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Make a Memory: Let's Play Wild Arms 3


The Goggles Do Nothing
Been following along and enjoying this, but also noting with increasing dismay that with the higher image limits per post on the new forum, the page is starting to take a loooong time to load even on decent internet, and is especially obnoxious in any browser that doesn't keep your scroll position as it loads in media above you. Not sure what the best solution is; putting the bulk of each entry in a spoilerpop would presumably fix the scrolling issue, though I think everything still gets loaded so it wouldn't change the bandwidth.

Yeah, this is something that was discussed in the LP "master" thread, and there never was a decent answer there, either. As someone who LP'ed (technically) four whole games on the old forum, the 25 picture limit was just awful. I had to slice every chapter into 25 picture based images with TO BE CONTINUED every post, which meant I couldn't make last minute changes/additions without significant problems, and then it still made a wall of images that took forever to load. Granted, this meant we got to the new page faster, but it was a lot of effort on the "backend" of the LP for very little benefit. This "unlimited" pictures thing is great by comparison, and I have been trying to aim for each update to be between 80-120 pictures to make sure we don't get too out of control. This is requiring a superhuman amount of restraint, as I know damn well that this means the Let's Play will probably run until 2026 at this rate.* Regardless, if people think the spoiler pop thing will make this LP more digestible, I am all for it, and could at least try it on the next update.

* - Let's Play progress: As many people know, Wild Arms 3 is divided into four main "chapters". Each chapter is roughly 25% of the game. In real life/time, I have completed the whole of the first chapter, and progressed a little further just to have it "under my belt". In Let's Play time, I am on Update #6, and, with one update a week, that has been six weeks. I am learning that, between travel, town exploration, dungeons, and bosses, every "event" within a chapter going forward is working out to be two updates (determined by these game chunks roughly equating to 200 relevant pictures). I am roughly estimating that the remainder of Chapter 1 has 3.5 more "events" to go. So we are looking at 7 weeks (I guess 6, if we include tomorrow to cover that .5 bit) until we catch up to where I am already putting down the controller so I don't completely forget what is actually happening when we get to later parts. So Chapter 1 alone is (probably going to be) 13 weeks/updates. Over three months. Mind you, Wild Arms 2 was 40 updates, so I shouldn't be so surprised...

(Oh, why don't you do more than one update a week, Goggle Bob? Gee, I don't know, which one of you is going to do my yard work so I can talk more about magical cowboys on the internet?)

(And I kid, but I genuinely enjoy doing this. Just takes a lot of time/effort... like anything else in the universe that is fun. I was playing with legos over the weekend, and it took like an hour just to make a pixel Waddle Dee that wasn't even that great. And the one kid made a "freehand" Minecraft-looking tree, and it looked better! The indignity of it all...)


Summon for hire
Yeah having done only a *tiny* micro-LP and some top 50s, I appreciate the unfathomably huge time/effort sink these things are.

Anyway, personally I’d be in favor of doing a few intro images per post (to keep the page from looking dull) and then putting the rest of each update under a huge spoiler pop. I’m not really concerned about the bandwidth, the scroll issue is the main thing bothering me, and that would largely fix it.


The Goggles Do Nothing
This is being posted on May 10, Glass Day. At the ruins, the Drifter Jane was cornered to the window by a gigantic insect monster! To make things worse, she was out of bullets! Out of desperation, she took the small knife on the table and scratched the glass on the window. The nasty screech hurt the beast's eardrums so bad that Jane went on to defeat it. The motto of the story is to never give up.

Chapter 7: Blame Yourself or Guardians

Previously on Wild Arms 3:
No big deal, really, just learned that the whole of existence is being threatened by some mysterious blue thing, and now we have to go conscript gods into our party via violence. You really didn’t miss much.


And now we are back at the dungeon previously explored by Gallows. Glad to see the steps are still lowered!


We do not have to complete the whole dungeon again (though we will do that again later for one lousy treasure chest). We simply scoot up these stairs that were a dead end for ol’ Gallows…


Now we know what we’re looking at up here.


“We Baskar consider this a holy site dedicated to worshipping the very beings that maintain this world. But the only decent landscaper we could find was gonna charge us to mow the lawn every week, so screw that noise.”


“Maybe a doormat…”


Jet hits the nail on the head: the world sucks, why should the throne of the gods of this world be any different?

“What’s that, Ark Scepter? Jet should shut his fat gob?”


Why didn’t you knuckleheads bring Shane!?


I choose to believe Virginia wound up grabbing for the “train” Ark Scepter, and obviously Gallows still has the one he stole in the first place. Jet and Clive got the leftovers.


And the Ark Scepters disintegrate into a minor fireworks display. Mission accomplished!


Or not.


I… guess? Granny couldn’t have schlepped over with us? Gallows already established that she hangs out here.


There we go! Now something is happening!


Headache, Virginia. Didn’t you say your dad was a scientist? You should understand basic biology.


Apparently the headache wants us to visit the altars.


Anyone noticing the subtle clues that Gallows is the expert (“expert”), and Clive is the man who coordinated this mission, but maybe Virginia is working out to be the leader?


So there are four altars in the four cardinal directions. Let’s head north, and see if we encounter a black tortoise.


You know there’s a fight coming when you get a prompt like that.


“The visions in your minds are bound together. The ground sends waves of quakes into the distance. You feel a presence bigger and heavier than anything. The power of earth crushes all with its howl. The bearer of the Ark Scepter must have the strength to fight that which has no form. Fight, and show your strength to Grudiev!”

Every Guardian gets an introduction and a clear “hint” to what element you’re dealing with right now.


Hiya, Gruddy! The four Guardians we will see in this update all appeared in previous Wild Arms titles (actually, that’s true of nearly all the Guardians we will encounter in Wild Arms 3), and their designs have been pretty consistent since their introduction. Grudiev is a dragon/Godzilla with (earthy) crystals sprouting from his back. While he has always been plot relevant as the Guardian of Earth, we shall note that his medium was the “good luck charm” of Tim Rhymless, main summoner of Wild Arms 2. This actually makes Grudiev the only Guardian in this update that was not optional in Wild Arms 2.


The Guardians all start their battles by using their “summon” attack. Spoilers: this attack will be yours before the update is out.


But in the meanwhile, it can really kick your ass. Your party doesn’t have the ability to be weak to a certain element at this point, but getting hit by a strong, multi-hit attack can be a pain.


Other than that, look out for physical attacks. The Guardians collectively have a high counter rate… but they also have lousy accuracy. Honestly, while avoiding megasmashes sounds rough, it does more to fill up your FP gauge than cause actual damage (and, yes, that is with non-New Game+ stats, too).


The Guardians also have access to all the spells they will impart in a minute or two. Note that status buffs (and debuffs) do not stack in Wild Arms 3, so if Grudiev uses the Shield spell more than once, it is a wasted turn.


“Grudiev, Guardian of the Planet, was shot six times in his home this morning by an unknown assailant wearing a scarf. Grudiev is in terminal condition, and assumed to be transformed into a stone.”


No cash? No items? Cheap gods…


Each of the mediums have element-appropriate names, but are not technically named for the Guardians. Grudiev gets an Earth Shout or whatever.


And now Gallows with the tutorial. He did learn something!


A medium must be equipped, and you can only equip three at a time. We will have four mediums by the end of this update, so it is nice that the designers forbade you from making the rookie mistake of sticking every medium on the dude that knows how they work. Spread the love around!

Also, if you are already doing the math, three mediums per four party members means that you can “only” have twelve active mediums at one time. And guess how many mediums/Guardians there are in Wild Arms 3! It’s twelve!


Everybody gets magic in Wild Arms 3. This is a big change from Wild Arms 1 & 2, where crest sorcerers were the only party members that could use magic, and their spell list was dependent on your choice of “making” different crests. Tim the Summoner was the only one that got something even like spells… and now that seems to be the Wild Arms 3 standard. Crests are completely gone, and your spell list is 100% dependent on your equipped medium/Guardian. A character does not “learn” spells, they can not be “permanently” affixed to a character, and will change if you juggle your crests around. Spells are, basically, a side effect of your equipment.


So speaking of which, let’s equip a medium. Currently (but this will change before the update is out), the only reason to equip a medium is to use spells. We’re going to stick Terra Roar on Clive because I feel like he needs to experience the joy and wonder of throwing rocks around. Clive is arguably the worst mage on the team, but he seems like an Earthy kind of guy, so let’s give it a go.


“The visions in your minds are bound together. The swirling blaze coalesces, heralding a new beginning. You feel a presence hotter and more ferocious than anything. The power of fire spreads its crimson wings! The bearer of the Ark Scepter must have the strength to fight that which has no form. Fight, and show your strength to Moor Gault!”

Oh boy! The hottest Guardian!


Moor Gault deviates within the series between being more bird or pterodactyl-like. Regardless, he’s always a flaming avian creature.


Here are Clive’s shiny new spells. Each Guardian comes with around four spells, and they generally have something to do with the attendant element. Earth attack spell, increase physical defense, increase magical defense, and lower speed. All makes sense for the rock man.


And you may want to up that magical defense on this battle. Moor Gault is the most offensive-inclined of the Guardians, and there are decent odds his attacks will drop Virginia (always the least HP, likely the lowest levels at this point). The summon attack always comes first with the Guardians, so spending the first round defending is advised.


Other than that, this battle is like all the Guardian fights. Watch the pointy end of the bird-dragon.


Clive casts his first spell! Last time I’ll say it (lies): spells require FP, but do not use FP. Since spells generally don’t accrue FP either, it is assumed the Guardians’ ineffectual counters are there to help everybody get more FP per round.


The bird lands, and we have the Fiery Rage medium.


Now we can start getting into the “real” medium placement. Virginia with Earth and Clive with Fire? This is how it should be.


“The visions in your mind are bound together. The breeze turns to a blade that cuts away the clouds. You feel a presence sharper and swifter than anything. The power of wind shakes the vast wasteland. The bearer of the Ark Scepter must have the strength to fight that which has no form. Fight, and show your strength to Fengalon!”

Time to meet the kitty.


Fengalon had his own wholly optional dungeon in Wild Arms 2, and now he’s pissed off for having been evicted.


Watch those claws!


But take a moment to admire those freshly acquired fire spells. Devastate is a non-elemental attack, and Fragile is just defense down. Revive is part of the reason Clive gets the fire medium, as he has a healthy amount of HP, and rarely uses his FP for anything but lockin’ on. Good guy to bring you back from the dead.


Oh! Speaking of reviving, here’s something I hadn’t covered yet. Notice how it says “cancellable!!” above Virginia’s HP?


Well, for the cost of 25 FP, you can “cancel” nearly every action your characters can take. This means that you can take this “waiting” combat system and make it a little more active.


Once you cancel, you can choose any action you would normally choose. Note that it takes 25 FP to do this in the first place, so if you only have 25 FP, you won’t have any spare FP to do anything fun. And that 25 FP is spent regardless of if you decide to proceed with the same action again. But, that said, this can be a major game changer for a couple of specific combat scenarios. Like…

1. The most obvious: someone died or is now critically low on health, so you “cancel” to whip out a heal berry or life fruit.

2. You just learned the enemy’s strength/weakness, and, whoops, you have Virginia cued up to use a spell they are just going to absorb. Better cancel and switch gears.

3. Sometimes monsters use techniques that negate your attacks in fun ways. I will never forget fighting the final boss of Persona 3, and learning that a reflect spell can bounce your most powerful, party wiping attack. Still stings to this day. So you see your opponent casting bounce, and you’ve got a spell in the queue, cancel that nonsense and grab your gun.

So cancelling is for more than just being capricious with your actions, and often well worth the 25 FP.


Anywho, back to the catfight.


As expected, Wind Tiger is speedy and evasive. Clive’s Lock On will likely come in handy.


Me-ow. Jet gets the plane rune.


“The visions in your mind are bound together. The currents flow softly yet, strongly and never stop. You feel a presence kinder and more passionate than anything. The power of water engulfs you in its grasp. The bearer of the Ark Scepter must have the strength to fight that which has no form. Fight, and show your strength to Schturdark!”

And now for the finale. If I had been on the ball, I would have gone with the dork with the analyze spell first.


Schturdark (sometimes Stoldark) the Turtle appeared during one of the introductory dungeons of Wild Arms (1), so he’s arguably been a Guardian the longest. He is always a turtle, but it appears his turtle “shell” works more like a clam or some kind of bivalvia organism in WA3.


See? Whatever the case, get ready to soak some watery hits.


Some Guardians housekeeping here: as was already alluded to, the four elemental Guardians of Wild Arms are based on the Four Symbols/Images of Chinese mythology. Black Tortoise of the North is currently on the screen, but we just fought Azure Dragon of the East (Earth), Vermillion Bird of the South (fire), and White Tiger of the West (wind). Unfortunately, their directions do not match the directions of the four altars, which leads me to believe someone forgot what was going on between Wild Arms 1 and Wild Arms 3.


Additionally, like a good Mega Man game, all the Guardians are weak to one other specific Guardian’s powers. So if you are having problems with the Fire Bird, maybe grab the water medium first. Actually, you should always grab the water medium first, as Heal is useful in so many ways.


Though I suppose that may be a challenge, as Schturdark apparently has the best physical defense out of the group. It might not technically be better than Grudiev, but having Heal available definitely pumps up Schturdark’s longevity. Maybe come back with some spells? Or be level 99?


That Level 99 thing seems to have worked, so we got Aqua Wisp.

For the record, there is nothing saying you have to do all these battles in a grand survival match like I have shown here. You are absolutely allowed to take a break between battles to go back and level up or hit that free bed back at Gallows’s house. I’d say you can restock items, too, but literally none of the items you can purchase right now are useful in these fights (no status ailments).

One other bit of housekeeping: if a character dies, their max HP is permanently decreased until resting at an inn. This is not great, as your most dead character likely already has the lowest HP to begin with (looking squarely at you, Virginia). Don’t be afraid to leave a dungeon for a power nap.


Here’s my setup now that we have the first four mediums. I will justify this a little more shortly, but what’s important is that Gallows got Aqua Wisp back (his fake Aqua Wisp medium had the exact same “powers”). Gallows is the only one in the party that ever has the ability to Target All a spell, which means he needs the only heal spell in the game. You’re going to want to spread that around!


Note that previous Wild Arms titles had Noua Shax the Thunder Guardian and Aru Sulato the Ice Guardian. They are both sitting this game out, though, so the water medium gets an ice spell, and the wind medium covers the thunder spell.


And we now have the ability to summon! You can summon your attached guardian by expending all of your FP. The power of the attack is dependent on how much FP is used, so if you’re at the maximum of 100 FP, you’re going to crack some skulls. If you are just using the FP you start a battle with at this stage in the game (probably around level… 6?), be prepared to do like 12 total damage.


Summons also expend MTC. Each character starts with one MTC, and you can apply a consumable treasure found across the world to increase that maximum number. MTC is restored by staying at inns. This is presumably so you don’t just summon every battle.


“We conquered her gods. May as well check in and say hi.”


“Would you have preferred it stayed a scepter? More royal?”


As our heroes leave, the camera pulls back to reveal our villain.


“Or could you at least come down here so I don’t have to keep shouting?!”


“They’ve had enough boss fights for today.”


What’s ol’ one-eye seen?


It’s a bird! It’s not a plane!


Further evidence that our rogue is not very far up the villain chain.


Spoilers: irony.


Of course, our heroes neither know the future nor that they were being watched. Time to go report to granny.


It is a quick trip back.


But since we’re here, let’s give a summon a try.


Each of these attacks were already seen during their attendant boss battles.


It’s good to have the power of a god. It’s not so great if you are the balloon being popped.


Like elemental attack spells, if you kill a monster with a summon, you receive the appropriately themed elemental gem as a reward. Since only one character can equip one of your elements at a time, elemental gems are useful if you somehow want everyone attacking the same elemental weakness in the same round, or have to use a specific element as part of a “puzzle fight”.


Alright, back to Halle.


… You’re not going to explode them again, are you?


Always trust family.


It is! Gallows was already working on medium forgeries over the walk back!


There. Now the mediums will not only allow us to use spells and summon, but they also now completely work like JRPG equipment and raise stats. The four initial mediums are not all that impressive, though, and mainly just raise an attribute or two.


Also, if you want to get a little meta, you could claim the new, “upgraded” mediums are the reason our party is able to accomplish so much more than regular Drifters. They now possess the stat boosts of the gods! Of course they can take out ancient sealed evils!


One more upgrade for the road.


What? The glory of the Guardians should be respected!


Now we also get access to Personal Skills.


Anything else to awaken? We good now? Okay, let’s get out of here.


So each medium now has “Personal Skills” attached. Every Personal Skill just starts as a name, and you have to expend PS Points to power up these skills to actual usable levels. In general, these first mediums have one elemental defense skill, one anti-status ailment skill, and one “active” skill that impacts battles. You earn more PS points as you level up, and you can always “rebalance” your PS points for particular situations. If you know an earth-based opponent is going to show up, you can drain the PS points from Disease Status Ward there, and pump it into Earth Ward.


(Also, you can note that Virginia gained nearly 900 HP at her advanced level when we unlocked the ability for mediums to enhance stats. Any and all medium-buffs are level based, and can be really useful at higher levels.)


Personal Skills are a significant reason to pay attention to who has what medium. Clive always gets Fiery Rage in my playthroughs, because he is a beast when he has maximum Critical Hit skill, and is knocking off a quarter of a boss’s HP in a single lucky hit.

… And, yeah, it just feels right to make sure Clive can never be poisoned again.


Like FP, you seem to accumulate PSP (hey, Sony did make this game…) at a 1:1 ratio to your level. You can throw out a lot of points at the higher levels, but you can probably power up one particular skill to maximum even at this early level of the game.


Feel free to pump up the “unique” skills of each medium. The elemental and status wards are super useful… but super situational. Does anything even use the “disease” status effect this early in the game?

To further explain my choices: Gallows has to have the water medium for that heal spell, and it pumps up his magic attack to boot. Clive gets that critical skill with the fire medium that also boosts his general attack. Jet is already fast, but the wind medium makes him faster, and he also gets a counter ability that can help add extra damage. And Virginia is left with the earth medium, and, while the defender skill is fairly useless for her (it is that “cover” ability you frequently see in Final Fantasy), the medium does impart an HP boost, which the young lady desperately needs.


Okie doke, looks like we are all wrapped up here at Baskar. Where are we going next? Not into the sandsea, I can tell you that.


Oh, Shane has a weird little power here…


You can rename any spell you’ve got with Shane. This was a service when “creating” spells in previous Wild Arms titles, and it is now tied exclusively to this familiar NPC. Considering I would kill to rename spells in Shin Megami Tensei, I appreciate that someone made the effort to see that I didn’t have to figure out whatever “Refrigerate” was supposed to mean. It’s the freeze spell? Okay, I guess that one makes sense…


I choose to believe Shane trained his entire life so I could rename “Revive” to “Fartz”.


Hey buddy, let’s chat.


Roykman the shopkeep is recovered and moving on. And considering he is moving to somewhere with directions in red text, guess where we are going, too.


Bye Roykman! Hope I don’t need anymore status healing before we hit Jolly Roger!


Try to leave, and the obvious happens.


“I may as well feed my pet turtle while we’re here. Other than that, I’m good.”


Jet wants out!


Clive wisely suggests they can go somewhere they can actually find a job before separating.


The job market in Filgaia must be pretty awesome.


Welp, it’s been fun, but looks like Wild Arms 3 is over next update.


Current mood: smiling on the outside, character portrait clearly crying.


We are and you know it. Stop pretending we’re going to be anything but glued to each other for the next 40 hours, game.


Roykman, we’re coming for you!


And away we go!


It’s a long walk over to Jolly Roger, well past Fallen Sanctuary and that nondescript spot where the train left us off.


At least there are signs of civilization along the way.


And random battles, too.


“Gobs! I hate Gobs!”


Once again: heal berries cannot be purchased, but they are a pretty common drop.


Just a little further…


This sign is a reminder to save and not worry about losing Gimel Coins.


Getting there!


Here we are. Had to hammer that radar around the “coast”, but there is Jolly Roger.

Since I’ve been good about not using a constant stream of GIFs today, let’s blow the bandwidth out of the water and look at our summons du jour.


Grudiev the Godzilla!


Moor Gault of the flying fire!


Fengalon the fluffy buddy!


And Schturdark the shelled!


And that’s where we’ll stop for the day. We have the powers of the gods, now. What could possibly stop us?

Next time on Wild Arms 3: Interpersonal issues.

PS- Next update may be delayed due to vacation. Or I might update just fine while I am bored and jetlagged. Guess we'll find out!


Round and round I go
Staff member
Can I request that you make some differentiation between direct quotes and inserted dialogue? I can usually but not always tell the difference.


The Goggles Do Nothing
But what if there were even more people in it for the money? Let's find out today, in...

Chapter 8: Wine, Women, and White Lies

And, of course, this chapter is being posted on May 24, the Day of the Ancients. It's a day the people of Baskar present their offerings to the ancient guardians. Therefore, stay away from Baskar today. By the way, I heard people of Baskar speak in an ancient tongue. Not only are they keen to the world after death, they use a dead language as well...

Previously on Wild Arms 3: We gained the power of the gods… which are now rocks. Do… do we have to feed them? What do god-rocks eat, anyway?


Maybe they sell god food at this place.


Welcome to Jolly Roger, a shore town by a sea that is sand. We probably aren’t going to get much resort time here.


“The plot has stalled out. Does anyone know where we can find the dungeon master?”


Gallows: between this and the hangover comment last update, add “lush” to his list of strengths.


When we left the previous town, the party decided to have one last going away party (or least Gallows did). Virginia then spent the entire time trekking across the wastelands being sad about losing her new friends. Oh, and playing I Spy. Virginia loves I Spy. Pray she doesn’t spy something brown.


Clive knows damn well what Gallows is up to (partying like a rockstar), but is subverting it with Granny-like skill.


So we can wander around town on the way to the local brewery, and we are going to go to the only place that matters to a JRPG party…

The weapon shop! This is Emilia. She may be a “name echo” of the prestigious mechanic Emma from Wild Arms (1).


Before we get to the good stuff, we’ll kick off a wholly not-optional sidequest that you would think would be more prominent but whatever…


Never resist blatant overtures!


Emilia is responsible for what will eventually be your boat.


Unfortunately, we have to emphasize “eventually” here, as we need dragon fossils to get the boat going. Spoilers in case, like me, you have videogame-based collection challenge anxiety: by the time you need the Sandcraft, you will be able to find an “optional” boss that drops exactly 15 Dragon Fossils. And you can guess why I am sticking “optional” in quotes there…


So for now we just have to busy ourselves with upgrading our weapons.


You only ever have your ARMs in Wild Arms 3. There are no “better” weapons to be found in treasure chests or shops. But, while spells will naturally upgrade as you advance in levels/increase your magic stat, you are expected to manually maintain/upgrade your weapons as the game progresses. We haven’t had the opportunity to do this before, though, so Emilia is our first stop.


So let’s review these stats because the game absolutely does not make them clear…

Shot – Basically the straight-up attack stat. Hit harder.

Hit – … Should not have just said “hit harder”… This is equivalent to a character’s AIM stat, and determines how often you hit the opponent. As mentioned before, “did it hit” is not a binary hit/miss in Wild Arms 3, and this stat can significantly influence damage dealt, too. Kind of like Final Fantasy 1 and using FAST.

Bullet – How many bullets are in your clip. There are rare occasions where you want less bullets, but, in general, you do not want to spend the rest of your life reloading.

Weight – The only stat you upgrade to make numbers go down. The lower the weight of your ARM, the less FP it requires to use what amounts to your most frequently accessible super attack, Gatling.

Critical – Increases the chance of a critical hit. Works in conjunction with the LUCK stat. Critical hits supposedly “just” do double damage, but they can dramatically make a difference in WA3, as a number of boss battles’ difficulties are based on how long a particular opponent stays in a specific HP range (whether that be high or [more often] critically low).

Upgrades are expensive, and, ultimately, where most of your money will be going in Wild Arms 3 (consumable items are not all that great, and you have to “unlock” the ability to purchase what qualifies as accessories). If you are looking for recommendations on where to spend your money…

Clive should be your main focus, as he is handy with handgun (or sniper rifle). Upgrade his atrocious bullet count (2) first, and then focus on Shot/Hit as the mood strikes you. Shot is probably better than Hit, but data is inconclusive on that fact. Don’t worry about Weight too much, as he does more DPS by expending 25 FP on Lock On.

Jet should get upgrades second. Since Accelerator is fairly situational, upgrading Weight for more gatling is probably a good choice. Hit and Shot are your priorities from there, as his bullet count and critical odds are already alright. Hit probably helps more with his machine gun style.

Virginia needs some Hit and Shot upgrades to be effective, but she will never be your primary (physical) attacker. All the characters need upgrades as the game progresses just to keep up with random encounters, but if you are trying to save some dough, things would be more efficient if you focus on Clive and Jet. Despite the trope switch with Gallows and Clive, Virginia regrettably still got stuck with the cliché of “girls are weak and should stick to items/magic”.

And Gallows… is awful. Dude does not know how to use a firearm. Gallows’s natural Hit stats are as bad as it gets, and upgrading that feels like upping the speed stat of a Snorlax. So upgrade Shot just so he can do some damage with the basic fight command, and ignore bullets (three is fine), weight (Gallows gat will never happen), and critical (doubling zero is still zero). You cannot completely ignore your mage, but his weapon is vaguely vestigial.


Every ARM may be upgraded 15 total times, so it is not just a matter of budgeting gella, but also planning which stats are improved. You can reset any stat and gain those possible upgrade slots back, though. But keep in mind you won’t get a refund if you decide to respec…

Oh, and if you didn’t already suspect it, each individual stat upgrade progressively costs more and more. Clive’s first Shot upgrade is 1,500 Gella. If you focus exclusively on that stat, its final upgrade is 337,500 Gella. There was a typical random encounter victory screen at the tail end of the last update. It showed that the local monsters dropped… 000,008 (eight) gella.

And that’s everything you ever wanted to know about ARMs but were afraid to ask! I don’t think I’ll be “showing” ARM upgrades going forward (which I won’t really “need” for a while in this New Game+ playthrough), but just know that it is something that gradually develops during normal play.


Enough talk of weapons, let’s go chat with random NPC Herman about the economic devastation caused by environmental devastation.


Sterling is in a house over by the ARMs shop. They will provide leads for this section of the game if you saved between cutscenes and forgot what was happening.


Sterling also has another book on how demons are responsible for Filgaia being such a crapsack. Those guys sure do get blamed for everything.


So you can upgrade your Migrant Level for the first time here in town, and this dude alludes to that possibility. There is a Migrant Seal hidden in this town (specifically, you must bomb a nearby shipping container) and this will “level up” your Migrant Level. This is essential, as encounters level up as the game progresses, and canceling a battle will go from costing one of your ten migrant points to costing… a lot more. Additionally, if your migrant level outranks the local encounters, you will see green exclamation points, and then you can cancel encounters for zero cost. Migrant Seals are crucial, but they are usually “hiding” in treasure chests or other hidden places, so keep an eye out.

… And I forgot to deal with that while I was here the first time, so… no screenshot of actually getting that “essential” Migrant Seal right now…


But we can look out at the gorgeous Sand Sea. Why would you even build a dock for this nonsense?


Back in what day, Roykman? Did all the water recede last week?

Oh yeah, Roykman has the same inventory no matter where you find him right now. You might be able to buy the map scope by now… or you could just spend that cash on weapons. Which do you think is going to help in a dungeon?


Here is our plot-mandated destination.


Really selling the place, Hannah.


Guess you have to have 150 gella to kickstart the plot.


Our hot tip is that a local dungeon may contain the “Eternal Sparkle”. There are brackets involved, so that has got to be important.


“In ages past, our world was ruled by a race of wicked demons, until they were pushed to the brink of extinction. The demon knight assigned three followers to protect a treasure. That treasure was the Eternal Sparkle.”
Virginia’s adventure senses are tingling.


We didn’t just buy information, we bought a night of revelry!


Or at least one invisible dinner.


So Jet has decided he is going for the Eternal Sparkle, even if he has to do it alone. It has already been firmly established he seeks shiny things in his intro dungeon.


Clive reviews the details we heard all of ten seconds ago (I guess he assumed Gallows does not have a working memory when hangry).


Really, Gallows? You don’t see how a demon treasure could relate to your Guardians-based destiny of defeating some blue apocalypse thingy? … Or you do see that, and want no part of it? Again?


Clive assumes it is a dead end.


Jet already made his stance clear.


So Virginia is going to make herself clear.


“There you go again! You can only do so much by yourself. If we stay together, we can do that much more! The four of us have different likes and dislikes, so we should all support each other.”
Virginia defaults to the unimpeachable “we all like different flavors of ice cream, so we should march into Hell together,” defense.


Is… is there more of a glimmer if there are five? Is… is there some math involved here?


Clive, once again, reveals his impeccable observation skills are myopic.


“Remember when we all nearly killed each other on a train? Good times! We’re a team!”


Gallows found that funny, but, at this point, he may be a little buzzed.


Virginia Maxwell: all the normal insecurities of a teenage girl, but with dual wielding.


“Yeah, you're missing something! Never thought anybody could say stuff like that with a straight face. But you do have a point. Drifters would never leave their mark if all they did was drift.”
Every time Gallows is not seen on screen, he is pounding another shot of tequila. So, yes, that was a surprisingly coherent response, given the situation.


Smiling on the outside, super duper smiling on the character portrait.


Gallows is in!


Clive is in!


This is the most joy anyone has experienced in this bar… ever.


But we haven’t heard from Grumpy Bear yet.


Virginia really felt like she had to appeal to Gallows and Clive. Jet gets the stick.


Guardians, I love the direction of this game. Bonus points for Clive’s eyes bouncing with the camera.


You just conquered a quartet of gods as a team, Jet. Did you ever do that alone?


Actually, what have you done?


“Wannabe Drifters!? Okay, tough guy! You say you work alone, so fill me in! Tell me what you've done! Tell everyone here all about the great things you've been able to do all by your fantastic self! Hey! I'm talkin' to you! Oh, before you start mumbling excuses, let me ask you what you were doing in the car with the Ark Scepter? You were plannin' on makin' off with it, weren't you? And what happened? You blew it! You didn't have what it takes to steal it, cowboy! And here you are, sayin' you work best when you're alone. Where did you get such a big head?”
Oh yeah, have I mentioned that Virginia Maxwell might be one of my favorite videogame protagonists ever? Just figured I’d throw that in here right now for no particular reason.


“More than one person can be a failure!”


“Don’t you drag me into this! This is about how you suck.”


I might give Gallows flack for being a slacker, but I feel like this is how I would interpret my situation if I were in their place. Just have fun venturing into the unknown (or you go insane).


What was that? Who you talking to, Clive?


… Did her eyes just turn into stars?


Clive, by virtue of being the one guy with a paying job, has been our de facto leader thus far. Now we’re going with the real cover girl.


“Well...We have three goals: To find the ruins where the Eternal Sparkle lies...To work as a team...And, lastly... To make the Eternal Sparkle ours!”
So Virginia reviews the squad goals.


You don’t like… objectives?


Gallows very wisely states “don’t fight it, dude.”


Jet would probably have an even higher agility stat if he could ever heft that chip off his shoulder.


Okay! Time to go fetch the Eternal Sparkle! Or its seal! Whatever! Ruins time!


… After bumping around the inn while looking for treasure. A neat thing about this town is that most of the “buildings” seem to be hollowed out of some large ship, so you can explore the “back rooms” of all the places we already visited in this update. Emilia even has a spare Dragon Fossil hanging out backstage.


But once you leave the inn for real, you’ll find…


Our super best friend! Janus was last seen by the party during the great train robbery, but we know he was spying on everybody at the Fallen Sanctuary, too.


For some reason, Dario is taking note of this random little girl. Little. Girl. Little girl. Just emphasizing that for no reason.


Virginia got no time for these losers. I admire her restraint at not immediately going into citizen’s arrest mode.


How many different ways are we going to have to tell this jerk to shut it?


Virginia is absolutely the kind of woman who got her vocabulary from the very specific books she was reading.


“Sister, chill. Aren’t we all working toward the same goal of releasing unspeakable, ancient evils on the world?”


Virginia needs a moment.


“Yes? Why spend 150 gella when you can let someone else do it?”


“You were actively shooting at us, like, yesterday!”


“Then again, I have wholly accepted the people that were almost actively shooting at me…”


Party’s full, ask again later.


As a show of trust, Janus is offering the name of the next dungeon.


“Come on over if you want. Maybe we can have another boss fight!”


“But no battles in towns! Gotta get going.”


So we can do whatever we want right now, but it is indisputable where you are supposed to go next.


Though directions are helpful.


To the southeast!


You will never suffer more random encounters than when you are trying to find a new location.


Note that Gimel Coins are precious commodities that allow you to save and continue, and they cannot be purchased. But they can be random drops, so don’t worry about their usage.


Over here seems nice.


Is Ruins of Memory a pun? It seems like it could be.


Really rolled out the red carpet for these “ruins”.


There are three main monsters skulking around the place. The first is the Blue Book, which is likely to cast buffs on other monsters. Said other monsters will appear next update.


Eat it, Kelley.


Moving on in…


Okay, I am starting to see the whole “ruins” aspect here…


Good place to hide, though.


Maybe not a great place to hide.


Looking for the ˹Eternal Sparkle˼! We just covered this!


Only a villain doesn’t acknowledge that no means no.


Laying it on thick there, Janus.


We have the literal power of gods now! We already beat you when we were level 3!


Now loading.


“I’m trying to save money on bullets this month.”


Seriously! Seriously!?


Clive trusts Virginia… but is willing to offer a little skepticism.


“Is this going to lead to my death? Only probably…”


“What about the Gobs that robbed your hometown?”
“Those were monsters. And they’re all dead now.”


“Skeptical forever” of a guy that tried to kill you is an acceptable situation.


Clive: still working on not being the guy in charge.


Janus was once a good guy! Or he thinks he used to be. Or he wants to believe he used to be…


“Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Okay, well, sometimes Dario will piss on your leg and tell you it’s raining.”


“They were demons. That’s about the story. Pay me now.”


Cannot emphasize enough how little their “information” will help in any way.


“Could you please call me by my actual name?”


So we’re all one big happy party now.


… Well, not for real. You didn’t expect Janus and company to come with their own tools, participate in battles, or even exist beyond the boundaries of their inevitable, end of dungeon betrayal, did you? They’re just kind of “there” for the day. Be glad they don’t actively steal any treasure chests. That’s the next dungeon!


And that’s where we are going to stop for the day. That ARMs explanation ate up my typewriter ribbon budget, and there is a whole silly dungeon ahead to conquer. Will we remember anything interesting in the Ruins of Memory? Find out next time!

Next time on Wild Arms 3: Janus betrays even more people than expected.


Threat Rhyme
Man, the trip down memory lane this has been. I saw Wild ARMS 3 is available on the PS5 and I was sorely temped to pick it up there, but I ain't got time to replay it. What am I, some sort of Gogglebob?

On top of being an absolute creepo to random purple haired Little Girls, Dario also has the goofiest dang running animation ever. It's almost enough to make him endearing. Y'know, if not for the creepo part.


The Goggles Do Nothing
Man, the trip down memory lane this has been. I saw Wild ARMS 3 is available on the PS5 and I was sorely temped to pick it up there, but I ain't got time to replay it. What am I, some sort of Gogglebob?

It is not an exaggeration to say that this Let's Play partially exists because I wanted to replay Wild Arms 3, and I felt like if I wanted to replay a game of this length/size, I had to do something with it. Now, whether "make it take up like a year of your life" is something that somehow enhances the experience is up for debate...


The Goggles Do Nothing
This is being posted on May 31, Wind Rat Day. There was once a Drifter who travelled with a rat. While exploring a cavern, he was trapped and
couldn't get out. To save the hungry Drifter from death, the rat sacrificed itself into the fire to provide food for the Drifter. It's a beautiful story, but another story says the rat kicked the Drifter into the fire so that it could eat him.

Chapter 9: Three-Faced Monster

Previously on Wild Arms 3:
Our intrepid band of Drifters decided to become official, and they all synced their Facebook statuses to “in a relationship (with treasure)”. Now we’re on the trail of The Eternal Sparkle with the marginal assistance of Janus Cascade and company.


So here we are at the Ruins of Memory.


A random townsperson distinctly mentions it, but Ruins of Memory was a museum at some far-off time. Since then, it has been looted to all heck, so don’t expect to find any awesome artifacts today (wait… isn’t that why we’re here?).


Is the implication that this museum fell into ruin sometime recently, and housed items from ancient civilizations, or is it that this was an antique museum that housed even older artifacts? And what happened to all those Artifacts from Ruins of Memory?


So there is a switch that we need to activate to proceed. But there is glass blocking our entry!


What is a gal to do?


The answer is run into glass at top speed! It doesn’t make a lick of sense (why was this glass not broken by someday else like the display cases in the same room), and seems genuinely masochistic (do you know how long it will take to get the broken glass out of Virginia’s hair?), but the way forward is only available by crashing into glass displays. Whatever!


Now we’re on our way.


The next room has a boomerang-activated switch. It is hard to believe nine parts in, but this is our first “real” dungeon with the whole party working in concert. The previous dungeon was mostly just a boss rush…


It was mentioned last update that there are three main monsters in this area. This dork is the toughest of them all, and generally arrives in packs of two. There isn’t anything complicated here, they just hit hard and likely take a full party of fight commands to drop.


Moving on, we have some torches that can only be extinguished by Gallows and his ice doll. At least switching between characters is an easy matter of hitting the shoulder buttons.


There are some minor treasures in this dungeon, usually hidden behind glass. I really cannot emphasize enough how weird it is that the “story” dictates that no one ever thought to break these specific glass panels before.


Minor block puzzle ahoy. Break glass, move box, activate switch.


Here is (kinda) enemy numero tres. It is some kind of skeletal warrior creature, and it generally receives an attack boost from the Blue Books if you don’t eliminate them first. They can show up in groups of four, so be careful with your more fragile characters if you are afraid of being drafted into the skeleton army.


Aw, our first post battle treasure chest.


So you can always receive a “drop” from a defeated enemy. Sometimes, though, enemies “drop” treasure chests that are trapped. The traps vary with locations, and can be anything from a simple “booby trap” to status effects to (in the final bonus dungeon) a trap that lowers your experience level (!). At least you are warned what you are risking so you can choose whether you think it is worth the danger.


Any one of your four characters can open a treasure chest. The idea is to pick the player with the best luck stat, as that is how your treasure nabbing prowess is judged. The luck stat varies as you play through the game (it is not just a constant upward climb like other stats), and, no, you do not get to check who is at BEST luck while you are in battle. Maybe remember to check that when you enter a dungeon.


So Jet failed his luck check, and the booby trap destroyed any loot we might have received from the battle. We still get EXP and Gella, but items are out of the question if a chest explodes. Later traps may drain HP or inflict post-battle poison or alike, but leave the treasure safe. Ultimately, it is… a weird system. I guess it further reinforces the idea that your dudes are lil’ tomb raiders constantly dealing with nonspecific danger? Or it was an excuse to use the Luck stat for something other than criticals? Whatever.


Here is a better look at some skeleton that may or may not drop decent loot.


And back to the block puzzle. Yes, you will encounter multiple random battles while trying to solve a puzzle.


But sometimes there is a payoff. If you’ve been paying attention to the victory screens, you’ll see that this is a much larger sum than you’ll win from grinding every monster in this museum. This basically means this treasure may as well be labeled “ARM upgrade”.


We have looped around to the entryway of the dungeon. This is the same room where we met Janus, but now we are up on a ledge previously inaccessible due to the nearby rubble. Progress! Kinda!


Oh! A Gella Card! This is a consumable item that you can use on one (1) enemy to double its Gella payout at the end of a battle. As you may have already guessed, bosses have a tendency to drop the most cash, so use it when you are fighting a singular boss. When a boss is a “group” of enemies (like we’ll see in this dungeon), you still can only use it on one opponent, so it is less effective. So solo bosses or metal slimes, exclusively.


For whatever reason, this room has a self-locking door. Guess this is the wing of the museum where they used to trap children so they would learn more.


This is a room full of statues, and one statue looks a bit different.


We have anything around here that might help this statue along?


Maybe some light explosives?


The switch was beneath the crumbling statue. … Wouldn’t the weight of the statue have activated the switch anyway?


A little further along, and a switch lowers a wall so we can easily return to this area from the main entrance. This shortcut will come in handy for something coming up shortly.


It’s the library! That’s the best part of any museum!


Each of these bookcases is a little bit of backstory that dates this museum as not too far in Filgaia’s ancient past. A prescient note about tech from the ancient demon war could apply to our own planet…


Wild Arms established that “demons” in Filgaia were basically what we would consider biologically robotic (oxymoron?), or at least heavy metal. This was a minor point in Wild Arms 2 (where your “demon” dragon airship was a Transformer), and is back and prominent in Wild Arms 3.


We could have had a Giant’s Rock? Dang.




Baskar residents made reference to some “other” race running around the world, and this book reinforces that there are demi-humans that are magically similar to (but stronger than) Baskars. Wonder where those dudes got to?


Oh this nonsense.


As was established in Virginia’s opening dungeon, Wild Arms 3 once again features consumable Duplicator keys that open doors and treasure chests. Now, we have a duplicator-book. You can read this book, but only if you use a duplicator. And you know damn well that duplicator could be used to get a real treasure, and not just the treasure of knowledge. Luckily (?), we don’t have a duplicator at all right now, so the debate of “wasting” one is moot.


Anywho, if you are wondering why no one ever found the key to the Eternal Sparkle in this pre-looted museum, it is because nobody ever thought to check this wall. Maybe the natural defense of being bored by so many books turned drifters away?




Treasure! A Growth Egg is a consumable item that will expand your…. whaddyacallit… MTC? The points that allow you to summon Guardians repeatedly. Everybody has one MTC right now (in a normal, not New Game+ playthrough), but a Growth Egg could expand that number to a whole two, meaning you can summon a guardian twice before needing a good lie down. Gallows is probably the best candidate for this, as his magic stat influences summon damage.


And our first accessory! Or whatever you want to call this!


So every Guardian Medium comes with its own default Personal Skills. You can also use “accessories” to add new Personal Skills to mediums.


Accessories are “equipped” on a medium, not a character, so you have to juggle mediums amongst the party if you want to switch up these skills once they have been assigned.


And, importantly, accessories are consumed when they are attached to a medium. Status ward protecting against amnesia isn’t that amazing of a get, but some of the later accessories are really quite amazing, and you don’t want to blow ‘em on the wrong medium configuration. As an easy example, you don’t want just one character equipped with all the mediums that ward against a specific element. It doesn’t stack like that! Spread the love around!

And on an extremely related note, accessories usually have at least one “treasure chest” location, but they are often carried as rare drops by specific monsters. So if you use accessories inappropriately, you are not completely out of luck… if you have a lot of luck. And there are those that say you should never use the first “type” of an accessory you find, as if you sell said accessory, you will eventually be able to purchase an infinite quantity of that same accessory from the Black Market. But that won’t be available for a good long while, and requires an absurd amount of gella…


Back to the third treasure chest that is sealed by magic. So we do not have any duplicators, but if we find any duplicators, we have the choice of either opening a book or a treasure chest in this dungeon.


And in order to leave this room, we have to hit a switch behind a pillar. This is where you are forced to discover that Jet’s boomerang tool can be directed around objects with the control stick. Neat!


And speaking of tool usage, time for synergy!


Gallows ices a torch to lower a platform.


And Virginia tosses a tinder card to relight the torch to use said platform as a makeshift elevator.


Teamwork makes the dream work. Right, Janus?


“The Eternal Sparkle...Only a select few have actually come in contact with it. But one thing is for sure...It's much greater than any jewel or precious metal known to man.”

Um… greater how, Janus?


Janus? Buddy? Where ya goin’?


“A great power is bestowed upon the one who comes in contact with it. It grants a spear that can destroy all life. That is the Eternal Sparkle's true essence.”

Oh. Wish you had mentioned the whole “destroy all life” thing before we left town.


“But that's all rubbish if you ask me. There are, however, avaricious people in this sick world, that would do or pay anything to get their grubby little hands on it.”

Glad to hear it! Everybody can understand grabbing world-annihilating power simply to make a buck.


Please don’t act surprised, Virginia.


I mean, were you seriously not expecting this treachery from the guy that has not helped at all and only ever tried to kill the party?


They got an ATM that accepts creepy death masks around here?


Kind of disappointed the rest of the party is feigning betrayal, too. Clive would show solidarity with Virginia any day, but Jet and Gallows should just be like “duh”.




So fun fact…


These three shields are related to a very prominent character from Wild Arms (1). In said game, he was one of the “Quarter Knights”, and had three buddies at nearly all times. They were not named Hieraco, Andro, and Crio. They were (Lady) Harken, Alhazad, and Belselk/Berserk (and, eventually, Boomerang replacing Belselk). I’ve always kind of wondered if this is a mistranslation between sequels, though it is hard to find information on the original Japanese script. Regardless, this “Eternal Sparkle” always seems to have three buddies.


One shield has been found right here, a second is (inevitably) in another dungeon, and the third has already been claimed by some other Drifter. Looks like we have something to do for the next few updates!


And Janus decides to start waxing philosophical about how he isn’t evil, he’s just winning.


“I am an idiot, and I acknowledge that.”


“The game is played” primarily with the circle button.


“Like me! I am super-duper trying!”


You really don’t want a dude carrying a bayonet to get that mad.


Right. You guys.


Oh no! They have a triple tech!


So boss battle. This is the same setup as the fight against Dario, Romero, and Janus at the end of the introduction areas, but now there are very different gimmicks happening.


At the opening stage of this fight, Romero and Dario will only ever take two character-specific actions…


And said actions seem simple, but they significantly buff their stats. Romero increases his evasion, and Dario increases his defense by protecting his dong. Luckily, these buffs do not stack, and they will continually use the same (now) useless move throughout this phase.


Janus is the only one that attacks, and he can initiate the previously mentioned Trinity attack. It only hits one character, but it can hit hard.


And if he’s feeling saucy, Janus can hit everybody with that Multiblast attack, too. Guess who you should be aiming at.


So I’m level craptillion, and I wanted to see if you could game this battle to somehow kill Dario/Romero first. Using a maxed-out Gallows summon seems to indicate you can’t. Janus must be defeated first, and his buddies have absurd defense for this phase to keep them standing and encourage you to shoot elsewhere.


Dario and Romero are still standing, but Janus needs a breather.


Time to go follow the white rabbit.


Janus is leaving his toadies to cover his escape.


Team Rocket is not a democracy.




It is four against two. Good luck, you losers!


“You! With the glasses! Please aim away from my face! Thanks!”


Next phase. Dario and Romero will now take “normal” damage, but still retain their general buffs from the first phase. They will also now attack with basic attacks… but not much else.


Sorry, they do not actually draw on untold reserves to defeat the party.


So, whereas Phase 1 can get kind of dicey with Janus’s various assaults, Phase 2 is little more than a waste of time. Which was Janus’s point… But still!


But did you die?


Gallows, stop picking on them. I know they were trying to kill us, but they got betrayed, too.


And look at ‘em. How can you feel anything but pity?


Hey! A duplicator! We needed one of those!


Yeah, it was rough for everybody that has ever said “I told you so”.



Like this guy.


Never trust people that have actively shot you multiple times ever again.


Clive, you’re a great dad.


“Dario would probably stick it in his pants for some reason.”


To the ARMSmobile!


Virginia was sad, but now she has a goal that certainly involves adventure, so she is back on top.


So away we go!


May as well see if anyone has some clues back at the only nearby town.

And that would be where we end this update for today… but! We may as well enjoy some light savescumming to use that one duplicator we received.


After saving back at town (not pictured), we return to the Ruins of Memory…


Use that shortcut we unlocked…


And hit the library.


The book titled “You might find this interesting” reads only “Try talking to Armengard everyday to see what she says.” This is bullshit, and a complete waste of a duplicator. Who in the hell is Armengard, and why should I care!? We’re on Part 9 of this Let’s Play, and I can’t find a trace of Armengard anywhere here. For costing a duplicator, Armengard should be part of every single update or something. Whatever! Friggen’ first duplicator book in the game, and it is a bust. Lesson learned.


So we reset the game from our last save point, venture back into the dungeon again, and use the duplicator on that treasure chest this time. A… name tag?


You may have noticed that every NPC in every town has a name. Well, you can change their names as need be with the Name Tag item. This is entirely superfluous, and would have been more amusing back in the day when videogame rentals came with videogame “used” saves. Would have been amazing to be playing through a rented, completely normal version of Breath of Fire 2, but Rand’s Mom is named SoundGardenRules.
Anywho, this means that both of the duplicator “treasures” in the Ruins of Memory are useless, so go ahead and hold onto that duplicator until a later date. There are exactly as many duplicators in this game as there are duplicator seals, so you can come back later if you really want this nonsense checked off.


And we’ll pick the usual nonsense back up again next time at the Jolly Roger. Gentle audience, don’t get tricked by any glaringly obvious villains or duplicator "treasures" in the meanwhile!

Next time on Wild Arms 3: I choo choo choose horsies.


Round and round I go
Staff member
You've cheated yourself! With a Name Tag, you could name anyone Armengard and then talk to her everyday!


Threat Rhyme
Cheat your way to infinite Name Tags and name ALL the NPCs Armengard! And when everyone's Armengard...

No one will be.

Anyhoo, is it me or does Dario hit you with his butt during part of the trinity attack? Is there any part of this guy that doesn't scream 'creepo'?


The Goggles Do Nothing
Okay, if we meet anyone that can change names today, we are not changing anyone's name to Armengard. Got it? Good.

And speaking of today, today is June 7, Heal Berry Day. Show your respect for heal berries today. Heal berries are your best friend.

Chapter 10: Save a Horse (Ride a Drifter)

Previously on Wild Arms 3:
We’re on a quest! The Eternal Sparkle was sealed behind three mystical shield/mask thingies, and we attempted to procure at least one of ‘em. Unfortunately, that dastardly Janus stole it right out from under us, and now… Uh… we got any leads?


Maybe we can go back to where we heard about the Eternal Sparkle in the first place.


Well that was easy! People in town did say that Sterling seems to know everything.


We even get straightforward directions. Nice!


Everybody is so anxious to see us leave.

Hannah the Barmaid has comments about Janus. Apparently, he is well known and well loathed.


Still not certain how these save dolls know Spanish…


Okay, enough of Jolly Roger. We will return one day to claim our boat, but for now we are heading for a train.


Finding train stations is usually a matter of finding train tracks and working backwards.


Here we are, way the hell west of the tunnel.


For the record, this is likely the station you were supposed to stop at at the end of the intro. Geographically, it fits.


Tony returns! Game design tip: if your ticket counter is so hard to find that you need to have an NPC spout off directions, maybe just go ahead and rearrange your buildings.


Luckily, Wild Arms 3 doesn’t force you through the hardest puzzle of reality: figuring out train schedules. Let me tell you about my recent encounter with the Paris metro…


Tony lives in a shack by the tracks: confirmed.


Pan that camera around to find the ticket booth.


Our next destination is the only target available, but a few more train stops will become available as the game progresses. I don’t think there is even a flimsy excuse for why you can only ever travel to plot-mandated locations…


Buy a ticket, and the train arrives. Tony is apparently the only usher on this entire rail system.


Welcome to Westwood. Is that the train station with all the lifelike robots? I’m probably thinking of something else…


There is literally no one else here, so what are you talking about Rick? Are we to believe whole other teams of Drifters made it off the train before us?


Walking is all JRPG heroes do!


So our next destination is obviously the next town over.


Yes, it is a long walk to our next destination. Would be nice to have a new mode of conveyance…


See? I was just talking about that. There is this super obvious chasm in the geography that will be relevant in a moment or two.


New area, new monsters. These dorks will inflict status maladies. I think the most common issue with these guys is “Disease”, a status effect that prevents healing until it is cured. “Amnesia”, another sickness that prevents EXP accrual, is on the menu, too.


Oh yeah, there we go. Amnesia. Oftentimes, if a monster uses particular status effects, their trapped chests will mimic the problems. Being inflicted with amnesia from a treasure chest means you have no way to heal the ailment before the results screen where you then get zero experience.


And you might earn an accessory that distinctly guards again said problem. Memo Pen could be found in Ruins of Memory (appropriate!), but you could theoretically earn enough for the whole party by grinding on these plains.


These birds also stalk the area. They are the first of many creatures that will attempt to steal from your party. Kill ‘em fast before you lose all your good stuff!


Okay, destination set. Welcome to…


What was the name of this place? Claiborne? That might be right.


Most towns from here on out will have conveniently available ARMsmiths. They all have the same upgrades/costs, because Big ARMs is big into price fixing.


Talk of the town seems to be the local bar owner and her niece.


A random book in a random house holds the solution to a boss fight we will see in a few updates. Talk to everybody, kids!


Virginia Maxwell: more daddy issues than Parenting Monthly.


Do we really want to trust a guy who so consistently says “horsies”?


So the big get for Claiborne is a quartet of horses (horsies) that you can purchase for 2,000 gella. You do not have to purchase them immediately (they are not required until after you complete the next two dungeons), but if you’ve got the dough, nab some mobile chevaline. Naturally, I’m buying those horses right now, and we’ll take them for a go once we get out of town.


Pike is out back! He inexplicably has the ability to change the name of anyone in the party.


Yes, the big deal job Pike was moving from home to pursue is shoveling horse hockey for the rest of his days. I guess he left his one-horse town for a four-horse town.


Pike always remembers his friends.


Here’s that bar with the angry bar wench and her adorable niece. Martina will be vaguely relevant in the near future.


Martina hasn’t heard from her mom in a while. Don’t go on a globe-trotting quest to find her, Martina!


Myra looks like the villain in a story starring adorable orphans.


Another bookcase confirms that ARMs still operate on “magical syncing” rules like in Wild Arms (1). Not much is made of it, but it seems like the fact that everybody in the party can use an ARM is unique. Team Janus and Team -APPEARING SOON- both do not have mandatory ARM usage across their gangs.


And yet another book gives a few details on the Followers of the Eternal Sparkle. The three attributes of wisdom, agility, and strength do neatly match up with the “Eternal Sparkle’s” smart, fast, and strong companions in Wild Arms. Then again, the same could be said of many, many four-person villain gangs…


Now let’s play with our horsies!


Horses move dramatically faster than walking. They also kind of work on Ocarina of Time rules, and naturally accelerate to a top speed that is slightly more difficult to steer.


And at max speed, you can jump canyons. This is why horses are mandatory: a number of crevasses across Filgaia require a horse jump.


You can still use the radar to find towns/dungeons/treasures while galloping along, and you can still encounter random battles, too.


Horse battles are visually interesting, but gameplay boring.


There may be some minutia I am missing here, but horse battles are almost exactly the same as regular battles (and considering what “boat battles” look like later, this is welcome). The only difference seems to be that a number of “stopping” status ailments (like sleep) do not occur while on horseback. Also, for the record, there is exactly one “required” fight on horseback, and that’s about that.


Note that if you find treasure, you have to dismount to collect it. You have to dismount for dungeons and towns, too, but this feels more… annoying. But the horses did just pay for themselves...


Also, for anyone keeping an eye on geography, you can see how far the train took us from our previous stomping grounds. The answer is: not very far. (The highlighted green square is where we were, the two red dots to the West are where we are now.)


Okay, enough about horses, time to advance the plot. Random NPC, give us directions to the next dungeon.


Serpent’s Coils is a quick gallop to the east.


Yeah, because in this world of endless monsters, everybody is just floating around on barcaloungers all the time.


Next dungeon time. As Virginia warned, the assumption is that Janus has gotten ahead of us yet again, and should be our antagonist. Oh, if she only knew this is where she will meet her true love…


There is exactly one kind of random encounter in this dungeon, and it is these Jelly Blob dinguses.


They are completely immune to physical attacks.


But they are weak to every element you can currently use. You might have expected the “monster that is weak to magic” archetype to appear immediately after you gained magic (like in Chrono Trigger!), but it looks like the designers decided to wait a dungeon.


You should just about be reaching the level where you can use a spell in the first round at this point in the game, so blast these suckers the minute you can muster up a spell. If you can get Gallows to a decent FP level quickly, you can use his Extension skill to wipe out a whole army in one move.


You will earn a lot of elemental gems in this dungeon, as literally the only way to kill these things is with an elemental attack, and that guarantees a matching elemental gem drop. Whatever your party configuration, I recommend you pick up at least one Fire Gem along the way. It will come in handy for an upcoming boss fight…


Moving right along. Not unlike Ruins of Memory, Serpent’s Coil seems to wrap around in a loosely symmetrical manner.


There are more switches to open doors here, though.


There is also a loose “map” function in this dungeon. I will take a quick look at that next update, so hold your horsies.


Hmph, this is annoying.


Like a lot of JRPGs, you can only jump down ledges, never “up”. So to hit the switch to open this door, we’re going to have to jump down and circle around the dungeon to get back to the door. Irritating, but not exactly insurmountable.


There we go…


That opens the door. Now we just have to…


What’s this?


Confession: I am replaying Wild Arms 3 for the first time since its release. When this happened on this playthrough, I grinned ear-to-ear for a solid five minutes.


Virginia, could you be more polite?


And less racist.


Like, come on.


A talking cat!?!


Oh, good. They are looking for the Dragon Balls.


Timid Boy just nods. Oh! Timid = Tim. I just got a Wild Arms 2 joke in Wild Arms 3!


Appropriate staging!


Blonde is right on the money.


“Well, granny believes in us…”


Virginia and Blonde are getting along like two old buddies here.


“Hey! We get clues from random townsfolk sometimes!”


Oh snap.


Get ‘er, Virginia!


Blonde is not entertaining this conversation any longer. Thanks for opening the door forward, stupids!


Don’t explain why she’s mean, panda backpack, explain why you have some kind of talking cat creature.


Janus actively tried to kill the party twice, but if you really want to piss off Virginia, call her a phony.


Looks like Virginia is going to need a moment to collect herself, so we’re going to pick this up next episode. Don’t worry, Virginia! I’m sure you’ll get to shoot that blonde soon enough!

Next time on Wild Arms 3: So good, we’re doing it twice.


Threat Rhyme
Ah good, we've finally gotten to Team Rocket, the best characters. They even have a Meowth!

Honestly kinda wish we could ditch Gallows and Jet and adopt Blonde and Afro into the party in their place.

Mr Bean

Chief Detective
Oh man, I forgot about bizzaro Virginia. I'm looking forward to the next update to see what else I forgot about.

Also, horsies!


The Goggles Do Nothing
Here is what else you forgot about!

Incidentally, this is being initially posted on June 14, Unwanted Hair Day. General Aguy had one long white hair growing off of his arm. This string of hair granted him three wishes... Aguy's hair was preserved in cryostat and was enshrined by his followers.

Chapter 11: Schröedinger's Gat

Previously on Wild Arms 3:
Virginia made a new friend! Or enemy!


Yep, definitely looks like the second one.


Okay, enough pouting, we are going to go raid this tomb, and no meddling blonde can stop us.


We have to scoot all the way around the perimeter of the dungeon again to get back to that door we opened. This is good. It gives Virginia time to cool off.


Here we are.
Moving on.


So Serpent’s Coils is kind of a snakey pile of hallways and… Oh! I just got that.


In this case, we have to pull a switch to lower one “bridge” and raise the other. Luckily, we will want the bridge raised to move forward shortly.


A Lucky Card! Or three! These are great: they double the experience you earn in a battle. Each Lucky Card technically only works on one party member, but you can use Mystic with Virginia to apply the boost to everybody in one go (and one Lucky Card consumed). Like the Gella Card from a couple updates back, this is best used on bosses and “special” encounters. Unlike the Gella Card, it distinctly works on the party, not your opponents, so enemy groups do not impact the calculation of whether or not it will be worth it.


Another switch, another unlocked door. At least this one doesn’t require backtracking.


And now we are back at that bridge area.


What? Where did you come from, Blonde? What are you doing?


Oh. Oh how dare you.


Of course you realize this means war.


So, once again, we have to hop down, pull the switch…


And proceed to circle all the way back around again.


Fast forward again, and Blonde does not try the same dirty trick twice. Though that is probably just because she has enough of a lead on us…


Dungeon continues unabated. Not pictured: plenty of slimes to attack, too.


Oh, a frozen switch.


We have the power of fire! Bye bye, ice.


Thawed switch works, doors open. Easy puzzle.


Now let’s take a leisurely stroll to the next room…


Oh! Oh! Jail for Blonde! Jail for Blonde for one thousand years!


The door is now closed, and Blonde is scooting off to parts unknown.


So the fun thing about this “puzzle” is that Maya will reset it over and over again. This is new (compared to her other efforts in the dungeon), and can leave you in an endless loop of never making progress.


Or we could just turn the switch to the proper position, and then re-freeze it. Eat it, Blonde!


That kinda worked!


Follow that calamity!


Confrontation time.


This is as good as she gets! Give her a break!


An ARMS-based society is a polite society.


A 1-on-1 duel would be interesting (and futile) at this point…


But let’s have a free-for-all four versus four drifter down.


Even odds for a boss fight? Well, I never.


Everyone retains their “unknown” names for this boss fight. May as well stick to that for the moment.


Their stats are standard boss fare. Hey, Blondie.


Afro must be defeated first. His Psycho Crack attack will inflict the status effect Confusion, which will likely take one of your characters out of the fight if a cure isn’t handy. And who would have thought to bring a confusion-curing item?


Also, Afro uses a sword to attack, and he specifically employs moves that have the same names as the techniques of Jack, hero of Wild Arms (1).


Cat (?) uses elemental attacks, mostly just fire and ice. And he’s got a weakness we can exploit. Oh boy!


Afro’s obvious competence and precision makes him the counter character to Clive. Gallows, our elementalist, is matched by a talking cat. That… that has to hurt, right?


Blonde uses her ARM. She is the only one on her team using ARMs of any kind.


And Timid Boy only ever uses his one attack: Homemade Blast. It isn’t all that effective, but it.. uh… exists.

Note that this move is a clear echo of the Homemade Bomb attack frequently used by Liz of Liz & Ard of Wild Arms 2. “Joke characters” have to stick together.


Use a Lucky Card! With Mystic! Get all the EXP you can!


Afro doesn’t only use Psycho Crack, he does have a basic physical attack. Afro will also instantly “counter” any injury done to Blonde or Timid Boy with a cure spell that will likely negate any damage done. He doesn’t heal the cat (?), oddly enough…


Alright, enough playing. Time to drop these guys.


Like all “story” fights, nobody dies. Timid Boy feels like taking a nap now.


So now all that is left is Blonde.


Blonde is supposed to have a super attack. She is supposed to use it when she is at low HP, and the rest of her party is down…


But despite the fact that I nailed her with an elemental gem that should put her in critical mode…


She refuses to use the move…


I am assuming Blonde works off of something like the party’s FP, and can only use her special move when she has scored a number of hits on us. Since everyone has insane evasion and defense, she will never reach that point, and never use the move. I really wanted to see the move! It’s good stuff!


And now she’s done! Dammit!


And you die too easy!


Oh, did I ever mention that on the original PS2 version, you can hit select, and it will show you the character portrait without any text or filters? Showcasing this for the first time, as one of Blonde’s “emotes” is clearly her analyzing a jewel.


She’s going to throw the book at us! Oh no (?)!


Or she will get distracted.


Good reason to be preoccupied, at least.


You were already losing!


And away they go.


Finally! A name! Maya Schröedinger of the prestigious dieresis heritage.


Good. They introduced themselves. Now they can kiss.


This is flirting, right? I’m not just imagining it?


Note: the rest of the party hasn’t said boo at all today.


So we move forward. Damn… still kind of kicking myself that I missed seeing Maya’s special attack.




Oh? An opportunity to save in the very next room?


I mean… I could take a little break…


Just take… a quick… break…


Give the ol’ Playstation 2 a rest…


And scoot over to Mr. Playstation 5…


Oh look. I have the PS2 Classic Wild Arms 3 for Playstation 4 and Playstation 5.


What a lovely booting screen of the whole party having fun. The whole party is having fun, Jet.


Yep, that’s Wild Arms 3. Toe to tip.


So here we go again.


I am starting another game of Wild Arms 3 on my PS5. This one is going to be sans cheating.


Well, give or take the “cheating” of already clearing these dungeons/areas on a file where this is cheating, so I spend a lot less time wandering around trying to find the next objective.


I am going to name this Virginia with the Polish spelling of Wirginia. It is pronounced the same.


Aside from the shift in graphical fidelity (which stealth appeared in a previous update, too), if you see a Wirginia, you know you are seeing PS5 captures.


Everything proceeds as you’ve already seen…


Though the monsters get a lot more turns when I’m not Level 99.


Here is something we didn’t see: In my initial playthrough, Virginia murdered Boss Gobb too fast to have a little powerup moment where her FP pumps up to maximum.


And it further reinforces her whole “drifter/flying” metaphor, so it is worth seeing.


Though we don’t need another tutorial.


Similarly, once we get to Jet’s little adventure…


His lizardy opponent heals itself…


Thus necessitating a tutorial on his Accelerator.


And Gallows is taken aback by his tutorials. You see the things you miss when you cheat?


Okay, we’ve just about caught up here.


Is everything brighter on the PS5? Is that a thing?


Let’s coil!


Here’s that map I was talking about in the previous update.


It slaps a floor count on your main view, and indicates if you have been in a room before. This is only for this dungeon. I wonder if some play testers had problems with this place or something. It is kind of samey…


I did not pull the switch on my first run because I missed that room did not want dots all over the place.


Speaking of stuff I absolutely did not miss the first time, empty treasure chests are supposed to indicate Maya is on the way before you ever see her.


Aw, back when Wirginia was still smiling.


There is a duplicator chest deep in the dungeon, too. Nectar is your X-Potion for Wild Arms 3. Whatever it is that fully restores HP regardless of value. That can really be helpful if Wirginia uses Mystic.


And here’s a Migrant Seal! I actually remembered to grab the other seal on this playthrough, so marvel at the possibility of green exclamation points on this file.


Okay! Take 2!


First of all: cool thing that I couldn’t really pull off the first time…


Afro does not technically have a weakness to fire. That said, if you use a fire attack on Afro, his trademark afro will catch fire, and continue smoking through the rest of the battle. This works like the poison status effect, and is the only place “afro is currently on fire, oh guardians” is a possible malady.


See? There he is taking damage between rounds.


Also, here’s a shot of that instant-heal counter I described earlier. You are not making any progress while Afro is kicking.


But we made some progress, and here it is, the reason for the season: Blonde’s special attack, AW-RSTN87. It does extra damage, and is not all that amazing. But it involves a woman shaking a chain gun out of her dress, so I am going to call it worth it.


Hey, wanna see what happens when you run out of bullets? It’s funny right now.


So that was a brief sojourn into the PS5 world of Wild Arms 3. Maybe we’ll go back there later for some reason (we will). Maybe we won’t (lies). At least you will know from now on that when I say “oh this boss is hard on a normal play through”, it’s because there is a secret normal play through happening right under our noses!


We now resume our Serpent’s Coils already in progress.


This looks familiar.


I don’t see how that’s possible, but I’ll take it!


Were they, like, hiding in the one room we passed between here and the last fight? Were they holing up in one of the treasure chests? ... Is this because I took a save break?


Should have brought a ladder…



This dungeon got all the jokes.




Nobody is surprised to see Janus and friends.


Is this why Romero only has one eye?


“Just because I routinely abuse everyone around me.”


“Now I get it. You feel no pain when you stomp all over people because of the way you think.”
“Well, of course. I'm the one doing the stomping, so why should I feel the pain?”

He’s got you there, Virginia.


Find a new word!


That works!


Second Drifter Battle Royale!


This fight is basically a “combo” of the phases from the last Janus battle. The toadies will attack with their usual on every round (like after he left last time)…


And Janus can use the always dangerous multiblast…


Or initiate the Trinity attack. Note that if they Triple Tech, it is only an “action” for Janus; the other two get to have their turns like normal.


I Guardian-murdered them. This battle seems entirely perfunctory after the Maya main event.


But while we were fighting….


Somebody had the foresight to bring a flying cat.


Nobody ever looks up (for flying cats).


Maya was always in control, and ready to steal the peach while the lion and tiger played dominos. Or whatever that metaphor is about.


Not all Januses.


Maya ain’t takin’ no guff from Janus.


So this was mentioned by Janus last time…


And Maya is proud to say she is an excellent drifter. She got Shield #1 without help from anybody!


Also flashback to Jet’s intro. I wonder why Pike would note the drifter that already nabbed the treasure was a “girl”…


Anywho, looks like now we get to have a boss fight between boss fights.


….. Or they decided against it. They can fight later (don’t worry, they will).


Janus tells us all the masks need to be gathered at Ka Dingel. This was the final dungeon of Wild Arms (1), and Janus’s description vaguely matches its function in that game. So this is akin to Sephiroth telling you he will meet you at Kefka’s Tower.


Actually, I said Janus tells “us”, but he was more talking to Maya. With the cat stealing what would have been our prize, she’s the only one with any shields around here.


And we all amicably part ways.


Oh no! An earthquake hits! Or a bomb goes off? Look, the screen is shaking right now, and I have to tell you that, because I don’t want to make another GIF.


Virginia isn’t taking it sitting down.


And she almost gets squished for her troubles.


She is on her knees, and Jet is injured, but she’s not stopping.


Maya has a suggestion.


Legitimately, it could be two people.


Is Maya jealous of Janus? No, that doesn’t sound right…


“Someone who actively tries to rob a train?”
“You have two of those people on your team!”


Virginia re-drops to her knees at the realization she might not be good at this.


Maya’s got places to be, though.


She literally just asked that!


“You're wondering why I would set out for that tower? Well, if we go there and they show up, all the shields would be in one place. And the Eternal Sparkle is sealed there. The stage would be complete.”

Did anyone tell her Janus thinks the Eternal Sparkle is some kind of doomsday weapon? Should someone maybe get on that point?


Virginia is falling back on metaphors.


What’s this? A pity shield?


“Just bring the shield and head southwest to Ka Dingel. There, you'll find neither good nor bad--only the truth about Drifters. Once you face the truth, you'll find your answer. Okay?”

So now Janus and Maya are going to have to wait around for Virginia to show up? Is this really the best plan?


And the whole plan is that she will show up to this life or death situation… and give up? Cold.


As cold as a frozen switch.


And fade to black. Virginia is in a bad place right now, but at least Jet is back up and on his feet. Let’s pick this up again later. Maybe Virginia will feel better by then.

Next time on Wild Arms 3: It’s like that one part in Final Fantasy 9, but about nine times better.


Threat Rhyme
So... so they literally have Schröedinger's Cat?

Speaking of The Best Characters In The Game, I love both their goofy theme music and goofy battle music. True it doesn't quite stand up to Zed or Liz and Ard's battle themes but it's a perfectly cromulant comedic rival battle music.

Kinda surprised at how crisp that looks on PS5. Stop tempting me to pick it up for a replay G.Bob!


The Goggles Do Nothing
So... so they literally have Schröedinger's Cat?

In the grand tradition of "interviews that will never happen", I would love to know if the family was named after they realized there was a cat (?) on the team (and other, later quantum issues involved), or if they just decided on the name before including a quasi-feline. So many questions!

But now is the time for answers. Now is June 21, Battle Axe Day. There was a young man who accidentally married a battle axe, but regretted it for the rest of his life. The story was misconstrued somehow and battle axe became a euphemism for a nagging woman.

Chapter 12: The Turtle's Lament

Previously on Wild Arms 3:
Virginia suffered a crushing loss when she was nearly crushed to death, but Jet took the blow. Her new BFF gave her a pity magical artifact, and now she is supposed to go to Ka Dingel to meet the rest of the big players, but…


Gallows succinctly explains the situation.


You guys have ARMs. You could just shoot her until she’s happy again. … Wait, this is probably why they won’t let me be a therapist.


“I enjoyed that part where we stalked through a dungeon and killed, like, a billion slimes.”


It is good to see that Jet is doing well. If he blames Virginia for what happened, he is not mentioning it.


Drones just hanging out, waiting for their queen bee to make a decision.


Good question!


Soul crushing question!


Look, this is a videogame, and you know you’re going to get back to questing, stomping monsters, and collecting treasure soon enough. But I do appreciate this little intermission that takes the time to relay the always important lesson that sometimes doing your best and taking a task seriously is not enough to succeed. You can’t just expect to score a 100 at “being alive”.


And it is good to have specific goals and not just… drift.


Ugh. Virginia? This isn’t healthy.


I like the implication that Virginia has always had a clear goal in mind (find daddy!), but she is in a vague kind of denial wherein she tells herself she is simply “following in her father’s footsteps”, and not outright pursuing a goal that may have a very unhappy ending.


And the only thing she can admit to is loving the heck out of metaphors.


A breakthrough! Her purpose is finding a purpose! … That is not a good choice, but that’s all the time we have left in this session, so if you will speak to the receptionist about your next appointment…


“I hope everyone downstairs hasn’t already instantly given up.”


Clive is a good dad. He already got some gelato ready for this occasion. With sprinkles.


Virginia is quick to apologize. I would like to see Jet be similarly contrite.


“I became a Drifter, thinking that maybe my ARMs could help people in need... But I didn't have a purpose or goal as a Drifter... That's why she said I was pretending. How I put everyone in danger. Please forgive me...”

Come to think of it, for a JRPG party, we haven’t done much objective “good” here on our quest. Clive and Virginia both saved towns in their openings, but since then, we’ve just been following nebulous leads about some Blue Meanie, and we haven’t really helped “people in need” at all. We better get around to saving the world eventually!


But nobody wants to think about that too hard.


Virginia! Dammit! Do you need to go back upstairs again?


This might be the first and last time this happens, but I agree with Jet’s annoyed sentiment.


You sounded confused ten seconds ago!


Gallows, you are simultaneously absolutely correct and saying the completely wrong thing.


Now I’m just picturing a “Game Over” screen that is only prompted when your protagonist gets too depressed. I’m sure that has been in a few modern games…


Clive is a pretty patient guy, but he is helping Virginia along on “let’s leave this depressing inn and get back to work”.


Jet, what are you using this money for, anyway? You got a chateau to support or something?


Remember how Janus said we had to go to Ka Dingel for the final showdown? Let’s do that.


“I even remembered where we were supposed to go! Yay!”


Just going to say this out loud: this is the end of Chapter 1 of the game. There is one optional area available if you know where to look (and I would not recommend looking right now), but the greatest challenge you’ve yet seen is on the horizon. Feel free to run around out there and explore or whatever, and definitely do your best to upgrade your ARMs. You should have at least a few extra bucks after the last dungeon.


Always have to appreciate when NPCs update to talk about the latest quest.


Martina, the adorable moppet that used to hang out in this crapsack, has now gone missing. Don’t worry! She’s fine! She has just started her own sidequest, and you can kick that off if you stop by the local train station (where else would a kid go to start her own adventure?). I will cover that in more detail when I get to the inevitable “et cetera” post in like a million years. You cannot complete her quest for a long while…


We ride!


There is a sign by Ka Dingel that notes that if you save in a dungeon (any dungeon!) after completing the “puzzle” for a room, it will reset the puzzle. So we get a little bit of fourth wall tampering with the game designers telling you that that is not a bug, but a feature. It is like you are getting double videogames!


Ka Dingel is down here.


Looks like a fun tower!


As briefly noted last time, Ka Dingel was basically the final dungeon of Wild Arms (1). Technically, the final area of Wild Arms was a Death Star, but Ka Dingel was the tower that got you to said not-moon. Ka Dingel was an ancient tower there, too, and a structure thought lost during that story’s millennia-old Demon War that popped up again just in time for the finale. Given Ka Dingel more or less exploded when the party returned to Filgaia, it is conceivable that the “ruined” Ka Dingel we now see is what is left. Oh, and the reason Ka Dingel went and went boom? It was thanks to an attack by the half-dead and marginally mutated Zeikfried/Siegfried. This was his final battle against the party, so, “magical space elevator” hijinks aside, Sieggy died at Ka Dingel. Noting that for no particular reason.

And final bit of trivia: the name Ka Dingel is consistent between Wild Arms and Wild Arms 3, but it is theoretically a distortion of the ancient Sumerian word “Kadingir/ Ka Dingir”, which is meant to refer to ancient Babylon.


Enough trivia for the day! Time to get to block pushing!


And fighting! Anna here can take a bunch of hits, and they are likely to poison your party. Bring antidotes!


For all sorts of reasons!


So the first puzzle of Ka Dingel is pretty straightforward. Move two blocks to make a bridge, access the third block, and then use that to cross the next gap.


These dudes are less powerful than Anna, but will inflict the Disease status effect, which disables healing. You do not want to be inflicted with disease before a long dungeon.


Also, you probably shouldn’t suffer any demon to live, either. Just a good idea there.


You can choose to cross one of two gaps with the third block. Aiming for the treasure will score two lucky cards. This is great, as this area has two bosses.


And you can always move that block to progress-assisting locations later.


Practically every room in Ka Dingel then leads to a filler staircase. Ka Dingel is supposed to be an unfathomably tall tower, so I guess this makes a better impression than walking over a “stairs” tile.


Hey, it’s those stupid thieving birds from outside. I guess this is where they roost.


The next room has… well, I would hesitate to call this a puzzle…


For the first time since Virginia’s intro dungeon, there is a mechanism that is controlled by rotating. Remember that that is a thing, and you’ll make quick progress with this manual elevator.


There is a treasure alcove halfway through the rotator room.


Pretty basic rewards here, but a Duplicator is always a great find.


Back to rotating our way up. I guess the “puzzle” here is lining up the two elevators? It isn’t rocket science.


Getting our steps in for the day.


This room looks remarkably unremarkable.


What? A random battle? With no exclamation mark?


So this is a boss battle. It comes completely out of nowhere, and I would not be surprised to hear some players encountered Trask here thinking it was another random mook.


Trask appeared in Wild Arms 2 as a boss fight. It is initially impossible to completely defeat (you can win the fight, but it is still standing after the results screen), then your protagonist gets the powerup to end all powerups, and he tears the turtle a new one completely solo. Later in the game, Trask 2.0 appears, and it makes much less of an impact. In both cases, Trask is revealed to be somehow bio-mechanical, and was invented/created by the great Liz & Ard. This Trask looks to be more on the biological side of things.


I mean… bio-missiles have to be biological, right? That’s right there in the name.


Trask seems to attack twice per turn, and has multiple offensive options. It has that missile from the previous shot, and can plainly stomp your party. It also can poison, which any Pokémon trainer can tell you is bad news when you are dealing with a defensive opponent.


And speaking of being defensive, physical attacks do nada to Trask. It is not completely immune like the blobs of the previous dungeon, but its defensive rating is probably something like 254/255.


So magic is the way to go.


And my magic stats are so insanely impressive that I kinda accidentally killed the sucker while trying to set up the “real” way you are supposed to defeat Trask. Sorry!


At least I got an accessory that can protect against poison in the future.


So let’s pop over to Playstation 5 land for a second…


Here is the “puzzle” way to defeat Trask. First you hit it with a fire arcana (magic)…


And then you freeze it.


Just like the book back in town said.


This causes… something that nobody felt like animating. I guess narration will have to do.


Hooray! Trask is now vulnerable to physical attacks!


If you never figure out Trask’s “secret” weakness, you can defeat Trask entirely with magic attacks, and assume this is just the boss fight equivalent of those blob monsters.


But allowing your whole party to unload physical attacks through shell-breaking is going to take Trask down faster (which is relevant when your party is being repeatedly poisoned). Bye bye, turtle.


Or… not bye bye? Trask is an odd duck narratively. Trask appears with absolutely no introduction or explanation, and then, when it dies, it leaves behind a “sealed monster”. Much later in the game, you can return and fight the optional boss Powered Trask. It is a slog of a fight that relies on the insane defense of a giant, poisonous turtle. And is the implication that killing Trask 1.0 only made it shell up and come back stronger? Is Trask the official guardian of Ka Dingel? A trap laid in wait by Janus? Maya? Janus’s currently unknown employers? Nobody knows. What we know is that Trask lived and died in this room, and it may live and die here again later.


But no time to worry about that, as we’ve got some more stairs to climb. And we are going to call it here. A whole heck of a lot happens in the next update, so right after this obvious midpoint seems like a place to stop. Ka Dingel will be scaled and maybe exploded all over again next update.

Next time on Wild Arms 3: When we say “the finale of Chapter 1”, we mean it!


Threat Rhyme
'Ka Dingel' is one of the funniest final dungeon names ever and I was pleased to see it returned here.

Also if Working Designs localized the original Wild ARMs back in the day you just know they would have had a character call someone a 'Ka Dingus'.


The Goggles Do Nothing
Understand that if this were somehow a "verbal" Let's Play, I pronounce it "Kaaaaaaaaa Dingel" every time.

I am also delighted to say this is being posted on June 28, Electronic Engineering Day. Holly loved electronic engineering for the smell of melting solder. As she continued to pursue the smell of solder, she became a famous engineer.

Chapter 13: Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely Quickly

Previously on Wild Arms 3:
Virginia conquered depression, a titanic turtle, and about half of an ancient tower. She’s probably going to cure cancer and repel Satan during this update.


So let’s climb on up to see what the rest of this tower has to offer.


We just had the wheel switches from Virginia’s first dungeon, and now we have the grate climbing for the first time since Jet’s first dungeon.


Since Jet was the only one that got to climb previously, if you are some kind of sprite maniac, you now have the opportunity to see how everyone in the party looks when climbing hand over hand.


This room is pretty straightforward, but the way the grates/”towers” are arranged mean that you will have to double back a few times if you want to hit all the treasure chests.


I would say the grate treasures are… great. Revive fruits are going to come in handy during the inevitable upcoming boss battle.


Oh, I hate this nonsense.


This room ends with two doorways. One eventually leads to treasure, the other to dungeon progress. There is no indicator for either door which leads to what, or even that both doors could have fortuitous outcomes. If you go in the “progress” door, you will likely forget the other door ever existed, and happily proceed with the dungeon…


And that is exactly what I did on my PS2 playthrough. So here we are in PS5 land making the opposite choice.


The south door leads to stairs leading up. The north door…


Stairs leading down. That’s new.


So we earn an accessory that protects against paralysis, and in the duplicator-sealed chest…


Is a booster kit. Possibly the most important treasure in the first chapter!


As you can see from our encounter gauge, we now have double the ECN, meaning we can “dodge” twice as many encounters as before. There is one booster kit per chapter in Wild Arms 3, so you can eventually have an ECN of 50. In PS5 world, I now have 20 ECN, which means I have a lot more wiggle room for canceling random battles.


But I completely missed that door on my “main” PS2 playthrough. What the heck, game?! Most important treasure in the place, and so easy to miss…


Oh well. Nothing to worry about now. Regardless of getting the treasure, eventually you have to hit that south door, and find your way to the next puzzle room.


Ice is nice.


Maybe this tower is still a shortcut to space. You just have to take a lot of steps…


A treasure alcove gives you a “would you like to save” warning of what is to come.


And a wee bit past there, it is time for an earthquake. Or… something to make the screen shake.


From the trembling? Or the tower full of deadly monsters?


Always make sure your boys are okay.


Guess the final battle is occurring right above us.


So we have control again. The game cannot telegraph “there is a boss fight coming” any harder, so go ahead and save and power up (maybe spend some spare FP?) for the last time for the chapter.


And a short elevator ride later, we’re at the top. Looks like Team Janus has defeated the Schröedinger Family.


This isn’t super surprising. We were able to defeat both bands of Drifters, but we never suffered at the hands of the “Trinity Avenger”. Whoever has the newest technique wins!


Don’t worry, Maya! Help is on the way!


“I knew you’d be here! I wore my shiniest purple today! For no big reason! Just because!”


Guess we will have to handle Janus and company…. Again.


Janus has claimed two shields for himself. Want to deliver the third?


Okay, so this raises an important question: if Maya always knew “the Eternal Sparkle” was dangerous, why did she involve Virginia, whom she does not respect as a Drifter, in this entire affair? “The bad guy might get a magical atom bomb” does not seem like the right situation to give a random woman you just met a confidence boost…


But anywho, Janus literally shoots Maya to keep her from relaying this bit of trivia.


It is not exactly a fun time for everybody, but please understand that bullets are a minor inconvenience in the Wild Arms 3 world. Maya will (eventually) be okay.


Janus: still a jerk.


Virginia: still a heroine.


Oh, that’s always a good sign.


I mean… probably not? I don’t think anyone involved here, friend or foe, wants to believe Janus is about to have “unlimited power”.


Virginia is literally backing away slowly.


It hasn’t come up for a while, but a gentle reminder that Janus has been, for the entire time that we’ve known him, grappling with the death of “fourth man” Lucio.


The whole situation seems to have made an impact on Janus’s decision making.


“I’ve really thought about it, and I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to become a vampire.”
“They’re not real in this continuity, boss.”


This is just like the ancient Roman proverb: one day, you will be forgotten by history, unless you are the guy that ate the Mona Lisa.


Magical shield powers activate!


Oh snap! Something is happening! No idea what, but a circle is involved!


“You were supposed to just come here and, like, not ever do that. Or something! It was a bad plan! I know that now! Shut-up!”


Virginia handed over the shield to protect Maya. Virginia did this because she decided her goal as a Drifter was to protect people. Virginia did that because Maya pushed her to decide on her goal. Ergo, this is all your fault, Maya.


Dario and Romero are blown away by this decision.


Probably some kind of irony here wherein in attempting to attain a sort of immortality, Janus is introducing those that helped him to their own terminal mortality.


Or something. So, fun fact? That’s the end of Dario and Romero for Wild Arms 3. Mostly. A long, long time from now, we will get confirmation that those two knuckleheads survived. Other than that? Dario and Romero are blown off an unfathomably tall tower, and they are presumed dead. They’re not! But they may as well be now.


And Janus doesn’t care. Obviously.


This is doubly important, as Maya and friends were theoretically only defeated because the Janus gang was working in concert with their Trinity attacks. But no time for irony now! Look!


It’s the Blue Sparkle! And it’s kinda yellow!


Looks kind of like a sword in its scabbard. With… an eyeball?


Whatever it is, it is sending out negative vibes.


Been a while since this came up, too, but we’ve got gods in our pockets. And, right now, they are scared gods.


Now that Janus is distracted, Maya gets to actually finish her explanation (that we sort of already knew from Janus back in Ruins of Memory).


The Blue Sparkle is The Dark Spear! One would assume that is bad!


“I can kind of see it! But, like, it’s a short spear, right? I don’t see how…”
“It’s not the size that counts!”


Janus is gonna go for it!


“We can channel the gods of our planet. Did I ever tell you that before, Maya?”
“You did unleash a giant flaming bird-lizard when we were fighting, so I kind of figured.”


Subtle thing that has/will come up: Virginia and Maya are both nerds. It is referenced in understated and overt ways across the game, but Virginia and Maya both have clearly done a lot of reading of… let’s say… the Filgaian equivalent of superhero stories. But the difference between our two heroines here is that Maya sees stories of daring heroes as something unattainable and separate from her Drifter “real life”. Virginia, meanwhile…


Is going to be the Red Ranger.




Janus nearly makes contact with the Dark Spear, but it literally flies away when he is inches from his prize.


So Janus does not obtain the Eternal Sparkle he has fought/lied so hard for. This leaves him pretty pissed.


Or maybe he just doesn’t appreciate a woman dual wielding pistols in his face.


Look at Maya. Woman is in love.


Good luck with that one, Little Miss Hopefulness.


Janus offers a pointier counterpoint.


You knew this was next.


It seems impossible, but this is the first we have fought Janus all by his lonesome. Dario and Romero are gone forever, so we won’t be seeing any Trinity attacks. This should be easy!


Or not. Janus was either holding back previously, or the events of the last few moments have overfilled Janus’s unending rage meter. Whatever the cause, Janus did not come to play today. He will counter damn near everything with a physical attack.


Rising Nova is his single-target replacement for Trinity. It does more damage than when involving his buddies, and it was an attack belonging to Ashley from Wild Arms 2 to boot.


Come to think of it, it wasn’t just any attack for Ashley, it was the best attack for Ashley. That has to sting.


So these are screenshots from my “cheating” New Game+, and obviously we make short work of Janus. But please know that over in “real” Wild Arms 3 world, this is the hardest fight of the first chapter. Janus is a monster with dealing damage, and this is definitely one of those situations where you are probably better off having your weaker attackers (like Virginia) just hanging back and defending or healing instead of suffering a potentially deadly counter. Janus still has multiblast, too, so be wary of literally everyone in your party taking a deadly hit at once.


But, again, not much to worry about in this game.


Janus is still standing after the fight.


But not for long, as the ground literally gives out beneath him.


Everybody hastily scoots down from the apparently precarious rooftop arena. Looks an awful lot like Janus will not be an issue going forward.


Maya has dusted herself off and is back to being philosophical.


She may respect Virginia for finding a goal (and, oh yeah, saving her near-dead ass), but she doesn’t have to agree with her principles.


“Justice may be unreliable, but still...I want to make that my priority out in the wasteland. I stand firm on that belief.”
Not like they live in a world with a literal God of Justice or something…


Just kiss already!


Oh yeah. Guess that whole “collect all the legendary shields mission” was a bust.


I like that Maya doesn’t “want to get involved with what just happened.” Can anyone put a pin on what just happened? Some dumbass tried to attain demonic power, but failed, right? Things got a little windy, but there wasn’t much to it…



Hey, who saved who this week?




Spoilers: That will be… two times later. Next time you’ll totally be rescuing our asses.


Happy Pride Month, everybody!


So everybody heads on home… or at least to the local bar.


What’s this?


The villain has survived a terminal fall and being buried in rubble! Who would have ever expected that?!


Oh, now you want your friends?


Janus’s call was absorbed by the darkness.


But somebody is here…


Or… three somebodies? Okay. This trio is new.


Remember how we knew Janus was working for somebody? Well…


“I didn’t retrieve the spear, and I may have destroyed an ancient tower. But other than that, everything went well!”


You could have just said he was a lousy hire…


Ah! What the hell! Warn a guy when… when whatever that is is going to show up!


So it looks like Janus did not receive the ultimate power because Balazs the Green Thingy stole it out from under him on orders from his bosses (who, admittedly, he was trying to betray at the time).


And management is not impressed.


And “severance” in this case may involve some energy-ball based severing.


Establishing our new villains do not mess around right from the get-go.


Or not.


Exit interview.


Masked Man inquires if it was all “for power”, and Janus is honest for once in his cursed life. (Also: love the "please stop hitting me" window emote.)


Oh! Oh! We’re going to get to see the spear!


We will see it from various angles eventually, but I am not going to lie to you: The Dark Spear is a dead ringer for the Soul Edge in Nightmare mode in Soulcalibur. It has spiky bits, a little pulsating eyeball, eats souls: it is not subtle. Though maybe any weapon with an eyeball is taking us to the dark edge of insanity…


At least Janus gets an up-close view of the “spear”.


And that’s the end of Chapter 1! Hooray! Note that the in-game timer only seems to tick up when you are on a dungeon screen (and not battling or cutscene-ing), so that “1:46” there is a complete lie. Let’s go with the much more accurate metric of “it’s been 13 weeks of Wild Arms 3 to get past the first chapter”. That sounds correct.

Next time on Wild Arms 3: We are going to take a quick break to talk about Wild Arms 3 as a game (and give my screenshotting wrist a week off), and then we will pick it all back up again with our party aimlessly wondering what to do next. Please look forward to it!


The Goggles Do Nothing
As of Chapter 1 finishing, let us take a enjoy a brief interlude on the nature of Wild Arms 3. This is being posted on July 5, Last Scene Day. Remember, Last Scene Day is not a day to search for missing persons. That's Last Seen Day. And speaking of things not seen for a while...

Controversial statement: they do not make JRPGs anymore.

So here is how I’ve always seen the evolution of the JRPG. You start with Dragon Warrior/Quest. You move over to Final Fantasy. Over the span of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Final Fantasy evolves out of sight of Americans from simple nonsense with six characters (who must only be four characters) to a sprawling story of flying continents and children working multiple vocations just to make (airship) ends meet. Over in Dragon land, we actually saw the evolution from Hero venturing out alone into the wilderness, to gaining a party of companions, to gaining more “job” options than you could shake a Falcon Blade at, and finally reaching Dragon Warrior/Quest 4. That final title seems relevant, as in addition to utilizing all the advantages that had been granted to its forebearers, Dragon Warrior 4 told an epic, chapter-based story that included memorable, distinct characters all living their best lives in defiance of a hellish (but maybe misunderstood!) villain. While there are inevitably other examples, let us use 1990’s Dragon Quest 4 as the benchmark for how JRPG went from “inhabit these heroes and guide them on their quest” to something more akin to “sure, saving the world is great, but wouldn’t you like to know what happens next for your good buddy Torneko Taloon?”


And then, a year later, we had Final Fantasy 4. Even more than Dragon Quest 4, FF4 was the ceiling for videogame storytelling. The world is in danger! But so is your hero’s girlfriend! Brother is betraying brother! People are dying! And, even more important than said story was that all of this action was presented with… action. The twins make their noble sacrifice while the walls are actively closing in on you (and later battles remind you how difficult it is to fight a wall). Yang is blasted into amnesia while frantically trying to stop a cannon manned by goblins. And Cid does not simply lay a few charges to close the entrance to the underground, he actively jumps out of an airship and detonates his bearded ass. In short, whereas JRPGs and videogames in general had had dramatic moments before, Final Fantasy 4 went out of its way to present a story that was, more often than not, actively including as many explosions as possible.


And then, in 1997, we got to Final Fantasy 7. After a console generation of JRPG luminaries (in multiple ways), Final Fantasy 7 could be presented as the pinnacle of the genre. Ignore the remake (as good as it may be), and go back and play OG FF7. Marvel at how much and how often something happens. You cannot so much as traipse through a forgotten mountain pass without having a brief discussion on chocobo hair. And while Tifa is talking to Cloud about grooming tips, there is movement. There are great graphics (for the era, natch). There are gorgeous environments. Combine these elements, and you are continually presented with an engaging story that incidentally has an amazing presentation. Final Fantasy 7 was primarily remembered for its FMVs, but it is the minute-to-minute performance that keeps a player engaged across three discs.


But by the time the Playstation 2 rolled into living rooms, the great divergence occurred. On one hand, you had Final Fantasy 10. Final Fantasy 10 looked like this…


Final Fantasy 10 was, for all intents and purposes, a playable movie. There was voice acting. There was motion capture. And the end result is something that is just as engaging as a movie… because it basically is a movie. And, starting in 2001, if your company was making a JRPG, you had the choice to make that playable movie. You could chase the JRPG zeitgeist, and, whether you were continuing the Xeno-franchise or recruiting Studio Ghibli into your production, you could make a Hollywood blockbuster out of your JRPG. The only downside to this was that it cost more than a couple of bucks to make such a thing presentable. If you didn’t feel like doing that…


The above was a possibility. Or this…


Hell, you could even see it happen in real time as the Xenosaga franchise gradually lost its budget…



Now, is either way right or wrong? I am not going to make that determination. Personally, I have issues with getting bored by the “talking heads” of recent Persona titles, and, when they make the jump to action games (like the fighting, rhythm, and “strikers” spin offs), I find the text crawl downright insulting. I am playing a videogame! Please limit your visual novels to 30 seconds between levels! It worked for Ninja Gaiden! You can have these idiots talk a little less if they are going to be effectively motionless while I am supposed to…

… Er-hem.

I said I am not going to judge which is better. Persona or similar titles may have presentation issues when they are just throwing static text at a player, but these games are also 80-hour experiences that would not be able to exist if they required full-on mocap for every conversation about how we’ll never discover the true identity of the killer who is probably not standing right over there oh wait he is that is super convenient. Videogames are amazing pieces of art that are also beholden to investors, budgets and deadlines. I would rather have Bravely Default in my life than a “coming soon” JPEG and a thousand twitter followers conjecting how the real Bravely Default will become Final Fantasy 22 and Nomura will never tell us why.

But as far as the “movie” JRPGs? They’re great! They are fun, interactive stories that often include other ways to wring amazing gameplay out of a giant budget. Final Fantasy 15 may have created a “Cindy” that exists exclusively in the world of swimsuit model motion capture, but each of the boys were very controllable when cruising around Insomnia’s outer rim. I have absolutely no qualms stating that JRPGs can be good if they are using “movie” presentation or “static text” presentations.

But JRPGs seem to have completely forsaken the middle ground of their ancestors. They don’t make ‘em like Wild Arms 3 anymore.

Wild Arms 3 is a very text-based game. This is not simply a matter of noting that no one is voice acting this dialogue, what is significant is that, as the game progresses, we will experience any number of info dumps that feature discussions on imaginary biology, planetary conquest, and (everyone’s favorite PS2 plot MacGuffin) nanomachines. In other words, Wild Arms 3 is filled to the brim with the kind of nonsense that causes people to disparage Kingdom Hearts or the Xeno franchise. But something important happens here! There is direction!


There is movement!


There is stuff happening!

And there are a lot of little things that not only would be impossible on older videogame systems, but also unlikely to appear in later, “better” productions. As an obvious example, Jet Enduro is an aloof jerk of a character, and barely says a word through much of Chapter 1. But you know everything you need to know by seeing this…


He is the exact kind of jackass that would put his shoes on the table. What is Jet’s mood right now? The simple act of sticking his boots over his head tells you everything you need to know. And you know that when the shoes hit the ground…


Something has hit the fan, and it ain’t pretty.

And it feels like we don’t get this kind of direction anywhere nowadays. Wild Arms 3 is the perfect middle ground between “we have more options than simple sprites that turn their heads” and “full on cinematic masterpiece”, and there are very few games that have ever occupied that space. Ultimately, you could describe several “classic” JRPGs as something almost like puppet shows: a middle ground between full-on acting and static talking heads. And looking back from the present when puppets have been forsaken for literally any other kind of presentation, Wild Arms 3 is one of the best puppet shows out there.

Wild Arms 3 is a beautiful unicorn in a field full of donkeys and horses, so keep an eye out for that horn as things progress into the next chapters…


Next time on Wild Arms 3: Back to the Let’s Play proper as we head to the wrong side of the tracks.


The Goggles Do Nothing
Back to Wild Arms 3 Let's Playing proper here on July 12, Paw Day. This is the day we honor Dan Dairam. Girls prance around sporting cat-ears and cat-paws today. I wanted to dress up, too, but there are strange participants lately who go around taking pictures of cat girls, so my parents won't let me. These weirdoes say, 'Dan Dairam loved girls, so Dan Dairam is our guardian, too.' Perverts!

Chapter 14: Goals and Dolls

Previously on Wild Arms 3:
In a climatic battle between Virginia and Janus (and those other guys), Janus was soundly defeated. Ka Dingel partially collapsed, and our party left to… Uh… what were we doing?


Having flashbacks again, I guess?


Clive experiences the same flashback we saw back in his introductory chapter.


Apparently he has ruins-based PTSD. This must be a common affliction in JRPG worlds.


And it caused him to miss the ol’ alarm clock.


I am betting this inn is tired of these doofs and that white-haired kid putting his feet up on the table.


Having completed 25% of the game, Virginia feels accomplished.


They really haven’t!
Everything with Janus was zero sum (as far as they know; in reality, Janus effectively won), and before that they got some god-rocks. That’s it!


A true one!


Dad said to calm down!


Please don’t be another flashback. Please don’t be another flashback. Please don’t be another flashback…


Surprised they didn’t use the “stars in her eyes” Virginia emote here.


“That Ruins of Memories dungeon must have been a real let down for you, right?”


“Supreme Court rulings?”
“Only partially.”


“So Supreme…”
Different demons!”


Clive has a point here, and it makes perfect sense that there would be people in JRPG universes that are not content to simply believe in what we would typically calls “myths”. On the other hand, Clive fought a literal god (four of ‘em!) a week ago.


But long story short, Clive is and has always been investigating the provable, physical reasons Filgaia is in such s$^& shape, and that lil’ dude from the flashbacks is obviously his old, deceased professor.


And, oh yeah, demons are 100% real. We already knew that. Granny was all about that demon life.


“Like the Supreme…”
“Would you knock it off!”


“That makes sense, Clive. I feel like if you found the source of all ruin on the planet, it would have been in the newspaper or something.”


“Sure, Virginia. The one thing we have seen that says ‘demon’ on it might have something to do with demons.”


You. Have. Already. Fought. Gods.


Oh snap! Jet sucks!


I love the idea that Virginia is 99% calm and collected in nearly every situation, except when Jet opens his dumb mouth.


Jet would prefer we get back to actually paying jobs. Clive concedes that he has a point.


Processing… processing… processing…


Virginia calms down, Clive says it is time to go.


Gallows has… kind of a lead. Or he just wants to hit a burlesque show.


Gallows will show some major improvement in the focus department over the course of this chapter. In the meanwhile, though…


“It is… uh… like… Over there?”


“Seedy town” probably doesn’t have much in the way of leads on the secret history of the world, but we can get a decent job shooting somebody.


“So, as long as we continue on as Drifters, we'll find more leads about artifacts, right?”
“Yes...Which will bring me closer to finding out more about Filgaia's history. Thank you, leader. I appreciate your interest.”

Objective fact: Clive absolutely is transparently a nice guy. That said, if he was even the slightest bit devious, I would be convinced he is manipulating Virginia to his own ends with the whole “you are the leader” thing.


Anywho, now we have control again. As one might expect, half the town is providing helpful directions to Little Twister.


I interpret this as these villagers just want these dang Drifters gone. But not Pike! Pike will always be happy to see you.




Bye bye, Claiborne. We’ll be back when we want to get stuck in a trap dungeon in a chapter or so.


Leaving town will trigger the first of many “checking in on the bad guys” cutscenes.


Janus was pretty good about being in the immediate area when we were seeing his backstage machinations (like immediately after the Guardian fights), but we will witness a number of clandestine villain conversations throughout this chapter that all take place at Evil Base, and nowhere near the actual party. This is something of a Wild Arms storytelling staple, as both Wild Arms (1) and Wild Arms 2 had frequent checks on what the villains were up to and their hiring processes and whatever throughout their stories.


Anyway, we’re still in the getting to know you stage of the villain relationship here, so they’re mostly talking about -this- and -that- and things that we have no hope of comprehending right now.


As established last time, we have a blonde pretty boy, a purple-based woman dressed in mummy-chic, and a “masked man” that is not so much “masked” as “wearing a scarf”.


On a sidenote, seventeen interior decorators died painting this room. The three that survived were never actually paid.


So the woman is serious, “Slickster” is a bit devil-may-care, and the “masked” man is the obvious leader. Anybody else in this merry band?


Hey! I recognize those pants!


And that watch! Looks like Janus acquired a bit of a skin condition.


Slickster recommends sending Finny Fish here out into the field, and Robed Woman objects.


On a sidenote, it is obvious that Janus now has new powers and has been invited into the inner circle. On the other hand, these three already hired and relied on Janus once already for the entirety of Chapter 1, and he literally failed at everything.


Oh yeah, this is going to go swimmingly.


Janus is going to close out this scene by being morose. I would feel bad if I became The Creature from the Black Lagoon with anime hair, too.


Back to reality.


As mentioned a few updates back, now is the time that you have buy a horse (or four). In order to proceed, you need to ride your horse over the nearby crevasse, so no progress until you’ve got a pony that is hot to trot. Luckily, it should not be a financial burden after the last few dungeons.


Little Twister is dead west of Claiborne, and pretty close to the “shore”.


Their view of the sand sea is tops.


Welcome to Little Twister. This place sucks so bad.


Walk three steps into town, and there’s this weird drunk talking about beautiful women. Thanks for the tip! Go away now!


You want to know how bad Little Twister sucks? See this well here? It contains a super boss. We can’t fight it yet (as per Wild Arms tradition), but these yokels have been getting water from a freaking Kraken for years.


Property values are at an all-time low as a result.


By Grudiev, this town sucks.


Screw it, let’s go to the bar.



Fun fact: Gallows said he has been here before. And we know he has! As you can see above, this is the exact spot where Gallows had his introduction breakfast/flashback. This means that, in the three months that Gallows had escaped his hometown, he got exactly as far as one train stop and one town “away”.


As per tradition, if we want to advance the plot, we have to buy the most expensive liquor available.


Oh wow! We are going to get a job exploring a ruin here! Clive is having a good day!


So we are told there’s a ruin nearby, but bad news: it has been eating up Drifters like candy. Also: there may be a missing waitress there. Do we explore the place that is literally known for getting our contemporaries killed?


Jet is into it. Jet very consistently wants to find something in these ruins across the globe.


Virginia remembers that conversation we had a horse ride ago.


Theory: Jet subsists entirely on pissing Virginia off.


And he eats like a king.


Gasp! Jet officially tells the party that he has no memories. This was alluded to in his introductory dungeon, but this is news to everyone that isn’t currently shoveling horse manure (hi Pike!).


“My first memory is sitting in some stupid bar discussing whether or not I would investigate a nearby ruin.”


“Wouldn’t stop talking about the New York Jets. He never told me what a ‘New York’ was.”


“Amnesia” is a status effect in Wild Arms 3 that prevents acquiring experience points. Just noting this because Gallows is probably thinking this can be cured with an item you can buy from that green guy two houses back.


Okay, with inn stops, I am pretty sure the train ride where everyone met started “a week ago”. And half the flashback dungeons happened a month ago, so we’re not talking about the far-off past here…


Jet has amnesia, but he wants everybody in the immediate area to know that he doesn’t care that he has amnesia.


Virginia actually feels sympathy for Jet! It’s a Little Twister miracle!


Jet is still being Jet, though.


And there we have it, folks! This update accommodated both Clive and Jet, and now we have clear, stated motivations for everyone in the gang:

Virginia – Daddy Issues
Gallows – Guardian/Granny Issues
Clive – Archeology Issues
Jet – Memory Issues

Let’s go solve all our problems!


Look how happy she is! Meddling is her superpower!


Gallows’s official function in the party is saying, “Don’t worry about it. Chill.”


Clive brings us back to reality.


“No, but I was already planning on doing ridiculous things. So it will probably work out.”


“Well then, what do we do now? Do we head for this dangerous ruin?”
“Hmmm...I haven't thought about that yet...”

Our fearless leader is so easily distracted…


Gallows suggests we check it out, and if it is a bad scene, we simply leave.

… I am continually annoyed at how Gallows seems to think exactly like I would…


Everybody is a little shell shocked after that last adventure. Nobody do anything crazy!


Oh yeah, we are totally going to strike it rich within walking distance of this crap town.


So we know where we are going next, but maybe we’ll check out the village a little more.


This shack looks promising.


A book notes that you can be ambushed or “trouble”’d in battle. An ambush is your typical “enemy acts first” scenario, but a “trouble” fight is when only one party member is cornered, and must fight alone until the rest of the party arrives as reinforcements. Both situations are generally more annoying than deadly. I am pretty sure these unfortunate battle possibilities do not happen until Chapter 2, as I didn’t see either pop up during Chapter 1 on either save file.


Oh, good, another sealed book. If you use a duplicator…


You will find a book that tells you what you already know about Guardians. This must be a trick, as “finding Guardians” will definitely be a plot point, and I could see blowing a duplicator on what could be a clue to the next shrine. However, it must be emphasized that this book only notes that, like, Guardians exist.


And resting at an inn restores summon points. Real news flash there.


So don’t waste a duplicator on that book, and play with the wheely thing over here.


This opens a door to Little Twister’s “back”. In Dragon Quest tradition, you can now putter about the perimeter of the town to find a few extra treasures.


And the Little Twister Arm Smith. Nothing special about upgrading here, but it is good to know where to find your local vendor.


Do not use this on a book!


What’s this shed?


This place looks interesting, but we cannot enter without inserting some kind of card. Hmmmmmm…


We’ll be back later! Back in the town proper, we can visit the completely unused sheriff’s office.


There’s a book in here emphasizing how ARMs are related to demons and the demon war, so maybe they could be a little dangerous.


You can only see one message per playthrough, but every character has a different reaction to the jail cell. Virginia, Jet, and Clive simply do not want to wind up behind bars. Gallows, meanwhile, provides a scientific explanation:

“The smell of booze, leather, and dirty laundry make up about sixty percent...The rest of this odor is coming from the toilet...”

Please do not consider how Gallows is so good at this.


So let’s get out of this stink town.


You can visit this general area anytime after you get a horse, but note that the monsters are a little stronger than on the other side of the crevasse. They are no big deal by the time you conquer Ka Dingel.


Ruins are back toward the east.


The Unclean Mark? Can we just visit the Squeaky-Clean Luke instead?


Looks like a dungeon to me.


Monsters inside are pretty similar to the monsters outside. Watch those buggies, they are big on the poison attacks.


And who’s this then?


Claudia! The missing waitress! And she’s a flirt!


You know who else is a flirt?


Virginia has time today to get mad at party members other than Jet.


Virginia urges caution in this potentially deadly dungeon, but Gallows is just the kind of good Samaritan that this world needs.


So… a grown (straight) man, then?


Jet hits the nail on the head.


By “true to myself” you are referring to some specific chunks of anatomy, aren’t you?




Gallows is the obvious mark, Virginia and Jet seem like the kids making comments, so Claudia decides to address the obvious leader, Clive.


Claudia is described by a few different Little Twister townsfolk as a beautiful waitress that has recently gone missing. Nobody mentioned she was an archeologist.


Appreciate the Rogue (from X-Men) accent.


That would be exactly how we got the power of the Guardians, so this is a pretty typical prize, evidently.


So Claudia just wants to make the world a better place through ancient weapon removal, and Gallows makes the excellent point that this is just the kind of mission Clive was looking for in the first place.


“Does anyone that isn’t thinking with their junk want to take on this mission?”


Gallows is never all that quick when he gets granny’ed.


“Whatever. We weren’t doing anything else anyway.”


“We’re doing the mission. But enough out of you.”


“I know what you're thinking...But the truth of the matter is, Drifters have entered and have never come back. There is definitely something fishy going on... It might seem troublesome, but if we're needed, I think we should help.”

Gallows and Jet get absorbed into the void that is being an unseen party member, and the adults have a quick conversation.


“We’re all doomed by Gallows’s libido. Check.”


“Want to join the party for the dungeon? It saves on polygon resources.”


Claudia technically joins the party. She will not be involved in combat, but she will occasionally pop up to offer advice. Other than that, you won’t even know she’s there. Just like Janus and company back at Ruins of Memory. Just like Janus


But we will save any additional betrayals for next update. Will Claudia and Gallows get together? Or is this romance not written in the stars! Find out next week!

… But first! As was noted a little bit back, the opening intro has a slight change with every new chapter. We’re in Chapter 2 now, so while the majority of the opening is the same, the duel between Janus and Virginia has been replaced with…


This friendly fellow.


And our new trio of robed scientists. What does it all mean? Well, probably not that we are all going to go out for pizza together…

Next time on Wild Arms 3: “Everyone noticed she is actively trying to kill us, right? It’s not just me?”


The Goggles Do Nothing
We're going to go ahead and post this on July 19, Talk Day. Today is talk day and not stalk day. I'll shoot anyone who tries to stalk me, so beware. You have been warned.

Chapter 15: Ruses 'n Resurrections

Previously on Wild Arms 3:
Our intrepid Drifters crossed the land far and wide to find a clue for something to do. They eventually settled on helping some lost woman destroy an ambiguous magical artifact in random ruins.


These ruins.


Filled with monsters like these.


And puzzles that can be solved with bombs like this.


So fun fact:
on the PS2 playthrough, I have not found a single migrant seal yet. If you are in this situation, at about this point in the game, monster encounters start eating off about a third of your ECN per cancelled fight. This means A. you should find migrant seals, and B. I’m going to be doing a lot of useless fighting. Not like I need the levels!


Treasure chests are frequently rigged to explode in this dungeon. Also beware of poison traps dropped by those insects from the tail end of the last update.


Hey! A door that requires a duplicator key! Let’s give it a try.


ARM upgrades ahoy!


The “reason” you unlock this treasure room is the Heart Leaf, which will prevent depression. Aside from wanting to dodge depression to make sure your party doesn’t blow all their gella on comfort chocolate, depression is also a status effect in Wild Arms 3 that is basically mute. Magic and special actions are fueled by force points, and depression apparently means you are too sad to use any force. I wonder if this ever comes up in the Star Wars universe…


This dungeon is mostly boring hallways punctuated with the occasional trap/puzzle. So it is a Wild Arms 3 dungeon.


There is a switch at the end of a narrow bridge and two pendulums. Hm…


Approach the switch, and Claudia will interrupt your stroll at what is a most inopportune location.


She pulls the switch…


And you better move out of the way fast. She was just trying to help, right?


Typical architecture here: one doorway is a treasure room, the other is the way forward.


Always enjoy a treasure room.


Or don’t, because one of the treasures is our first “overworld” trapped chest.


It’s a mimic! The bane of adventurers for decades!


Mimics are not all that special in Wild Arms 3. No instant death attacks, or special tricks to “stealing” treasure, or whatever…


But they do hit hard…. Er… Uh… Let’s look at that in a game where we haven’t cheated to Level 99….


There we go. That mimic used its typical physical attack, and Clive was knocked dead for more than his maximum HP. Note that Clive has the second highest HP count in the party.


Anywho, Mimics are a pain at this point in the game, but quickly become out-leveled when they appear in later dungeons. This is probably the most difficult Mimic fight in the game if you tackle it specifically when you first arrive.

And, for the record, your reward is a pair of duplicators. That is worth a thousand dead Clives!


Plodding right along.


Quick puzzle. It hasn’t been required yet, but Jet’s boomerang will “fall” when hitting a wall. So hit the wall over the switch, and the boomerang will drop onto the switch, opening the nearby door. This happened, like, a thousand times in Wild Arms 2.


Oh! That’s that bug thing using its poison attack. You want to bring a lot of antidotes to this dungeon, because these bee dudes are everywhere.


Then again, they are likely to keep you stocked…


Well this room looks like fun. Probably not a good idea to touch that psychedelic muck down there.


Brilliant deduction.


Just gonna stand there next to the switch until we walk over and talk to you, eh?


Uuuuuh huh.


She steps on the switch… and you know what happens next. Note that walking is not enough here (as you can see), you must break into a sprint if you don’t want to wind up in the toxic, health-draining drink.


Always a reasonable excuse with some people…


In case that trap really did you in, the next room has VIT-restoring gems.


Claudia has nothing to do with this one! Hit the switch to proceed in this room, and these marching blocks will attempt to push you into a pit. Use a bunch of bombs really fast! Or don’t, and you’ll just have to repeat the room after regrettably dropping into a hole.


Proceed a little further, and we’ll find a block that does not react to literally any tool we have in our repertoire. Guess we will come back later.


I’ll get past you one day, door!


This is like the bomb puzzle at the front door (see the beginning of this update), but with double the targets.


Drop your bombs between the pyramids, and all will be well.


Next area requires a quick boomerang switch.


If you think Claudia "leaving" the party is a good thing, I have got some NFTs to sell you.


Woman, every time you open your mouth, we get smashed or poisoned.


Stabbed. That was the one trap we were missing here. Despite Claudia claiming the path is safe, you must dash through here to be fine.


And we are at… wherever here is supposed to be. It’s an end.


This is not her goading you into a trap so much as being generally unnerving.


You are supposed to touch that gem next to Claudia, but attempting to leave will get a “but thou must” from the leader. Different party members offer different comments…


And some are thicker than others.


Finally taking the gem will generate some beam trap that will slice over another chunk of HP. This trap appears to be unavoidable, but you can snag that gem without harm if you slide your character a little over to the right before hitting X. I don’t know if this is intentional…


The artifact is going to be inside an iron maiden, isn’t it?


Clive has had enough (lasers to the face).


“Which death trap tipped you off?”


At least two party members thought this was a trick from literally the start of this…


“It occurred to me sometime around when we were pulling spears out of Gallows’s butt.”


Sure, Goku.


There was other evidence! You’re not good at this!


So Purple Lady was possessing Claudia! And Gallows has the least appropriate/best reaction!




Is that a “blade you wielded” pun?


Oh! Clive with the cutting commentary.


Lady, you are talking to the single most stylish member of our party. Our distant second place contender went to get a burger and got mistaken for The Grimace.


Clive gonna get afterschool special on yo ass.


Clive! What the heck?! We thought Virginia was your metaphorical daughter! Nobody knew you had a literal daughter!


Robed Woman does not take rejection well.


That’s gonna be a boss fight.


So this is a bit of an amusing one.


No advantages for you here, just four against one.


Robed Woman will attack Clive and only Clive. She is pissed, and Clive is going to bear the brunt of her Eliminate Scanner. As long as you keep Clive alive and healthy, she’ll just keep hitting him. After Clive dies, however, she will switch to a more powerful attack called Inhalator, and will likely wipe out the rest of the party in short order.


So just have Virginia keep Clive awash in heal berries, and have everybody else attack. If Clive goes down, let Jet accelerate and use a reviving item.


And that should do it. Her traps were more deadly than she could ever be.


There is no way “Panakeia” isn’t a mistranslation of “Panacea”. In WA3, Panakeia is this mystical (well, technically scientific) goop that keeps these goobers alive. We’ll hear more about it later.


And she teleports away… Or… not. Apparently we beat her so bad, she can’t get away.


But she can still possess the unconscious Claudia!


Come to think of it: was there ever a reason Robed Woman needed Claudia as part of this plan at all? Like, no one met either woman before this point, so the whole “helpless damsel” routine would have worked with just, “oh help I’m a scared lady in robes in these big scary ruins.” You were overthinking it, Robed Woman.


Anywho, away she goes.


And why did she reveal herself a moment ago, too? Can she only use her powers when she is in full purple-mode?


Right. Right. Overthinking it. Let’s just follow her.


Maybe save before heading through that door, as we have an old friend ahead of us.


Janus has the same complaint about Robed Woman as Slickster last update. Does he genuinely believe this, or just saw how that comment got under her skin before?


Janus is happy to see us, though.


Face says angry, but emote says happy to see you’re alive.


Legally, if you are a ghost, you have to tell someone you’re a ghost. It’s one of those boo laws.


And then Janus gets crushed by a giant falling rock. Again.


Or he activated his morpher just in time.


Flashback to between the seconds to illustrate exactly what happened in the coolest way possible.


Janus “Lovecraftian Horror” Cascade.


Weird thing I will note: Janus is wearing his exact same outfit as a Sahagin. Except! For reasons that cannot be explained by science, his shirt has now become a belly shirt, and he is showing off a little scale-ab there. The jacket comes down to the same point on his model, so it’s not just because he got a little more mass up top. This tells us one thing: the designers of Wild Arms 3 were horny for mer-folk.


But the party does not care for our fishy friend.


This was the same “oh no” effect from when the spear appeared back at Ka Dingel. Guess Janus is our first for-real demon in the game… Or at least his weapon is…


Or his soul? Someone’s soul? Whatever. It is a bad sign when gods don’t like something.


Woo! Front row seats to the apocalypse!


Let’s get up close and personal.


We’ve never fought Janus before!


So there is a very particular pattern to this fight. On one round, Janus will use Negative Rainbow. Under normal, non-powered up circumstances, this would deal major damage to the whole party.


But then you’ll learn the trick of this fight.


Janus religiously switches between Negative Rainbow one round, and then a simple physical attack the next. So if you defend literally every other turn, you will be safe.


There’s that Soulcalibur. Janus apparently lost his ARM in our final human battle, so none of his old techniques appear at all. Also fun bit of trivia: Janus was previously using moves that belonged to Ashley of Wild Arms 2, but is now using Negative Rainbow, which was the super attack of Zeikfried/Siegfried of Wild Arms 1. It’s kind of funny, as Janus now has even more in common with Ashley, a dude that was secretly possessed by a final boss and could transform into a different, more powerful “demon” form. So I’m sure this Siegfried connection is just a coincidence.


And either as a concession to this being the second boss fight in the dungeon, or as a storyline “excuse” that will be stated shortly, Janus doesn’t have that much HP for a boss battle.


It is over quickly, and Janus will take the typical sore loser stance of blaming it all on lag.


The Baselard is an accessory that will give one character the ability to “cancel” a movement without an FP cost. This could be useful on your chosen emergency healer.


Oh. The whole thing wasn’t just an elaborate trap. There really was a reason Robed Woman wanted to get through these ruins.


Robed Woman still wants blood, but Janus of all people cautions against further violence. Janus!


“Lemme have a little fight. As a treat.”


Janus, did cowardice come with your new gills?


Oh, typical villain motivation of wanting closure. Now it all makes sense.


Janus continues to be the bane of all human resource departments.


Somebody finally got their teleporter working.


Oh. Claudia. Right.


Guess we were in there for a while. Time for a quick campout.


“You’re a dad? Funny story: I hate dads.”


“Oh no! Janus has gained all the powers of a demon, and is going to destroy the world. Apropos of nothing, my wife would hate that.”


“The other day, I found a bonus heal berry in my cereal. And Clive here has a wife and kid. Will wonders never cease?”


Janus is alive/fishy.


He tried to kill you all, so he is still the same on the inside.


I do appreciate that the guardians don’t seem to have a clue on how to communicate to the party beyond general vibes. Makes sense for eternal gods that reside in some kind of other dimension.


Janus gets no respect…



“A medium is kinda like a vehicle or a go-between...We're all connected to the guardians by it. So the fear expressed through the medium is that of the guardian's, and...the guardians represent the power of Filgaia. Which means that whatever scares the guardians, is a threat to the planet itself. And from what we know, there's only one thing that threatens this planet...”


Virginia cannot hide her enthusiasm at fighting real mythological monsters.


And, if you haven’t noticed, there isn’t exactly an army of powerful humans ready to meet a demon threat head on…


“So, this is why we were entrusted with the mediums and let loose over Filgaia! I turned my back on my lineage and destiny of priesthood so that I could be free...But all I'm doing is playing a part in Granny's whole scheme!”

Her “whole scheme” is a “plot” to save the world, so maybe you could be a little less egocentric about it.


“Face” is a relative term here.


I understand feeling manipulated by a controlling family member, I really do. But, ya know, world saving.


Oh! The mediums heard us talking smack, and started glowing.


The glow shoots into the sky and off in some direction. Guess we have a lead on our next mission.


How about “go southeast”.


Yeah, it sucks being a videogame protagonist. Go have a Bioshock about it.



“I think it was partly fate that brought us together in the wasteland. And I'm really grateful for it. But the thing is, I don't want to entrust every decision to it. What I trust more is you guys--the bond we share together. And the mediums are a bond that connects us with Filgaia. I want to trust this bond and take action.”

Let’s trust mystical gods trying to save the world! Not strange women in ruins!


“You guys, I really want to fight a demon so bad!”


We were kind of aimless after we thought Janus was dead, but now that we have a Janus to fight…


And here is our flimsy excuse for why we don’t recruit maybe at least one other person with an ARM to defend the planet.


Has she been unconscious this whole time? Should somebody check into that? A doctor? Have we seen a doctor outside of Clive’s opening?


I’ve played JRPGs before, Clive.


Apparently we walked a little bit from the ruins for that little rest, and we’ll take Claudia home next update. And after that, I am going to guess “southeast” is in our future…

Next time on Wild Arms 3: One game’s unstoppable super boss is another game’s speedbump.