The Let's Play Archive

Linda Cube [Linda³]

by ivantod

Part 7: Spring 1992


Last time, Linda showed up at Ken's house, still without her memories. After a brief consultation with Ken's mum and Ben, the ranger commander, it was decided to "disguise" her as a ranger because apparently because nobody would think to look for here there! Ken and Linda then proceeded to visit several locations, in an attempt to jog her memory, and it's kind of working a bit. When we left off, they had just finished examining a tree where they carved their names as kids. Presently they are on the way to buy a 2G ring, which is the same thing Ken did back then to commemorate the ocassion.

Therefore, we'll join them as they are making their way to the Ozport airport shopping mall!

And here are Ken and Linda, leaving the Ozport public park...

We'll head over to the airport and shopping mall, where there's this guy, standing in front of a "WELCOME NEOKENYA" flower bed. Presumably what they meant to say here was actually "WELCOME TO NEOKENYA", but it's close enough, I guess.

"WELCOME NEOKENYA", huh? They are happy to welcome you when you arrive, but now that everybody's leaving, nobody bothers to see people off.

This is actually even worse, because the Federation knew from the start that the time is limited before this planet is rendered uninhabitable. Yet they still continued without telling this to the settlers. Not nice.

Over here by the escalator (or, alternately, by the tent, if that's your preference), is another ranger.

No matter how hungry you are, it's better not to try to eat the flowers you find outside.

Hmm, that's pretty interesting, but we have no idea what he really means. We haven't even come across any flowers in the wild anyway. So let's just add this to our list of things to "remember for later".

Incidentally, the tent is empty. The stairs and the escalator (which, as I already mentioned, is actually fully functional in game!) lead directly into the airport proper... we'll go over to this entrance here, which leads into the shopping mall part of the complex.

Here we go. Immediately next to the entrance is the wedding shop.

We can start by talking to this lady here who seems to be admiring the mannequins. Is it just me or do the mannequins actually look like Linda?

So pretty... I would love to get married in a dress like this. I wonder, if my husband dies, will I get enough insurance money to buy this dress for my second marriage...? I should go and run the numbers...

Well, that's just... By the way, the Japanese character on the wall there next to the dresses means "congratulations"/"best wishes". It has a couple of other meanings, but I guess that's the intended one here.

To continue, there are two people working here at the counter. So, let's start with the first one.

All rings sold here will shine forever and are the perfect gift when exchaning the vows for the future! Although, when you're in this business, sometimes you tend to forget that there are also other ways of expressing love and affection!

Well, let's see what's for sale here!

Hmm. So there are three things here. The middle thing (which costs 500,000 G) is a Diamond Ring. That's pretty clearly outside of our price range for now (the blue colour indicates we don't have enough money to buy this). At the bottom there is our 2G ring, in fact it's labelled as "Promotional Ring"! This is quite embarassing, but if Linda really wants it... Anyway, we'll check that in a moment.

The thing at the top of the list is something named "Ziade's Ring" and it's indicated that it sells for "market value", whatever that means. But, what even is a "Ziade's Ring" and what is it for in the first place? I mean, we could try to buy it, we still have some money in the bank due to Ken's regular salary, so we won't be destitute.

Let's simply offer all the money we have. I mean what could go wrong?

Customer, I think you got the number of zeros at the end wrong there!

Oooh, what a sick burn! Well, clearly this is not happening today either (and, spoiler alert, it's NOT going to be happening in Scenario A at all--this particular mystery will have to wait until later in the game!), so we can just go ahead and buy the 2G ring, as it really does seem this the only thing which we can really afford right now. Although our "list of things we need to explore" is getting quite long at this point. As you can imagine, you're not meant to uncover/understand everything over the course of one scenario. It isn't even possible to do so, considering that one third of the map is blocked off in this scenario to begin with!

A side note: You could say, we'll let's just go and grind money so we can buy the diamond ring. While this sounds good in theory, don't forget that fighting animals will also level you up, thus at some point making it impossible to actually capture those same animals, because of the overkill issue I discussed at some point. So this won't really work in a general case. Therefore, for now, as mentioned, let's simply spend the 2G on a ring that Linda anyway said is the one she wants (at least for now).

So, if we buy the 2G ring...

If you wear it with confidence, nobody will realise that this is a 2G ring! Trust me, it looks more like a 200G ring!

Linda puts it on...

Thank you! 🎔
But I can't really remember anything else... Sorry.

Well, no matter. Let's talk to the other salesperson here in the wedding shop.

The key to a happy marriage is to be as reckless as possible when spending on your wedding and wedding-related stuff. That way, you'll never want to go through a wedding again so you'll be more prepared to put up with stuff during your marriage!

There is some geuinely clever/funny writing in this game, I have to say. Anyway, what is for sale here:

The 5000G item is a "engagement gift set", but it's a mostly useless item so we're not going to worry about buying it right now. The other thing is a "luxury wedding dress" which again sells for "market value". If we try to buy that second one with all our money...

It's a hard thing to say to a customer, but on a ranger salary it might take you about 100 years to save up for it. I really don't think you could even do it...

Yeah, so... at this point we'll just move on!

Our next stop is...

...the furniture store! I told you there was one here! The Japanese text on the banners says "Interior Shop". There are two ladies working here, so let's start by talking to the one on the left.

First of all, I'd like to point out that the products we sell here are not in any way useful for animal collecting. So, just remember to stop by if you have some extra money. We just want to be on the up and up with you.

Well, let's just see what you have for sa...

...aaaaah, look at those prices! Are they actually serious! No, I don't think we'll be buying anything here today. But, IF we had the money, we could buy stuff like a double bed for 110,000G, or a wardrobe for 45,000 or a coffee table for 10,000 or a reproduction of a Rousseau painting for 40,000. Presumably the Rousseau here is Henri Rousseau (1844-1910), a post-impressionist famous for his paintings of jungle animals, so that surprisingly fits with the theme of our game. Also, I know you're curious, the 800,000G item is a rotating bed. Either way, we're way too poor for any of this, but don't worry, the time will come!

We can also talk to the second lady working here at the furniture store...

If you choose your furniture without thinking, you'll end up sleeping on your sofa or eating on your bed. We're in the business of sales, so we'll sell it to you, but still, we can give you some advice if you want.

Here, there is a whole other set of items to buy:

The prices are slightly more affordable and here we have things like a kitchen cupboard for 20,000 or a pair of bookshelves for 30,000 or even a stuffed lion for 30,000G.

Anyway, we'll move on for now. One thing I should mention is that because this town is just a few steps away from Hardia, the game expects that you might visit here pretty early on, so there are a few people here who give you early-game tutortials. However, this is all stuff we already know by now, so unless they say something really interesting and/or funny, I'll simply skip them here. We're here a bit late in the proceedings, but that's only because there's no real reason to come here until Linda is back with us, but of course, if you're playing the game for the first time and simply exploring, then it's likely you'll stumble here early on.

We'll stop briefly at this counter. This is your typical "general store" consumable/item shop.

One interesting item in their inventory is the "Air Free Pass" for 28,000G. As you might guess, this allows you to use the Bird Line for free after you buy it! This is also something to consider for later, but right now we don't have the money, or, honestly, the need for it.

Over here in the corner is the butcher.

Just because a meat is sold in a butcher shop, it doesn't mean that it's safe to eat. We only sell it here because people buy it! The crazies want to try eating it just because no one has eaten it before... but these people end making up half the patients at Hospico!

Also, from now on, if you see some chests on the screen and I don't mention anything, just assume that they are behind a locked door, ok? So we'll move over next door to the equipment shop!

If you increase your attack power unnecessarily, it might make it harder to catch the animal alive. If you hit too hard the animal's body will end up destroyed and there's nothing you can do about it.

The warning against over-leveling as we are already aware. Kind of a nice way to incorporate an "anti-grind" measure directly as part of the plot! The "destroyed" animals, don't even give EXP, either!

(Funnily enough, though, we ARE going to do just a small bit of grinding today after all!)

And so, luckily this is not a video LP, because at this point I spend an inordinate amount of time fiddling around with what equipment I want to buy and/or equip for Ken and Linda.

Since we have quite a few earthworms from Ken's adventure at the dig site, we can craft some equipment. First I make earthworm goggles for Ken as headgear. This increases his defence to 198:

And then, earthworm clothes for Linda:

This gives her some nice defensive bonuses. Linda, by the way, starts with Rabbit equipment (Ken started with Squirrel equipement originally).

Then I also make earthwork goggles for Linda too, for a further defensive bonus:

This brings her defence finally to 142.

And now, I spend a ridiculous amount of time figuring out who should use what weapon, even considering to make an earthworm whip. But it's a normal weapon that hits one enemy only, and the increase in power is not worth almost 3,000G that it costs to make. So I give up on that idea.

Finally, this is what I end up with. I give Linda Ken's jellyfish needle, which takes her attack power to 144 (although it only hits one enemy):

And Ken goes back to his old swallow cutter, which, while its attack power is slightly lower, has the amazing benefit of hitting all enemies in front of him. So this is what he ends up with:

So his attack power goes down to 207, but as mentioned the fact that it hits all enemies is worth it.

Finally, we can also talk to the other person here at the equipment shop:

Spending money on spare equipment is what separates a great hunter from a good. Then, if your equipment breaks, there is no panic and you can simply replace it with a spare one. This is one of the secrets to a long life!

Yes, equipment breaking is definitely a thing in this game. Again, something we'll cover when it actually happens. I do sell some of starting equimpment here that we're definitely not going to need, though.

And finally, after spending way too much time here, let's keep going left.

Over here we can read the sign.

Winter Lottery Winning Numbers Announcement

1st Prize (100,000G): No. 4089
2nd Prize (50,000G): No. 4090, 4088
3rd Prize (10,000G): No. 9804
4th Prize (1,000G): No. *086
5th Prize (100G): No. **87

Valid for redemption only this Spring!

I'm sure nobody's surprised any more at this point that still more new things pop up that you can do in this game, and, well, lottery is one of them. We can talk to the guy at the counter next to the sign to find out more!

The Spring lottery is now announced! Who is going to win 100,000G?
The proceeds of the lottery will benefit the Neo-Kenya refugees, so if nobody wins, more people can be helped! Therefore, consider it a joyful occasion if you don't win!

Our next stop is the bank.

First, let's talk to the guy here.

My name is Yamada. Ehehehe. Ah, sorry, I'm just smiling like this... the girl sitting next to me is cute, right? Miss Maki is the most beautiful woman working in the bank. Actually, she promised me a date. It would be weird if I don't propose by the third date, right?

Ummm, I'm not sure about that, but you do you, Yamada.

Checking out Ken's bank book, we find out that his salary has gone up to 1,400G this Spring. Still, considering the prices, that's pretty much nothing (as most characters are happy to point out), so the money does have to be earned in other ways. Usually this is by selling animals, so again there is a balancing act between having enough money to function in this world and not being overleveled at the same time. Still, we seem to be doing ok on both fronts for now, so I guess we should just continue with what works then?

As mentioned, the woman sitting on the right is "Miss Maki", so let's see what she has to say.

Hello! I'm Maki! I've done everything I wanted to do in my teens, so I think now is the time to get married! I mean, I am already 23, after all! 🎔

We can go around to the back where the bank offices are, although there is a sign on the wall which says: "No unauthorised persons beyond this point!".

There are two guys here. So let's start with the first one...

What do young people think workplace is these days? Just a place to have a romance? I don't know, but I think it's not right!

And the other guy...

Hi, I'm Paul, I'm the bank clerk here! My colleague Yamada is in love with Miss Maki, the girl who works behind the counter there. But actually she's the director's girlfriend, except Yamada has no idea. He's probably going to be kicked out soon if he doesn't learn to hide it better--it's all over his face!

Funny, but I happen to spy...

...some actually accessible chests here! And there's three of them too! Let's see what they contain.

The left one...

The right one...

And finally, the middle one...

So, uh, I guess we got three tissues? But what are they for?

I mean, here they are, right in our inventory (I've highlighted one) and it seems they can be sold for the whole 1G? Hmmm. We'll see.

Incidentally, in the PC Engine version, there was only one chest and therefore only one tissue to be found:

All right, well, if we go back to the furniture shop...

...there is this staircase leading down next to it.

As we get down...

As a woman, I would like to be able to wear one of those once in my life...
Haha, just kidding, there's no way on a ranger's salary!

Down here, we have a bar but I'm not going to drink anything as having too much affects you with the "lost" status effect, which is annoying!

Also here is an information desk with a person in a bunny suit.

The basement of the Ozport airport hotel is Neo-Kenya's premier adult entertainment venue... except that the casino and the bar have practically no customers any more. Still, if you want to lose your money, head over to the casino and if you want to get drunk on cheap alcohol, go to the bar. You're definitely free to do so, I won't stop you.
The room behind me is a storage room. No idea what's in there, but there are rumours... The manager says he's lost the keys and the previous manager has since disappeared.

Interesting. Also, you can just see a couple of chests in that storage room, but, well... you know.

As mentioned, over here really is the casino with slot machines and a roulette table.

We can talk to the roulette guy.

The thrill of slot machines is not enough to satisfy the swarms of tourists which come to this planet. When you have a planet where your life is immediately at risk as soon as you step outside of town, playing for money is just boring, isn't it? Nowadays, the only ones who are playing slot machines are poor Beastians like me.

Surprisingly, being able to gamble in a casino is NOT one of this game's mechanics! Or, perhaps not so surprising when you consider that Japan has pretty strict gambling laws and casinos are not generally legal. So I suppose maybe they just didn't want to put it in the game.

Also the waitress here:

It maybe too late by the time you realise you're addicted to slot machines. But, I don't worry about you, because you're playing the much more thrilling game on this planet right now!

And well, for now that's all we can do down here. We'll head back up, trying not to get too annoyed about that chest in the locked room there. I didn't mention that this is not simply a matter of finding a "key". You need for each room to find a SPECIFIC key that opens only that room!

We'll go by the bank and take this staircase up...

This leads to the VIP Rooms. But there is a few people here and we can just go into the rooms to talk to them!

Like so.

If the ears are a bit long, we call it a rabbit. If the nose is upturned, then it's a pig. It's kind of a silly way on naming things, but I guess we miss our old planet Earth, so at least we keep the names.

If there's one thing that you learn quickly in this game, it's that nothing is random and even for the most mundane things, there will be some in-universe justification why they are the way they are. Lots of attention to detail that you don't often see.

Most of the rooms are empty, but on the other end, there is another person.

There is a tunnel leading to Hospico and Paraside at S-12. But nobody uses it any more, why would you risk your life over 100G.

He's talking about the ticket for using the Bird Line instead of walking through that tunnel that we've used many times. Considering that you can actually see the enemies on the map, I don't think it's that bad, but...

We'll take that staircase right outside the room...

This brings us to another floor with rooms, with a couple more people to talk to.

Like this lady here.

The story of Eterna's Green Pharmaceuticals is so well known, that they've even hear about it on other planets. Especially about director Elizabeth, who is like a goddes to aspiring businesswomen everywhere.

Ah, right, it's been a while since we visited Eterna... Perhaps it might be an idea to go there soon again, especially now that Linda is with us?

Further down the hall is the actual reception desk of the hotel...

The pride of our hotel are the VIP rooms on the first floor. It's where all important people from the Federation stay when they come to our planet.

That santa there just collects donations for the refugees, so we'll again go up the stairs.

Here, there is a person on the rooftop!

Running through a town will not make you weaker, just somebody might think that you're a thief. Also feel free to run back and forth through the tunnels, as much as you like.

Basically telling us that running consumes HP only on the overworld map and dungeons, but not inside towns or tunnels.

If we go back down, there are some more rooms here...

In this one, there's a boy we can talk to.

This is the time of the year when you can see flocks of swallows flying off the coast of G-07. It's close enough to be a Spring tourist spot and also a location for a first date if you don't have so much money. Well, it's not so bad I guess?

Maybe this is something we should try visiting?

Anyway, let's make our way back all the way out.

We are now at the top of that escalator we saw at the beginning. As always, we'll talk to the person.

The connection between Ozport and the orbital satellite Ozsat is the rainbow coloured light being emitted from this tower towards the sky. When you look at the town from outside the dome, it look like it's situated at the end of a rainbow, so therefore it was named Ozport. But it doesn't look like anybody's dreams will be coming true in this place, though.

Ah, here is the emitter. So let's head in through the glass door.

This brings us into the actual airport part of this whole complex. First let's read the sign on the wall!

Milky Way, the last paradise! The nature is waiting for you!
        --Neo-Kenya Travel

Just an outdated advertisement, it seems.

Additionally, there are people here. First the lady at the desk.

If you're going to Ozsat, please proceed directly to the transporter pad. Any time is fine.

And then the other person, sitting at the computers.

There's nothing to worry about! In the last year we've not made a single mistake where somebody was accidentaly shot into empty space! We have fewer accidents than the Bird Line and it's definitely safer than walking around outside towns!

Here by the transporter pad, there is a technician.

Bringing in firearms and taking animals out of this planet is strictly being checked for. Especially taking animals out is not allowed!

Let's use the transporter.

As mentioned, it takes us up to the orbital satellite Ozsat. Of course, we're here mostly to talk to people at this point. For example the person sitting at the desk.

Welcome to the orbital satellite Ozsat. Are you here to see someone off?
Something like that... / [ We're looking for animals. ]
The only "animals" here are the oddball lab techs. It seems we got all the weird ones.

Over here there are two more people. First, the woman sitting at the computer:

I heard the that the transporter system has suddenly reduced the costs of getting things into orbit to 1/100000 of what it would have cost otherwise. It's the same technology used for your backpack, and apparently it was discovered somewhere during the archaeological excavations.

You don't say. Well, that's definitely going to be worth looking into once we have some time to actually explore this planet in detail.

The technician:

There are only 30 evacuation flights left. I wonder if they will be able to pick up everyone who's on the ground. I hope there won't be any "leftovers", but knowing how Federation plans and executes things, I wouldn't be so sure.

Going back to the person sitting at the desk, we'll take the staircase that was there.

This leads us to a whole other area on the satellite. I'm pretty sure those beds have restraints simply because of low gravity, though.

We can talk to this lady here.

Did you ever check out the weather forecast over the phone?
[ I did. ] / I didn't.

Well, tehcnically we didn't, but...

That's because I'm looking at Neo-Kenya cloud cover from here and producing a forecast. Sometimes I'm not sure so I just invent something. But overall, it's pretty accurate, right?

And another person over here.

Ken! A person who left through here has left you a message! Would you like to hear it?
[ Yes. ] / No.
"Ken! Linda! Hang in there until the last minute collecting the animals, but I'm heading somewhere safe!"
There will be more of these as the time goes on, so make sure to come and check!

No idea who that message is from, but yes, as time passes we can hear different messages for Ken and Linda here. So we might visit from time to time.

If we pass through that door on the "north" wall, we go into a hallway...

...which ultimately leads to another person!

If you are on an escape shuttle, proceed downstairs to the boarding gate. If you're seeing someone off, proceed to the left to the observation area.

And in the observation area...

The brochure distributed by the Federation to promote the Escape Project seems to be informative and shows a lot of photograph of shuttles. But now that the evacuation has actually begun, there is only one shuttle, and even that is a hastily converted cargo ship. I don't think the Federation can really be trusted.

We're done here for now, so we'll head back to the transporter pad...

...and return back to the planet surface!

We take this staircase down...

...which brings us to another kind of "waiting" area at the airport. Let's have a chat with this lady.

I don't know if it's "the beauty of destruction" or what, but for the past few years, travelling to Neo-Kenya has been all the rage among the rich and bored! It's amazing how people can be ruthless onlookers when it's someone else's problem. It's beyond appaling.

And the other guy.

When they came as settlers, they were brought in on luxury ships, but now they are leaving on a converted freighter! They pack them like sardines into an old fashioned rocket! The Federation really is quite uncaring...

And finally the woman sitting at the desk behind...

You see that old dude over there? That guy who looks like he can make a crying child go quiet, he's actually the director of this airport! It shows you that you can't judge the people based on their looks.

We can't actually see him on the screenshot, but if we move a little bit...

There he is. I can see why he may look intimidating.

Hi! How's it going with the ark project? I believe in you guys! Please do your best!

Well, that was not particularly englightening... But in any case, we continue by taking that staircase down.

And that takes us to this area, where we can talk to the lady at the information desk...

If you are boarding the escape shuttle, please proceed to the transporter pad located on the third floor to go to the Ozsat satellite. Please note that it is not allow to bring any hand luggage on board.

Next to her, there is some kind of thing. If we read the sign...

☆Neo-Kenya: One Hundred Years of Progress☆

An introduction to Neo-Kenya, from its discovery to the present day, in an easy-to-understand format!

One hundred years of progress is all it's going to get too, so this is a bit ironic. Unfortunately, we can't look at the exhibit more closely, which is a shame, as that would have been interesting. No matter, we'll discover all of this planet's secrets ourselves soon enough. But not exactly in this scenario, though.

This guy is sitting at the bar...

All drinks have a unique tast of their own. The only thing they have in common is that they all taste pretty bad!

Yeah, so I'm not going to be buying anything to drink anyway. You can restore HP by buying a drink, but why do that when a camp will do it for free?

Anyway, this was all a relaxing walk/sightseeing, but now is the time to get back to work again. So, let's head outside!

We'll need to do soon a bit more hunting, and Linda is still only at level 3! So we need to take care of that a little bit. For that purpose we'll head through the west-east tunnel and then due south east in order to make our way to Marblepolis.

Inside, I figure we might as well make camp for the night, in order to restore everybody HP and so on.

So I set everybody to "sleep" and set up camp. But there is a bit of a difference this time: when Ken and Linda are together, when you make camp, they will often have a short conversation. Such is the case today, too.

Ken... your mother is a very nice woman. And the commander is very nice too. They are dating, aren't they? Your mum and the commander, I mean.
[ Looks like it. ] / You really think so?
Your late father would be happy to give them his blessing, I'm sure.

And so, next morning...

...if we check our inventory, we find out that one of our three tissues apparently got used overnight. It used to be right there where there is now an empty spot.

Well anyway, we have a thing we came here to do, and that is to level up Linda. This can be done pretty quickly by fighting earthworms, since they usually come in large groups and give a pretty good chunk of EXP. So Linda will pretty much be gaining a level after each battle for a while!

It goes pretty much as expected, but if you want to see it all in action, I have put a video below which shows a bit of dungeon traversal and a battle with a bunch of earthworms.

To explain a bit. Everyone's attacks go in order of their speed, including our two dogs, so nothing unusual there. Near the end of the battle, one of our dogs runs away (as I already explained before that it can happen here). After the battle is done, Ken goes up to level 21 and Linda to level 10. You can also see that after the battle Ken is flashing orange--this indicates some kind of adverse condition. You can go into the "party condition" menu option to see, but there I find out that the only problem is that Linda is very low on HP, which I solve by giving her one of those tablets.

Anyway, level 10 is enough for now, so we head out, but unfortunately there is one unavoidable battle in a narrow passage, so Linda gains another level there. And so, here is where we are after all this:

That should be ok for the time being, I think. The closest town is Hospico, so let's head there for a bit.

First of all, we go to the animal trader...

Because, as it turns out between this and previous visit to Marblepolis, we have collected quite a quantity of earthworms:

Yes. That's 47 males and 35 females, no joke. So I sell all of that, which results in a pretty nice sum of money.

That says 48,107 G, yes. So we should be set financially for a good while for sure.

Another thing I do here is buy a rescue beacon from the Bird Line shop. As mentioned, it allows us to be picked up from anywhere in the world. So we might use it to save time at some point, or something.

When we are already here, let's just check in quickly with Sachiko...

Today, she is here at the nurses station.

Ugh, she keeps saying these odd things and I'm never sure if I should take her seriously or not!

And, well at this point, as I'm walking around the map, the game decides that it's time for Summer of 1992 to begin!

There is exactly seven years left and also seven species to still collect.

I hope everyone enjoyed taking a bit of a break, but in our next episode it's time to do some hunting and to pick up the plot again!

Today we have another typically silly one from the PC Engine times:

...and also a sketch which looks like an advertisement for the game or something:

("Coming Soon!")