Part 15: The Man Who UnderstandsPart XV: The Man Who Understands
So, as you might expect we've got a ton of new jobs / character quests to take care of after finishing the chapter. Let's start that long road here in Duval, continuing Alvin's story.
Hey. How's it hanging?
Of course, the inquisitive remark on the right is what you want to raise Alvin's affection. Not what I went with...
Trying to make money, of course. It would help if my partner showed up.
Right on time, Vera calls. I doubt that's who Alvin had in mind...
Vera from the DODA. We've detected a new fractured dimension.
Great timing, as always.
It's my job.
Please review the coordinates that I've sent you. The rift appears to be in Duval. I look forward to hearing your report.
They found a new one for you, huh?
You gonna take the gig?
I wonder what sorta dimension this one'll be?
Trying to entice me into coming along, huh?
Heh. It worked.
So this character chapter, like Elize and Milla chapter 1, has no fighting whatsoever in it, unless you want to, that is. Let's get the skinny on what's going...
This guy is referring to the Rieze Maxian-Elympion pair (Yurgen and Alvin respectively), of course. Seems the Alvin and Yurgen of this world are a highly successful merchant duo, and that Yurgen is getting married to Isla, who was fiancee in the first game, but passed away (at least from what I remember. That's one subplot I'm kinda murky on the whole details on). So, all in all a not too shabby fractured dimension.
Ah...so we're going to be going after a pile of rocks? Interesting. Well, it wouldn't be the first time I've fought a stationary, non-violent, pile of rocks as a "boss fight" in a JRPG. Anyway, after you get this message Yurgen will be standing just outside the train station.
An unsettling development
Did you already finish the delivery?
Yeah, about that... The delivery date's changed. Something about a scheduling conflict.
Really? That's awfully sudden. Oh, isn't that Leia? What've you been up to?
Oh, hey... You know, work and stuff.
That reminds me, how's Isla doing?
Pretty well, considering. Baby's doing great, too. Kicking up a storm.
You're having a little baby?!
Well, it's only polite.
Thanks. I can hardly believe it myself.
Hightail it home already! I'll hold down the fort here. Your old lady's probably eating everything in sight.
You're sure you can handle things?
Trust me. I've got this. I'll check over the inventory and everything. You got the key?
Yurgen hands it over...
You're a good partner. Thanks.
Alvin looks troubled over something. Not hard to see why, but we might as well make sure with him. I cannot say my motives were entirely altruistic for this choice, however...
Nah... Just thinking about the past.
Are you okay?
Couldn't be better. Except I feel like a jerk for lying to the guy.
Aww, is someone worried about me?
Not if you're gonna make fun of me for it!
Well there's no point in you feeling down about it. Besides... We haven't even gotten to the hard part yet.
The key Yurgen gave us is for a storage room in Helioborg, so that's where we're going next. I find it funny that Leia mentioned trying not to get lost this time, where the biggest part of this challenge is getting lost in Helioborg looking for the damn room. At least it was that way for me. Anyway, skit (plus Alvin's affection increase choice), before we hit the road yet again.
However, we do have a cool optional scene to take in before we head to Helioborg. That's a good question, too. To trigger it, just head to the front door of Ludger's apartment building.
An alternate side
Well, this is an unexpected guest.
In spite of his tough-guy exterior, Alvin's a total softie, especially when it comes to people who call him a "friend".
Sorry for just dropping in.
Any friend of Ludger's... So, business seems to be booming?
Yeah, no complaints.
Who'd have thought Little Alfie Cries-a-Lot would become such a big deal.
Uh... Come again?
Have you forgotten? You used to tell me everything. Of course, you were a lot littler then. I remember when Balan used to make fun of you for being shorter than all the neighborhood girls.
He always had all the brains, even as a kid. I doubt you ever outwitted him.
Catch you later, Alfie. Don't let Ludger do anything I wouldn't do.
What was that about?
Well, that was odd, that Julius and Alvin know each other in this dimension. Might as well mention that to him. Maybe ol' Alvin is keeping something from us.
I'm as confused as you are. Now that I think about it... When I was younger...this older kid used to babysit us. And he was always humming that song.
So your babysitter was Julius?!
Just because it was Julius here doesn't mean it's true in every dimension. But there can't be that many people who knew me when I was kid. Wow, can't say I expected this.
No one could, Alfie... Anyway, onto Helioborg.
So the warehouse is on the first floor of the Development Wing, i.e. the building with the elevator. It took me like 15 minutes to find this damn place...
On a different path
Quite a haul! Someone's been busy.
What are you doing?!
Hey, relax! What's the problem?
The buyer never got his goods! Why, Alvin? Why did you lie to me? What were you thinking?
How can you do this so casually...
Stop! Why, Alvin? You traitor!
Sorry man. It's gotta be this way.
Oh, hey... What's up?
Listen, about before... I'm sorry about what I said. I never meant to imply I didn't trust you.
I was kind of a jerk about it.
Well...you weren't exactly wrong. It's true that I tell lies like it's no big deal.
I was afraid it sounded like that. I'm sorry.
Quit apologizing! Sorry.
It's okay. Anyway, I just wanted to say that. I didn't mean to interrupt.
Yurgen takes off...
It's easy when I'm just telling people what they want to hear, but when I try to get along for real... I'm pathetic.
C'mon. We're not gonna kick a guy when he's down.
You got the do-gooder thing going on too, huh? Guess I'll never escape getting pep talks from kids. Guess I'll just have to redeem myself the hard way, through honest work. I don't have to hit it big from mining ore to make my business a success.
That's the spirit man... Anyway, 20,000 gald is our reward for finishing up that chapter, but we've got quite a bit more work to do this chapter, even though the required payment is 100,000 to proceed with the game.
Maybe not the spirit, though...
Elle's fascination with books continues, sometimes in strange directions.
Next up, returning to the Deepwood (the North region, to be specific). We have an Elite Monster that has sprung from the earth since the end of Chapter 8, and we need to do a bit of pruning for a sizable monetary reward. The monster itself is at the same cliff that I showed you the nice view of the last time we were here.
Yikes... Ghastly Stump
In spite of his size, and very powerful attacks, this is one of the easiest bosses in the game. His vulnerability is to Fire, which explains Gaius' presence, and just is the world's biggest punching bug. It's even really easy to heavy stun him and knock him to the ground, which makes this even easier.
It really is almost insulting how easy he is. Oh well, an easy 40,000 gald and 12,000 merit points for me.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Nova...oh well, we need to be in the Sharilton area anyway for the next Elite Monster. Oh yeah, and we have our skit. Vera is telling us to head to Aladhi Seahaven to make contact with Rideaux's pursuit team to go after Julius. Yeah, we'll get right on that.
Like I said, we have an Elite Monster to take care of first, among other errands. Arrow Folzam
So this guy, if you tried a straight fight, would be extremely hard: he flies around, throws out status effects constantly, and is generally really powerful. However, he does have one critical weakness: when he uses a move called Trample Drop, he'll zoom off-screen high into the sky, then drops down on a target. If he does not hit anyone, he'll get stuck momentarily, then a few hits (he's vulnerable to Fire, which is why Gaius is here again) later, you'll heavy stun him and you'll be free to kick his ass. There's really nothing to this fight other than that.
And yep, after 3-4 times of getting a heavy stun, you should be able to take him down, or at least take his health 85-90% down. A little rough, and you have to know the gimmick, but his failure is complete. Also, speaking of Sharilton and the Cumar Trail, we have one more thing to do around here...
Back in town
Rowen, you're back! Lady Driselle has been worried sick about you. Please, pay her a visit so she knows you're okay.
Why, I intend to do just that. Ah, Ludger. I should probably explain.
I once served Lady Driselle. She's an heiress of the Sharil family that has long ruled this city. I was just about to visit the manor and pay my regards to her, in fact.
Hey! We wanna go!
I want to see her, too! You should come with us!
I seem to recall L1 raising Rowen's affection and R1 Elize's, but it seems I was mistaken, and L1 does nothing of consequence. Of course, if you can raise affection you should, no matter the character..
Edit: I got this right initially, thinking L1 raised Rowen's and R1 raised Elize's, when the guide I'm using saying R1 is the only worthwhile choice, because it raised Elize's affection without mentioning the Rowen choice. I was right the first time.
Hee hee. I'm glad you're coming with us!
Ludger will do our bidding!
Ho ho ho. It's settled then. Hm, pardon me a moment. I must respond to this text.
Rowen types up a storm. You know, I like using my phone to type stuff, but the auto-correct is so sensitive. It doesn't even like "I'm"!
Do forgive me.
However, as soon as you approach the manor, another scene...
Please, go on ahead without me. I'll follow shortly.
What is it?
Oh, nothing important. It won't take but a moment.
He sure left in a hurry.
What's ol' beardo up to?
I'm sure Rowen, if he were here, would appreciate the concern L1 shows.
He did say to go without him, but I dunno.
Yeah, I'm worried about him. Let's hurry. He went towards the Culmar Trail.
The cost of doing business
Well, he sure didn't get too far.
Ludger... I wish you'd gone ahead as I asked.
Another easy choice.
I shall feel this tomorrow, but no injuries of consequence. Thank you.
Did these people attack you? But why?
They're from a group of extremists who oppose peace between the realms. They don't seem particularly fond of me. I took the opportunity to settle our political differences. At their insistence, of course.
Well, if neither choice raises affection, might as well add our own commentary on things.
Those proposing radical change never take the safe path. I was fully prepared to contend with this level of resistance. At my age, I have little time for regrets. I will give this cause everything I have.
Pardon me. I've received another message. Ah, if it isn't Marcia.
Marcia the Chancellor?!
You two are pen pals?!
Incidentally, yes. I reached out to her after the last fractured-dimension incident. I'm happy to say that now, we like to exchange messages from time to time.
Of course, we must acknowledge Rowen still has some skills, even at his age.
It's not like we're exchanging state secrets. We just discuss the works of Bradbury and such. Charming.
So what does the message say?
I'll read it aloud.
"We've received intel that Elympion extremists intend to make an attempt on your life. Please respond with your current whereabouts immediately. I will do everything I can to help."
You sure are Mr. Unpopularity!
Wait... But help's on the way, right?
No help will be forthcoming. I have declined her offer.
What?! Are you nuts?!
I know that she means well. And for that, I am most grateful. Yet I fear the opponents of peace might take advantage of the situation to undermine the diplomatic process. Therefore...
However, we're quickly surrounded...
They're already here?!
Things are moving too fast!
Time to take out the trash.
That was scary. Oh... Thanks.
Ah, Chancellor Marcia.
What's it say?!
"Part of me wants to call you a fool, but... I know that's not true. I had the same concerns as you. Be safe, Rowen. I look forward to sitting opposite each other at the next diplomatic conference. P.S. You are a most impressive man, as is this King Gaius you so honorably serve."
It sounds like you've really gotten the Chancellor to trust you and Gaius.
How I wish I could believe that...
L1 raises his affection, but R1 to cheer him up, as it were.
He's right! At your age, you need all the heart you've got left!
After all, "Widespread joy is a greater joy for all." Right?
Thank you, everyone. Now, I do believe we're late for an appointment with Lady Driselle.
Let's not keep her waiting!
And keep her waiting I did not...
The Lady of Sharilton
It's so good to be home!
You both look well. What a relief!
We happened to be in the neighborhood, so we thought we might impose upon you for a moment.
You know you're always welcome here. And you too, Ludger.
What about me and Rollo?
Of course, I'm delighted to see you, too!
You have the best timing. I've been planning a little activity I was hoping to share with you.
What do you have planned, milady?
Well, you see...
Woo, what could it be?
It's a time capsule!
A time capsule?
I'm sure Ludger knows what one is, so I don't think we'll have to ask. I'm sure Rowen will appreciate the sentiment for L1, and I was right.
Of course. The more, the merrier!
What's a time capsule?
It's a casket filled with all sorts of items. We'll bury it and dig it up years from now for nostalgia's sake. It's great fun!
Hey, that does sound like fun!
But why the sudden interest in time capsules?
It's not sudden. I've been planning this for ages. I wanted to do something together that we'd all remember.
Something unforgettable... I love it.
Then it's settled! Everyone pick something you're willing to part with for a while.
What should we bury?
How 'bout you, Teepo?
No way! I'm claustrophobic!
Didn't stop Elize from putting Teepo in a small box and putting him away in Xillia 1's epilogue video, though. I kinda don't think they intended for this game to exist in the first place after Namco-Bandai was done with the first game, but by all accounts Xillia 1 was a huge success, so here we are.
Hmm, what should I choose?
The harder your decision, the more memorable it'll be!
Ho ho ho. Very well said, Lady Driselle.
Okay, go figure out what you'd like to have buried, everyone!
But before we make this oh-so-critical decision, we have Rowen's second affection skit. Apparently Ludger is 20. Guess they do say... Well, he's old enough to drink in Japan, and I believe a few states, so I guess Ludger can indulge with some alcohol if Alvin brings him out drinking sometime, or decides to pal around with ol' Erston.
Bugger...after making the skit I forgot to include it. Next time.
There's really no need to sweat this decision, though Driselle's enthusiasm is appreciated.
And this is why. All of these items are utterly worthless to me now, so choose whatever. I chose the Blades for their nostalgia value, as it were.
Great, everyone's ready! Let's bury the capsule right here.
How long do you intend to leave it buried, Lady Driselle?
Good question... I figure an even decade will do.
You'll be a grown-up, Elize!
I'm afraid I might not be around.
Hush, Rowen! This just means you're stuck staying alive for at least another decade. I expect you back here in ten years, no matter what!
That's an order!
Hehe, ten years... I hope the time flies by! I wonder what the world will be like then?
And that's that. Not to give away *too* much, but that's not the last we'll be hearing about that time capsule this thread. Anyway, for now...
We're headed to the Lakutam Seahaven, to head to Kanbalar for real. Along the way, we'll have to pass through a town called Xian Du, which has another path that leads from it. We won't be taking the latter part, and will leave the Kanbalar area as our last stop this chapter. In any case, once you've captured this kitty and have stocked up on new weapons / armor / accessories as you see appropriate, time to hit the trails again.
So, another trail, another lotta nothing to talk about. We do have a cat, hidden in a cave.
This one, to be exact, in the second-to-last region of the trail. This cat in particular is called Sir Meows-a-Lot. I'm pretty sure people have been making Lancelot jokes ever since he was a thing in Arthurian legend.
And here we are. Shortly after entering, you'll get a skit, followed shortly by another, where Rowen reveals a terrible secret of Gaius'. Gaius fighting spirit is as sharp as ever, and of course, one cannot overlook the massive coliseum in plain sight upon entering. If you know anything about Tales games, you know there's gonna be a cameo battle sooner or later. This game...has quite a few special battles that take place there.
There is one in particular, THE cameo battle of this game, that is the final boss of this game in every sense of the term, except for the plot. Basically, you have to overcome every OTHER challenge in the game to earn the right to an audience with this battle, and it's going to be one of the very last things I do in this thread.
Down near the boat that will take you to the coliseum, there is a cat in a fight for its life. It would be unseemly of us to leave it to its fate.
Like I said, a kindly ferryman is the only way to get to the coliseum, and once there, you can sign up for a 2-party member team battle against a gauntlet of monsters. This fight is...actually really hard. Gaius is an excellent choice because of Calamity Stance insta-killing monsters, but once you hit the last stage of the fight, you'll be constantly bombarded by spells and it just turns into a big ol' mess. Well, you can assess my performance from this video.
Oh yeah, and this dragon? It too can be a victim to Calamity Stance, amazingly enough. Also, even if you do complete this challenge (and there's really no need to at this point in the game), this is the only fight you can participate in for now.
One of the passages from Xian Du leads to...
Oh hey, we've been here before. As you might expect, almost all enemies here are weak to Fire, so anyone who can exploit that is a good choice here. Rowen...is not.
When you get to a split path, take the right branch, and you'll end up in an ice cave. After traveling through (head straight, then look for a cave path on the right to proceed to the more wide-open area...
In the following area, there's nothing particularly notable, except for this field of flowers. If I remember Elize's backstory correctly, this is where the house she lived with her parents was located before it was destroyed, her parents were killed, and she was adopted by the criminal Jiao (who, as mentioned, was one of the Chimeriad), and moved into her house in Hamil. I believe there's only a few Princessias you can actually get in the course of a single playthrough.
Other than that, unless I'm mistaken / it shows up at some point, there are no cats in this area.
Before you get back on your way, don't forget this easy-to-miss cat. Now how did you get up there, detective? Also, this cat has a collar on it, which is good for one of the cat postings on the job board.
The greatest ingredient
After making it to Kanbalar, we have Milla's chapter. However, do feel free to case Kanbalar quite a bit, even Castle Gaius. After all, we are buds with its master, aren't we?
Found you. Come with me.
Are we playing hide and seek?
Nope. Try again. We're heading out. Make sure your gear's in order.
Mind telling us where we're going?
Someplace in the neighborhood.
Why are we going there?
To get a bear paw!
Correct. I heard they live nearby. You can make a world-class soup stock out of a bear's paw, you know. I'm talking grade-A gourmet.
Wait... Do you mean the ones that live in the Nala Lava Tubes?
Oh, you've seen one? Is it cute and fluffy?
Those aren't exactly bears... They're violent bear-type monsters.
Precisely. Why do you think I asked for your help?
We could always take the sarcastic tack, but R1 seems like the safest bet at this juncture.
Consider it a test of your ability to improvise. You did promise to help, Mr. Second-Best. So it's settled then. Let's hunt some bear!
Oh yeah, a skit before we go. Elle gets along great with Alt Milla and Gaius, surprisingly enough. I can understand Gaius, though. She's the only talking member of the party who is not named Gaius whom Gaius tried to kill (Milla excepted). I can understand the awkwardness of the original Xillia cast toward him.
So onto the Lava Tubes, but first we have a stop here in the Xialen Woods Temple, a cool little area of no particular importance at any point in the story, but it's a quiet little place, so let's stop in.
On the first floor, you can hear a strange "Yo..." sound effect coming from the pews. This one has our next feline companion, Woodrow. Now, he has a familiar color scheme if you are an extensive Tales veteran, either from Tales of Destiny or Symphonia. There was a character who originated in Tales of Destiny named Woodrow Kelvin, who many English-speaking Tales fans probably know better as Garr Woodrow from Tales of Symphonia's cameo battle (he was the archer in blue armor).
Although Destiny does have the honor of being the first localized Tales, it was released before the turn of the millennium, during those dark days when Tales of Eternia didn't even get its proper name for the English release, the thought of dubbed OPs were considered heresy and the only appropriate punishment was burning at the Anime Stake, and if you wanted dubbed skits, pal, you were in the wrong neighborhood.
Alas, how times have changed, and significantly for the better. Unless I am mistaken, Dawn of the New World / Vesperia's twin releases in 2006 were really the focal point for modern Tales localizations. Argue about the quality of each as much as you want, but for the first time we got dubbed skits, and there was just no going back.
Aside from all that, there's really nothing else to do here except head to the upper levels for a free inn (much like the one in Nia Khera), which you should take advantage of. We've got some bears to catch when you're ready to raise the sails.
Into the forest, whose only remarkable feature are these annoying as hell Ice Golems, who are one among a few enemy types that block way too much for anyone's enjoyment (use spells if they're doing that a lot). Also, one of the easiest cats in the game to find. To reach the Lava Tubes, continue heading in the same direction Ludger was facing when we got here. The other path leads to the Ice Caves, which we don't need to go to for now.
After climbing a ladder once you hit a cliff side, you'll get to your destination. The Lava Tubes have some rather tough enemies for this point in the game, but the Gentlefreet here do have a very valuable drop / steal: Miracle Gels, which restores 60% HP and TP and these guys are a free source of them. As you imagine, I've killed a lot of these guys over the course of my Xillia 2 career. They aren't exactly pushovers, but not overly tough, either.
Of course, once you're a bit further in the game, you can easily massacre these guys and get tons of Miracle Gels for free. Or, you could be a cheap bastard with Calamity Stance.
Further on, we find another cat, clearly in trouble. Let's get Scratchy out of here, pronto. I leave any and all Simpsons references to your discretion, dear reader.
Next area has our inevitable boss fight arena (hey, it was the boss fight when we Milla's half of the team came through here in Xillia 1).
Then let's split up and search.
Milla starts running, but trips on something...
Oh no! Milla!
Well, there's only one chivalrous thing to do. Increases her affection, as you might guess.
Ludger was totally grabbing Milla's--
Wahhh, Elle! That's enough!
What? I wasn't that loud...
Another one of these things, huh... Anyway, just like Graddic and Heavy Claw, you can pretty well anticipate what this guy might throw at you. As you might expect, he's weak to Water and strong against Fire, but Milla's a good choice to control because she can hit a wide variety of elements fairly easily and can start off a combo with a Splash Spirit Shift, which will throw out Aqua Protection for a stagger. After that, it's the same ol' story.
That'll do, folks.
That's not the kind of bear I had in mind. Not even close...
Your cooking secrets. Teach them to me. Immediately.
Consider it an apology for your crass behavior. It's your chance to wipe the slate clean.
Well, Ludger's kept himself alive so far humoring Milla and going along with her. No reason to stop now.
Smart boy. It's easier for everyone this way.
Is everything...okay over here?
Couldn't be better. I'm finally ready to make the ultimate soup.
Mostly. It just needs a few finishing touches. I have the ultimate secret weapon!
And one final affection-raising choice, inquiring about her secret weapon.
It'd hardly be a secret if I told you about it! Besides, if I told you, I'd never get to number one.
You're certainly in this to win.
To be honest, I don't care that much. I just want to see the look on Elle's face.
What are you talking about?
We're discussing how thoroughly I'm going to trounce Ludger.
Really really. Isn't that right, Rollo?
I believe that means "Yes". Rollo's heart is a finicky one. Also, thanks to the gald payout from that fight, I'm now over 139k, so Nova is calling up to collect. This time, for bonus items delivered to the mailbox! We'll go collect those next time before we wrap a few things up before heading to the next chapter. Sound good?
Update 15 alternate choice compilation
Update 14 / 15 victory compilation