The Let's Play Archive

Soul Blazer

by ddegenha

Part 25

Plunging back into the fray we pick up another level almost instantly, as well as getting a Strange Bottle. It’s impossible to contain the excitement this generates.

Proceeding further a new environmental hazard appears. Spears technically have an experience value and can be killed with the final weapon, but there’s no reason you would ever do that.

We release a maid along the corridor, and right around the corner we have the first occurrence of the spikes that the elemental armor protects us from. You might wonder why we couldn’t just walk around them, and that’s actually a very good question.

With each appearance maneuvering around them gets a bit more difficult, especially when enemies get added to the mix. Just being able to walk over them saves a lot of time, but you could use other armor if you wanted a challenge. Clearing these two lairs opens up a portal back to the Sky Palace.

For the last couple of occurrences, we actually have enemies mixed in with the spikes. In this room you have to approach the skeletons so that they’ll stand up, and then fight them. Clearing it releases a soldier and clears the spikes out.

In a nearly identical room clearing the steel ball lair brings up an array of spikes while revealing another lair. Clearing that lair releases a singer and lets us proceed. This is pretty much the only time we’ll see the spikes that an entire suit of armor was created to protect us from.

Next up, we’ve got a new area hazard enemy in the Trap Head, which shoots directly at you. You can actually see a missed shot off in the corner.

Finally, a spear filled hallway with a steel ball lair releases a soldier in the airship dock area we saw previously.

“Seems a little bit late, since the ideal time to save him would have been BEFORE he was forced into making machines powered by evil.”

This apparent dead end has a pair of steel ball lairs, one of which releases another soldier and the other of which opens a doorway. This is actually as far as we want to go right now, so it’s a good time to head back to town and check in with all of our released people.

“If only he’d move a food to the side…”

“Couldn’t you just ask him?”

“What, and be that rude? The man came here to relax, didn’t he?”

“Oh, for the love of…”

“Besides, I have a better plan.”

“Y’know, I’m just going to hope that isn’t a euphemism and move on with my day.”

“Sorry to hear that. How’d that work out for him?”

“He was taken to the torture room in the first basement and never came back. ‘This harp string is a birthday present from my friend. I am able to play great music with this string.’ Those were the last words he said to me.”

“I can’t help your friend, but I can help myself to his harp string. Torture room in the first basement, you said?”

“Thanks! And yes, I will.”

“Anyone who does not have the Platinum Card cannot enter.”

“You don’t understand. I’m on a mission from GodJesus.”

“And that’s great, but while my heart may belong to GodJesus my ass belongs to the king so… no.”

“That never works.”

The Harp String, now that we’ve been informed of its existence, is actually right next to where we got the Spirit Sword. It’s also mysteriously lost its capitalization, but that’s not a big deal.”

“I don’t actually care how carefully you use it, as long as you just use it.”

“Uh-huh. Please, sit and listen to my music. Thank you, uh thank you very much for coming. Before I play some music let me tell you my story.”

“Can’t you just sing it to us?”

“I’ve only been in love once in my 24 years. It was when I visited a mine town, Grass Valley. When I was injured, there was a girl who took care of me.”

“Oh no.”

“I couldn’t tell her my true feelings though…the girl’s name was something like Lisa.”

“Yeah… uh… too bad that ship has sailed. If you have a daughter, that’d be a great name…”

“The music I am going to play now is a song that I wrote for her.”

“Exactly as planned.”

“It still would have been a LOT simpler just to ask him to move if you ask me.”

While we’re at it, this is as good a time as any to go take advantage of our new sword. Spirit Ball enemies from the Light Shrine back in the second world are vulnerable to the Spirit Sword and they have lairs that we can clear. They’re also worth 1100 experience each, which is still a worthwhile amount. Our first lair releases a bird…

“By birds, you mean…”

“Actual birds, although I suppose it works for metaphorical birds as well.”

And yes, we actually do have to sneak up on a bird from behind for this next bit.

“Sorry, I got bad advice from a tree.”

“Well, I guess it’s okay. I have something special for you. Take this Red-Hot Mirror.”

“That’s great, really. I guess that answers any questions about the carrying capacity of small birds.”

The second lair of spirit balls holds a new spell, Flame Pillar.

It pretty much lays out a few long-lasting flames that will damage anything that runs into them before they dissipate. It would be useful with enemies who are likely to run into it, but sword attacks are still a simpler method.

Going back to the main line, the card that the guard was standing on allows us in to the left tower.

It comes with a whole new set of enemies. First off, the place is chock full of trap heads spitting fireballs at us. Next, we’ve got Chess Knights in the lower left-hand corner. They hop around and send spikes out in the cardinal directions when they land, and are invincible for a few seconds after they land. Right next to us we have the standard issue Grunt, who will just straight up attack when you get close to them.

The entire area is mostly a series of lairs that remove trap heads and let us progress forward toward our actual goal. We also run into a Red Grunt along the way, which are just like grunts except that they throw boomerangs as you can see. They’re worth 950 experience, and killing a couple is enough to kick us up to level 22. We can release a soldier, and…

“I have something to tell you about the Magridd Castle. I will help you when you come back.”

“You had me at Magridd Castle.”

The next area has a new tile set, along with at least one new enemy. Golems are fairly weak enemies who have less HP than just about anything else in the area and are pretty easy to kill. We have to kind of walk through walls to get at them, but that’s really a small issue at this point. Clearing the lair releases another maid.

Next up we’ve got another area where we have to walk through walls to clear out some red grunts and take out their lair. This is a bit unfair, since they can shoot at you from inside while you look around for an entrance.

Clearing the lair releases the Queen, who is unaccountably some distance from the King.

“I do not know who you are, but thank you very much for releasing me. I will give you a gift if you come back.”

“Just try and stop me!”

Of course, first we have to reach a good stopping point in this dungeon. A set of golems guards a lair that releases a soldier back in town.

From there we proceed to a narrow corridor, with murder holes on each side complete with lairs. The gauntlet is full of red grunts throwing boomerangs at us while we fight our way forward. Releasing the lairs first frees the long awaited Dr. Leo while the second lair takes out an obstruction to allow us to clear a lair on the side. Clearing out the lairs is a step by step process which each lair opening the way to another until we reach the end. But before that, about Dr. Leo…

“I am Dr. Leo. I will save the story for later. Please save the two soldiers who promised to come with me.”

“I guess I can, but be prepared to possibly be disappointed. It might be just a bit late.”

“If a soldier, the one who knows a lot about the Magridd castle, joins you, then the treasures will be found easily.”

“Sounds like as good a reason to leave as any other. Thanks for the exit!”

As a note, we also release a couple of soldiers on the way, one in town and one at the Airship dock. That might actually fulfill Dr. Leo’s request at this point.

Next update: The Queen, the Airship, and the fireworks display.