After beating Nebuchadnezzar, it’s time to get our third permanent party member by finding Kari and releasing her from a curse, transforming her into Yasha. Along the way we also met Buddha, who ascends into heaven.
She’s another magic user, although I often had her equipped with a bow and she did pretty good damage with that. There were some BS monsters in this dungeon that did huge damage and sapped MP. Since you can save anywhere, I just ran a lot. We then return to Dappa, where Kurisu starts talking about being reborn and something about Valhalla, but it’s not coherent and she forgets she said it. Next up, we need some vehicles. The ship comes from Thebes, where there’s a strange encounter with a masochistic nipple-slip woman:
Now with the ship, we can go to the Minotaur labyrinth and get the Wyvern, who will let us fly around the world (but not over mountains). Unfortunately the Wyvern has to take time to grow since it’s just a child…but Dappa is able to use his god powers to accelerate that a bit. The next major part of this game is defeating five enemies to release five seals, which have locked away Ashura, the master of the guardians. Then we can reach the heavenly world to face the Heaven Emperor and get him back for exiling all the guardians to the Earth.
So this section of the game involves traveling around the world to various locations — a lot of the map is fairly empty, but we visit China, Japan, South America, Britain, and Africa. Along the way there are a lot of references to actual mythology and such, but I won’t give them all in great detail.
Eventually we break all the seals. Now with Garuda’s help, it’s off to the heavenly kingdom.
The Heavenly Kingdom is pretty large and the castle at the end is long as well. By this point I have people who can cast level 8 magic; it costs 800 MP but does a huge amount of damage. A few of these spells is usually enough to send the bosses packing. There are 5 bosses in the castle, ending with the Heavenly Emperor…
…which is an auto-loss fight. But a mysterious figure comes in while he’s gloating and steals his wand, which was the item he was going to use to take over the three worlds. The figure turns out to be Ashura, who has manipulated us all to get to this point. Dappa is also working with her, so we have to fight him too, and then it’s time to make the final excursion into the demon world to finish off Ashura. This dungeon is not as long as the heavenly kingdom one, and levelling is pretty quick. The final boss has two forms — the first is easy; you just summon level 7 Lucifer who can absorb all her spells. The second is harder.
Lucifer 7 is still helpful, but since she regenerates 9999 HP a turn, you have to continuously use heavy damage spells to have any hope. This quickly saps the MP but there are good healing items to recover, so ultimately it’s not too bad.
In the ending, it turns out that Kurisu was some guardian (it sounds like a Valkyrie although they never use that name) who committed some sin and was sent to Earth to pay for that. As Ashura dies, she opens a portal to send a bunch of demons into the world to kill everyone. How do we deal with this?
Yes, that is what you think it is. The Guardians send telepathic messages to people all over the world to gather in Noah’s Ark, and then I thought Kurisu was sacrificing her spirit to cause the flood — but then she was still there at the end, so evidently I misread.
So there’s obviously a lot more to the story than the outline I gave here — at times I had a hard time following it, partly because it’s in all hiragana and I’m sometimes too lazy to look up words I don’t know. But there may have been some moderate incoherence to the plot itself. Overall it was pretty good, though. I think this has possibly the most dialogue of any of the games I’ve played up to this point, which shows some progress towards later games. The gameplay is fairly average — it’s typical of this era that it’s the normal AMID system with some innovative features which turn out to be fairly useless. One I forgot to mention is that you can change the way your characters attack, raising their damage in return for lower hit rate. I never found this to be useful, though.
I’ll post the review later in the week and then it’s back to the PC Engine. I’m going to be gone for about 2 weeks in late June and early July but I’m hoping to have some scheduled posts during that time.