Part 40: Chapter XXXIX: Fishing As The World Burns
So yeah, now we have to explore this fucking island. Luckily, for now, we're only going two screens away. This screen has a small waterfall and pond.
This, by the way, is the Happy effect in action. According to Tonfa from the thread, Happy is a status effect that disables Wills, like Guts, Finale, and Rakhasa. This is the only enemy in the entire game that uses a move that can inflict this ailment, so its existence baffles me.
The next screen over, we find Ursula.
: "Judging by the lay of the land, I'd say this is where the flats connect to the mainland. It's no use...we can't go this way either."
: "You mean..."
: "Until the tide changes and the flats reappear...we're stuck here."
The capital bustles with life and voices as children run back and forth at play.
: "You look like you've had a rough time! Are you all right!?"
: "Tell me...this be Chedo?"
: "Yep. This is Chedo all right. Built by the mighty God Emperor Fou-Lu to be the capital of his Empire."
Fou-Lu nods, then continues staggering toward the city.
Note Scias chillaxing in the hammock. He doesn't move from it during this entire section of the game.
: "Who knows when we'll be able to get off this island!? Who knows? Maybe we'll never be able to get off! We might die here on this hunk of sand!"
: "We'll get out of here - you can count on it. Remember, Ryu is fated to meet with the Emperor Fou-Lu. At the very least, Ryu won't die here."
: "Ershin has spoken."
That's comforting. Kind of. Also note that Ershin slips back into calling Deis Ershin for this section, for whatever reason.
The next morning...
Let's check up with the party and see how they're all holding up.
: "Well, we weren't exactly expecting anything like this to happen, but...I'm sure everything will work out fine in the end."
: "Who knows when the flat will reappear? It could be three days, or it might be a year or more..."
I don't think tides work like that, Ursula.
: "Ershin says..."
: "We'll get there...eventually."
: "Hee hee hee hee!"
: "T-this is a g-good place...t-to sleep."
Right, fuck this noise, time to go see if I can just swim my way out of here.
: "I hope you don't mind if I come with you!"
: "I'll go with you too."
As Ursula gets up to leave, Cray approaches her.
: "Calm down! Get a hold of yourself. You're supposed to be the leader of this little expedition, aren't you!?
I'll be honest and say I have no idea why she snaps at him here. Maybe he was more rude in the original version, or Ursula's more of a bitch under pressure than she lets on.
: "Remember what the Pabpab said? Pukapuka...what will be, will be. That's a good lesson to learn, pretty kitty..."
Meanwhile, with Ryu...
: "We were just talking about going to look for some food."
And so begins a trek across three large screens of monster-infested beach. The third screen is a beach with a small rocky hill at the end, and the fourth brings you down the hill, past a chest with some crabs in it, and into another beach towards some bushes. Adding random encounters, it's about a three to four minute walk from one end of the island to the other. This doesn't sound like much, but consider that we'll be doing it way, way too often and it adds up.
Near the last screen transition, we find this beauty.
No, it just means some lunatic left a fishing rod on a deserted island.
Or, it's just the game's hamfisted way of making sure you've got a fishing rod.
Welcome to mandatory fishing.
I honestly don't know if you can just walk away, since I've never tried, but this is still sort of a dick thing to do. However, it's incredibly easy to catch most fish here, especially with our new rod.
First off, we'll put some tasty crab-worms on our hook.
The Deluxe Rod has all the power and range of the Bamboo Rod, with the bonus of a normal casting strength meter. This is what I was waiting for before I tried getting 3,500 fishing points, but I forgot how and when you got it.
Moorfish are pretty cool. They act as shitty ammonia that bring back allies with 1 HP and have a chance to fail, but there's tons of them here.
Blowfish, paradoxically, cure poison in a target.
The other fish here are nasty little bastards that are finicky about bait, so I'll wait before I try for them.
Ryu throws a still living, flopping fish onto the sand in front of Nina, who yelps and cringes away.
: "Well, that means we don't have to worry about food then. We should go back and tell everyone what we found."
By the way, the trip back isn't automatic. We have to go back across those three monster-filled screens again.
Yeahhhh. I hate this part too.
Of interest is in the Japanese version, when you pass by the pool on the way back Nina requests that Ryu keep watch while she and Ursula stop for a bath. Ryu obliges, standing behind the big rock nearby, while Nina comments offscreen about how cold the water is. She also compliments Ursula, either on how "big" she is or how pretty she is in general, I've never found a straight translation. Ursula simply responds with a harrumph. Eventually Ryu, figuring this is his chance to eye up the ladies' "assets," peeks around the rock.
There's a gunshot, and Ryu flees in terror as Ursula keeps firing and Nina screams that he's a pervert. Japan, ladies and gentlemen.
: "We were able to find fresh water, and it looks like there's a place we can catch fish, so it looks like we'll be all right for a while."
: "That's good...I'm sorry, Nina. I don't know what happened...it's just...when I thought we were trapped here, I just...I don't know, I panicked."
: "Don't worry, Cray. We just have to be patient, that's all."
Meanwhile, actual plot starts happening.
: "It's not a place for people like you to be in!"
: "This be the Emperor's Castle?"
: "That's right - this is the castle of the Thirteenth Emperor of the Fou-Empire, His Majesty Emperor Soniel. Now go - get out..."
Fou-Lu waves a hand and a blast of energy kills the two guards instantly.
Hey, a treasure chest we can't get. I'm sure this means we'll never be here with Ryu.
While the game gives us control of Fou-Lu, we only get to walk down the hall before another cutscene starts.
: "Who dares enter the sacred grounds of my Master?"
Meet A-Tur, Fou-Lu's Foo Dog and the counterpart to Won-Qu I mentioned in the symbolism update.
: "I bid thee leave, intruder, lest thy life be forfeit...can it be? Do mine eyes see true?"
A-Tur shrinks down to human size.
: "My lord, the mortals that hath followed you on thy throne...they disparage thee with each passing generation. Truly didst I fear they wouldst not fulfill their promise with thee. It gladdens my heart to see thy safely restored to thy proper place, my lord."
: "The promise must be fulfilled. Once more shall I ascend to godhood over this world..."
: "Tired of this world...and of its people. A-Tur. Go now. I wish you to destroy the city."
: "The city...? Dost thou meanest the capital, my lord?"
: "Indeed. This shall be mine final labor as a god. I shalt destroy the Fou Empire. Now go!"
: "By your command!"
And so A-Tur leaves the castle to begin to lay waste to Chedo. As we met Won-Qu in a place of death and a time of life, we meet A-Tur at a place of life and a time of death.
It's time some motherfuckers got schooled.
But first, the developers decided to eliminate this dramatic tension by cutting away to Malibu Ershin's Beach Party and making you walk back to the fishing spot with two party members before the plot continues.
Dear whoever made this section:
Choke on a bag of dicks.
At least the setpieces are still rad as hell.
So this is the interior of the Imperial Castle. We will barely be scratching the surface of how huge this place is with Fou-Lu. Let's head for that teleporter thing.
: "You...You survived even the Carronade!?"
Boss Video XVII: Kahbo and Kamyu
: "I...now that your power has returned, Majesty, there is none of us that can match you."
: "Didst thou truly believe thou couldst strike me down? That thou couldst kill a god?"
: "Forgive my words, Majesty. But the current Emperor, Soniel..."
: "Thinketh that gods are needed not, yes? Humph!"
: "I knew when I accepted this mission that there would be a steep price. One does not lightly undertake such a task as to slay a god. While one old man's life may not be enough to atone for what we have done, I still offer it."
A moment of silence for Yohm's passing, if you please.
Next time, Fou-Lu has a friendly chat with Emperor Soniel.