Monday, May 18, 2020

Seiken Densetsu 3, Part 6 - Primeval

Arriving in Mintos, it's time for the next leg of the journey with our decidedly leg-less party. Will I defeat any God-Beasts in this episode? Maybe! 

Duskmoon Forest is the next "dungeon". This was Kevin's starting area, and now it's populated by higher-level enemies. 

At the end is "The Narciss-iss" Lex Ludgar the Beast Lord and Deathjester/Goremand, who just took out a bunch of Sexy Vivis. Looks like the villains of the world are fighting each other now. 

Goremand proceeds to chow down on the souls of the fallen. He's like Imperfect Cell, slinking around taking people's power.

It's worth noting that this guy is NOT Thanatos. I was mixed up earlier when I speculated on Goremand being the Thanatos of this game. The character I was thinking of was Belgar the Masked Mage, Goremand's boss. The Masked Mage is Thanatos, or this game's equivalent of him. Goremand is just a goon.

The Masked Mage doesn't come into play until very late in the game, but he's interesting because he's what Thanatos could/would have been in a complete SoM. Complete with Thanatos' scrapped backstory about being a light priest who fell to darkness.

Kevin shows up and he's still angry that Karl isn't revived. This is like his singular focus for the entire story, isn't it? We're gonna be fighting the final boss and he's gonna be going on with "YOU ALL LIED TO ME ABOUT KARL"

Goremand reveals that Heath is now also a minion of the Masked Mage, and now goes by Tainted Soul. Which sounds like a hell of an emo band. The interesting thing about this is that Heath is in the thrall of the Masked Mage because he's the most powerful fighter the MM could find. Like Dyluck being enthralled by Thanatos. Heath also bears a resemblance to Magus from Chrono Trigger, but we'll get to that later. 

Ludgar is, of course, the leader of the rampaging beastmen, and Kevin's archrival. 

The fight isn't much to write home about. He's got every beastman technique that Kevin can learn, and this fight can be a roadblock for lower-leveled parties. However, not only did I overlevel to get class changes done early, I overleveled again in Duskmoon Forest between episodes.

Ludgar reveals that he's always resented Kevin. While Ludgar trained his entire life to be the most powerful fighter, Kevin was just born into royalty and expected to be the most powerful by default. 

Oh, hey. It's what we're here for, the seventh elemental. 

Luna turns Ludgar into a baby so that he can have a second chance at life and hopefully do it right next time. That's actually pretty touching. Then the baby wanders off into the woods. Uhhh 

Oh, okay. That's good. He would grow up to become...

"Mr. Thou??"

Beyond the woods is Chartmoon Tower. This place comes into play later on as the lair of one of the God-Beasts (Moon). Right now it's just another location for a mana stone. 

Lamplight Forest is the next stop. That's right, another forest. This leads to Carlie's hometown, and Dryad. 

Speaking of her hometown, it's full of snooty elves who don't want to talk to our heroes. 

 The elder is wondering why Charlotte was allowed to leave Wendel.

The reason this town is sealed off from humans: Charlotte's parents. The mom is an elf and the dad is a human. She ran off with him, and things didn't go well, so now elves aren't allowed around humans at all. 

I'm pretty sure if Charlotte lifted the Mana Sword, she would just get flung into the air like a cat vs. a human on a seesaw. 

We get our next objective: Dryad is nearby. But first... 

...BOSS FIGHT. This giant plant doesn't seem so bad, until... sprouts a Queen Metroid head and attacks. Seriously, that's a Queen Metroid head. You can really see it when it bites. 

Here's the fight. It's a chaotic fight in the remake with all of the adds, but here where it's all confined to one screen it was a bit easier to manage.

Here's Dryad, who has an odd "booty shake" in both this and the remake. That thing just swings back and forth in perpetuity. 


Stuff happens, and the bad guys bomb the Mana Sanctuary. We'll need to find a way to fly in order to get there ourselves. The bad guys have an airship, and unfortunately we never see their airship. I was hoping Gigantress be one of the final dungeons, kinda like a new Mana Fortress, but you only see it in cutscenes for a moment here or there. Crimson Wizard really IS Dalton, because Gigantess got to be a dungeon in Chrono Trigger if the design ideas for it became the Blackbird or something like that. SoM's nearly-unused airship designs had a striking resemblance to Blackbird already.

Meanwhile, Goremand is riling up the Beastmen for their world conquest. 

Next dungeon is the Path to the Heavens, which is pretty forgettable. Aside from that it gets you... 


In addition to being adorable, Flammie is your ticket to flying around the world airship-style. Though I think that this is one of the few things SoM's story does better than this game: Finding Flammie as a tyke and seeing her grow up fast is a pretty meaningful part of that game, while in this one you just find a grown Flammie on a mountaintop and everyone acts like they know her because you the viewer does.

Regardless, here she is. That lets us fly to Mana Holyland... or as it's now translated in this new release, the Sanctuary of Mana. In SoM it was Pure Land. Square has never wanted to translate it as its proper name.

The villains "defeated" (read: killed) each other in Pure Land. That's right, all of the major villain factions got together and had a Royal Rumble. The winner is whichever villain/faction is the primary antagonist of your selected character. 

No! Not the Sexy Vivis!

In the case of Kevin/Charlotte, the primary antagonists are Goremand and the beastmen, so they emerged victorious here. 

Mana Holyland is home to lots and lots of high-level rabites, which is a cool way to go full-circle. It also has tremendous music:

This area marks roughly the two-thirds point of progression in Seiken Densetsu 3 (perhaps a bit lower than that, if you're underleveled) and echoes where SoM was drawing to a close. We've got quite a bit more to do here though. 

Here's the statue where you do your third class-change. I can't wait to get that done, as it makes the later parts of the game a lot more fun when you've got the highest classes and are learning their abilities. Can't yet, need level 38 plus various class-upgrade items that you get from ??? Seeds that rarely drop from enemies. How rarely? ...pretty rarely. Supposedly they can start dropping from this point on in the original SFC version. In the remake they drop from any enemies over level 38, which means you need to knock out a couple more dungeons after this before you start seeing them regularly.

Unfortunately, they'd turn out to be basically nonexistent in this official version, especially when compared to the remake or the original emulated SFC version. More on that later. 

At the end of the Pure Land jaunt (no bosses) we find the Sword of Mana. There it is. Duran's like the only character who uses swords though. Does that make him the canon hero?

...nope, because you don't actually get to wield the Sword of Mana in this game. It's more of a macguffin. 

Charlotte grabs it regardless (and promptly teeters over and falls in the moat)

OH, here's the Mana Goddess. Check 'er out. She lets us know that Faerie got kidnapped by the bad guys, so off we go to rescue her. 

You don't actually control Flammie when you first get her. She shuttles you from point A to point B, then you get the drum a little later. Much like the turtle flute earlier. It's a little unceremonious how you get it here. I liked SoM's tale of how the drum was Flammie's favorite toy as a baby. 

Duran is completely crestfallen now that Goremand and Co have killed off some of the other villains. His entire character revolved around getting revenge, kinda like how Kevin's entire character revolves around resurrecting Carl. "Is Carl alive again yet? What about now? WHO'S FAULT IS THIS?" said Kevin when reached for comment.

Duran decides to do the right thing and help us save Faerie, even though his own mission has come to a bit of an end. 

Belladonna's here too, and her sexual manservant Count Dankula was also bested by Goremand. 

...oh, wait, nope, he was bested by The Bella Twit herself. 

I think she then kills herself, but it's hard to tell with all of the censoring. 

Heath appears next...with Goremand. 

Now he's Tainted Soul, voted 1995's most emo band. 


You can't summon Flammie until this point. Once all of the story sequences in Pure Land have concluded, the drum finally works. Off we go! 

Next stop is Ferolia, where Faerie is being held hostage. Goremand demands the Mana Sword... 

...and just kinda gets it 

Tainted Soul: "LIFE IS PAINNNN"

Geez, this guy is like a walking Game Informer cover.



Faerie: "I like to get inside people. Really check 'em out. The kidney is my couch." 

Things happen, and the Mana Stones all crack and unleash elemental God-Beasts on the world. Much like the Mana Beast of the previous game. Each of these is probably equivalent to the Mana Beast in power canonically, and there are eight of them. This was a huge deal to me when I read about the game as a kid. 

Oh, in the new official release the God-Beasts of the elements are now "Benevodons" because...reasons. Like "Sanctuary of Mana" it's a less-memorable name than the original name. 

It's usually a tough call which God-Beast to challenge first. Seven of the eight are available and can be fought in any order (everything except Dark). In my experience the Moon and Wood God-Beasts are the toughest of the lot, so I fight them last. Then again, the God-Beasts power up as you defeat more of them, so it might work better to tackle the tougher ones first. I don't know.

Regardless, I take on the God-Beast of Water first. This leads to a fairly short ice dungeon with surprisingly low-level enemies for this point. The dungeons themselves scale up, as well. In the remake, this is easily the toughest of the God-Beast dungeons and has some difficult platforming. 

Fiegmund (great name). Much like this game's genetic twin Chrono Trigger, the Ice and Water elements are both sorta rolled up into Water in this game. So this guy uses attacks of both persuasions.

Here's the fight. It wasn't too tough, because of the aforementioned scaling that the game seems to do. The first couple God-Beasts aren't as powerful as they could be, and the enemies in their lairs are lower leveled.

After you defeat one God-Beast, these cat people appear outside all of the lairs with new equipment for sale. It's some of the best stuff you can buy. Later they have a second tier of equipment (I think after you defeat 4 or 5 God-Beasts) which as far as buyable stuff goes is second only to equipment from the Ancient City of Pedan. 

Our next mission has us on a trek through the Corridor of Wind. I was going to leave off at one God-Beast for this episode, but why not gank a second one? 

This is the same dungeon as before, no big whoop. Get through it to face my favorite of the God-Beasts... 

...Dangaard. The God-Beast of Wind comes equipped with "High-Tension Wire" playing, and is the first thing I think of when I hear that track. This is probably my favorite fight in the game.

The entire battle takes place on the back of Flammie here. As a kid, I remember reading about this fight and going "whoa, a Mana Beast is just a regular boss in this sequel". It made SD3 seem so big. 

Of course, this guy unleashes hell with wind-elemental attacks. Wind and Thunder are rolled into one here (again, like Chrono Trigger...I think). 

After a long fight, I eke out a win. That was a great time, and that'll do it for this episode.

Here's the battle, and for comparison's sake, we've got:

The remake version of the battle, which is AWESOME.

1 comment:

  1. I thought it was interesting the way some enemies had your techniques in the 3D version. Those bees with spears kept whipping out Riesz moves.

    She's gotta get the Mana Swowd!

    I was surprised to see the Crimson Wizard just laid out like that when I got to the Sanctuary of Mana.