Part 47: Beginning, as Told by the Snowflakes
I think we really need to try entering a dungeon at this point. This has already been going on way too long.
First dungeon is called "Frosty Omen". While this is not a bad sounding title, the original Japanese one that we'll see in a moment is still way cooler.
Note that there are no four stars to achieve this time for every dungeon. The prequel does the extra/optional content quite a bit differently than the original game. Rest assured though that the amount of extra content in this game is absolutely staggering. Here's a hint: when you download this game from app store, the file size is actually BIGGER than the original!!
As before, we are able to choose the level of enemies; unlike before, we have to start at the bottom--the original game was already offering also 11-20 at this point, but not here.
And so here we are. The colours are a bit different, but otherwise this should not look too different from a dungeon that we saw in the original.
And Vahti manages to faint yet again! Oh well.
And so we'll go back to the bedroom. You didn't think it'd be quite that easy to make it into the dungeon, did you?
Looks like 10,000 years ago, Ark used to have nicer bedrooms. This one appears to have been modified into two smaller rooms later on.
Listen, I'll stay here and watch over her. You two continue the search without us.
Fine by me. Vieg and I can go find those rings.
No... I'm coming too. There's no time to rest. We have... we have to find answers.
Don't be ridiculous, Vahti.
That's precisely why you have to stay here, because we don't know anything yet, we don't have answers.
This situation is completely different from when we were up agains the Agent. This is no time to be reckless.
The baby is in a fight for its life, too. Now, I know you understand, darling.
...Yes. Yes, you're right, of course.
You're responsible for two lives now.
I'm sorry... I'm sorry, my child. Your mother was being foolhardy.
No matter what happens, no matter where we are, I will see to it that you are born safely--come what may!
Just leave the rest to us.
Vieg... I'll be waiting for you to come back.
Let's try this again.
Liar. It was back when ya were still a greenhorn.
You always have to be a wiseacre, don't you?
Do you realise that we might have to fight each other if we find the rings?
We'll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now, we've got some explorin' to do. Those rings are out there somewhere.
All right, old man, I guess you're the boss...
C'mon, let's go!
And so, finally, finally...
...here we are. As is typically the case, the Japanese name (始まりを告げる雪華) seems much more interesting/cool--I would probably translate this a bit more "poetically" (groan) with "Beginning, as told by the snowflakes". I guess they didn't really have space for such a long title.
On another note, I have to apologise for the poor visibility on these screenshots due to an overdone snowfall effect. The game actually allows you to turn these effects off, but if you do that, here is the result you get:
Since this is absolutely horrible looking, we'll just have to endure the "blizzard" effects for this part of the dungeon.
In any case, the map of the dungeon is unchanged from the original, so we can proceed onwards.
The tiled corridors are now in a different colour too!
At first, I thought we might be way too underdressed, but I guess I didn't have to worry.
So they're trying to make it look like snow?
I saw some kind of strange flooring underneath the snow here and there.
Is this entire place completely artificial?
Heh. I guess nothing would surprise me at this point.
Is any of this even real? I mean, what if we are already dead?
Ha ha, what a raw deal that'd be!
When I die, I wanna know it. I wanna take in the full experience!
Proceeding on through the dungeon...
...we come to the first puzzle. As before, I am not going to bother you with these, since they are still useless. There is just one change from the original: after three failed attempts you now get an option to skip the puzzle. You won't get a reward item, but you will get everything you need to proceed with the plot.
At this point in the game, enemies are largely the same as before...
And the gene equip ability system is also the same.
So we can go and finish the second puzzle.
A bit later, here are Ayuta and Kushina fighting a monster... you know how this is going to go.
So yeah, same as always, Olgar will help Ayuta here.
After the battle...
Don't worry. I know the odds would be against us right now.
You can relax, miss. We're not the types to around attacking people without good reason.
I'm Olgar, captain of Dahjil's royal guards.
And this here is Vieg, he's with the guards too.
...Nice to meet you.
I'm Kushina, the daughter of a merchant in Shatohl.
Your turn, Ayuta!
I am Ayuta. My father's land produces two million bushels of crops.
Ayuta is the son of the lord of our homeland.
That's enough Kushina, we're leaving.
Um, yes, let's keep going.
So here is the first boss... you can just barely make him out through all the blizzard.
His name is "Progenitor's Tooth". We'll see that this time, the boss names actually have a common theme. It's definitely a recolour of an old boss...
...and goes down without too much difficulty. We will soon run into some new bosses too.
Now is a good time to check back on the wife and the mother in law, I think.
Nothing more to talk to them about. Let's also visit Piu-Piu...
This is what men wear where we come from. And who're you to say anyway? Just look at the way you are dressed!
Hey, I am the victim here! You are the one showin' all that muscle and long hair in my face!
And I think I speak for all the others you've victimised when I say, PUT A SHIRT ON ALREADY!
I do like how the game is basically in one way or another addressing all the silly JRPG tropes, like why the monsters drop money, why are the characters barely dressed in cold weather (except here it turns out not to be cold after all) and so on...
Also, I am not sure how many of you noticed, but in this game Piu-Piu has many different facial expressions, unlike the first game where he only had one fixed one.
We have a bit more money now so I decide to spend it on buying the very slightly better armour for Olgar and Vieg.
And with this, we can now return to the second half of dungeon. In the previous game it used to be all volcanic and fiery, but not any more. I have no idea what is it supposed to be now.
But here are Cyllis and Yorath, so...
You are boasting of your lack of intelligence? How odd.
What was that!?
Please accept my apologies. The circumstances have him on edge, I'm afraid.
I am Cyllis, and this is my attendant Yorath.
No need to apologise. I don't blame him. I mean, here we are, tossed into this strange place, made to fight all kinds of weird monsters.
But, do you not feel sorry for them? They look... sad, somehow...
Would you not agree?
I have never seen monsters like that in my homeland. I have, however, seen similar animals there.
What could be the significance?
Well, we already know this one, that the monsters are conglomerates from animals from all the different countries where the participants come from...
In case you've forgotten, this is the level where we need to solve the two puzzles to free the way forward here.
And here are the two puzzles. So now the road is free.
I guess you're right. It's a small group, but every one of its members is good enough to take over command.
Although, the captain of the Talons, Olgar, is a true legend, one that even the kids of neighbouring nations speak of with awe.
Tsk. Listen to yourself go on! If your head was any bigger... But you're right, of course.
Ha ha ha! And you're the one the great Olgar has entrusted his daughter to! You should feel proud of yourself my boy!
...I do, just knowing you believe in me.
Huh? You say somethin'?
Never mind, let's go!
Here we have another familiar boss.
This one is called "Progenitor's Jaw".
At this stage, boss fights are still relatively easy.
So we get the first ring.
I'm actually wondering how this is supposed to go, since here we have one half of each couple. But in total we actually need four rings, not just two. Oh well, we'll see eventually, I'm sure.
Back in the main hall...