The Let's Play Archive

The Way

by Fleshwit

Part 4: Episode 1 Finale: Story Time

Episode 1 Finale: Story Time

Only a couple steps into the cave...

Well, this is a bad sign already.

Someone's up ahead...

You'd be forgiven for missing this easier secret, especially since you'd probably assume, like I once did long ago, that it's just a later section of this cave.

What's less forgivable about Lun putting this in is that you can only walk in from down here.

Dodging two enemy encounters also in the secret I find this.

So. I guess I'll be explaining the progression system now instead of Traziun in a short bit.

So the notch screen I didn't show earlier. You slot items into these.

The '1' is just a count of how many items I have of that type. The E6 is the interesting part. Thats an efficiency 6 rating. That means that per CTP point the absorption rate increases by 6%. When an item hits 100%, the item is absorbed and you get the boost.


I go and fight those two (secret!) encounters I dodged now. Two Fangs are adorable and weak. Traziun hits pretty hard. They still nearly KO Rhue by putting him to sleep. Apparently pounding someone while they're asleep doesn't wake them up in The Way.

Meanwhile, Traziun comes with three moves including THE most worthless heal of all time.

Headshot 'O-Mind: Damages and sometimes stuns enemy.'
Blind Retribution 'Counterattacks if ANY damage is incurred on him.'

We win handily even with Rhue missing most of the fight and nearly dying.

So, thats 12% towards the absorption of the Heart Stone.

Now, AR. That's for the OTHER advancement system.

So... this is a bit more complicated.

This is our swords current aura. We'll earn more auras later. Most are from story events and have a story reasons. They all have different elements and teach Rhue different moves. The curious part is that he can use moves from all of.... a type of aura. So Piercer here is a weapon aura. There's a couple weapon auras to switch between like slashing and such. You can use the X-LIFE skills learned from them while using any weapon aura. But the sword will also gain element auras and some other types. While using element auras or w/e, you can only use X-LIFE moves learned from that category of Auras. And each category is generally stronger than the previous one. When we get elements, we'll largely stop using weapon auras. The gap between Element and Weapon isn't huge. But the others, its so huge their lowest level does equal damage to the highest level of some of the others.

Meanwhile there's Patterns. This is the defensive aspect of the sword auras. So, Weapon Category...

And Point Bender is the Piercer Pattern. Unlike the Sword Auras we get no benefit from having Patterns equipped, even when they're leveled up. The only point in having a Pattern equipped is SO it'll level up, which gives us the listed flow for the level listed there.
How we get the benefit from patterns is...

You select the level of flow you want to equip. You can mix and match from different Patterns, which is just as well. Being stuck with the 60% poison resist in slot 1 and 100% poison resist in slot 2 would be wasteful and annoying.

One last thing. Enemy encounters don't respawn in this game, so there's a limited amount of CTP and AR. You don't want to be very wasteful until very late in the series when... well, we'll get to that.

No, things aren't going very well actually.

What's the problem?

Two words, big beast. It already gave my leg a good scratch. I can barely feel it though, apparently because of a numbing poison.

I think it is saving me for dinner.

Well...Thanks for the warning bud. Looks like we need to be extra careful Rhue.

Any help would be appreciated.
Rhue and Traziun begin to depart and...

Boy, sucks to be him, huh? Hopefully the beast will be too busy with him to notice us.

So.... Here's the only event in the whole series you can get Traziun Points, which are never ever called on. Just another bit of evidence that whatever Lun planned wasn't completely solidified at this stage.

But agreeing with him here gives you two points, disagreeing then agreeing gives one. We're going for zero because I know that man has an item we need to progress anyway. Also I'm nice. Well. Good aligned.

I think we should help him out.

Why? You want to endanger our lives to help a stranger? This guy could be a bandit for all we know.
He's probably getting exactly what he deserves. It's what the Purpose intended.

We should at least give him a chance to prove himself.

Do you want to interrogate him across the chasm? Is that the plan?
You get another chance to agree with Traziun here but I don't take it.

No, don't be stupid. I'm going to trust my gut instinct on this one. Feel free to go on alone.

That's all right. I'll stick with you... this time.
Traziun's not usually this much of a jerk, but it happens.

North of that area is a big open cavern.

Rhue asks what this is, and this is when Traziun explains Notch Items and how that system works.
Pocite increases Poise by +2

Hmm... We may have to jump a few gaps.
Our new blue haired friend has the key.

And we do jump a few gaps.

So, as we wind around the edge of this big cavern, do you see a secret here?

Do you see it yet?

Yeah. Focus +2 btw.

Just south of that secret is this. Not sure withered is the word you want Lun. The way further south deadends at a high cliff over the path we want to go.

So we jump that gap on the left and continue around and take the southern path at a T intersections.

Here's our first really real boss fight. And it's a doozy. There's no real easy strategy I've been missing all this time unlike with the headhunter.

Rhue does around 5 damage and Traziun will deal between 5-8 damage to it depending.

After turn 1...

But now that you're here let's kill this thing!
Gaius isn't much better at attacking it than the other two, but he's a decent healer. Yes, this is Gaius. I have some words about this whole scenario, but later.

Antidote is obvious and Light Mend is the same decent heal XLIFE that Dana had. Gaius is less effective though, healing only 15-19ish hp where Dana could do 28.

Long Slash 'W-Slash: Heavy damage to enemy.'

In addition to this, the Fligg has a charge attack that hits everyone for the same damage as its normal attack but can also stun them.

So the strategy here is to have Gaius absorb and heal while Traziun and Rhue attack and use spin blade and headshot when they can. Traziun can do 20 damage with headshot and it can stun the thing.

I actually lose the first attempt. Due to the AI focus firing Traziun down when it wasn't constantly inflicting poison or stun on everyone.
Fortunately there was a save point right before the boss.

On my second attempt, Gaius gets Beyond Oneself off early which spares him from status effects. But Traziun gets NUMBED which is basically paralyse (I believe stun only lasts the round its inflicted. Characters that haven't acted yet lose their turn)
So we have to wait a couple of turns for Numb to wear off our best damage dealer. At least he builds up XL in that time.

I also don't worry about using antidote when poisoned so much. It wears off quickly and doesn't do much damage.

Eventually, after a long battle, Rhue lands the killing blow.

6 CTP and 8 AR!

The path back gets blocked after the fight by these bursting out of the ground. Uh... that's some beast, to set up a trap like that.

I have a key to work the switch which triggers the bridge, but how do we get back there now?
So, this is Gaius. He's... he's... he's Gaius and he has Gaius' face. So uh... This whole situation is one that seems fine when you first play the series, but is... kind of off if you think about it upon replays. Either Lun REALLY wanted to introduce Gaius early and shoehorned this scene in a way that would be kind of odd in a nitpicky way when you know whats to come, OR Gaius's introduction is a victim of Lun perhaps not having a clear idea of exactly where things were going from from day 1 and his role in the story being altered or entirely changed.

I hope your leg is feeling better, because it looks like we're going to have to do some jumping.

This could be tricky... And if you don't mind me asking, who are you?

I am Gaius of Xor.


Something wrong?

No, nothing is wrong. I thought you said something else for a second. You said your name was Gaius?

Yes, Guy-us.

Well I'm Traziun and I think we'd better get going.

Okay then. Let's use the key on that switch and activate the bridge. It's back the way you just came.

We jump up those ledges until we can jump down to where we first spoke to Gaius.

Then go hit the switch which gives us 43 second to get across before it unactviates. This is a bit frustrating due to Lun somehow accidentally often making corners invisible walls so you find yourself getting stuck often if you're rushing through.

Whew. If you're on the bridge when the time runs out, it's game over.
If you're like me, you didn't save after beating the Fligg. Haha.

After the bridge we meet new enemies. These guys are assholes cos their numbing rays hit everyone. Doesn't have great chance of success though. But I've ha dit work on everyone before and it's not a good time. Traziun goes down during the fight due to being numbed, though I was neglecting healing.

Cave Rays DO give 6 CTP and 5 AR though! Which means...

Hell yeah!

So, doubled attack, slightly more crit and hit chance. Next level Rhue'll learn a new X-LIFE move though! Meanhwile, when I was equipping the Flow, I noticed that it has 60% poison resist on the Pattern screen, but 70% on the Flow screen. Huh.
I notch up the Focite next.

Ahhh what would you do if I told you the next secret is directly left of Rhue?

At least you can see the chest from the main path and that the way leading to it is from the north but you'd have to know it's also not part of the main path. and there's no indication that the entrance is only just before that save point.

I'd also like to point out that of the four notch items we've gained thus far, three of them were hidden in asinine secrets.
Early on like this, The Way is like playing the first half of a mediocre DOOM II Megawad where the secrets are helpful and are hidden rather asininely but since the maps are relatively easy, you can do without. Until it starts getting hard and completing the later maps on pistol start becomes nearly impossible if not straight out impossible without the secrets which are STILL being hidden in awful ways and worst of all, the hardest encounters become too easy when you do find everything.

If we want to progress, we need to go this way.

Well, I think one of us should go down to check things out.

Yes, we don't all need to be trapped down there together if something goes wrong.

Do you want to go down Rhue? I'll go if you have reservations about it.

No, I'll do it.

I'd better work fast.
It's good to see even in The Way dungeon puzzle designers can still get jobs in random caves.

Anyway, I'll quote the walkthrough on this.


This puzzle is actually fairly difficult to solve. The bonuses you get from solving it depend on
how fast you solve it. Solve it in under 3 minutes and Rhue will say "That was child's play."
and you'll get FOCUS +1 and WILL +1. Stay under 6 minutes to get "That wasn't too tough." and
FOCUS +1. Take longer and you won't get any bonuses. I recommend playing this puzzle until you
get the full bonuses. The solution, if you so desire it, is:

The walkthrough then provides a solution missing several vital steps, so it's completely fucked up. It's wrong anyway, it's a really simple puzzle.

The switches are all labeled.

And the bridges clearly tell you what switch needs to be on or off for them to be up.

So I solve it as quickly as I always have.

Now, hopefully there's an exit out of here somewhere.

I'm sure one can't be too far off.

Good, I'm starting to feel a little claustrophobic in here.

It's not so bad...

What? You like it in here?

I didn't say that. Let's just go.
Rhue gets a little touchy for some reason.

And then there's a mandatory hidden path secti-

Oh? We just teleport here. Yeah, so. Lun did something right and took this out of later versions, but it was still in versions late enough that i suffered it couple times and the walkthrough has this paragraph still in it.


Continue walking and you'll come to a place with a black ceiling. You won't be able to see your
character or the pathway, but there's only one route, so as long as you don't turn back the way
you came, you'll come out the other side.

We jump gaps.... walk...

Fight a new encounter type that has an annoying Group Hug heal!

Good things happen... (I equip one of the Pocites next)

And after a long walk and a bunch of fights, we're done.

Strangely, no one says anything about exiting the cave, but fine.

We walk through a few screens of forest. Crickets are chiping, and then...

A girl lunges out from 'behind' a tree shouting "BOO!" which causes Rhue to draw his sword.

Yeah, Lands, Rhue!

I'm sorry... (what's with me?)

It's all right. I'm sorry too! Did I scare you?
This is a scene where we can score some relationship points. It's kind of difficult NOT to actually get atleast one.

"Yes (You scared me)"
	"Yes (I'm mad)"
		"I forgive you."                +2
		"All right..."                  +2
		"Just this once..."             +1
		"..."                           -1
	"No (I'm not mad)"                      +2
"No (You didn't scare me)"
	"Yes (I always draw my sword)"
		"Yes."                          +1
		"No."                           +1
	"No (I don't always draw my sword)"
		"Uh... sure."                   +2
		"What???"                        0

I go with yes, she scared Rhue.

I guess I shouldn't have jumped out at you like that.

You aren't mad are you?
I have Rhue say no.

I'm so glad, I hate to make people unhappy. I can tell that we're going to get along wonderfully!
My name is Lyrra. What are your names?

Geez, what's with that look? Also at this point the guy at the campfire wanders over too.

Traziun at your service.

My name is Gaius.

Rosmar also didn't have a portrait for a long time.

Lyrra, you were told to call out if anyone came!

If they had tried to harm me I would have called out. But look, they are just honest wanderers like us.

Don't you get it? It would have been too late had they been bandits!

After all the news we've heard and the body that we found today...
... I would hope that you would be a little more cautious, Lyrra!

What news?

You haven't heard? Three wanderers were massacred two nights ago.
A middle-aged man, his wife and a younger woman who was travelling with them.

That's just awful. Could it have been the Blue Scarves?

I don't know. From the story I heard nothing appeared to have been taken. All their valuables were untouched.


You all right Rhue? You look sick.

I want to sit down.

Come on then, there's plenty of room around the fire!
Why don't you all tell a story tonight? That is the traditional price for staying at another's fire you know.


Try to look more excited about it Rhue. I hope you have a story in mind.
I already know the story I'm going to tell.

We fade out and fade back in around the campfire. There's another two new characters here as well, but they wont be introduced just yet.

I'll go first if you guys don't mind. Ok... Ahem...
It all began when I asked Rhue to join up with me to go and explore a cave... Little did we know of the vicious beast lurking inside...

Fade in and out again...

... and with one final thrust of his sword Rhue ended its miserable life. The end.

How thrilling!!! That was such an exciting story!
Did you really do that Rhue?

It was really more of a team effort.

That's true, but Rhue still acted as our valiant leader.
That's why I think he deserves most of the credit.

Yes, he did well.

Why don't you tell the next story Rhue!

I'm not good at telling stories. I'd rather not.

That's all right. We'll all help you along.

Yea, this will be fun.

All right... Here goes...

RHUE: What do you suggest Lyrra?

LYRRA: How about Rhuke?

TRAZIUN: Hmm... That's oddly familiar somehow.

ROSMAR: Be nice Lyrra.

LYRRA: You had a poisonous bug crawling on you. I was just trying to crush it before it bit you.

TRAZIUN: Poisonous bug? Yea...

RHUE: Ok. I'll try this again.

"Come on, rise and shine!"

You actually get to control Rhuke in this sequence so I have him walk out to the main room.

LYRRA: People might get bored with your story if you put it off for too long.
Something exciting should occur. However, sometimes the hook is well worth waiting for...

I feel like this is the game talking directly to the players. Also this sequence in general strikes me as a parody of really beyond terrible rpgmaker games a 13 year old would make. You'll see.

RHUE: No problem...


MOM: Your meal is right here Rhuke.

This choice doesn't actually matter much.

MOM: Glad you like it dear...

RHUKE: *munch* *munch*

This makes me laugh every time but this is where a midi version of Sephiroths theme cuts in.

MOM: Heh... how do you feel... Rhuke?

RHUKE: Fine. Perfectly fine... ... you conniving killer!

MOM: What? What did you just say?

RHUKE: Your food sucks, "Mom". And guess what? I took precautions to protect me against your little food poisoning.

MOM: ...

RHUKE: I know all about your little scheme to bump me off.

MOM: I don't know what you're talking about.

RHUKE: Oh, I think you do.

MOM: ... You know nothing!

RHUKE: Hah! I know all about Dad! What ever happened to good ol' Dad?
Just vanish with the wind did he? I think not.

MOM: How dare you!!!

RHUKE: You disgust me, "Mom"! You're not even my real mother!

MOM: You fool! It took you this long to figure it all out? Today you will die!
Then MOM does someting that makes a splash of blood appear and RHUKE is pushed back a tile and bounces up and down.

LYRRA: Rhue! That's awful! I've never heard of a story like this. Is this necessary?

ROSMAR: I thought it was getting pretty interesting.

TRAZIUN: I have to hand it to you Rhue, this is VERY original.

LYRRA: Instead of the violence, why don't you just add a love interest? That's always exciting. Here, let me take over the story for a while.

RHUE: ... Ok.


MOM: Oh Rhuke! I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me. Sorry about the flesh wound!

RHUKE: No need to apologize, Mom. I should have been more sensitive to your needs!

MOM: You're so sweet Rhuke. I love you!

RHUKE: I love you too, Mom!

She has an orange and blue outfit in the same style as Lyrra's too.

RHUKE: Hi Lyla!

LYLA: Hello!

MOM: I've got some chores to take care of so why don't you two go out and play.

RHUKE: Ok Mom, let's go Lyla!

See it's even mostly RTP (the default rpgmaker) tilesets. Nothing wrong with that per se but...

TRAZIUN: Wasn't the boy's name Rhuke?


LYRRA: There's that darn bug again. Oh, and please don't interrupt.

TRAZIUN: *grumble*

LYRRA: Rhue, why don't you pretend to be Rhuke and answer Lyla's questions.

RHUE: ... Sure.


LYLA: Will you pick me a flower, Rhuke?

RHUKE: I guess.

LYLA: How romantic! It's so beautiful!

LYLA: ... Well?


LYLA: Are you saying you love me by giving me this flower?

RHUKE: What???


RHUKE: I mean, yes.

LYLA: Oh Rhuke, I don't know what to say!

RHUKE: ...

LYLA: *sniff* But I can't love you... I'm sorry!!!

She takes off and Rhuke watches her go while sad music plays.

He starts to walk home.

"It's also a mystery. Don't you want to know why Lyla can't love Rhuke?"

TRAZIUN: I know my interest has been piqued...

LYRRA: Shush, you. Go ahead and continue the story, Rhue.

Sephiroth's theme starts playing again.


MONSTER: I don't answer questions. Only by defeating me can you save your one true love.

RHUKE: Well there's no way that's going to happen. You're much bigger than I am.

LYLA: No Rhuke, you can do it! The power is inside you! You were born with it Rhuke!

RHUKE: Are you saying that I'm some sort of "Chosen one"?

LYLA: Yes!

RHUKE: How do you know that?

MONSTER: Be quiet! You are a dead little boy!

The monster disappears...

LYLA: Oh Rhuke, you've saved me!

RHUKE: Uh... Lyla...

LYLA: Yes, Rhuke? Is there something you wanted to say to me?

RHUKE: Yes... um... well...

LYLA: Hmm?

RHUKE: You are... uh...

LYLA: I'm what?

LYLA: RHUKE! You dimwit!!!

Then she hits him so hard he spins around.

That was great...

I'm just glad it's over.

Well, now that you mention it...

Oh hush!

Rhue, that was a fabulous story. I was very impressed.
In fact, we should get together and do this again.

This is Jed, Lyrra's father. He also used to not have a portrait.

That goes for me as well.

He did seem kind of flighty...

I can't believe I didn't see him go...

I don't think we should be concerned. He obviously left of his own accord.
Let's just get some rest now.

We fade out and...

I guess Rhue's the only one there wasn't space for inside? Where's Traziun?

The shadowy figure draws its sword and approaches the campsite as the screen fades to black.

Yep, import saves. And make sure you dont confuse it with the default save that comes with each episode because they're always REALLY BAD. The Episode 2 one wouldn't make much of a difference though because of how little of real important we got. But from here on out, it will.

The credits for each episode generally show various wanderers trying to navigate various obstacles of The Way. The old man front and centre is an early cameo of one of my favourite characters to boot.

Well. That's Episode 1 done. Only a hour long episode yet it has some serious problems in every category. Personally, I feel his writing and pacing improves in later episodes but others may not agree. But hey, even if his dialogue doesn't improve line by line, I find the story, lore and characters to be very interesting and unique. It's worth sticking around just for those reasons. Definitely not the gameplay. Haha.

I can add that the ridiculous story time scene has long been considered a highlight of an otherwise meh entry. Episode 1 might wow you the first time you play it (It definitely wowed me and many others) but on replays, it's really just subpar. I think part of it is also that people expected pretty much total trash from RPGMaker games most of the time, so something like The Way Episode 1 was a nice breath of fresh air that misleads you into thinking its better than it is.

I miiight make another post shortly to basically summarise what I think went wrong in this episode but it's mostly stuff I whined about already, and some of it I can't exactly... explain clearly or I'll spoil later Episodes. And I definitely don't want to do that. The story is the whole reason I'm doing this lets play.

the end