We're up to part 44 of the Monmusu Quest: Paradox playthrough (for the first part, go back here). Today we're looking for the second of the four elemental spirits – Gnome. If I remember correctly she's located in some ruins to the north of Grandoll. I'm guessing that would be these then.
In the original series there were two encounters in the desert on the way to Gnome. Both return in the ruins. First up there's giant sandworm girl.
She was the original series' nod to the giantess fetish, being that she's huge and her Bad End has her suck on Luka like he's a lollipop.
Oddly her design has been superseded somewhat by KC's rather innovative design in his own monster girl encyclopaedia. I wonder what someone like Xelvy would make of the concept now. I suppose I could also pull my finger out as well, given my own story on sandworm girls features a rather generic implementation of the concept.
The other returning encounter is Setouchi back on weird form with ant lion girl. As with her insectile counterpart, she sits at the bottom of a pit of sand and sucks out the juices of any male (un)lucky enough to fall in.
As to how she sucks those juices out…
…c'mon, this is MGQ, you should know by now.
There are also two brand new monster girls.
Xelvy shows a degree of restraint with their desert scylla (restraint being a relative word in this case).
There's an amusing thing if you talk to the desert scylla (Deiji) back in the castle with a lamia in the party. They have a big slanging off match with the lamia (in my case it was the Nefertiti lamias) telling Deiji an ugly octopus like her has no business being out of water and Deiji calling them barbarians in response. Lamias and scyllas really don't seem to like each other in the MQ: Paradox universe.
The last of the four is another ghost girl, mirage girl.
Mmm, she's rather boobilicious. Tempt me? Well if you must...
Totally worth it.
They're also a really annoying encounter given they come in trios and have annoying magic attacks. Poor Vanilla went up in flames pretty much every battle.
Now for Gnome.
As we wander around the ruins there are various cutscenes showing Gnome and her mud dolls watching and then running away. The ruins can be divided into four quarters. Gnome can be found next to the oasis in the top right (northeast) corner.
She specialises in Earth magic, so you might want to leave the imps home for this battle (or just level everyone up to be ridiculously overpowered).
After beating her, the sparkly gravestone in the same region now triggers a cutscene when read. It's a semi-sad tale of a girl who befriended Gnome. Her story highlights the disparity in life spans between flimsy humans and nigh-immortal spirits. We see the girl grow up, get married, have kids, and then finally die of old age while Gnome remains the same. I think it might be to explain why Gnome stays out here on her own with only her mud dolls for company. The rest of the part tells her she doesn't have to be lonely anymore as they'll be her friends now.
In the original series, recruiting Gnome was the endpoint of the first chapter. In Paradox we have the third Tartarus pit awaiting us.
But before then, there's another village to the north. We'll check out Saloon tomorrow. (maybe, my write-ups have now caught up with my game progress – some frantic grinding in order (no, not that type of grinding!))