: Oh...I just got a strong impression of something so...not right about that place.
Like the monster guards and evil minister? I mean, I suppose based on what we've seen, "monsters in disguise" might be a worldwide thing, but the minister?
: The stone said, "grieving"...
: Now's my chance to flush out that slime Andel! My revenge is near at last!
: I knew this destiny was also mine since this journey began.
Okay, now you're making this shit up.
Yes, so straightaway we head towards the Niedel Arena, then back to Zariban to level up some. Because these people desperately need it. While we're at it, I also get the semi-promised screencaps of Poco's Shift Flute.
They all spin around while Poco makes a terrible noise, then they're all facing right! Wheeeee! I can't think of a reason why anyone would use this.
We get everyone to level 30+ and pick up a couple gifts from the Water Guardian, we'll be back for more later. For now, it's time to continue this gripping plot!
Ah, memories. Remember when Arc was but a small peasant boy and Kukuru was the same? And remember when Poco was a mighty warrior, or rather, NINE mighty warriors? Those were the days.
After realizing that the quest for the stones is almost over, which means that they probably won't get to use the airship anymore, Arc has a nervous breakdown.
: I...I just wanted to thank you for your services throughout our long journey.
Chopin: Don't mention it. I just did as the King ordered. It was my pleasure to be of service.
: You served well, and I'll always remember that. Thanks.
"We'll all be dead soon."
: Oh, uh...sorry. Let's go.
: I'm going to miss this ship.
No you aren't
: Even the King doesn't seem to know about it, and I certainly don't want to involve Andel.
: Yes. It is difficult to know who to trust in Palencia anymore. I believe stealth is our best course of action.
: I agree. Find the stone first, ask questions later. It is a good plan.
: But we don't know WHERE the stone is kept, remember?
: I only know about a warehouse and the dungeon prison underneath this castle. It must be one of those two places...
: The warehouse was where we fought that battle with Tosh the first time, right?
: Right! And, that seems like a likely place to start. Let's go!
: It is nearly completed, sir.
: Yes, but we need to examine some paperwork in the archives so he can finish it.
Gate Guard 2: Hmm...I should run that by the Minister first. Passage requires his personal approval now.
: Andel is probably asleep by now, don't you think? It would be a shame to wake him just for this.
If this worked, I would say "holy shit, she did something smart". Buuuuut... just look down.
WOW TOSH YOU'RE SO COOL iga can suck a donkey
Note: I was told to leave his name alone here. So I did.
: But is good for time like this, eh? One hit on back of head, and BOOM! Lights go out. Is big help, no?
: ...someone's coming!
...What are THOSE things? They don't even look like they belong in the game.
I'd almost say those sprites were just leftovers from some canceled game, but this isn't a cartidge-based game, an- you know what? This joke is about 500 layers of geek in a pack of M&Ms. Fuck it.
Scientist: Well, well, well. There is only one possibility. You must be the boy from Touvil of which Andel spoke.
Scientist: This must be your misguided attempt to free the Fire Guardian. Of course, your plan shall fail utterly.
Uh... Wow. That was gruesome.
Okay, time for the most unfortunate series of battles in the game! And one that looks IDENTICAL to the opening of game 2... Good thing we just picked up this sweet piece of ass.
And let's not forget we've gotten YET ANOTHER party member, in the form of a summon.
This is Fu-jin.
Fu-jin is badass... when used properly. We can't do that yet.
He turns into a tornado when he walks. And currently, he serves no other purpose. (Things get congested on the stairway almost immediately, and Fu-jin's future attempts to damage the wyvern fail utterly.)
The wyvern can create a whirlwind, but it never positions itself to deal much damage with it.
Ooh ooh! It's time for Poco to show off his Atrophy Horn!
He fires one ball into the air for every enemy in range, and when the balls land, they explode. It makes no sense at all and looks kind of stupid, but it's very useful.
Iga wants to show off his extreme moves too. He's learned quite a few. First, Ryusei Baku.
He pulls enemies into a whirlwind, lifts them off-screen, then slams them into the ground. Next, Kishinryu Eiha.
Iga goes Dragon Ball Z on our asses before launching his shadow self at the enemy. I think he's using the Super Metroid speed booster. Next, Shippu Gekishu.
Iga concentrates exploding shockwaves directly around his massive pecs. Finally, Messho Reppa.
Apparently this brings insta-death to any enemies that are at a lower level than Iga. Punching them will probably also have the same effect.
I would like to take a moment to thank those two monks for putting up with such a beating for so long. If it hadn't been for them, it would've taken me less than half an hour to get through this fight. And that's terrible.
As for the wyvern, it's up to Tosh and Poco to unleash any amount of whoop-ass on him. I think these two have actually become the most powerful ones in the party. Tosh is expected, but Poco... Well, you know. "The dungeon smell will destroy us all!"
I'm not going to say it... but we all know what I'm thinking, yes.
Tosh wins for having the coolest finishing move, anyway.
Fire Guardian: I...am the Fire Guardian...or I was. They trapped me and found a way to steal my power.
: Steal your power?
Fire Guardian: Yes. In this laboratory they research energy...life energy.
Fire Guardian: They caught me, and have drained away my energy. This country's rapid development has been made possible by my power, my...life.
Fire Guardian: Energy must be used by all, not hoarded by a few. We Guardians gave it freely. There was never a need to steal it.
Fire Guardian: Please help me...break the tank...break it...and set me free.
"Hmmm...I don't know. Will you give us a present?"
Fire Guardian: ...thank you.
Fire Guardian: However, I cannot forgive your race for the cycle of destruction they have begun.
Fire Guardian: They not only twisted nature to their liking, but dared to think they are free to use the lifeforce of others as energy!
Fire Guardian: Humanity's thirst for power led them to discover the ultimate power source...Guardians.
Fire Guardian: And still there is no end to their greed and lust for power! It is never enough!
Fire Guardian: Humans think themselves lords over Nature...stealing its energy, but producing NOTHING of lasting value!
Jesus. Why did we decide to rescue him, again?
I have no idea. He was worth more when he was mint in the packaging, anyway.
: It is true that our greed and selfishness have caused so much tragedy.
: And still, I have been powerless to stop it thus far...
: Fire Guardian, you say that humankind produces nothing of lasting value, but they do produce one very important thing.
I think I saw a female Chongara once in some fanart.
Let's put it this way: I can't recall any of the OTHER fanart I've seen of this series. That should tell you something.
: They produce offspring with the capacity to love and to feel the pain of others deeply.
: This boy's tears don't lie.
: Children can possess the bravery and power to make right the sins of their forefathers.
: I'd rather entrust the future to the tears of this boy than to any abstract hope or prayer.
Fire Guardian: I did not think I could be swayed by such simple words...
Fire Guardian: Very well. I believe your words, that boy's tears, and the bravery it took to get this far.
Fire Guardian: You have earned my trust.
Fire Guardian: Come forth, Rai-jin! I summon you!
Wait, wait...we already have that summon. Take it back NO TAKE IT BACK
Rai-jin is the key to making Fu-jin badass.
No, really. I'll leave that to my companion to demonstrate. It's pretty fucking nice.
Fire Guardian: And this...this is why you have come to me. Take with you the power of the Fire Stone.
Received the Fire Stone.
Fire Guardian: Please don't lose your purpose in the tears you shed, Arc of Touvil.
...he was crying?
: That's not good.
: Let's get out of here!
: Then Andel shall be disappointed that you perished trying.
: You all get out of here and leave these ghouls to me! You must get out NOW!
: Wait! I'm with you, remember?
You guys are SO FUCKING RETARDED
Reason #487 to powerlevel Arc: This battle. I'm fairly certain the enemies in this one are actually STRONGER than the ones in the battle we just fought, with the major difference being that we now have only TWO characters to deal with them. Seriously, what the hell.
So, everyone was at a healthy 30-something for the previous battle and we got through with nobody dying. As for this one?
Arc is at too low a level to attack first, so he must first sustain a beating from Death's Scythe up there and no less than FOUR skeletons (well, three really, the fourth one couldn't fit in with the huge crowd around Arc). End result?
ARC WILL DIE BEFORE YOU CAN FUCKING DO ANYTHING. Have fun finishing off the seven remaining undamaged enemies with Kukuru! Haha ha ha hahahah hahah hahahahaha!!
Okay, since you can't save between this battle and the last one, dying would mean sitting through that entire last battle again, as well as the full emotional exchange between Arc and the Fire Guardian. Oh, and the additional story bits leading UP TO that first battle. This is not counting the level-building that you would also be expected to put Arc through to ensure that death could never possibly happen again. I think that's asking just a little much, so instead, I decide to abuse savestates until Arc dodges enough attacks to survive.
Meanwhile, I had Arc around level 45+ at this point. (I only recall this because I know I ended Arc 1 with him at 52 or so.)
He went first and killed a skeleton instantly. The rest of the battle was a joke. I think I made Kukuru act as a meatshield just to be a dick.
Alright. This is an ESSENTIAL moment to make use of Kukuru's new move, Divide.
It's essentially Group Drain. It also completely kicks the ass of these skeletons, even at level 1. After they receive a hit from Arc's Meteor Shower (which does over sixty damage now), most of them are already down for the count. When the skeletons are out, we go after the reaper ASAP. After that it's just a matter of chasing down the two remaining flames, which seem to refuse to battle you at all. We throw rocks at them.
And by "rocks" I actually mean "bombs".
I hate everyone.
Alright, get back on the elevator. Return to the others right now and don't let them out of your sight.
Okay, a small joke. I made those last three screenshots myself. They NEVER HAPPENED. This is bullshit. Arc and Kukuru actually safely made it to the elevator and no further events occured.
: As am I...
: I worried about you. Those monsters big badness.
*screen starts shaking*
: This could bring the whole castle down. Our first job is to save the King. Let's move!
Ha ha, Poco tripped.
Andel: And, your precious King lies unconscious, awaiting his end! Ha!
King: My Minister...A...Andel, he...he was sent from Romalia to...
King: He diverted this country's attention by using the monsters...so that Romalia could conquer the world...
: Your Majesty, lie still. You must save your strength.
God, Arc, are you out to kill EVERYONE?
King: They are looking for the Ark. They believe it will grant them...immense power.
King: You mustn't let them obtain it! Stop them at all...costs!
: I shall do my best, Majesty. Now then, you must lie still.
King: Arc, you have been so kind, so honest. I must confess something to you.
King: Your father did not leave for Millmana of his own accord. I sent him away.
King: Andel tempted me with Kingship and fueled my desire to possess the throne.
King: And so, my ambition and jealousy led me to devise a scheme to rid Seirya of your father.
King: I regret that action every day of my cursed existence, Arc. You must believe me.
King: If you find Yoshua, tell him...tell...him...I'm...
It's at this point the ceiling starts falling apart.
And at this point we finally have the king succumb to the ancient cliche of "I took the evil minister's advice against all reason". Thank god he got that over with before helping us.
: NO! We can't go down, the stairs have collapsed!
Announcer: According to the King's Minister, Andel...
Announcer: ...the King of Seirya was assassinated this morning at Palencia Castle.
Announcer: The alleged perpetrators were witnessed exiting the castle...
Announcer: ...immediately preceding an explosion that shook Palencia to its very foundation.
Announcer: The gang of seven is armed, and may have hostages...
Announcer: ...for they hijacked the Silver Noah, airship of the King, to make their escape.
Announcer: Following up on this extraordinary turn of events,
Announcer: ...we have a special announcement by Prime Minister Andel.
Announcer: We are now transferring to his address live...
Andel: I shall maintain law and order while we attempt to bring this crisis under control.
Andel: From this point forward, all orders shall be given from Palencia Tower, which is under construction.
Andel: It is unfortunate, but I must declare martial law until the criminals who have slain our beloved King are captured.
Andel: This is a difficult time for us all, and I am counting on your support and cooperation. Good night.
Announcer: And now for the local weather...
Uh oh. How's Archie and the gang gonna get out of this one?
I love this part. Sweet god it's so awesome, and it leads into the status of the next game .
Up next on Arc the Lad: The final battle! Maybe!