Once I did the grinding and turned off the random encounters, the game went very quickly. The game itself is actually not that long. My total time was 14 hours. This does raise a question of whether I should ever use these kind of cheats or tricks to play a game, or whether the games should just be played as designed. My intent is not to do this at every available opportunity, and to never use any sort of PAR/Action Replay codes unless there’s some very exceptional circumstance. All of the bugs/cheats I used were built into the game, but even so, it’s not the way the designers intended the game to be played. I guess my only defense is that it lets me get more quickly through a bad game like Light Fantasy and on to other games that are more deserving?
Anyway, at the end of the last post I had finished grinding to level 25 in the passageway to the Mermaid’s Village. The Mermaids are interesting because they are creatures of the Dark. Even though the Light vs. Dark thing seems cliche, they didn’t go with “dark = evil”. Once you do a little fetch-questing in the town, the blind leader of the Mermaids lets you go to the tree where you can get the fruit to revive the Phoenix.
|“A person of light tricked my mother. That’s why she died, and why I was born blind.”|
Unfortunately she decides that all light people suck and attacks you, but Mea (the mermaid in your party) convinces her that her mother and father loved each other and that it wasn’t her dad’s fault that her mom died. Aww.
I also forgot to mention that another “Light of Destiny” joined my party, a dark magician named Torui who doesn’t think all light people are bad. I didn’t find this out until near the end of the game, but if any of these “Light of Destiny” people die during battle you get a game over. So the revive spells are only useful for the non-destiny people.
Since the Phoenix cooled the lava lake he lives in, we can now pass it and make our way to the first main goal — the castle of the King of Dark. First we travel through the dark forest. This is a huge dungeon that apparently has tough random encounters; fortunately I didn’t meet any of them. At the end we fight the monster that had captured Ninfi (the fairy), save her, and then finally it’s on to the Dark Castle. I had probably grinded too much because the bosses were pretty easy. The first two are brothers, here’s the second one:
|Kurisu getting hit for 77|
They cast status effect spells but by this point I had my four spellcasters with most of the cure spells so it wasn’t too bad. After this, Minea, the daughter of the King of Dark, joins the party. She says that actually her father has just been tricked by the Maryu (dragon), and that they need to break the dragon’s control over her father.
|“I am Minea, the daughter of the King of Dark. Dark and Light are front and back, and actually shouldn’t be fighting.”|
Next up is Torui’s master.
|“Torui…If you are really my disciple, you should be fighting alongside me!”|
He’s not too bad, but here’s a good example of how messed up the combat system is.
|How did they screw this up so much?|
The blue area represents the devil’s movement — he can go up as many squares as he wants, but only one square in other directions. If he moves to the area I marked with a red arrow, it will take 4 turns for him to move into a position where he can attack the boss (with a range 1 weapon). This happened to me in a different battle where the boss moved down and trapped my character above him.
Once you beat him there’s a tearful parting scene with him and Torui, and then it’s on to the King of Dark.
|The King of Dark|
The King of Dark is the last boss of this section of the game. He’s tougher than the other bosses, casting a lot of status effect spells and because he’s so large you can only attack him from the front except with missile weapons.
|In the above picture, only the devil can attack directly. Kurisu and the dog have missile weapons.|
|Maryu kidnaps Lefina|
Unfortunately upon beating the Dark King, Maryu grabs Lefina (the daughter of the Light King) before you can save her. Now that we’ve deal with the Dark King and returned him to normal, it’s time to defeat Maryu and save Lefina for good (hopefully).
|Minea’s resolve to join the party|
That’s the end of part 1, so I’ll end this post here. I’ve already finished the game but I’ll cover the rest of it tomorrow.