Part 23: Yakov Smirnoff Said It
Gemini, Sagittarius and Leo go into the left door.
Virgo, Aquarius and Libra go in the right door.
Aries, Capricorn and Taurus go into the left side of the center door, while Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio go in the other side.
There's a chest behind the left door with a Fifth Key.
The other two doors both lead to the courtyard, but there's a chest in the center corridor with a Thera Seed.
There's a Feather Bracelet hidden in the corner of the next room. Speaking of bracelets, I haven't linked to the Shell Bracelet yet. I've also forgotten to link to Kelly's character page.
Anyway, there's a corridor to the north that seems a bit overgrown. Gee, I wonder if this is where we need to look for the flower.
Has anyone else noticed that Blanca hasn't been shown in any of the cutscenes here? Weird.
Isn't it, though?
Everyone wanders off while Lucia just stands there. And just when you were starting to think she couldn't be of less use.
Oookay... That's kind of creepy. While everyone is looking for the flower, Lucia darts behind them, pausing only to mug for the camera.
What are you doing with that lever?
Oh, this can't be good.
Ah, ha haha! It's official: the developers of this game have lost their goddamned minds.
Fluffy Pink Freak of Nature: Meerrooowooow!
That is one giant pussy!
Tee hee hee! This is where you all die! Andre, go on ahead and get them!
Andre: Mrrow! Mmeeeeooooow!
Wait a minute! Stop!
Andre: Mmmrrrro! Meeow!
I'm your master! Did you forget who I am!
Ah! Ah! Stop!
Looks like it's trying to...eat her!
In Soviet Russia, pussy eats YOU!
Maybe we should try and help.
I think you're right.
We're using Yuri, Karin, Blanca and Joachim (in Golden Bat form) to save Lucia. (Why, oh why can't we just let her die?)
Yuri is fused into Mahrae for this fight. Appropriate, considering that Andre is Fire-based.
Andre isn't difficult, so much as he's annoying. He can cause Fake Ring, which changes the Ring configuration and adds a fake hit area. Figuring out which area is the fake is a matter of guessing and getting lucky.
His other annoying attack is Cash Steal. It takes about 1,000 cash from you each time he uses it. Andre can also cast the fire spell Blaze.
Although most of Karin's special attacks are Fire-based, her newest one is non-element making it quite useful here.
We also get to use the Water-based Combo Magic, Shock Max.
When Andre falls, we get a new crest (Rock Rot, Red Rave), but we don't get enough cash to cover what Andre stole.
Oh, thank you!
Just what were you trying to pull, anyway?!
I'm so sorry! You see, we thought Sapientes Gladio sent you after us!
You thought we were from Sapientes Gladio?
We've had hit men pretending to be customers sent to us before. And every time, I'd bring them to this island...
So...how many innocent people do you think they ended up killing? 'Cause I don't think anyone working for Sapientes Gladio would have mentioned Sapientes Gladio like Karin did. On the other hand, from what we've seen of the "secret society" so far, maybe they did.
So you oppose the society too, eh, miss?
That's right. Ever since Carla ran away from them, they've had it in for us.
Of course they have, dear. You're both such...prizes.
And now you know we're fighting against this secret society too. Right?
As soon as the scene ends, we automatically go back to Florence.
So you trust us now?
If Sapientes Gladio was really after these two, Nicolai and gang must be even more incompetent than I thought.
Take this as a token of apology and gratitude. I hope you'll get some use out of it.
You got the Purson Crest. (Bright Light)
This isn't going to be scary, is it? 'Cause the last old woman that told me a story-
I was young and beautiful once, too. Loving life, full of dreams I was.
But those girlish dreams didn't last. Men used me and threw me out like trash! I was hurt and bitter then. That's when it happened...
A secret group called Sapientes Gladio invited me to join them. Desperate, I joined and even took on disciples to be my successors.
I'll give you three guesses who the psycho kid with the knife is, and the first two don't count.
But the violence was too much for me, and I ran away from them! They chased me for years, and always I managed to evade them.
Of course, "evade" means "fed anyone even remotely suspicious to my mutant cat".
Finally, I wound up here. I've been with this one ever since then.
I've always wanted to make up for that girl going down the wrong path... Now the burden falls to you, I'm afraid.
It's not a burden, Carla! And I've always wanted to go on a little adventure! And as your successor, I want to make you proud of me!
Thank you, Carla.
And so, if none of you mind, I'll join you on your journey!
Sure. Glad to have you!
We get a little pop-up box about Lucia's special abilities. We'll get back to those in just a moment.
You been slacking off on your studies again, girl? Oh, well. Take them along, anyway. Practice makes perfect!
You got Ocean Oil
You got Misty Oil
I'll be praying for your good fortune. Be careful on your journey!
After we leave Florence, coming back and talking to Carla will result in her healing the entire party's HP and MP for free.
Unfortunately, we're stuck with Lucia in trade-off. I think Carla has the better end of the deal.
Lucia has two special abilities. The first is Tarot Card. Using it in battle causes all her cards to spin around, and you have to press 'X' to pick one. Picking a card surrounded by a sparkling aura causes the effect to be increased. There's also a chance that the card you pick will be Reversed, which results in the card either helping the enemy or hurting the party, instead of the other way around. I don't usually use Tarot Card often, but I'll use it some in the boss battles to show how it works. Eventually, we'll find the entire Major Arcana, but Lucia starts with just five cards: High Priestess, The Hierophant, The Hermit, The Hanged Man and The Moon.
Lucia's second special ability is Aromatherapy. We start out with Ocean Oil and Misty Oil. There are various other oils we can collect throughout the game. Mixing the oils in battle will produce various effects for everyone in the party except Lucia. The order you mix the oils is important, too. Mixing Ocean Oil into Misty Oil will produce a different effect than mixing Misty Oil into Ocean Oil. Of course, you have no idea what the effect will be until you actually mix them the first time. Aromatherapy is actually pretty useful, especially once you get about four or five different oils.
I'm not sure how "enticing" Lucia is, considering that she's the only character you pick up that starts with 0 Affinity for EVERY OTHER PARTY MEMBER. Even the two we haven't gotten yet. Everyone else will have a 10 to 20 point boost with at least one other party member, if not two or three.
Lucia fights with fans, starting with the Luna Fan. Not that she's going to be doing much in the way of physical attacks, being the worst at it in the game. That Studded Belt she has will probably be going to someone that can actually use it, like Yuri or Joachim.
Now, before we take off to the Sapientes Gladio Italian Branch Headquarters (say that five times fast), there's a chest with a Mana Seed near where we fought Andre. I hope Carla remembers to feed him while we're gone, as long as she feeds him cat food and not people.
Speaking of not going yet, some of the people in Florence have new and amusing things to say now that Lucia's with us.
Jones: I've got plenty of money! Tons of it, in fact!
"Wonderful, boyish smile"?
Al: I heard the old woman, her teacher, will be reading palms in her place for a while.
Please, please tell me that palm-reading doesn't also involve dancing.
One last thing, we've now got all the crests for the Flame Desert. This area has a very simple layout, and with only five Crests, it's one of the easier puzzles. It's bordered by the Forest to the south and the Boneyard to the north-east.
1 | 2---3 | | 4---5
Amy: A phantasmagoric devil who appears as an ever-shifting cloud of dust. The Flame Desert whirlwinds are manifestations of Amy.
Haures: Appears as a dark man in leopard skin. Lives in the south of the Flame Desert, where he yearns for the lush forests beyond.
Bathin: A pale man with a serpent's tail. He can make himself and others fly. He loves death, and lives by the Boneyard in the north.
Beleth: A magnificent general cloaked in red. A demon of elegant habits, he lives by the desert's oasis so he can bathe every day.