Wild Arms 2 Part 21: The New Kanon

Previously on Wild Arms 2: We rode a train! And saved Noel from another dimension! Good job all around, everybody!

Oh, but we lost a nuke to Odessa. You miss one tiny detail…

So let’s take a quick tour of Guild Galad before we head off to parts unknown. Once again, if you recall, signs and whatnot up to this point have been in English, but I’m pretty sure we’ve got Chinese going through the Asian-themed Guild Galad. Or maybe it’s Japanese? Point is that Guild Galad is deliberately supposed to be “foreign” compared to the more West-themed other countries of Filgaia.

Word travels fast on this planet.

We don’t actually get a “story event” that tells us our next mission, but some of the NPCs are happy to point out our next destination.

Man, 2017 in a nutshell. Am I right? Huh? Huh?

This appears to be a Guild Galad church. Or shrine? GG apparently has some kind of worship… uh… room?

D’aww.

This isn’t just complete nonsense, there is a minor sidequest that is set off by staying at this inn often. Unfortunately, I don’t think it triggers right now, so we’ll come back later.

All the common vendor stands are on hand. Feel free to upgrade you gear to the currently available max. Interestingly enough, we still have a lot of game to go, but I want to say that this is the last town on the planet (second to last, depending on if you count a town from the intro that we haven’t officially revisited yet).

You may recall that we were gifted a teleporting hovercraft at the end of the last update. Now we can explore the Outer Sea. There are a few optional dungeons available now, but, by and large, we’ll hit those when we have an even better mode of transportation (and a party that isn’t 66% mages).

Using the Call command will give you a hint to your future if you didn’t already get the info from some NPCs.

We’ve already been to Damzen twice now…

So let’s teleport over to Holst.

You may remember this town as being the place where we fished a gem out of a mine. It was also where Brad picked up his bombs tool? Look, it was kind of a boring update, and I apologize if you’ve forgotten.

And the local scuttlebutt is that Odessa is creeping around not the local mine that is right there, but another mine up to the northeast.

Guess we have some walking to do…

But, thanks to steep cliffs, we can’t seem to reach the mine area (or the entire northern chunk of the island).

But! The hovercraft followed us here with our recent teleport, so now we can teleport to the nearby hovercraft…

Hit the southern beach that loops around to the north…

And here we are! The whole “teleporting hovercraft” thing is neat, but it seems to encourage a lot of “fast travel” teleporting, and not much actual exploring. Then again, Wild Arms 2 gates most of its exploring through plot flags anyway, so it’s not really a great loss.

I can safely say this area won’t explode, as there’s a monster pyramid we are legally required to revisit.

Tim pops in to say that he can’t “feel any energy” in this abandoned mine. Huh?

And Pooka (remember him? …. Uh… it?) explains that Tim can “feel” the Earth, so he’s a human divining rod. Good to know. Not a terribly useful skill for a mercenary group, but good to know.

So Odessa is trying to secure a… used up mine? Something doesn’t wash here…

Probably that we’re talking to a purple fuzzball and should maybe get the quasi-mission over with.

That sounds like Brad!

“Stop thinking and beat the damn dungeon!”

So, here we are, another cave dungeon. Break out the champagne.

At least this cave is going to distinguish itself with a few traps and puzzles. First issue: bats.

Bats will damage your party and knock back your leader. Effectively, they work like every other trap in the game (like spikes), but are more mobile.

Can you find all the bats in this picture?

And here is our “puzzle”. Press the switch, watch the spark travel through the fuse, and then, bang, we’ve got a door. Pretty straightforward to start.

There are also some abandoned crates that do and contain nothing.

Few more rooms, few more switches.

There are so many “things” in this dungeon that we didn’t even get an encounter until about the halfway point.

Nothing to write home about here.

Just some manner of hand-shaped lizard creature.

In Filgaia, most dragons are turtles.

Who designed this bridge!?

I’ve been workshopping a good Batman/Bat Cave pun this whole week, and I got nothing. “I am the night”? Look, I’m trying.

Now for the real puzzle.

You can clearly see the path of the fuse, but there are broken pipes that are leaking water onto the fuse line. You have to shut off the pipes when the spark is coming through, but the pipes will leak again if you leave ‘em alone.

Basically, it’s a matter of identifying which valves shut off which spouts, and getting to the right valve at the right time. It’s not difficult, but it does require a little more footwork than your average WA2 puzzle.

Pull it off, and you never have to do a similar puzzle ever again.

Now for bats and holes!

Lots of bats! Lots of holes!

The mine eventually gives way to what appear to be ancient ruins. The other mine on this island did the same thing, so no big surprise.

Save point! This is arguably one of the most important save points in the game.

Just keep on walkin’…

Treasure!

ShockSlide is another “hit all enemies” type Arm for Ashley. It is not all that exciting, even when it actually hits.

Also, don’t get too greedy about the treasure in this room (or do, because losing like 10 HP is no big deal).

The architecture of this area is not as interesting as the WA2 designers imagined.

And who should be at the end of this dungeon but our old friend Kanon. Didn’t we call a truce?

Nice throne! Always a good idea to wait for the heroes in a room with a chair.

Sure, of course Tim would say that, Kanon knocked him unconscious like six times during their last fight.

“If wishes were horses I wouldn’t have to hold a knife to your throat.”

Yeah yeah, Sword Magess, we get it.

But thou must!

“Technically, when I turn into Knight Blazer, my skin becomes a sort of armor…”
“Shut-up!”

… Maybe I’ll talk about this now? Okay, just for a second, but we’ll revisit it when we have more of a grasp of Kanon. I might be giving WA2 too much credit, and it might be an accident of the weirdo translation, but, seriously? Kanon is a walking trans metaphor, right? Painful surgery, name change (mentioned later this update), complete alteration of outward appearance, “I have thrown away my womanhood” last update, and even a whole world that treats Kanon harshly for being “different”. I wouldn’t expect such a thing of a 1999 JRPG, but it seems like all the pieces are there.

But now back to the battle.

So this is arguably one of the most difficult boss battles in the game. You’re still stuck with a lousy team of two support characters with low HP and one Ashley, and there hasn’t been much opportunity to level up between the train and here (it wasn’t deliberate, but in this playthrough, there were literally FOUR random encounters between Kanon boss fights). Kanon, unfortunately, has upgraded since the last fight, and, while she still has the same “only hits one character, but hits quickly and hard” pattern, I will remind you that she could already kill Tim instantly last time. Now Lilka is also on the instant hit list, and it’s incredibly likely that Kanon will kill 2/3s of your party in 2 turns. That is not good!

Your best bet is to follow the same methods as last time: have Tim defend, Lilka heal, and Ashley go nuts on offense. Hopefully Kanon doesn’t murder everybody instantly, but if anyone drops, just heal the minimum to get them up and running again. Kanon is murder in this fight, and you may as well not waste any consumables topping anybody off.

But the fight isn’t impossible, and there is a savepoint nearby, so hopefully the RNG will help you out at least once.

(And incidentally, if you’re wondering why I cheat, a significant factor in this LP was memories of this very boss fight.)

Pretty sure some of that blood is outside of you at this point…

Ashley is Kanon’s “half-self” because she successfully cut out about half of his guts at this point.

Kanon is still having “what am I fighting for” issues, the big zero.

Ashley wants to make friends! Tim and Lilka are still wary and weary, probably from all the fainting.

“It tells me to kill people. I’m sure you can relate.”

But Ashley elaborates that the “other me” is just another kind of power, and power is neither good nor bad, but something that can be used. And Ashley uses it for good! Hooray!

Kanon has some thinking to do.

Ashley, do you have ARMS hiring permissions? You might have to check with human resources.

“She has tried to kill us on three separate occasions!”
“And she’s good at it!”

“I had to buy a new belt!”

Contingency plan! Ashley is concerned the demon inside of him might grow and take over, and, in that case, who better to have around than a demon slayer? And Kanon gets exactly what she wants! This is win-win for everybody!

Kanon is touched by Ashley’s suicidal plan.

But then company waddles over to spoil this fine conversation. Hello again, Judecca, Odessa’s master of traps.

“To… uh… get us to talk?”

Hey! Did he just call us nerds? He’s the nerd! He’s got glasses!

Nerd!

“Look, you guys were having a great heart to heart here, but it’s time to die.”

Just imagine I made a gif of the screen shaking. Those things always make me sick.

Also imagine a thrilling escape out of a room that nearly collapsed on our heroes, because the WA2 crew sure didn’t animate such a thing.

Kanon has been injured by falling rocks, and certainly isn’t limping because we just drained her of 9,000 HP. Let’s get her patched up, because we’re the good guys!

Cutscene teleport over to Holst…

Say hello again to our favorite mad scientist. I’d ask how she knew to meet us here, but we last saw Marivel with Irving, and you know that dude has us bugged six ways from Sunday.

“That kind of thing usually only happens if you get hit in the face with a bayonet…”

Marivel chastises Kanon for overdoing it with the bionic implants, but Kanon insists she wasn’t using her essence stat anyway.

… Hey, localization team? She’s not literally a robot lady.

There. Got you a screen shaking gif. Happy?

To the… back!

Guess Kanon isn’t officially allowed to join ARMS yet.

Dammit! Who let Kefka in town?

Better get a bucket!

And if there was any doubt as to who was responsible for this fiery mischief.

Odessa jerks are all about the dichotomy between good and evil.

Gasp! Judecca is going to try to blame ARMS for this arson!

But…

Kanon isn’t going to let Jude so much as grab his megaphone.

Hooray! Kanon has moved on from killing one demon to killing anyone that is remotely demonic! Progress!

Boss fight!

Tell ‘em, Kanon!

…. Wait a minute. Where’s our party?

Just Kanon! Yep, Kanon is now an official playable character.

Let’s check her equipment before we get going. Looks like she has her own unique “Bounty Hunter” class head and body gear, and her weapon type is dagger(s). Interestingly, she’s the only character in this game that has a default “sword type” weapon, which is unusual for JRPGs.

And here are Kanon’s skills. We’ve already seen literally all of these moves during her three fights as a boss, but now we’ve got ‘em on our side. Of course, given this is a boss fight, it’s not exactly the time for experimentation.

Or maybe it is, because Judecca is still weak as hell. Recall that he lost to a solo Tim during his last battle.

So Kanon only has “Gat Lv.X” skills for her main FP levels. These moves basically use a regular offensive skill, and make it a little stronger. Nothing too exciting, but it is useful for dealing some extra damage. Unfortunately, the different levels are based on the “rank” of the skills, and we don’t have any Lv.2 skills right now.

Lv.1 is good to go, though.

That move would have killed Tim, like, twice.

And we’ll talk about those Gat skills a little more later, because Judecca just croaked.

Or… not. Guess it’s one of those “win to lose” battles. Note that if you do somehow lose to Judecca, it is a game over.

She’s just having a rough day, okay!?

Guess a cryptic warning is the Odessa severance package.

Bye!

Now Kanon has to deal with Dr. Marivel again. That isn’t fun for anybody.

“Kanon, what am I going to have to do to put you in this ARMS?”

“We’ve got a great healthcare program! And we’ll extend your warranty!”

“And, bonus, you can kill me if I ever go crazy. We gotta deal?”

“Sweet! I’ll have Irving draw up some paperwork.”

“I’m sorry, did I just hear something about murder?”

Tim is just happy that Kanon isn’t going to slaughter him anymore! Hugs all around!

“And we had a seat to fill anyway.”

“Hey, I only count four members, what happened to…”
“We don’t talk about it.”

Kanon, could you stop trying to be cool for five minutes? You’re already in the conference room.

Boss fight! … Just kidding.

“Ha ha, Kanon, you killer. I meant ‘kidder’. I swear!”

I refuse to count that little detour as a mission, one way or another. Now it’s time for the real deal.

Yeah, there’s a big shocker. Odessa has been plucking up lost technology like it’s their job. The only other guy that seems able to do that is sitting at the table right now.

Hey! I remember that area, it’s where REDACTED was REDACTED into pieces!

Guys! You forgot your newest member! Guys!

Irving knows Kanon! Gasp? I mean, she is a merc, and Irving seems to have no problem hiring mercs, so this isn’t that crazy.

Yes, Kanon, we get it.

Irving knows Kanon’s real name! Or old name!

Yeah, old name. Don’t be a douche, Irving.

Nothing like a cyborg lady that you apparently know to make you rethink your priorities.

And here’s the other battle detail about Kanon: Kanon will learn new attacks, but only through actually using her FP-powered attacks. Every attack has its own odds on “sparking” a new attack, and you earn those Level 2 (and higher!) attacks through using Kanon’s abilities all the damn time. This means that, like Tim, there is basically always a reason to have Kanon in your party, and keeping her out of the battle does nothing to upgrade her combat parameters.

In other words, for optimal “gains”, always have Tim deliver the final blow on a monster, and always have Kanon use her bionic attacks. Ashley, Lilka, and the dearly departed have (had) no similar skill leveling mechanics.

Other Kanon bonus: she comes with radar! Kanon makes finding random crap on the overworld a lot easier. We’ll see that as soon as we get some fresh air.

May as well take a little stroll before we start the next mission. Tim and Scott are still hanging out at the chateau. Ebecho is one of the nerds down in the engine room with Gabacho, incidentally.

I am going to cry.

Also, Marina back home finally updated her dialogue, too. Incidentally, she doesn’t change her tune immediately after Brad dies, but does at some point after the train incident. I guess word doesn’t travel all that fast on Filgaia.

Okay, time to teleport over to that desert. Now check out the bottom left of the screen. That radar shows us the location of everything that is discoverable. Kanon, you are the best party member.

Yellow dots are items, and green dots are locations. Note that a green dot (and its matching location) will not appear until the proper plot flag has triggered it. However, if you’d like, you can have an easier time finding those optional dungeons right now.

But we wouldn’t like, as it’s time to quit for the day just when things are getting interesting. Coffin of 100 Eyes? That sounds like a cool place to hang out.

Next time on Wild Arms 2: You thought he was gone forever, but you were wrong! They all said it couldn’t be done, but he will not stay buried! The greatest, smartest, most heroic character ever in this game, nay, this entire franchise, finally returns! Are you ready for the return of the king? And his buddy Ard? Be prepared for their glorious return!

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