Part 28: Headless Angels
When we left off, it was just before embarking on the pathway to the Dark Castle. The first room, featuring a mutilated statue of the Goddess.
Lesser demons are now a thing, as well as high level gremlins. The lesser demons take a good bit longer to kill than anything else.
This is the world's ugliest light switch. It makes the entire area much more navigable, and actually lets you find your way through some other method than stumbling toward slightly lighter patches of the wall.
A few steps down the road Jagan, and a quick tumble down a pit. You'd think our characters would be smarter than that, but you'd be wrong.
"The Dark Prince wanted met o convey to you his gratitude "
"Please.. it's not right you can't monologue at someone when they're already down "
"Eh? I figured it was the least I could do to thank you after you went and defeated all the God-Beasts for us."
"Hehehe, precious children I will explain everything to you now."
"I promise I'll be brief."
"Now, we can finally merge our two worlds together, under the leadership of the Dark Prince!"
"You did your part to advance our cause and now you may die here, with honor!"
"Nice and to the point. Also, we'll see about that."
Boss Fight: Jagan
Jagan Battle Video
Jagan's one of the few bosses who doesn't get a special introduction other than his initial monologue. Once he finishes talking the battle starts, with little to no transition. He's seen here using his trademark attack, PsychoWave, which does some damage and pushes your group back so you have to take a short break from murdering him.
In many ways this fight is very similar to Gorva on the Ghost Ship, and Jagan has pretty much all of the same abilities, including Ghost Road. The difference is that in this fight we can actually reach the enemy. This helps considerably.
He also brings the lately ubiquitous DeathSpell to the party, although thankfully he doesn't use it all that often. For the most part all of your problems with Jagan can be solved by zapping his magic and applying Saint Saber.
"Idiot. You couldn't defeat the God-Beasts, and you're surprised that three people who beat every single one destroyed you?"
"Go ahead and set up a tea party in Hell when you get there, because you'll have company soon."
Moving on from the pit we start running into a new set of enemies, most of which are things we've seen before in one form or the other. Not pictured - Nightblades and Petit Tiamats.
"It doesn't look ANY closer, despite all the progress we've made."
"Maybe that's a completely different castle and the one we're looking for is just on the other side of the mountain where we can't see it from here."
"I'm pretty sure there's only the one castle."
The pathway inside the second door has a brief and interesting area right here. Translucent walkway made of who knows what? No explanation is given.
We've finished out our spell lists, by the way, and picked up a few interesting spells. You've all seen Turn Undead by now, but Hawk and Lise each have something new. Hawk has picked up the Black Rain spell that we've seen a few times, but Lise's spell is really unique. Marduk doesn't do a whole ton of damage, but he does a good bit and can also inflict silence on entire groups of enemies. It's pretty useful for shutting down troublesome groups of enemies.
"Why do you think it's just the head and arms? Why even keep the statue around?"
"They're not very creative about their desecration."
" how are we here already? We've only been walking for a few minutes since the last time we saw this place in the distance."
"See, I told you. Other side of the mountain."
"Something isn't right here."
"Say what you like about them, they've got a solid sense of decor."
"If you call open flame pits decoration, sure."
Enemies in the Dark Castle are another step up the ladder. High Wizards like to use group magic spells, but aren't particularly tough. The Golden Unicorns aren't that hard to deal with either, as they'll mostly stay still if you don't get too close to them. We've also got another animated sword type and an armored knight. The interior of the castle is characterized by walls of flame that disappear once you clear a room.
There are also two greater demons tucked away in rooms down each wing of the castle. They're very similar to lesser demons, but are otherwise fairly unremarkable.
By far the most dangerous enemies in the castle are the Dark Lords. When one is around it's absolutely imperative that you keep your HP up in order to avoid this outcome.
At any rate, once we've defeated both Greater Demons the flame walls at the base of the stairs go out and we can climb up
So we can pull a switch and open a door downstairs, then trek back down through some enemies to proceed. Thanks, Seiken Densetsu.
We're actually just past the entrance of the castle. The doorway opens out into a courtyard before we make our way further into the depths.
The enemies are different here as well, although right now nothing new is showing its face. One oddity is that you start to see new spells in use like summoning of ChibiDevils and Lesser Demons using light magic to heal themselves. Power Boulders are upgraded versions of the enemies we got all the ??? seeds from with one really interesting attack.
They cast a spell called Death Roulette that randomly cycles through and picks somebody to do 999 damage to. No indication if they can kill themselves with the spell, but it wouldn't surprise me. Either way, the look on Hawk's face when he gets hit with it is priceless.
Speaking of priceless expressions, the throne room is nothing more than a trap with a pit directly in front of the throne. Our adversaries don't even have the common courtesy to sit in the throne and taunt us before we fall. At the bottom, we've got an old friend waiting for us.
Boss Battle: Full Metal Hugger, 2nd Edition
Full Metal Hugger 2 Battle Video
Full Metal Hugger is the same guy we knew and loved at the very beginning of the game, albeit slightly more transparent. I don't know if there's any meaning to this, but it seems to cause some substantial slowdown.
He's still got Eye Beams and Holy Ball for single target attacks, and they haven't scaled at all well and aren't threatening. That is actually a fairly decent analogy for this boss, all things considered.
Bubble Breath and Dive Attack are similarly non-events. Just as previously, he starts to lose eyes as we do more and more damage to him. I wish that more bosses had this kind of tell, as it gives you an idea of where you are in a fight.
All that said, he hasn't aged well in the course of the game. Without expanded or more powerful attacks, the Full Metal Hugger is basically a giant ball of HP that we have a lot more tools to dismantle. Even once he's gone, though, we've only just begun the final dungeon.