Part 9: Part VIII: Hear the Excitement of a ContestPart VIII: Hear the Excitement of a Contest
Well...I guess this was worth a trip. I discovered that seeing Nio in the herb garden wasn't an illusion but at all, but I still can't guess what's happened to her. Mr. Keith definitely knows something, but he probably won't ever tell me anything. I better return to Vierzberg to let Marion know what happened.
As an aside, notice the dots between where Ayesha is currently standing and the area I'm highlighting with the cursor. That's because in this game, you can seamlessly travel to different areas of a dungeon (like Dry Valley or Hallos Village here) on the world map. Hallos had three different areas, ergo, three spots you can travel to that are all Hallos Village. Handy.
Linca, you're amazing... To be able to swing a sword around like that, even though you're a girl...
Hm? Is what I am doing that amazing?
It sure is! If it was me, I wouldn't even be able to lift it up.
I am confident in my abilities with a sword. I could do this before enjoying a balanced breakfast. Although, in reality, my combat abilities increase after I reap the benefits of my morning meal. Yet, even before a meal, I will not be defeated by a wild beast...
Y-Yeah, I get what you're saying about the meals. I guess you went through a lot of training...
Yes. I cannot remember how many times I have swung my sword. In the beginning, it was I who was being swung by the sword, but now, I can even do this.
Wow wow wow, that's amazing! You're so cool!
Your excitement from me just swinging my sword...has surprised me.
Every time you swing it, your hair flows...like a mythical goddess!
My hair... It would be easier to fight if it was shorter or if I just did not have any... But Marion will not allow me to cut it. And as it grew out, she started saying absurd things, like to comb it.
I see... I-Is that absurd...?
I believe that the shorter your hair is, the less it will get in your way.
That's absolutely not true! Your hair style right now is absolutely lovely! You can't cut it, Linca!
Hmm... Ayesha, you are starting to talk like Marion.
That's cuz Marion's correct, Linca, you look very lovely right now! Hmhm. Either way, Marion is like your mentor.
Certainly. For example, do not pick food up off the ground and eat it, or do not follow strangers... She frequently scolds me. I have only done each one once so far.
Oh, so you have done that...
Between you and me, if a band of criminals came to take me away today, I am sure i could return on my own.
Th-That's reassuring...I think...
Yes, it is reassuring. Now, we should go.
Wow...Linca's incredible. One of my favorite stories as a little girl was about a beautiful blonde swordsman dressed in a bright blue dress and shiny silver armor. She was an incredible warrior who could swing around a sword like lightning. I wonder if Linca is related to her...
These stairs are such a killer. I'm finally done... Whoa, that collapsed body looks familiar.
People in this town are very cruel. There's a person lying collapsed on the ground, but no one has stopped... You're the first person to talk to me, Ayesha.
Ranun! Have you collapsed from hunger again?
Hahaha, no, no. I still have some food to satisfy my stomach. Even I won't go starving inside a town. I was just looking up at the sky. The view from here is quite exceptional.
I never would've gussed. If you're looking at the sky, couldn't you just look up...?
You're still so naive... Just looking up has its limitations, due to how far you can tilt your neck back. I didn't want to see anything but the sky in my field of view.
Although, that was my intention for the first few minutes, but then I tired standing up, and... It seems like coming up those stairs took more energy out of me than I expected. So, I haven't been able to move.
So it is like you collapsed! Umm, if you want to take a break, there's a bench right there...
Haha, you're right. I was so focused on the sky, I didn't even notice it. I'll rest my wings on the bench next time.
That's a good idea. It feels awkward to talk to you when you're lying on the floor...
Hmm, you're very sensible about the minute details. I don't think it makes that big of a difference.
In doing so, I really start feeling like I'm all alone. However, this loneliness feels good, too. It gives me a good opportunity to reflect back on my life. How about it? Maybe you should try it, too?
Umm, I'll pass.
Hmhm, well you're not a poet, so I guess there's no need for you to look up at the sky... Now that I've seen a glorious view, maybe I'll excuse myself... If we meet again somewhere, please feel free to say hi to me. See ya.
Hmm, I don't know what being a poet has to do with looking at the sky... I haven't seen Marietta in a while. I should probably stop in by her store. Meeting Ernie again
No, no, thank you for your patronage.
Oh, that's right! I have one sad bit of news for you, Ernie.
Sad? Is it like a business cancellation...?
Nope. If I did that, my shop would be in trouble, too. It's about that girl who always makes the medicine. She's gonna stop making medicine for a while.
Huh? You mean Ayesha? How do you know that, Marietta?
Well, we've become acquaintances. She's a lovely girl, don't you think? Ernie, you're a smoother operator than I thought.
Don't tease me. Ayesha is like a little sister to me.
Ohh? I still think that's suspicious, but okay. And about her business closure... She's gonna be traveling her and there. I heard there's something she wants to find...
That reminds me, I think she left a message at her workshop... So she did close her business. I wonder where she could be right now...
Hello. Oh, Ernie?
Oh, I'm sorry. Long time no see, Ernie. I felt bad for leaving without telling you.
Haha, don't worry about it. But, what happened?
Well, lots of things happened...and so I decided to go search for Nio.
Huh? For Nio...? But Nio is...
I don't know the details yet, but Nio is waiting for me somewhere. Well...it's hard to explain, but there is a reason.
Ayesha... Okay. I"m not sure what your circumstances are, but if you say so, I believe you. If there's anything I can do, just let me know.
Ernie... Thank you so much.
Hey, hey, what're you guys talking about? Am I the only one who doesn't follow what's going on?
Oh, sorry. Well...
I had a long chat with Marietta, including telling her about Nio's situation, and then she talked to me about how her shop works. She told me that she stocks a lot of things, but she can also wholesale things I bring in. She said she probably couldn't manage to get supplies for all the stuff an alchemist might make, but the more things I buy from her, the more she can expand her shop's inventory.
That sounds really helpful!
Okay, now that I've reached level 10, I get my first Alchemy skill. I'll discuss the alchemy system later when we make something more complicated than Wax. At this point in the game, go around town and start fulfilling requests. The one really important one is from an old man on the Bazaar street. He'll give you a Gold Object (it's actually his second request), which you will need very shortly.
Well, since it was a job for Marion, I should probably tell her all about what happened.
I've been waiting. So, how did it go?
I see. So you saw the villagers that disappeared appear in a field of flowers... But they suddenly disappeared again...
Yes. Nio...my sister was there too, but... It seemed like she couldn't hear my voice. At the very least, it didn't seem like it was because of thieves or poisonous gas.
We were able to confirm that a mysterious phenomenon happened. This is very interesting.
Speaking of mysterious, I also found this sparkly object in the village's flower field...
A sparkly, mysterious object...?
Maybe it had something to do with the disappearances.
Thank you. I've prepared a reward, so please take it with you.
You're welcome. Then, I'll be going now. (I guess that's it for this task, but it's a little disappointing... I wish I could've found out more about Nio)
The person who took it was Keithgriff.
He was in Hallos Village?
Yes, I fought him directly. I have no doubt about that. Unfortunately, I failed to catch him...
So not even Linca could hold him... He's as good as they say. Well, our hands are tied with other jobs right now, so we might let him go for now...
Next time...I will definitely catch him!
With absolutely no in-game fanfare, if you have the Marion DLC, she becomes a playable character after the Hallos Village stuff. She's pretty amazing in battle, and actually this playthrough is the first time I'll be using her. But just from first impressions, I'm liking her.
Interestingly, DLC stuff (monsters from the bonus dungeons, DLC equipment, etc.) actually does show up in the in-game encyclopedia. Another scene in Marietta's shop. Thrilling Teasure Contest
Of course! That's what I live for. No, it's actually my entire being. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said it defines my very existence!
Well, I don't care either way, but we have hardly any participants so far. Unlike the bazaar, it's not profitable, and association executives don't seem too fond of it.
Hmm, it might be too hard for dignitaries to understand with their old-fashioned sensibilities. But I'm sure the day will come when my innovative spirit will be proven right!
But either way, you'll need participants. If this keeps up, the plan itself will end in failure.
Hmm, that is a problem. An effective breakthrough solution would be...
By the way, just for those here who aren't anime nerds, Ayesha has a couple ahoges (it's the locks of hair sticking up on her head). It basically just means "Idiot hair" in Japanese, and it's shorthand for a character who is meant to be goofy or stupid, at least in some way. There are plenty of characters with ahoges who are meant to be taken seriously, but it's one of those things character designers do to communicate something about the characters they draw for first impressions.
There she is!
Kyah! Wh-Wh-What is it?
Hmhmhm, what great timing. Ah yes, we have her!
What are you talking about?
Whoops, before that... AYesha, what did you think of the last bazaar?
It was very fun. I've never been to such a lively place before.
Is that so? Mmhm, I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it. Now then, not being too conceited from my success, I"m working on my next plan. Would you like to participate, Ayesha?
Huh? But I've never owned a store, and...
No, no, the next event is extremely scientific. It's the perfect even for someone like you.
No one but you would be able to participate if that were the case... The next event is the aptly-named Thrilling Teasure Contest!
Mr. Harry gets so excited about things, everything sounds thrilling with him...
How about it? Just hearing the name is thrilling, don't you think?
Mr. Owner, didn't you call it the Treasure Trove Contest?
*cough* *cough* You don't need to mind the minor details, Marietta.
A-And, what kind of contest is this gonna be?
We collect treasures or rare items of great value from the ruins, and... Determine who has the item with the highest value. I believe that the intellectual curiosity of these items alone would be a priceless fortune. I will hold it, even though it won't bring any visible profit, because it is partially my hobby.
Actually, it's nothing more than Mr. Owner's hobby.
Now, Ayesha, I heard that you deal with rare items, as well. I would very much appreciate it if you would please participate.
Okay, I'm kinda interested, but I'm also kinda not...
Rare items? The only items I'm really interested in are the ones that'll lead me to Nio.
It's simple to participate. Just present an item that makes you think, "This is it!" Judges will carefully assess each item, and whoever brought the most excellent item wins! And, of course, the winner will receive fabulous prizes, so there's no reason not to compete! How 'bout it? Don't you just wanna sign up?
I-I wonder...I kinda do, but I also kinda don't.
Ayesha, if you don't want to, just say you don't want to.
Why must you always sabotage me!? Ayesha was about to make up her own mind about this.
Is that so...?
Just complete your preparations so that you can exhibit at any time.
(Thrilling Teasure Contest...? I guess I should keep it in the back of my mind... Wait... Or was it the Treasure Trove Contest?)
So, the Contest doesn't happen on a specific day, as you might think. No, the Contest runs in June-July, then a second Contest December-January. All you need to join is talk to Marietta and answer yes when asked to join the Contest.
To put it simply, all you need to do for the Contest is select one eligible item in your inventory. Said item is then judged against three others, and if you win, you get nice stuff. As for why this is important, two endings rely on you winning all six contests over the course of the game. It's not too hard, but only as long as you keep up with your alchemy. Also, the Contest videos are going to be really long, so I'll cover all the stuff that happens only in the first Contest, then skip unimportant / repetitive bits. First Contest
First of all, let's have a message from the organizer.
Ladies and gentlemen who adore fine and rare items, welcome to the Thrilling Teasure Contest! I am the organizer and winner of the last event, Harry Olson! This is the contest's tenth running, and I take pride in how our recognition around the world has advanced. And as a matter of fact, I am also proud of you folks. Now, mystery items still slumber all over the world. To collect those items and to make their presence known to all... I'd like each participant to adopt this noble ideal and extert themself! And eventuall-
Okay, thank you veyr much. Let's give him a big round of applause.
Wow, Mr. Harry really likes to talk. He's passionate about everything. He's pretty amazing.
Harry is the same as always.
Oh, Regina? You're gonna compete, too?
Yup. I have a business relationship with him. I'm taking a break and I'd rather slack off at my house, but... Anyway, I'm more surprised that you're here, Ayesha.
Hahaha, I couldn't really say no.
I see. I guess we have the same motive. Well, let's just take it easy and...
And today, we have a new victim - I mean participant! The go-getter apothecary, Ayesha!
Come on, stop looking so silly and please give us a short speech.
Huh? Oh, yesss, umm... I-I'll do my best!
Marietta didn't have to single me out like that...she must be trying to tease me again. I guess there's a reason she can get along with Mr. Harry so well.
Thank you. Hmhm, how innocent... Now the 10th Thrilling Teasure Contest... Will begiiin! Now, before we get to the competition, let's meet all of our exhibitors.
The contestants each Contest changes slightly, eventually including most of the playable cast and many NPCs. For the first Contest, it's Ayesha (obviously, in every Contest), Regina, Linca, and Harry.
Okay, thank you very much! I'm so excited to see what kinds of items will be shown! Continuing on, I'd now like to introduce all the judges!
The judges, too, depend on the Contest, but Harry is always one. For the first Contest, it's Ernie, Harry, Marietta, and Marion. What judges do will be explained very shortly.
Now, I'd like to go ahead and start the contest! Contestants, please get ready for your turn!
Looks like it's starting. I need to decide which item to exhibit. I need to try my best and choose something the judges might like. Let's see...
Ayesha has pretty good ESP, so she can judge how well each items will be received. A flower next to the judge's name indicates they like the item being highlighted, and the bars in the bottom left indicate how each item compares to the other items in the Contest.
With the Gold Object, I have very little chance of losing, but the pink indicates how much that score can vary. As you can see, Linca can beat me only if she gets very lucky, and Harry would have to get lucky, too. Regina has absolutely no chance.
Music: Scapon Detector 77AVturboZmkIISR
This is the judging screen. Every judge gives their assessment of the item, increasing the score with each comment. However, comments pegged with an up arrow makes the bar on the left of the screen increase faster. A 1.5x multiplier halfway, and the contestant gets double the score if it fills up all the way.
The score was much closer than I anticipated, but I managed a win.
The winner is... Ms. Ayesha! Congratulations!
Oh, me? Really!? Y-Yaaay!!!
Wow, they were all great! I'd like to ask our event organizer, Mr. Harry, to comment on the results!
Umm, it looks like I let too much of my guard down, and unexpectedly missed the win! Even so, going all-out against a girl is unbecoming of a grown man, so, you know, I hope you all understand! So, in other words...what I want to say is that it won't be this easy next time! I'll be the next winner.
Just be honest and congratulate her! Now, let's have a word from our winner!
Huh? Oh, y-yes! I-I'm very happy!
Okay, thank you very much! And one more time, congratulations! Well, everyone, thank you so much for sticking around till the end! Please look forward to the next contest!
Wow, that was so much fun! Mr. Harry didn't seem very happy about not winning, but I definitely think I'll go next time!
Hallos Village posted:
I began investigating Hallos Village as Marion asked me to. There, I found the spectacled man, Keith. This might have something to do with Nio...
As I was investigating, I saw the villagers who supposedly vanished, but they suddenly disappeared. But what was most surprising was that Nio was there for some reason.
She disappeared again, but there were more glowing flowers. Just as Keith said, there might be some connection between the glowing flowers and Nio.
Oh, that reminds me. I found something mysterious, but Keith ran off with it. I failed this investigation for Marion. I wonder what that thing was...
To get back to alchemy, check out this screen. This is the main alchemy screen. CP (Cost Points) are what determines what ingredients affect the final product. That number is Ayesha's alchemy level x2 (the highest alchemy level is 50). The top right has various traits. So, if you have something in the Stock Yard that increases quality or reduces the Cost, that table up in the top right sums it all up.
Now, in this example, because the Phlogiston has a Cost of 19, and Ayesha's alchemy level is only 10, that means I can add in the Phlogiston, but nothing else. It doesn't make for a particularly good Bomb.
At level 10 you get your first alchemy skill, WIthout Haste. What this allows you to do is choose what order the ingredients go in. This might not seem very valuable, and truth be told it's not this early in the game, but later on choosing the order of ingredients is a critical part of making great items. The alchemy system in this game is juggling between Cost and traits. When I make cool stuff later in the game, you'll see what I mean.
Also, as one final note for now, you can't make any items higher than your alchemy level, for whatever reason. So, Ayesha currently can't make any items that are level 11 or higher.
Mr. Harry came in the day after the contest to talk to me about something. I wonder what...
Plus, I wanted to thank you, so just be excited for it.
Oh...umm, thanks for what? Did I do something?
Ugh... Remember hwo you took part in my Thrilling Teasure Contest? I was deeply impressed by the sparkle in your eyes and your pursuit of knowledge and reason.
(W-Was I pursuing that much...? I kinda don't remember that)
It's a special event that always draws many treasures, but it wasn't really popular with the general public. We've been having trouble finding enough participants, and I was starting to get impatient. It's deplorable! Academically and historically rare items are presented from all over the world. However, make no mistake, you have the talent! With that being said, would you like to chase the mysteries that slumber in the ruin together!?
Mysteries that slumber in the ruins...? Haha, I might be interested.
There's no need to hold back! As the chairman of the Ruins of Mystery Group, if you'd like... I would like to present you with the title of an honorary member!
A-An honorary member... Umm...that's okay.
Hmhm, just okay? It's the highest honor an antique enthusiast can be awarded.
No, that's not what I meant. Umm...I don't think...I need that title.
Wh-Wh-What!? You don't need this honor!? Hmm...it seems you are a much more interesting person than I thought. But htis is troublesome. I wonder if there's anything else I can give you... I know, then let's do this! I think you'd accept this! In a place reasonably close to this town, a ruin was discovered. It's a place where ancient glass artifacts were excavated, but...
Regina, I wanted to tell her that part.
Oh, hahaha, sorry. I just overheard you and couldn't resist. As a prospector, that's something I couldn't ignore.
It's the same for me, too. I just can't sit still. However, I'm a busy man. So unfortunately, investigating it firsthand would be very difficult... So here it is, Ayesha. I'd like to ask you to investigate it for me. Could you report to me the things you see and find in the ruin? For that information, I will pay you a handsome reward!
It's a job? Then...I'm interested in that ruin, too. (If the ruin and Nio have any connection, I might be able to find some clues there)
Okay, then it's decided. I'm counting on you.
Hahaha, Harry, you like ruins, but you don't like dark, narrow places, do you?
Regina! I thought you promised you'd never bring that up! Didn't you come to see me about something? I'll talk to you over there, so just go and wait for me.
Okay, got it. Well, I'll see you later, Ayesha.
Ruins are treasure palaces for technology and knowledge. You might even be able to find something you like. Now, let me pay you a deposit. Please, accept it without reserve. You can go investigate whenever you can fit in your schedule. I'll be waiting to hear back from you.
(I don't know what I'll find, but i should just go there first)
He gave me 500 Cole for agreeing. Mr. Harry can be weird sometimes, but there's no doubt he's a really good person underneath. Oh, you know who I just had a thought about? Nanaca. Even though I haven't seen her in a while... But before that, I met Ernie on the road. The wandering merchant
But seeing you outside your workshop like this still feels weird.
Hehe, true. You were always the one who came to me. But it looks like I"ll be coming to visit you sometimes from now on.
I think it's exciting. I feel like I Just got a new traveling partner.
Anyway, you sure have a lot of stuff. Is it all for sale?
That's right. Although, the things I sell wholesale to shops and the things I sell to regular people are all mixed up. If you need anything, I'll give you a family discount.
I see. I might wanna buy something...
All right, I'll unpack, so go ahead and take a look.
I wanted to go to the Grassland Hill, just because I had a premonition of Nanaca being there.
Hyah, I'm sorry. ...Huh? This angry yet mellow voice... Nanaca?
Oh, it's Ayesha. Hello.
I knew it! What a coincidence, meeting you in a place like this!
You're right. Maybe this is the fate the god of nomadism has given us...
God of nomadism... I didn't know such a god existed.
Oh, no, it doesn't. I just think it'd be nice if there was one.
Around this time of year, I think I'm usually around Vierzeberg. It's not a lot, but there is still some grass for the cows to eat.
I see. But isn't this area dangerous with all the stray dogs and stuff?
Your brother, Juris? He does seem pretty dependable.
(Urgh...it just felt like somebody's watching me. Maybe it was my imagination... I wonder if I should say hi...)
Don't worry, my brother just looks unfriendly. He's not mad or anything. People always seem to be afraid of him the first time they meet him.
Okay. I'm glad he's not mad.
Nanaca, we should get going soon.
Ah, okay. See you later, Ayesha.
Yes. I hope I'll see you again somewhere!
Because fate circulates, I"m sure our fates will cross again. Well then, see you.
(Nanaca sure has a mysterious air about her. It's sort of mystical, and almost relaxing...)
It's amazing how connected me and her are, even though we've only met a few times. She's a very strange girl...
Like I mentioned a while ago, the enemy groups hanging around Grassland Hill are pretty tough. I wouldn't recommend fighting them until after Hallos.
As you can see from this screenshot, Marion is a crazy gunslinging lady. All of her skills are based around firing an incredible number of bullets at a target. I'll do a battle video with her next time. Also, I discovered, due to my bad right control stick, that you can actually zoom upwards when choosing a target. Neat.
It's been four months since I began my journey, and I don't know how much closer I am to finding out about Nio. But I do know I'm on the right track... I just have to believe in the people who believe in me.