Part 2: Part II - The Girl Who BeginsPart II - The Girl Who Begins
The next day
Hey, Ludger! You alive in there? Chop-chop! Sleeping in on your first day of work? Smooth move. Somebody's ready for a pep talk from his brother?
Going with L1 here. Gotta get some characterization in early, y'know.
Also, for another reason (which I didn't realize at the time). Julius is one of the three NPCs I promised in the first update that have affection levels. While nothing indicates he likes this choice, trust me, he does have an affection level.
So, what's the point of increasing these levels? Not too much, actually. If his level is high enough by the endgame, you'll get a special pair of swords (that happen to look exactly like the ones Ludger is already using), that have pretty good stats, but otherwise don't have much point at all. Don't worry if you miss out on them, because they're not terribly worth the investment.
Really? I, uh...didn't think you were gonna say yes. You're gonna make a great chef someday, so give each meal your all.
Hey! Don't laugh at me. Anyway, I know they're gonna love your cooking at the station cafeteria. I eat it, and I haven't died yet.
How many Tales protagonists have pets?
Not too many, actually. Off the top of my head, I think of the others, only Lloyd had one. There's something about the way Rollo meows that's cute and yet very unnatural, which results in an appealing character. The furball will be very key to upcoming story developments, so stay tuned.
Looks like Rollo's hungry, too. Let's eat. What's the special today, chef?
Julius likes tomatoes, and he seems like an okay big brother, so why not indulge him as an apology for having to save us from that electric monster thing? L1 increases his affection.
So, trying to butter me up with tomatoes, huh? I'm onto your tricks. Doesn't mean it won't work.
And how about you, Rollo? Fancy some deep-fried canary, maybe? Or how 'bout some diet Kitty Krisps? Gotta lift you from the kness, big boy.
Production will begin today at the Oscore Plant, a joint venture between the government and the Spirius Corporation. The plant's projected output surpasses that of any other facility in Elympios. Industry leaders have high hopes that Oscore's output will stabilize Elympios' food supply. To commemorate the occasion, a ceremonial train will depart from Trigleph Central Station at ten o' clock today.
A ceremonial train, huh? And it leaves right from your new workplace. How's that for a perk? Say, I should really give you something to celebrate your new job, shouldn't I?
Hm, another pointless choice. But hey, I want that snazzy pocketwatch, so let's ask him for it. This game seems to have a clock theme going so far (even if there is no actual time travel in this game).
Fun fact, the pocketwatch on the right is the icon used for the Platinum trophy of this game!
Hey, if it's a watch you want, I'll spring for a new one. Well, how about a nice necktie instead? You'll be dealing with all sorts of folks at the station, you know. Gotta look sharp. Whoops, I've gotta run.
I do believe something odd is going on...
But the clock faded back in, so I guess everything's fine.
Catch you later. You should go, too. A train station employee running late is a pretty big faux pas.
Welcome to Ludger's apartment building, a place we'll be seeing quite a bit of over the course of the game. Right now, you can either proceed down the elevator to continue the game, or you can return to Ludger's apartment to look around for yourself. There's really not much to see there, but you can get a jacket-less version of Ludger's default outfit if you go into his room and investigate the closet. I'll show that later.
Or, you could try to barge into Julius' dwelling, but the door is locked. That is all I will say about it for now. Even if you're brothers, would you want someone snooping around the place you sleep? I think not. Also, despite it being an apartment building, there's not a whole lot of rooms you can go into.
The landlord will be hanging around the lobby or thereabouts the entire game, so if you want to know the state of Ludger's rent payments, don't forget to check in with her.
And this is the park immediately outside. This is actually where the Tales staple of "Big emotional scene prior to fighting the final boss" scene happened in the first Xillia. You can see Trigleph is not a particularly lively place in terms of plant life. Elympios, where Trigleph is, is kinda barren in terms of actual geography, which does not particularly lend itself to interesting environments to explore.
You're the one who wanted to cover this event, Leia! Balan had to call in some favors just to get you a ticket. Me?! I can't write the article for you! Besides, I don't even know which train they're using for the ceremony. Hey!
Seems like this poor fellow, who we DEFINITELY have not seen in a previous Tales game, is in a spot of trouble. Let's be a nice guy.
If you've made a choice that increases affection levels, you'll get a little pop up with their head to indicate as such. This applies to skits, as well, so this is the first and only time I'll show that happening.
Well, yeah, sure. If you don't mind. Thanks a lot. You're a lifesaver. A friend just left me in the lurch.
What happened was that weird effect thing that happened to Julius' watch happened to the girl's watch, and she dropped it.
Hey, mister kitty-cat, do you know where they kepe the big trains around here? Daddy called it "Tri-something Station".
Commercial... District... The station!
Hey, wait! Mister kitty-cat! You're going to the station too?
And our first skit of the game. Skits are divided into three broad category, with [MAIN] applying to skits that either have big storyline relevance or pop up naturally in the course of the main storyline.
Skits are... They're not really something text-only does justice. Even when the video is linked, it's just not the same thing as actually watching them. So, I'll probably keep all skits as video only. But, at the same time, I don't want 8 million videos of a single skit.
What I'll do is I'll post a screenshot of the first part of a skit, then at the end of the update, I'll link a "All Update (2) skits" video that will have all skits + choices in it, just for everyone's viewing convenience. Sound good? Good. However, since this update only has one skit, I guess it gets its own video.
Anyway, for this particular area, the big road leading to the left leads to the Spirius Corporation HQ, which is not somewhere you need to be right now, and there's no point in going elsewhere in the city aside from Trigleph Main Station. Just proceed to the end of the road to make it to the train station.
Update 2 skits
Big man in town
So that's the ceremonial train.
Is that it?
Yes, sir. A message from Vice-Director Rideaux. "Suspicious activity observed in crown. Please take caution."
He's going to attack us here? This'll be some celebration.
We have been expecting you, Mr. Bakur. I'm happy to say our departure is right on schedule.
Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.
Welcome to Trigleph Station. The only thing to note about this screenshot is the green leaf icon indicates an item shop. Fascinating, I know.
First day on the job
Sir, you'll need to follow me to the station manager's office. This young lady just told me you tried to lure her out of the train station.
By the way, Rollo is now almost constantly following her around. It's not long now until the feline is basically another of her accessories.
Hey! You're not going anywhere!
We've been falsely accused by a troublesome little girl and we're late for work, dammit! Time to fight back.
What happened is they struggled for a bit more, before Ludger slugged him right in the jaw.
You wanna play rough?
That other cop doesn't seem that interested in someone resisting arrest, but was that locker always there?
You know, as of this writing, I don't remember what happens if you try to flee the scene, and I'm not quite sure what happens if you let the clock expire. I imagine a choice will be made for you, but whatever. We're headed to that train anyway. Call it destiny.
Edit: if you let the timer run out, the game makes the choice of L1 for you. Guess there's no use in letting it run out in the future.
However, if you're playing the game for the first time, you shouldn't make this choice. For some reason, choosing R1 increases Elle's affection, making her the second NPC with an affection level.
And here we go...
Instead of just the bright, shiny effect, when Ludger touched the touch, it just disappeared. Something very odd is going on with clocks in this game...
Ludger is completely pinned down, so we need to...
This option increases Elle's affection, but that's fine. Makes perfect sense.
Ludger and the mysterious attacker get into a short fistfight.
Is he an agent?
But, the attacker gets the upper hand, and it looks dire, until...
The resulting fight is pretty easy, so let's just skip past it and (correctly) presume I won.
Don't worry... I'm fine.
Huh? What the?
Impressive, Dr. Mathis. Were those Rieze Maxian martial artes? My security team could learn a thing or two from you. Then again, my security team can't channel spirits the way you Rieze Maxians can.
I'm just glad we were both on the same car.
You know, you're not too shabby yourself. My name is Bisley Bakur. I'm CEO of the Spirius Corporation.
Hm, Julius works for Bisley, and it would seem impertinent of us to cause him any trouble by acting like a jerk to the big man. L1 raises Bisley's affection, making him the third and final NPC whose affection level will give you something nice if it's high enough at almost the very end of the game.
Ludger Kresnik, huh? You wouldn't happen to be related to Julius Kresnik, would you?
Wait, your name is Kresnik?
Jude has heard that name before, hence his surprise. In the first game, the first major arc of the story involved a weapon called the Lance of Kresnik, which is what temporarily destroyed the barrier between Rieze Maxia and Elympios. The Lance is named after Kresnik, who was really only known as the Genesis Sage in the first game.
Sir, according to the corporation files, Ludger here is Director Kresnik's younger brother. Though they don't share the same mother.
That's good to know. So you're part of the Spirius family, as it were. Those Exodus bastards have made their move.
Terrorists who want trouble between the two nations.
Exodus is another holdover from the first game. Exodus was a group of Rieze Maxians, decended from Elympions (or were just Elympions who got stuck on the wrong side of the border during some kind of dimensional incident), who wanted to return to their homeland and were prepared to do anything to accomplish this goal. One in their ranks was none other than Alvin, who initially appeared to Jude and friends as a simple freelance mercenary (but no one bought that line, since mercenary work in JRPGs is almost always cover for some other scheme).
However, Alvin has since formally renounced all ties to the group, and with the reunification of the worlds, this is what they've resorted to.
They've targeted us for supporting the government's peaceful policies towards Rieze Maxia. I have no doubt they plan to ram the train straight into Oscore.
Yeah, I guess Ludger isn't a total silent protagonist, but he's almost always limited to grunts or one-word replies.
Wait, you mean this train?!
So now, we have a choice between raising a different character's affection depending on our choice. When it comes to raising NPC affections, you should prioritize Bisley > Julius > Elle, if a choice must be made. For now, I'm going to go with L1, which raises Elle's affection. Technically speaking I shouldn't have done this, but in the playthrough I'm using to record alternate choices, I've carried over affection levels, so it doesn't matter at all what choices I make in the main playthrough.
In this situation, R1 raises Bisley's affection. Ludger isn't subtle with seeking employment, obviously.
Stop the train?! What are you gonna use? Your feet?!
We could if we take control of the engine car.
You'll stop it? This I have to see.
I'll help, too. I have a stake in this.
My name is Jude Mathis. It's a pleasure to meet you, Ludger. C'mon.
Update 2 alternate choices compilation