Part 12: Episode X: Do Not Feed Stray Children
Music: March of the Brave
Lets hit the road! Onward to Mysleigh Woods which in turn gives way to Tenderville. Sounds easy enough.
We didnt actually get directions to where said woods were located. But its fine. Well just follow the coast a third of the way up the continent and Im sure things will eventually pan out. Thank goodness no JRPG planet is larger than Rhode Island.
After a decent jog northward, we do come upon a snow cabin next to a pair of small lakes. Lets see if anyone is home and/or if there is loot available for the taking. These two occurrences are not mutually exclusive.
New Music: The Clouds Above
Sure enough, its a cabin surrounded by nothing but waist deep snow. Theres not a thing of note out in the snow drifts. So lets head inside. At least it'll be wa
Err... Are we... Interrupting something here, old timer? We can... come back later...
Yeah, you gotta hate those spatial distwait, what?!
Is this some trial? Some test of humanitys strength? Or is it a portent of doom? I pray every day... I pray that the monsters and the distortions are not here to bring about humanitys destruction...
...Either of you two know what this naked old guy is talking about?
Not a clue.
...We should leave.
And thats all there is for the Snow Cabin. Lets get out of here before that naked geezer starts talking about cleft of dimensions or the multi-dimensional Norris blackface theory.
Returning to the overworld, if we continue our march westward from the Snow Cabin, we cross a bridge and eventually arrive at the entrance to Mysleigh Woods. Wouldnt want to accidentally enter the woods at any other part of the bloody Pine Barrens out here, now would we?
New Music: Waves of Hope (This one is quite nice. If way too short.)
Welcome to the Mysleigh Woods. Sadly, there will be no sleighing mini-game present in the region. Everyone knows a party member needs to tragically die before you can go perform snow related recreational activities like sledding or snowboarding.
A small river cuts through the middle of this area and the layout is zig-zagging northward across a series of bridges until we come to the end of the forest. Nobody thought to make just the one bridge and blaze a trail with a single road past it.
There is only one new enemy found in Mysleigh the Muffy. The newest animated plush toy creature only sports 127 HP so Endir or Nidr can easily one-shot em with a Momentum attack. And remember that if we start a battle with initiative (read: we walk up to the rear of any enemy to start a fight) we start with one Momentum built up and our ATB gauges full for the entire party. Which led to... these guys never actually getting to attack the entire trip through the forest.
Apparently they can cast fire and bite! Neither are all that much of a hazard.
Their most annoying trait is that if a Muffy is down to being the last enemy on the field, it can call in reinforcements. I mean... its just another Muffy. But the battle was essentially over and you dragged it out another 20-30 seconds. Shame on you.
Muffy slaughter aside, as we make our first zig back towards the river, we come upon a developing situation between some angry Pengy monsters and a small child. Terrific...
Music: Deadly Gamble
Look! That little boy! Hes being attacked by monsters!
Whats a lil kid doin on his own in a place like this!?
About to get destroyed by a penguin posse. Sad.
Weve got to help him!
*draws sword* Yeah, yeah.
...Wait really? Youve not going to complain about having to help someone?
Hey, Im a jerk. Not a monster. Its just a kid.
Of course the Pengy group takes interest in our party over the cowering child. Unfortunately... these are still the same penguin monsters from as far back as the tutorial island. They literally cannot even damage our party at this point.
Needless to say, it goes poorly for all of em.
New Music: The Warmth of Life
Whats wrong? Are you lost?
Lost? No! Im on a journey!
A journey? Where are you going?
To the Last Lands.
*sweats and shakes head* Whoa, whoa... Do you know what sorta place the Last Lands are, exactly?
Theyre definitely not the sort of place for a child be traveling alone.
Stop calling me a child already! My names...
Oh goddammit... Are you fucking shitting me, I am Setsuna? Weve got an Endir. Then a Nidr. And now a fucking KIR?! Is our final party member going to be Dr or Ir?
Sorry, Kir. Were going there, too... to the Last Lands.
*surprised* Really!? Ill come with you, then!
*shakes head* Hey, wait a minute! Whaddya think this is, kid?
*turns to Nidr* Wait... We need to at least get him to somewhere safe... We cant just leave him here, can we?
I dont think its a good idea.
Great minds think alike. If anythin happens, weve got no way of guaranteein his safety.
Yeah, sure. But upon closer inspection... I think this dude is like... some sort of gremlin.
Look at him. Hes got like weird elf ears and a tail. Hes a gremlin.
I am not a gremlin!
EXACTLY what a gremlin would say...
Even if we left you here, you were planning on following us anyway, right?
Yeah, well... Ive been having a hard time of it with all the monsters round here...
Monsters LOVE gremlin meat. Drives em wild.
I am NOT a gremlin!
Mhm. Keep telling yourself that.
*nods* All right, then... Kir shall accompany us for a little while.
Phew! Its lucky youre so understanding...
*turns to Nidr* Unlike Old Man Stick-in-the-Mud over here...
Yo, I got your back. He tries anything funny, were chopping him in half.
...Im not chopping a child in half.
Gremlins arent people.
I can hear you.
Yeah, I bet you can with your freaky gremlin ears.
Welp, I hope you like sitting on the sidelines, kid. We already dont have room for a number four.
Music: Waves of Hope
Not that we actually have to concern ourselves with that for the moment. Despite the prompt saying Kir has joined our party, hes not available in battle or any other capacity. And wont be for the duration of this chapter. Weve just got some demi-human boy phasing into existence during cutscenes now. Bummer.
Anyway, back to the road it is. Theres three total bridges we need to cross in this region and not much else of interest. Though there are more fights to be had here than the Frost Caves. Theyre just all really easy.
But that doesnt mean we cannot take a quick break to check out a few of our new Techs weve acquired. Ill do a video of all the new Techs at the end of the chapter, as Im not going to trot out EVERYONE to grind out mostly useless new moves. For instance, we have Endirs Shock...
Its pretty much a somewhat stronger Cyclone with a much more limited, vertically oriented range. It kinda sucks. But...
Shock is one half of the Blowbeat combo with Nidr (combined with his Provoke.) It uses a rather substantial 30 MP from both characters, but... Well just check that description at the top.
Blowbeat has the chance to inflict Stun (resets enemy ATB gauge/negates their turn) paralysis (stops enemys ATB gauge and ability to attack for a time) and confusion (enemies attack their allies.) It can inflict one or more of these status effects to ALL enemies on the field, in addition to doing a shit ton of damage.
Blowbeat is ridiculously good and a lucky roll on its Debuffs and Status Effects can utterly lock down a boss to the point of breaking the battles difficulty over our knee. This remains one of the best Combos for the duration of the game. Nidr will seldom be leaving our main party.
Game breaking abilities aside, thats about a wrap for our time in Mysleigh Woods.
The northern exit deposits the party on a northern peninsula with a village just a short walk to the north.
And sure enough, this turns out to be the Tenderville weve been seeking. Lets see what dreadful but inevitable secrets are in store for us in this refugee camp...
New Music: Hidden
Ritual blood sacrifices to pagan gods? Child slavery in dangerous gold mines beneath the town? Fox News the only channel broadcast on TV? Lets find out...
Sign me up for your sex slave ships bound for the west or whatever is going down here.
Stop messing around, Endir.
Were here because were looking for someone. Is there a man called Akash here? Akash the shipwright...
*ponders* Akash? Not that I can remember... A lot of people pass through here... We let them come and go as they please.
*shakes head* I guess well just have to ask around everywhere, then...
No, actually... Try asking the old man in the house in the farthest corner of the village. Hes been here longer than anyone, so he might know something.
So thats the death cult leader, huh? Is he a werewolf? Maybe some slug creature?
Endir, thats enough.
Word around town is a mixture of crestfallen folks that have had a rough go of it, people thankful theyve been taken in to somewhere safe, and of course a couple scumbags happy to be getting a free ride. There is a surprising lack of sinister undertones to the town... There is one NPC of note just south of the main gate...
Isnt that a Lonely Mushroom, a Polestar Onion, Frost Rock Salt, and a Snowflake Peppercorn? Cmon, give em to me...
Does everyone on the mainland just have stellar noses or something? How do you people know this stuff is on me?
Heheh... Thanks. Ive been looking for these ingredients. Theyre real hard to find around here, ysee. All right, time to cook it up...
Some time passes...
Ahh, finally! Lonely Mushroom Soup! ...Huh? Whatre you lookin at me like that for? Bah... Fine, fine. Ill give you some. Just a little, though. Ill give you the recipe, too. Now dont bother me again, got it?
You have literally stopped mattering in this plane of existence. You could be torn apart at the atomic level right in front of my eyes and it would not change a single thing on this planet. Namaste.
So we gain a sampling and the recipe for Lonely Mushroom Soup. When consumed, this nets us increased XP, number of item drops, and offers fire-elemental resistance for a battle. Must be the Polestar Onions.
Once more, Weppy and Lucius have both managed to cut a path to the next town ahead of us. This is getting creepy, guys.
Weppy doesnt have anything new of note. But we can go ahead and sell all the materials we gathered for a tidy little 7.5k profit.
We can also pick up a handful of new Spritnite while were in the area. Endir gets Blade Wave which most shockingly is *not* named after a Chrono Trigger tech.
Aeterna picks up Demi in exchange for some Warm Ear Fur (eww.) If youve played a JRPG you probably know how Demi operates. Though it is of the Time element here. She also picks up Enchrono. Yes... Thats what they named the Time Element buff. Enchrono.
We also acquired the Support Spritnite of Wise Testimony, which suddenly resolves all Law & Order episodes when they were running short on time. Also a magic attack buff, I suppose.
Before we enter the village chiefs hut, its worth mentioning the mother and daughter from our arrival in Floneia did indeed arrive in Tenderville and are... perfectly fine. Huh... Weird.
Lets see about this old man that knows whats up. Man, this world really needs to invent the concept of a bedroom. Having to make your bed immediately every day in case adventurers barge in to talk must be a real drag...
Aha! New residents, eh? I am Dinas... an old man with a lot of free time... If there is anything you wish to know about life here in the village, I shall be happy to tell you.
Oh... No, were here because were looking for someone...
Hmm... Are you a cop? You have to inform me if you are a cop.
...N-No. I am not a cop.
Ah, good. Ask away, child.
Do you know Akash, the shipwright?
*nods* Akash? Yes, I know him well.
! You do?!
He is a capable man, and an honorable one. He was close to the former lord of the citadel, you see.
We desperately need an airship! Is he here in this village?
*shakes head* No, he is not here. He is somewhere around Floneia, I should imagine.
Ugh... Are you positive? We JUST walked about fifty miles from there.
Yes. Quite sure.
He usually spends his time in the pub there, grumbling to anyone wholl listen. He has a habit of constantly tutting as he speaks...
Tutting, eh? Looks like it was worth our while comin here... Cmon, lets head back, Endir.
Yeah great, hes got a nervous tic. That really narrows it doWait... Did this Akash guy have puffy hair?
Quite possibly. Its been a while since Ive seen him.
Thank you very much, Dinas!
However, even if you were to find him, he is not the sort of man who takes to being given orders. Why is it that you must have an airship, anyway?
We just feel like it.
Just going to joyride a bit with my posse here.
Ho ho ho! There is no need to conceal the truth. If it were a mere flight of fancy... You would not be so desperately searching for a shipwright. You have a more pressing mission, I am sure.
Im sorry. We werent trying to hide it. Im Setsuna, the sacrifice, and this is my guard.
And some orphan gremlin boy we picked up in the woods.
*glares* Not. A. Gremlin!
Oh, my... Is that so... You carry a great burden on your shoulders, young lady.
*stares at roof* Surely it must be fate that brought the sacrifice and her guard here... May I ask you one question?
What is it?
The sacrifices give the people hope. But there are also those who hold the sacrificial ritual in doubt, and those who oppose it. Your journey will be an arduous and perilous one, and you know not if it shall be rewarded... Despite that, you are still prepared to see your pilgrimage through?
*shakes head* Who knows what the future holds?
Im getting a boat load of money for seeing this contract through in the most pain in the ass method possible. But if something better were to come along...? Later, folks. Its been real.
...I was asking the sacrifice that question. But...
I can trust your honesty far more than empty promises of loose-lipped men. I am sorry for having doubted your resolve. Forgive me. I apologize... It seems you are individuals who can be trusted. Perhaps it is by divine will that you have arrived here now...
Youre puttin a lot of faith in the powers that be over killin time trying to hurry up the journey.
Very well. Let this old man do what he can to help.
*walks to the table behind him and rustles around some papers*
*walks up to Setsuna* Give this to Akash the shipwright.
I mean you could have just titled it Dinas Letter. Its always sad when old people start making being old their entire identity.
It is a letter from me. Did you not read the prompt? Young people these days...
There is a little magic spell of sorts written inside... I think it should serve to open his eyes.
*eyes letter funny* Is it weed? Did you put a packet of pot in that letter, old man?
...What? No. Why would I even have such a thing in my possession?
You tell me old man who has a lot of free time.
*nods* Thank you, were very grateful... But why are you being so kind to us?
*shakes head* I once made an irreversible mistake, and as a result, a great many lost their lives. No matter how I may try to atone myself, those lives will not return. So, at the very least... I wish to aid the sacrifice on her pilgrimage... in order to save many future lives.
Alright then. Weve got a [OLD MANS LETTER] we need to give to a grumpy man hanging out in a pub back in Floneia. That shouldnt be too hard to narrow down. Anyway, that concludes our time in the... shockingly peaceful Tenderville... Tune in next time when we backtrack half way across a continent in order to track down an angry alcoholic.
Kir Character Illustration This guy is not my kinda guy.