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So, today we're going to finish the first layer! Almost!
We're getting the plot done, but there's a couple stragglers that we'll need to come back later for. We'll also be spending a lot of time in town, so I hope you like item menus.
If not, feel free to skip ahead. Look for the big bold text about halfway through the update.
Everyone else, Roast Ribs heal 100HP. They're pretty alright. Making this for a later use though.
Also making exactly one syringe. We'll need 5 but I'll just buy the rest. I'm gonna clear out the crafting for the layer because I can be bothered to, you see.
I'm also buying a Rock Crusher because it's just more convenient. I thought we'd get one as a quest reward, but checking my notes I was mixing it up with a decent Big Sword. So you could wait for that one if you like this sorta weapon. Of course if you do then you'll probably have bought this one earlier...
Speaking of weapons, let's make some! Stiletto is pretty easy to get once you have the roll. I wouldn't, but you could.
Stone Sword too. They're both the base weapons of upgrade paths so we'll use them more later.
Lastly, we're gonna make a Saw. This one will be put to use today.
Not making any Big Swords (none are forgable that we don't get easier elsewhere), so we'll check out the upgrades for our new stuff. Stone Sword is going nowhere anytime soon, it seems. You can make it very early but you can't make it usable until later.
Stiletto? Nah, that's fine. Haku Seeds are arguably the most annoying to get since only one thing drops them. However, the Man-Eating Kahaku IS right by a door and should never hit you. Everything else is relatively common.
The Tinky Sword that makes can almost, but not quite, be upgraded already. We won't get to see what a 4-hit combo looks like until we make some progress into layer two it seems.
The Saw cannot be upgraded. It is bad. It is a Big Sword masquerading as a Medium Sword. It has no secret benefits, there is no reason to ever use it.
As a weapon.
Gonna take that Rock Crusher we just bought and upgrade it immediately. If we bought it early on we'd have to wait until just before Cerberus for it to be upgradable at all.
The Rhomphaia it makes can just about always be upgraded instantly. Need to put in a tiny bit of work to get enough Backbones, but the Hellhound best suited for them is close to a save point AND the stronger Seletons anyway.
Comparatively, upgrading the Zweihander is much easier. Almost feels like they should be the othe way around or something. They're functionally at the same time, so it's not like it matters though.
Shield Sword, meanwhile, grinds this rapid upgrade chain to a halt. It is, however, going to be our main weapon for today. Highest attack, longest range, charges quite quickly (comparatively) and it grants a hefty Defense bonus too.
Before we do the normal item crafting, let's learn some skills. They're pretty standard but good to have.
Destruction [Pillar] is, uh, very self-evident it turns out. This is our requisite upgrade that lets us go to new places and also we can destroy non-evil statues now.
We do not do more damage to evil statues, sadly.
The other two are much less exciting. We now have 600 max HP! We'll be able to continue not dying easier, hurray.
We can only use more assigned skills now. We don't have any to use right now though, other than Timing and we don't need that.
Beating Cerberus is what unlocks C Rank requests. Most of these require us to be in the second layer to do. Of the initial four, this is the only one we can do right now.
This is why the Saw exists. The only way to get the Saw is to forge it. It costs more than its reward. Oh monetarily it's $2000 to make... for a $2000 payment... but the rewards are much more common than what we used to make the thing.
This quest is bad.
Rapid item crafting go! Supplements heal 100HP and do nothing else. They shall be our go-to healing item from now on (if/when we need it). Suppli-Extracts cost $50 to buy and Blue Mint is now very easy to just get. For free.
The buyable/harvestable flowers all combine with Sap or Flower Nectar to make status cures. Well, the four normal ones at least. There isn't one for Stun, you see.
I don't remember if I mentioned it earlier or not, but Ethanol cures Poison. Nam Extract cures Paralysis and nothing this early can inflict that. Mental Care removes Fear which Ghosts can inflict if they somehow hit you, it just stops you from attacking for a while. Cool Jelly cures Burn and Burn is like a worse Poison and we'll see it later today. I hate it.
If we combine layer two flowers (which we obtained a tiny number of from earlier quests) with the status cure it makes a better version. These ones cure the ailment and restore 50HP.
The extra HP is kinda meaningless, honestly, but it's a nice gesture. Added bonus: suppli-extracts are even more useless now.
If we beat up the big slime a couple of times and combine its goo with meat, we can make buffs! This temporarily raises Defense.
Sadly the other one is Air Feet and that's just plain terrible.
We can cook the other meat too. This one also just recovers 100HP but you're not making it for that. Well, I'm not anyway.
Meat combines with flowers to make status preventatives. This one is the exception, since it takes the layer two/three flower (you can just buy it) with cooked ribs to... make a status preventative. Just, y'know, one somewhat different.
Sage makes Poison immunity, Rosmarin (which is from the latin name for rosemary) makes Paralysis immunity, Foxglove makes Fear immunity, Aloe makes Burn immunity and the Wild Mint Grass makes Stun immunity.
Those are silly to use for that, though. Let's use syringes instead! Taking a status cure and combining that with a syringe makes a status preventative that lasts longer. Except, again, there is no Stun cure so we use Wild Mint Grass here too.
That's it for items, so how about crafitng some crafting materials? Iron Ore and an Ordinary Hammer make iron bars. Both use the same items, but a Thin Iron Bar is only 1 Iron Ore to a Thick ones 3.
The difference between the two being making a Thin Iron Bar is silly when Ghosts drop them.
Raw Stones and a Hammer make precious gems! We can only make Emeralds right now, and Emeralds are the least useful. We'll need at least two for a quest later, but we can just sell the rest.
They sell for $3200 each. A hammer costs $1200. We are able to get to Raw Green Stones very quickly and easily. This sounds like the best way to make money and it... probably is for a long, long time.
If you don't want to buy hammers, you can just make them with Iron Ore and garbage wood. Nah, just buy 'em.
Making an Encyclopedia is weird. If you somehow need one and don't have any, you can buy it. Piece of Paper is, I wanna say, only obtainable by buying it. Quill Pens can be bought, but Murmur also drops them. Gross Box drops Encyclopedia directly though.
Buying the materials and then crafting the Encyclopedia IS cheaper than just buying it outright. But... that literally shouldn't matter ever. Money is not tight at any point.
Crafting sub-weapons is still terrible and you should not do it. You make them one at a time and they're not worth it.
It's also a lot more of a hassle to craft this way than to buy outright at times.
And when it comes to the ones that aren't buyable, youu're not really incentivised to do it. Because they have finite ammo and aren't worth dealing with that for.
...Except this. Beast Fang is different. It's not good, it's still finite but you gotta get 20 for a quest later.
The only way to get any is to craft them. We can't buy them, nothing drops them, we get none for quest rewards ever. It is maybe the most tedious quest. Maybe.
...Look, just make the glasses. Nothing else here is even comparable.
Like this. Bronze Ring requires 4 Copper Ore, so we can't make it until after the point where you can make the glasses.
It is objectively worse. Period. There is no arguing that it is situationally better. It has no advantages. It comes later.
A pair of glasses are simply the best armour for layer one. This is a fact.
Glass Lariat could be made a little earlier so it might prove useful at some point. But you get it as a quest reward anyway so eh.
Same with the Magatama, except its reward comes later and its worse than the Lariat.
Skull Earrings! They require we beat up Hellhounds and the stronger Skeletons.
Might be worse the the Bronze Ring even. What even is this order, honestly.
Blue Flame Necklace? Now, there is an argument to be made here. It is not much of one, but it is one.
It does two things the glasses do not do. The necklace increases your sword damage, which is cool. It also grants immunity to Burn.
I know it says Stun. It's wrong. It's immunity to Burn. If you equip it, it works as intended. It's just an issue in the description.
And finally we have a Poison Resist Charm. We can make one for every ailment, including Stun!
Just, y'know, not now. Poison is the only one this layer. We can make two more in layer two and the last two in layer three.
...Or you can buy all of them immediately. Pass.
For some reason they also display the wrong ailments for their resistances. Except Poison. Poison lists it correctly. They all work as they should, but they claim different thing. Paralysis, pictured, claims Fear; Burn claims Stun; Stun claims Paralysis; and Fear claims Burn.
ITEM CRAFTING IS NOW OVER, LETS GO INTO THE RUINS!
Welcome back. Now that we've beat up Cerberus and can destroy pillars, we'll explore around a bit. Where to go for progress should be pretty obvious so we'll leave it for last.
The pillar right by the entrance is a sensible starting point. Just past it is a harvest point that gives Blue Mint almost exclusively. This is kinda odd because this gives materials that are otherwise only available in layer two, but I ain't complaining. This makes it really easy to get 99 Supplement relatively fast if you wanted to.
Past here we have a long corridor with a lot of the stronger Ghosts in it.
There's also a long string of pits with platforms over it. But these platforms fall after about a second. That's it. That's the new quirk.
After getting past there, we've got a long vertical drop that we're going to ignore for now. The room directly opposite the entrance...
...has a knight ambush! And a Ghost afterwards!
But those rocks?
Those rocks are the easiest spot to get Raw Green Stone. It takes less than a minute to get here from the entrance so by now there's no way to really have money issues.
Raised platform here but we can't get up there yet. Have to come back later for it.
Back into the vertical shaft, and oh boy. Dropped onto a big Jack o' Lantern and it inflicted Burn!
So, here's the thing. It does slightly less damage than Poison, but whenever it hits you, you flinch like you got hit normally. Poison doesn't do that. This cancels out anything you're doing (moving, attacking, jumping, dodging, whatever) and it slightly knocks you back. This can send you through screen transitions in two different ways!
Let it wear off and pop open this chest. Elixsar is an ailment cure but it cures all ailments. Keep it in the back pocket for later.
No, it's not a mistranslation... probably. Elixirs exist and are a different item.
Room halfway down the vertical corridor is a bit different. There's no enemies or items in here.
All that's in here is a pit with this flagstone message right before it. Hmm...
Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
This is just here so you take a fixed 50 damage if you just rush forward. I'm not sure why you would do that at this point, but hey.
Back to the vertical room, we'll keep descending further. It's mostly just a lot of elevators with Jack o' Lanterns but after that we have some Pill Bugs. Okay.
Two doorways at the bottom, but this one is locked. By a key, of all things! That's almost, but not quite, novel really.
To the left we have a room that only has a switch in it. It does let us loop around to where the big Green Gel was. Not sure why we'd want that but hey.
The column here can only be damaged by jump attacks. The cracks being up top was relevant!
We can't get up and over it yet though. Guess we're putting a pin in this for later too.
Nothing else over there, so let's hit up the pillars along the main path. This one is the one that I called out before as forgetting for ages; there's a zombie below us.
Of the two items here, this is the one that matters.
Can't do anything with it at the moment, though. It's a key item we need to complete a quest much, much later.
The skill book is a bit disappointing. Second tier accuracy buff is very eh at present. The implications of it are more interesting...
Anyway, get to that later. For now, we've got this pillar in the sequestered top corner of this room. The one where the first upgraded Skeleton was.
Just beyond it is a switch for the door above the Hellhound. Also a bat that ambushes you so that you can't dodge it after the scene's ended.
Behind that door is... another Hellhound. Okay.
Oh! This is important! This is a good skill book.
That blue/gold chest is a new type.
It has a Treaure in it! That's all three chests seen now. Light brown are regular items, dark red are skill books and blue/gold trim are Treaures.
This leaves exactly one pillar left to break apart. We'll do that in a moment...
But first, back to town! Bullseye [Part 2] gives us the Foresight assigned skill. We're able to predict things so well that.. our accuracy increases a bit.
There's so many more things this SHOULD also do that it's almost laughting at you for thinking about that.
Rotation [Student] is much better though. It's an assiged skill, but it's a very important one. It's not like the others we've seen yet because it upgrades our roll.
Specifically, it gives the dodge roll iframes. This is always going to be useful, for like letting you dodge more things. But also just to look a tiny bit cooler now.
If nothing else, it means we can roll through most enemies instead of just jumping over them. I think that looks neater.
We can't roll through stuff like Hellhounds or Ogres. They're too big and actually solid in the middle.
Last pillar is the one opposite the Green Hall save point. Aside from the one right by the entrance, it's the one most conspicuous.
Small intermediary room with just a flagstone in it...
And it warns us about an upcoming boss too. This is how these are more normally positioned. The one by Cerberus was an outlier, really.
This one does differentiate itself a bit by putting the doors into the background. It makes me sorta start to question the geography of this place. Especially since there are bottomless pits here. And we're allegedly over a room we've already been in. Really. Don't think about that one.
Ren restlessly surveyed the room, which was so large that it was impossible to see the ceiling above or the walls to either side.
It seemed that the floor to the left and right had been cut away, with what appeared to be a sheer drop surrounding the area.
There was no way to judge where the chasm shrouded in darness might lead.
Only... that the deep darkness seemed to warn of a deadly fall.
The other rooms were bad enough, but this is even more creepy...
Still, it's places like this where new discoveries lie.
...Hm? ...I hear something.
Was it because of the strange atmosphere that filled the room...? Or had the thought of treasure close at hand made him careless...?
Either way... Ren had failed to notice the presence of the creature drawing ever closer...
Like Cerberus, they come from somewhere above. Unlike Cerberus, this one makes sense.
Also? They're a dragon!
Daekwurm is an interesting composite name. "Daek" is a word in the Zhuang language spoken in parts of southern China; it just means grasshopper. Wyrm, of course, is an Old English word that literally means serpent or... worm,. But the reason you've heard it before is because it was used in Beowulf to refer specifically to a dragon (albeit one that more resemble East Asian snake-like dragons, than the European hexapodal reptiles). Daekwurm, therefore, basically just means "Green Dragon".
...Why have you come here?
The giant dragon that had appeared from the depths of the darkness simply stared at Ren...
...and asked a question with a low voice that was both quiet and intimidating.
Ren didn't answer.
No... To be precise, he couldn't answer.
Perhaps overwhelmed by the sudden appearance of the dragon, he found himself unable to move a muscle.
Answer me. What business have you here?
...I'm investigating these ruins.
I am the Guardian of these ruins. I'm bound to this place, burdened with the task of protecting it...
Are you so foolish as to not understand the meaning of those words?
The quietly-speaking dragon's voice had shifted in tone.
Ren, who had been listening in silence, noticed the change and returned to his senses.
It appears I was mistaken...
Ren's body, having regained the ability to move, clutched at his sword without hesitation.
That wordless act in itself lit the signal fire for the fight to begin.
...Here I come!!
Just using the Shield Sword for this one.
So, Daekwurm is a dragon! He fights sorta like a dragon, what with primarily using either his tail a lot or a really strong fire breath.
Like Cerberus, Daekwurm takes extra damage if you hit him in the head. That works fine for me since we're using a Big Sword this go around.
He's hittable with the charge attack too, since the Shield Sword gets it reasonably quick. Hitting him in the head with it is virtually impossible with it, though. Doing over 300 damage with a body shot still isn't too shabby.
When lower on health, Daekwurm gets two new attacks. He can fly off-screen and than jet across screen to hit you for a ton of damage. It's pretty hard to dodge, since it could in theory come from anywhere. Then he tries to land on you which, eh, whatever.
His final attack is similar in that he tries to fly into you. It's much harder to dodge, and I'm pretty sure that it's unavoidable if you don't have the dodge upgrade to roll through his tail.
Daekwurm is pretty dang fun, even if his main attacks are telegraphed really blatantly and thus easy to dodge.
If we used the Lightning Edge again, probably definitely would've just sliced through him in like 40 seconds.
It's a shame that despite this fight being more varied and memorable than Cerberus, I think I like it less. Cerberus works well as a mastery of what you've learned getting there by using moves that you're seen and gotten used to.
Daekwurm is more of a test of your ability to deal with a new situation. He hits relatively hard, and nothing is like what came before.
The fire breath is the closest, but it still works a lot differently to the poison breath.
This in itself is not a big deal. There's another, stupider reason I like it less but we need to get a tiny bit further first.
Anyway, we got a buncha dragon parts from Daekwurm and then this chalice. It's kinda cool, even if it's just... lore. And I don't really care about lore.
The treasure that Daekwurm was guarding is... a Life's Guidepost. The save room is just over there, why do I need this?
This sounds really cool, but the Skills prefix makes it clear what this actually is for. Just another +5 max SP which is disappointing.
He was also guarding another actual Treasure.
No, I didn't miss the second one anywhere. We cannot get that one until the postgame.
Oi! You there!
Ah, the blacksmith...
Um... what was it again?
Sheesh... And to think I came all this way 'cause I have some info for you...
...Maybe I'll just leave.
S-sorry. I was just kidding.
So... Mr Lagnus. What was the info you had for me?
Have you been having trouble gathering material?
It's hard to be efficient, I guess.
Ain't it just?
There are materials that can and cannot be collected from monters with the exact same name.
In general, the higher quality materials needed to make stronger weapons are in the possesion of the monsters further inside the ruins.
Really weird that we got to figure this out naturally for ourselves. And then two bosses later, Lagnus just walks up to give us this explanation.
So if you want a certain material, but can't seem to get it no matter how many you kill...
...then check to see if there [are] any similar monsters elsewhere.
That makes sense.
And, I have this for you.
Is this a key for the ruins? Why are you giving it to me?
A customer asked me to go to the ruins to collect some material for making a sword...
...and I just happened to find it then.
I'm not all that interested in the depths of the ruins, plus I have no time to go and see them.
That's why I thought I'd give it to you.
We're also totally going to try and dig up treasure. Though, we're not doing just that so that's probably why we're cool.
Wow... You really are a good guy, Lagnus.
That's "Mr Lagnus" to you!
Thank you... Mr Lagnus.
Well, I'm gonna get back. If you find yourself wanting a weapon, pop round!
Well, I wonder what colour the Sapphyri Key could possibly be similar to. It is very hard to tell.
In all seriousness, next time we'll enter the second layer. Entering a new layer is where the difficulty has the best chance to spike up, so we'll see how well that really applies!