Part 55: Sidequest Hell III: The Revenge (Part 1)Last time we got the band back together and decided to head for Daath. But none of that matters right now, because we have a glut of sidequests to take care of before moving on. As per the usual with these sidequests, a large majority of them are not voiced. Some are, but most aren't. Sorry.
: If you need more, I'll go buy it for you.
: Unfortunately, her medicine is brewed specially, and isn't sold in stores. With the chaos lately, the doctor has been unable to get hold of the ingredients...
: Exactly what ingredients are you lacking? We have the Albiore. We should be able to get our hands on most items.
: We need some 'Rugnica Death Caps'. But they were grown in St. Binah, which is...
: Oh... dammit, what do we do...?
: I know a place where Rugnican deth caps grow!
: Yep! Go north alongside the river next to the Cheagle Woods. You'll reach a path full of mushrooms called Mushroom Road. Rugnican death caps grow there.
Shit, check Mieu out! He's actually being useful outside of puzzle mechanics!
: I see... If we fly up that river in the Albiore, we should be able to get to that 'Mushroom Road'.
: We'll go harvest Rugnican death caps for you, Aunt Susanne. Please hold on until we get back.
: But isn't that dangerous...?
: We aren't worried about that!
: Everyone, please calm down. Luke's mother is not in immediate danger. Medicine brewed from Rugnican death caps promotes overall mental and physical health. Causing her to worry will only harm her.
: But Colonel...
: Tear, calm down.
: I forbid a trip to harvest Rugnican death caps. Understand?
: Do as Jade says, Luke.
: Please relax, Madam. I will not allow him to be put in danger. Now, everyone, let's let her rest.
: Now, shall we be going to harvest Rugnican death caps?
: But you just said-
: If I told an overprotective mother that I was going to take her son somewhere dangerous, her condition would get even worse.
: ...I know sometimes it's all right to lie, but you never sound like you're lying when you do it.
: Jade! Thanks!
: I suppose we should expect nothing less from the Colonel.
: I haven't done anything worthy of thanks. Now, let's be going.
: Right! We're going to save Master's mother!
: Rammy, this is a secret, understand?
: Y-yes... of course.
: Then let's head for Mushroom Road.
We'll head straight there, but on the way out the manor I notice something out of place: Pere in the entrance hall.
: You were looking at this again?
: Does that sword mean something special to you?
: Yes. This sword belonged to the late Count Zygmunt Bazin Gardios.
What. The fuck. Is wrong. With these names people from Hod have?! And I thought Guy's name was bad! Zygmunt? Zygmunt Bazin?!
: Guy's father... Guy... it must have been painful for you.
: Nah, it wasn't like that. It was because this sword was here that I was able to keep going.
: What do you mean?
: I planned to avenge my father with this sword.
: Come on, don't give me that look. I'm sorry. I'm not looking to get revenge anymore, I told you that, remember? And that's thanks to you.
: Me? I didn't do any-
: You allowed me to win my bet.
: Not this 'bet' again. What 'bet'? You sure you didn't make it with Asch?
: You really don't remember, huh? Oh well. Anyway, thanks to you, I was able to put my past behind me.
: But are you satisfied with the sword remaining here like this?
: It's not up to me. This sword belongs to Duke Fabre now.
Okay, Mushroom Road.
Mieu's instructions were kind of correct, but the game doesn't let you just dip into the river around the Cheagle Woods. You have to follow it to the ocean, touch down there, then head upstream into the river. Why? No clue, but it's rather tedious.
Eventually you get deposited here. No, I didn't forget to turn the brightness down again. This is what it looks like when you enter the main lake. What's worse, the camera wants to point down on your ship instead of forward, so seeing anything is an exercise in frustration.
After groping around for a solid minute or so, we finally come to this. This is the entrance to Mushroom Road.
Music: Mushroom Road
Mushroom Road's got a pretty solid track. If anything it's at least quite different from the rest of the game's music.
: Wh-what are you doing here?!
: We've come to harvest the Rugnican death caps used to make medicine for Aunt Susanne.
: Ah, you're here for the same reason.
: ...N-no, I'm not...
: Hah hah! He's blushing!
: Shut up you little brat!
: Whoops, made him mad!
: Good, this will be useful. Asch, let's conduct a joint operation.
: I have no intention of getting friendly with you people!
: This area is untamed wilderness. I believe it would be best to leave one person behind as a means of communication. If time passes and we do not return, that person can go bring help.
: That's a splendid idea!
: Did you even here what I said?!
: Why you, Luke...?
: I said, listen to what I'm-
: Asch and I fight the same way, you know? Rather than having two of the same type, it'd be better for one of us to stay behind. And Asch can communicate with me.
: Yeah, you've got that convenient communications network.
: If that's okay with you, Luke... I guess that's best.
: All right. Then let's go, Asch.
: Stop deciding things for me!
: Don't yell, You'll attract monsters.
: We're going to hurry.
: Be careful.
So yeah, Asch is back in the party and has been appropriately leveled.
What has not been appropriately leveled, however, is Asch's equipment. He's got the same junk on him he had way back when he joined us the first time. Also like last time, you can't change it either. On top of having no capacity core or fon slot chamber boosts, Asch is going to be putting up pathetic damage and taking a huge amount of it back.
On top of that, Mushroom Road does not fuck around. It's one of the highest level areas in the game, and the monsters will put you down faster than you can blink. I'm also on hard. All of this compiles to make Asch more or less useless for this segment. Which is a shame, because it's a neat gimmick that we've gotten him again.
Now, all of these problems Asch faces can be remedied with some... convenient workaround, but I'll get into that in the next bonus update.
But yeah, suffice to say I play through the rest of this area with Guy.
Now Mushroom Road is big and mazelike, but there are really only two things we need to do here. The first one is to get those deathcaps and finish the sidequest. The second, however, is to head to the topmost portion of the dungeon, where we find an exit to the world map.
It drops us in a secluded part of the worldmap, surrounded by cliffs and full of trees, which the Albiore presently can't land on. Out in this wilderness is an unmarked searchpoint.
This right here is your standard Tales game obscure bullshit fare. The GFS simply lets the Albiore land pretty much anywhere, so long as there aren't trees or inclement weather. That means we can now land in the desert, on snow, in the Meggiora Highlands, etc. Sounds nifty right? It certainly is, especially since there's a solid handful of sidequests that require you to have it to complete them. How could you know this? Fuck you, that's how. Now Mushroom road never locks, so you can always come back for it, but if you don't even know it's there to begin with, that's not much comfort!
There's also a second flightstone upgrade, that's even MORE bullshit than this one, but we'll get to that later.
Anyway, let's speed this up a bit.
: ...So this is it.
: Now Luke's mother can recover. Thank goodness...
: Why are you so concerned about Mother?
: Why...? I caused a lot of trouble for her, so I want to make up for it. That's all.
: ...I see.
: Well, we have what we came here for. Let's head back.
: That guy needs to lighten up a little.
: Well, you know how he is. Anyway, let's get this back to Luke's mother.
One return trip later...
: Yes, we brought one. Hurry and brew it for mother.
: Right away!
: Uh... well... um...
: I told you not to do anything dangerous...
: I'm sorry, Mother. But actually, it wasn't me. It was Asch and the others here who went and got it. I didn't do anything.
: ...He did...?
: I'd like you to thank him... some day, when he comes home to this manor.
: ...Yes, I will. And thank you all, and Luke, too.
That's one of the big ones down, then. We don't get any actual reward for this, so I generally consider it a needed step in the process of getting the GFS.
While we're still in Baticul, let's talk to Pere.
Pere's History Lesson
Of course, we just can't talk to him, this is a Tales game! Instead, we have to take a sudden interest in his room and notice that this perfectly normal desk can be inspected. Yes, this really starts a sidequest.
It's even voiced! Who the hell is going to find this on their own?
: It's quite enjoyable to learn new things. For example... Master Luke, do you know about the history of Baticul?
: Um, it was built in a crater made from a large fonstone that fell to earth, right?
: Yes. Now, as it happens, this area was once known as Ispania.
: Here it comes... I hate history.
: Ispania... I've heard people talk about Ancient Ispanian before, but...
: Yes, indeed. This is the very same Ispania.
: Ispania was destroyed by King Julius of Kimlasca.
: Kimlasca was still a small country, but in defeating Ispania, it took its place among the world's powers.
: At the time, both Kimlasca and Malkuth were vassal states.
: The Malkuth Empire began during the revolution of ND468, when it declared independence.
: So Malkuth and Kimlasca could have ended up as parts of the same country?
: That certainly is a possibility. History is funny that way.
: In any case, lay people this well-versed in history are a rarity. I'm impressed.
: Well, I may be a lay person now, but I was once the protector of the Gardios family.
I'm trying to imagine Duke Fabre doing something nice for somebody else, but I just can't see it. Huh.
: Yes, it's been a pleasure serving you all these years.
: We're going to take him in at my place. You can see him again when you come visit me. Don't look so down!
: Yeah, I guess...
: I'll leave this book here, Master Luke. Please feel free to read it if you're interested.
: I will. Thanks Pere.
There's a second part to this sidequest, not that the game would ever deign to tell you that. To continue it, we've got to hit up Yulia City. The Albiore's stashed in the port, and on my way to getting it we run into a familiar face.
: I don't know what to say...
: It's all right. We are both soldiers. As long as we continue this job, it is something that will happen eventually... but... no, never mind. Excuse me.
: How could this happen? It's too cruel...
At any rate I start making for Yulia city but...on the way there, I get an interesting skit.
Skit: Where is the Key of Lorelei?
: I wonder just how Lorelei intended to send the Key...
: The Key of Lorelei is said to be made out of Seventh Fonons. If it does exist, couldn't it have been disassembled into fonons and sent that way?
: Could something broken down into fonons and atoms really reach someone else on its own? If you did that to a living creature, it'd die.
: The Key is inorganic, so it should be... well, not completely impossible. And as for the broken-down Key being able to reach Luke, Lorelei did say that Luke's fonon frequency is the same as that of the Seventh Fonon.
: So it'd take advantage of the fact that like fonons attract?
: Yes. In a sense, Luke, Asch, and Lorelei are one and the same, at least in terms of their fonon frequencies. It's certainly a possibility.
: ...? I still don't get it, but assuming Lorelei did sent part of the Key to Luke, why didn't Luke get it?
: I think we'll have to ask Asch about that.
: It all comes down to Asch, huh...?
: ...Could it be... the contamination effect? ...No, it shouldn't be.
That does however remind me that I need to do the next part of the contamination sidequest. Let me nip that in the bud.
Remember that hilariously well hidden sidequest from before where we had to spontaniously decide to head back down to Baticul's port so Jade could explain how his spear worked? Well now the second part of that quest has opened up. How do we do it?
...We talk to this cheagle. Yeah.
Oh, and if you don't remember, this is the cheagle that we saved from Ortion Cavern.
: ...! I'm sorry, would you all mind if we stayed at the inn here tonight?
: What's up, Colonel?
: It must be my age... my back is hurting me, and I don't think I can walk today.
: Yeah, right. Oh well, sure. Let's go to the inn.
: Go on ahead.
: Don't tell me you don't think you can even walk to the inn.
: No, my glasses have been acting up, so I'd like to borrow the lab here. Oh, and I'll need fire. Mieu, would you stay with me?
: Then we'll go on ahead.
: There's something I'd like to ask him.
: Mieu? Okay.
: Did they make a replica- a copy of you?
:Yes. An icky man named Dist did it to me.
: I thought so. And when was this?
:About half a year ago, I think.
: If he learned at Choral Castle that Luke and Asch are perfect isofons, then the timing matches... one last thing. What happened to the other you?
:...I think he died.
: ...You think?
:Actually, I died once. And then, after that, I felt something flow into me, and then I wasn't dead. And then the other me was gone.
: Does this mean Dist completed the perfect isofon research? Then those research results weren't just a coincidence...?
: Mieuu? Even if I wanted to, I don't understand any of it...
I can't help but get worried when Jade gets worried.
But at any rate, I said we'd go to Yulia City. So let's do that.
Once again, the way to initiate this sidequest is dumb as hell, requiring you do decide to check out this row of... whatever this is, in the back of Tear's house.
Books of Old
: Yes, this is 'The Legend of Lorelei'.
: You can read Ancient Ispanian, too?
: It's required study at officers' school.
: Ancient Ispanian used to be the official language of the whole world. Everybody in the upper classes, the military, scientists- they all learn it.
: You should learn it, too. Otherwise, you'll find things difficult at official functions. The grammar isn't too different from our own Fonic language.
: Yeah, eventually... it just seems so boring. So what's written in this book, anyway?
: What do you mean, supposed to have been written?
: As you can see if you open it, over half the book is missing.
: Wow, you weren't kidding, Luke. Looks like you could destroy it just by breathing.
: Indeed, the slightest touch might very well make it crumble.
: Is it that old?
: It is old, yes, but it is also said that the miasma caused the book to rot. The origins of Yulia City were supposedly written in there as well, but in this condition...
: But this is the City of Watchers, right? That's why it was built, wasn't it?
: Yes, of course. But city plans, details of fon machines, the legend of Yulia... much once written here has been lost.
: Couldn't you use fomicry to restore the book to its original condition?
: Fomicry duplicates objects in their existing condition. It cannot restore the original state. Some time can be reversed during replication, but only a few days or months.
: We've tried to sumise the contents from other records, but with only limited success. It's quite unfortunate.
And that's it for this little sidequest as well. No real reward or anything, just some good old world building. If there's anything Abyss excels at, it's world building.
Anyway, I'm sick of quests without reward. Aren't you? Let's go get something good. Like a hilariously overpowered spell for Jade.
Remember back when we got that old scroll that Jade said only McGovern could read? We can finally start up the next leg of that quest.
: This scroll indicates the locations of a forbidden verse... no, perhaps this scroll contains the verse itself.
: Most likely. The first four lines indicate that this scroll is a forbidden verse, but the rest... hmm...
: ...Wait a minute, I've seen this poem before.
: Where did you see it?
: Glenn! What happened to that thing I was using as a paperweight? Bring it here?
: Yes, yes. It used to be part of the city gates, but it came off during the fall. I'd been using it as a paperweight. Look at the words inscribed on the surface.
: It... it disappeared!
: Could this be the contamination effect?
: If it is, does that mean the stone's fonons and your fonons mixed together?
: So it would seem. The line vanished from the poem on the scroll as well. This must be an indication that the seal is being broken.
: Then all we need to do is find rocks like that one and we can decipher the scroll?
: Yes, and we'll be able to acquire the forbidden verse. It appears there are three sealed fonic artes in all.
: So we're going on a treasure hunt, huh? If the poem is 14 lines and the first four are an explanation, that means there are 10 stones.
: Which means nine left. It's going to be hard to find nine stones scattered around the world.
: Oh, but doesn't this poem contain the locations of the stones?
: Yes, I'd imagine. Well, let's just keep it in the back of our minds as we go. If we investigate places that fit the bill and ask people we run into, I think we'll find them eventually.
: This sounds like it could really take a while...
Not really, Luke. I have a strategy guide.
First one's in a desk drawer on the second floor of Chesedonia's inn.
Second is behind the statue in Keterburg's plaza.
The final stone is held by these two children. After a completely pointless an uninteresting dialogue with them, we get the final stone we can get for now.
This is a pretty nice arte that does a load of damage to a fairly decent sized area of baddies. And the ones we'll get for Jade later down the line are even better.
Okay, so what's next... oh right, Aramis Spring.
This dog wants us to go help his master, who's stuck up on a cliff.
So we burn him ali- er, I mean we burn the vines around him, and he turns out just fine.
He gives us the King's Portrait, which we can use for a little sidequest I'll be showing off farther down the line. The real reason you want to rescue this guy is because he's the key player in two of the most important sidequests in the game. Luckily there's no cut-off time, so you can always come back here and rescue him. I just wanted to get it out of the way.
Okay, Engeve next. No, we're not even close to being done yet.
Crisis at Engeve
: Oh! It's nice to see you all again. As a matter of fact, yes, we have had a little problem lately...
: Are the cheagles up to something again?
: What exactly is happening?
: Well... our fields are being ravaged... oh, but it's not the cheagles. It's some other monsters that are responsible.
: Monsters? Are they coming into the village itself?
: Well, we don't have a close guard like the other towns do. This sort of thing has happened before... but most of the monsters around here are no worse than livestock gone wild. And they've never come in packs before, either...
: So the present incident is being caused by packs of monsters?
: Well, yes, but they're a completely different kind of monster than we've seen before.
: The fall of the Outer Lands must have altered the ecosystem.
: So it would seem. A different species of monster is now going after the crops.
: They're too much for us to handle..
: Won't the Malkuth army help?
: So many of the soldiers around here were injured in the fall of the continent. And lately they've been busy staring down the soldiers from Kimlasca...
: Can't we do something to help?
: Yes. Though we do have our own work to perform as well...
Why do they even bother giving you the option?
: Let's see what we can do.
: Really?! Thank you!
: We'll do what we can.
Rose tells us to talk to the people of the village, which basically comes down to there's a lot of them, and they like apples. The apple merchant also gives us a special apple to use as bait. After that, Rose will lead us out to where they are nesting.
: Okay, let's see if we can lure them out. Rose, we'll take care of the rest. You should head on back.
: Okay, good luck!
: Okay, here we go. I'm going to put the apple down, everybody ready?
: Do you think they'll really come?
: Well, from what they said back at Engeve. It sounds pretty certain...
A monster's cry is heard.
: ...How ferocious. There are too many of them!
: I'm s-s-scared!
: It seems we're surrounded...
: To get this frenzied at the sight of a single apple... they must be quite starved.
: Here they come!
I have a limited screenshot budget, so I'm only going to show you the first and last battles, but the way this sidequest works is basically a series of battles with progressively more powerful monsters, with a quick dialogue break inbetween each fight.
: Wow, those were weak...
: Don't get careless.
: They're getting stronger. If this keeps up, we could be in trouble.
: Oh, don't say things like that!
: Hah hah hah. Don't worry. If worse comes to worst, I'll protect you.
: It's just as you said, Guy. They just keep coming.
: They seem curiously organized. I suspect there's something behind all this.
: They've got to be getting nervous, too. At this rate, they're not going to get to the apple.
: Do you think so? It feels to me more like we're being tested...
: I don't like the sound of that.
: Is there no end to these attacks? How many of them can there be?!
: I don't know, but however many there are, either we get rid of them, or they get rid of us!
: Ooooh! I'm tired of this! I hate these guys!
: Well, it seems you're in luck. From the tension in the air, I would suspect these to be the last of them.
The leaders of this pack turns out to be a duo of Mersharks. Not really that threatening, to be honest. I was expecting a boss fight, or a dragon or something. Not just more scrub monsters.
: It would seem so.
: What was with the hoards of those things, anyway?!
: I was shocked to see such different species of monsters forming a pack...
: Not to sound like Jade, but it bothers me, too. I hope there's nothing more to it...
: But it seems this incident has been taken care of.
: It does indeed.
: Then let's be happy about it. The people of Engeve will be relieved to hear the news as well.
: I'm so glad it worked out!
: Right, there's no point in worrying over what we don't know. Let's go report back to Rose!
: There were a lot, so it was a little tough. But we got rid of all of them.
: Thank you so much! It's not much but... please accept this as thanks for saving the village.
: My son gave me that to commemorate my becoming the mayor of the village. He said it represented his wishes for my health as I protected the village. But then the war came along, and he...
: We couldn't take such an important thing from you!
: Huh? Oh... hah hah hah, don't worry. If anything, it belongs to you for protecting Engeve.
: ...Thank you Rose. We'll treasure it.
: But would you son approve of us carrying it?
: Don't worry. If we couldn't grow vegetables here, he'd be out of business too.
: Yeah. When the war came along, he got spooked and ran right off the battlefield. These days he's selling vegetables out in Chesedonia.
Yet another obscure as hell sidequest down. And what did it get us? A collector's book item. Really, that's it. Rose's Pendant does nothing else for us. It's just a hunk of metal we record in our book. Thanks game.
At any rate, there turned out to be so many of these buggers that I'm going to have to split the update. So I'll see you all next time (definitely this Friday!) for the conclusion to this epic sidequest marathon.
There is no synopsis for this update.