Nope. There are no alternate paths. All floors are named xB.
Aloser Danya- 20 Years Old: Born in the town of Krizar. When she lost her parents in the first battle, she joined the Walsta Liberation Army. Then she lost her brother in the Baramus Massacre. She was looking for the man responsible for the massacre.
Before I reenter Hell Gate, I train Presance to our current level. There's lots of undead, we'll need him. He replaces Olivia on the team.
After you complete story battles in the Gate, the story is replaced by random battles. So this means that if you want to get to, say, B12, you'd have to trek through 11 levels of random battles.
While working my way up, I find a special axe that boosts Guildus' attack power to an amazing 375. I find it oddly amusing that Guildus, a "White Knight," is wielding a dark axe from a shrine to a death god.
Look, it's our old "buddy" Nybbas.◊ In case you didn't notice, he resurrected Leonard and Zaebos; Leonard is on the left, Zaebos is on the right. There are some differences with this fight if you took the neutral route; he's a lich.
"Hmmm. The cells are decaying. It's not complete. 'Necro' will only turn the living into the undead... 'Revivify' will only bring back life, but the aging process can't be stopped. My son was so close. I was able to regenerate his body cells. But I was unable to retrieve his memory... I am trying to achieve what you would call a soul recovery. It is very difficult. When one condition is met, another thing goes wrong... Sorry, I have failed again. Forgive me. Everlasting life and youth is the one thing that all human beings strive for. ...I guess I'll have to use this." We walk in. "Oh, look here..."
"Leonard!! How did you get here?!"
"You are the last person I expected to see here. Ah yes, I remember now. It's Orcus, right? I'm so glad to see you again. What are you doing here? Why the Hell Gate? Are you seeking the Dragon Magic? ...Or are you seeking eternal life like me? Shall I show you the results of my research? Don't be shy, I'm so anxious to show you." He summons some undead. "You took real good care of me in Kadoriga. So this time, why don't I pay you back?"
I aim for Leonard and kill him first with arrows.
"...Where am I? What was I..." Leonard asks.
"Orcus...? I was dead..." He dies for the last time.
"Leonard!!" Orcus screams.
...Goodbye forever, Leonard.
On the next turn, we witness a foresight. Orcus calls out to Leonard, except Leonard isn't alive, so when Leonard's speech is in Orcus' speech bubble. Sloppy, guys. Sloppy.
"It's no use. He doesn't remember anything, because his soul is missing. Do you know why the undead love to fight? Because they are in constant agony to be dead. They envy life and hate those that possess it. To ease their pain, they will try to make you just like them!" Nybbas cackles.
"If I cannot save Leonard...then I will turn you into one of the living dead!!"
By now, Guildus is down to 15 HP. I foolishly rushed him out without support. Thus, I need to kill Nybbas quickly.
Next, we kill Zaebos.
"Why am I here? What is this body...?"
"Zaebos!" Orcus shouts.
"Nybbas? What am I doing here...?" Zaebos falls into eternal sleep.
"Good job...hee, hee, hee," Nybbas giggles.
After that, all the enemies are undead (and thus don't have any treasure), so I aim for Nybbas.
"Th...this is the end..." Nybbas whispers. "King of Darkness Demunza, give me the power of darkness which has been sealed within this ring... May the seal be broken!!"
He's becoming a lich just like Byan!◊
Nybbas is now all lichified.◊
"How do you like this? Hee, hee, hee... If you are craving for the ability to become an undead, it can only be achieved by using the knowledge. But you have to give up being a human being. Hee, hee, hee. I may see you again...so long..."
"Wait, Nybbas!!" Orcus screams.
We get an earth lance and a hero lance.
The next battle is boring and isn't worth transcribing.
"I guess there are no enemies on this floor..." Orcus mutters.◊ Thank god.
"Do not act in haste, mortal man," the ghost says.
"Who are you?!"
"My name is Roderick. I used to be the King of Brigantes..."
"Roderick, you were the loser in the Unity War against King Dolgare?"
"Yes......are you the man who battles against Vesinian?"
"Vesinian? You mean the Bacrum Army?"
"The man who fights against Vesinian is my friend. I shall share my power with you..."
"Yes. I will teach you the secret technique of Brigantes which has been preserved for generations... There are 10 kinds of secret techniques...but I can only teach you one...that has been the rule and... besides, humans are not capable of learning more than one... First, I'll give you the ability in which you will be able to change your inner power into an energy sword. Whoever has a sword may achieve the secret technique. Who wants to have this?"
The game tells us to select who to give Fudo, the spell he's offering us. DO NOT REFUSE THIS- FUDO IS GREAT AGAINST THE FINAL BOSS!
Fudo depends on DEX, so I give it to our main speedy man Haborym.
"We shall meet again," Roderick says, and dissipates. And he's right. He'll appear on random levels to give our characters special abilities; this is the only time it's fixed.
There's a trick to Hell Gate; Petrify. Your stats from the last battle carry into your next, so what you should do is Petrify a few enemies each battle; Petrified units must still be reduced to 0 HP, but they can't move for the entire battle. So what you should do is petrify a few enemies, and then after killing all the active ones, heal all your party members before killing the petrified units. That way, they can go into the next battle at full health.
I get a spell called "Wipe Out." It will attack all enemies on the field with a fire attack. In Hell Gate, you get special spells called "Dragon Magic," and warlocks are the only generic class that can use it; liches can only use one spell. Time for a snap judgment.
I change Presance into a warlock. Warlock's can't use Exorcism, so I may change him back to an exorcist if the situation requires it (yeah, yeah, using save states). Dragon Magic is just too good to pass up. He can also use Quick and Heal Rain, spells I always wanted Byan to use but he never had the room to, so I give him that. I have him replace Olivia. I may bring Olivia into specific battles, such as ones where the enemies have lots of status-changing spells.
I run into some gremlins and get a glass pumpkin. This makes me happy. I'll explain why when I get around to recruiting Deneb.
Look who it is.◊
"I am impressed... you made it this far..." It's only level 12 in a hundred level dungeon, dude. "Then I will give you "Devil Cry' which will rob you of some of your life energy but will do great damage to the enemy... this secret technique can be used by anyone who owns and axe, spear, claw, or hammer. Who want this secret technique?" Looks like it's going to Guildus, then; he's our axe-user.
Before going to Hell Gate B13, I retreat, not because I'm low on health, but because I want an amazing special character we'll be getting from Banisha.
Next time: actual story!
For being so tedious, Hell Gate is surprisingly addictive. Mostly because of the hidden promise of "later levels."