Game Progress 4/30
April 30, 2017

Arc Rise Fantasia (Wii)
[last thing I did was land in Turemilia]

Man, where to begin... I've made a lot of progress in this one.

For starters, I completed the events in Carbunculus, including my escape from the dungeon. Of course, that means Rastan has joined my entourage. Still, my main three right now is L'Arc, Cecille and Ryfia.

After a series of cutscenes, I eventually made my way to Benetnasch and then the Gauss Tunnel. That was a brief dungeon that held a really cool boss battle at the end of it: the undead dragon called Fafnir. I did away with him easily enough and made my way to the exit, only to bump into a tree monster on the way out. I thought it was only a normal enemy, but it turned out to be a really tough optional boss that stomped my party into the ground. Bear in mind that I hadn't saved since killing Fafnir, so I wound up redoing the short dungeon and bumping him off a second time.

Even more story events took me to a temple, where my squad met up with my former allies. Instead of big brawl, the two groups decided to cooperate. I therefore took control of three different parties. This smacks of Final Fantasy VI's Phoenix Cave, but nowhere near as cool. You don't get to switch between parties at will, there are several no-brainer puzzles designed to give the dungeon a false sense of depth, quite a few talkie scenes pop up, and there are no save points after the one at the entrance.

I managed to plow through this one without much trouble until I reached the end. That's when I met the Rogress (read: summon) Gula. I thought, "Well, there was no save point up until now, so it'd be a dick move if I had to fight Gula."

It attacked me.

"Huh, well, I'll just-"

He used Petrify Breath on my whole party, right out of the gate. All but L'Arc turned to stone, and he perished after receiving a series of blows following the initial nuke.

"Maybe I'm supposed to lose this fight."

Game over.

"Perhaps it'll let me continue near Gula's chamber instead of forcing me to reload."

Title screen.

"Are you fucking kidding me?"

I reloaded and tried my luck again. During my second attempt, I spread my party out right away to avoid getting everyone killed with one swipe. Though I gave Gula a run for his money, he still managed to win. I wanted to rage quit after that, but the ghost of Burgess Meredith appeared in my house.

"Get up, you bum! Don't cry like a baby, get your ass out on the world map and grind! What are you doing? No, don't drink raw eggs. That won't help, and you could get salmonella poisoning."

Cue grinding music.

Unfortunately, Arc Rise's experience values depreciate as you gain levels, which makes grinding really tough past a certain point. I was able to gain a few levels before venturing into the temple again and demanding a re-rematch. The third time turned out to be a charm. Gula had me on the run near the end of the battle, but I pulled out one final Gae Bolg with L'Arc and sent Gula packing.

More chatter, and then I had to cross a ravine so I could acquire a lightship. As I entered, I ran into an innocent-looking sunflower that turned out to be another damn optional boss. Fortunately, this one--Sun Flora, as he's called, and not to be confused with the Pokemon--didn't put up the fight his tree brother did. He managed to immobilize Ryfia and Cecille with a sleep attack, but repeatedly specials ended his life.

After returning to an inn so I could restore Ryfia's magic, I pressed further into the ravine. At the end, yet another pain in my ass awaited. This time, a Chimera attacked me. Despite his explosive offense, I made short work of him. I dusted off my finger nails and slouched back in my sofa, only to witness the creature pull off an ultimate attack before croaking. He wiped out my entire party.

I tried again, same result.

I tried again, this time spreading my troops out a bit, and same result.

I looked online, they suggested blocking. As it turns out, his final attack is regarded as a separate round. My characters' blocks resolved, leaving me wide open. I died again.

I tried one final time. This time, Cecille happened to be out of range for the attack, plus L'Arc was at full HP. Both survived and the Chimera disintegrated.

The campaign led me to a storyline battle on the beach, where you could either win or lose without encountering a game over. If you win, you earn a Rogress summon early. Otherwise, you have to wait for later to get her. Sadly, I wasn't able to win the battle. Looking at strategies online, there's no way I would've been able to do so. I needed to kill one character within five turns, and I lacked the skills and equipment necessary for such a feat.

From there, I returned to the Dragon Prison and fought the optional boss I wisely avoided during my first visit, a golem named Tartalos. He got some good licks in, but ultimately fell without much trouble. Delving further into the prison, I fought Prince Weiss. Geeeeeeeez, this game and its hard-on for super-tough bosses... I used an analyzer on Weiss and found out he had over 23,000 HP, which was way above anything I'd fought up to that point. Thankfully, Weiss, mostly utilizes basic magic and physical attacks, only occasionally hitting you with a special strike that shaves off 1000-1500 HP on a single target. He was able to one-shot Ryfia a couple of times, but his lack of a nuke rendered him more or less a drawn out, easy boss, albeit a fulfilling one.

With that, I gained the lightship, only to crash it. Subsequent storyline events took me to an abandoned church, where I fought a felldragon named Kahner. After that, I regained my ship and finally....FINALLY.... got the freedom that has eluded me since the beginning. I used my new found liberty to revisit an optional boss in the jungle that got the better of me earlier on, Death Scythe. His funeral is tomorrow.

I don't know where I'll go from here, but I'll take some time to decide before I act.


Terraria (PC)
I successfully crafted a full set of silver armor. I also pushed my way into a jungle biome's underworld, where I farmed enough stingers and jungle spores to make the Blade of Grass, which surpasses my legendary Zombie Arm. On top of all of that, I met the minimum requirements to lure the Eye of Cthulhu and bested it in battle. I will confess that I didn't exactly perform as well as I expected, as the creature had me down to 3 HP before I finished it off.



I'll do recent viewings in a different post. I gabbed a little longer than I wanted to.

Most recent blog posts from Joseph Shaffer...

Feedback
pickhut pickhut - April 30, 2017 (11:46 PM)
I faintly remember the Eye giving me a tremendous beating on my first encounter. I think it was a combination of me being unprepared and not knowing it was going to attack the way it did. Maybe it's just me, but I thought it was kinda unsettling too, because the game consists of all these cute, small sprites, then this grotesque, detailed eyeball comes out of nowhere...
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - May 06, 2017 (05:00 PM)
It is a surprisingly dark and graphic title for such a cute pixel game. There's also a bit of adult humor here and there, like when you talk to the nurse when you have full HP ("I don't give happy endings."). I thought about letting my kid play this one, but I think I'll wait a little first.

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