Part 48: A man's got two hands
Arr... Ryudo. You look pained, lad... but yet, you seem more at peace.
Ha! That be how a MAN looks, Ryudo! So, where we be heading now? The ship be itching to set sail.
Me and this old girl will take you anywhere you need!
Take us east along the Granacliffs to the end of the sea.
Well... we'd be heading toward the Great Cleft Island of Arachna, then.
Hmm... 'tis far from here... but no captain worth his salt would let that stop him!
Then, to the end of the sea! A man of the sea be a man of his word. Be you ready to set sail?
Ha ha! The winds blow well so we'd best be quick about it! Climb aboard!
The Divine Sword is within reach... Let's go, Elena.
The party boards the ship, save Elena.
... Um, nothing at all.
Ah-hah, you wouldn't have had a little tiff with Ryudo, now would you?
No, I did not have a fight with Ryudo.
So, I take it you be a little upset that he hasn't been too upfront with you.
Now, if you be needing any advice on matters of the heart, just come to Captain Bakala here.
I've made countless women laugh and cry in every port I've weighed anchor.
... Uh, Captain. I think you have it all wrong.
Ha ha! That's it! Women should laugh. If you cry, you'll only drive men crazy... C'mon, lass, climb aboard!
But even if it was for his sake, how could I have relied on... Valmar...?
It was the power of Millenia that broke Valmar's spell, not the power of Lord Granas...
O, Lord Granas, aid me in my journey, give me the strength to carry out the will of His Holiness Zera. Please, guide me...
Millenia... Are you really a pawn of Valmar? Why would you bother to save Ryudo?
... Just what do you and Ryudo...
Uh-uh. I am fine now. I have become quite used to the ship's... rolling... back and forth...
Elena, thank you. It's only because of you that I did not share my brother's fate.
The atmosphere of the scene is slightly ruined by Ryudo inexplicably sprinting full speed for like half a second before arriving in front of Elena and delivering the previous line. I welcome the distraction.
Say, Ryudo, why do you think Millenia did not just remove the Horns from you?
Why did she seal them inside of you? I have been trying to figure it out...
Who knows? She can be pretty damn moody sometimes. She said she took a liking to me. Oh, damn!
I forgot to thank her too. Oh well, no big deal. She'll probably pop up tonight, anyhow. Big moon out.
Elena turns away from Ryudo.
... I am sorry... I just do not know what to think right now!
Subsequently, she runs off and takes the background music with her.
Oh, sorry, Elena!
Man, I have to learn to keep my cakehole shut...
Rest your concerns, for this place is familiar to me.
It is so.
I'll take your word for it... Captain, thanks for your help.
Praise Granas for you and your ship, Captain Bakala. Thank you so much for everything you have done for us.
I have provided no assistance. I desire to be of utility in the future.
We have other matters to attend to. Now, my thanks you have for your troubles. May the course you set be ever true.
No worries, friend. A sailor's life be in the winds and tides. Be they foul or fair, no amount of worrying'll change their minds.
Then I won't bother wishing you well. So long, captain.
A little wisdom before you leave, Ryudo...
There be a saying among sailors: "A man's got two hands. One he keeps for his ship, and the other he keeps free."
But I tell you, you might want to keep both hands for someone else. Duty and freedom aren't the only things worth grabbing on to.
... I'll think about it.
Sure, no problem. Thanks for everything, captain!
I haven't had such a thrilling voyage in quite a while. Both me and the 50/50 be pretty satisfied!
Too bad I can't continue with you on your journey. I'll be missing you...
Well, hellos and good-byes are 50/50 too! See ya later, Ryudo!
I feel the same too. See you, captain!
If you be needing my help again, come on back! I'll be waiting!
Similarly to the Inor Mountains way back, what plays here is a stripped down version of the next town's theme. This time, I actually bothered pulling out the track from the game files. It's remarkably bland.
I don't think he had any reason to lie to us.
... Though it would bend our course, I would to my village wend. It sits but a short distance to the north.
You're from around here?
It is so. I would counsel with the elder of my village and inform him of the events which have transpired thus far.
We'll go with you. But look, you planning on staying there? You've done what you set out to do... What next?
Master? What is to become of me?
I see. In any case, once we find the Granasaber, I'll be just about ready to punch out. End of the road...
End of the journey, eh...?
Alright, welcome to Ghoss Forest.
I have a bit of a soft spot for the environment design here. There's lots of adorable if evolutionarily baffling plants and the whole place feels like a big callback to the Valley of the Flying Dragons, the first area you see after crossing the End of the World in the first game.
This flower spins and goes up and down!
These leaves retract like a curtain!
These guys are tossing a ball around!
Okay, this thing just spews deadly poison. That's all it does.
Anyway, we're back in gameplay land, so let's take a quick inventory. First up, Melfice loot.
New sword for Ryudo to replace his cursed-ass Shadowblade. The reason it shows an increase of defense here is because it has the same attack power as the Shadowblade, minus the drawback of -50 DEF.
Something I forgot about is that the Shadowblade used to do something entirely different in the main game - it used to lower MOV and have terrible ATK in exchange for a chance of instant death, at least according to the internet. I don't remember that at all, so if someone could confirm it, that would be nice.
Demon's Tears 2.0 here does a real good job of speeding up fights where Ryudo doesn't have an urgent need for a particular accessory.
We also got a new skill book.
Special Power (+10 to +50 SP)
Strength (+10 to +50 STR, meaning ATK)
Abandonment (increases dodge chance)
Defensive (increases resistance to IP damage)
Fighting Spirit (recovers extra SP when damaged)
Move Recover (see screenshot)
I've also unlocked the sixth skill on a few more books. Absorb Magic says it "makes magic damage restore MP". I'm not sure if it means damage taken or dealt, as I've never used it - caster skill slots are too valuable. Shell increases both VIT and MEN (so physical and magical defense) by half as much each as the equivalent specialized skill. This skill was added by the hard hack to replace Decoy, a skill that attracted enemy attacks. I'm not sure if it was too good or simply broken.
Finally, Ryudo actually learned a new move - Sky Dragon Slash. As you can see, with the hard hack on, it doesn't exactly do a lot of damage unupgraded - fixing that takes a big SC investment and I'd still rather use Tenseiken Slash. That said, it's another neat callback to the first game, where Justin learned Dragon Cut, a very similar-looking move, from Gadwin.
I was going to increment the bug counter for sound clip overlap making Ryudo say two things at once, but then I realised I screwed up the audio sync while recording it, making it sound even worse. I'm a terrible port.
Alright, back to the cutest plant life.
This one spins up into the air!
Aw, they're hiding behind it!
This one reacts to having its leaves stepped on...
... by opening up to be used as a platform!
I may have skipped over a bunch of uninteresting treasure and enemies in the past few screenshots. I promise you didn't miss anything.
This is a Divine Talisman, which cuts SP consumption by 15%. I can think of a use or two for it, but we'll see if it ever comes up.
The enemies above are our latest reskin, so I might as well give them a bestiary entry.
Giga Mantis (reskin of Giant Mantis)
HP: 4500 (from 1460)
Special: / on hit
Resistant to , Weak to
They're an enemy with dodgeable attacks and no spells or moves, so there's nothing I can say about them that you can't glean from knowing that they come in packs of four and kill people in two hits.
Meanwhile, this is the weirdest action point in the game.
I'm not sure if Mareg is pulling some tree-whispering bullshit here or if these vines are so starved for attention that they bend to your will if only you acknowledge their existence, but pressing the action button sure does make this happen.
This here's a Baobab Fruit, which restores 100 SP. If memory serves, we'll be able to buy them in Mareg's village.
We have Valmarsign.
The land has been befouled by his presence.
So. The Claws were sealed here.
Okay, so, one: How do you know that? Two: How and why did Melfice take the Claws as a pet instead of devouring them? Did he keep them on a leash? Three: Did he seriously go into the Underground Plant just ahead of us and decide on the spot to leave the Claws there to guard the place? The game isn't going to answer these questions, so I welcome you to make it all up and post about it.
This tragedy is but one among the many brought into being by the God of Darkness.
It is natural, for is not the God of Darkness the source of all misery?
So you say that all Darkness is wicked.
... Are you saying it is not?
Though my understanding of this matter is yet cloudy, it would seem my beliefs differ from those which Elena has been taught.
The wind blows cold, lifting soil into the air, yet it also bears the seeds of earth. Each, then, brings both life and death.
NO! It is not as you say!
How then was Melfice made corrupt by the Darkness, while Ryudo yet keeps possession of his soul?
How then does Tio remain free from the taint of Darkness, though she was once its tool?
Roan's people worshipped Valmar...
And my people worship neither Valmar nor Granas. So it has been since the beginning.
Huh!? Neither Lord Granas nor Valmar!?
I wish to confuse you no further. Speak on this matter with the elder of my village, and he will lend you understanding.
There's one last item to pick up before we go.
Mogay bombs, as you'll recall, do IP damage. Super Mogay Bombs do more of it.
This is the version on the soundtrack, which has an added vocal track.
I have returned...
Villager: So that means...
It is so. No longer shall the demon-man trouble the earth, for peace he has made with the grave.
Villager: We knew you would not fail. So, who are your companions? Y- you are...?
It is not Melfice you see, but his brother, Ryudo. These are those whom I am pleased to call friend.
Yeah, you can tell by how he doesn't have blue hair and isn't possessed by the Ho... doesn't have blue hair.
Villager: O-Oh, I see... The words of Mareg must be true. I welcome you.
Villager: Anyway, the elder has been awaiting your return. Why don't you visit him while I let everyone know that you're back!
Villager: So, dear guests... Friends of Mareg are friends of the entire village.
Villager: Please, make yourselves at home. See you later, Mareg!
Let us visit with the elder, as there is much I must say.
Next time, a tour of Nanan. First, though, I want to show you the Inn real quick, since you can't get a look at the village until after the previous scene.
It's decorated with monster parts! A leg from a Giga Mantis, a bit of Crimson Claw shell, and what appears to be a Star Mirage. I'm pretty sure we only fought those inside a little girl's mind, but I've learned not to question this sort of thing.
Official Art: World Map (clambats sold separately)