The Let's Play Archive

Illusion of Gaia

by ddegenha

Part 1: In Which Will Forgets Something

“My name is Will. A year has passed since I went to the Tower of Babel with my father. My father and his party met with disaster. Somehow I made it back to South Cape…but I still can’t believe my father is gone. I’ll never believe it. When I grow up, I’ll be an explorer and see the world. Somewhere, I will meet my father…”

“You four do your best not to fall behind. Demons have appeared outside of town. If you go very far, you must go with your parents.”

“Umm.. about that…”

“If you don’t hurry home, your mother will think that you were kept after school… heh heh heh.”

“Way to rub it in. Hey, just speaking hypothetically, but…where’s the usual place?”

“Right, right.”

If it’s not clear, conversations are color-coded. Each person in a conversation is assigned their own color, which helps keep them distinct between screens.

“The world shines on brightly through eternity…”

“You just keep doing that. I think I’ll just be going now.”

For the curious, in the Japanese version the teacher is leading Will in prayer. Nintendo of America strikes again. The statue behind him was also originally a cross.

“Okay, that’s new.”

The strange doorway leads to Dark Space, which is an area where we can save, among other things. This first time comes with an explanation…

“Wait, YOU’RE the source of all life?”

“Ya man. Only one with the Dark Power can see this space. You are the chosen one.”

“I just can’t get over the dreads. Seriously, have you always…”

“Not really. Only for about the last couple hundred years. I like to think that he’s going through a phase, because the alternative is that this is a permanent change.”

“Cool, cool. This is just a little bit weird.”

“You get used to it, trust me.”

“In the dark space you can record a travel journal. Stop there before you depart.”

“Yeah, I’ll just be going now.”

“Obviously one time too few.”

“This is probably some kind of sacrilege, but I’m okay with that. Yoink!”

This is the major side quest of the game, collecting Red Jewels. There are a total of 50 in the game, and it’s a bit of a kick in the nuts since you actually can’t revisit most of the early game areas once you leave them. I’ll be getting all of them one way or the other, but it’s an easy thing for a first time player to miss.

Now that we’ve got an item in our inventory, it provides a reason to look into it. Right off the bat you can see that we only have 16 inventory spaces. Items don’t seem to stack, so inventory management is a major issue as we continue to gather more items.

We can also take a look at our stat screen from here. HP is pretty self explanatory, but we’ll have to tackle DP later. Strength and Defense are also pretty self explanatory, referring directly to our capabilities. Right now we’re about as dangerous as a baby duck, but that will change relatively rapidly once the game gets properly started.

Leaving the church school we enter into South Cape proper, getting our third music. While we’re listening, let’s see what the townsfolk have to say.

South Cape - The Town by the Sea

They don’t even pretend to hide behind a fourth wall. I can kind of respect that. Either way, this won’t be important for a little while.

“Didn’t your teacher warn you not to leave town without your parents?”

“Pfft, demons.. who even believes in that kind of nonsense anymore?”

“So, got anything for me?”

“We may live in troubled times, but I won’t sell a weapon to a child.”

“Oh, come on! I’m like sixteen. In some places I’d be working on my second kid by now!”

“And you still won’t have your first weapon. Tough luck, kid.”

Jumping down to the rooftop, we can meet our good buddy Jeweler Gem. He’s got a hunger for Red Jewels, and we’re the only cure. He can show up in disguise, and we can send jewels back to him as we find them. This is pretty important, since we need to keep our inventory clear.

Trading Red Jewels provides a number of benefits, none of them inconsiderable. Even the herb reward is worthwhile, since there are a limited number of herbs in the game. Defense force, life force, ands strength are all essentially free level ups, while Psycho Power and Dark Power are upgrades that can possibly be obtained early if we collect sufficient jewels. As for Gem’s secrets, we’ll tackle those when we get 50 gems.

“I understand why. He hates to see his parents fighting every day.”

“Yeah, it must be rough actually having parents who can fight on a daily basis.”

“On second thought, I’ll retract that statement.”

“Not even going there. You guys just go ahead with your thing.”

“Doesn’t seem that strange to me. There’s falling stars all the time, so they have to get here somehow…”

“It seems like only yesterday…”

“Thanks. So, you don’t mind if I… look around your basement?”

“Um… I guess that’s okay.”

“Don’t know how they got it, but I’m pretty sure that Lance’ll forgive me if I share some of that herb with him.”

“I am pretty fabulous, but you’re the one who’s wearing that scarf. Taking it off is always an option.”

Just to the east of that woman we can actually see a boarded up entrance, which we’ll be visiting.

“This is the biggest house in South Cape. I kind of envy the people born to rich families. Families who did’t have their parents vanish on an expedition a few years ago.”

“It’s nothing. We moved to this town before anyone else. It’s natural that we’d have a bigger house just for that reason.”

“Other people don’t understand, but I think I’ve gotten used to it. I can’t help but think that I’m forgetting something…”

“Outside… outside…”

“Oh dammit, they’re waiting for me at the cave!”

“Ha ha. Excellent! Even if a boy can’t study, he should show a little initiative.”

“Whatever you say, gramps. I’ve got to go see some guys in a literal hole in the wall.”