Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Maze on Floor Six

Ok, minor beef first. My favorite irritant in Star Ocean: The Second Story (on Playstation One) was a flame thrower named Decus. He had blinding speed, a battery of infuriating taunts ("Am I not hot??!") and Spicule, a screenfilling killer blast that began in ominous silence, transformed to luminous whiteout and developed slowly into pyromaniac maelstrom. Decus was not sane, even by pretense.

Michael, by contrast, the same guy in Star Ocean Second Evolution (PSP) is a mellow fellow whose menace is severely diluted by the larger PSP screen — part of Decus' panache was claustrophic terror, you couldn't get away from him, and he moved so damned fast! Great music, too. We took Decus out at level 85 on PS1, after a withering onslaught that lasted maybe fifteen minutes before we turned the tide — it seemed like a week.

Michael's a wimp, like going from Monty Python with flame throwers to Hell with ice water. We found him with our levels over 93, so maybe that's why, but still... Michael should be a challenge, not a debate.

If you get past Decus (or Michael), you reach the silent maze on Floor Six, a puzzle. After the pyrotechnics below, the mental readjustment is gear-grinding. You can't mash X on Floor Six, you have to solve the puzzle, because the cheat sheets are subtly wrong (and they quote each other!) unless you start at the absolute, unmodified beginning of the maze. That's my beef with Floor Six, that the walkthrough writers couldn't be bothered to write up a real solution. If you need help here, go back and save after defeating Decus. Otherwise, you'll mung the settings and have to solve Floor Six by trial and error. (The trick is to turn on all the switches on pedestals which have no left-middle-right option, just on or off.)

No spoilers, here, though (^^;) Blunder around long enough, and an obvious pattern will emerge. With a definite strategy in mind, Floor Six is a piece of cake.

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