Part 22: Decrepit PathToday we're going to seek revenge on the man who killed Greg's family, but first...
Puzzle Box #2
Music: How Long Will This Puzzle Box Continue
Another easy puzzle, the only concern is to make sure you clear the yellow boxes before you clear the green ones. Also worth noting is the differently shaped boxes introduced in this puzzle. Any box larger than a single square cannot be moved, and will vanish if any part of it comes into contact with another box of the same color. These boxes were introduced in Alter Code: F, and were not present in Wild Arms 3.
The reward for this puzzle is Gella Card x5
Puzzle Box #3
This is the first puzzle where you can block yourself off from the exit. All you have to do is make sure to clear the yellow L block last, and it shouldn't be a problem.
The reward for this puzzle is Mega Berry x5
Puzzle Box #4
The thing to keep in mind with this puzzle is that you cannot move a box if there's another box on top of it. As long as you take care to move the blue and yellow blocks from the tower in the center, it's an easy puzzle.
The reward for this puzzle is Holy Berry x3. Holy Berries fully restore a character's HP.
There's also one more sidequest I want to do before we head for Harmonde. I checked a guide and it was marked as "missable", so I want to get it done as quickly as possible.
Sure, why not?
Handyman: I hired someone to hand out packets of tissues to advertise a finance company, but the rat ran off with the advance pay I'd given him. To make matters worse, the stupid kid took the tissues with him, whether he meant to or not. At this rate I won't be able to do the job I was hired for. They'll sure for breach of contract, and I'll go bankrupt! I gotta do something to find that green-haired guy with the funny scarf, or I'm ruined. If you see a guy like that somewhere, would you haul his sorry butt back to Laila Belle, or at least knock him around until he does his job?
Handyman: Oh?! You'll do it for me? Thanks! Now then, take this with you...
Obtained Ebony Key!
Handyman: This is the key that I received from the client in place of a paper contract. It seems the green-haired guy is afraid of my client, so...show him this, and you might strike some fear into him. All right, I'm counting on you!
The fugitive is hiding out in Mithysmere.
It wouldn't happen to be what, huh? The handyman over in Laila Belle's been trying to hunt you down, you know! Go pay back that advance on your salary, now!
Green-Haired Fugitive: Whaaa...! I, uh...oh, my. Well, let me be blunt with you - I spent all the money already. What's more, I have zero desire to work! Period! I mean, c'mon, besides that, the kids love me here. Don't you think it's important to have at least one solid grown-up around to protect these guys?
That's the lamest excuse I've ever heard in my life! Look, I promised the handyman I'd do something about this.
Green-Haired Fugitive: Wha-huh?! Coudn't you, I dunno, break that promise for me?
Don't "wha-huh" me! I take my word very seriously. Once I make a promise, I'm not gonna break it!
Green-Haired Fugitive: ...Well, if you're gonna be that way, ARMslinger, then how 'bout you take over the job for me, huh? Pass out the tissues yourself? I'll be happy, you'll be happy, I figure the handyman oughta be happy... It'll be like an instant, massive groundswell of happy vibes for everyone!
... What am I gonna do with this guy...?
Haul him back to Laila Belle!
Think about it some more.
Green-Haired Fugitive: Whoa, whoa, whoa, time out!! A fallen youth encounters the innocent eyes of children and finally finds a worthwhile way to spend his life... That's my story, man! It's a real tearjerker! Don't you have a teaspoon of empathy for me?!
No, I don't! Two words describe a selfish slacker like you: "lazy" and "bum"! Open your eyes already!
Green-Haired Fugitive: S-selfish...and a lazy bum, too... C'mon, kid, haven't you heard the story about the sun and the north wind?!
...? I've heard it. So what?
Green-Haired Fugitive: Hah! This is what! Get ready to experience it for yourself!
...Dammit, a smokescreen! That's it! I' don't care what it takes, I'm hunting this guy down!
Zed flees and hides in various dungeons across the world. First he hides in the Starlit Path. We could have chosen to hand out the tissues ourselves, but we would miss out on some items if we did.
What do you mean, "oops"?! I've been looking all over for you! Now c'mon, back to Laila Belle with you - you've got some apologizing to do!
Green-Haired Fugitive: But I don't wanna! I've changed classes from Company Serf to Free Man!
He disappears in a cloud of smoke.
Grr... Not again! ...Why can't he use a little of that energy for something useful?
After that, he's hiding out in the Hillside Ruins, the tutorial dungeon.
Don't tell me you're about to beg for mercy? Once I set my mind on something, not even old man Tony can change it! I'll chase you down no matter how far you run! So why don't you just give up and come along quietly, huh?!
Green-Haired Fugitive: H-h-hey... L-look over th-th-there...! S-s-see ya!
He disappears again.
Wha-?! *Sigh* He got away again... ...Huh? What's this? Did he drop it? Talk about clumsy...
Obtained Blank Medium!
While we're here, we can light those torches and go a bit deeper into the dungeon. We find Nectar x5, and a pit which requires the Detector to cross. On the other side of that pit is a mysterious door...
...What's that supposed to mean?
*It seems that you do not possess the same value as the four wanted youths...
This door will only open if we meet a certain requirement. We could meet that requirement and open it now, but I won't be doing it for awhile. This is one of the more difficult puzzles in the game, so I would like to see if anyone in the thread who hasn't played this game before can solve it. Go ahead and post your guesses in the thread.
We can ignore this door and go a bit deeper in the dungeon, but we can't proceed very far without the next ARM Cartridge. Back to hunting down Zed, then. Next stop: Lightless Shaft.
Green-Haired Fugitive: Shh! Quiet! ...Don't you hear that?
Hear what? ...You don't mean that drill is gonna malfunction and drop down right on top of us?!
Green-Haired Fugitive: No. This is a quieter, more urgent call... Almost like a mother's whimpering... ... Ah-hah! I've got it - it's my cell! My cell phone's ringing! Well, I'd better take this call - see ya!
He vanishes in a cloud of smoke.
...Looks like he got away again. But to spend all that time hiding out here, when that drill could come crashing down at any moment... You've got to admire his nerves...
Next we get to go all the way back to Celestial Peak. Zed's a real asshole, because we had to go through the Abandoned Path four times for this quest. Twice to get to and from the Hillside Ruins, and twice to get to and from Celestial Peak.
Green-Haired Fugitive: I know just how hip and attractive I am, so I can't blame you for wanting to follow me around...but isn't it about time you got past that? I mean, seriously?
No! Absolutely not! You're the one who needs to get past running and hiding all the time!
Green-Haired Fugitive: What I'm past is working as a drone for the man! I'm sick and tired of being used by people!
Past? To what? Unemployment, that's what! What would the Mithysmere kids say if they saw you now, huh?
Green-Haired Fugitive: Uuu... Well, if you put it that way...
You should know by now that I'll keep following you no matter how far you go!
Green-Haired Fugitive: Argh...
You must be worn out from all this running around, no? ... You know, this place was like a turning point for me. Why don't you try changing yourself, too?
Green-Haired Fugitive: Heh heh heh... You know what this reminds me of? A crime drama! The striking young man, his back to a cliff... And well, whaddya know? We've got a cliff right here! So I guess that makes you the rookie cop, out to prove himself, huh? ...Hey, ARMslinger. I'll give you this, so just let me go this time, okay?
Obtained Doom Bringer!
The Doom Bringer is a powerful ARM Part for Chuck. In Wild Arms 1, Doom Bringer was a weapon for Jack, obtained by defeating the optional boss Monster Zed. It's one of Jack's better swords, but it lowered his luck stat to 'worst' when equipped.
Wha-?! Don't try to bribe me!
Green-Haired Fugitive: *Sigh* My last, best trump card, defeated by an ARMslinger more fearsome than a loan shark, or even the whirlpool of a Gate Generator... Well, I guess that's that, then... I'll just have to head back to Laila Belle...
Green-Haired Fugitive: ...Hey! I said I'll go to Laila Belle! Don't look like you're at a funeral or something! Sheesh... Anyway, see ya!
One last time, he vanishes in a puff of smoke.
... Did we...catch him this time...? Anyway, I guess we ought to head to Laila Belle ourselves and tell that handyman the news!
Handyman: Eh? What happened to the good-for-nothing green-haired boy, you say? The owner of the Ebony Key, the red-eyed Guildmaster, got hold of him, and I shiver when I think about what they're making him do now. Come to think of it, he was yelling something about his blood being made of mercury when he was getting dragged off... I guess when it comes to it, humans will come up with some pretty unusual excuses for their own laziness...
The Red-Eyed Receptionist, Marivel, is a Crimson Noble (vampire) in Wild Arms 2. It looks like Zed expects her to feed on him.
Handyman: Anyway, you saved my skin! Take this as a small token of my gratitude!
Obtained Blank Medium!
I chased Zed around for an hour, and all you give me is a Blank Medium?! What a dick.
Anyway, in order to get to Harmonde, we have to go through another underground pathway. The Decrepit Path isn't marked on the map, but it's pretty easy to find, directly to the east of Mirapulse.
Music: A Dark World Looming Behind
If we get through this cave, we should be able to reach Harmonde. Let's try not to let anxiety get the best of us...
To keep us out of this dungeon before we're supposed to go through, they put Detector platforms here. By the time you get the Detector Cartridge, it's impossible to backtrack to this point until you get the Class A License.
You're expected to visit Lady Diana before coming here, so we're a bit underleveled. Dean is currently level 33, so I'm at quite the disadvantage. Because of this, I remove the obsolete costumes I picked up last time in favor of armor with some decent stat boosts.
While I'm on the subject of the monsters here, these Dust Men are assholes. Their max HP is 1342 (the one in the above screenshot has been damaged.) and they have an attack that fully restores their HP by draining it from their target. In other words, they can do 1342 damage at will.
This dungeon introduces spring boards. When you step on one of these, they launch you ridiculously high into the air. Later on we'll be doing more complicated platforming with them, but for now we're just jumping over fences and stuff.
If the Veruni rule over humans, why do they give them ARMs?
They just see us as inferior.
Yeah. You've seen how strong they are, right? ARMs reflect the strength of their bearer, so the same ARM can be stronger or weaker depending on who's using it. So the Veruni don't see humans as a threat, even with ARMs. But you know how full of dangerous monsters Filgaia is, right? Defenseless humans wouldn't stand a chance against them. So if anything, giving us weapons is a benefit to the Veruni. They don't have to worry about losing their labor force to monster attacks.
Really? I never knew that.
Oh? Well, uh, it is pretty common knowledge...
In our village, everybody got an ARM when they turned 12, so I never really thought about it.
That's kind of an irresponsible tradition, giving a gun to every single 12 year old in the village.
But when it was our turn, there was only one left, and Dean let me have it. I still remember how happy I was about that...
Yeah, well, you really wanted to try doing that circus thing, didn't you? I didn't have any real reason for wanting one anyway, not like that.
Wow, Dean, you sure know how to impress a lady...
Hey, that's not what I meant! Besides, back then I thought all I needed to beat down any monster was a shovel... But I sure was happy when I got these ARMs from Avril...
I didn't know that. You got those from Avril, huh? I have to admit I've never seen dual pistols like those...
Yeah, and they feel really natural - almost like they were made for me!
Those ARMs said that they wanted to be with Dean as well.
Wow, Avril...you can talk to ARMs?!
No, not exactly...
It's more of a feeling thing, I think. It's not like ARMs can actually talk, silly...
The Speed Queen badge is printed with a picture of Kanon, who was the fastest party member in Wild Arms 2.
This dungeon has three Imitators, each of which give 17,500 EXP. I used Lucky Cards on these, getting 35,000 EXP from each battle. I entered this dungeon at level 33, and almost entirely thanks to Imitators, I left at level 41.
These torches go out nearly immediately after you light them. The solution is to line yourself up so that a single bullet lights them both.
A couple of rooms later, we hit the miniboss. I would show more of this dungeon, but it's really not much different from all the other pathway dungeons we've been through.
For a character in the mid-30's, these guys can be a serious problem. Their basic physical attack dealt about 900 damage to me and Hi-Crush dealt about 1,200 damage. If all three of them were to focus on a single character, that character would be screwed.
I had to bring Chuck in to use Protect on everyone so the enemy's damage would be more manageable. In addition to this, Avril had to spend every one of her turns casting Hi-Heal. Wild Arms 5 is a pretty easy game, so going through this dungeon at a low level was a lot of fun.
After fortifying my defenses, I brought in Greg to hammer at them with Blast while Dean used physicals and Avril kept everyone alive. It took a little while, but they went down soon enough.
It's about time I found that bastard!
You sure don't sound like the usual Greg... Is it because of the revenge you want against that guy with the golem arm?
Heh...you bet it is. I'll show him just how much I despise him... I can't expect you to understand this kind of pain - in fact, it's probably better that you don't. Being left with nothin' but revenge is no way to spend your life, kid.
Later, after a few generic rooms that we've seen several times before...
I remember the Baskars telling me about a legend that they learned about during their research. "When the world is in danger, a man will appear bearing two guns to lead the world to peace and justice." They said the two guns were probably intended to create an impression of fairness, not showing favor to either side.
Two guns, huh? Well, how about that...
...I feel as though I've heard that legend before...
Really? Can you remember anything?
Music: I Still Have Something to Tell You
... ...No, it doesn't seem so...
Ah, well. It seems like your memories are starting to come back, but not quite yet to the point where you can really grab them, huh.
...I'm sorry, Rebecca.
H-huh?! You don't have to apologize! After all, it's not your fault you can't remember, right?
Perhaps not...but it bothers me just as much.
Hey, what's all this about Avril's memories?
Not now, Chuck! This isn't hte time to be asking about that...
Huh? What do you mean?
Come over here, I'll explain!
Carol and Chuck walk out of frame. I'm glad the game didn't feel the need to show me someone explain Avril's lost memory for the hundredth time.
I'll tell you, though, sometimes you're better off without memories. I know I'd be a lot happier if I could forget what happened that day...
...I don't think I'd want to forget anything, no matter how bad a memory it was. After all, it's thanks to my past that I'm here now with everyone on this journey, right?
Maybe so. But I'm not so sure this is how I wanted to turn out...
Now that we have a full party, sometimes we'll get hit with back attacks.
Back attacks take your inactive party members and put them in battle. This is why you should always keep your whole party in the latest equipment, even characters you don't use.
I tried to move my active party back in, but as you can see, it did terrible things to the turn order and got me a game over.
It's not much longer before we hit the boss of this dungeon.
This guy is durable as hell, and he reflects magic attacks. He's not terribly dangerous, it just takes ages to kill him. (Well, it takes ages for characters that are five levels below him.)
I went with the strategy of backing him into a corner and casting Fragile, then spamming Sonic Vision.
Music: A Rusted Scar
You sure seem focused on that revenge of yours.
Of course I am! The whole reason I'm alive is so I can get revenge on that murderer!
Greg... There's something I've been wanting to ask. I thought I would understand eventually, but it's still unclear to me... Why do you desire revenge?
...It's not somethin' you can explain. You ever lost a loved one? Or somebody close to you? If you had, you'd know how I felt. That's the only answer there is.
Lost a loved one...? I can't say for certain, but I have a feeling I was once separated from one I loved dearly...
Then you should understand. That's all there is to it.
Yes, I can understand your feelings... But I still don't understand the reason you desire revenge. What meaning is there in revenge?
Even if you succeed, your loved ones will not return. So I can't understand what taking revenge will accomplish.
I was always wondering about that, too. I mean, I probably don't have the experience to understand exactly what you're feeling, but still... I can see why you want revenge. It just goes to show how much you loved the people that died. But even if you get your revenge, what's left? It's not like the people you lost are gonna come back to life or anything. So yeah, Greg... What are you gonna do once you've had your revenge?
Heh heh... Hah hah hah hah hah! Listen, both of you. None of that makes any difference. You'll never get revenge if you get caught up thinkin' about what you're gonna do afterwards and such. No - it's the opposite... You can't get so focused on revenge that you CAN'T think about anything else!
But yeah... Maybe once it's all over, I'll go ahead and throw my life in along with his.
What?! Die, you mean?! Are you serious?!
Sure, why not?
Are you out of your mind?! You know better than anyone how much it hurts to lose someone who's important to you! Are you gonna make us feel the same way?! Don't talk so casually about dying like that!
Heh... To be honest, I've never really considered what I'd do after. Let me think on it a bit.
...All right. But don't you ever say you're gonna die again.
...I'll think about it.
We can take a right here to go straight out to Harmonde, or we can keep going to reach to Sol Niger.
The Duplicator chest contains a Castle Wall badge. A character wearing a Castle Wall blocks the first attack targeted at them in each battle. The Imitator chest contains a Hard Jumper, armor for Chuck. The Sol Niger is holding a Hen Badge, so I made sure to steal it.
After opening the chests and purifying the Sol Niger, I leave the Decrepit Path. Next time... REVENGE!
The Art of Wild Arms
Zed was a recurring boss in the original Wild Arms, and (Alter Code F spoilers) a secret party member in Alter Code F. He's a pretty likeable guy, and his battle theme is awesome.