Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals #3 - Powerslam Deluxe

Today on Lufia II: Our heroes acquire a new comrade, go through more caves, and have their first encounter with the bastardly Sinistrals.

 Not just caves, towers too. This game has them in abundance. At least they afford a somewhat mystical view.

Here's a particularly cool puzzle. It involves changing the "time", with the block representing the hour hand and the pillar representing the minute hand.

The reason we're here? Camu, the wannabe-Sinistral. Time to administer a beat-down.

This is the first particularly difficult boss fight in the game, wannabe or not. For some reason, he has lizardmen working for him, breaking the decades-long truce between man and lizardmen.

After the battle, the place starts to fall apart. If only we had an elf here to teleport us! WHERE IS ARTEA? ...and why do we have a character named Tia instead? Maybe they thought American fans of the first game wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

Taito Exec 1: "Artea and Tia have the same hair color!"

Taito Exec 2: "Those Americans will be none the wiser!"

Taito Exec 3: "The kids will love it!"

Oh, here's Iris. She bails us out yet again. Thing is, random townspeople mention seeing a ball of light fly into various locations, and they're all locations where Iris shows up. Is she a Sinistral? If so, she must be a secretly good and kind (i.e. attractive) Sinistral.

Speaking of attractive, Guy's girlfriend is a succulent redhead. Even Tia wants to do her. I guess Tia just has a red hair fetish, and when you're that sexually-frustrated... things happen.

That's Jess, Guy' know. The big surprise here is that Guy has actually had sex, despite how nerdy he is. With a redhead named Jess, even. He must be a total hoss. A really cool guy.

Tia continues to drop hints for Maxim, who continues to not respond to them... probably out of confusion. How's that Friend Zone treating you, Tia?

The 1% wants something? We'll get right on that, massa!

These people are only as wealthy as they are because they charge the rest of the town rent to live there. How is this legal? Did they build the town?

Of course, the Ruby Apple is in... a cave! This one is a bit more complex than the earlier caves. Ya know, if all of the dungeons in this game are either towers or caves, there's a definite sex joke to be made here somewhere.

Pretty early in the cave, I find... Armor Dog. I don't even know what this game has for capsule monsters, because I don't think I ever used any in the past besides Foomy.

This guy is fire-elemental, wheras Foomy is neutral-elemental. Looks like there are five others to find, too. Lightning, wind, water, shadow, and ice? Seems to be what the icons are indicating. In any case, I'll be continuing with Foomy. Unfortunately, the game doesn't really encourage you to make use of multiple Pokemen because the requirements to evolve them are fairly steep. I still haven't even gotten to Foomy to stage two (out of five, from the looks of this chart).

The ruby is guarded by... a giant spider! And worse, it talks. I don't know, but I'd think the barely-traversed-by-humanity end of a dungeon would be a terrible place to wait for prey. This spider went to the Shelob school of lair-building.

This awful. By far the hardest fight in this post, or in any of the first third or so of the game. Maybe more, I haven't gone further than that on this playthrough yet. It has a deadly poison attack that affects everyone for major damage. It's nearly unavoidable that everyone in the group will be poisoned for the entirety of this battle. Worse still, it has paralysis attacks that need to be treated -immediately- or they'll quickly get out of control. It also has high HP for this point in the game. Much, much harder fight than Camu, to say the least. Took me several tries, and my levels are above average.

Turns out the ruby is a fake. Maxim does some ethical gymnastics to justify handing it in for the reward. He actually makes a bit of a solid point here.

Tia is on hand to be his conscience. Either way, Maxim takes the money and runs. Suck it, 1%!

In the next town, our heroes find a girl being bullied, Jake the Snake style.

Whoa, it's Selan. Here she is to go on and on about gender stuff!

That's a fairly common sentiment, I suppose, and it's a lot of nonsense. And we follow it not with a contradiction, but with MORE nonsense:

You're full of shit, Selan. Actually, one could argue that since it's much less socially acceptable for guys to cry, a guy crying is even more of an expression that something is very, very wrong. But don't let that get in the way of your lecture on gender, game!

At this point, I go to the store and buy a bunch of Tight Dresses. Why? Because Foomy loves to eat Tight Dresses. I'm not sure if this is hot... or just gross.

After feeding Foomy lots of dresses and occasionally other items that he asks for...

...he Poke-volves into Spooge Elemental 2.0. Now he's more robust and full-bodied. Presumably stronger, too.

These two creepy twins have a weird obsession with Selan.

"She gives me such a raging clue."

 One of them has a clue pointing this way, while the other has a clue pointing that way. Selan better keep a distance from these weirdoes, even if they're good at solving mysteries.

The king of Parcelyte now tasks Maxim with getting the Treasure Sword from the ruins up north. Wouldn't you know it, the ruins are full of monsters. Do it yourself, king! I'm going Renegade!

" bed."

Selan is going with Maxim, but only because the king ordered her to. This doesn't mean they're buddies or anything. She's very busy, what with all the inept troops she has to train.

This puzzle has you changing block colors by putting opposing color blocks on either side of them, with limited allowed moves. It was really difficult to figure out until I realized that diagonals counted.

At the end of the ruins, our heroes are confronted by the Insane Clown Posse's retarded cover band.

At first, you fight both of them (one at a time) with your full party, but they continuously return to life after being defeated. Even Foomy is mystified.

One of them is weak to water spells, the other is weak to lightning. Luckily I've kept up on my spell-buying.

After a couple of annoying fights with them, the party splits into two groups to kill them simultaneously. I guess one was reviving the other. Tia goes with Maxim, because hell if Selan gets to go with him! Stay away from Tia's man, bitch!

I like how the sly Foomy pulls double-duty and helps both teams in their fights. The unsung hero of Lufia: Foomy. Where was HIS place in the intro of the first game, damnit?

Maxim and Selan have been going back and forth on strategy constantly, while barely noticing that Tia is even there. It helps that she hasn't really said anything in a while. While Maxim and Selan talk strategy and Tia does nothing, Guy begins to worry about Tia. All she can muster up is this line. Not giving up yet? What's there to give up on? All they're doing is talking strategy! You could still let Maxim know how you feel about him AT ANY TIME. Preferably before this much more interesting woman showed up, but hey.

 Our heroes check into the inn, where Maxim and Selan continue to talk strategy well into the night... before giving into their urges and having some pretty wild sex. Meanwhile, Tia has to listen to all of it in the other room. She won't give up yet, though! Maxim will totally notice what a Nice Guy she is one of these days!

Meanwhile... there's trouble in Gordovan. And this isn't your typical trouble. We're talking raw destruction here, the type only a Sinistral can dish out.

The king decides to loan out his only good warrior indefinitely now, since her and Maxim seem to work so well together. In return, Maxim is going to confront the epic evil to the west.

Yanno, the entire plot of this game basically consists of Maxim being a mass-murderer (of monsters, but still) and dragging a bunch of people on a pilgrimage across the world because "a woman in a cave told me to". Never mind that this would get someone a life sentence in a mental hospital in the real world.

Speaking of mental hospitals... this guy makes no sense at all. Unless this is one of those games where no villains can actually be human, they all need to be "monsters" or something. The translation really isn't that good compared to the first game, so who knows. It's a shame because most of this game is awesome, but the translation simply isn't up to par.

Nobody gives a shit about the woman who isn't from around here, huh? What kind of Ayn Randian dystopia is this?

In the tower west of Gordovan, we find one of the cooler items in the game... the Hook. No relation to the Hookshot from Zelda, because they left "shot" out of the name. Please don't sue.

It does the exact same thing as the Hookshot, making this game even more like Zelda in the dungeon department.

At the top of the tower, we find... Gades. The weakest Sinistral is still a total badass compared to Maxim's meager band at this point.

Gades spends a few turns knocking our heroes around with devastating physical attacks, then he gets tired of playing and unleashes the Destruction Wave.

This does mega-damage to everyone. The main reason this fight is unwinnable for me is because Gades always goes first. If my party were higher level and had more agility (or a way to reliably lower his agility) I could do something with this. As it is, with him always going first, it's impossible to mount any kind of real fight against him. I have to guess who he's going to hit before I cast a heal, and it's stupid. Well, this game is much better about this than a lot of RPGs that use this system. There are some RPGs out there where the enemies almost always go first (Paladin's Quest). I prefer ATB systems where your commands go off right away once entered, or Grandia/Final Fantasy X systems where you know exactly when turns are coming up.

But I digress... point is, Gades slaughters the party. It's possible to win this fight, and doing so gets you the Gades Blade. One of the best weapons in the game for Guy. However, chances are you're super-overleveled and don't even need it if you can win this fight.

And I'm looking for payback. Next time, Gades. Next time.

Other Lufia II Posts

Other Lufia Series Games


  1. Something else cool about the clock puzzle is that there's another time you can set it to that unlocks a hidden treasure.

    The final red and yellow block puzzle is the first one in the game that had me stumped and had me checking proto-Gamefaqs online in 1996.

    Actually, there's a whole kingdom of evil humans late in the game.

    Getting to the right level (about 28) isn't really feasible the first time through the game, but it is on New Game +. Just being the right level isn't enough to win though, you need perfect strategy involving the right equipment with IP powers. The Fire Dagger's 3X attack from Camu's Tower is how you'll do a lot of your damage, but most important is the armor that has the mega group heal. It costs a lot of IP to use, but the key is that you take so much damage from Gades' Destruction Wave that you'll get enough IP to use it every round. So in a way you're turning his insane offense into what keeps you alive.

  2. So this game has caves and towers. Above ground..and below ground. Freudian. .....oh I see you mentioned this later.

    I didn't catch that comment about Iris always traveling in a Sinistral-like ball of light. That's a great detail.

    These rich guys who get to charge everyone rent remind me of the guy who owns all the water in that early Trigun episode. Not pictured are all the goons you need at your beck and call to maintain such a feudal arrangement.

    I'm very happy to see you appreciating the greatness of Foomy.

    The Capsule monsters DO give you stuff to do with your money.

    This clown battle problem is good. So's the way Maxim and Selan hit it off, with Selan not just falling in love with him. So are your raging clue jokes. So is Maxim soaking the rich. And the puzzles. I still remember the name of Selan's kingdom, Parcelyte.

    "Nobody tried to rescue her because she's not from around here" HAHAHAHA this is a perfect microcosm of small-town attitudes! You don't usually get to see it because games don't want to be that depressingly honest.

    I like how Gades talks about your "energy pattern".

    Great strategy breakdown from Brayn in the comments here.