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  #31  
Old 08-23-2016, 08:19 AM
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You know this means we're going to make you find out what that chest is Kalir.
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  #32  
Old 08-23-2016, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
If you have Piers in your party you can use "Frost" on the pillar to the left, if you slide down. Then go to the start of this screen, climb up the wall and go to the right. You should be able to collect a Vial from the chest here.
Yeah, I guess you are.
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  #33  
Old 08-23-2016, 08:14 PM
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but

the guide could be wrong

you have to verify it
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  #34  
Old 08-23-2016, 09:22 PM
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It's right. The only thing I was able to remember is that is was one of the better than an herb healing items, and that matches it.
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  #35  
Old 08-23-2016, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
but

the guide could be wrong

you have to verify it
Are you questioning the intergrity of ... Iron Knuckle?
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  #36  
Old 08-24-2016, 01:33 PM
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So, to resume doing things that actually matter to the story (again, assuming that we actually talked to Piers for all of five seconds), we need to backtrack to Alhafra. We can't take the old route through the Yampi Desert north of Air's Rock, that was one-way. We'll have to travel all across southwest Osenia first, then re-enter Yampi Desert from the west.



Camelot masterfully adds this extra time to facilitate you seeing just how vast their intricate and detailed world is, as well as to ensure that through the constant battles with wild monsters, you'll be up to snuff when fighting Briggs, since that's the only way to progress here.



And by that I mean this is a huge waste of time but you already knew that.



At some point during my explorations, Felix gets the final tier of the Quake line of Psynergy. Your guess is as good as mine really.



Okay, back to Alhafra.



And in turn, back to the fight with Briggs.



As before, he starts with one Sea Fighter in play. However, his numbers aren't actually limitless! He only has a crew of four other pirates, so his fight has him start with three Signal Whistle items that call in more.



And with enough levels under our belt, we can withstand an attack or two from these guys no problem.



Like the Bandit fight in Vault, this is one fight where your weaker Adepts (Sheba, and to a lesser extent Jenna) can shine since area Psynergy does about the same overall damage as single-target. Felix has Ragnarok now though, so he's by far our best single-target damage dealer (until Jenna gets the next in her Fume line, where it mostly evens out for a while).



In addition to Signal Whistles, Briggs also has a handful of healing items: not many, but enough that you can't easily win through sheer power if you try hitting Alhafra before Air's Rock.



He also has an Oil Drop, which can put a party hoping to go longer between healing to an early end.



Also he can defend, which can be a problem if you ignore the Sea Fighters in favor of the big man himself, but as a solo combatant means nothing.



Now that we have more levels, this fight isn't anything to worry about, even with Hard Mode.



Something that I don't often mention about the Golden Sun games is that they have a pretty keen eye for attention to detail in rare occasions (which does not cross over to their writing). This hall full of beaten pirates where there was formerly only two is a nice touch.



Quote:
<Felix> All right. We still want you to testify that Piers isn't part of your crew.
<Briggs> Okay. Who is this Piers guy anyway?
<Sheba> He's a sailor who got shipwrecked north of Madra in the tidal wave. Madra thought he was part of your crew.
<Briggs> Well that's stupid. We attacked from the east, you'd think they'd have caught that.
<Jenna> Hey, you raided them. They were angry and wanted to take it out on someone. It's your fault someone innocent got hurt!
<Briggs> Yeah, yeah, I get you. I'll tell them, on my honor as a man of Champa.


Good plan, let's move on and go back to--



Or not.



Quote:
<Briggs> Chaucha! Get out of here!
<Kraden> Excuse me, but who are you?
<Chaucha> I'm Briggs' wife, Chaucha. And I want you all to know that even if Briggs is a pirate, he only did it with the best of intentions.
<Kraden> We heard. He was trying to build up resources to save Champa, correct?
<Sheba> So are you also a pirate, then?
<Briggs> No! Chaucha's completely innocent, leave her alone!


Quote:
<Briggs> Lately, only a while before the tidal wave, the seas have changed, become warmer. We can't find fish around Champa anymore.
<Felix> And there's nothing else you can do for food around Champa?
<Chaucha> Nothing. We've tried, but Champa is situated on rocky cliffsides. We can't grow crops, and there's hardly anything around there to hunt.
<Jenna> So you need to fish to live, and without fishing... That's gotta be hard.
<Briggs> Hard? Try unbearable. Our children are starving and our village is dying. I'm not a greedy man, far from it; I only became a pirate so I could feed my people.
<Sheba> Hm... where is Champa, anyway?


Quote:
<Jenna> Wait, you mean around Xian?
<Kraden> Right, it's south of there. You'd have to cross over the mountain range to reach it, however. Which in turn rules out trading for food as a means of sustenance.
<Briggs> We might not be able to trade, but news could still spread. That's why we're so far from our home.
<Chaucha> Briggs was very insistent that nobody in Champa outside of his crew knew what he was doing to save them. Which in turn meant he didn't want to raid any towns within easy sailing distance of Champa.
<Briggs> I didn't like having to do it, but better that I'm the only one upset at me than the entire village. If my grandmother ever heard what I was doing out here? That'd be horrible.


Now the fun part:



I have to name these three jackasses.



Apparently Madra is meant to correlate to Chennai, India (and not Madura Island as the Golden Sun wiki claims on one page and not another, because they take after their muse) since it used to be called Madras. So I'll call the mayors there Dasa (the older one) and Sanjiv (the younger one).



Unfortunately, while Air's Rock and the presence of emus make Osenia a dead ringer for Australia, the actual settlements of the place have been largely pulled out of a hat. So I'm going to do the same and just call the Alhafran mayor Nottingham.



This is all assuming I don't skip this entire conversation outright. Which... yeah, I'm doing it. I still need to have these guys deal with Briggs in person, but honestly the mayors themselves contribute nothing to the overall discussion.
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  #37  
Old 08-24-2016, 01:34 PM
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I'll summarize their contributions after this scene is over, and I'll spend MAYBE two sentences to do it.



you dont even say anything except this here you portrait-less prat



Also: Nottingham has a bad habit of interrupting. Isn't this a charming and endearing character trait that does nothing to pad out conversations that could be over now? No? Yeah I didn't think so either.



Nottingham is referring to Briggs, the confirmed pirate, who we have just defeated.



Let's speed this up.

Quote:
<Briggs> How's this for a deal: if we return the ship to Madra, then we're free to return home, right?
<Sanjiv> It's not that easy, Briggs. However, I do think that would make your imprisonment last a fairly short time.
<Briggs> Okay, fair. What about my family, then? They're no more criminals than you!
<Nottingham> Well, we still have to repair the ship. Perhaps they could stay aboard until we do so?
<Briggs> Sold. And like I promised Felix and his group, I'll come quietly. Me and my four crewmembers here, we'll just take a short break in your jail, I suppose.
<Dasa> Hold on... Four?
<Briggs> Yeah, just us guys here. Why?
<Dasa> We captured someone by the name of Piers back in Madra, under suspicion of being part of your crew.
<Briggs> Never heard of the guy. That's a big mistake to make, nabbing an innocent sailor and branding him a pirate!
<Sanjiv> There you have it, then. We'll send a group back to Madra and tell them to release Piers while we discuss the new ship.
<Nottingham> Well then, Briggs, I'm afraid you and your crew are under arrest.
<Chaucha> Briggs, are you going to be okay?
<Briggs> I've done all I can for Champa. And I DID tell the mayor of Alhafra about our state, so maybe once this is all said and done he can lend a hand.


Eoleo is the only character in the Lost Age who is playable in Dark Dawn. For those keeping score, our entire party is in their teens (with the obvious exception of Kraden), as is the team from the first game. Dark Dawn takes place 30 years after The Lost Age. Eoleo joins your team as a 30+ years old pirate and is probably the best character in that game by far. (Personality-wise, at least.)



Eoleo has Mars Psynergy for reasons, which is why Briggs has any idea about Felix's Psynergy at all normally.



No it doesn't, there's still going to be loads of textboxes. But I'll skip past all of those too.



Several kajillion textboxes later, Kraden gives one of our possible goals for now, which is that thing the player already wants to do, and which Camelot would've made a reasonable goal in the first place IF YOU TALKED TO PIERS AT ALL.



This is another possible thing to do. Well, not completely right now. But we will be doing it. I don't mind detours of "just lend a hand if you can" at all.



Way back in here, in the direction Chaucha went and then totally disappeared into the ether, there's a secret thing.



Which we cannot get, because we don't have the Tremor Psynergy.

Query: why do we need Tremor? We already have the Quake Psynergy. A dude way back in Vale even used Quake in the field. Camelot, why did you not just let the player use Quake as a field Psynergy for stuff like this? The answer is not "to wall progression" because being able to use Quake in place of Tremor lets you skip this instance here and basically nothing else (and even here we could go get the Tremor Bit now, it'd just take backtracking).



Outside to work on the ship for a bit. First is this log here. Easily done, once we move this pack out of the way.



Let's ignore that we're dumping more junk into their harbor than colonial protesters.



So that clears off this side of the mast.



We can Pound this stake in to detangle the riggings.



Use Lash to actually moor the damn ship in the first place YOU GUYS ARE TERRIBLE SAILORS



And... huh.



We don't have anything we can do to break down this rock at all. We need a Psynergy that'll come MUCH later in the game to do anything with this.



If we got the bread from the boat, we could give this kid Eoleo's dinner. Doing so would allow us to bypass a now-sympathetic guard and get into Nottingham's treasure vault, because this is how heroism in Golden Sun works.



Right, time to summarize the mayors in one or two sentences. Here we go:

Dasa and Nottingham formerly had dealings of no consequence, leading Dasa to recommend Sanjiv to meet with Nottingham for aid in dealing with Briggs. Nottingham, for his part, is a pile of greed who remembers no allegiance to Madra, and intends to give Madra nothing whatsoever, or to be more accurate, he wants to take the money from Briggs and start repairs on Alhafra, leaving the Madrans to pay for the repairs of their own ship out of pocket, just so he can get even more money.



Oh, and if you go to the mayor's watchtower, you can see Air's Rock from here. This is nice if you don't know where to go after defeating Briggs, unless you did Air's Rock first line every single person ever, in which case it's a waste of time. You don't even need Reveal for a lot of the upcoming areas, I'm pretty sure.



This is moderately important. East Osenia has maybe two towns, one of which has both the answer to a puzzle you don't know exists yet AND the game's smithing service. There's a smithing thing in this game, guys.



Also, Nottingham wants to become the next Hammet, and begin trade with all manner of nations across the Eastern Sea. He wants Felix to act as a mercenary to protect him from pirates in the process. Nah.



Unfortunately I don't think I can give Alex a reasonable new conversation here, because either he realizes the boat is now free for the taking, fixes it, and sails off, or he realizes Piers is free, goes back to get him, and sails off. Since either option would leave you without a boat and Alex isn't the sort to work with you anymore, the BEST answer would be for Camelot to do nothing and not have Alex remain here. Camelot did not think that hard.
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  #38  
Old 08-24-2016, 01:36 PM
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Oh, and there's one more minor problem here. Not helping the mayor of Madra, that's a fair thing to do as a sidequest and I've no beef with it.



No, my problem is YOU CAN TOTALLY MIND READ ALEX NOW AND HE'S THINKING LITERALLY NOTHING USEFUL WHATSOEVER ABOUT HIS MOTIVES.

Come the hell ON, Camelot. If you're gonna have someone like this be a Mysterious Mystery Man of Mystery, and someone who can block our Mind Read ability, then DON'T JUST LET US GET A FREE SHOT WITH MIND READ. This is not hard, guys! This is basic level stuff here! Like the most charitable thing I can think of in your defense is that Alex's cavalier "do whatever" attitude could be taken as a hint that he no longer needs us and has better options for lighting the lighthouses, but A: that is not strictly true, and B: IF WE'RE MINDREADING HIM WE NEED TO GET MORE USEFUL THINGS THAN THIS.



In an attempt to get back into my good graces, Camelot hews closely to the "do nothing" strategy I advised for Alex and leaves the bridge back to Madra broken, forcing me to backtrack through Yampi Desert a third time.



Back at Madra, we learn that someone ELSE attacked Madra while we were gone.



Once again, I'll summarize the details.
  • The Kibombo are, as mentioned earlier, a warrior tribe living in Gondowan. They didn't attack Indra before because they're right in the heart of Gondowan, and therefore have no boats.
  • However, the tidal wave slamming Indra into Gondowan made for a new target, so it was only a matter of time before the Kibombo saddled up.
  • Curiously, they didn't take gold or food or anything like that, but only a single thing, and wouldn't you know it, they went for Piers' Black Orb. Aside from some minor skirmishes during the invasion, barely anybody was injured: they just came in, took the orb, and left.
  • Shortly after this, news from the mayors came back, and Piers was freed only to learn that his Black Orb was stolen. Furious, he set off by himself into Gondowan to retrieve it.



The big question this all raises is this: if their goal was a single Black Orb in the mayor's home, how did they know to go for it? What do they intend to do with it? Why that orb, and not something more practical if you're gonna go to the trouble of raiding a town? Thankfully, they don't answer all of these questions, just the ones that matter, and the rest are safe to infer from context once you get further. Which is nice.



We'll catch up to Piers momentarily. Right now I wanna explore the catacombs under Madra for a bit.



In order to enter proper, we need Reveal, but that doesn't really grant us access to much by itself, we'll need to return with Piers to get the best prize.



Long story short: something is behind this door, and that something is a new summon.

I missed a summon in Osenia, by the way. Namely, Megaera, the earlier-mentioned Sword Anime summon, She costs 1 each of Jupiter and Mars Djinn and boosts attack for the party in addition to the usual wide-scale damage. Which means we have a Venus/Mars summon, a Mars/Jupiter summon, and a Venus/Jupiter summon, if the player's gotten all possible options so far.

Noticing an omission? That would be the lack of any Mercury summon that uses multiple elements. Remember, again, that we don't have a single Mercury Adept on our team. So we have a bunch of Djinn that do nothing but wreck our classes. Which we can't even use for mixed-element summons like you'd expect.



The actual reason we're down here is for the Tremor Bit, which lets us do that thing Quake does but outside of fights.



Anyway, over here. Time to go through to Gondowan for a while.



This area's a bit bigger than the Osenia Cliffs, but not by much, and it's kind of nice on the whole.



First off: Piers does not have the Move or Scoop Psynergies, which we'll be using to get through. So the devs added a side path that uses Frost to get through, something Piers can take advantage of easily. This doesn't get him anywhere we couldn't get to, in practice. It's just another rare instance of attention to detail, which I rather like. Just the devs saying "yes, Piers could get through here first, now it's your turn to follow in your own way!"



First step is Scoop, to get another geyser to ride.



New area, new enemies. Best be on my guard for a while.



Wyvern Chicks can breathe flames and that kind of hurts.



Wolfkin Cubs get Ur Flash, which is the new Ransack.



The fans just call this The Wall.



With a twist: if you don't shove this down first, you get to backtrack to the Wall and do it again!



Backtracking across this thing is kind ot cumbersome.



Here's a Djinni and we're gonna add it to our collection.



Not hard, just tedious. The fight took about ten turns, at any point of which the Djinni could've fled. Yay. I forget what this one does because I didn't screenshot it.



This part of the cliffs has a weird glitch with its camera: it's like the devs didn't fully code that area in the upper right (minor graphical glitches in the ground) and wanted to gloss over it, but did so badly.



One of two fungi in the game. This is the more useless of the two.



Now that we've set foot in Gondowan proper, I want to point out that big stone spire in the sea. That's going to be our big obstacle preventing us from reaching the Western Sea once we get a boat, and we need another kind of Psynergy to break it down. I'm not gonna tell you what Psynergy right now, that's for you to figure out. In any event, hey, cool, we made it! We're in Gondowan now!

Next Time: Neville Longbottom and the Stealth Mission
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  #39  
Old 08-24-2016, 08:21 PM
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I always read the Alex thing as him not having the power to fix the Alhafra boat, And not having the orb from the previous boat to steal Piers' boat.
Along with that I always read the mind reading Alex thing not as a "Catching him with his defenses down" thing but a "if you're not going to just talk to me and try to read my mind, I might as well think at you what I was going to say anyway." Like a snide way of saying nice try.
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  #40  
Old 08-24-2016, 08:24 PM
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That might be viable, but there is no scenario in which Alex can't use waterbending and push the huge stone boulder off the mast.
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  #41  
Old 08-24-2016, 09:57 PM
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I don't think he would be able just shove the rock over. It would be more like eroding the rock with water, and he thinks that would just take too long dude like screw that.

I mean seriously, if we can't move it with the literal move power or our shake the world power, then I don't think water splashing it would work either.
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  #42  
Old 08-24-2016, 10:31 PM
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Having the orb from Menardi's ship wouldn't help. As an otherwise-pointless scene in the first game establishes, each ship is keyed to one Black Orb, and one only.
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:02 PM
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Today we'll be tracking down the Kibombo proper, and Piers with them. That village to the north is our destination, but I also want to note the bridge to our left. This leads to a Mercury Djinni as an overworld encounter. Needless to say, I will not be doing this yet.



Welcome to Naribwe! This is one of two towns we'll encounter in southern Gondowan, because any more than that and the devs would have to actually research African civilizations. (To be fair, they DID throw Suhalla and Lalivero in at the top of Gondowan.)

Once again, here's an infodump of NPC chatter, because have you noticed that the Lost Age throws a lot of critical details into this?
  • Remember Air's Rock? Well, Magma Rock is on the other side of the river around Kibombo. And remember how Air's Rock ever-so-distantly granted Garoh Psynergy? Yeah.
  • The Kibombo passed by Naribwe on their way home, and have set up a massive blockade in the Kibombo Mountains north of here.
  • The Kibombo used to be much more peaceful under the guidance of their old witch doctor, Oeia. However, Oeia died fairly recently, passing his title down to his disciple, Akafubu.
  • Akafubu is the one that's been leading Kibombo attacks these days, and the one who set up the blockade, although we don't presently know why.



Hooray, we can cure poison now!



Naribwe isn't quite as nowhere as Mikasalla, but that's mostly only because of the fortune teller here.



I think he works the same as fortune tellers do in all games, as a hint system.



However, his hint here is actually for a bonus thing. Remember it, because we can't get it for... at least two updates, I think.



Naribwe also has a Thorn Crown, which I give Sheba because she's having trouble hitting things.



Moving along. Right here are the Kibombo Mountains proper.



Under ordinary circumstances, this would be a snap to pass through.



Between Piers' recent incursion...



And Akafubu trying to complete his ceremony...



We're going to have to get creative.

This IS technically a stealth mission, but a very forgiving one, even more so than Lunpa. You'll rarely, if ever, have to put yourself in the path of a warrior to progress.



The path is also rife with shortcuts you can open, so if you do get caught, you lose very little progress.



As before, there's many instances of places where Piers could get through by using Frost, but which you have to find a different way around.



Hell yeah pizza cutter.



Best guard.



The Disk Axe invokes the raw power of pizza to destroy its enemies, which I approve of.



The only real sticking point stealth-wise is that dog, which we can deal with easily once we know how. Image unrelated.



We're the good guys.



So, we need to push this stump across to get that treasure. No, we're not going to drop it on the dog.



We will, however, cut off the dog so we can get to this area. The Tear Stone here is one of the first instances of the game's forgable items. Later on, we'll find two people who can forge items for us. One of these is plot-central and the other handles useless garbage like this and every single other actual forgable.



If you don't seal the dog in with the Tear Stone, you can use Tremor on this box to knock down a suitable distraction.



Oh yeah and Gondowan just has assassins roaming around trying to kill you. Does this mean someone's put a price on the head of one of our party members? The answer is "of course not, Camelot didn't think it through that hard." Meanwhile Pixies are relatively fragile enemies that have a bunch of annoying status spells and come in groups, because Petaloids are interesting tactical encounters.



We'll come back for this guy once we have Piers.



Night falls as we approach Kibombo proper.
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:03 PM
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There's precious little actual info about Kibombo because everyone's trying to watch the ceremony. This, though, is kind of important, and one thing that makes the Kibombo arc stand out to me.



Remember that when Oeia was around, Kibombo was on good terms with basically any nearby towns. Once they died, Akafubu probably felt lost without their guidance and started overcompensating by leading his people on raids for things to confirm his legitimacy. He's too new at the position and thinks only the title matters, not the deed. I dunno, I just kinda like this part.



At least the locals admit that yes, the initiation ceremony is really friggin' weird. The Great Gabomba is their god, whose statue is the site of the ceremony.



Needless to say, we're sneaking some front-row seats.



Stop being racist and heal the wounds we don't have.



Right, here we are. The dude in the headdress down there is, of course, Akafubu.



Spoilers: the ritual here is basically an offering to Gabomba, and his acceptance signifies Akafubu's worthiness of the title of witch doctor.



But enough about that nerd. Let's go see a completely different nerd.



Let's skip past all the textboxes I cut out about Piers having no idea who we are and being an ass about it, because we already met and talked to him, remember?



Quote:
<Felix> Right. Good to see you're okay, Piers.
<Piers> Why did you come all the way out here?
<Jenna> We were going to ask you the same thing. We thought you'd help us once you were released!
<Piers> Well, under normal circumstances, I would've. But shortly after you left, these Kibombo attacked Madra in a raid. To add insult to injury, the only thing they actually went to the trouble of taking was my Black Orb. And without that, I'm denied my own ship. What choice did I have but to pursue them?
<Sheba> You did at least wait for the news about your innocence to break out, right?
<Piers> Of course. And by the sounds of it, I owe all of you proper thanks for it. But you can hardly blame me for running off. Even if you just want a ride, if I can't provide that then what good am I to anyone?
<Felix> None of that. We didn't go to all that trouble to free you just because we wanted something. We did it because it's the right thing to do. You were innocent, you deserved freedom, so we helped, simple as that.


Hello, non-canon screenshot.

In the original, first off, Piers has zero idea who you even are despite you being one of the few people to visit his cell (and one of maybe two groups of travelers to try Psynergy in his presence). And second, he's very much opposed to you interfering in his plans whatsoever. In theory, it characterizes him as someone who values his privacy and needs to protect the secret of his homeland, but that gets thrown out the window in about eight text boxes anyway. In practice, it shows that he's an ungrateful self-interested ass.



Moving right along, though.



So, remember how I mentioned Magma Rock being nearby here?



Guess who has Psynergy.



Akafubu lifts the Black Orb up as an offering.



And then sends a pulse of Psynergy into the statue itself.



This causes its eyes to open...



And then immediately shut.



So, Akafubu can't become a witch doctor in this case. He tried this ceremony once before, remember, but with a different gem.



Hooray, another instance of a culture not calling Psynergy by our name for it, but it's totally the same thing. Stop splitting hairs.



Quote:
<Kraden> I wouldn't advise that, Piers. Even if you're a decent warrior, Akafubu's followers vastly outnumber you, and Akafubu himself could potentially match your Psynergy.
<Piers> I don't like the idea either, but I don't have a choice! I need that orb back at any cost!
<Sheba> Wait. Maybe instead of fighting, we could try getting to the orb by stealth!
<Felix> That seems difficult. The orb's right at the center of everyone's attention.
<Sheba> I know, but maybe if we can get behind that big statue, we can make it safely.


Remember: in the original, even if you did Mind Read Piers, he brushes it off as basically nothing and then completely forgets you, so you need to demonstrate that YES WE ARE ADEPTS AND WE CAN HELP for him to even acknowledge you as remotely helpful. Let's fastforward us doing that and Piers noticing and calling us Adepts.

Quote:
<Piers> Your powers are vastly different from mine, it seems. I owe you my thanks again.
<Jenna> I was kinda curious, actually. Your powers are Mercury, water based, right? Are you from Imil?
<Piers> Imil? I've heard of the place, but no, I'm from somewhere else entirely.
<Sheba> Could you tell us where?
<Piers> ...Very well. You've helped me so much already, I think I can trust you. I am a sailor from Lemuria.


So hey, this is important.

Remember how our entire goal at the end of the first game was either to find Jenna or find Lemuria? Well, here we have a giant lead on the latter. Babi was willing to give Isaac's team a lot of things to get there and bring back more of his draught of Lemuria. Kraden's working for Babi, presumably to do the same thing. And now we have a guy who literally sailed here from there.



Quote:
<Sheba> Who cares what that old tyrant says?
<Kraden> ...I'll let that go for now. Point being, if what Piers says is true, he hails from a city where Alchemy remains unsealed by the lighthouses!
<Jenna> Wait, hold on. How would you even know about Lemuria in the first place? If it's in the Eastern Sea, it'd show up on maps, right?
<Piers> Not exactly. Without going into too much detail, sailing to Lemuria is much easier said than done, and the island itself is perpetually wrapped in fog. Even a seasoned sailor like me would have trouble getting back in once he left.
<Kraden> That's what Lord Babi said. He made it there once, but in all his years could not find a way to return.
<Piers> Hm... Babi, you say. That name rings a bell...


I can't read this line without Sheba giving every word a thick layer of sarcasm and loathing.
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
<Felix> Never once?
<Piers> Like I said, if you leave Lemuria, there's no guarantee you can find a way back, and that's coming from a native of Lemuria. I wasn't going to leave without good reason, or unless forced out.
<Kraden> This was the reason Lord Babi even sent me to Vale in the first place. In lieu of reaching Lemuria again, he wished to look into alternate sources of the raw power of Alchemy.
<Jenna> So he was gonna try for the Elemental Stars too? I can see why you hate this guy, Sheba.
<Sheba> Tell me about it.
<Kraden> Maybe not the Elemental Stars per se, but he did want to find out whatever he could about Alchemy. And with Mt. Aleph supposedly being the source of it all, that made for a better avenue of research. I didn't question WHY Lord Babi wanted me to research it, because the research itself, learning the nature of the world, was more than reason enough to go.


Quote:
<Piers> Let's see... he arrived alongside a self-professed noble thief by the name of Lunpa. Ironically, it was the ruler, and not the thief, who stole one of our ships and fled the island, taking a supply of... well, I'm not quite comfortable telling you what, but needless to say, it was important and valuable.
<Felix> So Babi stole a ship all by himself? That's kind of hard to believe.
<Piers> Lemurian ships require minimal crew to function. All you really need is a single well-trained Adept in a pinch. Babi could've easily picked up some Psynergy during his brief stay.
<Sheba> So do you have a crew?
<Piers> No. I left Lemuria solo, for my own reasons. And eventually, I'll explain them to you. But right now, we have something else we need to do.


Quote:
<Felix> Right behind you, Piers. Let's get that orb and get you back to your ship.
<Jenna> And then we can go home!
<Sheba> Or perhaps light the lighthouses. We haven't really decided that yet, have we?
<Kraden> Hm... that gives me an idea, actually.


Quote:
<Piers> I must refuse. I am sorry, but I don't want this Babi scoundrel learning any more of our secrets than he already has.
<Kraden> I understand, but my reason for asking is not on behalf of Lord Babi in the slightest. It has to do with the goals of our group as a whole.
<Felix> This is about the lighthouses, right?
<Kraden> Precisely, Felix. Our group has been... let's say coerced into lighting four lighthouses across Weyard. Doing so will supposedly break the seal on Alchemy, but my research so far has been inconclusive on whether this will save the world or doom it. If it IS true that Alchemy remains unbound upon Lemuria, then perhaps we can find out the truth there, and work on lighting the lighthouses, or even extinguishing them, if we need to.
<Piers> Interesting. And honest, too. I can't promise anything right now, of course, not when I cannot even guarantee my own return to Lemuria.


Quote:
<Kraden> Of course. Let's get that orb first, shall we?
<Piers> Very well. Once we get it, we'll discuss where exactly you want to go. Don't worry about me either, I'm comfortable sailing anywhere for some time.
<Felix> All right, then. Good to have you, Piers. Let's go get that orb back.


HWOOPH. That sure is a text dump. And I'm pretty sure it's less overall text and more generally helpful than the original scene, which adds in stuff from the earlier writing I had in Madra.

As a character, Piers is someone whose motives are completely unknown and who has no relation to the party as a whole. The fact that he comes from Lemuria is enough to start asking questions about him, and honestly he provides a few answers through his mannerisms. But again, his initial impression is of a prat, so I'm going to try writing him as someone who's generally helpful and humble, but who values his privacy and secrets.



He also comes with two Mercury Djinn, throwing our totals for a loop once again.



His class of Privateer (upgraded from Mariner) is kind of the opposite of Jenna, being physically-inclined despite his Luna typing, and his equipment set is the same as that of Isaac, Garet, and Felix. Diamond Dust is his own physical Psynergy, and he also brings Frost, Douse, and his unique Cool Psynergy to the field. He's still a Luna Adept and his other class sets are still objectively worse than those of Jenna or Felix, though.



Oh, I guess this update's gonna be a bit on the long side, because we're still doing this dungeon. We can't sneak behind the Gabomba statue and get the orb...



But we can sneak into it.



Oh yeah Piers has Avoid in his base class AND I LOVE THIS



Oh no a voodoo wizard.



Dust 'em up boss!

Also: Piers is left handed. That's cool.



So the Gabomba has a clockwork interior, and honestly that's really neat to me.



The Cool Psynergy has Supercool and Megacool as its advancements, but despite the name it doesn't have much to recommend it over, say, the Frost line.



Oh man we can use this to Haunt targets, what a cool and unique item! It's good that Haunt is such a valuable and powerful status effect in this game!



The puzzles here aren't too complex either, they mostly focus on interacting with the inner workings of the Gabomba statue. I don't really know what all this complex machinery is in here for. Undoubtedly very important stuff for the religious ceremonies of the Kibombo people.



Now that Piers is on our team, the difficulty ramps up a little bit more to compensate. I mean, it's still Golden Sun.



This mouse runs through as you head through, but once it notices you...



It jumps onto the gears and runs off. See Camelot? THIS is a good tutorial.



This is not good map design.



This is the main thing here. To get to the top of the statue, we need to Pound both of these stakes, reversing the direction of all the gears within the statue.



While standing on these small gears, Felix spins in place endlessly and this is adorable.



Red Demons are noteworthy for their Vital Moon attack, which deals either normal boring damage, or exactly enough damage to drop the target to 1 HP. I don't know if it goes for the first option if it would be lethal.



Gear reversed. The encounter rate here is high enough that this WILL take a while.
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:06 PM
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Hey look, the path to the area's Djinni. Except that if you guess the wrong gear (on the right)...



HAHA WHAT A FOOL AND A CLOWN YOU ARE.



Yes, this is a great way to start off the fight and you have endeared yourself to me immediately.



Honestly, with Hard Mode stats backing them up, the Djinni fights are decently hard, enough that we've lost Piers and don't presently have a means of reviving him. (We can't even go back to the xenophobic priest in town, because Piers leaves the party outright if you leave the dungeon. I learned this the hard way.)



Steel "siphon's an enemy's HP with a kiss" because that sure is a property of steel.



This also give us enough Djinn across the board to upgrade Piers' dead body to Commander.



To the upper level!



This large gear thing is very perplexing, but its purpose will become readily apparent soon.



Up here, Akafubu becomes audible once again.



Kraden finds some windows over on the south wall...



And apparently we can see through the Gabomba statue's closed eyes.



Akafubu attempts to offer the Black Orb to the statue once more...



And now that we're inside, we can clearly see why it isn't working. It's not that the gods are rejecting Akafubu per se, but that the circuitry is busted.



From the outside, of course, it doesn't mean much to Akafubu or his followers.



Undaunted, he psychs everyone up for a third try.



Quote:
<Kraden> Fascinating. So this statue, and the initiation ceremony in turn, are meant to test a witch doctor's Psynergy capabilities. Properly catalyzed, it should accept the offering, appearing externally to be a godly signifier of the initiate's title...
<Felix> Hang on, what?
<Jenna> Oh, I get it! If this wasn't broken, it'd accept the Black Orb, and this Akafubu guy would be an official witch doctor, right?
<Kraden> Precisely, Jenna.
<Sheba> But it's not working. So does that mean Akafubu doesn't deserve to be a witch doctor, or just that the test is broken?
<Piers> I fail to see how this matters. Eventually they'll give up and discard my Black Orb, and then we can recover it and go sailing, while they can go about pillaging some other village.


Quote:
<Piers> Explain.
<Kraden> Well, the point of the ceremony is to get the statue to "accept" the offering. What do you suppose happens when it does that?
<Piers> I really do not care.
<Jenna> It'd get brought into the statue itself somehow, right?
<Kraden> That's the likely assumption. And when it does, who's the best suited to retrieving it after the fact?
<Piers> I see. So we get my orb back, Kibombo gets their witch doctor, and everyone is happy.
<Sheba> I don't really like the idea of helping this Akafubu, but if you're right, then this would be the best way to get the orb back.
<Piers> Very well. So, how do we fix this machine?


This minigame puzzle thing really isn't too hard, and the nature of the thing is easily discernable just by playing around with it.



Meanwhile, Akafubu is desperately winging it outside.



Don't mind us, just your friendly neighborhood technicians.



I don't know what counting system Akafubu is using, but it is EXTREMELY generous. You should have no problems setting it up so one each of the red and blue sparks makes it to the center.



Like so.



The Gabomba statue really notices the gem at this point.



And as the townsfolk stated, it sticks its tongue out to accept the Black Orb offering.



Akafubu makes to enter the Gabomba statue through the same route, fully relieved.
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:07 PM
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But unfortunately for us, we were too slow to catch the Orb.



The party has a brief flashback to the orb's path as they saw it before coming in.



We have no way to move the statue ourselves, so this is a bit of a loss.



Hey, don't be so down. Maybe someone can help us out here.



Like this guy.



Quote:
<Piers> You highwayman! We're here to reclaim the Black Orb you've stolen from me!
<Akafubu> Watch your tongue! You're speaking to the witch doctor of the Kibombo!
<Sheba> Witch doctor as of ten seconds ago, you mean?
<Akafubu> What?! How could you--
<Felix> We saw the ceremony from inside this statue. If it wasn't for our help, you wouldn't even have succeeded.
<Akafubu> N-nonsense! I'm the student of Oeia, I was destined to succeed from the beginning!


At this point, Jenna gets fed up with his protesting and just drags him upstairs.



Quote:
<Akafubu> This room... Oeia mentioned this in his lessons, but it should've worked for me!
<Jenna> The circuit was broken. We had to fix it manually. Was that in the lessons, too?
<Akafubu> I... I'm not about to go telling the secrets of our witch doctors to invaders like you!
<Jenna> Ugh, fine. Point being, we fixed it for you, so you completed your ritual. Got it?
<Akafubu> But... why? You're clearly upset with me, why are you helping me?


Kraden, master of subtlety.



A few more explanations and insults later, and Akafubu unseals the path, saying he can get the orb back to us.



Quote:
<Felix> I don't see why not. If he was just going to chuck the orb into this statue for his ritual, he probably won't need it.
<Sheba> And to be fair, we DID help him with his ceremony.
<Piers> Hm... I still don't entirely trust this man, but he seems less evil and more... desperate, maybe. I don't quite know what his story is, but if I can get my orb back in the end, I'm content.
<Felix> Here's hoping. Let's follow him.
So, you could make a pretty good case against Camelot for their shoddy representation of not-Africa here, given the grand total of two villages (four if you count Suhalla and Lalivero from the first game), one of which is a gas station, and the other of which is a band of warriors led by a blundering neophyte of a clockwork god.

Honestly though? I kind of like this little segment here. The actual talking and pontificating is focused on Piers and the mysteries of Lemuria instead of bit character background and redundant world-building. Additionally, most of the stuff centered on Akafubu is, while certainly substantial, mostly left up to the player for how much or little they want to dig into it. Plus, the Gabomba Statue is a really creative dungeon design overall. I give Kibombo about a B in terms of quality. I mean, we're not QUITE done with it yet, but this update's on the long side anyway.

Next Time: Neville Longbottom and the Open Sea
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:12 PM
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I also would like to give a language warning for all of my Dark Dawn journal entries.
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:54 PM
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Hi! We're on an elevator inside the Gabomba Statue!



It's a straight shot there, just behind several doors is all. Akafubu's opened them all.



The man himself is trying to figure out what he needs to do next.



And true to his word, he makes no further attempt to hinder us whatsoever.



When we move to take the orb, the eyes of the statue flare to life and it begins speaking. Akafubu initially doesn't believe it...



But once he gets his proper rewards, he's satisfied.



Complete with sprite upgrade. I wish our class promotions were so elaborate.



He immediately leaves the chamber, hype as hell.



But a hair too early.



So the statue changes to addressing us.



Since Akafubu just kind of bungled everything right to the face of his god, he's disappointed in him, and will be holding onto the magic in question.



Gabomba goes on to state that Akafubu needs to live for others instead of himself.

Which... isn't really what his whole arc was about, per se? I mean, yes, to a degree he was self-centered, but that was more just trying to live up to his predecessor without really getting what made him so great.



Kraden decides that now is as good a time as any to ask the god of a foreign people to bequeath that people's secrets to these kids he knows, because Kraden is a wise and venerable scholar.



Oddly enough, Gabomba has an edge case for this, but the upshot is that we have to do it fair and square: report Gabomba's message to Akafubu, and THEN we can steal their magic for ourselves.



Eh, fair.



Once the statue reveals the passage onwards and deactivates, we can take the Black Orb That Is A Crystal I Guess.



Real talk: I like that they make no attempt to explain the true nature of Gabomba. Remember, the closest thing Vale has to a religion is keeping the secrets of Sol Sanctum as per The Wise One's decree. And we've never really gotten into the religion of any other places that much, the closest we've come is calling Tret a "holy tree". For all we know, Gabomba might be the single strongest force in all of Weyard, stronger even than the Wise One (and Dark Dawn does a fair bit to confirm this, assuming you played it).



That said, I'm not really in a hurry to steal the power of a town's leader out from under that town's nose.



Back at town...



Akafubu's unnamed dad thanks us here.



For his part, Akafubu's going to be mad at us and himself for flubbing up the witch doctor thing.



His dad does the reasonable thing and scolds him for it.



This causes Akafubu to tantrum off and sulk in a corner. And you were doing so well with his writing, too.



Fine, we'll go get this racist guy to revive Piers instead.



Like Garoh, Kibombo sells significantly different gear to their warriors than they do to travelers.
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:59 PM
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I think that's kind of neat honestly. Would've been nice if Dark Dawn had a warrior from Kibombo on your team somehow.



And now that Akafubu doesn't have any reason to lead people on raids, the Kibombo as a people are back to being overall peaceful. Cool!



On our way back through to Indra, there's two things we want to get now that Piers is on our team. Both of these things are Djinn, in practice.



The first is that Jupiter Djinni we passed in Kibombo Mountains. Easy enough.



I don't know why I did this either.



Yaaaaay useless.



If we take the path southwest of Naribwe, we can eventually make it to the very tip of the continent.



We don't need Piers for this one, I just wanted to point out how easy it is to screw up Djinni totals.



We were doing so well, too.



There's the other thing we need. The Laughing Fungus is basically useless...



But by freezing this puddle...



We can get the Healing Fungus, which we'll use to get another Djinni.



Remember this guy in Madra who had puzzle-critical information earlier? Now he's just hungry and useless.



If we give him the Healing Fungus...



They hand us a Djinni.



Just think a bit about how bizarre this entire sequence is. This couple discovers a spirit of primordial fire just hanging around town and decide to make it into a pet. They then give the pet to the first yahoo who shows up with the dude's favorite meal ingredient.



This upgrades Jenna to the Hex class, which comes with the Aura line of Psynergy. This is basically a weaker, Mars flavored version of Wish, because girls must be healers or wizards, everyone knows that. Piers, likewise, does not get Wish or any such variants in his Mariner class line.



Oh, hello.

Let's just ignore you for a bit, shall we? Don't worry, we'll get to her in time.



Madra's latest visitors weren't pillagers at all, but the party from the first game! Apparently while they were here, they decided to use their time to teach the entire town about Psynergy while stocking up to visit Lemuria themselves. Which flies completely counter to anything they would normally be written as having goals for (protecting the secrets of Vale, not lighting the lighthouses) but hey, maybe that's Camelot's way of signifying a change of heart from our old crew! (It is not.)



If so they were really bad at it, our path was a straight line that we just backtracked.



Anyway, the plot-ish reason to come back (which IS required) is to meet the mayors once again.



Like reuniting with Garet's family in the first game, this first scene is basically pointless noise but still kind of nice to see as "hey good to see you again glad things are working out".



I like how Sheba asks this here and gets zero recognition whatsoever. Sheba's asking the important questions here. (And you can talk to her but she doesn't recognize Felix. This is a mistake made for the same reason as leaving Sheba on top of Venus Lighthouse while they lit it.)



This is also where Piers reaffirms that he trusts that we're good people and we can totally go see Lemuria once we get back.



Outside, Sanjiv asks us to wait for a bit.
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Old 08-26-2016, 10:02 PM
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Here's the mechanical reason to return.



Ordinarily, Sanjiv planned to give it to us once the boat was fixed, but we did more on that front than Alhafra will be doing in the next year, so that's not gonna happen.



Don't ask me why Sanjiv has a Psynergy Stone. Maybe he got it from the catacombs. Anyway Cyclone is a move of some kind that is different from Whirlwind in ways but that's not what's important here.



What's important is that she finally recognized us.



Quote:
<Felix> Yeah. You're... Karst, right?
<Karst> That's right.
<Jenna> (Wait, who's this?)
<Felix> (Menardi's sister. We only met briefly back in Prox. She takes after her sister and completely adores her.)
<Jenna> (Oh. ...Oh.)
<Sheba> (So who's gonna be the one to tell her her sister's dead?)


Quote:
<Karst> That's a horrible thing to say to someone you've just met.
<Felix> I'm sorry, Karst, but it's true. She and Saturos both were defeated in combat, while lighting Venus Lighthouse.
<Karst> That's... no, that can't be!
<Sheba> We were both there. They fell into the heart of the lighthouse, after fusing together.
<Karst> ...She really went that far? At least she died fighting, then. So who killed her? It can't have been Felix, too indebted to them, and it sure wasn't this little wisp of a girl before me.
<Felix> I... don't know. I didn't see their faces.
<Karst> Wow, you are a TERRIBLE liar. But it was a group of people, you say?
<Felix> ...


Quote:
<Karst> Travels with three others. Between their combat prowess and them talking about Psynergy up and down this town, that rather narrows it down, wouldn't you say?
<Felix> I have no idea what you're talking about.
<Karst> ...A TERRIBLE liar. You might as well have just admitted it then and there. Not to mention by the sounds of it, this Isaac is looking for your group. If someone as new to the sword as you is famous enough to have such dangerous enemies...
<Sheba> Isaac isn't our enemy!
<Karst> WRONG! You are talking about a man who MURDERED my sister! If that's not an enemy, I don't know what is!
<Felix> That's not what She-- That's not what she meant. She just meant that we tried to talk to them, to get them to see our side of what we're doing.
<Karst> Well you obviously did a terrible job. No wonder Jupiter Lighthouse remains dark.
<Felix> We're... working on it. Really. We've been stranded on Indra for sometime, looking for a boat.
<Piers> I've just agreed to let them sail with me, it's true.
<Karst> ...Well, that much I can believe. Our charts in our sailing were way off about this Indra continent. That tidal wave must've been a terrible one.


Quote:
<Karst> My sister... Menardi couldn't have done it without you, Felix. Thanks.
<Felix> You're welcome. So... are you going to be joining us, then?
<Karst> With how well we've gotten along these long five minutes? Pass. Besides, I have my own agenda here. I want those lighthouses lit just as much as you, Menardi, or her comrade-in-arms, but that can't be a sure thing as long as this Isaac person lives.
<Jenna> You're going to hunt him down?!
<Karst> To the ends of the earth. I won't rest until his blood paints the earth at my feet.
<Felix> Okay, we get it. We'll deal with the lighthouses, don't worry.
<Karst> Very good. Don't disappoint us, Felix. We're going to find this Isaac...


Sorry Dodonpa, you're no longer the best villain in the series.

I changed a few things in this conversation, one theoretically major which I'm not going to discuss, but for the most part I just gave Karst a bit more punch in her anger and made the conversation focused on Felix. More than any other scene in the game, this is where Felix being a silent protagonist hurts the plot, because out of everyone here, Felix is the only one who would have a past with Karst and could actually figure out what she's up to.

Also: Karst is not opposed to us, personally, at all. Yeah, we get along like baking soda and vinegar, but her goal is ultimately the same as Felix's goal (even with my edits to shift the focus more to Lemuria and information-gathering than just straight up lighting lighthouses). Camelot's original handles this with all the grace of a sack of bricks, with such genius inventions as Kraden asking how Karst knows it wasn't Felix who killed Menardi. Again, I disagree with Quovak on a few points, but for this one I'm just gonna straight up quote his LP:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quovak
This is an actual line that Kraden says, and it almost single-handedly cements Kraden's role as not just an annoyance but an absolutely suicidal liability. Why on earth would you say this? Why would you possibly encourage a bloodthirsty psychopath hellbent on revenge that you might be worth killing? What would be the best case scenario from bringing up this possibility? Besides, you know the answer: because Sheba told her eight lines ago.
As for the fact that Isaac is her vengeance target: yes, he was our player character in the first game, and yes, as of my writings from the first LP they are on good terms with Felix and co. However, in the original, Felix concluded their meeting by more or less telling Isaac to get bent. There is no reason why Felix should care about protecting Isaac. Jenna and Kraden, sure, they might want him protected, but Sheba would (in the original, remember) have the same enmity towards them as towards their then-employer (Babi), and Piers wouldn't have any idea what the hell was going on. Needless to say, they don't use Piers' relative ignorance as a point for explaining to the player what exactly this new character is, on the off chance they don't remember the single actually important plot from the first game.

So that's where my changes are coming from. Karst is still going to be someone that we are theoretically allied with, but whose personal thirst for vengeance aimed at someone we legitimately care about (instead of artifically) and her powderkeg temper make her far too dangerous to keep as a teammate. Now then, back to the conversation between the crew.



Quote:
<Piers> Er... forgive my ignorance, but what exactly just happened?
<Kraden> It's a long story. But to summarize... you recall that we were on a quest to light four lighthouses across Weyard, with only partial knowledge and not completely of our own volition, yes?
<Piers> I do. Can I safely assume that this woman's sister was one of the culprits?
<Jenna> Yeah. She, Saturos and Alex captured me and Kraden early on as hostages to make sure that Isaac would do what they wanted.
<Felix> And since they'd saved my life only three years prior, I went along with it. Stupid of me to do, but I wasn't about to go against the wishes of the people who saved me and were going to save the world.
<Jenna> At least you know that NOW.
<Sheba> They also captured me too, since they'd need a Jupiter Adept to get into Jupiter Lighthouse. And apparently, people like me are rare all across Weyard.


Quote:
<Felix> Huh. Maybe Alex has met up with her? If he doesn't care much about our group anymore, someone from Prox would fit the bill for having Mars Psynergy, and would be easy to convince.
<Jenna> So he's just written me off as useless? Fine. I hate that guy anyway.
<Sheba> We don't know that Karst and Alex are working together for sure yet.
<Kraden> It's too dangerous a possibility to ignore. Especially since we don't know for sure yet whether lighting the lighthouses is even the proper thing to do.


Quote:
<Felix> That's easier said than done. They've been trying to track us across three continents now, and we can't afford to delay our travels to Lemuria any longer than necessary.
<Piers> We can keep an eye out for him while we sail there, at least. Awkward though it is to admit, I don't exactly know... how to sail back to Lemuria for sure. And worse, I didn't even personally sail out from Lemuria. The tidal wave of Poseidon launched my ship out as I was about to set off.
<Sheba> Hold on, Poseidon?
<Piers> A terrible and ancient sea god. I think that lighting the lighthouses might've awoken him. I did catch a glimpse of a towering humanoid figure in the waves before I lost consciousness...
<Jenna> So we've gotta make it back to Lemuria through a route we don't know AND avoid a sea god in the process?
<Kraden> I've heard some legends about this Poseidon. According to the most common, they can only be injured with an artifact called the Trident of Ankohl.
<Piers> That should be our first goal, then: recovering this Trident of Ankohl.
<Jenna> And we can warn Isaac about Karst if we see him along the way, right?
<Sheba> Wow, Jenna, you're REALLY concerned about Isaac, aren't you?


Yeah. Sorry guys. It's only this one scene where this happens. It doesn't even happen when Jenna and Isaac meet up again. Camelot.



Guess how much I edited that scene, by the way.

In the original, the group forgets all about heading to Lemuria at all and vows to continue on to light Jupiter Lighthouse, "just as Saturos and Menardi would've done". Literally not making that up. In no way is Lemuria mentioned, nor the steps we need to actually enter Lemuria. The conversation with the mayors literally FIVE MINUTES before this was all about going to Lemuria. And needless to say, that NPC hint we can't get anymore from ages ago is the only hint we get about Poseidon at all, who is our objective to defeat in order to enter Lemuria.

Just saying it now: THESE SHOULD BE EXTREMELY CRITICAL THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU EVEN SET OFF. In the highly likely event you go to the Sea of Time where Lemuria is and navigate to the end, you will fight Poseidon, and he will be invincible, and you will die, and you will have literally zero clues about what you need to do. Spoilers, but necessary ones to justify the metric ton of nothing we're about to do. Like, the Garoh, Madra, and Kandorean Temple arcs are just taste tests compared to what's coming up.

And yes, in the original, your normal goal is "light the lighthouses" with Lemuria as a sidegoal, but even if you do want to religiously pursue that without any other detours, TOO BAD. Having a boat does not let you reach the Western Sea where Jupiter Lighthouse dwells, OR the more-frozen-than-Imil north where Mars Lighthouse is. Guess what else isn't mentioned in the slightest. And we've already seen the reason why: that big rocky spire in the channel at Gondowan Cliffs. Can't sail past it, so we can't light lighthouses. SORRY BUT NOT SORRY.



One last thing and then we're done with Madra forever, unless I want to backtrack to the catacombs for a summon (I do not). No, they never go back and figure out the boat thing. Maybe I'll check up on Madra after I fix the boat this file.



Anyway these guys show up from the first game. Remember them? The bandits from Vault? No? Me neither. They opt to attack Felix's group because we kinda know Isaac and might be his friends and that's literally all the justification they provide.



Their stats are completely unchanged from the first time we fought them, save that they don't drop the Bandit's Sword. Needless to say, they're pushovers.



The bandits ask for us to let them go on the basis that they haven't actually committed any crimes yet, a claim which Kraden disbelieves. Do note that because silent protagonist, this is a conversation between Kraden and three nameless losers.



NO WAIT I CAN ANSWER YES/NO PROMPTS WOW THIS IS SUCH AN IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE



Anyway, they drop the Golden Boots here as tribute and run off to go be forgotten forever. Kraden asks us if we're going to stop trying to get revenge on Isaac, which makes literally zero sense in any context (remember, literally five minutes ago our group was discussing how best to save Isaac from the wrath of Karst).



The Golden Boots are like normal boots but better. Piers' barefooted tyranny finally comes to an end.



Right, to business.



Piers unlocks the door here with the Black Orb and gives us our next (very minor) dungeon.



Piers' boat has an infestation of Aqua Jellies.



Each one is a moderately tough fight, and it collapses into a puddle of water and trace amounts of viscera when defeated. This, in turn, lets Piers use Frost on the puddle to climb up.
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Old 08-26-2016, 10:03 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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This dungeon has a shortcut in it despite being a completely inaccessible dungeon for much of the game, because once we do this, ninety times out of a hundred going to our boat will result in just getting on and sailing.



Oh right, Jenna has worse Wish.



She also picked up Flare Storm, apparently.



This is not a hard dungeon, just a tedious one. The Aqua Jelly fight is the same every one of the twenty times we do it, and after each one we have to use Frost, which doesn't exactly have the fastest animation in the world.



If we want to waste extra time we can try crossing this bridge without putting a squidpillar underneath it. No.



The boss is in this room, where about eight or so Aqua Jellies merge into one:



The Aqua Hydra.

Did this need to happen? Are we just making up for that Kibombo didn't have a boss fight here? I'm not really seeing the point of this.



The Hydra has a few moves, but the only one worth noting is this Raging Flood, which can consistently hit the party and for a pretty healthy amount of damage.



It can also spit poison like the cool kids.



And Triple Chomp is a frankly underwhelming physical attack.



Literally nothing else of merit happens in this fight.



However, we manage to flood part of Piers' ship hold, rendering that treasure chest inaccessible for now. It is not worth backtracking to get. (And this one I can personally verify as a Mist Potion, a consumable area-heal. Jackasses.)



Wow, Lemurian ships are just so advanced.



Haha. Funny joke. Punchline.



Anyway, now that we're in the ship basement we can power this sucker on.



And we finally, after way too much time, have a fully operational sailing vessel.



Again, the music of this game is one of its stronger points, and I really like the sailing theme (as well as the new sailing battle theme we'll encounter many, MANY times). Maybe someday I'll actually link it to you guys instead of just bragging about how it's SOOOO GOOOOOD.



Quote:
<Felix> I know a few things from sailing with Menardi, but I could always learn a bit more.
<Jenna> I'll help out, too! I want to sail to all kinds of places! Oh, can we got back and visit Vale?
<Kraden> I'm afraid that's not possible. Angara's coastlines are very rocky and hard to reach, particularly the western coast near Vale. There's a reason Lord Babi docked his prized ship in Lalivero.
<Sheba> Hm... can we visit Lalivero? I want everyone there to know that I'm all right.
<Kraden> I'm sorry, Sheba, but I don't think that's possible either. With Idejima gone, we'd have to use Lord Babi's dock to get in, and it only has the room to dock that one ship.
<Sheba> So we can't visit our homelands at all?
<Kraden> I'm afraid not. And even if we could, we don't have much time to waste. We need to find the Trident of Ankohl to get to Lemuria, and keep our eyes peeled for any sign of Isaac.
<Felix> If we find a good chance to return to Vale or Lalivero, I'll let you guys visit, or even stay there outright if you don't feel like continuing with us. Deal?
<Sheba> Of course. Lead the way, Felix.


The conversation that actually happens there is different and dumber in ways I don't feel like repeating. Well, except for where Sheba is actively opposed to visiting Lalivero because then they'd make her stay there or something. Again, we couldn't reach Lalivero, or ANY location from the first game, if we tried.

For now, here's mostly everywhere we have access to now. Given this giant expanse of ocean to sail across, a more charitable game would let you take things in whichever order you felt, but this is a Camelot game, and it has an order it is hellbent on maintaining. So I'm going to be relying on GameFAQs to tackle things in the order that gets this giant expanse of zero story over as fast as possible.

Next Time: Neville Longbottom and the Smith's Swamp
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  #53  
Old 08-26-2016, 10:27 PM
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Awkward Grunt Awkward Grunt is offline
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You can do Aqua Rock and Gaia Rock in any order, it's just that you need to do either elemental rock before you do it's subsequent tower. But seeing as you've shown you care less about summons and more about Djinn (they are more important but I also actually like getting everything in this game that isn't dependent on random drops.) Izumo first is really the only way to go from here.
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Old 08-26-2016, 10:36 PM
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I like that you can get new summons, but I rarely, if ever, use them in fights, and my main goal for this LP is the rewriting, so I won't do any side dungeons if they don't have Djinn, or at the very least forging materials. (So, for example, Izumo Ruins is a no-go.)
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Old 08-26-2016, 11:39 PM
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I don't know, if summons gave you multipliers to certain elements, and spells scaled on their own, summons might be worth while.

Since impact is a multiplier that increases in power as you get more djinn back, it could be a cool setup to let a caster plow through a fighter's djinn while you buff them up. But all this would only really be relevant if the only enemies challenging enough to do this against also didn't have tools to fuck exactly this over.

I also just wish magic had it's own stat like strength, it would make it so much easier to romhack this game's combat to be interesting with just some number tweaking.
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:04 PM
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The sea battles here use their own monster table and unique music. You'll get tired of the fights after a while and they aren't especially challenging in the first place, but I rather like the battle music. Maybe someday I'll actually link a select few songs instead of just going "GUYS THIS IS SO GOOD".



Anyway, I'm going to be relying on GameFAQs extensively for the next few updates to make sure we do things in the right order.



This is almost a clever idea: since the North Osenia Islet is likely the first place you'll go to, they populate it with a family of sailors trying to reach the Sea of Time, and from those sailors give you a hint of where to start your explorations. Of course, "Yallam" means dick-all in a vacuum and you still have no idea that the Sea of Time could actually be a thing you'd have a problem with.



My route here is going to be a LITTLE weird, but it makes sense to me. First, this almost totally unmarked spot in the ocean.



Like the Tear Stone, there are a few places in the game where rusty weapons can be found. There are five total in the depths of the sea that I'm going to recover, although I can only find two at the moment.



Oh no, urchins!



Here's one of the first four locations you can go to, which I will not be going to yet.



You didn't think we'd crib from every single location under the sun without having a fantasy Japan, did you?



The story in fantasy Japan is one you might be familiar with: a serpent awoke on Mt. Mikage (Gaia Rock) and started demanding virgin sacrifices. The town chooses them by lotto, and the current lucky winner is one Kushinada. Susa, her Very Good Friend, is swearing up and down he's gonna go murder the hell out of the serpent. It's all very fascinating and I intend to do nothing about this for now. We will, of course, be doing something about this eventually.



Oh, and we can buy Tolbi-tier gear here, apparently. This strikes me as a little overkill, and I have better uses for that money right now.



One interesting quirk about Weyard: the world is actually flat. Nobody knows what happens if you go off the edge of the world through these falls, but nobody has returned, and you can't see the bottom, so nobody's inclined to figure it out. It'd probably be a really interesting tale to explore what's actually down there. We will not be doing this.



Hooray a mace.



OW MY LUNGS



So the main obstacle the devs throw in your way to make damn sure you explore the parts of the sea they want you to are these rocky spires. As of lighting Venus Lighthouse, these spires are all over the place, most notably around the southern coast of Gondowan, formerly the ideal spot to get from here to the Western Sea.



Also, the overworld encounters have picked up a bit in ferocity too, about as much a jump as when we first got to Osenia. This won't really last though.



This southern continent, Tundaria, IS very important, but we won't be fully exploring this place for a while. I do want to at the very least get to this islet.



We can go there but there is nothing we can actually do there until we clear Aqua Rock. That'll probably be our next exploration goal once we get our Djinn totals in line.



The actual thing we're doing here is starting the trading sidequest, because those were still in fashion at the time. The novel thing is that it's solely carried out by animal telepathy.



First, we sail across these painfully slow-moving ice floes, which we can only do one jump at a time to cross.



This puts us in a position to drop this log into the water...



Where we can shove the injured penguin across. This is treated identically to moving a rock pillar, right down to the sound.



We get a pretty stone, which we could use to unlock the Culex fight if he was in this game.



While we can land the ship at any shore, we can also sail it into these tributaries (is that the right word?) and disembark at any point in the river.



Our destination, on the eastern half of Osenia...



Yallam, home of Yepp!
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:06 PM
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Yepp is dead and the town is full of isolated and bored people. If it wasn't for the two incredibly important functions of Yallam, you could easily assume it's as pointless as Mikasalla, or these new one-island huts without real names. They also make a point about how Yallam is supposed to be in a rainy season but it's as dry as can be, which doesn't even make sense as a climate change from the lighthouses. I could buy it if we'd lit Mars first, but not the current Mercury/Venus combo.



Anyway here's the most important house in Yallam.



This guy, Sunshine, is the blacksmith who can work with any material we find, or polish up any number of rusty weapons.



We'll start simple.



Whenever you hand him something to work on, he trudges slow-as-hell to his forge, and you have the wonderful honor of leaving the town and coming back, because that's still a thing that happens. (It happens in Dark Dawn too.)



You also have to pay the money to actually get the item. They do not tell you how much the item costs.



The Captain's Axe is honestly pretty useless. It's not like they didn't know how to assign multiple properties to weapons or anything: the Righteous Mace in the first game has a regen property that's not listed in the shop. Instead, near as I can tell, this is an artifact weapon that doesn't have an unleash. There's a few of these, none of them worth using.



We can also make things out of these materials. The Tear Stone is the weakest of the materials in the game, but eh.



PLEASE LEARN HOW TO COMMUNICATE, CAMELOT. THANKS.



After selling a bunch of junk we get this Cloud Wand, which Sheba takes.



The other thing we can do in Yallam is listen to the songs Yepp taught the children here. This is supposed to be his instructions for making it through the Sea of Time, something he legitimately did. This raises several questions: did Yepp ever actually get into Lemuria? How long ago was this? Why did he make his directions into a children's song instead of something more useful like a sea chart or notebook?



I'm not going to bother with screenshotting the song, because there's no good way to represent it with screenshots. Instead, here's the song lyrics.

If you want to go to the stars,
if you want to go to the stars.

Go north past the twins,
passing two swirls, run
deasil twice 'round the trunk.

Haste without waste, and head to
the east, past three to the north.

There, run 'round thrice and wait
for the waves. When they stop,
run north and go to the stars.

If you race full of folly and
take the wrong way, you'll
find yourself a watery grave.

If you want to go to the moon,
if you want to go to the moon.

Face west from the stars and
run straight past three swirls,
then circle 'round twice.

Haste without waste, and head to
the south, then one swirl west.

There, run 'round thrice and wait
for the waves. When they stop,
run south and go for the moon.

If you race full of folly and
take the wrong way, you'll
find yourself a watery grave.

If you want to go to the sun,
if you want to go to the sun.

Face south from the moon
and run straight through two
swirls, then circle 'round twice.

Haste without waste, and head to
the west, then six to the north.

There, run 'round thrice and wait
for the waves. When they stop,
run north and go for the sun.

If you race full of folly and
take the wrong way, you'll
find yourself a watery grave.




I have no idea what an Alec Goblin is.



In a surprising diversion from the norm, the Cloud Wand has an actually different cloud type than half the unleashes from the first game.



Meanwhile, Piers got the rusty mace from earlier, polished into the Hagbone Mace. It is topped with a pumpkin and appropriately spooky.



Anyway, we don't strictly NEED to go here, but I want to, just to get the Djinni and the forgable things out of the way.



The music for Taopo Swamp is unique and very good music for being in a swamp. But again, this area doesn't really... serve any purpose except holding a Djinni? You could honestly go in, get the Djinni, and all you'd really end up missing is some Star Dust you could forge. But I like forging new gear, so I'm doing it.



The outside bog has a minor gimmick that will be seen for literally only this screen.



The inside, however, is split into three caves. Two of them have Tear Stones buried in them, the third has Star Dust.



The outside gimmick is simple: Felix will gradually sink into the muck as he moves, unless he makes it to a bubble area. Sinking completely does that thing that happens whenever Link falls into a pit.



I forget which of these caves has the Djinni and which has the Star Dust. Maybe they're both in the same one.



Taopo Swamp is kind of pretty, in that way that Bogleech might call pretty.



Hey look an actual puzzle! Douse to fill the divot there with water, then Frost to turn it into a pillar, then jump up quick before the hot air melts and evaporates the entire thing.



Oh hi new Pixies.



For reasons unknown, the swamp eventually leads into a weird sub-volcanic area. These fiery rocks cannot be Moved even with Psynergy unless you use Douse on them first. Why, is it too hot for your telekinetic hands to touch?
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:09 PM
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Like, if it was moving them by hand physically I could understand it, but there's no reason Move wouldn't be able to work on them.



Felix, I get that you want to stop the lava flow to reach the Star Dust, but CASTING TREMOR RIGHT HERE IS ABOUT THE LEAST SAFE WAY TO DO IT



Like there are at least four ways the party could've died right there.



Once you get down here, the glow in the earth is the only hint you get...



For the Star Dust. This is a good few tiers above the Tear Stone's potential creations.



Man why can't my dog do this.



Boy oh boy I sure haven't gotten tired of this mechanic back in Air's Rock.



Djinni. Let's go get it.



We can use this air pressure stuff to force the Djinni to the lower level, where it's a simple matter of randomly guessing slopes to jump down until we get the correct one to let us face the Djinni (and saving the game before fighting, of course). For the record, it's the far right one in this picture that you want.



Also, here's what the Cyclone Psynergy we picked up last update looks like. It sweeps away the kind of grass that most of us would just cut with a sword or a scythe or something.



Occasionally, this fights us a Mad Plant, but usually there's minor goodies hidden in the grass. We'll play with this mechanic a bit more next update.



Mad Plants are about as tough as a Mimic for where you encounter them, but aren't that noteworthy past that.



Anyway, Flower joins us and Felix ranks up to Gallant, gaining the Gaia line and the Revive Psynergy.



This is why you're running an inn, in a place where you yourself have established that visitors rarely, if ever, show up. Okay.



This is probably the best result to get from a Tear Stone. Equipment comes and goes, but having a discount Wish effect as a semi-permanent item is almost always going to be nice.



Everything beyond this point from a Tear Stone is garbage mage armor that boosts Mercury Power. Do note that of the two people we have that can equip it, neither is innately capable of Mercury Psynergy (although if I had the same class setups as the first game, it'd be nice for Sheba).



Right, now for the big money. According to GameFAQs, Star Dust isn't THAT far above Tear Stones for power, but I always did kind of like the stars-and-suns themed stuff in fantasy.



And we got a pretty solid result in the Comet Mace.



This combines the usual leaping strike with a single Prism-looking crystal slamming onto the target, and can lower enemy defense. It's one of my favorites.



This is also the first time I've ever really given Felix a mace, now I think about it. And I like how it looks. Isaac gets the knightly-style edged mace, while everyone else gets morningstar looking things (smaller ones for Mia and Sheba). Felix, though, gets this ugly-looking oni iron club, and I LOVE it. Fits his pseudo-antihero character perfectly.



Anyway, back in Daila for a second. The puddles from the tidal wave are mostly dried up, and we can dig up stuff if we're so inclined.



We're actually here to raid their sanctum of this Sea God's Tear, necessary to get anywhere within the Shrine of the Sea God itself. Remember that area? Kids were stranded there by the tidal wave?



Let's just speed on over. The area isn't especially more notable the second time around, we can just get further in with Piers' help.



Like Taopo Swamp, it is kind of pretty.



By using the Tear on this shrine, we can cause the water level to raise, taking this platform with it.
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:09 PM
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Hooray, we now have exactly one third of a trident! We will, of course, need all three, and we'll need to find someone willing and able to forge them all together. No, it's not Sunshine in Yallam, although we'll be returning to that guy frequently through the adventure.



Like, say, at the start of the next update.



Trying to decide, though. Should I go for Gaia Rock or Aqua Rock first? I still need to ensure my Djinn totals are in order either way, and I know Aqua Rock is considered the easier of the two to start with, but honestly I think I could go either way here. (Don't bother voting though, this is a backlog LP.)

Next Time: Neville Longbottom and the Cliffs of Slightly Recolored Insanity
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  #60  
Old 08-28-2016, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
Next Time: Neville Longbottom and the Cliffs of Slightly Recolored Insanity
Sounds like Aqua Rock to me!
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golden sun , i guess

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