Part 14: Chapter XIV: The Magnificent MarlokThis update is going to be awesome after this first bit.
: "It's Chino, isn't it? I suspected as much. As you know, he's very good at running and hiding from us."
: "Chino? He said he was gonna hide in the cellar or something."
The nuns in the room freak out, and the party looks confused. The camera pans outside.
: "We were the target of a hex attack. Although the city above ground has been purified, apparently the monsters still thrive underground. It's possible that Chino may have snuck past the guard, and is hiding underground."
: "Well, we'll go look for him then."
: "You will!? Oh, thank you so much! Good luck and be careful."
The group heads out to the entrance to the cellars.
: "That's impossible! I've been standing here watching all day! Or are you saying I'm not doing my JOB!? ... Whew! I'm really thirsty now after all that shouting."
He really does shout 'job,' the text balloons out for a moment.
The solution to this problem is to go get the water lady for him, and do what Chino did: go in when he's distracted. The hexed area music plays below, and, despite the creepy atmosphere, the area's pretty boring in screenshots. It's mostly just a series of wrecked rooms and passages with some new monsters.
D'awww, mice! How cute, who's a widdl-
WHY DO HORRIBLE THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN TO ME
Snap is a physical attack that has a chance of lowering defense. I find the mental image of Nina gnawing angrily on an enemy too hilarious to swap the skill to a more useful person for a long time.
Oh yeah, about those mice?
Do not underestimate the little bastards. They can lower your defense so much that they can murder you. Just because they are tiny and cute does not mean they cannot slaughter you.
We find Chino barricaded in an old prison cell. We'll have to find a way to get him. Just up the stairs is a room above the cells with a weak floor we can crash through, let's go there.
GIANT ROACHES AAAAAAAAAAAAARGH
I should feed you to the giant roaches, but you have useful information. Let's go, brat.
: "Will you tell me about the Princess now?"
: "When the Princess - did I tell you how pretty she was? Anyway, when she was getting ready to leave town..."
: "When I got there, I saw these people come up and start talking to her..."
: "Who was there!? Tell me!"
: "I don't really know, but one of them was Marlok, the shop owner."
: "Marlok is a merchant who lives here in the town. He owns a large sandflier of his own. Some people say he even has dealings with the Empire."
: "The Empire!? You mean, Elina's been taken to the West?"
: "'Scuse me Sister, but do you think you could tell us where we can find this Marlok?"
: "Marlok's got this big house in the middle of town. He's got a bodyguard too, who stands in front of it."
: "Looks like we should have a little talk with this Marlok. Thanks for your help."
And now, my friends...
It is time for one of the best bosses in the game.
REQUIRED VIEWING DUE TO MANLY MUSIC
Boss Video V: Kahn
REQUIRED VIEWING DUE TO MANLY MUSIC
: "I am Marlok. You are wanting to see me, yes? Well then, come inside zat we can talk."
Meet Marlok. He has an outrageous French accent and one of the sleaziest theme songs this side of 70s porn grooves. Assume it's playing at all times when he's present.
: "Now zat you mention it, I did carry a person who looked like zat on my sandflier."
: "What did you do with her!?"
: "Non, non, my little birdie. You misunderstand! I was asked to take 'er to zee West, you see."
: "Listen, mister - you'd better start making sense, and fast! Tell us exactly what happened - now!"
Marlok takes a drag on his cigarette. He does this every now and again.
: "Zere is nozing to tell! Zee Empire asked zee Princess to come to zee capital!"
Cray does not take this well.
: "Why would Elina go there, huh? What reason would she have to go to the heart of the enemy's country!?"
He throws him down roughly.
: "Besides...I am thinking zat you will be wanting my 'elp in looking for zee princess, no? If zat is so, zen I think you should be a little more polite, eh? Well...If you are wanting my 'elp, I am not an unreasonable man. But before I 'elp you, I need you to do some work for me."
Pictured: someone you can trust.
: "We're trying to find a missing princess, and he sends us off to his missing money! What does he think we are, anyway - handymen or something?"
: "Ershin reminds me that we were responsible for the loss of his bodyguard, and she says that it is unrealistic to expect someone like Marlok to provide us with service for no cost."
: "Uh...well, I guess you've got a point. Still, I think it's asking a little much to have us leave Nina behind like that! She's a princess herself, not a maid!"
: "What exactly is it that you, um, want me to do?"
: "Hmmm? Well, until your friend comes back with zee items zat were stolen from me, I was thinking zat maybe you could some work around 'ere. You know, 'elp take care of zee 'ouse...and me."
Pictured: a great horny toad
: "I have been told that we should find the thief as quickly as possible that we may return and continue on our mission without further delay."
: "All right then let's go ask some of those traveling merchants if they know anything about this thief..."
By the gate, a man tells us this bit of info:
: "What!? A bandit? ...Well, I don't know if he's the man you're looking for, but I saw a fellow with a big, heavy-looking bag over his shoulder heading out of town on the Eastern Highway."
"Hideout" eh? How kind of the thief to label it for us.
Let's case the joint.
...huh. Nobody home. Just a bunch of twisting passages with barrels.
Oh, and rats. Rats run away the first turn of battle, and are extremely agile and resistant to damage. However, if you're able to combo overkill them before they can move, they're worth tons of experience and have a chance of dropping something...unique.
So the real answer here is to go into a non-random ? spot on the pathway that always shows up.
: "If it's true what they say about there being bandits in these parts, and you were a merchant, you wouldn't just be out walking with your goods out in the open...would you?"
: "What's that? Bandits? Hmmm...nope, haven't heard anything 'bout that."
: "Oh...see, we were asked by a merchant in Synesta named Marlok..."
: "Wait a minute...! You mean he was the thief Marlok was talking about!?"
Cray's not too bright.
: "For now, why don't you rub my shoulders 'ere, eh?"
Back with the Ryu Crew...
Inside the cave, we have to chase the thief. He's actually faster than we can run and speeds up when you get near him, so we have to improvise.
Cray's overworld ability is that he can push things around, like these barrels. With enough work, we can choke off the two narrow spots in the cave and nab him.
: "This is my stuff!"
: "That was all yours to begin with?"
: "That Marlok sent these really big fellows after me...made me sell 'em everything for next to nuthin'!"
: "Hmmm...I guess it's not really stealing if you're just taking what's already yours...looks like we need to go back and have a little talk with Marlok."
Sneaky bastard. Wonder what he's up to?
: "Mmmmm...enough with zee shoulders. Now, why don't you give me a foot massage, hm?"
Nina, understandably, backs away slowly. Let's chat with the thief a bit more.
: "Even if I was justified, I still stole from Marlok and...what? You want to learn the tricks of the trade from me? Hmm......"
Yeesh. We go on a shopping spree before we say yes and only give him some pocket change, but it still works.
: "Wow! You mean you'll really give me your money!? All right, then, I'll teach you how to steal things and not get caught! First off, you need to learn how to Filch. That's a trick where you steal something from an enemy when you attack them! Still, it'll only let you steal little things that you don't already have. Who wants to learn it?"
Yep, we got a new Master now. Stoll just increases your agility and lets you steal little things (which hardly ever works) but the speed boost is vital for Cray at the moment since he's slower than frozen molasses. We'll get his next ability when we have more than 80 different kinds of items in our inventory, which won't be for a good long while.
Next time, we'll be having a chat with Marlok about his shady dealings.