Let’s finally get exploring the Town of Lost Kiddies, then!
It looks like not all the children were kidnapped at least! And this very helpful one is going to get his treasure stolen from him when we visit Eastgate.
Holdana: Of course ma’am, we’ll help you find it.
Carlotta: Sweetie, are you simply incapable of saying no to anyone in need?
Carlotta: You have a problem, yes.
Lots of people to talk to in the inn!
More gossip about the tower on the northern tower… Looks like we’ll have to fix that teleportal after all!
If we say yes…
Man: *whispering* It’s not safe to talk about them now. Come back at night. But if we say no…
(I totally forget to do this.)
I think we’ll be having dealings with this gang soon enough.
Man: Thieves have started to run amok in a cave south of here, to boot! It’s sad times, my friend, sad times…
Holdana: Now this is a lead. The two incidents might be related.
There’s a second Ticket in the right-hand wardrobe, and the inn costs twice as much as the one in Stromholm.
In this house on the right:
Holdana: We’ll get your twins back. Rest assured.
Robin: She’s right, ma’am.
This man gives us some information about the calendar system of the world, and uses some terribly modern dialogue to do it.
There’s a house above this man which holds a Blaze Scroll and not much else.
And the children were… what? Your bait?
Ah, the economics of the one-shop one-stop system. Guy obviously hasn’t heard of a competitive market. I’m not even making this up mind, just look:
It’s like they’re making fun of the poor guy!
Robin: Is it time? Do I finally get a bow?
Ridcully: You know, Robin, I would have thought a Ranger would have provided their own bow.
Holdana: Yeah, that’s a good point.
Robin: Now you’re just taunting me.
The armour shop has a lot of nice upgrades, but we spent most of our new funds on the new bow for Holdana, so we’ll have to come back for new things later. Before that, I do pick up a Tiny Medal from one of the cupboards.
The other shops are less impressive. The general shop only had things for classes not in our party.
Carlotta: This sounds like fun. It would be a nice break from all this hero-ing.
Holdana: We haven’t done any hero-ing yet. We need to get on with it.
Carlotta: I still want to go.
Robin: It could be a nice bonding exercise.
Ridcully: This feels wrong.
Robin: Problem, Carlotta?
Carlotta: Nothing, nothing…
Avoiding the church for as long as possible…
The accessory shop has a few rings that improve stats, which would be nice, but we can’t afford them. If we come back in the night, we can explore the back of the shop.
This space needs a ladder, which will allow us to cross over the gap. This will be a recurring problem in this game.
Heading left brings us here.
This well has random encounters. These Eyeballers can cast a weak Poison spell. In this battle Holdana deals a critical hit with her new bow for over 400 damage. Her bow ignores evasion, so it always hits.
Oh, someone lives here!
Wizard: I’m just trying to complete my book in peace, you see. It’s about Demons. Would you like me to read from it?
Ridcully: Assuming it’s factual information, go ahead.
Wizard: Ah, Mephistocles, the Lord of Demons… He is a fearsome demon, that one. He rules the Shadowlands from his Throne of Skulls. He and his demonic ilk were caged in ages long past within the Void of the World, separating his Shadowlands and Shadowspawn from our world. He struggles to break free from his prison, and will do so for all of eternity.
Carlotta: He sounds mysterious. More!
Wizard: Balthalas, the Undead Mage. He is a pompous fool, that one, though that does not make him any less dangerous. Balthalas fancies himself as being Mephistocles’ second-in-command, but it is unclear if this is so. Like all other demons, he was locked away behind the Void of the World in ages past. Which is fortunate for us, for his undead army would ravage this world.
Ridcully: Can you tell us of any others? This is interesting.
Wizard: Murzhor, the charismatic manipulator. This craft and vile demon is a master of deceit, illusion and magic. His is brilliant, in his own evil way. Though shrewd and conniving, he was no more able to escape from the Void of the World than any other demon.
Holdana: (He lives down here with monsters…)
Wizard: The fierce demon Urok is a force in and of himself. Massively strong, and massive in size, this goliath is truly frightening. He leads the Demonlord’s armies mercilessly and with a cool conviction. Despite his ferocity, he is utterly loyal to Mephistocles. Despite his might, Urok too was trapped within the prison that is the Void of the World. He anxiously await a time to lead the demon army back into the world of Light…
We find a Heal Scroll and a Wizard Potion amongst the wizard’s belongings.
The Sparkle is an upsetting monster which can hit with Slumber and Shocker, the latter of which felled Carlotta. Grr. Now we need to visit a church. Holdana leveled up here, getting the Poison spell, identical to Ridcully’s.
Heading to the right and around brings us to the initial screen to the gap that requires a ladder. A little trip south…
Let’s get out of here and do something about our dead companion.
Carlotta: W-what happened?
Holdana: How are you feeling? You took a nasty shock from a sparkle…
Carlotta: How… How utterly embarrassing.
Holdana: Don’t worry, it was-
Carlotta: Forget it… please.
Bringing people back from the dead is something the service industry takes care of in this game. Conveniently, she’s revived with full health. It costs the character’s level multiplied by 10. Right. Let’s return a lost item.
Woman: Oh my goodness! You’ve found my brooch! Oh how can I ever thank you?
Holdana: Oh, don’t worry about it. We said we’d help, didn’t we?
Carlotta: You said it. We didn’t.
Carlotta hits level 3 from this reward, catching up with the others.
Let’s head out of Helminsk.
The man to the north of the graveyard in Helminsk referenced this place.
Welcome to the Amazing Funhouse!
It’s nice that even in a place wracked by monsters and kidnapping and general ill luck, there’s still a time and place for fun and puns.
We have 1 minute to solve the maze and keep any prizes we keep. In this Fun House we can find a few chests and a shop. The shop has a few weapons that we can’t afford and a piece of armour that we could afford but is too expensive to bother seeking. The chests contain a Medicinal Herb, another Ticket (that would be used to play the maze again, and a chance at a fantastic but cursed piece of equipment which would turn one of our party members into a fantastic fighter.
Before that, let’s chat with the interesting clientele.
That’s enough of that. Let’s do the maze.
Only 1 minute to get through the maze…
Head along the top, spotting the shop as we go…
This is the chest that might get us the Cursed Necklace. You have to trust me, I got this on my first try! There is a 1 in 20 chance of this. I didn’t get a screenshot due to rushing. I then try to get out of the maze, as solving it would bring us more rewards.
Let’s do this again.
Heading south this time.
Ignore the overpriced shopkeep.
The chests reset each time we take on the maze. Theoretically we could farm a Cursed Ring for each of our party members by farming tickets from one of the chest and spending them on chances at this chest. But that would take more time than I have the patience for, even with save-scumming.
Here’s the exit!
And the winner’s circle!
The left chest contains a Jester’s Mask, and the right chest contains a Strength Seed. These chests do not reset, unfortunately.
I give the Jester’s Mask to Robin. It allows him to Goof-Off in battle, something I’ll show off when it happens. It also increases all of his stats slightly. The Strength Seed I use on Holdana, and I give the Life Acorn and Stamina Seed that I acquired in previous updates to Ridcully, as he could do with more survivability.
The stairs on the left bring us to the Token Market, as foreshadowed by Holdana’s mother at the start of Part 1.
This is the sort of thing that happens here. Most enemies have a chance of dropping tokens when we kill them, and we’ve picked up a few already!
We exchange 4 Beast Tokens for 4 Hide Herbs. The others require multiple types of tokens that we haven’t encountered yet. Hide Herbs grant an ally invisibility for a while, allowing them to evade physical attacks, but they’re much better for selling.
Now that we’re done with the Funhouse, let’s head all the way back south and enter the Merchant’s Pass to the east of Holdana’s Hut and solve a sidequest.
On the journey everyone hits level 4. Holdana learns the Heal spell, and Ridcully learns Antidote, dismissing any need to have an Antidote Herb as long as he has MP.
From level 4 onwards, Robin will be able to use Feral Wolves in the Wilderness, but not in other environments.
Eventually it becomes nighttime, and we encounter Leafers for the first time. They are unremarkable creatures, but they do have the nifty habit of trying to escape if the party’s average level is over 10. Which is generous. We one-shot every one of them.
This is the Merchant’s Pass.
Let’s check out this checkpoint first.
Everyone tells us much of what we already know. Let’s sort their problems out! In the cupboard to the top of the screen is a Ticket for the Funhouse. It’ll be a while before we make use of it.
Thanks bud, but we already know how to use ladders.
The Merchant’s Pass is quite a simple dungeon to deal with. There are some demonic imps here that need slaying before the pass is considered ‘clear’. Heading left…
The Horn Imp isn’t too much of a bother, but it could be an annoyance to an unsuspecting player. It can use Plague Bite like the Rats in the Stromholm Cellars, and also Plague Claw, which is a Plague Bite that affects the entire party. If we hadn’t shored up our anti-poison defences this could be infuriating.
Until level 7 Robin’s only nature skill in caves is Vortex, a simple spell that halves the target’s defence. I’ll be using this liberally against all the Horned Imps in the pass.
Only 600 HP to wade through, they aren’t that dangerous.
Sure they will, buddy.
The normal encounters in the cave are nothing to talk excitedly about. Just some Leafers, some Wolves, etcetera.
Heading right from the soldier we are presented with a choice.
Heading north gives us a dead end and an Antidote Herb. We need to find more ladders.
So we head south from the fork instead.
The good news? Found a ladder!
The bad news? Found another horned imp. Its dialogue is identical.
Vortex, then battered. This one didn’t even get to use one of its plague skills!
Greywolves are just weaker Wolves.
Now there’s a trick to this. The right path will not reward us with the final Imp fight, but it does hold some loot. Nicely, the game does let you get another ladder regardless of which path you choose first, but doing it in this order feels more efficient to me.
Mutually exclusive paths.
Spot the chest!
A nice piece of equipment for a party with no shields. I give this to Robin, who is still using a Club. Bows are two-handed weapons so Holdana cannot equip one.
Let’s finish this!
A quick detour which features another Ladder and a Warp Wing!
The final Horn Imp of the Merchant’s Pass.
Blaze is an okay spell. Weak, but hey, it shows that Holdana can do more than just beat the shit out of her enemies. After a Vortex and a Poison from Ridcully, this Imp goes down quicker than any other.
Now we know that we’ve succeeded in this quest. The screen shakes violently after this, which is hard to show through screenshots.
My inner gamer tells me that mysterious roadblock rock might be gone now.
On the way we face a Raven, a flying enemy which floats up and down. It does nothing of interest before being clubbed to death.
Wow, what a shock, the rock is gone.
Ah, the first mention of the continent/region we are in! Norsland! One thing I love about this game is how it parodies real-life places. Stromholm is Stockholm, Helminsk is Helsinki, and Norsland is a parody of the Norse lands, of course. Strap in, boys and girls and others. I can’t think of any place from this game which isn’t a thinly veiled reference. And it’s BEAUTIFUL.
We won’t be able to pass by this merchant for a while.
Heading back to the checkpoint…
Robin: This feels nice.
Ridcully: Aren’t there… children…
Holdana: We can’t sit by and let anyone go without help. Anyone.
When we get back to Stromholm it’s still nighttime. That was a quick jaunt through the caves!
Wasn’t there something we had to do in the nighttime here?
Now that it’s nighttime, the thief in the left-hand jail is sleeping and the man in the middle jail is up and about. Let’s talk to him.
This will be good to remember.
Another thing that we can do now that it’s nighttime is search this wardrobe. It isn’t blocked anymore!
We have collected 5 now! You know what that means.
This is a surprisingly nice find.
Holdana: This looks a very interesting weapon. I could mow down entire packs with this!
Robin: Does this mean?!
Holdana: Take it. You’ll make better use of it.
Boomerangs target every enemy on the screen. And now that Robin has a bow, he can use Called Shot, which will double his attack for a long time.
We stayed at the inn. Morning has broken, and next update it will be time to tackle the mystery of the missing children!
End of Update!