Hey, look, man, if I'm gonna be playing this game, I'd think I'd be allowed at least a few Ch!pz references along the way.
I was going to go for a movie reference, but I think that might better serve as the title in a couple issues. Until then, I'd best start off with an explanation of how leveling up and getting some of the items actually works in this game. Since there are no random battles and there's a distinct lack of shops in Mystic Quest, a lot of the experience grinding and gaining of spells, armor, accessories and the like comes from places on the map called Battlefields. There are a few of them that, at least presumably, were meant for Ben to clear out on his own, but one of the few things I remember as being actually useful from the strategy guide for this game is that it usually helps to have the second party member along for the ride. May as well make it a little harder for the monsters to kick my ass, since only Ben levels up in this game, as the NPC party members are all at fixed levels while they're in the party.
It's a good idea to clear these battlefields out because they help beef up the character some. Taking them and clearing out the regular dungeons as well is a fairly useful thing, I'd thing. Seems to me that this game is set up so that the player can reach the maximum level of 41 by doing that. I tested that theory once, last time I played the game, and came pretty close to doing it. There's still an element of chance, of course, because there's no guarantee that you'll get the maximum amount of experience each time. That would require getting three monsters in every battle, and that doesn't always happen.
But first, we're going to move the plot along a bit first and go get our second NPC party member from the Sand Temple. His name's Tristram. He's the treasure-hunter-slash-ninja in this game who says he'll sell you the Elixer for the absurd price of 9000 gold, but upon hearing that we don't have that much, he'll offer to help us dig up some in the Bone Dungeon.
Before we actually move on to the Bone Dungeon, though, even Tristram suggests dealing with one of the Battlefield things I was talking about before. There's one between the Level Forrest and the Sand Temple that's mostly filled with tree monsters called Mad Plants. They're weak against axe attacks, which Kailie was good enough to give us last time. Clearing this one out yields an extra 54 experience.
There's another to the west of the Sand Temple that's got Poison Toads and lizard monsters in it. Cleaning this one out gets us our first additional piece of armor, a pendant called the Charm. All it does is boost Ben's defense by one. Better than nothing, but given all the monsters that can inflict poison as a status ailment, I had hoped that this would protect against that. I guess we get that later, though.
Maybe in the Bone Dungeon, which is represented on the map by the big horned skull with glowing eyes on the map. But we'll get to that next time, folks. Until then, stay safe, have fun, keep gaming, and DFTBA!