Having somehow fallen to a different location from the exact same point along the exact same route and been since kidnapped by a cyborg Jesus ostrich, it was time to work out our current location on this lush-desert duocylindrical hell-world we were trying to save. We started by leaving town and finding ourselves in a crystal-dotted desert that had once been home to the Vandole empire. We learned that the Vandole had known the secret of constructing on the shifting sands, but that most of their buildings had been consumed by the desert since they had fallen, including their greatest achievement: Dime Tower. I can only assume the town we had woken up in was previously Vandolean, because it’s in the same desert as the rest of the ruins, but the game isn’t saying. Before heading too far out, we bought a Flame Shield (the first shield in the game to lose certain protections, making future buys a caution) and a Flame Whip, which is a definite and clear Castlevania reference for once, making the previous ones look far more intentional than they had up until that point.