Part 3: Treasure hunter
Last time we did Rudy's prologue, now it's time for the next one. Okay, that background looks way too real to not be a photograph. It's probably some kind of ruins of a castle or manor or something.
First things first, new song! Yay! Something light hearted, like you're exploring a place for the first time.
: Huh, what Hanpan? Do you know of this place?!
For now this character is just named Treasure Hunter, because we haven't gotten the chance to name him yet.
: I can't believe that you don't! These ruins are rather famous... You believed someone's lie... again.
: Shut up! My gut is telling me that something good will some from this place!
: Huh... Since I'm obviously the intellectual one, I don't share your optimism. A better name for this place would be "the previously looted ruins of the dead," maybe then you wouldn't have been fooled. Even IF there is some treasure, I bet it's total junk! I do not think you can find anything worth the money you paid.
: If you feel that way, don't come with me.
: Ohh, don't be so stubborn. You know that you'll need my help! At any rate, we came this far! We should at least check it out.
: We might find a clue about Absolute Power.
Yup, the remake has made things more extreme! Instead of searching for Power, this guy is searching for Absolute Power!
Not much to do right now, but walk up to...whatever this thing is.
Look at this! This is amazingly advanced technology! This computer is clearly impressive, it's got a high quality monitor, completely interactive with the facility. Ladies and Gentlegoons, welcome to the future!
: Hey, Hanpan. What's this?
: No! Don't! Stop! Don't touch it!!
...that is not how you treat computers. You always keep your mouse to the left or right of the keyboard, not on top of it, otherwise you can't use your mouse properly!
Horrid puns aside, Hanpan stops jumping for a while, and both of them stare at the screen. A text box appears.
>>If you are the successor of memory, enter the correct descendant's name and the way will be opened.
: Hmm, interesting... It's asking us to enter a name?
: Well a name is an important thing. Do you know the name, "intellectual" one?
: Don't get smart with me! I don't know it!
: You're right. Well then, let's try... Let's enter my name.
And now our Treasure Hunter is given the default name of Jack. He's also totally not a thief.
>>Jack …...........................................................................................................No name matches.
And you thought the ellipse count in other games was ridiculous.
: Well, I didn't really expect it to work... Since I did not expect my name could be the password, I don't feel vexed.
: ...Liar. You thought there was a chance.
I honestly love these two characters, and all their bickering like an old married couple. Really, Hanpan isn't that important to the game, but he's an awesome character and I could not imagine this game without him.
Don't worry Jack, it's just the first earthquake. The next earthquake will be another warning, and then after that various rooms in the dungeon will collapse and then finally the hallways. The worst that will happen is you'll get kicked to the next floor, and you'll get more time to grind monsters for EXP.
See? Nothing bad.
You're just fine, already on the next floor. The music here is synced up to the cutscene again, but I'm not going to worry about it too much. This scene is pretty much constant running.
Master of the sword, and a tireless Treasure Hunter.
Hanpan is a wind mouse.
I never noticed these as much the first few times I played the game, but now I crack up at every face I can screenshot.
As Jack runs down the hallway, he sees a side passage and jumps down it, and lands flat on his face.
And then for no reason the floor starts falling away.
Where is it located?
He also starts to fall to his death, but jumps and reaches the ledge at the last second, typical hero style.
Spear traps in the wall, carefully deflected with his sword, then starts running down the hallway constantly deflecting the spears with his sword.
He searches earnestly, unaware of what it is.
And then later on the walls start closing in from both sides.
Only to run into yet another pit trap.
I have to admit, I'm a bit fond of the original Courage theme, because it borrowed so heavily from To the End of the Wilderness. This game uses it a bit, but it's not as obvious. Oh well, it's still a nice dungeon theme. Anyway, after that second pitfall, we end up here. Up ahead are four unlit blue crystals surrounded by spike traps. Like the original game, step on them and you'll take damage, and you'll start the next battle with less than Max HP, because of the Vitality system. So be careful not to be too stupid. Just running over them is enough to avoid them. As for that stone thing in the center...
: This stone pillar looks dubious. A device somewhere might make it work. Maybe these stones at the corners?
Well, we have nothing to activate the crystals with, so let's move on. There's a doorway just up ahead.
The next room has a bit to take in. Another blue crystal above, a blue plus shaped thing to the side, a chest, and a note on the wall. The game uses this time to explain the Stand and Look mechanic, which is you hold down one of the shoulder buttons and press X to highlight important objects near your character.
The first thing I do is send Hanpan for the chest, but there's nothing inside. There's a note right above the chest which reads...
Har, Har, Har! I've already collected all the treasure which can be sold, fools! ☆
Now for a cool mechanic. Hanpan doesn't have to go in a straight line. You can curve him around, and he also doesn't care about dangerous spike traps as big as him. You could step on that plus-shaped platform thingie that responds to weight, but why do that yourself when you have a mouse that's at least 1000 times lighter than you? Then again, Hanpan is pretty chubby in this game, I suppose that explains how he can activate those.
Doing so causes the door to open, with more screen shaking effects. Woo.
As for battles in here, they are pretty simple. The most common enemy is the Balloon, a recurring enemy in the Wild ARMs series and known for being pathetically weak. Interestingly, these guys resist physical damage, but have so little HP that they'll die from one hit anyway.
Not that I give them much of a chance. Jack starts with Speed Fang, which is a basic do more damage attack. This is probably a good time to explain how Jack's Fast Draws work. They cost MP, which Jack doesn't have a lot of (this spent 10, but MP comes back at level up, so I don't care). However, every time you use it, Jack gains a bit of skill in the Fast Draw.
Another part that's interesting, is that each Fast Draw is not just calculated from your ATT and the enemies DEF. It's actually boosted by Jack's own REA (Reaction, or how soon you move.) I believe the formula is something to the effect of...
I don't know if there are Stat Apples in this game, but if there are REA apples, Jack's getting them. After only two uses, I gained enough skill in Speed Fang to reduce the MP cost to 8. I need to use it 20 more times to reduce the cost to 6 MP. When it's mastered, it'll only be 2 MP, which is pretty dam useful. There's a trick to leveling faster, which I'll show later.
: I can hop over that gap to press the switch. Even with your long legs, I don't think you would make it.
In the next room is a switch across from a small pit. Hanpan can make small jumps like this. In the original game, Hanpan would just kinda float in mid air. Anyway, this opens up a door to the next area, which is pretty typical for this dungeon.
This next room features a new trap, a blade that falls down when you get near it. You can run underneath it without problem.
There's also yellow chests, which explode when you open them. Hanpan can open them without hurting you, and I tend to use Hanpan for normal chests anyway. Inside was a Heal Berry.
Hmm...three boxes in a room with one of those crystal thingies from before. I wonder what we're supposed to do? What's this? When I walk near one I get a tutorial on picking up and throwing items? I really do miss the old style games, where it didn't really tell you much and tutorials were not invading like this game. Future Wild ARMs games got pretty bad about that sometimes.
This dungeon also prevents backtracking somewhat by having you constantly jump of ledges like this. In Rudy's dungeon, there was always a way to walk back. In that chest there is 2 Gella Cards.
New room, old puzzle.
Oh yeah, look at me angle that mouse just perfectly to minimize effort made and get a Gimel Coin. Nevermind the fact it took me like three tries to get that shot right because Hanpan went down the stairs a few times.
Oops, looks like I was wrong. There are some wings in this dungeon. Sorry for the false advertising folks. This guys hit a bit harder than Balloons, and take two normal attacks for now. I actually level up pretty soon and then take them down with only one attack.
I imagine there might have been more notes in the dungeon that I missed. Oh well. Another easy puzzle. Stand on one switch, use Hanpan for the other, viola.
Spikes?? I HATE SPIKES! Pressing switches simultaneously is easy! That's all for today...
And it leads is back to the first puzzle room we encountered since Jack's fall, just on the ledge we couldn't reach before. Hit the crystal, and it opens a door to the center room.
Now that we're in the upper area for this room, the puzzle is more clear. Hit the crystals with the boxes to activate them. But first...
Had to get some treasure first. These chests were also in unavailable areas that I could reach once I got access to the upper area of the middle room.
Right, so just throw boxes at the crystals, no real trick needed just as long as you throw straight (which is the only way Jack throws) and...
The weird thing in the center turns into a crystal! Walk over to it and...
Admiral Ackbar would have seen this coming. I think this song may have come up before, right before the Rotting Beast fight, but it's placed approximately here in the soundtrack.
: Is this the reward for releasing the trap!? This is the worst reward I've ever seen! Keeper of the ruins, come out!!
: Don't complain partner. Life is often like this... Let's get done with this quickly.
Fuck, it's a giant spider. I hate spiders.
I instantly unleash a Speed Fang on the spider, and get responded by it's counter attack: Captured Web. It does no damage, only this. Halving Jack's Reaction means reducing the power of Speed Fang as well, in addition to also going second but that's a side effect. In Round-based games like the earlier Wild ARMs games, turn order really doesn't mean a lot so long as they get a turn each round.
However, I have an ace up my sleeve. Accelerator is Jack's Force ability, which lets him move first. As you can tell, this is generally a pretty crappy Force ability, unless you need some healing in a pinch. What makes it REALLY good, though, is that it boosts the power of Fast Draw. Speed Fang normally added twice Jack's REA to the ATT, but when you use the Accelerator, it uses three times the REA for a nice 117 damage. With already reduced REA.
Like a boss.
The spider gets the same death special effects as the Rotting Beast. ...FUCK! I forgot to use a Lucky Card! Oh well, Jack gains enough EXP to hit the next level (7).
Now that the battle is over, all that's left is to run into the crystal to activate it.
And then we get teleported into a truly strange room., with another one of those strange pillars behind Jack. You can step in the green thing, it won't do anything, but if you mess with the thing to the left of it...
I'm surprised he's actually letting Jack use the device for once.
: Don't touch anything. You to start acting like an adult instead of a child.
Huh? You complain too much. Acting like a child is the secret of youth!
...and then he kicks the device. HARD. That's gotta hurt his foot.
Then out of nowhere, a hologram of a strange man appears in the green section.
: Hey, Hanpan!! The person in charge of this ruin is coming!
: Huh? That's an Elw... I don't remember the last time I saw one.
: What...? What's an "Elw?"
: The Elw are a human subspecies who exist in Filgaia long ago. They were a race steeped in nature and superior to others in wisdom and magic... It's no surprise this ruin was built by Elw.
: So that's an Elw, huh?
: No... This is just an image of an Elw that's being projected in light by their technology.
During those past few lines, it was scrolling up to show the Elw hologram. Here's what he looks like. Everyonce in a while the hologram distorts, likely because the technology has been sitting in a dusty set of ruins for years.
: This must be an Elw era machine used to transmit information. They can leave anything to the ages if they leave it in the form of information. I see now... That's a nice trick to call this place Ruins of Memory.
Suddenly there's a flash of light at Jack's head, and he holds a hand to it as if he has a headache.
: Hey, the Elw started to say something.. No, the voice is speaking inside my head!
Do not wish for Lolithia whom the Elw have set in the coffin.
Okay, I have to be honest here, I really love the original versions better. "Seek not Lolithia, she sleeps in her tomb" sounds way more eerie and cryptic.
I'm sorry...what? You call it Freezing Palm for a breath weapon? I think that counts as a Fuck-up (number 6), but I'll take it back if someone can get the original Japanese and see if it loosely resembles Freezing Palm.
So noted. Fuck up count: 5.
Yeah, it really does. Kanji for 'to freeze' and 'palm [of the hand]' are right there (and yes, it is described as freezing breath immediately beforehand). Baffling, though translating it as that if it wasn't would (hopefully) have been more baffling.
Do not wish for Lolithia whom the Elw have set in the coffin. It's a blowing snow storm of death. It's a tornado leading to misery and it's the absolute power to destroy everything.
The hologram fades away after that.
: Hey, Hanpan. Where is Lolithia's coffin? No, wait! First off, what is a Lolithia? You must know?!
: Don't ask me everything at once. Even with my superior wisdom, I do not know everything.
: Ahh, I see... Well, it will do for now. Absolute Power...finally... Maybe we have found a clue to its location.
: Jack...what are you going to do with this Absolute Power?
: You will see... Either way, we'll have to find it first. Let's go and look for this Lolithia's Coffin.
The stone pillar in the back of the room then turns into a teleporation crystal like before, which I use the moment I get control again. There's nothing of note in this room besides the hologram.
The teleportation takes us to the very first room with the prehistoric computer. However, we don't get control here (so we can't put in the proper password even if we know it already) and Jack just walks right out of the place.
Why? Maybe to cut the binding chains of his past... What will he wish for if he succeeds?
Does he believe that Absolute Power will shine the light on his future?
What a man may not even realize is that, Absolute Power may be exactly what binds him to his unforgettable past...
End of update status:
: Lv 5 → 7.
----Speed Fang mastery level 2. (10 → 8 MP)
Migrant Seals: 1
Kinda something silly that I didn't really screenshot. Jack always keeps his sword sheathed. For a normal attack, he whacks and enemy with the sword in its sheath. He only brings it out for Fast Draw.
Fast Draw uses a lot more MP, but that can be reduced through using it more.
Fast Draw is takes a significant amount of influence from Jack's REA stat.
Dungeon layout changed significantly. Before you just wandered deeper in, this time you're going around in a circle.
Oh yeah, Jack gets a boss too. Always felt it was kinda odd that he didn't before.
Reason #23 why I love Wild ARMs: spell casting nuns.