Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Game 11: Phantasy Star II (Genesis) - Go Do Something, Somewhere

I have in my possession a stick of gum that allows everyone in my party to breathe underwater. As nonsensical as that sounds, my next statement will make even less sense. I cannot figure out how to go underwater. Why isn't this more straightforward? Plenty of water everywhere, there's one continent surrounded by the stuff yet the buoyancy is such that everything floats.

Based on this gum existing, I know my next step is to find a way to use it to explore the ocean depths. Skirting the coastline doesn't provide any notable features offshore, and trying to use the gum at random points provides little insight.

With no other leads I headed back to the town where the gum was created. One lone, random NPC mentions different colored water comes from the lake. I assume the Climatrol center is spilling lake water somewhere in the ocean, which is noticeably different. I search again, this time expanding my net to include areas of the ocean not visible from the shore.
How does the color of the water change?
The whole expedition is hampered by the game's rubbery display that only moves as I approach the edge, but centers once again after combat. Combat occurs quite frequently. Maybe there's a better hint to follow, but I'm determined to find it, there are only so many places to look. I'm rewarded by locating a small whirlpool, an hour into playing... I suppose the levels were worth the time.
Certainly... (the game gives no more dialogue after this message)
Here, I used the gum and found myself transported into a watery tunnel, complete with parallax scrolling ocean sheen. Did no one complain during play-testing?
Let's blind the player as much as possible!
This and the next few areas were linear, with only a couple branching dead ends. The false sense of security set in nicely and I was woefully unprepared when I entered the main floors of Climatrol. Paths branching everywhere, floor teleporters, loops, redundant paths, and dead ends all made an appearance and threatened my progress.

My next foray into the tower went a bit better, as I broke down and brought out my trusty paper and pencil. I drafted the layout of the floors, not too concerned with proper dimensions, collected treasure chests, and found a blue figure. She looked somehow familiar. As soon as I spoke to her, the comparison was obvious.
Nei? Does she remind you of anyone?
Neifirst explained, humans tried to kill her when she was first created. In turn she wanted to kill everyone, so she turned the biolab into a breeding ground for degenerate monsters. Nei split off from Neifirst during this time, disgusted. Meeting here like this again, Nei is overcome with rage and rushes to the fight, alone. I'm forced to fight, one character down.
Nei didn't last long, and would die anyway
This is the first boss, and what a challenge. I was trounced, even with what I considered over-leveling from extended exploration. Having gained some wealth, I used it to upgrade Luke's weapon (Cannon -> Laser Cannon) and give a weapon to Fera; I stocked up on healing items as well. The second attempt went much smoother, yet Fera still died.

Arriving back in Paseo, I headed straight to the cloning lab. The news wasn't positive; Nei can't be revived because the lab can only clone humans. (If Nei dies from a normal battle, is there an issue cloning her?) The game adds a nice touch by recognizing Fera died in the battle, and seamlessly offers to revive her. I'm told there's a plateau nearby to place Nei's body, never found it.

I returned to the command center and informed the commander/mayor of what transpired. He relayed that Climatrol was now flooding the world due to the spike back in power, and I am now wanted by robot guards in conjunction with this event. Our only hope is to open the dams; the attendant tells me I need an access card for each, red, yellow, blue, green.
Of course you hide emergency dam cards in a secret control tower!
Where do I get them? I don't get to ask that question. My next step? Speak with random NPCs again, and see if one has a hint. Maybe I'll run across some robot guards with the first card. In preparation, I've added Meta (the wrecker) to my group. His machine destroying abilities will prove useful if there's a robot boss.
Where were these robot guards when I was fighting Neifirst?

Session Time: 3h27m (Total Time: 13h52m)