Part 16: Class Change!
Our first stop now that we've decided on classes is back in the Palo area. Why? Because you don't need the water or fire Mana Stone to change classes, we just need a Mana Stone. The closest and easiest Mana Stone to access is the Wind Mana Stone.
Close your eyes and concentrate!
"Fine, fine, I'm concentrating as hard as I can!"
It's simpler than you would think, really.. a simple one or the other choice.
It's pretty spectacular transformation.
"Nice magical dye job there."
"Yeah, green is definitely your color."
"Oh really? See what your change turns up."
"Wow. Green was one thing, but purple is something else entirely."
"I don't know what you're talking about. Purple is a royal color."
"Well, it's certainly fabulous."
"I decided to go with something a bit more conservative.
"Looks like strawberry blond. I don't know if it works with the red clothing.."
One of the big deals with class changes is that your stats change to the minimum of the new class. As you can see, for Lise this means a big boost in everything except for strength and agility.
Hawk follows the same pattern. That's why it doesn't matter too much how you raise stats in this game. The class change will catch them up no matter what you do.
For Carlie it's a significant boost in her physical output.. although it's still not enough to make her really relevant in physical combat. Still, her attack and evade rate have more or less doubled and her defense has increased by about 50%.
We get new spells with level ups, but new techniques are immediately available. It's hard to get shots, but I love Lise's new technique. It does more than 100 damage to everything on the screen.
Also, I got a chance to test something with a few random treasure chests. Ogre boxes scale to your level, not the level of the enemies that drop them. A level 18 Ogre box is a huge pain in the ass.
"Hmm.. Spot? No, that's no good. Shelly?"
"How about Michelangelo?"
"That doesn't make any sense at all. We should call him Tama."
"He's not responding to anything..fine. Come forth Booskaboo!"
Booskaboo's Theme: Splash Hop
"I guess Booskaboo really is his name."
Going to the snow fields requires a bit of a loop around to the top of the map. It's a bit of a callback to the original Seiken Densetsu/FFA.
Instead of ending up in a frozen wilderness full of monsters, however, we end up directly in town.
It's a mysterious place, full of grandmothers who are always hungry and children who don't know their place.
"I hear the Queen of Reason gets her magic energy from a Mana Stone located there."
"Why does everybody keep saying that to me?"
"I think it's the tube top and the skankerific bared midriff."
"No more ships. It's giant turtles and cannon travel all the way from now on."
"Not for long."
Weapon and armor upgrades. We've barely gotten any accessory upgrades. At times it feels as though they kind of forgot about the accessory slots. This could probably have been a bit more developed.
Duck Ironball is a hilarious name for a weapon. That is all.
The Snowfields are directly south of town. The soundtrack for this area is absolutely great. It's haunting and yet very peaceful at the same time.
The area has a good variety of enemies. Mature pakkun lizards are something we've seen before, but there are also sahagin and seahorses as well.
There's a ton of small rooms that lock you in with three random enemies until you defeat them. It's great for building levels.
Most of the rooms you need to pass through to progress are actually like this. You can't really see it, but there's a pathway to the south out of this area as well as the path to the east where we we entered.
Wizards are a rarer spawn in this area, and are one of the most troublesome enemies. They've got basic elemental spells, and they hurt more than just about any other enemy in the area.
We can hit up the Magic Kingdom of Altena, but..
The gate is shut and isn't opening any time soon.
The Snowfields are an absolute maze, with lots of little hidden paths like this one that don't take you anywhere of substance.
Branching paths like this add to the confusion. The right path here is unremarkable, but the left path
"Well, we really can't know that.. it could be anybody under that armor, after all."
"I think that's kind of beside the point, really.. he's in front of us and he's an enemy."
and the Sword of Mana will be a sacrifice to our great leader, the Dragon Emperor!"
"Geeze, that guy again? We'll have to finish what Richard started."
Boss Fight: Machine Golem 2.0
Machine Golems Second Boss Battle VIdeo
It's these guys again. Contrary to what the screen shot shows, there are actually three of them in this battle. This can be a very rough or very easy fight depending on the preparations you take.
Instead of the various physical attacks, the upgraded Machine Golems have basic elemental attacks that hit the entire party. That's bad enough, but the real dick move is in the AI.
These attacks aren't used on a random basis. They're a counter to the second level techniques we JUST got with the class change. Luckily, Hawk and Carlie can only trigger one of these attacks at once. Being careless with Lise's attack can result in 3 attacks on the entire party that do more than 100 damage to each character. Instant wipe. This party actually works pretty well for this fight and doesn't require any fooling around with the AI settings.
They're setting you up at this point. This line makes it seem like there's going to be a dungeon or something nearby..
But the Labyrinth of Ice Walls is actually a single room. The Snowfields are much more of a labyrinth.
"But, Miss faerie What if we do as the dark knight suggested
" let them open the door for us, and get the Sword before they do?"
"Damn, that's ruthless."
"It's the kind of plan that a villain would come up with."
" and that's causing a chaotic imbalance! The Mana Tree is about to die!"
"The gate may open, but at this rate, there won't be a Holyland left behind it!"
"We can't let Altena continue with its evil agenda We have to find the spirits!"
"So you're not against it on moral grounds, you just don't think it'll work?"
"Pretty much. I'd be all for it otherwise."
"Don't worry We're almost there, let's do our best to finish!"
"What's wrong? Are you ill?"
"But hey, just because I cry a lot doesn't mean I'm weak! I can still help you!"
"Some people could take notes from that "
And with that, we're done here. Next stop: the Valley of Flames.