Part 29: The Pilgrims' Cradle
The Mayflower flies into frame and lands in a place we've never seen before.
Music: Nothing is Better than the Usual Time
Yes, I'm fine. I'm sorry I grabbed you like that, Dean...
N-no, it's okay... I mean, it looked like your memories were still all jumbled up and stuff, so...
A-anyway... So you said there were still some things you couldn't remember?
I'm afraid so. I was able to recall the events that occurred since waking from coldsleep, but everything before that is still fuzzy.
Yeah? That's too bad.
But it does mean there's no longer any way to fully activate the TF System. Isn't it better that way?
Well, yeah, I guess, but still...
So you took the Ice Queen into yourself, right? And you don't have to worry about her taking over you anymore?
Yes, she is a part of me now. And while she will no longer take over me, I've accepted her feelings as well. I will work to find a way for both races to live on Filgaia without sacrificing either of them.
And there's still the matter of gaining humans independence from Veruni, too. Looks like you're got a lot of work ahead of you, Dean!
Maybe, but it seems to me those are all connected. The important thing is for both races to accept each other, right? There are things only humans can do, and things only Veruni can do.
Yes. If humans and Veruni can accept each other, I see no reason why they can't live together.
There's a facility west of here that used to be called the Cradle. Many Veruni who couldn't adapt to Filgaia are resting and recuperating there. Go and meet them. That should show you what you need to do next.
The Cradle, right? Got it!
Hold on - not so fast. The monsters here on the Locus Solus are incredibly strong. Take Asgard with you. It seems to be fond of you.
Fond of us? Do you mean you can understand its thoughts? As a Golem Hunter, that's certainly something I'd be interested in.
Its thoughts? Of course not! It's all about feelings! Veruni, human, golem, it doesn't matter - feelings are what's important!
Captain, you're so cool!
*Sigh* So that's how Dean's going to be when he grows up... I know it...
Asgard's waiting for you in the hold. Take this - you can use it to call Asgard whenever you need to.
Obtained Giant's Ocarina!
Yes sir! C'mon everybody, let's get to the hold!
Music: Pilgrim's Progress
We now have our very own golem, Asgard! Asgard has appeared in every single Wild Arms game in some way. (Except for maybe XF, I haven't played it, so I don't know.)
The item Bartholomew gave us, the Giant's Ocarina, serves the same purpose as the Call Whistle, but it summons Asgard instead of the Monowheel. The Giant's Ocarina was also an item in Wild Arms 1, where it also served the purpose of summoning Asgard to your location.
Asgard also has equipment and Original Commands. Asgard can only have a limited number of Original Commands equipped at one time. The list above is every Original Command we possess, but he only has Superluminal Fist equipped at the moment, and we can't currently alter his equipment.
Before we head for the hold, let's explore the Mayflower!
This is a Shop Box, they function like an ordinary shop. If I'm remembering right, this is one of the only two Shop Boxes in the entire game. Shop Boxes originated in Wild Arms 4, but the Bombur inside originated from Wild Arms 3, where they functioned as save points.
There's not much else to do here, but there are some NPCs with worthwhile dialogue.
Compassionate Crewman: But if we tried living on Filgaia, we'd be paranoid with fear the whole time... Of course, many of my fellow Veruni are swaggering around Filgaia even as we speak, unaware of the cause behind this disease...
Crewman: You're heading for the Cradle, right? In that case, follow the path to the west. You should be able to see the facility's buildings across from the giant boulder. Uh, also remember that the Locus Solus is packed with fearsome monsters, all right? Exiting Asgard to explore on ground level would be terribly dangerous, so don't attempt it.
It seems like the Locus Solus has a serious monster problem. I'm sure it's nothing we can't handle though, right?
There are other NPCs around the Mayflower, but they mostly just repeat things we already know, so we head for the hold.
Music: Exciting Trigger
Urrgh... I'm getting dizzy from all the coolness!
C-calm down, Dean! You're getting too excited!
But...! But it's my own golem! I've finally got my own golem! And it's the same golem whose left arm fell down back at Celestial Peak! Oh, man... I feel like I'm gonna faint...
I know how you feel, Dean... I can barely hold back my own feelings about golems...
Huh? You too, Chuck?
I didn't become a Golem Hunter for nothing, you know. Lately I've just been treating it as work, but I remember when I was a kid... I always dreamt about golems, and swore that one day I'd- Aaaaaaaaaaaah!
Oh, no... Chuck's lost himself...
Hehe... It seems that men remain childish no matter how old they grow.
Well, Greg, at least, seems to be keeping himself calm. I guess you don't really have any reason to like golems after all, right, Greg?
Y-yeah... Though now that I've found the target of my revenge, I don't really hold any hate for innocent golems.
Really? Well, even so, I'm impressed with the way you're keeping calm - nothing like those two louts.
(I wouldn't dare admit that I'm actually having a hard time containing myself, too...)
Mechanic: Here, let me show you how to operate Asgard.
Music: Dark Clouds Loom Over Yonder
Asgard has several functions. He can punch to destroy large boulders or bust open those crystals we've been seeing around Filgaia. (The monsters inside would tear us apart, though.) He can also hover. While hovering, Asgard moves quickly, avoids encounters, and is difficult to control.
You have to dismount Asgard to use the Search System though, so the Monowheel is better for general travel.
Anyway, welcome to the Locus Solus, the colony ship that took the Veruni into space 12,000 years ago. The Locus Solus is filled with really powerful monsters, so it's best to travel on Asgard or the Monowheel.
Random encounters on the Locus Solus are like boss fights. The monsters here do about as much damage as the Ice Queen did, so it's kind of like fighting a difficult boss that gets three turns in a row.
Yeah, it's a bad idea to dismount Asgard here.
Following the path to the Cradle, we eventually reach a boulder. Asgard's punch makes quick work of it, and then we're forced into battle.
Music: The Burning Spirit of the Iron Fist
Let's wait and see how the battle proceeds.
Yeah? Then I'll just do my best to cheer him on! Come ooooooon Asgard!
Imagine being put into control of a giant robot that deals thousands of damage with each attack, fighting other giant robots. That sounds pretty cool, right? Too bad you just get to sit and watch the AI fight itself for awhile.
Golem Battles had the potential to be really awesome, but they're just ridiculously boring instead. The limits of our control in these battles are equipping Asgard with a set of commands before battle. It could have been kind of cool to set up a detailed AI and watch it fight, but when all you can do is say "Use Attacks A, B and E, don't use Attacks C and D.", it's just stupid.
Anyway, note the 16 in the bottom-right corner. This number drops each time Asgard acts, and if it hits 0, our party takes over for him, I think. Honestly, I'm not sure, because I've never seen that number hit 0, and the game doesn't give you a tutorial for Golem battles. Our party also takes over if Asgard's HP hits 0.
You get no EXP from Golem Battles, even if Asgard falls and our party finishes the enemy off. You still get items and gella, though.
The Cradle is dead ahead after busting that rock. There's also a Mega Berry tree and a save point nearby.
Music: A Dark World Looming Behind
The radicals provided me with a lot of information after waking me from coldsleep. Undoubtedly much of it was tailored for their benefit, but at its base it seems to be correct. However, I don't want to confuse you, so I'll refrain from mentioning what is clearly biased.
I'll leave that up to you, then. You lost your memory, after all. I won't blame you if what you say isn't quite true.
Yeah. And besides, Avril's in the best position to judge how much of what they say is true and how much isn't. So I'll trust what you say more than anything, Avril. Right, everybody?
Carol, Greg and Chuck all nod.
Thank you, everyone. I'm truly happy I was able to meet you all...
It's not that big a deal, Avril. After all, it's only normal for friends to trust each other, right?
Yes, I suppose so. I trust all of you as well. But please don't hesitate to ask if there's anything you want to know.
Sure. Actually, there's something I wanted to ask you abou the Veruni.
What is it?
Uh... I forget. C'mon, let's go!
Heh, same old Dean...
We get our next ARM Cartridge here, the Anchor Hook! The Anchor Hook can pull us to those floating rods we've seen around, and it can pull certain objects toward us.
We're immediately given a puzzle to use the Anchor Hook on. These special boxes have handles on their sides, which the Anchor Hook can attach to. The boxes start as they are on the left in the above screenshot, and we have to drop down and move them around so that they're in the position they're in on the right. After that, we can pull the above boxes toward us, dropping them onto the boxes below and creating a staircase.
And once again.
The next room is all about using these objects to pull ourselves across gaps in the floor.
The next room has two sealed exits. In order to open them, we need to investigate the nearby monitors.
This looks like a security system. I don't recognize this writing, but I'll try to decipher it... ... Hmm... It seems like we'll have to split up to hold down the switches that open the doors in each room. Then, we activate the final switch and we should be able to proceed.
*Have Carol activate the terminal?
Okay, Carol leaves our party at this point, and the two sealed doors open. Our goal is to get to Area 010, which requires us to go through the other rooms and leave party members to hold down buttons. There are no encounters in this area, so you don't have to worry about dropping your entire party and wandering around alone.
We go north to Area 007, and drop Greg and Chuck onto the switches, which opens the door to Area 008. Also note that if we try to leave Rebecca behind while Avril is still in the party, she refuses to leave the group.
We drop Avril in Area 008, then go back to Area 007 and swap Rebecca out for Chuck, after that, we return and exchange Chuck for Avril. Why go through all that trouble to keep Avril with us, you ask?
The switch in Area 009 is special and will only work if Avril is the one standing on it, so it's necessary to drop Avril somewhere so we can ditch Rebecca and then go back and pick Avril up again.
Area 010 contains a stomp switch, which turns all the doors off. Our party is automatically put back together, and...
We have to fight two Nyames and a Nyankopon. They all deal about 1000 damage with their basic physicals, and 2000 with Heavy Crush. It's not a terribly difficult fight as long as you pay attention and don't let your HP drop too low.
The game still can't remember our party configuration when they remove party members, by the way, so the battle starts with Dean, Rebecca and Avril in the party.
So how come it's got monsters in it?
...I think it would be best to discuss that once we've arrived at our destination. I think Captain Bartholomew wants you to feel that for yourself.
Oh... Then I guess I'll save that question for later.
Here's another thing the Anchor Hook can interact with. If we stand on that raised bit of floor and fire the Anchor Hook, Dean will point it straight up and attach to that glowing ball.
Once you're attached to one of them, it will begin to move along a set path. If you press Square or Circle, you let go and drop to the floor.
As long as they've got a spaceship, why don't they just give up on Filgaia and find another planet to live on?
If only it were that easy... For one thing, planets with the same sort of environment as Filgaia are extremely rare. Imagine planets are like grains of sand at the beach... You could scoop up a fistful of sand and you'd be lucky to find even one people could live on.
But they sent 12,000 years in space, right? Surely they must have found at least one...
From what I heard, they did indeed find and settle on one such planet. But that planet's resources were very limited, and only lasted them about 5,000 years.
5,000 years...? That's all? Out of all that time since they left Filgaia?
So they spent 7,000 years wandering through space...?
Yes. They spent more time searching for a world to live on than they did actually living on the one they found. Moreover, despite all their time in space, they still considered Filgaia their home, and dreamt of one day returning. Beyond that, there is another reason why the Veruni are currently unable to return to spce.
And that is?
...I'll explain when we arrive at our destination.
It's not long before we come across another one of these puzzles.
Our target is Area 025. There's a northern exit from this room, but activating the terminal only opens the doors to Area 016 and Area 018.
We head west into Area 016, and drop Chuck on the switch, which opens the door to Area 019.
As you can see, Area 019 is dark. Chuck and Avril are afraid of the dark, so they'll refuse to wait in that room. Since Rebecca also refuses to leave us, I drop Greg in here and continue north to Area 022.
I drop Avril here, then I go back to the dark room and exchange Rebecca for Greg, then return to area 022 and swap Avril with Greg.
Area 023 contains the Avril switch, so I leave her here and continue north to Area 025.
After the party returns, I continue north, straight into a boss fight.
Music: Defense Action Squad Heroes!
These guys are pretty annoying, especially Chimera B, who is immune to magic.
They all deal about 1000 damage with their attacks.
If you let them all get into a single HEX, this happens.
Damn... Nothing seems to get through!
It appears to take no damage when all three parts join together... We can wait for them to separate, or we can use Isolate and just break them up ourselves!
Unfortunately, I forgot about this boss and didn't have Isolate ready, so I just had to wait around for awhile.
When combined, it still only deals about 1000 damage with its attacks, so it doesn't really become a big threat, it just stalls the battle.
Eventually, the thing finally uses Isolate on itself, which splits it apart into three pieces once again.
As far as I can tell, when it finally decides to use Isolate is completely random. Sometimes it uses it on its first turn after joining, and other times it makes you wait around for what feels like 20 turns.
It's not a big threat, and it can't combine anymore once you've killed one of the parts. The real problem with this fight is if you don't have Isolate and you're too dumb to use Shut Out to keep them apart.
That sounds like fun. Let's do it!
Greg and Chuck's combination attack is Judgment Heat, a magic attack what targets all enemy HEXes in a straight line.
Rebecca, I got an idea! Can you hit this?
All right! Ready anytime!
Chuck and Rebecca's combination attack is Flower Barrage, a physical attack that attacks any single enemy HEX.
This boss took me like, 20 or 30 minutes, so I don't have a video for you. I'll capture these combination attacks on video soon.
Music: The Professor (Appearance)
Aaaaaah! Caaaaaroooool! My dear Carol! Are you okay? Nobody was mean to you, were they?
Yes, I'm fine. Everybody here was really nice to me, and I had a lot of fun.
Hmm? You had fun without me? That's not fair...
Now, now, don't be silly. You could at least act like a grownup and thank everybody!
Well...I suppose. Please, allow me to thank you for taking care of-
Nice to see you too, Professor!
Wait a minute... The Mirror of De Soto? You don't mean-
Yup. He's the one who stole the mirror.
-! It IS him! Now I remember! This is the guy I saw sneaking around the vault in Mirapulse!
Watch your mouth! You're speaking to Elvis, the foremost among the fore of Filgaia historians! And besides, you ended up taking the Mirror anyway, didn't you?!
Yeah - and thanks to that we were able to save Chuck.
Wrong! Thanks to that, my research was delayed! Just how are you planning to take responsibilty for that?!
Professor... So you did steal that mirror, didn't you?
How many times do I have to tell you not to steal things from people?
But Carol, everything was explained to the Mirapulse guards afterwards...
I don't like people who make excuses!
Besides, you were able to finish your research on that mirror later, weren't you? Did you learn anything from it?
Well... I learned that it was merely a ceremonial tool, nothing more...
So what right do you have to get angry at them? None!
Wow, Carol... I never guessed you had a side like that...
A-anyway, what are you doing here? This is Veruni territory, isn't it?
It is indeed. So?
"So?"... You - you're not-
Yes, the Professor is a Veruni. Why do you ask?
What?! You serious?
I'd kind of had a feeling like that...
With a body built that differently from humans, anybody'd notice, really.
Yeah, yeah, so I'm dense, okay? Just like Rebecca's always saying...
I think I'll refrain from commenting on that.
Why don't I ask you the same thing? What are *you* doing here?
Well, the captain of the Mayflower told us there was something in here we wanted us to see...
Ah, the former Johnny Appleseed. So you're the ones he's chosen as the representatives of humans. Very well, come along. Your destination is right ahead.
Music: A Distant Elegy
What...in the world?!
How horrible... I can't even look...
Indeed, as you say, this was once a recovery facility for patients suffering from the mysterious illness we now know to be rejection by Filgaia.
Was once... Then it isn't so any longer?
Regrettably, no. This facility is no longer a "Cradle", as it used to be called, but a mere coffin.
The disease did not affect everyone equally. Some took ill when still young, while others exhibited no symptoms until their later years. Research was done at this facility into finding the cause of the disease, and combating it with either medicine or genetic modification.
Ge...genetic modification...? So the Veruni had it that tough, huh...
Yes. We had no leeway to be concerned with such abstract considerations as ethics. But we pushed too hard, too fast... A trivial mistake led to a terrible accident here. The damage was so great that it allowed experiemental microbes to escape the facility, leading to the appearance of monsters here.
Oh... So that's why this place for healing disease is full of monsters...
There are still several other facilities like this one which are functioning normally, but even the Locus Solus is no longer safe. There's no guarantee another accident will not occur, and some of the monsters have grown too strong for even us to handle. With both Filgaia and the Locus Solus closed to us, there is no longer anywhere we can go.
Nowhere to go...? So that's why...
Yeah... They're only trying to find a place to live, even if it means reforming Filgaia...
I'd never even guessed. I'd just assumed the Veruni had it easy, and hated them for what they were doing to humans...
That can't be helped. Most humans don't even know of the Locus Solus or the TF System, after all...
But if this is how things really are, we can't just leave it at that. I'd only thought about saving humans. But if the Veruni are in such a tough situation, then...
I can see why the former Johnny Appleseed chose you. I've also been searching for a way for both Veruni and humans to survive, but without luck. And so preparations continue toward our only remaining option - reformation of the planet.
No! You can't do that! Even if it's the only choice left, it's still too selfish to destroy humanity just for your own good! There's got to be a way humans and Veruni can live together! If we can only find it-
Then what would you suggest? Whatever you try, if you can't at least convince Volsung to cooperate, you won't accomplish much.
I had hoped to find some hint in that direction myself, but it looks like my time here has been wasted. There's no point in my remaining here any longer. Farewell, then. Come, Carol.
Um, Professor... I think I'd rather go with these people.
Hmm...? Those words didn't sound familiar... Did I imagine them?
Music: Elvis PALB_3106 (: Appearance)
Stretching, of course. Calming myself down in preparation for asking Carol once more. Now then, once more... I've decided to leave this facility. Come along, Carol.
...Professor, I'm grateful for what you've done for me...but right now I want to travel with Dean and everybody, as a human. I...I hope you don't mind...
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hah!
Wha-?! What's wrong?!
And then he runs away.
... So, uh, Carol, it looks like the Professor left...
I don't mind. This is what I want to do. I used to be afraid of being alone, so I always stayed with the Professor... But I think it's time I found my own independence. So I think I've chosen the best course of action that I can...
I see. Well, I think you made the right choice.
... *Sob* Rebecca...
Dean, let's return to the Mayflower and report to Captain Bartholomew.
... Yeah...the Mayflower. Let's go...
After returning to the previous room, a warp crystal appears which takes us back to the entrance of the facility, allowing us to easily return to the Mayflower.
The Art of Wild Arms