Part 8: Mythe's Adventure - Part 8Unlimited Saga, Part 8: Let's Just Go To Sadovos
Our new friend, Michelle, has a cursed gauntlet, and it's possible Marie's family can help. Last time we crossed the Vale; this time, we must cross the Jade Forest to finally reach Sadovos.
Each of the three sections in this quest has a different gimmick, but they're not very exciting. The first one is a simple path where you can't see any of the map, due to the trees. Like so:
However, it is a straight line. You could go the wrong way from the start, but if so you'll just hit a dead end and turn around. I do like that they did a picture for the bit where the path crosses itself, though.
This area is actually fairly large. What we're looking for is not an exit, but this sign:
The Forest's Eye lies south. Turn back immediately, as this is a highly hazardous and deadly area.
Reading the sign drops us in the second area, the Forest's Eye.
This is one of those oldschool endlessly-looping maze forests, but if you read the sign it should be pretty obvious what to do. Just keep going South (or, if your character started in Sadovos, go North) and you'll get there.
If you do wander off, there's some treasure to be found. Nothing unique, as far as I know, but it's there.
After a while, we end up in another area.
This one's gimmick is that there are tunnels connecting parts of the map, which hurt you if you use them.
So I didn't do that, because it's not that big anyway and you can just walk right to the end.
Here's an interesting thing:
After a while, you'll start to see Negative Panels show up after the mission. These can never be replaced, and cause various problems for you (Tiffon's Phobia of the undead is an example of this); however, they have good stats and if you're willing to put up with them you can make that decision. Usually, they will derive from what you were doing during the mission; for example, if you use only swords, you may have the option of banning swords on that character forever in exchange for better stats. These panels give bonuses, too, so if you wanted to make a terrified axe maniac you could do that and they'd probably be incredibly powerful... as long as they weren't fighting the thing they fear. I don't like to use them, because I like the choice of changing my mind later.
You can replace a non-plot negative panel with a different negative panel, if you want, but you'll never get that spot back. Too risky for me.
Now we're in Sadovos. The Jade Forest was nowhere near as long or difficult as the Vale, and as a result is a lot less enjoyable for me. I like the gamble and the danger that comes from such harsh game design, but it's not for everyone.
This is where Judy is from. We won't meet her, but we've already got Marie and we'll be meeting another important character from her plot:
This is Josef. He is Judy's grandfather, and he gets stuck in a magic mirror so she has to save him with cool magic and stuff. He won't be joining our party, which is a shame because he is ridiculously powerful.
Oh, Marie, you're back. How was the Festival of Regina Leone?
The Festival was quite lovely!
Marie, who is the man behind you? It's not like you to bring a man home. Is he...
He is a customer.
Looks like that gauntlet has similar characteristics...
You can tell?
I didn't get old for nothing. The light and dark sides are mixing.
Can you try to interrupt that flow?
That's too dangerous.
Josef here shows up in Kurt's plot, and says more or less the same thing; he joins up in order to study the gauntlet and make sure it doesn't kill everyone or something. But in this case, we've got Mythe here as well.
You won't get far with an attitude like that. Alright... close your eyes.
There, that worked. You shouldn't be having any more nightmares.
This means that Michelle no longer has the terrible gauntlet panel on her grid. We're free to build her as we wish, and take advantage of her incredible stat growth! She still has a tiny amount of LP, though.
Well, that gauntlet is no doubt a relic. What were the people who built the Wonders thinking, leaving that behind?
I appreciate the fact that Silver Girl remains uninterested in anything Mythe is doing. His story is sort of about him learning to not be such an idiot, and I like that, realistically, there was never much of a chance that this mystery girl would fall for him out of nowhere.
Mother said that Iskandar is final in Iskandar's Mausoleum.
I see. You would know better than I. We will do just as you say.
This unlocks the next story mission:
We've only got two story adventures left, in fact. But we're nowhere near strong enough to clear the mausoleum, and certainly not to do Pharos afterwards. So for a while, we'll just be doing lots of sidequests and learning more about the world. From now on, our goal will be to get everyone's panels where we want them, to get everyone kitted out in good equipment, and to get their HP up a bit as well. HP gain tapers off, so you can't raise it indefinitely, but our newer party members could stand to have more HP. At minimum, I want everyone to have some kind of life protection on their armor, and probably on at least one accessory. I also want as much obsidian as possible because that prevents Petrify and I know very well how completely that can shut down a party. So far we have... zero obsidian. Life protection is pretty easy to get, on the other hand. As the market improves, better armor will show up in shops, and that'll be fine.
Some sidequests are very long, and some are short. This one is short, and it's called Monster's Lair.
Our party is going to raid this cave and get some sweet loot.
By the way, if you do decide to use negative panels, try to use Phobia instead of Pacifist. Why? Well, having a Phobia drops your damage output to double digits, but that doesn't preclude comboing to make other characters effective. Like so:
The simple fact that Tiffon attacked everyone twice meant Sapphire's Shock could deal more LP damage, and kill them off. if Tiffon had a Pacifist panel, she would have taken a bunch of damage herself and died. So... don't use those. Unless you really, really want to, I guess.
Our party is ridiculously powerful for what we're facing here. I need to get the encounter rating up a bit so we can train more effectively.
The boss of the small cave is three of these ugly guys. But again, they cannot stand up to Tiffon and Sapphire. Mythe fires off two fire arrows, to use up the enemy turns, and then they combo all the orcs to death at once.
Our reward is three max-level chests.
They're locked and trapped, as you might expect, and with such a high level it'll be difficult for any party to open them quickly. This mission has a very low turn limit, so I had to rush here to get the stuff in time.
I also learned that you can't use Shock to open magical locks; it has to be single-target. Thankfully Laura comes with Fire Arrows learned, so she can handle them. We get another magic tablet (nice!), a meteoric iron staff (nice, to sell), and a lead ring (terrible). We have to collect the treasure and make it back to the entrance for the mission to count as a success.
What happens if you run out of time? Well, you get sent back to town and you don't get any panels. However, you will keep any items and money you found, and the actions taken will count whenever you do finish a quest, meaning you'll still get the HP and skills you earned. So it's actually not as harsh as it seems. If you try again, any unique items (such as the magic tablet in the chest) won't come back, but you get to keep your map and there'll be new treasure around. If you want, you can use this to keep a sidequest with some easily accessible boss around to spark stuff off of, if you are the grinding type. That's boring, though, and I'd prefer not to do it.
Our party is actually progressing pretty well. Next time, we'll do a more involved quest and see if we can't find some interesting stuff around the world. And if there's any of you who've actually played this, and you have a quest you'd like to see me tackle, feel free to suggest it! Some of them are quite memorable. At some point we'll do the Seven Wonders that we have available, too. So stay tuned.