Part 12: Arche Rivals
Since we have to go all the way from Gnome's cave to Venezia at this point we might as well make the one minor detour we've skipped over every time so far. We've been able to come to this pier near Belladam anytime since meeting Lenios really, but there hasn't been much reason to do so other than "we were in the area." We do have to pass it on the way either to or from the Cave of Spirits though so let's give it a quick looksee.
This is the only thing here worth while and I imagine that it is what should be here. It's really only worth giving to Cless since it boosts attack by 10%. Now, you might be wondering what I mean by "it should be here." Well, um...
This is not remotely similar to the Fight Symbol. In fact, this is - for all intents and purposes - an end-game accessory (we'll be able to "buy" one before long... for almost 700,000 Gald). As you can see here, I have gotten it after just over an hour of playtime. That's incredibly broken. It might not seem like much, but the Mystic Symbol halves all spellcasting time. This might not sound that impressive, but it's kind of a big fucking deal. This bit right here takes what little difficulty there is and rips it to shreds completely and utterly. Frankly, this is so insanely broken at this stage that I refuse to believe that this is anything more than a massive oversight on whoever put this item here; the names are sort of similar (well they both Symbol at the end) so it's a possible, albeit incredibly stupid, mistake.
Since we need to go through Venezia anyway, let's make one last quick trip to Demeter's mansion to grab the few things I missed.
Or at least this. I didn't bother coming into this room last time because I forgot there was anything worth the minor detour in it. Presumably the save point is there for in case you somehow get killed by the Orcrots.
Back in Demeter's study, we could read the books but they're honestly kinda dull and don't add much. Instead, let's play a game of "spot the treasure chest!" In the lower half of the room there is a chest with a new shield in it. Can you see where it is? No? I'm not surprised!
Where Cless is stood right now is where the chest should be. I emphasise should because for whatever reason it didn't spawn. It's super annoying seeing some chests that didn't spawn last time I played and not seeing some that did. I don't even know why they are or aren't spawning and that just makes it worse.
Lastly, in a house in Venezia we can buy two more spells for Arche. Lightning (200 gald) is, as you'd imagine, the basic thunder spell and Storm, similarly, is the basic wind spell. This means we can disable Storm since not only does it cost 1000 Gald, because it just does, it's worse than Cyclone which we can get for free anyway.
One last little thing to do since we're in the area. At the item store, we can buy these for a little more than half what we can sell the Elven Boots for. Now, this sounds like an incredibly stupid thing to do but we're selling the Elven Boots (+20% movement speed) for the massively inferior Heavy Boots (-20% movement speed). I added the movement speed things there just so you can fully appreciate how much of an idiot I really am for trading down to a worse accessory in every way.
Using a Rune Bottle on the Heavy Boots makes these things. Jet Boots are awesome and will pretty much stay on Cless with the Fight Symbol for quite a while now. Why?
This is kind of incredibly useful in more than a few places. We could use another Rune Bottle on them but that's a massive waste since that makes them Heavy Boots again.
If you're wondering why I still have a ?Rod from earlier it's because it's just the basic Rod that Mint started the game with. I'll probably end up getting rid of it when replacing the wasted Rune Bottle isn't a big deal but until then I'll let it rot and annoy me to no end.
There's nothing left to do on this continent though, so let's finally go to Alvanista.
Captain: We're not about to sail for Alvanista when Dhaos could attack at any time. There's nobody who'd be willing to sail into that kind of danger. What're we going to do?
...I cannot think of anything to say to even attempt to rationalise this. I don't think ANYONE could rationalise this.
Captain: I don't wanna hear something like that from a kid...
: Oh you're terrible!!
: Captain, we're willing to pay whatever you ask for passage to Alvanista.
Captain: ...All right.
Fortunately, he only wants 680 Gald for the trip (170 per person) so it's cheaper than going to Demeter's castle. The downside here is that it's a one-way trip so we have to pay if we want to come back too.
: Huh? What are you talking about?
: Mint and Arche obviously.
: Mint has that prim and proper thing going for her, but Arche and that carefree attitude certainly have their own kind of charm as well.
: H, hold on!
: I haven't thought about that yet.
: Well then, you're saying that I've got first choice, I suppose...
: Anyway, don't you already have Mirald?
: She's just my assistant!
: Hah, you expect me to believe that?
: Hey, what were you two talking about just now?
: N, nothing. Nothing you'd be interested in. Nothing at all, really.
: I want to hear!
: Well, something like that. And you are?
: I'm Mayer, a wondering swordsman.
: A mercenary?
: No, I'm hoping to explore the Moria Mine. You must've at least heard the name, right?
Surprisingly, yes. Klaus let us know about it when he mentioned Luna and it was mentioned in a letter already too.
: Sadly, entry is forbidden except to those with permission from Alvanista.
: So I assume you have some way to get approval?
: I know a guy at the Adventurer's Guild. Anyway, I'm starved so I guess it's nearly meal time. Well then, I'll be off.
There's a guy at the Adventurer's Guild who can help us get permission to enter the Moria Mines huh? This could be some useful info. We need to get into those mines to hopefully get Luna's Pact Ring after all.
: I'm feeling kinda hungry too...
: Shall we go get something to eat?
: It doesn't look like there's anywhere else to sit anyway.
: How about having a drink? You CAN hold your liquor, right?
: Sounds great!
They're kinda at this for a while. A long while at that. Even Arche joins in, but Cless and Mint leave them to it after a couple of hours. It's not particularly interesting though so lets skip the boring stuff.
: So after all that trouble, I opened the hard-won treasure box and... it was totally empty!
: Hahahaha. Man, do I know that feeling!!
: By the way... This can't go beyond the two of us, but...
: What's with that?
: Going and getting all serious on me...
: My true objective isn't access to the Moria Mine.
: Ahhh! Stop it, Cless... Don't touch me there...
: My true objective is to make contact with my friend in the Adventurer's Guild and...
: Right. The seemingly calm surface of Alvanista... In reality, it's just a facade, concealing the fact that it's already more or less under Dhaos' control.
: But how?
: That's the trick here. The royal family of the Kingdom of Alvanista has but one heir to the throne.
: Because of that, Alvanista, although equal in power to the Kingdom of Midgard in the east, doesn't openly oppose Dhaos. No, not that they don't oppose him, but that they're in a position such that they can't oppose him.
: Ayeee... Dont, Cless. Come on, stop it...
: At any rate, what I've told you here is an absolute secret. Now then, I guess it's about time we break up this wedding...
: Arche, you'll catch a cold if you sleep here.
: Stupid Cless...
: Just what in the hell are you dreaming about?
Fortunately, we get a full HP/TP/status restoration since after this scene. Why do I say "fortunately?"
: Is something the matter?
: Cless, look out!! Mayer's being controlled.
: Klaus, you should just rest here. I'm going after him!!
For one reason or another, we're stuck doing this bit as just Cless. Arche is a given, since she's bound to be wasted too. Mint apparently gets seasick now, so that's her excuse!
: Get a grip!!
: H, help me...
It looks like we're just fighting whatever the possession is.
Nope! We're actually fighting Mayer somehow. Not sure how this works since we clearly see the possessive spirit leaving Mayer but whatever. And this guy even has the same sprite as that, but it's actually Mayer.
Despite being stuch with just Cless here, this isn't difficulty. It's even easier than I made it look if you use the right artes here (i.e. Thunder Claw, Thunder Claw, Thunder Claw and Claw Strike) Mayer won't even get a chance to swing his sword. If you don't want to cheese him, though, then it's just a matter of using multi-hit artes and blocking his attacks. In any damage race, Mayer's always going to lose.
: Mayer was being controlled by a demon...
: No doubt one of Dhaos' minions. I imagine he was trying to eliminate all those who knew the truth of the situation in Alvanista. What about Mayer?
: So it's too late.
: Things are going to be much harder on us from now on. It's clear Dhaos now knows what we're trying to do.
Well, that ended on a pretty sad note. At least we're nearly at Alvanista now and have an idea of what we can do to get into the Moria Mines. I wonder how much we can get for that information anyway... shame we won't get the chance to sell it.
: We have to hurry and rescue the prince and then-
: Hold on just a second. I've been thinking about this since before. Let's stop at the inn, I want to discuss what our next move should be.
There's a fair bit we can do first before heading to the inn, so we'll get as much done as possible. Well, almost; there's one thing we'll leave 'til later though.
It isn't this chest, but fuck this chest anyway. All it contains is some Lavendar; we could try to get it but it's not even worth the hassle. This chest is sorta unique in that if we get it now later it contains another Lavender, or some Sage. If we leave it though, it contains one of many, many copies of a piece of best armour. Neither is worth the hassle.
Skit: In Memoriam
: We were all having so much fun together that night...
: From now on, we must always be on our guard.
: Yeah, danger will be ever present.
Skit: A Minor Aesop
: Look, I'm a Half-Elf, all right? So it's okay!
: That's got nothing to do with it. Come on, help me out here and say something.
: M, m, me? Right, well...
: Hangovers are definitely no good. But you know, alcohol has long been used in medicine and...
: W, why are you giving me that cold stare?
: Just... never mind.
To the south-west-ish of Alvanista, we can get another Arcane Arte for free. We can't use this one yet since we one of its base artes isn't obtained until level 23.
Skit: A Brief Respite
: For now, let's stay at the Alvanista Inn.
: I'll agree to that.
: That's true. We need to think about what to do next.
There's some stuff in Alvanista we can do first, so let's get the obligatory mini-game out of the way first!
This is just a simple race roughly around the perimeter of Alvanista. It's not particularly difficult, but apparently people have trouble with it? Oh well, I trashed the hell out of it.
For beating this piss easy mini-game once, you get this;
Whilst you get to beat it three times, there are four possible prizes. The trick, though, is that you can pick the same thing three times. That's really what you should do since the options are mostly crap.
The two ?Swords are different; the one on the end is a fucking Longsword (which is what Cless starts with), and the one before it is what we just got from Mayer. The Pelt and Coral are both seemingly pointless items but they have a clear purpose: to be sold. How much you get for them varies from both town to town AND shops within each town. Out of the two, Coral will get you much more so grabbing it thrice over makes the most sense.
Also we can now cook ice cream!
And in the accessory store, we can continue this sidequest.
: Hey, Cless!
: It's been a while.
: So you really eloped, huh?
: Yeah, but we've got no regrets. With her by my side, we'll make things work no matter where we go.
: However, we're planning to stay here for a while. It's hard to move around given the state of affairs in Midgard.
: Please, don't tell my father anything about where we're staying.
Well, that's quite the anti-climactic end to this subplot, huh? Maybe there'll be an epilogue after we advance the plot a bit.
At the Adventurer's Guild, we can buy this from a drunk guy for 6,000 Gald. When Cless finally masters Autumn Sandstorm, we can actually use this one though. It's not that great, so we probably won't ever touch it.
Hey, it's Sakuraba! Motoi Sakuraba's the composer of the game's soundtrack and he's just chilling out in the Adventurer's Guild. If you give him 1000 Gald, he tells you the password to get into Gnome's cave so you could double back at this point to get him if you didn't know it already.
The Fame Face (the ?Sword dropped by Mayer) isn't exactly better than the Halberd, in fact in many ways it's massively inferior. This is really the only chance we have to try it though, so we will. Just because there's no chance to put it to good use later. Oh and it's Water elemental if you're into that kind of thing.
From Alvanista onwards, we can start buying Rune Bottles. For 3500 a piece they're a bit pricey to buy in bulk now but before long we'll be able to buy a full load out pretty much constantly.
Anyway, we've mostly run out of things to do (the new continent doesn't have much to find) so we'd best go to the Inn to advance the plot.
: If one of Dhaos' companions is truly controlling the royal family, this is no simple matter.
: Just imagine what would happen if we went bursting into his room...
: Rather than learning anything new about magic, we'd be throwing away our lives.
: Then what do you suggest that we do?
: Simply put, we need to seperate the prince from whatever companion of Dhaos' is controlling him.
: Are you saying that we're going to raid the castle?
: But the real question is just how we're going to sneak in there...
: Why's everyone looking at me like that? Y, you can't mean...
: You want to use my broom!?
: Please. If we're going to save the prince, we'll have to get close enough to find out how Dhaos is controlling him.
: I got it...
: All right! If we're set on that plan, how about sneaking in tonight?
: The sooner the better, right?
: I think it would be too reckless to rush in like this. We should make preparations before we go.
: Okay, let's go!!
Earlier that night...