Part 39: When Your Bonus Dungeon Is Retarded, Something Is Wrong
Well, you know, sometimes, life just catches up with you. I guess you could call it a wild sort of week for me--one second you're taking exams, the next you're spending half a day with a chick, and suddenly you're drunk off your ass writing and editing a full picture book manuscript in one sitting, and it all culminated in a plane trip back to Hawaii that got delayed five hours in an airport so old that to get on and off the airplane they had to wheel stairs up to the doors.
Chapter 37: When Your Bonus Dungeon Is Retarded, Something Is Wrong
we're doing the Cave of Trials legitimately.
It's full of fun little treasures, but a lot of them are kinda trashy. The Link Stock, for example, gives you a free slot to "steal" a linked Killer Move from with your Link Combos, but if you're trying to use a Link Combo by the time you get here, then I just don't even know what to say.
If not full-on Tri-emblems, you should be using anything to inflate your attack by this point. An Atlas Ring is great (you'll be eating up MP on everyone but Claude, so you'll probably want a Fairy Ring, too), especially on the floors where there are no spellcasters, but even so, if you have even just one character without Atlas Rings (probably Rena), nothing will ever one-shot you, and at this point in the game, the best way to keep from dying is to kill the enemies faster than they can kill you. And when everything does 1000+ damage per hit and you cap at 9999 HP, well...
The Nuclear Bomb sounds cool, but it's not so great in practice. It does 9999 to every enemy on the screen once, and reduces your party's HP to 1, and I don't even know why they included it here of all places considering that random encounter enemies easily have 20k+ HP here.
Each floor has a "puzzle." This floor's puzzle is to throw this lever to open the door.
Each floor also has a boss.
Darkfeather is the biggest pain in the ass in this entire fucking dungeon because she's a Succubus-type enemy.
Of course that means that out of a hundred hits, literally two will actually hit. Yes, this screenshot is showing that I'm blasting her with Dragon Howl, max-proficiency Sword Dance, and Tear Gas all at once and she has taken all of two motherfucking hits out of all this because Succubuses have that ignore-DEX chance-to-automatically-dodge bullshit.
What you get for winning is so fucking worth it, though.
This will probably be your second pair of Bunny Shoes in the game, so slap it on Chisato and give her like Whirlwind or something. Whirlwind is pretty much the best ground attack in the entire game: cheap, so blindingly fast that it permanently stunlocks anything that doesn't have invincibility frames, and Chisato's amazing DEX (higher than that useless fuck Dias) means that she will never, ever miss. Combine that with a pair of Atlas Rings and you'll be doing 24,000+ damage in four hits every two seconds.
That's a hell of a lot better than waiting five seconds for Dias to draw a fucking circle around himself to hit an enemy once, and Chisato doesn't flail around like a retard like Dias does in Illusion. Just amazingly fast damage in a totally unmoving trap of death.
This second floor is the worst one in the dungeon, by the way.
Basically you have to run around here turning statues in compass directions so they look toward each other's general direction based on this shoddily-translated hint. Based on the first two sentences alone, can you even figure out how the fuck you're supposed to turn the three statues? No? Because no one else can either, and the only solutions you'll ever find in the Gamefaqs guides all have the same disclaimer: "I took this from the Prima Games strategy guide."
Cistina sounds like a fucking medical condition.
And if your name is Cistina, I'm not sorry. That's like the female equivalent of being named Marvin.
Anyway, if you turn the statues to face their very specific directions--and there's no indication to tell you whether or not you fucked up aside from the door not opening--the door opens and you can go to the next floor.
You have to fight this thing first, of course.
It's just a normal thing, so you shouldn't even have trouble.
You might, however, have trouble with this!
As you can see here, the game had trouble reloading Bloodgerell's sprite after the battle. When I went into the menu screen, my menu sprites were ALSO gone. This is basically what happens when your game freezes on a save point screen, and if I hadn't been playing on an emulator, it would've crashed for me, too, after doing that entire shit-horrible floor.
It's getting a little old, but I have a wonderful little first-gen dualcore computer. ePSXe usually uses barely 15-20% of my processing power, but during this glitch, it capped out at about 87%, working its ass off to keep going in spite of a fatal glitch. ePSXe has its rough spots, but what a fuckin' trooper this application is.
He leaves behind a Seraphic Garb, which is good indeed.
In addition to increasing your defense as your HP goes down, the Seraphic Garb also absorbs Fire and... I think Holy element? If you're going to engage Limiter Off Indalecio in a fair fight (I didn't), then equipping your party with these is absolutely essential.
rages flared as the game froze right after finishing this terrible floor
So we leave, save, close the application, re-open, and now we're in the Single Path Cave floor.
What is that even supposed to fucking mean
I mean seriously, it's like they outsourced the translation to anyone who would work for 20 cents an hour at this point. Yes, you know what I mean in a very roundabout way.
Basically, you have to go through this floor while passing through every room once and only once. It's really boring and the treasures are crap, so I didn't even bother showing it.
Dreamshade. Mother. Fucking. Dreamshade.
So have any of you ever played that game, The 7th Saga? Not really a fan of it myself, but I did back in the day. There's this character in that game who you often fight if she isn't in your party. She has a very special spell that she's programmed to never NOT use.
What does this spell do? It completely restores HP and MP. It is literally impossible to beat her.
So, Dreamshade. Do you know what Dreamshade does? It has a very special normal attack that freezes your party. It will chain it between the three of them as often as it can, and while it doesn't actually damage you, if it does this, you will become utterly, irrevocably stuck and unable to finish this battle.
Hey, Enix made The 7th Saga, too. I'm sensing a theme of really shitty programming.
Beating Dreamshade gives you the Magical Drops. It's supposed to freeze all enemies for a few seconds. This appears in Tri-ace's Tales series, too, in which it is actually useful because the Magical Drops will work on anyone at all, even the final boss, or secret extra bosses. In SO2, It is useless because all the enemies you would actually want it to work on are completely immune to it.
And yet they're completely vulnerable to the Algol.
The fourth floor also introduces hidden doors.
This worked in FF4, but only because FF4 was based on a tile-grid map. To go through these hidden doors, you literally have to be pixel perfect.
This is Leon's best spell. I hope you're playing as Claude, or you won't even be able to open this.
This is useless to us.
It's basically an Elixir. 100% HP/MP recovery. The problem is, you can only use it outside of battle. When you pair that with how you probably regenerate 50% of your HP/MP (Noel and his shitty Stamina stat excepted) after ever encounter, you will literally never, ever use this.
This level actually doesn't have a puzzle. To get its super treasure, though, you have to flip this switch.
It opens this center door.
And you can meet the GOD OF DANCE
Have someone with Pitch, Sense of Rhythm, and a Level 10 Music Talent play some music for her. Funnily enough, even though we don't have the Silver Trumpet, Geese plays a trumpet song.
The instrument played is based on the character's favorite instrument. If we'd chosen Nemo to play, we would've heard a song from this instrument we're getting as a prize right now.
I don't even know what the fuck this description is supposed to mean.
The boss on this floor is pathetically easy.
Again, a normal enemy we'll be seeing a lot of later.
We don't even get a prize for it.
Starting on this floor, we can break the game completely, but I don't do so until later.
GRATUITOUS PANTY SHOT
You can kill the Weirdbeast in your first encounter with it--it's a pretty weak enemy--but all your attacks do 1 damage and if you've killed it like this before, then you should probably get that checked out.
So you run away.
Anyway, you've got to kill the monster to get the key to the next floor, so I guess we have a problem here.
So, Puffy. She appeared in Star Ocean 1, but it's not like American players would actually know that. What she means by "what you did two years ago" is, in SO1, she ran a short choose-your-own adventure game. You only won crappy items from it and the right path was randomly generated each time, but you could make her eat a Mandrake. I assume she's pissed off about that, but I don't know where she gets off accusing these people she's never met before of such things.
Wander around the fifth floor and eventually, you find...
ONLY IF YOU'RE PLAYING AS CLAUDE!
Nah, I wouldn't do that. The prize you get is much too good.
The Weird Slayer is pretty much the solution to everything. World hunger, the problems in the Middle East, Lady Gaga, etc.
Why? Well, the truth is that it's a bit of a secret.
It's certainly a better weapon for OPTIMUS, but it's not terribly impressive.
It does let us kill Weird enemies, like the Weirdbeast, in one hit for one thing, though.
I don't even know what this does.
Well, time to go to the next floor, but that's for another day.