Part 13: Or, you could all grow wings
Before leaving Agear, there's a few little things I'd like to show off in the ruined town.
That stone block outside the house falls down when you run past it.
These chairs do as well.
Finally, this bird sings when you approach it. None of these have any effect on the game and you have no reason to ever explore the ruins of Agear. I love little touches like that.
What the hell is this? Is it edible?
Some Dude: No, no. Ha, ha. You can't eat that nut. It's a Poff Nut. It attracts an animal called Carro.
Some Dude: When you give Carro a Poff Nut, it becomes playful and acts really cute!
Great, last time I heard that, I found myself stuck with Skye. If you really want me to have it... Thanks.
I don't want to be here anymore.
The Baked Plains are our next padding dungeon and these breakable rocks replace the mushrooms from Inor Mountains, for the most part.
The name is appropriate for the area - it's pretty arid with only the occasional bush or spiky desert plant. These steam vents hurt you a little if you run into them.
Some of the bushes have seeds hanging off them. This one is a Seed of Running, which is actually really good - it's a permanent +3 boost to SPD, which I put on Ryudo.
Incidentally, I wish I knew why they added a layer of obfuscation to the stats in the game by having both ATK/DEF/ACT/MOV and STR/VIT/AGI/SPD, which as far as I know are equivalent; MAG and MEN, meanwhile, don't show up in the first system at all and thus can't be buffed or debuffed in battle. I don't get it. Moving on:
The first new enemy in the Baked Plains is the Giant Mantis, and they are disgusting.
HP: 840 (from 420)
Special: and on hit
Weak to , Strong against
Concept Art: Here.
They come in packs of four, like to three-shot people and have a really high chance of inflicting Sleep on hit. What this means is that, unprepared, you're pretty likely to end up with one party member dead and another one asleep by the time they're done attacking you. Once. If you don't start every battle with 3 casts of Runner or a Snooze, everyone is going to die.
These guys are why I stocked up on Sleep Charms back in Agear. If someone does get hit despite the Runner buff, it's very easy for them to remain stunlocked as every attack reapplies Sleep, which prevents them from dodging the next one - as does the reeling animation from Poison for that matter. These guys are definitely one of the hard hack's big success stories.
Funnily enough, the very next enemies you see are a pack of Dodos, which now die in two of our weakest combos. Quite the contrast.
The first area of the Baked Plains has a lot of little nooks containing chests full of gold or items like these Dash Shoes (+10 MOV, +4 DEF), usually guarded by a pack of mantises or dodos. Overall there's about 1300 gold in the area, as well as a Seed of Psyche (+3 MEN) which I use on Ryudo.
The second area is more open than the first and populated entirely by these new enemies.
HP: 763 (from 340)
Abilities: Sand Spray (~100 damage, -2), Earth Break (~160 damage, Cancel)
Weak to , Immune to
They have the honor of being the first enemies to come in packs of 6, but they're super weak to compensate. In a previous version of the hard hack, they had a -MOV effect on their normal attacks instead of on Sand Spray, which resulted in a lot more -5 MOV characters running in place like idiots. As it stands, the only interesting things about them are their unique drops - Sandman Whiskers, which are mediocre damage items that sell for a lot of gold. Oh, and all their attacks are Earth elemental, which I guess is kind of neat.
To one side of the area we find a large treasure chest in the middle of a small oasis. It contains some neat new stuff:
Healing Herb (heals the whole party for 250 HP)
North Wind Cape (+10 mov, lv3 resist)
Poison Charm ( resist)
Other treasure in the area includes STR, AGI and MAG versions of those stat seeds, another friggin Poff Nut and a hefty sum of gold.
Reaching this spiky grass means we're about to cross into Baked Plains 3, where the game offers us a save point and a cutscene.
Please, come quickly!
He is a spirited one...
That wasn't the word I had in mind. I suppose we should take a look.
(this music is triumphant as hell; in addition I have taken the liberty of correcting the soundtrack's romanization)
VIDEO: The Granacliffs (just the next few screenshots, you can keep the music running if you're listening to it)
A scar splitting the face of the Silesian Continent. I take it you haven't seen it before.
Scripture speaks of it, yet the size... The land still aches, its wound yet felt... The Battle of Good and Evil still so close.
And still... after all these years... No one has come up with a better name than "the Battle of Good and Evil."
How will we make our crossing?
Look over there.
VIDEO: The Skyway
On a side note, the game loves to just not play FMVs unless you run the config executable right before running the game. Some of these bugs are WEIRD. Bug Count: 15
... That's called the Skyway. We ride on that across the Granacliffs.
The ship lands in a town not far ahead. Once we cross here, it is only a stone's throw to the St. Heim Papal State.
Or, you could all grow wings and I wouldn't have to wait for you.
Incredible... This is just so exciting!
Don't overdo it. We're camping here tonight.
Hmm? Oh, no, not at all!
That's way too much exciting stuff for one update! We're stopping here. Next time, we'll be arriving in probably the most interesting town yet. Look forward to it!
Official Art: Carro and some weird-ass animals