Part 11: The Evil Eye
Title screen! Are we tired of Razril's back streets yet?
Anyway! Last time, we fought giant frogs and found a twig. What could they possibly think of to top such excitement?
I hope you made him pay you for that thing, Kyril
We met a guy down there. He told us about some kind of Giant Tree.
It's a better plot device than final boss, let me tell you that!
Ah, yes. Pablo. He sometimes looks after the place.
So... again with the "why are we even here?" If you knew a guy who hangs out down there we could have just talked to him instead argh Iskas you worthless piece of
I found it after we talked to him. I thought maybe it was a branch from that tree he told us about.
Hmm, interesting... I think you may be right. This may turn out to be an extraordinary find.
"Uh I don't know how you came to that conclusion but you're kind of heavily armed so I'll just humour the mentally unstable young man for now."
Really? You think so?
Well, we can't do much with this twig alone, though...
We could always put it in a glass of water and try to get it to sprout roots so we can plant it and make another tree.
I suppose not. I'm sorry. That was all I could find down there.
No, no, don't worry about it. After all, it was I who asked for your help. Still...
But I wouldn't be surprised if the means still exist to build other parts of a Rune Cannon, like the muzzle.
Why would you want to, though? Not much use without ammo.
...though, if you don't tell people they can't get a hold of more ammo, I suppose they might still buy it.
What do you think, everyone? Would you be willing to enter the Underground Path again?
They don't even try to call it a "secret" path now.
But I just said there's nothing--
No, this time I'll go, too. You'd be like my bodyguards. And of course, I'll make it worth your while. Well, what do you think?
Odds that I'll ever see any of that money... non-existent.
I'm behind you every step of the way.
Count me in, too.
As if we expected anything else.
Wonderful! Let me gather my associates first. I can't thank you enough...
Sure you can.
See you in a little while.
"Little while" = "few weeks".
First off, new rewards. Only casters can use these, but then again they're pretty much the only ones who'd want to. I like to imagine Andarc wearing them on top of his old ones.
Three levels up, and Rita has 10 strength, which is exactly the required amount for this mission.
This'll be fun!
Not so much for me, though. It's ten days long, which means five trips back and forth.
But the image of a little girl with a giant hammer beating a band of pirates into submission is kind of worth it. Also, the money (1500) and SP (200) aren't too shabby either.
"High level" is kind of misleading. I'm quite pleased to say that Rita precisely fills the requirement for his one, too!
This one just takes five days, so three trips. It's worth 1200 Potch and 500 SP.
That leaves only one more quest, and catching the cat requires speed and evasion of 10 or above. Rita, unfortunately, is four points short in both stats. Maybe after another couple of battles...
Anyway, plot. Thankfully, we don't have to fight our way through the Underground Passage again. I like the gameplay and all, but that would have been kind of dull.
I should have known... Nothing here.
I told you, but you wouldn't listen. Now about that money you owe me...
Hey... Where's Pablo? I guess he left...
Kyril's mind is preoccupied with
I wonder if there's some kind of connection between Yohn being the most observant member of the group, and being the least talkative one.
Well? What is it?
It's Yohn. She...
"She's kind of special."
I think there might be something over there.
Then let's have a little look.
You men first!
Nameless NPC minions, go! We'll use the volume of your screams to gauge the threat of anything lurking within.
So the two of them crawl through the... big hole in the wall that no one has previously thought to investigate.
Damn it, I made so many cracks about Lazlo being the only person in the islands with a functioning brain that I've run out. Maybe it was hidden from human eyes by some clever magic that only GoatVisionTM can pierce, but you can't unsee it once someone points it out to you. You know, like the spoon in the FedEx logo.
Anyway, they have a nice little echo on the guy's voice here. I guess I appreciate the effort.
A passage? Good work, men!
It sounds more like "Wow, not only are you morons, but you're an extra special breed of morons! I can see it, you know!"
...maybe that's just me.
Anyway, he turns to Kyril next.
Let's go take a look, people! This could be big!
So they did.
It's pitch black, meow!
Actually, that's a lie. It is brightly lit!
You know... actually, I'm not going to assume no one ever found this place when they searched the lab. Rather, I'm going to assume anyone who did, did not survive long enough to tell anyone about it.
Because it's full of skeletons.
And bats. Always the goddamn bats.
Skeletons kind of hurt.
Andarc hurts more, though.
Shame about the whole "only once per level" thing though.
Die, you annoying little fucker.
And the other one misses. No bucket status for us today! (Not that Andarc would particularly care, I guess.)
Seneca can't decide who she'd rather talk to.
She settles for both.
Time to show 'em who's boss!
We learned Dying Wish Attack! DWA is... well, actually, let me just show you this:
It is quite powerful, has a very nice area of effect... but is also pretty awkward to set up. Damn satisfying when you manage it, though! I won't be using it in this battle at least.
"Centred on Kyril" means he's in front, with Andarc and Seneca in the back.
Rita continues doing Rita things. Luck!
Seneca is determined to keep up.
Kyril takes a bit of a beating, but there's no point in healing him when there's nice, shiny fire terrain to be had. The enemies can't do much against him while he's standing there. Though, a few of them are fire elemental, so that's something to watch out for!
Seneca strategically positions herself...
...while Kyril chops up one of the three remaining skeletons. If you look at the turn gauge on the top part of the screen, you can see the targeted character highlighted in yellow. This skeleton's turn was coming up before Andarc's, and we can't have that.
Nice! This is sure to come in handy before long.
For his trouble, Kyril gets another level with... actually rather terrible stats. Not a single non-HP stat above one!
Rita gets rid of the elemental and gets a better one.
Finally, Andarc makes use of Seneca's position and initiates a Cohort Attack to wipe out the remaining enemies.
More magic is always nice, and speed!
Our reward for this is something even better than the Chain Mail! But I'll show that off later.
However, in an alternate universe...
Opening one of the two chests here causes more enemies to spawn in. The other one holds three Flame Force Beads and spawns a blue (swordsman) skeleton, which isn't really worth showing off. This one is a bit different, though. The salad is just a consumable (I don't remember/care exactly what it does) but the red skeleton is different. It uses "fist" weapons. Fist users have access to a unique skill, Cross Counter, which adds the attacker's strength to their own when countering. Get careless with one of these, and you may well one-shot yourself.
However, that is far too much faffing about for even more shitty rewards and I got an A when I tried it, so fuck that noise. We're going with the first attempt.
"Wonderful", the man says, conveniently ignoring the fact that we risked life and limb while he stood around twiddling his thumbs.
By the way, you should watch this.
There must be some old Rune Cannon parts lying around...
There is a kind of splashy rumbling sound.
The generics rush off to their inevitable doom.
You... do that. I'll be over here. Not dying horribly.
See? What did I tell you?
Oh, that can't be good.
Not good at all!
Not the time, Andarc. Less talking, more running!
Kyril! What do we do?
Kyril is busy having a flashback...
...to the last time...
...he saw that light...
...and is not in any condition to make important decisions right now.
The rest of the group starts to pull back, but...
...Kyril isn't moving.
Forgive me, Kyril!!
Andarc grabs Kyril and...
...carries him away just in time.
Somehow, the party makes it above ground again.
Kyril, are you okay?
It doesn't matter now. Don't worry about it, okay?
That creature... It was just like that other time...
Not just like that time. It was worse!
Yeah, I-I think so.
But this time... it was... alive.
Those eyes... They did remind me a lot of Rune Cannons.
What the hell were we carting around through S4?
Hey, wait a second. You think Iskas got out of there okay?
I'm pretty sure he ran off like a sane person while the rest of us were standing around like morons/shell-shocked 'Nam veterans/take your pick.
Now that you mention it...
I wonder if he's okay... We have to go back and check on him.
That is a terrible idea. He hasn't even paid us-
Never mind. Proceed.
We will. But you should take it easy for now.
We're booted back to the caravan. Time to equip that mail suit I picked up! It offers a pretty good boost, I have to say. But wait, you haven't seen anything yet.
This is the S-rank award for the map we just beat. That's +20 MDF. Plus twenty! Oh, and that DEF boost makes Andarc the tankiest character in the party at this point. Enjoy!
The Underground Path shows up in town, but there is no battle to be fought here this time.
We can only pray that Iskas made it out safely.
That's odd... Even that monster's gone. I wonder where they all went...
I'm hoping "far away". That sound good to you?
And so, another chapter comes to an end.