Part 12: Days 17-20 - Professor Ano and the Golden PenDays 17-20 Professor Ano and the Golden Pen
Where we last left off, we endured the tedious torture that was the labyrinth on Ghoul Island, ending with us rescuing Kyte and sending a message to Mouses friends, Beak and Fang.
Now we shall, as you guessed from the title, recruit Ano. As it happens, of the list from the intro, only Ano and Gallhint remain unrecruited.
Anos recruitment method is possibly one of the more arcane sequences in the game. Weve already dealt with cryptic and unhelpful bullshit left and right, and while Ano has nothing on Kytes sidequest, he sure has his share of bullshit to deal with.
Before we do anything, I use the funds I got from Ghoul Island to upgrade everyones weapons to maximum (that being Mouse, Rummy and Claires weapons). As you can see, this nearly cleans me out (I had nearly 80K after that dungeon), highlighting the importance of getting money if you want to be in top shape.
Now, lets go see if we can recruit Ano, shall we?
He has nothing to say to us. How helpful. How about after 12PM today?
Nope. Still nothing.
He will have something to say to us .on the 3rd day of the loop, after 12PM. Why? No idea, but thats the arbitrary goalpost the game has set. You would only figure out when actual dialogue was available from him by feverishly talking to him at every possible time period in hopes he would eventually have something to say.
Or you could just use a walkthrough and spare yourself all the tedium, like me.
Research Worker: Its a special made one of a kind item that can only be obtained at one place on the island.
This information appears worthless to us, since Anos pen doesnt seem to be relevant to anything just now. But this is the information we need to work off of. Theres a pen merchant in town, and he wont talk to us unless weve spoken to this guy about Anos pen.
Fruser: Oh, Im sorry. Thats a special item of Professor Anos from the palace, right? What? You must have the exact same pen?! Hmm Since you insist, Id love to help you. But Thats impossible right now. I just cant get a hold of the feather from the golden bird thats necessary to make the pen. Ive asked the hunters to find them for me, but so far theyve only come back with the one feather Professor Ano has. Lately, the hunters have reported seeing the golden bird, so I might be able to get a hold of one in 2-3 weeks.
(You want us to wait 2-3 weeks?! On this island, thats impossible! I guess well just have to go find the bird ourselves.)
Thats our objective: find the bird so that we can recreate Anos pen.
As Fruser mentioned, the hunters are on the task, so maybe they can help us. And where are the hunters? Hunters Village, of course. Although to find out there was a village with hunters in it, youd either just have to explore until you found it, or sift through all the banal NPC dialogue until one said something like THERES A VILLAGE OF HUNTERS OUTSIDE THE CITY.
Anyway, lets head on over and see what we can find out.
We can deduce that the golden bird shows up in the graveyard at night. What they dont make clear is that it wont be there at any time of night, but specifically after midnight. If you show up anticipating it at 8PM when the game turns dark, youll be disappointed.
As the military has blocked off the graveyard, this means you cant recruit Ano until after recruiting Bagoth. While you need him to get the guard to let you in the first time, once thats done, you can Power Jump back to town and grab your real party members if Bagoth isnt one of your regulars, then jump back (or walk if you havent learned Power Jump).
If youre in the graveyard past midnight on any given day, youll see the golden bird flying in. You have to wait for it to roost before you can do anything though.
Now Playing Combat
The bird is something of a gimmick boss. It has jacked up physical defence, to the point that even if youve Gamesharkd your attack to maximum, youll only do 1000 damage to it per hit (with that kind of power youd usually do 30000). Physical attacks barely scratch it, but spells can be devastating. Turns out I could have ended the fight real early if Id just had Claire lob her ice spell from the start.
For defeating the golden bird, we receive Golden Feathers as an item. This is what we turn into Fruser.
However, as were rather far from actually needing Anos pen, I decide to do a little exploring in the meantime.
In an area prior to the Woodcutters Village, shortly east of the swamps, I encounter Lilac, another old lady daughter. She is just like her siblings.
Heading further east, we find Almeria. Now weve met all of the old ladys daughters. Almeria has the square of map that corresponds with the Holy Gem shrine, being divided from that area by a cliff. If youd been trying to get all the map pieces before now, this one likely frustrated you due to its unavailability (especially since the Holy Gem Ceremony is tied to Bagoths recruitment).
That peacock looking thing with the weird head is called a Wide Feather. The small bird between the Elfs legs is called a Chick. It looks more like a kiwi bird to me.
Neither enemy is a threat. This game is full of enemies that stop being threats with a few weapon levels.
Further east of Almerias house, in a forest with a sign warning of bandit activity
Click here to see the Gallhint gang in action.
Zenne: Imagine running into the infamous Gallhint Gang in this secluded spot! Hand over all your money right now!
We are thrust into a confrontation with no say in the matter.
Zenne and her bandits, like all the worthless enemies weve been fighting thus far, are no threat to us. The most damage Zenne does is 58.
When we win, the fight music does not stop
Zenne: Now Im going to destroy you!
Now Playing Cute Recorder Sound
(I assume they mixed up the title with what Rinna played when we picked her up at the docks)
Zenne: Gallhint! Why are you stopping me?!
Its dangerous! This is the kind of guy thats really dangerous, Zenne.
Small aside, but Gallhint is the only character mentioned in the intro that doesnt have a place on the cover art of any Ephemeral Fantasia box, nor has any individual art made of him. I had to get his portrait from the cover of some magazine. Small spoiler, but hes far more significant to events in this game than most of the others on the boxes and that have art of them.
Havent I told you that over and over again? Dont ever take on someone stronger than you.
I wont mess with you. But, this forest is our headquarters. Stay away from here.
Gallhint starts walking away.
You idiot! Didnt you figure it out fighting him? Were in the same business.
(This guy seems like a cunning fellow.)
And the cutscene ends there.
Gallhint mentioned this forest being their base. Despite his request to stay out, what if we poke around some more?
Youve got guts, buddy! You know this place heres the bandits hideout. As long as you dont get in the way, I dont care if you drop by. I mean, were in the same business after all.
So despite his request, Gallhint doesnt care a lick if we hang around his fortress.
This guy is offering us a minigame. What minigame?
Did you figure it out yet? Is it clear?
If your guess was some kind of card game, youd be dead wrong. Because this is Dominoes. Literally just the game of Dominoes that you would play in real life. If youve never played it and want to know what its about, Id suggest just googling it.
Now Playing Domino Minigame
In Ephemeral Fantasia, you have to bet half your money on any game of Dominoes. Win and you get 1.5 your current funds, lose and theyre halved. Simple enough, unlike the terribly translated rules. You can make a good bit of G if you win a lot.
Click here to see an example of Ephemeral Fantasias dominoes.
In the other building here, Zenne is sitting at a table with nothing important to say, and Gallhint is relaxing on his bed and flat out will not respond. Gallhint, like Ano, is a dreadful example of how annoying Ephemeral Fantasias time system is, forcing you to check at arbitrary intervals to see when hell say anything to you. Suffice to say were not recruiting him now.
After 6PM on any 3rd day, Gallhint and his gang set out for the palace attack. Naturally, the fortress will be empty and you wont be able to play Dominoes or talk to anyone.
Behind Gallhints fortress is a line of treasure chests, all taken by the bandits. The one Im interacting with above has a Revive Potion in it. The rest are empty, save one with a pathetic amount of G in it.
Now thats enough of Gallhint. Lets get back to Ano. As I said earlier, on the 3rd day at 12PM
You want to talk to me? Oh, all right. Im off the clock now, so what do you want to talk to me about?
so there you have it, Xelpherpolis is an evil bastard with time magic.
Maybe you should be a novelist instead of a musician? But its so inconceivable. And theres no basis for it. Magic that causes time to loop is nothing more than a myth. First of all, your theory has a big hole in it. OK, lets just suppose theres some being who can cause a temporal closure. Well, putting aside that you have said that its Xelpherpolis this being has to control the magic that manipulates time. Do you have any idea how much magic, how much power it would require to do that? My calculations of magic use a measurement called MP.
Now were really getting meta.
Thats 12,000 MP. Thats 12,000. 1, 2, 0, 0, 0! From my research, I have concluded that even the most powerful life form can store at the most up to 999MP. Thus, such a being is unimaginable. Do you understand?
I mean, yes, but-
We pester him again.
What if, like, a bunch of people got together to do time magic? Xelpherpolis has at least three flunkies!
Definitely. If a number of beings come together, and through some ritual, combine magical forces, its not absolutely impossible but Do stop with these bizarre tales. When the wedding is over, we can sit down and talk about this in depth. Goodbye, um yes, thats right, Mr. Mouse.
Talking to him again accomplishes nothing. We have to leave.
Pattimos comment doesnt really point us in the right direction.
Theres no hint at all as to what youre actually supposed to do after talking to Ano. This is technically by design, but if you dont want to waste time, youll likely need a walkthrough to inform you how to proceed.
As we already know what were doing, lets go turn our feathers into the merchant.
Fruser: Please let me have this. Now I will be able to make a copy of Professor Anos pen, just as you have requested. Come back in 6 hours.
Now you just have to wait 6 in game hours, and
Now what do we do? Go show Ano we got a fancy pen just like his? Well if we want to elicit a cutscene response from him again, well have to wait until, say, 8PM on the 4th day, or any time hes in his room after that.
In the meantime, I happen to talk to Rinnas father at the inn.
Given Rinnas father was never relevant to anything other than her recruitment, youd probably never guess he has anything important for you. On top of that, this item only shows up after recruiting Claire, for reasons that will be apparent later.
In order to do more with this package, we have to go into our room at the inn.
So, its a watch
Now Playing Letter
This watch has been passed down through the royal family. It was broken a long time ago and has never been fixed. Ever since the islands temporal closure long, long ago .I dont know why, but I wanted you to have it. Its not clear why, even to me. I want you to have it. Dont let the break in time defeat you.
Dont let the break in time defeat you. Hmm. She probably thought you might just be the one who could put the islands time back to the way it once was. Thats why she gave you the watch. Its coupled with her hopes and desires. Wouldnt it be best to have something like this handled by a watchmaker? Lets go to the watchmakers shop.
As Pattimo suggested, we head down to see Claire. She needs to be removed from the party to see the following scene.
You want it repaired? Its going to require a lot of work, but If youre not in a hurry, Ill do it.
And thats it. This wont be followed up on for a while.
Now, lets finally go get Ano recruited.
Click here to watch Ano get recruited.
Naturally, we have to pester him again.
Im afraid I must insist that you understand that Xelpherpolis is pure fucking evil.
The future is determined by my judgements. Not everyone can understand that!
Either this is some atrocious mistranslating, or Ano is pretty far up his own ass.
If they knew, they wouldnt have to suffer so !!
I cant use this anymore. I did have a special pen I liked
Need a pen? Got you covered, buddy
Its not possible that anyone other than me would have one.
You were right!
Mouse moves to shake hands with Ano, but
Is this it?! Is this really it?! Is this the time manipulating enemy that you spoke of?!
Yeah, thats one of them.
This is most interesting! Show me how youre combating this!
Zenoru is actually a unique encounter, unlike the random battles we experienced recruiting Kyte and .guh, Plosi. While it doesnt go down too quickly, it isnt really a threat either.
Ano is exhausted, despite doing nothing at all.
We get the option to put Ano in our party right now. Even if I wasnt extensively using my current allies, I wouldnt really want to use Ano. While hes not as bad as eck, Plosi, hes still not all that useful. He has an attack that hits all enemies, but his low strength means itll never be very useful. He might get better with time, but we have better characters to use.
Now, if you want to fill out the Monster Chart, Anos your man. He has the one skill that allows you to make entries by scanning monsters. But I dont really care about that, especially since encountering all this games monsters would require you to play as unintuitively as possible due to the level scaling.
Obviously, the intent here is that you experience Anos cutscene in one loop, and then try to anticipate his pen breaking in the next. Thats not so bad, at least from the perspective that this is what they intended. However, getting to this point in the first place requires you to constantly pester Ano in hopes that youll trigger a cutscene at some point. That is where the true tedium and frustration lays in Ephemeral Fantasia.
Also, youd think that by this point, we could use the myriad allies weve gained to convince people. Ano might find Mouse saying this absurd, but what if we had the Captain of the Royal Guard (Rummy) and the General of the entire army of Pandule (Bagoth) come in to corroborate our story? Maybe he could dig in his heels and think its a big prank, but its worth a shot.
With nothing else important to do, I spend the rest of this loop grabbing map pieces.
That shall be all for today.
Join me next time, where we change Gallhints life forever.