Part 34: Conkram ClamUpdate 34: Conkram Clam
Music: The Soren Fly
Before I forget, I handed that Soren book of secrets or whatever to this guy. He offered to teach me Arts that I already know, so it was a pointless exercise, but the Art he offered to teach Noa was Tempest Break. Remember when I spammed that shit for like half the game? I can't imagine not knowing it by now.
I had lost my pride as a Soren. I was bitter. I was a fool. But you, heroes of Ra-Seru, you opened my eyes. Thank you! I am grateful from the bottom of my heart!
Well, that just like a surface-dweller thing really hurt my feelings, but I guess I can accept your apology if you stop being relevant to the plot. Sound good?
It's almost time. Now, shall we head for Conkram, in the North Karisto Mountains? Because of the thick Mist there, you'll have to parachute in. Here, take this Door of Wind. It's the only way to get back. Use it well!
The game deposits us right outside of the giant sea monster that is modern day Conkram. I guess we'd better check it out.
Music: Mist Infested Area
I know non-horror games occasionally delve into scary territory, and this game in particular has had some pretty dark moments, but this is going into full-blown Silent Hill territory. It's been a while since I've felt this sort of revulsion towards a video game locale, much less one from the PS1 era.
Father...Mother...I'm here. I finally made it to Conkram!
This is Conkram? What a horrible place!
Noa, what is it?
I hear a voice! Someone's still alive! They're calling for help!
Noa, stop it! If you pull that person out of the wall, he'll die!
Everything here buildings, people is all part of a giant Seru! A Sim-Seru! Noa, that person's body has fused with the Seru. We must leave them as they are. There's nothing we can do.
A Sim-Seru? You mean the town itself is a type of Seru?
I never knew that humans could build such a huge Sim-Seru...The thick Mist from the Mist Generator must have enabled it to grow so large.
(Silence). I'm so sorry. But I'll destroy the Mist! Just hang on a little longer!
Noa! There's a castle over there! Let's go investigate! Your parents may be there.
Y-Yes. You're right.
There's really not a whole lot to Conkram for the moment. There's this plaza at the entrance, and there's a couple of chests but nothing to really explore. The buildings seem to all be sealed up by the...um, the stuff.
The enemies here are jerks. Still not overwhelmingly bad, but they're stepping up their game. Lamias can inflict stone and use Terror Scream to make the target not act that turn. These golems just have stupid high HP (something like 4000, enough to survive even Noa's Ark).
Slippery is our new Seru of the day. I have to say I'm surprised and pleased that the game is introducing new Seru even this late into the game. And I think there's at least one more I don't think I've seen the third Thunder Seru yet, plus I have to re-encounter Puera to learn it sometime.
Ooh, this has some real potential. I suspect it disappears on use (although if it doesn't then that's pretty fantastic) so I won't equip it yet.
Music: Noa's Dream
Noa, what's wrong?
I...I know this place! Vahn, Gala...I'm scared! I don't know why, but I'm scared...So scared!
Noa, remember this. No matter what happens...We won't abandon you! Vahn and I will always be by your side!
O-Okay. Vahn, Gala, remember you promised! Remember you promised never to leave me alone!
While I was in the castle area, I managed to learn Slippery. Let's see what it does.
Well, that's pretty impressive hit-all damage, but that animation is pretty weak. Oh well.
I also ran across an upgrade of Kemaro. Noa managed to pick up the spell here, not that she's likely ever to use it.
Well, we can't fault these guys for dedication to their jobs. I guess it's time to pay Noa's mother a visit.
God I hate this place
Noa, I...was waiting...for you...so long! Noa, come here. Let me...feel you...
Noa, I hear you...I feel...your warmth. You're so big now.
I've been blinded by the thick Mist and the Sim-Seru that surrounds the town. But I can hear your words and sense your presence. It's my feelings for you that have kept me sane.
Mother, how can I help you? What should I do?
Do you all know that Jette's Absolute Fortress houses the last Mist Generator? This Sim-Seru should die if you destroy the fortress' Mist Generator. But...The Gate of Hell is made of an ancient substance and cannot be easily forced open. To break open the Gate of Hell guarding the fortress, you'll need the Nemesis Gem.
Where is it? Tell me and I'll bring it here!
They are gone. There are no more Nemesis Gems on earth.
Your Majesty, that means-
However, if you travel back to the Conkram of the past, you will find the Nemesis Gem.
...Time travel? Really? This seems awfully late to be introducing that mechanic.
The Seru Flame has the energy to transport you back to the past!
Okay. I'll go to Father. I'll get the Seru Flame! I'll get it, so don't give up!
Noa, you are my daughter. I know you can do it. Vahn, Gala. Please look out for Noa for me.
In the room behind the queen (presumably her and Nebular's bedroom) there are these awful little meaty sections of the wall that slowly slither back and forth. I happened to stop for a few seconds by one and saw it slithering towards Vahn and it honestly scared me a little.
Otherwise there's just a chest with a Healing Fruit.
On the other side, also behind the queen, is this huge mirror.
The two guards blocking us sort of rip apart form each other, allowing us access to the basement.
And, after a long hallway that seems to exist only to make you fight a few more enemies...
Father, it's me! I'm here, Father! I came to see you.
Noa...Am I dreaming?
No, you're not! It's me, Noa! I'm really here!
It's really you...If only my eyes...could see. Then I could...look upon you. I knew...you would...come here...
Father, what's wrong? Father! Are you alright?
I know why...you're here. You need the Seru Flame to travel into the past. The Queen...sent me her thoughts. The Seru Flame...is here. Take it. Use it...Use it in the Room of Mirrors. Its power...will transcend the vortex of time...and take you to the past.
Vahn steps into the awful red webby circle thing and grabs the Seru Flame..
So this is the Seru Flame. It's a small lamp.
Go, Noa. I'm so ashamed...for my own daughter...to see me like this. Go now. Go, I say.
Just hold on, Father. I'll go to the past and bring back the Nemesis Gem. I'll use it to destroy the Mist!
The Gate of Hell is made of the same ancient material from which the strongest Seru are made. This is a byproduct, its antimatter, the Nemesis Gem! Ha ha ha!
I thought about stopping here, but...you know what, let's have a Super Ultra Conkram Special update. Time to use that Seru Flame and visit the past!
First, we have to go back to the room near Minea. Vahn lights the lamps...
That mirror is the door to the past. So that's it. It's time to go to the past!
I hear this is apparently the main point where the PS3 shits itself when trying to play this game. Fortunately it ran just fine on my PS2, so let's get going!
But no matter what happens, you must never tell them who you are or what will happen in the future. If you do that, you will only create chaos that will benefit the Mist and its allies.
To be honest, I'm not really comfortable with the time-travelling gimmick here. It seems unnecessary and kind of pointless, and time travel in general just opens up a huge can of plot fuckery that rarely seems to be worthwhile in games that are not named Chrono Trigger.
With that said, I trust the game's storytelling abilities so far, and it treats things with a simplicity that I think might actually make time travel work. I guess we'll find out!
Quick! Let's go get the Nemesis Gem!
There's actually a lot of interesting stuff to do here. A lot of the NPCs have some world-building stuff to say (mostly in regards to the war between Conkram and Sol, and the new secret weapon Conkram is building), and...
When refining the ancient materials needed to build the fortress' Gate of Hell, the Nemesis Gems were generated as a byproduct. With the, the Gate of Hell will...Ha ha ha! I have told you too much! Now go home, children!
I see Zora wasn't especially competent even back in the day.
This is the room of the High Priestess, Zora. Commoners like you are not allowed.
Every day we train hard to protect the royal family. You may fight fairly well...but you're no match for us!
Man, are you gonna have egg on your face when you lose a fight with a twelve-year-old.
And in the room across the hall...
With this new weapon, we can magnify the power of our Seru and destroy Sol. But the King is too cautious. He says he won't permit its use unless the demonstration tomorrow is a success. This foot-dragging will only make things worse for us in the war.
Dohati is also in here. I guess I should have made a unique portrait for him back when I had a chance, but...eh....
Mmm...You are strangers here. You must be travelers. If you are travelers, then you must know Ratayu, correct? Ratayu possesses the technology to raise gigantic Seru. I want that technology for Conkram.
The above picture contains an important but surprisingly understated piece of information. Do you know what it is?
Oh yeah, I remember that guy. I wonder who would win, him or the Delilases? I'm pretty sure he'd take them one-on-one, but him versus the whole family could be interesting.
It's definitely worth exploring a little for these.
I...don't actually now what he's talking about here. The only thing I can think of associated with Uru Mais is the Fire Droplet, and I don't think Sol ever got their hands on one. Hmm.
Looks like Biron was around, even back then. One of the monks mentions that they value neutrality (which is why there's a monastery in both Conkram and Sol).
The armory is extremely limited, and I think everything he sells can also be found in the Soren Camp. I bought a couple upgrades anyway since I've made a little money.
Even Dr. Usha makes a brief appearance, though he doesn't have much to say.
We have to spend the night at the inn (for free, as per usual for plot events). The next morning...
Prince Cort and Jette, in the lab under the castle, will now open the door to the Seru world. Using an elixir from the home of the Seru, we have created a new substance. That substance is the Mist. A new weapon that amplifies the power of our Seru. When released into this cylinder, the Mist will turn the soldiers into mighty warriors!
Look well at the power of Conkram's new weapon, the Mist. The pride of Conkram!
The cylinder begins to fill with Mist. Meanwhile...
Music: Arrival of the Mist
I can't, Prince Cort! The emergency shutoff switch isn't working. If we don't do something, it'll explode!
The Mist chamber proceeds to do exactly that...
...as does the cylinder in the town square...
...With predictable results.
I knew something like this would happen. The Mist just can't be controlled by humans!
Listen, everyone! To the underground, quickly! We must turn off the Mist! Let's go to the laboratory and turn off the Mist!
You're right, Noa. We can't desert the people of Conkram like this!
Misty Conkram isn't too different from Awful Conkram in terms of gameplay, so let's skip ahead to the part where I reach the basement.
Terra, what's going on? Why are Ra-Seru Eggs coming out of that hole?
That hole leads to the sealed Rogue's Tower, on the frontier of Seru-kai. Those are the alter egos of Rogues, rebel Ra-Seru. They have the same properties as Ra-Seru Eggs.
The Mist Generator here is a primitive one. With our strength, we may stop it temporarily, but unless we cut off the flow of that material...The Mist Generators can't be shut off completely.
In other words, we have to cut off the source.
We must destroy Rogue's Tower! That will stop that flow, and stop the Mist!
There's only one thing to do, Vahn! We must destroy the head Rogue in Rogue's Tower! We can't destroy the Mist of the future unless we destroy the Mist here!
You must be careful. We can't return here unless we defeat the Rogues.
And one more thing...Before you go to Rogue's Tower, make sure you are fully prepared for battle.
...Huh. I really don't remember this at all. Join me next time as I try not to completely embarrass myself in Rogue's Tower!