The Let's Play Archive

Wild Arms Alter Code: F

by Krysmphoenix

Part 9: The Great Chow Mein Uprising

Last time, Adlehyde had it's Ancient Culture Exhibition, which got ruined by red balloons shattering the sky demons crashing the party and stealing the Golems and taking the Teardrop. Oh, and the King is dead. A week has passed since the funeral.

This be honest, a lot of people claim that the Wild ARMs soundtrack has strong Wild West flavor in it, but there are a lot of times I really just don't hear it. This isn't one of those cases, and I could totally imagine this in a Western movie after some town got burned down. And it's eerie as hell.
: I don't want to sound philosophical, but I feel like this is fate... Anyway, Rudy, there doesn't seem to be much in it for you. Are you OK with all this?
Rudy, being an altrustic silent protagonist follows the footsteps of other heroic mimes...and merely nods.
: Profitable or not... you sure are a strange fella.
: Anyway, I'm a little concerned about the princess... She's been so busy with the national funeral and planning the restoration. It distracts her from her pangs of loss... But... ...But maybe I talk too much. Let's go get the princess. We have a ton of things to do.
And when we leave this room, we're ambushed by a guard.
Steven: Hey! I was just looking for you!! Minister of State Johan wishes to see you right now, before you continue with your journey. The minister is in the audience chamber past the entrance to the castle. Please hurry.
And run over to Minister of State Johan...
: Welcome, you two. Let us cut to the chase and get right to business. The task the princess received from the Guardians is to stop the demons by uniting the power of all the Guardians. In order to unite the Guardians' power, the shrine maiden must communicate with the Guardian at the temple. Rudy and Jack... I ask you as the Minister of Adlehyde. Go see the princess at the shrine in town and take her to the Guardian Temple. We are counting on you.
Meanwhile we'll stay here and do absolutely nothing productive while you go out and save the world. Jerks.

Back in Adlehyde, the Mayor is out and about.
Mayor Howard: It is unfair and cruel... However, all is not lost. I believe we can make Adlehyde a beautiful place once more. As mayor, I have begun to collect donations to restore the town. Our goal is to collect 600,000 gella. It won't be easy, but we can do it. Every mountain is scaled the same way: one step at a time. I would appreciate it if you could help us with any amount.
Cue the donation side-quest. He'll give us rewards after giving him so much Gella, but I'm too cheap for that right now. I need that Gella for Rudy's ARM.

Cecilia is in the temple as mentioned, and she's changed her outfit.
: I fixed my hair up a bit... Do you like it? I also changed into comfortable clothes... Do they look OK?
: Ah, yes... I think it suits you fine.
: ...I am fine now. Crying will not change anything nor start anything anew. A rainbow always follows a storm... It's true. My mother used to console me when I cried. She used to tell me, "nothing is impossible."
You can do anything as long as you don't give up!
: Then she would say a prayer for me. She taught me to believe in myself and to believe in tomorrow. ...I am going to be strong. Even stronger than strong. ...But I will need your help.
: But I... I see...
: Princess, we're here to ask you to be part of our team. Your spirit needs to take flight.
: So I'm part of the team?!
: Yes, of course. But we don't have much time left. We need to go now.
: Yes!
Jack and Rudy head on out, but Cecilia turns for a moment to say a quick prayer.
: Dear mother, dear father... When I come back here, I promise to be much stronger. Please say a prayer for our safe journey and a safe return...

: The Field Viewer we received from Father Johan can help us get there. Demons must be planning to attack more humans. We must hurry...
Obtained Party Item [Field Viewer]!
Cecilia joined the party!

We can return to the ruins of the ACE, and reach this chest which has a Crest Graph in it. There are breakable boxes around here too, with a Potion Berry, Revive Fruit, Medicine and a Heal Berry.

Oh, and there's this guy too. He's still around. Doesn't do anything yet.

I also pick up two new spells: Vortex Aether, a Wind-elemental attack, and Command Replay Rinse & Repeat. Rinse & Repeat is a spell that costs 36 MP, but when it's cast on someone, they will repeat the action they had for that turn. So if I put it on Jack and he uses Speed Fang, he'll use it twice in that turn.
However, it has some draw backs. If I put it on Cecilia...well, she spent that turn casting Rinse & Repeat, so that means her replayed action will be Rinse & Repeat, using up even MORE MP. Rinse & Repeat will also replay Force abilities, and the actions they are linked to (like Accelerator and Lock-On), but will do nothing if you don't have the Force to use those abilities anymore.
Oh, and I believe in Wild ARMs 3 it was a one-turn buff. In ACF, it stays for a few turns based on your Luck. Worst Luck gives you 1 replay, Best Luck gives you 5 turns of replayed actions. Oh...and although I haven't bought the spell yet, Rinse & Repeat is affected by Permanence. I'm sure anyone who has played Wild ARMs 3 (especially geri_khan) is going right now. However, do remember that I do not have Extension, so all of these wonderful abilities only target one person.

Also, while I'm here, I sold more Gella Cards and got another ATK bonus for Rudy. It's now at 34.

Back on the World Map, you can see why the Field Viewer makes the Search System completely irrelevant. It fucking marks where the new towns and dungeons are on the map, even if you haven't found them yet. The two green boxes mark the two entry points for Mountain Path, while the green dot is Curan Abbey which I technically have not rediscovered yet because I have no reason to return just yet. The white dot is the party.

And you can have it display the world map while you're walking around as well, while still marking the undiscovered stuff with flashing dots. And it gives us the X Y coordinates, which is helpful once I get an item and start a new side quest.

Never look back, there is a long road ahead.
This dungeon uses an old song again, from Berry Cave. And the dungeon text isn't poorly translated for once. It actually seems pretty normal. That sign up there says something pretty important.
Look out for trolls! When you are attacked, do not engage in battle. To let them pass, focus on protecting yourself for a while.
In short: Defend and do nothing.

And here is this dungeon's gimmick. There are vines blocking your way, but you can see them until you walk over their position and take damage. The little bulbs sitting around will explode if you bomb them, showing where all the vines were, and them dying away allowing us to move forward. None of this darkness bullshit. Sometimes the bulbs are higher up or protected by their own vines, so you have to throw boxes at them. If you don't want to take damage, Hanpan will trigger the vines for you.

Obtained Fast Draw [Strike Buddy]!
This is how Jack learns Fast Draws in this game, through random swords. Disappointing honestly, because I liked the part where he learned new abilities from random stuff they found along the way. Another note is that Jack gets extra stats with every Fast Draw he learns. Strike Buddy gives him +5 MAG, RES and +10 ACC. Not big bonuses, but nice ones...if I ever want Jack to use a Gem for some completely unknown reason.

Strike Buddy's formula is simple, just add REA to ATT. Accelerator doubles the REA bonus. So already it's weaker than Speed Fang. So what's the catch? Well three things.
First: Strike Buddy costs only half the MP Speed Fang will. Speed Fang started at 10 MP and will work it's way to 2. Strike Buddy starts at 5 and works its way to 1.
Second: Strike Buddy never misses. It's hard coded to be 100% accurate, and 1000% accurate with Accelerator.
Third: When used with Accelerator, it changes from Single-target to Group-Target. Azure already mentioned the difference between Single and Group spells, and Strike Buddy is the same way when used with the Accelerator. It's just a matter of luck to get a Group of enemies instead of just one.

Now I'm going to do the enemy encounters here really quick, but I realized I forgot to link to this. The basic battle theme got a remix in Rocking Heart, and I didn't link to it when I had the full party sooner. So please enjoy this song for the duration of the dungeon as I go over battle stuff.

Lizardmen are pretty easy. Relatively low HP and Rudy has really high ATT now. Apparently they have some chance to auto-guard (take less damage) and they also like to counter attack a lot. Still pretty easy.

Pordages are much more annoying because they can steal items from you, and they have pretty high Evasion, not to mention they are flying so hitting them is even more of a bitch. When they steal items, they will usually spend the next turn fleeing the battle. Kill them in time, and you get the item back. I lost a Revive Fruit to these fuckers. Fortunately they only steal consumable item that don't really matter. Because they are difficult to hit, Strike Buddy is helpful, and so is Snipe Bullet. Cecilia's too weak to kill one because I don't have their weakness.

Look at the level on this guy: 50, and way too much HP to kill, not to mention Trolls naturally regenerate HP and have really high DEF so we can't do anything to damage him. So why am I excited to meet him?

You get bonus Fast Draw experience when you use it on an enemy that is significantly higher level than you. You get experience equal to the difference in levels, to a minimum of one. So I got 38 Experience on that one shot. Strike Buddy didn't level up once, it leveled up twice with that one hit. And I'm not done yet.

Problem with this I that the Troll automatically counterattacks every move, which is why you don't want to attack him. Fortunately, all of his moves are single-target, and only go for the person who attacked him. So, Jack attacks, Cecilia revives, Rudy stands there doing nothing. Repeat until the Troll runs away, because everything I do will do no damage to him. I actually only get Jack to hit him twice this battle, and I don't encounter another troll. Still, got some massive experience on it. This is how I'm going to make Jack not suck: by grinding against high-level monsters. Later on in the game I'll get areas where deadly monsters are common.

Anyway, the rest of the dungeon is pretty simple. Blah blah blah vines about, blah blah secret passage, blah blah, use bombs, get Heal Berry from nearby crates, blah blah find room with a Crest Graph and 3 more Heal Berries.. This dungeon is pretty boring, really, and I forgot to screenshot a lot of things, and I'm too lazy to go back and re-screen shot them.
Although I'm pretty upset because apprently I somehow missed screenshotting a chest with a Migrant Seal in it. The Migrant Seal helps pick things up. With a Migrant Level 2, I can ignore enemy encounters here. Not that I would want to with Trolls about. The nearby chests to the Seal had 5 Earth Gems and 3 Nectars which can be used to completely restore VIT. Also, if you end a battle with 0 HP, you are revived with a temporarily reduced Max HP. Nectar will cure the loss of Max HP.

And now we get our first Personal Skill. These return from Wild ARMs a way. In Wild ARMs 3, you had to equip Mediums, and then points on Personal Skills associated with that Medium, or on Gear that was attached to the Medium. Well, in ACF you don't equip Mediums, Cecilia just uses them for summons. So each Personal Skill is an item that you can buy or sell or steal normally, and equip straight on the characters. Of course, they still cost points, and you get a number of points equal to your level.
SOS FP up costs 6 PS points, and whenever the wearer gets knocked to low HP, they instantly get 100% FP. It goes on Cecilia because she's got the lowest HP, and the most use for lots of FP since her summons cost 50% a pop, instead of 25% for Accelerator or Lock-On.

A little later on, I get PS Blocker 1 and PS Defend 1. Blocker gives a chance to negate physical attacks, and Defend has a chance to automatically guard and take the hit instead of someone else. I give these to Rudy because he's got the highest DEF of the party, even though Jack has more HP. Oh, and anything with a 1 is stackable with PS with the same name, but a different number. So if I find a Blocker 2, I can toss that on Rudy as well, and get a much higher chance at negating attacks..

Don't miss this sign. It is literally the only place you'll learn where Milama is, and backtracking sucks in RPGs like these. Also in the dungeon I found a Gella Card, Lucky Card, Revive Fruit, 1500 Gella and a Gimel Coin. Why am I'm mentioning this? Because I'm trying to keep track of what I find in chests, and I don't want to miss a single one. It's really more for my sake because I'm sure most of you don't care.

The folklore is reflected in water surface.
Milama is just South of the cave exit, on a peninsula. The people here mostly ramble about how Milama is blessed by the Water Guardian, and they are looking for a stuffed turtle.

No, really.
Sadie: My dad said that my turtle went back home, to the Sand River in the northwest. But I don't believe him! My turtle misses me as much as I miss it! Please, please... Will you help me find my dear turtle?
Rudy nods solemnly once, accepting her request.

I also pick up Fragile Chop-Chop with my new Crest Graph. This spell reduces the enemy's DEF, and will help me kill bosses faster because Rudy and Jack are physical powerhouses. Alright, off to the Sand River. It's like Sadie said, a bit to the Northwest.

The flow of sand counts the time forever.
There's not much to the Sand River, just a monkey hanging around near the entrance. Battles here cost 2 Migrant Points to cancel, even with my Migrant Level.

There's also these guys, who are a few levels higher than Jack and good for Speed Fang. In fact, while I"m here, Jack levels up so I burn all of his MP on Speed Fang against these guys. They aren't too tough.
Speed Fang increased skill.

In a bomb-sealed chest, is Rudy's next tool: Radar. Radar makes the screen turn digitally green for a second as it scans the area for Chests and item hidden in barrels and boxes. There are some chests across the flowing sand, which I can't reach from here. Well, let's go back to Sadie and tell her the job went bad.

I get into a habit of using Radar every time I enter a room, and---oh, you have to be fucking kidding me? UNDER YOUR BED?
Obtained Event Item [Stuffed Toy]! Description of: It's a huge stuffed toy turtle. If you sleep with it, you may have good luck tomorrow.
Normally I won't include descriptions because they are purely mechanically explaining the item...but this just too that I think I forgive the little girl.
Sadie: Oh, hey! That's my turtle! You found it!! Thank you! The bar owner's father, who used to be the priest of the 'Guardian's Temple', made this for me. This turtle is filled with the power of the Water Guardian. It's my treasure. I am so happy... I'm never lonely as long as I have this, even when my father is away.
Yeah, you also have to do this to find out about the bar owner. To the bar!

Naturally we select Talk.
Montague: The Guardian's temple?! I haven't heard that name in a while... Well, I can tell you everything I do know. A long time ago, my father was the priest in that temple... He used to tell me all kinds of stories. I guess it's odd since I ended up a bar owner. I have to take care of something. Do you mind waiting a little bit?
: Not at all. We'll just order something for while we wait.
Montague: Good idea. Tell you what, this meal is on the house; it's been a while since I've talked about my father or the temple.
: All right, what's the most expensive dish on the menu? ...Just kidding. What should we get?
: We will have six orders of large chow mein with extra vegetables. Is that ok?
Everyone stumbles a bit in place and stares at Cecilia.
Montague: Well, certainly, Miss... But don't you think six orders is a little much for your group? ...As long as you finish it... Six orders of chow mein coming right up! I think I'll have to charge you next time, though.

Huh, they did finish all of that food. I love the light hearted music here. Suits the cutscene great.
: The enemy outnumbered us almost 2:1. However, our troops successfully engaged in blitz tactics and we attacked the enemy...
: One by one our men had to stop, but there were still so many of them! If it wasn't for one soldier who continued her efforts... Her firepower, speed, and war tactics were just too much for our enemies; she finished off the last enemies with a vengeance...
: All of the enemies who fell to her violence met a cruel and merciless end. Her ferocity toward the enemies even drew shivers down the spines of her own allies...
: ....How'd you like our real-time war report on the Great Chow Mein Uprising? It was a crazy battle!
: Wait, we forgot about the reserve armies, the fresh young carrot and broccoli cadets... Poor guys never had a chance...
I still laugh so hard when I see this cutscene, it's just hilarious. In the original game it was silly enough with her eating so much, but the war report just makes it better.
: OK, you two. That's enough!! Everyone in Curan Abbey eats just as much. I'm sure some of them eat even more than me... Anyhow, being a medium and using Crest spells takes a lot out of me, and I get hungry! And... I love chow mein. It not only tastes great, but it looks so yummy, too! I really enjoyed mealtimes at the Abbey. The other girls and I would just chat and eat! It was so different at the Abbey... In the castle, everyone just regarded me as royalty. Not as a real person. I was "The Princess", and they were my entourage. Dinners were the worst. It was all about the fine china and etiquette and being proper and dainty... and it was lonely. The people of Adlehyde love "Cecilia, the princess", but no one knows anything beyond that; what kind of food I like, or anything. And now more than ever, I need to be "The Princess" and recover the Teardrop. Sometimes I miss my days at the Abbey...
: ...Well, you know what...
Montague: Ok, I have some free time now. Are you ready to hear about the temple? Oh, I'm sorry. Are you guys in the middle of something?
: Don't worry about it. If you would, we would like to hear about the Guardian's temple.
Montague: Sure thing. First, the Guardian's temple is north of Milama, right by the lake that's past the woods. Let me see...what else? OK, you probably don't know this part since it's not really part of the legend. My father told me about a prayer room which only priests are allowed to enter. He used to tell me about that room a lot. Maybe he wanted me to follow in his footsteps... Anyway, here's the juicy part. You'll want to listen up... At 3:30, the door to that prayer room opens. I'm pretty sure that's what he used to tell me. Is this what you guys wanted to know?
: It's exactly what we were looking for.
Montague: That's great! I'm glad I can be of some help to you. Why don't you stay here tonight? Don't worry, I won't charge you for it.
Never say no to a free inn!

The Guardian Temp is right over here, about halfway between the Mountain Path and Milama.

Spirit will be foundation of the world.

This is probably my favorite dungeon theme in the game. Let's do this.

In the first room there are two wheels you have to turn, one for each hand. You have to make it change to 3:30 to open the door ahead. There's another door to the side, but it's magically sealed, so I won't be able to get in there quite yet.

The monsters here aren't too tough. Scarecrow is a simple basic melee attack enemy, and Lamia likes to use status effects. Sometimes as a pre-death move, they'll try to give the party Amnesia, which I believe sets EXP gain for this battle to zero. I can't really remember off the top of my head, there are a lot of status effects in this game. The Scarecrow also casts Reflect, which reflects magic back at the caster. Oddly, it doesn't reflect Voyeur.
I seem to have forgotten to Voyeur Lamia, and ended up Voyeuring the Scarecrow twice. Oh well, I'll be coming back here later. (I'm not even sure I used Voyeur on the Spartoi a while back, and I think those are missable...)

Post-LP Note: Running joke:

Raitzeno posted:

...You forgot how Amnesia works. Brilliant.

Krysmphoenix posted:

I swear that was unintended. But hilarious.

Basically, it means we have to use the Radar to get through. If you use it, holes in the wall appear where there are orange and white gems. This is neutralized by my habit of using Radar whenever I enter a room, but I made an exception here.

What follows is a pretty boring maze. You just have to use Radar to find out where the doors are and proceed onward. Chests are scattered along the way, like these Heal Berry x3, and Ice Gem x5 in this room. In the "maze" there is a Revive Fruit, Lucky Card, Gella Card (tend to find those in the same room together), 1500 Gella , Gimel Coin, PS Counter Up 1 (gave it to Jack).

In the last room is this staff, which oddly reminds me of the Ark Scepter from Wild ARMs 3.
: Now it's test time! It's rather old-fashioned. Oh well...
: Challenge the test. || I need time to prepare.
Earth Guardian Grudiev. His body is strong and solid to deflect bullets and magic.
Earth Guardian... Who will challenge Grudiev's trial?

: Rudy || Jack || Cecilia
Here's the gimmick of the dungeon, for the Trials, you have to choose who faces which Guardian. This doesn't change the puzzle or cutscene portion though, so it really doesn't matter. I gave Cecilia Aether to tackle Grudiev.
Next is Fire Guardian, Moor Gault. It waves wings of terrible fire, it's difficult to stop the roaring blaze.
Fire Guardian... Who will challenge Moor Gault's trial?

: Rudy || Jack
Lastly, Wind Guardian Fengalon. Running claws are sharp and fast, A strong wind that nobody can catch.
: Jack challenges the test.
Earth Guardian challenger, Cecilia.
Fire Guardian challenger, Rudy.
Wind Guardian challenger, Jack.
...After passing this point, there is no way of turning back... Are you ready?

: Challenge Guardians' tests BRING IT ON! || Reconsider the combination.
The Ark Scepter glows, and the party is teleported, and seperated.

Rudy's test is pretty simple. There are four of these things stucking up, you have to bomb them. If you don't bomb all four fast enough, they'll get back up one by one.

This one's a bit different. There are two by the entrance that I placed bombs by. When those things are hit, they'll lower the upper right portion of the wall, which Rudy has to get through before the thingies come back up.

This one's the same as the first room, just with a plus shaped pit in the way. You can walk around the edges, which are spaced just enough to allow you to place a line of bombs as you run by. This creates an Ark Scepter to appear in the blue circle thing toward the top.
Small one... You wish for the Guardian's power... A power too great for human hands... A dangerous power... Just because you desire the power doesn't mean you deserve it. You must first show me that you can handle it...
It appears your Schwartz is as big as mine...let's see how you handle it....

I mean...uh...ahem. Sorry. I like phoenixes...
At the end of the puzzle portion of the trial, you fight the Guardians, which is new. They each have one action: Test of Strength which means pass a turn. Moor Gault also gets Renovation which she uses as a counterattack (but doesn't change the EXP given). These are round-limited boss fights, and you only get three rounds to deal as much damage as you can.

I accept that you have the ability to receive the power of fire in your small body... ...But... To control my fire you must have strength of heart. ...Small one... Who wishes for Guardian's Power... Show your heart... Show your strength by overcoming my test...
Moor Gault drops 667 EXP, 200 Gella and a PS Fire Break 2.

Rudy stands alone in the black abyss...but then hears the sound of a child crying.

You actually hear sound effects for Tony crying. A nice touch. Guess they didn't remove ALL voice acting.

The monster appears for a second, Rudy quickly turns around and fires. Fun Fact: It handles the gunshot by stopping video feed for a quick second, so my capture device showed a blue screen for the gunshot. On a PS2, it would have shown black for that moment.
: ...You... Your power is different from ours... As if...a monster. I'm scared...
One by one the other villagers appear in the darkness.
Campbell: This world needs not your existence... There is no place for you in this world...
Dennis: You are a stranger in this world, who is not accepted by anyone... Why do you continue fighting...
Clair: Why do you use your power? You think it helps others? The more you use your power, the more people run from you...
: The power of ARM... Power of destruction... is...the power that monsters possess.
Bambollo: Look at yourself! Your appearance... You're plainly different from us!!

: This is our world. This is not a place for you...
Rudy then runs away, into the darkness, and then it fades to black.

Jack's test is really easy, it's all Hanpan stuff.

I already know I can go over pits with Hanpan...

This one though, took me by surprise at first. You have to push those blocks so you can make a path for Hanpan to jump across. I thought you needed to get both at the same time, but you can't reach either switch with Jack. So instead of both at once, it's just one at a time. This makes the Ark Scepter appear again.
Small one... You wish for the Guardian's power... A power too great for human hands... A dangerous power... Just because you desire the power doesn't mean you deserve it. You must first show me that you can handle it...

Fenglon is pretty easy. I chose him for Jack because I thought the battles would end after the third Test of Strength, rather than round. Jack would just use accelerator on the third round to get an extra shot in. Fenglon doesn't do a thing, at least Moor Gault did something.
I accept that you have the ability to receive the power of wind in your small body... ...But... To control my wind you must have strength of heart. ...Small one... Who wishes for Guardian's Power... Show your heart... Show your strength by overcoming my test...
Fenglon drops 448 EXP, 200 Gella and a PS Windbreaker 2.

Jack ends up in...I dunno what that is, but he faces a shadow clone of himself. The clone attacks, but Jack doesn't have a sword for some reason.

Cue the random sword falling from the sky, embedding itself in the...nothing. Jack picks it up, and cleaves the shadow clone in twain.
: This is a great workout! As long as I have this power, I will never have to run from anyone. With this magic sword, I will cut away my disgusting past... This is the "Absolute Power"!!

The sword then bursts into blue flames, and Jack throws it...what the hell? What was that for? The sword then suddenly turns the entire area white, and it disappears.

: No... It...can't be...
It zooms in on the shadowed soldier. If you can't tell, it's Coldbird. They don't show his face, but come on, it's still obvious.
You are a man who ran away... A man without courage... A man who hopes for power... A man addicted to power...
: I never withdrew myself! My heart was never broken in battle!

The guy on the left is Ryan, I think. We haven't seen the person in the right yet.
You deserted your unit...and ran away.
Ran from your responsibilities...and from your yourself. Didn't you run away?...

: What? What are you saying?

Again, two unfamiliar faces. I think the guy on the right may be the yellow armor person who died against the blue demon knight in the prologue.
Yes... what you are doing is just self-justification.
Why don't you see the truth?

: ...I know... I know that... But I'm trying to... I need power for revenge... Wait until I get "Absolute Power'"... Please wait... Just wait! ...Wait!!
The soldiers surround Jack, then fade as he extends his arm shouting "Wait."

Elmina is the last to fade, disappearing when he turns around to reach for her.

This test is rather interesting. You can't see the path, or walk on it, until you light a torch, which reveals a bit of the path.

It's not always straight, and the torches will fade away, the tiles fading away as well.

There were four torches in this room, the first set revealed the last two tiles which are fading away right now. Gotta be fast as well, but walking gives you just enough time. The Ark Scepter is already there, just walk up to it and...
Small one... You wish for the Guardian's power... A power too great for human hands... A dangerous power... Just because you desire the power doesn't mean you deserve it. You must first show me that you can handle it...

So I screwed up with the choices. When I originally did this, I thought Grudiev had the lowest RES, but it turns out I was horribly horribly wrong, as he has the highest of the three. Moor Gault has the lowest, so Cecilia should go for that. It's up to you who Rudy and Jack should go for, but I think Rudy is better for Fenglon because his cartridges have higher ACC (supposedly) and Lock-On. Regardless, I'm stuck with Cecilia at Grudiev. First round I used Rinse & Repeat on herself, then spammed Aether.
I accept that you have the ability to receive the power of earth in your small body... ...But... To control my earth you must have strength of heart. ...Small one... Who wishes for Guardian's Power... Show your heart... Show your strength by overcoming my test...
Grudiev drops 425 EXP, 200 Gella and PS Gaia Stop 2.

Cecilia, however, doesn't end up in some dark empty void.
A Princess goes on a journey to save the world. We are much obliged.
But you are the princess of Adlehyde... ...nothing more. You must fulfill your duty.

Cecilia looks around, but can't find the source of the voice.
: I know... I understand that! It's my choice... I'm---
Nobody in this castle calls your name... You are not wanted.
: Huh?! I will not accept such a thing! I do not want to think that!

: What?! ...You, you are... me...
: You went off on a dangerous journey. Why? For love? To fulfill your duty as a princess? Why? The truth is you just wanted someone to worry, someone to confirm that you are loved. You left for danger... You cut your hair in front of everyone. Everything was selfish... You sing for peace in the middle of a broken city in hopes of receiving someone's love... You are a terrible princess...
: My thoughts and my behavior... Are they wrong? Are they not pure? Please! Someone tell me...

: You must realize that you do not have the ability to love anyone... Don't look to me for empathy.
I don't know why, but I really like that last line.

The three of them find themselves kneeling in a chamber in the temple.
Schturdark's shaman and her warriors, why are your hearts so weak?
: The test the Guardians assigned us... Did we not pass?
Decay of the world means decay in people's hearts... It makes us wonder... Is it wise for us to place our power and the world's fate under your charge...
: They say such selfish things. I showed my power to the Guardians! Why are they not satisfied with it?!
But we are the powerless existence. We lost most our power to hold this world... The heart is too weak...
: The Guardians' voice, it reaches my heart. But this... This is not only their voice... Their heart...? The Guardians' heart is felt in my heart, along with their voice... Their heart...anger, sorrow...disappointment and resignation... These are what fill my heart...
: I'm sick of listening to this nonsense! Accept the strength of my sword, or I will make you accept it!!
There's a noticeable pause here, I imagine the guardians are laughing at Jack.
Your false bravado... Your roaring anger... They are the evidence of your weak heart.
Your hearts are so weak... With such weak hearts, you cannot confront the threat now.
But we do not have power or a way to confront the threat, either. Filgaia must accept its fate...

One by one these lights appear. Blue for Grudiev, green for Fenglon, and red for Moor Gault.
: Wait a minute! You can't judge the strength of our hearts!
It was enough to see that humans do not have power to fight with monsters... Without fighting power, how can you hope to save Filgaia... How can you take the Teardrop back?
: Teardrop...!? How do you know...
You do not need to tell us. We, Guardians, know... We can feel it... The brilliance of the Teardrop is, in a sense, the heart of this star. So, it connects the life and the star... The Teardrop is the very essence, the life of this star... Now life on Filgaia is doomed...
: You mean... The monsters will use Teardrop to put an end to life on this star...
That is correct... They intend to revive a great demon, named Mother, by using the life the Teardrop releases. It will mark the beginning of monsters and signal the end of this world.
: ...Mother... It's the name of their boss...!
Shaman! ...Even though your heart is weak... ...We must ask... Do you wish for Guardians' power?!
: I am a human with a weak heart. I know this... I always have. And, for this reason... I wish to grow strong! Guardians' power that rules this world... I... I wish for the power!
: You made a fool us...
You... wish for power because of your weak heart... Let's not waste any time since Mother's resurrection is approaching fast. Shaman, we will place our power with you. Before Mother awakes... Before monsters unify their power and heart into one... We will transfer out to the monsters' castle with our remaining power...
: How is that possible...?
We can, because we are Guardians. Follow the brilliant Teardrop and fly to the land covered with snow and terror. When you get your sight back, you will be in the monsters' castle. Shaman, you must transform our power... Incarnate the heart to power... We Guardians will become your power to destroy the steel menace with our last remaining ability... Taking the Teardrop back from the demons' hands is the only hope of saving this world's future...
The screen darkens, then there is a flash of light. When it fades back in...

This impact, this pain... We shall never forget... The stroke of Zeikfried's dark spear... With our remaining power, it's not possible to transfer you to the monsters' castle...
: Is there any way... Can't we do anything about it?!
When hope collapsed, the future did. Our power collapsed and now it's a miracle to destroy monsters... ...Indeed, a miracle... If it's so, we should place our last hope in these humans. Shaman, and warriors... We, four Guardians, will try once more by unifying our remaining power. The destination is a sealed land, an island where Mother is held... It is a wicked place where the demons will resurrect Mother... A dire fate awaits if not stopped. ... ... ... The Teardrop is the brilliance of life... It is a desecration to use it for Mother's resurrection...
The screen turns dark and flashes again.

Recognize the thing in the giant jar? That's the Arch Cocoon from the prologue. And the azure knight is the same as well.

Harken walks into the room as well, shortly after Zeik.
: Even though, the humans and Guardians finally came in contact... What are you going to do?
: Those who forgot how to fight can only lead themselves to their destruction. What do you think of Filgaia? It's a world of decay and waste... A land of weaklings who dare not fight! Humans, Elw...and Guardians... Are there any who could stand up to us? Who would dare to confront us?! No! The answer is definitely no! Humans cannot do anything! The Gaurdians do nut frighten us either!!

He's baaaaaaack...
: However, there is another worrisome resistance power, the Elw. Their existence is being researched... They might have been destroyed in the past 1000 years. We could not confirm their existence. Though, there is some evidence, mostly broken junk buried under soil... It won't help the humans. Ha ha ha ha ha...
: Once I stand at the front line of this war, there is no chance of winning for them!

Berserk is there too, he walks in at this image.
: But, I long for a worthy opponent. The attack of Adlehyde... That was too easy.
: A truly strong fighter could have taken the Teardrop without all that needless, wanton destruction...
: What?! What are you saying?! How dare you say such a thing to me!! This is a battlefield! What the strong does is justice! You should be punished for your mouth...
: Stop it, Berserk! You too, Harken! Let us have proper silence while we await Mother's awakening. Yes, the calm before the storm... ... ... ... Here those gathered are four knights... The dream we have is one. To have Mother awaken as our glorious leader once again! The Guardians' disgusting seals... There are three of them!! Who will release the first seal?!
: The honor will be mine! I will step up... I shall have the utmost honor in breaking the first seal! I will make those humans who contacted the Guardians my target! Don't meddle with this, anyone!!
He then storms off.
: Well... My amusement will be stolen by him. The mighty Berserk is in high spirits. I can't be off my guard... Ha, ha, ha, ha...
And then he teleports away...
: What I want is not honor nor cheap satisfaction... It's something I do not have to battle for, life and death.
She kneels to the ground, and then just kinda teleports DBZ-style, as in no flashy effects, just disappearing into black lines, implying great speed.

: When the time comes, we Knights will stand as rulers of this world. We shall be one...

We cut over to this desert. All three are lying on the ground. Rudy gets up first and runs to Cecilia to help her up. Jack gets up on his own, and Hanpan crawls on his shoulder right away.
: Ouch... Where am I?
: A sealed place... The Guardians told us they would try to transport us there... And at the sealed place, we must stop Mother's revival; or so they said...
: It's OK to fight against Evil... But! Being bossed around by the Guardians on how to protect the world... I don't like that.

Obtained Medium [Terra Roar]!
Obtained Medium [Fiery Rage]!
Obtained Medium [Gale Claw]!

: ...Thank you, Grudiev...and Moor Gault...and Fengalon... Thank you for giving me your powers...

The Baskars are world protectors... Listen to their advice and stop the demon Mother's revival...
I think I'll stop here for the update...

End of update status:
: Level 12 → 13
--ARM ATK Bonus 24 → 34.
--Hoarding 1 Alter Part.
: Level 12 → 13
--Speed Fang: Lv, 4 (Forgot to get numbers)
--Obtained Strike Buddy
--Strike Buddy: Lv 3 (Forgot to get numbers)
: Level 12 → 13
--New Model
--Learned Rinse & Repeat, and Aether
--Obtained Terra Roar, Fiery Rage and Gale Claw
Gella: 3145
Migrant Seals: 1
Ex. File Keys: 1/25
Fuck-Ups: 11

Version Differences:
Mountain Path was made more...vine-y instead of dark and damp.
Jack learns new attacks by finding swords.
You get Radar before entering the Guardian Temple
You "fight" the Guardians in the temple.
You may notice halfway through the update the brightness imcreased a lot. I'm not sure why...I'm working on that.

Next Time: