I haven’t been riding the train for a while now and on those rare occasions where I do get some quiet time, I’m usually to sleepy to play. The train rides started making me extremely tired for some reason, so I keep nodding off while I’m on my PSP. Because of that, I usually just resort to listening to music instead of playing Grandia. That being said, I did manage to make some progress over the last two weeks.
Castle of Dreams
Firs up, the Zil Desert contained another optional dungeon – the Castle of Dreams. This one was, thankfully, much shorter than Soldier’s Graveyard, so I managed to complete it in one 40 minute train ride.
It was no less satisfying to get through, though, mostly thanks to some nice loot I got in there and a much more fun boss battle, compared to Soldier’s Graveyard. Among others, I got some really high-stat armor pieces, an even stronger sword for Justin than the one from Soldier’s Graveyard, a very nice dagger, a whip and most importantly, one more mana egg. Now I’m only missing one to teach Rapp his final element.
As for the boss, it was called the Lord’s Ghost and it was difficult at first, but then I used the “Defend > Evade” action to spread out my party. After that, the monster’s area attacks were easy to heal through and I didn’t have any trouble killing it, as long as I didn’t use any melee moves on more than one character.
With Castle of Dreams done, I went through the rest of the Zil Desert and finally got to the city of Zil Padon. For now, there was nothing for me to do there. I spent the night at the inn, found out there’s a lot of tension in the city due to three different races living in tight quarters and that was about it.
I was tight with time, so I decided to just rush through the next two areas, which are Savanna Wilderness and Brinan Plateau. There’s something really important I’ve noticed, though – I started getting decent experience again.
The two areas finally led me to Laine Village, where Milda is from. Soon after I got in, I got the chance to meet the love of Milda’s life, Darlin. As it turns out, Darlin’s a giant, chubby, talking bull, and so are the other two wise men of Laine. I guess Grandia really doesn’t care about real world expectations, though Rapp and Justin seemed to be just as surprised as I was the first time I played through the game.
The three wise men told me a lot about Icarians, Alent and everything else I can expect. I was told I need to find out how to get to Alent, in order to fulfill some sort of prophecy. I was also told that Gaia, the petrifying monster I fought at the Tower of Doom, was somehow the ruin of the Icarian civilization, so it obviously need to be stopped.
I was actually told this by Darlin and Derling, but the third wise man, Dorlin, had the key information I needed. The problem was, Dorlin went a bit cuckoo some time ago, after leaving his horn at the abandoned Lower Laine Village.
I guess that’s where I’ll be going next.
I know, I know. The purists will say that stats and leveling isn’t what RPGs are supposed to be about, but that’s all they’re about for me, especially JRGs, so this gets an extra subtitle.
As I said, I started getting decent experience again, somewhere around Brinan Plateau. To be more precise, Justin started getting decent experience. The rest of my party doesn’t even get a chance to act, because Justin usually acts first and ends the battle with a single move. I decided to stop trying so hard to level everyone equally, mostly due to the way the game works.
If anyone gets to far ahead in levels, the experience that character gets is severely reduced. If anyone get’s to far behind, they get a huge boost in experience. I figured the worst case scenario would be that Justin gets ahead and stops getting experience, but still acts first and kills everything before anyone else can act. In that case, I’m sure I’ll eventually reach a point where Justin can’t kill everything in one move and someone else is bound to get their chance. If that doesn’t happen before the game ends, then there aren’t any problems, since I’m obviously strong enough anyway.
The consequence of that decision is that there’s quite a gap between Justin and everyone else in the party.
On a side note, there’s this site called the Let’s Play Archive, which does basically the same thing I’m doing here, except better, so I wholeheartedly recommend it. Here’s a link to a Grandia Let’s Play I started reading today:
Let’s Play Archive – Grandia by Azure_Horizon
Sadly, the link is gone now, but be sure to visit the site and look for other let’s plays. There’s some awesome reading material there.