Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Game Review: Final Fantasy XII

Developed from 2001 to 2006, Final Fantasy XII cost approximately 4 billion Japanese yen to produce (approximately $34.6 million [1) with a crew of more than one hundred people.

The story is a welcome change from the sometimes overly fantastic FF's of late. Gone are the stereo typical RPG themes such as go to the cave of ___ and find the monster that guards the ____ jewel. There's no lifestream, no giant meteor headed for the planet, no time bending sorceress, it's the story of the small kingdom of Dalmasca, strategically positioned between the two continents of Valendia and Ordalia and thus is geopolitically important to both warring states. The strong military kingdom known as the Arcadian Empire that rules the Valendia Continent and the Rozarrian Empire that rules the Ordalia Continent have had been continuously at war for many years. Prior to the invasion Prince Rasler Heios Nabradia weds Ashe B'nargin Dalmasca and shortly after the empire invades. In the midst of the Arcadian Empire's invasion of Dalmasca, Prince Rasler is killed in battle. After the Archadian empire's victory King Raminas B'nargin Dalmasca, is murdered while meeting to sign the terms of surrender apparently by General Basch von Rosenberg of Dalmasca. But all is not what it seems, alliances, loyalties, foes and friends can change. The story and characters are fascinating and very dynamic. Vaan may appear to be a fruitcup but the voice actor, Bobby Edner makes Vaan a believable.......vagrant. The voice acting in FFXII rivals that of the MGS series.
Vaan always dreams of someday becoming a sky pirate in command of his own airship. The rest of the cast are equally fascinating and well developed (not like Lulu)..
Ashe Vanalgan Dalmasca is the princess and heir to the throne of the kingdom of Dalmasca, She's fighting to liberate Dalmasca from the Archadian Empire. Ashe seeks not only freedom for her country, but also vengeance against the Archadian invaders and the former Dalmascan general Basch, who assassinated the king shortly after the Archadian army stormed the royal castle in Rabanastre.
Basch von Rosenberg served as a general in the Dalmascan army. During the Archadian assault on the royal castle, he discovered that the king had signed a treaty that would allow Archadian rule over Dalmasca and supposedly slew both the king and Vaan's older brother, Reks. He is now considered a traitor by most.
Penelo is an orphan who has known Vaan since childhood, the two act like brother and sister but aren't related.
Fran is a Viera (a race first introduced in FFTA) she is Balthier's partner aboard his airship. Fran is the only non-Hume (human) character in the main cast.
Balthier Bunanza is a sky pirate who pilots a small airship around the skies of Ivalice. He and Fran, remain strategically neutral in the war between the kingdoms of Ivalice.

The cast of FFXII is a nice change visually for the series, FFXII reunites us with the world of Ivalice and the character design from Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story. There's no denying that Star Wars has influenced prior FF titles; Biggs & Wedge anyone? But FFXII trully shows the most influence in my opinion, you might as well call Balthier and Fran Han & Chewie. As I played thru the game it became apparent Vaan is modeled after Luke Skywalker, young boy from a small town gets swept up with a band of rebels fighting aginst an empire. Before the game was released SE advertising put most of the focus on Vaan and the Judges, this was a bit misleading as you discover around 10 hours into the game. With past FF's there's typically a lead character like Cloud, Zindane or Yuna, this is not the case with FFXII. When the game begins Vaan seems to be the main character, but then the focus shifts to Ashe and Vaan seems to slip into obsurity story-wise. I think Yasumi Matsuno intended to try and have the story unfold thru the eyes of Vaan but not have him as the central character like George Lucas attempted with C-3PO and R2D2 in Star Wars: ANH.
Yasumi Matsuno, originally announced as both producer and director, was forced to bow out of both roles midway through the creation of Final Fantasy XII due to health concerns. FFXII took a significant delay most likely due to this, and after completing the game I can honestly say Final Fantasy XII is tremendously unbalanced. The story aspect of FFXII seemed interesting but extremely short, I could've completed the story in about 30-40 hours with all 6 characters only at level 50. But if you stop there you'll likely miss out on the other half of the game's experience, the hunts! More on that in a bit....All of the summoned creatures in Final Fantasy XII are named after boss enemies or other entities from other Final Fantasy games, most notably Final Fantasy Tactics and its spinoff Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. CĂșchulainn, Belias, Zalera, Adrammelech, Hashmalim, and Ultima are all names of various Lucavi demons in Final Fantasy Tactics, though some of their names vary slightly from those of the Final Fantasy XII espers due to errors in translation i.e. Ultima's name is spelled in Final Fantasy Tactics as "Altima" and CĂșchulainn was spelled "Queklain". Zodiac also made an appearance in the game as a summoned creature. Similarly, Famfrit, Exodus (Exdeath), Adrammelech, Ultima, and Mateus all appear in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance as Totema, guardians of the Five Crystals of Ivalice. Chaos, Mateus, Famfrit (Dark Cloud), Zeromus and Exodus (Exdeath) are all named after the final bosses of Final Fantasy I, II, III, IV and V. I enjoyed the fan service with the new espers names from FF lore and the fact thet the traditional Sumons like Ifrit, Shiva, Leviathan and the lot weren't left out but used as names for the Archadian Empires Dreadnaughts, that was cool, regrettably the Summons in FFXII were next to useless. Like FFX the Summoned Esper will replace the rest of the team except the summoner, so if the summoner dies the Esper leaves and the remaining party returns. Up until FFX, summons were more like a really powerful spell, in FFX summons became more like a powerhouse NPC that was upgradeable, FFXII is similar to FFX but the summons are'nt upgradeable and are easily overwhelmed before they can use their primary spell.

Another staple of the franchise is character's trance/rage/overdrive special attacks, in FFXII their called Mist and they take alot more presidence over Summons in this game. They are far more useful and powerful than any FFXII Esper.

As I mentioned earlier FFXII is tremendously unbalanced to the point where you wonder if when Yasumi Matsuno left the project whole chunks of the story were cut out. I had actually reached the end of the game with my party around level 50 and I hadn't even unlocked the entire license board. The License board replaces FFX's Sphere Grid, in FFXII you not only need to use LP (license points) to unlock access to weapons, armor, magicks, technicks, augments and accessories. Regrettibly this too seemed unbalanced as you could purchase or aquire weapons and armor but unless you unlocked the coresponding license on the board you couldn't use said item. The board resembles a chess board, as you collect LP thru battles you can use them to unlock adjacent spots. The fact I reached the final boss before unlocking the most powerful stuff on the board did not bode well with me. After reaching the point of no return in the story I literally switched focus to the hunts in the game. It felt like two separate games in one! I played FFXI enough to see that this aspect was an offline version of Vana Diel's HNM's. The hunts were alot of fun and thru them not only did I reach level 99 I unlocked the entire license board, and found locations in Ivalice that the core story doesn't bring you to. Unbalanced, very. I can proudly delare that I defeated Yiazmat, an elite mark (HNM) with 50112254 HP and collected all the espers including Zodiark. I'm one of those FF players that must explore every nook and crany of the game. I still need Tournsol and the Wyrmhero blade though.

One of Final Fantasy XII's hunts is a battle featuring Gilgamesh, an entity typically a summoned creature or other similar being, seen previously in many other games in the series. The battle is set to his musical theme "Clash on the Big Bridge" from Final Fantasy V and he wields eight replicas of swords from previous Final Fantasy titles, which are Cloud Strife's Buster Sword from Final Fantasy VII, Squall Leonheart's Revolver Gunblade from Final Fantasy VIII, Tidus's Brotherhood sword from Final Fantasy X, Odin's Zantetsuken, the Orichalcon, and Final Fantasy V version of the Excalibur and the Excalipoor. As a special surprise for fans, Gilgamesh's final sword is the iconic Sword of Loto, also known as the Sword of Kings or Erdrick's Sword, from the first Dragon Quest trilogy.

My final feelings about FFXII are; interesting story but too short. Visuals are top notch. Terrific voice acting. The hunt's were great with some of the best monsters in a FF game yet! I enjoyed reading the info about them in the database. Gambits = FFXI macros, I used them but I felt like they put the game on auto pilot. I loved the Judges and the core villian was badass by the end.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Game Review: Okami

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but you'd be hard pressed to find a more aesthetically impressive game. The game is fairly straight forward, you play Amaterasu Okami the reincarnation of Shiranui the white wolf that fought alongside Nagi 100 years ago to protect Kamiki village from the demon Orochi.
The pen is mightier than the sword...
Okami is accompanied by Issun on his journey thru Nippon to restore beauty and revive cursed lands. In order to accomplish this Okami must master the hidden arts of the celestial brush. Thru your travels Okami will be blessed by other gods with new brush techniques that literally transform the envirnoment you are in. By holding R1 you access the brush and holding triangle or square, useing the left analog stick Okami can transform her surroundings to restore beauty and wildlife to the area.
As Amaterasu restores the land she gains praise from the land, when she helps an NPC like Kushi, the sake brewer, she'll gain praise, or when Amaterasu shares her food with the animals of the lands. These praise points can be used to boost Amaterasu's attributes like health, ink jars..the more ink jars the longer you can use the celestial brush. Praise points can also be used to increase her astral much food she can carry, a finally praise points can increase Amaterasu's purse.
As I mentioned earlier Okami is accompanied by Issun thru her journey thru Nippon, Issun's gender is never determined. Issun travels with Amaterasu to learn to secret techiniques of the celestial brush. Issun acts as a guide for the player as well as comic relief. The dialog is smart and witty even though some times the conversations seemed childish. The NPC's seem a bit childish but upon further research many of them actually are from native Japanese religion, Shinto.
Amaterasu is portrayed as the sun goddess in Shinto and many other characters in the game stem from Shinto.
So for those parents who believe nothing beneficial comes from video games I would say give your son or daughter this game, they might actually learn something interesting if they get into Okami. This brings me to my next point, Okami didn't sell to well here in the states unforunately, most likely because the game is so heavily influenced by Japanese lore many kids here will not be able to connect with it. It's kind of sad that American kids are more likely to pick up Halo, Socom, or Ghost Recon than a game like Okami that isn't just beautiful but fun if you're willing to give it a try.
The only issue I have with Okami is there are times where I can't fiqure out what I'm supposed to be doing to proceed. There is an ingame log book which will come in handy if you put this game on the back burner for a few weeks. There's also a beastiary and animal tome that logs all the different animals you've feed thruout the game. The Music is subtle yet as beautiful as the games visuals. The battles in the game are very easy especially once you are familiar with the celestial brush, the boss fights however are far more interesting and challenging, making the player use the techinques learned. There's also plenty of secrets in the game that are worthwhile to uncover.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Game Review: Capcom Classics Collection Volume 2

Cacom Classics Volume 2 has plenty for the retro gamer to enjoy but there was really only 1 game in the collection that made this a must have for my collection....Street Fighter! Yep the 1989 fighting game that paved the way for one of the most recognizable gaming franchises around the world. My collection is now complete, I actually played the original Street Fighter in the arcade and since I never owned a Turbo Grafx 16 I didn't get to play Fighting Street back then.
Capcom Classics Collection V2 has many other fantastic titles for your retro gaming cravings!
Black Tiger
Captain Commando
King of the Dragons
Knights of the Round
Magic Sword
Quiz & Dragons
Street Fighter
Super Street Fighter II Turbo
Tiger Road
Varth: Operation Thunderstorm

I actually got my wife to play the Quiz & Dragons game and she enjoyed it, Strider is another fantastic title that I remember being big in the arcades. I also remember Krogenar and I played Captain Commando in the arcade back in the day.
Avengers is an interesting title as it was directed by Takashi Nishiyama who later co planned the original Street Fighter which was inspired by Yie Ar Kung Fu. The game allows you to play as either Ryu or Ko.....interesting! The game has 3 attacks Punch, Kick and Roundhouse which is a 360 degree attack (coughtatsumakisempukyakucough).

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Monday, October 16, 2006

He's Crafty

Last night I managed to get the Fei Yin chest key and find a treasure chest to acquire the magic tome needed to finish the quest magic of the north to get the scroll of Tele Zvahl.
I've been burning the midnight oil in the Carpenters Guild in San D Oria lately and managed to get woodworking up to 18.

I reached a wall with woodworking, my next synth is silver arrows, which requires, yagudo fletchings, black chocobo feathers, willow lumber, and silver arrow heads. Silver arrows sell for 3-5K a doz. Silver arrowheads sell for 50k for a stack of 99! So I am now working on gold smithing so I can synth my own silver arrowheads.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Raising Chocobo

Last night I logged on to check on Yellow XIII, the Bastokan VCS told me he took Yellow out for walk in town and Yellow seemed interested in everything. A few days before he lost a race to some cocky NPC's (cut scene onry) and was anxious to try again, so I fed him some gyshal greens and told the Bastok VCS that Yellow wanted to compete against the NPC's again. This time Yellow won! Afterwards I took Yellow for a short walk outside Bastok and read him a story.
The next day I checked on Yellow XIII, he was scheduled to exercise in a group with other chocobos for 2 days, apparently he over did it and he's sick and starving now. I fed Yellow 3 bunches of gyshal Greens and 2 tokopeko grass bushels so he was full but was still ill. I told him the "Happy Chocobo" story I got from those rude NPC breeders after beating their chocobo 3/4 times. And I took him for a short walk out to Zegham Hill, but it didn't help. Before I left the stables I changed Yellow's care plan to rest for the next 24 hours, then listen to music the following 24.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


I completed the story that precedes the chocobo raising process and recieved my chocobo egg. Once I finished that I headed to the chocobo stables in Bastok and handed in my egg to the Vana’diel Chocobo Society (VCS) chocobo trainer. The process of raising my chocobo from egg, to chick, to adolescent, to adult will take approximately one month (Earth time). My wife has volunteered to oversee the nursery of our baby chocobo. She will be working with a VCS chocobo trainer to care for our chocobo. The attributes of a fully grown chocobo will depend on the treatment it receives during this time. I'm confident chocobo care services will be knocking on my mog house before the month is up.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Class Reunion

After defeating the NM Galgalim that Uran Mafran summoned I returned to Windurst and obtained Cabuncle's Tear, I returned to Koru Moru who asked me to bring him 4 Astragalos, after getting Koru Moru his astragalos Ildy Goldy arrives and reports on the events with Uran Mafran. Somehow Uran Mafran has cast a spell over his old classmates that erased himself from their memories! Koru Moru asks me to find the rest of the class and see if they remember Uran Mafran.
My first stop was to the Auastery to speak with Fuepepe, then over to the Optistery to see Frakku-Nurakku, then Proffesor Shantoto. The professor tells me I need to find Sunny Pabonny but he left for San D'Oria, when I reach San D'Oria I meet up with Gulmama and he gives me an Ice Pedulum and tells me to go to Fei Yin.

I traveled to Fei Yin with Darcy, Krogenar and a few other members of LotB to get the whisper of frost from Shiva Prime at the cloister of frost and the second peice of Artifact Equipment. We gathered at the protocrystal and I traded the ice pendulum to the crystal and we entered the Cloister of Frost. Sunny Pabonny shows up and warns us not to follow him, he has a strolling sapling pet follow him into the protocrystal, when we follow him in we see Uran Mafran turn his pet sapling into 6 Dryads and sic'd them on Sunny Pabonny. We obliterated the record for best time on that NM battle, I think we were done in less than a minute. Once we finished the AF battle we traveled thru Fei Yin back to the protocrystal, Darcy, Cabanaboy and I defeated Shiva Prime. Afterwards I headed back to Koru Moru to report and collect my Evokers Spats!
On the following Saturday Vrtra and I traveled to the Cloister of Storms and defeated Ramuh Prime for the whisper of storms. Sunday Vrtra and I headed to the Cloister of Tides, not an easy place to get to! I tele'd to Yhoator Jungle, then hiked to the Temple of Uggalepih, navigated the Temple to The Den of Rancor. This is by far the most difficult Cloister to reach as we had to defeat a temple gardian and then use the paintbrush of souls to get thru the secret entrance to the Den of Rancor, once in the Den we had to find a drop down to the lowest level and hope sneak and invis didn't drop as we did. The battle against Leviathan was slow with Vrtra wailing away at it as I kept barwatera and haste up. Leviathan retaliated by casting Spring water to recover around 600 HP multiple times and slow. I had reraise up and decided not to run down the path when we got Leviathan down to 50%, when he used his 2hr ability, Tidal Wave I got hosed so to speak but thanks to reraise I was back in the game. Here is where I made our fatal mistake, I used a ginger cookie and ran down the path a bit too far to keep Vrtra's barwatera up. When it dropped I sarted to run back but suddenly his HP dropped to 0, then the big fella came for me. So I still need the whisper of tides, the hardest cloister to reach and the one most people don't have the fame to get the tuning fork.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Immortal Sentries

After my initial visit to the Empire of Aht Urghan, I had not been back, instead I've been working on SMN. I decided to revisit Aht Urgan Whitegate. When I arrived I went to Salaheem's Sentinels and recieved my first mission as a mercenary. Naja Salaheem handed me supplies and told me to bring them to any of the staging point thruout the Near East Lands. While in Aht Urghan I met up with Darcy, the leader of LotB, he offered to help me reach one of the Staging Points. We traveled thru Bflau Thickets to Ma Mool Ja to one of the Staging Points. I returned to Aht Urgan reported to Naja Salaheem and was granted merc rank.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Uran Mafran and the battle for Kukulcan's Staff

I set out to get Kukulcan's Staff, the first piece of SMN artifact equipment. I traveled to the House of the Hero in Windurst Walls. Carbuncle spoke in riddle about a great deception and told me to go to Bastok. In Port Bastok I spoke to Juroro and Ildy Goldy. After a short chat Ildy Goldy handed me a Earth Pendulum and told me to travel to the Quicksand Caves in Altepa Desert. Within the Quicksand Caves, Krogenar and I made our way to the Cloister of Tremors. I activated the Earth Pendulum and we were transported to the same dimension that I had fought Titan. Apparently Ildy Goldy had followed us in because as we arrived in this strange dimension I saw the little Tarutau run up the ramp to where the Notorious Monster Galgalim waited for us, but instead a taru mage by the name of Uran Mafran stood there, as Ildy rushed at Uran Mafran he warped away and Galgalim appeared. Krogenar sent in his pet and I send in Garuda, Galgalim fell fast to the relentlessness of Courier Carrie and Garuda. After the battle ended we reappeared in the Cloister of Tremors and Darcy joined our small group, we rentered the strange dimension this time to fight Titan Prime. We were fighting him again to capture the Whisper of tremors, one of six whispers needed to unlock the battle against Fenrir, the Avatar of darkness.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Staff Sergeant Tryptifaeris

I reached lvl 28 fishing, and traded in the apropriate fish to pass the lvl cap test. I am now a novice rank fisherman and have begun collecting guild points towards RA/EX fishing items like the apron, secret maps showing the best fishing spots around Vana Diel ect.
I also reached lvl 50 SMN and am about 1500 away from 51. In preparation I have begun purchasing elemental staves with the gill I've earned fishing up hundreds of nebimonites. So far I have the Dark, Light and Ice staves, with the matching avatar these staves not only increase the avatars power but they have the inate ability to increase the avatar perpetuation.
I also dropped the 300K gil for the WHM scroll of Erase, and will be buying the tele Zvahl scroll soon as my Nebimonites sell.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Return to Promivion Dem

Tryp rallied the LotB troops to once again attempt Promyvion Dem spire. My PT consisted of Domantas (BST), Luner (BST), Aarron (BST), Kimoni (BST), Drust (SMN), and myself (WHM).
The trek to the top of the Spire didn't go as smoothly as the last time I died twice but luckily I had my reraise earring. When we reached the forth floor we made a mad dash to the zone into the spire. We go over the anima plan, setting up 3 teams of 2 to use their psycho & hystero anima in unison against the NM Progenerator.

We enter the battle arena and set our plan in motion, we fought hard but regretibly couldn't win, the Progenerator was victorious with about 10% HP left.

After this disapointing loss I met up with Almightylock and Arcee from the Fallen LS and helped them with a NM fight on the Selbina-Mhaura ferry. Unlike my previous battle in promy Dem this fight was [too weak to be worthwhile].

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Pirates Cove

After completing the Talekeeper mission my next mission for Bastok was given to me by the Mithril Musketeer Naji, outside the President's Office, he asked me to travel to the pirate hideout of Norg and rendesvouz with Gilgamesh. Once I reached Norg , Gilgamesh tells me to find an Adaman Ore and askes me to retrieve a Frag Rock from Ifrit's Cauldron by defeating a NM Salamander. I round up a group of BST from LotB and travel through Yhoator Jungle to Ifrit's Cauldron, this is a very dangerous place, especially for mages! The path to the NM is crawling with bats and volcanic gasses that will aggro me at the first cast, if the gases explode they can do over 1200 points of damage to everyone standing around. We reached the area where the notorious monster was located, I threw the Adaman Ore into the spawn point and the Magma (a bomb) and Salamander (a lizard) poped. After we defeated the bomb and it dropped 6 frag rocks, I returned to Norg and gave Gilgamesh his Frag Rock.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Looking for Kris in the Dunes

While fishing up nebimonites on the Selbina-Muhuara ferry I ran into Ppuffy from LotB, during our tryp he acquired the pirates chart needed to spawn the Mecurial Kris battle in the Valkurm Dunes. Once we arrived in Selbina we met up with another LotB member Swizzle and headed to the spawn point to trade the map to a ??? in the surf. Once we traded the map 2 NM's Notorious Monsters) came in from the sea and attacked, a clipper, a pugil and a Kraken once they reach land we each concentrated on one, Ppuffy and Swizzle called on their CC's and I summoned Ramuh. This battle is capped at 20 so once we began I was stripped to my jammies O.o, during the fight other local parties dropped what they were doing to watch the fight, I summoned Ramuh and used my 2 hr job ability Astral Flow and watched as Ramuh unleashed Judgement Bolt....those fish didn't stand a chance! Once the battle ended a treasure chest appeared on the beach, inside we found an Albatross ring, some H.Q pugil scales, and a bone calamary shell (bait). Regretfully the elusive dagger, Mecurial Kris was not inside.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Return of the Tale Keeper

Recently I've been XPing as much as possible and have begun PTing back in the Garilage Citadel and when the PT invites are scarce I'd spend my time on the Mhuara-Selbina ferry fishing Nebimonites, which are selling for 25k a doz, been making decent gil off them.

I recently returned to Bastok and spoke to the gate guard, he said there was a new mission for me but I needed to speak to Medicine Eagle, who could be found near the ramp to Ore Street in Bastok Mines. Medicine Eagle told me of the appearance of a young Galka boy claiming to be the new Talekeeper. There were many skeptics among those Galka that rushed to see the heir of Raogrimm. Medicine Eagle then asked me to go find Drake Fang in the Zeruhn Mines. When I met Drake he explained that the boy was said to hold an Alteppa Moonpebble, just then one of the Mithril Musketeers, Iron Eater, showed up and told me my mission was to travel to Western Altepa Desert and retrieve an Altepa Moonpebble to confirm that this boy was trully the heir to the Galkan Talekeeper and not just a scam artist by collecting an authentic Altepa Moonpebble. My abilities as a Summoner had grown but I wasn't sure that I'd be able to defeat the Sphinx's that guarded the Moonpebble alone. Legend has it that in order to attain an Altepa Moonpebble one must defeat the Eastern and/or Western Sphinx's, feirce Manticores that lay dormant until adventurers come seeking the moon pebble, so I called upon Krogenar who had recently helped me defeat the Shadow Lord! He had recently attained level 75, with his help I was sure we could defeat the Manticores. While gearing up in Jeuno we ran into Jiggs and asked if he'd like to join us.

We traveled to Airs Rock in Western Altepa Desert, . I examined the ??? and the Western Sphinx and Eastern Sphinx appeared. Krogenar, Jiggs and myself slayed both the Western and Eastern Sphinx.

Into the Emptiness

Krog set up a Promivion Dem run, the party consisted of me, Krog, and Lucke from LotB and Jonraffy and Sazuki. We were one member short of a full PT but with Krogenars direction we did fine navigating the emptiness. Krog lead us to the MR's (Memory Recepticles) and with Carby and 2 CC's we made short work of them. Sazuki the WHM did need to raise Jonraffy twice on the way to the forth level of the spire and I got nailed once on the way to the zone on the forth level but otherwise we did fine.Krog laid down the plan of attack and it sounded good. We entered the BC, waited a few mins for there call pet timer too cool down then engaged the Progenerator. Krog and Lucke sent in their CCs and I send in Carbuncle, then we withdraw to let them do some work. The Progenerator put the smackdown on their CC's and Carby didn't last long either. I unleashed my 2hour ability Astral Flow and then commanded Carby to use Searing Light but just as it was about to execute the boss runs away O.o! The plan began unraveling quickly and I see Krog, Lucke and Jonraffy begin to melee the boss. Krogenar unleashes his WS, it doesn't do much damage but gets the bosses attention. Krog drops, but fortunately he had a reraise earing equiped and raises himself then calls on a tiger familiar, Lucke calls his tiger familiar also and they begin assaulting the Progenerator, meanwhile I'm trying to rest up enough MP to re-summon Carbuncle so I can try casting SL again before the Astral Flow timer ran out. The Progenerator used it's Fisson ability and spawned offspring that took me down before I could unleash Carby's Searing Light again...I didn't have a reraise earring so I was done. Soon after I fell Jonraffy died and Krog droped last. It was a fun tryp to the top but we weren't prepared well enough, 1 member short and we didn't use our animas efficiently.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Shadow Banisher

Once Krogenar met up with us we entered CastleZvahl, nothing could have preparared Tryp for what wait for him inside. The castle was a hellish maze crawling with every type of beastman; Goblins, Orcs, Quadov, Yagudo, Evil Eyes, and Demons. I had to keep my buffs up at all times and let the group know when they i needed to recast so as to not be left behind. After a few minutes Eleazar skillfully navigated the group through the castle. We now stood at the foot of a bridge that streched out into the cold mist, in the distance I could see the dark siloette of the Zvahl Keep

Once thru the Keep we entered the tomb and were greeted by the Galkan Dark Knight Zied, what was he doing here?The room was eerily silent aside from us but suddenly the air grew musty and an electricity filled the air, the cover of the Shadow Lords coffin slid open and a large arm emerged.

Apparently Zied was not expecting this, but was ready for action, but the Shadow Lord was not amused, he bound Zied in place and the battle to save Vana Diel had begun! I stood at the entrance frozen by shock at the sheer size of the Shadow Lord, but then I heard Krogenars voice yelling to me to run across the room while he and Eleazar fought the Shadow Lord!

When the final blow was delivered the mighty Shadow Lord stumbled, grabing his chest in pain he fell on one knee, but when the dust settled the abomination was gone, replaced by Raogrimm the Galkan talekeeper who supposedly vanished some 30 years ago....the same Raogrimm I had the vision of back when I was collecting the Magicite for Arch Duke Kam' lanaut.....

I collected the piece of magicite optistone. As I picked it up I experienced a
vision from the past...the king of San d'Oria,; suspicious of the Humes of
Bastok and their "investigation" of the Northlands sends a delegate to oversee
their findings...Once I removed the second piece of Magicite the room in faded
to white and I had another vision of the past, a group of adventurers in the
Beaucedine Glacier; Raogrimm the Galkan swordsman, Ulrich the Hume Warrior and
Cornelia the Hume Monk separated from the fellowship, the tension between Humes
and Galkans in Bastok reached a shatering point Ulrich unsheathes his sword but
Cornelia steps between the two, red snow, a weeping Galka left to die in the
blizzard, a hume with a dark secret....Zied rushed to Raogrimm's side, Raogrimm
explains that when he was betrayed and left for dead all those years ago all the
anger and frustration of the Galka race overcame him and the heroic Mithril
Musketeer known as Raogrimm died....replaced by the Shadow Lord, the culmination
of ages of cowardness,rage, envy, arrogance and apathy.During this precious
moments scene Arch Duke Kam' lanaut and his brother enter the room and we
discover the events that are taking place are all part of a prophecy fortold by
the Kindred an ancient race thought to be extinct for over a millenia, and that
the poem that Lion had told me was actually the Kindred prophecy.

As one bright star shines through the clouds at night,and as one song rings clear above the roar of beasts,we hold to one hope in these darkest of times.That they will come, with the wisdom of the ages and the strength of thousands to deliver us from our plight.We await the awakening of the warriors of the crystal The Crystal Warriors (the Ark Angels) will not come to save us from dark times, but to clense this rotting corpse which Kam' lanaut calls Vana Diel of us maggots. At this point things are looking very grim when Kam' lanauts' younger brother unleashed a portal and 5 large crystals appear hovering above the tomb of the Shadow Lord, in a blinding flash the crystals shatter into thousands of shards and there on the steps stand (and levitate) the Ark Angels! Kam' lanaut declares the end of the 5 races of Vana Diel will begin with the death of Raogrimm! The Hume Ark Angel rushes toward Raogrimm but Zied throws himself between the two, just then Lion enters and witnesses this, she sends some type of lumenescent projectile towrds the Ark Angel and tells us to follow her to safety. Raogrimm orders us to leave also, as I flee the room the Shadow Lord rears up for one last battle...a battle he cannot win and just then I could swear by Altana is saw the spirit of Cornelia, Raogrimms love, as the door shut behind me.