The Let's Play Archive

Linda Cube [Linda³]

by ivantod

Part 28: Autumn/Winter 1994


            When you buy bananas all you want is the fruit not the skin,
            but you have to pay for the skin also. It is a waste.
            And you the customer should not have to pay for the waste.
                    -- Shigeo Shingo

Previously, Linda and Ken attended the wedding of Sachiko and Nek. The wedding was kind of interrupted by our ethnologist friend, Dr. Oid, who it seems to have found an entrance to the underground. Ken used the black beastman statue to open a teleporter leading to a completely new, as yet unexplored area!

And so, here we are.

This is the map of the new area, as we've already seen last time. One interesting thing to note that there are several areas on it which are completely cut off from the rest by mountains and other things--for example if you look in the northwest, you will see several such parts of the map. We'll figure out next time what we can do to deal with those, but for now... I don't know about you, but it seems to me that there is some kind of interesting looking structure in the northeast.

So let's head there first!

As we walk there, we pass by something red and glowing on the left--could it be lava? If so, maybe we'll soon find a solution to getting some hot poop to revive the cherry trees in eterna. As you can also see on the top right, we can expect to find here a good number of as yet unseen animal species, and in fact even some as yet completely unidentified--we'll see in a future update what this means.

Soon we reach a structure, which resembles exactly an Aztec-style pyramid, with a big staircase in the middle and the actual entrace at the very top.

Here is a real one from Mexico:

They look basically identical. But enough of that, let's head inside.

That's certainly something. Let's keep going inside.

Just a staircase leading down...

...and then a teleporter.

And then we get into a... teleport maze! Oh, joy.

So I think there is something similar in Final Fantasy IV, but basically the goal is, as you might expect, to choose the right teleporters in sequence which will lead you to the end. The things are complicated slightly by the presence of that animal there. We won't tangle with it just yet as it can definitely one-shot us if we're unlucky, and to make matters worse they will also actively chase towards you. To change the luck a bit to our side, we can here happily use Ken's newly acquired from the last time "camouflage" ability. This will allow us to pass unnoticed by them.

There's one of these in each dungeon "cell", alongside four teleporters, one in each corner.

Sometimes you get a bit of a break in the form of a narrow corridor where you're not actively chased by those guys.

After a bit more of this...

...we finally reach our destination!

Here we find those pods, similar to what we use to store the animals on the ark. There is also what appears to be some sort of a control room here.

Also a bunch of robots that we can, as always, talk to!

Our master is the last remaining one who commanded us to design the heirs to his legacy.

Interesting. There are a couple more robots just here next to us, so let's see what they have to say.

What are you two doing?

Our master's ancestors travelled the world collecting biological samples in order to fix what was wrong with their bodies. The experiments were successful and the research was completed. But it was already too late...

We have incorporated the latent factors of all samples into the sample closest to our master's. They remained determined to swiftly adapt to any environment change over the generations. And they determinedly resisted avarice.

More robots!

You are unable to accept the inevitable. You forget your lies and gluttony. You make same mistakes over and over, without remorse. We are envious of your nature. Because that very thing is the proof that you are children of gods.

Is it just me, or did it suddenly get chilly here?

Well, either way, there are still more robots to be found.

This planet gave birth to god and was then killed by him. But then god brought it back to life before his own death.

I'm also trying not to think to much about those animal parts piled up in the corner there.

Nevertheless, we can also check out the control room we saw earlier.

There are also a few more robots here, but they don't have anything quite so profound to say.

When the remaining 45 animals from 24 species have been loaded into the ark, the bequest will also be complete. Humanity will rise again to new heights and then perhaps... with a forced smile it will start the struggle to reach even higher ones.

Leopard population γ196 is 1% down. Do you wish to activate program 266?

Dolphin population λ181 is 4% down. Do you wish to activate program 7?

Chlorine contcentration in U-10 is 0.2% up. Do you wish to activate program 10?

Hydrogen contcentration in V-22 is 0.1% up. Do you wish to activate program 20?

Interestingly, these comments from robots about populations numbers etc. are a bit randomised so they vary each time you talk to these robots.

Before we go completely nuts here, we find the next teleporter!

It just leads to a narrow corridor, which leads (predictably) to the next teleporter!

Well, this is different.

And of this, I don't even know what to think.

But suddenly, a hologram flickers into existence. Wait, what.

The hologram addresses us in that same disembodied voice we've experienced while flying the ark in previous scenarios.

I am Anabis, the one who built the ark and sent it to this world...

But suddenly it changes to a normal voice!

Ken! It's been a while since I've seen you, but you've grown well, guy! You've really come a long way, you jerk!

Since you can't hear the voice acting, I just want to make clear that the tone of this conversation is friendly and insults are only meant in a joking/affectionate way.

Silly! You don't see me for a few years, and you've already forgotten what I look like! How about showing some filial piety, huh?

Linda? It's you! You sure grew up pretty!
I knew that you two would be boarding the ark! Thank you!

When I became afflicted by a terminal illness, I finally decided to put my last hope into a Beastian legend. The legend said, "all things made of flesh come from a mother deep within the earth".
And so I somehow found this place! But, just like that, it was game over for me, and I was dead. The next thing I know, when I woke up, I found myself in this mess.
I don't know the details exactly, but it seems like some kind of management system, but the robots appear to have mistaken me for their actual master who was here before.

I've had a lot of time, so I tried everything, but in the end I was not able to get out of here.
Instead I've discovered the amazing power of this place!

Warning, wordplay joke incoming! It's of course not easily translatable. When Gene says "amazing power", the subtitles actually say "amazing features". The game has done this a couple of times before so I'm sure it's not just a mistake. And anyway it's not uncommon also in Japanese writing for authors to sometimes use one kanji, but to add to it furigana from a different word as a bit of a wordplay, so that's what's going on here.

Now I can understand the character of most things on this planet, and even influence them.

Actually, I'm the one who sent the ark. Did you like the message from god? I tried to mimic the bible! It was not bad, right?

Ah, well, you see, that's the problem. I don't exactly know that myself, either.

I guess it was just a thing that was possible to do somehow?

But, speaking of which, what made you want to board the ark?
Oh, I just kind of like the idea of all sorts of creatures living together in a jumble like that!
Well, I think we're about out of time. This is about it for the story about what happened to me. If you want to know more about the people who built this place, have a chat with the robots around here.
I know you're annoyed with the defficiency of my explanations, but I'm not sure what to tell you. Basically I also have no idea what I'm talking about. But, we're really out of time now!

And then...

...just like that, he's gone again.

Well, certainly, we can say that there is even more questions now than before somehow, even though we just supposedly got some kind of an explanation. Well, no matter, there's certainly lots more to explore and find on this planet, so we'll get there.

I know you're curious how this looked in the PC Engine version, so here it is:

But, while we're here, why not do also some capturing.

And by this, I mean of course literally right here where we are. What did you think?

We can catch here some ladybirds!

Despite the low HP, they are actually one of the strongest "enemies" in the game, with high attack and defence power. So you are definitely encouraged to use debuffs on them and buffs on yourself, to even the odds.

But actually I have a bit more to say about the logistics of the whole ladybird situation. Because, honestly, it's probably one of the most unfair bits in the entire game. Well, on the whole, the game mostly plays surprisingly fair, but not here.

Let me explain. First of all, this right here is the ONLY place you can find ladybirds in the world. There will be only one "group" per season... if they even appear at all--because they only have a certain probability of even being here in the first place. What this means is, that you might come here, listen to this whole conversation, and then see nothing else around and just leave. While you CAN come back to this place any time you want, it does involve going through teleporter maze every time. Since they only appear here underground, you don't really get any hints from the NPCs about it either.

And well, there is actually one other option to get a pair of them. If you take a smooth egg to that incubator room in Ozport there is a 1/16 chance of getting a ladybird. I mean it's on the low side for sure, but not super low, so it might be worth a try. The smooth eggs aren't available as an item lying around in the world, but certainly the egg shop in Ozport sells them, so you could in theory buy 8 at a time and take them to the incubator.

There's just one small problem with that. You're probably not likely to reach this place before around 1994 or so. And so, if you don't find the ladybirds anywhere else, you might finally decide to go and buy some smooth eggs at the Ozport egg shop.

But, here's what you might find at this point in the game if you go there:

The owner is not there! Why is the owner not there? Well, I mentioned how as time passes, more and more people leave the planet. This includes the shopkeepers, and slowly one by one the shops will get closed and will you no longer have access to them (this is the ONLY egg shop on the entire planet--various eggs can be found as items in the caves, but NOT smooth eggs, you have to buy those here). By 1994 or so, you start to notice already this effect, and while the different departure times of various people are not fixed, it can definitely happen already at this point.

So then what is left? Well one option is to hope they appear somehow for sale at the auction house. They are certainly class A protected animals, so it's going to cost you, but ok, at least money can be earned somehow in this game. (This reminds me that we haven't visited the auction house at all, so I will add it to my list just for fun, since we don't really need it).

And then the final option is, well, you might recall that ladybird is one of the species we could get from Bronco as a reward for his quest! So I know I said at the time, just get the hydras for money, but really, it's probably best to just get the ladybirds instead and save yourself all this trouble. In the end, I would say this is probably one of the most unfair situations in the game. Luckily, as I said, this game tends to play fair the majority of the time, so situations like this one are few.

But that's enough talk for now, so let's just have a look at what they used to look like in the PC-Engine version!

And now, let's get back to the game!

For now, we'll just step on this teleporter here.

It leads to one of these places. You might recall that we've already seen something like this in Marblepolis, back in scenario A. The two pods have a slot on the front, but we had nothing to insert into it back then. Let's try now.

Ah! So I guess that's what those are for.

Ken absorbed the power of Yabasade!

Maximum HP +5, Maximum BP +4, Attack Power +6, Defence +4, Speed +4

So, we get some stat increases from whatever that creature in the pod was! But you might be wondering, is that really all? I mean, we went to some trouble to get these rings, and all we get is some stat increases?

Well, no. For some reason the game doesn't tell you explicitly, but if you check Ken's battle skills, you find this:

Turns out, he also got a new skill. This one is called "Earth of Yabasa" and is a powerful attack which hits all "enemies" on the field. And this time, when I say "all", I mean literally all, on all four sides and not just those in front of us. So this is actually pretty powerful, much more so than any of the abilities we have so far. Not how the game doesn't even tell you what the ability does, it's just marked as "???" in the lower box! I guess it's left up to you to try it and see!

On another note, you can see three as yet undiscovered abilities in this group, and this tracks with the fact that we have more rings of this type. If you have been paying attention to the names also, you might have noticed they come in pairs with similar names. So let's make a "reasonable assumption" that the other half of a pair is for Linda, and check out the other pod here!

By the way, note how the other pod is now empty, after we have "absorbed" the power of the creature. Anyway, let's see what happens after Linda inserts her ring.

Linda absorbed the power of Yabasa!

Maximum HP +2, Maximum BP +5, Attack Power +4, Defence +7, Speed +3

In addition to this, Linda gets an ability called "Moon of Yabasa", which is a big heal for the whole party! Not bad.

So in the end, there are a total of eight rings (four pairs), so all that's left to do is find the rest of them and also find the places where we can use them. Well, one place we already know of, it's in Marblepolis so we'll check that out soon.

As for the abilities, they have cool animations in battle, so I'll show off these in a video later.

Getting back via the teleporter to where we were...

...there's even a chest here. Let's open it.

Oh, come on, game, really? That's what you give me? Oh well, at least we can sell it for 33,000 G...

We're done here for now, so let's step on this other teleporter here.

It takes us to a place we definitely want to come back and explore later, but for now...

...we'll just make our way back out. Surprisingly, the whistle ability works even down here too, so we can quickly go back to the surface. Don't worry, we'll be back shortly.

In the meantime, it's now Winter 1994. Time is definitely ticking and we still have like 50 species to catch!

Well, let's head over briefly to Minago and read the news bulletin!


The wealthiest newlyweds in the galaxy!

The wedding of Mr Nek Green and Miss Sachiko Emory took place in Minago Church. Mr Nek is the adopted son of the former president of Green Pharmaceuticals. Miss Sachiko is the daughter of the inventor Dr. Emory. Their combined net worth amounts to around 8 billion G!

In the church, we can talk to Dr. Oid, but he has not much to say.

So, have you found anything unusual?
[ Yes. ] / No.
I knew it! That's fantastic!

Not an invigorating conversation, really. However, if we head over to Linda's house...

...we can talk to Hume!

It means I have to say goodbye again... Anyway, go and visit them in Laguna Lodge.
Oh, yeah. As for me and Ann, we've decided to leave in Spring of 1999. This way I don't have to see you leave and to see you off...

We'll go down to Laguna Lodge eventually, but for now let's clean up some smaller tasks.

Just east of Hospico, there's a small cave (but really small, just one floor).

It's called Yamapit--"yama" means mountain in Japanese so maybe it's supposed to be another bit of wordplay? In any case, in one of these tents...

...we find a ranger!

Huh? I guess we meet in not a great place... Apparently I'm not very good to work as part of Ranger Corps. My mind is more hardworking than anybody else, but my body tries to be kind to me and just says, "let's take a rest"! Well, so I find myself here and I'm aware that I'm skipping work today and most likely tomorrow too. I really don't think that the commander will understand this subtle nuance, so I just stay in hiding!
Oh, right. This is the key to the basement storage room in the HQ. Not sure why, but I suddenly felt like giving it to you. And now to relax!

Ken obtained Ranger HQ basement storage room key!

So if you come here, you randomly get another key! Well, ok, let's use it--so we'll head to Ranger HQ.

First we can talk to the lady sitting at the desk.

Ken, did you see the key to the storage room anywhere? Someone seems to have taken it. Well I guess they won't get in trouble since there's nothing there but junk...

And then the woman in blue...

The man you've caught... that kidnapper named Beatray, he's been spinning ever since. Now the Federation investigators are coming over to pick him up. Do you think they will arrive before he dies of exhaustion?
Federation investigators will arrive first / I think exhaustion death is just a matter of time / You shouldn't be making such bets!
Oh, I see.

Unfortunately, she has no special dialogue, no matter what you choose...

Beatray is really here and definitely still spinning!

Ah! You there! Please stop the hypnosis! I feel dizzy... nauseated...

Unfortunately, nothing we can do... he needs Nek for that.

Back to our task... after unlocking the storage room, we gain access to two chests. Let's open them.

Ken obtained 520 G!

Ken obtained tiger's claw!

Yeah, firmly in the "not worth it" category. Although the lady did say that there's only junk in the room! But I suppose this is yet another way to obtain the tiger's claw--there's a fair few of them lying around in the game, huh?

Upstairs the ranger lady has funny comment...

It seems like you've been getting a lot of telephone calls lately... But you know how it is in the TV dramas: one phone call can change your life!


Anyway, let's move on. Our next stop is Battle Park.

We can listen in to this woman's phone conversation...

Yes, I love you... darling. Yes... I can't live without you! So, please... stop ringing my pager every 15 minutes! Yes, I love just you! Yes! Just you! Beagley! You have to trust me!

The Beagley guy continues to be ridiculous...

But the reason we came here is because...

...this is the next stop on Ken's mum's tour of the planet!

You've got to have a balanced nutrition! You can't survive on eating just sausages all the time!

In the basement of the farm building, there is this locked door, but since last time we have the key to open it, so we can see what is in that chest!

Ken obtained beastman necklace!

Neat. We'll use it as soon as we find a teleporter.

Our next destination is another tiny cave. In order to get there...

...we'll take this tunnel leading east from Battle Park.

Thanks to it being winter, this whole area is covered in snow...

...which means, that of course, we can now catch some polar bears. In this world, they are simply a kind of a cat.

Like penguins, they can only be found when it's snowy season. They are also a species added for the remake.

But anyway, we're going to this place.

It's another small cave with tents, this one is called Xass.

Again, we can talk to the person in the tent!

Hey, I'm Moloch. Wassup?
[ Are you aware that there is a meteorite coming in four years? ] / Oh, nothing, just stopping by on my patrol.
What! A meteorite is going to hit this planet in four years? No way! No! That can't be true!
[ It's definitely true. ] / I'm just messing with you!
Are you serious?
[ Yes, I'm serious! ] / It's a joke! A joke!
Well, in that case... In that case, I guess I should stop just leading a carefree outdoor life in a place like this!
Wait, I'd like to give you something in return, but... I don't really have anything clever to give, so instead I will teach you my secret technique and you can take that as a present from me.

Linda learned from Moloch the ability to lure animals by imitating their cries!

So if you have trouble catching up to an animal that is running away from you, or things of that sort, you can use this ability to make them come to you. As we've seen already, most of these "field" skills are more of a situational nature and not generally required to be able to finish the game.

Of course, if you give wrong answers above, then you don't get to learn the skill!

Well, good bye!

And he just runs off!

In the other tent, there's also a person.

I'm sure I've seen female tree frogs in the swamp further inside... The only problem is, it's been 10 years since then, so now even I am not so sure about it any more.
But I'm sure I saw them...
...I think.

Well, in any case, female tree frogs are already on our to-do list, so... we'll take care of it at some point.

So I go to Bird Line counter to get a flight to Dogy Figh, but am then informed that I am their 100,000th customer, and therefore I will be awarded an Air Free Pass and a flower bouquet! This is a thing that can happen in the game, I think the probability is 1/128 any time you use the Bird Line. The flower bouquet is a useless item, and the air free pass we already have, so we gain nothing from it at this point, but perhaps it can be useful if you don't know how to do the money trick at the beginning of the game. Anyway, on to Dogy Figh.

Actually, we're really going to Laguna Lodge. First we'll go into the side building and check in on Nek and Sachiko!

They're completely different... if you catch my drift! Hehehehehehe!
You two should also follow our example and stay together forever!

I guess they are really leaving the planet soon...

Well, ok. Let's head over to the main building...

...and have a chat with Emory. Man, I wish he would stop blocking access to that chest.

Or maybe even Rukio or Hokuto or Minami... Dharma and Neko is not going to happen... as you would expect. Sachiko would be angry if we named them that!
Hahaha, Dharma and Neko!

"Neko" means "cat" in Japanese, so this is a reference to Dharma Cat (Daruma) doll that he has there on the table!

It's a bit sad to see them go, but we should prepare ourselves as this planet will only become less and less populated over the course of the rest of the game. But what can you do.

So we start to leave, but are stopped by Emory.

Think of it as a wedding present! / Well, then you should ask NEK to return it. / I think Nek might have already spent it all!
You know it's fine. We're only talking about 100,000 G after all!

Again, unfortunately your choice of response doesn't make a difference in dialogue!

But we are ready to leave now.

I don't know about you, but since we're already down here, I thought we might go and finally take a look at the abandoned hotel! The hotel is situated on the west coast of the southern continent, so in order to reach it, we'll head back to Dogy Figh...

...and take the tunnel leading west. There is a hunter here who has an interesting tidbit.

I heard that due to a small mistake by a security guard either male or female stag beetles became extinct. If you want to know more, just go to Flora Jam at B-14 and find out directly.

Ahh, yes. That story of the kid whose father works in Flora Jam. I'll add it to our list, but it's interesting to note that even on the "overground" there are still places which we haven't yet been to! Anyway, let's continue on our way.

On our way to the hotel, we take the opportunity to grab another species.

The mantises.

Anyway, here we are. We know that the hotel is infested by crows, but that shouldn't be a problem, so let's just go inside.

Well, this place has definitely seen better days! It also makes it a bit difficult to navigate because of course our characters can't step over an ankle high stone. There are multiple items to be found in the hotel, so it's more about figuring out a way to get to them. So even here in order go get to that staircase in the middle, we have to go all the way around the outside.

This takes us to the second floor. But we'll keep going up to the third.

There's a chest there, but we can't quite get to it because of the rubble!

So we'll head across the walkway that connects the two sides of the building. Hope it's safe...

Yeah, that chest is also blocked by the rubble! Can't step over it. However what we definitely CAN do is fall through that hole there.

Now, from here we can take the staircase up and... brings us straight to that chest!

Ken found champion's belt!

Fine, I guess. We'll just sell it to that guy in battle park. From here of course we have to go back down.

On the other side of the lower floor is another chest...

Ken found 2 G!


Anyway, we'll take the stairs back up again from here.

And again up to the next floor. This whole place is kind of a maze which more or less has one path you can take.

Here we can go outside on a small balcony. It's true that there are a lot of crows in the hotel. But...

...two other species can be found here.

One of them are vipers.

As always, they looked just a bit more sinister in the PC Engine version.

Now, let's see...

Ah, here is the other species we need from here (although they can be found elsewhere too).

The amazing looking gorillas! I'm literally not even going to try to figure out what is up with their heads.

Although their basic shape is actually unchanged from the original release...

...the colours in the PC Engine version are certainly something else!

Now we can continue our exploration of the hotel.

We'll return inside and head back again to the other side over a walkway.

Then take the staircase down again.

And uh, what have we here? Seems like a bunch of nests.

Turns out we can examine them, actually. Mostly they are empty. But in one of them...

Well then. Seems it was worth it to come here. Looks like the lady from Dogy Figh had the ring stolen by the crows! You know how they say, crows like to steal shiny things? This is not actually true in real life, but sure let's go with it. Anyway, finders keepers as they say, so we definitely won't be giving this back since we have a good use for it.

To continue we can simply fall through that big hole there.

We get to another chest.

Ken found 1420 G!

Really game, you shouldn't have!

And since we're on ground floor, we can just leave now.

And let's finish for today by heading to the ark...

...and hand in what new species we have.

Checking in with the robot, we confirm that we're currently at 67 out of 120 species. Looks like a lot... but we still have to somehow find and capture over 50 species! And the time is not standing still--it's almost 1995!

But anyway, next time we'll explore more the secrets of the underground, but until then have fun and take care!

Again, it's two steps forward one step back!

Today we have a model/colouring guide for some of the side characters.