Part 20: Picking Up The Stragglers
Welcome back. Last time on Exit Fate, we defeated and captured Keyser and recaptured the Mayfall state from Kirgard. We've dealt Kirgard a vicious blow, and it will likely take them some time to recover before they go on the offensive again, which means there will likely be a lull in the war. But since we're RPG protagonists, we're required to be doing Important Things at all times. What is our next task? It's time to start finding out.
Music: Elysium - Chrono Trigger, "Frog's Theme (Orchestral Version)"
I suppose it was inevitable, seeing as the chancellor and Captain Erin both agreed, but I'm sure not everyone was too happy about that.
No, there were many voices calling for immediate action, but most of the army staff understands that Kirgard is far from defeated. Even among the ones who want to take back the island, most recognize that it's by no means an easy task.
So as long as Kirgard doesn't attack us again, the war will be over...
But since Keyser's defeat was unexpected, I doubt they'll move again on short term. They'll probably have to rewrite all their plans.
I see. So... you finally have time for that other matter?
That's right. That's the other thing I discussed at Matrech. I've received permission to enter the Oischin state. Now that there's a temporary peace, I'll finally have time to go there.
Oischin? What do you want to do there, sir?
And right here is another reason why I like this game. Okay, so Daniel has a bit of a problem remembering things, and that's a bit of a cliche in this genre. But is he just going to sit on his ass and wait until the climactic moment when another character speaks the cryptic words that will finally unlock his memory? No, Daniel is going to be proactive about this shit. He's got a potential solution and he's going to make use of it.
I hope you'll find out what's troubling you, sir.
It's not certain that they'll have a solution, but it's worth trying. I would like to accompany you. I'm curious about what's afflicting you, and I'd also like to see this university.
I thought you'd want to come, Ljusalf. You're welcome, of course.
Oh hey, Yan Angwa is in this cutscene. Any chance you're going to elaborate on why you decided to join us?
At least Daniel's reacting appropriately. I feel like the ~mysterious~ characters in RPGs usually can get away with their cryptic comments without anyone else really caring. This is a nice change.
It's not important that you understand. Now, are you going? Then I'll come as well.
Fine, fine. Do what you want.
And with that, we begin chapter 5.
Of course, while Yan Angwa and Ljusalf may be required for this next segment, the rest of our party is wide open. And that means it's once again time for what you've all been waiting for: it's voting time! But before you scroll down to the bottom of this update to see the details, we've got a few characters floating around that need recruiting. So this update is going to be all about getting that optional stuff done.
Before we head out, we make a quick stop at the room next to the meeting hall. Bast has taken up residence here, and we can now talk to him at any time to do war unit setup. But it'll be awhile before we need to prepare for another war battle, so we'll leave him alone for now.
As a side note, Bast and Shiro are both commanders, which means we've gained another two units for future battles. But we'll take a closer look at them when the next war battle rolls around.
As we're leaving, we find a soldier at the entrance to our castle where there wasn't one before. What's this guy have to say?
All it says is that he wants to speak to you some time. I wonder what he wants?
Deke, huh? Well, that's another task to add to the pile for this update.
Before that, however, it's time to visit Myst again. He's had another three weeks to experiment; has he finally gotten that whole raising-the-dead thing down?
Doesn't look like it. But hey, treasure!
The Charged Jet is an attack item that casts Eclipse, the second-tier dark spell. We will not be using it to cast Eclipse.
We also can take a look at Myst's spellbook this time around. Before now, he was standing in front of it and blocking our view. Maybe we can have more success raising the dead?
Music: Darkness - Chrono Cross, "Dragon's Prayer"
The requirements to restore life to a human long gone are listed as follows:
Something to recover the wounded body, to heal the mortal wounds so deep.
Something to recover the forgotten memories, and bring them back from eternal sleep.
A magical stone with darken glow, to reach into the night.
A length of skin to bind the flesh, and bring it into the light.
A piece of life from the mountains, from which the first man was made.
A drop of death from the sea, from the abyssal depths of shade.
It's followed by some arcane words.
As it happens, everything the book just listed is something in our possession, as Daniel is about to explain.
Something to recover the wounded body... an herb. Something to recover the memories... a memento.
These are basic consumables. We've got plenty of Brown Herbs, and the Memento is an item that cures Amnesia. We've got a few kicking around.
The magical stone is this charged jet. The length of skin is the leather belt.
We just picked up the Charged Jet, and the Leather Belt was a reward for beating the Kirgard Captain in Blackwater. It's worth noting that you need a Leather Belt--Hide Belts don't qualify, even though they probably could also be described as lengths of skin.
Brown Clay, the piece of life from the mountains. Sea Spider Toxin, the drop of death from the sea.
These are the tough ones. Remember how a long while back I spent awhile trying to steal some Brown Clay from the Hermit enemies in the Western Pass? Well, this is what it's for. The problem is, I don't know if there's any indication that Hermits carry Brown Clay, so I have no idea how you'd figure that out on your own. The Sea Spider Toxin is an item we bought from the shady dude in Mayfall City some time ago. It's obscure, but at least findable by the player.
Hell yeah! What could possibly go wrong?
Not surprisingly, this gets Myst's attention. But a moment later...
You... You did it! You have risen the dead!
An Aussie skeleton. Now there's something you don't see every day.
On the contrary! You are alive! Thanks to this spell I have been researching, you have been given the opportunity of a lifetime! The second life!
Whoa, whoa! Hold on there, mate! You're sayin' I was dead... and now I'm alive again?
Hohoho, isn't that amazing? It is a great honor to have been a part of my first successful experiment! Tell me, do you remember anything about your previous life?
I was just going on some... uh... quest... and... Aw bugger, I can't remember a damn thing!
The Knights of the Crown? That order was disbanded in the early fifteenth century! You, dead man seven, have been dead for over a hundred years!
Come on, boy, let's go. I feel I can learn a great deal from you!
Hohoho. It's your life now, dead man seven. You can do what you want.
Well, you're the ones who brought me back, so I guess I'll come along with you. Not much else I could do.
So, remember how when we got Midian, I said that he was one of the two best mages in the game? Say hello to the other one. Holy fuck, look at that magic stat! Myst has the highest MAG of any character in the game, and all other mages bow before his destructive power. That said, his magic-related stats are pretty much all he has, and his other stats are fairly lame, especially speed--he's the slowest of all the mages we currently have. But his godly MAG makes up for pretty much every flaw, and it was enough to make him one of my main characters during my first playthrough. If you want to deal magic damage, Myst is your man.
He also has Focus, a special ability that allows him to double the amount of MP he gains for a turn, at the cost of using that turn up. It's pretty much the perfect special for Myst, since it gives him something to do for turns when he doesn't have enough MP to cast.
Myst's weapon of choice is a dagger, and like most mages, his damage is fairly lame.
But his magic results in big numbers. Lots of big numbers. Look at those big numbers! Myst
Derek, on the other hand, is a warrior. Somewhat appropriately for someone who's risen from the dead, or ironically, depending on how you look at it, Derek's gimmick is survivability. He's got close to the best max HP in the game, decent PDF, and an incredible MDF for a frontliner. He's also fairly strong, roughly matching Outsider in STR. But he has one fatal ( ) flaw: his speed. Derek is painfully slow, so slow that our other characters will often get two turns in the time it takes him to get one. He's also fairly inaccurate, which means the few turns he does get can easily be wasted by him whiffing his attack. While he can hold his own on the front line, I'd seriously recommend against using him.
Derek also has our first example of an F relation. Putting him in the party with Myst will give Derek a stat penalty, and considering his already low speed, this is not something we want to do.
Derek's weapon of choice is a scythe, and his damage is quite respectable, but he has to get a turn and land a hit first.
Anyway, it's time to get moving to our next destination. Before we head out, I make an executive decision and swap Myst into the party, removing Outsider for the time being. Yes, I'm going against the will of the goons, however briefly, but you'll understand why I did this in a moment.
Music: Amen Corner - Final Fantasy VI, "Gau's Theme"
Our next stop for this update is Amen Corner. It's time to respond to Deke's invitation.
No need to break in this time. We can find Deke outside his house.
Eloquently put, Joe. Col can also chime in if you have him with you:
(Do we really have to do this?)
Yes, I'm Daniel Vinyard. What can I do for you?
It is about zese two kids in your army! Zey broke into my house!
Uhm, okay. We'll just apologize and leave it at that...
Fade to black...
Now, wait here, and I vill be back in a moment!
After a moment or two...
... What is that?
Zis? Zis is ze ultimate artificial battle machine! A mechanical construct of iron! A golem!
OPTIONAL BOSS: Iron Golem
Music: Boss Battle - Wild Arms 2, "Battle vs. Solid"
The gimmick of this battle should be fairly obvious just from the name of the boss. The Iron Golem is, well, made of iron, and that means it has a ridiculous PDF and that physical attacks are almost entirely useless against it. Now you see why I swapped Myst in.
Rather appropriately, the Golem also hits like a truck. He is very slow, however, so you'll easily have enough time to cast a Mend before he hits again.
The Golem's only other move is Golem SMASH, which does a decent amount of damage to a row. Like his regular attack, this is easily healed away before he gets another turn.
Since physical attacks won't work, the strategy for this boss is very simple. You cast some magic on it. Then you cast more magic. Then you cast some more. Everyone gets in on the fun in this fight--even Ayara gets to cast the occasional Icicle.
Joe also manages to nick a Granite Mail from the boss. The Granite Mail grants an impressive +14 to PDF at the cost of also having 14 WGT. I don't really like it that much.
This can be a fairly long fight, since the Golem has a lot of HP, but as long as you've got a decent stockpile of attack spells and Mends, you shouldn't have any trouble.
Music: Boss Battle Won - Chrono Cross, "Victory (A Cry In Summer)"
As a reward, we continue adding to our arsenal of second-tier spells by picking up a Frostwave. That's three elements covered now.
The golem steps back, stumbles around for a bit, and then...
Deke stares ahead blankly for a moment...
Zis is wonderful! Truly wonderful! Zat means I have so much more to learn!
Come! Let's go! You have done me a great favor, so I must do something in return, ja?
Yeah, that'd probably be my reaction too. Well, there's nothing else to see in Amen Corner, so let's head back to Elysium.
Music: Elysium - Chrono Trigger, "Frog's Theme (Orchestral Version)"
So, remember that weird blocked doorway we saw on the first tour of the castle? Once you meet Deke and beat his golem, this doorway will open up. Inside, we find...
... the man himself, as well as that strange machine we saw when Joe and Col broke into his house.
"Vat a strange contraption!", you think, "but vat does it do?" I vill tell you!
Genius, is it not? You vill thank me later! If you vant to use it, talk to me.
And now that this is done, you will...
Stay here, of course! I must make sure this device is running properly, ja? I am certain we both have much to offer each other!
Don't be fooled by his current stats. Deke is, believe it or not, the second-strongest character in the entire game. The only reason he doesn't look that way right now is because his weapon is unforged, but if we were to level it up to 6, he'd have 54 STR total. That's only six points behind Bast, and Deke is ten levels lower. That said, however, Deke is the very definition of glass cannon: he has low HP and no defense to speak of, so putting him in the front row is tantamount to suicide. That Plasma Gun of his is also quite inaccurate, so his high damage is mitigated by the fact that a lot of his shots won't hit. But like Carson and Klaus, he's a perfectly usable mid-row fighter. He has Focus for some reason, but you should probably be using him to attack most turns.
Deke has the best pose and attack animation of any character. Seriously, just look at that fucker. Again, you'll have to ignore his current damage and take my word on his stats.
Anyway, now that Deke has joined us, we can use his teleporter to get to pretty much any location instantly. But as he warns us here, the teleporter is one-way. The only way to get back to Elysium is to walk or go to a port and use Sally's boat.
We also can't use it to get to any location we've visited--we can't go back to Kirgard, for example, nor can we teleport to locations under Kirgard control, such as Harlinton and the rest of Helman Island. But it's still incredibly convenient.
Now then, our next destination is Ansee. As we teleport, we imagine four balls at the edge of a cliff...
Music: Ansee - Chrono Cross, "Ephemeral Memory"
Once we've rescued Shiro, Mr. Fiveaces here will magically have enough money to gamble with us.
What about you? Are you looking for a gamble?
We could play a round of Blackjack with him if we so desired, but right now the obvious choice here is "Recruit."
But I won't work for anybody who doesn't understand the spirit of gambling. That's just bad luck. Why don't you play me? If you manage to win 5000 Arn, I'll join you.
Let it ride, baby!
Music: Blackjack - Suikoden V, "War on the Table"
So yeah, let's play some Blackjack. There's no fancy gimmicks here; it's the same game as its real-world counterpart. In order to play we'll need to place a bet.
The maximum bet is the best bet.
There's not much to say about this. You get two cards, and Johnny gets one card face up and one card face down. You hit until you're satisfied (or double down, and then hit until you're satisfied), then stand if you haven't gone bust yet. Then Johnny will flip his card over and hit repeatedly until he either beats you or busts. He has no AI whatsoever, so it all comes down to the luck of the draw.
It takes a few rounds, but eventually we get the needed 5000 Arn. If we quit once our balance is 5000 or higher...
Sadly, Johnny isn't quite as impressive as the goons have made him out to be. He's basically what Daniel would be if Daniel traded his MDF for SKL and had a long-range weapon. But that means he suffers from the same problem as Francesca: we've already got a Daniel, and he's not that great, so we don't need another.
Johnny attacks by throwing his cards, which is admittedly pretty cool, but his damage just doesn't cut it.
Johnny is also one of the few characters who will actually say something of small importance if we talk to him in Elysium Castle. Hmm, I seem to recall a dog in Bayside... but unfortunately, it's under Kirgard control at the moment and we can't get there. We'll keep this in mind for later.
We can also play Blackjack with him whenever we want and get some money. But the max bet is stuck at 1000 Arn for most of the game, so it won't be a great source of income.
For our last stop this update, we'll need to put Klaus in our party.
Then it's off to Blackwater.
Music: Blackwater - Final Fantasy VIII, "Breezy"
We make a quick check-in with Meiko, since we've fought another war battle and that means we have more to tell her.
I've been doing some freelance work for newspapers in the neighboring countries. Everyone wants to know the latest news about the war here, so I'm looking for another big scoop. Please tell me more about your latest battle. Any juicy details you can give me?
... don't know why they call him a genius strategist. I seriously thought I was done for, but then that idiot decided to go after Ljusalf, of all...
Thank you very much for your time! This will help a lot!
Then it's off to the docks to visit Griever. If you'll recall, we were told a long time ago that the only time anyone in Blackwater saw Griever smile was when she was feeding the stray cats around town. Well, it just so happens...
Is that so...? What kind of man are you, when even the most innocent of creatures have chosen to join you? Though I swore never to interfere with the destiny of others again, I cannot ignore a sign like this.
Griever's not bad. She's a frontliner, but a very defensively-minded one: her natural PDF and MDF are excellent and she has plenty of HP to go around. The downside is that her STR is a bit lacking. It's not bad, just rather unimpressive compared to some of our other frontliners. But while she doesn't stand out among our warriors, she can definitely hold her own. Klaus reciprocates her A-rank relation with him, so the two are a formidable pair.
Griever's weapon of choice is her lance, and her damage is pretty good.
And that's everyone we can conceivably recruit right now. There are two other characters available, but one of them is Wilona, whom we need higher stats to recruit, and the other is behind an optional boss that I'm not capable of beating yet. So now we need to pick a party to head to Oischin with. And that means it's time for you guys to vote for a party once more.
Like last time, in order to ensure our party is actually viable, I'm going to decree that we need to bring along two frontliners and two mages. In addition, there will also be a slot for a fifth guy who can be anyone you wish, even another frontliner or mage. So please vote for two frontliners, two mages, and one other guy. While Ljusalf and Yan Angwa are forced to come with us for this segment, we can easily dump them in the entourage if desired, so treat them just like any other character.
Please format your votes like this:
Frontliners: Character1, Character2
Mages: Character3, Character4
Fifth guy: Character5
Each category will have a separate vote count. If someone votes for Mike as a frontliner, and another person votes for Mike as the fifth guy, that's not two votes for Mike, it's one vote for him as a frontliner and one vote for him as the fifth guy. The characters who get the most and second most votes for the Frontliner and Mage categories will get to come along, as well as the character who gets the most votes in the fifth guy category. I'm reserving the entourage for my own choices, in case we need to bring someone along to recruit another character or for some other purpose.
Here's our current list of characters and the categories they fall under. I've also added a "Notable relations" list at the end.
Ayara, Bast, Derek, Griever, Mike, Outsider, Shiro
Ljusalf, Midian, Myst, Naja, Yan Angwa
Carson (mid-row fighter), Col (Scan), Deke (mid-row fighter), Joe (Steal), Klaus (mid-row fighter), Rorschach (Steal)
Bartolli, Cid, Fitch, Francesca, Johnny, Richard, Royston, Sally, Stromgaard
Bast/Shiro (A-rank both ways)
Griever/Klaus (A-rank both ways)
Mike/Outsider (A-rank both ways)
Ayara->Daniel (A-rank, not reciprocated)
Derek/Myst (Derek->Myst is F-rank, Myst->Derek is B-rank)
Deke/Joe (F-rank both ways)
You have 48 hours to cast your votes.
Next time: The road to Oischin was closed for safety reasons. I wonder why that is?