After making friends with a magical wall that opens up a new direction to travel in, I head back to sell off all of JERK’s unnecessary item clutter. Each character can only hold 8 items, including plot-crucial ones and equipment (which itself takes up 4 of the 8), so these occasional treks back to town are pretty much necessary. And even with all the trips back, I often find myself dropping items to pick up new ones.
The new path has this glowing grass stuff on it that I haven’t seen before. It takes awhile, but I eventually figure out that moving over it depletes everyone’s MP by 1 with each movement. Even turning counts, which sucks. This could obviously become a problem if the game ever decides to spam a ton of the stuff, but there’s not enough of it right now to cause a problem. Besides which, JERK is completely unfazed by the stuff, being the only one in the group too dumb to use magic. There’s a life lesson to be had here—you never have to worry about becoming less good at something if you never get good at it in the first place. Thanks, video games!
There are some new enemies, including these Deathguide things. My sword proves the better guide. Enemies right now can only do 1 damage to me unless they use a magical attack, and even then it’s nothing I have to worry about, so I’m finding it easy to steamroll every normal enemy in my way. The only real annoyance is when these guys use sleeping magic and put my party to sleep; the fighting in this game is tedious enough without losing a bunch of turns on top of slowly trading blows.
I find the stairs down before long and end up in the Cave of Courage. The same person must have designed all of these Cave of [thing] areas, because they’re all identical. That’s fine, though—this is nothing that can’t be thwarted by my brilliant “hug the rightmost wall until JERK stumbles across the exit” strategy.
This “Cyblok” enemy occasionally hops down from the ceiling to pick a fight. It’s a bit tougher than most enemies, but that really only means that it dies with slightly more dignity. Still, it’s odd that they gave this thing its own animation since there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly special about it. The crabs I can understand having an animation because one of them was the game’s first boss fight, but ceiling guy is nothing special. I’m also kind of confused about where exactly he’s jumping down from since we’re in the middle of a cave, but that’s nitpicking.
Suddenly it dawns on me that enemies are all named like X-Men rejects. “Cyblok.” “Nightstalker.” “Clodhopper.” Somehow this enhances my game experience.
My strategy of wall-hugging leads me to yet another talking wall. This one is equally nice and congratulates me just like the last one did. Sadly, it isn’t impressed enough by my intense, unending wall love to open up a secret passage, so I decide that it’s probably best to go back to town and sell off my stuff. I should also probably check back in with the cheapskate king and his posse of enablers.
What the hell, guys? No one thought to tell me ahead of time that I’d need something specific from the Cave of Courage, so I have to go back and find the stupid orb that lizard guy was rambling about. These seem like the kind of things that you share ahead of time. I am so going to overbill these jagoffs.
This time I hug the left-most wall, and it pays off as I eventually find another set of stairs. It’s not long before a giant boulder rolls past the screen, and when I go to see what that was all about, this Tortolyde (which sounds like a pasta-derived paint thinner) attacks me. This thing is pretty tough, but Pyra uses a Muddle spell which blinds it to keep it from hitting JERK’s fleshy bits. Even Meat Shield Milo manages to survive the fight, and once it’s dead, the Orb of Truth is finally ours. Let’s hope that this is the end of people not telling me what I need until it’s too late.