Free for All: Recapping the first three Mabinogi: Iria Saga chapters

Mabinogi screenshot
If you want some epic scale in your MMO, you really should be playing along with the Mabinogi Saga Iria content. It's a twelve-parter (currently on chapter four) and I've been enjoying it alongside Mabinogi Community Manager Sabina, live every Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. EDT on our livestream page. Unfortunately, most of the content is instanced and story-driven so Sabina cannot jump in with me to kill mobs and gain glory, but it's been fun to have her there to take questions from the chat room and to answer many of my own questions.

But, what is the Saga Iria? Well, it's complicated. I have to admit that I do not have all the answers, and I hope to remain in the dark for a while. Stories are more fun when you don't know the ending. Still, I'm going to recap what I know so far, and share my live videos with you in case you missed them before! Also, be sure to tune in to our exclusive trailer releases! We will show you the next chapter trailer before anyone else!

Spoiler alert: There are videos and short walkthroughs past the cut, so if you do not want to know what happens or have not played through some of these older chapters, don't read on. Please note that my hour-long livestreams are usually not long enough to fit in an entire chapter, as well, so you might miss some of the action on the tail-end.


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Episode 1 - Fate's Origin: The Demon

This beginning episode opens with the player being turned into a demon and attacking a local village. I was a bit lost at first but soon figured out how fun it is to kill innocent villagers! Unfortunately for me I rarely used the windmill ability so I was a bit confused, but I'm glad the ability was so in demand during these missions because I am in the process of leveling it.

A masked man named Akul came along and stopped all the demonic ruckus, then demanded that I come to find him. I found out later that I was pretty much a demonic possession magnet with the need to make a charm to get rid of demons who might be looking for a host. The Black Dragon (a massive, mean and cunning beast if ever there was one) attacked. I ran off to find Akul's student and resident goth-girl Milia, as Akul seems to be taken down by the massive monster. Explosions, magic, and possession? This is a great way to start the adventure!


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Episode 2 – Return of the Hero: Trap

So, I finally met up with Milia who turned out to be more moody than a tween. I convinced her to accompany me and we headed out to Karu Forest Ruins, a lovely place if not for all of the possibly deadly scenarios. We followed a letter left from what we thought was a dead Akul, the mighty shaman from earlier. The letter led us to an ambush by demons, but luckily I resisted the transformation. Of course who shows up but the Black Dragon, and Milia is saved by Ruairi. Next I met up with Shamala, a very powerful (if not a bit lightheaded during combat) warrior and we managed to escape just as the ruins were destroyed!

I have to admit that before we escaped, the Ruins dungeon was taking me so long to finish that I gave up at one point. Luckily Nexon was smart enough to allow replay of any of the chapters, so I will be going back to see if I can do better.


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Episode 3 – A Walking Nightmare: Chase

Luckily, Shamala was a bit less rude than Milia and she thanked me for saving her. I collapsed and went into some sort of fever-vision and where I saw Milia and Ruairi. We followed the visions to the Hillwen Mine in Vales, a snowy village that is ruled by the Giants. Unfortunately the mine was overrun by monsters, but by this point I had started to realize that using my highest-ranked ability -- smash -- is a relatively effective way to kill things. The Giants were happy for the info but now we had a White Dragon on the scene, and he is irked. I went and helped (well, helped is stretching it) the Giants take back the mine and then traveled to Shyllien Nature Reserve to find Ruairi. I'd like to point out just how wonderful flying around the world of Iria is, thanks mostly to the wide variety of flying mounts and the ability to click on the mini-map to trigger auto-travel. Flying is a great opportunity to see the sights while going somewhere.

Next, the Black Dragon attacked Shyllien and made the Elves run around like chickens with their glorious, long-haired heads cut off. I escaped with Shamala (who wouldn't stop growling, even when whispering) to the oasis where we discuss my visions.

At the time of this writing, Chapter 4 has been released. Each chapter comes out on Friday night, but I wait until the Tuesday after to livestream it. That way I am just as surprised as anyone else, but I do want to encourage players to log in before the events go live on Friday. If you log in before it is live you will get bonus goodies. Last time I got five Nao stones, valuable items that allow players to resurrect in the middle of a dungeon or fight.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the chapters. Some of the story is a bit hard to follow, especially because Mabinogi has such a long history of lore and deep gameplay. I have, for years, sort of skipped along the edge of the lore but my recent adventures have encouraged me to throw myself into the game like never before. I scored well over 10 levels during these three chapters, something I would have never done before, at least not that quickly.

See you on Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m. EDT on our livestream channel!

Each week, Free for All brings you ideas, news, and reviews from the world of free-to-play, indie, and import games -- a world that is often overlooked by gamers. Leave it to Beau Hindman to talk about the games you didn't know you wanted! Have an idea for a subject or a killer new game that no one has heard of? Send it to beau@massively.com!
This article was originally published on Massively.