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Old 06-09-2017, 05:56 PM
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Default What in Blazes!? It's Wild Arms 2!

Are you ready for a Letís Play so wild, youíre gonna need two arms to contain it!?

Table of Contents!

Chapter 1: Stray Dogs
Chapter 2: Puzzling Sisters
Chapter 3: Wide-Eyed Heroes
Chapter 4: Chasing Cats and Legends
Chapter 5: Magicians and Monsters
Chapter 6: Prisoners and Pugilists
Chapter 7: Under Traffic Under Siege
Chapter 8: Reach Out and Threaten Someone
Chapter 9: The Kids Are (not) Alright
Chapter 10: Crosses to Bear
Chapter 11: A Splendid Scientist Appears! Liz and Ard are Here to Help!
Chapter 12: Down Below and Way Up High
Chapter 13: You're a Wizard, Timmy!




Yes, ladies and gentlemen, itís time for a Letís Play of Wild Arms 2: Second Ignition. Why WA2? Well, Iíll explain that in full detail much later, but, long story short, for the last fifteen years or so, Iíve felt like I owed Wild Arms 2 a favor, and now is as good a time as any to settle that debt. Any other questions? Because weíve got answers!

So this is a Letís Play of only Wild Arms 2?

Yep, this is not a franchise-spanning Letís Play like some LPs, just Wild Arms 2.

So will you be addressing the other Wild Arms games?

Not very much! Truth be told, I only played Wild Arms 1 (and its remake), Wild Arms 2, and Wild Arms 3 to completion. By the time of Wild Arms 4, I had kind of fallen out of love with playing every JRPG that came down the pike, and I quit that one somewhere about halfway through. Wild Arms 5 met a similar fate, and Wild Arms PSP was a gorram tactics game, and who has time for that?

So whatís the spoiler policy here?

You can pretty much assume Iím not going to spoil other Wild Arms games, because I can barely remember those adventures. Actually, thatís a lie, Iím probably going to bring up superficial similarities between WA2 and other WA games (that Iíve played), but, in general, this will be laser-focused on WA2. I will also likely spoil Final Fantasy 7, a game wherein Aeris dies, and other JRPGS contemporary to Wild Arms 2. I will also inevitably make references to Kingdom Hearts and Xenosaga, because, hi, Iím Goggle Bob.

Should I read this LP if Iíve never played Wild Arms 2 before?

Sure, why not? I may make oblique references to future events, so donít expect a completely ďsurprise-basedĒ Letís Play, but, other than that, Iíll be doing my best to make sure old fans and new may enjoy this Playstation 1 JRPG from 1999.

What will be the focus of this Letís Play?

Like a certain other franchise, Wild Arms 2 has a reputation for having a confusing mess of a plot. Whether this is because of a weird translation (ďweirdĒ is probably the best descriptor here), the plot is plain bonkers, or some combination of both is immaterial. One way or another, it seems that a lot of people that played Wild Arms 2 have no damn idea what just happened, so maybe this Letís Play will rectify that.

So youíre focusing on the story?

Itís what I do! Speaking of ďWhat I doĒ, like the Xenosaga LP, I will be cheating my ass off here, so donít expect killer boss strategies.

Cheating? Again?

Wild Arms 2 has a classic JRPG battle system. That means itís boring as hell. I donít think Iíd be able to continue the LP if I had to repeat a dungeon, like, once. Sorry! This cheating is for your own good.

Picture or Video LP?

Iím gonna copy and paste this from the last LP: Picture, for two reasons. One, I personally find it difficult to ďfollowĒ video LPs, if only because if Iím in a situation where I can sit down and ďwatchĒ something, Iím probably watching a scripted show, and not someone else play a video game. This isnít to disparage video LPs, incidentally, itís just how my own viewing habits work, which naturally influences what I myself produce.

Are these pictures small?

Sorry if itís a little hard to read, but Iím formatting these shots so theyíll appear well on mobile devices as well as computers-proper. I have a tendency to browse the net on my phone, and, again, Iím a giant narcissist, so I assume my audience is me. I understand me.

Hey, you missed (fill in the blank)! What gives?

This isnít a walk through, and Iím not going to hit every single sidequest, because I want this thing to end before the heat death of the universe. Iím also not, if I can help it, using a FAQ, so itís pretty inevitable that Iím going to miss some stuff. That said, feel free to chime in on ďoh man what about xĒ. Iím listening!

This is a classic JRPG with a lot of name options, may we, the audience, choose the names of characters?

No! This is a no fun zone! ErrmmÖ I meanÖ In the interest of fully analyzing the plot, weíll be sticking to the default names for most of the characters. Ö I just really donít want to write a thousand page essay on the motivations of PANTS! Winchester. That said, there may be a few places I weaken my iron grip on the naming schemes. No promises.

That all make sense to everybody? Great! Letís play!



We are starting a new game! Mostly! By the way, unlike Wild Arms 1, there is no secret cinema scene if you wait on the title screen long enough. Believe me, I checked.



But like Wild Arms, there is a rad introduction sequence when you start up the game. Itís not as good as the Wild Arms 1 intro, but then again, many people have described the birth of their first child as ďnot as good as the Wild Arms 1 intro.Ē



And the first glimpse of a character is olí Spineyhands McCloakneck. Iím sure heíll be important later.



Each of the Wild Arms games has aÖ gun-sounding? Is that a phrase?... subtitle. Should I be abbreviating this game as WA2ndI? No.



Trudging through the desert isÖ



This guy! Ever notice how many JRPGs have heroes with blue hair? Is that, like, a thing?



Meanwhile, deep in a cave, some sulky guy looks over heavy artillery.



And sleepy girl gets some shuteye on a magic rune. ThatÖ is probably a bad idea.



Is maximum fuzziness offset by beady little eyes? Maybe weíll find out!



And this is clearly some manner of Area 51 reject.



Back to wasteland travelingÖ



And now we get some (more) rapid fire action scenes. Itís our favorite alien on a rope bridge with the fuzzball. This is meant to seem dangerous, but has a bridge ever actually killed anyone important in fiction? And then some walking! And threatening! Or something!



And hereís a brief glimpse of the best character ever.



And some light incest!



Back to the desert.



And somewhere, a sixteen year old that dresses like a sixty year old is getting water while concerned.



Yes, this game will involve walking!



And the whole intro ends on a shot of blue-boyís footprint. It is a weird thing to focus on for your finale.

By the by, in the Japanese version, this whole sequence is scored by a song that involves actual lyrics, but the vocals were replaced with a cool brass sound for us Americans that canít stand to hear a Japanese voice. As a trumpet player, Iím not entirely upset.



Anyway, the introduction closes with a choice between three heroes. Do we choose ďA young man ready for actionĒ...



ďA former hero now war criminalĒ...



Or ďA sorceress just getting startedĒ? You decide!

I mean, seriously, decide. Donít say I never gave you anything.

Next time on Wild Arms: You tell me!

Last edited by GoggleBob; 12-08-2017 at 06:47 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2017, 07:25 PM
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Gimme that beafy guy in the middle!
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:33 PM
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A top-notch Let's Play of one of my most dearly beloved games that's too time-consuming for me to want to play all the way through again but which I would love to see revisited in some capacity?

I'M EXCITED. I LIKE THAT THIS IS HAPPENING.

And of course, I gotta vote for ďA former hero now war criminalĒ to start.
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:36 PM
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War criminals have all the best parties! Let's see some of that.
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoggleBob View Post
Picture or Video LP?

Iím gonna copy and paste this from the last LP: Picture, for two reasons. One, I personally find it difficult to ďfollowĒ video LPs, if only because if Iím in a situation where I can sit down and ďwatchĒ something, Iím probably watching a scripted show, and not someone else play a video game. This isnít to disparage video LPs, incidentally, itís just how my own viewing habits work, which naturally influences what I myself produce.

Are these pictures small?

Sorry if itís a little hard to read, but Iím formatting these shots so theyíll appear well on mobile devices as well as computers-proper. I have a tendency to browse the net on my phone, and, again, Iím a giant narcissist, so I assume my audience is me. I understand me.
"the Internet is where solipsism goes to spawn and have little self-centered babies"

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Originally Posted by GoggleBob View Post


And sleepy girl gets some shuteye on a magic rune. ThatÖ is probably a bad idea.
Yes, runes offer really poor support.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoggleBob View Post
Anyway, the introduction closes with a choice between three heroes. Do we choose ďA young man ready for actionĒ...

ďA former hero now war criminalĒ...

Or ďA sorceress just getting startedĒ? You decide!
Young man just seems ways too much like any other generic (blue-haired) RPG main protagonist. I'm not sure why I'm so meh on the sorceress. I was meh on bulky sulky guy until I saw that he was loaded for bear. So he has my vote!
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:31 AM
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For years I've been thinking about/intending to do something like a "Let's Play" for this game (and possibly also 3), but without any focus on the gameplay, just the story plus comparisons/references to other WA games (mostly 1/AC:F and 3).

Mooching off the hard work of an LP like this, and only covering the relationships between the different games...might be manageable.

At any rate, I'm excited to see this.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:50 AM
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Also, while there is probably no way to argue that Wild Arms 2's intro is outright BETTER than Wild Arms 1's intro...because 1's is, indeed, in the running for Best Intro Ever...I will say that 2's intro actually benefits from the growing context and familiarity with the characters and the story and all that and the game itself lives up to and complements its own intro, while I found my time with 1 to be sort of characterized by the sinking realization that the game itself would never even come close to nailing the incredible atmosphere of its intro. I like the first Wild Arms on its own terms, but it's probably never ideal when a game that is dozens of hours long is all sort of downhill after the first two minutes.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoggleBob View Post
Like a certain other franchise, Wild Arms 2 has a reputation for having a confusing mess of a plot. Whether this is because of a weird translation (ďweirdĒ is probably the best descriptor here), the plot is plain bonkers, or some combination of both is immaterial. One way or another, it seems that a lot of people that played Wild Arms 2 have no damn idea what just happened, so maybe this Letís Play will rectify that.
This is consistent with what little I'm managed to retain of my Wild Arms 2 experience.

Also, with all of the talk of the intro video: is this the game that changes that intro as you progress? Or am I thinking of something else?
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Old 06-10-2017, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by JBear View Post
This is consistent with what little I'm managed to retain of my Wild Arms 2 experience.

Also, with all of the talk of the intro video: is this the game that changes that intro as you progress? Or am I thinking of something else?
There's a second intro on the second disc. Might even be better than the initial intro. It fucking rules.

WA2 falls smack in the middle of my 2- or 3-year love affair with JRPGs (~1999-2001). I remember it came out in 2000 when I was basically enamored with PS1 JRPGs (as many of us probably were around that time).

I remember that year I played: Final Fantasy 8, Legend of Legaia, Final Fantasy Anthology (5 being the bigger deal at the time), Star Ocean 2, Wild Arms 2, Legend of Dragoon, Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete, Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy 9, and Lunar 2 Complete.

What a year, but it's been all downhill between me and JRPGs since then. We're basically not on speaking terms anymore, but I can see myself going back to some PS1 gems if I can't find anything new to play.
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Old 06-10-2017, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by boyonion View Post
There's a second intro on the second disc. Might even be better than the initial intro. It fucking rules.

WA2 falls smack in the middle of my 2- or 3-year love affair with JRPGs (~1999-2001). I remember it came out in 2000 when I was basically enamored with PS1 JRPGs (as many of us probably were around that time).

I remember that year I played: Final Fantasy 8, Legend of Legaia, Final Fantasy Anthology (5 being the bigger deal at the time), Star Ocean 2, Wild Arms 2, Legend of Dragoon, Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete, Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy 9, and Lunar 2 Complete.

What a year, but it's been all downhill between me and JRPGs since then. We're basically not on speaking terms anymore, but I can see myself going back to some PS1 gems if I can't find anything new to play.
Do you still play RPGs, just not the J ones?
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:19 PM
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Do you still play RPGs, just not the J ones?
I play RPG-hybrids. The Bloodbornes, Elder Scrolls, and Deus Exes of the world. I'm not into the more pure RPGs (JRPGs and even classic PC RPGs) anymore. I need action, and since pure RPGs have long since lost their monopoly on compelling stories, I'm all about the immersive action-hybrids.
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Old 06-11-2017, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
Also, with all of the talk of the intro video: is this the game that changes that intro as you progress? Or am I thinking of something else?
Quote:
Originally Posted by boyonion View Post
There's a second intro on the second disc. Might even be better than the initial intro. It fucking rules.
Yup, though you might be thinking of Wild Arms 3, which has a DYNAMIC INTRO that swaps out relevant scenes and imagery and characters depending on your current place in the story. Which is a cool idea, but unfortunately all it ends up actually doing is changing one single section in the middle four times as the game goes on while the vast majority of it is the exact same, so 2, which has two entirely distinct intros, wins out variety wise by far; I remember being kiiiinda disappointed by 3's half-assed intro shenanigans, after having heard some hype for the DYNAMIC INTRO gimmick. And that's setting aside that no incarnation of the intro is as good as the first two games'.

...3, what were y'thinkin' with that, at the end of the day Wild Arms games, excel or fail elsewhere as they might, were supposed to have just ONE JOB: an amazing intro
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Old 06-11-2017, 07:45 AM
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Yeah, I think I was probably conflating the two, although I think I really dug all of them, IIRC.
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Old 06-11-2017, 07:50 AM
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Still better than 5's which just has cutscenes from the game.
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:46 AM
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I remember my favourite feature of WA2 was the battle canceling mechanic. It didn't interrupt puzzle solving but also made you weigh the value of all that unobtained XP for the inevitable boss fights. WA1, though a quality game, could become frustrating if you were stumped on a puzzle and continued to just run into battle after battle.

Edit: actually answering the thread: go with the blue-haired protag!

Last edited by boyonion; 06-11-2017 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:52 AM
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just as a point of clarification

is this a 'this is my protagonist for the entire game' choice where we're stuck with it for the whole lp
or is this an ff6-style 'please select a scenario' choice where we'll come back to the other two and we're just deciding order
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:53 AM
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The second one.
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:53 AM
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oh ok cool

in that case i have no particular opinion, though i'll toss in a vote for GIRL anyway because why not
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Old 06-11-2017, 12:44 PM
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GIMME SUMMA DAT WAR CRIMES.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:01 PM
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I have a pure love for Wild Arms 2 untarnished by things like logic despite years of analysis. Very excited for this LP.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:16 PM
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Hot diggity daffodil! I wasn't expecting this so this is very much a pleasant surprise!

Oh and everyone be sure to get good and familiar with the actual opening theme music. Sear it into your mind. It will Be Important at some point in the finale for reasons.

Actually maybe GoggleBob should embed the opening video at the start of every update, just for the extra authentic feel.
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:37 PM
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One thing to note about WA2 (and well, every one of them past this) is that they have massive soundtracks. Which was fairly common back in the day with JRPGs since most of them relied on musical stingers and the like to communicate emoting since few had any amount of voice acting or in depth sprite/model animations.

That said, WA2 (and 3/4) shares a ton of leitmotifs with 1 that you can use to infer "oh hey, this scene is Guardian-related and so on" if you've played a WA game before.
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Old 06-11-2017, 11:04 PM
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I don't care who you pick as long as their name is Pants Winchester
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Old 06-12-2017, 12:21 AM
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I haven't played this but I own a copy. Maybe I'll play along with the LP. Looking forward to it, anyway

Regarding the images, I also use the internet almost exclusively on my phone, and I would prefer that they be bigger, probably double the size they are now. I have to zoom in to see the images clearly (particularly when they contain text) and then zoom out to read the accompanying text. But it's your LP and you should do it the way it works for you.
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Old 06-14-2017, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
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GIRL
charlimit
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:01 AM
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Looks like War Criminal is in the lead, so he'll be on deck shortly. I'm counting Falselogic's Pants vote for the guy that at least has the right last name, so Blue Boy and Girl are tied for second. If anyone has a tiebreaker vote on who will be our first runner up, speak now.
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:39 AM
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Guy because I like is rifle!!
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Old 06-16-2017, 07:37 PM
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Girl, because I like ties and sorceresses! (That may have come out wrong.)
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Old 06-17-2017, 02:26 PM
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Nah, it's a good look.

And feel free to count that as a tie-breaking vote for Girl, if only because you ease into the jarringly awful localization a little better that way.

Oh wow I kinda figured "necktie sorceress" would be a terrible thing to search for, but why is "Slayers Syphiel" giving me this much porn? It's not like I have safe search off.
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Old 06-17-2017, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Googleshng View Post
why is "Slayers Syphiel" [anime woman] giving me this much porn?
if you think about it, i promise the answer will come to you or vice-versa

also that site you linked hates hotlinking
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