The Let's Play Archive

Linda Cube [Linda³]

by ivantod

Part 9: Summer 1992


Last time, Ken and Linda explored Paraside for a bit and then checked in with her fathere, Hume, who seems not to be doing too well, especially as he's still quite hung up on his ex-wife, Linda's mother. After that, some tigers were caught for our collection, and then Ken got a message from Nek to meet him in Koshikata, for a little "game" in Koshikata, as he put it.

After tiger hunting, we used the Bird Line pickup and so were returned exactly at the place we started from, which is Battle Park.

And so, here we are. Nothing else to do, but head over to Koshikata, and luckily, Battle Park is actually the closest town to it (yes, I planned this!).

As before, to reach Koshikata, we'll simply take the western tunnel out of Battle Park.

You might remember that there is a "Rent-A-Animal" office at the other end of the tunnel. But this person here has something intersting to say!

If you have some rotten meat with you, better throw it our because hyenas will smell it and be very happy to see you. They don't care if your heart is rotten or not, but they do care for rotten meat!

In fact, I do have some rotten meat which I got last time from disassembling hippos, but I'm definitely not throwing it away since I actually want to attract hyenas so I could capture them. Hyenas do indeed only appear when you carry rotten meat on you, so it seems that the ones from Neo-Kenya are also the scavenger kind of sort.

Before we head out, just one thing. Someone commented previously how on the menu screen the characters are making a pose:

Actually, if you press R1 or L1 button on the controller, you can change the display so you can get a look at the portraits in their full glory, like so:

So that's pretty cool (in a game full of fun/cool little touches literally everywhere!). Oh, in case you are wondering why I suddenly have more money than last time, it's because the dude in Battle Park finally decided to show up and buy my Champions Belt for 10,000G!

Anyway, let's head out and capture a few hyenas while we walk to Koshikata.

If you have carrion with you, they will even come to you, no need to chase!

Hilarious. They usually show up in very large groups, so it's not uncommon to encounter 10 or more of them in one battle. If you look carefully at the bottom right battlefield display on the screenshot above, you can see that I have indeed encountered 10 of them here.

They can be a little bit of a problem to capture, actually, but not because they are particularly strong--if anything, it's the opposite. They are quite weak, and it can be a bit difficult to not "overkill" them at the level that we are. In addition, as soon as one of them suffers a lot of damage, most of the others will immediately run away. Hence the fact that they come in groups 10+ doesn't actually matter because after 1-2 turns most of them will run away anyway.

Therefore I employ the following tactic: transform Ken into a rat (which lowers his attack, but greatly increases speed) and then use one of the elmental abilities that hyenas are not weak to (e.g. gale cutter). In this way, you should be able to lower your damage enough to the point that you can actually capture them--it may still take a couple of tries to do this without them running away, but it's not too bad. Note also that I have temporarily removed dogs from the party, because they definitely do too much damage at this point and I can't really control it.

Anyway, with this done, we can proceed to Koshikata, the abandoned Beastian town (whose mayor it seems, was Ken and Nek's actual father).

Here we are. I should probably mention that "koshikata" in Japanese means "past", both in the sense of time and also in the sense of a place that you went past.

Let's head in--by the way, you might want to remember to put the dogs back in your active party at this point.

The place certainly looks abandoned. But our gaze is drawn to the left...

...where we have one of those elaborate Beastian churches...

...on top of whose bell tower, there seems to be a Santa, waiting for us. Well, let's head inside and find him, since that's clearly Nek.

There are some wolves roaming around, but they don't attack us, so that's good.

So we'll start going up to the bell tower.

Man, what IS it with this game and chests?

Anyway, we're heading up.

And up, while desperately trying to not pay attention to that chest there...

And after a few more steps, finally we reach the place where Nek is standing:

This is where we were born, and quickly abandoned!
So, brother! Let's make up today for all the times we couldn't play together as kids! Let's play a game! The prize will be one year's supply of medicine needed to restore Linda's memories!
The rules are simple! We'll just play a game of tag, and my friends will be the taggers!

His "friends"? He can't possibly be talking about... wolves?

Your task is to make it to this town's main gate and you win! The taggers won't chase you until the bell has rung three times! So make the best of it while you can!

He goes away.

Yes, Linda, but now we need to go!

We go back the way we came, but by the time we're down from the bell tower, the three bells have rung, and...

...wolves are no longer docile.

But that's totally ok! It gives us a chance to collect another species on our way to 30!

There's honestly not that much to say here. They are pretty easy at the level we are, and I really haven't been doing any grinding--it's really not ever necessary or even really useful in this game, as we already know. The wolves can buff themselves and all that, but still they don't pose a huge threat. One last interesting thing to note is that, not unexpectedly, they have mostly the same abilities as dogs.

Getting to the ground floor, probably the easiest way is to go around the back

...and finally take a side exit!

We make our way to the main entrance... only to be confronted by Nek, again.

Well, let's give you your prize!
But before that... little Linda, what do we say? Say thank you properly!
Thank you... Ken...

Linda sounds quite listless here... She moves over to Nek's side.

Of course, that doesn't generally work so well, so I supplement it by drugs. It's just more reliable.
But, brother! You do not need to worry! I am a man of my word! I'll make sure she takes her medicine regularly!
Ahahahaha! Wait, what? What kind of look is that on your face right now? Oh, I see! You want to keep playing, don't you?
[ It's my turn now to be the tagger! ]/ I've had enough with you!
Looks like my friends also still want to play with you! Be nice to each other, all right!
Well then, brother! I wish you a very merry Christmas!

He and Linda exit the stage...

...and Ken quickly finds himself surrounded by dogs! However shall we get out of this one?

No problem, because help appears just in the nick of time:

Huh, that son of a bitch Santa's got Linda again! I see.
Hahahaha.... oh ithurtsithurts!
If he took her, we can take her back! Let's go, Ken! Come on!
Um... by the way, Ken... which way are we going again?

Well, ok. Let's stop for a second and see where we are.

Clearly we've lost Linda again, but we do now have Hume in our party:

Or like this, if you want to take a look at the picture properly:

So he has fixed stats that you see there, doesn't level up, and you can't change his equipment either, and also he has no BP and therefore no special abilities that he can use--therefore, brute force attacks are his thing. Luckily he's pretty much at the level where we need him to be and also has relatively higher HP for his level (but he's a pretty large fellow so that's not unexpected anyway). So we should be able to make do temporarily, until we recover Linda, at least.

All right, well, there's nothing really to be done here any more, so let's at least make our way back to Battle Park and regroup there.

On the way back, Ken gets a message notification! We'll check that shortly.

Let's hear the message. It's from Ben!

It's me! How is Linda? She's remembered something by now, right? Anyway, I need you to come back for a bit! As commander, it's my duty to hear the reports of my team and to make plans for the future! Also, I don't like to say it, but your mum is worried about you and can't sleep!
This is an order! Come home as soon as you can! After you've reassured your mother, report to me at the HQ immediately! That is all!

All right, let's head back to Hardia, it has been a while! As usual we'll take the mountain tunnel southeast of Battle park...

...which drops us off just a bit north of Hardia and the ark. So, let's visit Ken's mum first!

After proclaiming, "I'm going to make Linda my bride!" now you're already bringing the bride's father? I mean, I don't mind, but I think that Santa look doesn't really become you.
Also... I guess it must be a fad or something, but I don't think it's nice to be dragging Linda around with a collar and chain...

Nek is pretty crazy, huh? But also, on this topic check out at the end the concept art section!

I don't feel we were particulary reassuring there... but nonethless, time is of the essence so we head to the Ranger HQ next to talk to Ben.

I hate to have to get to business immediately, but Linda's been kidnapped again!
Kidnapped? Why aren't you doing anything about it, she's your daughter?
That's why I came here to seek your wisdom! I'm sure you have a few tricks up your sleeve, right? You'll help me for old times' sake, right?
Or, hmmm.... you haven't run out of ideas, have you?
You damned... of course I haven't!
There we go, there we go! That's the commander Ben I know and respect!
So, what shall we do about this Nek? Tell us, don't be shy, ok?
Take this with you.

Commander gives Ken a radio-receiver.

Of course, the unform I gave to Linda also has one. The receiver I just gave you has a disadvantage that it can only be used outdoors, but it should help a little bit at least.
I see you're still as well prepared as always. Almost as if you knew that...
Huh. I see how it is... You really are a clever bastard! And to think that I was about to say thank you!

You know what, let's just go.

But we get stopped.

I'll be right behind you, as soon as I organise a team here. Try not to get into trouble in the meantime!
Forget it! I'm sure Ken and I are perfectly capable of rescuing her ourselves! That is to say, I won't be holding my breath, but if you want, you're welcome to join us when you can.
Ben... Sorry, maybe I said a bit too much just now. Let's just forget it.

You know what, let's just go.

But we get stopped.

Maybe when this is all over, I can try to help you two reconcile?
I appreciate that, but... I think it's too late for the two of us at this point. But Ann will always remain close to my heart. That's good enough for me right now.
Well, it's none of my business. If that's what you want, I won't say another word.

You know what, let's just go.

Not having any other ideas right now, we'll just head out and see what the receiver will tell us.

In order to use the receiver...

...we just go to the item menu and use it as any other normal item.

It shows us the world map like this:

The position of Linda (and Nek) is indicated by a small circle.

Curiously, as you can see, currently the circle is pointing at the ark itself! So I guess let's go there and see?

Oh, there they are!

Hey bro! I decided to give it a little try and it turns out that the control room door can be also opened with mine and Linda's handprint.

I mean, if they're twins, that makes sense sort of.

So, I guess I decided I might as well try flying this thing around a bit!
Ready for lauch!
Huh, I guess I always wanted to be able to say that.

Nek and Linda go inside.


Uh, now what?

Well, I know that we should be chasing Nek down, buuuuuuuuuuuut... there's also another place we could pay a quick visit to.

Obviously we're going to go and see Elizabeth again. The following scene is, like last time, entirely optional. Also like last time, it might take a few tries until she actually decides to see you.

Anyway, here we go, hold on to your hats!

It really hasn't been that long, actually. But ok.

[ Ask about Nek. ] / Ask about her age. / Ask about Panheim.
Nek? Spelled as N-E-K, right? Let me see...
Oh, I know. It's just exactly the same as you. Like a mirror image! Because KEN is NEK in reverse! So it's just another one of you, right?

I'm pretty sure she's just playing dumb.

Ask about Nek. / [ Ask about her age. ] / Ask about Panheim.
Ah! That's quite brave of you to ask a woman her age! Well, how old do I look to you?
20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 / [ 65 ]

Let's see what happens now!

Ha! Good intution there! It seems you have a lot of experience with women for someone so young!

And the last thing...

Ask about Nek. / Ask about her age. / [ Ask about Panheim. ]

Uh, ok, I guess let's leave.

I've heard there's a new theory around that the ark is simply supposed to be travelling zoo of an alien civilisation. So you might also end up being turned into a stuffed animal when you board the ark. Sorry.

Like I said, now that we've done this, let's head all the way outside and check our receiver:

So, it looks like Nek and Linda are now in Ozport. Is he using the ark to make a tour of this planet, or what is going on here? Well, anyway, let's head to Ozport--I mean it makes sense, there's a wedding shop there.

First, let's check out the park again.

This lady has something new to say...

Hey, didn't you just erase someone else's name here and carved in your own? Well done, Nek!

Ah, we better check the tree, then!

Ken examined the bark of the Red Thread Cedar tree. Inside a 🎔, he found Nek and Linda's name written together.

[ Put Ken's name back. ] / Leave as is.

Ken erased Nek's name and put back his own!

Ok, now that we've fixed that, let's check out the situation at the wedding shop.

As we enter, we are immediately approached by someone.

Ah! Are you perhaps Ken?
That Santa fellow who was just buying a bridal gown here asked me to give you a message! The message is: "Make sure you come to the wedding!"

Ugh. Now he's just trolling us.

Well, anyway, I know we're in a kind of a rush, but still, there's a couple of new people here that are worth talking to!

Like this older gentleman here.

My dream is to see people living in my native Koshikata again, even it's only for one year. I've been buying lottery tickets for the last 10 years to help me achieve that goal, but so far I've only managed to win the third prize!

This statement sounds entirely inconsequential, however I would suggest remembering it for the future!

Also, this guy down in the casino/night club area.

They announced that the reason the South Area was closed off is because of raidoactive contamination caused by the satellite crash. But I've heard a rumour that it wasn't an accident, but instead a nuclear missile was used to make sure one particular persopn was eliminate!

Uh, wow. I hope not.

But in any case, it seems that Linda and Nek are no longer here, so let's go outside and check our receiver again.

Hmmm... The little circle now indicates around coordinates S-09, but this is right in the middle of a mountain range. Also, the location is not known on our places list on the right hand side of the display either. What could it possibly be?

Let's head over there to check.

Getting there, there does seem to be something there in the mountains, but more importantly, a cave entrance which we can assume leads to it! Let's head into the cave, then.

This particular location is called Nebul Road.

It features enemies like crabs and squids, which we do not care about at all at this point.

If we take the northern route, we get to this staircase.

It only leads to another staircase up.

This one leads to a tent.

I heard there's a town called Nebul somewhere around here. I've found some kind of a structure two floors up, but there doesn't seem to be any way in that I can see.

Hm, ok. if we take two floors up from here...

...we ultimately arrive this wall here. And also one floor up... this weird structure. But, as the man said, there seems to be no way in, or anything else that can be done.

So, we have no option but to return to where we came from.

This time, we'll take the southern route, and then immdeiately go down a staircase.

Proceeding eastwards, we run into something chilling in a pool of water. It is not a species we've seen before, so let's check it out.

Ah, but of course. It's just some "entrails".

Er... so, uh yeah. Well, anyway. They are actually pretty weak, so the same strategy applies like with hyenas: remove dogs from your party and reduce your attack as much as possible, and you'll manage to capture a few! Also, Hume should not attack the females, since they are even weaker than males.

Oh, and I know what you're thinking. How crazy must these have looked in the PC Engine version, right?

Turns out, they looked exactly the same:

Well, anyway.

After finishing that, we take another staircase down.

Then we head back west, passing by a crate which contains "entrail clothes". That's certainly an item you can equip (but we won't as it's slightly worse than what we currently use)!

We'll take a turn south to a staircase leading up.

We head again east from there...

And again up, at the end of the hallway.

From there we go through a doorway, which this time is open. This takes us into the "secret town" of Nebul! Before we leave, I should mention that there is actually one other species you can find in the caves, namely the crocodile, but I guess we didn't come across them this time!

There seems to be a system of bridges over that muck (whatever that is), but first, we'll talk to the person here. Also, yes, the auction house is another game mechanic. Some species of animals can also be obtained that way, and we will visit over the course of the game.

If there are people who will buy it, we will sell it! Nebul is a kind of a town where the very basics of economy are given practical application.

One of the tents is empty, but in the other...

If you take the east exit, you'll find a big cave called "The Dai Cave" at location U-10. At the end of the cave, you will find a place where flowers grow in large clusters. In the spring and autumn, you can find some rare flowers that have medicinal properties.

We should add this to our "later" list. Also, "dai" literally means "big" in Japanese.

Leaving the tent, we head across the bridge to where there appear to be some structures submerged in this muck.

Most structures actually seem to have an entrance on the roof! What a weird setup.

First, we talk to this guy here.

Friendship, youth, love, courage... there are some things that money can't buy. But this town shows us that those things are just a small number of exceptions and that the money can buy most everything else!

Back south across the small bridge, we'll take the stairs down into the hotel.

Here, as always, we can disturb the guests:

There are many poor people who are happy and many rich people who are not so happy. This is all true, but relatively speaking, a much bigger percentage of rich people are among the happy ones!

Walking past the reception, we take the stairs down...

Here we can talk to this guy...

I wonder if there is anyone out there who would consider me as a Grade A Protected Person and take care of me... I guess not.

If we climb back out of the hotel and cross the bridge to the left...

...there is a woman on the bench here.

In your animal guide, you might have noticed letters such as C or F or B beside the picture of the animal. I'll tell you what those mean. Letter A means that it's a Class A protected animal, which means that the government has banned them from being bought or sold. But in this town, they are the best selling product! If you see animals marked with G or H, just forget about those.

So, finally here we are. I guess we've found a place where it's possible to trade in some forbidden goods!

Taking the bridge south from there, we can enter the bar.

First, we can talk to the waitress...

Quite a lot of customers in this town are actually from the ranger corps. They come here to sell the Class A animals that they bullied the poachers into giving up to them. It's ridiculous.

And then the gentleman sitting at the table.

Killing an animal just to taste the meat, even when you're not hungry--that's the human way of doing things. It's why we ended up coming to this useless planet at the far edge of the galaxy, too.

Don't forget that the general population is not aware of the human "life-force" issue, so they don't know that this planet is an experiment of sorts!

Leaving the bar, we'll now take the staircase next to the bench lady.

We reach an area where all the equipment, meat, etc. shops are. We'll start by talking to the woman standing by the sinks.

When I was a kid, I first saw the picture books of animals of Neo-Kenya. They are not related to those on earth, even when they have the same names. There are a few that look similar, but the way most of them are named, you really wonder what they were thinking they gave them the names.

Well, I'm not entirely sure about the "unrelated" part, but we'll see.

We continue our tour by talking to the gentleman in blue here.

The law limits the number of hunting dogs a hunter can register to a maximum of 32 during their lifetime. People who get a dog only to immediately get tired of it and throw it away are not qualified to own dogs! By the way, you can also divorce up to 32 times in Neo-Kenya. So I'm still good for 18 times, personally.

The animal trader next to him:

The animal protection treaty is a brain child of a person who's stomach is so full that they can't stop burping. They don't seem to realise there are many more people who live hand to mouth!

We can also talk to this person in white shirt, who's made his way to us in the meantime.

There are people who make the rules, and then there are people who break the rules. It's what I call the "self-cleansing" process of a healthy society. Anyway, here all animals are equal! You can buy and sell regardless of protection designation!

Here is the animal disassembler:

No person in their right mind would think it a good idea to disassemble a Class A animal, but... when people have too much money, it's hard to stay same. So that's why I'm here!

Our next stop is the equipment shop.

You're an amateur if you think you don't need the shop any more after you learn to make your own equipment. The ones that call themselves professionals, will keep an eye our for the occasional rarity or bargain in the shops!

Ok, I guess we will do that.

In the mean time, I buy two crocodile caps, for a bit of extra defence. One is equipped immediately on Ken:

It gives a very slight defence increase.

Next is the bank:

When you're in town, money is your best weapon. But when you're out in the open, a million G note is not even as good as a rabbit knife. Common sense on this planet is difficult for us bankers to grasp!

Rabbit knife being of course one of the weakest weapons around.

There is one last person to talk to, and they are over here.

With our famous "Trap Rental" service, you can safely capture dangerous animals! The days of having to chase them and risk your life to catch them are gone! You have to be smart about life, and traps are the biggest new trend! With our rental traps, even children can catch animals!

Cool. But also, if you thought we've see all you can do in this game, I guess you were wrong. Because here is yet another thing. And we will, just not today.

We're mostly done exploring, so we'll now take this lift up. Yes, you do have to push the button yourself to call it!

It takes us here, to an area looking suspiciously like a typical town entrance/exit. And indeed, if we go upstairs...

...we reach the expected bird line service desk! And there are also Nek and Linda (apparently in her wedding clothes)! But before we can do anything...

...they get on the pad and disappear as a bird picks them up. Well, drat.

Ugh, I guess we'll have to check our receiver somewhere again. Bird Line has a somewhat more reduced amount of locations you can go to from here, but the cheapest one is Ozport, so let's go back there for now.

Outside, we check the receiver:

Here we can see that the circle is indicating Paraside, so we'll head there.

Indeed, the ark really is here.

Inside, we can talk to this person here.

Hume! Your daughter was just here! It's been a while since I've seen her, but she seemed very pale looking. Also, she was wearing a wedding dress over her ranger uniform! Is that some kind of a new trend?

It seems we've just missed them again...

Let's head back out.

Indeed, the ark really is gone. So, well, nothing else to do but check the receiver once again.

This time, the circle is definitely pointing to Eterna--to no one's surprise. I think we may be nearing the end of this particular chase. Obviously we head straight there.

As we arrive, Hume has something to say.

It feels less like Christmas and more like climbing the Golgotha hill.

As we proceed, Hume takes Ken to the side.

They head back behind a building, and after a few seconds...

...come back out disguised as two Santas! I guess they must have beat up a couple of people and stole their clothes!

Just as we are in front of the door, Hume stops us yet again.

You go in from the front, and I'll go in from the right! If it works, we'll have them in a pincer, but even if it doesn't it makes it more likely that one of us will survive. In the meantime, remember, our first priority is to protect Linda! All right, I'll see you soon!

And he leaves to go around the right side, leaving Ken on his own. Let's finally head inside.

Inside we find that a door is open, which wasn't open before! If we go in...

...we find that it's some kind of a lab, with what seems to be a bunch of female corpses preserved in some pods or whatever those are. Over on the left...

...the whole gang is here! Including Linda, who appears to be sitting on the floor.

When you're wearing that outfit, I'm sure the angels will come for you from heaven, even if it is your own brother who kills you.
You don't need to worry about Linda, though! She'll be safe with me... forever!

It's been a while, so it's definitely time for another cutscene!

Well, that explains a lot, and specifically a thing which was mentioned long ago about corpses of Beastian women getting stolen from the hospital morgue. Also, those who were wondering if her last name might really be Báthory, I guess you had a bit of a point. Although in the case of real Elizabeth Báthory, a 16/17th-century Hungarian noblewoman who was accused of killing virgin girls and bathing in their blood in order to prolong her youth, the accusations were never actually proven and it may all have been just a deliberate conspiracy against her, as she at the time owned much of the territory that is today Hungary, so she had a lot of enemies.

In any case, as for our Elizabeth, we've now seen her true form, and also she's dead. So we don't need to worry about that for the moment and should focus on freeing Linda from Nek.

Come on, bro, follow me. But you know, I really think Linda and I will get along just fine!

He takes Linda with him and runs up the stairs.

I guess we should follow, sooner rather than later.

But we'll leave that for next time, which will incidentally also be the final part of Scenario A! Although, if you were keeping count, you will remember that we're still at only 29 species, including those we haven't handed in. So, there's still some more work to be done on that topic, and who knows what else might happen anyway.

In the meantime, enjoy some illustrations!

Today we have a couple of drawings related to the current Nek/Linda situation!

This first one seems like a cutscene storyboard which wasn't used, or something like that.