You know, now that I'm actually sitting down to do this, I'm starting to think that maybe I should have taken a cue from County Line Gaming's Apple and called this one “Fifty-Three Steps to Success” instead.
See, Apple has a list of Rules of Final Fantasy Games that seems to apply to a good many RPGs. As I understand them, they are that A) simple tasks are made more difficult than they need to be, B) these tasks require that you go to four different places, all of which are nine million miles from where the main task is, and C) the enemy encounter rate goes way up when you're working on said problem.
RPGs just would not be the same, and dare I say somewhat less fun, without Rule A, and when I'm just playing for fun, especially, but even now, I don't really consider Rule C a problem. Which leaves us with Rule B to deal with. After a wrong turn or two and getting my ass kicked by a monster that I'd forgotten could use an insta-kill spell on the whole party I went to RPG Classics and found a map that showed me I had thought wrong about which cave I needed to go into, but that's what I get for trying this with a game I haven't played in ages.
So, off we go, then, on our way to find somebody who we could have just busted out of the slammer in the very town we needed him in. The cave I needed to go to was west, due west, of Bleak, instead of going around the lake in the area and back to the cave that leads to Auria. After hiking through the right cave and a ways through the desert, Krypt is the biggest of three locations in its general vicinity. There's also a Moving Village, which will be important later, and a town full of Jawas called Arad.
Unfortunately, Krypt can't be accessed without an item called the Fife. The Fife is in the possession of the Jawa mayor, and he won't give it up unless you kill a sand worm that's been eating the village's goats on nights with New Moons. Fortunately, the party gets there on just such a night, so they go be heroes and beat the thing's ass. The Snow Dragon morph and Bo's ice spells come in real handy in this fight. Of course, between all the jacking around I did figuring out where I needed to go and the fact that I tend to be a real doofus sometimes, I wound up forgetting to stock up on some items that would have come in real handy while I was doing all of this. The most important of these is the acorn, which is this game's way of restoring MP. Kind of nice to have something like that, considering that I tend to rely as much or more on magic than my weapons when I'm playing games like this. With no way to restore MP, when I'm out, I'm out, at least for now.
The good news is that the Sand Worm isn't particularly hard, especially since the Snow Dragon attack will always take off 100 HP from the monster. The bad news is that it won't take off any more than that unless it's a critical hit, which doubles it. But yeah, once the Sand Worm is done, the mayor gives you the Fife, so it's finally off to Krypt.
There's a ton and a half of treasure in Krypt, most of it protected with locked doors and multiple booby traps. There's also a lot decent monsters for level grinding in there, too, but most of the ones that are best for gold and/or experience are also a pain to kill without using lots and lots of magic, which is normally my style anyway, when I have ways of restoring MP. Beating them to death with weapons is way too tedious for my tastes, so I've passed on most of them for now, but we'll be back in a while, once we get our second full-on beast person, Ox. More on that when we get there, though. For now, there's an eyeball monster that's guarding some steps to some treasure. Sure, once you're past the monster, it's obvious what the one blue chest in the room is, but there's no avoiding it, and Karn finally reveals that he's busted himself out of Auria to go treasure hunting.
Once Karn is in the party, he's gotta go on point immediately, or there's no way to finish the mission because of all the locked doors and the fact that he's gotta examine all the sarcophagi on the bottom floor of Krypt in order to find the Book he's looking for. Once that's taken care of, Karn gets confident in himself and is ready to go back to Auria and get the kid out of the safe, but I think I'll save that for next issue.
Fortunately, the Inn in Arad is actually free for a change, because after all these big battles and such that have drained my HP and MP, it's nice to have a place to fill that all back up without charge. And since there's a save point in there, too, I think I'll wrap this up here and get on with rescuing the kid next issue. See you then.