Part 4: CH3: We're Lucky there's no Breathing TutorialCH3: We're Lucky there's no Breathing Tutorial
: Jude's actually a pretty good swimmer. Or maybe the water was just shallow. Or both. But they made it out.
I like that they made special "wet" textures for the two of them.
I like that they included the busted door where they entered in this shot.
: So you really have lost the power of the Four Great Spirits.
What are you going to do now?
There's no way you could destroy that device without their power.
: You have a point.
Perhaps if I were to return to Nia Khera...
Listen, you've been a great help, Jude. Thank you.
You should go home now.
: Yeah she wasn't waiting.
: Unfortunately, they weren't clear yet.
There's a tiny difference here if you're Milla, since you're following her rather than Jude.
Guard: You must be the intruder!
: If I said I wasn't, would you let me pass?
: How foolish, Jude. You should have gone home like I asked.
Guard: You in cahoots with her?
: Milla saw an opening to strike, but...
: What?! Haven't you ever wielded a sword before?
: Of course, but I always relied on the Four's power to guide my arm.
It feels quite different without their help.
Guard: Come quietly or else!
: I can't believe I'm doing this!
So with the power of the Four gone, Milla's lost her magic bullet attack style and doesn't really have anything left. At least under player control she can hit things, although her maximum combo is hardlocked at ONE ATTACK.
: What's gotten into me?
: You've saved me again, Jude. Thank you.
: Listen, you'd better get out of Fennmont while you can.
: Right. You have my gratitude.
: The city entrance is always crawling with police.
You'd be safer heading to the seahaven.
: Hmm, the seahaven.
: You don't know where it is, do you?
: Oh come on! Lady Milla was not that helpless, and that *MPH HFUMPF*
: I'm sorry, but it's rude to interrupt the primary storyteller like that.
: That seems a little harsh.
: You don't have this guy reporting to you.
: I've been in... similar situations. Gag away I guess.
: I'll let you talk if you behave.
: I'm sorry to have put you in this situation.
: It's okay. Besides, I still owe you for saving me. I'll show you to the seahaven.
: Their fates were forever linked that day.
: Kicking? Really? You earned extra time out, mister!
If Efreet were here, I'd never have to be drenched like this.
: Nobody intercepted them on the way to the seahaven, but...
: Huh, what's going on?
: Mr. Eldin? Is that you?
Wh-What's going on here?
: Jude Mathis. I have a warrant for your arrest. There's one for her too.
I'm authorized to use force if necessary, but I don't want to hurt you.
: But wait, just hold on a minute.
We may have done a little breaking-and-entering, but that hardly makes us public enemy number one!
:So much for that. It looks like they're not listening.
: Mr. Eldin!
: I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I have my orders.
: Jude, I can't let them capture me.
: Then we'll do it the hard way. Go on, get her!
: All those fireworks really set the civilians panicking!
: But Milla noticed something else leaving.
: This is goodbye, Jude. Forgive me for all of this.
: And she dashed off while Jude stood there too confused to move! Classic.
: Think your next move over carefully, Doc. The more trouble you give us, the harder your sentence.
: It's just that... I just wanted to...
: But someone else intervened.
His combat style is NOT normally this fast.
: Wh-Who are you?
: Save the chit-chat for later. Your lovely lady friend's about to set sail, you know.
: Wait, but I...
: Listen close, kid. The military issued your warrant, and with the Military Powers Act invoked...
You're an X-marked criminal. If they catch you, you'll face execution!
: What, execution?!
: Jude wasn't fast enough for his tastes.
: I hope you're sturdier than you look.
Impacts seem a little more... impactful in Xillia. Remember the giant "CLANG" sound that Girl in Red made when Milla knocked her out?
Sailor: What's going on here?!
: The military's doing drills or something on shore. We were just getting out of their way.
Come on. Do you really think a pipsqueak, a pretty girl, and a dashing man like me would be up to no good?
: It's Alvin.
: That's my name. You said that you're Jude, right?
: Uh, yes sir. And this is Milla.
: Hang in there, kid.
: The ship was an international civilian voyage, so the Rashugal army had no way of forcing it to stop once it left the harbor.
: That captain needs to lay off a bit. Is he planning to grill us the entire voyage?
: What do you expect? We don't have any sort of identification.
: Speak for yourselves.
: I can't believe we're heading to Auj Oule.
: Look. We're leaving Fennmont's spirit clime.
: You said you're a med student? Didn't expect that.
: Hey, can I ask you something?
Why did you save us? What's in it for you?
: Well, cash, of course.
: How does saving us make you money?
: Simple. I figure you must be in serious trouble if the military's after you.
: Now that I've swung to your rescue and impressed you with my derring-do, I can charge you for my services.
: Charge us what? I'm nearly broke.
: Same goes for me, I'm afraid.
: Seriously? I take more than just cash, you know. Don't you have any precious metals? Jewels? Rich relatives about to croak?
: Nothing on me. Everything happened so fast.
: I doubt I have anything that would sell for a high price either.
: What exactly do you do, Alvin?
You look like a soldier, but you sure don't act like one.
: Heh! You're on the right track, kid. I'm a mercenary.
It's better than being a soldier. We don't have to follow orders. We set our own hours. And we help people... for a price.
: Well, it would seem like you helped us for free.
: Ah, well. It's a risk of the trade. Maybe I'll find some paying customers in Auj Oule.
: Sorry about that.
: Charity work... Wonderful. Are we there yet?
: Nothing else really happened on the trip over.
: It's hard to believe we're in a whole different country. Although it feels just like home.
: Hmm? Well, this part of Auj Oule is hardly what I'd call exotic.
: Huh. Hey, there's a map!
Let me check it out for a bit.
: Brave kid, the way he plays it cool.
: Decided to make the best of it, has he? He's not as immature as he looks.
: Would it kill you to show a little concern? You dragged him into this, right?
: He insisted on helping me. I told him again and again to go home, but he wouldn't listen.
He's here of his own accord.
: Heh, I see. He believes he got himself into this mess, so now he has to put on a brave face.
Either way, he's still acting like an adult.
: Hmm... So? You leaving now?
Alvin, you must be well versed with a sword. Mercenaries like you must have some battle chops.
: Well, yeah, of course.
: Could you teach me how to use one?
I don't have the Four to back me up anymore. If I can't wield a sword, what's left?
: The Four? Not sure I follow.
But I'd be more than happy to teach you, if only you had some cash.
: So you won't help?
: Here, how about we make some moolah while I train you?
: What do you mean?
There's got to be some paying customers here in the seahaven, right? Let's take a look around.
OK, this is our cue to pick up a sidequest so the game can explain how sidequests (they call them "sub events") work.
Just so we can't miss it, the cutscene ends with us facing a lady with a sidequest for us. Although it's not really a sidequest since we must complete it to proceed.
Skit: The Calamity Key
A brief note, Milla got the "Key of Kresnik" item when she lost the Four, but only on her path.
: So this must be the key they use to arm it.
Do you want something?
: Whoa, hold your fire! I come in peace!
Can't a mercenary have a friendly chat with his client?
: That much is fine. But when you want to chat, you needn't hold your breath and sneak up behind me.
: Yeesh, you make me sound so unsavory.
: Do you berate poor Jude like this too?
: I don't intend to berate anyone. That was never my intention.
: Do try to be gentle with him. Boys can be so vulnerable.
: That's a surprisingly tender sentiment.
: That's what it says on my business card. "The mercenary with a heart of gold."
: Those are good words to live by. Although with a motto like that, I can't imagine you'd live very long.
: Heh. Not the type to sugarcoat things, are you?
Skit: Witness for the Defense
: What are you up to?
: Just trying to organize all of my notes for my thesis.
: Nose in the books at a time like this? You sure are studious.
: Yeah, probably a waste of time. I'm sure I've already been expelled, being an "X-marked criminal" and all.
: Aw, cheer up, kid! If I get a chance, I'll testify to the military and the school on your behalf.
Shouldn't be hard to make the case that you're just a poor kid who got sucked into this.
: But, aren't you a wanted criminal too?
: Ah, that. I guess I did flee along with you.
: So if we get captured, I'll testify for you!
I'll tell them that you're nowhere near as shady as you look.
: Haha, I'll take it as a compliment.
: It was time for Milla to really learn how to fight.
Lady: Oh, you're mercenaries? Perfect timing.
: What kind of request?
: Someone's got a problem with monsters, and we get paid to solve their problem.
: Ah. So by taking on these jobs, you get the reward and I get the practice.
: Right. Everybody wins. Except the monsters.
: Okay, hit us with the details.
Lady: Some monsters we've never seen before are lurking near a lake west of this seahaven.
A lot of people depend on that lake for water, so those monsters have become a real nuisance.
I'm looking for someone to exterminate the beasts.
: What's the reward?
Lady: Cash, of course.
: You heard the woman. Thoughts?
: Sounds fine to me. Fighting monsters will be good training.
Lady: Excellent. Now, these beasts are no pushovers, so please watch yourselves.
: About your sword training... The monsters aren't just going to stand there like training dummies, you know.
We should go over some basics first.
: I appreciate it.
: Ready your sword.
: It took Milla little time to get the basics down. She's smart.
: Well, that'll do.
Notice the thing on her hip? I'll go over the attachment system soon enough.
: Shall we go?
: Wait, Jude. Take a moment to consider your situation.
You don't have to stay with me anymore, you know.
: Now that we've crossed the border, it'll be a while before any pursuers from Rashugal get here.
: What are you suggesting?
: Just that he still has some time to think things over.
: Sorry, I'll make up my mind by the time you set off.
: Okay, very well.
Let's go and complete that request.
: You thought you were doing the right thing, and now you're on the run.
That's a pretty tough lesson for a kid your age.
: Yeah, but I brought it upon myself.
: On the way out of town, they ran into a little trouble.
: Mine too!
: Wait, you two have orbs, too?
Great! We should try Linked Combat.
: What's that?
: Lilium Orbs are handy things. They let you sense your companions' intent.
That's a huge advantage in battle. You can coordinate your thoughts to pull off combination attacks. We call this Linking.
: Sounds great, but how do we do it?
: Try it and see for yourself. Focus your consciousness into the Lilium Orb!
So now we have another tutorial fight. This covers the main gimmick of the game, Linking. That blue line connecting Jude and Milla is a Link. Jude, as the player character, initiated the link and is the primary partner. Milla is the support partner and provides her partner ability, Bind.
While she's Linked, Milla will use a different AI routine, flanking enemies or guarding your rear. The option to not do this was added in Xillia 2, which refines a great deal of things that were troublesome before. Incidentally, if you watched the Tipping 40s' Tales of Symphonia LP or otherwise remember that Tales games allow four-player coop, the question you might be wondering is "what happens if the character I'm controlling becomes linked by someone else?" IIRC the answer is "LOL sucks to be you."
Milla's partner ability is Bind. It paralyzes the enemy briefly. It triggers randomly and when you stun enemies, with the random part being more likely on "speed-type" enemies like that wolf.
This is what I meant earlier about guarding your rear. They'll automatically attack enemies moving to attack you from behind.
Then there's the combination attacks Alvin mentioned earlier. They're triggered when you fill a segment of the Linked Artes Gauge on the left. The game won't let you fill the next segment until you do, so hammer away.
Incidentally as part of the regular attack chain, you've got a knock'em in the air and knock'em down move like this.
But let's do this.
Your partner teleports into position for these.
Jude and Milla simultaneously launch a blade of wind, creating a deadly x-formation of high-pressure air.
If you hang out in the OSHA thread in GBS you'll know being killed by high-pressure gasses isn't just some game thing. I'm just glad this isn't an M-rated game.
Quick look at Jude's Demon Fist. It's like Demon Fang, but with a fist.
And here's Healer, a short-ranged health nova of sorts. These are ridiculously common in Xillia 2, where EVERYONE who doesn't have a "normal" heal has one by the endgame. In this game only Jude and Alvin have one.
Along the way, we run into a sort of forced skit:
Skit Video: There's a Town Around Here
: Wanna take a peek?
: But we haven't completed our job yet.
: Come on, school's out. Your homework doesn't have a due date anymore.
: When you accept a request, you can take it at your own pace.
: Is that the way it works?
: That's the way it works.
: The whole reason you took the request was to pay my fee, right?
If you see another opportunity to make a few bucks, feel free to make that the priority.
: I had been planning to get you paid in Nia Khera.
: That so? Well, you're the client! At the end of the day, it's your call.
There's a village up the east fork, but we can't get to it at the moment because there's a tree down. SURPRISE!
A quick note about the overworld. There are three kinds of things you can open to get items. Chests (which never respawn and have fixed locations), Bags (which have white icons on the map and sometimes respawn), and Gathering Points (which are blue icons and respawm fairly often).
Here's our other Linked Arte with Jude+Milla, Aerial Fire. Jude punches it up...
...Milla shoots it down in flames.
: There. Those must be the monsters we're supposed to get rid of.
: Indeed. They certainly don't look like the normal fauna for this area.
: All right, let's get the job done!
ANOTHER tutorial battle. This is the last one though. Incidentally, Jude's partner ability is Restore, which heals you and stands you up when you get knocked down, as well as having a moderate chance to res you. So when you've fully filled the Linked Artes Gauge, firing off a Linked Arte puts you into Overlimit. While in Overlimit you have unending AC and can't be staggered. Moves still cost TP and you can still take damage though.
The other thing it gives you is the ability to chain Linked Artes. You can keep going until you run out of Gauge or new Artes to Link. You can switch partners in the middle of a chain to get more different Artes, but I generally don't do this because I have a sort of blind spot for doing that.
Incidentally, that's what Wind Blade looks like when cast as opposed to Spirit-Shifted.
: You okay?
: I can't complain. No better training than an actual battle.
: You got that right. Let's head back to Aladhi Seahaven and make a report.
So here's another tutorial, on how shops in this game work. All shops of the same type (food, weapons, armor, items, accessories) in the game have the same inventory. You improve it by raising their experience bar in one of three ways. By buying things from them, by giving them items, or by giving them gald directly.
They'll show you what you can gain access to "soon." Note that their definition of "soon" is similar to that used by Blizzard or Valve.
Every so often they reroll what shops get what bonuses for what items, and sometimes one or more of them get x3 instead of x2.
: The return to town and handing in the request were uneventful, but...
: Those monsters won't be tinkling in your water supply anymore.
Lady: Wonderful. Thank you for your help.
: And that's how it's done.
More where that came from, too. Lots of people with problems out there, and gald to make 'em go away.
: You're a real pro at this, Alvin.
: Hmm, no fever.
How are you feeling?
: I don't seem to have any strength.
: At that moment, Milla's stomach made a super-loud growl. Frrrrr!
: Um, have you been eating properly?
: I've never eaten.
: Through Sylph, I drew life from the air. With Undine's power, I received sustenance from the water.
: What's she talking about?
: I guess the spirits gave her all the energy she needed.
Well, now you're going to have to nourish yourself the old-fashioned way.
: I see. So this is what you call hunger.
Jude is not amused.
: So, should we rest at the inn?
Now that you mention it, I could use some grub myself.
So before we head to the inn for the tutorial on inns (or rather, pop-up screen on inns), we get the best thing from that sidequest. The Item Sphere, which lets us use auto-item. Any party member on Auto will use auto-items according to the priority list and conditions. It's sort of like Gambits from FFXII.
This means that I probably won't have to constantly open the menu to revive people.
: So these ships have spirits channeled into their sails to intensify the winds they catch.
What a clever idea. Human spirit artes can be very impressive.
Skit Video: Intelligence Work
: That was quite a sigh.
: So seriously, you guys are spying for Auj Oule, right?
: What? Of course not.
: I've never heard of the Military Powers Act being used against anyone other than Auj Oule spies.
: Y-You're thinking too much into this!
: Why are you so concerned about this? Unless you're spying for Rashugal.
: No, no. I was just thinking that if you were spying for Auj Oule...
Maybe you could use your connections to score me some high-paying intelligence work.
: Sorry to disappoint you. But I assure you, I will pay your fee.
You just have to wait a little bit longer.
: Fair enough. But even with your "special friend" discount, the interest is piling up.
: It was a port, so there was an inn right there.
I love Milla's expression here.
Innkeeper: Oh, my apologies, but our cook isn't in yet.
: Can we at least use your kitchen?
Innkeeper: Yes, please, help yourself. Your friend looks like she's about to pass out.
: My stomach. It really is growling.
Heh, and here I thought that was just a silly human expression.
: Jude's like the third-best cook I know. Or so I've heard. I'm not much of a judge.
: Hey, not bad.
: Not bad? It's good!
I quite enjoy ingesting calories with you.
Humans should learn to cherish these simple pleasures.
: And apparently she never ate before today, either. Who in the world is she?
: She claims she's Maxwell.
: That Maxwell?
: Yeah. She's apparently a spirit in physical form.
: Not just any spirit. The Lord of Spirits, Wielder of the Four Elements, the Eldest Spirit... Maxwell has many names.
And now we add Milla to that list? She's supposed to be the Spirit Maxwell? You gotta be kidding me.
: Is Maxwell really that mighty?
: Of course. That's why this is so hard to swallow.
I grew up hearing bedtime stories about Maxwell.
: What in the world would a spirit like that be trying to destroy?
: Trying to destroy? What're you referring to?
: She called it a spyrix, I think.
The device from the laboratory.
: Maybe I should just ask Milla about it.
: I don't know. You have a nasty habit of poking your nose where it doesn't belong. Your accursed curiosity made me a wanted man, too, you know.
: Well, think hard before asking, okay?
: Yeah, you're right.
: Next morning...
: Good morning.
Milla-route Exclusive Lines posted:
: Good morning, Alvin.
Sorry you had to carry me up there.
: Don't worry about it. Just part of the job.
: Heh. So now what're you gonna do?
: Good day, Jude. I was just about to share my plans with Alvin.
: What is it?
: I'm thinking of returning to Nia Khera.
: Is that your hometown?
: More accurately, it's where my shrine is.
If I go back, I might be able to re-summon the Four.
: So, she really is Maxwell.
: This is where you come in, Jude. Will you accompany me to Nia Khera?
: It's true that you brought your current situation upon yourself, but I bear some of the blame as well.
I'll put in a good word for you with the people of Nia Khera.
I'm sure they'll look after you.
: Wow, you've put a lot of thought into this.
: Yes. Remember when you told me I seemed unconcerned? I decided to take that to heart.
: Milla, you don't need to practice your swordplay anymore?
: No need to concern yourself with my martial abilities.
: Well, if nothing else, you know how to swing the pointy end.
: Okay, I'll come with you.
: Good. You needn't worry.
: A little more practice wouldn't hurt, though.
: You think so?
: Better safe than sorry. Come find me once you're ready to go.
: Wait, you're coming with us, Alvin?
: Why not? I've come this far.
: Hey, Milla?
Skit Video: Creeping Suspicion
: She does act a bit nutty, but she looks normal enough.
: I think it's true.
: When I first met her, Milla had the Four Great Spirits with her.
: What? Get out of here.
: No, seriously.
Fire-spirit Efreet, water-spirit Undine, wind-spirit Sylph, and earth-spirit Gnome.
It was the first time I'd ever seen them in person, but there was no mistaking who they were.
: That's a mighty exclusive club. Can't imagine they hang out with a lot of mortal girls.
: Nobody stopped them leaving town.
: Ready to hit the road?
: Milla, you said it's north of here?
: How far?
: Less than half a day's flight time, if we could fly using Sylph's power.
: Oh, well, I'm afraid my wings are, you know, nonexistent.
: I hope we can find a place to rest along the way.
: The map showed a village in that direction, so we should be okay.
: Either way, we can't just stay here.
We must press forward.
: I know. I know.
Skit Video: Inside and Outside
: You sure do love that thing.
: Don't you? It's one of Fissmauge's finest, custom-made for yours truly.
: I don't know much about brands, but it does look good on you.
: You gotta be careful about what you wear, kid. It's how the world judges a man.
: I'd rather think what's inside is what counts.
: Yeah. And this is how what's inside gets projected to the outside.
: You don't believe some people shape what's outside in order to conceal the ugliness within?
: Heh heh... Well, if you can't see through a false front, isn't that your problem?
: So you blame the victims for being deceived.
: If that's really what you believe, Alvin, it tells me all I need to know about what's within.
: Man, I sure slipped up this time, huh?
Skit Video: Partners in Clime
: That's true. The spirit climes here are much more stable.
: What are you talking about? What do you intend to climb?
: C-l-i-m-e. Surely the great Lady Maxwell knows all about the subject?
: Don't flatter yourself by assuming I recognize every arbitrary word you humans create.
Human arrogance can be so trying.
: Milla, do you know what Rieze Maxia is made of?
: As if I wouldn't know? The power of spirits composes the entire natural world.
: Right. The term "spirit clime" refers to the balance of spirit power.
When that power is out of balance, nature can become polarized in one direction.
That's why there are unusual spirit climes, like the perpetual night of Fennmont.
: I see.
Thank you. Now I understand. You're very good at explaining things.
: My pleasure.
: Oh I see how it is. I guess I'm just an arrogant human compared to lil' ol' innocent Jude.
Skit Video: The Four
: That's unexpected coming from you.
: I'm just used to having Sylph fly me everywhere.
The only time I ever really walked was when I used Undine to travel across water.
: I see.
: Maybe this is your punishment for treating the Four Great Spirits like your personal servants?
: Servants? They may help out now and then, but they're the ones who pester me.
: They're like a bunch of bickering in-laws that never go home.
: Did you just call the Four...
: Bickering in-laws?!
: Well, she's one of the few who could get away with saying that.
Skit Video: Alvin's Arsenal
: You've got an eye for good steel. This is one heck of a blade.
: Actually, I meant the other one.
: Oh, you mean this?
: Yeah. I've never seen anything like it. It looks like it channels fire spirits and projects their artes at foes.
: Yeah, something like that.
: That's incredible. Where'd you get it?
: Oh, I see how it is. You're the envious type.
: Stare all you want, kid. I ain't giving it up.
: You don't have to treat me like a child.
: Aw, come on. I'm just yankin' your chain!
Skit Video: Of Monster Bondage
: Oh, is that what the technique is called?
: Aww, I thought I'd get more of a rise out of you than that.
: I'm just tired of your lies and innuendos.
Just give it up already.
: Oh-ho! And now I'm the one being tied down by your sadistic decrees.
Sorry, Jude. I'm not that into bondage play.
: But it is true that some people can only experience true intimacy when they're tied and bound.
: The conversation takes a surprising turn! Are you speaking from personal experience?
: No, I read it in a book. It was called "Men and Women Beneath the Sheets".
: What sort of books are you reading?!
: There was a similar comment in "The Aesthetics of Being the Catcher" as well.
: That one's probably about something different.
: W-Well, I wouldn't really know.
: Sounds like Milla's more into total freedom than tying anyone down.
Skit Video: Mercenary Wisdom
: I prefer to call it "powerful". On the battlefield, delicacy will only get you killed.
: In real warfare, you need guts first, power second, vigor third and fourth, and instinct fifth.
: Hmm. You make a persuasive argument.
: Well, yeah. You're talking to a mercenary here.
: How long have you been one?
: For as long as I can remember. When I was your age, I was already a veteran.
Trust me kid, I'm a lot wiser than I look. I've been through enough to earn it.
: Since your advice carries the weight of experience, I will remember it well.
: Aw, come on, no reason to bring your spirits down. You do your thing and let me do mine.
I'll handle the heavy lifting.
: Yeah... Okay.