Part 68: Walking Through the Valley of Decision
Last time, we stopped when Li Hua and Connor were getting ready to go on their mission.
In fact, now we have control of Li Hua, so we can look around. Since Araki and Darwin are not back yet, there's not a whole lot to do, but we can talk to Marie for starters.
We can also go and visit Piu-Piu, for a bit more perviness I suppose...
Li Hua! How dare you!
These are Catherine, Jodie and Meg, and in better times their stardom was second to none!
They are beautiful, I'll give you that. Not sure what kind of stardom a papier-mâché girl can aspire to, though.
Quit beating around the bush, Li Hua! If ya wanna be part of my entourage, just say so!
All righty then! I'll let them know they can expect a fourth! You'll be a natural!
...Why am I crying?
Oh, come on. Are you serious?
Okay, Connor--better stock up, now. Ya know what they say: prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Man, you're smooth.
She just smacked him right in the face!
In any case, our friend Conor likes to use crossbows, so we'll get him a slightly better one. He's also not a bad mage too. Unfortunately he comes in at level 1 and is very weak to start with, so even ordinary random encounters will at first usually end with him KOd and Li Hua finishing the job.
We can also go and talk to Lessica before we leave.
Is there really no other way to do it?
No. The Creator's power is absolute, but He cannot do everything Himself. He needs your strong Sopia to seal the Destroyer.
But why me!? There must be plenty of strong people in the world... Why pick someone like me who can't even fight?
I do not know. It must be the Creator's will.
...So where are we supposed to go now?
Your destination is a valley tinted by the setting sun. The path is very steep, so do be careful not to step astray.
Sure. We'll have this thing taken care of in no time.
And then... Lessica is being Lessica again...
In this game, it's important to keep talking to everyone until you exhaust the dialogue, otherwise you may miss out on some fun characterisation bits like these with Lessica.
But now we are ready to go, and here is our destination.
Again, the English title is just a very very rough approximation of the Japanese version whose real meaning you can see above in the title of this update: "Walking through the valley of decision".
This area is not actually very big, but as before we only need to go as far as the exclamation mark.
It is very pretty, though.
Lots of nice vistas.
And here is the time to learn Conor's special skill. He can hit those... things to achieve various results. In this case it will move the blue platform around, but there are other situations too. He just shoots the thing with crossbow, like this:
Luckily, at some point we run into a panda bear. You know what this means:
This helps a LOT, as normally Conor would take ages to get to level 5 with normal EXP given by enemies! Now at least he won't get KOd in every fight!
What's that coming behind you, Li Hua?
And he shoots it with his crossbow!
So you hunt, do you?
No! I only shoot targets for sport!
Wow, and you still took down that creature? You have some real talent.
I... I do?
Me, I can only fight up close. Your skills will really come in handy.
I won't force you to fight, of course.
But if something like that happens again, I'll be counting on you.
...Okay. I'll do the very best I can.
That's good to hear.
And let me thank you, too, Conor. You saved our skin.
Don't mention it!
Meanwhile, let's check how Marie is doing.
Let's do just that. We can actually go and talk to Lessica, but she would just tell us to go rest in our room, so...
She is interrupted by Lessica...
Darwin was always alone.
Though he'd lost his parents, he stayed out of the orphanages, doing the best he could on his own. My brother and I worried about him.
One day, after my parents died, my brother invited Darwin to live with us, as a family. He probably did it for my benefit, but I'm sure he was concerned about Darwin, too.
Darwin respected my brother, who had become a mercenary to support us. Soon Darwin took up the sword to follow in my brother's footsteps. When he came of age, Darwin joined the guard.
Darwin never really smiled again.
He's so kind. Surely the work of a mercenary was... hard on him. He must have joined because he wanted to help us all. Me, my brother, the townsfolk...
So for Darwin to have done such a thing to my brother... there must have been some extraordinary reason.
Well, that was interesting. But let's get back to Li Hua and Conor now.
We run into another of these things that Li Hua can break...
...and it leads to this.
It's quite a nice weapon upgrade for Conor.
More nice views.
In another chest, we find this.
It's a weapon for Li Hua that gives a nice boost to her attack, but at a slight cost to defence. In this case, the cost is acceptable, so we'll equip it. This is the first instance where a new weapon is not a straight upgrade from previous. There will be a lot more of this in the game, so we will often need to pick the right equipment for each boss fight. I like this, as it again gives you an opportunity for more strategic thinking, rather than just equipping the newest gear you have!
Finally we get to our destination.
Hey, what's that.
Woah, here's another... Note however, that they are not the same!
So, we are fighting this one.
After last time fighting the boots (caliga), now we fight the shield (scutum)! Also note the little symbol above his level indicator--this shows us that this is an armoured enemy, therefore solo attacks will do no damage. We need to do pair attacks, magic, limit breaks or any of the other stuff. This is yet another addition to the battle system in this game. We will occasionally find these kinds of enemies even in random encounters.
So, this is not too bad. This is probably one of the last couple of easy boss fights--this guy really does not have a lot of HP, so just normal attacks will do the trick for the most part.
This is about all he can do to us really; we may need to heal perhaps once, but that's pretty much it.
Eventually we get to a point where we can use Li Hua's limit break. This is quite similar to Darwin's and simply does lots of physical damage while ignoring defence stat.
But really, there is nothing special about this fight.
So, looks like while we were fighting one monster, the other stole the Sopia core...