December 23, 2012

Phantasy Star II - End Game

Though the dams thought they were hardcore with all their dead ends and loops, they all fell to the might of the sticky-wall technique (eventually).  After doing four of these damn things, I was initially pleased as something other than more wandering happened.  The pleasure soon subsided, however; we were promptly captured by three of Mother Brain's Army Eye robots and then knocked the fuck out.  Things kinda got chaotic at this point.  We woke up imprisoned aboard the satellite Gaila — in spaaaaaace.

Death sentence, eh?  Guess I have
no reason to not try to escape.

Instead of a regular door made out of some sort of solid matter, the cells in Gaila are barricaded by row after row of extremely weak energy fields (one HP damage).  Felt kinda nice, actually.  After wandering a bit, all hell broke loose with alarms blaring and explosions rocking the satellite.  In an attempt to correct its orbit, we raced to the control panel, enduring many of the tickly fields.  We had to run from any enemy encounters as we were each surrounded by restrictive energy coils, preventing any attacks.  Arriving at the control panel, we were horrified to see that Gaila's orbit was decaying right into the planet Palm!

Oh wait, it's going to hit Parma
instead.  Nevermind.

More explosions followed by some daydreaming on my part and all of a sudden we were in some space pirate ship.  He somehow got us out of the Gaila before it smashed into Palm.  He showed us what happened after the satellite hit Palm.

Holy crap, was the Gaila made
out of nitroglycerin or what?

He dropped us off in Paseo on Mota, our heads still collectively reeling from the past few minutes.  He mentioned something about going to Dezo, the other remaining planet.  Ugh.  A whole other planet that I'm sure will not be lacking in mazes.  To get there, we get access to the very last spaceship on Mota which takes us directly to a maze on Dezo.  *sigh*  At least this one is more rigid in its layout and was quite easy to map.  It is also home to a bunch of cats who all look like Myau.

Seen here behind ALL THIS DAMN FOG!

This labyrinth dumps out to the surface of Dezo in three different locations.  Each location has one city filled with denizens who spew gobbledygook until I put on my mogic (yes, mogic) cap.  The group has acquired quite a lot of meseta and I was looking forward to checking out what sweet new weapons were available.

Merchant jackassery is not bound
to a single planet apparently.

I ended up blowing through our whole wad of meseta outfitting everyone.  Not just those in the immediate group but also the others back home in Paseo.  I've been keeping everyone rotating in and out of the group to ensure a fairly even spread in levels (though I definitely have favourites).  With the way the level system is designed, it is quite easy for a character with a lower level to catch up with the rest of the current party.  This has proved fruitful as certain characters are more useful in particular areas.  For example, Hugh, the biologist, has techniques that were useful against the biohazards but are now worthless against the machines of Mother Brain.  Nowadays he's pretty feckless but I still break him out from time to time.

The new equipment came in quite handy against the monsters of Dezo.  Two group regulars, Rudo and Anna, were armed with spread weapons doing decent damage.  I, of course, was my regular hardcore self, getting up close and personal with my Sword of Ang.  Leaving a path of now defunct robots in our wake, we found a hidden passageway leading down into a crevice which housed the next dungeon.  We knew from the Dezo citizens that somewhere in here was a man who may hold the key to finding Mother Brain.  This man apparently does not age and originally came from Mota (Motavia in PS I).  Much to my chagrin, it turns out to be Noah, who now goes by the much funnier name, Lutz.   He lays down the whole descendant deal that sequels love to do so much and then orders us to find some legendary equipment to deal with Mother Brain.  I can't argue against getting better weapons, so we were soon off.

I did it for the Lutz.

A prism given to us by Lutz unveiled four previously hidden dungeons.  Yay.  Each one holds two of the eight items we'll need.  All the items are prefixed with Nei, leading me to believe that my precious Nei was going to get resurrected.  Furthermore, I thought since Nei would be the one to use these items, that there would only be four of them (one weapon and three armour slots).  So after finding a Nei-item in a dungeon, I would warp out and go on to the next.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that I'd only done half the work and would have to hit up every dungeon again.  And some of these dungeons are just murder.  One has a multi-level pitfall theme where if the correct sequence of holes aren't taken, you end up having to warp or climb out and try again from the top.

Oh, and did I mention all the fucking
tower climbing as well!?!

Even though I had to revisit the dungeons, I was looking forward to having Nei resurrected.  I didn't know how she was going to use eight pieces of equipment but maybe they combined or something.  Returning to Lutz, I waited with bated breath for him to cast a spell or use a gizmo of some kind to bring Nei back to me.  Instead, Lutz just gave us a "Good job!", threw me a Neisword, and teleported us to Mom Brain's house.  Well, it was just about this time that I started to realize that Nei wasn't coming back.  In fact, after her death, she's never mentioned again.  So what's this damn Nei equipment for?  I'd been just carrying it around all this time, so as not to tarnish it for Nei.  Inspecting the equipment closer, it was soon apparent that they were just really good items meant for us.  Well, having those equipped probably would have helped during the second run on the dungeons.  Ugh, feels like amateur hour over here.

The final dungeon's layout is simple compared to some of the most recent but only the toughest monsters are worthy of wandering Mother Brain's hallways.  We eventually found a chest that was blocking a doorway, making it so that we had to open it (unnecessary, it's a bloody TREASURE chest.  It's going to get opened.).  The treasure in this case was a battle against evil incarnate.

Any meseta kickin' around in there?...  No?

It looked like a descendant of Dark Falz from the first Phantasy Star and was just as rough as well.  His special ability is to make one of us "evil", after which control is lost and they sit there moping until the Neisword decides to emit some light and cure them.  His other ability is a spread attack for near 100 damage to each of us.  The loss of character control and reliance on luck to regain it made this by far the most difficult encounter in the game.  After many attempts, we finally caught a break when the Neisword decided to be fairly active during combat and Dark Falz spent more time trying to curse us than doing damage.  Beyond Dark Falz, Mother Brain still needed to be dealt with.  I was dreading what special abilities she may have over Dark Falz's.

"Here's a little trick I learned
from my pet cuttlefish!"

She ended up being far easier, doing manageable amounts of damage and little else.  Without Mother Brain to run things for them, the people of Mota will have to learn to fend for themselves again.  I'm sure things will fall apart again in another thousand years or so.  Before leaving Mother Brain's ship, Lutz telepathically told us that there were people in the back of the ship.  Heading there, we found rows and rows of beings standing in lines.  Their leader told us that they were humans from the planet Earth, which they had rendered uninhabitable due to their exploitative nature.  They had come to the Algo to find a new home and created Mother Brain to slowly take control of Mota.  If that wasn't bad enough, they also admitted to destroying Palm.  They were pretty pissed about us wrecking their plans.  Just as they were about to attack, Lutz teleported in the other characters not in the core group (why couldn't he have just teleported us directly to Mother Brain then?).

Y'all fought together and y'all'll die together.

As the human horde approached us, we all took a turn to pose in a sweet stance and quip a defiant quotable (except for me, I just gave a stoic, badass stare down).

They have to have at least
-2 Morale after all that.

I never found out whether we won or lost as my essence was torn from my avatar at that moment and returned to my regular manchine interface.  Perhaps I'll find out when Phantasy Star III rolls around.