Part 29: A Cat? Just Go With It
The basement of Dark Castle is a maze of portcullis and switches, which are fortunately not separated or really hard to find. The only risk is that you might miss them in the clutter of the wall texture.
Feast your eyes on one of the rare occasions when there's actually a chest that doesn't come from a defeated enemy. As one might expect, there's nothing of any real value inside.
The area is also packed full of enemies. Carmilla, if you aren't familiar with classic vampire stories, is the name of a female vampire who starred in a story that predated Bram Stoker's Dracula by 25 years. The name is also tied to the legends of the blood countess, a motif that has been repeated in various video games across the years. At any rate, by wandering through the catacombs we'll eventually come to our next boss.
Boss Battle: Genova 2.0
Genova 2.0 Battle Video
Continuing the theme of repeating earlier bosses, this time we have to deal with Genova. While Genova was a fairly interesting and slightly troublesome boss during its first appearance, that isn't the case now.
Its main gimmick is still spawning a bunch of shapeshifters to keep us distracted. Once you know that they're just a diversion, it becomes very easy to keep focused. I'm not sure if they can use special abilities, but I haven't seen any sign of it.
Traps are still a thing, but thankfully the designers don't seem to have given him any of the more advanced and more dangerous traps.
One possible new development is a few status effect spells, including the ability to chibify or reduce maximum hp. These are distractions at best, however, as he doesn't use them often and they're easily cured once they are used.
Also, Melt Wave as Genova's only real group attack. This might mean that ice saber would speed things up, but they go so fast anyway that I didn't even think to check.
After a few minutes of battering Genova conveniently explodes without doing any damage to the door he was covering, allowing us to proceed.
This brings us back to another section of the main structure, complete with new enemies and flame moats and the rest.
The highlight of this portion was seeing a demon actually use something other than a physical attack as well as getting proof that Death Roulette CAN hit enemies. It's still best avoided, though, as more often than not the odds are not for the player. After climbing a few staircases, we end up with roof access and another repeat performer.
Boss Battle: Tzenker, Once More
Tzenker, Second Time Around
Tzenker somehow makes a return appearance with a new color scheme and practically no new tricks.
Mostly she sticks to wide area wind-based attacks, although supersonic is by far the more dangerous of the bunch. It's also the least frequently used, so at least there's that.
Being a wind elemental boss, she also speeds herself up and has the ability to slow you down, although putting enough attacks in will overcome any deficiencies in accuracy.
By far the most entertaining attack, though, is when she picks up one of your people and drops them. It's about what you would expect a bird boss to do, and they do it so well.
Add Earth Saber and Tzenker goes down like a sack of bricks. I actually had to repeat this fight twice to catch all of her attacks because I killed her too fast the first time.
Right next to the Tzenker battle is a set of stairs leading upward that are currently blocked off suggesting that we have at least one more boss battle to get through before we can climb them.
Going back into the castle on the other side brings us back to familiar territory, and you can even see paths that were taken earlier if you look to the sides.
The first save statue we've seen in here (although it's entirely possible I missed the others) is a sign that this is going to be a pretty big one..
And the ominous tower jutting off one side doesn't really do anything to contradict the impression. The atmosphere is usually done pretty well in this game. Anyway, inside...
"And for Jessica! And Eagle!"
"And I'm just along for the ride, but I'm pretty sure you're a bad person!"
"It must have taken great power for you to defeat the eight God-Beasts."
"But that means nothing now. I will defend the Dark Prince with my life! He is all I have!"
"You know, Jagan said something similar.. right before we killed him. Make sure you tell him we said hello.""
Boss Battle: Bigieu
Bigieu Battle Video
Bigieu is now a cat. It's probably better not to ask any questions about this and just go with it. She's also in some ways deeply creepy, given that cat legs are not supposed to support something that size walking around like a human.
She even turns into a small cat when you do a particularly nasty set of hits to her, perhaps as an attempt to deflect rage through cuteness. It doesn't work particularly well against gamers. One amusing thing, though, is that Bigieu isn't weak against Holy like a number of enemies we've dealt with. Instead, like most cats, she hates water.
Technically Bigieu is a lunar enemy, which she demonstrates by using Lunatic to lower your maximum HP and Moon Saber on herself. The animation for Moon Saber when she attacks can make the battle pretty clustered.
Bigieu doesn't really have too many dangerous attacks. Probably the worst of them all in sheer damage is Half Vanish, although that's still relatively easy to recover from.
She also uses something called Energy Ball on herself, but if has any kind of effect it's not something that's easily observable.
Bigieu does, however, have access to one of the same summons that Lise gets down one of her paths. Lamia, seen here, isn't particularly threatening compared to some of the attacks other bosses have. Once Bigieu has been sufficiently damaged, she'll revert back to her humanoid form for a final monologue.
"Wait Who is this 'Dark Prince'?"
"You would wait.. until I'm dying to ask.."
"Hated and feared by everyone, he lived a life of despair until one day..."
"Wait, why was he hated and feared by everyone? For being the heir, or for something he did?"
"The demons of the underworld came to him with an offer he couldn't refuse."
"I think you're right they wouldn't have come to him if something about him didn't make them think he was up for it."
"Power, and respect it seemed as if the Dark Prince had everything he ever desired "
" but at the cost of his soul. I wanted to bring back his soul "
"I think his soul was lost a long time before he destroyed the kingdom. To be honest, he sounds like kind of a tool."
"What the hell is up with this place? Since when did killing people make buildings collapse?"
"Will you just hurry up and run?"
"I'm not sure if this is enough, but I think it'll have to do."
"Come on, let's hurry "
At this point, we have to backtrack a screen to the previously blocked off stair and climb up through a few thoroughly forgettable rooms to reach the top of the castle.
"I sense an evil presence!"
"In this place? I'm absolutey shocked. That's like walking into a cupcake store and saying you sense frosting!"
"My little brother, remember? The one that Bill and Ben kidnapped?"
"Oh yeah! Sorry, it seems like hours since anybody mentioned him."
"Hey, now that I think about it if Bill and Ben kidnapped him, and they worked for Bigieu, how did he end up in the hands of a slave trader being sold off to Jagan, who also worked with Bigieu?"
"You know, that is kind of weird now that I think about it "
"Ahem. Excuse me, if you don't mind?"
"You'd be far more useful to me, anyway. With your strength, and the power of the God-Beasts "
" nothing would stand in our way. HOw about it? Would you like to serve me?"
"Also, your pension plan doesn't seem to be the best based on what we've seen."
"Hahaha. My dear princess, I'm afraid that's not an option."
" and my first objective will be to restore the underworld to its former glory!"
"With the power in the Sword of Mana the boundaries that the Goddess laid out will be redrawn!"
"The underworld, and the overworked, will finally merge together under my leadership!"
"Back up a second are you saying that my brother is the freaking Archdemon?"
"You'd think you'd have noticed that growing up "
"Umm guys this doesn't look good "
"The Sword ! Stop!!"
"Yes The Sword of Mana Observe, as I release its power "
"Oh no what can we do?"
"Hahaha . There's nothing you can do!"
"The restoration of the underworld is nigh at hand! I can w, what's this!? "
"It's your punishment for actually using the word nigh in casual monologuing."
"Not working out so well for you, is it?"
"That light striking at my heart that could be the Goddess she's still alive!"
"Fine, I'm going to the Holyland! I'll seal that Goddess away, like she did to us centuries ago!"
"Lise, don't say that! It's not over, until you give up hope!"
"I may have picked you by chance, but the Sword of Mana picked you because your will is strong!"
"With teamwork, and courage, you defeated the God-Beasts you can stop the Dark Prince too!"
"Now, let's go! The Goddess is in trouble!"
"If you were trying to cheer her up, reminding her that she was an accidental choice is probably not the best method "
"Seems to have worked well enough."