Part 12: Heat
All right, when we last left off, an explosion rocked the imperial plaza, leaving several people wounded, and Sagi wanted to help them out.
There are three wounded people, and each one needs a specific item to recover.
This woman just outside the plaza has some fruit and some water (We can also ask for a med kit, but she doesn't have one). I just got the fruit, as there's another source of water elsewhere.
To the left is Geldoblame's house. We can find a med kit in here, which his maid will allow us to take.
One thing I think is cool is that the maid will panic if you examine things before talking to her, calling you a bunnycat burglar. Her reaction even changes based on what you examine. Also, there's a bowl of fruit in the house, but it's fake and thus useless to us.
Hmm...perhaps Geldoblame sees Verus as more than just another boss?
In the house to the right, there is a pool of water that we can draw Pristine Waters from. Unfortunately, I had to ditch one of my quest magnus to make room for it (I ditched the Thornflower); technically I could have made multiple runs to and from the plaza, but I'll need three empty quest magnus in a second anyway, so...
Okay, we've got everything we need!
We pour water on the girl who's bum is on fire (I tried to get a better shot than this but she's running all over the place and it's hard to talk to her).
The med kit goes to the girl who hit her head...
And the loser with a skinned knee needs Fruit Fit for an Emperor to regain the will to live.
Finally, we need to extinguish the fire on the pod. This is why I needed to have three free Quest Magnus; you have to use three Pristine Waters all at once to extinguish this fire.
Phew, that's a relief...
Yeah, but still. Who in the world would do something like this?
Conscientious Boy: That's the big mystery. I'm gonna go look around the area. Maybe that was I can find some clues that point to who did this.
Don't go wandering around! It's too dangerous.
Conscientious Boy: Dangerous? Hah! They won't get away with attacking my town! Now, time to start sleuthing.
The boy hands over a Magnus Pack Coupon and runs off to search the area. I think that's about all we can do here for now. Let's go ahead and go meet with Verus like we were trying to do before this commotion happened. His home is next door to Geldoblame's, a screen to the left.
Music: Parity of Light and Dark
The guards won't just let us in, so we have to name-drop Geldoblame. At least most of the options are or are near actual characters, but who's this Shevchenko?
Quaestor Verus is waiting, so without further ado, if you'll follow me...
This is one of those segments where you're being led by a person so even if you know where you're going you have to wait for Geldoblame to get there, too. Walk faster!
The door is open. Come in.
Ooh, I like this office. I think I could avoid doing a lot of work in here.
We're playing nice because that's in Sagi's best interest and will help in gameplay, but you know what the REAL correct answer is here.
...Is my Guardian Spirit, Meemai.
Well, no need to be tense in front of a brother spiriter. I'm honored to meet you, Meemai. The puppet is named Guillo, correct? I've heard all about how it butchered the umbras.
Umbras? What's an umbra?
I'm talking about the monsters you encountered in the emperor's residence and in Hassaleh.
Who told YOU?
Watch your tone of voice! To whom do you think you're speaking?
It's all right. This is no time to mince words.
Forgive me, sir. I am aware of the present situation.
Good. Hmm...I can see Guillo is anything but a paramachina. And who might you be, young miss?
My name is Milliarde.
Milliarde...Have we met somewhere before?
...No, I've never had the honor, sir.
I couldn't not include this picture.
Now then, about the events at Olgan's residence. I've hard the gist of it, and let me be frank: Baelheit cooked up the whole affair. He hates things like guardian spirits and wings of the heart. He'd wipe them from existence if he could. He had Olgan killed in hopes of taking his place and then accused you, a spiriter, to hush the matter up. Two birds with one stone, you see?
But the emperor didn't die by our hands.
That's right. Some other guy had already killed him.
But the problem remains that you are the one who stands accused. So here's what I propose. Why don't we make an arrangement?
An arrangement, sir?
That's right. I have the power to strike your murder accusation from the record. I can also pledge aid to the orphanage in Hassaleh.
The orphanage?! How do you know about that?
The fact that I do should show you how sincere I am.
Um...no, it kinda doesn't. It just shows that you know way the hell too much about us.
What are your conditions?
Put a stop to Baelheit's ambitions.
And what are those?
He won't stop with the Empire. Baelheit plans to promachinate every last island. Meddling on that scale could lead to intercontinental war. As if that weren't enough, he's also after the power of the umbras, those creatures you saw. He's been transferring that power into mechanical weapons he developed called machina arma.
That reminds me...The umbras, sir. Do you know anything about them?
Not a whole lot. We've been doing all we can to investigate, but the answers continue to elude us. The only thing that's certain is what you already know; they possess immeasurable power. Baelheit wants that power. Therein lies our problem. Were someone able to harness such strength...Well, certainly you can imagine? We need the cooperation of other nations' leaders if we're going to prevent such a disaster. Thus, I'd like for you to meet with the leaders of each continent and request their aid in stifling Baelheit's ambitions.
But...why not just go yourself, Quaestor?
As you can see, the war took my leg. So I'm afraid I quite literally cannot rise to the occasion. Hence my need for a reliable right-hand man. I believe I can trust a fellow spiriter like you.
What about Geldoblame? I guess he's too busy doing other things.
Why do you have to turn to other lands? As the Empire's military leader-
Promachination began with the late emperor, and it shows. The movement's results already ring louder than the objections of one man. Sagi, spiriters are chosen folk. Not just anyone can share their heart with a spirit. The ones who are chosen, though, can claim the tremendous power and wisdom of their spirit. That power and wisdom are so great they may even sway the world's future. You and I have been chosen. Sagi, help me save our world.
You might expect that Sagi would be ready to jump in and help everyone out, but he actually seems a bit put off by that. He seems to prefer this answer.
You're right. It's not an easy decision to make. Quaestor, may I have a little time to think this through?
Of course. I'll be waiting for your answer. Geldoblame, take them to their room. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a meeting to attend. I'm sure your answer will be the right one, Sagi.
I guess that meeting went pretty well. I'm a bit leery of trusting an Imperial bigshot, but he doesn't seem like a half bad guy, and he's offering us a purpose that seems more in line with an RPG story than run errands for orphans.
...The quaestor is thinking of the entire world, you know, not just the Empire. If it's within your power, I hope you will help him.
Geldoblame leaves us to ourselves. You can check out some of the treasure boxes for a Scension and a Hermit's Cane. I forgot to add this cane to my deck, so somebody please bug me about adding it later so I actually show it off. It functions as an additional means of boosting MP and is subsequently pretty cool to have.
The correct action here is to examine the bed to try and get some rest, but Sagi's too wound up for that...
My mind's still swimming. I doubt I'll be able to sleep.
Why don't you go for a little stroll? A change of scenery might do you good. I know! How about Azha? It's lively there. You'll perk up in no time.
Uh, all right.
It's not far. We just head south into the Nihal desert and walk...for a while. Oh, well. Come on!
All right, so now we're going to Azha for...um...some reason! Yeah, Milly's sending us on an essentially pointless trip. This isn't the only time she's going to pull something like this. Dammit, Milly.
Verus has his own Spirit Room? Kalas never had anything like that, and Sagi sure as shit didn't get one at the orphanage. I'm jealous. We need to get in there someday. Promise me, Sagi?
Hey, you can change your mind about this trip anytime you want, Milly.
The gimmick to this field dungeon is that it's very, very hot so hot that it exhausts our characters and makes them walks as if you had overexerted a heartwing dash, but all the time. The solution is to sprinkle some snow on yourself, to get revitalized and rehydrated. The peddler here offers some...for 400 gold a pop. This allows Sagi to move at normal speed and heartwing dash again.
Well, I'm still kind of poor right now; I have roughly 1100 gold and I'm sure not going to blow any of it on snow. So here's the other solution.
Water! It doesn't restore Sagi's heartwing dash, but it allows him to run at normal speed. More importantly, it's free. I grabbed three more doses of it here, that ought to hold me through the whole desert.
The wildlife isn't all that remarkable, though the floating firebomb heads are powerful enough that they can pose a very real threat. The enemies here also like to boost their own offense, but the fights don't last long enough for that to matter. Guillo's Icefan can be pretty cool here, but I found that Sagi and his fancy new Icebloom attack seemed even better.
Another trick of this area is that you can actually go off the beaten path. It's a little shorter, but there are more enemies and no NPCs to talk to if you feel lonely. I went through and talked to them on a separate file but didn't find anyone noteworthy.
Then again, I did think I saw something off in the distance. Like maybe a cave or something. I thought about checking it out, but you never know what sort of weirdos you'll meet in the middle of the desert. Better keep my distance.
Yyyyeah, I'm gonna need you to stop complaining about how bad your idea was.
Music: Sanguine Grasses
What a bustling village! Their excitement's contagious.
It looks like they're just bringing in the Flame Ice. We should watch as long as we've dropped by.
So many kids...I hate the little worms, too. Can't we turn back?
No! We need to give Sagi time to think. Guillo and I will be wandering around the village. You take all the time you need.
Whelp, we get to wander around some more. Azha seems like a nice enough place, at least. Everyone's cheerful and happy! Well, let's see what Guillo is up to.
Video: Azha Scenes
Sagi, would you mind getting these moppets off me?...They're heavy.
Child: Play with us, puppet! Play! PLAY!
Blasted parasites! Get off me if you don't want to be eaten!
Child: Yaaaay~! Eat me first!
Sagi, have you made up your mind yet? I'm outnumbered...
This is almost my favorite bit of dialogue in the game. Almost.
Let's go find Milly.
Oh, Sagi! Have you made up your mind?
Er, no. Not yet.
Hello, Sagi. Nice to meet you.
Oh, nice to meet you too! Milly, who's your friend?
This is Almarde. She invited me in for tea. Isn't that right, Alma?
That's right. I hope your boyfriend doesn't mind me hogging all your time.
B-B-Boyfriend?? Milly, you don't...we're not...What??
Oh, I must have got the wrong idea. It's just, Milly said-
Ahh, ahh, ALMA! You never finished telling me about the flame ice!
What? Oh, that. You don't have to fly out of your seat.
I just love that flame ice! Woohoo!
Just butting in to say that this line is what first sold me on Milly's voice actress.
Hey, Sagi, Alma says this village thrives on flame ice mining!
Yeah, you can tell just by looking around. It's such a cheerful place.
Why, thank you! A kind word for the village is a kind word for me. They say Azha started as a haven for people living in the Nihal Desert. After the settlers struck flame ice, more and more people flocked to the village, and before long, it turned into the bustling place you see today. There's not a wicked soul around. Deep down the Azhani know that you have to work together to survive. Hey, would you two like to see them unload the flame ice? I'd be happy to show you.
You wouldn't mind?
Not after all the nice things you've said.
Want to come see, Sagi?
No, I have a little bit more thinking to do. I'll come get you once my mind's made up.
OK, fair enough. See you later, then!
Hmm, that Almarde woman is coming off as super nice and wholesome and good. Actually, Azha in general seems that way. This game has some truly pleasant villages.
If we head further into the house, Sagi will wander off down a side passage.
Yeah he promised to clear my name AND help the orphanage. Why would I say no? Besides, I owe it to Hassaleh. I'll never forget that empty space where the rest of the island should have been. Baelheit has to pay...Still, Verus gave me a lot to chew on. Save the world? Try coming up with an answer to that. Don't worry. I'll tell Guillo and Milly I made up my mind. I know I put them out.
One of the miners walks towards us.
You in the corner. What are you babbling about over there? Open your mouth and the sand flies in. That's what the Azhani say if you stand around with your jaw dropped.
Um...who are you?
Who am I? I'm Bein. A miner here in Azha. What do you want form us? You don't look like the other watchdogs they send.
No one sent me. I'm just out with some friends for a change of air. Um, what do you mean by watchdogs? Is someone watching you?
Incredible. You really don't know. The Empire keeps soldiers stationed here in Azha. And the soldiers walk off with all the village's flame ice.
You mean for free?
Practically. Promachination has bumped up the demand for flame ice. Their machina get really hit, you see. So now we're forced to deliver outrageous amounts of the stuff each day. And we do it for a clave pigeon's song.
Promachination...So it's affecting people here, too.
We've got to work our asses off each day to fill the Empire's quotas. The works' gut us using explosives near the lava. Accidents happen all the time. But what the hell do they care! They'd just as soon sit by until every last man in our village-
An alarm sounds from offscreen, interrupting Bein's tirade.
Ah, another load. That was fast. Musta got carried away there. Well, back to work. Hey, I never caught your name.
Sagi, uh? That's a good name. Thanks for being a good listener, Sagi. You drop by to visit any time you want. I'll be looking forward to it.
Bein walks back to work. I guess Azha's not as picturesque as it seemed at first...
Even Azha's hurting because of the spread of machina...
Really? Yeah, I guess I can, if you're helping me out. Saving the world may not be in my cards, but if I can change a little at a time, it's a start.
That's right, Sagi, I'm here for you!
All right, how's about we do a little exploring?
This was at the top floor of the house. The B attacks are unremarkable in and of themselves (though they do change the characters' attack animations, which is pretty cool). However, there are certain unique combos that can be created by using the correct sequence of A attacks, B attacks, and special attacks (hypothetical example: Weak A, Medium B, Strong A, Sevenstar Dust).
I like to think of it with a sort of fighting game analogy. It's like the difference between using three kicks in a row versus using punch-kick-punch, and if you get the right string of punches and kicks then you do something really cool.
Meanwhile, at the bottom of the house...
The main feature of the house in the back of the village (which I believe was the shot in BKEWLO) is that there are a lot of dead-end passages with goodies at the end.
Also take note of the room the left side is orange and glowing, the right side is purple and depressing. There's a guy singing really badly in the right side. Hmm...
Okay, I think I'm done for a bit. Let's head out.
The Azhani are all really nice, but they couldn't pay me to live here. Oh, look at my hair! I'm a deranged fluffpup!
I...still hate kids.
So, Sagi. Did you decide what to do about the quaestor's proposal?
Ah, yeah. I'm going to accept. Actually, I had my mind made up all along.
Get out! You did?...All that worrying for nothing.
Sorry. Are you mad?
Not really. But why keep him waiting if you already know?
Well...he asked me to save the world. I guess it just caught me by surprise.
That's true. No pressure there, huh? Well, good for you it's all sorted out. Shall we head back to the quaestor's?
Sure. Thanks, Milly. You too, Guillo. Sorry to worry you.
Worry? I don't do that. I just follow you around wherever you go.
Heh heh. How could I forget? Thanks again, you two.
Yep, Guillo's the best.
Anyway, this is a good stopping point. See you all next time!