The Tower of Druaga ~the Aegis of Uruk~ – 08
Having gotten past the one-winged dragon, the group climbs farther up the tower until Kaaya notices where they are and suddenly acts like she’s been afflicted with an incurable disease. Jil falls for it and believes her when she says that the cure is written on a stone slab somewhere in the Tower. That somewhere turns out to be a hidden spot close to their current location, and Kaaya has Jil open a stone door using a special joystick that gives them access to it. She then sends him to the top floor of a special building to get the cure. After Jil enters it alone, Melt and Ahmey realize that this building is none other than the old sixty-floor Tower of Druaga that Gilgamesh had once climbed. Kaaya is confident that Jil will be okay by himself because she knows of a nearby coin-operated machine that allows them direct control over Jil’s actions inside the old Tower. As she takes control of Jil, Kaaya directs Ahmey to light a nearby candle, revealing a store filled with snacks and drinks that’s run by a small creature who speaks an alien language. She then has Ahmey borrow a notebook from this store that gives them directions on how to get the treasure chest on each level of the old Tower. Using this guide, Kaaya controls Jil through the challenges inside the old Tower, and he gets all the way to the 35th floor before dying because he drank a deadly potion. Fortunately, Kaaya has more coins ready, with each coin allows her to revive him and retry starting from the bottom floor.
By now, a large crowd consisting of Neeba’s group and a couple others from the previous dragon battle has gathered around the store. Kaaya gives the other Climbers turns controlling Jil with the machine, but every single person who tries fails to get him to the top of the old Tower. The others eventually get bored, so they move on while Kaaya continues to play the machine. Before Neeba leaves, he mentions a sealed stone, but Kaaya pretends to not know what he’s talking about and instead insists that she’s after the cure for her illness. With Jil vowing to persevere on for her sake, Kaaya eventually gets him all the way to the 59th floor, but by this point she’s down to her last two coins. Although the 59th floor is the one that gives Jil back the freedom to move on his own, it is also the one where he has to face Druaga. To make matters worse, Melt takes the last two coins and buys drinks with them, leaving none to revive Jil with. Kaaya panics because of this and tells Jil to run away, but he stays and fights. He manages to win by targeting Druaga’s legs and chest, and once Druaga disappears, Jil ascends to the final floor. There, he finds an ornate stone structure with a crystal in the center, but he faints from exhaustion soon after. This leads to the entire current Tower glowing and shaking, and Ki emerges from the crystal.
Recognizing that Jil has Gilgamesh’s sword, Ki casts a spell on him and then tells him that even though he’ll meet up with three betrayals from now on, he shouldn’t get discouraged because what he seeks is at the top of the Tower. When Jil regains consciousness, he finds himself back at the base of the old Tower with Kaaya, and he now has the stone slab in his hands. Since Jil still thinks that it’s for that incurable illness, Kaaya takes the stone slab and claims that it’s already cured thanks to him.
For an episode that I was beginning to think would be spent entirely on the arcade machine/classic video game gimmick, this ended up being surprisingly relevant to the main story. At least, I assume that Ki’s appearance and what she said about betrayals to Jil will be important. Her involvement and connection with Gilgamesh and Kaaya is still rather fuzzy to me, but from the looks of it, awakening her was part of Kaaya’s objective, whatever that may be. The fact that the Succubus (as well as maybe Neeba and Pazuz) seems to be aware of what’s going on makes it even more interesting, and the story is looking to be more intertwined than I thought. Overall though, this episode was decent but not great, and I’m still wary of raising my own expectations any higher because that’ll just lead to disappointment, especially when we’re talking about GONZO series. The preview for next week is Fatina focused, so it appears we’ll see more of a character that I think has been rather under-represented in recent episodes.