|Looks more like a Vishnu to me.|
Of course, Ashnu is not the final boss. Before I get into the gripping climax of more tower climbing, let's discuss the characters and mechanics a little more. With their high mana and group-damaging abilities, the mutantic duo blazed, froze, and electrocuted the party well into midgame. Chance caught up with them here as both their damage factories shut down and they ended up with four Barrier spells and a couple of ESPs instead. While they would go on to gain a damaging ability here and there throughout the rest of the game, they never regained the glory they once had. This was mitigated somewhat by the P- series of weapons, which are powered by a characters mana stat instead of strength. With these weapons, both muties became the dominant fighters, sending the genetically lame Shen to the third spot in the party order. It wouldn't be until Shen acquired the Glass and Masmune swords near the end that he'd bump back up to doing respectable damage.
Our dear pet, Food, came into his own by the end. Every form he'd take was able to dish out and receive more punishment. Most forms also had a full set of special abilities, giving each form a versatility not present earlier. We're talkin' multiple spread attacks and healing abilities here. It was only Shen's own already damaged pride that kept Food from expelling him from his precious #3 slot.
|You've come a long way, monsie.|
The final climbing of the tower managed to take the previous tower climbing and make it feel like bungee jumping into a hot tub of bikini models and pudding while Painkiller blares away at volume 11. All of the bosses previously defeated are here to fight again in their second form. For each of these boss sections, the path is graphically identical and repeated at least five times. It felt more like a tower climbing simulator than a RPG.
|This is one SimTower you don't wanna play.|
So guess who the real final boss is in the surprising twist ending? Could it be that mysterious being that we see from time to time (sometimes balls deep in a monster-infested area)? Yes, that being turns out to be the Creator who masterminded the palmy design behind Paradise. He had created the tower as a way to test the courage of the populace. At least I think that's what he was getting at; we were too busy making fun of his digs.
|A table, couple stools, and a bed?|
Truly, THIS is paradise!
I think we were overheard because before we knew it, we were balls deep into battle.
|Okay, okay! Your two evergreens|
are pretty sweet.
With Glass and P-swords on our side and the Creator's tendency to just to sit there, it didn't take long to dissipate him into nothingness. Anticipating end credits, my sphincter clenched up big time when the characters discovered a door which apparently led to "their world".
|I hear there's even bigger towers there!|
So we weren't even from this world? Why was this never mentioned? And why... why am I bothering to nitpick this horrendously broken story? I should just be happy the end credits were behind the door after all.