Part 23: Chapter XXIII: Huntin' n' Fishin' with Bubba-RyuTime to talk with the Oracle.
: "I hear the voice of the dragon P'ung Ryong as it is carried on the wind. Hmm...you have a magnificent Dragon's Eye! Although it is rare to see someone with only one..."
: "You mean...Ryu is a dragon?"
: "Not all those who have the Dragon's Eye are dragons. Still, those one has about him a powerful aura...I feel he is close to P'ung Ryong. Once, a long time ago, P'ung Ryong told me of a dragon that appears only once in hundreds of years...a dragon called the Yorae Dragon...the 'Dragon of the Future!' It is said that this Yorae Dragon will have a great effect upon the world and those living in it. That he will bring great joy...or terrible destruction."
: "So that's what the Empire's after...they must want the Yorae Dragon's power themselves!"
: "I have told you all I know. The rest, you must ask P'ung Ryong yourselves. You must search below Castle Wyndia, and find the Wind Flute. With it, you will be able to enter Pung'tap, the Tower of Wind."
The first bit of the larger plot is unraveled at last! Ryu
So we leave the woman's hut and get an ! pretty much immediately outside.
: "Let's see...first, we have to go below Castle Wyndia and find the Wind Flute, then use it to get into the Tower of Wind. Right?"
: "That's right. There's a device in the Tower of Wind that will take us far above the earth. If we use it, we should be able to meet P'ung Ryong."
: "Wait a minute...where's Scias?"
: "He's probably gone to tell them what we're up to!"
: "What!? But I thought..."
: "Looks like we'd better hurry."
Double crossed by a literal boozehound! Who told us exactly what he was going to do! Scias has left the party and took his sweet equipment with him, leaving us one asskicker short now. I know what this calls for.
FISHING TIME! There's only two new fish in this river, sadly.
Salmon are amazing. They give 30 AP back to your entire party, so it's well worth your time to catch as many as you can get.
Browntails are like the Rainbow Trout's twin brother. They buff up defense when consumed in combat.
Now, let's wander around the overworld and look in ?s so I can showcase something.
Occasionally (8% chance if you have one faerie hunting, and it increases with the amount of faeries you have on the job until it's a 53% chance with ten faeries hunting), a ? spot on the map will be a hunting spot instead of a normal blank stretch of map with an item and random encounters.
Look at all that tasty meat go! There's owl-parrots and deer-ostriches and even a few rabbit-sheep off screen. They're running out of control and the poor faerie can't handle them. It's up to Ryu and the crew to go huntin'. Hilariously enough, both the huntin' and fishin' in this game are more entertaining than any strictly hunting- or fishing-based games I've ever messed with.
The animals all move at normal speeds until they spot you, when they bolt away from you at top speed. They run as fast as you so you can't catch up to them, so you herd them into blind corners like this one, or cut them off around a turn, or the like. As time goes by, animals also can wander off the edge of the map and disappear. It's sort of like that Chino minigame, only much more violent.
You see, when you corner one, you hammer Ryu's attack button and chop the animal to bits. Each animal has a quality of meat they drop if you kill them as fast as you can after you hit them the first time (under eight seconds), and it degrades from there until it hits Ribs. Small animals take only one or two hits, while big ones take more. Big wooly cow-sheepdog things have the full list, which goes Loins -> Flank -> Roast -> Ribs. This means that just slashing something once and letting it get away means you're stuck with crappy meat unless you catch it ASAP, so make sure they're good and stuck before you start chopping away.
Interestingly, in the Japanese versions, Ribs are just called Cheap Meat.
Mmm. Tasty bird flesh.
There's also a pit with a slanted side in hunting maps that more patient people can herd animals into so they can't escape your Blend-O-Matic-like strikes, but I'm easily bored and animals are impossible to herd well, so animals mostly get down in the pit by complete accident and dumb pathfinding.
This is a good example of how to trap an animal. Move in quick and use your trailing party members to block off escape, and you have a rapidly spinning owl ready to get converted into rations.
Oh yeah, one last note: you can do this for yourself, too. Giving meat to the faeries increases their food stockpile, but each meat has an option to just take it for yourself to use as healing items. Ribs heal as much as a Healing Herb, Roasts heal 500 HP and can cure status effects, Loins heal 800hp for the entire party, and Flanks give 10 AP. So, if you stumble into a hunting spot (or, more likely, deliberately go looking for one) when your faeries have tons of food, this becomes less of a way to help the faeries along and more of a way to get a shitload of good healing items.
Let's check on the faeries.
The message board is where you get notices about births, job options, deaths, and pretty much every major event. If nothing much is happening, it also gets random graffiti on it.
We have a new faerie so we immediately set her to work on clear-cutting the forest. Ahh, expansionism. Time to get back to the plot.
: "Then have it you shall. You have my permission to take the Wind Flute. I will inform the guards that you are coming. Go now - time is short."
A guard who was standing in front of a door on the ramparts is gone, so we can descend into The Catacombs of
The gimmick in here is wind, naturally. It's not prevalent until later in.
GAAAAAAAH GIANT GOLDEN ROACHES THAT JUMP DOZENS OF FEET IN THE AIR
Down this hallway is some very useful stuff. However, there's a strong wind that blows down it nearly constantly, meaning you have to time your run perfectly to get to the chest at the end before you get blown back.
As I try to do that, let me show one of my favorite monsters in the entire game, the Zombie Doctor. He has a few special attacks, including Powder, which tries to blind your party. However, when he or his allies are damaged...
This usually ends up killing him.
Sweet, +3 agility for Cray.
Sweet, an instant kill for pesky undead enemies and a way to avoid HP Max penalties if we don't have ammonia!
This chamber is just a pain. There's several planks gears that turn at intervals, and - OF COURSE - there's some items off the beaten path, meaning that you just have to do a lot of waiting around to get through it with all the shiny loot. Then you have to go back through the damn thing in five minutes.
This hallway beyond the plank room has incredibly strong wind that blows you back if you're in the open when it starts, as seen here. So, as the message says, you use the little hideaways in the hallway to avoid it.
Finally, the Pan Pipes of Plot.
A little pipe tune plays as we get it.
: "Well, now that we know where the dragon is headed, it should be an easy enough matter to capture him."
Ilgor throws a big bag of money on the table.
: "Here - take that and get out of here!"
Scias obliges, and one of the mole people steps forward.
: "Master Ilgor...are you sure it's safe to let him go just like that?"
: "He's no threat to me, or my plans. All that fool cares about is money. Still, he confirmed what I suspected...that 'boy' is a dragon. We must find him and capture him for Ludia before the Empire finds him!"
And thus is Ilgor's motivation revealed. Once again, they're pretty reasonable.
Back with the party, we check on the faeries again since the last time we checked their lazy asses should have clean-cut at least one plot.
There we go!
That patch of land is a spot where a house can be built. Houses are where faeries do jobs other than growing crops, cutting trees, or hunting.
We order both plots to have houses built, and bid farewell to the faeries for a while.
And, err, I do mean a while. As in, save states are so convenient to use since they skip all the start-up menus that I forgot to go to camp for a while. A long while.
For those of you who have played the game before, I don't realize that the faeries need a checkup until after I get the sixth party member, right after I get the sandflier if you want the exact time.
They don't do so well without me
So, at Pung'tap, we play the tune the Wind Flute played when we got it.
All of that to lower a gondola-type thing. At least it's not as bad as most adventure games.
Keep your eye on the way we're facing, and where the compass is pointing.
I think there's a goof in the orientation, here.
So, this is the inside of Pung'tap. There's ledges and a big empty spot in the middle where there's a strong wind blowing.
Jump into the center when the wind's blowing, and you fly up!
Cray's spine somehow does not telescope from the impact, and the group falls down. This demonstrates that there's a specific way up Pung'tap, and it also includes stairs.
A few doors lead to this spiraling staircase along the outside (of the inside?) of Pung'tap, letting you go to the right spots to jump.
This here is near the very top, and it's a surprisingly good bit of equipment. You have to jump in the wind to get to the top, then jump down from the top to land on this platform
Oh yeah, there's horrifying vampire gargoyle things in here too.
This is a bit of a short update when it comes to plot, but next update is going to be stuffed with action AND plot!