Part 7: Slumber BomberAs you may recall from the end of the Crypt, we acquired three items of note; a Magic Seed, the Earth Scroll and the Ruby Crest. Lars covered the Ruby Crest in some detail, and the other six too for that matter (two of which are currently in Zazan's possession, and thus Melzas' by proxy). That just leaves the other two; the Magic Seed grants the answer to just what that Dream Elixir that Naomi sells does.
Each Magic Seed gives one MP, and there's four total throughout the game. It stands to reason, then, that they'll be distributed at logical intervals throughout the game right? Well, not quite. Following the next dungeon it is more than possible, and is even preferable, to get the second one.
Finally, the Earth Scroll. The Earth Scroll is the closest thing to an "I Win" button available thus far. It is far more powerful than even the Bomb, and in dungeons can effectively be spammed ad infinitum due to something we'll see later. This is only possible in theory, since spells can only be used an amount of times equal to the amount of MP you have; i.e. every spell takes 1 MP to use. Since magic is obscenely overpowered (and will stay that way the entire game) this makes sense to an extent. For the time being it limits it to being used once, maybe twice, a dungeon depending on whether you find the means for theoretical infinite spam, whether you have any Dream Elixirs or not and whether you have a different item (currently unobtainable) or not. Since I feel like doing the next portion the easiest way possible, I'm not going to bother bringing a Dream Elixir with me. Doing so makes the next dungeon technically harder for one simple reason... foreshadowing.
Following finishing the Crypt, Cephas is back where he usually is. He's kind of a weird guy, he has a portrait so you pretty much know he's got to be important somehow and he vanishes off the face of the earth following the acquisition of the flowers up until now. I presume his line here is referencing the acquisition of the Ruby Crest and how it's a metaphorical point of no return since it would effectively piss of Melzas to a massive degree. That could be wrong, since it's just a guess based on the given evidence. I thought he actually said something else relavent but apparently not.
Nothing else to do, but head into town and see what there is to do next. The outside is completely deserted, so there's something important in the town. What that is, remains but a mystery until you speak to Jess. Or just head into every building arbitrarily until you trigger the relevant flags.
Well, that's... uh, a pretty big dick move. One Alundra, two nightmares. I guess the only logical thing to do is do them in rapid succession. Let's go save Nadia first because she's not Bonaire, and thus is a better person for it.
Apparently her table got blown up at some point. You can actually see this happen as I recall, but I don't remember how, or when unfortunately. I have a vague idea, so I'll try and get it to trigger at some point.
The table is just an optional event, though, and is meaningless beyond that one scene. It's just an aesthetic change that occurs no matter what. Everyone else is upstairs.
Kisha: But, if they didn't hear his pleas before, why would they hear him now?
The only way to proceed here, is to talk to everyone. It's an arbitrary lengthening mechanic, and it gets recycled constantly. That said, Kisha manages to raise a pretty good point about the whole thing.
Myra: Nadia wanted to sleep...but my darling knew the village would be in danger if she did.
Rumi: I hear Nadia hasn't slept for six days...No wonder she's so ill.
Forget ill; it's amazing that she's even alive after six days without sleep. That kind of kills some people, y'know? Sure, there's exceptions, like that Randy Gardner guy who lasted 11 days but that doesn't happen all that often...
: It is obvious that Nadia is trapped within a nightmare... And, we both know you are the only one who possesses the power to help her.
And... nothing else happens after this. Well, I guess this was a waste of time after all. Might as well go see Bonaire, since no one's lines change nor is there anything else to do right n-
: No, Septimus. Alundra can't enter my mind unless I sleep. Isn't that right, elf boy? But I won't attempt sleep until I can tell Bonaire of my true feelings. It may be the last chance I... Will you just bring him here? He doesn't have to say that he loves me. I want him to... I want him to smile. Just for me...
Well, that sounds like a plan.
If you went to Bonaire's before coming here, then nothing would happen other than generic dialogue. This scene needs to happen before you can do anything there. And, yes, since Olen's house is now a wreckage the Gilded Falcon in there is lost forever if you missed it.
This is another "talk to everyone to advance" scenario. It also makes Bonaire sort of likable for a short time, which sounds dickish but its true. He can't ramble on in his incomprehensible bollocks which is a welcome reprieve.
: Bonaire has laid still since he fell into his nightmare. His warm, tanned skin is slowly turning clammy and pale. There can be little doubt as to what is happening.
: Bonaire's always been a sound sleeper but this is no ordinary sleep...
: Sara......my love. I'm coming for you...
Fortunately, this immeditately triggers the plot to advance. Yeah, you don't have to speak to Phineas for some reason. Even when you have to talk to everyone to continue you can skip him. His line here is something about how you should ignore him for the time being because Bonaire's situation is more dire and urgent.
Lutas: Alundra, please wake Bonaire as soon as you can!
You can actually choose no here if you want. It's inevitably meaningless since the entire plot is at a standstill until you save Bonaire, but at least it's a real choice for once.
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What I meant near the end is that the boss is the easiest, bar none, if done the way I did it here. It can be a challenging fight if done the "proper" way since it's attacks hurt quite a lot and are harder to dodge than they look.
: It's good to see Bonaire's eyes bright once again. I really didn't think it was his time.
: Where... where am I, dude? Oh, yeah. Sara is history. But that's a most excellent outcome in this case.
Meade: Who is Sara?
: Sara was my dream girl. The betty I always to land... but I could never have. Totally a figment of my imagination. But in my dream, she was, like, totally real...and totally psycho. She didn't want me to wake up! Who knew my dream girl would turn out to be some kind of psycho weirdo?!
Not you, apparently. Which makes approximately no sense at all because that implies not even you know what you're thinking. I can buy that in this case. I'd rather not, but it's plausible. For better or worse.
...And just like that he want from being understandable to not having a single clue as to what the hell he is on about. I'm used to characters with unusual speech patterns. I'm used to quirky language. I don't mind it. It breaks up the monotony of most games being tedious grinds, story wise. Here? Any tension the scene could possible have is made effectively void by that one text box.
Lutas: Er,... dare I ask what that might be?
: When Sara was about to kick, she said she would steal the soul of a babe...
And, thus, the rationale for speaking to Nadia following the coal mine is revealed. Without speaking to her pre-Crypt this seems like one hell of a stretch. Sure, you can guess based on Nadia's comments before the dungeon but his logic seems like it occured before Alundra arrived.
: I've caught her checking me out a couple of times. I think she's Bonaire material...
: Whether because of Sara...or because she couldn't live with her curse any longer... Nadia closed her eyes, and failed to open them again.
Scene transitions there, heralding the end of what is possibly the longest day of Alundra's life thus far. Yep, everything that happened up until this point all occured in the space of one day. Not even that; maybe 6-8 hours or so.
Oh, and Bonaire becomes a background character following this. Yup. He's got a portrait, which implies he's important somehow but beyond "falling into a nightmare" he's just there. Wendell was about as plot relevent and he didn't get one.
Dusk fell...dawn came. But with the death of Nadia, something was different in the village of Inoa...
Also the player was robbed of what could have potentially been a far, far better dungeon than Bonaire's dream. The death of Nadia is lamentable for non-selfish reasons too though, but what the hell is that sound?
Well, that is incredibly awesome. I don't see how it's thematically appropriate but I'm not complaining. With this acquisition, a vast amount of the world has been opened up. There's still a few places that are inaccessible but most of them wouldn't have anything to offer right now anyway.
Next time: by the games own admission, I swear it's called the Desert of Despair. Most appropriate name for that place too.