Part 22: Episode XVIII: The Recruits Are Flooding In
Departing from Guldove along with Macha, we get our first view of the overworld map. The El Nido Archipelago, as the name suggests, consists of a series of small isl-
--oh wait we're docked in Termina two seconds later... I guess we'll leave the overworld for another day.
Music: Another Termina (last time we'll hear this for a while, I promise)
A merchant gives Macha some shit for taking up the only other dock in the port town of Termina. But Big Mamacha manages to literally shake the town chewing him out. This joint should really think about expanding the docks if a small four person raft is enough to clog up the ports.
So we are expected to do err...something...in Termina... I suppose brushing up on the local gossip might be a good start.
Apparently the party's break into Viper Manor has resulted in the indefinite postponement of local celebrations. They've no doubt crushing the local tourism economy in the process. Great, plan Kid.
Miki seems to give less than a crap that we've recovered
Heading to the front gate of Termina triggers yet another scene with Glenn and the flower girl from our initial outing to the humble berg.
"They seem to have heard the rumors of the Frozen Flame in El Nido and are coming to investigate."
"My, then that means the Porre army might invade this town any day now. I wonder if we will be alright..."
"Yes, that is why we are moving to the fort for a while. That fort is far from town so it is not used normally, but it has good defenses."
"I meant 'we' as in 'normal citizens', not the dragoon army..."
"Well, good luck with that one..."
"She felt very uneasy about the way General Viper was acting before he left, so..."
"What are you going to do? Aren't you going to get in trouble if you leave the manor?"
"Yes... Still, I cannot stop thinking about it, so I am planning to infiltrate the fort by boat."
"I know I am just a flower merchant but I think sneaking into a secured position against orders during the threat of an invasion is a pretty good way to get a one way trip to the gallows. Or at the very least tossed in the dungeon for treason."
"Strangely enough, every time I think to myself 'Should I really go through with this plan...this may be a bad idea...' I just sort of blank out with a feeling as though my mind is telling me thou must... Bizarre..."
Glenn takes off toward the docks after this. In case you cannot guess, our newest objective will be to infiltrate this Fort Dragonia...aka Castle Kidgutstab... Since, breaking into a highly defended military installation went so swimmingly last time...
Now, seeing that scene with Glenn was technically all that was needed for our return visit to Termina. But, we've a new character to recruit on the other side of town. But first, let's hear Ziggy's fortune...
"Indeed. Two shores, that are separated by an unstoppable stream... It is your role to connect them."
Very ominous... Anyhow, continuing to the eastern edge of town...
Back at the eastern cemetery there is yet another private scene to awkwardly eavesdrop upon. This is becoming a habit for Serge's party.
The local psychic luchador priest is in attendance for a water burial of a departed child. Sure, why not?
"Come, please say your last farewells..."
"Why did such a sweet child have to... My only wish was to drink with you when you have grown up... Why? Why did you have to leave us so...?"
"The boat shall now be cut adrift... You son's spirit shall ascend to heavy with your warm blessings. The child has tapped out from this mortal coil. May he find a three count atop a worthy opponent for the Cruiser Weight Title in another realm."
The boat drifts out to sea...
"Okay, watching that knight and his girlfriend mourning over a grave was just sort of awkward. This is getting REALLY uncomfortable..."
"Oh lord, WHY!?! Why couldn't you take me instead!?" <sob>
"Look, I'm not the one who puts these cutscenes here. Don't blame me for being stuck gawking at this."
"Speaking of which, why didn't you stick around with Kid until she passed? It isn't like we exactly have any pressing issues at the moment."
"Look, if some unseen force isn't going to make me stand and watch touchy-feely stuff involving people I barely know in situations like funerals and mourning at graves or people on their deathbed; I am not going to self impose it on myself."
"That is a bit cold..."
"We could always sail back to Guldove right now. I'm sure there's still time before she kicks the bucket to crack a few more jokes about your experience with seamen."
"Why must we face death? And who is the one that decides when we die...? Ghetz, I have not yet seen the light, amigo..."
Greco the priest approaches the party...
"If you have a moment to spare, please give this wandering soul a small prayer to guide him on his path..."
"I do not know if I am comfortable discussing the thought of an afterlife and pathos in general in the middle of a series which deals directly with both time travel AND alternate dimensions... That is just asking for trouble."
"I do not think I like your tone, amigo. Listen, if you've got beef with me, I ain't a hard guy to find. I stand 6'8, I weigh 270lbs, and I'm usually kicking the hell out of somebody."
"G-Good to know... I'll pass my regards along to the family..."
Greco departs to the nearby shack. Might as well follow him in...
"What nerve do they have to call me an impostor, especially after they drag me all the way out to the valley!"
<chuckle> "Somebody must have been playing a prank. Do not concern yourself about it."
<pretends to brush something off dress>
"You are now drifting between the boundaries of life and death..."
"How does everyone already know about this...? And besides, it isn't like I never existed in this dimension. In fact, if anything too much of me exists. I mean technically there are two of me in this universe. Sure, one is heavily decomposed and probably nothing but dirt covered bones and all... But it's not like I NEVER existed or anything. And I am perfectly alive last I checked..."
"Didn't you just hold a funeral for a small child?"
"Si. Though, he lacked a character portrait. That makes all the difference in the world."
"It's alright, Greco. I'll be here to keep things in order."
"Romana, you are still too young to take on such a task! The spirits are always looking for a chance to draw the living into the darkness! Ever must we stand vigilant. Ready to vertical-suplex the forces of evil."
"But my brother, Ghetz, was able to save you from being drawn into the dark! He gave his life to help you! I am the sister of Ghetz... A small thing now and then won't get me down. This time you must save this one from the darkness... I think Ghetz desires that, also."
"Ghetz? I friggin' HATE that guy. Koko desuka! Koko desuka! Over and over from across the screen until I was friggin' dead. Cheap bastard."
"You're thinking of Goenitz, amigo."
"Ah... HATE that guy."
"I realize that I was only trying to escape from my responsibilities. May I assist you in escaping the darkness, amigo?"
"Rockin' n' rollllllllin' all niiiiiiiight!! And every day!"
"You're out of the band. El Fuerte, you're on drums."
Music: Victory ~ Call of Summer
And so Team Serge's henchman ranks grow to...well back to four... I think I can live with a burly psychic luchador priest replacing the skinny Australian thief girl. I've had worse character swap trade-offs in my life.
Gah! Take it away! TAKE IT AWAY!!!!
Well, that's all for Termina. Let's return to Macha...
"I don't know what happened ten years ago or what's goin' on now, but don'tCHA wanna get things straight?"
"I guess it kind of sucks my mom is dead instead of a shut-in cat lady that starts drinking around noon. And filing my taxes is gonna be kind of a bitch come next April... But I've earned a pretty decent amount of cash, already hooked up with a much less psychotic version of my girlfriend, and even if that doesn't pan out... everyone I come across wants to jump my bones. I mean, I'll probably have to kick that Lynx cat dude's ass eventually. Especially, if he keeps bugging me asking sappy self-help pamphlet questions... But, I might as well quit while I'm ahead..."
"You don't have to make some epic journey to find happiness. But this ol' lady thinks you should have a little more adventure when you're young."
"Did you miss the part where last time I had ' a lil' more adventure' it ended up nearly getting me killed and had someone I was traveling with die a slow, agonizing death from lethal poison...? I'm good...thanks..."
"Alright... Won't twistCHA arm over it... Well, good luck with whatever you do with yourself, youngen."
"But thou must!"
"Sheesh! Fine, MOM."
"Macha. Remember, we couldn't fit your whole name in six character limit."
Macha discusses with Serge that the best course of action is probably to go to this Fort Dragonia after the Acacia Dragoons and Lynx. But, the only way there is to sail around the island and cross the volcanic Mount Pyre to reach the fort. Terrific.
"Just a little farewell gift from me. Don't worry! That brat son o' mine's not gonna use it for anythin' good anyway!"
"You know, I saw him throwing rocks at children the other day."
"What?! I didn't raise no child to be doing that! Boy's hide will be so tan when I'm through with him it'll look the same color as his swim trunks!"
And so with the least amount of effort ever, we have successfully stolen Korcha's sailboat. I'd say this has been a successful day.
Glenn wanders onto the docks...
"Oops, you are just a tad too late. I just lent this boat to someone else. Ask this boy here. "
"I am trying to borrow a boat. I just so happen to have exactly the same goal as you. Wild coincidence, no?"
"You are... You are the young man that gave us the bellflower... Thank you again. Miss Riddel greatly appreciated your kindness."
"And my wallet appreciated your acceptance of outlandish price gouging."
"My coin pouch was... slightly less appreciative of that, to be honest..."
"You two already know each other? What great timing! On the road you need a companion, in life you need kindness. Join in with them on their trip to the fort."
"Well, why should I let you join? Sell me."
"I am an Acacia Dragoon and thus have knowledge of their tactics. I am the strongest fighter next to you at this point. I am featured heavily in the title screen attract intro. I was the third playable character in the demo for the game. And on top of that all, I am named after one of the heroes from the previous title."
"Is that all...?"
"I umm...dislike the color pink and find talking animals disdainful."
Well, our ranks are quickly expanding. Glenn is the primary reason for ditching Kid to wither away in a cheap clinic bed. He is pretty much the second strongest character in the entire game (next to Serge) as far as physical strength goes.
"When we get on the boat, first head north and then east. You should find a small island there. A retired Master Knight of the Dragoons named Radius lives there now. When me and my big brother were young, he used to look after us quite often. We should go ask for his advice before going any further."
"Did he ever spar with you?"
"Indeed... Quite often in fact."
"Did he...happen to err...conclude his lessons in a rather...unpleasant way...?"
"I am not sure what you mean."
"Dick punching. Lots of dick punching..."
"I tried to block that experience from my memories... There is a reason my scabbard is positioned that way in my character art..."
Well...geez... I guess it would be a little assholish to just steal her kid's boat and kick her to the curb. So, instead we'll allow her to join the party THEN kick her to the curb.
Alright, hold up... Macha is 5'6" and 160 lbs... This is a body mass index of 25.8. A BMI of 25 is the bottom limit for being considered just "overweight". So...pretty much an average middle aged mother. There is no way Macha ought to be nearly that
Anyhow, Badass McKnight and Psychic Wrestler are slightly more useful than bizarrely puffy middle-aged mom. So Macha is sent packing home.
Thus she hops off the dock and swims all the way back to Guldove. Huh... I guess someone really did fill her full of air when we weren't looking...
Welp, Team Serge has recruited a Mexican wrestler priest, a stoic knight, and an overweight middle aged house wife who came with a free boat. The world is now our oyster!
Greco Official Art - Pictured: The average Japanese person's perception of your average citizen of Mexico.
- Greco (coupled with his adopted daughter Romana) are an obvious pun on Greco-Roman style wrestling. An Olympic event!
- Greco's Japanese name is Gilbert. His deceased friend's name is Getz. And his daughter's name is Astrud. This is a big reference to the Grammy Award winning 1964 album Getz/Gilberto. Probably best known for the track "The Girl From Ipanema" sung by Astrud Gilberto. Quite the odd musical reference for a wrestling man of the cloth...