Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bosses, Weapons, and Dragons (oh my!)

After a randomly long period of time not playing Secret of Mana, I picked it up again.  A couple nights ago actually, but that was just weapon level grinding.

Continuing that into my most recent session, I now have everything level 5 except the gloves, axe, and javelin.  I have them forged with their fifth orbs, I just haven't gone around killing things to level them up.  Also, for whatever reason, the whip is now one level ahead of everything else, so it's forged with its sixth orb.

Elementals are at level 4.  I'd better get two more pretty soon if they're going to keep up with the weapons...

Story-wise, I killed my way through the area to the northwest of Empire Northtown, and then killed my way through the castle in Empire Northtown.  There were several bosses, but they were all pretty easy.  Just chain-cast level 4 Exploder with the sprite and use Faerie Walnuts as needed.  Most of the bosses I fought either didn't have a specific elemental weakness or were weak to one I don't have yet.

Once I defeated the Mech Rider 2 atop the castle, I finally got my world map transport: Flammie the dragon.  I then proceeded to get massively lost, as when you're flying on Flammie there aren't any labels to tell you where things are, you just have to feel around in the dark.  I guess you could eventually get used to the world map layout, but having textual labels would be nice.

After finding my way, I tried to land in Potos for fun, only to have the game put me down outside it, just next to the guy whose only purpose in life is to prevent you from getting back in.  However, now that I have Flammie, I can use the glitch to get back in whenever I want (and just call Flammie when I want to leave).  It's pretty simple, you hold up and mash select.  You'll move up a tiny little bit every time you press select, and eventually you'll be back in the town.  This was apparently fixed in the European version of the game (by way of adding a dialog box that shows up when you get close enough, it's still possible to glitch your way in, but it's harder).  I lol'd that the people in Potos will still interact with you and that you can still stay at the inn.  I saved there just for the lulz, then called Flammie and got lost again.

After realizing I was headed in the total wrong direction from King Truffle's place, I found the Lofty Mountains (which so very helpfully aren't labelled on the world map that's on GameFAQs).  You know, that parenthetical statement brings up a pretty good point.  Secret of Mana is not nearly as thoroughly documented as Chrono Trigger is.  The stuff on GameFAQs is missing a few things, whereas if you look at GameFAQs' Chrono Trigger section, practically everything you'd ever want to know about the game (and then some) is sitting right there.

So basically I'm ready to go into the Palace of Darkness.  I guess I'll level up the weapons that need levelling up here.  Since I now have world map travel, part of me wants to find the best armor that you can actually buy (the absolute best stuff is only available as drops) and see if I can outfit my entire party with it now, just to save money.

I do believe I'm overlevelled, which means that the game really wasn't designed for you to try to have everything as powerful as possible at any given time.  I haven't been specifically grinding experience at all, just weapon and elemental levels.  From this I've gotten a lot of experience and a lot of money.  The FAQ I'm following basically calls each armor upgrade expensive and says "get it if you have the money".  Well, I've never had to worry about that.  The amount of money gained while levelling up weapons and elementals is more than enough to cover each next set of armor and the next weapons' forging costs.  If it's wrong to be level 49 (and pretty close to level 50) at the point in the game I'm at, I think I'll enjoy being wrong.

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