Part 39: Chapter XXXVIII: More Filler Than YOUR BODY HAS ROOM FOR
Before we continue our death march through filler, it's faerie time. Only one new birth this time.
However, something important has happened: we now have all the trees we can cut down removed. This means we can make all of the houses and work on maxing out the village's culture, which is a good thing.
Also, there's this tree that you can fertilize with fish and rotten items to get seeds that boost stats, but that's incredibly finicky and you essentially need a spreadsheet to get what you want out of it, so I won't be utilizing it.
Now to show something off. See this faerie? Check out how horrible those stats are. She's not even good as a throwaway hunter or soldier. Time to deal with her.
Let's switch this to Search.
It's time for faerie eugenics! By sending her and her pitifully low Endurance to go look for an item in the most dangerous place possible, after twenty random encounters with the party we have a straight 50/50 shot of either killing her off or having her come back with an item. If she dies, that frees up a spot for someone useful. If she keeps coming back with items, she's become useful. Everybody wins (except her)!
Next on the agenda of Daeren Avoids The Grueling And Annoying Filler, it's time to explore the abandoned village where Rasso slaughtered the villagers of Chek. The place is abandoned, but it's the only spot in the game you can find two enemies.
Treans and Trunkeds are the game's designated combo practice enemies. They do nothing, have absurd amounts of HP, regenerate it every round, and just sit there so you can rack up crazy amounts of hits. If you manage to kill them in the first round (no small feat) you get huge amounts of EXP and a chance for some great items, but every round after the first they lower their EXP until it hits half. Let's use these guys to get Kryrik's requirements.
First off, we cast rest, getting two hits on Ryu. Next Nina casts Vitalize, for six more hits.
Shazam! 12 hits as a mini-Rest hits the whole party!
Cray then casts Snooze for three hits (HP+AP+Sleep), and is hit by a repeat of both Vitalize and Rest, getting us to 26 hits, enough to impress Kryrik enough to become a master. Let's go talk to him, skipping through his introductory dialogue to the part where he teaches us.
: "See, life at sea's harsh - it's kill or be killed, see? When you're in a fight, it's either you or them, literally sink or swim. You can't afford to show mercy to your opponents."
Kryrik is an EXTREMELY good Master if you're willing to let his apprentices become one-trick ponies. They will become walking murder machines, but their speed, accuracy, magic attack/resistance, and AP stores will all suffer without periodic switches to other Masters. His Will, Finale, is also one of the best in the game. When an enemy is at critical levels of health, people under Kryrik's tutelage will automatically attack them an extra time at the end of the round, usually finishing them off unless they're bosses.
: "Come back when you've made a combo attack with more than 30 hits. I'll teach you more then."
Alright, with that out of the way, let's actually do what the game wants us to.
: "I heard about something like that on the Nameless Island, to the east of here...it was called Mozweed or something like that..."
Yep, it's boat time again.
Thankfully, when we go out to sea, the camera pans out to the new flag to say "this is exactly where you need to go."
Some rowing later, and we're golden.
Spoilers: yes it is. Cut it with Ryu to get one.
So, basically, we could have just stuffed a Panacea down the pabpab's throat and it would have been the same effect. Hell, Nina has a spell that does the same thing, why couldn't we use that?
Of course, this is the "Why didn't they use just use Soft on Red XIII's dad?" issue.
After getting the Mozweed, I tried to get my fishing points high enough to get myself apprenticed to Gyosil, but failed. I did, however, catch two new fish.
Catching this was a stroke of pure luck with the crap fishing gear I was using. Bonito are big sons of bitches that fight like crazy. They restore one party member to full health, no questions asked.
Sea Bass replace jellyfish and man-o-wars in the later ocean spots as the herpes of the waves. They're attracted to all forms of bait and there's millions of the little bastards. They can be eaten to restore 400 HP.
This, by the way, is the Mozweed island on the world map. I suppose they put it here as its own area in case you screwed up and ate all of them, but didn't want to sail again. Let's make the trip back to Pabpab.
: "Did you find the herbs? Thank you so much. Come along - let's go give to him and see what happens."
: "Um...thank you. I don't know of it will work, but pukapuka...we'll just have to wait and see, won't we? It's late. You should rest. We'll see how he feels in the morning."
With that, we automatically rest. Walking back into the room, we see the fruits of our labor.
The orange and green pabpabs are bouncing up and down across the drums to play a rudimentary tune.
: "Look! It looks like the herbs worked!"
: "Santo, rikuku! Piluta, piluta! Tatoru, pukapuka paketo rikuku pukapuka! No, purechi pabpab pukapuka ni pukapuka poto!"
: "He says that although he might have gotten better just by dancing, he's sure the herbs you bought helped him, so he'd like to thank you very much."
: "Pukapuka, pukapuka!"
: "As I was saying, 'pukapuka' is their way of life. It means what will be, will be, but it also has another meaning - that things will all work out in the end."
: "Ni, purechi santo pukapuka!"
: "Well, we're just glad he got better. Um...he is happy he got better, isn't he?"
He'd better be. Let's talk to him again.
: "Santo, purechi! Pabpab kain, michu! Ain Lyp, Shikk, roi roi...nosta roi...poto treja!!"
Let's translate that to English. "Thank you, friend! I will tell you a secret! Between Lyp and Shikk, there's rocks...near the north rock...there's amazing treasure!"
The blue pabpab is probably talking about the hidden Divine Helm, I'm not entirely sure. Let's head outside.
: "It looks like the tide is going out. You'll be able to cross the flats very soon."
: "Please, you must hurry. The road through the flats will only be exposed for a little while!"
: "Thank you for letting us stay here, Mr. Beyd!"
: "Poko will show you the way to the flats. Good luck to you! Purechi pukapuka!"
Freedom! Progress! No more annoyingly catchy music! No more mumbly squeaking!
: "You mean, if we follow this, we can get to the mainland, right, Poko?"
: "Ni, purechi. Kohl ueshi! Pokko, kohl pabpab. Ni, purechi pukapuka!"
That translates roughly to "go west, I have to go home, good luck." After that, she waddles away, and we never have to deal with another pabpab again.
There was one thing I neglected to mention, though. In the artbook, it states that the pabpab were the only race not chosen/created by a god, meaning they're quite possibly the only truly indigenous race in the game world.
So, let's venture forth and see what beasties assail us.
: "CRAB BATTLE!"
Ahem. Sandclaws and Squirts are kind of annoying. Squirts cast Frost on the Sandclaw once every other round, which allows the Sandclaw to use Storm. Luckily the Squirt is as durable as papier-mâché, allowing you to remove that threat quickly.
Krabbys always start the fight asleep, but wake up on their own after after a few rounds.
Knock Out hits pretty hard, and has a high chance of putting the target to sleep.
Krabbys, like Armors, have a physical resistance that can be broken with repeated attacks. However, this is represented by blowing off their pincher, which is way more awesome.
Krabbys with no pincher proceed to ram you repeatedly, and run when their health is low.
Ursula learns a new skill from all the crab murdering. Enfeeble lowers the enemy's defense.
Yep, still wandering through this hell-beach.
Ooooh, something shiny!
Don't worry, I didn't miss one. It's just in a weird order.
Behemoth is an extremely slow form, which makes its Counter ability pretty worthless. Really, it doesn't have much going for it aside from its huge amount of HP and the fact that it has the second most hilarious breath attack in the game, which I will showcase in the next boss fight.
For those of you who loved Breath of Fire III, though...
It's still the same lump of ugly it's always been.
Partway through this stretch of sand we encounter some new enemies. Rafresias have a blinding breath attack, while the other flower is a Fragrans, which has a breath attack that makes you happy, apparently. Really, I have no idea what it actually does.
These assholes, meanwhile, are Mandragas. Probably short for Mandragora, since they use Howling instantly when you hit them, leading to mass confusion and annoyance.
Finally, we reach a cutscene.
: "She says we will be in a great deal of trouble should the sun go down before we reach land."
: "We'd better hurry!"
Off we go!
A fade transition to nightfall occurs, and the party is staggering and exhausted.
: "Hmmm...looks like this is as far as we can get today."
: "We can't afford to waste our time sitting around like this!"
: "There's no use in making a big deal out of things you can't do anything about. Let's rest here tonight. We can make up for any lost time tomorrow."
: "I guess you're right..."
Besides, this beach seems pretty chill. I'm sure nothing will go wrong whatsoever.
The group awakens to Nina's yelp of surprise.
: "Blast! The tide must have changed during the night! We shouldn't have stopped! We should've kept going through the night, no matter how risky it was!"
: "I'm sorry, Cray. It's my fault...if I hadn't suggested we rest for the night..."
: "Calm down! Shouting won't do us any good, and neither will moping! The road we came on may be gone, but that doesn't mean all roads are closed to us. There might still be places on the flats we can cross. Everybody, look around! Hurry!"
Ursula: awesome even in bullshit filler.
: "C-come on! Let's do as she says!"
Welcome to the section that's the first contender for "most utterly blatant and enraging padding in the entire game." What's Scias have to say about this?