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Make a Memory: Let's Play Wild Arms 3

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
Fortune Gear is optional insomuch as you can go to two distinct places, and you have your choice of which. The next update will be the other choice. But, ultimately, you have to go to both places eventually at around this point in the game to proceed. So, one way or another, you are fighting Janus at this point in the plot.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
And speaking of other choices, we are going to proceed with that on September 20, Street Preaching Day. Two bugs multiply into four in one day. They further multiply into eight. If it takes thirty days to cover Filgaia with bugs, how many days will it take to cover half of Filgaia? The Ark of Destiny preacher said that the answer is 29 days. I wonder what he was trying to prove.

Chapter 24: The Self-Righteous Gemstones

Previously on Wild Arms 3:
Bang Bang Lucky Janus
Bang Bang Lucky Janus
C'est lui qu'a le truc pour nous étonner
Bang Bang Lucky Janus
Bang Bang Lucky Janus
C'est un homme qui n'a peur de personne
Même pas des Virginia

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So we’re back at Humphrey’s Peak collecting ourselves before the next mission.

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And now we’re done.

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Please be aware that just outside Humphrey’s Peak, there are Jorts with two tails that stand on their forepaws.

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And the animation for Wild Arms 3’s sleep spell is a circle of sheep running around the target. This update is shaping up to be adorable!

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The main reason I am noting a random encounter (other than the adorbs factor) is that after equipping the Luck Medium and taking a nap at home, Clive now has BEST luck. Assuming I keep that going with Clive’s equipment, this means that Clive will be opening monster treasure chests for the rest of the game. Disarming a trap is 100% luck based, and, while BEST luck is not an absolute guarantee of success, it does mean Clive will be exploded by traps slightly less.

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The Gemstone Cave that Clive mentioned a few updates back is north of HP, and requires a horse to jump the crevasse. While you are guaranteed to have a horse at this point (you needed one to start Chapter 2), this may be the first time in the game you are using a Call Whistle to summon your steed past that stupid sand dungeon.

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And
here we are.

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Before we enter, just going to note this weird “island” that is just beyond the doorway. Is this another dungeon like the Sand Canal that connects to another location? The answer is: eventually!

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Well, at least it is pretty enough.

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You live on a desert planet. Our “September” is probably freezing for you guys.

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Oh, it’s metaphorical.

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So we have only ever found Guardians in shrines dedicated to said deities, but, sure, let’s explore this empty cave with the intention of maybe finding an errant Guardian…

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Speaking of shrines, when was the last time we explored a straight-up cave? Clive had one in his intro…

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Gemstone Cave’s proximity to Humphrey’s Peak seems to indicate that it is intended to be visited before Fortune Gear. Another sign? If you score all the Migrant Seals up to this point, and include the one at Fortune Gear, the encounters here will mostly be green, “beneath you” affairs.

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And this is a shame, as this place as has fairly unique fights.

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Meet Rock Baboon and Hodac the Lizard. If you are fighting just one of these monsters, it is a standard battle. But…

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These monsters do not play well together. If you leave a Rock Baboon and Hodac alone together, they will fight.

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They absolutely will eventually kill each other, and will only fight your party after their opposite number is defeated. As a result, Gemstone Cave is one of the few dungeons where you could conceivably fight every random encounter, and never take a hit.

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Though you may find conflict in other places…

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Maya! Depending on how you handled the “optional” content up to this point, this could be your first dungeon immediately after Maya’s rescue at the end of the laboratory.

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“Hey! I got your texts! I was going to respond as soon as we stopped fighting lizards!”

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Well, this place is called Gemstone Cave…

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Virginia always seems to have confidence issues when Maya is around.

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“You are always so vague! I don't know what your intention is, but one thing is for sure. You perpetually appear wherever I go, and pester me!”
Yes, Maya. “Pester”.

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… Maya, you are making every double entendre too easy.

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“Well excuuuuuse me, Princess.”

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Virginia is trying really hard to tell Maya about this whole “we are saving the world from demons” thing.

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“The planet! You live on!”

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Everyone knows Maya is just doing this because she likes seeing Virginia flustered, right?

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There is only going to be some light gunplay between friends here.

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It’s a race to the gems! Or… it’s a normal dungeon! Nobody felt like making this dungeon a timer-based affair.

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Step one: blow up a series of rocks.

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Step two: profit.

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Advance a screen, and it is time for a science lesson about birds gems.

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“Gems are composed of life energy of the planet. This life energy can be likened to the blood of living organisms. This coagulation of the planet's lifeblood becomes what we know as gems.”
Just so you know (it will be confirmed within this very update), Clive is absolutely not only talking about the big ol’ rocks you find all over this cave, but also the translucent gems that appear in every dungeon/cave/monster arena. The concept behind the white and orange gems is that the planet is helping you out with some bonus VIT in any dangerous area. Thanks, Filgaia!

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Oh, and those elemental gems you get after battles for killing creatures with magic, too. Anyway, having learned a new thing, we can proceed.

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See? These gems. They’re real. Not just a gameplay feature.

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This cave is pretty boring, all told.

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It is appropriately “cave-y” and twisting and random, though.

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Maya is like a cat. She just kind of haphazardly shows up, and you never know if you are going to get to rub her belly or eat some claws.

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Claws encounter.

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A boulder blocks your path. Command?

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As much as I enjoy Maya being our ally, I do appreciate cat & mouse antics.

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So bombs?

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No bombs.

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This is the same puzzle as Trask back at Ka Dingel.

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Use Virginia’s fire, follow it with Gallows’s ice…

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And then you can blow it to smithereens.

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Moving on.

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So many gems in this whaddyacallit cave.

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Maya does not loot any of the treasure chests this time around (remember the empty chests from her first dungeon?), but she wouldn’t be able to get to this one anyway. Launch a steady doll to score some loot.

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This one is inaccessible altogether, though. Guess we’ll come back to this dungeon later…

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“As I mentioned earlier, gems can be likened to the blood exuding from the planet. Blood that has coagulated. Which in turn means that this place is full of wounds. Wounds translate into the decay of land--an impoverished planet. Gems can be found within ruins and buildings for this very reason.”
Jet is still working on the definition of “coagulated”.

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Filgaia sad.

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“We know what good planet feels like. This place is strictly bad planet.”

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“Gems are ostensibly supposed to grow in size with the passage of time...Even with the large quantity of gems in this cave, the actual size does not differ from other locations. Perhaps my professor's theory is true...It may seem preposterous, but there is evidence here to back it up.”
We may not find a Guardian here, but it looks Clive picked up on some clues…

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And we’re not done yet.

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Yes it could be interesting to see what is…

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So much for having a choice.

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You know this puzzle from many a JRPG…

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This is the basement, and you have to figure out which holes up top correspond to where you will fall down here.

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Find the right holes, and you’ll earn some treasure.

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Mess up and keep using the absolutely wrong hole, and you’ll be here all day. Guess what I did…

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If you are somehow using this Let’s Play as a FAQ, this is technically the hole you want. It is marked by being between these two gem formations.

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Note that even when you get it right, you will want to get it right twice, because…

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The right hole allows you to drop further down to a treasure you wouldn’t otherwise gain. The amulet confers an ability that will block all status ailments so long as you are guarding. Given some of the bosses (and one big sidequest) are based entirely on ruining your day with ailments, this would be useful for Virginia or Gallows to stay healthy and ready to heal the whole party.

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Okay, now we’ve grabbed the treasure, gone back upstairs, fallen in the right hole again, and we’re ready to make progress. Please do not note the in-game time indicating how long this area took.

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But at least I’m not the only one who was having issues.

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I think we might have a lead now…

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This isn’t Brave Fencer Musashi! We can’t just nap anywhere!

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Interestingly enough, given the Virginia x Maya relationship takes center stage anytime her family appears, the rest of the party rarely gets to discuss Maya and her hijinks. Whatever character is in the lead gets a minor comment at this point, and while Jet and Clive have pat responses (Jet literally just says “Gimme a break”), it is appreciated that Gallows gets the unique…

“She sure is feisty. She's taking it all out on us even though it's her mistake. I feel sorry for her companions...”

This is being noted because even prominent (failure of a) lothario Gallows isn’t going to touch Maya with a ten-foot pole. He knows she is spoken for.

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Not much dungeon left to go now.

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If you didn’t think to save after that stupid hole puzzle, now would be a good time.

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Because here’s the boss battle.

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They appear behind us now, as they lost time for some reason.

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Oh yeah. Where is Virginia’s favorite blonde?

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Virginia! You are messing up her planned entrance! She put so much effort into this finale…

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A… book? Oh yeah, she was taunting us with a book at the end of Serpent’s Coils, too.

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What? She’s a wizard now?

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A fighting wizard?

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Virginia isn’t into unwarranted cosplay!

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Loving that Wonder Witch Maya gets her own series of unique character portraits.

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“Milady possesses supernatural powers where she can convert information into her own special abilities. Even nonsensical information can be processed through the medium of a book to wield unlimited powers!”
Oh, this is so good…

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Maya’s magic power is that she can channel information into power, even if the “information” is fictional.

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So just be glad there aren’t any Galactus comics on Filgaia.

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This “ability” is simultaneously the most overpowered thing you can imagine, and appropriate for a humorous character that is obviously only ever going to use it for goofy reasons.

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Is that the expression you’re seeing?

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Alfred the Boy Wonder is the one with empathy in this party.

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Having learned Maya’s secret powers, Virginia is going to be distracted for this entire battle thinking about books she could buy her girlfriend for… Uh… less combative reasons.

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Maya & Friends Boss Battle #2.

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All of the support characters are exactly the same as last time. As far as I can see, they do not have any new moves between them, and their weaknesses are all the same, too. This means Todd is still your A priority, as his healing and confusion attacks are a tremendous threat. Remind him his afro is flammable.

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Maya, meanwhile, is a completely different beast. Appropriate to her current attire, she will cast a random spell every round.

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Note that all spells will be attack-all, so your entire party will take the brunt of every hit. This would be a good fight to remember you have a variety of elemental guards available through your mediums.

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Fire and ice are particularly useful, as Shady the Cat still breaths those elements.

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Alfred still only has exactly one attack.

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You might think you could easily neuter Maya’s magical abilities by casting Reflect, but…

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She is quick to counter that with Eraser. Casting any buffs are not a complete waste, as Maya has to use a turn to cast Eraser in the first place, but it is kind of a zero sum move.

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And just because it was mentioned last update…

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Pickpocket/Steal is so useless on bosses. You know Maya has something! She’s Maya.

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Oh, and Maya will cast Reflect on her own team members, so exploiting Shady’s elemental weakness is not advised for fear of it bouncing back.

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Wonder Witch Maya does have a cute hit animation, though. I don’t think she is used to heels.

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I am almost certain you don’t technically have to defeat the whole family, just Maya. But knocking everyone down will result in greater EXP gains.

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Is this going to be another story fight that ends with our party knocked out?

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We’ll find out!

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After the break.

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Guess we’re safe.

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“Lady, don’t go nuts. We don’t even want your stupid gems.”

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Maya almost kills us all for absolutely nothing.

… Sounds about right.

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“Why thank you, sir.”

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“One more thing…”

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Yep! Just going to refill your encounter gauge.

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Should have listened to Clive.

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Also note that Maya changed out of her witch outfit between scene transitions.

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“And can you tell me where I will find actual valuable gems?”

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Is… is that really an answer?

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You trying to crash the gem market, Clive?

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Just go ahead and keep being mysterious about your professor’s theories.

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Virginia doesn’t give a damn. Tell me about your hopes and dreams, Maya.

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Material Girl.

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See? Canon magically devoured gems.

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“The sparkle I'm looking for is the -real sparkle-. I don't care how many false leads I have to follow. One of these days I will find it. And I will shine because of it…”
"One of these days, I'm gonna tell ya 'bout my ROMANTIC dream!"

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Anywho, gotta go. Off to find the part of Filgaia where they speak French.

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“Don’t forget! We’re doing brunch at that café in Jolly Roger on Tuesday!”

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Welp, the ultimate reward for this quest is a fat lotta nothing.

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No Guardian, no big treasure, just the nonsense we found while exploring. See why I did literally everything else available first? My garden was growing while we were going through this trash bin. Serves us right... who would ever think to find a guardian here...

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And we’re going to call it as we get back to (Clive's) home again. It’s been fun, Maya!

Next time on Wild Arms 3: The quest for the Frozen Flame.
 
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