Part 27: Tricked, Again
You might recall that the last class change took place at a Mana Stone, but that's obviously a bit of a problem now that the seven we know of have all been destroyed. Instead, we have to go back to the Mana Holyland and find the white statue.
The process is the same as before, with this one minor exception. One interesting note is that the items aren't consumed in the class change, meaning I've now got six class change items hanging around. Luckily this game is pretty
Flashes of light
And a nice little note saying that we can't class change any more if you accidentally talk to the statue with someone who's already completed the class change. Another class change would be pretty much unnecessary.
As with the last change we get a completely new set of artwork, in more dramatic poses although Carlie looks like she's going to face plant any second.
Stats are also brought up to the minimum for the class. In this case it makes a bit less of a difference, since with 20 levels to build on most of the primary stats for each character were capped, but it's nice to fill in the holes a bit.
A new class change brings a new sets of techniques, most of which are pretty visually spectacular. They don't get used as often, however, as the charge bar is now longer. Most enemies don't last long enough.
It's been touched on before, but each expansion of a spell to include multiple targets counts as a new spell, and you can only learn one spell per level increase. That means that Lise won't have full use of all of her spells on a group basis until level 42, and won't get anything new until level 43. The other characters are going to start seeing increased functionality a bit more quickly.
Without a barrier to overcome and with no potential of losing stat points, it's time to grind a bit. While doing so I came across this little oddity, a Dark Priest summoning a Great Demon. The demon was significantly tougher than his master and gave far more experience.
As the people of Pedan mentioned, Dark Castle is a bit north of Rolante. This is a point at which your choice of party members affects where you're going. The Mirage Palace and Isle of Glass are the other options.
We can't land directly at the Dark Castle, of course, so we have to land some distance away and make our way through a dungeon before we can even start the final stretch.
The enemies are fairly thematic, considering that Lise is connected to dragons through one of her classes, and Hawk has a prior working relationship with ninjas. That might be reading a bit much into the setup, but it'll be worth considering in the next run.
Ninjas masters are by far the most dangerous enemies in the area, capable of taking more than 2/3 of our current health in a single full screen attack. This is, incidentally, the same technique Hawk just acquired, but they don't have to attack about 10 times before they can use it.
Circling around to gain a few levels brings a couple of new enemies out of the woodwork. They're only mildly problematical compared to the ninjas, however. Eventually, however...
"Looks awfully 'lost forever' to me."
"Why are you so startled? Isn't this what we came to find?"
"You humans have NO sense of drama."
"Oh god, you just had to say that didn't you? 3 2 "
"I really hate it when you're right."
God-Beast Battle: Zable Fahr
Zable Fahr Battle Video
I have no explanation for why we've suddenly been transported to a magical platform, and even less explanation for the two vampire clown faces on either side of the battle. They are, however, our first targets and for once they have separate HP pools and are in fact separate entities.
It's a bit hard to pin down, but it seems as though the head on the right uses dark magic spells pretty much exclusively, although mainly the weaker ones in single target and screen target varieties.
The head on the left, meanwhile, takes a page out of the Alien playbook and mostly attacks you with various things coming out of its mouth.
It has the more varied attacks of the two, although only Dark Blazon is a screen target. They're not THAT dangerous, though, so this phase of the battle will be over pretty quickly did I not mention that this is a two-part battle?
Once you've destroyed both heads a third, center-facing head will appear while the other two regenerate. At this point the battle shifts a bit, as the center head is the actual target you have to destroy to end the fight. You can still destroy the other heads, but if you destroy them both they'll just regenerate.
The center head has a few unique attacks, with Hell Cross being the most dangerous from a group perspective. In this case the Gremlin spell only summons them for a quick attack instead of adding to the battle.
The worst spell on a single target basis is the aptly named DeathSpell, which doesn't bother with any complicated status effects and simply does 999 damage to the target. Luckily, it doesn't get used that often.
Their blank, fixed expressions don't even change as they quietly explode.
"!? Not following you here you mean this thing just popped up and neither you nor anybody else could feel it happening?"
"This is a trap! We've been defeating the God-Beasts in order to release their power "
"Now the Sword of Mana contains the power of all eight!"
"And nobody thought to mention this little flaw in the plan BEFORE we had finished the process of killing every single one of them?"
"I had a lot on my mind, okay?"
"I'm a bit confused by their plan, to be honest. They planned to have us, the three people in the world most interested in killing them, do all the work under the assumption that we'd be able to defeat all 8 of the God-Beasts and not be strong enough to turn around and do the same to them?"
"When you say it straight out like that umm "
"Might as well. We are essentially on their doorstep right now."
Or, at least, most of the way to the doorstep. Somehow that castle makes me think of Castlevania which might be appropriate, all things considered.