Part 22: The Mansion in the Med
To recap: Carla wants us to go with Lucia to a private island to pick a flower.
East of here, on a small, uninhabited island in the Adriatic Sea...
...there blooms each month a flower called the Adriatic Magnolia. Bring me back that flower.
Correction: to a pick a special, magical, uber-rare flower.
At least this place should be a bit more visually interesting than the caves we've slogged through so far.
It does not disappoint. You'll notice that the whole place has a plant/flower theme going for it.
A nice little "summer home," huh?
Now, Karin, jealousy is an ugly thing.
I used to live here when I was a little girl.
So where's this flower, anyway?
Well, it's... Tee hee! I forgot!
Oh, for the love of...
Lucia steps forward onto the little round thing in the center of the floor.
Which immediately depresses, causing a cage to drop around Lucia while the door opens, releasing the fearsome guardians of the manse...
Domovoi (WTH, this is the Med, not Russia) and Katherines. Domovoi can cast the Light-based spell Heaven, while Kathrines can cause Panic (which I think drains your MP every turn. Or maybe your SP. I need to double check the Status Ailment sheet; the battles never really lasted long enough for me to tell.) After this fight, we'll also run into Fortune Sticks, which can cast Rock Rot.
After the battle ends, the cage lifts off Lucia. You know, if I didn't know she was so stupid...
What are fierce monsters like that doing on a peaceful island like this?!
Gee, I wonder...
Anyway, now that we finally have control of Yuri again, the chest in this room has a Hit Area Expand in it.
Now, to check out the room the monsters were guarding.
Up ahead? But there are three doors!
Let's see... Was it the door on the right? I think it was... But it could be the door on the left... Eenie, meenie, minie... ...I think it's the one in the middle! Tee hee hee!
You have got to be fucking kidding me.
Well, whatever. Let's just try opening them all.
But there's something on the doors. I wonder what those things are?
Oh, that's right! There are frames on the doors for fitting zodiac tiles into. The poems are hints. If we put the zodiac tiles into the frames just right, according to the poems' hints, the doors will open.
What a complicated setup! But of course you know all the answers to the puzzles, right?
Oh, of course! Let's see... We put the sign of the shrimp here, and the sign of the turtle over there...
*ahem* Those zodiac signs don't exist.
...Well, there's only one thing to do. We'll have to collect all the zodiac tiles and figure it out ourselves.
The first zodiac tiles are right in the chest in this room: Virgo, Aquarius and Taurus.
Back out into the entrance room, we follow the stairs to the right. The door on the left side is locked, for now. I'm not going to bother mapping this place. It's small and doesn't really have any branching paths, just the central courtyard (which we can't reach yet) and the two hallways on each side which are mirror-images of each other.
The door opens into a small circular room. There's a chest by the exit to the north. Although you can see the chest when you exit the room, you can't see it when you're actually in position to open it.
Going north, we enter a long hallway. There's a room off to the right, about midway down, and there's another room at the end of the hall. There's also a Seal of the Soul hidden behind one of the lamps. I'm pretty sure these increase a character's total MP when used.
In the room to the right, there's an obvious chest holding the Libra, Aries and Capricorn Tiles. I think Yuri must be an Aries.
There's also a not-so-obvious Lottery Ticket hidden in the corner. (Wait, can round rooms even have corners?)
And past the chest, there's a really-not-obvious Ring Soul!
Can't you be a bit more friendly? Last time, you just said your stuff and took off. Let's get to know each other!
Here you are!
You got Attack Boost
Hmm... Maybe Rooney was right. Maybe they do smell.
And, um... the power to command the Judgment Ring. Such power will help you carve your way through destiny...
See, you're doing it again!
You know the rest.
Okay, I'm off. My wife's waiting.
Huh, you're married?! You've got a wife?!
He's married?! Unbelievable!
Weird. Well, we're done here, so it's back to the hall and then to the room at the northern end.
The only thing in here is another chest. Inside is a Star Key, which we need to unlock the door on the left side of the entrance room.
Eating these cookies causes random effects to happen, some good, some bad. If there's one thing that I've learned from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, it's not to eat food sitting out in the middle of nowhere.
Unfortunately, Yuri doesn't read much.
You found a fortune inside the cookie.
Your body suddenly feels pretty tired.
Aaaaand everyone's HP has just decreased. Way to go, genius.
Speaking of random effects, Joachim went into Invisible mode while we were running around.
As long as Joachim doesn't use physical attacks (and possibly Muscle Arts) enemies won't target him. Pretty neat, but I still find the Golden Bat and Grand Papillon forms more useful.
Moving on, the hallway to the north of this room is identical to the one on the right. Well, almost identical; it's mirrored, meaning the lamps are on the right and the room midway down is on the left.
The only thing in the room on the left is a chest holding the Sagittarius, Pisces and Scorpio Tiles.
At the end of the hall, we come to a very odd room and a puzzle.
...Are you AB?
No. Carla is AB. I'm type B. I guess she was trying to keep me out of mischief.
Of course. Why should we be expecting Lucia to be even the teeniest bit useful?
They told me in the service I was type A. Too bad...
I don't know my blood type.
I don't know mine either.
There's something very odd about a vampire that doesn't know his blood type.
Me neither. That's all right. We can all just give it a shot, anyway.
This room is set up so that if you try the door and fail even once, a really great treasure inside disappears.
If two people have blood types that don't mix, the lamp overhead will light.
I heard about blood types once! They say A and B don't mix with each other, but that O mixes with either. Luckily, I'm A and Lucia is B. All we have to do is find someone who makes the lamp light with both of us.
That's...not quite how blood types work...
As soon as you find someone, that person just has to go back and touch the door.
Anyway, after some testing, we find out that Yuri is type O, Joachim is A, and Gepetto is the coveted AB. Science(?) is fun!
Mischief-free zone! If anybody but an AB blood type touches this door, the treasure will disappear! Love, Carla
Good thing we "just happen" to have someone with the right blood type with us, huh?
Hey! I heard the door unlock! I guess I have AB blood!
We've already established that, old man.
Since we didn't screw up at the door, there are two chests in here. The one on the right has the remaining three tiles: Leo, Gemini and Cancer.
The special treasure you get in the other chest is this Ring Effect. Petrifying an enemy is just as good as causing Instant Death because, unlike the party, they can't cure it.
Now that we have all the tiles, we can go back to the center room. Either the center or the right-hand doors will get you to the courtyard, but there's treasure behind the left-hand door, so we're going to go ahead and unlock all of them.
There are poems associated with each puzzle that tell you which tiles to use where. This is the right-hand door.
The center door has two poems to unlock it. For some reason, the poem on the left side is broken into two parts instead of displaying all at once like the others. The rest of it reads:
But getting succulent meat is the best thing of all.
This is the right side of the center door.
And, finally, the poem on the left-hand door.
Piece of cake! All I have to do is snap the...Hey! Almost all of these tiles are beasts! So which one's the right one?
This could take a while...