I am pleased to announce that I have completed the true reward for "Super Hard" mode: upon beating it, you will now be awarded Photon Crystals, rather than Meseta (mainly because PCs are the only remaining stackable item in the game, and not because the PCs themselves are important). Of course, Photon Crystals are useless on their own, so I have created a way for you to spend them, too.
In order to spend your Photon Crystals, load the quest Garon's Shop and talk to the receptionist who would normally transport you to Garon. If you talk to her while you are carrying Photon Crystals in your inventory, you will discover that a new option appears in the menu: ???? Shop. Select this option to transport to the new shop. This shop allows you to buy a variety of items for Photon Crystals, and rather than force you to guess what you can get, I will explain the entire shop up front. Here are the prices in PCs and the services you can purchase:
05: Scape Doll
10: Photon Drop
15: HP Material
20: TP Material
25: 90000 Meseta
40: Weapon Upgrade
99: Bulk Discount
The first eight options are pretty self explanatory: if you pay enough PCs, you may buy one of the listed items.
The Discount option allows you to buy 15 Trigrinders or 12 Scape Dolls all at once (which is more than you could buy for 50 PCs if you purchased them one by one).
The Bulk Discount option allows you to buy 12 Photon Drops, 8 HP Materials, 6 TP Materials, 450000 Meseta, or a Weapon Upgrade. Remember to have enough space in your inventory before you try to use one of the discount options, as you can't complete the transaction unless you have enough space to hold all of the items you're buying.
Note that unlike Paganini, buying an item from this shop does not
consume all of the PCs you are holding: you will only lose the number of PCs that each item costs. If you want to buy multiple items at once, simply bring enough PCs to buy multiple items, and you may perform multiple transactions in a single visit to the shop. The list of available services automatically scales after each purchase you make based on the number of PCs you have left, so if an option is still in the list, then that means you still have enough PCs to buy that service.
The Weapon Upgrade service is based on the upgrade system that Sega added in BB: if you select this service, you may add Hit percent to a limited set of weapons. On BB, you are only allowed to upgrade enemy part weapons. In this shop, your options are slightly more generous, in that you may add Hit to weapons in three main categories: enemy part weapons, Offline S-Rank/Maximum Attack 3 weapons, and Easter Egg weapons. If you buy the standard upgrade for 40 PCs, you may add 5% Hit to your weapon, and if you select the Bulk Discount upgrade for 99 PCs, you may add 15% Hit to your weapon. Regardless of which option you choose, you cannot upgrade any weapon beyond 50% Hit.
In order to avoid confusion, here is the complete list of weapons that you can upgrade:
Enemy Part weapons:
S-Berill's Hands #0
S-Berill's Hands #1
Gi Gue Bazooka
Offline S-Rank/Maximum Attack 3 weapons:
Harisen Battle Fan
Easter Egg weapons:
Wok of Akiko's Shop
Huge Battle Fan
As an added bonus, you may also add Hit to these quest reward weapons:
Akiko's Frying Pan
If a weapon isn't on this list, then you can't upgrade it. I have no intention of devaluing enemy drops by letting you add Hit to weapons that can already drop with it.
In order to fund this shop, I have also expanded "Super Hard" into additional Episode II quests. You will now receive the following number of Photon Crystals for playing the bonus mode in the following quests:
04: The East Tower
06: The West Tower
08: The Twisted Towers
08: Phantasmal World #1
08: Phantasmal World #2
10: Phantasmal World #3
12: Phantasmal World #4
The rules governing how to activate the bonus mode are the same as those in The Twisted Towers, and the same enemies have the same stats across all quests in which they appear.
Since this is a rather large rollout, it's possible that I may have introduced some bugs in the process, so please report them here if anything is broken. Otherwise, go kill stuff and get rich?
Ultimate Mericarol experience is fixed in ET, WT, PW1, and PW4, too.