Part 42: Chapter XLI: Daeren Gets Mad About Video Games
Before we head into town, it's time to check up on the faeries. As we can see, our eugenics program worked splendidly and Biky has gone to the big village in the sky.
Also, all our houses are complete, and we have a new job, Art. Stick a faerie in here, and every four random encounters she'll have a new piece of concept art to show you.
This will do for now.
Right, so Chiqua. It's a tiny town with only a few NPCs, a blue manillo, and the most offensive NPC in the game.
This is where I got enough stamps for my first stamp card, by the way. This should tell you how easy it is to get them.
And now...prepare to be offended. You figured that all the progressive Korean and Chinese symbolism and parallels meant there was no trace of that good old fashioned Japanese xenophobia?
: "My business be rare and collectable items. I come home to this humble hamlet searching of these things. You wishing to go to capital? Yes, I am knowing way. But business here not being done - need more items. You bring me item, my business done. You bring me item, I tell you how to get to capital. What is good item to bring? I explain. First, near Koshka village, there are ruins. Many rumors of treasure hidden inside. Next, unique jars being made in Koshka village. Very popular in capital, but take long time to make. Last, shisu very popular food in capital! To be making shisu, need 3 of any of these fish: MartianSquid, Salmon, or Sea Bream. Even just one of each OK."
Well, I have the fish he wants for "shisu", so let's just hand them over right now. For those playing at home, both of the other ideas are stupid. You either have to go wait for a pot to be made at Koshka by the guy who wants tons of money, or you have to give up a dragon form permanently. Just bite the bullet and catch some Sea Bream when you're stuck in Saldine or something.
: "To south of this village is long, long river. I make river to move items to capital. You follow river south, you get to capital."
So, "follow the incredibly obvious path of civilization to the capital." GENIUS! Let's talk to the locals before I kill myself.
: "Then you should go try the fishing spot to the north of here!"
Yep. Third lake spot. A convenient spot to catch MartianSquid (yes, they exist, no, they're not as weird-looking as you expect) for Racist Stereotype back in Chiqua. Moving on to the river.
Yeah, moving crates around in the water to make paths. Quality gameplay, Capcom.
I swear to God this will be over soon.
Oh yeah, to make this place worse, it's infested with Bolts. They're like Nut Men only more hideously annoying. They dodge more, hit harder, and move faster.
Oh yeah, those wind/water coils are still around too. This place is horrible.
So, the second gimmick of the area is raising and lowering the water level as well as using the floodgates to walk across the channel. It's as exciting as it sounds. And even more frustrating than it sounds.
Oh joy. A chest submerged in the water with no easy way to reach it. Surely this won't eat a half hour of my time trying to get the fucking thing.
So, let's lower the water level and keep going.
Hey, who's this guy?
: "Hey there, strangers. I'm waiting for some goods to take to the Empire to get here, and I could use someone to talk to."
Well, let's talk about dragons!
: "Dragons...I've never seen one, actually...have you seen one?"
: "Hell yes I have!"
: "Really!? Wow! What do they look like?"
: "They're...really, really weird."
: "Like what?"
: "Well, like grass and rocks, I suppose."
: "I guess they come in all shapes and sizes then. I wonder what a dragon made of grass would look like? Now that I think of it, there's a really strange looking rock over in the quarry to the south...maybe you should go and see if it's one of those dragons you're talking about."
There's other dialogue options but they all end the conversation prematurely, and this one's the only way to learn about The Nameless One's location.
Let's go back to the start of the conversation and talk about traveling. He just tells you to stop joking around when you ask about love.
: "Traveling, huh? Well, to tell the truth, I've never gotten very far. Guess you could say I'm kind of a homebody."
: "I came from across the ocean."
: "Really? Then what are you doing way out here?"
: "I'm being chased by the Empire."
: "You mean you're on the run!? You must be in a hurry then - I won't keep you any longer. You've probably got a long road ahead of you...here, take this!"
With that, he gives us some Power Food, which permanently raises attack. If you say you came from yesterday, he compliments you for being philosophical and gives you a Wisdom Seed.
Murdering bolts gets Ershin some new magic.
Satisfying. Let's see the highest level of Earth>Water combo magic then.
Now, as for that chest underwater, suffice to say it's actually impossible to get without leaving the screen and coming back. I didn't know this and spent entirely too long trying to move boxes and fuck with the water level until I looked it up on a FAQ and consequently ate a baby in rage.
However, the reward is worth it.
Ershin now has cruise missiles for fists. Or radioactive cans of Hawaiian Punch. Either way, awesome.
Oh yeah, one fun thing about Nuts is that if you don't kill all of them in one go, the ones left alive will get enraged and use new moves.
This is actually a lot crappier than it sounds because the damage of each hit is nerfed even more than it usually is with multi-hit skills.
Finally, we get the hell out of the river and open a path down to the south.
Planescape: Torment jokes ahoy!
: "I watcheth o'er this world from within its spine. I know where lie the gems and metals that mortals so covet and where to find the rock that burns. All the earth's secrets are known to me. Tell me, young Yorae Dragon...dost thou needeth my strength?"
Lay it on me. If Morte becomes a seventh party member that's entirely cool with me. Or Dak'kon. Or pretty much anybody but Ignus because Ignus is a dick.
...yeah. The Nameless One is the weirdest dragon in the game, bar none. If you're thinking "That looks like a big blocky jellyfish with a face" you're not very far off.
This move is insanely powerful. It hits a lot, but more importantly, it's a breath weapon whose damage is based on your enemy's health, not yours. I forget how good it is and only really utilize it in the last fights when I remembered that it pretty much takes off a quarter of the fight in one go.
: "Another awaits your coming...in a place color'd as gold. If thou seekest the dragon, seek ye there."
And with that, we have all the dragon powers. Kaiser is now completely unlocked and controllable, coming with the level 3 earth, wind, and fire dragon magics, as well as KaiserBreath and a few other goodies.
However, in wake of something cool happening, the game decides it's time to spring the most arbitrary and infuriating filler in the game on us.
This place is a tiny village full of people who say they catch monsters and sell them to the Empire - specifically, Astana. Must be some bad-ass villagers to handle the monsters around here.
A whelk! These guys are cuter than they have the right to be.
A very upgrade for Ursula, and it's time to continue.
: "You say you want to go to the capital? In that case, you'll need to talk to Gramps. There's one small problem, though...little while ago, his pet chicken Tak ran off, and ever since then, he's been despondent - doesn't talk anyone. I was trying to make a fence to keep Gramps' chickens in, but they were too fast for me and ran off...if you go to the Western Plains, you can probably still catch up with them."
I HATE YOU AND EVERYTHING YOU STAND FOR.
I can't believe I'm doing this.
I'm playing as a fucking deity! I have six people armed to the teeth! I can carve a path of bodies to the capital if I need to! I can ask that dude back at the dam for directions! I can ask the fucking Imperial Captain in the party for directions! If she doesn't know how to get to the capital then what the hell is she a Captain for!?
Why the hell am I chasing chickens!? Aren't I supposed to be chasing an omnicidal maniac!? Isn't there a huge world-shattering crisis at the moment!? I have a fucking map, I should be able to trace a line to Astana at the very least!
The AI for this is shit! The chickens run as fast as you and automatically stay a certain distance from you! It's like the hunting game, only you HAVE to herd all the animals into the pit - oh yeah, and the pit only has one way to enter it now, and all the chickens avoid it- and you HAVE to complete it to continue the plot!
AND THEY WON'T STOP SQUAWKING!
There you are you little fucker, if I could I would stick you in a crock pot and throw it into the Sun. I only have to get Tak here into the pen but I'm getting ALL the chickens because I AM JUST LIKE THAT.
BOOYA. ALL THE CHICKENS. WHAT NOW BITCH. WHAT THE FUCK NOW.
FUCK THIS SECTION.
I AM AMAZING.
WE GET THIS RUSTY PIPE FOR HELPING GET THIS STUPID KID A CHICKEN TO PLAY WITH. I FUCKING LOVE RUSTY PIPES.
: "Hmmm...in that case, the quickest way is to go east and go through the gate at Kwanso. You might not be able to get through now, though...I've heard there's something going on in the capital, and they're going to close all gates."
: "Isn't there any other way to get to the capital?"
: "Well...there's the First Emperor's Tomb to the northeast..."
: "The First Emperor's tomb!?"
: "That's right...there's a road there that will take you to Astana."
: "All right, we'll try that then. Thank you very much!"
: "You're welcome. By the way, miss...have we met somewhere before?"
: "What? Me? No...I don't think so, why?"
: "Hmmm...oh well, no matter. You be careful, though - the Tomb is haunted! No one knows what kinds of monsters are there!"
: "I remember I'd gone to the Emperor's Tomb to catch some monsters to sell in Astana...that's when I found the road there."
CHOKE ON BIRDSEED AND DIE.
You know what the worst part is?
: "Yeah, I've heard of it. I remember hearing about it when I went to Astana with Gramps to sell some monsters we caught."
THIS FUCKER RIGHT HERE KNEW WHERE TO GO ALL ALONG AND DOESN'T SAY ANYTHING UNTIL YOU BEAT THE CHICKEN GAME. WHEN FOU-LU MASSACRES THE WORLD I HOPE HE STARTS HERE FIRST.
Next time: exploring the outside of the Emperor's Tomb, catching up with the Masters, and the first boss that actually kicks my ass.