Part 18: Chapter XV - Even now, I dont like to go to the bathroom alone
Even now, I dont like to go to the bathroom alone
- Video: The Southwestern Road
An important trade route running along the Dobraza Ravine. Its not a particularly safe road, but many use it to find that great deal.
Music: Rolling Hills, Sprawling Plains
The Southwestern Road, as suggested by its uninteresting name, is not a very interesting place. Its another zone that you have to walk through once to unlock another area, after which theres little reason to come back.
This almost looks to be at the edge of the desert, although the world map says otherwise. The Southwestern Road looks pretty dry. The grass is sparse at best, and there are only a few palm trees.
Woah, hey guys, look how small the Sacred Lands look from here!
I see the city, come on guys, Ill race you! Last one theres a perforated tuveloid!
- Video: Balterossa Flyover
One of the three great leading towns of the worldwide economy, it is also called the Sand Sea Gate, as it controls all trade through the Great Sand Sea.
Music: Gateway to the West (Balterossa Theme)
Huh? Geez, theyre still way back there. Its like theyre not even trying to race.
Balterossa Merchants Lot: Many merchants handle their trade business in this district before heading back to their homeland.
Merchant: Travelling merchants stop here to take a break during their long journeys or talk shop with other merchants. You should take a load off, too!
The Last Remnant does something fairly remarkable here. Balterossa is in fact, entirely optional to visit. You never have to go here during the main quest, ever. Not only that, but its also the way to two other cities that are also entirely optional (and theres also a fourth optional city). Theres a whole ton of sidequests that can only be completed by visiting those cities, naturally. If you just follow the main quest, you can blaze through the main plot pretty damn fast, but youll miss out on the majority of the games content.
Youre looking well.
Heya, Ms. Young Maiden.
Right. So, could you not call me that? It sounds ridiculous, to say the least.
Well, its not like I know your name.
The names Emmy.
Nice to meet you for real, finally. Im
Wha!? C-can you see into my brain!?
Perhaps! Of course, it wouldnt be very difficult
Take care, Rush.
I think Ill look around the Spirale Market before I move on. Theyre supposed to have everything there.
Tao Tie-Admiring Child: It can stick its tail in soo deep, an drink water from, like, super-deep underground! When I grow up, Im gonna be the Tao Tie!
Uh yeah, you just practice at that
Aristocratic Man: Lady Bertrude, Duchess of Balterossa, once was married, but the Duke was killed in an accident in the desert, long ago. Since then, Lady Bertrude has run Balterossa by herself. Her affection for her daughter, the Lady Charlotte, is unmatched Perhaps as she is the only piece of the late Duke left.
The only piece of the Duke left? What happened to the other pieces?
Aristocratic Man: Sand weasels, I believe.
Hey hey. Have you seen the Duchesss daughter, Lady Charlotte? Shes the most beautiful girl in all Balterossa Whenever I see her, I just want to Urhurr hurr hurr
Im just gonna go away now.
But, I-Ive heard she has a-a lover What kind of guy is she interested in? And why isnt it me?
I could list the most obvious reasons, but Id still be here all day.
There you are.
Took you long enough, slowpokes!
We were -not- racing you.
Hey, you should meet this girl Ive seen around. I think shes psychic or some- huh? Whered she go?
You should be careful, Rush. If you overexert yourself, you could get heat stroke and die. And that would be a terrible shame.
Hmmm I do believe hallucinations are one of the signs of heat stroke.
Cmon, Rush, lets get you inside somewhere.
Hmmm? Is that are you the Marquis of Athlum?
I am indeed, and who might you be?
Forgive my manners. I am Cademon, leader of the Silver Falcons!
The mercenary group?
Yes, exactly. We fight to maintain peace and order in the world - mostly by eliminating bands of monsters who get too aggressive, and threaten towns. Unfortunately, the Lords of those towns are often less than grateful.
Well, I think that work is rather noble.
Thank you, Marquis. Hmmm I wonder
I hope Im not being too presumptuous, but could you allow me to accompany you? I am a capable fighter, and I believe that being seen in the company of the Marquis would certainly help raise the standing of the Silver Falcons in the eyes of the nobility.
You would be most welcome to join!
Leader of the Silver Falcons. Surprisingly public for a sovani. Dutiful and principled, but despised by those in power.
Class: Master Ranger
Initial BR: BR 18
Str / Int: (35 / 25)
- Dual Two-Handed: (Flash Strike)
- Evocations: (Mystic Missile III, Flash Arrow II, Silencer)
- Herbs: (Restorative Herb)
- Potions: (Red Potion)
- Remedies @ BR 27
- Traps @ BR 36
- Arcana: Whiteout
Now were talking. Caedmon, our second Sovani, starts out as a Master Ranger, with a bunch of Evocations skills learned. Still though, his INT is lagging 10 points behind his STR, and his only other Mystic art is the common Remedies. However, His HP does starts out notably low for his BR, suggesting a caster role. Recruit him right away, for he has three quests to do.
Tags: Versatile, Combat, Mystic, Items, Healer, Arcana
Now our starter party is finally complete. So long Oakes, you are fired. At more than 19,000 G, Cademon is pretty expensive on a first run. He starts at BR 18, and I am BR 8, so Im getting him significantly earlier than the game expects. That high price is nothing to even blink at on NG+. You get what you pay for, though, as he is very versatile. Its safe to leave Herbs on for him, as he has three levels of Evocations already learned, so it would take a lot of work before Items becomes dominant.
Urgh Every night, Ive been kept up by that damned bell ringing
What the hell, didnt you know? Its the ruins outside of town Mojcado Castle. Centuries ago, it was this beautiful silver castle. The ruler did all sorts of rituals there, was celebrated in song, yadda yadda. Of course, now its all run down, overrun by monsters. Thats just how it goes.
So whats that got to do with the bell?
Thing is, in the middle of the castle is this huge belltower. Sometimes itll ring at night, even though the places deserted Ugh, gives me the creeps!
The deserts plenty dangerous, but its worth bravin it for all the treasure hidden out there. Rumor going round the guild is that beneath the Great Sand Sea is the ruins of the greatest of the Old Kingdoms the Kingdom of Glenys. What Id give to get even a look at that loot
Forgive me for asking, Lord David, but I wasnt expecting to see you here. I thought there was supposed to be a meeting of the Congress.
Thats correct, although, it hasnt started yet. I think.
Lady Bertrude herself returned rather suddenly, almost before she even left. Im not sure why.
See Dave? If shes still here, theres loads of time!
Balterossa Spirale Market: This district was built around an underground oasis, which provides the town with its blessing. Rarities from the southwestern area of the continent are often found here.
Qsiti Merchant: This is Balterossas famed shopping area, Spirale Market. Its named for how the path twists around the Remnant Tao Tie. Here you can buy the finest weapons from across the continent, and pick up the rarest components everything you could ever need!
I think that the Spirale Market is a masterpiece of set design. Technically, you only get access to a tiny section of the market. But the amazing view of all the other levels, the Tao Tie, the water below, the sky and the city above it gives you an impression of being far, far larger than it actually is.
South of the Great Sand Sea is the mining city of Royotia. The gems and ore they mine are exclusively sold here in Balterossa. Balterossa is rich both economically and culturally being a major trade hub attracts people from all over. As a Balterossan, I consider it a point of pride. However, to put it plainly, the Royotians are incredibly jealous of our fortune.
Not surprising. Because everything Royotia ships has to pass through Balterossan territory at some point, they have to pay tariffs, and I bet that even includes stuff that they are shipping past Balterossa, too. The Royotians do the work of digging the stuff out, and Balterossa makes a fine profit for doing jack shit.
Elegant Madam: Its amazing that we can have such a bustling city in the middle of the desert, isnt it. Its all due to the blessing of the Tao Tie. Go on, take a look. Its like two giant insects, isnt it? Those sweet beasties take care of all Balterossa.
Balterossa Balterossa Castle: The Lords of Balterossa, administrators of the underground water supply, now reside in this castle. It was formerly the home of the towns guild leader.
You stand before the Lady Bertrude! Mind your manners.
You stand before the Duchess of Balterossa! Watch your tongue.
You are in the presence of Lady Bertrude of Balterossa! Mind your manners.
Why does everyone always look at me when they say stuff like that?
It must be your face.
I trust youve visited our market? I am certain youll be impressed by the various rare items offered for sale there.
Yeah, thats a pretty cool place!
Thank you. Now if you dont mind, there are urgent matters of state that I must attend to.
Thats all for the tour, now to the Café Moondust.
Music: A Friendly Ear
Busy place. The interesting thing is that all four of those red bubbles are quest-related, but have different results. But first, lets talk to the generic folks.
What the heck is that thing in front of the tavern?
Cowboy Qsiti: Whats the critter sitting outside? Thats my partner, of course! Traveling merchants like us make our way by takin a wide range of goods back and forth across the desert. Its a harsh trip, but with my faithful companion by my side, the journey aint so bad.
Ooh, ooh, can I ride?!
Cowboy Qsiti: Woah, there, pardner, hold yer horses. No matter how much you offer, I aint about to let my faithful steed go!
Bartender: Welcome to Café Moondust. Hey there, didja know? Theres a city even past the great desert. At the southern tip of the world, sitting at the base of Mt. Altona is a town of hardy if pigheaded miners.
Bartender: What, you want to know whats in the western desert? The old adventurers used to say that west of the west was a forgotten town. But no one knows if its true or not no ones ever come back from there alive.
Sounds like a challenge to me!
Bartender: Mmm, I wouldnt waste time worrying about that place. I would never allow my daughter to go there, either!
Thats the latest news, Daddy.
Bartender: Ohh, I completely sympathize with her mother. Every parent wants to keep their daughter near. Beloved daughter, youd better stay at home for a while!
I I see
The Silver Falcons have sworn to protect order across the continent. We act without regard for borders there is only one world, after all. We are currently in the middle of an important strategy session. Please dont interrupt.
It doesnt matter that Cademon is in the party. No, you cant change the character you run around as.
Charlotte-Struck Girl: Lots of girls are huge fans of Lady Charlotte. The minute shes seen as wearing anything, similar fashions start flying off store shelves. In a word, shes like the towns idol. *sigh* Im jealous I wish everyone would try and emulate me!
Wise Old Man: That strength threatened the Imperator, and he set his armies against them. When the dust cleared, the desert country was destroyed. However the spirits of the warriors from the defeated land still lurk within the deserts sands, awaiting the perfect time for revenge My great-grandfather first told me that tale when I was just a little boy. Man, was I spooked! I was always home by dark after that! Even now, I dont like to go to the bathroom alone Eheheh.
TMI, old man!
Okay, thats all, now lets talk to the red bubble people. First up:
Cheerful Man: Waiiit a minute You didnt peek inside and read it, now, did you?
Ahahah maybe a little?
Cheerful Man: Boring, wasnt it? This guys letters are always so dull. Anyway, heres for your trouble. You had to come all the way out here, right? Thanks.
No, no he did not.
Obtained Jade Orb! Rush can now use Remedies!
Cheerful Man: Have a good one!
Completed Quest: The Secret Letter
I delivered the letter to Balterossa. I wonder what it was about and why he couldnt just use a mailman.
Remedies appear early enough that you probably have not have learned Vivication Herb yet. As has been noted before, Remedies are the games best healing, and you should have as many people learn them as possible.
And no, you cant actually read the letter you were given. Next up!
I know my name is Jorgen but I dont know anything else. What sort of man was I? Where did I live? What was my job? What activities did I enjoy? I have no memory of any of it. Hmm? Your talisman, it-
Ah, sorry. I thought youd reminded me of something, but I guess not. Wait This could be a good method. Ingenious, even. Im fairly certain that asking you a favour at our first meeting seems somewhat rude,
(Think nothing of it, after all, neither would Rush.)
but I want to do whatever I can to regain my memory. Here is what I ask: could you find things that seem as if they have some connection to me, and bring them here?
Ill see what I can do.
I appreciate it, truly. I am in your debt. Ill trust your intuition. If you can find three things that really call to you about me, then please bring them to me. Im sure it will help.
Jorgen lost his memory, but I might be able to help him get it back by showing him things connected to his past.
I dunno, pal. Right now the only things that really speak to me about you are bags of nuts.
Be happy, memories suck.
Perhaps perhaps so. Its true that some have pasts they wish to forget so badly that my situation seems a boon. Forgive me for asking. Ill try to regain my memories by myself.
Hmmm? Oh! You I remember! Have you come to help me remember more? Im just looking for things that could remind me of myself. If you could bring such a thing here, Id me much obliged.
You can live without em!
Certainly, that is true, I believe Yet I do not wish to do so. Ill do what I can to restore my memory on my own.
Jorgens sidequest is one of the very rare freeform ones. There are seven items Of Remembrance in the world. We need to give him three of them to complete the quest and make him recruitable.
The high-concept behind this quest is that he has a multiple-choice past, and the combination of items we give him actually determines the class he becomes. There are seven possibilities. Jorgen has several exclusive classes no one else can get. The problem, though, is that none of his classes are very impressive, and worse four of the seven classes are only possible to obtain from an item practically at the end of the game. By that time, youve probably already acquired 99% of your final party, and theyve been gaining stats and abilities, which will put Jorgen behind the curve... so theres no reason to use him by then anyway.
Ill have a separate post later on and let people decide which Jorgen Ill get for the quest and then probably bench. Yay.
If you have confidence in your abilities, come to Balterossa Castle and speak with the chief of staff. He will tell you what you need to know.
Well come back to this later. Now for the last red bubble person.
Mojcado Castle Its an ancient castle left to ruin. Now its only home to legions of monsters and beasts. Why in the world would she select such a dangerous place to meet? No matter how I try, I cannot make heads or tails of the decision? Nevertheless, I will go. To meet with Charlotte, I would walk through a raging battlefield for just a glimpse of her smile. That said, I am no fighter.
Liar. Paris here is a pretty good fighter, actually. Alright, he might be a slightly better mage, but hes no slouch in combat.
Good sir, might I request your assistance as a bodyguard within these ruins?
Sure, Ill come along.
Youve my gratitude. I am Paris. Not to be overly single-minded, but let us hurry to Mojcado Castle.
Accepted Quest: For Love the Bell Tolls
Rushs decline option is Be a man, go it alone., but Paris just says I see. Not interesting.
- Dungeon Video: Mojcado Castle (For Love the Bell Tolls)
Balterossa Mojcado Castle: An abandoned acropolis that has long fallen into disrepair. Its said that wandering souls haunt the area, beckoning thieves and monsters.
Music: Creeping Shadows
Not all dungeons appear on the world map. Some, like this one, appear on the city maps. It follows the dungeon rules for escaping, though, you cant hit backspace to leave.
Mojcado has an interesting aesthetic. The whole thing is rather flat, but with sand-dusted skylights in the ceiling making it fairly bright for an interior dungeon. Still though, the palette is limited to shades of sandstone.
That voice its Charlotte! Something must have happened to her! I was meant to meet Charlotte at the castles bell tower. Lets hurry!
A guest union has joined the party.
This man cannot get into my party soon enough. His strength is less than his intellect, but it is close enough that he can work as a fighter. Alas, as you may be able to tell from the really high stats and his art collection, hes pretty high BR and wont be joining us anytime soon.
Mojcado is a pretty large level. This is the Gateway section. Theres a lot of rooms, treasure chests, dig points, and there are several exits to other sectors of the castle, and more will open up later. The east and west exits lead to small parts of the locked sectors that are cut off from it theyre dead ends, basically.
I recorded a dungeon video, and spent the first half of it avoiding all combat but partway through, it occurred to me that would make for a really dull dungeon video, so I apologize, and for your convenience, Ive sped up the dull parts to 8x speed.
This is a weapon upgrade that Loki will want to take off our hands. The treasure chest in the right-central room has the map of the castle.
One downside to dungeons is that theres rarely a lot interesting to look at in them. Our next treasure chest has Necklace Recipe 2, used to create a Floral Wreath: Mystic Resist + 2, Flame Defense +2, Thunder Defense +2. Its a Mystic type item, so no one will request it due to the bug.
Paris the unit, on his own, has 777 health, but in a guest union, without anyone else in it, he has 2175 health. No, I dont know how its calculated either.
As the Jhana are one of the lesser sentient races of the planet, no one blinks at killing them and carving them up for parts. Its the natural order of things.
The ones here drop Warriors Broadswords often. Emma takes one as a weapon upgrade, and if we get a second, Rush can show it in at the Golden Chalice for a guild task completion. I also tinker with my art setup after this fight, disabling Caedmons Potions ability, Rushs Enrage, and turning Blocters One-Handed back on so hell progress in that skill some more.
There are some of these large locked doors around that lead to other sectors of the castle. Another sidequest opens them up. Lets move on to the second section of the castle, the Oath section.
The area in front of us is the Bell Tower, our destination. It is the circular section on the map, but well need to take the long way to get there.
Earring Recipe 2 is used to create Spriggans Bounty, another one-per-game-only item. It grants Physical Resist +2 and Slash Resist +2, and is suited for the Physical resist type. I guess I could craft it and maybe someone would take it.
Still no actual elf race in the game. This is your only free one, but it can be bought for 81,000 G each from Rods Components in Athlum later on. It can be used either to create an Elfs Escape trinket (Physical), giving AP Cost Cut +1, Immunity to the Black Out status, and +1 growth to Mystic arts, or a Qsiti specific spear Elfs Snare, which has Lytic Attack +2, added effect: Acid Burn, and Unburdens + 5, which I think speeds that unit up.
Heres the first time that our brand new Ranger class gets to show its stuff: Davids Division is deadlocking that unit, and our Ranger class gives us the Side On leadership skill, letting us flank them. This doesnt seem that impressive now, since a flank would happen anyway, but it should also work on units that would normally multi-deadlock.
Uh, you go, David!
I think thats enough dungeon for today. Boss time!
- BOSS Video: Assassin (For Love the Bell Tolls)
Mission: Defeat the Assassin.
This assassin cuts right to the chase and battle starts immediately.
Music: Struggle Eternal
I dont think he was expecting Paris to come with so many people thats the one downside to his plan of having Paris and Charlotte meet in a dangerous place.
Rushs plan to bluff was cancelled when the Hitman hit him and inflicted Blacked Out status. That lowers your defense to zero, and cancels any offensive or defensive action for the rest of the turn. It goes away after the current turn ends.
Paris dodges and the Jhana fighter falls flat on his face.
It was a critical trigger, too, so that union is gone. Davids Division flank-attacks the Hitman, but are deadlocked by the remaining Jhana group. Emma flanks THEM, but they dodge her Bladedancer.
For the pride of the Falcons!
Nice, this one looks loaded!
This battle seems like a cakewalk, so have Rush go all-out. I decide to have Emma heal another union, but I wasnt paying quite enough attention and didnt realize she was targeting Davids union, not Rushs.
Not only does the assassin get in another nasty strike onto Rush, but he blocks Rushs attack!
Those guys must be pretty frickin weak.
Paris is pretty good, guys. (To be fair, he vastly outlevels our party, and by the time we catch up
I am poor at pattern recognition, and fail to recognize that on the previous two turns, the Hitman has acted first each and every time. So I pick the stay and heal option, instead of the break off and heal option, which would (probably) let Rushs union act first before the Hitman gets a chance to.
Glory to the Falcons
This is a reminder to not get sloppy even on easy fights. No one can revive yet, so no experience for Rush, Torgal, or Caedmon from this fight.
Not a fighter my ass, Paris.
learned Spark III!
learned Restore II!
Thank you, Rush. Words cannot fully convey my gratitude. But, dearest Charlotte, why did you decide to meet in such a perilous location in the first place? Though thanks to me requesting Rushs help, we were able to rescue you
What do you mean? Paris, you were the one who decided the meeting place. You wrote me not a fortnight back.
What!? I never wrote such a letter.
The plot thickens! I do like the sidequests in this game, theyre not usually boring and sometimes have elements of intrigue to them.
What manner of knavery is this and towards what end? Now that I think of it The brute from earlier knew me by name. Certainly it could not have been
So neither of you sent the letters to each other?
*sigh* Forgive me, Rush. This mystery does not preclude a reward for your assistance.
The guest union has left the party.
Music: A Friendly Ear
Here is your promised reward. Please take it.
Obtained Godstone of Love!
Completed Quest: For Love the Bell Tolls!
Its a rock.
Godstone Count: 1
Im almost certain Ive seen the man Lady Charlotte was meeting before If only I could remember where?
Court Lady: Lady Charlotte often goes to have her fortune told. It seems to bring her great happiness.
Im sorry Ive caused Mother such trouble. Yet Paris is a wonderful man
However, I will not be revealing the details of this plot to the public. I have my own idea of the culprit. Now, to spin a web to catch them...
Remember that soldier in the bar who told us to go to the castle? Lets see what he has.
A thousand years ago, there was a great kingdom in the desert. Its military was renowned around the world. And within that force was the queensguard the Mantroskylo. Their prowess in battle is still sung in legend today. They were heroes who sealed countless wild monsters. A brotherhood who protected their queen like an iron wall. Skilled warriors who could win while outnumbered a thousand to one. However, they were eventually destroyed by their own strength. They turned into monsters, and turned upon the Imperator. The Imperator immediately struck back. After a fierce battle on both sides, the Imperator took the Tao Tie and sealed the Mantroskylo.
Sounds like an old story. Whats the big deal?
Young traveler, this is no simple nursery-tale. After a thousand years, the Mantroskylo have returned. They assemble against Balterossa to take back the Tao Tie. This cannot be allowed, no matter the cost. Somehow, the force that was strong enough to even plague the Imperator must be defeated.
By Fight with us, he really means Fight the entire army all by yourself while we do nothing. Also, if you were paying attention, this sounds like it might be a little more difficult than usual. But were a whole BR NINE now, so we can do it!
Sure, Ill help!
I have those already from my previous playthrough. Ill just cancel out of this quest here, put my guys in them and boom! No problem! (Note that this is your second chance to back out of this quest.)
Accepted Quest: The Ancient War
- BLOOPER Video: The Ancient War (Schmuck Edition)
is that a Dragon? shit. Note how low the starting morale is. Okay, my plan for this battle, is to stand by, building up my AP, so none of my unions will take any actions for a turn or two.
Music: Sliver of Hope
I failed to notice that some enemies were in fact, in range to attack us.
Okay, so this isnt great. At all. But maybe I can salvage it
Poison does not bother with wussy stuff like reduce your health to 1. No, it will just go ahead and kill you.
That one lone bird ate damage more than twice as much as my toughest union has HP, and one attack from it took off 1/3 of my HP. So
When the game was warning about how dangerous this was it was not fucking around. This quest is one that well have to save for later. MUCH later.
New Arts Summary
- Restorative Herb II!
- Spark III!
class changed to Expert Fighter!
class changed to Monk!
Video: The Southwestern Road
Video: Balterossa Flyover
Dungeon Video: Mojcado Castle (For Love the Bell Tolls)
BOSS Video: Assassin (For Love the Bell Tolls)
BLOOPER Video: The Ancient War (Schmuck Edition)
Next Time: I aint afraid o no ghost.