The Let's Play Archive

Linda Cube [Linda³]

by ivantod

Part 10: Summer 1992


Last time, things happened... a bit. First Ken and Linda went to Koshikata and met with Nek--that ended up with Nek kidnapping Linda. Then, Linda's father showed up and with Ben's help they managed to track down Nek and Linda. Then it turned out that Nek was supposed to deliver Linda to Elizabeth, who was using young Beastian women to keep herself young. Then it turned out that Nek actually wanted Linda for himself and was going to board the ark. And then, he seemingly invited Ken to a fight on top of Elizabeth's mansion in Eterna. Whew.

And so, let's continue right where we left off, as Ken follows Nek and Linda up the stairs over several floors!

You know, it's kind of weird when Ken is also wearing a santa suit! Anyway, he catches up with them one floor up.

I just wanted to see mum's happy face!

We go one floor up...

I didn't know how to cut corners... I wish I'd realised sooner that it's much easier and faster to "make" a corpse than to find one...

And one more floor up...

Like Linda... Like Linda.
Brother! This is not fair! So why don't we make a player substitute? How about it?

Finally, we're on the top floor. Ken follows them outside through the door.

And here we are, a confrontation with Nek right in front of a Christmas tree! For us, though, it's cutscene time! There's going to a few of those in this update!

Well then, after this...

...Nek goes over and locks the door.

Don't give up until the end, and let's have lots of fun! Please! All right, let's start!

And they start this silly fight!

We do actually have control over Ken, and it is possible to approach Linda standing there and try to talk to her...

...but she's still basically catatonic, so nothing useful comes out of her.

Anyway, after a while of this nonsense...

He doesn't finish whatever he was going to say, because a large Santa carrying a large knife appears from the other side.

Hume, I guess? Well, let's see what happens.

That was... oddly excessive!

Ken does take the advice, and starts to get Linda away from this whole mess...

...while the large Santa is about to corner them:

Luckily, before anything can happen, a bunch of rangers bust through the doors on either side!

But then...

Who... Who was that...?

...the animals. I've caught a few myself and put them in the ark. It's my gift to Linda and you, brother. The animals are still alive... it's not so easy to catch them properly, is it?
Shit... my eyes are full of blood, can't even see properly any more... I have to tell you the keyword to get Linda's... memory back while... I can still talk...

Let's hear it, then.

Before we continue, it's interesting to make a comparison with this same cutscene in the PC Engine version! Just as a reminder, the old warning for PC Engine cutscenes does apply: I have to transcribe these purely by ear, so I apologise in advance for any mistakes--the overly compressed audio quality doesn't help here either.

Anyway, the PC Engine version of this scene:

So there are a couple of unexpected differences here! The major one is that in this version Nek actually outright tells Ken the "keyword" and what to do, instead of Ken being left to figure it out. The other difference is that in that in this version, for once, Linda doesn't get randomly violent with Ken--but in that version, Nek warns Ken that she might!

But either way, like in a fairy tale, "true love's kiss" wins the day!

Also, sorry if you thought there was going to be a boss fight with Nek! Because there is definitely no such thing in the game! However, don't worry too much, because we WILL in fact have a boss fight later today... or at least as close as this game gets to one, because as you might have noticed by now, proper boss fights really aren't this game's thing.

Well, all right, enough of that. A little bit later we find Ken and Linda, together with Ken's mum, all talking to Ben in his office in Ranger HQ building!

Now you can really focus on collecting all the animals!

Oh, yeah about that. You probably noticed Nek mentioning something about catching a few species and leaving them for us in the ark. This is actually true. We'll check this out at the end, when we hand in everything, but for now let me say that the game does indeed "gift" you a couple of species in this way, so you don't even need to collect all 30 that are required for successful completion! The game REALLY goes easy on us in this first scenario, but that's ok because they do indeed get more difficult as you progress through them in sequence. Anyway, we'll see what animals Nek gave us a bit later, although I won't go into detail about them until we actually get a chance to catch them ourselves.

Oh, right. It's a bit too quiet here... it's because that noisy guy is not around. What happened to Hume, anyway?

The commanders phone starts ringing...

That must be him! He talks big talk, but was not there when he was really needed! Ahahaha.

Well, I'm not entirely sure about that "was not there" part. He finally goes to pick up the phone, though.

I knew it was you, Hume! Where have you been loitering about, anyway?
Yes, they are both here... You want me to turn on the speakerphone? Ok, sure...

So this bit is better when heard as audio, but I'll try to transcribe as best possible. There are two voices heard over the phone, Hume and Ann, alongside various sounds.


Hume: You want me to read this message, right?

Sounds of fighting and Ann being punched.

Hume: Stop! Don't hit her! All right, I'll read it, I'll read it! Stop!

Hume: "Dear Linda, your mum and dad are being taken care of by Uncle Santa. I have prepared a fun party for all off us, so please come and join us together with Kenny. You can find the venue easily, just go up the red stairs by the ruins and head west through the snow to find us! If you don't come soon, I'll roast your mum and dad and eat them instead of the turkey!"

Hume: Don't come! It's a trap!

Various sounds of punching and struggle.

Hume: Nnnngh... stop! What are you doing to her!

Sounds of person being punched and some maniacal laughter. Ann screams.

Ann: Stop! Please!

Sounds of Ann screaming while she's seemingly being beaten.

Hume: Stop! Don't do it to her! Aaargh! You bastard! You bastard! I'm going to kill you!

More sounds of punching and screaming. The connection is interrupted.


He comes back over to Ken and Linda.

[ Of course! ] / No, we won't.
So I thought. Well, I'll save some time in searching.
Turns out, "somebody" who likes to play tricks, "somehow" attached a transmitter to Hume's back last time when I stopped him from leaving here.

I like this turn of events. Ben was always presented as someone who always has a trick up his sleeve, and so is the case now!

In any case, we can leave now and try to find out Hume's location, but before we do that... Ken's mum is still standing here, so let's just have a quick chat!

Ken, it's your job to make sure that the good ones outweigh the bad ones, understand?

There is also the commander's secretary sitting there, and we can briefly talk to her.

Now that Linda is back, her swearing and the cobra twist will be again in full force! Everybody save yourselves while you can!

Going back downstairs, we're approached by one of the rangers...

Well, I guess we would be interested.

However, there's one other thing I should mention right now. You might recall that we were prevented from using the Ark because of Nek messing with Linda's head. But... her memories are back, and there's nothing wrong with her any more.

So, does that mean that we can... just go and start the ark and leave right now? I mean, with the animals we got from Nek we definitely have at least 30. So, we should be able to just ignore all this and leave on the ark... right?


Believe it or not, yes. You can entirely ignore whatever plot is left in this scenario and leave right now. Everything from this point on is totally optional. It's completely crazy.

Obviously, the stated goal of this LP is to explore this game in as much detail as we possibly can, so clearly we won't be leaving just now. Instead, I know we have what looks like an urgent situation, but let's just check Panheim out before we set off, ok?

We can take this staircase to get to the basement, where the detention cells are (remember that rangers also act as a kind of a police on this planet too!).

Panheim is over there in the other cell, but first let's just talk to this other guy whom they have imprisoned here.

It may be a Class A protected species or not, but either way they're going to be extinct on this planet, right? So why can't we hunt them, when it only chages things by a couple of years, right? Does that not make sense?

I guess this guy must be in jail for poaching or something! Anyway, over to Panheim.

This old man's story is kind of boring, but would you like to hear it anyway?
[ We'll hear it. ] / No way.

Of course, let's hear it.

I remember the first time I met Elizabeth. I was 26 and she was 28, we were both young. She was the president of a small cosmetics company and I was just a researcher who just joined the company. I was a bit of a late bloomer, so at 26 it was the first time I actually fell in love with a person. But my love was never going to come to fruition... and it's because Elizabeth was only interested in maintaining her own good looks and youth. She wanted to forever be the same age as her husband who died shortly after their marriage.
But now that I've lost Elizabeth, I regret it even more... Perhaps if I had told her at some point how I really felt...?

Well, we'll never know, will we?

Sorry for wasting your time, I know this was boring... I am really sorry to both of you... and your families too...

Well, ok, let's slowly make our way out...

Oh yeah, this ranger has something to say...

A frozen corpse of a man was found in the basement of Elizabeth's mansion. Apparently it's her husband whom she was preserving in hopes of being able to resuscitate him one day! Why would you do something like that!

Because you're crazy? But also, I think we can potentially conclude that Elizabeth is not actually Ken and Nek's mum. Since Nek previously killed the man in the underground cell (presumably the former mayor of Koshikata) who he claimed was their father. So then the person found in Elizabeth's basement should be someone else, right? Well anyway, there's still plenty more of game left to figure all of this out, I think. So we should not worry too much right now.

Before we go, we can also talk to the lady behind the desk here.

I am about half way through transcribing Dr. Panheim's statement. Do you want to read it?
[ Show me, please. ] / Nah.

Some time after her husband's death, Elizabeth started desiring to remain forever young. So I made her an elixir from animal hormones and gave it to her... This worked for the first 30 years. However, as the years went by, the effects of the elixir started slowly to diminish.

One day I came in possession of a corpse of a Beastian women, so I decided to try that as an ingredient in a potion. To my surprise, it worked better than expected, so I hired two "Vigour II" junkies to gather more ingredients.

The new drug got us through the next ten years. But as the Grim Reaper drew near, the population started to slowly dwindle, so I decided to experiment with a new idea.

My final target was Linda. So I decided to perform an operation on Elizabeth, after I had collected data on a sample similar to Linda...

And that's all there is here.

Let's head out. Now that Linda has recovered her memory, we should go and try sitting on the swing in front of Ken's house again!

You were so persistent! But that's fine. Is that how it was...?
That's right. [ It was the other way around! ]

Of course, we know that it was the other way around!

Eh? Really? Hmm, I wonder if my memory is not yet fully back...?
So. I was the one who proposed to you?
Well, I'll believe you, even if I think you're wrong!

On the way out, we should check that news bulletin on the wall...

Green Pharmaceuticals Was Doing Human Experiments!

Is the chairwoman the perpetrator or the victim?

The bodies of missing Minago residents were found at the home of Green Pharmaceuticals chairwoman in Eterna. The body of an important suspect, herself, was also found. Currently another suspect, Panheim is being investigated.

Well, ok. We'll head over to Hospico to talk to a couple of people, and then we'll be on our way to find Hume.

In this room, we find the hospital director...

I still remember when Linda was born... Mr. Hume asked me, "Why does Linda look so different from me? Is she really my child?". So I explained to him that most of the time the Beastian genes are dominant, and since Linda's mum is Beastian, she ended up looking like her. He just let out a big sigh and walked out...

Presumably also what contributed to the whole divorce situation...

On our way, I stop by the pharmacy to buy a few healing tablets. We're going to need a couple in the near future.

One last stop is by the room for newborns. Our old friend Sachiko is here!

Oh, I also have some good news! I have a boyfriend now!
I was bold like you, Miss Linda, so I just confessed to him! I said, "How about Sachiko?". I know it sounds unusual, but it worked!
Miss Linda! Let's both be happy from now on!

I'm not sure where to go with this one.

Now we're ready to head out and see what our receiver says!

Hmm, so it appears that it's pointing to a place in the far north called "G Factory". Hmm, "G" for Green?

But the bigger question is... how to get there? The whole area seems to be behind an impassable mountain range somehow. Well, the only thing even remotely close to it seems to be Eterna (and that other place next to it). So let's actually head to Eterna and see what it looks like there now that both Elizabeh and Nek are gone and Panheim is in prison!

Upon arriving, we find that it's apparently no longer permanent Christmas here, and also all people have left!

All the houses are empty and shops are closed!

We'll head over to Elizabeth's mansion. We want to have a look around, especially that lab that we didn't have time to examine properly.

All the female corpses have been removed from their pods...

Over in the top right corner is a staircase leading down...

As we go down, we see that all those people who were imprisoned here have been freed too! But we'll take the staircase up.

This leads us to a hallway in which we've already been. It's a long straight hallway leading east.

At the end of the hallway are two chests which we opened a long time ago, but the door here which was closed is now open! So we can go through!

Before we head in, I remember to give Linda that crocodile cap I bought last time to increase her defence slightly!

Through the door is another underground cave!

There is at least one new animal species to be found here, but I think it's only males, so we won't bother because we have enough at this point (although I won't stop you from trying to guess what this even is!).

By the way, that lighter coloured stuff on the floor is some kind of liquid which actually damages you if you walk in it! But in a true 1990s Final Fantasy fashion, sometimes there's no other way!

Staircase down...

...leads exactly to a place where you HAVE to damage yourself to get through!

C'mon, game.

We pass by another one of those weird statues and also what looks like an inoperable teleporter in front of it...

Back up again...

On the way there's even a chest with a tablet that heals around 100HP. Well, I don't mind! We'll get that other chest another time!

Walking west, we find another one of those man made gates...

...and we're out! Judging by the fact that there is snow here in the middle of summer, I think we've found the right place. Now we just need to head west to find G-Factory! By the way, in this last dungeon you can actually find a tent which houses a literal drug dealer, from whom you can buy stuff like "Vigour II" among other things!

It's an easy journey since we're bounded by mountains on the south and by water on the north. So we really can just go straight west.

Ah, here we are.

So this woman built a hospital town AND a factory town. Not sure what to say.

But, heading inside, Linda has a problem.

[ What's wrong? ] / I'll go then!
I just remembered what happened that night in Minago... I also saw who did it... Therefore...
[ Tell me more... ] / Well, then leave!

And she leaves anyway. Oh well, let's at least have a look what's here.

As expected from the description, looks quite industrial...

We can head here up the stairs.

All the shops are abandoned, however. Even the bank branch seems to be closed today, too.

But, outside we have these factory buildings. They have numbers 1-4 on them, so let's explore. First, the building number 1.

No people, just industrial stuff and robots. You can actually talk to the robots and they tell you stuff like Production line operational. or No production defects detected. so it's not exactly enlightening.

Whatever is in those vats, doesn't look too inviting. I'm sad to report though that they didn't implement the conveyor belt and you can't ride it.

Next is bulding 3, which sits behind building 1.

Mostly the same sort of thing. So we'll head to the next one, which is building 4.

Also pretty similar...

...except here in the corner, there is a chest, huh!

"Vigour III", you say. Huh, I thought they might have stopped the whole thing when everybody started going crazy after "Vigour II", but I guess not. I'm pretty scared to try it, though.

And finally, of course, the building number 2.

But, just as Ken is about to go in, Linda comes running!

Before we go in, I will rearrange our equipment a little bit.

Ken gets equipped with the jellyfish needle that Linda was using, because it's a stronger weapon:

It only hits one enemy, true, but we have a fight coming up where that won't be an issue.

Linda will take his trusty swallow cutter, although honestly she isn't even going to need a weapon at this time:

Well, let's head in.

At first glance, doesn't look very different...

...but a bit further forward, we find that large santa, who is almost certainly Hume!

Without any kind of dialogue, we head straight into a fight!

The fight is against "Murderer Santa"! But this is a complete joke. If Ken transforms into a Dolphin to increase his attack power... hit deals a whole 177 damage to the Santa. Santa has no special abilities, so this is over in three hits basically.

However, this is definitely a case of "this isn't even my final form", because just as the battle finishes, we head straight into the next cutscene!

What even.

Well, he did at one point say that he wanted to keep Ann close to his chest. So, uh, I guess this is what he meant.

And with this, we head straight into the second phase of this fight, which is a bit more serious and probably as close as Scenario A ever comes to even having anything like a true boss fight!

This time, fight is simply against Hume. As you can see, he has 720 HP, but his strength and defence are a lot better than in the first fight. So we have to employ a bit of a strategy here. In fact, Ken and Linda will have to divide duties, with Ken being the attacker due to his bigger strength and Linda will be on defence.

We'll start by transforming Linda into a crab for a +46 to her defence. After this...

...Linda will use "Armored Skin" ability on herself, for a further +41 in defence. I like how in this game the "transform" option actually doesn't count as a turn and you can still do your regular action after that!

Next, Ken will do his usual transformation into a dolphin, for a +90 in attack power.

From now on, he will use his "desperate attack" ability to attack Hume:

It gives him an attack which adds a further +111 to his attack power, but at a cost of -111 to defence in the next turn!

It results in a nice 187 HP damage to Hume!

However, we must not forget that his defence is now almost halved, and this is where Linda comes in. Like pretty much any turn based JRPG, "defend" is of course one of the possible commands. Except... in this game the "defend" command acts more like the "sentinel" ability from Final Fantasy X. Namely, the character who is defending can choose whom they are defending! So with Linda, she can defend either herself or Ken. Therefore, she'll keep defending Ken so that he can keep using his "desperate attack" for a much greater damage per turn.

It's a bit more complicated than that, since his attacks are pretty strong. So you'll have to find time also to heal Linda from time to time (Ken will never get damaged, of course). Even with all her extra defence, one of his attacks still will do 1/3 to 1/2 of her HP! That's why we bought those healing tablets earlier!

He actually has some special animations for his attacks!

But then at some point, he does this...

The description of the attack indicates that this is him spewing a mixture of blood and gastric juice. Nice.

Other than making my MPEG4 encoder scream in pain, this attack also causes your defence to go down significantly. In this case, Linda eats -60 to her defence stat. This is apparently caused by her vomiting violently from the smell--at least that's how it's described in the game!

Ken does manage another "desperate attack", leaving Hume at 141 HP, i.e. one hit from defeat. Even though Linda will not survive next hit due to decreased defence, I still use her to protect Ken since he needs to actually survive to be able to do that last hit!

As expected, the next attack gets Linda down to 0 HP, but it's Ken's turn next and he doesn't miss. So this battle is finally over.

If you're interested, you can have a look at the video of this fight, just to see how it looks in practice:

And now, the aftermath.

I don't know why I let things go this far... I just wanted to be able to stay with Ann forever. That's all I wanted.
Linda and I look very different, but I loved her too. I truly did!

He climbs up on that vat of green goo...

Hey, Ken. You will stay with me? You will always stay with me, right? You're not going to leave me? Right, Ken?
Yes. We'll always stay together. It's a promise.

Well, there's nothing to do but leave at this point. Except...

There is absolutely no reason to do so, because none of the computers seen so far in the game were in any way interactable, but... if you check this one here in particular...

[ Yes. ] / No.

TransCargo IN: Ladybird ♀: 1, Ladybird ♂: 1.

So, yeah, if you check this computer, you get a pair of Ladybirds you can hand over in the ark! It's another freebie the game gives you, although this one you kind of either have to be very metodical and check everything, or to already know that it's there.

By the way, here I've shown you one way to fight this battle normally, but it's totally possible to 100% cheese it. If you check out the item "Vigour III" that we just got, the description says that it has high probability to cause negative status effects. If you use this item directly on Hume, most of the time it will actually put him in a "sleep" status which lasts more than long enough for you to easily defeat him using "desperate attack", without him ever being able to do anything to you at all!

All right, now we can leave.

Some time later, we find Ken and Linda back at Minago cemetery, presumably just after the funeral for her parents.

As we leave...

We're mostly done with this scenario at this point, but... there are just a couple more things we can do before leaving.

First of all, let's go and have one last chat with Ben a the ranger HQ.

Maybe I would have been able to save Hume and Ann and Nek... I don't know.
But you two... you have a look on your face like you will never again trust another person...
I remember it well, though... the look of joy on Hume's face when Linda was born. I want to believe that it was real, you know?
[Yes, me too!] / I'm not sure...
Believing it or not won't change anything now... but believing it is an easier way to live.
When you start the rest of your life, you too will start coming up with little tricks like this...
It's stupid, I know...
But in the meantime... keep yourself busy by collecting some animals! That's what I'd do!

Well, thanks for that, but we're kind of done with collecting, so...

Our next stop is down in the basement where the prison cells are.

First this ranger has something to say...

Contrary to Panheim's statement, no "Vigour II" was actually found in Hume's body... A bit strange, that.

Strange, indeed...

And then, if we check Panheim's cell...

...I guess all of this might have just been too much for him it seems.

All right. It's time to head out and go to the ark!

I know we don't actually need to, but we'll make camp here one last time, because it gives some nice dialogue between Ken and Linda!

Hey, Ken. What was the keyword that unlocked my memories? I was so out of it, I can't remember.
Ken, you shouted something, right? What did you say?
I want to hear it again. Hey. Hey!
What? You're going to pretend you're asleep now?
C'mon, Ken!
Ken... me too, I love you the most in the world.
*kiss* 'Night. 🎔

The next morning, first we head over to that room to hand over all of our remaining animals!

By checking with the friendly robot here...

...we find out that Nek left us 3 whole species here! Because last time we were here, we were at 23 and now we are at 26. Checking the pods, it turns out that a pair of animals from the following species were already registered by Nek: gorilla, cat, leech.

After this, we can finally hand over all our remaining stuff which we have been carrying for a while now! Namely, the following species: hippo, turtle, tiger, hyena, wolf, entrails and the ladybirds we just got.

And so in total...

...that brings us to a cool 33 out of required 30. Nice. But take note that there is still 87 species which we haven't even seen yet!

And now, up to the control room, and let's activate this thing!

Here it is... but as we try to activate the door...

[ Let's do it. ] / Ah, wait a second.

The game will give us a few chances to change our mind in case there's still something we want to do. But in our case, we're done here, so let's go!

Let's touch the panel when I coun't to 3, ok?
All right, here we go... One and two and...
Aaa! Sorry! Wait a minute. Somehow my heart was pounding! Let me take a deep breath to calm down for a moment.
All right! Sorry to make you wait! Now I'm calm! Let me do it again!
One and two and...
Aaaaaa! Time out time out!
I'm just so nervous!
I think I know what I need right now to calm me down!

Let's do it again! One and two and... three!

And finally...

...we are inside the control room, which has a whole bunch of huge pulsating hearts. What even is this.

We can sit at the controls, but before that...

...there is actually a chest tucked away here in a corner!

Hmmm... another one of those rings with odd names. Well, it's going to have to wait for one of the following scenarios until we figure out what it's for, because right now, we're leaving the planet!

Let's go and sit at the controls.

[ Now is good. ] / Let me think about that...
Is it really ok?
[ How many times are you going to ask? ] / Let me think about that...

We get two more chances to turn back, but we wont take them of course.

And then they finally launch the ark... straight into one final cutscene for this scenario:

[Photosensitivity Warning: The following video features brief instances of rapid flashing.]

By the way, about that song that plays over the credits, it is performed by Linda's voice actress, Minami Takayama. But I also mentioned before that the Sega Saturn version of the game had an included soundtrack CD. This CD featured slightly rearranged music from the game, but it also included alternate versions of all songs, too.

So here is also that alternate version of this song, in this version the vocals are perfomed by none other than this game's music composer, Ryouko Kihara:

I'm honestly not sure which one I prefer!

But while we're here talking about alternate versions, you might find interesting the PC Engine version of this final cutscene. It's actually not as detailed, in fact it mostly focuses on the fun part of Ken and Linda's journey. Well, fun for them, anyway!

Here it is:

So it's even more opaque than the one from the remake, if that's even possible!

In any case, well, that's that. That's more or less it for Scenario A. It actually only took us one year of in-game time to finish everything, even though we could have used full eight. In all honesty, this first scenario is really more like a tutorial than anything else--there's actually a bit more to be said about this, but it's kind of a spoiler, so it will be saved for later.

Also, yes I know.

There are many unanswered questions. There are many unopened chests. There are many characters whose purpose in the game is not clear. We have basically not explored the planet to any kind of depth at all.

But no need to worry. That's why there are multiple scenarios. To repeat myself, I promise you we will have the freedom and the time to figure everyting out and to solve the mysteries of this planet (which we have only just barely scratched the surface of!).

Anyway, every next scenario does get harder than the previous, so next time when we start Scenario B, we'll see what the winning conditions are for that one!

For now, I hope everybody is enjoying this so far, and see you in a few days!

As for today's illustrations, let's start with the concept art of Hume having gone nuts:

"Beat you up"

And then another funky one from back in the PC Engine era: