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Old 08-22-2016, 11:13 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
I have a Plan
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,514

Today we're tackling Air's Rock, but there's a few more Djinn I want first. The more stat advantage I have going in, the better. Not because it's hard, but because it'll prevent my resources from draining as much.

Anyway, that map location has a random encounter Djinni. Good friggin' luck finding this guy without GameFAQs.

That makes two Mercury Djinn with Piers still further off than you'd expect.

There's one more Djinni in Mikasalla, making that about the only reason to hit this place.

Even the townsfolk know their town is more placeholder than a gas station along a Midwest highway.

So the secret to get to the Djinni here is to use Scoop here, unearthing a secret tunnel to the Djinni's roost.

The chicken gives info on this with Mind Read, while the sheep just talks about eating grass. It's vague as hell, but still arguably more clued in than Sour.

Like Quartz in the first game, Spark is by no means a sure thing. It's okay, Camelot, you don't have to ape Dragon Quest THAT hard.

Weirdly, the only artifact weapon available for sale now is the Blessed Ankh. I guess inventory for each shop is only added when you check it? Oh well, it's an upgrade.

Anyway, here we go. This schnauzer bump here in the middle of the desert is where I spent a solid hour of my life. And remember, I know this place, I've been here before, and I sped up several sections with emulator sorcery. And I literally never do that. There are also no Djinn or plot revelations here, just a single Psynergy that we already learned in the first game, and which in no way helps us defeat Briggs. Hell, Scoop does more for our progression than the Psynergy here. Place your bets on what it is, of course, but it's not hard to deduce.

Here we go.

The premise here isn't that bad, of course. You cast Whirlwind on the stones, and they magnify the effects.

In short, this launches your Whirlwind forward with incredible force, blasting packed sand out of the way.

The problem is the route. In keeping with the overworld's style, our path to the actual exit for this first area (that larger Wind Stone) is incredibly circuitous, in no way helped by the need to approach the Wind Stones from slightly different angles to fire Whirlwinds at different sandbanks.

The encounters aren't too bad even with the constant hits to Sheba's PP, but they are a constant presence.

To make matters worse, there are a number of places where you can (slowly) climb up to the next area...

Only to discover, far too late, that you didn't open up that backtracking shortcut yet.

Air's Rock does have a number of treasures, true, but I know I'm skipping at least one of them here. The area is large enough that it's really not worth your time to take most detours.

The reason I'm already at the end of this first screen is not because it's short. It is because nothing. Ever. Happens. There's nothing to screenshot because it all looks like the same boring desert mesas. There are no conversations, no treasures, no interesting terrain, not even so much as a new encounter (anything new in this area, we've probably found either in the first game or the Yampi Desert).

And now that we've reached this Wind Stone, we can start actually climbing Air's Rock instead of just wandering around the land at its base.

Again, you could totally just start the player off right here and miss basically nothing. Okay, there's two treasure chests, one of which contains an artifact weapon, but there are loads of areas you could throw those things.

There are four Rocks like this in the game, one for each element, and they all prominently feature moai heads capable of using the element of the day (except for Gaia Rock where they just shove you off of climbing walls like total assholes. Gaia Rock is still probably the best one. I am not joking).

I have never known anyone who felt the need to backtrack here after getting Piers to obtain that treasure and you sure as hell won't catch me doing it.

Anyway if the moai whirlwinds hit you they carry you off.

Progression is half clearing paths by shoving pillars out of the way of climbing spots, and half flying on moai breath.
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