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Walkthrough, Part III

Snowfly Forest

The Snowfly Forest is not a friendly place. It is one of two areas in the game where the exits on your mini-map are not labelled with dots. Since every area in the forest looks pretty much the same, this means that if you rotate the screen at all, it will be nigh-impossible to tell where you came from. Additionally, exits in the forest don't go where you might expect - they will often warp you to other parts that you may or may not have seen before. Often, going back a path that you just came from will take you to a completely different location than the one you came from. And you have to contend with enemies in the process, meaning that this won't be an area you'll want to come back to.

I don't have a map for you, but I do have the right paths to take. If you stick to this guide, you'll be fine. If you want to go for 100% map completion, you should come back here on second or third play with tough equipment, at which point you will be in no danger from the enemies even if you get lost. For now, though, you'll just want to get through the damn place. I recommend having all Hagane equipment at this point. The weapons you'll want to use are your Short Sword (Edged) and Rapier (Piercing).

For the most part, you'll be facing two enemies, the Basilisk and Ichthious. Both are Beasts; the former is weak to Piercing and the latter can be taken down easily with Edged. You'll win Snowfly Draughts from one and Faerie Wings from the other, and you'll want a lot of both kinds of items. The Basilisk can be tough, so if you're hurting, cast Luft Fusion (which you should have won from the Ogre) on your weapon. That will make it harder to kill the Ichthious, though. Anyway, you'll start at The Faerie Circle, so rotate your map until the south end is at the top and the path into the forest is right in front of you. Don't rotate it again until you leave the forest, to make it easier to orient yourself. Don't forget to save, and go:

south to The Hunt Begins;
south to Which Way Home;
south to The Birds and the Bees;
south to Traces of the Beast.

You'll eventually want to go east (left) from here, but if you do that now, you'll find that the path you'll want to take is blocked by Snowflies. So instead, go west to Fluttering Hope and south to Return to the Land to meet the Earth Dragon. Cast Luft Fusion on your Edged weapon and hit it in the legs, or go for the head with a Piercing weapon, and remember to hide under its head to avoid being breathed on. You'll win the Bronze Key and the Aero Guard spell (defends against air attacks). Go back the way you came and go east twice to The Yellow Wood. The Snowflies that blocked the south exit before are gone, so go south to Where Soft Rains Fell. There will be a Fire Elemental there, oddly enough, but you can take him down with Frost Fusion and a Blunt weapon. Go south again to get to The Forest River.

The Forest River is a big area. There are two exits on your side of the river, including the path you just came from, and one on the other side. The one on the other side is the one you want; the second one on your side will actually warp you back to The Faerie Circle. There's a Save Point in the area, which you should use, and a treasure chest on the other side of the river which you should loot for the Invigorate spell. To get across the river, hop across the small platforms. To make it easier, get out of Battle Mode so as to be able to grab onto the sides of the platforms if you don't jump perfectly. Once you're on the other side of the river, take the lone north exit there to Lamenting to the Moon. Now, go:

north to Running With the Wolves;
east to You Are The Prey;
north to The Secret Path;
north to Hewn From Nature.

Here, you'll fight Father Grissom and the Dark Crusader. That's a pretty intimidating tag-team, so to make it fair, you get Sydney Losstarot himself fighting on your side. Yes, you read it right - in this fight, you actually have an ally, and it's the only fight of its kind in the game. Sydney packs a Short Sword and is fairly strong even if he can't use Chain Abilities. You won't be able to control him, but he will make himself useful by attacking the opposition and casting such spells as Prostasia and Heal on you. You shouldn't count on him to bail you out at any point in time, but he will be of some help.

The Dark Crusader will also cast Prostasia on itself and Grissom. It will then cast such spells as Degenerate and Tarnish on you, and hack you with its big sword. Grissom is an even bigger threat, since he'll cast attack magic on you. So it's still a pretty rough fight. I would advise hiding behind Sydney and letting him take the Crusader's blows, waiting until he attacks the Crusader, then running to Grissom and beating him with an Edged weapon that has Luft Fusion cast on it. If you hit him in the head enough times, he won't be able to cast spells and will become completely useless, but you should go for taking him out altogether. He's got 350 HP, so it's not impossible.

Once that's done, you and Sydney can both deal with the Crusader. Switch to your Piercing weapon and try to hit it in the abdomen. Luft Fusion will help here as well. Once the Crusader is defeated, you'll have the spells Tarnish, Soil Fusion, and Magic Ward, as well as the weapons of both enemies. The exit is to the north, so don't confuse it with the way you came in. There's a treasure chest on the ledge near the exit; loot it for the Firangi weapon, an Edged one-handed sword that is stronger than your Short Sword, and some other stuff.

Once you take the exit, you'll be at The Wood Gate. There will be a Save Point here and an entrance into the city walls. Save your game and go in. You'll be in a series of very straightforward rectangular rooms; if you just go through all of them, you'll end up in the Keep. Along the way, you'll see two doors; you should open them to allow yourself access through them from the other side, but don't go through them right now. Just keep going along the corridor, through the Lizardmen. You'll even meet one Blood Lizard, which is basically just a stronger Lizardman. Luft Fusion will help with all of them. Eventually, the corridor will take you right into the Keep.

The Keep

Excepting the one big fight at the end, there are no enemies in the Keep, making it an ideal base of operations for the present moment. From here, you can get to the eight Time Trials, where you can fight previously defeated enemies to see how quickly you can defeat them. On first play, that isn't going to be a concern since you'll only be able to access two of the Trials at most. You'll also be able to access the Iron Maiden, which is Vagrant Story's bonus dungeon, from The Soldier's Bedding. You are required to explore very little of it (just the first two rooms, really), but if you want a challenge, you can explore all of it for some tough fights and good equipment. On second play, you'll be able to do just that; right now, you can only complete the first level, and you shouldn't be doing that just now. There's also a door right across from the entrance to Iron Maiden that's locked with the Gold Key; you won't be able to open it until second play, either.

If you want to complete the required part of Iron Maiden, enter it and explore the first two rooms. The first is just a staircase that leads down, and the second will contain a fight with a Wraith and two Gargoyles. These enemies don't have much HP, but they're hard to hit. The Wraith is basically a pumped-up Ghost, complete with teleportation, and the Gargoyles will just fly around and try to Numb you from a distance. Cast Prostasia on yourself and charge the Wraith with your best Edged weapon, then cast Luft Fusion once it's gone and try to hit the Gargoyles as best as you can. If you can hit their wings enough times, their movement will be seriously handicapped. Once you win and get the Mandrake Sigil, you are free to return to the Keep and never come back to Iron Maiden again. However, after you get the Tearose Sigil later, if you go through just two more rooms, you can fight another Wraith and two Mummies for the Poison Mist spell and a Shamshir weapon, which will come in very handy for combination.

Go through the rest of the Keep, past all the Time Trial doors, until you get to The Warrior's Rest. Right across from you will be the entrance to a Workshop (finally!), where you can combine Hagane equipment and repair anything you need. If you got the Shamshir weapon in Starvation in Iron Maiden B1, as I advised, you can combine it with the Firangi you got from the Snowfly Forest to make a Falchion, a one-handed Edged sword that will be quite a bit stronger than any weapon you have had so far. After you do all that, try to take the remaining exit from The Warrior's Rest. You'll have to fight Jan Rosencrantz. He's a Riskbreaker, like Ashley, so he can use Break Arts for one-handed swords, and that won't weaken him like it would weaken you. He doesn't have a finite amount of HP, but if you do about 500 HP of damage to him, he'll just give up and run away. There's no strategy involved; just cast Prostasia on yourself and Tarnish on him, and whale away. He has no weaknesses to specific types of weapons and no elemental weaknesses, so it's just an endurance fight.

The treasure chest in The Warrior's Rest contains a helmet and shield that might come in handy for combination. The problem is that the chest is locked with the Chest Key, which is in the bowels of Iron Maiden B1. You can go get it at any point from now on, and if you do decide to go after it, just look in the appropriate section of the walkthrough. The exit from The Warrior's Rest leads to Town Centre South.

Part II / Table of Contents / Part IV

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