Part 38: Tales of Side Quests (II)
Remember how I said there's a scene that is closed off when you get Suzu? That's in Alvanista of all places. All we have to do is spent over 2,000 Gald in the item shop in a single purchase. A single Rune Bottle is more than enough and we go through these like no-one's business anyway.
That done, we get a key item that we use in the Adventurer's Guild. Sometimes you have to leave Alvanista to get it to trigger, other times you don't.
Apparently I forgot to buy this in the past? It costs 6,000 Gald and uses Demon Fang so it was pretty much useless then, let alone now.
Sakuraba's self-insert is still here for those that care about that kind of thing. It's no different to what we heard back in Venezia though, so let's just leave and come back to get the concert to trigger.
Yo-Mi is the singer from the PS1/PSP pre-title scene. I have no idea why she's named after the Japanese version of the underworld, or even if she is. It might just be a coincidence.
For whatever reason, this scene doesn't like me and the audio skips a ton even when I'm not recording. Even editting those out doesn't help because that just causes a massive desync in places that gets worse and isn't even perfect either. Fortunately, there's exactly one video of it already.
Skit: The Songstress
: <<With the moon in the midday sky.. I am lost in your eyes and swept away...>>
: Whoa, not bad! You can sing pretty well yourself!
: Hey, I'll sing too! Listen, listen!
: Well, I guess we should get going.
: Hey! You guys! Listen, come on!
Now's as good a time as any to go check in on the Yggdrasil. Let's go do that!
: Thank goodness.
: But there's still the possibility that mana could dry up, causing magic to vanish from this world along with it.
: We don't have any time to waste, we must defeat Dhaos as soon as possible!
: Oh, that tree girl is about to come out.
: How is the situation with mana?
: For the time being, neither the Spirits nor magic are in any danger of disappearing. At some point in the past, the consumption of mana suddenly returned to normal.
: That's great to hear.
: Yes... However, ebcause of the effects of the previous mana shortage, the Yggdrasil is still very weak.
: Is that right?
: In order to heal this dire wound, I shall soon be forced into a deep slumber.
: Spirits sleep too?
: Naturally. As mana is restored to the land, the Yggdrasil will also begin to recover.
: I hope that you will get better soon.
: Thank you, my dear, sweet daughter. Without you, I could not be here, speaking like this. It is thanks only to your kindness.
: I'm not deserving of such high praise.
: It is, in a way, another part of myself. Nothing would please me more than having this other me be raised by someone just like you.
: By the way, everyone...
: What is it?
: The time for my slumber seems to have arrived. Someone has been visiting here recently, might you know anything about him?
: Can't you at least tell us anything about him?
: I wonder who it could have been.
: He always watches overme with eyes full of affection... Whenever he must leave, his expression is so painful, but he goes just the same.
: What's up? Why did she vanish in the middle?
Cless just asks who it could possibly be attacking them with magic. You'd think he'd have figured this stuff out by now.
: D, Dha, Dhaos!?
: I thought you looked familiar. So you've chased me all the way to the future? No matter how far I go, you annoying pests are there. You will share the same fate as that accursed Midgard!!
: Hmph. Your judgement has been postponed for now.
: W, we're safe...
: I thought we were done for...
: His power now makes his former strength look like nothing.
I'm not sure how you can tell since he didn't even attack. Sometimes I think Klaus just makes shit up to look smarter than he is. This is definitely one of those times.
: In our current condition...
: We don't even stand a chance, right?
: I hate to say it, but the difference in power is too great.
: ...What do you think Dhaos was doing here in the first place?
: You don't think he came here just to kill us?
: I don't believe that's the case.
: Yeah, now that you mention it, he did sound like he was surprised to see us here.
: You don't think maybe the golden haired man that has been visiting here was...
: There's really no way to know for sure.
: But there's a good chance it's true.
: Just what in the world is he after?
: I don't know.
: However, until he noticed us, he didn't seem to have any ill intentions.
: Regardless, we need to hurry and meet with the King of Alvanista.
Yeah, uh, that's gonna wait for a little bit longer. There's still things we have to do!
Note how this scene doesn't change to reflect Suzu in the slightest. The version with her adds her sprite, but that's it. How uninteresting.
Skit: Dhaos is Dead, Long Live Dhaos
: But his power now is nothing like before, he has become immeasurably stronger.
: This time, I'm going to deliver Dhaos' judgement with my own two hands!
: Hold on! As we are, we may not even be able to win...
: That doesn't mean a thing! No matter what! I will take revenge for Ami no matter what!
We haven't actually been back to Edward's mansion since learning about Thor a while back, so let's see what there is here.
Okay that's everything. No, really. The only thing of note here is this. It doesn't actually do anything per se. You select it in the items menu and you can play drums with your controller. How... pointless.
There IS a chef here, but he doesn't teach us a new recipe. He just tells us shit we already know;
Though the narrative green text boxes feel the need to tell us Suzu is a fucking Mary Sue in the kitchen.
There is a whole 1 recipe she could realistically fail to make that takes a bit of a while to master. That's it; she masters the other 23 (Miso Oden doesn't count) either faster than anyone else or tied with Mint/Klaus depending on who does it best.
Next up on "places we've probably forgot about" is Demeter's manse. There's only one item here but it's kinda worth it.
The enemies here aren't particularly taxing but the Specters do cast Tempest (the wing spell pictured) occasionally.
Speaking of Tempest, that's our reward for coming back here. I don't know why you would for it, other than completion's sake, since it's a step down from God Breath which we got ages ago. I guess if you missed God Breath before you might want it? No, wait, you can just go back to Thor to get that so I don't even know.
See? Thor's right there on the world map! First, though, we're off to the Corroded Grotto.
: Oh, that's... I thought maybe there might be something here...
: This is where we made the pact with Undine in my time.
: So this is where Undine was. What's this place called?
: Do you ever shut up? It's Corroded Gratin! Corroded Gratin!
: Wait, just now, what did you call it?
: Don't worry about it... don't worry about it!
: Anyway, all this talk about Gratin has made me hungry.
: (Thinking about the Grotto makes her... hungry?)
: Say, Cless what do you say we grab a bite to eat while we're here?
There is absolutely no way this is going to wrong.
: I just l-o-v-e melon! Melon bread too.
: What is that?
: Ta-da! For the occasion, I pulled out all the stops and prepared my Special Recipe.
: Whoa! That smells pretty good.
: Are you sure this is safe?
: If you've got a problem with it, you don't have to eat it!
: Hey, come on, enough already.
: We won't know how it is until we try it, so let's eat.
: Mint, something strange happened to all the guys...
: Don't eat it, Mint! It's just... not right!
: Arche! Did you ever taste this while you were cooking it!?
: W, what are you trying to say?
: What the hell is this?
: What is it, she says.
: Y, y, you...! You! Arche! This, it has no right to be called food! You XX Cook!
: H, hmph. I'll clear this dishonor from my name before long.
: And just how do you expect to clear this dishonor? You earned every bit of the infamy that comes with it...
Well, that was a strange interlude.
On the dock, there's a chef here who'll teach us another recipe. I guess we got something out of this in the end after all.
At the back of the grotto itself, we can finally upgrade Arche's Ice Tornado spell. Maelstrom isn't the best water spell, though, so we'll be getting rid of this eventually.
In one of the side passages, we can find a bow downgrade for Chester.
Though, to be fair, the Aqua Spread probably would be an upgrade if we didn't get the Elven Bow so early. As it is, though, we'll be selling this later for some capitol.
In the other side path, we can get the Dash Ring. A fundamentally useless accessory, the Dash Ring lets you... run at will in battle. Not run FROM battle, but that little dash thing you see Cless do when enemies are too far away? That. That's what this lets you do whenever you want. This has no use at all, since the Technical Ring does the same thing when you're in Manual control. Dashing at will has a few uses though; it lets you dodge enemy attacks easier and it lets you run through enemies for a few sweet, sweet invincibility frames.
Thor's nearby so let's go there next. We have two things to do here; one of them is to pick up Aska from wherever they are now. The other is in this room we can enter now. We couldn't before because the door was rusted shut.
: I never imagined that such buildings existed in Thor.
: It's still daytime in here, but outside it's dark.
: No doubt more of Thor's technology in action.
: This must be what Thor looked like during its golden age...
The tiny robot constitutes as the chef for Thor. Sure, sure why not?
: An illusion?
: ...I get it! That's an electronic projection device!!
: An electronic what?? What the heck does that mean?
: We cna use this to view the archives of the Ancient Civilizations. The lifestyle of the people of the Ancient Civilizations was completely dependant upon the power of electricity.
This is such a goddamn stupid thing and I swear to god I am not making any of this up. How the fuck does Klaus know that? What makes him so certain about anything he just said? Hell, it's been mentioned that Thor wasn't the only Ancient Civilization so basing them all on this one is not the best idea. Thor might have been super-advanced even for what it is/was. I know this is a really nitpicky complaint, especially given what I said earlier about it looking like Klaus just makes shit up but... come on. You can't say that isn't possible here. It's pretty much a given, even!
...Anyway, the one we're interested in is the first channel here. The other 3 are just infodumps about backstory stuff. I'll come back for them later. The "Game Channel" starts a mini-game called Groovy Arche. What IS Groovy Arche?
A shoot 'em up. Yes, there's a shmup mini-game. Apparently people loved this so much that it became a stand alone cellphone game in Japan. Personally, I think those people are nuts but I don't like shmups and to each his own etc. etc.
Anyway, the point of this mini-game is to get at least 200,000 points in a single run. This has a surprisingly narrow margin of error, or maybe I'm just plain terrible. Whenever you get over 100,000 points you pretty much have to avoid any and all damage since getting hit resets your weapons to their weakest levels. All of your weapons. This sucks and you don't want it. The bar in the top-right, when full, lets you perform a special attack that makes you invincible for a short period of time too but I never seem to remember this.
Okay, we're done here. Let's go get Aska.
OS: <<Reference ID - WOC16527. Otherworldly spiritual being. Primary energy source - UV rays contained in sunlight. Easily weakened by continual exposure to electromagnetic waves. Captured in the skies above Thor at 12:56, the 23rd Day of the 8th Month, Solar Calendar 2543. Underwent two years of experimentation and examination. Later, it was decided that further study would serve no purpose. The Spirit was placed in a cell created to contain both physical and spiritual energies. After that, the cell was cooled to near absolute zero and maintained at a high pressure. End of log.>>
: It seems that Aska is still being held here. OS, is it possible for us to release the Spirit Aska?
OS: <<Voice command accepted. Temporarily isolating Block 3. Releasing Unit 240317.>>
: You are the individuals that released me?
: That's correct. Right now, the fate of the world hangs in the balance. We would like to borrow your power.
: I have a general idea of the state of things. I will grant you my power. Please present the Topaz Ring. My ancient pact is now annulled.
Aska is basically Luna but better (albeit without the space lasers). Same element, naturally, deals much more damage and can't actually miss. Please it deals a good 4,000+ damage to things not even weak to Light. Volt barely deals 3,500 to things weak to Thunder.
Look at it! It's just so beautiful.
Anyway, next stop on our "almost everywhere but Alvanista" tour is Olive. We haven't been there yet.
Chef: After 10 years of endless searching, I've finally discovered th eultimate in spicy dishes. Have you ever had the opportunity to taste genuine Curry?
: Well, um, I have. Curry isn't all that rare, is it?
Chef: Tsk tsk, I asked you if you had tasted Genuine Curry. Genuine Curry has a kick that you can't hope to compare to normal Curry!!
Chef: Young lady, would you like to try some? It's fantastic!
: Is it really?
I, er, I don't think she liked it.
: ...Yes... I am all right... perhaps... I... I like sweet things better.
Skit: Her First Time
: Oh, this was your first time?
: Y, yes. Um, what was the name of this again?
: That spicy dish is a common concoction called curry.
: Excuse me?
: Like I said, a spicy concoction called curry.
In the desert oases, we can find a few new things. Namely a new arcane arte for Cless that costs 40,000 gald.
We can also trade our Brown Card at last. Took long enough, but at least we finally got the last of this sequence.
In the Cavern of Burning Sands, we can get a new arte for Suzu. It's sorta useful for a combo since it lets her pelt things in close range and send them flying across the screen. It also chains perfectly off of her regular attack.
If we didn't have Suzu, a sword for Cless would be in here instead. We can get it elsewhere easily enough but the alternative means of getting Suzu's stuff?
Yeah, that's fucking extortionate. This is CHEAPER than the Red Spider Lily even, but we have to go through Volt's Cave to find this ninja. We can find this arte at the top of the Tower of the Zodiac.
At level 47, Mint picks up one of her last few spells. It revives someone with 25% of their HP restored but holy shit does it cost a lot of TP if you need it. Fortunately, that 26 is without a Fairy Ring.
There's a chance of an enemy in the tower dropping an actual upgrade for Cless. They're nothing exceptional but they're a decent enough upgrade.
At level 50, Cless picks up his second level based title.
He also gets his penultimate level based arte. Despite what the description says about "holy" fire, every hit of it is Fire elemental not Light. Still, it's wonderfully cheap but it's nothing fancy.
Anyway, at the top of the tower Suzu gets an arte that is kind bad. She throws a dagger into the ground where the enemy was when she started, three bolts of lightning hit the dagger, 9 times out 10 it will miss.
At level 40, Cless gets this. Despite what the name would imply, it actually uses the weapon's element. It's kinda gimmicky since it shoots out a bunch of arrows that go up as Chester gains more levels. It fires a maximum of 10. Most of them will probably miss, but the insurance is nice at least.
Okay, I'm getting bored of dicking around now. Let's go fight Odin again.
Now that we have a weapon that can actually deal damage (and have a few more levels under our belt), we might just beat Odin this time.
It's still super-cheap to pound the fuck out of him with him only getting a 10% chance to deal damage. Spell-wise, he can cast Indignation or God Breath but the Reflect Rings can still nullify those 40% of the time. Of course, if you relentlessly attack him that doesn't matter since he won't get a chance to cast them anyway.
If you really want to see him done "normally" then that'll have to wait a little while longer. His spear has a giant fucking reach, sends you flying if it hits you (it will), and when you're hit once there's a good chance he has you locked down until he decides to cast magic or you die; it depends on which comes first. It's still more than doable to pound him with him getting a fair shot too, but you can also come back with armour that isn't the Mithril Mesh and get an outright invincibility against everything he can do. That's just not as fun as there being a risk of it going south anyway.
Odin: Well done. You have proven yourself worthy of the spear of the gods.
But first, let's talk to the Valkyrie. She's gotta be waiting for something.
: I truly enjoyed watching you do battle. If the spear of the gods, Gungnir, is with you, I know it will be in good hands. The Gungnir is stored within the blue chest... But please claim what is in the red chest first.
This is good advice; if you ignore what she says and take the Gungnir first, you're booted out and can't return.
Okay, yes, it is just a statue but it's the principle of the matter. Would you want to play through the entire game again just to get that one item? I wouldn't. I'd end up doing it anyway because that's the kind of thing I, personally, do but I wouldn't want to if I could avoid it.
Anyway, let's take a look at the Gungnir now that we have the third, and final, version of it.
As you'd imagine, the True Gungnir is one of Cless' three ultimate weapons (Sword, Spear and Axe naturally). It's, by far, the best spear; just look at that Thrust. The Slash leaves something to be desired but it's not terrible. Plus, it's non-elemental so it's pretty much ideal for what we're doing next.
Hell, with the Gungnir in hand we could manage all of what we're doing next if it wouldn't make us stupidly overlevelled in the process.
It's time we did this for real. The actual 8 fights haven't changed since we fought Dozo and Okiyo. They're easier now since we have 6 more levels and the Gungnir but I know that's not what you're really interested in.
The Galf Beast isn't a threat at this point. He can still randomly kill you just 'cause, but fighting him, on the whole isn't an issue with the Gungnir. It's kind of an overkill even, but it's deserved. It's all deserved.
Announcer: This time he's finally done it!! With this, our hero has carved his name forever into the history books!!
: That might be a little much...
Now whenever we go back to Japon for the Cave of Ordeals we can see what that lady's deal is.
: Thank you very much.
: Well then, I have something that I wish to ask all of you immediately. This tournament is not simply an event put on to allow individuals to demonstrate their strength. In reality, it is organized in an effort to seek potential candidates for a special task force charged with eliminating Dhaos. We wish to enlist all of you as soon as possible. What do you say?
: Your Majesty, allow me to express our deepest apologies. We are currently on a mission of our own to defeat Dhaos. We're thankful for the offer, but having pursued Dhaos across time, we believe seeing this quest through to the end is our destiny.
: Hm, I see. Then I will say no more. Now then, we will present you with your reward. Please take it with our thanks.
This is certainly one of the better rewards for clearing the arena. It gives you some kind of optimism that they'll all be good, but alas they aren't. We can safely beat the Galf Beast into the ground at this point so he's not a threar any more; all we need to do now is be bothered to sit through this thing 9 more times.
...Yeah, I think this is as good a time as any to finally go find out what the king of Alvanista wants. We've put it off long enough.