Remember that hint that Marul buried something under a white flower?
We all knew collecting these would be required sooner or later. Might as well get starting picking them up now.
While I'm back in Senn...
Dren: Don't worry about it.
Anna: You know you're always welcome here, sweetie.
Dren: I appreciate it.
Anna: You've always been a good friend to Lyssa, ever since you were kids... But, could you tell me something?
Anna: How do you both fit in one bed when you sleep here?
With Morgan, too, now. Saucy. Talking to Anna again she brings up that Lyssa is looking for her birth parents, but she's cool with it.
I've never had reason to cross this bridge, but now I'm looking around for things to do while I level up a bit for the next dungeon.
Up north is Dark Rain Ridge, which very clearly and obviously leads to Angaraxasak's castle. So let us not go that way.
Let's try this inconspicuous little gap in the hills here instead.
It's a charming little house!
This person used to be an adventurer too, and will helpfully sell us her signature move, Thunder Thrust. She also practices knitting to pass the time...
...meaning she's the person outside of Favros who can provide us with a thing cats like.
You can practice on Buster.
This is... actually a bit of knitting lore.
Behind the hut is a damp little cave with a... Rafflesia in the middle...?
Seeing this from across the river I figured it was Angaraxasak's tower. But that's across Dark Rain Ridge! So what's this?
When you read the book in the library about the Fae princess sitting on her throne of skulls, one of the pages erupts into flame, and the game makes a point about an ember landing on the back of Lyssa's hand. Which is weird and creepy at the time, but that's "touched by flame".
The item which bears life is Ceidra's Seed, natch.
Cold Voice: Cursed one, you have come. You have the fire within you. You carry the seed of life. You may combine them to enter this place. But be warned. This is a dark path. Those who are meeker may wish to turn aside. Turn aside, and keep your seed. It will aid you. Walk in the light, and do not stir old shadows.
Cold Voice: Keep also in mind that no more than three can enter thisplace. If you are already four, then you should by all means keep your seed. Cursed one, it is your choice.
If you get this speech and then don't go in, the door seals and you can't ever enter. Good thing I saved outside.
Then what's the heckin' point?
Well, I'm committed now.
Monsters here are way way stronger than what I can handle.
So... yeah. Unless Friday chimes in with NO WAIT THERE IS IMPORTANT LORE IN THERE I'm gonna pretend it's a Final Fantasy postgame dungeon and ignore it.
Back in Favros, I'm looking around at the local cats to see which one has the thing I need.
Well... the decision makes me think that this might be the right cat, but patting its head doesn't do much but make it drool a bit, then start rolling in the grass some more.
For watching what I'm sure is half of the spell and attack animations in the game, your reward is... this thing.
Equip it to Lyssa and it jingles as you walk down this hallway, so you're a full member of the Thiefs Guild.
Your reward is the starting equipment for any first-level D&D Rogue.
This also consumes Maddy's Medallion, so make sure to re-equip Lyssa.
The locked door in Kye has a Jade Necklace, which is pretty okay I guess.
Drexl's basement from the start of the game has some money, a Blacksmith's Hammer for anyone who uses blunt weapons, and a Tech Ring. The Ring is just Def+1, but also recharges 1 extra TP per round. Whether that's worth skipping out on a substantial stat bonus is a really tough call!
Under the gravestone at the church...
It's a bit much.
I didn't level any more, but damned if I can think of anything else to do, so it's off to the next storyline quest.
It's all angular hallways.
There's a wholly new batch of monsters here, too. Minetaurs and Clay Golems and Trolls don't do much but rip and tear for HP damage. The Cockatrice, unpictured, probably does that thing that Cockatrices do except I always killed them first out of fear that they'd do that thing that Cockatrices do. Dark Shrooms are full of status ailments, of course, including a partywide Sleep spell. Dark Shrooms can collectively get bent.
Having the lap mat doesn't do anything. This cat -- his name is Digger -- gives you a bucket anyway. I have no idea why Digger gives you a bucket.
Cellphone's ringing again.
Dren: Lyssa-kun, denwa.
Lyssa: Don't need you to tell me that.
Translators note: denwa means telephone.
Lyssa: Hello? Anyone there?
(There are sounds of faint barking...)
Lyssa: Roman? I think he butt dialed me.
Lyssa: ROMAN. ROMAN ARE YOU THERE.
(The sound of barking continues.)
Lyssa: ROMAN. ROMAN GIVE THE PHONE TO YOUR MISTRESS.
Lyssa: I think he's going somewhere.
Faint Voice: Oi! It's you, ya mutt!
I haven't been highlighting much of the Thiefs Guild side conversations, but Suzy has picked up a sort of Londoner-urchin-child accent with plenty of Cockney rhyming slang, because... that's how thieving children talk.
Suzy: Ello, who's this now?
Lyssa: Suzy, it's Lyssa.
Suzy: Cor blimey! That dag just came bumblin' into our hideout with a mobile in his mush, looking pleased as a pig after nosh up! Oi you duffers! You won't believe who I've got on the line!
Suzy: ...No it ain't yer mum! No, it ain't her mum either, Bryce, you bloody berk!
Lyssa: Suzy, while I've got you on the line, do you have any tips for this dungeon?
Suzy: Make sure you ain't leave nothin' that ain't nailed down!
Lyssa: That's a given.
Suzy: And don't be pickin' no fights with any scally unless you feel up to chuff, lest you'll be in for a pasting! Sorry, got to go, I've got to see a man about a dog.
See why I don't transcribe Suzy's scripts up til now?
I really, really hope that's mulch, given the alternative.
Manticore: An elf...? No. Merely a half-breed.
Lyssa: Hey! Who you calling a big-eared freak!?
Um. Nobody mentioned big-eared freaks but you, Lyssa.
Manticore: I was placed here by my master to guard this entrance.
Lyssa: Oh yeah? Who's your master?
Manticore: A being far beyond both of us, little girl. You must be strong to have made your way to here. But now your life is over. You will make a fine meal, half-breed.
If my name was "Imdugud" I'd want people to just call me "Manticore" too.
It seemed like Imdugud had more single-target attacks than anything else -- though I seem to remember a fondness for Fork Bolt -- so I had Dren try to set up Parry and Taunt. The turn after Taunt, Imdugud got a crit on Dren for like two-thirds of his HP.
It's not an overwhelming fight, overall.
There are some explosives used by the miners nearby, so the team uses them to seal up the hole where the monsters are coming through.
Lyssa: Aww, I just realized. What if there was treasure back there?
Dren: Well, if there was, it's buried under a hundred tons of rock now.
Lyssa: Oh my god! How could you SAY that?!
Dren: Perhaps in ten-thousand years, other brave adventurers will unearth it, claiming all the shiny, shiny loot for themselves.
Lyssa: I'm divorcing you.
Dren: We're not married.
Lyssa: Dren, will you marry me?
Dren: Only if you do something about those ears.
Lyssa: Til your early death at my hands do us part.
Morgan: The mine should be able to be reopened, now. The Templar can take care of the rest of the monsters. Let's head back to town.
Sure! But first...
Well, it is.
Maxitaur is very fond of Shout, for a full-party stun. So Maxitaur gets to die first.
Friday I'm sorry but this puzzle is terrible.
The clue is that you have to remain "unseen" to get the treasure out of this room. You light the torch at the beginning (which in turn lights the ones around the treasure chest), and if you get into the line-of-sight of any of the statues, they go out. Get to the chest with the torches still lit, and you get the prize.
Problem is, this room is too big to see where all the statues are. And it's too big to see the torch at the beginning or the torch at the end while you work, so it's possible to get to the end and the torches are out and you can't tell which of the statues you happened to step in front of by accident, since you don't know when you screwed up.
And did I mention there are still random encounters in here? There are still random encounters in here.
I mean, I already had screenshot software going, but still.
The reward is an upgrade from Kycen's Scimitar.
Lyssa and Dren swap mining puns for a bit, and even Morgan joins in, but the important part is that the shop here can now sell its weapon and armor upgrades to people other than Templar. I mean, non-NPC Templar. The same Templar who can cross the bridge to the south. Not Morgan, is what I'm saying.
The equipment here is hugely expensive but an upgrade to even some of the treasures I've found. I could get Lyssa a wand with the same MAT as the Staff of Tides, so she can carry a shield again. There's a straight upgrade for Morgan's hybrid-build sword (which only chaps if you worked a long time getting the Flametongue). Dren has options that are even higher ATK boosts than the Thunderclap axe.
But if I'm gonna afford any of it, I'm gonna need some more cash.
Gotta spend money to make money. All of the maps have led me to more money buried than the map cost in the first place, so they seem like pretty good investments.
This one has the clue to search where the seabirds cry.
But while I'm looking for stuff, I might as well head back to Senn -- for the third time this update! -- to dig up the last wandering monster. After combing every dungeon and literally stepping on every tile on the Senn world map to make sure I haven't missed any secret spots, I finally caved and just asked Friday where it was.
Marsh cave. Up the toxic water, through a passage that looks like it's blocked but isn't. I checked the marsh cave. I missed this twice.
The Thiefs Toolkit does not let you open the footlockers in the Templar barracks. There's not even a message where Morgan goes "C'mon guys don't be dicks", it just doesn't work.
It opens this box in the back of the treasure map guy's house, though. This one says it's under the rocks that are themselves beneath the big rock.
I went to the Lighthouse because I figured it'd be where seabirds are, but as it turns out, the lighthouse is the big rock. And you can't see it because Lyssa's standing there, but there are a few pebbles scattered on the ground at the base of this tree.
I fought Bee Threepio back in Senn. The bugs here are called Cees instead of Bees. The lead-up was obvious, in retrospect.
Can't get much closer to the ocean than this. I ducked into the cave too quickly last time, and missed it, but that tree on the southern shore is different.
There's no "seagulls crying" sound effect, just the waves crashing on the beach.
While I'm here, let's check this dungeon for anything I might have missed. Turns out it was armloads of treasure, and...
No pithy conversation and not any combat gimmick I caught.
A useful grove, huh? Have we been in any groves lately?
Trips back to Senn: 4
Turns out, you go all the way back to where you gorpled your very first goop.
The Spider-Croissant Power Bracelet served me well, but it's finally been outclassed.
And that's that for this sidequest.
That sprite is clearly a flower. That's a Vileplume, not a Foongus.
Mushroom enemies are always assholes.
This is the incredibly oblique "as the crow sees" hint I picked up earlier, in the Kye video. Friday tells me she's already rewritten the hint, since none of her playtesters could find the damn thing either.
Closet door: I see you have 25 medals! Impressive! This is for you!
(A sword was slipped under the door!)
(Received Monster Killer!)
The Monster Killer is good enough that Dren is running sword-and-board again, with a new shield I picked up at Deck's smithy.
And... uh, I think that's everything I can do north of the river. I'm missing a few monster medals, but I'm expecting to run into more than one critter in Angaraxasak's hideout. So... I guess I'm heading to Angaraxasak's hideout!
Friday I'm sorry but this puzzle is terrible.
Don't apologize, criticism is always welcome.
Speaking to the specifics, having the room be smaller would make the puzzle trivial, so I think it needs to stay the same size. I also feel the encounters need to be present so there's some penalty (other than just walking back) for fucking up.
I'm thinking I could add in a bunch of torches scattered throughout the room that go out when you cross a sight-line and also a sound tone (like a whoosh as the fire is blown out of something) and reduce the encounter rate a bit further (it's already reduced from normal.)
Another playtester actually said this was his favorite puzzle in the game (though he did say he turned on Hax Body Spray to reduce encounters while he was doing it.)
Also, congrats on doing all the treasure maps without having me tell you where they were. You're the first to manage it.
Friday wrote:I'm thinking I could add in a bunch of torches scattered throughout the room that go out when you cross a sight-line and also a sound tone
Some feedback on exactly when the player screwed up would probably be all it took to fix, yeah.
Short of scouring every tile of the world map looking for secrets (again... just the Favros map instead of Senn this time), I've done just about all there is to do. If there are jobs left, I haven't found them. If there are dungeons left, I haven't seen them (short of the Condemned Tower, which I am intentionally omitting). So it's up to Dark Rain Ridge, and on to the Castle of Angaraxas-- er, just Garax.
Dark Rain Ridge is dark. And rainy. There's no actual shading effects present, though, so this flower sticks out against the dark background. There doesn't seem to be anything special about it, though.
New enemies? You betcha. Settle in and get comfy because you're going to be seeing a lot of these six guys.
So, let's see. Slimesters are assholes because they cast Rock and get the Stun proc a lot.
Red Imps are assholes because they throw Fire Blast spells all day.
Heckdogs are assholes because they have a partywide fire breath attack, and always hit twice with their regular attacks.
Gargoyles are assholes because they have stat-dropping procs to make everything everyone else does more effective.
And Harpies are the biggest assholes of all, because they're faster than everyone and have both Gale (to proc stun) and a partywide Confuse spell.
I don't think I've ever seen a group of less than three monsters in this stretch of the game, so every fight is a long one with moderate to heavy losses thanks to all the various assholes you're running into, and the asshole things they do. Hope you brought a metric shitton of Ham and Salmon.
Morgan hasn't really been pulling her weight as a gish for a while. I mean, not since her Light Beam wrecked an entire lighthouse full of undead, really. So I'm going to try something new: a Claw build. Claw abilities look like they benefit from a lot of different stats, so Morgan's fair-to-middlin'-at-everything build would work out okay. And while their attack power is kind of low, Claw moves tend to proc lots of stat drops when they hit.
So once one of the Lycanpups drops a Wolf's Claw, I put it on her. I had already planned to do this before I came to the Ridge, but this get means I don't have to save up for a Steel Cestus back in Favros. I already had a couple of Claw attack tomes purchased, so she immediately started in with Ice Claw, Rip, and Tear.
Something something huge guts.
I must be going the right way, I keep passing these gargoyle statues.
Or living gargoyles that happen to be standing very still, I guess. There are a lot of gargoyles here.
I wasn't expecting a whole new world map, but there is one.
The map is really straightforward, though. Aside from a detour or two, it's a mostly linear (if twisty) path through the mountains. Once you get to this chokepoint, it's cutscene time.
Dren: Yeah... I just hope we can get through that door.
Lyssa: I'm sure we will. Nothing can stop us!
Dren: I'm just not 100% sure about that Angarwhatever guy.
Angaraxasak. High Legion Lord of the Burning Demon Legion Lords. Ruler of the Seven Crystal Blood Crystals. Terror of the North. Lord of Darkness and Also Shadow. Borne in Fire and Chaos.
Lyssa: And I'm sure the orb he gave us will work.
Dren: It might be a trap.
Lyssa: Nah, he's not the type to do that.
Dren: You don't know that.
Lyssa: I do, actually.
Dren: No, you actually don't. That's your problem, Lyssa. You think the whole world operates by your rules, your code. But it doesn't. There are people out there who will hurt you.
Dren: But you take everyone at face value. You trust people. It's gonna get you hurt, someday.
Lyssa: I guess I just prefer to think the best of people, Dren.
Dren: That's fine, and it's what I like about you. It's just... I wish you wouldn't be so naive, sometimes.
Lyssa: ...I'm going to bed. Goodnight.
Uh, Dren? You're the guy who's been complaining the entire time that nothing makes sense. I mean, this is the sort of universe where you can capture criminals by stuffing them into your inventory so you don't have to carry them around. If anything, the whole world doesn't operate by your rules. You're endlessly frustrated by it.
If anything, Lyssa and Garax are cut from the same cloth. They compared their self-appointed, made-up titles. They complimented each other's ridiculous costumes. Garax might well understand Lyssa better than you do.
Morgan: You care about her a lot.
Dren: We've been together a long time. Since we were kids. She needs someone to look after her, that's for sure. She's always been like that.
Morgan: She's not a kid anymore, you know.
Dren: In some ways. But in a lot of ways, she still is. Don't tell me you think she's still not childish?
Morgan: A little, yeah. But I think she can take care of herself. She's a very strong fighter, you know.
Dren: Sure. Against monsters who walk in the sunlight and face you in battle, she's strong. I just worry about the ones that don't look like monsters, and get you from behind.
What's Captain Stonelark doing with his campaign down south where nobody can see, anyway?
Morgan: Forgive me if this is prying, but... Back when we were dealing with those guys, Spike and Slade,
Sludge. It says it right on his dialog box.
Morgan: they mentioned something about Lyssa... killing her father. Is... Was that true? You don't have to answer if I'm asking too much.
Dren: It's fine.
Dren: ...It's true. But it was an accident. I was there.
Dren: We were just kids. Lyssa was starting to manifest her latent magical power. Without any training. Probably because of her elf blood, you know.
Lyssa: Dren! Dren! Come here, quick!
Lyssa: Look! Look what I can do! Grrrr... ya~!
Lyssa: I know!
Dren: How'd you do that?
Lyssa: I dunno!
Dren: Can you make it any bigger?
Lyssa: I'll try! Grrrrr... YA~!
Dren: It got bigger!
Lyssa: I know! I know! Let me try again!
Lyssa: Here we go! I'll get it even bigger this time! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr... YAAA!
Dren: Holy crap!
Dren: That's amazing, Lyssa!
Lyssa: I know! I'm the best! I must have special powers!
George: Lyssa, is that you? I've been looking for you, it's time for dinner!
Lyssa: I bet I can get it even bigger! Just watch me!
George: Lyssa, quit your playing and come here!
And as Lyssa does her spellstarter, George walks around the corner...
And the scene cuts back to the cave.
Dren: Yeah. Her father, George, was badly burned. He didn't last long. With his last breath, he told Lyssa he forgave her, and to move on. It took her a good while, of course. She wouldn't use any magic at all for a long time. She cried and cried. Hated herself.
Dren: The town, heh. I still can't believe this actually happened, but. Everyone got together, big meeting. Talked about what had happened. Talked about how Lyssa was 'dangerous'. How she was 'different'.
Lyssa: Threat or Menace?
Dren: Despite how many times I said it was only an accident, and if anyone was to blame, it was me for encouraging her. They actually talked about banishing her from the village. A little girl, barely 8 years old. Just throwing her to the wolves. Can you imagine?
I have played Secret of Mana, yes.
Dren: Her mother and I wouldn't have it, of course. And eventually the village realized how monstrous banishing her would have been.
Dren: Well... Most of the village. Some of them, like those stupid brats Billy and Willy, never let it go. My father...
Morgan: People are afraid of others who are different.
Morgan: My parents died when my sister and I were just kids. It's really hard to lose your loved ones that young. Luckily, me and Sam had the Church, and each other. It sounds like Lyssa had someone, too.
Dren: Her mother, Anna, is a wonderful person.
Morgan: I'm sure she is, but I wasn't talking about her. You still carry some of that guilt for Lyssa's father's death, don't you?
Dren: If anything, it was more my fault than hers. I was the one who kept telling her to 'make it bigger'.
Morgan: No. It's not your fault. You were both kids, you can't be blamed for an accident like that.
Dren: Nah, I knew better, even back then. I knew it was dangerous. That's why it was so exciting. That's why I wanted to see it over and over again.
Dren: All I had to say was "Lyssa, don't do that, you could hurt someone," and George would still be alive today. But that's what I have to live with. I don't want Lyssa to feel like I do about it.
Morgan: Dren, that wasn't your fault either.
Dren: I appreciate your kind words, but you're not going to convince me. We live in a dangerous world. If you're not careful, people get hurt. That's just the way it is. My dad is right about that, at least.
Dren: I'm turning in. Goodnight.
So now we know why Dren is such an insufferable wet blanket. He's conditioned himself to expect harm and grief anytime anyone does anything exciting or fun.
At the back of the cave we just left, there's an imp flitting about who's willing to exchange gold for items. He doesn't even mark up his prices from the stuff in Favros for being in a blighted hellhole.
It does mean he probably just, like, watched everyone sleep though. Lyssa and Dren both walked offscreen this way when they announced they were turning in.
After a few more miles of bramble thickets, hills, and the occasional pool of brackish water, we reach a castle wall.
Inside the guardhouse out front is this convenience.
That does explain why the monsters are all over the damn place in Favros. They can teleport right into the foothills of the nearby mountain range.
As promised, it's a two-way trip.
If you sneak around the back of the castle...
There's a hidden treasure trove. I learned my lesson last time about taking a good look at any damage floors with hidden passages offscreen, though...
Eye of the Bee Holder, I think.
Zombees are still toxic, any sort of eye monster is made of status effects, la la la.
The few extra points of MAT never go amiss, but I'm most interested in that passive ability. The monsters here have nasty attacks and attack in groups, so allowing them a surprise round is a good way to get mud-stomped. So let's deny them that advantage.
It looks like you might be able to squeeze through, but thanks to the limitations of a tile-based map, nope. Gotta go around through the poison marsh.
I teleported back to Favros to restock on healing items and fill out Morgan's claw attack list. Claw attacks seem pretty damn TP intensive, so I have her drop the Sunlight Medallion for the Tech Ring. Dren inherits the Medallion.
Even though the space directly outside the castle is still poison marsh, there's nothing stopping you from using a Camping Gear for a full restore before heading in.
I told ya. Garax and Lyssa just understand one another.
Knight: If you can make it to my chambers, I shall grant you worthy to face me...
"I shall grant you worthy"? Do you mean "deem"?
Knight: But to do that, you'll need to hit all four switches on this floor. Which you shall never manage. And even if you do, you'll never make it past me, the First Floor Guardian and General of this Castle! Ha ha ha ha...
Once inside, the Lycanpups, Gargoyles, Slimesters, Red Imps, Heckdogs, and fucking goddamn Harpies are joined by Skeletons that stab and Medusas that do exactly what you think Medusas do.
Hint: It's that. Don't think that transforming yourself into a statue is in any way exclusive as a status ailment, though. It's quite possible, even likely given the monsters here, that a character who is petrified into having a nonfunctioning metabolism can still die from poison and bleeding effects.
I picked up Hurricane Kick back in Favros, though, so Morgan has an AoE now to go along with Dren's Blade Star and Lyssa's spells. It's wind-elemental too, so I think it does extra damage to Harpies.
Okay, you know that thing where you get through a labyrinth by virtually putting a hand on one wall and following it to make sure you don't miss anything? I've been doing that for most of the game. In this case, though, everything you need is in the middle of the room. Tracking one of the outside walls just leads you in a big circle around the perimeter.
It's not even all that effective once you get into one of these pathways, since there are several entrances and exits. Once you've gone in a circle, you still haven't seen everything in the room.
I was excited at the prospect of Morgan not getting her shit pushed in by enemy spells! The magic block procced exactly once in the entire time I played.
It's no Main-Gauche, but I feel like claws should be equippable in both hands. I don't even know if RPG Maker can do that.
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