Previously on Wild Arms 2: ARMS tried to halt and capture the encroaching parallel universe… but it didn’t work out. Irving sent the squad off to investigate some random monster sightings while he stayed home and worked on a plan B that is a horrifying version of Plan B.
So the first thing you might notice about Fiery Wreckage is that it is not, in fact, on fire. Considering the team is walking around completely unmolested, this appears to be Not Even Warm Wreckage.
Please do not jump off the Not Even Warm Wreckage, Ashley.
This area is very small, and, given the tiny space, it’s entirely likely you won’t even encounter a single random encounter.
Tools are necessary, though.
It appears there is some manner of canyon between the outside and inside areas of this “dungeon”. A good quake from Brad will at least open some doors.
And then mist cloaking with Tim will clear that canyon.
There are many doors leading into this area, and this door leads to… a familiar sword?
Oh! The Fiery Wreckage was a metaphor! That makes sense!
But here’s something that isn’t a metaphor.
Ghost or no, this battle is very physical, and a rather unpleasant “gotcha” for anyone exploring the area.
First of all, if you couldn’t tell from the tiles, this “Fiery Wreckage” is the remains of the Heimdal Gazzo, the floating Death Star once helmed by Odessa. And, as you might expect, this ghost is the spirit of Vinsfeld, leader of Odessa.
And, fun fact, this is a completely optional, completely hard-core boss battle. “Ghost” is back with a vengeance, and nearly all of his attacks do extremely massive damage and inflict a glut of status effects. In fact…
Ghost is so difficult, I totally wiped. Here’s a fun reminder: my ARMS is entirely max level (though, technically, not max stats).
So what’s a player to do? Well, you technically can survive this battle with a host of status effect preventing items, and maybe some skill (and luck) with properly defending and using things like the “Invincible” skill, or…
Tim knows TurnUndead, a skill learned from the Life guardian, and it straight away obliterates any undead foes. Does it work on this undead monster?
Why yes it does!
Yes, Ghost is one of the most difficult bosses in the game, but it can be defeated literally instantly by a skill Tim learns at the start of his tenure. You also have the option of using Marivel’s “Power Seal” skill, which will bind Ghost to only using physical attacks, and make the whole match a bit more manageable. Regardless of whether you go the hard way or the easy way, Ghost only leaves behind some EXP, cash, and a Full Carrot. While there are very few Full Carrots (an item that can instantly fill your force gauge) in Filgaia, this is arguably the worst reward from an optional boss in the game.
So I’m pretty sure the designers were well aware of how this optional battle could be over in an instant…
And that’s about it for any bosses, optional or otherwise, for this area.
We don’t even get to keep the sword? Oh well, at least we confirmed Vinsfeld is dead, and won’t be coming back to haunt any last minute plot swerves.
Back out into the wastelands to hit some other doors.
Maybe this entrance will be a little less homicidal.
Our goal for this area is to activate a number of damaged computer terminals and learn about The Day of Lavos.
Or… uh… Odessa’s war power, I guess.
You may not have noticed, but all the members of ARMS picked up their 2nd best equipment in their personally themed dungeons. But Ashley didn’t get a dungeon! So, as a consolation prize, Ashley now can obtain a full set of new equipment from this Fiery Wreckage. Here’s a shiny new musket.
“In the event of a crash landing from the stratosphere, any and all computer terminals will still work as intended, even if the entire ship is torn into pieces.”
You’re more likely to encounter random monsters inside the wreckage, but they’re still pretty rare. Considering we came here investigating a monster outbreak, that’s fairly disappointing.
Randolph the Magic Key is truly the largest missed opportunity of this franchise.
Oh, hey, Ashley? Just in case you’re wondering, yes, you and all your OG ARMS buddies were used as guinea pigs. I realize you probably forgot they existed by now, but they’re still dead, and you still killed them, Ashley.
We haven’t found every last console in the place, though, so we have to explore a little more before the big reveal.
Here we are: one last “hidden” door outside.
Hmmm… that sounds interesting. Who are the nobility, hm?
Who cares? Treasure!
Okay, now we’ve seen all the terminals, let’s hit that on switch.
Detective Pikachu Brad ain’t.
So it’s decided to check over all the spare Odessa data to see if Vinsfeld had an inroad on how to save the world.
And if it doesn’t work out, it happens! What’s the worst that could happen from poring over the files of a malevolent organization?
Hm? What’s this?
Vinsfeld did mention getting money from a few mysterious sources back in a few cutscenes.
And here’s a LP flashback reference to -That Man- right from his first scene. I wonder who he was talking about…
Do we know anyone with enough money to fund a floating castle or mercenary organization?
Oh no! Irving! Irving was funding Odessa! Irving was funding ARMS and their hated enemy! What the hell!?
Kate always calls at the worst time…
“We’re all having crises here!”
“Kate put tinfoil in the microwave and now the entire third floor is covered in monster goop. It was a weird afternoon. What’s your issue?”
Oh, that could be a problem, too.
You’re the boss and you take one day off to shtup your twin sister and everybody freaks out.
Irving left a note! That’s very polite.
“Regrettable” = “Sins against nature, man, and God”
What I am saying is that you are a monster. Probably literally, soon enough.
“Though I did fund a terrorist organization and own a heavily armed, flying castle. I’d like to see someone make me pay anything.”
This… this is going to turn out to be literal somehow, isn’t it?
So, without explaining a damn thing, Irving asks ARMS to travel to the center of the planet. Uh… thanks?
It’s been ten seconds, and Tim is already filling out his unemployment application.
Irving’s managerial style was pretty lacking anyway.
That’s a very impolite way of saying “don’t we have to save the world anyway?”
I’m getting Ashley a thesaurus for Zephyr’s Day this year.
So we just found out that ARMS, one way or another, was founded on a lie. And then the boss telling that lie skipped town with cryptic instructions that will hopefully maybe save the world. Do we believe the lie? Do we follow Irving’s “last orders”? Let’s take a night to figure that out.
Oh, and technically…
Wild Arms Mission #26
Investigate the mysterious source of monsters near Halmetz
Notes: May or may not have incidentally discovered our entire lives are a lie.
So, under the creepy blue and purple sky that currently envelops Filgaia, everyone takes an evening off.
Brad decides to hang out with Billy and Merrill.
These scenes are scripted to occur both before or after the statue scenes from last update, so you get a bit of a rehash with Brad talking to Billy about how great his new friends are.
Brad still shows Billy a lot of warmth regardless.
“Probably because you’re the only person in town who doesn’t just feed him applesauce and try to look away the whole time.”
“You’ve been taking care of my dog and my boyfriend.”
Yeah, their relationship is subtext. Right.
“Oh yeah, hey Brad? You remember your introductory vignette from 20 hours ago?”
Merrill asks again if being a “hero” is something bad, and Brad says that being a hero is… neutral? It’s all in how you use it? Try not to get arrested for it, I guess.
Alby the Dog is not a fan of this whole “end of the world” vibe going around.
“Could you explain how you’re going to do that, Brad?”
“No. I have absolutely no idea at this point. Something about incest? It’s confusing…”
Brad is going to save the world for Billy. Billy would probably be happy with just being wheeled over to a new window…
And now for Lilka and Terry the Good Boy.
This is what happens when your not-boyfriend is an NPC coded to hang out at the entrance to town.
Just kiss, you weirdos!
“I just… uh… needed some chalk! Here it is! Whew.”
That’s basically the Bar Exam for wizards.
I’m assuming class sizes are down with everyone thinking the world is going to end.
“I want to watch you fail. It brings me pleasure.”
Was it the one that got her killed? Because you should avoid that class.
Terry, I don’t think anyone has ever referred to their own sister as a “dream girl” …. Okay, maybe Irving…
I was really concerned we might not finally learn how Lilka feels about her sister.
“Nobody even remembers your name, Sis.”
“I’m not you. But I can do what you do. But for me. It’s complicated!”
“Or we could go to a movie? Bowling? … Twister?”
JUST SHUT-UP AND GET MARRIED!
“Wh…Who would like Lilka?”
“That’s true too. But remember, someday I’ll be ‘a mighty fine woman’. I’ll be sure to give you the honor of being dumped by me then.”
No duh, Terry.
Lilka has been gone for… what… weeks? Months? She’s been away for ages with an elite mercenary group… but she’s still subject to the chore wheel.
Not exactly Casablanca…
Great reason to come back home. I’d let the world end to get out of dusting…
“Yeah, being stuck in ¾ overhead perspective is rough.”
“I have a flying mecha dragon now, though, so that’s nice.”
“And if that doesn’t work out, I can probably summon a god to do that, too.”
Colette is a good girlfriend. She doesn’t make Tim clean a classroom, he only has to summon the very heavens themselves.
“Like the sky? I guess? I’m not great at metaphors.”
Please don’t take my sunshine away.
Kanon doesn’t have anyone, so she just hangs out on top of a water tower. Is Kanon Batman?
Kanon really missed out on having a Livejournal.
Look, you want to summon Vincent Valentine into this universe? Because that’s how you summon Vincent Valentine!
I think Kanon agrees with her cousin Irving? Or she doesn’t? I’m not great with poetry…
Marivel doesn’t have anyone, either, but she decides to teach history to local children.
Of course, it’s a history written by the winners (Marivel).
Tony has questions! Like, where has he been for the last half of the game?
Children are stupid!
“We’re good at being lonely. Next question!”
Yes, being alone is lonely. Good call.
Do they? Weirdos.
Being alone is the new black!
“Is this how vampires work? I am genuinely asking!”
“And maybe immortal? That sounds okay, too.”
So, it appears that one thing Wild Arms 2 attempted but didn’t quite pull off is Marivel’s “age”. She’s initially presented as a super-smart, though weird, scientist. Then, she’s “revealed” to be a fairly naïve young girl that incidentally wound up orphaned and never really had a chance to grow up. However, the inherent dichotomy there is never really explored in any great detail, so it’s kind of hard for a scene like this to land.
On one hand, it seems like this scene is supposed to show that Marivel, maturity wise, is pretty much on child Tony’s level, and isn’t the “mature Crimson Noble” she portrays herself as…
Unfortunately, given Marivel is presented as a complete adult for almost the entire rest of the game, in this situation, she just kinda comes off as a pedophile. Well, that sounds a bit harsh, but the whole encounter does seem a bit… off.
And the translation doesn’t help, either.
It’s supposed to be a sweet scene showing how Marivel doesn’t have to be lonely for the rest of eternity, but it probably could have been handled a tweak differently…
Anyway, time for a scene that leaves little to interpretation.
That’s usually how it works!
Like, for the entire rest of the game?
And we wouldn’t want that.
Words are hard. Any alternatives?
Gee, how could you express how you feel about your boyfriend?
And the camera pans up to the ceiling…
Yes, I believe it is. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the most tasteful sex scene on the Playstation 1. Eat it, Xenogears.
The morning after.
Ashley is back at command first thing in the morning. For some reason, he slept really well last night.
“Also, why did you fund a terrorist organization? That seems like a more important question.”
Okay! The final party is going to be Ashley and Lilka! I… think we can do this! Maybe!
Oh thank God.
We believe in our ruthless liar of a leader!
So, did these guys share their teleporting orb, or did they all walk back?
Well, the vampire might be able to fly…
Aw, and the anonymous support staff came back, too.
…. Wait, don’t they live here?
Long story short: we’re going to claim things got worse overnight, so now there are new monsters around the overworld.
This doesn’t really impact anything.
And we’re off!
Uh… to… where exactly? The middle of the planet or something?
So we’re not going to address the whole “Irving funding Odessa” thing? Okay.
And here we are. Technically, at this point we could head to the final dungeon and finish the game. Or we could explore the last of the bonus content. What to do… what to do…
Next time on Wild Arms: Liz & Ard Wars IV A New Hope