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Old 08-13-2016, 01:03 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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Default My writing can beat up Camelot's honor student. Let's play Golden Sun: the Lost Age!



We're back, kids!



Let's Play Golden Sun: the Lost Age!



As you probably know from my prior LP, I've taken a weirder approach to the Golden Sun games than I do for most. The games are charming and part of my Gamer's History, but at the same time, their writing is... not the best. So just like my old LP, I'm going to be rewriting the story here a lot. In fact, I'm going to be doing that far more drastically in the Lost Age than the previous game.

In the first game I mostly just shot from the hip and went with what sounded right. This got a few happy accidents, like Ivan misinterpreting his prophecy because I changed it around, but it also led to a few problems, like not having any idea what to do with Iodem, Faran, or Hama. Here, I've gone through and brainstormed a lot of the possibilities for what's down the road, so I'll have a much cleaner framework for what I'm writing, and hopefully what to surprise True Doom Alchemyheads with.

That doesn't really help us with the big problem, where the Lost Age's story is far more backloaded than the first game. Get ready for a bit of a slog to start us off, because outside of recapping the story of the first game... we're not going to be doing anything. Like, at all. We will wander to remote locations where nothing of consequence will happen, and then we will do this six more times. For this reason, I'm still doing the five-update backlog before I post anything here, just to prove to myself I have the gumption to do this all over again.



The Lost Age starts us off as Felix instead of Isaac. At the conclusion of the first game, Felix stood in direct opposition to Isaac in wanting to light the lighthouses, despite Saturos and Menardi taking a short walk down a long lighthouse. In my rewritten version, of course, Felix is already more or less on decent terms with Isaac. This will impact the story of this game precisely not at all.



As mentioned in aturtledoesbite's LP, you can transfer your clear data from the first game to the second when starting a new file (or at any time during a normal game if you haven't done so yet and haven't cleared Jupiter Lighthouse).



Unless you're using a GBA Link Cable to do this, you have three levels of password you can go with. Gold requires 260 characters, while Bronze asks only for 16. The advantage to Silver is that you get character stats (as increased with Mints and Apples and other such healthy items), while Gold also imports your inventory and dosh.



I cautioned aturtledoesbite in his LP to just go with Bronze, because any items you could import get outclassed somewhere in the vicinity of immediately after your parties rejoin (spoilers, by the way. Spoilers as mentioned in the Lost Age's manual). I, however, am going with Gold, mostly because I really like the Cleric's Ring and I want to see it actually used. For reference, here is my password, with the Bronze password for my old savefile for comparison.

akVcP vbpBv
nVVD2 W!YVz
P8aJN hb%Dn
z+b7e tr#nU
pkcWC #4uzt
m33UZ hTY6F
h%M4m GJw3W
2pT8g 3bThB
Ycy+U ktyyk
F5&tA Kxd=B
EQn!N Cs&e2
Zy938 #FD!U
MNDh? PU2G6
Vh7L9 #XS2N
KiV$d bLhd7
5XN?= BpBzR
guG$k yLAqZ
&RFv= VKzDn
2Q$J6 UANaK
ZFTf5 KXj9J
Q4qeV 8uhy9
dzp5h &t9mW
AyesE ?ewJn
=p?PD t%THs
yCYN# Ety+c
M9XDR d7HU=

or if im not a dumbass
mNmwG TjR#E
L+W8t m




This is the only way to get the Cleric's Ring into the Lost Age. The Cleric's Ring is also the only item, in my opinion, necessitating the 260 character password, and even then that's only if you want to used cursed items. You could totally get by with just a Bronze password, no problem.



Since I've beaten the Lost Age once before, I have the options to start in Easy Mode (why)...



Or Hard Mode.

I've never done Hard Mode before, and I recall complaining about the difficulty in Golden Sun before this point quite a bit. So y'know what? Sure! Bring on Hard Mode.



Before you start the Lost Age, you get treated to a blisteringly slow text crawl outlining the backstory of the series, including a synopsis of the first game.



Here's the only actually relevant thing of the lot. The entire reason Alchemy was sealed in the first place was because people fought over all of this power and stuff. Bear that in mind as we move on, because that's gonna be central.



Anyway, let's do a quick bulletin point summary of the first game for the newbies. This is all taking my editing into account, of course.
  • Isaac, Garet, Felix, and Jenna live in Vale. A storm hits Mt. Aleph, causing an avalanche that kills Jenna's family, seemingly including her brother Felix, and Isaac's dad Kyle.
  • This storm was indirectly caused by Saturos and Menardi, a pair of warriors from Prox, who capture Felix and attempt to raid Mt. Aleph three years later. This is when the first game's events happen.
  • The pair steal the Elemental Stars, aided by Felix and a mysterious mystery man of mystery named Alex. With these stars, they can, among other things, unleash the full power of Alchemy. They can also possibly form the Stone of Sages, which does exactly what you think it does. They kidnap Jenna and the scholar Kraden in the process, but they miss the Mars Star.
  • Isaac and Garet recover the Mars Star and get a mission from The Wise One to stop Saturos and Menardi from lighting the elemental lighthouses.
  • They absolutely fail to do this for Mercury Lighthouse. However, they do add Ivan and Mia, the latter being a former student of Alex's, to their ranks.
  • Isaac's group, in their pursuit of Saturos and Menardi, get roped into aiding Lord Babi's attempt to gain immortality, in exchange for granting Sheba, a political prisoner and "child of the gods" her freedom.
  • They get to Venus Lighthouse, and while they fail to stop Saturos and Menardi from lighting it, they do very finally defeat them. Felix and Sheba attempt to reconcile with them there, but tectonic activity ruins everything.
  • Isaac and co. attempt to head to Lemuria and locate Jenna and Kraden, who are now adrift on the Idejima Peninsula, dislodged from the mainland in the quake.
  • Felix and Sheba fell into the ocean and ended up on this peninsula, somehow.



Let's get a bit of prologue to ease ourselves into the new perspective.



We meet up with Felix, Jenna, and Kraden en route to Idejima. Felix is going to double back to the top of the lighthouse for the scene we've already seen. Quovak suggests paying attention to Felix's story in this, but I don't personally see the point, since the lighthouse top scene from the first game already does that.



So instead, the focus is on Jenna and Kraden. Note that they're left completely unattended here: their role as hostages is basically forgotten from the first game, since Saturos and Menardi don't actually appear in the Lost Age ever. Needless to say, I'm keeping that element while it's actually useful.

Quote:
<Kraden> I don't see the problem. If we're quick, we could possibly make it to Lalivero and get help.
<Jenna> No, that's not what I mean. I mean... do we just let Felix go back up?
<Kraden> Are you worried about him?
<Jenna> Of course I am! Even if he's sticking with those two... I don't think they'll let him release Sheba.
<Kraden> I only wish he'd have been so vocal when WE were captured.
<Jenna> You and me both. But still... I just feel like something really bad's about to happen.


Right on cue, Alex warps in with his fancy new animation.



Alex, you'll recall, is basically the accomplice of Saturos and Menardi.

Quote:
<Alex> You should've taken Kraden's advice. Ran while you could. I'm kind of impressed that you didn't.
<Kraden> You were eavesdropping on us. Would you have caught us if we ran?
<Alex> Naturally. I expected Felix to be with you, though. Why isn't he?
<Kraden> He wanted to fetch Sheba from atop the lighthouse.
<Alex> A fine idea. I know that Mercury Lighthouse was relatively painless, but I've no idea what'll happen with Venus Lighthouse. The Laliverans have kept their records in even worse condition than Vale did.
<Jenna> Hey, back off!
<Alex> Ah, my apologies.


There's a bit here where Jenna lashes at Alex for implying that she's insensitive, but I took it out for the same reason I excised most instances of Garet being ignorant and abrasive in the first game.

Quote:
<Alex> Well, I can understand that. I'd like to witness Venus being lit firsthand... but business before pleasure, I suppose. We'll have a good view of it from Idejima, anyway. And better to stay away from Isaac's group.
<Kraden> So they've come again?
<Jenna> Well now I want to go up there and talk to them, too!
<Alex> Better not. My hotheaded companions won't offer you much chance to talk, after all.
<Kraden> That's disappointing. Isaac was one of my best students, and as much as I've loathed the Proxians' harsh "work ethic"... I'd very much like to share what I've learned with him. He could probably pass it on to Garet and his two new companions, too.


Quote:
<Alex> Again, I think both of you place too much faith in him. You saw how vehemently he spoke against our goals at Mercury Lighthouse. Like it or not, he's our enemy. If our goal is to succeed at all, and it's a goal you now support, Kraden...
<Kraden> Well, not so much the kidnapping and treachery, but lighting the lighthouses? Certainly.
<Alex> Then we can't risk any chance of Isaac's group stopping us.
<Jenna> Actually, now you mention it... why do you want to light the lighthouses, Alex?
<Alex> Isn't it obvious?
<Jenna> Well, now with Kraden's research done, I can see why you'd light them, but you joined before that. And Saturos and Menardi had their reasons from the start, even if I think they're full of it. Don't tell me you agree with them completely?
<Alex> Not really. But when they approached me at Mercury Lighthouse, what they said, and how it conflicted with the texts of the Mercury Clan... and yet corroborated others... well, my interest was piqued. If they were right, lighting the lighthouses would bring back a world where Alchemy reigned supreme, and the wonders of our Psynergy would be as carnival tricks compared to what we could do.


Remember: in the previous game, Alex wasn't really trusted by his allies at all. This trailing off here is supposed to be the hint going into the Lost Age that you shouldn't trust him either... but all of the conversation, even my edited conversation here, mostly just shows him as a guy with a bit of a low opinion of others, masked by a silver tongue. More importantly, he doesn't act like someone who's captured you at all. It's a bit awkward, honestly. But I'll see what I can do about this going forward.



Anyway, Alex cuts himself off, and we can move on.



For this first area, we can play as Jenna in the lead. While Kraden and Alex have joined our party, Kraden is unable to fight and Alex is mostly unwilling. Not that it matters, as Venus Lighthouses is totally empty of encounters right now.



In the Lost Age, they try to mix up the archetypes established in the first game, where the Sol adepts are physical fighters and the Luna adepts are casters. Jenna's Flame User class still gets the same class sets Garet would via Djinn abuse, but her Flame User class set is heavily dependent on its Psynergy. Her equipment classes are also identical to Ivan's, which puts her (and one other character) at a weird midpoint between physical and Psynergy-based, but overall the earlier game's meta (SOL ADEPTS SKRONG OP FLEXXXIN) stands. Fume is a new Psynergy in the Lost Age, which I'll show off later.



First things first, let's speed up the text and change the color. Crimson background best background.

Last edited by Kalir; 07-29-2017 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 08-13-2016, 01:05 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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This chest held the Lucky Cap in the prior game, which was excellent endgame material.



I don't know if you can weird reverse sequence break by leaving it in.



Welcome to the outside of Venus Lighthouse!



PLEASE SUBMIT TO THE COPS.



Hey, they could just be behind. And by behind, I mean RIGHT BEHIND YOU LOOK OUT ITS A GHOST BOO.



One of the soldiers goes to get reinforcements...



And one of the workers... goes to the caves in the Suhalla Range? Why?

Like, really, why are your workers THERE of all places? Wouldn't it make more sense to guard the ruins under Babi Lighthouse, since that's where you KNOW Sheba went? And if you're both going to get reinforcements, why wouldn't the Tolbish soldiers go to Suhalla Gate for the detachment there, while the workers head for Lalivero?



Quote:
<Jenna> You're not going to fight all these people, are you, Alex?
<Alex> Of course I am. We can't afford to fail here, of all places.
<Kraden> Surely we could just explain the situation to them? I'm from Tolbi, after all.
<Alex> We can't take the chance that they won't lock you up for questioning. And Jenna has no alibi. For all these people know, she was the mastermind behind Sheba's capture.
<Jenna> But I'm just as much of a prisoner as she is!
<Alex> Really? I doubt these soldiers will see eye-to-eye with you on that. And they're far more numerous and angry than Isaac's group.
<Jenna> So... what do we do?
<Kraden> By the way Alex is making it sound, we'll have to make a run for it.
<Alex> I'm afraid so.


I can't even get into my first fight without falling into a PLOTHOLE STEW. First up: Kraden and Jenna treat this ambush as though its meant for them from the start and resolve to fight their way through almost instantly. They are, you'll recall, hostages taken at Alex's recommendation.



Alex is perfectly happy to let them go off on their own for a not-insignificant amount of time. Granted, this is in character for him, but he's also literally the only person here who could reinforce that if you get captured, he and his companions will slash and burn their way back to seize you, just so they can hang that axe over Isaac's head.



So we're going to fight our way past all of these workers. Remember: these guys saw their holy child, Sheba, captured from them to force them to build a lighthouse for Babi, and then captured again by terrorists who blasted their way through their village like it wasn't even there. This is not only needlessly villainous, it's also the same kind of needless villainy Alex (and Felix, while we're at it) explicitly avoided during the last game.



I guess you could argue that Stockholm Syndrome is in full swing again, but there's an awfully huge gulf between "we have been captured as a bargaining chip to force Isaac into capitulating" and "we're going to punch through a bunch of effective slaves to escape our own rescue".

Screenshot mostly unrelated, where said slaves call us "just plain rude", and rightly so.



At least this scene gives Alex a bit of nice characterization.



It's a bit diluted by the group deciding to fight their way through, but I kind of like that he makes a very, VERY token attempt to negotiate.



He honestly gives off the air of a noble who stumbled into a military drill session and is trying to ask the sergeant for directions to the drawing room.



And then he launches Tolbish soldiers into the forest beyond with weaponized geysers.



Needless to say, that gets EVERYONE'S attention.



The soldiers try to pass the buck off to the workers...



Who immediately do the sensible thing.



COMEDY!



Like, in all honesty, Saturos and Menardi barely got characterization in the first game. Dodonpa could've been a better overall villain than either of them through sheer ham alone.



And then you have Alex here. He doesn't try to start fights, he barely even does his job, and most of the time he's just talking about how he wants to see Alchemy restored, which on the surface sounds like a good thing.



But when it really comes down to it, this guy is probably the most dangerous in the lot. If Golden Sun was a much better written game, this guy could be on par with Kefka for memorable villainy.



And when pressed, there is no doubt whatsoever that he values only himself. He won't go out of his way to cause harm to others, but if you stand between him and what he's going for, you won't be standing for very long.



But again, Golden Sun only has so much room for good writing. Remember, not moments ago, Kraden was advocating we fight our way past Laliveran workers.
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Old 08-13-2016, 01:06 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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This guy drew the short straw, so he's the one blockading us from the Suhalla range.



But once he sees we're alone, some of his confidence comes back.



Go Jenna go! Beat up that worker who only wants to rescue Sheba and would probably actively help you!

I haven't really touched on it, but Golden Sun as a series has really solid music. In the first game, the music for fighting Saturos, climbing Venus Lighthouse, sailing across the Karagol... all some of my favorite tunes. (Saturos' fight song is really upbeat and high energy, which doesn't fit with him stalling you after you failed to stop him, but details.)

The Lost Age has a bunch of different songs for normal fights, and Jenna's solo fights have their own music. Compared to the fight themes for Isaac and Felix that form normal random encounter music, it's a kind of quieter, more thoughtful fight theme. I really like it.



Anyway, Hard Mode or not, you can win each of these fights by casting Fume once. It's not a physical Psynergy, the Flame User line doesn't get one.



It kind of doesn't need one. We can oneshot every enemy here with it.



Okay bye.



You guys aren't making a very good case for yourselves either. Just saying.



Anyway, this area is the same as it was in the first game, but without the random encounters that would instantly murder solo Jenna. If we try to head to the desert, Kraden stops us, because he's not very good at this hostage thing.



You might remember this ledge as the place where the last Mercury Djinni was in the first game. If we didn't get it then, it'd be there now (and we couldn't get it, because Kraden).



Oh no an ambush whatever will I do.

Note that these guys promise to take us back to Iodem. Not Faran. They say Iodem. You are REALLY BAD AT THIS, Camelot.



With three Ruffians, you're still better off picking them off one-by-one with Fume.



Casting Flare takes more than three turns anyway to drop them, and if the RNG doesn't like you it might not even do that.



This might just be Hard Mode though. On normal, I think you could just Flare twice and call it good.



This was clearly the factor in your defeat.



Into the Idejima cave! We didn't go here in the first game, but if we did, we'd have found this here and gotten a PP restore in Suhalla, rather than needing to book it past Venus Lighthouse and to Lalivero for the inn. My bad.



DANGER: PUNCH ANT



This guy is even weaker than the Ruffians.



I changed up my strategy of "cast Fume once" precisely 0%.



Kraden decides to say something about this.

I'll get into Kraden's role more later, but in the Lost Age, he will always be a part of your party, but unable to fight. Instead, he's meant to serve as an advisory member, but because Camelot's writers, he'll instead just pad out the text length of the game. It's kind of a neat idea in theory, but not really executed very well.



Oh no we were unable to self heal. We are doomed.



And we're at Idejima now. Remember how this was Menardi's ship and how I ignored the scene with Iodem investigating it in the first game? Well, now I gotta try to deal with it.



Like, okay. The idea here is that Saturos and Menardi sailed the ship from their homeland of Prox, far to the north, to here. Bear in mind, they've been traipsing all over Angara on foot, which is probably slightly less useful than going by boat.



This gets slightly more reasonable once you remember that they had to backtrack the long way through Xian just like us, solely because the bridge to Kalay was taken out almost right after they stole the Stars.



Quick break just to point out: this is a learned and venerable sage of Alchemy, the best Tolbi has to offer.



Anyway. Menardi's ship here is the same general model as the one Babi stole, and uses the same power source of the Black Orb. And it follows the same rules of where it can and cannot dock. This all matters because in order to necessitate them docking at Idejima at all, the ship has to follow these rules almost to the letter (otherwise they could probably just sail into a tributary or dock right outside Imil or something). And the ship is about thirty meters away from doing exactly that.

Come on, Golden Sun. Please work with me here, just a little bit.
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Old 08-13-2016, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
<Alex> I have the Black Orb with me. We'll set sail as soon as our gracious hosts arrive here.
<Kraden> Yes, but first the lighthouse has to be lit.
<Alex> Hm... that's peculiar. The only ones who could've followed them up would be Isaac's group, and take it from me: they don't stand a chance.
<Jenna> I hope Felix is okay.


Okeydoke, we all know how this part goes.



Venus Lighthouse's light causes major earthquakes...



Up there, Felix and Sheba are currently falling off...



And on our side of things, we get stranded.



Goodbye, Skippy!



This scene is identical to the post-credits scene in the first game, of course. You can go see the last update of the previous LP, or you can not. Either way, I'm assuming you did. Good? Good.



Nothing really meaningful that we don't already know gets said here, so let's skip ahead just a bit further.



Quote:
<Jenna> Oh, good! You're awake!
<Alex> Hello again... Sheba, was it? So rude of my companions to not even properly introduce us.
<Sheba> Where are we?
<Kraden> The peninsula of Idejima, although "peninsula" isn't quite accurate anymore. The tremors from the lighthouse dislodged Idejima from the mainland, and you must've been swept out far enough to wash on its shore.
<Sheba> Okay... wait, is Felix--
<Jenna> He's alive.
<Sheba> Good... good. He tried to save me, you know.
<Alex> Save you?
<Sheba> Twice. Once from those two, Saturos and Menardi, and once again, when I fell off the side of the lighthouse during the quake. He dived right off the side after me.
<Jenna> He did WHAT?! Oh, I'm going to kill him for being so reckless!
<Kraden> I think enough things have tried to kill the poor boy for today, Jenna.
<Alex> So he defied Saturos and Menardi? Interesting...


Quote:
<Jenna> Wait... gone?
<Sheba> Another group came there to try to rescue me. Their leader was named Isaac, I'd met them before in Tolbi.
<Alex> You mean to tell me Isaac and his partners actually slew Saturos and Menardi? Did Felix aid them?
<Sheba> No, he just focused on keeping me safe. He didn't raise his sword to them at all.
<Kraden> Well, that's an incredible relief, isn't it? Even if they were trying to do good things in the end, they were still vile people through and through.
<Jenna> Maybe now we can finally go home.
<Felix> Mmmmngh...


So, just as in the first game, Felix serves the role of player avatar, and loses the ability to speak, in what is perhaps the worst usage of the silent protagonist mechanic I have ever seen. Remember, he spoke in the last game (and was a prat outside of my edits). And likewise, Isaac will speak in this game (and will be a prat outside of my edits). I'm just going to ignore all of that, same as before.

The conversation here in the original implies that Felix literally swam out to Idejima with Sheba. I'm just going to leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out all the ways in which that is stupid, and work on characters instead.

Quote:
<Felix> Where... Ah. Idejima.
<Alex> Correct. Sheba's informed us of your noble deeds, of course.
<Felix> Sheba made it, then? Good.
<Jenna> And Saturos and Menardi are finally gone! We can go home at last, Felix!
<Felix> ...I don't think we can.
<Sheba> We are sort of stuck here.
<Felix> No, I mean--
<Alex> Hold that thought.


Is it an island?



Everyone goes over to have a look...



Hooray, a new continent!

Prior to this, it's (probably) assumed that all the maps on Angara mostly cover itself and the nearby continent of Gondowan, with everything else as "there be dragons". Sheba even says in this conversation that nobody knows what lies beyond the Eastern Sea, which later gets contradicted by Kraden (correctly) saying there's no more lighthouses in the Eastern Sea. I'll just save you all the trouble and just say that down there is the continent of Indra, correlating loosely to India as separated from Eurasia during the Pangaea nonsense. Probably. I don't know, I'm not a geologist.



Anyway, time for shenanigans. We're going to pass north of Indra, which makes its discovery fairly pointless overall.



Not to worry, though.



Quote:
<Sheba> Is that one giant wave?
<Kraden> Oh no. It must be a tidal wave, caused by Venus Lighthouse.
<Felix> That can't be THAT dangerous, can it?
<Alex> Oh, I wouldn't be so sure. Back in Imil, there were records of waves almost as tall as the lighthouse, they called them tsunamis. Quite fascinating, really, apparently the bulk of the damage to the lighthouse was done by one of them. Probably caused a lot of damage to the coastline, too.
<Sheba> And you're saying something that dangerous is coming right for us?!
<Alex> It's amazing. This is the kind of power that only the combined forces of Mercury and Venus could unleash.


Quote:
<Alex> Oh, I've never really seen the use in panicking, honestly.
<Jenna> I don't know if you've figured it out, but if that thing hits--
<Alex> When, not if.
<Jenna> You are NOT HELPING!
<Felix> Forget it, guys! Get back into the caves and take cover!


Now, from a narrative standpoint, this is a little unneccesary. If we were going to end up on Indra anyway, why not just crash Idejima right into Indra directly, rather than wasting time with the tidal wave? This, however, does serve both an immediate purpose and a bit of scene-setting for the start of the game. So hey, tidal wave's all right by me.



If nothing else, it gives us this scene, which I will present in screenshots only.



Golden.

Next Time: Neville Longbottom and the First of Many Detours
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Old 08-13-2016, 02:34 PM
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aturtledoesbite aturtledoesbite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
If nothing else, it gives us this scene, which I will present in screenshots only.



Golden.
My favorite part of The Lost Age, right here.

Quote:
Next Time: Neville Longbottom and the First of Many Detours
better or worse detours than dark dawn

(trick question; nothing is worse than dark dawn)
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Old 08-13-2016, 03:56 PM
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I have some thoughts on Dark Dawn.
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:15 AM
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Glad to see this continue! I like your rewrites of Golden Sun.

Side note: I skipped Lost Age, but I have this sealed copy of Dark Dawn. Should I open it, or is it actually valuable to insane collector types?
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:06 PM
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So in order to upload my screenshots from this game, I need an Internet connection. As these write-ups right now happen, I don't really have one I can rely on. In the time between uploads, I'm spending a lot of time playing Dark Dawn, the Golden Sun game for the DS. I'm also keeping a journal of it, more concise and less editor-y than these LP updates. I don't think it'll burn me out too badly on this though, since half the appeal here is giving the story from these two games enough attention that they'll become actually good rather than merely bland and self-contradictory.



Anyway, let's fast forward through all of this here.



For every person we don't go up and personally talk to, they'll show up if we try to leave Idejima and complain at us. I'm not gonna allow for that, though.



In this game, as mentioned somewhere, Kraden joins our party, but does not fight and serves as an advisory role. Note that this isn't "advisory" as in the Persona series, where his insight will allow us field data and advantages, but instead will allow for more text boxes. Cut them some slack, operator-style characters weren't in vogue yet.



Hey Sheba. That looks kinda fatal. You okay?



She's okay.



Sheba and Felix both share class sets with characters from the prior game: namely, Sheba's Wind Seer and assorted sets match Ivan's completely, and Felix starts as a Squire just like Isaac. Felix's equipment selections are also identical to Isaac's, making stats the only real difference between the two. I think Felix is a bit on the heavier side overall, but it's not a major difference either way.

Sheba, on the other hand, wields maces instead of light blades, giving her a different set of equipment to play with than Ivan. I rather like the equipment selections of the party at this point in the game, where just about any weapon you find will have a good owner, but later on Sheba's weapon selection becomes a strict downgrade thanks to the complete lack of maces in the Golden Sun series.

Image unrelated, where Sheba can equip the Shaman's Rod for a marginal attack boost. Remember the Shaman's Rod? We have it now. Expect it to be useless for 98% of the game.



Looking up and down the island, Alex is nowhere to be seen.



Kraden posits this theory, which gets the party out as a group to discuss it.



Quote:
<Kraden> So it would only stand to reason that he'd go looking for a ship to reach the Western Sea, and in turn, the other two lighthouses with.
<Felix> He should've waited for us. He can't light the lighthouses remaining without Jenna or Sheba.
<Jenna> Felix, don't tell me you still want to work with him?
<Felix> The lighthouses do need to be lit, Jenna.
<Jenna> Says who? You only have the word of Saturos and Menardi, and in case it passed your notice, they ordered you to kidnap your own sister!
<Felix> They also saved my life.
<Sheba> Wait, hang on. Didn't Isaac and his group say that lighting the lighthouses would destroy Weyard?
<Jenna> See?! I'm far more inclined to trust Isaac than those kidnappers.
<Kraden> Well, I wasn't able to conduct as much research as I'd like under those two, but I've seen data that supported both outcomes. If only I was back in my library at Tolbi...
<Sheba> You're from Tolbi?
<Kraden> Yes, I'm one of Lord Babi's scholars researching Alchemy.
<Sheba> You work for my earlier kidnapper, then.
<Kraden> Well...
<Jenna> Wait, what?
<Felix> Sheba was being held hostage by Lord Babi to ensure that Lalivero completed his lighthouse. I don't know how long ago that started, but I can safely say that Kraden has been in Vale all of my life, and I don't think he'd condone such behavior.
<Kraden> It's a moot point anyway, although I thank you for speaking on my behalf. Until we find a way to the Western Sea, we're strangers in a strange land. We don't have the means or the data to act further on the remaining lighthouses, nor do we have a good way to return home, either to Vale or Lalivero.
<Jenna> So what do you think we should do?
<Felix> I'm still going to find Alex. We need all the help we can get, and if he's going to find a ship, that's something we'll need too, if only to get back home. I won't force anyone to come with me, either. As of right now, you're all free to do as you will.
<Sheba> I'm going with you.


Quote:
<Felix> Jenna's right, Sheba. It might be better for you to stay at the first town we see until we find a ship.
<Sheba> You jumped off of a lighthouse to save me, even when you barely knew who I was. And if you do think lighting the lighthouses is the right thing to do, you still need me. I'm sticking with you, and that's that.
<Felix> If you're sure, I won't stop you. How about you two?
<Kraden> I'd also like to meet up with Alex again. I've too many questions to ask him. I assure you, Sheba, that I will do nothing to harm you during our travels.
<Sheba> I guess I don't have a choice but to put up with you for now.
<Jenna> Well if you three are going together, I guess I'm in. Someone needs to keep you all from getting into more trouble, and I don't trust Alex any further than I can throw him.
<Felix> Then we'll put the lighthouses on hold for a while until we learn more. We'll try to find Alex, or Isaac's team if we can, and try to find a boat to make it either home or to the lighthouses once we have more info. Sounds fair to everyone?
<Sheba> I can live with that. If nothing else, I'll be traveling the world, and I'll be with you.
<Felix> Glad to hear it. Let's get going.
So, in the original, barely any information about how everyone feels about the state of things gets passed around. First, Sheba's motivations for traveling are... well, they're touched on, but badly. She basically goes on about "its my destiny" and then refuses to elucidate even a little bit further. The lighthouses are mentioned in that there aren't any more on the Eastern Sea, but no mention is made of where they are or how best to cross to the Western Sea. Jenna and Kraden are now basically speaking in favor of doing the exact thing their kidnappers were doing without any kind of exposition on what made them change their minds. In other words, we're not only dropped into a completely alien land, but into an alien land and a party of complete ciphers who seem to have no concrete motivations. There's a lot of talk about unrelated elements like boats and destiny, but nothing actually usable.

So my edits, as you can see, changed to focus on the characters. Felix still wants to light the lighthouses despite all, but has a few reservations post-Isaac. Jenna just wants to go right home, but will settle for ruining Alex's plans first. Kraden and Sheba are both more or less neutral on the lighthouses, but their differing views on Babi put them at odds. In short, they're a tangled mess of motives working together only because the alternative is being stranded in a foreign wilderness alone.



Off we go, into the wild unknown!



We now have access to a much wider, full map of all of Weyard than we did last game. As you can see, we're on the northern tip of Indra, a bit east of Gondowan. Southeast of it is Osenia (Australia).



Here's Angara, where most of the first game took place. We will not be traveling back to any Angaran locations from the first game for the duration of this game.



Over here we have Hesperia (North) and Atteka (South). You might recall the Shaman's Rod as the rod of Hesperia. I think I might've gotten these two mixed up in my older LP, but whatever.



Finally, this is the Eastern Sea, where we will be spending most of this game doing pointless side tasks. I think calling them "quests" overstates their importance a bit.



We don't get more than a kilometer before running into the first town.



Indra will be mostly themed after India, except when it isn't.



There's a few things of note in Daila here, but not many. Nobody bats an eye at us having surfed in via peninsula, they're all too busy dealing with the aftermath of the tidal wave. A few kids have gone missing, there's seawater all over, etc.



There's no boats here that survived, and I kind of doubt they had anything suitable for things beyond fishing excursions, so Madra is our next suggested place. It's at the south of Indra.



For immediate destinations, we are suggested to go to the Kandorean Temple nearby, and warned away from the Shrine of the Sea God. There's no real curse that would be a danger there, but it also isn't possible to do anything useful there right now.



Yes. Hi. Welcome to the Lost Age.



This isn't where we need to go to progress, strictly speaking. To reach Madra, we need to cross the Dehkan Plateau, but for that, we need the Psynergy granted by Master Poi. Just like the other temples headed by Masters, it's Psynergy but not actually Psynergy except it's totally Psynergy.



Want that thing, can't get it, it's not even important right now, whatever.



Time to start loading up on Djinn!
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  #9  
Old 08-14-2016, 10:07 PM
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Unlike in Dark Dawn...



You can totally skip the tutorial on Djinn here. Echo is better than Flint any day of the week.



That said, Djinn-balancing here is going to be a bit trickier than in the first game. To put things simply but vaguely, we're not going to get a Mercury Adept for a while, but we ARE going to get Mercury Djinn.



Also: the Lost Age makes up for its much larger world map in comparison to the first game by making every route to anything of merit that much more circuitous and empty.



Despite the monsters all being relatively new types (although a few old ones will show up later) they're no harder here than they were at the start of the first game, Hard Mode notwithstanding.



Near as I can tell, even with the numerical boosts, most of the guys here don't even have much of an edge even with signature moves.



What?



One difference is that we all start at level 5 rather than level 1, so we have access to a bit more here than we did at the start of the first game. It's not a huge difference, but it is a nice boost to getting the cooler Psynergy faster, and the XP curve for this game is more generous than for the first.



Oh man we can't get in I wonder if we'll have to sneak in using Psynergy.



This instance I will grant Kraden being helpful, since a player who didn't play the first game might not think to use field Psynergy here yet.



In any case, we use Whirlwind and clean it up right quick.



CHECK OUT THEIR TOP-END CUTTING-EDGE KNEE-HIGH WATER PHYSICS



And now Master Poi yells at students.



Most of them are utterly failing to levitate through meditation, at least with any degree of effectiveness.



Center monk shows the most promise.



Even so, Master Poi isn't fully sure.



Oh, why not. Sure, go play in the death trap temple.



Of course, we follow him right in.



Good to see the tradition is alive and well here.



Status spells are, if anything, even more garbage here than in the first game.



Also: while Jenna's base class lacks access to physical Psynergy, it bears repeating that the Fume line is more than sufficient as a replacement.



Game Tickets and Lucky Medals are still in this game, of course.



Also, they're not gonna wait for us to get a Mercury Adept before giving us those Djinn. We can't get this guy YET, but we will by the end of this update.



Your guess is as good as mine with this one, folks.



Monk didn't make it, but it wasn't so fatal after all, you see?
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  #10  
Old 08-14-2016, 10:08 PM
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Either he died to the encounters or he was unable to make simple jumps like these.



Waterfalls work exactly how you think they do, given Felix's incredible bravery in the face of ankle-high water.



The waterfall doesn't supply enough force to keep us from moving against it, though.



If Jenna leveled up enough in the first game, she'd get every Psynergy in the Flare line but literally no others.



Anyway, this room. Using water pressure, we can push that pillar onto one of two platforms. Doing so will cause the other to be launched high enough to reach the upper level.



The bottom one takes us here, where we get the Mysterious Card.



This is one of three items that let the wielder change their class. These new classes tend to have unique sets of Psynergy that rely on all four elements equally. They're not really bad per se, some of the Psynergy is quite strong, but it's hard to make a case for them when they require you to spread your elements so thinly.

The Pierrot line, for example, has high Agility and its own physical Psynergy, but little else to recommend it, with most of its other Psynergy having a limited range, high cost, or useless status garbage.



That said, it grants the Juggle line of Psynergy to anyone, letting you load up several people with Mars Psynergy if you expect to fight a boss weak to it (like the boss for this area).



Moving on. In addition to wading through puddles, Felix is a skilled tightrope walker.



Okay maybe not THAT skilled.



Lemme just fix that real quick.



What other monks do by dulling their ability to actually experience and enjoy life, we do by simply thinking a bit until a hand moves the scalding cauldron out of the way.



And then we fight apes.



The Chestbeaters here are only dangerous due to numbers. Their Herb supply can't outpace our Psynergy.



Okay, never mind, Hard Mode. Still, we're doing fine.



Attack boosts aren't a huge problem for us either.



Constant Psynergy spam weakens all three at once, leaving only the one that spent its time gorging on Herbs alive.



Even in Hard Mode, this is a simple fight.



You are SO going to lose your teaching license.



Since we technically cleared his course, he is obligated to give us the secret power of Lash.



So why, instead of gaining the power to levitate, as would only make sense given the powers the other monks have displayed...



Do we learn the power to tie ropes to posts? I mean, okay, there's clearly a naval theme going on with this game given we're looking for a boat, so Lash is honestly a super-useful power in that sense (except where it doesn't really get used that way) but this is just arbitrary as HELL.



The reason Kraden is out here is to give the party a mouthpiece, but all he does is repeat the conversation we had last game in Xian, but expedited severely. I already gave y'all my thoughts on Xian.



Depicted: a lie



Who even designs a cave? This guy has a temple, yes, but it's meant to teach monks about meditation and enlightenment and stuff. Whatever. I don't know.
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:09 PM
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Also: Kraden is going to take offense to every single person calling him old.



Anyway, up we go to get...



The Lash Pebble. Wow, you sure know how to make our ordeals seem worth it all, Camelot.



Lash is arbitrarily Jupiter-aligned, so I just-as-arbitrarily assign it to Sheba.



Using this, I can reach the Mercury Djinni here.



This again!



And this again!



Now, while I could set the Djinni to anyone here, changing up their class in the process, I have no real inclination to do so. It'll be much harder to keep classes nice and orderly during this game because of the Mercury Djinn, so to start, I'm just gonna leave 'em all on standby. Worst case scenario, we summon 'em for a last ditch attack.



Okay bye.

Next Time: Neville Longbottom and the Hunt for Djinn
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:55 PM
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This is the golden sun game I actually played, and the one where I played a hard mode mod where every enemy got to act twice, had fixed move orders, and were given stat boosts to put even the most basic enemy on par with the boss of that area in the original game.

It was... actually pretty fun to me, and I remember thinking that while it didn't fix the biggest problems with the mechanics, it let what was good shine more because you had to actually think about it.

Also I think they explicitly didn't buff the super boss because "There wasn't really much for us to do without either completely changing it, or making it needlessly more difficult."(What I remember reading.)

Anyway, I was a stupid child when I played this game so I ate it up with my complete lack of literary knowledge. And since djinn were(and still are to me) just the coolest toy, I really still play and love this game even though it's an unreasonably wordy pile of bad writing and poorly executed mechanics.

Last edited by Awkward Grunt; 08-14-2016 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:49 PM
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Right, our next step is to go to an actual city and get actual info. Sort of. But first, a side thing for a Djinni.



Riki and Tavi, the two boys who got lost following the tidal wave, are in here.



One of them got stuck on the upper cliff, and his buddy is trying to find a way to get him down.



When the two go off to find alternate routes, we use Lash to get a path up there.



This saves the kids, while Kraden acts as our mouthpiece. He does this a lot, because Camelot is committed as HELL to that silent protagonist thing.



The kids almost go chase a Djinni, but instead decide that not starving to death is a better plan.



This leaves it to us to do the job.



As the series progresses, Djinn that flee in the field outside of fights are more common, leading to a puzzle where you chase them around trying to disrupt them.



This one isn't very hard, though.



It's kind of cute and creative.



Here's the only actual puzzle element for this guy.



Cut off the escape route with the torch, then approach.



Not a very dangerous fight here either.



Have a Djinni, Sheba.



There's nothing useful for us if we try to continue, but we'll be back after we get someone who can cast Frost.



Next up is the route out of here, southeast of everything else.



The tidal wave's responsible for making the Dehkan Plateau here very unstable. The cracked ground has three levels: barely there, drops you down a floor, and hole you just jump over.



Stepping on tier 1 upgrades it to tier 2.



The fall doesn't hurt you, but it does show they actually made Felix look like he's falling rather than just Goomba-stomping like Isaac was.



Hey look a completely normal set of armor.



Jenna picks up another Psynergy type to separate herself from Garet, namely the Beam Psynergy.



Much like the floor, the pillars in the Dehkan Plateau are not-at-all stable. First jump is fine...



But the second jump results in dropping completely safely onto the ground and not being impaled by shards of rock.



PSSHZZEWWW.



In a few cases, falling down is required to progress, while in others it's just a mild setback. It's kind of the same deal as the Tret dungeon in the first game, just expanded upon.
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:51 PM
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The Lost Age is also really good at providing these kinds of backtracking shortcuts.



The trick here is just remembering that you can jump over holes here as well as anywhere else.



Treasure?



Treasure.

The Lost Age is also a lot more generous with artifact weapons than the first game, and Themis' Axe here is the first such example. Needless to say, only Felix can equip it since it's an axe. There's also quite a few light blade artifacts early on, and even an example of a mace, so your party won't lack for options.



The Stone Justice unleash is a pretty memorable one, too. Shame it looks like junk in Dark Dawn. How do you ruin earthbending flying avalanches again?



The Dehkan Plateau is our route from Daila to Madra, but it manages to spice things up by having the second half of the dungeon be Djinni pursuit.



The Djinni follows the same rules that we do when dealing with the terrain.



This means that it can weaken the floor too much for us to adequately pursue it, so we'll have to get creative.



More inventive puzzle design here. Pillars like these were common in the first game, less so pillars you could climb.



Also I went the wrong way, the implication is that you chase the Djinni and find yourself forced to find an alternate route. Whatevs.



Either way, the Djinni uses its Pound Psynergy to smash the pillar out of the way and hurry along.



Here, the challenge is breaking the second pillar. The first is easy to break, but the second requires you to move the vine pillar.



This, in turn, lets us push a pillar down to the ground as a platform.



Here, if we just try to approach the Djinni by foot, it'll dunk us through the floor with a well-placed Pound. We need to get the drop on it somehow.



We can do that very literally here.



This dislodges the Pound Cube from the Djinni and causes it to flee again.



As the Djinni helpfully demonstrated, the Pound Psynergy lets us pound certain types of pillars into the ground. For reasons not properly defined, this counts as a Mars Psynergy, so we arbitrarily give it to Jenna (who otherwise has no innate field Psynergy).



Shortly after, we get a chance to put it to use, by cutting off the Djinni's escape route.



At this point, it has no choice but to engage us.



It does a thing but it also means we have one of each Djinn type now. So at this point, if you're relying on having all Djinni set, you're going to get some awkward class compositions now.



Our reward for getting through Dehkan Plateau is a boat!



Quote:
<Felix> No, that's impossible. If Idejima's separation didn't destroy it, being sandwiched between Idejima and Indra would've.
<Kraden> Hm, you have a point. It looks identical to Menardi's, though.
<Jenna> Well that's good, right? All we have to do is use the orb that she had to pilot it, and we can sail wherever we need to!
<Sheba> But Alex has it now, so that's no good. We have no idea where he is now.
<Felix> Right. Well, let's remember this is here for now, and if we find out a way to commandeer it, we'll come back.
<Jenna> Oh, come on! Isn't there any way we could, I don't know... break into it and sail it without the orb?
<Felix> I doubt it. Menardi held onto that orb very carefully during our travels. I don't think she would've been so careful if there was an alternative.
<Jenna> Well, that's frustrating. Oh well, if this isn't her boat, the owner's probably somewhere close by.


In the original text, everyone acts on the assumption that this is Menardi's ship and doesn't question it for a second. But again: it was docked in the cove of the Idejima Peninsula when it broke off from the mainland, and if that didn't do lots of damage, it was still on the south side of the peninsula when it hit Indra, hard enough to dislodge both peninsula and continent from their usual spots. Menardi's boat is totaled as hell (and I find it interesting that they call it hers rather than Saturos' when it's otherwise stated that he's the leader of the group, maybe she was the navigator).

Similarly, the crew brushes off the possibility of actually sailing this ship exceptionally quickly given that their goal for this point in time, as well as for the foreseeable future, is not "lighthouses" or "go home", but instead "boat". They should try doing whatever they can to break into the boat, but since the plot doesn't want them to try, they don't.



Oh hey it's a tiny Tret.



South Indra doesn't have much going for it, but it does have this cave here.
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:52 PM
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The puzzle within is perfunctory, but the tablet is definitely worth paying attention to.



Tablets like these are strewn all throughout Weyard.



And written on each one...



Is information for a new kind of summon.

You begin the game with access to the same 16 summons you had in the last game, provided you can field the 1-4 Djinn of the element needed. These tablets provide dual-element summons, requiring two types of Djinni in varying numbers. Zagan is one of the simplest, requiring a mere single Djinni for Mars and Venus. These summons calculate their attacks from both elements, have some additional effects on enemies or your team, and provide boosts to both elements when summoned, making them considerably more valuable for parties not composed of single-element classes. I still likely won't bother for the most part.



Here's the town of Madra, we'll get to it in a bit. Right now, we want to wander around in this forest for reasons.



They're still doing this. This is a good place to tell players this sort of thing will happen, but the mechanic is still bad, and Weyard is so huge that testing every possible location on the world map for Djinn is awful.



You're a Knight now, Felix.



Madra is the first real town with things to do, comparable perhaps to Vault or Bilibin.



Unlike either town, they drag you into the plot from the word go. And unlike the first game, I won't be forcing myself into failed detours towards the actual objective this game, because there are none the game is plenty long as it is.



Anyway, the guards quickly let us through after confirming we're not Cham, and... hang on. Lemme just get the actual info from the town real quick like and summarize it.



READY GO
  • Madra was hit by the tidal wave, although not as badly as most other towns since it's on the south coast. Unfortunately, being basically landlocked, they have no boats, and any boats they did have didn't survive the tidal wave.
  • However, shortly after the tidal wave, the town was attacked by the pirates of Champa, a nation on the northern end of the Eastern Sea. They did a two-pronged attack, relying on a tunnel through previously-undiscovered ruins, to raid what they could from Madra.
  • While most of the pirates got away, the Madran guard did discover a mysterious stranger on the boat we passed just north of here, and took him in on the assumption he was one of the pirates. Some sailors in town note that his boat doesn't look a thing like the boats of Champa.
  • The mayor and his son here trust that this stranger isn't a pirate, but they have an angry town seeking justice hounding them to do something about him. They are currently heading east to the continent of Osenia to speak with the mayor of Alhafra for aid, and to follow the trail of the pirates.
  • The stranger was stripped of his possessions, among them a mysterious Black Orb not unlike the one Menardi sailed her ship with. However, as it's held in mayoral custody, we can't get it without either condemning or exonerating the stranger.
  • Indra being locked between Osenia and Gondowan is new and confusing, but the only major threat aside from the Cham pirates are the warrior tribes within Gondowan. They haven't attacked Madra yet, but now that doing so only requires land travel, they're a more tempting target.



While we CAN explore the ruins now, our ability to do things there is pretty limited, at least for the moment.



The leader of the pirates of Champa is named Briggs, but little else is known about them right now.



The item saleswoman is currently in bed suffering from flashbacks of the Cham attack.



The inn holds some explorers, including a few former Colosso competitors gearing up for the next competition.



Artifact hat, only equippable by the girls, doubles as a healing ring. Got it? Good.



This house is way the hell more important than it looks (i.e. identical to every other house here). First off, this guy muses about the possible cause of the tidal wave.



Second off, he has a Djinni in his attic and gives us zero indication of how to get it.



Third, he thinks that if you use a trident, you can kill the beast. This is not only extremely important and relevant, it is also about as much info on this as you'll get for most of the game. Camelot.



Anyway, let's go meet the prisoner, since this is how we advance the plot.



This is Piers, our Mercury Adept for the game. He will not be joining or acknowledging us now, because jail.



He's not from Champa, he's from a secret place of myth in the Eastern Sea. If you read the LP for the last game you probably can guess where he means.



Anyway, his cage-rattler is angry as hell that his girlfriend the item saleswoman got injured in the attack and is taking it out on him.



Piers is innocent and sympathetic, but even he only has so much patience.



A few more taunts later, and he retaliates.
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:53 PM
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Just in case you missed all the townsfolk dialogue: Piers is a Mercury Adept.



Shin runs off like a punk while Piers just closes his eyes in regret.



Needless to say, this freaks out his non-Adept buddy.



Anyway, you'd think at this point we'd go talk to Piers, get his side of the story, find out that boat is his, maybe even make a deal with him, right? We've had precedent for party members joining for less (Ivan).

But no, here Piers barely acknowledges you. So as with Sheba before, let's give him a conversation.



First though: note that he has something he urgently has to do. We will not learn what that is until a good hour or so after he already has done it off-camera.



Quote:
<Piers> Wait a moment... Are you using Psynergy?
<Sheba> Yes. As were you a moment ago, right?
<Piers> I am sorry about that. I lost my temper.
<Jenna> Hey, I'd have done the same thing in your shoes. So what's your story?
<Piers> Well, despite their claims, I'm not a pirate, and I've never so much as seen that man's girlfriend. I'm just an explorer from... well, again, you wouldn't believe me if I told you.
<Kraden> Fair enough. So you were wrongly imprisoned, then?
<Piers> Yes. The mayors of this town are on my side, but the townsfolk, as you can see, are angry. They want someone to punish, even if they're not Cham. And to them, my powers must just give them more reason to fear me.
<Felix> I... know what you mean. In any case, my name's Felix, this is Jenna, Sheba, and Kraden. And we came to ask a favor of you.
<Piers> Happy to meet you. My name is Piers, but what could a prisoner possibly have to offer you?
<Jenna> Well, you're a sailor, right? And that ship north of town is yours?
<Piers> I'm not giving you my ship, if that's what you're asking.
<Jenna> No no. We just want a ride, that's all. If we help break you out, can you get us where we need to go?
<Piers> Hm... I see no harm in that. But I don't want to hurt innocent people, not when I can prove I am not guilty. I think the easiest way to do this would be to get the pirates to admit that I'm not among their crew.
<Kraden> That might be difficult. We don't know where they even are right now, and even if we did, I doubt that'd mollify the townsfo--
<Sheba> We'd be happy to get the pirates to vouch your innocence.
<Piers> Then it's a deal. If you can do that, I'll sail you to wherever you need once I'm free.
<Felix> Great. You stay safe, and try not to antagonize any more of the villagers here.
<Piers> Very well.


Ordinarily, if you mind read him, he notices the Psynergy but shrugs it off as you're not of his people. This is a TERRIBLE excuse and you really need a proper conversation here between Piers and the party, but it just doesn't happen.



The townsfolk outside are getting antsy about their prisoner, who can apparently start fights without leaving his cell.



Anyway, time for the dumbest drawbridge yet. So the last time, there were all pseudo-reasons to block progress forward: Babi keeping us in Tolbi until we do what he wants, the lay of the land requiring new Psynergy, or a curse preventing people from leaving.



Here, passage from Indra to Osenia is blocked for reasons unknown.



And for reasons just as unknown, we're prevented from actually going there until we see this scene by visiting Piers. The only justification for granting travel to the four of us is that the mayor's wife thinks we have kind eyes.

They don't even need to have this as a roadblock if they just let you skip entering Madra, which is totally feasible if you just stop in for an inn stay and a weapons upgrade. All they'd lose is the meeting with Piers, which as written normally? You lose out on basically nothing but an introduction for a character who doesn't have any bearing on anything whatsoever for a few hours. There's no political reason to block passage to Osenia either; if it was Gondowan it'd make sense, but the closest towns to Madra in Osenia are all on good, or at least neutral, terms with them. And that drawbridge doesn't even need to exist if Indra isn't in physical contact with Osenia, which happened maybe two days ago, tops.

Get better at blocking progression, Camelot.

Next Time: Neville Longbottom and the Mayor's Journey
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  #17  
Old 08-16-2016, 02:05 PM
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Satonakaja Satonakaja is offline
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I was proofreading the last update for Kalir when I noticed something very interesting: Camelot actually based Champa off a real life country, much like many of the other places in the game.

As in, they literally used their exact name. Champa was a Hindu state in South Vietnam that was known to have a large navy that was often used for piracy in the South China Sea. I wasn't expecting this game to base a location off what is nowadays a relatively obscure culture.

(Granted, the leader of Champa would probably not have been named "Briggs." And people of Champa are referred to as "Cham")
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  #18  
Old 08-19-2016, 07:06 PM
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While we can explore the catacombs under Madra this early,



We get walled off pretty quickly by a door requiring Reveal. We learn it much faster in the Lost Age than in the original, but still not fast enough.



Screw this place.



Next up, Osenia!

Like Bilibin in the first game, this is another instance where we can go the "wrong" way first, with the only real wall for progression being a difficult encounter. I will be doing this, but I won't be able to defeat the encounter this time, not least because I'm on Hard Mode.



Here's where the Champan ship landed, but got totaled during the tidal wave. Needless to say, it's nothing like the Lemurian ship used by Adepts.



Sword! Jenna gets it.



Yep, true. This is about all the evidence one would need for that, but angry townsfolk. This is one instance where I accept the easy solution of jumping right past the plothole as being impossible.



The Pirate's Sword unleash is inordinately fancy and inflicts sleep, making it by far the best early-game weapon.



For reasons, the bridge to Alhafra is broken and will be repaired long after we stop caring. To reach Alhafra, we need to go through the Yampi Desert.



In theory, the encounters here might discourage players from trying it and have them explore the rest of Osenia, down towards Mikasalla. But Mikasalla is, to put it plainly, useless and boring. So instead, desert.



This place has neither sandstorms nor mirages to ruin our day, just these weird wooden/stone (?) stakes.



Guardian Ring! It gives passive stat boosts. Okay.



On an ordinary file, the encounters of the Yampi Desert are basically harmless. Here, though, emus are exactly as dangerous as they are in real life.



DED.



With this in mind, I start actually using strategy in my explorations of Osenia. I use Psynergy for tough fights but try not to overextend, use Sheba's higher agility for spot healing with Herbs, still never bother with the useless Defend command, etc.



Once more unto the breach.



Here's the Madran mayors. They don't get names and matter precisely dick-all to the overall story, putting them on par with most characters in Golden Sun that get more screentime than they need.



The basic thing is that the older mayor knows enough about the Yampi Desert that he could find a way ahead, but he wants to let his son, the mayor-in-training, navigate the desert himself. Look at how little I care.



The path ahead is over here. We can't access it because shovels don't exist.



So for this area, the way to get the Djinni is to be psychic. You need to Pound the stakes in, but ONLY the ones that let you past. Pounding the wrong ones cuts off your jumping path to the Djinni, and it's impossible to tell at first glance which is which.



Let's just skip ahead to the part where I do that.



Since the Shaman's Rod hurts about as much as an unsoaked pool noodle and the Djinni resists all of Sheba's Psynergy, I'm gonna have her just go with item spam.



I saved beforehand. Screw you.



The second time, their flee attempt fails just as arbitrarily as ours do. Blitz here does a stun attack thing and upgrades Sheba to Magician but whatever maaaaaan



Nearly to the area boss, which is appropriately encountered halfway through the area.
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  #19  
Old 08-19-2016, 07:07 PM
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To actually fight it, we have to divert its path as it tunnels around underground. It can only make 90 degree right turns, so.



Oh no an scorpion.



A couple puzzles later, and here it is.



Chasing it onto the sand causes it to pop out and use the Scoop Psynergy, activating a pitfall trap.



It then drops down into the pit after us, where we can't escape.



This is not the roadblock encounter, by the way. Still beefy, but by no means a roadblock.



Since Sheba has access to Impact now, that's her weapon of choice for this fight.



The King Scorpion has a few mean physical attacks and a Desert Gasp that can lower Defense.



It's also virtually immune to status effects, as are all future bosses in the game.



Not totally immune, apparently, but enough that it's not worth using anything that would cause them if that's the only result.



The fight takes a long time but isn't too threatening if I keep my healing up.



And now we can keep going. We open up a geyser thing by using Scoop on the sand we landed on...



And in turn go back to this area.



Inspired by other travelers, the mayors venture out about twenty paces from where they were camping and find the path ahead. Cool.



There are a few spots where Scoop can get treasure, spots visible with Reveal, but as you can see, they're mostly not worth it.



Hey it's that one room from Venus Lighthouse.



This chest contains the main reason to go this way rather than south to Mikasalla first.



The Blow Mace finally gives Sheba a real physical attack, and you'll want that for the next main dungeon. By the time you clear it and come back here, the Blow Mace is soundly outclassed.



It has the same effect as the Elven Rapier from the last game, but slightly more visible.



One last thing and we're more or less done here.



This isn't it.



Here we go. This is the second of the three class-changing items, and it turns the wielder into a summoner of myriad monsters. It's not bad on the whole, really, and each tier of the class summons a different set of monsters so you'll never lack for animations, but it's mostly just kind of lame, not least because it's a healing class that can't heal outside of fights for reasons.



Yay we made it to Alhafra.



So, the city of Alhafra. I don't know what town it correlates to exactly, but the continent of Osenia is clearly meant to emulate Australia as a whole.



There's a cutscene shortly after you enter focused around the Madran group, but I want to interrupt it with this guy. Most of the town talks about the aftermath of the tidal wave hitting Alhafra as hard as anywhere, despite their newly-designed sailing boats being almost totally destroyed. But a handful of villagers, including the priest here, speak of the town of Garoh in the heart of Osenia, and usually in pretty unkind tones. They don't get any real details of it down, but suffice it to say that shaky stuff goes on there.

If you head south first, you enter Garoh first, and most likely without any kind of information on the area thanks to Mikasalla being the only town in the way (and Mikasalla is, as established, boring).
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  #20  
Old 08-19-2016, 07:09 PM
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This group arrives, with the old guy saying he feels like he could walk 500 more. Okay.



Just to remind y'all, if they bring in Briggs, they can get the truth about Piers out of him, and also all that stuff they stole from Madra.



And since their boat was destroyed, and there's only one boat left in Alhafra that's not sunk (not really viable to sail, it's just still floating), guess what they're doing here.



They go off to meet the mayor of Alhafra and we can safely forget about them for a while.



OH HI.

Yes, Alex is straight up just chilling at the inn here, and just like Sheba in the first game, he is a completely missable encounter with zero bearing on what actually happens. He only speaks to Felix, and the rest of the party doesn't get out to address him. Guess what I'm doing here.

Quote:
<Jenna> Oh, NOW we find you! Thanks for ditching us, you creep!
<Alex> My, wherever could this hostility come from?
<Felix> Ease up a bit, Jenna. Why didn't you stay with us, Alex?
<Alex> I thought having us spread out a bit might help us accomplish our task a bit faster, that's all. After the tidal wave hit, I took a bit of time to make sure you were all in decent shape, and then struck out to learn where we were.
<Kraden> I suppose you've ended up here in search of a working boat, just as we have?


Quote:
<Sheba> Really? I haven't seen any places around here that would be able to buy anything as valuable as a boat.
<Alex> Places, no. Factions, on the other hand... well, the pirates of Champa got a lot of money out of Madra.
<Kraden> What scoundrels! Why didn't you do anything to stop them?
<Alex> I didn't find it worth my time, honestly. With just me, it would be easy to stow away on the ship, regardless of the owner. I would've gone with that ship on the coast of Indra, I'm sure you saw it, but apparently the owner of that vessel is... indisposed.
<Jenna> And you didn't do anything to break him out, either.
<Alex> Oh, I offered, in passing. But he refused, if you'd believe it. Said he didn't want to hurt anyone there. I couldn't understand why he'd feel so charitably towards people who wrongly imprisoned him, but I'm not like your former captors. If he wanted to stay jailed up, that's his business, not mine.
<Jenna> And he's of no use to you. Piers is a Mercury Adept, and that lighthouse is already lit. And you're fine with abandoning people you find useless?
<Alex> You're putting a lot of words in my mouth.
<Sheba> Hm...


I just want to point out that you can ATTEMPT Mind Read on him, but it doesn't work, he just cuts you off. But that's not as exciting as...

Quote:
<Sheba> Wait, how did you know? And you blocked it, too?
<Alex> I value my privacy, and that's all I have to say on that. Now, to business. Felix, you still intend to light the lighthouses, correct?
<Felix> Yes, I do.
<Jenna> Don't we get a say in this at all? Sheba and I are the only ones here who can even do it, y'know!
<Alex> Of course. Well, in light of Saturos' death, the role of commander for this operation, so to speak, falls to me. I've no interest in managing hostages, so you are all free to do as you wish. It goes without saying that I want you to light the lighthouses, and I'm willing to let you do it on your own time, given the circumstances.
<Kraden> That seems extremely lenient to me. What do you have to gain from letting Jenna and Sheba walk free?
<Sheba> I sure don't feel free, if that's what you're implying.
<Alex> Sheba has the right of it. Until you get a boat, you're stuck on Indra and Osenia. Which in turn means it's easier for me to track you down, should you flee.
<Jenna> That doesn't change that you're letting a Mars and a Jupiter Adept walk free.
<Alex> Let's just say that you're not that special in the grand scheme of things. Particularly you, Jenna.
<Jenna> I love you too, you slimeball.
<Alex> In any event, I'll be here until I can stow away. I'll check up on you afterwards if you haven't lit the lighthouses, but if you have, then consider this our last meeting.
<Felix> Okay, we get it. We need a bit of time to work out our own solutions, but we'll light the lighthouses.
<Sheba> Felix--
<Felix> (I know you guys aren't on board yet. We'll use that time to come to a consensus about the whole thing, okay?)
<Jenna> (Just as long as we can go back home once we're done.)
<Felix> (I promise.)


Anyway, Alhafra. Long story short, the pirates bought the boat with stolen Madran money and are trying to repair it. The Alhafran mayor doesn't care about their allegiance because their money is just fine with him.



Alhafra's townsfolk have mixed feelings about this, since there's little done with reparations for the town itself while the mayor is off dealing with pirates. Have we established that the Alhafran mayor is corrupt and greedy yet? Good, moving on.



Alhafra sells ordinary boots. Cool. There are no upgrades to this outside of the Game Ticket slot machine that WILL appear later.



At the ship itself, there's a lot of things that need repairing. The main thing is the mast, which was split by the wave itself.



Most of the problems here can be fixed with mundane Psynergy, but the big-ass rock is a bit much for us. Not even Pound will dent that thing.



Going into the ship itself leads to Briggs, astonished that he's been followed so quickly by the Madran mayors.

Quote:
<Briggs> We just can't catch a break, can we?
<FirstMate> In fairness, we ARE committing piracy.
<Briggs> I wouldn't see it that way. We're just redistributing a little wealth here and there.
<FirstMate> I know, we're doing it with the best of intentions, but it's still piracy, any way you slice it.


Quote:
<Briggs> If there was an easier way, we'd take it, but there isn't. And I'm trying to make the piracy as painless as possible.
<FirstMate> How so?
<Briggs> Well, for starters, we never take too much from any one town. Mostly just stuff they won't miss in the first place, y'know?
<FirstMate> Okay... but why didn't we take anything from Alhafra, then? This place has stuff coming out of its ears!
<Briggs> Alhafra's a very rich town, yeah, but that's what makes them so dangerous. If we so much as pilfered a loaf of bread, who knows what kind of attention that would draw?
<FirstMate> Oh, I get it. Risk outpaces reward, right?


Quote:
<Felix> (Huh... I guess they have a bit of honor. That's good, maybe they'll give their word on Piers' behalf.)
<Kraden> (Careful. It might look honorable, but they're still rationalizing to cover up their crimes.)
<Sheba> (Of course, you'd know a lot about that, wouldn't you, Kraden?)
<FirstMate> See, that right there? That's why you're the captain, Briggs! You've got brains coming out of your ears!


Since we lack a Garet to be a loudmouth acting against us, we need a replacement, so I suppose Jenna will have to do for now. Needless to say, this gets the pirates' attention, and they run out to see what's up.



Quote:
<Briggs> Can't say I do, no.
<Felix> An innocent sailor named Piers was captured by the Madrans, and they're holding him responsible for your piracy there!
<Jenna> You need to go tell everyone that he's innocent!
<Briggs> That doesn't sound like something I want to do.
<Kraden> Consider it carefully. Now that we've found you out, you've nowhere to run, and the mayor of Madra is here in Alhafra. Come peacefully and testify that Piers is innocent, and we'll put in a good word for you so your sentence is lessened.
<Briggs> Nope, still not interested. It's a shame your man Piers was jailed up for something he didn't do. Really, it is. But you're out of your mind if you think I'm handing myself over without a fight!
<Sheba> So you admit he's innocent, but won't raise a finger to save him?
<Briggs> There's a LOT of people that need saving, kiddo, and you're at the top of the list!


In the original, Briggs' conversation with his first mate is basically the same (and pretty good), but the meet-up here devolves into a fight at Kraden's instigation, with this textbox, rather than Briggs being backed into a corner and lashing out.

And honestly, Briggs' character arc isn't that bad for Golden Sun. He's displayed as sort of sympathetic, but who's turned to immoral ends to solve a moral problem (the starvation of his homeland). This scene didn't even need much editing. I mean, we don't have a reason to be going after Briggs here normally since we have piss-all reason to care about Piers if he doesn't talk to us, but once that's fixed, this is an easy one.



There's just one minor problem remaining.



Briggs and his friend here? Between Hard Mode and going to Alhafra first?



And with Briggs being able to summon more help with Sea Whistles?



Hardest mandatory fight in either game, hands down. As in we can't actually win this fight as it currently stands, the pirates just sling too much damage, have too much health, and have practically endless numbers.



Once we do take down Briggs, we're done in Osenia, but we'll need to brush up on our technique (grind levels) first. Thankfully, Osenia's southern half DOES have a means to allow actual progression rather than just grinding, but we're not gonna like it.



If we go back into the Yampi Desert, we can see a route to the south leading somewhere else. This will be our eventual destination, but first I have a town to swing by.



Air's Rock (probably related to Ayers Rock, in Australia) is the next area, and it is a doozy. We'll save that for next update.
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  #21  
Old 08-19-2016, 07:10 PM
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Right now, let's just make do with the town of Garoh, where they worship a terrible and vengeful god or something.



As with most prejudice and superstition, they miss most of the actual facts here, which we are going to discover through the ostentatious method of talking to them for a few minutes.



The town's front gate is a bit of an obstacle course, showing some reliefs spoiling the gimmick of Garoh.



Or you can call it foreshadowing, that's fine too.



Anyway it's werewolves. Garoh has werewolves, it's pretty cool.



When this one notices our group, it panics and retreats.



Quote:
<Felix> Do you know what that was, Kraden?
<Kraden> Well, I've heard stories of course, but I didn't ever expect to see one... I think it was a lycanthrope.
<Jenna> A lycanthwhat?
<Kraden> A lycanthrope, or werewolf. In layman's terms, it's a human that can take the shape of a beast, sometimes involuntarily.
<Felix> Are they dangerous?
<Kraden> Most of the things I've studied say so. Imagine something with the ferocity and strength of a wild wolf, but the cunning and grudges of a human. Fearsome, isn't it?
<Jenna> You can say that again.
<Sheba> That one didn't seem so fearsome. It mostly seemed timid.
<Felix> Hm... Maybe we can ask it for help.
<Sheba> Maybe! Shall we try?
<Kraden> Interesting idea... Dangerous, of course, but when measured against what we could learn... Yes, I agree! Let's ask the werewolf anything we can!
In the original, this one's mostly Kraden character establishing. Which is a bit needless, since of the characters we've seen, Kraden's already had Sol Sanctum AND Venus Lighthouse to establish himself, plus he's taken to serving as Felix's mouthpiece. Meanwhile, Jenna got Sol Sanctum but not as much as Kraden did, Felix got the first game but is largely a silent protagonist here, and Sheba has gotten crumbs. The unfortunate part is that I really can't do THAT much here to establish other characters, aside from Sheba being deliberately contrary to Kraden.

In this scene, a minor text plothole comes up, in which the question is raised about whether werewolves exist on other continents, and if not, how Kraden could have even learned of their existence, being native to Angara. He neglects to answer this in favor of repeating that he's glad we found werewolves so he could learn about them, but this time more exasperated. He also doesn't really reinforce what Alhafra theoretically teaches the player about werewolves, i.e. they're terrifying and everyone hates them. It's just wasted potential, really. Not even that much, but still there.



Unfortunately, Garoh is used to this sort of thing, and most of the townsfolk wear cloaks when outside to prevent changing shape.



They're also really friggin' bad at disguising the fact that they are werewolves. Incidentally the equipment shops are closed.



A few people here point us to Air's Rock, but past that this town is just as inconsequential as most of the rest.



Later, another werewolf pops out of a solid stone using Reveal, then retreats when he sees the party.

We cannot follow him into this stone because we do not have Reveal. Never mind that we clearly know the wall isn't there, or that it's a secret passage, or anything like that. It's as impenetrable to us as any of the cliff faces we've seen so far. This makes sense because reasons.

Next Time: Neville Longbottom and the Cliffs of Insanity
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  #22  
Old 08-20-2016, 10:31 PM
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Mikasalla may be boring, but there are two Djinn you can get there right now!

But I understand if you want to do air rock first and get them on the swing back. also I'm pretty sure there's a tablet too in that area.
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  #23  
Old 08-23-2016, 08:43 AM
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every time i got far enough to get piers, i had forgotten that chest existed
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:19 AM
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You know this means we're going to make you find out what that chest is Kalir.
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
If you have Piers in your party you can use "Frost" on the pillar to the left, if you slide down. Then go to the start of this screen, climb up the wall and go to the right. You should be able to collect a Vial from the chest here.
Yeah, I guess you are.
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:14 PM
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but

the guide could be wrong

you have to verify it
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:22 PM
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It's right. The only thing I was able to remember is that is was one of the better than an herb healing items, and that matches it.
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
but

the guide could be wrong

you have to verify it
Are you questioning the intergrity of ... Iron Knuckle?
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  #29  
Old 08-24-2016, 02:33 PM
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So, to resume doing things that actually matter to the story (again, assuming that we actually talked to Piers for all of five seconds), we need to backtrack to Alhafra. We can't take the old route through the Yampi Desert north of Air's Rock, that was one-way. We'll have to travel all across southwest Osenia first, then re-enter Yampi Desert from the west.



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



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



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



Okay, back to Alhafra.



And in turn, back to the fight with Briggs.



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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


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



Or not.



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


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


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


Now the fun part:



I have to name these three jackasses.



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



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



This is all assuming I don't skip this entire conversation outright. Which... yeah, I'm doing it. I still need to have these guys deal with Briggs in person, but honestly the mayors themselves contribute nothing to the overall discussion.
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Old 08-24-2016, 02:34 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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I'll summarize their contributions after this scene is over, and I'll spend MAYBE two sentences to do it.



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



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



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



Let's speed this up.

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


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



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



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



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



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



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



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

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



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



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



So that clears off this side of the mast.



We can Pound this stake in to detangle the riggings.



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



And... huh.



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



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



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

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



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



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



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



Unfortunately I don't think I can give Alex a reasonable new conversation here, because either he realizes the boat is now free for the taking, fixes it, and sails off, or he realizes Piers is free, goes back to get him, and sails off. Since either option would leave you without a boat and Alex isn't the sort to work with you anymore, the BEST answer would be for Camelot to do nothing and not have Alex remain here. Camelot did not think that hard.
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