Hey everyone, I bet I know the question that’s on your mind; what the heck is Paladin’s Quest? Well, Paladin’s Quest is a JRPG that was released on the SNES in 1993, one that I’ve come back to time and time again. The game has a distinctive aesthetic and an interesting story, but at the same time it is held back by an obviously lackluster translation that was all too common to games of that era. I am not a translator myself, but I do have access to some resources that will at least help us deal with some of the more odd naming localizations that Paladin’s Quest gave us. Speaking of odd localization choices, that title. As the thread gives away, the game was called Lennus: Memories of an Ancient Machine which fit because the game takes place on the planet Lennus and the plot centers around an ancient mysterious machine and figuring out how to stop it. Paladin’s Quest is decidedly less fitting as you are not playing a Paladin of any sort.
This is the main screen of the game. Very bare bones and it does not do a good job of preparing you for what you are going to see. If you click on the Demo option, you will have this!
And when this text box appears, you will also hear this!
Just listen to that. That is the regular overworld battle theme. It is awesome.
With that music playing, I definitely believe this is the kind of place where warriors cut dinosaurs heads off with ridiculously huge swords.
Note that while the opening refers to the town as Leyord, the rest of the game will call it Reiyold and we will yield to the majority. If the still image does not make it clear, the buildings are wavering as though we are looking through heat waves. The text explains that half the town died and the narration wonders if the town was betrayed by the immortals or if this was the anger of Lennus. Immortals, as you might guess, is supposed to be Gods but this is was 1993 and Breath of Fire II hadn’t happened yet so we’re not going to be seeing any mention of the word God in reference to clearly deific figures.
The text goes on to say that another event is about to threaten all of Lennus, vaguely implying a connection to half a town being destroyed for mysterious reasons, but that connection will require some work on our part to put together.
I included both screenshots here because this is something that happens a lot in the game; very very awkward sentence construction and use of space in the text box that can make it more difficult to understand what the game is trying to get across. Outside of this instance, I will not show this sort of thing off again.
Being a classic era JRPG, our big bad is of course, a powerful foreign dictator. On a personal note, I for the longest time misread Saskuot as Saskout and I don’t know what to do with that. The narration says his name is Zaygos and he’s going to do what no one has ever attempted in the history of Lennus.
Also at this point, the game now plays a different track to convey the ominous danger that Zaygos presents to the world.
We are shown a preview of the battle screens, which are first person as per Dragon Quest tradition, and Zaygos killing some guys with his powerful magic and thus bringing all of Saskuot under his control with barely any effort.
During this stretch, the following theme plays.
The people of Naskuot are just living their lives, unaware that despotic dictator wants to go two for two on the major land masses of the planet Lennus.
We know return back to the location of the great spiritualist Daicant, this time focusing on this tower here. The text box is obscuring it, but the tower is being supported by a point at an angle, really driving home just how fantastical and alien this tower is, even against everything else we’ve seen so far. The narration informs us that there is evil in this school as well.
Now the music starts, and we hear a steady sound not unlike a heart beat. It is very dark, but we can see some sort of strange machine. Possibly the titular machine, but only titular back in Japan.
That complete’s the Demo for the game. Next time, we’ll start getting into the main game and I hope I’ve done a good job stirring up interest.
I always liked how much this felt Moebius-inspired, and how it resists all the soft-shaded, blended colors the SNES could produce; it feels like it should be a Turbo-Grafx-16 game, but on the SNES, it makes it feel more mysterious.
I never went deep enough to learn if there’s an interesting mood to the story (I think tone is a more realistic expectation of an RPG of this era than characterization or theme (and all the better for it)); how does it feel distinctive to you?
@Daphaknee, glad to hear to hear that you are interested in seeing more updates! I will do my best to provide!
@BustedAstromech, its hard for me to put into words what I find so distinctive about this game, not without some serious spoilers about what is going to happen down the line. I will get more into those things as they come up in the let’s play.
@wourme, cool, awesome to see another fan of the game! I was not expecting that, so I neglected to put down a spoiler policy for the thread. clears throat. Please do not spoil anything that I have not already covered. This goes for everyone of course.
With all that being said, let’s start the LP proper!
When we start up a new game, we are first asked if we want to change the hero’s name. I’m not going to do that because my boy Chezni has such a good fantasy name that I would not take that from him.
Note that this is way before Harry Potter came out, so if the writers of the game were inspired by anything, they were probably inspired by Wizard of Earthsea more than anything else. Or some other story involving magic schools, there were plenty of those even before Harry Potter. The narration box goes on to say that when the potential for magic was found in Chezni, he was sent to the Magic School, which checks out.
We will be keeping a tally of how many wondrous misadventures transpire in the course of this game. I will take bets on what the final total will be!
As we fade in to this screen, a sound like a bell plays, the kind you would hear in school signalling the end of the period. For this area, this is our theme.
Very pleasant and peaceful and homey. I think I’d be content if I were hearing this in my hometown.
Less pleasant is our classmates surrounding us as soon as the teacher is gone.
The classmate on the bottom doesn’t think that we should get a big head just because of our talent at magic.
The student to our right wants us to really prove ourselves, and not on our homework.
The student on the top cuts to the chase; he dares us to climb the Tower of Gabnid and come back with the treasure that supposedly lies within. And to make sure that we do it, he wants us to go with Duke, the kid on our left.
Duke’s name would have been more accurately localized as Dukas, but this is far from the worst example of that sort of thing we’ll be seeing in this game.
Here we are given our first choice in the game and anyone familiar with JRPGs of the time will immediately recognize that this is a “but thou must” moment. If we say yes…
He tells us to make sure that WE are there and then runs off ahead of us. But if we say no…
Turns out the little guy is very pushy about things if he doesn’t get his way. Then he runs off and we are left to move around on our own. We will use this opportunity to talk to everyone we can, starting with our classmates who have successfully dared us.
The female classmate tells us why Gabnid is such a big deal; he brought magic to Lennus so without him, no magic school.
The student above us remarks on the oddity of us asking for information that we should really already know, before saying that while there are lots and lots of legends about Gabnid, he lived over 10,000 years ago so there’s no knowing the truth about them.
The third student clarifies that Gabnid had built the Tower of Gabnid and it was not, say, erected by his followers in his honor or something like that.
Upon leaving the room, we can go left or right. By going right, we find a storage room and in that storage room are two items for us to pick up.
Truncation on item names was common for this era of localized JRPGs, but it is really bad in this game and the total lack of any item descriptions means it can be very hard to figure out what you have. Fortunately, if you purchased a copy back in the day, it came with a poster that would have all kinds of information on all the items and spells and monsters and everything. Mind, this also means there are some late game spoilers on that poster as well, so there’s a bit of give and take on that. Fortunately, I can tell what each thing is as we obtain it so you don’t have to hunt down the poster.
The “Home Dor” is a Home Door, or in the original Door to the Road Home. By using it on the world map, we can instantly warp back to the last town that we were in. The Learn H on the other hand, is a Learning Hat, a piece of equipment for us. Sadly it does not have any special properties to increase experience or magic or the like, but better armor is still better armor.
Here is our main menu. It is more than a little clunky, and the truncation here can make it unclear what certain commands do. EQP is Equip, which manages not only what your characters have equipped, but also managing your inventory. STR is strength, which we can use to see our characters attributes, their equipment, and their magic development. Rank is for determining the order the characters are in the party, which affects how likely you are to be targeted in battle. I think, I’ve never actually confirmed this. MGC is magic and lets you do two things; reorganize magic in the battle menu, and use certain spells outside of battle. And when I say certain spells, I mean 6. The vast majority of spells are going to be used in battle. EXIT is for removing optional characters from the party to make room for more. Finally, SYS is System and lets us adjust stuff like text speed and what buttons do which command.
With all that out of the way, let’s go ahead and put on that Learning Hat! We go to Equip, select the equip option again, pick Chezni, and now we get this.
Right now we have nothing equipped on our head and a defense of 24. By putting the cursor onto the Learning Hat…
We gain three points of defense. We want our defense to be as high as possible, because protecting our HP is absolutely vital in this game.
After that we leave the storage room and go left to another room on the same floor. This room has more people we can talk to to get information on the world that we are in. The students in this class will inform us about the geography of Lennus (There is a land hemisphere and a sea hemisphere, the northern continent is Naskuot, the southern is Saskuot, and we are in Naskuot), the races of of Lennus (There are ten in total, five in Naskuot and five in Saskuot, relations between the north and south are bad, there used to be more races on Lennus, and the guy who tells us this is a Guud who lives next door in Ratsurk. They are big and hairy and have big horns too.), that there is some secret locked away in the Tower of Gabnid and the entrance was sealed accordingly, and that there is a storage room on the right that has some nice stuff for us to take.
After that we go down the stairs to the first floor and I realize that I had forgotten to show off the status screen.
Everyone, meet Chezni. Every character gets a portrait and a line of text that serves to give us an idea of what kind of character they are meant to be. In the case of Chezni, he wants to be the very best like no one ever was, and being 13 means that he’s definitely the sort of kid who would rise to the bait of a dare that puts his ambitions in question. Note also that he is of the Lafury race, which judging from his portrait means he’s the closest thing to a normal human in this world.
If we click on Ability…
We get to see all of our equipment and all of our stats. SP by the way stands for Speed, another very extremely important stat that we want to be as high as possible. Power and Luck are both nice, but not nearly so important. If we go back and click on Magic…
We see our spirits and how much we’ve developed each of them. Right now we only have fire, and it is so undeveloped that you can only just barely see the little bar for it. By clicking on our only spell, FireS, we get this.
Each spell has a short description like this, but there will be plenty of spell descriptions that will be vague, unclear, or just plain misleading. Also, in the original game, FireS was called Zuzan. All the spells from Lennus were like that, so I don’t envy the translators trying to change them into something more immediately understandable to American gamers. Even if the truncation does mean that a lot of the time they’re still really unclear.
Moving from that, the first room on the first floor has this guy here.
And indeed, if we talk to the Master, he will tell us that he is busy and has business in the neighboring town of Ratsurk. After that we go into the second room on the first floor and we can talk to the people in there.
He will explain to us that we need to read the Spirit Writings to gain new spirits that will grant us new spells.
I included all of this guy’s dialogue because I enjoy how aggressive he is about making sure we understand what a stupid country rube we are for thinking that MP is a thing. But yeah, no MP, all magic is cast using HP. Which of course means there is no magic for restoring HP, so we’ve got to manage our healing items very carefully.
But that will be for another update, because this ended up going longer than I expected. Next time, we’ll explore more of the surrounding environs of the magic school, meet up with Duke, and see just what is hidden away inside the Tower of Gabnid.
I played this as a kid and me and my friend got stuck on the puzzle in the black-and-white past where you need to stealth past a floating eye that moves twice as fast as you do. Literally spent hours on that puzzle, then gave up on the game forever. Looking it up more recently there doesn’t seem to be any particularly obscure trick to it, but I guess as 9-year-olds we weren’t the greatest at logic.
More recently I tried playing it again and couldn’t handle the amount of grinding the game expects of you, and gave up very early. Like many games from the era it would benefit from an “easytype” patch so I can enjoy all the art in a reasonable time, like Sega Ages Phantasy Star.
Casting spells out of HP is definitely the weirdest system in this game. It’s the only RPG I know of that did that for everything, and not just for a few types of dark magic. It adds to the alienness of the world that you’re vampiring off your own health all the time (I forget if there is any lore about how creepy that is).
Yeah, that puzzle is an absolute nightmare. Though when I was a kid, I actually reached my point where I couldn’t progress any further a fair bit before that.
Interesting that you bring up the grinding; I’m going to be attempting to do as little grinding as possible in this run. I know I’m going to have to do some grinding, but it should never be more than a level or two at a time. I’m sure I’m going to need a little luck here and there, and I know I’ve gotten lucky already, but I think that makes things more fun.
As I recall, there is no lore about anyone finding the HP for magic to be creepy.
Also, one last note, I forgot to provide a source for the name translations that I provided in the last post. Here is my source so that credit is given where it is due.
Now, last we left off, we were just about to leave the school building and talk to more people.
Relax Duke; going into the forbidden tower is a Wondrous Misadventure and we’re all about that!
She explains all about the boarding house and how they will even refill our medicine bottle for us. We’ll be getting into that more later, but for right now you have limited healing charges when you go out into the field. In addition, she calls us very brave but even brave people have accidents and she likes us so she doesn’t want us to be hurt before we become a great Spiritualist. Its always nice to have someone concerned about you like that, makes me feel wanted.
This is the boarding house, which is functionally an Inn for free that also restores our medicine bottles. The person on the left handles inn while the person on the right handles saving our game. For authenticity’s sake, I’ll be saving and not using save states.
If we say no…
And if we say yes…
All in all, the magic school is treating us pretty well. Granted, Chezni is an honor student, and they do tend to be treated better, even when they’re breaking the rules and stuff.
This guy thinks the ability to set stuff on fire with the power of your mind is boring so we can safely ignore everything he has to say.
This poor little kid just wants to go back to his mother back in Jurayn and wants us to speak to the headmaster on his behalf. We’ll get to that as soon as we can.
This guy goes on about how this beautiful girl named Midia is over in Ratsurk but she doesn’t come to the magic school and he accuses the headmaster of hogging her to himself. But what I want to draw attention to is this.
I feel entirely safe in saying that this line has been mistranslated to mean the exact opposite of what it should be. Anyway, this guy speculates about having a shot with Midia, but I think we can safely say he won’t have that chance.
Well, this guy is the one jerk in the Magic School. Sure, he’s just doing his job, but still man. Jerk move.
In any event, that’s everyone in the magic school that we can talk to, so now we need to go meet up with Duke; sadly we can’t enter the tower without him, so…
If we say no…
If we say yes…
When someone joins the party like this, it plays a little tune not too unlike what happens in Dragon Quest games.
Now let’s take a look at Duke.
Duke is one of the Saynol people, and his quote lines up with his pushy attitude so far. Still, he looks like a good kid. You’ll also notice that despite being one level higher than us, he has lower HP. If we take a look at the ability screen…
Contrasting against our boy Chezni, his base power is slightly higher but his club is inferior to our knife so he’s only barely better on attack than Chezni. His speed is one point higher, as are his Endurance and Luck. All in all, he’s only slightly stronger than us and that’s with a level advantage. Once we close that difference, we’ll be much stronger than him all around. Now for magic.
Unlike Chezni, he has the Sky spirit in place of the Fire Spirit, which gives him the BreakS spell, or Leran in the original Lennus. If we click on that spell, it helpfully informs us that it “Tears apart one enemy”. With that out of the way, we now enter the tower that is now unlocked with Duke in tow.
Doesn’t look too different from the school building so far, but the music has now changed to the dungeon theme, signifying that we are not where we belong.
And sure enough, it isn’t long before we get into our first random encounter of the game!
I apologize for the darkness, but the battle screen is only brightly lit for a moment at the start to display the name of the monsters you’re fighting (in this case, a Pakrat which the goof-off kid wanted to go hunting) and then it gets dark so you can see the battle menu. Nice thing about this battle menu is that you can do everything with just the D-pad. Very handy for getting through battles quickly and efficiently. Usually.
If we select the weapon option, we get our choice to use any piece of equipment that we have on us. Some of our equipment have special effects in battle, and this is also where we get to use the Mini Bottle that we have equipped. We can also use the Mini Bottle out of the main menu in the field, but we’ll wait until we’re actually wounded before showing that off.
In any event, we are not going to be attacking with any of our weapons. After all, we’re a magic prodigy, so we’re going to set this rat on fire with our mind!
As you might imagine, the more spells we obtain throughout the game, the more cluttered this screen is going to get. I therefore recommend regularly reorganizing your spells so that the ones you’ll be using most often will be available to you more quickly.
After choosing our actions in battle, we get this screen.
You’ll note that I’m having Duke defend. Right now we want to focus on having Chezni use his magic in every fight. See, in order to improve our magic, we need to use our magic. Its like Final Fantasy II, only much better implemented. In any event, this screen is very handy for double checking and making sure that you’ve made the choices you want to in battle. We have, so now we see what happens!
That is the FireS spell in action. Notice that Chezni’s HP has gone down 12 points; this is not because the Packrat attacked us (his attack animation involves shaking his head at us) but rather is the HP cost for casting FireS. By casting FireS, we do 20 points of fire damage to our enemy and kill him in one shot. For comparison, our Knife would only do 4-6 points of damage, and the Packrat can easily do 14 damage to us. So really, paying that 12 HP for our spell works out much better for us. We earn a small bit of experience and money and continue on our way.
A couple floors up, and suddenly the Tower of Gabnid changes by a lot. Very mysterious sci-fi stuff going on here. Makes me wonder just how magical our magic really is. Oh, and that object down in the lower left?
That is a treasure chest. Sadly, when you’re done with them they close back up as though you never touched them, which can make keeping track of whether or not you’ve opened a chest more frustrating than it should be. That won’t be an issue for this chest, but as dungeons get longer and more involved, it can be a problem.
After opening the chest, we take the elevator up, and find ourselves in yet another new area.
In addition, the music changes again.
The longer I spend in this place, the more I feel like this is a bad idea. Still, Chezni has no problem burning all the monsters to death in an instant. We ultimately end up in three encounters, including one against a Heliopod which I did not screencap here. I’ve had a rather bad habit of just playing through the battles and not screencapping as often as I should, so hopefully I’ll improve on that front.
After just three battles, we’ve already had visible progress on our Fire spirit, but we’ve got a long way to go before it is at full power. I should also note that in addition to our Fire rating increasing the damage of our fire spell, it will also increase our resistance to fire magic used by the enemies. This means that leveling up our magic improves both our offense and our defense at the same time. Another reason to always use your magic in every fight. This will save so much grinding time.
Our journey up the tower ends here, with some manner of control panel and some sort of machine attached to it.
While this is clearly not a door, the translators of the time were likely given less than zero context on what the player would be looking at. In that light, its a wonder any translation for games from this era came out coherently at all.
Naturally, the game can’t progress unless we say yes, so we do. There’s a lot of sparking and lights and flashing then then everything comes on.
Something then spooks Duke.
He runs off and leaves us all alone.
A darkness then oozes down the screen and we are brought onto the battle screen. There are flashes of light outlining something very big and scary looking, and then the darkness returns and we can barely see that it is there at all.
We use our trusty FireS spell that has killed everything in one-shot so far and…
One point of damage is not going to kill this thing. It lets us act on our own for a few rounds, then it opens its eyes, we are drawn down to its open mouth, and…
It breathes an explosion at us.
For over 3000 points of damage. And it has very evil eyes.
Welp. Chezni just died, so I think that’s a pretty good point to close out on the post. I guess that Midia girl is just going to have to pick up our slack or something.
We now get a bit of first person narration for the first and only time in the game. Also, Chezni survived an explosion to the face so I guess he’s a lot tougher than his level 1 stats have led us to believe. On top of all that, this theme is playing.
And then we switch right back to third person so I don’t know what’s going on anymore.
Well, we’re back outside the tower now. And no, we can’t go back up to the control panel again; the elevator no longer works.
Also, the rest of the school has been utterly destroyed and now the master is standing in our way. I do not see this going well for us.
It does not go well at all; it turns out everyone but us died when we activated the machine in Gabnid’s Tower. He tells us that we have unleashed Dal Gren and now the ancient machine will lead Lennus to total destruction. Also, the master can’t help us, we have to fix this mess that we caused by ourselves. As far as masters of magic go, you are not one of the better ones. You couldn’t just tap my forehead and give me endgame magic or something?
After talking to him he’ll step aside to let us by, but if we talk to him again…
He just tells us to get moving and find some way to stop the machine.
So we step outside, and are greeted by the title screen.
During this time a short bit of music plays and then stops, waiting for us to continue.
All in all, unleashing a giant hell beast that killed everyone we knew and being tasked with having to find a way to stop it is neither wondrous nor is it a misadventure. Thus, the Wondrous Misadventure tally remains at zero.
One thing I do want to not before going on was that I hadn’t appreciated talking to all the different NPCs at the magic school in my previous playthroughs, especially the ones outside the main building itself. They each come off as their own distinct person that you would find in your typical schoolyard story and taking the time to get to know them helps make their deaths a little more impactful.
We now find ourselves on the overworld map, and the theme of Naskuout starts playing.
Despite the weight of what we’ve done and what’s happened, the overworld theme is cheery and adventurous. It encourages us to keep going and explore the world. The soundtrack has been doing a lot of work for this game, and it will keep doing that as we continue on.
Now then, first thing we’re going to do is enter the neighboring town of Ratsurk. Hopefully the locals will be able to help point us on our way.
That section of ground beneath us is not glitched out; just beneath the surface there is vast and elaborate machinery. Odds are this is connected to that thing we activated in the Tower of Gabnid. Also, the same oppressive music from when we first woke up is playing again. This theme is our cue that something is wrong in town and we’ll have to fix it.
If we go into the building on the right…
He then goes on to say that the rope got cut last night, so we’re not going to be using this anytime soon. If we talk to the guy on the left, he’ll have this to say.
I’m sure Chezni wishes he could do just that, but that’s not the kind of game we’re playing.
Off to our right is the inn, in front of us is the item shop, and just above that is the weapon and armor store. If we go into the inn, there will be someone with something to say.
It would not surprise me if Chezni had been unconscious for a good long while before waking up from his explosion wounds. He goes on to tell us about a treasure chest on the eastern shore but now that the monsters are acting up he’s too scared to go after it. The game really wants us to know that there are treasure chests on the overworld map, and I like that. It helps reward exploration. Not that this chest will require any exploring, but it sets the right precedent.
This guy explains our medicine bottles in more detail; our Minibottle can hold 9 charges of medicine, each of which will heal for 300 points of damage. At this point that is a full heal, and each charge of medicine costs only 5 gold to refill. He urges us to not worry about overusing our medicine, and I will demonstrate that he is right.
Every item shop in the game carries the same stock; the Fl Dor is the Flight Door, or Door of Light in Lennus. Using it will let us exit a dungeon instantly. We will not be using that, because we want to fight our way back out of the dungeons to save on the grinding. The Pro Ball is a Protection Ball, or Ball of Warding; it reduces our encounter rate against weak enemies, and we will not be using those for the same reason. Still, if you are in a bad spot and you’re worried about not making it back to town before dying, you can use them.
After leaving the shop, we start talking to people around town.
If we answer no…
If we answer yes…
All in all, I don’t think this guy appreciates the severity of our situation.
This guy on the other hand sounds like he does appreciate the severity of our situation. Let us hope he doesn’t find out our role in it.
We go into the house nearest to the Rope Network Station and talk to the person inside.
This person asks if we want to hear their story, and if we say no they just call us cold. But if we say yes, then they tell us.
They go on to say that Fritz is a bit strange but he’s a good guy, and then they just say his name with their voice trailing off. I have a feeling that we’re going to be meeting this Fritz person and finding out just what’s so strange about him.
If that giant super monster was the one that kidnapped Midia…yeah, let’s hope that’s not what happened, because we’re not close to ready for that.
Over to the right is the bar, and we’re going to talk to some people in there.
This guy explains more about how using magic will improve your ability with the elements you use for your spells, and that by combining your different elemental spirits you get new spells.
The barkeep does not care for the minor. Understandable.
This guy and the guy on the lower left do not care for us either. Which is a shame, I’m pretty sure we could use some muscle.
This guy explains that we can’t change the equipment on any mercenaries that we recruit to help us out. This means that as the game goes on, earlier mercenaries become less viable since their equipment will no longer keep pace like it should.
And this guy explains that we can hire mercenaries in bars to help us out. Not in this bar, but future bars.
Over in the weapon and armor shop, we can choose to buy, sell, or walk away just like in the item shop.
Since I’m not using my Home Door, I’ll be selling it for 50 G, which will save me considerable time on grinding for cash. The chest on the eastern coast has another 50 G, so that means we’ll be able to afford everything that we need without having to get into any unnecessary fights. Nifty.
This building here is the magic store. We’re going to go in and get some magic.
Sp here stands for Sphere. And yes, that is an accurate translation; sometimes the weirdness of the game is just baked right in! I don’t remember to go over the new spells we’ve gained until a little later, so you’ll have to wait on that. The other guy is exactly the same and you can’t buy the same spirit twice. In later shops they will each sell a different spirit which works to give you second chances to gain a new spirit in case you missed one earlier.
Back outside, we talk to this guy.
If we answer no, he calls us pathetic for not having magic despite looking like a student of the magic school. If we answer yes, he says the Elder is looking for a hero too rescue Midia and we should go talk to him about that. And we will. Eventually.
In a different house, we can talk to someone who has some backstory for us.
This person explains how the whole village came together to raise Midia and all sorts of miraculous things happened and so she became the “protectoress” of the village. Now she’s been kidnapped and they are very sad.
We go into another house and talk to someone else for more new backstory.
Apparently something really terrible happened here 10,000 years ago and now its happening again and the whole planet is doomed this time. Really makes one wonder about the Tower of Gabnid and by extension Gabnid himself. Then again, who knows, 10,000 years is more than enough time for all sense of history to be lost in myth and legend.
Back outside, more people to talk to.
How odd could the livestock possibly be acting?
Hmm, they seem perfectly normal to me. I think that guy is just a little stressed.
Finally, we go to the Elder’s house.
He seems to be able to tell we’re a spiritualist just by looking at us, and the fact that we’ve got message is good enough for him. That’s something I like about this game; our ability to do magic is something that stands out to people and makes them want to ask for our help.
If we say no to his request to save his daughter Midia, he’ll say he misjudged us and call himself a poor judge of character. To progress, we’re going to say yes and he’ll tell us that people saw Midia being taken to Resutar Island to the southeast. The same island where Fritz is supposed to be.
Over to the right is another member of the household.
And up the stairs is one more person to talk to.
With that, we have spoken to everyone in town. But the update is not quite done yet. First, I now remember to actually show the new magic that we’ve obtained.
FireG, or Zuzomun, targets a group of enemies with Fire damage. It does less damage than FireS and costs more HP, but it is very worth it. Freeze, or Momulock, also targets a group of enemies and can paralyze the enemies. This can work on some early bosses, so if you take some time to grind up your Sphere spirit, you can make those fights incredibly easy. That said, since I will be avoiding grinding, I won’t be exploiting that. But if you ever wanted to make a boss sit there useless and futile, this is your chance.
All that being said, we will now be using FireG in every battle from now on to raise both our Fire spirits and Sphere spirits at the same time. Using just Fire or Sphere will not level those spirits up faster, and casting multiple times in the same battle does not increase the rate you level up either. So once I’ve cast FireG, I will be free to attack with my weapons. And speaking of which, I go to grab that chest with the 50 G, go back into Ratsurk, and return to the weapon and armor store.
I buy the Wooden Shield and the Wooden Boots, which together raise my defense by 14 points and my speed by 1. There is leather armor that you can get to replace your uniform, but I don’t think its worth getting the money for that small an upgrade. If we play our cards right, this 14 defense increase will keep us alive and happy.
Next time, we go to Resutar Island and see about rescuing Midia and making up for at least a little of our planetary scale screw up.
We head south from Ratsurk and on the way we find a statue. If we examine the statue, we get this.
It says that Sophie brought love to Lennus, Kormu brought courage to Lennus, and Gabnid brought wisdom to Lennus, and so the peoples of Lennus praise them and the immortals of Raiga. We’ve got a bit of a legend of zelda thing going on here.
Going down from there we enter Resutar island and to our left we see a treasure chest.
This is the Antidote Bottle, or Clear Bottle back in Lennus. We use this to cure poison, and what a coincidence, this island introduces the first enemies able to inflict poison! Poison does nothing in battle, but it will drain your health when walking around in the overworld, so this bottle comes in handy.
Like right here! As you can see, the first fight (which again I did not screencap because I am still figuring this whole let’s play process out) on the island very nearly killed me. Coming here at level 1 is incredibly dangerous and I would not begrudge you if you were to grind a level or two before coming down. No more than that though, each level will make you meaningfully stronger and as long as you keep using your magic your damage will rise more than quickly enough.
After healing and curing our poison, we go and check how our stats are. Compared to what we were at with level 1, we’ve gained 5 power, 4 speed, 2 Endurance, and 4 Luck. We also gained 26 HP. A pretty good level, though I would have liked endurance more than power, but the speed is the really important one.
We continue winding through the island, making sure to heal whenever our HP gets low, and then we enter a house on the island. Note that if you are right outside the door and are still injured, save the charge on your minibottle.
We could talk to the man right there, but there’s an item we can grab first.
The dagger is a two point increase in our attack power and while we are mostly using our magic, every little bit helps.
Now we go talk to the man and see what he knows.
This is Fritz it turns out. We explain to him about Midia’s kidnapping and he’s so impressed by our heroic gumption that it makes him feel better and want to help us.
Then he offers to get us something to eat before we go.
Uh, game? I uh, I think Chezni would have liked to have gotten to the table for that food. Despite that, our health is fully restored and that’s what really matters.
There are some explosions and these guys come in. Fritz’s response to them breaking and entering into his house?
That is understated, but the person back at Ratsurk did tell us that Fritz was odd so maybe this was what they meant.
We’ve entered into battle and we’ve learned something right away; Fritz can’t use magic. So instead, we will be using one of his weapons to attack.
He’s got a hat, boots, bow, leather armor, and a minibottle. The bow you may note takes up both hand slots, which is why I did not go for it back at the weapon and armor shop.
Our FireG here is doing 21 damage to all the Goblins, and Fritz’s bow does about 30 or so damage and is able to finish one off. Next round we attack with our weapons and win.
Chezni is like “Yep, it was definitely totally the goblins who only attacked with their horns, and not me, the guy who keeps setting things on fire with my mind. Absolutely.”
We run outside and the fire spreads to this line of trees and nowhere else. Man, it would be nice if forest fires were that polite.
Now that the trees are gone, we can move on. But before we move on we use Fritz’s bottle to heal Chezni and then we take a look at his status screen.
His sprite does not do him justice. He’s got a distinct look, and is apparently a Lubott. He’s also 35 years old and level 7, so definitely much more experienced than we are.
As expected, his stats are much, much higher than Chezni’s in every regard. His power and Speed are especially good, making him invaluable for taking out individual enemies in a hurry. With his higher defense and HP, we’re keeping him up front to absorb as many hits as we can manage.
Along the way to the cave, Chezni gets poisoned, so we heal that up and then go inside.
Immediately to our left is a treasure chest with a Home Door. Useful for if you’re in a hurry and just want to be on your way after we get done with the dungeon here.
In here we have an encounter featuring the Helioreds, a palette swap of the Heliopods back around Ratsurk. Palette swaps are always kind of annoying when they show up this early in the game, especially since I can never spell palette correctly the first time around. The important thing about the Helioreds is that they are the ones who can inflict poison on you. Also, we now have the underground fighting music in this place.
After that fight, Chezni gained a level.
3 Power, 6 Speed, 3 Endurance, and 4 luck. I don’t keep as much track of HP gains, since its always a value between 24-26, so the variations there aren’t nearly as significant. You can decide to save scum with savestates to try and get the best levels you can get, but I’m not doing that. Your average stat gain will be more than sufficient to carry you through the game.
100 gold is very nice for this point in the game, as that will save us a lot of grinding for cash later on.
The Constrics, contrary to what the name might suggest, do not paralyze you or anything like that. They instead have an attack that drains your health to heal themselves. It makes area attacks that don’t kill them in one hit a little unreliable, but I still feel this is the right way to go.
This is what it looks like when they drain our health.
Combined with our Home Door, we can use these to get out of the dungeon and back home right away if we so choose.
Fritz has managed to gain level, giving him 4 power, 5 speed, 3 endurance, and 3 luck. This will be much appreciated in just a moment.
Looks like we’ve caught up with Midia’s abductor. We talk to him, see if we can get him to let her go without having to fight.
Looks like we’re going to have to fight.
This is Alornso, or the Alorn Soldier in Lennus, and he can either attack with that big sword, or flap those wings on his hips to do a magic attack on our entire party. Said attack does 54 damage to Fritz and Chezni, while his sword does 30 or so. Chezni can try the Freeze spell to paralyze him, but without a lot of grinding its not likely to work. If it does, you are very fortunate and should take advantage of that by setting him on fire with the power of your mind. Fritz will either attack with his bow or use his healing bottle to keep himself and Chezni above 54 hit points which is death. The fight will take a while but is completely manageable.
And with the rocking boss music, the fight is more than just manageable, its fun!
And so with his dying breath, he name drops Zaygos. Which means that he had kidnapped Midia under his orders. Why would Zaygos want Midia? Well, we’ll have to dig into that later. Right now we have to meet up with her and see how she’s holding up.
But not before checking out our new stats after leveling up in that fight. 6 Power, 4 Speed, 3 Endurance, and 5 luck. As soon as we can get a good strong weapon, we can really take advantage of all that power growth. But for now, our dinky dagger will have to do. And our fire magic. Lots of fire magic.
This purple haired girl must be Midia. Let’s talk to her and find out for sure.
Yeah, this place is a rather crummy place, let’s ditch it. With that, Midia joins our party and we can see just what her capabilities are.
First, let us appreciate that Midia’s portrait art is very cute. Judging from that quote, she has become rather devoted to Chezni in very short order. We can only hope that Chezni will be a proper gentleman. Maybe Fritz can teach Chezni a thing or two?
Compared to Chezni, she has significantly lower HP and Endurance, slightly lower Power, but her speed is way higher. She is also equipped with a Paralysis Knife, which has a chance of paralyzing any enemy she hits with it, which goes very well with the higher speed and lower power. Now let’s check out her magic.
Her Earth spirit is incredibly high, but sadly we don’t really have the ability to properly take advantage of that just yet; AntiPS or Dadeth removes poison, while HealUp or Dadeketh removes all status conditions depending on how high her Earth and Light spirits are. Not that you’d figure that out from the ingame description, which just reads “Restore”. BoltS or Kekan does lightning damage to one enemy. For right now, all we are going to do with Midia is have her cast HealUp in every battle so that both her Earth and Light spirits increase, and then if there are still enemies left she can use BoltS, which does hit pretty hard.
And speaking of magic, let’s take a look at how Chezni’s magic is coming along.
We’ve made headway in Fire and Sphere, but we’ve got a long way to go. Good thing we’ve got plenty of game left to do it in.
Next time, we’ll bring Midia back home and see how this wondrous adventure closes out. Sorry, not a misadventure, not enough wacky hijinks or misunderstandings, so the Wondrous Misadventure Counter will stay at zero.
So we walk our way out of the Resutar Island, fighting random encounters along the way to keep our magic and our experience rising.
That little fairy flying around Fritz’s display is the animation for Midia’s HealUp spell. Once the fairy is gone, Fritz’s display flashes and if he was suffering from a status ailment this would be when it might get removed.
As we continue along, we trigger our first ever first strike encounter. The enemy is whited out, signifying that we’ve caught them off guard and can attack them without fear of reprisal. This is much more fun than the other way around, which hasn’t come up yet but I have every confidence it will happen eventually. This is a classic JRPG after all.
During this entire trip we’ve been using up all of Fritz’s Mini Bottle for a reason.
He explains that there’s a woman back in the village who’s in love with him but its complicated so he’ll be staying back on his island and leaves the party. I actually do have a guess on what the complication is, but that’s going to depend on a bit of context information that we won’t get until later in the game.
By this point we are much more powerful than we were at the start and have no trouble returning back to Ratsurk village, where the peaceful Naskuout town music is playing. This lets us know that we have righted the wrong that we had a hand in bringing about.
That’s a lot of pressure to put on a kid, but Chezni knows a thing or two about that.
The woman who told us about Fritz is still pretty hung up on him. The least he could do is go to town long enough to help her move on. But I digress from my weird little tangent.
Despite some things we’ve heard already, there are plenty of people who hold Gabnid in reverence. Probably don’t know anything about the tower named after him that unleashed a giant hell beast to kill everything.
No one else in town has anything interesting to say, so we go to the Elder’s house.
We could talk to the Elder and progress things, but there’s someone else in the Elder’s house to talk to.
I’ve never seen this dialogue in any of my previous playthroughs before, and reading this I very much get the impression of a super religious nanny.
Now we talk to the Elder to advance things.
The Elder thanks us and puts us up for the night. Midia is removed from our party, but before that has a chance to affect us…
Midia pulls us out of bed and informs us that even though there’s no logic to it, she thinks fate brought us together and she wants to share her destiny with Chezni.
If you decline Midia’s offer…
She says Chezni is probabaly worried that her leaving will make the Elder sad, but she loops back until we finally say yes.
She urges us to leave the house before everyone wakes up and is returned to our party. She was clearly removed simply so that this scene could work without the game having to worry about Midia being in two places at once. She’s not that OP. Yet.
We can talk to the person in the other bed, and they cry and tell Midia to be careful. At least they won’t stop us, that’s good.
The Elder though, doesn’t seem to like Midia trying to run away like that.
Fortunately, he just wanted to get in one last goodbye before she joins us on our adventure. He says that ever since Midia came to them he knew this day would come, asks Chezni to take good care of her, and also our schoolmaster told him what Chezni did. He tells us that we need to go to Jurayn to the west and meet with the Spiritualist Daphne and ask her what we should do. He tells Midia that he and his wife had always seen her as their daughter, and then gives her the crown that she had when she first arrived.
This is the Sophie’s Crown and is the only piece of headgear that Midia will have for the entire game. And yes, that would be the same Sophie as the one who brought love to Lennus. I fully invite the thread to make predictions on what this all means; no guess is too zany.
Talking to the Elder and the household will just have them saying how much they’ll miss Midia, but there are some little things left to take care of before we leave town.
For whatever reason, Midia did not have Sphere magic despite it being the one taught in Ratsurk, but now we can fix that. This increases Midia’s total of spells from 3 to 6.
SPup, or Speed Up, or Bydadom, increases the party’s speed in battle. An extremely useful spell, though it does come with a hefty HP cost for this point in the game. MGDown, or Magic Down, or Momekaback, will deflect enemy magic back at them, causing them to take some of the damage that we take. Its actually going to be a while before we start encountering enemies who use magic regularly.
Next we equip the Sophie’s Crown on Midia, which raises her defense by 18 points. Not only does Sophie’s Crown raise Midia’s defense by a lot, but she can also use it in battle to heal for 300 hp, like an infinite healing bottle. This is a really, really good piece of equipment.
Next up is buying Midia a pair of Toe Boots, increasing her speed and defense by two each.
Our last bit of prepwork is to go into the magic menu and rearrange Midia’s spells so that the top two are Speed Up and BoltS. SpeedUp will raise our Earth and Sphere spirits, while BoltS will increase our Light. We will want Midia to cast both these spells in every battle from here on until her Earth spirit is maxed out.
It feels good to accomplish something and be praised for it. Next time, we’ll see if we can do it again and if it will be that elusive wondrous misadventure we were promised.
We return to Chezni and Midia’s adventure to save the strange and wondrous world of Lennus while never meeting any Paladin’s on this quest.
Midia’s gained her first level on the trip, which has managed to raise power by 4, Speed by 7, Endurance by 4, and Luck by 5. This is a very, very good level, absolutely amazing.
That little diamond right there is quicksand and will slow you down if you walk across it. There’s a couple more patches like them in the game, but they have very little impact, so I’m not sure why they’re even there.
In this fight, we have three very significant things to show; first, the new enemy Kong who will smack you down with that huge hand of theirs for heavy damage. Chezni takes 33 damage from a hit, and Second, that trail of light is following a fairy I just missed in my screencap and is the animation for Midia’s SpeedUp spell. Finally, in this fight I have Midia use her Sophie’s Crown to heal herself and save on a charge of Minibottle. Play smarter, not harder.
Chezni gains a level, catching back up with Midia. Because I did no grinding on my way to rescue Midia, Chezni is actually slightly behind her on experience, but it won’t be long that enemies will start dropping so much experience that the gap between them will disappear.
Chezni gained 4 Power, 5 Speed, 4 Endurance, and 4 Luck. A solid level, but nothing compared to Midia’s absolutely amazing level up.
In this fight, I had Midia use Freeze and it successfully affected the Kong onscreen. This turn he can take no action, which makes it a perfect turn for Midia to heal herself with her minibottle and save up on her minibottle.
Our trip to Jurayn ultimately leads us to this cottage and no sign of how we might proceed further west. With no other options, we investigate.
We have found something truly amazing, a Fire Card! This item, when used, will increase the user’s fire magic rating by 3-5 points. This can save two or even three fights of grinding for maximum fire power and we will be using it as soon as I remember to do so. The shelf space next to this one has a Pro Ball on it, so we’ll be selling that when we need some cash. The woman to the left is the save woman, but the guy in the center…
The patch of trees to the southeast do not count as a forest. In any event, he lets us spend the night here for free, so this can serve as a good grinding point if you’d like to gain a level or two and feel safer. When we wake up he offers to let us sleep anytime we feel tired, but we’re not tired. We leave, and…
That wasn’t there before. We walk up to check it out, and…
We are now in a flying kite town. That is amazing and I love it. That the town in distress theme is playing is a bit concerning though. What could possibly be going wrong in a place like this? Surely they can just fly away from their problems.
Skuruu. We saw one of these guys back in the bar at Ratsurk, and now we’ve visited where they come from. I wonder if there are other camps like this one traveling the world?
The insides of all the kite houses are all the same and are almost dull enough to mar the shine of this place. This guy mentions birds being weak to fire, but that knowledge doesn’t seem to bring him happiness.
The Purpbirds are called Kuru in Lennus, which aligns them more with the Skuruu. Also, this guy seems happy that the birds are free but for some reason this leaves them with nothing to do.
Here we have an item shop so we can renew our medicine supply.
And this is the moment when I remember to use that Fire Card and save myself two fights worth of leveling up my fire magic.
This guy clarifies that the purpbirds are their livestock but after we activated the ancient machine one of them became intelligent and lead them off to Mount Denebra and they’re not budging. Now the earlier guy’s lines about being free have context. He asks us if we know what caused the disaster, and if we say no…
That…reads a bit odd. I would imagine this is supposed to be him saying they’d punish whoever was responsible, but who can say?
If we say yes, he laughs and says we couldn’t be that dastardly and I like that word, we need to use that word more often.
There’s a hut where the guy tells us we can’t spend the night there and we’ll have to go to the hut down below, and then finally we get on track to progressing the plot.
While no small amount of dialogue in the game is oddly constructed, I do legit get a somewhat formal, respectful feel from this guy’s dialogue. We go inside to speak with his father.
Once again, our being spiritualists gives us cred in the world of Lennus. He tells us of how the Purpbird herd has rebelled against them but if we can kill their leader the rebellion should end. Many Skuruu have died trying to bring him down though, and he believes only Chezni’s fire magic can do the trick. He asks us to fulfill his request, and if we say no…
The man becomes resigned to his people’s fate and we have no way of reaching Jurayn. Since this would be a disappointing point to end the Let’s Play on, we will answer yes.
Tiger’s name back in Lennus was Lectus, which I feel fits much better for the theme of this place. Then again, he says that we will fly with Tiger and that does sound an awful lot like a lyric from a Queen song so that’s a compelling point in favor of the name being Tiger.
Saying no doesn’t trigger anything interesting, so we say yes and hang on to fly with Tiger. And just what are we hanging on to?
Yes, we’re hanging onto his feet, and Midia is hanging onto Chezni’s feet. And while we are flying like this, the flight theme for Paladin’s Quest plays.
This is just a really, really good flight theme. It takes a moment that could be goofy and makes it feel positively magical. Imagine you’re a kid again, and you’re getting to fly around in the sky to fight giant evil mutant birds. That’s the good stuff.
We don’t fly in a straight line to Mount Denebra, but rather do a series of loops that help convey the sense that we are riding on air currents and gliding around until we can safely land.
Hence why we are not able to fly directly to the top. Having to carry two kids with him probably also limited Tiger’s ability to defy the laws of gravity.
Speaking of Tiger, he has now officially joined our party, so let’s take a look at what he brings to the table.
At level 8 he’s a fair bit ahead of us on the curve.
The Fly Jk, or Flight Jacket, sadly has no special effect in battle. A real missed opportunity there. His stats overall are consistently superior to Chezni and Midia’s thanks to that level advantage. He’s put at the front of the party automatically and we’ll be keeping him there just like with Fritz back on Rasetur Island.
He has the same BreakS that Duke did, but he also has BreakG, and DFup, or Defense Up. Leveling up Defense Up can be very, very helpful in keeping damage manageable.
To the right of the mountain is a healing pool that we can use for grinding if that’s what you want. A bit weird to have two free points of healing so close to one another, but no JRPG player has ever complained about too much free healing.
Next time, we scale the mountain and put a stop to this Purpbird rebellion! Yes, I did just type that sentence.
Thank you VastleCania! I will continue to share just how odd and charming this game can get!
By moving up from this space here, we enter the mountain. If we leave the mountain, this will prompt Tiger to offer to fly us back to the Skuruu camp so we can replenish our supply of medicine if we so desire. Speaking of medicine, we will primarily be using Chezni’s bottle to heal on the way up to the top for reasons that will become clear.
Here is where we start on our trip up the mountain. A lot of rocks and trees in this place.
The stairs up to the left lead to a dead end and so we will be ignoring them in favor of the path to the right.
And here we have our first fight with the Purpbirds! This fight will demonstrate why fire magic was so important. When Tiger casts BreakG, he does only 8 points of damage to them. When Chezni does FireG, he inflicts 42 damage. So, I know what you’re thinking; did the game really give me a character whose attack magic is virtually useless?
No, because there are also Hobgobs here, and BreakG can do 41 damage to them. Also, that is not a regular Purpbird but a Kamikaze, who is somewhat stronger but functionally the same as the purpbirds.
Following all this, Midia gains another level.
Power up 3, Speed up 6, Endurance up 2, and Luck up 5. I like getting a lot more speed, but that endurance was just pitiful. Sadly, Midia’s stat growth puts her in the fragile speedster category.
On our way up we have to cross this bridge. But this is a JRPG, and crossing bridges can never be that simple.
So the bridge breaks the instant we set foot on it, dumping is into the river which carries us back down.
Its valuable contributions like this that make Tiger such a respected member of the team.
We start going up and to the left and we earn a level for Chezni.
Power up 4, Speed up 6, Endurance up 4, and Luck up 4. Very good solid level all around.
Tiger is shouting because there is a huge boulder coming down from behind his own text box. You automatically move out of the path of the boulder, it falls down off screen, and there is a loud boom.
Tiger wants to make it clear that we need to go back down to progress, and if you look closely you can see that our path up that ladder is blocked anyway. So we go back down where the riverbed has been blocked and immediately dried up, giving us access to a treasure chest.
In Lennus, these are specifically Carpentry Tools. Like the kind you’d use to fix a broken bridge.
Its really kind of a jerk move that the ladder on the right is just barely too short to be used to get back up.
Tiger earned a level, showing just how good this place is for experience. Power up 3, Speed up 7, Endurance up 3, and Luck up 4. Very very good speed increase, middling everything else.
Midia also gained another level. Power up 4, Speed up 7, Endurance up 2, and Luck up 5. That endurance growth is absolutely miserable. Its a good thing that with the right setup she can use that speed to destroy most enemies. We haven’t gotten to that setup yet, but we will.
I can only imagine the number of times Chezni bashed his thumbs in and got splinters in his pinky fingers before letting Tiger do the work.
If you are feeling like you’d like more medicine, now is a good time to head back to the Skuruu mobile camp. The bridge will stay fixed, making the trip a straight shot.
Chezni gains another level in the next fight after fixing the bridge. Power up 3, Speed 4, Endurance 4, and luck up 6. An okay level, only average in the stats I really care about.
And there is the boss mutant bird that started this bird rebellion. Unlike Alonzo, if we step in front of him he will not wait for us to talk but will instead trigger the boss fight immediately. So make sure you heal to full before that point. And while we’re here, let’s take a look at how everyone’s magic is looking.
Tiger’s magic has grown a little, but not nearly enough for me to consider having him use BreakS on the boss.
Chezni’s magic has come a long way since the start of the game, but there’s still plenty more room to grow.
Midia is getting very very close to her Earth magic getting maxed out. Right now that doesn’t mean too much, but as we get more spirits for her and Chezni, it will mean a lot.
Tiger is really determined to make sure we remember to use our fire magic. Its like the fate of his people is resting on this fight or something!
The boss, Jarmlu, has a unique animation for appearing in battle that I think maybe is used one other time in the game, and it just strikes me as odd that this mutant bird gets this effect.
Here is Jarmlu in all his mutant glory. He has two faces, so we’re going to kill him with fire as I’m sure Sophie, Kormu, and Gabnid intended.
So, here’s our strategy for the fight; Chezni will cast FireS every round, no exceptions. This is why we used his healing bottle on the way, so that Midia will be free to heal as needed. Tiger will be using DefenseUp on each member of the party and then go into defense. Midia will use SpeedUp first, then BoltS or heal as needed. Jarmlu only uses basic attacks but he hits like a truck and can easily kill a party member or two if you are careless. If he manages to kill Chezni, you…aren’t completely out of luck, Midia’s BoltS can do decent damage, but its much harder with just her and if she drops with Chzeni there’s not a chance in hell of Tiger making it out. Eventually with enough fire to burn the whole mountain forest down, we win.
Unfortunately, I did not get a P Feather from him. The Purpbird Feather is an item that you can use to boost a character’s speed permanently, so its a very nice drop to get. Not so essential that I would want to reset and start all over on this, but something to keep in mind.
I would complain about how Tiger really should have been able to fly us here directly, but if we had done that we probably would have been horribly killed by Jarmlu.
Plus, this will be the last time in the game we get to see this set of sprites and I don’t want to spoil the magic. So we do more flying with the flying theme playing and return to the mobile camp.
We tell the elder we need to get to Jurayn to meet Daphne, he says he’ll have Tiger guide us on our way, and then says that he will give us a gift in lieu of a parting gift. One, that is not what in lieu means.
Second, I will forget to put on the Feather Hat for an embarrassingly significant amount of time. I always wondered how Let’s Players could do a thing like that, and now I know.
One more flight for the road.
Tiger stops here, with Jurayn still nowhere in sight.
Tiger will inform us that the tunnel on the bottom-left will take us to Jurayn, and there was a hut we passed by on his flight that we should visit first.
With this Tiger flies off and so concludes the Purpbird rebellion quest. On the one hand, we got to fly, but on the other hand we had to deal with broken bridges and rocks falling on us in order to deal with a mutant bird’s rebellion. Taken together, I must now declare that our Wondrous Misadventure talley is now at one!
Its been way too long since last we checked in on Chezni and Midia and their wondrous misadventures. Let’s fix that now.
We go to the hut that Tiger pointed out, and its basically just another inn/save point, but there’s a man who will sell us items who has this to say.
I have no Earthly or Lennus-ly clue what this man is trying to communicate. We buy our items and move on. On our way out Chezni gains another level.
Power up 3, Speed up 4, Endurance up 3, and Luck up 4. An average level.
We enter the cave on the lower left, and this place can get rough. You will want to heal to full after every fight here, but don’t worry about running out of medicine. Its actually not a very long trip before you reach the next town.
I was also very very lucky to get a pre-emptive attack. The enemies up top are called Slimeys and in addition to having a nasty bite they can poison you. The monsters on the bottom are parasites who can drain your health, making it a good idea to prioritize killing one at a time rather than spreading damage to the group. This is where a limitation of the combat in Paladin’s quest comes into play; you don’t actually get to choose the individual target for your attack, but rather a group of enemies and your characters will target the individuals in those groups at their own discretion.
We open a chest in the cave and obtain a bow which we can equip on Midia. Not only does this increase her attack power by 9, but it also brings up her defense by 4, and every last bit of defense matters.
In this screen we can see another new enemy of the caves up top, the Balloons. They will spend their first two actions inflating themselves, though sometimes they fail to make any progress. If they become fully inflated, their next action will make them explode and deal heavy damage to you. As you can see, we’re starting to get more complex encounters and monsters going on. Do you focus on killing the balloons so that they can’t explode on you, or do you prioritize the parasites who can not only attack but can also drain your health? Its stuff like this makes things interesting.
The man here goes on to say that the towns are almost entirely evacuated and we should turn back now. But what kind of JRPG protagonist would we be if we did anything remotely sensible like that?
That’s a lot of bubbling lava. You might think with that much lava that close that we should be horribly dead from radiating heat and toxic fumes. By the time we’re done with this quest, you will learn that everything you thought you knew about magma and lava was completely 100% wrong.
I always appreciate when old games like this are able to convey a sense of three dimensionality to the space that you’re in.
The first building we encounter is the weapon and armor shop. The merchant has evacuated, which leaves a treasure chest exposed for us to take from. If we try to do that though…
Midia will question the ethics of this and then we are given a yes/no option to confirm if we will really open the chest and take its contents. This is the one and only time in the game that us looting the towns we go to is wrong. If we take the treasure, which is just a helmet, the merchant here will refuse to do business with us and so we’ll have to wait until the next town to be able to upgrade our equipment. All in all, not worth it. I could have set up a separate file to show exactly what the merchant would say in that timeline where we robbed him, but while I do like this part of the game, I don’t like it so much that I’d do it twice in a row just to see a single text box at the end of it.
That was a lot of words, and there’s going to be a lot more of them to come.
This poor man has given up. Your home being destroyed so absolutely like this would have that effect.
He also informs us that he’s already taken everything of value. He has gotten into the JRPG protagonist spirit, so I guess we can’t be truly mad at him for it.
That seems like a bit of a leap to be honest. Wouldn’t you suspect something happening underground that released all that magma? I mean, sure, he’s right, but you shouldn’t be able to get credit for wild leaps of logic that only coincidentally happen to be right.
That latter to our left is what we need to get to Jurayn, but unfortunately the lave is in the way. Of the wooden ladder that is submerged in the lava. As you can see, lava is hot but doesn’t actually burn.
I don’t know what this guy thinks the elder would be able to do about this, but as with the other towns we’ve visited, we need to speak to the elder in order to be able to trigger the next stage of the quest.
The item shop is in business and everything is on sale, since the town is only half destroyed and so commerce is only half gone.
Everything is half off, which is why using your medicine generously on the way here was not a big deal at all.
And here is where I finally, belatedly, remember to put on that Feather Hat. Plus 1 defense and plus 2 attack speed, but since we got it for free we may as well use it.
We go up to the inn, and one of the rooms is occupied.
The girl in bed is very sick and can’t move, and this is a horrible time to be so sick. The other people are panicked or resigned, but these two are in a crisis beyond that.
The innkeeper is in disbelief that we would sleep now of all times. If we say no, he’ll say that’s a good idea and we should run right now. But we’re not going to run, we’re going to solve this problem.
The elder outlines the situation for us; Smash, or Gantz as he was known in Lennus, is the only man they’ve got who could solve this problem, except that his son died and the mine is shut down so he’s drowning his sorrows in the tavern. I don’t think this is a problem that we can solve by finding a depression monster and punching it in the face.
Upon entering the tavern, we are greeted with shockingly jaunty music.
Jarring, going from the ruined town theme to this.
The guy on our right helpfully informs us that the other tavern was a good place to find mercenaries. Another thing to look forward to when we fix things around here. But to fix anything, we need to talk to the depressed foreman mourning the loss of his son and his livelihood.
So yeah, Smash wants a sad song and the piano man insisting on a happy song in defiance of their certain doom is doing nothing for his depression.
But before we go talk to the piano man, there’s one thing we absolutely must do before we even have a remote chance to forget.
We now have a third Minibottle. We can now heal ourselves outside of battle without draining away our limited, precious in-battle healing. This is why checking every nook and cranny is so important; when you find something big, its really big.
The barkeep tells us that the piano man is from Jurayn and he’s really grouchy over the fact that he can’t go back thanks to the lava and that is why he is being so stubborn. He says that if there was some way to give the piano man hope again he might be more cheeful, but he doesn’t know how to do that.
We go to talk to the piano man try and get him to play Godom Lullaby. His response?
After this the screen shakes, which I can’t capture in a screenshot so you’ll have to take my word for it. Upon leaving and going down the lower level…
The lava has now risen, which means we can’t leave this place until we complete this quest. The previous ones let us walk away at any time to rest and recover and level up at our leisure. We don’t have that luxury anymore. Things are changing in the game.
How will we get the piano man to play Godom Lullaby? Will Smash the foreman be able to fix the lava? And will we be able to apply any of the lessons learned here to resolve our own depression? All this and more next time on Paladin’s Quest!
You will all sit down and listen to the GO3%$%$ Lullaby!
Not to worry, we’ve got half a plan to take care of it, and surely the other half can’t be far off.
That other half is in fact in the inn; she asks us to help cure her sick little sister, and saying no has her saying that’s too bad. Saying yes will have her informing us of the Glowing Scales, or Glowing Moss in Lennus, at the bottom of the well. She’d go down there herself, but there are monsters down there, hence why she needs us.
This is the well we need to go down. If we tried earlier, it would not let us. This is not Dragon Quest, we can’t just go down wells because we feel like it.
That line right above us is how we get back up out of the well, which has decidedly dried out.
Keep that bridge over there in mind, we’ll be using that very soon.
Spoiler alert, that bridge is how we’re going to get back to the tavern after the lava rises again. Talking to the piano man has him giving us this charming line of dialogue.
Well, this is a bit embarrassing. I seem to have missed a level up for Midia at some point. I’ve been trying to track every level up as they happen so that you can see how little grinding you really need to do in this game. I shall have to make sure that doesn’t happen again. So, two level ups gives up Plus 6 power, 11 speed, 5 Endurance, and 13 luck.
Examining this gives us the Glow Scales. It also triggers another round of the screen shaking, which means the lava will have risen.
Chezni gains a level on the way back to the inn; Power 4, Speed 5, Endurance 2, and Luck 6
Coming out of the well, we see that the lava has almost completely taken the entire town.
Thank you for your oddly punctuated declaration. I never would have figured that out on my own. Also, you are wrong and we are going to prove you wrong.
Doing this is much like using the tools to fix the bridge back on the mountain.
We pick Glow Scales from our inventory while facing the sick sister, and…
Presto! Talking to the now cured sister will have her thank us, but to advance things along we need to talk to the first sister again.
She’ll ask if there’s anything she can do for us in return, and if we say no…
That feels entirely too colloquial for both this game and this entire situation in general. So instead we say yes and she will offer to help persuade the piano man to play the Godom Lullaby. Not the Goddamn Lullaby, that’s a different thing altogether. Probably played by Samuel L. Jackson come to think of it.
Chezni manages to gain another level: Power 3, Speed 5, Endurance 2, Luck 4
Midia also gains a level: Power 3, Speed 7, Endurance 2, Luck 5 After that we cross the bridge and head up to the tavern, emerging behind the bar.
We talk to the piano man again, and now they do their thing which I really can’t capture in screencaps.
They basically twirl around one another, which is not nearly as impressive as the flying effect earlier, but they’re trying and that’s what counts.
Talking to either of the sisters has this same message for us. So, will the piano man finally relent in his inappropriately jaunty music and play the Godom Lullaby?
A lot of the music in this game is very good, but if there’s one track that I would suggest just stopping and listening to, its this one.
Maybe its just me, maybe its just me having too much empathy for my own good, but I feel like they managed to put in a lot of emotion into those text boxes. Scenes like this are special to me and should be given their due.
Next time, we will conclude this, and see what becomes of the town when it is not being consumed by lava. Until then, remember that you are alive and that means everything.