The Let's Play Archive

Linda Cube [Linda³]

by ivantod

Part 1: Summer 1991


Well, then, after that overly long introduction, it's time to finally start the game.

And by doing that, we are faced with a couple of opening cutscenes that we need to watch, so let's get started.

So that was a short prologue with a childhood scene between Ken and Linda, set some years in the past. The next scene, however, is the actual opening of the game, set in spring 1991.

And now, the actual premise of the game becomes clearer. As we already know, the planet is doomed to be destroyed by a meteorite in 1999, so that gives us 8 years to collect one male and one female of each animal species living on the planet, including humans, and use that "ark" to save them (there are some variations in this goal, but I will cover that in a moment). There are clearly, many questions around this whole situation, but one of the burning ones surely is, where did this ark even come from?

(I guess we'll have to play the game to find out?)

By the way, you might have noticed that this scene also contained the game's main credits. Unfortunately, they got a bit cut off in the video for reasons of mismatched aspect ratios for the actual video vs. where the credits are on the screen, so I'll give them here for those who are interested:

Voices:                 Linda - Minami Takayama
                        Ken - Kazuki Yao
Character Designer:     "Cannabis" (Tatsuyuki Tanaka)
Music Composer:         Ryouko Kihara
Producer:               Tetsuya Sasaki
Game Designer/Director: Shoji Masuda

As I mentioned before, Tatsuyuki Tanaka is not only the character designer but was also responsible for the game's overall look and in particular for storyboarding the cutscenes. He also drew a ton of illustrations and concept art.

In any case, this finally gets us to the game's title screen and main menu, the second of which is, I have to admit, a bit plain looking.

The options are mostly clear, I guess, except the "Prologue" option let's you see the prologue cutscene again, if you want. The last option which is written in Japanese is kind of a bit important: it's the difficulty selection.

In case of this game, the difficulty level controls only one thing: the speed of passage of time. With all that talk of limited time before the planet's destruction, I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise, but with this I can indeed confirm, that the passage of time in this game is not in fact plot driven, but that the time passes independently of that, so you better know what you're doing otherwise you might find yourself in trouble! The time-passage mechanic in this game is actually a fair bit more complex than just "the time passes constantly regardless of what you do", but we'll just talk about different parts of it as we encounter it during the game play. But if it's your first time through the game, it's probably a good idea to turn the speed down here a bit.

After selecting the difficulty setting to your desire, there is nothing else left, but to choose the "Start" option, so let's do it!

But, oh, if you thought we're done with the preamble, no such luck.

As you can see, the game offers three different scenarios that can be played, and you can read their names on the screenshot. Again, this is something I will get a lot more into much later, but for now we'll just pick the first scenario, "MERRY XMAS" and be on our way to finally play the game!

After selecting a scenario, the game gives us a bullet list of winning conditions, which in case of Scenario A are as follows:
  - Collect no less than 30 animal species (one male and one female each so a total of 60 animals)
  - Take off with the ark

There are actually a total of 120 species in the game overall, but in order to win this scenario, we only need to collect 30--in fact it isn't even possible to collect all 120 species in this one due to some areas of the overworld being blocked off.

The game also reminds us that the difficulty level is set to "2", which is basically "normal". The possible options are from 1 to 4, with 1 being hard and 4 being very easy.

Like any normal JRPG protagonist from 1990s (literally and figuratively!), Ken also starts the game in his mother's house. Although, at least he is already up and in the middle of a breakfast instead of just getting out of bed! So, that's something, I guess.

I should also note that although the opening cutscene was set in Spring 1991, by the time the game proper actually starts, it's already Summer, so I guess we lost about three months there already! That's probably not going to be helpful. Anyway...

The lady over by the kitchen counter is Ken's mum by the way. And she's got a few things to say.

You'll be late again, even though our house is just behind the Ranger HQ building! I heard that of all the rangers you're the one most often late! Your dad must be crying in heaven!

Mother! I have something important to tell you!
Huh, what? Why so formal?
About that ark... It hasn't yet been decided who is going to be the male crew member. Therefore, I...
Oh, Ken, if you were hesitating because you were worried about me, then please, don't be silly! At least this one time in your life, you should do as you wish!
But, mother, I...

He's interrupted by a phone ring.

Oh, commander, I'm just an old lady, please don't make fun of me!

She finishes the conversation.

Commander says, he wants you to come over to the conference room on the second floor of the Ranger HQ immediately!

Well, there's nothing to do at the moment in Ken's house, no hidden items or anything, so we might as well go outside.

Oh right, before we go out... let me show you the difference between in-game graphics of PC Engine version vs. PlayStation. Here is the PC Engine screenshot:

...and here is the exact same screenshot in PlayStation version:

As you can see there's quite a bit of improvement, especially in the detail for the character sprites which are supertiny in the PC Engine version!

All right, now let's head out.

Coming out of the house, to the left you can see the swing that Linda was sitting on in the prologue... which actually reminds me. The prologue cutscene actually changed a fair bit compared to the PC Engine version. So purely as a fun comparison, here is also the PCE version of the prologue:

So that changed a bit, although I'm not quire sure why. One reason I can think of is that they wanted to reduce the animation budget by shortening it or something. Also it's pretty wild how crudely drawn the PCE version looks, it looks like it was literally animated pixel by pixel by hand on a PC or something like that!

Anyway, back to Ken going outside. Like in a typical JRPG, there are a TON of people to talk to everywhere, and honestly, we will, because they do provide a lot of "lore" and background info on the world and everything else around us.

It is possible to actually sit on the swing, but perhaps it would be better to try this again once Linda is with us. We can, however, talk to that guy standing on the lawn on the left!

I guess this house is really starting to fall into disrepair ever since Linda's family moved over to Minago some years ago. I miss her from back then... she could do a mean cobra twist.

I guess by "cobra twist", they are referring to the wrestling move.

A couple more things here. NPCs and in general characters which are not part of the plot, don't have portraits in this game, so I will simply use the empty portrait to represent them. Also, in general when talking to NPCs, Ken takes on the role of a silent protagonist. Really it's only with plot-relevant people that he will actually have a proper conversation. So, now let's move on and talk to the little girl standing next to the building there, since she has something important for us! It's a bit hard to see, but she has a dog with her, the dog is hiding behind that bush.

My family is moving house... so I wanted to ask you if you don't mind to take care of this dog. His name is "Hero".
[Sure thing!] / Nah, too much trouble.

This here is a dialogue choice, which you will get sometimes when talking to a person. The option I will select will always be outlined in brackets, like here. It's probably a good idea to say yes here, because if you do, you get yourself a dog, exactly as the girl said (if you say "no", you get nothing)! Why is that important? Well, turns out, dogs can be in your party when you're fighting enemies! And believe me, when Ken is low level like at the beginning of the game, it helps immensely, so it's not a bad idea to get a dog for free! However, we'll talk about it next time when we actually get into some battles, so that this first update is not overwhelmed with info right now. For now, let me just say that the "DOG" building to the left is a shop where we can actually buy even more dogs--up to two can be in active party at one time, but you can keep more in reserve. We'll visit that shop later, but for now we do have quite a few more NPCs to talk to.

The Ranger HQ building is to the right of us, so let's slowly make our way there. We are right now not in fact on a timer--although the time passes in this game, it actually doesn't pass at all while you are in a town, so that makes it possible to easily explore and talk to everybody without worrying about the time limit! Nice one, game!

Before going into the building, if we go all the way south to the town entrace, there are some rangers blocking us from going out.

"Don't let any young male rangers leave!", commander's orders. I've been standing here since yesterday evening! Can you just go to the second floor of the HQ and say "Yes"? Then we can all go home!

It's starting to seem increasingly like we have a "but thou must" kind of situation here! Let's finally go back to the Ranger HQ. One last person to talk to before going in!

The male crew member of the ark will have to be somebody from the rangers, because there were no other applicants, right? Too bad the salary for risking one's life is not so good. Oh, hey, you're also a ranger!

Inside it is!

I know there's stuff here and people to talk to, but honestly, we've been prolonging this already too much, so let's head straight to the second floor, up the stairs!

The meeting room is over to the left where a bunch of people are standing, but let's first see what the couple of people here have to say. First, the lady sitting at the desk:

If you want the commander, he's in the conference room. Stop dithering, aren't you late already?

...and then the guy standing by the doorway:

Hey! The "King of Lateness"! You're already 30 minutes late today like you run the place here! Well, I guess you're forgiven for today, since you have the main role in the meeting. Anyway, go over to the conference room, people have been waiting a while already!

Yeah, let's do that. The commander is probably not going to be too happy.

All right, Ken, take your place.

I guess you all know the purpose of this meeting, but I guess it doesn't hurt to recap it briefly?
[Yes] / No.

There's a longer cutscene coming, you can select No here to skip it. It doesn't change anything. Let's have a look!

And then...

Maybe you're wondering how they can have a button "in front of themselves" when they are standing in an empty room? Well, that's because back in the PC Engine version, they had desks:

Anyway, Ken pushes his button.

Ken, are you sure about this? We don't even know where the ark will go. There's no guarantee you'll survive. Is that really ok?
[I'm ready] / I don't think I can do it.

As I mentioned, this is definitely a "but thou must" situation and you ain't getting out of this room until you say you're ready!

All right! It's been decided hat Ken will be the male crew member! Everyone should help out Ken to prepare as long as it doesn't interfere with their regular work. Dismissed!

After everybody is gone, we can talk to commander (whose name is Ben, by the way) again.

Now head over to the ark and register as the crew member, no take-backsies! Make sure to tell you mum about it too, okay?

It's true that we do need to go and register at the ark, but we can do that a bit later. For now, let's just make our way out of the HQ. Obviously we have to stop and hear what EVERYONE has to say after Ken's decision! First, the guy at the doorway.

Ken, your precious princess was here just now! Hmm... where's she gone, I was sure she was here just a second ago... hm, maybe she's waiting for you below.

Huh, is he talking about Linda? Was Linda here? I guess we'll see. Let's talk to the desk lady again:

After all, as everybody talked, Ken is going to get on the ark. With this, you might also lose your "King of Lateness" nickname! Well, it's only to be expected of the son of the former Ranger commander. Anyway, say hi to Linda for me.

Before we go down, there's just one other thing...

...over here in the corner, there is some kind of a picture on the wall. Let's have a look.

For reasons that I can't explain, there is a pin-up calendar with a picture of Linda in this room. To be honest, I don't really want to think whose room it might be, but in reality, this is just a bit of fan service from the game. The calendar will actually change every year, showing different pictures of female characters from the game wearing a bathing suit (or in one case, not quite wearing one), kind of like how there would often be a beach episode in an anime TV show. Ultimately, it has no influence on anything in the game, so I guess I will just leave it to the thread consensus to decide if we should come here and check it once a year, or just skip it.

With that done, let's go back to the stairs and head down.

But, as Ken walks down the stairs...

Ah, why is Linda following us with a big stick in her hands? The cutscene will give the answer! By the way, don't worry that we'll be constantly bombarded by cutscenes every few minutes--this is actually the last one for quite a while!

[Leave it to me!] / Are you kidding me!
Anyway, remember it, level 3! Until then, don't even try to talk to me, ok!
Well then, toodeloo!

She starts to leave, but then comes back, and...

Ken, because you applied... T H A N K   Y O U ! ❤️ ❤️

In the PC Engine version, there was actually an insert picture here showing Linda kissing ken as she leaves, like so:

In the PS version, there is only a barely even noticeable animation. So barely noticeable, that I didn't even make a gif of it.

Also, yes indeed, I just wanted to point out that Linda's hair used to be red/pink in the PC Engine version, however when the characters were redesigned slightly it was changed to blue/green in the remake. When I post the illustrations/concept art from the game, you will also see that some have one version of the characters and some the other, depending on when they were drawn.

Back to our story, the lady in the blue suit who was standing there all this time is actually Linda's mum. Her name is Ann.

Mum! I'm going to go ahead and leave first, ok?

And with this Linda finally leaves, and Ann approaches Ken.

Please, Kenny! No matter what happens, please protect Linda! I beg you!

I guess she means in particular after we get on the ark, since nobody knows what will happen. After this, she leaves too, leaving Ken(ny) on his own.

We do need to go and register at the ark, but before that, let's make a big tour around the town and talk to all NPCs and have a look at all the shops! Sorry, this first update is going to be very talky, but that's just so we can get the plot going without too much delay.

Anyway, let's start by looking at that poster behind and to the left of Ken. There is actually no picture for it in the game, you can just read what it says:

Let's make the Neo-Kenya Escape Project a success and a source of pride for our Ranger Corps!

Then we'll continue by talking to everybody, although some people just tell you about game mechanics, like which button to press for what, so we can safely skip those since I will be explaining those bits as we come across them. That means we can even skip the two rangers in the room there. I do want to talk to this guy who looks like a doctor:

My job is to get people back to work after they have been battered and bruised by the animals. I want to help you guys since there are not many of you left. Also retirement money is bad.

I kind of just wanted to note this for now. What he's saying is that there's (almost) no penalty for dying in a battle in this game! This guy here simply puts you back together and you can continue--you only lose one small thing but it's genuinely not that bad, e.g. you retain all your money and such. So not a huge worry on that front, which is just as well since there are only limited locations where you can actually save your game!

And one such place is this person here:

It's my job to keep a record of everybody's work reports. You can make your report also over the phone, but why not come and see me sometimes?

So, there are phones in various locations which you can use to save. In particular there is one at the entrance of every town. The phones also have some other functions, like allowing you to hear your answering service messages and so on, but again, more on that next time. The person on the sofa we can also skip as he just tells us how we learn skills as we level up. I do however want to visit the bank counter there.

Welcome! This is Neo-Kenya bank, celebrating its 77th anniversary this year!

We can chat a bit more with the lady at the bank counter.

A ranger's salary is transferred to your account each season, four times a year. That said, it's still just a typical government employee salary, so many people look for side jobs.

Here we can check out Ken's bank book:

...which reveals that his full name is Ken Challenger! Nice. We can also checkout his transactions so far:

...and this confirms that Ken already received his 100G salary for Summer 1991--not bad. We can withdraw that money so we have it with us, but we can also get here a loan. The current limit for a loan is 400G with the repayment term of one year and seasonal interest of 20G. I take the loan out just to have some cash on hand to start with. Since our salary is 100G plus the money we already had on us (another 100G) we should be able to manage to repay that in time.

Back outside, there's another ranger standing across from the HQ building...

You know, that picture of a destroyed building that the commander showed during the recruitment presentation just now... I was thinking, I must have seen that somewhere before, and it turned out the same picture is in the Federation's Escape Project guide book.
Is it just an artist's impression of the "Grim Reaper" impact? But where are there even such tall buildings on this planet? Clearly the Federation bureaucrats have absolutely no clue what's even really going on down here.

In the northwest corner of the town is the power station:

Let's check inside!

Technician has some info for us:

Don't touch the catfish over in their enclosure there. If they get agitated they may discharge electricity into the air and... burn you to a crisp.

Interesting, so they are using some electric catfish to provide the electricity for the town!

There is another person upstairs in the same building.

Finally I can afford to enjoy the inconvenience of being on this far away planet... but then it has almost no time left. I will never have the kind of life I want.

Well, that's depressing. Our next stop is the DOG building, which houses the dog shop and the veterinarian.

Here you can buy dogs, and also fix them if they get injured in battle. Since dogs are also animals you can "collect" for the ark, it's possible also to catch a wild dog and bring it here to become your party member. More on that later. For now I will just buy one more dog, so we can have two in our active party, togethe with Ken. This should help us in the early stages.

You can only use a maximum of two katakana letters to name a dog, which is not a lot. Nevertheless, I decide to name the dog "Haru" (=spring) because I somehow managed to forget that it's already Summer in the game! Oh well. The names don't matter anyway, so... let's just move on.

Over by the fountain is equipment shop.

Love that knife on the table...

Anyway, the ranger has the following to say:

Many shops in this town overcharge horribly. I want to learn to make my own equipment as soon as possible.

Sounds like a good skill to have. I'm sure we can figure it out eventually. Next, the shop owner:

There are four types of equipment, weapons, hats, clothes and shoes. We take several of the same animal and process them into equipment. It takes 10 male animals for a weapon, five females for clothes, three for a hat and two for a pair of shoes. And that's all the equipment one person needs!

Yeah, so instead of, you know, "Mithryl sword" or something, here you have stuff like "squirrel knife", "rabbit hat" and so on, depending on which animal you used to make a particular item.

Our next stop is the butcher shop/animal trader, but there is also a person in front of it:

Eight years from now... this town of Hardia is already getting deserted.

Right, actually nobody really said the name of the town (although the game does give you a location title initially), but now that they have, let's check out its description.

It's true, 100G really is a pittance, when you consider that I had to pay 200G for that one dog I bought earlier! But worry not, this game's economy is definitely broken in the sense that there are items which you can sell for more than the price of the components used to make them, so we'll avail ourselves of that soon enough. I guess when you have a fair number of moving parts, it's hard to ensure that such things are impossible for every case.

Inside, the butcher guy:

The animals can be processed to make clothes, hats, weapons and meat for eating. The only useless animals are humans, because they are inedible.

Uh, ok... sure. To be clear, the difference between this shop is that here you can actually process animals into equipment, while the other one sells you already pre-made equipment. Not sure why they needed to separate that, but ok.

On the other side is the animal trader.

You want to gather animals? But do you know you don't have to catch all the animals by yourself? For now, you can buy here a squirrel or an ostrich and register them at the ark. Also, if you run out of money, take a look at your TransCargo backpack, you might have there one or two animals you can sell for money.

Actually, as it turns out, both squirrels and ostriches can be very easily caught just outside this starting town, so there is absolutely no need whatsoever to waste money on buying them right now.

Next to the animal trader shop is some ranger housing.

Most people here give you hints about what each controller button does, but there are a couple of rangers worth listening to.

The year 1999, the Grim Reaper collision. You know, if you're late for a date with your girlfriend, you'll probably survive, but if you're late for this particular date, then...

We rangers don't deserve this. When the corps was founded, all we had to do was deal with animal poachers. But now we're supposed to be some kind of a police, too! And now even having to be errand boys for the Escape Project, too? No way, I won't do it!

Okay, buddy, calm down, You can stay and get hit by a meteorite, no worries. But there does seem to be some dissent in the ranger orders.

We won't dwell on that too long, since it's time to visit that staple of every 1990s JRPG, The Inn! Or, in our case, The Hotel.

Welcome! For 5G you can have a room here. Although, you'll eventually learn the "Camp" skill around Level 4 or so, so you won't really have a need to come here any more. But maybe you'll want to stay here anyway for a change at some point?

There's another person sitting here in the lobby.

During the autumn, be wary of male animals in heat. They go totally crazy.

Indeed. The change of seasons on the planet does also bring about the change in behaviour of various animals. Something to go into more detail about at a later date, though.

Upstairs is a nice lounge/bar. Let's have a chat with the bartender.

What would you like to drink? Everything is 20G.
Penguin Rock / Sea Urchin Juice / [Cobra Milk] / Nothing

Well, let's have some cobra milk. It replenishes your HP, although Ken hasn't lost any yet, so... The bartender will offer you to drink again, but a second drink will definitely bring about the "lost" status effect where all your controls are temporarily reversed. Very silly, but maybe not so silly when you're trying to run away from a battle.

There's a couple of rangers standing here too, so let's see what they say.

Have you been in touch with Linda since her family moved over to Minago?
Ah, well... / [Not really...]
You guys used to fight all the time, but you were also very close too. Minago is over in the Q-14 area, just across the river to the east.

The game has a handy-dandy coordinate system which makes it easy to find things! Ken also has a navigation/map device, which I will show you shortly!

Over to the left, there is another ranger.

Until you gain some strength, better stay away from southern areas, especially Karagoram at Q-17! You don't want to die, right? They say there is a den of wild dogs there, but if you really need a dog, just go and buy one.

As we'll see next time, wild dogs are no joke, so this is good advice!

Also, the older guy:

Seasons are like old people. One day, you realise things have changed and there is no turning back. Just look at my hair, all gone!

Well, that's all we can do here, let's head out.

Outside, as Ken is walking around town, he is suddenly approached by a person dressed in a Santa Claus suit.

I have a message from Linda! She's waiting for you in Room 102. Can you remember that?
Bro, I really envy you for having such a cute girlfriend!

No idea what this whole Room 102 business is about, not to mention somebody wearing a Santa suit in the middle of the summer, but I think it's high time to go and get ourselves registered at the ark, don't you?

In order to do that, we can just head through that exit which was previously blocked by rangers.

Here is what a typical exit/entrance area for a town looks like. On the left is the phone I mentioned where you can save your game and check your messages, etc. The people here mostly give gameplay tutorial info, so we can skip talking to them. The one thing of note here is "left luggage" service. This allows us to clear out some inventory spaces, and best of all, the items can be retrieved again at any other station in the world!

Exiting Hardia, we can see that the Ark is just outside. Also, human towns appear to be in some kind of enclosures too. Also also, please ignore (for now!) what appears to be some sort of a ruin in the bottom left!

And here we are! If we talk to the ranger standing by the entrance, he has the following to say.

Ah, you finally came! You should go and see Linda as soon as you've registered in the ark. I'm sure she's waiting for you!

Hm, go and see Linda? But we are not level 3 yet? Also, does he mean in Minago or in "Room 102", whatever that may be? Hmm. Well, let's just head in for now.

Inside, there are levitating robots everywhere. Let's try talking to one of them...

I am made of the flesh of Annabis. Everything is going to be eradicated. I made this ark out of wooden logs and made a room in it and coated it with pitch. Take from among you one young man and one young woman and put them in the ark. And take one pair from each of clean beast and unclean beast and bird and let them survive.

I guess we are quoting from the Genesis now? But, it said we should go and register ourselves, so let's do so. It's over in one of the rooms.

Uh, sure, but... does it hurt? I guess, let's do it?

Ken Challenger Human♀ Registered.
The ship welcomes you as a crew member and master.
Ken, welcome to the ark!

Ok, that went... fine, I guess?

We don't actually have anything else to do here for now, since we haven't captured any animals or anything like that. So let's head back out!

As we are walking out, the guy by the door interrupts us.

Linda is in Minago, at Q-14. It's a stone's throw away, just be careful of squirrels and ostriches. Say hi to Linda for me!

Ostriches and squirrels are definitely nothing to worry about, even at level 1, Ken can handle them just fine! It's like somebody telling you to be afraid of Goblins in a Final Fantasy game!

Anyway, there's a little shed there we can go in and talk to a few people.

There was a vacant room up in the ark on the first floor, so I took the liberty of redecorating it into a "love nest" for you and Linda. It has 800 days of food supplies, and a good selection of daily necessities and furniture. I wasn't completely sure about one thing, so for now I've put in there two separate beds and the information bank has stuff about medicine, cooking, chemistry, child care, botany, astonomy, movies... I put there a few things I thought might be useful.

Well, thanks, that's nice! So we should have a comfortable journey.

Talking to the other guy:

The TransCargo backpack you carry is actually an emergency evacuation system too. When you are killed you are automatically placed in the cargo and one of each animal is ejected to make room.

Well, that's good to know, and it's also the second part of the explanation about what happens when you die in a battle. So you basically lose one of each captured animal and are simply revived and can continue. This can be a problem if it's some kind of a rare animal, but generally it's pretty lenient. The only way to get a game over in this game is to let the time run out.

About TransCargo, it is essentially this game's answer to the question "how can the party carry all those items with them". Essentialy, TransCargo backpack is able to decompose and resythesise the matter, so a lot more ends up fitting in a small backpack than you would expect! Clever!

Note how there's also a phone here too, and like all phones it can be used to save the game. So it's not really that bad but you DO have to go inside to save, no saving on the overworld directly.

Going outside, there's just one more person to talk to...

I wonder what the former commander Gene was thinking when he decided to take you in? You were a stranger to him, but he brought you up so well. Too bad that he suddenly died like that.

I'm sure this is totally unimportant.

That monolith is also still here in case you want to read "the message from god" again.

But I think we should just go and try to pay a visit to Linda in Minago--everybody seems to want us to do so. I know we aren't yet level 3, but maybe she'll want to talk to us this time? We won't know unless we try. Although there's still that "Room 102" thing which I'm not sure about.

Let's head back out to the overworld.

When on the overworld, Ken can use his navigation computer to orient himself:

Our curent location is the big square on the left (O-14) and we need to head to Minago eastwards across the river at Q-14 (currently being pointed at by the black line). That's actually even closer than it looks here, so let's get to it!

We're already at the river, and you can see Minago peeking there from the right. Incidentally Ken is able to walk over rivers and other shallow water, but his walking speed is reduced.

There we go, Minago!

"Minagoroshi" means "annihilation" in Japanese.

Upon going inside, it has a similar entrance area.

These people actually have a couple of more interesting things to say. First the person standing:

These days you see these Santas around here collecting donations for refugee relief. It seems that the employees of Green Pharmaceutial Co. are doing it as volunteers. But I think many are fakes, so that's a problem. I'm not sure that you should just trust like that just any Santa that approaches you.

Hmm, I see. That maybe explains a bit the Santa guy, but I'm not convinced. We'll have to see. Well, let's talk to the person on the sofa.

When the Federation expedition team first landed here on Neo-Kenya, they were a bit surprised to encounter us, the Beastians. They couldn't understand how a human race without interstellar travel managed to end up on this remote planet... but why do they care about it anyway? We have lived here all our lives, and we don't appreciate being bothered like this!

Interesting, but nothing we can do with this information for now. But we can read that announcement on the wall, next to the telephone.


Satellite crash in the southern area

Due to the radioactive contamination, the entire southern area has been declared a special danger zone and is off limits to all visitors. There has been only one confirmed survivor, but for the rest of the inhabitants, there is no hope.

Basically the southern part of the overworld is blocked off and we can't go there. Ok, now let's head into town.

They have a nice cemetery here. Let's first talk to the old guy.

Linda's family house is to the left of the church and is the most modern building in town. Linda's father borrowed a lot of money to build it, but I think he totally forgot about the Grim Reaper. You have to be crazy to spend that much money when you know you'll have to throw all of it away in a few years!

...and then the woman.

I thought I was going to be laid to rest here one day... but looks like that's not going to happen now. The ark must have been sent by the legendary "Mother of all Flesh" who sleeps deep in the ground. I thank her!

A few steps north is the said church and also another person who we can talk to.

This is the Beastian church. They still believe their ancestors were animals... at least that's what the tourist guide says!

As we were told, Linda's house is to the left of the church.

So let's go inside...

Linda's room is on the second floor...

Ah, here we are. Let's see.

Hey, can I try something?

But, Ken, how can you not be able to dodge a punch from a level 2 girl?
Should I try it again?
Yes / [No]

Clearly we'll have no luck here until we're actually level 3. Well, let's finish here for today, and then next time we'll try and capture some animals, in hopes of raising our level to at least 3. Maybe then Linda will stop hitting us every time we meet.

By the way, this last bit at Linda's house is totally optional, you can just go out and start gaining levels etc. without ever seeing this scene! I'll try to include as many such little bits as possible.

So I know this was a bit long, but I just wanted to get the story going--as you can see, there is a TON of background information on this world which needs to be conveyed somehow! From now on it shouldn't be so much of an information overload constantly though, although there will never stop there being a ton of NPCs around to talk with. I kind of don't really want to skip too much here as it really helps with the world building (which is pretty awesome in this game!), but let's see how it goes.

In the meantime stay tuned for some additional content!

So that the actual update doesn't get too overwhelmed with information, here I will post some additional background info about subjects that come up during the gameplay. This game really goes the extra mile and then some when the world building is concerned!

NEO-KENYA    The Federation outpost planet no. 643 is the most popular tourist destination as of AMD 1991. It has abundance of nature and is home to all kinds of animals. The planet has many features that don't make sense compared to other planets and often confuse visitors. Walking around here without basic knowledge of how to deal with the animals you encounter can be quite dangerous.

BEASTIANS    The indigenous people of Neo-Kenya are known as Beastians. They had only a very primitive civilisation when the Federation team discovered them, but traces of artificial genetic tampering were also found. How they arrived on Neo-Kenya is still a mystery. The Beastians have their own beliefs and have a basic philosophy of worshipping animals as their ancestors. There has already been an amount of miscegenation with the Federation settlers.

FEDERATION NATURE CONSERVATION POLICY    The Federation has an unusually strong policy of nature conservation. The fact that all the towns are enclosed in domes is a sign of this policy, and since there are no roads between the towns, the only means of communication is the bird line on the huge island of Pterano. In order to maintain the ecosystem, only licensed hunters are allowed to hunt animals. However, the carrying of firearms is forbidden.

THE RANGER CORPS    It is a public institution originally established on Neo-Kenya, and it has both police and rescue functions. Currently, they have a strong role as a participant in the Neo Kenya Escape Project. The purpose at the time of the establishment was to protect wild animals from poachers and conversely to protect civilians from animals, but the current situation is that there are few members because the salary is small compared to the difficulty of the work. It also seems that some of them abuse their privileges to excavate ruins and obtain huge fortunes.

As mentioned, I will usually try to post a couple of illustrations by Tatsuyuki Tanaka, normally something which is relevant to the current update, but if not then just whatever looks interesting. So here are a few for today, hope you enjoy them!

"It's a promise!"

"Looking for the ark crew"