Part 3: PART THREE: SCENIC ZEMA AND THE INFRAGGABLE KRUP
EDIT: Never mind it all works now, yay waffles!
EDIT EDIT: Holy shit, this was a broken update. Fixed the italic fuckup, as well.
EDIT^3: Alright, never let me rush this again. Truly fixed this time.
Sonic Team is becoming very efficient at milking PSO fans at least.
They tried to milk PS fans too, but, I don't think the blurry, low-res texture they used for the 20th Anniversary Poster in PSU really counts since everyone just looked like blobs.
PART THREE: SCENIC ZEMA AND THE INFRAGGABLE KRUP
When we last left our heroes, they had just discovered the citizens of Zema and their igneous fate.
And the fucking weapon shop is out of commission, argh!
The whole town is like this, really, although there is one exception. Down these stairs and...
...there's these two kids. There's actually not much to say here, other than we get to see that their parents hid them away and protected them from potential solidizing.
Granted, I'm not sure how Zio missed the giant staircase behind them, but, you know, it's still all heartfelt and noble and stuff.
Well, nothing to see here, apparently. Let's wander into this cave!
: Ah, now we're getting somewhere!
: Yes, whereas the entire populace of Zema being petrified was hardly an interesting tidbit, of course.
This dungeon isn't really much to write home about. It has a few branching paths, but they either lead to dead ends or the next area, so it's not hard to navigate.
And it's mostly just populated by more of these nasty little buggers. Well, nasty in looks. They're complete pushovers still.
: Hahn, look! Another one for your collection!
: I feel like some sort of turtle.
Goody, more Space Advil.
And down we go. Dear god, I wish there was more to show for this dungeon than boxes and stairs.
: Hey, Alys! Isn't that pile of rubble rather suspicious?
: If there was such a thing as secret passages, then maybe. As such, no.
We'll just chuck this on Chaz.
My god! These people have been turned to stone! How shocking!
: An ancient curse? I can't believe that someone is able to cast such a spell in this day and age!
: Isn't there any way to restore them? And, well, I suppose the people outside that we're ignoring as well?
: I've heard that a medicine called 'Alshline' is able to turn stone back to flesh.
: Where can we find it?
: I heard about it some time ago in a Motavian village... But we're talking some time ago.
: Which Motavian village?
: It's the village of Molcum, which is far south of here.
: Weren't we just there?
: All right, then. Let's get going!
: I'll make you a deal -- just 500 meseta.
Well, that was kinda pointless. Let's get going.
I wonder what those little blue jerks are up to, anyway?
: The guards are gone. Maybe they've changed their policies?
: That's a hell of a policy change.
: Who's that over there?
: ...you have got to be freaking kidding me.
: Alys, you know this guy?
: From a long time ago...
: He's still a kid.
: Watch what you say!
: Stop it, you two. More importantly, Rune, what's going on?
: This is all the handiwork of Zio.
: Zio! I bet the person who turned the people of Zema into stone is also...
: Well, your brain seems to work a little bit. Though I have no idea how the hell you botched up phrasing that.
: Cut it out! It seems that everywhere we go, it's always Zio. Who is this Zio?
: I'm not sure.
: With the town destroyed, how are we going to find Alshline?
: You're looking for Alshline? In that case, you'd better go to Tonoe.
: Tonoe. Let's see...from here, it's kind of far. First travel east to the village of Krup. And from there if you go north, you'll find a valley that leads to Tonoe.
: We don't have to pass by Krup, do we?
: Ah, let's just head straight towards Tonoe! Alys?
: What, did you kill somebody there or something? Anyway, I haven't decided yet.
: I'm going to invite myself to join your group.
: Not so fast!
Holy adorable, Batman.
: Shut it, boy.
: Good, we're all set. And Shorty, try not to get in the way.
: Stop calling me Shorty! My name is...
: Chaz, that's what you said your name was, right?
: I did?
: Hmph, what a stupid name!
: Alys, I think he's going to be more trouble than he's worth!
: Ha, I won't get in anyone's way.
: You already have.
: Ah... I'm a little uneasy about our destination.
: Did anyone ask you?
And, thus, the magnificient Rune Walsh joins the party.
He's also got about ten levels on Alys, and has two attacks that will wipe out any encounter we come across in one turn for the next few areas.
The skill Hewn, for example.
And the tech Gra.
Doesn't hit quite as hard, but it still hits everyone.
So, basically, if you're planning on doing any crazy grinding at this point in the game, now's the time to do it.
What a quaint little place this is.
: Alright, so they like you. What the hell's so bad about coming here then?
: There's even a duck pond!
Chaz is very tactful.
: Saya will be overjoyed to see you! Go see her!
: Who's Saya?
: Oh! Er, well...
: only son. He's a professor at Motavia Academy. We're really proud of him.
: Wait, you're a professor? No wonder that school's broke.
: What! Well, if it isn't Hahn!
And then he just stops talking. I wonder what that says about Hahn?
This weapon store is open, though!
Except they don't sell any damn weapons. It's been fifteen minutes; I need new stabbies, dammit!
Maybe if we sneak around back?
: Considering that you are disinherited, you sure have some gall to step into this house!?
: Why was that a question?
: You don't help in the family business, you just study!
: What use is that?
: Pa, right now, the whole planet is in serious danger! I want to help with the power of science! That's why I'm studying!
Dissecting frogs to save the world: Biology 101.
: Who loves orange soda?
: Hahn loves orange soda!
: Your Pa goes on like that, but really he's very proud of you.
: I know, Ma... but my feelings won't change!
It's thanks to Hahn sending us the scientific literature that he has completed that a rural place like this is able to sell such splendid weapons.
To reiterate, thanks to a biology professor Hahn's family is somehow better at whacking metal together, which is evidenced by the fact that this store sells no weapons whatsoever. That HAS to be a translation thing, it just has to!
Okay, that's hardly important, but it's because of this dialogue that I had to endure a bunch of "I told you so!" from my wife.
: Are you blind or something, kid?
: Soldiers' Temple since long ago. Once, I swam over there, but there were monsters all over the island! It was frightening and I came rushing home, where we're only surrounded by monsters.
: What a nice little field.
: I dunno, there's something about it that I just don't like.
Ah well, let's go hit up the item shop, then.
Rune has the Ryuka and Hinas spells, which teleport and escape dungeons, respectively, but it can't hurt to have a spare Telepipe or Escapipe lying around.
: After all, being a child of that mother...
In an attempt to escape awkward family drama, the party investigated this obvious secret area. Only, they didn't because there's nothing there. You'd think there would be, but, nope!
: It's probably the bathroom.
What's this? Two schools in an jRPG?
Oh jesus he's a pedophile.
: Saya! I've missed you! Let me introduce you to everyone.
: Fiancee!? You found a woman that could tolerate you?
: It's a pleasure to meet you.
It's worth noting that Saya will actually sparkle when she says this.
: My name is Saya.
: Saya teaches children here in her home.
: Wow...I'm impressed!
: Oh, no, it's about the only thing I'm capable of doing...
: Actually I meant I was impressed that Hahn managed to find a remotely attractive woman, let alone a gorgeous one. Holy cow!
: Alys and Chaz are hunters. They are assisting me in my task.
: It's a difficult job, isn't it?
: I'll say. He's heavy when he's knocked out.
: Thank you for taking care of Hahn.
: Now, don't you worry. Everything will be okay.
: But, if anything were to happen to you, I...
Some bizarre item-use sound effect plays as they make out in front of the class.
: ...Oh, you two...!
: Oh, man, remember back in the day? These two had nothing on us, I swear.
: Shut the hell up!
Hahn then zooms back into his party position, which is pretty damn funny to watch.
As with most places, the school has a lot of examination points.
: Does that really impress you so much? Some rock on a wall?
Cute, though it seems he doesn't do much of that anymore.
As written by the Great Professor Lubetz, no doubt.
: I made a promise to her! It's true!
: He's probably more of a man than you are.
: caused by someone...
: What a smart aleck kid...
: What the hell are you talking about, Chaz?
: But I wouldn't like a guy like Hahn. He's got to be more relible!
: No wonder you don't wanna come here. You're the laughing stock of the town!
: 'How to Love and To Be Loved'...wow!
: Chaz what the hell!
: I'm sick of this crap. Let's call it a day already.
: Can't I just stay at home, or with Saya?
: Nope, you might die if you leave our sight. You're staying...
: Up here, where it's safe.
: This is a rather comfy looking bed.
: Eh, doesn't seem all that great to me.
: Well then, let's put the kids to bed and retire, shall we?
NEXT TIME ON PHANTASY STAR 4:
Explosions! Racial tension! And questionable intel!
: You're sleeping on the floor.
So from the latest update, it's obvious that Alys and Rune have some kind of history together.
Phantasy Star 4 never reveals how Alys and Rune know each other, but according to the Phantasy Star Compendium, Alys' parents were murdered by bandits when she was 14. Alys was rescued by a hunter named Galf (who is never even mentioned in PS4), and the two of them soon met up with Rune, who was just travelling around Motavia and seeing the sights because that's how he rolls. Even the Compendium doesn't specify how old he is, but for the timeline to line up properly he has to be a couple of years older than Alys; physically, at least. Anyway, when Alys was 18 Galf died of unspecified causes: Rune, concerned that Alys was growing too dependent on him, vanished soon after that and was never seen again until now, because he's kind of a jerk that way.
Alys is now doing much the same thing for Chaz that Galf and Rune did for her, which makes a later scene involving Chaz, Rune and Alys rather more meaningful.
Incidentally, someone on the Phantasy Star development team has a thing for orphaned main characters. Apart from Chaz and Alys in Phantasy Star 4, the protagonists of Phantasy Star 1 and 2 are orphans as well: in both games, this fact becomes part of a major plot point later on. (And the death of the main character's older brother in Phantasy Star 1 is what drives her to go on her quest in the first place.)
Speaking of Phantasy Star 1's protagonist: in the Japanese version of PS4, Alys was named Lyla. Presumably the translators changed her name as a reference to Alis (or Alisa), the main character from PS1, which leads to a lot of wacky fan theories about Alys being Alis's descendant. Because as everyone knows, people born 2000 years apart with similar first names are probably blood relatives.
Rune Walsh Oh, you beautiful bastard Rune, you couldn't have shown up at a better time, with your kickin' rad theme, your flowing white cape...your long, blue hair.... *drool*
See, Alys is strong and all, but Rune is a goddamn WIZARD. He's even stronger than Alys, and chances are, at some point, she was made his bitch. That is just how good he is. His history and age, much like Alys' is unknown so clearly I just made that up. It is rumored he is immortal.
We'll see more of Rune-making-people-his-bitch in short order, and it seems clear that his next victim is none other than Chaz. There are clear reasons for this, but that isn't important now.
What IS important is that Rune learns all offensive techs, barring the *Zan family, the *Tsu/Thu family, and Megid, learns a few support techs, such as Seals and Rimpa, and the almighty recovery tech, Rever, which brings a member from the brink of death. Not only that, but he learns almost two-pages worth of powerful offensive skills, among which include 2 single-target attacks, a whopping 5 group-wide attacks. Two of his skills are instant-death attacks, one of which is a single-target biomonster-only, and the other a full-party battle-ending wipeout that doesn't discriminate against either monster or droid.
Furthermore, he's also a key participant in many of the best combination attacks available to our heroes, as well as an integral part of the story. Sadly, he'll be around for even less time than Hahn, but he'll be back soon enough, ready to continue kicking ass, keeping Chaz in bitchmode, and taking names.
...I love doing these already. I'm going back to edit their names to include an image-link, since the images can be pretty large. I'm hoping you don't mind me doing this for every character we come across.