The Return of Talking Time

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Old 02-08-2018, 03:53 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 22-2

Part 2 of an update that started on the previous page.

Anyway, reading up on nonsense words opened the door forward, so I guess that was important.

And now our favorite bionic commando carries on.

Something slightly different!

Using the wire hook would not work well here, and it still only takes approximately two seconds to switch over to an alternate projectile tool. (Note: I am talking about the throwing knife. I did not mean to imply that Ashley was a tool.)

Save point! But there was a fork in the other room, so we’re going to double back and see what’s in the other direction.

Treasure! Don’t forget to use Tim’s tools, too.

So here’s about where you should stop if you’re doubling back from the save point. Notice that there are no grapple points where Kanon is standing. If we wire hook forward here, there is no way back, as we’d have no way to cross the gap back to where we entered the room.

And, see? It leads us back to the lower path from the initial forking room. That’s forking bull shirt! If you wind up deciding to explore in this direction, you get stuck in a one way loop, and effectively have to repeat this entire dungeon floor. Boo!

Okay, one jog around the dungeon loop later, and we’re now in the area past the save point, making forward progress.

Time to activate a few more switches. Turns out the wire hook doesn’t “hit” things like the throwing knife, regardless of whether or not there are grappling points blocking the switch.

But looks like we need to play with these switches to remove arbitrary barricades.

There is nothing more complicated in this room than hitting the two big, glowing switches.

Not sure there was a gameplay “point” to any of that. Moving on.

Ah, back to grapplin’. Nothing beats grapplin’.

Getting some strong evidence that the game might think there’s something wrong with Lilka, too.

Another console ahead. Maybe these Diablo Pillars are important? Maaaaaybe.

Ashley, how much information do you need? “Blow up Diablo Pillars” is in our near future regardless of whether you know why or not.

Whatever, better get back to more grappling.

Slightly different grappling!

Now you have to hit a switch to move a block, and then you can grapple. This is like a whole new dungeon!

Are we about done yet?

Oh yeah. We’re done.

Ashley is working on some new song lyrics.

That… might be a compliment?

But Liz doesn’t see it that way.

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Old 02-08-2018, 04:04 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 22-3

Neither does Ard. I think.

This is Kanon’s first meeting with our Lizardian pals. She has an appropriate reaction.

“And to say such things during our first meeting. I'm disappointed you're so displeased with my amazing knowledge of that. Getting stuck with an idiot will be my ruin.”

Whoa, Liz, do not escalate things with Kanon, you don’t want…

That to happen.

“Chill! There will be time to hit these two with weapons soon enough.”

Huh. This cold blooded creature sounds kind of familiar. Maybe if we…

There we go.

Sometimes these updates are late because I spend too much time randomly shouting Liz dialogue at no one in particular. It’s just fun to say!

Kanon gets her wish.

Sad news for everyone: this will be the final Liz & Ard fight. I know you’re disappointed, but don’t feel too bad, as we will see these whacky lizards again. One day.

Not unlike the final Kanon battle, there aren’t really any new wrinkles to this fight, just both of your opponents have turned their attacks up to eleven. You probably want to defeat Ard first this time, because he hits like a t-rex.

And Liz is still handy with the bombs that hit everybody. An excellent strategy would be to “hide” Tim until Ard is on the floor, and then switch in the squishy twerp to go nuts with the party-wide healing.

Huh. They didn’t even have the good manners to fall down this time. Maybe they’re getting resistant.

So… it’s average?

I absolutely believe that Liz spends all day on Filgaia Facebook, and only properly remembers about half of what he reads.

Arms Killer? That’s a very specifically named machine.

Robotic Master Assassin? Seriously? If they changed that a little bit, maybe to Assassin Robot Master, then it could be abbreviated to A.R.M., and… Oh, why do I bother?

So now it’s time for our real boss fight for the area.

This is a weird fight, as Arms Killer seems to have a pile of attacks. If I were to guess, it seems like this creature is supposed to have attacks that particularly target characters and their weaknesses… but WA2 isn’t that kind of game. Every member of ARMS has the same weakness: getting hit by absolutely anything and losing HP. So all these varied elemental attacks don’t really do anything interesting. Maybe something happens if you’re wearing an elemental ring? I don’t know.

You know what? It’s probably just another example of Liz & Ard absolutely not getting it. That sounds right.

Oh, wow, I can’t remember the last time we fought a boss with multiple “parts”. Considering this was touted as some major JRPG innovation by the WA2 marketing department, it sure is forgotten for every important boss battle.

I think Arms Killer cranks out more effective attacks when its claws are disabled, but it’s really hard to tell if that was deliberate, or an accident of a very overloaded RNG.

Sorry, lizards, don’t think Arms Killer will be doing any ARMS killing today.

I choose to believe that Liz is being completely serious here, and Ard had deep feelings for that robot.

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Old 02-08-2018, 04:10 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 22-4

Bulkogidon this, Bulkogidon that. I’ll believe it when I see it!

Ashley, you scored big with dragging Kanon over to your side. Don’t press your luck.

Luckily, Liz isn’t even entertaining notions of joining ARMS (though you know he’d totally be a playable character in the Wild Arms 2 remake).

Always a pleasure, guys.

Yeah, they weren’t even blocking the way forward that time. We… pretty much just entertained them for ten minutes.

Yes. Absolutely.

But Ashley reasons that Liz & Ard must have been here as Odessa’s last line of defense. Uh… Sure, Ash. Sure.

So let’s see what is a good eight steps in this direction.

More computers! Yay?

Diablo Pillars feed the Heimdal Gazzo. How about a map to the pillars, Friend Computer?

Four pillars. Whatever. Map, please?

Ugh. We got all the information we needed half a dungeon ago. Lame.

Seriously? Nothing more to this place? At least we got some grappling experience, I suppose.

The phone rings. Amusingly enough, every other ARMS member is just like “oh, Irving is calling”, but Kanon has no idea what our boring ringtone even means.

Kate, what are you talking about?

… What? Have a panic attack? What’s going on, gals?

Oh. What? The bad guys got a new plane? A big one?

And it’s invisible?

Ohhh now I see the problem. Odessa just scored its own Death Star.

And Ashley does not appreciate being the last to know.

This unprecedented solar eclipse is no cause for alarm.

Or it is. Here’s Odessa’s brand new flying death machine. Note that the entire dungeon is below that ship, but, for some reason, it’s kind of hard to see.

Fun choice of words, Antenora.

So this is the Heimdal Gazzo all those computers were talking about. I can see how it would need a little extra gas in its tank.

You know what you don’t see very much in fiction? Bad guys with two super weapons. Odessa currently has a nuclear bomb, but, so as not to waste it, they also have a giant flying death laser. Always have a backup plan, boys and girls!

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Old 02-08-2018, 04:17 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 22-5

Judecca still has his priorities straight.

“The Heimdal Gazzo is loaded with a Heavy ARM, the ‘Soul Deleter’. One blow rivals the light of a fixed star. It'll burn everything in its path. Those scoundrels opposing Vinsfeld's ideals best disappear now.”

Looks like it’s Caina’s shift on exposition duty.

Is that a bad thing? Good thing?

Bad thing for Odessa, so net good thing.

What do you mean, “Flash Gordon’s approaching”?

Fuck yeah! Brad’s back! And he’s got a motherfucking rail gun! It’s an ARMS miracle!

But how did this happen? Flashback!

Brad was all set to explode…

And then some more of those stupid doppelgangers showed up.

I guess they’re a sort of last line of defense? Or they were bored?

Well, Brad thinks it’s funny, at least.

So mirror match! Brad has somehow acquired his Level 3 FP ability for this battle, and can now expend 75 FP in exchange for the ability to fire off two Arms in one turn.

This sounds like a fun move, but there’s no guarantee both arms will hit, so, unless you’ve pumped up your accuracy, you’re probably better off spending that precious 75 FP elsewhere during the (or any) battle.

Anyway, this fight is “real”, but Clone Brad is nothing to write home about. Odds are good he (it?) can be defeated without having to heal even once. And, thankfully for this LP, Clone Brad does not copy Brad’s stats in any way.

And somehow the clone had a better Brad weapon equipped? That doesn’t make any sense.

Here’s the “trick” of Brad surviving and the narrative playing fair: it was absolutely the Gias bomb around Brad’s neck that exploded…

It just happened to be a “cloned” Gias that exploded, not the exact Gias that was attached to Brad. Loophole!

Incidentally, now you know why Antenora took the time to explain how the clones copy the complete inventory of their targets.

Of course, we don’t get an explanation on where Brad found the rail gun. I guess he found it during the couple of days we left him to wander the desert alone.

Maybe he got in some target practice during that time, too.

Dispatch War Rocket Ajax to bring back his body!

Alarms start blaring, red lights start flashing, and I’m forced to conclude that Brad stayed on target.

Real fragile super weapon you got there, Odessa.

Vinny be not pleased.

Caina is here for you.

Reminder: Vinsfeld is the one person on the planet that has an actual memory of whether or not Brad is really Brad. And now he’s taking Brad’s current heroic status personally.

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Old 02-08-2018, 04:23 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 22-6

Aren’t you on the Heimdal Gazzo? This is why this localization gets so confusing...

Guess it’s time for the squad to break up.

“Neither a ‘hero’ nor ‘the dead’ will be able to block our way. Ha. Ha. Ha. Yes. We still have our trump card. That's right. We still have the ‘Nuke’.”

Back to Plan A.

Meanwhile, back on non-hovering land.

“Did we ever figure out a way to tell Brad from his clones?”
“Maybe we should?”

Damn right you can’t.

Ashley gives some piddling little speech about squad goals or whatever. I think he’s just babbling because Brad is back in town.

Yeah, dude, actions speak louder than words on that one. And “actions” means “rail gun”.

“Somewhere along the way, I don't think I fully trusted you all who are now my friends. So, without going into it, it brought about suspicion.”

Brad admits that mistakes were made on both sides, and he somehow doesn’t mind that Ashley mistook him for an off-green xerox of a homunculus.

Also, Kanon and Brad are friends now? Save us some time and just say something pleasant, Kanon.


“That’s cool, Kanon, I was probably going to kill Ashley later anyway, too.”

Good times are here again!

ARMS Mission #16:
Investigate Odessa’s latest recovered technology
Status: Success!
Notes: Not only did we learn about magical pillars, we were also rescued by Brad. Brad!

“Irving, did you always know Brad was alive, and considered his absence and potential dehydration/starvation in the desert to be some kind of team building exercise?”

Wasn’t that already the plan?

Four new dungeons? Got it.

Are we going to need four Brad clones to blow ‘em up, or do we have a better method now?

“Go play Ultimate Frisbee in the quad or something.”

So Ashley decides to chill at home, maybe have a good think about zombie party members.

“Why are you hanging out outside my room? And have we always had this atrocious wallpaper?”

Guess we missed date night.

“Yeah, I have to take out four… Dio Brandos? Crap, I should have taken notes…”

Marina has some serious self esteem issues.

Ashley is fighting for you, Marina.


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Old 02-08-2018, 04:26 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 22-7

Marina joined the party! Marina died seventeen times in one battle!

Here comes the hug train!


Now we’re all aboard.

Kind of a bitter d’aw, but I’ll take it.

“Oh, by the way, I may have promised this robot lady that she can kill me later if she thinks it’s a good idea. Anyway, gotta go, toodles!”

ARMS parade! Everybody walk in step!

We have been saying that for like six updates now.

Really crappy pep talk, Irving!

Bonus points to anyone that can successfully identify every character in this screenshot. They’ve all been named at one point or another in this LP. … I think. I’ll give you Linda! She’s one of the nurses.

“I will be filing ARMS’ taxes. It is a very important task!”

… And that’s where we’ll stop for today. We’re headed for four Diablo Pillars, and that will involve a bit of globetrotting.

Oh, but first, did you think that Brad’s latest Arm was relegated to cutscenes?

Well, you’d be wrong, because for the low cost of 99 FP (out of you max 100), you can fire off your very own rail gun! It’s super powerful, but starts with only one bullet of ammo, so it’s very limited. But it is very satisfying to vaporize your enemies, so major points there.

Next time on Wild Arms 2: Odessa suddenly has a personnel problem.
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:53 PM
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I'ma link that great Liz and Ard battle theme one more time, for posterity's sake, since we won't hear it again.

Such a shame...


Oh and Brad's back. I gotta admit, while the justification for Brad surviving that little sure-death scenario was silly as hell, I gotta appreciate the legwork the game's plot did to make it all technically plausible within its own wacky internal logic.

Good job game???? I think?
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Old 02-17-2018, 06:21 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 23-1

Previously on Wild Arms 2: ARMS fought through a dungeon that told them about their next four dungeons. I guess they were pre-dungeoning? Oh, and Brad is back, too. That’s super!

But now we’re searching for the four Diablo Pillars. Where are those, again?

Amy? A little help?

I was considering doing a poll regarding “which Diablo pillar should we hit first?” but the truth is that I don’t know where we’re supposed to be going. This isn’t like the “choose an adventure” at the start, we have to suss out the locations of each Diablo Pillar.

And one of ‘em barely has directions at all.

No matter, let’s hit Baskar first, as it’s been a while since we’ve checked in with our favorite runner-up medium.

‘Atta girl.

I love that Colette has “extra” crazy dialogue for talking to anyone but Tim.

But she gives the official directions only to Tim.

On the way out…

Huh. “The Blaze of Disaster” is the full title of the demon currently hiding in Ashley. Maybe we have more than one medium on the team…

The Diablo Pillar appears to be around here somewhere, but there’s a cliff in our way.

Time to teleport the hovercraft over…

Here we are!

Gee, I wonder who is in charge of Diablo Pillar Antenora.

When Wild Arms 2 says you’re going to disable four Diablo Pillars, it means you’re going to disable four Diablo Pillars, and that means four separate dungeons that aren’t all that different. Each Diablo Pillar follows a pretty simple pattern, so pay attention, because I’m only going to say this four times.

First of all, there are floors with monsters. Here are some monsters.

Please be aware of sharp edges on all monsters.

Each of the monster floors is just a spiraling staircase of nothing.

Battle areas then alternate with puzzle areas. There are no random encounters in these puzzle areas, but there are… puzzles. Hm, probably didn’t need to say that.

Each puzzle floor on each Diablo Pillar is unique, though the pillars generally have puzzles that stick to a theme. Antenora’s areas are brain teasers. This floor, for instance, is one of those “walk over the switches but you can’t step on the same switch twice” deals.

There aren’t any unusual blockages or anything on this puzzle, and it’s a basic 8 x 8 grid, so just walk in four 2 x 2 squares, and you’re good to move on.

Then it’s another battle floor…

Followed by the next puzzle floor.

This time, we’ve got a random pattern we’re supposed to memorize.

Step on the wrong tile in the wrong sequence, and the whole thing resets with a new pattern.

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Old 02-17-2018, 06:27 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 23-2

So, fun fact, I create these LPs by first recording all the footage, and then dicing it into screen caps afterwards. Since I was recording anyway, and because I have the memory of a goldfish, I just stopped recording, played back the sequence on my secondary monitor, and, well, I can be very good at Simon Says that way.

Battle floor…

Ugly bugs…

The next “puzzle floor” is just a miniboss battle. This will be the exact middle of every other Diablo Pillar, too.

Have you noticed that Odessa is now roughly a “bizarro” version of our own, dear ARMS? Vinsfeld the leader vs. Ashley our leader, Ptolomea the military strongman vs. Brad our military strongman, and Caina the kid summoner vs Tim our kid summoner. Kanon kills because she considers it her duty, while Judecca kills because he finds it fun. And Antenora is the girl, so she naturally stands against Lilka, our girl. Look, it’s not a perfect system.

Regardless, each of these pillars has a teeny bit of character development for its matching ARMS member. In Antenora’s Diablo Pillar, Lilka gets to say a few words before the miniboss.

Lilka has become a little more confident over the course of the adventure.

Presumably confident enough to battle some manner of Power Ranger cyclops creature.

Seriously? Loving the color scheme. All the colors of the rainbow for Prisnum. Oh! Prism! I just got that!

Prisnum has miniboss written all over its multicolored chest. There’s not much to this dude aside from being slightly stronger than a random encounter.

It has like one cool move where it shoots a bald monk at you.

But other than that, he mostly sticks to ice/water attacks.

And then it explodes. Lilka’s sister would be proud.

Each of these minibosses drops a new piece of armor for their matching hero. If you’re trying to maximize your Wild Arms 2 experience, hit the pillars in a proper order to kit out your most used characters. Or blindly bumble along like I am. Either way works.

Moving on…

Another random battle floor…

Oh! Break time! This “puzzle floor” is just a save point. I should stop calling these things “puzzle floors”. Freaky floor tile floors?

Battle floor…

Okay, full disclosure, I have no idea how this puzzle works.

You have to hit the switches in some sort of order, and if you hit the wrong switch, the puzzle resets to the beginning. There are eight switches.

But after being taunted by Antenora once…

I managed to avoid the “bad” switch, and hit all the proper switches. I’m not certain if I did something “right”, or there’s supposed to be some moral about just believing in yourself or… something? Look, what’s important is I never have to deal with a 13% chance of hitting the wrong switch again.

I’m just noting how many battle floors there are for posterity.

And this is the last one!

Top floor. The floors in this area are semitransparent, so if you swing the camera around just right, you can play with some weird pixel perspectives.

Ashley, she has nearly killed you twice now. She was almost directly responsible for Brad’s death.

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Old 02-17-2018, 06:34 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 23-3

Give it about five minutes, and we’ll learn this isn’t your typical threat.

There really needs to be an ellipse somewhere in there.

“We’re going to give this whole ‘killing you dead’ thing a shot!”

We get it!

“You heard her! Her heart is the weak point, guys!”

Antenora is the same as ever. Look out for physical (laserish) attacks, and the occasional status ailment.

Due to reckless cheating, I haven’t talked about unique Wild Arms 2 status ailments much. WA2 has your typical poison, sleep, and confuse statuses, but here Brad is affected by… Ugh, what is that symbol supposed to mean? It’s either “forgetfulness”, which means the character won’t earn EXP, or “downhearted”, which means the character gains FP very slowly, effectively crippling the use of abilities. I really should know what that icon means! But it’s not in the manual, and I’m not even done with one Diablo Pillar yet. Let’s assume it’s downhearted.

Working on finishing up here, though.

Antenora is done. Each of the Odessa members drops a War Respite upon their death. It’s a flower consumable that will heal any and all status effects. I also bet it’s another bit of crazy localization. Peace lilies?

The form of a bayonet?

With Antenora’s defeat, the spinning thing at the center of the pillar collapses. Load-bearing general technology.

Antenora lies defeated. Lilka wants to talk about boys.

Antenora laughs at your puny Bechdel test.

… Buh?

Turns out Antenora was low level Slayheim royalty (Duchess Antenora?), and Vinsfeld is directly responsible for the death of her family.


To… help him?

… What?


So your grand plan for revenge was… suicide? The hell!?

Aaaand magical death laser or something signifying her end.

Oh, she had strong feelings alright.

Thanks for the relationship advice, living weapon!

Going to go ahead and guess it isn’t the one that leads you to the most elaborate suicide ever!

And we’re done here. Time to teleport out.

Let’s examine the trajectory of Antenora’s life during our trip. Antenora…

• Was born into Slayheim royalty
• Which was summarily killed by Vinsfeld, so Antenora
• Plotted her revenge, which involved
• Joining Vinsfeld
• Sleeping with Vinsfeld
• Creating a global network (a world wide web, if you will) for gathering information for Vinsfeld
• Assisting Vinsfeld in such fun activities as burning villages and releasing monsters
• All with the absolute goal of making Vinsfeld absolute king of the world
• But! The plan was to commit suicide by hero
• This, thus, would make Vinsfeld sad

So Antenora is completely crazy.

That… sucks.

Antenora is a unique JRPG character up to this point. She’s a female villain (villainess?) in a JRPG, but she’s not the typical Claremontian sadist queen you usually see in that position. She seems pretty… normal (and, side note, she’s not wearing a battle bikini or S&M fetish wear). She’s also the de facto leader of Cocytus, and the entirely male (basically) organization looks to her for guidance. She’s not Odessa’s secretary, she’s not their token female here to say lady stuff and occasionally flirt with the hero; she’s a kick-ass general that appears to be the absolute most stable person on Team Bad Guy.

And it turns out it was all a feint so she could better upset a male character.

Antenora, you were this close to being the rare feminist JRPG villain, and you blew it right at the finish line.

Or should I say the Wild Arms 2 writers blew it?

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Old 02-17-2018, 06:41 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 23-4

So, one pillar down. What’s next? Didn’t Amy say something about the Sielje Region? Let’s see if we can’t embarrass Lilka a little more.

Here we are, back in the frozen south of Filgaia.

Aw, he probably misses his bomb.

Professor MacGregor gives us the official directions to the next Diablo Pillar, but we should check in with Terry while we’re here. That boy deserves to be happy.

Aw, Terry, you just keep giving Lilka the business like it’s your job.

Speak to Terry as any other party member, and he’ll reveal that he’s apparently the school virgin detector. Keep up the good work, Terry!

So this Diablo Pillar is smack dab in the middle of the ocean. There’s a triangle of islands that hide the pillar at the center, but Kanon’s radar works just as well on the hovercraft, so it’s not a big deal to find this one. Actually, with the “flatness” of the ocean, it’s one of the easiest pillars to uncover.

Welcome to Diablo Pillar Ptolomea.

I’m not going to note every battle floor again, but, suffice it to say, we’ve got the same number as every other pillar. There are different monsters, though. Hey! Isn’t that Decarabia supposed to be in Persona?

Puzzle time. The theme for Pillar Ptolomea is “moving, crushing blocks”. These giant cubes roll forward, and you’re supposed to use Brad’s bombs to blast through them. Lay a bomb, let the block roll onto it, and, a few bombs later, no more blocks.

However, the blocks are kind of glitched, so you can “solve” this puzzle through other means.

In fact, you can wiggle through this entire chamber of four moving blocks without using a single bomb. As my old Spanish teacher used to say, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing rapido.

Oh! This dungeon has monkeys! Sweet!

Next puzzle floor, and we can’t cheat through this one.

You’re chased by four blocks on a narrow, square platform. You have to outrace the blocks and blow ‘em all up before a bridge will appear.

The blocks actually get faster as their friend blocks are demolished. Try not to get squished!

Moving on to the subboss du pillar.

Brad still has Billy on the brain.

Brad believes that, since Billy believed in his friends, he was able to more effectively outrace a bomb. I would say this is some phenomenally stupid thinking, but it is exactly what Brad did last update.

So I guess it’s time to fight a narwhal.

A tiger narwhal.

Belleclaire is, oddly enough, earth element based.

It also has all the strength of a jungle cat crossed with a sea unicorn. For anyone that hasn’t ever fought a unicorn (I’m an expert), that is a lot of strength.

Watch the pointy parts, too!

Belleclaire is probably the most powerful miniboss of the pillars, but it’s almost because of the “accident” of how easily it can fell Tim or Lilka with fierce physical attacks. But you should be able to succeed with just Brad and Ashley pouring on the offense.

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Old 02-17-2018, 06:48 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 23-5

And then you get the Best Vest for your troubles. Sadly, this is not the best vest in the game.

Scuttling right along…

Final puzzle room! Now there are grand rows of moving blocks, and you need to bomb your way through to the exit.

Ooooor you can just utilize that same glitch and stroll on forward at your leisure.

Couple more battles, and then it’s time for the one-eyed man.

I’ll save you a google search, and confirm that a “yearling” is basically a baby sheep. Wake up, yearlingle!

Lilka’s personality seems to be boomeranging around here.

It’s been a while, but the last time we saw Ptolomea, he tricked us into a brief debate on ideals and the true meaning of justice. That seems to happen again.

Debate over!

Viva la Ptolomea!

“Could you do that without terrorizing people?”

Ptolomea isn’t even as brutal as his pet tigwhal. Oddly enough, this is yet another Odessa general that is most difficult during his first appearance, but a complete pushover by his final battle.

And I just pushed him over.

Yeah, justice is totally on the side of five people that beat up one dude with a vision disability.

“We’re gonna keep killin’ ‘em in random encounters, so no promises there.”

Sure, Brad. Sure.

This is exactly what Brad said last update. Unfortunately, with WA2’s wonky localization, I have no idea if this is a deliberate parallel, or a fortune cookie that was floating around the Sony America offices. Maybe Ptolomea was in the Slayheim Liberation Army, too? Who knows.

“Thanks! Maybe we can be friends, too!”

“… Or… not.”

Wasn’t he, though?

Let’s talk about Ptolomea for a second. Ptolomea was obviously positioned as a counterpart to Brad, and, right up to the end, the moral seems to be “but for the grace of God goes our heroes”. Ptolomea just happened to be on the wrong side of this conflict, and, were he recruited by the right creepy megalomaniac at the start of this adventure, things might have gone differently. He was a good guy on the wrong team.

Except he seemed to have a recurring love of releasing monsters on unsuspecting towns, so maybe that message got a tweak muddled.

Moving on to our next destination...

Where can we stop to get off this ship? Oh, neat, Ptolomea’s base was really close to Illsveil Prison, the first place we saw him and where he recruited the majority of his troops. I wonder if that was deliberate.

#3 is supposedly near Guild Galad, so that’s our next stop.

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Old 02-17-2018, 06:54 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 23-6

Guild Galad Master is not at all helpful.

But the Guild Galad library is much more useful.

So it’s somewhere to the south, but we may as well read some books while we’re here. This a clue to something? … Probably?

Okay, I took the hovercraft around the area, aimed for a green dot, and found… Dark Reason? That’s not a Diablo Pillar!

But while we’re here… Dark Reason is an optional dungeon. There don’t seem to be any random encounters here, but it is pretty… dark.

The trick here is that visibility is limited, and the bridges around the area will collapse behind you. And, if you take the wrong path, you’ll have to drop in a pit and start the room over again. It can be annoying, but the only thing you have to lose in this area is time.

And finding the right path is usually just a matter of aiming for the door with the most complicated bridge.

And here’s the prize: Leitea Salk, the Guardian of Darkness.

… Did you just say you’re an idiot? Whatever, Leitea.

And the hardest part of this dungeon is that there isn’t an exit spell in WA2, so you have to backtrack over a bunch of stupid dark bridges.

Anyway, Leitea Salk is the darkness medium, and it naturally confers a pair of dark elemental spells to Tim. Unfortunately, these spells are extremely situational, as 90% of the monsters in WA2 resist dark (because they’re monsters, duh). Leitea is more useful for its unique skill, Counterattack, which reverses physical attacks for one turn, and is very useful when you’re stuck in a one-on-one battle with random mooks. Or the mooks just use magic, and you’re screwed. Whatever.

Fun fact: Leitea Salk is one of the few new Guardians created for Wild Arms 2, and I believe it doesn’t reappear in any later Wild Arms adventures, either. That’s what you get for representing the worst element!

Back to searching for that Diablo Pillar. Turns out you need to board the chateau and fly over to one of the four landing pads on Filgaia to find the dang thing. I knew I was forgetting one landing pad back when I said there were only three…

Here we are.

You know the drill.

Honestly, I would be so mad if all the monsters were the same across all of the pillars.

And now for some puzzles. “Puzzles”. Caina enjoys shooting galleries, I suppose, and it’s time to show off our knife hurling. These puzzles would be a lot more appropriate for Judecca…

Three hits and we’re good to go.

The camera refuses to cooperate with me for this monster, but if we check our bestiary…

That’s Sibylla. Playstation 1 games had a weird habit of inserting adorable witch girl monsters into games, and I miss those days. … Wait, they just migrated over to terrible animes, didn’t they? Forget what I said, I miss nothing.

Now for some more hand-eye coordination. Don’t hit any of the “bad” blocks, or you’ll have to start over.

Another three-and-done puzzle. This pillar is going down smooth.

And our special guest speaker for this sub boss will be…

Tim and Pooka!

“Person”. It’s probably going to be a coyote with the head of an elk and the breath of a starfish or something.

Man, Tim hasn’t had any character development since he became a medium. He was like the main character for four updates, and then nothing.

Slime monster, eh? I’m betting this guy isn’t going to be as friendly as Rocket.

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Old 02-17-2018, 07:00 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 23-7

How many heads does this thing have? Hey! Drawdo! Save some for the rest of us!

Drawdo is quite the handsome fellow.

He’s looking right at me!

Once you get past the smell, Drawdo isn’t that bad. It’s not very powerful, but most of its moves are based on inflicting status effects.

Here is Tim, and he is both confused and poisoned. … I wonder if Tim can summon a guardian to attack the party…

But unless you get unlucky with an entirely confused party, Drawdo should be done in no time.

Do not accept any free ponchos from strange slime monsters.

The next puzzle area is your Breath of Fire style “dark maze”. There aren’t any monsters around, though, so feel free to bump around in the dark at will.

Not that this maze and its crazy color scheme is all that easy to parse with the lights on.

Let’s get out of here.

Another pillar bites the dust.

Hey, Caina. Nice ribbon.

Ashley will be played by Hank Hill for the remainder of this update.

The Wild Arms 2 localization A Team was on a coffee break.

Caina doesn’t actually say a word until the battle starts. I guess we won’t be seeing a ridiculous Caina backstory.

Caina, why couldn’t you use your key weapon to save magical fantasy worlds like a good boy?

Caina doesn’t seem to have much in the way of new attacks since that appearance a few updates ago. Watch out for random status changes, and you’ll be fine.

Asleep and silence? Not great synergy, there.

Hey! Caina! Where’s our flower?

Protocol dictates we kick your ass!

Randolph doesn’t just have a catchy name for the hell of it, it appears Caina’s magic key is partially sentient.

Randi! No! Don’t do this!

Oh… guess Randolph is on our side. This black hole is only sucking in Caina.

“Just to be clear, this isn’t a happy wooooooo!”

“Welp, this has been a long day.”

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Old 02-17-2018, 07:02 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 23-8

When your enemy is sucked into another dimension, yes, you’ve won. Just ask Gilgamesh.

Yeah, that kid that just tried to suck us into a black hole was pure as driven snow.

This is absolutely wrong.

Anyway, I’d discuss Caina, but this update is already getting pretty long.

And we don’t even know how we’re going to get to the final Diablo Pillar, so I think it’s time for a break. Come back next time to find there’s a whole stupid sidequest leading up to that nonsense.

Next time on Wild Arms: I ain’t afraid of no ghost.
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Old 02-18-2018, 04:36 AM
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Oh Antenora, so close to being a memorable and interesting JRPG villainess, and then

Ptolomea (and his fun friends) will be missed the most, to me a supervillain group is only truly great if it can also provide some levity, and all that goes out the window with Ptolomea.

And Caina gets sucked into the Dead Zone. But don't worry, she'll be back later in some terrible filler arc to pad out the time before Trunks and Mecha-Freeza.
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Old 02-19-2018, 07:37 AM
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The subvillain sendoffs are goofy as all get-out. It's like they heard PS1 RPGs were supposed to wax philosophical, so they cracked open some fortune cookies and ended each one by saying, "But this terrorist wasn't really a bad guy."
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:17 AM
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You'd think they'd have learnt by now, but modern JRPGs still try to drum up sympathy for their awful mass murdering antagonists, with no more success than in decades past (notable recent examples: Persona 5, Xenoblade 2). The more things change, the more they stay the same!
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:36 AM
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I'm way behind on commenting on this thread (not on reading along, though!), but here's a couple thoughts on this part.

- The takeaway for Ptolomea, I think, is supposed to be how loyal he is to the soldiers under his command. That might make some more sense if, say, he had fought alongside them before they were imprisoned or something, but I don't think there's anything to suggest that.

- You don't hear from Caina right now the same way you do the other three, but, Caina's method of 'defeat' is a recurring theme: Zeikfried gets sucked into a portal in WA1 in a very similar way, as does Asgard in WA3 (even better, he gets transported through time as well as space).

- One theme we are seeing here, which I believe is maintained in every WA game, is that the bad guys, though they are ostensibly working together, do not share common goals and/or motivations, and will ultimately fail (in part) for that reason.
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Old 02-20-2018, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by breakman View Post
- You don't hear from Caina right now the same way you do the other three, but, Caina's method of 'defeat' is a recurring theme: Zeikfried gets sucked into a portal in WA1 in a very similar way, as does Asgard in WA3 (even better, he gets transported through time as well as space).
All pretenders to the throne.

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Old 02-22-2018, 12:16 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 24-1

Ha ha ha! The Let's Play forum is mine! Yes, Wild Arms 2 Thread! Grow and conquer them all!

Previously on Wild Arms 2: Three out of four Diablo Pillars have fallen, but we’ve still got one more to go.

All Amy can tell us is that we’re looking for an island near Meria, so maybe someone in Meria will give us a hint.

So much for plot relevant characters helping us out.

The library worked out in Guild Galad, so let’s give it a shot.

Nope! Even that book we couldn’t read earlier is still a mystery.

This entire town is a bust. So much for following subtle JRPG clues.

Maybe we should just set off and find that island ourselves.

This island appears to be our goal, but the mountains make it impossible to reach the all important green dot.

Maybe if we talk to Amy directly aboard Valeria Chateau? Nope, still unhelpful.

Marivel, you got anything for us?

This… sounds helpful. I think?

Wow! We got an upgrade for the map! … That is still useless.

Irving? Anybody?

Okay, turns out the answer is to hit Quartly again. I’m not certain who or what actually indicates you’re supposed to return to this old bridge town, but the trail warms up around here.

Everybody in town is talking about an abandoned city.

I mean, it’s something to do.

Here’s our brand new map overlay, compliments of Marivel.

And here’s the Lost City Archheim, right in the middle of the salt flats.

Well now, this looks like a fun place.

The main building is locked, but there are a lot of open doors around.

You see a book entitled “This Will Be Ironic If This Is One Of The Last Books Left In A Lost City Destroyed By Lost Technology”.

But everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked.

Okay, that room was a bust. Moving on…

This is one of the rare Duplicator Doors scattered across Filgaia. Duplicator Chests require consumable Duplicators to open, and Duplicator Doors work in exactly the same way. In general, Dup Doors are a more efficient use of Duplicators, as there are usually more treasures to be found behind doors than in chests (and at least one Guardian way the heck later). This whole area seems important, so we’ll be back shortly.

Like a good ruined town, there are random encounters around. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I suppose), you’re going in and out of buildings so often, the RNG barely has time to register battle time.

The large building in the rear of town has a central room with a weird pedestal, and two rooms on either side.

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Old 02-22-2018, 12:22 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 24-2

One room hides a treasure chest that can only be retrieved by Pooka.

Oh, good. A purple ball. Just what I always wanted.

And the other room contains a save point. Remember that you can’t save on the overworld of WA2 (that will be important later).

As you likely guessed, using the conductor on the center pedestal activates an elevator. Going down!

Looks like we have an underground waterway.

We can open the gate with these switches, but…

We can’t actually find a way down to the bottom to enter that gate.

Guess we have to continue searching around topside.

“Devil’s Road? Serpent Road?”
“I don’t think anyone has used Snake Road yet.”

Oh! Oh! We’re on the right track!

And the next room over hides another conductor. Time to look for another pedestal…

Here’s a shot of the local Koffings and Lotads.

Now we’re back here again. Let’s burn a Duplicator on this Duplicator Door.

Dammit! There’s a new hat for Kanon in one of the crates, but we can’t reach the treasures behind that fence. That’s the second time a fence has blocked us from collecting loot!

So, in an act of utter irritation, Brad decides to detonate the top floor of this house.

Now we can play on the roof(s).

And fall into otherwise inaccessible buildings.

Time to use that conductor.

Now we’re down in the waterway, and we can advance through the opened gate, but…

Come to think of it, this group is about as far from resembling the gang from Scooby-Doo as it gets. Though Velma would be pretty awesome with a grappling hook arm…

“Welcome to Booooobies, the haunted strip club. Do you have a problem with the rest of my staaaaaaff?”

Ja, is soul.

Huh. This dude looks pretty classy for a ghost haunting a sewer.

Jasoul isn’t much of a threat (and, even if it were, you could easily leave this whole area and restore health/level up).

Jasoul isn’t very powerful on its own, but it does employ a few abilities to negatively impact our stats.

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Old 02-22-2018, 12:28 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 24-3

Its strongest attack seems to be an HP drain ability that does really variable damage. Sometimes it barely makes an impact, sometimes it will suck a character entirely dry. And this does confirm that the undead can heal just the same as any other monster in Wild Arms 2.

Explosions come to ghosts just as easily as the living.

And now we can move on. I’m not certain if this means we just re-killed the lost souls of an entire war torn city…

Hey! A Live Reflector! We haven’t used one of those in ages.

And here’s a Duplicator Chest!

The Missanga is an accessory that will up a character’s luck by one level. Since Kanon learns new abilities based on her luck stat, I’d highly recommend tossing that on her immediately.

The Live Reflector only has one destination.

Shoot across the planet…

And here we are at Snake Road.

There’s a Duplicator Chest on this side of the world, too. The Holy Grail is just some lousy cup of a carpenter, and only protects against instant death attacks.

And it looks like that Live Reflector deposited us on that island with the Diablo Pillar. Hooray!

One long walk across the island…

And here we are! Final Diablo Pillar!

You might think that, after all the effort it took to get to this Diablo Pillar, and only this Diablo Pillar, that it might be less intensive than the other three. You’d be wrong!

Some of the monsters here are prone to using instant death attacks, so you might want to stick that Holy Grail on your healer.

Your puzzles for today will mostly consist of dodging while riding a moving platform. As long as you stay toward the middle of the platform, the worst you could do is lose a little HP.

The first platform area is pretty quick.

Time for a miniboss!

Kanon has been with ARMS for like two days, and she’s already exceeded her monster murdering quota for the year.

Monster, you’re screwed.

And you might be a Godzilla, too.

Or maybe a Pokémon?

Magmalizer is kind of a trap of a monster. It’s pretty easy, and, given the description, you’re going to want to cast ice magic on it.

But! It uses Mirror Coat, the “reflect” spell of Wild Arms 2, so any spells used will bounce right back at you. This includes both Lilka and Tim’s entire oeuvre. A single Lilka Hi-Freeze spell might not kill a boss immediately, but, if reflected, it could instantly murder a party member (like Lilka!).

So just whack it into submission.

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Old 02-22-2018, 12:37 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 24-4

And maybe try to remember your asbestos undies.

Kanon finally learned a new move! Hooray! New abilities can “spark” at any time in a battle, and Arc Kick now finally allows Kanon to use her second level FP ability.

Did I use Kanon’s new Arc Kick to detonate this creature? Maybe…

At least Kanon gets some nice gear for her troubles. Or... lame gear?

Dashing on.

The next puzzle room is lousy with spikes and a platform that loops all over the place.

Absolutely do not fall off, as that would be annoying.


Hey! Get back to Final Fantasy 5!

Last puzzle room. No more moving platforms, but same basic concept: avoid spikes on a narrow platform.

And we’re about done here.

Time to see a nerd about a punch to the face.

Come to think of it, it is absolutely in character for Judecca to hide in the Diablo Pillar that is the downright most difficult to reach.

Mono to Five-o.

Judecca is completely insane.

Don’t try to rationalize your insane troll logic!

Judecca, of all the villains in Odessa, we dislike you the most.

That’s exactly why!

Judecca’s origin story: he’s a sadist. The end.

Thank you, Kendrick Lamar.

So, fun fact, every other time we’ve fought Judecca, it’s been one-on-one. This is the first we’re actually battling the dude as a party.

But, aside from counterattacking a bunch…

And having maybe one magic gun that shoots everybody, there isn’t much to this fight.

Honestly, all of the final Odessa fights are a letdown. Every single one of these dorks claimed they were “holding back” in earlier battles, but, when literally fighting for their lives, they’re comparatively weaker. Lame.

Judecca blames his loss on his original failing back when Ashley awakened as Knight Blazer. Don’t tell him that was technically Caina’s fault!

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Old 02-22-2018, 12:42 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 24-5

Judecca is going to stick to his philosophy right to the end.

“Yeah, don’t treat this game like a game!”

Jude was always in it for the carnage. Don’t think we’re going to get a friendly denouement out of this scenario.

Aaaaand outright suicide. The children of the party literally look away.

“Or he was just a dick.”
“That too.”

“It's ‘human’ to not hesitate taking another's life when you're protecting your own.”

“Then ‘humans’ are weak and fickle.”

“No need to give in to weakness, but to live strongly. I think that's the ideal for ‘humans’ to strive for.”

We’re the good guys because we don’t kill randomly. Got it. Let’s go slaughter some monsters for EXP on the way home.

And we’re done with the pillars. I suppose we should talk about Judecca a little. Judecca was… a bad guy. There’s no secret backstory, no traumatic childhood, not even a lost love. He’s just a bad guy that likes to hurt people, and that’s it. In a way, that’s kind of refreshing, as it saves us from having to sympathize with another terrorist that is constantly trying to murder us, but it does give me very little to review in a paragraph of epitaph. I feel like I should pad this thing out with some nonsense words. I am the very model of the modern major general… Oh! I can talk about the Diablo Pillars!

Up to this point, Wild Arms 2 has been pretty straightforward with its dungeon -> plot -> repeat architecture. We also, generally, were constantly making forward progress across the world, as our next mission always seemed to lead to some new chunk of geography (or an excuse to use a new piece of technology). Now, we’ve explored the whole of Filgaia, and WA2 presents a new challenge: revisit some old areas, talk to some old friends, and find four separate “hidden” locations. And that’s pretty neat! It’s a fine excuse to advance the plot and remind the player of the world they’ve already explored. And we get to burn off the Odessa Cocytus Generals in focused, dramatic ways. It beats a boss gauntlet in the final dungeon!

Unfortunately, WA2’s eyes may have been bigger than its stomach. Finding the four Diablo Pillars is interesting, but their contents are not. Yes, it’s kind of remarkable that all of the pillars follow a familiar pattern, but it’s a boring pattern, and it feels like padding before the inevitable “real” dungeon at the end of all of this “fetching”. The ghost town was more interesting than every one of these stupid pillars! And, despite giving each general their own dungeon, their final boss fights are unanimously dull, and they all made much more impactful “first” battles than their last (give or take Judecca). Kanon had a memorable “final” fight before she joined the team. These dorks? Not so much.

Just spitballing here, but maybe let the generals combine or otherwise work with their matching sub bosses? I’d be down for Caina x Slime Monster. Ptolomea riding a narwhal would also be acceptable.

Regardless, the Diablo Pillars were a generally good idea, but the execution feels like padding.

We completed one dungeon to find out about the Diablo Pillars, then completed four dungeons to disable those, and now we can finally enter the last dungeon! Yay!

ARMS Mission #17:
Deactivate the Diablo Pillars
Status: Success!
Notes: Seems like there was a lot of bloodshed for effectively flipping four switches.

To the Heimdal Gazzo! After a quick pit stop!

I forgot something back at the abandoned town.

You can see how that door would be easy to miss, right?

Ge Ramtos is our latest guardian.

This Death Guardian was an absolute pain in the butt to obtain during Wild Arms 1.

Ge Ramtos’s summon is a chance for instant death… that never works. She also confers an instant death spell to Tim (that is equally useless). But! If you level up her Tim link, he’ll eventually learn a spell that protects the entire party from instant death spells. Now that is useful! She also grants the skill “Hide in Shadows”, which is Edbard’s hide ability from Final Fantasy 4.

Okay, now it’s time to board our favorite flying mansion and hit that Heimdal Gazzo.

Hey, that looks familiar…

I thought that was Odessa’s logo, but it looks like the logos from the Alchemic Plant were actually Heimdal Gazzo icons. Or it could be both? I don’t know.

“Odessa” is basically one guy at this point.

Yeah! The ARMS-keteers! Let’s kick this would-be tyrant’s ass!

Next time.

Next time on Wild Arms 2: One of our ARMS members is not going to return. Will it be Pooka? Yes, probably. I bet it’s Pooka.
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:40 PM
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It feels like you're going through this game more quickly than I remember it taking, but might just be the LP format.

Judecca is a putz and no one will miss him.
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:02 PM
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Both WA1 and 2 are relatively brief by PS1 RPG standards, it's 3 and 5 that balloon to insane lengths.
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:03 PM
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Yes, you'll note that Pillar #1, in even its truncated Let's Play form, took 3 posts of a (nearly just) seven post update. Add in the bonus ghost town, and, if the pillars were covered "in depth", this section would be effectively three times as long.

But the Diablo Pillars are really samey, so I figured I'd save us a little time.

(Also skipping about 10,000 random battles, one way or another)

Related regarding game length: I am basically "measuring" updates in the same manner that I did Xenosaga (between 150-200 pictures an update, give or take allowing for appropriate plot breaks). Not a single one of the Xenosaga titles had gameplay that lasted past update #23. So Wild Arms 2 is actually pretty long by comparison.
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:05 PM
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That said, gogglebob's around the 50% mark. If you thought the first half was odd at all, hoo boy the second half...
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by GoggleBob View Post
Aggressive Poltergeist? Well there's a tautology.

Originally Posted by GoggleBob View Post

Huh. This dude looks pretty classy for a ghost haunting a sewer.
A sewer is where his kind belongs... fuckin' geists.
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triumphs of localization , with liz and ard

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