The Return of Talking Time

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  #151  
Old 11-07-2017, 08:53 PM
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We already have magical cel towers, so are these just magical Li-ion batteries?
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  #152  
Old 12-08-2017, 06:07 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 13-1

Previously on Wild Arms 2: ARMS picked up some random rocks, and now their home base can freaking fly! Vwoooosh! Where can I pick up some ancient technology? I’ve always wanted a mobile Custard Hut.



And we also picked up Tim, the little orphan boy that just found out a local castle is airborne and he can talk to gods. Oddly, these two facts are not related.



“… by anyone that isn’t immediately in this room.”



“Here is where you were born.”
“Neat.”
“Wanna talk to gods now? How about now?”



“Can you control the ship from your desk, or...”
“I was being dramatic.”



But, gasp! Tony and Scott have snuck aboard and sequestered an entire bed room.



“He needs us! So let’s hide in this room and never tell him we’re here!”



Yay! We’ve got an airship!



Buuuut it kinda sucks. Yes, we can fly anywhere in the world, but we can only actually land on one of four distinct landing pads scattered across the world. Or maybe three? I can only think of three, but I’m sure I’m missing one.



But we can see the world. Here’s Illsveil Prison from the air. Oh yeah, landmarks don’t appear until you actually “discover” them, so even the world tour makes Filgaia look rather bland.



Is that snow… or something else? There is technically a “hidden area” we could access at this point, but I’m trying to play this game straight, like someone that doesn’t have the entire internet available at all times. The optional landing pad didn’t make itself known during this world tour, so we’ll be covering that area later (very later).



Hey, what happens if we try to call Valeria Chateau while inside Valeria Chateau? It’s confusing!



But if you don’t want to be confused, simply bring up the menu at any time, and you’ll autopilot over to Baskar Village. Again, aside from one hidden area (in the entire world!) Valeria Chateau is a pretty big tease of a JRPG airship. Then again, it is a fun tease.



Remote village in the middle of the woods, has a magical landing circle. Seems legit.



Land and Irving will provide some directions.



“Hidden in the forest” is like saying “find some sweatpants at Wal-Mart” around here, but Baskar Village is pretty obviously sitting at the end of the cliff.



Baskar Village is a recurring location in the Wild Arms series. It managed to show up in all the titles (well, kinda, as Wild Arms 4 contains a “ruined” Baskar, and I don’t know about that TRPG), but it is not meant to be the exact same location. Kind of a Final Fantasy Cid-thing. Of note, Baskar is always a “spiritual” town, but in Wild Arms 1, it was distinctly anti-Guardian, and more into elves (elw) than gods. Here (and again in 3), Baskar is Guardian central.



Guardians are, once again, the (very real) gods of Wild Arms 2. Considering Baskars are treated like a primitive people for believing in these (very real) spirits, you kind of have to wonder if there’s any religion elsewhere on this planet.



Good times. Good times.



“Nobody wants a flashback, Tim. Let’s get stuff done.”



“Did you see the landing pad we put out for you? We try to be hospitable.”



“We tagged him when he was a baby.”



Long story: Sabrina was a teenage witch, she fell for some dude, had a kid, dude died, Sabrina left with kid, Sabrina died. Tim has a life expectancy of like 16.



“Her tracer went dead right by that one bakery.”



They knew she died in Meria, but were unable to locate Tim, the child that lives in Meria, a town with like sixteen houses and one castle.



“We have some buildings we need held up.”

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #153  
Old 12-08-2017, 06:14 PM
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“We call her ‘The Buttress’.”



And we cut out of there to control Tim. Wait a tick? Control Tim?



Yep! Tim is now an official playable character. Again, this would have been a huge surprise back in the day if Tim’s membership wasn’t outright stated in the manual and during the intro that plays every time you boot the game. However, Tim was the first “fourth member” in the Wild Arms franchise, so that’s a monumental achievement.



Tim starts at the same average level as the rest of the party, and comes equipped with Odoryuk, our fourth medium. Odoryuk grants the “dig” command, which will award a random item when used during battle. Note that this is totally different from the pilfer/steal command, which we could have earned if we found that one optional landing spot.

Also, Tim’s equipment states his class as “Zoa Priest”. Tim’s mother is stated to be a Zoa Priest as well… but I have no idea what that means.



Wild Arms 2 does dip into the world politics well a number of times over the adventure, but, when the bigwigs are discussing the future of the planet, Baskar never gets invited to the table. Basically, Baskar is not considered part of “the civilized world” in Filgaia. This becomes a lot less subtle in Wild Arms 3…



Welp, screw you, too.



Baskar also has its own Stonehenge. This reappears in Wild Arms 3, and kind of appeared in Wild Arms 1, depending on how you interpret geography.



Tim enters some stranger’s house and finds a precious heirloom.



And then he finds love.



Play it cool, Tim!



Colette gets her own inner monologue, and it’s the only “dialogue” that is animated like such in the game. She deserves it.



Colette Mapleleaf is what would happen if you could combine a puppy with a kitten and wrap all that cuteness in a rainbow. She’s an adorable, walking ball of neurotic optimism, and she’s the perfect match for the generally mopey Tim.

Also, while we’re still talking about Wild Arms references, Colette appears to be deliberately visually evocative of Mariel, a flower loving recurring Wild Arms character.



Okay, Wild Arms 2 animators? Could you have moved Tim’s “glowing medium” a little higher up on the sprite to make this metaphor a little less overt?



Gasp/Duh!



Everybody here? Good. So “mediums” are literally mediums when a guardian decides to start talking, and you need a pillar to get the whole thing going.



But, naturally, there’s an entrance exam.



Tim is a coward.



And a supplementary fun fact: if Tim fails, he explodes. This is why his traditional dress includes a tarp.



Ashley has concerns about this whole… everything.



“You don’t want to know what the village poop-seer saw.”



That’s not good! We keep the sun up there!



“Do they have some kind of sky eating dog?”
“Uh, I don’t think so…”
“Then shut-up, Lilka.”



Tim is still adamant about the whole “don’t want to explode” thing.



Psychological warfare! Oh, well I guess we’ll just have to use this other, even cuter orphan.



“… Colette chunks. Everywhere.”

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #154  
Old 12-08-2017, 06:22 PM
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Easy to sway this kid.



No duh.



Tim claims he’s just happy to have a job.



Bonus: it turns out that ARMS is allowed to chaperon Tim most of the way.



So Irving makes it an official escort mission.



And Colette will give us a tour. Everything is coming together!



One quick nap later, and it’s tomorrow. I don’t know if Tim automatically just pushes out who is in first position or what, but it is very appropriate that he bumped Lilka off the roster.



Tim’s Level 1 Force Ability is FP shift. This will grant 25 FP to the other two party members for 25 of Tim’s FP. In general, Tim is a mage, so losing FP (magic fuel) for the sake of other party members is a bad idea, but it can come in handy when you absolutely need to top off Ashley.



The Baskar creator god is Glaive Le Gable, a big hunk of unending mud. I’m sure that will never come up again.



Not much to do in town, as even the item shop doesn’t have a roof, so let’s hit the trail/trial.



The Hidden Trial Arena is back and closer to where we parked. How did we miss the “hidden” temple on the way here?



Colette is an excellent tour guide.



Apprehension!



There’s some kind of inner sanctum somewhere in there, and the whole party is allowed up to that point. I hope there’s a sign. Don’t want to accidentally piss off any stickler gods.



Lilka offers encouragement! It’s not directly stated, but, yes, Tim’s trial here is not unlike Lilka’s earlier time in the box.



Lilka should go hang out with other little witches at some manner of academia.



Yeah! That’s how you get over stuff!



Tim is surprisingly smooth. Colette…not so much.



So here we are, about to become legends of the hidden temple.



And we’ve already got to chat with some… pink… thing?



Gods rule, yo.



And we’re dealing with… Pooka. Oh…kay? Pooka is clearly meant to be an echo of Wild Arms’ mascot, Hanpan the wind mouse, but his role/species is very different in this adventure.



Tim didn’t play Wild Arms, though.



Pooka does not explain himself well.



Tim does not listen well.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #155  
Old 12-08-2017, 06:29 PM
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Brad of all people actually explains Pooka’s deal: in short, he’s a floating, fuzzy medium. Another one.



He’s the guardian’s mouthpiece. There, that should save us all some confusion.



And he’s a tool, too! In a good way!



Oh, and Tim explains his own ability. Tim does not learn spells like Lilka, he gains new abilities by clobbering monsters. Every monster, regardless of strength, counts as a “kill”, and when Tim kills enough baddies, he learns one of two spells from the equipped medium. This means it’s a good idea to keep cycling mediums, and also let Tim get the kill shot whenever possible. Granted, Tim is also the weakest party member… but still! Once Tim has some better offensive options, please make him your chosen murder boy.

In a lot of cases, Tim’s abilities are just reskinned versions of Lilka’s spells. However, he does learn a couple of abilities that are unique and amazing, which we’ll be exploring as the game goes on.



Here’s Pooka in action. Hanpan of Wild Arms 1 was a tool that basically worked like Ashley’s daggers (one straight shot), but Pooka has full reign of the entire screen. This will, of course, lead to a number of situations where Pooka can float around and be carefully navigated into precise locations. We’ll see a lot of that in this dungeon.



Like here in the next room, Tim has to stand at one switch, and then you toss out Pooka to flip the other side.



Or shortly thereafter, where we discover moving platforms that may be activated from afar by a certain purple fluffball.



Of course, there are monsters here, too. Hey, didn’t that worm retire to Monster Rancher?



Tim is weak, fairly slow, and has the smallest HP pool of any party member. On the plus side, some of his abilities are essential… he just doesn’t start with any of them. Poor introduction.



Pooka might see the most optional use of any tool, as he can float over gaps to collect distant treasure chests. This is useful for when it’s “necessary”, but it also means you can snag a few treasures without having to solve puzzles or whatever if you position the screen properly.



Trial continues.



Here are some Pooka action shots so you can better understand his usage.



Even with Pooka around, there are some treasure chests conveniently left on the ground.



Wild Arms 2 goes the extra mile by letting you know how a boss fight feels.



… Liz?



Nope, just Reguleus.



Looks like we have some manner of plant-hydra.



Reguleus is fairly easy, but he’s a jerk when it comes to status attacks, so it might be a good idea to switch in Lilka for her ability to use a restorative item party-wide. In fact, for this being “his” dungeon, Tim would likely be the least useful member of the party in this battle. Let the lil’ guy take a break.



Reguleus also doesn’t have any “body parts” to defeat. This is odd, as it appears to have more limbs than a lot of arthropods.



Stay awake!



There, toppled this loser. Since you know ARMS isn’t going to be allowed to progress much further, feel free to unload all your Arms ammo at will.



“… Did we just slay god?”



“That’s a no?”



So… they hired a plant monster to guard the place? Weird gods.



“Yeah, there’s more hallway here. Dungeons don’t usually end half way.”

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #156  
Old 12-08-2017, 06:36 PM
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Thanks for slaying that boss! Care to save?



Hey! There is a sign! Thanks, guardians!



“Try not to explode! Toodles!”



“My trial is… farming?”



“Buddy, we just met.”



There is a lot of “maybe guardians are advanced computer programs or something” nonsense going on here, but it will never be revisited again. Well, at least never revisited again in this game.



Oh yeah, Tim did mention that the mediums had some extra power beyond “one lousy command” and “glows a lot”.



So Pooka collects the party’s mediums, and Tim sets off alone. You may recall that each of the other characters had their own solo, introductory dungeon, and now it’s Tim’s turn.



The worst part of this dungeon is this area, as it requires some fairly exacting running and switching. And here’s your general reminder that falling doesn’t “hurt”, but it is annoying.



This hallway has three different switch areas, and if you fall at any point, it’s back to the beginning. I’m pretty sure there’s a reason they put this challenge right after a save point.



The rest of the dungeon is almost exactly like the opening areas. Just a lot of moving blocks and Pooka-switching.



And there are treasures in this section of the dungeon, so be sure to look around.



The monsters are generally scaled to Tim’s solo abilities. Unfortunately, like the other intro dungeons, Tim has very few combat options, so fighting is just a matter of hitting the “hit” button over and over again. Fortunately, Tim as a solo combatant likely means you’ll score enough kills to learn at least one ability.



Hey, it’s Tim’s victory animation. He’s so polite.



More dungeoning around.



Could you take the medium out of your damn pants!?



Boss fight voice, or god voice?



Hey, Tim’s default medium is talking! Rad!



Can you hear me, guardians, it’s me, Tim.



Bad news: that flesh has terrible stats.



The fate of what now?



Oh, second boss fight.



Kind of a ninja dinosaur? With eyeball shields? Yes, that is thematically appropriate… I’m… sure.



Build up the ol’ FP? Got it.



So ridiculous fact: there are two Guardians with non-offensive, support powers. One is earned much later, and the other is Tim’s default medium. This is a really weird choice, as, come on, guys, you could have made this a little easier on the kid with literally any other medium. Regardless, Tim has to actually use the in-battle gear command to equip an offensive medium to satisfy this tutorial boss fight.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #157  
Old 12-08-2017, 06:43 PM
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But may as well listen to the lil’ dude.



So Gehenna Neros will split into two when you him it, and… that can’t be good. However, as you can likely tell by Tim’s… Timness, GN isn’t going to hit that hard, and is basically built to stand around until you hit FP Level 2.



Jerk even restores his own HP… not that I think you can kill it through regular HP depletion anyway.



Here we are, our new Level 2 FP skill, Combine. Combine allows Pooka to combine with the equipped medium, and then…



Summoning time! Grudiev is an earth elemental dragon, so his attack is earth-based.



That… makes zero sense. This is a scripted battle! The designers knew he could only be defeated by an earth attack! Why make his death animation top based!?



Hooray!



… Offering?



… … Sacrificial?



Oh well. New power!



Hooray again!



I’m going to write this on my next “congratulations” card.



ARE YOU EXPLODING!?



ARE YOU BOTH EXPLODING!?



Guess not.



“I can summon gods, but, hey, no big.”



Hm?



So everybody gets summon magic. Ashley, Lilka, and Brad now all can summon a guardian attack at Level 2, with the only caveat that the weakest member of the team with the lowest HP has to be in the party at the time. He doesn’t have to be alive, he just has to be there. In general, summons (combines?) will offer a great blast of damage, but they’re not always worth the 50 FP. Ashley is generally better off saving up for Access, Brad is more effective with his arms, and Lilka should conserve FP for spell use. All that said, they can be impressive area-effect attacks against random mobs, so they can come in handy.

Also…

ARMS Mission #9:
Help Tim gain the powers of the very gods themselves.
Status: Success!
Notes: For once, everything went exactly as planned. This is an ill omen.



Aw, Colette was waiting on the steps for us.



Awww.



“Wow, the dialogue box really screws up this scenic vista!”



That’s better.



This is Colette’s secret flower garden. This entire update has been wall-to-wall blunt metaphors.



Tim tries to deny it, but he’s an obvious little guy.



“It’s a really nice bitmap.”

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #158  
Old 12-08-2017, 06:46 PM
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Smoooooth operator.



Aw



Super Aw

We’ll close on this delightful little scene, but before we totally wrap up, let’s take a look at the other summons that are available right now.



Schturdark the Water Guardian is a turtle that is finally fighting on the side of light.



Moor Gault the Fire Guardian is blowing smoke up your ass.



And Odoryuk, a gift from Tim’s mother, is the Life Guardian. Odie is a pretty prancing pony that restores your HP. Was… not expecting that.

Next time on Wild Arms: “Please die!”
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  #159  
Old 12-08-2017, 07:37 PM
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RE: Baskar, nah, they're still Guardian-hippies in WA1 (complete with...unfortunate First Nations stereotyping), but they're there to provide the more spiritual aspect of the Guardians compared to Cecilia's "Hey, we're deities of elemental power, and you're our muppet" deal in her introductory segment. And yeah, they also drop the Elw backstory on you in a bit fuller detail.

Odoryuk's also a pony in WA1, where he gets the distinction of being the only still-living Material Guardian (yes, there is a difference) who gets unceremoniously sacrificed to make Rudy a new arm. Since he is, or was, the Guardian of Life, this has an unfortunate implication about the particular area you find him in (and builds on the game's theme that Filgaia was fucked long before the present, and the party is just rehashing the same events that happened during the Demon War).
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  #160  
Old 12-09-2017, 01:01 PM
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Hooray, the adventure continues!

Wow, it might speak to how irrelevant the flying Valeria Chateau is that I totally forgot it was a (mostly) functional airship until now.

I ALSO forgot that Tim doesn't start with his most useful, totally broken, ability right away. But I don't think it takes long.
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  #161  
Old 12-15-2017, 08:38 AM
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And Odoryuk, a gift from Tim’s mother, is the Life Guardian. Odie is a pretty prancing pony that restores your HP. Was… not expecting that.

Next time on Wild Arms: “Please die!”
I love the genre of summons that is "Completely unrelated thing happens that results in a blinding light and...things die."
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  #162  
Old 12-15-2017, 08:48 AM
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An easy mistake, but this isn't unrelated at all. We're actually watching the baby unicorn self-destruct.
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  #163  
Old 12-15-2017, 09:42 PM
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An easy mistake, but this isn't unrelated at all. We're actually watching the baby unicorn self-destruct.
Don't worry - it will be reborn from the ashes.

Or is that phoenixes*?

*phoenices?
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  #164  
Old 12-17-2017, 06:03 PM
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God, could this forum stop talking about unicorns for like ten seconds!?

Previously on Wild Arms 2: Tim gained the power to speak to and summon the very gods themselves. Now it’s just a simple matter of telling the village elders, and the rest of the update will probably be a pizza and ice cream party.



I can almost taste that pizza!



As a thank you, the party receives a bunch of heal berries of various sizes. I want to say this is the first time ARMS has been tangibly rewarded for completing a mission, but it’s also kind of a gameplay concession because you’re pretty locked into the next big chunk of game.

Oh, also, because my inventory is fully stocked, it makes the prize look… a little less thrilling.



Baskar is a remote village, so I suppose it will take a while for the pizza to get here.



“Also, this bed is made of bones!”



So Tim decides to take a little stroll, and overhears a bit of conversation.



Way to save the day, Tim!

“The ceremony went according to plan.”
“That means that we have a new ‘Pillar’!”
“Just as we foresaw, it had to be someone of Sabrina's blood.”
“At last we have the ‘Pillar’, safe-keeping the power of the Guardians! Because today we again have the ‘Pillar’, the world will be safe no matter what the vision meant.”

Reproducing this entire conversation, because…



Do you see the word “sacrifice” up there at all? Even once? Which conversation are you eavesdropping on, Tim?



Come on, they’re just relaying your life story and…



Oh.



We all gotta go sometime, Tim.



Et tu, Pooka?



This is what happens when you don’t read the brochure properly, Tim.



Maybe you just get used to it after a… Hey, why aren’t there any more kids in this village other than Tim and Colette?



“We’re just asking because… uh… no reason.”



“We were gonna sacrifice you in the morning anyway. Guess this just means we don’t have to wake up early tomorrow.”



“Please instantly come to grips with your mortality.”



Oh, see Tim? You have to die. This guy has a family. That about wraps this debate.



I really do enjoy how… claustrophobic this scene appears with very minimal sprite work. I joke, but you do get the impression that Tim is in a tweeeeak over his head.



So we’ve retreated back to Valeria Chateau. Tim is not having a fun time, as he’s silently attempting to hide under his own bed. He’s been an orphan too long, unfortunately, and hasn’t quite mastered that skill yet.



The whole gang decided to hash this out in the conference room. Even Colette got invited! Anyway, Ashley is a little… repulsed.



“Irving, dammit, if you tell me this was all part of the plan…”



Ashley: still not happy.



“Yes, life... With Tim's one life, the lives of everyone in Filgaia will be saved. There's nothing else to do.”

… Do the gods give you a guarantee with that offer?



Lilka claims that “the ends justify the means” is just like Odessa. I guess that’s technically part of their ethos, but I don’t think they mentioned any child sacrifice. Baskar is worse than Odessa.



“Look, we’ve gotta sacrifice somebody, and Colette is right here.”

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #165  
Old 12-17-2017, 06:09 PM
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“Well, it will save Tim.” “Shut-up!”



And then the whole place shakes. I just did a GIF, and I don’t want to throw up, so just imagine the shaking going on.



Oh, good, now we’re under attack. Everything was going so well!



“We’re poor village folk, okay? We can barely breach a soda can.”



Meaningless Wild Arms 1 reference du jour.



Point is that whoever is attacking has some serious firepower, so maybe the civilians should scoot back home.



Remember when Baskar was a “hidden” village? We screwed that pooch.



“Going to help! Just to be clear! We’re not leaving!”



We’ve got control for the first time since Tim’s boss fight last update. May as well stretch those legs.



Recall that Pooka robbed the main party of its mediums during the last update, so it’s probably a good idea to reequip those now. Also, since Tim is off crying about everything he knows being a lie, he’s not in the party at the moment.



This save point is tempting, but also a trick. There are no random monsters in this area, so if you need to level up or something, you’re kind of trapped. But there are also good odds you could fail this mission, so hopefully you have an extra slot on that official Playstation memory card.



Chateau security system live feed!



Oh, wonderful, it’s Odessa. Specifically, we’ve got Judecca, wielder of turtles, and Antenora, the leader of the mini boss patrol.



As per usual, Antenora is reserved and calculating, while Judecca just wants to wreck up the place.



Judecca, who hung our party up on crosses during his last appearance, is after Tim. This is not good.



Antenora is… kind of merciful? Like, a little bit?



“Sorry, I don’t have that status attack. I have guns. Can I confuse them with guns?”



Hi, Ant! Be right there!



Tony and Scott have been hiding in this room for over a day now. Thank the Guardians that the chateau has terrible maid service.



It’s not like you two have done anything!



“Like literally everybody else in this hemisphere!”



Did I accidentally rearrange these shots? No? Okay.



Boss fight!



She’s been around for a while now, but let’s formally introduce Antenora Victoria. Antenora is… problematic. Her true motivations will be revealed about two minutes before her death, but, to provide a quick preview, her entire existence is, one way or another, reliant on her man, Vinsfield. This is a shame, because there’s a nugget of a good character here, as she’s the clear second in command in an organization of mostly overly macho men, and her general adherence to not being violent and sadistic stands in stark contrast to her contemporaries. In other words, she’s the rare “strong female character” that is kind of incidentally strong, and not stomping around claiming to be the biggest bitch on the block like that somehow makes her more relatable. She leads, she does it well, and it’s kind of a shame it’s all in service of one of the most tragic (on multiple levels) revenge plots you’ll find in the series.

Also, it’s not exactly obvious, but her “laser attacks” are meant to be her signature weapons, a host of magical strings that apparently can transmit electricity (or something). There is the tiniest reference (way back during her team’s introduction) that these strings are supposed to also work for information gathering or future prediction or something, so she seems to have a spider/black widow motif going on as well.

Were this another universe, her royal stature and femininity would naturally earn her a blue lion.

And… am I nuts, or is that a terrible picture?



“Meh, it’s a JRPG. Kind of an inevitability.”

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #166  
Old 12-17-2017, 06:16 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 14-3



That they tracked the chunks of their defeated monster is some pretty cool continuity, but how hard could it be to follow an entire flying castle?



But, sure, have your moment.



Antenora isn’t the most threatening of the Cocytus fights, but she is a right pain in the ass. She’s fond of string attacks that hit the whole party, and she’s also got some sleep attacks just to be annoying.



She also counters a lot, too.



While the impulse for boss battles is usually to unload your reserves, you’ve got some more fights ahead, so hold off on that one. Also, it’s useful to have Lilka’s “protect against sleep” spell, Rise&Shine, to deal with the sleep effects. Unfortunately, if you didn’t pick it up… geez, way back before we left for Baskar… you’re out of luck.



Cocytus members don’t give you the honor of falling over after a fight, but you do get the usual prizes to accompany weirdly sad victory music.



You could have just defended every round. I wouldn’t have minded.



“This entire fight was more a waste of time than usual! Buh-bye!”



“Can’t we split up or something? One of us stops Antenora? We can’t even have a four person party!”
“No! Shut-up!”



Kid is just not having a good day.



Dammit! Things are getting worse.



In order to protect people, Tim, sometimes you have to leave your room.



“Maybe if I weep into this rug enough, it’ll expand, fill the room, and save everybody! Or smother me! Either is fine…”



Triumphant “Theme of Tony” begins to play (note: there is no “Theme of Tony”).



“Like, seriously, this is a flying castle. You did not just stop by.”







No shit, Summers.



“Summon gods or something? That sounds useful.”



Stirring “Theme of Young ARMS” begins to play.



“We're friends, so I'll give you my hand. But you'll have to get up on your own, Tim.”

Tony the poetic orphan.



Just give it your all, and you too will stop gun-toting madmen.



You’re the best! Aroooound!



…. Okay.



Particularly since I gave the kid late-game equipment through hacking, but don’t tell Young ARMS that.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #167  
Old 12-17-2017, 06:23 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 14-4



You gonna make me bring this up again? You guys couldn’t handle a kitten.



We now resume our hostage situation already in progress.



So, wait, if Tim winds up “accidentally” sacrificed as a result of this nimrod… is that a bad thing?



Judecca does not have a good time with random shiny lights.



Haha, continuity! Tim hasn’t been in the party since that tutorial boss fight at the end of the last update, so he must be equipped with the medium that summons this earth dragon at this point. Neat!



At least the old man can identify his gods.



Legitimately, “already proved he can summon dragons” is a pretty good threat.



Did Baskar send out a newsletter or something?



Uppity boss battle!



But this… Oh never mind.



Judecca is not a nice guy.



You may have noticed that Tim’s dungeon ended with a tutorial battle. This is Tim’s “real” solo fight for the game.



Judecca is a pretty straightforward physical attacker, and your only real concern for this battle is making sure Tim has more than about 300 or so HP at any given moment.



Not pictured, but Tim has one amazing healing spell that he likely picked up during his solo run of the previous dungeon. First Aid is learned from his Pretty Pony medium (the one he equips by default), and it’s a party wide heal that always goes first. The “party wide” thing isn’t that important when Tim is by his lonesome, but guaranteed healing before you take a hit is a godsend in… basically every battle ever. The only downside of this ability is that Tim is usually the first to die in a battle, so make sure he’s alive enough to use his First Aid.

Also, it always goes first, and it’s called First Aid.



Anyway, as for this battle, feel free to use any spare mediums to completely wreck Judecca’s existence.



Remember when Jude claimed the entire party was no match for him? He just got walloped by a teenager on his second day as a combatant.



Guess that dungeon worked out for the kid.



Little late, guys.



Judecca, you are cornered in a room with four different heroes and only one exit. You just lost to one pillar. How do you think this is going to go?



Dammit! He’s summoning another stupid reptile! Or amphibian! I can never tell them apart!



And he teleported away. Double dammit!



“We have a catapult room?”
“Not the point!”



Totally natural dialogue.



“Come on, Tim, let’s go disarm a bomb!”
“But I don’t know anything about…”
“Let’s go!”



All glory to the thunder toad!

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  #168  
Old 12-17-2017, 06:29 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 14-5



So say we all!



“And it’s generally not any easier when there’s a thunder toad ribbitting around.”



So is that a go on punching said body, or…



I’m just seeing one monster here…



Hey, we’ve seen that before!



Yep! This is our second giant monster with explosive spit. The ecosystem of Filgaia is a place of wonders.



So we’re… not going to have a boss fight? But there was an intro and everything!



“It is conveniently standing directly on top of the catapult.”



How is this thing a plural!?



Is the castle flying at this point, or just parked? Regardless, I don’t think there’s a panic room that accounts for explode-a-toad.



“We’re all counting on you. To not explode.”



“Oh, by the way, Tim just said there are a couple of orphans on board that believe in us, too. Maybe get them a pillow or something.”



Okay, now it’s time for an official boss fight.



Blastodon is our first boss fight that has multiple pieces in what seems like ages. Also, thanks to the presence of Tim and Pooka, this is the first fight where the rest of the party is allowed to summon guardians, too.



“Your mother is unattractive to members of the opposite sex.”



Thunder Frog here seems to attack with what I’m pretty sure are dark-based attacks. It is also fond of poisoning party members. Other than that, this isn’t really a difficult boss fight on its own, just kind of exhausting after the other two.



Froggy is also weak to fire attacks, which seems counterintuitive, as we’re trying to avoid an explosion.



Look! Ashley is summoning for the first time! He must be so excited to wield the power of gods to damage a random toad.



Can we just have one clean victory during this update? One!?



“It’s still going to explode, but now it’s sleepy.”



So we had a laser shield on the catapult, too. Convenient.



But sometimes laser shields explode.



So Ashley becomes the laser shield we all knew he could be.



You will note the rest of the party is just going to watch.



Man, you give this guy one pep talk…

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #169  
Old 12-17-2017, 06:36 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 14-6



Oooooh good plan. Access your superhero powers at the last second. Or… could you have done that earlier?



Pew!



Huh. Guess we were in the sky for that little adventure.



And Irving personally beamed down to help Ashley get back on his feet.



Reminder: Irving has a pretty significant limp.



Aw, these guys have become best buds since the whole “punch to the face” incident.



There are like ninety different magical and technological doodads that could take care of Irving’s handicap in this world, so I’m going to call bullshit.



But, sure, let’s believe Irving like he isn’t a threat to the universe.



“I want to fight with you despite my body in this shape. My desire to protect Filgaia won't be surpassed by anyone.”
“You already are.”
”Thank you.”

Best bros!



Guess this was a whole “search and rescue” thing. Oh, which reminds me…

ARMS Mission #10:
Repel the invasion of Chateau Valeria
Status: Success!
Notes: Ashley got to learn if he could fly (answer: pretty much no).



Lilka does not want to see that kind of showboating again.



Meanwhile, Irving has concerns about Ashley’s superhero powers.



Good thing? Bad thing? Who knows!



Oh, crap, right! Tim!



Yeah yeah, we covered that.



Was Colette allowed to talk at all this update? Just the scream? Lame.



“So, you’re saying you want to be sacrificed… but… later?”



“Look, I already bought this orphan, so tough noogies.”



Really, chief? You didn’t tell a 14 year old you were going to sacrifice him, and you figured, what, that he was going to come around to the idea? Brilliant plan.



Aaaand everybody is cool with it. Okay! I guess!



Ride a rollercoaster, then come back and get sacrificed.



“Everybody set? Cool, let’s go fight an exploding eel or something.”



Tim is leaving Colette in stink town? Lame.



And, when he’s all alone…



Turns out Village Chief is Tim’s grandpa! The guy who spent the whole last two updates trying to sacrifice Tim is his freaking grandfather! Is there any question why Sabrina ran away?

Okay, I’m too mad at these Baskar dorks to continue, we’ll pick it up again later as this inadvertent gauntlet continues.

Next time on Wild Arms: Lilka forgets to wear her seatbelt.
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  #170  
Old 12-17-2017, 06:42 PM
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De LeRe Metallica: A Wild ARMs 1 reference as part of the "get Rudy a new arm" chunk of the plot. This is a real world reference to a book referencing medieval metallurgical and metalworking formulae and techniques, which ties in nicely to that arc in WA1. Here....it's just a throwaway reference for no goddamn point.

Ashley Does Something Suicidally Heroic Count: 1st of many
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  #171  
Old 12-17-2017, 06:49 PM
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Ashley Does Something Suicidally Heroic Count: 1st of many
Man, we can't start counting now, it was also how he was introduced to the player. With another explosive monster! Dude has a pattern.
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  #172  
Old 12-17-2017, 08:46 PM
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Man, I forgot about that.
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  #173  
Old 12-17-2017, 09:11 PM
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Lilka does not want to see that kind of showboating again.
Either that or she's trying to show him the proper way to fly.
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  #174  
Old 12-18-2017, 05:55 PM
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Not pictured, but Tim has one amazing healing spell that he likely picked up during his solo run of the previous dungeon. First Aid is learned from his Pretty Pony medium (the one he equips by default), and it’s a party wide heal that always goes first. The “party wide” thing isn’t that important when Tim is by his lonesome, but guaranteed healing before you take a hit is a godsend in… basically every battle ever. The only downside of this ability is that Tim is usually the first to die in a battle, so make sure he’s alive enough to use his First Aid.
Welp, here it is. This is probably one of the most broken abilities in the game. I rarely had trouble keeping Tim alive in order to use it, hell on some of the more difficult battles he cast it pretty much exclusively. It slows things down a bit to have 1/3 of your party dedicated solely to defense, but honestly it's pretty much an 'I Win' button, especially if you pair it with nonsense like Power Ranger Ashley.

The only battles I remember First Aid not being useful, for one reason or another, are the optional superbosses. Otherwise, if Tim is available to use in your party you pretty much have nothing to worry about.

Not that I mind that WA2 gives you this cheese strategy, it's just weird for the game to just hand it to you so dang early.

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Originally Posted by Mightyblue View Post
Here....it's just a throwaway reference for no goddamn point.
Not the first, nor last, time WA2 will do this.
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  #175  
Old 12-21-2017, 08:52 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 15-1

Previously on Wild Arms 2: Tim was nearly sacrificed, and Ashley was nearly exploded, but it all wound up working out in the end. Now ARMS has a pair of pretty significant victories under its belt. Odessa is running scared!



And the king noticed! The king!



King credits Irving, Irving credits ARMS. Remember that Tim was a penniless street urchin, like, yesterday.



King of Meria Boule list of accomplishments making him worthy of position of king: was born.



Down to business: how can we get our own rad plane?



Answer: world peace.



The United Nations of Filgaia.



Meria Boule is here, Sylvaland was that spot with the queen and an entire kidnapped village, and Guild Galad is the country with all the cool tech. Guess which one we’re courtin’?



How about that completely empty, entirely isolated prison from a while back? I mean it’s not the classiest place in the world, but I feel like…



Oh?



What? No! That’s a terrible idea! That place was infiltrated and nearly destroyed hours ago! How is this even an option?



They could have more than one exploding toad!



What? How? Why are we? … Oh, never mind. At least all our stuff is there.

We now cut to the Summit already in progress. Let’s meet our world leaders…








We’re off to a boring start!



We’re basically in the same spot as we were with the Queen a little while back. Guild Galad Master is not fond of giving ARMS free reign of the planet.



GGM… ain’t wrong. One has to wonder why more JRPG countries don’t just pump out an army instead of relying on like six random people.



But literally everyone else at the table has been saved by ARMS at least once, so kind of a bias here.



Reminder: by “skill”, he means “we’ve got the weapons”.



The Treaty of Iscariot is mentioned. This is a random bit of Filgaia legislation that basically says no one is allowed to have crazy powerful lost technology. I’m pretty sure ARMS is violating the treaty every time they whip out their arms.



Lies.



Foreshadowing!



Remember Brad’s little uprising? It ended poorly.

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  #176  
Old 12-21-2017, 09:00 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 15-2



This is never good.



Who would have expected Odessa to attack the same place twice! Within 24 hours!



Don’t mention the superhero. Don’t mention the superhero. Don’t mention the superhero. Don’t mention the superhero. Don’t mention…



“You’re… going to punch a plane?”



Gee, almost like Irving expected such an attack.



But, sure, they’re all just that confident in ARMS.



What dis?



No weapons on board this ship! Just one assault anchor! Assault anchor.



Auxiliary mission! Get our close combat asses launched over to the enemy ship, destroy it, and then scoot on home. Easy peasy.



Launching an assault anchor through their hull won’t be enough to bring it down?



Just another hidden compartment on our flying castle.



Get ready to puke!



Pew!



Nice little hole we ripped in the place.



And Lilka is burped out first.



The rest of the party calmly saunters out, because they had their tray tables up, and their seats back in the full upright position.



“Couldn’t you have, like, summoned a giant bird and flew us over here?”
“…. Maybe?”



Oh that Irving.



Let’s restate our life goals: blow the place up…



… And make it home safe. No more showboating, Ashley!



Ah ha ha, Irving, that prankster.



Yep, guess this ship is going to be just fine with a giant tethered anchor stuck in its hull.



And now for hallways! And enemies!



And random obstacles that must be kicked to death!



And a save point! Yay! Note that this is our first save since the memory lady back before three consecutive boss fights. Also note that we have not been granted a break since Tim started his trial two updates back. Hope you brought supplies!

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  #177  
Old 12-21-2017, 09:06 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 15-3



Oh, we kinda glossed over having a full party for Tim’s trial, but this is the first dungeon where we can truly pick whoever we want for battlin’ times. Wild Arms 2 is nice in that you can switch your party at any time, inside or out of battle, and it won’t impact your “party leader” and switching around characters for tools/solving puzzles (take note, Breath of Fire 3). Generally, I would recommend Tim being in the party, as he’s the only character that distinctly gains abilities through being involved in battles. Everybody else just gets normal EXP, and, yes, EXP is shared with inactive members equally.

… I’m basically just saying to ditch Lilka.



So our dungeon du jour has one main hub area, and three distinct goals. We’re going by Darksiders rules today, apparently. We just came out of one hallway, now let’s check the first of the other three.



This pathway is a little… laser-y.



Maybe we can check if there’s something before the security system.



A puzzle! Kinda! Just have to move a box into place to reach that console.



Turn off barrier, turn on terminal switch. Nothing too complicated.



Now we don’t have a barrier, but there are always monsters about.



Every encounter on this ship is against groups of Odessa Men. It’s thematically appropriate… and boring as hell.



But I’ve got a theory about that. See, in Wild Arms 3, there were these things called EX Keys, and you got them for 100%’ing various parts of the game. One EX Key was awarded for completing the bestiary, and another for finding every treasure chest in the world. Now, to my knowledge, there is no similar reward system in Wild Arms 2, but I think one was intended at one time, as there are no treasure chests in areas that can only be visited once (or at least no treasure chests that are not mandatory), and the enemies in these areas are practically required fights. I suppose it’s possible to never fight a “random” battle aboard this ship, but it is unlikely. The whole thing gives the impression that there was once a 100% completion reward for Wild Arms 2… but it didn’t wind up making the final cut. Oh well. At least that’s one excuse for these extremely repetitive battles.



Anyway, next room, time to flip some more switches.



These switches would be more interesting if you somehow had to navigate and switch switches at particular times, but it’s mostly just “open door yes/no”.



Ohhh power code, you say?



Write that down! Actually, fun fact, now that it is THE FUTURE, I just took a picture with my cell phone so I would have the code handy later. Way to go, technology.



Another block pushing puzzle!



Look, this might not be the real answer, but Brad can walk across it just fine.



Final room of this area, time to press another YES button.



Drop platform…



And now we enter that code.



It’s not just multiple choice, there are plenty of possible ways to get this one wrong.



Nice! 33% done! Let’s walk back to the hub and fight the same stupid three guys a bunch again.



Branch B in this automata.



Pretty straightforward walking ahoy.



And a puzzle!



The goal is to drag the blocks into place to “overload” the elevator area. You can push and pull at will, so there isn’t any risk of trapping yourself.



And now we’ve got a platform.

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  #178  
Old 12-21-2017, 09:11 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 15-4



The next room is quite the pain. Take careful, baby steps across these catwalks, as they fall apart instantly. Your only recourse is watching closely for visual cues, as even floating Pooka over the bad spots won’t give you any warning. And if you fall, it means more walking.



Almost to the terminal we need and… Dammit.



There are two terminals in this room? Neat.



So we make it to one terminal to turn off a barrier switch…



Double back to the elevator room…



Get the power plant code…



Fall 7,000 times because the floor resets every time you leave the room…



Fight random battles…



Oh, this! Sometimes you’re not only ambushed, but also ambushed with only one party member. And it’s always Tim, because Filgaia possesses capricious gods. After a round or two, the rest of the party will show up, but, in the meanwhile, it’s rather tense.



Also, I don’t know if it counts as a party wipe if a solo party member falls… but I’m not anxious to find out.



Okay, now we braved the scaffolding again to reach that second terminal, and it’s time to shut this sucker down.



Power Plant B is the worst. Let’s hope C is better.



Route C is looking a lot like Route A so far.



This isn’t a puzzle, but an incredible simulation. Just kick over these capsules, and walk on through.



Anybody catch a pattern to these codes? I’m seriously asking. I’m pretty sure they’re just nonsense, but I think they are consistent between games.



Another hallway where we just blow stuff up? Kind of boring, but after the B path, I’ll take it.



This looks more interesting.



But like A path, it’s just more switches.



There is a little more to this area, as you have to flip a switch from a distance, so break out the Pooka.



Welp, that was easy. Guess it’s time to head back to the anchor and blow this popsicle stand.



Run, do not walk, to the nearest exit.



Ptolomea shock!



Lowering himself on an elevator we didn’t even know was there is that dude with the helicopter rotor for a weapon.



What gave it away? Was it when we trounced every other soldier on this ship?



It’s a battle of ideals, man.

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  #179  
Old 12-21-2017, 09:19 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 15-5



Ptolomea has no time for your semantics! Not like there’s some god of absolute justice in this world. Who is also a robot lion. Nope.



Guys, are we going to fight, or what?



…. Nobody here actually wields a sword.



Boss fight! Because Ptolomea already got his intro some time ago, we don’t even get a cool GIF out of the deal. So have a GIF of his rotor blade rotoring along.



Ptolomea doesn’t really have any new or exciting attacks, and ARMS has leveled up a bit since their last fight, so this rematch isn’t really much of a match.



Everyone now has summoning abilities, Tim has First Aid, and Ashley can transform into the living incarnation of destruction. Ptolomea won’t last long.



The only real hassle here is that, if you’re paying attention, we’ve been through six separate boss fights since our last “refill”. We don’t have to worry about MP, but I bet Ashley is good and out of bullets at this point.



Wassat?



Ah ha! Ptolomea has a heart of gold… when he’s not involved in murder missions.



Basically, Ptolomea was sacrificing himself, distracting the enemy, and granting the rest of the Odessa nerds an easy escape while ARMS was battling. That crafty/noble Ptolomea!



Oh, also because he’s going to let us drop out of the sky. Still crafty!



Hasta!



Always an excuse with these guys…



Pretty much how it goes with this group.



How could we have not foreseen this? Does ARMS not understand gravity?



Nothing new there.



Yeah, you always want your elite commando team somewhere that is spewing black smoke.



“No, you’re supposed to get in the anchor, then we pull it back. Ashley, do we need to review the plan again?”



“Can Tim summon something that flies? Maybe some kind of… parachute guardian?”



Ace Pilot Ashley, ladies and gentlemen.



Are we supposed to swim?



So we have to find the cockpit. Did anyone notice one earlier in the update? No? Dammit.



Oh, right, Ptolomea’s elevator.



This place is only slightly on fire, we should be fine.



Lilka, when was the last time you were actually helping?

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #180  
Old 12-21-2017, 09:27 PM
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Default Wild Arms 2 15-6



Hey! Brad’s got this!



An old friend? A gift from your pa? A super cool plane for super cool people?



Doesn’t matter, gonna explode anyway.



That was the plan!



Aaaaand success! Yay! (Also, no one felt like animating the actual landing.)



“It really saved me.”
“Their energy?”
“That may be it.”

Ashley blames his survival on the energy of our younger members. I don’t know, I feel like maybe you should be thanking Brad who actually landed the plane.



Wave harder, Tim!



We nearly die, the king has a good laugh.



Guess the Guild Galad Master got the message on “don’t mess with ARMS”.



Is… this how diplomacy works?



Gee, Irving, what keen insight you have.



Why is everyone Sir Mix-a-Lot all of a sudden!?



And those spoony cowards gave us a hovercraft for our trouble. Nice!



I don’t know, but…

ARMS Mission #11:
Protect the Global Peace Summit / Wreck up Odessa
Status: Success on both accounts!
Notes: Ashley somehow found a way to fall out of the sky again.



Apparently the ol’ Odessa craft contained some data tablets (hard drives?), and they could come in handy. Hop in your sweet ride, and find ‘em!



Newest fetch quest, got it!



But we’ll get to that next time. Ashley needs to air out his jacket. It smells like burning metal at the moment for some reason…

Next time on Wild Arms 2: The Guardians punish me for my crimes.
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