Part 22: Just a Cute Little Rabbit
The next section of the game is pretty much a boss rush where you can choose which bosses you want to fight. Based on general consensus I'm doing the order we acquired the spirits in reverse when dealing with the God-Beasts. Rather than telling you what direction to go, it just tells you to go out and do it.
Our first destination is the Forest of Wonder, which is actually pretty distinct from the forest where we acquired Dryad. It also looks very, very different when you get on the ground.
We've got a new variety of mushroom and a higher level Porobin. I don't know if their maximum HP booster does very much, since they have no way to recover HP.
There's also some upgraded insects to kill, with Giga Crawler's having enough HP to live through several techniques and giving approximately 50% more experience than everything else.
The enemies in here have some REALLY weird attacks.
The forest is a bit of a maze, but the golden goddess statue is pretty much a dead give away that you're near the end.
The room with no enemies and only one exit is a pretty good indicator too. It's time for our first God-Beast.
God-Beast Battle: Mispolm
Mispolm Battle Video
Although it might be hard to tell just from seeing it, Mispolm is a single target enemy with multiple moving parts. It's actually pretty cool looking, especially as the central pumpkin's face changes throughout the battle.
Mispolm brings back the good old pumpkin bomb, and also has a few status effects to throw at you. Poison is a mild annoyance, but sleep effects can down a character at a crucial point in the battle. It'll also occasionally clear itself of magical effects, so you have to keep re-applying buffs.
Every once in a while one of the side faces will also pick one of your characters up, shake them around, and throw them into the ground. Mispolm really has some fun animations to watch.
Mispolm also has some full-screen attacks that can mess you up a little bit. The second one is so upsetting that even the pumpkin looks like he doesn't care for it.
He also doesn't appear to care for exploding, but that's the way it goes. For some inexplicable reason he's weak to lightning, which we can exploit through Carley's saber spells.
This is the central gimmick of the whole sequence. After you defeat a God-Beast the others become more powerful and the level of the enemies surrounding them also increases by two. This necessitates a bit of leveling up throughout the process just to stay competitive.
The game is also kind enough to throw you out to the entrance of each area, where you can use the Wind Drum to get out. But before that, there's something here that wasn't before...
Cat merchants, bearing new equipment for us.
"He was enthralled by the freedom of the Navarre Thieves Guild and ran away "
"Have you seen him? I'm sure you'd remember him if you had "
"Oh, that guy? Last time we saw him he was ."
"In Altena, I'm pretty sure. You should go there and look for him by the snow fields."
"Really? Thank you so much!"
"Oh my love Anyway, want to buy something?"
"Maybe after we go and have a little talk about geography."
"Nikita didn't like living with us, so he ran away. Anyway, want to buy something?"
"Wow, I thought Hawk was losing it when he called the other girl Nikita, but you look a lot like him."
"I get that a lot. Altena, you said?"
"Uh sure "
The two cats sell weapons and armor respectively, with upgrades to just about everything. It's expensive, but considering that these are about 30 point boosts for the weapon and main armor, it's worth every penny.
Our next destination is the Moonreading Tower, but we can't exactly land there.
Instead, we have to back here and work our way through the forest to where the fight with Lugar took place. Somebody's waiting for us, however...
"Uh hi girls, it's nice to see you. Funny seeing you here so far away from Altena and all."
"Well, we were going to go there looking for Nikita, but Chiquichita said that since you guys seem to know him it was probably just faster to go where you go."
"That's very perceptive of her."
"It doesn't hurt that you guys are pretty good customers, too."
"Too bad you don't have anything new yet."
We've actually already been inside Moonreading Tower, but this time the doors are open and we can climb. It's a lot of repeating environments, and is a bit of a maze if you're wandering about on your own.
The tower is also stuffed to the gills with two types of werewolves and Carmilias, or vampires. The enemies are actually pretty tough, with bloody wolves having a group attack that can do more than 300 damage to the entire group and silver wolves healing themselves for 300 HP and being able to do a similar amount to a single target. Carmilias are pretty much a relief after that, as the worst they can do is lower your max HP temporarily.
About halfway up the tower is a Golden Goddess statue, which is probably a lifesaver if you're trying to find your way without a guide.
Backtracking a bit for leveling I ran across this guy, who's kind of a push-over except for the fact that he can use debuffs on your entire party at once.
The second to last floor of the tower is different from the rest (finally) and has a second Goddess statue to heal your characters before the next battle.
God-Beast Battle: Dolan
Once you cross into the final room you get a message that the God-Beast appears, but he's actually going to take a few seconds to climb up the side. It's a good time to apply some buffs while you're waiting.
Dolan Battle Video
Once he does appear, we're treated to the most terrifying easter bunny in history. I'm thinking Dolan's appearance is related to the story of the rabbit in the moon, with an extra dose of pants-wetting terror for the children.
He's got a number of group attacks that can do some pretty serious damage, and backs it up with claw swipes at single party members.
Most of his attacks are gravity based, with Half Vanish being pretty much his only single-target damage magic. It does exactly what you'd expect, taking half of a character's HP away and leaving you open for a follow-up. He can also turn you into a chibikko for good measure.
When he puts his claws up that's a good opportunity to go ahead and heal, since you can't do any damage anyway. He might boost himself with Moon Saber at some point, but it's not much of a threat. As a note, he's weak to Dryad but we don't have a way to exploit that. Instead, the best option is pretty much to boost attack and defense while using Hawk's attacks to strip away his regular attack, magic power, and defense.
His most annoying attack, Spiral Moon, does pretty decent damage to your entire party while also lowering your max HP. Luckily it goes away.
Once he's taken enough damage, Dolan's arms blow up followed by his body. It's one of the more spectacular deaths yet.
We'll see if he can keep that title, though, as there's plenty of contenders yet to go.