Part 14: Hope you like character developmentChapter 14: Hope you like character development
Okay, so it looks like I was half-right at least.
: ...Where's Terra?
: She changed into a...something and took off. She looked like...an Esper.
Given that our only exposure to Espers thus far has been that thingie in the ice, we're going to have to take her word for it for now.
: Something happened to Terra... There seems to be some connection between Espers and her... Anyway, we need to find her. Witnesses saw her screaming across the sky to the west.
Edgar, meanwhile, has to be the voice of reason in all this.
: Think, people! The Empire still wants that Esper.
: Banon needs our help, too...
: Figaro Castle can shuttle us to the western province. Then we'll make for Kohlingen or Jidoor.
"Let's split up," eh? You know what's shorthand for?
That's right, it's time for us to set up our traveling party. Unlike most games in the series, we're not forced to take along any particular character. Not yet, anyway. As of the moment, we can even get away with just bringing one character.
For the moment though, these four have plot events along the way to finding Terra, so I bring them along. On the request of somebody in the thread, I'll also be running Gau solo in a separate run, so what that basically means is that Cyan gets to babysit Banon for us.
Before we chase after Terra though, we're finally on Narshe's good side, so we have the opportunity to poke around town. However, for the moment, there's nothing to do except shop and investigate that house to the south.
Sweet Christmas! That's a lot of treasure chests, and with the exception of a locked one, we can loot them all right now. In addition to another Hyper Wrist and Earring, we also get a Thief Knife, a Sneak Ring and a Wall Ring. Not a bad haul, all around.
Thief Knife and Sneak Ring: As the names imply, these things are useful only to Locke and Shadow. The Thief Knife is equippable by both of them, and in addition to 3 speed and 10% Magic Evasion (always nice), the knife also has a random chance of stealing from an enemy that it hits. As for the Sneak Ring, it doubles Locke's chances of successfully stealing an item. Naturally, both of those items are equipped immediately.
Wall Ring: Gives its user the Reflect status, which bounces spells that hit the user over to the enemy side. This is very handy, but it also applies to healing spells, so anyone who wears it will have to be healed outside of battles or get a potion.
Another elixir clock awaits us in the Elder's house. The Elder himself doesn't have anything interesting to say, as is the normal state of affairs in this game.
For now, this bit of treasure hunting is all we can do in Narshe, so let's mosey on over to Figaro Castle as Edgar requested.
You need to get your eyes checked, buddy.
Music: Figaro Castle
There's a particular event that we can see here when Edgar and Sabin are both in the party, and until we see it, Sabin will leave the party every time we enter the castle.
: Look, don't you have a family? Just shut up and take it!
Even though Edgar forces the shops in Figaro to take our money, that still doesn't stop them from giving us a nice 50% discount on all purchases when Edgar's leading the party. This is convenient, because we've got a couple more tools to buy.
While we could theoretically continue onwards, if we want to see Sabin's scene, we have to spend a night in the castle.
Music: Coin Song
: And yet it's all different. Mom and Dad are gone...everyone's gone...since that day...
Flashback time! In Technicolor!
...hard to follow...
I'm trying to imagine Sabin crying, and I'm just coming up a blank. It seems so unlike him.
: So... They went and told you...
Matron: Your father...He just uttered his last wish that Figaro be divided between you...
: This is NONSENSE!! Everyone's saying that the Empire poisoned Dad...And the only thing on your mind is "Who's going to be the next King!?" You're all pathetic!
Matron: That's not-
: You were as bad as any of them!
: Empire of murderers! They won't get away with this!
: You said you were sick of it too, right?
: Freedom...and what will happen to this realm if we both leave? And what would Dad say...?
: If it's heads, you win. We'll choose whichever path we want, without any regrets. Okay?
: This one's for Dad!
: And then, you opted for your freedom.
: And you're a king crab!
I don't know what they're saying here, but I do know that it's making me hungry.
: Don't you ever doubt that!
: 10 years...
: Where has the time gone?
: Here's to Dad!
: To Mom...and to Figaro!
Well, that was intriguing. That particular flashback gets referenced later if you persist in taking along Edgar and Sabin, and the scene that references it really doesn't make sense if you haven't seen this one.
With that finished, we can chat with this fellow to make the castle go to that Kohlingen place that Edgar mentioned before.
Really though, this is the sort of thing you can only get away with in a work of fantasy. Not that I'm complaining too much.
While enroute to Kohlingen, I take the time to show off my new toys. The Flash is supposed to blind enemy units, thereby decreasing their accuracy, but what with blindness being what it is, it's kind of hard to tell if it works or not. Still, it's a decent source of non-elemental magic damage, so I use it more often than the AutoCrossbow.
The Drill, however, is unquestionably good, seeing as it ignores defense entirely and does fantastic damage. We'll be making good use of this.
Anyway, let's go to this Kolingen place already.
This place serves mostly to point us in the right direction, but it also has some significance for Locke here.
If you happened to bring three or less characters in your party, you can talk to Shadow here and recruit him into the party for a sizable sum of 3000 GP.
Now, if Shadow was an assassin, he'd be totally worth picking up at this point in the game, but an assasin? Those are a dime a dozen.
There's a funny glitch you can pull off with Shadow if you decide to buy his services with just Gau in the group. What you've got to do is backtrack all the way back to the Veldt...
Checking up on that wounded Returner along the way...
Leap with Gau in the Veldt, then make your way back to South Figaro by taking a boat from Nikeah again...
Enlist a sympathetic sailor to sneak you out of South Figaro in a box...
And head back to Narshe.
Now, the game obviously doesn't want you heading back to Arvis' house to change your party while Shadow's still in the party, so he's programmed to leave the instant you walk into Narshe. So how does the game account for when Shadow is your only party member?
Answer: it doesn't. Even when Shadow is the only member of your party, he'll still abandon you the instant he reaches Narshe, giving you a party of zero people, and therefore no ability to move. Hope you like restarting.
Rather than go through all that nonsense, let's just check out this house in town. There's a treasure box behind that suit of armor with a Green Beret in it, but to get it, you're going to need to go around behind the house. For the moment, let's just check out the basement.
What kind of pagan ritual is going on here?
Crazy Old Man: Oh that? Worry not! Your treasure's still safe! Uwa ha ha! I used my herbs to put her into suspended animation! She won't age a day! Uwaa ha! That's what you wanted, right? Had to use my herbs, I did.
Ooooookay, something is most definitely wrong here.
Flashback! Now in sickly yellow!
Crazy Old Man: Of course! The love of your life will sleep like this forever! Kwa ha ha!
: What if there were some way to...call her back?
Crazy Old Man: If you could call her back...she'd come back! Wah ha ha! I'm sure you'll find something that'll bring her around!
Everyone else goes back upstairs, but Celes sticks around to stare at the preserved corpse that a cackling old man is keeping in his basement.
I'm guessing that they're trying to say that Celes is sympathizing with Locke, but it seems to me more like she's realized that if she ever dies, she's next. Who knows, in the future, he might open his own Museum of Girls I Failed.
Oh, but guess what? The flashbacking isn't over yet!
Music: Forever Rachel
: You're not going to believe what awaits us up here! Come on, it's worth a fortune!
Suddenly, an earthquake happened, or rather the screen shook up and down.
This naturally caused the one section of bridge that Locke was standing on to break, but otherwise didn't affect any of the other bridges visible in this shot. As you would expect, a fall into a giant bottomless pit does nothing more than...
Having your mechanized suit explode while you're in it? Landing on your head from a fall of several dozen feet? Why would those things kill you? Naw, they just give you memory loss.
: Wait, she said "Yes!" We were gonna-
: Her memory returned just before she passed away. The last thing she uttered was...my name. I should never have left her side...I failed her.
What a contrived tragedy.
For raising the girl that brought us not one, but two flashbacks, I penalize Rachel's parents an elixir.
Next Time: We stop the navel-gazing and find Terra already