Part 10: PART TEN: LOGICAL PROGRESSION
It's late, and it's short, unfortunately. Well, shorter than I wanted it to be. I had to make a choice last night, and frankly, it was more important that writing this up. Thankfully I'm still unemployed, so my idea of a 'late' update means it's only two hours late and still a day ahead of the US. Woo. So!
EDIT: Fixed spelling!
PART TEN: LOGICAL PROGRESSION
Last time, we completely botched the assault on Zio. Let's see how things are holding up.
This is not good.
: It appears she isn't getting any better.
: That Zio...there was something different about him from other enemies I've fought!
: She refuses everything. It's as if she's...possessed by some evil power.
: Damn you! Zio you devil!
: Can we save her if we shut down Nurvus?
: What? How would that even make sense?
: No, that won't work. Nurvus is located in the basement of Zio's Fort! Actually, Zio has erected his fort on top of Nurvus.
: That we could see.
: So we'll have to defeat Zio after all!
: I...if only Rune were...
: Alys! Don't talk!
: Rune should know...some way to do it. That...smug bastard always has...some sort of plan he pulls out of his...blue-haired ass.
: Alys, don't worry. We'll defeat Zio somehow!
: Now, listen. With what we have right now...there's no way we can win. We've got to do something about Zio's magic barrier.
: Magic barrier?
: 'Magic'! That sort of thing should have ceased to exist a thousand years ago!
: I'm not really sure why you think that.
: Come to think of it, Rune was indeed using some kind of magic! Something called Flaeli.
: That's right...so if you can get the cooperation of...Rune...ooo!
: Alys! Chaz, who is Rune?
: Oh, he's a disgusting, conceited jerk!
: Somebody's jealous.
: I hate to admit it, but we may have no choice but to ask for his help.
: Hey, I gave you an order...Don't make me get out of this bed...and backhand you...
: Didn't Rune go off somewhere with Grandfather Dorin?
: If he's with Grandfather Dorin...Perhaps he's gone to the 'Ladea Tower.'
: Ladea Tower. Because such a direct exclamation must be a vague clue.
: What's the Ladea Tower?
: I'm not quite sure myself, but I hear it's located on a small island beyond the quicksand in the east. Grandfather Dorin said that something important is there.
: How are we going to get across the quicksand? How did Rune and Grandfather Dorin do it?
: That's beyond me. Probably that's where magic comes into play.
: That sweet, beautiful piece of hardware!
: The Land Rover? What's that?
: Do you mean to say there's still a Land Rover in existence?
: Yes, absolutely. The Land Rover, is an all-purpose armor-plated car of an ancient civilization! With a Land Rover, crossing quicksand is nothing!
: So, wait, Rika, you're talking to a sophisticated person-shaped machine and are surprised that a vehicle still exists?
: If we go to the Machine Center directly south of here, I'm sure we'll find one.
: A Machine Center? Is there such a place?
: Am I the only one on this quest with eyes? We've been through genetics labs and crashed spaceships already and we have a talking machine in the party and why are you palmans so shocked by anything anymore?
: Deep breaths, Gryz. Calm down.
: ...thank you.
: Anyway... If you come with me, you'll see.
: OK! In that case, let's hurry and get going!
: Will you stay here, Hahn?
: What? Ah, but...
: We want you to remain here and look after Alys.
: But who's going to look after me?
: Also, you have a cute girlfriend here!
: Alys, I'm sure we'll find Rune!
: Chaz...this is your first time on your own...don't mess it up on me...
: Hahn, take good care of Alys!
: Assuming she doesn't kill me first...gulp.
And that ends the conversation.
: I've never seen anyone seem to be in so much pain. It's almost amazing she's still conscious. She really is strong-willed!
That goes to show you just how bad-ass Alys is.
That is, unless she's moaning melodramatically like that.
Well, let's get this show on the road again.
Just as a reminder, we're in Krup again.
And here's our new party member! I guess her defense isn't as high as I remembered it, but auto-revive and walking regneration more than make up for it.
Head south and over this way slightly, then south again, until...
: Yikes! That scared me!
: Please, feel free to enter.
Welcome to the machine center! Which, thankfully, is not a dungeon!
It even comes with a heal point over on the right.
Since I always get this, I have no idea what happens if I don't. It's not even in the inventory as far as I know.
: This place is still alive...It has become independent from Seed and Nurvus!
: Must've had a falling out.
: but they haven't been used for a long time. They probably need some repairs.
: I have no idea what these machines are, but this is some place. You're pretty adept at handling these machines. Were you caught by Zio while you were trying to get the system back under control?
: Yes, that's right. Zio is very violent.
: Very funny.
: Defeating Zio is not going to solve the problem.
: What? Isn't the system being out of control a result of Zio's doing?
: No. The real cause of the problem is that Zelan has been issuing abnormal commands.
: Impossible! Not Zelan!
: You've gotta stop cryptically exclaiming names, Rika. Zelan, what's that?
: environmental maintenance systems. It's an orbiting station on the other side of Motavia.
: How are we going to get there?!
: First, let's think about defeating Zio and stopping Nurvus! Priorities, people!
: Yeah, you're right. It's not enough just defeating Zio? If that's the case this makes me worry about...Dark Force!
: Dun dun duuuuun!
: Sorry, I couldn't help it!
: Let's go outside. It will be waiting.
: What a functionally beautiful design! Don't you just find it just fascinating!
: Oh, er...yes!
: Ooh, Land Rover, how I've missed you! Purr for mama! Purr for mama! That's right!
: You've got to be kidding me. Down girl!
For reference, the Land Rover (which looks completely different out here than it did in the center) is accessed from the inventory. Chaz carries it in his pocket.
Also worth noting is that there is no way to escape the existence of random battles in this game because all the vehicles are capable of fighting. This is really freaking annoying much later in the game, but for now it's kinda fun cruising around in a death tank.
The basic attack is a flare cannon.
One of the special attacks in the OPTIN menu is this firebomb sort of dealywhatsit.
The other one is essentially just Gra, albeit really strong.
For reference, this is the cave to Tonoe. We'll head east from here...
Cross this quicksand here...
And finally take a break at this little burg here.
: Can I drive next time?
: I guess so.
: It'd certainly be less disturbing.
: Oh, that massive hull...and ribbed treads....
: Jesus Demi stop humping the Land Rover.
: If I said we weren't, you'd believe me?
: You must have a strange sense of fun, to visit Monsen.
: Yup, this is certainly one exciting vacation.
: Maybe something bad is going to happen...
: I believe they've enshrined some heroine of yore. Lemme see...A...Ali...Ali...I think they said her name was Alis?
I mean, sure, she only ruled over the whole solar system and all and is renowned throughout history and legend. I'm sure that's easy to forget. I mean, we certanly don't know any Pharaohs from two-thousand years ago or anything.
: They're taking unfair advantage of the situation and raising their prices!
: I don't see any difference.
: That is a big goddamn hole.
: From the earthquakes, I'd assume.
Of course, saying this causes another earthquake to go off. The screen just shakes back and forth a lot which is really impossble to capture, here.
Gryz starts freaking out, though.
He then spins around in a circle for a while.
: Yikes! Wh...what's wrong, Gryz!
: Oh, I get it! Gryz's afraid of earthquakes, aren't you, Gryz?
: Huh? Is that true?
: What if I am afraid? I can't help it!
: Ha, ha, ha! What a coward!
: Oh, shut up!
(There's that brutal honesty of hers that I mentioned way back...somewhere, I think.)
: At any rate, with earthquakes happening so often like this, it's a real problem.
: I'm sure that the Plate System is the cause of all this!
: Plate System?
: If you don't like me cryptically yelling out names, then I get to complain about you repeating every single word you don't immediately know.
: It's a system located just north of here which controls the tectonic plates of Motavia's surface. I'm sure that system is malfunctioning!
: So, wait, is there ANY aspect of this planet that isn't under computer control?
: Well, if that's the case, let's shut it down!
Suddenly, an NPC rushes in behind Chaz.
: What? Er...we're kind of busy...
And then two more.
: Did we just get volunteered for a side-quest?
: fall into that crack?
: I really wouldn't recommend trying that.
: by year. Presently, Monsen is a deserted island on land, with no interaction with any other community.
: Motavia really is falling to pieces. Earthquakes, quicksand, all these farms dying out, and what Zio did to Alys... This is getting kind of overwhelming...
: Just take it one step at a time. We'll hit the Plate Center, and then we'll take out Zio and Nurvus.
: Ah, you're right. Let's go then.
Heading northeast brings us to the plate center.
Which is now PLATESYSTM. Quite. If you skip Monsen there will be a forcefield blocking off entrance. For some reason, talking to some side-quest-causing guy in town is precisely the necessary code to deactivate it.
: I hope we can do this quick. I'm sick of quakes already...
NEXT TIME ON PHANTASY STAR 4:
Exposed wiring and souveniers!
All of these planetary control systems that we've heard about are presumably remnants from when Mother Brain controlled the planets of the Algo system in PS2, but none of them were actually mentioned in PS2 so I don't have much to say about them. The two big references in this update, oddly enough, are both to Phantasy Star 1. Firstly, there's the memorial to Alis at Termi, about which I'll say more when meteor9 covers Termi in an update. Secondly, there's the Land Rover.
In Phantasy Star 1, the Land Rover was a vehicle that could be bought in Motavia for a few thousand mesetas, and was the only way to cross giant ant lion traps in the desert. Trying to cross one on foot would block your progess and lead to an ant lion attacking you: they were fairly powerful enemies for when you first met them, and gave out lousy experience and meseta, so there was no point in doing this. Vehicles in PS1 were treated as inventory items just like in PS4, but they didn't have their own weapons or hit points, so combat in a vehicle was exactly the same as combat outside of one. I don't think it was strictly necessary to get the Land Rover in order to beat the game, but it sure made travel a lot more convenient.