Part 5: LactoseUpdate 5: Lactose
Music: Purging Light of the Sun
Hey, you know what I've managed not to do this entire time?
It's about time I sold those photos and did some shopping!
I said that shops will only give you 1g for most non-photo magnus, which was apparently an underestimation. It's still pretty much pointless to sell most of them, though.
Most item magnus (such as restorative stuff and some damaging items that any character can use like vinegar) can be used on ally or enemy characters, and the camera is no exception. Portraits of characters sell for a fairly trivial amount.
However, occasionally you can get a RARE portrait of a character. This seems to be completely random (with one exception that I'll mention later). These portraits sell for quite a bit, but more importantly they are yet another thing you have to do to get you magnus gathering completed.
Yeah. Pictures count.
Go go fetch quest!
But seriously, there are like a hundred mountain apples right up the street. Why can't she go get them herself?
This guy will not let us have any Mountain Apples. This guy will not let us buy any Mountain Apples. All he does is tell us that we have to go all the way back to another town to get one. Asshole.
That was...not actually very much work, but geez you'd think she'd at least give me a shish kebab or something instead of a space waster.
And then this girl gives me a rare, awesome magnus for free!
Way to play with my heart, game.
I found a useless magnus! I'm just tripping over those today, it seems.
This one actually alludes to a new mechanic, though. Sometimes, if you use magnus in a certain order in a turn, you can change what the magnus are. This is hinting that if I used the Pine Tree in a turn, then followed it up with the Sculpting Knife in the same turn, the Pine Tree might turn into a different item.
In other words, it's yet another reminder that Namco hates people with OCD and wants to see them die.
Okay, it's time to start game-long megaquest number two! There's one home in Pherkad that is unlike the other homes. This home...
Huh???......The athletic physique...the stormy good looks...You look exactly how I used to look when I was younger! I can't believe we're not related!
What's in it for me? We're not gonna waste our time helping this guy out. Right, Legion?
Sorry, Kalas, sidequests come before your personal wishes.
Okay, okay. Maybe I'll help you. Go ahead and tell me what you want.
Quzman proceeds to explain that he's getting really old and he wants to be surrounded by his family members when he dies. So he wants us to go gather up his entire family and bring them here. It's essentially another collect-a-thon, with the caveat being that most of these people are going to require a little persuading, usually in the form of quest magnus. For every unspecified number of people we get to come back to his house, he'll give us magnus!
He also gives us a helpful hint: All of his family members wear bracelets.
He starts doing really exaggerated breathing exercises at one point. It took me an embarrassingly long time (thirty seconds) to figure out that I had regained control of Kalas at some point during that time.
The Family Tree is a special quest magnus that we use to formally "collect" the family members. It's not enough to just find them and tell them that Quzman is ill, you have to actually complete whatever task they want you to accomplish and get them to sign this before they'll go back to his house.
His wife signs it as soon as you show it to her, seeing as she's already at the house and all.
Hey, remember who had a bracelet on?
He signs the Family Tree. In blood.
There are three family members here. This boy is easy to please - he asks you if Rushd (the girl sitting on the guardrail...that can't be very safe) is going to be there, so just tell him she will be and he'll sign the tree and run off.
Easy as lyin'!
Well I'll have you know that your uncle or fifth cousin or something murdered one. See? He's at grandpa Quzman's, you should go and tell him what a horrible monster he is!
...I don't think she realizes it's dead.
But she signed the tree, so whatever, let's just move on.
The father is theoretically simple to convince - you just need to get the girl to sign, and then he'll sign too.
...unless you've already gotten Nubata's signature, in which case he requires more convincing. I've always gotten this guy (Sabin) first because you encounter him first and it's really easy to get him, so I haven't had to deal with his extra step.
Said extra step involves getting him porn.
Quzman's personal porn.
I wonder if the whole family is this crazy. Let's go check up on the people we've met and see if they really went back.
Okay, there's too much creepy in this house.
Oh hey, you know who else had a bracelet? That guy under the waterfall! He seemed cool, maybe he'll redeem this family a little bit.
Oh...I'd get upset about him being uncooperative, but just looking at the screenshot makes me want to go stand under a waterfall, too, so...
Well, I say it's time to go give Palolo his spider web, so might as well visit the church.
And since I'm here, I'll hand over those constellation magnus!
Hey, that was some fairly decent equipment for this point in the game. The water based stuff is particularly nice since there's a fire-based enemy coming up.
And now the four constellations I've found have returned to the map. Eventually we will have this entire thing filled with stars!
I can tell because you look pretty violent, and not too bright...That's just what Palolo told me you looked like. If you're his friend, you're allowed to enter.
That little...ugh! I wonder what else that punk is saying about me.
Video: More Palolo
I have to admit, I would spend so much time here if this spot was real (and not inhabited by a demon child). There's just something about it that I find relaxing.
The little girl in the corner walks over...
Hey, isn't that a Rainbow Spider's web? I'll take that off your hands.
Huh?! No way! This is mine, Pilulu!
All right, kid. I kept my end of the bargain. Are you going to show me how to get into the mansion?
Okay, okay. A promise is a promise...
There's a secret passage at the bottom...that leads to the mansion. It ain't very deep and the water's pretty much gone, so it's no big deal...You might get a little wet once you're inside the mansion, though.
I see. How did you find this passage? I'm impressed.
Well, you know...being the Master of Shadows and all...it was nothing. Hey, you said you're in a hurry, right? If you're not ready yet, do what you need to do. I'll be waiting here.
Palolo III is yet another minor character who has maxed out his question-dodging stat.
Anyway, we get one last opportunity to do stuff before we go inside, but I've done everything I want to, so it's just a matter of talking to him again.
Are you ready to sneak into the mansion?
Okay, let's go.
Be careful in there. That mansion's full of spooky helmet-heads. Don't get caught, okay?
I'll watch my step. See ya...and thanks for the help, Palolo.
The screen fades to black and we hear footsteps running off...
Um, Palolo? Are you sure this is a Rainbow Spider's web? I don't think it is.
It's not. They're really hard to find this time of year.
You knew all along but you showed him the passage anyway? That was nice of you.
Yeah, yeah. I'm just too good-natured. I impress myself sometimes.
I hate you, Palolo. You have no idea how lucky you are to be in a game where I can't wantonly murder NPCs I don't like.
Music: Feudal Guardian
Okay, I can understand the well connecting to the fountain, but how the hell was there a hole in that fountain big enough for a person to fit through? And nobody thought that was a security concern?
Let's get up to the ship!
So heading up the northern stairs, we come to a hallway with four doors and a set of stairs on either end.
And a stained glass window with a nice armor magnus taped to it or something.
This is the first room on the left. There's a bizarre looking animal who will be important in the future, a maid who complains about how Lord Rodolfo is a big mean jerk, and...
This is Kalas' level 2 finisher, which clocks in at 70 attack power (for reference, Blue Storm has 45, and my strongest sword has like 28 or something). Obviously, this is going right into his deck.
As a side note, this is Kalas' only darkness based finisher. Does that surprise anyone else?
The only enemies in here are basic Imperial soldiers. They can heal themselves when they go into critical health, but that's about it and Kalas can easily outdamage that. They're more powerful than the enemies we've faced so far, but still not particularly dangerous unless you haven't leveled up at the church yet.
Lord's favorite yogurt...
...cheese? I don't recall getting any cheese...?
But it turns out this lady needs cheese, and she's got a bracelet on, so...
So this brings us to one of the meanest, cruelest, evilest mechanics of the game: AGING MAGNUS. You see, some magnus change as time passes. Remember how I got Pow Milk for that lady in Cebalrai and decided to take an extra one with me? Well, as I was playing, that magnus aged into Pow Yogurt, and then into Pow Cheese.
It's not so bad with Quest Magnus, because generally you can go back to a source and get a new one if your time runs out. It's annoying, but not (usually) a significant issue. However, battle magnus do this, too. I had some Bamboo Shoots which healed me for 45 HP, and now they're Bamboo, which is a (decently powerful for this point) attack item. The Bananas (90 HP heal) will eventually turn into Blackened Bananas (also an attack item), meaning that all of my current healing items will eventually turn into something else so I'll need to find new ones. Some weapons do this as well; for example, the Fire Swords that I have for Kalas will eventually burn out and become plain ol' crappy Short Swords.
Thankfully, I noticed before I entered the mansion that my milk had already turned into cheese, so I got a new one, which is still just plain milk. So I can give the other lady her yogurt in a few minutes...
Nice armor upgrade for Kalas
Video: Rodolfo is fat (worth watching just to hear Rodolfo's Man)
Music: Spray of Shock
We find the key, but -
Hey, someone's coming.
Kalas runs and hides behind the couch as the Lord of Sadal Suud and his extremely purple sidekick enter the room.
What a relief. Had they failed, I can't imagine what sort of punishment we'd be in for...
My thoughts echo yours, Sire. So, what should be done with the girl?
"Dispose of her as you please" is what he told me. Ha! The insolence! Giacomo, was it? How dare he order me around! A mere soldier! It seems the girl stole something from the Empire. Foolish waif. Did she really think she could get away with that? Against the Empire? Crossing the Emperor alone is asking for certain death. Heaven knows what treasure she was after...
Yet our visitors from the Empire didn't seem to have dug anything up from the forest, Sire. If it wasn't for treasure, then why did they need to send in a scouting team? What were they up to in Moonguile Forest? I do hope nothing terrible is about to happen...There are rumors about that forest, both ancient and ominous...
Heh. You're referring to the old legends, are you? Something about an "evil monster" being held in by a seal?
I have to give Rodolfo's VA some credit, though, he gets the sarcasm juuuust right with that second sentence.
Nonsense. I don't care what the Empire is up to...I'm in no position to meddle. It would be wise of you to stay out of their way, too. Unless you want to end up like that foolish girl. Where is she now?
It seems she took quite a stomping from them.
You may dispose of her tomorrow. The sooner this is all behind us, the better.
As you wish, sire.
The Goldoba will be leaving shortly. The plan on leaving behind a small garrison of soldiers, but it won't be for long. Everything should be back to normal soon enough. All told, I figure things could have been much worse. Hmm...It is almost time. Time to see the Goldoba off. (beat) What a pity they can't stay for tea.
Finally, I thought they'd never shut up! And they even have the decency to leave the room so we can stop hiding.
We don't have much time.
:ghost: Let's get Giacomo!
Yeah. Good idea. We should find Giacomo before doing anything else. Let's go, Legion!
I've always been biased against Wind magic for some reason. It's pretty nice in this game, though.
So now that we have the key, it's time to go back to that four door hallway. Two of those doors were locked, one had Kalas' Shadow Wings, and the other has a battle with no significant rewards.
In the locked room on the left...
I can already tell your name is not Xelha so I don't care. Goodbye, sir.
There was a woman in Cebalrai who I didn't talk to who mentions that her husband is missing and asks you to find him. This is him. Not talking to her first means I fucked up the sidequest. The reward for the sidequest is shampoo. After two weeks or so (in-game time) (yes, really), the shampoo turns into a new magnus. Upon getting that magnus, the final six tracks on the music gathering list are unlocked. There is no other way to unlock them. Namco is staffed by assholes.
(actually, there IS one other way to get the shampoo, but it's also a lost forever. Ideally I'll remember to get it there, but if I don't then I'll just start a new game and work up to this point to get the shampoo here so I can unlock those songs on a separate file or something.)
Video: Kalas' taxi service
Back to the game...let's try the other locked door.
Meemai pops out to check up on Xelha.
You came for me...
Hold still, while I untie you...How do you feel?
Terrible. Give me...a moment, please...Meemai! You're here, too...Don't worry, I'll be fine...
She does some sort of magical thing that's hard to capture with screenshots, and that seems to make her feel better.
Thank you so much for coming, Kalas, Legion.
You too, Meemai. Thank you for saving me.
Meemai! Let me guess - the only reason you came with me was to save Xelha. Talk about a free ride...
Meemai is just so much better than anyone else we've met so far.
So, Xelha. What's the Empire up to? What's the deal with that shining Magnus?
Let's talk about it later. First, we have to get it back from them. Will you help me?
She gets her shiny, Kalas gets to murder the shit out of Giacomo. Win-win!
Thank you so much! Let's hurry!
Okay, we'll go with you Xelha. Right, Legion?
I just told you that's what we were doing, why are you asking me? I swear, one minute you're all "Your advice is helpful!" and the next you're like "bwuh?"
Meemai, what about you? Are you gonna ride with Kalas? Or with me?
I'm not sure about outside of battle, but in battle Meemai is always in Xelha's hood...even in Moonguile Forest, before Meemai teams up with us. Whoops.
Xelha's room has some awesome stuff in it. The statue is her class up item, which she is really, really going to want to do...
This is Xelha after using "Level 5Up"
And this is Xelha after using "Level 1Up" five times.
As you can see, the Xelha who leveled up all at once does indeed have slightly superior stats. Not by enough of a margin for me to grind a bunch of levels without taking them as they come, but it's good to know I guess.
So since I'm right outside the kitchen, I decided to stand around and wait a while for that Pow Milk I have to turn into Yogurt so I can do that before I progress...
Not too shabby. As I'm sure you can guess, level II magics are just more powerful variations of level I versions, and level III will be even more powerful, all the way up to level VI (although I seem to recall that Chronos and Wind stop at level V...I may be mistaken, though).
Next time...it's on.
Guys, I really need your help, here!
Xelha, I think you're a great big dummy.
-> We should help her!
-> Her problems are none of our business.