The Let's Play Archive

Ni no Kuni

by ThornBrain

Part 1: Screenshot Update 1: Post-Well Sidequests

Screenshot Update 1: Post-Well Sidequests

Having beaten Hickory Dock and gotten our hands on a decent wand, it's time we cleared out some side missions and miscellanea before we head to Al Mamoon. Since nobody said if they actually give a shit if I transcribe the dialogue, I have forgone the minutia.

First on the list are a pair of broken hearts. One is standing right in front of Swift Solutions with her husband.

Since we're only aware of one [positive] emotion at this point, enthusiasm, it's obvious what we need to give this lady.

I grabbed a piece of enthusiasm during a video update, so she's already as good as set. This game rewards overachievers. Not that it couldn't have stood to drop the "Will you accept [x]?" when you already have everything. Just a "Would you like to give [x] now?" would have sped this up drastically.

Having lacked plenty of enthusiasm in my life, I can tell you a pinch of it is not a counterbalance.

But hey, a simple quest nets us some simple rewards. Dumple will like that.

If I hadn't grabbed the enthusiasm earlier, I could have gotten a piece from this Grimalkin sitting right behind them. Or alternately, you can use him to grab another piece when you're finished with the couple.

Inside Swift Solutions are a pair of Bounty Hunts, which you'll see later this update.

The Merit Awards are the various, mostly passive upgrades we can get for filling out the merit cards. I will collect all of them throughout the LP, so you'll see every one in action. Thus I will leave what they do until they have been activated.

Our next broken heart is this man staring at the moat outside the Cawtermaster.

Sure I'll go get some enthu- here have some enthusiasm.

Helping him allows me to complete my first Merit Stamp Card. And more bread.

With our enthusiasm slot free, what else is there to do but to go get another one! This Grimalkin is preparing for the Tug-Of-Tail [he said out of unreliable memory] competition, all the while never moving from this spot or there ever being such a competition that you visibly see. Never mind. I feel empty without my piece of cat man heart.

Standing in front of the Cat's Cradle is this caricature of something that I'm sure Travis would have a field day voicing.

This charmingly obnoxious rich man is a recurring sidequest figure. He travels across the world writing his memoirs. His recurring quest?

He loses it somewhere.

The rich guy gives us a few hints as to the location of the book, and then we're off.

Since people don't spawn on the overworld, the quest markers you see on the map will usually just be for Bounty Hunts, such as is the case here. The rich man's diary never gets a quest marker, mind, even if the diary is found on the overworld. It's up to you to sniff it out with his hints alone.

Our first Bounty Hunt is a "Gruffian" wandering around the beach nearby Ding Dong Dell. Bounty Hunts operate slightly differently than normal monster encounters:

The monster does not engage the player or run away. The player instead approaches the monster and activates the battle by choice.

The Gruffian turns out to be an advanced form of the Ruffs, which we saw as early as Part 2 and which act as wingmen during the fight. About half of the Bounty Hunts follow this pattern of having the Bounty be a tougher version of an average monster we've seen before, and they'll usually be flanked by their subordinates.

Bounty Hunts can also be single, very tough monsters that are unique to the Bounties and never seen anywhere else; these do however all seem to be different forms of the same 3-4 species. It'll be a while before we see any of the unique Bounties.

The Ruffs are all dispatched fairly easily.

30 EXP may not seem like much, but remember that the overworld monsters only give about 2-5 EXP each, and none of the monsters in Ding Dong Well gave us that much. Thus shows how Bounties are a good way to keep your levels up as you go along. Say what you will about the game's writing, pacing, or hand-holding, but its difficulty curve is fairly consistent.

The next target, the Sleepeafowl's cousin Grumpeafowl, is hanging around an ominous rib cage nearby the Deep Dark Wood.

Again, they're dispatched without much fuss.

Dumple did run out of stamina, so I resorted to finishing off the last one by twatting it with a stick.

The rich gentleman's diary can be found in this area to the East of the Deep Dark Wood. His hint as to its location was that it was on a little island with a pair of trees.

Some sniffing around, and Oliver starts screaming.

We do this every town.

This is a sidequest I didn't do until I was almost through my first playthrough. Nobody in the game (from what I could remember) outright mentions the Forest Folk or how to find them. Presumably you're supposed to come across them by accident, because... find them, you walk into the exact right spot of the forest in which they live. I remember doing this exact thing early on and never activating the entrance. It's fair to say it was a very quick quest by that point.

The Forest Folk are not in every patch of trees you see on the overworld, so it takes some investigating to find their dwellings.

Inside these forests are miniature maps of sorts. There will be between 2-5 locals standing around and usually a treasure chest or two. These forests also have two entrances/exits at opposite ends of the map.

The chest holds a Battler's Badge, which was far beyond useless by the time I first found it. Dig Oliver's creepy face up there.

Our quest maestro is this little boy with a bowl cut I would have been envious of back in the days when I had one. He says his forest has become infested with Rhinobores, which are cousins of the mini-rhino/armadillo things we see on the main field.

Yes, all the tribesmen speak like Tonto.

Having accepted the quest, the Rhinobores spawn on the overworld surrounding the forest. And never once enter the forest. And are therefore no danger to the people who never fucking leave the forest, but whatever. Dumple time.

You know the drill.
He said and instantly regretted.

In sidequests where a specific number of enemies are to be killed, the game will pop-up with a running tally of your progress each time you kill another one. This applies to both sidequests where a specific number of creatures spawn in an area for the quest (such as this one), or for when you have to kill a number of pre-existing enemies on the overworld (which we'll see in the next screenshot update). It's more useful in the latter where there's no visual way to gauge how many you've killed thus far. In the former it's just kind of condescending.

Likewise, the game will let you know when you've killed as many enemies as needed. I believe this also applies to certain fetch-quests, but I will not know for sure for a couple parts.

Our eyeless friend rewards us with some coffee, which knowing the types of coffee in this game, I did not expect a tribal community to have.

Before I leave the mountainous area, I wanted to show off this enemy, since after this update I will have no reason to go back to where it spawns ever again.

It's called an Inphant. Guess I'm a beby kyllar.

We return the book to Mr. Pants here and get one of the few accessory types that humans can wear.

Turning in Bounty Hunts is a surprisingly joyous occasion. "Yay, dead dogs!"

I told you we'd see new generations of ice cream. Salted Ice Cream is also very useful as an ingredient when we get to crafting items. Practically every type of ice cream branches off from Salted Ice Cream.

Turning in the Bounties also completes a second Stamp Card. Time to turn these two in for prizes.

The Jumping Jack perk... well, read the description. It looks kinda like:

Yes, the game tries to convince you that looks cool. At least the game admits that it's completely useless, though I believe I've found it useful in fights as a dodge maneuver for familiars.

Let's see it in action a bit better:





twa- I also grab an actually useful perk: Jack Be Nimble. This allows me to run a bit faster on the overworld. It's nothing compared to the traveling capabilities we'll get much later in the game, but it's a start at least.

That completes the sidequests for now. Before I end the update, a couple things involving chocolate:

With Ding Dong Well completed, we can go back to Old Father Oak and tell him the story. He will reward us with some Milk Chocolate and remind us about feeding the treats to our familiars. Travis and I went over that in Part 2, so we can ignore that.

Also, like I mentioned in Part 2, I went on to upgrade Dumple's Familiarity. This allows me to level up his attributes an additional 10 times. Familiarity is visualized by the heart meters, and the hearts visibly grow as you feed them.

As better demonstrated by- wait, who is this?!

To Be Continued