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Weapons and armor change Gil's speed relative to the foes within the dungeon as well as altering the range of his attacks, lending a sense of strategy to equipment choices. Rare magic items can be found which allow Gil to cast powerful area of effect spells, and items can be imbued with elements which allow Gil to deal extra damage to vulnerable foes. Gil can also combine items while in town, creating a new item of the same type which shares the properties of both.
The Nightmare of Druaga: Fushigino Dungeon consists primarily of two types of gameplay: town sections and dungeon sections.
Town sections are free-roaming areas where the player can purchase items, upgrade equipment, and accept side-quests, as well as talk with townsfolk. Townsfolk will offer helpful information and some residents transport Gil to side-dungeons. The plot is generally advanced by defeating the bosses at the end of each of the dungeons under Ishtar's temple. Gil battles a Roper in Druaga's Tower near the end of the game.
Dungeon sections consists of turn-based play within the grid-based levels, in which enemies move or attack only when the player moves or attacks. Dungeons appear as a variety of areas, including caves, temples, forests, and sewers. While in the dungeons the player's vision is limited by the light generated by Gil's armor; to maintain Gil's brightness the player must occasionally give items as offerings to Ishtar. These dungeons containing randomly generated items and monsters, and advancement initially requires the player to find a key on each floor and bring it to the exit. Subsequent visits to the floor allow the character to break down the locked door at the end, leading to a secret level with rare items and tough foes. Much like the The Tower of Druaga, the game contains some foes which are far too powerful for the player to fight initially and these foes must instead be avoided.
Death and dying
The game is known for its relatively unforgiving difficulty, as death in the game results in the loss of nearly all items and half the player's gold, though a small amount of items can be specially marked in Ishtar's temple so that they remain with the player upon death. A magic feather item is given to the player each time the dungeon is entered, allowing a warp back when health is low, so it's usually possible to avoid death. A special auto-save feature prevents players from resetting to avoid these penalties by treating a reset as a death as well; this results in a lengthy discussion with Ishtar before the player is allowed to resume their game. Provided every question is answered with the expected answer on the first try, the penalty usually won't be inflicted, but the rants get longer each time, and the number of questions increases.