Hmm. Not exactly a good sign.
As we return to Granseal, we find the town guardsmen dead and most of the villagers cowering in their homes. That's not all we find, however.
The Galam Army tore apart an exotic animal pet store that had set up in Granseal. When they did, this little guy was able to escape.
A good a name as any.
Byron joined the force!
Since it's the most likely target for the Galam forces, we make our way into the castle...
Which has been the site of a massacre.
Hmm? There's movement ahead!
I must go there!
Please don't move, or I'll have to kill you! Please!
Even though he's blindly loyal to King Galam, the mindless slaughter has driven Apple half-mad...
Apple, calm down! You already figured it out, didn't you? We didn't attack Galam. Your King lied! We are allies. Do you believe me? We would never...
Stop! NO! King Galam is my...
You have to believe me. Your King is possessed by a devil. He is not King Galam!
He is taking her away! We have no time.
Stop, sir! I can't let you pass!
Then you come with me!
Desperate for an excuse to stop killing, Apple accepts the compromise and allows Sir Astral to go to the Ancient Tower with him.
Nigel, follow me!
We continue on...
Only to find Apple collapsed just outside of the tower!
Sir Astral was right... That's not my King. That's a devil! Me? I'm almost a goner. A strange black cloud enveloped me... (cough)
As we return to the spot where the Gizmo appeared before our first battle, we find a staircase leading down!
Descending several flights of stairs, we come to an unsealed gate.
Beyond the gate, we find Sir Astral confronting King Galam, who has now succumbed completely to the demonic influence.
You wouldn't understand.
Astral, save her!
King Granseal and Nigel!
Blast! Give up now, King Granseal! Do you want her to die?!
No! You give up! We've got reinforcements! Your great magic cannot defeat all of our soldiers!
I'll kill you before they have a chance to attack!
Just try it!
Sir Astral and King Galam attack each other!
Their clash results in a stalemate, both combatants fall to the floor.
You cannot move. Princess Elis, run away!
A Galam Mage appears, blocking her escape.
Hee, hee, hee... I won't lose her now.
What should I do? Nigel, can you hear me? Save her!
I've no time to play with these kids. Devils! I summon thee! Forget about Astral. I'll kill him! Eat them all before they reach her!
Battle #7: Nigel to the rescue!
Standing between us and Princess Elis are 3 Galam Archers, 3 Galam Knights, 2 Dark Smokes, a Galam Mage, and a Dark Cleric.
Right off the bat, two of the Galam Knights go after Ron, inflicting a total of 10 damage.
Nigel goes after the first knight
While Ashley patches Ron up.
I have no idea why everything is attacking Ron.
Our first kill goes to Samwise, who finishes off a knight.
Alright, this is getting silly...
But at least it means more healing EXP for Ashley.
Ron and Shaggy deal with the second knight. Shaggy earned level 8 in the process.
Amazing, someone that isn't Ron got attacked.
Byron's gimmick is his absurdly high defense. It's 9 points higher than anyone else on the force at the moment. His attack power, however, is on par with Cluny's. Early on, he's practically untouchable by anything that doesn't use magic. However, his HP growth before promotion is practically nonexistent. Even around level 20ish, it's not unheard of him to get killed by a single Blaze or Freeze 2. After promotion, his HP growth gets better, but it's still the worst in the force. He's pretty much any spellcaster's bitch, and eventually the enemy attack ratings will outgrow what his defense can negate (Especially on Super difficulty), leaving him with very little HP to compensate.
Nigel and Shaggy eliminate the final knight.
And Ron gets a chance to vent his frustration.
He attacks twice, earning level 8.
Wow, an enemy that can hit Byron for 2 HP this early in the game. Super is harder!
Samwise cripples the last remaining archer.
Taking a page from Oddjob, Byron attacks things with his mighty hat!
Ouch! Dark Smokes don't fuck around.
I have Ron attempt to stop the approaching mage.
Holy shit, Ron is on a roll!
Shaggy finishes off the first Dark Smoke before it can do any more damage. He earns level 9 and learns Muddle.
Ashley brings Cluny back from the brink, and not a moment too soon... She earned level 8.
The final archer falls to Cluny.
Yeah, I think he's had about enough for one battle.
I really, really don't like the gaseous-type enemies.
At least Ron manages to do some damage. He earns level 9.
It would appear that some enemy types are smarter than others.
But it's nothing she can't recover from in a turn.
Nigel gets to finish off the Dark Smoke, which brings him to level 10.
Cluny deals the final blow to the Dark Cleric, earning him level 8 and ending the battle...
We approach the altar where King Galam lies...
Princess Elis, come here!
As runs to meet her father, King Galam springs to his feet and grabs her!
No, Princess. Freeze! Ha, ha!
Stay there! Or she'll die!
Stop this, King Galam! Leave her alone! Please!
Princess Elis... I'll save you!
King Galam murmurs a magic spell.
Galam shoots off a fireball at both King Granseal and his Minister! They barely manage to dodge back off the stairway.
Don't worry... I'm fine.
That was just a warning! Do you want me to attack again?
Sir Astral finally regains consciousness. He rises to his feet.
Galam, please tell me... What's in this tower? In Ground Seal?
You really want to know? Ha, ha! OK, I'll tell you.
I'll open the door to the Evil World! Observe!
The ground trembles as a mysterious gateway opens above the altar.
Now do you understand? I plan on opening the sealed door!
Why? What's inside?
You'll find out soon enough.
King Galam casts another spell, causing two tubes of light to appear from the strange gateway.
The tubes descend, enveloping both King Galam and Princess Elis.
Farewell for now! Going up!
He's using the light tubes to go through the doorway! Save her. Save her now! Nigel, you're good at performing acrobatics!
Er, this is the first I've heard about this, but I'll play along...
Minister, help me!
Yes, but how?
Throw Nigel towards the light tubes!
I don't think I like this plan...
Sir Astral grabs Nigels arms and the Minister grabs his legs. They take a running start and attempt to launch Nigel towards Princess Elis.
Oops, we lost our grip! But...
We managed to grab hold of King Galam's prize!
What are you doing? Don't touch my jewel! Don't touch it! I'll shake you off!
Wow! He's so brave. Hmm...
Wait, if the Jewel of Evil is now part of Nigel's neck, what is he holding on to?
Nigel falls to the ground with a sickening THUD. The Jewels of Light and Evil merge together.
He stole my jewel!
Before King Galam can react, he's sucked into the gateway!
...followed by Princess Elis.
She's gone... Elis!
We couldn't help the Princess.
Nigel climbs to his feet with a deep sigh of regret.
Nigel, why do you have two jewels?
Indeed, perhaps... these jewels are the key to solving this...
Wow! It's getting worse! Sir Astral! What should we do?!
Let's get out of here! We'll come back later with soldiers to rescue her.
But, Sir Astral...
He won't budge. We'll have to carry him.
Sir Astral and the minister drag King Granseal with them as we flee.
As we make our way through the castle, we notice that the earth's rumbling still hasn't stopped!
Just outside the castle gates we're hailed by two of the remaining members of the guard.
You didn't escape? Why are you here?
We've been waiting for you. Chasms are appearing in the ground. Everybody is on the ship to avoid falling into a hole.
Thank you. Nigel, hurry to the harbor.
A sudden tremor throws us off our feet!
The two guardsmen are swallowed by the earth...
That's too cruel... Nigel, go to the harbor from the east side. It's safer.
Not far from our feet we spot something in a hole created by the quake!
We run through the crumbling remains of Astral's school on our way to the harbor.
As we climb onto the ship, we speak to the man in charge...
What are you asking me for? Let's get the hell out of here!
Sir Astral, where are we headed?
This earthquake must have caused damage all over the island. Maybe... to the east... to... Oh, yes! To the mainland!
To Parmecia?! Hmm...
What? To the mainland? No! What about Elis?! No, we'll stay here on Grans!
It's too dangerous to stay here. Weigh anchor right now!
Not long after we make our escape, the entire city of Granseal and much of the surrounding land falls into the abyss!
Only the ancient tower remains intact; a grim monument to the events that have just taken place...
Sir Astral, where should we go now?
I think we should go to the mainland. Don't you agree, Minister?
We have no choice.
Then, let's go to the continent of Parmecia!
Next update: A new home.
But first, here's a look at how the team is progressing: