Part 57: The Real Deal: Part 2: Going to TownTHE REAL DEAL: PART 2
We don't talk about boxes.
You can explore most of the town freely at this point, though you do have to talk to all available townsfolk before visiting Gustav and advancing the plot. We'll cover them in the order they appeared. First up is Meenya.
We don't have time to waste playing with toddlers.
Who's that, mister?
Man, she saw me? I guess spiritual people can see me. What a drag!
Huh? He disappeared. Weird. Oh no! Look at the time! I have to get home!
"I guess spiritual people can see me." I don't get it. What's spiritual about Meenya? Yes I know she's a ghost, ha ha, shut up. Rempo doesn't know that yet.
Once you leave the screen and come back, she'll be there again, and you can trigger the scene where she runs through Kamui. You don't have to visit her gravestone, nor is there any dialogue when you do. Let's see how this part plays out.
No one ever stops to play with me. Maybe they won't play because Meenya's too small!
Hmm...I know! Wait right here! Meenya'll call someone to play!
Enlighten me. Do Japanese children refer to themselves in the third person? Because English-speaking ones don't, in my experience.
This seems to be a trait of children and/or childish characters in Japanese media, but what child does this? I appreciate that it's probably a cultural thing, but hey, localisation teams, this is what your job is, wakey wakey. Children in this country do not speak like Dr. Doom.
See? No one wants to play! Wait right here again! I'll go find someone else!
So we discover that Meenya is a ghost, and...nobody really cares. Or at least Rempo doesn't have anything to say. Yumil could be mortified. We wouldn't know.
Oh! Mister! Nobody wants to play with me. Maybe they all hate Meenya.
Won't someone play with me? I guess you're the only one who'll play with me, mister. Okay, then! I'll give you my most precious-wecious doll!
I'll admit I'm probably bad at writing kids, but if kids uniroinically use the term "precious-wecious", I don't want to be good at writing them. That's right, preschoolers! If you don't know what irony is, you can drive your own damn selves home! I don't fucking care!
We're not privy to the physics of her giving us the doll. The dialogue suggests she hands it to us directly, rather than us scanning it. So it's not a ghost doll, but she can still carry it around, but then why don't people see a doll floating around town
the point is, a thing happened in a JRPG and it does not bear close scrutiny, get to your fallout shelters cause this bomb is atomic
Next is Fana, and it should be obvious from his lack of words, but Yumil's not in a hurry to visit her. No mention that he does it every day at eleven o' clock, or that he frets over punctuality or anything else.
Huh. So you know this bag of bones?
Everything all right? Do you see something?
What? Me? Normal people can't see us spirits. Don't worry about it.
Now I did post this part earlier, but just to reiterate...
Thanks for coming to visit, Yumil.
You're not sure what it is? That happens to me too! I always forget the plot of what I've read.
That's not the problem here.
But I love reading. Since I can't go outside, books are all I have.
I'm really not kidding. This is the sum total of your interaction with Fana during your visit. If you want, it can be the sum total for the whole game.
Even if they had to keep the dialogue brief, and even with Yumil being mute, they could have had her say "Tell me about your day" or something, followed by a fade to black. That would at least imply that he's spending some time with her, rather than staring at her for thirty seconds and then just leaving.
Also, here's what happens if you answer with "The Book of Prophecy" instead of "I'm not sure."
Book of Prophecy? Sounds complex. Are those foreign letters? I doubt I could read it. That's pretty cool that you're reading such a difficult book. Tell me what it's about sometime.
"My only friend is reading moon runes from a book with honest to god moving, blinking eyeballs on the cover. Cool. I guess"
I did hint that normies see it as a regular old book, but the game doesn't. Unless you count the absence of raised eyebrows as a hint in itself, but I don't trust Avalon Code to be that subtle. If that were a thing, Rempo would have explained it.
Ah yes! i just finished baking this loaf of bread. It's right over there, fresh from the oven.
I baked nuts and berries into it, so it has the forest's blessings.
See, this is what I mean. They give us this bizarre line to explain why the bread has a Forest code on it, even though roughly zero people would have scanned the thing and went WELL WHAT THE HELL IS THIS DOING HERE? They'd never leave us to infer something pertinent like "Normal people can't see the book for what it is."
That girl just now...she was really sick. She doesn't have much time left.
Odd place for a dialogue choice. Yumil's been cookie-cutter good guy protagonist until now. Why wouldn't he immediately say yes? Or nod. Whatever.
Regardless of your answer, Rempo says you might be able to use the book to save her, and that you should make that your goal for later. Fair enough.
No he isn't. He hasn't stopped smiling since the tutorial.
I see. Yes, I too find myself in low spirits sometimes. I can't think of what to write for my novel. I'll wrack my brain all night and nothing will come. It's always hard to face the next morning.
What a glum guy.
But it's times like that I go flower gazing. Then I think about the meanings of the flowers, and I cheer up!
Did you know, Yumil, that flowers have meanings? They say knowing its meaning can lend you strength.
Hey, that sounds pretty neat, Yumil! Try showing him the flower we got with the Book of Prophecy!
Blazera! It signifies...passion! Such a lovely flower. If you find a flower you don't know, bring it to me. I'll tell you its meaning.
So...yeah. Kamui's a bit different, right?
Honestly, I didn't know what to do with the guy at first. I'm trying to make the characters semi-believable, and I couldn't think of anything believable about standing outside your house all day, doing nothing but rattling off flower meanings with savant-like efficiency.
That's his role in the game. He's just the flower dude. You bring flowers for him to identify so you can get a code off them. Why'd they need a character to do this? If they'd left Kamui out and had the flower pages be complete as soon as you scanned them, little would have been lost. He's not otherwise important.
Eventually I thought, fuck it, he's got the "timid" attribute so let's make him timid. And I mentioned it was savant-like how he knows all the flowers and goes on and on about flowers and never wants to talk about anything but flowers, so maybe he actually has some savant qualities.
You two are good friends, yes? She's too sick to leave home, so maybe you should try stopping by.
Whoa. Really? Our best friend is crippled with illness? You'd think we'd have picked up on that by now! Thanks for cluing us in.
Yumil and Rempo's conversation about flowers never happens. In fact, you can go ahead and assume the same of any conversation between Yumil and Rempo. They can't have conversations because Yumil doesn't speak. Anyone reading the game's script without context would think Rempo's the one with the imaginary spirit buddy.
Ha ha ha. Don't be surprised. I know the name of every citizen of my town of Rhoan. I protect its people and grant them safety. That is my duty as mayor.
This guy's an elf. That's rare. They usually only live in the forest. I thought they hated human towns.
Ah, so you noticed my ears. Yes, I am indeed an elf. The supreme race closest to the gods. Ha ha ha. No need to feel uptight. Please, act naturally.
That arrogant--! Ugh!
Goodness. We can't talk under these rushed circumstances. I'm afraid I must take my leave.
did I make this "HELLO, I AM MAYOR ELF" exposition less blatant, i really hope i did
I said I wasn't covering Vis and I'm not, but you can find some cookies in his house. There's no dialogue for this, nor are they particularly important. They're just there, and you can scan them.
I left it out because I couldn't think of a reason for Yumil to go into the creepy old pervert's place. And even if I could, I wouldn't want to write any scenes that might ensue.
Hm? What's that book? Ha ha. Educating yourself now? Too late in the game for that. No matter how much we study, there's no way out of this pit for us peasants.
What now? Who's this bully?
Listen Yumil, you're a good kid, but...you're too naive about the world. Remember what I told you? There are two-kinds of people in this world. The "haves" and the "have nots." And studying's only for the haves.
Yeah, it's hopeless, so give it up. We just had lousy luck.
If that's what you want, then I'll obliterate this world!
But that doesn't change the fact that you and I are best friends.
AGAIN, THANK YOU FOR INFORMING ME. AS YOU KNOW I HAVE NO LONG-TERM MEMORY AND I AM GLAD EVERYONE IS SO ACCOMMODATIVE OF THAT.
But yeah, nothing much altered here. Just some tweaks. And Yumil's responses, of course. Also, what the hell Rempo. Chill out.
Now time for the big one.
I bet you were napping in the fields again.
Yumil then displays this weird speech bubble with three red slashes in it. I think it's supposed to indicate blushing? I dunno.
The fact that you're here must mean you want to learn again.
Swordsmanship is not to be taken so lightly! Go home!
We're not fooling around! We were just attacked by a monster!
Show me your fighting stance.
Hmph. You should probably learn the art of running away.
We'll shut that old man up! Yumil, don't listen to him! You're the Chosen One of the Book of Prophecy!
Hm, think you can handle it? How amusing. Then, follow me.
This is my special training area. I'll be waiting in the back. If you can reach me, then I'll teach you a special move.
All right! Let's get through this and show him what we're made of!
As you can see, Yumil really has been skipping classes, although it's never explained why. This is largely where my version of the scene stemmed from. Why would he skive off? I didn't like the idea that he's just lazy, because I defy you to find an orphan child who has as much of his shit together as Yumil does. The kid's a homeowner, for god's sake.
But look at that scene. Gustav's kind of an ass here.
I think he's doing it to goad Yumil into trying harder. Adults can appreciate that method of teaching. They're mature enough to take their frustration and channel it into effort, or at least some of them are.
Yumil's not an adult. He's a kid. A kid's just going to get angry and upset. Aaaaand bingo. There's our reason.
I can't believe you made it this far.
Now keep your promise and teach us!
Bwa ha ha ha. I have nothing more to teach you.
You've already learned all my sword techniques on the way here.
What, so a person can learn your entire repertoire by flipping switches and smashing boxes? Why are you alive?
Isn't that great, Yumil? You have nothing more to learn!
What did he have to learn in the first place? He can use any weapon as long as it comes from the book, right? Why did he come here at all?
I admittedly had Yumil ask to duel Gustav to fit their more hostile dynamic, but thinking about it now, it also fixes this inconsistency. He went there to pick a fight, not to receive tutoring he no longer needs. That makes more sense.
I fill plotholes without even meaning to. I am human caulk.
Special Move? Sounds impressive!
You are worthy to learn it. Now watch closely. The Special Move of my sword school! Whirlwind Blade!
Whoa! Awesome! C'mon, Yumil! Let's get that skill!
Don't get too excited. I'll only teach it to you if you face me in battle!
Get ready, Yumil!
Cue boss fight. And of course the dude has no qualms about killing you. You get a game over if you lose! I don't know what else that could imply!
And right away we cut to Yumil using Whirlwind Blade. Whatever. He learned everything else without having to be taught. Why should this be any different?
You've learned the skill well. But you only get 50 points.
Practice more in real battles.
Crap! 50 points?! This old man plays hard!
How do you know? Fifty could be a perfect score! Fifty out of what?
And, Yumil...don't forget. A harsh fate awaits you ahead. Train your mind, body and soul. Only then will you be able to face your destiny. Understand?
Ooh, that's intriguing. Does Gustav know something? Has he a greater role to play in this story?
No on both counts. He just likes to make vague, foreboding declarations to nobody in particular. You need to allow a person their little quirks.
Now I was going to question his total lack of surprise and/or confusion at Yumil turning up and having to squeeze his newfound massive balls through the doorframe. Most instructors would wonder why a slack-off student is suddenly able to beat their ass into stiff peaks. BUT, given that the Eastern Sword school can apparently be mastered in ten minutes, I imagine Gustav's used to losing by now. So that actually makes sense. Well done, Matrix.