Part 11: Summoned to Lucent Cave
Part 11: Summoned to Lucent Cave
Lucent Cave is pretty easy to find; it's a straight shot south from Boyzby (after you cross the river), plus it's the only glowing dot we can reach that we haven't visited yet.
Just outside, there are a couple new enemies on the route to the cave, such as these recolored Knife Masters. At this point, they're about as threatening as Knife Thugs used to be (read: not very).
This here is basically what the interior of Lucent Cave looks like: ice, snow, and water crystals every which way you look.
Freelance Ninjas can be encountered both outside and inside the cave. They move slightly faster than Meis and can rarely deal poison damage when they hit.
Man, I know that early bosses are usually just regular monsters from later dungeons, but I didn't expect we'd be seeing them so damn soon. Mace Gearmen also have a jumping attack which can reach into the backline, making them the only reason Sodina ever got injured in this cave.
Also making a reprisal is a recolor of the very first boss monster. Nothing but hit points and damage seems to have changed in the meantime, though.
Harakiri Ghosts are pretty interesting, since they're both the weakest monster in Lucent Cave and deal some of the strongest damage. They even have a pretty good multi-attack chance.
Oh yes, and I also found this on one of the ninjas. In exchange for -2 to Defense, I get a +4 boost to Offense and Speed. And if you'll recall my talking about it earlier, Speed is basically the most important stat in the game. Suddenly the ninjas have gone from "slightly faster" to "noticeably slower," meaning that they can only hit once before dying most of the time. I love this thing, which is why I'm glad I found two before the dungeon ended.
I also found a Book of Delay, which slows enemies, and a Comic Book, which as you can see is a gift item.
But that's enough mechanics. Let's get on with the plot.
Conveniently, there's a forge placed just before the plot platform. I use it to boost Meis' weapon up to his new level, then proceed.
Yes! That hammer! Jyabil was doing something with it...
Unsure of what "something" means, Meis raises Jyabil's old hammer to the empty altar.
I can...I can hear...! The sound of someone forging a sword...
As he says this, a set of white orbs starts circling the altar's center.
As each one contracts into the center, the image of a sword appears.
Sodina, come with me!
Apparently, curious spirits can provide a giant teleport flame thing.
Fade to white.
Crap, we're in Xen. I sucked at those levels.
Our heroes are dropped off on what seems like the only active circle.
Ancient masters then start to float down with nuggets of wisdom.
So apparently the Holy Flame works like the ectoplasm from Ghostbusters 2.
Their wisdom dispensed, four of the spirits teleport away, leaving just the first.
He instead transmogrifies into a blue sphere,
Which explodes into little lights,
Which turn into Meis' very first summon.
Meis is now glowing.
As he raises his hammer, the altar flame hops on.
This is great! The power flows from the hammer!
Meis, let's forge the sword together. I know it sounds embarrassing...But I'd like to be of help to you.
The exposition over, we are now permitted to run around the platform. We can do so because this will basically be a special teleport system once we find more altars, plus it's where we put those secret awesome weapons once we find some. For now, though, all we can do is leave the way we came in.
Damn! We were being followed!
Well, yes, you fought like a dozen Gearmen just to get in here.
Information on the Sacred Altar is being sent?
Oh, man, this one's just a recolor of the original kind of Gearmen. Oh well. Time for him to meet our new friend Aquoon.
While summons in Thousand Arms aren't quite up to Final Fantasy standards of awesome, they're still pretty impressive compared to the regular spell effects, plus they're a good bit shorter than FF. There's only so much you can do with sprites in the end, though.
On the other hand, just two of those summons completely wiped out the Dark Gearman.
Also, you may have noticed the "1" next to Aquoon on the menu. There was a "1" next to the Twister Blade ability when Muza used it, too. The way that special abilities work in Thousand Arms is that, instead of drawing on EP, they have a set number of uses that are only recharged when you sleep at an inn (or hit a recharge point in the plot). I suppose this is to encourage you to rotate characters out of the front, but since special abilities are almost never called for outside of boss battles, it's not very effective.
The Ancient Masters said there are Sacred Altars all over the world. Let's go through Fort Teve and go to Hatoba, in Searock. That should lead us to the next Sacred Altar.
I have no idea how she would know that, but join us next time when we do what she said anyway.