View Full Version : We need to save Mana AGAIN!? Let's play Seiken Densetsu 3!

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12-14-2008, 03:22 PM
Once upon a time, there was a game called Secret of Mana. It was hastily downgraded for release on a console it wasn't designed for, and was buggy as hell, and the story made no sense. But everyone loves it all the same.

Square took note of this, of course, and released the sequel a scant two years later...


...Unfortunately this sequel never made its way overseas due to technical and monetary problems, according to Nintendo Power circa 1995.

But roll forward five years, when SNES emulation was starting to hit its stride, and a fan translation of the game made its way around the internet.

A very good fan translation.

I came across the game somewhere around that time, and I've played through it a... number of times since. All told, I've probably beaten the game more than any other game I've played. Yeah, even including those 1-2 hour long action games.

I guess what I'm saying is that this game is to me what Mario RPG is to Tanto. But those kind of stories can wait until later!

I'm sure you'd all rather see the intro moviie right now, right? right?


It may not be obvious in screenshot form, but after bad stuff happens at the Mana Tree to scare all the birds off, four balls of light rush off in the distance. Three of the balls blink out, revealing a fairy, and fall back, leaving only one fairy to do whatever it is a fairy does.

Did you take notes? This will be important later.

12-14-2008, 03:24 PM
But before I actually start a new game, I'm going to need your help!


As you can see, there are six characters here. That's double what Secret of Mana had!

But before you get all excited, we can only choose three. Since those three characters will be the only ones we'll have access to for the entire adventure, this is pretty much the most important decision in the game.

What kind of things are there to consider when choosing a character? Why, I'm glad you asked!

One of the more important things to think about is that the first character chosen is designated the main character, which decides which of the three story paths we'll follow throughout the game.

The paths aren't vastly different, since they only change two dungeons and the last boss, but I'll go over any points of interest for each in addition to the characters involved.

The other important thing to consider is that each character here, like the characters in some other game you might know (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?t=4183), get a class change at a certain point in the game. But unlike that other game, you get a choice between two typically significantly different classes for each character.

In addition, you get another choice between two more classes later on, giving you a total of four potential final classes for each character.

You might understand why I have played this game so much now. Not all the classes are perfectly balanced, of course, but I've played with all of them at some point or another.

I'm pretty confident that I can at least make any combination work, but I'll refrain from giving detailed descriptions of most of the final classes for the moment, on account of length.

So without further ado, here are our stars! Grouped by story path.

The Dragon Path

The most notable thing about this path is that it's the only one that lets you fight the game's optional superboss, the dreaded Black Rabite. It's also basically the only thing in the game that I'm not completely sure I can deal with using any party, especially if Angela is the main character. Magic is a pretty bad idea there.


Duran here is a mercenary in the Grasslands Kingdom of Forcena. He nearly gets killed during an invasion by the Magic Kingdom of Altena, and goes off on a quest to get stronger so he can kick a wizard's ass. His dad was best buds with the King of Forcena before biting it.

His friends call him FIGHTER. He hits things really hard with a sword and... doesn't really do much else before class changing. His class changes involve either getting some rudimentary support or exploiting elemental weaknesses to hit even harder. He's the only character in the game that can equip shields, but only on the support path.


Angela is the princess of Altena. Her mother's magic keeps the normally icy climate warm enough for her to run around in a leotard all the time, but Mana starts to weaken and the spell loses its effect. So she hunts down the Mana Stones and invades other countries and plans on killing Angela to get the magic back up to snuff. After she finds out, Angela skips town, wondering why mom doesn't love her anymore.

She goes by Bl.MAGE in some circles, and is one of two characters that can do more than attack until class changing. She has access to all the basic elemental spells (After you've met the appropriate elemental spirit) before class changing. All told, though, she probably has the most boring final classes. For all intents and purposes, they're pretty much the same. "Elemental spells, bigger elemental (With either light or dark depending on class), big nonelemental."

The Lich Path

There's not really anything unique to this path beyond a throwback to a Secret of Mana boss. It's practically made for one of Carlie's final classes, though.


Kevin is the half-human son of the King of the Beastmen. Being a halfbreed, he doesn't really get along with the other beastmen. So he lives in the forest with his dog, Karl. Will until this fellow named Deathjester turns the dog into a feral wolf at the King's command. Kevin kills it, feels bad, finds out it's dad's fault, then runs away to look for a way to revive Karl.

Kevin's dad actually wanted to name him Bl.BELT, but his mother refused. But unlike your average martial artist, Kevin's beastman blood allows him to transform into a werewolf at night, raising his damage considerably. He doesn't hit quite as hard as Duran, but every press of the attack button causes him to swing twice in rapid succession. Additionally, he's the only character that gets two weapon techs per class change; one (usually) multi-target, and one single-target throw. Unfortunately, there's no way to choose which one he uses, and the throw doesn't do any more damage. It exists only to infuriate you when you need a multi-target tech. He also has the dubious honor of being the only character in the game who has a first class change that doesn't learn any spells, with his other option getting some support spells.


Carlie (Or Charlotte, depending on how anal you are about sticking to the original Japanese name) is the granddaughter of the Priest of Light in the Holy City, Wendel. She's by far the youngest selectable character, and sees a cleric named Heath as her older brother. One day, she leaves the city to look for Heath, and sees Deathjester kidnapping him. That guy sure does get around, huh?

Carlie hangs out with Wh.MAGE to make herself look more attractive. Unlike her friend, she's actually useful to pretty much any team. This is mostly due to the fact that she brings along more than just healing, having a ton of variety in her final classes. You may have guessed that she's number two of the characters that can use spells before class changing, though she's limited to healing and status curing.

The Demon Path

You can theoretically get the second class change the soonest via this path, but it would take so much grinding that I would really rather not bother unless there's an unusually large demand for it. The last boss is very slightly harder than the other options, though.


Hawk (Or Hawkeye, if you are seriously that anal) is a member of the Navarre Thieve's Guild. The leader of the guild gets mind controlled, by a lady named Isabella, into declaring the place a nation and attacking Rolante. When Hawk tries to figure out what the hell's going on, his best friend Eagle gets mind controlled into attacking him. Hawk injures him, Isabella kills him, then places the blame on Hawk. Isabella throws him in prison, then puts a cursed necklace on his squeeze that'll kill her if he ever tells anyone what happened. He escapes to look for a cure for the curse.

Hawk is a THIEF. In other words, he's a weaker Duran/Kevin and can't even steal. He fights with two daggers, and gets the same doublehit that Kevin does, but he doesn't really shine until he class changes. He has even more variety in his final classes than Carlie does, and is very much a jack of all trades. Even the trades that you didn't even know existed until he jacked them.


Lise (Or Riesz, if anus) is the princess of the Wind Kingdom of Rolante, and the head honcho of the kingdom's Amazon army. Two ninja from Navarre come in, kidnap her brother, and kill her dad. That just won't do!

Lise is not a RedMAGE, but she's close enough to pretend she is. Before class changing, she's a somewhat weaker Duran. Her spear doesn't get the doublehit, either. But, like Hawk, she doesn't really come into her own until the class change. She doesn't have nearly as much variety as Hawk, but she gets her most useful stuff during the first class change, so she'll be more useful for longer. Eventually she'll have buffs or debuffs, and some attack/status change magic, and some pretty solid physical attacks. So, close enough, right?

There's one more thing to take care of when choosing these characters...


They need names! Unless you guys want to stick with the default names, that is.

Six letters max, and make sure to indicate which character you want to be the main when voting.

I'll pick this back up sometime in the middle of the week, after I'm done with my finals.

tl;dr version: Pick three faces, name them if you want.

12-14-2008, 03:25 PM
Neat. I've started a playthrough of this several times but have always gotten distracted. If you're taking votes for your character mix, I'm going to put mine in for the Valkyrie type as your main. I don't remember enough about them to know what's a complementary choice for your alt.

Edit: Hmmm, after reading your description, I change my vote to Duran as your main character and Carlie as your support . I'll be playing through as the thief and the werewolf myself, eventually, and so I'd like to see the path I wouldn't get to.

Octopus Prime
12-14-2008, 03:25 PM
Is it just me, or is the Mana Tree pretty much the most doomed macguffin ever?

Lise is Reisz in Japanese, which is close to Reis, like the dragon-lady from FFT. So pick her.

And name her... well... Reis, I guess.

12-14-2008, 03:36 PM
Is it just me, or is the Mana Tree pretty much the most doomed macguffin ever?

It hasn't had a good track record, no. It got cut down in FFA, laser'd in SoM, and LoM opens with a movie showing the Mana Tree getting destroyed, then ends with you beating the shit out of the Mana Goddess.

Will SD3 be different? It is a mystery.

12-14-2008, 03:37 PM
What is the rest of Angela's outfit? Hip-mounted pincers?

It looks like you can't quite pull off ○∆□☆, but ○♥● isn't too far removed. No, this isn't a serious suggestion.

12-14-2008, 03:44 PM
The arrows next to the ♥ are actual, selectable letters too.

Just throwing that out there.

12-14-2008, 03:50 PM
Assuming the class changes will give you some interesting spell options, I like the idea of Fighter, Blackbelt (or Theif), and White Mage. This seems like the most balanced option, but I'm really choosing this because you get a girl who looks like a Sprite from SoM with cool class chance, a wolfman, and an optional battle against "the dreaded Black Rabite". I mean, come on.

Black Rabite.

That's all I want to see now.

Plus, if you really want to do this right, you'll post an appendix with any cool stuff we miss with this group, right? :)

12-14-2008, 03:53 PM
Do you have to choose both characters on a path to get to the Black Rabite, or only one? In any case, put me down for Duran (FIGHTER), Hawk (THIEF), and Lise (RedMAGE).

12-14-2008, 03:54 PM
I've tried to play through this multiple times, but I always get stalled out after a few hours and find a different game to play. When I first played this, I tried to recreate the SoM team, so I went with Duran, Angela and Carlie, so go with that I guess! If you want to, you can even use Randi, Purim, and Popoie for the names, even though they've dumb.

My last few attempts at a playthough used Hawk, Lise, a random person for my 3rd. Usually Carlie, but sometimes Angela or Duran. I did like Hawk and Lise the best out of the 6 characters, and I hated Kevin and Carlie. Carlie being annoying at least got her a pass because she was a healer, but Kevin is still a window licker on the short bus.

12-14-2008, 03:57 PM
Rieszsszszz, Angela, and Kevin!

I never leave home without Riezszzsszs.

12-14-2008, 03:58 PM
Roll 3d6 and generate a random party.

12-14-2008, 04:01 PM
Oh! You could do Lise, Angela and Carlie for a girl power adventure. Seiken Densetsu 3-2!

12-14-2008, 04:02 PM
Choosing one of the characters is enough to get the Black Rabite, yes.

There's not really any advantage to picking both characters for a path or disadvantage to not picking any characters in a path. About the only change is a couple of lines of dialogue when we run into another character related to a particular protagonist.

12-14-2008, 04:05 PM
I'm not finishing this one, SG, just so you're warned. =p

Also, beastmen rock.

12-14-2008, 04:09 PM
I've false started on this game SEVERAL times. I always enjoy picking my party and playing for like an hour, then I want to try someone else.

I'm sure he gets old after a while, but I really liked Hawk's fighting style. I always prefer speed over power. But it doesn't sound like he's that good for the long run.

I really want this game to a real release here, either on DS or VC or something. I can't seem to play emulation for long enough to finish an RPG.

12-14-2008, 04:13 PM
I'm not finishing this one, SG, just so you're warned. =p

You might say that now, but just you wait.

But it doesn't sound like he's that good for the long run.

It's actually kinda the reverse of that with Hawk. He's not all that hot in the beginning compared to the other three fighters, and he's just sort of OK during the first class change, but once you get pretty much any of his second classes, he's pretty awesome.

Crested Penguin
12-14-2008, 04:14 PM
In my experience with this game, there are two difficulty levels: With Kevin, and Without Kevin. With Kevin is easy mode, Without Kevin is normal.

12-14-2008, 04:37 PM
In my experience with this game, there are two difficulty levels: With Kevin, and Without Kevin. With Kevin is easy mode, Without Kevin is normal.

This is why you always choose Kevin and Carlie. The third slot is up for grabs!

12-14-2008, 04:57 PM
I've seen most of Carlie's story and am so sick of her so I vote for NO CARLIE.

My for-votes go to Lise, Angela, and Hawk. Reis sounds like a good Lise name to me. I could see naming Angela "Bunny". Because she is.

12-14-2008, 05:09 PM
I'm inspired by your FF1 inspired class descriptions, so I vote for four letter caps-lock names.

I want a party of STAB, HEAL and WOLF. I will also accept FAST, POKE and HURT

12-14-2008, 08:22 PM
I vote Angela, Carlie, and Lise purely for a certain scene in the ending.

12-14-2008, 08:36 PM
Eee, like you, I have beaten this game more than anything else. I adore it and am SO HAPPY you are doing this!

This game also includes the best rendition of the Mana theme ever (when the lights are traveling over the clouds).

I also have a physical copy of the Super Famicom version with an instruction manual that includes stupidly tiny illustrations of each character's intro. I just decided to browse around and look for them and discovered that these were evidently used for some card game (http://www.seikens.com/merch/gfx/sd3p4.jpg)(note: image has spoilers for Hawk's intro and Riesz's although it's not as clear what's going on in hers), which is evidently part of a Prologue book (http://www.seikens.com/merchandise-sd3.html) I didn't know existed until now but now desperately want.

Anyway, the point of that before I got distracted by pretty things to buy with money I don't have is that I can go scan the official character art from my instruction booklet if anyone is curious and Spoony doesn't mind.

I HATE HATE HATE Angela and Duran and can find Black Rabite battles on Youtube if I need them. I especially hate Angela for one of her more advanced special attack animations.

Hawk is damn sexy and an absolute joy to control in my opinion but I've seen that story a billion times so no for him as the main character.

This is why you always choose Kevin and Carlie. The third slot is up for grabs!

This is true if you can deal with the dialogue, although I'll occasionally substitute Riesz for Kevin. Also, if you're going to choose Carlie always choose her as the third character! I think Riesz has the most interesting story and dialogue and as much as I like both Kevin and Carlie and I can't deal with two characters with stupid-speak.

So Riesz, Hawk and Kevin. Should counteract the easiness of having Kevin by depriving you of a healer unless you decide to make him one (which will take forever anyway).

12-14-2008, 11:16 PM
Pick the one party that you think is the weakest. If Angela is in it, make her the leader so you can kill the Black Rabite anyway.

Do it!

12-15-2008, 10:00 AM
Oh heck yes. I love this game. I played through it at least three times (to get all the endings) in Japanese, and I hardly know Japanese. Fortunately, in Mana games a knowledge of Katakana and the basic element kanji will take you far.

Anyway, my only absolute request is that you must take Lise, because she's awesome. Beyond that, I dunno. The all-girl party suggested above could be fun.

Hmm, dragons are fun, though, and I don't think I've seen the Black Rabite, so I'm gonna suggest Duran-Lise-Carlie. THat party also has the advantage of sorta paralleling SD2's boy-girl-sprite setup.

12-15-2008, 10:00 AM
I want a party of STAB, HEAL and WOLF. I will also accept FAST, POKE and HURT

I love this idea, and am changing my previous vote for randomization to "use the Wh.MAGE and name her SKUB".

12-15-2008, 11:53 AM
You have to take Duran. I always make him my main character, but I'll leave that up to you. But you have to take Duran. Lord and Paladin are both great classes (Lord is great if you need a healer and Paladin has Saint Saber which is the most godly thing ever), but his dark classes are great too. The Duelist is ungodly strong, and the Swordmaster can exploit any weakness an enemy has. I'd recommend either taking him as a Paladin or Duelist, depending on what the rest of your team will be. And again, Lord is great if you need a healer. Hell, my first time through I took him as a Paladin and used him as my healer and it still worked (although it was a bit rough at times).

That said, as far as allies go, Rise as a Star Lancer and Hawkeye as a Ninja Master are a great combination. You can debuff everyone while buffing yourselves. It's beautiful. Hawkeye's Wanderer class is out of this world too. ...But I'm not too concerned about who else you take. As long as you take Duran, then everything's fine. You have to take him! He's SD3's take on SoM's Boy! You can't have SoM without Boy!

Also, thanks for doing this. I LOVE this game and was considering doing it myself at some point. But now I don't have to! Hurray!

12-15-2008, 11:59 AM
My only vote goes to Hawkeye. Because stabbing things with daggers is cool.

I guess this'll finally be a chance for me to see this game, since I could never get very far when attempting a playthrough, since I have a hard time maintaining interest in an RPG if I'm emulating it.

12-15-2008, 09:19 PM
I've seen most of Carlie's story and am so sick of her so I vote for NO CARLIE.

Carlie is the worst/least interesting character and having healing spells does not make her worth using. If you must use her, pick her 3rd to spare us her plot.

My votes go to Kevin, Hawk, and Lise. I haven't seen the ending to the Lich path, nor have I seen Hawk's story since I picked him 3rd the one time I used him. Lise is awesome, but I've already seen her main story.


12-15-2008, 10:33 PM
My for-votes go to Lise, Angela, and Hawk.

This one right here. And go Light-Light, Dark-Dark, Light-Dark. Awesome offensive and buffs, no healing outside of items, the toughest end bosses, and a murderous near-endgame battle with some vampires.


12-15-2008, 11:22 PM
Man, you're acting like I haven't used that exact same party for the exact same reasons before!


12-15-2008, 11:44 PM
Can we impose limits, such as using no magic? Or using only magic? Or no items? Or do you just want party builds?

Really, either way is fine! (And I particularly enjoy Hawk/Lise/Third person who isn't named Duran as a party).

12-16-2008, 12:32 AM
(And I particularly enjoy Hawk/Lise/Third person who isn't named Carlie as a party).

12-16-2008, 06:15 AM
That said, as far as allies go, Rise as a Star Lancer and Hawkeye as a Ninja Master are a great combination.


12-16-2008, 07:22 AM
Use Lisa/Someone/Someone. Actually, I don't particulary care if she's the main, just as long as she's in the group.

12-16-2008, 07:27 AM
I always liked Duran. Swords are the best!

12-16-2008, 07:40 AM
I never used Duran. He looks boring, too much the "standard RPG hero".

12-16-2008, 08:21 AM
I'm playing through Duran's path alongside this LP at the moment, and yeah - his story is pretty much stock shonen stuff (bad dude wrecks home town, Duran wants to get stronger, etc. etc.). Nothing really interesting. He hits like a tank though, so there's at least that.

On that note, I'd like to switch my vote to Lise / Angela / Hawk then, since they've got the best stories.

12-16-2008, 10:10 AM
On games that we've all played, I like inflicting pain, but in the case of something (I guess) not everyone has played, I'd rather see a more reasonable strategy. I'm not going to take a gimped party (on purpose), so if you want to take a group that can murder the game, I'm all for it.

12-16-2008, 11:45 AM
Can we impose limits, such as using no magic? Or using only magic? Or no items? Or do you just want party builds?

No magic would seriously be super boring. There's a reason why I've never done a no class-change run before.

I can't imagine no items being possible until the class change, either. And even then, it wouldn't be possible if you didn't get Heal Light on one of your guys.

Anyway, just characters will be fine for now. We can decide the class paths when the time comes.

12-16-2008, 11:55 AM
There is no need to make it a Pain&Suffering LP. Anyone who wants that can just wait for some sucker to LP Secret of Mana.

12-16-2008, 08:36 PM
Recent teen literature has wussified werewolves to a dangerous degree. We need 4000 cc's of Kevin, stat!

He's the only one with a multi-target heal spell, right? That sucks.

12-16-2008, 08:40 PM
Recent teen literature has wussified werewolves to a dangerous degree. We need 4000 cc's of Kevin, stat!

Don't even get me started on this. Werewolves have suffered from severe Worf Effect (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheWorfEffect) ever since sexy vampires started getting popular.

12-16-2008, 08:53 PM
He's the only one with a multi-target heal spell, right? That sucks.

All the potential healers (Duran, Kevin, Carlie) can get multi-target Heal Light. But Carlie's the only one guaranteed to get it. And Kevin's class with it is so much worse than the other option in most circumstances that's it'd be pretty goofy to go for that.

Anyway, tallying votes now. Adventure begins tomorrow!

12-17-2008, 09:41 AM
Something that I just thought of: You could avoid revealing who the second and third party members are until they join up. I guess people could tally the votes for themselves but... funness?

12-17-2008, 09:49 AM
Hmm... I went ahead and tallied the votes for myself ahead of time, and it looks like you're going to have a pretty good team. Godspeed, o SpoonyGundam.

12-17-2008, 08:59 PM
Ha HA!

Made it in time just before "tomorrow" ended!

Hmm... I went ahead and tallied the votes for myself ahead of time, and it looks like you're going to have a pretty good team.Godspeed, o SpoonyGundam.

Just out of curiosity, what group did you tally up? I have a feeling it might be a littledifferent, since I counted twice and and a different character ended up being the main both times. I was counting votes for the main separately, since that's the most important position on the team. I ended up going with the second count, because 1) I'm pretty sure I was paying more attention that time, 2) It'd give me a couple more things to talk about later in the game, and 3) The first count ended up with a three-way tie for the third character.

So here's the main we ended up with:


Dura... I mean, HURT here may have actually had the least overall votes. But nearly every Duran vote was a vote for him being the main. And any vote or the Black Rabite is a vote I can get behind.

As per Elfir's suggestion, other characters will be revealed as they join. So blame her if the suspense kills you.

And with that, we begin!


Most characters' introduction scenes have some stupid easy fight to get you accustomed to the game's controls. HURT's (And Lise's) throws you right into the fight without you getting to do anything else yet, so here we are.


You attack by pressing A. That's it. No combos or anything of the sort. Combat basically boils down to knowing your character's range, attacking from as far as you can, and backing out of the enemy's range. You may wonder why HURT is so... hurt in this stupid easy fight. Well, that's because I tried to use the joystick on my controller instead of the d-pad for some reason and our old friend L1 Armor Knight got a few hits in while I scrambled to figure out what was wrong. Answer: The emulator was configured to the d-pad instead of the joystick.

HURT has a pretty wide swing. Even if an enemy is standing at his side, he's still pretty likely to connect.


After every swing, each character has to take a short period of rest before he or she can swing again. Contrary to popular belief, there's no difference between the wait time for any of the characters, and no stat influences it. Think of it as how you had to wait for the meter in Secret of Mana to get back to 100% before you could do any reasonable amount of damage with an attack, only you just can't swing until you've completely recovered.


Each hit that lands will fill up a notch in the technique guage to either side of the character's portrait. Whenever it fills up, you can throw down with a special tech. Right know HURT's got Cross Slash. He does the little flip up there, then slashes for somewhere between 160-170% damage. Each character gets one more tech for each class change (With Kevin getting two), with the new techs being flashier, screen-filling, Limit Break-esque affairs. They take more of the tech guage, but are stronger for all but two characters.

There are only actually four notches in the guage right now, by the way. The designers just decided to mirror the thing because ???


A couple Cross Slashes and the knight drops, ending our tutorial that's not quite a tutorial.




Right after we get the summary of HURT's childhood, he falls asleep while on duty, where we see...

12-17-2008, 09:00 PM

...The exact scenes that were just summarized for us less than 10 seconds ago. Hrm.


With that little pointless diversion out of the way, HURT learns exactly why it's bad not to sleep on the job. This is one of the many reasons why you don't hire mercenaries to guard your kingdom, guys.


This mysterious red-cloaked man is obviously up to no good. Clearly the best course of action is to chase him down ourself, right now, alone. Right?




Shortly after wiping the floor with HURT, the wizard hears some more guards running toward us and leaves, even though he could very easily finish me and the rest of the guards off. I'm sure there's an appropriate TVTrope to link here, but I don't know these things by name.

The next morning...


Hmm. Wait a minute. Does this mean that when the wizard teleported away, he teleported to the guards running in and killed them before actually leaving? What an asshole.

12-17-2008, 09:01 PM
The guards are just as outraged as I am, and assume that the guy who invaded was the Red Wizard of Altena. Because he was wearing red.


King Richard manages to stop them just in time with his kingly wisdom. He also points out to his three stooges that his kingdom really doesn't have the resources to deal with a war with Altena right now. It's probably a good call, considering how a single potentially Athenian man wiped out everyone in his castle.

After that, he decides to send someone to Altena to see if a war's really brewing. That someone isn't us, though.



We've got other brews to attend to. Poor HURT here is taking this "losing to an incredibly powerful wizard" thing pretty badly.


Not badly enough that he's too drunk to walk around ourselves, though. So we get to actually explore for the first time in the game. You'll also notice it's night right now. It's triggered to remain night until I progress the story more, but there's a day/night cycle through most of the rest of the game. It influences things like enemy spawns and behavior, triggering Kevin's wolf form at night, and a few other minor events.


Sadly, this is still part of the introduction, so there's not much to explore. We can't leave town at night, due to security being on high alert. HURT doesn't want to go back home in the condition he's in. The weapon and armor shops down there just sell the same things I already have equipped. What else is there to see?


Oh. I guess this looks promising.


And there you have it. HURT's quest begins because this gremlin told him how he could kill things better.

We still can't leave town until daybreak, so I guess we'll just go home and spend the entire night packing for the trip.


I'm not completely sure what he was packing, though. I don't have anything new in my inventory.


Before leaving, we get Dad's sword from Aunt Stella. I'm sure this kind of memento would come in handy if, say, my dad's soul was cursed by his arch nemesis and he was manipulated into working for the ultimate evil. But nope, that kind of thing never happens. Might as well just pawn it next chance we get.

Or we would, if it was actually a tangible item. Like our packing earlier, this sword doesn't actually show up anywhere in our inventory. Oh well. I guess we'll talk to the king before we head out.

12-17-2008, 09:02 PM

thanks king


Now that that's taken care of, we can leave. Wendel's pretty close to Jad, so that's where we want to head right now.


We run into some of the local fauna right outside town. Seriously, they're so close that the guard probably could have spit on them.

And despite this being the Molebear Highlands, this segment that we'll be running along is populated entirely by these Assassin Bugs.


They're about what you'd expect from low level enemies. They can poison you, but that's probably the least threatening status effect in SD3. It wears off immediately after all the enemies in an area are killed, so it doesn't really get a chance to eat away at your HP outside of boss fights.


When the final enemy in an area is killed, you'll occasionally get a chest. These are usually, but not always, trapped.

The way traps work is pretty much exactly what it looks like. The trap wheel spins (More slowly the higher your Agility is), you stop it, and it lands on a space. If it lands on an OK, nothing bad happens (With more OK spaces showing up with higher Luck). Trap spaces throw out whatever trap it lands on at you. This is a spike trap.

But either way, you get the treasure. This one was a Puipui Grass, I believe. It cures poison. So... It might not have been worth the 14 damage I took to get it.

One of SD3's dirty secrets is that most of these enemy drops aren't worth it, with a few very notable exceptions. Of course, one of those exceptions is only useful with Kevin, and the others aren't available until much, much later in the game.


Eventually, we get to the end of the path at the Cleft of the Earth, Duran has a very special Shatner moment, the introduction wraps up, and we sail to Jad Mode 7 style as the credits roll.

12-17-2008, 09:03 PM

This is where everyone but Carlie's story merges. The Beastmen won't mess with us as long as we don't mess with them, so we won't. They're bigger than me.

But hey! New town! And what's the first thing you do when you get to a new town in an RPG?

Check the weapon shop!



Oh well. Let's head over to the pub like HURT always does when he can't buy weapons or gets his shit wrecked by a wizard or stubs his toe or whatever.


Like all RPG bartenders, this is a pretty standup guy who even tells us how to progress the story. It turns out Beastmen are kind of restless when they turn into feral, bloodthirsty animals. I guess we will sneak out at night when all these guys have turned into superpowered wolves.

But, hey! Who is that handsome man at the bar?


It's Hawk!

He's not the only character around, either.


Lise is upstairs. (And no, I didn't tell her I've seen her brother. HURT may be a drunkard, but he is not a liar.)


Kevin is in the item shop. Which is actually open, so I stock up on Round Drops.


And Angela is in the inn.

The gang's all here! Except Carlie. Poor, poor Carlie.


Since I'm here, I might as well pass the time until I can break out of Jad. You can choose when to wake up at any inn if you visit during the day, which is super-awesome if you're using Kevin. If you visit at night, the innkeeper just comments on how late it is and you'll automatically wake up in the morning.

You'll also notice that today is the Mana Holy Day. What do days mean? Well, in addition to the Mana Holy Day, there is a day named after every elemental spirit except for Shade and Wisp. On any of spirit's day, spells cast that share that spirit's element get a 25% damage boost. So if you're about to fight a boss weak against fire (And are planning on using spells as a large source of damage), it would give you a pretty significant boost just by fighting on Salamando's day.

But the Mana Holy day just means you don't have to pay to sleep in an inn.

Anyway, now that's it's night, let's try sneaking outside.


Man, that wasn't sneaking at all.

12-17-2008, 09:05 PM

Luckily, they're really just wolves. No superpowers like Kevin has. It kind of makes you wonder how these Beastmen took over the place so easily, when nearly the entire cast of the game's heroes are right here.


The chest's trap wheel lands on an Ogre Box space. Which turns the thing into this guy. Ogre Boxes are always the same level as you, and the experience they give scales accordingly. But they have so much HP that it's probably one of the least efficient ways of levelling ever. It's better just to consider the Ogre Box spaces as an OK space and walk off the screen before it starts biting you.


Ah, here we are. These are the low level Mana enemies I like to see. Since it's night, these Rabites are all asleep. Some of them are even hiding behind trees. I could just walk past them all, but HURT just doesn't roll like that.


As you can see from this Rabite he just, uh, popped.


Also in the forest are Myconids. They're bigger and meaner than Rabites, and by that I mean they are awake and take more than one hit before exploding.


Eventually, we get to this sign. Wendel's over to the right, huh?

Well, let's just head on through this Waterfall Cave and-


Oh. I guess we'll just go check out that Astoria place instead. Maybe we'll find One-Eyed Willy's treasure.


Well, no treasure yet, but this old lady solved the mystery of the Waterfall Cave for us. Looks like the Priest of Light got wind of the incident in Jad and threw up a barrier to keep the Beastmen out of his city.

Putting that aside, hey! Weapon shop!


Hell yes.

A character's attack is based on his/her Strength multiplied by whatever modifier the weapon has, with an additional hard bonus simply based on what weapon it is. Generally speaking, new weapons will raise someone's attack by approximately as much Strength that character has. HURT's is 6 right now, so his attack goes up by 6 from this new weapon. For those curious, this particular weapon's STR multiplier is 3, and the hard bonus is 6.


Putting math aside, this is the equipment screen. Yes, eventually every character will have their own equipment inventory. No, this doesn't make any sense. It doesn't affect consumable items, and each character has their own sets of equipment, with no overlap with other characters. ...Or they're supposed to, at least. But that's a story for a future update.


Now that we've properly equipped ourselves, let's completely randomly talk to this guy.


You know, I bet we will.


And I'm so excited, I'm going right to sleep!

12-17-2008, 09:06 PM

HURT's so surprised at the light that he manages to put his armor on instantly as he jumps out of bed and chases it down.


But just because we're chasing down a glowing orb doesn't mean we can just leave these mushrooms here unkilled. HURT's got a reputation to keep up, you know?


Along the way, we come across our first Mana Goddess statue. There are gold and silver varieties throughout the world, and they'll both let you save the game. Only gold statues will heal you like this, though.


We also find our first Springball, which is... Well, this. Like Secret of Mana, you don't really get to travel the world map until you get, uh, transportation. My guess is that Springballs are around to give you an idea where some places are at on the world map, so you don't get completely lost when you're thrown in it for the first time.


Moving on, we run into a gargoyle that'll be sort of important later, and we finally corner the light we were chasing for some reason.


Only slightly confused about finding a near-dead fairy and being "picked" by her, HURT agrees to take her to the Priest of Light. This guy's pretty popular, huh? But there's still the problem with that cave being sealed...

12-17-2008, 09:07 PM

Oh. OK.




Also suddenly, but man. HURT is taking this in stride.


On our way back to Astoria, we get HURT's first level up! Whenever a character levels up in SD3, you get a single stat point to distribute as you see fit, provided you didn't hit that class' cap in the stat and you didn't raise the same stat the previous level. And, no. I'm not going to let you guys choose which stats to level. Every character except Angela and Carlie only really cares about two stats right now, and you guys would choose to raise everything but those two stats.

But here's what they do:

Strength: Normal attack and tech damage. I gave a rundown of how the weapon formula works earlier, and it works out so even a small increase in strength will have pretty large results when you're dealing with a weapon that has a high multiplier. Whenever a character other than Angela and Carlie can put a point in this, they do.

Vitality: Physical defense, and a very minor bonus to HP. Whenever you can't put a point in a character's primary stat, put one here.

Intelligence: All magic damage and magic defense except with and against Light-based spells. Angela's main stat. Other characters will want to put points here if they can't raise Vitality or Strength.

Spirit: Light-based and summon magic damage and magic defense. Even Angela's Holy Ball falls here. Carlie's main stat. Duran and Kevin will want some points in here too if you want them to heal. This particular brand of magic defense is never shown in the character breakdown, however.

Luck: Has an effect on whether or not a character's spell or technique gets countered, and determines how many OK spots there are on the trap wheel.

Agility: Determines the speed of the trap wheel and nothing else, unless your name is Hawk. It's the stat used for his future spells' damage.

"Wait," You might be saying, "Agility doesn't do anything else? What about your hit and evade rate?"

Well, I'm glad you asked. You may have also noticed I didn't mention critical hits.

The reason why I didn't bring them up is simply because they don't have an effect on those things. Luck is supposed to influence critical hits, but apparently they pointed the value critical hits are based on to some constant number that's close enough to zero that it might as well be. Similarly, agility is supposed to influence hit/evade, but the appropriate part of the formula is instead pointed at some other nonzero byte of data. I don't know the exact number, but it's not so low or so high that you'll always hit or always miss. It's possible that enemies have their hit and evade functioning right. I'd have to do more testing on that to be sure. But there's no actual way to raise your characters'.


Moving along, we make it back to Astoria. The fairy suggests we go to Wendel to tell the Priest of Light about the Beastmen. That doesn't seem like a good idea for some reason. We have to destroy the barrier he made to keep the Beastmen out in order to get in and warn him about the Beastmen.

Oh well. Class changing is more important than Wendel continuing to be not overrun by Beastmen, right?


On our way there, we run into our next party member! She hears about the plan to break that barrier and jumps on the opportunity to throw the holy city into chaos.

12-17-2008, 09:08 PM

REIS here had far and away the most votes. She was the only other character really challenging HURT's spot for main character, but lots of people didn't seem to mind whether or not she was the main. So, there you have it. She's REIS because, well, why not? The name fits both OctoPrime's and McClain's naming requests. Everyone's a winner!


And the Priest of Light can help! Allegedly.


It's nice to meet you too!

Next Time: The mysterious third character revealed!

12-17-2008, 10:19 PM

You've done a wise thing. Remember! Lord if you need a healer or Paladin if you want Saint Saber! They're both amazing! And make Reis into the buffing class! It's beyond godly! Duelist is good too if you want him to GRRAW SMASH but I still recommend Paladin.

12-17-2008, 10:29 PM
My naming convention made the cut, sweet! I look forward to the continuing adventures of HURT!

Pajaro Pete
12-18-2008, 01:58 AM
Ooh yeah buffing REIS that's just the way I like it.

I mean, she always ends up in the class that gives her access to stat boosting magic. Not... that other thing.

Octopus Prime
12-18-2008, 02:17 AM
Ooh yeah buffing REIS that's just the way I like it.

I mean, she always ends up in the class that gives her access to stat boosting magic. Not... that other thing.

Shoe shining?

12-18-2008, 03:02 AM
Faerie: HEY LISTEN! Mana Holyland disaster. HEY LISTEN! Priest of Light. HEY LISTEN! Sleep in your head.

Madness is just around the corner.

Edit: And while Duran's kinda boring, I guess it's not too bad... Gotta save something for the next six SD3 LPs, after all!

12-18-2008, 10:45 AM
Just out of curiosity, what group did you tally up? I have a feeling it might be a littledifferent, since I counted twice and and a different character ended up being the main both times. I was counting votes for the main separately, since that's the most important position on the team.

I tallied things up a bit differently admittedly, since I went with whoever got the most votes as the lead instead of separating things - from my count it was Lise (8 votes), followed up by Hawk and Kevin (tied for 6 votes) as the core party. I mostly omitted the votes for the lead out of simplicity, so that's probably why there's a bit of a difference.

Still, things are looking great so far, so no complaints here!

12-18-2008, 11:26 AM
Faerie: HEY LISTEN! Mana Holyland disaster. HEY LISTEN! Priest of Light. HEY LISTEN! Sleep in your head.

Madness is just around the corner.

Edit: And while Duran's kinda boring, I guess it's not too bad... Gotta save something for the next six SD3 LPs, after all!

Six LPs? Well, while the idea of doing another SD3 LP is intruiging, I don't know if the stories are different enough to warrant that.

Plus, we've already got two of the best characters in this playthrough. Why playthrough it again and ruin the brilliance of Duran and Lise?

12-18-2008, 11:39 AM
Six LPs?

Of course not. :p And certainly not in a short span of time. But the potential, man!!

12-19-2008, 02:47 PM
When we left off, HURT and REIS and a fairy were heading over to the Holy City Wendel for some counselling with the Priest of Light.


Barrier out of the way, we're now able to enter the Cave of Waterfalls. The game's first dungeon!


Being the first dungeon, it isn't exactly pushing the envelope as far as difficulty is concerned.

This gold statue here? Second room in the cave.


As far as combat goes, REIS here is essentially the same as HURT, only a little weaker and less sturdy, but with higher stats for the magic defenses.

Her armor is a rank above HURT's, so she's got the higher defense for the moment, but that's not going to last much longer.


And, since this is the first dungeon, we run into our first trap rooms.

Dungeons in SD3 are pretty simple, really. There's the right path, and there's the very wrong path. Usually, if you break off the right path, you'll end up either in a trapped room like these or a normal room full of enemies. The only real difference is that you have to kill all the enemies in a trapped room to leave.

Occasionally you'll find a save point or a somewhat longer path to a dead end or a branching path that leads right back to the main path. But treasure is pretty much unheard of.

There isn't really much incentive for exploration unless you just really need a gold statue and have a hunch one might be nearby, or are looking for more favorable enemy spawns to kill for delicious XP.


And, hey! Speaking of delicious XP, HURT has levelled again. Since we chose Strength last level, it's greyed out and can't be selected for this bonus.

But that's fine by me. Vitality is just as important.


Moving a bit deeper into the cave, we come across the only main character we haven't met yet.

What is she doing here, anyway?


As I mentioned earlier, Carlie is unique in that she never has to deal with the whole Beastmen situation in Jad at the beginning of the game.

12-19-2008, 02:48 PM

She still gets locked out of Wendel just the same, though. The spot she fell from was a place in the dungeon we can actually visit, too. There's no reason to right now, so it got passed.

You can't fall off, though. HURT's not a complete idiot.

She's headed for the same place we're headed, though. Might as well offer to help, right?


New party member!?


Naw. You run into her here in everyone else's game, regardless of whether or not you've chosen her as an ally. However, if you did pick her, she'd join here regardless of which order you picked the characters in.

That being said, it's better to pick her last, should you use her. Characters join up in the order you choose them, so we'd have the full set right now if we picked SKUB.

It's not really incredibly important to have a full team right now, though. Especially not if one of the characters is Carlie. She isn't exactly the hardest hitter in the game, and she can't so anything other than that for a little while longer.


On the way out of the cave, this Myconid chooses to donate its eye to our cause. Thanks, Myconid.

In addition to the standard set of healing items, monsters will occassionally drop body parts or fluids that mimic the effect of certain spells.

This particular item will put an enemy to sleep, which is probably more useful than you might think... when you have access to the spell, at least.

Status effects in SD3 are pretty binary; you're either completely immune to the effect, or you get hit by it every time it's used against you.

This rule works against enemies too, so something like sleep can be a lifesaver if used against an enemy with strong spells or techniques. Items are much more limited in number than spells are, though, so it's unlikely that this will see much use.

I guarantee you that you will see some of these monster parts flying everywhere before the game is over, though.


But with that little girl rescued, and that mushroom blinded, we're done with the cave for now.


Which means new armor!

HURT took a beating in there thanks to him being equipped with the initial crap. Damage calculations are just a simple Attack - Defense deal, so this 7 Defense boost is pretty significant at this point in the game.

As mentioned earlier, armor operates on a similar "multiplier + bonus" principle as weapons do, with Vitality being the appropriate stat.

Physical attacks are much, much more common than magic attacks, so it's significantly more important to raise your physical defense than it is to raise your magic defense. Especially when you consider how many of the more painful attacks in the game are physical based.


After stopping off at the inn for a pick-me-up, we move on up to the Temple of Light and get to the goal of the trip.


The priest is, of course, pretty exasperated at being bothered with such a question, but helps out nonetheless.

It's kind of interesting that HURT's introduction is the only place you really hear about the class changing ingame unless you randomly choose to examine a Mana Stone when you run into one. It's like the designers wanted people to play as Duran first.

12-19-2008, 02:49 PM

REIS has a slightly more serious concern, so she throws HURT accross the room to get to the priest.

Who can't help. I mean, what did you expect, REIS? The man might be famously wise, but he's still just a man. He can't get your kingdom back for you.


But now it's the fairy's turn to get down to business.


Dun dun dunnnnnnh


In other words, the fairy got really damn lucky. I mean, if HURT wasn't fascinated by glowing lights, she would have had to jump in a Myconid or Rabite or something.

12-19-2008, 02:50 PM

HURT isn't too interested, though. So it's time to give him a lesson on why he should be.


It's a pretty simple explanation. Did HURT follow all of that?


Looks like it! You done made me proud, boy.


But how we get to the sword is another thing entirely. You can't really just walk to the Mana Holyland.


The priest suggests releasing the energy of the Mana Stones to open the gate. But he doesn't really seem to think it through when he also mentions that the spell to actually do such a thing not only kills its caster, but has thrown the world into war over its controller in the past, and has been lost for generations.

Thanks, priest.


The fairy's plan is much better, though. Not that it's hard to have a better plan than "Cast an unknown spell that kills you. Repeat for every mana stone."


The priest also reluctantly comes to the conclusion that this is a much better plan, and tells us Wisp is hanging out in the cave of waterfalls.

REIS offers to help, but you already knew she was sticking with us, right?

The fairy responds with a promise that the Mana Goddess will help rebuild Rolante. I mean, she doesn't have anything better to do, right?

12-19-2008, 02:51 PM

On our way back to the cave, we run into Carlie again. Even if she joined you in the cave, she doesn't want to face the Priest of Light after Springballin' out of the city, so she waits here to rejoin you.

But she didn't join us in the first place. Go away, Carlie.


Upon reaching the spot where we rescued Carlie, the fairy manages to narrow down where Wisp is a little more. Looks like we're headed to where Carlie fell earlier!


After REIS gets her first level up, of course.

Like HURT, REIS is going to focus pretty much entirely on Strength and Vitality. Whenever she can't raise those anymore, she'll switch over to Spirit. For reasons that will be revealed in a future update.


Only after reaching the spot where Carlie fell do our heroes realize it's kind of a hard jump to make.

But this is pretty much all puzzles in this game amount to. When you're asked to do something, you choose an item or spirit that you think can help out in that situation. If you choose wrong, you just try again.

They're all as easy as it sounds.


Anyway, the solution here is the fairy, who uses the waterfall's energy to let us walk across. Somehow. I'm not really clear on the specifics of how that makes sense, but the important thing is we're across.


Now that we're in a new part of the dungeon, we run into new enemies. The first of which is this goblin here.

Goblins are the first enemy we've run into that can do anything but walk around and swing at you. Occasionally, one will decide that isn't good enough and toss a hand ax at you.

Spells and techniques are generally the most dangerous things in the game, so I got pretty lucky that none of these guys thought to throw one. They hurt like hell this early in.


HURT closes the level gap a little more, and we run into the next new enemy.

Zombies poison you when they attack. As mentioned earlier, poison isn't really a big deal. They don't have any other special characteristics, so these are much safer to be around than goblins.


Moving along, one of the goblins we kill drops a hand ax for us.

Hand axes do the same thing for us as they do for goblins. Physical damage, based on Agility (So, yeah, I guess there's one other thing Agility is good for.). Right now, it'll do close to the amount of damage either character will do with a tech, and it's not really going to get much higher.

There are other throwing items in the game that are easily replenishable, but none are particularly useful in the end.

12-19-2008, 02:52 PM

HURT manages to close the level gap completely, too. Despite what it may seem like, there wasn't really much cut out between the two levels. You just gain levels really fast in the beginning.


Finally, we reach a trapped room.

No enemies are currently visible, so that means...


Boss fight

The Full Metal Hugger (Or Haggar, as it is localized in later games in the series.), while not a particularly hard boss can do quite a number on your HP if you don't pay attention.

And, since you only usually have two characters in the fight, it can drag out a bit. Especially if one of those characters is Carlie or Angela. Or both, as has happened to me before.

HURT and REIS, however, have the highest potential Strength in the game. So we're doing pretty good.


Immediately after dropping in, the Hugger nails HURT with its, uh, laser eyes.

One of the reasons why spells and techniques like this are so dangerous is that you can't really avoid them. Even though you can't really influence your evade stat, you can still move out of the range of normal attacks.

Not so here. The screen freezes, and whoever the boss or enemy targets gets hit. The only real defense against it is either buffing/debuffing or tossing a status effect on an enemy before the spell gets off.

The latter doesn't apply here, because bosses are generally immune to status effects, and we can't take advantage of the former yet because we lack the spells and items. So we've just got to bear with it and keep healed.


This is shortly after the eye beams went off, so you can see how much damage they did. Not really huge, but not insignificant when you consider its the boss' weakest special attack.

The green goop it's spitting out is essentially its normal attack. The goop does some minor damage and poisons.


Since this fight is going to take a bit longer than your typical group of monsters, I go ahead and toss up one of the Puipui Grasses I'm carrying just to prevent the poison from damaging me over the entire battle.

You'll also notice its eyes are shielded right now. You can't damage it until its eye open again, but on the plus side, it doesn't damage you either. Think of it as a little breather you can take to heal your guys back up.


Which is not a bad idea, in all honesty, because it comes out of the shielded eyes mode and almost immediately uses Bubble Breath.

Not only is it much stronger than the eye beams, but it hits all of your characters. Can you see why a no items game is impossible?


After healing up, it decides to target REIS with a Holy Ball. There are no balls in the screenshot, but rest assured, they were there.

Being a light-element attack, Holy Ball checks against a character's unlisted Spirit-based magic defense. REIS has much higher Spirit than HURT, so it doesn't do a terrible lot of damage to her. About as much as the laser eyes did to HURT.


As the battle continues, I think to myself, "Hey! I'm never going to do anything else with that Hand Ax. Let's just use it here."

So I do. It does around 50 damage, around the same as a tech would do. However, the techs that HURT and REIS currently have are essentially glorified normal attacks. They can still miss, which is something the Hand Ax doesn't have to deal with.


After Hand Axing, the Hugger pulls out its strongest attack. It jumps off screen as REIS uselessly uses her Whirlwind Lance tech where it used to be, then comes crashing down on top of us.

I'm assuming the attack is Intelligence or Spirit based for some bizarre reason, since that's the only explanation as to why HURT takes so much more damage here than REIS does.


A little bit later, we manage to take out one of its eyes, prompting the boss to start casting Heal Light on itself.

But at this point, its so close to death that that can't really save it.


Weak point, massive damage, etc.

12-19-2008, 02:53 PM

Wisp comes flying out of the explosion, updates us on the Light Mana Stone's status, then opts to come with us.

At this point, characters can learn light-based spells if any are possible. Up until now, Angela and Carlie would have had to rely entirely on physical attacks to contribute to the group. After a spirit is found, though, the next level up will bring with it an appropriate spell.

This does not concern HURT and REIS at the moment, however.

What does concern them is that shortcut the exploding crab opened up for us. Convenient!


But before leaving, we're going to organize our items a bit. You can only carry up to 9 of up to 10 different items with you into an encounter, with any excess you buy or find being put into storage.

You can access your storage at any point while you aren't in a fight, so you might as well restock any items you've used simply so you'll be prepared for any situation you might run into.


We come out of the boss' room right by the entrance to this part of the dungeon. Time to go ask the Priest of Light where to head next, I guess.


Or not!

Man, who saw that coming?

The fairy, unable to survive without her host, flys back into unconcious HURT's head and dreams.


About the opening movie, incidently.

12-19-2008, 02:54 PM

That fairy sure is a trooper.


After the dream sequence, HURT is pretty unamused at waking up in a prison. But it's kind of suprising that he and REIS both survived that fall in the first place.

And that the Beastmen cared enough to fish them out of the water and carry them back to prison.

But who is that handsome looking man over there?


Why, he's FAST!


FAST was trailing just behind REIS in overall votes, but there wasn't as much interest in seeing him as the main. I'll probably end up controlling him more often than the other characters, simply to work that double hit a little more efficiently. But all three of the characters are going to be functioning pretty much identically until class change.


After introducing himself, FAST begins to demonstrate his lightning-fast wit. Anyone except Carlie can join you here, and they all have their own way of busting out of jail.

If you had recruited Carlie in the cave earlier, some other character would be here instead to free, but not join, you.

12-19-2008, 02:55 PM

And we're all here!


These are the character's we're going to be using for the rest of the game. Hawk's a little lower levelled than the others, but it's going to even out eventually.

You can see the potential class changes over to the right, too. We can't actually class change until we hit level 18, but you can start to think about which one name neater if you want.

No Kevin or Carlie to be seen, though. Will this make the game harder? Stay tuned to find out.


The goal right now is to head over to the harbor we got to Jad from. Some of the townspeople are escaping on ship, so it's the perfect opportunity to get out of here and continue hunting down the spirits.

The wolves here are a little higher leveled than the ones we fought in Jad the first time here, but they're otherwise the same.


To the north is the throne room, and one of the few instances where an NPC will be hanging out on the same screen that a fight is going on in.

The man doesn't say anything beyond "Save me!" so we leave after killing the wolves.

Astute readers may have also noticed that I switched the character I was controlling over to FAST.


On the way out, REIS levels again, and FAST demonstrates his tech, Back Slash.

Like his normal attack, his tech also hits twice. Each hit has the same 67% damage bonus that everyone else's tech gets, allowing him to do over three times the damage of his normal attack, if both hits connect.

Since the later techs do not have the double hit attribute, this is FAST's (And Kevin's) best way of dealing damage.


After fighting through the wolves outside, we manage to make it to the boat and sail away.

If you had Carlie as your third character, the person who springed you from jail would run over just after the boat leaves port and get left behind.


Don't worry, FAST accepts that explanation just as fast as every other character who sees the tiny winged woman.

12-19-2008, 02:57 PM

Which kind of raises the question of when exactly he managed to see the priest. I guess we just missed each other in the cave when we took the path to go fight the Hugger, with him getting captured by the Beastmen slightly after we did.


But, hey! New character means it's time for slightly delayed introductions!


REIS, of course, has some interest in the goings on in Navarre.


And is pretty level-headed about the whole situation, really.

12-19-2008, 02:58 PM

And a new character means the fairy promises that the Mana Goddess is going to take care of somebody else's problems too.

If I was the goddess, I'd be pissed that this fairy is saddling me with all of this while I was asleep.


Shortly after, we make it to Maia.


New city, new equipment.

This time, we get headgear. Unlike weapons and armor, headgear doesn't operate on any kind of stat. There's just a flat value that it adds to your defense and magic defense.

That being said, it isn't nearly as important as your body armor, but it's still a significant enough boost (Especially to magic defense.) that it's worth picking up right now.

No new weapons, though.


Trying to leave the city prompts this fellow to talk to us.


Whoops! My bad.

But where are we going next? We don't have any leads as to where any more of these spirits are at the moment.

Maybe some of these townspeople have ideas.


Well! There you have it!

With the next destination in mind, HURT and friends take a break at the inn.

Next time: Lali-ho!

12-19-2008, 07:57 PM
Awesome. You took my favorite party and my exact suggestion. Gotta love it.

12-19-2008, 09:09 PM
And, since you only usually have two characters in the fight, it can drag out a bit. Especially if one of those characters is Carlie or Angela. Or both, as has happened to me before.

Oh, ew. That would pretty much be the worst.

I'm really intrigued by this party, this should be fantastic.

Pajaro Pete
12-19-2008, 10:42 PM
Amazing that FAERIE is weakening and can't exist unless she's eating HURT's brain, but yet has the power to make cross waterfall travel possible.

12-19-2008, 10:52 PM
No Kevin or Carlie to be seen, though. Will this make the game harder? Stay tuned to find out.

No. But it's going to be fun to see!

Like his normal attack, his tech also hits twice. Each hit has the same 67% damage bonus that everyone else's tech gets, allowing him to do over three times the damage of his normal attack, if both hits connect.

This is why in any two-player game, a Hawk/Kevin team is ridiculously fun to play and almost completely removes the need for the third character. Also for anyone who hasn't played this with a friend: do it as soon as you can.

I kind of wish we'd forced you into using Angela as the main character, because that's something no normal person would ever do. I tried it once and the fight with the Hugger took me forever.

12-19-2008, 10:57 PM
I read this hours ago, and I am still laughing about how the boss is called the Hugger.

12-20-2008, 06:57 AM
It's kind of interesting that HURT's introduction is the only place you really hear about the class changing ingame unless you randomly choose to examine a Mana Stone when you run into one. It's like the designers wanted people to play as Duran first.

That is actually pretty bad game design, and it hurts his story a little. On the other hand, Duran is a swordsman who somewhat resembles the hero from the last game so a lot of people probably choose him first. I definitely did.

12-20-2008, 08:35 AM
I got worried when Carlie showed up... I forgot she always does there. Plus she'd have an all-caps name if she was gonna be a blight upon our party. ^_^

12-20-2008, 10:38 AM
That is actually pretty bad game design, and it hurts his story a little. On the other hand, Duran is a swordsman who somewhat resembles the hero from the last game so a lot of people probably choose him first. I definitely did.

There're honestly a lot of other examples of pretty bad or baffling design choices in the game. I still love it all the same.

12-22-2008, 10:48 PM
Thanks to holidays, this will be the only update this week.

This is compensated for somewhat by this update being bigger than the previous ones, covering three boss fights.

I'll resume this thing next week on a MWF schedule.

When we left off, HURT, REIS, and FAST were just about to head out on their trip to meet up with King Richard of Forcena to find out where the other Mana Stones are.


Right outside of Maia is the Golden Road, connecting the city to Byzel.

We run into an old friend, the Assassin Bug, and make a new aquaintance in the Poron.

Porons are mean at this point in the game. Like Goblins before them, they have throwing items that will do a massive amount of damage for when you meet them.

However, Porons throw their Darts much more often. I was pretty lucky and only got hit by one three times on all my time on the Golden Road this update, but each hit knocked off 50 HP.


Somewhere along the way, we level up FAST and HURT.

This will probably be the last time I bring up a level, unless something especially notable happens (I.E. a spell is learned, or a stat other than Strength or Vitality is increased for some reason.)

By this point, you can probably figure out what got raised if you see that a character is a higher level in one screenshot than in another.


If you look carefully at HURT's level up screenshot, you might notice the cave where we're supposed to be heading. It's right above the "H" in "Strength."

But the road doesn't end here! Let's keep going a little bit and see what Byzel is like.



Well, it looks like Altena is finally acting on the stunt they pulled at the beginning of the game.


I guess we should stop dicking around and head through this cave.


...But not before getting nailed by this Poron's Dart, of course.


We run into our first Silver Goddess Statue here. Saving the game is nice and all, but FAST isn't holding up as well as he could after getting Dart'd in the face, so we top him off with some candy.


Moving along, we run into this bridge.

Hey, this looks familiar!

We really are almost to Forcena!


But I guess it can't be that easy, can it?

The Machine Golems are the first boss fight in the game where you have to deal with multiple enemies. Individually, they aren't as hardy as the Hugger, but they can both output similar amounts of damage as it.

12-22-2008, 10:49 PM

Which the Golems prove by opening the fight with two Rocket Launchers.

Thankfully, they aimed for two different characters. We don't have anything to revive an ally right now, so we'd be in much worse shape if they concentrated their fire.


The rest of the fight goes smoothy. HURT goes off and keeps one Golem away while REIS and FAST take down the other.

Drill Missile doesn't hurt nearly as bad as the Rocket Launcher does, but it's still not a good idea to let them get in a position where they can both easily hit you with one.

It works more like the techs that our characters currently have, so it's possible to get out of its way before the attack goes off.


It doesn't take long for the first Golem to go down, and it's smooth sailing from there.

No more Rocket Launchers happened beyond the first two. I'm not complaining!


Of course, that can't be all there is to it.

It's pretty amazing that nobody in the party fell to his/her doom, though.

Nothing to do now but go back to Maia and hope another way presents itself, I guess.


This seems promising. I mean, anyone with a name has to be important to the story.


Ladies and gentlemen, I present the game's cannon guy. Anyone who's played Secret of Mana should know where this is going.


...After I get him some gunpowder, that is.

12-22-2008, 10:50 PM

Could "someone else in town" mean "the same guy that told us about King Richard"?


Sure does!

What a useful old man!


You probably noticed that the sun has been setting over the past few screenshots.

Once it hits around this level of darkness, night is triggered, and some enemy spawns are replaced.


Not all of them, though. Poron + Assassin Bug combos still show up at night, just much more rarely.

I'm not sure what was going on in that text box, though. I don't think I got hit by a dart, so it was probably about to tell me I was poisoned or something.


All right. We're here at the entrance to the cave, right before the bridge. Now what do we do?

This part gave me a ridiculous amount of trouble the first time I played.

I'm where I'm supposed to be, but nothing's happening. What's wrong?


The answer is that I didn't examine the save point.

I mentioned that I first played this game on an emulator back when it got translated. Why in the world would I want to bother with silver statues when I could use save states anywhere?

I'd take advantage of the gold statues, of course. But, silver? Please. Save points are a thing of the past.


Checking out the statue gets us to the next of these puzzles

Since we've already had the fairy solve one for us, Wisp is up to bat next.


NOTE: The rock is actually totally solid if you try to run into it before doing this.

"Illusion" my ass, Wisp. You just moved the rock.


The passage leads us to this fairly long stairway with multiple paths connecting tunnels above it.

You might not be able to tell, since it pretty much just looks like a wall, but the entrance to the Dwarf village is in the lower right corner here.


See? Totally dwarves.

But we don't have time to sightsee. We came here on a mission.

12-22-2008, 10:51 PM

That mission is to upgrade our equipment.


This is where we stand right now.

"Wait a second," You might think, "Why is FAST's defense the same as REIS's when he has lower Vitality and, presumably, weaker thief armor?"

The answer to that question is that thief armor is actually better than what REIS gets, simply because FAST has lower Vitality.

It only barely makes sense, but the characters with the least Vitality get potentially the highest defense, thanks to the absolutely massive flat bonuses in the weaker character's armor.

The reasoning behind this balance choice probably has something to do with the fact that you're just going to get hit in this game, period. You can't really have a mage or cleric sit outside of combat and cast, because combat happens all the time, everywhere.

So the developers presumably decided to throw in the defense bonus in an effort to compensate for lower vitality and get everyone's defense at around the same level.

Since the armor bonus is inversely proportional to how high his/her Vitality can get, this means that Carlie or Angela would have higher defense than Keven at this point in the game, if we raised all their Vitality equally.

It balances out more later, thanks to a hard defense cap of 300, but it's still very strange.


Oh, right. Gunpowder. I guess I should get that.

Incidently, Watts is pretty much the Mana franchise's answer to Cid.


Always with the monsters! But we need that gunpowder right now, so we don't really have a choice in the matter.

I'm not really clear why Watts decided to take his entire stock of gunpowder with him into the tunnel, though.


The lacky offers to jump behind the counter and sell us the stuff Watts left behind, though.

We pick up a few Angel's Grails just in case someone gets knocked out in an upcoming boss fight.

They're the only way to revive a character in-battle, with the only other way to revive a character being "win the fight."

They stop being dead after that.


This kind dwarf here offers to open up the tunnel for us, so we can go chase down Watts.

This involves nearly killing everyone in the surrounding area, but it still doesn't explain how Watts managed to get inside a tunnel that hasn't even been opened yet.


Right after entering the new tunnel, we come across our first Molebear. It's that blue thing. They are about as threatening as you might imagine from a creature who makes its home right outside the main character's home city.

We didn't run into any back when we went through the Molebear Highlands, but they're there. Hiding. Waiting.

The standard assortment of other cave creatures are along for the ride too.


A little later in, we meet a Slime. I thought Slimes had an attack debuff, but I never ran into it here. It's likely I'm thinking of their stronger, palette-swapped brothers.

But I see a dwarf! Let's try to make it up to that passage to have a chat about explosives.

12-22-2008, 10:52 PM

We're a little short on cash, but that doesn't honestly matter much. Watts wouldn't sell us the stuff even if we had the money.

It doesn't take long for him to get impatient and run off, but we know Gnome is here now!

Maybe this trip won't be a complete wash.


Moving along, we make it across the overpass we went under to get inside the Dwarf Village.


And come to this asshole of a room. I don't recall ever being stuck here, but I usually end up pausing for a second before thinking "Oh wait, I have to run left here."


A little farther in, and we start running into Goblins again. And the stronger, pinker Goblin Lords. I thought Goblin Lords had some kind of debuff spell(s), but I never ran into it here. Either it's a later Goblin thing, or these guys all just dropped too fast to get a spell off.


Either way, FAST gains a level and can't raise Strength or Vitality. This will happen occasionally when you raise stats outside of what's considered the core stats for a class too much. It should be fine again next level, so I just raise Intelligence for the magic defense.


After levelling, a chest appears cruelly out of reach.

Treasure location and contents are based on whatever enemy dies last. So killing an enemy in an unreachable location (Whether by spells or by hitting it through a wall/up a cliff) will occassionally cause this to happen.


I'm luckier with the next one, though!

The various elemental coins will cast a basic attack spell of the appropriate element. Since this one is an Earth Coin, it casts Diamond Missile.

It functions exactly like casting the spell normally, too, using the user's Intelligence to determine the spell's damage.

They're useful items, but they're best used against bosses. We'll hold onto this for a little while.


Unfortunately, the trap wheel wasn't as kind as it could have been. This time, it landed on a smoke trap and knocked the entire party's HP down by about 20-30 points.


There's a save point nearby, though. It's just a silver statue, but hey. Good enough for me right now.


Or, rather, it would be if I didn't get hit by more smoke right after. Oh well!

This is what Round Drops are for.

12-22-2008, 10:55 PM

Shortly after saving and smoking, we run into Watts again at a dead end.

I'm not surprised he hasn't seen this hole before. I mean, the tunnel wasn't even open until after Watts had already went inside.


Some rumbling later, and he runs.

Come to think of it, that noise is kind of familiar. It sounds like...


Boss fight

This guy is the Jewel Eater. While not really as imposing as the Hugger was a while back, he can still pack a pretty decent punch and brings a couple of new things to the table.

His normal attack is this little claw thing that, while it doesn't do a massive amount of damage, will add up over time. He has long reach, and is constantly moving forwards and backwards into the side of the screen, so you pretty much have to get right up in his face to hit him.


There's also a guard, much like the Hugger. Same deal too. He doesn't hurt you when he does this, but you can't hurt him either.


Being the earth-elemental boss, the Jewel Eater has the standard assortment of earth-based spells. This is Diamond Missile.

He has both single and multitarget variations of it, but doesn't start multitargetting it until later in the fight.


After taking a short beating, he lets loose with his strongest attack.

Power Punch here has two effects:

The first is that it does a lot of damage.


Seriously. That's a lot!

The second is that it switches the Jewel Eater's position to the opposite side of the screen.


Like so. What he's using here is Speed Down, the earth-element debuff.

It reduces the Agility derived statistics, so... Well, it doesn't really do anything. REIS wasn't missing any more than the other two, so I'm glad he decided to do this instead of another Diamond Missile or something.


A little later, he pulls out this rockslide thing. It's not as strong as Power Punch is, but it's still pretty troubling. Round Drops are dwindling at this point, and I only have two other healing items outside of those.


He starts spitting out some green goop after the rockslide, too. The defense debuff it causes is especially bad when his most powerful attack is physical based.


He's content with a multitarget Diamond Missile for now, though.

When a spell gets multitargetted, it's slightly weaker than its single target version. So this isn't really a huge deal.

12-22-2008, 10:56 PM

It is a concern when he casts Protect Up on himself, though.

Each character will be doing significantly less damage for the rest of the fight, but him casting this means he's on the ropes. Not too much longer now!


But shortly after, he Power Punches back to the other side fast enough that I miss the screen shot,


then he rockslides again to take FAST down.

It turns out those Angel's Grails came in handy, though. HURT manages to toss one at FAST fast enough for him to get back on his feet before the end of the fight.


Where the Jewel Eater crawls out of his hole and combusts.


To be honest, this guy was pretty wimpy for a legendary creature born every 1000 years.

I wonder what the Full Metal Hugger's legendary creature status was like.


Watts is so surprise that we managed to save and befriend Gnome that he hands us the gunpowder for free (A 3000 lucre value!) and lets us use one of his Magic Ropes to instantly warp us out of the dungeon. What a guy!

Nothing to do now but bring the stuff to Bon Voyage.


Making sure to get a face full of Dart on the way there first, of course.

12-22-2008, 10:57 PM

The main characters in this game are usually pretty quick to resort to violence when some NPC is being an asshole. This situation is no different.

What is different, though, is that one of the other characters will typically jump in and prevent you from murdering the guy. That is not the case here.

The only conclusion I can draw here is that REIS and HURT are just as eager to see this man's blood as FAST is, and the first thing they plan on doing when done with the quest is come back here to draw and quarter the guy.


Again, you know the score here if you've played Secret of Mana.


The cannon fires you into the air...


Really high into the air...


Then you miraculously survive crashing down on your destinat...

Yeah, Bon Voyage is totally asking for it.


But, see! I told you there were Molebears.


Up ahead, we reach this plain old silver statue. The gold ones are becoming a little harder to come by.

And those holes? They're exactly what you think.

Jump in one, and...


It'll spit you out the next one.

In any other RPG, there's be an obnoxious maze made of these things, with one mistake shooting you back to the beginning.

Not here, though! It's as straightforward as you can get. Thanks, SD3.


So what's this gargoyle thing?

Well... nothing. The one we ran into at the beginning of the game has a purpose in a little while, but this one does nothing.

But if we didn't have HURT in our party, Duran would be standing here staring at the thing when we come along.

12-22-2008, 10:58 PM

To the south, we come across this tree with a face.

It doesn't have any purpose either, but isn't it enough just to have a tree with a face sometimes?

Think about it.


The next set of teleporter holes is a screen over, and this is the trickiest the game gets with them.

Excluding the hole we just jumped out of, we have three to choose from. Which one is the right way?


None of them. Just walk off the screen.


A little ways north and we get to the last hole we have to deal with.


It spits us out here, and we just follow the path up to Forcena.




Moving on to the city itself, it has certainly seen better days. We're forced inside the castle, with the gate closing behind us.


Good thing Ol' Goldie here was waiting for us in the first room.


Inside the castle, we run into unbossed versions of the Machine Golems, and this little wizard dude.

Magicians are the first normal enemies we've encountered that cast honest to god attack magic.

It's different than the throwing items encountered earlier because it checks against our characters' relatively weaker magic defense and because the enemy is subject to spell casting time.

This isn't unique to enemies. Every spell in the game has some kind of casting time, and the only way to reduce it is to class change. A higher class always casts the same spell faster than a previous class.

It gives a little more leeway in how to deal with these guys. You can toss sleep or silence on them before they get a spell off if you're fast enough, or you can kill them if you're close enough, or you can just change screens and not worry about it.


None of the above happens here, though, and FAST gets Evil Gate'd.


The good news is that it's nearly impossible for these guys to get two spells off before being annihilated, and they can drop any of the basic elemental coins.

The Light Coin we pick up here is the one coin that we'll ever really want to stock up on, so this little guy managed to save us a miniscule amount of money.

Thanks, little guy.

12-22-2008, 10:59 PM

The next screen features a magician completely out of range. If he decides to cast a spell here, there's not much you can do at this point other than toss a Myconid's Eye or run.

But he didn't start casting, so I didn't bother.


Next up on the castle tour is the Unicorn Head. These don't move at all unless you get right up next to them, so they can be very easily avoided if you don't feel like fighting them.

They're not at all difficult, though, so you might as well.


We manage to make it to the throne room right as Koren confronts King Richard.


This isn't good. Let's slap Koren.


Like in HURT's introduction, Koren teleports away as soon as you swing at him.

Also like HURT's introduction, Koren leaves pretty quickly without completing his mission, despite being capable of slaughtering everyone in the room effortlessly.


Thanks is given, and the fairy gets down to business.

12-22-2008, 11:02 PM

As you might expect, REIS has a reaction to this news. However, it consists entirely of "!"

Anyway, now we have to find a way to get back to the Maia-Byzel area so we can take that ship.


Well that's... convenient.

Looks like we have to kill some time before the cannon gets set up, so that means...



The first set of accessories in the game is in this armor shop. Like headgear, accessories give a flat, minor boost to your defense and magic defense. And usually nothing else.

Each accessory of a given armor rank also seems to be statistically identical to each other character's accessory of that rank.

However, there's an oddity with accessories that most people don't know about.


This is the equipment trading window. Since each character has their own set of equipment and shops automatically want to put said equipment in the appropriate character's inventory, there's no reason to even bother with this screen until very nearly the end of the game.

Each character currently has his/her accessory in the equipment list, unequipped.


Now let's give them all to REIS.


And, lo and behold, for some reason she can equip HURT's accessory. Not FAST's, though.


However, on the flipside, HURT can't equip REIS's accessory.

Why is this happening? The best theory I can think of is that sometime in the game's development, the equipment system was planned to be drastically different.

Presumably, instead of each shop having armor for the three characters you have and nothing else, they'd have something like three categories (Caster gear, light armor, and heavy armor) and a grab bag of accessories that each character can choose from a couple he/she qualifies for.

Also presumably, these accessories and armors would have different bonuses in addition to the flat stat bonuses. Status immunities, elemental resistances, stat bonuses. That kind of thing.

There's evidence in the latter point ingame, too. One of Hawk's accessories later in the game grants poison immunity. It doesn't say it does, but it does.

Somewhere along the way during development, I'm assuming that system got scrapped in favor of something easier to manage, but they forgot to remove the bonuses from certain pieces of equipment and forgot to flag other pieces of equipment as only usable by one character.

For the record, I've never tried this specific example of accessory swapping before. There are others in the game, and I really did not expect this one to work as well as it did.


Tangent aside, other areas of interest in Forcena include the obligatory SNES-era Square porn magazine.


And this book on class changing that I forgot existed, having never messed with the library in years.

12-22-2008, 11:04 PM

Our fortune teller friend gets frightened and confused by the fairy.


And HURT won't let us visit his aunt.

With nothing else left to do, it's time to leave this place behind us.


This random woman in the bar lets us know everything's set.


So the cannon I forgot to take a screenshot of shoots us on over to Maia. It's actually accurate this time!


But we need to be at Byzel, not Maia. A trip down the Golden Road also scores us a Dreamsee Herb.

This is one of the most valuable items in the game in a party with Kevin, automatically switching the clock over to night when you need some wolfing to go down.

Here, however, it's not much use. There's one spot in the game where we might need it, so it'll be tucked away until then.


Byzel is significantly less guarded than the last time we were here.

This is good, because Byzel is the most important city in the game.


Because of this place right here.

The Black Market only opens at night and, since I came to Byzel as the sun was rising, I made a beeline there. I might have upgraded equipment or something when I was done, I don't know.

It wasn't important enough to screenshot.

But this place!


These two shops are the most important shops in the game.

The left shop (Actually the right shop in the market) is the more important of the two, stocking Poto Oils. For any team without Carlie, this is the best item in the game.

It acts like casting a Heal Light spell, with the user's Spirit determining the amount healed. Since it's an item instead of a spell, it doesn't have a casting time, but the most important part is that it can be multitargetted. They're also pretty cheap, especially later in the game, so you can easily walk into any boss fight with a full stock of them.

Very few bosses will be able to get past nine Heal Lights, even non-Carlie versions. Even then, you can have nine other lesser healing items as backup.

It also has Light Coins, which are useful! For one boss. We need nine of those.

The other shop has more things that are useful, but they aren't as aburdly useful as Poto Oils (But they are still absurdly useful).

The coins are mostly irrelevent. The big boys are the claws and the scales. Claws act as Saber-type magic, which adds an element to a character's normal attacks and initial tech, very greatly increasing your damage output against something weak against that element.

You can only buy claws for fire, water, wind, and earth, but that's half of the sabers in the game. We'll be picking up three Diamond Saber claws and three Ice Saber claws for now.

The scales act as the stat buffs, and you have access to all of them. We're getting nine of Power Up, Protect Up, and Mind Up. Speed Up doesn't matter.

The only problems with these is that you can't multitarget them and that they're a bit less convenient than actually knowing the spells if you want to use them during normal encounters.

There's one other thing of interest here before we move on.



This is why it is the black market.

12-22-2008, 11:05 PM

Again with the violence. And I'll go ahead and say that this little plot point doesn't make much sense.

I don't want to ruin any surprises, but the red-eyed man is in cahoots with Isabella. You know, the woman who mind controlled the Thief's Guild into going and kidnapping REIS's brother in the first place. Apparently just giving the kid to her partner wasn't good enough, so she sells him into slavery where red-eyed man comes and picks him up.


But this isn't REIS's story, so we don't care about this. Time to pay for a boat ride for the first time in the game.


Immediately upon entering Palo, we run into FAST's old friends, who don't recognize him on account of brain-melting. REIS starts with the violence again but HURT, against all odds, steps up to be the voice of reason.


We also run into FAST's friend and Mana series mainstay Nikita. In the future he will turn into an incredibly racist, fat, greedy rabbit.


Outside of the city is the Path to the Heavens and two new enemies.

Needlebirds have a defense debuff attack, but use it somewhat rarely and are weak enough that it doesn't really matter.

Chibi Devils can inflict the chibikko status effect on you, which simply makes you tiny and guts your physical stats. Like all status effects, it wears off after the battle is over, so it's not a huge deal. Your allies can easily pick up the slack at this point in the game.


A short way up the mountain, we find this bridge. At this point, we're really just exploring the place to find the Wind Mana Stone.

So we explore the other side of the bridge.


It looks promising already!

12-22-2008, 11:06 PM

It doesn't take long before we hit these flowers and pass out, though. No Mana Stone here!


We do get saddled with REIS's problems right after waking up, though. Thanks, REIS.

And it turns out that those flowers can only ever put someone to sleep once, so we're immune to them now.


I guess we have time for this. I mean, we're only trying to save the world right now. No big rush or anything.


This Don Perignon guy is the bigshot tactician that helped King Richard beat the Dragon Emperor. Talking to him shouldn't be a problem if we get a letter or something from Ol' Richie. But I have a feeling this old man has a much sillier plan.


Ok, fine I'll do that instead of the thing that makes sense. But only because it means I get to go to Byzel again.

12-22-2008, 11:07 PM

I'm not complaining or anything, but it's pretty amazing that Bon Voyage managed to get so many cannons around the world so quickly.


Of course, it can get us to Byzel, nearly killing a child in the process.


All the cool people in Byzel hang out in the Black Market, so this person with the Chibikko Hammer is probably in there too.

And The Mana Holy Day conveniently sweeps in and saves me some pocket change.


The owner of the Chibikko Hammer is this here old lady who can't understand the glory of the Black Market. Gimme the hammer and get the hell out of here, lady.

You disgust me.

It's worth noting that this, and all story-related items, go immediately into your usable item inventory. If you've got all ten spaces filled, you have to throw something in storage to make room for it.

Which is fine. The hammer is one of the more useful items in the game.


But to see why, we have to sail on over to Jad first.


The Beastmen aren't in Jad anymore, so we can finally check out the shops. And this right here is why accessories are awful in this game.

They're all one (1) physical defense higher than what I bought fifteen minutes ago in Forcena, but they cost over twice as much. The best accessory in the game raises your defense by ten. They are a waste of money, and helmets aren't much better off.

Needless to say, these got skipped. Most other helmets and accessories will too.


Now that we've finished window shopping in Jad, we can move on back to the Rabite Forest. The enemies here have beefed up a little bit since we've been gone!


Except the ones on this screen. I don't understand either.


The Rabites seem to have followed the Goblin's example from earlier and gave birth to superior pink offspring.


Rabilion's also give the most experience we've encountered from a normal enemy so far, levelling REIS. I couldn't raise Strength or Vitality this level, so Spirit is going up.

She will be the team's designated Poto Oil Thrower (POT).

I won't actually call her that.

12-22-2008, 11:08 PM

You can't tell in this screenshot because he ran away so quickly, but there was a tiny man standing behind the gargoyle before he vanished in the trees to the upper left.


Time to work the Chibikko Hammer.

It's a pretty simple item that was carried over from Secret of Mana. It shrinks/unshrinks your characters, and can be multitargeted.

But its secret use is to cure any status effect in the game with two shakes.

The reason this works is that only one status effect can be active at a time on a character, with newer status effects overriding the older ones.

As long as you're in a condition where you can use an item twice, status effects are a nonfactor.


Now that we're tiny, we can get a closer look at this gargoyle and open up the path to the Corobokkle Village.


The tiny man who is clearly not Don Perignon tells us he doesn't know where the guy is.

I guess we'll just talk to everybody in the village.


Once you talk to the last person, this message pops up. Time to talk to the guy outside now!

12-22-2008, 11:09 PM

In a role-reversal, HURT's violence instinct kicks in, with REIS being the one who saves him from sweet, sweet homicide.


This is a good plan. Not only do we take care of that castle mess, but we actually get a step closer to saving the world.

Thanks, Don!


The Don doesn't like talking to humans, but he'll do what he has to to save the world, it seems.

But then he goes and mentions how he had us run around the village just to fuck with us, causing HURT to drop the Chibikko Hammer and fly into a rage.

There were no survivors.

12-22-2008, 11:10 PM

But at least we know where Jinn is. Back to Palo!


Most of the way up the mountain, we find this familiar-looking cave and a new enemy.

Harpies can silence you, but they're otherwise pretty harmless. But it isn't like silence matters to this party right now, and we have the Chibikko Hammer waiting if it did.


The cave leads to the Corridor of Wind, so we're on the right track.


Scattered throughout the dungeon are these statues that blow strong winds in the direction they're facing.

Flipping the green switch causes every statue in the room to change direction.

If I tried to come to this place before talking to Don Perignon, there would be one of those statues sitting right in front of the entrance to prevent me from getting in.


The side rooms in the corridor are kind of interesting. There are winds in each of these rooms blowing clockwise or counterclockwise, carrying the characters with it.

It doesn't really change combat all that much, but it's the thought that counts.


Outside the cavern section, we come across an Armor Knight.

These are by far the most dangerous enemies in the game so far, thanks to them being the first enemy that can use weapon techs.

I don't mean the kind we have right now, though. These guys use the class change weapon techs. Specifically Whirlwind Sword, the new tech HURT would learn if he turned into a Gladiator.

Not only does it do a retarded amount of damage, but it hits all of your characters and comes out instantly.

Did I mention that enemies don't have to fill up a guage to use techs either? Because they don't.

They can also cast sabers, which you should hope they do whenever you see one. Your characters never have any elemental weaknesses, so the saber doesn't really do much.


More switch pushing. There are never enemy encounters in rooms where you have to mess with the switches, so I guess that's one minor annoyance dodged.


Eventually we make it outside again, to a large circular path. To the front is the Mana Stone, to the south is the Goddess Statue.

After healing up, we head on inside.


You can examine the Mana Stone right now and try to class change, but the fairy just tells you that you need more experience after you fail.

FAST notices some footprints leading outside, so we follow.

12-22-2008, 11:12 PM

The Darkshine Knight runs off after doing whatever that was to Jinn.

Smells like a boss fight to me.


Tzenker here is the wind element boss, obviously. Instead of doing that guarding thing that the Hugger and Eater did, she just flies high enough that you can't reach her.

That being said, it's honestly a pretty simple boss.


Diamond Saber here pretty much trivializes it. I'm not even going to bother with the scales this fight.


And FAST tosses out that Earth Coin we got earlier to knock off a solid 100 HP right from the get-go.


That being said, she still has a couple of tricks. One of her attacks involves her lifting a character in the air, then dropping them to inflict some damage and sleep.

She did this to FAST and HURT right at the start, and I really should have just used the hammer to wake them up.

But, well, I really just didn't feel like bothering. She woke them up almost immediately by shooting feathers at them.


She can also cast Air Blast, the basic wind-based spell, in both multi and single target varieties.


And Speed Up. Which does nothing.


Near the end, she pulled out Supersonic, her strongest attack.

It did somewhat more damage than I thought it would and knocked out HURT and REIS.

I was expecting her to be a pushover, and... she pretty much was.

Wasn't really paying attention to my HP, though.

Ah, hubris.

12-22-2008, 11:13 PM

She still went down pretty quickly in the end, though. I'm just two Angel's Grails shorter than I used to be.


Now that we have Jinn on our side, we can move on to phase two of the plan.

Or I could sit here and grind out 8-9 levels to class change. But it would make me sad if you guys asked me to do that.

I'd cry.

Next time: Operation: Sleepy Ninja

12-23-2008, 04:04 AM

He's clearly using gunpowder to open this cave, too. I guess he just doesn't have the authorization to hand out gunpowder.

P.S. I love chibi-form heroes.

12-23-2008, 05:56 AM
I'm pretty sure that the plots of all the Mana games take obscure pride in not following logical or obvious plot structures.

12-23-2008, 06:17 AM
Tangent aside, other areas of interest in Forcena include the obligatory SNES-era Square porn magazine

And HURT won't let us visit his aunt.

If you have Angela in your party she says the best line in the game, something along the lines of "it's ok if you want to hide yout porn collection".

Pajaro Pete
12-23-2008, 10:50 AM
Yeah I love this part of the game. Leave the mountains and head back across the world/continent/whatever to near the beginning of the game to talk to a guy who tells you to go back to the mountain you started from to explore a cave you pass by one your way up the mountain to find what you need to proceed.


12-23-2008, 12:55 PM
Anyone named "King Richard" is automatically voiced by Patrick Stewart in my mind.
And that just made this LP a little bit sweeter.

01-05-2009, 12:41 PM
Vacation over. :(

Did I say "next week" last update? I meant next next week.

I guess it's time to get along with this now.


When we left off, HURT and his crew had just freed Jinn, the wind spirit.

Rolante is just over that bridge to the east, but the Navarre raiders inside are significantly more concious than desired.


So, as per Don Perignon's plan, we head on over to the sleeping flowers that knocked us out earlier and have Jinn blow the pollen to the castle.


I love it when a plan comes together.


The gang gets moved to the castle immediately after that, where FAST raids the barrels the amazon brought for supplies.

I believe this is the only time in the game where an NPC will give you non-story items.


Inside the castle, we learn exactly how successful the plan was. Which is... well, not very.

It only put the guys in the first couple of rooms of the castle to sleep. And this is a big castle!

Nothing left to do but start cleaning house.

The ninja, like the armor knight earlier, is a class changed enemy. Unlike the armor knight's Whirlwind Sword, though, the ninja's Shadow Dive tech is only a single-target attack.

It still hurts like hell, but it isn't nearly as much of a threat. These guys are also much less durable than the knights, so they're not incredibly high on the threat level, all things considered.


But ninjas aren't enough these days, it seems. Though the monsters Isabella brought here aren't exactly the greatest threat in the game.

The most remarkable thing about the evil swords is that they also have Whirlwind Attack. Sort of.

Instead of stopping the gameplay while some screen-filling, unavoidable flashiness goes down, the sword just kind of spins around a little bit in place.

It's roughly a gagillion times less threatening than the armor knight's, so the only reason I can think of for them to share names is that the designers really just want to scare you whenever you're fighting evil swords and armor knights at the same time.

Because you never really know when it's going to be



01-05-2009, 12:42 PM

or this.

Evil swords will also stay in place until you get close, like the unicorn heads earlier. It's not really necessary or even helpful to try to fight them one at a time, though.


But ninjas are another matter. They won't attack you until you get close either, so it's best to deal with them individually. Fighting one potential Shadow Diver at a time is better than fighting three, after all.

You might not be able to tell, but there are ninjas to the left, right, and top of that room.


Like the Corridor of Wind earlier, the castle has both indoor and outdoor sections to move through before the end. There aren't any enemies outside this time, though.

But we're at the end of the path now, which means...


Boss fight.

Genova's primary offense is in the little critters it spits out. It can have two shapeshifters on the screen with it at once, and it will spawn in new ones when it drops below that number.

These shapeshifters will take the form and stats of other enemies at random, though they won't use techniques.


Pretty much every boss fight from now on will open similarly to this.

Genova, being a fireplace, is weak to water. So we throw up Ice Saber on everyone using the claws bought at the black market.

Following that is the stat boosts. Genova doesn't have any magic based techs, so I skip the INT/SPR boost this time.

It's actually important to use Power Up after a saber spell, since sabers carry a very insignificant attack boost that will actually override the much larger one you get from Power Up. Stat buffs/debuffs are not additive in this game; the most recent stat altering spell overrides any previous ones for that stat.


In addition to the summoning, Genova has these basic trap spells. They're only single target, so a Round Drop is more than enough to deal with the damage they put out.


A much greater concern is this multitarget Power Up. It does nothing to Genova itself, but its parters can't be ignored as easily when it goes off, and would have been much worse had I come into the fight without the Defense Up items.


Of course, the combination of exploiting its elemental weakness and greatly boosting my character's attack is a little too much for an early boss to handle for long.

Not shown: the explosion launching Genova to a nearby planet, where it eventually birthes a silver-haired pretty boy who makes fangirls the world over swoon.

01-05-2009, 12:44 PM

But we're not done yet!

Moving into the door Genova was blocking reveals Boss #2, FAST's old friends.


The Bill/Ben combination is essentially the Ninja Master class, allowing them to multitarget each of the standard ninja's techs. The Shurikens here are the weakest of their skills, but it comes out so fast that I don't even have time to open the menu and start boosting stats beforehand.

The ninja techniques are especially noteworthy in that, in addition to doing some decent enough damage, they each lower a stat. Shurikens lower accuracy, so it's pretty much irrelevant, but they can also use Thunder Jutsu (Defense debuff) and Fire Jutsu (Attack debuff). Which can be very bad!


Unfortunately, these guys don't have a weakness, so we'll have to get by without that particular damage boost.


After a few rounds of fighting, they'll split back into two. This is good, since they won't have their multitarget stuff anymore.


However, it does mean there are two of them. So they can do things like this double Shadow Dive.


Which means it's time to break out the Poto Oils, of course.

REIS is healing over 100 HP to every character, and it'll get better as she levels. To give you an idea of how useful this item is.


A short time later, they retreat.

01-05-2009, 12:45 PM

And we meet face to face with, uh, Bigieu. I don't think it's ever really explained what the significance of her alias is, though.

After reminding FAST about the curse on his ladyfan, she starts laughing and floats through the ceiling.


But now that we've driven her off, the castle is free!


REIS agrees to put off murdering the hell out of Bigieu for FAST and Jessica's sake, though.


Well that's reassuring. I'm not sure if I want to think about how they are only just now considering to scout the area around their castle, but sure.

I'm sure they don't need their leader to stick around any longer, right?




Yes, let's!

But... tomorrow.

Running on one hour of sleep is not as good of an idea as I thought it was at first, so I will continue later. I just wanted to get something up today.

01-06-2009, 02:06 AM
I also have a physical copy of the Super Famicom version with an instruction manual that includes stupidly tiny illustrations of each character's intro. I just decided to browse around and look for them and discovered that these were evidently used for some card game (http://www.seikens.com/merch/gfx/sd3p4.jpg)(note: image has spoilers for Hawk's intro and Riesz's although it's not as clear what's going on in hers), which is evidently part of a Prologue book (http://www.seikens.com/merchandise-sd3.html) I didn't know existed until now but now desperately want.

Anyway, the point of that before I got distracted by pretty things to buy with money I don't have is that I can go scan the official character art from my instruction booklet if anyone is curious and Spoony doesn't mind.

I can spare you the trouble.










01-06-2009, 10:05 PM
Yay! I've actually never been able to tell what was going on in Angela's before, awesome.

01-06-2009, 11:30 PM

In order to get back to Forcena, we need to first get to Maia. Which means we need to head back to Palo and hop on the boat.

The Palo citizens aren't held captive by the Navarre army anymore, so they show their appreciation for the past few days to anyone still hanging around.

I'm not entirely sure how Nikita broke free from the mind control, however.


Sticking around in a country where everyone hates you is clearly the safest option at this point in time, so Nikita complies.

There are new weapons and armor in stock at the shops in Palo, but I'm going to skip them. There's even newer stuff in 15 minutes or so, and the money I'd save from not buying this set of equipment is probably enough to get enough Poto Oil to last me through the rest of the game.

To the port.


This is not suspicious at all!


I've never turned down something free in my life, and I'm not about to start now.

On to Byzel! It even looks like we'll make it there before the black market closes.


Wait, no! Why are you turning, boat?


HURT wonders the same thing before he hears a scream off in the distance.

01-06-2009, 11:31 PM

Time to go exploring!

There's no sign of anyone on the ship, so we just keep on moving on.


Well this is convenient! One of the spirits we're looking for seems to be on this completely empty and certainly safe ship.

We still need the elemental spirits of fire, water, dark, wood, and moon. Can you guess which one is here?


Oh no!

Since we skipped the last weapon/armor upgrade, it's a little too much effort to bother with these guys. The enemies in this place will knock off 15-20 HP at a time and just take too long to kill.

So I'm not fighting any of these. Unfortunately, once an enemy shows up on screen in this game, you automatically go into a combat-ready stance. You can't run with your weapon out, so I just have to scoot around until I change screens.

Thankfully, the other two characters won't rush the enemies unless you swing your weapon. This makes avoiding battles a bit easier.


At the end of the hallway, we come across this room.

There are three different books on the shelves: Book of Blood, Book of Curses, and Book of Death. You're supposed to read them in the right order to open the very obvious passage to the right room, and you find out the right order by reading a piece of paper near the end of the ship.


But nuts to that.

The order is the same every game, so it's long since taken up permanent residence in my brain somewhere.


I probably didn't need that brainspace for anything important anyway.


It turns out the captain of the ship was quite the poet.

01-06-2009, 11:32 PM

Reading the diary prompts this guy to show up. Since he's currently a ghost, his sprite is constantly flickering in and out of the view.

Mataro normally hangs out in Byzel. But not around the black market, so we missed him when we visited.


That lovable scamp Mataro passes on his ghostiness to whichever character you're controlling at the time before leaving the ship somehow.

What this means to us is that one character has to stay behind for the rest of this place, making the enemies that much more annoying to fight and causing the missing character to fall a little behind on the XP curve.

This is another reason why I just avoid enemies here.


However, you can swap which character stays behind by talking to your ghostly pal.

We're trading HURT for FAST, since REIS will be the most useful character in a bit and FAST is already the lowest levlel character in the group.


Only three enemies can be on in the area at once, and they move slowly enough that they aren't going to catch up with you once you get past them.


It still kind of hurts getting past them, though. There are a couple safe stairways like this along the way that can easily be used for tossing Round Drops around.


And here's the note that lets you know the order to read the books in. I don't remember exactly what it says, but I think it just lists the books in order. No riddle involved.

You can't read it without going out of the combat stance, which requires all the enemies to be dead, so it doesn't really seem worth it to bother.

The door here won't open until you drop off a party member, though.

01-06-2009, 11:33 PM

And we get into a boss fight no sooner than we get to the deck of the ship.

Gorva has kind of a lot of HP for a boss you have to fight with only two characters. To make matters worse, he also likes to teleport around the screen out of your reach, and has an attack that counters your stat boosts.


So before he can do anything, I toss up the Mind Up items and unload the Light Coins on him with REIS.

Each Holy Ball does around 125 damage, so that's about a third of his HP gone already.


He returns fire with an Evil Gate before teleporting away, but it does negligible damage to REIS.


...And then he reappears at the same spot while I throw up the rest of the buffs.

When he teleports, he'll sometimes stay on the lower level of the battlefield.


But most of the time, he'll move up here out of reach.

Either way, he remains invisible for a second or so before reappearing, slowing down your damage output in the process.


And of course, he'll throw out his stronger attacks while at the top of the screen as well.

Ghost Road Is Gorva's unique attack. Which I guess makes it his strongest one. It'd do an extra, oh, 15-20 damage without the Mind Up.


He also has this cloud thing. In addition to doing some damage, it silences whoever it hits. It's only a single-target attack, and we don't have any spells right now anyway, so no skin off my nose.


Antimagic is his most troublesome attack, though.

It'll strip a target of any magical effects and even some non-magical ones.

So, those stat boosts are gone. If I had any sabers up, they'd be gone too.

Interestingly enough, natural elemental strengths and weaknesses are negated by it too. It doesn't matter when used against us, since we can't have elemental strengths or weaknesses, but it may come into play against a certain boss later.

01-06-2009, 11:34 PM

Black Rain is his other big attack. FAST can potentially learn this later in the game, but not until one of his final classes.

It does comparable damage to Ghost Road.

Since the boss' heavy hitters are all magics, and I didn't use any of the Mind Up items the previous three boss fights, I have plenty in stock to bring FAST and REIS' magic defense back up for the remainder of the fight.


It doesn't mean I don't have to heal from time to time, though.


Since this Evil Gate is multitargetted, it ended up doing even less damage than the first one.

I kind of feel sorry for the guy, really. It looks like it should be powerful, so I pretend I'm hurt.


And a few attacks later, he goes down.


Shade, the spirit of darkness, blinks in out of nowhere


And HURT rejoins us.


The release on the Mana Stone's seal caused the God Beast of Darkness to awaken, who just ran around and generally ruined people's days. But when it got to the point where the world was on the verge of destruction, it just kind of vanished along with the Mana Stone.

And nobody has seen it since. But that was a long time ago, so I'm sure it's gone for good by now.


Uh oh! Shade doesn't feel like powering the ship for us now that he's awake, so it vanishes.


The camera pans over this nearby island,


Where we wash asore.

HURT needs to watch his mouth. There may be children reading this.

01-06-2009, 11:35 PM

To the north, we run across this fellow swimming by.


After seeing the turtle, we backtrack to where we woke up and go to the east.


The path leads into the jungle, where we meet two new enemies.

Gal Bees are REIS-alikes. Right now they can't really do anything but attack, but the stronger versions we'll meet later on will cast stat up spells on themselves.

Dark Priests are essentially one of Carlie's class changes. They can cast Heal Light and can use the Unicorn Head summon.

I don't mean actually calling in a Unicorn Head reinforcement, though. It's an attack spell.


Like so.


A little further in and we run into a fork in the road.


To the right is the Village of Dark Priests. They don't seem to care too much that we've been killing off their kin outside, so we make ourselves at home.

And it really is an honest to god NPC village, complete with all the amenities you would expect from one. Including...


A heathen pagan totem serving as a gold goddess statue,


An armor shop,


An item shop,


A weapon shop,

01-06-2009, 11:36 PM

And an NPC ready and willing to point you where you need to go next.

This place is the reason we skipped upgrading in Palo. The equipment sold here is all better than what came just a little while ago, so I have no idea why the designers decided to put two weapon and armor upgrades so close to each other.


Heading up the west path, we meet Cockatrices.

I hate Cockatrices. Once you rough them up a little bit, they'll hatch into Cockabirds, which are stronger versions of the Needlebirds from Rolante.

Both forms can petrify a character, which reduces the character's HP by half and renders them unusable until cured or the battle ends. But they'll most likely just die at that point, since Cockatrices can dish out a pretty significant amount of damage at this point in the game.

So we're just going to avoid these. It's probably going to be the last time we do so until the final stretch of the game.


A few screens later and we run into the end of the path. The conspicuous rock prompts us to pull out Gnome and let him do his thing, and we now have entrance to the sea dweller's cave.


Inside the cave, we run into a trio of new enemies.

Potos, as you might expect, are the source of Poto Oil. They can cast a multitarget Heal Light and, if there are only one or two enemies left on the screen, they can call a Mama Poto as reinforcements.

The Grell is most notable for its acid shooting attack, which does a surprising 70ish damage to a single character at this point, despite it being a relatively mundane attack.

They also have a... dance? I'm not actually sure what this dance does, however, since it leaves the grell open long enough to splatter the thing.

Pakkun Babies hatch from eggs immediately upon entering the screen. After you smack them a few times, they grow into Pakkun Lizards and are much less of a threat than the similar Cockatrices we ran into outside.

The only thing a pakkun lizard can do beyond its easily dodgable standard attack is swallow a character. The swallowed character sits in the lizard for maybe a second before another character notices it and tears it in half.


It should be noted that, even though pakkun babies mature into lizards during battle, you can still kill them in the baby form. As you can tell by this pink blob here.

The transformation triggers before they get too close to zero HP, so it takes a couple of big attacks right after each other to actually kill one like this.


A little later on, the conditions are right for a Mama Poto to show up. The main threat they bring right now is that they're just, well, stronger than everything else. REIS happens to have the lowest defense of the group right now, and she just happened to be lucky enough to get mama's attention.


And REIS gets even luckier when she finds herself on the wrong side of some acid.

Poor, poor REIS.


The gold statue in the next couple of screens softens the blow a little, though.


And then another less than five minutes later. Hrm.

They can't cram too many more in here, right? I guess that means we're almost out.

01-06-2009, 11:38 PM

Of course, the final save point in a dungeon can only mean one thing's coming up...


Boss fi- oh. He just left.

I can't remember ever getting an explanation about why Jagan is just chilling out in a volcano, though.


Not only does the turtle come to rescue us from the exploding volcano in the nick of time, but he also drops us off right where we need to be.


Thanks, turtle!


Where we need to be, of course, is Maia. We're still trying to get back to Forcena, and the bridge is still out.

Which means it's time to visit Bon Voyage.


He's a good deal more accurate than last time, though. He even managed to get us to land inside the castle's courtyard.

He must have been practicing while we were gone.

01-06-2009, 11:39 PM

Now that we've grabbed Jinn like King Richard said we needed to in order to get the other spirits, let's find out where the rest are.


NOTE: You don't need Jinn to get to any of these.


How... convenient. King Richard sure has been around.


But it's true. We cannon back to the nearest beach to test out the flute and, sure enough, Booskaboo comes right away.

We'll never have to pay for a boat ride again!

But there is a small dilemma ahead of us.

Out of the four elemental spirits we have left to find, we can get to two right now.

So which will it be?

Undine, the water spirit, in Altena?

Or Salamando, the fire spirit, in Navarre?

01-07-2009, 12:08 AM
Water spirits are almost always sexier than fire ones. I say we go get Undine.

01-07-2009, 05:44 AM
I hate that island, probably because I never remember how to open the cave and end up wandering aimlessly.

I vote water, too.

01-07-2009, 06:49 AM
Water always means cure spells so I, too, shall vote for water.

01-07-2009, 07:06 AM
You should go with fire since it's the awesome element. Burn, baby, burn.

Pajaro Pete
01-07-2009, 04:19 PM
Yay! I've actually never been able to tell what was going on in Angela's before, awesome.

Well now you know: Cleavage. Cleavage is happening in Angela's.

This place is the reason we skipped upgrading in Palo. The equipment sold here is all better than what came just a little while ago, so I have no idea why the designers decided to put two weapon and armor upgrades so close to each other.

There's also a weapon/armor store on the ghost ship. Because why not?

Let's go for water.

...water you waiting for? It's time to get Undine!

01-07-2009, 05:54 PM
Fire fire fire fire fire

01-07-2009, 05:54 PM

Ah, you gotta love it.

I vote fire.

01-08-2009, 08:53 AM
Some say the world will end with fire.
Others say with ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those that favor fire.

(Actually I don't really care which one you do first, but the quote was so appropriate...)

01-12-2009, 12:57 PM
When we left off, HURT and company was getting ready to set out and find the remaining half of the elemental spirits they need to get into the Mana Holyland.

So, where to first?


After careful thought, the gang decides to start with the Water Mana Stone in Altena.

The cave where the Mana Stone rests is the red dot in the first screenshot. Unfortunately, Booskaboo can't drop us off at anywhere but a beach, so we have to get off to the northeast of our destination and go the rest of the way on foot.


The beach leads directly to Elrand, where we upgrade weapons and armor to the next rank and pick up a few Round Drops (!?) for the road.


The exit to the south of the city leads to the Sub-Zero Snowfield, and a couple of new enemies.

The main threat Sahagins bring is their bubble attack, which functions as an attack debuff against every character around him. This makes it take pretty significantly longer amount of time to work through groups of enemies, which is bad news when they're all four levels higher than you and can knock off up to 20 HP with every normal attack.

Sea Serpents are pretty easily ignored, though. They don't do anything beyond attacking, so they're the lowest priority enemy in this place.

The return of Wizards is why I spent a handful of Lucre on Round Drops. They show up on just about every screen as the farthest enemy from the entrance and start casting a spell immediately. Once they start casting, there's not really much to do about it at this point in the game beyond taking the hit.


Like so. They usually cast single-target versions of the spells, which knock off around 50 HP for whatever character it hits. Ususally FAST.

Round Drop are much more cost-efficient than Poto Oils for dungeons, and we're going to be taking a lot of damage here because of these wizards.


And these.

Potos and Mama Potos show up again here, and this Mama Poto pulls out a Saint Beam on FAST. It's a level 2 light spell and takes a long time to cast. Since Mama Potos spawn in right next to you when you attack a normal Poto, it's pretty unlikely that they'll be able to get one off.

But it shaves off a good 90 HP if they do.


Several of the trap rooms here are laid out like this, with enemies spawning in behind trees. Even though this wizard is pretty close to the entrance, I can't knock him out before a spell goes off. Because, well, I just can't see where exactly he is.


A couple screens later is a save point of the silver variety.


And a snow drift, arch-nemesis of the party's AI. For some reason, computer controlled allies will consistently get stuck here (and against sand dunes and stairways), leaving me all by my lonesome to take out whatever enemies are beyond.

I could temporarily control the other two characters and guide them over the obstacle, but it was only a sea serpent or something over here this time.


Across the bridge, we run into pre-hatched Pakkun Lizards, who no doubt lived much fuller lives than the ones we slaughtered within seconds of their birth the previous dungeon.


There's also one of these setups in this place. Luckily, the wizard spawned in on the ground where we can kill him and not on the unreachable cliff where he'll throw spells at us while we slowly scoot across the screen.


Shortly, after, we run into another trap room which, when cleared...


opens a path to the south as well.

01-12-2009, 12:58 PM

Moving on leads to a fork in the road. The right path leads to a gold savepoint, which means the left path leads to...


A boss fight!


But not against the Darkshine Knight. He runs.

The Machine Golems here are similar to the two we fought at the Cleft of the Earth near the beginning of the game. They keep the rocket punch, but trade in the Rocket Launcher attack for multitarget level 2 elemental spells.


Like with every future boss, I open up with the standard set of stat ups. Power, Defense, and Mind varieties are all useful in this battle, so scales are thrown around accordingly.


They're still pretty stong, though. FAST is hurting pretty bad by the time the first one drops, though about half of the damage he took was due to him eating a rocket punch before he got his turn for a Defense Up.


It doesn't take much longer until one of the remaining Golems responds with a multitarget Earthquake, the level 2 earth-elemental spell.

Thanks to the Mind Up at the start of the battle, this doesn't sting quite as bad as the Saint Beam the Mama Poto hit FAST with earlier.


It still does a solid 70ish damage to everyone, though. These attacks are the worst thing about this fight, compounded by the fact that they'll counter spells and higher level weapon techs with it.

Going into this fight with a class-changed Angela thinking that her new multitarget spells will finish these guys off in no time is one of the quickest ways to die in this game. All three of them will potentially counter you if you use a spell or tech that hits them all.


But we don't have spells or higher level weapon techs yet, and they aren't nearly as threatening without the counters.

So one more goes down.


Followed by the other. Only one level 2 spell went off, and only one Poto Oil got used.

HURT wonders who the Darkshine Knight could be, but I was too distracted by the chest the last Golem dropped to take a screenshot of his line.

What kind of item does a boss drop in this game?



01-12-2009, 12:59 PM

The next screen leads to the Cavern of Ice Walls, home of the Mana Stone of Water and Undine.

Since this is Altena's Mana Stone, they've gone ahead and released the stone's energy. Man, I thought the Priest of Light said (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=358815&postcount=67) the spell that releases the Mana Stone's energy not only killed the caster, but has been lost to time.

HURT thinks it seems like a good idea to just let Altena take care of things if they've got it all worked out.


But that apparently won't work. So the Priest of Light's initial plan way back when was "Cast an unknown spell that will kill you and repeat eight times. This may or may not destroy the world."

We must have just caught the guy on a bad day or something.


Undine is so moved that we want to save the world, she offers to help.

Only three spirits left!

At this point, the gang's close enough to 18 that I might as well belt out the next couple of levels needed to class change. This Mana Stone is right next to a gold goddess statue, so it's an extra-convenient spot to go on a killing spree.


And some sightseeing along the way.

To the northwest of last trap room is the Magic Kingdom of Altena. Unfortunately, they are currently evil and won't let us inside.

You don't actually have to go to Altena itself outside of the Duran/Angela story, so this is the only time you'd really see the castle with any other character.

01-12-2009, 01:01 PM

Tangent aside, it doesn't take long before the party reaches the golden level and can go through with the first class change.

Which one I'll go with is, of course, up to you. But I'll go over the pros and cons of each along with my recommendation for the current game.



Knight: The Knight is the more defensive of the two classes. With this, HURT gains the ability to equip shields and cast Heal Light. It's only single-target, so it won't overshadow Poto Oils. It will be able to keep up with the healing necessary for dungeon crawling, though.

The bad news is that most shields are useless. They're all supposed to raise evade (Which does nothing), with the other draw of shields being the elemental resistance on a few of them. Unfortunately, since the shields are subject to the same additional-properties-stripping that the rest of the armor in the game has to deal with, that also does nothing. In short, if we choose Knight, five shields will immediately show up in shops for purchase, but none of them do anything.

The Knight also misses out on the full screen weapon tech that the Gladiator gets, so I'll more than likely keep him using his current weapon tech instead.

Because the Knight can eventually class-change into a Paladin, netting HURT the Saint Saber spell, this is the preferred path to take on the Black Rabite. The other class change option, the Lord, can equip the only shield that does something (Makes him immune to status effects) and can multitarget his Heal Light and cast Tinkle Rain, the status curing spell.

Gladiator: Obviously has a greater focus on offense than the Knight. The Gladiator's Whirlwind Sword full screen tech hits pretty damn hard, but it will also prompt counterattacks from many enemies and bosses that might survive it.

Instead of learning healing spells, the Gladiator learns the four basic elemental saber spells. You know. The ones we can buy. This means you're a little more free to throw sabers around during a dungeon, if you feel the need, but there's hardly ever much of a reason.

Like the Knight, the main draw for this class is the future classes. The Swordmaster can multitarget all the basic elemental sabers, allowing for quicker in-dungeon sabering, and is the only class in the game that gets both Moon Saber (HP Drain) and Leaf Saber (MP Drain). The Duelist only gets Dark Saber, which is only actually useful against two bosses (One of which we won't fight this game, and the other we probably won't be class changed in time for), but makes up for it by being retardedly strong.

SpoonyGundam's recommendation: Knight, for Rabite hunting.



Valkyrie: Unlike every other character in the game, REIS' top class path is the physically stronger path. Weird! Both get a full screen tech, though.

The Valkyrie learns the stat up spells we've been using since Byzel. This means we can toss them around in dungeons, but it's nothing really new. The casting time involved with them will make it slower to buff up this way than with the items, too.

Her future classes are the Vanadis and Star Lancer. The Vanadis is the stronger of the two, but can't multitarget the stat up spells and is missing out on the Star Lancer's super-awesome multitarget silence spell.

Rune Maiden: The Rune Maiden casts the stat down spells, but is otherwise pretty much the same as the Valkyrie.

The Rune Maiden has lower strength, but stronger weapons. The Valkyrie and its future classes will end up stronger, but it's not going to be as profound a difference as there is for our other characters.

Since you typically only have to deal with one boss or problem enemy at a time, the casting time for stat down spells isn't as much of a problem. They're much more desirable, too, on account of them not being readily available on the cheap since near the beginning of the game.

The Fenrir Knight is pretty much the class of choice for the later class change here. It's stronger and gets the multitarget stat downs that the Dragon Master lacks.

SpoonyGundam's recommendation: It can go either way. Rune Maiden is better against bosses, but the Valkyrie will be much better during regular encounters, thanks to the potential silence later on.



Ranger: The Ranger is boring. There. I said it.

As a Ranger, FAST will get a full screen tech, but will be a bit weaker than his other option.

But, out of the four spells he learns, he only gets one genuinely useful one. He has two weak single target trap attacks, one spell that's the SD3 equivalent of Final Fantasy's Toad, and a sleep spell. Sleep is the useful one, simply to knock out casters.

His future classes are significantly more interesting, though. The Wanderer can instantly fill any character's tech guage, buff and debuff max hp, drain an enemy's MP, and cast this game's version of Reflect (Which doesn't reflect healing spells in this case). The Rogue turns him into a pretty powerful offensive caster with infinite MP.

Ninja: The Ninja is very similar to REIS' Rune Maiden.

The various jutsus that the Ninja gets all carry a stat down effect, equal to the Rune Maiden's stat downs, along with their elemental damage. However, if an enemy absorbs a jutsu's element, the stat down won't go into effect. That some enemies are immune to certain debuffs means that REIS is the more effective on that front, but FAST's do some additional damage as well.

As a Ninja, he's a bit stronger. There's no full screen tech around, but it doesn't really matter. FAST's initial tech is his best for all of his classes.

Later on, he can choose between Ninja Master, which multitargets all of the jutsus he learned as a Ninja, or a Nightblade, which trades multitargetting for strength, a silence spell, a max HP debuff, and a grab bag of other offensive spells.

SpoonyGundam's recommendation: The opposite of whatever REIS gets. Stat down spells are fantastic, but you don't need two characters that can cast them. If REIS goes Rune Maiden, FAST should go Ranger. And vice-versa.

So! What classes do you think I should take?

01-12-2009, 01:33 PM
Hmmm, I say HURT takes the Knight path, REIS takes the Rune Maiden path, and FAST takes the Ranger, mainly because last time I played REIS went Valkyrie and FAST went Ninja.

01-12-2009, 01:58 PM
Knight, Valkyrie, Ninja

01-12-2009, 02:15 PM
They look like the coolest of the bunch, so put me down for Gladiator, (http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee231/PapillonReel/Duran2.jpg) Valkyrie, (http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee231/PapillonReel/Riesz2.jpg) Ninja (http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee231/PapillonReel/Hawk2.jpg) as well.

EDIT: Wait, changed my mind on Duran's - go Gladiator, then Swordmaster to get the HP- and MP-drain sabres. Those sound pretty cool.

01-12-2009, 02:20 PM
Hmmm, I say HURT takes the Knight path, REIS takes the Rune Maiden path, and FAST takes the Ranger.

01-12-2009, 02:59 PM
Well, Reis needs to go Valkyrie. There's no question about that. Star Lancer is absolutely amazing and you HAVE to do it.

I'm fine with Fast going either way since all of his end classes are fun to use. The first time I used him I took him as a Ninja Master for full screen debuffs, but I never found multi-target debuffs to be that useful. The Wanderer and Rogue are great, though.

As for Hurt, if you're going after the Black Rabite, take Paladin. If you're not, then go Duelist. I really like the Lord (mostly because he makes healing easier and I like his colors), but I realize I'm in the minority on that. The Swordmaster is kind of useless since I never really found a use for any saber that isn't Saint Saber.

Also, if you guys want to see what the characters look like in their changed forms, go here (http://www.videogamesprites.net/SeikenDensetsu3/Party/).

Pajaro Pete
01-12-2009, 03:13 PM
Tinkle Rain

No Golden Shower?

Knight, Valkyrie, Ninja. REIS will henceforth be known as Lenneth, though.

01-12-2009, 04:15 PM

01-12-2009, 04:55 PM
No Golden Shower?


01-12-2009, 05:21 PM
Knight, Valkyrie, and Ninja

Go for the Black Rabite

01-12-2009, 06:42 PM
On small question: what are the promotions for the other characters like? Are there any specific ones to aim for like there are for these guys?

01-12-2009, 07:34 PM
Knight as well, the Whirlwind sword is useful, but like you said the counters can kill ya.

Rune Maiden. I haven't done that path in a long time.

Ranger! As much as I adore the ninja classes, the wanderer is just too much damn fun.

01-12-2009, 09:24 PM
On small question: what are the promotions for the other characters like? Are there any specific ones to aim for like there are for these guys?

It depends on the character. Angela's are all pretty samey, largely due to how many new spells she learns pre-class change. Her two final light path classes only have room for one more spell. Her dark classes are a little better, with them having five spell slots to fill in going into the final class. But it's still basic element + big nonelement for both. The most important difference is that the Rune Master's big nonelement is Death Spell, which is only effective on lower level foes, so she gets bigger basic elemental spells to make up for it.

Carlie's final classes are as varied as Hawk's. Her light path gets sabers and Holy Ball, with later classes getting either multitargetted versions of those + Saint Beam or Turn Undead (999 damage to any undead enemy that's a lower level than you, for 1 MP). Her dark classes get a couple of summons, and then either Dark Saber + Black Curse (All stats down) or turns her into another offensive caster who debuffs magic defense with her strongest spell.

Each of Kevin's has a trademark spell that his other classes don't learn (Moon Saber, Energy Ball, Leaf Saber, Aura Wave), though a bug makes one of the spells (Energy Ball) do nothing. Which means that Kevin's Death Hand class is the only class in the game that effectively gets no spells. But it's pretty absurdly powerful to compensate.

And even with the characters I'm using right now, there isn't one class that's just hands-down better than the others. Well, except Fenrir Knight VS Dragon Master. It's mostly just about looking at the characters and choosing the combination that has both the most beneficial and the least redundant abilities between each class.

My first game, I had a Duelist, Nightblade, and Necromancer. Which was... bad. Duelist and Necro shared Dark Saber, which isn't too terrible, because the Duelist mostly exists to crunch shit. But the Nightblade's jutsu debuffs were made irrelevant thanks to Black Curse. You don't want to do something like that. In that group, Hawk would have been better off as a Wanderer, to bring along Aura Wave for instant full screen techs with Duran.

01-13-2009, 12:17 AM
Knight, Either, Ranger

Both of REIS's sound cool and I can't decide.

01-14-2009, 08:19 AM
Man, I am really liking the sound of both the Valyrie (then Star Lancer) and Ranger (then Wanderer). But then you'd be missing out on your beloved stat-down spells.

I think I'm gonna have to put in a stronger vote for Ranger, since I'm pretty sure I've used Star Lancer, but I really want to see some of those Wanderer tricks in action.

Oh, and I'm fine with Knight/Paladin for rabite huntin'.

01-20-2009, 07:40 AM
I didn't forget about this, but school started.

I'll be back sometime later this week.

01-24-2009, 06:14 PM

When we left of, we had to make one of the more important decisions in the game, the first class change.

So what did HURT and company end up as? Let's find out.


Not bad!

Knight and Valkyrie were pretty much no contest. Ninja was tied with Ranger, so I went with the class that I thought was better for the direction the group is headed.


Comparison shots!

When you class change, the character's stats are instantly brought up to the stat cap of the previous class. This means that, unlike in Fire Emblem, it's best to class change as soon as possible.


The other thing that a class change immediately grants you is the level 2 weapon tech for each character. HURT's got 3-Step Cut, Lenne- I mean REIS has Vacuum Surge Spear, and FAST has Silhouette Slice.

Unfortunately, REIS' is the only one of the three that's actually worth using, and even then only rarely. HURT and FAST's are single target and the level 2 techs don't carry the damage bonus a saber will bring, so the initial ones will typically deal more damage during a boss fight, in addition to going off more often. Level 1 techs can also potentially hit multiple enemies, so they're generally more useful in normal encounters too.

Level 2 (And 3) techs will also trigger counters for the bosses and enemies that have counters. This is bad! That alone is enough for me to set everyone's preferred tech to their level 1s. If I ever think I'll need a multitarget tech, I can always control REIS manually.


And, since they might not show up again at any other point this playthrough, here's a tech demonstration!

These double the characters' attack for their damage calculations.


But it's not all rosy after class changing.

This wizard here is doing much more damage to HURT than the same spell did earlier.

Why is that?

Well, every enemy in the game is put into one of three "tiers" of targets. When a spell is cast, the damage is multiplied by either 0.50, 0.75, or 1.00 to determine the final damage.

However, contrary to what you might think, stronger enemies are the ones that have the 1.00 multiplier and, thus, take the most damage.

Each level of a character's classes work the same way. Initial classes take half damage from spells, final classes take full damage, and the middle classes where we are now take 3/4 damage.

Spells are a bit meaner now!


On the way out, I come across one of these. The text mysteriously vanished, but the item inside the box is a Magic Seed.

There are several different types of seeds in the game (I came out of this place with a Magic, Item, and Mysterious Seed. And I've somehow avoided finding any up until this point in the game.), but only two types are actually useful.

What you do with seeds is plant them in the small orange flower jar in any inn. The seed will instantly grow and produce a random item from whatever the seed's type is. Magic seeds spit out elemental attack items, item seeds typically give restorative items, mysterious seeds give... mysteries?

The two seed types that are actually useful? ??? and Weapon/Armor seeds. Weapon/Armor seeds give the top tier equipment, which is somewhat troubling on account of seeds spitting out random items. Thankfully, the pool is limited to the best equipment of your characters' current classes. Getting these is the worst thing in the game. Collecting a ton of these and savescumming up your equipment is the way to go.

??? seeds give you items needed to do the second class change. These are also kind of annoying to get, but the pool is only six items large and you only need three. These also have the bonus of functioning as consumable items once you no longer need them for class changing. They cast one of the spells that the class associated with it learns. The Paladin's Proof, for example, can be used for a shot of Saint Saber.

01-24-2009, 06:15 PM

Moving on, we arrive at Sultan to find Salamando, the fire spirit.


Since we're by an inn, we might as well see what these seeds drop.

This is probably the only time I'm going to bother until I need class change items or the best gear. Seeds take up a spot in your item list, so you have to rearrange your inventory and pull them out of storage in order to plant them. It's more trouble than it's worth, really.


Sultan doesn't have any new weapons or armor, but it is unique in that the item shop guy is hanging out outside.


Two new enemies and two old enemies upon moving outside.

Cockatrices aren't any trouble anymore. It isn't uncommon for them to drop before they turn into Cockabirds, and the birds drop before getting off their defense debuff. They give pretty awful experience, though!

Outside of the slight boost that Dark Priests get for their summons thanks to my class change, they aren't a problem either.

Bulettes can't do much beyond take forever to kill. The Defense Boost item is, appropriately, one of their scales.

Duck Soldiers normally aren't much trouble either, but if there are multiples around, there's a good chance that someone's going to get Pumpkin Bomb'd.


Like so. You can't see it, but there was totally a pumpkin there. It kind of hurts too.


A little ways in, REIS levels and learns the party's first spell. Yay!

Unfortunately, I'm probably only going to bother casting this in one fight before she class changes. Stat up items are very easy to come by, get used instantly, and there's not really anything better to be lugging around in my inventory right now.

The spell's casting time bothers me less once I can multitarget it, but it takes something like two seconds for each casting of each stat up right now. That's 18 seconds to get everything up! Not counting the precious time to go into menus and watching the animation go off and such.

Simply unacceptable.

There is an exploit that will negate the casting time for spells, but I tend to not bother with it.

For those of you interested, you have to:

1. Have a character you aren't controlling cast a spell.
2. Open the ring menu.
3. Wait a second or two, then close the menu.

Casting time passes as normal when the menu is open, with the spell going off whenever you close it. It's important to have another character cast the spell, because you can't open the menu if you're controlling someone that's casting.

The reason I don't really intentionally bother with this is because my problem with casting times is not that guys will be punching me while casting. It's that I have to wait for two seconds. I'll be waiting the same amount of time either way, so I'd rather just throw around items and be done with it when convenient.


FAST gets his first spell too. Shurikens do pretty decent damage, based on Agility, for 1 MP and has a completely frivolous accuracy down effect attached. They're pretty fast too, coming out in about a second.

The tragic thing about FAST's new spells is that he has to invest in Agility to even learn them.

Every spell in the game has a stat requirement, but it usually doesn't matter on account of the stat bonus from class changing raising the character's stats to above the necessary amount.

Not so in FAST's case. He needs a total of five (!) points in Agility to get everything. That'll put him one point below his Agility cap!

Poor FAST.


Clearing out this section of the desert opens up this path. It's a red herring, but we're going anyway.

01-24-2009, 06:16 PM

On the way there, FAST breaks into his Shurikens a little.

It does around 80 damage, but keep in mind that the Dark Priest here isn't going to be the highest tier of enemy. It's not really worth using on these guys, but it has the potential to be useful later on.


HURT picks up his one and only spell as a Knight, too.

It only costs 3 MP and heals around 200-250 HP even with his unspectacular Spirit. It'll replace consumables as the primary method of single target healing, provided there isn't a need for it immediately. Its casting time is long enough that that someone in critical condition could easily get killed before it goes off.


At the end of the side path is the gate to Navarre. Same deal as Altena, but this team is never going to actually enter the city.


Backtracking to the section where the path opened and going south instead leads here. South west will continue towards the Mana Stone, but the south east will lead to...




The important thing about Deen is that the armor shop sells Cobra Earrings since we're using FAST. I mentioned a while back that some accessories negate certain status changes, and this is one of them.

Cobra Earrings prevent poison. Not the most crippling status change, but anything is better than what accessories typically do. And REIS can equip this too!

The other notable thing about Deen is that, even though the weapon and armor shop is the same building, only one will be out at any given time. Once night rolls around, the armor salesman goes to sleep and the weapon salesman wakes up.

There's nothing new in the weapon shop, though.


Moving on towards the Mana Stone, we encounter Gold Bulettes.

These guys have even higher defense than Bulettes normally do, and really emphasize the difference between FAST's attack power and the rest of the group's. Even if he hits twice, his lower attack stat means he's only dealing 1 damage each hit, outside of techs.


Bigieu lets us know that Jessica isn't cursed anymore before leaving us to the Bill/Ben rematch.

The fight itself is essentially the same as last time, only with them being a bit stronger. They love countering, so spells and level 2 techs are a bad idea.


Open with stat up items.


And you can pretty much instantly tell how useful buffs are in this game. I take more than 17 damage waking up every morning.

01-24-2009, 06:17 PM

The fight isn't without problems, though. After they split, they get the idea to hit FAST with a Thunder Jutsu + Shadow Dive combination. Thunder Jutsu overrides FAST's defense boost with a defense debuff and the Shadow Dive puts him in bad shape.

And by that I mean it kills him.


Immediately after that, they Shadow Dive HURT. Since his Protect Up is still active, he deals with it much better.

FAST gets Angel Grail'd, and the ninjas go down. For good this time.


What would a new area be without new enemies?

Firedrakes have a strong, fast, firebreath attack. It's not considered a magic, so it isn't a guaranteed hit, but it has a wide enough range that it'll usually hit a few characters.

Duck Generals are pretty much just bigger Duck Soldiers.

Swordmasters start every fight by casting a saber spell on themselves. It's pretty easy to kill them during the casting animation, but they're pretty strong if you don't manage it. I'm sure they also have the same terrifyingly strong tech that HURT's Swordmaster class has, but I've made it a habit not to let them live long enough to see.


The path to the Mana Stone is pretty straightforward. In fact, they don't want to to even try to explore any of the rest of this place right now, since moving off the beaten path results in one of these explosions knocking you back.

We'll return to this place a little later, however.


It isn't long before we catch up to Bigieu, and an old friend comes in for the assist.

If we weren't using FAST, it would be him instead of Nikita that shows up here.


Now that Jessica's curse is taken care of, the only thing left to do is whallop Bigieu.


Who runs, of course.

01-24-2009, 06:18 PM

But we get a new friend in the process.

Now that we can actually use spells, the spirits we get mean slightly more. Picking up Salamando means REIS can learn Power Up and FAST can learn Fire Jutsu.

It's not really an issue with most characters, since you'll have gotten most of the spirits before they start learning spells anyway. But if I was using Angela in this game, she wouldn't have gotten Fireball until after her class change, even though she can learn it during her initial class.


On the way out, the gang meets a Ninja Master and gets on the wrong side of a firebreath attack.

Ninja Masters have very, very low HP. They probably use multitarget jutsus and have Shadow Dive, but they die so quickly it doesn't really even matter.


Moving through the desert to get back to Sultan, REIS learns Speed up. Woo.

HURT and FAST don't learn anything else, due to HURT not having any new spells to learn until the next class change and FAST needing another point of Agililty that I couldn't put there this level.


Next on the list is Luna, the moon spirit.

If I came here before getting Undine and Salamando, there would be a gargoyle blocking the exit to the beach. It vanishes, with no explanation, now that I have them.

The entire area in this part of the world is locked in eternal night thanks to the Moon Mana Stone. This means very little to this party, but Kevin has a pretty grand time here. Always night means always werewolf, after all.

The city itself has new weapons and armor, but nothing especially noteworthy. After upgrading, I head out into the forest.


The Moonlight Forest is home to the Beastmen, so werewolves are the primary enemies that we'll run into here. This particular flavor does nothing but normal attacks, so it isn't really a huge threat. This werewolf is the same as what Kevin's initial class turns into at night.


The Black Fang here is a much larger threat. Not only is it stronger than the standard werewolf, but it has a single target tech that it uses pretty often. But, like the class that it's based on, it doesn't have anything outside of that tech.

Dark Battums are just purple Battums.


Over in the deepest depths of the forest is a gold save point, with something strange next to it.

01-24-2009, 06:19 PM



Around Karl's grave is the entrance to the Beast Kingdom. Same deal as Altena and Navarre.


The Mana Stone is actually closer to the entrance to the forest than where we are now, so we backtrack a bit to this more silver save point and learn REIS' third spell on the way. FAST still hasn't been able to raise his Agility again.


Just after the save point, we see Lugar, a general of the Beast Kingdom. His fighting off the Altenians that tried to get to the Mana Stone absolutely tickled his pal Deathjester.


Lugar leaves...


... and Kevin shows up.

He'll get knocked out like this whether he's in your party or not.

01-24-2009, 06:20 PM

But he'll get up in time for the boss fight if he is in your group.

Lugar is a pretty common stumbling point for someone's first run through the game. Like the last two bosses, he just absolutely loves countering. A new player might not realize that something like 3-Step Cut will trigger counters. And even if he does, the counters aren't as painful in the Machine Golem or Bill/Ben fights. The problem there is if they all counter at once.

Lugar just hits like a train full of trucks filled with bags of bricks.


Since he can hit so hard, stat ups are in order. Protect Up alone is enough to make sure his normal attacks don't do more than 1 damage to anyone in the party.


His techs are another story, however.

Seiryuu Death Fist, his latter attack, is a multitarget level 3 tech that he can use as a counter. It's not unthinkable that he can do 200-300 damage to everyone if you don't have Protect Up and haven't stayed on top of your armor upgrades.


But if you can survive the techs he uses normally and avoid counters, he doesn't last long.


Do you think we should remind him that Kevin didn't actually help at all during the fight and was put out of commission by a clown?


And Lugar passes on.

01-24-2009, 06:22 PM

Fortunately, reviving people as babies is one of the many inexplicable powers of the moon.


Baby Lugar wanders into the forest to be raised by the friendly animals that tried to eat us on our way here, so Kevin lets us go take care of the more pressing concern.


Only one left! Saving Mana might not be too hard after all.


After walking back to Mintos, Booskaboo swims us over to the Lampflower Forest, where I forget to take a screenshot of where it is on the world map.

Luna pulls her weight immediately and lets us in. It's a good thing, too. This place is really her only time to shine, as nobody in the group is going to learn a Moon-based spell.

01-24-2009, 06:23 PM

Right by the entrance, we run across a familiar face who refuses to help us save the world. Thanks Carlie!


Of course, it isn't easy moving through a forest full of monsters as a lone healer.

Mega Crawlers will hit decently hard until we get to Diorre and upgrade our armor again. They can poison you too, but that's a nonfactor for FAST and REIS, and HURT can handle it. He's a big boy.

They also drop Crawler's Claws occassionally. It's one of four non-buyable claws in the game, with this particular one being Leaf Saber. In addition to the standard elemental affinity, Leaf Saber will cause a character's attacks to restore MP. This is great for mage-heavy parties, obviously, but it's not a huge concern here. Still, I'll hold onto it until we meet a wood-weak boss.

Time to follow the red flowers to Diorre.


Unfortunately, morning breaks as we get to the forest maze. Like the puzzle on the Ghost Ship, the solution here is the same every game. I could just take the path even if the flowers aren't showing it to me, but I have a better idea.

Equipment is starting to get more expensive, and Diorre has one of the more important armor upgrades in the game. So we're going to just go fight things until night returns.

Porobin Hoods are basically enemy versions of FAST's Ranger class. They spend most of their time casting Sleep Flower, which makes them more annoying than threatening.

Lady Bees are a threat, though. They're essentially Valkyries, and they pretty much always start a fight by casting Power Up or Protect Up on themselves.


Did I mention they're Valkyries? That means they have Vacuum Surge Spear and can do things like this.

It didn't kill everyone, but it came pretty close. FAST went down, but HURT and REIS survived with something like 20 HP.

01-24-2009, 06:24 PM

Lukily, there's one of these a little to the north west. This is the area I'll be fighting things in. The path to the upper right is a two screen loop that leads back to this room.


During the fighting, REIS gets her final spell and FAST gets his second.

Water Jutsu has a power down effect in addition to its damage. It's exactly as useful as it sounds!


Before long, night hits again. We can go through here pretty easily now.






Yep. That's it.


Just outside of the maze, we see these graves marking the entrance to the Village of the Elves.


Since no fantasy setting is complete without incredibly racist elves, everyone in town runs at the sight of the party and won't even speak to you if you do manage to grab one.

With nothing better to do, we head into the biggest house in the vilage.


I don't think this guy is really the king of the faeries. It seems like he'd be able to tell this kind of thing without his subordinate's help if he was. Besides, why would the faerie king be ruling the Village of the Elves? They aren't faeries.

My best guess is that Faerie King is his just name and that this is all just a goofy coincidence.

01-24-2009, 06:25 PM

Mr. King tells Carlie the story about her parents Leeroy and Shayla. One was human and one was elven. They fell in love, and Faerie King eventually let them marry. Carlie was born, they both died, then the Priest of Light comes in and picks her up to raise in Wendel.

After that, Faerie King closed off the village from humans.


If Carlie is in your party at this point, she'll very briefly leave. She isn't, though. So we'll never see her again.


Putting tragic pasts aside, we learn about our next destination. I know where that statue is!


The shops and inn will open for us too, now that we've gotten the OK from the leader.

This rank of armor is important because it's when the magic defense formula changes.


The calculation goes from being INT X 4 with some small modifiers in there to INT X 8. The result is a pretty significant boost in survivability against spells.


Now that we've heard the story, we can identify these graves as Carlie's parents.


Botany is another of the moon's many talents.

If all we had to do was move a plant, why didn't Faerie King just tell us that?

01-24-2009, 06:26 PM

The path leads to the next boss, Gildervine.

Buffs go up.


As does Water Jutsu.

Like Genova earlier, Gilvervine summons a bunch of things to help it out in battle. In this case, Mega Crawlers and the occasional Assassin Bug.


They even give experience, levelling HURT and FAST during the fight.

Gildervine itself likes to support its pals with Sleep Flower.


It likes Sleep Flower a lot. In fact that's all it does for a while.


Once it takes enough damage, it sprouts its head, stops summoning other enemies, and starts the real fight. Still casts Sleep Flower all the time, though.

Gildervine also makes a special guest appearance in Legend of Mana as a statue in Kristie's basement.


Pollen Jet does some wildly varying damage and poisons. It does something like 50 damage to HURT, 30ish to FAST, and a solid 0 to REIS for some reason.


Hammer Bean is probably his most dangerous attack, all things considered. It doesn't do massive damage, but it has a magic down effect attached. Since magic down includes magic defense, Hammer Bean can be followed up with another magic attack to make it much more dangerous.

Which it is. Hammer Bean itself is a magic attack, so Gildervine knocks HURT in the head with one before firing off another at him almost instantly for a major damage boost.


A little later, it puts Counter Magic up on itself. It's essentially Reflect, so it's not really much trouble for a physical based party. It's not even really a huge inconvenience to Angela, either, since dark-element spells aren't stopped by Counter Magic for some reason.


It happens much less often than the single target variety, but there's a multitarget Pollen Jet too.


Poison Bubble is one of his stronger attacks, but the party has gotten to the point that ~100 damage isn't really a big deal by itself.

In FAST's hands if he went to the Wanderer path, Poison Bubble will also restore MP for him when it deals damage, effectively giving him infinite MP.


Spined Kelp is his ultimate attack, dealing 150 or so damage to the team.

01-24-2009, 06:27 PM

But that's not really something a Poto Oil can't take care of.


And that's the last spirit!

Dryad has some pretty bad self esteem issues, and it probably won't help it any that we don't learn any wood-element spells with this team.

And we're not even going to have to call on Dryad to get us past a puzzle for the story we're going through. Isn't it sad, Dryad?


And speaking of story, getting the last spirit means it's time for the Mana Holyland!

But that will have to wait until next time.

01-25-2009, 04:04 AM
I don't understand. Why is Jessica uncursed now?

Right, Down, Left...

Damn, now I'm picturing Shantae dancing.

Pajaro Pete
01-25-2009, 11:09 AM

I see a pimp hat!

Also Dryad is so emo in all these games.

01-25-2009, 12:05 PM
I don't understand. Why is Jessica uncursed now?

Because Bigieu says so. Maybe she did something to prep her soul for the Mana Stone sacrifice that cancelled out the curse. It never really goes into any detail about it.

01-25-2009, 05:15 PM
Dryad has some pretty bad self esteem issues, and it probably won't help it any that we don't learn any wood-element spells with this team.

And we're not even going to have to call on Dryad to get us past a puzzle for the story we're going through. Isn't it sad, Dryad?

This wouldn't be a problem if you guys had agreed to go on the Swordmaster path and got her Wood Sabre like I said we should. You bastards. Don't worry Dryad, I still love you~!

02-05-2009, 05:51 PM

I've been playing catch-up in my file during the week to try and make it to where y'all are in the LP, and finally I've made it to class-change! Hawk and Lise are the same as in the LP mostly because I liked what those paths had to offer, but I had Duran go the Gladiator route for a little more offensive power on the side instead of the Knight like this thread. All in all, it's a pretty good team I think, and once it promotes again it should have quite a bit of power on its side.

02-05-2009, 06:08 PM
Yeah, I'd say that's better than my team for everything other than Black Rabite hunting. Once you class change, you won't really need any items outside of Poto Oils. And you probably won't even need those if you go Swordmaster in the end and work the Moon Saber.

I think going the other route for Hawk and Lise too might end up with a more fun team in the end, though. You'd have to use scales for stat ups, but it would open up the "Protect Down, Aura Wave, Eruption/Vacuum Sword" combo that'll pretty much destroy every enemy on the screen instantly.

I've been meaning to update this for the past, uh, week, but getting sick and having exams has gotten in the way a little. I should be able to get the next bit up over the weekend, though.


02-05-2009, 06:26 PM
Yeah, I'd say that's better than my team for everything other than Black Rabite hunting. Once you class change, you won't really need any items outside of Poto Oils. And you probably won't even need those if you go Swordmaster in the end and work the Moon Saber.

I think going the other route for Hawk and Lise too might end up with a more fun team in the end, though. You'd have to use scales for stat ups, but it would open up the "Protect Down, Aura Wave, Eruption/Vacuum Sword" combo that'll pretty much destroy every enemy on the screen instantly.

I was considering going the other way and choosing the different routes for all three of them yeah, especially for the reasons you gave (Aura Wave sounds brokenly badass). But it just felt right for Hawk and Lise to go those routes instead. Maybe it's all those years of RPGing have cemented the Thief -> Ninja et al hierarchy of classes in my brain? Or something.

That, and the possibility of Protect Down / Strength Up / Elem Sabers multi-casted on all three in one turn is much too hard to resist. Being able to start the first round fully buffed? So nice.

Anyway, take your time with the next update if you need it - wouldn't want to have you burn yourself out, afterall. In any case, here's looking forward to it.

02-05-2009, 06:39 PM
Well, if you don't like the idea from deviating from the Thief -> Ninja path for Aura Wave, may I suggest using Kevin on a future playthrough? His God Hand class learns the spell too.

You could rename him Gene!

02-05-2009, 06:47 PM
Well, if you don't like the idea from deviating from the Thief -> Ninja path for Aura Wave, may I suggest using Kevin on a future playthrough? His God Hand class learns the spell too.

You could rename him Gene!

O-oh my goodness, that is the best idea. I know what I'm going to do once I finish up this playthrough!

02-05-2009, 08:09 PM
You guys are confusing me with the duelin' Yotsubas.

That is all.

02-05-2009, 08:32 PM
You guys are confusing me with the duelin' Yotsubas.

That is all.

Whatever do you mean?

02-06-2009, 12:30 PM
Here's an idea for SG - for playthrough #2, how would Star Lancer / Arch Mage / God Hand sound? With the ability to raise their strength and intelligence to dangerous levels and having Aura Wave on-hand for quick 'n' easy techs, it'd be a very powerful team wouldn't it? Or is there something missing?

Man, I was a bit skeptical when I first started playing, but now that I'm into it this game is really damn addictive. I'm loving it!

02-08-2009, 12:00 PM
It's generally more effective to pick a primary damage dealer and two other characters to support him or her. Aura Wave is very much a melee-oriented spell, so if you want to put good use to that, you'll want to build a more melee focused team. Angela is the only character in the game that doesn't really offer any support in any of her classes, so she's better off as the focus of a party.

I'd suggest Lise/Kevin/Carlie, with Lise and Carlie being Star Lancer and Necromancer, for maximum buffage and characters you haven't played before. You'll probably want to target Lise with the Aura Wave. God Hand has a multitarget level 3 tech, but he also has a single target one that happens randomly.

An Angela team could go similarly if you replace Kevin with her, but it might be a good idea to try to work in a character with Leaf Saber for infinite MP.

02-08-2009, 12:32 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I guess having Angela on an Aura Wave team would unbalance it for the worse a bit, so the fixes you made make sense. However, I wonder if it'd be possible to make a team with Lise, Angela and Kevin work; they don't really get as much screentime as the other characters do, and I'd like to see more of their story paths if I can, even if on the side. That, and I, er, don't particularly like Carlie. :/

Hmm... what if I were to make Kevin a Warrior Monk instead? I'd lose Aura Wave unfortunately, but in its place he would gain multi-target Heal Light and Leaf Saber instead, making him a supportive fighter as well alongside Lise and giving Angela some MP regeneration on the side. If I were to make Angela the lead like you have been with Hawk, I could have Kevin and Lise on support with stats up spells and healing while Angela alternates between blasting away with magic and chucking items around. The lack of debuffs is a problem, but not a major one so long as I keep up the pace with the healing.

Anyway, thanks again for the suggestions! I appreciate the time you're taking to help me figure this team out.

02-08-2009, 01:07 PM
Yeah, Warrior Monk works with Angela. I've used that class for pretty much the same reason before.

You'll probably want to control Kevin in that party though. I haven't really touched on it in this game, since it isn't really spell heavy, but you can't do anything else once you go into the casting animation for the character you're controlling. It isn't inconceivable that something bad might happen while Angela's casting Ancient or somesuch, so it would be helpful to be controlling a character that can still open the menu. And controlling Kevin would let you nail things with his level 1 tech better. Warrior Monk is his weakest final class, but it's still damn strong when it comes down to it.

And since there's not really going to be a more appropriate place to talk about it in this LP, I'll tell you why right now!

When Kevin goes into his wolf form, it automatically raises his attack by about 1/7. That's pretty solid, but not really obscene. If Kevin had 200 attack normally, going wolfmode would raise it to around 230.

But there's more! Like many things in this game, Kevin's wolf form is bugged. If he takes damage as a wolf, his attack is raised further by 1/3. The same as if Power Up was cast on him. Suddenly his 230 attack power goes up to a little over 300. Even the weakest Kevin is really mean.

And one more effect of the transformation for future reference: Whenever he transforms, it dispels any buffs or debuffs on him. So wait until he turns into a wolf before working Lise's magic, and remember to reapply the buffs if the fight lasts long enough for him to revert to a human again.

TK Flash
02-11-2009, 06:40 AM
Has anyone ever thought that maybe, just maybe, this game didn't make it over because there are so many bugs? Maybe the programmers had irreconcilable differences with the source code...

02-11-2009, 08:05 AM
Has anyone ever thought that maybe, just maybe, this game didn't make it over because there are so many bugs? Maybe the programmers had irreconcilable differences with the source code...

Well, Secret of Mana was pretty much the same way.

02-11-2009, 10:34 AM
That's actually a pretty plausable assumption. Wikipedia linked me to an interview (http://www.super-nes.com/evermoreinterview.htm) with the lead programmer of Secret of Evermore, where he mentions how buggy SD3 is and that Nintendo was pretty staunchly anti-bugs at the time. I guess they were just more lenient with that kind of thing with SoM was released.

02-11-2009, 11:05 AM
Is there anything else out there that mentions more about Nintendo's anti-bug stance back then? I'm curious as to what degree they went with this, considering that even the high-profile stuff that got through had quite a few bugs. (FFVI, SoM, etc.)

When Kevin goes into his wolf form, it automatically raises his attack by about 1/7. That's pretty solid, but not really obscene. If Kevin had 200 attack normally, going wolfmode would raise it to around 230.

But there's more! Like many things in this game, Kevin's wolf form is bugged. If he takes damage as a wolf, his attack is raised further by 1/3. The same as if Power Up was cast on him. Suddenly his 230 attack power goes up to a little over 300. Even the weakest Kevin is really mean.

I thought I was just imagining this as I've been playing with Kevin, but it seems like my hunch was right! His damage output in wolf-form has been phenomenal when he's in wolf form, to the point where he's outdamaging Lise by about 2-3 times more, and opening with a MT spell from Angela and following up with Kevin is turning out to be the quickest way to ruin everything on-screen. As it is, I'm considering switching him over to the Death Hand route just so I can have him beat down enemies even harder - after all, who needs support spells when you're killing enemies faster than they can attack?

...Aaand looking back I've derailed the thread with class talk the past while. Er, sorry about that! Anyway, looking forward to seeing more.

02-11-2009, 06:28 PM
Is there anything else out there that mentions more about Nintendo's anti-bug stance back then? I'm curious as to what degree they went with this, considering that even the high-profile stuff that got through had quite a few bugs. (FFVI, SoM, etc.)

I couldn't find anything about it, no. Nintendo could have changed their bug policy in the year between FFVI and SD3, or they might have looked at quantity of bugs rather than severity, or they might not have noticed some of the bugs in other games. It's probably something you would have had to be in the industry at the time for to get the full story.

Of course, there could be any number of other reasons why it wasn't released. Lord knows it isn't the only Square game that fell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahamut_Lagoon) through (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudra_no_Hihō) the (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_A_Live) cracks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treasure_Hunter_G).

But what the hell is this? An update?

When we left off, the gang managed to score the final elemental spirit and was about to head out to the Island of Oblivion to try and open the gate to the Mana Holyland.


This place, at very nearly the center of the world map.

It's just a regular old deserted island too, with those statues being the only thing really out of the ordinary. No enemies, and only three screens if you include the beach that Booskaboo lets you off on.


At the end of the island, Fairy and company start trying to open the gate to the Holyland...


...And fail spectacularly.

Turns out that Mana is weak enough at the moment that even the elemental spirits are having a rough time trying to work their magic.

The fairy's willing to give it one more shot, though.


And a fakeout later, the path opens!


02-11-2009, 06:30 PM

O-Oh... That sounds kind of bad.




Several hours later, as the party waits for the Altenian airship to arrive.


Koren is such a dick.


Meanwhiler, Deathjester and friends actually get their own cutscene.


And this is their answer to Altena's battleship.

02-11-2009, 06:31 PM

Bigieu and Jagan are ready to head out too.

Yep, their boss dying was all part of the plan.


They finally make it to the island with this fine, uh, vessel.

Who will win the inevitable battle in the Holyland?

The answer may surprise you!


But before we can find out, we have to figure out a way to get to the gate.


REIS manages to pull through for the team and points us in the right direction.

She'll always make the suggestion if she's on the team, but somebody else will bring it up if she isn't.


And make sure you wave goodbye to Booskaboo, guys. This is probably going to be the last time you see him this game.


After saying our farewells, the turtle lets us off at the base of the mountain. The enemies here are the same level as the first time through, so the climb isn't too taxing.


Despite what one might initially think, the spot where we fought Tzenker earlier in the game is not actually the highest point of the mountain!

You have to head over to the Rolante castle to open the path to the peak. The wall to the right lowers, and we continue.


The enemies in this section of the mountain are much higher levels than the other parts, but they're pretty much the same otherwise.

These guys weren't much trouble the first time, and they certainly aren't any harder now that the group's been beefed up.


Before too long, we reach the top of the mountain, where we meet...

02-11-2009, 06:32 PM

The Father of the Winged Ones?


Or Mother, I suppose.

Flammie here is another Mana staple, and one that you probably remember from Secret of Mana. They show up in Legend of Mana's history books too, but they're extinct by the time the actual game starts.


Flammie appreciates her name enough that she agrees to fly us around the world aimlessly until night falls. We can't actually control her yet.

Why you gotta be like that, Flammie? We told you there isn't much time, and I know you understand the human tongue.

Flying to the gate at the Island of Oblivion transports us to...


The Mana Holyland! This is only around the midpoint of the game or so, which is kind of an oddity in the series. Usually you don't manage to actually reach the Holyland until at or near the end of the game.

Could that tradition being subverted mean that the Mana Tree isn't entirely screwed?

Let's find out!


The clearing we land in is a ways away from the Mana Tree and Sword, so we're going to have to hoof it from here on.

The half dozen corpses here is the only sign of conflict between the factions that we'll run into, with the actual enemies in the Holyland being...



The King Rabite is new, and I'm sure you can imagine how dangerous they are. The dungeons in this update are, more or less, just a breather before the next chunk of game.


That being said, actually navigating the Holyland is a little unorthodox. These lilypads are the proper way to the next screen, for instance, and you have to take a few detours thanks to crumbling ruins.


This is the King Rabite's Rabite Rainstorm attack. It normally does damage, but the little guy exploded as he was casting it. The result was that only the animation went off. This happens on occassion with other monsters that have techniques that don't cause the screen-freezing effect that spells have, but it always seems to happen more with King Rabites for some reason.


At the end of this path is this little scene. Both of the gold statues function as normal, but the real point of interest is up the stairs.

02-11-2009, 06:33 PM

Where we find the game's third type of Goddess Statue. This is the only one of its kind in the game, and is used for the second class change.

We can come back here at level 38 for our final classes. The fairy also explains that the Mana Goddess has placed a seal on the final classes because of thier immense power, so we'll have to find an item to break the seal before we can actually go through with it.


A little deeper in and we find what we came for! Looks like everything's going to work out after all!


Running up and pushing the sword just causes HURT to flash red and fly back a bit, though. The fairy tells him to stop being such a spaz, so HURT quietly reflects on his journey and draws power from the Mana Stones. Relevant music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JHMxkU4lZM&feature=PlayList&p=F055597FF7B3AF87&index=35&fmt=18).


















With their powers combined, HURT manages to finally draw the Mana Sword and saves the world.

02-11-2009, 06:34 PM

Or would, if he had any idea how to use it. Where could the fairy have gone?


As everyone wonders how FAST and REIS managed to miss what happened to the fairy, the Mana Goddess herself comes in and gives us the lowdown.

The Goddess is another one of those rapidly blinking ghostlike sprites, so I only managed to grab a single actual shot of her during the conversation.


Popping open the chest gives us the Wind Drum. Like in Secret of Mana, the drum acts as the item to call Flammie.

Since Flammie is essentially the airship in this game, it's time to say goodbye to Booskaboo. He served us well.


Of course, you can't call Flammie everywhere, so we have to head on back to the clearing that we landed in.


An old friend is waiting for us on the way back too!


And that's the last we'll see of Deathjester this game.

02-11-2009, 06:35 PM

Same with Bigieu and Jagan.

Bigieu was even nice enough to drop REIS' little brother off back at Rolante before she disappeared forever.


Since 2/3 of our party was deeply invested in beating the shit out of those two, this is a somewhat unsatisfying end to their story. But they'll keep tagging along with this whole world saving thing regardless.

But we're getting closer to the clearing now, so we get to find out who the real culprit is.




And our next destination is already clear to us.


Unlike the flute, whichever character you choose to use the drum actually uses it.


And Flammie immediately swoops in to pick us up.

She looks a little... bigger than she did on the mountain.

02-11-2009, 06:36 PM

And we now have control of Flammie!

To get out of the Mana Holyland, you just fly out toward the clouds.


And it spits you out in the standard world map. You can pretty much always land Flammie right outside the next dungeon or town, so we won't have to run through the snowfields again or anything to get to Altena.


As you can see.

I'm sure you've already figured it out, but this is one of the two route-specific dungeons in the game. The other options for this part being Navarre and the Beast Kingdom, obviously.

The dungeon itself is very short for each route, but the Navarre one is notable for having relatively low level Lesser Demons that can potentially drop the ??? Seeds you need for the final class change. Other routes have to wait until later to start collecting those.


Since they're expecting us, the gate opens pretty easily now.


And the shopkeepers in the city are even nice enough to sell us things. Equipment is getting a little more on the expensive side now, but we're only going to need to buy new stuff a couple more times.


The city guards aren't exactly thrilled with Koren's hobbies, so we're given access to the castle to clean up.


The enemies here are the same as when Altena invaded Forcena way back, and the castle is about the same size to boot.


To the north of the entrance is this room, with several doors and two stairways. The right stairway leads to one of many empty rooms, but the left one leads to...


A barrel in its natural habitat. This is notable because it's the first time we found an item without killing a monster or getting it from an NPC. Hot damn!


Eventually we make it out to the courtyard...


And the throne room is shortly after.

I'm not really sure why Koren expects HURT to care about the Queen of Altena, though.



02-11-2009, 06:38 PM

You tell him, HURT. This is absolutely the best time to taunt the supervillain and his friend, NotDarthVader. I mean, they only still have two hostages and the most powerful magical item in the world.


And we finally find out who these two are working for.

Nobody is surprised.


And their plan is revealed! Releasing the God Beasts seem actually seems like a bad idea to go about the whole world domination thing. I mean, they are uncontrollable supermonsters that exist only to destroy the world.


Koren runs off again! Even though he could easily kill the group right now! Surprise!

02-11-2009, 06:39 PM

But the fairy survived, so it this wasn't a complete failure.


The Mana Stones cracking open is kind of troubling, though.


I guess that's as good a plan as any, so we're off!

02-11-2009, 06:40 PM

But wait, now that the entire world is open to us, we can tackle the God-Beasts in any order we want.

Each God-Beast's location is marked on the map, and there was a convenient book in Forcena that lists all their names, so we don't have to go into this completely blind.


Land Umber, the God-Beast of Earth is currently in Gemstone Valley. We've never been there before, but it's where the Jewel Eater we killed near the beginning of the game came from. Landing around this section of the Molebear Highlands will put us at the entrance.


Fiegmund, the God-Beast of Water chills out in the Labyrinth of Ice Walls. We've been here before, but only up to the first room, where the Mana Stone was.


Mispolm, the God-Beast of Wood is in the Forest of Wonder. This place is completely new to us too.


Dangaard, the God-Beast of Wind is in the Corridor of Wind. We've explored this place in its entirety already.


Lightgazer, the God-Beast of Light is in the Ancient Ruins of Light, if you can believe that. Also completely new.


Xan Bie, the God-Beast of Fire is in the Valley of Flames. We've explored a chunk of this place already, but we'll have to go deeper to get to the God-Beast.


Dolan, the God-Beast of Moon is at the Moonreading Tower. Similar to the Labyrinth of Ice Walls, we've only been to the first room here.

???, the God-Beast of Dark disappeared a very long time ago. I'm sure we'll never see him again!


Now, Lightgazer will be the third one I go after, because of a reason. I'll explain that bit later.

Out of the remaining six, which two should I tackle first?

02-11-2009, 06:48 PM
Why do you need to start with Wisp third, by any chance? Is it for the ??? seeds, or something else?

EDIT: Oh wait, you said you'll explain that later. Ignore me, then!

Anyway, I'd like to put forward the suggestion of going after the spirits in order of the days of the week (starting with Wisp unless it's not possible for the aforementioned reason[s]). So... start with Luna's and Salamando's God Beasts next, I suppose.

02-11-2009, 06:59 PM
Go for Mispolm and.. Dolan.

I've always thought they were cool bosses.

02-11-2009, 07:00 PM
Oh wait, you said you'll explain that later. Ignore me, then!

Man, I already typed out a response before you edited it. So here's the reason for those that are curious.

??? Seeds.

Each God-Beast you beat raises the levels of the enemies in these dungeons. You need to get the enemies to level 32 to get a certain enemy in Lightgazer's (And Fiegmund's, but they're less common there) house to start calling for another enemy that can drop the ??? Seeds. And that takes knocking two God-Beasts out. I like to just get them as soon as possible, so I don't have to worry about it later as I get closer to level 38. There's nothing more sad than doing the final class change late in this game.

And I'd just rather get them while I'm there rather than backtrack to it.

02-11-2009, 07:03 PM
Wood and Earth

02-11-2009, 07:15 PM
Man, I already typed out a response before you edited it.

D'oh. I'm terrible with editing, it's true. :/

I didn't really have much trouble grabbing the ??? seeds personally - when I dropped by Pedan after finishing off the last God Beast, I found out that a certain enemy in the nearby forest dropped them pretty often and I swept through it to pick up what I needed at the time. I think I was... level 37, I believe, when I finished the hunt and the pot there finally spawned the Master's Proof I needed, so there was a bit of leeway there.

I can understand why you'd want to get it out of the way though - I'm guessing that every level gained unpromoted after 38 is a wasted stat, so class changing ASAP is pretty important. Not to mention fun; having all those wonderful toys earlier on means being able to test them out on more bosses, too.

02-11-2009, 07:22 PM
It's more of a "better safe than sorry" thing, yeah. As an added bonus, it'll let me scrape some more money together for the rising equipment costs.

Also, I don't intend to class change as soon as I get them. I just like to get them and not have to worry about it later. Pedan is Weapon/Armor Seed territory for me. And yeah, promoting after 38 hurts your stats. You can still reach the character's stat cap in each stat if you promote later, but it takes a long while to do that even if you do it on the right level.

02-11-2009, 08:12 PM
I say we go for wind early, just to get the boring already-seen dungeon out of the way quickly.

02-11-2009, 08:13 PM
Flammie here is another Mana staple, and one that you probably remember from Secret of Mana. They show up in Legend of Mana's history books too, but they're extinct by the time the actual game starts.

Except they fly around in the Upper Land, which I don't think is ever really explained.



I spat milk on my desk. THANKS A LOT.

Anyway, I seem to remember that the Moon dungeon becomes ludicrous if you leave it for one of the last, so I vote for that one first.

02-11-2009, 08:36 PM
Xan Bie and Fiegmund.

02-12-2009, 05:12 AM
Dangaard and Xan Bie.

10-27-2012, 02:04 PM
Hey kids! This is Kalir!

You all remember this LP, right? No? SHAME ON YOU.

Fine, let's just pick up where we left off and see if that jogs your memory.


Right, when we last left off, we'd just retrieved the Sword of Mana and... hang on.


So, slight issue here. To properly prep myself for the LP, I went into it with my own character selection, seeing as I ain't never played this game before. BY SHEER COINCIDENCE, my party is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the party you guys voted on! However, I gave the characters different names because that's how I roll, I promoted the spear lady and the knife dude differently, and Raynie/REIS is the central protagonist rather than HURT/Marco.

Which brings us to a kind of dilemma! See, the original save file for this LP has been eaten by the cyberghosts of filespaces and the Internet. I have a file that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike it. This means we have options.

Option the first: I continue the LP with my characters from the save file you see before you. This is the fastest route to getting this LP up and running.
Option the second: I reboot and make the party of HURT, REIS, and FAST once more. This keeps the LP as roughly contiguous, though it does mean I have to replay the bulk of the game with a Douglas Adams reference level of similarity.
Option the fourth: We hold another vote in this thread for a TOTALLY NEW PARTY! Maybe we'll see swords, knives, and spears once again! Or maybe we'll have Jungo, a Halloween witch, and some cutesy midget as our team. OR ANY MAD AMALGAMATION OF THE SIX. This one will also take some time, but it'll at the very least be interesting to replay through the game with, and provided Duran and Lise don't win top billing, I can showcase a new intro.

I LEAVE THE DECISION IN YOUR PSEUDOCAPABLE HANDS, TALKING TIME. no I don't know why the screenshots are different sizes, shut up

10-27-2012, 03:03 PM
I vote you either continue as-is or fire up Kevin, Angela, and Carlie.

10-27-2012, 03:18 PM
I vote for new party. Name the girl who has a mooning animation BUTT.

10-27-2012, 03:29 PM
Go with the save you have. Close enough and this gets finished!

Sky Render
10-27-2012, 03:29 PM
The wolf, the witch, and the midget demand screen time! In keeping with the silly naming scheme, I suggest wolf-boy be named PUNCH and the midget HEAL.

10-27-2012, 03:29 PM
Go with the save you have. Close enough and this gets finished!

Sky Render
10-27-2012, 03:32 PM
We're not unreasonable, maybe we can compromise. Finish the game with what you have, then turn around and re-LP with the three we've never seen before. Or perhaps the long-standing rumblings about doing an SD3 Let's All Play will finally come into fruition in the near future and render the point moot.

10-27-2012, 07:47 PM
New party is great, don't listen to the haters.

10-27-2012, 08:12 PM
I have no preference either way, but if we go with a new team you HAVE to use Angela and Kevin. I used them in my last playthrough and they were a ton of fun to have on as support.

10-27-2012, 08:53 PM
I, for one, approve of Team Historia.

Also, I seem to recall that putting both Angela and Carlie in the same team is a pretty bad idea. And I like Kalir, so I don't wish that on him.

Sky Render
10-27-2012, 09:55 PM
Also, I seem to recall that putting both Angela and Carlie in the same team is a pretty bad idea. And I like Kalir, so I don't wish that on him.

No, a bad idea is Angela, Carlie, and anyone not Kevin. Kevin more than picks up the slack for those two in terms of physical combat, and of course that team's a magic powerhouse.

10-28-2012, 12:28 AM
Use the save you have. As long as the next promotions are up for a vote, I think this party works.

10-28-2012, 04:10 AM
There's actually a secret fourth option* that I guess I could have thought of and mentioned earlier.

You can invoke the power of witchcraft PAR codes to change your classes to what I had before I lost the save. It's not going to change your story path, so it would kind of be a balance between options one and two.

*Or maybe it's the secret third option, since that number seems to be missing from your list.

10-28-2012, 12:12 PM
No, a bad idea is Angela, Carlie, and anyone not Kevin. Kevin more than picks up the slack for those two in terms of physical combat, and of course that team's a magic powerhouse.

Fair enough. My only such experience was those two and Duran, and that was just painful.

10-29-2012, 11:59 AM
I'm still getting my LP legs back, my computer's had a mild case of death for a while.


Let's ease into it with party differences. Note that my guys all have a uniform theme by SHEER COINCIDENCE ONCE AGAIN! As a Rune Maiden, Raynie differs from REIS chiefly in that she uses debuffs rather than buffs.


The distinction is largely academic, although the order you get them in is different. I'm not at all above using them during common fights like these, especially if the enemies are tough.


As for Stocke, first and most important is that the Ranger's tech, Flying Swallow Toss, is a multi-target skill that chucks a good amount of knives at everything you see. It's pretty good for clearing the field.


However, his spell list actually sinks a bit with regards to effectiveness. He doesn't have the stylish jutsus of the Ninja, instead relying on traps. Arrow and Spike, the two basic trap spells, have the drawback of needing to be cast without the benefit of hitting elemental weaknesses. If this was an SMT game they'd be amazing, but it isn't, so they're not.


They are, however, our sole option at the moment for offensive magic. And like the Ninja, Ranger spells are based off of DEX, which we'll be regularly asked to pump every few levels. As I'm already at the required stats to get all the Ranger spells, I don't have much incentive to actually do so, which means that as far as physical attacks go, the Ranger will be a bit more solid in common combat than the Ninja.


Right, I saved just before getting the Sword, for reasons. Raynie holds the sword high!


And then puts it away because it's not a spear.

Urgh, flashbacks. Let's move on.


So, remember how last time it was Koren and those what abducted the Faerie, and everyone else got beat down by them? Because Raynie is our main protagonist, that doesn't happen this time.


The Dragon Empire gets totally trashed by ninjas. It's the 90's all over again!


And whoever the Darkshine Knight is, he's sustained solely by the Dragon Emperor's magic. And since he recently bit it...


I don't remember Marco being this hot-headed.


But before we can get any more info, the body of Koren, and the Darkshine Knight, both fade away.


I have no idea man.


Have you tried asking Inigo for help?


Or we can do that. That's straightforward enough.

10-29-2012, 12:01 PM

Marco adjusts his helmet and psychs himself up for whatever the true threat is!

Have I mentioned I really do like the spritework in this game? Because I do.


Meanwhile, this joker. He's still here, and still nobody really cares about him. Well, nobody present.

If I do a fresh playthrough of this game, I'll definitely be using Kevin as the main character, and it sounds like support for Angela as secondary is high. So that means we can find out what the hell this guy is ever up to.


But in the present day, the most deadly antagonists show their faces!


You have used a pseudonym THEREFORE I HATE YOU


We visited most of a set of magic rocks. That makes us worthy, right?


No easy resolution for you this time, miss!


Good thing we have someone who knows their way around the place, no?


Bigieu and Jagan teleport away and the group discusses the plans they have.


Hm... if it wasn't for the potential hostage situation, we could just get the army of Rolante to charge in and do some damage. But it is a hostage situation, so.


Who knows, maybe they won't pack the place to the gills with threats.


Bah, I like Booskaboo more than Flammie.


First things first, I stop here! And use a Dreamsee Herb because why the hell not.


And once I restock on all the things a good adventuring party needs (oils and scales mostly) I dive on in.


The door pops on open for us.


The enemy types here are fittingly largely Ninjas and Ninja Masters. They also have some Dark Priests for some reason.

10-29-2012, 12:02 PM

I've mentioned I'm going through this mostly blind, right? No? Well... yeah. I may be a while in here.


For a second I was all "oh lemme just grab that chest off of the ledge". Then I remembered I'm not playing Sword of Mana and the hitboxes halfway make sense.


I always did like the look of these desert fort places that just build into the surrounding naturally.


Let's try in here.


This place is actually pretty dang hard. The enemies here have zero compunctions about busting out heavy techs midfight to ruin your day, as you can see by Stocke's HP.


Whenever possible, I have Marco do Heal Light rather than use items. It takes longer, but he has a surprising reservoir of MP and nothing else to burn it on.


Heehee, I can look out the bedroom window!


Unfortunately, I'm still lost as all hell.


Heading back into the main foyer, I show off Raynie's level 2 tech, Flying Heaven Spear. As a multitarget tech, she'll pogobounce to every enemy in the field, which is both hilarious and awesome.


Of COURSE it is! Grumble grumble.


This down here just leads to the jail cells. Elliot isn't down there, unfortunately for us.


Ah, of course a desert ninja fortress would have secret passages!

...However, this just leads to a balcony over a treasure room I can't get into. Blast!


Have I mentioned the techs here really hurt? And every enemy has a tech it can use to kill you in the face, possibly more. I only saw the Dark Priests use Unicron Head, but that's when they weren't healing anything they see.


Even the mundane Ninjas can use Shuriken and Shadow Dive.



So, the Ranger has two status effect spells. One is Change Form, which turns the enemy into a weak and cowardly thing that runs from you nonstop. While anything it works on is then easy pickings, enemies handled this way grant no XP, so it's a waste unless you seriously need a single target gone in order to not die. Sleep Flower, displayed here, is actually pretty reasonable. Enemies that are put to sleep by its effect will remain so until attacked, which is very useful when you don't want your enemies pocket medic'd or stabbing you with chess pieces.

10-29-2012, 12:03 PM

We've got to be getting close, I think I've found every dead end in the fort.



Y'know what's a good cause to run from a room? Multitargeted Water Jutsu. Single digit damage against these guys? Haha no THANK you.


Screw it, this is now officially a boss battle.


I think I need to get more in the hang of switching characters to handle the situation.


This Mana Goddess statue does nothing. I AM ANGERED BY THIS.

It's also next to a fancy bedroom, but there is no time to sleep when ninjas are involved.


Hah! My pathfinding skills know no bounds!


This sounds like a bad idea.


Bah, fine. We'll just have to save Elliot without it. Also the world, considering.


And now we get the faerie back, right?


Who is this Dark Prince you lot keep mentioning anyway? The God-Beast of Darkness?


I don't think it likes him!


No, it definitely doesn't!


And then give us back our faerie. Caveat emptor, you backstabbing lunatics!


Well, I'm not ruling time travel out yet...


Bigieu casts some kind of dark spell over Jagan's body...

10-29-2012, 12:04 PM

I'm not sure I get you. Most swords reflect their owners' intentions by virtue of being inanimate tools.


Oh, that's what you meant. You should have clarified.


Well, this is slightly less than good.


And you all know where this goes from here.


The two of them fadeshimmy away to another place and we're stuck in Navarre's basement without a sword and with a sudden very big problem.


How did you get captured anyway? Did they just sneak in during the flashback to the Mana Stones or something? And if so, why didn't Stocke or Marco stop them?


Whatever, call it a collaborative effort.

At this stage, the LP pretty much continues exactly to the point where it formerly left off. Since feedback has generally been split between Team Historia and a reboot with the characters we haven't seen, I'll leave discussion open for a bit.

If you want to continue with Team Historia, then tell me which two non-Lightgazer beasts you want to tackle first. I have no idea why Snoopy said to handle them in that order, but I will be transmitted instructions via SECRET SPY CODE.

If you want me to reboot with a fresh team from the beginning, then please tell me the exact party you want. You can submit names if you want, although I might just make up a new name theme for the team anyway. Fair warning.

10-29-2012, 12:20 PM
Bah, I like Booskaboo more than Flammie.

Because then you can make that funny horn noise at will, am I right? Toot-toot!

10-29-2012, 02:47 PM
Team Historia!

And I vote for the Water and Ice beasts because I don't remember those battles at all right now...

10-29-2012, 03:09 PM
That's just one beast.

The nice thing about taking Hawk dark and Lise light is that you get access to buffs and debuffs. The un-nice thing is that the debuffs are tied to elemental attacks, which is a problem against the fire beast.

Incidentally, the fire beast gets my vote.

10-29-2012, 04:31 PM
Have I mentioned the techs here really hurt? And every enemy has a tech it can use to kill you in the face, possibly more. I only saw the Dark Priests use Unicron Head, but that's when they weren't healing anything they see.


I can see why that would hurt.

Incidentally, one of the bits of mechanical weirdness in this game is that spells/techs do more damage against higher-ranked targets. Class changing increases your characters' rank for the purposes of the damage formula, so you're going to be taking more and more damage from spells as you progress.

Also as you progress, you'll run into more and more enemies that use their powerful skills as counters to your skills. That includes level 2 and 3 techs, so it's one of the reasons why level 1 techs are generally better. Other reasons being that they charge faster, frequently hit multiple targets anyway, and get their damage boosted by elemental sabers. That last one is really big, since it means the level 1 techs are going to be outdamaging other techs too. Seriously, grab some claws from the black market and try them on the God Beasts.

10-29-2012, 04:40 PM
I'm not sure I get you. Most swords reflect their owners' intentions by virtue of being inanimate tools.

Well unless you have one of those nifty sentient swords.

That aside, I never did beat this game. I have an Angela, Hawk, Lise team, and they are not terrible, but the game itself feels so long. (Don't know how long it actually is though).

10-30-2012, 02:58 PM
Moon and Wood, because those are the silliest elements! I mean, really, moon?

Also because forests are cool.

10-30-2012, 08:16 PM
I disagree about moon being silly, but agree with Forests being cool (somewhat). Moon is the random element in my opinion.

10-31-2012, 04:48 AM
I thought Moon was the hardest to do.

Sky Render
10-31-2012, 08:28 AM
I thought Moon was the hardest to do.

It can be, which is why it's best to get it done first. The game's not kidding when it says that the God-Beasts get stronger over time.

10-31-2012, 04:49 PM
It can be, which is why it's best to get it done first. The game's not kidding when it says that the God-Beasts get stronger over time.

Well, I think the boss itself is probably less of a concern than regular enemies dunking your ass with Suzaku Sky Dance. But still, doing the dungeon early means there's less of a chance that they'll end up one-shotting your entire party.

11-02-2012, 11:34 AM

Sounds like you all want me to start with one of the more difficult guys first. Except, rather than doing it out of spectatorial sadism, you are doing so because the bosses get stronger as you go and you want me to kill it before it becomes a deadly unstoppable force. I AM NOT SURE WHETHER I AM GRATEFUL OR NOT.


Also I can't land right next to the Moonreading Tower. The game isn't too clear on where Flammie is and isn't okay with landing, and apparently the Moonreading Tower is not okay.


After a bit of trial and error I go land in Mintos and make my way through the forest.


There, that wasn't too bad.


Okay, so. Four doors here, and now they should all be unlocked. Let's go upper left first.


Oh no, a dracula!


So, the first two enemies I find are Carmilla, who does drain and debuffs and pinups. Just below that is the Bloody Wolf, which hits like twelve buses and takes hits just as effectively, and can also do Suzaku Sky Dance if it feels like killing everyone.


Sweet merciful Cheibriados, game, it's the first room of the dungeon. A LITTLE SLACK, IF YOU PLEASE.


Stairs on up over here...


And we find four more rooms. Except because I am a MASTER OF PERCEPTION, I take the stairs at the bottom of the screen for a sheer dropoff and do not go to investigate the two bottom rooms.


Because of my shaky logic, I end up mobbed by wolves and vampires.




Further, because of this misjudgment, I decide investigating the other doors on the first floor is the best use of my time.


Of course, they are all dead ends, most full of monsters.


Because of this, we now understand the gimmick of the Moonreading Tower. Every so often, we'll have a choice of four doors. Most of them lead into rooms full of death and confusion, while only one continues onward.

11-02-2012, 11:35 AM

There's nothing stopping you from backing out of a room if it turns out to be a trap, mercifully.


Go ahead and make a FF2 joke if you want. I won't stop you.


Well, nothing for it but to bruteforce doors. Or I COULD look up the solution on GameFAQs, but this is the COWARD'S WAY OUT.


I flee from rooms full of deadly monsters, so CLEARLY I AM NOT A COWARD.


No, I'm just dead, because as mentioned previously, Suzaku Sky Dance kills you in glorious fashion. Remember, this is a level 3 tech awarded to the game's most dedicated PUNCHDUDES guy.


I think the game is teaching me to use magic. Which, in this case, involves Raynie swinging at the air once to get her allies to run forward and meatshield, and then casting Power Down on the first thing she sees.


This is a reasonably effective tactic. Right, now which way do we go again...


I think it was lower right.


The choose-your-own-adventure rooms are broken up by these hallways. You have little room to move here, which only serves to make this all the WACKIER.


Two doors here. Since this is NOT a central room, I will go with the closest one.


This is, as it turns out, a REALLY GOOD IDEA.


After all, this entire tower has been trying to kill us with werewolves.


This'll take a while.


Oh hey a new thing. Beast Masters are pretty beefy, but rather than godpunching everyone to death, they instead prefer to spam Mind Down as soon as they see you.


Like so.

This would be a much bigger deal if we had casters in our party, but I'm not entirely convinced Mind Down actually affects traps, and besides which, I only bother with traps if Stocke's physical damage just ain't happening.

11-02-2012, 11:36 AM

They're more annoying than threatening.

Now, if I was using Angela, then this would be hair-pulling annoying.


A new woof! Guess what these ones do.


Yes, they heal. HOW CLEVER OF THEM.


I guess I just have to kill you faster than you can heal, don't I?


I think that's all the enemies the tower has for sale.


Man, these empty doors are just sad.


Wait, what the hell? A second set of stairs down?




Dude, I just walked into the room. Do you do this to everyone you meet?


Hm... I forgot to stock on Angel Grails. And I have no idea how hard the boss can be. There is only one solution here, and that is for Marco to RUN FOR HIS DAMN LIFE


Whenever you leave a room or clear it out, anyone who was at 0 health stands up at 1, so by ducking out and then spamming Heal Light, I keep everyone in tiptop shape and waste none of my precious Angel Grails. Hooray!


This is going to be a trend, isn't it.


Damn it game, stop killing the hell out of me.


And now Marco is out of MP. There had BETTER be a gold statue before the God-Beast.


New architecture! WE MUST BE CLOSE.

11-02-2012, 11:37 AM

This is obviously the right way to go.


Hooray! The boss might not eat us alive.


And now we come face to face with the first of the eight God-Beasts!


Wait, no, that's wrong. Let's try this again.


Dolan knows how to make a stylish entrance. Rather than hiding in a lair like every other monster, he climbs up the side of the tower to face us!


Who will be the true victor tonight? Only the full moon(s) knows for certain!




So, aside from his swiping claws that do beefy amounts of damage, Dolan's got a really impressive array of spells and techs. Seen here is Half Vanish, which hits decently hard and I think screws with the hit rates (haha yeah whatever).


He can also cast Energy Ball. I have no idea what this does.


Dolan's physical techs include Howl, which debuffs your attack and hits everyone for some damage, and Graviton Press, which skips the debuff in favor of more damage.

Damage is kind of a thing Dolan is really good at.


If Raynie was a Valkyrie, I'd be keeping her busy reapplying buffs to the party, but since she's a Rune Maiden, I instead have a much easier time since I can throw scales for the buffs and can ruin Dolan's stats with debuffs.


Since Dolan can't do anything about defense, we can reduce his normal physical attacks to a non-factor, and even with our attack power lowered, debuffing his defense goes a long way to making this fight shorter.


Aw hell. This right here is Dolan's signature move.


He's got the whole moon in his hands!



This attack hurts like the dickens, and without all my debuffs/buffs, it would probably wipe out my party (or at least Stocke) in a single shot. That's not all, though: Spiral Moon, and quite a few other attacks Dolan has, lower the maximum HP of everyone it hits. Needless to say, this is bad mojo, especially against someone who does this much damage.

11-02-2012, 11:38 AM

Thankfully, as mentioned, with all the setup in place, his techs are the only way he can kill us.


At lowish health, he busts out Moon Saber, like Lugar before him. You seriously need to keep up the pressure to take him down.


Oh, and he can Change Form.




Well, this is kind of bad. TRY NOT TO DIE AGAIN, STOCKE.


Aha, we did it! Take that, arms!


One down, six or seven more to go!

...This is gonna be a long quest.


Oh well, I can worry about that later. For now, victory dance!


And yeah. Now that Dolan has been dead, the other God-Beasts and the threats in their dungeons get a little bit meaner. On the upside, we've gotten one of the meanest out of the way first, so that's helpful.


This is the only other fanfare for winning.


Heading back out here... wait, Nikita?


No, this is Nikita's girlfriend. She's selling armor here.


The armor is some pretty nice stuff, and it comes with accessories that might carry innate status resistances, I'm not sure. But you still want to save your money.


...Okay, maybe not ALL of it.


Oh sure, you say you're cats, but later you become bunny-squirrel-jackass hybrids. HOW AM I TO BELIEVE YOUR LIES?

11-02-2012, 11:39 AM

Yeah THIS is why you save your damn cash and don't buy the superarmors there. Arrrgh... at least I can debuff enemy defenses, I GUESS.

Anyway yeah. What non-Light beast will we go for next? Wood seems to be the popular choice, although someone wanted to see Water, and there are a few other options too. MAKE A DECISION, YOU!

11-02-2012, 11:43 AM
Give yourself a respite and go kill Xan Bie.

11-02-2012, 11:45 AM
You say "non-Light," but Darkness is also off the table.

I will be contrarian and vote Earth.

11-02-2012, 12:30 PM

Sky Render
11-02-2012, 12:52 PM
Energy Ball is SUPPOSED to up your critical hit rate (and it does in SD2). However, due to a bug, there are no critical hits in SD3, so it's worthless. This works in your favor for the most part, as none of your current party can even learn the attack, and the enemies that use it generally hit hard enough as it is without a 1.5x to 3x multiplier.

I second the call for defeating Wood Man. Your party clearly could use Leaf Shield!

11-10-2012, 05:52 PM

Okay, I'm not sure whether Fire, Water, or Wood was the one you guys really wanted for the next run, but since Wood is apparently easymode, I want to see how drastic a difference it makes, seeing as Moon is hardmode. So!


Hey, is this the clearing in that one cutscene? Wasn't there supposed to be a Mana Stone here?


I don't actually remember. Have some cat people. They sell slightly different things than the ones at the Moonlight Forest. Different weaker things.


In the forest proper, there's a few new enemy types. Darth Matangos are what they call mushrooms these days, and they hit sorta hard and can use Sleep Flower, but are otherwise unremarkable.


They drop an oil that counters magic, apparently.


I seriously hope this dungeon isn't as ridiculous as the moon one.


Porobin Leaders! They like to buff their max HP! I don't remember anything else major they do, except maybe they also use Sleep Flower sometimes? It's a commonish move here, although nothing spams it like the plant boss earlier.


Giga Crawlers are beefy and don't really do a whole lot else. Queen Bees like to buff themselves with pretty much every buff in the book, but thankfully spend little time actually attacking, and they didn't seem to care much about buffing their teammates.


So, one feature of the forest is this!


There's a bunch of weird little dead ends that don't really go anywhere, but the terrain is clean enough that you can find your way without much trouble if you're careful. I really like this.


While the forest is definitely easier so far than the Moonreading Tower, I'm not going to let up on my tactics.


And for good reason. This Queen Bee unleashed some kind of full screen tech after casting Power Up on herself.


This goes about as well as can be expected.


Well, since apparently sabers are the best thing since sliced milk, I guess I'll pick up the ones that the boss of the area is weak to! How would I know exactly what the boss is weak to? IT IS A MYSTERY.


But yeah. Aside from spear-shaped nukes, the Forest of Wonder is very non-threatening, at least in terms of the initial exploration.

11-10-2012, 05:53 PM

Also, since apparently Level 2 and 3 techs prompt deadly counters from most lategame enemies, I instead opt to set everyone to level 1 techs. Which, while not nearly as AWESOME, is at least safer.

I don't think I care for such a tradeoff. But so it goes.


And... that's really about it.

The dungeon is much shorter than the Moonreading Tower. And probably shorter than almost every other area. And even though all the enemies here were a good five levels above me, I got through just fine. I'm now expecting the boss to be completely ridiculous and overpowered.


Except... we do have a quick screen beforehand with a single enemy. So.


Oh well! This big clearing has to be indicative of the boss appearing SOON!


Well, um.

There were things I was expecting, but this is not one of them.


Unsurprisingly, Mispolm's signature attack is the Pumpkin Bomb. It hurts us a little but, but not by enough to really care.


Like every Wood-based enemy ever, it also possesses Sleep Flower. Woo.


So, I forget what order you're supposed to do saber/attack buffs in. But who cares? Saber spells look cool and if I replay this game I'm totally going to get a saber-spamming class.


Mispolm's only form of physical attack is to have the pumpkin tentacles reach forward and nom one of your characters. This hoists them out of the way but is otherwise pretty non-threatening.


As seen here.


He can do Counter Magic, but I have no idea if this responds to debuffs or not, so I really don't care.


This is his signature party-blasting move, Grenade Pumpkin.


Yeah, it's pretty underwhelming. It doesn't even have a side effect like Spiral Moon!



And now that the buffs and debuffs are in place, all that really remains is for my team to punch the hell out of the pumpkin god!


Oh wait! One last attack?

11-10-2012, 05:55 PM

Huh, that's a bit intimidating, actually.


Ooof. It's a good thing he doesn't do stuff like that with every attack, or we'd actually be in trouble.


But that's the only real threat Mispolm seemed to pose. Kind of sad, really.


Like all good giant bosses, regardless of their pumpkin status, once defeated it explodes violently!


And a fine mist of pumpkin settles over the area.


Even if the boss fight is underwhelming, the victory hops my party does are just too adorable to be upset about. So hey!


And now they're all a little bit stronger, too. I'm not sure whether that means they'll be in between Dolan and Mispolm, or somewhere outside of the scale, but I REALLY HOPE IT'S IN BETWEEN


This was the only point anyone gained a level during the whole dungeon, though.


Ah well!

Next Time: Probably a giant eyeball or something

11-10-2012, 06:20 PM
I've always liked that Mispolm's "arms" are Tropicallos from Secret of Mana.

11-10-2012, 09:04 PM
I've always liked that Mispolm's "arms" are Tropicallos from Secret of Mana.

Ditto! I seem to remember the music here being awesome as well.

11-10-2012, 10:35 PM
It's the same music as the island where we met Booskaboo, for some reason, so yes!

11-10-2012, 11:12 PM
Mispolm is one of my favorite monsters ever! :3

11-11-2012, 01:41 AM
So, I forget what order you're supposed to do saber/attack buffs in. But who cares? Saber spells look cool and if I replay this game I'm totally going to get a saber-spamming class.

The order is Saber -> Power Up. The reason being is that every Saber spell also gives a pretty minor 1/10 attack boost, which will actually overwrite Power Up's 1/3 attack boost if cast after.

The exception being Kevin, who you have to make sure goes into wolf form before you start buffing, since transforming will clear any status effects. And you don't really need to cast Power Up at all on him, since he's got a pretty crazy bug that will give him a 1/3 attack boost the first time he gets hit in a fight while transformed.

And a Counter Magic fun fact: it doesn't reflect dark spells. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but it at least gives Angela something to do there.

Sky Render
11-11-2012, 08:01 AM
And now you know why I say that Kevin can hold his own against pretty much anything in physical combat. SD3's bugs are so delightful.