The Let's Play Archive

Riviera: The Promised Land

by Didja Redo

Part 10: Nelde Ruins, Part 2

Slightly early update this time, because I'm expecting the next two updates to be slightly short. The dungeon's a bit longer than I remember it being, so I don't know that I'll be able to squeeze the remainder of it AND the boss video into a single post. But at the same time, I'm not sure there'll be enough content for two full-sized updates. We'll see what happens.

This door's shut tight.
No keyhole...
No doorknob.
No hinges.
No sense! As in "This makes none!"
Calm down.
I do not think I can calm down! This is a terrible door! Possibly the worst door! Why would anyone do this?!

Well this sucks. There seems to be no way of bypassing this door, and the game won't let us go any further than one screen back. What are we supposed to do?

You're so going to kick yourselves when I tell you the answer. All you have to do is examine the door again, and Ein will start trying to ram it open. It doesn't work, but the mild concussion he receives from doing this allows him to spot an invisible feather.

Upon examining the aforementioned feather, Ein will comment that it is big. This leads him to the all too natural conclusion that it is possible to climb further up the ruins using one of the branches, and thus an alternative path presents itself to you.

I know! It's so obvious in hindsight, isn't it?

These things again?
Well, you're basically a child murderer now. Word gets around.
Whatever. This'll be as easy as it was last time. Bring up the team select menu, I guess.

Um, hello? "Enemy Encounter!"? Inverted colours? No?

...this is a cutscene, isn't it.

Welp. Looks like we've just run into the classic RPG device of the game refusing to let you fight a group of enemies, even though there's no reason why you couldn't do so and win. Time to get pecked off the branch!


These birds.

That egg.


Is everyone OK?
Oh fuck you.
I seem to be alright.
That was scary!
So everyone's OK.
I'm not OK!
So everyone worth asking about is OK.
(Oh no! I dropped my apparently very important pendant that has hitherto gone unmentioned and isn't visible in any of my artwork whatsoever! I'VE GOT TO FIND IT)

Excuse me. Are you alright down there?
Huh? Who are you?
Wait just a moment. I'll rescue you. Would you prefer a magic ladder or a floating rope?
Hmm. I dunno. What do you guys think?
Ladders are easier to climb!
Which only matters if you're a pussy who can't climb ropes!
Why do you even care?! You have wings!
Oh, so you're gonna bring it there, are you? Gonna make it a racial thing?
OK, so apparently I went temporarily insane just there, because I actually thought for a second that you people would be able to reach a consensus on your own. Could we compromise with a rope ladder?
Then, I'll begin the spell.

Oh no! I'm losing my balance! Curse these extravagant somatic components!


You're probably expecting me to come up with some hilarious off-script banter to accompany this picture. (Or terrible off-script banter, depending on your overall opinion of the LP thus far.)

Honestly, though? I don't think I can do it. It's not that I'm strapped for ideas; it's just that, despite countless hours spent thinking about it, I haven't been able to come up with anything that didn't make me feel kind of slimy and unclean while I was writing it. I mean, there are no two ways about this; she's sitting on his face. That is the current issue here, and I have to devise a conversation based on that. How am I supposed to keep things highbrow when this is what I have to work with?

Therefore, to facilitate my not needing to wash out my brain after this update, I will instead provide you with an objective, impersonal rendition of the game's official dialogue for this scene, as performed by our talented troupe of stand-in actors.

(I should warn you in advance that the following re-enactment is 100% serious. Those of you just looking for a cheap laugh are welcome to skip ahead. As for the rest of you, please sit back and enjoy.)

(My endeavours to articulate my current state of discomfort are suppressed by the posterior of this as of yet unidentified individual.)
My blunder was most severe. The manner in which I point this out suggests embarrassment.
(I persist in my spirited attempt to make known that I am currently being suffocated.)
I express bewilderment regarding the muffled voice that I am hearing, the source of which I am unable to place.
This situation is causing me some degree of distress. I indicate you are presently seated astride one of our travelling companions.
Startled acknowledgement of the circumstances you have described!
I offer my apologies for my lack of attentiveness.
I assert that no lasting damage has been inflicted.
This has been a most unfortunate series of mishaps.

(They're here all week, folks.)

This is where the game starts screwing you with the dialogue options every now and then. Here, your choices consist of either pissing off everyone (Option 2), or pissing off everyone that isn't Cierra. (Option 1.)

In fact, it seems Cierra really, really likes the first option, because you get a special sound effect that indicates an extra large affection boost. I don't get that. How is "You're soft" supposed to be a compliment? Fat people are soft.

A better response would have been "Don't worry, you're pretty light." Or you could switch it up and make option 2 the 'nice' one. Yeah, it hurt, but only because your buttocks are so firm and shapely that oh god slimy and unclean ABANDONING JOKE

Ow...that hurt.
Am I that heavy?
Ein! You shouldn't say something like that to a lady!
Well pardon me. Unlike some people, I was brought up not to LIE.

...what was that noise?
Sounds like the branch is about to break. Enjoy your fall, earth-dwellers!

Is everyone OK?
I think so. The mushroom cushioned our fall. Good thing we didn't cut into it earlier.
See, Lina? This is why we can't do anything you want to do. Ever.

Sorry everyone. Looks like I did it again...
You never told us your name.
I'm Cierra. Are you here looking for magic ingredients too?
That all depends. Is "demon blood" a magic ingredient?
Um...I don't think so.
How 'bout squirrel guts?

We're here to find the Accursed. They're powerful demons, and supposedly there's one residing here. If we don't stop them, Riviera's going to be laid to waste. I'm worried. I was separated from Gateau when we fled from some demons earlier.
My dear friend.
Yeah, I can definitely tell that you and gateaux are good friends.
Excuse me?!
What? That's what you just said!
Gateau is a person. I need you to help me look for her.
Well, we're here anyway, and we could always use a wizard. Sure, we'll help.

And then she and her 20 Ruby Staffs joined the party!

It's quite a relief that Cierra's finally arrived. Up until now, I've had to lug these chapter 1 weapons (Iron Sword and whatnot) around so that she can master them for the skill boosts, so inventory space has been even tighter than normal. Now, at last, their usefulness has been expended and we can start phasing them out.

Sadly, Soala eats all your Coral Staffs when you give her the Moon Lily, so that's one item Cierra will never be able to master. Oh well.

Of course, the downside of her arrival is that now I need to have yet another lengthy training session so that she'll be able to pull her weight. And lord knows she's got a lot of weight to pull, ARF ARF.

Cierra's pre-battle quote is "I'll burn you to ashes." I mention this because, what with this being a JRPG, a typical "war cry" involves instructing your allies to be careful, or a cocky assertion that you're not going to lose; or, if you really want to throw down, telling your enemies that you won't forgive them. Actually issuing a threat is practically unheard of, so to hear the sweet airhead character flatly telling the monsters of the hour that she's going to cremate the fuck out of them is quite unexpected. And awesome. Unexpectedly awesome, in fact.

With our training completed, let's start making our way back.

(Hmm? Was there a path here before?)
Everyone, I believe this way is a shortcut.

SPOILER: It's not a shortcut.

At all.

This is a dead end.
Looks like it.
Do your shortcuts usually include dead ends?
Because otherwise, I might surmise that we are hopelessly lost. Is that a fair appraisal of our current situation?
How the hell did you get us lost?! The ruins were literally one screen away!
In my defence, if you already knew that then you really shouldn't have been letting me lead the way.

Yes, game. This is an accident. Thank you for clarifying that for us.

So here's the deal. You can wander around this area as much as you like, but you will never be able to escape unless you move in exactly the right pattern. How do you work out what the pattern is? By solving a puzzle. What's the puzzle? Well, let's take a look at this sign and find out!

Summer, winter, spring and fall. N: White Snow. S: Bright Sun. E: Blooming Flowers. W: Vivid Leaves. The forest shall move as the seasons pass. Time passes in cycles.
A riddle?
From the looks of it, yes.
Great. With this party's collective IQ, we should be out of here by the end of the decade.

(Several turns later...)

That chest wasn't here before, was it? Let's take a look.

What the Christ is this?
Weird, creepy, smelly...
...badly made, slightly burnt, something you should throw away now please...

Lord forgive me, but I have to agree with Lina. This thing is ugly and I hate its stupid face. TOSSED.
you make poor cierra sad
When you're all done playing with dolls, can we move on? Ever since we entered this maze, the panic music's been playing. It's starting to piss me off.

(Several turns later...)

What kind of hint is "blooming flowers" anyway? There aren't any flowers anywhere! And there's "bright sunlight" on every screen! They're just palette swaps of each other!
We should try hugging the left wall!
i just want a hug

(Several turns later...)

I've had enough of this! Screw the riddle! I hereby propose the Gordian solution!
Which is...?
Who's a firestarter?

I like this plan. I like you.

(OK, what you're actually supposed to do is follow the order of the seasons, only they keep changing every time you move so you have to check the sign for the directions, or something like that. Honestly, at this point I'm just punching in the directions from memory.)

oh god so much death all the poor little animals and the plants and
Don't worry. Now there'll be plenty of trees to hug... hell.

Huh? Isn't that the doll we found?
It must want to come with us.' did...

Aww, you're so cute. Don't worry. I won't let that mean old Ein throw you away again.

oh god

Finally back to familiar territory.

Same enemies, even!

Ladymage there drops a Mage Ring if you don't S-rank her. Fia and Cierra can master it, so we're going to try for that.

God damn it I could finish this right now and it's everything I can do not to press the button. STAND YOUR GROUND, PRESSING FINGER. THINK OF THE STAT BOOSTS.

Hooray for intentional suckage!

puppet master

Hey, while we're practicing, why don't we grill ourselves up a steak?

65% HP restoration! Except for Fia.

Do you want to know how we deal with vegetarians, Fia? This is how we deal with vegetarians.

I can undo the seal on that chest.
Go for it.

It contains a random magical orb; either Fire, Lightning, Ice or Holy. We've already got the first two, so...

Stay away from my pockets, THIEF!
Thieves go to PRISON, Cierra. Prison, then HELL.

(i don't like being mean to cierra

she's nice )

A demon that's afraid of Sprites?
Leave me alone!
We need to teach you some things! And by "teach you some things" I mean "smash your cowardly head in!"

Looks like we've got some ass to kick!
You're going to save him? That's-
No, I just hate these little hammer bastards.

Well, we can either take forever to finish this battle and squander a whole bunch of resources, or suck it up and eat a Devastator.


Thanks for saving me. I don't like owing debts, so I'll give you this.

Wow! Does this mean I can use Devastator too?
Well goddammit, what use are you to anyone?!

We can open that door now that Cierra's in the party, but let's head back to that branch first.

As if I could actually ignore a shiny object!

Don't you dare fall! If we have to walk all the way back here again because of you, I swear to god...

Brace yourselves, folks. We might be about to witness the first genuinely decent thing that Ein has ever done.

Here's your pendant back, Serene.
My pendant?
Yeah. You know, the pendant that you haven't ever talked about? The one that I've never seen before and therefore had absolutely no business knowing that it even existed prior to this point, let alone that it belonged to you? That pendant.
Um, thanks.
You're welcome!


Murderin' time!

Um, it's injured. I don't think it's a threat.
Your point being?
My point being maybe you could keep your bloodlust in check for just a minute?
Fine. This once. And only because you found my pendant for me.

(If you fight this harpie/harpy/lyrey/whatever, it drops the same items that any other harpie does; either a Harpie Plume or a Harpie Talon, depending on whether you S-rank it or not. However, while they would normally come with fifteen charges, the ones that this one drops only have one charge.

It's like the game is subtly pointing out what a colossal jerk you are for expecting to get anything good out of butchering the poor, wounded birdgirl.)

I think it's trying to say something. It's offering us a gift!
So you speak bird all of a sudden?

This is my branch! Get the hell off!
Oh, so it's not OK to kill it, but it's OK to chase it out of its nest and leave it to crawl through the forest whilst slowly bleeding to death?
Darn tootin'!


(If you do accept the gift, you receive the Happy (not Harpy) Plume, which is unavoidable, unblockable, and inflicts 50% of an enemy's HP in damage. Sounds awesome, right? Well, it would be, if it weren't for the fact that it doesn't work on bosses for no adequately explained reason.)

Oh, do you want me to open it?
It can't BE opened. That's the problem. It's sealed shut and there's no handle.
No no, it can. Didn't I tell you? This place used to be a magical laboratory, so this door can only be opened with magic.
...I have a feeling that I know exactly where this is going.

Now that the worst door ever has received its just desserts, what lies in store for our heroes deep in the ruins of Nelde?

Hopefully no more squirrels. For their sakes.

Ice Orb: Support item. Raises Ice resistance.
Mage Ring: Support item. Raises Magic.
Ruby Staff: Staff-type weapon. Fire damage.
Steak: Support item. 65% HP restoration.


---LEVEL 1---
Flame Toss
Item: Ruby Staff
Effect: Three-hit Magic combo, power of 59.
Target: Random enemy.

---LEVEL 1---
Magic Heal
Item: Mage Ring
Effect: Restores 20% HP and raises Magic.
Target: All allies.

---LEVEL 2---
Red Regulator
Item: Ruby Staff
Effect: Three-hit Magic combo, power of 78.
Target: Back row.
Additional: Ineffective against air enemies.

---LEVEL 1---
Egg Shot
Item: Egg
Effect: 35% HP damage.
Target: Nearest enemy.
Additional: Piercing. Removes all remaining Eggs from inventory.

---LEVEL 1---
Ice Resist
Item: Ice Orb
Effect: Raises Ice resistance.
Target: All allies.

---LEVEL 1---
Blade Shot
Item: Iron Sword
Effect: Single Magic attack, power of 93.
Target: Random Enemy.

Item: Ice Orb
Effect: 15% HP damage.
Target: Front row.
Additional: May inflict Freeze status.

Fire Blade
Item: FlamBERGE
Effect: Single Magic attack, power of 137.
Target: Nearest enemy.

Fire Resist
Item: Fire Orb
Effect: Raises Fire resistance.
Target: All allies.

Holy Blight
Item: Rosier
Effect: Four-hit Magic combo, power of 148.
Target: Nearest enemy.
Additional: Piercing.

Holy Needle
Item: Silver Rapier
Effect: Two-hit Magic combo, power of 67.
Target: Nearest enemy.
Additional: Piercing.

Huge Spike
Item: Rapier
Effect: Single Magic attack, power of 70.
Target: Nearest enemy.
Additional: Piercing.

Item: Lightning Orb
Effect: 15% HP damage.
Target: Front row.
Additional: May inflict Dazzle status.

Magic Arrow
Item: Longbow
Effect: Three-hit Magic combo, power of 28.
Target: Random enemies.

Magic Blast
Item: Mage Ring
Effect: Raises Magic.
Target: All allies.

Magical Cooking
Item: Egg/Meat
Effect: Converts remaining Eggs/Meat into Over-Easy/Steak.

Twinkle Shot
Item: Lightning Bow
Effect: Three-hit Magic combo, power of 56.
Target: Random enemies.

---LEVEL 3---
Cinder Squall
Item: Ruby Staff
Effect: Four-hit Magic combo, power of 111.
Target: Random enemies.
Additional: Last two strikes hit all enemies.

i'm the troublestarter

punking instigator