Part 13: Rock of Mystery
So, let's go and explore some towns and do some sidequests, starting off with Herlis.
Poor Man: Hey you! You look like you've got a few Filar left for me! How about you give me 50 Filar? With that, I could get my family through the winter!
Hm... 1) ...sure! 2) ...no, most definitely not!
Oh, come on, it's 50 fucking bucks. We make several times that every 30 seconds.
Poor Man: Thank you, thank you so much! You have a good day!
That nets us some humanity.
Fat Man: What brings you here?
I don't know... probably just curiosity!
Fat Man: Curiosity? If you're so curious, then go and check out the cave north of here. It's somewhat hidden... and now please leave!
And then we steal the guy's antique coin, because even if we're good guys, some things never change.
Store Owner: Hello! Feel free to take a look around! I have many good weapons! I'm glad when somebody buys some of my weapons again! The people here are all so poor ever since King Gerald has raised the taxes to such an extreme rate!
So KingMan.EXE looks to be having some big cash problems. Taxing towns to hell and back, buying cheap weapons for his soldiers... however, we won't be helping with the store's cash problem - we're actually just offloading assorted crap we've picked up.
Annoyed Man: Oh, man! These damn crows are eating up all my sowing!
I can tell...
Annoyed Man: If this keeps up, the entire village is going to starve to death this winter! These damn crows are so incredibly persistent! And I believe that if you look over on top of the roof of the house on the right, you can see the leader of those damn beasts!
Leader? I doubt that crows have that kind of a social structure.
Annoyed Man: But I'm sure! That crow hangs around on the roof the entire day and keeps watch! I'm sure that that has to be some kind of leader! God damnit! I believe that if that crow was gone, the other ones would leave as well! Damn it all... maybe you could somehow help me get rid of that thing!
Um... 1) ...let's see! 2) ...we don't care about your problem!
Yeah, sure, why not. I mean, I guess it's probably not as easy as Alaine just roasting it with fire magic (and that woud probably burn the entire village down), but it shouldn't be too tough to get rid of some crow.
Annoyed Man: I really hope you can find a way to get this crow to leave!
Well, let's go and check out that crow.
So that's supposed to be this leader crow? Hm, we won't be able to climb up there... the house would probably collapse if we did. But we might be able to find another way.
Maybe the solution will be inside the house?
Poor Woman: Oh, visitors! Welcome to my humble abode!
("Humble" is putting it lightly!)
Poor Woman: Say, you could maybe help me! My brother lives north of Herlis in a small cabin. Could you ask him if he could come back to me? I could use his help with the housework, because I just can't do it on my own any more. Besides, I might take heart again through his presence!
Um... 1) ...of course we're going to help! 2) ...I don't care!
More sidequests! MORE!
Poor Woman: Thank you so much! Like I said, he lives north of Herlis, a bit secluded. Just ask him if he'd come over because I need his help.
"Turn on the oven? 1) Yes! 2) No!"
Oven? More of a fireplace, really. Still, let's turn it on.
"Obtained 300 EXP!"
I guess that was a good thing to do!
Well, there we go! Crow problem dealt with!
Annoyed Man: Hey, how did you do that? That "leader crow" just up and left, and all the other crows with it!
We just fired up the oven in the house - seems that the crow didn't like smoke.
Annoyed Man: Genius! Sadly, I can't offer you anything because I don't have anything.
Don't worry about it, your thanks is more than enough!
Annoyed Man: I really can't thank you enough! That just saved the village from starvation! Thank you so, so much!
Look at us, doing all these nice things! Who says vampires have to be evil?
The well seems to be dried out... at least, I can't see any water...
Hm, that looks interesting. Let's take a closer look.
Still no water in there... hang on, there's a ladder there!
Oh hey, this is a thing I completely forgot about! Remember the secret stores that sell blood and shit like that? You know, the thing we went over like ages ago? Well, I just happened to stumble across my second one! Really, I never bothered to find more because the first one has all the supply we need. So, what does this one have?
Well, it has the blood elixir for full blood heals, and the blood vial, which is practically worthless at this point. The other place has the blood bottle, which is a good mid-level item, perfect for us right now, but this place is going to be useful in the endgame, when we can actually afford just buying 99 of the blood elixirs. Now, on to exploring more houses.
Poor Woman: Oh, we have visitors! That's rare!
Why's everybody here so poor anyway?
Poor Woman: Why's everybody here so poor? WHY? I'll tell you why! That accursed King Gerald doubled and tripled our taxes! God knows, why! Apparently, he needed a lot of money, real fast!
King Gerald? I see...
Poor Woman: Yes, that snotty rich prick lives high on the hog on Castle Tranak! I hate him! I HATE HIM!
Let her be, Valnar.
(Because when the blood boils over, it only tastes better!)
Poor Man: Hello.
Hello... is there anything unusual happening around here?
Poor Man: What gave you that idea? We're poor, we don't have anything, we don't know anything!
Damnit! Now I've travelled all this way to Herlis, and what do I discover? Everybody's descended into poverty! Damnit!
Why did you come here?
Well, I'm an artist... to be exact, I paint portraits. But the people here are too poor to pay me. Furthermore, there's no vacant house here that I could move into. Argh! I have no idea where I could go next, either!
Oh, I think I know a place...
I... er... heard that there's a good amount of vacant houses in Shannar.
Really? And how are the people there? Are they rich?
Um... of course.
You're right! I should try my luck in Shannar! Thanks!
And there she goes. Asgar really has some great convincing skills. There's also an entirely unexciting potions store, and one more house for us to explore.
Poor Man: Oh, thank you! The story of you getting rid of those crows instantly spread around Herlis! I thank you in the name of the entire city!
No problem, we're happy we could help!
So this guy was actually supposed to tell you about the crow problem, but we were proactive and just dealt with that beforehand.
Poor Woman: Hello! We don't have much we can offer to strangers, but we gladly share what little we have...
(I really am easily pleased, though! Just give me a few liters of blood and I'm happy!)
And that's it for Herlis for now.
Now, we pop outside of town...
To find the little hut and get our sidequesting in this town done.
Man: Hey, what are you doing here?
Do you have a sister living in Herlis?
Man: Yes, why? Did something bad happen to her?
No, but she's asked me to ask you if you couldn't come to help her.
Man: Help? With what?
She said something about housework.
Man: Housework? That's typical of her! Too lazy to do something herself! Eh, whatever. Thanks for getting me!
Man: I guess I'll head over to her then.
"Obtained 250 EXP!"
And then he leaves. We pilfer a save stone from his house and head back to check on the two ourselves.
Poor Woman: Thank you so much! Now I can finally rest while my brother is busy cleaning! Tee hee!
Man: I heard that!
Man: It wasn't a good idea to come here!
Man: Why? Because now I'm busy cleaning the entire day, that's why!
Womp womp womp. Well, that's all for Herlis, unless you consider the righteous crusade we'll eventually be leading against König Fussball a sidequest for that town.
Next stop is the mountain city Asdion.
The first thing that pops out at you - probably - is this weirdly out-of-place rock. It's got grass surrounding it even though there's absolutely no grass here, it just sits on the stairs, and to cap things off...
...when you stand over it and press ENTER, an empty text box pops up. That's all it does.
I went into the editor. There is nothing else here. No other cases, no other things this rock can do. The only thing it does and will ever do is pop up an empty text box. Why is this here? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS, ROCK. WHY ARE YOU HERE?
Oh well, time to go check out some houses again.
Man: Hello! Have you heard that the lake west of Uruya is supposed to be haunted?
"Spuken". Not "spucken". It's haunted. It's not spitting. God damnit.
Hm, that sounds interesting. Maybe we should go and take a look around there?
Man: You want to look around there? Good god! I said it's HAUNTED there! Thankfully, I live far away from there... and you really shouldn't go there!
If you say so.
We know ghosts. Ghosts aren't really all that exciting. From what I can see, that lake just has a ghost that boosts your wolf transformation time. Boooooring.
Woman: What brings me the honor of your visit?
I don't have a translation for this sentence. I feel certain that there's one out there, but I can't work it out.
EDIT: Thread to the rescue!
Dick Burglar posted:
I imagine the English translation of "what brings me the honor of your visit?" would be "to what do I owe this honor/pleasure?" Basically, an overly polite way of asking why someone is visiting.
That's what I was thinking of, but I just couldn't get it into my head.
We just wanted to drop by and ask if there's any news.
Woman: Well, sadly, I don't have any news for strangers like you.
Hm, if you say so...
Older Man: Hey, you must be the kind of people that just enter any house without knocking, eh?
Older Man: Too bad for you that I can't stand people like that! Get lost!
Woman: Hello, how's it going?
Alright, I guess. Why do you ask?
Woman: Oh, just for the sake of being polite, that's it.
Anything interesting to talk about, maybe?
Woman: No, not really.
Man: Hello! You must be new here in Asdion, right?
You could say so.
Man: Well, we don't have a lot to see here. But we do have the church where Vincent Weynard made his famous speech about those vampires. You know, the beginning of the Holy Crusade.
That was HERE?
Man: Yes. Apart from that, we have a tunnel system under the city, but it's filled with rats. Because of that, I wouldn't really go down there.
Thanks for the information.
Blonde Woman: Hello.
Hello! Say, where can we find a good shop around here?
Blonde Woman: A good shop? There's only one shop around here, really. A weapons store, and it's not really great either, but you'll take what you can get.
And where do we find that?
Blonde Woman: The other side of town, to the west.
Nothing much interesting out there, let's check out the pub.
Man: Excuse me, but I would like to enjoy my beer in peace...
Of course. Pardon me.
Man: Yes, what do you want from me?
Anything interesting happen recently?
Man: Hm, not really. Well, I've heard that apparently ships filled with riches are now roaming the seas. Seems like some traders have a lot to trade with.
We've already boarded our fair share of those ships.
Lonely Woman: Oh, I'll never find a man that's right for me! In this city, the men are either pansies or creeps!
You're pretty desperate, aren't you?
Lonely Woman: You can say that again! My entire life, all I've had were disgusting men. They all wanted the one thing and that was it! Terrible, nobody wanted to just have a romantic dinner with me... nobody wanted to watch the stars at night... NOBODY!
You should maybe try your luck in other cities!
I would recommend Shannar, a little town far to the south.
Lonely Woman: Shannar? I've heard of that one. And you think I could find my dream man there?
Maybe. But most definitely not in Asdion!
Lonely Woman: You're right! I'll travel to Shannar first thing tomorrow! Thank you so much!
I love the way Asgar just instantly cuts in whenever the chance of getting somebody to Shannar comes up. Feels like Valnar and Asgar should have some sort of travelling salesman routine worked out by now.
Bartender: Hello! Can I get you something?
Some information, maybe.
Bartender: What do you want to know?
Hm, maybe where one could earn some money?
Bartender: Well, I don't know where you could find some work, but they say there's an old pirate treasure hidden in the forest west of here. But many have already searched for it...
An old pirate treasure? Sounds interesting, thanks!
Bartender: No problem.
Well, that was interesting, we might check that out some time, or maybe not, who knows, there's like dozens of these locations littered around the map, and a fair share of them are largely pointless to us at this point, and a fair share of them are entirely pointless to us at this point. Next stop, this famous church.
Pastor: Welcome to our church, the most famous church in the world.
Why's it famous?
Pastor: Why is it famous? Because about 400 years ago, our savior Vincent Weynard gave his speech that signalled the beginning of the Holy Crusade here. That's why.
That was right HERE?
Pastor: Yes, right here. And we've left everything about the same way it looked 400 years ago. That's why everything's a bit empty for my tastes, but Vincent preferred this kind of frugality.
No wonder that I don't feel that great here...
Pastor: Come again?
Oh, he just meant that he's not feeling well right now, and that's why we would like to bid you farewell!
Pastor: Oh, alright, but come back soon!
Bishop: Welcome, my children! If you're looking for peace, you're at the right place! Pray, and free yourself from your sins! Donate, and free your spirit from the scourge of evil!
Well, we just wanted to check out the church.
Bishop: A long time ago, the great Vincent Weynard gave his unrivaled speech here... back then, he was appointed High Priest, and remained that long after his Holy Crusade. He lived an incredibly long time, about 200 years or so. God himself gave him this long life. He reigned wisely over the church and humans. But one day, he too died... may his soul have found eternal peace... but he gave one more speech before his soul ascended to heaven. A powerful speech, a heavenly speech... he spoke of reincarnation, a wonderful rebirth... HIS rebirth! Oh, how we pray that that day comes soon and that he leads us into another wonderful age.
A rebirth? Vincent Weynard?
Bishop: Yes, but I believe that he will only return when evil has returned to our earth. And may that time stay away forever! [...] reborn to protect humanity and to once again destroy the vampires...
Yes, something seems to be wrong here, there's like one block of text just missing here. I checked in RPG Maker, it's not just something I accidentally skipped over, there really is just a bit of text missing here.
What do you mean by that?
Bishop: You know, EVIL! The VAMPIRES! Those creatures of the night! Vincent killed them all 400 years ago... destroyed them without mercy! Not a single vampire survived. And yet, still nobody knows where they actually came from. And so, the church believes that one day the vampires will return, and on that day, the holy [...] reborn to protect humanity and to once again destroy the vampires...
The text bit so nice, we put it in twice! And in neither case it makes sense! I mean, I guess you could say that the sentence was inteded to flow in such a way as to say "the holy man will be reborn", but "der heillige" wasn't capitalized, so it wasn't a noun, and it sounded more like "the holy war will restart" or something like that. I don't know, though. This text is weird.
Destroy the vampires? I see...
(If you only knew that in this very moment, there are three vampires standing right in front of you...)
Bishop: But you seem honorable, so I would like to ask something of you...
What is it?
Bishop: The church is missing a valuable cross. We don't know how it got lost, or who stole it... it might be related to the disappearance of Sister Miriam. She last had the cross with her to bless the believers with it! Would you look for the cross and Sister Miriam and bring them back here?
Hm... 1) ...of course! 2) ...no, we don't have any time!
Yeah, sure, why not, just throw it on the pile.
Bishop: Oh, thank you so much! Sadly, we have no idea where she could be right now. She's been missing for several weeks now, and we fear something terrible could have happened...
We'll keep a look out for her!
Knowing our luck, we'll probably just randomly stumble over her while we're doing something entirely different.
Bishop: May God bless you!
("GOD BLESS US?" Watch what you're saying, fatass!)
And back to exploring.
Man: Hi! Are you looking for something in this city?
Hm, no, we're just looking around, really.
Man: Oh, I see. Well, have fun.
And finally, I check out the weapons store and it doesn't have anything new. Bollocks. Now, what's this about a tunnel system we heard earlier? Let's check out that cave entrance you can see in the last picture.
Well, it's a big cave, and there's a chest here, and we can't get to it.
On the way there, we step on one square, and another square "lights up" for a second, then goes to the regular color again. The one we stepped on stays that darker color.
And so the trick is to go from square to square, with each square you go on lighting up the next one for a little bit. The button just resets everything in case you mess up and forget which square you need to go on.
The process continues for quite some time...
...and eventually we step on the final square, causing a bridge to the chest to appear! What's our reward?
+5 BP permanently for one character. Well, we don't look a free stat boost in the mouth.
Another cave in the east side of town leads us to this suspicious-looking ground writing...
...and this even more suspicious red writing. However, there's nothing we can do here right now. What could this stand for? (It stands for "Kinder der Apokalypse", or Children of the Apocalypse, that blood-magic cult we were told about WAAAY back in like Update 5, but don't tell anyone, they're not very smart about staying a secret)
Finally, we have this cave system that you can enter to the right of where we entered the town. It leads to...
...this area, which has a save stone in the chest hidden behind a tree to the right, and a teleporter hidden behind a tree to the left. The teleporter leads to...
"Blade Shoes" - "Shoes with a blade attached to them (+5 ATTACK)". Interesting, I guess, but we have gear with better stat boosts attached.
Also, this area leads to another cave, in which we find...
...another secret store! This one sells blood elixirs and anti-sickness medicine, which means that really, this store is entirely pointless if you've found the one in Herlis, like we have. These stores are kind of designed to be a bit redundant, so you can only find a few and still be well off. We'll have to trek around the world and find all of them some time.
I actually head outside and find the forest that's supposed to have the pirate treasure, but...
...RED SKULL, NOPE. Looks like there might actually be something decent in here if the monsters are stronger than we are right now.
That'll be enough for this time. Next time, we check out Esrik, the second icy region city, and Lombar, the desert city. We'll do some more side quests, and we'll also have an exciting vote!