Part 14: UPDATE 9: Exploring the Southern Region
This is much better than my abortive attempt to LP it a year ago.
On the other hand, this deserves to be posted
I followed and enjoyed that LP; it really was sad to see it go. Being able to do it myself is nearly as good as having your thread continue, though, so I guess I can't complain. Your Mercury-stache picture is immortal -- if it's okay, I'll put it in the OP.
There might be some weirdness involved with this update, since various connection issues while I was writing it caused me to use two different image hosts (LPix and Imgur). If anyone reading the thread has issues with one or the other, let me know and I can try to fix it.
Update 9: Exploring the Southern Region
First and foremost on my mind is the question of what to do with Swift. The man himself has given me months of faithful service and is an original unit leader, but his unit has, let's face it, been underperforming a bit. It's time for a change.
First off, it's time to actually turn Bluemage into a Wizard to give the unit a decent back row.
Next, I'm sure Guy has a brilliant future somewhere, but it's not as a Ninja and it's not in this unit. I've brought in some excellent outside talent to fill his spot.
Lastly, Swift himself is a wonderful Fencer, but he lacks a certain
Next up, Katreda is a much more innately talented Cleric than Lime is, and she will be taking her talents to
Earlier I forgot to actually give Leia this bomb-ass spear. I pass it along and give her old spear to Troi. Everyone's happy.
Asnabel came set up with the default Berserker equipment; I can do better than that in terms of both weapon AND armor. I guess he'll just have to settle for an Iron Helm, though! vv
Penthesilea grows up and becomes a big-girl Archer, while Jager puts down his Wolverine claws and becomes a REAL back-row unit.
Lastly MacLeod finally becomes a true-to-his-name Scotsman and Sexwale follows Jager's example and OH GODDAMMIT SEXWALE
FINE, STAY AS A NINJA THEN
Our next errand takes us all the way to Mylesia. Let's talk about Area Investigation.
Area Investigation is the ability to revisit an area you have already liberated. There will be no enemy units present and all strongholds will be Friendly; therefore, one possible reason to do this is to wander around without a care in the world looking for Neutral Encounters to recruit. As you can see here, if you enter your HQ during Area Investigation, Hugo is kind enough to tell you what kind of monsters you'll find here. For example, Mylesia has absolutely nothing I have any interest in.
Another reason you may have to investigate an area is to trigger special optional scenes. Some of these require the presence of a particular character; some do not. In this particular instance, I'm sending Troi back home to Elgorea.
While that's going on, I'm sending Freddie south to Idorf, where he meets an old guy in a bar.
: "The mountains were filled with furious dragons that terrorized us. However, their presence wasn't without benefit. Many Dragoons visited to train, and to slay the dragons. Our economy flourished. ...In time, the dragons have become more scarce. The number of Dragoons visiting Idorf also decreased with it. As a result, blacksmiths were forced to cultivate the land... making farm tools and kitchen utensils to make a living."
: "And those who wanted to make weapons left. ...They're gone. ...Huh? You want to know where they are? ...They're rumored to be in Burgunny at Gunther Piedmont, and Kynora near Mount Ithaca. They can barely eke out an existence. Heating, shaping, hardening... Artists who wish to make true weapons are all that are left."
They are aware that there's currently a war on, right? Between people who like to use weapons? Well at any rate, that WAS surprisingly specific, which elevates this conversation from "flavor text" to "impending sidequest." Let's get some Dragoon gear, I guess!
Meanwhile Troi arrives at his old stomping grounds.
There he finds his mom.
: "How are you doing, Troi? I've been worried about you."
I guess Troi's part Indigan, then?
: "Jeez, don't treat me like a kid. I'm all grown up and stuff!!"
I ONLY joined an underground revolutionary guerrilla radical political faction, you gotta let me leave the nest sometime!
: "Really? But, I'm still worried. Take this. It's a shield made from a sacred tree... It holds the power of the gods. Your father made it for you. Take good care of it, okay? Make sure you keep it clean, and in good working order."
MOOOMMMMMM I'm a professional phalanx, I know how to take care of a shield!
: "Stay healthy. And... And......"
: "Cut it out, Mom!"
You know what they say about Indigan mothers. They won't let you go to war against the established government of your country to abolish the unfair class system unless you're wearing the biggest, clunkiest suit of armor they can find, and even THEN every time you come home they won't stop worrying about how much power of the gods is in your shield.
okay okay stop me if you've heard this one
An Indigan mother sent her son two shields to help keep him safe as he fought a bitter war to end class inequality.
One of them was a giant plate of steel that could cover his whole body and turn away any sword.
The other was smaller and didn't offer as much protection from harmful magical spells, but was made from enchanted wood that would keep witches and gremlins from paralyzing him or putting him to sleep. However, they're both really heavy and he can only wear one of them at once.
He's going to visit her soon, and in an effort to show her how much he appreciates the gifts he decides to wear the magic wooden shield to dinner. She opens the door, sees his shield, and the first thing she says is "What, you didn't like the metal one?"
Okay, seriously, though, if my mom ever reads this: Yes, I'm kidding; yes, I guess this game probably is too violent; no, I don't really swear this much; yes, I'm aware that me playing video games for the Internet isn't getting you any closer to having grandchildren; no, I don't have any particular interest in becoming a lawyer or a doctor; yes, I'm eating enough vegetables; no, I guess it wouldn't kill me to come visit more often. Try making me a magic shield. Anyway! Now we've got some business at the Zenobian Border.
Specifically we're going to the town of Karya.
Whoa. Uh okay this is weird.
: "Hehehehe... Hey, girlie, you wanna have some fun?"
: "No! Please! Please get away from me, you spawn of Satan!!"
: "Hehe... Did we scare you? I love that expression on your face."
YES I DO. Gang violence has NO PLACE in my revolutionary socialist utopia!
This triggers a Training-style battle -- this ain't over until all three of these guys are dead. It's not really a contest. I think I actually blocked all but two of their lame-ass Fighter Short-Sword attacks.
: "My name is Anju. I'm from the church in Dem Vidro, south of here. I would like to thank you. Unfortunately, I have nothing with me..."
I'm restraining myself from drawing the connection to porn or trashy romance stories and suggesting something improper here because now I can't stop worrying about whether my mom is ever gonna see this.
: "Oh, if you could, come see me if you visit the church in Dem Vidro. Excuse me, I must be going now."
Pressing the Z button while giving a character a destination will bring up a list of all strongholds by name. That means we can send Freddie to Dem Vidro here without knowing where it is. Pretty handy.
Turns out it's all the way over here. Luckily without any enemies to fight we don't have to worry about Fatigue.
uh it's me
i'm literally the same guy who beat up those thugs for you
: "...I can't thank you enough, please take this as a token of my appreciation."
I'm impressed they gave her a sprite and an animation for taking out and holding that Ansate Cross. Good going, Quest.
The Ansate Cross is an item that, if carried by a unit, will cause promoted Soldiers to be of the opposite gender of the unit leader instead of the same gender. This is useful for giving a female unit leader better-armored frontliners, or giving a male unit leader some archers or a healer. We already had one; getting a second one can't hurt, but it won't help particularly much either since I'm about done promoting Soldiers.
Still, it's the thought that counts.
Anyway, back to Gunther now. We've got quite a lot to do there.
Freddie is going to Burgunny to follow up on that whole Dragoon thing.
I'm sending Leia to Cayes and Asnabel to Kinseya to get some scenes from their new unique characters.
I'm sending Dio to Mosaka for a scene he gets there.
And I'm assigning Troi and Ivory to wander around the mountains in an effort to find me another Golem. I think that covers about everyone.
Freddie is the first one to get to his destination. As soon as night falls, he can enter Burgunny to find this guy with an awesome hat.
: "...Cuz my wife's an Indigan... I'm afraid of her..."
whoa whoa WHOA HEY WHAT ARE YOU SAYING ABOUT INDIGANS <>
DON'T MAKE ME CALL MY MOTHER ON YOU
: "Hiccup! ... Nag me about my drinking!? I ain't... I ain't afraid! Hiccup! I'm... Got it!? Hiccup!"
Yeah, this guy is a true artist alright. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Van Gogh were artists of this type too. Let's hang out until tomorrow morning and see what's up.
While we're waiting, Dio gets where he's going.
Yes, we've found Dio's hometown. Meet his brother, a lovable street urchin. I like to imagine everything he says with a cockney accent.
: "We missed you! You're gonna stay at home now, right? No!? You're not? You didn't come back to live with us? When are you coming back? I promise I'll never waste money... So please, please... ....Nah, never mind. It looks like you like it. So, kick some butt and become a bad-ass knight, okay!?"
Well, Dio couldn't get a word in edgewise there. I'm glad his little brother is happy with his decision to join the army, but I wonder if he knows we switched sides -- he still seems to think Dio's going to be a Knight.
Well maybe we can do something about that once we take down the government! For now, time for him to go off and look for Golems like everyone else.
Oh hey, Asnabel's done.
Daaaaamn Azzy, you still got it!
: "...And, who might you be?"
Okay, dude, at least PRETEND you remember who she is. That's just cold.
: "We were taken prisoners at the Gunther Mine. You helped us survive. Without your encouragement, we would've lost all hope."
I have less and less reason to with every line, but imagining all of this as innuendo still makes it a more entertaining scene.
: "I just did what I had to do. Don't make a big deal over it."
: "I'd join you if I could... But, I'm no soldier. Please take this. This helmet has been passed down through the history of Alba. I have no use for it."
Sweet helmet. I bet it gives a nice defense bonus or something, right? We'll deal with it after we GET ME ANOTHER GOLEM.
...Asnabel, that is not a Golem. It has FEATHERS.
Well THAT was a waste of time.
REALLY? STOP FINDING GRIFFINS.
Oh wow. Asnabel just redeemed the hell out of himself..
Neutral-encounter rates are determined by the unit leader's Luck. Luck is a hidden stat that bears on a few esoteric things like that. I believe it's determined randomly for every character on a per-playthrough basis, but don't quote me on that. Asnabel must be the luckiest sonofabitch ever born. Doing what he just did three times in about 30 seconds has taken me upwards of twenty minutes in the past.
Meanwhile, Leia finally gets to Cayes, only for me to remember that Katreda's event actually takes place at Inekell.
It's daytime again now, which means it's time for Freddie to inquire into that drunk guy he met last night.
: "He was a skilled blacksmith, but his wife left him because of his drinking. Where is she? She went back to her parents' home at Senal in Volmus. Why do you ask? I don't think it's a good idea to get involved in their problems. It's none of our business. Don't you think?"
well you see
I REALLY want dragoon equipment.
Meanwhile Leia finally gets to Inekell.
: "Please don't worry. They are very good to me."
: "...That's great. Your mother entrusted me with this..."
: "My mother?"
: "She asked me to give this to you when you grew up. If you must sell it, it will fetch a good price. But I would try not to."
The opacity of this game is such that I'm not really sure if the Angel's Brooch does anything. It is widely reputed to help in the creation of a special class that I won't be able to make any of until much later, but due to probability and hidden stats nobody's really sure about this. At any rate I'm holding on to it.
let's go find that asshole's wife i guess
Thankfully, Senal is right next to your starting point. I don't have to sit here and watch Freddie walk for more than 10 seconds.
"Backsmith" sounds like a term from some kind of early-90s rap song.
: "He's causing trouble... I'll give him one last chance. I'm sorry to cause you trouble. Please come to our store when you visit Burgunny. He may be a drunk, but he's skilled at helmet making. Perhaps, he's one of the best in the kingdom. I'm sure he can make equipment to satisfy your needs. We'll certainly give you a discount. ...Oops, I'm sounding like a salesman! Hahaha..."
Okay not ENTIRELY sure why this particular Indigan is so terrifying to drunken blacksmiths--whoops, BACKsmiths, sorry-- but whatevs.
Now to schlep all the way back to Gunther again, blah blah blah
: "I think my husband learned his lesson. He quit drinking, and devoted himself to his work. Honey, these are the people who convinced me to come back here. You should thank them."
: "Uh... Yeah. ...I don't remember much, cuz I was drunk... But... Uh, thanks anyway."
Yeah, this guy is definitely socially inept enough to be a genius. I'd believe that.
: "Hmm... He can't even thank you properly... I'm really sorry. It doesn't seem like it, but he really appreciates what you did. He's just shy... Our store is open year-round, from 7 to 7. This is the only place that sells Dragoon helmets, so please come again."
no it's ok you can just sell me one now
I guess... we just left...?
Okay, so let's go BACK into the stronghold.
: "How about our special Dragoon helmet, the Dragon Helm? They're 260 Goth each. Would you like one?"
hell yeah gimme that noise
The Dragon Helm really isn't a particularly good helmet, but it's required equipment for a special class we'll be able to make a LONG time from now. Better grab one now.
So, we're basically done with Area Investigation for now; let's use our spoils. I seem to remember Asnabel getting a funny hat; let's take a look and see if
WHOA HOLY SHIT
Yes, the Helm of the Fearless turns Asnabel into a GODDAMN TANK. It makes him slower (-5 AGI) but that's really an almost insignificantly small price to pay for 5 DEX and a whopping 20 STR, from a HAT. He is never, EVER going to take this thing off.
Meanwhile, Guy is just kind of sitting there alone now. Let's put him to some use.
My newest unit: Guy and two Golems. I admit to having something of a soft spot for Golems due to their place in Jewish folklore, and this particular unit type has shown up in just about every OB64 playthrough I've done.
Hrm. I'd been planning on turning Comet into a Sorceress to weave magicks from Ivory's back row together with Rose, but it looks like she ended up a little bit more physically-oriented than I'd planned.
Luckily Lime, despite being displaced by Katreda, is all too willing to take up that position. I'll have to figure out something else to do with Comet.
With that, I'm just about done doing sidequests for the moment! Next time: Dardunnelles, the Crossroads!
THE GENERIC ARMY:
LEADER: Freddie, Gladiator
LEADER: Troi, Phalanx
Sexwale, Ninja ()
LEADER: Asnabel, Berserker
LEADER: Dio, Gladiator
LEADER: Ivory, Dragon Tamer
Hypatia, Dragon Tamer
LEADER: Leia, Blaze Knight
Fel, Dragon Tamer
LEADER: Guy, Doll Master
Eithacos, Golem (RESERVED)
Merambooth, Golem (Still renamable!)
Comet, Valkyrie (Still renamable!)