Part 92: Bonus - Miscellaneous
I was going to show off a lot more stuff, but I'm burned out and will never get around to it. Instead, I'll just briefly explain a few things without pictures. Imagine this the equivalent of a huge plot dump like the end of Chrono Cross or Xenogears, except instead of running out of budget, I simply got bored.
Following the tradition of other Mana games, this game has multiplayer, and even though it's not as fleshed-out as other games, there's still quite a bit of care put into it.
First of all, there's only two-player, and they can only control the second NPC, no pets/golems. I believe this includes all usual NPCs, but here's the cool thing about this game: You can go to a house in Domina to actually import a character from someone else's save to have them follow along as a NPC. I'm a bit hazy as to whether they can gain levels or whatever stuff they can do. You can also do this but simply let the computer control the character as well if you wish.
There's an arena in Geo under Kristie's place where you can fight NPCs. You can also pit your character against another save's character and fight it out, so there is reason to go over the top with equipment and stuff, even if it's unlikely you'll have someone else to have constant battles with. Of course, you can simply just use the arena as an excuse to beat up a NPC-controlled Niccolo as well.
Finally, you can go back to Professor Bomb's lab and actually sell weapons and armor to another character by giving the item to Bomb. Then another character goes to Bomb, looks up the save data, and lets you buy the item, after which the other character can load their save and collect the money. Thing is, I'm pretty sure this only works with weapons and armor you actually create, not drops from enemies. Also, the really good stuff can be ridiculously expensive, like beyond any reasonable amount of money you can accumulate in-game, so it's not a great way to make weapons for new characters. But hey, it's something neat.
There's several mini-games in this game. First of all, if you get a large enough number of crabs your first time in Madora Beach, the pregnant penguin and her baby will move in with you, as bashing crabs is a turn-on, I guess. Second, if you do the "Seeing Double" quest, after you progress the Jumi quest enough, you can go to the Domina bar on a certain day and play some game where you try to catch a bunch of Shadow Zeroes, with certain tier scores giving you certain items, though off the top of my head the only valuable stuff are Spiny Seeds. Finally, in the world screen, when you have nine lands on screen, hold L1 and you get to do a mole-bashing-esque mini-game for fun.
The game explains Golems well enough, but doesn't really go into the specifics of logic building and organizing logic blocks the most optimal way. I don't feel like learning it, so here's this awesome site that translated information from the game's Ultimania guide.
As for Forging...holy shit is it crazy to learn, and I was daunted as hell in relearning everything so I could effectively teach it here, so I'm glad I'm not doing that. That said, the above site and GameFAQs are valuable resources for learning how to temper items.
Basically, Forging can be hugely rewarding, giving you insanely powerful equipment with all sorts of amazing buffs and attacks. It can also be a huge time sink, requiring you to spend tons of money on various items, and tons of times grinding elemental coins from spirit encounters, which take a long time and don't even guarantee you the massive amount of gold coins you need to make the strong stuff, not to mention grinding for materials. Still, there's something about grinding up amazing equipment that makes short work out of any foe on even the hardest difficulty. If you're a huge power-gamer, forging is right for you.
Alternatively, you can simply ignore learning the process and just look up "recipes" for equipment. The Legend of Mana Kitchen is your best resource for weapon and armor recipes, though it requires joining the group to actually see the stuff. There's also a few cool programs there as well.
There's a Gameshark code that lets you visit a debug room, which lets you mess with all sorts of neat things. I don't know much about it off-hand since it's been awhile since I messed with it, but there's a FAQ on GameFAQs with more info, so use that.
Various NPC Dialogue
I also planned to show off a ton of optional dialogue and alternate paths. Here's some of the differences, some of which are so minor that I probably wouldn't have shown them off.
*Each NPC has unique dialogue when talking to Gaeus. Nothing important, but some of it's neat.
*Talking to all the NPCs in the Bewejeled City after finishing the Jumi Arc, with Elazul, Pearl, and Lady Blackpearl each giving dialogue.
*Going to the underworld with Jumi partners, where most of the major Jumi end up during the Jumi Arc, at least until you finish it.
*Showing off the differences in the Faerie Arc, mainly siding with Escad over Daena, or choosing to help neither, which results in Daena surviving but being unable to join you.
*The mostly minor differences in taking Elazul over Pearl in the final Jumi quest.
*Anything else I probably missed, like the very minor dialogue changes if you're playing a female character.
My solution is to simply tell you to play the game for yourself, as you should, as it's a really awesome game that gains a lot more when you play it for yourself. Hell, you might discover dialogue I never really noticed. I certainly know there's a few bits of dialogue I never caught until this Let's Play.
Hell, I'll probably be uploading all my save files, where I have a separate save after each quest, so if you want to look stuff up yourself you can use these quests as a bit of a shortcut.
Anyway, thank you very much for following along! This game is an all-time favorite, and it was a blast showing this game off. Until next time!