Buzi abandoned us almost the moment after we lost our sweet ride, and the rest of us limped north to Talonsburg, a town that had been constructed by the advance team from our World. Unsurprisingly, it was just a small base and a runway, but since so many people seem to know about it, it’s confusing that it hasn’t been taken out yet. Inside, we found Dr. Quacer, who told us that the last member of the party, Borgin, had already gone ahead to Goht, the continent housing the final Masters. Unfortunately, Goht was guarded by a Barrier that was keeping the Talon2 out, and Borgin had only gotten in through the magic of NPC immunity to roadblocks. Quacer learned the Talon had been destroyed, but didn’t seem that pooped about it, since he simply launched his artificial copy, the Talon2, and we were back in business! Like it never happened.
No, really, they pretend like it never happened most of the time, even calling it the “Talon” for the rest of the game.
Quacer even points us towards his own Units, which include a Shield “weapon” and a working copy of Unit Hover. As Kyle said at the time, between the Talon2 and Unit Hover, this would all be far more believable if Quacer was simply affecting repairs on the original Talon and Unit, not making fucking new ones and then never building more. One of the robots in the town informed us that the Talon was powered by a Human brain, which was weirdly backed up by monsters we met later in the game, though how they know this little detail I can’t imagine.
Taking our new ride, Quacer joined us in the engine room, and we set about gathering our resources. We hit two hidden caves for some treasure, reunited with Buzi and convinced Shar to join as well (he says he has to study the Tablet/Corpse, but in game terms is simply waiting for you to come back with the Talon2, and so is done studying even if you give him the Tablet after getting the Talon2, and then talk to him a second time on the spot!). We then headed to the cloud city of Cirrus (“Where’d those walls come from?” “Sky.”), where its king, Clamin, said he’d help us reach Goht if we could find XCalibr. Clamin was who was a Human from Elan somehow, and also a collector of weapons, but his real explanation for asking us to get XCalibr was to make sure we could actually back up our guff about destroying the Masters. I’m reminded by the Governor of Motavia in Phantasy Star 1 who agreed to help overthrow the evil empire in return for cake. We’ve come so far.
In town, we also ran into Juba, who joined us now, and Unit Laser, a weapon we only used once for posterity as we were far preferred the Shield, which let us run around without fear of any attack whatsoever. We then found the town with XCalibr, drew it without interruption (seriously, the Masters weren’t even keeping a guard?) and showed it to a local, Masa the smith, who joined the Talon as well. We only got around to this next part a bit later, but we eventually had Masa and Juba hit up our collection of Light and Dark stones into a few pieces of weapons and armour, though it turned out that we didn’t need the weapons in the end. Oh Mutants: you’re just so much better with Mana-backed Psi weapons that it’s not even worth the bother to switch to AGI weapons, even as early as Elan. Meanwhile, we gave Arthur the XCalibr, as it legitimately is one of the best weapons in the game where the other Mystics are just good for bosses, and gave Sharon an Gungnir spear we had thought would be good for Mutants, because I know Borgin uses one near the end of the game, but nope: STR weapon. We also bought one copy of Cure B from Shar. Lastly, we mixed elementals stones to get two copies of the lost Wind spell from Shar, which sped up our fights into the second treasure cave, and the dungeons to follow.
We took XCalibr back to Clamin, and ignored his local shops, figuring we could just buy stuff in the Dwelg village I knew was upcoming (sadly, we missed an opportunity to turn Sharon into a Robot, but given our lack of cash, this probably turned in our favour). Clamin gave us the Pass, which we could use in the town of Porle to find an underground passage that would lead to Goht. There, we ran into Kyle and his family from FFLII (Kyle, for some reason, was portrayed by a child sprite?) still hunting for the “Lost Ark.” We then presented our Pass at the entrance to the Underworld, and discovered Dion just inside. Dion explained away his absence by saying that the power of the Masters and the Mystic Sword had him under a spell!
Of the beneficial Mystic Sword…
You know what, nevermind, I’m not going to argue against something that has no proper meaning to begin with. We all know what happened here: Dion got blitzed and woke up in the Underworld next to a snoring Dwelg, end of story.
Dion swapped out for Faye, who bums in the back of the Talon for the rest of the game, while we got into the Underworld, which is less of a “passage” and more of a… well, an underworld. About the size of the overworld, which will make you glad that these Game Boy games have such small overworlds! You start in the southern half, exploring giant mushrooms for optional items, including a piece of the fourth and final Mystic Sword. Then we headed into a lava-filled tunnel that wraps ’round the underworld, and then down a mouth into a place called “The Shedding of Jorgandr” in the DS version, which is supposed to look like the inside of the great snake-boss (apparently you can fight Jorgandr again in lava cave, which is why he’s fought with random encounter music instead of boss music, but I’ve never seen him in all my dozens of playthroughs!). Inside the Shedding, we found Unit E-Ray, the Talon’s best weapon, and the Muramas, a cursed Mystic Sword.
On my advice, we boogied back to the surface and had Masa uncurse the Muramas to make the Masamune, the second-best Mystic sword, and also to fly around with the E-Ray for a while, instantly killing the random monsters (if you carry on, the monsters are upgraded, but for the time being…). We also bought a second copy of Cure B, if I’m not totally mistaken. It’s the most expensive spell in the game, but soon, invincibility would be ours!
Once that was done, we pushed on to the Dwelg village, located just off of one of the caves that exit the world-spanning lava tunnel (another cave has an piece of one of the best Shields in the game, so we grabbed that as well). The Dwelg town was a town of monsters was fully loyal to the Masters which required us to Morph to enter, like Muu from the future. There, I made a selling gaffe that cost us a few thousand gold, but I think we pulled through okay, not quite fully outfitting the party but picking up two White (Holy) spells in the process: these spells are non-elemental and so can group spell anyone on the planet. It’s a good deal!
From there, we talked to the Boss Dwelg (same stats as a regular Dwelg if you talk to him unmorphed and start a fight) and convinced him that his fellow bad guys were getting hammered up on the surface, to the point where they’d even lost losing Jorgandr (Jorgandr was mentioned by another Dwelg, but I can’t figure out how our characters knew he was that important to them). Arthur said that “they” need backup, and the Boss told them take the guard on the Goht side of the passage and absolutely no one else, and patted himself on the back for his sharp thinking. As ridiculous as this was, however, I have to wonder why the party felt comfortable lying to this guy (I guess they aren’t technically lying…) but not the guard himself, as you actually do need the Boss’ permission to get by him.
That’s where we left off for the day. There is very little left in the game at this point: an optional dungeon, a proper dungeon, two more dinky treasure caves that hardly count at all, and the final dungeon. Marathon runners: awaaaaaaay!
This retrospective’s screenshots come from me! Twisted abominations from far-off lands!