Part 6: RGamblin' Man.Chapter 5:
: Larpa's a great town, but it's crawlin' with criminals, so be careful. In fact, you might want to explore Dalton, to the west, instead. It's much safer.
It is not encouraging that the first person I see tells me to go somewhere else. In all fairness, it's not like the welcoming to Meribia was any better.
Moreover, we're not looking to get rich or anything. We're just looking for Ronfar.
: That low-life cheated me out of my house! I had the best view in all western Larpa! But that shameless pig tricked me into wagering my whole house!
That... doesn't sound so priestly. Are we sure we're talking about the same guy?
Uh, yeah. Sure. You know where Ronfar is?
: Well, you won't find him at the sanctuary, that's for sure! He traded the cloth for the dice. Check out the alleys and bars. The bum's probably in another game.
Oh. Well. Fuck.
Doesn't anyone have anything nice to say about this Ronfar fellow?
: He's just good enough to eat!
Oh please. After Lunar 1, I ain't trusting any of you fuckers' concept of "handsome."
: And control! When the dice are in his hands, it's almost like magic!
: Yeah, right... magic. I'm so impressed, I'm yawning.
See, Ruby knows what's up- wait, she's got a crush on the doofus with the face tattoo. Nevermind.
Okay, well, if Ronfar's hung up his robe, there are still priests in town. Maybe they could help. Let's check the church.
For such a shitty little desert town, it's a nice church. Ya know, it occurs to me that no towns in Lunar 1 even had a church. There was only one big Althena's Shrine and a couple of tiny outposts. In the sequel everyone seems to have gotten a bit more religious.
: Through us, the world will come to know Althena's goodness. ...if they donate enough.
Oh. Oh. It's one of those JRPG religions.
: But, in all this time, we have not made even one person here convert! This town is crawlin' with sinners!
Well, there's no point in getting a town full of pious people to convert, is there?
: Only specially chosen ones may enter its hallowed halls.
: ..Althena resides in... Pentagulia... hmm...
Uh, no. Althena resides in the Goddess Tower. Okay, last time she reincarnated she didn't, but she didn't know she was a goddess yet. ...what is the standard mode of operation for the reincarnated Althenas? I guess this time she wanted a swanky city. Well, I guess I can't blame her.
: They say he's been learning new tricks in Pentagulia!
Wait, what? I thought he gave up the priest-ing.
: If they did, they'd be crying like babies...
Oh you two bore me. Let's just try and see if anyone can heal Lucia.
: Quick, donate to Althena and pray for her mercy.
: Uh, I really don't think that's gonna work...
It might be worth a try, at least..
It restored us to full HP... which for Lucia is still 1. Oh, and the kicker?
There's an Althena Statue in town. And it's free. So there is no point in ever giving money to the church.
As you can tell, people attempting to swindle you in a theme in Larpa.
: I got a foolproof tip on a horse in the seventh! It's gonna make me rich!
Even compulsive gambler bums want to cheat you out of your money! What is this world coming to?
: Oh, I'd be happy to show you the ropes. The people of Larpa are fair and honest. They come here from all over. We have a long tradition of clean and wholesome life. Visitors are required to pay a 1000S gift to the city. The funds collected are used to care the sick and aged. I am the designated visitor fee collector. I'll happily accept your gift.
Oh- oh- don't you dare-
Oh. He doesn't. The other guy doesn't actually take anything from you either. So it's just the church trying to swindle you. Good to know.
I guess we have no choice but to hope Ronfar at least remembers some of his priest training... and is sober. Let's try his house first.
: Some stinking bozo stuck liniment in my underpants! I'm on fire! Ouh eeh ahh! If I catch the prankster that stuck this goop in my shorts, I'll kill him! I have a... sneaking... idea it was Ronfar! Ahhh! I'll... wring... his... neck!
Oh goodie, on top of being a loser Ronfar's also 12, apparently
But I guess this is his house. Let's see if he's home.
"I'll come back after I finish work.... LM"
: See! The letter says 'Ronfar!' I was sure this was his house... I wonder where he is?
I kinda want to know who "LM" is, but it's probably some drinking buddy or something.
All right, then we've put it off long enough, let's go-
Okay, okay, we're gonna see Ronfar eventually! Just one more detour!
: ...go away! We don't want any of your sick mumbo-jumbo- What? You're not? Oh, uh, sorry. If you're looking for the mayor, he's on the second floor.
Oh, so this is the mayor's house. ...Larpa has a mayor?
: If you ask me, I think the mayor's the biggest swindler of 'em all. Say, uh, keep that comment I made about the mayor under your hat, okay? I need this job.
Not a good mayor, mind, but a mayor. Reza didn't have a mayor.
: Yippee! Ledds play house!
Okay, I'll be the brilliant aloof doctor and you can have the mysterious sickness. Do you know what the symptoms of lupus are?
: Our daughter needs schooling and friends, but this town is nothing but scoundrels. I wish my husband would clean this town up. After all, he is mayor.
I think her daughter was the girl we just talked to. I hate to say this, but it might be a just a hair too late for that one.
: Say, just keep away from our daughter. You look like another bad influence, and I'm telling you, she doesn't need it! She's got several out-of-town suitors, and I don't want her chances ruined. She's gonna marry and get out of this town if it kills me!
: Uh... is she serious?
You're trying to marry your clearly mentally impaired daughter off, just so we're clear... did I stumble into a Tennessee Williams play and not realize it?
At this point we know damn well where this Ronfar is, but we might as well ask.
: Hmm... Ronfar.... Ronfar? No can't say that I know the name. There's no priest named Ronfar in the local Althena cult...
I know he's not currently a priest, but where is the guy?
: Tonmar... Tonmar... yes! There was a man named Tonmar that died about 5 years ago.
...okay fuck this.
: Hrmph! Well, he's a pretty secretive guy. Maybe he doesn't want to be bothered. But, if you want to take your chances, he's at the back of the bar.
That kind of cracks me up. "Well he doesn't waaaant to be found... but he's over there."
So, back of the bar, huh. Now we just need to find the guy who isn't a clone...
: Ha! Well, beat it! And don't come back here, you little troublemakers! I don't want to ever see your face again... unless you feel like rolling the bones...
Oh well guess that's not him. Let's keep sear-
Of course it is. Just talk to him again.
: What are you doing back here? I'm getting real sick of your face.
: Hah! I'm getting sick of your games, Ronfar. We know who you are.
: I don't know what sanitarium you escaped from, but I'm not Ronfar.
Eeeh. Ladies of Lunar, you have got to set your standards higher. I mean... mullets.
:What do you want with this Ronfar guy anyway? You know, he's kind of a deadbeat. Huh. I can't believe he was ever a priest for Althena. But I'll tell you where your guy is, if you beat me in a game, the game that rules my life. 'cause the only truth I've ever found lies right here-
: In these!
: If you win, I'll tell you all about your guy Ronfar.
Well no I was really hoping you'd cure our friend who's now probably depositing her lunch all over the floor, but since you reeeally want to roll the die, let's go.
Uuuuuuuhhh... even- no! Odds! Odds!
Hell yes I'm trying again. This time, I'm betting evens like I should have!
Yeah he's unbeatable.
: Lousy, stinking cheat! I know he was cheating, Hiro!
Screw this guy man, let's go and find someone else who can tell us... about Ronfar.
: What? You're still coming back for more? Haven't you figured out that I'm using my super-lucky dice?
: I think it's more like your super-loaded dice, if you ask me. Cheat!
: Ahh! Hiro... I can't... h... help me...
: Hey, look out! What's happened to her? She just passed out! Tell you what... let's get her out of her. She can rest at my place.
At least he stopped giving us the run-around... perhaps though, a hair too late.
: The girl's inside. Come on in.
: Well now! What do we have here...
"Ronfar: I came to talk to you, but nobody was home. I'll come back after I finish work.... LM"
: Hmm, this is certainly a blast from the past. Wonder when he's coming back? Oh well, I ain't losin' any sleep over it. Come on in, I'll show you to the girl.
I just hope this LM guy waits until Lucia stops dying before he busts on in.
: ... You don't need me to cure her... I'm nothing but a has-been! Just... take her to the sanctuary and let the priests there cure her.
We tried that. If we had a better option, trust me, we'd have taken it by now.
: You're a persistent little bunch, aren't ya? Now, listen carefully: I'm a gambler, not a priest. I can't help you. Go find one of the priests in the sanctuary!
I told you-
For some reason, the game puts Ruby and Hiro's portraits to the side here. Just for those two lines.
: Oh! So you've met my over-achieving friend, eh? If the girl's in some sort of trouble, you don't want Leo to get hold of her. You stay here. I'll go see what he wants.
: Hey, what was this 'work' you mentioned in your note? I can't believe you'd have business in this crooked town.
: Some little brat called Hiro tricked me and helped a destroyer. I had no idea that it would come disguised as a girl. That was my mistake. I won't make it again.
: A girl, huh... you say she's a... destroyer?
: ...come on Ronfar... don't spill the beans...
Yeah, man, how dare you rat out a suspicious total stranger to your friend. I THOUGHT WE WERE BROS.
: This is not good, Hiro. If he talks, we're all dead meat!
: Well, Ronfar, if you hear anything about this girl at one of your games, let me know, okay?
: ...uh... ahem... right! Haven't heard anything, but if I do, you're at the top of my list.
...actually, he is going to cover our asses.
: Well, I guess that's all I can do today. Tomorrow, I'll start the search anew. That brat will be mine!
Well, buh bye and don't co-
: Say Ronfar, why don't you return to Pentagulia and the service of Althena? You know, Mauri never got over you leaving. She still asks about you...
: C'mon, Leo! We've been down that road a zillion times! You've got to tell Mauri to forget all about me. I'm a loser... a has-been. She's too good for me.
: Ronfar, you're much too hard on yourself. You did the best you could. And even though you couldn't save her, she still managed to survive. Forget about the past and come back to Pentagulia... please? For Mauri.
: But she's... ...
That's kind of an awkward point to just walk out, Leo. Still... that was interesting...
But since Leo's gone, perhaps we should thank Ronfar for his somewhat baffling act of kindness.
: We were like brothers. I lied to him. And just for you, stranger. But I lied on a hunch that you are doing what you think is right. I can see it in your eyes. You don't believe the girl is a destroyer at all. I was like you... a young kid fired up with ambition... and then...
Fun fact: according to official sources, Ronfar is 19. Just putting that out there.
: ...oh, Mauri... I miss her so much! But that's foolish talk. All that matters now is my dice, and lucky they are!
"I'm not repressing anything!"
No, seriously, the dialogue actually is that abrupt.
: Okay Hiro, here's the deal. Play the dice and win, and I'll help you and Lucia.
: Hiro, forget about it! His dice have gotta be loaded!
: Ah, Ruby, you're tearing my heart to shreds! Me? A cheat? C'mon...
Jesus, you're obsessed with this shit, aren't ya? Maybe you should see someone about that.
As you might be able to guess, it's doesn't actually matter what you choose.
Because you're going to win.
: Will ya look at that! Hiro, you won! I don't believe it!
: Well, luck certainly must be with you today! I'm yours on a toss of the dice.
I'd like to mention that this game was released about... oh... 8 months after Final Fantasy 6. At least Ronfar didn't try to marry one of our party members.
: To break the spell, we'll have to use a statue of the Goddess. There's one in the sanctuary. But, Leo's got that guarded, so we'd better use the back door. C'mon, this way...
Or we could use that statue of Althena that's out in the open free and unguarded, or will that not work because it isn't fancy enough?
Well, they had to squeeze in some gameplay, so now Leo has suddenly cut off the sanctuary (and the exit of the town) and we have to sneak in. Whatever works. Let's just fetch Lucia.
Oh god, we better move fast before the ellipses destroy her!
: But... what else can we do, Lucia? Can you hear me?
: ...I see... it... all so... very clearly... now... you are my... only chance.
: ...she's getting worse, fast...
So already, we get a new party member!
He doesn't come with any weapons, sadly. Some of you may think that's normal, why would he go to the bar with a weapon, but I'd ask why wouldn't he go to the bar with a weapon? He does come with a bitchin' bandanna, though. It only gives him a small defense boost, but it's still nice to have.
I put Ronfar and Hiro's stats back to back, just for comparison. Now Ronfar isn't carrying a weapon, and he only has one attack, but that's a decent raw attack power. Hell, Ronfar's raw attack power isn't that much worse than Hiro's with a weapon!
But Ronfar's a priest, so let's look at his spells.
He starts with the same Heal Litany that Gwyn did (but not his Calm Litany, which sucks). He has Herbal Breeze as well, which if you don't remember is a sleep spell. However, Ronfar gets a unique skillset in the Chance spells. Chance Dice does a random effect, ranging from healing the party, inflicting status ailments on the enemy, to even inflicting damage on your own party. Usually Chance Dice will roll something beneficial or at least harmless, and there is one Chance Spell that's quite nice, so the skillset is not that bad. Well, except for the tiny fact that...
You have to spend MExp to level up Ronfar's Chance abilities. You also have to spend MExp to level up Ronfar normal healing spells... well, you can guess which one you're going to spend the resources on. And MExp is very, very tight in this game.
Ronfar's Herbal Litany, by the way, belong to the "Soul" subset, which will level as he does. Ronfar's Soul skills are... kind of an odd bunch, but we'll be seeing that later on.
Before we sneak off to the sanctuary, let's go check out the store and see if there's anything worth buying.
They have the Dagger, which is the only weapon so far that Ronfar can equip. Thankfully, I still have the Dagger Hiro started with, so Ronfar can get his hand-me-down. (He can't equip Hiro's Ancient Dagger, though) The Short Sword is a sizable boost to Hiro's attack power, and not that expensive. Moving down the list, we next have Peasant Armor, which both of them start with, Leather Armor, a slight improvement over the Peasant Armor, the Bandanna, which Ronfar already has, Herb, and Purity Herb, which cures poison. Unlike Lunar 1, where poison was a joke, poison's a bit more threatening in this game. Nothing is going to poison us for now.
For now I don't get anything. There's a bit of fighting coming up, but nothing major. I'll be saving that for next time, though.