Previously on Wild Arms 2: Kanon finally decided to stop trying to kill Ashley, and joined ARMS with the express purpose of eventually killing Ashley. But he’s cool with it! See? He can accept Kanon for who she is.
And now we’re investigating The Coffin of 100 Eyes, which is supposed to be a power source for Odessa’s latest scheme, but Ashley ain’t buyin’ it.
Uh-oh, looks like someone hasn’t been monitoring Lilka’s sugar intake.
I choose to believe Lilka’s previous outburst echoed down giant, empty halls for like an hour.
“One of their little traps.” Yes, Kanon, like one of those traps you used on the rest of ARMS. Twice. At least once yesterday.
“Meh, a dungeon is a dungeon. Let’s go for it.”
Lilka’s short attention span and a cruddy localization occasionally gives the impression that Lilka has brain damage. Come to think of it, that would be an interesting concept for a JRPG: You start off pretty all-together, but after being bonked by monsters every six steps for a solid couple of hours, your main character has difficulty counting the ol’ potion inventory (and you’ve only got six). Could be fun!
This is a lovely little moment, though. Now we’ve got Kanon and Tim, but Lilka and Ashley were part of ARMS v.1, and it’s nice that they both recount how they’re still thinking WWBD (what would Brad do) frequently.
Anyway, time to get going.
Coffin is going to be another vaguely tech-y dungeon, not unlike basically every Odessa base in this entire game.
Oh boy! We’re gonna get treasure! Eventually!
Seems like it has been a while since we saw HP restoring crystals. Like in some other dungeons, these crystals are useful for “have I been here before” style navigation. Could have just given us a mini-map, guys…
Fork! Let’s head up, as the sky is the limit with our intrepid adventurers (and maybe we’ll score that treasure).
But first, let’s battle some giant mutant rabbits and their pet goblin in a random encounter.
This dungeon is the first we can really use Kanon in a party setting. As you might expect, the human weapon is a great physical attacker, and she moves pretty fast to boot. Honestly, give or take a few thousand HP, she’s pretty much exactly like her boss incarnations. Unfortunately, she has even fewer offensive options than Brad or Ashley, so she’s pretty much only ever going to hit things hard. But after a few dungeons of an almost all-mage party, she’s a godsend.
And now we got that treasure! Kanon’s first tool!
“Wire hook” my ass, I know a grappling hook when I see it!
So this dungeon is basically the wire hook testing grounds. The WH will see use in other locations, but you’ll be tired of it before the third floor of this base.
The trick you will quickly learn is that if there is a grappling point near a pit, you need to avoid grappling to nonexistent land. A trip down a pit is always an inconvenience.
But grapple over from another side, and you’ll earn some treasure like it ain’t no thang.
Ah, yes, the bayonet named for M. Bison’s lesser known brother, Dusty.
Further along, we find a computer terminal that is spitting out gibberish. Where’s Brad when you need him? Oh, right, exploded.
Nice of Sony to plug the Nintendo 64.
Can you guess the names of the next few dungeons?
This isn’t Jeopardy, but, sure Ash, I’ll give you points for that one.
Anyway, reading up on nonsense words opened the door forward, so I guess that was important.
And now our favorite bionic commando carries on.
Something slightly different!
Using the wire hook would not work well here, and it still only takes approximately two seconds to switch over to an alternate projectile tool. (Note: I am talking about the throwing knife. I did not mean to imply that Ashley was a tool.)
Save point! But there was a fork in the other room, so we’re going to double back and see what’s in the other direction.
Treasure! Don’t forget to use Tim’s tools, too.
So here’s about where you should stop if you’re doubling back from the save point. Notice that there are no grapple points where Kanon is standing. If we wire hook forward here, there is no way back, as we’d have no way to cross the gap back to where we entered the room.
And, see? It leads us back to the lower path from the initial forking room. That’s forking bull shirt! If you wind up deciding to explore in this direction, you get stuck in a one way loop, and effectively have to repeat this entire dungeon floor. Boo!
Okay, one jog around the dungeon loop later, and we’re now in the area past the save point, making forward progress.
Time to activate a few more switches. Turns out the wire hook doesn’t “hit” things like the throwing knife, regardless of whether or not there are grappling points blocking the switch.
But looks like we need to play with these switches to remove arbitrary barricades.
There is nothing more complicated in this room than hitting the two big, glowing switches.
Not sure there was a gameplay “point” to any of that. Moving on.
Ah, back to grapplin’. Nothing beats grapplin’.
Getting some strong evidence that the game might think there’s something wrong with Lilka, too.
Another console ahead. Maybe these Diablo Pillars are important? Maaaaaybe.
Ashley, how much information do you need? “Blow up Diablo Pillars” is in our near future regardless of whether you know why or not.
Whatever, better get back to more grappling.
Slightly different grappling!
Now you have to hit a switch to move a block, and then you can grapple. This is like a whole new dungeon!
Are we about done yet?
Oh yeah. We’re done.
Ashley is working on some new song lyrics.
That… might be a compliment?
But Liz doesn’t see it that way.
Neither does Ard. I think.
This is Kanon’s first meeting with our Lizardian pals. She has an appropriate reaction.
“And to say such things during our first meeting. I’m disappointed you’re so displeased with my amazing knowledge of that. Getting stuck with an idiot will be my ruin.”
Whoa, Liz, do not escalate things with Kanon, you don’t want…
That to happen.
“Chill! There will be time to hit these two with weapons soon enough.”
Huh. This cold blooded creature sounds kind of familiar. Maybe if we…
There we go.
Sometimes these updates are late because I spend too much time randomly shouting Liz dialogue at no one in particular. It’s just fun to say!
Kanon gets her wish.
Sad news for everyone: this will be the final Liz & Ard fight. I know you’re disappointed, but don’t feel too bad, as we will see these whacky lizards again. One day.
Not unlike the final Kanon battle, there aren’t really any new wrinkles to this fight, just both of your opponents have turned their attacks up to eleven. You probably want to defeat Ard first this time, because he hits like a t-rex.
And Liz is still handy with the bombs that hit everybody. An excellent strategy would be to “hide” Tim until Ard is on the floor, and then switch in the squishy twerp to go nuts with the party-wide healing.
Huh. They didn’t even have the good manners to fall down this time. Maybe they’re getting resistant.
So… it’s average?
I absolutely believe that Liz spends all day on Filgaia Facebook, and only properly remembers about half of what he reads.
Arms Killer? That’s a very specifically named machine.
Robotic Monster Assassin? Seriously? If they changed that a little bit, maybe to Assassin Robot Monster, then it could be abbreviated to A.R.M., and… Oh, why do I bother?
So now it’s time for our real boss fight for the area.
This is a weird fight, as Arms Killer seems to have a pile of attacks. If I were to guess, it seems like this creature is supposed to have attacks that particularly target characters and their weaknesses… but WA2 isn’t that kind of game. Every member of ARMS has the same weakness: getting hit by absolutely anything and losing HP. So all these varied elemental attacks don’t really do anything interesting. Maybe something happens if you’re wearing an elemental ring? I don’t know.
You know what? It’s probably just another example of Liz & Ard absolutely not getting it. That sounds right.
Oh, wow, I can’t remember the last time we fought a boss with multiple “parts”. Considering this was touted as some major JRPG innovation by the WA2 marketing department, it sure is forgotten for every important boss battle.
I think Arms Killer cranks out more effective attacks when its claws are disabled, but it’s really hard to tell if that was deliberate, or an accident of a very overloaded RNG.
Sorry, lizards, don’t think Arms Killer will be doing any ARMS killing today.
I choose to believe that Liz is being completely serious here, and Ard had deep feelings for that robot.
Ashley, you scored big with dragging Kanon over to your side. Don’t press your luck.
Luckily, Liz isn’t even entertaining notions of joining ARMS (though you know he’d totally be a playable character in the Wild Arms 2 remake).
Always a pleasure, guys.
Yeah, they weren’t even blocking the way forward that time. We… pretty much just entertained them for ten minutes.
But Ashley reasons that Liz & Ard must have been here as Odessa’s last line of defense. Uh… Sure, Ash. Sure.
So let’s see what is a good eight steps in this direction.
More computers! Yay?
Diablo Pillars feed the Heimdal Gazzo. How about a map to the pillars, Friend Computer?
Four pillars. Whatever. Map, please?
Ugh. We got all the information we needed half a dungeon ago. Lame.
Seriously? Nothing more to this place? At least we got some grappling experience, I suppose.
The phone rings. Amusingly enough, every other ARMS member is just like “oh, Irving is calling”, but Kanon has no idea what our boring ringtone even means.
Kate, what are you talking about?
… What? Have a panic attack? What’s going on, gals?
Oh. What? The bad guys got a new plane? A big one?
And it’s invisible?
Ohhh now I see the problem. Odessa just scored its own Death Star.
And Ashley does not appreciate being the last to know.
This unprecedented solar eclipse is no cause for alarm.
Or it is. Here’s Odessa’s brand new flying death machine. Note that the entire dungeon is below that ship, but, for some reason, it’s kind of hard to see.
Fun choice of words, Antenora.
So this is the Heimdal Gazzo all those computers were talking about. I can see how it would need a little extra gas in its tank.
You know what you don’t see very much in fiction? Bad guys with two super weapons. Odessa currently has a nuclear bomb, but, so as not to waste it, they also have a giant flying death laser. Always have a backup plan, boys and girls!
Judecca still has his priorities straight.
“The Heimdal Gazzo is loaded with a Heavy ARM, the ‘Soul Deleter’. One blow rivals the light of a fixed star. It’ll burn everything in its path. Those scoundrels opposing Vinsfeld’s ideals best disappear now.”
Looks like it’s Caina’s shift on exposition duty.
Is that a bad thing? Good thing?
Bad thing for Odessa, so net good thing.
What do you mean, “Flash Gordon’s approaching”?
Fuck yeah! Brad’s back! And he’s got a motherfucking rail gun! It’s an ARMS miracle!
But how did this happen? Flashback!
Brad was all set to explode…
And then some more of those stupid doppelgangers showed up.
I guess they’re a sort of last line of defense? Or they were bored?
Well, Brad thinks it’s funny, at least.
So mirror match! Brad has somehow acquired his Level 3 FP ability for this battle, and can now expend 75 FP in exchange for the ability to fire off two Arms in one turn.
This sounds like a fun move, but there’s no guarantee both arms will hit, so, unless you’ve pumped up your accuracy, you’re probably better off spending that precious 75 FP elsewhere during the (or any) battle.
Anyway, this fight is “real”, but Clone Brad is nothing to write home about. Odds are good he (it?) can be defeated without having to heal even once. And, thankfully for this LP, Clone Brad does not copy Brad’s stats in any way.
And somehow the clone had a better Brad weapon equipped? That doesn’t make any sense.
Here’s the “trick” of Brad surviving and the narrative playing fair: it was absolutely the Gias bomb around Brad’s neck that exploded…
It just happened to be a “cloned” Gias that exploded, not the exact Gias that was attached to Brad. Loophole!
Incidentally, now you know why Antenora took the time to explain how the clones copy the complete inventory of their targets.
Of course, we don’t get an explanation on where Brad found the rail gun. I guess he found it during the couple of days we left him to wander the desert alone.
Maybe he got in some target practice during that time, too.
Dispatch War Rocket Ajax to bring back his body!
Alarms start blaring, red lights start flashing, and I’m forced to conclude that Brad stayed on target.
Real fragile super weapon you got there, Odessa.
Vinny be not pleased.
Caina is here for you.
Reminder: Vinsfeld is the one person on the planet that has an actual memory of whether or not Brad is really Brad. And now he’s taking Brad’s current heroic status personally.
Aren’t you on the Heimdal Gazzo? This is why this localization gets so confusing…
Guess it’s time for the squad to break up.
“Neither a ‘hero’ nor ‘the dead’ will be able to block our way. Ha. Ha. Ha. Yes. We still have our trump card. That’s right. We still have the ‘Nuke’.”
Back to Plan A.
Meanwhile, back on non-hovering land.
“Did we ever figure out a way to tell Brad from his clones?”
“Maybe we should?”
Damn right you can’t.
Ashley gives some piddling little speech about squad goals or whatever. I think he’s just babbling because Brad is back in town.
Yeah, dude, actions speak louder than words on that one. And “actions” means “rail gun”.
“Somewhere along the way, I don’t think I fully trusted you all who are now my friends. So, without going into it, it brought about suspicion.”
Brad admits that mistakes were made on both sides, and he somehow doesn’t mind that Ashley mistook him for an off-green xerox of a homunculus.
Also, Kanon and Brad are friends now? Save us some time and just say something pleasant, Kanon.
“That’s cool, Kanon, I was probably going to kill Ashley later anyway, too.”
Good times are here again!
ARMS Mission #16:
Investigate Odessa’s latest recovered technology
Notes: Not only did we learn about magical pillars, we were also rescued by Brad. Brad!
“Irving, did you always know Brad was alive, and considered his absence and potential dehydration/starvation in the desert to be some kind of team building exercise?”
Wasn’t that already the plan?
Four new dungeons? Got it.
Are we going to need four Brad clones to blow ‘em up, or do we have a better method now?
“Go play Ultimate Frisbee in the quad or something.”
So Ashley decides to chill at home, maybe have a good think about zombie party members.
“Why are you hanging out outside my room? And have we always had this atrocious wallpaper?”
Guess we missed date night.
“Yeah, I have to take out four… Dio Brandos? Crap, I should have taken notes…”
Marina has some serious self esteem issues.
Ashley is fighting for you, Marina.
“HEY LOVE BIRDS! WANNA TAKE YOUR CONVERSATION BACK INTO A ROOM AND OUT OF THE HALLWAY!? THANKS!”
Marina joined the party! Marina died seventeen times in one battle!
Here comes the hug train!
Now we’re all aboard.
Kind of a bitter d’aw, but I’ll take it.
“Oh, by the way, I may have promised this robot lady that she can kill me later if she thinks it’s a good idea. Anyway, gotta go, toodles!”
ARMS parade! Everybody walk in step!
We have been saying that for like six updates now.
Really crappy pep talk, Irving!
Bonus points to anyone that can successfully identify every character in this screenshot. They’ve all been named at one point or another in this LP. … I think. I’ll give you Linda! She’s one of the nurses.
“I will be filing ARMS’ taxes. It is a very important task!”
… And that’s where we’ll stop for today. We’re headed for four Diablo Pillars, and that will involve a bit of globetrotting.
Oh, but first, did you think that Brad’s latest Arm was relegated to cutscenes?
Well, you’d be wrong, because for the low cost of 99 FP (out of you max 100), you can fire off your very own rail gun! It’s super powerful, but starts with only one bullet of ammo, so it’s very limited. But it is very satisfying to vaporize your enemies, so major points there.
Next time on Wild Arms 2: Odessa suddenly has a personnel problem.