Part 72: Episode 6: Part 14: An old friend.Episode 6: Part 14: An old friend.
With the Shadow Plunges out of the way, it's time to go to "the Scene" and take "The Bossman" up on his job offer.
On the elevator down to "the Scene" proper...
Rhue quickly discovers the chest is full of posters and then Sorya interjects.
The first time we came to the Scene, Exmus and Marasha were sitting up here with this guy.
Also, I can't get over this guy being named Bossman, since I'm way too used to that term being used in a derogatory way in stories about railroaded ttrpgs/crpgs or even about peoples real life bosses.
BOSSMAN: Lots to do and little time you see.
BOSSMAN: It has come to my attention that you are quite a group of adventurers.
You enjoy rising to the occasion and overcoming challenges.
BOSSMAN: Well Zehr Rhue, have I got a challenger for you...
Please, follow me.
BOSSMAN: Welcome friends, to my pet project. The Cave of Instant Death!
That name really needs some work.
BOSSMAN: Indeed, but that's simply a name used by insiders. The final name will be much better.
Who cares about the name, I'm wondering what you're talking about.
BOSSMAN: Didn't you hear me? There's a barrucha in the caverns below the Scene!
I wonder how people would feel if they knew they were dancing just above the lair of a bloodthirsty barrucha.
BOSSMAN: There is nothing to fear. The Scene is perfectly safe.
You see, I helped to create the cavern, and I brought the barrucha to it.
Fittingly, Bossman is completely fucking insane.
BOSSMAN: I breed them. It's one of my hobbies.
It is my dream to one day install moxi box camerqas in the caverns and put on a show.
BOSSMAN: Who would not want to watch brave adventurers go head to head with a vicious barrucha?
People with a weak stomach?
So why are you showing us this place exactly?
BOSSMAN: I need your help. I want you to be consultants for me.
I want you to enter the cavern and navigate through it, gathering as much treasure as you can before leaving.
I want to see if the barrucha I've breeded (SIC) is too smart or too dumb. The goal is to make for a pleasurable viewing experience.
Therefore I can't have my adventurers being annihilated without ever having a chance.
At the same time I can't have them running through the cavern without any opposition.
You want us to go into the cavern against the barrucha, come back, and then tell you to breed dumber or smarter ones?
BOSSMAN: Yes! And if you get killed I'll know to breed dumber barruchas.
That's wonderful. What are we getting in return exactly?
BOSSMAN: You can keep any of the treasure you find in the cavern. Trust me, the items suit people of your nature.
Now, I have to be on my way so I'll let my assistant at the desk answer any of your other questions. Fate be with you.
Fate? Don't you mean the Purpose? Huh.
Anyway, the guy at the desk doesn't say anything interesting, just except that we don't have all the treasure, and that we should get all of it and then come back with our report. So we go down the long and 'fast' (for some reason you go up and down them really fast) stairs to the cave.
So, just like old times, huh.
So there's a metric fuckton of items in this cave. Seriously. For both normal combat and plunge stats.
Meanwhile, the barrucha is 100x more aggressive and tricky than back in Episode 2. It's constantly swooping at you from any and all angles. Here it's doing its old trick of smashing bridges to try drop you on stalagmites. Wait. That's not an old trick. It's a new one!
You have to alternate between sometimes waiting at certain spots for it to pass or do something tricky, or holding down the keys to get through as quickly as possible. No way to know beforehand besides trial and error. On the bright side, Rhue is once again immortal which is acknowledged by the game in this sequence twice. The first is that chests you loot stay looted when Rhue resurrects himself, thankfully.
You have to make your way to an otherwise dead end to pull this switch and then backtrack a fair way to reach the bridge this switch raised. It's the only thing like this in the cave, otherwise the whole thing is easily accessible from get go.
A few minutes and like 20 notch items later...
While you can just use the exit area option on the save points to leave the cave it's AGAINST your best interests to do so, for when you try to return to the entrance, a new event happens...
The barrucha smashes a bridge leading back out to drop you on a bridge you can't otherwise reach.
Oh yes. We finally get to fight the barrucha. And we're so strong it's disappointingly easy. Hatassasar happens to be its one weakness so Rhue does really godo damage to it, and he even frequently lands crits on it. It DOES do brutal damage and inflicts a really nasty type of bleed that requires Sacrifa to draw XL to keep healing but otherwise, it's a short and easy fight.
Sorya doesn't have the greatest move set, talking about disappointing, but shes a strong fighter in a general sense. A speedy glass cannon type.
Holy FUCK! That becomes 3750 AR with the catalyst notched. This is so high the party levels up twice.
That XL Retension is seperate from the sword aura ones so that's nice too.
What a haul!
Also as we go to leave we get a goofy bug with the barrucha still alvie and stuck in place.
"Thank you. I'll make sure the Bossman gets these.
What? You killed the Barrucha?! That's something else!
Luckily we have a bunch of others ready to go.
If you can complete the course with less than 10 deaths, and in under 420 seconds, I'll give you a prize."
You're on mate.
It's like coming home again...
Like seriously, that's a metric fuckton of stuff, and it's not even showing the second and third page. The third page in particular has 4 each of Cross, Drop and Lunge stones.
Hatassasar's over halfway to level 5!!!
I also equip this. Our second last pattern to max out. And we're done with the barrucha cave now. There's no end cutscene for this. It barely counts as a sidequest and I don't think it's required for the third ending.
Now to our actual next sidequest.
We go to the forest teleporter house, but head down to the grave that has the same symbol as the House of Pnoe storeroom wall that we'd be using if we were progressing the main story (the ending actually isn't very far after that point, Episode 6's critical path is really short.)
And yep, the grave reacts to the portal stone and...
Reflective Sky starts playing.
And that was our extremely brief glimpse of the outer world! We wont be seeing it for a fair while so cherish the memory. Reflective sky also stops playing, and is replaced by one of the general dungeon themes.
We're actually in an upper part of Jopaga's labs switch puzzle we couldn't access before.
The walk way leads down into four rooms and a fifth room at the right end. One room is empty, two have two chests, and one leads to a pool that leads to a puzzle room.
I have to do a puzzle to open two different doors here. You have to use those switches to change the arrows on those pillars so the pillars in a certain pattern will light up.
There's a door on the left and one on the right and both require different patterns to be opened. The walkthroughs solution for the left door is correct, but the solution for the right door isn't so I have to spend a long time figuring that out. A long while. I'm not so great with these kinds of puzzles.
The right door just gives us key nicely.
The left door however...
Just has a chest with a Lyn Rock. Even if you fill the place up with water again, and swim over the gap, there's only a sparkling Heart Stone on the floor over there. No, the tricky part is you have to swim down this seemingly bottomless chasm.
Then I backtrack to the walkway in Jopaga's switch puzzle and head to the door at the right end.
The Crescent Key opens a door here.
A nasty puzzle here where you have to try get past really speedy monsters using these switches to block paths. If the monsters hit you, you start from the beginning of the screen. And you're better off in that case. That red bar is Rhue's air and if he runs out its GAME OVER RELOAD SAVE. And there hasn't been a save point in this whole segment. Meaning you'd have to do the light switch puzzle again too. Guess what happened to me after 100 attempts at this and being eaten by monsters? Rhue run out of air only a few tiles from being safe from drowning. I got so angry I turned puzzles off so I wouldn't have to do the light switch puzzle again, and deal with this. Except puzzles off here only makes two of the monsters extremely slow, while one is still extremely fast. Still makes it easy enough to pass after only a couple tries though. I turned puzzles on again after this update.
Anyway, I make a short stop in Icabod's basement to actually rob him for real this time.
I also find this place that has nothing but wine barrels and bottles of liquor. The two doors are locked.
Then we continue on. I also find a shortcut to the Lost City sewers at some point.
The south exit leads to...
Just below the grave stone. This is the tomb that guy right there claims has a singing ghost. I head back inside and go to use the Star Key on the door in there.
The last time we saw red and blue used like this was the combined Vigilante/Guided Council room. The background music stops.
Everyone stay right here.
Rhue heads into the pink teleporter alone.
Then he's walking on a... beach?
He stops and... I don't think we've ever seen this particular faceset before. He looks like he's shocked? Or about to cry?
The camera pans right...
Note: Lexus. I met her in Texas.
The two words rhyme.
"It's tough, you know?"
"Sometimes it makes you wish...
Wish that you were different...
Wish for so many things.
Do you think it's fate...
that we are who we are?"
I don't know.
Do you believe people can change?"
Please, just forget about it.
Please... don't leave me. Not yet.