Part 42: Shaman Village
Over in Gondowan Cliffs, we can now get past the roadblock that stopped us from reaching half of the world: this rock. I hope that in Dark Dawn they just give up any pretense to the contrary and just railroad with you with Camelot employees who say "If you go to this forest right now I will be sad."
Summon time. This is Eclipse, a laser space dragon. I'm not a sociologist, but I have a competing theory as to Lemuria's decline: giving these out to people based on their coin-throwing abilities is probably not a sustainable way of running a town.
This is Moloch, the stupidest looking summon so far. The original Moloch was a Phoenician god referenced in the Bible as a stand-in for false deities and who is typically associated with demonic rituals and apparently being an unusually dextrous cow. Golden Sun Moloch is an ICP fan with tiny bat wings, spiked collar, shaved tail, and a poor attempt at unicorn cosplay. Had this game hit it off with the Kingdom Hearts crowd we would probably see plushies of this sold in Hot Topics, but every part of that sentence is a terrifying prospect and let's never speak of this ever again.
So, time to collect a bunch of djinn.
This one is found by ice sliding in a town that's exactly the same as Imil.
These two via the usual method of divining messages through tea leaves and consulting the stars.
And this one via block pushing. There we go, that's about half of the Western hemisphere. Like in the first game, the dramatic shift from endless padding to frantically rushing through unused areas happens extremely quickly, by which I mean we still have to endure a whole lot of useless padding but one of these days we can look forward to the plot suddenly being over without anyone being informed.
Welcome to Shaman Village, a village of shaman, where the gimmick is... people don't talk. You know, things like the werewolves were stupid, but at least they were interestingly stupid. This is just dumb.
I will, however, give them credit for having a hotel run by Wile E. Coyote. Come to think of it, why am I complaining about a town where nobody says a word? This is probably the best idea Camelot has ever had.
So why do you have an inn? Why not have a gate? So far about half of these towns have only had problems because they don't understand what gates are.
Here we get the chance to show him an item, and 59/60 of them do absolutely nothing. Guess what item we have to show him?
No, I'm serious. Guess. Think over the items we have and what would be a logical item to try out. I don't even mean logical from a pacing and consistency perspective, because god knows that's outside Camelot's grasp; I just mean logical as in something a ten year old on a car ride could reasonably guess without just brute forcing every item in his inventory.
That's the Shaman's Rod!
Remember this thing? No? How about a little review?
The past posted:
First, Ivan was in possession of the rod. The rod was Hammet's, and Ivan was left in Vault so that he could get the rod and return it to Hammet, who ran away to get kidnapped because of Capitalism. Because Hammet got locked up, Ivan decided to tag along with us for the rest of the game, carrying the rod the whole time.
Eventually, we discovered that Hammet had once been lost, got rescued by some adepts, and was given a child (Ivan), the rod, some money, and business advice in exchange for having his life saved. A prophecy told him that the Rod would be necessary to help people from Vale. Very little of this was brought up upon rescuing Hammet.
Atop Venus Lighthouse, our characters (who didn't know Sheba) bargained ownership of Sheba in exchange for S&M (who didn't know about the Shaman Rod) getting the Shaman Rod, which they actually proposed despite bargaining away somebody they needed to light the Jupiter Lighthouse. Then they didn't give up Sheba, Felix escaped, there was an Earthquake, Felix un-escaped and then re-escaped, there was a complete mess of everything that nobody could possibly summarize with a straight face, and the Shaman's Rod awaited for Felix to have at the beginning of TLA.
Then we did a whole game's worth of bullshit during which the rod was never mentioned at all.
We've had this rod since four updates into the last game, and this is the payoff we earned. The point of all of this, by the way, is to get a psynergy, meaning that those two games of "leadup" served exactly the same purpose as, say, that scorpion from earlier on, or that cave (you know the one I mean).
Before you bring up that, well, it kind of makes sense given that this is called Shaman Village, just remember what game it is we're playing. This is the first plot-relevant stop on a newly-opened sequence of four continents where we've been trained to dig our way through ice caves every time we want to step on some dirt, and I don't think anyone in our group even knows what the Shaman Rod is.
We thought it was lost forever... It once belonged to the great Hoabna. Hoabna's staff was a gift from his great friend in Contigo, Yegelos.
Furthermore, I highly doubt anyone playing this would even realize the Shaman connection; if they had any sense, they would have stopped ignoring Camelot's naming (and their writing in general) a long time ago.
We vowed to care for the sacred treasure of Contigo, the Hover Jade... When the Shaman's Rod returns to us, we are charged to give the bearer the Hover Jade. Have you outlanders come to claim the Hover Jade?
I suppose we have, yes.
That's a shame. We'll never give the Hover Jade to you! We are to return it to the descendants of Yegelos. And you are clearly not from Contigo.
What about... the test? Trial Road? Only Yegelos could walk that path.
Wait, is the point of this to prove that we're descended from them? Because we clearly aren't, so I'm pretty sure this is going against the will/legend/etc any way you frame it.
Basically, we're doing Colosso again. It's marginally less pointless this time, but by this point so would be a billiard ball.
I don't believe it. They did it! The sand vanished!
Can we have the Hover Jade now?
This was just a test to see if you earned the right to take the test to earn the stone. You will have to reach the end of Trial Road. Legends say that Yegelos and Hoabna once fought here. They raced one another to the summit... And there, they fought with all their might on the peak of the mountain. In honor of their great battle, the leaders of Shaman created this trial.
Why? That would needlessly sap their energy and make the fight into pretty much nothing, especially since there's no real reason to fight atop the mountain at all. And why are we recreating this? There are five of us. Five people passing a trial by pooling their efforts together isn't really the same thing at all. Would a normal Contigo be able to do all of this? If not, what are we proving? Hell, even if so what are we proving, besides an enviable willingness to refrain from stabbing Shamans in the chest?
The rules are simple. The room is filled with traps and snares. Use the power of Contigo to avoid them.
I'm going to pretend this is that one awesome writer again, and Felix finally just refuses to put up with this bullshit. He delivers this line in a passionate Charlton Heston-like shriek of despair before everybody promptly ignores him because he wasn't verbose enough to warrant their attention.
The door is triggered only when the treasure chests are filled to the correct weight. Try putting heavier items, like weapons and tools, into the chests, or the doors won't open.
Basically, this is anti-Colosso. If we win a room (which we always will; our competition is useless, even for the sake of this trial. What, are we not fake Contigo enough if we magically do all of this but can't do it quite fast enough? Did the original racers throw away their armor as they raced through sand waterfalls too?) we have to throw away one piece of equipment, and if we lose we have to throw away two.
This is screwed up; it asks this question before prompting me to select an item, essentially asking "Do you want to actually accomplish things?". By this point the proofreaders (hahahahaha) were just as sick of all this as we are.
Camelot, you don't seem to have realized this, but multiculturalism is not inherently more progressive than just making fantasy-Europe for the two millionth time.
All right, all right. You've proven your strength, and you are heroes indeed. As we promised, you will receive the Hover Jade, and we will take the Shaman's Rod.
[i]Hovering --> djinn. There's an absurdly specific restriction on how hovering can be used that makes it utterly pointless, but I'll get to that next update.
Alright, now we can leave. On a completely different beach...
It's not much of a prophecy if you actively have to work towards fulfilling it. It's more a suggestion, or a plan.
This is Contigo, where a neighboring town (which is basically Wind Lemuria) lifted off and became the moon. Then Sheba fell off and landed in Lalivero. Yep. That's a plot point in this game. Moving right along.
These are the same games from Tolbi in GS1. Originality is hard.
And this is what's going to happen to our boat pretty soon. Seriously, there's just magically a prophecy that the next boat to land here should get wings on it. I try not to swear particularly often so that when I do it can have appropriate impact, and I personally feel I've been a bit lax on enforcing that for myself lately, but holy shit. This is the dumbest fucking game.
More djinn. Yawn.
Alright, this update has been terrible, but it's all going to be redeemed. I'm serious, this is the absolute greatest part of the game so far, bar none. This is when Camelot woke up, looked in the mirror, and beat themselves silly. Even though this path seemed like it was just more of the same, this is when I finally saw some degree of joy wash over my face.
I know I already made this joke, but it's even more appropriate here, so pretend I didn't use it in a far less appropriate spot and humor me. Turn up your volume as high as possible, click on this link, and scroll down.