We're in Manhattan now. It's a really big city with almost nothing in it.
There is a mall, though.
But Red's crappy pay prevents him from purchasing anything.
There's nothing more to do in Manhattan right now, so we head back to the Cygnus.
Yuria, Red's quasi-girlfriend, has found something on board.
Something's obviously going on with the cargo, so Red goes to the CTC building in Manhattan to check things out.
He is less than successful.
As Red is being
Interesting side note: Fuse was originally intended to be the eighth selectable character in this game. His quest probably would have dealt with IRPO stuff, and featured the various other IRPO agents as well. But, like many things in this game, that quest was probably cut for time constraints.
Fuse helps us out. Hey, maybe he's a nice guy.
Fuse and Red are escorted to CTC President Cindy Campbell's office. Red begins to speak, but...
Fuse is kind of a dick.
They argue for a bit. Red tries to speak up again.
And Fuse decks him, sending him across the room. Superheroes shouldn't have to take this crap.
Campbell's not talking, so Fuse and Red leave.
Fuse decides to take a "Wait and see" approach. Red heads back to the Cygnus, which departs Manhattan.
The Cygnus gets attacked soon after leaving. Who's attacking?
Red takes out a few guys who attack the engine room (yes, that's a raccoon), but he and Hawk are eventually captured.
Luckily, Fuse had snuck onboard to save the day, making him slightly less of a dick.
Fuse accepts that he needs Red's help to take back the ship, and they head out a secret passage to a different part of the ship.
Fuse is pretty strong, and has the HandBlaster weapon that most of the IRPO guys carry.
Red and Fuse get all and surround a pair of pirates.
Some weapons, like the HandBlaster here, come with a few unique skills.
Red finds Yuria inside the rooms the pirates were guarding. She assumes most of the passengers are safe in their rooms, since the pirates only want the cargo. Surely some of these passengers would be willing to help us take the ship back, right?
This guard calls for assistance if he sees us, leading to a battle we really can't win. So for now, we have to avoid him.
We find Roufas in one of the swankier areas of the ship. He plays a major part in Emelia's quest, but for now he's willing to help us fight the pirates.
He looks like a naked guy in sunglasses.
We follow a pirate who is breaking into a passenger's room, but the pirate ends up getting his ass kicked.
Yup, that's Blue. After some persuasion, he agrees to help. But...
Blue's a bit moody.
In case you didn't realize it, Blue refuses to help because Red, in French, is Rouge, and that's the name of Blue's brother.
In the next room, we come across Asellus and White Rose.
As it turns out, Red and Asellus know each other. This is an interesting little plot point that pretty much never comes up ever again.
There's something going on, but we'll have to wait for Asellus's quest to see that. At any rate, they come along to help out.
Mystics are kind of like a mix between a human and a monster. They can use weapons and magic like humans, and can gain some stats after battle (but only HP, WP, JP, and Charm). They can't "spark" techs, though. However, they get three special pieces of equipment (Mystic Sword, Gloves, and Boots) that can be used in battle, and will occasionally absorb an enemy. This not only gives you one of the enemy's attacks, but the mystic also gains stats based on what they absorb. Each Mystic item can only hold one monster at a time, and you'll lose the old move/stats you gained if you absorb a different monster.
Asellus, being half human and half mystic, gains the benefits of both races. She can gain all stats and learn techniques like a human, as well as absorb enemies and get new moves/stats like a mystic. This makes her one of the best characters in the game. Unfortunatly, we only get her temporarily here.
We take out the buddies of the guard from before, which is easy when you fight them 5 on 1.
One of the things that I love about Red is that he learns new techniques faster than just about anybody. These were in three consecutive fights.
We find BJ&K in one of the rooms and force him to come along.
Mecs gain stats from the equipment that you give them. In this shot, I've stuffed him full of all the useless stuff I had lying in the inventory. They also have a few innate skills, based on their body type. Wow, wouldn't it be nifty to have a mec who could change their body type? Maybe we'll see one of those eventually. Mecs can also absorb programs when you defeat enemy mecs.
With the guard's backup beaten, he too falls quickly. However, the door he was guarding leads directly to the hijackers, which is not a very safe option (you actually get an automatic game over if you go that way). So Red opts for a secret but dangerous passage instead (you have to cross a certain part of the ship very quickly, or you get ANOTHER auto game over ).
Red and Fuse take them by surprise, and we battle some sort of Platypus guy.
Asellus learns a particularly strong move, which is annoying since I'll never get to use her again in this scenario after this fight.
Roufas, Red, and BJ&K pull off a combo here. When you use special moves and techniques, there's a chance your characters will link their attacks, which increases the damage dealt by a lot. Right now it's a nice thing to see, but near end-game we'll want to be linking 4 and 5 person combos quite frequently.
Platypus guy leaves behind some smaller platypusi here, whom we also destroy.
The pirates flee, but...
BlackX's ship the Black Ray wrecks the pirate ship. Looks like they were trying to cover their tracks. Is Cindy Campbell linked to BlackX, perhaps? (SPOILER: yes)
Afterwards, all our spiffy companions leave, and Red heads over to get his paycheck and visit BJ&K.
What was that about memory loss if someone discovered your identity? Oh well, I guess robots don't count.
Red forces BJ&K to help him, and we have our first permanent party member!
Next time: A few quick stops, then off to a Martial Arts Tournament!