Here's a bonus Monday edition of Text Play: Breath of Fire because I missed Thursday completely and forgot to update the on Tuesday at CLG. Sorry about that, everyone, but I'm sure you all know about how real life can mess things up for a guy.
At first, I was just going to play this one through the zombie quest in Romero, but decided to go get the key in Agua as well. The two main reasons for this were the unintentional delay mentioned before the jump and that the next issue would have been an unnecessarily short issue if I'd split this into two issues.
Now that we've got Bo in the party, we start getting into the characters I like in this game, simply because Bo is the first one who can actually do things on the map screen if you've got him on point. Technically, Nina can do stuff on the map screen, too, but that ability won't get activated until quite a bit later in the game.
I may have mentioned that there's a transition between night and day in this game. This transition can affect the kinds and amounts of monsters in random battles and some events at various locations. But it's also important because at dawn and dusk, wild animals will roam the map. Now that Bo is in the party, it's good to have him on point because he can shoot the animals with his bow and get special items from them. A more story-critical reason to have Bo in the lead is that he can walk through forests that may have otherwise been blocking areas that had only been accessible by tunnels and mazes before, assuming they were even accessible before.
With that taken care of, let's get on to the zombies in Romero and the place called Agua, shall we?
Once you've rescued Chief Col. Sanders, he confirms that the Stone Robot that everyone's been talking about will indeed get the river back without the need for the Forest Clan to hand over their treasure. He goes on to say that the chief of Romero knows more about it and that you should go talk to him about it.
This is where it really starts paying off to have someone other than the hero in the lead because it'll be so much easier to put Bo in front and go through the forest north of Winlan to get back to Romero. You'll want to get there at night so that you can talk to the little old lady and her zombie husband in the graveyard. She'll say that she loves him so much that she's happy to be with him even if he's a zombie. He'll say that he misses her, too. Go around to the houses in town and talk to everybody, just for good measure. Chances are, though, that you'll only need to find the chief's house and talk to him and the folks on the top floor of his house. The chief, who I suspect the game designers wanted to look like George Romero, but wound up looking more like Dr. Wily, tells you that he'll help you if you get rid of the zombies in his town. Go upstairs and talk to the people there. Somebody there will tell you about a couple that has something called the WtrJr. That means Mr. and Mrs. Necorphilia, in the graveyard. The dead guy will tell you that you should take the jar from his grave and go get the Cleansing Water from a spring southwest of town.
To get there, you'll need to still have Bo up front to avoid the forests. This part of the game underscores one of the biggest problems I have with the game as a whole. When you're running around in the forests, which is important often, especially now, you tend to run into a lot of undead monsters, which are a real pain in the pooper to kill, since there aren't a lot of fire or holy spells or items that can be used on them.
One good thing about the Spring Cave, once you get in, is that there's somewhat of a break from fighting undead monsters. There will be quite a few encounters with them still, but they'll be broken up by fights with a single-celled water-based creature called Ameblob, too. There's some good treasure to be had along the way, too, which makes it worthwhile to go through and pick it up on the way to the spring on the bottom floor. Once there, step into the water, and whoever's in the lead will fill the jar.
Back in town, the party sprinkles the water everywhere, which purifies the soil and does away with the zombies, who have eaten all the pigs in town. Must have been kind of eerie at night to hear all the undead voices moaning “PPPPPIIIIIIIGGGGGGGGGSSSSSSSSS!!!! PPPPPIIIIIIIGGGGGGGGGSSSSSSSSS!!!” No wonder nobody was asleep in the houses.
With the zombies gone, the little old lady finds out that the other villagers really like her and she gives you the WtrJr to thank you for helping her see that. I guess it's a decent healing item when it's full of the water from the spring, but it's gotta be refilled each time it gets used, so having it is ultimately kind of pointless.
Chief Doctor Wily gives you a Tablet to enter the floating Tower of Agua. There's a lot of treasure to be had in here, too, as well as a faster way through, but about a third of the treasure and the fast way, which leads to an alternate route, are inaccessible until later in the game, when the rest of the party members have joined. So, after a rather tedious climb, hampered by still more battles with undead monsters, the party reaches what is for now the top floor, where the only option is to fight a ghost named Boss. Boss will test your strength in battle by projectile vomiting on everyone and doing high amounts of contact damage. Beat Boss and he'll give you the Kinky. Or is that the KngKey?
Either way, it's the item you need to make the Stone Robot work, so it's time to work your way out of the tower and back to Tantar-Tuntar, where it's finally time to deal with the Stone Robot and getting the river back to the cities.
But that's for another issue, which I can hopefully have up tomorrow. Until then, Text Play readers, I'll see you next time, in Issue #5: The Giant Stoned Robot!