Wild Arms 2 Part 19: Just Some Passing Brad

Previously on Wild Arms: Kanon tricked us into lurking around an old castle, and we got to learn more about Brad’s past. You ever notice how a “mysterious character” on a television show always gets a flashback to their torrid history before they randomly kick the bucket? Don’t know why, I just happened to think about that.

Anyway, on to Odessa’s “secret” Alchemic Plant.

And, apparently, we’ve been discovered seven seconds after entering the front door. Note for next time: don’t use the friggen front door.

The Alchemic Plant is another dungeon that has a variety of a whole two “random” monsters. We either get robot samurai white, or robot samurai black. They’re not very exciting.

Oh yeah, so Ashley thinks Odessa has been tipped off about their invasion, and it could potentially be Brad feeding Odessa information. It couldn’t be that Odessa has an entire security system set up for this entire eventuality.

Like Liz & Ard’s bridge, this area doesn’t have “real” random encounters, it just has a series of floating orbs that instigate battles on contact. The walkways in this area are a lot narrower than the bridge, so encounters are slightly more difficult to avoid… but they’re still not much of a threat. I guess fight for the EXP if you feel like it.

Try not to fall into any giant, open pits, though.

Red orbs move faster than silver orbs… just not fast enough.

… Who designed this place?

Here’s a black/white duo for posterity.

So the basic “trick” for the first part of this dungeon is that the walkways are very narrow, and you’re expected to properly navigate a maze with many “only choice is to fall in a pit” dead ends. If you’ve got mastery of the camera, it shouldn’t be too hard to find your way, though.

It’s a little more difficult to avoid the monsters, though.

See, here’s a good point where, should you not rotate the camera, you’d never know the path to the right is a dead end. Same for the left, even though we can’t immediately see it.

Done with that for the moment.

Hey! No camping!

Odessa stamped their logo all over their secret base. Vinsfeld knows that branding is important.

Aw, the previous area looks so small from up here.

There is a lot of walking in this dungeon.

Finally! We’re at the Odessa Bat Computer!

Brad? Since when are you the computer genius? I guess the Slayheim Liberation Army had an excellent CS program.

Let’s split up in the middle of the enemy base! That always works well!

So Brad leaves the party to stand here and press buttons for the next half hour. God speed, Brad!

Ashley, I swear to God…

Dungeon Part 2: For Lack of a Brad.

And we get like six steps forward before being attacked by an invincible robot.

That stings!

A random robot is thwarting our advances (I hate those things), so let’s see what’s in the back.

Found an Odessa dude camping out, but Ashley isn’t so much into enhanced interrogation.

So this is cool…

The “call” command has, thus far, only been used for contacting home base and getting a lead on our next objective. It has basically been nothing more than a hint system up to this point…

But now it can now be used to spy on Odessa conversations! Neat! This will be the gimmick of the second part of this dungeon, and the robot and its manager are basically the tutorial portion.

Doesn’t like temperature changes, eh? Time to alternate Lilka’s fire and ice rods to blast a bot.

From here on, we’ve got larger hallways with many closed doors. The call command is going to get a workout.

Lilka, you snoop.

It is a wonder that Odessa has been this successful.

Sneaking around… here we are.

Well, I have no idea what any of this means.

But I can take a wild guess where it’s supposed to be used.

We might have the cipher, but we still need the password. Moving on.

Another door, another excuse to spy on nitwits.

… Is that supposed to mean something?

Ooooooh now I get it. Look at the letters vertically.

QOW is one column, then one column back is ONM, that means the next password should be…

ISK

Legitimately, if you can’t quite figure out how the vertical reading works for that puzzle, you’re probably going to be stuck for a while. The code book looks like a jumble or letter-replacement puzzle, but it’s basically just a matter of picking out the pattern immediately.

Now we’ve got a save room with exits on three sides (well, technically four, but we just came from one door). Let’s try heading left to start.

Guess what it’s time for!

Hey, this guy is talking to head honcho Antenora herself. Let’s remember that for later.

More walking around angry orbs.

Yay! Listening!

This is some scintillating conversation.

How about this door?

Ugh. So boring. Be interesting, random dudes!

Aaaaand we’re back in the central room. Guess we just did a lap around the place.

And the central exit is a door with a voice lock. Only Antenora can open this giant vault of a room? Okay, let’s go steal someone’s voice.

After dodging an infinite number of orbs.

Seriously? Are any of these door conversations going to be at all worthwhile?

How about this door…

Recorder, eh? Of course, we’re not allowed in the room.

In typical JRPG logic, we have to go listen to a bunch of stupid conversations again until we get…

There, an excuse for these losers to get out of their damn rooms.

Now the majority of the doors are unlocked and unoccupied, and we can sneak in to grab…

This is not a flute.

Now we double back to the Antenora door…

Listen in on her being a jerk to some poor clod…

Let the game remind us exactly what we’re doing…

Use the damn recorder…

YES, I KNOW!

Antenora’s voice is +2 attack and +10 defense.

Now back to the giant door…

Is Cocytus her rank or last name? Stupid door.

Ashley is sad he found a way to outwit an extensive security system.

Hey! I know this spot! We’re in the cutscene place! We are in Odessa’s base! Cool!

Ashley knows this because he has energy reactor detecting powers.

Who should appear behind the door that opens only for Antenora but Antenora!

Antenora… has her own harem of gimps? Okay, yeah, Vinny likes them kinks.

Yeah, we all knew where this was going.

Antenora Boss Fight #2.

In retrospect, it is kind of obvious that Antenora’s weapons are supposed to be literally threads. In my defense, though, “threads” isn’t exactly an exciting weapon (outside of Blade Runner, at least).

Threads really look like lasers!

The fresh new problem of this fight is that Brad is now MIA, so we’re stuck with two mages and Ashley. As such, it’s probably a good idea to pump Ashley full of FP until he mighty morphs into Knight Blazer, so then he can do enough damage for the whole party. Tim is really lackluster on the offense at this point, so stick him on healing, and let Lilka, I don’t know, play with some marbles or something. Maybe cast a fire spell? That could work.

Eat laser sword, lady!

Strangely, Odessa leaders never drop any cash. I guess they really are a poor terrorist organization.

Thanks for the tip, jerk!

Oh no!

Brad! Say it ain’t so!

It’s not great, Ant.

…. What the hell?

What? Antenora, this is crazy.

Okay, so you can perfectly clone Brad, and the best you could do with that technology is screw with Ashley, once, in an alley? Even assuming these doppelgangers can only simulate Brad (and not, say, a country’s leader) couldn’t Odessa have, I don’t know, organized an army of Brads? Or had the DoppelBrad actually “for real” infiltrate the party? Or sneak into Valeria Chateau and detonate the place while ARMS was across the planet? Or… literally anything else!?

And why the hell did you reveal the plan now? You could have just kept ARMS thinking they had a traitor! You could have doppled other ARMS members and torn ARMS apart! And you didn’t stir up that much distrust! You just kinda annoyed Ashley a bit! Tim and Lilka didn’t have a clue!

And Real Brad is right here now anyway!

Okay, I guess that’s why they never got a Brad Clone army together.

If you look closely, you will notice that the Dopples are slightly greener than OG Brad.

If you look closely, you will notice that the Dopples are slightly greener than OG Brad.

The real doppelgangers were the friends we made along the way.

“I trust Brad #5!”

Brad! Could you have at least waited until we were maybe ten feet away from the inter-dimensional bomb!?

And we’re fine!

Queen Dopplepopolis teleports away. Why can’t we ever do that!?

Really? We have like six other ways to destroy this base. Tim can still summon gods, Ashley.

Brad has a bazooka! And a missile launcher!

And he could probably punch this place to death.

And he’s got a bomb on his neck that he can never remove.

Wait! That’s the worst plan!

Oh, good, the Dopple Bros are back in action.

Somewhere in there, I guess someone noted that Eat My Dust could only blow up the floor or something (this absolutely never happened). Being at ground zero for Brad’s newest blast won’t do your internal organs any favors.

Dammit! Stop trying to be Billy! Or maybe Brad!

“Don’t worry, guys, my neck explodes all the time.”

Sayonara, space cowboy.

“I’m not crying, you’re crying, Lilka.”
“No, I’m not.”

Brad is walking away really slowly.

Not pictured: Ashley and company having to walk backwards through that whole stupid dungeon.

It sure happened a lot in Final Fantasy 4.

If you’re going to explode, at least do it in the proper exploding room.

“He” was stopping a bomb, Brad. You are a bomb.

Meh, I’m sure Brad will be fine.

Juuuuuust fine.

Gonna come out of there aaaaaany minute.

Probably just in the bathroom. He’ll be back soon. Real soon. He probably escaped, and it was a different bomb that…

Oh.

Maybe he…

Oh. Brad is dead now.

Meet the new ARMS, now with a much lower average age.

Irving? God.

“No. That was the old mission.”

Which reminds me!

ARMS Mission #14:
Blow up the Odessa Alchemical Plant
Status: Success!
Notes: (Sobs uncontrollably)

Reckless carnage! It’s what Brad would have wanted.

Yeah, Tim, stop being sad about making a new friend and then watching helplessly as he nobly committed suicide.

Anyway, actual mission, we’ve got a literal escort mission ahead of us.

“Yep! Any other questions?”

… Isn’t that just a train?

Yeah! ARMS lives on! Now! … Uh… next time!

Next time on Wild Arms 2: Murder on the ARMS Express.

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