Part 36: Aqua RockAs I said a few posts ago, I'm going to really speed through this next section. As you probably got a taste of last time, this section of the game consists pretty much entirely of aimlessly wandering around the Eastern half of this hoping you come across things in the right order, and the already snail's pace storyline pretty much ceases to exist entirely. Once we get to Champa, I'll slow down the pace a bit and probably actually have jokes to make. Basically, you can pretty comfortably skip this update and the next one; you won't be missing much.
First order of business: more trading game "progress". I would hate to, you know, buy a neckerchief at a store or just take the neckerchief from the bird without trading. I don't think that would exactly be considered theft, and we've had no problem killing dozens of birds with less fashion sense. And people. We've killed people before. There's that part of it.
Time it takes for Camelot to forget what we just got: three seconds. I'll just spoil it now: this trading game never ends up making any degree of sense.
While playing this, I got a lot of screenshots of maps and travel time to convey how out of the way everything is, but I'm going to not use them and just cut to things. I figure that it really doesn't matter as long as you understand that pretty much all of these places are single-use islands, miles away and indistinguishable from thousands of other single-use islands. We do eventually get a fast travel spell to expedite some of this... in the Mars Lighthouse, about an hour away from the end of the game. The only conclusion I can draw from that is that Camelot was actively aware that absolutely nobody found this fun and decided to design it anyway, probably between tying damsels to railroad tracks and beating up orphans.
Is travel common? Does this village regularly receive visitors? Does the average layman even know that an edge of the world exists? These questions and many others will remain completely unanswered and inconsistently implied next time on Camelot's World-Building 101.
Why wouldn't you? This is not a good question.
And then we got to the part where Quovak had footage again. As a result, pretend Vall made a terrible decision in being here and got swept away into the abyss, lost forever in the uncaring blackness of space and mourned by no-one as he wasn't particularly memorable.
As with Garoh, a few people hint you in the direction of checking a walkthrough to discover that you should go to Aqua Rock. For some reason, despite that village being right next to this and not being protected by giant mountain ranges, nobody there has psynergy despite what was hammered into us last time we did this.
Actually, why am I saying "some reason"? It's a Camelot game; that's always the reason. You've probably picked up on this by now.
Aqua Rock is the exact same dungeon as Air's Rock except a bit shorter and with a slightly less horrible color palette. You climb up and down a maze of walls to get around pebbles, solve the same "puzzle" a few dozen times, and run through a ton of meaningless hallways that serve only to stretch a five minute dungeon into twenty minutes. We've seen it before.
What we haven't seen is Felix and co. actually getting their ankles wet! This would be cause for celebration, but Felix doesn't seem to extrapolate that his face and torso are also not made of cesium and that he could probably opt out of most of the "scaling sheer cliffsides" part of all this.
In fact, we actually need to
Seeking to one-up Mia making us Jesus last game, Piers opts to match that and make us Moses as well. So far we're doing quite well; I'm sure the word count of our speeches has well eclipsed that of Deuteronomy.
Th'art great at getting around space limits, Camelot.
A convenient flash flood in an enclosed space in a mesa under a lake lets us try out Piers' new power. The new water power our water adept gets from this water dungeon is... a ball of flame that gets rid of water. This power is, bar none, the most arbitrary in the game regarding where it can and cannot be used; in a few chapters we explicitly see a flooded city everybody wishes weren't flooded and our only recourse is to sit there and look morose.
All told, this dungeon is much less bad than Air's Rock, mainly because there's less backtracking involved. There is some, of course. Specifically, going back to the middle of the dungeon with Parch lets you dry up a waterfall statue and get a djinn, which actually matters now that we're back to playing as lame characters.
There you go, there's Aqua Rock. Nothing fancy or particularly amusing, just an attempt to power through this section of the game so we can get to the plot some time this decade.
Oh, fine. I guess we can have a bit of fun:
Aqua Rock (Blip because Youtube complains)
(This is played at 6x speed while Air's Rock was played at 4x. The actual time comes out to about 24 minutes if you factor in going back for the djinn)
This would be a longer update, but we're about to go to Gaia Rock (which is by far the best Rock dungeon in the game and one of only two dungeons with a clever design, even if that design is absolutely ruined by its execution) and I don't want to have to force two in here. The next update should be coming soon, though; I would feel bad making you actually wait for more of this part of the game.