Part 43: Tales of The Past
Early's roughly to the north-west of Freezikiel. Just like we've been told, it's eternally night time here. This does have the one benefit of being the only place you can see Aselia's moons. At least, when you're in the air and looking roughly north-east.
Skit: The Wrong Expression
: All right, I'll have the Spirit of Light brighten things up. Let's go! Aska!!
: Oh, it got bright all around Aska.
: But... just for a second.
: Well, they have a saying about this too.
: Oh, you mean like <<life is short>>?
: That's not quite how I would've put it.
We'll do that soon enough, but first we have all the tat and whatnot around the tiny city to collect.
Let's start with the last recipe. To say that, it's not very good; it just restores about half your health. It doesn't even cure poison or 1% of TP or anything. Bleh.
For 50,000 Gald we can get one of Cless' last three artes, and the penultimate Arcane one at that. We can't get the other two for a long while; one of them requires being at least level 100 (with an extra bonus requirement...) and you can probably make a safe guess as to when we get the other.
Oh and there's another more important and almost needed reason for coming to this place. You see that soldier to the left?
After a mini scene that consists of "Dhaos is probably here but we don't know for sure" we get this. The Derris Emblem is a super important accessory. We'll need 6 of them, and there's only 5 in chests after the point where we need to use it. You CAN get them as a drop from a whole one thing sometimes if you're lucky but let's not have a rehash of the desert.
In the equipment store we can bug this old guy. He asks us three questions that if we answer "right" he'll give us something for. Now, these questions have no right or wrong answer, per se, due to being, y'know, subjective but the "right" answer is what he wants you to say.
If I was answering what I'd honestly prioritise, it'd be low price. I've bitched about stuff's cost before even if its really, really good (see: Mystic Symbols, Holy Symbols). If something's expensive chances are it's not even worth the price though there's usually one or two exceptions. And even then you can probably get them for free.
I'm guessing this question's asked under the assumption that you're making something as a craftsman and not for fun or whatever, based on the first two options. With that in mind, if something came out terrible or not up to standard or whatever, I'd definitely smash it with a hammer and try again.
"5. Something that isn't an axe."
But seriously, I'm not sure how 1 and 4 are all that different in context. You could reason it as 1 means people who are like a middle-school bully or whatever in which case sticking a sword through their face is definitely a wee bit excessive. I'm especially confused by how 2 and 4 are different in any way; surely if you're using a weapon for protection, it's because you must use it. This one's definitely set out like that to trick you into screwing up. Fortunately, GameFAQs is always there to lend a hand for this kind of thing.
For answering all three "right" we get another card. Hurray! There's only one more of these to go and we could go get it but I'm putting it off because it involves backtracking to a place I really don't want to go to yet.
Anyway, that's enough of that. Let's just go to the inn and endure the giant, giant cutscene that lies ahead.
: Stove, stove...
: What's wrong, Mint?
: Hm? What is it?
: Actually, Cless, um, I have... I have something I wish to talk to you about. I'll be waiting around the other side of the inn. Could you join me when you have a chance?
: Oh, um, yeah...
Notice how she didn't even mention Suzu. Bizarrely, in spite of that this is actually a scene that Suzu changes. Very, very slightly. See if you can guess where!
: Maybe she, um, went for a walk?
: A walk??
: R, right! She said she was going for a walk.
: Why would she want to go for a walk now of all times?
: It's her choice what she does.
: Wouldn't you normally want to take a bath?
: I mean, when it's this cold out...
: But instead, she says she's going for a walk?
: If that's what you want to do, why don't you just go do it?
: But, I mean, it's so boring all by yourself...
: At least we've got the room warmed up a bit.
: I'm never going somewhere so cold again.
: Uwah, it's getting colder again.
: Oh, um, that's...
: I, I'm going to go for a short walk...
: Oh, oh, me too!!
: I, I'd rather go alone.
: Something funny's going on...
: In spite of the cold even Cless-
: Oh, to be so young again.
: You sound like an old man, talking like that.
: You are still in your twenties, right?
: Sure, we'll just leave it at that...
It's true, he is "still" in his twenties (at 29).
: Now then, I've got some free time. What shall I do?
: What're you doing?
: Oh, I'm just entertaining a few mischievous thoughts.
: It is certainly possible. However, I will not permit viewing the future.
: What I want to see is in the past.
: There's something that's been bothering me...
: This is the first time one of my masters has made such a request...
Surprisingly, even with Symphonia's penchant for just stealing stuff straight from this game and then pretending it didn't, what Origin said IS actually true.
: I will agree to this only once.
: Just once...
: Fine, once is all I need.
: What're you up to?
: Now then, where and when do you wish to see?
: Huh? Why?
: It's freezing out there!
: Later I'll treat you to whatever you want, so please...
: Man, what's up with everybody today!?
: Now, what will you do?
: Yes... I understand. However, why would you speak in such a hushed voice? At your age, you have no reason to be embarrassed. Here we go...
: We covered a lot of important points today, so be sure to review.
Pupil: Thank you very much. By the way... When is Klaus going to be coming back? I mean, he beat that Dhaos guy, didn't he? The village elders were so excited when they heard! I thought the whole party would be destroyed in that crazy party!
: I really can't say...
Pupil: Haha, that sounds just like him. We'll see you again tomorrow.
: Yes, I'll see you then.
: Just how much londer do you plan on leaving me with all this work? Still, no matter how long it takes, I'll keep waiting for you.
Maybe I'm just a giant sap but this scene never fails to make me smile.
: What do you want?
: I hope you're not planning on going outside to spy on Cless.
: My godness, I can't believe you...
: Just shut up! It's none of your business what I do.
: Cless is my best friend! That's why it's my business!
: Augh! That's it, I give up! Why are you always starting fights with me!?
: You're the one who started it.
: What are you talking about!? Every single time, you're the one who won't leave me alone!
: It's fine if you hate me or whatever...
: I just wish you'd quit bothering me.
: Who ever said that I hate you!?
: Since... the first time... you saw me...
: Hm... Hey, Chester...
: Let's go outside!
: I'm fine right here.
: Come on, move it, move it.
Chester really was acting like a giant child the entire time. No prizes to anyone who figured this out before, since that amounts to approximately everyone.
: No, it's okay.
: I had a hard time figuring out how to leave alone...
: Can I sit here?
: Yes, please.
: What'd you need to talk to me about?
: Please, look at this.
Time for a flashback...
It's a bit longer than this, but it's just a repeat of the exact same scene from the beginning of the game.
: The very testament to Methodism.
: It's the same as the pair that my mother always wore. She... she's no longer with us, is she?
: ...I'm so sorry.
: Please don't apologize. At that time, if you hadn't hidden my mother's death from me I wouldn't have been able to go on...
: Truly... Thank you...
: Hey, let's go back already.
: It's starting to snow again.
: Just a little longer.
: (Our final battle with Dhaos is at hand.)
: (Father, mother... Right now, I find myself confused.)
: (Father, must a ninja truly be devoid of emotion? When I am with Cless and the others, for some reason I begin to experience strange feelings. Could this... Could this be the weakness of my heart? Mother, what are these feelings?)
: (...I... I do not understand. However...)
: (At least until our final battle is over, I will keep these things locked within my heart so that I may fight. Therefore, I will continue to live as I have. I will press on with no regrets!)
The Earring is one of the best accessories. The only catch is that it's only usable by Mint.
20 Defense, 20 Luck and immunity to non-elemental attacks? At this point, Mint basically has her optimal equipment. Unicorn Horn, Ring Shield, Star Cloak, Star Beret, White Gloves, Earring, Mystic Symbol... Shame she can't use a Fairy Ring with those two but you can make a decision as to whether to use the Earring or Fairy Ring in some situations.
Investigator: I'm with the Alvanista's investigation team, the intelligence division. I'm here because one of the miners claims to have seen an enormous castle not far from here. The mine was built into the side of the mountain, and supposedly he saw the castle from the top of that path.
: That certainly is out of the ordinary.
: All right, let's go check it out.
Investigator: If you heard northwest from this city, you'll find the mine.
We could head northwest, but first...
There's another cave over there to the southeast! We should check that one out first; you never know.
Skit: Dhaos' Castle
: Not like we need to ask... But what do you think?
: It is almost certainly Dhaos' Castle.
: For sure, I'll second that opinion.
: Then for now, we should investiage there.
Even though all of Early itself is eternally night-time, that's not entirely true for the island itself. You can still be on the same island but if you're far enough away from the city then it does become light. Case in point: the cave to the southeast.
Skit: The Pervert King Strikes Again
: He's up to something weird...
: What exactly is going on here?
: Since before, he's been muttering <<Mirald, Mirald>> into that sword. Could it be "that"?
: Hey! Who are you to talk!? When it comes to peeping, you're the worst of all!
: N, no! That was, you know, a reflex...
: Peeping tom, peeping tom!
: You were watching us change too, right? You sicko...
: I, is that true?
: I, it's a lie! You! Cut it out already!
: No! I'm being attacked by a degenerate!
: H, hold it right there!
: Haha, the sure do get along well.
So, this (optional) dungeon has a somewhat annoying gimmick. As you can see from this first little area, you can only see in a limited range around wherever you are.
To make it worse, we need these "Tools of Light" to go further than the second room. In there, there's a little gimmicky puzzle we need to solve before we can get any further. We can't even think of getting them for a while, so we can't do shit here other than fight a few things in this first room that aren't very interesting, challenging or worth it.
Skit: Killing The Mood
: You don't think it was... a ghost?
: Most likely.
: What if it was dad!? Or mom!?
: Maybe it was Rhea's spirit...
: Was it Ami!?
: Father!? Mother!?
: Hahaha, perhaps it was my spirit lingering in this era.
In the cave we actually go to, it's not exactly a "mine" as we were told. It's just two screens of a giant staircase that leads to the top. At least we're not forced to go through another dungeon before reaching something that might not even be there.
Skit: The Final Problem
: The probability that this darkness is related to Dhaos is quite high.
: In that case, the castle that was seen from the mining tunnel northwest of Early...
: I'd say odds are very good that it's Dhaos' Castle.
: Shouldn't we go check it out then?
: Yeah, it's settled.
At the top of the staircase, we find this oddly specifically shaped ledge that's clearly overlooking... nothing. Well, that was disappointing.
: But I don't see a castle anywhere.
: Though if we're to believe what Lundgrom told us, if Dhaos is truly hiding his castle in the folds of time, it shouldn't be visible in this world.
: Most likely, the castle would only appear in this plane when one of his minions enters or leaves...
: In that case, how about using the Eternal Sword?
: With a sword that can control time itself, it should be possible to draw out Dhaos' Castle.
: Okay, let's give it a try!
: All right, it seems we were right on!
: I certainly didn't expect things to go so smoothly though.
: So, how exactly are we going to get all the way over there?
: The wind is too strong, so the Rhea-Birds are out of the question...
: Huh!? The Eternal Sword is glowing...