The Let's Play Archive

Linda Cube [Linda³]

by ivantod

Part 5: Winter 1991


Hello everyone, and welcome back to Linda³! Last time, Ken continued on his task to get the amnesia medication for Linda, so with that in mind, he delivered some goat meat to Panheim, because apparently goat meat is one of the key ingredients. We also did a whole more bunch of animal collecting, so we are well under way towards our goal of at least 30 species.

So, as we start this part, we find Ken just about to leave Eterna, after having finished his meeting with Elizabeth and Dr. Panheim.

Outside, at this northern latitude, everything is white and frozen now that the winter has come. This is annoying, because it slows down Ken's movement.

However, it does open up the possibility to catch some animals who feel right at home in such a climate!

You guessed it, penguins!

They don't really have anything super unusual, other than the (somewhat expected) ability to do various ice-based attacks. Mostly I handle them by transforming into a dolphin for highly increased attack. But, I must say, I love their colours, looks great.

However, in the PC Engine version, they looked... different:

Um. Yeah. Anyway.

Even in the snow, I manage to find that tunnel which leads into Battle Park.

As we go through the tunnel, Ken gets another message notification.

Incidentally, we're not staying in Battle Park this time. So we'll simply take the southern exit which takes us out of the snowy areas! We'll check the message shortly, but before that, a couple more species to capture around here that we didn't do last time!

The next on our list...

Well, horses, of course!

Even though they have relatively high HP and attack, they will try to run away from you on the overworld, so best is to try and corner them against a mountain or something like that.

Finally, you might remember that this was the area where eagles live.

Last time we avoided them, but we have a couple more levels since then, so why not, right?

So this thing about a "powerful sword", probably warrants a bit of a comment. We'll certainly look at that in the future, but there's one other thing. This weapon (eagle sword) is among those which allow Ken to attack all enemies in front of him at once, with a single attack. Obviously this is very beneficial in battle, but our current weapon doesn't have that ability, so we may want to upgrade to the eagle sword soon. Although I didn't mention it at a time, we had previously used one other weapon that could do this--the swallow cutter, so that helped us quite a bit in the early part of the game to capture the animals quickly and avoid taking damage.

Eventually, we make our way over to that tunnel which leads to the ark. On the way I have to fight several batches of fleas, because you can barely even see them on the screen!

After exiting the tunnel, first let's stop in a nearby town of Ozport just to listen to the message...

Hey, it's Mum! I've just come back from visiting Linda! She's doing so much better, going on walks on her own, smiling a lot and eating well! Oh, right, she said she has something important to tell you!

Well, that's good to hear. Although I guess her memories are still not back... Anyway, let's go and see her in Hospico. For travelling between towns like this, generally I use the Bird Line. It does consume money, but we have a decent amount, and also it counts as being in town so it doesn't use up any time on the game's seasonal clock!

Over in Hospico, let's head straight to Linda's room.

Hm, what's up?

Thefore... Um...
Suppose that...
Suppose that... I stay like this, and my memory doesn't come back...
I... still want to board the ark with you! Would you take me with you?
[ Sure thing! ]/ No way!
Oh, thank you! I promise, I will not be resentful even if I don't get my memory back! Thank you so much!
Let's go out on a date to celebrate once I leave the hospital!

Well, it's nice to see that she's recovering, despite the whole memory loss issue.

Before we leave, the nurse here has another fun tidbit for us.

Hospital director told me that Linda was born in that same room next to the neo-natal unit. Linda's father was so excited that he couldn't stop crying, the director still remembers it today!


We're finished here for now, so let's leave. On the way, I stop by the pharmacy to buy some HP recovery tables, because we may need them later today.

We'll head over to that east-west tunnel between Hospico and Hardia, but on the way...

...we get another message notification. Perhaps it's Panheim, telling us that the medication is ready?

Exiting the tunnel...

...we arrive at the ark, to hand in the animals from our backpack.

This time, we'll be handing in: squids, goats, weasels, penguins, horses and eagles! From squids, Ken learns the "black curtain" ability which allows him to hit all enemies in front of him with "black ink" and reduce their hit accuracy. From weasels, Ken learns the "smelly fart" ability which releases smelly gas, reducing attack power of all enemies in front of him. From eagles, Ken learns the "gale cutter" ability, a strong attack against all enemies in front of him. As for Linda, from penguins, she learns the "snowscape" ability, which allows her in battle to transform the terrain block in front of her into a snow field (thus affecting the stats of animals for whom that may not be the native terrain type). Other than that, the usual bunch of small stat increases for both.

Checking with the friendly robot, we're now at 21 out of 30 species done. So that's going pretty well, but also we'll soon be taking a bit of a break from hunting, too. Nevertheless, it hasn't even been a year and we're already 2/3 done, so that looks good for finishing the task before the meteorite impact. However, it is also true that so far we have only been collecting the species which can be easily found on the overworld so that also needs to be kept in mind for the future.

In any case, that shack next to the ark actually has a phone inside, so let's listen to our message. As expected, it is Panhem.

Hello... this is Panheim from Green Pharmaceuticals. The medicine we talked about is ready. I would appreciate if you make sure you have two free slots in your item bag. Well then, I'll be waiting for you.

It's nice of game to warn us about needing to have two empty slots in our inventory, but we actually have plenty of space still, so that's not an issue. Although I wonder, why two slots and not just one.

In any case, we don't really have any other pressing business, so let's head back to Eterna once again via the Bird Line !

As we enter the town, we are intercepted by that Santa we saw at the very beginning of the game!

Looks like you still havent! Well, here's a hint: "the back garden". So I'm going to head there now and prepare everything for a party with Linda.
It's going to be so much fun tonight! Merry Christmas!

Hmm, that's true, he did mention this before about room 102, but Linda was definitely not there (wherever it is) since she was in her hospital room all this time! However, like a typical Star Wars character, at this point, I am definitely having a bad feeling about this situation, so it may not be the worst idea in the world to go back to Hospico and check up on Linda!

But first, let's just go and get what we came here for, and then we'll head to Hospico.

Into the mansion it is and to Elizabeth's room.

Ask about Christmas / Ask about Santa Claus / [ Ask about Panheim. ]

You summoned me, Madam Elizabeth?
Oh, it's you...
Ugh, you had to show up just at the moment when...
The trials for the new technology are going well, so I have been in great shape! I hope it will be the same for Linda too!
Anyway, let me give you the memory recovery accellerant drug, "Memorin Z".

Ken receives "Memorin Z" from Dr. Panheim.

I assure you that it does work, but it will take some time. So don't be hasty.
By the way, Ken. I have another thing that I wanted to give you.

Ken receives "Hollagin C" from Dr. Panheim.

Hehehe, it's "that" kind of medicine, so try it when you feel like. It definitely was effective on dogs, at least!

That's nice. So we get some random medication from him that we don't even know what it does! What could possibly go wrong! Actually, nothing much. As mysterious as this sounds, it's simply an item which can be used in battle. It causes the person who uses it to get random stat increases for the duration of the battle. There's a bunch of these kinds of medications in the game, so it's not anything plot related to worry about.

Since we're done here, let's now continue with our idea to go to Hospico. Maybe Linda can even start the treatment?

After arriving in Hospico, we head into the reception building. It looks like there's some weird stuff going on, so perhaps we should gather some info first before going to Linda's room.

For example, this person working on the reception desk...

Hello! Miss Linda's recovery is going well, it must be because you've been coming to visit her so often! Also children like to see you dressed up as a Santa Claus--I'm sure you will be a wonderful dad in the future.

Um, dressed up as Santa? No, that definitely wasn't us. What is going on?

Or, this little girl over here...

As a friend, I should tell you that that Santa costume doesn't fit you very well!

Is... is there a rogue Santa going around pretending to be Ken? But why?

This all very odd, but let's also check with this guy sitting here in the waiting area.

Nurse Sachiko is the flower of this hospital and the most popular with the patients! In order to be able to see her I have started doing all things which are bad for you: drinking, smoking, eating too much! Well, I guess you're also popular lately too, especially among the kids. The kids like Santa Claus I guess.

Ok, there's definitely a Santa going around pretending to be Ken. Maybe it's our weird friend whom we just saw in Eterna? But, again, why?

I think we don't need to waste any more time, so let's head over to Linda's room!

Oh. She's not here. But there is a nurse here we can talk to...

Linda and the hospital director went for a walk in the back garden... But... Weren't you with them?

What. is. going. on. Also she said "back garden"!

All right, we know our next destiation. But, me being me, of course I'm going to stop on the way for another small bit of lore with this nurse here:

There are more doctors than patients pretty much in this hospital nowadays, but back in the heyday of "Vigour II" it was crazy. We didn't have enough beds and many patients were just lying around in hallways without even any mats.

Ah, the performance enhancement drug we've heard of before which the hunters were abusing. The pharmacist previously told us about this happening about 10 years ago or so? Ok, anyway, just wanted to pick up that little bit of dialogue and now on our way to the back garden.

Around the side of the hospital building...

Here we are... and there's also that shed where we were told that it maybe has a big underground complex below it and where supposedly the former mayor of Koshikata is being kept imprisoned. Why is the hospital director standing here, of all places? Let's try to talk to him and find out?

Oh, it's you, Ken. It's me, Chen, the hospital director. Linda is here in room 102. Just hand me "Memorin Z" before you go to see her, ok?

Ken hands over "Memorin Z" to the hospital director.

But then, suddenly...

Oh right, I was supposed to make sure that rangers are alerted! I have to hurry! Byeeeeeeee...

And he... just runs off! Taking our medication with him too! Also, is it just me or did he not seem quite right? Also also, he mentioned again room 102!

Well, the only option we have at this point, is to go through the door. So I guess let's do that.

At least it seems that there really is stuff underground below this small building... down the stairs it is.

Doesn't seem there's much cleaning/maitenance going on here. The whole place is dirty with rubbish lying everywhere.

And then we reach some cells? Well, that's definitely Linda there in the second one, but what's with all the blood?

Believe it or not, after quite some time, the moment has finally come for another cutscene, which will provide the details!

Ah, um, well, sure, why not. It's not like there isn't already about a million moving parts in what's been going on in this game, why not add more! But, hey, at least we now have some idea who that weird Santa was, right? Although Linda doesn't seem to be at all well, so that's not so good.

Before we go on, I thought it might be interesting here to see what this scene used to look like in the PC Engine version, so here it is. I do have to apologise here a bit, because I had to transcribe this purely by ear without any kind of subtitles or written transcript and so there were a couple of small bits where I wasn't able to make out exactly what was being said--but we're really talking just a couple of words in two places, so hopefully it should not be a problem, but I just thought I should mention it anyway. All right, now to the "original" version of the cutscene!

This is actually a bit weird, honestly. First of all, the dialogue is almost the same as in the remake, but not quite. This means they actually went to the trouble to record it again even though the changes are mostly minor at least in content. But it has to be said that Nek definitely feels less "jokey" in this version, at least to me. Other than that, I just though it's a bit funny how it reverts back to the standard in-game graphics for the last couple of lines. Why couldn't they animate those too?

Anyway, let me know if you would like to see more of these "original" versions of cutscenes in the future and I'll see what I can do if there is interest.

Also, massive props to whoever decided to name this character "Nek".

Ok, let's continue.

So it seems Nek has escaped through that hole in the north wall of the cell...

In the meantime, other rangers arrive:

Linda! Drop the knife! You're being arrested for having been caught in the act of committing murder!
No! You're wrong! It wasn't Linda!

A short time later, in commander Ben's office...

Ken explains to the commander what actually happened in Hospico.

So the real culprit is your twin brother? That's tough... But it should be easy to prove if we can catch this Nek guy.

The phone rings, Ben goes to pick up...

Hanging up, he turns back to Ken...

Ken! We've got a big problem. Please listen to me and stay calm! Linda has disappeared from Hospico! Two of our guards were stabbed in the chest, they both died instantly! Now, we're not really sure who's the culprit, but Linda is a suspect.
If you come across any new information or have an idea what's going on, please come and talk to me!

I think situation has escalated a bit since the time Ken was hunting penguins...

But we are finished here, and before we leave we can have a word with commander's secretary.

I've heard everything... It's really bad... but you have to be tough, Ken!

Ok, let's go. On our way out, downstairs, there was this lady:

If you recall, she can also save our game, but she mentioned we should come and visit for a chat every once in a while. So let's check what she has to say...

Hey, I heard a rumour... Emily, the commander's secretary, is already on her sixth boyfriend this year! That's right, and they have all been younger than her! Well, it's just a rumour...

Um, ok... not sure this is really relevant to anything.

Across from her, is the bank counter.

Here, first let's check out Ken's bank book as always...

So here we can see, that not only has Ken's salary gone up to 900 G as he is leveling up, but also that in Winter he gets an additional bonus payment in the form of an extra salary amount! So that's pretty nice. In any case, we really aren't hurting for money at the moment. Especially since this time I do remember to withdraw all the money that's been sitting here.

Also, since we are already in Hardia, it might be worth it to see what Ken's mum has to say about the whole twin brother situation. Because Ken surely didn't seem to know anything about it until just now! Let's head over to Ken's house!

You're the only child me and your father adopted since we came to this house!
Anyhow I'd rather be fighting a dragon than to have to deal with two sons as silly as you.

Ok, so this might be a weird place to mention this, but bear with me. In this game whenever an animal name is mentioned, be it in dialogues or somewhere in the equipement menu or wherever, it is ALWAYS shown in a particular colour, depending on whether you have already caught it or not, and if yes, whether you already have it handed over in the ark. For example, the animal names you have in your backpack but have not handed in are printed in yellow, and those you have handed in are printed in white. The species which you have not yet caught have their names printed in red colour.

Maybe you already are guessing where I'm going with this explanation.

The word "dragon" in the above dialogue is shown in red colour. Somehow, somewhere in this game there are dragons to be found. Just think about that for a second.

But, this concludes our business here in Hardia for the moment, so I thought, for the rest of today's episode we might try something a bit different.

Namely, since we have a bit of time before the plot catches up with us, why not go exploring a little bit? I mean, I said we will have A LOT of time for that eventually, but it doesn't hurt to get a bit of a taste, right? And it will also allow us to catch a couple more animal species, so it won't be a total waste.

I'm glad you agree. Let's go. (Oh yeah, I sold a bunch of extra animals from my backpack before heading out.)

First, we'll head over to where Hospico is, and then walk south east from there.

After looking around for a bit, we find what looks like a cave entrance in the side of the mountain there.

We can definitely head inside into what at first glance looks like some sort of an archaeological dig...

Walking a bit further in, we find some people and tents, confirming our notion that there is some archaeology going on here. Let's talk to the person.

Inside the ruins, you'll find some stone blocks that you can move. But don't do that, because there's a whole bunch of creepy-crawlies living underneath!

I mean, how bad can it be? We already fought three-eyed squirrels and flying rabbits.

If we go into the left tent:

There's a guy here... I love the detail of having a sleeping bag inside the tent!

There are a lot of people who say they saw a purple lion inside here, like in a daze....

A purple lion, you say? Interesting. Well, let's be on the lookout for that.

The person in the other tent...

The stones have their proper place to be in, so don't try moving them on your own.

That's it for the people present here. It's time to explore a bit.

In case it's not already clear, this is one of the "dungeons" in this game. But it's a bit different perhaps than what you're used to. There's usually not going to be a dungeon-end boss as such or anything like that, it's really more about exploring and uncovering this planet's secrets. Before we go further, I should probably mention that as far as time passage goes, it does indeed pass while you're in a dungeon, but only at a ¼ the normal rate, to give you a bit of time to explore without feeling rushed.

This dungeon, as the game helpfully informs us with a location title, is called "Marblepolis" and I am only sure of two things right now: (1) We should definitely be on the lookout for a "purple lion", whatever it is; and (2) We definitely need to try moving the stones! I mean everybody is so adamant that we shoudln't, so of course that means...

Near the tents is this staircase leading down, which I guess we'll take.

It leads to a dimly lit hallway.

At the end of the hallway is this weird passage, somehow conveniently blocked by a stone. Well, I guess we have no choice but to move it!

There is no surprise here. Moving the stone triggers an enemy encounter!

Well, I guess those are the creepy-crawlies the lady mentioned. Or, to be more precise, a bunch of earthworms.

So they have this unusual ability where females can transform into males and regain full health, but more interestingly, our dogs are quite afraid of them and may retreat from battle leaving you to fend for yourself. Luckly, there's no lasting consequence to the retreat, and they will be right back in their spots in the very next battle. But just something to keep in mind, together with the fact that the earthworms will often appear in large groups, so you do need to be careful.

On the other hand, it will also cause you to gain a few levels while here, but as we already discussed a couple of times, try not to go overboard with that.

After defeating these guys, we can go through the passage...

...we enter some weird open area with pillars and more of those moveable stones.

Before we go on with our exploration, though, there is another species of animal we can catch here...

...although they are very hard to catch, even if you use the dash function (which, reminder, depletes your HP!).

But, eventually I do manage to corner one group...

...and it turns out it's a bunch of chickens!

So these two species are an example of a species which cannot be found on the overworld. You actually have to come down here to capture them. But this is still easy as you simply have to go to the right place and pretty much nothing else--we will encounter much later some species where there are very special ways of finding them and/or catching them.

For now, though, just be careful of really strong fire attacks these chickens will unleash on you!

Now that we have captured earthworms and chickens, let's finish our exploration of Marblepolis.

If you look around this big hall, you will find in the center a big staircase going up. Let's take it.

It leads over a couple of floors upwards...

...until we get this unusual little room.

There are many questions here. What is the meaning of that symbol on the back wall? What is that thing next to the left wall? Stepping on it does nothing at all. Concluding that we are probably missing some information and/or items, the only thing we can do is go back down to the main hall, unfortunately.

But, as mentioned, there are other moveable stones around here. And if we play with them long enough (all the while fighting the earthworms), eventually we'll cause something to happen.

A previously hidden staircase leading downwards will reveal itself! Obviously we need to take it!

It leads to an even weirder looking room where seemingly the only thing we can do is go further down!

Oh, yeah, and there's again this weird symbol on the wall. But anyway, let's head down.

And further down...

And even further...

Finally, we get to this place. A few more of those weird pillars or whatever they are, and what looks like four animal statues. I can't help but notice that the bottom right statue very definitely looks like a lion. The blue thing in the middle pretty much calls to us to step on it...

And when we do, we're instantly teleported... somewhere. Well, there's only one way to go, which is forward (well, there's also the teleporter, but we don't want to go back yet, of course!).

Walking through that narrow hallway...

...brings us to this very interesting room!

What is even going on here? Those pods look exactly the same as the ones our captured animals are stored in on the ark, no question about that. Also, are those like weird animal parts against the north wall?

Let's try to interact with one of the pods, they seem to have some kind of panel on them.

Well, whatever it is, we have nothing to put into the slot. I will say though that the animal in this pod definitely again looks like a lion, in fact it looks the same as that statue earlier, pretty much. By extrapolating, it can be plausibly said that the animal in the pod on the right side of the room looks very much like a lioness, which would indeed make sense. Either way, it doesn't appear we are able to do anything here right now.

However, before we go, if we stand right next to the left wall...

...we can see that to the left, there is what appears to be a room identical to the one we're in.

And the same thing on the right. But that must mean, there are other teleporters somewhere. And does that mean there are four such rooms, one corresponding to each statue at the teleporter location?

Well, for sure I have absolutely no idea. We will simply have to come back here later when we are better equipped to understand all of this. This is not going to be soon, though. Despite how it may look (maybe), this is NOT a small game.

For now, we'll head back to the surface. While Ken is climbing all those stairs, let me quickly show you where he is regarding his stats at the moment:

And well here we are back outside! Let's finish up by heading back to the ark to hand in the two new species we collected.

This time we only have earhtworms and chickens. But check out how many earthworms I have (23 and 20) from all those stones in the dungeon! As for abilities, this time Linda learns "fire carpet" from the chickens. This ability "covers the floor with fire", causing continuous fire damage to the enemies, so I guess something like poison, except with fire!

Since we've bean talking about those pods, where animals are kept, as a reminder, after you hand them in in the ark, you can have a look what they look like "in storage":

As you can see, these pods are very similar to the ones we saw after going through the teleporter.

Finally, as always, we'll check in with the friendly robot...

...who informs us that we have collected 23 species out of 30 that we need. Not too bad.

Well, I don't know about you, but I think this is a good moment to stop for today, since Ken has had quite an eventful day and needs a bit of rest for sure. He'll also need some time to ponder all the unusual things that happened today.

Next time on Linda³: Moar party members!

Today a couple of illustrations related to the events with Nek!