Part 9: Cotton Candy CloudsUpdate 09: Cotton Candy Clouds
Music: Dusty Wind
Video: Leaving Nashira
Sadly, the church doesn't allow us to warp around, so I guess it's time to head back to Empire-occupied Nashira.
They didn't even have the decency to execute Reblys.
Dunno. They just came outta nowhere...
Are they after us?
That can't be. Why would they go to such lengths just to catch the two of us?
...Wait a minute. You're wanted by the Empire?
Well, we're just...you know...
...Never mind. I suppose it's better not to know. Besides, they can't be looking for you.
What makes you say that?
Some of us saw another squadron of soldiers flying towards the castle. It looked much larger than the squadron we have here. Whatever they're looking for, it must be at the castle.
Oh, no! This is the sort of thing we came to prevent! It's too bad you didn't take us there when we asked, huh?
Hmm...I have a bad feeling about this...What sort of trouble could they be trying to start?
It's already started. Geldoblame's ambitions are ravaging the world...
Xelha, you're coming, too, right?
In case you didn't notice, that sentence has over half as many commas as it does words.
Of course. Let's hurry.
Hold on, there. You can count me in, too. Don't feel like losin' sleep over what happens to you two.
No buts about it. I promised to take you to the castle, remember? Besides, I'm itchin' to find out what the Empire's up to. Getting there might be a problem, though. They're watching the harbor...it won't be easy getting to my boat.
We'll walk, then. Now that the Lesser Celestial River has calmed down, the road to the castle should be open.
True. But how do you plan on leaving the village? They've got the exits guarded. They won't exactly usher us out with a smile and a handshake, you know.
A while back, Anna told me, there's a secret passage somewhere in this bar that'll take you out of the village. I guess they dug it for emergencies. She never told me exactly where the entrance is, though...you'll have to ask her yourself...
Oh, cool, that makes things nice and-
...oh, come ON.
Well, uh...you see...I uh...I kinda lost track of her.
Kinda lost track of her? So much for countin' on you to look after her, huh?
Never mind. Let's go find her. Kalas, Xelha, you two come with me.
Okay, I know Anna's a female in a JRPG, but did Gibari and Reblys really need to schedule taking turns watching over her? Does she get attacked by bandits and rabid poodles and robots on a daily basis or something?
Anyway, Anna is over at the fishery/port.
Hey, let go of her! You're hurting her!
...and getting in trouble. I just had to open my big mouth...
Y-you...inferior natives. You're not allowed to cross us!! You won't get away with this!!
Yeah, whatever! Show me what you got! The people of Diadem never give up without a fight!!
You wench! If we weren't under orders to keep hands off civilians, I'd make short work of you!
Even if you kill me, you Imperials will never take the hearts and minds of our people. Get it?
You'll have a different way of seeing things soon enough. You'll regret you ever said that!
You okay, Anna? They didn't hurt you or anything, did they?
I'm just fine. I just came over here to pick up some booze. We were running low. Why would I be hurt?
Well, we heard some shouting, so...
Oh, it's nothing. Those Imperial soldiers are so arrogant. I just had a little talk with them...no big deal.
I'd like to formally announce Anna as the best (humanoid) character we've met so far.
...except maybe the guy standing under the waterfall.
What happened to you guys? Couldn't get to the castle?
Nope. When we came back from the river, this whole place was crawling with soldiers. They won't let us leave the village.
We heard there's a secret passage in the pub, so we wanted to find you and ask about it.
I see...If that's what you need, I'm the one to help you.
Thank you so much.
I'll go back and open it up for you. Meet me back at the pub when you're ready to leave, okay?
And so back to the bar we go.
...I have to say, I suck at navigating this screen. Everything's so far away from the camera that I always misjudge where the bar door is and run into the wall.
Thanks, Anna. Reblys, watch over the village, okay?
Relax, Gibari. We'll manage here. I'm more worried about what's goin' on in the city.
We are automatically spit out onto the world map. Since I've been using it as a grinding point and have leveled/classed up since, I suspect the Cloud Passage is going to be a cakewalk.
Music: Soft Labyrinth
The Cloud Passage is a fairly straightforward, painless field dungeon. Despite being short, it does have a handful of things that are worth a mention.
I truly love this area. It's nice to know that there are still a few games that remember what colors are.
There are only two kinds of enemy here. There are some bird enemies that are wholly uninteresting in battle but which have a chance of dropping the Triangulum constellation Magnus, and some panthers that are decently powerful and can inflict poison those are the enemies that you saw back in the gameplay mechanics update earlier.
This family needs a name pronunciation guide. Also, first family set complete! Too bad I can't get back to Sadal Suud to claim my reward.
Despite having the worst attack power of the three, Xelha can still cause some remarkable damage. Note that all four of the cards she played shared the number 8.
This is the area's only real gimmick. Since the road is literally made of clouds, there is a machine that allows you to trap clouds in your quest magnus and use them to create bridges. There are only two or three places where you can do this (and I don't think you have to do it to get through the area, just to get some goodies and the save point).
Oh, hey, I forgot to explain this one!
These are Gram and Leon's keepsakes. They've been occupying a Quest Magnus slot since Xelha joined back at Rodolfo's Manor. As you might imagine, giving these to Gram and Leon's family completes the quest...
...But of course there's a catch. Two, actually. The first is that I won't be meeting Gram and Leon's families until over halfway through the game. The second is that this is an aging Magnus. Specifically, after playing the game for 50 hours, this will transform into something else, and thus will affect my reward. Fortunately, both this version and the later version can be turned in to complete the quest, so it's mostly just another thing the developers did to make sure you don't get your shiny 100% magnus gathering.
With this loot out of the way, there's little else to do but start heading on out of here.
Video: The Iron Beetle
Music: Doomed in the Netherworld
Whoa! What is that thing?
It's an Iron Beetle. From the Imperial Mobile Forces. I can't believe they even sent this out here! This nation will be torn to bits...
We'll see about that. They won't get too far if I can help it. I'll make 'em wish they never set foot on my turf!
Boss time! (click)
The Iron Beetle isn't too bad. It's basically the opposite of the Nunkirantula; it constantly alternates between boosting it's attack power one turn and actually attacking the other turn, meaning you have two whole turns in between it's attacks (three when it has to Shuffle the Deck). It's also Fire/Dark based, so Gibari actually does quite well for himself here. I can't wait to show him off in a fight that he's built to handle well!
Here's Kalas' new finisher. It makes my capture device lag like crazy. I'm gonna have to do something about that before I make my Finisher demonstration videos.
...Goddammit, Gibari, I promised them you wouldn't suck in this fight.
I took this picture because it documents a very rare occurrence that is, an occurrence of me actually curing one of my characters of a status effect. As I indicated before, most status effects are really just a nuisance, not a genuine threat. I only had Kalas recover from it here because he also had some healing items I wanted to get rid of and he could stand an HP refill.
Here's the bad news about the boss: It only attacks every other turn, but it's attacks HURT. Admittedly, Kalas didn't get a very good set of defense magnus so this is on the higher end of it's damage output, but that's still painful.
Finally! That's more like it, Gibari.
(okay, so Gibari didn't actually kill it with that attack, but this is an SSLP so let's just pretend he did)
Another finisher for Xelha, and Gibari's class up item! I like that we got a Shark Tooth from killing a tank, but not from killing a giant fish.
...Phew. To think I'd be facing an Imperial Beetle...These guys don't mess around.
I hear you. Why would the Empire bring their elite units out here?
How far to the castle?
We're almost there. Let's get movin'.
This is Reblys' fault, I swear.
We're gonna sneak into the castle!
->No, we're storming the front gate.