The Let's Play Archive

Wild Arms Alter Code: F

by Krysmphoenix

Part 6: Avril really let herself go...

Ahem. Sorry for the emotional previous post, but I hope it helps spread an idea of just how much I really do enjoy playing this game, despite the shoddy localization.

Fun fact: This song is sometimes translated as "Alone the World," which is the name of the third special album for the Wild ARMs series, which includes all the vocal songs from the first three games, and I believe one or two from the anime. Either way, Alone in the World is probably one of the more recognizable songs in this game. The Anime version doesn't even change that much.
Anyway, we finally get this scene, which was cut out of Rudy's prologue, so that it could be placed here. Azure get's to pick who he uses after the prologues; I don't.

Now I've seen the power of ARM first hand. That horrible sound it makes is like the roar of legendary monsters.
If he caused the earthquake, he is too dangerous to stay here. If he did it he must be punished!
I pity the boy, but he is a Wanderer. He doesn't live the way we do. Maybe he should move on.

I'm finally given control of Rudy here. In the previous game, I accidently stood there for like five minutes waiting to see if there would be more dialog, without realizing that I had control of Rudy again. This game definitely makes it more clear that I have control again. The HUD helps just a little bit. Of course, we go downstairs... When we walk by the room where the villagers are discussing, the cutscene takes over again.
: Order! Order! The will of the majority is clear. The boy is banished from the village. Since I have taken responsibility for him, I will tell him of our decision.
Bambollo: That's it?! That's the punishment?! He tried to bring a monster down on us!

Oops, Rudy's right there guys...
: Rudy! Were you eavesdropping? It's all right... The village has reached it decision. As soon as you are ready, you must leave Surf Village.
Rudy just nods, and walks out.

: Around the grove, you'll find the kingdom of Adlehyde. As a wanderer, you may find that a big city has more to offer you than a small, lonely village on the frontier.
He nods again, turns around and raises his head as if to breathe in the fresh winds of journey, and heads out of the village.
: Hey, Mister!
Nope, not quite done yet!

Yay! Dog Tony! You're alright! Oh, and it's Boy Tony too.
: I know you're a good person. No one listens to me though. I'm just a kid. … … … I... I wanted to at least say thank you. Nobody wants to admit it to you, but everybody knows you saved my life. I should go home now... But thanks again, Mr. Wanderer! I'll never forget you!

Back to the wilderness. Notice how the Migrant system still applies to the World Map, so we can skip battles out here...not that I would ever want to, for reasons you'll see later on. here we are. This is probably the most obvious Search I'm going to get all game. But later on, I'll get something that trivializes the entire Search system, meaning they might as well not have every used it in the first place.

One thing I really like about the old Adlehyde is that it was big, like really big. It was larger than most of the other towns in the game, and you got the feeling that this was the biggest city in all of Filgaia. In Alter Code: F, it's been downgraded to a few houses, stone roads and actual walls surrounding the city. Really disappointing. Regardless, the music here makes it sound like a busy market, so at least the music makes the city feel big.

Oh right, these two buffoons.
Peyton: It's gotten out of control! We need to let Emma know!
Injured Man: (No no no, you guys... You need to take me to the nearest hospital first...)

And then they scurry off, which I'm going to add, is them completely running past Emma's shop. I guess they are taking him to the hospital first after all... But first, let's go talk to a few people, see what's going on. I'm going to do this less and less for the future, but I'm only going to include important things.
Dominique: You must be here for the Ancient Culture Exhibition? I hope you will find this town as lovely as I do. Please feel free to look around.
So there's an Ancient Culture Exhibition? Future Wild ARMs games tend to use Three Letter Acronyms quite a bit for nearly everything (especially XF), so I have expected this to be turned into an acronym by the game. Regardless, I'm doing it. The Ancient Culture Exhibition is now ACE! (And it's a lot faster to type.)

Why thank you Captain Obvious.
: It must be exciting to be able to travel so freely. A caged bird can only look up at the sky and admire your strong wings.
So does this mean Cecilia is one of Virginia's ancestors? Anyway, there are a few more people in the bar, but I don't think they have much interesting to say.

Lisett: I just saw a traveling knight enter Adlehyde Castle. Do you think he is here to apply for a security job at the ACE?
Three guesses who that is. Lisett is standing outside the hospital, which I go into and...well, there is nobody there except for the nurse. Odd. Oh, and a book.

"Anyone Can Be Stronger!" posted:

How can I become stronger? Is it by remaining righteous? No, I don't think so. If you increase your numbers, you will become stronger in no time. In other words, form a faction. Don't get down. It is very effective and the quickest way. A faction...or call it a party. Once a party is formed, you are immediately stronger with the combined traits of each member. This guy has a great punch. Tat guy is popular with the ladies. This guy's relative is an influential politician. Anything goes. It's very important to respect everyone's unique power! A strong party understands each other. Yes! I like what I just said!! While I'm on a roll, I'm going to add one thing. To understand each other also means to be accepting of one's flaws, as well as one's good traits. I would even recommend having each member anonymously write down flaws and openly discuss it afterwards. You will find that there is an abundance of words to describe flaws. It will be an ugly discussion for sure. angry people. Anger can make one stronger, especially for those who want to get strong quickly.
This book amuses me, and is the best video game in-universe explanation for why people should form a party I've ever read. It's basically saying you should have a large party so everyone in there is bickering constantly, making them angry so that they'll release that anger on the enemy. Works for me.

Fuck-up count: 8. A boy with ARM? ARM is just a basic noun, that also happens to be an acronym for a basic noun. Anyway, he has more to say.
Randy: I heard there are people who specialize in the profession of ARM modification... I think they are called ARM Meisters. From what I heard, they're always busy. I'm just not in to keeping myself too busy all the time. I don't know how anyone can be so passionate.
I like this guy, because he really explains how most people view ARMs and those that use them: weird and strange, but still people. The people in Surf Village wanted Rudy to go away because they feared his ARM, likely because it's a dangerous weapon. Would you trust someone wandering around with a high-power firearm if you're just trying to be a humble farming village? Because of Surf Village, I thought everyone feared ARMs, but I'm glad they included this guy to clear things up a bit. Anyway, most of the people are just rambling about the ACE, so I waltz into their houses and read more books, and check out the monument in the center of town.
Here lies the tombstone of Zeldukes. This Guardian protected the Castle and symbolizes "Defense" and "Stability." (This was is engraved on the monument.)

The Two Moons posted:

It is nothing new for the people in Filgaia to see the two shining moons in the cloudless night sky. The tale would have it that one of the moons was created by humans 1000 years ago. People called the old moon Old Moon, and the man-made moon, New Moon. 1000 years ago is not only marked as the period of great war but also as the period of great progress in technology. It was the age when no one wondered how humans were able to create another moon in the Sea of Stars. We can only lament at the sad fact that modern men are unable to verify the authenticity of this tale.
This game seems to be making a bigger deal of the two moons...I think the New Moon is the redder moon of the two, but I'm not 100% sure.

This guy is the town's ARM Meister, which I'll get into what he does later on. There's also some stairs down to the basement, where is where we want to be next...after reading books first.

"Elw's Amazing Techniques" posted:

The demi-human Elw have cultivated their unimaginable techniques of alchemy over a vast period of time. It's said that the Elw coexisted with nature and devoutly studied ecology, which may have contributed to their longevity. Their texts include "World Organization of Conscious Beings", "Control of Guardians" and "Fusion of Metal Elements and Living Beings". Their method of joining a living being with one of energy and then warping it through the network is simply magnificent. In their literature, they call the network Layline and the temple at the base point is called the Laypoint.

"ARMs System and its Connection" posted:

ARM was created in the Great War period. It can only be initiated by the will power of those who bear the ARM. To initiate the ARM, the bearer must become a part of the ARM's bio-mechanical structure and accept it as an extension of their body. The ARM's structure becomes more complex as the size and strength of the ARM increases. Thus, controlling ARM increases in difficulty. Nowadays, because there are no known humans capable of handling the ARM, we only have replicas of earlier models.
More Elw stuff on the Layline, and some interesting stuff on the ARMs. So not just anyone can use it, huh? Interesting.

Downstairs we come across a familiar face from the introduction.
: It's kind of exciting, isn't it? We all have the urge to stop and look at accidents in the street...

I dillidallied throughout town, read a couple books, talked to some people, got drinks at the bar, stopped by the hospital to check on that guy, and first I beat you to the hospital and now here? How slow are you two?
: Oh no! Not the excavation site! Quickly! Tell me what happened!
Peyton: The damage done by the earthquake was much greater than anticipated. Parts of the wall collapsed in the quake, and monsters have come into the site! Some of the workers were attacked by the monsters, but no one's been killed yet...
: … … … Organize a group! Drive out those monsters!
Murdock: No can do, boss! None of the workers have any experience fighting monsters. Besides, they have us outnumbered! They're too much for us!
: I see. Leave the monsters to me then. In the meantime, get back to work! Pour all your efforts into restoring the ruins! The exhibition is coming up soon. I'm determined to bring "Lolithia" back after 1,000 years of sleep.
Peyton: Yes ma'am!
The two salute and then leave.
: OK... Now as you have heard, there is trouble at my site. And here you are, a young wanderer... No doubt you've fought your share of monsters. Would you agree to doing a little "house cleaning" with those monsters in the ruins? I believe it will be a great opportunity for you to study "Lolithia's Coffin," too. I can give you 5,000 gella, payable upon your success. That's not a bad offer, is it?
: I agree to fight the monsters. || It's too dangerous to accept.
: Good. I knew you would take it.

Fuck-up Count: 9. That just looks silly. Not the best place for a line break, and character names don't get that long I believe. Better line breaking would have looked a lot better.
: You look as if you blame yourself for what transpired. Maybe investigating this will help you too.
Uh...yeah, that's just what the dim screen and the floating text said.
: In any case, we need to focus on our tasks. I am Emma Hetfield. I'm in charge of excavating the artifact. I'm actually an engineer...I like to work on machines. … … … I'm off to the excavation site up north where "Lolithia's Coffin" is located. It is a dangerous place, so please be well prepared. I cannot stress this enough. I will meet you there... If I were you, I would gather up a group before you head up.
A group huh, I know just who to ask.

: Are you heading for "Lolithia's Coffin"? I, too, am drawn by the word "Lolithia". I feel a strange connection with it. May I accompany you to "Lolithia's Coffin"? I am Cecilia. I'm familiar with Crest Sorcery. With a Crest Graph, it is possible to cast various magic spells as needed. I have the Crest Graph with me. Across from the lodge is the Magic Guild where we can edit the list of magic spells. The more spells we have in our hands, the more ways we can handle different situations which we will encounter.
Cecilia joined the party!
I'll do that in a bit. Now let's go check on the knight that lady was talking about.

The heart of the world is in people's heart.

The castle theme in the original game was pretty nice, but this game just adds to the nobility of it. You really feel like you're somewhere grand. Now before we find the knight, we're going through the audience room. One of the people in the castle mention that the reason they put the audience room at the front of the castle is so that it's easy to find, which I can understand. Castles in video games tend to be big and confusing as hell.

You can talk to people with different characters, and you'll get different conversations. For the most part they tend to be the same, but in the case of Cecilia talking to the King...obviously you're going to get something a bit different.
: (Shush. Try not to be so loud... Anyhow, I am back Father. Is it OK to sneak around like this until the return ceremony?)
King Justin: (The letter from the Abbey said that you would be returning for the exhibition, but... Who are these Wanderers with you?)
: (I can explain later... But please, be patient. I will be back the day before the exhibition.)
King Justin: (You are stubborn, all right. But look at you now... I cannot believe how much you look like your late mother. Ok, Cecilia, enjoy your time in town. But don't do anything foolish.)
: (Thank you father. I will see you later.
And for the guy next to Cecilia and the King?
Minister of State Johan: Oh my... Like father, like daughter...
Safe to say, these two NPCs will be important, but I haven't seen them in cut scenes yet, so I don't have mugshots for them.

This statue gets a yellow light as we pass it, triggering the item that lets know what environmental objects we can interact with. A knight in the same room says this to Cecilia
Antoine: Young lady, it would be best for you not cross the path under the terrace on either the west or east side. The statue you see up there isn't stable. I've set up a barrier in case it falls. But you can never be too careful. Thank you for your understanding.
This will clearly become important later on.

Jack clearly prefers being called a Treasure Hunter. That door is "magically sealed," meaning we need special item to open it later on.
:Wait, you don't work for the castle... Don't scare me like that... Oh, you're another wanderer. Know where I can make some money, or maybe find some treasure? What? You're after "Lolithia"? You said "Lolithia", right? (Rudy nods.) We also have some business with Lolithia. We happen to be on our way there. I'm Jack. And my companion is Hanpan. Like it or not, we're coming with you.
Jack joined the party!
And now we have the main team set up. I like to organize my characters by their REA score, so you'll always see Jack first, Cecilia second and Rudy third. Back to town for some shopping.

The crossing fate---this story begins from here.
I am so glad I'm getting a moment to read these. I enjoy video games that do things like this, quick tiny little quotes or lines to go with the town or dungeon. I honestly sometimes just want to say the quote in a deep cinematic-trailer style voice.

The Magic system remains almost completely untouched since the last game, except they moved around and changed some spells, but how you make them is the same.

You select a spot on the 4x4 grid, and there is a spot for Offensive Magic and Defensive Magic. From there, you can return the spell, or change the name of the spell. Learning a new spell costs 10 times the MP cost of the spell. Returning doesn't give your money back, but spells are pretty cheap so it's okay. I'm returning Fire and Heal, I don't need those. Fire is alright, but Cec needs some of her better Defensive spells first. Because of Vitality, Heal is only usable inside of battle, and battles are easy enough that I shouldn't be taking much damage.
With those two returned, I have three Crest Graphs and thus 3 spells to learn. First is Quick Flash Step which doubles the target's REA and makes Jack even more powerful when he uses Fast Draw. Next is Revive Slap Awake which brings back allies who lose all their HP in battle. The game can't decide what terminology it wants to use for that, but tends to say "Unable to Fight," which is just wordy and seems to get mistranslated a lot. I'll toss it a Fuck-Up if I can find a particularly bad example. The last spell is Analyze Voyeur which tells me an enemies stats. It also serves two extra purposes later on, so I'm getting Voyeur early so I can scan everything I come across.

And I stop by the ARM Meister to upgrade Rudy's ARM, after selling 3 Gella Cards for 1500 a pop, giving me a lot of sudden money to work with. Which is good, because ARM modifications are probably the only way to spend money in the early game. You only get 15 upgrades total, each of which costs more and more Gella the more you upgrade that same type. All of them but Easiness should be obvious. Easiness is odd, and I'm still not sure. I THINK it may increase his REA, and I know it increases his Counterattack rate and Auto-Reload rate, where he reloads after an attack instead of when defending.
Honestly, right now the only one worth getting is ATK, because the attack bonus is noticeable all the time, and improve Cartridges as well. I have enough Gella to improve ATK twice, taking Rudy from +10 to +24.
Speaking of upgrading Cartridges...I can't do that yet, I need a special item first. Pop in the general store to get 30 pieces of Medicine (just in case, it's really cheap too) and I'm off to Lolithia's Coffin.

Well, I get caught in random battles on the way, with a new battle theme because we have Rudy, Jack, and Cecilia together. This is also a good time to show off how Voyeur works. Don't be surprised at the Level Apple drop, it's really really rare. What's important is that MP Repair...that symbol involves a feature we don't have access to yet, but remember this MP Repair. I'll be grabbing a few in the future when I gain the ability to steal. In the meantime, Jack uses Speed Fang and kills them all. Need to grind that move as fast as I can.

She has lain in the coffin since 1000 years ago.
I'm not changing to the dungeon music yet, enjoy the battle music for a bit while it lasts. I'm just here to pick up something really quick.

: Good job, young man! Now I can vouch for you! Well, best of luck, you'll need it! Are you ready?
: Ready! || Not ready yet.
: OK! I hope you're ready to deal with the ruins. I'm going to figure out why the ruin's power lines are cut... If you fall in battle within the ruins, I will have a hard time saving you.
Talk to her again...
: We getting any closer now? Are you ready this time?
: Ready! || Not ready yet.
: By chance, are you the type who was told by your mother to hurry up every morning? I wasn't. I can't stand that. Even then, I was impatient.
I think I like Emma as much as Hanpan. One more time!
: You always find me the moment I come up with a great idea... It's almost uncanny timing. So, how about it? You're all set and ready to go?
: I am ready || I need more time.
: Really? I can tell you're uncertain about it. If you're THAT uneasy... ...I'll tell ya what, I'll go with you. But I need to attack a condition. I hired you as independent help to clear the monsters from the ruins. If I join you... I'm going to have to cut the reward. I promised to pay you 5000 gella, right? Well, how 'bout I cut it to 1000 gella? Deal?
: Agree to the condition. || Go alone.
: Really? Good! I can save so much. It's worth it... OK then, let's go. Since I joined your party, no more hesitation is allowed. My motto is quick decision and action!
Emma joined the party!
That's right folks, where did I ever say that Rudy, Jack and Cecilia were the FULL party? We have room for more. (There is a Revive Fruit in that chest.)

When you have 4+ party members (max is 6), we get the option to do rows. Members in the Rearguard will always receive 1.0 modifier, no matter what happens in the Vanguard. However, members in the Rearguard will automatically heal from VIT at the end of a round, so it's good for quick healing in prolonged battles. Note that it's not actually Vanguard and Rearguard, I just like saying it because I think that's what it was in the Japanese version. That, and Wild ARMs 5 subtitle was "Vth Vanguard," so I just like using it for a bit of continuity's sake.

Now that we got more people, let's take a look at stats. Jack has high Reaction and Evasion, and pretty good Accuracy. As you can tell, Speed Fang, like all other Fast Draw's, need to be used a lot for them to be really good. Jack is generally offense, but Accelerator can be good for an item in a pinch if Jack isn't fast enough on his own.

Cecilia has the highest Magic and Resistance (Magical Defense). Her role was obvious since day one. She's the magical portion of the team, though I have her set up for support. If she needs to attack, Aqua Wisp will do great.

Rudy has high Defense and Attack (probably because of the ARM bonus). He's the physical guy. Note that he has no MP what so ever. He'll never use it or gain any. Oddly enough, he's still vulnerable to abilities that drain MP, but they don't affect him.

Emma is just...her stats are bad except for Magic. And look at her skill set, "Emulator." Emma has a long list of abilities she can use, but they are locked. We can use Download on an enemy with that skill, and she'll learn it. If we use Download on an enemy with a skill already, she'll restore MP, which is good because the Emulator techs are expensive. A lot of her moves aren't very good, but they can become decent if you work with her enough.
Her Force ability is Alchemic Bomb, which is a Group attack. Sometimes identical enemies will be in a group and can be targeted as Enemy A B C D. Group attacks hit everyone in that group, but they won't hit all enemies. Alchemic Bomb rises in power as we download more skills, so that's something Emma needs constantly worked on. In fact...

We get Stink Cloud from the Gagisons you can run into on the world map. Stink Cloud causes Disease, but each enemy has different status effect resistances. Still, worth having in odd situations, which is what Emma is good at.

Oh, after battle sometimes you'll run into chests, which contain extra items. Sometimes they'll be trapped and it's not worth picking up if your Luck is low. However, if you don't open it, you don't get any items from after the battle, which sucks if you're grinding for rare drops. So sometimes the risk is worth it.
Also on Luck, it affects a few things. First, I think it affects the Random Swing, which is the random variance between an attack now and an identical attack against the same enemy two seconds later; obviously Best luck gives you more than Worst.
Second, it increases the length of positive status effects, and reduces the length of negative status effects. Obviously work it.
Third, Revive heals more HP on higher-luck allies. Worst Luck revives them with 1 HP, whereas Best Luck brings them back with 50%.
Fourth, your chances of triggering a trapped chest are reduced with better luck.
Luck changes a lot, and you can't really control it. Over time it just moves, and if you are still at 0 HP at the end of battle, it will also drop, so bad players won't have good luck, ever. Tiny Flowers will raise the Luck by one step, but it's not worth it most of the time unless you have lots saved up. This one gave a Gimel Coin, which is pretty common.

It goes on telling everything from past to future.
I'm backtracking here to Voyeur the enemies here, and use Download to check for any new skills.

I know, Tony was totally an Elw, right? ...right?

Nope. Neither of the enemies here had skills to download, and they've been Voyeured, so I'm already done here. Having the exit close to the entrance helps.

Damn, I totally thought you could replay this somehow...guess I'm wrong.

On the way back, the RNG is nice enough to let me run into this guy, a Grow Apple. Grow Apples will always flee on the first turn, but drop EXP equal to the amount of overkill damage you can inflict on them. Great for grinding.
...problem is, Jack's out of MP and Rudy moves too slow to kill them.

Berry Cave message: The light of a life is shining in the dark.
Tatzelwurm's Renovation ability downloaded!
This guy surprised me, I forgot he had two. Renovation is a cheap self restore HP ability, and Baking Breath is...
Fuck, I'm going to have to explain more mechanics, aren't I? Alright...

This is the basic formula for 90% of the attacks in the game. AttStat and DefStat refer to Attack/Magic and Defense/Resistance, respectively. TC stands for the Tech Constant, which is the term used in the guide to the game I'm using, and is where I'm getting most of these formulas form.
For basic attacks, the TC is 2. Cecilia's Elemental attacks have TC of 1.5, and her Material has a TC of 3. (Heal also has TC of 3...but I'm not sure how healing moves fit in this, I think they just ignore DEF/RES). Baking Breath has a TC of 2.5, which is how it's different than the three or four other "Fire-elemental damage" that Emma can also get. In addition, elemental damage triples if you hit an enemies weakness, so with Emma's poor MAG, Baking Breath isn't very impressive. Target someone weak to fire? That 2.5 becomes 7.5.
And for reference, Rudy's Boosted Shot has a TC of 3, and Lock-On increases ATT by 25%. Jack's Fast Draw's don't get Tech Constants, because they use a formula based around his REA, so I'll just show those formulas. With the exception of one move, Accelerator increases the "Reaction Constant" of Jack's Fast Draw's by one.

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip.
That started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship.
The mate was a mighty sailing man, the Skipper brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day for a three hour tour. A three hour tour.
: It's a piece of cake for me.
Ahem...Sorry. Couldn't resist.
I stop by the Inn at Adlehyde to get Jack some MP back, and return to Lolithia's Coffin which uses repeat music...not that it's really a bad thing. If a song appears a third time, I'll find a remix to use instead, to avoid too much monotony.
Anyway, since we have Emma, we can use these machines throughout this dungeon. If you don't have her, it just says you can't use it. All it does is open a nearby door leading to a chest. This one is a Gimel Coin.

The enemies here are clearly a step up, because we have three meatbags to take damage instead of one, so Vitality is really important now. Fortunately leveling up at this point is common enough I'm not too worried about only having Revive. Besides, a Heal Berry would heal more than Heal. The berry does 100 HP. Cecilia would probably do between 60-80 at this point with Heal.
They don't have a skill to download, but they'll use Gimlet (basic attack) and Life Steal, which is a spell I can teach Cecilia. It deals damage equal to the difference between Max HP and current HP, and sends it back to the caster. Some enemies resist it more than others, so I tend to avoid it. Natrually, my characters are 100% vulnerable.

This dungeon also introduces Bomb Chests, which are darker than normal and require to be hit by a bomb before being opened. This chest gives Snipe Bullet, which is a new Cartridge for Rudy.
Snipe Bullet has TC of 2.5, modifies Rudy's REA by 200%, and gives +100 ACC.
Boosted Shell has TC of 3, modifies Rudy's REA by 75%, and gives + 50 ACC, though I don't believe that last part which is why I rarely use it without Lock On. FUCK YOU RNG!
Snipe Bullet is pretty nice, does a little extra damage, but lets him move a lot sooner and is generally accurate enough to use without Lock On, so I'll sometimes use it for normal battles.
Oh, and the normal chest gave a Crest Graph. Good treasure everywhere! glass thingie has a message: These pillars are the sleeping grave keepers. When these two pilars awake, the path will be opened. In Puzzle Speak: Use bombs. I don't know if you have to get them at the same time, but I did.

What could be sleeping in Lolithia's coffin?
Hooray for Wild ARMs never knowing what time period it's in! Although there were guns and castles and cranes in the Victorian era...I think? Why isn't Rudy more Steampunk then? I would so totally love a Steampunk Wild ARMs
Anyway, here there are four exits, with one being where we just came from. Up ahead is locked by a door and a lever that does nothing. Left and right are clear, so let's go left first.

Gomoratoads can be touch if you're not careful. They are weak to Ice and Thunder, but are Activated if you attack them with Water. Active means their stats go up.

Gomoratoad's Hydro Launcher ability downloaded!
Gomoratoad's Water Zone ability downloaded!

They also Activate if they are in a Zone of an element they are Active too. Water Zone doubles Water damage and halves Lightning damage. These guys rarely use Water Zone, but they are deadly if they use it. Hydro Launcher is a basic single-target Water-elemental move with a TC of 2. These two can do some nice damage if paired together. I actually clear out the Gomoratoad's with Snipe Bullet because Rudy is just fast enough to one-shot them with it when they are Active.

Same puzzle, different dungeon.

The weather started getting rough,
The tiny ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew,
The Minnow would be lost. The Minnow would be lost.
This chest gives 4000 Gella. Makes it worth bringing Emma along after all. By the time I could return here with her, this would be chicken feed.

This room kinda sucks. A new mechanic is sneaking around to not destroy platforms that will collapse under your weight. Problem is...all it does is slow you down, and if you so much as take one step too far, you fall off into the pit anyway. Hanpan is needed for the switch. This is a dead end.

Huh, that blue dot wasn't there before. Going right now!

Rawr! I will set you all on fire!

The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle.
With Gilligan, the Skipper too.
The Millionaire, and his Wife.
The Movie Star,
The Professor and Mary Ann,
Last one I swear.

This one is worth showing. Our first Ex. File key. I'll go over this at the end of the update.

In this game, you don't only push blocks, you can pull them! A lot of puzzles in the original game needed the Watch so you could reset puzzles if you pushed blocks badly. Not so in this game. And the blocks are on a grid, so you can't get stuck really. I only push this enough to reach the button with Hanpan, and then use Hanpan to get the two chests which are Heal Berry x3 and an Alter Part. which I'll also explain later.

Another glowing dot. Pulling that switch opens the door.

This puzzle is silly. The pillars have a rod that sticks out, and you need them to point to the center. You can only use the wheel which turns them all, although they turn at different rates. Two turns to the left and they all face the center. Stand in that odd square, and the door opens.

That can't be good.
: Looks like that thing found a home...
: It's eating the energy in the ruins! If we defeat it we might be able to return power to the ruins!
: It's absorbing electric energy... Its weakness must be water attacks.
: You must be careful! It intends to eat US as well!

First thing I do is put Quick Step on Jack, so his Fast Draw is even better. He got a level up a while back that I held off using the MP for. You can manually set the turn order in this game, which helps for turns like this.

The boss's main attack is EM Laser, which does decent damage to one target. It's very flashy.

Now I have Electrigger, Emma goes into the back to bring Rudy up front. I wasted her MP playing with Water Zone on Empusas.

Finally get around to Voyuering the boss. As Emma said, weak against Water, and I'm not surprised to see that Active there for Thunder.

I wanted to kill it with Assault Tide, but Jack's just too good with Quick Step and Accelerator boosting Speed Fang. This is my main boss strategy right here.

This room is just messy, but apparently power is running in the ruins...which does nothing at all.

In the next this. Boy, Avril, you really let yourself go while you were in cold-sleep...
: This is a Golem, a legend from a bygone era. Somehow it was sealed in these ruins... We've been excavating these ruins in hope of exhibiting this Golem specimen at the ACE. A long time ago... When Filgaia was still green, there was a legend... Eight giant weapons were created to fight alien monsters that invaded our peaceful world. This severe battle ruined our world and this Golem was sealed away in these ruins... Many of these weapons have just recently been excavated in the various ruins. The conditions of the ones we've found have been wonderful. We have plans to excavate all these pristine Golems. This is one we planned to excavate soon.
: I thought I had found my absolute power... Why did I get my hopes up?
: This Golem is gigantic. How are you going to carry it?! Do you think it can move?
: Unfortunately this Golem cannot move on its own. Our current technology is not sufficient to fix it. For that reason, we'll have to remove it from the ruins by a much more primitive method.
Two workers come running in.
: Let's start the excavation at once! It isn't fragile so it's OK to be less than gentle with it. Let's move it!
Brea: Aye Aye!
Murdock: Let's move!!
: I even designed a special contraption for this momentous occasion... Let's begin!

The cranes from before lift up Lolithia...but wait a second. How on earth did they get it to the cracked area before? It's a heavy stone golem! How did they even get it to the cranes in the first place?
: This Golem can finally see the light of day. It wouldn't be possible without your hard work and, of course, the Emma Motor!
I think the Emma Motor is just some engine she built. Considering the vague time-period, we're supposed to be impressed.
: Yes... this Golem's name is Lolithia. The ruins' name is derived from it. Look at this gigantic titan. Don't you think it's amazing? It's been dormant for centuries, yet the condition is excellent, so pristine...and complete. … .. … The workers and I will work overtime to prepare this Golem for exhibition at the ACE. Therefore... Do you think you can wait a little while for the reward payment? Don't worry, I will pay your reward. Please understand that I cannot leave this extraordinary find alone?
Rudy and Cecilia look at each other and nod. Jack nods too, after both of them. He's a little disappointed.

We get warpped back to town after that.
: I believe once the Golem has finished his job as a weapon, he's programmed to no longer be functional after that. So, like that scientist said, the Golem is not operational.
: (The Guardian said there will be a battle with the 'Steel Menace'. But if that's not about Lolithia, then what could it mean?)
: Man, who does that scientist think we are? We don't work for free.
: We will find out tomorrow. I don't need to be in a hurry. After all, we had a very unusual day.
: Tomorrow we'll be accepting rewards and visiting the ACE. I'm planning another trip out to the ruins after we're finished. But I'll stick around until then.
: We just met... Do we have to say goodbye already?
: That's the life of the wanderer, right? I always sleep under a different sky. Speaking of sleep... Why don't we find lodging for the night and wait for tomorrow's exhibition?

Not quite yet. I stop by the magic shop to pick up an attack spell for Cecilia: Spectre Gorun Nova. This is the proper name of Gourry's Sword of Light from Slayers. It just sounds really badass, which is why I chose it. Cecilia needs an attack spell after all, and Light-elemental is rarely resisted.

The ARM modification adds an extra bullet to a Cartridge at the cost of an Alter Part. Not that great, but hey, with enough Alter Parts, some of these can be used for random encounters without fear. But I'm hoarding this, because I have better stuff to use it for. I have plans.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the cost of an Inn is this. For us, that's 115. But when we choose to sleep...

: You already have a place to stay? ...or do you live in this town?
: Um...yes... You could say that. I didn't understand why I felt so determined to find out what the world "Lolithia" meant. But venturing into the ruin with you both gave me a feeling that... A feeling that I'm part of something... ...part of a team. I really needed that! Even if we must now part ways, I will never forget this experience.
: Ah, alright... Great...
: I am planning to attend the exhibition tomorrow. Perhaps we will see each other. And if, by chance, we do... please do not treat me any differently.
She then walks out.
: Hrm... What was all that about?
: You never know... she could be a princess.
Nah, that's impossible.
: Knock it off... You know I don't get along with those kinds of people.
Betty: Excuse me, fellas... Will you be staying with us?
: Sorry? Oh, yes, we'll be staying here. The two of us and the mouse.
The game even recalculates the cost!

Cecilia returns to Adlehyde Castle. This scene has no dialog at all. The guy gives her a hug, and then it fades to black.

The day of the exhibition is finally here.

Wild ARMs has the best inn music ever. Short, sweet, and puts a smile on your face. First thing I do after this is go to the save parrot, so I'm ending the update here.

End of update status:
: Level 6 → 8
--ARM: ATK Lv 2 (24)
--Obtained Snipe Bullet.
--Hoarding 1 Alter Part.
: Level 7 → 8
--Speed Fang: Lv, 2 (15/22)
: Level 3 → 7
--Forgot Fire and Heal.
--Learned Flash Step, Revive, Voyeur and Gorun Nova.
--Left the party.
: Level 7 → 8
--Joined the party
--Learned Stink Cloud, Baking Breath, Renovation, Hydro Launcher, Water Zone, and Electrigger.
--Left the party
Gella: 5170
Migrant Seals: 1
Fuck-Ups: 9

Version Differences:
Before you just had to meet Emma and then combine the party in any order. Rudy has to do this in ACF.
Emma is a playable character, among a few others...but you won't get her again for a long time.
Lolithia's Coffin seemed more hi-tech than the original game made it seem.
That dungeon also feels a lot smaller...each person only had to use their unique tool once.
Being able to push AND pull blocks removes the need for the Watch tool.

Next Time:

Fuck Baloons balloons. Gah, that character limit from Azure Dreams makes it difficult to spell balloon properly, because I've gotten used to spelling it as Baloon against my greater judgment for so long.