Part 24: Commentary: Updates 16 - 20
Daddy's Broom is another quest that involves Bud and Lisa. Even Li'l Cactus is involved!
It's interesting that Lisa can't use magic without her broom. It kind of makes sense in the same way that instruments cast spells, though a broom isn't really an instrument.
I believe Bud's frying pan was their mother's pan as well. I don't think we ever do find out what happened to their parents.
In fact, this scene where they talk about their dad is probably the most development we get about their father. I like how their father was a loser, and in reality these kids are probably going to be losers too when they grow up. They do have a strong bond, though, and high aspirations. I also enjoy that their father taught them to run away when things get tough.
It's some rather unique development for child characters in a game. It probably wouldn't work in a game with a connected plot that took itself semi-seriously, but it sure works here.
The Lost Princess
When you begin this game, the first quest you'll do is either Niccolo's Business Unusual, or this one. Having two quests available before you branch out is a great way to ease beginners into the game, especially since things will branch out quite a bit since you'll get two different artifacts from each quest. It puts the player on a bit of a path before they go crazy with the non-linear nature of the game.
I also like that you can do a ton of other quests before even bothering with the second one. Despite this quest being available at the beginning of the game, this is the fifteenth quest I'm on. Hell, it may be possible to complete the game without doing this quest or NBU, though I'm too lazy to check that for sure. As much as this game does wrong with its structure (like having quests be missable at all), I do like the way it eases in newcomers and then gives you a lot of freedom to play the game the way you want to. At any rate, it definitely encourages you to replay the game several times.
Despite only being used in maybe three quests, these caverns are pretty big with lots of odd paths to take. It can be pretty easy to get lost, though the first few times I've played the game I always managed to miss most of it since I usually stumbled my way into the most optimal path to the boss.
The Elazul/Pearl dynamic is an interesting one. On the surface, it consists of Pearl being an airhead and Elazul being a controlling douche. There's a lot more to it than that, due to the whole "Guardian" thing in Jumi culture, where one Jumi serves as the knight for a guardian, who can't really fight. Elazul is Pearl's knight, and part of the reason he's so brash is that he takes his role seriously. (e: originally mixed up "knight" and "guardian," fixed now)
It's not so much a romantic angle here as it is Elazul trying to properly fulfill his chosen role for his dying race. A role which can make him irritable when the person he tries so hard to protect constantly wanders away from him. In a sense, you can sort of understand Elazul's frustration and dickishness. Of course, there's more to it than that, but we'll save that for later.
The Looking Glass Tower
Some quests have a unique background to them. These backgrounds indicate that this is part of one of three main quest lines in the game. This is the first quest of the Jumi Quest Line, the most elaborate of the three. It also has probably the best story and most memorable characters, considering it's about a dying race with a rich culture who have to avoid being hunted and all that. Sadly, it'll be a long time before we really get going with this quest line.
Since I focused on Elazul in the previous quest, I'll focus on Pearl here. She has no memory of her past, which is why she's so compelled to wander around aimlessly. Her instinct eventually leads her to this tower, where she hopes to find answers about her past. Elazul tries to keep her close so he can best protect her, but she won't learn about herself while she's with him, thus she sacrifices her safety to try to learn about herself. Again, there's more to this that we'll learn about later.
One interesting gameplay aspect is that you can simply let her go in by herself. Then you'll climb up yourself, eventually walk into Elazul at the top, and fight the boss that way. Pearl's usually useless in combat, though her Synchro's nice for nasty status effects like confusion. Escorting Pearl's more interesting story-wise anyway.
The Tower of Leires may be the most confusing dungeon in the game. There are eleven floors to this tower, and each floor has two sides you can explore. Sometimes you can move between sides, sometimes you can't. If you don't switch sides, you'll hit a dead end around floor seven. There are holes that let you jump down to lower floors. There are two elevators that take you to different floors.
It can be a pain in the ass to navigate it, and it took me maybe thirty to forty-five minutes to figure out where the hell to go.
Here's an interesting scene where Pearl pleads Elazul to let her try to remember her past, before he finally relents. Of course, I don't know why he has us escort her instead of trying to help her himself, but whatever.
And here's where things actually get serious. You climb back down, only to run into the jewel thief who's slowly killing off the Jumi. You have a second boss battle, during which the big boss music "The Darkness Nova" is playing, and for probably the first time this game there are actual stakes. You're not fighting some random monster or whatever (well, you are, but still), you're up against someone who's trying to kill your partner. This is one of the quests where you learn that this silly fairy-tale-like game can get serious.
The Gorgon Eye
Of course, there are still many quests that are pretty silly, and those can be just as enjoyable. There's quite a bit going on with the faeries and all that, as it'll be many's first proper introduction to faeries, the pirate penguins, and the wisdom Tote (who has maybe one or two other quests that he's actually important in). The faeries have their own main quest (which they don't really have that big a presence in, hilariously enough), and the penguins have quite a few entertaining quests we'll get to much later.
Of course, you can't mention the penguins without talking about Captain Tusk, who's a pretty hearty badass himself. He's actually a pretty sharp leader, using his brains and bravery to lead the brash, cowardly penguins. The penguins would be lost without him. Probably one of my favorite characters, simply because he's one of the most rational characters in the game.
Even though Tote doesn't really have much of a presence in the game, he's still one of the better Wisdoms (I'd rank him third behind Pokiehl and Gaeus, but above the three we haven't met yet) just because he's both pretty damn wise and has a sense of humor. His entire plan is awesome, especially when he describes the size of the master of the lake and the penguins just look at each other shitting themselves. Then he throws a petrified walrus into a lake. Tote's pretty awesome.
Professor Bomb's Lab
A short-but-sweet quest that simply involves hunting down a robot who plans to take over the world with toys. What more can really be said?
Oh yeah, we can talk about how nutso Professor Bomb is. He lives in a junkyard building robots that plan world domination in a lab that looks like a crazed duck. He's nothing but a flatulent ball of hair that is the world's greatest builder of Golems probably because he's the only one who's ever actually bothered with it.
He's crazy, and he's all the more entertaining for it.
Plus he has some of the best animations in the game.
And that's it for this batch.