Part 12: He followed me homeLoose Ends, Part 3
As it turns out, Sabin's little scene in the dining car isn't the only one that can play out. While Cyan's scene is just a retread of his dialogue in Sabin's scene, Shadow has a special one where he passes on some of his food to his dog. I don't consider it unmanly to say how adorable that is.
The other thing that I missed was due to reflexively going left at the start of the Phantom Train. If we go right instead, we find this conductor in his own special car. We're technically supposed to start our little romp through the train by chatting with him first, because he has all the information about the train that we need.
IMPRESARIO: The Phantom Train guides the departed ones to the spirit world. They have no need of schedules.
Then why have a schedule book in the first place? Also, Impresario?
Webster Dictionary posted:
im·pre·sa·rio, The promoter, manager, or conductor of an opera or concert company.
Ooookay, whatever makes you feel important, Mr. Conductor.
We can also examine this switch here for a special scene.
: Sir Sabin, maybe we shouldn't fumble with that-
: Gave it my best shot!
: Cyan, you're not scared, are you?
: How dare you? Just because I respect other people's property does not mean I am not mechanically minded.
: ...Cyan, you're a total klutz when it comes to machines!
: SILENCE...! How could you tell?
Earlier that morning posted:
Chapter 12: He followed me home
On a more somber note, now that we've reached the other side of the forest, it's time to say goodbye for now to our esteemed comrade Shadow.
But not to worry, we make sure to remove everything in his possession before he goes. That suit in particular is going to be useful in the very immediate future.
: To the south is the Veldt. There are dangerous creatures there.
: And the Empire's right on our tails.
: If we can slip through the Veldt, we can reach the town of Mobliz, to the east...
: Shadow, thanks for your help. Let's join ranks again sometime!
Once again, the game asks us if we want to keep playing it.
It's really not as if we have a choice in the matter.
On the way down a raging waterfall, Sabin and Cyan get into a fight with a group of piranhas. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.
There's even a boss piranha, distinguishable by the fact that it takes three hits instead of one to take down.
Despite the fact that they just had a martial arts battle with a bunch of fish in midair, the two men still can't avoid getting knocked out at the bottom.
Fortunately, a wild boy has come by to lend them a hand. Or maybe to eat them.
Music: Gau's Theme
This is Gau, and he is a beast both literally and metaphorically.
Unfortunately, Sabin startles the kid, and he runs away, leaving us alone in...
Music: Wild West (Veldt Theme)
The Veldt is a place where monsters from all over the world migrate. In gameplay terms, what this means is that in the Veldt, we'll only encounter monster formations that we've already seen in the game. "Formations" is the important word there. Monsters will only show up alongside monsters they fought with in the past, so we won't be seeing odd combos like Ghosts with Narshe Guards.
Every so often, that kid will show up again and complain about being hungry. Unfortunately, for the moment, we only have one thing we can feed him...
Three feet of cold iron!
: Uwaou!! Waooo...ooo! You... strangers...! Go away! You scare animals!
And then he hops away. But don't worry, he'll be back to harass us again.
On the northeastern side of the Veldt, we come across the town of Mobliz. Kind of a generic place, mostly, but there are a few points of interest.
Due to being isolated from the rest of the world, Mobliz operates its own carrier pigeon-based mail service. Since boat rides are still slow and impractical, pigeons are the communication method of choice for this world.
Apparently, the clock thing is a reference to the myth of the "Elixir of Life," a drink that provides immortality and has its effects enhanced by storing it in a clock. Interesting stuff, and thanks to whoever posted it for pointing it out.
In the northernmost part of town, we see Duane and Katerin, two lovestruck teenagers who've opted to spend the afternoon just staring at one another. For the moment, you can't do anything with them, but it's pretty obvious from Katerin's sprite that they'll be important somehow.
The main thing we're here for is this fellow. The people outside say that he's a deserter from the Imperial Army, and what we're here to do is to help this fellow with one important task.
Apparently, the fellow has a girlfriend in Maranda who keeps sending him letters, but the guy's too beaten up to read them on his own. So begins a sidequest that consists entirely of:
Reading the guy a letter...
Using the carrier pigeon service to send a reply for 500 GP a pop, followed by waiting for a response...
Then repeating the process about four or five times.
While I'm waiting, I stop into the item store and I buy some Dried Meat for that starving kid. Hopefully this will make up for the fact that I almost cut him in half.
And as a reward for our letter writing, we get the Tintinabar and a feeling of immense satisfaction for helping our fellow man.
Tintinabar: Heals its user his Stamina divided by four every single step. In the case of Sabin, that means he gets 9 HP a step, whereas Cyan only gets 8. This is pretty handy for cutting down on healing items when your characters' max health is relatively low, but when our health starts to get a lot higher, it will lose its effectiveness pretty quickly.
And while we're on this do-gooder kick, here kid, have some blue sparkly meat.
: Thou art so odd...My name's Cyan, and this is Sabin.
: You Cyan, you Sabin, me want more food!
: No more for you!
: You go...get more for me!
: You're a regular munchkin!
: And you...afraid of me!
: Me not want to hurt you!
: Stop staring at me like that!
And then they go hopping around like newlyweds while Cyan just stares blankly.
: Me like dancing! You good leader!
: Shut up!
: And thou, oh wild one, who might thou be?
Repeat three more times. At the end of this, Cyan is most definitely not in the mood.
: Cyan! You angry...me?
: Me understand. Me sorry. Me not bad person.
: Look! We can't have ye two prancing 'round all day! Gau, I think we're going to get on well together. Why don't you join us?
: Ah! I give you present! Gau give nice present in thanks for food!
: What manner of rubbish do you think he's gonna...
: Can anything be THAT shiny?
: Does Mr. Thou like shiny things?
: Mr. Thou's that one, over THERE!! A shiny thing, eh...? Think how jealous Locke's gonna be when he hears about this!
: Who be Locke? He bad man? Maybe he try steal my treasure!
: Locke? Well, he's...
: I think he's trying to tell us something.
: Urgh...fine, carry on.
: Sabin, place where you buy food... it called Mobliz! Cyan, place where you stand... river brought you there...
: Mr. Thou, hurry up! We leaving!
: Hey! I told you once, I'm not Mr. Thou!
Right from the start, we need to outfit our new recruit. Gau can't equip a weapon as of yet, so I just give him the best stuff that he can wear in the other equipment slots.
Gau's particular gimmick involves the use of Rages. In a Rage, Gau will imitate monsters, taking on their weaknesses, immunities, and special statuses. In addition, every monster has a special attack that he has a 50% chance of using. Using this gimmick, it's possible to do some ridiculous things at this part of the game.
Fire 2, for instance, is the special attack of the Templar Rage. For reference, Terra won't be learning Fire 2 until Level 22.
One thing you might notice though is that there are quite a few gaps between these monster names on the list. That's because Gau doesn't start with all the monster Rages right from the start.
That is what the Veldt is for. While on the Veldt, Gau will have access to the Leap command, which will allow him to acquire Rages from whatever monsters he leaped to...
And whatever monsters were in the enemy group in the battle where he returns. One thing to bear in mind is that Gau will only return in a regular battle, so Pincer, Side, and Back battles are a no-go.
Insert about twenty minutes of me Leaping and waiting for Gau to come back. I'm one of those sorts who has to get every new monster every time I go to the Veldt.
Believe it or not, but this little Stray Cat here has one of the most powerful physical attacks in the game. Cat Scratch does about four times Gau's regular attack power, and there's a relic we'll encounter later that allows Gau to attack four times.
It's just a little bit overpowered.
I should also mention that certain bosses will also make an appearance on the Veldt. From the Marshal, we get the immensely useful ability Wind Slash. We'll be making full use of this in a sequence to come.
Enough dawdling, let's get to that Crescent Cave already.
Right in the door (so to speak), Gau starts moving around in random directions.
: Cyan! The shiny thing Gau spoke of is in here.
: Uh, Sir Gau, where exactly is it?
Wah wah WAH!
: ...Shall we look around?
This cave is remarkably secret-free, though if you check in the wrong direction...
Oh come now, after all the Veldting we've been doing, that's a drop in the bucket.
Anyway, if we check on the only other path available to us, we discover that Gau's treasure is...
A diving helmet. Huh.
: Is this it? Gau's...treasure?
: Treasure! Yesss...
: Looks like it might just fit. Will this really let us breathe underwater?
Not unless you plan on cramming everyone's head into the helmet at once. There's only one to go around.
The cave immediately opens up into a raging river, known to the folks of Mobliz as the Serpent's Trench.
: But unless we hop in, we won't see our friends again.
How many times has Sabin jumped off of things at this point? I'm thinking that we're close to double digits now.
Music: The Snake Path (Serpent Trench Theme)
Much like our last trip down a river, the Serpent Trench is entirely on rails, with the occasional battle.
Once we get Mog, we'll have to visit this river or the Lete River later, because those are the only places where he can learn the special ocean-based Dance.
Also like the Lete River, we're given choices about what path to take. In this case, it's always a choice between going left and finishing up the dungeon early or going right and taking a few stops for treasure.
Eventually, the river dumps us off in Nikeah, where there's a boat waiting to take us to Narshe. However, we've got business here in town to take care of first.
This scene's a little annoying for me. Basically, this dancer here tries to proposition everyone's favorite widower.
Needless to say, he isn't biting.
The town itself is a giant marketplace where we can find the most current weapons and armor. This, and other things, makes me suspect that Squaresoft always intended for the player to pick Sabin's scenario last, because this seems like a logical place for the player to stock up before the groups come together again.
And another Elixir for the road.
Without further ado, let's get this split scenario business over with.
: I hope the others arrived safely.
: I'm sure they did.
: Me hope so too!
The three have reached Narshe, and a decisive battle is about to take place...
Next Time: Gau saves the day.