Part 6: The Woman Who ReportsPart VI: The Woman Who Reports
Rollo! He's hurt bad!
Don't worry, kid! We're professionals.
He'll be fine.
You know... I hate thunderstorms.
Some scary stuff happened to me during a thunderstorm.
Don't tell anyone, but I think thunderstorms are scary, too.
The air gets all tingly and weird, right?
But how in the world did they gather the resources to recreate the spyrite Volt?
Balan would know. Let's head back to the roof.
Indeed... Well, Ludger doesn't feel like mentioning this, but we've seen this kind of thing before, right? Guess we might as well head back to the roof...
Oh, and a skit pops up right after. Oh, and all the chests you opened are refilled with different items, so do those very easy puzzles again for more goods.
Oh yeah, I hit about 20,000 gald thanks to 3000 in the chest I just opened, so here we go with our first non-mandatory payment, since we technically haven't finished the story content for this chapter.
Oh hey, in the room on the way to the roof, we have our next cat.
Oh, and just as a heads up: you cannot miss any Kitty permanently, so don't you worry about that.
The trouble with spyrites
Nobody's out here...
All clear, Balan. C'mon out.
Your hiding spots haven't changed since we were kids.
Balan finding his way back down, somehow, later...
We never even considered recreating Volt, much less tried to actually pull it off. Honestly, we're still having trouble controlling spyrites at all. We'd be insane to try tackling a Great Spirit.
The tingly guy really was here, right?
Yeah. What the hell was it, then?
Hm, well, I've introduced spyrites before, but hey, let's ask Balan about them. Seems like the guy who could explain a bit more, and I doubt he knows much about Julius...
Well, gaining total control over lesser spirits is possible in theory. But it doesn't really work.
We still have a lot to learn about them.
There's no need to rush. She granted us a reprieve, didn't she?
Referring to Milla, of course. After becoming Maxwell, she's done something or other to increase the life span of spirits from dying off because of spyrix.
Yeah, but it won't last forever.
So...what can you tell us about this Julius guy?
I dunno... He really loves tomatoes?
Sorry. Look, I haven't seen the guy in six months. I was shocked as anyone when I heard about the train hijacking.
Do you have any idea where he might have gone?
Like to Canaan, right?
Canaan, huh? I think he mentioned the place, actually, but I don't remember the details or anything.
It is a sacred place, where souls go to be purified and reincarnated.
Oh, Muzet making an early appearance!
What is that?!
The Spirit Muzet.
She's Milla's big sis!
What are you doing in our realm?
Something was amiss with the soul-purification process. Or so she said. But I lost contact with her after she used my power to exit the spirit realm.
So she's here in the human realm?
Indeed, she should be, but... I guess you haven't seen her. Surely, she would have sought you out if she could. I hope she's all right. I must find her.
Muzet buggers off...
Well, now what?
What's-it-burg! Someone's hunting for scary glasses guy there!
Do you mean Marksburg?
Please, let me come with you.
This is no field trip we're going on, princess... Shouldn't you stay in school?
But, but...if Muzet's here in the human realm, the danger level must be off the charts.
I want to whatever I can to help, that's all.
Count me in, too. Well, y'know, whenever I'm not swamped with work.
The're so many of us now!
But, obviously, it's time to pay back more of our debt to get to Marksburg in the first place (ignoring the fact I can pay the required amount right now, but I'm not, because that would leave me with like 67 gald). Now, we need to return to Trigleph to get started, and the trip back there is boring, unless you talk to this guy. He'll mention a special escort is available for people going from Helioborg to the city. What this means is "Free warp".
As soon as you get back to Trigleph, a Nova scene...
It'll come in super-duper handy if you use it right.
What is it?
It's a family heirloom! My uncle bought it off some home-shopping show, but it ended up gathering dust in the closet. What a waste! Am I right?
So family heirloom's just a fancy word for trash?
Ahahaha... I'm sure Ludger will put it to good use, though.
I...wouldn't count on that, Nova. Auto-Items, I mean, you can set rules for them, but I prefer to use items strategically. The AI is set up to use Gels at the drop of a hat, and before you know it, your stock of items will be all gone. When items can easily be replaced with gald, it's not a big deal, but for now, it is. You can turn off, on, or alter Auto-Item rules in the Strategy tab.
The Rusalle Highroad is the other exit from Helioborg, which leads to the dungeon Tatalian Abyss and the special location Dimensional Breach. You can imagine we'll be going to those locales in the future, but they are WAY out of your league right now. However, it would still be wise to at least make the exit from Helioborg just to open it for Kitty Dispatch. Not a big deal if you don't, however.
Another tough guy, eh? Remember the debt payment is 10000 gald. Victory in this fight more than pays for that. Elite Monsters are just the best.
And here we go.
Compared to our last wonderful boss, this guy is EASY. The only thing she has going for him are the somewhat long range of his claws, his two buddies (who get replaced quickly when they die, but they're not infinite), and his large amount of health.
Reason is, is because EVERY elemental attack against him is a Power Hit. Start of with any elemental arte, and everything after is a Power Hit as well. You can very nearly stun lock him, and there's not much he can do about that.
On the flip side, however, he takes no damage whatsoever from combos starting with non-elemental attacks.
For his allies, the situation is the opposite. Elemental attacks do nothing initially, but a non-elemental strike will start the Power Combo. They're also quite easy to defeat.
Oh yeah, and he also has the same weak point gimmick that the big scorpion did. Still, it's just harder to hit, since he moves around a lot and his body is so large.
One big reason I like this game's battle system quite a bunch? Status effects work, even on bosses! It's just so rare to see, it's like a miracle when it does show up in an RPG. Of course, you won't see this against higher level enemies, but y'know, it's nice to see.
Oh hey, I'm controlling Ludger now. Yep, if you hold L1 and press the D-pad in the direction of the character you want to control, it'll switch control over to them instantly. It's one thing to combine a bunch of Linked Artes in one Over Limit. It's quite another to switch characters mid-combo and control it.
Honestly, though, I've never done this. But just you wait!
Oh please, I didn't have that much trouble with this.
Returning to town...
Jude has the honor of the first character story. Every playable character (except for Ludger, again), has a series of five chapters featuring some subplot involving them. Jude's is, as you might be able to guess, the trials and tribulations of making spyrites work. You'll get cool things and a lot of opportunities to raise character affections by completing these, so it is in your best interest to do them as soon as they come up, which is usually after a chapter's plot events are done, but before you continue the main story.
Trouble in Helioborg...again
I can't answer your call right now, so please leave a message.
So, Jude... Is that your girlfriend?
No, nothing like that. We're just old friends. I can't seem to get her on the phone.
You worried something's wrong?
No, she's probably just busy with work, like always. At least, I hope that's all it is... Did you used to play in this park when you were a kid, Ludger?
Ludger seems a sheltered lad, but even so, the park IS right outside his house. L1 it is, though, as you might imagine, neither choice matters.
Oh, right. Must've been nice. I was an only child.
Jude gets another buzz on his phone...
Dr. Mathis, it's Mary! Those pushy people are skulking around the lab again. The one guy says he has a valuable spirit fossil. He's insisting that you trade him your device for it.
What? Did he say anything else?
Only that it's from one of the Great Spirits. Apparently he got it through "connections". I'd have Director Balan deal with it, but he's at an investors meeting right now. With just us here, we don't know what to do!
Stonewall him, Mary. You're in Helioborg now?
I'll be right there. Don't agree to anything he says, okay? And tell everyone else to do the same.
She sure talks loud.
Sorry. Guess you heard her. I have to go take care of that. That was one of the spyrite researchers in Helioborg. She seemed...a little worked up.
Ludger is a sheltered, but generous lad, so we'll be going with L1. With characters like Jude, it's pretty obvious in most cases what choices will raise his affections. Other characters can be a bit more unpredictable in what they do and don't like.
Are... Are you sure?
I'm going too!
Thanks. In that case, let's get to Helioborg.
So, for all Character Quests in the game, you have to have a select few party members with you at all times (in this case, it's Jude, but since we only have four party members at the moment, we couldn't change our party if we wanted to.
In the party ledger, any character with a padlock next to their portrait means a party member who is important to the story of the chapter and can't be removed from the active party. Ludger is a special case, however. On your first playthrough, he can't be removed from the active party at any point in the game. Once you've defeated the final boss, however, and started the post-game or a New Game+, the padlock is removed from his entry and you can swap him in and out as you please.
Oh, and about this screenshot. I got bonus items as a result as my early payment and it was promptly delivered. I got Kitty Crisps (reduces Kitty Dispatch time), the Mosquito Skill for Ludger (do 1 damage with every attack. Only really good for getting large combos without killing the target).
Gee, thanks Spirius.
And there it is, mandatory debt payment and notification I can go to Marksburg and continue the main story.
Don't mind if I do.
Oh hey, getting distracted by shiny objects helped me out.
Anyway, here we are again. To complete this first character chapter, just head back to the 13th floor lab of the Research Wing again.
After doing just that...
Laying down the law
It's a win-win. I don't see why you even need to bother Dr. Mathis with this.
L-Look, for the last time, our answer is no.
You sure about that? I've heard a few things about this lab, you know. Your research is dead in the water without this. Am I wrong?
I'm Jude Mathis. Sorry to keep you waiting. How might I help you today?
Ah, Dr. Mathis. Just the man I wanted to see. I've got an offer you can't refuse. It's about that device of yours.
I already told you. It's still undergoing clinical trials. We're not ready to accept any offers.
But I heard you've achieved a success rate close to 80% with lesser spirit-class spyrites. That's good enough for practical use. Sign an exclusive distribution deal with us, and you'll find yourselves on Easy Street.
We'll decide when the device is "good enough". A 20% failure rate just doesn't cut it.
Is that so? You're certainly cavalier about your lack of progress. I know how much money has been sunk into this project. Investors aren't exactly the patient type. Of course, I didn't come to a contract negotiation empty-handed.
A Great Spirit... Celsius, perhaps?
Yep. The genuine article, wielded by the leader of Exodus himself.
Former leader, that is. The leader of Exodus, a man by the name of Gilland, was a major boss battle in the first game, when the party raided his vessel with help from Gaius and friends and defeated him. He used Celsius to try and even the odds, with poor results. He also happened to be Alvin's uncle.
Celsius' fossil sank to the bottom of the sea a year ago, in the ruins of the E.S.S Zenethra. The Rieze Maxian government conducted the salvage operation of the Zenethra.
I believe that makes this fossil the property of Rieze Maxia. How'd you end up with it?
.... You certainly know your stuff, Dr. Mathis.
Perhaps it's time for you to leave.
I know when I've worn out my welcome. I'll bid farewell for today. But I hope you'll give my proposal some thought. For the sake of your research.
Consider it a gift. Although you didn't get it from me, of course. Catch my drift?
Take a guess.
I'm fine, thanks. I'm sorry you had to deal with that guy.
Oh, no... I'm totally okay! Thank you so much for coming, Dr. Mathis. Thanks to all of you.
Mary, would you put this in safekeeping for me? I don't know if it really is what he claims, but why take any chances?
Of course. I'll inform Dr. Balan as well.
Thanks, Mary. Let's go.
Back down we go...
Sorry for getting you mixed up in this.
Sometimes you'll get choices that are obvious when it comes to raising a character's affection, sometimes it's much harder to tell. In this case, it's the latter, but L1 increases his affection. Because I didn't know that, I chose R1.
They're getting less subtle with each attempt. We need to figure out how to deal with these guys. I get where they're coming from, but... We just need more data before we can begin full-scale implementation. If we could begin testing it with Great Spirits... No, forget I said that. We can't rush into things unprepared.
However, this should be obvious, as well as being my choice.
Yeah, you're right. We're too close to our goal to risk going off the rails now. It's just that sometimes I lose sight of my convictions. Then I don't know what to do.
Thanks. I'll keep looking for an answer. It's out there somewhere. Thanks for coming along, Ludger. It felt good to have some back-up.
Jude's a total dork, and we love him for it.
Back in Trigleph, I accepted a quest called What Could Have Been, where you have to deliver a Tomato Omelette (Small) to a dude at the train station. Let's see what he has to say...
Thanks a million! I think I can make something new outta this dish.
You work here at the station, right? Are you gonna start serving these in the dining room?
Nah... I just started here. All I make are staff meals for the guys in charge If they like it, though, they might add it to the dining car menu or wrap some up for the lunch boxes at the station. That's how chicken gratin and stewed pork started off before they made it onto the menu...staff meals!
Sounds like such a fun place to work.
Oh, it is! But it's busy! We don't get much break time. They tell us the food we make is the source of economic stimulation in Elympios!
Hard to conduct business on an empty stomach. Well, their stomachs are in good hands.
I guess... I mean, I sorta failed the skills test when they interviewed me... But the guy they hired started a grease fire his first day, and they called me in to take his place! I guess we just play the hand fate deals us and try not to get burned in a grease fire along the way, huh?
Something wrong, Ludger?
I'm actually off today, but I thought I'd pop in and see if I could whip one of these up. Thanks again for our help. To pay you back, I'll let you try some of my cooking! See ya!
Man, in-between grease fires and terrorist incidents, the cafeteria at Trigleph Station seems a death sentence for solid, unexciting employment. Well, while we're in Trigleph Station (after turning in the report and getting the money, of course), let's continue on to Marksburg. We'll find where Julius is eventually!
Nice place, huh? Can't help but feel we've seen something like it before, though...
If she has a star over where she is, she has to be important. Let's see what she has to say, and what connection she to Julius...
As you might guess, depending on which place you visit first, Marksburg or Helioborg, that town's events becomes Chapter 4, and the second place becomes Chapter 5. However, gameplay-wise, you're definitely expected to come here first. Proof positive is coming right up.
The feline caper
Ah! Nothing to see here! Move along!
What the heck are you doing, Leia?
Long time no see.
Elize! And Alvin, too!
Don't forget your pal Teepo!
Were you talking to that kitty?
Not exactly. I need to catch it for a special assignment.
I thought you were a newspaper reporter, Leia. What gives?
I told you. It's a special assignment!
In retrospect, I probably should have gone with R1, even though it wouldn't have raised Leia's affection. However, it is not to be.
Uh-huh. That's his name. Julius Catstantine the Third.
Uh-huh. The third one, apparently. I've been asking all over about this cat.
So the person asking a lot of questions about Julius is Leia.
And this Julius hacks up hairballs. I give Spirius' intel an F, guys.
Now now, we musn't jump to conclusions. Conclusion 1, that may or may not be correct: our older brother, Julius Kresnik, wanted criminal, does not hack up hairballs. Conclusion 2, which also may or may not be correct: that Spirius did not intend for us to capture this cat. Bisley seems a cunning fellow, always two steps ahead of everyone else. For all we know this cat may be integral to whatever's going on.
Anyhow, thanks guys! This cat belogns to our biggest advertiser.
Oh, where're my manners? This is Ludger Kresnik.
My name's Elle. And this here is Rollo.
I'm Leia Rolando. It's a pleasure to meet all of you.
So this bit here, while Bonus Scene: Jude is in the upper left corner, is why I went to Helioborg first. The conditions for acquiring bonus content for normal story scenes is, without exception, I believe, from completing character story chapters before the next chapter's main story content starts.
Just for the record, if you get a scene without bonus content, there's no awkward cut or anything. The scene just proceeds as if the Bonus Scene content was never there.
Guilty as charged. We grew up together.
But not his girlfriend...
Hm? Is she your little sister?
Well, it is kinda her fault we ended up on that train in the first place, and led to this whole mess where we transform into an evil guy with a spear and fighting Great Spirits and our brother, but she's still around, isn't she? L1 it is, and as you might expect, it increases her affection.
Huh?! It is nothing like that! We have a strictly monetary relationship.
Then again, she does have a tendency to get Ludger in trouble like this.
Huh? So, Leia, are you a cat-catcher?
And after she says "Huh?" the Bonus Scene ends.
Huh?! No way! I'm a newspaper reporter! Think of me as a truth-catcher. It's an honorable job!
Speaking of, have you heard anything about the train hijacking?
That right there's the story of the decade. Last I heard, they put out a warrant for that Spirius bigwig... Julius Kresnik, I think? Wait a minute! Julius Kresnik?! Did you step into trouble again?
Uh-huh. Big trouble.
Like super-big trouble.
But Ludger is--
I know, I know... He's a friend of yours. C'mon!
Duval. I have an informant there. She's super-duper in the know. So, I'll introduce you guys.
All right! Now we're getting somewhere!
I'm not sure where we're getting, but okay, I guess...
So Leia's not gonna need nearly a big introduction as Alvin did. Basically her story is she grew up in the same small town Jude did, and they've been friends since they were young. Leia has a definite crush on Jude, as evidenced by a few things in this game and Xillia (namely wanting to learn medicine because Jude was a doctor), but became a reporter seeing as how Jude definitely didn't feel the same (he's married to the job, you see, and helping out virtual strangers on a very bad day).
Oh yeah, and the cat ran off. Leia's not the most hyper competent of characters in this game.
Also, Elle mentions Ivar showing up before this scene pops up (when you try to leave Marksburg via the train station, which also happens to be the only way you can leave for now. You can try proceeding further in, but the way is blocked by rubble and a no go for now.
Actually, Ivar is pretty hard to see before this scene pops up, so the little lady has good eyes.
Take it from me, though. This world is nothing but one big litter box.
He's talking to What's-His-Name the Third!
Quick! Grab that cat for me!
And there it goes...
See that? Even the deadliest creatures run in fear of my mighty weapon! Don't be a 'fraidy cat!
Hmph. I betcha don't even know which end is up on that thing.
Ivar with the Revolver Ocelot "Throwing your sunglasses dramatically" thing and we're off to the second tutorial Ivar fight.
So Hammer Ivar follows basically the same rules Gun Ivar did, except he's way easier. This is the main reason I believe you were meant to come to Marksburg first. The hammer itself is about what you'd expect: slow to wind-up and attack, devastating when it does. It can frequently break an opponent's guard, and attacks in a circle around Ludger with his standard combo, but it provides the crucial third basic element for Ludger's arsenal.
So now, had we all of Ludger's artes, he could achieve our first full Power Combo, but obviously, we do not. As for weapon switching, the standard cycle is Swords -> Hammer -> Gun, looping around to Swords if you press the button a third time. However, you have the chance to set the weapons Ludger starts with in-battle in his equipment screen. Also, when it comes to moving speed, Hammer Ludger is basically the same as Swords, maybe just a *bit* slower.
There's not much to say about the fight itself, however. He's basically a much weaker boss than the Ivar we fought in Helioborg, so feel free to play around with trying to get a 300% combo now while you whittle down his HP.
Ugh... So you do know which end is which. But I'm warning you: Don't go swinging that thing around town! Some people have no consideration, I swear.
So Ivar's working here in Elympios.
What are you going to do about the cat?
I'll wrangle your furball. I've got some business to take care of here, anyway.
That sounds right up your alley, Alvin.
What is that supposed to mean? Ah, but if I use the little spud as bait, I'll catch that cat in no time.
Don't even think about it, little buddy!
Why do you always have to be such a jerk?
Well, okay then, I'll leave you two to it.
I don't mind helping...as long as you don't use Teepo as catnip.
Now, off to Duval!
Yes, off to Duval! To do something or other, I guess. Anyway, I only screenshot this because Claricite is one of many, many materials that you can only get through Kitty Dispatch. Basically, if you take a job for an item you've never seen in a field map, and you've been halfway diligent searching for items in said location, odds are you can only get it through the Dispatch.
And a skit to finish today's adventures off. L1 increases Leia's affection, by the by, though this one of the many skits where the choice made substantially alters the skit's dialogue.
Update 6 victory quotes compilation
Update 6 alternate choices compilation