Saturday, August 10, 2019

Sword of Mana, Part 5 - Seeds of Destruction

The word down here, on the streets tonight, is the truest music you've heard.

We left off in the post-Medusa sadness-fest. Amanda gives up her blood to cure Lester the Unlikely's sister, a plotline that we've barely seen any of in The Girl's game. It comes into play a lot more in The Boy's game.

Amanda dies, and that's it for her romance with The Boy.

This guy really needs to learn that it's okay to swear in times like this.

Now that we've taken a few seconds to mourn Amanda, it's time to go after Devius. Meanwhile, while everyone was standing around, Amanda's blood-pool got on The Boy's shoe and he jumped in horror.

Here we are, Devius Manor, home of the Saddam-esque dictator Devius.

Apparently he's Dark Lord's brother, but this doesn't really come up too much in the game. A weird inclusion.

The Boy is beside himself with grief. I guess he and The Girl won't be getting together.

Since he's too depressed to fight, he leaves Britty and Lester to take on the manor. He then goes to a café and gets on Tinder to look for a date and try to get over her. He then gives up on that because, and I quote, "So many of the women on here look like Amanda! AMANDA!!!!"

What's with the bad guys in this game having creepy butlers?

Devius Manor is an interesting dungeon, with clockwork gears and vicious clown enemies.

This reminds me of two of the scariest levels in anything: The gear stage from Castlevania and Tick Tock Clock from Super Mario 64.

We find Bogard, and he's been caged by Devius. That's right, he was put into a cage! What's worse, Devius made him dance sexily in the cage. The mighty Bogard, reduced to a cage dancer. Damn you, Devius!

Britty takes a page from Marianne Williamson and confronts the hateful Devius with the forces of Love. I'm just glad we have a sorceress in the race.

Devius turns into the always-powerful Mindflayer. Like most AI characters in this game, Lester is useless and pretty much immediately runs to his own death.

I corner Devius and obliterate him with punches. That was fun.

This game loves to make you feel bad about every villain you defeat, for some reason. They were probably going for depth and shades of gray, but it's obvious to the point of seeming emotionally manipulative at times.

Devius responds to her overtures of peace with a hearty "no thank you"! He's had enough of all of this shit! GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD!

After Devius bleeds out, Julius gets on the...uh...P.A. system for the manor to be a jerk.

Goremand, the mad jester, appears to take his soul. We'll see more of this guy later. Not sure if he's related to the mad jester from Seiken Densetsu 3, which was a reincarnation of Thanatos. Considering that he's working with Emperor Vandole, who knows. None of these games make sense if you try to put them together as a canon so I've given up on it.

Outside the manor, we get the Luna spirit. She doesn't have any good spells, as per usual in this game. It's too bad because Luna is my favorite elemental in Secret of Mana. To be specific, her one spell turns you into a moogle, which is actually a debuff.

The Girl both re-spects AND walks en route to...

...this hovel.

Julius is really taking over as the primary villain early in this version of the game. In the original he didn't take over as villain until the lategame when Dark Lord was out of the way. Here, he's already running the show.

The next boss is a new one to Sword of Mana, a plant monster. The fight is over quickly, because this is just phase one.

It turns into a much larger and nastier plant monster, one of the more interesting new fights in this game. There's no FFA equivalent for this boss, and it might be the first legitimately difficult fight in this remake.

In The Girl's game, I win by launching Hadukens at it. That gets me...

...the final spirit, Dryad. Not only is Dryad a Super Saiyan 3, it actually has a useful spell. Psychic Shield raises your magic defense significantly.

Here's Luna's one spell in action. Being able to turn into a moogle is great for getting laid, but not much else.

Next up is the lengthy journey to Granz Castle, which takes you through the mountains. It's time to take the fight to Dark Lord! I don't even care that his father is Tyranitar.

Here's my latest weapon, the Ball and Chain. No Secret of Mana equivalent for this thing, and it does a lot of damage. Still, I'll probably stick with fists for serious fights.

After lots of fighting in the mountains, we arrive.

If this bridge looks familiar, it should. We saw it at the very beginning of the game.

Goremand, who may or may not be Thanatos, welcomes our heroes to the castle. This is suddenly getting interesting.

Here's the grating from the beginning of the game, where The Boy and Willy fought the Spiky Tiger. Does that mean...

...My God! It's Willy! He's alive in this timeline, and got buff.

"You're so...buff."

The Boy lost out on his chances with Amanda, and if I were him I wouldn't count on getting together with The Girl either after this development. Hashtag #WillyXBrit4Ever

Stuff happens, and I get the final weapon in this version of the game: The Lance. Unfortunately it isn't very good, but it at least makes me think of Secret of Evermore. And if you get powered up to unleash a charged attack, you can throw it which is pretty devastating against lategame bosses.

The Boy decides to get out of his Moping Room to help out. He's about to mope a lot more because Brit is really into Willy's abs.

The Boy joins here, which means Willy leaves the party. I got to have him as a party member for literally about 3 minutes. After all the hype about him living in this timeline!

Here's Garuda, the last line of defense before Dark Lord. I unleash punches while The Boy stands around flaunting the sword I can't equip.

There's a lot of boss switching-around going on here. In FFA, Garuda was much later on, and you fought Chimera (seen here). There were several bosses in the mountains that got omitted, as well.

"Mana Women? You PC Police make me laugh. Go back to cucksville, soyboys!"

WTF! Who knew Dark Lord was a 4chan edgelord?

Brit tries to reason with Dark Lord, saying he seems like a good guy.

...he destroyed your hometown and gave you permanent PTSD. Like, what?

The Boy chimes in. Why are they so eager to make peace with Dark Lord, after mowing through all of his minions that were just doing his bidding to begin with? They didn't bat an eye at all of the guards they murdered!

Dark Lord pours one out for Emperor Vandole.

In a way, this game functions as both FFA remake AND Secret of Mana sequel.

Well, I guess this means we can't be friends.

The battle is joined! Dark Lord still has a modest character sprite and doesn't turn into a monstrous boss. That gold sword is fire, though.

Like, literal fire, as he can slash out fire waves with it. This fight is probably the most difficult up to this point, as he can inflict status effects and pretty much attacks nonstop.

Nice double hit here, with both of us knocking the other back.

I'm forced to use an item for the first time in the entire game. What are we, two-thirds of the way through? Three quarters? Man.

...and I win more or less immediately after using the item. That's almost as disappointing as using a Sub-Tank in a Mega Man game right before the boss falls anyway.

Here's the fight as The Boy. It's a solid duel with great music, to say the least.

And here's the fight in its original FFA incarnation.

Dark Lord unmasks, now coming to his senses after the drubbing he took.

With his country in turmoil, he realizes where the real threat is.

Thanatos is here to claim his soul, though. HE SPARES NO ONE.

He absorbs Dark Lord's soul and gets his power. Now he's got the power of both Devius and Dark Lord. Looking forward to fighting this guy, since he's completely new to this version of the game.

Isabella shows up just in time for Goremand to basically nuke the castle. We're going to fight this guy later, right? Otherwise it's a lot of buildup for an enemy we don't even fight. I know you fight him in Seiken Densetsu 3 (which this also functions as a bit of a predecessor to) but yeah.

Our heroes wake up in the wasteland, battered and beaten. In FFA it was Julius who beat up the hero here (again), then took The Girl hostage (again). This is a bit more interesting.

I don't know, her PTSD can't be that bad when she was ready to forgive Dark Lord immediately and let him go if he promised to be nicer.

While we were knocked out, Julius took over command of Granz and proceeded to lay waste to Mana Village. He...he killed younglings.

This game is so depressing. To help us get through it, here's a picture of a squirrel. This guy could totally cosplay as a Pikachu.

Jer: "Hey man, I'm pretty sure Britty is more powerful than you at this point and doesn't need guarding."

Brit: "Uh...actually...I do need some the other room. Follow me, Willy."

As they leave, a single tear falls down The Boy's face.

1 comment:

  1. The word down here on the streets tonight IS the truest music you've heard.

    "Blast it" is ridiculous.

    Moogle being a debuff is slander!