Part 4: I'll just sit over here and think filthy, unclean thoughts.
Last time, Father Carius told us to go wait for him at the Inn. We'll be doing just that.
Inn Master: Oh yes, he'll be along shortly. Why don't you take a seat over there?
Tell him to make it quick.
He arrives within seconds. I'm not sure why they didn't just walk there together.
I believe there is a Geohound waiting for me...
Inn Master: A...Geohound...? There is a man over there. A Geohound... Father, what need have we with his kind?
Ah, he has come. Peace, my son. It is not appointed to us to judge our fellow man. Granas alone reserves that power.
Carius confirmed for bro. He walks over to Ryudo.
I apologize for our rudeness earlier. You must be Ryudo the Geohound, correct? I am sorry to have kept you waiting.
I believe that was stated in my letter... You can... did read the letter, did you not?
...bro status revoked.
Come now, Father. For a priest, your lack of faith is most disturbing.
Enough, Skye. So, Father, you need a bodyguard. Talk.
I want you to take one of our Sisters there. And once the ceremony is over, I want you to bring her back here.
I don't buy it. The church has never sought help from outside before, and this is a job for a choirboy, not a "murderous Geohound."
Not all are against you, lad. You need not always walk in anger and pain. All troubles can be resolved with prayer and...
Then I suggest you start praying your sister over to your tower.
I am sorry... I did not mean to offend... Please...
He drops a bag of gold on the table.
The Sister whom you will be protecting is waiting in the church. Please ready yourself and come along.
Don't worry about the girl. I've never botched a job. And I don't plan to start.
We regain control. The gold he gives us is a pittance, something like 100G. I use it and then some to stock up on healing items for the upcoming dungeon. After that, it's back to the church.
Father. Am I the only one with a Geohound?
Yes. Your role is very important...
Oh, why can I not just go alone? Please, Father!
Hey hey! What are you trying to do? He already paid me in advance!
I do NOT want to go along with that boor!
Hey, now... Who're you calling a boar?
Elena, your role is very important. Were something to happen to you, we couldn't hold the ceremony. Thus, the bodyguard.
It's not fair that I'm the only one who has to go with a Geohound...
I don't care one way or the other. Look, are you coming or not?
Elena, please do not forget your role. We are depending on you, I beg you.
Fine. Let's go, princess.
My NAME is Elena.
Princess Elena, then, move it.
Elena now ostensibly joins our party. Functionally, we might as well be dragging around a sack of musically-inclined potatoes, as she does not participate in combat. She does change the dialogue of the townsfolk somewhat, but they all just tell her to be careful.
We do talk to Grandma though, as I forgot to do so last update.
She's remarkably long-winded and she's no Flyin' Jim Phoenix, so I'll give you the short versions of her stories:
1. There's two moons in the sky. One is false and will bring about the Day of Darkness, the return of Valmar.
2. Long ago, the Battle of Good and Evil happened. Granas defeated Valmar and, exhausted, slumbered.
3. She reads Ryudo's fortune and concludes that he is in for both woman trouble and a 'great love'. Ryudo is unconvinced.
That's enough faffing about. Let's actually do our job.
What a nice world map! The Black Forest is the first of many filler dungeons that pop up between real areas. A few steps in we get a free Medicinal Herb, but more importantly:
Wha-!? What is it?
This your first time walking in the woods?
N-No, not at all. It's just that... at night...
Elena freezes in fear.
Nice reflexes, princess. Unfortunately, we're not here to pick berries or nurse hurt shrews.
Next time, you might want to duck and cover. Most bad guys won't stop killing you if you're trying to kiss their ouchies...
Hey. You frozen there or something?
Yeah. Back off!
The game throws us into a fight with two Dodos. They're not worth a video, but they are worth a monster writeup, which I will be providing for most enemies from now on.
HP: 400 (from 220)
Special: -1 on hit
The hard hack gave Dodos the standard numbers facelift and added insult to injury by making them debuff your attack when they hit you. They're defensively very weak, taking more damage than spiders even after Ryudo takes the maximum debuff of -5 ATK, but there's basically no way of finishing the battle without losing 80-90% HP.
The Dodo fight also gives me a chance to show off interesting side effects that the MOV stat (running speed) has on battles. Firstly, you can 'run out' of it:
A character or monster can only chase their enemy for a set amount of time before becoming fatigued. The lower your MOV, the more likely this is to happen before you finish attacking. More importantly, high MOV also increases dodge chance:
Represented by a sidestep, a puff of dust and the word "SWAY", characters have a small chance based on MOV to dodge almost any normal attack. In-battle MOV buffs increase this chance drastically, but we don't have access to those yet.
Yes, Mister Ryudo. How are you? ... Are you all right?
I'm fine, as long as I'm getting paid. But... One thing.
Drop the "mister" stuff, I'm not your teacher, your baby sitter, or your damn butcher. Just "Ryudo."
Bah. At this rate, we won't make it 'til dawn. Step on it!
That's about it for the Black Forest; there's another identical Dodo fight later on as well as some gold and a weak ATK buffing item, but we soon reach the path leading to Garmia Tower.
Well. That bodes fantastically.
So, I take it you're the ones who've been waiting for the princess here.
We are. You must be the Geohound. I thank you.
So that's a Geohound... He gives me the creeps.
The rumors speak truly...
Yuck... He's looking this way.
Incidentally, the names of the three gossiping sisters are Eurydice, Isolde and Velda, and their respective hair colors are rather reminiscent of the bumbling trio of villains from the first Grandia.
Come on, get to it.
My sisters... I am ready. I have Mister Ryudo to thank for bringing me here safely.
Not even a ding or a scratch on her. Now, I don't suppose you'll rell me what this is all about...
Please, wait outside until we have finished the ceremony. When it is concluded, you will escort Elena back to the Church.
How long you ladies going to take?
It will take some time. This is all I may say. One more thing - Do not enter the Tower under any circumstances. The ceremony must not be disturbed by your kind...er, you.
"My kind." Right. I'll just sit over here and think filthy, unclean thoughts, then.
... Please, do not come inside.
TESSA! Ryudo kept his hands to himself! Though he did see fit to share his foul mouth.
Come, we must begin the ceremony!
The remaining sisters walk into the Tower, closing the door behind them.
Oh, stop your whining. This is part of the job.
Man, what're they doing in there?! This is why I hate church - everything takes foreeeever.
What's eating you, Ryudo? Thinking about that singing schoolgirl?
I just got a bad feeling about this...
Check out the mural. What's the deal with these weird wings?
It's an ancient ruin... I figure it dates from the Silvery White Light Age.
You mean the Battle of Good and Evil? Why would they do their exorcisms or whatever in a place like this?
*S C R E A M*
What I can only describe as flashes of darkness are seen coming from the top of the tower.
Hey, where are you going?
Something funny's going on! Best check it out!
But didn't they say not to go in?
Look, if anything happens to that Elena chick, it's my rep on the line, I'm not gonna blow this job.
True enough. And this IS out of the ordinary...
Quit stalling! Let's go!
And that's the end of this somewhat long-winded update. Next time, terrible things will continue to happen. The art linked below includes a concept sketch of Skye firing a machine gun.
Official Art: Skye