|I hope you like backtracking...|
Ayn's portion of the game promised more sci-fi. All of the enemies I faced were robots, and reports of mechanical foes attacking my country and my allies were flooding in. "Go find out where these machines are coming from!" King Rhys told me. *DUN-DUN DUN DUN-DUN*
So I set off, happy to do something other than rescuing princesses.
I traveled to a previously visited town, where I met a guy who told me my hometown was under attack. I backtracked to my home to find only a single man left there. He said everyone else went to the desert. So I backtracked yet again to the village where I heard the news, and from there back to the desert and into a cave dungeon I had already explored. Reaching the end of the dungeon, our nation's ally Lyle asked a simple request of me.
"Rescue my daughter, the princess!"
"No... no... NO NO NO NO!"
"But you must!"
Roughly 80% of this campaign consisted of me venturing to places to collect princesses. I had to travel to a new region to recruit Thea, who was held prisoner in a town called Lensol. That was no biggie, except after saving her I had to backtrack through a passageway dungeon that connects to the desert, and back into the aforementioned cave dungeon--all the way through it for the third time--so I could talk to her father. I then had to exit the hard way because I didn't have any "escapipes," which automatically eject you from a dungeon.
Now, I had to backtrack all the way to the literal beginning of the game, into a dungeon where Rhys was held prisoner. There, I fought another boss who turned out to be a princess to recruit. Having gained her, I backtracked yet again, exiting the dungeon, walking through a passageway stage that connect the primary continent with the desert, across the desert, back through the passageway I referenced in the above paragraph, across that continent and to a peninsula. There, Lyle flew me to another town with a castle and dungeon--this is a recurring theme, where most of the game's dungeons are located within towns and associated with castles.
After hours of grinding for new equipment, I pounded through the dungeon and reached a space shuttle that took me to a satellite. Finally, the game hit me with a sci-fi twist and dropped the whole Fantasy Game 101 act. The satellite held one last dungeon for Ayn to explore, with a boss battle at the end of it. There, the villain barfed out the motivation for his villainy before attacking. The fight lasted a whole four or five rounds, and then a familiar routine started up again.
"So, of the two princesses you collected, who do you want to marry and impregnate?"
I didn't honestly care, so I selected Thea. Apparently, she's my cousin (according to a walkthrough I read), so that's weird.
She gave birth to Sean, and that's who I'm playing now. I have a save state sitting on Ayn's marriage selection screen, so I'll check out the other route once I'm done with Sean's portion of the game (which leads to the final boss).
Final word on this campaign: it's just as tedious as the first one, if not more so because there's so much backtracking. I never thought much of that desert cave area, but now I hate it with a passion.
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