The Let's Play Archive

Linda Cube [Linda³]

by ivantod

Part 37: Spring/Summer 1999


Welcome back to Linda4. We're definitely still trying to collect all animals in the limited time of only one year!

Last time when we left off, Spring 1999 had just started--our last season! We still have 25 species to collect, so let's see if we can manage it. As you can see, Linda and Ken are still on the ark, but there's a good reason for that! So let's get started!

Step 1. The ark, living quarters

It's been quite recently, so I'm sure you haven't forgotten that in Spring 1999...

...there's a maggot infestation in the living quarters!

So definitely make sure to stop by here and pick up a couple, otherwise you won't get to 120! I guess ice spells work well on them. By the way, if you somehow mess up both battles with maggots in the room and don't manage to capture them (I don't see how, but let's say you do), you can simply go out and back in to respawn them!

Step 2. Hardia

So, while we're here, let's quickly stop in Hardia.

Another recent thing...

Don't forget to stop by the elderly couple... that you can obtain a pair of aye-ayes! They are definitely NOT "preloaded" in the ark and you absolutely need to come here in Spring 1999 and talk to them!

Step 3. West Area, central lake

Since we have finished capturing all other species from this part of the world last time... means we can now find pandas roaming in the blizzard.

The strategy is the same as before. Approach from behind so you get the first turn, use that to transform Linda and buff your speed with the ring ability. Also transform Ken and start attacking. In the second turn, Linda uses the other ability to buff attack power. Done.

Step 3. Daicave

Maybe it wasn't entirely obvious, but we have pretty much left most of the East Area for last--we've been focusing on west and south so far. So there's quite a bit still left to do here around the ark and surrounding towns. Let's start with Daicave. We have three species to pick up here.

First, as soon as you enter, you can let yourself get ambushed.

Wolf. Instead of looking for them, just obtain them via an ambush. Using night ambush whenever possible saves a fair amount of time.

Now we need to head to the deeper levels.

Lion. Just pick them up on the way.

We needed to find this area with blue flowers, some of whom are peacocks in disguise!

Peacock. This one is a little bit of a pain, but there is no other option but to walk all the way down here--check the maps to find the quickest way. If you didn't already find lions, there will usually be some here roaming around the flowers, so you can get them now. Well, at least now it's done so we can simply use the "escape unit" to teleport out immediately.

Step 4. Yamapit

As always, just look for these rocks on the ground...

Turban shell. These guys appear in the last couple of years here disguised as rocks. Unlike bears, these rocks don't chase you.

This is everything from here.

Step 5. East Area, eastern part

Afer exiting Karagoram, you're basically already here, so it makes sense to finish this area right now! Here we find the following:

Crab. We only need a male, since a female is already in the ark.




All of these can be caught simply by finding them on the overworld. They generally appear in good quantities so you should not have trouble here.

Step 6. Karagoram

It's located here, south of Minago.

We'll employ a bit of an unusual strategy. This place has a couple of disjointed parts, so we'll also do this in two parts. First we head down one staircase.

Dog. Let yourself get ambushed immediately after going downstairs.

Daphnia. If you proceed one level lower, and get an ambush, it will be these guys. No need to go through the whole dance of donating 100,000 G--this time around, they're just here already like that's all happened.

Now we want to get to the other side of the cave, but... turns out, it's faster to use "escape unit" to teleport out and then go back in and follow the other route! So that's what we'll do, in order to check out the rest of the cave.

Mole. Easiest to is to get ambushed on the lower level.

Lizard. They will ambush you on an upper level.

This is all there is to be found here, so now we can leave.

Step 7. East Area, western part

Now we can finish the other half of this area. We got the dragonflies last time, but there's still more.

First, we'll make camp in the water north of Ozport.

Rat. They do roam the area, but are small and hard to see and also fast and hard to catch. Since in this game rats are aquatic creatures, simply camp in the water here to trigger an ambush by them.

Pig. There's loads of them in this area.

Squirrel. They also roam the area, but are not as common as pigs. They will gravitate more toward forests, so look for them there.

Ostrich. There's also plenty of them around here, but you may have difficulty to find a female. In that case save in Hardia and then go out, fight one and reload if it's only a male. You can't afford to waste time by walking around and fighting multiple groups in hopes you find a female--much more efficient to just reload when you're right next to a telephone!

Step 8. Underground, southeastern part

In order to get here, you have to use the teleporter at the tip of the lake east of Dogy Figh. If the season doesn't change when you arrive here, then you're basically done. It's not possible to fail any more--means for the rest of this part we're on "borrowed time"!

There are two more species remaining on the overworld part.


Sandcat ("The Little").

Step 9. Pteranodon Terrace

Remember this place? Yeah. As always, as part of our "borrowed time", we finish by visiting a dungeon which takes longer to traverse and has no real shortcuts. So once again we have to climb to the top of this place.

On the way, we catch the following:

Chameleon. As mentioned, they are invisible, but you can use Linda's animal call to get them to come to you. Just remember to stand still while doing that, as moving around may cause you to miss them. You can also try to get ambushed by them, or even just walk through the dungeon normally and you still might run into them randomly. So plenty of options here.

Spider. Found on middle levels of this place. There are a ton of them, and if not, just use the "wait" method.

Pteranodon. Found on the outside ("terrace") parts of this dungeon.

Swallowtail. Found on the very top level, just before exiting out to the pteranodon nest with eggs. Ken's "formic acid" (kind of like poison with continuous damage) ability works well here and seems to do exactly the right amount of damage to one-shot them. Alternatively, you can try "fire carpet", but that's not so good as they are prone to running away.

Ok, well, that's all we can find here, so let's get outside.

Needless to say, upon exiting, it's now Summer 1999. We need to be leaving the planet ASAP.

So, uh, let's head to the ark and see how we did?

Let's hand in all the remaining stuff.

So, what number will you give me, friendly robot?

Ah, well. Looks like we did it, the full 120. Not quite as impossible as the game tried to claim, huh?

Obviously, there are for sure other ways of doing it, this was just one example of how it could be accomplished.

But anyway, let's lauch the ark then.

Of course, we are heading into the control room.

The same procedure as always.

[ 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...

Why would we want to turn back?

And there we go.

As far as the ending cutscenes go, they are the same as in Scenario C, so I won't repeat them.

That is... until you get to the seven chimes part. Instead of all that, if you managed to collect all 120 species in Scenario D, you get something slightly different:

For your hard work, you will be rewarded with the blessings of the bells! ❤

Press the O button to make the bells ring as many times as you like! ❤

And so, well, instead of getting the fixed amount of chimes, you can just press the O button to make them ring as many times as you want!

Every time you press it, you get a rainbow like this.

Once you get bored, you can press the X button to finish and... well, that's it.

You just go back to the menu and can play any of the scenarios again if you want.

But at this point we've seem pretty much everything there is to be seen in this game. There are no more secret scenarios, that's it.

So this brings us to the end of the game for real now, and by extension to the end of this LP. It was fun for me, and hopefully for you too, and thanks for reading this far! I hope I was able to properly show off a game that many have heard about but only a few have played outside of Japan, due to various reasons such as language barrier and so on. As I've indicated before, the game always has been and remains popular in Japan, including activities such as speedrunning.

As we've seen the game features quite a number of mechanics not really seen much in other JRPGs of the time period, and what's even funnier is that many of them are just alternatives that you don't even have to use! And even some things are there almost just for fun, like dog fights and so on. Although it was not really the goal of this LP, since the idea was to show how to play the game when you know what to do, it is a game that really does reward exploration and experimenting with absolutely everything! You do get (obscure) hints for some of the things, but really not everything (whale island, anyone?).

I can say the one thing where I think the game falters a bit is the battles, which don't often require more than figuring out which of your abilities does the right amount of damage to prevent overkill (that is if the normal attack is not doing the job). There are only a few stronger enemies requiring a bit of strategy, but even that is fairly easy once you have at least some of the "ring" abilities. Although Ken and Linda end up with quite a few abilities by the end, you probably will not use more than half over the normal course of a playthough. Focus is firmly on actually finding where all the different animals are hiding, rather than on fighting them.

On the other hand, writing and the worldbuilding (by Shoji Masuda and others) is pretty great. The fact that not everything was directly explained notwithstanding, this game features some of the cleverest writing I have seen in a JRPG--most of the NPC dialogue is absolutely golden. And the characters... well, I think we've already said a lot about that. Technical aspects are also not bad--although the graphics mostly look like "higher resolution SNES" or thereabouts, I think it's compensated for by fantastic sprite design and animations, not to mention the insane animal designs and the animated cutscemes. For most of the graphical aspects of the game, we can say thanks to Tatsuyuki Tanaka (a.k.a. "Cannabis") whom you might know as one of the key animators for the "Akira" movie. As I've mentioned before, I feel that the music (by Ryouko Kihara) is definitely on a par with Final Fantasy games of this time period and is nicely augmented by the three vocal songs.

Anyway, let me stop rambling at this point, but to those who wish to obtain/play this game, I will offer the following advice:
- You should probably get the PlayStation version because you can get it cheaper than the one for Sega Saturn. You lose out on the rearranged soundtrack CD and a couple of minor extras like the in-game picture gallery, but the games are otherwise entirely the same, the only difference is a few minor adjustments to the dialogue which do not influence the plot in any way. PC Engine version is interesting as a curiosity, but honestly there's no reason to play it since it's mostly inferior in every way and lacks content which was added in the remake (although it does feature some pretty crazy animal designs, that has to be said). The one thing that PC Engine does have as advantage is that the remake does "tone down" some of the more gruesome aspects a bit. But I will say that both original and the remake are still popular in Japan, so the original has very definitely not fallen into obscurity or anything like that.
- If you're getting the guide book also to help yourself through the game, make sure to get the one whose picture I posted in the OP. There is another, earlier version, with a different cover, which has little information and is borderline useless. So be careful here.

(Yes, I ended up rambling again just after I said I would stop. I know.)

And with this, I'm simply going to post this image again because it just seems fitting for the end of this playthrough.

Well then, see you in the next LP soon (hopefully)!