Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mystic Ark, Part 8 - Colossus

Plowing through the last dungeon of the Machine World, as things take a turn for the creepy. You'll never win, Skynet!

People are living in awful conditions in here. This is just like Terminator Salvation! Let these people go, Skynet!

 One guy is trying to eat leather armor. Can't say I've seen this in a game before...

 Giving healing items to people here causes them to pep up a bit. They don't have a whole lot going for them, though...

 And that's where we're going next.

 Creepy messages pop up constantly in here. At first I thought they were referring to Remeer, but they're not. There's someone else down here.

 This lower dungeon is an interesting-looking place, full of spinning cogs.

 It's also full of super-unsettling medusae. Maybe it's the pose, but there's something really freaky about these things.

 There are a ton of number puzzles down here. They nearly come at you nonstop.

These P.A. messages are getting really weird. Is Skynet about to launch missiles?

 This place is supposed to be the control base for the surface world; if something malfunctions down here, we lose entire dimensions on the upper world. While this makes little sense, it's a very Twilight Zone kind of story.

 Power-absorbing creatures? What the hell are we dealing with?

 Here are the culprits. The being in the middle is apparently the villain of the game, finally unmasked.

 ...he'd be a lot more intimidating without the "hee"s. In any case, this is the figurine-maker who has been going around messing with the worlds. He quickly retreats, leaving Remeer to deal with...

 ...this trio of Death Knights. This is by FAR the most difficult boss fight in the game up to this point. Having to fight three enemies instead of one makes a world of difference.

 They use a lot of instant-death spells, meaning that Remeer's Deathguard buff is vital here.

 After a pitched battle, Remeer barely emerges victorious. I'm overleveled for this point in the game, too. That fight is a huge jump from everything before it.

 There's a little bit more dungeon to go through before this one is over with.

 The Hydro Area is short and gorgeous. It looks like something out of Final Fantasy.

 Restoring the controls at the bottom of the dungeon brings color back to the overworld. Nice.

 Also, got the fourth of the seven Arks. This one adds a weapon proc, much like the Light Ark. This proc is fire rather than lightning.

 The fire proc does about the same amount of damage as the lightning proc, but I imagine it has some superior benefit given how much further along in the game this is.

The overworld is much more colorful now, to say the least. Too bad there's no other reason to stay in this world besides to look at all the colors, because this may well be the first time this game was actually appealing in palette. And we're off.

Back in the shrine, it looks like all of the person-figurines have been brought to life at this point. Might be closing in on the endgame here.

A cave under the shrine contains the entrance to World 5.

 Upon appearing in World 5, Remeer is immediately worshipped as a god. 

 The fifth Ark, the Wood Ark, is literally RIGHT THERE when Remeer appears. Can't get it, though, because the revelers have it under guard.

 So, of course, it's time to do some busywork to make the people in this new world like me. Hey, wasn't Remul the surname of Lejes in the previous game?

 "Our Savior!" say the Woodland Critters as they jump up and down in celebration of Remeer's arrival.

 This world is the "Giant World", so-named because it's home to a colossus. Other than that it looks a lot like Ticondera. Definitely the most "normal" of the worlds so far.

Hill Giants appear as regular enemies here. They're tougher than most regular enemies up to this point, but they aren't as bad as they look.

 Remul's father is saved in the first room of the local dungeon, but that's only the beginning of the horror that is the Giant World. It's home to the two most annoying dungeons in the game.

 This is the first one. Can't see it, but there are constant wind gusts pushing you southward. Have to rely on rocks to keep you from tumbling back to the beginning of the dungeon, and it's quite frustrating.

 At the end is a stone monument that foretells of...

 ...the coming of the giant. Birds take off en-masse as thuds echo across the land.

 My God. It's a gigantic dwarf. Did Olvan mate with a redwood tree to produce this beast?

 It towers over the local towns and proceeds to walk over them. So, did I just unleash this giant? It kinda seems that way.

 "Our Savior!" squeak the townspeople as their tails twitch.

 The next area... is a pile of the finest Bolivian nasal dust.

::Miami Vice theme plays::

 The monsters here are very Cthulhian.

 At the top of the mountain, Remeer gets knocked out by... something. Not too sure what's going on at this point...

 Luckily, he wakes up in a new town. Qum, eh?

 Apparently the giant "buried the town in white sand", according to the townspeople.

"Uh... I think that's Qum, you guys. Yeah...yeah, that's Qum."

He isn't here because JACK BAUER KILLED HIM!

 Time for the other most annoying dungeon in the game. This tower goes on and on, and gets confusing fast.

 There are a lot of these panels that transport you from one area to another. These show up in a lot of Enix games from the era.

 Mini-boss fight! This one is over quickly. Not sure what the hell it's supposed to be, either.

 Moments later, we get another mini-boss fight.

 These two Mimics aren't as friendly as the ones earlier, but again, not a very difficult fight.

 What follows is a sand-maze where you choose a direction and get propelled in that direction.

 Yet more mini-bosses. Have to fight this one a number of times to unlock various passages in these tunnels.

 It's another easy one, but it looks cool at least.

 The game is pretty much nonstop minibosses at this point in time. Given the relative lack of action in so many of the earlier areas, it's refreshing.

 Here's the aptly-named Clone. This fight isn't too bad either, which is good because you have to fight a bunch more of these guys a little later.

 After hitting a switch in the basement, you have to trek up to the top of the tower to shut down the Giant.
 Because... this. The big goal here is just to save the people from the Giant, and since we can't fight it...

 All this talk of Giants and Towers is really reminding me of Final Fantasy IV. Funny how the last area of the previous world was a glass dungeon straight out of that game.

 The last several rooms of the tower are super-annoying corridors where you have to fight the Clone over and over again.

At the top of the tower is the guy that all of the clones spawned from...

 ...and he's a total badass. Most difficult boss in the game so far, aside from maybe the Death Knights. His offensive power isn't as high as theirs, but he has a huge amount of HP and defense. Can heal himself too, which means this fight goes on for a while. For the first time in the entire game so far I ran the risk of running out of MP during this fight.

 Flick the last switch, and the Giant is disabled. Or something. I expected it to keel over, but instead... just sulks back into the ocean. Well, that works.

 The people of the Giant World are thrilled at this development, and reward Remeer with what he came for.

 ...the fifth Ark? Already? Whoa.

 This Ark makes one character resistant to status effects. I put it on Remeer.

Back to the Shrine. The entrance to World 6 is a sketch hanging on the wall.

This is the Dark World. What lurks here? Find out, on the next exciting episode of Mystic Ark. In the meantime, if anyone is reading these, leave a comment below!


  1. Lots happening in these mails, and it's nice that even though those two dungeons were tedious, you could bypass them for this post.
    It's impressive that you landed multiple worlds in the same post! It means the show really is going faster.
    These messages broadcast as you move further into the dungeon are the most intimidating thing, eh?
    That medusa's pose is something I rarely see. Looks like modern dance and definitely comes off as menacing.
    Nonstop number this game is a clever way to get kids to do math!
    About time we got a big bad and I hope you keep getting some challenging fights.
    Nice call on the Crystal room being like FF4.
    I, too, found the restored world's colors lush.
    You being a god that unleashes/contains a huge demon is even more like Lennus 2 than we usually get in this game.
    Qum, huh...Qum.
    These Giant cutscenes are the first I remember the game having. They look pretty meh.
    Dark World? Looking forward to it!

  2. Thanks for the reviews! I've been wanting to play this game, since I've really enjoyed playing/beating The 7th Saga a few times, and this is its 'sequel'. I've been way too busy with work/life to play this though, so reading through your chapter reviews is somewhat like playing it vicariously through you, so keep up the good work!

  3. One nice thing about super hard bosses that are more than one enemy is that once you knock one down, the rest of the fight is easier.