Part 10: Episode 2: Part 5: Barracuda?Episode 2: Part 5: Barracuda?
I, Alanthreonus Phillipe Straphachar, will lead the way in!
Don't worry, we'll ditch everybody once we get inside.
That's all right, we won't be going along with the crowd.
Yea, want to come with us instead?
Might as well. Everyone else is being pretty careless.
Lets try either the left or right fork. Everyone else went down this middle one.
The game wont let us go down the middle one anyway.
To the right!
There's a single monster encounter on this path.
These two Cave Sludges heal themselves and resist both Rhues current sword auras, so we rely on Traziun. They're pretty weak anyway.
As for Rhan, he has a very nice mass heal and a blindness cure to make up for being weak.
Slasher hits Level 3. Still weak as shit compared to Piercer, which I switch back to.
Soul Stones increase MAX XL by +2
Rhue also deigns to allow us to try the middle route now.
This is the same guy who got tossed out the window of the tavern. Lucky bastard.
MAN: We were attacked!
That tends to happen in monster dens.
MAN: You don't understand! This thing was huge! And it can fly!
Is everyone all right?
MAN: I don't know, but I don't think so! I'm going to go get Kloe! She knows how to deal with things like this!
Maybe we should escort this gentleman out.
Are you kidding? We don't have time. We've got to get in there and save the others!
If this guy thinks Kloe could help, then I don't see any reason why we can't.
Don't you think it's possible that this guy is over estimating Kloe's abilities?
Maybe, but I have a feeling that we can do this.
Run and get Kloe, but tell her that Rhue, Traziun, and Rhan already have everything under control.
The man slowly leaves, one step at a time, like he's limping.
It's amazing to me how confident you can be about some things.
Quiet! Be quiet! It will hear you!
Where are the others?
Scattered. That "thing" chased them farther into the cavern. We're all going to die!
You might die, but we could just leave right now and be fine. What do you say Rhue?
We can do this.
(I can't let Kloe save everyone... but could she?)
There's a... strange sound, and then a man screaming, from the north.
Don't leave me here!
We'll try to find a way down to you. Try to stay alive.
(We can do this...)
I have a bad feeling about this.
This thing the game doesn't tell us here is that there's a ten minute timer. If we make it to Alan in under ten minutes, he gives us a Heart Stone. If we don't he doesn't reward us with shit.
And here's the meat and potatoes of this dungeon. Dodging the monster. Those aren't battle encounters, but instead instant kill shadows. and they zip back and forth pretty damn fast too, even the first one. You only have like a half second. If the shadow gets you, some kind of cloud appears to confuse (?) Rhue and then this happens.
Fortunately, the mystic powers in this cave have rendered Rhue immortal so he can pry himself off stalagmites for another try. Unfortunately, he walks rather slowly for this black spot dodging sequence.
That fourth thing is the last one but... we WANT the monster to hit us on this third one, on the right side. This secret GET only works on the right side.
And then the switch raises the bridge...
And when you cross the bridge the monster swoops into it, completely destroying it.
Savepoint right after that little trial...
The monster, at this point, has figured out Rhue's weakness, and goes for a decapitation, which actually does kill Rhue.
This is what the game over screen looks like. The top text is nearly unreadable in full screen too.
Starting at :32, the game over music is a midi version of this track.
The monster swoop is perfectly timed that if you walk straight down nonstop, you'll stand above the corpse for half a second before dying. You can just stop part way and it'll miss by miles. Or if you go right by the corpse without stopping. Except the tile on the left is impassable, so you'd have a moment to go back up but not enough to go right and around the corpse.
With this, you've seen both varieties of combats in the cave.
Rhues new Driver is a hard hitting single attack. Gash is a single attack that causes bleed. Inflow is a self-heal.
The actual path is the one heading north, but we can jump on this pillar.
Dead end or...?
This secret's kind of assholish cos you can see from the bottom floor that there's nothing there, and there's no hint of a doorway!
Not the greatest chance of success... I keep Cool Wind equipped.
Piercer levels up again, teaching Sleeper, a move that makes enemies fall asleep.
I'm pretty sure that this and Cool Wind were the only Step 1 Blade Arts I got the first time I played The Way. All the rest are hidden well, I think?
It's good to find someone alive for a change.
The monster swoops her and Rhue starts to run over, but as you can see...
I don't know, but we're on it's turf, and that's a very bad thing.
Rhue walks slowly for this next part too.
Because the monster will just swoop you at a moments notice as soon as you trigger it. Fortunately, he revives immediately at the start of the trial. But there's no indications where or when the monster will attack, and it'll even go a bit out of its way to get you as it goes by. It's VERY trial and error.
After that ordeals over with, Rhue walks fast again.
We're on the other side of this guy now. Can't be too far from Alan.
Thanks for coming so quickly. Take this heart stone as a token of my appreciation... *cough*
He's in bad shape. How are we going to move him with that thing flying about?
Uh... I'm not sure.
Well, we don't have much time. He looks awful.
And then our hero appears...!
Is everyone all right?
No. Alan is badly hurt.
Just sit tight for a minute. I'll have you out of there soon.
Bring in the ladder, boys!
A little later...
Where are the others?
Dead. But there is one person that is still unaccounted for...
But he's probably dead too by now.
How is that possible?
It's a single monster. A shadow that moves like the wind.
It almost got US a couple of times...
Then let's get out of here before anyone else gets killed.
And then the monster sound plays.
What? Do you know what it is?
Yes. It's a barrucha... We must leave immediately!
Sounds good to me.
This thing flies EXTREMELY fast. It reaches the party in half a second. Also note that it's a different sprite from earlier.
Lucky for us, no. It's called a Gutwing. It's still a very dangerous animal so watch out!
Let's beat this thing and get out of here then!
Kloe's not too bad at damage and comes with a bunch of XLIFE moves.
Body Massage cures one ally of soreness condition. (Gutwing inflicts this so its nice)
Tone increases users attack by about 25% of Focus.
Mistreated inflicts the amount of damage taken on all foes.
Revenge of One makes Kloe gain 'excessive power' if her HP is below half.
And Reprieve just turns that Vengeance state off.
The Gutwing's a mild challenge, but not too tough. It also nflicts poison and XL-SEEP which it uses on Traziun to keep him from using his strong XLIFES. It also focus fires him down! Speaking of focus fire, it gets two hits per attack, and three if it swoops. However, it dies the turn after Traziun went down.
There's no way that we're going to defeat it by ourselves.
You said that thing in there was a barrucha?
Yes. They are only found in the deepest pits below the Way.
It's a horrifying creature. I don't understand how it came to live in this cave.
That's easy, it came in through the Pits.
You're saying it migrated here?
If it wasn't here ever before then I don't see any other explanation.
The Pits are sometimes called the Lower Way aren't they?
Yep, it's called that because some people believe an entire network of connected tunnels exist below the surface.
So if you wanted to, you could travel the Way completely underground?
Yep. At least according to those theories.
That's all hogwash.
Lots of those same people also believe in the Upper Way.
And if believing in that doesn't make a person looney, then I don't know what does.
The Upper Way?
You've never heard of it? Talk about negligent parents.
There's so many legends about it that I can't even count them.
Some wanderers claim to have seen the Upper Way while traversing high mountains.
Crazy loons. It's even more stupid than the Lower Way.
So if there is an Upper Way and a Lower Way, then we're walking on the Middle Way.
Don't tell me you actually believe this stuff!
I don't know...
One question if I may.
What's preventing that barrucha thing from coming out of that cave and killing us all?
Everyone looks at each other...