The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 56: Episode LIII: Elly and Fei Get Surrounded by Seamen

Episode LIII: Elly and Fei Get Surrounded by Seamen

<Alright, Fei... You can do this. Just one good whack to the back of the head. It’ll be totally painless. And you’ll be able to eat for another three...okay maybe two days... Crap. Here she comes! Eh...what the hell is that...?>

Elly hops out of the hold of...whatever in the hell they’re floating on...

”Umm...what’s with the rock...?”
“I had an itch.”

"No time for formalities. Look at that!!"

Music: Thames, the Men of the Sea

I suppose the musical track sort of spoils what the hell this thing is called. But behold the Thames, our next destination. least it’s not Kislev!

” do we steer this crazy thing?

”I don’t think that is going to be necessary. Thank goodness! Much longer and I feared you were going to try cooking me for a meal or something.”
*throws away rock* “Ahahahaha! You’re funny, Elly! Hahahaha!”

A bit later...

“On top of that, you were with two Gears. That's unheard of.”
”Two people’s bloated, waterlogged corpses in Gears, sure. But this is a first.”
"Thanks. You helped us out..."
“You'd better thank the Captain. The one who gave the order for us to pull you two floaters out was the Captain o' the Thames.”
"Thames? Captain...?"
“The Thames, the city at sea. That is where you are now. The captain here is a bit of a strange old chap. You'll see when you meet him. That's not to say he's a bad old blighter.”
"Um... What about our Gears?"
“Don't worry about it. We put them inside the Thames through the supply dock. Sea water got inside so it'll take some time to fix them.”
”That black gear must have hit a septic tank or the like from wherever you wrecked. Nasty poo water all over the interior of the thing. Gonna take a while to hose it all out...”

"You're repairing them for us?"
“Pretty strange for us to be so nice, I bet that's what you're thinking. But really, we had no choice because it's the Captain's orders... Well, I have to go now. I'm a busy guy, y'know! Come to the bridge after you've looked around the ship a while. I'm sure the Captain would want to meet you.”

The dolphin demi-human waddles off...

"I feel like I've seen that guy somewhere before... Never mind."
”That’s probably kinda racist to think...”

So we’re now allowed to dick around the Thames at our leisure. There are assorted boozed up seamen about to chat with. But let’s do a bit of shopping first. I can’t remember the last time we upgraded equipment.

The local equipment shop has a variety of new gear. For some reason they’re selling ammo... I don’t recall anyone packing heat since Elly back in the Blackmoon Forest... Weird. Of other particular note is the DervishDress for Elhaym, which gives her a huge increase to defense. And the “Penguin Coat” for Fei, which trumps anything we have at this point in the game.

This will likely be the last update for several days thanks to hurricane shenanigans. So everyone’s homework assignment while I battle the elements is to showcase Fei wearing a Penguin Coat.

To help cover the costs, we can steal a gold nugget from a nearby refrigerator. Don’t mind if I do.

Upon leaving the little area, we get to the City Map of the Thames. We just left the Armor Ground. Other locations on deck include the “Screw Elevator” and “Supply Entrance”.

Well, we were asked to go meet this Captain fellow and I reckon we’ll need to use an elevator to reach the Bridge. So that sounds like a good first stop.

Despite the drunkard’s pleas not to use the kooky spinning elevator, we can use this lift to reach several other locations across the Thames. We’ll do a bit of exploring later on. Let’s just get introductions over with first.

To the bridge...

Not quite as fancy as the Yggdrasil’s bridge. But it does have a regulation dolphin navigator, so that’s a relief. The drunken sailor stumbling around looking to get his bottle of rum topped off is a bit troubling, though. And...I suppose that large fellow in the red jacket would be the Captain...

"I don't really like wandering around..."
”And wine gives me terrible hangovers. Beer on the other hand...”
"Gahahahaha. Well, don't take it so badly. For us, anything we pull out of the sea is treasure. And you're a really big important treasure. We were really careful."
"Um... Thanks for helping."
"What a pretty lady. Oh, don't make that face. I won't bite. I'll return your Gears to you squeaky clean."
"Why are you being so kind?"
"That's because..."

<This is the best guy ever!>
<I have made unfortunate decisions to get to this point...>

"You're probably starved. I'll get you some food."
”Oh man! You don’t EVEN know!”
"Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaans! I'll welcome the guests! You take care of the rest."
"Yessir. Just don't overdo it."
"Of course I know that. How can you be so calm?"
"The captain and everyone are so irresponsible."
"Hmph, yeah yeah."
*walks away* "Lemme go and get things ready."

”What are you even talking about, Fei?”
“I have no idea. That was the next line in the script...”
“...Right. Anyway.”

"They don't look like... such bad people."
”Elly, that guy was a peg-leg sporting, pipe smoking walrus captain that reeked of cheap rum. That’s good people right there.”

Right next door (well technically next door and a floor below) is the Beer Hall. It is filled to the brim with tipsy sailors of all types and ages. The Captain is waiting patiently for our meals in here. But he did say it would take a bit to get ready. So let’s do some exploring before speaking with the old timer.

The legal drinking age on the Thames is eight years old. Back in my day a ten year old could pound it with the best of ‘em. Now it’s all whiny hangovers and puking over the deck. The pussification of today’s youth is tragic...

There isn’t much going on in the Beer Hall. Except a fellow in the corner will “teach us” something. What that “something” entails is not revealed until we agree. But...

As per mid-to-late ‘90s Square RPG regulations, it is time for the obligatory card mini-game! Fantastic!

Xenogears’ card game is not named anything outside of just “cards” and it is, thankfully, an activity limited to onboard the Thames. But, it is basically a modified version of Speed. We’re given a big ol’ tutorial about the game, but here’s the gist of it:

Each side has four cards laying face up with a reserve stack of 15 cards. In the middle are two cards. The object of the game is to deplete our deck before the opponent does. This is done by quickly placing cards into the middle stacks. However, we are only allowed to place cards one value higher or one lower than the center cards. So, for the 3 we could place a 4 or our opponent can place its 2. For K(ing) a Q(ueen) or an A(ce) can be placed, as the values wrap around from the top.

As we deplete our face cards, we can swap in new ones from the top of our deck until no cards remain. Simple enough, no? In the event that neither side has any cards that are a unit over/under the two face cards a “One-Two” will be called, at which point the top card of both sides’ reserve deck will be placed into the middle. If no cards remain in reserve, then one of our current card hand will be placed instead.

That’s about all there is to Speed. Oh, and the computer is a cheating whore that will get the luckiest hands on the planet and is clearly reading inputs as it will almost immediately waltz over the appropriate card the instant it appears out of its reserve deck. Computer opponents also move way faster than us as we face higher level competitors. You can cheese the game by pausing often to select your next move at a level humans can comprehend. Which is kind of cheating. But they did start it first...

Anyway, for beating card players we’ll receive some decent items out of the deal. There’s no penalty for losing, other than the player saying you suck. So it’s worth it to keep at the game until we defeat Card Bot 3000.

Let’s take a quick tour of the remainder of Thames while we’ve got a bit of down time. Just about everywhere, outside the Armor Ground, can be reached via the Screw Elevator. So that’s convenient. We’ll be skipping the Dock for now, as...well...nothing is docked and thus there is nothing to see.

The Sick Bay mostly deals in cases of alcohol poisoning and chronic hangovers. But it also serves as a free rest area if the party needs a quick heal.

The supply entrance is a wee bit more expansive, however. It features such highlights as...

Giant robot sized knives acting as makeshift bridges...

...children looking curiously down the barrel of a 30 foot shotgun...

...and treasure. There are four treasure boxes scattered about the area in semi-hard to reach locations requiring a bit of platforming. There is a new Lunar Rod for Elly, which comes with a Sleep status effect bonus. A Serpent GWhip for whenever Bart inevitably joins again. And a couple of crappy Gear accessories. Worth the effort to hop around the area tracking ‘em down.

Also here is a very nice Gear Shop worth sorting through.

Weltall can nab a Frame and Armor upgrade here. This is the first time we can purchase Gear Armor that has a bit of Ether defense. Pretty handy.

There’s also a Frame upgrade for Elly, which she can always use given how fragile her girly ass Gear can sometimes prove to be. Speaking of which, the shop also sells Extra Ar +4 accessories for our Gears for just 150G a pop. Definitely worth upgrading from the current +3 model at that price.

One last thing in this area: another card player. There are currently three aboard the Thames (a couple more pop up later in the game) and they must be faced in order.

We can actually pick who plays the card game at the beginning of a match. Everyone moves at the exact same speed, so it’s largely a novelty choice.

Though, despite being an entirely optional mini-game, they actually went to the effort of giving every single character an English soundbite for both victory and failure in the game. Fei will shrug and proclaim “Is that it...?” on a winning match and go into a naval gazing pose while lamenting “This isn’t over yet...” if he loses. Likewise, Elly will jump happily in the air and proclaim a very awkwardly delivered “Yesssss?” on success and a dejected pose with an “Oh?” on defeat. When we get a larger party, I’ll come back and record everyone’s poses...if only to fuck with the voices you’ve given people in your heads.

Beating the scrap yard kid earns us some Super Goggles (5% evasion boost.) Fair enough.

The final opponent is “Queenie” back at the Armor Hall. She moves at about 1.5x the speed of Fei, so the match against her is kind of bullshit. However, the reward for the effort isn’t half bad.

Queenie hands over the DeathBlower1, a Gear accessory. This item has a rather unique trait. It unlocks a special Deathblow during Gear Battles for Level 1 attacks. Normally, Gears only have two deathblows per Attack Level. But the DeathBlower accessories will unlock a third, more powerful technique for their corresponding level. This is pretty neat. But eh...not always worth blowing an accessory slot on.

In any case, that concludes our tour of the Thames. Let’s head back to the Beer Hall and chat with the Captain again...

Elly and Fei return to the Beer Hall...

*turns toward the kitchen* "Hey, hurry it up! Don't make our guests wait."
*turns toward the window* "Sorry, there's no place to sit around here. But, isn't the view just splendid from here? This beer hall is Thames' pride. You probably think it's a wee bit peculiar having a beer hall right next to the bridge, but tis fine by me. If you don't take time in life to enjoy a drink, you will be swallowed by the waves of anxiety... But we don't have that problem. Thanks to this beer hall, everyone here is too sloshed to worry!"
”I like your style, Captain. But...”
"Are you always wandering the seas like this?"
“Piss drunk? Tis the only way to sail the seas.”
“I meant more wandering around picking up scraps of crap like the thing Elly and I were stuck on.”

"Well, normally. There is that crane that fished you out. We use that or the Gears to pull up treasure from the sea. We're Salvagers. Recently however, there has been almost no treasure...just little things. Since we've started the big job, well, that's all we've had."
"Big job?"
"Oh, that's a job for the 'Ethos'. The 'Ethos' is planning a really big salvage next. I don't know the details but, looks like we'll be searching for some buried treasure."
"Why is the 'Ethos' involved...?"
"Who knows... But, we're dependent on the 'Ethos' to buy our stuff. So, it won't look good if we turn the job down."

Hmm...a big job for the Ethos church, eh? I’m sure that will never come up again...

Meanwhile, under the sea... Somewhere waiting for me my lover stands on golden sands and watches the ships that go sailin’...

“That's not it. This type... It matches with the Aveh pirate ship, Yggdrasil."

Welp, we’ve had land Gears and flying Gears. Only natural that there ought to also be underwater Gears, I suppose...

"There's no record of its sinking. We were too busy fighting that red Gear to try to confirm it."
"Then, there is a chance that it did not sink... I believe the data shows the Yggdrasil was the carrier for that Gear."
"One moment...... Yes, that is correct."
"Excellent. Give me the controls."
"Excellent? What are you planning on doing?"
"Sink it, of course. She will never trouble the Commander again."
"Wait. The Commander's orders were to investigate the disappearance of that flying battleship. We can't deviate from our mission. Besides, we are low on fuel and need to refuel."
"We have enough. I'll take her down."
”You should know, Kelvena, that the holy military of Solaris thrives on insubordination!”
"...Groan... Once you start, there is no stopping you is there? I hope you know that fighting in water is totally different than fighting on land."
"Of course. Sorry, Kelvena."

The failed Kislev Purge was the final battle against the the Gebler Goobers. So make way for the new mid-boss squad: the Element... Element? Element...? Err...I’ll need to think of decent alliteration nickname... I’ll get back to you on that one... I've got a hurricane to worry about.

Music: Thames, the Men of the Sea

Captain of the Thames Portrait – A drunken walrus sea captain smoking a pipe. Clearly the best character design we’re going to see during the course of this production.