Part 13: Episode XI: Wolf Baron
Well, Tenderville was a lot less sinister than anticipated. But it wasnt entirely a bust. Unfortunately, now we have to march all the way back to the Floneia Citadel. You know, Chrono Trigger pulled a whole lot of back and forth too. But the map scale was like fifth of I am Setsunas map. I think you could fit the entirety of 1000 AD onto just the Floneian Territories weve been traveling these past two chapters.
Music: Waves of Hope
Thankfully, they do provide a way to cut straight back to the beginning of Mysleigh Woods with only three battles instead of over a dozen. Granted, I still went and fought everyone again since its a real easy payday with all the materials they drop. But hey, I like its there. Though, it does raise the question as to why they dont just build a ramp up this cliff face and forgo the maintenance of the other two bridges over the river. That seems like it would work better than the current system with far less infrastructure cost. But what do I know? Regardless, we still have to cross one of the bridges. And when we do, we stop for a scene...
Music: The Warmth of Life
Hmm? Is somethin wrong?
*shakes head* Huh? Oh... Its just... This whole time, I keep getting this feeling that someones following me...
Oh, tryin to get us to feel sorry for you again, are ya?
Its a common gremlin trick. Dont fall for it!
! Feel sorry for me? I may be weak, but I dont need anyones pity! I live my life MY way! Whaddya take me for!?
And dont you DARE say a gremlin!
Hey, kid. The facts are already out there. Everyone can come to their own conclusions.
All right, all right... Im sorry, kid. I only meant it as a joke.
Oh good. You do the whole just joking fallback when you get called out, huh?
Hey, I was!
No, man. Shes got you there. Theres a very real chance that someone may be fn with you at any point. But nobody is every just joking... Which is why you know Im deadly serious when I say were going to find this dude on the wing of our airship, ripping out wires and junk, if he keeps tagging along.
No... Its me who should be apologizing...
The partys discussion is interrupted by a blue knight phantom wandering up...
What the... This guy doesnt look like any monster I ever saw... If someone seems fishy, I always say its best to act first, and ask questions later...
...Youve just been interrogating this child for the last few minutes because you think something is up with him.
*cough* That is... entirely different!
Wait a minute!
Kir runs ahead of the party...
No, its all right! Hes all right! Just leave him alone, and he wont do anything to us!
*waits and sees what he does*
I wanna see where this is going...
*shocked* Thanks. I knew youd understand. That mask isnt just for show, eh?
*sweat drop* I dont see what the mask has to do with anything, actually...
Yeah, you wouldnt.
Sure enough, the phantom advances towards Kir then fades away like an excess party member after a cutscene ends.
How did you know, though? How did you know he wouldnt attack?
*sweats* Huh? Oh... Uh, well... I saw him the last time I came through here... He just wandered off somewhere then, too. *sweats more*
Oh, I see...
Yo, I think that was some kinda gremlin familiar or something. Keep on guard.
Sounds reasonable enough. With that, our revisit to Mysleigh Woods concludes.
Now its just a matter of lumbering our kaiju sized party back to the walls of Floneia Citadel and continuing our search for the elusive Akash.
Music: A Sense of Safety
And by elusive I mean extremely easy to locate now that the plot flags have been activated. He likes to hang out at pubs. Theres only one pub in town. And that pub contains nothing but merchants, a waiter, and the solitary man in town who thinks the current lord is a total piece of shit. Hmm...
! That way of speaking...
...Wait, he REALLY says the words tut-tut constantly aloud? Thats not a real verbal tic. Shuddup.
What? Youre done, aint ya? Tut-tut! Go on, get outta the way. Or did you want somethin else, too?
Gah! Wh-why would you say that?
Cuz we were told to look for a grumpy looking man in a pub and guess where we are and what your word bubble says...
Because we heard that you have a habit of tutting when you speak...
That stupid thing too.
*shakes had annoyed* Tut-tut! Ive got no such hab Oh...
Good grief... Talk about lettin it slip...
New Music: Lighthearted
Then will you please...
*shakes head* No. I dont like Avalo, the present lord of the citadel... Ive got no intention of doin his bidding! Even as an old man, the former lord was a man of great character, held in high regard by the people. But his son overthrew him, you see... All so he could get his little hands on more power... Tut-tut! Maybe for the former lord... but Im not flying that airship for the present lord ever again! No way!
Please... theres gotta be somethin you can do. We need to continue our journey...
Just... No favors back in Tenderville. I aint doin that walk again.
? Journey...? What journeys this?
Its more of a sightseeing trip...
Yknow. Maybe go somewhere sunny for a change? Pretty sick of all this snow.
Then why the rush? You can go by foot and take in all the sights, cant ya? Tut-tut!
*turns to Endir* Endir... Lets just tell him the truth, without hiding anything...
Im just fn with this guy. See? Different between just joking and fn with...
Lets just tell him that were on a sacrificial pilgrimage...
! What!? I see... Then that means your destination is the Last Lands... Hmm... I can see why you need an airship, then! Tut-tut!
So will you help us?
I understand your situation, but the ships another matter completely! Like I said, Im not flyin that airship ever again. If I do, I know the lordll end up usin it for his own dirty ends!
You sure are stubborn...
The old man in Tenderville said to give you this...
Its full of that dank Tenderville bud.
*sweats* Hes just jok
*disappointed head shake*
Fn with you.
1497 Only Other Street
Tenderville, Floneia Territories 66713
*jumps in surprise* Wait... WHAT!?
*sweats* What? What? What is it?
Th-this letter is from the former lord of the citadel!
You dont mean... That old man was the former lord?
Oh... great. So the current lord is going to totally be evil, huh?
Tut-tut! Hes a foul, wicked usurper!
...And this guy is gonna totally right about him.
Probably. But it cant be helped. We need that airship.
What does the letter say?
That I should help you, and fly the airship for you...
Tut-tut! Well, seein as this is a request from Lord Dinas, Ive got no reason to turn it down! All right! Im gonna go on ahead and get things ready! Ill be waitin at the port! You go get permission to enter from that wretched excuse for a lord!
Music: A Sense of Safety
And with that, Akash runs off to go work on the airship, while we need to get permission from
Endir ends up with Backslash which is almost entirely useless since its just a single target Tech with a very small AOE around it.
Aeterna gets Flawless Blow, which is a bit like Charge but it partially fills the ATB gauge after use for quicker follow-up attacks.
Nidr gains Blunt Blow, which is a single target physical strike with a chance to cause Paralysis. This may be quite useful in the near future. So well equip that straight away.
Shopping expenses aside, we unfortunately cannot just jack the airship. We do need permission to enter the docks first. Also, everyone in town is huge liar since they all mention seeing Akash run past after pretending not to see him. Youre telling me none of these folks were regularly hitting up the pub in the middle of winter? Gimme a break.
Before we head over to the castle, there is one NPC of note over by the town squares monument...
Thats a Black Sweet Potato, an Icicle Cucumber, Stove Asparagus, and some Water Broccoli, isnt it? Could you give them to me?
The black potato seemed really suspect anyway.
Thank you! This is all I need... Ill cook it up right away! Id like to give you some, too, so would you wait there a minute? Ill go home and make some, and then come right back.
Several hours later...
Sorry to take so long... Here, please take this. Ill give you the recipe, too, if you want. I couldnt get my hands on the ingredients, so Id almost given up hope... I never dreamed Id be able to eat it again like this! Thank you so much...
Another new local delicacy is added. This one boosts XP, item drops, and critical hit rate. But it has cucumbers in it so its all a wash.
Right, then. Enough farting around town. Lets get back to the palace and get access to that airship.
Music: The Royal Host
Ah, here you are. I have been awaiting your arrival.
We found Akash, and...
*nods* Yes, I received word but a moment ago... Akash has been spotted at the port. Still, what a surprise... I never thought youd even find Akash, let alone convince him to help you...
He was in plain sight grumbling to anyone that would listen in the only bar in town. Did you even bother looking?
It wasnt because of us. We had some help... From the former lord of the citadel...
! The former lord...? That meddling old...
But our methods were very much at odds... He would not cease his protests against my plan, and so I kindly requested that he leave.
Very well... I shall send out the ship for you, as promised. However... Its destination shall differ ever so slightly.
This guy is totally about to screw us over, aint he?
I cannot believe this sudden but inevitable betrayal by King Avalo. And he seemed such a stand-up guy, aside from the lingering daddy issues at age 65.
Music: Deadly Gamble
Yes, sir! *draws sword*
Avalo begins walking away, but takes notice of Kir...
I had the rare-bloods under surveillance, in order to capture you eventually...
But I never dreamed you would show up of your own accord! You have saved me a lot of trouble... The rare-bloods are very valuable, and are extremely useful when negotiating deals... Mwa ha ha... What a lucky man I am!
One of the totally complacent in Avalos heel turn soldiers grabs Kir by the arm...
What are you doing!?
Avalo grabs Setsuna by the arm. But they didnt animate it properly, so it just looks like he attached her hand to his butt. Regardless, Avalo and the soldier depart with Kir and Setsuna.
Dont get ahead of yourself, Your Lordship...
Oh right, you can break these cutscene bindings cant you?
You bet your ass I can!
Setsuna is out of the party and were given time to reshuffle here. Which is silly, considering we only have three characters (not that youre actually required to have more than one character in the active party.)
Music: No Turning Back
The remaining loyal soldiers want to rumble still now that were free. Theyre no better than the human mooks back in Purikka. The most they can accomplish is a 15-25 HP slash.
Meanwhile, our party can absolutely destroy them in two hits or a single Momentum augmented Tech. Avalo better turn out to be an Apostle or some shit, or he is about to have a rough time of it.
If hes planning on taking them on the ship, he must have headed to the port!
Im really not getting paid enough for regicide. But fine. Im not getting clowned by an old man with a French braid and daddy issues.
Our next objective is clear. But the local guard isnt going to make it easy...
*sweats* His Lordship has issued warrants for your arrest!
Oh yeah? Lets see the paperwork.
He just fled from the castle kidnapping two people not five minutes ago. Youre telling me he officially signed a formal arrest warrant for us in that time.
Well... He said he did! Thats good enough for me!
Looks like weve got no choice... Well have to push our way through!
Spoiler: It went poorly for those boys. Always confirm clerical filings before confronting JRPG protagonists. Now on to the docks and...
*sweats* Im afraid His Lordship has given strict orders not to let anyone through...
Dammit! Ive had enough of this! Its His Lordship weve got the problem with!
Pal, the last two groups tried this and theyre all bleeding out about a block away. You really wanna go this route?
I cannot believe you just sent your comrades into the meat grinder like that, dude. Absolutely savage disregard for human life.
Music: Deadly Gamble
Y-You cant! No one is to enter the port without His Lordships permission!
All right, this is goin nowhere...
Toot-toot. Regicide train is coming through the station. Youd best watch out!
...W-Whats a train?
Dinas wanders up, stepping over the corpses of one of the fallen soldiers on the way...
*sweats* Y-youre... His Former Lordship!? Youre still alive... I cant believe it...
I shall explain properly later. For now, please let these people pass. They are good friends of mine.
And for goodness sake, could you stop standing atop that young mans body. It is incredibly disrespectful.
Y-yes, sir! Please, go ahead...
The soldier moves aside and opens the gate...
But my son must be stopped at all costs. I am in no position to ask favors of you, but please... lend me your strength.
Leave it to us!
We were fixin to kick his ass anyway. That guy can have the gremlin, but hes not running off with my assassination contract.
Its a long story.
I dont know what the situation here is exactly, but it doesnt matter. We need to get back the sacrifice... no matter what. Thats our one and only objective. I dont know if thatll mean we end up stopping your son or not.
She means killing the heck outta.
Very well. There are still things that I must do... Please... you must retrieve the sacrifice at all costs...
Alright, lets get to it! Theres no soldiers patrolling on the docks themselves. In fact, I do believe weve kicked the entire Floneian Citadels guards asses, other than the two at the main gate. Hopefully theres not a monster invasion in the near future. Wed feel very foolish.
Cmon, lets hurry. Im worried about those two!
Theres not much happening on the airships deck, other than a giant stone tire strapped near the central mast. Im sure thats nothing to worry about. Lets head below deck...
Whats goin on? Why are there monsters inside the ship?
Come to think of it, he was saying something about a deal, wasnt he? It seems Lord Avalo is definitely up to something...
Wait... We could have been negotiating with monsters this entire time? Hey Pengy? Want to have a dance off? Or for me to tell you my favorite meat. Cmon. Lets discuss this.
...No, you idiot. Thats not going to work.
Yeah, so Pengy critters are still incapable of even damaging us. They really need to roll out the upgraded model soon. Just paint em red, crank up the stats and call it a day The Final Fantasy X method.
Below deck are a pile more Pengii hanging out. But a single Cyclone or Aerial Strike will annihilate the lot of em. The more noteworthy feature of the sub-level is the save point. Which means a boss battle is likely on the next floor. But more importantly, we can go ahead and quickly set up a tent for a brief rest and full heal. We did fight our way through a towns guard. The gang could use a break.
Once thats sorted out, we can head to the next level where we come across a werewolf, of course.
Im not from around here. Keeping a wolfman below deck isnt some local seafaring superstition, right?
Not that Im aware of...
*from behind the door* Augh! Lemme outta here!
Looks like hes fine...
Hang on a minute! Well get you out right away!
Ah. Now their werewolf makes sense.
Mhm. Dont you know anything about gremlin lore?
Guy, youve got to drop this gremlin thing.
...And here I was starting to trust you. I cannot believe youve been bewitched by gremlin magicks.
Can you two focus?!
Music: Relentless Advance
Time to do battle with the Wolf Baron. I initially thought this was Avalo having transformed into a werewolf. But nope. Theres just a wolfman chilling out in the hold keeping watch over hostages. What is it with animal men and kidnapping in this setting?
Anyway, the Wolf Baron opens the battle with initiative and may immediately show off his gimmick early on. Deadly Bite is an attack that does around 50-60 HP of damage. But more pressingly, it can lock down our Momentum ability for a time. We can still fill the gauge like normal. We just dont have access to the ability to use it on that character for about three turns. Thats a bit of an issue. Theres nothing to be done about it, unless we want to burn a Momentum buffed Aura with Endir. And if hes got his Momentum locked down well SOL.
Complementing Deadly Bite is Deadly Claw. Its basically the same exact attack, just without the chance to lock down our Momentum. He err... pretty much just scratches and bites. Hes a wolfman. What do you want out of him? Its a limited toolset as far as supernatural transformations go. Theres a reason why theres several dozen games about being a vampire and like... three where you can be a werewolf.
So remember Blowbeat? Remember how I said that attack was broken as heck? Well guess what? Its still broken as heck against bosses. Especially, since Wolf Baron is tremendously weak against Paralysis. A single Blowbeat did nearly 200 HP (out of 1274 total) Stunned him, gave him Paralysis, and lowered his Defense and Attack just for the hell of it.
It also managed to trigger a Singularity the second one Ive seen since I initially mentioned the random ass mechanic. Specifically, the one that makes criticals land more often and raises status ailment chance. It only lasts for 20 seconds but... given how Wolf Baron was already weak to Paralysis.
We can have Nidr use that Blunt Blow Tech he recently acquired, which inflicts Paralysis. And with that poor Wolf Baron is locked down as the rest of the party critical shots him for nearly 500 HP of damage in that 20 seconds were allotted.
Once Baron von Wolfe falls to below 300 HP, he uses Transform to err... well just buff his Attack (which was already reduced by Blowbeat so... its back to normal levels now.) This also renames his claw and bite attacks to Golden Claw and Golden Bite.
Alas, its not enough to save this pupper. Not the best guard dog Ive ever encountered.
Well just go ahead and yank off a claw and shave a helping of fur as a trophy before going on our merry way. As you do. Now, about those hostages...
We find Kir in the back room being weighed down by one of those pesky magic restraints. Aeterna rushes over to dispel the magic binds.
Music: Royal Host
They were gonna use me as a bargaining tool in their deal!
*nods* I had a feeling that was it.
Youre a sharp guy, Endir. Thats what they were following me around for...
Gremlins go for a tidy profit on the black market.
...I take that back.
*shakes head* If I hadnt met all of you, right about now Id be...
Well... I suppose Id be... literally in the exact same place as right now... But I wouldnt be getting rescued by you all!
If they regularly hand a set number of humans over to the monsters... Then they wont attack Floneia... thats the deal.
So you mean the monsters can be controlled? Whos the deal done with? How is that even possible...?
Sorry, I dont know the details...
No, thats more than enough to go on. That damn lord, though... abusin his power like this...
*looks around* Anyway, wheres Setsuna?
Wasnt she with you?
No, I think Lord Avalo took her away separately.
Dammit! We mustve missed them on our way here...
I cant believe we fought a werewolf for nothing.
Yeah, kid. We fought a Wolf Baron to get in here. Weve maybe sparked a war with the Lupine Nation! I hope you were worth the trouble.
Come on, we need to find them!
*phases into the floor*
Welp... We somehow missed an elderly man and a woman with bright red hair and a full sized hula-hoop sticking out of her head on the only path through this airship. Tune in next time as we try again to rescue Yuna from being kidnapped by the Al-Bhed.