Part 4: Episode 4: I Fell In To A Burning Ring of Fire
Last we left our heroes we had just busted out of the gates of Hellena and the keystone cops were going to be in hot pursit. After they relowered the draw bridge they just raised giving us a nice head start. Don't ask me where our two perfectly capable horses went off two. I assume The Hooded Man personally poisoned them earlier so they die precisely now as part of his plan. It makes as much sense as anything.
"Lavitz, can you keep going?"
And uh, he made Lavitz have an asthma attack. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Unfortunately for us they have rubbed together enough brain cells to fire off some arrows, and not even Lavitz is impervious to plot arrows.
In quite possibly the worst act of hiding I've ever gotten to witness, all three of them move about four feet to the left of where Lavitz got shot and duck behind a two foot tall rock and some grass. The saviors of the world my friends.
"Does it hurt?"
Lavitz: "It's just a scratch."
Shana: "But you gotta cover the wound."
Lavitz: "it can be treated later. We gotta run first."
"I will carry Lavitz. Shana, go first."
Shana: "Don't treat me like a child. I will go with you guys."
Lavitz: "I can walk by myself."
Shana: "Here they come!"
I can only assume that in the time it took to get from the castle to his prairie Fruegel has caused the death of most of his guards. I mean, when a guy about 10x faster than you who foreshadows says he'll kill you if you fuck up, you send more than two guards.
This time they make a slightly better choice and jump into some tall grass and run behind a tree. Less fortunate is an immediate rustling sound as the guards run up.
Hellena Warden A: "!!"
Hellena Warden B: "!!"
Hellena Warden A: "There they are!!"
This brings up serious questions about their ability to tell gender. Or Dart or Lavitz isn't telling us something.
Hellena Warden B: "Is this the fugitive?"
Hellena Warden A: "Don't be silly!! Go look over there!!"
Tweedledee and Tweedledum are convinced by a large rat/rabbit thing the party is no longer around and run off the right path.
Jailbreak is now officially a success! Now that we have control the first order of business is to backtrack to the first screen. Just beneath here we took cover is a small path that leads to a chest with 100g. Considering we are at under 1000 total right now that's some serious ducats.
We'll head back to where we hid in the grass and then make a quick jaunt northwest. Unfortunately there is a river in our way and none of the party has the ability to leap fifteen feet like certain other cool people we've met. So we head back south a few screens to an abandoned farm shack.
Lavitz: "Tut, such a trifle wound."
Shana: "Does it still hurt?"
Lavitz: "A little bit."
Lavitz is just looking to get more attention from the only woman he's seen in a few weeks.
Shana: "I learned first aid, I thought it would be useful. Particularly in times like these."
Have I mentioned Dart is kind of a dick? Because Dart is kind of a dick.
Shana: "Mr. So-and-so might come back injured at any moment."
Dart knows there are times where nothing you say is the right thing and changes the topic.
"Let's use the shack over there."
Lavitz: "All right."
Shana: "Here you go."
Lavitz: "Thanks. It's much better now."
"It seems we completely lost those fools from Hellena."
Shana: "Dart? Tell me, about these last five years. It's okay, nevermind! We don't have time for this now."
Which is exactly why he's going to spend the next five minutes yammering on about it.
"It was a journey for revenge. It was a journey to find the guy who deprived me of something precious, and kill him. I couldn't tell you Shana. That's why I left by myself."
Shana: "The Black Monster? I only know the name. Nobody would tell me more about it because they said I was still too young."
Lavitz: "What is the Black Monster? What are you talking about?"
"I have two homes. One is Seles, where I spend time with Shana. And the other is where I spent time with my parents, my first home, which was taken from me by the monster eighteen years ago. Neet."
"It was when I was five years old. Neet was assaulted by the Black Monster. We were lucky. Only the three of us could get out from the village."
"But my father returned to the village."
"And my mother followed my father to the village to help everybody, but that's where the Black Monster was waiting. I was left alone, shivering and waited for dawn. The sun revealed a foreign landscape. It was a completely transformed Neet."
"What I found on the ground was only this. It's a memento, the only thing my father carried around all the time."
Shana: "Dart, it's okay. I understand."
"Shana, I'm sorry. I didn't tell you."
Shana: "It's okay, I knew you would tell me someday. Don't say anymore."
Lavitz: "So, you just came back from a journey to bring closure to the past."
"I'm still not there yet."
Lavitz: "You said Neet. It doesn't seem to be a village in this country."
"It was located farther north from here. I guess nobody even remembers its name anymore. Lavitz, tell me. What is going on in this country?"
Man. Dart is twice the protagonist that I could ever be. Not only did his childhood village get burned down, his adult village got burned down. I half expect a case of crippling amnesia to strike at any moment and for him to lose the ability to talk. Also remind me never to move in next door to him.
Lavitz: "Currently, our Kingdom of Basil is at war with the Imperial Sandora. The war has spread all over Serdio."
"Why was the truce broken?"
Lavitz: "Because of the Dragon, the legendary monster added weight to Sandora and broke the balance of power. Then Emperor Doel started to be more aggressive."
"Dragon? No, no way! Such a thing can be used in war?"
"I was swooped down on by a Dragon before I entered Seles. I was overwhelmed. There was no way to escape from it. I was saved by a passing warrior. That's why I am still alive."
There was no swooping involved, good sir. You somehow failed to note 8 tons of dragon crashing through the forest like an enraged elephant.
Lavitz: "The Dragon is advancing faster than I thought. We must do something or it'll be too late."
"You mean more casualties?"
Lavitz: "Yeah. It's a 'war'. Anyway, I have to go back to Indels Castle in Bale. There are so many things I have to report to King Albert. You know what, Dart? You guys should come along with me. Minister Noish might know something about the Black Monster."
That's a damn dirty lie and you know it Lavitz. All he's going to do is talk about his love for tapestries and fantasy stories.
"I see. They're a royalty with a long history. I might be able to find out something new."
Lavitz: "It's a done deal."
Shana: "Lavitz, don't take chances. You are not completely well."
Women have such high expectations for them.
Once we get control back we can pick up a Total Vanishing in the shack. We can use this to instantly defeat a weak enemy. I, uh, don't think I've ever used one. Maybe I'll heave it at something next update. Although it is vaguely handy in a few boss fights where they have a weak sidekick you can just knock out. Usually I'd just rather rack up the additions though.
There is also a chair we can sit in that will heal us up to full. Legend of Dragoon is usually pretty nice about giving you heal points in dungeon/field areas. I took advantage of this to grind out some additions a bit before heading out north of the shack.
He briefly considers using his sword, but quickly realized that's retarded. Luckily for us there is an axe back in the shack that we couldn't pick up earlier.
They...might not have thought their plan all the way through. Or considered the fact that gravity does exist.
Dart and Lavitz nearly get dragged off trying to stop hundreds of pounds of tree from following physics. Lucky for us and them our dear friend plot device intervenes! If we run back to where we couldn't cross earlier it floats down and blocks the way.
But let's do some quick thinking here. We were originally blocked on the right side of the river, we then proceeded to climb a cliff on the LEFT side of the river(we can tell by the flow direction), and then went BACK to the right side and crossed over to the left. The arrangement was odd, and seemed to follow the symetries of some cosmic geometry unknown to earth or the solar system. But I dare not think to close lest my sanity breaks like so ma-- Ever Their praises, and abundance to the Black Goat of the Woods. Ia! Shub-Niggurath! The Goat with a Thousand Young!
*cough* I don't know what came over me.
When we get to the other side we can pick up a Angel's Prayer. Woo revive items. Though hopefully I won't be doing any dying any time soon. We can also talk to a couple of refugees who are looking at us rather sullenly.
They are originally from Sandora but Lavitz gives the kid some food and offers to let the family stay at his house with him and his mom for a while. That is one trusting dude. On the other hand he tells them to follow them through the cave. So they'll probably die weeping on the blood slicked floor of with poison coursing through their veins. Cave monsters eat them or something because they never show up at his house
Speaking of caves:
Welcome to our next real dungeon. It's not very long, but it can be kind of annoying depending how lucky you are.
The main enemies we are going to run into are bats and these poison orbs. The bats do about five damage and aren't worth mentioning at all. On the other hand, orbs are annoying for 2 reasons: one, they can run away. This is probably the first enemy you'll run into that will do that. There are some birds on the overworld map you can find, but they are pretty rare. Also as you might suspect they can poison you. Poison hits for 10% of your life/turn and doesn't go away without a Body Purifier. So of course Lavitz immediately got poisoned in my first encounter in the cave.
Weeeee! Our next stop is in a room with some slides. If we just jump on and ride we'll end up at 20g. Our next time through we'll hold up at the first turn then down at the second and we'll get our first weapon upgrade: Dart's Bastard Sword. Its a nice five damage upgrade which brings his total strength on par with Lavitz. And with that and a higher level addition he'll be definitely out-damaging the rest of the party in normal combat for a while.
"Shana, be careful not to slip."
In here we pick up a body purifier which I immediately burn on Lavitz, cause I forgot to pick up one up at the first shop, and another total vanishing.
"Huff huff huff!"
Lavitz: "This is the second time you saved my life."
"Huff, huff, I was just around."
Lavitz: "Even though that was the case, I was lucky you were around, Dart. It'll be a long relationship we will have."
"Yup. That's right."
Then the both of them just walk off without saying a word to Shana.
This little dork is another one of the enemies in the area. He hits quite a bit harder than the other two in attacks. It -might- have a poison attack but they are rare spawns and I only saw one. Needless to say it died fast.
"These are Rock Fireflies."
Shana: "Oh, you know a lot."
"Well, I used to be saved by these a lot."
Lavitz: "Me too. In particular, the ones close to a battlefield were helpful."
Shana: "Excuse me. Don't just change amongst yourselves and leave me out. Tell me what they are."
The fireflies glow and white out the screen. When its done we are fully healed.
Shana: "Oh!! Oh boy!"
Lavitz: "The light from a Rock Firefly has a healing power."
Dart is still a dick.
Shana: "Well well. I know something you don't know too, Dart."
"Wh, what is that?"
Shana: "I'm not telling."
Lavitz: "Well, you have been away from each other for five years. It's natural to not know about each other. Wait, my mom and I aren't like that. Every time I go back to Bale, she welcomes me with the same smile."
Cue five seconds of very awkward silence and staring.
Lavitz: "Wh, What? Did I say something wrong?"
"Let's get going. Your mother is waiting for you in Bale right?"
On the path to the fireflies there was a small side area up and right of us that lead to another 100g. On the path actually with the fireflies is another Angel's Prayer and a Burnout. Shana needs a new pair of fire.
In the next room we pick up another Charm Potion before heading up to the screen above for a much more useful item. But first we have to deal with this stupid fuzz ball.
For once in our lives murder is not the solution. We have to chase this dumb bastard in a circle. We're a little bit faster than him, but not much. Also the pathing in this area kind of sucks so you'll keep jumping on the wrong stone or getting stuck. I made it a video cause if I'm suffering, you're suffering. On the upside after we run him down he drops a Poison Guard. Pretty handy cause the next boss spews out poison. I shove it on Lavitz cause Dart is higher level and has a bit more HP, and Shana is wearing a +10 def accessory. You can also pick up a Spark Web in here.
Uh oh, save point and light of day in the distance. I think we all know where this is going. I pick up that body purifier there as well as a bandanna which is a really terrible piece of head armor before healing up and heading towards boss #2.
"There is something there."
Lavitz: "Could it be the much talked about guardian of the Cave?"
"Shana, step back!"
Shana: "Don't worry about me. I can help!"
Lavitz: "It's coming!!"
So here we have our good friend Urobolos. I'm pretty sure they meant Uroboros but were confused after too much boozing at the translation office party.
He could be dangerous, but I'm lucky and know what I'm doing and he's going to get his face pounded in. I finally mastered double strike so Dart has moved onto using Volcano for his addition. Even at level one it already matches damage with level 5 double slash.
Also thanks to some furious X mashing I open up with a 45 damage spark web from Shana. She's basically going to murder this fight for me. Urobolos only has 270 HP so he's almost 20% dead already.
His main attack is just chomping down on a character for about 20-25 damage. Fruegel could slam Lavitz for up to 40 with that rock throw, so this really isn't anything to be worried about.
Shana continues to bring the pain with my stock of magic items hitting for 40 or so this time. Lavitz has attacked once for about 20 damage at this point for reference.
Urobolos has had enough of my bullshit however and uses its actual threatening attack. Its an attack that hits all your allies and has a chance to poison them. Lavitz is obviously guarded, Dart and Shana just manage to luck out and stay clean.
Once he's down below half he'll climb into the cave in the side and change up a little bit. If you aren't in murder mode you might want to defend here. He uses his area of attack poison a lot more up there. However, I already have him in the red so keep on pushing. There's basically nothing he can do to stop me at this point.
At this point Dart magically learns to leap fifteen feet in the air and does a finishing slash to end the battle.
The snake flails around uselessly shooting poison clouds from its mouth before collapsing to the ground.
Lavitz: "Now, let's get on our way to Indels Castle."
Shana: "Wh, what was...?"
"What on earth happened?"
Shana: "I, I don't know."
Lavitz: "Anyway, we are safe. We should think about how to get out of here. It'll be fine when we get to Bale. I think."
Note to self: do not get on Shana's bad side. Getting vaporized by a human nuclear weapon is not on my list of things to do. There is only one more room to the cave and its a straight shot with 50g and a healing item. After that its time for Indel's Castle!
Next time on Legend of Dragoon: Hidden items! Terrible cut scenes! Dart gets rolled by a hobo!