Part 16: Part 16It is finally time to put and end to Dark Sol's shenanigans once and for all. But first, we have to run through the fifth level... again.
And encounter some new enemies along the way.
The Collossus falls somewhere in between Gollum and Ragnarock and wouldn't really be all that interesting if it weren't for one thing...
...I think you know what I'm talking about.
This is one of the monsters that drop mithril in its raw form.
There are normally six chunks of ore in the game, one from the Alkemist and five scattered throughout the Labyrinth.
I still don't have anything to use them on.
So I'll just pop back out for a bit and sell them because that wasn't very far in.
The Deathpaw is the third and final evolution of the "hellhound" type. They can attack twice and cast Muddle 2, but Milo and Pyra are a gigantic wall of fuck you at this point and enemies don't really get to act unless they ambush the party.
Back to the rainbow fountain again to drop off the Vial of Tears. (Honestly, I'd much rather have a gold fountain here; it'd make the fifth floor much less of a pain.)
Video: Blessed by Water Spirit...
I am the Spirit of Light, and I can aid you in your quest.
I see you've found the Arms of Light.
Now I'll give you the power to use them to their utmost!
That's not to say this isn't welcome, though.
The spirit looks kind of high. And the screen is flashing strangely. I'm not sure this encounter isn't just a bad trip on suspicious "miracle" herbs.
the Shining Knight!
Now, listen to me. Should you ever find yourself mortally wounded...
return to this fountain. For my waters are here to heal and comfort you.
Now go! Drive out the Darkness and return peace to this land!
From now on, whenever we face the rainbow fountain, the Spirit pops back out restores our HP and MP. Honestly, I'm not sure what becoming a Shining Knight actually does, but it probably can't hurt.
Pyra finally learns Muddle 2. This won't see any use because it has a lousy hit rate and the Demonstaff is just plain more fun.
Random fact: casting Boost 1 on Milo now lets him and Sue kill Bildbloks in one turn.
Bildbloks have upwards 500 HP.
This... could have gone smoother. Milo survives, however, and...
...a few spells later, we can take a look at the treasure.
I've equipped the Light Blade on Sue for this shot for comparison. It gives him a WF of 345. With the Dream Blade, it's 370. This is the strongest weapon in the game, with a mind-boggling 175 WF, 25 points stronger than the legendary Light Blade itself.
The downside is that it is, of course, cursed, putting Sue under a constant Muddle 2 (aka Demonstaff) effect. It makes his "awesome blow to own head" hilariously strong, but it's not something you'd want to keep around. It can also cast Muddle 1 from the item menu, but may break with repeated use.
Here's something else I wanted to show off, but the elusive little buggers just wouldn't show last time.
Crystal Oozes are nice little bundles of XP waiting to be harvested. Problem is, they're not going to stick around and let you pick them off. When they're not running away - which they are very fond of doing - they're pelting you with Freeze 4 and Muddle 2, or summoning random enemies to join the battle.
They have only a handful of HP, but take almost no damage from any normal attack, physical or magical. There are only a few ways to guarantee a kill, and we don't have access to any of them. What we do have is a small glimmer of hope:
this FORBIDDEN BOX learn the meaning of Power!"
The Forbidden Box: unpredictable. Terrifying. Usually on our side... but not always.
Anything the Box kills still awards us full experience and gold.
Crystal Oozes are worth 30000 experience points and 5000 gold.
(I don't know how this happened - one of the oozes ran, so I should "only" have received 90k EXP and 15k GP for this; I guess the Forbidden Box doesn't just kill things you can see right in front of you. ...I'm not sure I want to carry this around any more.)
Sue and Milo each gain two levels from this battle. Pyra gains only one, but compensates by learning Bolt 4, her final (and strongest) spell.
At 40 MP, it's one of those spells you use under the same circumstances as Heal 4: pretty much only when fighting the final boss.
...and guess what's coming up?
First, I'm going to run back out one last time. This is the Dream Blade I'm selling; don't need the money, but eh.
Of course, monsters on the fifth floor drop tons of XP and gold and we're still gaining levels on the last trip through.
Healing up at the spirit fountain...
...picking up herbs I'll never use...
...and this was the last treasure chest in the game. We have all the treasure. That's the real goal of this game: get all the treasure. Dark Sol is just an excuse to get us into the labyrinth to begin with.
365 WF, 241 AF
Here's Sue before the final battle. We're pretty overpowered for this; the only way this is going poorly is if I fuck up badly.
He has the Arms of Light, finally equipping the sword as well. He also has one of the Miracle Herbs in case Milo eats an unlucky crit or something.
180 WF, 217 AF
Milo is suddenly far behind Sue in terms of AF, and I'm not sure how it happened, but he's still pretty sturdy; he shouldn't have a problem. On a different note, I realize that I've been misrepresenting the Super Flail; it's actually three points weaker than the Great Flail, at 25 WF. Eh, three points this way or that...
He has two magic rings he's never going to use, and...
...every spell he's ever going to learn. Burst 4 was the last one; it won't see use in this battle, but Heal and Quick will. Maybe Revive, as well.
106 WF, 271 AF
Pyra is still the tankiest tank what ever tanked and I have no idea how she manages it but I'm glad she does.
Her weapon slot is empty to make room for all this useless shit; I'm only going to be using the Heal Ring.
Isn't this a wonderful sight?
Oh well - on with it!
This time, we step through the gate...
Video: The Final Battle (recommended)
You may not know it, but I've been looking forward to this.
...and are greeted by a disembodied voice.
Dark Sol materializes in front of us.
DARK SOL: Strange as it seems, SUE, I've been bored.
After attaining all this power, there were none to challenge me.
Until now, that is.
Your death will make my victory all the sweeter!
Dark Sol is such a fucking dweeb. "Unlimited power! Muahahaha! Wait, what was I going to do with this again? Bored now. Take over the world? Guess I'll just sit here then."
We're going to murder him horribly.
Dark Sol's attacks are magic of various flavours, and none of them are very threatening. Even Sue didn't take a lot of damage from his Bolt 3.
He does have DEMONBREATH, however, the spell Theos mentioned before. Honestly, it's kind of overhyped. Milo and Pyra take even less damage.
I have Pyra punch him. It deals about as much damage as Demonbreath.
This is Milo with Boost 2 ().
That wasn't very difficult! But of course it's not going to be that simple.
Defeated, DS wastes no time whining about it.
DARK SOL: By the Darkness! This cannot be!
Did I not pay the price?! Is this the "power" you pledged me for my soul?!
Will the Darkness allow its will to be undone by a mere child?
Heed me, Darkness! Give me your all, and I'll give you the world!
No, really, he's just some nerd who stumbled over a bunch of evil power and grabbed it just because. He seriously has no idea what he's doing.
...or is he?
Dark Sol's body begins to twitch (...I'm trying to avoid the word "throb" here), the equipment in the room goes crazy, and...
...well, it wouldn't be a JRPG if the last boss didn't have a second form.
He's more dangerous now than in the last fight, but still not very threatening. In this fight, I used Boost 1 on Milo and Sue, and Quick 1 on the entire group.
It really pays off.
This is Milo's attack.
~120 points per hit = 360 points of damage per round, every round, before critical hits.
This is Sue's attack.
The Super Flail is the best damn weapon in the game.
DS starts using physical attacks as well, but they're pretty harmless. He usually moves twice per round, but Heal and the Heal Ring are more than enough to offset that.
For the first half of the fight.
After taking ~2000 points of damage, Dark Sol's "arms" become useless. Normally, you'd think that would make him weaker, but, this being a game, that is obviously not the case.
This is where you pull out all the stops and just pound him with everything you got. Pyra finally shows off Bolt 4, but it only deals around 190 points of damage - not that great compared to boosted physical attacks.
As Sue is all too happy to demonstrate.
Demonbreath, now actual breath from a demon, is sticking around through this entire fight, and it still isn't very threatening.
This is the big thing to watch out for.
Even fully Quick'd and with all the best gear, that tail can deal a significant amount of damage to your team.
Factor in his extremely frequent double actions, and that may spell trouble.
Milo uses Revive 2 for the last time, and Sue gets in one more blow. That's all it takes.
Dark Sol's demonic body disintegrates...
...the orb behind him explodes...
...and we finally see the sky again.
Video: The End (watch it goddammit)
We are returned to the map. The Labyrinth is inaccessible now; we can only visit the town and castle.
...there is always a downside.
Even the Trader has closed up shop.
Old Vik has forgotten how much he hated us and I don't feel like reminding him.
Mrs. VIK: SUE! Thanks to you, I guess there's nothing to be scared of now.
Not until the next time some goon decides to sell his soul to the powers of Darkness, at any rate.
Mrs. MYST: Who would've thought that you kids would turn out to be such heroes?
I knew it all along.
Mr. BRAX: Milo! You did good, boy! I'm really proud of you.
Please adopt me, Mr. Brax.
DAI: I cannot thank you enough. I am forever in your debt.
I still don't know what would happen if I "forgot" to pick him up in the Trials. I stumbled on him by mistake the first time, and it just feels so dickish to leave him there...
EDWARD: Our thanks to you! We'll never forget your kindness!
Why yes I am indeed awesome, how kind of you to notice.
DYAN: We paid a steep price for peace. I pray that it was all worthwhile.
Technically I don't think it was all that "steep" if we only lost one man on our side, but Sue might disagree.
The armourer is also closing up shop...
...but I guess the town will always need a herbalist. This one is taking the day off. Enjoy your mithril and random artefacts of doom!
HOBBIT. Not an elf.
And the castle...
TRISTAN: Thank you for saving the realm. I'm sure Mortred is smiling right now.
...all right, I guess I'm ready to forgive you, Tristan.
VYRUN: You've taught me what it means to be a knight. I thank you, SUE.
No problem, Vyrun. I think we both came out of this better people.
MINISTER: You saved the realm! Step forward and the King will reward you.
Don't rush me, I want to talk to these other people first!
THEOS: SUE, thanks to you, we no longer need to fear the Darkness.
Don't fear the darkness. It's okay to fear what's hiding in it, though.
PRINCESS: SUE. It's so good to see you! I've been so worried.
I wasn't, but then again, I was probably ten levels higher than I actually needed to be for the final boss...
KING: SUE. You've put an end to Dark Sol and his evil designs.
I declare you First Knight of the Realm! Rise, Sir SUE!
I christen thee First Knight of the Realm. Now rise, Sir Knight!
May you be honored as your father once was.
KING: From now and forever, you are the lord and master of Castle Thorngard.
As for Milo, I appoint you Counsel to the new Lord of Thornguard.
Now, what can I do for Pyra?
XERN: I would like to have her join me so that she may learn all that I know.
KING: I see that Pyra's happy with your suggestion. So be it, then.
Even so, shittiest reward ever! Come on, at least give her a title or something, you cheap fuck.
And that's it!
Thanks to you, peace reighs over Thornwood once again!
It's sad that I must bid you farewell. But I'm sure we'll meet again!
And with that...
...the end credits roll.
Well, it's been great revisiting this old thing again
I don't even want to think about how many years it has been since the last time I played it, much less actually completed it.
Even though many would probably consider Shining in the Darkness unplayable these days, I still think it's a great, underappreciated little gem of a game with a lot of fun things to do.
In fact, I enjoyed it at least as much in these past few days as I did when I first played it!
That's it for Sue's quest.
But don't go anywhere - we're not quite finished yet...