Friday, December 20, 2013

Mystic Ark Finale - Terminus

"I'm the King" says Remeer as he looks out from the empty castle. "King of allllll the land."

With the various figurines restored, Cinderella helped, several dungeons trekked through and re-trekked through, and the fetching done with, Remeer finally gets the Invisibility Cloak. Now he can walk past the random guy in the woods! Hoo rah!

Can you see him? Nope. He's just like Bilbo.

"Dillll-do Baggins!"

The final real dungeon of the game is the waterfall cave. Here's Tokio's best weapon; too bad he's on the shelf from here on out.

Haa...Haa Haa?

It's that villainous fox guy from much earlier in the game, back for revenge. Easy fight. This is the first of six boss fights in rapid succession between this dungeon and the credits.

Shortly afterwards, a considerably tougher boss ambushes our heroes.

Still, nothing too difficult to handle. I was hoping for a more substantial dragon, but instead we get another disturbing boss design.

At the end of the dungeon, the red carpet is out for The Sinistrals Darkness.

Another disturbing boss straight out of The Thing. Actually, this looks more like a DQ-series big boss. Only thing missing is a stomach-mouth.

He casts an instant-death spell on the whole party in the first round, killing off two of my three characters. With that, I repeated the entire dungeon loaded state and tried again.

If he doesn't use an instant-death spell on the first round, use that round to set up DeathGuard on everyone (Remeer and Meisia can cast it, while Kamiwoo can use a Cross). This buff lasts for the entire fight and nullifies instant death, making his worst attack harmless.

Other than that, it's a pretty straightforward battle. This is the first time that I've actually needed Meisia. Her healing is leagues beyond everyone else's (aside from maybe the female version of the hero). This leaves Remeer and Kamiwoo to dish out damage.

Moments after this picture was taken, Darkness turned and winked at the camera.

There's number seven. This one adds a long-lasting stun proc to weapons. Think it only works on staves, meaning that Meisia's 1-damage attacks are finally good for something.

But wait! There's... a Bigger Bad?

Put this on the cane I got from Oz. Still, Meisia isn't suddenly a worthwhile attacker. The stun is nice, but at this point Remeer and Kamiwoo can beat just about any enemy in two attacks. The battles don't last long.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... The Prince finds Cinderella and wants to put the glass slipper on her foot. Unfortunately, she hasn't washed.

The Prince is all undeterred by her unwashedness. I think we should get going.

The Darkness Ark unseals a door in the shrine that has been frozen since the first moment of the game. This is the entrance to the Nexus of Darkness, but it isn't much of a world. It's barely a dungeon, just a few rooms.

First boss! A giant crab. I'm a fan of giant crab bosses. Secret of Mana and Vagrant Story both have some rad ones.

After that simple fight, here's Naga Raja. Now THIS is a Water Dragon. Again, not too difficult. One cool thing about this final area is that you can open a shortcut to the final boss in case you need to leave and rest/save. No trekking through the area again. Yes, the game actually does something to save you time at this point.

Here's the final boss. He'd be more intimidating if he didn't open with "hee"s. Did this guy go to the same villain school as Darkness?

So, the jist of it is that this guy is Remeer's "evil half". The darkness that Remeer shed when he was reborn as a hero, or something along those lines. His id. The monster under his bed.

Since good cannot exist without evil, IT'S CLOBBERING TIME. Wait, shouldn't Remeer let this thing exist, since without it he doesn't exist? Ah, whatever.

This fight, in Enix tradition, is considerably higher-tier than the fights before it. Going to detour for some quick level grinding.

Went back to World 5 for this. The enemy sets in the Fairytale World and Nexus are difficult fights for 4500 exp or so. Those two worlds have the same enemy sets, oddly. World 6, the Dark World, is closed-off. That leaves World 5 for grinding. The enemies in World 5 are considerably easier than the Fairytale/Nexus enemy sets, and give an average of 3500 exp. It's lower, but the rate/ease that you can dispatch them means it's the fastest leveling in the game.

Back to the final boss, with higher levels. Dark bosom, huh?

The key to this fight is to Mirror your characters. Only the offensive mage has the Mirror spell, but she's useless otherwise in this fight. I just brought a Mirror-casting item for each character (found three in the whole game up to this point, incidentally) and used those. Mirror lasts for about ten turns, which is enough to get through at least half of this battle without taking much damage. It doesn't reflect spells, but it causes them to miss. This negates most of the final boss' offense. Also kept Meisia busy casting constant speed/power buffs on the other two until their stats were maxed. She healed when necessary, but Mirror made that unneeded a lot of the time.

Remeer and Kamiwoo just wailed on the boss with regular attacks, for the most part. With all the buffs they had stacked, these attacks did a ton of damage. Unlike most final bosses from the early-to-mid-90's era, this guy doesn't have any kind of buff-nullifying dispel. As a result, you can stack and stack until your characters are overpowered. By the time the Mirrors fall, the fight is effectively already in the bag.

After the boss disintegrates, it leaves behind a slightly disturbing image. Are those lungs?

A mysterious being appears, revealing that she created everything.


It seems that Black Heart was one of her creations, but it spiraled out of control and started taking over the worlds / turning people into figurines. I guess Darkness was just its emissary.

But wait! It turns out that Black Heart was actually half of Remeer. The goddess split him in two for some reason, and his evil half went berserk. Isn't this what happened with Piccolo in Dragonball?

Isn't the reverse also true, though? Doesn't Remeer need his dark side? Instead, he just killed it. Now what? Apparently he has great things to do in the world now... which include being slain and impersonated by Gorsia, so that Gorsia can be defeated by the 7th Saga hero after they go back in time and are reincarnated as Remeer in this game? Did I get all of that?

Oh, also, Remeer is the goddess' child. Fade to black.

Well, that was... something.

Here's the person responsible for all of the creep-tastic boss designs.

We see a few quick shots of the mute heroes going back to whatever it is that they normally do. Here's the sexy gypsy mage getting flirted with in a bar and pushing the guy away. She should tase him like Chloe O' Brien.

Kamiwoo goes back to beast-taming while being the dandiest of fair lads. See how he prances through the fields with his herd of cats!

Remeer... finds a door, and goes through it. I'm assuming this goes to Ticondera.

And that's it. Good game, could have been better. I already talked about the issues with it a fair amount. Next game.

As always, don't forget to leave a comment below.


  1. I was hoping for a longer final thoughts/conclusion-section in this post. Very nice blog-playlog nevertheless, love the humor you spread into your comments :)

  2. Thanks for doing this series. I wouldn't have known anything about this game if you hadn't brought it to my attention, and I hope you're planning to keep covering games that weren't officially released in the States. Mother 3 would be amazing.

  3. I'm really liking all the imagery in this last mail. Waterfalls are great and so are these boss designs, which are much more detailed pixel for pixel than what I'm used to. Like that third boss..that's just excellent.
    "He casts an instant-death spell on the whole party in the first round, killing off two of my three characters." Good God. Life ain't fair sometimes.
    Meisia, long time no see! I missed you!
    Really like seeing this final speech in front of a waterfall; surprised no one else has thought of that.
    Walking between gold and silver armors to get to the final dungeon, which has crab people, is a lot of badassery for two images.
    "Yes, the game actually does something to save you time at this point." Whoa, clear sign of different directing teams. And I see Meisia's still with you!
    Great dragon design, I agree.
    Sick boss sprite for the battle, once again. Not feeling this last boss from a logic standpoint, though. Putting him in front of a firefall, after the waterfall earlier, is FANTASTIC.
    Very interesting that you won the fight with buffs of regular attacks. I think you knew to do this because you're a pro, but as a kid this wouldn't have come to my mind immediately.
    Those do look like lungs. Smokers' lungs.
    Beautiful angel design, and contrasts with the background greatly.
    Oh ok, Black Heart was making that backstory up.
    "Oh, also, Remeer is the goddess' child. Fade to black." WHAT?! LOL so many sudden surprises here. But then, they never did give these characters any background; we just assumed they came here from somewhere else. Since they don't show personality, we aren't really into this surprise...but it does work out I suppose.
    But who abandoned Darkness to the Dark World? That's the real villain.
    Yoneda Hitoshi, I salute you!

  4. The Goddess sure does seem pretty unsure about that...