Thursday, November 7, 2013

TEXT PLAY: Lufia and the Fortress of Doom (Taito, SNES 1993): Issue #31: “Allons-Y!”

So let's finally get around to getting that special sword, shall we?

Back at the lab, Shaia brags about how he can fix the ship in a few seconds now that he has the Alumina we got for him. Given the way time tends to work in these things, it's to be expected that he will, but I'm still a little skeptical of the guy's bragging. After all, when Cid bragged like that in 1991's Final Fantasy 4, he he managed to back up his bragging by not only fixing several airships quickly, but also by fighting in the party for awhile and still having time for a daughter.

Anyway, once the ship is fixed so it can dive, Shaia and Brandt direct us to the atoll that formed when Doom Island dropped after Maxim and the others beat the Sinistrals a century ago. There's a village on the northeast side of that called Soshette that's sort of a last place to buy equipment and items before going into the sunken Fortress of Doom. Not a lot of people there, but not much to say about what happens next, either, I suppose. It comes in handy, though, because this next part's going to be a little long, to the point that it took multiple play sessions to get through.

And even though it did take me two attempts to get through the undersea cave and the castle, it was worth it. The cutscene that follows finding the Dual Blade is somewhat on the long side for an SNES game, kind of like the one in FF4 where Kain tells Cecil about rescuing Rosa. In this case, though, it's multiple locations and multiple topics, and I'm not sure I'd have been willing to sit through it all had this been just one attempt.

There are multiple routes through the undersea cave that leads to the titular fortress, of course, and also quite a bit of treasure. I may indeed go back for some of it, because I get the sense I may need to level grind a bit before I go to finish the game, if I remember how it was last time I made it this far.

The Fortress of Doom itself is exactly the same as it was when we went through there with Maxim's party at the very beginning of the game. It's so exact, in fact, that all the treasure is gone. I can't remember if I picked it up when I was in there as Maxim, but if I did, it was kind of dumb of me, because that party is leveled up extremely high and is overstocked with items they don't really need or get to keep, so if I ever play this game again when I'm done with it, I'll have to remember not to get the treasure, because it would have come in handy for the main party now.

Getting to the Dual Blade means following pretty much the same route as before, and actually touching the sword triggers the cutscene I was talking about earlier. Four statues of the Sinistrals rise out of the floor, and Aguro notes that the one that's supposed to be Erim, the Sinistral of Death, looks exactly like Lufia. The others say it's just a coincidence that can't mean anything, but the other three Sinistrals show up and say that yeah, Lufia's really Erim, and there's not a damn thing the party can do about it. It's all very Star Wars-esque, and we even get a classic “NNNOOOO!” out of Lufia. With that, the three confirmed Sinistrals reactivate Doom Island and take off, while the party escapes back to Sochette to mull the issue over for the night.

In the morning, the hero and Aguro discuss what they'll do if it turns out that the Sinistrals weren't just messing with them by saying that Lufia was one of them. Eventually, they agree that they have to stop the monsters even if it means stabbing Lufia in the face to do it. And of course, in true RPG style, Lufia got up early and heard the whole thing while standing outside the door. When the guys go to wake up the girls, Lufia hoofs it back to the other room at the inn, where she pretends she didn't hear anything.

From there, it's decided that the party should go see Shaia at Lab Three to see if he can fix the flying part of the Falcon the way he fixed the diving part, because it can do that. We'll need to fly to get to Doom Island again, even though it's floating above a place called Glasdar Tower. I can't remember the exact connection between all these things, but we'll get started on figuring that out next time. See you then, folks.

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