The Let's Play Archive

Linda Cube [Linda³]

by ivantod

Part 34: Summer 1998


Hi everyone and welcome back to Linda4!

Last time, after finishing Scenario C, we ended up back at the main menu, whereupon...

...we discovered the existence of a secret Scenario D! As you might imagine, it's triggered after successful completion of previous scenarios.

It DID NOT in fact exist in the original PC Engine version--this is one of the additions in the remake version! So, let's select it and see what it is.

Here are the conditions:
- The impossible challenge! Collect at least 100 animal species in just one year!
- Take off with the ark.

All right, so the basically the idea is if you thought that Scenario C had too much plot, then this is for you! Except there's one catch. You have to fulfill the conditions of Scenario C in just one year--specifically the last year starting in Summer 1998!

Well, you might ask yourself, but how is this possible? At least some of the animals in Scenario C we received as quest rewards and it all seems like it would just take to long and be actually impossible--not to mention some animals are already extinct by this point--and besides, aren't most people already gone from the planet by Summer 1998? Yes, that's all true, but the game has thought of that, as we'll see in a minute!

Incidentally, this scenario always plays on "normal" difficulty. If you try to use another difficulty the game tells you that in the interest of fairness, everybody has to play this one under the same conditions. Neat.

To be clear, it IS indeed possible to get all 120, even if we do only have one year to do it! You just have to plan things carefully--I will describe a couple of ways to deal with a tight time limit as we go. In any case, our goal here certainly is to get up to 120 if we can. So let's see how we manage! Maybe there's an extra reward for all 120? Who knows!

Let's get started.

As always, we start just as...

...Ken is finishing his breakfast at his mother's house!

You! Do you think this is some kind of an extra time trial mode or what!

And, well, that's about all the plot we're going to get in Scenario D. So let's go out and start collecting.

Linda is again with us from the start, as you might expect.

All right then, first of all, let's check how we're doing.

So, actually, we start under the following conditions:
- Both characters start at level 30
- Both characters have a starting dog weapons and equipment
- All abilities are already learned (including those from the eight rings)
- All teleporters are already activated
- All shops are already closed

As you can see, the game is definitely throwing us a bone here, so we don't start from level 1, but instead with "fully equipped" characters. Another thing you might notice is that we have 50 million G in our pocket. That's because all the shops are closed already, so there's no way to sell any excess animals/items to earn the money--but you still need money for Bird Line shoot service and the items they sell (one of which you'll definitely need multiples of). In any case, 50 million is more than enough for this.

But, there's another thing. If we check our TransCargo backpack:

...we can see that there is already some stuff here. Here we already have things like:
- Animals which are a bit of a pain to get to, such as ladybird or carp--this latter one means we do not have to spend time traversing Tricross at all, which is great relief.
- Animals you get from quest rewards, such as giraffe and female stag beetle (although giraffes are actually possible to get in Gapia)
- Animals which we can't get for other reasons (e.g. male anglerfish, because the egg incubator facility is closed)
- Animals which go extinct before 1998 (these are bisons and otters)
- A couple of other random animals such as tiger or hydra, which are not particularly difficult to get, but we're given them anyway.

Checking outside with the left luggage office, we find also...

...that the game has left us a whole bunch of different weapons in storage. Notably, there is one eagle sabre here, which I equip on Ken immediately. We will make a second one for Linda later on. Unfortunately, the left luggage is still subject to you losing access to it as employees leave the planet, so anything you plan to use you probably might want to get out of there now. In particular, you should take out the squirrel needle because of that one enemy (the shining guy/firefly) who has only 1 HP and is hard to catch with any other weapon. Other weapons are not super critical--eagle sabre carried us fine through to the end of Scenario C, so no reason why it can't do the same here!

In addition to a bunch of weapons, we are also given all the keys in the game sitting here in the storage. Of course it's only items which are hiding behind doors, but they're there if you want them. We probably won't bother.

As far as the dogs are concerned, since you obviously can't buy any, you are also given four dogs. They are at levels 5, 10, 15 and 20, so that you can use them as needed. Again, we probably won't as it only makes things messy as you don't know what the dog will do.

So as you can see, this challenge is not quite so impossible as it seemed at the start as the game does play "fair" and provides you all the tools already so that you don't have to waste time. There is definitely one final gift, but more on that shortly.

All right, now I think we've gone through all the preamble, so now we can really start gathering. From now on this will be in a kind of a summary style, since we've already seen all the towns, dungeons and animals (e.g. I won't really spend time on dungeon traversal unless there is something special). I will also go into a few more technical details regarding the game's mechanics/inner workings here and there which I didn't put in the main LP as the updates there were already ridiculously long and wordy.

Step 1. Shannai

We'll start our hunt up north in the West Area, for reasons I will explain shortly. For now, we head to Shannai.

Just use shoot service. It's important to minimise the time spent walking on the overworld, since that's when the time passes the fastest. Therefore always when you can, use the shoot service to get directly to a particular location. You have more than enough money. This would probably be a good minute plus walk from Battle Park (the big place in the middle at F-07)--the time you DO NOT have to waste. So just shoot there directly!

In here, we catch the following:

Octopus. They're running around everywhere on the lower level, you will find them easily.

Flea. As usual, they look like little dots on the screen, so look closely. Against very low HP enemies like this, Linda's Snow Blizzard ability might come in handy, as it deals very small damage, but just enough to knock these guys out in a couple of casts. Since you can't sell the animals, unless you need them to make a weapon or process into meat, you can just get rid of any extras.

Tanuki. They are a bit rarer here, so you might have to wander about a bit to make them spawn. Don't spend too much timg walking around, rather if they are not showing, reload the game and try again. There is one other trick to "make" an animal appear, but I'll discuss it later.

There's another species in Shannai, but we can get it later without passage of time, so we'll do that.

After this, we simply use the "escape unit" consumable item to immediately leave the dungeon without needing to walk all the way back out (the item is sold by the Bird Line counter). Then we can use Ken's "whistle" ability to return straight to Hardia and the ark.

If we go and hand this in at the ark...

... we find here an interesting situation. Although we have only 12 complete species (these 3 plus the ones we got in our backpack as "gift"), we actually have a total of 71 animals. What this means that we have around 40-ish or so "single" animals ALREADY registered at the ark, for which we only need to find the animal of other gender.

So as it turns out the "impossible challenge" is just a touch less impossible than the game was trying to make it seem. I believe these are among others a few species which have a stronger seasonly variation in genders, so the "rarer" gender is already registered here so it would not hinder you in your time trial.

Anyway, on to the next step.

Step 2. G-Factory and surroundings area

Since G-Factory counts as a town, the time does not pass inside of it, so you don't have to rush.

In any case, the only thing to be found here is this computer which gives you a pair of ducks from the cryogenic storage!

Ouside, though...

...we had over to the whale island and make it come to us in the usual ways.

Unfortunately, because it's not winter, we only get a male this time. So we'll have to come back later again. There is a certain probability for female to spawn even when it's not winter, but it's small. You can reload the game and try a few times to see if you get lucky. Anyway, they are pretty strong, so make sure you buff yourself properly with Linda's ring abilities. Here you can definitely use your strongest abilities to fight them--no danger of overkill for sure.

Once you've dealt with the whale, we can find a couple more animals here.

Fox. This is only a male, of course, but that's fine in this case, since the female is already "preloaded" in the ark.

Reindeer. They don't appear when the whales are around, so go into town and back out to make them spawn.

As a side note, it is a good idea to start with the West Area like this. The reason is of course whales and pandas. Whales appear only once per season so you may need some time to catch a female. On the other hand, pandas appear only after you've caught all other species in the West Area, so you also might want to get a head start on that.

Step 3. Swallowm

It's actually right next to G-Factory.

Just make camp anywhere near the entrance. Both species we want from here can be caught by getting ambushed by them (which is usually the fastest way, when possible).

Swallows. No need to do the dance with getting rid of rats first. They're already here, so you can just capture them.

Owl. The picture shows only female, but both genders appear here regularly, so no issues there. Do NOT use wind based attacks on them as it will heal them!

By the way, you can assume that between each two steps I go to the ark to hand in the animals. As ususal it grows your stats a bit every time you do.

Step 4. Uruma

We're still in the West Area, by which I mean we're in the north.

We're taking the shoot service down to the entrance of this cave, right here.

Here we have a few species to catch.

The viper.

Sunfish. They do appear directly in the cave, but for some reason they don't spawn so readily. However, I've had good success with simply letting myself get ambushed during the camp, so I think that's probably the way to go here.

Stingray. Just let yourself get ambushed on the lower level of the cave.

Rhino. Same strategy as stingrays to find them. For enemies with this kind of HP, Ken's "fainting shout" ability is perfect. Not only does it do just the right amount of damage, but it also has a side effect of paralysing the enemy for a few turns. Did I mention that it also hits all enemies in front of you? So if the damage is not enough, at least they won't be able to run away. It's the perfect ability for enemies wtih 150-300 HP or so (above 300 you can usually just use your normal attack).

Step 5. North Kamenos

We're still in the north, and it's this thing here on the little island.

It's the "icy" dungeon. The goal here is to get to the bottom level as quickly as possible. You might encounter foxes, turtles and dolphins on the way. If you didn't already catch a fox, you can do so here. Don't worry about turtles and dolphins, there's an easier way to do those two a bit later.

On the bottom level, you want to find the following two:

Northern sea lion.


For both of these, if you don't see them around, it's also possible to get yourself ambushed by them, so perhaps use that to save time.

Step 6. Rose Garden

It's time to go south for a bit!

Again, this is a moment to relax, since Rose Garden counts as a town (where time doesn't pass), so we can spend as much time as we like. It's a good thing too, since some species here don't spawn so easily. Except one, they can all be found elsewhere, but... this way we use zero time, as opposed to some time, however small!

So first what we want to catch here:

Grasshopper. As usual, they're summonned by roses and can't be found otherwise. Ken's "fire shot" ability is perfect for them.

Other than that, flying around the garden can be found the following other insects:

The cabbage white. Because of their tiny tiny HP, the only viable option is Linda's "carpet of fire" ability. It changes the floor into lava, which does a tiny damage to enemies on every turn. Basically cast this and then just use "defend" in every turn to wait it out. There really aren't many other good ways.

Cockroach. Ken's "gale cutter" is perfect for these due to their stats. It will exactly one-shot them.

Bee. Linda's "blizzard" works for these. A female is already registered at the ark, so we're good for that.

Step 7. Ozport

Of course, as you might guess...

...we're heading to that hidden underground area! Here we find:


Catfish. You probably want to buff yourself when dealing with the females here.

Step 8. Garex

It's time to go back south now. First let's head to the abandoned research facility of Garex.

Here we are.

We'll take this entrance...

...and then the lift, all the way down.

In this room are three computers which control the cryogenic storage. By using them, you receive: a pair of hermit crabs; a female squid; a male impala. The missing ones (female impala and male squid) are already at the ark, so I'm not entirely sure why they did it like this. I guess maybe if you tried to catch them where they appear normally?

Anyway, there's nothing else here.

Step 9. The eastern outskirts of Dogy Figh

So, it's been Summer 1998 for a while, and we're cutting it really close here with the season change. But luckily when we travel to Dogy Figh and exit to the east, the season doesn't end up changing yet--probably literally by mere seconds, but nevertheless it doesn't and it's still Summer 1998.

This means that we are now able to spend as much time as we want and the change won't be triggered, as long as we follow a couple of rules. Basically the season change is checked always when returning to the overworld, and those are the only times it's checked. Under "returning to the overworld", we consider the following situations:
- Waking up from an overnight camp when camping on the overworld (camping in dungeons does not count)
- Exiting from a town
- Exiting from a dungeon

So, as long we don't do any of these three things, our time in Summer 1998 is unlimited. What this means in practical terms is the following: we can explore by walking around the area we're in now as long as we want, under the condition that we do not use the camp option. After this we can go to one dungeon and fully explore it (including camping inside). If we do it like this, the season will not change until we exit the dungeon. As you can see, this gives us a HUGE leeway, we get one whole part of the overworld, plus one whole dungeon that we can explore for essentially free, as long as we make sure to do it just as the season (would be) about to change. Hope I've explained this clearly, but ask me if not! Generally this little quirk is the main thing you have to use to "gain" yourself more time in this scenario. I'm not really sure the whole thing would even be possible without it, but I don't really know for sure.

For now, there's a number of species to be found here on the eastern side of Dogy Figh.

First of all, there's this little pond here. Normally, sea slugs spawn there, but they are a bit hard to make appear. So in our particular situation it doesn't matter how much time we spend to walk around and hope they spawn, but there will be situations where it will matter, therefore, there is a little bit of a trick to use to make life slightly easier for yourself.

At least as far as spawning enemies on the overworld is concerned, the game engine operates on a clock of 1 second (yes, I know, I should properly say that the clock is 1 Hz!). So each second it calculates what animals to spawn on the next screen in the location Ken is facing. However, if you're walking around in circles or something, getting anoyed that the animal you need isn't spawning, actually by walking around you're messing with this process and making things worse. Instead, what you want to do is face the direction you want with Ken, and STOP MOVING ENTIRELY for a few seconds. This will usually cause the game to spawn a bunch of animals in the direction Ken is facing because you've given it time to settle down and calculate it instead of constantly changing direction. It is also a good idea to have Ken face a relatively open looking area with a good amount of space, because any animals that are calculated to spawn on top of objects like walls and rocks will simply not be spawned.

In the end what I'm trying to say is that sea slugs here have a bit of a lower probability to appear (I guess you can say the probability is counted as 1 group of animals every X cycles/seconds or something like that), so what you want to do is move a bit eastwards so that the pond is out of your view, face towards it with Ken and then stand still for a few seconds. Then walk towards the pond and see if they spawned. If they didn't, try again. But don't, repeat, DON'T walk around in circles as that makes things worse.

Phew, okay, so here they are finally.

The sea slug.

Other than that, generally on the eastern side of the southern continent, we find the following:







Nothing really special about any of these, they re all low-mid level, so just find whichever of your offensive abilities works best for a particular species. Linda's "Blizzard" is always a good first try, as well as Ken's "Fainting shout".

Interlude. The second eagle sabre

Since we're on borrowed time anyway, and we happen to be in eagle territory, we can take this opportunity to catch additional 10 males, in order to make a second eagle sabre for Linda to use. Of course, we need to make camp in order to craft the weapon, so we won't be able to do it immediately, since camping out here will trigger a season change as per previous discsussion. However, camping in dungeons doesn't count for that purpose, so we can do it as soon as we enter the next dungeon. Spoiler alert: After catching enough eagles, I promptly forget about this and only end up doing it when I'm about to be finished with the dungeon!

Step 10. Dark River

It's over here, in that big lake east of Dogy Figh.

It's home for a number of species, a few of them endemic. Already on the entrance floor, you can find quite a few.

Earthworm. We used to go to Marblepolis for them, but they do appear here too, so we'll just do it here. Both species from Marblepolis (earthworm, chicken) appear elsewhere, so you completely don't even have to go there at all in Scenario D. As always, if you don't see an animal which should be in that particular location, simply try getting ambushed overnight and it is likely to appear (like above).


Dolphin. This is why I mentioned not to bother with them previously. You can do it here on "borrowed" time instead of spending "real" time.


We head deeper into the cave. As you might recall, Dark River has two entrances. Our goal is to make it all the way to the other entrance because there is a specific species which is only found there.

In the meantime, we find the following:

Turtle. Again, this is why you shouldn't spend time on them in North Kamenos.



Cat. In theory they should be found on the lower levels of the cave in dry parts, but I've never seen them. Ambush works fine, though.

That's about everything except one, now we should find our to the other exit for the last one.

It's pretty easy. Just go upstairs here from where we found the cats.

And then a bit to the east and upstairs again.

Here's what we were looking for (ignore the snail).


This is everything you can find in Dark River (not exactly, there are also crocodiles, but they are also outside and in many other places so you can get them easily anyway). Normally I would say use the "escape unit", but as explained we're right next to the exit anyway.

As expected, returning to the overworld finally triggers the long overdue season change to Autumn 1998.

Let's head back to ark (using the whistle of course) and hand in the last bit.

After handing it all in, this takes us to a full 48 complete species and some bits and pieces of others. I would say probably not too bad for one season's work!

So I hope this kind of format is ok for everyone for Scenario D, I didn't think it made sense to go into details again about traversal and items and such and it leaves some space to give a few bits of more technical info about the game for those who are interested!

So, I've realised that since other than cutscenes and boss fights, this has been mostly a strictly screenshot LP. Therefore, I thought it might be interesting to see a bit of a longer gameplay segment in one go. So the video below contains the entire part of the Dark River traversal from this update and the return to the ark to hand in the animals afterwards!

So please give it a look if you're interested to see what this game looks like to actually play.

Note: the video does include subtitles with commentary/explanation and is the actual video used to make this update with only some minor edits!

Well, that's it for today, next time we continue with Autumn 1998 as we try not to fall behind in our mission!