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  #61  
Old 07-16-2017, 04:57 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 3-5

Part 5 in a 5 parter that started on the previous page.



“People are going to die!”
“I said I’ll take responsibility. Now get me a hoagie.”



And that is why you chill at the entrance while the kid with the blue hair does all the work.



But Ashley is TOO MUCH HERO to risk anyone being lost in an easily avoidable explosion.



“The needs of the who cares outweigh the needs of the gotta kill a monster now.”



If this were an 80’s movie, a really rockin’ ballad would be kickin’ in about now.



But I guess we’ll just get a boss fight instead. Since this is (technically) my first boss battle, there’s a quick explanation on how bosses (almost always) work.



Oh, the other two bosses so far only had two body parts, but Kalivos has a whole three. Will that impact the battle?



Dude, you’ve got two perfectly good claws, use your hands!



Hey, finally got that ARM to hit. Kick ass.



Stop touching me! This boss works just like Brad’s bee-based bad boy: keep the claws alive, and things will be easier, but when Kalivos is less handy, he’ll focus on his much more damaging laser breath.



And when you win… well, what did you expect would happen after fighting the monster made of bomb blood?



This is exactly what we were trying to avoid!



But everybody made it! Together, for some reason! I guess everyone stood around watching Ashley fight as opposed to actually escaping.



“I had a blast.”



Ha ha, Ashley is grounded.



“Any objections, lady?”



“And that is how this extremely long day ended for me, the new recruit. I did what I thought was right, but it was a violation of orders. I don't believe I was wrong. No one wants to see anyone get hurt. Even though the destination is the same, different people choose such different routes. I don't understand. I just don't understand it. Oh well, with my sentence, I have plenty of time to think.”

And that’s how we leave Ashley. He saved the child and the bad guys, and only got a little singed for his troubles. He’s a hero of heroes who heroes around. I think he just might be our main character.

Next time on Wild Arms 2:
Black cat boogie.
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  #62  
Old 07-16-2017, 05:18 PM
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You went through all of Ashley's introduction and not once did you quote Evil Dead. Not bad, but can you last the whole LP?

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Originally Posted by GoggleBob View Post
“Hey, Greg, what’s a good fantasy name?”
“I don’t know… How about Gerg?”
“Brilliant! Now we've gotta work on those lizard guys' names.”
...Gerg Rush, kekeke?

Anyway, music time! Dungeon Exploring is the appropriately-named dungeon theme here. I think this one pops up a few times throughout the game. We also have Confusion on the Front when Iron Man runs circles around the Three Stooges. Chase, well, does what it says on the tin. Every RPG needs its GTFO music.

Finally, A Resolution (played here when Ashley and friends make it out of the explosion alright) is one of the tracks from this game that always stuck with me. I dunno, I just think it's really effective at what it does, and what it does is provide a post-climax bit of relief.
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  #63  
Old 07-16-2017, 11:00 PM
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I could swear the way the monster gets destroyed was different the last time I played...maybe the boss fight ends on its own after a certain number of turns? Or maybe I'm just remembering it wrong.


Fun fact: every Wild Arms game has a Tony.

WA1: The kid Rudy saves in his (pretty similar to this one) intro scenario
WA3: An attendant at one of the train stations
WA4: An incompetent recurring antagonist
WAXF: A (playable) dog

I don't remember the one from 5, but I'm sure he's in there.
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  #64  
Old 07-31-2017, 04:52 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 4-1

I really want to say that I appreciate the breakman/SpoonyBardOL support here. I didn't expect you guys to actually take me seriously when I put you "on duty", but now I'm learning things, too! Learning is awesome!

Previously on Wild Arms 2: Ashley saved the day, but he saved everyone in spite of orders, so he was sent to his room without any porridge.



It’s appropriate that we ended with Ashley, as he’ll be the first guy we’ll be seeing shortly, but you may recall that you had your choice of opening chapters and their order. After you clear ‘em all, this little interlude kicks in regardless of initially chosen character.



Though that doesn’t mean this intermission should mean a damn thing to a new player.



A girl (?) is concerned about lights and comets and whatever. Also, she has a neat hat. Moving on!



Moving on specifically to the Town of Meria. Looks like a nice place.



And one familiar kid(napping victim) has decided to visit a bakery with a pair of buddies.



And inside the bakery… Wake up, Crono, it’s time to hit the fair.



Hello, me.



Incidentally, she’s identified as the “innkeeper’s daughter”, but this is a bakery, and according to auxiliary materials, she’s actually the niece of the wife of the baker, and… Oh never mind.



Let’s actually talk about Marina Irington. Here’s the Skyler White of Wild Arms 2: Marina has the perfectly understandable desire to not see Ashley die horribly in a tragic giant skeleton-related accident, but, since that would mean Ashley retiring from being the star of a JRPG, Marina kind of comes off as… anti-player. Marina reacts to the events of Wild Arms 2 in a pretty legitimate, reasonable, human way, but, again, she’s completely against you playing Wild Arms 2 and putting Ashley in random battle-based danger, so she can come off as something of a nag.

It’s also unfortunate that this “killjoy” thing winds up being the label for one of the absolute few sincere relationships in a JRPG… uh… ever. Most JRPGs go for the action movie cliché of “these two characters have been fighting together for a few hours, and they have complimentary genitals, so they’re in love now”. Either that, or the rare “they were married before this game started, kiss kiss, off to kill monsters now, dear” thing. Wild Arms 2 does its best to actually develop the relationship between Marina and Ashley over the course of the game, and it’s never because the two characters thump monsters together. This ain’t Romeo and Juliet, but it’s at least more believable than Zidane and Dagger (and please let this paragraph inspire a Greatest Romances in Gaming thunderdome).

Anyway, I suppose the takeaway from Marina is that whenever she’s around, watch how the Marina x Ashley romance develops, as it’s one of the more relatable through lines for the game. Or at least it’s as relatable as possible when you’re talking about a guy that lives in a town with apparently only one woman his age...

Oh, and to be clear, Ashley and Marina’s current relationship status is: it’s confusing.



He’s confined to quarters! That’s almost literally all he can do!



But apparently some wiener kids showed up, so may as well get this JRPG going.



Lilka had a quasi-town, and Ashley had the dungeon entrance that was mobbed with musketeers, but this is our first real town. Let’s get to exploring!



First stop, Marina’s communal family bedroom. Why did I stop here?



Because rotate the camera around, enhance, zoom, and you’ll find that Marina is a giant Trigun fan. If you’re wondering what kind of Western we’ll be seeing here…



Anyway, we still haven’t made it off the second floor of the bakery, but here’s a ladder up to the roof that we’re not allowed to use quite yet. Also: how often does Ashley hang out on the roof?



Okay! First floor ahoy! This update is going to take forever!



Questions to ask: How long has Ashley been living in this bakery? Why does Ashley come off as anti-social? Is the baker’s wife a gossipy little $%@^?



“Helping out” as in “saving my life, twice.”



Tony… has kind of a weird way of talking. I suppose he’s supposed to sound like “a kid”, but he kind of lapses in and out of… I guess like a 90’s surfer dialect? It’s… different.



I’m not going to show every naming prompt, but you get the option of naming Scott and Tim here, too. Scott Summers, who dresses in blue and yellow and is friends with Tony Stark, has a “nerdy” speech pattern, but his character description pre-naming is “vacant-looking boy”. So I don’t know if the translation made him sound smart, or he’s supposed to be weird, or… whatever.



But, for all the localization “quirks” we’ll eventually get into, I do appreciate that the English script makes the three kids sound distinct in rapid dialogue. You won’t mistake Tony’s “dudes” for Scott’s “In my humble opinions”, and Tim…. I guess we’ll address Tim more later.



Orphans… always wanting handouts…



Tony was there when Ashley got confined to quarters, right? Answering “I’m busy now” is a major dick move.



“Actually, it has three legs and is blind… but we’re really bad at catching kittens.”



“Was your treasure a can of sardines? Because that’s gonna happen.”

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #65  
Old 07-31-2017, 04:59 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 4-2



You got robbed by a wee kitten. That’s like a step below losing your lunch money to a turtle.



Three of you. Robbed. By a kitten. Aren’t there any decent bullies in this town?



Okay, so we’ve got the cat-chasing task ahead of us, but we’re also free to explore the town at will. Let’s do that. Kitten is probably asleep on her pile of pilfered treasure, anyway.



Let’s go in this shop. It’s maaaaagic.



Awesome! Except… we don’t have any wizards in the party yet. Pass.



But next door is the ARMs shop. Here you can upgrade any ARMs you might possess. Note that ARMs are not sold, they’re only found in treasure chests, so this is strictly an upgrade shop.



Each ARM can be upgraded in three different parameters: Attack, Hit Percentage, and Bullet Load. You really can’t go wrong with upgrading any particular way, though you may recall that Brad has a 100% hit percentage skill, so that might be less of a priority for him. Attack power is obvious, though bullet load can be really useful in a few key situations. Also note that you are limited to a set number of upgrades per ARM, so don’t think you can grind for infinite money and upgrade to ridiculous parameters.



Ooooooh, mystery shop.



Here’s another unique system in Wild Arms 2: Personal Skills.



Basically, you earn PS Points, and can redeem them at the Personal Skill Shop to customize your character. PS points are limited and non-refundable, but if you’re willing to part with some points, you can kit out your characters for more effective battling. Want to restore HP when you do damage? That’s doable! Counter until the cows come home? Also available! And there are more traditional upgrades, too, like resistances to various status effects, and general “X Stat Up” buffs.



For my money (PS Points), I recommend taking the Pokémon path, and upping already good stats to great levels. Make your physical attacker a better physical attacker, in other words. But the whole point is that it’s up to you, so make your own decisions according to your play style. WA2 isn’t a difficult game, so have fun experimenting.



There’s also an item shop over here. These are all pretty standard shops available in every town (I’m saying this so I don’t have to screen shot every shop in the WA2 universe).



Note that there aren’t really weapon shops in this game, as equipment is sold by the item shops.



This is the actual inn in town. It is not where the innkeeper’s daughter lives.



This will be important later! Not much later!



Other residential homes in town reveal that apparently this world has a France, or at least people that speak French.



Hey! There’s a castle in the back of town! I love sightseeing!



There’s pretty much no reason to visit the castle at this point… but it beats chasing a kitten.



Oh, hey, good to see that someone bought all the soldier equipment during the Kingdom of Guardia’s going out of business sale.



Books! Oh, by the way, I don’t think it’s come up yet, but the “Earth” of Wild Arms 2 (and I think all Wild Arms games) is called Filgaia. Though, to be clear, it’s not all the same Filgaia. Fun fact: In Japan, the name of the WA world is “Fargaia”, which seems somehow more appropriate.



The books here offer more off-kilter world building, like the theory that Filgaia is a living organism that will one day transform into a giant humanoid to fight the dreaded Unicron.



There’s a tale of the Sword Magess (and her pet werewolf. Way to bury the lead, book). We’ll get into that soon enough…



Sword Magess’ sword is named Argetlahm. I’m always happy when a JRPG doesn’t generically reuse Excalibur.



There’s a book on Brad’s little revolutionary army from his intro. The book doesn’t really tell us anything we don’t already know, other than that apparently there are already books being written about Brad and his buddies.



Is that supposed to look like Cecilia of Wild Arms 1? Or is Margaret supposed to look like someone in this cast? I genuinely don’t know. I’m bad with anime faces.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #66  
Old 07-31-2017, 05:09 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 4-3



Oh, the candelabras in this game are 2-D art imposed on 3-D environments. Once you notice it, you can’t stop seeing it.



Damn, I need new pillows. I should look into the military.



Apparently Ashley’s troop from the previous update deployed from a hangar in the castle. Given there are no roads anywhere in Filgaia, you have to wonder how often those vans see use.



See! Fall Down a Hole Immediately Guy survived! For now!



You can wander around the castle at will, but you can’t see the king, because I guess it would just be too much to give him three lines of canned dialogue.



Back out into town, and…. Shut-up, old man! I’ll go where I want!



This house features two silent cats staring at each other. Are they the parents of the larcenous kitten? It is a mystery!



Speaking of which, let’s get back to that quest. Time to use that ladder in the bakery that is totally not an inn.



Just because we can get to the roof doesn’t mean we can catch the kitten. Lil’ bugger runs off immediately.



And if you chase her all the way around the roofs, she’ll leap across the fountain area, and leave Ashley in the dust.



No following that cat. Time to head back to the bakery and scoot back onto the roof.



And the whole situation just loops again. What’s a musketeer to do? OH, GEEZ, DON’T SHOOT THE CAT, I WASN’T SUGGESTING THAT!



Remember that hole in the roof of the inn?



Well the guy repairing that hole is happy to help with the kitten situation, because apparently catching this cat is a five man job.



No animals were harmed in the making of this Let’s Play (though I did just kill a cricket).



NPCs ask for so little recognition.



Hop in the hole, and here’s a kitten. Let’s assume the kitten stayed in this room because of a locked door, and not because heroic Ashley just broke a kitten’s legs.



And this world has Spanish, too! ¡Ay caramba!



Considering Ashley had to recruit additional help and was repeatedly running around on the rooftops, I want to say your honor is good and tarnished.



And after all that, the “treasure” that now smells like kitten spit was given to Ashley anyway.



A Crest Cap is basically a one-use spell for someone that can’t use spells. Considering magic is kind of useless in this game, crest caps are pretty useless, too. Fun Fact! You actually can refuse to capture the cat, but then you won’t get this swell bit of vendor trash.



But whether you participate or not, Tim will hand over…



A Grudiev Medium.



Mediums are equipped like weapons and armor, and each one offers some minor stat boosts. They also grant the equipper one new command of dubious usefulness. In this case, Grudiev grants the Defencer command, which is basically the Final Fantasy skill Cover. Take a hit for your buddies, if you feel like it. Note: Ashley currently has no buddies.

Mediums also offer other benefits later in the game, but we’re a ways off from that at the moment. Speaking of which, it is not insignificant that little Tim provides our first medium at large.



But, for now, Marina!

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #67  
Old 07-31-2017, 05:14 PM
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“He was also confused that you weren’t in your room which is like your one job right now.”



Fluffier pillows!



And then we cut to Ashley in bed being excited about his special status.



I don’t know, maybe because you singlehandedly defeated a giant monster? Just a thought.



This cut to Ashley “afterwards” is odd because…



Flashback to five minutes ago!



“Achieving your life’s dream should be a somber occasion!”



Ashley is denser than a neutron star, and the kids slowly back away from the angry lady. Also, the kitten ran off.



“And the last mission somehow involved explosive saliva!”



Point is that Marina does not take it well.



“I should really look into that. Oh well, time to go die now!”



Looks like the entire town (population: twelve) turned out to see Ashley off.



What? Ashley is a knight now? Okay!



Hey, Sir Ashley to you, pal.



Pay attention! This is your reminder that locations do not automatically “appear” on the world map, so if you forget these directions, you could be wandering around the wilderness for a while.



Marina decided to thaw out just long enough to see Ashley off.



“I guess I just don’t want to see you die for some reason or something. Anyway, I watched some of my Trigun tapes, and I calmed down about it.”



“I’ll come right back here one way or another. I put you down as my next of kin. I want to be cremated. Toodles!”



“I’ll just be here… uh… doing whatever it is I do!” “Baking?” “Maybe!”



World map! We got a little preview in Brad’s chapter, but this is the official start of using the WA2 map. No more shortcuts from now on!



But first! Let’s check out that System menu on the main menu.



Remember when screen savers were new and novel? Wild Arms 2 remembers.



You also have your choice of window designs. This was appreciated in Final Fantasy 3, and it’s nice to see here, too.



Icon design?



I guess if you really need your icons to be rounded, you’ve got options.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #68  
Old 07-31-2017, 05:20 PM
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Okay, enough of that. Back to adventuring!



Brad saw some Balloons, and now they’re menacing Ashley. Again, they’re basically Wild Arms slimes, so they’re not particularly threatening.



Now scanning for giant ass cathedral.



Here we are. If you’re curious, the white dot is our current location, and the red dot is where we started. It was a short walk.



No time to explore, let’s get right to the ceremony.



Well, I guess there’s time to restate the name of the place.



“A squad of knights trained in guerilla tactics was established to fend off terrorists... and increasingly strong, brutal, and fearsome monsters as well as an unstable world. (Editor’s note: huh?) The Knight squad organized as a backup for Meria Boule has... The advantage of independent authority allowing it to respond rapidly to a variety of situations.”



So, to be clear, Ashley wields an ARM, which is repaired at the ARMs shop, and he’s a member of an elite group called ARMS (acronym for Agile Remote Mission Squad). Got it memorized?



I bet Unnamed Commander is going to be very important to this story.



And then they bring out the sword in the stone. No, seriously, that’s pretty much what we got here.



Sword Magess might not be around, but her sword is. Who wants to give it a go?



“Basic Thor rules apply. Ye not guilty and all that riot. If anyone here spoke to a strange woman in a lake within the last week, you have to check that box on the entry form.”



Ashley talks to some rando in the rear about how the whole thing is rigged, man.



Ashley is optimistic, though.



Rando is a dick.



And Ashley…



Winds up dislodging the opening credits. A gorgeous series of “slides” appear here with the credits explaining the story of The Sword Magess, basically WA2’s “ancient hero”. It’s a fun way to introduce the backstory and get the mandatory cinematic credits out of the way.



Pretty standard story here: The Blaze of Disaster showed up, wrecked the place, and then The Sword Magess appeared with her magical sword. Seven days later, she and the Blaze of Disaster both disappeared, and she left behind her sword in a stone.



Sword Magess is distinctly noted as being a nobody before she started wielding a magic sword. Also, this telling of the story leaves out any potential companions, like the previously mentioned werewolf.



But giant wolves have a way of sneaking in, even if the script doesn’t give ‘em a mention. Incidentally, it’s just a trick of the “lighting”, but this shot of Sword Magess really reminds me of Virginia Maxwell of Wild Arms 3.



History flows like a river, and all JRPGs are the same.



Wild Arms 2 starts now! Everything before this was crap!



And it turns out Ashley failed. Oh well, I’m sure we’ll never see that magical sword of destiny ever again.



Well look whose genre savvy.



And, again, we gently nudge into one of WA2’s big theses: there can only be a hero if there is a crisis that calls for a hero. In other words, wanting to be heroic is maybe not the best thing for the world at large.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #69  
Old 07-31-2017, 05:28 PM
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So we’ve got some downtime here, may as well wander around the banquet hall and see what the other recruits have to say.



“I don’t know, I just see the same two guys copy and pasted across the room.”



Oh, wait, are you the same commander from the last update, too? I’m not going to check. You’re not worth it.



Ha ha ha what a taskmaster.



Oh, thank God, something is happening. I thought we were going to have to make small talk for the rest of the game.



Guess a black hole is opening up in the banquet hall. This is why you always get singularity insurance.



And it’s causing people to… start smoking?



And then they transform into monsters. Do they look more like Astos or Dr. Wily’s Alien Projection?



Shouldn’t have had the salmon mousse, guys.



“Anyone that is not a monster, follow me. I repeat, non-monsters only.”



Except…. Monsters all over the place. Escape is not going well.



We’re boned.



Boooooooned.



Ashley has a brief freakout inside his own head (or something).



If you ever hear that voice, don’t listen to it.



Ashley notes that, yes, those “monsters” are friends. This will be important in a moment.



“I hear what you’re saying about your companions, but how about you... just follow me here... kill them all?”







Aaaaaaand Monster Ashley. And he instantly obliterates one of his “friends” to boot. Our hero officially has a kill count, now. Sorry, random dude that may have been that guy that was talking to us during the ceremony.



And I think we’ll stop here for today. I guess…. Hm, I guess Brad is going to show up and kill Monster Ashley? That’s probably what’s going to happen. Please look forward to blood and carnage and Marina crying!

Next time on Wild Arms 2: Monster High Fright On!
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Each ARM can be upgraded in three different parameters: Attack, Hit Percentage, and Bullet Load. You really can’t go wrong with upgrading any particular way, though you may recall that Brad has a 100% hit percentage skill, so that might be less of a priority for him. Attack power is obvious, though bullet load can be really useful in a few key situations. Also note that you are limited to a set number of upgrades per ARM, so don’t think you can grind for infinite money and upgrade to ridiculous parameters.
*cough* Wild ARMs 1 *cough*

Also, Argetlahm is a bad translation of Airgeadlámh, and the mythological symbology applies almost as accurately here as it does in WA1.
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  #71  
Old 08-01-2017, 11:33 AM
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You forgot the most important part of the screen saver, which is that it plays the intro music from Wild Arms 1. I used to let WA2 idle all the time just to listen to it. I think I remember those falling dominoes better than any other part of WA2.
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  #72  
Old 08-01-2017, 11:14 PM
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Thread is making me want to play Wild Arms in general so y'know... fuck you for that. Also I am enjoying these updates I guess that's worth mentioning.
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  #73  
Old 08-02-2017, 07:30 AM
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I really want to say that I appreciate the breakman/SpoonyBardOL support here. I didn't expect you guys to actually take me seriously when I put you "on duty", but now I'm learning things, too! Learning is awesome!
Heck, we haven't even gotten to any significant* parallels yet. Well, you ended this update in the middle of one, so I'll get to that next time.

The thread I wanted to do was probably never gonna happen, because I was mostly only interested in comparing stuff to the rest of the series, but it wouldn't have really worked without providing context for the entire game. I was not interested in doing that part, but I am interested in reading it. So, again, thank you for doing this.

(*It's gonna be quite a while, but when you get to a particular plot twist I'm probably going to spoil basically the entire plot of WA3)
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  #74  
Old 08-07-2017, 05:21 PM
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Oh shoot there was an update, er, uh, *trips over himself digging up Youtube links, lands upside down in a pile of MP3s*

Soooooooooooo OK. The game basically starts for real and like a lot of JRPGs we have towns and world maps and all that fun stuff.

Town to the Western Winds is the BGM for the first real town here, and for most towns in the game honestly. There's a couple of other town themes we'll happen upon in the game but one is easily the most common, if my memory is correct. Fortunately it's a pleasant little tune.

The Barren Lands is the first overworld theme. Which may or may not mean there's more than one in the game, I'll never tell! Anyway, with the familiar whistling opening this track it's like it's trying so, so hard to be reminiscent of the Wild ARMS 1 overworld and it's just... not quite there. It's just not quite as memorable. Good effort though!

Dark Calm Night: Cutscene music! This plays during Ashley's little flashback to literally 30 seconds previously in game-time as he continues to be totally bone-headed about Marina. It pops up now and then in the story. It honestly kind of sounds to me like it belongs on the Xenogears OST, a little bit?

A Time of Good plays in the Sword Cathedral. Sounds appropriately celebratory for the formation of a new special squad that totally won't be immediately struck by inexplicable tragedy.

And First Ignition plays during the 'Sword Magess' story crawl.

Hey wait, isn't this game's subtitle '2nd Ignition'? Is that at all relevant?

That's a good question!

So the next track is From Calamity to Dry Ground which plays when the mysterious dark energy appears and everyone starts spontaneously doing the monster mash. Incidentally, the transformed soldiers totally look more like alien Dr. Wily.

Dungeon Pinch Fight 1 kicks in as Ashley and co run out into the hall. The title here might seem a bit nonsensical if you're not familiar with how frequently the usage of the term 'pinch' is in Japanese media. They're using it to refer to a tough situation or a close call. It is not a dungeon theme for a place where you fight exclusively by pinching your enemies.

Finally, Pure Darkness is the unsettling track that plays when Ashley is hearing voices telling him 'no seriously it's totally cool just kill all your friends and comrades it will work out trust me'.

And that was Music Corner, with Spoony.


Oh, and if I were doing this LP, I don't know if I would have been able to choose between making a Marina Liteyears reference, or an Off the Hook reference when Marina came up.

New Thunderdome idea, best Marina: Mischief Makers, Wild ARMS 2, or Splatoon 2?
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  #75  
Old 08-22-2017, 02:44 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 5-1

Sorry about the wait! I had a hard time finding the place...

Previously on Wild Arms 2: Ashley menaced a cat and transformed into a literal monster. These two events are probably not related.



We now rejoin our hero tromping around the Sword Cathedral. Ashley is white, every other monster is green. This is… yes, I’m pretty sure this is racist.



So, important stuff to know: you have full control of monster Ashley, and there are other monsters wandering about. “Talk” to one of the monsters, or even just gently nudge against one, and…



Battle transition! Yes, WA2 has “bump into monsters on the map to initiate battles” capability, but decided to go with a random encounters system anyway. As someone that dislikes random encounters, I say boo.



That’s a good question, Ash!



Looks like a yes! Can’t run, can’t change equipment, but the player does have control for these battle scenes.



Ashley also can’t use his ARMs, but he can hit, and hit he shall!



Monsters hit back, though. Note that item use is also available, should you need healing or whatever.



These battles are pretty easy, but Ashley doesn’t exactly seem to be dealing well with all this winning.



It’s not available until later in the game, but here’s some in-game art of the monster packs around here. These creatures are called Proto-Blazers (hm!), and color our example white to get the Ashley version.



That last group of PBs were blocking the doorway, so, even if you’re good at dodging, you have to fight at least those dorks. This means that Ashley auto-kills a transformed human at the end of the last update, and then you, player, have to kill at least those two. Way to go, monster.



The next room contains a mirror. Hey, Ashley, don’t forget your freaky talon-toes, too!



I’m glad that we get some confirmation on where monster corpses go in this universe. I always figure the Dragon Quest worlds are awash in slime carcasses about halfway through any given adventure.



Ashley is not having a good day, and lets out an anguished scream at his current predicament.



Lumbering on.



Hey! A savepoint! This would be very convenient if you forgot to save on your way out of Meria. Who would have expected a dungeon at a happy little knighting ceremony?



Across the hall is the banquet room that appeared at the end of the last update. It was mentioned that the Sword Cathedral is a sort of religious site for people that worship the Sword Magess, so I suppose it’s only natural that they have banquet seating available for special events. … Or at least they used to.



At the end of the hallway is another mirror, this one shattered. I rather like this detail, as it confirms that the other PBs still have people inside, and at least one is none too happy with this dilemma.



It was probably this guy. Let’s kill ‘em.



Across the hallway, there’s… a library.



It is a really odd choice to have a “talk to everybody” style library in the middle of this dungeon that is supposed to emphasize how Ashley has been transformed into an inhuman monster. Probably would have made more sense to make the books temporarily unreadable (“Ashley’s monster mitts can only rend flesh from bone, not consume the classics!”), and you’d have to come back later for these nuggets of backstory. On the other claw, I guess this is the appropriate place to fill in the details on the Sword Magess and the Blazing Demon (hm!), so… go nuts?



As was mentioned last update, Sword Magess defeated the Blazing Demon, and she didn’t leave a manual.



Gee, sure would be rough if that Blazing Demon escaped and, say, possessed an entire troop of soldiers.



Hey, more details on that “companion werewolf”. Lucied… Lucied… I know I’ve heard that name somewhere before. Meh, I’m sure it’ll boomerang back to me eventually.



The Sword Magess defeated one fiery demon inside of a week, and she is referred to as “the queen of war” by later generations. That had to be one heated battle.



“Says here this book was written by Queen Azala. Neat.”

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #76  
Old 08-22-2017, 02:51 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 5-2



Got into a fight with the other Proto Blazer you see wandering around the library, and here’s Ashley’s other win pose. He basically ends every battle by crying. Ha ha, silly emotional loser crying over murdering all of his friends.



Isn’t it the dream of all little girls to grow up, gain a magical sword, befriend a werewolf, and then banish an unstoppable demon? Throw in a vampire buddy, and it’s basically Twilight.



“Why was the Sword Magess able to wield Argetlahm? Well, it’s hard to get a control group going with only one person, so we don’t have a clue.”



There’s an entire book that claims The Blaze of Disaster was nothing but bad vibes, dude. Damn hippies. I bet that kind of metaphysical crap won’t ever be relevant.



And our last book posits that, without a hero to wield the sword, if B-B-B-B-Blaze It ever returns, we’re pretty screwed. You’d think there’d be an entire industry of anti-demon weapon development going on as a result, but… Oh, I just figured out why there are ARMs dealers in every town.



Moving on. I think , if you’re careful, you only have to fight like two battles in this area. I suppose that’s the polite thing to do, given Ashley is not enjoying his monster time at all.



And here’s our last stop. For the record, I really like that this “monster part” is in the game at all, as Ashley never revisits this form, but we get a whole mini-dungeon of “what’s it like to be a monster”. Throw in a few panicked villagers, and this would have been perfect.



So, wanna give it another go, Ash?



Knew those claws would be good for something!



Let’s pretend we don’t notice that this “Woman of the Light” looks a bit like that lady from the stained glass window and anime scenes from the last update.



“Can you call me an uber? I think my cell phone turned into a bat.”



Sword Magess Woman of the Light seems hesitant to fork over the blade in this magical limbo land.



But Ashley’s got places to be.



By the power of Sword Cathedral!



Whoa, did you see that? Is Ashley changing colors for some reason? What’s going on?



Huh?



“Oh, hello, Limpy Dude. Did you kill all the monsters I missed?”



This activates another naming prompt, so let’s talk about…



Irving Vold Valeria. Irving is history’s greatest monster. Moving on.



He also has no idea how to talk to a dude that was just an actual monster like thirty seconds ago.



“Uh. That’s great. By the way, thanks to the whole transformation thing, I missed dinner. Do you have, like, a cracker or something?”



“No? Okay. Coma time.”



Meanwhile! A couple of gray-haired folks are playing with a giant key.



“Well” here apparently means “transform an entire battalion of warriors into blood-thirsty beasts that proceed to kill each other”.



“Look, kid, you want some fresh Proto Blazer burgers for supper or not?”

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #77  
Old 08-22-2017, 02:59 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 5-3



“Want to make an omelet, gotta ruin a few lives.”



Kid with a key is Sora Caina. For anybody that is a Wild Arms nerd, yes, I will absolutely be covering the whole sordid Caina story, but for now, let’s just acknowledge that he’s a kid with a magic key. Or she. She’s a kid with a magic key. Crap, I’m doing it already.



We’re like an hour into the game, and we’re already starting to hit the heavy stuff. This plot is going to get complicated, folks!



-That Man- …. My kingdom to never deal with lame JRPG mystery writing ever again.



I think at the point that you have a giant floating key, you’ll believe in anything.



Somebody should have really tossed a “you” in there, as nobody talks like this. “The only thing I believe in is Sir Vinsifeld himself. That is to say you. You’re Sir Vinsfield. You know that, right? Your name?”



And that’s about it for this interlude. We’ll cover these dorks in an update that isn’t already introducing a bunch of other characters and concepts.



Meanwhile, Ashley is having unsettling dreams.



Hey guys! It’s murder voice! Everybody remembers murder voice, right?



Press B to cancel evolution, Ashley!



“You might experience some discomfort. That’s just the entirety of you screaming in pain. Please ignore that.”



Ashley, just get used to not understanding anything now, and you’ll feel better.



And stop hitting yourself, nerd.



Oh, it was all a dream. Yay!



Granted, she was worried before Ashley even left, so this means basically nothing.



“I’m okay now, mom. Can I go out and play with my friends?”



Ha ha whoops. Guess Ashley did slip into a light coma there.



This is the cover-up for the whole monster fiasco and technically accurate. Yay lie-truths.



Ashley has a brief crisis of self.



“Now come downstairs, we still have some leftover Proto Blazer claws in butter.”



Irving is on crutches and is able to carry an adult male across the countryside. Bad. Ass.



“I’m sure nothing important happened. Don’t worry about it. Kill everybody.”



“Thanks for saving me from something I can’t remember from a week ago?”



“So, how long you been a cripple? You any problems going to the crapper?”



But on the way out, Ashley encounters… Finally! I was wondering if this game would ever get to having two party members.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:05 PM
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Lilka collapses at Ashley’s presence…



And her growling stomach tells us why. Should have packed a lunch!



“Can magically create fire blasts but can’t summon up a sandwich? Sounds useful.”



Lilka is so bad at teleporting that she apparently had a number of teleportation gems, and used them all. And then spent all her cash on new ones. Our heroine, everybody!



"Can’t eat gems. Tried."



So the answer is “nothing” and “you’re the only place in town that actually sells food.” Note that I’m pretty sure this is the only place on the planet that bakes bread.



Hooray!



That’s a dessert food!



There was a running gag in Wild Arms 1 that Cecilia, the crest sorceress of that adventure, had a bottomless stomach on account of all the spell casting. That gag reappears here… and is then never mentioned again. I guess someone got over that joke.



Yes, let’s form a party. Move this plot along.



The Valeria Chateau is like… twenty feet away. It’s closer than the Sword Cathedral.



And Lilka does not have the best sense of direction.



But whatever! Party member get! …. Unfortunately, we won’t encounter any enemies between here and our destination, so I guess we’ll have to wait for the next update to get to seeing our two-person party in action.



But there is something new we can do!



Let’s make some spells! Normally at this point, you’d just have your starting crests from Lilka’s opening chapter and maybe a spare you found around town, but hacking in all the items ever has granted us an opportunity to look at the spells available in Wild Arms 2.

Basically, you’ve got the four elements, Geo/Earth, Wing/Air, Flam/Fire, and Muse/Water. To create a spell, you combine two elements, bind it to a crest, and you’ve got a new bit of magic. Obvious combinations are obvious (like earth + earth = earth attack spell), but some of the more useful spells come from odd combinations (like earth + water = revive). You’ll acquire a lot of crests early in the game, so feel free to experiment. You can always wipe a crest and then attain a different spell if you find one doesn’t work to your liking.



And you can name your spells at will, too. The spell names are pretty basic in Wild Arms 2 (like “vortex” for “wind attack”), but you could rename ‘em useless nonsense like “Magaru” if you want.



Note that you maximum FP, whether you’re level 1 or 99, is 100. So if you see a spell that costs 65 FP, know that you might not get to use it as often as a spell that costs 12 FP.



Oh, and Dispel doesn’t work. Ever. Just ignore it.



There are different kinds of crests, too. A Crest E will cut the FP use of a spell, and a Crest S will double the strength of the spell. That could be useful. We got a Crest Cap last update, and those allow anyone to use a crest spell like an item, but it’s a one-time deal. This can be useful, too, as otherwise Lilka is absolutely the only party member that gets to use crest magic, and stuff like the simple “slow” spell can be a game changer in certain late-game fights.



Anyway, that’s your magic primer for right now. We’re supposed to be heading off to a cliff now.



But what kind of a hero would we be without checking in on our fan club?



Wee Scott posits that the reason Ashley survived long enough to grab the sword was because of the medium Tim provided. This is as good an explanation as ever for Ashley’s white variant. Or maybe he just wanted it more? Well, either that, or he’s the main character.



Aw, Tim, you little dweeb.



Anyway, the walk over to Valeria Chateau is fast. Like I said before, not even a battle warning on our little hike.



And, yes, it is certainly on a cliff. Being a nobleman at least earns you a view.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:13 PM
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“And what manner of unwashed street urchin should I say is calling?”



The help… is not too helpful. I mean, it’s not like Ashley has an invitation or anything.



Dammit, Lilka.



This is going to be a thing, isn’t it?



Third floor, waiting for the job interview…



“And, frankly, I liked keeping you in suspense. Did you enjoy standing here for three hours?”



“Sir, we don’t have sitting sprites.”



This is the one thing we actually already know.



“I read everything in your wallet during the day and a half it took me to carry you back home. By the way, you’re welcome.”



“Um, sure. I didn’t kill my sister or anything. That’s me.”



“A terrorist attack wherein everyone was obliterated.”
“But the building was fine?”
“Oh yeah. And, uh, ignore all the monster blood on the walls.”



Maybe “magnificent” isn’t the right adjective to use in front of the only survivor. Also, humor me and make it sound like you're not, ya know, responsible for everything.



And someone wants to do this… why, exactly?



So your reward for surviving is being purchased by some rich dude.



“And we’ve got a cool logo. Check out that banner I made. Eh? Eh?”



And in walks Irving’s sister. I’m pretty sure she reminds Ashley of someone.



“Naw, no big. She just made me think of a hallucination I had like a week ago.”



Watch as Irving gargles water while his sister introduces herself.



Altaecia is Irving’s sister. She spends most of the adventure in the kitchen. She’s also the final boss.



And Altaecia just leaves without saying another word. That woman creeps me out.



“Uh… can we talk about something else now? Does… does that woman own me, too?”



“I survived being plunged into hell and I only rank third!?”



“Is our enemy made of jelly rolls or something?”



“Uhh… by the way… my entire life is a lie. Is that cool?”



“I’m gonna get going. Thanks for the opportunity! I'm naming you as a reference!”

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Old 08-22-2017, 03:19 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 5-6



“... I kinda smell bad, my hair is a mess, I have jelly roll stuck in my teeth, one time I threw up in the back of the planetarium, and I just moved seats, and I hoped no one would notice, but they noticed, and I just acted surprised, and was all like…”



“Look, were you transformed into a demon and killed by that guy standing there? No? Then you’re better than the last guys from ARMS. You’re hired.”



“That’s super. Try not to be dead like your sister.”



“I'm so glad. I thought all men who are prettier than women were cold. Irving, you aren't that way at all. You are actually very nice.”

Lilka? Lilka… dammit.



Listen to the man.



Yay! Doing stuff!



“Wander around town, and then report back. Be sure to encounter all the kooky characters I have working for me.”



Again, he carried Ashley home.

To summarize, Irving purchased (inherited?) the ARMS franchise after it was kind of obliterated (last week). Now Ashley, Lilka, and a mysterious third member are the new ARMS, a sort of “mercs without borders” program. Meet the new boss.



So now we have the ability to explore Valeria Chateau at will. Wow! Check out this cool painting that clips into Ashley’s head!



I know where I’m checking first!



Dammit! Irving’s room is mostly a library, a desk, and a bed.



He has a lot of books about Filgaia politics.



Everybody loves ice cream, right? Let’s start there.



I’m sensing a theme in Filgaia literature.



Altaecia’s room is stocked with similarly somber reading material. Incidentally, I don’t think it’s ever directly stated in the game, but Altaecia and Irving are fraternal twins. … They’re close.



You see a book entitled “No shit.”



Enough of checking out the bosses’ bedrooms, let’s take the elevator to the second floor. Note that all of Valeria Chateau is handicapped accessible.



Irving employed a bunch of nerds. Got it.



Nope. That Let’s Play is over now. Not gonna draw comparisons.



The Schturdark medium is ingloriously hiding in a random chest. We picked up the earth medium from Tim last update, and now we have a water medium. Schturdark ups your stats and allows you to use the Analyze command…. Which is practically useless in this game. Long story short, basically every boss in this game has ???? HP and “unknown” weaknesses. So, again, useless.



Here’s Altaecia chilling in the kitchen. She’ll be good for a hint or two, but I swear she doesn’t leave that kitchen until the second disc, and even then it’s just to stand around and say, “Wow, everything being on fire sure is bad.”



Cool balcony, though.



Moor Gault is the fire medium, and also just randomly in a chest. I want to say these are the only two mediums that are just kind of… there. Every other medium gets a little bit of a buildup. Regardless, Moor Gault comes with the Smash Hit ability, which is either a critical or a miss. Or I’m thinking of Death Blow from Final Fantasy 7. Maybe it’s both? Whatever. Now we have three mediums, and we’ll have three party members soon enough.



First floor! Save points and shops!



There’s a basic item shop by the entrance.

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Old 08-22-2017, 03:23 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 5-7



The entrance is kind of out of the way from the normal “flow” of the building. I’m only noting this to explain why I got randomly lost trying to leave approximately six times over the course of the game.



We’ll eventually see the real “unfortunate accident” responsible for that limp, but I kind of wonder what the plebs think was the cause. It certainly wasn’t summoning demons in an attempt to draw a magic sword! No siree!



And, fun fact, all the nice women that will save your game for you are employed by Sir Valeria. What a conscientious guy!



Attempt to leave through the side exit, and we meet these two.



I think Lilka just met her soul mate.



Bigga and Wedgette.



“Look, you triggered all the flags you need to trigger, go see Irving now.”



Head back upstairs, and, sure enough, we can get this plot rolling again.



Right, third member. I wonder who it could be. Hope he’s a hero.



Sounds simple! Yay!



Oh…kay?



Aim away from face.



Framed!



Bum bum buuuuuuum!



And we’re done for now. Looks like Ashley has another fun day ahead of him!

Next time on Wild Arms 2: Suicide Squad.
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:28 PM
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Vincent really is a gigantic shit.

Also, the 'it' the mysterious voice is referring to is probably the Argetlahm, not Ashley's id (for reasons that will become clear-ish later).
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:17 AM
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Yes, this seems like the nice sort of fellow for whom we should definitely be working.
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Old 09-01-2017, 02:30 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 6-1

Hey, good news, think this LP should be back to a weekly "weekend" schedule. Knock on wood. Knock on wood, forever!

Previously on Wild Arms 2: Ashley had a bad day that involved transforming into a monster and killing his friends. Lilka had a good day involving free bread and a new job. And then Ashley got sent to prison. Lilka probably got a free kitten or something.



We now rejoin our hero’s incarceration already in progress.



Sounds like somebody’s got a bad case of the Mondays.



“Also, I guess our world has no concept of ‘trials’, so good luck with that.”



The Rock starring Ashley Winchester.



And Lilka, who gets to be on “prison transport” duty by virtue of… having a neat cape?



Lilka Eleniak: Ace Attorney is exactly the kind of game I would play. … Man this joke would work so much better if Lilka was our resident medium.



I love sightseeing.



Fabulous Illsveil Prison! Come for the dank, stay for the soul-crushing depression.



I feel like this exact scenario played out in Saga Frontier, too. Anyway, it’s one of those deals where there isn’t a real “staff”, and the inmates are literally running the asylum.



“Unless you can swim really, really well.”



Warden Larry got the maximum sentence for killing the other stooges.



Hey, why didn’t Ashley get one of those prisoner ball thingys? Totally cheated here.



And now we have Ashley in his cell. I guess the legal counsel of Lilka & Lilka hasn’t had a breakthrough yet.



“Oh please tell me you’re qualified for this job in the tiniest bit.”



“I’m never seeing daylight again.”



“And I’m probably going to be exploded, too.”



Oh, wait, non-Lilka related explosions are apparently happening.



“You weren’t serious…. Right?”



Lilka agrees, and it’s time to hit the town!



First goal: find Ashley’s equipment and a key to open this door.



After finally obtaining a second party member, we’re back to a solo game with just Lilka. Ashley can actually help, though, as, if you talk to him in his cell, he will restore Lilka’s HP with a med ability that we’ll never see again.



Prison Dungeon does its best to seem like an actual prison, so there are a series of locked doors and corresponding switches to press. For most of the switches, it’s as simple as accessing a nearby console. Not really useful in the event of a prison break. Well, not useful for the guards, at least.



And door open. Speaking of which, apparently during that one shaking incident earlier, all of the prisoners and guards fled. This place is deserted.



Enter that newly opened room, and you’ll find a few auto defenses. These turrets are all over the prison, and stumbling into their line of sight will bounce your hero back and chip off a little HP. It’s not much of a problem, but when you’re a squishy mage, every hit point counts.



So nail ‘em with some diagonal magic. Easy peasy.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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Old 09-01-2017, 02:36 PM
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There aren’t treasure chests in the prison, but there are lockers that may contain new equips for Lilka. I want to say this is one of the few spots in the game where there are “treasure chest alternatives”. Well, I mean, other than standard town pots and barrels and such.



That room was a bust, time to move on.



Oh, did I mention there are monsters in this prison? And some of those monsters are digletts? It happens.



Like in Lilka’s starter dungeon, use proper elements and heal often. Assuming you didn’t shred it back in town, Lilka should still have a decent healing spell on her, so stay healthy.



This is the first of many hallways that is just a narrow stretch with turrets all around. On this kind of platform, a blast from the turret will knock you into the abyss (which is more of an inconvenience than anything), so don’t run, and be handy with the magic.



At the end of this hall is a computer terminal explaining all the monsters. “Guard Creatures”. There, now it can be a proper dungeon.



Illsveil Prison is the first of WA2’s many “real” dungeons. Unlike some games, WA2 does seem to make an effort for man-made (aka not caves) dungeons to seem semi-functional. On one hand, good job, dungeon designers, way to think out your world. On the other hand, it makes some dungeons kind of boring and same-y. Illsveil Prison is a symmetrical series of “wings”, with an advancing hallway down the middle. Ashley is caged in the west wing, we could advance to the east wing… but first we’re going to try the north exit.



The north area kind of subtly indicates it’s not the way to go, as the monster mobs seem more advanced. Or maybe that was just bad luck? Could go either way.



Doesn’t seem to be anything else stopping Lilka, though.



Nevermind! Go too far, and this guard will pepper Lilka with bullets until she retreats. He’s hiding on the other side of a door, so you can’t even magic him away. Boo!



So let’s try the east wing.



And the other side of this “realistic” dungeon design is that it’s sometimes difficult to tell if you’re going in the right direction. This turret hallway is exactly the same as its twin on the west side, so if you’re not paying attention to the compass, things can get pretty confusing pretty fast. At least the turrets don’t respawn.



The next wing looks exactly like Ashley’s wing, minus one Ashley. Or any prisoners. How did everybody else get out so fast?



So we know what to do about locked doors.



This room contains a mini puzzle of “how do I defeat these two turrets?” The answer is always diagonals.



And, hey, a savepoint! Score!



And our gear! Double score!



Wild Arms 2 tries to make the tiniest concession to the “floating inventory” thing. Like most JRPGs, even though we’ve switched between three different characters (and all of them in fairly different time periods, too), we had the same “floating” inventory and cash total. WA2 attempts to throw a bone to this “continuity” by claiming that Brad’s (oops, spoiler) equipment from five years ago was randomly stowed with Ashley’s stuff. It isn’t much, but it’s more than Xenosaga ever tried to do with Ziggy suddenly inheriting all of Shion’s equipment.



Also, Lilka isn’t stealing, she’s just ignorant.



So we have to walk all the way back to Ashley’s cell. I’ll spare you the hallways of defeated turrets.



“I don’t trust you with anything more powerful than a sharpie.”



Wild Arms 2 is one of those games where you have to actually open up the menu and “use” the key item du jour. I want to say this is only justified in maybe one puzzle, and the rest of the time, it really should be automatic.



“Why is all your gear so… covered in monster goo?”



“I’ve already got a bayonet, I don’t need to punch people, too.”



Theory: Ashley was originally supposed to have a “prison uniform” sprite, because they make a big deal about Ashley “changing” in a moment, and it’s not like it takes a lot of effort to put on his double belt or neckerchief.

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Old 09-01-2017, 02:43 PM
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“A really fast mass jailbreak.”



Gee, maybe if one random magician girl can break you out inside of fifteen minutes, then a whole group of like two guys could empty the place in five minutes. Sure.



Welp, Ashley is all suited up, let’s get our own jailbreak back on track.



Two man party! We’re gonna plow through these damn digletts!



These two were made for each other.



Going back over the same hallway we’ve traversed three times…



And now we get some sweet revenge on that guy with the gun. Um… I’m sure he’ll be okay after taking a knife to the brain.



Yeah, he’s totally fine. It’s nice that they gate this area not with some “I can’t leave without Ashley” dialogue box, but with a “puzzle” that can only be solved by Ashley (and his sweet knife).



Hey, random Barghest monsters. That reminds me of Brad’s origin dungeon. I wonder what happened to that guy.



More boring hallways, more turrets. Ashley’s knife eliminates turrets just as well as Lilka’s fire spell. You would think the metal on metal wouldn’t work, but that’s one cool (infinite) knife Ashley has got there.



Next wing. Seems our exit is blocked by a rusty door. How… how did anyone else get through here?



Surprisingly, this isn’t referring to our little escape. The big breakout was orchestrated by two unidentified men.



THIS DUNGEON HAS A MOTIF.



A new set of cells, and… oh, this computer terminal isn’t working. I don’t suppose tech support is going to make an appearance?



Don’t be confused! Just use the key you already have!



And who do we have here?



So there’s actually official art of this scene. I’m reproducing it here, because it captures everyone’s personality perfectly.



“Maybe fight some monsters with zero equipment and absolutely no healing abilities?”



“Prisoner” (Seriously, game? You have to have played Brad’s story at this point, the player knows who this is) has one thing on his mind.



“Are we playing that game where everything is a question?”



Brad in a nutshell, everybody. “Okay, this is stupid, let’s move on.”



“Hey! I was locked up for… maybe a half hour!”



“Sure, prisoner we just met that apparently knows our boss’s name, have some weapons.”



I’d really love to know the intended inflection on this one. Is it like an accusatory statement, or is Ashley just annoyed at anonymous prisoner here demanding weaponized gloves?



“What’d you do?”
“Destabilized an entire country.”
“Oh.”

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #87  
Old 09-01-2017, 02:50 PM
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GoggleBob GoggleBob is offline
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Default Wild Arms 2 6-4



So now we have a full three man band! Yay! We will only ever be allowed three “active” party members, but, unlike Wild Arms 1, it sure looks like there are spots for a larger gang.



And now we’ve got Brad’s fabulous kicking boot back! Take that, broken computer console!



This is how we fix things in Illsveil!



That console leads to an entirely optional room where…. Dammit, we’re gonna get shot again. Better switch back to one of the projectile twins.



Er-hem… That console leads to an entirely optional room where a few more treasures are hiding. Nothing special, but this mini carrot is a consumable item that will instantly fill up 25 FP, which can really help in a few battles.



And speaking of battles, we now have a full party. Yay! This… does not change our tactics as significantly as one might expect. In general, Ashley and Brad always choose fight, and Lilka is there for magic or healing (or magic healing). Considering Ashley and Brad barely had to heal during their solo adventures, this is pretty much what was already established from jump street. This is either good game design, or is really boring. Maybe both.



Go team!



Go Brad! We’ve got those kick boots primed and ready for that rusty door.



And… we’re at the entrance. Or exit? Whatever. It’s that room from the introduction to the area. … I really want an explanation on when that door rusted over.



We can call this dungeon a done deal, but first…



Prison library! Here’s a name that sounds vaguely familiar. Apparently he was the original leader of the Slayheim Liberation Army before Brad. Wonder if they were friends?



“And then he went out for cigarettes and never came back.”



There’s a book on Illsveil Prison in Illsveil Prison. What’s relevant is that all the nations of Filgaia dump their trash prisoners here, so this place having a mass jailbreak probably won’t be good for anybody.



… Am I reading a diary?



Oh, and there is some treasure hiding in the back, too. Always visit your local library, kids!



“Sup?”



“Man, it’s been cool, but I gotta get going. Also, head’s up, everybody else is already gone, too.”



Yeah, that must be frightening for Death Row Inmate #666.



Do not dust off your Hebrew to figure out why this thing is named GAO NIM. That way lies madness.



Digging the search lights motif. Come to think of it, it’s been a while since we saw a real boss.



You pretty much have to see this thing in motion to appreciate its true majesty. It’s… a walking crane machine.



As you might expect, that ridiculous arm is its main attack method.



But the good news is that this boss is barely a boss. Maybe it’s to compensate for not being able to “exit” and hit a town for healing and supplies or something, but, for the first boss that requires the entire party, GAO NIM is a real clunker. I think this is also one of the few bosses that gets easier as you knock off pieces, as, without THE CLAW, GAO NIM is really ineffective.



Ineffective to the point of exploding. I guess most of its opponents through the years have been unarmed? That might work.



Our party doesn’t even say good-bye. Trashed your stupid robot, smell ya later.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #88  
Old 09-01-2017, 02:56 PM
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GoggleBob GoggleBob is offline
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Default Wild Arms 2 6-5



Warden is not taking it well, though.



Here is today’s “you will never see this animation again” showcase.



And here’s a guy we’re certainly going to see again.



Anime dudes with glasses are always friendly… right?



And he certainly didn’t just immediately kill Warden for no reason. I’m sure the fade to black simply indicates that they sat down for some tea.



Meanwhile, back at the Cliffs of Torment.



Oh, right, we have absolutely no idea how we’re going to get off this prison island built especially to keep prisoners penned forever.



But Irving is here! With a boat! Everything apparently went according to Irving’s plan!



That’s what I just said!



“This statement, while technically accurate, seems to ignore the small matter of having me arrested for no reason.”



And Ashley with the knockout blow! Well… he’s still conscious… but still! For anyone that thought Irving might have been a dick in the previous update, Ashley agrees with you.



And Irving seems fairly okay with the sucker punch. Hey, mistakes were made.



Lilka and Brad just hang back and ask the question that has been nagging at everyone since this update started: did our prison break just happen to coincide with another prison break?



Well, Lilka doesn’t know.



Meanwhile… I’m pretty sure this is an error. I’m almost certain this is supposed to be a continuation of Brad or Ashley’s line to sort of “narrate” the segue into “what about these two guys”, but the line is misattributed to Guy with Glasses. Or maybe GwG is wondering the same thing? Who knows.



But this is certainly being said by a random prisoner. Random former prisoner. Excuse me.



What do you do with a prison full of escaped convicts? Turn ‘em into an army! Duh!



And we’ll close with a brief flash of insight into the mind of Guy with Glasses.



Hey, didn’t the disaster from last massacre end with a couple of mysterious bad guys chatting? Hm.



Hooray!

ARMS Mission #1:
Rescue Brad from inescapable prison
Status: Success!
Notes: May have destabilized the worldwide penal system



… Barbershop quartet?



Right. Global peacekeeping force. Almost forgot.



“Excellent question. Shut-up.”



“Nobody else in the whole world can punch things quite like you.”



“Okay, what if I punch you?”

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #89  
Old 09-01-2017, 03:03 PM
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GoggleBob GoggleBob is offline
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Default Wild Arms 2 6-6



“You’ll… start speaking gibberish at me?”



Did you mean: canned rooster



Ah. Where would fiction be without the ol’ bomb collar? How else are we to get prisoners to behave?



“Question!”
“Yes?”
“If Brad blows up, and we’re standing next to him…”
“Everything for a mile radius explodes, too.”
“Thanks!”



Kind of mixing metaphors there, Brad.



But we do take a moment to acknowledge that the ARMS logo (which Irving has now printed on everything right down to the bath towels) looks like a dog. Oh, hey, that’s the logo for the game, too.



“So we’re basically a team of unaffiliated vigilantes?”
“With a dog theme!”



“Dotard” basically means “a person that is feeble”. It’s a dig on Irving. It’s… not a word that gets used much anymore.



And, yes, if you didn’t catch it, there’s already been a dog theme running through the WA2 story. I mean, come on, we spent most of an update watching Ashley chase a cat.



And Irving takes a call. Rude.



We just finished the last one! Like… seconds ago!



I want to say that “Under Traffic” isn’t even the most engrishy name we’ll hear in this game.



“Clean out a cave sounds pretty 8-bit JRPG, not 32-bit JRPG, boss.”



“Look, we need a plot reason for you to walk through a tunnel. Don’t bug me about this.”



And Ashley apologizes for decking poor dotard Irving. Don’t worry, Ash, we’ve all been there. You’ll be el jefe one day.



“I guuuuuuuess.”



So by way of double apologizing, Irving gives Ashley a new iphone. Punch your boss today, kiddies! (NOTE: this LP does not condone punching your boss.)



Oh, we just nabbed the “hint” feature. This is convenient in a game where your next objective doesn’t actually appear on the world map until you find it.



“This mansion smells like dotards!”



And we’re off! Our next mission is to check on a cave-in, but it’s been a big day, so we’ll take a break here. I’ve been feeling a little…. ill(sveil).

Next time on Wild Arms 2: A complete explanation of how cell phones work.
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  #90  
Old 09-02-2017, 02:12 PM
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Kalir Kalir is online now
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So I'm missing something, but why exactly are we working for this guy again?

Because it seems like our better choice would be to do literally anything else.
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