Part 59: Quicker, Easier, More Seductive
We can now move onto Dragon's Hole proper, which definitely lives up to its name although it might not. There's about 3-4 different sets of enemies that can spawn in this first room. I just got lucky to find a dragon the first time to make for an extra appropriate screen shot.
The gimmick in this place revolves around these statues, which block your progress until a minibus is defeated. There's usually one in the near vicinity.
The other thing with this dungeon is that it is full of hidden passages and weird tricks of space. It can be a bit hard to navigate and there's one other hidden passage that actually hides a secret.
"Again? You brazen hussy!"
"You've got a lot of room to talk."
Diamond saber and a level 2 earth spell? It might have taken me longer to type this than to finish this boss battle.
Now what was that you were saying about me?"
This place is a bit of a maze, so it's very possible to find bosses before you find the statues they remove. Headless angels are a pretty good indicator as always. I didn't find any gold statues, so the occasional mini-boss was a welcome chance to get an HP/MP refill. Speaking of which...
"Oh bloody hell, you again?"
"It kind of feels almost like we're going backwards in time."
Once again, lightning sabers and a thunder spell make this one a lot easier. Good party selection goes a long way, and we're pretty much a group of murder-beasts at this point.
"Born once every thousand years my ass."
"Yep, definitely back in time."
"What do you mean? You weren't even there when we fought this guy "
Ironically, this was the most troublesome minibus in here. Mainly because he doesn't have an immediately obvious exploitable weakness. Basically, this meant that it took about 30-45 seconds longer to finish him.
You really know you're getting somewhere when you find yourself on a floating island amidst an underground void. Seems just the kind of place for
"The Dragon Emperor has already gained the power of the eight God-Beasts.."
"Now it's time to witness his final transformation!"
"Give back my mother! NOW!!"
"And while you're at it, my Karl!"
"I commend your straightforward demands, but "
"You know that's not going to happen, Angela dear, so why are you complaining about it?"
"Wait, I was pretty sure you killed her."
"What do you mean, complicated? That was a Death Spell! I know it when I see it!"
"It might have looked like it, but it was more like a holding spell. She's just somewhere else until I need to sacrifice her."
"Oh, yeah? Well I'm not going to let THAT happen, EITHER!!"
"Nothing you say is going to change what's happened. Well I'll be seeing you "
"Three dragons? That's it?"
"Quite frankly, I'm insulted."
"Let's finish this quickly. He can't have gone far."
"I think I found the statue storage area."
"Huh. Wonder who this was supposed to be a stand in for?"
At the other end of the travel island we've got a sudden palace. It'd be more interesting if there were more than 3 rooms.
The second room is a free-for all with a barrier that won't come down until you clear a number of respawning enemy groups to clear out. It's a bit of a trial, but it's not too rough. If you're paying attention to the screen shots, I've gained a total of 6 levels since entering the Dragon's Hole. On the other side...
"Cause.. uh.. you really don't LOOK like a dragon. You look kind of.. girly."
"Wait, this? This is the group of people that's been giving you so much trouble?" They appear to be led by a moron.
You again !"
"Let them be, Koren."
"Let them witness this moment the moment I am reborn "
"The Sword ! Stop!!"
"No!! Not the Sword!!"
"The Sword is no more. Its dark power now rests within me!"
" .? My lord ?"
"Only a master of evil!"
"Where the hell did that come from?
"I have no idea. It just seemed like the thing to say."
"Goddess.. you never know when to give up!" This foolish attempt to stop me will fail, as well!"
"You leave me no choice! I'll cut down the Mana Tree, and that will be the end of it!"
"D'you think just maybe that's a bit of an extreme reaction?"
"Elminate, ha! If anyone needs to be eliminated, it's you.."
"Koren I went on a journey to find you, and defeat you.. and finally my goal is within reach!"
Which brings us to...
Boss Fight: Koren
"Oh, this is bullshit! You can't give me a line about dark magic and then use a holy spell as your first move out of the gate!"
"Just try and stop me!"
"What was that you were saying?"
"Oh god, my spleen "
Strictly speaking, Koren isn't actually all that difficult.. While he likes to spam middle and high level spells, none of his spells do more than about 1/3 of our HP and he has a casting animation for each spell to boot. He's much less threatening than the Darkshine Knight, who doesn't need to do anything before he wrecks your shit. The barrier change might shift his elemental weakness, but having a non-elemental spell makes that a non issue. He also, no matter where he's standing when you kill him, flies across the room to the exact same spot.
"How how could I lose The Dark power is absolute! I still can
" is the dark side stronger?"
"No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive."
"I just wanted to use magic that's all ( sob )
"That old man Jose he never could understand so I ran away
"Oh, cry me a river. You didn't have to do it with my mother breathing down your neck."
"All he wanted you know what he wanted in return? All he wanted was a piece of my soul!!"
"Just a piece! How could I have turned him down? But look what I've become, without that piece."
"Yeah, I'll call bullshit on that one too. You turn him down by saying 'no' and I find it hard to believe that he just came and found you to make you an offer. You had to go after that yourself."
"Finally, something we can all agree on."
" Nice knowing you, Duran Goodbye, cruel world "
Koren used self-destruct! it wasn't very effective.
I hate it when they do that."
"Doesn't really feel like we won now, does it?"
"That makes one of us. He's always been a tool."
"Now, there's not much time left! We need to hurry to the Holy-Land the Goddess is in danger!"
"If the Dragon Emperor cuts down the Tree, then Mana will cease to exist! We have to stop him!"
"Wait will he have any powers if he destroys the Mana Tree? Doesn't his power come from Mana too?"
"I don't know, and I really, really don't want to find out."
"You're the heir to the throne of Altena you really should know better!"
"Geeze Mom, n wait, mom? MOM!"
"I know it must be difficult for you, not being able to use magic but don't worry "
"And did we redecorate the palace? What have you done with your hair?"
"You're telling me.. I've thought you were dead for weeks. I'm just glad you're alive and back to normal"
" I understand. Thank you, Angela "
"The gate to the Holyland has begun to close but there may still be enough."
"Thanks so who are these guys hanging around saying nothing?"
"Oh. Professional ass-kissers. Alright, let's get back to Dragon's Hole."
"Wasn't the Dragon Emperor going to the Mana Tree?"
"He'll wait. Can't be that quick to cut down the mana tree, and we need to get some more magic armor seeds."