The Let's Play Archive

Phantasy Star 4

by meteor9



Last time, this is where we were at.

About a half hour later, our current stats.

Along the way, Rika picked up Nares, Kyra learned the defense buff skill Warla and Gigra, Rune learned the holy attack skill Efess,

which finally lets the Grand Cross skill work, and Chaz learned Nathu, solidizing his role as the holy warrior of light and justice and all that crap.

Now let's get back to that 'saving the universe' stuff Rune keeps whining about.

: I'm getting something. Although very slight, it is definitely something.

: Well that sure narrows it down.

: Can you get it on the screen?

: I will try.

: That's the Air Castle alright!

: It has a spooky atmosphere.

: Hopefully it has any atmosphere.

: Ooooh, are you getting a little scared? Huh, Chaz?

: Don't...don't be ridiculous! We're going in!

Frankly, Chaz has every right to be wary of this place. Now, our party at the moment is ridiculously overpowered, or at least it feels that way to me, but if one hasn't planned ahead for this place, it can actually be pretty brutal. There's a whole crapload of branching paths and indoor/outdoor areas that force a screen change and multiple floors and all that sort of crap.

But since we ARE overpowered, we're going to trash the hell out of it and make it our bitch.

: Gravity is normal and there is a breathable atmosphere.

: Thank god you waited until after we got off the ship to tell us, Wren.

: This is clearly an artificial condition.

: They seem to be expecting us. Huh!

: You were there when they deliberately told us to come get the torch, right?

So, the Air Castle.

US Strategy Guide's maps.

In case you're wondering, the US strategy guide for this game completely forgoes making screenshot maps of this area. At first I just figured they were lazy, what with how shitty the guide is overall, but having attempted it myself, I can't say I blame them. I can blame them for having multiple sections facing the wrong directions and for messing up what kind of Dew is in a later treasure box.

Welcome to hell.

And, uh, hell's entry foyer.

Hell's indoor lava garden?

Oh, hey, it's the three stooges again. Only they're flickery.

: They're illusions?

: It's not just any illusion... There's an invisible barrier!

: So that means we've got to find the real thing and defeat them!

: What about using the Psycho Wand to dispell any barrier?

: The what wand?

: The Psycho Wand! It was a big deal back on Motavia and everything!

: I think it'd be more fun to beat up those three idiots.

: Ugh...

So, uh, don't go over here. It's just a dead end. That happens a lot in this place.

Over here is preferable, though.

Now, what you see here is me attempting to make some maps of my own, if only to make this place easier to understand.

Unfortunately, I gave up after three of them because I figured you guys might want this update sometime this month.

Anyway, grab the 1000 meseta and head to the north exit.

Oh, hey, Dimension Worms. These guys are fucking everywhere in this place. They only have 4 HP, but they only take 1 HP damage from all non-holy physical attacks and cast Gra, which can hurt four times in a row.

Luckily, Rune has a free Efess button. It'll only deal 40 damage regardless of what he's fighting, but that's ten times what we need for these guys.

So, we've already got the best single heal tech, the best single light tech, the best fire and ice techs, and finally, we have the best gravity tech. Yeah, we might be slightly overpowered.

One of hell's many courtyards. There's lots of little nooks and crannies, but the only way to really go is straight up.

Here's map attempt 2. Notice the missing floors and walls. Regardless, just grab the treasure and head for the stairs.

Ah, Stoneheads. I cannot even begin to understand what the design process on them must've been like. They're similar to Bladerights and the like in that one head attacks and the other uses a flamethrower.

From here, the hall u-turns and leads directly back outside.

Ugh, look at this mess. The outdoor areas aren't actually all that bad, but they just look like they should be confusing, and that doesn't help much.

And, annoyingly, we have to go back south along the wall to the building we started in.

And at this point, I just gave up. And, uh, apparently decapitated Chaz. Sorry buddy.

: Not as sorry as you will be once blood starts flowing to my brain again!

: Which will never happen as long as Rika refuses to put on pants, I assume.

: Hey! This isn't by choice!

Anyway, ignore the stairs, grab the meseta, and then take the southern exit.

Oh, boy, the outer wall again!

And, as usual, the solution is to head left.

Back to hell's indoor lava garden. Lovely.

This path wraps all the way around the whole room. Down below is where the Xe-A-Thouls are refusing to appear in screenshots, and above is a pointless balcony.

Meanwhile, a Spector gives Chaz some pretty mean looks.

This apparently bores Chaz and Rika, somehow, though she manages to gain a level during what must be an amazingly exciting dream.

Oh boy, Trimate. I use this stuff all the time. Totally.  I am lying. 

Finally we make it to the other side of the room. I really hate Parman architecture.

Although, at least it's symmetrical.

Albeit boringly so.

This room is a mirror of the third 'map' I did above. Only, you'll want to take the stairs this time, and the box nearby has 4000 meseta.

Downstairs is some dead ends and a lovely helmet for Chaz that casts a single target Saner when used as an item. It'll probably never come in handy, but, it is better than his current metal hat. Head back upstairs, and go out the northern door.

Another long walk back to the second building. For those of you playing at home, this is screenshot one-hundred-and-forty-fucking-seven of this update so far. This is why it's late. Do not complain or I will throw a prissy bitch fit and threaten to close the thread.

Nah, I'm just kidding. I am your willing slave.

Things are slightly different here. Going up goes to the rest of the castle. Going in the door on the right, though...

...gets us Rika's instant-death claw! Hooray, Air Castle!

Alright, back outside and to the north.

Personally, I think La Shiec built it this way just to piss me off two thousand years later. At least there's no flying snakes living in any houses this time, I guess.

And here's the mirror of the second map graphic I put together.

Only the treasure in here is fucking worthless. Heading outside through the south door, now.

Yay! The main courtyard! We're a third of the way finished!

So, clearly the best thing to do is head south towards the entrance.

Well, I'm not being sarcastic this time. There's a free healing panel in here. Just to the south are the illusionary stooges, for reference.

Alright, on the north end of the courtyard is yet another purple mess. Also, another illusionary wall.

To hell with them, though. We're going left.

As far as I remember, and as far as the shitty Strategy Guide maps can tell, there's nothing on the right, so don't bother unless someone else in the thread says to and I've in turn missed a super special grilled cheese awesome item or something.

Yay, more branching. At least the screen centers on you in this game, and doesn't block off half of your view with sped up parallax wiring like some OTHER mazelike Phantasy Star I know.

This is another dead end. Don't bother.

This is not.

: Ah, there's nothing like a breath of magical, summoned-by-an-evil-wizard fresh air while overlooking the empty void of space.

: You know, that makes me worry. La Shiec may decide to mess around with the air around here.

: Ah, don't worry. In all honesty La Shiec wasn't exactly the smartest crayon in the drawer. He just had a really mean lightning stick and a lot of hit points. I'm sure he's standing around in one place giggling to himself about how evil he is by making us go on a small fetch quest, too busy to actually plot anything.

South of my improvised conversation is this stairway, which you should take because I told you to, damn it.

Skip this stairway for now.

Much better. Now go upstairs.

Another 'loop around the floor you were on previously' room! Yay!

You'll want to take this first northern passage. There's a stairway leading to some Sol-Dew, and that's always nice. Afterwards, come back and go through the doorway and take the stairs you can kinda see in this shot.

From here, go left.

Congratulations! We've finally fucking made it somewhere! Go on in!

: These guys aren't flickery! Can we hit them with things now?

: Be my guest.

BOSS FIGHT: XE-A-THOUL x3 (Gamevee Viddler)

: You've come! However...

: Ha, ha, ha, ha! We have no use for anyone but Lutz!

: Ha, ha, ha, ha! I just want to fit in!

: Silence! And we have only one use for him. The Lutz, that is. Ha, ha, ha, ha!

: Will you quit it with the slow comma'd laughter already?

: We will mutilate and kill him with these very hands!

Welcome to the first of many really painful boss fights here in the latter half of the game. Each of these guys can potentially cast full-party targetting attack spells, which is pretty damn bad.

Worse, if you're underleveled or at least average leveled, they'll often forgo their turns and use this combination attack. Normally it's absurdly powerful, but if you can survive it, it means that at least they didn't use Zan three times in a row on you.

: Hyper Team Delta Combination Attack!

Luckily, like almost everything else in here, they are very vulnerable to light based attacks. Rayblade, Efess, and the Tsu family do quite a lot of damage.

Of course, heavy artillery hurts too.

With one dead, they can no longer use their combination attack. They could still both cast Zan, though, and that would suck if they remembered to do so in this fight, which apparently they didn't.

With her Silver Tusk, Rika is absolutely demolishing everything in the castle, these guys included.

And for good measure we shoot lightning at the last guy.

Yay! Rika and Rune gain levels, but no abilities.

Blessedly, behind them is yet another room with a healing panel.

Ideally, at this point you'd Hinas your way back to the ship and go back to one of the planets to save. However, we don't really need to right now. But we will still use Hinas.

Why would I make myself go all the way back to the beginning? Simple.

Because it's a direct line to the basement from there.

This area is interesting, but also not worth screenshotting. It's an exact replica of the PS1 Air Castle layout, where you go down five floors and then come back up five identical floors to reach the end. You can see the lower floors underneath, which is kinda nice.

This is on the third floor.

There's also a lot of Bladerights, Frostsabers, and our old buddy Chaos Sorceror down here. They're all vulnerable to Rika's occasional insta-kill claw, as you can see here.

On the bottom you'll find some Star-Dew. Sadly, it's time to part with the Wood Cane, as a single target 30hp heal is pretty damn worthless now.

There's no other treasure, so here we are at the top again, only on the other side.

: Is is just me, or is it really warm all of a sudden?

: I fear my systems may be overheating soon.

: Holy shit, that's a stupid amount of lava.

: he in the box?

: Probably not. That's Dark Force's gig, after all.

: Yay! Is it supposed to be ghostly and hitting me?

: Probably not.

: Oh no! This torch is a fake!

The best they could throw at us is Warren Spector with 180 or so HP. Really now.

: Aw, and I liked Deus Ex.

: Hey! Plebes! Turn around and bow before your gigantic rotting new overlord!


: So it was Lashiec after all!

: Heh, heh...I've waited...I've waited for this moment! For all my life! Hold on!

: You've been waiting in the basement?

: So what if I am?!

: Just be honest; This is your mother's castle, isn't it? You just never moved out.

: Silence! I'm just saving up money for a while before I find a decent place for myself!

: Lashiec! Why are you that?

: For revenge! Lutz, you...and all who are helping you...will suffer endless pain! I'll kill you all! I'll make you like me, like...this!

: You're gonna make us giants? Cool!

: Chaz! Honestly, now!

: You too will become tortured souls who can never leave my castle!

: Your mother's castle, you mean.

: So that's why you lured us here? Sounds kinda...dumb.

: Heh, heh...Oh joy! You have responded to my invitation...I've waited two thousand years to cut your throats!

: Here he comes! If you're two thousand years old, look out! He might cut you!

: Dracula! I mean, La Shiec! In the name of the Lutz, I will defeat you again!

Lassic does not have any attacks that hit only one person, unless you count Possession. But that's just a sleep spell that hardly ever lasts longer than the turn he uses it in.

So, yeah. Lassic is pretty keen on killing everyone as fast as he can.

His most powerful attack is Another Gate, which presumably involves opening a gate to the dark world where Dark Force lives for whatever reason. It shoots black balls and makes the world wiggly.

And because Kyra and Wren were too slow on setting up defenses, Rune drops dead, while everyone else is pretty damn close to it.

Thankfully a quick Moon-Dew fixes up Rune in time for La Shiec to whip out his boomstick. It, too, hits everyone, but thankfully not hard enough to kill Rune, even at 30 hp.

: I've got eyes in the back of my head!

The fight just kinda slogs on, with Rune and Kyra occasionally trying to squish La Shiec.

With Rika out of TP, things could quickly go bad on account of all the party attacks. Thankfully we've still got Star-Dews.

When he's nearly dead, La Shiec will use Reinforce and raise all of his stats.

Which is pretty futile since we still have the buff-erasing Psycho Wand.

Unfortunately you can't trick him into an infinite Reinforce loop, and he instead shoots lightning at everyone.

However, it's also futile, as Rika guts him with the Silver Tusk.

Go Numan experience curve!

: You may have defeated me, but you'll never get...

: The Eclipse Torch?!

: Right! That's it! Also, ow, my hand!

: If you're just going to stand around talking, then I'm actually going to make myself useful.

: We've done it! We've retrieved the Eclipse Torch! And killed a legendary villain again, I guess.

: I'm melting! Melting! Who would have thought that living in a lava pool would do that?

: But, even now, I will not die! I will reincarnate over and over again.

: Will it take 2000 years every time?

: I must work for Him! As long as He exists, I will continue to bring calamity to the future of Algo!

: What, by introducing minor inconvieniences on it's heroes? Oh you devil, you.

: The air castle is crumbling! It would appear that La Shiec was a load bearing zombie.

: We've got to escape quickly!

: Wait, hold on, I'm not melting after all! It's just really hot in here!

: Oh, for fuck's sa-

: If you think about it, he's pretty pathetic.

: Two thousand years old, and he still never moved out.

: I left home at one, so I feel an extra sense of smugness about this!

: but a puppet!

: Almost as if he was being controlled with a Sega Genesis controller...

...what? Don't look at me like that, game.

: Enourmous power? Who is the 'He' Lashiec mentioned?

: Is it...Dark Force?

: He hasn't been destroyed yet?

: Can we just worry about getting home for now? I'm beat...

: Now approaching the planet Dezolis. Prepare for landing.


The squishy tower!

Thuryl posted:

Oh, and it blew my mind when I first realised that the last part of the Air Castle was a recreation of the Air Castle from PS1. It's pretty impressive that they displayed that kind of attention to detail, considering that PS1 has first-person dungeons so most people won't even twig to what the Air Castle's layout was anyway.

Anyway, there's not much more to say about this update that hasn't been covered already. Lassic was the villain of PS1, Alis killed him, he came back, now he's dead again. Woooo.

Sartak posted:

Purgatory Boss #11: Xe-A-Thouls

This boss fight is probably the closest I've come to losing without actually losing. It takes something like eleven minutes to kill all three. It doesn't help that I'm underleveled. My Kyra doesn't even have Warla but meteor9's does. I more than make up for that before Lashiec as you'll see.

The strategy is, of course, to kill one as quickly as possible. This prevents their powerful Thunderblast combination attack. Apparently, it takes only one of them to use Thunderblast; the other two can still do regular moves. That happens at 2:25. Jerks.

3:25 shows why Medic Power is king.

Though I required less healing, it took longer to kill the second and third Xe-A-Thoul because I had already used up my strongest attacks against the first.

Purgatory Boss #12: Lashiec

The fight does not begin well. I forgot that there's a small fight before him, a spector. He did a lot of damage. Then Lashiec started off with AnotherGate...

Fuck you, ThunderHalliburton. You keep taking away all three of my non-oil-powered healers.

I didn't realize it until just now, reviewing the video, that the Shooting Star combo was doing almost as much as Grand Cross. If I had realized that I would've used Burstroc and Nafoi a lot more.

Notice how much healing I do. The grind paid off. If I had been a few levels lower, I would've had a lot more KO time and probably would have lost.

Finally, I really like the Aircastle/Ladeatower theme.