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Old 01-26-2018, 01:41 PM
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GoggleBob GoggleBob is offline
The Goggles do Nothing
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,578
Default Wild Arms 2 20-3

And then it descends into madness.

This is one of those dungeons. Go in the right door to proceed. Go in the wrong door, and your position resets, and you’re likely to be a few rooms back. Go in the exactly right sequence, or never make any progress at all. And all the rooms look very alike. I hate these things.

Uuuuugh. Can’t I just chase a flute playing skeleton or something?

Oh, that doorway looks important. Let’s get out of here.

Dammit! Doors that are not glowing and activated are no doors at all.

This area has random encounters, but like Alchemical Plant and the Vanderwhatever, monster mobs are severely limited. We’ll only encounter Odessa Man 2s here, and they’re not all that exciting.

Basic attacks, a random status ailment or two, and you’ve seen everything these dorks have to offer. For the entire dungeon.

So anyway, that room took us back to the beginning of the dungeon (ugh), and, on a second trip through the area, we found this room with a plaque.

Oh, good. This dungeon is stupid and has puzzles.

So, in the room with the deactivated doorway, you’re supposed to “look back” and double back over the “entrance” door.

This will lead to this room that contains…

The only treasure chest in the whole dungeon.

New tool for Tim! Yay!

This is another projectile tool. Air Ballet (I swear, even Tim’s tools sound intentionally emasculating) can be used to “shoot” blocks and objects so they move around. Strangely, due to a limited number of moveable blocks in WA2, this becomes Tim’s least used tool.

But it’s useful here.

Now that big door has been activated, but some voice is talking to us about magical keys.

Nice to meet you, too.

Caina! Yes! The last of the big four. Finally! We’ve fought the other guys twice already!

The kid just likes playing with trains, I guess.

After pulling the whole “spooky voice” shtick, Caina just strolls up to the party. Really thought we’d have to fight through more dungeon to find the guy. … Err…. Girl.

Boss fight!

And, since we haven’t gotten there yet, let’s talk about Caina. Caina is the youngest member of Cocytus, and she wields a magical key that allows the summoning of demons and alternate dimensions. You would expect there to be some explanation for Caina’s nigh-godlike abilities, or where the key came from, or something, but, nope, there’s just a magical key, and you’re going to have to deal with that. The key appears to be sentient? I don’t know. You want a full explanation of keyblades, you’re going to have to look elsewhere.

Caina is also the biggest “true believer” in Odessa. While the other members have their own reasons for joining, Caina truly believes in Vinsfeld’s ideals lock, stock, and barrel. There’s also a strong implication that this wholehearted dedication to Vinsfeld has translated into an unreciprocated crush, and… that leads to the other big thing about Caina.

In the American version of Wild Arms 2, Caina is female.

In the Japanese version of Wild Arms 2, Caina is male.

In both versions, yes, Caina definitely has a thing for Vinsfeld.

At first blush, this could easily be the ol’ “hetero washing” of any even potentially homosexual relationship in a piece of media as it skips across the Pacific (see also: an embarrassing amount of localized 90s anime). On the other hand, the localization of Wild Arms 2 is so… confused at times, that it’s entirely likely the translation team simply looked at the effeminate kid with a crush on a male superior and assumed “that’s a girl!” And it can’t help that Caina appears to be wearing a Sailor Moon-esque giant ribbon on his butt, either. I can see how someone would get confused (but, then again, on my first playthrough of Chrono Trigger, I thought Lucca was a boy).

Anyway, one way or another, it doesn’t really impact the story. Caina is still the kid in a group of murderers, and he/she still has a crush on her/his boss. As far as representation scrubbing goes, it sucks to lose a homosexual character, but, on the other hand, maybe it’s not the worst thing, as then the only confirmed homosexual character in the story would be evil as all get out, and that’s not that great, either.

So, for the purpose of the LP, I’ll be referring to Caina as female, as I am playing the version where that’s accurate. Though I reserve the right to completely forget that at times. I do personally see Caina as a boy mass murderer, and not a girl mass murderer.

Fun fact: Caina is the only Odessa member without a last name, which may indicate she’s supposed to be an orphan, and thus a fairly perfect evil analogue to Tim. … Though I don’t think Tim has a crush on Ashley. This isn’t Nier.

Also, were this another universe, it’s pretty obvious that Caina would be piloting Green Lion, for all sorts of reasons.

“That day of the Demon Summoning, if not at the <Sword Cathedral>... If you hadn't returned alive with the Demon inside you, our goals wouldn't be undone!”

Also, Caina holds a grudge directly against Ashley. This makes Caina the one Cocytus member to so much as learn an ARMS member’s name.

But, yeah, guess this is the first Ashley is learning there’s a reason there’s a demon/magic sword stuck in his soul. Also, that Caina is arguably directly responsible for every dead monster-man that Ashley had to kill at Sword Cathedral.

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