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Old 06-09-2017, 05:56 PM
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Default What in Blazes!? It's Wild Arms 2!

Are you ready for a Let’s Play so wild, you’re gonna need two arms to contain it!?

Table of Contents!

Chapter 1: Stray Dogs
Chapter 2: Puzzling Sisters
Chapter 3: Wide-Eyed Heroes
Chapter 4: Chasing Cats and Legends
Chapter 5: Magicians and Monsters
Chapter 6: Prisoners and Pugilists
Chapter 7: Under Traffic Under Siege
Chapter 8: Reach Out and Threaten Someone
Chapter 9: The Kids Are (not) Alright
Chapter 10: Crosses to Bear
Chapter 11: A Splendid Scientist Appears! Liz and Ard are Here to Help!
Chapter 12: Down Below and Way Up High
Chapter 13: You're a Wizard, Timmy!
Chapter 14: You Gotta Blow Sometime
Chapter 15: A Varukisas Before Dying
Chapter 16: Sea, Save Files, and Sielje
Chapter 17: Past, Present, and Lizards
Chapter 18: Brad's Secret Castle
Chapter 19: Just Some Passing Brad
Chapter 20: I Choo-Choo-Choose Death
Chapter 21: The New Kanon
Chapter 22: The Final Battle! Liz and Ard and Some Other Guy Return!
Chapter 23: Pillars That Take an Eternity
Chapter 24: The Last Place You Look
Chapter 25: The Fall and Rise of Odessa
Chapter 26: A Girl and Her Friends
Chapter 27: Lilka and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Chapter 28: The Planet is in Peril (Again)
Chapter 29: Kanon and the Cosmos
Chapter 30: The Last(ing) Scars of Odessa
Chapter 31: Sleeping Volcano, Hidden Dragon
Chapter 32: Inexplicable Halloween Special




Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for a Let’s Play of Wild Arms 2: Second Ignition. Why WA2? Well, I’ll explain that in full detail much later, but, long story short, for the last fifteen years or so, I’ve felt like I owed Wild Arms 2 a favor, and now is as good a time as any to settle that debt. Any other questions? Because we’ve got answers!

So this is a Let’s Play of only Wild Arms 2?

Yep, this is not a franchise-spanning Let’s Play like some LPs, just Wild Arms 2.

So will you be addressing the other Wild Arms games?

Not very much! Truth be told, I only played Wild Arms 1 (and its remake), Wild Arms 2, and Wild Arms 3 to completion. By the time of Wild Arms 4, I had kind of fallen out of love with playing every JRPG that came down the pike, and I quit that one somewhere about halfway through. Wild Arms 5 met a similar fate, and Wild Arms PSP was a gorram tactics game, and who has time for that?

So what’s the spoiler policy here?

You can pretty much assume I’m not going to spoil other Wild Arms games, because I can barely remember those adventures. Actually, that’s a lie, I’m probably going to bring up superficial similarities between WA2 and other WA games (that I’ve played), but, in general, this will be laser-focused on WA2. I will also likely spoil Final Fantasy 7, a game wherein Aeris dies, and other JRPGS contemporary to Wild Arms 2. I will also inevitably make references to Kingdom Hearts and Xenosaga, because, hi, I’m Goggle Bob.

Should I read this LP if I’ve never played Wild Arms 2 before?

Sure, why not? I may make oblique references to future events, so don’t expect a completely “surprise-based” Let’s Play, but, other than that, I’ll be doing my best to make sure old fans and new may enjoy this Playstation 1 JRPG from 1999.

What will be the focus of this Let’s Play?

Like a certain other franchise, Wild Arms 2 has a reputation for having a confusing mess of a plot. Whether this is because of a weird translation (“weird” is probably the best descriptor here), the plot is plain bonkers, or some combination of both is immaterial. One way or another, it seems that a lot of people that played Wild Arms 2 have no damn idea what just happened, so maybe this Let’s Play will rectify that.

So you’re focusing on the story?

It’s what I do! Speaking of “What I do”, like the Xenosaga LP, I will be cheating my ass off here, so don’t expect killer boss strategies.

Cheating? Again?

Wild Arms 2 has a classic JRPG battle system. That means it’s boring as hell. I don’t think I’d be able to continue the LP if I had to repeat a dungeon, like, once. Sorry! This cheating is for your own good.

Picture or Video LP?

I’m gonna copy and paste this from the last LP: Picture, for two reasons. One, I personally find it difficult to “follow” video LPs, if only because if I’m in a situation where I can sit down and “watch” something, I’m probably watching a scripted show, and not someone else play a video game. This isn’t to disparage video LPs, incidentally, it’s just how my own viewing habits work, which naturally influences what I myself produce.

Are these pictures small?

Sorry if it’s a little hard to read, but I’m formatting these shots so they’ll appear well on mobile devices as well as computers-proper. I have a tendency to browse the net on my phone, and, again, I’m a giant narcissist, so I assume my audience is me. I understand me.

Hey, you missed (fill in the blank)! What gives?

This isn’t a walk through, and I’m not going to hit every single sidequest, because I want this thing to end before the heat death of the universe. I’m also not, if I can help it, using a FAQ, so it’s pretty inevitable that I’m going to miss some stuff. That said, feel free to chime in on “oh man what about x”. I’m listening!

This is a classic JRPG with a lot of name options, may we, the audience, choose the names of characters?

No! This is a no fun zone! Errmm… I mean… In the interest of fully analyzing the plot, we’ll be sticking to the default names for most of the characters. … I just really don’t want to write a thousand page essay on the motivations of PANTS! Winchester. That said, there may be a few places I weaken my iron grip on the naming schemes. No promises.

That all make sense to everybody? Great! Let’s play!



We are starting a new game! Mostly! By the way, unlike Wild Arms 1, there is no secret cinema scene if you wait on the title screen long enough. Believe me, I checked.



But like Wild Arms, there is a rad introduction sequence when you start up the game. It’s not as good as the Wild Arms 1 intro, but then again, many people have described the birth of their first child as “not as good as the Wild Arms 1 intro.”



And the first glimpse of a character is ol’ Spineyhands McCloakneck. I’m sure he’ll be important later.



Each of the Wild Arms games has a… gun-sounding? Is that a phrase?... subtitle. Should I be abbreviating this game as WA2ndI? No.



Trudging through the desert is…



This guy! Ever notice how many JRPGs have heroes with blue hair? Is that, like, a thing?



Meanwhile, deep in a cave, some sulky guy looks over heavy artillery.



And sleepy girl gets some shuteye on a magic rune. That… is probably a bad idea.



Is maximum fuzziness offset by beady little eyes? Maybe we’ll find out!



And this is clearly some manner of Area 51 reject.



Back to wasteland traveling…



And now we get some (more) rapid fire action scenes. It’s our favorite alien on a rope bridge with the fuzzball. This is meant to seem dangerous, but has a bridge ever actually killed anyone important in fiction? And then some walking! And threatening! Or something!



And here’s a brief glimpse of the best character ever.



And some light incest!



Back to the desert.



And somewhere, a sixteen year old that dresses like a sixty year old is getting water while concerned.



Yes, this game will involve walking!



And the whole intro ends on a shot of blue-boy’s footprint. It is a weird thing to focus on for your finale.

By the by, in the Japanese version, this whole sequence is scored by a song that involves actual lyrics, but the vocals were replaced with a cool brass sound for us Americans that can’t stand to hear a Japanese voice. As a trumpet player, I’m not entirely upset.



Anyway, the introduction closes with a choice between three heroes. Do we choose “A young man ready for action”...



“A former hero now war criminal”...



Or “A sorceress just getting started”? You decide!

I mean, seriously, decide. Don’t say I never gave you anything.

Next time on Wild Arms: You tell me!

Last edited by GoggleBob; 04-22-2018 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:25 PM
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Gimme that beafy guy in the middle!
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:36 PM
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War criminals have all the best parties! Let's see some of that.
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:33 PM
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A top-notch Let's Play of one of my most dearly beloved games that's too time-consuming for me to want to play all the way through again but which I would love to see revisited in some capacity?

I'M EXCITED. I LIKE THAT THIS IS HAPPENING.

And of course, I gotta vote for “A former hero now war criminal” to start.
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by GoggleBob View Post
Picture or Video LP?

I’m gonna copy and paste this from the last LP: Picture, for two reasons. One, I personally find it difficult to “follow” video LPs, if only because if I’m in a situation where I can sit down and “watch” something, I’m probably watching a scripted show, and not someone else play a video game. This isn’t to disparage video LPs, incidentally, it’s just how my own viewing habits work, which naturally influences what I myself produce.

Are these pictures small?

Sorry if it’s a little hard to read, but I’m formatting these shots so they’ll appear well on mobile devices as well as computers-proper. I have a tendency to browse the net on my phone, and, again, I’m a giant narcissist, so I assume my audience is me. I understand me.
"the Internet is where solipsism goes to spawn and have little self-centered babies"

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And sleepy girl gets some shuteye on a magic rune. That… is probably a bad idea.
Yes, runes offer really poor support.

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Originally Posted by GoggleBob View Post
Anyway, the introduction closes with a choice between three heroes. Do we choose “A young man ready for action”...

“A former hero now war criminal”...

Or “A sorceress just getting started”? You decide!
Young man just seems ways too much like any other generic (blue-haired) RPG main protagonist. I'm not sure why I'm so meh on the sorceress. I was meh on bulky sulky guy until I saw that he was loaded for bear. So he has my vote!
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:31 AM
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For years I've been thinking about/intending to do something like a "Let's Play" for this game (and possibly also 3), but without any focus on the gameplay, just the story plus comparisons/references to other WA games (mostly 1/AC:F and 3).

Mooching off the hard work of an LP like this, and only covering the relationships between the different games...might be manageable.

At any rate, I'm excited to see this.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:50 AM
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Also, while there is probably no way to argue that Wild Arms 2's intro is outright BETTER than Wild Arms 1's intro...because 1's is, indeed, in the running for Best Intro Ever...I will say that 2's intro actually benefits from the growing context and familiarity with the characters and the story and all that and the game itself lives up to and complements its own intro, while I found my time with 1 to be sort of characterized by the sinking realization that the game itself would never even come close to nailing the incredible atmosphere of its intro. I like the first Wild Arms on its own terms, but it's probably never ideal when a game that is dozens of hours long is all sort of downhill after the first two minutes.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by GoggleBob View Post
Like a certain other franchise, Wild Arms 2 has a reputation for having a confusing mess of a plot. Whether this is because of a weird translation (“weird” is probably the best descriptor here), the plot is plain bonkers, or some combination of both is immaterial. One way or another, it seems that a lot of people that played Wild Arms 2 have no damn idea what just happened, so maybe this Let’s Play will rectify that.
This is consistent with what little I'm managed to retain of my Wild Arms 2 experience.

Also, with all of the talk of the intro video: is this the game that changes that intro as you progress? Or am I thinking of something else?
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Old 06-10-2017, 01:00 PM
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This is consistent with what little I'm managed to retain of my Wild Arms 2 experience.

Also, with all of the talk of the intro video: is this the game that changes that intro as you progress? Or am I thinking of something else?
There's a second intro on the second disc. Might even be better than the initial intro. It fucking rules.

WA2 falls smack in the middle of my 2- or 3-year love affair with JRPGs (~1999-2001). I remember it came out in 2000 when I was basically enamored with PS1 JRPGs (as many of us probably were around that time).

I remember that year I played: Final Fantasy 8, Legend of Legaia, Final Fantasy Anthology (5 being the bigger deal at the time), Star Ocean 2, Wild Arms 2, Legend of Dragoon, Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete, Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy 9, and Lunar 2 Complete.

What a year, but it's been all downhill between me and JRPGs since then. We're basically not on speaking terms anymore, but I can see myself going back to some PS1 gems if I can't find anything new to play.
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Old 06-10-2017, 03:48 PM
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There's a second intro on the second disc. Might even be better than the initial intro. It fucking rules.

WA2 falls smack in the middle of my 2- or 3-year love affair with JRPGs (~1999-2001). I remember it came out in 2000 when I was basically enamored with PS1 JRPGs (as many of us probably were around that time).

I remember that year I played: Final Fantasy 8, Legend of Legaia, Final Fantasy Anthology (5 being the bigger deal at the time), Star Ocean 2, Wild Arms 2, Legend of Dragoon, Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete, Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy 9, and Lunar 2 Complete.

What a year, but it's been all downhill between me and JRPGs since then. We're basically not on speaking terms anymore, but I can see myself going back to some PS1 gems if I can't find anything new to play.
Do you still play RPGs, just not the J ones?
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:19 PM
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Do you still play RPGs, just not the J ones?
I play RPG-hybrids. The Bloodbornes, Elder Scrolls, and Deus Exes of the world. I'm not into the more pure RPGs (JRPGs and even classic PC RPGs) anymore. I need action, and since pure RPGs have long since lost their monopoly on compelling stories, I'm all about the immersive action-hybrids.
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Old 06-11-2017, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
Also, with all of the talk of the intro video: is this the game that changes that intro as you progress? Or am I thinking of something else?
Quote:
Originally Posted by boyonion View Post
There's a second intro on the second disc. Might even be better than the initial intro. It fucking rules.
Yup, though you might be thinking of Wild Arms 3, which has a DYNAMIC INTRO that swaps out relevant scenes and imagery and characters depending on your current place in the story. Which is a cool idea, but unfortunately all it ends up actually doing is changing one single section in the middle four times as the game goes on while the vast majority of it is the exact same, so 2, which has two entirely distinct intros, wins out variety wise by far; I remember being kiiiinda disappointed by 3's half-assed intro shenanigans, after having heard some hype for the DYNAMIC INTRO gimmick. And that's setting aside that no incarnation of the intro is as good as the first two games'.

...3, what were y'thinkin' with that, at the end of the day Wild Arms games, excel or fail elsewhere as they might, were supposed to have just ONE JOB: an amazing intro
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Old 06-11-2017, 07:45 AM
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Yeah, I think I was probably conflating the two, although I think I really dug all of them, IIRC.
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Old 06-11-2017, 07:50 AM
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Still better than 5's which just has cutscenes from the game.
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:46 AM
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I remember my favourite feature of WA2 was the battle canceling mechanic. It didn't interrupt puzzle solving but also made you weigh the value of all that unobtained XP for the inevitable boss fights. WA1, though a quality game, could become frustrating if you were stumped on a puzzle and continued to just run into battle after battle.

Edit: actually answering the thread: go with the blue-haired protag!

Last edited by boyonion; 06-11-2017 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:52 AM
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just as a point of clarification

is this a 'this is my protagonist for the entire game' choice where we're stuck with it for the whole lp
or is this an ff6-style 'please select a scenario' choice where we'll come back to the other two and we're just deciding order
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:53 AM
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The second one.
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:53 AM
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oh ok cool

in that case i have no particular opinion, though i'll toss in a vote for GIRL anyway because why not
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Old 06-11-2017, 12:44 PM
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GIMME SUMMA DAT WAR CRIMES.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:01 PM
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I have a pure love for Wild Arms 2 untarnished by things like logic despite years of analysis. Very excited for this LP.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:16 PM
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Hot diggity daffodil! I wasn't expecting this so this is very much a pleasant surprise!

Oh and everyone be sure to get good and familiar with the actual opening theme music. Sear it into your mind. It will Be Important at some point in the finale for reasons.

Actually maybe GoggleBob should embed the opening video at the start of every update, just for the extra authentic feel.
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:37 PM
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One thing to note about WA2 (and well, every one of them past this) is that they have massive soundtracks. Which was fairly common back in the day with JRPGs since most of them relied on musical stingers and the like to communicate emoting since few had any amount of voice acting or in depth sprite/model animations.

That said, WA2 (and 3/4) shares a ton of leitmotifs with 1 that you can use to infer "oh hey, this scene is Guardian-related and so on" if you've played a WA game before.
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Old 06-14-2017, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
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GIRL
charlimit
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:01 AM
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Looks like War Criminal is in the lead, so he'll be on deck shortly. I'm counting Falselogic's Pants vote for the guy that at least has the right last name, so Blue Boy and Girl are tied for second. If anyone has a tiebreaker vote on who will be our first runner up, speak now.
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:39 AM
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Guy because I like is rifle!!
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Old 06-16-2017, 07:37 PM
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Girl, because I like ties and sorceresses! (That may have come out wrong.)
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Old 06-17-2017, 02:26 PM
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Nah, it's a good look.

And feel free to count that as a tie-breaking vote for Girl, if only because you ease into the jarringly awful localization a little better that way.

Oh wow I kinda figured "necktie sorceress" would be a terrible thing to search for, but why is "Slayers Syphiel" giving me this much porn? It's not like I have safe search off.
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Old 06-17-2017, 02:42 PM
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why is "Slayers Syphiel" [anime woman] giving me this much porn?
if you think about it, i promise the answer will come to you or vice-versa

also that site you linked hates hotlinking
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Old 06-17-2017, 05:24 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 1-1

Previously on Wild Arms 2: We had a vote, and the former hero, now war criminal won!



So let’s meet the hero we all deserve! Time for… five years ago? Considering we have absolutely no sense of time in this game yet, this is an odd choice for an introduction.



Ah, here’s our hero now, hiding out by a cliff in the rain. For the record, despite the “time skip”, this dude’s sprite/look will not change in the intervening five years. This is Garr, not Nina.



And it appears he’s hiding from a pair of soldiers with really poor hearing.



Yep, they’re looking for him. And I guess rain makes people tired? Never heard that one before.



Wild Arms didn’t invent the monster “barghest” (basically a demon dog), but they are the creatures we’ll be fighting in this area. I guess these hell puppies are domesticated.



This is a flashback to “five years go”, so, naturally, we need…



Another flashback! We’re getting a narration of “hero” talking about his time with Shadow and Clyde or something or other.



These scenes are deliberately confusing, as, even if you played through the other stories at this point, you’re not supposed to have a damn clue what’s happening.



Though, given the current situation and the general tone of these flashbacks, I want to say nothing went according to plan.



Yeah, put the past out of your mind and start shooting stuff! Explosions are the only solution!



Yeah! That’s the perfect introduction for naming “Escapee”.



But, no, we actually get the name out of these soldiers out… wherever they are.



Great, on top of everything else, our hero dropped his wallet.



Here we go, our first name entry screen for the game. For whatever reason, you have the option of naming a lot of characters in Wild Arms 2. Well, “you” the player. You, reader, don’t get any options, because I’m dictator of an LP’er.



So let’s take this moment to introduce Brad Evans. Here’s the short description: he’s basically the living embodiment of that one line from that Batman movie. No, not the one about not being able to get rid of a bomb. Although I guess that might apply, too…

To go into a little more detail, I’m not one to declare one character or another as “best” or whatever (this is a lie), but Brad is certainly the most complex character in the opening trinity of Wild Arms 2. Boy starts out as something of a well meaning blank slate, and Girl is pretty much just here to be peppy all the time. By contrast, Brad is a weary war veteran, and his general realism in the face of his firmly JRPG “genki” teammates is really appreciated. Brad is basically holding down the adult table for much of Wild Arms 2, and his more innocent comrades seem overly juvenile by comparison.

Unfortunately, Brad is also a victim of the translation woes that will become apparent as we go. Brad has a very complex backstory that may involve covert dealings and well-intentioned assumed names and… it gets a little difficult to parse at points, so I’m going to mention this now, so hopefully someone can keep an eye on things. Speaking of which, there’s also a strong implication that Brad is actually gay, which would be kind of amazing if it also isn’t the byproduct of a weird translation. Again, keep an eye out.

Other than that, we’ll get more important details on Brad as we go, but, suffice it to say, Brad really is the best pick from the opening trio.

And from a strictly JRPG party standpoint, he’s the “strong guy”. But you probably already figured that out.



Oh, and if you didn’t notice, all last names are hardcoded, so no “fully” renaming a character. Whether it’s Brad or Ivan or Pants, this guy still has the same surname.



Anyway, with that, we now have actual control of Brad Evans. Oddly enough, this scene starts with Brad coming from the right (North, according to that arrow on the screen), and you have to return in that direction to proceed.



So… walking. That’s fun, right? See those little gem dealies? They actually restore your HP. Wild Arms 2 doesn’t restore your health after every battle like some games, but picking up these crystals will bring back a little. In general, they’re a pretty cool idea, as it limits the need to open a window and heal after every damn battle. And the gems can work as “coins” in some dungeons, leading our Mario in the right direction. Or you can use ‘em like bread crumbs, and easily identify an area where you’ve already been. Look, I’m saying that the crystal gems will always save the day.



And, in case the crystals aren’t enough, there are a pair of chests containing heal berries in this area. This is the basic “potion” of Wild Arms, and we’ll get bigger, better berries as we go along. Wild Arms tries to stick to a “wasteland/desert” motif (we’ll talk about it more later), so the idea of healing items being a grown consumable (as opposed to a generic potion or other magical healing “object”) has always been thematically appropriate for the series.

Oh, and we’ll address why I already have too many Heal Berries in a moment.



But we got all those healing items before our first battle! Those crystals would have been totally wasted if I grabbed ‘em all early (not that I’m ever coming back…).



Welcome to the battle screen for Wild Arms 2! This is pretty similar to Wild Arms 1 (and Lufia before it, incidentally), and we’ve got five initial choices. The middle (and default) choice is “fight”, which opens up more options. Above that, we’ve got an option to change equipment mid-battle (always nice to see in a JRPG), to the right is your typical “run”, and below is the option of changing the party order (which is obviously completely useless right now). The left option allows you to cede control to the AI…. Which has never been a good idea. I don’t think I’ve approved of AI controlled allies since a few bad experiences during Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. Stop wasting your White charges, Phoebe!



Choosing that center Fight command gives us some real options. The sword in the center is your basic “hit the enemy with whatever” command, so that’s going to get used about 99% of the time. To the right is defend, which, as ever, is situational and rarely used. The star below isn’t going to do anything for us right now, but let’s just call it the “special” command for right now. To the left is items, and you all know how that works. And the green burst above allows you to use your FP for your character’s specialty.



So let’s look at that… assuming you can see it at all. Brad has two options for his FP: using his special gun, and using the Lock On command. As you can likely guess, the gun is going to do a lot more damage than a typical attack, and the Lock On ability grants that gun 100% accuracy. Unfortunately, we have a whole 1 Force Point (FP) at the moment, so we can’t do a damn thing. Where do we get FP?



From fighting! Let’s go ahead and target… Oh, see, those are the Barghests that were released earlier. There are apparently hundreds of them, as they’re the only thing we’ll fight in this forest.



As you can see, fighting fills the FP gauge pretty quickly. You gain FP for landing a hit, and you gain FP for getting hit. Considering Brad is the only party member at the moment, his FP will sail immediately.

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Old 06-17-2017, 05:31 PM
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GoggleBob GoggleBob is offline
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Default Wild Arms 2 1-2



Now we’ve got the FP to use that Bazooka! Hey, Brad said not to be skimpy on the ammo.

Lock on is great and “unlimited”, because it just requires an easily replenished 25 FP to guarantee a hit, and nobody likes to miss. However, the major disadvantage of the Bazooka (and all arms) is that it has limited ammo, and only a fairly rare item (the bullet clip) will fill it back up while in the field. Because Wild Arms 2 doesn’t offer any sort of dungeon maps or any easy way for a neophyte player to know the length of any given dungeon, this generally leads to bazookas and alike being saved for bosses… and that’s just as well. There are rarely any monsters in a WA2 dungeon that are worth “wasting” the ammo.

So, long story short, Brad doesn’t get to effectively expend his FP yet.

Incidentally, all characters start with FP equal to their level, thus Brad beginning this battle with 1 FP. Obviously that will get more useful as numbers go up.



And here’s our federally mandated victory pose. Most battles result in EXP and Gella (cash) gains, but sometimes you’ll earn an item as well. Pretty straightforward.



Since we just completed our first battle, let’s take a look at the menu. Full disclosure, I actually played through all the characters before Brad, because I wanted to make sure I could actually play this game before starting the LP (and thus before hosting the vote). That’s why we’ve already got 47 minutes on the clock down there, and some extra gella from other adventures, too. Brad is still at Level 1 regardless, and this is one of those nice JRPGs where you always know how far you are from the next level up. Only 7 more EXP to go!

At the right, we’ve got some basic choices, like items and equip. Auto determines how your computer AI works if you’re into that, and form is the same “rearrange the party” command from battle. Status is pretty straightforward, and I’ll tackle the System menu (basically “options”) during an update where I’m not already explaining the entire rest of the game.



For now we’re hitting the equip menu, so I can confess my sins.



I hacked the entire inventory into my game. Basically, I have an impossible 127 of every item in Wild Arms 2. This means that I can immediately equip all the “ultimate weapons”, and basically obliterate everything in my path.



Also technically hacked in some items that don’t exist. Considering this also means I have all the key items in the game… well, here’s hoping the whole LP doesn’t glitch out of existence at some point.



Incidentally, all gear (except accessories) are character specific, and, for whatever reason, each character is not noted by name in these descriptions, but “vocation”. Girl is, for instance “A crest sorceress”. Brad is “Prisoner 666”. … He’s #666?



Huh. I’m having second thoughts about this LP.



Okay, back to escaping… or whatever Brad is up to. He’s getting away from those dudes that stole his wallet. We know that much.



The Wild Arms series has this weird, one directional run thing going on. It’s not just a matter of holding down a generic “go faster” button, and… Uh, does the GIF explain what’s going on here? It’s hard to describe running in this series.



A treasure chest behind a big rock? Guess we’ll be returning to this area at some point with some heavy artillery. It’s not like Brad has a bazooka on him or anything.



Crates? I can deal with crates.



Crates can be picked up and tossed by any character. They’re just boring obstacles in this dungeon, but sometimes you need to use a crate to hit a switch or something, so get used to the fixed arc of a crate toss.



Oh, and sometimes crates include items like heal berries, so go ahead and destroy every crate you ever see (until you realize that you’re in a room with a switch, and you just inadvertently destroyed all your ammo, and you have to reenter the room to reset all the boxes).



A little past the crates is a cliff.



There is also literally no reason to go backwards in this dungeon. Well, unless you suddenly picked up a giant rock buster.



Brad psyches himself up for breaking his legs leaping off a cliff in the rain.



So you’ve got complete control of the camera in Wild Arms 2, and I guess you’re supposed to swing that puppy around so you can effectively jump down to the treasure chest we saw a moment ago.



Buuut I screwed that up, and missed it completely. Whoops!



So you may have noticed the red exclamation point over Brad’s head at the start of our first battle. That red bubble actually indicates an unavoidable random battle. A white exclamation point means you can actually cancel the random encounter, and just get on with your life. Thus, each dungeon becomes a sort of resource battle between “do I take this battle and gain the EXP, or do I avoid it and save on healing items?” Also, I guess the fact that most random encounters in WA2 are boring as sin is a factor, too. Anyway, point is that you get a choice of battles most of the time.

Oh, also there is a green exclamation point, and I believe that means you are stronger than the enemy trying to fight you. And, additional fun fact, I think you encounter more red exclamation points while running, but that might just be confirmation bias, as I am always running. Gotta go fast.



Anyway, I cancelled that battle, and then smashed up some boxes. Yay! Another heal berry!



Moving forward, Brad is startled by…



A puppy! We have now confirmed that Brad is a good guy, because he is a friend to animals.



Whoops.



Brad hides behind a tree and shouts… “Namumi”? Uh… let’s just go ahead and assume that’s what he named the tree.

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