Wild Arms 2 Part 40: A Farewell to ARMS

Previously on Wild Arms 2: Liz & Ard only appeared in 10% of this Let’s Play. It has been an abject failure.

But now we’re in the final chamber of the final dungeon, so maybe we can turn this whole thing around.

And some dude is talking!

Oh, sweet. Guess we just have to do some punching and we’ll be home in time for Jeopardy.

Unfortunately, Irving’s brilliant plan has already hit a snag: the Kuiper Belt is too much for the vessel, so it is growing uncontrollable, physical roots.

So, anyway, new mission: beat up Kuiper and its roots. I guess this also means…

Wild Arms Mission #27
Journey to the center of the planet on Irving’s orders
Status: Success!
Notes: You don’t have to be morally compromised to take a nice walk down a million stairs.

Oh, and there’s a bit of a time limit on this one: Irving’s will is the only thing keeping the errant dimension in check. Uh… try to stay focused, Irving!

“Ashley…. Things are a little complicated right now… Could we please save questions for later?”

Once again, everyone faces Marivel when Ashley is talking. I assume this is some weird coding regarding the “extra” character.

Anyway, time to fight some roots.

I suppose for a little added “final” challenge, the entire party will not be available for the final battle. Three different fighters will have to peel off and fight each individual root separately, and then the remainder will battle the big boy at the end of all things.

My party is, you know, practically invincible, so I didn’t put too much thought into my different groups. I decided that Ashley is going to face the final battle with Lilka and Tim, because the idea of either of those two kids fighting alone is scary.

So each of the solo characters wander off to their own destinies.

Everyone gets their own little “lead up” area. It’s not… anything, but it is a good time to say “a boss is coming, is this character equipped?”

And the big, foreboding doors should indicate what comes next.

The game gets all the walking out of the way first, so, even though Brad has hit the boss, we won’t fight it until the other two reach their destinations.

But that happens pretty quickly.

Marivel reaches her door, and we’re back to Brad’s battle.

This fella looks pretty friendly!

So each of the Root battles are 1-on-1.

These battles aren’t necessarily hard, but the solo nature of the fights makes them more annoying than you’d expect.

For reasons that will be clear shortly, I should have chosen Brad as my last fighter. Oh well. Since Ashley is doomed to the “real” final boss, only Brad has the option of completely unloading all of his Arms ammo on a root. This will be Brad’s last battle, and the game doesn’t (technically) save afterwards, so feel free to go nuts with resources.

A move called “Galactic Explosion” is not as exciting as expected.

First root down.

Second root up.

Oh, did I forget to post the album image for First Root? Well here’s Second Root. They all look the same.

I had totally forgotten Kanon lists “exorcist” as her occupation.

So each of the roots are barely different, but progressively more difficult. This root (and its big brother) will start using status effects.

For this reason, you likely want to start using your better fighters for the latter fights. Or just use your faster fighters, because healing before the root acts is a good way to stay alive.

Kanon didn’t have any issues, though.

Incidentally, as these are these character’s final battles, no EXP, Gella, or items are obtained after each fight. This seems weirdly solemn…

Third time’s a charm.

I told you they all look the same.

Marivel… doesn’t even know what she’s looking at.

I really should not have chosen Marivel as my third exterminator, as she is weak and fairly limited for offensive options.

And she’s so vulnerable to galactic explosions!

But, in the end, cheating my way to being ridiculously overleveled won the day.

Defeating Third Root gives us a glimpse of how things are looking outside.

It seems everyone is gathering at Irving’s flying castle. This is a good plan. I think. I’ve never been in a plane in a hurricane…

The King has exactly nothing to do, but he’s cheering on ARMS.

Marina interjects that Ashley and ARMS are not destined heroes, but just some dudes who occasionally crash at her bakery.

“Well, not like Kate and Amy. Those two are disasters.”

Anywho, let us pray.

Man, it is so appropriate that this guy was named after Cyclops.

“Well, I was going to lie down and die, but, sure, that’s a good alternative.”

Like the separated trio earlier, Ashley has a little bit of walking left before the final battle.

Oh! And a puzzle!

This is one of those rotating switch puzzle dealys where you press one button, and it impacts the two closest buttons, too.

The idea is to get all of the pillars simultaneously facing their purple bits toward the final door. It’s not that difficult, and there are no random encounters in this area, so it’s just a matter of trial and error if you’re not great at playing with blocks.

Aw, that was the last puzzle of Wild Arms 2.

Aw, here’s the last giant dick of Wild Arms 2.

“That is what my mouth is saying, Irving.”

“Why the f^#& is the center of the planet filled with god-mud!?”

Buuuuuut?

“I am the only person on this planet that actually uses that telescope over in Sielje. Every other person in that building is making out. Every. Single. One.”

Lesson: if you form a committee to save the world, then the world is going to burn. Practical example: Global climate change.

Liz & Ard?

Oh, right. Yeah, those guys.

“Particularly if the threat contains distinct generals with whacky weapons and quirky personalities.”

Ashley is Superman!

Global peace through global strife!

“And morality is subjective. God, take a philosophy course, Ashley.”

“Which makes it marginally good.”

This is literally true. Ashley has been consistent on his stance on sacrifice since his introduction.

Irving would have become a big damn hero if he could, but the magical sword wouldn’t let him. There’s an interesting commentary on “the chosen one”, here.

Anywho, time for Altaecia’s womb to explode.

This… can’t be good.

Yes, yes, we’ve been over this like sixty times. Gotta give the universe a “body”.

Oh. Turns out Irving has been considering this option since literally before the game started. Ashley could have been in Altaecia’s position if the opening had gone a little differently (Or a lot differently, depending on how you think we got to here).

“Well, yeah, but she was okay with it. Mostly.”

Brad just sneezed, and he doesn’t know why.

Welp, that’s horrifying.

Time for the final boss.

This is one of those rare cases where the illustration is worse than the polygon model. This ain’t no “concept art” final boss.

I spoke to your Great Aunt! She’s not pleased!”

“I don’t even expect you to… Tim? Are you vomiting? Yeah, that’s fair, too.”

Try thinking harder, Irving!

Localization Team, could you have maybe chosen a different word than “slash”? Just something to think about.

“And I’m guessing she didn’t foresee anything like this, but if she did, wow, I really wish she would have said something.”

Oh, yeah, Altaecia. It really sucks that Irving’s sister is such a nonentity in this story, and then the game hinges entirely on her being a tragic sacrifice, and then she literally never says a word while the boys talk about what she must be feeling. This is some special kind of fridging here. Or at least it would be, if a single character in this cast cared about Altaecia.

So, anyway, “let’s fight together” means that we’re going to be walloping this monster now.

Kuiper Core really does resemble a fetus with some monstrous amalgamation of a reproductive system and a JRPG angel.

It is supposed to be disturbing in every way, and, for a Playstation 1 title, Wild Arms 2 does really pull it off.

Regarding the actual fight, Kuiper basically uses upgraded forms of its roots’ various attacks.

There’s nothing too horrible here, but you are going to want to have your main healer equipped with the Full Libra so as to negate any nasty status effects.

The final boss uses appropriately final boss-like attacks. Get ready to be exploded in multiple ways… even if it only knocks off like 1,000 HP.

As far as offense, just use what you got. The shoulder targets have elemental weaknesses, but hit the core itself with your strongest non-elemental attacks.

And, pretty soon, this crazy dimension that has threatened the entire planet for half the game will be gone.

This battle actually yields EXP (and only EXP). Is there still another fight to go?

Nobody says a word post-battle. I guess they’re just happy the creepy, muscular dungeon went away.

Everybody returns from their respective root jobs.

Lilka, dammit.

Actually, come to think of it…

Wild Arms Mission #28
Destroy the Kuniper Belt! It’s been our goal for a while!
Status: Success!
Notes: Sacrifices must be made.

I do appreciate how Wild Arms 2 lets the kids be the kids of the group.

Brad laying down some hard truths.

And Kanon with some literal truths.

And Ashley isn’t all that excited about any of this.

And then he explodes with negative emotions. I had the same thing happen when I first joined twitter.

Yeah… uh… this isn’t good.

We just going to make the Earthbound parallels explicit at this point?

And now we’re… on the moon?

Good question!

Oh, that’s no moon, it’s a planet that has been totally turned to ash by an unstoppable roaring fire of destruction.

It has been a long-ass time since Ashley’s inner-murderous voice surfaced, so you’ll be forgiven for forgetting about that particular plot-point.

Yes, Ashley’s inner-voice was the Blaze of Disaster this whole time. We… uh… I think we already knew that, Ashley. It was explained multiple times.

Ashley was so super sad after the last battle that Lord Blazer ate a veritable buffet of negative emotions, and now he’s ready to fully absorb Ashley’s body and destroy the planet. This is exactly why men are always so afraid of showing emotions! It’s the demons from Hell thing!

“Yes. I literally just said that. Have you always been this dense? Was I responsible for your INT stat?”

“Don’t worry, Ashley, a whole planet of jerks helped me out, too.”

“Does widdle baby Ashley need his swordy wordy?”

Yeah, Ashley couldn’t draw the Master Sword until he was possessed by the very demon it was meant to slay. This kind of thing never happens to Link…

“Brad’s a mere human, and he could probably draw the sword.”
“Yeah, but he’s stronk.”

The history books really failed to convey how the Blaze of Disaster was an absolute asshole.

“But I don’t see any other weapons around here…”

Man, this is going to be another one of those updates where the word “hero” loses all meaning…

We can be heroes (but just for one battle).

“Did you and Brad have a conversation on the way down the tower?”
“Maybe.”

Yeah! Form that Spirit Bomb!

“Mostly because none of us have twin sisters.”

So, yeah, as you have likely seen coming at this point, the souls (or something) of ARMS all start shining…

And join with Ashley over at the Destruction World.

“Or I’m having a heart attack. And that would be a perfectly valid response to this situation, too.”

I wonder if OG ARMS would have survived if they all tried to pull out the sword together instead of single file…

And now for the final-final boss.

The unknowable disaster that nearly destroyed the entire planet and was banished to another dimension for millennia… has wings for ears?

Oh snap, Ashley got a makeover!

Yes, it appears Ashley has now adopted Anastasia’s fashion sense. Consider this the final form of Knight Blazer: this is Ashley with the power of Argetlahm, but without the influence of Lord Blazer.

Ashley retains his stats, but cannot change his equipment. Luckily, anything he equipped before should still impact the battle (like, say, an accessory that negates status effects). Also, the music playing during this battle is a remix of the introductory music/main theme, and it is amazeballs.

All of Ashley’s skills have been replaced with the same abilities Anastasia had during the flashback dungeon. This is very convenient, as Anastasia’s host of healing spells (and her Re-Life ability) are very useful now.

In a way, this is a scripted battle. In another, more accurate way, though, Lord Blazer is going to try to tear Ashley a new one. Keep your HP up!

The “trick” to this battle is to continually use Impulse, a 25 FP skill that utilizes the power of humanity. How does that work?

Well…

Each “Impulse” summons a different scene featuring someone from during the quest. First up is Anastasia, as we need someone to compliment Ashley’s new mittens.

“Which is confusing, because it’s a one-person sword. Did you read the manual? There’s supposed to be a manual!”

Each Impulse does a healthy chunk of damage to Lord Blazer, so you know you’re on the right track.

Incidentally, Sword Mage Ashley has some stat buffing moves, but they’re really not useful when Lord Blazer dispels them every other turn.

So the basic priorities of this battle are 1. Keep Ashley healed, then 2. Use Impulse when 25 FP is available, and if not 3. Swing around that sword until you’ve got 25 HP. It’s not completely mindless, and, as far as “JRPG Final Boss Scripted Battles” go, it’s pretty interesting. At least you’re not casting Stone on some magical tick…

Also, Zephyr’s medium will confer an ability that instantly restores 25 FP, so maybe show up with that equipped.

As mentioned, each Impulse shows us a different person/group. Colette is with the Baskar folk.

Terry the Good Boy leads the scholars of Sielje.

Prince Noel of Guild Galad is just happy someone remembered he existed.

Maribel, Alby the Dog, and Billy are all tired of saying “hero”.

Tony and Scott are repping the support staff of ARMS.

Lord Blazer is still doing his best to kill Ashley and, eventually, everyone that has ever lived.

And Marina, inexplicably and silently flanked by Irving and whatshername, claims that she loves the uncertain future that is possible after Lord Blazer is obliterated.

“What’s that? There’s a ghost behind me?”

That really seems to do it, as Marina’s Impulse does the most damage possible.

And thus was Lord Blazer exploded into rainbows.

Dude is just gonna rock out and play his new magical sword like a guitar.

Wild Arms Mission #29
Save the whole damn world
Status: Success!
Notes: No pyrrhic victories here! We saved everyone and permanently defeated an unholy evil that could previously only be sealed away. We are the champions, my friiiiiiiiends…

And Ashley is returned to Filgaia as plain ol’ Ashley.

Ashley claims that he wasn’t the hero, it was him and everyone else.

Shut-up, Brad. Just… never again, okay?

Marivel claims she wasn’t a hero because it would be too much of a hassle. I should save that reply for if anyone ever asks me if I want to do another Let’s Play…

Not pictured: about an hour of walking up a billion stairs.

“And we shall never tell anyone that there is apparently a tower that leads straight down to the muddy depths of God.”

A lovely reverse of that bubble animation that got us down here…

And our party returns.

Though things aren’t exactly looking great.

This is the one time Colette is justifiably worried.

Each character gets a (fairly long) soliloquy over the ending. Here’s Tim’s…

“That was the moment the strain and tension finally slackened. More than having destroyed the Kuiper Belt or Lord Blazer, seeing everyone’s laughter again makes me realize it’s really over. But you all aren’t the only ones laughing. I have someone waiting for me and when I heard someone saved a place for me to return to–I broke into laughter too. Colette said ‘thanks’ to me, so I said ‘thanks’ back. That’s not so strange, is it? Because in that moment that’s what I wanted to say.”

Those two are so cute.

Apparently it is up to Ashley to tell the ARMS support staff what happened with Irving.

After whatever he told them, ARMS decides to have a 4-arms salute in honor of their marginally insane leader.

And Valeria Chateau continues flying through the skies. Which, side note, the skies are back. Yay.

Kanon…

“And so everything was disclosed. At the beginning and end of this battle was a sin named Valeria. The ‘sin’ was called a ‘hero’. If the lives in Filgaia survived because of this sin, then its continued life at its atonement. Those who can atone are… The cross that is too heavy to bear alone is no longer so when everyone on this star supports it. Sleep now, the blood of Valeria. No one needs a ‘hero’ anymore now that they’ve realized their might. If the darkness meant to destroy Filgaia’s future is dismantled, the chant of peace hoped for will be heard.”

Kanon isn’t planning on having any kids, so she’s the last of Anastasia’s “heroic” bloodline. I guess she’s going to inherit Valeria Chateau now? Maybe she could do something good with that.

Apparently it wasn’t in the budget to show such a thing happening, but the many towns of the world got wrecked during the finale. A relief and rebuilding effort is happening across the globe.

And Marina is apparently helping. Or maybe she’s just yelling at people.

Speaking of yelling, Marivel is helping out, too.

Though she should probably grab some shade, as the sun is coming up again for the first time since ARMS battled Odessa.

Marivel…

“No matter what you say, humans are strange creatures. Besides being frail, people get lost along the way and makes false moves. Then they sometimes don’t realize their mistakes and hurt those who are close. Yet at the same time, they know how to link arms and band together. If you ask why, must you answer so? While acknowledging their own weaknesses, when they take aim at a far goal, they join hands. Those who extend a hand and those who take the hand, can’t be done without trust. Hold on there just a minute. It’s not clear if humans are weak or strong from this. Well then, I’ll explain it. A Crimson Noble’s time is eternal.”

Marivel is not going to go back to sleep, and is going to study humanity for the rest of forever. Incidentally, I have no idea if this scene doesn’t appear if Marivel never formally joins the party. It’s not like she isn’t a part of ARMS before she starts actually fighting with ARMS…

Brad is a one-man building machine.

A handkerchief (or something) flies off Alby, and Billy leans to pick it up, apparently showing signs he may be recovering. Hooray!

Brad…

“A broken clock starts to move to some rhythm. A clock that had stopped like that starts to move. Stories always start suddenly. Focus your eyes, listen closely, and pay attention. The life starting now is even more unpredictable than the battlefield. To be honest, if I were thrown out on my own, I’d be apprehensive. Yet, that doesn’t mean I’d just stop. You’re on my side. Better still, I have friends who’ll fight beside me. Next time I’ll have them help. A ‘hero’ is very cool, but I’d never be able to fill that role. So, it’s all a sham, I guess. That’s not bad either.”

Brad doesn’t need to be a hero, he just needs friends. Duh.

Lilka is hanging out at the Sielje telescope. This was an important spot to her sister… and also a place she was damned to clean should she survive her perilous quest.

Terry the Good Boy is helping. I think.

“For things to change, to go from the past to the future, is for time to pass. It is not only me. Everyone will eventually go on their way. I know. I’m not crying. I’m OK. I’m cool. That’s because it’s not ‘good-bye’ but ‘till we meet again’. No matter where you go, it’s not an ‘end’ but a ‘beginning’. I’m happy that we’re all departing for our new lives together. I mean…I was lucky enough to meet everyone here who I love with all my heart.”

Lilka, for the last time: you were never cool.

And our ragtag gang comes to the crossroads.

Bye everybody! Have a good existence for the next five minutes until the Playstation is turned off!

Kanon is too busy looking for Schala to say anything.

Ashley, naturally, gets our last little recap:

“The King of Meria Boule has officially announced the dissolution of ARMS. Even if this didn’t happen, we all would have eventually pursued our own destinies. So, today’s ‘good-bye’ isn’t sad for me. Even if it was only for a moment, our hearts were once joined together as one. And even if we’re not ‘heroes’, we accomplished a major feat. If we join our souls, we can accomplish things even a noble ‘hero’ can’t do. No matter where we go, if we join our hearts, we’ll always be together.”

Say it with me now, everybody:

The real ARMS was the friends we made along the way.

And we’ll take one final look at the rebuilt town of Meria.

Everything is as it was, complete with thieving kittens and roof holes.

Even the bakery is back in tiptop shape.

Though its residents might be a little different.

“Less… demon-y.”

D’awww.

And, with what I assume is a yet another mistranslation…

We hit the credits. The credits run along slides of various anime-tastic scenes, like…

Ashley baking bread like a Valkyrie…

Lilka studying as hard as her little pea-brain will let her…

Brad setting up a log cabin so he can be just as gay as humanly possible with Billy…

Tim and Colette feeding cows for some reason…

Kanon doing the typical Western thing of trashing everyone in a bar and then having a beer…

Marivel employing Scott and inspiring an entire Blazblue character into existence..

And a mysterious desk containing pictures of various ARMS folks. Given the Tim/Lilka selfie, I have to assume one of the kids had the camera.

And it all closes on a picture of a certain twin couple of potential sociopaths.

Lookin’ good, Meria!

Lookin’ good, sky!

Lookin’ good, exposition!

Oh, the sword actually survived being absorbed by Ashley for a solid game.

“Oh man, remember Scott’s birthday party? And how nobody showed up except for Tim? Good times.”

“Yeah, I know, I read the narration a moment ago.”

Aw, they used the magical sword as a grave marker. Obviously, Irving and Altaecia are technically buried at the center of the planet resting peacefully ventilated by about ten thousand bullet holes.

Ah ha ha, Excalibur humor.

Ashley and Marina arrive, babies in tow. That’s probably new.

I find it kind of amusing that Kanon and Marivel both move in to look at babies. No one can resist the siren’s call of cooing.

Reminder: the sky still exists.

“Tim and I were just talking about that a year ago!”

If you haven’t noticed, Marivel is back in her anti-sun gear. I always appreciate when a character returns to their “covert” clothing after being revealed. She wore that old outfit for so long!

Aw, Marina got her ordinary life with a non-monster boyfriend (/baby daddy).

Side note: a pair of babies is absolute proof that Ashley is one of the few JRPG heroes with working equipment… and I ain’t talkin’ about his Shootin’ Star. … Or maybe I am.

“How many total NPCs were there? Yes, all 200 of us Filgaians saved the world.”

“Fatboy and Slim. Next question.”

Oh, good. It’s nice to hear Ashley remembered that children are supposed to have names.

“Shut and Thehellup, Tim. It’s Greek.”

“Agatha and Christie.”

Pure and Fur?

And, fun fact, Ashley doesn’t actually say the names of the kids. Boo. Given the context clues, and the whole “twins” thing, one can assume he was a jackass and named the kids after Irving and Altaecia.

And with an ominous statement that might just be a replacement for the ol’ “a winner is you”…

We’re done, ladies and gentlemen! Thanks for playing and/or reading Wild Arms 2!

Next time on Wild Arms 2: We’re not done yet!

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