Part 19: Elves. I Hate Those Guys.
"The same forest that's practically a quarter of the way around the world and contains plants that live in perpetual darkness? I think somebody's just screwing with us at this point."
"Lise, has anybody ever told you you're a bit paranoid? It was probably from a seed carried here by some kind of migratory bird or something. Like a swallow."
"Grampa said the elf village Diorre was there. The forest have to have a secret!"
"And I'm pretty sure that there aren't any swallows, either. Sorry Hawk."
The first "secrets" are Mega Crawlers and Porobin Hood, two familiar faces for the mana series. The Proobin hood are particularly annoying because they have a sleep attack that they love to use on your main character.
They're nice enough to have a Golden Goddess statue here, but if you see it at this point you're going the wrong way. None of the paths in this area lead to anything but dead ends or back around to the beginning yet.
Lady Bees are another upgrade in the insect family, and are actually right bastards.
As you can see, one of them is using Lise's level 2 tech here. They also have at least some of her boosting spells, making them something that needs to be killed severely.
This particular area can become very familiar to anyone who doesn't know about this place, as it's a Lost Woods style maze. Going up will take you out, but any other direction just loops back around.
The trick is to come here at night. If you look carefully you can see that the flowers near one exit and in the center are red instead of white. Following the red flowers will take you to the other exit.
I believe that the final exit has you going North, but.. eh, elves. Somehow it ends up with you actually going West.
"Wow, a pair of unmarked graves. That's a hell of a way to welcome people in to town."
"It's probably something innocent like a couple of dead hobos."
Right now we can't talk to anybody in town they just stare fixedly ahead and appear to be running away from us.
Even the shop keepers aren't willing to let greed convince them to talk to us. Naturally the solution is to find the biggest, fanciest house in town and talk to the person there.
"Yup, that's me! Who're you?"
"I see you were too young to remember "
"I really don't like where this conversation is going "
"Are you the Faerie King?"
"I don't understand why would he let you come here ?
"Whadya mean 'let me' come here? I'm 15, for Goddess sake, and I can go where I want."
"15 already? I guess I lost track.. although you only look.."
"Finish that sentence and there might be some elder abuse going on here."
"So that's it You're the ones chosen by the faerie!"
"How does that work, anyway? If you're a faerie and he's the Faerie King, does that mean he's your king?"
"Of course not! He's a faerie and I'm a faerie. You probably just can't hear the difference with your useless human ears. Anyway "
"The Priest of Light raised a powerful magic barrier to protect Wendel against invasion "
"The barrier spell drained his energy he has fallen very ill "
"Leroy and Shayla must be watching us from heaven "
"Your parents were seriously named Leroy and Shayla? Really?"
"What's wrong with that? Those are perfectly fine names!"
"I guess I just expected something a bit more.. mystical sounding?"
"Love between elves and humans is forbidden the Priest and I were against it "
"He said it was a terrible sign of doom and terrible days ahead "
"But Leroy and Shayla were so happy I ended my protest. Then, Carlie, you were born."
"Sadly, Leroy and Shayla left this world shortly thereafter they died without any regrets."
"Other than.. I don't know, leaving behind an orphaned child?"
"What? Oh, yes, yes I imagine they regretted that
"After that, the Priest of Light took you from this village, to raise you in Wendel."
"I decided to hide this village from humans, so that this story would not repeat "
"Papa Mama "
"I.. I need a minute outside."
"Then we have no choice but to obtain the Sword of Mana that's the only way "
"Go to the Goddess statue on the northwest end of the forest."
"Use the power of Luna there, and the path will be revealed. Good luck."
"Thanks really? Leroy and Shayla?"
"Really. Leroy and Shayla."
"I won't cry anymore! Let's go get that Sword and help Heath an' Grampa!"
"Come on! Carlie's fine now! Really! Thanks Faerie Grampa!"
"Carlie My how you've grown. Good luck on your quest."
"Before we go, do you think you could tell the people in your village that we're alright and that they can talk with us?"
"Sure. I'll even make sure to tell the merchants to take your money at completely reasonable prices."
"Like you wouldn't believe filthy savages."
"On the border of that forest is where the Mana Stone is said to be."
"Is it really that much different of a forest? How do you tell the difference if they're right next to each other?"
"The flesh-eating plants and giant animate flowers in the Forest of Wonder kind of give it away."
New town, new equipment. They've got the same deal with having two weapons for each character of very similar power, and have armor and helmet upgrades. I should point out that at this point all of Hawk's helmets are technically pimp hats, complete with feathers.
Somebody mentioned how the shops work with multiple partners. This is what happens when you buy something for a partner. You still have to back out of the menus and switch the lead character to sell their equipment, however.
In addition to giving a modest defense boost, the armor you get here provides a huge boost to Magic Defense. That alone might keep it relevant for a while.
" a tragic mistake that ended up shortening her life as well as Leroy's."
"Carlie your mom wasn't the sharpest arrow in the quiver, was she?"
"I'm beginning to get that feeling. Why didn't she try to turn dad into an elf instead?"
"Well screw you too, buddy!"
" the two who fell in love under a forbidden union. They will forever be together in heaven."
"I was kind of wondering about that why did you bury them outside the village like that?"
"What, bury two humans in OUR village? Are you nuts?"
"Might you be able to find her?"
"We're pretty good at that kind of thing."
For once, the inn at a tiny village that doesn't see any traffic is priced accordingly, rather than being expensive based on its location in the plot.
In a nice touch, now that we know what's going on the graves display who's in which.
Now that we know that there's something here, the Golden Goddess is actually an important landmark. It's also a handy place to restore any HP or MP you're short, because you know what's coming.
"Eh, sure. As long as it doesn't come back to bite us in the ass somehow."
The Forest of Wonder, as you'd expect, has about two screens before we end up at the end of the line here.
Boss Fight: Gildervine
Gildervine Boss Fight
One of the weird things about this boss is that there's no announcement of what it is. The only way to find out is by targeting a spell.. that said, in some ways I find myself loving this boss's design, even though it's fairly ordinary in some ways.
First off, he's immobile. His initial main gimmick is summoning various insect creatures to fight you, all of whom give full experience.
Other than that, Gildervine mostly throws a few weak status effects on you. They can be a bit annoying, but it's nothing that'll really slow you down very much at this point.
The fun starts once you've beaten on him a bit and he pops out some kind of plant dragon.. head thing.
He gets a couple of new attacks at this point. The Pollen Jet is a multi-target poison attack, while Hammer Bean.. doesn't really do very much. Oh, and as for what the spell name is covering here...
There you go. You're welcome. It's the stuff of nightmares, but it's just perfect for this monster.
Luckily the fact that he's explosive makes the terror end fairly shortly afterward. Overall Gildervine isn't a hard boss at all.
"So that's why the plants grew so huge "
"That and being fed on the living blood of sentient beings and the terror of children."
"Thank you all I'm sorry you had to fight the Gildervine just to save me."
"I I can't the last of my power was drained I'll be useless "
"I know it must be hard for you, but please we need your help!"
"Besides, there's like four groups of people trying to force that thing open. It'll probably be open by the time we get there."
"She's right Dryad please help us "
" Thank you for giving me a chance. I'll try "
"That's the spirit! And if you need it we'll get you some plant food or something."
"We should ride Booskaboo to the Island of Oblivion right away! Time's running out "
"Island of Oblivion ?"
"Using an ancient spell, we can control the energy of the eight Stones to open the Gate "
"And how much human sacrifice is involved in this ancient spell?"
"Oh, I'm sure there's hardly any. It'll be fine and the Island of Oblivion is much nicer than it sounds."
"Well, let's hurry "