Part 6: Ocean of Origins
In the end, there was no avoiding it, we had to go and fight Olgar and Vahti to the death. We won, but they had a strangely relieved attitude about all of that. We also learned that they have in fact won the previous Ark Arena tournament thing. The details on that are, too, still fairly murky.
The other arena battle was fought between Ayuta/Mana and Eluca/Zhamo. Who won? Well, take a look what we see upon returning to the main hall...
So Ayuta and Mana are dead too, since Eluca and Zhamo apparently won that fight... Let's talk to them.
...Yeah I guess it does.
I'm not quite sure how to handle it.
Gone. She is no longer with us.
She managed to wound me. It was a hard-fought battle.
Typically, we are interrupted by the Agent...
Ask yourself: why is your partner the person here with you now?
Find the answer to that question, and you shall find your proof.
For without it, you will be unable to take part in the final battIe.
Proof of our partnership...?
A quick visit to Piu-Piu. He does not have any new equipment for us at the moment, but let's see if he has any comments to what just happened.
Believe me, baby, I know just how you feel.
When l think about how haIf of those luscious bosoms are gone now that the fist round of battles is over, it just about breaks my heart...
Hm? It doesn't look like I'm crying! Hey, I can't help what I look like!
And back for some more chat with Eluca and Zhamo. Well, it's not like there's anyone else left to talk to, is there?
We still can't hold a candle to the Agent, and now we know there's someone even higher than him...
Well, since we're stuck here anyway, I'm going to get stronger and stronger until I can crush him.
And if there's someone behind him, I'll just crush them too.
Besides, we don't know for sure that they're stronger than the Agent.
Yes... That's true.
Whether by your hand, or by ours... They will get what's coming to them.
For Ayuta, Mana, Olgar and Vahti's sakes as much as ours.
I'll drink to that.
Out of everyone here, I can't believe I'm making a pact with you. I must be crazy.
They must be mutated forms of some sort. There are several animals in my country that look very similar to them.
Of course, the ones here are far more ferocious.
Some of them resemble animals from my country as well.
So... These monsters are...
Whatever they are, by fighting them, we continue to grow stronger and stronger,far beyond what we previously thought possible.
And you think that The Agent is enjoying that too?
I think he might be.
And not only that, but those places that looked like mountains and forests are actually just walls. Everything in here is fake.
Even if it does look uncannily real.
Yes, we kind of noticed that. But it's not very well maintained and seems to be falling apart a little bit.
Given all that, this whole Ark Arena might be nothing more than a big puppet show.
(Ark...? What is that? it sounds... ominous.)
Ok. As mentioned by Agent, we have a new dungeon to visit, and here it is:
It is called "Ocean of Origins".
As always, we'll bump up enemy power by one step. The thing to know is that the enemies level up slower than you do, and just around this time is the point where our characters will be starting to get overpowered compared to the enemies of the same level. For now, we still need to be careful just for a little while longer.
Well, here we are. The Japanese name "太母の慈愛、背徳の寵児" has not a whole lot to do with this translation--it means something like "(Grand)mother's love, fall from grace of the favourite child." I'm guessing it was too long to put in that selection box--all other languages use the "Ocean of Origins" version.
Where'd that come from?
Don't get the wrong idea. It's just that The Agent said we needed proof of our partnership... That's the only reason why I'm asking.
I never picked you to be my partner. I don't know the slightest thing about you.
And the only thing I know about you... Is that you killed my priest and the sisters.
Olgar and Vahti are married, Ayuta is Mana's loyal servant, and Zhamo and Eluca trust each other completely.
...So what are we?
I don't know.
As usual, the map...
And here we encounter our first locked chest. We need a key to open it. Sometimes keys can be found in the chests and Piu Piu also sells them for 2,500 OZ. It's usually worth having a couple with you as the chests may contain a weapon or clothes upgrade in them. You can't really just bring enough for the chests you know contain good things, because their content is more or less randomised every time you enter the dungeon (they restock).
And soon it's time for the first puzzle. In this kind of puzzle, there are blue and red blocks and you can make either all blue ones transparent or all red ones transparent. Transparent blocks don't prevent you from going through them. So you need to swap them back and forth and collect all the gems before exiting.
Puzzle Solution Video
After exiting, we run into a chest containing the Water Lily...
...which is a small weapon upgrade for Musiea. Hey, why not?
Soon after that, the second puzzle.
Puzzle Solution Video
And then we are on a path which looks like it's leading to the mid-point boss fight...
...and sure enough.
So I'll just show you what happened here, without much commentary:
Oh well. We get fish genes from this guy and can move on to the second part of the dungeon. Well, in a moment anyway.
Why were we chosen as partners...? If only we knew that, we might be able to find this proof.
Remember what the Agent said? We won't be able to go any further unless we know more about each other.
Hmph. I'd like to know who came up with the idea for this stupid system.
Fine, I'II tell you.
Believe it or not, I was born into the nobility. But I was stolen by thieves when I was still a baby,
so I didn't exactly get to know it very well. The thieves were a lot nicer than you'd think.
After they found out they weren't getting a ransom for me, they took me in and raised me themselves.
They taught me tricks of their trade. Everything from martial arts to pickpocketing
Of course, they did beat me almost every day.
One day, after I had turned 14, I was rescued by some knights working for the nobility.
They killed all of the thieves right in front of me. For a while, I was in shock. For all their
faults, they were still like family to me.
When I got back to high society, all I found was discrimination and dirty looks.
Everywhere I went, people looked down on me as the "tainted one". Now that I think of it,
there was no way a kid raised by thieves could make it there.
I decided to run off on my own, and I ended up working as a "cleaner"
for an underground organisation. I swore from then on to make it on my own.
* * *
Maybe you can see why I don't like talking about myself now.
Anyway, that's my story.
I killed your priest as part of one of my jobs.
Even if what you say about the priest and sisters is true..
It doesn't change the fact that they took me in and raised me when I lost my parents.
And it doesn't change the fact that you killed them either.
That's true. I know how you feel.
I sympathize with your hardships.
But, I still can't forgive what you did...
Yeah. I know.
Popping out of the dungeon quickly brings us to Piu-Piu who is a bit preoccupied with something at the moment...
The second part of the dungeon brings us into that building that was kind of visible into the distance.
You may notice that there are two items visible in the bottom left corner. We need to find them to be able to proceed to the boss. It's kind of silly as they are actually given to use as a reward for solving two puzzles, so this is kind of the same as before when puzzles were imply blocking our progress. This time they are in dead-end rooms, but instead yield items which allow us to progress. I don't see a difference personally.
The place is falling apart, it seems.
In one chest, we find clothes for Musiea, but they are the same as what she already has. No matter, they'll sell for a couple of thousand to Piu-Piu, so it's still worth it.
Soon, the first puzzle of the second half of dungeon. These red/blue puzzles are actually quite easy.
Puzzle Solution Video
We are rewarded with the first of two items, a gem.
Shortly after, we walk past a locked door. Needless to say, this door will unlock once we have both items.
Along the way, we run into this guy in a random battle. This type of enemies are named "Billiken" (apparently, Billiken is a thing; who knew?). In any case they are important, because they are rare, but when defeated give you loads of money, or loads of EXP. This one in particular, gives loads of EXP, which is exactly what we need right now.
Even better! I have this item in my inventory that I picked up somewhere in a chest, and look what it does! It doubles EXP received in battle. OF COURSE we are going to use it.
Billiken is defeated quickly, and this is the result:
Definitely worth it. Normal enemies at this point give about enough EXP for one third of a level so this is quite a lot more.
In case you are wondering, Musiea is a bit behind on EXP because of that one battle where Escher fought with Olgar without her.
In any case, we run into Eluca and Zhamo defeating a monster...
(And the speed with which he's managed to do it. A true natural if I ever saw one.)
(And Eluca's determination to protect him too is amazing in itself.)
(Watching them fight together reminds me of Olgar and Vahti...)
Did you two find your proof?
Not even close. I'm actually kind of jealous of you two.
Can we really go back to our homes once this whole thing is over?
We cannot trust the Agent. But then, what can we do...?
The Agent... I need to be strong enough to defeat him.
Puzzle Solution Video
...and second item. Now we can go back to that door.
And behind the door...
...is, of course the boss.
Escher's first attack goes totally awesome. This guy is actually the first boss that can be a bit dangerous. He's quite fast so the order of turns may sometimes surprise you. I actually died once or twice to him while I was recording this.
He hits kinda hard with his physical attacks.
But I luck out a bit as Musiea blocks his magic at one point.
And you know what comes as a response to that!
He gives us Celestial genes. These are kind of special and contain unusual spells such as "Revive" and so on.
Escher is not looking too hot.
Where is it?! Where?!
*hack* *gasp* No... I can't... die yet.
And with him coughing and wheezing we return to the main hall.
Yeah... It's in my room...
Okay... Hang on.
(... What am I doing? What do I care if he suffers?)
(Wait. Could it be...)
(...that I don't want him to die?)
So, one more dungeon to go, and one more fight after that, presumably against Eluca and Zhamo. We'll see how that goes.