Part 9: The Search for the TowerThe battle at the Forbidden Zone has left Edge physically and emotionally exhausted. Not only did he not kill Craymen, his desire for revenge was used against him to lure him into a trap - a trap set, of all things, with the girl that his captain told him he needed to retrieve! His mind swirling with confusion, Edge can hold on to only two thoughts - one, Arwen's statement that Craymen was at the Tower (whatever in the world that could be); and two, that the caravan needs the items he found at the Forbidden Zone.
We should be okay for a while. We've given the scraps to Baicah. Go to his tent. He may have made something out of them.
That sounds like a plan, and a moment later Edge arrives at Baicah's hut. As concerned as he was when Edge was headed to the Forbidden Zone, Baicah is appropriately happy to see him again.
Okay, so maybe not. At any rate, after selling back to Baicah the spare items he has lying around, Edge decides to see what the shopkeeper has managed to fashion out of the remains of the monster An'jou killed.
"Gun parts?", Edge thinks to himself. "How the heck do you make gun parts out of monster guts?" Either way, he only has enough money to afford the High Vulcan at the moment, which he buys and attaches to the gun in place of the Mauler he found (the High Vulcan gives a 50% increase to gun damage). With the transaction completed, Edge chats with Baicah about his unique view of being a shopkeeper in a hunter's caravan.
So, I chose to do this for a living.
Baicah: Thanks to me, An'jou is the hunter he is. Without weapons and antidotes, he'd be helpless...you don't need to pack a gun to serve a purpose.
Okay, he's got a point...but he's still a wuss.
from top to bottom. Internal organs can be used to make antidotes. We also rely on the meat they provide.
MY MEAT! MY MEAAAATTTTT!
Baicah: Funny...they are predators and we depend on them for our survival.
By the time Edge finishes talking to Baicah, it's far too late to do anything else, so Edge stumbles back to his camp and gets a fitful night's rest. In the morning, he returns to the caravan and is accosted by Enkak as soon as he walks through the gate.
My daddy killed it. I hope I get big fast! I'm gonna help my dad hunt someday.
Enkak, once again, says nothing of use or consequence - Edge hates this damn kid. He decides to see An'jou instead, but the hunter is not there, and Edge decides to inspect the hut a little more closely. Most of the items are utilitarian in nature - water bags that are taken on long hunts, tools used to clean and scrape every bit of useful material from a monster's carcass, a furnace to keep the hut warm - but on a shelf are a matching pair of pistols, which Edge assumes to be the hunter's weapons. He takes a closer look...
and finds one of the game's many in-jokes, along with "Stolarium" being named after then-Sega of America president Bernie Stolar (remember him?) and many of the other sellable items being named after members of the localization and testing staff. However amusing the in-joke actually is it doesn't help Edge any, and so for the hell of it, he decides to visit the mother & daughter in the third hut.
You'll have to talk to my mother.
The daughter is reticent to the point of near-silence (this is a Japanense game, after all), so Edge needs to talk to the mother to get any further.
We should be able to live in peace there.
Edge: But the monsters are bound to be in the forests...
(Nice job, Captain Bringdown...)
Mother: Don't you know the legend? The forest is a special place. It is protected by the power of the Gods. I hear there's also a big town.
Edge: Is there really such a place?
Mother: I heard it from the traders here. Everyone goes there to shop. You should be able to get there, if you head east.
Those monsters are delicious too. You need to know how to cook. I just wish Baicah could hunt. Too bad he's out of shape...
With that last statement, Edge figures this must be Baicah's wife and daughter - in which case, Edge has it pretty well figured out why Baicah spends all day and night in his hut, making stuff out of monster goop. Shrewy wives and near-mute daughters aside, Edge now has a new destination, where he hopes to find much more helpful people.
AHH! AHH! Edge is missing his hand! I'm sorry, sir, I didn't mean to steal that apple!
...um. Remember when we thought this was *good* 3D? At any rate, as Edge enters the village of Zoah, he sees a curmudgeonly old man walking around the main drag.
You look pretty tough for your age.
Edge: Who are you?
Man: I'm Radgam. I am a hunter, like you. I'm old now, but I don't plan on sitting around waiting to die. I want to die in battle, like a real hunter should.
Leaving the old coot for now, Edge heads toward the green door on the left of the main drag, and ends up in a small shop, not unlike Baicah's. Monster parts, and tools for rendering monster parts, line every square inch of available space. As he approaches the counter, the shopkeeper begins to hawk his wares.
I've got lots of items.
Edge: Are they all for sale?
Man: Most of them are. There are some I'm still working on. I'm Jared, and I just opened shop here the other day. I've got weapons too, look.
Edge peruses the selection of parts and finds it to be very similar to Baicah's stash. (The shops in PDS all carry the same items at the same prices, and update their selection based on how far you've progressed in the game.) As his eyes begin to glaze over from looking at the same goods all over again, Jared speaks, snapping him out of his reverie.
Jared: Why did you come here? Doesn't look like you came here to buy food.
Edge: I'm looking for...someone.
He knows a lot.
With an actual name to search for, Edge turns to leave, but Jared interrupts him once more on his way out.
Jared: I've traveled to many places, but...I've never seen a forest that wasn't infested with monsters.
The old man living nearby asked me to fix his gun. I think I should turn him down. He looks too old to hunt.
Note to self: Jared is a smart guy.
Returning outside, Edge heads towards the large gate at the end of the main road, where a fat guy is standing in a guard station, keeping watch.
Guard: If you want some drinks, go to the stairs next to the entrance of the town. Go up and it's the blue door.
Despite the man's directions, Edge still gets lost in this new town. Poking his head in a nearby door, he meets a man dressed in green, seated at a table and reading a book.
What's up with the book?
Siffle: This is the scripture that the High Priest gave me. To become a citizen of the Holy District, you need to show them you've got faith.
Holy District...that must be what's beyond the door the fat guy was guarding back on the main street. Edge finds nothing else of particular interest, and heads to Juba's, where a pretty girl is waiting just inside the door.
If you have time, listen to Juba. He loves to hear himself talk.
Since Edge was looking for him anyway, that sounds like a good idea. On the other side of the bar, he finds Juba the bartender sitting in an odd contraption that hangs from the ceiling and rotates him around to different pots.
I won't stop ya. My place is open to everyone. As long as they pay, ya know.
Edge tries to ask him about the Tower, but is interrupted the moment he opens his mouth.
Juba: Talk to me after ya order.
Edge pays the 20 Dynes Juba is asking for a drink.
Edge: (I had the illuminating drink...its taste is horrible.)
Juba: It's illuminating! It's something you can't get anywhere else, ya know. How is it? Ain't it good?
Edge: (I feel sick...) Yeah, it's good...
Juba: Are ya sure? Looks to me like you're turnin' green.
Edge: No, I'm okay...
Juba: Hey, you're all right. You got guts, I like ya.
With the drink successfully downed and lied about, Juba is ready to talk for real.
About the Empire
Juba: Talk about the Empire? Did ya hear about the black ship?
Edge: A black ship? Is it nearby?
Juba: Not so loud, eh? It's only a rumor. They're looking for the Tower.
Edge: The Tower?
Juba: One of the ruins, they say, is on the other side of the forest. If ya wanna know more, ask Paet.
Edge: Is he around?
Juba: He works here in the Liberal District. He roams around outside the gates. He's an odd guy, tinkering with relics all the time. The other day, he created something called a recording machine. He made a picture of the Tower. Here, take a look.
He gives Edge something called a "picture board", and Edge takes a closer look at it...
After a moment of intense deja vu, Edge suddenly realizes where he's seen the Tower before - in the vision he had when he first met Roderick! In his shock, he barely notices that Juba is still talking.
Juba: I'll give that to ya, and you can ask him yourself. He'll be here in the morning.
Paet, eh? Looks like he and Edge need to have a little chat.