We head to Devin first, so we can start up the Arcane quest. We need to get the Sword Card from Wakatu, the Shield Card from IRPO, the Grail Card from Yorkland, and the Gold Card from Baccarat. There actually is another vague purpose to Devin, besides just being the magic quest starting place: Fortune Telling!
The fortunes that a few of these guys give you do have some impact on the game, though to what extent I'm not sure. They do affect the contents and respawning of two chests in a room in Mu's Tomb, but whether they do more than that I don't know. I find it odd that their only purpose could be affecting a hidden room in an entirely separate region, but then this game does weird things sometimes.
I'm heading after the Sword Card first, which means I need to enlist that one drunk guy. First we gotta talk to the skeleton man here...
Then we get this message when trying to go to Wakatu on our own.
Gen's over in Scrap, as usual.
It really doesn't take much to convince him.
While we're in the area, we grab T260G as well, since we'll need him to recruit EngineerCar.
Normally I'd do the "Recruit Mei-ling, leave Riki to die" thing here, but you're forced to get them as a pair in this scenario, so I'll just leave both of them behind.
And, while I'm in Scrap, I might as well show off the Junk Shop Trick as well.
First off, we go to the Junk Shop. Obviously. Wouldn't be much of a Junk Shop trick without a Junk Shop, right? I mean, seriously.
Normally, this place offers you 3 items for a varying amount of money. Initially it's 300 credits, as seen here, but it goes up over time (as does the quality of the items). We start off by buying 3 items like normal.
After paying, we're allowed to go back and grab three items from the bins. There's one that holds swords, two for guns (one has normal ones that you'd use in gun techs, the other has the "cannon" sort of guns that are just regular attacks), and three for armor (one has shields and armlets, one has shoes and helmets, and one has armor and suits). There's also a fair chance you'll pick up a RepairKit (heals mecs), Junk (crappy 2 Def accessory), or a BrokenBumper (crappier 1 Def accessory) in any of the bins.
So here's where the trick comes in. After getting our items, we go back to the lil' geckos and try to sell something (in this game, merchants only accept certain items if you can sell things to them). We choose to sell a HyperionBazooka, even though we don't have one. Just press the button once or twice.
Now we can head back into the item area, and choose seven more things. You can keep doing this over and over to get as many items as you want. The quality of the items starts out the same, but if you sell a lot of RepairKits to the geckos the quality starts to go up (and you'll pick up plenty of them). Eventually you can get things like Osc-Swords, LethalGuns, CyberSuits, and ExcelShields. The Osc-Swords can be sold for 110 credits each in Shrike, which can get us enough money to do another little trick I'll cover later. Still, outside of the LethalGuns and the ExcelShields, most of this stuff is pretty average and can be outclassed by the kind of stuff you get in dungeons and from monsters, but at least this stuff is strong enough to get you to those places in the first place. There's a few other things about this trick (specifically how each character seems to work a bit differently when doing it), but I'll cover those in my post-game updates.
We take a quick detour to Shrike to sell some swords and pick up our mec of choice.
His equipment is a bit better than before, including a NakajimaBoard2 which, as far as I know, can only be obtained like this (too bad it isn't very good).
We also stop by the Biolab in Shrike...
...use the secret passage...
...and pick up our buddy Cotton.
Decent stats for him, too. Both Riki and Cotton (and Thunder too, I think) can have varying HP totals when you recruit them, probably due to the whole "characters start off stronger if you've beaten a quest before" thing.
Here's a quick in-battle shot of Cotton's Tidi form before I morph into something else, as he actually can't regain this form once he changes (not that you'd really want it).
Anyway, it's back to Wakatu for us.
With Gen along, we can now go there. Apparently Trinity killed a bunch of samurai dudes there or something, standard evil corporation procedure.
I like seeing the travel dudes (dudettes?) getting all nervous.
Damn right you will.
We get dropped off next to the skeleton ferryman.
TOTALLY NOT HAUNTED, GUYS
Those are ghost ninjas peeking out at us, there. Touching them leads to a fight, much like any regular enemies.
Gen does the usual travel guide stuff here.
We come across this room early on. It's hard to see, but there's a staircase back there. You can eventually find a way to this room from the back, and there's a nifty little secret area back there. However, we can't do anything with it right now, but if we go BACK IN TIME...
Back in T260G's quest, we go down the stairs into a hidden chamber.
It sure is.
Being Blade God must be a pretty awesome job.
Turns out the Blade God thinks Gen is pretty awesome, so he forks over a Comet Blade. You can only receive it if Gen has 70WP or more, hence why I couldn't do this in Lute's quest.
Besides its 55 attack power, the Comet Blade also features the fantastically named MillionDollers attack, which you might have seen PzkvW using back in some of the T260G videos.
Back in Lute's quest, Gen decides to show us a different way.
We can go in from the side instead.
Ooh, pinwheel. There's a skeleton waiting in ambush in the upper left corner as well.
The next floor is pretty empty, however...
...we can go out the window and walk along the roof. This is no different from going inside, though (no enemys, items, nothing), leading me to wonder just what the hell it's for.
And here's the chamber containing the Sword Card. Rather bloody place.
You have to press the button to stop the three symbols on swords in order to get the card. Three bunnies does nothing, and three monsters leads to a fight. There's a striking sound that tells you when you should push the button though, so it's pretty easy.
Shouldn't take more than a few tries (you can see the blood more clearly in this shot, too. Wonder what exactly went down here?)
Easy stuff, there's not even a boss. The Arcane cards are much easier to get than the Runes, with the notable exception of the Shield Card.
A side note on the ghost ninjas: it's best to avoid them. Sometimes they're a normal enemy encounter, but other times they're much tougher. This group looks like a few weak ghosts, but they're actually significantly harder. Luckily, Cap's CrossShot does extra damage to undead things (like, 2000 extra), so they were no problem.
He isn't especially talkative.
And we head back. That's all for this update.