Part 36: Sidetracked (X) - Kitties!Although there wasn't much to do before "Out to Get the Outlaws", beating the chapter unlocks a ton of new content - it should keep us busy for a good three updates at the very least. So, let's get straight to the first diversion! This time, we'll be picking up some more characters, and I'm sure those of you who followed the Suikoden IV LP already know who they are.
Before taking on the main mission, however, I've picked up this quest. Like I said before, Terana Plain is a place we'll be returning to - it's a new monster hunting spot, as well as the scene for a few quests like this one.
Furthermore, it allows for more characters than the real mission this update, so...
How are things with Scarlet Moon?
Same as always.
"This is the eighth emperor who's driven the country to ruin by falling for an evil witch who looks like his ex-wife."
"Holy shit, it was the sixth when I left! Sure go through them fast..."
I still can't believe Walter died, though.
Sorry. I didn't mean it to sound like that.
Yeah, I know.
And I believe that was the good will we were looking for.
Like any greatsword user, Coop hits pretty hard... when he hits, and when he makes it to the enemy.
Grinding furball pelts is hard work, and our party is looking considerably beefier at the end of it. (Actually, this is how they look at the end of the update, but I didn't think to grab caps of how they looked after just Terana plain.)
Do you remember that Wizard Rune we picked up last time? If you're familiar with the series, you probably know what it does already. If not (of if you're just not the kind of nerd who remembers every obscure gameplay mechanic from every game you've ever played, i don't know, that's an option too I guess) it lops off half your MDF and increases your MAG based on that number. Most of the time MAG is a whole lot more useful than MDF, so it's a very good trade. Andarc isn't the best mage in the game, but with this thing on, you might just think he is.
Five levels, not a single MP.
Maxine isn't using a Wizard Rune, but she is wearing most of the MAG-boosting equipment.
And finally, Wendel. Speed!
I won't bore you with the details, but eventually we collected ten furball pelts and now I'm just as sick of Terana Plain as I am of the goddamn ruins.
You don't actually have to collect the pelts at Terana Plain - any furball can drop a pelt, and we already had a couple from previous encounters, but it's unlikely that you'll have enough without grinding here. Whether they drop something or not is random and I had a run where I didn't get a single one (this also explains why my levels shot up so much).
The reward is 3000 Potch and 500 Skill Points...
...and our quest rank hits B, just like our skill rank! Of course, that means we unlock even more quests.
Like this one!
This'll be fun!
I hope so.
This requires, I shit you not, 100 ATK.
Lazlo can hit that if he throws on a Berserker Belt.
Hey, could you grab that sorcerer while you're at it? Then I might not have to fight another battle the moment we arrive...
Suikoden IV callbacks! (2500p, 800sp, bonus Flower Bun)
Not just one of them, either! (5000p, 1000sp, bonus Deluxe Omelet)
I picked up all these while grinding on Terana Plain. (1200p, 200sp)
And we grabbed this one on our previous trip, which is starting to feel like it happened a very long time ago. (8000p, 900sp)
Next up, our dispatch quests. Rita!
Yes. (8000p, 1000sp)
That drunkard better have got bounced so hard.
Didn't doubt you for a second because I cheated and read a guide. (4000p, 500sp, and that's cheap as hell for something with such high requirements)
And those weren't even all the new quests! But we'll save some for later. Now for the main course.
But apparently they got too carried away, and now every merchant in Merseto is mad at them.
The merchants are saying they're gonna beat the tar out of them next time they come to port. Nasty business.
Merseto is our destination.
More precisely, the port - again. This should be the last time we come back here, and I can't say I'll particularly miss the place. Though the mechanics of it are kind of cool, it's far more annoying than interesting.
Nice and simple.
We're up against the standard bandit/pirate enemies, but this time we have a few allies. As usual, green shadows and windows mean the cats will be doing their own thing (and perform about as well as you'd expect computer controlled allies to behave in a SRPG).
What are you trying to do with our hard-earned loot?!
He tosses a Rage Bead...
...and Champo tosses a Mother Earth.
Why are you so mean to us?
Well, you are furries, and you're wearing what I can only assume is the furry version of blackface...
Anyway, Noah settles for dropping a water bead where she stands, and this one asshole axe bandit does asshole things. The nay-kobolds most likely aren't intended to lose here, but this dude can really put the hurt on them - note that Nalkul is on native terrain here!
The rest of them aren't quite that good, however, and deal damage in the low double digits.
Oh, godfuckingdamn it, I wanted you to line up with your buddy.
Still, there are enemies within range, so allow me to finally explain why Wendel is better than Mizuki.
Shredding Claw is the only AoE attack a claw user will ever be able to use.
It doesn't stun targets the way Skull Thrust does, and does in fact unbalance the user, but the trade-off is worth it - like Skull Thrust, it's something you use when you need things to die faster, and this skill can kill several things at the same time, as well as giving you a tiny bit extra range (diagonally).
By the way, Nalkul and Champo are also claw users.
From one thing to another, Flare also got a second level MP, so she can kill things 1.5 times harder now.
Lazlo temporarily channels the spirit of Walter and goes on a crate-breaking rampage. This one yields a Porcupine Cape, an accessory which protects you from Balloon status.
Asshole Axe Bandit keeps doing asshole axe bandit things.
By the way, here's a little trick you can pull. If a caster with Extra Move charges a spell, they can move again once it finishes.
However, it doesn't need to take effect. If you cancel the spell (and we will, otherwise Maxine would fry herself and that would be dumb), you can still move.
It does rather feel like a cheat, though.
Damn it cats, stop throwing beads and kill things.
Wendel takes care of the crate she ended her last turn next to before moving on - it yields some Mega Medicines. Nothing too great, but hey, it's free.
Speaking of cheating, Noah does it too. She comes with S-rank "dodge" on this map. No wonder they can't hit her.
More crates! More! This one contains three Seared Bonito.
Champo pokes the spear guy, but leaves his back open for Asshole Axe Bandit to cave in his skull.
Don't worry. He'll be just fine.
Maxine haxes herself up to the next box and loots three Mackerel Miso Stew from the wreckage.
Not this time, you fucker! Even though that's a back attack.
Maxine ends the Asshole Axe Bandit and gets a well deserved level out of it.
Almost done. Wendel could only almost kill the bowbandit, so he heals himself on the next turn.
Meanwhile, Maxine kills another crate for a Sunbeam Orb.
And Lazlo finishes the last crate. This is kind of shit as the nay-kobolds (and Noah) are all wearing these, but I guess we might be able to sell it.
Rita decides it's hammertime, and kills the spear bandit.
Flare used up her only Strong Arm tech before, so...
...she crits this one to death instead. 320 damage!
And now she re-gained that second level MP. Too bad she has no further use for it.
Wendel and the last spear guy exchange blows. She comes out on top and loots the corpse for a crab bun...
...and a leve- WAIT WAIT WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT
IS THAT A LEVEL WITH ONLY +1 SPEED
I AM EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED
...fucking hell. We got a lot of loot on this map, though.
Nalkul... The goods are a total wreck.
See? I told you he'd be fine. Champo has a hard head.
They didn't have to bully us just because we're new at this!
I think there may have been other reasons.
Were you guys planning to do business here?
Yep. We're the only ones besides Chiepoo who have a trade route from here to the Island Nations.
That's why those rats targeted us.
What will we do now?
Oh! Oh! I know the answer to this one!
Champo and Nalkul know, too. They've done this before.
So lemme get this straight. Are you guys from the Island Nations?
Goat Dimension, damn it!
Well, we do spend a lot of time traveling to and from them.
"Like. Months, even years at a time. Got to kill a lot of time for those quests."
I see... Well then, wouldja mind if we joined your party?
Really? I don't mind, but...
Kyril, what have I said about free Stars of Destiny? These aren't even free, we worked for this.
We'll just put our business on hold. We've got to stop the attacks before we start collecting the cash, you know? Plus, it'd be good to travel around these parts and learn as much as we can.
We'll get some handy information, then get back to work!
Right. I'm not one to give up without a fight!
Count me in, too!
Okay, glad to have you guys.
Yeah, likewise and all that. Just say the word. We'll be happy to lend a paw or two.
And then we had cats.
Champo has done well for himself. Unlike IV where he was pretty much Nalkul but worse, he's actually the stronger of the two this time around, while Nalkul has more skill and evade. The cats are otherwise fairly similar - they come with 6 MOV and 3 JMP, as well as the ability to learn both Godspeed and Extra Move (all claw users do). They both have Dodge, Mind's Eye and Guard, but Champo has Critical Hit and Nalkul has Bull's Eye. Naturally, they're very fast as well.
Of course, nothing Champo does can make up for Nalkul's stylish hat. The fact that he's earth elemental also hurts a bit, because as previously discussed earth is The Worst Element.
Noah is another support character. Unlike the others, she can in fact affect enemy units, but not to deal damage - Noah's skill is stealing, which... does what it always does in every game ever. Of course, this means putting a fragile little girl right in the enemies' line of fire, so you should probably plan it out in advance.
The nay-kobolds have some interesting body gear - this is pretty tanky! But for now, they have terrible hand (paw) gear, so it evens out.
We're not done in Merseto, however!
What happened to you? That wound...
There are more familiar faces to pick up, and pick them we shall.
I was attacked on my travels! By an ungodly young lady who attacks travelers and robs them blind!
You people look quite strong. I ask you to go and avenge me!
Umm... I don't know about the "avenge" part, but she can't be allowed to keep doing such things.
Lazlo and Jeremy are whistling a jaunty tune and trying not to laugh.
Oh, absolutely! Head to the Terana Plain. I'm sure she's still there! Please, be careful!
Oh, I'll be careful. So careful, in fact, that I'll wait for Windnesday before I go in.
Boy, am I starving...
...we're treated to another campfire scene.
Maybe somebody dropped something I could eat...
I really don't have anything to say.
So I won't!
We're thrown into a one-on-one duel! With music!
Here is the reason we want to come here on a wind day. Mitsuba's Chameleon Rune matches her innate element to the day - something you may see as a feature or an annoyance, depending on point of view. Here, it's definitely a feature because Mitsuba is not fucking around. I distinctly remember dying here on my first run!
You're here to challenge me, right? ...Hello? Anyone home?! You'd better get it together, or I'll attack first!
She does, for all the good it does her.
Let's see what Ms. Currently Weak Against Fire Terrain thinks about this!
...she decides not to walk onto it. Clever! But Kyril throws his swallow at her and gains a level.
This is a character weakened by the terrain, hitting a character strenghened by the terrain. Mitsuba is definitely not fucking around.
Neither, however, is Kyril, and so...
...the duel ends.
I told you we'd be back for this.
Sadly, Lazlo and Jeremy still don't get any dialogue.
Never mind that! You're gonna return all those things you stole, got it?
I didn't steal anything! I won that stuff fair and square in duels!
I'm rather fond of that grin in her portrait.
Kyril is not quite as amused.
But enough about that. You mind if I tag along?
Why would you want to--
KYRIL DAMN IT
Aw, come on! You guys must be rakin' it in, takin' down bad guys left and right! I want in on some of that! Oh, and can we swing by Merseto, too? Please?
This one looks like a handful.
Come on! Come on! Let's get moving!
I don't think we have a choice. The next stop's Merseto, I guess...
Mitsuba joins at this point, but...
...we also need to conscript Reinhold.
Reinhold, you numbskull... How many times did I tell you NEVER to send anyone stronger than me?!
I wonder how many times this happened between Lazlo and Kyril.
Forgive me! I didn't mean to...
Hey, wait a minute. You're in on this, too?!
Now he gets it!
P-Please, forgive me! She made me do it! She forced me!
Ohh, shut up already. So are you coming or not, Reinhold?
"Doesn't this feel awfully familiar somehow?"
I decided to go with them. You should come too.
Y-Yes! Please allow me to join you!
Well, that's settled.
Um... Nice to have you...
Kyril has just about given up at this point.
- Is actually not terribly slow, and probably the best greatsword user in the game (though that's not saying much given the competition we've seen).
- Has 5 MOV.
- Can learn Godspeed and Extra Move.
- But comes with what you see... and nothing else.
- And as if that wasn't enough, she comes with a level 1 weapon.
- Also has as 5 MOV.
- Also comes with what you see... and nothing else.
- But at least his weapon is level 3.
- Can learn Extra Move but not Godspeed.
- Is a fire innate spear user, because we didn't have one of those already or anything. But he is probably better than Rachel because although she has better MOV, she doesn't have Extra Move.
Next, we're picking up even more old friends...
...for a given value of "friends."