Wild Arms 2 Part 14: You’ve Gotta Blow Sometime

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.”

“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.”

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.

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, so your only 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!

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…

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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