Part 15: Claus But No Maxwell
Now that we know where Undine is, if we talk to this captain at Venezia we get a choice of where to go. Until you talk to that one NPC in Alvanista you just go to Demeter's place every time.
Arche's headwear are Ribbons, so this is for her. It's a bit better than what she has now, so it'll do.
The Corroded Grotto has a pretty dumb gimmick, but it's still better than the one from the Cave of Spirits. The trasure at the bottom of the pool here looks unobtainable but we have to move the water to a different room by flipping a switch, run back here, and then go down those stairs to the left. It's pretty straightforward, but it's also incredibly tedious.
There's also these more unique switches. They all need to be pressed, so missing any makes backtracking absolutely necessary.
At level 20 Cless gets Concentrate. Concentrate sucks and isn't worth using. I tried to use it once; it doesn't help in the slightest. It's not even used in any Arcane Artes so it doesn't have a mastery percentage.
Aqua Mantles are the the same thing as Flare Mantles but with a 30% chance to nullify Water and Wind instead. They're nice and all, but they're not worth using a Rune Bottle on a Flare Mantle for. Though, in a sense, they are; Flare Mantles aren't necessary for the fire dungeon since you can become outright invincible for it and that's kind of better than maybe nullifying damage a little over half the time.
At level 20, Mint picks up a new title and a new arte;
It's pretty self-explanatory and since her AI is smart enough to react to ailments in battle it helps a bit too. Beats cooking something just to cure poison at least.
Pressing all three button switches in the dungeon causes a hole in the floor to appear (this is the room with the save point for reference).
: W, who's there!?
I'm sure you're already more than aware of who it is.
Apparently she's kinda pissed that we woke her up or something.
At least she gives us a slightly different reason to kick her ass.
Thunder Blade, meet Undine. Undine, meet over 1/6th of your max HP every few seconds. This fight really isn't difficult; it just takes a bit longer than normal since there's 6 enemies and the Squid have enough HP to survive one Thunder Blade each. If you were to use Thunder Claw or Claw Storm it becomes even easier but I still don't have Autumn Sandstorm mastered. Not like it matters, since Autumn Sandstorm on its own keeps Undine pinned down relatively well.
Oh, the ?Book is just another copy of Liver Ibonis. Nothing new, unfortunately.
I'm sure you know where this is going, so let's just skip there.
Undine is pretty awesome. She hits the target twice for around 4-500 damage each time, though she is, of course, water elemental which means she's not great to rely on for everything.
Since we're in Alvanista we might as well pick up the permit. The dock to Freyland is closer to the Moria Mine than Alvanista is so after returning we can just run straight there.
Bartender: They say there's a dead end part way down.
: A dead end?
: Unless we go there and check it out,
: we won't know what we're up against...
: Perhaps we should search the other locations before heading to the Moria Mine?
: That's not a bad idea. Cless, we'll leave it up to you to decide our course.
This is pretty interesting info. Speaking of, Lundgrom has something to tell us about now that we have the permit too.
: You mean the leader of the Four Great Spirits?
: Yeah... But keep in mind, this isn't something that comes from any sort of research materials. It's just one of those rumors that never seems to die.
If we could get a pact with Maxwell, that would help a ton... we have some other stuff to do first though.
Skit: Permit Acquired
: Now we can get into the Moria Mine.
: Yeah, that's one less thing we have to worry about.
: Then shall we go search for the ring needed to form the pact with Luna?
: Exactly, we'll do just that.
Skit: The Moria Mine
: We should be able to enter with that permit.
: Somewhere in the mine we should find Luna's Pact RIng. That's what we're searching for.
On the bank opposite the dock to Freyland we can find another tent. We skipped over this earlier because 12,000 gald is a lot to part with early on.
...Especially for an Arcane Arte we won't be able to use for a fair few hours. Cless is level 20 right now; one of the base artes for this isn't obtained until level 37.
At the dock, we can find this guy who tells us the next part of the story of Luna. He won't even mention it if we didn't talk to the guard at Alvanista though.
: Last we heard, the Spirit of the Moon had been captured by the evil people.
Traveler: Those evil people took the Spirit of the Moon and locked her within a dark dungeon where the light of the moon could not shine. Because of that, the poison began to spread from within the world. Mankind was on the verge of ruin. Of course, the evil men were not exempt. However, the world did not fall completely into ruin. In a remote region of the world, Sorcerers had succeeded in creating a magical barrier that halted the advancement of the poison. Several hundred years passed with things in that state. In the months and years that passed, the survivors multiplied until they formed a small nation of their own... That's as far as I can remember.
Nothing else to do here, so to Freyland we go! Time to pick up Efreet and then go blazing through the Moria Mine.
Skit: Desert Heat
: What are you doing, suddenly calling out Undine?
: It's too hot out here, so I thought this might help cool things off a bit...
: The water instantly came to a boil...
: This is truly what you'd call <<nature's fryin pan>>.
: Yeah, sadly...
Back on the boat to Alvanista from Freyland, there's a sailor who'll tell us the next part of the story about Luna. This is probably the easiest part to miss since you can't even see that the guy's there until you walk up here.
: Last we heard was a few hundred years after the poison had spread.
Sailor: The people inside the barrier had forgotten even the significance of the barrier than surrounded them. Those who left the safety of the barrier were never heard from again. It was believed they could never return from the dark world outside. During this era, though none can recall exactly when, a certain young Soldier swore his loyalty to the kingdom. One day, that Soldier was sent on a mission to explore the ruins hidden beneath the country. There, what what he found was none other than the Spirit of the Moon. The Soldier's heart was instantly captured by the incredibly beauty of the Spirit. He had fallen in love with the Spirit of the Moon. However, the King intended to seal away the Spirit once again. He had his own reasons for wanting to control the power of the Spirit. As for the story, that's all I know.
Near the port, there's a small village that holds something surprisingly awesome...
No, not the Poware. It's in the item shop, and there's a fair few things in there.
Those chests behind the counter CAN be obtained... but there's a catch. You have to pay for them, they're all incredibly expensive and you can't use charms to reduce the price either. On the plus side, you pay for them AFTER they've been added to your inventory (and thus the Collection Encyclopaedia) and they're all incredibly overpowered and easily break the next 5 or 6 hours of the game.
...We won't bother getting them until we can actually afford them though. But we will buy a new accessory!
The Silver Shawl will help us break the next dungeon in two on its own. Seems like a worse version of the Flare Mantle, doesn't it? Well...
Using a Rune Bottle on one makes a Princess Shawl. What does the Princess Shawl do?
...Yeah, that's a 50% chance of nullifying fire. And, yes, it stacks. Giving two of them to either Mint or Arche makes them literally invincible in the next dungeon.
I can't help but notice though that I'm running sorta low on cash. I still have that Coral from earlier (and an extra piece I got as a drop in the Corroded Grotto). I think we should sell it.
That's, um, that's quite a lot... not enough to get anything from behind the item store counter, but it's a start. Though, we'll spend this on other equipment we shouldn't have yet instead. No reason why, other than spite.
The dungeon where we can find Efreet isn't far from Olive Village but I'm more interested in that tower surrounded by mountains. It's gonna be sat there for ages beckoning... just out of reach...
Throughout the desert, we can find a few oasis that we'll look through again later but we're in the area and I'm going past them anyway so we might as well loot them now.
There's a few items scattered through them but the only thing of interest is another recipe. This one restores TP rather than HP so it'll be good for later dungeons.
If we just walk past the desert we can eventually reach a new town with a giant expansive plain near it (which we can't access yet because the game won't let us).
Midgard is a place we've heard about a fair bit but haven't had reason to come to. We still don't, but I'm after a few things we can get here. More importantly, the place is supposed to be practically abandoned as its actively at war with Dhaos making it unsafe to live in. You can tell that it's a large place and it really feels as empty and lifeless as it's supposed to. The music helps but the fact that the only NPCs you can find are either soldiers, shopkeepers of varying merchandise...
Some guy in an alley selling an arcane arte for 18,000 Gald...
We can actually use this one! It requires Thunder Claw and Swallow Dance, both of which we've had mastered for quite a while now. It even costs less TP use than Claw Storm.
And the last group of NPCs we can find right now?
Using a Rune Bottle on a Charm Bottle makes it a Miracle Charm which reduces shop prices by 50%.
Using that lets us pick up something as nice as this Mechanical Halberd for only 11,000 Gald. This is a massive upgrade over the Gungnir. How massive?
Over 100 Slash and just shy of 100 Thrust massive. That's quite the upgrade. Anyway, that's all we came here for (and Claw Kick too I guess).
Fuck Basilisks. These things are annoying; they love to try and petrify you, which they probably will, they absorb fire and nullify earth. Plus side is they're weak to Cyclone and Undine. Oh and there's another reason I say fuck 'em but we'll get to that one later. I'm sure that by the time we get there you'll agree with the sentiment.
Back at Olive's grocery store, we can talk to this lady to get more of the story about Luna.
: Last we heard, the Spirit of the Moon had been captured by the King of the country that emerged after the world had fallen into ruin...
Villager: The Soldier who had first discovered the Spirit of the Moon decided that it was his responsibility to save the Spirit. He knew the punishment for treason was death, but thinking only of the Spirit, he cast aside all doubt. By working together with people who opposed the kingdom, the Soldier was able to rescue the Spirit with little difficulty. However, the King would stop at nothing to track down the Soldier. Within the barrier, there was no longer a safe place for them. With no options remaining, the Soldier decided to risk everything. His resolve was firm, he would leave the barrier. With her power, at least the Spirit of the Moon would be able to live on outside the barrier. The Soldier was willing to lay down his life for the sake of the Spirit... It seems I've forgotten the rest of the story...
Okay, that's enough of that for now. Let's finally go to the dungeon and get the last spirit we need.
There's a couple of switches we can't reach which sounds like it would be problem.
It's not, because the Sorcerer's Ring is literally one screen over. This item has been in every Tales game and it's always used for the same thing; hitting things to solve puzzles. Unlike the later games, you need it equipped on someone to do anything with it.
With the Sorcerer's Ring we can return to that switch to the left of the first room. It lets us get another stat boosting herb. Yippee. The other two contain a ?Axe and a Fight Symbol.
When we get a bit further in, this door locks itself behind us. We could run to the far right and go in a giant circle to get back here (it leads to where the Sorcerer's Ring was) or we could go up some stairs just to the right.
This is here so we don't skip half the dungeon after getting the Sorcerer's Ring. With the ring, we can enter the room where Efreet's waiting (it's just north of the start of the dungeon) but we can't get past the entrance to that room because of a locked door. Hurray for blatant padding!
Also the random encounters here are all fire elemental and one of them is kind of a dick and will cast Eruption. Eruption is what Storm would be if it was about as powerful as Cyclone and Fire elemental. This would be kind of threatening if I didn't have two Princess Shawls.
At level 23, Cless picks up Rising Phoenix. As you might expect, it's fire elemental... and we're in the fire dungeon... with nothing but fire enemies. So much for that then.
But when we get out of here and can actually use it against things, it'll be pretty useful.
With the Sorcerer's Ring and Magma Key we can get access to Efreet himself.
: I wish to form a pact with you.
: Haha... I'll admit, you've got a good eye. Very well.
: That is, if you're able to defeat me in battle!!
Honestly, Efreet is extremely underwhelming.
Even if it weren't literally impossible for me to lose this fight, Efreet wouldn't be that hard. Got Ice Tornado? Got Undine? Set them to shortcuts and you're golden. Even if you don't have Undine, he's still not that tough. He doesn't even have any lackeys so the fight isn't artificially lengthened. Just remember to not use Cyclone and there's no problem. How disappointing.
Again, I'm sure you know what comes next.
Oh, there was that chest behind Efreet wasn't there?
And for kicking Efreet's teeth in, Mint gained a level and a new arte too.
That's all the prep work done; now we can go to the Moria Mine at last and finally get that ring to form a pact with Luna.
Skit: A Summoner's Clear Mind
: W, what are you doing this time?
: As the adage says, <<when one's mind is clear, even flames grow cold>>.
: Yeah... And so?
: I thought maybe this would cool me off.
: Is it actually cooler?
: No, it's hot.
...And Klaus is the smart one here. That's quite worrying.