Part 22: PART TWENTY-ONE: NOTHING IS EVER STRAIGHTFORWARD IN A LINEAR RPG
For my next deed of heinous evil...
PART TWENTY-ONE: NOTHING IS EVER STRAIGHTFORWARD IN A LINEAR RPG
Last time, we once again decided against supporting local inn owners. Also, Jut.
: Actually this is no time for niceties. Look at this weather.
: It's not snowing in the town. I don't see what's so bad.
: H-h-h-haven't I m-m-made it c-c-clear that you're n-n-not allowed to t-t-talk about the c-c-cold?
: great Bishop that has lived for over a thousand years...I haven't met him myself, but that's what they say.
: Uh huh...I have heard that being rumored...
: Oh, come on, what sort of sap believes that some one could live for that long?
: Oh, uh, right.
: ...Chaz, this is our alphabet.
: kept making stupid jokes all the time. I haven't seen him around recently, but I really liked him!
: north. The building in the middle of town, now that's different.
: Well, it does kinda look like a dive from out here.
: Boy, aren't you the tactful one!
: Or else?
: We feel slightly guilty about it.
: There's quite a lot of them.
: Yes, almost as if it were a cold climate of some sort.
: Far be it from me to question your judgement, reverent Lutz, but why is he your chosen one, again?
: No one comes to this temple. But, that's all right. There's one who has the faith.
: Chaz, I don't think we can explain it to you in any more ways than we already have.
: What wimps to stay indoors just because of a little bit of wind like this.
: But this region has especially harsh snow storms. I don't blame them. Though, at least they get to wear pants.
: We get the point already, you want pants.
: Oh, I knew I forgot to grab something at the mansion!
: Aw, come on!
: Uh...I didn't know there was one?
: There's a wall of ice around it and you wouldn't be able to get through!
: Wall of ice? Things I can't reach? This sounds like a challenge! Let's go! Come on guys!
: But we have to get to Garuberk Tower and save Raja and the villagers!
: Ah, they'll be fine.
: This is the hero I've chosen. Dear god, I really am the worst Lutz ever.
: that protects us. It's said that it has been burning without fail for a thousand years.
: Wow! How romantic!
: I don't know about that. It seems pretty eerie to me. Like....a g-g-g-ghost flame!
: That Dezolian appears to be jogging in place. Should we assist him?
: I can't move forward at all.
: ...I do not comprehend.
: It's just that they don't co-exist because of their different life styles stemming from religious beliefs.
: Hey, it's not like I'm opening your cabinets without your permission!
: Well, I'll accept what you say and let you in. But since you've opened the door, could you also close it? It's cold outside!
: Actually, there's a string inside it, so it won't get blown away.
: Yeah, yeah, whatever, I see a shiny weapon sign!
: Yay! Legendary swords are mass-produced now!
: Yes, but a teenaged girl didn't swing this one around, so it doesn't count.
: Teenaged? So, then, if Rika were to swing this around, would it become super-legendary?
: Where the hell did you get this brand of stupid? Weren't you somewhat intelligent when we left Motavia?
: The cold may be impairing his ability to process information. That is why I have been rather silent, myself.
: So what we have in stock is all that there is. It's first come first served while supplies last!
: Thank god I bought that sword when I did!
: Er...though now we can't afford more Reflect Mail. Sorry Rika...
: Don't you worry, Chaz. Monsters tend to focus on you more anyway.
: the entire town!
: ...wait, what? When did we get here?
: On the other hand, with this storm, it's kind of worrisome. I wonder if it will fall?
: Wow, man. Just...wow.
: Then why build a two-story house?
: Hey, it's that place that we don't use anymore! Bye!
: Now let's go get us some loot!
: From a theoretical building that may or may not exist, which may or may not even be a hut from the complete lack of description we were given? Okay, yeah, sure. That's a good plan.
: A hut, huh? Some space Jesus you are.
: Who the hell ever said I was supposed to be clairvoyent?
: You mean you're not? This is even more disappointing!
: What on earth is this place?
: This is a weapon plant Mother Brain constructed a thousand years ago. For a long time it was an unnecessary facility, so all it's functions were shut down, but...It looks like it has been producing automatic weapons according to orders from Kuran for about half a year.
: So, we'll be in trouble unless we shut this place down?
: No. When Zelan recovered, the production of weapons ceased. There should be no problem leaving this place as it is.
: So...for six months they've been mass-producing weapons.
: That is correct.
: So this place is probably crawling with dangerous machines just waiting to escape and wreak havoc?
: ...that may be a possibility.
: And yet this somehow never ocurred to you as a problem?
: I surmised that we had more pressing issues at hand. Still, perhaps an investigation here would not be fruitless. Let us proceed.
: How does he keep swinging from terminally ignorant to being clever enough to persuade an AI?
Welcome to the weapon center. I'll spoil it right now; there's no bosses, and no real 'end' to the area. It's just kinda here. It's also full of treasure and EXP-filled robots ripe for Thunderclawin'. And of course, there's more pointless elevator crap. I guess they could build planetwide stabilization and control systems for the entire solar system, but the idea of multiple floor elevators escaped them.
Okay, now we can get started.
Unfortunately, these assholes are in the way. These guys are annoying because they have a really high evade, and with Rune having only one Tandle at the moment, I don't have any particularly powerful spells to abuse on them. It's a bit of a slog whenever they show up.
But, I guess having another multi-hit attacker isn't so bad after all.
Down we go again!
It may look overwhelming, but there's nothing to the south, and eventually the other two paths circle into eachother anyway. And there's no treasure to be had. So, just go north.
And then, shockingly, to the right here.
You'll have to hit this switch to get the conveyor belt moving in the right direction.
You'll then reach this elevator, which you should take.
Oh, here's some fun! Kill one of the arthropods.
The other one will leap in to the air, and the Wiredine will stretch out...
...and they'll combine into a Lifedeleter!
With shoulder rockets! Thankfully, with Deban out they only did 13 damage, tops. Still, these guys can be dangerous if you let them, and Wren had to use at least four sparks on it before it would actually work.
They give really good experience, though, if you really want to be fussy, it's no more than what you'd get from two or three other fights in this area.
: This is the Burst Roc unit. It is a long range semi-automatic weapon that fires heat energy bursts. It is compatible with my electronics. I shall install it immediately.
: You're the best toy ever!
: Device installation complete. Burst Roc is now ready for use.
Hmm. Is it just me, or does anyone else here the "arms installation is complete" voice from Axelay when Wren says that?
Anyway, let's set up some macros! Shooting Star, for example!
Oh yes, that's good too. Circuit Breaker! Instant kill to all robots!
Ever the stubborn one, I ignore the 'items don't work' information and try to get Grand Cross to work. It doesn't.
Also, Efess and the like deal a whopping 1 damage to machines. Yaaaaay.
Alright, back on the conveyor belt floor, go left from the elevator until you hit...uh...another elevator. Fuck Mother Brain's inane blueprints.
Yeah, that was sure exciting, huh?
Alright, we're almost done. To the right for now!
Wheeee! Pointless moving platforms!
And an elevator.
But it does get us the next single-shot rifle for Wren, so that's cool.
Alright, now the left side. Wheeeeee.
Up or down we go. I can't tell anymore.
Armor for Wren. I can't argue with that, as he's the point man.
Oh, yeah, and this terminal infinitely dispenses repair kits. The machines down here are never, ever going to fall apart now. Why would Wren leave them here?
However, that's it! We're done here!
I'll spare you the escape and spaceport healing crap, and just show you what I'll waste my meseta on next. The Laconian claw will replace the Thunderclaw on Rika for now, as there won't be any robots where we're going next.
: Golly, that sure is swell of you.
: Torch, the symbol of Dezolisian belief, but also we are the central government.
: that stood here in the past.
: Are you saying this is an object of worship?
: Repeatedly, I believe.
: Yay! Basement raid! But, we've got too much crap. Goodbye, free repair-kits!
(There's one of each Dew item and a Trimate. However, we put the trimate back for now.)
: Please go back.
: to ashes all that is unclean.' That is the legend of the Eclipse Torch.
: But the light of the Eclipse Torch cured me in moments! That is truly a holy flame.
: Yadda yadda. Let's go upstairs!
: And yet, you guys once traded an Eclipse Torch for one.
Yup, you can't just take it. Nope, you have to ask nicely!
: The holy flame is something that should not go beyond this gate! Even if it is the wisth of Lutz, to lightly lend out the torch, it is not acceptable to me!
: Boy, you just don't get it do you! Didn't I explain the situation?
: No, you didn't.
: The future of the entire Algo system is hinging on this!
: Won't do, won't do! What can't be can't be! Huh? What's that?
: I'll take that, thank you very much!
: What the heck do you think you're doing?!
: Ha, ha, ha, ha! We are beings who live in the Air Castle!
: Yaaaaaay, flying castle! Shiny ball thing!
: Shut up! Hey, you...the one dressed in white! If you're Lutz, you remember, don't you?
: You know who will be waiting for you at the Air Castle!
The two side minions then switch spots with a silly afterimage effect, and the torch is gone.
: I'll take possession of the Eclipse Torch!
: I wanna touch the thingy!
: If you want it back, then come and get it! That is, if you don't mind losing your life!
: Ha, ha, ha, ha!
: I don't get it!
: Hey guys wait for me or I'll tell mom!
: The flame which we hold holy has been stolen...It's my punishment for being so narrow-minded! Oh, how am I to bear the responsibility for this...
: Don't get so depressed!
: It was taken by force. It's not your fault. Well, okay, so if you hadn't been a total douchebag we'd still have the damn thing and I wouldn't have to deal with the Air Castle again, but, you know.
: All we have to do is go and retrieve it!
: Oh, oh, would you really? Th...thank you very much!
: But in exchange, you'd better lend it to us after we recover it!
: Oh, oh, of course...yes! No question about that!
: Rune, about the Air Castle? You said you know about it.
: Oh yes. It's in Lutz's memory, to be precise... It's a castle that floated in the skies of the planet Parma a long, long time ago!
: The planet Parma! In that case, it would have been destroyed a thousand years ago!
: The planet Parma exploded, and there's only an asteroid belt left where the planet used to be.
: Could it be that miraculously, the Air Castle survived, and even now it's in the midst of the asteroids?
: The probability of that is very low. At any rate, I will check it out with the sensors on the Landale.
: Rune, I have one more question...Who is that 'Person' those witches were talking about?
: The first generation Lutz and his companions fought a man in the Air Castle...That man's name was Lashiec!
: Is that who they mean? Should I know who that is? Because I don't.
: Lashiec was defeated by the first generation Lutz! Though, I think he may have been unconcious when it actually happened, but, you know, he was frail. I don't know what we'll find until we get there.
: Then there's only one thing to do...
: Level grind!
NEXT TIME ON PHANTASY STAR 4
The fucking Air Castle.
More importantly, Wren's finally got a new attack! For some inexplicable reason, Burst Rocket counts as a Wind attack like Zan or Hewn; I guess the rockets explode in midair and it's the shockwave from the blast that does damage. It only does slightly more damage than Flare, but hits all enemies.
Fun fact about the Elast-Gear and Elast-Armour: they're supposed to give a 50% resistance to physical attacks, but because of a bug in the way physical resistance is handled, they only have this effect if Wren is attacked during a surprise round. Once the party actually gets a turn, the resistance is lost for the rest of the fight and they're just a little better than Wren's previous set of protective gear.
On the subject of actual plot stuff, the Corona Tower was mentioned in this update. I think I've talked a bit about it before, but it's where the party went in Phantasy Star 1 to get the Eclipse Torch, a sacred flame lit during a solar eclipse. As you saw in the latest update, the Eclipse Torch is -- well, was -- still at the same site.
In Phantasy Star 1, the Air Castle was the home of the evil king Lashiec (Lassic), who was offered immortality by Dark Force in exchange for ruling Algo with an iron fist and helping to create monsters to plague the lands. This must have seemed like a pretty sweet deal until Alis broke into his castle and killed him. The castle was floating in the sky above Palma and hidden from sight by Lassic's magic, so let's hope the Landale's sensors aren't fooled by illusions.
The Air Castle is the hardest dungeon in PS4 by a considerable margin, which means it's about as hard as the easiest dungeons in PS2 or a moderately hard dungeon in PS1. Oddly enough, the Air Castle in PS1 was actually one of the simpler dungeons in terms of layout.
This is the part of the game where it starts hating you, but only if this game were any earlier in the series. The next dungeon would have at least 15 floors, and every encounter (which would occur no more than 5 steps away from the previous one) would be a life or death struggle. And there would be no healing tiles. For good measure, the loot would be mostly useless, aside from one, out-of-the-way chest that looks impossible to get to unless you dropped down 13 floors and has a moderately good weapon for someone who isn't intended to be fighting every round.
However, since the creative minds stopped hating their fans, the Air Castle here was reduced from pure RAGE-inducing to mildly annoying. If your levels are sufficient (30~35), your biggest troubles will be navigating the maze of corridors and the two boss encounters. If I recall, 3 of the very best items in the game can be found here. These include a GenocyClaw (Genocide Claw, I'd guess, has a chance of insta-killing an attacked enemy) for Rika, a Swift-Helm for Chaz, and a Pow-Shield (Power Shield, which might actually come later, I don't even remember.). Both of the armors here can be used as an item to receive an appropriate effect (The Swift Helm casts Ner on the user, and the Pow-Shield casts Shift on the user)
This is the first area in the game where I move Wren to 2nd position and bump Kyra into the lead, and equip her with the Plasma Field found in the Climate Control center. Combined with her natural resistance to tech damage from her moderately high MTL stat, many enemies will have trouble doing significant damage to her. This tactic may also work in the Garuberk Tower , but I haven't tried it yet since the encounters there gave me less trouble.
In any case, if you're playing along, prepare yourself for the longest, and most difficult dungeon in the game. And be sure to set your Macros; you'll want one for clearing out groups, a defensive "buffing" macro (Mine has Rika leading with Saner, Wren 2nd with Barrier, Kyra 3rd with Warla, Chaz 4th with any strong offense, Rune 5th with either using the Psycho Wand or a strong attack), one for any combination attacks you plan to use, and finally one to deal very heavy single-target damage.