Part 1: The WeaklingUpdate 1: The Weakling
Watch the intro here!
Music: White Night Illusion
You may be wondering what all that was about. I'm afraid I don't have much to say on the subject, but I'm at least fairly certain that the monster pictured two images up is an actual boss fought at some point or another.
I'm starting a fresh playthrough, which is to say that I deleted my old files and things a while back. In retrospect I wish I still had my old file so I'd still have the bonuses (which includes music tracks, and thus the ability to record the songs myself) available. Oh well.
The options don't have anything unusual, but I like the text speed options. Lazy or Bam. That's catchy. Now, then, let's get a new game started.
Klein, do you remember the day we met?
Of course I do.
I have no idea why this particular line is significant enough to get it's own black screen.
Music: Voiceless Poem
I can't do anything...
Music: The Forest Where the Witch Lives
The cat girl turns right around and leaves again.
...I hope she knows what she's doing.
Meow! I'll think of something!
Music: Mana, Noisy Time
Water Creature: Mana is waning again...
You might be wondering why the game is showing us all these snippets. Honestly, you don't need to worry about them too much. The game will get to a more or less coherent narrative shortly.
Mystery Man: I'll definitely need the Ruby Prism's power...
This man has a silky, vaguely British voice. I'm not really an expert on Japanese media but that usually means the speaker is completely trustworthy and pure of heart, right?
Huff...huff...Oh, man. Did we lose him?
Shh! Keep it down!
Music: Alchemic Blast
Shoot...out of elements! How could this get any worse?
Huh? That strike should have finished him off...
Less talk, more fighting!
I'd take a moment to discuss battle mechanics here, but this fight is literally just attack it until it runs away. We'll get into that stuff later when there's actually something to talk about.
Music: The Laughable Pair (thanks to pichupal for finding this for me!)
I haven't seen you around here before. Are you a traveler?
You could say that.
Traveling alone is dangerous for weaklings!
What?!...I could have killed it myself if I hadn't run out of elements!
Of coooouuuurse you could have...What kind of jerk makes such a lame excuse?
There's a town nearby called Kavoc. How about I show you around?
I don't need any help. I've been doing just fine on my own.
Okay. Well, be careful.
Lita strolls off to the south, leaving Klein more or less alone in the forest.
...Guess I really am a jerk.
I bet you like her! Klein and some girl, sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-ehuheehuhee!
Don't start. C'mon, let's go.
Music: The Forest of Meeting
We finally have control of Klein. As this sign suggests, this is one of those RPGs that tries to incorporate mild platforming elements. For the most part this just means having the novelty to jump around and climb stuff, but there are a few more things that we can do as the game progresses that encourage exploration. Let's try and leave through the north exit.
Oh. Well, that's a problem. We don't get sucked into a new fight, but the game won't let us proceed until Klein can fight back.
The game points our attention to these giant rocks. Let's see what's so interesting about them.
Huh? Uh, sure, okay.
Music: Popo's Pleasant Money Lecture
Through various tutorials, I will explain how to play this game to the fullest. I'll try to keep things as basic as possible, so try not to get too discouraged. For this lecture, Klein will be my special assistant. You have an important job, so don't mess it up.
Why are you so bossy all of the sudden?
Don't worry about it. I'm trying to help with your adventure. In this lecture, we'll cover a very important-
But not everything has an element to extract.
That's right, Klein. To simplify, why don't you demonstrate for them?
You can rotate the Action Dial with the L1 and R1 buttons. Face the object, take a deep breath, and press the square button.
It disappears, just like that! And, simple as pie, you've collected the object's element. Try this as often as you can there's no such thing as too many elements.
Hey! That was pretty low...
And so our first tutorial ends with physical violence.
Honestly, I think the tutorials are...well, I guess I wouldn't call them an active pro of the game, but they make a genuine attempt to be interesting while still getting their point across, and you have the option to skip them. I'm going to transcribe a couple more, and you guys can decide if you want me to keep doing so or just paraphrase them in my own words.
For example, that last tutorial simply explains that if Klein hits things with his staff, he can turn them into Elements. There are a lot of different Elements in this game...Water, Fire, Power, Holy, Spirit, all kinds of stuff. This rock offers 24 Water Elements and 6 Dark Elements. But what exactly are these useful for, anyway?
Oh yeah, there's this semi-hidden area in the tree. Feather Charms provide a very modest boost to some of your elemental defenses. Not great, but better than an empty slot.
Music: Alchemic Blast
So here's the deal. Klein is an alchemist, and he uses Elements to create Alchemy Items. Every Alchemy Item requires a certain number of one (or more) Elements.
For example, he can use three Water Elements to create one use of Bomb Ice. Currently, this is the only Alchemy Item we can use, but we'll find plenty more as the game goes on.
I think of it as a sort of MP analog. Instead of consuming MP to use his alchemy, Klein consumes Elements instead. That's an oversimplification of things, but more or less works to describe the core concept.
For comparison, Lita was doing 70-80 damage with her physical attacks, and Klein was doing a mere 20, so this blows those out of the water (no pun intended). Alchemy is this game's bread and butter, and subsequently Klein is the most versatile and probably most valuable character for winning fights.
Will you stop bringing her up?
Hm...I bet there's an adventure to be had there.
C'mon, Popo. Let's head into town.
Long ago, there was a city that was highly regarded as the ultimate paradise. Avenberry, the legendary city in the sky. It was a city built by an advanced civilization. A civilization that communicated with Mana, the spirits of the land, for help and guidance. Those who received the guidance of Mana possessed special powers. They were called Alchemists.
Alchemists and the Mana spirits promised Avenberry eternal prosperity. However, the era of Avenberry came to a sudden end. Nobody knows what happened. Only a single ancient text hinted to the mystery of its disappearance.
Civilizations that undermine the value of life will fail.
Several hundred years later...Avenberry, the city in the sky, had become a popular destination for adventurers seeking the vast treasures hidden within. And the city of Kavoc was build as the base for those who seek to unlock the mysteries of Avenberry.
Music: Town Where the Bells Chime
Now that we've entered a new town, it's time to engage in random acts of vandalism. This is a great spot to pick up some wood and water Elements, as well as a handful of Stone (from barrels) and Fire (from some of the flowers and fruits). Frankly, if there's one thing I associate with this game, it's destroying everything in the town plaza for fun and elements.
There are also a couple of loose fruits sitting around that we can pick up. This game generally rewards picking up every item you can find, even seemingly worthless ones, so we might as well gather these.
Also, on our first visit, there is a bag of cole (money) sitting on top of the crates. We can reach it using the power of platforming, or just break all of the blocks it's sitting on.
Now that the town square lies in ruins, let's visit the bar.
Music: Fun Shopping In Kavoc
I'm from Gzestein.
Oh, wow! That's far. Are you a traveler?
I suppose so...Actually, I'm an alchemist.
An alchemist! That's rare these days. In fact...I don't think I've ever met one before.
Yeah. Could be my fault, though. I hear there used to be a lot in these parts. So what brings you to our humble little town?
I'm looking for alchemic items. I'd also like to find some Mana. I'm still kind of new at this Alchemy thing. Actually, I'm trying to visit towns connected with alchemy.
I don't know much about Mana...But I can tell you're serious about this. There are a lot of interesting places in the area, but I'm not sure whether or not they have much to do with alchemy. There's plenty of good food, though! Feel free to stay as long as you like.
I'd love to, but I don't have much money.
Ha ha! I see. How'd you like to earn a little extra?
I suppose I could, if the price was right. What kind of jobs do you have for me?
Oh, heh...I just need these lunch boxes dropped off at the Magic Shop and the Grocery Store. They shouldn't be too hard to find as you explore the town. The Magic Shop is just up the hill next door. The Grocery Store is across the street from here.
Okay, sounds easy.
If you have any luggage, you can leave it here.
Alright, we've got our temporary safe zone set up. The Journals are save points...
...and Popo can refill everyone's HP and MP to full. Now let's explore Kavoc a bit.
This is a little more fun than I'm really comfortable with.
As I said, even trash items like this can be worth having around. We can find potatoes, peppers, grass, and dirty water in this area, most if not all of which respawns. Maybe we'll even find a use for some of this crap someday.
There's also a Mini Pendelook hiding behind the architecture here, and another in a nearby barrel. Mini Pendelooks are quite important (although perhaps not as rare as they may initially seem), and it's worth getting all the ones you can find.
Is this the Magic Shop? I'm supposed to deliver this lunch box from the bar.
Oh, it's from Uncle Norman. Thank you...
...Can I help you with anything?
No, that's okay...I'm just interested in all this stuff. Are you an alchemist, too?
No, I am not. However, I did make all these items.
I assume you are an alchemist?
You should enjoy Lyla's Grocery Store. She has a lot of knick-knacks to look at.
You should be on your way, right? You can go now.
Hahaha, that was RUDE.
As I said in the OP, this game puts a surprising amount of emphasis on the shopkeepers. Norman and Veola both have quite a lot to offer, and I look forward to showing that off, as well as the stories of the other shopkeepers we'll come across in time. But that will have to wait we're still a bit busy trying to get the main story going, after all.
Er, yeah...I'm supposed to drop off this lunch box from the bartender.
Thanks a lot. Tell Mr. Norman I said hi.
Hmm...The girl at the Magic Shop told me you might have some alchemy supplies here.
Alchemy? What's that?
It's, uh...alchemy. You've never heard of it?
Veola told you that, did she? Hm...she's probably talking about that box. I've had a box in the back room for a really long time.
There's a flower vase or something inside the box...That's probably what she meant.
...A flower vase?
Yeah, it was in the box, so I decided to take 'em both. I really have no idea what they're for. Feel free to take a look.
What's a Heal Jar doing here!?
Isn't this one of the items listed in your book?
Yeah, it's a Mana item created with alchemy. It has healing properties. I can make as many as I want, assuming I have enough items and Mana...
Music: Popo's Pleasant Money Lecture
It looks like you found one of those Mana Items! Klein is the only one who can use Mana Items. You can synthesize mana items you've found by using a Mana, like me. Mana items are very important. You may find them in treasure chests. Look for treasure chests EVERYWHERE! You should try to collect as many as you can.
Here's some extra advice for you...Mana items are useless unless you have a Mana to synthesize them. So, finding more Mana is just as important as gathering mana items! I'll explain synthesis in an upcoming tutorial on Mana Synthesis. But, that's all for today. See ya next time!
Today's class is about Mana Synthesis!
Alchemists like me can create new objects with the help of Mana spirits.
What Klein's trying to say is that alchemists are super cool.
...Let's get this over with.
Select Mana Synthesis from the menu. You can select an item from this list, but you'll still need enough elements to create it.
Each Mana has its own specialty, so consider that when assigning them.
You're a Mana of the wood element, so I should choose you for water or wood ingredients.
Good job, Klein! Manas will enhance ingredients related to their element. After choosing the right Mana, you just need to decide how many of the item to make. Let's begin!
Pay attention to what the Mana says. She sounds pretty cranky, doesn't she? (not pictured: a cranky-sounding Mana)
She must be exhausted.
If you force a Mana to work when they're worn out, it can hurt your relationship...Not to mention, unfriendly Mana tend to make lots of mistakes.
If you're a good alchemist, you shouldn't have to worry about that.
Mana are people too, so be sure and let them rest if they're tired.
Hey, what if I mess up and hurt a Mana's feelings?
Everyone likes presents, right? Gathering elemental items for them is your best bet. Your relationship will improve if you give them gifts. By the way, I really like plants.
Um...I never asked.
You could be nicer, Klein...Besides, there are a lot of advantages to having friendly Mana. They could make you extra items! Or...you might even fall in love.
One step too far, Popo.
Well at least we know you were paying attention for once. If you're nice to Mana, they'll be nice to you. That's all for today! See you next time!
I found that box at the foot of a mountain just north of town. There's supposed to be a lot of treasure hidden in the city at the top of the mountain.
...(probably more alchemy items, too)
Haha, and I thought it was a vase...I suppose it was a little thick. Well, you can keep it if you'd like. Consider it commission for the lunch box.
DO you know anything else about the mountain city?
It's all just legends, really. Oh, wait! I think Norman the bartender knows the legend pretty well. You should ask him about it.
All right, I guess we'd better go do that.
(after I destroy the town square again)
Norman gives us a modest but still appreciated 100 cole.
What is that...it looks like a town on top of the mountain.
Shh! Not so loud. They might hear you.
Sorry I said anything...I'm not really at liberty to talk about it. You'll be better off if you forget about that town up there.
What do you know about the town?
There's a tower west of here...I bet you could get a better view from there.
That town was rich with Mana power, once. But I'm talking a long, long time ago.
Mana! You know about Mana!?
Not so much...But, I do know that Mana powers nature.
That's right! The spirits of Fire, Wind, Water, Earth...well, everything's made from Mana!
Anyway, they were creating something using the power of Mana.
Using Mana?...That's alchemy! Can you tell me how to get there?!
Heh, sorry kid...It's not that easy. If you get to the top of the tower, you can see for yourself. That's probably the best view around. You'll understand once you see it.
This game doesn't allow us to travel the world map freely we have to unlock new destinations before we're allowed to visit them. On the other hand, when a new area is unlocked, the game will offer to show you how to reach the new place from where you are, which is a cool idea.
Maybe I'll go check that out.
Klein leaves the bar.
Hmm...I'll need to keep an eye on this one.
I can't guarantee there won't be trouble.
Well, that's enough for now. Let's save our game and call it quits for the moment.
The saving game icon is a pig. This game really likes pigs. Like, a LOT.
Anyway, join me next time as we learn why getting to Avenberry is going to be crazy hard and will take up like a third of the game.