Part 72: Commentary: Updates 56 - 60
The Lucky Clover
This was probably the most intensive update I've done since the very first update, which I had to split into two just to show off everything without bogging things down. There's a surprising amount of dialogue in this quest, which makes sense since you get a ton of backstory dumped on you and have to do fetch quests in Geo the entire time.
This technically isn't a Jumi quest, as it's more on the same track as "The Flame of Hope" and "Drowned Dreams," involving a jewel hunter stealing Jumi cores. That said, this is pretty much what kicks the Jumi quest arc off into high gear, as you meet one of a few survivors from the Jumi village and get some backstory on the Jumi. Compared to the other two quest-lines, the Jumi arc has a ton of related quests, easing you in slowly with quests like "The Lost Princess" introducing you to the quest line's two main NPCs, and "The Flame of Hope" introducing you to the arc's antagonist.
Anyway, the quest itself is about your character serving as Esmeralda's knight, since there's not really anyone else around to do it. Of course, the actual quest is about hunting for plot Macguffins and not so much defending Esmeralda, considering you can't actually leave Geo during this quest. But the main idea is to give you a better glimpse into Jumi life by actually incorporating your character into an important role in the culture. Sure, you see a good example of this with Elazul/Pearl, but you yourself being in charge of protecting a guardian Jumi is quite another thing.
Also, Nunuzac continues to be awesome, even if he does act a bit like a racist asshole. He's compassionate to Esmeralda's situation, he humorously shuts down Elazul's attempt to double-dip as a knight, and he has great taste in fashion. Plus his animations are always amazing.
Again with the Deathbringer! For a middling mid-boss of some unimportant quest, he sure gets name-dropped a lot. It just makes the theory floating around the thread of a Deathbringer-centric quest line being scrapped seem all the more likely.
So the entire goal of this quest is to find three Jumi cores, which can be a bit of a pain, but eh. Each time you do so, you get a bit more insight on Jumi culture, which is kind of neat. In a way, you're searching for more lore for this mystical race moreso than pretty green sister rocks.
During this, you run into Diane, leader of the Jumi, who's...a statue or something? Anyway, she's pretty much given up and is essentially trying to kill herself by offering herself to the jewel thief. You hear a lot about the downfall of the Jumi before this, but having the leader be hopeless about her race's future and driven to suicide brings things to a new level.
In the end, Esmeralda finds all three cores, and once danger comes up, decides the safest course of action is to abandon you and run alone to the academy, and then back to Diane. Naturally, this ends in disaster, and your brief stint as a Jumi knight ends in failure after about fifteen minutes of looking for rocks in a city. Wait to go, player!
So in this quest, which is an actual Jumi quest, Pearl gets kidnapped and Elazul and we have to rescue her. Along the way, we run into this guy, who name drops Pearl and Sandra's names without us actually mentioning them by name. He also knows quite a bit about the Jumi, and later Sandra speaks of him as a king of sorts. Just keep all that in the back of your head for now.
So we run into Sandra and Pearl, and Sandra scratches Elazul's core with a projectile, severely injuring him.
Pearl's feelings of helplessness cause her to manifest into Lady Blackpearl, causing Sandra to immediately shit her pants and run away.
And for good reason, as Lady Blackpearl is the most broken NPC in the game. By even getting near her, your ST gauge fills instantly. You know, rather than taking twenty-or-so hits to fill the meter, you can unleash your powerful ST attacks in rapid succession. It's...pretty damn fantastic, to put it mildly, and really helps justify her as this scary ass-kicker that all the Jumi fear. That, and her massive fuck-all hammer.
Of course, we end with Blackpearl and Sandra heading off their own separate ways, while we take care of an injured Elazul at our home, getting a bit more insight as to how a Jumi's strength stems from its core.
So earlier, I kinda sequence-broke a bit, doing the "Catchin' Lilipeas" quest before doing the "Where's Putty?" quest. Doing this locked me out of "Where's Putty?" so I had to go back and do it. This quest is why that happens, as while Rev. Nouvelle is out talking to Lilipeas, Roger decides to hijack the local church and make it his new headquarters.
He also decides to have the Dudbears kidnap Diddle for...no reason? Basically, the theme of this quest is Diddle wanting to feel needed or important to someone, which he gets from the Diggers. Capella's concerned because Roger's a complete loony, and sure enough he abandons them once stuff happens.
That said, after seeing Diddle and Capella have a rather personal spat in our first encounter with them, and after watching Capella follow Diddle to Hell itself to try to talk Diddle out of giving up on life, this quest is rather anticlimatic. The ending's rather bare, there's nothing revelatory here, and it just pales compared to the emotional strength of the other two quests. Before, it was the bond of friendship between these two that made those quests work. Here? Eh, Diddle helps some Dudbears or something, and everyone has a good laugh. Decent fluff and all, but it's pretty lame for being the final Diddle/Capella quest.
The Nordic Snowfield
Fuck this quest. Seriously, though, fuck this quest.
This is nothing more than talking to a shitload of faeries to boost your "eye level" so you can talk to more faeries and repeat this dumb bullshit. It's kind of a pain because you constantly have to go between areas with monster encounters, which can be tedious, especially so on the bottom route where you have three or four encounters from point A to point B.
And that doesn't even include the random faeries who will lower your eye level just to be dicks.
The goal is to get to level 7 and then talk to a certain fairy. First, you have to find the room this fairy's in, which is back towards the entrance in a room you passed earlier with no faeries. Not a place you'd think of to look.
From what I hear, if you talk to the wrong fairy in that room, you fail the quest. No do-overs or anything, just fail. I don't know if that's actually true, though, since I was lucky enough to get the right one on my first try. You have no way of really knowing which one to talk to, though, so it's still a pain either way. Also, if you talk to any other fairy, your eye level goes back down to 6, another annoyance.
And your reward is another mediocre ring and another stupid crab to take up room in your study. Fucking wonderful.
Gilbert: Resume for Love
So after a disastrous attempt at wooing a basilisk, Gilbert is now a statue. It's hard to figure out what to actually do from here, but you have to talk to Roger to trigger the mine shaking, so that the Dudbears will buy him from Kristie to hold up the roof. How a horse statue holds up a mine roof...don't ask me.
Anyway, once you tell Monique, she decides she wants to save him, as there seems to still be a bit of affection for the ol' goof in her. Flameshe ends up sharing a spell to break the curse, and the trick here is that you actually need to remember it, as you end up feeding half the lines to Monique since, despite caring enough about Gilbert to try to rescue him, she doesn't care enough to bother remembering the words to the spell she's casting to save him.
I've never done this, but if you screw up, Gilbert's fucked. You still pass the quest, though, since even the game itself doesn't care about Gilbert. I'll probably show this off later (among a thousand other things).
Anyway, the reward is Gilbert coming back to life, with Monique making a rather cute hop of excitement. Thus at the end of the Gilbert quest line, everything comes full-circle. Kind of sweet, really.