I’m not sure if I got a lot better with JRPGs, or if my memory is just completely wrong, but none of the PlayStation JRPGs I returned to in this blog gave me the challenge I remembered from my youth, Grandia included. The mechanics seemed just so much more clear to me now, compared to back then and the enemies so much easier.
Well, Soldier’s Graveyard changed that, at least for a while. Soldier’s Graveyard is an optional dungeon in Grandia, with some slightly tougher enemies and a very tough boss at the bottom of it. Recently, I only got to play the game on my train ride to and from Varaždin, which means I’ve been playing it for about two hours per week. It took me about that much to get through Soldier’s Graveyard.
The experience in the dungeon was just as low as it was in the non-optional areas, which means I was overtrained for this place as well. Still, it was far more challenging than the outside areas. The only save point in there was at the entrance and there was five (or six) floors in total I needed to clear, with a boss at the end of it.
The number one problem I had was that I didn’t take any resurrection items with me. Sadly, I lost Rapp due to a foolish mistake on floor 3, which means I had to clear the rest of the place with just three characters.
Getting to the boss wasn’t the hard part; that followed once I got there. The boss was a much, much stronger version of the Kung-Fu Master from the early moments in New Parm. He hit like a train, chaining several hits with 30-70 damage each and he healed himself about once or twice per round, for well over 200 HP. With just three characters, one of them being forced to completely focus on healing, it was hard to keep up with that amount of regeneration. I actually had to buff my party to give myself the needed edge. Just so you get an idea about how much damage that was, Milda, by far my strongest character, had about 270HP, and she was hitting him for a total of 250HP, depending on how lucky she was. Justin, on the other hand, was hitting bellow 200.
Near the end of it, I thought everything was lost,because Justin was at near zero health and about to get hit, but somehow, I managed to hit the boss before his hit landed and I won the fight. It wasn’t over, though. The dungeon’s grand prize was in a room behind the boss, and I had to find four items named Soldier’s Souls in secret rooms throughout the area to finally be able to get to the item. Of course, during all of this, I got a bunch of other great items to.
I got the Ice Blade, which is an awesome sword with the ice element, but I couldn’t use it here,since a lot of the enemies were resistant to ice. I also got the Godspeed Knife, an awesome knife for Feena which I could freely use. There was also the Expensive Jewel, which doesn’t do anything, but can apparently be sold for a nifty sum, several usable items which increased all of my stats, as well as some other minor equipment. I gave the stat items to Feena, just so she could keep up with Justin, who got insanely strong.
The grand prize was the Energy Charm. This amazing item half’s SP use of anyone wearing it in the accessory slot. Of course, I immediately equipped it on Justing, since his special moves are by far the strongest. Before that happened, though, I managed to lose Feena in a random battle.
I carefully started my way back out of the place and finally got out about five minutes later, thanks to the fact that I cleared most of the random battles on the way in. I got to the save point at the entrance, recovered and with relief, saved my game.