that we have the Nei weapons, the townspeople hate us and Lashute is full of monsters. There's, uh, really nothing I can say about the design of those monsters above that the screenshot doesn't already say better. Most of the enemies in Lashute give great experience but very little money, and like the ones on the surface of Terminus you can generally count on them to hit you fairly hard.
Also, the game is intent on pitting us against creepy old ladies and palette swaps. What's the point of including three palette swaps of the same enemy in the same dungeon, when their stats and abilities are barely even different?
"... but we needed Rhys to bring Satellite back. And that's exactly what that old fool did!"
"So, uh, what part of this grand evil plan were you guys personally involved in again? Was it sabotaging the weather control tower in Aridia, or arranging for Maia to wash up in Landen in the first place? Because those are the only events that aren't adequately explained already, and I'm not sure how you could have done either of them while you were all sealed away in Terminus."
"... between the domed worlds of our ship, Alisa III. But your father and grandfather opened them up again, enabling us to spread evil once more!"
"Nobody ever unlocked a passage to Terminus, though. Seriously, how have you guys been having any influence on anything at all? I'd really like to know."
"You're just trying to take credit for a bunch of stuff that happened without your involvement, aren't you? I mean, I get that Dark Force can corrupt people's souls and all that, but it seems like you guys just sat around in this city being evil."
Lashute is big, but it's fairly linear, and before long we reach the man in charge. I'm sure it won't surprise you to hear that we're gonna have to fight him. If you don't have at least two characters with maxed-out Gires techniques, now would be a good time to run back to town and fix your technique distribution. If you have Wren equipped with the Pulse Vulcan, switch to the Nei Shot.
"...when my family died in the Laya-Orakio war. Dark Force owns my soul and he shall own yours!"
And with that, we're thrown into the first boss fight of this generation, and the first really challenging battle so far. The Murafires and Azufires can do a fair amount of damage to single characters with Foi, but Kara and her slicers can kill them in a single round.
The real problem, though, is Rulakir himself. He has 1500 HP and high defensive power, so even with the Nei weapons it'll take a few rounds to bring him down. In the meantime, he can do 60 damage to the whole party with Tsu, or hit a single character for even more than that. I managed to underestimate how hard he could hit and let Kara get killed, which sucks because she's probably the best choice of character to use as a dedicated healer for this fight. You'll need at least one character spamming maxed-out Gires techniques to keep the party alive, and preferably two.
But as long as you don't die, it won't be too long before he's defeated.
Rulakir is dead; finally he is at peace.
Well, he changed his tune quickly. Head north past where Rulakir was standing...
... and you'll end up in the final dungeon! It's one of the biggest dungeons in the game and probably the most complex, with lots of long loops and dead ends. Open that chest to the north for a Laconian Emel (pretty useless, unless you want to go back to town to sell it), then go south for a Laconian Helm. Take the second passage from the bottom and head east, then turn north as soon as you can and make your way towards the northeast corner of the dungeon for a Star Mist, then backtrack a little and head all the way to the southeast corner for a Royal Gear and Moon Dew.
The monsters are a little stronger than the ones in Lashute, but come on, you can handle them by now. Once again, you can tell that the Sorcerer enemies were blatantly stolen from previous games in the series, because they actually look kinda cool, apart from the goofy-looking fingers that make them look like they're trying to photograph you with an invisible camera. Also, I hate Wizzers because they have a super-long attack animation and can go through it five times while attacking the whole party, just like Novas.
Anyway, your final destination in this dungeon is the chest in the middle of the eastern side.
Make sure your party is healed up and at a reasonable level, and once again for the love of God make sure Wren is using the Nei Shot, not the Pulse Vulcan.
Once we open the chest...
"Your sorrow, anger, and pain are my strength! Observe my might and despair of life, fools! I will greatly enjoy your painful deaths!"
Okay, so this is Dark Force.
For comparison, this is what Dark Force looked like in Phantasy Star I...
... and here's his design from Phantasy Star II.
Now, obviously he changed a bit between the first and second game, but in both of them he had more or less the same demonic face. Making the face look like some bald guy with fangs in PSIII really wasn't an improvement. Also, in neither of the first two games did he have a second face in his crotch.
There are actually three targets in this battle: Dark Force's left and right hands, and the main body. The body can't be attacked in melee until you've killed one of the hands, and has pretty much the same bag of tricks as Rulakir: a powerful physical attack or a Tsu technique that hits the whole party for 60 damage.
The hand on the left (your left, not his) has 1200 HP and can hit a single character with a somewhat weaker physical attack or Foi technique, while the hand on the right can heal all three targets with Gires. Both hands have insanely high defense, so Wren's Nei Shot will be the best damage-dealer for the first part of the fight. Focus on the healing hand until it dies, then kill the other hand.
The main body has 8000 HP, but its defense sucks, so you'll do hundreds of damage with each attack.
As long as you keep healing up with Gires and don't do something stupid, you'll kill Dark Force in no time.
"Oh well, I'll do it next time -- in 1,000 years!"
Dark Force disappears!
This is, I'm sure, the moment you've all been waiting for. Not because you want to see Dark Force defeated, or peace restored, but because you want to see--
-- wait, what?
A lot of you who are familiar with this game know the corny line that each third-generation protagonist shouts at the end: "This evil city is too evil to leave standing!" Turns out there's only one "evil", and the line somehow got widely misquoted on the internet. (Yes, I've checked the other characters' endings: it's always the exact same line. No superfluous "evil" in any of them.)
So sorry to disappoint you all.
Anyway, we finally get to see Adan use Megido -- in a damn cutscene. Woo-fucking-hoo.
"Hurry, we've got to get out of here!"
"There's no time, we'll never make it!"
The entire party was instantly transported to a place of safety far from the falling city.
Oh, hey, we also get to use that other technique we learned and could never use before, in the same damn cutscene. Smashing.
... it fell from the sky and sank deep into the lake.
"We're moving away from it now!"
"The people of Aerone moved us away!"
"There's a message coming in."
We're once again back on our original course. Without you, Dark Force would have prevailed. We're going toward the brightest star up ahead. We're heading for one of its planets -- the third one out from the star. It is perfect for us. At last we're nearing the end of our journey!
Yeah, that's the ending. That's all you get. Roll credits.
And yes, the planet the Alisa III has found is supposed to be Earth. I'll have more to say about that in the upcoming bonus update.
Unfortunately, you guys voted for the path that leads to the lamest of the four endings (not that the others are that much better). Next time, I'll wrap this thread up with a bonus update showing the differences between Adan's path and the other three third-generation options. Stay tuned!