Part 28: Pre - Air's Rock Miscellany
Going deeper into the ship, we can fully live up to our criticism of people who steal from the poor by stealing some bread from people who happen to be poor. This is basically the most exciting thing that will happen this whole update; I'm pretty much just taking care of miscellany while I can still postpone the inevitable.
Yes, I'm aware these screenshots are blurry. It's because I'm an idiot who still doesn't know how to capture screenshots, but consider it my attempt to help the optometry trade prosper despite these tumultuous economic times.
Oh, wow, I feel so much better! Do you like... adventures? Then you totally have to go check out the caves under the mayor's mansion! Go find my dad... He's up along the path near there.
It might have been a good idea to talk to your dad about that whole "starving to death alone in the streets" thing. He's probably been doing absolutely nothing about his moderate worry that you might miss your snacksies.
I'm only letting you pass because you did good by my son... Make sure you don't lay a hand on any of the mayor's treasure.
Nope, as always that's vastly overstating his competence. Apparently guarding the mayor's treasure is more important than feeding his son, but, as of five seconds ago, rewarding somebody else for feeding his son is more important than guarding the mayor's treasure. It's amazing how Camelot has found a way to make instantaneous personality changes dull and predictable.
Meaningless cave maze #18 Billion lets us do the exact same thing we just beat up some pirates for doing and rob people. I always love it when games like this present clear and consistent messages, though I suppose Camelot has actually stuck to one principle fairly well in refusing to let the leaders of rich cities use cabinets.
He tells me that, by trading with one another, all of these towns prosper and grow...
Why were you in a jail cell discussing trade theory with pirates? Doesn't Briggs' testimony as to the wonders of trade somewhat fall apart given that, last update, he defended his piracy by pointing out that his hometown does not at all prosper or grow?
I've made a decision...If Alhafra is to prosper, then we must trade, too! Trade and grow! I'm going to build an entire trade fleet and make lots of money!
Fan theory: One of this game's creators was an avid Marxist who, like most "avid Marxists", once skimmed an article about Das Kapital and decided he hated the fact that good game developers made more money than him. Eager to indoctrinate the next generation with this philosophy and provide a counterpoint to the Randian tour-de-Life-Force released a decade and a half prior, said creator made sure to present theft from the rich as a perfectly just strategy and Capitalism as being built upon the shakiest foundations since [political/socioeconomic theory with which you disagree].
Unfortunately, his follow-up strategies of distributing the games in bread lines and replacing the subtitle "The Lost Age" with "A Critique of Bourgeois Neo-Imperialism" were vetoed by upper management for fear of negative shareholder response. Adding insult to injury was the fact that most critics disregarded the symbolism of the maze caves representing the unending torment of privately-owned modes of production, and even his fellow revolutionaries thought the metaphor was slightly muddled by the prevalence of treasure chests containing thousands of gold coins.
But now, it seems the Madrans are getting the better end of the deal... That's why he's keeping the pirates' money and using it to repair Alhafra, not the boat. If Madra wants their boat fixed, then they can just pay us to have it fixed.
Okay, let me see if I understand this plan...
Briggs, a pirate, used a boat to get to Osenia. While he was here, he robbed a poor town to buy a different boat in a rich town. The elder of the poor town locked up a different person he thought was innocent, then attempted to free the man he personally locked up and warn the rich town by risking his life to cross a desert, which we did at the same time, albeit with no cross-communication, also so as to free the innocent man. The people from the poor town warned the leader of the rich town that Briggs would try to steal a boat, with their evidence being that it would be obvious if Briggs wanted to steal a boat, but Briggs had already bought one, but it was destroyed. The leader of the rich town locked Briggs up but let his family keep the boat while it still needed to be repaired (a decision that certainly provided them with absolutely no incentive not to help the people fixing the boat), pledging to give the boat to the poor town to make up for the fact that completely unrelated things were stolen from said town.
Then, because the poor town apparently got the better end of the "Get robbed so a legitimate business transaction can happen in our town" deal, the rich town decided to use the boat which had already been paid for with money from the poor town as a bargaining chip to get it paid for a second time with money from the poor town, holding a largely unrelated piece of seized private property to be used as reparations ransom to the people being owed said reparations, out of spite that a rich town located near the ocean was hurt by a tidal wave while an inland poor town was merely robbed by pirates.
It's pretty much impossible to tell given the quality of this game's writing, but I would not be surprised if this mayor was meant to be presented as one of the most sympathetic characters in the game.
Right, well, time to do what we were actually supposed to be doing. After crossing the isthmus in the upper left, we were supposed to disregard the path through the desert until later and instead run through a continent of nothing to get down here. It's very obvious that Camelot designed this continent first and struggled to find anything to put on it later, probably choosing the ultimate town locations by blindfolding themselves and throwing darts.
Even then, a fair bit of filler was thrown in for good measure. There's absolutely nothing to do in Mikasalla except being confused by attempts at showing variable depth in an overhead 2D perspective and uncovering even more sub-city networks of caves.
For any cave fetishists who absolutely despise competent writing, The Lost Age comes with my absolute highest recommendations.
Alright, we've now done everything there is to do in Mikasalla. I remember the good old days, when obvious filler towns would at least have equally pointless roadblocks like mine-flooding statues and lines to use chi from. Man, I sure don't miss those days at all.
Oh well, if I ever need the nostalgia I can remember all those good times spent on GameFAQs figuring out which meaningless sections of world map to run back and forth over.
Using scoop inside a nearby cave (Yes, the same psynergy we just used to get a djinn. Yes, the same psynergy Camelot doesn't expect you to have at this point in the game) lets us summon Megaera. Megaera was a hellish demon of vengeance tasked with punishing infidelity. She wore a wreath of serpents, had the wings of a bat, and constantly bled from her eyes, sharing these traits with other vengeance spirits born from the blood of Uranus' penis after he was castrated by his son. I don't know, It's Ancient Greece; what do you want from me?
In The Lost Age, Megaera looks like this:
In light of recent tragedies, I feel somewhat bad about blaming Japan. This will not in any way stop me from blaming Japan.
Well, there's only so much longer we can postpone the inevitable. The only other thing that stands between us and the worst dungeon in the series is one more completely useless town, this time with werewolves.
Just think of them as a race of people born with special powers... Adepts borrow their abilities from the power of the elements... While lycanthropes borrow theirs from the power of beasts... This is why they take the forms of animals... They may look frightening... But we must try to communicate with them. Lycanthropes... Werewolves... A whole village in hiding...
Happy 80th birthday Kraden. This joke won't make any sense at all to people reading this thread more than about a week down the road.
(The joke is that today is William Shatner's 80th birthday and this game uses ellipses. I am on the absolute cutting edge.)
Is it just me... Or does Kraden seem a little TOO happy to have found werewolves? [No]
I would love to study them, but still... they do frighten me... I guess I'm just curious about all the secrets of these new lands...
So, are there werewolves only on Osenia?
If so, how could you even have known about them, Kraden?
Er... I, uh... All right, so I lied! I'm glad we found werewolves! There! Are you happy!? So let's go! Let's find us some werewolves!
I have no idea what the purpose of that inquisition that didn't answer Sheba's questions was at all.
Garoh, as the town is called, is incredibly uninteresting, as everybody inside a house is a normal human and everybody outside is too big on Organization XIII cosplay to be tolerable. As always, your theory about how this town works is completely wrong, not because Camelot decides to actually do something clever but because your theory probably manages some vague degree of internal consistency.
We can run into one werewolf, but he moonwalks away from us far too quickly to do anything (and no, going through the rock wall we clearly know isn't there is impossible unless we are currently looking at it not being there). As always, there's no indication of if we're on the right track story-wise or if we're supposed to come back three hours from now, but talking to NPCs at least gives us something to search a GameFAQs guide for the importance of.
Yep. Take a deep breath everyone, we're approaching what even Golden Sun fanboys admit is probably the lowpoint of either game.
And trust me, this will make the way we got Reveal in the last game look like art.