I wish this was as Tolkien-esque as the title makes it sound.
Unfortunately, it's not. It's rather mundane stuff instead. So, let's get back into this, shall we?
When we left off, Karn had just joined the party after getting his precious book out of Kryp. Now, maybe we can finally get Ross's daughter out of the safe. The hike back to Auria makes me realize that it's been several issues, at least two, and really, more like four, that I've been thinking that maybe I should learn to do Let's Play videos so that anyone reading these doesn't just think I'm making this shit up as I go about writing it. Trust me, I'm actually playing the game as I go along.
Anyway, once you let Ross's kid out of the safe under his house, she tells you that the man is planning to turn the Key of Light, which is at the top of the tower accessed through here, over to the Dark Dragons. She then tells you that her dad needs to talk to the ghost of his dead wife to come to his senses and not do that.
This is going to involve one more trip to Bleak, but in this case, it's not so much of a problem, because by now, the whole tunnel under the mountains isn't a problem. Thanks to having Karn in the party, you can unlock the door that blocked the short way in there, and it's now much easier to get through.
Another thing that's been made easier by having four party members is killing off enemy parties in one turn. This is an important thing, because there's a small experience and gold bonus for pulling it off, and that's going to start happening a little more often now. This little trick is something I'd meant to mention before, if I hadn't. Better late than never, I guess.
Now it's off to the tower north and west of Bleak, where the old man who talks to ghosts lives. He'll tell you that you can have his treasure, a magic mirror, if you can prove you're the real hero by climbing the tower and talking to the ghost that lives there.
Climbing the tower itself wasn't so hard for me. The monsters were no real problem. Well, except for the first bunch, that put the Curse status ailment on half the party. I've always found “curse” status ailments rather confusing, no matter what game they're in. The only RPG I've ever really been sure about what that status did was the first Dragon Warrior game, where having one of the game's two cursed items equipped kept you out of the castle and away from the game's one save point. It took getting it put on the hero on the way back out of the tower to figure out what it does in this game. It blocks special abilities. Rather annoying, but not particularly disastrous at this point in the game, because I can still beat most of monsters with regular weapons or magic, since this curse doesn't block it.
Continuing on, at the top of the tower is a ghost called Cloud. Probably no relation to Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy 7. The Cloud wants a fight because the world isn't what it used to be since just anyone can climb its tower. Ice attacks work well on it. Beat the Cloud down and it gives you the Key of Darkness. On the way back down the tower, the old man guarding the entrance and the magic mirror steps aside so you can take it and head back to Auria.
Once there, it's straight to Ross's place again to show him the mirror. His wife's ghost shows up and tells him not to give the Light Key to the bad guys. He listens and gives it to the party instead. Fortunately, there are no monsters in this tower, and no boss to fight.
Once all that's taken care of, it's finally time to get on the boat and head off to Scand. At least, I think it is. As I've said before, it's been a long time since I've been even halfway serious about playing this game, so I might be wrong about that.
Regardless, though it's a matter for next issue: Foked In The Boat! And yes, that is indeed a double-entente based partly on Spoony's Atop the Fourth Wall review of Warrior Number One.