Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mystic Ark, Part 3 - Moonstone

Time to get crunk.

 Turns out I overreacted a bit to Matoya's Shopping List, as everything is obtained in the span of five minutes (with some guide help, that is).

We need some inappropriate music for this...

It is time... to gather fighters for King of Iron Fist Tournament.

 Pawn! Phoenix! Ring Out!

 Rat Tail of FF1 fame!

 ...wait, what? Hidden catnip? The cat-people are sly!


 Healing Sapling!

 No way. This isn't Weeds. Man, I hate that show.

 Upon bringing the goods back to Matoya, she proceeds to get wildly drunk. Or at least, I imagine so.

 ...then Remeer, under CPU control, walks right over the trapdoor and I have to repeat the tower for like the sixth time now. Man, that Remeer.

....well, I'm glad that's over with.

 Level 13 is huge. This is when Remeer gets Healmore, of Dragon Quest fame. It makes him virtually unstoppable at this point. I understand that the female hero gets it even earlier.

 Of course, Matoya's Tonic is for Mole-taming purposes.

 ...and it doesn't work. Not only was the fetch quest fest annoying, it was pointless.

 Another battle with the Mole King follows. He's more powerful than before, but Healmore makes this fight hard to lose.

...why am I calling it Healmore? Well, as I mentioned before, Dragon Quest pioneered that spell. As it was also from Enix, I take it that "More Health" and "Healmore" are essentially the same thing, and I've been calling it "Healmore" for a long time.

 After felling the mole once and for all (why didn't I just do that to begin with?) Matoya's master plan comes together. She wanted to get the two cat leaders in the same room, talking. With that, the war quickly ends. We never actually saw any war in action, so this has less impact than Enix likely intended. In any case, this part of the game is mercifully over.

The only particularly enjoyable thing about the first world? The cat people do have some pretty funny dialogue. There's a good chance we can thank the translators at Dynamic Designs for this. The translation is impeccable, and I'm lucky to be playing this in English at all.

 Next thing we know, the cat world completely floods. Suddenly, their landlocked boats are miraculously useful.

 Remeer sets out for greener pastures in a row-boat. This is pretty cool, but I wish there were more world to explore.

 At this point my inventory is getting pretty overloaded. Enemies drop tons of healing items, but I've also been finding a lot of attack items. That is, one-use items that dish out damage to the enemy. Those were really good in the original game - making fights like Pison more manageable - so I've been hanging onto them. However, since no boss has posed any real threat as of yet, they're just accumulating.

 The overworld is now staffed by ocean enemies, like this nefarious manta ray.

 Next area is a previously-inaccessible shrine that looks like something out of FFIV. You know, at first I thought Enix was taking shots at Square with this game, but now I think they were just cribbing ideas. This game is basically Dragon Quest 5.5 with elements from Final Fantasy.

 After a somewhat un-complex puzzle involving taking a certain number of steps in each direction, I obtain...

 ...YES! YES! YES! This is a big one. It lets me infuse a figurine with life, and thus finally get a second party member. Not sure how the third is obtained yet, but it's likely another Ark.

 The disembodied voice in the Intro Shrine suddenly seems oddly suspicious. My what? Are we dealing with another Great Union style debacle? I'm hip to your ways, Enix. I played Lennus 2.

The very first room of the game is home to the six figurines, each one representing another party member, and this is our next stop.

 I thought I'd need to pick one character to take with me, and couldn't decide. All of them are interesting in some way. But wait! It seems you can take all of them with you...

 ...at the low cost of six inventory spaces. From there you can infuse them with the Power Ark to make them an active party member, but only one at any given time.

Also... this stuff. Seems that if a character gets knocked out in battle, you have to go back to the Intro Shrine to regain their figurine. I'm guessing that you can just rotate another character in to take their place, though. Interesting. I kinda like this. I was thinking I'd need to settle on two of the six non-hero characters for the duration of the game, but it looks like I'll be able to use all of them in battle. Pretty cool.

The next world-warp is a green pumpkin.

I vote for bite.

And the next world... is some sort of plant world. The first town is the hollowed-out inside of a giant watermelon. The people here survive by simply eating the town when they're hungry. This is a cool idea in theory, but wouldn't the town walls rot? And don't they need non-watermelon-provided nutrients?

The shops here have upgrades, and since I'm carrying the figurines now, I can actually deck out all of my characters. Now the huge surplus of money makes some sense. I get the best available equipment for everyone at the cost of about 30% of my total money (if that).

Life isn't perfect here in Watermelon Paradise. It seems that KILLER BEETLES are on the prowl outside. Remeer has arrived to put an end to the madness.

Killer beetles or not, it's great to see an overworld with some actual green in it. This looks more like your standard, non-depressing Enix overworld.

 Good news... as long as you're lugging around their figurines, all of your characters get exp from battles. I spend a few minutes fighting battles with solo Remeer to get levels for the other characters. Don't want to bring one of them in at level 1 and have them immediately get taken out.

 Here's Reeshine, the monk. She doesn't have any spells, but she hits hard.

 Tokio is a ninja, and seems like he might be a particularly formidable character. He quickly gets the equivalent of Dragon Quest's Bang spell. Useful because it hits everything onscreen.

 Meisia isn't anywhere near as beautiful as her official artwork, but she gets heal spells at much lower levels than anyone else. Also has an ice claw spell that is moderately damaging, but she's probably in last place offensively.

 Kamiwoo is the beast-man of the game. Not too sure about his capabilities. I hear he's similar to Kamil in the first game; a somewhat rounded fighter. That'd explain his name. At this point, nothing about him stands out.

 Lux. In this game he isn't a vibrating pleasure-bot, he's a walking death machine sent by Skynet to protect Remeer. Lux is almost definitely the most powerful character in the game overall; I've read that using Lux actually eliminates the need for a third offensive character. He already has some damaging laser attacks, and I think I'll be sticking with him as my second for now.

Lux also looks like Umaro. He's contributing a lot to battles even though he's still in the newbie-levels. Remeer, meanwhile, is level 14. Time for some level grinding to catch the others up.

Roughly four hours into the game now, and it feels like it's actually starting for real. I'm hopeful that things are going to be more interesting for me from here on out. I really like that the game lets you basically change characters on the fly; wasn't expecting that. It's safe to say that I've experienced a dramatic turnaround since the second post on the game and I'm quickly starting to enjoy it. I do find that first world to be a pain in the ass, but c'est la vie.

1 comment:

  1. You've caught up to where I left off in the game... wonder how much longer there is until you get a third character.