I’m making progress again!
One thing about old RPGs of all sorts is that the method for advancement can range from “not obvious” to “outright counter-intuitive”. The first Lufia, for instance, has a point where you have to backtrack to a village you have no real reason to backtrack to, and I can’t remember if the game ever informs you of this fact.
How does this relate to Phantasy Star III? Well, I knew that the villagers had retreated “far to the west”, which sent me to a cave immediately to the left of where I acquired Wren in the first generation. Sadly, I couldn’t get in there, and trying to explore the rest of Aridia netted me no further progress. Going all the way back to the beginning of the game was not an option, as someone acting on the orders of someone named “Lune” blocked my way. Finally, out of options, I went back into the cave I had acquired Wren in…where a person told me my family was waiting for me.
Navigating my way back through the maze (How did my family, who ran from the cyborgs, survive this enemy-infested cave? And make no mistake, there were a multitude of enemies in said cave.) and talking to Lyle, I learned his daughter was kidnapped and taken to the east. More exploration revealed a cave near the east that I hadn’t explored, and the Dragon Tear I got from Lyle let me into the cave. And that was as far as I got.
My wandering around for the entirety of the second generation to this point got me enough Meseta to afford a Royal Needler. Essentially, Ayn can now consistently do 100 damage to any enemy, not just defensively weak ones. And he can hit multiple enemies at a time. It’s pretty amazing, since most enemies right now don’t even have 100HP.
Next time: Hopefully, actual progress!