Part 36: ARC III Finale: A Song of Ice And Fire And Death.ARC III Finale: A Song of Ice And Fire And Death.
Grinfrak's not enjoying the lockup and the Ember Mage Auburn KO'd joins a buddy that'd already been imprisoned. He just expresses annoyance at being beaten by a woman.
Besides that, not much to do but leave town. When we do, Bones asks for directions.
Very simple. Not very far either.
Only a dozen seconds later we come to this screen which has the entrance to the dungeon over on the left.
You might want to look the other way, Laurel.
COMPLETELY UNRELATED BUT I wonder if she can read images from peoples minds?
Oh! Yes, of course.
She doesn't just look the other way, she walks out from behind the bush altogether.
These are the weakest enemies in the dungeon. Pretty straightforward. Also I think Laurel looks more like an action figure than a little doll, CADE.
The frozen wisps thaw out after a number attacks and can kill themselves to possess (confuse) a party member. They also do a lot of magical damage. The bug thing is a Carapice that does some decent damage too.
And these guys just do a whole buncha physical damage, but our defense is good so they're not -so- effective.
We find a very unsecret secret recipe.
*sigh* Where's Rhue of Landorin when you need him? We can't get to this sparkly spot at all afaik.
Moving on... This is all just the first room of the cave still. It's not even particularly big, but in the northwest corner of it...
What about it?
It's a snow ballet!
I don't get it.
The ice elementals made them. They have all but vanished since the genocide, though.
The Ember Mages.
They weren't called Ember Mages back then.
He's right. The group we know now as the Ember Mages originated within older human settlements in this area.
Humans had a hard time surviving in this cold environment. As they sought shelter in these caves, they found the lava deep in this mountain.
They worshipped the volcano... and as the centuries went on, they came to resent the ice elementals because they represented everything they had struggled with. Finally, they became so violent that the ice elementals became a target.
They were almost precursors to the Gallians. That same kind of extreme mentality. I've seen it for centuries, but I still don't understand it.
As usual, the other humans sat by and let it happen.
Some humans tried to stop it. They left and moved to the area which would one day become Boreal. That was how the fire worshippers went from being a small civilization to merely a violent group of fire mages.
Wow Laurel, you're smart!
Oh... thank you, Finley.
Ahem. I think you're forgetting something.
Baron. I apologize. I forgot about lesson two.
Now you made her listen to all those silly lessons?
I didn't say anything, man! She's a telepath, she figured it out on her own.
Yes... Well, I fear we may have gotten sidetracked. I pointed out this flower because it suggests the presence of ice elementals.
But that's... not possible. Is it?
There's some noises.
I see now...
We mean you no harm. Please... do not hide yourself from my friends.
I have seen many restless spirits in my time... but never one like this. Truly amazing.
You can barely see her moving towards the north wall.
She has offered to lead us to our enemies.
How are we supposed to follow her when she walks right into a wall like that?!
Leave that to me.
So glad we have Stoic.
Shroud learns a new physical attack that stuns or something iirc.
Stoic's hit all now inflicts bleed!!!!
And The Baron learns a new buff that reduces his speed in exchange for accuracy and attack power.
I bet you can see where this is going. The revealed path disappears after the spirit moves to the next room.
The next room has a second such trial...
... with the addition of a little side path that leads to the ledge that in turn leads to the treasure in the previous room. And it sucks! Laurel came with one of these and I already bought three for the guys!
Anyway, to the next room.
More ice... exciting.
No, it's so much more! This is an ancient temple to the volcano!
To the volcano, eh? Fascinating. It seems to have almost completely frozen over the years.
If you walk around Boreal for ten minutes, you'll hear at least a dozen people talk about this eternal winter curse.
Maybe there's something to that after all.
She would not lead us there if there wasn't some way to get through.
That's right. Let's look around this place! Oh, this is so neat...
There's a couple pillars in here that steam shoots out of now and then, and a healing well on either side of the room. There's also a door on the upper floor that leads to a deadend balcony overlooking the next room the spirit waits for us in. Lastly, there's an eastern and western wing of this temple. We go to the western one first.
Reflective walls being used for a cute little puzzle to open that door there with that switch.
So yeah, Cade can show you the path there with a snowstorm and then you push an iceblock across it and onto this... pressure plate?
The next room has two adjustable sheets of ice...
The yeti is one of Solest's most ancient creatures. It was here long before the humans or even the ice elementals.
Are they still around?
Oh, indeed. And they're much tougher than your average Ember Mage.
Judging from this sign, it seems the mages are content to just leave the yeti alone.
I'm pretty sure the room we were hoping to get to was in the opposite direction.
But Stoic, there might be some phat loot down this way!
What did you just say?
But think how much of a learning experience this is! We should at least take a look!
So we head that way...
Another adjustable sheet and a chest blocked off by ice. HMM, I WONDER THIS PUZZLE IS!
The poor thing. Baron, that isn't very nice!
We can't continue, so I backtrack back to the room with the sign and head north.
Laurel learns a confusion move. Come to think of it, I didn't mention her spells and stuff. She has more powerful healing spells that Shroud, and a revive at 50% hp spell. She also has a holy attack spell. The problem with Laurel's healing is that while she does have the highest SP, the SP costs for her healing spells are much higher than Shrouds.
Don't believe what?
This magic circle is still functional after all these years. The worshippers of this temple would use these to conjur (SIC) up fire out of thin air.
Then they would direct the fire to the torches using the mirrors behind us. It was a very efficient system.
If it is still working we should use it to light up the torches in this room.
I didn't think the cold would bother someone of your situation, B-Man!
It doesn't fool! But we may be able to melt the ice in the center of the room if we bring up the temperature!
So I light the three torches in the room that are still unlit.
The mandatory part of this puzzle is done, but not the optional part!
The ungrateful yeti quickly bounds to the top of this slope and begins rolling spicy ice balls downhill.
You have to make your way up while dodging the ice or be sent right back to the bottom.
He runs into the next room when we make it all the way.
Entering the next room, the yeti throws ice at us.
Seriously, Shroud? You -just- chased him in here.
There's no important treasures here, and while you're trying to grab the loot, the yeti hurls ice that sends you back to the entrance of this room, which strikes me as rather pointless, but okay. Anyway, yeah. Whole yeti thing is optional and just for some loot.
I backtrack to the sign room and head east this time. There's just a path leading to this little alcove with a pressure plate that doesn't seem to do anything... yet.
NOW we finally head down.
And then discover we have go back upstairs to bounce a magic flame down the stairs to light this movable torch. Don't ask me how this works, since the mirrors have no 'aim down' function.
Anyway, theres a few alcoves blocked off by ice that you have to move the torch by to melt your way through. It takes a few seconds.
Most have treasure but this one...
It's cold, that's what happened! This is the absolute worst place to be stationed! I got totally screwed!
But this kind of place is where you can be the most helpful!
Yeah, that's why there are so many of us here. However... we are supposed to have proper winter gear!
I must have sent in ten requests for the right clothes! I didn't get a pair of lousy earmuffs!
That's so sad. You've suffered so much. Perhaps you should leave your post for a while.
And get busted for going MIA? I don't thinki so! That's up to ten years in the clink!
This is just terrible. I've heard way too many of these stories. We have to do something about this!
Maybe after things calm down. For now, we gotta stay focused.
Well, thanks for letting me out. Let me know if you need help. I figure I have a few weeks before I freeze again.
Past some melted ice we find another pressure plate. Then we backtrack all the way to the entrance of the temple...
And enter the east wing.
How are we going to get across?
There is a large amount of wind shooting out of those columns. If we jump when the wind is thickest it should shoot us across the gap.
And if it doesn't?
Then we are going to have some climbing to do.
Thankfully, it is extremely easy, and if you do mess up, the party climbs back up on their own.
What is this thing?
It is a device that transports the person through space. It was used as a way to get across hazardous areas.
That's cool, but where does it transport us to?
This type usually comes in pairs to allow easy movement back and forth although there are models that only go one way.
It must be turned off. We will need to activate it manually before we can establish a connection between the two.
Oh, not this again!
Stepping in certain spots causes the cracks to worsen...
And then that was the only dangerous spot I stepped on, just walking in a straight line.
You know what they say, Cade. If you can't go through it, over it, or around it, go under it!
Nobody says that. Don't make up things for your convenience.
So yeah, we have to fall through deliberately to progress. And there's treasures we can get by falling in the right places.
I should be able to climb it.
Uh... I beg to differ. Who do you think got us across the river on that log?
When Stoic had to singlehandedly save you and Finley from drowning?
Well, I want to do something!
Fool! This is no time for your stupid antics! You think this is some kind of game?! You fall from there, you die!
Duh! That's part of this hero business, man. I can do it, I swear!
You know, I could just do it and end this argument if you want.
Fine! Get yourself killed! I'm not going to stand around and watch this idiocy.
Stoic goes to sulk by the south wall...
Oh, dear. I hope he doesn't fall.
So, another simple timing based game. Baron moves on his own but stops when it comes to a hole in the wall. That's when you press the action key to have Shroud use his wind magic. There's a delay though that increases/decreases depending on how high up Baron is. Wind also shoots out of these holes at different rates and will knock Baron off the wall, hence the timing element being a problem. As for why there's an indicator of where Shroud is at the bottom, I have no idea. I suspect maybe this minigame was a bit more complex and you had to move Shroud to keep up with Baron and use wind magic at the right time or something.
If Baron falls he respawns at certain checkpoints that aren't mentioned when you reach them.
And you can make a go for treasure, optionally. No reason not to. Barely out of the way.
Especially since it lets Finley dual wield flamethrowers.
"I am the greatest!! I am..."
For Arcadius's sake. That was closer than he'll ever know.
Great job, Baron! Now activate that teleporter!
Thanks, budd. Glad you all could join me up here.
One more to go...
That's a massive one. I bet you can't even break that, Stoic!
How little you know. I will crush this like I do any other obstacle.
Whoa! How you gonna do that?!
I'll need your assistance, Shroud. Use your wind magic to give me some extra momentum.
You sure? If I do that, you're going to be moving extremely fast.
That's the idea! Don't worry about me, I can take it.
You want it... you got it.
So we have to press both keys at once in this variant.
Stoic, you did it! That was totally awesome!!
Why thank you. You weren't so bad going up that wall, either.
There's also two divots we can do a regular bull rush to get into for some loot.
You hear that frozen dead chick? We are coming to meet you so don't go anywhere this time!
How about a little more respect for the dead, Baron.
Sorry, Stoic. Sometimes I forget about your handicap.
Definitely looks open.
Ask her what all this running through walls has been about.
She's been leading us towards the inner sanctum of the Ember Mages. The volcano chambers are just ahead.
She can rest easy now. We'll teach those jackals a lesson.
I am glad to have met you... Thank you for all your help. My friends and I will take it from here.
At this point, I backtrack back to town to make the recipes I've gotten and to...
The rare flower description says someone might like it. Then I head back to the ancient temple.
Seems like a simple enough area...
The harder it is to get to the better the treasure is. I would think you would know that by now.
How silly of me. Since you know so much about treasure maybe you can figure out a way for us to get over there?
I am sure my bullets can find a way.
We engage in one of the most spectacularly dangerous things jrpg protagonists have ever done. Shooting icy stalactites in an ice volcano cave into lava and then jumping on them before they melt entirely. If you take too long and they melt, they quickly reform on the roof again.
There's also these big masses of stalactites that take three hits to dislodge but last much, much longer in the lava.
Also, I find out only these two count as being in the party during this segment, curiously. Eventually, we reach the next area, which doesn't require stalactite jumping at all to reach. That was just for loot.
This next area, though...
Three Ember Mages flip three levers. Which raise the wooden bridges across this area.
"value their lives will leave now or be consumed by a torrent of fire. Deliver this message to them when you return!"
How 'bout no? Baron helps us stalactite hop to the first mage and lever.
You don't want to put it in those terms, trust me.
These guys can actually do a fair bit of damage with their fire magic attacks, but they're a little on the fragile side. Barons flamethrowers do little damage to them though so I switch them out for his next best guns after this fight.
Anyway, the switch lowers the bridge which lets us reach the next switch...
We're the people who beat the hell out of you when you threate innocent people. Now get out of the way!
We kick these guys asses too.
Oh, but you are. In fact, you nearly wet your robes just now.
Telepath, fool. Now prepare for a beating!
And with this third switch we can finally make it to the inner sanctum...
Obligatory Leeroy Jenkins ref.
The Ember Mages cast fire spells into the volcano a few times.
It won't be much longer now!
Ha! There hasn't yet been a hideout constructed that can keep us out!
Fools! We have no quarrel with you!
Is that so? Then why did you try to burn down that woman's house in Boreal?!
You're from Boreal, are you? I had nothing to do with it... that was all Goma's idea. Now get out of here before you get burnt to a crisp!
No! You've all gone too far! You can't harass the people of our town like that! We're here to teach you a lesson!
Oh, I'm being threatened by some little girl priestess. I'm so scared!
Get out. I won't tell you again.
There's a clicking sound...
I knew it! How dare you use guns that way!
What? Who the hell are you?
I'm The Baron, you ingrate!
He's been paying attention.
Well... Baron, I created this device. I can do what I want with it.
A bigger load of crap I've never heard! You didn't create that device, you only altered it! The Donner family has entrusted me with their true product, and I will use it to end your reign of terror!
Look at that. He's getting better.
Proposterous (SIC). The original design was mediocre. What good are mere metal bullets compared to the power of fire magic! Thanks to my work, the Ember Mages can wield the power of the volcano without having to worry about the physical strain of traditional magic techniques!
Alright then. If you really do think you're the best gunner here, let's settle this like gentlemen.
Quiet! This fool has impugned my honor!
Baron, are you sure about this?
Don't worry, Laurel. I'm gonna waste this guy.
This is another DRAW minigame thing like when we faced off against Raven for the first flamethrower. Except this time we only have one shot at it, and it affects the next scene.
I make it easily.
You think this is over?! Ember Mages, attack!
Because we won the minigame, Chard doesn't join the fight until we've taken out half the Ember Mage mooks. We only fight two at a time, but there's three for each slot.
His guns look like ray guns!!! Anyway, even when he joins in, it's a pretty simple fight. Just finish off the other half of the mooks first and he's mostly harmless.
The people of Boreal send their regards.
Go ahead then, finish me off! Someone will take my place!
We're not gonna kill you, man. The next time you try and mess with the townspeople, remember the name of The Baron!
Rrrgh... I won't forget this.
Now I have your power!
Now Baron has *four* flamethrowers!
What?! Those are mine!
Sorry, but with the way you and your buddies have been using these, you've forfeited your right to have them.
Why you... how dare you! I'll make more! You'll see!
You better not, or I'll be back! Let's go guys!
You got it, Baron.
Lily will be so pleased.
And I guess that's that for Arc--
Oh right, there's still the Auburn/Goma/Tanisa thing.
Auburn's running along when there's an orange flash and the sound of an explosion.
Sorry my dear, but I'm afraid we're going to have to leave you behind.
Arrgh! Goma, stop this!
Shall we continue our stroll?
No, we shall not! Get away from me!!
I guess even the side effects of fire magic has its limits. Anyway, Auburn suggests using a stepping stone of some sort.
There's also these frozen geysers Auburn can thaw out. If she walks on them they lift her up into the air. They freeze again after a few seconds.
There's extra easy random encounters here too, for some reason.
Auburn can melt a few snowmen for loot as well.
And down a few levels of this area we can find this block she suggests using for the river. At least there's no random encounters now.
The idea is to use the geysers to lift the ice block up to the next level.
The last level is trickiest but is also when I figure out a way to cheat because Auburn can still move while the block is sliding, and you can manage to get in front of it as it does. Usually it'll move about 5 or 6 tiles by the time you manage it though. Also, unusually for a puzzle like this, the block doesn't always slide until it hits something. It usually slows to a stop after a certain amount of tiles. Usually more than it has space to move though.
You dare speak to your master that way?! Have both of you completely forgotten our days in Coromant?! You two brats owe me your very lives!
It's no use trying to reason with him, Auburn!
I won't tell you again. Get away from her or you will be sorry.
https://youtu.be/VfnbwzxQP2c?list=PLLQyrCIfk22daZTc1OJ8v0sI3vYJred1X&t=191 'Auburn vs Goma' 3:12 and on from 'Saving Metroville' of The Incredibles OST.
Silly little girl! Try that and I will crush you!
I'm not that scared little girl anymore. You're through... "master."
Two Ember Mages burst out of the two snowmen on the scene. Or at least, that's what I assume the bottom one is doing.
The mages start to cast spells...
Auburn! Look out!
Auburn dodges both spells and hits Goma, sending him flying back. He retaliates with his own spell, that Auburn also dodges.
Then she beats the crap out of this guy...
... and hoists him overhead so she can hurl him at the other Ember Mage.
Are those two the kind of fighters you associate with these days? I am not impressed.
Your bravado may intimidate the other foes you come up against, but I know you too well, Auburn.
This is the only world you have a place in. Why resist? You have nothing else to fight for.
Ugh... you... you snake...
Give it up. There's no reason to prolong this. You have nobody waiting for you.
There's a long pause...
That's where you're wrong.
Things have changed since Coromant. I have plenty to live for. That's how I know I'll defeat you.
Enough of this!
He unleashes a series of spells that Auburn dodges entirely.
Stop wasting my time!
She charges Goma, and he dodges her and retaliates.
Arrgh!! Damn it!
Then Goma charges her and Auburn dodges and... slaps or whips him with something? It's not the usual punch sound and visual effect.
I will no longer toy with you. Prepare for the end, Auburn!
This is such a simple, easy fight that you win pretty quickly just by having Auburn normal attack. Don't even need to heal, since his fire spells don't do much damage to her.
You did. That's why I will let you live. Tanisa, let's get back to town.
No... you can't... you can't do this to me. How can you... reject me like this... after all we went through. I have... earned her.
You idiot! She never wanted you! She was just a young girl! Do you think we joined up with you because we wanted to?! It was a ncessity! Coromant was a smoking pile of rubble! Before the battle, everyone in town knew you were trouble... but we had no choice but to accept whatever help was offered.
Auburn, can we please leave?
Not yet. If we can get through to him now, maybe he'll finally get the picture.
Please, I'm begging you! Can we please just go?!
What's the matter, Tanisa? Afraid... Afraid of what--
I believe I was still speaking. We learned a great deal from you, Goma. We learned skills that would serve us well for the rest of our lives.
Now we've grown up. We're trying to find some quiet life for ourselves. Getting there is difficult... especially for me.
Arcadius knows, there are parts of that life that I just can't seem to escape. The last thing we need is you barging into our business with these Ember Mage thugs and making some stupid claim that you somehow "own" us! Tanisa doesn't want anything to do with you!
Accept that and move on.
I have no doubt... that those are your feelings, Auburn. But... what of her? I still recall... one night... after the sun went down...
... Let's just go.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhpXXvaWQiE 'Laurel's Theme', 'Baby's Lullaby' by Ed Van Fleet.
They're a wily bunch of miscreants, but I have a feeling they will think twice before they show their faces around Boreal again.
I agree, but I would advise some caution about their activities within that volcano. They seem to be trying to provoke an eruption with fire spells.
Ah ha ha ha! It's nice to know some things in life never change!
Forgive me, Cade. They have been trying to do that for as long as I can recall... and it has always been utterly futile.
As long as the cold continues to chill this land year-round, that volcano shall never erupt again. Overcoming that kind of obstacle would take a fire mage with power beyond the wildest dreams of the Ember Mages.
But enough of that. How did Laurel do?
She did great!
She was able to sense the presence of a dead ice elemental who was trying to reach out to us. Without her, I doubt we could have found our way.
Usually I function as the primary healer on the team. It was nice to have a break from that.
It would seem the verdict is unanimous! But how do you feel, Laurel?
It... it was an amazing experience! To have a chance to walk around that ancient place and connect with the spirits there...
It had a powerful effect on me.
I am glad to hear that. Now you are even more prepared to go with these three as they continue their quest.
I'm sure she would learn a lot, but once we're finished with Equipment King, we intend to resume our mission to protect the people of Port Arianna.
That may not be quite the eye-opening experience that she needs.
You seek the historian Cole Marin. He lives in the mountain town of Artagel. But I assure you that shall not be the end of your quest, Cade.
The forces behind this Equipment King enterprise are forces which aim to reshape the world as we know it. Simply embarrassing Don Kovak will not halt their ambitions. You have seen what Laurel's skills have to offer. She will be a great asset in your coming battles.
Wait just a minute! I thought the whole reason I did any of this was to protect Boreal! How am I to do that if I leave with them?
You have already helped secure Boreal for the time being. Laurel, we found you when you were just a child. We raised you, and we educated you.
We taught you how to heal others. However, we also sheltered you. There are things about Solest which can not be learned simply by opening a book. You must experience our world firsthand if you hope to one day make an impact upon it.
From what I remember, Dasani traveled the world for years before her own arrival in Boreal.
He is correct.
But I'm not like Dasani! You don't understand that and neither did she!
Shhh... I know you are afraid to leave... But the world will need you one day.
You must be ready.
Don't worry, Laurel! These two aren't so intimidating once you get to know them!
Oh, is that so? I must be doing something wrong.
If that's what you really think is best... then I shall go with them.
Wow... Welcome to the team, I suppose. This is really unexpected.
Hmm... Now what can we get her for a costume?
No need. I've already contacted your friend and told him to meet us at the ship.
How very convenient.
That's so cool! Being able to talk to someone no matter where you are! Teach me! Teach me!
Well, it's not quite as powerful as that. My range is pretty limited... But it should widen as my skills improve.
Moving on to the docks!
I'd say so. Were you the voice in my head, young lady?
Afraid so! I figured it was easier this way.
Hmm... That ability might come in handy for when I negotiate with customers.
I'm sure we can find a better use for her than that.
She's coming along with us, so we'll have plenty of time to talk about stuff like that.
Is she now? What kind of weapons do you prefer, my dear?
Sorry, I've only been trained with maces.
Sorry? No need for that! A mace is a very effective weapon. Low maintenance too. We'll be able to whip up something top-notch for you.
Oh... thank you.
Looks like the ship is ready. Has anyone seen Auburn?
She's already on the ship.
*chuckle* Maybe you are handy.
Sleeping downstairs. She's exhausted... She'll probably be out the entire trip.
It's really amazing... She saved her friend from the Ember Mages all by herself. She's just as much of a hero as any of us.
Let's not get carried away. I know you're fond of her, but there are certain things she shouldn't know.
Goodness, that was a tense moment. I could feel the turmoil in all of your minds.
She sure would be good to have on the team. Then again, we already have a pretty cool posse.
Yeah. We worried that you would just screw up and get in the way. But you actually have a knack for this!
I will admit you did a fine job staring down that Ember Mage leader.
Heh... I guess I was pretty good, wasn't I?
But if what Lily said is true... It will only get more dangerous from here.
She's usually right about things like that.
I just want you to be aware of the real risks of this kind of work. So far we've survived the close calls, but our luck could run out at any time.
You don't really have much of a stake in this. If you ever feel like it isn't worth the risk, we'll understand.
I don't have a stake in this? Cade, how can you say that?
You guys are my friends! I gotta look out for you!
We are friends... right?
Yeah. Of course we are.
I'm sure if I had a heart, it would be very warm right now.
Soon we'll be in Port Arianna. This is the first time in my life I've even left the Isle of Alge. I suppose I should have dressed for warm weather.
We'll have to take that into account when we design your costume!
Again with the costume. Why do I need a costume?
Ah, the memories. I wondered that when I first started my career as a crime fighter.
Should I get your cane, gramps?
For Arcadius's sake. Are we there yet?
Gabriella only pauses briefly to look over the room she once fought Stoic in...
"It's a shame he isn't my boss anymore. Time to see what he's hiding."
This is just Gabby going "Arrggh!" as she gets rushed...
And... succumbs to death.