Part 16: The Man Who HumsPart XVI: The Man Who Hums
So after Milla's quest, I had to pay another 100,000, simply because I was just rolling in the dough throughout the chapter, and there are many things to be acquired: 3 Friendship Potions, which you can use on any character to raise their affection for free, Jude's Minimum Damage skill, 4 Kitty Crisps, Jude's Recall skill (40% for a free revive, good once per battle), Leia's Minimum Damage, Alvin's MD, Ludger's No Jacket 1 outfit, and Alvin's Impregnable Guard (no matter what, Alvin's guard can't be broken, except for spells, I think). Not bad a haul at all.
But before we begin the next chapter, and get our final party member, let's wrap up some business here in Kanbalar and other areas. First up, this kitty cat is in the sole house in the residential area of Kanbalar. We have another to gather here.
In front of Castle Gaius, in front of the wyvern cage. No doubt the viscious beast was planning to break into the cage, devour the wyvern, and terrorize the peasantry. We must stop Corgan before it's far, far too late. And I trust anyone coming from Xillia 1 remembers wyverns. Unless I missed something, there's nothing of particular interest in Castle Gaius at the moment, so we'll mosey on back to the Nala Lava Tubes.
This is a curious sight, in one of the back areas of the Tubes past the lake. The old man this guy is referring to is just to Ludger's left, and if you talk to him, he'll basically mention powerul weapons not being worthy of someone who hasn't proven themselves in the coliseum. Even if you beat the only coliseum challenge open right now, he'll have nothing to say to you.
This is yet another thing that won't open for a long time, so don't worry about it for now.
Welcome to the Sillea Tundra. There's definitely not a whole lot worth talking about here (hey, we do have plot content, y'know?), but I do know there is a cat (that I didn't find on this particular trip here), and an Elite Monster. We'll be taking care of the latter for now.
And here he is. I really have nothing of value to say for this guy. I heavy stun him a couple times, and overall it took me WAY too long to bring this guy down. Maybe five minutes longer... Anyway, here you are, for your consideration Bluetaur.
Continuing past Bluetaur, we have the Fezebel Marsh. This particular spot is where you fought the 4 Chimeriad, all at once, in Xillia 1, on the road to a showdown with none other than Gaius himself. If you're anything resembling a normal Tales player, you probably got your ass kicked in the latter fight, though in typical Tales fashion, an "unwinnable" battle is winnable. It's just the power differential between you at that point in the game and Gaius was...considerable.
Other than that, though, there is nothing at all interesting to do or see in Fezebel at the moment. No cats, nothing of interest to point out, whatever. Instead, we'll leave this as the end point of our Rieze Maxia exploration for now and we'll head to Aladhi to finally get back to looking for Julius.
And let's roll.
A humbled man
Well...that took long enough.
Lady Mi-- Quit messing with my head, faker!
What? First you drag me into this mess, then you call me names?! How dare you!
I... Forgive me... She's stern in her own way, but it's just not the same.
Yeah... I know exactly what you mean.
So, the real one...still isn't back yet?
No... Muzet is looking for her, but...
Hey... How come Mr. Rideaux is wearing those funny glasses?
He's hiding some fancy footwork.
I wanna see!
It's pretty funny.
Let's get this show on the road.
Your wish is my command, sir!
Dear Julius was last spotted here at the seahaven. Split up and root him out.
All right, then. We'll take the western side of the trail.
Well, in that case, I guess we'll search Hamil.
Just like old times!
And we'll check the sea routes.
Have room for one more?
I'm interested in the work you agents do.
Curiosity killed the cat...and king.
I'll risk it.
Just my luck getting stuck with these guys.
I want Julius taken alive, understood? I need to return his "hospitality".
Bugger, we only have three party members. We better hope for some backup when we get to Hamil.
Everything seems normal, but there's an unusual scent to the air around here right now...
A playful great spirit
Don't tell me you're hurting these villagers!
I would never do such a thing.
Milla?! Or not. But who might you be?
Uh... I'm...the former Maxwell. Pleased to meet you.
Beg your pardon?
Fade out for an explanation for poor, addled Muzet...
Alternate dimensions... The Land of Canaan...
Does that ring any bells?
Well, if it isn't that floating porange thief!
Wait, so spirits can get hungry?
Honestly? No. But Milla taught me the pleasure of eating a good meal.
You did, huh?
That wasn't me.
But Ludger gets a ring to break up this awkward line of conversation...
An unauthorized agent entered a fractured dimension. We think it's Julius Kresnik. The probability of this dimension containing a Waymarker strikes us as very high.
Ludger, let's go after him.
Not so fast, children. I'm pretty sure that Julius fellow is expecting you.
You know, lines like this make me wonder just how MUCH Ludger and crew filled Muzet in on. You gotta know a conversation like that has to start with "Well where do we begin?" They had to fill her in on a ton of stuff. All we heard from Muzet at Helioborg was that Milla was missing, and she didn't know where to find her.
Even so...we're not about to pass up this chance.
In that case, Ludger...would it be an imposition to take me along?
Only a very uncaring man indeed could be mean to Muzet, so R1 is right out. Muzet's affection is usually pretty easy to raise.
If she's like my Milla, she's reckless.
I-I don't need a babysitter.
One more weirdo's joining the crew, Rollo!
Hey! if she's a friend of yours, then one of you needs to pay up!
Funnily enough, that cost of the porange Muzet took was 100 gald, which I know because you're charged for it after the above cutscene. Anyhow, Muzet makes our ninth and final party member of the game. As always, remember to set your skills for her as you deem appropriate, and be sure to enjoy this skit afterwards.
So, Muzet's story is that she's a spirit much like Milla, who considers Milla her beloved sister, ignoring whatever Milla has to say on the matter. Her relationship with Milla was troubled at best in the first Xillia, but now that their feud is over, Muzet greatly admires her "big sister" and is pretty emotionally dependent on her approval. She has a very pleasure-loving, jokey personality and teases people all the time. She gets along especially well with Gaius, as she enjoys teasing him based on his completely opposite personality. Naturally, he keeps up the stoic act regardless of her provocations, which only encourages her. Basically, Muzet is a cool cat.
In any case, once you're done with your usual preparations, we've got an alternate dimension to grind to dust.
It's the Kijara Seafalls this time. We won't be going to either Nia Khera or Hamil this time, so as you might expect, this is gonna be a pretty short chapter. Before we move on to the inevitable boss, let's introduce Battle Muzet a bit.
Muzet's Support Skill is Support Warp. If Muzet is your partner, and you perform a front-step, you and Muzet will instantly warp towards the target. For characters like Milla or Jude, this isn't particularly useful because they can already get around fast enough. For Gaius or Alvin, however, this is a really useful ability because of their slow movement problem (for Rowen, of course, most of his powerful attacks are spells, so he doesn't need to be close to a target to attack).
Combat-wise, we've seen her in action before. Remember the final battle of Chapter 7's fractured dimension on the Nia Khera Hallowmont? Muzet plays basically the same in battle. She has a wide array of elemental spells, as well as a variety of "more irritating than deadly" artes at her disposal. Muzet is also pretty good at simply avoiding damage in the first place, since she's fairly fast, and can break out of enemy attacks quickly with her special skill, where if she comes under attack from an enemy combo, you can double tap the control stick away from the attack to teleport away.
Basically, Muzet's thing is harassing an enemy from a distance, then avoiding damage if an enemy comes after her. She lacks a certain killing touch, but is a valuable caster indeed.
Keep in mind for Support Warp, though, if you do perform it, you automatically interrupt any action the AI is taking.
Once you get to the Central Area...
The cost of protecting
Ooh! Get a load of that pretty shell!
Don't run off like that, Elle!
I don't get why you insist on bringing that child with you.
I wonder... Perhaps humans are at their best when they have someone to protect.
Is that how it was with you, too?
Hmm... Who knows? I'm not human.
Gotta say, neither Muzet nor Milla are selling me on the drama since the start of this update. Wonder what could be different...
While enjoying this nice quiet moment, there's some very loud humming coming from close by. Ludger decides to investigate. As a side note, sounds like a certain OP I've heard a few times before...
Wait?! Where do you think you're going? He's just as bad as the little girl.
Well, aren't you the happy little fugitive, just humming the day away.
= It's called the "Hymn of Proof". It's supposed to be about longing to see someone. Here's my brother. I guess it works.
Actually, your so-called "Hymn of Proof" is just Song 4 U, i.e. this game's theme song as sung by Ayumi Hamasaki (who also sung Xillia 1's OP), but we'll ignore that for now and raise Julius' affection with L1. Don't you worry, though, we'll be hearing more remixes of Song 4 U before this game is done, including the final boss theme, which is titled "If It's For You -Song 4 U". It's a good one, and a good song to base it on.
= No...you always did. Even when you were in diapers, I could just hum a few bars and you'd shut right up. Do you remember that camping trip, back when we were kids? You know the one where we got lost in the mountains. The poison oak, that grizzly bear, and then that huge thunderstorm.
= But as soon as I hummed this song, you stopped scratching at yourself and started walking. I offered to carry you, but you stomped your feet and yelled, "No, I can do it!" We hoofed it all night until we finally reached that village, but my throat hurt worse than my feet after all that humming.
Brotherly love's not why you led us here.
= You can keep the pocketwatch. My priorities have changed. I want that girl, Elle.
She has a father.
= If you refuse, I'll have to take her by force.
= Level with me here. Why do you keep Elle around, anyway?
So R1 increases Elle's affection, but I chose L1. I didn't quite mean it in the way Ludger says (and evidently means), or apparently how Julius interprets this answer.
= So you know about her power. Damn it, Ludger! That power was never meant for you!
Elle's in trouble!
That monster over there used some weird spirit arte on Elle!
Yeah, and healing artes aren't doing squat!
That's...a stigma arte!
= What's a stigma arte?
It's a spirit arte that slowly corrupts one's life force. The only way to counter it is to eliminate the channeler.
The channeler... You mean that monster?
Yes...the Seafall Phantom.
Wait, that's one of the Waymarkers!
They're fortunately extinct in our dimension. They attack their prey unseen with stigma artes. When the prey stops moving...the beast drinks it dry.
You can't give up or Bunnykins won't come for a visit! But if you can hold on for a bit longer, I promise I'll bring him to see you.
Elize, if you keep straining your mana lobe, you'll die along with her!
But I... I made her a promise!
Yeah, she promised her! And promises are important!
Keep it up and both of you are goners...
Another choice where you can raise the affection of a single NPC depending on your choice: L1 for Elle, and R1 for Julius. Again, one should prioritize Julius in cases like this, but Ludger's got a plan up his sleeve, so L1 it is.
You'll what?! That's insane!
I think I'm gonna barf!
You... You're using your own blood to lure it out?
= So you'd go that far.
She must mean a lot.
You have to look closely, but preceding this screenshot, Julius took Maxwell's Temporal Blade out of one of his pockets and shoved it at Ludger.
= No matter the cost!
Our next catalyst friend is weak to Fire and strong against Water, so you'll have plenty of ability to exploit his weakness, even without Gaius around. Actually, Ludger's current hammer is Fire-elemental, so before long I switch to Ludger (I was playing as Milla for the first few moments of the battle), and go to town on him.
Battle-wise, there's really nothing to say about this guy. He has the same attacks, more or less, that the Elite Monster in the Kijara Seafalls had long ago. He's big and predictable, which means his strikes will cover a lot of territory, but it similarly makes it easier to keep a bead on him and prevent him from doing too much damage.
Once you bring him down to near death, the fight is interrupted via mid-battle cutscene. If I'm not mistaken, this is the only boss in the game that has this particular gimmick.
However, the monster decides to ignore Ludger, Muzet, and Milla, and jump toward Elle / Elize. The situation looks dire, until..
Whoa...Chromatus Ludger looking a little different now.
Welcome to Chromatus Level 2. Level 2 is about the same as 1, except Ludger will do more damage and gain access to his Chromatus Mystic Arte. To use it, just follow the on-screen instructions. There's nothing more you need to do to take this guy out.
Fun fact: the above mid-battle cutscene has Ludger transforming into whatever the highest Chromatus level you have while it happens. I only know this because I carried over a full Chromatus on my alternate choices playthrough, and Ludger transformed into Chromatus Level 4 in it. The more ye know.
One final thing to note about this battle is that thanks to Muzet being a tad higher in level compared to everyone else on the team, she hit level 40 and learned Power Charge 3 (Gaius may or may not have also hit level 40 from this fight). However, the team isn't far behind. I should be able to have Power Charge 3 on everyone by the end of the debt payment period, if that.
Before the dimension is destroyed, however, Ludger received the Seafall Phantom's Eye. Now we're in possession of 3 out of 5...
What a relief.
How'd you get two?!
Ludger got one, and Julius gave his back to us.
Sorry about that. I was just trying to encourage you.
I guess that makes sense. Well, anyway...thank you.
The kid's not a brat after all!
Of course not! Shut up, Teepo! Bunnykins doesn't have time for brats! Everybody knows that!
Not sounding too formal will increase Elize's affection, so let's go with that, shall we?
Edit: interestingly enough, both choices raise her affection. Guess that's your reward from doing her bonus chapter way back when.
Well, traveling with you really toughens a girl up.
Even the string bean over here's starting to look a little brawnier, wouldn't ya say?
For whatever reason, R1 is what increases her affection, but I steered hard to starboard. Of course, sibling difficulties are something Muzet is intimiately familiar with, even if her so-called relationship with Milla is a bit more light-hearted than what Ludger's got going on.
I'm sure he's fine.
And she faceplants...
Like you, he has someone to protect.
Well, I can't say it was particularly longer than Chapter 8, and it was probably a bit shorter. None of that having to travel through a trail area, and the Seafall Phantom went down really quick in comparison to Wingul. However, unlike Chapter 8's rather unremarkable post-plot stuff, Chapter 9 has a whole bunch (though, it could be true if I went for Muzet first when given the choice. Something for someone else to confirm).
In any case, that is immaterial. In addition to the standard new line-up of jobs, Elite Monsters, and character chapters...
We've got a couple new towns to visit, including a new one in Elympios! Leronde is Jude and Leia's cozy island hometown. That town will lead to two new dungeons that I may or may not get to before I start Chapter 10. To get to Drellin the first time, all you need to do is take a train from Trigleph, then, of course, you can travel there from the world map instantly.
Also, because you now have access to Chromatus Level 2, there's Kresnik 2, Trance, and Power Spoils available as skills. Assign as you see appropriate. Kresnik 2 is another upgrade to the Chromatus, where it decreases half as slow when Ludger is airborne during transformation. Note that this applies to Level 1, if you choose to activate it earlier.
Oh yes, and the Temple has given me another Tales-named cat. 41, and we still have quite a bit of the game to explore. No time like the present to get the remaining 59, right? Now then, for character chapters, there's one in Leronde, Trigleph, and Marksburg. We'll be taking care of Trigleph's first, but as I said, this chapter's post-plot content is quite large and it might take us an update and a half or so to get through it. We'll see.
Thanks to my Elite Genocide (though this skit *may* trigger later in the plot than when I got this particular skit, because of my Library record of defeating Elites), an amusing new skit. Although R1 increases Muzet's affection for this choice, but both results are funny. Anyway, good example of how well Muzet and Gaius bounce off each other (and how Muzet is hands-down the funniest member of the party).
Gaius truly is a special man, but it takes all sorts to do great things, right?
Of course, we have to choose some jobs to take. The most important is Poker Face, because, upon completion of it, you'll gain access to the "casino" in Duval's bar. It's not so much a "casino" as just straight poker, but there's a ton of really nice stuff there available once you've built up a large chip amount.
However, we'll worry about that next update. We'll close out this update by finishing Gaius' first chapter.
Men on the run
Name's Erston. I have an appointment with the manager. Mind fetching him for me?
Sure thing. Just a minute.
What are you doing here? And with Muzet...no less.
Well, this is a surprise!
You shopping too?
Come on already. We gotta get out of here.
Hmm. They seem to be running away from someone.
Just a little eavesdropping to keep me amused. I do have exceptional hearing.
Said in a whisper, of course.
I heard that! You said "Muzet's amazing".
Uh, yeah, sure.
Neither choice matters in this chapter for raising anyone's affection, except for the last one, so we'll go with L1 for right now. I'm sure Gaius would not pay them notice if they were not of interest in some way.
I'm supposed to be incognito. I want to avoid any unnecessary trouble. That's all.
Ooh, looks like things are about to get interesting.
I just told you, I don't know!
Are you serious? Give me a break here. Heads up, Tanner! We got the fuzz at 10 o'clock.
Act casual. No need to panic.
Now, about that gang o' punks you saw. Tell me where.
How many times do I have to tell you? I don't know!
It may be prudent for us to withdraw. I will meet with the proprietor on another more convenient day.
But the two fleeing the cops crashed into our unfortunate protagonists...
All right. Round 'em up! Our reputation is on the line here!
Kyle, run for it!
Why are you following us?
They're gaining on us!
We're just running in the same direction! Deal with it!
Don't let them see your face!
Head for the inn at the port. They won't find us there!
Hmph. Am I seeing things, or was that woman floating? And the guy with black hair... He seems so familiar...
And that we did...
The Boys' Luck Club
Of course! Gotta give some credit to these guys, though.
Why'd you bring 'em here?
C'mon. Because they saved me.
You know, I still haven't gotten your names.
Muzet. And yes, I float. I'm quite sensitive about it, so please try not to stare.
Uh, okay. I'll keep that in mind.
Tee-hee. Thank you.
I'm...Erston. This is Ludger.
Erston and Ludger, huh. Nice. I'm Kyle. That's Tanner. He's a good friend, but he's also kinda the boss. Great to meet you.
So you're all in some sort of club or something?
Nah, we're just students. Not that we go to class that much, heh. We mostly just hang out.
That's not very nice. Where'd a little girl pick up a word like that, anyway? So are you guys free? It'd be awesome if you could teach me some of your sweet moves. You kicked some serious butt back there. Where'd you learn to fight like that?
Well...before we go see what Tanner's about, we have a skit.
And confirmation, as if we needed it, that Gaius is a total badass. Well, without further ado, let's get on over to the park in front of Ludger's apartment.
Distance between the two
Yeah, I want you people to beat it. You're not welcome here.
Is that so? To be honest, this is proving to be quite a fascinating experience for me. If you don't mind, I'd rather stick around and continue learning about your rough-and-tumble culture.
I'm going to be blunt. We don't trust your kind.
Well, seems Gaius has taken something of a liking to Kyle, since L1 increases his affection. R1 is...well, if Gaius is traveling incognito, best not to mention anything relating to kings, right?
Yeah, Kyle's a moron. But I'm not. I know exactly who you are!
Heh heh. Dear me. Whatever shall we do?
The jig is up. You're Rieze Maxians. You can't pull nothin' over me.
Well...he's 25% right, to be fair.
So that's the reason for this?
I hate your kind. I want you out of Elympios!
You acted all sneaky to meet us out here just to tell us that yourself? I'm a little disappointed, quite frankly.
Make no mistake. I'm hardly the only Rieze Maxian hater around here.
Stay back. His fight is with me.
If there's anything I despise more than Rieze Maxians, it's the traitors who protect them. You make me sick!
Not as sick as we're gonna make you or your goons after this fight. As you might expect, this band of jerks does not exactly stand up to a bunch that humbled the Lord of Spirits, and in Gaius' case, commanded his power, if only briefly. There's a LOT of these jokers, but this fight isn't anything resembling a threat.
This is an example of Emergency Warp in action. It only works for combo hits (the enemy I was targeting was doing his charge attack), but getting out of trouble is something Muzet can do very well. Also, to get to Chromatus Level 2, just let it charge longer than level 1. Once the marker fills up twice, you can activate Level 2.
Clearly, we need to show no mercy. Note that if two enemies are hit with Grand Cleaver, and are relatively close to each other, Form Destroyer will hit both of them.
After you've KO'd (let's say that's what we're doing, because the alternative is quite gruesome) enough meat puppets, Tanner will show up. But first among meat puppets is still a meat puppet.
And that'll do it, with just the bare minimum of challenge on my end.
What are you people? You're monsters!
Don't say things like that. I'm a sensitive girl, you know. Tee hee.
Give it up.
And everyone runs off...
Is it because they're afraid?
Seems we've a long way to go.
We? You mean Elympios and Rieze Maxia?
And that's that... Or is it?
Update 16 alternate choice compilation