The Orichalcum Dolphin
Now that we've finally solved the problems in Kidlanto, we can sell our rat poison and continue on. It's time to do what adventurers are meant to do -- some good, old-fashioned treasure hunting.
First, we head to Lance and accept that mission to transport some goods since there are bandits on the roads. If you can even remember that little aside from a while back.
The road is pretty short and simple, but now and then, bandits will jump out at you, and you'll have to fight them.
The bandits look like some kind of tall goblin, but they're supposed to be humans. They're really easy to defeat, and I think a lot of people do this subquest very early in the game, because it's easy and you get easy money.
After defeating enough bandits, one of them will sound a horn and give the order to retreat. I guess they realize that you're too strong.
Now bandits will be scrambling around, and you can capture them by running up to them. They'll beg for mercy, and you can choose to demand money from them, demand information from them, or to show no mercy (causing yet another bandit battle).
We demand information, and the bandit tells us the location of their secret hideout. Bandit hideouts generally have treasures, so that's great. Then we let the bandit go.
We capture another and demand money. He gives us almost nothing. Mikhail curses at him and lets him run. I don't bother with any more bandits after that.
When we arrive in Yalmas, Mikhail just... announces that we have 1,000 Aurums now. We don't have to actually deliver the goods anywhere, we just... get money for entering the city. That was easy!
But yeah, if you've also forgotten, Yalmas is the home of Dophorle, so they're probably using the bandits to interrupt trade meant for non-Dophorle citizens of Yamas.
With that out of the way, we can go raid the bandits' cave and look for treasures!
The cave is teeming with more bandits running everywhere. You can pop into little 'rooms' as you walk through and grab treasures. The chests are full of money, and you can amass quite a bit by poking around in here.
When we enter one room, instead of treasure, we just find this bandit with a unique sprite. Talking to him, he begs for mercy as well, telling us he has a girlfriend in Kidlanto that he needs to return to.
We figure this has to be Paul, and tell him that Nina is looking for him. He begs us not to tell Nina about what he was doing and where we found him. Mikhail just commands him to get out coldly, and Paul runs off.
While it's sad that he left Nina and ended up in a life of crime, we don't really know his story, and it would not be fair to poor Nina to break her heart by not letting him return to her when she saved us from Algernon and everything.
Eventually we find the big bad bandit. Like all the bandits, this guy tries to make a plea, too. He offers us 1,000 Aurums to let him go. We decline, so he offers 2,000. Another decline, and he offers 3,000. But after declining that, he gets fed up with us and decides to try to fight us instead.
The bandit leader is interesting because he's hidden behind a wall of regular bandits, and he can continue to summon new ones at the end of every turn, too. So having either very strong weapon arts that can knock bandits out in one hit, arts that hit everyone, or ranged arts that can hit the back row is critical.
Or you could use Nap and put them all to sleep.
One nice thing about Ward's horribly low speed is that he's almost always guaranteed to go last. You can use this to your advantage by using less WP and JP on your other characters to pick off the bandits in front, and queuing a huge attack that costs a lot of WP on Ward like Bull Crash, knowing it won't go to waste on a minion.
Sorry for not getting a good cap of the boss bandit. He's the same as the others, just with red clothes or something.
After defeating him, you can grab the chest behind him for a bunch more Aurums, and you'll have filled your wallet quite full by the time you're done.
With an itch for treasure hunting in caves, we now head back to the Great Arc to hunt down all those treasures in all those caves we learned about by paying the islanders.
The first cave is pretty simple. It's a straightforward cave with some undeads wandering around. In the back are a couple treasures.
If you're curious what an "Ill Head" looks like, since I missed getting the cap of it earlier during that midboss battle, here it is lol.
The second cave has a small opening at the beginning, and walking through, we fall down into an underground lake. There are three treasures in here up on a platform, as well as a bunch of fish. I fight the fish in hopes of getting a Fish Scale.
Well, it turns out one of the chests here actually had a Fish Scale in it! The first chest had some money, and the last chest... had nothing, but made these mollusk enemies fall into the shallow water around us, so we had to get through them in order to exit.
Finding the exit in the back of this area let us leave the cave; we didn't have to somehow climb back up to where we came in or anything.
The third cave seems very small and seems to have no treasures. But it's actually a trick! If you can see where the frog is standing in the screenshot, there's a little patch of grass to the right of it...
There's actually a hole in the wall there that you can walk through and come out in another little room with a staircase. You can find more little barely-noticeable passages like this hidden around this cave, and that will be your ticket to the treasures inside.
The fourth cave is a bit more straightforward, but we get to the treasures and there are these gargoyle-like statues sitting near them.
Hmm, sure would be scary if these things came to life when we tried to open the treasures...
And so they did! Actually, they only come alive when you open the bottom treasure, and it only has a measly 50 Aurums in it!
These guys are those demons that we fought at the very beginning of the story. Though they're much easier to fight now with a full party, good armor, and a lot of nice weapon arts and stuff.
After the fourth cave, I took a little break to go rule Loanne a bit more. It seems like we've actually made some money somehow since the last time? I also tried taxing the people and made a little more lol. Then I ordered new equipment to be made, and it says it will be completed after the next battle... but I don't have the option to start battles anymore? I guess I have no one to fight? I don't know. I couldn't really find anything else to do other than demand taxes over and over, so I quit for now.
And finally, it's time to head into the last cave of treasures. This is the one that Herman told us about, where we're trusting Black's treasures are inside, including the Orichalcum Dolphin.
You can come here without Herman if you talk to him before learning about the Dolphin and just buy the information off him like you do with everyone else. You can even find the Dolphin without him if you want.
But if you take him with you, he'll act as a guide and tell you where to go as well as how to avoid some traps.
When we first come in, he just says to go right. There's a door on the left, but approaching it makes it slam closed.
Then when we enter the right door, he says there's nothing at all to find to the left, so we should go right again.
Of course, I go left anyway. We fall into a hole similar to the treasure cave with the fish, and there's a treasure there.
Opening it makes a ton of mollusk enemies spawn, and there's no treasure inside. Walking painfully out of the area, it returns us to that original 'left' door that kept closing. So there really was nothing there after all. Should have just listened...
When we get to another split path, Herman tells us that the Dolphin is to the left, but we might be able to find other treasures to the right. Going right we find a few chests with small amounts of money in them, but that's it.
In another area, he says there's a hidden passage somewhere, but he doesn't remember exactly where. We can find another little hole in the wall like the one with the frog before, and it takes us to another room with a treasure in it.
We reach a room with a door that closes when we get near it, but we can stick our hand into this weird face-shaped hole in the wall to hit a switch, and the eyes light up. then we can get through the door.
In the next room, Herman tells us that we'll have to press a switch again in here, but it will cause the statue to come alive, so we have to be careful.
Pressing the switch makes the dragon statue turn into a real dragon. This thing is way too hard for us to fight at this point, so we have to avoid it or die. It's too big to fit into the little area where we pressed the switch, so we wait for it to wander a little further away, and then bolt past it and head for the door.
We get to a room with some waterfalls, and Herman tells us not to open the chest at the very top. Opening it causes a bunch of monsters to spawn, and there's no treasure inside. Yeah, I opened it.
Eventually we get to another place where we have to do the "jumping" thing. And this is really the final stretch!
We climb to a high ledge and find the Orichalcum Dolphin! But, of course, when we go to grab it, a bunch of monsters jump out of the water.
The monsters you fight here are kind of a high rank compared to what we've been fighting, and if you come here too early, they can be very difficult. I didn't get a good cap of them because I keep taking caps when enemies are covered up for some reason.
All three were susceptible to Nap...
... And got eaten up with one cast of Daybreak.
So, uh, it was a lot easier than I was expecting!
And with that, we've secured the Orichalcum Dolphin! So our treasure hunting time has come to an end, at least for now.