Towers and Volcanoes!
Want to Buy Some Churros?
With a heavy heart, we must leave our friends in Termina behind and continue our adventures. There doesn't seem to be much else to do in the region for now, so we head back to Maurehua. Huh, you don't know where that is? Yeah, I had to look up the name, too.
It's the place where Phoenix landed and those people started building that Prayer Tower there. And I pretty much did nothing there because I didn't want to mess with it at the time. If you really need a recap, it's at the end of this post.
The first place I decided to head was where those three big boulders were that blocked a cave behind it. There was a battle that was too tough for me before, so I figured I could probably handle it now. I forgot to upload the screencap of the boulders, but just pretend you can see them. I'll show you the cave in a bit.
But first, look at how cool Liz is! Look at all those boosted stats! I will admit, I prioritize giving Liz the best equipment before anyone else in the party, and always upgrade hers first if I can't afford everything I want to upgrade at the moment.
Her ability to paralyze enemies is critical to victory throughout the entire game. Well, before she could do it, Gerome and Cecilia were the ones in charge of it. But yeah, paralysis is a key part of my strategy. Before I got really heavy-hitters (both characters and weapon arts) in the party, I relied a lot on paralysis and poison, but even now, paralysis is extremely important.
After beating bad boulder-blocking bandits (alliteration!), we head to West Mine that was trapped behind them. In here, we encounter Sahuagin, which have an obnoxious amount of HP for a regular enemy. I also went to search how to spell "Sahuagin," and perhaps learn the origin of the creature, and was surprised to find that it's not any kind of old legend or anything, but rather seems to originated from Dungeons & Dragons. Though Sahagin (maybe they purposely spell it differently?) seem to be a monster used in several games.
Anyway, Sahuagin are not immune to paralysis so we win the battle and find some building materials they can use to make the tower. For some reason we have an oxen wagon, and load it up with the boxes and send it off to the tower.
And the tower gets bigger! And as you can see a bit behind it, a new monster appeared. It was a giant blue spider. Giant spiders are like... a really common midboss in this game...
The next thing we do is go talk to the little camp of people in opposition of the construction of the tower and ask them if they can spare us any materials. The same thing that happens if you talk to the people in favor of it. Like literally copy-pasted dialogue, which there seems to be a lot of in this game, too.
We have to give them some of our materials, but they let us have some in return. And we load up another wagon and send it off to the tower. I have no idea why we're even doing this, honestly. And these people don't even want the tower to be built and we just tricked them into contributing to it, I guess.
Now we go back to the camp of people supporting the construction, and ask the same thing. This time, though, I don't have enough of the fire crystals they want, so they won't give us any building materials.
But if you remember from before, there was also the option to "take them by force."
Well... I've already killed a bunch of miners and stuff so what's a little more blood on our hands?
The battle is super easy, and we get some more stuff to load up and ship off to the tower. And as always, it grows and a new monster appears somewhere around the region. This time it's a giant black spider! Ooh, variety.
Throughout my screencaps, I have a bunch that look like this, and it took me a while to realize what they were supposed to be. Lewis glimmered this cool axe art that hits all enemies with a chance of instant death on each. It does this weird flashing effect with a wild background, and the enemies blink all different colors, but I guess I just kept capturing a frame where they happened to be their normal colors... Like, every single one was like this, lol.
With spider #3 taken down, we head up to North Mine, which, if you remember, is being blocked by a monster. We fight the monster easily, and then fight off some more Sahuagin in the mine itself.
We even got some Crystals for it. Like, not the generic crystals like fire/water/etc., or even the rainbow crystals, but something just called Crystals. I mean, we did get the normal fire crystals and stuff, too. But also just Crystals.
Afterward, we sent more building materials to the tower, and it's finally completed! We fight yet another spider, and then head to the tower. Sadly it doesn't seem to... actually do anything. It's just the same as it was before -- initiates a battle.
So we head up to the Shams Temple, which is the only place we haven't explored here yet. It had another little camp of knights sitting outside of it.
The priest here asks us if we know the guy building the tower (he actually said the guy 'who is going to build the tower' but uh... it's already built???)
Leo says we do indeed know him. Old Man Shams decides to explain to us who he is. We just... told you that we know...
He says the guy is Paul Hedging (?) and he's a... churro salesman. I thought that he couldn't possibly be saying churro so I looked it up in a dictionary and... okay, I guess it's definitely churro. They guy sells churros and builds towers.
He goes on to say that he used to sell churros to visitors before becoming a priest. He is defiling the name of the Shams Temple and the Holy Knights, and he won't forgive him.
YEAH I HAVE NO IDEA.
After that little spiel, Liz says that Maurehua is becoming very annoying and we should leave.
Going back to the tower doesn't seem to do anything and there's not really anything here, so we do indeed leave.
We head back to Thracini, another place we didn't do much before. This is the place with the big volcano in the center where we fought Big Long, where the bridge crossing the northeastern border is.
In this lake here, we see some kind of huge creature. When we approach it, Leo says it seems like it wants to say something. And then we get two options:
JUST KILL IT
We decide not to kill it, and Leo says it must want to get to the ocean. We head up to the Mulkna Sluice Gate to the north. We have the option to open the gate. That's pretty cool, since it seems like we'll be able to let the creature free instead of killing it for no reason.
But there are monsters in the next lake thing, so I go to fight them off before opening the gate, in case they try to attack our friend. I mean, only WE have the right to kill it!!
After defeating them, the volcano spits out some little stones and weird colored smoke starts bellowing from within.
We head back and open the sluice gate, and then we can open the next one, too, but there are two monsters in that lake. So we fight them off, and each time, the volcano spits out some rocks and the smoke emerging from it gets more colorful and plentiful.
When the creature is in the final lake before the ocean, we're not able to open the last sluice gate. This gate also functions as the transition point to Normi, and all we can do is go to Normi. There's no option to open the gate from either side. We still have the option to kill our creature friend if we want, though.
But it doesn't seem like a good idea to kill it, so I head over to this thing called Madayanti Stone. Liz is like "Oh, so this is the Killing Stone. Maybe it has something to do with the volcano." I don't know why she called it "The Killing Stone." Often people talk about stuff as if we should already know about it, but it's my first time hearing of it...??? Since the order you can do things is pretty open in this game, I feel like there are bound to be some oversights like that, but... I feel like there are a LOT.
Anyway, it triggers an easy battle, and afterward, Liz notices that the gas being emitted from the stone has increased. Leo says the flow isn't stopping.
The volcano erupts! And we get an achievement for it. Kinda weird, but hey.
Going to inspect it, we find an egg sitting in the lava? We approach the egg and it starts to crack and shine. Liz says we should get away before something big and scary--
Now we have to fight this dragon. It was actually pretty tough -- and it even had two goblins fighting alongside it for some reason (maybe they were caring for the egg... inside the volcano... until now...???)
I died once, but the second fight went much more smoothly since I had a hang of what kinds of things the dragon could do. For some reason I hardly took any screencaps of this fight. Well, I seem to not take many screencaps in battle in general...
After the fight is over, though, where the egg was, we now find that there's some kind of large sword sticking up out of the ground. Approaching it, we get the message "A Wu Xing Weapon appeared." Wu Xing are the five classical Chinese elements (fire, water, wood, earth, and metal), which are the elemental types and star signs that are used in this game.
As I've come to find, Wu Xing Weapons seem to be some kind of legendary or ultimate weapons in the game. This one seemed pretty easy to find, though...
We pick it up and obtain the Mars Katana (Worn). Whenever we get a Wu Xing Weapon, it seems to come in this (Worn) condition. It still functions just fine, though. But I think it's just meant to be a hint that you can upgrade it.
And we get an achievement for it, too! Two new trophies close together... From the description of the trophy, it seems like there may be one for every Wu Xing Weapon...
Nothing seems to have changed in the towns here, despite the fact that they seem to have been hit with lava, and we still can't open the sluice gate. There are two more Killer Stone things, and we fight the battles there, making more gas come out, but the volcano never changes or erupts again.
There are still some inactive geysers here, but I didn't feel like looking at them just yet, and decided to head on for now.