Part 24: The "Good", the Bad and the UglyBrother Band Update!
Yeah, finally stopped lurking!
I actually like Rogue...
SonicRulez joins the pack as my new (and likely final) Saurian Brother.
Sorry about the three week delay, life got in the way.
Now that I've completed the main game,
this badge pops up on the title screen.
And with it there, the game opens up. All ES's are now accessible, new sidequests have popped up, the final few boss ghosts have manifested, and there's even a bonus postgame scenario to complete.
Said scenario immediately thrusts itself into my face as soon as I pulse out of Mu. Geo gets an anonymous e-mail requesting him to go to Vega's hideout (the letter provides directions if you didn't know where it was), but screw that. I've got more important things to do.
Like bailing Geo's friends out of their troubles. Again.
Sonia wants someone to compose lyrics for a melody she's recently thought of.
That's funny. I don't remember asking you to help.
Or rather Mega forced his way into her Star Carrier and told Geo to help, but who cares about the details?
Ummmm... You did ask.
Oh, really? OK, then help me out, Geo!
Sonia's sidequest is a glorified quiz. Based on the prompt she gives, I have to pick the appropriate lyric.
The whole thing is ridiculously easy, with the exception of this one part. Here's the completed song:
Yes, she just tacks Geo's name to the end.
We get up and run,run!
Swing those hips around!
Make it glad, glad, glad!
Take 'em off and shout!
Run, run, it's so fun!
For a Brother who means a lot to me. It's "Geo's Song"!
She even names it after him.
Geo's reward is a Recover 300, a new wallpaper for his Star Carrier, and a strengthened BB. All four of the friend sidequests have to be completed if you want to max out your in-game LP, which is required if you want to fight the super secret boss.
Now if only the sidequest system wasn't as tedious as hell. Only one sidequest can be active at a time, forcing Geo to constantly pulse in and out to trigger then resolve the requests. This is probably to get around memory issues, so it's understandable but still annoying.
Luna needs a cooking instructor.
Who told you that!?
It doesn't matter... Let me help you!
You'd think Geo breaking into his friends' electronic diaries would hurt his bonds with them. But what's a friendship without a little invasion of privacy now and then, eh?
Luna's quest is a repeat of the Whazzap scenario,
complete with going back to Whazzap. But this time, Geo has to return to Luna after each ingredient he gathers to get a new assignment because.
He has short term memory?
Also in Whazzap is the game's last hidden boss. Pat Sprigs was a major character in SF1, but he's been downgraded to a minor cameo in the sequel.
I was going to ask you the same thing!
...I'm here to face myself. I have one more personality inside of me. His name is Rey. Rey is my evil alter-ego... So I'm going to confront him and suppress him once and for all.
That sounds very unhealthy, psychologically speaking.
...Do you need my help?
...C'mon, let me give you a hand!
...Alright. Come with me inside these ruins and fight me...
Geo protests, so Pat elaborates.
When that happens, I go to the ruins where there are no people and let him go crazy for a bit..
Turns out he didn't come here to face Rey as much as he just needed a place to vent.
Pat and Rey's EM forms (collectvely known as Gemini Spark) will wait around on the wave road of the Whazzap ruins. They're kind of annoying to get to since the nearest wave hole is two and a half long screens away.
By the way, there's some interesting dialogue here if you say no.
Ha-ha-ha! Do you think you can escape, weakling!? ...*Urk*
Mind your own... business...!
Time to move! Let's pull back for now kid!
This fight doesn't deserve a video. A Dragon Sky GX from Tribe King can finish the battle in under a second.
Gemini Spark is a pretty fun boss. As you can see, there are two opponents, and that means
combination attacks. Rocket punch (100, Breaking) + sword slash (100, paralyzes) here is the Geminis' iconic one, but they can also
double up on their basic attacks.
Their final move is to jump together and release a Gemini Thunder.
Unlike Queen Ophuica and Harp Note, the Gemini Spark fight has been significantly changed from SF1. This time, instead of just attacking the black Spark, you have to defeat both. Why Geo has to do this when he is specifically there to calm down Rey?
Probably because the programmers wanted to implement a berserker mode. The last Gemini standing will move at double speed, attack much more aggressively, and gain a new attribute depending on which color it is. White's sword slash turns into a Wide Sword, Black's rocket punch damages the surrounding panels after leaving the screen.
Whew, you're strong... I wonder if I'll ever be as strong as you?
This line makes me think that originally, this fight was supposed to be an exact copy of SF1's. Or maybe Gemini Black is just a catatonic mess right now?
Maybe, again, one of these days we can...
Also what is Pat even saying here?
Pat also hands this over, warning that it was emitting some dangerous waves. He's certain it won't be a problem for Geo though (because Pat is awesome like that).
Thank you! I'll put it to good use!
So that was Gemini Spark.
...Not so... fast!
And this is Gemini Spark EX. As far as I know, there are no requirements for unlocking the various phases of this fight, I just have to keep talking to him.
(Hey! Let me outta here! I said let me goooo!)
Would you mind giving me a hand here?
Whew, you're strong... But I know one day I can be strong like you. Maybe then we can be Brothers again...
Pat never formed a BB with Geo in SF1, so I'm assuming this is a translation error and he's actually offering to become Brothers.
This is the final appearance of Pat in the SF trilogy.
While we're on the subject of tolerable friends, Harp Note's ghost is right next to the Sky Wave's warp to Whazzap. Why I have to wait for postgame to fight her is beyond me.
Now back to your scheduled jackasses. Luna wants coconuts, and as you'd expect those are in
Grizzly Peaks. I mean, who wouldn't think to check a ski resort for a tropical fruit?
Luna's final request is for a recipe. She's been asking Geo for random fruits without any thought as to what she would make.
Good thing Hope is here. What recipe she hands over is unknown, but the description says it's some kind of sweet.
Ever the grateful one, Luna screams at Geo for helping her so much when he gets back with the goods.
Oh, you jerk! ...I wanted to cook for YOU!
I wanted to cook something for you by myself!
I guess having the ingredients and a recipe just magically makes food appear now?
Oh... I'm sorry, I didn't...
Just forget it! Here!
Luna hands over a cookie.
It might not taste the best, but I made it myself. You'd better appreciate that!
Luna's gift has the Cipher Mail key for a Mega Class +1.
I dreamed he took over my body and I started going crazy... *Shudder!*
Bud's request involves a little ghost busting.
Because for some random reason, Taurus Fire is standing right in the middle of his room. Not Taurus, Taurus Fire. I guess he also found a random Murian to fuse with?
The memories he had of Taurus Fire materialized in this world, then he tried to possess Bud...
Wait but Bud had no memories of Taurus Fire.
Oh whatever, here's Taurus Fire SP again.
And there he goes.
Or not. I am legitimately confused about why they bothered with this line, Taurus Fire vanishes as soon as I leave Bud's house. Were the programmers being lazy?
Or was Bud's quest supposed to last longer originally?
I don't know what you did, but I'm glad you did it. Thanks man, you can have this.
Geo's reward is a HP +500 ability.
Finally, Zack's quest. It's both ridiculously silly and incredibly lazy.
It's an old vessel, probably used by Vikings. The Vikings' spirits became EM waves that attracted EM bodies.
Wow! I didn't know they attracted EM bodies!
So that's why there are so many viruses there!
yes this makes perfect sense
Now when I go into this ship (which apparently runs on dead people),
there are a ton of viruses standing in the corner.
Talking to them triggers a 10 round battle. You know what else did this? Zack's quest in the first game.
This gauntlet was actually kind of hard in SF1, but here it's a joke.
Hard mode combined with a series of incredibly unlucky draws did their best to prove me wrong.
Without the Zackpedia, we wouldn't have made it through that. I'm gonna go thank Zack!
I did it! I found it, Zack! We can save the world, all thanks to you!
Really? I'm glad I was able to be of service. By the way, I have something for you.
Zack hands over a Giga Class +1,
and his BB doubles in strength. Because checking out a theory is exactly the same as saving a life.
I... I don't want to say anything about this quest, let's just move on. I'm done with the heroes,
now for the villains. Because, you know, they need help too. I'll just summarize these.
Rich's Star Carrier reveals he's engaging in a little insider trading.
Geo lies that a girl's interested in seeing Rich's suit,
and this somehow distracts him long enough for Geo to take a bus to Wilshire Hills and grab Bob.
Because the game is silly, the resolution for the quest is also in Wilshire Hills. First time I did this I spent like ten minutes running around Grizzly Peaks looking for Rich.
Gerry's ratings have plummeted ever since he was revealed as a fraud, and he's looking for a pretty face to turn things around.
Geo finds him one.
The Shaman wants to expand his knowledge of the world to better lead Whazzap.
So Geo jacks one of Zack's books. Truly I are hero.
That's it for sidequests this update. There are two others I want to show, but I'll wait till later to do that.
Next up is Dark Phantom EX. Because for some inexplicable reason I have to wait till I beat the game to get the first boss' card. The card isn't even very good either!
Finally, Hollow EX. Like I said before, he (and the Hollow SP encounter) is at the very end of Bermuda Maze because fuck you.
(And if that weren't bad enough, Rogue EX/SP is also available... in the first area of Mu. Even more of a fuck you. )
Alright, now let's get on with that postgame. This weird globe is hanging out in Vega's lair. With it in my inventory, as soon as I pulse out...
No, I need to go near Luna's satellite to trigger the cutscene.
My body's glowing!
Yo, be careful, kid! I sense a powerful EM wave nearby!
Gyah... Body's on fire! Hey! This ain't your ordinary ball, kid!
What gave it away, the purple rings?
A portal appears near the corner of Echo Ridge.
and with it, a laugh.
??: Thank you. You have now opened a connection to the parallel world! Everything is going according to the script!
Hey, kid! That voice is coming from the warp hole! Let's bust it up!
??: Heh, heh, heh... Your role in this little drama is finished! The world belongs to us now!
What do you want? What are you gonna do!?
Is my role over or not? Pick one.
Mega grunts that the presence is gone. Geo questions what the voice meant by parallel worlds, but Mega tells him to just check out the warp hole. He's feeling a powerful force on the other side, and his interest has been piqued.
Music: Requiem of Ruin
Are we back in Echo Ridge?
Something's wrong here.
Echo Ridge is supposed to look destroyed, but the graphics guys were too lazy to actually make a new version of the map. So instead they just slapped a black and white filter over everything.
Suddenly, a Hertz runs up. Geo calms him down and asks what's going on.
IT'S TAURUS FIRE!
Taurus Fire? Where?
And then just like that the big bull appears.
Bud! What are you doing here!?
Taurus Fire doesn't recognize the name (which opens up a ton of questions, but that's for later) and in return asks who MegaMan is.
Careful, kid. I'm not picking up Bud's signature in there... That's not Bud!
Taurus tells the duo to quit with the talking; he's hungry, and he wants his meal now.
Cue the first of many IF boss fights. These guys are the intermediate between SP and DX,
which means they have ridiculous amounts of health and do hundreds of damage with every hit. I want to focus on those bits.
First off, the health. That picture isn't from Hard mode; Taurus Fire IF really does have 3200 HP. For context, Le Mu has 2000. All but one of the IF bosses feature similarily gargantuan health totals.
Meanwhile, your typical endgame folder probably maxes out at around 3070 damage. Probably less, the sample folder I made assumes you were dedicated enough to get most of the EX boss cards as well as grind for multiple copies of the really good cards available during the story. A decent Best Combo can alleviate some of these issues, but the point still stands that the average player can not defeat Taurus Fire IF in a reasonable amount of time. You'd need to nail him with with your entire folder and then buster down the last 130 HP.
Speaking of HP, do you know how much I'd have without my Wave Command and all my abilities? 690. 1040 if I devoted all of my LP to buffing it (which would necessitate immediately clearing the four friend sidequests like I just did). In comparison, all but one of Taurus Fire IF's attacks do at least 200 damage. He is thankfully very slow for an IF boss so this isn't as devastating as it could be, but that's still complete bullshit. For context, Le Mu's strongest single-hit attack did only 160 damage.
So Taurus Fire IF has enough health to outlast the average endgame folder and does enough damage to take down the typical MegaMan in five or so hits. How are you supposed to beat him?
By doing what I've been doing.
I honestly have no clue how you're supposed to do this fight without abusing the game's secret systems. With Tribe King, a high-end Wave Command, and an assortment of Blank card Gigas this fight is a joke (much like every other fight in the game). Without them it's a fucking nightmare. The only conclusion I can come up with is that the designers expected players to break the difficulty curve, because otherwise I have to assume that they were complete idiots who had no idea what they were doing when they thought up of the IF bosses.
But bullshit bosses are far from being the main problem with SF2's postgame. Literally every single bit of it is terrible, from the map design (or rather lack of it) to the music (hope you like listening to that ominous track, because it's the only background song here!).
Taurus Fire blows up, leaving Geo to think over what just happened.
That wasn't Bud...?
Hey... Look up in the sky.
Geo does so, and sees something so shocking that he realizes he's not in Echo Ridge at all. What does he see?
Hell if I know, the top screen is just a bunch of dark clouds.
Hey, you! Is this place Echo Ridge?
WHY YES! OF COURSE IT IS. APOLLO FLAME DESTROYED THIS PLACE ONLY A FEW MONTHS AGO!
Destroyed!? Hold up! No one told me anything about this place getting destroyed!
Me either! How did that happen? Was it really destroyed?
The Hertz is surprised the two don't know already, but kindly fills them in.
What the heck's going on here, kid?
Geo and Mega proceed to completely ignore this answer.
(That voice we heard in Echo Ridge... It said something about a parallel world...)
Though at least Geo figures out what's going on.
This is an alternate future where humans lost their Link Power so they couldn't avoid the Precursor to Ruin!
An alternate future?
I'm not really sure how this could happen, but there's one thing I do know. Something powerful destroyed everything in this world, and somehow it's connected to our world.
So this powerful thing is gonna try to break into our world?
Geo starts to beat himself up for picking up the Alternate Future in the first place (I still don't know how it even got there when the worlds weren't connected),
while Mega looks to the Herz for answers.
Didn't you say something about "Apollo Flame"?
EDIT: Derp, the Hertz did say that. Thanks Hobgoblin.
YES, THE EM BODY THAT WAS BORN OF MU. HE IS SLEEPING SOMEWHERE TO RECHARGE HIS ENERGY RESERVES...
This could be the chance we need!
And just like that Geo's mood does a 180. It's like the writer kept going out for drinks while making the script and didn't bother to check if the new stuff meshed with the old.
Suddenly, the screen shakes. Geo and Mega feel a terrible EM wave with it.
I don't think Apollo Flame is gonna make this easy for us. We gotta hurry, kid!
The Hertz helpfully adds that there's a link from Echo Ridge to Apollo Flame's realm. In return, Mega tells him to go hide until they're done.
OH! WHAT IS YOUR NAME?
With that, the cutscene ends. Since the Hertz doesn't recognize the name, it's safe to assume that the main different between this world and the normal one is that MegaMan died at some point. Seeing as how Taurus Fire even exists, it's safe to assume that means SF1 happened. But then the question of why Taurus didn't recognize MegaMan comes up; even if he didn't possess Bud in this realm, if he's sentient again then he should at least recognize Mega. Perhaps he somehow took over Bud's body (like Bud feared in his quest) but for some reason didn't have access to any of the kid's memories?
SF2's postgame is full of inconsistencies like this. I think it's possible to handwave all of it (though the game certainly doesn't make it easy for itself), but the fact you have to do that at all is already a strike against it. And while it's not really a surprise that something in SF2 doesn't make sense, it's still a thing.
On a less note, let me show you one of the main problems with the Alternate Realm.
Worse, they're all against incredibly high level viruses,
and it's impossible to run away.
Not that I want to. Something like 80% of the game's higher leveled viruses are crammed in here, so if I want to complete my library (which is necessary for more title screen marks) I need to slog through every single fight. Card Finder at least makes card drops guaranteed, but there's nothing I can do about the encounter rate. So for my own sanity I turned off Hard Mode.
I'll reactivate it for bosses, but I just don't have the will to push through an endless wave of super viruses.
The bus stop is broken. Warps are the only way to get between the various maps of the Alternate Realm, and all exits in the original maps have been closed off like this.
Oh, and hanging around here is the last of the Indie Fragments.
The game helpfully sends an e-mail to explain things.
In exchange for deleting all of my Brothers (and completely tanking my LP), I get this. The game also claims I get a "Battle Card folder",
but actually I just get a new card slot.
Though before I can use it I have to clear out all of my abilities. I wasn't kidding all the way back when I said 400 LP was the regular maximum (though in hindsight you could get it to 500 with the Auto Brother); you can't do shit with that, so for many players Rogue form is actually the best choice. You know, if it didn't also ban me from using Mega cards.
That's all for this update. If all goes well, there should only be two left!
Concept art for Pat, Rey, and Gemini Spark.
Originally, Gemini Spark was going to have a green color scheme to differentiate him from all of the other electricity bosses. Ultimately the idea was dropped.