Part 11: Mythe's Adventure - Part 11Unlimited Saga, Part 11: The Abandoned Castle
Last time, we met Iskandar and got a new mission: go kill the Knights of the Round Table who reside within the Undercity Pharos. That's the final boss encounter for Mythe's story, and we're not prepared yet -- I could have given it a shot regardless, but I didn't feel like it was going to work out. That means more sidequests! Not too many, though, I promise.
Let's go to the Abandoned Castle!
The Abandoned Castle is available very early, and can be a trap if you're not prepared because it's very long and has a lot of enemies in it. On the other hand, it has dialog for your character, and some world-building. Also a few other things we'll see in a bit. Anyway, a good sidequest.
One inside the castle, the cursed gates slammed shut. Defeat the monsters within, dispel the curse, and come back with treasure in tow!
As you can see, the front door of the castle is sealed with a curse. Now, you can still get out of the castle if you run out of time, and then restart the quest; it's not a game over or anything. This castle is actually used in Ventus's storyline, so it's huge and has unique art for various parts of it. Since the castle is so big and the sidequest itself uses most of the time available to you, it's actually a good idea to just explore the place first and see all the stuff. You'll run out of time and then be ready for a real attempt at clearing everything. The quest itself really kicks off when you run into an old man, who laughs at you and runs away.
That's some real insight from our hero, there. The old man ran into the room on our right, so we follow him and find a diary.
The weather has been nice lately. I had shrimp for lunch, really tasty ones. Somehow, my instincts tell me not to trust our guest, the wizard. Still, the King has been showing extra hospitality towards him. His name is... what was it?
It was raining today. The King and the wizard have been having private talks. I wonder what it's all about. Best to stay out of their affairs. Today, it's been 3 years since the Queen passed away. The king had been in shock for so long, but as of late, he's regained his strength.
The wizard eventually left the castle for parts unknown. The soldier, Judah, was reported missing. Now that I think of it, there was something different about the picture in that frame. The inhuman, beast-like noises I hear at night can't be explained either.
The picture was removed from the frame again. Is this some sort of sign? To make matters worse, more people keep disappearing. The King says that he fired them all, but I wonder who will be next...
Finally! The King asked me to come to the Throne Room at midnight. MIDNIGHT! Oh, no... Has my turn finally come? Or maybe he's interested in me personally...
So, there's something unusual going on here. It's possibly connected to the Knights, who are able to grant immortality in exchange for rituals, or maybe it's just some crazy wizard guy. We know the castle is connected to the Knights of the Round Table to some degree, though, since Ventus meets Kalandorn here and there's a "Round Table" up on the second floor.
Downstairs, there's some demons and monsters, plus this corpse:
Obsidian Boots! I remembered that these were here, but I forgot that you can't actually forge things out of armor, so this can't be made into an accessory as I hoped. They're still very nice boots, though. Armic, on the other hand, can definitely benefit from these boots since he merely needs to find some object made of the stuff. The boots are always here, so grabbing them helps fulfill his storyline.
Examining the body gives us a key. If we examine him a second time, the body comes to life and attacks!
It's just a regular skeleton, though.
There's a lot of chests down here in the basement. Opening them all burns through a lot of your time, especially if you're unlucky.
Going up the stairs on the other side reveals... nothing. The old man vanished!
At this point, I decided to just go check out the castle and search for loot. There's a staircase up to the second floor in one of the side rooms:
From there, you can climb a ladder up to one of the lookout towers and there's a chest up there. The other towers are more interesting, though.
For those who don't know, Sargon is from SaGa Frontier 2; he's one of Fake Gustave's Edelritters. Might seem like a coincidence, but one of the other towers have these messages:
Cielmer and Johan are also characters from SF2. Now, it wouldn't really make sense for this to actually be a sequel or anything; it's just a nice reference hidden away for the fans to find and I thought I'd point it out. You're unlikely to see them normally, since there's no reason to climb the towers and there's not enough time to do it and also finish the quest. So we run out of time, and we do it again.
We're told the old man is in the room to our right. So we go inside.
Come on, mister!
Hee-hee, hee-hee, hee-hee-hee! Tell ya what, if ya catch me, I'll share the treasure. Hee-hee, hee-hee, hee-hee-hee!
Wait a minute! Hey!
You tripped over something. You lost the old man's trail. A recipe fell down from the shelf when you hit it.
Chief Chef's Special Recipe
1. Trim fresh squid, scallops and shrimp, rinse with water, and place into a chicken stock.
2. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat. Cover and let simmer.
3. In another pan, boil the chopped vegetables until tender.
4. Combine 2 and 3, cover and simmer until thoroughly cooked.
5. Add a mixture of sugar, salt and vinegar to taste.
6. Add the secret flavoring. Pour in one bottle of wine and let simmer for 3 days.
Ready to serve, Boillabaisse d'Iskandaria. Remember that the king prefers it boiling hot, just like any other gourmet...
But the door to 3F is usually locked. An extra tip is 2475. The combination may vary.
Up on the second floor, there's a pair of statues on each side of the main staircase. Once you've read the recipe, you can examine them to find buttons with numbers on.
Putting in the combination opens lets us access the third floor. Up there, we find a painting of the queen, and we take it.
Northwards, we can enter the throne room. The old man is there, waiting for us.
The strange old man is sitting on the throne.
I don't think that throne belongs to you.
Hee-hee, I'm entitled to all! I'm the king of this castle! Hee-hee, hee-hee, hee-hee-hee. Catch me and then I'll tell you all my secrets. Hee-hee!
This is lame. Where's the trick?
In the room, there's a painting of a king. Swapping it with the queen and then sitting on the throne ourselves takes us to a previously inaccessible room on the second floor -- that's the meaning of the writing on the painting, you see.
We take this jester painting, and then walk back to the throne room again, put it on the wall, and there you go. The throne lowers Mythe all the way to the basement.
Not the dreaded big hole!
Hee-hee! As I expected, you made it here. Hee-hee! Me? I know that You are the Great Adventurer. Otherwise you wouldn't be an acceptable sacrifice for my wife's resurrection.
This is too much...
If you had the willpower to come all the way here... It's time for us to begin. Come, Wyvern! Wyvern! Let me have the fresh blood I need for my wife's resurrection! Kill them all!
Michelle hits the wyvern one time with bopeep and it dies because it's vulnerable to instant death.
Oh no, oh no. Wyvern, my hope... is gone...
The old man, the king of his castle, has disappeared from sight.
We can explore a bit, and even visit the queen's tomb, but that's basically the end of the quest. The results screen comes up when you exit the castle properly, though, so it's still technically possible to run out of time. You can abuse this for grinding purposes but mostly it's just annoying.
A crazy king who did blood sacrifices for his hot dead wife. Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme.
Here's something notable:
I said a long time ago that shields aren't very good. That's true, unless you have a shield panel. If one pops up, grab it for sure! I don't know the exact numbers, but it gives a boost to the chance of a shield working. The best possible shield, Diamond, has a 30% block rate normally. Even steel, which is easy to come by, has 25%. With a high-level panel it becomes pretty ridiculous.
I believe Deflect works about 33% of the time, so you can see why shields are a bad idea for anyone who's not skilled at using them.
Anyway, that's long enough for one update. Next time, we'll go do another Wonder, and after that we'll go to Pharos at last. Stay tuned!