Part 13: Episode XIII: Bart and Fei in The God-Slayer SpelunkerEpisode XIII: Bart and Fei in The God-Slayer Spelunker
"An exit? There is an exit in the excavation site beyond the sand barrier. You can get outside through there."
"Sand barrier? You mean that huge wall you can see from your entrance?"
"Yes, that's it. On the other side is an old Aveh excavation site. They built the wall when Aveh was excavating here to keep the sand from falling in from above. But they've stopped work there now."
"So, how do we open such a huge thing like that?"
*sigh* <Its gonna be backtracking, isnt it...>
"If it's a wall, you can probably break it down."
No matter how good a Gear you have, you'll never break that wall down. It's much too strong. So... let's make a deal."
Well take whats behind Door #4!
*raises eyebrow not beneath an eyepatch*
"The wall was closed due to the reaction of the 'Sand Sensors'. Thanks to that, now I can't get through to the other side either. Maybe it happened when you two fell in here. Were you boys fighting up there or something?"
"You seem to be able to tell everything! Anyway, so what can we do about it?"
"It's very simple. You just have to turn off the Sand Sensor switches. Doing that will keep the barrier from closing again. While you two are doing that, I'll open it up."
And these sensors. They are located...?
Did you pass a massive boulder during your travels?
Yeah... Like, way back at the beginni
Its back there.
"The sensors are in two places. You should see their flashing red lights. Well, good luck then."
I just cant get away from this old dickhead... I am convinced Balthazar is some manner of exposition prone Time Lord. But, other than heavy handed foreshadowing and foreboding music, Bal also runs Xenogears first Gear Shop. Unlike our standard characters, who level up by just beating up random jerks, Gears must be upgraded in shops with new equipment in order to become stronger. Since a giant robot getting better by just punching things is silly.
First of all, we can refuel our Gear for a very cheap fee. Though, it is best to save a refill for AFTER investing in upgrades, as Fuel expansions and the like do not automatically fill upon enhancement. Lets take a look at the enhancements we can purchase...
First up: Engine upgrades. Gear Engines are tied to the Gears damage output as well as fuel stock. Engines are the number one priority when it comes to upgrading a Gear. New engines ought to be purchased as soon as possible, as Fuel reserves and ability to punch things well are kinda important factors in Gear battles.
Next up, we have Gear Frames. Frames determine a Gears HP. They usually come in cheapo K-Mart brand half-priced variety or designer expensive stock. Frames are pretty important too, as not getting beaten to death is usually somewhat important during a fight. Hmm... I wonder what that HEIM Gear designation is all about...
Last up is Armor. Armor, as the name would suggest, raises a Gears defense. This is the lowest priority Gear augmentation, as many bosses special attacks give two shits about a Gears armor rating. Thats not to say it should be snubbed or anything. But, if youre scrounging for funds then this should be the last thing to pick up.
I think that about does it. Weve got more than enough funds at the moment to fully deck out Weltall and Brigandier with the latest and greatest. So lets get to backtracking a bunch to deactivate those sensors.
The first sensor is located back in the previous chamber with that helper robot telling us the sand sensors are picking up a lot of sand. Easy enough.
The second one, however, requires taking an alternate path outside Bals hut which leads to a LOOOOOOONG tunnel that loops back to the initial chamber we crashed through. But, boring traveling is omitted for you jerks. Lets return to the old mans joint and blow this popsicle sand...err...stand!
Back to Balthazars pad...
Well, that was simple enough. Im sure there is a boss fight lurking beyond the giant steel gates. But, at least the first leg of the journey is completed.
"Our deal is done."
"Hey, old man. There's one thing I want to ask you."
The facilities are down the hall to the right. A courtesy flush would be appreciated if going number t
No, its not that!
"What is it?"
"I've heard somewhere on this planet is a Gear far superior to all others. I've heard that it was called 'the god Gear' and was made in ancient times but hidden away somewhere. Do you know anything about it?"
"A man-made god, created with the wisdom of god! Such a Gear would have the power of a thousand Gears. In a wave of its arm, it could destroy whole cities. Its battle cries would thunder in the heavens. You must be speaking of the 'Omnigear'."
"You know of it? Then perhaps it was what you were speaking about in that tale you told us of the battle with god..."
"Goodness gracious, you too, boy? Those stories were made to inspire man's soul. But they're just legends. They don't really exist."
...But I thought you said all that evolution talk was rubbish and the myths were the real deal?
You misheard me!
"Anyway, allow me to take a look at your Gears. It'll only take a little while, so wait here please."
Bal trots off outside...
"Hey, wait! Arhh, he's gone..."
Some time later...
"Could one of the Gears we are using possibly be it?"
"Yeah, right! What are the chances of that happening?"
Eh... Ill have to ask the doc what the over-under on it is next time...
"The Gears that are excavated lately...are usually only a few hundred years old. Nowhere nearly as old as the Gear in that legend."
"Then why were they in the ground...?"
"I don't know. There are no records. Except..."
<Oh crud... Ive got to foreshadow now? Tch...I always slept through those classes... Oh well, lets give it a try.>
"There must be some truth in the tales that they were buried after a great war... The bullet wounds covering most of the Gear's armor would appear to confirm that."
"You mean that there are no records from the last several hundred years? How about before that?"
Sheesh, and I thought I slept through too much of world history...
"None from either period. The 'Ethos' controls all the records from that time period. Maybe they have some very ancient records too... All we know about our history is from the little pieces that we find for ourselves."
"What do you mean...?"
"Why would such an old man live all alone in this abandoned cave?"
"I don't know. Probably digging for ancient Gears or something?"
That or hes a displaced member of some advanced ancient civilization that lived in the clouds and was hurled through time via a cosmic horror space parasite.
You gotta weird sense of humor, guy... But about the Gear part.
*nods* "Right! So you think so too?"
"Hey! I just said that as a joke. Don't take all that stuff seriously. They're only legends, you know."
"No...that old man is up to something!"
"What's wrong, old man?"
Man, Im gonna be PISSED if that old crone busted my Gear!
"Well, sort of..."
"Where did you get it?"
"I'm just borrowing it."
From a guy that might be dead...
This is...the host for the spirit of the slayer of god...
*mumble* Abomination... *grumble* Destroy us all... *mutter* Must not be...
"Nothing. I didn't say anything!!"
"No! I heard you! You said, slayer of god... That's what you said, isn't it old man!!"
"Your Gears are fixed. You have no more business here. This is a bad time for me. Be on your way!"
"Be on our way...? Listen here, old man...!!"
Fei and Bart promptly get kicked out of Bals house...
Welp...that was kind of strange. I sure dont hope the freaking out old man doesnt try to murder us on the way out the caves. But, what are the chances of that happening?
Anyhow, after a short jog through some abandoned Aveh excavation digs and a few escalator rides we seem to be nearing the exit of the stalactite cave. Joy!
Unfortunately, before we can actually make a break for the exit a giant bulky Gear with rocket boosters strapped to its back zips in looking for a brawl. Gee, I wonder who set this thing up. I bet it was that kid in the blue tunic from Lahan. Hes such a villainous rogue.
Music: Knight of Fire
Time for our first proper boss battle (as in not a total pushover like the last three): Calamity. The Calamity Gear is a bit of a bruiser. From the get go, it has WAY more HP than the last bosses (480, 300, and 800 respectively.) Calamity has a whopping 2500 HP under its belt. So, it can take a bit of a beating. However, right from the get-go there is something that can greatly tip the odds in our favor...
Wild Smile, son! One or two coats of this over its sensors and two out of its three attacks will miss 100% of the time. Making this a fairly easy battle in the process.
Calamity comes equipped with rocket fist action that can slam into one of our Gears for a good 100-200 HP worth of damage...
...Except it will NEVER hit now that the Gear is reduced to Cant See Shit! settings.
It can also fire up its engines for a ramming attack which again, is easily dodged. Sometimes it just fires up its engines to land in front of Weltall or Brigandier in order to punch em in the face, as the thing is so bulky it apparently cannot walk without jet power behind it.
The only attack we do have to worry about still is Calamitys homing rockets. Special attacks like these do not fall under the accuracy banner so they will hit regardless if a Gear is locked in Ray Charles mode or not. This rocket volley is pretty damn painful, causing upward of 500 HP of damage to a single Gear. Good thing we upgraded our junk, or that could have been problematic.
With that said, the rest of the fight just consists of Brigandier and Weltall wailing on the tin can and performing Deathblows until it finally goes down. Sadly, we do not get the option to march back upstairs to go kick Balthazar in the dick for this shenanigan. He has abandoned his home following the visit from the God-Slayer Gear.
"Anyway... looks like that's the exit. So, it'll soon be adios to this old cavern!"
Bart... You might wanna turn around...
Weltall powers up with some dark energy and performs a sweet combo ending in punching a hole through Calamity.
Since that was technically an in-cutscene death, the boss Gear blows up proper like this time around. I want an RPG where a character has a special attack where they start yammering on about their tragic past or inner turmoil for a minute and then mid-sentence after its firmly established theyre in a cutscene...they just turn around and repeatedly stab their enemy for mortal damage, killing them instantly.
"What do you mean 'huh'!? What in blazes was that? ...Don't you know?"
"... No, I err...... I don't know."
"That was incredible! You just blew that huge thing to pieces! Why didn't you use that technique a bit earlier?"
"...I don't know that technique... I have no idea how I even did it!"
Thats kinda weird... Maybe your Gear just has an Awesome Button or something. You should really look into that... My Gear had one of those. When I pressed it the thing got an eyepatch! I liked that button...
"Hmm. Oh well, I guess that doesn't matter. Anyway... thanks for helping me out! So, now that we've got rid of that nuisance, let's get out of here, eh, Fei!"
Thankfully, its just a short jog from the boss battlefield to the exit tunnel from the caverns. Good riddance!
Brigandier and Weltall march out into fresh air...
"Wow... I never thought we'd end up here..."
"Where are we?"
Outside, man! I thought we were totally boned when we fell in that caergh! I mean...
"You see the twin mountains way over there? That's where Bledavik, the Royal Capital of Aveh, and Fatima Castle are located. Currently, there's no king living there though. Anyway, that's my old home town."
"I'd like to go ahead and settle our dispute but...considering how close we are to the capital of Aveh, we'd probably get caught."
So having just uncontrollably powered up and punched my Gears fist through another Gear has nothing to do with it...?
N-no! What?! You wanna go a few rounds?!
*sigh* Not particularly...
"Hey, stop looking so glum, chum. I guess I'll have to get you back to your friend soon or you'll die from fretting or something. Anyway, the rendezvous point with the Yggdrasil is right over there. Don't worry, you'll be meeting your friend in no time at all."
Calamity Concept Art So it turns out taping a rocket to the back of a big bulky robot isnt the best of ideas.