Previously on Wild Arms 2: Ashley had a bad day that involved transforming into a monster and killing his friends. Lilka had a good day involving free bread and a new job. And then Ashley got sent to prison. Lilka probably got a free kitten or something.
We now rejoin our hero’s incarceration already in progress.
Sounds like somebody’s got a bad case of the Mondays.
“Also, I guess our world has no concept of ‘trials’, so good luck with that.”
The Rock starring Ashley Winchester.
And Lilka, who gets to be on “prison transport” duty by virtue of… having a neat cape?
Lilka Eleniak: Ace Attorney is exactly the kind of game I would play. … Man this joke would work so much better if Lilka was our resident medium.
I love sightseeing.
Fabulous Illsveil Prison! Come for the dank, stay for the soul-crushing depression.
I feel like this exact scenario played out in Saga Frontier, too. Anyway, it’s one of those deals where there isn’t a real “staff”, and the inmates are literally running the asylum.
“Unless you can swim really, really well.”
Warden Larry got the maximum sentence for killing the other stooges.
Hey, why didn’t Ashley get one of those prisoner ball thingys? Totally cheated here.
And now we have Ashley in his cell. I guess the legal counsel of Lilka & Lilka hasn’t had a breakthrough yet.
“Oh please tell me you’re qualified for this job in the tiniest bit.”
“I’m never seeing daylight again.”
“And I’m probably going to be exploded, too.”
Oh, wait, non-Lilka related explosions are apparently happening.
“You weren’t serious…. Right?”
Lilka agrees, and it’s time to hit the town!
First goal: find Ashley’s equipment and a key to open this door.
After finally obtaining a second party member, we’re back to a solo game with just Lilka. Ashley can actually help, though, as, if you talk to him in his cell, he will restore Lilka’s HP with a med ability that we’ll never see again.
Prison Dungeon does its best to seem like an actual prison, so there are a series of locked doors and corresponding switches to press. For most of the switches, it’s as simple as accessing a nearby console. Not really useful in the event of a prison break. Well, not useful for the guards, at least.
And door open. Speaking of which, apparently during that one shaking incident earlier, all of the prisoners and guards fled. This place is deserted.
Enter that newly opened room, and you’ll find a few auto defenses. These turrets are all over the prison, and stumbling into their line of sight will bounce your hero back and chip off a little HP. It’s not much of a problem, but when you’re a squishy mage, every hit point counts.
So nail ‘em with some diagonal magic. Easy peasy.
There aren’t treasure chests in the prison, but there are lockers that may contain new equips for Lilka. I want to say this is one of the few spots in the game where there are “treasure chest alternatives”. Well, I mean, other than standard town pots and barrels and such.
That room was a bust, time to move on.
Oh, did I mention there are monsters in this prison? And some of those monsters are digletts? It happens.
Like in Lilka’s starter dungeon, use proper elements and heal often. Assuming you didn’t shred it back in town, Lilka should still have a decent healing spell on her, so stay healthy.
This is the first of many hallways that is just a narrow stretch with turrets all around. On this kind of platform, a blast from the turret will knock you into the abyss (which is more of an inconvenience than anything), so don’t run, and be handy with the magic.
At the end of this hall is a computer terminal explaining all the monsters. “Guard Creatures”. There, now it can be a proper dungeon.
Illsveil Prison is the first of WA2’s many “real” dungeons. Unlike some games, WA2 does seem to make an effort for man-made (aka not caves) dungeons to seem semi-functional. On one hand, good job, dungeon designers, way to think out your world. On the other hand, it makes some dungeons kind of boring and same-y. Illsveil Prison is a symmetrical series of “wings”, with an advancing hallway down the middle. Ashley is caged in the west wing, we could advance to the east wing… but first we’re going to try the north exit.
The north area kind of subtly indicates it’s not the way to go, as the monster mobs seem more advanced. Or maybe that was just bad luck? Could go either way.
Doesn’t seem to be anything else stopping Lilka, though.
Nevermind! Go too far, and this guard will pepper Lilka with bullets until she retreats. He’s hiding on the other side of a door, so you can’t even magic him away. Boo!
So let’s try the east wing.
And the other side of this “realistic” dungeon design is that it’s sometimes difficult to tell if you’re going in the right direction. This turret hallway is exactly the same as its twin on the west side, so if you’re not paying attention to the compass, things can get pretty confusing pretty fast. At least the turrets don’t respawn.
The next wing looks exactly like Ashley’s wing, minus one Ashley. Or any prisoners. How did everybody else get out so fast?
So we know what to do about locked doors.
This room contains a mini puzzle of “how do I defeat these two turrets?” The answer is always diagonals.
And, hey, a savepoint! Score!
And our gear! Double score!
Wild Arms 2 tries to make the tiniest concession to the “floating inventory” thing. Like most JRPGs, even though we’ve switched between three different characters (and all of them in fairly different time periods, too), we had the same “floating” inventory and cash total. WA2 attempts to throw a bone to this “continuity” by claiming that Brad’s (oops, spoiler) equipment from five years ago was randomly stowed with Ashley’s stuff. It isn’t much, but it’s more than Xenosaga ever tried to do with Ziggy suddenly inheriting all of Shion’s equipment.
Also, Lilka isn’t stealing, she’s just ignorant.
So we have to walk all the way back to Ashley’s cell. I’ll spare you the hallways of defeated turrets.
“I don’t trust you with anything more powerful than a sharpie.”
Wild Arms 2 is one of those games where you have to actually open up the menu and “use” the key item du jour. I want to say this is only justified in maybe one puzzle, and the rest of the time, it really should be automatic.
“Why is all your gear so… covered in monster goo?”
“I’ve already got a bayonet, I don’t need to punch people, too.”
Theory: Ashley was originally supposed to have a “prison uniform” sprite, because they make a big deal about Ashley “changing” in a moment, and it’s not like it takes a lot of effort to put on his double belt or neckerchief.
“A really fast mass jailbreak.”
Gee, maybe if one random magician girl can break you out inside of fifteen minutes, then a whole group of like two guys could empty the place in five minutes. Sure.
Welp, Ashley is all suited up, let’s get our own jailbreak back on track.
Two man party! We’re gonna plow through these damn digletts!
These two were made for each other.
Going back over the same hallway we’ve traversed three times…
And now we get some sweet revenge on that guy with the gun. Um… I’m sure he’ll be okay after taking a knife to the brain.
Yeah, he’s totally fine. It’s nice that they gate this area not with some “I can’t leave without Ashley” dialogue box, but with a “puzzle” that can only be solved by Ashley (and his sweet knife).
Hey, random Barghest monsters. That reminds me of Brad’s origin dungeon. I wonder what happened to that guy.
More boring hallways, more turrets. Ashley’s knife eliminates turrets just as well as Lilka’s fire spell. You would think the metal on metal wouldn’t work, but that’s one cool (infinite) knife Ashley has got there.
Next wing. Seems our exit is blocked by a rusty door. How… how did anyone else get through here?
Surprisingly, this isn’t referring to our little escape. The big breakout was orchestrated by two unidentified men.
THIS DUNGEON HAS A MOTIF.
A new set of cells, and… oh, this computer terminal isn’t working. I don’t suppose tech support is going to make an appearance?
Don’t be confused! Just use the key you already have!
And who do we have here?
So there’s actually official art of this scene. I’m reproducing it here, because it captures everyone’s personality perfectly.
“Maybe fight some monsters with zero equipment and absolutely no healing abilities?”
“Prisoner” (Seriously, game? You have to have played Brad’s story at this point, the player knows who this is) has one thing on his mind.
“Are we playing that game where everything is a question?”
Brad in a nutshell, everybody. “Okay, this is stupid, let’s move on.”
“Hey! I was locked up for… maybe a half hour!”
“Sure, prisoner we just met that apparently knows our boss’s name, have some weapons.”
I’d really love to know the intended inflection on this one. Is it like an accusatory statement, or is Ashley just annoyed at anonymous prisoner here demanding weaponized gloves?
“What’d you do?”
“Destabilized an entire country.”
So now we have a full three man band! Yay! We will only ever be allowed three “active” party members, but, unlike Wild Arms 1, it sure looks like there are spots for a larger gang.
And now we’ve got Brad’s fabulous kicking boot back! Take that, broken computer console!
This is how we fix things in Illsveil!
That console leads to an entirely optional room where…. Dammit, we’re gonna get shot again. Better switch back to one of the projectile twins.
Er-hem… That console leads to an entirely optional room where a few more treasures are hiding. Nothing special, but this mini carrot is a consumable item that will instantly fill up 25 FP, which can really help in a few battles.
And speaking of battles, we now have a full party. Yay! This… does not change our tactics as significantly as one might expect. In general, Ashley and Brad always choose fight, and Lilka is there for magic or healing (or magic healing). Considering Ashley and Brad barely had to heal during their solo adventures, this is pretty much what was already established from jump street. This is either good game design, or is really boring. Maybe both.
Go Brad! We’ve got those kick boots primed and ready for that rusty door.
And… we’re at the entrance. Or exit? Whatever. It’s that room from the introduction to the area. … I really want an explanation on when that door rusted over.
We can call this dungeon a done deal, but first…
Prison library! Here’s a name that sounds vaguely familiar. Apparently he was the original leader of the Slayheim Liberation Army before Brad. Wonder if they were friends?
“And then he went out for cigarettes and never came back.”
There’s a book on Illsveil Prison in Illsveil Prison. What’s relevant is that all the nations of Filgaia dump their trash prisoners here, so this place having a mass jailbreak probably won’t be good for anybody.
… Am I reading a diary?
Oh, and there is some treasure hiding in the back, too. Always visit your local library, kids!
“Man, it’s been cool, but I gotta get going. Also, head’s up, everybody else is already gone, too.”
Yeah, that must be frightening for Death Row Inmate #666.
Do not dust off your Hebrew to figure out why this thing is named GAO NIM. That way lies madness.
Digging the search lights motif. Come to think of it, it’s been a while since we saw a real boss.
You pretty much have to see this thing in motion to appreciate its true majesty. It’s… a walking crane machine.
As you might expect, that ridiculous arm is its main attack method.
But the good news is that this boss is barely a boss. Maybe it’s to compensate for not being able to “exit” and hit a town for healing and supplies or something, but, for the first boss that requires the entire party, GAO NIM is a real clunker. I think this is also one of the few bosses that gets easier as you knock off pieces, as, without THE CLAW, GAO NIM is really ineffective.
Ineffective to the point of exploding. I guess most of its opponents through the years have been unarmed? That might work.
Our party doesn’t even say good-bye. Trashed your stupid robot, smell ya later.
Warden is not taking it well, though.
Here is today’s “you will never see this animation again” showcase.
And here’s a guy we’re certainly going to see again.
Anime dudes with glasses are always friendly… right?
And he certainly didn’t just immediately kill Warden for no reason. I’m sure the fade to black simply indicates that they sat down for some tea.
Meanwhile, back at the Cliffs of Torment.
Oh, right, we have absolutely no idea how we’re going to get off this prison island built especially to keep prisoners penned forever.
But Irving is here! With a boat! Everything apparently went according to Irving’s plan!
That’s what I just said!
“This statement, while technically accurate, seems to ignore the small matter of having me arrested for no reason.”
And Ashley with the knockout blow! Well… he’s still conscious… but still! For anyone that thought Irving might have been a dick in the previous update, Ashley agrees with you.
And Irving seems fairly okay with the sucker punch. Hey, mistakes were made.
Lilka and Brad just hang back and ask the question that has been nagging at everyone since this update started: did our prison break just happen to coincide with another prison break?
Well, Lilka doesn’t know.
Meanwhile… I’m pretty sure this is an error. I’m almost certain this is supposed to be a continuation of Brad or Ashley’s line to sort of “narrate” the segue into “what about these two guys”, but the line is misattributed to Guy with Glasses. Or maybe GwG is wondering the same thing? Who knows.
But this is certainly being said by a random prisoner. Random former prisoner. Excuse me.
What do you do with a prison full of escaped convicts? Turn ‘em into an army! Duh!
And we’ll close with a brief flash of insight into the mind of Guy with Glasses.
Hey, didn’t the disaster from last massacre end with a couple of mysterious bad guys chatting? Hm.
ARMS Mission #1:
Rescue Brad from inescapable prison
Notes: May have destabilized the worldwide penal system
… Barbershop quartet?
Right. Global peacekeeping force. Almost forgot.
“Excellent question. Shut-up.”
“Nobody else in the whole world can punch things quite like you.”
“Okay, what if I punch you?”
“You’ll… start speaking gibberish at me?”
Did you mean: canned rooster
Ah. Where would fiction be without the ol’ bomb collar? How else are we to get prisoners to behave?
“If Brad blows up, and we’re standing next to him…”
“Everything for a mile radius explodes, too.”
Kind of mixing metaphors there, Brad.
But we do take a moment to acknowledge that the ARMS logo (which Irving has now printed on everything right down to the bath towels) looks like a dog. Oh, hey, that’s the logo for the game, too.
“So we’re basically a team of unaffiliated vigilantes?”
“With a dog theme!”
“Dotard” basically means “a person that is feeble”. It’s a dig on Irving. It’s… not a word that gets used much anymore.
And, yes, if you didn’t catch it, there’s already been a dog theme running through the WA2 story. I mean, come on, we spent most of an update watching Ashley chase a cat.
And Irving takes a call. Rude.
We just finished the last one! Like… seconds ago!
I want to say that “Under Traffic” isn’t even the most engrishy name we’ll hear in this game.
“Clean out a cave sounds pretty 8-bit JRPG, not 32-bit JRPG, boss.”
“Look, we need a plot reason for you to walk through a tunnel. Don’t bug me about this.”
And Ashley apologizes for decking poor dotard Irving. Don’t worry, Ash, we’ve all been there. You’ll be el jefe one day.
So by way of double apologizing, Irving gives Ashley a new iphone. Punch your boss today, kiddies! (NOTE: this LP does not condone punching your boss.)
Oh, we just nabbed the “hint” feature. This is convenient in a game where your next objective doesn’t actually appear on the world map until you find it.
“This mansion smells like dotards!”
And we’re off! Our next mission is to check on a cave-in, but it’s been a big day, so we’ll take a break here. I’ve been feeling a little…. ill(sveil).
Next time on Wild Arms 2: A complete explanation of how cell phones work.