Sunday, May 24, 2020

Seiken Densetsu 3, Part 7 - High Tension Wire

 Today on Seiken Densetsu 3: I slay God-Beasts. Lots of them, beginning with the Son of Sun in the land of fire.




The volcano is one of the areas I really like in this game. It's got a different vibe from the rest of the game, and reminds me of a similar area in Chrono Cross.

Here's the God-Beast of Fire, Xan Bie. For real, it's the Son of Sun from Chrono Trigger

Our third God-Beast fight, and one that isn't difficult at all in this version of the game. He doesn't have any Son of Sun type "hide in your minions" tricks, at least.

With that guy dispatched, I head for the Shimmering Ruins to find the God-Beast of Light. This dungeon is above average in length for this game, and has some switch puzzles to it. 

It's a very three-dimensional zone, and the remake version of it really captures the maze-like quality of it. More on that game pretty soon. 

Here's Lightgazer. It doesn't really LOOK like a God-Beast of Light. More like a shadow-element boss if I had to guess. 

For whatever reason this fight took an age and a half. See for yourself: 

Indeed, this was a very drawn-out fight and I can't say it was all that much fun. Not sure why it took so long, but I do know I didn't bring any Dark element attacks to it. It just went on and on. Might have been doing something wrong.

Regardless of all of that, Lightgazer is a great name. All of these beasts have great names. Now we've got Water, Wind, Fire, and Light defeated, which leaves Earth, Moon, Wood, and Dark. Not following any particular order here. If one were so inclined, they could challenge these guys in the SoM order of Water->Earth->Wind->Fire->Light->Moon->Dryad. Thing is, you have to fight Dark last no matter what. 

The path to the Earth beast takes us through the Molebear Highlands. Like the paths to the others, you end up going through familiar areas that now have additional sections with powered-up enemies.

The actual dungeon of the Earth beast is an interesting one. The foes here are obviously Earth-element and the place is full of rocks and gems. It's kinda what you'd imagine a "Plane of Earth" to look like. 

This is one of those places where a Dark Souls fog door would really come in handy. You can either end up in a boss fight or find a gold statue depending on which direction you go in towards the end of the dungeon. 

Luckily I chose right, and here it is. And we'll need that, because... 

Land Umber is above-average as far as God-Beast difficulty goes. This thing is a beast, and it has two hands that attack independently of it as well. 

Here it is unleashing a quake spell. It looks and behaves like Giga Gaia from Chrono Trigger, adding to my theory that Giga Gaia started life as the likely-omitted Earth Gigas boss from SoM. They wouldn't have been able to realize their vision for it at the time. I bet having all of the existing Gigas bosses look the same wasn't their first choice either.

Here's the battle with Giga Gaia's alternate-dimension twin.

Next is the dungeon of Moon-

 "HELLO"

-which is a tower. Which means a lot of floors with the same set of four doors. At least it isn't as tedious as the Fanatic's Tower. The remake version of this part is much-improved. 

At the top is Dolan, the Moon God-Beast, and he's got a hell of an entrance where he claws his way up over the side of the tower like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man. 

Here's his full profile. He's one of the tougher God-Beasts in the remake, but here he isn't too bad. The main issue here is that being Moon elemental there isn't really anything you can use against him as a weakness. Moon might be weak against Wood, and Dryad-based attack spells are rare. Hard to say for sure. 

His casting animation looks like he's dishing out a Kamehameha wave.
That castle in the background is most likely Ferolia, the homeland of Kevin and the beast men. Wonder if there are any Beast-Women. Not that I saw. What's with all of the gender-segregated kingdoms in this game? How do they not all die off after one generation? 

Here's the fight, where I relied on physical attacks to get me through it.

Last up (well, there's still Dark) is the woodland home of the 7th God Beast. 

I like the look of this place, especially with the sun rays in the background. 

It's an odd dungeon for this game because it has a bit of a "side-scroller" feel to it, where everything goes left to right and back. It looks a LOT like something out of Legend of Mana, where most of the areas have this same side-scrolling design. 

Holy light literally shines down as I find a treasure chest. Will this be it? WILL THIS BE MY FIRST ??? SEED? 

...no. The streak of getting absolutely zero ??? Seeds continues, and I'm killing everything. I can almost guarantee that this official release is nerfed compared to the original, fan-translated ROM of the game. Question is...why? Changing ??? Seeds to have incredibly low drop rates is a weird thing to do, especially when the remake doesn't do that. 

At this point it's taking so long to get my third classes that my characters are running out of stat-raises for their existing classes. Carlie hasn't been able to raise Spirit for a while now, and points are going to things like Strength because every stat she needs is stuck at 2nd-class caps. It's frustrating. 

Mispolm, the God-Beast of Wood. Everything about it, from the look to the name, could be a Bloodborne boss. 

It sprouts tentacles and GETS ANGRY. 

Here's the entire horrifying fight, where I again don't have an elemental weakness to use. Even without Angela for spells, I've got Duran with elemental sabers and Hawkeye with elemental attacks. Just need a clear weakness and I can zero in on it.

That's right, the Darkstone never turned up over the course of the game. We got Shade on the ghost ship and it didn't know where the Darkstone was either. 

The final leg of the journey is different, depending on which character you choose. No matter what, the next stop is the jungle. 

Pedda is an ancient city that no longer exists, but you can get transported there. It looks like it escaped from Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure

The best buyable weapons in the game are found here. After this, any weapon upgrades come from planting Gear Seeds, and only after you've class-changed to your third classes. If they're as exceedingly rare as ??? Seeds have been, I won't plan on getting many of them. So this storebought equipment might have to carry me through to the end. Luckily it's really good stuff. 

Hey, no need to be smarmy about it. I'm American, we don't know how to speak more than one language. 

An ancient prophecy, or the lyrics to Tainted Soul's first single? 

"I've got mine, Jack!" says the guy before leaving. Basically, he won't be around long enough to see the end of the world, so why worry about it? 

Hawkeye climbs into this random person's bed and asks them about the Darkstone while sipping wine and gazing at them. "Can you please let me get back to sleep?" they say. 

The next step varies depending on who your characters are. If you're playing as Hawkeye/Riesz, you end up going to the Dark Castle up north. If you're playing as Duran/Angela, you go to the Underworld via Crystal Desert. Kevin/Charlotte go this route, traversing the Jungle of Illusions to get to the Mirage Castle.

In other words, this is it, the final area.

That headless statue is a good indication that we aren't safe. Much like the final Chozo item statue of Metroid II is headless.

This area is where ??? Seeds FINALLY drop. I really thought I might have to finish the game with my 2nd classes. 

And another! This means stopping to farm in the jungle...for a while. I needed around 7 or 8 to get the three class-change items I wanted, as it turned out. Yikes. They're somewhat common here at least, though they only seem to drop from one particular enemy type (the Beholder / floating eye) 

Planting these is an exciting event. Save-scumming works sometimes, while other times it doesn't. You can reload over and over and get the same items, then if you reload and leave, returning a little while later, you can get different items. Which isn't exactly save-scumming so much as "trying again later". I decided to just farm it out and get a bunch of seeds before I tried planting any. 

Here's the item I needed to turn Charlotte into a Bishop, the best healing class. It's called High Priest now. 

Here's the item for Duran's Swordmaster class (now Edelfrei). Duelist is notably better DPS, while Swordmaster has group saber spells and a little more utility. Ended up going with it. In retrospect, Duelist is probably better.

As for Hawkeye... stay tuned. Will I go Ninja Master or Nightblade?

Trekking back to the Mana Sanctuary, it's time. 

Been waiting all game for this. It's a shame you get these classes so damn late. I have one dungeon left. So much for using these classes against the God-Beasts like I did in previous playthroughs. 

Swordmaster acquired! This gets me group sabers so I can quickly buff everybody.

Nightblade acquired! Ninja Master is outstanding in the remake though. Nightblade is a bit better DPS in this version. Bosses don't take vastly-increased damage from AOEs like they do in the remake, as they have one hit box here instead of several. Nightblade has strong single-target attacks.

 Charlotte tokes up and becomes a High Cleric. This gets her the best healing and Turn Undead, which is the best attack spell in the game against her specific final boss (as well as most of the enemies in the final dungeon). If she were a party member in other character scenarios, the spell wouldn't be as OP over there.

Level 43. That's how long it took to get 3rd classes on everybody. Now they need to gain a bunch more levels just to learn their third-class abilities, as you can only learn one per level-up. So I'll have to grind out like seven more levels just to see them at their full effect. 

Back to the Jungle of Illusions, I battle Murder Hornets for levels. 

In addition to Turn Undead, Bishops also get Holy Saber. This is easily the best weapon buff in the game and substantially increases DPS against the final boss and a lot of other foes on the way. It's single-target which is a little annoying now that Duran is getting group sabers, but I'll live. Against enemies that aren't specifically weak to Holy, I'll use Duran's sabers.

Using any saber buff increases your DPS even if you aren't hitting a specific weakness, so it's good to use, say, Lightning Saber a lot regardless of what element your foes are. Unless the enemy is strong against that element of course. 

Hawkeye's new abilities are starting to show up. They consist of strong little single-target elemental attacks. He's second to Angela as far as elemental spell damage goes in this game, but it's a distant second. 

During all of that ??? Seed farming, I got...one of these. Let's see what it has. 

Judgment is an uber-weapon. Weapons are the most exciting things you can get from these seeds. Only problem is... 

...it's the uber-weapon of my one character who doesn't really attack.

More Gear Seed farming, and the final boss, in the next episode.


1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the Shimmering Ruins in the remake.

    Land Umber would definitely fit right in if it was in Chrono Trigger.

    They keep that 2D platformer vibe in the remake of that forest dungeon too.

    Those headless statues are eerie.

    I do like the big sprites for each of the various classes in this.

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