Part 49: Depths Of Treant Forest
As you might remember, we did just finish up in Japon (until we need to buy a ton of Miso) which puts us very close to the next optional dungeon that we'll be tackling.
We do need to speak to a guy in the Elven Village first, though. We won't know its there until we do so this one makes sense.
Bowyer: It's the most important component of the ultimate bow. Supposedly, it can only be cut in the Depths of the Treant Forest. They say that long ago, the Depths of the Treant Forest could be reached from the slate but, apparently, because the Depths are so dangerous the entrance was sealed.
I wouldn't call the Depths particularly dangerous in terms of what lives there, but that thing about the slate being the access point is a big clue for how they were really dangerous. At least that "ultimate bow" thing gives us a damned good incentive for doing it; anything that makes Chester even better is worth the hassle.
Reaching the slate is the same old stuff as usual. Nothing exciting happens in the normal forest.
: Maybe we should just ask Origin if he knows anything about it.
: That's true.
: Is there a reason for that?
: Entering the Depths is simple, it is returning that proves impossible.
: You all lack the ability to fully comprehend the situation. However, to put it simply... Since ancient times, this slate has secluded the Depths of the Forest in a sealed space. In other words, it exists in another dimension entirely.
: What a mess...
: If we were to enter the Depths, is there really no way to return?
: If only for a short time, I could send you there, but-
: How long are we talking here?
: A short time.
This is incredibly vague but this serves as both a time limit AND a gimmick in one!
No, that's not an error you're seeing. It's a terrible visual effect made to replicate mist or fog or something. It's on every screen in this place bar one. Just, try and ignore it.
Anyway, the Depths of the Treant Forest is the second most tedious dungeon that's accessible from once you step foot on Dhaos' Castle. That time limit/gimmick I mentioned above isn't all the dungeon has up its sleeve; oh no, it's even a completely awful maze. There's a map on GameFAQs for those that really want to do this dungeon. It's terrible and it doesn't help at all.
And, no, you're not misreading that (if you looked at it). This place really has 148 treasures to get; don't bother trying to get them all. Most of them are gummis or fruit or whatever but some of them are worth the hassle.
First though, we need to prepare for this dungeon. Let's start by kicking Klaus out of the party, since he got added back in when Arche left for a short while.
Next, we'll be giving him two of the Moon Crystals that I hadn't bothered to sell.
Finally, let's restore some of that excess TP. We'll be needing it. The thing that Origin was alluding to, is that the time limit for this entire dungeon is that you have to beat it before Klaus' TP reaches 0. The gimmick part of that comes in with that aspect too; since you can restore Klaus' TP, you can extend your remaining time to enable you to achieve things. This is kinda important because his TP goes down so long as you're not in a menu or battle. Whether you're stationary or moving is irrelevant. Of course, you don't want to use him in battle because his summons would eat through his TP and kill your chances of finishing this stone dead. Having him out of battle helps solve that issue AND enables you to gain a bit more extra time simultaneously. The minor amounts of TP restoration you get after a fight (assuming you're not playing on Mania) is given to people on the bench as well, so it's a bit of a minor benefit.
It goes without saying, but you'll want a bunch of Orange/Pineapple Gummis and Fruit to cook TP restoring stuff just in case. You can beat this dungeon in like 2 or 3 minutes but that's not very exciting, and you'll miss out on a few things. Namely one collectible, a few weapons and valuables and three new enemies (p.s. one of them is a fairly rare enemy).
The best way to really handle this place is to get this (head straight down from the entrance) and get out. That's how I'd usually do it at least.
The Nocturnal Fly is the only enemy unique to this place. The Boar Boar has a terrible name, but can be encountered in the other big optional dungeon. As you'd imagine from stuff in a forest, they're both weak to fire. The Nocturnal Fly occasionally nullifies Dark but that's pretty negligible.
Remember how at pretty much every other axe I've gotten, I've complained about how useless and terrible axes are?
This thing makes me eat those words. It then eviscerates everything within a 100 mile radius. The Bahamut's Tear is the best axe, and if it was anything else I'd make a sarcastic comment about how "that doesn't really mean much." I've even put off using axes altogether until getting this one because a) every other axe IS terrible and b) this thing is better than the Gungnir for where we are now. Sure, it's not quite as accurate nor does it have even close to the same amount of Thrust but for what we'll be fighting later, this guy is the best weapon for the job. Unfortunately the Bahamut's Tear does suffer from the one key flaw of every other axe: it has the combat range of a teaspoon. This makes it both awkward to use if you're used to spears and yet so much more convenient. The key issue with spears that you may have noticed at some point is that if you're too close to the thing you're trying to hit, your attacks will always miss. Their biggest asset, therefore, is also their biggest weakness and it's for that reason, and that reason alone, that I'd opt for Bahamut's Tear over Gungnir.
Well, that and I haven't even used an axe yet, so I'm using this one.
I'm holding onto my last rune bottle for one very specific weapon coming up soon, but this is another Doom Blade. Dunno why you'd want two though, other than to sell one I guess.
I think it's quite telling as to how useful these things are that this is the earliest one you can get for free.
Speaking of getting things for free, there's a fair bit of easy Ivory to snatch up in this place. You can get it as a drop from one enemy... that isn't over common... at the bottom of a giant pain of a dungeon... but by the time we meet that guy we won't need this any more.
There's two places to get this thing. This is one of them. The other is by beating the arena like 6 or 7 times. Is it worth it?
Is it balls. It's worse than even that broom we found at Volt's Cave several gameplay hours ago.
But there's also this on the same screen. It's not quite good enough to validate the Magical Broom being acquired so late but...
It is better than the Pretty Ribbon. It's her statistically best "helmet" with that +25 Defense, but the 10 evasion makes it harder to say which is better between it and the Pretty Ribbon in practice. I prefer this, though, since 10 evasion is kinda unimportant for a ranged character who hovers above the ground.
I'm sure a lot of people that have played the game before will remember this bow.
This wonderful, wonderful bow. The Berserk Arrow was originally Chester's best bow and even now it's still pretty damned good. It's only his second best here, but it'll carry him through the rest of this dungeon very easily.
This place is also where we can get the second N.G. I assume that the one from the grand treasure hunt was for in case you miss this one.
Not far from the N.G. we can find a screen that doesn't have a terrible filter over the top, that also houses a chest with a log of wood in it.
I get the feeling that this quest wasn't thought out very well. I mean, like, there's no boss fight or anything!
: It must be.
: I can't even imagine a bow made out of such incredible wood.
: Then, with this, we should be able to strengthen the bow, right?
: Yeah, definitely!
Once you get the Sacred Wood and leave, you can't return to the Depths of the Treant Forest ever again so make damn sure you got everything you wanted before you finish up.
With the wood, though, we can walk back to the bowyer in the village and get an even better murderbow.
Bowyer: If I use that, I can make the Elven Bow I repaired before much stronger.
[i]One quick fade to black later...
[i]The revamped Elven Bow, or Elven Bow II as it's usually referred to, is Chester's best bow by quite a fair bit.
It's so much better than even the Berserk Arrow that it just seems kinda unfair. Considering how annoying the Depths are to play though, it kind of has to be really.
Let's completely ignore everything we've just done though, aside from picking up The Best Axe, and go put Cless to his ultimate test.
...Hopefully it won't take over a month to do that, though!