When we last left off, our band of new-found friends were leaving the southern part of their island in order to head to a town in the north where Red and Blue’s father’s home was. This, however, required going through the Irato Forest – a woodland nestled between two mountains. When they had first entered it, they found what appeared to be a fairy encased in a crystalline structure that inhabited the body of an old man in order to tell them about the return of some sort of dark lord. Of course, there wasn’t anything the youths could really do about this, so after hearing the foreboding tale, they continued on their path to the north.
The explorable part of Irato Forest isn’t particularly huge, but it is winding and you will encounter a fair bit of enemies as you progress through it. Most of the enemy groups are visible to you from a relatively safe distance, but others may appear when you cut down a bush or open a barrel. Yet, for the sake of leveling up the party, I took my time going through this area and finding every type of monster available and whipping their tails, gaining a decent amount of experience, picking up a bit of money, and finding a few useful items. As a bit of a warning, enemies here are much stronger than those we’ve encountered earlier in the game, but with patience and a good use of your skill you should be able to overcome them with no trouble.
The enemies in this zone also have the unfortunate ability to put a few conditions on your party members. Flying bees can sting you and randomly poison you (and you take damage with each movement during your turn!) and the tentacled creatures can randomly put stun upon you. Your best bet is to encircle the more dangerous foes one at a time and kill them as quickly as possible in order to avoid this. Be warned: If Blue is using his spear and another character is in the space behind him, the backwards motion of the thrust will actually damage them (yes, I learned this the hard way!).
Upon reaching the edge of the woods in the north, Red and company find one of those fire sprites who gloats about having burned their village to the ground and killing Gramps. Naturally, this doesn’t go over well and they ask her why she did it. She goes on about someone named Hel and tells us that it doesn’t matter because we are about to join Gramps in death. That seems unlikely, but we need to teach this sprite a lesson.
Cue the battle!:
The Sprite hits pretty hard and manages to defeat Ponga (admittedly perhaps one of the weakest characters we have), but otherwise we manage to kick her rear and avenge Gramps’s death. Still, there isn’t really any dialogue or any touching scenes after the enemies go down, and instead we return to the area screen and proceed to leave the forest and head out to the north. As you will see, there is another forest to the northeast of here and our destination town towards the west:
Tania Town seems to be where Red and Blue were originally raised before going to live with their grandfather and as a result most of the villagers they encounter seem to know them pretty well. Most of the villagers think of their father in sort of a joking manner, going on about the tall-tales he would often share with them and most of them just thought he was crazy. Perhaps he is a bit crazy, but given some of the things we’ve seen on our relatively-short journey to this village, it is quite possible that he is on to something.
Some of the people from Rouen can be found here, including the guys from the dojo who will train you here so that you can pick up another new skill. Yet, the main purpose of our coming to this town was to visit their father’s home and find the secret “Adventure Room” that Gramps mentioned. A quick glance around the house reveals a few notes with some “rules” for wannabe adventurers and an examination of the bookshelf reveals a doorway that leads down into the basement where, *gasp*, the Adventure Room awaits!
Red and Blue find two notes down there: one is a note addressed to them while the other is one that is to be given to a magician on a nearby mountain. The letter to them is an apology from their father for having kept the truth from them. He goes on to talk about how the world is in danger and that he must visit the Earth Tree, but he claims that he will seek them out once he is done. Red and Blue wonder if their father is crazy, but Rain comes downstairs and tells them that she, too, senses the presence of evil in the world. While they aren’t sure what the “OPARTS” or any of the other objects he mentions are, they do agree that something is going on. Half-tempted to forget the whole thing, Rain encourages them to continue onward. After all, the Ferric Falcon was real, so likely there was something their father really was involved with.
With a journal from their father and a letter to deliver to the mountain, the party explores the town and then heads back out. But, before going to the mountain, we make a pit stop in the southeast at a port town.
~PORT TOWN OF OCEANIA~
Our pit stop to the port town in the south doesn’t really amount to a whole lot. There are several shops in the town that sell very expensive weapons and armor (way more expensive than anything that we can currently afford), a “Frog Casino” that isn’t open yet, and a lighthouse that seems to be haunted. They won’t let us into the lighthouse just yet to investigate (probably something we need to do later), and since we cannot really afford any of the stuff for sale, we have little choice other than to rest up and then head north to the mountain…
With the mention of places like Stone Henge and Atlantis, it seems like we could be dealing with a fantasy/future version of Earth? Is that so? Maybe we will find out as we head to the mountain, next time, in Part 3!