Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mystic Ark, Part 4 - Sundial

Mystic Ark: No relation to Mystical Gohan. Or as I like to call him... Mystical Brohan.

I'd really like to do some more DBZ posts in the near future. Look at some of the games, like DBGT: Final Bout and DBZ: Hyper Dimension, not to mention the various NES RPGs that were way better than anyone should expect.

In any case, on to today's Mystic Ark update, as The Eighth Saga rolls on.

Since I just got SIX characters all at once, it's time for some serious level-grinding. They all start at level 1. Luckily, exp goes to every character, even the ones you aren't using.

 They rise in levels very quickly, especially with emulator frameskip going.

 Remeer gets a new fire spell. This one hits a bunch of enemies, which is pretty useful.

 Remeer is vastly outpacing the other characters in levels. Hopefully it'll even out as the game progresses.

 Remeer learns Surge, a super-powerful attack that doesn't seem to cost anything or have any drawbacks. What gives? This attack just demolishes enemies, even bosses.

 That'll do it for level-grinding for now. I think my levels needed to be in the 15/10 area for this part, and I'm 20/15.

 Lux has this pretty cool-looking (for '95) beam attack that does significant damage against one enemy.

 He also gets Full Atomic, a no-cost tech that does huge damage to every enemy onscreen. Between this and Surge, this team is capable of dishing out a ton of damage.

While I'm on the subject of Lux, is it just me or does he seem... incomplete in this game? He doesn't have the advanced, streamlined look that he does in the sequel/prequel, 7th Saga.

 Remeer: The prettiest princess in all the land.

 Lux: Whirrr.

 Finally continuing with the plot. The next town is the inside of a watermelon, and the townspeople all woof at me. First cats, now dogs?

 Turns out that the townspeople are actually foxes in disguise, and the real townspeople are all trapped in the basement. This is like the Fake Namek in Dragonball Z.

 Remeer lures the foxes out with the tantalizing smell of Fried Tofu.

 Behold! The foxes are nefarious.

 What follows is a short dungeon filled with fake treasure chests that are actually... foxes in disguise. These things are like the T-1000!


Yeah, the foxes are ultra-creepified. None of them pose much of a challenge with my advanced levels, not even...

 ...the boss, Metal Fox. I wonder if that's some sort of callback to Metal Pison.

 Next up: Some weirdness where I find fruit "hearts", have to take them to the shrine to put them inside their appropriate figurines, and then bring the figurines back to this world so they'll transform into seeds. This game is bizarre, and I'd like it if the shrine were cut out entirely except as a world hub.

 The toughest overworld enemy yet: Wooly Mammoth. These things have a huge amount of HP.

 The Plant World seems to revolve around planting seeds and growing towns for the people to live in., while fending off the dastardly foxes and the nefarious beetle army. ...which I haven't actually seen yet. Well, this is better than running errands for cat-people.

 The chief of the Watermelon Village is somewhat jittery and on edge. BEETLEMANIA hasn't been very good for the people here.

 This dungeon is actually a forest on the overworld. Maybe it's the inside of a big tree, because it sure doesn't look like a forest once you get inside.

 At this point I needed a change of pace. Since my party is mowing everything over, I'm pretty much free to switch around whoever I want. Gonna try Reeshine, the monk, since she has a potent regular attack.

 One cool thing about her is that she has a Yell command that substantially increases the attack power of everyone. It's a lot better than the Power spell, which only affects one person. Yell can be stacked, so if I use it for a few turns the party can then proceed to obliterate the enemy. Looking forward to something resembling a challenging boss to really put these characters to the test... but, between my overleveling to try and balance out my alternate characters, and the overall easy tone of the game, a difficult boss may not be forthcoming for a while.

 Also swapped Reeshine in to get this. It's a pretty damn good weapon and a significant upgrade to her bare fists.

 Evidently her fists had an attack power of zero. Which is odd, because she was doing a fair amount of damage with them. I guess the attack stat means "attack added to base", with an unseen base... not overall damage potential.

 Beetlemania finally begins, as the boss of this dungeon is a bastardly cicada.


 Our heroes win quickly, and the beetle beats a hasty retreat.

 Wait, what? Home wrecker? The hell did I do, man?

 The beetle escapes with the second Ark, only to be robbed by a crow outside. Geez, are all of the animals in this world kleptomaniacs?

 The people of Gourd Village move into Pineapple Town before the pineapple is finished growing to epic proportions. There's gotta be a life lesson here somewhere.

 More forests follow, as Remeer and Reeshine search for the bastardly raven that took the Ark.

 This part is very convoluted, and involves finding a Bird Heart in the forest, bringing it back to the shrine to put it into a figurine, then bringing that figurine back to the Plant World. Once again, every time you have to do this, it's like Enix was intentionally dragging things out. This is a game meant to be taken very slowly, it seems.

 As I complete story events, Pineapple Town gets bigger and bigger.

 Next up is a profoundly annoying dungeon filled with boulders that push you into pits. At the end, you get the vital item you went through all of that for: a jug of water. Huh.

 Since I'm overleveled at this point, I decide to start fleeing from battles. The exp is un-needed, and it turns out that fleeing has a 100% success rate (or close to it) in this game.

 You have to go through the super-annoying boulder dungeon not once, but TWICE in a row. It isn't fun, and I find myself wanting this world to be over with the same way I did with the first.

 Beetlemania II: Live from the Pontiac Silverdome!, this giant tree up north. It's time to finally squash the beef with these shelled buffoons.

 Enemies suddenly begin attacking in larger groups at this point. Wonder if four is the upper limit? Time will tell. My decision to start running from everything seems to have come at the right time.

The tree is a very Dragon Quest style dungeon. Surprised I didn't find a Leaf of the World Tree up here...

 At the top, we find The Beetle King. He's happy that his biggest problem is right here where he can take care of it, but little does he know...

 ...Remeer is armed with the overpowered Surge. A couple of those and a couple of Yells, and this fight is over.

 His sidekick, the beetle from earlier, turns out to be a fox. Ya know, I'm not even going to ask.

He calls out Remeer for being a stupid poo. Well I never!

 Metal Fox! We meet again!

 At this point Reeshine has an attack called Kick. It does MEGA damage, but misses most of the time. Regardless, one landed hit from that took off a majority of this guy's HP.

 Wow. That was quite the ordeal of backtracking and backtracking and fronttracking. Does this mean I can get a third character?

 ...nope, but I can infuse a weapon with it to make that weapon "proc" lightning effects. I guess the next Ark that lets you bring a figurine to life is in another world.

It also allows you to check out this mysterious beach-sword. It's in the shrine, and I expected it to be a gate to another world. It is... sort of.

 Not a large-scale story world, though. Just a side-area. Monster Arena, huh?

 Wait a minute... this looks very familiar. Indeed, the Monster Arena is completely taken from the Dragon Quest series. You could make huge money off of it in some of those games... and I mean huge. Generally, you bet on monsters as they fight each other. More powerful monsters have lower odds ratios and yield less profit if they win.

 In this game, it goes a step beyond. You can submit monsters that you have a figurine for, and they can fight on your behalf. Now the "create figurine" command makes sense. Unfortunately, since I stopped using it ages ago, all I have for this is a Skeleton with almost no chance of winning. 99.9 to 1 odds, and since that's as high as the numbers go I bet the actual chance is even worse.

 Battle, noble Skeleton! DO IT FOR ME!

...aaaand he lost.

 The third world is entered via this music box. It's the most poignant of the seven worlds...

...the Children's World. As the name implies, the residents are all children. I wonder if this will end up being like that one Star Trek episode with the evil Pied Piper spirit.

It also contains... Vince. "I'm Vince McMahon, damnit!" he says.

More on Mystic Ark soon. Gotta say, it's a pretty massive game.


  1. "You 'bout scared me spitless!" is the best watermelon pun I've heard in a long time.
    Banana Nunchakus? Awesome.
    The Children's World will be interesting. Wonder if we'll see anything like "STUDYING MATH GAVE ME A RASH."
    It appears that like in 7th Saga, dishing a lot of damage is the best way to get ahead in this game.
    A fox spied on a beetle? So the foxes and beetles are enemies with each other, too?
    The enemy designs are good.

  2. Gohan: "I'm in charge here!"
    Gokou: "Not anymore you're not."

  3. I gotta say if I had to choose between this and Raiders, I'm going with Indy. Stupid poo indeed.