Part 70: Update LIII - VD: Vampirial DiseasesUpdate LIII - VD: Vampirial Diseases
♪ BGM: Syrahs - field4.mid ♫
Alright, so this time, we're going to be taking on Ustra's pyramid, but before that, we have a bit more prep work to do. First of all, we hit level 65 at one point, and that means we have new gear available - and we're going to want it.
In the process of upgrading our gear, we drop our magical swag on Valnar because of reasons that will become apparent later.
We also deck out with healing items, both of the HP variety...
♪ BGM: Asgar's Castle - blood009.mid ♫
...and the BP variety. We're going to be ready for some shit.
We also make a new spell - Ultima. It has a base damage of 250, is elementless and hits all enemies. Since we were using a recipe, we get two of them, which go on Asgar and Valnar.
Next, we grind some souls, because we want to make some more spells, and we're out of souls.
Using this combination of runes, we get to make the Tornado spell. It has a base damage of 430, is elementless and hits one enemy. This goes on Valnar.
And with this combination, we make the Gnome's Compensation spell. This spell is supposed to absorb an enemy's Attack stat with a base effect rating of 150. I don't really think it actually works as far as absorbing is concerned, because my attacks didn't seem to get stronger after using it, but it definitely reduces the enemy's Attack, so it's still useful. Crippling an enemy's Attack, combined with Silence, can completely fuck an enemy's ability to do any sort of damage to us. This also goes on Valnar.
To note, the only way I know these combinations is because I'm looking it up. I could theoretically trial and error my way through this, but that's more for easy difficulty, where the costs for making runes are far lower and not as cripplingly prohibitive as we have them.
♪ BGM: A Truth Revealed - WraithTouch.mid ♫
With that done, it's time to take on the pyramid.
♪ BGM: Ustra's Pyramid - Pyramide.mid ♫
This music is just pyramid as fuck. I know that's not something you describe music as, but it's pyramid as fuck.
Quite impressive size. In fact, we're going to have nine floors of this pyramid to trek through.
Let's head in and check it out!
The first floor has nothing and fits on one screen, let's move on, but not before noting the neat see-through effect on the grate there. That's achieved by using a transparent tile and a parallax background with an image of the next floor.
And not before noting that there's a fuckton of traps in this place. This one is a particular favorite of mine, which inflicts Poison on the entire party. Suffice it to say that I'm going to be going through a lot of serums at this place.
The second floor almost fits on one screen.
Our main enemies at this point are going to be mummies and scorpions.
Floor three has nothing new - traps, enemies and some loot.
And some more things for Valnar to hear.
Did you hear that!?
Oh no, now we have to deal with THAT again! I thought we were already past that! But apparently, Valnar still tends to go crazy...
An obnoxious laughter... but it's quiet now...
This does not end, does it?
What the hell is wrong with me? I want it to stop!
Don't think I'm not keeping a close eye on you, buster! One mistake and you have only half a head!
On to level four!
Here, we start to have some more complexities to the design. There's some locked doors we're going to need to unlock first to progress.
Also, Valnar is having more flashbacks.
We are here to destroy you! Come, my brethren! Let us seal the reign of the powerful Elras!
Ghadar heads out, and more Elras start filing in.
Quite a lot of them, in fact. And that's it for our flashback.
Not too well... I HATE these thoughts!
Just tell me when it gets too much for you. Then I'll cut you into two pieces...
All right, all right...
Anyway, the two areas on the left are both locked off with doors, so we need to head straight down to find something to unlock them with. On to level five.
You'll note there's a secret passage that goes directly from where we're at now to where we need to go, the staircase just to the right. Of course, I didn't notice this and instead took the long route. You'll note the holes in the ground. Those are traps - they have spikes popping in and out at regular intervals, and if you stand on them when they're out, you take damage. I do this quite a bit because I'm bad at video games.
In the process, we get into some fights and have fun with status effects. Status effects are getting more and more prevalent in enemies as we go along, and some of them are real motherfuckers. Asgar, for instance, got hit with Curse, which prevents him from changing equipment and halves all his stats, making him practically useless. This effect does not go away at all, we have to cure it. We can't really cure it, however - we have no items against it, and no spells against it. As such, our options are as follows: 1) Have Asgar die and revive him, which removes all status effects. 2) Use our swanky new coffins, which heal all status effects.
I elect to use the latter option for somewhat obvious reasons.
We also find something quite interesting here.
The Needle Of Pain is a neat artifact - it gives a character a massive 200 point Agility boost, with the drawback that it permanently inflicts the Rage status on the character. However, if we put it on the werewolf, that drawback becomes basically negated - I'm only going to attack with the werewolf anyway, so losing control over who is getting attacked is a small price to pay for practically double the attacks because of the speed boost.
Heading back to the fourth floor using the other staircase, we find a button!
The button then opens up this door on the same floor, which leads to another button.
For the way back, we take the infinitely more convenient secret passage.
Pushing the button in the area that just opened up then unlocks the gate that lets us progress properly.
We also pick up a brown stone in a hidden chest, which was the last one we needed to complete our set of rune generators.
One quick move through a small area on level five, and we're on to level six.
We're introduced to new enemies here, and the size of the levels is getting to the point where I'm going up one level in downscaling.
Here, we throw down with some giant lizard things and nagas. They're stronger than what we had before, but are still manageable.
Anyway, level six is split in half, so we head down the left side and make our way to level seven.
Level seven holds some interesting puzzles for us to deal with.
Hm, then let's take a look...
Valnar stops here to draw our attention to the fact that this is something we can read, and so, let's read it.
Okay, it says: "The weight of the money is distributed on four shoulders... 200 Filar is more than 300, 300 Filar is more than 400. Distribute the maximum..."
Sounds like a riddle. But I have no idea...
Let's not waste our time with this garbage. Let's keep going!
When we head down, we have four little pyramids with four vases.
And we get to throw Filar into every vase. So, what is the solution to this puzzle? Well, it's pretty easy if you take things at face value. 200 > 300 > 400, which means the maximum is 200. Divide that by four and you get 50. Throw 50 Filar into every vase, and bam, you're done.
And that activates a portal! Where does it lead?
It takes us to a sectioned-off area of level nine.
After finding a secret passage, we find... a locked chest. The locked chest would have contained a map, which would have led us to a treasure chest with a Rune of Damnation and a Shield of Haste (+120 DEF, +50 AGI, -100 INT, increased evasion). Probably not worth the hassle.
Actually, while we're here, let me go over the lockpicking in detail, since we're never going to use it anyway. In order to attempt to pick a locked chest, you need a lockpick and nothing else. Succeeding is a different story. If you want to succeed, you need a certain level in the lockpicking skill - in the case of this chest, we would have needed level two of the skill. If you have the skill, you automatically succeed, but if you don't, you automatically fail. Pretty straightforward.
Next is what happens to the lockpick you used. If you succeed, then you lose the lockpick. If you fail, it depends on your difficulty. On easy, you never lose a lockpick from failing to pick a lock. On normal, there is a 25% chance of the lockpick breaking. On hard, it always breaks, fuck you.
And that's the lockpicking system in a nutshell. I'm probably missing out on a fair bit of loot by not skilling it, but screw it, that's too much effort and souls needed. I prefer making my money without having to work for it. So, anyway, that was a waste.
Back to level seven, here's another puzzle for us.
Okay, it says "The symbol is the goal. If you're looking for the path, find the result of 9 + 4 without the 9 and 4!"
This one is also pretty simple when you think about it.
We have this 5x5 grid of squares, and whenever we step on one, it turns green. If we step on it again, it turns yellow. What's the answer here? Well, "9 + 4" without 9 and 4 is just "+". And the symbol is the key.
So just walk around a bit until you figure out the way to make a + shape in there, and the door is open!
This brings us to the right area of level six.
Over to the right, we find a button.
And that button then opens a door to the left that would have blocked us had we gone there. However, we can also go to a different part of level seven even before going through that door, so let's go there first.
There, Valnar gets to hear voices again.
Again those voices...
Try to ignore it, Valnar.
Well, I'm not going to ignore it when Valnar goes crazy here...
Don't build up false hopes, I've got myself under control!
The question is for how long!
Anyway, in this area, we find a staircase down to level eight, so let's head down there.
As is appropriate for a pyramid, the lower areas are quite large.
Quite a lot of nice use of the parallax background trick here.
However, at this point I notice that I'm going the wrong way and am heading for a dead end.
Instead, we're heading down here to level nine first.
This one is of course the largest, with a lot of ground to cover. This one is also split in two.
And the reason we're here on the left side is to push a button...
...which opens a door on the right side.
It's also at this point that we start running into some issues with the petrified status effect. This is another effect we can't cure right now, and while it does go away on its own after a while, it only does so in battle, which always carries inherent risk with it.
Anyway, one trip back to level eight and now all the way over to the right side of it, which leads us down to the other part of level nine. By the way, the door we unlocked earlier on level six? That just has a secret item behind it, which probably would've been something stupid like 300 Filar or something. Didn't bother going back for that.
Now on the right side of level nine, we're just a short trek away from what we're looking for.
We also find a topaz in one of the chests here, meaning that yes, we totally could have nicked this one and given it to that girl back in Erena that needed a topaz, so we could have facilitated a celebration in the name of Pharaoh Ustra by stealing from him. Awesome.
However, on the way there, we are accosted by a white flash!
What was that?
Hmmm, very odd. Something's wrong here. I can feel it...
Yes, let us be particularly careful here! Who knows what we'll find here!
Or what is waiting for us!
And upon entering the central chamber...
It's time for another flashback!
♪ BGM: The Dark Lord Exdea- ...Elras - death.mid ♫
You miserable Elras! Who do you think is standing before you!?
A pharaoh whose reign is going to end today!
Oh, how pathetic you are. Do you think I'd let you enter my pyramid if this wasn't how I wanted it to be?
You have pestered us long enough. Today, we're going to show you what true pain means!
You are the ones laying hands on the innocent townspeople, slaughtering them like cattle! Pathetic!
The townspeople are praying for your death. Your tyrannical reign has completely broken them. They want to flee! Away from you! They hate you for the fact that you used them as slaves for building your sickening pyramid! And we are releasing them from their pitiful misery!
And you devour their souls! Abusing them for your disgraceful black magic!
The peace in death is better than the terror in life!
You don't grant peace! You destroy their souls!
We help them, they help us. With their souls. That is true humanity, don't you agree, Ustra?
It was nice of you to come here. I've grown more than tired of our war. How long has it been going on? I have stopped counting the years...
Every year of the war was time wasted! We should have defeated you much earlier.
But why do you think you weren't able to do that so far!? Because you are puny worms!
You won't be laughing for long. Your skull will serve as my new drinking cup!
We are here with several dozens of our most powerful mages. And you are alone. ALONE! This would be a good time to beg for mercy, Ustra!
Mercy? I think you're overestimating your position, scum! YOU should be the ones to beg for mercy! But I won't grant you any!
Enough of this blabber! Prepare yourself to die!
Have fun in HELL!
Ustra then makes the screen shake.
Only fools are as stupid as you!
And then we get a green tint.
Ghadar, my magic doesn't work!?
Isn't my trap lovely? I have been tinkering with it for years just to be able to enjoy this day! I have spent years trying to figure out how to perfect it. How I can accomplish it to make your magic useless through my trap as long as it's active! And I have to say, it was truly worth it!
Rot in hell, Ustra!
Oh no, as I already said... YOU are the ones going to hell!
And with that, we fly over to the conga line of Elras mages that goes back quite a bit.
They then get picked off one by one by the same animation in a quite long sequence.
It eventually shows up on the main three Elras as well, but they don't just disappear afterwards.
THIS CANNOT BE! THIS WAS OUR VICTORY!
You are never going to defeat us, Ustra!
Ustra then gets some spells cast on him.
Feel our wrath!
This is OUR victory!
Now... it... is... ENOUGH!
And then the Elras get some more spells cast on them. Fight sequences aren't the easiest to make interesting in RPG Maker, I'm finding.
And now... you are going to DIE!
DOWN WITH THE ELRAS!
And with that, the Elras find themselves one head shorter.
What a memorable day. The annihilation of the Elras leaders by my hand.
A spell book of the Elras... interesting... "Summoning of a demon". Pfff, useless toy!
"Rain of blood". Absolutely useless!
"Mekados". Something without any meaning... crap, crap and crap, again...
Ustra then tosses out a page. Is this to tie it back together with the first game, where we found the demon summoning spell in the pyramid?
Hm, don't these worms have any useful spells!?
"Night of the Shadow Wraiths". Let's see what else I can find here... "Astal copy of self". Hm, now it's starting to get interesting.
The corpses of the Elras start flashing black.
Oh, you didn't actually think I wouldn't know about this, did you!? Of course I know that you turned your souls into Shadow Wraiths! Pathetic! And now, your Shadow Wraiths want to leave their dead bodies in order to search for a new host for you to possess. Oh, how predictable you are! But I have a surprise for you! With this banishment stone, I am able to banish your souls! But don't be sad, I'll give you a new and familiar home!
Then the second Wraith gets put into the book.
Oh, what a wonderful victory!
And then the third one gets banished too.
HARHARHARHARHAR! I hope it's nice and cozy in there for you! But now, you will have plenty of time for spell studying!
And that's it for our flashback!
♪ BGM: Ustra's Pyramid - Pyramide.mid ♫
Ustra imprisoned the Elras into the book! And apparently, they were released after a certain spell from the book had been cast!
The vivification of a Blood Spirit!
I told you! I am innocent!
All right, so during the world shifting, you were under the control of a Shadow Wraith...
However, there were THREE Shadow Wraiths. And one of them was released with Asgar's resurrection. Then where are the other two?
Maybe they are still imprisoned in the book!
Jayna has the book! And Jayna is being controlled by a Shadow Wraith. I guess the other two have already been released by now!
That doesn't sound good at all!
But Ustra had some kind of banishment stone that allowed him to banish the Shadow Wraiths inside the book. I guess if we want to defeat the Shadow Wraiths, we need to get our hands on one of those banishment stones, as well. Otherwise, we'll be helpless against them.
At the very least, it seems the Shadow Wraiths can only leave their host if it gets killed. As long as we don't kill the hosts of the Shadow Wraiths, we should be safe from them for the time being!
Wrong! Your Shadow Wraith jumped onto Jayna, after all.
Oh my God! Don't you get it? Dead bodies...
The bodies of vampires are dead. Undead to be more precise!
That means they can freely jump from one vampire to the next at any time!
Do you see how the pieces slowly start to fall into place? Vampires are the perfect hosts for the Shadow Wraiths! Full of power for the Shadow Wraith, and once they burned out the vampire completely, they switch to the next!
This is a bit strange to read, given that we've already heard basically all of this already.
That's truly terrifying!
And aside from that, it also means that the Shadow Wraith in Jayna can switch oevr to any of us at any moment!
So we need one of those banishment stones to be safe from that!
But where are we supposed to obtain one!? I've never heard of them before.
I don't know...
In any case, we should definitely keep our ears open and see if we can hear about them somewhere.
But what about Vincent Weynard, anyway!?
What do you mean?
Well, if vampires are the perfect hosts for Shadow Wraiths, that means Vincent must have been the worst enemy of the Elras, since he targeted and hunter vampires specifically.
Well, but I guess he never saw one. After all, he had lived way after the war between the Elras and Ustra happened. All Elras had been wiped out by the time of the holy war. The last three Elras had to be the ones that were imprisoned in the book I assume.
And I hardly think he tried to resurrect a Blood Spirit, since he wanted to wipe out all vampires, after all.
And therefore, he didn't release an Elras... the first Elras escaped during my resurrection.
Hm, I want to hope so. But it would have been really strange if Vincent also had a Shadow Wraith inside him. He wasn't exactly acting in such a way that the Elras would have any benefit from it.
Of course, we now know that the exact opposite is the case.
Why he wanted to become a high priest of all things, however, and what had happened in the Crimson Realm; none of it answers either of these questions.
The questions have of course already been answered.
But first, let's see what else we can find in here...
The trap is still active!
But how... I can't move!
And then our gang also gets to eat the blobby spell thing.
God damn it! What is going on here!?
How could this damn trap go off!? After all, we've already been here not too long ago, and back then, nothing happened!
At least we're still alive. This trap seems to affect Elras more heavily...
Our companion didn't survive it, though...
Looks like the werewolf had no resistance against that, either...
How are you feeling!?
I don't feel well at all! Something's not right!
This feels like magical poisoning!
Great, that's just what we needed! We need to find a cure as quickly as possible! If I remember correctly, I used to have a book about magical diseases in my magic chamber. We should go and take a look, perhaps it can help us!
Well, this isn't fun. Anyway, that'll be enough for this time. Next time, we get to deal with whatever vampiric case of the sniffles we've caught here.