Part 22: Odds and Ends 3: The Endening
Alright, not a lot left to do. We've got some new items to use on things, some side quests to clean up, and a dungeon to go through, so let's get going. First stop, Castle Tranak.
Hey, I remember now!
That emblem! The emblem we found at Abraxas's tower!
What about it?
Look at the castle's coat of arms! It's the same!
That would mean that Abraxas had some sort of business here...
Or he killed a royal knight that had that emblem on him...
Well, now we're here to find that out!
Turns out that if you don't just murder everybody in the castle, you could now walk up and go "hey we have your emblem can we come in" and the guards are just all "oh ok then". Guess they don't care who's carrying the emblem, just that somebody is. Anyway, we have the emblem and we have a place to shove it, so let's get on doing that.
Try the emblem!
The wall moved! And there's a secret passage behind it!
First thing we find are "vampire claws" - "Alaine's strongest weapon (+180 ATTACK, can cause Bleeding)". A very welcome upgrade. Now, let's check the other chests.
Um... this chest is empty...
Emptier than empty...
There's at least one Filar back there in the corner!
That can't be...
DAMNIT! WHERE is all the tax money?
Wait a second... there's something back there in a dark corner... a little book... it's titled "this year's taxes".
"...April 19450 Filar, May 14293 Filar, June 13003 Filar..." and so on!
Those are massive sums of money! Does it say where that money is now?
Hang on! There's something interesting here! "...Payments to Mr. X: May 14000 Filar, June 13022 Filar...". Somebody got all the tax money!
It wasn't Abraxas, was it? He hunted vampires for money!
That would explain why he had that emblem!
So the king commissioned Abraxas to hunt down the remaining vampires?
That would be possible...
But wouldn't that mean that the king knew of the existence of vampires?
And why didn't the king just send out his knights, but only Abraxas?
Maybe he knew of the existence of the vampires, but didn't want to send the population into a panic? After all, there's no more Vincent Weynard. The people would just live in fear... or maybe only Abraxas was capable of finding and killing the remaining vampires... maybe he was the only one strong enough for that task...
But then there's still a small logic error... we listened to Abraxas talking to his financier back when we were in that cave... and there he seemed worried that he was going to be killed himself... BY his financier! But if only Abraxas is strong enough to kill all the other vampires, then he surely wasn't going to be scared of being killed himself, especially by the king.
That's right... not to mention, I'm not seeing any of these communication devices anywhere around here...
So Mr. X can't be Abraxas, and therefore the king was paying somebody else!
There's more: "...I hate having to go to Asran and put the money between the flowers on that grave. I always feel so shabby... but I don't see any other solution for this problem... my advisors are starting to ask all these questions about why I always want to go to that grave alone... I always tell them that one of my mistresses is buried there, but of course, that's a lie. Nobody can learn the truth... nobody can learn of the existence of these monsters... these vampires. The people would become scared and demand that I send out my army to destroy them. But they can't see that this would be the doom of my army. They're just not strong enough to deal with vampires. Thankfully, the people still believe that the vampires were completely destroyed by Vincent Weynard, and with that I can reign in relative peace. And to make sure it stays that way, I made that deal with "him". I intentionally will not mention his name in this book, since it could fall into the wrong hands. He says that it would be better for humanity if all the vampires were wiped out, and he could not do it himself for obvious reasons. It would be too dangerous for him. But he already found a henchman that will do that work for him. Of course only for money, and quite a sum at that. Mr. X also wanted the castle emblem, which he would give to his henchman just in case he needed to bring me important information. However, I have yet to see him as of this day. I pray to God that nobody ever learns what I actually use the tax money for. My knights are already complaining that I only buy cheap weapons from the desert. But I need the money for Mr. X. It's the best thing for me and humanity. May God guide me..."
That's almost a proper diary entry!
Incredible... so the king knew about the existence of vampires. And he really did use the money to wipe them out. He was also scared for his knights and his power, so he had to keep everything secret!
And so Abraxas really was just a henchman. A vampire hunter for hire!
So now we need to find out WHO did get the money, and with that who was Abraxas's financier!
And then we'll kill him. As punishment for wanting to kill us.
And all the other vampires in the world!
Yeah, yeah, those too...
You really are an egotist, Asgar!
So, this text says that the king always put the money on a grave in Asran... we should go there!
Asran... the city where I turned into a vampire!
What a coincidence that our path leads back to that city!
Well, that was some plot dump there. So, in short: King pays Mr. X to kill vampires, Mr. X pays Abraxas to kill vampires. Mr. X apparently operates out of Asran, given that that's where the money is deposited. So we'll be heading to Asran soon, but we have some side stuff to deal with beforehand.
Also, the final chest just had some save stones.
First stop, the forest outside Iranis where we still have to deal with that cult thing.
We're now level 42, so the enemies around here aren't that much of a threat anymore, and we can make our way to the boss area pretty much without any major trouble.
Cult Leader: ...and so it was the will of our god that this miserable soul found her end! But it will not be the last! Our god, Gargasch, still demands six further sacrifices this week! And so we will be getting another sacrifice from Iranis tomorrow...
I'm guessing that this is the cult that's causing trouble for the pastor in Iranis!
Cult Leader: AAAAAAARRRR! Sinners! Traitors! Blasphemers! Kill them!
Let's go, then!
So now everybody starts running towards us and we have to kill them all. But before we fight them, let's rewind for a second. Who was that god they were sacrificing people to again? "Gargasch". Hm, doesn't that name sound familiar? Why, yes, it's the main antagonist of Dunkle Schatten, Marlex's first game. This brings up that point that I raised earlier when we found Hyuga's grave - just what the fuck is Dunkle Schatten in the world of Vampires Dawn? Is it a story based on actual events of the past that have been since forgotten? I guess that would kind of make sense, but it's still quite strange. I mean, you could technically explain this cult away by saying they're just insane and worshipping a god from a book, but the grave really does point towards there being some sort of basis in reality for the Dunkle Schatten / Vampires Dawn crossover. What a strange thing to think about, I never noticed this before. Anyway, the fight.
The cult leader can be quite rough. She's got great Attack and Defense, strong spells of different varieties, and can cause quite a few status effects. However, when I was fighting her, she just didn't do a lot of that. So I just wailed on her with melee weapons until she died.
Now your embarrassing cult will be completely wiped out!
Cult Leader: NOOOOOOOO! I CURSE YOU!
Oh, what original last words!
And then there's the cult members, which are not a problem at this point. They can either deal damage to one party member, or all of them, but either can be healed up easily by either Alaine or Asgar while the other two wail on the guy. Now, repeat this fight three more times, and we're done. Back to the church in Iranis!
Pastor: There are our heroes! I've already heard! You really did manage to get rid of them! I thank you so much! Now, here is your promised reward!
"Obtained 1 Vampire Armor!"
Well, we've cleared up this matter then.
There's our third set of vampire armor, so we're now properly decked out on that front. All three of our party members now have a Defense of over 500, which is very nice.
Bishop: Have you already found the cross?
Yes, here it is!
Bishop: Oh, you really did manage to find it! The church is truly thankful! But tell me, what happened to Sister Miriam?
Um, she... well...
Bishop: I understand... may her soul rest in peace. But do you know how she died?
Um, no, actually we didn't find the cross on her, but in a store.
Bishop: Oh, Sister Miriam, how could you do such a terrible deed and sell the cross? I will pray that she will soon return to God's path.
Well, we probably can't help you with that.
Bishop: Take this Holy Sand as a reward.
"Obtained 10 Holy Sand!"
Whoop-de-shit. Next stop, let's drop off that sacrificial dagger with the Children of the Apocalypse.
Cult Member: Have you already found the dagger?
Yes, we have.
Cult Member: ...seriously?
Yes, here it is!
Cult Member: Truly incredible! You really are dedicated followers of our cult! We can't thank you enough! Here, take this as a reward for everything you've done for us!
"Obtained 1 Vampire Shield and 2000 EXP!"
Well, this is kinda poop. Vampire shields, as we established, aren't that great, and the EXP isn't that great a reward either. Oh well, we're beyond all that anyway.
The real reward here is that doing all the missions gives us access to the Children's full sortiment of items at their blood shop, including blood elixirs and vampire stones. Useful, I guess, but at the same time, we could get this from other secret stores.
...well, so now we've done everything that relates to the Children of the Apocalypse, apart from one thing. They have somebody locked up in their dungeon, and we can't get to them without a key. The key is held by the head of the cult. And you can imagine that he's not too keen on giving it up.
So really, there's only one thing left to do. And let's face it, we can't kill off Lombar and leave this cult alone.
Anti sickness medicine.
Potion of eternity.
A life rune.
Cult Leader: Accursed vampires! I don't think so!
Somebody disagrees with my plan, but he doesn't last long.
I do think so!
He held the key to the treasure room, fittingly.
The treasure room, sadly, only held about ~3000 Filar at most. Not really a treasure.
A bottle of blood.
A healing elixir.
A save stone.
Two save stones.
Cult Leader: Accursed vampires! I don't think so!
Of course, the leader doesn't quite agree with my plan either. He's a bit stronger than the member, but not that big a deal either.
I do think so!
He holds the key to the cells. Now that he's dead, we can also plunder his chests, which contain a blood rune, a life rune, two save stones, and 10000 Filar. Also, if you notice the vampire detectors, there are only four vampires left in the world. They're going away, fast. Now, let's free our captive.
Woman: Please... please don't kill me!
Hey, you're free!
Woman: What? Say that again!
Woman: Really? OH MY GOD! I thank you so much!
You can leave now...
Woman: I'm... I'm scared. You don't look like members of the cult... would you please accompany me to the city?
Woman: Then... let's go!
Yes. Let's. Not like there's anybody there to oppose us.
Woman: I... I'm really free! I can't believe it! I didn't have to die!
So where are you going to go now?
Woman: ...I don't know. I've been alone for all my life. I don't have any friends.
I have a suggestion for you! Go to Shannar! You can live your life in peace there!
Woman: I had an armor shop a long time ago. Maybe I should open another one.
That's a good idea, especially if you open it in Shannar!
Woman: You saved my life, so I'll gladly follow your advice! Thanks, again! Drop by in Shannar some time...
And there we go, that's the last one of the people we can get to Shannar. We don't get a particular reward for it, and while the armor store is good, we don't really need anything from it, so we're not going back to Shannar. We're not going back for anything. We have exactly two things left to do - get through the old pyramid, and head to Asran and finish this shit. We're about as decked out as we can get, and the few things I could do are minor. We also have all the items we could ever need thanks to our massive supply of money. Let's do this, two more dungeons.
Alright, we've been here before, so let's just jump back down to level four, where we last left off due to Curse shenanigans.
Level four. This level is linked a lot with level five, so let's check that out too.
The maze-like thing to the left is another teleporter maze. If you hit any of those events, you're teleported back to the beginning of the maze. This, of course, is annoying. Thankfully, I have a map, because I was not going to sketch out the path.
We make our way through the maze and head back to level four...
...so we can then hit a switch...
...that then allows us to go past the gate that was previously blocking us from going to level six.
This is another level that links up quite a bit with the next one, so let's throw that in as well.
So, we start going through level six on the left, and step on the not at all suspicious hallway.
Somehow, I get the feeling that there are traps here!
Yeah, we should be careful!
Bah, you're just paranoid!
If we step on one of the trapped tiles, rocks fall, but nobody dies. It's 40 HP damage, nothing we can't deal with repeatedly. We move on and walk down to level seven.
On level seven, we just continue along the path and make our way back to level six.
And from there, it's back down to level seven.
And from there, down to level eight.
Level eight is a lot more straightforward. There's some traps, but nothing major.
What is, however, major, is that we find the vampire sabre here.
"Vampire Sabre" - "Asgar's strongest weapon (+220 ATTACK, can cause bleeding)". So now we're all decked out as far as weapons go, which is good. Beyond that, nothing special, so down to level nine.
Level nine is fucking big, however, there's no traps or mechanics or anything like that. Note that it's split in two, so you can go down the first set of stairs you find and wander around a dead end area before having to go back and find the other set of stairs that actually leads to where you want to go. Well, I say "dead end", but there's actually something there. Turns out that some of these bookcases... hang on...
...these bookcases like the one in the bottom right of this picture actually have interesting things in them at times, starting from level six on. Here's what they say, in the order in which we would have discovered them:
There's one book that's still readable here: "...and so the Pharaoh created his most powerful servant with the help of an ancient spellbook! It was a demon, however the Pharaoh could not control the demon's power and was squashed under its hooves!"
Well, that couldn't have happened to ME!
Maybe we'll find more in the rest of the pyramid...
Ah, here's another readable book: "...Pharaoh Ustra was a very powerful man, but his power had its limits, and amongst those limits were the most powerful sorcerers of the land. In his infinite greed for power, Pharaoh Ustra found a traitor amongst them and forced him to surrender their most powerful spells under incredible torture. With that, Ustra managed to obtain an ancient spellbook, with which...". The rest of the book is already too deteriorated to read...
Here's one more of those readable books: "...and so, Pharaoh Ustra reigned over the land with an iron fist and incredible lust for power, and his reputation was known all over the world. There were only a few people that were equal to him, and those were the powerful mages of the Elras. Because of that, Ustra hated those mages more than anything else...". I can't read anything else!
This is another readable book - looks like a diary: "...these damn Elras mages again! Oh, how I hate them! Nobody can be as powerful as me! ...damnit, I'm going to kill them! Every tool available to me would be worth using...". Looks like somebody had a real problem!
This is another readable book - looks like a diary: "...finally, I've done it! I managed to get a powerful spellbook from one of these terrible mages. As a reward, I let his torture continue! Oh, what fools. Finally, I have the power to summon a demon that will be of great help in my war against these disgusting Elras mages!"
Backstory! Also, two of the bookcases behind secret passages have spells in them, one being Blood Healing, the first of the healing spells, and another being Flame Shield. I didn't know about this at the time, but I wouldn't have bothered if I did. Neither of those are really useful to us. I guess getting a healing spell on Valnar might be useful, but it's such a shit one. Now, let's get to the end of this place.
We get to this burial-chamber looking place, and suddenly hear a thumping sound.
Damnit, what was that?
Sounded like a pressure plate or something...
There it was again!
The coffin opened up!
Damnit, it's a lich!
These things did not have any animations or anything, they just popped in.
Pharaoh Ustra: ROAAAAAARRRR! WHO dares enter my pyramid?
Pharaoh Ustra: ROAAAAAARRRR! You wretched slaves! I will give you the proper punishment for your intrusion into my home! DEATH!
So this is the pharaoh of this pyramid...
Pharaoh Ustra: I will bring you inexorable pain, just like I did to my slaves! Entering my pyramid shall be your last mistake!
And trying to stop us is YOUR last mistake!
Welcome to the optional bonus boss of Vampires Dawn, Pharaoh Ustra.
Attacks: Regular attack (1/7 chance to use), chance to instant kill one party member (1/7 chance to use), chance to Curse a party member (1/7 chance to use), chance to Confuse a party member (1/7 chance to use), chance to Blind or Mute any party member (1/7 chance to use), ice attack spell that hits the entire party (1/7 chance to use), poison attack spell that hits the entire party (1/7 chance to use).
Status effect resistances: Immune to all.
Attribute resistances: Normal damage from regular weapons and light spells, resistant to fire spells, immune to everything else.
That's a lot of attacks, but the stats behind them aren't too impressive. All in all, thanks to our status effect resistances and Alaine's status effect cleaning spell, he can't really cause us too much trouble, and as such, we can just wail on him with regular attacks, and he goes down somewhat quickly for being such a big tub of HP.
Stupid, stupid pharaoh...
Now, let's see just WHAT he was guarding so well down here!
That something is an antique vampire ring, which I don't give a toss about anymore, and the best thing in the game.
Look, there's a book in here!
Hm, looks like an old spellbook.
Well, then take a look inside, Valnar!
Hey, this book is about summoning demons! So that's how that works...
"Learned 'Summon Demon'!"
Reading that book makes this portal turn on, which leads us back outside again. So that was the optional bonus dungeon, and it got us something that we can use to break the game pretty hard. Just how we can break the game, you will see next time, when we head to Asran and finally solve the mystery of just who Mr. X is!