[Game Travels] “Treasure Hunter G” – Part 6
Written By: Jessica “Allahweh” Brown
Last time around, we had recently uncovered the entrance to Carbuncle Cave during out pit stop on Carbuncle Island, only to have our party get split up. Not knowing where Rain and Ponga ended up, Red and Blue are forced to make their way through the cave by themselves, hoping to find them uninjured. This ultimately means we are forced to fight a few enemies on our own, but since Red and Blue are very adept at melee combat and the enemies here are a decent bit weaker than they are, this doesn’t prove to be all that difficult. Also, the cave has a pretty straight-forward layout and isn’t very maze-like, so the only thing that makes this cavern crawl a bit slow is that there are quite a few random enemy encounters along the way.
You would think that we would be happy with all the drops we get in here, but as my party’s inventory keeps getting bogged down with potions and such, it makes it suck when we find halfway-decent items we would like to equip. Part of the issue here is that since my characters are quite a bit stronger than most of the standard enemies, the need to use most of the items really isn’t there, so often I end up just having to waste them or throw out items I really don’t need.
Where’s a good merchant when you need one?
Anyway, when we finally meet up with Rain and Ponga, she tells us that Ponga’s legs are “all twisted,” obviously from the fall. As far as I know, though, we never have to cure him and this is never really addressed again, but it does make one battle right after finding them slightly harder because Ponga gets a DEF penalty due to his injury.
Deeper inside, we find the path to the next OPART. Like the one in Herman’s Cave, this one presents us with some kind of riddle that explains what we need to do to unlock the way forward. However, this one seems much more obvious. In the rooms that follow, there are essentially holes in the ground that lead either to the room below or which magically transport you back to the start of the area. In order to continue on, we have to do as the riddle suggests. In the first area, each hole in the ground has a whistling sound coming out of it as we get nearer except for one. Obviously, this is the “unheard noise,” and so we drop through it to the room below. Next, we notice that there are only three holes in the room, so we search for the hidden fourth one and take it below. Finally, it is simply a matter of selecting the hole that we had not had to drop in before and we end up near the chamber containing the next OPART.
After this trek through the cavern, though, obtaining the next OPART is rather simple and underwhelming. The only thing guarding it is a Minotaur like we faced in Herman’s Cave, accompanied by some of those fire-breathing dogs, and he is quickly dispatched. So, with the Spiral in hand, we can proceed back to the island.
Oh, and it is here that I should point out that some of these OPARTs actually have useful functions for us. In the case of Spiral, accessing it in our inventory allows us to teleport to the outside of the current dungeon, much like the “Exit” or “Teleport” spells might in some other games.
Back outside the cave, the Carbuncles thank us for helping clean up their island for them and then we get back on our whale and head into the open ocean, presumably this time heading for the northern continent.
At sea, the party seems very excited to be heading north in order to find the other OPARTs there and figure out what happened to Red and Blue’s father. However, the ocean seems to be much rougher than usual, although the waves seem to make it easier for the whale to travel. The party converses on some random musings as they go, and yet, as they progress, the skies seem to grow very dark. Then, out of no where, a massive wave strikes them and, from the waters rises the ghostly visage of Hel. Apparently, Hel went down into the underworld somehow and came back as this ghostly creature with powerful magical spells and, just like before, she challenges us to a fight in the hopes of taking our OPARTs from us.
This fight is strange compared to the other boss fights we’ve had so far in this game. This time around, the goal isn’t to actually hurt Hel herself, but rather we have to destroy these magical orbs that she uses to attack us and as channeling objects for her magical attacks. So, in each round, it is best to focus the characters’ attacks on one or two of the spheres, hoping to destroy it before Hel gets a move. When it is Hel’s turn, the spheres are drawn to her and then used to cast one of a variety of attacks. Some of the attacks create status ailments (such as poison or confusion) while the others can do pretty heavy damage to a single target. After a few of the spheres are destroyed, however, Hel kicks things up a notch and begins summoning tornado-like attacks that draw the characters in, do a moderate amount of damage, and then fling them all across the playing field, making the next round of movements much more difficult.
With Hel once again dispatched, the party sighs a sigh of relief and has no trouble continuing north in order to reach the northern continent.
Meanwhile, we are treated to a cutscene in which the Dark Lord seems disappointed that Hel failed him once again. However, this time his Elven minion tells him about the faeries that are awakening. He promptly tells him to go and deal with the matter and then we are returned to our party, which now has arrived in a new location.
~PORT TOWN OF AKRASS~
Finally on the northern continent, we seem a bit unsure of what our next destination should be. People in the Akrass, the port town we’ve arrived in, seem nice enough and most of them are talking about some kind of show that has been delayed due to monster activity in the area. So, it looks like the situation up here isn’t any different than down south. However, it seems like our whale friend was injured during our oceanic fight with Hel and his tail is rendering him unable to swim as fast as he’d like. The solution? Track down another Hi-Potion. In the town’s inn we meet a drug dealer in the attic (yes, seriously, we do), and he tells us about some awesome frogs that live down in the sewer. Guess what? That’s likely our next destination (yuck!).
Meanwhile, I make sure to check the shops in town to see what kind of equipment is being offered for sale. There are several stronger pieces of armor for sale as well as a few weapon upgrades, so I spent a bit selling off items that are of no use to us, selling old weapons and armor, and using that profit in order to purchase some new gear.
One annoying thing about “Treasure Hunter G” is that the item stores won’t actually allow you to sell anything in them, unlike most RPGs. Instead, we have to find a trader in town who wants to buy our equipment, and thankfully there was one here in Akrass.
So, next time around, rather than immediately heading to the overworld to explore, it looks like we will instead need to slog our way through this town’s sewers in search of an elusive frog because, you know, no one sells Hi-Potions in this game!
Stay tuned for Part 7!