Part 9: Chapter IX: Dream On, Dream On
Back at the sandflier, Cray is chillin'.
Nina rushes up to Cray and hugs him.
: "Nina! Am I glad to see you! I was beginning to worry that something had happened...!"
Ryu and Ershin shoot each other a look during the awkward pause, and Cray notices the two of them.
: "Oh, I almost forgot. Um, Cray, this is Ryu, and Ershin."
: "...Hmmm...Why don't you sit down and tell me all about what happened, hmm?"
The camera pans to a darkening sky, then back down to the camp.
: "So, in the end, I wasn't able to get the parts we need, and if it hadn't been for Ryu and Ershin, I probably wouldn't have made it back at all!"
: "Don't worry about the parts. I'm just glad that you made it in one piece. I never should have let you go off by yourself..."
: "Oh, Cray..."
Ershin looks back to the sandflier, then to Cray.
: "Ershin is saying that it appears as if your sandflier was damaged by a dragon."
: "That's right...how'd you know that!?"
: "It would appear that Ershin can sense such things."
: "Ershin is very sleepy."
: "I'm sorry...you must be tired after your journey. Well, I just want to thank for all you've done for Nina. As you can see, I can't offer much in the way of style, but you're welcome to spend the night here."
This is new.
: "This is the place they're holding Elina!"
: "Yes, it's just like Ryu's dream showed us...right?"
: "Don't get your hopes up too much--we still need to find her. Let's go!"
Huh. Did the game glitch out and skip part of the game or something? Where's Ershin? Whatever, I'll roll with this. There's a save book behind us but we need to press forward in this mysterious new locale!
This is the Armor. Physical attacks deal next to no damage, represented by a star next to the damage to show something's blocking most of it.
In this case, the enemy being a giant suit of armor might have something to do with it. Magic, however, still works fine, so go nuts with that.
They're wearing armor now? Clever girl.
Doot doo doo item collection
Oh great. ToxicFlies are annoying little bastards who dodge most of your attacks, are faster than a startled cheetah, and spam Chlorine. Luckily, they have so little health that even Nina's physical attacks can one-shot them.
Also, Armor bodies crack if you whack on them with physical attacks long enough, meaning you can deal normal damage to them but they no longer have the chance to drop their armor drop, which is some type of breastplate or something. Cray, as I mentioned in his profile, is incredibly slow, but if you get hit by him it's gonna hurt, which makes sense as he's using a weapon more suited to caber tossing. A solid hit by Cray can shatter these Armors in one blow, which is exactly what happened in this screenshot.
The group ducks back in the doorway and a set of double doors opens at the other end of the room.
: "It continues to...grow, Lord Yuna."
: "Excellent. I am greatly pleased."
Remember this man. You will want to see him suffer by the end of the game.
: "If we walk behind the curtain slowly enough, we should be able to get to the other side without being seen..."
Sneaking past the curtain...
The trippy green vortex effect returns, and the screen goes dark.
: "...A dream where we all went to rescue Elina?"
: "You mean...You had the same dream!?"
: "What do you mean, Ershin?"
: "Ershin says...it was a dream of a possible future, one seen through the Dragon's Eye. A glimpse of what may be."
Oh yeah. Something the game doesn't really talk about very much, but that features in the background material of the game, are Dragon's Eyes. They're sort of like a birth defect, and many legends speak of them, saying that people with them are destined to do great things for good or ill. Usually, people with Dragon's Eyes have two. Ryu only has one, in his right eye, as seen in the picture in the opening post.
: "You mean...wait a second..."
: "You mean, if we take him with us... He can take us to the place we saw in the dream? He can take us to Elina!?"
: "Apparently so."
Ryu suddenly wakes up, and looks at the group, wondering why they're all staring at him.
A short while later...
: "Call it whatever you want to - I want to believe it's real."
: "Up until now, we haven't had much to go on...but now, I feel closer to my sister, like we're finally on the right track. And it's all thanks to Ryu, isn't it?"
: "Ershin says that she will go where Ryu goes."
: "Well then, let's get moving. We can't use the sandflier, so we'll have to go on foot. We'll follow the coastline and head north."
Hmm. I wonder...
Wait a second. If that was supposed to be a dream sequence then how...?
There's no big reveal, folks. That really was just a prophetic dream. We, however, still got all the money and items from it. A
So now we can go to a place called Kurok. But first
Booya! We now have all the different kinds of fish we can get from this river.
Rainbow Trout are a very nice addition to our arsenal. They're like Popeye's spinach. Feed one to Cray and stand back.
Alright, let's actually go to Kurok.
Here's a new kind of enemy, the Flue Goo. Its description says it chooses which attack it uses carefully, but that's a dirty lie. It just spams Giant Growth, which is like an attack that hits all three party members in the front at once. Blind them to get more EXP, blah blah blah. Speaking of the front row, now that we have four party members, the best part of combat is now available: the front/back row system.
The back row is basically your reserves, you pick the three people who act in a turn and those who don't act are in the back row, meaning if you don't have at least four people there's no back row. People in the back row regenerate AP at the end of each turn, at a rate governed by their Concentration Points. Ershin has an absurdly high CP rate, but very low AP, making her sort of like a rocket launcher. Fire, stick her in the back row to reload, repeat.
People in the back row cannot be hit by any enemy attack barring one or two dick moves that we won't be seeing for probably 95% of the game. You, however, can target them with anything you like from the front row. So, if somebody's on the verge of death, switch them to the back and have somebody heal them up from the front just to make double sure they don't snuff it.
Let's move on to find the only NPC in Kurok, which is just a cliff area.
: "Few are they who seek to master the art of magic. Do you not agree?"
We'll say yes, and get a giant block of words in return.
: "...That is not an answer I expected. You are not saying that simply because you think it is what I want to hear, are you? No matter. I am Rwolf, a disciple of the mystic arts. If you would learn what I have to teach, first learn how to use Haste. Those who have learned to use my spell of Haste can move faster than others in battle. Know this: magic takes hard work and perseverance to learn, and such learning is often done through battle. Once you have been able to make a combo attack with more than 5 hits, return here and I will teach you more."
And now we have our first Master! Masters in this game do two things. One, if you do something they want - whether it's Rwolf's combo requirement, or a set number of encounters, or whatever, they'll teach you sweet new moves. The second, and arguably more important, is that tutoring a party member to one changes how they gain stats at level-ups and gives them a constant benefit. Haste, like he said, means that anyone apprenticed to Rwolf gets a boost to their initiative in combat. His stats changes per level - +1 to AP/Wisdom gains, -1 to Attack gains - are very well suited to anybody who wants or needs a boost to their magic, like Nina and Ershin. Rwolf, despite being the first Master, is arguably one of the better ones in the game for how simple yet effective his stat changes are. Let's go get that five hit combo he wants.
Shame. I was hoping for a holy diver
Oh hey, check it out, a new Wakwak! Red Caps use Command to make all their Cap minions attack one specific target.
Like that. Command can be used for your benefit in two ways when you learn it. One, it can command confused characters to attack someone in particular, but this isn't quite as useful in this game due to no Weretigers. Two, it can make dumb enemies (only rock-stupid enemies like generic animals and the like get effected by Command) beat the crap out of whoever you target. Yes, you can command Caps to beat the tar out of their boss. Yes, it's all kinds of hilarious.
One application of Firewind later, and we got ourselves a 7 hit combo. Let's talk to Rwolf!
: "You are even better than I had hoped for. Very well! I will teach you Eddy!"
Sadly, we don't get the ability to summon a short guy who scams enemies out of their pocket money. We do, however, get a Sever knockoff that costs a bit less to use. Ershin will handle this one, so we can start chaining two Firewinds back to back.
That's all we got time for today. Next time, it's off to the dam!