Part 17: Wandering What's-His-FaceLast time, we obtained PHAT LEWT that will now let just about anybody use REAL MAGIC and command deities and demigods and holy shit are we awesome or what?
...what, we're not awesome yet?
I swear, I will find a way to blame Indy for this.
We have decided to go to the Empire, which I still think is kind of retarded because they want to kill us and stuff.
If we need to change party members, I guess we'll ust head back to Narshe...
But that would mean walking across half the fucking world map AGAIN.
So no, we are not changing party members.
MrThou and Bruce walk off, and we're left with all the people who do not suck.
...and Indy, too.
They've closed down all the harbors, so there aren't even any ships sailing there anymore.
Maybe you should have thought of that before you hatched your cunning plan.
The town of Jidoor to the south is full of wealthy aristocrats...
"...speaking of which I have this great joke-"
One of them might know a way in. "Where there's a gil..."
Why are you coming with me?
"Well, there's a pretty good chance that you're going to die and I can't miss out - I mean the world would be missing out. Yeah."
Hmm? Well... there's the rumour about that legendary treasure being there and all...
...I just want to have a look around.
It's actually not that bad of an excuse, having conveniently established that he's looking for said treasure only 20 minutes ago.
Pity he got something in his eye just as he said it.
With that, the cutscene ends and we can move around again.
First priority: get the hell out of here because Zozo is a shithole of the greatest magnitude. I'm so glad we're done with this place and won't ever have to return.
Actually, hold that thought - there's one more honest guy in town now, and he'll explain what the whole magicite thing is about.
If we take him up on the offer to learn more about espers...
To summon the esper in battle, select "Magic," press "down", then select the esper with the A Button.
You can only call upon a particular esper once per battle.
- Learning Magic -
A character learns spells over time when an esper is equipped. The set of spells each esper teaches is different.
The higher a spell's acquisition rate, the faster it will be memorized.
Some espers also permanently increase an attribute of the character equipping them when the character gains a level.
We'll now gain "AP" after most fights. Each esper teaches different spells at different rates, and the character permanently masters the spell when they reach 100%; for instance Ramuh teaches Thunder at x10, so we'll need 10 AP to learn it. He teaches Thundara at x2, so we'll need 50 AP to learn it, and poison at x5, which requires 20 AP.
The level up bonus is how the esper affects stats when the character gains a level. Here, Meryl will gain one point of Stamina every time she levels up as long as she has Ramuh equipped; better than nothing, but kind of meh. Other espers will boost other stats, sometimes by +1, sometimes by +2, or increase the HP or MP you gain.
...but you don't really need to know the mechanics since I'm still the one playing the game, so let's cut the and get on with killing things.
Meryl comes with ice magic and the lightning stuff Ramuh teaches will be good for her. Matt gets Kirin which teaches healing spells, the addition of which make his already overpowered self even more broken. Tim gets Siren because she's a half naked woman and Tim is Tim, and Indy gets Cait Sith because it's the only thing left.
Here's our next stop.
Sorry, I mistook you for someone else. Wow, you could pass for Maria in a heartbeat!
...Oh dear, we're really in trouble this time...
I smell a stupid plot coming on...
He runs off. Meryl notices that she's the centre of attention.
Don't ask me what she's doing.
That man is the director of the troupe that performs at the opera house.
Everyone just calls him "Impresario." He's been in a tizzy ever since that letter arrived.
Were you born on a farm, son?
It's not nice to point these things out.
That would be Gambit, owner of the world's only airship!
If we had that airship, we'd have our way into the Empire...
Let's set up a meeting with this Gambit.
Right, so our to-do list for the day:
1. Obtain flyboat
2. Approach empire
3. Shot down in flames
4. Die horribly
I think we can manage.
Fortunately, we already know where Gambit is heading. To the opera house! On chocobo because it's all the way down here.
He'll probably appear right at the climax of the first act. He loves to make an entrance... *sigh*...
All right! When he shows up, we'll jump out and nab him!
Dear me, no! You'll ruin the performance! I'll lose my job!
Oh, this is simply horrible! I want the performance to be a success... but I don't want Maria to be abducted!
I love this sprite. It's so expressive.
Anyway, he runs off to the right and the party follows.
We'll use a decoy. Once he's got her, we'll follow him right back to his airship.
And if all goes well, we should be able to commandeer it!
Note how he uses every word but "steal".
Are you mad!? If anything should happen to Maria...
Why do I get the impression he cares about that for all the wrong reasons...?
...and he runs away again, but Indy cuts him off at the pass.
You said Meryl looks like Maria, right?
She can be our Maria! We'll let Gambit kidnap her and lead us to his airship!
Meryl proceeds to spaz out.
...but I still love that line.
Meryl spazzes out some more...
Maaa... riii... aaaaaa!
...but she seems to have caught on fairly well.
That's the spirit!
Alas, something is rotten in the state of Figaro...
Bah, how much trouble can one lousy octopus stir up?
He throws a letter. It lands behind Tim and Matt.
No one sees it.
Better get to work! We've gotta make a star out of you, Meryl!
So they all leave.
AUDIO: Opera Overture
Draco, a soldier from the West,
thinks of his love, Maria,
back at home...
Draco walks on stage only to get trampled by chocobos. I hope he's getting paid extra for that shit, it can't be pleasant.
Draco picks himself up and starts mooing.
Indy may be a horrible person, but he doesn't think his ears deserve to be subjected to this so he makes an excuse about visiting the bathroom. We gain control of him.
Oh, I hope this works...
What are you afraid of? It's not as if we replaced your lead singer with a teenage girl with no training whatsoever!
Tim feels right at home in such a classy establishment.
Matt on the other hand...
Much as Indy would like to flee the field, there is an NPC in the way. Only one way to go!
Don't stare too long at her chest, or she'll punch you.
Wait, I'm thinking of a different Meryl.
Indy... Why did you stand up for me when you did?
...Because I'm tired of standing by and doing nothing while I lose the girls I like.
Am I just a replacement... for her?
No, he intends to display you side by side.
Or possibly in a compromising position.
Why'd you care anyway, it won't happen until you're dead.
Indy puts those mad rogue dodging skills to use and deflects the question.
I have to go on stage soon. This next scene's an important one.
Maria starts to worry that something's happened to Draco, and pours her feelings into song.
Luckily for him, she doesn't have time to beat an answer out of him.
Shouldn't you check the score one last time?
"Who do you think you're talking to
Scores are for wimps!
Forced to wed the Eastern Prince Ralse,
Maria still thinks only of Draco
as she gazes at the stars each night...
"Pfft, script! I got this."
Let's make this happen!
"As if. Just you wait."
"...I wish I could sink into a hole in the ground."
"I also know that this is Indy's fault somehow"
"Yeah, I totally got this."
"hold on my shoe came unlaced"
"My heart can't take this. Goodbye, cruel world."
"Script? What scr... oh, you mean this here on the table?"
AUDIO: [Opera] Aria de Mezzo Carattere
Forced to wed the Eastern Prince Ralse,
Maria still thinks only of Draco
as she gazes at the stars each night...
~ Though promises of
yet sing here in my heart? ~
To you, my evening star. ~
~ I see in your eyes,
So gentle and wise,
All doubts and fears erased! ~
~ Though the hours take no notice
Of what fate might have in store,
~ Our love, come what may,
Will never age a day.
I'll wait forevermore! ~
Please, leave the past behind! Our kingdom is part of the East now...
Apparently the imperial military school is based on Ankh-Morpork's assassins' guild. Simply the best education around.
But on the way back, Indy smells a vile plot brewing!
Uh.oh... Better tell the impresario!
But before Indy can explain everything...
AUDIO: Wedding Waltz-Duel
~ You would address my queen to be,
Edge of my seat!
But how is he planning to disrupt the opera?
Actually, we have like 290 seconds to lose. We won't need more than ten to deal with him.
Talk to the stagehand in the room up on the right! He'll help you get up there!
Leave it to us!
Lower the switch on the far right. But don't touch the others!
"RIGHT switch! He said the RIGHT switch!"
"His right or mine?!"
"DAMN IT GIVE ME THAT"
"Bro, he said the far r-"
"note to self kick everybody's ass when this is over"
"I've invented crowd surfing!"
"...did you tell the crowd about it first?"
The far right switch opens the door on the left side of the VIP lodge. I'm not sure how Ultros got up here without opening it first, but he is an octopus, so he can probably squeeze through places Matt's beefwall physique can't pass.
Here's one of the rare places in the game where enemies aren't random. Touching the mice here will send you into a fight, and they all give out 3 AP, which is pretty good for this stage, so try to kill all of them.
I apparently missed screenshotting the rats, but here's a pic of the party gaining their first esper-taught spells!
Yes, I killed all the rats.
Ultros rams into us, but succeeds only in sending all of us over the edge...
With those two flattened, there's no one to win the girl! How can the story possibly continue!?
well you could show us how a strong and independent woman deals with her grief and moves on-
oh wait, Japan.
Fortunately Indy is here to steer the show back on track.
It is I, Indy, the world's premier adventurer, who shall take her as my wife!
Oh, dear... What dreadful acting!
I challenge you to a duel!
Hmm... Might as well make the most of this. MUSIC!
[Opera] Grand Finale?
Long time no see!
Did ya miss me?
Yes, but I think I have time to reload...
Ultros has some very annoying tricks. Imp Song turns you into an imp (duh).
He also has Ink and Tentacle from before, as well as some other tricks. The worst is Level 3 Confuse, which confuses characters with... a level that's... evenly divisible by 3.
He only has 2550 HP, however, and we're stronger than ever.
I feel like such a sucker.
Well, kids, hate to ink and run...
...but I AM an octopus!
"I MUST know how he did that!"
While they're all busy staring, Gambit absconds with Meryl!
Just as we think Maria is to become Indy's new bride, she'd dragged off by Gambit instead!
What fate lies in store for her now? Be sure to come back and see Part Two!
He leaves. Meryl bangs on the door, but it doesn't open...
...so she puts the plan in motion instead.
But the real show starts now. It's time for Act Two!
He should be right back.
Speak of the devil.
Gambit, we need your help. We need to get to Vector. Your ship is the only-
But since we ruined his elaborate scheme, Gambit throws a big sulk.
Wait! We heard that your ship is the finest vessel in the world.
And that you were the world's greatest gambler...
I'm the king of Figaro. If you help us, you'll be well rewarded...
If Tim weren't here, Matt would say something along these lines instead, except that it's obviously his brother who's the king.
Don't misunderstand me. I still haven't said I'll help you.
We're back in charge and Meryl is back in the party.
After Matt gives Meryl her clothes back like a proper gentleman while Tim and Indy silently curse him, it's time to talk to Gambit.
The Empire has been toppling towns and villages left and right...
They're abusing their Magitek power and trying to take over the world.
My kingdom was allied with the Empire... until recently.
Maybe you want to be a slave to the Empire, but I sure don't.
This really doesn't make much sense. Slave what? He's got a flyboat, he's no one's slave!
We're at least together in hating the Empire, right? So, please...
You know, I think you may be even cuter than Maria.
WHAT!? Are you crazy!?
But like any sane and rational adult...
...Meryl ignores him.
Great! It's settled!
But I have some conditions...
Well, Mr. Gambler?
Ha! I like it! I accept.
Are you serious...? If you marry that guy...
...A valuable trinket indeed. I've never seen a double-headed coin before.
BUSTED. Feel the brotherly love.
I'm afraid you've been hustled, Mr. Gambler. But that's part of the game, now, isn't it?
I'm beginning to see why they're all falling for this woman.
So does Gambit.
Gambling against he Empire, with nothing to lose but my life... I haven't felt so excited in years!
He tosses the coin back.
When things fall, they fall...
Life's a game of chance.
You play your cards, and Fate plays hers...
"NOT THE ANSWER I WAS LOOKING FOR"
They'll spot us in the air from miles away if we try to fly this thing into the Empire.
We'd better land a safe distance away.
"As soon as possible, in fact. I'd prefer right now."
That sounds like a good idea.
I'll stay on board and keep the ship ready to take off at a moment's notice.
And so the ship takes off...
...towards the Empire.