Previously on Wild Arms: We learned everything we ever wanted to know about Kanon, but were afraid to ask. … Mainly because of the way she brandishes that knife. Girl is fierce.
But no time to talk to Kanon now, Marina has been kidnapped!
Oh, Marina has been kidnapped to a dungeon within driving distance. Convenient.
“Is… are… Are we supposed to visit the frozen lake of Hell?”
Oh yeah, Cocytus was named after the bit in Dante’s Inferno wherein… Hey! It’s one thing for a fictional group to use a cool sounding name, but Filgaia actually has its own version of Dante’s Inferno? Or Greek mythology? Greece makes it more of a river…
Caina was sucked into a death portal upon defeat back at the Diablo Pillar, and this is what happens when you just assume a black hole is going to crush someone to death.
“That’s great, Ashley. Let’s calmly sit here and discuss the concept of ‘quickly’.”
“A bomb that has approximately six literal bombs in his inventory.”
“What else are we going to do? Research the end of the world? Been there, done that.”
“But let’s stand around this boardroom a little longer! Maybe we can discuss why we have chairs if we’re never going to use them.”
“The benevolent, magical sword, or the evil demon?”
“I’ll try not to kill anybody on my way to killing that dude I already tried to kill twice.”
Okay! We’re off!
Like every tense situation in a JRPG, we can actually do anything we could ever want to do before trying to rescue Marina. Let’s see how Marina’s aunt is doing. She seems fine!
Ashley is a calming influence.
So we’re headed to Lost Garden. Lost Garden is on that tiny island at approximately the dead center of the world.
One quick hovercraft trip, and we’re there.
“Not specifically here-here, though! We have to go through a dungeon. … You know what I mean!”
“Like, would I have to find a new place to live? That sounds like a hassle!”
“Ashley, put your grenade launcher down.”
“But I don’t wanna!”
“Well, maybe Lilka doesn’t. But the rest of us are pretty gung-ho.”
“I guess I could use a party of meatshields. Fine, let’s go.”
So, tower time! Lost Garden is going to involve a lot of stairs.
And a few light puzzles.
These blocks will rise or descend at a press, and the trick of these puzzle rooms is to make sure you always have a path forward with properly leveled blocks. To start, we just have these red switches, but there will be more colors soon.
Uh. Huh. This is unusual.
Can’t do a thing with these blocks right now, but they look important. We’ll come back later.
But this pentagram in the next room we can certainly play with.
Each time we see this design, we need to ditch a party member to proceed. You can technically choose any character, but, since we are rescuing Marina, I want to say there’s one hero you shouldn’t leave behind.
Our first dropout is obvious.
There are certainly monsters all over this tower, so try to determine which characters you need for your battle party.
Man, the random monster designs in this game are just great. This thing is clearly an escaped Shin Megami Tensei final boss.
Now there are red and blue switches. Every red switch impacts every red switch, and same for the blues.
Still, it’s a pretty straightforward puzzle, as there are only four different combinations of switch positions.
Next blockade, and, sorry Brad, you’re going to sit this one out. I mean, we survived well enough when you were dead.
More switches. Just keep walking forward or something.
Looking good, Ashley!
The secret to this switch room is that a red switch is hiding in a gap. Always check your holes in JRPGS!
New Ashley weapon get! Appropriate!
The FantomFang launches “high voltage” shells. I assume that means it has electrical properties? At this point in the game, using FP for Knight Blazer is usually a better choice than any given Arm.
Sorry, Kanon, but at least Tim has that fast-heal ability. Note that each of these rooms contain a pit for returning to previously dropped party members.
Save point! This could be useful if you’re not confident with your two-man party.
Oh, there’s a moving platform rotating around the room. Hop on!
And activate that switch so some other blues are at walking level.
Then activate a “hidden” red switch, and saunter on to the next moving platform.
The final drop off! I guess we can leave Tim behind. Ashley should be fine on his own.
Yes, there are still monsters in this dungeon, but they’re generally balanced for a lone Ashley.
Good thing Ashley is here!
If you thought Caina just liked Vinsfeld as a friend, you were mistaken.
Also, when did the squirt find the time to carve a stone tablet? Seems kind of excessive…
Oh! Green switch!
Only one in the dungeon/game.
Fun fact: the game doesn’t require plot-relevant Ashley with any sort of “But where is Ashley” chastising dialogue prompt, but his specific throwing knife is the only tool that can open the final door forward. Way to go, gameplay planning!
Right between the fangs…
Well, this seems like a nice place.
“Didn’t you personally turn an entire church full of my friends into monsters that I had to kill?”
Hey, Caina does kind of look like a mini Vinsfeld. … If you squint.
Look, it’s a magical universe and all, but this situation does not seem that threatening. Caina doesn’t even, say, have a knife to Marina’s throat. He’s just got, what, a giant key? When has that ever been an effective weapon?
“Caina, you’re not the kidnapee, here.”
Hitler was technically an important figure, too, Caina.
Caina is really fixated on Ashley. How would anyone but specifically Ashley know that Ashley delivered the finishing blow on a derelict wannabe space station? On an unrelated note, how did Irving know that it was specifically Caina that survived?
Yeah, like that was ever in doubt.
“I want you to purchase some of my new cryptocurrency. I’m introducing VinsCoin.”
“Are you going to suck me into a space hole? Sure, go nuts.”
Magical suicide bomber!
Ashley, do something!
And now for some dork in his library.
Pronouns are hard… Lord Blazer is controlled by Ashley protecting something Ashley loves.
“Well, huh, hope Ashley isn’t in a high-stress situation where he has to protect something he cares about.”
New forms inevitably get new, stupid names.
Caina is going to get that fight!
With Over Knight Blazer! The only Knight Blazer with guaranteed delivery by tomorrow, or your money back!
Over Knight is clearly more golden than original Knight Blazer. Also, he has more claw-like feet and hands. Other than that, he’s pretty much a palette swap.
Caina admits that we were going to experience a tiny atomic explosion, but Ashley absorbed it. Not a good sign for Caina.
Ashley: not exactly confident in the situation.
This isn’t a quiz show, Caina.
Oh no, he brought out the magical key. What ever shall we do?
So this is a legitimate boss battle, and, oddly enough, our first boss battle since the final battle with Vinsfeld back at the end of Disc 1. However, despite the stakes, this battle is really, really easy.
Over Knight replaces "regular" Knight Blazer from this point on, and has two new moves. Gun Blaze doesn’t use Ashley’s Arms at all, and is merely a hadouken.
Caina can fight back, but those magic key attacks barely do a speck of damage. About the only way to lose this match is to get a really unlucky status affliction.
Or go nuts and use Over Knight Blazer’s final attack, Last Burst. Last Burst will do an insane amount of damage, but also reduce Ashley’s HP to 1. For obvious reasons, that could end poorly for our hero.
But since this Ashley is wildly overleveled, it meant the end of Caina. There’s our customary Cocytus flower!
“Caina, you were never important.”
“Oh, what? Marina? She’s just fine… Right?”
Caina really thought that revenge would fill the ol’ empty heart, but maybe being mortally wounded dashed that plan.
Dude is just not taking your calls.
Wild Arms Mission #21:
Rescue Marina from despicable hands
Notes: Everything turned out perfectly okay this time, right, babe?
Oh yeah, Marina was kind of in the dark on the whole “Ashley is partially possessed by a demon” thing.
“Honey, I just digivolved to my final form! You should be happy for me!”
“The Ashley I know doesn’t hurl fireballs all over the place!”
Okay, maybe Caina had a point…
Back at the Chateau, Marina is physically healthy, but Ashley spent the entire ride back apologizing.
“It’s hard to admit you’re maybe sorta kinda a demon from Hell meant to destroy the world.”
“Hey, nurses, Ashley is probably going to kill us all if this continues, so see if you can score Marina some ‘relaxants’, if you know what I mean.”
Ashley is not getting through.
Marina decides to take an angry nap, and admits that she should just forgive Ashley. If you’ve been paying attention to Marina throughout this LP, you’ll note that this is exactly what she does every time she fights with Ashley.
Also, as I’ve mentioned before, I find this disturbingly realistic.
But no time for chastising yourself for failed relationships now!
Nerds are talking!
Yay! They found the bomb!
…. No! They found the bomb!
480 what, Irving?
Yeah, sure, we’ll just send Ashley back into space. That should work.
Double G is Guild Galad Master’s DJ pseudonym.
So, incidentally, it appears the nuclear bomb was just a nuclear bomb, but Vinsfeld magically awakened it as a freaking dragon. Or it was always a sentient dragon that requires feeding, and it was the stupidest nuclear weapon ever.
But the plan is to draw this hungry, hungry hippo where we want.
And “where we want” is apparently going to be Guild Galad. Side note: does anyone else on this planet care that one town is apparently responsible for the entire world’s electricity?
But whatever, lure the dragon in, and then punch it. Got it.
Master G is certainly helpful, too.
Get the ol’ anti-dragon weaponry revved up.
The citizens of Guild Galad work diligently to flip on every light switch in the city.
“Hit dragon until dragon fall down. Dragon no go boom.”
“Go do some sidequests or whatever, Nuclear Winter will be here when you get back.”
“BTW, Ashley, you’re a dangerous lunatic.”
“Is that what you’re calling yourself now? Sure, whatever, Fury, you’re off the team.”
“Aw, but Irving, I wanted to punch the nuclear bomb with everybody else.”
“Can we at least replace Ashley with another trained mercenary?”
So Ashley is with us until the official mission, and you can start said mission at any time. Let’s take a quick stroll around the chateau before we get to dragon busting.
… Where did Irving find these people?
I like that Young ARMS has decided to just stay in this room and never leave.
Here’s Altaecia tipping us off to that one secret guardian cave I keep ignoring. She’s been providing this clue since the chateau started flying, but, hey, writing an LP is hard.
Okay, back to work.
“Ashley, go do literally anything else.”
Quick cutaway to remind us that Marina is still moping all over the place…
And now for the NUCLEAR DRAGON!
Filgaia is so doomed.
Our party is literally as big as Grauswein’s toenails.
Good news, Ashley! If the party fails, you won’t live long enough to notice!
If you just assumed that the hero of the story would sit out the opportunity to slay a dragon, you might enjoy Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Grauswein looks less… tubby on his trading card.
Ashley has to run across like the whole chateau to get here, so we’re stuck with an Ashley-less party to fight this beast.
To be clear, this is a legitimate boss fight, and you are expected to win.
Lacking Ashley doesn’t help matters, and Grauswein’s main attack, a freaking nuclear explosion, is bad news for the party. Not only will it eat off a chunk of HP, but it also possesses the possibility to poison or paralyze the party. Also, Brad is sterile now.
It’s by no means an impossible fight, but make sure Tim or Lilka is on dedicated healing duty.
Oh, and despite the “real” fight, ARMS does not actually make a dent in this dragon.
Irving immediately turns to the most suicidal plan. Tim is the only ARMS member that consistently wants to live.
But Ashley’s room is empty! Gasp!
You can’t see it, but Irving has the most surprised expression on his face right now.
“Did anyone think to actually, ya know, guard Ashley?”
“Would it have helped?”
Brad’s railgun nearly destroyed an entire flying fortress, but a nuclear dragon is too much?
Blazing Knight to the rescue!
“Don’t kill everybody! Trust in the monster that wants to kill everybody!”
Aw, Ashley has really grown to trust the guy that just locked him in his room for being a genocidal nuisance.
Now it’s solo Ashley versus Grauswein.
The good news is that Ashley starts in Over Knight mode. The bad news is that Grauswein is absolutely just as powerful as in the previous fight, so you better hope you brought enough heal berries to keep Ashley healed up. Ashley can do a phenomenal amount of damage in a round, but please remember to remedy any injuries every other turn or so.
So it turns out that Over Knight Ashley is more powerful than the entirety of ARMS put together. Good to know.
The implication here seems to be that Ashley not only defeated the creature, but drained all of the nuclear power out of it, too. I’m sure that will have no repercussions.
Please do not eat any vegetables recovered from irradiated monsters.
Oh, hey Inner Voice, whatcha been up to?
Plotting the destruction of the planet you say?
How can you see his face?
At least Lord Blazer should destroy the world slightly slower than a nuclear dragon. I think.
“Kicky… scarf… no longer… stylish…”
Kanon, you have trained for this literally your entire life. It is time to slay the demon of legend and ascend to your place as…
And Kanon reflexively kills Tim just to feel better about herself.
But Marina out of nowhere! Brad, don’t talk her down, too.
Ashley, you can launch fireballs from your hands. I don’t think proximity is going to make a difference here.
Hand. Claw. Whatever.
If you destroy the world, Ashley, you destroy Marina, too. Just pointing that out, in case you didn’t do the math.
Ashley has an inside line on Lord Blazer’s plans, and they ain’t pretty.
Run, run, or you will be well done.
Lilka, do you think he just forgot to not choke his loved ones?
Just in case you thought this might be a mangled hugging sprite…
Not hard enough!
“Guess I’m going to die now, but thanks for trying.”
Come on, hero!
“Somewhere in that golden armor, right? Man, I’m going to look like an idiot if I’ve been getting choked by a random monster.”
Yay! Ashley curbed the very God of Destruction through the power of love!
Or should we be thanking Marina? Whatever! It’s a win!
Wild Arms Mission #22:
Save Filgaia from Odessa’s final parting nuclear weapon
Notes: Okay, now this time everything worked out perfectly fine. Everything is going to be impeccable forever! Or at least until the world is devoured by another world!
And we’ll close today’s update with Lilka realizing that she might have a difficult time competing with a love that literally just saved the world. I think Terry the Good Boy is still single!
Next time on Wild Arms 2: Hey, if Odessa gets to have a dragon, why don’t we?