Friday, May 8, 2020

Seiken Densetsu 3, Part 5 - Sail Away

Took a detour into remake-land but we're back with the original Seiken Densetsu 3 from 1995. ...where did I leave off? Who's she?

The next step is helping Riesz' Amazonian troops liberate their castle from the dastardly forces of Isabella. 

Our heroes pile into a bed! The hell is going on in here? Why is there a corpse!? 

A quick moment of respite, because next up we've got the biggest difficulty spike of the entire game. A one-two punch of very tough bosses. Luckily I always over-grind to get class changes before this, so I've never dealt with them at low levels with initial classes. 

Bil: "My clue as to the whereabouts of Belladonna is pointing this way."
Ben: "I'm pretty sure both of our clues are pointing this other way." 

Our heroes help Riesz to her feet after she, I guess, lost a fight to Bil and Ben. Then she falls over again, and... 

...they just leave her there.

The hell is with this game 

Who cares, indeed. Maybe it's cosmic payback for how she left her little brother for dead earlier.

The two boss fights in question are Genova (the wall face) and Bil/Ben. Both have strong Secret of Mana overtones. Obviously that game had a wall face, while Bil/Ben are sorta reduxes of the Dark Stalker. Difference is that they're actually a major threat. The key here is to bring Ice Coins to bomb Genova with ice magic. I...didn't do this, so the fight was a bit drawn-out. The ninja twins are their own problem. In the remake both of these fights are a huge spike in difficulty, as well. 

Isabella is occupying the throne. Hawkeye has had enough of her vile machinations. 

She shockingly reveals that she is actually... Belladonna!

…….is this supposed to mean something? Maybe in the original SD3 this was her name and they changed it to Isabella for the first part of this official translation as a nod to Sword of Mana

Hawkeye leaps to her side. This is your chance, Hawk! Kill her while you can!

Here's the scene from the remake: 

Hawkeye: "Urgh! Can't...kill her! Damn her...mind control powers!"

Belladonna: "...I'm not actually using them." 

Isabella just sorta leaves. With the citadel returned to control of the Amazonians, they reform their entire political system to NOT give the entire defensive system of the kingdom to a 5 year old.

……..I'm just kidding. They didn't learn anything. 

Speaking of that five year old...he's still missing. Yep, the It influence continues. He's probably in a storm drain somewhere.

Neko says things are still crazy in Hawkeye's homeland, with the king out of his mind. Isabella, or whatever her name is now, replaced most of the guards with monsters.

Well, at least he tried. He's a good cat, this guy. I forgive him for ripping the good guys off so much in Secret of Mana

Now that Palo Port is liberated from Nevarl, you can buy some new equipment here. It's a good idea to do that before setting sail, because next up is a rare dungeon that you can't leave once you start it: 

The Ghost Ship. As you sail around, somehow your characters end up on this new ship that exists only as an apparition, stuck between this world and the next. Exactly like the Ghost Train in Final Fantasy VI

Hopefully what she's sensing isn't a DVD copy of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, because I ain't watching that again. 

Somewhere in all of this Charlotte learned Holy Ball, which is her only attack spell for a loooong time. It's super-useful, though. Light is probably the best attack element in this game, or at least the one with the most enemies weak to it. Anything undead takes heavy damage, for instance. If you take the dark path for her classes she'll get some summons to attack with, while the light path will get you a couple of Holy Ball upgrades: Sage gets Saint Beam which is a more severe light attack, while Bishop gets Turn Undead which is an instant 999 damage to undead but doesn't work on anything else. Saint Beam is probably the superior of the two since demons are such common foes later on, much moreso than undead. 

This sounds like something outta Touhou 13.


Ghosts talk to our heroes here. Unfortunately for this guy, you can't just turn off being a ghost and go home. The best he can hope for in life now is to find a woman sitting at a pottery wheel and just sorta cozy up. 

Like in It Follows? Enough, time for us to shut down this damn ghost ship. 

After an extremely brief dungeon (it's considerably longer in the remake) we fight a boss. You have to leave one character behind for this. I left Hawkeye behind so that Duran could maybe catch up on exp a bit, since he's a full level behind the others. 

This is one of the weirder fights in the game. Bring a bunch of Light Coins and you can spam them on the boss for an easy win. I didn't bring any, though. Luckily we've got Charlotte here. Holy Ball is also spam-worthy on this fight.

Here we've got the most boring SD3 boss video out of the entire lineup of them. I go full Secret of Mana here and spam the same spell over and over again until the boss gives up the...until the boss dies.

 What? Get outta here!

Hawkeye rejoins the group and we get Shade, the fourth elemental in this game. Now we've got Lumina, Gnome, Sylphid, and this guy. Still to come: Undine, Salamando, Luna, Dryad. I like that they changed the order up a bit.

In any case, the mana stone of Dark seems to have disappeared. That or it's a YouTube-only show. You actually find it much later in the game.

The Ghost Ship vanishes, leaving our heroes stranded in the ocean. They wash up on a nearby island. If those boss fights earlier were a difficulty spike in boss power, this area is a difficulty spike in regular enemy power. If you didn't class change before this, it's going to be a tough area. Oh yeah...and you can't leave. 

There's a town full of Tomato Men here, and it has some potent equipment upgrades. I also make sure to get... many Faerie Walnuts as I can stand to buy (you buy things one at a time, tediously). The good news is that I've got vast reserves of money after farming levels for the first class-change before. 

The way forward is to "talk" to this random boulder and then use Gnome as an item. 

This leads through some Tonpole caves, as I notice I've been level 20 for an extremely long time. Leveling is way too slow in this game. They ramp the speed way up in the remake, to the point that you almost level too fast. 

Here's Malocchio, or as he is known online, Count Dankula. 

He serves the Dark Majesty (formerly Dark Prince), and Isabella. If your main character is Hawkeye or Riesz, you fight all three of these foes later on. Not sure if I'll ever actually fight him during Charlotte's storyline. In this case, he warps off after the game gives every indication we're about to fight. Might be cut content, not sure.

After Count Dankula takes off, this giant turtle with a TMNT headband just sorta saunters in. That's right, it's...

...the giant turtle mount that I'm fairly sure was omitted from Secret of Mana. This time around you can actually dock at beaches around the world.

Also means that the island we just traversed (complete with small town) was the full realization of the Sea Hare's Tail island. I'm just glad that all of SoM's cut content made it into this game and Chrono Trigger, but I'd kill for a definitive list of what areas originated in SoM beyond my own speculation. Things like the Millennial Fair. 

Land at the nearest beach and your heroes wave as the turtle leaves for greener pastures. Never fear, a few minutes after this, you get an item that summons the turtle at will (long as you're at a beach).

After some cannon travel, we end up back at the Hero King in Duran's hometown. He gives us the rundown of what's left.

...and the turtle-summoning item. At this point the game opens up a bit. It gives you the impression that you can go after the second four elementals in any order, though Luna and Dryad are both blocked off by random boulders if you try to follow their routes. So your choices of which to go after next are the fire and ice elementals, which reside in the desert and the snow country.

...if this feels just like SoM, it's because it is. The first half of this game follows SoM pretty closely, right up to Pure Land which is only the halfway mark of this game. After that it takes off on its own. 

"8% of his customers die, but only 6% of mine do!" 

That's alright, I'll take the much-safer route of turtle.

Choosing to go ice first. Both areas are fairly similar, and both have a difficult fight involved. Hard to say if there's an advantage to going with one over the other first. 

This brings back some remake memories from all of the Sahagin farming I did as Angela. 

 Much like Malocchio is the tertiary bad guy of Hawkeye/Riesz's scenario, Darkshine Knight here is the tertiary bad guy of Duran/Angela's scenario. Don't think we'll actually be fighting any of these guys in this scenario, but we'll see.

Instead we get one of the hardest fights in the game, and it isn't even a boss. Fighting two of these guys on that bridge earlier was a bit of a problem, and this is worse. 

Had to fall back on spamming group heals with Charlotte while the other two tried to chip at them. The problem is that they have some big AOE attacks that are unavoidable, and if all of them use their AOEs in a row it's probably game over.


A rare sighting. These death-robots are no joke. 

I get past them on the second go, and here's the mana stone of ice. That gets us...

...Undine, which would be really useful in the next area if I had Angela for attack magic. 

Speaking of the next area, here's the desert town. It looks much more like a desert town than Kakkara Village did. Unfortunately it's a lot less memorable, in large part because it lacks the sweet music.

A little further in the desert is another town, the oasis. It's crucial to upgrade equipment to whatever you can get here, because... 

...out in the desert, you have to deal with Bil and Ben again. They've both got raging clues, and they're pointed directly at Hawkeye!

This is another very challenging fight, and at least it feels more like a real boss so you're spared the embarrassment that you get when those robots trounce you.

That's the last time Bil and Ben solve any mysteries, because I'm pretty sure they're dead forever now.

The next area is a volcano, and it looks pretty impressive for 1995. The Bella Twit has Jessica hostage, as she makes her way towards the fire stone. 

Neko sneaks in and zaps her with a dart, forcing her to flee the scene. With that, Jessica is saved. She just sorta sods off with Neko, and we continue to...

...the fire stone, which is being drained of its power. 

She had to make a sacrifice and was planning to use Jessica, until that meddling cat showed up. So instead she used Bil and Ben's souls! ...except they already died, and outside the volcano no less. Well, who knows. 

 Isabella just sorta leaves, and now we get the fire stone's power. With both Undine and Salamando, a lot of new powers will be available to the party if I can gain some more levels.

Time to hop back on the turtle and go for Luna and Dryad.

This scene happened for me in the remake. This exact scene. Here it is:

Mintas is our next stop, and it'll have to wait (as will more of the remake).

Mana continues.

1 comment:

  1. It took me until near the end of the game to figure out that "Dark Majesty" was actually his name.

    So much money!

    I wish the Sahagin in FF7R were this easy to beat.

    I mean, the desert music in SoM is legendary I'll grant you, but don't sleep on Harvest November.

    Mintas, the fresh maker.