While the Final Fantasy series holds a special place in my heart, there’s room in there reserved for Grandia as well. It was the first JRPG I played that wasn’t Final Fantasy. I played it in German, didn’t understand a big part of it, but loved it anyway. Why?Continue reading
Today, I’ve completed Grandia. It required computer skills, the usage of a guide I wrote and quite a lot of time, but I did it. From now on, though, instead of converting my PlayStation games to EBOOT, I’m getting them from other sources.Continue reading
I was getting really close to the end of Grandia yesterday. However, before I go to Zil Padon and gain access to the final area, I had one more optional dungeon to clear – the Tower of Temptation.Continue reading
I Went Through Luzet Mountains
To get to Baa’s base of operations, I had to go through Luzet Mountains. This was a huge and extremely dull area with a low rate of experience gain. Pretty much the only worthwhile thing there was in the area were the Stat Up items I’m getting more and more off. With mana eggs not necessary any more, Stat Up items are pretty much only worthwhile thing to look for anywhere.
It took me well over an hour to get through the area, which consisted of two sections, so it really sucks that I have nothing to write about, but that’s how it is. Luckily, there’s one thing that did happen I can write about.
I Found a Bug
There’s a ledge under a mountain you can jump off. It’s basically one of those one-way paths Grandia has plenty of. The issue here was, if you jump off it at the wrong spot, you can get stuck and you’re pretty much forced to reload the game. Since this is quite deep into the area, you can easily face losing a couple of hours of game time.
Lucky for me, a few minutes before this happened, I had to use the “Pause Game” feature of the PSP Go to do something, so at this point, I was able to just “Quit” the game from the PSP menu and then reload the “Pause” state from before. This made me lose just a minute or two, instead of an hour I would have lost if I hadn’t done this.
I Got to J Base
Finally, I got to J Base and started fighting enemies actually worth the time. As I left Luzet Mountains, I was able to visit Laine before entering the base, so I did just that, cleared all of the clutter from the inventory, bought some upgrades and bought an Axe for Justin, even though it was a slight downgrade.
I Worked on My Skills and Spells
This was well worth the investment, because I was getting half an Ax level per battle in J base, so the extra strength I got quickly made up for a slightly lower speed I got from the axe. Pretty soon, I learned a new Skill to, the Aura, though I didn’t get around to using it yet.
Feena also learned a new skill – the End of the World. She actually learned it back in Rainbow Mountains, but I didn’t have enough Level 3 mana to use it back then. Now I can and I can say it’s a great spell. It does around 1000 damage to all enemies.
Liete is still mostly useless, but thanks to all the Agility and Speed Up items I’ve been using on her, she acts more and more often in combat, so she started leveling her skills and spells for a bit.
I realized each spell has a level of its own. I’m not sure what it affects, but I’m sure the casting speed is part of it, so I focused on using the lower level spells on all of my characters, to speed up their casting.
I Fought Baal Again
Finally, I got to Baal’s chambers and I was able to fight him again. This time, it was in his mutant for, so he was a lot tougher, but I also had my entire party with me, so it wasn’t much harder. I used Allhealer once with Feena, just in case, but I didn’t really need to in order to win. The amount of experience I got from the fight was astounding.
My victory didn’t matter, though. Gaia managed to grow and sprout, so the entire world was in danger now. You know what this means, right? Endgame!
I Fought Nana, Saki, Mio and Baal
I started to play Grandia again as soon as I got home from the train ride, so it was all still fresh for a change. I entered the Grandeur and started fighting lots and lots of Garyle soldiers. I’m not sure if it was the enemy type or something else, but the experience gain suddenly drastically decreased.
The random fighting didn’t last long, though. Soon, I got to a room with three Garyle generals – Nana, Saki and Mio. I could finally fight and beat them. The fight was easy and Justin pretty much dominated. I got hurt a bit, but I didn’t have to heal once. Of course, they tried to make it look like they last on purpose, because that’s the character role they need to fill, but that’s what makes the game charming.
After that, I had to walk through a couple more rooms to get to Baal and Feena, but before that happened, Justin got separated from Rapp and Guido. I got to Baal’s room. He went completely bananas this time and I had to fight him alone with Justin. It was an easy fight, though, and I don’t think he even hit me once.
After that, he went even more banana’s, revealed to be a mutant freak with appendages and threw Justin and Feena off the ship. What happened next was a bit illogical. Feena being what she is, grew wings, but instead of just flying Justin into safety, they get saved by Rapp, Guido and the flying manta,
I Went to Laine and then to Rainbow Mountains
Next stop was Laine village, where the three wise men revealed to be “the guardians of Alent” and sent us to the Rainbow Mountains, where the entrance to Alent was. Rainbow Mountains are a big area designed “vertically”. This basically means I had to walk back and forth a lot to finally get through it. That was just the first part of the area, though. The second part was more straight-forward, with basically a direct route (albeit with a bit of a maze) to the end of it.
Eventually, I got to the Rainbow Bridge, Guido said his goodbyes, finally, and I was able to finally get to Alent. Soon, I’ll get my final party member – Liete of Alent.
I Got to Alent
Alent was a city in the sky, or it might even be in space, I’m not sure. There weren’t any enemies to fight in there, but there were three bosses I had to deal with, one after another. I could go back to the save point and heal, though, so they weren’t an issue. All three of them were bosses I fought before, except they got a bit beefed up here.
I finally got to the building where Liete was. I had to talk to illusions of Liete to figure out the story and finally, I got to talk to her. She said Baal survived Grandeur’s explosion and thus, revealed our primary goal. We need to stop him before he completely revives Gaia. Justin suddenly got extremely good with words, so he convinced Liete to join the team.
Right now, I expect Liete to be completely useless. All of her stats are low, she can only use staves (or maces) and she has yet to learn her more powerful spells. Eventually, I’d like to have her catch up to the rest of the group and more importantly, I’d like everyone to catch up to Justin before I complete the game.
Of course, this actually happening all depends on me finding an area where I can level at a decent rate before the game ends. I hope an area like that exists.
It’s been a while since I wrote about Grandia, but I’m definitely still playing it and I intend to play it more often for the next several days, since I won’t have access to Gothic for about a week.
I Went to Zil Padon
Last time, I just cleared the Lower Laine Village and got Dorlin’s horn. He was now smart again, so he could tell me how to finally get to Alent. Apparently, I need to get the Medal of Wisdom, held by the Mogay and kept in the shrine under the city. Dorlin also made it pretty clear he has the hots for Liete, so there’s that.
I got to the shrine and, since Milda was out of the party, Guido decided to join in, at least for a while. I remember Guido as an extremely unmemorable character from my playthrough of Grandia as a kid, so I wasn’t thrilled, but I had a free spot so I didn’t really care.
Guido can’t learn any spells, uses the sword, knife and bow and has a couple of mostly useless skills. That is, they might be useful, but he doesn’t stick around for long enough to prove it. I ended up mostly using his pickpocket skill because it raises his held weapon skill and can sometimes grant me a decent item.
I Focused on Wind and Water
As far as experience goes, Justin was still leveling up at a decent rate. I started focusing on his wind and water elements, since I still had a few spells in those elements to learn. His sword and mace skills area more than high enough to get his remaining moves, but I’ll have to get an axe somewhere, before I can finally learn those. The rest of the party doesn’t really get a chance to level, but this will probably be changing soon, since the monsters are definitely getting stronger.
I Fought the Garyle Troops
As far as the story goes, there was a run in with the Garyle troops at the shrine, Baal turned out to be a major asshole and Mullen turned out to be a relatively nice guy. Also, there was a very predictable revelation about Feena (HINT: she’s Leen’s Twin sister).
I Chased Baal
Baal abducted Feena and flew off on his Grandeur airship, but Guido had a pet flying manta he brought with him “just in case”, so we could give chase. Yeah, the story really doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is fine.
In any case, this is as far as I got during the train ride. I could have probably gotten further, but it was a nice wrap up, so I decided to stop here. As I said, I won’t have access to Gothic for the next few days, so I’ll try to complete Grandia instead.
Last weekend, I only played Grandia for about 40 minutes, so there isn’t much to talk about. I only did one major thing – I got through the chaotic and twisted lower Laine village. It consisted of three or four areas, each a slightly different type of maze.
Lower Laine Village
I didn’t dodge any battles, sine my team started getting a nice amount of experience again, so Justin leveled by a lot in those 40 minutes, primarily because all of his skills now only cast half the SP, and his Dragon King Slice can kill most groups of enemies in the dungeon with one hit. As I said before, I’m not bothered with Justin getting ahead of the others in levels, because in the worst case scenario, the others will be able to catch up that much faster later on in the game.
The boss of the dungeon was another Gaia creature of the same type I fought at the Tower of Doom, though I think this one was stronger. I spread my party around and mostly used spells and skills, so I didn’t even have to heal. Before I knew it, it was over.
As for the loot, I didn’t get much in the area of equipment, but I did get the last mana egg I’ll ever need. I got back to Laine and immediately used it to teach Rapp his final element – Earth. I gave the horn back to the wise man and he told me where I needed to go next – back to Zil Padon.
Apparently, there’s a shrine in Zin Padon that’s connected to the Alent shrine, and the three races of Zil Padon somehow play a part in gaining access to the shrine. Before I could leave, though, it was time for another goodbye – Milda won’t follow me anymore.
I was actually looking forward to this moment. Milda is strong and cool and all, but her four moves get really boring really fast and I was looking forward to transferring her skills to Justin. Well, that turned out to be a bust! Apparently, either her skills sucked, or I didn’t understand the transfer mechanics correctly, because I barely got a single level in all three skills combined. Suffice to say, that was underwhelming. I even gave one of Milda’s manuals to Rapp, hoping he would get more out of it, but no dice.
Oh well, see you in Zil Padon…
On a Side Note…
The people of Laine grow up in an extremely weird way. Before I went to the lower village dungeon, there was a group of kids in town, talking about how one of them will soon grow up, so they want to play together as much as they can before it was over.
I didn’t think anything off it, but when I got back, one of the kids was a full-fledged, all grown, talking cow. Apparently, the people of Laine just “sprout” instantaneously, instead of growing up gradually.
Grandia is a weird game. Weirdly awesome!
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.
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.
As I said last time, I was about to enter the Tower of Doom in Grandia, but before that, I had to go back to the village to advance the story for a bit and, more importantly, to teach Rapp a spell element. I decided to go with Wind for now, but I’ll end up teaching him all four of the elements eventually, since Rapp is one of the final four characters.
As soon as I got to the Tower of Doom, I got introduced to another awesome temporary character, who’s basically a replacement for Gadwin – Milda of Laine. According to Rapp, if you anger a Lainian, you’re as good as dead. Well, this one was really angry. In fact, she was so angry, she immediately attacked the party, but this time, it went a lot better than with Gadwin. She was relatively easy to defeat and she ended up joining the group, since she was there to destroy the tower to.
Milda can’t learn any spells, so I won’t be making any hard decisions about that. She also doesn’t have a lot of skills. What she does have is pure damage. Because of this, I gave her Justin’s Chain of Gems, which allows the wearer to attack three times in a single combo, basically increasing the damage output by 50%.
The Tower of Doom wasn’t hard, probably because I’m still outleveling the area. I don’t know how exactly this happened, but since Virgin Forest, I barely get any skill or spell experience and most enemies die within a single area attack. I still gain a few skill levels thanks to generous SP and MP usage, but it slowed down to a crawl.
I had to get through several levels of the Tower of Doom and found some minor loot, but I didn’t get any mana eggs this time. That’s fine though, because it’s quite obvious I’ll get more than enough by the end of the game, so I’m in no danger of any of my characters not having all of their skills and spells.
Once I got to the top of the Tower of Doom (I just love saying its name), I got to enjoy the shenanigans of the three Garyle officers again, while founding out that the Garyle forces are breeding monsters. I ended up fighting one of this monsters called Gaia, right after finding out it was responsible for turning Rapp’s village to stone. It would have ended up turning the party to stone as well, but Justin’s Spirit Stone protected them.
The fight was long, but not hard at all. After it was done, the monster turned into a sprout (?) and Justin picked it up to take it back to the village. I guess I was the only one here thinking that wasn’t a good idea, because the village elder didn’t seem to have a problem with it and actually took it from Justin to examine it. Of course, the same night, with Leen leading them, the Garyle forces attacked the village to take back the sprout. At this point, a major revelation happens – Leen is an Icarian!
How? Does that mean Leen isn’t Feena’s sister? Does it mean Feena is an Icarian to? These questions remain unanswered for now and since my memory about it is a bit hazy, I don’t want to say something that might turn out wrong later. In any case, the sprout was gone and it was time to go further east, towards Laine. For that, I had to cross the Zil desert and get to Zil Padon, Guido’s home town.
I immediately went to the desert and soon found a great new accessory for Justin, to replace the Chain of Gems I gave to Milda. The Energy Ring restores SP through normal attacks, to a greater degree than the Medal of Yore I previously used. This means Justin will be able to use his awesome moves more often, making me even stronger.
The Zil Desert also contains the entrance to the first optional dungeon of the game – The Soldier’s Graveyard. I’m pretty sure I skipped the optional dungeons on my first playthrough, so I decided to explore it this time, just for the fun of it. I was also kind of hoping I’ll get more experience and stronger enemies in there, but the first few battles after the save point didn’t look promising. In any case, this is where I stopped playing.