The Let's Play Archive

Wild Arms Alter Code: F

by Krysmphoenix

Part 44: Abyss Saga: Part 2; Second Verse, Same as the First

Right. Let's recap what happened last time. Random Text God?
: He rest on the game you use that's right Rudy's ARM after his arm. To the flower pedals first placing with Light strange that Berry right, so for you fight the exit closer to Raise our next considering in handle in this update conside a pretty and the Abyss that looking around, they say the green crystal behind it! And it's clock kneels double some remaintain Path another, so leave, the Black Pass, you wants to glowing. It's not... so we can uses a maging, inst flying. And why I like the other Bullets for and I know. And the song. I'm sure hunter players with the deal as Zed. He was rid of deals damage! To makes him a huge defense top is not don't worth half of Lullaby from book even if jumping back.
Sounds accurate enough.

So today, I'm going to tackle the bottom 50 floors. However, because this dungeon is just as boring to provide commentary for as it is to play, I'm going talk about the differences between Alter Code: F and the original game as a whole when I can't come up with anything witty to say about the Abyss.
Song selection is Night Sky, a Wild ARMs 2 song from the Alone the World Vocal Collection. This one plays when you use a quit after saving. I'll be linking to the last songs in these extra albums because I can't think of a better time to finish them up.

This got mentioned by someone in the thread, so I'm going to repeat it here for when this LP gets archived. The whole reason I'm putting up with this shit is to get all 100 Monster's Medals. Once I have all 100, there's just one simple little task I need to do to get the Ex File Key that's related to the Abyss.
There's four other keys I'm missing. The 100% Music completion, which I need to fight Ragu to get so I hear his battle theme, and the 100% Gardening completion, which I should hopefully have finished by the time I'm done here. The last two keys are keys I can only receive in the chain of Final Battles, which I deliberately did not get before.

Early in the Abyss, the items were in easy reach of the entrance and exit of the floor. As I go deeper and deeper, this starts to be come less of the case. In some cases, it's faster to just grab the item, run off the edge, respawn at the entrance and then go to the exit.

Like this floor. The entrance was in the center, and the exit is on a spiraling path to the other side.

Right, so what's actually different between the two games? Well for one, I noticed there seemed like there was a lot more foreshadowing in this game than before, and some of the filler dungeons were changed to reflect this. Like the Ghost Ship turning into a Ghost "Ancient" Battleship that's basically a gigantic ARM so it can hint that Rudy really is different.
: Do not attack the two store Virtue, but it over Homunculus fortunately, I found them on the supposed the possible, but it only one romance. Now we're going to addition of the montages are at Berry.

Interrupting that to talk about an interesting enemy type here. The two enemies on the sides are Wind Lizards, and you can encounter the elemental lizards throughout the entire Abyss. They all have a basic attack and use the single-target downloadable skill related to their element. In addition, they have a passive ability where as long as one of them is alive, their elemental Zone will be in effect. Kill them, and the zone vanishes instantly. However, because they do not create the zone themselves, you can't download it from them.

And then there is the Guardian Blade, which didn't get that much attention in the first game, whereas now it feels like it's some mix between the God-forged Sword of Awesomeness, and the Cursed Sword of Ultimate Doom. Everybody wants to find it, but there's all sorts of legends about how powerful it is, both good and bad. Cecilia's tutorial dungeon really elaborated on it early on so it wound be on your mind when, it was mentioned with Gento Soen and Volcannon Trap

And it ultimately comes to a close when Rudy gets the Living Metal reforged in his body. I find it interesting that the Guardian Blade really isn't a sword, but more of a technology that was experimented with and went disastrous. Really shows how legends can mutate a story over a thousand years. Same with the ARMs, which were designed to kill the demons, but their power made them get feared as much as the demons themselves.
: Mariel twisted at it say item, I actual period it's been do is completely it's the Demon Sword!

Welp, I really don't like the looks of this.

Although it's starting not to look toooo bad.

Deceptively complex, but rather easy after all. The running of the edge trick helps for getting all the items on a floor if you start on a ledge.
: The moment, nother Bullets him from Wilderneath of Fire Hook Shooting Phoenix metaphor!
Uh sure, I'll go with that.

Another 20 floors, another palette swap. But here's the thing...Normally I've been saving every 20 floors, but I forgot to save on floor 80 and put myself in a situation where I'd basically have to backtrack through all of it, but the bottom 10 floors are designed that you can't really bactrack at all. So I had to go through these bottom 40 floors twice now, and to make sure I didn't do this, I started saving every 10 floors now. This dungeon just gets crueler and crueler as you go down, but I will give it credit for that. It really does feel like it's getting gradually worse, and oddly enough, all the floors are unique enough that I don't think I'm going through the same one twice.
Song selection here is another Wild ARMs 2 song, Miracle, although apparently it's also called "Don't Worry, Just Believe." Not sure why. Again, I'm not familiar enough with Wild ARMs 2 to say where it goes in that game.

And as you get deeper, you can tell that the mazes are getting more complex, and there is more ledge bullshit as you get down. I think I remember that the Elw said that the worst monsters are imprisoned here, and the deeper you go, the stronger they get. You need tougher mazes to keep them in if that's the case.

And there is plenty of ledge bullshit to go around.
: The screenshot in the camera is safely because we're at through.

Well, back to the plot. Jack's history with the Fenril Knights got covered pretty well in the original game, but I feel like Alter Code: F really elaborated further on it by showing off the rest of the knights as well, giving them unique models and personalities. When they wrote the script for Alter Code: F, they knew there wasn't that much more they could add to Jack and Elmina, so they added a lot more to the Fenril Knights.

And although Alter Code: F isn't the best at facial expressions (), I feel like they really helped here, as you see Jack just break down and practically cry whenever he has to fight Lady Harken once he realizes she is Elmina. It makes his reaction with Elmina's resurrection a bit more realistic because here is the woman he had to kill to free her from the demons, but it's not "her" anymore. The doujin manga I linked to really hits that point hard as well.

Although I still have to question how many people even knew about the introduction cutscene about the Fenril Knights. There was basically no mention of it, and it gave away a LOT of Jack and Elmina's character. If you didn't see that, that could dramatically question how you saw Jack's character development. He goes from someone who abandoned his tragic past in search for power and revenge, to someone with unknown motivations for power and revenge, as you gradually see his tragic past unfold in flashbacks. Both are good ways to look at him.
: Anyway, with Harken the localypse! RUN FOR YOUR BED?
Note to self: never take a woman to bed if she has the title "the localypse."

Also, fuck this dungeon.

Yup, more backtracking sections. And on the last few floors of the 10, as per usual.

The things I'll do for a measly Monster's Medal.
: This one that it's for giving me a lot of the dungeon. I also have point. This the monsters here are a few more this actually. What, I haven't got the last on Rudy get that sends with danger.
I think it knows what it's talking about?

And Floor 69 tells you why it's important for you to be on top as you go down.

Lame 69 jokes aside, I don't like this part because you have to carefully walk and not fall off. So you can't run, meaning you have to try to cancel more random encounters.

And then you have to do it again.
: What comes to the samey push this kneeling for Rudy struggling items on the Ghost notices out. The entrance, this Desire. Vapor Blast it from now useless. I kidding more it goes Amnesia. I feel sorry... here is.

And because I loved it so much the first two times, here it is a third!

At least it feels like the first floor of every 10 looks easier than the previous few.
Song selection is Advanced Wind from Wild ARMs 3, this is the opening theme when you load a save file. This is the extended version in Japanese, although as I mentioned before, I still prefer the English vocalist they got instead.

So now, that things are calm again, let's talk gameplay for a while. If there is one thing that I'm actually disappointed with Alter Code: F, is the lack of moves that Rudy and Jack get. Rudy get's about half as many ARM Cartridges, and Jack gets only about a sixth of the Fast Draws he could have gotten before. Granted, there were a lot that became useless as you moved on, but the variety was really cool.
: At the World Magdalen had a guitar.

So much loot, just out of reach...

This is really about the point in the Abyss where it stops letting you have fun. Even if it is just a little minor backtracking, it still a pain.

And back to gameplay, I find it interesting how the extra party members were thrown in, and yet still managed to be unique. Jane and Zed felt like Rudy-Jack hybrids, having an ARM but using MP, or using a sword but having "Cartridges." Emma unfortunately comes across as a weaker Cecilia, but doesn't need to use Force abilities to use some of her more curious abilities, like the Zones and Great Booster. Magdalen was just a fucking powerhouse, but had very few abilities, perhaps representing his old age? And Mariel...well, she's weak, but all her abilities replicated items, which suits her character perfectly.
: In the Wild ARM, I did lessly, the Rune Drive about the Blue Circlet, enough. By this bit off.

Although I do have to complain a bit about Zed's implementation into the game. There isn't a place for him in boss fights. Rudy or Jack are my damage dealers, Jane takes healing support and Cecilia and Emma take buffing support. Zed's supposed to be a damage dealer, but his damage is just too low compared to the other guys. Star Blast can be powerful, but if it doesn't kill, Zed suffers a lot of damage. The safest thing to do with him is just do a basic Attack...which is weak. And all of his Piled Shots use way too many Alter Parts. One Star Blast could have given me 5 Gatling Raids.

But, beyond that, I still approve of him in the party. He's awesome for random encounters where he naturally the strongest, and it's just awesome having Zed in your party.

Anyway, bit of backtracking here to get these items. I had to go down two floors just to get these.
: I also a Demon Profession. I'd likely. I think it's being alright. can turn being a demon into a profession?
: Dinner Sea.
Right, what the hell was I thinking? I can't get a straight answer out of you.

Really, the only reason backtracking sucks so much in this game isn't because you're going back to a place you've already been, it's that you also have to go back to where you were before you started backtracking. Backbacktracking if you would. Or should it be forwardtracking? I don't know.

And then the double stacked ledges just make it more agonizing.

Yup. 2D mazes are fine, you can see where you need to go. 3D mazes are rougher, because you can't always see where you need to go. 3D mazes that don't always let you go back to where you came from are just cruel.
: Backtrack as EXP. And then steal. If one break 2.

Oh, and then there are situations like this.

This dungeon knows how to be cruel and vicious, and I'm STILL not at the bottom yet!

Oh, by the way, don't accidentally hit that orange crystal as you're trying to go past it. You do NOT want to repeat these 80 floors again.
: ...waiting in an ice dust innocent HP, and it's also get the battle bit of a wrap for that look close the other use Jack wins to Cecilia use for some robes Zeik. It also hits one hits a Wastern-Sci-Fi-JRPG?


I'm starting to get very tired of all this bullshit. And the worst is still yet to come.

So let's have a bit of a sneak peek.

There he is. Sitting. Waiting. I could fight him right now if I wanted to. But I still have Monster Medals to find. You can actually only reach this room from Floor 90, the blue teleport back to Floor 99 is really a one-way teleport due to the fucking ledges.
: Whew! And function are damage, it him so many high Azure did 42 hits, and Rudy, and starts a bonus boss: Humpty with 80% for Gatling move, Darkness, you done yet. Most party. Of coursed to get there's theoretical attack is out of MP. Emma used to starts at Adlehyde another some reason it's test Arts can just fooling over the bottom, just one leveling signs this game that's times. I'm just too a lot like Filgaia on the treasure, because Hanpan the first is a special battle softer. I'm sure.
I can't tell if it's trying to give away my Ragu strategy, or just arguing about geography.

The Transition from Floor 80 to 81 is probably the most subtle. The stone squares I think get a different texture on the side, and the background gets slightly blacker.
Song selection is Continuous from Twilight Venom, and part of the Alone the World Vocal Collection. Not sure where this song played, it's been a long time since I watched Twilight Venom all the way through. From it's position in the OST, I think it appears halfway through the season, and I have a vague feeling this song has something to do with Laila Lie...won't mention much more due to spoilers.

Showing of this one for one very specific reason: this is the last Abyss Key in the dungeon. Granted, there are 50 total and you can probably get away with not using 10 of them, so I have plenty to spare.

There is one thing I really noticed about the bottom 20 floors; you can't really backtrack. There's usually a couple ways done, only one is the "right" way which give you the Monster Medals, the other is just a way down that shows you where the Monster Medals are, but you can't get them, and because of ledges, you can't go back to get them. It's really difficult if you have no idea what you're doing.

And this still isn't the biggest Fuck You yet. Well, actually you can see a hint of it in this picture.
: I don't had no chance of town? Why is Zed particles.

Jeez, I'm just so tired about talking about this dungeon that I'm going to talk about the music in this game now.

For the most part, all but very few of the songs stayed pretty faithful to their original version. The battle theme and boss theme for example. The song that plays in ruined areas maintains it's creepyness and emptyness, Cecilia's theme is as calm as ever. The world map theme got a little extra power behind it...there's lot of small but powerful changes in these songs that don't change the tone, but reinforce it.

And then there are songs like Sweet Candy and Demon Spear where the one is flipped completely around. A powerful intense song becomes laid back and relaxed, or contemplative and determined. The Gullwing's song changed from being soft with flutes, to heavy with guitars. These changes are a lot more complex, but I like them; it's a new way of looking at an old song. It's not necessarily better, but it's amazing how the same melody can be changed for a radically different result.

And some songs just were completely scrapped and redone. Zed's theme got changed, but unfortunately the original was so awesome that it just loses a lot of it's charm. And why does every other version of Wh-What? I hear remove the trumpets?

Of course, that's not all bad. I don't remember Moment of Tension (Harken's theme from the original game) at all, but Murdering Princess has probably been imprinted into my brain forever, but that's probably because I'm a sucker for the violin.

And then there are a few original songs. The Puzzle theme is actually pretty cool, I'm not a fan of Alhazad's theme, but I know there are some people who like it. Windward Birds is really cool with the vocals, although I have to be honest I'm slightly disappointed they didn't follow tradition and use a remix of Into the Wilderness for Zeik Tuvai. Wild ARMs 2 used the disk 1 opening theme for the final boss, which was really badass. Wild ARMs 3 incorporated the title theme into one of the final boss themes, and Wild ARMs 4 and 5 used an extended version of the intro video's song.
: I honestly for future Wild ARMs 5 as that angerous trapped. Regards.

I'm still not sure whether I prefer the vocal version of Funeral March over the original game's ooh-ing chorus because that was incredibly haunting, but each one has their own charm despite being so similar in many ways.

And Footprints, it's such a cute little song. It's a song that gives you the feeling of just laying in the grass, placing a hat over your face to block out the sun, and napping under a tree. There is no trouble in the world, no strife. You can just rest today, knowing that you just saved the world. And the world itself, is resting too. There's still probably lots of work to be done, but for tonight...just take it easy.

Something I can't do here in the Abyss. You can pretty much only reach Floor 100 from here, and the only way to do that is to use the green crystal from floor 80, or the blue crystal on the other side of the floor that comes up from below. Although that sounds like annoying backtracking, it's not really. When you reach floor 99, there's a side path you can take that brings you back to floor 90 without dealing with any ledge bullshit.
: ...just leaping in Lombarded this update. Next is in an open the wedding odd with Assist Blitz equipped of Mother two Duplicator chest have Dark, Dumpty...until I stop by the people saying. Most of the castle!

At the very least, Floor 91 starts off friendly.
Song selection is from Twilight Venom again, Distance... just one slight problem. I'm not 100% where it goes because I can't quite find it on the Twilight Venom OST, but apparently it's from there. And once again, I have no idea where it belongs in Twilight Venom, only that it's on the Vocal Collection.

Although it feels like the random encounter rate skyrocketed, including the ambushes I can't cancel.

To the left there is that side-path I mentioned. The upper ledges make it impossible to reach.

So, here's the biggest Fuck You in the Abyss. See that item there? That's a Monster Medal. The only way to reach it to my knowledge is to take several Green crystal warps all the way back from Floor 53. I completely forgot about it, and now I'm going to have to come back through the Abyss and get it later. Fortunately, I can abuse the green warps to make it go faster.
: I love it. Punishment in with.
Oh yeah? Well fuck you too.

Fortunately, it's the only big thing this deep. The rest is within grasp if you move carefully.

And then sometimes the Monster Medals are within easy grasp anyway.

You just have to make sure you know exactly where you are going...which is tough.

: Krysm like every level usually heals a battles because...well, we just greeted by...
This place has some really really weird monsters.

For a lot of the floors down here, you need to spend one trip to get the Monster Medal, run off the edge to respawn at your crystal (usually on top of a ledge) so you can go back and find the proper exit down.

I'd like to point out that Floor 99 has a lot of items, including another Crest Graph (which I haven't been mentioning, but now I have all 32) and a PS Fire Break 4, so now I'm at 3. I'm fully set to take on Ragu O Ragula now.

And you have to skip down to Floor 99 to get 98's Medal.
No, no, no, we can't yell at the RNG. The Abyss isn't randomly generated.

But now I also have access to the side path so I can go back up if I wanted, but instead I'm going to use the Exodus Orb.
If you've played Wild ARMs 4, you'll really recognize this song selection, it's Feeling the Bonds from the Feeling Wind album. This song was always played on a music box in Wild ARMs 4, and although you lose some of the aesthetics you get with a music box, it's interesting how this version expands on the very simple tune. With the exception of one song I'm saving for the next update, this is the last song from all the extra albums. Phew. Finally got them out.

It always takes you to this teleporter on Floor 1.

Here is the Floor 53 crystal I need to take to get down. I believe you can access this crystal normally, but to get the rest of the crystals, you need to use this one first simply because of where you get teleported.

And then to be a real dick, the game still makes it so you have to carefully drop around the green crystal to get the medal.
With Migrant Level around as your currently just rose animate most. Also, Jane and Mage dealing my our Black abyss they can fights...which served for an Amber a showing.

With 98 Monster Medals, I decide it's time to take on Ragu. I use the Exodus Orb to flee back to Floor 1 and use the same teleporting chain (there was a one-way ledge towards the end of it) to get to floor 73, then run to 80 to take the green crystal to 90 so I can take this last green crystal to 100.

End of update status:
: Level 100
--ATK Bonus: 114 (Lv. 8)
--Bullets: 10 (Lv. 7)
: Level 100
: Level 100
: Level 100
: Level 100
--Bullets: 20 (Lv. 15)
: Level 100
Migrant Seals: 20
Ex. File Keys: 20/25
Fuck-Ups: 51

Version Differences:
Blah blah blah Abyss is more of the same as last update.

A Saying A Day
: (October 26th) Today's saying is, 'a wolf in sheep's clothing.' There's a story where a wolf dresses as a sheep to trick lambs. A bad man can pretend he's good. A good man can't pretend he's bad. As a result, a bad man has to be trickier than a good man.
: (October 27th) Today's saying is that if you push a horse, it will neigh. When you push a horse, it neigh's. If you make a rice cake with this cadence, you can make a good one. But if you push the horse too much, he will kick you and make you cry. So be careful.
: (October 28th) Today's saying is, 'like a dive from the Adlehyde's stage.' It is hard to jump off of a balcony where a king and a princess wave at the ordinary people. Even though there are eager fans who would want to support me, I'd surely smash them.

Next Time:

The King of a Hundred Beasts awakens.
: Lots of Vengeance. Wild of Filgaia.