Part 29: Mind GamesMind Games
"*gulp* *gulp* *Caris put the medicine into Ryle's mouth*"
"Please work~ *praying anxiously*"
"He should be fine..."
"Looks like there's no change..."
"It's too early to conclude yet."
"I can hear his heart beating, but how come he isn't waking up?"
"In my case, the old injury healed almost instantly."
"His body is healed for sure, but then..."
"You mean his mind isn't?"
"Can't be cured!?"
"But I can see his heartbeat got stronger and faster, which means his mind is also getting stabilized."
"If even his mind is damaged, the signals from the brain to the heart would have been cut off. Then his heart will stop beating. He would be dead by now. Right now he's still fighting with himself inside. So it's up to his will to live."
"Please come back..."
"You always run off alone, but then you would return to Lavas no matter what..."
"She is right..."
"Ryle Dono will make it! just like he always did!"
"Now you're talking."
"I believe in him too...that he'll come right back to us!"
"All we can do now is pray for him to come back safely!"
"Then how about we head for Meldia now?"
Right here, the conversation takes a turn into worthless. There is something in there that may be important for Flare's backstory, but it's mostly pointless bullshit. So feel free to skip past the whole thing!
"Don't know when he would wake up, and we shouldn't waste our time just waiting here."
"Maybe we should bring Ryle Dono along?"
"I think we need him to progress further."
"And it would be too hard on him as well~ I mean leaving him behind alone..."
"In my opinion, you should wait till he recovered."
"Say what if he wakes up right after you girls left?"
"Then we just let him catch up with us!"
"Oh I get it!"
"What do you mean?"
"Dear Ryle would be traveling alone without us! That's too risky for him!"
"Then one of us should remain here to accompany him."
"I thought about that too."
"You did too?"
"He always cares for others first, he'll definitely risk himself again to help us. If that happens whoever with him ends up going thru the same kind of dangerous situations."
"And I'm sure Fina will try to get into the castle using my name, but that won't work."
"Waaat! How come?"
"It's simple. Some people once used my name trying to assassinate the king!"
"But King Zestrum of Meldia has such good reputations! Who would do such a thing?"
"Obviously the bad guys wouldn't let go of him..."
"How could this happen.."
"That's why we need Ryle to make contact with the king."
"So we can't go without him at any rate!"
"I don't like to say this, but it's true."
"So everything is up to him now..."
"Don't worry...he will come back for us. I'm sure of it."
"Although sometimes he makes rash decisions, he would never let us down..."
"Indeed he solved the cases in both Southern Cray and the capital."
"It's best to wait for him now."
"I don't know many things, but being with everyone is so much fun!"
"Miss Orubia...*tearful eyes* Finally I met someone who really understands me~!"
"Now calm down Sis Mariel. Good girl, don't cry."
"(Sometimes I wonder, maybe the two are long lost sisters?)"
"Anyway let us wait for now. He is our leader after all..."
"Mm...*nod* (Ryle, everyone's waiting for you! Please wake up soon!)"
Ugh, finally that is over with. I honestly have no idea what the point of this derail was supposed to be? Fuck it, let's move on to things of actual importance!
Cue ominous transition...
..and now we're with Ryle again. Though, where the hell is he?
"Mm! I feel like as if I have lost some of my memories...can it be?"
"I don't know who was just talking but I better get outta here soon!"
Being inside the mind of someone is a pretty common thing in RPGs, so this segment shouldn't surprise you. It's a nice little change though, and decently executed. You basically have to navigate a small platform maze, and pick up the memory fragments. The timer is pretty relaxed, and there are several ways to increase your time left. It's unlikely that you'll run out of time while you're here, though there is one dickmove at the end of this. Also, this section is a decent attempt at fake 3D, because the arrows allow you to drop down from one platform to the other. Solving this part isn't hard or complex, which is a good thing because the last savepoint was before we picked up the roots.
The first thing you wanna do, is let some air out of this cushion.
You need to drop down on it at some point, and less air means access to another layer of platforms.
Navigating this place is pretty easy, since it's not that large. Though there are some hazards to watch out for. See that little blue flame? If that touches you, it'll eat 10 seconds from your timer.
The flame will disappear afterwards, and respawns a moment later. But since there won't be more than two flames on screen at the same time, it really isn't that much of an issue.
There are also random encounters in here, and one type is actually good for you!
"!? Lady Flare?"
"So you've been here after all. You are now standing inside of your own mind."
"Is that possible? Being trapped inside of the world created by myself?"
"Looks like there're some troubles coming ahead."
"These are the monsters feeding on my memory fragments. Can't you help me with this?"
"Look what you're asking! My presence here alone is a very risky business for both of us. If I do something like that, your mind will be destroyed!"
"Then what can I do!?"
"Let me give you this. It's a Memory Protect"
"What's the use?"
"It can delay the time for you to collect the fragments, so use them to increase the TIME LEFT."
"Oh that would be great help! Thank you ma'am!!"
"You have to come back! All the girls are waiting for you!"
This is a consumable, that will add thirty seconds to our clock. And Flare will give you another one each time you meet her from here on out. Random encounters in here will either be Flare, or monsters, but the chances to meet Flare seem to be higher.
The monsters in here are weak, but can cast sleep.
Let's snag the first chest. We could already see it from the starting point and it's simple to get there.
"Who are you!?"
"I am Ryle! That fragment belongs to me! Give it back!"
"I am in the middle of my dinner!"
"My memory is not for you to eat!!"
"It's mine now!"
"That's a precious part of my life!!"
"I said it's MINE now!!"
You have the choice to back off, but that's pointless as you need to fight.
"No other choice but to take it by force!!"
Memory Eaters are pushovers, and I just spam Ryle's best moves.
Sadly, there is nothing special after you have collected a fragment. Would have been neat if we actually got to see some of Ryle's memories. Like when he and the girls where little kids, or something like that.
Our next stop is the platform above us.
Everybody knows that pressing random buttons is the smart thing to do!
The fuck is wrong with your mind, Ryle?
Well, since we're now on a new platform, we have access to the upper parts of the maze.
The next step is to jump down again, and land on the cushion. And since we took out some air, it'll bounce us to the next chest. With full air, you will shoot over the ledge with the chest, and will have to make your way back down again.
The fight plays out exactly like the first one, though Ryle has an idea afterwards.
"I kind of came up with something new from the battle...Maybe I can use this after little more practice and refinement..."
This new attack seems to just be a plain power-move. I haven't been able to find anything special to it.
Each collected fragment will also spawn a clock, that adds thirty seconds to your timer if you collect it. With this and Flare's help, it's pretty hard to run out of time.
The last chest is to the right of the previous one, and now we can work in getting out of here.
Putting the air back into the cushion...
....let's you bounce to the top area of the screen.
"W-What the....!? I feel my body is getting weak!"
"!! S-Soul Eater!?"
Remember the Eater back in the mine? And how he was immune to Ryle's sword attacks? Yeah, this one is also like that. You have to endure a bit until the plot saves you, and that right there is the dickmove. If you happen to enter this fight with little time left, because you thought that this segment was over, you're basically screwed. And the last savepoint was a good while ago, so have fun with that!
I let Ryle attack the Eater, until things happen..
"I promised them that I'll return no matter what! I can't lose to this guy!!"
"!! Caris? How can you be here!?"
"With Lady Flare's help, I am able to communicate with you inside your mind!"
"So it's the same Soul Eater we encountered back in the Dannyon Mine?"
"Yup! This one is actually stronger!"
"But we have become stronger too! Support me Ryle! I'll handle this one!!"
"Alrighty! It's our pay-back time!! I can't beat this guy alone! So I better not let the partners HP drop to 0!!"
Caris pretty much craps all over the Eater, while Ryle keeps her HP in shape. But there is something interesting about this fight! See, the girl with the the highest Att score, will be the one that helps you out here. So this is the point where a lot of alternate content is available. Any of the girls could have joined us here, and there is also a romance scene afterwards. That's quite a lot of content made by Flare/Fanboy, that will probably never be seen! Heck, I'd wager that most players won't even realize that the Att scores come into play here.
Here's the animation for Ryle's new move.
It's useless against the Eater, but I still wanted to show it off.
Eventually, the Eater dies just like any other enemy..
"Of course we did it. Because I was here!"
"Tsk! You just never change!....I was gonna say that, but you really saved my day this time!"
"You just never change! Letting others worry about you to death...is still your specialty!"
"Oh~ pipe down!"
"Well I see you're full of energy, so I guess you're alright then! Let's go back."
"Hm! I can go back without your orders!"
"Beh~ Then don't come out of here if you won't regret!"
"Ok! So you gonna do it! Come on! You and me now!!"
The thread cries when mommy and daddy fight
"Then I'll go ahead and wait for you outside ok?"
"Yeah...I'll be there soon."
"I am...at Fina's house?....Huh? Where's everyone?"
Let's take a look outside....
"Ryle!! Y-You surprised me...!"
"Hey! I am finally back, and this is all you can say!?"
"If someone sneak behind you at night, would you be happy!?"
"But if you didn't detect the enemy from behind, you need more training right?"
"Hm! You are always good at changing the topic!"
"By the way, where is everyone?"
"Take a look at this."
It's almost as if Flare left those two alone on purpose
"They already left when I got here..."
"What were they thinking? I mean what if we lost to the Soul Eater?"
"And I have to wait here with YOU! What were they thinking...*sigh*"
"(Ok ok..I better act mature, and say a kind word at least..)"
"Ryle....Why did you cover me?"
"Hey! I saved your life you know! What do you mean by why I covered you!?"
"(Ah! I remember that face.)"
"I...showed you this kind of face...It's not the first time..."
"(She's right...the night after we were back from Dannyon Mine...she cried...)"
"Which reminds me of something you said to me back then..."
"....I remember now."
"You lied to me!! Don't you remember?! You said, "I'll do that next time(Not taking my life to lightly)..I promise!"..."
"Say something! It better be good this time!!"
"All I can say is I'm sorry for not being able to keep my word. I just wasn't good enough..."
"But you know what...I'll would never forgive myself if I lose you! I didn't have much time to think back then...it was only a split second and my body just reacted...But now as I think back, I rather break a promise and see your sad face than actually losing you!"
"And...you are a girl after all! Don't you think a guy who can't even protect a girl is pathetic?"
"You said the same thing...back in the Dannyon Mine."
"Eh? I did?"
"Hm! Sleepy head!"
"Ah~ shut up!"
"But since you're back safely, I'll forgive you this time."
"But I'll say this only once! There's NO 3rd time!!"
"I'll keep it this time! I promise!"
"You better do!"
Again, this whole part will play out with the girl that has the highest Att score, so there are quite a few outcomes. And the scenes for Caris and Latyss can have some differences, depending on which of the two followed you into the mine. This amount of work, is one of the reasons why I wanted to showcase this game. It's easy to just see it as a wacky and weird romp through a teenagers Anime fantasy, but the different scenes and such show a respectable level of dedication and attention to detail. And it's downright unique, if you put it in the perspective of when the game was released. A huge part of its success, was due to how advanced and complex it was compared to other Maker games at the time.
I'm pretty glad ya'll stuck with Caris so consistently, because that made this last scene a little bit more personal. And we also get something out of it...
Att 32 >>>> 37
It isn't much, but it's a nice touch.