the artistry and psychology of gaming


Guaron (Phantasy Star 2)

Guaron (Phantasy Star 2)

Today, we’re going to visit another solar system.  The Algol system is millennia old, and used to be home to three distinct planets, as well as a dark secret that resurfaces every 1000 years.  The closest to the sun was the lush, verdant planet of Palma, which had the misfortune of being destroyed.  The next planet is the desert planet of Motavia, which became lush and verdant like Palma once Mother Brain took over and installed its environmental controls.  Furthest out is the frozen planet, Dezoris, where today’s area lies.

Dezoris has always been a harsh place to live, but one day, there was an accident that caused a deadly gas leak all over the planet’s surface.  Now, no humans inhabit the frozen wasteland; only the Dezorians, a tough species able to adapt to nearly any environment.  There also lies an Esper, a being with psychic powers, in cryogenic stasis in a mansion in a particularly desolate region of this world.  He holds the Aero prism, which allows its wielder to see four towers that would otherwise be invisible.  Each of these towers is unique and interesting, but one in particular stands out.  That tower is Guaron.

The Tower of Guaron is a staggering sixteen floors tall and is packed with otherworldly horrors that will readily attack any explorer.  The floor is crafted of a particularly unusual pinkish brick, and the walls and statues are dark blue.  The statues are of gargoyles and wizards, and the strange stone of which they are crafted gives them an otherworldly look.  The bottom floor has a total of eight staircases leading to the second, though only one will allow you to reach the top.  To get to it, you have to walk outside of the tower itself though a maze of snow-bitten trees.  The cold weather along with the toxic gas gives these trees a lovely greenish-gray color that makes them look special.  The second floor, like every floor excluding the bottom and top, has only one staircase that leads upward.  What often gets overlooked about it, though, is the strange terrarium on the eastern end.

All of the other floors, except the eighth, ninth, and the top, are just small rooms with a staircase leading up, a staircase leading down, and a giant hole in the middle.  If you fall into one, I hope you can fly, or at least float, because you’re going to drop straight down to the bottom floor, which is just as painful as it sounds.  The eighth floor has a similar small room, but with a large dual spiral to the southwest.  If you wind up in the western half of the inner spiral, you’ll find a legendary cape.  Should you wander through the eastern half and into the center, you’ll just find a somewhat unnerving hall of statues, just standing around, guarding nothing.  The ninth floor has another terrarium to the east, creating a maze for another hall of statues.  This hall, however, terminates in a small room that contains four wizard statues in each corner and a treasure in the center.  The top floor has no aperture in the center, and is filled with statues with no function other than aesthetics.  This room has complete bilateral symmetry and is very nearly symmetrical radially as well.  In the center is a small room that contains a legendary suit of armor for those powerful and resourceful enough to reach it.

As I’ve mentioned, there are three other towers as well.  Menobe was built much the same way that Guaron was, complete with the same floors, walls, and statues, but has floors of green and everything else of a dark pinkish-red.  The layout is also quite different and it takes even longer to explore, despite having only four floors.  Ikuto and Naval share similarities such as many holes that are necessary for reaching certain parts of them, as well as rugs of pink and orange respectively with pleasing geometric designs.  While they are all pleasing in their own right, there’s just something special about Guaron that stays with you long after you’ve left its navy walls.  Then again, maybe that’s just the gas talking.

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