Part 13: Episode 2: Part 8: Marna Stretch Part 1: Gaius, Headhunters, Rats, Woolies and Zealots.Episode 2: Part 8: Marna Stretch Part 1: Gaius, Headhunters, Rats, Woolies and Zealots.
Days after leaving Lide...
I wonder what stretch I'm on now.
So, after Lide we find ourselves in the section of the game that REALLY earned Episode 2 its fame. And that's a gigantic single map filled with loot, sidequests and a couple minigames. It's so big and has so many moving parts that it used to lag rather terribly on older machines of the time. I still get a little bit of stutter here and there.
The river calming thing is about how the water sound effects are loud as you walk by the river, and get quieter the further you are from them. There's also howling wind on the highest areas.
Anyway, a bit north of this helpful but no longer necessary man is...
Nice statement Rhue.
Oh, I've been about. Nothing much to tell of really.
Why didn't you enter the tournament in Lide?
I had to make an early departure unfortunately.
That's too bad.
Such is life.
So where are you headed now, Rhue.
Did some proofreader with a grudge against small talk just come in and massacre every other question mark?
Not sure, just wandering down this Stretch to see what I can see.
Do you have a map?
Then take this one that I have. This Stretch is pretty large and a map will come in handy.
Just something I picked up...
This is amazing... What are these yellow dots on the map?
Those are "points of interest" that I've noted. I'd check some of them out if you have the time.
There may be other interesting stuff around that I didn't mark so it might be a good idea to explore other areas as well.
The red circle shows you where your current location is on this Stretch.
You may have to do some jumping to cross the river in some places on this Stretch, so be ready for that.
Also, this map is a little bit old. It may not be completely accurate.
As CloacaAmazing! pointed out, this may be because Marna Stretch was altered slightly in the 2.0 version.
Thanks a lot! Do you want to come with me?
No thanks, I've got some other business to attend to. Be careful and may the Purpose guide you.
And you as well.
Nice guy, that Gaius. Anyway, we move a few screens up and a couple left, following the river bank until we encoutner the only bridge to the Stretch proper... and a cutscene!
How can we be friends if I've never met you before...
HUNTER: You must have a short memory cause we talked just a few weeks ago.
Is that so...
So what's your business with me?
HUNTER: Actually I'm waiting here for someone else. Just thought I'd say "hello" since I know you.
HUNTER: What's wrong? I don't ever remember you being so hostile. Haven't you found that person you were searching for?
(I don't remember ever telling a head hunter about Serena!)
HUNTER: What was their name again? Jeruh wasn't it?
You must be confusing me with someone else. I'm not searching for anyone by that name.
HUNTER: Change of plans hmm?
Listen, I've been searching for the same person for many years. You must be confusing me with someone else.
HUNTER: I don't think so. I have a VERY good memory. I will admit though, you don't seem like yourself.
I think I'm going to find a new place to wait for my "friend". This one isn't going to cut it.
See ya, Midian.
What did he call me?
Something strange is going on...
So here's the map in full. It's truly gigantic. It's probably something insane like 500+ x 300+ tiles or something. That's insanely huge for rpgmaker2k. Or most jrpgs from this era in general, especially with the amount of things going on on this map. It's at a point where I have to wonder if Lun is completely insane or autistic.
Also just because there's no yellow dot doesn't mean an area is pointless or something. Gaius hasn't marked the copious amounts of loot.
Also a single Spesta is just about the only enemy encounter type on the whole map.
Annoying, since they dodge a lot and can inflict bleed and berserk.
So I begin to explore the niches and valleys of Marna.
At one point I find a little stepping stone to a small isle with a secret on it
"Looks like a grove of some kind. I don't see any way to get over there though."
These two NPCs give us hints to the location of of the single most valuable item in all of Episode 2 AND 3.
On the way to uncover this treasure, I find an object of interest.
A nice help to absorbing notch items. There's a few on this map. For good reason.
I find a high cliff for Rhue to leap from.
And then I wander over to the aforementioned grove.
"Acquired a Nova Stone!"
Curiously, after picking this up, you're denied the chance to explroe as Rhue automatically walks over here and jumps down into an enemy encounter.
Look at that. But look at that efficiency rating! As the series goes on, rather than give us higher value notch items, Lun gives you more and more of the same old, making more notches extremely valuable. Not that means there AREN'T higher value notch items, but we wont see them for a long time. Or even that many of them.
It's caught up to Piercer in every way but attack power now.
You're scared of rats?
WOMAN: Yea, I don't want them jumping in the water while I'm trying to bathe!
Then why don't you go bathe in the river?
WOMAN: I can't do that! Someone might see me out in the open!
This place has lots of nice big trees. I don't have to worry about prying eyes as much.
Lands, if it wasn't for the stupid rats I would be enjoying a bath.
That's quite a dilemma you're facing.
WOMAN: Hey wait, I've got a great idea! You could kill all the rats for me, and then I could take a bath in peace.
WOMAN: What do you say?
I'm not your slave. Why should I help you?
WOMAN: If you help I'll let you wash my back. How about that sweetie? <3
Sorry, but I'm definitely not interested!
I'm out of here.
WOMAN: Wait! Don't go! I could give you a Heart Stone if you prefer!
That sounds much better.
WOMAN: So you'll get rid of the rats for me?
Maybe, we'll see.
It might be hard to see the rats cos they like hiding behind trees, but there's one in the lower left here. They're pretty fats and you just have to mash action on them to ensure you get them. The fastest ones seem programmed to move away from Rhue at all times, while the slower ones seem much more random.
After a couple minutes of rat slaying...
WOMAN: Would you mind standing guard while I do my thing?
Forget it, I've got better things to do.
And we cross the bridge just past her to the right.
We're on the other side of the river from where we started now, and there was a CTP Spout here too.
North of that, not far from where Gaius was looking...
And I didn't expect to see you.
How is your plunging coming along?
I'm doing okay I think.
Thelin is where you get the plunge point for losing to Alan... except I found out you only get that if you also missed the Lyn Rock (+1 Plunge) at the start of the Episode.... meaning there's no upside to losing to Alan if you got that rock, which isn't well hidden. You're just behind two critical strength and 2 poise.
Good to hear. I've heard rumors that there is somebody offering a Lyn Rock in the far south eastern section of the Marna Stretch.
Something to do with Woolies. You might want to check it out.
Also I find these, which'll be handy later as you can probably guess.
DAMN! That level 2 flow is so good.
So here we are, so close and yet so far from the start point. I've made my way down and around the centre isles and will continue to the south east for the Woolie minigame.
The only stretch more suspicious than the Landorin Stretch.
I am Rhue of the Landorin Stretch.
ORSON: Nice to meet ya, nice to meet ya! How have yer travels been?
Okay, I guess. What are you up to out here?
ORSON: Glad you asked, glad you asked. I'm herd'in woolies! Woolies!
ORSON: Yea! Want to try it? If you do good, Orson will give you a prize!
A prize huh? Sounds good to me. How hard could it be to heard a stupid woolie?
ORSON: Har. Here's what you got to do.
"I don't care how you do it, just as long as the woolie isn't harmed. First you have to find the woolie d'oh. Dat woolie is a fiesty wun, I tell you! Dink you cun handle it?"
What in fucks name is this accent?
ORSON: Okey den. Just stand next to me and we'll get dis started!
ORSON: GO GET DAT WOOLIE!
So, you have five minutes to do this, but that's not what you should worry about. You have to do it in less than a minute to get the prize.
The areas pretty big but the woolie always starts directly south of you so it's easy to find, otherwise it could be very problematic. Anyway, the thing always moves away from you so you have to control it by being on the opposite of the woolie than you want it to go.
The woolie moves at a decent speed so it can be tricky getting it in the pen, but its defintiely doable. I've only taken longer than a minute once ever.
ORSON: Way to go! You've won da prize! That's your best time thus far!
Rhue gets a Lyn Rock.
Anyway, we move back to the isles in the river and move along the south of one...
I am Rhue of the Landorin Stretch. Who are you?
Dristol says "Yes ma'am." and steps aside as the woman approaches Rhue.
Hail wanderer, our path is blessed by this meeting.
I am Lady Velicia, leader of the 5th Guided Fist, Path of Right. Loyal servant of the Pontifex Maximus Tetzel.
I am Rhue. I've heard much of the Guided.
Everyone has heard of us.
Please come this way.
(Actually I walked... I'd better not say that though.)
As you know, the Guided are committed to obeying and enforcing the will of the Purpose.
The Guided are here to serve and protect all of the good wanderers of The Way.
(How about giving me a foot rub then?)
You Rhue, have a glorious opportunity today.
There are three evil men defying the Purpose, right here on the Marna Stretch.
They want to build an abomination.
You mean a settlement?
It's an abomination. The Purpose never intended for wanderers to settle.
(Gaius mentioned something about this in Lide...)
(I wonder if he has anything to do with the Guided.)
That's why we must kill them.
Kill them? That seems a tad extreme to me.
Why don't you just leave them alone and let them do what they want?
Afterall, the Purpose can probably punish them without your help.
Maybe the Purpose will burn their little settlement to the ground with the same fires which torched Janwen.
The legendary destruction of Janwen and the loss of thousands of lives should never have occured (SIC).
Don't you see? That's exactly the type of disaster that the Guided are here to prevent.
If we leave those men alone they will lead countless others astray!
We must prevent them from doing such harm to the other wanderers!
Okay, so what do you want me to do?
We need you to do reconnaisance for us.
Their camp is actually right across the river from us, but you'll have to take the long way around to get to them.
Pose as a wanderer who might be interested in settling down.
Find out if they've set any traps or ambushes and if their numbers have increased at all.
Then report back to me here.
Will you please help us?
I say yes. There's a lot more to this quest than it sounds like, and this one of the better ways for it.
All right, I'll do it.
Please get started immediately.
Next time, we'll probably do the rest of this sidequest and another one, and get a bunch more loot, deal with a mandatory boss that has an optional sidequest attached and... deal with a jumper!