We save the merchant and rest and resupply.
At the top of the hill we hand the Goat’s Milk to this traveler, who thanks us with a Piggy Bank he picked up in Forte.
Some uneventful traveling later, and we’ve reached the city at last.
♪♪~ Trembling Homefront
However, it’s too late in the day to visit the castle, so the party decides to find a place to stay for the night.
Before we do that, though, we can poke around the city a bit. We run into this jerk again, who refuses to let Polka help him. Remember him for later, as well.
We then hand the Piggy Bank to this kid who had lost his money, and he repays us with a pair of Speed Shoes.
Remember this guy? He was our introduction to the Score Piece sidequest. Back when we first played through Chapter 2 we only had two Score Pieces, and playing them in a session with Gentlemanly Pop got us a Peach Cookie and an EZI Cracker. We can still get those now, but with the addition of all the Score Pieces we got to carry over from the first playthrough, we can get lots of good stuff from various sessions throughout Encore Mode.
“Hey! I heard some new sounds in that session!”
Playing Score Piece 8 with Gentlemanly Pop gets us a Lion’s Mane, much earlier than we would normally first have access to one. The session rewards will get better from here, trust me.
That done, we head to the inn, but we can’t stay for the night just yet because nobody’s watching the front desk. Koto here asks us to find her friend Phil, who seems to be missing.
We ask the owner of the local bar about him, and she points us to an old man…
Who eventually says that Phil ran off near Glissando Cliffs.
The party rushes over, but only finds Phil’s shoe; they’ll have to make their way down to the bottom of the cliffs to find Phil himself.
♪♪~ The Posture You Do Not Despise
Down we go!
Sweet Whispers are annoying to deal with, but if they manage to land Constant Shadow on you they’ll turn into the much worse Caravan Crab, so try not to let that happen.
Partway down the cliffs we encounter this old man; in our first playthrough we couldn’t do much with him, but with our much larger stockpile of Score Pieces we can change that.
“You’ve got it! That’s just right! You’re not too shabby, if you set your mind to it!”
Playing Score Piece 5 with Maracas here results in an A-rank and an EZI Certificate, an accessory that grants the wearer permanent Poison status. Which is… not great, admittedly! Let’s try that again:
“There’s something I want to tell you before we play. You may not have noticed, but I’m not really a guru at all. I’m just an ordinary old man!”
“You’ve still got some learning to do.”
Playing Score Piece 23 with the ordinary old man results in a B-rank and a free set of Tailored Clothes, which is the best set of light armor we currently have access to. More more useful!
Armor obtained, we continue climbing down the cliffs, fighting a whole bunch of bats and picking up a second pair of Speed Shoes along the way.
Eventually we reach the bottom and rescue Phil, who had fortunately been caught by a tree before landing on the ground. He thanks us and heads back to the inn, and the party is automatically warped back to Forte City.
As thanks for saving him, Phil lets us stay at the inn for free.
♪♪~ Leap the Precipice
The next day I head back down the cliffs to grab an item that only appears at this point, which is mostly an excuse to get more exp from fighting monsters. As previously stated, Caravan Crabs are pretty dangerous, being able to use several deadly attacks and heal allies. Your best bet is to either keep Viola in your active party to pierce their high defense, or use high-knockback specials like Void Edge to push them into the light and turn them back into Sweet Whispers.
Climbing back down to the bottom lets us find this Star Clock, which if you’ll recall will reset a character’s Action Gauge upon use. It’s tricky to use effectively – I find it works best if you need to spend a turn throwing items around but still want to attack afterwards.
As for this Elder Chapper, they're sort of
part of a sidequest? I say sort of because we’ll only encounter a message from them one more time in the game, much later on; it feels like this whole thing was supposed to be longer and more involved, but future interactions got cut for whatever reason.