Part 1: Time to Go to School
Back to familiar territory.
The game is divided into chapters, which none of the other Lunar games are. As you might be able to guess, the plot of this game is rather episodic.
And we begin with a rarity in RPGs; our main characters doing actual farm work.
What do you mean? Do you need me to pull something, or grab something-
Just get over here.
Where is this year's crop being sold?
Some place called Iyen, or so I hear.
Never heard of it.
Apparently, it's an island that some folks claim they've seen moving around north of Cape Agito.
Ahuh! Or at least, that's what I've heard.
Iyen isn't in any other Lunar game, but if you've played the first Lunar game, this sounds awfully familiar.
Vane will not be appearing in this game either.
Lena!! Thank heavens you're alright! Come on, you and I are clearing out of this town!
W-what's going on, Papa?
Word's going around that some old man wants...
Less than a minute in and we've already got mentions of child slavery. I'm... impressed?
Ellie, you'd better make yourself scarce, too!
Especially after... you know... the incident.
Come on! There's no time!
Whoever has been spreading such awful rumors?
The people who heard the creepy bearded outsider talk about taking our children away?!
Iyen is nothing like that! No no, not at all!
All due respect sir you're not helping your case.
W-who are you, old man?
Ho ho ho! Oh, I'm nobody! Just a wrinkly old traveller, just passing through.
Passing through, huh? Well... I still don't like you! Peh! Not gonna argue the wrinkly part, though...
Please, allow me a moment to explain. You two girls have been specially selected to attend classes at Iyen's renowned Magic School! How does THAT sound?
It's a trick! I won't allow it!
Hah! No tricks here! Give it some thought. Let me know, alright?
Lena start digging a hole. If we work quick, no one will even suspect us.
Eh... Let's hear him out first.
This Magic School sounds like a pretty good deal. You'll get the education you deserve, and the school pays your room and board.
You mean, like, free meals? Just for studying?
Sounds boring! Why should we care about text books and magic? I mean, I can already magically heal wounds and I've never even touched a book. Heck, Ellie can set stuff on fire with her mind!
By the way, I am SO sorry about that, sir.
Well, education IS useful.
But is it more useful than field work or chores? Can an education help water the crops?
Well, there IS that. Hm. Ah, hell, you know, it could be fun.
And if it turns out it's all a trap to sell us into slavery you could just burn our captors to death!
Getting a jump on an education would help. I've heard stories about other nearby villages whose children have gone to study at Iyen. They returned with great skills, and their towns prospered. They'd gained the power to summon rain at will!
Oh. It CAN helped water the crops.
You could have mentioned that earlier.
But... they needed a lot of studying before they could even produce one drop of water.
So if I study, I can accomplish great things!?
That's kind of true in general...
I still don't know about this! Ellie, are you sure you want to do this?
Uh... I guess?
C'mon, Ellie! Free meals! And we get to learn magic as a bonus!
I know, but... I don't think my magic could ever make it rain. It tends to do the opposite.
So? You'll find another use for it. Besides, would you rather learn to harness your gift or to fear it?
I- you're right.
Yeah, rain is lame anyway! Who needs to rain water when you can rain FIERY DEATH!
Ooh, now I'm hyped!! We HAVE to go!!
(Will you make it there in time?)
Oh mysteriously mysterious!
We're not going to be seeing anything resembling a real plot for a long time, by the way.
And that was the end of chapter 1! While the rest of the chapters aren't nearly this short, they tend to be brief, especially early on.
The remake's version of this prologue chapter is a bit different, as there's a lot more foreshadowing for future events, but the biggest one is that Ellie can fly. Yes, Ellie can fucking fly. In terms of gameplay, as far as I can tell all it effects is that Ellie gets dive bomb attacks and stuff like that. That's still awesome. I'm kinda sad that I'm stuck with the flightless Ellie version of this game. I guess I'll have to settle for fireballs. Apart from gameplay, Ellie being able to fly does have a role in the plot, but we'll get to that later.
Here's a video of the remake's opening, if you're curious. Warning: cheesy anime intro. Also it does kind of spoiler the appearance of a character that hasn't appeared yet in this version.
Anyway, onto Chapter 2!
Well, this looks like the place.
Yeah. Seems like it's just us kids though. None of the adults have shown up yet.
Hm... kinda weird. But nothing too suspicious so far. Still, if worst comes to worst, remember our back-up plan.
I'm not burning anyone to death, Lena.
You are the worst friend.
We're not going to have to opportunity to get into the gameplay much in this update, but let's just say that even for Lunar, it's quite barebones.
Ellie and Lena start with one spell apiece, and of course Ellie gets a fire spell and Lena gets a healing spell. Actually, Lena's spell is normally known as "Calm Litany" and is usually associated with people in service of the Goddess Althena, which Lena is definitely not. Lunar usually does the whole old school DnD thing where your healers are priests, but Walking School doesn't really go that route. It's not a big deal, but it's a bit odd. (Of course Lunar Dragon Song confuses matters even further but Lunar Dragon Song doesn't count so who cares.)
Oh, and they brought a single donut with them.
Speaking of which, where's my free food?!
All right, let's see if anyone knows what's the what.
I've got to get my hands on some of that magic!
The answer is no.
But I can't find it anywheeere!
If they lied about the free food I swear I'm gonna...
I really think that's the least of our problems here.
It's the most of our problems!
Regardless, no one here has any clue, so let's leave this place.
The school's got to be this way. We'd better hurry and--
We'll go check it out! You all just wait for us here!
Urgh what a twerp!
I know. And he's got a portrait so who knows how much more we'll have to deal with him.
As we step out onto the world map, the game gives us a pan over a few locations.
Although the point of interest is fairly obvious.
That must be the school, huh? Let's go and check it out!
I can't help but notice that we're not heading towards the school.
Oh? We aren't?
Yeah, and it looks like we're going to this beach.
Why are we here, Ellie?
Well, gotta look around. Maybe there's some clues here.
Clues to what?
Uh... how to get to Iyen.
That town we saw seemed like a good place to-
So, while our destination is fairly clear, for some odd reason we can go anywhere on the map and explore areas that won't be relevant for a long time.
Don't you even think about-
And that does include dungeons.
However, there's not much of a reason to do so. There's not even random encounters!
Ellie, caves are boring. I'm bored. Let's go.
Seriously why is this stupid place so fascinating to you?
Listen, Lena, I've never left the village. And neither have you! And when we get to Iyen we're probably gonna be stuck there studying and doing other boring stuff. This may be our only chance to see the world, explore!
...this is seeing the world?
Well... it's... as close as I'll ever get.
Okay, but, I don't-
I hate you.
I- I don't know. What IS up with this door?
I... uh... okay I didn't think that through leave me alone.
The game does block off some stuff, although not as much as you'd think. There's a whole big maze in this dungeon to the left I could wander around in.
But there'd be no reason to.
All right, detour over! Free food here we-
Ellie what are you doing?
While you can't get into random battles, there are treasure chests in some of these areas, and you can open them! Most of them just have calm herbs like the one pictured here. Calm herbs are just normal healing items, nothing fancy.
Fun fact: there are no items in the remake. As in, they completely removed items. That may seem like a really odd design choice, but once we get into real gameplay it'll make a bit more sense.
Okay Lena, I know what you're going to say-
And you're going to go on in anyway.
Hey, looks like a harbor.
Except there's no one here.
That's... weird. And a little creepy.
Oh well back to exploring!
Ellie, I have been very patient with you, I feel.
You've been gnashing your teeth the whole time. Really, really loudly.
-but I think it's time we stop this nonsense and get to Iyen already. I'm not gonna miss the free food because of this.
It'll still be there when we get to Iyen. Besides-
Ellie. Do you know what happened to the last person who got between me and food?
Is that supposed to be a threat? 'Cuz it's kinda la-
GO TO TOWN ALREADY
This is a nice little town.
Any town that feeds me is a good town. Let's get some grub already.
Um, do you see anyone?
...no I don't.
This place is deserted.