I’ve finished the first part of the game. At the end of the last post I was heading to the mountains to find the Kasumi clan for help. They want us to prove our worth by recovering the bone of the sea dragon, and we get the item to open that dungeon. That’s not very hard, and fortunately we can now use the bone to cross to Kyushu, where we’ll supposedly find Jugon’s base and the Spirit Ring.
Meanwhile Meisa has disappeared.
Now in Kyushu, we meet a one-eyed girl named Shinobu, but she doesn’t want our help. Instead we follow a guy named Enjo to Sakura Island, where he’s supposed to lead us to more of the five Spirit Rings we’re seeking. Instead he betrays us and lets us get captured by some sort of demon plant.
|Screw you Enjo
Fortunately, Shinobu arrives to save us.
Now we learn that Shinobu is in fact Princess Shino, who blinded herself for some reason (to increase her power or something, but that seems like a bad choice). Unfortunately her father and a close childhood friend have gone over to serving Jugon. We head to the Demon Castle to recover the Purple Ring, and that’s where the friend (Magobe) and her father are.
You have to fight both of them one-on-one with Shinobu but it’s not very hard. Afterwards we recover the Purple Ring, and the castle on Sakura Island is reclaimed for Shinobu and her clan.
|Happily ever after (without father, Magobe survived)
Next we head off to Hokkaido. While we were in Kyushu, the Kasumi clan was attacked and destroyed, but their remnants are in Hokkaido. There we learn about the Orange Ring, which we can recover in the East Cave. The cave has no boss and someone in the cave simply gives it to us, but then we have to fight a fearsome boss on the way out (who actually isn’t very hard).
|The foot is an effect from using the “shiki” power of the main character
Now that we have the rings, it’s back to Shikoku where we started to revive Benkei.
As you can see, Benkei is not a full party member. Instead you collect weapons for him, and he randomly appears in battle and uses them. Sometimes they attack everyone, sometimes just one person, and I think it’s completely random whether he arrives or not. Seems like not much benefit for all the work it took. Anyway, the Kyubu monster from above returns in a more powerful form, and he’s actually a pretty tough boss.
|Shi-kyubu, too powerful for us
With Benkei’s help he’s defeated, and now finally we can head to the Kamui Ruins in Hokkaido to face Jugon. Benkei destroys the barrier in the dungeon. Jugon is waiting for us at the bottom.
|Doo doo doo
He takes us into some sort of spirit world and then we fight him. This is a really tough boss fight. I had to level up to 30 to be able to beat him, and buy 99 shikis. Fudo does about 500 damage with the 10 shiki move, so that’s 4500 from her, and he has about 7800 HP. She can do a bit more damage with the remaining 9 shikis, but the rest of the damage has to come from random Benkei, and then buffed up attacks from Tokoyo and Mikage. The Earth Medicine helps a lot since it restores all HP to all characters. There is some luck involved as in a lot of battles, though, since all the characters randomly do multiple attacks — I haven’t been able to figure out when or why this happens. But the monsters can do it too, so someone can go from full HP to 0 in one round.
|Jugon, the boss of part 1
Jugon informs you that the Mirror has already been sent to China, so it’s too late to do anything. We then learn that Meisa has recovered her memory — she is from Kunlun, and was sent by Yoshitsune from China to bring Benkei and the other heroes back. So our next destination is China. There’s also a cutscene where someone (I think Kublai Khan?) is telling the remaining three generals (minus Jugon) to beware of Benkei’s arrival.
Here’s the text from the intermission:
With the destruction of the Tower of Light, Japan has lost the means for calling the divine storms. Kublai Khan, knowing this, prepares to invade Japan for a second time, preparing 140,000 troops and 4400 ships, much more of a force than last time. Hojo Tokimune prepares all of Japan’s strength in North Kyushu to counter this. At the same time, Fudo and the others take Meisa and travel to China. Their destination is Kunlun, a legendary place of mystical illusions. But Kublai Khan’s otherworldly servants are waiting to stop Fudo.
Hopefully I can finish the game this week, but we’ll see.