As I said at the end of the last update, I was ready to give up on this game before I remembered that cheat codes exist. I used two of them — one to make fights give max XP, and another to eliminate random encounters. After a few fights my guys had levels in the high 40s, which is enough to win any combat with ease (although I did reach the 60s by the end of the game).
Last time I left off with the party heading down into the underworld to stop the Beraneed invasion. Upon reaching the underworld, we found a village of people that were all talking about the evil overworlders and how they would soon get their revenge. Meanwhile a cutscene tells us that the seal has finally been broken and that the Beraneed are attacking the overworld in force.
|The underworld town|
Finally we reach Queen Ines. She tells us her goal — 500 years ago the humans took over the Beraneed lands and forced them underground, so she’s going to use the demon Orhes’ power to come back to the surface and reclaim their rightful lands. Kurisu seems surprised and hesitant about proceeding, but Romel doesn’t think they have a choice.
Upon beating both Ines and Orhes, the entire underworld starts to shake. Ines tells us that we’ve just condemned the entire Beraneed race to extinction. She wants Croizel to escape as the last hope of the Beraneed, but he decides there’s no point to surviving by himself, and attacks the party instead.
After the fight, Kurisu and the party manage to escape, but the entire underworld is destroyed, and this also causes a large amount of damage aboveground as well. I feel like there should still be Beraneed that came aboveground to fight — since Kurisu becomes Emperor in the epilogue maybe she should have tried to make up for her near genocide by allowing the Beraneed to live in her empire, but the storywriters thought differently. Instead, it immediately goes to an epilogue telling you what each character did — Romel becomes head of the knights, and Kurisu becomes Emperor of a small area of the world.
Now if you wait past the credits, there’s an extra scenario.
10 years have passed, and now the shadow magician Beliquad is trying to wipe out the magicians — he’s already killed Lot and Nash, and many others. Kurisu and the other heroes were able to learn that Beliquad is drawing power from Bazoe!, and they set out for the island of the Uru race (the wolfmen). They guard Bazoe! in the castle Pamela, protected by a dimensional maze.
The characters get different portraits:
First we have to go through the dimensional maze, which is quite annoying. You have to go through doors that put you elsewhere in the maze, and twice you have to immediately go back into the door you just came out of. Even with the no encounters code on you have to do a fight every time you go through a door. But eventually we make it through, fight a mini boss, and then get to Pamela.
In Pamela, we see a number of ghostly apparitions that reveal the backstory behind Bazoe!. It was created in the Gazelfan era to generate unlimited power, which was used to make Pamela float and do other things. The Uru wolfmen were created by Bazoe! to guard it, and it also gives everyone their magic power. But the use of Bazoe was messing things up, and eventually caused the great catastrophe that ended the Gazelfan era.
Nash and Ricardo (Kurisu’s father) had decided to use the Gran Install sword to control Bazoe again, but Ricardo decided to destroy it instead and was killed by Nash. All of Nash’s plans were to manipulate Kurisu into bringing out Pamela so he could control Bazoe. But now there’s this magician Beliquad who also wants to control Bazoe, and it turns out he’s actually the priest Lot. He’s the final boss, but with my cheated high-60s levels he was easy.
After beating Lot, Kurisu decides to destroy Bazoe, even though this will take away the world’s magic power and also kill all of the Uru wolfmen. Baisen begs us not to do it because it will destroy his race, but Kurisu decides to go for a second genocide and follows through. Everyone aboveground is confused about the magic disappearing from the world, and the Uru wolfmen disappear. Pamela also starts to crumble, and it seems that Kurisu is not able to make it out in time, but the game ends without making that clear.
So that’s the game. The story has some problems but is much better than most of the stuff from this era. It’s just too bad the gameplay is among the worst I’ve seen so far. Even if the gameplay had been boring but competent this would have been a good game, but every change they made from a cookie-cutter JRPG made it worse.
I’ll follow up with a review later, and then it’s on to Seiken Densetsu 2 (Secret of Mana).
I felt their handling of the Overworld, with its many varied areas for each of the regions, worked to the game's favor and made the countries feel diverse – but even then too high encounter rate made traversal annoying, of course.
I had an interesting encounter at one point. Back in the desert area, in the segment after having fought Jala in its temple, then having to walk back… there was Jala again in the desert area, as it suddenly engaged in combat! Took me completely by surprise and destroyed my unprepared party with its cheap death spells. Went back, walked around quite a while and couldn't encounter it again. Some sort of a rare easter egg?
Well done wading through this game, no small task. Even this good story told well couldn't possibly offset all the unholy pitfalls in its gameplay…
Looking forward to the review & next game. I take it skipping Secret of Mana, onto Sword World SFC?
I read about that rare Jaja encounter on one of the walkthrough sites.
I am going to play Secret of Mana — skipping English games is an option, not a requirement, and this is one I haven't played since I was a kid. I'm enjoying going through it again despite its flaws.
Btw if you view the desktop version you can see a sidebar that has the next few games I'm playing.
Game completed at level 35…
I’m really not hyped by the post game, because Lot is dead, and it was my best magicient/cleric, and no more magic shop so…. f*ck.