I got lost after Snowfly Forest. My assumption was that I needed to use the bronze key to go further, but I couldn’t find any bronze doors. From Snowfly Forest, I got through the City Walls South back into Lea Monde’s Town Centre West, but I couldn’t find anything beyond that. I had to resort to a walkthrough.
Where to go after Snowfly Forest?
The thing is, I didn’t really need the walkthrough. I just needed to look more closely. From the City Walls South, there was another door, leading to the keep. The one leading to Town Centre West was just there so I could visit the workshop if I had to. Just in case someone else gets lost, after Snowfly Forest, you need to go through City Walls South and into the Keep, or optionally, into the Iron Maiden B1.
Iron Maiden B-1
This! This is the furthest I ever got to in Vagrant Story. I thought it was Snowfly Forest, but I guess I did get through it at some point, because I now distinctly remember getting to Iron Maiden. I also remember getting stuck here and completely giving up.
Well, these were my thoughts when I found Iron Maiden B1. However, when I entered it, the second room was completely unfamiliar to me. It was probably just a glitch in the Matrix, I guess.
Some googling told me that Iron Maiden is a bonus, optional dungeon, made to be more challenging than the rest of the game. As a kid, I didn’t know that, so I thought the game was made to be that way. This is probably one of the main reasons I gave up.
The second room of Iron Maiden B1 contained a Wraith and two Gargoyles. This fight is designed to be annoying. The wraith is a ghost-type enemy, so its pattern is to teleport around and cast spells. One of the spells it casts silences Ashley, so his ranged damage gets disabled, unless I use a crossbow, which I don’t. The gargoyles, on the other hand, inflict the Numbness status effect, slowing Ashley’s movement, so it’s even harder to get to the wraith. The gargoyles, other than casting numbness didn’t do much, except that they loved just running away from Ashley, making his slowed movement even more annoying.
Even so, I focused on the wraith first and it went down in two hits, thanks to my Exorcist being a dagger with piercing damage. Killing it gave me a Mandrake Sigil, which apparently unlocks a door in City Centre South, as well as Grimoire Exsorcer, which casts the Exorcism spell, exorcising undead foes. Using Soil Fusion made damage against the gargoyles skyrocket, so they were easy to dispose.
Other than this first room the rest of Iron Maiden B1 was locked for now, so I went back to and through the first few rooms of the Keep, which were empty of enemies, but contained a lot of locked, colored rooms. I ended up at Warrior’s Rest, where I fought Rosencrantz
Boss Fight: Rosencrantz
Rosencrantz was easy. He kept using his break art, Cherry Ronde, which did about 60 damage to Ashley. Once he got low on health, he started using cure bulbs, so he prolonged the fight a bit, because his dodge rate was high. Still, eventually, I dwindled him down.
After the fight with Rosencrantz, I was at Town Centre South
Town Centre South
This was another large hub-like area infested with Crimson Blade soldiers. It connected directly to City Walls South, which opened up a shortcut for me. It also connected to Abandoned Mines B2, where I had to go next. The hint? The gate to it required the bronze key.
Abandoned Mines B2
Orcs! Lots of orcs.
Orcs are humanoid enemies, like goblins, so I used my executioner. There were also some slimes, but they died in two hits with the Hunter most of the time. The first boss I fought was an Air Elemental
Boss Fight: Air Elemental
I put two air affinity gems in my rounded shield to reduce the incoming damage. I then used Soil Fusion to boost my weapon, but it’s getting apparent I should switch to an axe or some other edged weapon against phantoms. The air elemental had a large amount of piercing resistance, so I did 15-20 damage per hit with my Exorcist dagger. Since it’s silver, I couldn’t combine it yet, so for now, I’m stuck with it.
At this point, I also realized you can’t use a weapon fusion and armor fusion spell at the same time. Somehow, I didn’t notice this before, but one obviously overwrites the other. In this case, the choice was easy. I had two air affinity gems, but no earth affinity gems, so I used gems to boost my defense and magic to boost my offense. In the future, it might not be as simple, though I can’t imagine it being much more complex than that. Either I’ll go all offense, all defense or try to keep a balance.
More Abandonded Mines B2
Next up was a challenging area, though in part because I was careless. Ashley starts in a large room with a save point. Exiting this room to the next area starts a two minute timer. Within those two minutes, you need to get through about a dozen rooms, each with enemies, get all the items you want to collect, defeat an Earth Elemental boss and finally get through the room after that to end the timer.
To make it even worse, the first room after the timer is over does contain a save point, but in order to get to it safely, you need to defeat a dragon-type enemies (one of those lizard people) as well as two gargoyles, one of them earth-type and the other water.
Basically, I first ran out of time a couple of times. Then I managed to defeat the boss only to die at the above room. Then I did all this one more time before I finally managed to clear it and save my game. I decided to skip one of the two optional chests within this timed section, because I tried looting it in one of my failed attempts, but it didn’t contain anything useful. The other one, however, had some nice items, so I looted that one.
Boss Fight: Earth Elemental
The earth elemental wasn’t exactly difficult, but my Exorcist wasn’t as effective against it as I wanted, so it took a while. There was no danger, though, so I wasn’t worried about beating it. The thing about the timer is that it does not count down when you’re in a menu or executing an attack – only when you’re moving, so it isn’t really an issue to get through it all in time, unless you get lost and have to backtrack too much.
Boss Fight: Sky Dragon
Right after the room with the second save point, the Sky Dragon was waiting for Ashley. This one was an issue. For some reason, my Dragonslayer spear is not a piercing weapon. It makes absolutely no sense, because it absolutely does look like a piercing weapon. Instead, its type is blunt.
Because of that, even with Soil Fusion or Prostasio (I tried both), I did zero damage with my regular attacks. Luckily, I have learned a Spear Break Art which does piercing damage, so I used that to damage the dragon.
Still, it only did a maximum of 60 points of damage per hit, it damaged Ashley as well, so he had to heal, and it had only a 50-60% hit chance, to it took a while to take out an almost 700 HP dragon. The dragon also does about 120 of damage with his tail strike, which it loved to use, so this meant even more time spent on healing.
Basically, the battle was long. It wasn’t especially hard, but it was long. I need to create a piercing Dragonslayer as soon as I can.
It’s getting weirder, but also far more interesting. As expected, Rosencrantz had a lot to hide. That’s probably not a big reveal, but it is a big plot point. The major plot point, however, is that the entire city of Lea Monde is actually the Grand Grimoire.
Also, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern know each other, Rosencrantz was expelled from the riskbreakers and Samantha can actually do the whole clairvoyance thing with Ashley in the opposite direction, which is how she was able to realize Ashley was listening in on their conversation.
Finally, Rosencrantz and Ashley did use to work together and both killed the picnicking family, so I guess that part wasn’t a lie told by Sidney. Or is it?
Meanwhile, Ashley is fine tuning his clairvoyance abilities and can now communicate with Callo Merlose even more effectively. Callo, on the other hand, turns out to be a Heart-seer, meaning she can extract information out of people’s minds, somehow. It didn’t look like mind reading in the game, so it’s hard to describe.
Also, the duke Barbossa is something called a Key Holder – he holds the key over Lea Monde, having some control of the city’s powers. If he dies without a successor, then the powers are lost. Sidney is also… something and has an interest in the city, but it isn’t yet revealed what he is or what he wants.
I finally found a workshop that can handle hagane equipment. It was at the Keep, in Warrior’s Rest, right before the battle with Rosencrantz.
A footman’s mace dropped, which has much higher base damage than my wizard’s staff, so I decided to disassemble the staff and assemble the mace into my new Paladin undead weapon. Its undead staff is negative right now, but I’m hoping it will turn into a good long-term mace. Once I get to a workshop that can handle silver, I’ll be able to combine it with the wizard’s staff to transfer the points over.
A tower shield also dropped, so I combined it with my circle shield to get a spiked shield. This was a no-brainer straight upgrade. I further combined it with a circle shield to get an even better round shield. This one has two gem slots, so I fitted it with a White Queen (20% change to evade numbness) and a Nightkiller (20% chance to evade a non-magical attack).
I combined my hagane Dragonslayer spear with a bronze scorpion and got a hagane scorpion, which was also a straight upgrade. I also did this with my armor, several times. Basically, I have a higher material class, but lower tier item. I combine it with an item of a higher tier and lower material class to get a higher material class, higher tier item.
My hagane spatha Hunter became a bronze norse sword. The material class is lower, but the item there is much higher, so it does more damage. However, I’m now having trouble upgrading the material class back to hagane. It should work with an iron blade, but it refuses to upgrade. I might have to find an iron norse sword to do it. Sadly, what I didn’t realize at the time was that the norse sword is a two-handed weapon. I’ve saved the game after, so now I’m stuck with it. Hopefully, it won’t take too long for me to turn it back into a one-handed sword.
I’m about 13—14 hours in and at 45% of map completion. I keep guessing how long it will take, but I’m going to stop doing that now. It’s obvious that map coverage doesn’t really correlate well with battles and story.