Vago: Frankly, it's amazing that you've made it this far, Talan. The Agency is not to be trifled with.
Talan: Tell me about it.
Vago: I'm sorry that I can't be a tremendous help to you - I wish I could say I have all the answers for you... but I don't. But I think I can point you in the right direction.
Talan: What do you mean?
Vago gets up from his chair.
Talan: That's right. I figured it was just an expression.
Talan: There is?
Vago: I lived there, for awhile - but, for various reasons, I had to leave. That was a long time ago, but I'm sure it's still there. Paradise is a small community dedicated to survival without the use of machines. You can imagine that this doesn't sit too well with the Agency; after all, the Agency represents the onward march of science and technology - to them, Paradise is a nuisance, and they try to keep its existence quiet.
Vago: The Agency doesn't like to publicize the fact that there's a thriving rural community that disavows its ideals. Paradise is an independent community - if you can get there, you could claim political asylum.
Talan: Are you sure? The Agency could just come in with their guards and take me out!
Vago: I seem to remember an old law on the books saying that Paradise was to be a haven. If the Agency did that, they'd have a major incident on their hands. I think you'd be safe. But first you'll need to get there. Good luck, Talan. You're going to need it.
Talan: Thank you for everything, Doctor.
Talan and Arden leave.
Talan: I hope you're right, Arden. I really do. Let's go.
And with that, our business with Sorbe village is done.
Now it's time to get Talan some skills!
These two Shellosks is one of the best encounters we can get, since they have two very important skills we can absorb. Invigorate is a group healing spell, and Life from Death is a revival spell. I recommend getting these two spells.
These guys have Poison, which is useless.
I also tried out Arden's pickpocket skill, but got nothing from it.
We can visit Tasgarde if we want, and even talk to the guard inside, but other than that there's nothing in there.
There's also another village south of Sorbe that we can visit.
Man: peace and quiet, Yun town is the place for you!
Talan: It's so... rural...
Man: Yep... the big cities have all the technology. These little villages are a reminder of the way life used to be.
There's an Inn here that's cheaper than the one in Sorbe, so it's better to come here to rest up instead of Sorbe.
Talan: Why does Iron cost so much?
Woman: I don't know. I think the Agency just wants to squeeze these villages of every last credit. Those caravan drivers are greedy!
I'm not sure what the deal with this girl is.
The building next to her is the Town Hall
Talan: Oh. Sure.
Predictably, we can't see the Mayor.
Talan: I'm sorry - so business in Prima isn't going very well?
Man: I guess some companies are doing all right, but Tex Tile was bought out by Delcentric and a lot of guys were out of jobs.
Talan: Delcentric? Delcentric is buying out companies?
Man: Why do you sound so surprised? A lot of guys in Prima used to call Delcentric the "Corporate Devourer." Just because it's got the backing of the Agency, it thinks it can do whatever it wants.
Talan: ... ... ...
Talan: Well... yeah, I think so.
Alex: That's terrible! What times we live in... Someone should do something!
Talan: ... ... ...
Alex: I wonder why he was assassinated? Who hates the Agency? Everything we have these days we owe to them!
This place is an armor shop.
It doesn't have much of a selection, just very slight upgrades to the stuff we have that's not worth buying. However, if we talk to the guy next to the wall...
Talan: They charge way too much.
Man: I agree completely! They're going to drive us out of business with their shipping charges! But, if your willing... you might be able to give us a hand, eh?
Talan: What can I do?
Man: As you probably know, the Agency supplies these smaller villages with goods and refined materials, in exchange for creds and whatever we produce that the big cities have in short supply. Problem is, the drivers of the caravans that bring the goods back and forth often tack on "Carrier Fees" - so it becomes really costly for us. Yun Town is known for its high-quality armor, but to make it we need Iron from the Drust Mountains.
Man: Since the caravans of Iron are so expensive, sometimes we reward travelers who talk to our man at the Drust Mines and bring back Iron for us. It's illegal, of course, but the more Iron you bring us, the better we'll reward you!
Doing this sidequest will give you access to some fantastic armor, so you'll want to do this.
Talan: What are you looking at, kid?
Kid: ... ... ...
Kid: ... cool visor!...
Talan: Uh... thanks.
This here's the item shop
It's also a restaurant.
Some good stuff here, but we're fine on items for now. Plus I'm saving my money.
Farewell, Yun. I'll be back for you later.
Before I crossed the bridge, I ran around and fought monsters to get some more cash and Talan a few more skills.
Wolves have Brambles, which lowers an enemies agility.
I want to mention another thing I like about this game. It's very low numbers, if that makes sense. In most RPGs you have no problem breaking 1,000, much less 100. Where in ABL it's gonna take a long time before you hit that little benchmark. For example, Critical Attacks in ABL (And for most other RPG maker games) do triple damage. Even with that Arden only just barely broke 30.
These guys carry Brambles and Candlelight, a spell that cures blindness.
These guys have Short Circuit.
And finally, these guys have Power Down and Cauterize.
While running around, Arden learns how to give people AIDS.
With a few skills under Talan's belt, it's time to cross that bridge.
Intern: Is that... legal, though?
Guard: Why wouldn't it be? Little personal taxes like this keep the Agency running smoothly! See, you've only just signed up and already you've learned something!
Intern: ... ... ...
After walking down the bridge for a bit.
Talan: Hmmm... maybe not. I thought we might be able to give them a few credits to let us through...
Arden: I think on most days that would work. But not today, and not for you. Your picture must be everywhere by now.
Talan: We need to cross this bridge somehow! Paradise is somewhere to the southwest - on the other side of the river!
Arden: Don't give up yet... I have an idea.
Let's go for it.
Arden: All right. Over the edge we go!
I'm not quite sure what the downsides are to making too much noise. I think it just throws a group of enemies at you.
Fun fact: If you have AG7 with you, you CAN just bribe past the guards. They'll stop you and give you a fine for having a combat droid, and the fine will go up depending on how many illegal parts you have on him (illegal parts have a "-!" in their name).
These guys have the all-important Short Circuit. I made sure not to leave unil Talan mastered it.
Pictured, an illegal part.
Man I wish one of my characters could use these...
Upgraded Walkers just have Power Down, which I already have.
Hey, some healthy food for once!
another useless staff...
Hello, this looks interesting...
It's essentially a charm spell for Robots. useful, but I wasn't about to run around hoping to run into 20 groups of them in order for Talan to master it.
Ah, a weapon I can actually use!
The last chest had some revive items. Kinda redundant now that Talan has Life from Death, but still handy to have around.
With nothing left to do here, let's press on.
If we go back on the bridge...
WELP. At least we can cross it whenever we want now.