Part 49: UPDATE 44: Exploring the Central RegionUpdate 44: Exploring the Central Region
So, I know that we don't have anywhere to go besides Latium, and time is running out before some mysterious ancient goddess figure is resurrected as part of some apocalyptic prophecy or whatever, but let's be perfectly honest with ourselves, we are in no goddamn hurry. You can pace around this map over and over until Freddie turns 99, and sometimes people do just that in order to get their hands on sweet birthday gear.
With that in mind, we just totally secured ourselves some lovely riverfront property. Let's enjoy it a little, shall we?
There is exactly one sidequest, and it's all the way on the ass end of the map, which means we're going to relax and enjoy the scenery whether we want to or not!
It takes about 3 and a half days and almost two full Fatigue meters, but Meredia finally gets all the way here. Let's see what's inside!
DAMN look at this guy's colorful sundress thing. He's like a beautiful tropical bird!
: "A long time ago, before King Procus took the throne... I fell in love with a maid from the south. I promised her that I would give up my title and run off with her to live in the south. ...I wasn't able to keep my promise... Because I only knew the life of affluent nobility, I feared the peasant's life."
This of course was in the olden times, before complicated maneuvers like "taking your money with you" or "buying a new house" were perfected.
: "On the day we planned... Yes, this is where we planned to meet... I didn't show up. My father showed up in my place... He chased her away, and she went back home to Alba. I know it's too late, but I still regret what I did. I want to apologize to her, even if she won't forgive me... If there's something I can do for her... I've become old. I can't even walk anymore. I don't think I could make it all the way south."
"so instead i hang out in this church and tell the entire embarrassing story to every passerby, i figure that's close enough"
: "...I know this is a selfish favor to ask of you."
Sure why not, I've certainly pissed away months of my time on more frivolous matters than this.
: "Okay. I'll see what I can do."
: "Thank you very much. Please give this jewelry box to her. I was supposed to give it to her that day. I'm sure she can get something for it..."
Well if you ask me it's a bit odd that your plans for that day included (a) running away from a life of leisure to pursue true love and happiness in a faraway land and (b) delivering a jewelry box, but I'm not here to judge. I'm here to complete sidequests and inevitably obtain loot. Let's do this.
Well, I necessarily have to leave the Central Region now, but before I do anything else let's go back to Mount Ithaca for a second.
I'm not actually going INSIDE, mind you. I'm just sending Freddie in for training over and over. Zemeckis has put on a few pounds. The Generic Army has a very strict no-fatties policy.
Christ, training got expensive somewhere along the line.
blah blah blah merciless slaughter blah blah
hahaha you're kidding
Hey, I never did show off Annihilation, did I? Might as well do that now since after gaining a billion levels from training Freddie is going to be guarding HQs until like the end of the goddamn game.
It's hard to capture in screenshots, but after some initial sparklies, there's a mushroom-cloud-looking pillar of flame and a simultaneous fade to white that ruined all chance I had of capturing the first part for display in this thread.
Here's where things really start to get all Day Of Lavos.
DESTRUCTION RAINS FROM THE HEAVENS
BUT, THE FUTURE REFUSED TO CHANGE...
Ah, HERE we go.
In a few select locations on the world map, including Mount Ithaca, if you repeatedly send Freddie's unit in for training, after a few battles (only 3 this time!), the price of training will suddenly become noticeably higher. That means you're almost done!
BECAUSE IT'S TIME TO FIGHT A DRAGON.
Oh shit, it's the Ahzi Dahaka. It HAD to be the Ahzi Dahaka first, didn't it? I'm gonna die.
Oh, also a Dragoon. That's not really a big deal though.
He gives you the standard "don't believe strength is everything!!!!" spiel and it's time to go.
I'm less concerned with killing the dragoon quickly and more concerned with killing EVERYTHING quickly, so I'm switching on over to Attack Weakest.
Turns out that's basically the same thing. Yeah I don't know WHAT I was thinking.
Well he's dead. Now the hard part.
THE CYCLE BEGINS ANEW
He's still blocking everything, and I'm getting weaker and weaker, but my front row getting three attacks is helping a lot. I'm wearing him down.
This is how little damage Freddie was dealing by a few rounds in. YEAH.
Huh. That... worked surprisingly well! I'm not gonna say it was EASY, it still took forever, but I think this might actually be the first playthrough where I beat an Ahzi Dahaka in a training mission without cheesing it by switching in Hawkmen for all of Freddie's characters! I AM DOING WELL.
After you finish one of these Top Secret Training Missions, the training instructor has some words for you.
: "I am sure this will help you. ...I want you to have this."
One of the many rules of the Dragoon's knightly order is that you have to find a way to say everything twice.
Yup, this is how you get all the elemental Pedras other than your starting one. After my first playthrough, during which getting this thing necessitated the aforementioned Hawkman switch, I always tended to make Magnus Earth-element, because then I'd get the Pedra of Earth at the beginning of the game and I wouldn't ever have to do this fight. Fire is really the worst element to give Freddie in this context -- it means the dragon fight you'll skip will be the Flarebrass one. If you'll recall, Flarebrasses are the weakest Dragons. What I'm trying to say here is thanks for nothing, jerks. <>
As rewards go, this one will do nicely. And we didn't even have to chase anyone's daughter halfway around the damn continent this time!
Next stop is Mylesia. We still have two more Pedras to get, after all. Training is cheaper here. Maybe I should have done this one first.
this is such a friggin joke
This one's gotta be it. I had to fight like six battles for this one.
Pffft, Quetzalcoatls are nothing after what I've already done. I got this.
WHOA. Yes, it just paralyzed everyone in the unit at once except Freddie. I may be in trouble here.
SOMEBODY WAKE UP
CHRIST. How was that even harder than the first one?
Shut up and give me the goddamn Pedra.
: "I'm sure you can put its power to use. ...Please take good care of it. I know it will help you."
I'm a little disappointed that the instructors who give you the elemental pedras don't get little animations of taking them out of their pockets like the randos from the Bane and Virtue pedra sidequests, but hey, a pedra's a pedra.
And now a brief break from dragonslaying to venture into Crenel Canyon.
Boolem is the town which that rich guy's old girlfriend ran away to. God why are ALL the towns in this sidequest as far away from the starting points as possible? Get hiking, Meredia!
: "She took care of me when I was little. ...Where is she? Well, she doesn't live here. She lives in a town called Elle near the Zenobian border. That's my hometown. I haven't seen her for a long time, please give her my regards."
Not a very long hike at all. I'm sure there couldn't possibly be more than one person in this country named Gelda, so let's go see her!
Yeah, of COURSE it's all the way down here.
For some reason, the Rice plugin HATED this guy. I was able to get this initial shot of him, but I had to switch plugins to finish the scene. It's really too bad Rice is so buggy, because it really does look much better than either of the other two options.
: "She fell ill and moved in with her daughter's family. Where's her daughter's home? Somewhere in the Highlands of Soathon in the west... But I don't remember quite well..."
Well, there goes all the goodwill I had left for THIS quest. Sigh.
Back to the west!
That old guy wasn't much help in terms of a specific destination, so I'll just come right out and tell you we want to go to Tristle, which astonishingly is right next to the HQ! A bit of an apology from the game for making you come all the way back here.
Well THIS was totally worth my time.
One momentary fade-out later:
: "...I see. I didn't know she went through such a thing... I knew she used to work on a big estate, but I didn't know what happened. ...However, she left a letter addressed to a Cremonan Nobleman."
HOW CONVENIENT INDEED
Yes, the town is actually called Clemona, not Cremona. Insert racist joke here.
: "She wanted me to give it to him if he came to visit her. I'm certain that the letter is meant for the gentleman you're talking about. Please take this letter with you. And, the gift that you brought for my grandmother... I'm not Gelda, so I can't accept it. I know you've come a long way, but please return it to the gentleman."
This letter got an animation, but none of the elemental Pedras did? LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME
Well, we can ALMOST go back to the Central Region now, but first our last training stop is in Gules Hills.
Aw yeah HERE we go
Predictably by process of elimination, this time we've got a Hydra. LET'S DO THIS.
Shockingly, the leader still wasn't dead yet by the time the Hydra first got to attack. It looks bad, but all three of those characters woke up literally right afterward. They DID lose a turn each, though, and one of them is Reynolds, and Lemon isn't looking too good...
Annihilation, as the Fire-element Drakonite book, is serving me quite well against this Water-element dragon!
CHRIST LEMON STOP DYING
This Dragon Master gives me the same speech the last one did, and we've got our last Pedra!
Nothing for it now but to give that guy the letter we got for him. I can totally tell this side-story is going to have SUCH a heartwarming ending.
Yup! So, how about a little something for my trouble?
They gave Lord Fauntleroy here a reading-the-letter-and-crying animation. Such attention to detail!
The crying lasts about 5 seconds before Still-Somehow-Nameless Old Man stops himself from turning into a sad sack of tears, moves past it, and heals. Once you get that old you don't have time for denial, anger, or bargaining.
Can you spot the error in this sentence? First person to point it out gets 10 million Loquacity Points!
: "In it is the Dream Tiara, it enables females to change into the Princess class."
"i spit on your pathetic fourth wall"
: "I'm sure that this item will help you."
Well, Greeny McWrinkles here already told you what this thing does. We're taking it and throwing the jewelry box the hell away.
Yeah I gotta say I'm surprised that sidequest ended with only ONE of the two old people involved being dead. I was totally expecting to come back to Clemona to find an "oh, you mean Old Pappy Peacock? He's been dead for TEN YEARS " scene or something!
At this point I guess it's the part of the update where I have to go hunting again. Sigh. We're going to Ptia.
Our quarry is located in the Snowy Forest. Ptia contains forests of both the snowy and the regular variety, but what we're here for is in the snowy ones. In the interest of full disclosure, at this point I stopped paying attention to the game for a while and picked up a book. Highly recommended for hunting.
Look how crowded this forest is! Worth noting is that Sheen actually gets a unique item (a hat) that would raise one unit's neutral-encounter rate. That jailbait girl gives it to him if you find her and can stomach the associated guilt. I can never be bothered to get it.
Ah, here we go. This didn't take long at all! I don't usually recruit demons into my army, and it is whispered that doing so might damage your Chaos Frame (although of course no one's really sure), but trying new things is the spirit of Let's Play!
When hunting demons, make sure you keep two things in mind: (1) take care lest you become a demon yourself; (2) remember to rough them up a little bit before you try talking or else they will want nothing to do with you.
...Ankiseth, do you even know what that word means?
Anyway I call shenanigans on this because a REAL dad would have said "ka-winky-dink." Making terrible quasi-jokes to embarrass your children is like the entire point of being a dad.
GORGON QUOTA REACHED.
Final hunting spot for tonight: Tybell. They had a lot of demons here, I bet there are still some leftovers!
Once you get here, just walk around for a while. No particular place. You'll see why in a second.
Yup, the snowy plains of Tybell are the only place in the game where you can catch an Ogre in the wild. That's why I bothered doing all that side-mission crap before getting the Dream Tiara. Just had to get my hunt on.
Oh, also look which motherfucker got lost on the way back to Lodis! Come crawling back, eh Carth?
It strikes me that one day this LP will (God willing) be archived, and anyone reading this there will not have read the thread. To those people, I would like to direct the following statements: Santa isn't real, there's no real reason to believe that vanilla ice cream actually cures the hiccups, and you can't catch Carth (or Biske either) in the wild. I cheated to get them because their presence makes the game more interesting (and not too much easier either). Sorry to disappoint!
I'm not gonna do TOO much Organize Screen stuff right now, but I am gonna sub Carth into Katreda's unit really quick so we can do his unique-item mini-quest before I worry about all the other stuff.
Back to Ptia! Hmm. Maybe I should have saved the Gorgon-hunting for last.
Send Carth to Rete for a scene!
"I'M the senile guy. I keep forgetting."
Carth's reaction to this mirrors my own.
: "Did you forgot about me? You saved my life."
"From the Huns in the Great War! You were the best CO I ever had, Sergeant Reed! Oop, forgot to take my pills again."
(note: yes, he says "forgot." I left it in. It seemed fitting.)
: "Oh, you're that old man! It's good to see you doing well."
"last time I saw you you were hugging a sphinx while calling it your wife's name, good to know you survived that"
: "Do you see how peppy I am? I'm sorry I couldn't thank you at the time. ...I know it's kinda late, but let me give you this. Please take this. It's made from materials brought over from the far east."
You mean, like... Capitrium?
The Runic Cape appears to be much uglier than the cape Carth is currently wearing. Luckily it won't actually change his sprite, thank God.
It won't actually change any of Carth's stats either, but it will impart some decent resistance to all elements besides Virtue and Bane. Not great, but it's better than a Valiant Mantle. Like I said a while ago, those things are surprisingly shitty considering how rare they are.
I will now take the opportunity to turn Meredia into a Princess. Yeah, given her personality this was always bound to happen.
The Princess is the female Ultimate Class, kind of like the Dragoon but magickier (and girlier). Becoming a Princess requires five things:
(1) a Lawful alignment, which I just gave Meredia and will take away from her immediately afterward
(2) one of those Battle Fans we kept finding on the ground, so you're SOL if you don't have one and don't know which precise plot of dirt to find one in
(3) the Pure White Dress we went to all that trouble to have made last time I Explored a Region
(4) the Dream Tiara we just now got, and
(5) an ordinary Spellbook.
The Princess class is equivalent to the Dragoon in required bullshit hoops to jump through, but as we'll soon see, superior to it in utility.
First off, I'm gonna deck Meredia out in all this pimp gear, most of which she already had. I finally have a use for this fancy heart fan! And instantly my three (?) Battle Fans are again entirely useless.
Now then. I relieved Meredia of her command to change her class. Take a look at the Unit Data at the bottom of the screen with Rose in command. Particularly you want to be paying attention to the total Attack stats.
This is what that value looks like with Princess Meredia in charge. WOWSERS.
What just happened is that every character in Meredia's unit just gained an extra attack. In every row. That means her unit now gets 3 Thrusts, 4 Rends, 3 Cleaves, and a whopping 5 Meteor Strikes. Yeah, putting a Lich in a Princess-led unit and giving them both Drakonite books is a game-ender, but I'm not gonna do that because each of those two units is a game-ender in its own right.
Might as well do the rest of my Organize Screen crap too. I got two awesome dudes that need swords and two awesome swords that need dudes.
Unfortunately with that I'm out of Chaladholgs so Ferdinando gets leftovers.
Oh, and Mehuyael gets the Holy Lance. It's not as visually impressive, but it's stronger and Virtue is better than Bane.
Meredia is no longer using the Jormungand wand, so it passes on to her best buddy Rose. I think I might have lost the screenshot where I got Phorusgir, but it's an awesome Water-element wand I won as spoils last mission or thereabouts.
Man, after making a Princess unit, shuffling around swords like this seems so... pedestrian. Well, Dio's got a history of visually-unimpressive swords, so the Nephrite's good for him, and Zemeckis is still toting a default Blessed Sword. Time for an upgrade.
Doreauxgard gets the Ogre Shield, and a sizeable attack boost (daaaaamn, but keep in mind it's non-elemental). Because someone asked for it, here's what Troi's shriveled INT stat looks like now after all his Ogre gear. Yeah, he's still not THAT much dumber than Dio.
One more boring screenshot where I give a dude a ring and then we do something more interesting.
Namely, we create our first DEMON UNIT.
Gorgons are only middling archers, but I'm using them in the back row because I don't like Gaze of Terror. It's cheap, it's boring, it's only useful once per enemy unit, and it's an EXP hog. You don't get any expees for leaving characters alive and petrified. Besides, I already have two other units that Petrify stuff.
Our Gorgons are named Jessica and Helen. These are not good Gorgon names. Help me out, thread!
Lastly, meet Catsworth the Ogre. Ogres are so friggin' strong they can hold a two-handed hammer or axe in one hand, but so friggin' dumb that they don't use that other hand for anything. If you ask me, being the only class that can wield a 2H weapon AND a shield, or (be still my beating heart) dual-wield 2H weapons, would make them as fearsome as they're probably supposed to be, but alas, such is not the case. Note that he wears light armor and, curiously, has no innate element at all!
Well, that about does it. We've done everything we can possibly do without taking the capital of the country. NEXT TIME ON OGRE BATTLE: I finally storm Latium. GET EXCITED.