Part 8: The Man Who ExplainsPart VIII: The Man Who Explains
So our next destination is Aladhi Seahaven, since we're still on the hunt for Julius and came up short in both Marksburg and Helioborg. Marksburg actually is one of two entirely new cities in this game. It was entirely built within the year between the end of Xillia 1 and the beginning of this game, which is damn impressive. It, as this skit explains, is both a literal and figurative bridge between worlds. Right now we're on the Elympios side, so we need to head to the market in the center of the city to pass through to Rieze Maxia.
Also, after you get the go-ahead to head to Aladhi, this Elite Monster pops up in the world. You could go fight him, as soon as you arrive at the seahaven, but trust me, you do not want to do that. I'm as Video Game Bloodthirsty as the next man, but trust me, you are barking up the wrong tree fighting this guy right now.
As soon as you pass into the next area of Marksburg, this pushy man will bother you with this game's crafting system. It works about the same as every crafting system you've ever encountered, and I believe about 100% of the people who are reading this thread right now have run into a crafting system in a video game somewhere, so I believe that's the last I need to talk about that.
The only thing you can make right now is the Reverse Doll, which has been a Tales staple since Tales of Eternia. Basically it's an extra life in battle as long as a character has it equipped when they die. Handy to have in a difficult situation, and can act as a poor man's Life Bottle in a situation where you either forgot to stock up on Life Bottles or a particular fight is sucking up Life Bottles.
Welcome to Rieze Maxia. We've crossed over the bridge, but we still need to take that ship to actually get to our destination. Since there's really nothing to do around here other than search for crafting materials, let's get right on that...
The Dash Man
It's the informant lady!
I'm Jolyne, remember? I just feel horrible about what happened. I don't suppose I could bribe my way back into your good graces?
What are these?
Winged Boots. Just a little somethin' somethin' to lighten your load and make you love me again.
What are you talking about?
Heh... A star reporter like you oughta be able to figure it out. By the way, an agent from Spirius is staying at the inn here. Toodles!
Maybe she should be a reporter.
So the Winged Boots work like this: R2 will cause your on-screen character to begin moving twice as fast across any field, but at the cost of causing your maneuverability to go way down, and if you run into an enemy, you'll start off surrounded. Still, it's much more convenient to traverse maps with this thing. You can also easy the stop of a dash by easing off on R2 instead of just letting go.
Also, Rieze Maxia's progression works quite a bit differently, and the game itself is going to work quite a bit differently now that you've made it here. A lot of Rieze Maxia is pretty open, and you can go to Aladhi Trail on the way to Hamil (where the party first met Elize in the previous game) and continue following that trail for a while. However, we still need to pay off debt to open up the seahavens and travel over more of Rieze Maxia.
Still, though, at this point in the game I wouldn't advise that.
At the inn, our 11th cat. Let's go talk to those Spirius agents chilling over in the corner...
The elite agent Julius
Where does it hurt? I'm a doctor.
Ludger's cellphone rings again...
We've confirmed your arrival at Aladhi Seahaven. Recover the data from the pursuit agent and return to company HQ.
Sorry about that. Here's the data.
But those poor people...
Recovering the data is your top priority. Bring it to HQ immediately.
What's so special about it?
It's a copy of of all the fractured dimension data that the former director Kresnik had collected and analyzed.
Whoa whoa..."fractured dimensions"? And THAT'S what big bro has been up to?
So you had a run-in with Julius.
Yes. We had him outnumbered ten to one, and yet he still decimated us.
But at least we got the data off him. Get it back to HQ. It'll really help us improve our ability to detect Waymarkers.
You all go on ahead. I'll take care of these people.
Need a hand, princess?
I prefer the company of Rowen, thank you.
This old geezer would be honored to help, young mistress.
Hmph, good thing I have thick skin.
In spite of the rather innocuous name, this is a big plot chapter. Anyway, Spirius Corporation is the really really big building in Trigleph we've passed a number of times on the way to the station.
The CEO's favor
Goddamn Spirius has a nice pad... And it has some really funky music, that feels oddly out of place in this game, but I like it. Anyway, we're talking to Vera, the lady who came to came to Ludger's apartment with Bisley and Ivar. She's standing just in front of the front desk.
We've been expecting you, Mr. Kresnik. Please deliver the item in question directly to the CEO himself.
Look at this place!
It's so big and pretty!
Indoor voice, Leia.
Who are these people?
We'll increase Jude, Alvin, and Leia's affections by choosing L1, but I do find the prospect of R1 amusing...
I believe only Mr. Kresnik was invited.
We're a package deal!
I'm Ludger's friend and advisor.
And I'm the acting guardian of these minors.
I'm acting guardian number two!
And I'm... I'm...
One moment, please.
Acting guardian number two, huh?
Look who's talking!
All of you may enter. Mr. Bakur is most impressed by the loyalty you engender in others, Mr. Kresnik.
We automatically get sent to the CEO's floor... Just as a note, I was unable to find any cats even after taking a personal tour of the premises, so they'll have to wait, as I know there are some cats around here. Also, even though it's located in Trigleph, Spirius HQ is treated as a separate location.
The Destroyer of Worlds
Why, Ludger. I've been waiting for you.
Ludger hands over the data disc stolen from Julius...
Thanks. Any leads on your brother's whereabouts?
Well, as it turns out, I have news for you of both varieties: good and bad. Which one first?
I will subvert both Bisley's and everyone in this thread's expectations by wanting to hear the good news first! But if everyone was expecting me to subvert their expectations, does that mean I'm actually playing into everyone's hands?
Oh, and both choices will raise Bisley's affection.
Don't act so surprised; it makes perfect sense. I've been keeping my eye on you this whole time. You never back down from difficult situations. More importantly, you have the strength to face them.
I'd wager you've been doing more than just keeping an eye on him.
You've been testing Ludger.
You can't get the true measure of a man by observing from a distance.
You said there was bad news, too.
Mr. Kresnik's going on the police's most-wanted list.
So they're gonna throw Ludger in jail?
Your life's about to get a lot tougher. But if you become one of my agents, I'll keep the police off your back. Even if I have to get pushy.
He doesn't even have a choice! This is blackmail!
I failed to mention that an agent's salary is considerable. You'll be killing two birds with one stone. You can avoid arrest and pay off that massive loan overnight--provided you show me results, of course.
What kind of results?
Surely you've noticed them.
Worlds like ours, but not?
There are offshoots. When one of these appears, it disperses soul energy from the prime dimension...our dimension, in other words.
Wait, it disperses? That can't be good.
And what happens if we don't do anything about it?
Ultimately? Souls will vanish from the prime dimension. Of course, this means humans will die out as well.
Whoa, whoa... Time out.
This all sounds pretty far-fetched.
Elympios going dry. The failure of spyrite technology. What if I were to tell you those effects were caused by the loss of soul energy from the prime dimension?
It can't be true!
Oh, but it is. Spirius has been working to save our world by eliminating its counterparts in the fractured dimensions.
How could you possibly eliminate an entire world?
That is a question for our friend Ludger here. His chromatus transformation has the power we need to infiltrate and destroy these parasitic realities.
The power to destroy a world.
No fair! I have no idea what everybody's talking about!
Ludger, for the sake of this world, the true world, you must help us.
Apparently both of these choices will also increase Bisley's affection, but hey, in for a penny, in for one hell of a pound.
Don't let me down.
One thing I still don't get. What's causing these fractured dimensions?
It's not a what. It's a who.
A Great Spirit of Canaan.
The Land of Canaan?!
Another Great Spirit?!
There is nothing to fear. We have in our possession the power needed to oppose him. Come to the underground training area, and I will show you how to wield it.
And Bisley saunters off...
But, are you sure about this?
Ludger is a man of action, so R1 it is, but not the choice you should make to increase Leia's affection.
Your brother was a top agent too, right? I bet that talent just runs in the Kresnik family.
What, a talent for destroying worlds?
I'm talking about raw talent! Companies appreciate that stuff! I wish I had that...
Ludger seems skeptical, however, and the scene fades out...
Well, that was some pretty heavy stuff. So, all the times we've gone to the weird Filter World, that was one of the offshoot dimensions that Bisley was talking about. The world where we fought the evil Rowen and all the people he mentioned were dead, the world where Volt was still an out of control spyrite, and the world where we fought Evil Julius and Nova was an accomplished fighter were all not the real world at all.
And what's more, it seems our brother knew about all this and has been working for Spirius in the capacity of destroying worlds for a while now (the alternate choice where Ludger asks about Julius confirms this). Don't ever ask me about my business, indeed...
On top of that, more Great Spirits! Seems Maxwell might not be the Lord of Spirits at all, but we're still painfully in the dark as to why this is all happening. Maybe after chatting about the big man a bit more, and meeting him in the underground training area will shed some light on things. Oh, and I definitely chose the best option in this skit. Also, your first instinct as an RPG player may be to rummage through the CEO's desk, but there's nothing there of interest...for now.
Oh yeah, and my skit choice was funny.
On the floor below Bisley's (actually like 10 floors below if the elevator is accurate), there's this little room. I may or may not be screenshotting this for later use...
Other fun things to do in this room include stealing someone's ramen lunch off one of the desks, and talking with this woman.
So, for some reason, they decided to stick this important bit of info with a very easily-missed NPC. Not sure why, but at least it gives us an idea what exactly happened with Julius on that train with the watches, but...haven't we seen another watch not belonging to Julius or Ludger before?
It's also a bit weird to think about. The clock obviously is real, but how does being born with a clock work in the first place? Also, according to this woman, the clock's mechanism is simple enough, but there's a spell embedded in it or something that allows the Chromatus powers.
Moving on, the elevator to the underground is opposite the elevator on the main floor. Let's see what ol' Bisley has in store for us.
You'll have to train the hard way. Actual combat.
When the clock in the lower right is finished charging, follow these instructions to activate a one-man pain train a la Ludger Will Kresnik. You can activate it while Ludger is in any state other than KO (so, being staggered, mid-combo, in the air, on the ground, etc.). There are a number of cool things about the Chromatus.
Invincibility: you cannot die while using the Chromatus. The new clock in the lower right indicates how long Ludger can use the Chromatus before going back to normal. Getting hit by enemy attacks will decrease it faster, but it will naturally go down on its own. Note that the time reduced by enemy attacks increases depending on the power of the attack. Some enemy attacks can be so powerful that if you get hit by it, you'll instantly get taken out.
New attacks: all of Ludger's basic attacks and combos are different while using the Chromatus. They're all variations of X and O, though, so nothing complicated. Also, circle will launch different artes, such as forward circle launching Falling Snow, which is a single hit attack that dashes right through an enemy. Because it comes out so fast, you can continue a combo indefinitely on a large enemy by just using it over and over again.
But, I am a dreamer, and you can do better than that. A basic combo of X X X X X followed by a sidestep (there's no AC in Chromatus mode) will allow you to continue that combo, and that is an infinite combo in and of itself, and allows you to continue that combo on any size of enemy. Try it out! You don't want to press X six times because that'll launch a special arte that will knock the enemy away and allow them to recover and end the combo. Also, a Power Combo, if any, is carried over into a Chromatus usage. If you are attacking a single enemy, get a 9x Power Combo, and activate Chromatus, you can kick the ass of even the toughest of foes in this game, as long as you're not interrupted. Oh, also, you don't stagger at all with the Chromatus, AND the Power Combo meter will not go down. It's just awesome.
Carrying over: the Chromatus charges while Ludger is taking action (and not just free running, which would be pretty broken), and carries over that charge between battles. So, whenever you're fighting an Elite Monster, and you want every advantage you can get, fight some trash mobs to charge it up and then fight them.
S-Something's wrong with Ludger!
That's enough for now. Still no match for Julius, though.
So that's a chromatus.
Where'd Ludger learn that trick?
It's a family trait. He's one of Kresnik's descendants. See his watch? It's a Kresnik heirloom, passed down for generations. It's the key to the transformation. Though it would seem Julius has been using yours all this time.
That's not Ludger's... It's my daddy's.
Seems Elle still hasn't put the pieces together yet... Julius had the same watch Elle's father did, so...
We're talking about Kresnik the Genesis Sage, right? The one who wielded the Lance of Will?
The Sage Kresnik? Yes, I seem to recall that name from Rieze Maxian legend.
So the tale is different in Elympios?
If Kresnik wasn't a sage, what was he?
A wretched plaything for the spirits.
But Kresnik's curse is humanity's weapon. And you, Ludger, will master it.
I will contact you when we detect a new fractured dimension. Until then, rest up.
Nova gives us a dial...
Look, Ludger, I really hate to bring this up, but...you've been neglecting your loan payments lately. Nobody likes a financial deadbeat.
Hey! I know it's your job, Nova, and I don't blame you, but this is patently untrue.
So much for resting up.
After that scene ends, you gain access to the skills Kresnik and Speed Spoils. The former increases the amount of time you spend transformed (by like 5 seconds, I believe), and Speed Spoils gives you 2x more elemental orbs if you defeat Speed-type enemies while transformed.
For this skit, R1 raises Elle's affection. It's hard to disagree, honestly.
After you leave, Vera has a short scene where she gives you a World Map. The main usefulness of this item is warping around any locale you've visited instantly. Very handy, and if there's a special job or a character quest chapter in a specific town, they'll be clearly indicated as such (green ! for the former, pink ! for the latter).
And our full world map. We don't have many places we can go in Rieze Maxia just yet, but we've only got one more town in Elympios that we can go to, honestly. However, that's not for a *long* time.
So, after we end Chapter 6's plot content, we've got three new Elite Monsters (remember, Heavy Claw was added before) to kill. Siennabronc is a special case in that it will go to a number of different areas in Rieze Maxia, without sticking around at one in particular. However, if you know where it spawns in a specific area (for example, the Xagut Floodmeadows), you can go back and forth between screens to make it spawn in that particular area.
However, right now, don't sweat it. Siennabronc is very powerful and you're not really meant to fight it right now. However, you can handle the other three, with the power of the Chromatus. Now then, the debt payment this time is 50,000 Gald, and at this point in the game I have about 9,800, so I've got a bit of a climb.
However, while we're in Duval, let's start Alvin's character story.
Life of a salesman
Got some time to kill?
Uh-oh. He's about to ask a favor, and it's not gonna be pretty.
Those reporter's instincts of yours are right on the money.
Now he's just kissing up. This favor must be a doozy.
I'm about to go to work, is all. Mind lending a hand?
You'd never guess from looking at hi, but Alvin's actually a fruit merchant. He buys his stuff fresh from Rieze Maxia and wholesales it to grocers in Elympios.
We just got started, so we're still in the early stages of making connections and nabbing clients. I could use some help.
It's Alvin, everyone!
You're a real sport. Thanks. Just pretend you're shoppers passing by and follow my lead, okay?
This sounds like a racket.
Great! I'll go work my magic. Remember, we don't know each other!
What're we getting into?
Huh, this oughta be simple enough...
I doubt they'd even know the difference.
Care to try some samples?
They have a few samples...
What do you think? Notice a difference between 'em?
Hmm... The one on the right's nice and sweet. The one on the left...not so much.
Hmm. You think so, huh? What about you, sir? Which do you prefer?
Again, it's Alvin. A better bro we couldn't ask for.
What'd I tell you?
Okay, you sold me. I'll start stocking your poranges on a trial basis.
A wise businessman!
I know that voice...
That's for us to decide, bub. Don't you Rieze Maxians understand the concept of boundaries?
That's why I'm here! I've come to negotiate a partnership with Skylark Exchange.
Whatever. No one wants your crap.
Please let me talk to Mr. Arthus at Skylark Exchange.
Weren't we clear?
We're not about to let any stray lead hit the Skylark Exchange. The Rieze Maxian and his friends, though... That's a different story.
You maniacs would risk a bloodbath on public streets?! Prepare for judgment from an elite junior agent of the Spirius Corporation! Oh... You guys. Why am I not surprised?
Hey! We haven't done anything...
Enough of your lies!
Our first real fight with Ivar! He's actually pretty tough, since he has a lot of high-damage attacks, and attacks that hit a wide area. Just be aware of his artes, which you've seen a lot of before in the Gun and Hammer Ivar fights. Just be sure to start off with Azure Edge (he's weak to Wind), and play it smart with Power Combos.
Of course, no harm in showing Junior here what a real Spirius agent can do.
Ivar used Light Spear four times in a row, and started it off with Dragon Spear, which seems to be basically the same attack...
Jude here has gone loco, thanks to one of Ivar's attacks. When affected, the victim will randomly attack you or the enemies, and you have absolutely no control over affected character(s) unless you either clear the status effect with a Panacea Bottle or the afflicted gets KO'd. Jude's not exactly dangerous, so we can just ignore him until it passes.
Pretty solid payoff all-around, really.
Uh, Ivar, maybe you should mosey off.
Hello, officer? I'd like to report a nutcase swinging swords at people. Yeah. He keeps saying he's an agent or something.
Ivar then dashes off in a flash...
What a weirdo.
Some people just never change.
At least you're safe. You gotta be sure to watch yourself around here.
What is this? So you all know each other?
No, no, w're just...getting acquainted.
Right, then. Sorry for you, but the deal's off.
Aww, I'm sorry. You had him hooked, too.
No biggie. Plenty more potential customers where he came from.
Did you blow another deal?
Huh? Oh, that was nothing. Don't worry about it.
You sure? You've lied through your teeth so much that it makes me wonder if you're ever telling the truth. Anyhow, I've gotta run.
He didn't really mean that.
Maybe he's right.
Well, Yurgen's not exactly wrong about the lies, but Alvin's a good guy at heart.
He's right. You wouldn't care what he thinks if the job wasn't important to you.
Come on! I wouldn't go that far!
Heh. Yeah, let's not do that again.
Well, so much for the job. Didn't exactly work out, but thanks.
No problem, man
Alternate choices compilation