The Let's Play Archive

Linda Cube [Linda³]

by ivantod

Part 15: Summer/Autumn 1992


Welcome back! The last time, a few things happened. Ken and Sachiko (who still seems to not know much about the world in general!) are still chasing after Linda, who seems to be trying to figure out the mystery behind the weird suicides in Minago, which somehow also seems to involve the owner of the dog fighting arena in Dogy Figh and also the commander of the Ozport airport. Speaking of which, aide Kammer left on a shuttle, only for shuttle to suddenly explode after launch, killing everyone on board. Admittedly, the flight attendant there seemed to look a bit familiar. After this, we finally learned that Linda has been seen in Paraside, so that's where we'll be heading next!

Here we are. Let's see now, before we go inside to look for Linda...

...let's have at that back wall, and see what graffiti it contains this time (since they are different from Scenario A). This first one (which you can see above) is a bit mysterious, but upon closer examination appears to just be a joke on the topic of what the Japanese vision test charts look like:

Check especially the numbers which are matching with what you would expect to see on a chart like this.

The next one is here...

Noriko, I love you! Let's get married, my love! 🎔
  -- Yutaka

Another in joke from the game's development staff, I guess.

And the last one is here...

Yes! I wrote this, so now I, too, get to be in the end credits roll!

Yep, these are just the developers goofing around. This dude here is the one who tells you that donations for refugees are all good and nice, but he's in need too, so you might as well give he money to him instead. And we will. But not in this scenario just yet. Therefore, let's head back around...

...and enter the "Junk Palace" right here.

Mostly people here are saying the same things as before, but this lady here has adjusted her comments...

I heard that Hume was killed... I guess I expected it will happen one day, I mean he was doing all kinds of crazy things to support his wife and daughter before they got back together. He had many enemies, and no doubt Gomez and his gang are the prime suspects here...

You might recall Gomez, the boss of the hunters for hire who operate here in Paraside. We'll meet up with him in a moment.

Let's take that staircase to the right of us...

We get to the bar area, so let's start by talking to this gentlemant reading his newspaper at the table...

The kind that would make any thug shudder... have you heard the new rumour about a bounty hunter team? They call themselves "The Comedy Trio from Hell", and it consists of Smilly, Niko and Gera. Although with that kind of name, I'm not sure how succesful they really are.

We will meet up with these guys later today, but while we're here I guess I should explain the names. "Niko" comes from Japanese word "nikoniko" which means roughly "to do something with a smile" or something to that extent. On the other hand "Gera" is simply a Kansai dialect word for someone who smiles a lot. So I guess they all have names which have to do with smiling?

If we talk to the waitress behind the bar there...

You should visit the Lulinas Tower archaeological ruins, up north. But Gomez's gang has been there so many times, it's unlikely there's anything good left there.

Another one of this game's dungeons, of course, which we will visit in due time.

All right, let's go up this staircase and keep looking for Linda (let's try not to forget why we're here!).

Up here is the room where Gomez and his gang hang out... We'll leave Gomes for last (he's the one standing in the centre in front of the table), but let's see what other guys have to say. First the ones around the table...

Rats, cats, dogs... which one shall we do today?
I guess maybe cat dance?
It would be fun to make you pretend to be a rat...
Cat dance is fun, but it takes too much time to prepare everything...
Gomez has a particular talent for bullying the weak guys...

What are they even talking about...?

For now, there's a few more of them here in the corner...

Gomez has mellowed out quite a bit by now, so it's probably going to be a game of "Dog-pretend"
It's hard to clean up after "rat-pretend" game... the floor gets a bit too messy.
I'd rather not see a male chicken lay an egg...
The "dog-pretend" game is probably the easiest to organise...

Let's not forget about this last guy here by the sink...

I don't like the anglerfish dance or the firefly dance because it takes too much effort and it's often over way too quickly...

They keep talking about these pretend-games. I wonder what that's all about. But, let's talk to Gomez!

But as we approach... of the hunters restrains Sachiko in the corner there...

...while the others surround Ken! Uh-oh, this doesn't look good...

You call yourself "Ken", huh? And you're somehow supposed to be Linda's squeeze? I've already heard about you...
I've heard you're super smart and talented and that you can even speak the language of the animals...? You're even a master at mimicking a dog's bark, right?

So this comes a bit out of nowhere, but mimicking animal calls is in fact... yet another game mechanic! You can use it to lure certain animals into battle (and some can only be caught this way--again another thing for our "later" list).

Would you mind demonstrating it for us?
Hey, guys! Come here! Let's see what this fella can do, shall we?
Uh, this time, I guess... / [ No way! ]
Ya know, lots of weird stuff going on lately, so unless you can prove you're Ken, I'm not letting ya see Linda, you get me? I mean, just barking like a dog is a small price to pay to see here, right?

Based on previous comments from these jerks, I guess we should be happy they're only making us bark!

[ Fine, I'll do it... ] / Absolutely not!

It seems that we'll have to, as humiliating as it seems...

All right! It nice to see a proper pathetic loser for once! Go around the table three times and say "woof woof"!
[ I guess it can't be helped... ] / Are you kidding me!
So you really want to see Linda this much, eh Woof-Woof?

In the Japanese version Gomez calls Ken "Woof-chan".

But either way, Ken has to do as he's told, and in fact it's you as player who has to navigate him three times around the table, while pressing the circle button to bark! These guys are just bullies and nothing else.

And then...

Next, I want you to pick up this piece of meat! Then I will let you see Linda!
[ Yes, master! ] / I'm done with this...

So now they throw a piece of meat down on the floor and Ken has to pick it up. But, every time he comes near... of the guys kicks it over to the other side!

This repeats a couple of times, and then...

So they were never going to let Ken see Linda no matter what he did or didn't do... But no matter, because the moment we've all been waiting for has finally come!

A figure with very familiar looking hairstyle approaches and throws a piece of furniture at one of these jerks!

It's cutscene time!

I'll give you a few moments to stop laughing!

All right, then. So, it's Linda and her new arm! Looks pretty cool... but also ridiculous... but also very cool! You better believe there's going to be some awesome concept art on this topic down in the gallery section!

Anyway, here's what happens next. Linda approaches Gomez, who is now singing a different tune!

Right... You we're just joking too... T-that's... good... Hehehe...
Yes, hehehe, just a joke.

They all disperse, so Linda can finally talk to Ken! Also, as you can see, yes, indeed they did make a whole new sprite of Linda with her cape and the (very) large arm! (Well and also a whole separate set of portraits where her cape is visible, too.)

Huh? What's with that look! Did you think I was going to just be moping about because I've lost my left arm?
Sorry, but that's just not who I am! I'm not weak like that! On the contrary, daddy's arm has come in quite handy to gain the upper hand in a number of occasions! So even being on my own like this, I haven't really been inconvenienced.
But! Because you came all the way here today to find me, I will come with you for now so you don't feel bad about it! Does that make you happy?
[ I'm starting to cry... ] / S'okay, I guess...
I love it when you're honest like that!
*kiss* 🎔

And then, someone who we have all forgotten about joins the conversation, reminding us that she's still hanging about!

Please excuse me now...
Hey, wait! Aren't you Dr. Emory's daughter...?
Yes, I'm Sachiko.
Please tell to Dr. Emory that I'm really grateful to him for this left arm!
Understood. I'm sure father will be very happy to hear that. Then, farewell...

And with that, Sachiko leaves.

Before we leave this town, we should go and talk to the elder... He took good care of me, so we should both go and say thanks!

In case you've forgotten, she's talking about the Beastian elder who was hacking into Federation's computers in Scenario A.

Before going, Ken can take his revenge on these bullies by punching them and making them bark while they say "please, more" and things to that extent. There's not really any interesting dialogue here, but we can talk to Gomez one last time for now.

It seems their "bit of fun" is to make people pretend to be various animals in humiliating ways. Can't say that I see the fun in that.

But anyway, enough of that nonsense. Let's go talk to the elder; as you might remember he's in that small room upstairs.

But he had to do it. You woulnd't have come to see this young man otherwise, right?
Linda... you love this youngster a lot, don't you?
Then, don't be so stubborn in front of him, all right? A man and a woman should share their hardships! Do you understand?
All right then. It's getting a bit late today already, so why don't you sleep here in this room. It wouldn't do that a reunited couple should spend the first night back together outside in the wild, would it now?

Well, to be honest, I fell like Gomez and the gang enjoyed the whole thing a bit too much, so I'm not really sure about the "trick" thing, but I guess we are back with Linda for now so we have achieved the desired result.

In any case, the elder goes away, and so Ken and Linda get ready for bed...

...but this time they didn't make proper sprites to represent that, so they just look like they are standing on the bed.

Before they fall asleep, Linda has something to say...

But... is it all right if I break my vow, just for tonight? *sob*
Ken, I... I... Those guys... I will never forgive them!
I will not rest, until I send them all straight to hell!
Bastards! Bastards! *sob* Give me back mummy and daddy! *sob*

Well then.

The next morning...

Ken and Linda are ready to continue this together, at least for now. Therefore, before that, let's check out Linda's stats.

This time, we get Linda back into our party at level 5. Unfortunately, it does not appear that her enhanced arm results in any kind of difference in her battle stats or abilities, so I guess we'll have to go and level her up a bit before we go hunting again!

But, we have a few things to do before we do that. First of all, let's go downstairs into the main area.

The Elder is down here. But I will draw your attention to the guy with a backpack heading left... he is one of those homeless guys hanging about places like Paraside or Ozport. He was here, talking to the Elder, but departed promptly as soon as Ken and Linda appeared. So, let's talk to the Elder and find out what that was all about...

They are the Federation's professional bounty hunters, "The Comedy Trio from Hell". The top class bounty hunters, to be exact!
This really seems to be getting interesting now, isn't it? Who will win? The red team? Or the white team? Oh-ho-ho!

The red team/white team is a reference to the athletics events organised by Japanese schools, where children compete as red team vs. white team. This guy is just a fount of comedy, isn't he.

We're going to head out slowly towards Ozport. I should mention that all the hunters have now reverted back to their normal situation where you are able to hire them to go hunting for animals (including Gomez, but anyway we can't afford him, so...).

On the way out, we can talk to this lady here...

Two people who love each other will always stay together... that's what Hume used to say. To have all this happen just as he managed to get back together with his wife... it's a pity. I guess he was just unlucky.

In the previous scenario, she also had a comment on this saying of Hume's, but of course it was different since in Scenario A, Hume and his wife were divorced.

Of course we want to head to Ozport to speak to the "comedy troupe", but first, let's make a quick stop at Hardia to visit Ben and Ken's mum.

We find them both at Ken's house!

But I have the best thing for my stomach, right here: your mum's banana meat pie! It's so good, I could eat it every day and not get sick of it! The word I would use to describe it is "sublime"!

Well, ok, you eat your pie and we'll talk to Ken's mum in the meantime!

It's really good to have Linda back, Ken! As Hume used to say, the two people who love each other should always stay together. I think so, too! Therefore, Ken, please make sure that from now on, Linda is never left alone again!

That's everything we can do here, so let's go outside. As always we can take a break and sit on the swing with Linda here.

[ Well, kind of... ] / What promise?
Huh? I guess I managed to win you over already when we were kinds, didn't I? Well, I'm glad we were childhood friends, anyhow.

All right then, I know we're supposed to go to Ozport, but while we're in the East Area, why don't we first...

...head down to Marblepolis and fight some worms to get Linda's level up a bit?

Here I also take a chance to arrange Linda's equipment:

So I basically give her whatever is the strongest equipment that Ken is not using. So she ends up with entrail clothes, rhino cap and keeps her starting rabbit boots. As for weapon, I give her the hippo tomahawk a bit as a test as it is pretty strong, even though it only hits one enemy. During the leveling process, I ultimately decide that hitting multiple enemies is for now more important, so I do finally equip her with the spare swallow cutter I have. Probably I should go and craft another eagle sword, but for now we should be fine.

After a few minutes of fighting worms, where Linda basically earns a level per battle, here's where we end up:

With this in mind, I feel like we're now strong enough to take on the chickens which also live in this cave:

And so we capture a few of those too, to add to our tally.

With this done, let's now head finally to Ozport to meet the bounty hunters.

Let's head over to the park and see if somebody has heard something about these guys.

If we talk to the man here...

A bounty hunter named Smilly Clunker has arrived. They're staying in the VIP room in the hotel over there. Looks like bounty hunters earn a lot of money... perhaps that's a job I should take up?

The bounty hunter's name really doesn't inspire confidence at all. For the curious, his last name in Japanese original is: ポンコツ.

The lady standing here also doesn't actually have anything plot related to say, but still it's something we haven't heard yet, so...

The silence of the night in the wild makes a woman talkative. So if you want to know her true thoughts, it's best to make camp and see. Give it a try.

A nice hint that you should use the "camp" option regularly as there might be additional dialogue to be had!

Let's head into the hotel and find these bounty hunters.

The people we're looking for are over there in the room!

Those two over there are Niko and Gera. Nice to meet you!
I've heard of you from aide Kammer. You have come here for the data about the Puppet Master, right?
[ Please give it to us! ] / Nope, you got it all wrong...
For now, let's say that if anything happens to us, we'll make sure that you get all our data. Is that fine?
[ Sounds reasonable. ] / That's not going to work for us.
Then, first of all, talk to Niko and Gera for some rumours about the Puppet Master.

All right, let's talk to Niko (or is it Gera?).

This Puppet Master didn't have an easy life. His beloved wife died in childbirth, but left him a memento, a child with heart valve problems. So he didn't know what to do, but didn't really want to sell his soul to the devil... so in the end he sold his bionics research to some war-mongering idiots to help pay for his child's surgery.

And then, Gera (or perhaps this one is Niko?).

It's thanks to the Puppet Master's dolls that Smilly's face is messed up like that. They just have a messy way of working--when they find themselves even at a slight disadvantage, they just blow themselves up. Seems like a perfect character trait if you want to be a terrorist. They don't feel pain in their body or mind--that's bionics for you!

Interesting... but not immediately useful, to be honest. Before we leave, let's talk a bit more with Smilly.

It's the current bounty on Puppet Master... and also the number of lives that jerk has taken so far!

T-That's a lot... But we're done here for now, so let's head out. As we're heading out...

...we run into Sachiko!

I have decided to visit the graves of Minago victims together with father, so I have come here to buy some flowers. But I can't find the flower shop...
[ It's outside, in one of the tents over in the park. ] / Why not just pick some from somebody's flower bed?
I always learn so much from you! Thank you so much!

She stays there, while Ken and Linda proceed on their way out.

As we are walking, Linda gets one of her bouts of insecurity...

You think so? / I agree. / She's a little odd, though? / I don't know...
She's the type you wouldn't mind if she confessed to you, right?
Well, I guess. / No, not at all like that!
I see. Well, I'll tell her next time I see her. You know, when this mess is over... I always wanted to experience a love triangle in all its messy ugliness. Life is too short not to have fun, right?
Right, Ken?

Don't answer that, Ken. It's a trap. Also Ken's answers are not highlighted above because they don't make a difference.

As we are about the leave town...

...Sachiko comes into town and walks past us. She does not seem to notice and/or recognise us.

We try following her, but she's already disappeared somewhere. Oh well, maybe it wasn't her. Let's be on our way.

Well, I don't know about you, but I think it's time for a little bit of hunting! Therefore, let's head down south again!

As we're walking around, looking for different species...

...we get another message notification. Well, that can wait a bit.

And also as we go in and out of the Dogy Figh tunnel... becomes Autumn 1992. This Scenario B is surely talking a bit longer to finish than A. We were long done with A at this point in the timeline!

And then, just as we're about to fight a new species, a second message notification arrives!

But this one, too, can wait. First I want to see what that animal is that's hiding behind the notification!

You probably have a good idea what this is, and you would be right...

...nevertheless, nothing can prepare you for what they actually look like! Indeed, these are zebras, as I'm sure you've already guessed!

As you can see, nothing special to be seen here. In addition, I know you are wondering how much more crazy they might have looked in the PC Engine version, but... turns out they looked mostly the same--this is one of the species which survived completely unchanged in the remake!

After a bit more walking around...

...we find another unfamiliar species.

This time it's a bunch of mantises!

As you can see, there's also nothing particularly dangerous here, so we can easily capture a few.

So, at this point, I get a very smart idea. I figure, well we have leveled up a bit, so why don't we try and see if we are able to deal with the roses at this point? In fact, I don't really care about the roses, but I do want to capture the grasshoppers they summon. But in order to do that, we need to be able to survive the rose!

So with that in mind, we head back to Rose Garden...

...and walk straight towards one of the big roses!

Let's see how this goes now! You might also notice that I removed the dogs from our party temporarily. This is because the grasshoppers are really weak, so the dogs, which cannot be controlled, are likely to accidentally kill them before they can be captured. Therefore, it's safer to do this without the dogs!

In any case, we start by transforming Ken into an eagle, which gives him a crazy +116 to his attack power!

This allows him to deal a whole 169 damage to the rose in one hit, which is way more than before!

After a couple of turns, as expected...

...the rose summons a bunch of grasshoppers! This is exactly what we wanted!

Except now we have just a slight problem! The grasshoppers have tiny HP and Ken is way too strong now. So what I've done is unequip Linda's weapon and also I am going to use a weak ability (such as gale cutter) to reduce the damage she does as much as possible! In addition to that, Linda transforms into a leech, to reduce the damage even further. This seems quite a weird thing to do in a JRPG battle, but it's definitely necessary here and in the end we manage to capture a few grasshoppers! Another option, I suppose, could have been to take Linda directly here while still level 5. Probably that would have also worked.

This is an interesting example of a situation where you really need to figure things out a bit how to capture a particular species. There will definitely be more of those in the future.

For now, though, let's head back to the ark, to hand these in!

This time we're handing in: chickens, zebras, mantises and grasshoppers.

Afterwards, the robot informs us that we have so far gathered 36 species out of needed 50. So we're slowly getting there.

We're close to a telephone, so let's check out the first of those two messages we received.

The message is from Dr. Emory.

Ah, it's Emory. How is everything progressing post-surgery? It's been a while since I've had a holiday, so I'm at home having a bit of a break. I was wondering how Linda's recovery is going, so why don't you come over and visit me for a quick check-up? You're more than welcome. We're just east of Dogy Figh, take the J-17 tunnel. Also, uh, watch out for the leopards!

Well, leopards are definitely not an issue for us at this point, but let's go and visit Emory then. His home is located in a place called Laguna Lodge.

So, let's head there.

And here is why it's called Laguna Lodge! Because it's literally on the lake coast!

Heading inside, we can see that it was indeed built in a traditional Japanese style. We'll skip the main building for the moment though...

...because there is also this little side building here.

Inside is a locked door on the left and some paintings on the right. If we check out the painting...

The is a painting in progress depicting a man. Somehow he looks a bit familiar.

Unfortunately that's all we can get here, no painting close up image to be seen. So now let's head over to the main building.

Well, there's Dr. Emory. But first we can check out these storage cabinets here.

There is a red doll with a big head here.

Curious. But let's just talk to Emory for now.

Have you noticed any changes in your health since the surgery?
I feel perfectly well, doctor! If anything, my appetite is even better than before! I guess I must be eating for my dad, too!
Your appetite has increased? That's good, that's good. Young people should eat well!

Apparently that's all he wanted to do! So we start to leave, but...

Wait, how did YOU hear about that?

I wonder what kind of guy must be such a brutal criminal... He must also look like a real thug. Well, I guess you're probably going to get into a fight with him sooner or later. So I would recommend heading to Dark River. There are some rare species and you can also level up there.

Been there, done that last time!

However, what you don't see on these screenshots is that in that other room to the right...

...we can find his daughter, Sachiko!

First of all, I'll save us all the trouble and mention immediately, that yes, indeed, she is very definitely blocking the way to that chest there.

Second, there are a couple of things to be looked at here. To start with, whatever that stuff is on the table on the right side.

There is a malformed doll whose whole body is red, but it has no limbs at all.

The other thing is those photographs on the wall next to the entrance.

Pictures of Sachiko, from her childhood all the way up to now are attached on the wall.

Ok, let's talk to her then.

You will be there too, right? We can see each other again there.

And she remains as weird as ever! Also, she already told us this same thing previously.

However, we're definitely done here for now. So the only thing remaining for the time being is to check that other message we received earlier. So let's head somewhere where there is a phone.

This time, the message is from that Elder from Paraside!

Hey, it's gramps from Paraside. I was happy to see that you're doing well and it's good to see that you are happy together.
But I have to tell you, in case you haven't already heard... that bounty hunter you met at the hotel... somebody bumped him off.
It seems that this Puppet Master is even nastier than me. So please be careful so you don't get yourself killed, ok?

Well, thanks for that, gramps. But... what now--it seems that everybody who was investigating this Puppet Master ended up killed? The only hope is that Smilly may have been able to make arrangements for us to receive the data upon his death somehow. But, we'll see about that next time!

So, obviously today we have a bunch of concept art related to Linda's new arm! And it's truly some of the best so far!

Just check this out.

And one last one, showing the look from PC Engine version: