View Full Version : Let's Play: Legend of Mana

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05-19-2008, 04:40 PM
Brickroad's "full speed ahead" comment in the archive thread finally pushed me enough to get this off the ground. Which is good! I've been itching to play this game recently, so without further ado...

Let's play!


Despite the fact that it is decidedly not Secret of Mana, like many people were hoping upon its release, I think there's a lot to like about this game. I've probably sunk more hours into it than any other game that I can think of, so I would like to hope so at least. Will my childhood memories stand the test of time? Let's find out!

But before we begin, you are going to have to make some decisions for me! Yes, you!


The first choice: should I play as the boy (left, believe it or not) or girl (right). This is, aside from a couple of altered lines of dialogue, entirely cosmetic.

Second choice: Which of the game's 11 weapons should I use? This is not just cosmetic. Weapon choice determines your base attack, damage type, movement speed, attack speed, attack range, amount of hits in a standard combo, stat growth, and the flashy special attacks that you can learn. I'll add what allies use a particular weapon in its description too, while I'm at it. You might not know who these characters are yet, but I'll let you know in case someone wants me to use a weapon that hasn't already been claimed by an NPC or something.

Knives: Dual knives. Fast movement speed, short range. You might think they would have fast attack speed too, but they really don't. Each attack in the combo swings both knives, but only one of the swings per button press will hit. (Used by: Sierra)

Sword: Most balanced stat growth. Can use a shield, shares the standard attack animation and some special attacks with the axe. (Used by: Elazul)

Axe: Like the sword, the you can use a shield. Has the best special attack in the game, hands down. (Used by: Larc)

Two-handed Sword: Slower than the lighter weapons in every way, but makes up for it in power. Shares the normal attack animation and a few special attacks with two-handed axe and hammer. (Used by: Escad and Bud. Apparently frying pans pass for greatswords these days.)

Two-handed Axe: Slower and more powerful than the two-handed sword. (Used by: Nobody!)

Hammer: Slowest weapon in the game. Also the hardest hitting. It always looked a bit silly to me, but you can't argue with the results. (Used by: omgspoilercharacter)

Spear: Theoretically has longer reach than anything but the bow, but one of the combo attacks has just as short range as your standard punches. The first weapon I chose. (Used by: Nobody!)

Staff: Shares its normal attacks with the spear, but is significantly weaker. It's special attacks are generally weaker to the equivalent attacks for other weapons, but they all have an element attached. (Used by: Lisa, though it's actually a broom.)

Gloves: Fast, shortest range. Most combo hits, though. And you can suplex screen-tall dragons. My favorite weapon. (Used by: Niccolo)

Flail: Think less "medieval flail" and more "nunchaku." Shares the normal attack problems and some special attacks with the knives. Probably my least favorite weapon, even though nunchaku are admittedly awesome. (Used by: Daena)

Bow: Longest range in the game, obviously. A little on the weak and slow side, but you should be far enough from enemies that you'll hardly ever take damage anyway. (Used by: Nobody!)

I can change weapons at any time, but I'm going to stick with whatever gets chosen through to the end. We're in this for the long haul, boys. Choose wisely.

And finally...


...our plucky hero needs a better name.

So what do you think, Talking Time? Post whatever name/gender/weapon combination you'd like to see, and I'll use the best/most popular suggestions.

05-19-2008, 04:49 PM
And you can suplex screen-tall dragons.

Done. Sold. Go gloves.

Don't care about the name etc. But if you don't suplex monsters as often as I possible, I will take it personally.

05-19-2008, 04:54 PM

As I can't remember this game at all!

Let's go with a girl, with a great sword, and have her name be chica or theDudette

05-19-2008, 04:55 PM
I actually like this game a lot. I know I'm in the minority, but there's something about the randomness that I enjoyed.

Octopus Prime
05-19-2008, 05:00 PM
I rented this and loved it, but I'll be gal-darned if I remember anything else about it.

Use Girl (since she looks less crummy then Boy), Either Gloves or 2-Handed Sword and you shall name her... Wossername

05-19-2008, 05:37 PM
Use a girl with the two-handed axe. YOU MUST.

05-19-2008, 05:45 PM
I love this game too mostly for the asthetics and the creativity on show. I also vote for the girl and 2-handed sword.

I say name her after the three people I admire most: Tigerlilly Rembrandt Frankenstein.

05-19-2008, 05:46 PM
Use a girl with suplexes. YOU MUST.

Pajaro Pete
05-19-2008, 06:11 PM
Take the Gloves and keep on punching til you punch the faces of God and Satan.

05-19-2008, 06:14 PM
Girl, gloves, and a random name.

05-19-2008, 06:58 PM
A girl with gloves named Alena (http://www.planetnintendo.com/alefgard/images/artwork/dw4/alena.gif).

I really loved this game too, though I admit I had to warm up to it a bit first. I wish I hadn't sold it.

05-19-2008, 07:16 PM
A girl with gloves named Alena (http://www.planetnintendo.com/alefgard/images/artwork/dw4/alena.gif).

My name is CJ, and I approve of this message.

05-19-2008, 07:34 PM
I would call her Pants, because that way she would have some.

05-19-2008, 07:39 PM
I will forever consider the true name of the Legend of Mana protagonist to be 'Chumpy'

05-19-2008, 07:45 PM
I change my answer.

It must be Pants.

05-19-2008, 07:48 PM
I loves me some Legend of Mana.

Use one of the random names (the game has a very interesting assortment for both genders).

I want to say bow, because I've never heard of anyone actually playing through the game with one (I know I haven't). But "female archer" is done to the death in RPGs, so gloves or two-handed axe.

05-19-2008, 08:01 PM
Girl for sure

If you go Gloves name her Orlha
Spear -> Mikado
Daggers -> Ayame

I will forever consider the true name of the Legend of Mana protagonist to be 'Chumpy'
Or this

05-19-2008, 08:07 PM
I loves me some Legend of Mana.

Use one of the random names (the game has a very interesting assortment for both genders).

I want to say bow, because I've never heard of anyone actually playing through the game with one (I know I haven't). But "female archer" is done to the death in RPGs, so gloves or two-handed axe.

I've never stuck with one weapon throughout the whole game. I switch it up everytime there's a new stronger weapon.

Pajaro Pete
05-19-2008, 08:07 PM
Wait let's do a Guy, name him MC and give him a Hammer.

Red Hedgehog
05-19-2008, 08:49 PM
I have never played this game, but I'll throw my vote to girl with two-handed axe. Mostly so when you kill things, you can say "Let me AXE you a question!"

And name her, I don't know, Gina.

05-19-2008, 09:33 PM
The results were processed in the only truly fair way possible. I wrote each person's suggestion on a piece of paper, then drew one out of a bag to determine the three aspects of the character.

It turns out our main character is...


Female. Admittedly, I didn't draw that one. Nobody even voted male until after I had already gotten this next set of screenshots.

Her weapon of choice is...


Her gloves. Not surprising, considering how much the gloves outnumbered everything else. You've got good taste, Talking Time! In fact, I went with the girl with gloves the last time I played the game and will gladly do it again. I like punching and wrasslin' that much.

However, the last time I played the game, I didn't name the main character...


Pants. I'm pleased with the results. Are you?


After making our character, we're given the task of deciding where in beautiful Fa'Diel the game will take place.


For simplicity's sake, we're selecting this spot. The cursor's default location. It doesn't really matter where I start the game unless I'm trying to do every quest possible, which isn't really the point of this playthrough anyway.


Afterwards, we get this message. This mailbox we're placing is an artifact. What that means to us is that we place the item on the map somewhere and it creates a new location for us to explore. This, being the first artifact in the game, is Pants' house. Let's just place it in the lower left corner of the map. There's a reason for this, but I'll get into it in more detail once we start placing more artifacts.


Some special effects later, and we've got ourselves a home!

05-19-2008, 09:34 PM
The screen blurs out, and the intro movie (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTy1NwhqZ2o) kicks in. I don't have anything I can use to record it myself, but YouTube will do nicely. Other people have mentioned it already, but it really is a beautiful looking game.


Moving on, the Goddess of Mana tells us what's up. Sort of.

Well, not really. But this is just about the most detailed backstory you'll get without pouring over the in-game books, so relish it.

You'll learn soon enough that the story isn't really the important part of this game. You just kind of go with the flow.


On that note, Pants wakes up, ready for another day of... whatever it is Pants was doing before her house sprung into existence. That little cactus is the corner is Li'l Cactus. Keep notes. He'll be important later.


Now's as good a time as any to go over the contents of the menu.

Here, we see Pants' stats. LoM uses pictures for these instead of the typical STR, INT, DEX, etc. that most RPGs use.

Moving left to right, the top row has power (strength-based weapon damage), skills (dexterity-based weapon damage), defense (physical defense), and magic (magic defense). The bottom row has HP (determines your HP gain upon level-up, and your regen rate), spirit (status change defense), charm (success rate of your status changes), and luck (item drop).


Here's the equipment screen. The four numbers we have for defense correspond with bashing, slashing, thrusting, and magic type damage. It isn't visible, but the various weapons all have different damage types as well. Predictably, our gloves are bashing. Something like the sword, however, is made up of various levels of all three physical damage types.


This is Pants' skill screen. Our Special Technique list is kind of barren now, but the game is kind enough to start you out with one tech for whichever weapon you choose.

More techs are learned based on what abilities you use during battle. I didn't take a screenshot of the full list, but as you can see from the awesome FAQ I wrote for the game when I was in middle school (http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/psx/file/256525/7980), you start with 8 abilities and can learn up to 26. Different combinations will lead to different locked abilities and special techniques.

But we'll stick with Jump and Defend for now.


Downstairs, we find the first treasure chest in the game.

After breaking open what can only be assumed is Pants' piggy bank, we move outside to mingle with the locals.


By "locals," I mean this freeloading Sproutling. His rent overdue again this month, he hands me a pile of children's blocks instead and tells me this.

I guess I'll accept a city as a form of payment. This guy better be legit.

05-19-2008, 09:35 PM

Moving outside, there aren't too many options on where to place this town. Aside from the mailbox, you can only place an artifact next to a location that you've been to before. And most towns can't float, so we're going to plop it down on the only open space.




And we're in Domina. Each of the blue dots on the map point out entrances or exits to the various sections of the town.


Like s- whoa.

Immediately after entering town, we walk in on the ending of an argument between Mysterious McBroodybrood and the onion here.


He answers the kid's question and turns for the pub behind him. Clearly the only reasonable course of action here is to follow an angry man into a bar, so Pants does so.


Or would, if this fat rabbity thing wasn't blocking the door. After pushing Pants aside, he waddles over to the north end of town.

Now, Talking Time, we get to choose our first adventure!

If you want to follow the angry man into the pub, turn to page 125.

If you want to follow the fat, happy looking rabbit to the north, turn to page 53.

05-19-2008, 09:37 PM
I don't trust that rabbit. That grin of his doesn't exactly look trustworthy to me. Go after the angry man instead.

Some special effects later, and we've got ourselves a home!

Oh, but if it were only that easy in real life.

05-19-2008, 09:52 PM
We have to follow the brooding young man with long hair, using Square logic he must be the ultimate baddie who'll we'll fight a dozen times or so each time to classical music before he transforms or summons the ultimate evil which we must destroy, lets get that part put of the way!

Red Hedgehog
05-19-2008, 10:07 PM
Tell me about the rabbits, George.

05-19-2008, 10:11 PM
this game is pretty high on my games I couldn't get into way back when and should probably try again list! I'm sure it didn't help that I was expecting it to somewhat resemble SoM, and that I was playing it in Japanese (before I learned to read Japanese) and had no idea what was going on. damn that awesome local game store, renting out crazy inscrutable import games to impressionable youths.

I guess what I'm saying is FAT RABBIT FTW

Ample Vigour
05-19-2008, 10:15 PM
If you want to follow the angry man into the pub, turn to page 125.

Pants must follow Generic McBroodyface into the bar, if only so I can see the end of that line of quests after nine long years.

EDIT: I am so cracking open my endgame save after I beat my current RPG. It's been far too long since Maraxus and Brooklyn rolled into the Gato Grottoes.

05-19-2008, 11:13 PM
The art style reminds me of SaGa Frontier II...only with onions and rabbits and crazy ass stuff like that.

Oh, and follow the angry guy.

05-19-2008, 11:58 PM
We have to follow the brooding young man with long hair, using Square logic he must be the ultimate baddie who'll we'll fight a dozen times or so each time to classical music before he transforms or summons the ultimate evil which we must destroy, lets get that part put of the way!

Naw. This guy doesn't have silver hair. He can't be that bad.

The art style reminds me of SaGa Frontier II...only with onions and rabbits and crazy ass stuff like that.

Yeah, the game shares producers with SaGa Frontier II, in fact. There are a few other things going on that make it seem more like a SaGa game than a Mana game, too. Most of the special techniques are lifted directly from SaGa, and it flexes its open-ended muscle pretty fierce. It's also ludicrously experimental and has a lot of poorly explained, arcane subsystems going on.

I rather like it!

Anyway, it's nice to see people taking some interest in this, despite the current... issues with Let's Play threads that I'm partially responsible for. But now that it's started, I'm going to try and keep up with a regular two updates per day or so.

Ample Vigour
05-20-2008, 12:16 AM
It's also ludicrously experimental and has a lot of poorly explained, arcane subsystems going on.

Arcane is a gentle way of putting it. LoM is like owning a British car: it's only fun if you're willing to spend your free time hammering it into shape. I had nothing going on the summer before freshman year so LoM and I were a match made in heaven, but I have no illusions that most folks have the time and persistence to beat their heads against LoM until they find the endgame. Or was it less frustrating than I recall? It's been a while.

I don't envy your having to break down systems like gardening and golem building into entertaining info tidbits, but I salute your efforts! This should be a blast and a half, what with the moonsaults and the power bombing.

05-20-2008, 02:01 AM
It's also ludicrously experimental and has a lot of poorly explained, arcane subsystems going on.

Sounds like SaGa to me.

Octopus Prime
05-20-2008, 06:36 AM
Fat Rabbits are truly a thing to follow, and probably more entertaining then angsty, brooding guys in a bar.

Follow that Rabbit!

05-20-2008, 06:44 AM
Let's not see how deep this rabbithole goes. Take the blue pil..er.. follow the angry man.

05-20-2008, 06:53 AM
I've never met a fat, smiling lagomorph I didn't like. Go with the rabbit.

05-20-2008, 07:15 AM
Go for the angry guy, he probably hits harder.

05-20-2008, 09:05 AM
Go for the angry man, I've never beaten the game and I want to see the end of his storyline.

05-20-2008, 09:08 AM
Back when I played LoM I used a bow and just shot everything to death. I don't really think I futzed around with magic or golems or anything like that at all.

My favorite NPC was Sierra. I went through a pretty silly Sierra phase as I recall.

05-20-2008, 09:39 AM
But but but there's also teapots and vegetable girls and bird priests and human-phonograph hybrids to visit!

Gosh. I love this game so much, if only for the range of bizarre stuff and characters. You almost never see this level of whimsy in videogames. It's a shame.

Ample Vigour
05-20-2008, 10:15 AM
You almost never see this level of whimsy in videogames. It's a shame.

It really is. LoM knows when and how to be silly in such a way that it never makes you feel silly for enjoying it. It has a sort of 1930s Warner Brothers aesthetic that prevents you from taking things too seriously.

The best compliment I can pay to that sense of style is that it will never inspire a CGI movie cash-in.

05-20-2008, 10:32 AM

THANK YOU. This is the word I've been looking for to describe this game for years now, and could never quite hit on the right one. The best I could come up with was something like "fairy tale storybook" and while that may also fit, I like the one-word answer better.

Pajaro Pete
05-20-2008, 10:41 AM
One's an angsty JRPG cliche, and the other is a Peddler of Smiles (tm). Make the right choice.

Count me in the boat of people who really likes the game, but wishes it were more fun to actually play. With Let's Play, I can experience the wonder without having to fight all those monotonous, inescapable, fixed encounters.

05-20-2008, 04:40 PM
I never would have imagined that so many people would be interested in Elazul. But Pants is nothing if not loyal to the people, so she braces herself and walks into the bar.


Where Elazul has already gotten confrontational with the fairy waitress. Fantastic.


Trying to stop him has no effect, and he keeps pressing the poor girl before getting fed up and storming out. Apparently, he's looking for someone. Disheartened, Pants leaves to and starts walking in the direction of the bunny man.


But Elazul's not going to have any of that! If nothing else, he's at least determined to get someone to help him. Pants gets a hunch and heads back to the bar.


Where the waitress hands us a jade egg. Elazul's creepiness aside, this is our first lead! Hot damn.


We lay the egg down to the north of Domina, and we're ready to explore our first dungeon in the game.


As well as get our first quest.


As exciting as that is, Elazul, don't you think you should apologize to this onion kid here for your attitude earlier. I think you should.

05-20-2008, 04:42 PM

Our bud here makes it clear that he's not exactly the brightest bulb around, but at least Elazul's words earlier didn't seem to have cut him up too bad. It's obvious that he didn't let any tears leek, at least, so he has to have some thick skin.


He's even willing to help us on our adventure! Each option has several layers of other choices within, so there's shallot of information to go over. I can't say I want to cover allium right now, so I'm going to dice it into smaller chunks and explain it as we explore this place.


Here's our first battle. You'll notice that the HP bar has a percentage rather than a standard number, like most RPGs have. It also only takes up half the bar right now. It'll grow with time, and will eventually come to be multiple, color-coded bars.

Below the HP bar is the special technique meter. It fills with the use of attacks and some abilities. Once it's full, you can let loose one of your four currently equipped techniques.

That lightning bolt connecting Elazul and Pants' status bars indicates that their "synchro effect" is active. This is a special perk that kicks in when two characters are close to each other in battle. Pants gives her parter increased HP regen, Elazul gives his partner faster special gauge build-up.

The game uses the typical weak/strong attack types that you're all probably used to by now. Weak attacks can combo into themselves for up to five hits with gloves. Stong attacks can be modified with certain directional presses.


Here, we see Elazul has popped open a bat, spilling its delicious blue crystals all over the cave floor. This is experience. It normally only goes to the character who picks it up, so Pants is quick to grab it. Elazul's AI isn't programmed to seek out experience crystals, so it's up to me!

Enemies can also drop money, items, or candy.


We find a chest in the room too. It's... not a particularly useful item. We can use this for catching pets later, but it doesn't have much of a purpose beyond that. Almost all the chests in this game are like this, though the items might be useful for different optional things.

I probably won't mention many chests in the future.


Moving deeper into the caves, we come across a wild Boink in its natural habitat.


Touching this creature teleports us away, to wherever its tail is. Where is this this Boink's tail, you ask?


Why, back at the entrance to the cave. It can be a convenient way to move back and forth in certain dungeons later in the game.

05-20-2008, 04:44 PM

This little bit of backtracking did let me fill up the special gauge, though. Letting me use the first ST of this game, Jawbreaker.

You know how when you use super moves in fighting games, the game pauses for a bit while your character charges up? That's what you're seeing here.


...Except the game doesn't pause, resulting in this whiff. Short-range attacks like this are at the most risk of missing, but it's all a matter of timing and predicting the enemy's movement.

On the plus side, you're invincible during the charge-up. You can use an ST simply to dodge an attack, with the added possibility of heavy damage afterwards.


A few battles later and we learn another ST. Bloody Knuckles has longer range than Jawbreaker and, as such, is much easier to connect with.


Like so. A bonus side effect that this particular ST has is a temporary power buff.

It also makes things bleed blood. Mushroom blood.


In the deepest depths of the cave, we meet this mysterious figure. But before we can get much out of her, we hear a scream in the next room.

Rushing in, we find...


The Du'Inke. A giant monkey with a dinosaur skull club, and the first boss of this particular game. You'll notice the life bar at the bottom is two different colors. That's what I was talking about with the "multiple life bars" thing above.

You'll also notice that the bosses in this game are huge.


But that doesn't mean you can't knock them head-over-heels with a well-placed ST. In this case, it was the recently-learned Lightning Kick.


Bosses will also periodically start flashing. This is their version of the "ST charge." During this time, they are invincible and when it's done, they let out some sort of huge attack.

05-20-2008, 04:45 PM

This time it's ice breath, and poor Elazul didn't think to get out of the way.


And now he is a snowman.


The invincibility frames in their attack charging negates my STs too, explaining this second whiffed Jawbreaker. I'm just not having any luck with that attack today, am I?


And Elazul gets nailed by this attack too. It's almost enough to make me feel sorry for him, but then I remember he's kind of a dick.


Third time's a charm, and THIS Jawbreaker connects, prompting the boss to let out another big attack...


Which even misses Elazul this time...


And then the mighty Kong falls. Man is the real monster.


A box falls from the ceiling, dropping big crystals and coins. Elazul continues to ignore them.

But more importantly, the beast is slain. Now to find Elazul's friend.


Can you spot the person hiding in this picture?


There she is! Wait, core? What's that supposed to mean?

05-20-2008, 04:46 PM

Did I mention that Elazul's kind of a dick?


You don't have to be like that, man. :(

Are you even going to introduce us?


Ever grateful, Elazul then leaves.


Leaving his friend Pearl behind briefly to give us the Stone Eye and Firefly Lamp artifacts.



05-20-2008, 04:47 PM
Or its it? Knowing full well that she can't go without bragging to someone after beating a giant ape to death with her bare hands, Pants returns home to tell her cactus tales of her exploits.


It sure is, Li'l Cactus! It sure is...


But after Pants is out of sight, Li'l Cactus gets out of his li'l pot and scampers over to his li'l diary pinned up on the wall.


Even Li'l Cactus can see how ridiculously moe Pearl is.

I have the next update ready for later tonight. Stay tuned!

05-20-2008, 04:57 PM
Don't forget to take some time to talk about land placement! It's one of my favourite parts of the game (mana levels, distances, quests, et cetera).

05-20-2008, 06:00 PM
I liked the Jumi storyline. It's the only one of the three main storylines I've ever finished.
Also, Legend of Mana has some pretty great boss music.

05-20-2008, 06:55 PM
Why is the Onion Man calling Pants 'Chumpy'? It's enough to make you cry.

Pajaro Pete
05-20-2008, 07:24 PM
The puns are worse than anything the Onion could say to Pants.

Crested Penguin
05-20-2008, 07:57 PM
That rabbit kind of gives off a Tingle vibe to me. A furry Tingle. Oh god that's terrible.

Follow him, if only to prove me wrong and restore my sanity.

Ample Vigour
05-20-2008, 07:59 PM
Wait, is the Jumi the storyline where you cry and turn to stone? I think I did actually finish this one; it's quite good.

I remember gnashing my teeth when an AI buddy would accidentally eat one of the big crystals after a boss fight. Ironically enough, later I would spend hours trying to coax them into leveling up.

Man is the real monster.

You bastards! Why can't you just let nature be?

Is it terrible of me that I can't stand the Niccolo quests?

05-20-2008, 09:06 PM
Why is the Onion Man calling Pants 'Chumpy'? It's enough to make you cry.

When you first talk to him, he asks you who you are; one of your options is "Chumpy". If you select this, everyone else in the game will refer to you by this name.

05-20-2008, 09:58 PM
Now that we've gained a few levels, let's open up the status screen and see how Pants is developing.


I mentioned in the first post that your weapon choice determines your stat gains, and you can even see it as low as level 4. Pants' Power and HP stats are clearly rising at a faster rate than the others, which is good! The damage for gloves is based on power, rather than skill, and HP is, in my opinion, the single best stat in the game.

Why? Well, I mentioned the HP stat determines your regen rate. The difference between a normal HP stat and a high HP stat is the difference between you or me and Wolverine. It has that much of an impact on your regen in the end, and it let me beat the final boss on the hardest difficulty one time with nothing but a felt sword and cotton armor.

It's also important to note that your stats are determined by whatever weapon you use when you level. This means, if I was so inclined, I could equip a sword for a few levels to raise my defense a bit more.

I won't, though. Winners don't use swords. Unless they're made of felt.


Leaving the house, we get stopped by the deliveryman. Pelican. Woman. It seems there's some trouble back in Domina.


Quest trouble.

This means we have two options open. Go save the town from pumpkins, or go see what that rabbit's deal is?

Oh, man. I don't think I can make such a decision myself. Luckily, there's a solution to this.


The Fruit Lady in the northern part of Domina fancies herself a fortune teller. For a small fee, she'll give you advice (Often vague advice, but still advice.) on your possible quests.

Desperate for guidance, Pants pays the lady 10 lucre.


And after some spinning, gets this helpful advice. Hrm.

Well, it's hard to imagine evil pumpkins being the friendly sort. And that rabbit fellow does look trustworthy.


And also he is on the same screen.

Interesting note about Niccolo. His Japanese name was "Nikita," the same as a merchant cat in Secret of Mana and Seiken Densetsu 3. How he turned into a bunny in this version (And all the later games) is beyond me.


So you want me to go kill all the bandits for you, right?


Mission accepted!


But first we have an errand to run, it looks like. It's a good thing too. Teapo lives in the town's item shop, and I forgot to buy more equipment the first time I was here.


Picking up a helmet and some gloves, Pants' defense rises to 3's across the board for the physical types. Still no sight of pants, though.

05-20-2008, 09:59 PM

Ever the businessman, Niccolo tries to peddle his cheap wares.


He even succeeds! He has that teapot boiling with excitement.

He just has to name a price, and...



To give some perspective there, the helmet and gloves I bought earlier cost 50 lucre each.


Of couse, you can't expect a teapot to have that kind of money. Niccolo does the only logical thing, then.

He gives the wheel to me.

Wait, what?

Well, score. I guess.


Of course, it's no ordinary wheel. What, did you think Niccolo would lie? Pshaw.

We'll place this artifact here, next to the cavern. The main reason is to continue forming my map away from Pants' house. Why, you ask? Well, that's an excellent question!

The "strength" of a land is determined by two things: distance from home and the order of placement. What this means is that the farther from home a land is and the later it's placed; the stronger the enemies, the better the stores, and the better the rewards.

It's not going to make much of a difference right now, but I want to start getting things relatively far from home early on. Just to make it a little challenging to beat some of the bosses.

Another thing to keep in mind is the mana levels. Those icons in the lower left part of the screen. My primary concern this game is how they effect enemy stregth, but there are other bonuses for managing them. Each enemy in a particular dungeon, even bosses, corresponds with an element. The higher that element's mana level, the stronger the enemy. Each land has a specific set of mana, and will spread it to adjacent lands when placed.

But it's time for another adventure!


Hey! A familiar face! It looks like our previous outing didn't actually help a lot...

05-20-2008, 10:00 PM

And she was never seen again...

But no matter. We're looking for bandits this time, not lost princesses.


Along the way, we encounter the noble Rabite. Some of you might be surprised that these are not sporting their iconic yellow coats, but there is a very good reason for that!

Which will be explained... when the time is right!


And speaking of iconic, you might also recognize that save statue as the Sprite from Secret of Mana.

And what's that catgirl doing here? There are bandits around. Better warn her of the danger she's in.


Ouch, man. Poor Niccolo never gets a break. :(

I guess that's what he gets for suddenly morphing into a rabbit. They could have been together in a previous life!

Daena then tells us that Gaeus, one of the Seven Wisdoms, is in the area and she's on her way to ask his advice about something. Interesting, but not high on our priority list right now.


Continuing through the highway, we come across some spiny cone things, appropriately named Spiny Cones. These otherwise unremarkable enemies are the key to making quick cash in Legend of Mana.

They drop WindCaps, a cotton hat that's only real strength is the drop rate. These hats can be modified later on with four Clear Feathers, a common drop for Stinger Bees (pictured with the Rabite above), raising its selling price to over 26,000 lucre. That's over half of the ludicrous price Niccolo wanted for that wheel!

Unfortunately, it'll still be a little while before we can do any equipment modification. So let's move on.


Into the bandit den! You might also recognize these guys from the previous games.


Unfortunately for them, Pants is a true patriot and does not negotiate with terrorists.

So she throws a piece of candy at Niccolo instead of giving them the money they demanded.

05-20-2008, 10:01 PM

The bandits are understandably not amused, and call in their...



Oh well, stranger things have happened in this game. What really matters is that this is another boss fight.


You might notice that the life bar for this boss is significantly shorter than the previous one. I don't know what mana type the Mantis Ant corresponds with, but the highway has 0 in five of its mana levels, so I'm willing to bet that's the cause.


Needless to say, he doesn't put up as much of a fight as the Du'Inke. This screenshot is the only big attack he got off in the fight.


And the first boss of Secret of Mana goes down. No sword orb this time, though. :(


But it's reward time now! Lay it on me, Niccolo! What do I get?


That... that doesn't sound like that great of a deal, honestly. And I don't have the money anyway, thanks to the stop at the store earlier.


Understanding rabbit that he is, Niccolo gives the stuff to me anyway! For free!

But he totally would have taken my money if I had enough.

He also hands us two new artifacts! The Flame and The Medallion.

05-20-2008, 10:03 PM

And some of you didn't trust this guy. I just don't understand it.


Another job well done.


And another page of Pants' adventures chronicled.

Now, we have another decision on what to do. There are many more choices this time!

If you want to go see what's up with the pumpkins in Domina, press 1.
If you want to meet up with Daena and talk to Gaeus, press 2.
If you want to place and explore the Stone Eye, press 3.
If you want to place and explore the Firefly Lamp, press 4.
If you want to place and explore the Flame, press 5.
If you want to place and explore the Medallion, press 6.
If you want me to repeat your options, press 9 now or stay on the line.

I won't tell you what locations these artifacts make beforehand. That's part of the adventure.

Ample Vigour
05-20-2008, 10:10 PM
Pumpkins! I can't wait to have some help around the house.

Man, I'd forgotten how this game just grabs you by the belt and throws you headfirst into the ocean. My desire to play is reaching fever pitch... Spoony, what have you done to me?

05-20-2008, 10:15 PM
I'm up for making some pumpkin pie. Press 1.

05-20-2008, 10:19 PM
To this day, my brother and I will still recite the "Gimmie da cash! Cashcashcash!" line. It is classic.

Like le Lonely Lupus, I will refrain from votin' to let the virgins decide the game course. ;P

05-20-2008, 10:19 PM
I'm going to have to dissent, if only because...
...this guy's already annoying me. I'm going with Number Five on this one -- how about a little fire, Scarecrow?

05-20-2008, 11:08 PM
but I want the medallion

05-20-2008, 11:55 PM
Wait, is the Jumi the storyline where BANANAS I think I did actually finish this one; it's quite good.

Yep, that's the one.

Octopus Prime
05-21-2008, 05:23 AM

For the love of God, go after those Pumpkins!

Pajaro Pete
05-21-2008, 07:13 AM
Let's go see what's up with Daena first, then head back to Domina to take out Deneb.

Wait that's the wrong game isn't it?

05-21-2008, 09:25 AM
1. Pumpkins!

Man, I just remembered the mission I hated the most. You went to this jungle and you had to help those two bumbling characters find some rare animal there. They got mad at each other and split up, and you had to go back and forth between them as you wandered that maze-like jungle. I don't remember their names, but I remember the cute little dog they worked for, Southerby. It took me forever to do, and when I tried to pick it up a 2nd time, I stopped at that mission because I remember how horribly frustrating it was for me.

05-21-2008, 10:48 AM
Yeah, the jungle is easily my least favorite area in the game and that's one of the reasons.

Ample Vigour
05-21-2008, 10:49 AM
1. Pumpkins!

Man, I just remembered the mission I hated the most. You went to this jungle and YOOOOOOOOOOOOOSAKU~.

Ah, yes. The dark side of LoM: maze missions. The Labyrinth of Misfit Toys still makes me mad enough to spit when I think about it too hard.

05-21-2008, 11:01 AM
So, how likely is it to screw yourself out of being able to win the game through the map-building? (I assume it's extremely easy to screw yourself out of something awesome, but then I'd guess it's just a neat extra and not any kind of trophy type thing, right?)

Pajaro Pete
05-21-2008, 11:16 AM
I'm not sure that's possible because of the way artifacts are distributed and the number of placement spots.

05-21-2008, 11:24 AM
I don't think you can really screw yourself out of beating the game at all. The game will prevent you from choosing a plot of land with too much water, so you should always be able to place all your artifacts. Regardless of the mana levels, the game never gets impossibly difficult unless you choose... No Future mode, I think it was called, where you fight against much higher level enemies.

It is absolutely possible (and very likely, if you aren't reading FAQs) to miss some things, though; certain types of metal, a couple of quests, that sort of thing.

05-21-2008, 11:26 AM
So, how likely is it to screw yourself out of being able to win the game through the map-building? (I assume it's extremely easy to screw yourself out of something awesome, but then I'd guess it's just a neat extra and not any kind of trophy type thing, right?)

You can beat the game with any map combination, really. The only things you need to do to get to the final dungeon is beat one of the three long, important quest chains (More details on those in a later update.), and beat a certain number of quests. I don't remember how many quests off the top of my head, but there are more than enough to go around. You can get the final dungeon laid down before you even step into some of the other places. It's mostly just a way to have a different game every time you play.

The benefits to smart land placement are the whole "land strength" deal I mentioned earlier, unlocking certain quests that are restricted by mana levels, getting some rare pets that are restricted by mana levels, and speeding up produce growth with high mana levels at home. Not all of those are a concern for this particular playthrough, though.

Also, the jungle? Pfft. That's nothing compared to the Tower of Leires or The Flames. But, yeah. A lot of the dungeons aren't a whole lot of fun. It doesn't really help much that most of the treasure is garbage, so there really isn't much of an incentive to explore. Notable exception: The Flames has an extremely rare and valuable item (Ash, only three per game.) and is also one of the largest and most confusing dungeons in the game. It is not very fun trying to hunt that chest down.

I got off work earlier today, so I'll see if I can get the next update up soonish.

EDIT: Also,
No Future mode, I think it was called, where you fight against much higher level enemies.

No Future mode puts all the enemies in the game at Level 99 base. The mana levels can pull certain enemy levels down some, though. In fact, seeing it happen was the first time I really realized that mana levels had that effect. You have to beat the game first to unlock it for New Game+ playthroughs, though.

But regardless, you walk out of your house and immediately get torn apart by a Level 99 Rabite. It's funtastic!

Pajaro Pete
05-21-2008, 11:33 AM
Also, the jungle? Pfft. That's nothing compared to the Land of Redundant Scenery and The Worst Maze Ever.

The first wasn't too bad, but the second is the worst thing ever. I've only bothered to complete that sequence once, because it's that painful to explore.

05-21-2008, 12:23 PM
Also, the jungle? Pfft. That's nothing compared to the Tower place or this other place.
I think I played both of those. Wasn't the Tower of Leires the place where fight Dark Pearl? And was The Flames this kind of underworld type place that has something to do with Larc? Man, it's been a long time since I played this last, but I remember being totally anal about land placement. Nothing to do with mana levels and stuff like that, but purely for looks. Like I reloaded my save because the port town wasn't pacing the right direction, or I didn't like that I had placed a desert next to a lake.

Ample Vigour
05-21-2008, 12:36 PM
For some reason the Flames never angered me in the way the other mazes did. I think it's because your NPC buddy is so cool in that generic rage sort of way.

05-21-2008, 03:47 PM
Alright, it looks like we've got some pumpkins to take care of!


Our goal is in the north-west corner of Domina.


On the way there, we run into these two jokers.

Capella is a juggling monkey, and his friend Diddle is a...

Well. I'm still not completely sure what he is. I want to say a sloth. But he plays the organ.

They might be important later!


But we have more pressing matters to attend to now. We're at the outskirts of town now. Just a stone throw away from our goal.


Pumpkins. Why did it have to be pumpkins?


And also children?


Like most children these days, these two are up to no good.

05-21-2008, 03:48 PM

How rude. Pants quickly volunteers to set them straight the only way she knows how.


With violence.


It's worth mentioning that this fight is the first time we've gotten to see magic spells proper in this game.

The effect here is the target area for the spell this girl is casting. You can't tell from the screenshot, but the four wedges are spinning, effectively making an AoE spell with a safe-zone in the center.

Which is where Pants stands to avoid the spell, incidently.


Spells have varied effects and ranges in this game. This rock spell Bud just cast was a cone.

You'll notice that I'm already behind Bud by the time he got the spell off. There are two reasons for this.

1. Your movement speed when using gloves is very fast. You might not be able to make it out of the target zone in time without using some kind of movement ability (Lunge, Retreat, etc.) if you're using, say, the hammer.

2. Spells take a while to charge up. And unlike STs, you can get knocked out of it while you're setting up the target. Pants slapped both of them out of it most of the time they tried to cast spells. But once the target is set, they're invicible for the spell animation.


I eventually felt sorry for them and walked into this gay rose spell. I mean, they tried so hard.

It did not do very much damage, though. This, combined with the sluggish casting makes spells kind of useless as an actual form of offense for Pants. She isn't going to use them even when she's able to.


Outclassed in every way, the two not only relent, but they swear fealty to me.


I've always wanted child slaves.


The two of them typically stay in the living room, until I ask one of them to join me on my adventures.

They're pretty magic-oriented, and we know how magic is in this game. In other words, they're not that great.

05-21-2008, 03:49 PM

I do like how Bud swears his frying pan is a greatsword, though. It's adorable.


Bud also wants us to take him to meet the Seven Wisdoms (Well, Six. One of them died a while ago.). We know of one so far; Gaeus the Earth. Daena mentioned him a little while ago, remember?

Unfortunately, it's very possible that we won't even see one of the Wisdoms in this game, so it's not high on my priority list.


That's some zen stuff right there, Li'l Cactus.

But it's gotten me thinking. What does that part of town look like now that we've taken care of the pumpkins?

Let's find out!


Well, this looks completely different.


You're on, onion.

05-21-2008, 03:51 PM

How to catch a monster egg in Legend of Mana in three easy steps.

1. Move somewhere fairly visible and drop a piece of food. I forgot to take a screenshot, but I dropped a diceberry. They're like strawberries, only they look like dice.


2. Hide somewhere. Running behind the monster egg will do. It'll notice the food and charge forward to eat it. Messily.


3. Once it's satisfied, it'll pause for a moment. Grab it. You got yourself a monster!


The pelican will come and take it away to your house.


Say hi.


The monster corral is just to the right of your house, and you can do a few things here to raise any monsters you've caught.

One such choice is to take them with you, letting them fight alongside you, or leaving them out in the pasture to graze, letting them level up passively as you gain experience elsewhere.

Whenever a monster gains a level, it'll eat whatever food you've left for it. There are a lot of food types in the game, and they'll all either alter a monster's stat growth or alter its AI.

The diceberry I mentioned earlier, for example, raises a monster's power by 1 and increase its inclination towards aggressiveness. What that means is that the monster will pick one enemy and stick to it until it goes down, rather than running around like a retard.


I also highly endorse this philosophy, to all you pet-owners out there.


A secret look into the pain of being Li'l Cactus. :(

But what was that monster we just caught? Let's run around the world map until the egg hatches.

05-21-2008, 03:52 PM

And done!

And that's also why wild Rabites are a different color. It'd be kind of hard to tell what to attack if they all looked the same.

But we have another problem!


What should I name the little fella? Should I use him? How should I raise him?

Should I just get another pet? There aren't a lot of other options available now, but I might be able to grab a Chocobo or Shadow Zero or snake or something.

Ample Vigour
05-21-2008, 03:55 PM
What should I name the little fella? Should I use him? How should I raise him?

Name the little darling Trix and promptly forget him. We want a Chocobo up in this piece.

05-21-2008, 04:11 PM
Name the little darling Trix and promptly forget him.

My name is PapillonReel and I endorse this suggestion.

05-21-2008, 04:22 PM
Can you actually get a chocobo normally? I thought they were just with the FF8 save.

05-21-2008, 04:44 PM
Name him Chumpy Jr. and make it an unstoppable beast, make the Monty Python's Holy Grail rabbit proud. Or later on, if you get a succubus, name it Shorts.

Ample Vigour
05-21-2008, 04:45 PM
Can you actually get a chocobo normally? I thought they were just with the FF8 save.

Chocobo. Up. In. This. Piece.

EDIT:The Rabite must be named Briefs.

The Toriyaman implications are staggering.

Pajaro Pete
05-21-2008, 04:52 PM
Name him Chumpy Jr. and make it an unstoppable beast, make the Monty Python's Holy Grail rabbit proud. Or later on, if you get a succubus, name it Shorts.

The Rabite must be named Briefs.

05-21-2008, 04:55 PM
Can you actually get a chocobo normally? I thought they were just with the FF8 save.

Yeah, they're just from aerial type eggs. It might be a little difficult to get one now, though. They're the second-highest ranked monster of that type, after all.

Anyway, there most likely won't be another update until tomorrow. My roommate and I just picked up Arkham Horror (guess why), and there is a midnight showing for Indy going down.

05-21-2008, 05:05 PM
I forgot about the fruit and vegetables in this game. They all have really awesome names.

05-22-2008, 12:28 PM
Now that we've gotten our first pet, there's an essential item we need to pick up.


Our next quest starts here, in Domina's inn. The innkeeper claims to be a canary, but I'm not so sure.


How fragile is Pee-Wee, you might ask? Well, he's so fragile that simply talking to him too much will cause him to break into a billion pieces.


Like so.



Pee-Wee's also part of a quest later in the game, so we're just going to reload a pre-broken save and move on.


In one of the rooms is Daena, the catgirl from Gato we met earlier.


It's important to choose the second option here. I wasn't paying attention the first time I did it, and she got upset and left.

We need the item at the end of this quest, so that is unacceptable.

05-22-2008, 12:29 PM

It sounds like a simple enough job. Remembering how Daena mentioned Gaeus was on the highway, Pants makes her way there.


And we even get a use out of the Boink for the first time!


Touching this one transports us waaaaay on the other side of the highway, only a couple screens from our destination.


A couple awesome screens. This particular section is, for whatever reason, always named after the main character.


We also get to see our first Chocobo. This is of the dreaded black variety, but the one we're going to try and get later will be a standard yellow.


At the end of the road, we meet up with the Rockbiter.


Oh wait. I guess this is the Gaeus that Daena was looking for.

05-22-2008, 12:31 PM

Gaeus offers the sagely advice that can only be obtained by being grafted to a mountain for thousands of years.

It's also worth noting that Daena's plight here is a part of one of the 3 long quest-chains. Elazul and Pearl have another one, leaving us with only one left to "start."

In reality, neither this quest, nor the Lost Princess are directly related to the quest chains. They just familiarize us with the characters and some of the circumstances regarding the situation.

I'll wait until I meet someone from the other quest before I ask which one to pursue.


Gaeus also has some advice for me. Thanks, Gaeus!


Finished here, we start to leave the highway. Daena stops us and hands over the entire reason why we came on this quest, the ForbiddenRing.


But what's so good about this ring? It hardly offers any magic defense, and the elemental defense isn't that good. 1 to light, earth and wind, 5 to wood, and 2 to water.

The real valuable thing is under the Mystic Powers. The Fertility Goddess is an effect you can get on equipment through tempering, but we don't have the forge yet, so this is the first time we can come across it.

What it actually does is spread the experience the wearer gains across the entire party. Meaning, we can level up the pets we take much more easiliy.

Pants will gain levels a bit more slowly with it equipped too, though. That's not really a huge problem, though.

05-22-2008, 12:32 PM

But wait, didn't Gaeus say something about a tree around my house? Let's go find it.


Heading down this previously unexplored path...


We find out that some rotten plants have invaded the sanctity of our own home.


But it looks like we're on the right track.


Despite the kickass boss music that plays, these plants are really just normal enemies that you can fight on the highway, among other places.

It doesn't take long to weedwhack.


And the tree pops out of nowhere.

Treant here is our orchard. You bring him seeds that you've gotten during your adventure (Typically dropped by plant enemies), and he grows them for you.

You give him seeds in combinations of two, with eight possible seeds total. The two seeds you hand him determine your pool of possible produce to grow, then it's just a matter of walking around the world map until they can get harvested.


Since I don't get credit for finishing the quest before harvesting something, I toss him a couple seeds and run around outside.


The lilypod I'm holding matured faster than any of the other plants, thanks to the mana levels at home simply being more suited to their growth. I toss it into the bin, and it gets added to my inventory.

05-22-2008, 12:33 PM

It also ends this particular quest. The important thing is that we can now grow our own food for the pets, to influene their stats and personality.

Aside from hunting for another pet, we've more or less covered everything we can do at this point without placing another artifact.

So which'll it be next? The Stone Eye, the Firefly Lamp, the Flame, or the Medallion?

Octopus Prime
05-22-2008, 12:35 PM
You pop that eyeball into the ground and enjoy the resulting dungeon, Mister!

05-22-2008, 12:40 PM
Go for the Firefly lamp, since you haven't talked about that one yet.

05-22-2008, 12:46 PM
I still want medallion!

Ample Vigour
05-22-2008, 01:04 PM
What it actually does is spread the experience the wearer gains across the entire party.

You mean I didn't have to spend six hours trying to coax Larc into eating big gems? I have to go sit in a box now.

Pajaro Pete
05-23-2008, 07:41 AM
I was going to vote for the Firefly Lamp, but then I remembered the Quest there is HORRIBLE. So, let's do the Flame so we can get this moving along.

05-23-2008, 12:01 PM
I was going to vote for the Firefly Lamp, but then I remembered the Quest there is HORRIBLE.

I don't even remember the quest there, but I really like the music and how the place looks. I think I'm going to refrain from voting since I know plenty about the game and it looks like I'd be the tie-breaker here.

Pajaro Pete
05-23-2008, 01:16 PM
I don't even remember the quest there, but I really like the music and how the place looks. I think I'm going to refrain from voting since I know plenty about the game and it looks like I'd be the tie-breaker here.

Gak! Duba, duda, gugu dub dudda.

05-23-2008, 01:17 PM
Gak! Duba, duda, gugu dub dudda.

That was the #1 reason why I abandoned Legend of Mana.

Pajaro Pete
05-23-2008, 01:22 PM
Is it ok to be racist against Dudbears? They're the worst race in Legend of Mana.

Ample Vigour
05-23-2008, 02:16 PM
Is it ok to be racist against Dudbears? They're the worst race in Legend of Mana.

Expect a phonecall from the DBADL, you anti-Duddite. The Dudbear quest takes ten minutes and a sheet of paper; compared to the mazes it's a breeze.

05-23-2008, 04:30 PM
Dudbears are awesome! Why are you so unfun. =(

Pajaro Pete
05-23-2008, 04:51 PM
Bubu Dubababa Gak.

05-23-2008, 06:39 PM
Also the Dudbear city is SO COOL.

A couple of things:

1. I'm really glad you're posting pictures of all of Lil' Cactus' diary entries. I always fuck up my plays by forgetting to talk to him after one quest or another.

2. That guy isn't a sloth playing a phonograph... He is a phonograph. Check out his picture in the encyclopedia if you don't believe me.


05-23-2008, 07:09 PM
I don't really remember what area each artifact creates, but Dudbears are rife with comic opportunities, so I guess that's where my vote goes.

05-25-2008, 12:15 AM
Having finally started a new game (after mulling it over for a couple of months now), I demand more Sproutling dialogue! And also a conversation with the weird priest guy in Domina. And more updates.

Ample Vigour
05-25-2008, 12:22 AM
Having finally started a new game (after mulling it over for a couple of months now), I demand more Sproutling dialogue! And also a conversation with the weird priest guy in Domina. And more updates.

Got any specific goals for your play?

05-25-2008, 11:41 AM
AV: Nah, just for fun. I play LOM as if it was a MUD or something: lots of monster-bashing and odd quests in disparate zones, plus some subsystems for working up equipment and such. And I really enjoy coming up with new land placement maps.

Re: "Character" Canyon Side: Now that I'm thinking about it, I pretty sure it's some regular name until you beat the Mantis Ant; at that point I guess it's kind of like you took over the territory, so now it's your side of the canyon.

Also: ChobinHoods for the mass early XP, yo.

Pajaro Pete
05-30-2008, 11:11 AM
Re: "Character" Canyon Side: Now that I'm thinking about it, I pretty sure it's some regular name until you beat the Mantis Ant; at that point I guess it's kind of like you took over the territory, so now it's your side of the canyon.

I started a new game of this, and no, it's always the "Character" Canyon Side, even before you beat the Mantis Ant. That just raises the question: Is the Canyon Side named after the character, or is the character named after the Canyon Side? While you're ponderin on that, Emmaretta and her pet Mad Mallard are going to go recreate Fa'Diel and bring back the hopes and dreams of the people or whatever the hell it is they're supposed to be doing.

05-30-2008, 01:10 PM
The story is pretty wacked-out.

I guess you could ask the Sproutlings.

..They have no souls, you know.

Pajaro Pete
05-30-2008, 01:16 PM
That's why Emmaretta never leaves Home without carrying a 130 lb solid gold fire marimba with her! If they try anything, they will burn. BURN I SAY.

06-08-2008, 12:24 PM
Oh, man, I come back to the board and this is here? This is the best thing ever as I'm really curious to see how someone else tackles this game. I'm still one of the "Wah, it's not Secret of Mana!" people, but I'm getting better about appreciating this game for what it is.

I'm also shocked by the one-weapon playthrough idea. I literally mapped my weapon usage out so I'd change weapons at different levels to try and make all my stats even.

Anyway, Firefly Lamp, which hopefully does what I seem to remember it does.

Ample Vigour
06-08-2008, 04:34 PM
Hate to break it to you VV, but this LP is dead. :(

06-08-2008, 04:42 PM
Well, is it dead-dead or just momentarily-dead?

The game has awesome LP potential, I've kind of been mulling restarting it, or starting a new one. The trouble is I just don't have the nuts-and-bolts knowledge of the mechanics and subsystems; I'd have to dig around in an FAQ for weapon building and pet raising and mana levels and all of that.

Ample Vigour
06-08-2008, 05:04 PM
Well, is it dead-dead or just momentarily-dead?

The game has awesome LP potential, I've kind of been mulling restarting it, or starting a new one. The trouble is I just don't have the nuts-and-bolts knowledge of the mechanics and subsystems; I'd have to dig around in an FAQ for weapon building and pet raising and mana levels and all of that.

Is it considered bad form for someone else to pick up a dropped LP?

06-08-2008, 05:22 PM
Go for it. I don't mind. Hell, I'll even help you with some of the meat behind the mechanics if you need it. I can at least handle that much during downtime at work.

I just don't have the time right now to play the game and do all the writing and editing and such.

06-08-2008, 07:44 PM
AV: I dunno, that's why I was askin'. ;D

SG: You sure? If you really like writing it up it'd probably be best to just kinda wait a month or two for you to find time again.

06-08-2008, 09:15 PM
Um....what's up with lil' cactus exactly? Like, why do you have a self-aware potted plant who keeps a diary for you? And what do you mean, you mess up the game if you don't talk to him between every single quest??

Ugh. Not as bad as skipping random chests in FF XII to get the Zodiac Spear, but sounds worse than pimping yourself to the crew in Mass Effect between missions.

Pajaro Pete
06-08-2008, 09:19 PM
"Why does (strange, bizarrely out-of-place person, character or object) exist?" is a question that comes up a lot in LoM. There's no reward or punishment for not speaking to him after every event, it's just a means to get his thoughts on the various events going on.

06-08-2008, 09:31 PM
Well, there's some effect. He'll go and write his thoughts in his diary, so it's a thing for you to complete. I thought there was some quest that required X number of entries, or some certain entries, in order to trigger, but I can't be certain on that.

Oh, and for messing up: he'll only write in the LATEST quest you finished, so if you do three quests, and only talk to him after you finish the third, he'll only record the third.. which, again, only really matters if you're trying to complete the list.

06-09-2008, 07:24 AM
Hate to break it to you VV, but this LP is dead. :(

Well, boo.

06-09-2008, 09:42 AM
SG: You sure? If you really like writing it up it'd probably be best to just kinda wait a month or two for you to find time again.

If I waited a couple months, I'd be dealing with school again. Soooo...

Go ahead if you want to do it. I'd rather see it done than not done.

06-10-2008, 02:01 PM
That this thread died...

06-10-2008, 08:29 PM
For my first update I figured we'd explore a couple of things around town and our Home that we hadn't yet. First up: the Sproutlings.


Wh-! Does.. uh.. does that hurt, or what?


So that's a no then, I guess?


We are Sproutling of Borg. Prepare to-- ooh, something shiny!

06-10-2008, 08:32 PM
There's another of these guys in the market square.. except they're all one, so.. I guess it's the same one? Perhaps it's a hive-mind kinda thing. Or a collective consciousness if you want something more new age-y and less nuke-it-from-orbit.


These little guys are simultaneously blowin' my mind and driving me to drink.


Okay, so we're back to being distracted.. or is this just another step on the path to enlightenment?


06-10-2008, 08:42 PM
At the north end of town we find a church. Depending on when you first show up on this screen you may see a blustery mouse detective; I think after you get the Flame artifact he offskis. We'll see him again and I'll point him out at that time. Inside we find..


The good reverend here isn't easily identifiable as one. He's not even clearly anything; he's got some weird antler-crown thing going on, but his mouth is stitched up like he just walked out of a Burton film. He's got a few odds and ends to say about the town and some of its inhabitants. And some disparaging remarks for the Sproutlings and their philosophy; imagination is nonsense! Years of hard work by dedicated citizens built the town, not some flight of fancy. We must trust in the Mana Goddess and believe.

This is actually maybe an interesting case of misrepresenting the message. The Tree exists; well, as much as anything. It did talk to us, after all, before we started all this questin'. It implored us to believe and rebuild the world. We're rebuilding the world with imagination and belief, but we're imagining and believing in things that have intricate histories. Are the inhabitants of Fa'Diel fundamentally incapable of seeing that because of their position, or is it merely a case of selective editing of history? Has this happened before? Will it happen again?

..but mostly I just came to talk to him because if you ask him about Meimei, the fortune teller, he gives you a Produce Encyclopedia. Which lets us talk about those!


Back in your home, a side room on the ground floor houses your den/library. There are several books you can collect, and they fill out with the people you meet, things you find, skills you learn, and so on. Mostly-full-page illustrations for each item in each encyclopedia (with the exception of the techniques book, which shows a small screenshot of your character performing that technique). Here are pages from the Character, Location, and Bestiary Encyclopediae:


The monster book is particularly fun because it shows the individual frames of animation that the beasts have.

Let's check the Artifact Encyclopedia to see what's coming in tomorrow's update:


Time to rabu the lamp!

06-10-2008, 08:42 PM
The advice they/it gives sounds as good as they stuff you'll read in the Secret too bad Square didn't market the game as self-help

06-10-2008, 08:56 PM
Talking to Sproutlings is even more fun with Niccolo in your party. I was too busy running through their dialogue to notice I wasn't taking any screenshots of it when I played it.

After every little Sproutling saying, Niccolo jumps in with something like "I hate Sproutlings," or, "They're the scum of the earth," or "I wish they'd all just die."

He's just so wonderfully racist.

<3 Niccolo

Ample Vigour
06-10-2008, 09:27 PM
And nunix takes up the blade!

I loved, and continue to love, the breezy surrealism that LoM hands you. There's never a wink or a nod or even a "Holy fuck, man! PLANT BORG!" You just get Plant Borg, and that's that.

06-11-2008, 12:55 AM
Here are pages from the Character, Location, and Bestiary Encyclopediae:

You must post more of these! Like, all of them. Please?

06-11-2008, 10:02 AM
I had no idea you could get a plant encyclopedia. Dang.

06-11-2008, 11:05 AM
Placing the lamp, we find it turns into.. the town of Lumina. (http://youtube.com/watch?v=axHTOoP8gbw)


Lumina's a little somber, bordering on unsettling. Let's explore a little.


A dudbear. These little guys are basically walking teddy bears, button eyes and all, and speak in their own language. We can't really communicate with them yet.


S-Sproutling... -.-;;


Gilbert here, a centaur poet, is strumming on a lute and mooning about his unrequited love. Heading down the street and into a door, we meet said object of desire, Monique.


There's a brief conversation but that sums it up; Monique has to sell her lamps or she'll have to leave town, Gilbert bursts in (probably eavesdropping, the creep) and offers to sell them himself. This begins the quest, and we're quickly dragooned into assisting. Each lamp costs 1,000 Lucre. Gilbert buys three right off the bat, which means we only have to deal with three as well (six lamps total). If you have 3,000 Lucre you can actually just buy them outright, and you get some slightly different quest dialogue. But we have.. we have 60, so that's not happening this time.


06-11-2008, 11:23 AM
Since the only other inhabitants of town are a couple of shopkeepers, a Sproutling, a barkeep and some dudbears, our pool of potential buyers is pretty small. The manager ain't buyin', but he is willing to help us out.


The Manager is this funky foam jigsaw-puzzle-man, but he's a pleasant enough chap. And he gives us the following primer for communicating with the da bears:

Dub = Hello, Yes
Dud = Good-bye, No
Duba = You
Duda = Me
Dubba = Friends
Bubu = Dudbear
Gugu = Everyone else
Da = Light, Stars
Ba = Night
Dadda = Lamp
Dubababa = Many, Very
Du = Little
Baba = Music
Dada = Please
Gak = Emotional equivalent of "Displeasure"
Bub? = Emotional equivalent of "I don't understand"

..which allows for some.. well.. pretty limited conversation. But it's enough to get us through our job here.


"I'm a dudbear. Are you a dudbear?"

They are not the most perceptive creatures, I guess.. No, little fellow, I am not a dudbear. Dud!


..which literally translates as "Me no night! You no night?" but is really more like, "I don't like the night, how about you?" Hmm, seems like he's trying to find some common ground.

Dub! I agree.


This one's weird. "You very light night! Yes?" We're.. light in the night? We light up the night? Maybe he's talking about the lamps we're carrying.. or maybe he's just suggesting we're bright (as in smart). All of those sounds good, so, dub!


"You me friends, yes!" Yes, yes we are. Buy a lamp. Buy it.

The next two are more or less the same; the second dudbear wants to talk about music (I like music, you like music, we like music, BUY A LAMP), while the third is a little hostile at first, suggesting we don't like dudbears; I think hanging around with Niccolo is damaging our reputation. Regardless, we get that smoothed out and it, too, ponies up the cash. Then it's back to Gilbert to report our success, and we go in to talk to Monique.


"Let's go out under the stars! It's a great night, baby!"
"Huh, I guess it IS kinda stuffy in here.."

..I'm sensing a bit of a disconnect.

06-11-2008, 11:33 AM

Gilbert and Monique head outside. We're bored and ain't got no re-ward yet, so we should probably follow them and just loom in the darkness until something happens. And it does! We get the following exchange:

G: Monique... I have a dream I wish to tell you

M: Sure, Gilbert. Let's talk about our dreams.

(If we must.)

G: Just grab a passer-by, and you'll sell all your lamps.

M: The few fans of my lamps come from afar just to buy them.

G: Let those Dudbears do the dirty, messy work.

M: I really enjoy the time and effort that I put into them.

G: Let's have a famous designer make a masterpiece!

M: It's fun to gather odds and ends to make unique lamps.

G: That's all we'll do, and we'll be rich before we know it!

M: I have no income, but the joy I get out of my work is what I live for.

G: ...... Don't you have dreams? This is depressing me.

M: ...... Every day is like a dream-come-true to me. You make me feel as if I'm denying who I am.

G: Come, my princess! Let's go out and see the world!

M: Which of my dreams do you see as an illusion? My dreams? Nightly dreams? Hopeful dreams?

G: Monique, our dreams don't seem to play in perfect harmony. I must leave this town to look for a new love!

M: Oh my, Gilbert. You came to that conclusion quickly. After I recover from this shock, I, too, shall find a new love.

(I imagine this in the most deadpan voice possible)

G: Goodbye, love! I shall never forget you, baby!

M: Goodbye, Gilbert. Goodbye.

(Stay classy, Gilbert!)

Gilbert wanders off into the night, and Monique returns to her shop.




So Monique's a bit bummed out, but doesn't remain so for long; her three dudbear customers come in and go on (and on and on) about how much they love her lamps (which work and are the perfect size), and her spirits are lifted. In exchange, she gives us the Trembling Spoon artifact, which brings our total pool up to four. We also made some friends today!


See what I mean about the jigsaw? And who the heck is Roger? Hmm, more to those bears than it appears... Regardless, let's go back and talk to Li'l Cactus. 10 lucre if you can guess what his response was. -.-


06-11-2008, 11:36 AM

Our map currently looks like this:


And we have the following four artifacts to place:


What's it gonna be, Tyrants?

Ample Vigour
06-11-2008, 11:40 AM
I less than three Gilbert. He reminds me so much of a close friend of mine that it's comical (and sad. Mostly comical and sad.)

Don't forget that the Lumina theme was borrowed for the final battle sequence in Ryuhei Kitamura's Versus. That makes me love both game and movie just a little bit more.

What's it gonna be, Tyrants?

I ain't making a move without a suggestion from our mechanical master, Spoony. :)

06-11-2008, 11:41 AM
Put me down for the Stone Eye this time. I think it deserves a closer "look".

06-11-2008, 11:42 AM
Dub. Duba dubababa da dada! Dud.



06-11-2008, 11:44 AM
Spoon, dada!!

06-11-2008, 11:49 AM
It's been a while since I've done that quest with enough money to just buy the lamps, but I believe Gilbert forces you to sell the things either way.

I ain't making a move without a suggestion from our mechanical master, Spoony. :)

I am torn! On one hand, the Stone Eye has the first appearance of some of my favorite NPCs. On the other, the Trembling Spoon kicks off my favorite big quest chain.

Also, you should drag Bug to Lumina now that you have the Spoon so you can introduce him to my favorite Wisdom.

Pajaro Pete
06-11-2008, 11:54 AM
Place the Spoon, because we want to go where it leads. If you want a Mad Mallard pet, you'll need to place the Stone Eye where it'll have 3 Salamanders, right?

Red Hedgehog
06-11-2008, 11:56 AM

06-11-2008, 11:58 AM

06-11-2008, 12:10 PM
god, I really want to play this game now. I also want to play Persona 2(s), thanks to that other Let's Play. why do you people do this to me?!

also, spoon!

06-11-2008, 12:12 PM
you'll need to place the Stone Eye where it'll have 3 Salamanders, right?

You need Wisp to get the Mad Mallard, actually. And even then, the Stone Eye will get essence levels of things placed after it, too.

But it might be worth it to go over some of the Demi-Human pet requirements, since they can easily be missed and people might want to see some of them.

Ample Vigour
06-11-2008, 12:31 PM

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm just a caveman. Your "spoons" and your "pet requirements" only confuse and infuriate me. But when we have flame, nourishing, warming flame, in a metal pot, we must place this flame into the earth.

That is all.

06-11-2008, 12:33 PM
I may have mentioned this upthread, but I really regret getting rid of this game.

Does it go for unbelievably outrageous prices if I were to hunt it down on eBay?

06-11-2008, 12:46 PM
I may have mentioned this upthread, but I really regret getting rid of this game.

Does it go for unbelievably outrageous prices if I were to hunt it down on eBay?

You know that anyone can go to ebay.com, right, and look things up? They don't even check your ID or anything! You can just walk right up to it and be all, "Hey, ebay. Find this thing for me." And it will.

The spoons have it. The eyes almost won last time, and I really like its quest, so we'll do that second, and then go from there.

Pajaro Pete
06-11-2008, 12:50 PM
You need Wisp to get the really nice, even tan, actually. And even then, the Stone Eye will get essence levels of things placed after it, too.

But it might be worth it to go over some of the tanning bed safety requirements, since they can easily be missed and people might want to see some of them.

Oh, apparently I was thinking about the Tomato Man in the Mines.

06-11-2008, 12:50 PM
You know that anyone can go to ebay.com, right, and look things up? They don't even check your ID or anything! You can just walk right up to it and be all, "Hey, ebay. Find this thing for me." And it will.

Gee whiz, really!? Let's try it!

eBay.com (http://www.ebay.com)

Request denied

Reason: one or more categories denied helper='BaseUser' details='Shopping'


06-11-2008, 12:55 PM
Well how could I know you were merely impatient, not lazy? ;D

It's looking like anywhere from a 0.99 to 69.99. Looks like there's quite a few in the ~20 USD range.

06-11-2008, 12:58 PM

Haha, office firewalls.

A quick search shows a range for bidding from $20-$100, but several "Buy it Nows" at around $60.

Now that I think about it, if you just want to play through it and not keep it forever, I'd be happy to lend you my copy as I don't plan on touching it anytime soon. PM me if you're interested. I probably couldn't get it in the mail until this weekend, just as a caveat.

06-11-2008, 01:01 PM
Well how could I know you were merely impatient, not lazy? ;D

Joke's on you, I'm actually both. =)

Actually, if you just want to play through it and not keep it forever, I'd be happy to lend you my copy as I don't plan on touching it anytime soon. PM me if you're interested. I probably couldn't get it in the mail until this weekend, just as a caveat.

Thanks for the offer. I kind of just want to have it on my shelf though, I'll wait until a dry month comes along with some spare room in the gaming budget.

06-11-2008, 02:50 PM
The Trembling Spoon becomes the gateway to the Underworld.



Hmm.. this.. doesn't look so bad. It's a gigantic tombstone, sure, and that's.. that's a little worrisome, but otherwise the place isn't too--



As you enter, a glowing will'o'wisp floats over to the tombstone. Walking over, some sonnovabitch pops out in a bunch of glowy light and attacks you.

You'll also notice the extra detail on the quest-start splash; that dragon signifies that we're on a quest relating to one of the three main arcs. This doesn't lock us into it yet, it's merely the intro quest.


We wake up in the Underworld proper, unable to return to the surface (yet). Larc, Dragoon of Drakonis, politely informs us that he needed a strong warrior, and thought we fit the bill. So of course he axed us in the face. Our only real choice is to head further down with him, to see his master.


The Sproutlings have relatives. Really creepy relatives. That's just great.

06-11-2008, 03:05 PM
The Underworld itself is a series of fire-and-shadow-hued caves; skulls with glowing eyes and other symbols of mortality are carved into the rock, alongside arcane staves and the like. Most of the passages are simple left/right corridors, with a few places that branch off into bedrooms or stairwells, along with two special rooms and a boss area.



This is the Baptismal Flame chamber. The actual door to the boss is closed until you receive the baptism, and only the Lord of the Underworld, the wisdom Olbohn, can give us that permission. The bit of funky level design is that you're pretty much assured to run across this room first, and then Olbohn, and then the locked door; you have to get seriously turned around in order to come across these things in the "correct" order. Nevertheless, since we need to talk to him to proceed, let's track down...


..wait, sorry, wrong door.


There we go. Larc and Olbohn - who, for all intents and purposes, is a cross between Duelle the onion knight and an Alakazham - start chatting:


Wait, what? What the hell is going on? Evil plans? Sure, it's the Underworld, and hah hah, demons and devils, but surely we've moved beyond the whole "death = evil" motif, haven't we?


This is also where some of the surreality and disconnect comes in when playing the main storyline arcs. The one-off quests (or even the short 2-3 quest chains) make a certain amount of sense. But you're thrown into these longer arcs without ANY clue, and if you, the player, are unwilling to help fill in the gaps, you're going to be pretty disappointed. The game does eventually fill some of this story out, but you have to get pretty far along into it before that really begins to happen.

So starting with the next update I'll start fleshing out dialogue and such where it's needed, but I thought it was worth it to show some of this stuff as it is presented in-game.


There're only a few groups of enemies down here and they're pretty easy. You run into a couple of marionettes, a succubus, a couple of small shadows and an animated suit of armor. None take much effort to dispatch.

06-11-2008, 03:17 PM

The boss here is the small floating flame. It lacks any direct attacks of its own, but it will periodically phase out and one or more of the faces will launch an attack.


They also have a simple laser blast. None of these are too hard to avoid, which is good, because if they hit you you'll either be confused (reverse d-pad input), have your ST bar (special attack meter) drained, or both.


The flame's attack is this trident that lands smack in the middle of the room. Again, not difficult to avoid, but Larc got hit anyway.

This battle is actually a little long because of the flame's tendency to phase in and out, and it has a very short recovery time. Standard boss-battle technique is to beat something up with basic attacks until it's dizzy, then unleash a special attack while it's standing still. Little more difficult with this guy but no real trouble.


Better to flame out than fade away?


Again, no information on Hitodama, but maybe he's one of these three dragons. Also, true to Evil Villain style, Drakonis will not allow you back up to the surface until you agree to help him. If you decline his generous offer, all you can do is wander the halls and caverns until you DO agree. Larc's a bit of an asshole about is as well.



Larc hands us the Skull Lantern artifact once we're back in the land of the living. He's still in our party and we could just go and place that and continue on, but what would Li'l Cactus think? He would think we didn't love him. You don't hate cacti, do you?


Whenever you enter your house, any NPCs with you will disband. Larc returns to the tombstone, and we can get him to rejoin us at any time just by heading over there and asking. But we've got a Stone Eye to check out first, and maybe take Bud to see some of these Wisdoms he's been yammering on about.

Ample Vigour
06-11-2008, 03:35 PM

That angry little werewolf was the NPC of choice for my play all those years ago. He was just Wolverine enough to please that tiny part of my psyche untouched by irony. Unfortunately, eventually you run into his sister and the furry implications ruin everything.

But, still. Larc!

06-11-2008, 03:36 PM
*mustache worship*

06-11-2008, 08:00 PM
I've never quite figured out what the dragoons are supposed to be. They've got dog faces, but some kinda lizard tails, and then are walking upright. Regardless, they're definitely the most stylish of the bunch.

Tomorrow is the Stone Eye/Lake Kilma, taking Bud around to talk to some of the Wisdoms, and.. maybe just levelling Briefs a bit, we'll have to see.

If anyone's got requests (for particular screenshots, discussions on a thing, or whatever) make sure to chime in. I'm getting into the swing of things now and hopefully these will be more interesting to read, but it helps to know what folk are interested in seeing/talking about.

06-11-2008, 09:14 PM
What happened to our pet? Why aren't we feeding it things that'll make it powerful!

06-12-2008, 07:32 AM
Are we going to do all the quest paths in this playthrough or just one? I suppose it may depend on how burnt-out the thread and player(s?) get.

The dragoon quest can be fun, but I remember the end of the Jumi quest as being really beautiful. And... for the life of me I have trouble remembering what the third main quest actually *was* even though I'm sure I'll slap my head when someone points it out, as I know I completed all of them.

(Hopefully I didn't need to spoiler any of that, since we've already met the folks I mentioned.)

Pajaro Pete
06-12-2008, 09:31 AM
Um just because Drakonis has a castle sitting on a mountain of flames in the depths of hell doesn't make him evil you guys!!!

And... for the life of me I have trouble remembering what the third main quest actually *was* even though I'm sure I'll slap my head when someone points it out, as I know I completed all of them.

Escad, Diana, Matilda and Irwin. It's basically Inu Yasha without being terrible.

06-12-2008, 10:42 AM
Placing the Stone Eye, we get Lake Kilma.


The terrain is something like an alpine lake in autumn. The enemies here aren't terribly strong, but most of them can confuse, daze, or strip you of your ST.


In the style of floating RPG jellyfish everywhere, this one will throw out lots of electricity. The tadpoles are basically just rabites, though.


Also a yak, for some reason. I don't know either.

As Pants tromps along the path to the lake, she overhears an old walrus...



And his pirate penguins.

Pants says, "What?"


..which was the correct password, apparently, but the captain's a little sharper than his crew, it seems.


The pirates run off (well, they sort of slide on their bellies along the ground, actually, I'm not sure how that really works) and the chase begins!

06-12-2008, 10:52 AM

Apparently, the faeries can turn the penguins to stone, presumably using the same stone eye that we used to -create- this place (so how's that for meta?). These statues serve as Pants' primary marker through the forest. It's not a maze, but there are a few branching paths and dead-ends.

It also highlights one of the drawbacks of the combat system a little; you're stuck on a screen until you defeat all the enemies. You can't escape off-screen and come back a la River City Ransom. This is fine as long as you like beatin' up on everything, but if you have to replay a section (say, if you missed an important screenshot and didn't use a savestate in the right place, because you are a moron) it can get you down a little.


Hah hah! Too bad for you, penguin! And-- huh?


If you tell me you have no soul, or I'm going to die and wind up like you, or ANYTHING, I'm leaving you there, freak.

In their mad-dash for treasure and/or escape, the penguins knocked poor ol' turtle over. As thanks, he offers to cast a spell on us to allow us to see the faeries; they only show themselves to people they're angry at (which.. which doesn't make a lot of sense).


Easiest spell to remember, I guess.


Yeah, cos I just took it! Unless you're holdin' out on me. You're not holding out on me, ARE you, bug?

06-12-2008, 10:58 AM
The dialogue in this game is really top-notch when they're going for humour. Presented with only a couple of minor edits (in order to stay in one post and not just regurgitate the whole stage):


(see? I had to let them make the joke for themselves)


Penguins: !!!!!!


Our penguin hearts beat with yours, captain! Say it like a real pirate!


...these guys are hopeless.

06-12-2008, 10:59 AM
Pirate... penguins?

The awesomeness has just blown my mind.

06-12-2008, 11:05 AM
More forest paths, more statue markers, more bug-faeries.


Yes, yes they are.


The penguins leap off the ledge here; the captain tries to claim it was all their fault, but the faerie zaps him with the eye anyway and he falls down, a statue. The old turtle comes up a minute later, and Pants and Turtle follow 'em down.


Turtle winds up tossing the penguins into the lake as live bait, leaving Pants to do the heavy lifting. Typical terrapin.


The eponymous Gorgon's a pushover. He has a couple of attacks where one or two of his spikes extend, a special laser attack that's telegraphed way in advance, and a blowfish-like spike expansion which isn't difficult to see coming either. After a couple of minutes and a few Jawbreakers, he goes down.

For defeating him, we get a Granz Steel, which is a crafting ingrediant. Unfortunately we don't yet have the ability to use that, and our default MenosBronze gloves are making the fights a little longer than we'd like, so we may have to hit Lumina for Iron gloves or something soon.

The captain restored, the penguins form a bridge for him to climb back up, but in the way of old people everywhen, Turtle's just gotta whine about it.


Captain: "Do as he says!"


Sorry for the still-excessive-images; the penguin-talk is too good, and it's one of my favourite quests in the game.

Decide, Tyrants! We have a Flame, a Medallion, and a Skull Lantern. Do you want to continue placing them down one at a time, or do you want to set two or all three of them down now? Do you have any particular goals you want to aim for? We can keep placing and doing the quests that show up, or if there's something specific you'd like to see (weapon crafting, or a particular quest) now would be a good time to cuss and discuss that.

Ample Vigour
06-12-2008, 11:06 AM
Our penguin hearts beat with yours, captain!

This is my favorite line in the entire game and it breaks my heart that it didn't get screencapped.

The pirate penguins and their walrus captain are probably in my top five of NPC factions ever.

06-12-2008, 11:13 AM
This is my favorite line in the entire game and it breaks my heart that it didn't get screencapped.

The pirate penguins and their walrus captain are probably in my top five of NPC factions ever.


It did, but that was the one thing I figured I'd cut (it was at 11 images in the post, had to make it 10). The album is here (http://s276.photobucket.com/albums/kk26/violenteyes/); I took probably ~200 shots in the process of the stage, narrowed it down to 50 good ones, and then only posted I think 30 of those. You can see other dialogue and such there.

Ample Vigour
06-12-2008, 11:18 AM
Oh, yeah. That's the business.

06-12-2008, 11:22 AM
Cap'n Tusk and company have some pretty great lines, yeah. I can't really think of anything they say that isn't a winner.

Though the best moment with those guys is a later quest involving them, Gilbert, and an as-of-yet unseen character.


And... for the life of me I have trouble remembering what the third main quest actually *was* even though I'm sure I'll slap my head when someone points it out, as I know I completed all of them.

Turnip nailed it, but I feel the need to point out that I Kefka hate all the characters involved in that quest. It could be part of the reason you've forgotten it! Though I do take some solace in the fact it's possible to end the quest with all of those guys dead.

Pajaro Pete
06-12-2008, 11:45 AM
Let's do the Medallion, so we can officially begin our third quest arc.

It could be part of the reason you've forgotten it!

I really like the ending to that quest, but the key areas in the quest chain are the Jungle and the Ancient Ruins place, two of the more annoying locations in the game.

06-12-2008, 01:22 PM
I'm glad everyone is getting to see how awesome this game is. I'm always dismayed when people lump it in with other "lame Mana games that aren't Secret of Mana". Sure, the combat isn't exceptionally brilliant, but man, the world design. Pirate Penguins, dammit! And pretty much everything in the game is gorgeous.

06-12-2008, 01:27 PM
The combat is kind of unfortunate. You CAN do lots of neat tricks, you just never NEED to. Only really useful for you to unlock some of your higher-damage ST attacks. And I always get annoyed with getting locked into the light-attack combo. But if you're in the mood for a kinda-slow beat'em-up it works out okay.

06-12-2008, 06:26 PM
We've placed the Medallion and discovered/built/grown the Jungle.


The Gods-Damned Jungle.

The Gods-Damned Jungle is a pain in the ass. There's little to distinguish one area from another, and it's easy to get turned around; there's also more than one point that loops back in on itself, so you can wind up going around in circles pretty easily. To add insult to injury some of the enemies are surprisingly strong. Enemies such as..


Zombies! Who can hit pretty hard and have a fair number of hit points.


Tomato Men! Who are maybe my most-hated foe, as they have a strong ranged fire attack (which burns and stuns while the animation is going) AND can latch themselves onto your head, and are virtually impossible to shake off. I wind up relying on Jawbreaker for those most of the time.


And Tyrranos, which aren't too bad alone although they have a strong attack that will knock you back several paces.

As you can see, we'll be bringing Briefs along with us today. He's been whining in his barn somethin' fierce. He's not particularly strong and he's about 5 levels behind us right now, but some fresh air will do him good, and provide a nice buffer in case one of the Tomato Men gets a lucky shot in.

The way combat works is that if you're running solo, and run out of hit points, you'll be prompted to either continue - which sets you back to where you entered the screen - or head back to the title screen. If you have an NPC or a Pet (or Golem, or some combination) with you, however, you'll eventually get back up on your own after a minute, assuming your other party members don't ALSO bite it. This works for them as well, so if they fall they can rejoin you in a second.

Anyway, let's start the show.

06-12-2008, 06:35 PM

As we enter the Gods-Damned Jungle, we run across Peter Cook (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sbqv3MwwVd8) talking to Frick and Frack here (or Skippie and Hamson, if you must).


Hamson is baffled! Briefs is characteristily silent as well; must not be feeding him enough Usefulopes. Thankfully Frick will fill us in.


Sure do give a lot of lip for being hired help.


Turns out that these two were hired as housekeepers. As we all know, the best way to clean is to simply break everything and then shove the wreckage into a dumpster.

Frick and Frack dash off into the forest, doing the math and figuring they only need to catch 200 Du'Cate each. They don't even say goodbye! Although.. that'd be a pretty tidy sum, you know? I wonder if Fuddy-duddy would pay us the same rate.




Ample Vigour
06-12-2008, 06:50 PM
Gods-damned Jungle


That fucking jungle, along with the the maze of misfit toys are the reason I've never gotten all the main quests done.

Come back alive, nunix. I'll leave a candle out for you.

06-12-2008, 06:52 PM
Fuddy-duddy informs us he will, in fact, pay us 20,000 Lucre if we manage to capture a Du'Cate. We're not told if their tails have any particular value, however, other than:


As Pants heads off into the next screen, you see Sotherbee cry out at something and dash off. At this point, you can wander around the Gods-Damned Jungle all you'd like; you'll never get anywhere. The necessary paths are closed off, and everything just tends to circle back in on itself when it doesn't dead-end. There are also faeries here (the same kind as in Lake Kilma), informing us that we're particularly close to the Land of the Faeries here. What is it with fae and their incessant need to confuse people, anyway?

Instead, we head back and find Sotherbee chasing a Wiwwapea; sorry, Lillipea.


It's a kirby-bird with a nest of eggs on its head. Sotherbee can't catch it (though he offers something like 200,000 Lucre for it) and we bump into him, allowing the beastie to escape. But we come across it in the next screen.

And it's an interesting bit of design, because it's really the only way through the maze but it doesn't take long to figure out: in each screen, you talk to the Lillipea. It will slowly walk to one of the exits, and you follow it. After 3-4 screens (meeting Skippie and Hamson along the way as they stumble around), we meet the penguin Roane.


..who does us a solid. Heading back into the Gods-Damned Jungle proper, we follow Lillipea some more until it leads us to..


..the courtyard of the beast. This is where the Wisdom Rosiotti holds court, and he tells us the Du'Cate's been causing trouble lately, and we should probably get some help to chase it down.

Roane's also got a sister, Selkie, who's gone missing. Last he knew she was at the Courtyard of Rain, but "she might not be there now." Heavy-handed hint to come back here after finishing up this quest.

Help's only available in the form of Skippie and Hamson, so we track them down a couple of screens west. This involves a bit of trickery; each one brings the subject up with you, but if you ask them to work with the other as well, they'll storm off in a huff. So you tell each you'll work with him, without mentioning the other, and they wind up working together in the end. We follow Skippie and fight a couple battles along the way.


Miniaturised! Just a chibi-effect, it wears off in a couple ticks.

06-12-2008, 07:01 PM

Du'Cate winds up being a tree-swinging palette-swap of the first boss we fought, and is remarkably easy to take down. Pants winds up knocking him against the far right of the screen, and beating the utter crap out of his left foot; this plus a couple of Jawbreakers is enough to knock him out off his branch.


..to be rescued by Chibi Du'Cates. Well, hell, there goes our re-ward.


You have two kinds of abilities: normal ones, which are slaved to Triangle and Circle, and are typically utility powers like Lunge, or Crouch, or High-Jump, or Defend.. things of that nature. You also have your Special Abilities, which SG talked about early on. You unlock more Special Abilities utilising various combinations of normal abilities, and you unlock normal abilities using various combinations of themselves: Crouch and Jump lead to High-Jump, for instance, and High-Jump and Jump gets you Double Jump. So I've been cycling them pretty regularly just to unlock things, which is done simply by having them equipped and using them in battle now and again. We've just about finished off the normal abilities at this point, only a few more to go.


Sotherbee's prepared to give us 500 Lucre for.. for I don't know what, I guess he feels bad for us. The Du'Cate got away, after all. This would nicely recoup expenses paid for the IronGloves and IronHauberk I bought in Lumina before this little excursion.

But.. we are presented with a choice!


What's it gonna be, guys?

Ample Vigour
06-12-2008, 07:03 PM
Spread the money around. We need minions.

06-13-2008, 07:45 AM
Was that this games weird version of a Malboro that chibified you? I'm pretty sure I raised one of those once as my pet monster. I don't really remember if he was ever terribly effective or not.

Octopus Prime
06-13-2008, 08:10 AM
Money makes the world go round. So ask for more.

06-13-2008, 09:12 AM
Was that this games weird version of a Malboro that chibified you? I'm pretty sure I raised one of those once as my pet monster. I don't really remember if he was ever terribly effective or not.


This guy! I think their Bad Breath can also stun you sometimes.


Now, shake hands and make nice.


My immortal foe. One day, Tomato Man, I shall cleanse the land of you and your ilk.

06-13-2008, 09:35 AM
I always thought the snakes were worse than Tomato Men.

Tomato Men are bad, definitely, but I've never gotten into an inescapable squeeze/throw chain by them.

And 500 Lucre is chump change. Give it to the chumps.

06-13-2008, 10:47 AM
I'll see you in hell, Jungle. But I just love Mr. Sotherbee, I have a soft spot for him.
What's it gonna be, guys?
Give it to them, I don't remember money being all that useful in this game anyway.

06-13-2008, 01:27 PM
you unlock normal abilities using various combinations of themselves: Crouch and Jump lead to High-Jump, for instance, and High-Jump and Jump gets you Double Jump. So I've been cycling them pretty regularly just to unlock things, which is done simply by having them equipped and using them in battle now and again. We've just about finished off the normal abilities at this point, only a few more to go.

I'm not sure how well-known, or even how useful, this is, but you can use some abilities before you learn them if you equip both of its prerequisites and hit both buttons at once.

06-13-2008, 03:56 PM
Money really isn't too useful in this game, at least not for awhile, so let's help Frick and Frack out a little.


I regret it already...

Regardless, he also gives us the artifacts Sand Rose and the Ancient Tablet (which, to be fair, you get no matter which of the three options you take), and we fade to the quest ending card.



Remember kids! Small and cute is the way to be!

Next time: Nuns, ruins, and Wisdoms.

06-14-2008, 12:29 PM
We've been holding onto this Flame artifact forever; let's set it down east of the Gods-Damned Jungle and see what it is.


Pants figured it'd be a good idea to spend a few lucre on a guidebook before setting out on any more adventures.

The Gato Grottoes is carved out a series of ancient bluffs, worn down and wormed through the ages by wind and water. It is best known as the site of the Temple of Healing. There isn't much to do here, and you can see everything in a day; two if you take one of the rare tours along the Pathways of Ascetism.

As soon as we reach the small village at the foot of the path, we see a nun talking with a sproutling. Talking to her begins:



This sproutling is definitely not the normal absent-minded sort we see; something is hurting it. The nun walks the sproutling off to the side of the path to try and help, but he freaks the fuck out and tears off.


Hmm, let's check out that door before following the sproutling.


Shop "Items": Housing a fine selection of rocks and gems collected along the pathways, the store also carries more traditional monster-hunting equipment. The quality of its wares varies, but it most commonly stocks either Foresnal Iron or Lorent Silver weaponry. And while its selection is not nearly as comprehensive as what you can find in Geo, the stones here (including locally found Jacobi Rock) do make fine souveniers. The store also doubles as the local post office.

Thanks to where and when we placed it, the shop is carrying LorentSilver gear, which is the best we can buy so far. Pants picks up a new Glove and boosts her attack to 21, which should help with the higher-HP enemies we're going to start running into. Unfortunately it doesn't carry any armor, so we'll stick with the old Iron Pot that Niccolo gave us and an Iron Hauberk that Pants bought back in Lumina.

We really haven't talked too much about gear yet, because there isn't much to buy or scavange from enemies. Weapon strength is based first on its primary material (generally either a metal or wood) and secondarily on elemental levels and affects. The stuff you find in shops - which are only found in towns, and we've only placed three so far - is just basic stuff. We'll need to do some quests to unlock workshops back home so we can craft our own gear.


Alex here's a rockhound, on a business trip looking for stones for his shop. He also offers us a little advice on finding worthwhile gems. We'll have to look him up next time we're in Geo. Pants tromps up the path.


This here is Rubens; he's the flame-keeper at the temple, making sure the torches stay lit. Seems a normal enough guy, so when he asks us if we've seen anyone suspicious, we make sure to let him know about the sproutling terrorist.


Listen, Ru, have you never talked to these guys? They are up to something, make no mistake.

A little more conversation clues us in that there's been some kind of threat against the temple, and the Inspector, a mouse-man with a pipe and a bad temper, is on the case; specifically he's on Rubens' case, telling him to be careful in case something happens. Apparently out quarry headed east up to the terrace, so let's track him down. The guy floating there to the side is Selva, the last wisdom Bud needs to meet to finish off his quest. We'll come back here when we're done with this sproutling nonsense.

06-14-2008, 12:38 PM

There's another, different nun up here on the terrace, and she also offers to help the sproutling. It turns out there's a Popo bug stuck to its stomach, which is a windfall for the nun because these bugs can be used to cure damned near everything. The nun's plan is to peel back a leaf, and--


So much for that. Heading back down, Rubens says the sproutling headed over to the temple. Can you guess what our travel pattern is going to be for the next few minutes? Yeah.


Temple of Healing: The primary destination of every visitor to Gato Grottoes, the Temple of Healing is an ancient structure dating back to before the last war. Now dedicated to the medicinal arts, it was originally home to ascetic warrior-monks seeking enlightenment. Although its ranks have dwindled, approximately 160 nuns still reside in its halls, that number having swelled recently thanks to the head nun's more relaxed standards on age requirements. The treatment received can vary wildly; everything from rare potions and poultices to meditation might be prescribed, but most individuals are satisfied with their results and ensure a continued stream of pilgrims from across Fa'diel.


The sproutling is still having its panic attack and pestering the nun to help him. Her advice is.. well, it's not so great.


They don't have souls! Geeze! Has no one here ever seen a sproutling? Even Pants knows this. Predictably, sproutling runs off, and we follow him back to the terrace.


The nun claims she'll do it without hurting him.. then grabs him and holds him there. It turns out Rubens could really use a popo bug, and the nun suggests he take it.. but he hesitates, the sproutling squirms free, and dashes off. Nun Darwin here tells us you have to steel yourself and do hard things, because only the strong survive.




Murder by sproutling?!


Okay, so it's more of ankle-twisting-by-sproutling, but still. The Inspector here blows his stack and dashes out, saying he's going to catch Sandra. We met her briefly when Pants and Elazul went into the caverns to rescue Pearl. Wonder what her game is?

06-14-2008, 12:47 PM
Back on the terrace, Nun Darwin and Rubens are talking about the popo bug. The nun says she'll go ahead and grab the bug, and Ru shrugs it off; it's not his problem, he doesn't want to get involved and doesn't want others to involve themselves in his affairs. But the nun lets slip that she knows where Rubens' girl is, back in Geo, and that she needs the bug.. and we'd like to know just how she found that out, hmm?




She dashes over and Temple of Doom-style tears something out of his chest: a ruby! She says she won't harm the core, but..


Oops. Turns out the Flame of Hope was Rubens' core, who's a Jumi like Elazul and Pearl. Jumi are humans with gemstone cores that act as their heart. They were hunted down ages ago for these cores, to power the last great mana war, and have mostly been in hiding since.


The Inspector dashes onto the seen and-- hey! My mother gave me these! I thought they looked nice. =( Rubens speaks up for us and sets him straight, though, and he dashes off to look for her. Pants talks to Rubens in the hope of getting a little more information, but that doesn't go so well.


Well that just sucks.

06-14-2008, 12:54 PM
Pants and the Inspector (opening for The Jumi Bears in Gato Grottoes, one night only) chat a little back at the temple. Sandra's already killed one person but he's not going to let her get away with that core. So we're deputised to go and check out the pathways and waterfall down below. Pants pokes around the temple a little bit first.


Huh, so this is where Daena lives. Wonder if this priestess is the friend she was talking to Gaeus about?


Sproutling! Except.. this one doesn't seem to be in pain. So they're all of one mind, but not one nervous system, I guess.


Pathways of Ascetism: These are generally closed to any but the nuns due to the danger of falling off a cliff, being attacked by the mountain rattler boas, or simply becoming lost within the caves and tunnels. Guided tours (50 Lucre) are offered twice a year in the summer.

Down at the rocks, we find.. a clue?! Well, it's a trail of leaves leading into a tunnel, sure looks like a clue to me. If you try and come down here before triggering this part of the quest, a nun will block your way, but it's open now (and will remain so for the rest of the game).


Yep, it's a clue. I appreciate the hint but they could've tried to be a little more subtle about it. Pants just follows this trail of leaves for another 5-6 screens, wandering in and out of the cliffs. Along the way we fight a couple of snakes..


..who aren't so bad unless they constrict you and toss you back and forth, which gets irritating, and a small ent..


..who actually has 2.5 HP bars, but because he's a normal enemy and not a boss that doesn't mean a whole lot and Pants turns him into firewood but quick.


Nice view, huh?


Sproutling, you are the stupidest creature alive.

06-14-2008, 12:57 PM

With a stylish special effect, Sandra casts off her disguise and, in true villain fashion, throws a grapnel off the top of the screen to latch onto the "Cancun Bird" and escape. Inspector's pissed off, but it looks like someone made out okay after all.


Rubens died and Sandra got away. Not such a great day after all, and we learn why Elazul was so uptight; turns out being a Jumi's not all it's cracked up to be. Pants decides to keep an eye out for them in the future.


Ample Vigour
06-14-2008, 01:00 PM
If I have one major complaint about the narrative pacing in LoM, it's that the endings to so many quests are so damn anticlimactic.

Not with a bang but a "Huh?"

Octopus Prime
06-14-2008, 01:27 PM
No, you see, it's exciting. It leaves you on a cliffhanger ending... every single quest!

06-14-2008, 07:55 PM
SpoonyGundam started us on "The Seven Wisdoms" quest with Bud wayyyy back there, and I've been taking Pants and Bud to each of the Wisdoms as they become available: Gaeus is there on the Luon Highway, Pokhiel shows up in Lumina (and other places), Tote is at Lake Kilma, Olbohn is in the Underworld, Rosiotti is in the Gods-Damned Jungle, and Selva only appears in Gato Grottoes once you've seen the other five.

Bud introduces himself to each, and tells them he's seeking their advice so that he can become a great wizard. Each Wisdom tells him a couple sentences of generic "believe in yourself" substance, Bud thanks them, and that's it. Once you've seen all six, you take Bud back home, and..


..which seems kinda weak at first. There's no artifact reward, there's no primary material reward, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't even function to unlock other quests. Li'l Cactus mentions that the seventh wisdom was a girl, and writes a cutesy entry in his diary, and that's that.

But there's actually something you're unlocking behind the scenes here! It's the World History encyclopedia.

The first Wisdom you talk to with Bud grants you this, and each Wisdom you talk to fills up a little bit more of it. It is comprised of 72 entries, which winds up being somewhere between 3500 and 3600 words. It encompasses a creation story, a fall from paradise, and two large wars, and gives a bit of backstory on the Wisdoms and some of the other factions. I don't think it's quite appropriate to post the whole thing here, but it can be tracked down at GameFAQs if you'd like.

Alternatively, once this is finished, I'll make the memory card file available online, and you can always load it up in pSX or copy it to an actual card and check it out for yourself.

Here are a couple entries you might find amusing.

6: Flammies
"Then, a beautiful yet powerful beast appeared, awakening the Moon
Gods. The Moon Gods named this beast of strength and beauty Flammy.
Whenever one of the Moon Gods would fall asleep, another Flammy would
appear. Eventually, Flammies of all six colors came to populate all
the land."

39: Gaeus
"Anuella saw through the mage's plot. She left the northern
mountain, then gave life to a rocky hill so the mage's caravan could
not progress further. The living hill called itself Gaeus, and its
knowledge seemed deeper, and more vast than Anuella's. Anuella
called for Gaeus' help and prepared for war."

46: Spiritual War
"Gato Grottoes were Fa'Diel's power nexus, protected by "the Spirits
of the Ascetics." Many monks fought as soldiers, and the high
priests stopped enemies from other dimensions by sending their
spirits to battle. Intense battles between the dimensions and other
worlds took place in Gato."

58: Dirt
"When Jumis were being hunted during the search for the seventh Mana
Stone, they died after intentionally lessening the energy flow in
their jewel cores. Many Jumis died this way to protect the secret of
their clan, and mages began to call them "lumps of dirt" as a

64: Ancient Memories
"Even though Janna had not awakened them, six of the seven angels
regained their memories. One cried for a fallen friend, one
confronted Janna, one crossed swords with a former angel, one heard
the guidance of a Wisdom: Six angels' memories were restored, but
the seventh would never awaken."

I think that last one might be an SD3 reference, but I never finished that game so can't say. I always assumed LOM was taking place in a SD/SOM analogue and was not actually part of the same story universe.

06-14-2008, 08:14 PM
Placing the Ancient Tablet we got from Sotherbee nets us the Mindas Ruins.


..and we stuck it north of the Gods-Damned Jungle there. It's an interesting land because it has quite a bit of mana to give to its adjacent lands; the Gods-Damned Jungle takes most of it which will be good later when we want to hunt down some Elementals for crafting purposes.

Mindas was an old city that existed as a bridge between Fa'Diel and the land of the faeries. The last mage war left it in ruins, and time ensured it was forgotten. At least until Teapo decided she was thirsty.


Looks like we know what our job's going to be! Okay, Duelle, let's get going!


Wait, what? You are worthless, onion. Pants and her crazy hair sticks will go it alone if she must. No monster is too big! No maze is too confusing! No--


AHHHH-- oh, it's not actually a Sproutling.

This is a Flowerling, and they're sort of bastard-spawn of Sproutlings. Which would at first suggest they are abominations and the earth must be cleansed of them, but they seem a little more together. This one lets us know that the Flowerlings work in sets; one will hang out at a gate, and others nearby serve to operate the gates.


As you can see there's actually two kinds of Flowerlings; the excessively pink girly sort, and these blue-and-red-bearded dwarfish Flowerlings. Their only apparent difference is their, well, appearance. Teapo's also lurking there off to the north. But there's a gate blocking the way! Let's go find some of those Key Flowerlings.


Talking to this guy causes his buddies to pop out of nowhere. Every Key Flowerling group is set up the same way: top Flowerling controls north and east gate, bottom Flowerling controls west and south gate. So we talk to the top flowerling, which closes the east gate - the way we got here - and opens the north gate, which Teapo was hiding behind. Exploring our new path, we find:


Well, she ain't feelin' it, whatever "it" is.

The pathways here are pretty, but fairly empty. There's a Malboro hanging around, a couple of Eyes, and a Chess Knight, but not much else. None put up a challenge, and mostly serve to annoy as you wander around lost looking for something to make sense.


Promising! Wonder if our ruins-lurking flowerling felt that!

06-14-2008, 08:16 PM

Yep. There's no other clue for this, of course, but by the time you find the activating flowerling you've probably explored everywhere you can, and there's nothing else for it but to backtrack. This flowerling opens a slab in the ruins above her, and we skulk on down.


And fight, in order, a succubus and an ape mummy. I really love the ape mummies, they make good pets, and I'll try and grab one later when the appropriate land and boss fight open up. As it is, Pants gives each one a well-deserved beatdown and presses on.


We find Teapo bawlin' her poor eyes(?) out, lost and confused. But Pants seems to brighten her up quite a bit, and she starts wondering about Duelle.


Well that's an image I didn't need. I'm down here, in the dark, fighting undead, and you want to take time to--

Er, what's that above your head?

06-14-2008, 08:31 PM



I'm feelin' kinda.. lightheaded here. It's almost like a horrible giant bat is sucking out great gobs of blood from me as Teapo hops out to the right with excruciating slowness!


Ah, well, that'd explain it. Listen, Count Dovula, I happen to think my blood is fine just the way it is. This is how a real adventurer girl's blood is supposed to taste! And if you don't like it, that's just your loss. I'll go find a proper vampire who'll love my blood for how it tastes, irrespective of you or society's insane demands.


After I break your jaw five or six times.

The Count's got no real attacks; he has a couple of Shade spells, but they have long cast times and are super-easy to interrupt. Pants takes him down without breaking a sweat.

Back out at the entrance, Teapo and Duelle are chatting. Teapo gets after him about why he didn't come get her; he tells her that adventurin' is good for you! You've gotta get out there and live life, you know?


That's a totally innocent remark. If you read anything into it - for instance, Teapo's got a thing for Duelle, Teapo is a giant animated teapot, and Duelle is suggesting they "have some tea" - you are just a sad, sad individual. What's wrong with you?


I hear ya. Duelle gives us the Bottled Spirit artifact as a reward, which will open up the Ulkan Mines, and a couple of very necessary quests.




What? Did you think "Count Dovula" was a joke?

06-14-2008, 08:55 PM
I think that last one might be an SD3 reference, but I never finished that game so can't say. I always assumed LOM was taking place in a SD/SOM analogue and was not actually part of the same story universe.

A little note on that before I forget it. In addition to the Sprite save statues we've been seeing when you go to the art gallery in Geo you'll see a number of statues in the main room. If you look closely at them you'll notice the six gray statues are the main characters in SD3.

06-14-2008, 08:59 PM
That's a totally innocent remark. If you read anything into it - for instance, Teapo's got a thing for Duelle, Teapo is a giant animated teapot, and Duelle is suggesting they "have some tea" - you are just a sad, sad individual. What's wrong with you?

What's sad is that, somewhere out there, there's a fangirl who not only did read into this, but made an erotic fanfic out of it as well. I know it.

06-15-2008, 02:28 PM

The Bottled Spirit becomes the Ulkan Mines. Its Aura mana feeds into the Mekiv Caverns, and we head inside.


Dim, but roomy! Looks like someone's been hard at work mining out these tunnels. Pants heads east and checks out a side tunnel to find Pokiehl.


..who lets us know the owner of this workshop is somewhere deep in the mines. Thanks to where we placed it, the enemies are generally level 12-15 but have relatively little HP, and even a trio of molebears isn't a big deal.


The mine is fairly large and it's easy to get lost. The area we're trying to get to is technically on Level 1, but it requires heading down to 2 and then taking some stairs up. If you follow all the way down to 3 you run into a dead-end pretty quickly. There's a Save Statue down here which works as a handy reference point.


A dudbear, huh? Their encyclopedia entry did say they were working for some guy named Roger, and something about digging.. do they live here? Guess they were just on a break in Lumina. Pants and the bear chat for a few minutes, but since Pants doesn't have any lamps to sell it's a pretty quick conversation.


It is Watts! The most ridiculously comical mining-dwarf you will ever meet. Pants tries talking to him but he just brushes her off, telling her to go home unless she wants to get et by a monster.


A monster like that one. Huge tentacles! With flowers on! Both of them casting magic and throwing rocks around!


Well, nuts to monsters, says I.


Er, ouch.

06-15-2008, 02:37 PM
This is the first marginally tough boss that Pants has had to fight, but it's only bad if you're caught offguard.

There are two flowers: blue on the left, red on the right. When you beat up a flower connected to a tendril, the flower drops to the ground and sprouts legs. The blue flower will move around and shoot out some confusion-dust and try and cast some spells. This is no big deal.

The red one will go into invulernability-mode as it readies its attack, and then shoot out a whirlwind that damages you if you're are all close to it. This attack hurts.


..as Pants finds out by being careless. The main plant - the big HP bar on the bottom - only takes damage when -new- flowers sprout. So you knock flowers off, beat up those, and then two more will sprout, reducing its HP. Do this 5-6 times until it runs out, and you win. Depending on when you fight this battle, and what your weapon is, it's generally a good idea to bring Crouch with you. Crouch is one of your standard abilities that will let you regain HP much faster than just standing in battle will. You can hide off to the top-left and just recharge before stomping back in for a little weeding.


Yeah, did you.. were you not paying attention? I just fought this giant plant not 50 feet away from you! We're in the same damned cavern!




Watts is kind of a dick, really. He suggests we make ourselves at home, and Pokiehl decides to regale us with a song of Watts' exploits.


O Watts!
A small body under a great helm...
He strikes with his hammer...
And his great helm...
Watts... Our Watts...
Your soul is your great helm...
Our Watts!
You... really haven't done that much...
The end.


06-15-2008, 02:50 PM
Well, since Watts is back at his workshop, let's go see if he's got anything for sale. He's a blacksmith, right?

Unfortunately, he left his hammer somewhere, so he's not doing much work at the moment. Watts asks Pants to go look for it. But what's in it for us, huh? You were kinda mean last time, I mean--




I love me some puns, let me tell you.


Back at the entrance, a sign has popped up. When you go over to read it, a dudbear dashes in and carries you off.


..down to the Diggers' Hideout. The dog there is Putty, who's been put in a dress and made to walk upright. It's a little troubling. Apparently, Roger decided the dog was holy, and turned it into a religious icon. On the ground behind Putty is the hammer.

That's right. Walk two screens in, talk to Watts, walk two screens back, and get warped to where the hammer is. We still have to get back to Watts, but that's not going to be a big deal. Wonder if there's anything else to check out while we're down here?



Twinkle twinkle, little star...
Why do you twinkle the way you do?
Are you laughing because
you're just too happy?
Or is the cold wind making you shiver?


Meet Roger! He's made to look like a cross between a Siberian hunter and an African tribesman: big furry hat and cuffs, stretched ears and earrings and dark skin. Not really sure if I'm supposed to take some kind of message away from that or what.


Any more where that came from? I MEAN WAIT NO--

The Hole and I

I am a hole in the ground.
I am a hole that rainwater cannot fill.
All the digging I have done has left me so...
I dig and dig to find that something my heart is searching for.
Oh, Mana Goddess!
What have you hidden in the ground for me?
Brilliant gems?
Useless junk?
I will dig, dig, and dig for the Goddess's treasure.
I will dig until my life reaches its end.
Find salvation through labor!
Salvation through labor!


There is no danger of that.

06-15-2008, 02:58 PM

On the way back up we run into a Narcissos. These are demihumans, which means they can't normally be caught as a pet; only one's available, and it's dependant on mana levels in a particular land (Gnome 3 in the Junkyard, in this case). They're essentially kung-fu yeti, and are pretty sturdy.

Pants also meets a faerie down here, who mentions something about bringing a light to darkness.


..and we find a pretty suspicious room on the level above. But we haven't any light-makin' gear, so we'll just remember where this is for now, near the Save Statue.

Hey, Watts! I found your hammer!


You know what, Watts? I think I hate you.


Well.. alright. This time.


06-15-2008, 03:21 PM
Behind your house are your workshops; you can go into the entrance room, but the three interior passageways are blocked off, so there hasn't been much reason to show it off. But now there is!


Because.. because we found your hammer. And you said you'd build this for us. And this happened five minutes ago.


Man, it's hard to hate someone that sad. You'd think we beat him or something.


Really, the forging of stuff isn't so bad. It's the tempering. But let's get the introduction out of the way.


Watts will tell you to hammer away a million or so times. Since we'll be here for awhile, we get to ask some questions.

You can forge weapons or armor ("armor" in this case being anything worn for defense purposes, including what would be called accessories in other games). You do this by selecting a primary material; generally metal or wood, although some bone or cloth can be used depending on the exact time you're trying to make. These materials are either earned as quest rewards or can sometimes be bought in shops or by roving Geo student merchants. (This is also where land placement starts to rear its head, because it's possible to not be able to buy high-level materials if you don't place a shop far enough away) So that's just a two-step menu process, no big deal.

The primary material affects the elemental resistances of the item, and also its base stats.

Tempering is where the wheels come off.

Most of the other items you pick up in the game fall into the secondary materials category: feathers, oozes, dust, shells, sparkly things, dull things, elemental coins, crystals, meat, produce, seeds.. basically everything that is NOT a weapon or armor can be used in tempering. Most come with hidden effects, which are uncovered by means of their mystic cards.

Slot 1: Invisible
Slot 2: Visible
Slot 3: Visible
Slot 4: Visible

When you hammer a secondary material into a primary, its mystic card takes up residence in the top slot, 1. New cards push the rest of the cards down. So if we temper with a Wisp Coin, our weapon "looks" like this:

Slot 1: Wisp
Slot 2: Nothing
Slot 3: Nothing
Slot 4: Nothing

..except that slot 1 is invisible so we don't know anything about that yet. If we then hammer a Dryad Coin in, the Wisp card is pushed down into Slot 1, and it becomes active.. IF the proper requirements are met (usually an elemental level requirement, and occasionally it's based off interactions with other cards). At which point the card setup would be:

Slot 1: Dryad
Slot 2: Wisp
Slot 3: Nothing
Slot 4: Nothing

The effect of the Wisp card is just to raise the Wisp element level of the item. If a weapon, it will do more damage to creatures that are weak to Wisp, and less damage to enemies that are strong against Wisp. The Dryad card does the same, but because it's not active yet, the weapon is only under the effect of the Wisp card.

If you fill up all the slots, and then add a 5th, it will push off the bottom slot, and that effect is lost. You're never locked into a weapon setup, you can always change things around by exploiting this feature.

The mystic cards themselves range in effect from boosting of different stats or defenses, to modifying the weapons' essense/element levels, to bonus effects (such as sharing XP with your ally, a feature of the Fertility Goddess card). Some cards' effects also remain on the weapon even after they've been pushed off. The caveat to all this, of course, is that building a good weapon can take a tremendous amount of money and some very careful land planning so that not only can you buy some rare materials easily, but also you're able to get enemies at high enough level so that they'll have better drops.

Oh, and all of that above? Yeah, the game doesn't explain any of that, ever. Watts says, "If you temper an item, you can get different effects!" Essence levels are hidden as well, so if you decide you want to get into a hardcore craftin' mode, you better have a notepad handy.




Watts tosses us a weak MenosBronze to experiment with, and heads out. He also gave us the Moon Mirror artifact.

Pajaro Pete
06-15-2008, 03:21 PM
It's nice that LoM contains some subtle racism in addition to Nic's "SPROUTLINGS ARE TRASH" racism. Really. The previous two quests are among my least favorite ones, too.

06-15-2008, 03:27 PM
So, Talking Time! A long couple of updates. I wanted to get the blacksmithing section out of the way and that took a few particular quests to get the necessary artifact. Here's where we stand on artifacts:


Choose one or more artifacts to set down, and decide if you want to explore those new lands right away, or if you'd like to check out some of the lands we've previously been to and see if anything new is waiting for us. The Skull Lantern was given to us by Larc, and will probably continue the Dragon Arc. Sotherbee gave us the Sand Rose, the Torch of Coral came from the Inspector in Gato Grottoes, and Watts just handed us the Moon Mirror.

06-15-2008, 03:56 PM
Sand Rose.

Ample Vigour
06-15-2008, 04:28 PM
Sand Rose.

Sothewbee's Sand Wose, if you pwease.

Also: Thank you for making tempering make sense. I spent hours poring over Gamefaqs back in 99 to make heads or tails of it, but to no avail.

06-16-2008, 01:12 AM
Pokiehl's Watts song is one of the reasons why he's one of my favorite characters in the game. He's easily the classiest of the Wisdoms, considering he's not above mingling with the common folk and showing up all over the world, befriending incompetent blacksmiths and Dudbears and sentient windows and such as he travels.

And I'm going to say Skull Lantern next, simply because the boss there (and practically every other boss in that chain) is one of the awesomest looking ones in the game. And the Sand Rose has one of the more boring bosses, in my opinion. But remember to make sure you can max Dryad if you place the Rose.

Octopus Prime
06-16-2008, 04:15 AM
Watts may be my favorite NPC who is not a penguin of a piratical nature!

I say you pop down that lamp, since I would like to see more of that quest. If only to find out what is going on with it.

06-16-2008, 10:03 AM
Well, that's two for the rose and two for the lamp; update will be later this evening Pacific time, so we'll see if anyone else is still reading this and interested by then. ;p

Since it's come up in other threads: are the number of pictures okay or not? I've been trying to cut back the last couple of updates, but still find myself going about 3 posts on each one, just from the screenshots. Some of the dialogue feels like it works better in a screenshot, and it's tough when a whole quest is pretty great (see: Gorgon's Eye).

Anyway, would greatly appreciate input on any style or formatting changes. Or anything SG or I glossed over that you'd like explored in a little more detail. Or.. or anything. Don't hate me!</watts>

Pajaro Pete
06-16-2008, 11:26 AM
Don't place any of them and go back to the Jungle so you can meet Escad and start his quest chain

06-16-2008, 11:33 AM
I think your posts are great, Nunix. I'm really happy you revived this thread. It's obvious that you're putting a ton of work into these. I'd say that the picture amounts are just fine and I have no problem with you not showing screencaps of all the dialouge. I also like that you're showing entries in the encylopedias, but I do miss Li'l Cactus' entries for each quest.

edit: Plant the Torch!

06-16-2008, 11:36 AM
It's hard following this thread at work because I can't see the screenshots, but that's my problem. Otherwise you're doing a great job with the thread.

The post on how weapon tempering works... I love stuff like that. Bring on the boring technobabble!

And, uh, yeah. Li'l Cactus please. He's so insightful.

And by insightful, I mean brain damaged.

Ample Vigour
06-16-2008, 11:59 AM
Don't place any of them and go back to the Jungle so you can eat a delicious DQ blizzard.

Change my vote to this, please. n__n

06-16-2008, 12:44 PM
I mean no disrespect here, but nunix came nearly close to making tempering make sense, he merely had the mercy to spare you from its overly complicated underpinnings. If it were only so simple as just putting the cards you wanted on the equipment.

Like nunix said, absolutely nothing is explained in-game. It's all in the (Japanese only) Ultimania guide. No average person could ever decipher it on his own, but without mastering it, practically every battle in No Future mode would take at least 15 minutes.

The real meat of tempering is the essence levels. Higher essence levels equate into higher attack power, elemental resistances, and most Mystic Cards require certain essence levels to appear. Every item you temper has a hidden "energy" value, and every time you temper the weapon takes the energy from the item and any other sources (the Nymph of Dawn card or essence consumption) and tries to use it to increase the essences of the gear. What essences are raised is determined by the nature of the material, the item added, and the cards in place. It takes more and more energy to raise an essence depending on its current level, presence of the Witch or Sorcerer cards, and the "resistance" of the material to the element in question.

On top of all that, the elements conflict with each other: Salamander can't rise if Undine is above zero, for instance. But, if you have the Ancient World card present, it prevents conflict. If you have conflicting elements above zero present without this card, the dominating element, Undine in this case, can steal energy from Salamander, lowering Salamander's essence to raise its own. This won't work, however, if Gnome, which beats Undine, is present.

So, in the middle of trying to raise the essences, you have to keep in mind what other Cards you want, as some Cards will add new Plunge Attacks (among other effects) but have demanding requirements, i.e, some elements must be above a certain value while others must be zero.

After you're done putzing with all of that, you move into the final process of "tempering" in which you tweak a few more hidden values, depending on the weapon type, with even more Cards and items to truly optimize attack power.

It's a mess, but somewhat beautiful if you can remember it all. Back in the day I forged an Adamant 2H Sword with 600-something attack and the Ragnarok Plunge.

Ample Vigour
06-16-2008, 12:56 PM

Oh damn you Japan.

Thanks for the info, DeeMer.

06-16-2008, 12:59 PM
I... uh... used the bow and just pushed the button a lot?

Ample Vigour
06-16-2008, 01:02 PM
I... uh... used the bow and just pushed the button a lot?

Hey, that's how I beat SamSho V! We could start a club or something.

06-16-2008, 01:03 PM
Yikes! Yeah, tempering almost sounded fun there for a second.

06-16-2008, 05:29 PM
Why would someone build a system like that that hides nearly all of its information?

I mean, unless they wanted it to appear random.

06-16-2008, 06:33 PM
Curse you, DeeMer! They had almost fallen into my trap!

No worries on the disrespect; I cop to not knowing a lot of the mechanics as well as Brick dissected FF1. So anytime someone wants to jump in for better explaination, go ahead. I enjoy the game a lot but am by no means an expert. ;) I tossed "essence" about once or twice in there but didn't explain it fully, sorry about that.

Okay, off to play, updates in an hour or two.

06-16-2008, 08:09 PM
First up is a request to poke around in the Gods-Damned Jungle again. I do this for you, Talking Time. Only for you.

If you remember, we talked to a penguin named Roane at the wisdom's courtyard, and he mentioned his sister Selkie was hanging around the Courtyard of Rain. Sounds like a good lead to check out.


A bearded Flowerling charges a high price to teleport us around. This is pretty useful to get you part of the way; of course, finding a path back out is still an exercise in frustration. But he'll send us to the wisdom's place, or the two clearings (the one where we met Roane originally, and the Courtyard of Rain).

Once there, Selkie pops out and casts a spell on us to help us not get lost. After that it's just a couple of screens back to the wisdom for a longer chat.


Hi! Like, this Jungle is, like, you know, total bullshit.

Selkie also lets us know that, if we'd like, she will remove the evil spell cast on us.

Uh.. what? WHAT evil spell? Thanks for making things so clear, Legend of Mana!

Her help comes at a cost, though, and we have to go check out what's agitatin' the faeries. When we first came here, Skippie mentioned that there was a pathway that lead into the faeries' territory and that normally they teleport interlopers away. Well, we've had at least one spell cast on us, and another removed, so maybe we'll be okay there. We agree to help Selkie, which begins:


..our second quest arc, which we'll call the Faerie Arc for now based on its iconography and to avoid other spoilers.


Pants comes across a group of faeries hovering over a Gato Grottoes nun. They discuss that this isn't the human that Lord Irwin was looking for; he wants the priestess (Daena's mysterious friend) who's supposedly 26 but whom the faeries mention looks like an "old worn-out hag". But why would he want a human as his new queen of the faeries? Their last queen was almost 30,000 years old and, why, humans sometimes live even less than 500 years!


Here's Escad! Escad.. Escad is a bit lame. He's super-stereotypical sword-wieldin' fantasy hero.


With.. uh.. with the twist that he flips out and hacks faeries right out of the air, who explode into bunches of feathers.


He also tells us that under no circumstances should we start a war between humans and faeries. How sudden, explosive murdering fits into this plan I do not know. Escad then dashes off to the left. Well.. we kind of have an idea of what's bothering the faeries, but Pants' Meddling Sense is tingling, and she decides to follow the swordsman.

06-16-2008, 08:20 PM
After a couple of quick battles with some Zombines, Gloommoths, and a Tyrranos, Pants meets a green, palette-swapped Punkster (who's a normal enemy we'll see more of later in the game).


Said minion also tells us to stop bothering him, or he'll have to deal with us. What do you think, Talking Time? Should we-- ahh, what the hell.



This guy's only real attack is Whirl. Whirl's an ability that even we have, it's just a normal ability that causes daze. It's annoying when an enemy gets it because there's no reliance on the ST gauge and it has no charge animation, so he can chain a bit if he wants to. Doesn't do any damage, it's just annoying. Pants takes him out after a minute or so.


Y'think? The penguins also try and ask Rosiotti what to do, but he.. was apparently asleep during that little conversation. For no apparent reason.

Out of the three, this arc tends to make the least sense. Should be fun!


Also note that this long-haired man is not Elazul, who is the only other long-haired man we've met, so what the cactus is going on about is anyone's guess.

Since we're here, let's pick up a new ally.

Normal pet acquisition is based on capturing eggs. Duelle showed us how to do this way back in Domina, after dealing with Bud and Lisa. Eggs typically show up in rooms that used to be occupied by a boss, and will always be of a certain type; the egg where the Mantis Ant used to be will always be an Aerial Egg, for instance. You can capture (almost) every single monster in the game this way, by knowing where its egg type shows up in which lands. The exception to this is the demi-humans, of which there are seven: Chobin Hood, Goblin, Succubus, Narcissos, Tomato Man, Saughin, and Mad Mallard. There is only one of each, they come pre-named, and start at level 1. Each one has a specific mana level requirement, so if there's a demihuman you want, it's a good idea to keep track of your lands' mana levels and plan accordingly.


Chitto here lives in the Gods-Damned Jungle, and has a mana requirement of Dryad 3 (maxed Dryad). Well, our Gods-Damned Jungle has that, so here he is. You can take him, or not, you don't have to fight him. Pants enlists his support and then promptly drops him back off at home.

06-16-2008, 08:44 PM
Larc gave us that Skull Lantern, which becomes the Norn Peaks.


On your first game, you don't generally know what an artifact is going to become or what's on the horizon in later quests, and as a result most of your land placement is going to be either random ("Might as well put it anywhere, I guess") or based on the artifacts' mana levels ("Well, Lumina's already got 2 Shade, and this thing grants 1 Shade, so I'll max Shade there in case anything interesting happens.") Doing it this way promotes what I like to call the "MUD effect" that the game seems, to me, to do so well: lots of scattered, seemingly unrelated zones that nevertheless are peppered with short quests and lots of random monsters to beat up and levels to gain. I honestly think this is another of the bits that throw people when they play the game, even if there's not a conscious awareness of it, and it's worth thinking about. It's either something that you will really get and enjoy, or it will annoy the hell out of you.

It's worth it to note that since I know what the different artifacts become, I've been switching methods between "build stuff out/far to build up monster and store levels" and "I like it if I can kind of imagine how this world might make sense". As a result, I stuck the Peaks north of Lake Kilma there, which has its own mountains; it's easy to imagine it as part of the same range. There's even one more space north of the Peaks, along the very edge of the map, that I'm saving for a snow zone. I find this fun to do!

Anyway, if you go to the Peaks now, you'll find your way blocked. We need to pick up Larc first, at the tombstone outside the Underworld. But since we're going there, let's do a little exploring...


Rubens now occupies one of the bedrooms on the second level, down the hall from Olbohn. He wonders about Diana, back in Geo, and mentions that "we don't need Florina or Pearl". That's.. interesting. What's going on with these Jumi? Ru is pretty defiant that the Jumi are not a treasure to be stolen or harvested, and they'll fight to the last.

But he's still dead, and we've got a dragon to find.


As soon as we enter the foothills of the Norn Peaks, a figure bursts out of the trees above and clashes with Larc.


This is Sierra. Looks like she and Larc have some history. They even look a little similar, though Sierra is sportin' that unihorn.


Sierra implores Larc to turn back, but our evil buddy remains closemouthed, and Sierra jumps away again, swearing at Drakonis.


The Peaks are infested with these damned beat-turnip-things, the Shrieknips. They don't do much damage but have a decently ranged attack that will stun and/or confuse you, and they use it a lot. Annoying when it's just one, Pants and Larc will have to take on groups of 2 or 3 later on up the mountain, and nunix's blood pressure spikes in impotent rage.

Pretty forest, though.


After a couple of screens Pants and Larc come to the village of the Windcallers. They.. don't look so happy to see us.


Looks like they're our competition!


The Windcallers try and turn Larc back, even taunting him a bit; Larc just walks right past them, and when they try and attack him, he just evades it. The three Windcaller dragoons and their village companions fly away, allowing us to make our way up.

06-16-2008, 08:59 PM

The mountain pathways are covered with mist. Here we're fighting a Narcissos and a couple of Imps. Due to where we placed the land these are only about L17, while Pants is currently L20, and has a LorentSilver Glove that has an Offense of 21. Larc is L16, but his VizelGold (one of the strongest metals you can buy, late in your land placement) Axe has an Offense of 35, and he can take out most everything in two or three hits. Assuming he doesn't miss or isn't just dicking around on the other side of the screen.


I call Balrog!


Aaand down. The Windcaller dragoons aren't too bad. They have 3 different spells they can use, but all are easily interrupted. They're also able to throw pinfeathers are a good range, and chain them effectively, so it's possible to get a little scratched up here depending on your level and defense.

When this one dies, a little wisp-ghost-spirit floats up, and we hear a noise; Larc, because he has apparently played at least one RPG in his life, suggests it might've been related to a barrier. Well, three of them tried to stop us, so I guess that means...


..we should probably..


..beat the feathers off the other two. No surprises there. When you defeat the third one, and its ghost joins its friends, Larc mentions that he, "knew there was a barrier." Which is funny because said barrier is a stone statue that's entirely possible to miss as you're looking for the other two Windcallers.


We do find a Garuda along the way, though. The Fa'diel breed seems to be a little smaller than its FF bretheren.


And hey, another ST attack. This one's a close-range, major (level 3, out of possible 4) damage. But it's a little more finnicky than the Jawbreaker we started out with, so Pants just keeps relying on that. She slots it anyway in case it comes in handy sometime.

The statue gone, the Windcaller villagers try and block our path. They swear they'll protect the dragon with their lives.


Which, strictly speaking, Larc has no issues with.


A cinematic iaido strike later and they're down. They don't even give standard "......" text dialogue when you try and talk to the bodies, which is kind of unusual in a game.



If you head off to the right here, you find an Aerial Egg spot. This is the best place to try for a Chocobo, so we'll probably come back here later if folk are still interested in having one.

06-16-2008, 09:10 PM

Larc picks a fight! His Synchro Ability is increased damage against dragons, so hopefully we can take advantage of that a bit.

Larc says he's here for the dragon's mana; it asks if Larc really understands what Drakonis' plans are. When the dragoon doesn't back down, Akravator decides that there's only one way to deal with us.


And the fight begins!

Akravator's got a couple of special attacks, and has the annoying ability that most of the dragon enemies (normal and boss) have in that if you get too close, they bounce you back. Add to this its ability to hover-fly back and forth across the screen a little bit, and a tendency to just randomly block your attacks for 5 seconds at a time, and you're in for a bit of a drawn-out fight.


Larc manages to come out at 100% but Pants has taken a few hits. The dragon only gets dizzy once, towards the end, so there's never a good time to try out an ST attack; and by the time it's reeling, Larc's Synchro ability is active and the two of them just thrash the beast.

It fades out with a minimum of glowy special effects.


Larc mentions that it's a small stone, but it's what Drakonis wants, so it's what Drakonis gets.


He gives us the Dragonbone artifact, and this chapter is finished.


And uh.. look, I know you wanted to hear from Li'l Cactus, but I have to be upfront with you. I'm worried about what we're doing to him. Is it REALLY a good idea to be telling him these stories?


The dragon fight didn't even rate a mention.

06-16-2008, 09:12 PM
In addition to our other artifacts, we have the Dragonbone now. What would you like to do, Talking Time? We could place and explore a new land, or we could check out what's going on elsewhere. We haven't been by Lumina in awhile, and there's that thing with the Escad, the nun, and the kidnapping plot against the priestess, so Gato Grottoes might be worth checking out as well.

06-16-2008, 09:57 PM


Oh, and put me down for the Dragonbone. Sounds... interesting.

Ample Vigour
06-17-2008, 01:22 AM
Papillon beat me to the HnK reference. :(

I say go back to the Grottoes, there's questin' to be done!

06-17-2008, 10:06 AM
Papillon beat me to the HnK reference. :(

That's right, in fact you're already dead (http://youtube.com/watch?v=vByTcMcpp8A).

Pajaro Pete
06-17-2008, 12:37 PM
Also note that this long-haired man is not Elazul, who is the only other long-haired man we've met, so what the cactus is going on about is anyone's guess.

Clearly he is, in fact, psychic.
Let's go with the Dragon Bone.

Ample Vigour
06-17-2008, 12:54 PM
That's right, in fact you're already dead (http://youtube.com/watch?v=vByTcMcpp8A).

I have no regrets! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK74WZUkfvQ)

06-17-2008, 07:56 PM

Here's a look at Pants at almost-L21. You can see how the glove's stat growth has affected her; power and HP are significantly higher than the other stats.


As soon as you enter the Fortress, a quest begins.


There're a bunch of students from the Magic Academy here, doing research on the plants on the hill; they're apparently quite potent. The assignment isn't going too well, however, and nothing they try seems to work out in their potions.


As Pants goes to check out what the other students are doing, a creepy mummified creature draws itself up out of the ground, scaring the students half to death. It's Miss Thesenis, one of their teachers, and they're quick to assure her everything is going as planned.




The quest is pretty basic. Each student or flowering has found one regeant. Talk to any three; you'll then go back to the head student and he'll try out your combination. It works a bit like Mastermind: he'll tell you if none, one, or two ingredients are correct. Unfortunately this doesn't randomise itself in every game, but if this is your first time through (or you can't remember the combination), and you're not having any luck - which is understandable, since it can be difficult to tell everyone apart - eventually the head student will suggest you go talk to Meimei, the fortune teller.


And that's our combo. Pants heads back to the site, collects the regeants, and hands 'em over.


This explains so much.

06-17-2008, 08:03 PM
And that's it, quest over! Short and to the point and.. and.. well, it doesn't have any real value, it's just setting colour.


The quest reward is.. an Oblong Seed. It's kind of an insult, because from now on, that head student acts as a produce shop. He sells a few different kinds of seeds and a few types of produce. He will sell you more Oblong Seeds.. for 10 lucre each.

Pants is pissed off at this, and decides to go tell Li'l Cactus.


..who is not very sympathetic. Who do we know that's really violent and might be coerced into teaching these punks a lesson?


Pants goes and gets Larc, but he gets a little distracted as soon as we get back to the site. He starts interrogating the students about what they're doing here, and they tell him about the plants. They also mention that they've been hearing a weird voice coming from inside the fortress.


More like Magic Diploma Factory, it seems.

06-17-2008, 08:21 PM
As the duo approach the skull, a sword cuts a line in the air and an armored skeletal warrior leaps out of the void to attack


Ahh, now we're talkin'.


Jajajajajajajaja. Ra.


This guy has the cheesiest lines. He does offer us the choice to stay or leave; but since Pants is apparently in league with the dark side, they opt to stay and thrash the guy.


The skeletal warrior is pretty easy. He has an arm-slash and a leg-sweep attack, and he can fire his fist out as a ranged attack. Unfortunately for him, the fist is very slow, and he is immobilised while he waits for it to return but not immune to damage. Pants takes the opportunity to stomp him into the ground.


Takes a whole minute.

The skull opens up as Pants and Larc approach it, and they come to the fortress' entryway, the Hall of Cartilage.


Huh.. looks like we're going to need one of our pets.

Optimal pet growth is super-tedious. Each monster has a default stat growth pattern, and this can be augmented by putting produce or meats in their feed box (up to 3 of any combination, and multiples of the same item are allowed). They eat whenever they level up. To make a super-ultimate pet you therefore need to be incredibly focused on this: take your pet to gain a level, go back home, put stuff in the feed box, go back out, rinse, repeat. This is in addition to trying to grow all the right foods for whatever your desired pet stats are (and the produce growing is a subsystem in and of itself based on your mana levels, the seeds you use, and the day of the week!). Our Home has pretty poor mana levels, which makes produce growth slow, and we don't have reliable access to a wide variety of seeds yet, which means the produce we can get is generally not all that great.

As a bonus, while your Produce Encyclopedia tells you which stats are raised or hindered, it doesn't tell you by how much, and there are upper limits on how much a stat can be raised per level. More secret information in a system that is custom-designed for the OCD crowd!

This matters to YOU because it means that while I've been keeping Briefs' box full, he's not in the best of shape, and he'll probably gain a level or three while we're here without the benefit of those boosts. Any new pet we take will have the same issue because they'll gain a whole bunch of levels (up to a point) all at once thanks to the XP/level disparity.

Who's it going to be, Talking Time? Our pet rabite Briefs is L10 right now, and we also have Chitto the Chobin Hood who's all of L1. There's also the option of going and picking up a new pet if you'd like. If you want a new pet, our options are pretty open; we can probably find the right egg and the right site for nearly any monster we've seen so far, with the exception of the demihumans.

Since we're talking about pets, now would also be a good time to weigh in on whether or not you'd like to see Pants always, usually, rarely, or never take a pet with her, and who you'd like to see as her faithful companion when she does take it with her.

Who shall be our stalwart companion on the quest for dragon blood and mana crystals?

06-17-2008, 08:27 PM
From now on, Always bring Boco the Chocobo with you.

Ample Vigour
06-17-2008, 08:40 PM
From now on, Always bring Boco the Chocobo with you.

Boco Chocobo is giving me Patapon flashbacks; I kinda like it.

06-18-2008, 01:15 PM
Larc and Pants (team LP?) head back to the Norn Peaks to find themselves a chocobo.


The Windcaller then immediately flies away. Mmm, sweet impotent rage.


Boco's not lookin' too confident there.. but he's got pretty good HP and attack for a L1 beastie. By the end of the quest he's up to L8, and his HP have reached 100, so he's definitely got better stat growth than Briefs there.


Fantastic. After spending time to catch a chocobo, let it hatch, and then come back here, we find that Larc's keen senses only work after the obvious has happened.


Pants wakes up in another, different room, sans companions.


We're in the basement of the Bone Fortress now. There're only a couple of enemies down here, two animated swords who will drop either money, Bravesword swords, or Throatslitter knives.


There's a gatekeeper or two on each floor. In the basement there's this guy, whose spirit departs his body after a few seconds, and a talking skull. They just open up otherwise non-obvious exits. Pants beats up a few enemies and talks to some bones, and eventually finds a chest with some Demon Meat in it.


And also Boco! Hey Boco.

The Halls of Cartilage form the spine, if you will, of the fortress; the north door in each Hall leads to an elevator. This won't work until you've found your pet, but since we have, it does. We can't reach the first floor (and the exit) yet, so let's check out the second.

06-18-2008, 01:27 PM

Pants' dementia begins to manifest itself as she talks to every skull she finds, in case it talks back. This one.. does not. She does, however, find a skeletal warrior who tells us we must come back with "the brand".




And I hit the wrong ST button and use Mental Barrier. It's a good PBAOE attack but doesn't do a lot of damage. Looks impressive, though.


This is not the dragon we're looking for...


Pants and Boco head up to the third floor, and Sierra appears in dramatic fashion.


Er.. no, no I don't, because no one tells me anything.


Ooo, drama!

Sierra has something ridiculous like ten HP bars, but almost no defense, so Pants winds up taking off 1/4-1/3 of a bar with each hit. The HP bar colors are: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, and then Green and Blue alternate for as high as it goes. So you know if you've worked off a blue and a green and there's another blue underneat, you're in for a long fight. Thankfully she doesn't have much offense, either, so Boco takes a couple of hits but even he manages to stay standing.


Meeeee an' my buddyyyyy~ o/~

In a minute here they hit the boss room, which they know is the boss room due to it being named the "Throne of Corpses" and also they can't go up any further.. but no boss. Heading back to the 3F Hall of Cartilage, a key has mysteriously appeared on the ground. Well, it's no brand, but maybe this'll do for that warrior gatekeeper.

We find Larc beyond the guarded door, and the first word he says is "Sister..."


Not your finest moment, L.

Reunited, the party makes its way back up the fort.

06-18-2008, 01:32 PM

Larc has a conversation with a disembodied voice back on the ribcage bridge, who hasn't seen Larc for a hundred years. Turns out it's a boss, but not the boss.


Deathrbinger has a pretty standard straight-line special attack, but he doesn't use it that often. Larc manages to steal 5 out of the 6 XP crystals that drop after the fight, though, the bastard. Our ring that lets us share XP only works if Pants is the one that grabs the crystal; otherwise the XP still goes ONLY to the character that grabs the crystal.

Back at the Throne of Corpses, Larc senses mana nearby.


Yeah yeah yeah. Man, even when the badguy's on our side we have to listen to pre-attack monologues.


Jajara crashes into the room from above, scattering debris around. He's lookin' particularly.. zombied today.


While Jajara does have a couple of standard attacks, he really, REALLY likes to use his breath attack. You'll see this probably 6+ times in the fight, depending on the levels and weapons involved. Jajara is also our first two-stage boss, and one of the few in the game.






Aaand he explodes again, and this time he remains so. You can also see the Synchro Effect indicator at work up there at the top; Pants and Boco are in synch, and Boco and Larc are in synch. The chocobo's effect is pretty nice; it removes any status effects on you. If you wanted to really count on that, you could feed it food that would give it the Lonely personality, which makes it stick very close to you instead of wandering around the field.


This time, Boco manages to steal 5 of the dang crystals. But we unlock another ST ability in the process; only 3 more to go before the glove's attacks are polished off.

06-18-2008, 01:40 PM

Larc heads for the mana stone. He takes a few moments to comment on the fact that the mana stone is what gives the local plants their potency, and suggests Jajara built the fortress to hide this fact.


You can ask him about mana, Drakonis, or what to do next, but you only get one question. None of the answers are particularly helpful: Drakonis wants mana; he has to follow Drakonis' orders; and the next thing to do is hunt down the last dragon/mana stone. Larc hands us the artifact Green Cane and that's it for the Bone Fortress.


Jajajajajajaja. Ra.


If you have a saved game from SaGa Frontier II on your card, you can go back to the ribcage bridge and fight Deathbringer 2; doing so will net you the strongest sword from that game.

So what's next? The Green Cane, if the pattern holds, will take us to the 3rd dragon, and one step closer to finishing the Dragon Arc. But we've still got the coral, the rose, and the mirror, and some stuff waiting to happen in Gato. Where does Pants go next?

06-18-2008, 01:44 PM
I think you can fight Deathbringer 2 without the SaGa Frontier 2 save. You just don't get the sword after the fight.

But anyway, throw that mirror down.

06-18-2008, 01:53 PM
Let's finish this - to the Green Cane!