The Let's Play Archive

Wild Arms 5

by DarkHamsterlord

Part 28: Memory Maze

There's a bit more to do around the Mayflower now, but I chose to save that stuff for later and headed straight for the sickbay.

Yeah. Ready when you are!
Then each of you take out your mediums.
Our mediums?
Yeah. Mediums are used to connect their owners with something. Normally they connect people with Filgaia, but this time we'll use them to connect each of your consciousnesses.
Oh, I see... Kind of like that machine back near Honeysday.
Here, let me give you this. Use it if you need to escape from Avril's mind and come back here.
Obtained Escape Gate!
Avril's memories are probably hidden away in her subconscious. You'll need to find and restore them. But as I said before, there's a possibility that doing that could return her to her former, ruthless self.
Right. But we won't let that happen.
I am prepared to fight alongside them as well.
All right. Ready, then? Here goes-!

The screen flashes white, and...

Music: At the Frozen Depths of the Heart

Wait, Avril's here too? She's walking around inside her own mind? ...That's really weird.

I'm not sure...but I feel something like hesitation, or doubt...
Yeah, me too...
Hesitation...doubt...? ...Yes, perhaps. During our travels together, I was always concerned that I might be deceiving you... There is a sense of guilt as well, which I still do not understand... And even now, I am surrounded by fear... Fear that I may not be able to remain myself when I recover my memories.
Then let's take care of that fear, shall we? That's why we're here, after all. I remember seeing you from the gallows in Mirapulse... You looked like someone completely different, almost scary. But you saved me, didn't you? Talking about how important promises are and all that.
Yeah, I remember that, too. She looked totally different than she had before, but she didn't seem like a bad person at all. And saying that "promises are sacred"... It sure sounded to me like you'd made some sort of important promise.
Promises are sacred...?
Yeah. It sure sounded like you meant it. But you've forgotten it, haven't you?
So we'd better go find out what it was, don't you think?
...Yes, I suppose we should. Very well, I won't hesitate any longer. Let's go, where my memories await.

Welcome to the Memory Maze, a land of twisting pathways suspended over a dark void!

At the end of the pathway is a warp crystal, which takes us to another twisted pathway which leads to...

A twisted pathway with three warp crystals.

That thing sure was cool, wasn't it?! I was so excited I couldn't take it! It looked just like the kind of golem I'd always dreamed about meeting!
I know how you feel, Dean, but calm down! Now that you mention it, that golem did only have on arm, didn't it? I wonder if that might be related to the arm that carried you down when we found you at Celestial Peak...
I think it's likely. When the golem saved us, I felt like I'd experienced the same thing before.
Right?! I knew it!! That golem is the greatest!
That incident also brought back some of my memories since awakening from coldsleep. Volsung was the one who woke me from my long slumber.
Volsung... He the leader of the radicals we were talking about earlier, right?
Yes, without a doubt. He was working on activating the TF System.
But the only one with the ability to do that is one of the royal family - meaning you, Avril. Right?
Yes, which is why he sought me. Right now they are using substitute energy sources.
Hmm, so they woke you - the Ice Queen - in order to bring the TF System to full power.
Yes... But I had lost my memories over the long period of time I was in coldsleep. So I was unable to recall the activation password that was passed down through the royal family... And then radicals were unable to bring the TF System to full power.
Well, I guess that was lucky for us. If you'd had all your memories then, we probably wouldn't even be alive right now.
Volsung attempted to restore my memories, but he was unsuccessful. Later, the moderates sent that golem to recover me from Volsung. But Volsung's men immediately chased after us - and the golem must have decided it could not escape with me, as it ejected the arm carrying me.
And you landed on Celestial Peak, where we found you.
So finally, everything fits together.
But if that's the case, we humans can't just let Volsung be anymore. Otherwise we'll just be heading toward our own extinction.
Yeah. We've gotta prevent that, no matter what.

I go through the crystal on the left.

I'll never forget the tear that rolled down my face when you carried me away from the edge of that collapsing cliff... I still don't know the reason for it, but I remember being filled with a feeling of familiarity, of warmth, and I couldn't help myself. I will carry those memories with me forever...

We're given control here. All we have to do is leave the area from any exit, and it takes us back to the room with three crystals. Next I go through the middle one.

I remember how consumed you were with revenge, how painful it was to look on you. But you nonetheless looked over us kindly, guided us like an elder brother. Now it is our turn to help you carry your burden.

And the crystal on the right...

You were frightened of us then, cowering almost like a small animal. But you've grown up a lot since then. You're so smart for one so young, and you always try your hardest. I hope you can reunite with the professor before long.

Now that we've been through each of the crystals, a new one appears.

What's wrong, Avril? Are you worried about something?
...Dean, I have a request to make of you. If, when I recover my memories, I should become the Ice Queen again... Please, kill me yourself.
Wha...?! What are you saying, Avril?!
If that were the case, I would desire nothing more than for my life to end at your hand...
Don't be ridiculous! That's not what you want! You're just hiding your fear! Besides, even if you turn into the Ice Queen, I'll do whatever it takes to turn you back. I won't give up!
... ...Thank you, Dean. Your refusal to give up gives me great confidence.
Hey! Why can't you ever say that to ME?
W-well, you've never been in as tough a situation as she's in, have you?
That has nothing to do with it! Girls just like to have boys say they'll protect them, you dingbat! When will you ever get it?!
I've never had anyone say anything like that to me, either. I know it would make me happy if you said it to me...
Wow. Popular, aren't we, Dean?
He sure is. If only I could get Lucille to notice me as much...
Arrrgh! Enough of this! Right now we need to focus on getting Avril's memories back!

This room introduces a new mechanic for this dungeon: statues of the Ice Queen. If you walk in front of these statues, a battle triggers and you're placed back where you entered the room. They're completely stationary and their vision is a line, rather than a cone, so avoiding them is trivial.

The next room is another one of these. I take the crystals in the same order as before: left, middle, right.

Your selfless efforts to try and find the medicine to cure Pastel truly impressed me. That kindness of yours has helped me on many occasions, as well. Such feelings of kindness join people together, and so history is written...

Perhaps it was showing me my future, instead... Each of you has made some choice, some resolution that has taken you this far... Perhaps it will be my turn next.

You learned to stop running away from the sorrow, the fear of losing those close to you. Don't forget that you're just as important to those people as they are to you. Those are the kinds of feelings that create bonds between people.

Once again, a fourth crystal spawns when we're done.

At last, the Memory Maze lives up to its name. This room is made up of many twisting paths, many of which have Ice Queen statues on them. Hidden in pots around this room are a LVL Apple and a Full Revive.

Music: deep-seated grudge

What?! Where?!

There's a flash of light, and...

...The glowing sphere turns into a second Avril.

Welcome. I am the true Avril, the one who was once called the Ice Queen. You have my thanks for taking care of my vessel for so long.
Is this...Avril's memories...?
I don't think "memories" is the best term with which to describe me. It might be more accurate to say that I'm Avril's true consciousness. Though terminology does not make much of a difference to me. If you find it easer to refer to me as "memories", then please do. But perhaps it would be simplest for everyone to call me the Ice Queen.
Then tell us, Ice Queen... How can we get Avril's memories back?
It is a simple matter. Avril has only to accept me. It is only Avril's deliberate sealing of her own memories that prevents me from manifesting myself.
Avril sealed her own memories...? Do you mean the time she spent in coldsleep has nothing to do with it?
No, nothing. She has merely chosen coldsleep as a convenient excuse to hide the truth.
But... When I woke from coldsleep, my memories were -
And it's high time you accepted that truth. You know your purpose here, don't you? You entered coldsleep 12,000 years ago to wait for the return of our compatriots.
...Yes, I did. We successfully developed the TF System, and activated it for a test. But the moderated interfered, and the test failed.
Yes. And our compatriots departed into space, hoping for the planet to make a natural recovery... While you - or rather I - voluntarily entered coldsleep to await the day our compatriots might return.
But why didn't you leave Filgaia as well? Even if you remained in coldsleep, wouldn't it have been more convenient to be on the colony ship with the other radicals?
In order to activate the TF System's main power source, two things are required: The activation password, and the genetic code of the royal family. Had I departed into space, there was a danger that my genetic code would have mutated over the long voyage. So, I remained on Filgaia instead.
Ah...that makes sense.
In point of fact, many of those who returned are now suffering from the VR factor being released by Filgaia, due to the changes that have taken place in their bodies. It seems Filgaia is treating them as invaders who would cause damage to the planet, and is attempting to eliminate them, just as a person's body does to germs when infected with a disease.
So that's the cause of the disease that's afflicting the Veruni.
Indeed. Far from improving, it seems that Filgaia has become even more hostile to use than it was 12,000 years ago. In order to survive, we must activate the TF System immediately to reform the planet. There is no other solution.
But...! I know you're in a tough situation, but don't you think it's awfully reckless to just ignore what it'll do to humans? I mean, humans and Veruni used to be the same race, right? Humans are living on Filgaia without any problems! There ought to be SOME way the Veruni can survive without reforming the planet!
Properly speaking, it's true that there is an alternative that would allow my kind to survive. However, it is an unrealistic one.
What is it?! Tell me!
There would be no point in telling you. It would be next to impossible to carry out.
Nothing's imposible! Not as long as you don't give up!
Then can you convince humans to trust and accept the Veruni as friends?
Well... Maybe not right away, but I know it'll be possible someday!
"Someday" is too late for us. Why do you think I have been awoken? We have no time to wait for a solution. You must accept me, Avril - or you will cause the death of all those who depend on you!
But doing so would destroy humans...
Do you still not understand? You chose these humans, Avril, so I had hoped for a peaceful resolution to this. But it seems that that's no longer an option. Very well. If this illusion of companionship is the cause of your hesitation, I will dispel it!

Disappear, all of you!

Dean, we shouldn't waste our efforts. She still has control of the space around us. Focus on defense and wait for an opening.

Yeah, we don't really stand much of a chance here.

Alright, just 1,685 more criticals from Dean and we've got this!

Urgh... She's strong...
Have you forgotten where you are? This is part of my consciousness. No power can overcome me. Stop this meaningless fighting. It will only prolong the pain you will suffer before I erase you.
No! I will not permit that!
Enough of this farce, Avril. How much longer must you continue to deceive those who depend on you? Was it not enough to blame your memory loss on coldsleep, when it was you yourself who sealed those memories away? You crossed a gulf of 12,000 years to save them, did you not?
... You do realize you are contradicting yourself, don't you?
Wh-what do you mean?

Music: The Ice Queen ~I Loved Your Smile~

You say I entered coldsleep in order to wait for my companions to return from their journey through space. Why, then, would I need to seal away my memories? Doing so would only prove a hindrance to my duties. that you mention it, yeah. Without those memories, you wouldn't be able to help everyone when they came back. I mean, even now the Veruni radicals are having problems because they failed to fully activate the TF System, right?
Yes... I suspect there is another reason I sealed away my memories. ...Ice Queen, you know the reason, do you not?
...There is no need to discuss that. What's important is the lives of -
Why do you hide it? Why can you not speak the truth? Is it because the truth would impinge upon your reason for existence?
...Wh-what are you talking about?
So you do not deny it... Then that truth does negate your purpose - and is thus central to my own it not?

Dean stands betwen the Ice Queen and Avril. He does that a lot, doesn't he?

Get out of my way. Do you really want to die that badly?
No, I don't want to die. But I want even less for Avril to die.
...Why do you risk so much for someone you've only just met?
Well, I dunno, really... I guess it's because of all we've been through together.

Rebecca steps forward and stands next to Dean.

Yeah. Avril and I are friends, after all - including you. And we'll still be friends even if she changes.

Greg steps forward.

I remember when Avril asked me about my revenge, about what meaning it had. To be honest, that hit me pretty hard. I still don't have an answer. But I'm glad she asked. I don't think Mary or Ted would have wanted me to puruse meaningless revenge.

Carol steps forward.

Ever since I met Avril, she's reminded me of the professor. If not for her, I might still be avoiding everyone except him. Now she's almost like a kind older sister to me - almost like family. Of course, I've got Dean for an older brother, hehe.

Chuck steps forward.

I'm grateful, of course, that she saved my life when I was about to be hanged, but it's not just that. She taught me the importance of resolution, of not just running away from everything like I had been. That's why I'm here with everyone instead of living alone. That's why I can feel our bonds. Right, Avril?
I've got a ton of memories from the time I've spent with Avril.
Memories... Yes, we do have a lot of memories together...
But I guess the strongest one is that tear I saw on her face when we first met... I was carrying her as we rushed out of Celestial Peak, and I glanced down and saw that tear... It had more of an impact than any other tear I've ever seen.
I remember suddenly being filled with pain when I saw your face. That pain brought on a tear, and... ...A tear...? ...
If you claim they are that strong, then perhaps I'll just have to test these bonds of yours. I'll show you just how worthless they truly are!

NOOOOO! Don't worry, Avril! I'll be right there!

Music: At the Frozen Depths of the Heart

An exit to this room appears directly above us. Avril is out of our party at the time being, so I stuck a copy of her medium on Carol.

This room is the same as the first room, but mirrored and full of statues.

In order to avoid all of the statues, we just have to jump down here, then use those Detector platforms to reach the crystal. A pot in this room hides an Ambrosia.

As you walk through this room, Ice Queen statues quickly fly across in front of you. If you proceed too quickly, you'll run right into their line of sight. The solution is to walk, rather than run.

If your bonds are as strong as you claim, you should know which of us is the Avril that journeyed with you. Choose!

I didn't mean to involve you in my troubles. Our time together means more to me than I can say, but it seems the time has come for us to part ways... Farewell, Dean...

Without you by my side, I could never have come this far. I truly hope that I will be able to travel together with you forever...

Alright, which one is our Avril? If you pick wrong, you're thrust into battle, and then you get to pick again.

 Our Avril is the one on the left. 

...!! Pure coincidence, nothing more! There's no way mere humans could have established such bonds! I'll show you just how easily those so-called bonds of yours are broken!

Boss: Ice Queen Avril
Music: At the Frozen Depths of the Heart (Ice Queen)

Dean, this is our chance! Her emotions are weakening her control! Let's take care of her now!

Avril rejoins us for this fight, but she's placed into the 6th slot of our party, so we have to switch her in if we want to use her.

The Ice Queen has 4D Pocket, which can really screw you over if you leave two people in one HEX. If you get into a position where only one character is left, you're probably fucked, because her attacks hurt.

Her basic melee deals a little over 1000 damage, she also has Hi-Blast, which deals nearly 2000 damage.

Not only that, but she can heal herself for 2000 damage with Mega Berries, she can use Life Drain for about 1200 damage, and sometimes she'll block attacks.

She also has something we haven't seen before: Dark Isolate. Dark Isolate moves the target to a random HEX, like the original Isolate, but Dark Isolate has a chance to cause instant death to the character.

Her high attack power forces me to play defensively. I bring Chuck in with Protect (which made no noticable difference.) and healed every turn with Avril.

Ice Queen's high attack power and Chuck's PS Damage Up are a great combination for this fight, so I leave him in for the entire battle. Thanks to this, I ended up unlocking Chuck and Avril's combination attack.

I thought of a way to use your power and speed, Chuck!
Ah, that's a good one. Let's try it!

Climbing Garden is a magic attack that attacks all enemy HEXes.

It takes a little while, but she goes eventually when hammered with Sonic Vision from Dean and physical attacks from Chuck.

Why?! Avril and I, we are one and the same! I refuse to accept this! I cannot let you defeat me!

Don't bother. You cannot break our bonds. Haven't you realized? Your power is almost exhausted.
What?! ...?! haven't-?!
It's that TF System test from 12,000 years ago that you've been so desperately trying to hide, isn't it? The test itself failed due to the moderates' interference, but there was another incident that occurred as well - dimensional turbulence from the shock caused by the moderates' interference!
...! But - but there were no casualties from that dimensional turbulence. Stop trying to make up excuses!
Indeed, there were no casualties. There was, however, exactly one person who was affected by it. That person was-
I've finally realized that I cannot reject you. After all, you and I are one and the same. You have your idea of justice and I have mine... Who can decide which is correct?
...No one can. "Justice" is relative. It can mean different things to different people.
Yes, exactly. So I have no choice but to accept you. I will save the humans; and I will fulfill your desire and save the Veruni as well.
But that's impossible-!
You should know as well as I what Dean's response would be to that.
Oh, you mean THAT line?
It's a good one, though.
I thought I'd be tired of hearin' it by now, but I guess not...
Yeah, it's not bad at all. It really gets you pumped up!
Well, it's true, isn't it?!

The Ice Queen disappears in a flash of light, and the screen fades to black.

(A voice... A warm, tender voice, calling from a distance...)

(I have slept for 12,000 years, that I might hear this voice once more... I know this joy will only last for a few short moments. But it is for that very reason my most precious treasure... I've kept my promise, Dean. I've come back...)
Avril! Avril!!

Avril slowly opens her eyes and sits up.

Is your head okay? Does anything hurt? You could rest some more if you-
...I've come back, haven't I? At last, I've come back...
Avril..? Wha-huh?! Avril...?!

Finally... I've finally met you again... *sob*
A-Avril? What's wrong?!
Her head's probably still a little screwy. She should be fine in a bit.
... Well, I guess I'll let it slide this time.
Dean... I've missed you... I've wanted to see you so much...*sob*
... Avril...

The Art of Wild Arms