Throne of Darkness: Crafting

I seem to be getting into the home stretch now. The overall structure of the game involves five castles, a central one on a mountaintop and one in each of the cardinal directions around it, connected by a ring road. I’ve done missions in all of the castles except the central one now, and the only quest currently active is to activate the last remaining teleport gate of the eight on the ring road. This will take me back to near my starting point.

My characters are also nearly all up to the point where they can wield the strongest weapons available for purchase. And that means it’s time to sit down and do some serious crafting.

Crafting in this game involves combining items with monster leavings, such as oni horns and kappa claws, or various kinds of gem. Each item has specific effects: dragon stingers make a weapon poisonous, tengu feathers give a bonus to dexterity, etc. Each weapon and piece of armor has a certain number of enhancement slots; the more powerful items tend to have more. It’s kind of like the Final Fantasy 7 “materia” system, except that enhancement items can’t be removed. To effect an enhancement, you have to pay a blacksmith, who charges more for more powerful effects. More powerful effects also take more time to produce, and while the blacksmith is working on an item, he can’t do anything else, like start on new items or repair damage to the stuff you’re already using.

So there are four limiting factors on how powerful an item you can craft: enhancement items, enhancement slots, money, and time. Money was the chief limitation at the beginning of the game — at least, it was after I had spent it all crafting a wicked bow for my Archer. But for most of the game, it’s been enhancement items. I have lots of certain items, such Elder Kappa Shells, but not the things I really want to use. Shortages trigger the hoarding instinct: rather than use my last precious gems on a suit of armor that I’m just going to throw away once I can wear something stronger, I’ve been saving them up.

And now comes the moment I’ve been saving them up for. There’s no need to wait for a better item to use them on. It’s time to make maximally amazing stuff for all seven characters. Which means spending maximal amounts of money and time. The money isn’t a problem (at least, I don’t think it is), but the time factor means that there’s probably more than an hour of solid crafting built up. I hope it’ll all be ready by the time I get sent to the central castle.

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