The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 78: Episode LXXV: Shevat is a Silly Place

Episode LXXV: Shevat is a Silly Place

"I met you a little while ago. My name is Maria Balthasar."
”The one that tried to kill us before. Right...”
“I was merely testing your strength.”
“What does that even MEAN?! Ugh...nevermind. Hey wait...”

"Balthasar...? I've heard of that name before."
"Hey, Fei. Isn't that the same name as the eccentric old man? Remember the crazy old man playing with Gears underground Aveh?"
"That's right! Ol' man Bal, the hermit."
”Oh yeah. That fucking lunatic with the house full of skulls that said evolution was a lie by the church and then tried to kill us with a giant robot too.”
“Old people are jerks. I hope he died in that cave.”

"That reminds me, the Gear I saw resembles Bal's Gear, Calamity."
"Calamity!? That's the prototype Gear my grandfather made. Do you know my grandpa? Where is he now!?"
”Not using that stupid Calamity Gear again anytime soon.”

"I just happened to come across him in the cavern underneath Aveh's desert. I didn't know him that well... So you're Ol' man Bal's grandchild."
"Yes... but I haven't seen him for the past few years... He said he was looking for something very important. And he left by himself... My father was captured by Solaris and his whereabouts are not known either..."
"But, the crazy o... your grandpa looked just fine. He's the kind that never dies. Don't worry, squirt."
"I'm not a 'squirt'!! Besides, my grandpa isn't a crazy old man, I know it!!"
"Sorry. Don't get mad, squi... Maria. I didn't mean to offend. I apologize. Sorry, sorry."
”Alls I’m saying is that people can go crazy pretty quickly. Especially when living underground. In the middle of nowhere. Collecting skulls...”
"I heard you say sorry once already. You don't need to say it again. Anyhow... Queen Zephyr is waiting. Please go ahead and take the elevator to go upstairs. I still have to finish inspecting Seibzehn. I'll show you the way to the Palace when the time comes. Till then, please take a look around town. I'll see you later."

Maria wanders off...

*nods* "Shevat... the only organization that stands against Solaris..."
"Okay, let's bring 20-30 of those Gears that kid was riding on, home!"
”Yeah, sure. We’ll get around to all that. But after that lousy tower climb, I am doing dick in the way of productivity for the rest of the day.”
“I like your style.”
“I am going to feel embarrassed to be hanging around with you two by the end of the afternoon, aren’t I?”

We could take the elevator up to Shevat proper now. But, let’s follow Maria and see what she’s up to.

The party enters Seibzehn’s hangar as Maria immediately starts vomiting exposition all over the floor...

Music: Gathering Stars in the Night

“At the research institute in Solaris..."
”Oh yeah? I think I know a guy that probably hung out there.”
"I just turned five years old at that time, and had no clue what was happening. Using me as a hostage, they forced my father to continue the research..."
”Oh geez... Hey, did you bring sandwiches?”
“Sorry, not this time.”
“What’s this about a sandwich...?”

“He always smiled and said... ' Don't worry, Maria, Seibzehn will be by your side to protect you...' Five years ago, that day, when I fell behind in our escape... My father protected me and ended up being left behind..."

“They are far away, becoming obscure... I believed this would never happen... I swore I 'd never forget...! Now, the only connection between my father and me is this Seibzehn... But... I'll save my father someday! I'll bring back my father's smile! Seibzehn and I will do it, I swear...!! I swear...!! ..."
”Umm... Good...good plan...?”

“It has nothing to do with you..."
”It’s cool. That story is NEARLY as awkward as the last guy.”
“What was his story?”
“Oh right. You missed that one. Elly here asked why he became a priest since he was being a dick to me and I was fixing to toss him overboard in the middle of the sea.”
“Bart, don’t tell this in front of the little gi—“
“And then he went into this like ten minute long spiel about how his daddy left him and his sister along and his mom got eaten by zombies and he got saved a gunslinging Ethos Bishop and how he almost whored himself out to pay the bills.”
*nods* “Uh-huh... Mmhm... Wait...WHAT?!”
“Yeah...YEAH. Exactly.”
“Okay, new rule: No more recruiting party members when I’m not around. Clearly the screening process is highly lax when I’m not heading it.”
“Aren’t you the one that picked up that Rico guy?”
“Blanka looking mofo.”
“...That guy is STILL around?! The hell?”

"It'll take a bit more time to inspect Seibzehn. Please go up there, and take a look around town."

Oh well, enough exposition out of Maria. Let’s go explore Shevat proper.

Nice town. Despite getting its own city map, there’s only one other location to visit in Shevat at the moment: Aphel Aura.

Music: Shevat, the Wind is Calling

So Shevat has kind about as rigorous safety standards for platforms as The Aerie did in NIER. This is to say, handrails are a foreign concept for this city flying 10 miles above the earth... Oh well, at least there are helpful invisible walls scattered about the edges of the Kingdom of Zeal.

There’s quite a bit to do and see in this cloud city. So let’s spend a bit of time seeing the sights of Shevat. Try saying that five times fast...

“Welcome to the wandering city in the sky, Aphel Aura.”
”I thought this was Shevat...”
“Shevat is the country. Aphel Aura is the city.”
“But...aren’t they the same thing...?”

“A place that turns yesterday's tears into tomorrow's smiles... That's what they called this city a long time ago... But now, those hopes and despairs have been worn away long ago... Probably the only things that remain are the echoes of resentment... You might be able to find something that can solve your troubles and sadness. But fate can be cruel sometimes... Don't forget that.”
”Are we this some kind of flying hippie commune?”
“Kinda getting that feeling too...”
“Yeah...pretty much the gist of what I’d heard about Shevat.”
“Oh man... I wouldn’t have even taken a step up that stupid tower if I knew what this place was gonna be full of sky hippies.” *sigh*

All around town are flying elevators leading into and out of assorted buildings. Look, they mastered anti-gravity technology. That shit is now installed in EVERYTHING down here. Recliner? Anti-gravity leg rest. Shelves? Anti-gravity shelves. Stairs? Anti-gravity based blocks!

Anyway, this first building is basically a half-way house for ground dwellers that were saved by Shevat. Most of them somehow managed to piss off Solaris and got a hit put out on ‘em but Shevat agents swooped in to save them at the last minute. Why they do that to random peasant schmucks but never bothered to get in touch with the group that has been actively fighting against Solaris for a solid month now is a bit of a mystery. It would seem the majority of inhabits in Aphel Aura are from the surface nowadays as the majority of OG Shevat folks died in the war 500 years ago. Also, it was fucking 500 years ago, so it would be weird if they weren’t dead... I guess nobody procreates in Shevat.

If we wander outside the Lamb Half-way House, we can find a few floating platforms leading to a “Plant Shell”. It seems Shevat sustains themselves by growing fruits, vegetables , and copious amounts of weed to feed its people. No meat! Sky Hippies are all vegetarians. Only those Solaris barbarians eat flesh.

Nearby, we find another anti-gravity elevator, but this one isn’t working. An inscription reads: 'The one who attains the dawn, the dusk, and the darkness shall climb the path to heaven... Wiseman'. So this apparently leads to Wiseman’s house and we need to do a collect-a-thon pixel hunt to gain access to it. Terrific.

The Dawn Rock we can get straight away by running back out to the Town Map and heading straight down to the south and clicking on the wall. I have no idea how you’re supposed to know to do that on your own... We’ll get to the other two later.

Giant dog!

A bit further into town, we come upon a bar that just has SO many things wrong with it. First of all, it’s called “Deep Sea Bros”. I’m not going to get into how terrible a name that is on so many levels. Secondly: did you see how you get into this bar? You need to be a Mario Brother and jump along floating platforms to access it. Call me crazy but if I’m getting shit faced at a bar, the last thing I want to do is platforming when it’s time to stumble home. Lastly, it’s full of birds. Flightless birds. Apparently evolution took away their ability to fly...since that’s how evolution works. In other news, whales recently forgot how to swim.

In the bar is a jukebox with the worst selection of bar tunes ever. There’s that cutesy Margie/Chu-Chu theme, the music box theme, melodrama theme, village that blew up tune, religion theme, and that song that plays in the Yggdrasil every single time we’re there. These are not bar tunes. No wonder this place is empty. They don’t even sell alcohol here either! Madness!

Alright, that was dumb. Further down the road from the bar we find...

...That there is no God. Holy fucking SHIT! Chu-Chus...dozens of Chu-Chus...they’ve been breeding! In the sky! UGHHH!

Music: The Sky, the Clouds, and You

”Man, oh man, Fei...”
“Bart...not a word!”
“Oh? Speechless, huh? Who’d have thought Furrycon was being held in Shevat this year...”
“What is he talking about?”
“Oh, you didn’t know?”
“Bart. Shut. Up!”
“Fine fine... Let’s just say Fei is an erm...animal lover.”
“Oh, well there is nothing wrong with that...”
*grins* “Nope. He just has a big place in his heart for furrydom.”
“I hate you so much...”

Sadly, we cannot merely run away in horror from the Chu-Chu nest. These sapient Furbies have a variety of crap to be done and some of it is useful.

“These are wonderful things that nobody else sells, yes they are. But this is a very important treasure of the Chu-chu, so I can't sell it to you. Sooorry. Please go to the counter if you'd like to buy something. Thank you, thank you. ...!? W, wait...!! What you have in your hand... is...”
*thundercrash* “The mythical RPS Badge!!”
*explosion* “The legendary H&S Badge!!”
*zap* “The Tag Badge even the maniacs are crazy about!! This is a complete badge set of... a gamer!? I'm so amazed. It's great, yes it is!! Hmm... Want to exchange the three set with our treasure? It's a deal, yes it is.”
”Uhh...sure... I forgot I even had half this crap...”
“Let's exchange them. Here, it is!”

So our reward for collecting these Badges across the last 35 hours of gameplay? Or rather, beating that random RPS jerk from Lahan.

We receive a Charger A (Gear accessory that makes Charging restore 50 Fuel instead of 30) and a Power Ring S (+5 Strength.)



..........Trolled by Square.

“Do you wanna know?”
”Oh, you bet he does. He’s got a hard head when it comes to Chu-Chu history.”
“Wish you did get killed from a battleship being dropped on you....”

“Hmm... I see... You wanna know, yes you do... Alright, I'll tell you about the inspirational tradition of the Chu-chu Tribe, yes I will. Loooong long ago, the Chu-chu Tribe had a great big guardian god, who could step over huge mountains in one step. The Wondrous Mambo god, yes he was! The Chu-chu Tribe and the Wondrous Mambo god lived happily together in perfect peace, yes we did. A dreamy sweet existence. But one day, a huuuge red fireball rained down from the sky, and blew away our guardian god as he was asleep. Blam, kablam, boom! But don't worry! The great big guardian god became a star in the sky! He protects the Chu-chu Tribe, yes he does!! Yes, yes, it's a great story... No matter how many times I listen to it, I'm so moved... yes I do... Be careful now, remember: Bad guys that pester the poor Chu-chus will get punished by our guardian god, yes they will.”
”No worries. Fei here is a special friend to all Chu-chus. ESPECIALLY any giant ones.”

The Chu-chus also seem to be running the only pharmacy in Shevat. This is more than a bit concerning... But, we can stock up on all sorts of high end healing supplies here. If you can really trust meds bought from a talking teddy bear.

Over in the corner of the room is a Chu-chu that gushes over how nice people in Shevat are and asks if everyone on the ground is super nice too. If Fei is honest and says people on the ground are kind of dicks, then the friendly abomination will fork over a pair of Aquasol S (150 HP heal) and an Aquasol DX (500 HP heal.) Not bad.

If we gab with some other of the elder Chu-chus, we can find that Solaris aren’t all bad. They viciously hunt down Chu-chus and eat them as gourmet specials . Even Sky Nazis can have their ups. We can also find that Chu-chus were probably an indigenous species to this planet that got rather largely fucked over when humans crash landed here during the prologue. So at least some good came of that intro disaster as well.

Lastly, a drunken sleepy Chu-chu merchant sells full upgrades for everyone’s weapons and armor. Now what we’re done with speaking with these little bastards, I have to ask you all something: Notice something missing from this band of Chu-chus compared to Chuthulhu back on the Yggdrasil? No? Didn’t notice that NONE of them have that annoying ass speech-tic where they randomly sprinkle “chu” into their speech like they stepped off the set for Chrono Cross. Nope. It seems that just our party’s Chu-chu is afflicted with autism or Churettes Syndrome or whatever the hell is wrong with that awful thing. Lucky us.

Beneath the Chu-chu nest is a lovely little fountain area. One of the critters upstairs gave us a cryptic hint about how a fish ate a stone or some crap in its terrible tribe’s folk lore. The point is, one of those Wiseman house stones are probably inside one of these fountain fish. Since that’s safe adventure game logic if there ever was some...

If we wander outside to the nearby extremely unsafe balcony, we’ll find a creepy old lady who suggests we go fishing in the fountain even though it’s illegal to do so. She’ll even sell us a thread to go fishing with...somehow... But, 50G?! FUCK THAT!

Remember how like 40 hours ago we grabbed a Spider Web from the corner of Fei’s broom closet? Well guess what? That investment is finally paying off! Booya, baby!

Fei and the party climb to the top of the fountain to go fishing with a spider-web that has been stuck in our hero’s back pocket for four weeks...

*shrug* “I never even saw the ocean until a couple weeks ago.”
“Didn’t you catch a fish by spin-kicking it onto our debris boat a week ago?”
“Well, there’s no room for kung fu fishing here, Elly! God...think once in a while...”
<I have made such unfortunate life decisions lately...>

Fei manages to catch a mess of sprite he claims is a fish and yanks the Dark Rock from out of its mouth. Sure, why not. Two down, one to go...

Towards the other end of town we find a Gear shop that full admits it makes no sense to have a Gear shop in a city where there’s only the one Gear floating around. But hey, they’ve got really good stuff. So just roll with it.

Super crazy expensive stuff. But we should, at the very least, upgrade everyone’s Frames to the new five digit HP models.

An old man at the edge of the town informs us that Maria usually likes to smoke pot or whatever down at an old abandoned building in the middle of town and we should wait for her there... I thought we were going to meet her at the palace. But I guess we need some more exposition first.

Nice place. The big ADVANCE PLOT HERE trigger is upstairs. But, there are a couple of items of note in here first.

First up, we can loot the third rock to unlock Wiseman’s house by ripping it out of an old doll’s hand. Why do I get the feeling Wiseman has been locked out of his house for a very long time?

Secondly, there is a hidden mirror. There is nothing special to be done with this mirror. You can spin Fei around in front of it and make him shake his head or do an “over this shit” pose by pressing Square or Triangle respectively. But the best thing about this mirror is pressing the X button on front of it. What does that button do, you ask?

Why, it makes Fei boogie down! But, don’t fall under the impression that only Fei can get his groove on. Examining the mirror a second time results in...

Solaris girls really don’t have much rhythm...

Clearly, I am going to have to come back here with the rest of the party at some point.

The party finishes rocking out and heads upstairs...

*shakes head* "They were killed by Solaris..."
"Tch...! To hell with them...!"
”God. Solarians are such assholes.”
“I bet they kick puppies. “
“They eat those stupid Ewok things. They probably kick puppies and eat those too.”
“We’ve got to hurry up and take them out!”
“...You do know I’m standing right here.”
“Tch. Unfortunately.”

Music: Tears of the Stars, Hearts of the People

“And at times involving those that have nothing to do with this struggle..."
"Damn it...!! All you want is to win!? Don't you care about anything else?"
”Are you talking about me or about Solaris?”
“I don’t even know!”

"There are a lot of people who don't care if they hurt others... So, this is where you all were."

Maria enters the wrecked room...

“This house has been kept like this on purpose as a reminder of the war.”
”Anyone else feeling kind of like a tool for that mirror business downstairs...?”
“A bit...”
“I regret nothing.”

“Thank you for waiting. Please come to the Palace with me."

Maria leaves...

"...Disagreeable squirt..."
*nods* "Let's go toward the palace, shall we?"
”No I...well. Anyone have any idea WHERE this palace is...?”
“Well...I think it was...err...”
“I’m sure it’s around...”
*sigh* “Let’s mosey...”

Music: Gathering Stars in the Night
Music: Shevat, the Wind is Calling

Maria Balthasar Portrait – She’s NEVER actually going to use those goggles, is she?