Wild Arms 2 Part 33: Luck, Wind, and Fire

Previously on Wild Arms 2: Man, you got me. There are 32 parts to this thing? And I ignored it for a year? Crap, I’m going to be lucky if I remember these dudes’ names.

Raypoint Wing? Is that… is that the vampire girl? Can she fly?

Oh, right, we’re at one of those reyline dungeon thingys. There are four elemental dungeons that can be completed in (kinda) any order. Here’s the first one. It’s wind themed.

Each of the dungeons also corresponds to a character and their spiritual journey. And their tools. Tim already has a wind wand, so he’s up.

Basic dungeon mechanic: wind-push platforms until they are safe to cross. Blow it until you know it!

Basic dungeon mechanic part two: Sometimes platforms appear next to each other, and spin with each other.

Let’s see if we can just mosey a little over here…

And toss Pooka the Tool Creature at this treasure chest.

New tool! Tim’s final tool is the Mist Cloak. It is arguably the most useful tool in the game, and no small reason we hit this dungeon first.

Straight-forward explanation for the best damn magic cloak in this or any other franchise (eat it, invisibility cloak).

In practice, the Mist Cloak allows Tim/the party to “skip” one block spaces, and float leisurely over pits and obstacles. In JRPG universes that revel in blocking off areas with impassable 1×1 squares of water, Tim is now a god.

So the Mist Cloak is obviously going to be the featured tool of this dungeon, and will help us quite a bit in navigating this vaguely-Grecian floating dungeon.

Mist Cloak is going to be useful from now until the end of time (unlike about 90% of the tools in Wild Arms 2), and it even gets a special bonus move in this dungeon. Fans will blow misty Tim around these rooms, meaning the lil’ dude will be able to cover a lot more than one block’s worth of space.

And here’s a fun room where we can apply everything we’ve learned. There are four paths in this room, but each of the paths may only be traveled when a fan is blowing in the proper direction. And how do we control the fans?

Um… That’s the worst answer. Can we do better? I mean, you said “wind” way too many times…

Here we go! This giant weather vane will point in the direction of the currently working fan. Spin that puppy around with Tim’s own windiness, and you’ll be ready to explore every direction.

South leads to a treasure chest on the other side of a cage. Hey! We can mist through cages now, too! Way to go, new tool!

Ah, my favorite anime, Fate/Staff Night. Though I guess Fate/Staff Night: Unlimited Tim Works was slightly more realized.

A quick vane flip later, and North leads to…

Yep, that’s a boss room if I ever saw it.

Tim, you have the least HP in this entire party. Focus on protecting Pooka or something.

Spriggan Wing Knight! For anyone that has seen this word a thousand times in videogames, but never thought to check, the “spriggan” apparently originates from a goblin-type card in Magic the Gathering. Wait, that can’t be right…

So each of these dungeons features a boss (more of a midboss) that is simply a colorswap of this dudette. As you might be able to guess, this one’s element is sprite wind.

Wing Knight seems vaguely defensive, and will blow some turns on buffs that don’t really work that effectively (see also: all of Wild Arms 2, 90% of PSX JRPGs). However, if you destroy her shield, she will get a little more offensive with some full-party attack spells.

Also, she’s big into Mirror Coat, which will reflect all offensive magic. Lilka or Tim are stuck on healing duties, as usual.

Yeah, Tim! Staff her good!

Oh, did you guess that her biggest spell would be wind-based? Remember, you have to wind the windy wind wind in this wind.

Bye, Spriggan. I’ll say hi to your sisters for you.

This is Tim’s best helmet. Woo?

The boss disintegrates into a save point. A save point after the boss? Poor sportsmanship, Wild Arms 2.

A fan blowing directly up is an elevator for Misty Tim.

The whole point of these dungeons is that we are exploring ancient mystical reylines, and, while it is never expressly stated, there is some evidence that these dungeons are less “old worship temples” and more “energy plants” for harvesting reyline energy. Or some dungeon planner just wanted to throw a windmill in there. Whatever.

Fun fact: between all the misting around the place and generally small rooms, this random encounter was the first in this dungeon.

We will find that the reyline dungeons share random mooks, too. BEWARE THE GIGACLOUD!

More platforms to wind-push. That orange button to the side will reset all the platforms to their original orientation. I assume this means there is some way to make this room “unwinnable”… but I haven’t found it.

In a weird bit of balancing, you can sidle along a completely vertical platform. Tim has the agility of a housecat. Same weight, too.

The basic trick to this room is to remember you have a Mist Cloak, and use it all the time.

I am going to sell this for so many pokédollars.

Another room, another excuse to get blown.

The whole “vertical platform” thing is actually the answer to reaching this treasure chest.

I’m sensing a theme here…

Tim has other tools, too!

But the Mist Cloak is best.

Um, excuse me, Wild Arms 2. I think you will find that the sun is a star, and we already have a Star Piece. I hope someone got fired for that blunder.

And the center of this whole area is the obvious place we’re going to plunk down all these random rocks. It is simply heavenly.

So the answer here is to drop these stones in celestial order… or what Wild Arms 2 seems to think is celestial order. I guess it makes sense that you would hit cloud, moon, sun, and then the stars on your way out of the planet’s orbit, but it seems kind of arbitrary.

Also, I definitely failed this puzzle at least once because I was confused about starting the order at the door or the monolith…

Whatever, time to move on from this silly place.

“Hi, mysterious voice! You’re not really great at nicknames, are you?”

“To earn EXP. Any other questions?”

Eternity? One damn twelve year old can’t answer a question, and the place shuts down forever? Damn. Don’t blow it, Tim.

Crap. We’re boned.

“I fight for fate”?

Yeah, that does sound lame.

If Other Barry shows up, I’m out.

“Oh, is that why you pass out during every other boss battle?”

“Colette! I was just talking about you!”

“… which seems kind of silly now that you’re apparently a giant.”

“FATE! … Sorry, got into kind of a groove there…”

What? This is going even worse than I expected. And I already expected Tim to Lilka this thing up from the beginning.

Oh, hi Pooka. You’re not a giant ghost creature, so we should probably listen to you.

“Don’t die. Yeah, figured that out a while ago, fluffball.”

We already covered all of this. Tim dying is bad for everybody (particularly Tim).

Is Pooka implying that encroaching universes attempt to destroy Filgaia on a regular basis?

Yeah, he did help you reach a few treasure chests.

This is relevant.

Pooka isn’t supposed to have a will of his own, and is merely a vessel of the gods/guardians. The fact that he’s helping here of his own volition is… unexpected (assuming you’ve never experienced any human fiction ever).

Pooka being Pooka means that Pooka failed to be Pooka. Wind.

So Tim takes Pooka’s advice, and believes in his own reason to fight (to protect Colette and anyone generally Colette-shaped), but Pooka doesn’t make the trip back.

Even though Pooka was mostly just a tool, it’s always sad when a cute mascot creature…

… Huh?

Oh, that was a harrowing thirty seconds without Pooka.

I absolutely choose to believe this is a gross mistranslation of the Twain quote regarding “the reports of my death”.

Tool-Pooka died so new, independent Pooka could be born. It’s basically the same plot as REDACTED DUE TO SPOILERS.

Uh… good?

Tim can now utilize Pooka to use his final force ability, Hi-Combo. Hi-Combo, unfortunately, is pretty boring. It just allows Tim to summon the highest tier summons available (which still have to be found out and in the world). The ability does not enhance your old summons, and is useless if Tim is not equipped with a high-tier guardian rune. On the other hand, you can eventually summon a giant robot lion, so that’s always a plus.

Pooka got an unusual amount of character development. Neat! Pooka will now never speak again.

And we’re teleported back to our super transforming robot dragon (man, I forgot how much I loved this game).

Tim deserves a shiny new Guardian for his new summoning ability, so let’s go grab one back in Brad’s favorite village.

Hi, Alby! Who’s a good boy? Yes you are.

Hey, Merrill.

We could always use a little luck.

Merrill is the most adorable creature on this planet. Sorry, Colette, you’ve been dethroned.

So, true to her directions, Good Luck Zone is hiding to the south. We didn’t have to take the flying mecha dragon to get here, but when you’ve got a flying mecha dragon… well… why the hell do you even need legs?

This is an unaffectedly weird location.

You might expect the typical JRPG answer here of we have to find a key somewhere in the dungeon… but the dungeon just started, and there are no treasure chests around. Maybe we have to find a key in some other corner of the world? Or hire a locksmith? … Treasure hunter?

Nope! There are enemies in this dungeon called Golpa.

Their model seems to be holding a key.

So, in what appears to be the only instance of this happening in the game, use the steal (pickpocket) command…

To pilfer a key item, the secret key. I picked up two during the battle, but it is “infinite”, and you only need one to navigate the dungeon.

And now these locks trouble us no more.

The Amulet is hidden in this dungeon. Appropriately enough, it ups the wearer’s luck by two levels. Very convenient for Kanon and her luck-based skill learning.

Also convenient for the dungeon’s ultimate “challenge”: you must have a high luck rating to open the final door.

Which we do. Hooray.

I’m not very trusting of “nice guys”, Chapapanga.

Some luck is good enough for me!

Chapapanga is a high-tier Guardian. You can tell because his rune is gold. Tim is the only character capable of summoning Chapapanga, but any character can equip a similarly gold rune and enjoy the stat boosts.

But speaking of Tim’s Hi-Combo…

Chapapanga is one of the few new guardians not originally seen in Wild Arms 1. He does return in later titles, though, so I guess someone liked him. It was probably the goggles.

Chapapanga confers two skills to Tim: Lucky Word, which raises the party’s luck, and Goldhammer, which, like the summon itself, does who knows what. Apparently this “Lucky Shot” is supposed to increase item drops, but I haven’t seen it work when I wanted it to work. Lousy, rotten luck…

I don’t know about you guys, but now I’m in the mood for some dessert. Raypoint Flan time!

Wait! Dammit! This is not what was advertised!

Raypoint Flam is just north of that village from Lilka’s intro. It can only be reached by radical dragon, and is the focal point of the only island we haven’t really explored at this point. It also contains some weird blocks. But that is about to…

Change.

Lilka’s final and wildly specific tool is the Change Rod.

It changes exclusively these translucent orange blocks into HP restoring crystals, and visa versa.

As you have no doubt already guessed, these blocks are going to be all over the place in this dungeon.

On a side note: Gigaflame sounds about a hundred times more threatening than a Gigacloud.

Like back in the wind dungeon, we’re going to wind up using all of our featured character’s tools…

So please remember to use your Fire Rod and Ice Rod to light or extinguish torches responsibly.

Now we’re going to get into something more interesting. The idea here is create a single block “above” that switch. And I guess that really only takes one Change Rod swipe. … Sorry, a little premature on the interesting part.

Now Ashley can bounce a dagger off the solid orange block (just out of frame), and hit that switch just fine.

Light all the red torches, but not the gray ones. Ice is still helpful for dousing flames.

If you collect these HP crystals first, you’ll never be able to create a bridge to score Lilka’s… huh. I think that’s one of her random armors, but don’t quote me on that.

Yes yes, l suppose the fire dungeon has to have a few fire puzzles. Moving on.

This dungeon isn’t nearly as creative as the wind dungeon. It’s basically a whole lot of “gee, wonder why these crystals are exactly here? Do you think I should use that new tool I just acquired?” thinking. That is to say, there is no thinking at all.

This room requires lighting all of the torches before they naturally blow out, so it’s basically a timed/coordination puzzle. There might be some easier way of vertically/horizontally lighting multiple torches at once… but this is more GIF-appropriate.

Is it hot in here, or is it just lava?

I wonder if the game just assumes you’ll have the natural dungeon leader up front for these confrontations, or if there are a number of players confused as to why Lilka decides to hop out and threaten a boss.

Sprigg has sprugg!

This Valkyrie looks familiar.

Flam Knight has radical, flame-themed armor, but she’s otherwise the same fight as before.

Shouldn’t you have a sword? Maybe attack with that big ol’ shield? Though I suppose that would be kind of goofy…

Lilka gets a lovely crown for sitting out this and every other battle.

If you haven’t noticed, each of these spriggan bosses appears at roughly the midpoint of the dungeon, and there are no “final” bosses to these areas. Considering how the spriggs feel like minibosses both due to their easiness and re-used nature, each of these elemental dungeons almost feel half-finished by lacking the polish of a unique boss.

Unfortunately, thanks to a shipping error, the remainder of the Flam Dungeon will be replaced by a Super Mario Bros. castle.

Though there are a few change blocks left.

So, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone born of mortal flesh, you don’t want to fall into the lava. However, lava is only an HP drain issue, so it’s not too big of a deal if you decide to take an extremely hot bath. The other issue with these rooms is that you have to find proper locations to light the red torches, and avoid lighting the gray torches. It’s not that difficult, you just have to get a handle on the geometry of the area.

And if you don’t feel like dealing with lava, remember that Kanon has a lovely set of rocket boots.

The final challenge is another timed-lighting puzzle that mostly just tests your ability to orient your character in a straight (kinda diagonal) line. I’m terrible at that, so screw this dungeon.

Oh Lord, we’re going to have to rely on Lilka to save the world, aren’t we?

“Are you my dad?”
“Blame the translation, honey.”

“This entire dungeon of using nothing but your powers was not enough.”

We’re boned. Again.

Don’t think about it, Lilka! You’ve never thought about anything! Don’t start now!

Crap! She’s in a Shinji-hole!

I always like how “the power to do anything” in a JRPG is always “the power to cast, like, three different fire spells.”

“Hi, Apprehensive, I’m your sister.”

Okay, Lilka’s Sister (or Lilka’s own inner-voice taking the form of Lilka’s sister?) is trying to make a point about being yourself, and not just living trying to be someone else. That is a valid moral. But, that said, if I had to power to do anything with magic, you better believe I would try out being other people on, like, a daily basis.

Lilka has deep-rooted emotional issues, and I acknowledge that. However, girlfriend, nobody else on the team even remembers there was a personnel snafu when you first got hired, and your sister was supposed to get your job. Hell, Tim and Kanon have never even heard of your sister!

“I once saw you eat an entire hoagie in three bites!”

This is in reference to Lilka not sacrificing her life for Ashley in the Millennium Puzzle back at the start of Disc 2. Considering that Ashley and Lilka survived that whole adventure entirely intact, it kind of implies that Lilka’s Sister maybe should not have sacrificed herself for Lilka…

Or it implies Lilka sucks. Lilka likes that implication.

Try to remember… I think it was update #16.

Does that put a smile on your face? I do like the “fizzi” part.

“It’s not Terry the Good Boy, is it?”
“No. Not him. Not ever.”

“Promise me one more thing. Don’t cry anymore. Come on, laugh, Lilka.”

“I’m not crying, you’re crying.”
“I’m a disembodied voice devoid of a body, left alone tear ducts.”
“Well… shut-up.”

Apparently “feelin’ fine” is a kind of magic.

“Are you…”
“Just let her have her moment.”

Let’s double back to that shortly…

Oh man, remember that one part in Final Fantasy 9 when Dagger is completely useless because she’s traumatized and is effectively paralyzed every time she tries to do anything? Man am I glad that Lilka’s unreliability doesn’t translate to the game proper.

Anyway, yeah, Lilka passed the test, hooray.

Lilka earns her fourth and final force ability, DualCast. On one hand, it’s just X-Magic, and allows Lilka to cast two spells in one round. That’s lame. But! DualCast also has properties that are not very well documented within the game, and casting two “alike” spells together will sometimes create a new, much more potent spell. Okay, it’s actually pretty straightforward: all of the elemental spells, the two main cure/heal spells, and the one non-elemental damage spell (saber) are the only spells that combine, and they only combine with themselves. So, basically, Dualcast Lit1 and Lit2, and you get Lit3. Pretty neat!

… Except it requires 100/maximum FP for just one casting, so it’s effectively useless, as you generally want Lilka to conserve her FP for healing.

But still! It’s there!

And we’re here. Let’s take a moment to talk about Lilka, as this is the last she is remotely relevant.

Yes, that’s right, plot-wise, we’re done with Lilka now. Some of the characters get codas in the form of a guardian awakening or three, but we just experienced Lilka’s final “featured” dungeon, and she’s just going to blend into the background from here on out. Sorry, Lilka fans!

And, really, for the whole game: sorry Lilka fans. Lilka has an interesting personal plot going on (she is coping with the loss of her sister in an environment where she is asked to be her sister), but that “plot” is resolved before she even joins ARMs. Right from her opening, Lilka learns she has to do things the Lilka way, and not mess it up by trying to do things the Lilka’s Sister way. And she does that! Right then! And repeatedly afterwards! And, frankly, we know nothing about Lilka’s Sister (right down to her name), other than that she was good at her job. And, aside from being a little ditzy, Lilka actually is pretty good at her job. I might mock her a touch because she’s the Allen of this group, but she’s still right there on the frontlines battle after battle, and (in a playthrough where I’m not recklessly cheating) her speed, healing abilities, and magic spells are all very useful. Her Mystic skill alone is responsible for pretty much every Wild Arms 2 clear file.

So, unfortunately, her arc in Wild Arms 2 rings a little hollow. She learns that she’s not really a “crest sorceress”, she’s Lilka. Except… during about 3,000 random battles, she is absolutely a crest sorceress, and the only reason she’s ever in the party is that she’s an adept crest sorceress. Yes, if Lilka’s Sister were around, she might be a better crest sorceress for the team, but, come on, that’s not how JRPGs work. She’d still start at Level 1, and she certainly wouldn’t outshine any of the other main characters.

Basically, Lilka’s journey from “bumbling mage” to “confident woman” would be a little more believable if it wasn’t literally everyone else’s exact same journey. We all start with loser equipment and low levels, Lilka!

Next time, could you please have a father that secretly founded the bad guys, or an interesting rival character, or something? Thanks. Please pick up your participation trophy on the way out. It’s umbrella-shaped.

Before we wrap up this update, we’re going to swing back to Odd Headquarters, that optional building we found way back when we were exploring Telepath Tower.

Now that we have Lilka and Tim’s final tools, we can change some HP crystals found in the basement…

And mist through a nearby cage…

And use Ashley’s OG dagger for some reason…

And gain… a teddy bear. Huh. Was not expecting that.

I literally cannot remember if I previously explained the “luck system” in Wild Arms 2 in any great detail, so here’s a go at it. Basically, every character has a current luck level that varies at a few notches between “Worst” and “Best”. As we’ve already seen this update, there are items that can increase a character’s luck; however, sleeping in an inn will change a character’s luck level… and not always for the better. The Teddy Bear, being a very blessed sleeping object, will guarantee a character’s luck will not decrease after a good night’s rest. So, basically, it’s an accessory that is only useful when using an inn. Yes, it’s one of those items that is only valuable in one specific instance, and, even then, you will likely forget it exists until after you awaken to Kanon suddenly having WORST luck.

This Teddy Bear sucks, and it pains me to say such.

One more loose end! Everyone is earning their fourth and final Force Ability, but Ashley already has his 100 FP skill (it’s the one that lets him turn into a Power Ranger). However, he doesn’t have his third Force Ability, so let’s rectify that.

Down in Guild Galad, here’s Prince Dork that we escorted on a train forever ago.

He confers Full Clip, which is a skill that allows Ashley to empty an Arms’ entire bullet clip on an opponent. As you can probably guess, it will do a lot of damage. No damn idea why you would bother when Ashley has Knight Blazer available to kick major ass at just 25 FP more, but it’s nice to have.

And in preparation for our next update (estimated arrival date: February, 2020), we’re going back to the Promised Catacombs.

Remember how there was a one-block gap that kept us from entering? I wonder what tool we found in this very update that might help us…

Next time on Wild Arms 2: Turning back the clock.

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