Previously on Wild Arms 2: ARMS lost the data tablets, but they did have a slight lead with “Odessa went that-a-way”. So let’s get ‘em!
Welcome to Quartly. Quartly is a town that grew up on a giant bridge, and is more a rest stop than an official town. There’s a place in the back where you can buy little Quimmy the Quartly Quounter bobble heads in the back.
We’ve got a dinky little item shop, and I’m just noting that they’ll be selling Teleport Gems for the rest of the game, despite the fact that we have a Teleport Orb that is infinite and didn’t cost a dime.
And a new weapons shop! This will be the last one for a couple of updates, so please take the time to upgrade. I like that Tim gets new armor that is designated as “cute”, while Ashley gets the full metal jacket.
Again, the only reason ARMS was surprised by Brad’s revelation last update was because nobody in this team pays any attention.
And here’s our confirmation that Brad isn’t very photogenic. Or “Brad”.
Lady, what the hell? Has Irving been passing our press releases around the world?
Hello there, unique sprite. Are we talking a sidequest, or…?
Wild Arms 1 & 2 both have this thing going where there is a known “merc class”, and there’s this entire worldwide profession of people who go off adventuring… and you barely ever see another merc. And when you finally encounter one, you know there’s going to be trouble…
“Brad, is this something…”
“Don’t wanna talk about it.”
“So are we getting paid for this or…. Nothing? Does this have anything to do with Odessa? No? You just know we’re JRPG protagonists, don’t you?”
She kinda just sent us off to kill monsters, so I wouldn’t even say we’re working together…
That is a terrible name! This better not be canon!
I suppose we should drop any pretenses that this might be a random merc and talk about Kanon aka Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca Banana Fanna Bo Besca the Third. Kanon is probably the darkest character in the Wild Arms franchise, as some hack writer decided to ball up all the worst tropes in the “strong female characters” manual, wad them together, and form it into a Kanon that miraculously stays together. We’ll eventually get into the whole “why of Kanon”, but, special preview, it involves a fall from grace, prostitution, rape, mutilation, and there was probably a kitten that got stomped to death somewhere in there, too. Kanon has had a rough life.
But, hey, she got robot parts out of the deal, so it can’t be all bad.
Once you get past her horrid, overly dramatic origins, though, Kanon is pretty great, and, full disclosure, she was the definitive winner of the Teenage Goggle Bob Best Character Award. Look, I wasn’t goth as a kid, but I absolutely thought I was, and that means my favorite JRPG heroes were Magus, Vincent Valentine, and, of course, a badass cyborg mercenary who is clearly too cool to hang out with a bunch of dorks in cowboy hats. As an adult, this is fairly embarrassing, but, come on, a radical lady with a robot eye and extend-o-hand? Coolest thing on the planet.
Anyway, for now, Kanon is a mystery. Later, she’ll be an adversary. Later than that, she’ll be an ally, because of course she will. Through it all, she’ll be generally standoffish, and, hey, who doesn’t enjoy a JRPG heroine that speaks exclusively in ellipses?
Fun fact: Kanon cameos in later Wild Arms adventures, but in both cases, she loses the cybernetic enhancements. This is a net loss for the universe.
Anyway, for now, Kanon isn’t going to be forthcoming with her own backstory. Brad! You two should date! What’s that? You’re taken?
Kanon scares the bejebus out of normal folk.
The “other me”? The one that tells you to kill everybody? Gee, I wonder what the other me is thinking. Could it maybe be that Kanon is a threat, and you should kill her? Didn’t it think the same thing about a slice of toast yesterday?
Brad is looking forward to it!
So ARMS decides to take a nap, and that means it’s time for plot advancement (we’re back to that again). Brad has wandered off, so Ashley goes on a quick Brad-hunt.
Brad is talking to someone! At night! In an alley! Could Brad be tired of hanging out with a bunch of people a decade younger than him and need some real adult interaction a traitor!?
It’s after curfew!
Brad offers exactly zero explanation.
Ashley, what the hell, man? You saw Brad talking to a dude. You don’t have to assume the worst in everybody just because Odessa is consistently “guessing” your every move.
Are there any crystal foxes?
So that’s a no on the foxes?
Huh. What a helpful NPC. What happens if I switch my leader so this friendly fellow can chat with other members of ARMS?
Okay, off to the salt flats. We already had an ice area, this spot is totally salt.
Is this what passes for a ghost nowadays? You’re never going to trick Velma with that kind of getup, Old Man Buck Masters.
There are some suspicious salt pillars, but there isn’t a Lot going on here. Ha ha! Bible humor!
The beach looks nice. Note that this landing spot is on the outer rim of Filgaia, so it will be a while until we can pull up the ol’ hovercraft here.
Past the salt pillars we’ve got…
Slayheim Castle. Time to slay some (more) ghosts.
Oh yeah, the (probable) leader of the Slayheim Liberation Army is in Slayheim Castle. Bet there are some great memories here!
Well, there are certainly hallways.
Another “typical” dungeon layout. There’s an entrance hub with a locked door in the middle, and open doors on the left and right that will inevitably lead to unlocking that center door.
Guess Slayheim really enjoyed their random polygon statues.
Despite the eterno-torches, Slayheim looks very abandoned, and it looks like that abandonment happened in a hurry.
Also, the castle was designed by the Umbrella Corporation.
At least we unlocked one door.
And a memory!
Hey! It’s Brad and Billy! Or maybe Billy and Brad. Note that these flashbacks very deliberately do not name the speakers at any time.
Anyway, basic gist of this one is that the liberation army managed to corner the Slayheim royal family after some dedicated castle sieging. Unfortunately, that kind of thing takes a bit of a toll.
Back to the present.
Huh. I was expecting something more interesting, but I guess a memory is its own reward? No important switch or boss or anything.
That was one wing, on the way over to the other, we’ll take note of the monster pyramid hiding in the hub area. That will be important… one day.
Oh yeah, this place has got wall-to-wall ghosts floating around. I keep calling these dudes “Nacho Geists”, and they keep getting mad at me.
Over in the… probably East?… Wing, we’ve got a pit and a pendulum.
Who builds such nonsense in their castle!?
Oh well, I’ve got a solution, but nobody is going to like it.
If Brad equips accessory boots, how does he wear his kick boots for puzzle solving? So many questions…
Ugh, another locked door.
Oh, but there’s a switch right here. That’s some lousy security.
Didn’t have to adjust a picture frame or anything.
Save crystal in the middle of nowhere. I’m not going to complain.
Big doors… big boss?
Nope! More flashbacks!
I’m going to guess this flashback occurs before the other.
Bandana Billy is not taking this lying down!
Yeah! Billy! Shoot back without any cover! That’ll end well!
Aw, somebody moved your crates in the intervening five years.
Experience both flashbacks, and the center door opens on its own. That’s… ominous.
But at least Ashley gets a hat out of the deal.
Let’s go back and check out the other save rock room.
Yay! Royal library!
Slayheim historians were a cynical bunch.
I see a book up there! Also, there are books on the Slayheim Liberation Army in the Slayheim Royal Library that has been abandoned since the Slayheim Liberation Revolution.
Here’s the backstory on the randomly mentioned Treaty of Iscariot: It was proposed by a guy named Sir Iscariot. This is the kind of insight you’ll only get with Goggle Bob LPs.
Kick a bookshelf, get a book.
I’m sorry. Get a porno.
Somebody played Final Fantasy 4!
Always remember to return your magazines to…
Open a secret passage! I bet there’s an internet’s worth of porn in there!
It’s another book! This one is an accessory that ups your magic power, so you may as well hoist it off on one of the team nerds, like Lilka or Tim.
“Angel Halo”? Well, that sounds downright divine.
Oh. Oh snap.
Okay, back to the center lane.
Another switch, but this one is too high to touch. Can’t bank a dagger from the steps either.
Maybe we should try a little remodeling.
And behind the opened door is another flashback. Looks like our boys won! Kinda!
Apparently King Slayheim was captured, but he set off his doomsday weapon. That is no good.
Brad not pleased!
And King Slayheim isn’t going to deactivate the device, because he’s holier than all of us.
Billy knows what to do!
Brad objects, but Billy is resolute. Also, he’s totally talking about Brad having Billy’s heart. … Or his wallet.
You will note Vinsfeld was not in any of these flashbacks. That is presumably because he abandoned the cause before the finish line, making him out to be even more of a jerk than Brad described last update. He gathered up the army, pointed them at the castle, and then went out for churros.
So we’ve seen all of our flashbacks and read all the books, here’s the timeline of Slayheim:
• Slayheim discovers a number of weapons (technically dragon fossils) in its desert territories.
• Slayheim doesn’t attack other countries (Treaty of That Dude), but does use these weapons to subjugate its own people. Dig for more weapons or die, peasants!
• The peasants are not very happy about this.
• Vinsfeld unifies the unhappy people, and, with Billy and Brad, manages to mount a successful revolution.
• Just before finally deposing the monarchy, Vinsfeld remembers he has to unload his dryer, and has to run.
• Billy, Brad, and the rest of the resistance storm Slayheim Castle.
• The resistance is successful, but King Slayheim is a dick, so he activates a magical atomic bomb.
• Billy volunteers to deactivate the bomb, and is at least successful enough that Slayheim Castle is still standing, and Brad is still alive.
• However, most of Slayheim is reduced to salt, and Billy is blasted across the ocean, which does absolutely nothing for his trick knee.
• The rest of Filgaia is horrified that Slayheim was mostly obliterated, so any remaining members of the Slayheim Liberation Army are rounded up and imprisoned. Vinsfeld may have squealed to help this operation along.
• Brad escapes across the sea, but is eventually caught in the town of T’Bok.
Ultimately, Slayheim tells a pretty realistic tale (give or take Billy being catapulted across half the planet). The peasants rose up against the horrible monarchy, but, rather than earning freedom or some manner of happy ending, everything got destroyed, and the heroes wound up painted as villains. And who can blame their accusers? Slayheim is a literal ghost town now, so good job saving your people, Brad, they’re all dead. War is hell, and revolutions are all fun and games until somebody sets us up the bomb. There’s your moral for the day: never try.
Going to fill us in on that one? No?
Is it this cool hat?
… Wait. Weren’t we supposed to exorcise some ghosts? That isn’t going to lead to an undead boss fight? What was the point of this place, then?
Nope! We have bodies!
Oh, I get it! It was a trap! … Wait, that’s not good.
“Doesn’t Odessa have enough flunkies? They even already have a cyclops!”
So you want to kill us for the hell of it? Great.
“Lilka isn’t that bad…”
“I’m not talking about her!”
Now we’re gonna get that boss fight.
We’re not any of those things! Pay attention!
You’re bad at this!
So we don’t get a cool boss intro, but Kanon is here to cut us up and take some names.
This is the easiest Kanon fight, and, bad news, she will still absolutely #$^& you up. Kanon is very fast and very strong, and your only saving grace is that her attacks are entirely physical, so you might get a lucky miss or counter. Other than that, your best bet is probably to max Lilka’s speed with spells, and rely on her Level 2 healing spell. Tim’s First Aid will go always go first, but Kanon doesn’t attack the whole party, she just hits one party member really hard. Thus, First Aid probably won’t heal one party member enough to keep said member alive. Other than that hiccup, though, it’s just a matter of hurting and healing as much as possible.
Kanon is one bad mama jama, but she should be survivable at this point.
Take that, strange robot lady!
“But this isn’t over yet. I will fulfill my oath to myself! …My oath to kill all monsters! I will hunt you down, no matter where you run to!”
She seems nice.
Kanon just tosses in this nugget that will never be revisited again. And why are you talking to Vinsfeld about Brads and Billys, young lady?
So, nothing more to do here. May as well at least get out of this haunted mansion.
And Irving isn’t offering much in the way of insight. Guess it’s time to hang out in town until something else explodes again.
“Okay, we’re back in Quartly. Have a mission for us now?”
“Where in the desert?”
So, with absolutely no directions, you’re expected to wander over the desert area south of Quartly and hope for the best. Side note: this whole “radar” system is getting old.
Here we are.
Bad guy cutscene!
Man, Vinsfeld really knows how to cut and run.
That’s what I said!
These two have a really weird relationship.
Maybe he just asks all his subordinates if they hate him?
Okay, on that cheery note, we’re going to break for this update, as the next one is going to be rather… explosive.
Next time on Wild Arms 2: Brad shows his true colors/internal organs.