"Sophie can't you see? You're just not the girl for me! I know it might be wrong but I'm in love with Chezni's Mom!"
For previous episodes in this series, refer to: http://www.coronajumper.com/search/label/Paladin%27s%20Quest
These creepy robots in the underground laboratory play back 10,000 year old recordings of Sophie, Kormu, and Gabnid. Just like that, this game just went from Wonderous Misadventures to a whole 'nother level.
The underground labyrinth seems to be all over Lennus, and the various exits take our heroes to all kinds of out of the way places.
Our heroes arrive at the town from the beginning of the game, now almost deserted. The master of the magic school is still hanging out at the gate all creepily
"Well done"? LET'S SEE YOU DO BETTER, OLD MAN!
He sends Chezni on a quest to see his mother, who he hasn't seen in a decade.
One of the few remaining townspeople explains current events. Well, sorta. I still don't quite know what is going on, except that it's bad and Zaygos is to blame.
The unused ropeway from the beginning of the game finally comes into play at this point, taking Chezni and company up north to Reiyold.
People in Reiyold recognize Chezni, despite that it has been a decade.
Dude, she's like 14! Back off!
Chezni's mom is so happy to see him after a decade that...
...she immediately sends him to bed. Well I never!
The next thing we know, the town is under attack by Zaygos' troops. I notice Mouth's sprite is actually pretty awesome-looking and would be at home in an early Final Fantasy game. Why is Nails the fourth character in my lineup, despite having 3000 HP? He regenerates very slowly, and the fact that he can't be healed normally means enemies chew him up fast if he's up front. He's better off in the back, doing damage.
The people of Reiyold are nearly all dead. And it's basically Chezni's fault for bringing Zaygos' wrath down on the place.
Returning to his mother's house, Chezni is confronted by the leader of the squad...
...the first boss, now promoted to admiral. Or maybe another of his species that is an admiral. Who knows?
As far as bosses go, this one isn't anything particularly difficult. This game really is top-and-bottom-heavy in that it is difficult in the beginning and (especially) end but not so much in the middle 70% of the game.
Before dying, he croaks out a plea to his boss. That's when you know someone is a badass: when their minions are still afraid to displease them even as they die.
Chezni's Mom proceeds to drop a HUGE BOMB on our hero. "JERRY! JERRY!" chants the audience.
So basically, Chezni is like Moses washing up on the shore of the Nile. The insinuation here is probably that he was immaculately concieved somewhere. In any case, she has a boat hidden under the bed (wait, what?) and wants Chezni to take off.
I feel like in the original Japanese version she may well have keeled over at this point, but in the U.S. version at least, she's fine.
Aha, this is like Cid's House in Final Fantasy VI in that there is actually a basement entrance under the bed that has a boat in it, not an actual boat under the bed. With that, our heroes finally acquire the boat. Much like Final Fantasy, this is the precursor for a flying vehicle to come later.
The map comes into play in a big way at this point, revealing an entire eastern hemisphere! ...well, sort of. There are a bunch of little islands. They have a surprising amount of things to find on them, though. The island shaped like an infinity symbol is Gubo Island, full of those high-exp pink cows. It's a great place to level-build at this point. Definitely the easiest place in the game to build up, since those cows pose little threat. Fights in later dungeons give more exp (by the end, a lot more), but they're always considerably more difficult than these cows. In other words, cow-building will get you where you need to be with minimal effort, at the cost of time.
Our heroes SAIL THE SEAS~!
Now for the downside to our new boat: Enemies attack in huge groups here. Well, enemies usually strike in packs throughout the entire game, but it reaches new levels of obnoxiousness here as they often attack twelve at a time.
...and they attack constantly. If your levels aren't up to par, these fights will completely demolish the party.
Here's one of the most important items in the game... and one of the most easily-missed.
It's the first Giga Bottle. Only a couple of these exist. It's the best healing item in the game, has multiple charges, and can be "refilled" at inns. In other words, this is integral for finishing the game. The first time I beat the game, I missed it entirely. Now that was an uphill battle.
Gubo Island doesn't just have cows... it also has GOLDEN COWS. These things give little exp, but tons of gold. At this point money just isn't all that important any more, though, so these things are largely a waste of time to fight.
This is definitely the weirdest place on the map.
Did quite a bit of level-building here. It isn't necessary or anything, but this is one of those old-school games where you don't want to get ahead of yourself.
Next stop is a tower full of scientists. From here, our heroes can go back in time 10,000 years. Why? Because Star Trek Voyager said we should. Why? Because.
What are these people talking about? I hope we get some answers in the Super Famicom only LENNUS 2, coming soon to this blog.
Things get super-wavy as our heroes warp back in time...
...to a time before the world had color. Whoaaaaaaa!
TO BE CONTINUED
Further episodes of Paladin's Quest can be found at: http://www.coronajumper.com/search/label/Paladin%27s%20Quest