The Let's Play Archive

Secret of the Stars

by Kaiser Mazoku

Part 2: Chapter Two: A Badbad Situation

They don't mean anything, really. Pennon is just the basic class for your main party, while the Kustera are the secondary party who travel separately. Pennons can be upgraded a couple of times, but the only real effect this has is being able to use combo attacks. The rest is all just for plot purposes.

After leaving Old Hill, we come across another town.

Man: South of here is Beegees town. To the west is that edgy architect's house....but what happened? Did you get lost?

This place has seen better days. The townsfolk tell us that someone named Badbad has destroyed the town. Well, with a name like that, I don't think his prospects were set on becoming an upstanding citizen. Fortunately, there's still a functioning item shop.


We go into another house and meet an old man who is sick in bed.

Old man: Please help Tina. I raised a child named Tina, although she is not my true daughter. Some time ago, a visiting soldier left her to me. She is a girl of mysterious purpose...please help Tina. There are many enemies out there. She is too young to fight them. Her power is yet to come...

Yeah yeah, shut up and take your morphine, gramps.

Downstairs in another house we find...

Kid: My friends got kidnapped by Badbad! Help us! [->Yes No]

Sometimes I wonder why they even bother giving you dialog options. You HAVE to say yes in order to progress through the game. I guess if you felt like being a dick you could say no, but then you either get stuck in a loop or the poor sap just whines about what a jerk you are and you have to talk to them again and say yes anyway. If all you're going to do is say no then you might as well just pop the game out of the system and go watch a movie or something.

Kid: Thank you! I'll be waiting at Old Hill.

Hey wait! That's my secret club! You don't even know the password!

There's nothing left to do now in Winds, so we leave.

South of Winds is an opened bridge and the control room for it. The guy inside says you need a key in order to operate the bridge. We don't have the key, of course ($10 says it's lying in someone's shoe under a bed all the fuck way across the continent), so we just leave and head for Beegees.

Well, this is...interesting. It seems the town is entirely populated by dogs. Pup-ulated, if you will.

Yes, I kill me.

Entering the church, we find it's the only place with any human life. And one of those human lives is about to be ended if we don't intervene quickly.

Mafia dude: You're one of them as well? Get him? (yes, the game actually uses a second question mark here)

They're called Badmen, but I prefer to call them Mafia dudes. Because...just look at them! The only thing they're missing is tommy guns. But of course that would be out of place in this type of setting.  You actually CAN get guns later on, but just ignore that for now  

They're pretty wimpy and go down easily, though I did have to heal once. Their attacks only do 2-3 damage and they can only take 2 attacks from Ray. After the fight, the priest thanks us for defeating them. They were Badbad's minions and Badbad was the one who turned the people into dogs. In order to turn them back, we'll have to go to Badbad's lair and get the Dog Pill.

Tina: I am traveling. Oh...that star is...!?

Yeah, pretty much the only purpose the Star Crest has is to let everyone know how awesome and unique we are. A light shoots down and TINA BECAME PENNON! She is now an official part of our group.

Tina: That star is...I have that one, too!

OK, hold up. That star is WHAT? I hate it when JRPGs do the whole sentence-drifting-off thing. Just finish your damn thought or don't say it at all.


*regains composure* I recall my father telling me when I was young about 4 friends. We would all become Aqutallions and fight together. Let's unite Ray! We'll rescue kids and destroy Homncruse!

Yay! We finally get a new party member that actually travels with us! Time to check out-

Oh you've gotta be kidding. Yep, Tina comes at bottom-of-the-barrel level 1. Grindan time. During this, I quickly found out what a pain in the ass the enemies are around here. The Holo Birds put you to sleep and the Zombies "stop" you, which is essentially paralysis. If everyone in your party is stopped, the game ends. And with only two people, it is not a pretty sight. Anyway, I got her up enough so that she wasn't dying every other turn, and we head off.

This cave leads to where Badbad resides on top of the mountain.

The Ghosts here are annoying. They completely avoid all physical attacks and can only be killed by magic. And since it's kind of a long trek up to the top, you need your magic for healing. Really, you're better off just running from them.

Take that.

We find a NomalHat to cover Tina's naked head. She needs all the defense she can get.

An encounter with Cat Boo's brother, the Echo Cat. By themselves, they're not very powerful, but they can call for help and make other monsters appear.

Think it stops there?

Yep. Echo Cats and Pumpkings can fuse together to form King Cats. They're actually pretty powerful and can give you headaches if you aren't prepared. We take him down with valiant effort.

On the next screen over, we find a Telepo item, which allows you to warp to any town you've been to previously. You can only use them once, but it's no big deal, since Ray learned the Fly By spell which does the exact same thing. We'll hang onto this however, in case we need to warp back to a town and we're out of MP or something like that.

We come outside of the cave and hike up the mountain side.

These guys are annoying. They can poison you, so make sure you're packing some antidotes. Further down the path we get a Moon Drop (restores MP) and a Restore (revives dead party members). Both extremely valuable items.

Just how long is this place anyway?

Finally, we reach Badbad's lair. A welcome sight, since it has beds and both our HP and MP are dwindling. The beds will only restore HP, and we'll need to save our MP for the upcoming boss fight.

The music sounds oddly regal for a log cabin. Link We take a nap in one of the beds and then head upstairs.

Why are there so many beds anyway if it's just one guy living here? Wait...he's kidnapping children...OH GOD.

This is going to Tina. She needs the added defense. Ray can take hits just fine.

Lots of goodies! And no way to get them...yet. The next room contains Badbad himself.

Badbad: Did you ask for a Dog-Pill? Aha ha ha ha ha! You are something else coming to take something belonging to thieves. I'll destroy you guys!

What is he, the bastard child of Dracula and Wolverine?

Tina uses Slow on him for several rounds to reduce his speed and defense. It seems like this is one of the few RPGs where debuffs are actually useful. In many other games they either miss a lot or are ineffective against bosses, but here they're very reliable.

Ray slashes away and Tina turns to Frost, while healing as necessary.

And boom goes the dynamite. Ray reaches level 11 and Tina reaches 10. All in all, not a difficult battle. Savor the moment, because there are indeed some very tough battles in the future.

Wow, where have we heard this before? Badbad goes down a secret exit under the chair and immediately pops back up.

Badbad takes the real exit and that's the last we ever see of him. We go down under the chair, which leads to the stash that we saw before. Among them are various healing items, gold, and armor, but the most important thing is...

Now we can take it back to Beegees and cure everyone of the dog curse. The steps that Badbad took immediately take us out of the cabin and down the mountain. Back to the church we go to talk with the priest.

Priest: The people of the town can return to normal now!

So after..."scatt"ing the pill, whatever that means, the villagers all return to their human selves. They are all very grateful.

...Except this guy. The shops and inn are usable now, so we stock back up with some healing items and better equipment (a MidSword and Hardsuit for Ray. Unfortunately, Tina's stuck with her base weapon for now.) In one of the houses we find...

So now we have a Ray and a Ryu, and me being the huge Breath of Fire fan that I am, this is sure to cause some Freudian slips.

Ryu: Let's fight together!

Ryu joined you!

Ryu: We Kusteras are able to join up to 5 and there are a total of 11 Kusteras. Each has a unique ability. So, let's unite and get the rest of our friends!

So now we know a little more about the Kusteras. They are scattered around the world and we must find them all. Now that David has a buddy, we could switch to them and take control of David and Ryu. But it's not necessary right now. I know what some of you might be thinking. What is the point of Kusteras? They actually do have a relevant purpose, as you need them in order to access the final dungeon. But until then, they're not too vital outside of getting things behind Kustera gates. After getting Ryu, we go to the mayor's house.

Mayor: I'm the mayor of this town. Who are you? I are the one who saved this town. All of us here appreciate it. (except that one guy) But, the Ringo Bros. who live in the mountains may be stronger than you. This I Homncruse's rule, the Ringo Bros. kidnap neighboring kids for experiments. What...? You are going to destroy Homncruse aren't you? I are ancestors of Actos Stars...

Wait, I thought we were ancestor of Aqutallions. Bah, this game. We now learn that these Ringo Bros. are also kidnapping kids, but performing experiments on them, which may or may not be worse then what Badbad was doing to them. Seriously. We never find out why Badbad was kidnapping them and there weren't even any kids in his cabin. Bah, this game.

Mayor: O.K. I pray you and your party can destroy the Ringo Bros. and Homncruse. Hang in there.

IIRC, the Actos Stars is what gives the Aqutallions power. Or something. I'm just making shit up. I honestly forgot what it is.

Before going off to fight the Ringo Bros., we head north out of Beegees to a small shrine.

Spirit: A soldier born under the star of Actos. Welcome...

Well, there it is again. I'm guessing it's just the generic "holy force/light of destiny/whatever" in this game.

Spirit: If you wish to gain new power, fight me. Are you ready to do so? [->Yes No] Now, come on!

This will be a piece of-


OK, we're clearly not meant to fight him right away. Off to find the Ringo Bros. then.

Each character in the main party has a corresponding shrine they must visit, and a corresponding spirit to fight according to their element. In Ray's case, it's fire, as Ray specializes in fire magic. Beating these spirits will upgrade them from Pennon status to Banalet, and lets them use combo attacks in battle. It's pretty sweet. Kustera can also visit the shrines, but instead of fighting spirits, they can explore underneath them and acquire certain very important items, which you will eventually need in order to access the final dungeon. For this reason, you're not gonna want the Kustera to be chillaxing in a tent at Old Hill for the whole game, because unless you level them up properly, they're gonna be murdered in the dungeons. And with this, I'll end this section.

To Be Continued