Previously on Operation Replay...
Issun and I solved the mystery of the Whirlpool Galaxy and the location of the Dragon Palace. But then we went to the Dragon Palace and found out the queen of the Dragonians basically wanted us to go directly into the proverbial lions' den. Will we survive?? Keep reading to find out! Alternately, you could just skip this post and read the next one whenever it shows up, but that just wouldn't be any fun at all. And now then...on with the show!
Since the Dragon Palace looks exactly like the Sasa Sanctuary, it was really easy to find the Water Dragon's garden. Which wasn't so much a garden as it was a mostly-empty room with a hole in the middle. Hmm. I wonder what could be in the hole?
My sentiments exactly.
That thing's just waiting to kill us! Why did she ask us to jump down its throat?!
Of course it is. What did you think it was?
Yeah, I'm with you, dude. But I don't think we have any other choice here.
I thought we already established that earlier! You know, when he tried to eat us more than once?
Nothing to do but give it the ol' college try!
Yeah, well...sometimes a wolf's gotta do what a wolf's gotta do. You in? I hope so, because WE'RE GOING IN!
Who would have thought we'd find a garden inside the Water Dragon? The music is not really what you'd expect for the inside of a giant carnivorous creature, but it has the distinction of being my favorite piece of music from the game.
Of course it's hot and humid. We're inside a giant dragon. Somehow there are trees.
Well, we are inside the Water Dragon, so I can only imagine we'll see some of the people he's eaten.
If you do, just take comfort in the fact that the Water Dragon will digest it instead! HAHAHAHA!
I'm pretty sure this is the only place it could be, so...hopefully, yeah.
Strangely enough, (or perhaps not so strangely), there were monsters inside the Water Dragon. Hey, if he was going to eat monsters, he could at least have had the decency to kill them!
Fortunately, the demons were easy to kill.
So we made our way through the Water Dragon's insides. Not surprisingly, there was a lot of water, and a whole bunch of giant clamshells I dug up and/or headbutted to get the treasures inside. Some of them were more tricky to reach than others, but being a bona-fide treasure hound, I managed to loot them all. Nothing really valuable, of course, but plenty of strange stuff (How does a set of Bull Horns end up in here?).
Also, apparently the layout of the Water Dragon's insides is the same as (or at least similar to) Hana Valley, just mirrored. I'd have to go look at Hana Valley again, but there's definitely some similarity.
But, eventually we found our way to a round room with...this thing in it.
It's the Dragon Orb, stupid! But how do we get it out?!
The Dragon Orb?
You mean the Dragon Orb? Yeah. and I can't even Power Slash it out. Lame!
Yeah. So it's clearly the Dragon Orb.
Like the Dragon Orb? Geez, you're dumb.
Hmm. I wonder if the room with the Dragon Orb could have been the actual stomach? Because this next area is as close as we're going to get to any sort of intestine, I think.
Although I'm a bit confused by the crystals, to be honest.
That...looks fun. Is that blood, or something else?
Oh, so it's some kind of digestive fluid. Yay!
Ugh. Looks like some kind of tumor.
Cool. I know! I'll use Waterspout on the digestive liquid to burn through the tumor!
It's so crazy, it just might work!
That's the plan! Hope we don't get digested!
Something useful, I hope.
And after we attacked the tumor with the digestive juice enough times...
It's pouring down! Swim for your life!
Okay, maybe not. That doesn't look safe to swim in.
Well, uh...hopefully that's useful to us?
Fortunately, we have the perfect way to cross the acidic red waters!
At least, until it gets digested...
Good thing we had Galestorm to blow us along the weird tunnel. Also, I don't think the lily pad can be digested, so there's that.
And here we are back in the Dragon Orb room. What now?
You mean the Dragon Orb? Duh.
I'm going to count that as a good thing.
But I thought it was a good idea at the time!
So, using my awesome deductive skills, I used Waterspout again to bombard the muscle things on either side of the Dragon Orb with acid. Yay!
And with a little more application of acid...
And then...the Dragon Orb purified the acid somehow?
Which I guess is a good thing, because the Water Dragon was probably suffering from the worst case of heartburn ever.
And then the Dragon Orb lifted into the air...
Boy, it really looks like I really did some damage to those structures...
See? I told you it was the Dragon Orb!
No thanks to you. Wimp.
Now, how do we get out of here before we get digested for real?
Shut up and let's go!
Tell me about it. Although "burning it out with acid" would be a more apt description.
I'd hope so, but then again, we did invade the Water Dragon, dig holes in his digestive tract, burn a hole in that tumor-looking thing with stomach acid, flood his intestines with more stomach acid, and then use even more acid to wrench the Dragon Orb from the ligaments holding it in his stomach. Plus the music here is kinda downbeat. So I'm thinking...probably not.
And then the music faded away and everything got all quiet and creepy.
I'm not the one who kept talking for five minutes after we got the orb!
LET'S GO LET'S GO LET'S GO
Too late. What is that? And why does it think I can read Japanese?
Weird little lights? What does that mean?
I guess they're foxes with weird little hoods on. Okay then.
The Fox Rods?! Who would have thought we'd find them here? I didn't get a good picture of them, but fortunately for us, Issun gives us a handy description.
Okay, maybe the description wasn't so handy.
Took you long enough to figure that out...
Yes, thanks. I'd completely forgotten what the Fox Rods are. Now shut up.
And then, suddenly...everything went red. I knew we should have left 10 minutes earlier!
What's going on?!
I was as gentle as I could be! I guess I was pulling the orb out of his heart or something!
And then something that looked ominously like blood started dripping from the ceiling. I didn't manage to catch any drops in the following picture, but Ammy did show off some amusing dance moves to avoid them.
Silly wolf! This is no time to look adorable!
Shut up! I'm too GODLY to be digested!
So then an unfortunate timer started, and Issun and I had to flee the Water Dragon by working our way back out the way we'd come from while avoiding more dripping blood, or acid, or whatever it was. Here's a blurry picture of me doing a bad job of avoiding drips.
And here's a picture of me following the handy arrow on the ground. You know, in case I got lost on the one-way path.
Keep running! Keep running! We don't want to get digested!
We're almost there! GOGOGOGO!
We're definitely underwater. Looks like we struggled free of the Water Dragon's mouth right before he sank into the briny deeps. He's gonna be okay, right?
(On a side note: Ammy looks kinda like a drowned cat.)
Well, I don't know about you, but I suggest swimming to the surface for some AIR.
Yeah. I think we're boned.
At least we tried?
But then...something came up from the depths...
What could it be? I hope it doesn't attack me, because I don't think fighting underwater would go well.
Is that guy wearing a beaded curtain in front of his face?
Your name means nothing to me. Say something that makes sense!
Cool, I guess...
Is the beaded curtain supposed to make the bugs feel privileged before they fly into your face?
Wait a second. Those fin things on his head look familiar...
How did you know the Water Dragon was the King? You could have told me that a little earlier! We did just give him the world's worst case of acid reflux, you know!
So the beaded curtain is to keep all the little fish out of your eyes when you're...swimming around, then?
Yeah, we got that from seeing all the suffering Dragonians. Or not. Well, I guess your troupe of dancers in the palace couldn't get their spring going again, but I fixed that for them. You're welcome.
What power? The power to eat stuff? Because those teeth were pretty sharp.
Oh, right. The power we're all depending on.
So King Wada explained that he "waged war" against the so-called Dark Lord and made a tasty snack out of the Fox Rods (the "Dark Instrument").
Sounds like a bad case of indigestion.
No! Don't get it out! It's too evil!
Put it away! It gave the Water Dragon a horrible stomachache!
So...he shouldn't manage to get the Fox Rods back, then?
Why are they all rainbowy if they're so evil?
I promise I won't let Issun hand them off to the first person we meet.
Sure, I guess.
But, um...we're still boned, aren't we?
You've got that right. We saw that dead guy and his rowboat hidden in your stomach! Plus you killed all those sailors on the Ghost Ship!
So..somehow, Issun and I made our way back to the Water Dragon's garden in the Dragon Palace. I'm not really sure how. Maybe Orca found us? Well, whatever.
But before we could so much as take a step...
Rao? What brings you and your boobies here?
Shut up, Issun.
From the shore? I didn't think we were that close to the shore. Were we anywhere near the surface?
Whatever. What do you want?
Acidic drops of blood?
Well, that was rude.
He's dead. To sum up: we're all screwed.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever.
I suppose it makes sense...
At least he didn't have that beaded curtain on his face while he was a dragon. That would have been silly.
You know, maybe we should have kept that last part TO OURSELVES. Just a thought.
She was...but that doesn't mean we had to tell her we had them!
Hey! What if I wanted to use them?
She said a lot of things about the Fox Rods. Can you be more specific?
That's a little better, I guess.
Oh, right. Yeah! We almost got eaten by a shark!
Well, at least she apologized...
Wait. You didn't answer the question.
Why should we give them to you? I bet we could use them more efficiently!
Issun, I swear to Amaterasu I'm going to duct-tape your mouth shut. Quit it!
...in all the wrong places?
Oh, right. And we wouldn't want anyone shooting Miss Rao in the back, would we?
But then Ammy took matters into her own paws and tossed the Fox Rods to Rao. I thought we weren't going to give them to the first person we met...
Why are we giving them to her? The monsters will eat her alive!
Don't worry. I don't.
Why do I have a bad feeling about this?
Why would I be worried? You just got all possessive of the Fox Rods...
Why do I still have a bad feeling about this?
Are you trying to distract us with your cleavage?
Yeah...I still have a bad feeling about this.
Unfortunately, I've reached my stopping point for today. Tune in next time for exciting conversations with various people, thrilling chases, and...GHOSTS? ZOMG!
Until next time, heroes!
An Early Chalky Western Horse
18 hours ago