Part 16: Some sleep. Others write. Other suck food down their throats like garbage chutes
This update: still more dialogue. Ah well, Ryudo's one-liners will surely keep us awake through the priest's inevitable sermon. Before we head to the church, however, let's ask the townsfolk what they think of it.
Woman: Nowadays, the Father and the other priests are to be found at that place upon the hill.
I do not understand... Why is this to be expected?
Woman: The old church... it is as empty and meaningless as the food we eat. Neither has the power to fill us.
This is odd... Surely there is some significance about this church.
Woman: It doesn't matter. I care not about the church, as I care not about our miserable food.
Granas Almighty, I'd rather talk to the priest. The church is indeed on a hill outside of town - the game showed it to us in the intro flyover.
And what are you doing here? Praying to Granas...? I don't think so.
Man: I got tired and passed out while working... And when I woke up, here I was.
Man: I wonder what made me collapse like that... Oh! I wonder if working ten days straight had anything to do with it...
What!? Ten days!? No wonder you collapsed. Why on earth did you do THAT?! Did you need the money?
Man: No, I've got money, but... I thought why waste time eating instead of working? And why pay for this lousy arum root?
Man: I'd like to thank the Father who helped me. I've been trying to think of how I could return the favor, but I've no idea. Hmm...
To those in the church, appreciation is thanks enough.
Man: No, really... I've got to think of something for him that won't cost any money...
Okay. Seriously. I'm pretty sure this town is literally Hell and whoever's in charge pressed the button for the wrong ironic punishment. Let's talk to the Father - at this point I'm expecting the clergy to be calling down the wrath of Granas themselves.
Father, we have come with a question.
Ah, I see that you too are one who serves Lord Granas...
Father, what has happened to this town? To these people?
Ah, this is a question that troubles me as well.
I do not know what has befallen us. Some say that the face of Lord Granas has turned from us, but still... I do not believe it.
Yes, I have heard this tale. There are those in town who say they have lost the blessing of Granas.
And I don't quite get this "blessing" stuff.
That one lard-butt looked pretty damn blessed to me. About two hundred pounds more blessed than anyone else around here.
I promised myself I wouldn't do this again, but...
Ah, you must mean Mr. Gadan. He too has changed. He was once a good man, loved by all.
But then he began to change. He began to become obsessed with wealth and riches... and with, uh, nutrition as well.
And as I recall, this occurred roughly around the same time that our current misfortunes befell us.
i want to frame his dialogue boxes
But what would that have to do with the townspeople not being able to eat?
Father, forgive my companion's lack of tact, but I too wonder why this town is known to be blessed by Granas.
Of course. Please, go upstairs... You will see the truth for yourselves from above.
They are said to be the ruins of a temple.
They were severely damaged when the town was rebuilt, but Mister Gadan says that they're still not sufficiently destroyed...
I see. So this town was built on the ruins of an old temple of Granas. That is why this town is blessed...
But, those pillars have a strange shape. As if there was something in the center...
As if something were buried.
Now that you mention it, I've head of an excavation at the base of the pillars. The pillars run deep - too deep to be removed.
I'm not liking what I'm hearing.
Like Garmia Tower... It cannot be... Valmar...
I- I have not heard of such a thing...
Terrific. Then we can be on our way.
Hold, Ryudo. The suffering of the townspeople may be a result of the breaking of a seal. We must investigate.
Whoa there, gumshoe! I don't recall "hunting down reawakening God of Evil" as being part of my job description.
Saving those in need is the duty of those who follow Granas.
Now you're just being stubborn. Let's try to be rational here. One: I'm not being paid. I repeat that - I AM NOT BEING PAID.
Two: Granas should be more than able to take care of Valmar without us. Three: you need to get to the Cathedral as soon as possible.
Ryudo, please... I cannot ignore their suffering. If I do, I might as well never take another step toward the Cathedral!
... So you will not be moved, then. Very well, I will help them by myself.
... I'll have to protect you, of course. Stop it with the self-righteous expression. C'mon, make a nice face for me.
Unique portrait, that.
We'll check out the ruins. But tomorrow... Tomorrow we take the Skyway, no matter how many kittens are stuck in trees.
. . .
Yes, but take caution; no one has been permitted to explore the ruins. There is much danger.
Thank you, Father. Ryudo, let us depart!
As the party leaves, Elena remembers something and turns to the Father.
Oh Father, I have had terrible dreams of late. In them, I am haunted by Darkness. Does this mean that my soul is weak...?
Do not allow Darkness to have a doorway to your heart. A strong soul resists Darkness. Carry yourself acccordingly.
Thank you very much. Father, may you be blessed by Lord Granas.
The same to you, O Songstress of Granas...
Let's get this over with. We don't have room for any more of these roadside attractions in our itinerary.
Oh, Mister Ryudo...
Oh, Ryudo. You lovable scamp. You rapscallion, you. Outside the church, we notice someone waiting for us...
Mareg, what brings you here?
The SMELL of this place... It offends the earth.
Wait! Tell me... is my brother here? What of Melfice? Where is he? What has he done?
I sense the foul work of that demon here.
But is he here? Or do you only suspect...
Mister Mareg, this town is now deeply troubled.
Please, will you aid us in our search for the root of this evil? Will you help us put an end to it?
To protect the power of which you speak from ever being used again, I shall join you.
Thank you very much!
At last, a full party of four people. Mareg is exactly what you'd expect - a massive wall of meat with more STR than God who wouldn't know magic if it bit his tail off. He doesn't even come with a Mana Egg to his name - without dumping a bunch of SC into his moves, the only useful thing he can do is attack normally and take damage for other people. Thankfully, we have another way of increasing a party member's utility.
What this skill means is that Mareg will now move from COM to ACT nearly instantly when using most items. This allows him to throw healing herbs and such at sufficient speed to act as a secondary healer while supplies last.
The townsfolk's dialogue changes once we have Mareg in our party, so let's chat with some people again before we look for this excavation site.
But surely, the Father would not be interested in profit... would he?
Woman: He wouldn't? Huh...? Well, what is he trying to do, then? I am so confused...
You may address me as Mareg, thank you.
Man: What a discovery! If all you eat is arum root, you start growing a mane! Just look at you! You look like a beast-man!
Perhaps they possess some importance. It could be that the blessing of Lord Granas is somehow connected to these pillars.
Old Woman: If this is what you call a blessing, then maybe we should've been cursed instead! A pox on these pillars!
Feisty, aren't we?
Do not provoke her, Ryudo. She is miserable enough. Her troubles have understandably made her irritable.
Maybe she's just a bitter person. People don't need reasons to be what they are, princess.
Back in the house we visited when we first arrived, the engineer is trying to comfort his son.
You shouldn't make such big promises to him. It's worse if you get his hopes too high.
Engineer: Please, don't be so pessimistic. You folks are the only hope we've got! And we can pay you lots of money...
When did I say I wanted to work for you?!
... This place does not agree with me. I would not remain here long. The people are lacking in... life.
Man: No life? There's plenty of stuff to do here! This is a high-tech town, full of the world's most advanced technologies!
You mistake my meaning. Your days are shallow and your nights hollow. Your spirits are lean, and it troubles me.
The color of your face is drained. Are you well?
Man: Oh, I uh, uh... I've finally started hallucinating... I see a beast. He's up and walking.
Man: The beast is... Look, there's whipped cream on his neck... Looks tasty... Gulp!
I am afraid your psychosis is causing you to hallucinate. I smell no whipped cream.
Man: The beast, he can talk... Huh? A talking beast? ... My... I see a big wad of cotton candy, with whipped cream on it, and it's coming this way...
I am afraid I know not of what you speak.
That's enough of that. The entrance to the excavation site is easy to find - it's in the middle of the city, near Gadan's house.
The SMELL of decay comes from below. The foul stench of that villain...
... Melfice... Heads up, Mareg!
Ryudo breaks open the lock on the trap door.
All right. Let's go!
Okay. I lied. One more conversation before we get down to business.
Man: Nothing is impossible for a man like him. He even runs the Skyway!
Yes, you could say that. And the Skyway's not only good for commerce, it has become a local attraction, too.
God knows why. It's not like anyone's allowed to ride the thing...
Man: Look, it's a hard and fast rule: no passengers on the Skyway! There's profit in freighting cargo, not tourists.
Well, Roan should have no problem boarding. He's baggage.
Next time, we'll be going deep underground to find the source of this terrible curse...
Official Art: The circus folk from Agear and the Father in Liligue