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  #181  
Old 12-28-2017, 07:09 AM
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Just popping in to say I'm still very much enjoying this, even if it feels like ARMS is running around in circles sometimes.

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The rest of the party calmly saunters out, because they had their tray tables up, and their seats back in the full upright position.
In Aaaaaaaallllllllbequerque!
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  #182  
Old 12-28-2017, 08:59 AM
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Seconded. Really enjoying GoggleBob's lesson's on diplomacy and airship warfare.
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  #183  
Old 12-28-2017, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by SpoonyBardOL View Post
Just popping in to say I'm still very much enjoying this, even if it feels like ARMS is running around in circles sometimes.
This honestly has had a big impact on the sporadic update schedule. I'm getting more into the groove here with having some extra free time in my (real) life, but, man, there were some updates that took forever to create because I just could not deal with these losers doing the same song and dance over and over again.

There are some genuinely exciting and interesting events in the future of ARMS, but we're still like three updates out from anything like that.

I think that's what gets me: I know it's not just that this part is boring, it's that even after this is done, we still have to get through x and y, too, before we finally hit the big Z.

Anyway, look forward to the next two updates that are one big, useless fetch quest!
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  #184  
Old 12-28-2017, 05:57 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 16-1

And now, that thing I said...

Previously on Wild Arms 2: Odessa had its own private plane, but now it doesn’t. Why? Because ARMS kicks ass, that’s why.



We received a hovercraft for our troubles, and now it’s our job to clean up the mess.



But before we do that, we, for the first time in three updates, have free reign of the planet again. We can go anywhere! Do anything! Refill our arms! Visit Ashley’s girlfriend!



This ain’t Chrono Trigger, you don’t get a rare armor for remembering to visit Lucca’s dad. Lame.



Okay, after hitting the item shop (and dropping Tim off at the Personal Skills shop), it’s time to head back out into the world.



And check out our rad new hovercraft! Let’s go surfin’ now!



Map upgrade!



We can now view the entire scope of the planet at once. Technically, this map would surface if you used a teleport gem anyway, but it’s good to see the whole Filgaia at a glance.

While we’ve got the map up, note that the hovercraft only covers the “Inland Sea”, which means we’re stuck in that crescent shaped area in the middle. Like many “early” ships in JRPGs, we’re pretty limited with our means of conveyance. Come to think of it, this is the exact same trick as Final Fantasy 1.



The hovercraft works about the same as walking, and, while there are enemy encounters, their appearance rate is much lower. It grants the illusion of moving quickly, one would suppose.



Stupid artificial, natural barrier... Let me explore the world!



Our goal is to find three needles in the haystack of the Inland Sea. Our only real hint is that items wash up around beaches, and… I have no idea how you’re supposed to pull this off without a FAQ. Seriously, it’s just trial and error and smacking the detect button every three inches.



If you’re some poor person looking to this Let’s Play for guidance, feel free to note the mini map in each shot that will guide you to your tablets.



And feel free to find the other “treasures” bobbing about.



Here is our second tablet. (See how small these things are!?)



And number three is over by this tiny island that certainly won’t be important later.



Does this count as a mission complete? Sure!

ARMS Mission #12:
Take out the trash!
Status: Success!
Notes: Data Tablets floating in the sea will void any and all warranties.



So what are we supposed to do with these things? Let’s call the boss.



Ugh. Boomerang.



Let’s fight some monster clams on the way home. And this hovercraft sure does look like a boat in battle screens.



Clams should not have teeth!



Back home. There’s a “hidden dungeon” available in the Inland Sea, too, but we’ll cover that later. This update is going to get complicated enough.



So are they FAT or NTFS?



Do not ask me how to pronounce “Sielje”.



But Lilka might have an idea.



Sielje has a USB hard drive enclosure. Got it.



So how do people get in and out? Teleport?

... Ohhhhh…

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #185  
Old 12-28-2017, 06:04 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 16-2



Everybody’s gotta be from somewhere.



“By way of every other town on the planet, as I suck at teleporting.”



Lilka does not want to visit the ol’ homestead.



But the answer is no, and we have to hit up some random miner for info.



Find a tunnel? We were just saving the world through explosions and summoning gods, and our next mission is to find a tunnel? Lame.



Yeah yeah, we’re going.



Technically, we could use a teleport stone to whip over to Damzen.



And we can’t take the castle…



But hovercraft works!



Remember this place? Little one horse town? It was the mining town, but not the other mining town.



I love when NPCs update specifically to your given task.



He’s probably talking about No. i. That silly Axel.



Random NPC claims that everything sucks around here because of the Blaze of Disaster, but we have seen lush forests around, so bully to you.



I assume this is a hint to the location of a data tablet we already have? Or a reference to The Little Mermaid? I have no idea.



Yes, he said you might be able to help us advance the plot. He was really adamant about it.



Okay! Let’s do this!



… Hm. Since we have a cheated, maxed inventory, we can’t accept the Boss Symbol. It’s because we already have over a hundred, so it shouldn’t impact anything. …. Shouldn’t.



Return to Mt. Chug-Chug.



We’ve been here before while chasing a jet (RIP), and there was a locked door at the entrance.



Now it shall be locked no more.



All new dungeon!



All new tool!



Lilka already has a fireball tool, and now she can launch ice balls. It’s another tool that is only useful in very specific circumstances.



The monsters around here are a mix of newbies and oldbies. We’ve seen these gargoyles before, and they’ve only gotten weaker in the meanwhile.



Now for the puzzle! Or “puzzle”. Use the ice rod to extinguish these torches. Wow! Exciting!

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #186  
Old 12-28-2017, 06:09 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 16-3



Blow out all the candles, and their bases will vanish from the area. Now we can move forward.



But first: treasure!



Dead or Alive is your death spell, and it is exactly as useful as every other JRPG death spell.



It can’t even kill some lame mook from an early dungeon. Very lame.



The next room seems like a simple “hit the switch” puzzle.



But it turns out that if you don’t use some planning, you’ll just drop a box to nowhere.



You’re supposed to move this crate into position first…



And then flip the switch for a viable platform. I would be remiss if I did not again note that to reset this puzzle, you have to leave the room and return, while Wild Arms 1 had a reset tool that would save you the trouble.



Basic dungeon adventurin’ continues.



You have to properly parse 3-D space to drop off platforms if you want some treasure.



Oh, this appears to be the first duplicator in Wild Arms 2. Duplicators are an improperly named Wild Arms tradition. They’re effectively magic keys, and they open magically sealed treasure chests and doors. In general, you will have a limited number of duplicators at any given moment, and a lot of later areas have multiple duplicator-sealed treasure areas. In other words, use your duplicators wisely, and you can score some good gear.

Or savescum.

Or read a FAQ.

Pick your poison.



Here’s a proper puzzle!



The blue and red switches raise or lower platforms, and they require a block to weigh ‘em down.



You must depress one switch, steal a block, use that block on the other switch, and use the first block to help make a bridge across the area. It’s not a very complicated puzzle, and is just about right for a throwaway dungeon like this one. Good job, random block puzzle designer!



And just a little further and we’ll be in Sielje.



Daylight!



Sielje is a little chilly. I guess there’s a reason Lilka comes with a fire stick.



Sielje should be right around here…



But it doesn’t seem to be activating.

… And it’s because I broke the game.

Remember that guy that hands over the Boss Symbol? He’s the flag that activates the ability for ARMS to find the Sielje Region. Since he technically couldn’t provide the Boss Symbol (as I had infinity Boss Symbols in my inventory), the flag could not activate, so Sielje is forever inaccessible. And we need Sielje! I can’t drop Boss Symbols to lighten up my inventory (as they are key items), and I can’t convince the boss to hand over the info without the symbol. In other words, this is a completely insurmountable blockade.

So… uh…



Sorry guys, LP over.

Thanks for reading!
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  #187  
Old 12-28-2017, 06:20 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 16-4

Okay, just kidding, I don’t give up that easily.

Here’s the complicated tale of how I was able to continue this Let’s Play.

First of all, I did a search on the net for a possible solution to my immediate problem.



So I found a post on an emulation forum about the same issue. The post was made a solid five years ago, and I’m playing on a Playstation 3, but it should be relevant…



But there was no solution found. It basically just confirmed that, while this “cheating” file with all the items is available on reputable sites…



It leads to an insoluble barricade right there in Sielje. You can technically use another hacked item to progress, but you’d also miss random chunks of the game. That is not viable for a Let’s Play, obviously.

Oh well. Live and learn, I suppose. Looks like I’ll have to start the game over from scratch, and this time without any cheating involved, because I couldn’t find any other worthwhile cheated save files for the PS3.

Play the game all over again…

Without cheating…

….

Bugger to that!

Something you must understand about me: I will go well out of my way to make my life easier in the most ridiculously convoluted and difficult ways. I’m the kind of guy that will spend thousands to repair a twenty dollar pair of shoes (that I really like!), and I will certainly spend a lot of unnecessary Goggle Bob hours on finding new and exciting ways to cheat. Why would I ever want to fight Odessa on an even keel!?



So, right off the bat, I managed to find some gameshark codes for Wild Arms 2. I liked the “all items” cheat because it allowed me to de-equip my party if I ever wanted to play “for real”, but boosting Ashley and his buddies up to Level 99 right off the bat could work. It would break the game, but it wouldn’t break it in a manner that would make it unplayable, so I’ll take it. As ever, I’m not playing or LP’ing Wild Arms 2 for its blisteringly simple combat system.

Unfortunately, now we have a new problem: I don’t have any kind of Playstation 1 gameshark. Hm.

Well, I certainly have Wild Arms 2…



So I have no problem popping that into a PSX emulator…



And then cheating my ass off.



This meant playing through the intro dungeons again, so I could properly level up my three man band to a cheated Level 99. Lilka has a save point early in her first dungeon, so I played entirely through Brad and Ashley’s stories on emulator, and then “quit” at Lilka.

Now I’ve got a save file with an early game, Level 99 party. But I hate playing on emulators. It sullies the experience, and you never know if Brad glitching through the floor is the fault of the original programming or the emulator. I’d much rather continue this adventure on my PS3, as has been the case for all of my Let’s Plays.

This is when things get crazy.



First, I got my memory card data from the emulator…



And dropped it into a program called Memory Card Manager that allowed me to convert the file into a Dex Drive save. Anybody remember the Dex Drive?



It’s this ugly little peripheral from 1996. It was an InterAct peripheral that allowed you to back up your save files to your computer. This was amazing, because it allowed you to have only one Playstation memory card, and just swap the data back and forth between your PC and your game system. Could save you upwards of thirty bucks! Only problem was…



It connected to PC via a serial port. And even if I dug out a serial-to-USB plug somewhere, I doubt 1996 hardware has modern drivers lying around. This means I needed to go into my attic and fish out…



An ancient Dell from roughly the turn of the millennium!



Which has a serial port!



So I exported my dex save via USB stick from new computer to old…



Inserted my Playstation 1 memory card into the dexdrive…



And this ain’t my first rodeo, so of course the old machine has Dexter, a custom program that controls the DexDrive, as the original DexPlorer sucked.

Hey! Look! This memory card coincidentally has my original Wild Arms 2 save! Neat!



Copied the new Level 99 saves to the memory card…



Moved that memory card over to an usb memory card reader for the Playstation 3…



And then copied that data over to the Playstation 3 so I could resume play with my Level 99 Lilka! It’s that simple!



Then it was the quick matter of playing through the entire game…



Actually obtaining the Boss Symbol…



Earning the heck out of that one essential bit of dialogue that activates the Sielje Region…



Battling through that cave again…



Coming out the other side…



And there’s Sielje Region! Problem solved! Back on track!

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #188  
Old 12-28-2017, 06:24 PM
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Wow...
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  #189  
Old 12-28-2017, 06:28 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 16-5



The entrance to Sielje Region appears to simply be a room and a teleporter, but we all know what teleporters do.



Okay, on one hand, this is supposed to be an amazing showcase for magic and technology and look people walking around in what should be frozen tundra. On the other hand… it’s snowing. There is snow on the ground. I realize it adds to the ambiance, but how the hell is a force field working if snow is falling?



No time to worry about that now, though!



“This is a 32-bit JRPG town. There have to be, what, twenty people, total, in this place? Go have fun.”



Lilka didn’t come here to make friends.



Aaaaand here’s why.



Tim, you guys met like two days ago, and things have been fairly busy since. Lilka has not had a spare moment to tell you about any duels she may have skipped out on.



I don’t think there’s much oxygen in this force field, as Brad is getting giggly.



You got that from Street Fighter and you know it!



Terry (you get to name Terry, incidentally, but he is not at all important to anything) introduces himself to the class.



Lilka is having none of it.



Apparently they didn’t get along on multiple levels.



And Lilka just wants to get this whole thing over with.



Despite Lilka being Lilka, Terry is very helpful. What a good boy.



That sound you hear is Lilka checking our Teleport Gem inventory.



Just a reminder that Lilka is 14, an age where being embarrassed in front of your friends is a crime that should be punishable by death.



So now we get to explore Hogwarts. As you might expect, this is a town filled with a bunch of nerds talking about magic and research and zzzzzzzzzzzzz.



Sielje is home to our first really stocked item shop since approximately four updates ago. Feel free to upgrade your arms, craft some new spells…



And be amazed that “Gay Parasol” made it into a videogame from 1999. Obviously, we’re all very mature and such, but, come on, the Playstation 1 was the premiere system for homophobic teenagers. Wait, maybe that was whatever system first introduced voice chat…

Also, it looks like Brad has been stealing parts from Robo.



Meh, we’ll check that out later.



But for now… library! As you might expect, the preeminent academy in the world has a ton of random lore lying around. Here’s an explanation for FP.



This guy is important! If you talk to him, it will unlock some fun in an update or two. He’s talking about a fellow researcher that teleported off to parts unknown. We will find him, oh yes…



And I’m sure this book is completely unrelated to that task.



There’s a book about the Crimson Nobles, a group of immortals that preferred to stay in their basements. Wonder if we’ll ever meet such a creature.



Dragons! Apparently Filgaia dragons are cyborgs. This goes back to Wild Arms 1 lore… kinda. It’s complicated, and, don’t worry, we’ll meet a few dragons to sort things out. What’s important is that some of our best arms tech is not entirely manmade, but is more… weaponized dragon corpses.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #190  
Old 12-28-2017, 06:35 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 16-6



Elsewhere, we find a random student getting high. Damn millenials.



And here we are at Mr. McGregor’s office. Terry is very polite despite standing like six feet from a demon summoning ritual.



“We need you to read these data tablets” was probably a lengthy debriefing.



Ashley is embarrassed to receive a phone call in the middle of what will likely be a scintillating lecture from Mr. McGregor, but McGregor is into it.



Oh boy! Video phone!



McGregor needs a solid day to discover that Odessa’s password is just “Vinsfield Rocks” backwards.



But we’re already on Odessa’s trail. Apparently they have their own power plant.



So Irving suggests the obvious: let’s blow that sucker up. This seems to be a recurring plan.



I swear ARMS has the collective memory of a mayfly.



So tomorrow McGregor will give us the coordinates, and then it’s ‘splosions time.



And Lilka has a… bomb? What else would Lilka have that helps with explosions?



But Terry objects to Lilka’s… everything. Honestly, he does have a point about Lilka being woefully under qualified for fighting terrorists.



And he has absolutely no ulterior motives for asking Lilka to stay home.



“Which reminds me, is anyone giving me class credit for these missions? Partial credit? I’ve flunked out, haven’t I?”



Terry… my man… bad move…



That’s fair.



Later! Lilka can’t seem to calm down for some reason.



“Wanna blow off some steam and kill monsters? That always cheers me up. Well, except this one time at the Sword Cathedral…”



Parallelism!



Welcome to the planetarium, where you can scope out this one monster that appears to be a living mobile.



Look, if you lived in a town that was a giant school, you’d be excited about a museum, too.



I’m just picturing a bunch of professors like, “Oh noooo, don’t sneak into the musssseum! That would be aaaaawful.”



Died. Sealed in another dimension. Became a telepathic voice. It’s confusing.



I don’t know how I feel about this “revelation”. On one hand, Lilka is the most optimistic member of the party, and revealing that she has serious abandonment issues seems really tacked on now (after she’s been all waves and smiles for the entire game) and later (she will go back to that immediately after this area). On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that Lilka’s complete personality is some kind of overcompensating so people won’t leave her, and she’s the life of the party precisely because she is so secretly lonely. One way or another, it feels like the translation again dropped the ball on Lilka, and any sort of subtlety in her characterization was lost along the way.

So, anyway, point being is that Lilka is just as broken and isolated as everybody else on the internet in ARMS.



“Or explode in a blaze of glory?”
“That too.”

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #191  
Old 12-28-2017, 06:41 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 16-7



“I won’t leave you, just like any of your other friends. We’re all really good friends, aren’t we, friend?”



“All of my friends.”



“Lilka, don’t do that. We’re in public.”



Six random nerds come out from behind the projector and inform Lilka that that is not a real spell, and if you really want a permanent smile spell, you’re going to have to check out the index of…



Lilka comments that she wants to be like her sister, inventor of that spell, and Ashley provides some encouragement. Like a good friend.



Oh, right, that.



And they kept it at the planetarium? And students can, what, borrow it?



Great! We tripped the alarm system! …. I’m glad there’s an alarm system for the multi-dimensional bomb!



Oh, wait, it’s not us.



Dammit!



Guess we have to chase Odessa again. Just another day for ARMS.



Gate Bridge is our next dungeon. Got it.



Ashley takes a moment to consider how the heck Odessa knew to sneak into Sielje and steal back the data tablets. Could… could Terry be a traitor? … No, wait, that doesn’t make sense. We love Terry!



Love him!



Okay, last chance to check out the rest of Sielje before we hit the road. Apparently this teacher blames himself for the death of Lilka’s unnamed sister, but he doesn’t recognize Lilka or something, so we don’t get any unique weeping dialogue.



Let’s finally check out the observatory! It’s got a telescope!



Cosmo Canyon was better.



There are some treasures hiding around the back of town. In order to grab that second chest…



It’s Pooka time!



We were trying to leave after looting the place, but, sure, always time for you, Terry.



Something you want to say, Terrinator?



Lilka seems to have an idea on where that trans-dimensional bomb got to. Obviously, the other 14 year old has it.



Terry, we don’t need a lecture!



Lilka is going to talk a bomb out of this kid yet.



So Terry wishes Lilka well (in his way).



And Lilka is thankful.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #192  
Old 12-28-2017, 06:43 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 16-8



Eat My Dust is the mega-bomb. It is a key item that will be used at a key time. I have no earthly idea how it earned that name, or why the icon appears to be a Mini-Terry.



And away we go. Bye Terry! Wish you were joining the party!



So a quick jaunt across the snowfields…



Kill a few Wendigos….



And here we are at the Gate Bridge, one of the few landmarks on Filgaia that does not require discovering. What fresh horrors will we find on that bridge? Find out next time!

Next time on Wild Arms 2: The ARMS crew encounters a pair of cold-blooded mysterious strangers, and a deadly timer begins to count down. Is there any way for our heroes to survive? Could science be the answer? Find out in our next thrilling episode, “Battle on the Big Bridge”!
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  #193  
Old 12-28-2017, 07:18 PM
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Wow...
Yeah, I know. I really should have dusted before taking all of those pictures.
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  #194  
Old 12-30-2017, 05:58 PM
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You have commitment to this LP, that's for sure!

(how many years has it been since I have even thought about a Dex Drive?)
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  #195  
Old 01-02-2018, 09:00 AM
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This anecdote of a process is the kind of thing that I read LPs for. Well done!

Has there ever been a situation in a JRPG where someone says "Come back later and this thing will be done," and nothing happens in the interim? It's such a go-to cue for either catastrophic disruption or introspective character moment.
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  #196  
Old 01-02-2018, 10:11 AM
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Has there ever been a situation in a JRPG where someone says "Come back later and this thing will be done," and nothing happens in the interim?
Yes, but in those cases, it's usually because you just need to leave and come back (ex: the blacksmiths in LttP).
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  #197  
Old 01-05-2018, 07:20 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 17-1

Previously on Wild Arms 2: ARMS was bogged down by their colossal inventory, got lost in the snow, and was never seen again. But in another, more narratively tight dimension, ARMS made it to Sielje, and got to embarrass Lilka for a solid day or so. Now we’re off to chase Odessa and the stolen (reclaimed?) data tablets.



Our first stop today is the Gate Bridge. It’s a bridge. Pretty exciting stuff. Should be a quick walk over to where we’re going, nothing to…



Oh, screen is shaking for the ten billionth time.



That’s a really weird way to phrase… anything. That reminds me of…



Our old friends Liz and Ard! They’re back! And exploding stuff!



And whatever Ard said!



Teen Lizard Squad is go!



They raised the bridge! Oh no! How will we ever walk across the bridge now!?



There could just be a boat passing, we don’t know if this is really a “trick”.



Brad meanwhile has no time for this nonsense, so he just, ya know, flips a switch to lower the bridge back down.



Another problem solved!



Some days it is just tough being a lizard-man.



And the gate bridge having a low battery saves us from a half hour of Liz pressing a button and Brad pressing the anti-button.



Lilka, a bridge went up, and then it went down. This is not brain surgery.



So timed dungeon! We’ve got five minutes until Liz lifts the bridge again and generally inconveniences everybody. I don’t know if letting the clock run out leads to a game over or simply having to restart this area (as we can just press that “close” button again, presumably), because it is nearly impossible to run out of time for reasons that will become obvious shortly.



This area does not have random battles, but these floating orbs that will instigate battles.



These orbs are really easy to avoid. Navigating Golgotha Prison and its narrow pathways was a lot more difficult than dodging the typical gray orbs, and you have to wonder what the designers were thinking here. Maybe they assumed the player would have suffered significant physical trauma just before this point in the game? I don’t know.



The next room has a puzzle that you must speed solve. Can you remember to throw a dagger at a switch like in every other dungeon we’ve completed?



The red orbs move faster, so I bonked into one in an act of pity.



Huh. The timer disappeared for the battle. I guess they didn’t want to clutter up the UI with additional information and…



Oh. Time doesn’t advance during a battle. So even if you hit every last orb from start to finish, it wouldn’t impact the countdown. So, basically, assuming you know how to aim Ashley at a door and can solve two lame puzzles (look forward to #2!), you pretty much can’t lose in this area. Completely fake, lizard-based tension.



Here is our second “puzzle”. There’s a pressure plate that will reset the door switch, so you have to angle your dagger toss effectively. Grant DaNasty would be proud (but only in the Japanese version).



Lil’ more walking…



A completely empty room? Did… did someone forget to throw in the last puzzle?

And we’re done. Took about a minute and a half (according to the timer), and it’s hard to conceive of making the trip take any longer.



Nothing can stop you when you’re blastin’, Ashley.



Speaking of which.

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  #198  
Old 01-05-2018, 07:26 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 17-2



Ard has opinions on the current situation.



I think we could all learn a little something about life and love from this alien lizard creature.



Twitter ™.



I didn’t expect the Liz & Ard sections of this LP to be so difficult, but they are, because, seriously, how could anyone possibly add to that?



Liz has figured out ARMS diplomacy.



This would one day be an entire season of Boardwalk Empire.



The game couldn’t telegraph a boss fight any harder without one of its signature silhouette intros, so you’ve got a “room” to prepare and refill health or whatever before the inevitable lizard confrontation.



Wonky translation aside, I choose to believe that Liz & Ard annoy Ashley so much, some sort of switch flips in his brain, and he starts talking like Dr. Doom.



Maybe you guys should get more dedicated uniforms for that kind of propaganda.



I’m not skipping any dialogue here. This makes exactly as much sense as it appears.



“I'm the brains! Ard's the power! And, I'm cool! No matter how you look, we're first rate. You Filgaia guys are second rate. You won't get away with just a little burn.”

Jobs!



Ashley? Could you rephrase that so it doesn’t sound like you’re encouraging your own destruction?



Whatever. Liz and Ard boss fight. Nothing much has changed here since the last time, except now you have a multi-target healing spell, so Liz’s homemade bomb is much less of a factor.



Also, my whole “Level 99” thing seems to have an impact on this battle. That was the first attack! I didn’t know my own strength!



Let’s missile Ard into the grave and call it a day.



Good night, sweet princes.



Naturally, they’re resilient blokes.



The greatest tragedy in Wild Arms 2 is that Liz wants to be Ashley’s Vegeta, but he’s barely even Emperor Pilaf.



Aren’t we all?



I feel like noting a misplaced apostrophe is just sneezing into the wind at this point.



Hey! I’ve seen that purple ball before!



It’s Trask 2.0! You might remember OG Trask from our battle with Judecca.



This Trask is a little more metal than the previous version. It’s dumb, but I love the subtle storytelling here that Liz and Ard are responsible for all of Odessa’s mechanical monsters (and, as we already know, Caina with the key summons up the biological entities).



Anyway, if you consider that our two battles with Trask 1.0 were basically story events, this is our first real Trask battle.



But he’s not too much of a monster. Again, we’ve reached the point where Tim healing the party is really easy, and it’s very easy to outpace any turtle-based damage.

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  #199  
Old 01-05-2018, 07:33 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 17-3



What are you trying to do, Trask? Some sort of status attack? Who cares? You’re dead now.



Trask got nothing on us, Liz.



Second mention of Liz’s Canadian girlfriend robot, Bulkogidon.



Hey, that’s how I start any wedding speeches.



Liz, dude, too much info.



Dammit! This was all part of the plan! … Yeah, it seems Odessa is well aware of Liz’s limited usefulness.



Is this why you mentioned you were naked a second ago?



And Hanna Barbera run outta here.



How!? How is it like that!?



Anyway, here we are at the other end of the bridge. There’s a crystal for saving, and the control panel Liz was using (and some treasure) is behind a lousy chain link fence that is somehow immune to all of our tools. Guess we’ll be back later with bolt cutters.



So let’s blow this stupid bridge and… Where were we going again?



Good thing we can globally track hard drives we fished out of the bay!



… Yes, Brad. Northwest is northwest from here.



Nobody names a place Greenhell because it’s pastoral.



Greenhell? Bloodhound? Why does this all sound so familiar?



Huh. Looks like Greenhell is already on the map, too.



Brad, where do you know this place from?



Oh! It’s Brad’s intro forest. Neat!



“Yeah, their barns stink.”



Brad, please share with the class.



“Come on, Brad. We just had my embarrassing origin story. Your life can’t be any worse than ‘ran away from dueling some nerd’.”



So! Flashback scenes! No dialogue, but a couple of scenes that now should make a little more sense. We still haven’t introduced Bandana Joe, but Brad is recognizable, and that fellow in the middle sure looks like big evil Vinsfeld in Brad’s outfit.



And here are a couple of buddies going for a relaxing jog.



Sure looks like Vinny was an integral member of Brad’s resistance.

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  #200  
Old 01-05-2018, 07:41 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 17-4



Incidentally, there is some official art of Brad’s time in the liberation army. Hey! There’s Bandana Joe!



But Brad isn’t going to fill us in on any details. Dammit, Brad. Incidentally, if you go back and check out Brad’s intro again, you’ll note that we already saw all of these scenes, but with dialogue. The odds of a player remembering that at this point are low.



So, Greenhell.



This is Brad’s intro dungeon. It is exactly Brad’s intro dungeon. You can even pick up any treasures you may have missed the first time.



Monsters are still crawling about.



At least they have leveled up to meet the party.



Honestly, this dungeon is fairly disappointing. I love when a videogame repurposes an old area for a later point in the game, but, in this case, nothing has changed.



This would have been a fine excuse to show how things are different five years after a civil war (or whatever), or how releasing the hounds to catch Brad screwed up the local eco system, or something to make this area distinct. But, nope, it’s just the same mandatory dungeon that you already completed. Nothing is different, and even some of the stuff that only made sense because you were a party of one has not been changed to match the presence of a full ARMS. There isn’t even some dude in a shed complaining that someone stole his kick boots five years ago!



And no boss. I could have lived with Son of Gremalkin.



Back out on the world map. We found a town up north once, hopefully it’s still there.



Yep! Nothing ever changes.



… I just said that!



That dungeon seemed pretty damn similar, Brad.



Never share introspection with your friends.



Come to T’Bok Village! See the fabulous nothing!



And a doggo is excited to see Brad.



Do not disparage doggo, disembodied voice!



This girl seems familiar.



And we’re expected to remember a dog’s name? From five years ago? It was Rush, right?



Dammit!



BUT! Fun fact: you can answer anything, even the right answer, and Brad will be chastised for forgetting his beloved dog (of about a half hour). This seems unfair. ... Wait... Did I just get confused by a font?



And our lady here is obviously Merrill, the precocious child that saved Brad (and was also apparently 12).



Stop showing off your whirling ability!



Brad, my man, don’t even think about it.



You grow up fast when you inadvertently get a random dude arrested.

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  #201  
Old 01-05-2018, 07:51 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 17-5



Reminder: Brad has a freaking bomb strapped to his neck.



So, hey, turns out Merrill found another stray. All those dogs searching for Brad, and they completely missed some other dude.



Brad recognizes the latest human flotsam.



This game takes “dog tags” literally.



Billy Pilder is an interesting and controversial character in Wild Arms 2. … Wait. We don’t have any official art of the guy? Just that random shot of him in the war? Bah. We can do better, right? Hey, internet, give me a good pic of Billy.



Thank you autumn-sacura of deviantart (possibly NSFW) for that Billy art. Where were we? Oh yes, Billy (previously known as Bandana Joe) was in the resistance with Brad. We’ll get some more information on the dude in the next couple of updates, but there is strong evidence that Billy is Brad. Also, there is generally circumstantial evidence that Billy and Brad were fairly close. How close? Pretty. Anyway, we’ll discuss that in laborious detail when it becomes relevant toward the end of the game, but, for now, keep an eye on these two.



Close.



D’aww.



Okay, so here’s the unanswered question of Wild Arms 2: is Brad Brad? It will be distinctly noted by a NPC next update, but no photographic evidence survived that Slayheim civil war. Additionally, if you remember Brad’s introduction, Brad does not introduce himself, the pursuing soldiers just find his wallet and start calling him Brad. Billy here is out of his gourd, but he claims to be Brad. Billy is only Billy because he was found with Billy’s dog tags. Put this all together, and there are good odds that “Brad” grabbed “Billy’s” Brad-tags, and took on the identity of the Hero of Slayheim after something terrible (coming soon!) happened to Billy. Carrying on the name of a hero to inspire others and all that riot.

The kicker here, though, is that this mystery is heavily implied, but never “solved” within the story of Wild Arms 2. There is a very deliberate reason for that, and it’s that none of this matters. Brad is a hero. It doesn’t matter if he’s Brad or Billy. (And Billy is a hero, too, for that matter.) Whatever the situation, we’ve got a Brad, and he was either the hero, or a guy who thought he should continue the lineage of a hero, and became a hero.

And that’s kind of cool.



Anyway, Brad is happy to see Billy, even if Billy is confined to a wheelchair and appears to be reduced to jibbering insanity. At least he’s comfortable?



So, presumably inspired by Billy and Merrill, Brad decides to finally share his past with the rest of ARMS.



And it turns out Brad’s old commanding officer was Vinsfeld. This is absolutely not news for anyone that read those books laying around the prison library a bunch of updates back.



Unfortunately, the rest of the party is illiterate.



“You been to Slayheim lately?”
“No.”
“Well you’ll understand when we get there.”



“I heard people in my village say it was Vinsfeld's... charisma and the bravery of Brad Evans and his companions that enabled the Liberation to defeat the military despite their small numbers.”

Merrill chimes in with info that Vinsfeld was pretty well liked among anyone that was supporting the Slayheim Resistance. Basically means that Vinny has a lot of on the job training for his current position.



“He and I were always fighting side by side. But he disappeared during the Final Operation. When the fighting was over... we Liberation Army veterans were blamed for the entire war. We were treated like war criminals. That's right. It was all a clever trap set and sprung by Vinsfeld.”

I’m not certain what exactly Brad is saying here. Yes, Vinsfeld is a dick. Yes, he absolutely betrayed his comrades. But what is Brad implying with his intent here? Vinsfeld started a civil war as a dry run for Odessa, and then got his old men locked up because he wanted to make all new friends?



Thanks Merrill! And Alby!



So, point is, Brad is not going to be supporting Vinsfeld anytime soon.



“You’re normally so talkative!”



“But with you guys maybe tagging along to help with the monsters.”



God. It took forever to get to that pun.



“Let's focus on the present. The thieves who stole the data tablets were traced to this village. Just ahead is the ocean. They must have crossed the sea to the continent. Makes sense?”

Oh yeah, right, there was a reason we were here.



Sounds like Odessa might be working on a drama bomb.



Okay, time to meander over to another town. Maybe then we’ll get Alby’s thrilling backstory.

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  #202  
Old 01-05-2018, 07:57 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 17-6



Hey, dammanmi, we’re about to kill a day for no reason, and absolutely nothing bad or introspective will happen! ARMS just needs a nap!



Billy ain’t doin’ great, but he does get unique (crazy) dialogue if he speaks to Brad.



Legitimately, you have to compliment the townsfolk that took in a guy in this shape, and have dutifully cared for him for five years. Excellent social safety net, T’Bok.



“Hey, no prob. Prison was aces.”



Odessa is just a bunch of jerks.



Here is Billy’s non-Brad dialogue. It shall be relevant shortly.



Gotta see the dog on the way out. What’s that, boy? Billy fell down a well? We already knew that.



He would collect nice things if this town wasn’t such crap.



Whatcha got there, Alby?



Score!



That’s one good dog!



Dammit! Those things fell out of a plane, sunk in the bay, were manhandled by lizards, and retrieved by a dog, and somewhere in there they were destroyed? ARMS claims this was deliberate and malicious, but, come on.

Regardless…

ARMS Mission #13:
Retrieve important information from recovered data tablets
Status: Failure
Notes: In the future, please keep an eye on your data tablets at all times.



Are we going to march across the ocean, Brad?



Also, don’t forget we got that Teleport Orb (currently covered in dog saliva). The orb works the same as any random teleport crystal, but is a permanent item, not a consumable. It basically just saves us 100 bucks a teleport, and is the game’s way of apologizing for railroading us into a geographic dead end here in T’Bok.



So let’s get to teleporting! Lilka, you have any experience with these things?



… Why is the screen changing color? That’s… not normal.



Dammit, Lilka!



Remember how we chatted with that one guy in the magical library who said his partner had teleported somewhere far away to study magic? Well, after gaining that information, if you let Lilka, Mistress of Teleportation, use the teleport orb, she’ll “find” a secret area.



Hey, don’t discount us being really tiny, living in the floorboards, and then magically being enbiggened to meet you.



Can we have some?



“Know”? Screw that, I want some Firaga up in this place.



Ugh, fine, we’ll do your stupid errand. But only because we’re trying to get the dog spit off our new teleport orb.



I’m sure this is a reference to something…



Oh boy! New magic! New magic!



I really want to know how this guy got a whole house and a bunch of books to this remote island. Magic? Nah, that can’t be it.

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  #203  
Old 01-05-2018, 08:04 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 17-7



Also, behind John’s house is a treasure chest containing a Weather Vane. This item prevents monster surprise attacks, and should be equipped on Tim immediately. I hate those ambushed, one person battles.



Teleporting over to Sielje…



Dammit, where is that one nerd I need?



Here we go. Have your crest or whatever, I’ve got some primo ice spells to learn.



You can teleport, too? Why did I even bother?



And back to the magic island. Yes! Gimme my magic now!



Okay! Now we can create Level 2 crest magic. This vastly increases Lilka’s damage potential. It’s also really great for learning the “remedy” and “life 2” WA2 spells, which are also very useful.



You can “break down” your old spells and reuse their crests for Level 2 magic, if you’d like. In general, Level 2 magic is always stronger than its Level 1 counterpart, but requires more than double FP to activate. Recall that FP is earned on a battle-by-battle basis, so , basically, it might be useful to keep the old spells around for more basic mobs. Unlike many MP-based JRPGS, in this case it’s not a matter of conserving resources, but building up your FP in each battle. The average random battle isn’t going to last longer than a round or two, and if you don’t gain enough FP to use your super wind spell in that time, what’s the use in having it at all?

Yes, Wild Arms 2 actually found a way to keep Fire 1 relevant when Fire 2 is available. Not bad.



Okay, there’s a little more to that sidequest, but I will forget about it until the end of the game. We can teleport directly to our hovercraft, so let’s hit the beach and get back on track.



“We do have some information about Quartly here. To reach Quartly, go up the Lilikis River, which flows into the southwest part of the Inland Sea. You should be able to reach the desert from the coast. Quartly is a town on a bridge spanning a huge rift valley known as Big Valley. That's all the information I have. Over and out.”

Irving has some deets on how to reach Quartly. I’m not good at identifying rivers, though. This looks kind of desert-y. This it?



Oh, no, but I’ll take a Thunder Lion Cage.



This is an optional area that is technically available as soon as you earn the hovercraft. Speaking of optional, I have highlighted a block in the screenshot above that is very important, hard to see, is frequently forgotten, and shall be revisited in a good long while.



And if we sling Pooka around, we can find the AlbumCoupon. Take this back to Odd HQ, and we’ll gain the ability to look at our monster album anywhere we can open the menu. Unfortunately, we can’t look at the album during a battle, but it could be useful to review monster data randomly in a dungeon.



Anyway, this update is long enough, so I won’t feature Thunder Lion Cage too heavily. It’s a pretty basic three branch dungeon where two branches lead to switches that unlock the third (and middle) route.



And, yes, there are thunder-based monsters around.



Hey! Our first duplicator chest! Assuming you have a duplicator (consumable item), you can open this chest. You will note that duplicator chests are a slightly different shade of red from the standard issue chests. For the record, this chest contains a Spell Cap, which is useless and not worth it.



Flip the switches, take the middle path, and you’ll find this big ol’ rock.



This is our first optional guardian. Well, first optional guardian that gets its own dungeon. Guardians are usually hidden in out of the way areas, like this giant cage. They’re also fond of introducing themselves before becoming inanimate rocks.



Thanks for the rock! Noua (Nova?) Shax imparts the Aiming ability, which grants any basic attack a much greater accuracy rate. I don’t think it’s a guaranteed 100%, but it’s right up there. It Tim wants to learn some spells from Shax, he’ll naturally earn a pair of lightning-based abilities, Lightnin’ and Plasma Tap. Lightnin’ is single target, Plasma Tap hits everybody.



Is Shax a hair god?



It’s hard to see in Wild Arms 2, but Noua’s other WA appearances are a little easier to decipher. He’s basically a lion with a lightning rod helmet/horn. He isn’t a buffalo. I… I always thought he was a buffalo.



Back to the hovercraft. Looks like we’re on the right track!



This looks like a fine desert.



Chasm? Check.



And here’s Quartly! We started this update with a bridge, and now we’re ending with a bridge town. Fearful symmetry!

Next time on Wild Arms 2: Exorcists are so gauche. Anybody ever try using a cyborg exorcist?
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  #204  
Old 01-05-2018, 09:08 PM
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There's a number of famous John Days, but I'd guess it's probably the printer given the whole research angle?
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  #205  
Old 01-06-2018, 08:19 AM
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I didn’t expect the Liz & Ard sections of this LP to be so difficult, but they are, because, seriously, how could anyone possibly add to that?
Man, I want to save that image to throw in the face of every loudmouth douchebag on Twitter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoggleBob View Post


This would one day be an entire season of Boardwalk Empire.
And that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoggleBob View Post


Good thing we can globally track hard drives we fished out of the bay!



… Yes, Brad. Northwest is northwest from here.
As hilarious as this is (and it's pretty dang hilarious) I think I see what they were trying to convey here. I'd expect in the original script Brad said something like "...that place is Northwest of here...", with the emphasis on the location and not the direction, but 'that place' was localized as 'That's' and it just sounds like Brad isn't paying the slightest bit of attention.

If that's not what was meant then yeah, this is stupid and hilarious.

(and you should have named Billy 'Bucky', Goggle, come on)
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  #206  
Old 01-09-2018, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
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Hey, dammanmi, we’re about to kill a day for no reason, and absolutely nothing bad or introspective will happen! ARMS just needs a nap!
I don't believe you.

[EDIT]
Upon further reading, I conclude that Brad totally had a soul searching moment during naptime, he just kept it all bottled up inside, trying to be a tough guy cowboy hero.
[/EDIT]

Last edited by dammanmi; 01-09-2018 at 02:59 PM.
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  #207  
Old 01-11-2018, 05:41 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 18-1

I am being outpaced by a Turtle! A Turtle! Final Fantasy 4 is going to be over seven times before I finish this LP! The indignity of it all! Gotta do something about that...

Previously on Wild Arms 2: ARMS lost the data tablets, but they did have a slight lead with “Odessa went that-a-way”. So let’s get ‘em!



Welcome to Quartly. Quartly is a town that grew up on a giant bridge, and is more a rest stop than an official town. There’s a place in the back where you can buy little Quimmy the Quartly Quounter bobble heads in the back.



We’ve got a dinky little item shop, and I’m just noting that they’ll be selling Teleport Gems for the rest of the game, despite the fact that we have a Teleport Orb that is infinite and didn’t cost a dime.



And a new weapons shop! This will be the last one for a couple of updates, so please take the time to upgrade. I like that Tim gets new armor that is designated as “cute”, while Ashley gets the full metal jacket.



Again, the only reason ARMS was surprised by Brad’s revelation last update was because nobody in this team pays any attention.



And here’s our confirmation that Brad isn’t very photogenic. Or “Brad”.



Lady, what the hell? Has Irving been passing our press releases around the world?



Hello there, unique sprite. Are we talking a sidequest, or…?



Wild Arms 1 & 2 both have this thing going where there is a known “merc class”, and there’s this entire worldwide profession of people who go off adventuring… and you barely ever see another merc. And when you finally encounter one, you know there’s going to be trouble…



“Brad, is this something…”
“Don’t wanna talk about it.”



“So are we getting paid for this or…. Nothing? Does this have anything to do with Odessa? No? You just know we’re JRPG protagonists, don’t you?”



She kinda just sent us off to kill monsters, so I wouldn’t even say we’re working together…



That is a terrible name! This better not be canon!



I suppose we should drop any pretenses that this might be a random merc and talk about Kanon aka Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca Banana Fanna Bo Besca the Third. Kanon is probably the darkest character in the Wild Arms franchise, as some hack writer decided to ball up all the worst tropes in the “strong female characters” manual, wad them together, and form it into a Kanon that miraculously stays together. We’ll eventually get into the whole “why of Kanon”, but, special preview, it involves a fall from grace, prostitution, rape, mutilation, and there was probably a kitten that got stomped to death somewhere in there, too. Kanon has had a rough life.

But, hey, she got robot parts out of the deal, so it can’t be all bad.

Once you get past her horrid, overly dramatic origins, though, Kanon is pretty great, and, full disclosure, she was the definitive winner of the Teenage Goggle Bob Best Character Award. Look, I wasn’t goth as a kid, but I absolutely thought I was, and that means my favorite JRPG heroes were Magus, Vincent Valentine, and, of course, a badass cyborg mercenary who is clearly too cool to hang out with a bunch of dorks in cowboy hats. As an adult, this is fairly embarrassing, but, come on, a badass lady with a robot eye and extend-o-hand? Coolest thing on the planet.

Anyway, for now, Kanon is a mystery. Later, she’ll be an adversary. Later than that, she’ll be an ally, because of course she will. Through it all, she’ll be generally standoffish, and, hey, who doesn’t enjoy a JRPG heroine that speaks exclusively in ellipses?

Fun fact: Kanon cameos in later Wild Arms adventures, but in both cases, she loses the cybernetic enhancements. This is a net loss for the universe.



Anyway, for now, Kanon isn’t going to be forthcoming with her own backstory. Brad! You two should date! What’s that? You’re taken?



Kanon scares the bejebus out of normal folk.



The “other me”? The one that tells you to kill everybody? Gee, I wonder what the other me is thinking. Could it maybe be that Kanon is a threat, and you should kill her? Didn’t it think the same thing about a slice of toast yesterday?



Brad is looking forward to it!



So ARMS decides to take a nap, and that means it’s time for plot advancement (we’re back to that again). Brad has wandered off, so Ashley goes on a quick Brad-hunt.



Brad is talking to someone! At night! In an alley! Could Brad be tired of hanging out with a bunch of people a decade younger than him and need some real adult interaction a traitor!?



It’s after curfew!



Brad offers exactly zero explanation.



Ashley, what the hell, man? You saw Brad talking to a dude. You don’t have to assume the worst in everybody just because Odessa is consistently “guessing” your every move.



Are there any crystal foxes?



So that’s a no on the foxes?



Huh. What a helpful NPC. What happens if I switch my leader so this friendly fellow can chat with other members of ARMS?

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #208  
Old 01-11-2018, 05:47 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 18-2



Huh.



Okay, off to the salt flats. We already had an ice area, this spot is totally salt.



Is this what passes for a ghost nowadays? You’re never going to trick Velma with that kind of getup, Old Man Buck Masters.



There are some suspicious salt pillars, but there isn’t a Lot going on here. Ha ha! Bible humor!



The beach looks nice. Note that this landing spot is on the outer rim of Filgaia, so it will be a while until we can pull up the ol’ hovercraft here.



Past the salt pillars we’ve got…



Slayheim Castle. Time to slay some (more) ghosts.



Oh yeah, the (probable) leader of the Slayheim Liberation Army is in Slayheim Castle. Bet there are some great memories here!



Well, there are certainly hallways.



Another “typical” dungeon layout. There’s an entrance hub with a locked door in the middle, and open doors on the left and right that will inevitably lead to unlocking that center door.



Guess Slayheim really enjoyed their random polygon statues.



Despite the eterno-torches, Slayheim looks very abandoned, and it looks like that abandonment happened in a hurry.



Also, the castle was designed by the Umbrella Corporation.



At least we unlocked one door.



And a memory!



Hey! It’s Brad and Billy! Or maybe Billy and Brad. Note that these flashbacks very deliberately do not name the speakers at any time.



Anyway, basic gist of this one is that the liberation army managed to corner the Slayheim royal family after some dedicated castle sieging. Unfortunately, that kind of thing takes a bit of a toll.



Back to the present.



Huh. I was expecting something more interesting, but I guess a memory is its own reward? No important switch or boss or anything.



That was one wing, on the way over to the other, we’ll take note of the monster pyramid hiding in the hub area. That will be important… one day.



Oh yeah, this place has got wall-to-wall ghosts floating around. I keep calling these dudes “Nacho Geists”, and they keep getting mad at me.



Vivi! No!



Over in the… probably East?... Wing, we’ve got a pit and a pendulum.



Who builds such nonsense in their castle!?



Oh well, I’ve got a solution, but nobody is going to like it.

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  #209  
Old 01-11-2018, 05:55 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 18-3



If Brad equips accessory boots, how does he wear his kick boots for puzzle solving? So many questions…



Ugh, another locked door.



Oh, but there’s a switch right here. That’s some lousy security.



Didn’t have to adjust a picture frame or anything.



Save crystal in the middle of nowhere. I’m not going to complain.



Big doors… big boss?



Nope! More flashbacks!

I’m going to guess this flashback occurs before the other.



Bandana Billy is not taking this lying down!



Yeah! Billy! Shoot back without any cover! That’ll end well!



Aw, somebody moved your crates in the intervening five years.



Experience both flashbacks, and the center door opens on its own. That’s… ominous.



But at least Ashley gets a hat out of the deal.



Let’s go back and check out the other save rock room.



Yay! Royal library!



Slayheim historians were a cynical bunch.



Hmmmm.



I see a book up there! Also, there are books on the Slayheim Liberation Army in the Slayheim Royal Library that has been abandoned since the Slayheim Liberation Revolution.



Here’s the backstory on the randomly mentioned Treaty of Iscariot: It was proposed by a guy named Sir Iscariot. This is the kind of insight you’ll only get with Goggle Bob LPs.



Kick a bookshelf, get a book.



I’m sorry. Get a porno.



Somebody played Final Fantasy 4!



Always remember to return your magazines to…



Open a secret passage! I bet there’s an internet’s worth of porn in there!



It’s another book! This one is an accessory that ups your magic power, so you may as well hoist it off on one of the team nerds, like Lilka or Tim.



“Angel Halo”? Well, that sounds downright divine.

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  #210  
Old 01-11-2018, 06:03 PM
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GoggleBob GoggleBob is online now
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Default Wild Arms 2 18-4



Oh. Oh snap.



Okay, back to the center lane.



Another switch, but this one is too high to touch. Can’t bank a dagger from the steps either.



Maybe we should try a little remodeling.



And behind the opened door is another flashback. Looks like our boys won! Kinda!



Apparently King Slayheim was captured, but he set off his doomsday weapon. That is no good.



Brad not pleased!



And King Slayheim isn’t going to deactivate the device, because he’s holier than all of us.



Billy knows what to do!



Brad objects, but Billy is resolute. Also, he’s totally talking about Brad having Billy’s heart. … Or his wallet.



You will note Vinsfeld was not in any of these flashbacks. That is presumably because he abandoned the cause before the finish line, making him out to be even more of a jerk than Brad described last update. He gathered up the army, pointed them at the castle, and then went out for churros.



(“Maybe Brad…”)



So we’ve seen all of our flashbacks and read all the books, here’s the timeline of Slayheim:

• Slayheim discovers a number of weapons (technically dragon fossils) in its desert territories.
• Slayheim doesn’t attack other countries (Treaty of That Dude), but does use these weapons to subjugate its own people. Dig for more weapons or die, peasants!
• The peasants are not very happy about this.
• Vinsfeld unifies the unhappy people, and, with Billy and Brad, manages to mount a successful revolution.
• Just before finally deposing the monarchy, Vinsfeld remembers he has to unload his dryer, and has to run.
• Billy, Brad, and the rest of the resistance storm Slayheim Castle.
• The resistance is successful, but King Slayheim is a dick, so he activates a magical atomic bomb.
• Billy volunteers to deactivate the bomb, and is at least successful enough that Slayheim Castle is still standing, and Brad is still alive.
• However, most of Slayheim is reduced to salt, and Billy is blasted across the ocean, which does absolutely nothing for his trick knee.
• The rest of Filgaia is horrified that Slayheim was mostly obliterated, so any remaining members of the Slayheim Liberation Army are rounded up and imprisoned. Vinsfeld may have squealed to help this operation along.
• Brad escapes across the sea, but is eventually caught in the town of T’Bok.

Ultimately, Slayheim tells a pretty realistic tale (give or take Billy being catapulted across half the planet). The peasants rose up against the horrible monarchy, but, rather than earning freedom or some manner of happy ending, everything got destroyed, and the heroes wound up painted as villains. And who can blame their accusers? Slayheim is a literal ghost town now, so good job saving your people, Brad, they’re all dead. War is hell, and revolutions are all fun and games until somebody sets us up the bomb. There’s your moral for the day: never try.



Going to fill us in on that one? No?



Is it this cool hat?



… Wait. Weren’t we supposed to exorcise some ghosts? That isn’t going to lead to an undead boss fight? What was the point of this place, then?



Nope! We have bodies!



Oh, I get it! It was a trap! … Wait, that’s not good.



“Doesn’t Odessa have enough flunkies? They even already have a cyclops!”



So you want to kill us for the hell of it? Great.



“Lilka isn’t that bad…”
“I’m not talking about her!”



Now we’re gonna get that boss fight.



We’re not any of those things! Pay attention!



You’re bad at this!



So we don’t get a cool boss intro, but Kanon is here to cut us up and take some names.

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