This chapter is being posted to Gogglebob.com on June 13, Evil Day. The devil is evil. Devil spelt backwards is ‘lived.’ Do devils actually live? That is the question.
Previously on Wild Arms 3: We gained the power of the gods… which are now rocks. Do… do we have to feed them? What do god-rocks eat, anyway?
Maybe they sell god food at this place.
Welcome to Jolly Roger, a shore town by a sea that is sand. We probably aren’t going to get much resort time here.
“The plot has stalled out. Does anyone know where we can find the dungeon master?”
Gallows: between this and the hangover comment last update, add “lush” to his list of strengths.
When we left the previous town, the party decided to have one last going away party (or least Gallows did). Virginia then spent the entire time trekking across the wastelands being sad about losing her new friends. Oh, and playing I Spy. Virginia loves I Spy. Pray she doesn’t spy something brown.
Clive knows damn well what Gallows is up to (partying like a rockstar), but is subverting it with Granny-like skill.
So we can wander around town on the way to the local brewery, and we are going to go to the only place that matters to a JRPG party…
The weapon shop! This is Emilia. She may be a “name echo” of the prestigious mechanic Emma from Wild Arms (1).
Before we get to the good stuff, we’ll kick off a wholly not-optional sidequest that you would think would be more prominent but whatever…
Never resist blatant overtures!
Emilia is responsible for what will eventually be your boat.
Unfortunately, we have to emphasize “eventually” here, as we need dragon fossils to get the boat going. Spoilers in case, like me, you have videogame-based collection challenge anxiety: by the time you need the Sandcraft, you will be able to find an “optional” boss that drops exactly 15 Dragon Fossils. And you can guess why I am sticking “optional” in quotes there…
So for now we just have to busy ourselves with upgrading our weapons.
You only ever have your ARMs in Wild Arms 3. There are no “better” weapons to be found in treasure chests or shops. But, while spells will naturally upgrade as you advance in levels/increase your magic stat, you are expected to manually maintain/upgrade your weapons as the game progresses. We haven’t had the opportunity to do this before, though, so Emilia is our first stop.
So let’s review these stats because the game absolutely does not make them clear…
Shot – Basically the straight-up attack stat. Hit harder.
Hit – … Should not have just said “hit harder”… This is equivalent to a character’s AIM stat, and determines how often you hit the opponent. As mentioned before, “did it hit” is not a binary hit/miss in Wild Arms 3, and this stat can significantly influence damage dealt, too. Kind of like Final Fantasy and using FAST.
Bullet – How many bullets are in your clip. There are rare occasions where you want less bullets, but, in general, you do not want to spend the rest of your life reloading.
Weight – The only stat you upgrade to make numbers go down. The lower the weight of your ARM, the less FP it requires to use what amounts to your most frequently accessible super attack, Gatling.
Critical – Increases the chance of a critical hit. Works in conjunction with the LUCK stat. Critical hits supposedly “just” do double damage, but they can dramatically make a difference in WA3, as a number of boss battles’ difficulties are based on how long a particular opponent stays in a specific HP range (whether that be high or [more often] critically low).
Upgrades are expensive, and, ultimately, where most of your money will be going in Wild Arms 3 (consumable items are not all that great, and you have to “unlock” the ability to purchase what qualifies as accessories). If you are looking for recommendations on where to spend your money…
Clive should be your main focus, as he is handy with handgun (or sniper rifle). Upgrade his atrocious bullet count (2) first, and then focus on Shot/Hit as the mood strikes you. Shot is probably better than Hit, but data is inconclusive on that fact. Don’t worry about Weight too much, as he does more DPS by expending 25 FP on Lock On.
Jet should get upgrades second. Since Accelerator is fairly situational, upgrading Weight for more gatling is probably a good choice. Hit and Shot are your priorities from there, as his bullet count and critical odds are already alright. Hit probably helps more with his machine gun style.
Virginia needs some Hit and Shot upgrades to be effective, but she will never be your primary (physical) attacker. All the characters need upgrades as the game progresses just to keep up with random encounters, but if you are trying to save some dough, things would be more efficient if you focus on Clive and Jet. Despite the trope switch with Gallows and Clive, Virginia regrettably still got stuck with the cliché of “girls are weak and should stick to items/magic”.
And Gallows… is awful. Dude does not know how to use a firearm. Gallows’s natural Hit stats are as bad as it gets, and upgrading that feels like upping the speed stat of a Snorlax. So upgrade Shot just so he can do some damage with the basic fight command, and ignore bullets (three is fine), weight (Gallows gat will never happen), and critical (doubling zero is still zero). You cannot completely ignore your mage, but his weapon is vaguely vestigial.
Every ARM may be upgraded 15 total times, so it is not just a matter of budgeting gella, but also planning which stats are improved. You can reset any stat and gain those possible upgrade slots back, though. But keep in mind you won’t get a refund if you decide to respec…
Oh, and if you didn’t already suspect it, each individual stat upgrade progressively costs more and more. Clive’s first Shot upgrade is 1,500 Gella. If you focus exclusively on that stat, its final upgrade is 337,500 Gella. There was a typical random encounter victory screen at the tail end of the last update. It showed that the local monsters dropped… 000,008 (eight) gella.
And that’s everything you ever wanted to know about ARMs but were afraid to ask! I don’t think I’ll be “showing” ARM upgrades going forward (which I won’t really “need” for a while in this New Game+ playthrough), but just know that it is something that gradually develops during normal play.
Enough talk of weapons, let’s go chat with random NPC Herman about the economic devastation caused by environmental devastation.
Sterling is in a house over by the ARMs shop. They will provide leads for this section of the game if you saved between cutscenes and forgot what was happening.
Sterling also has another book on how demons are responsible for Filgaia being such a crapsack. Those guys sure do get blamed for everything.
So you can upgrade your Migrant Level for the first time here in town, and this dude alludes to that possibility. There is a Migrant Seal hidden in this town (specifically, you must bomb a nearby shipping container) and this will “level up” your Migrant Level. This is essential, as encounters level up as the game progresses, and canceling a battle will go from costing one of your ten migrant points to costing… a lot more. Additionally, if your migrant level outranks the local encounters, you will see green exclamation points, and then you can cancel encounters for zero cost. Migrant Seals are crucial, but they are usually “hiding” in treasure chests or other hidden places, so keep an eye out.
… And I forgot to deal with that while I was here the first time, so… no screenshot of actually getting that “essential” Migrant Seal right now…
But we can look out at the gorgeous Sand Sea. Why would you even build a dock for this nonsense?
Back in what day, Roykman? Did all the water recede last week?
Oh yeah, Roykman has the same inventory no matter where you find him right now. You might be able to buy the map scope by now… or you could just spend that cash on weapons. Which do you think is going to help in a dungeon?
Here is our plot-mandated destination.
Really selling the place, Hannah.
Guess you have to have 150 gella to kickstart the plot.
Our hot tip is that a local dungeon may contain the “Eternal Sparkle”. There are brackets involved, so that has got to be important.
“In ages past, our world was ruled by a race of wicked demons, until they were pushed to the brink of extinction. The demon knight assigned three followers to protect a treasure. That treasure was the Eternal Sparkle.”
Virginia’s adventure senses are tingling.
We didn’t just buy information, we bought a night of revelry!
Or at least one invisible dinner.
So Jet has decided he is going for the Eternal Sparkle, even if he has to do it alone. It has already been firmly established he seeks shiny things in his intro dungeon.
Clive reviews the details we heard all of ten seconds ago (I guess he assumed Gallows does not have a working memory when hangry).
Really, Gallows? You don’t see how a demon treasure could relate to your Guardians-based destiny of defeating some blue apocalypse thingy? … Or you do see that, and want no part of it? Again?
Clive assumes it is a dead end.
Jet already made his stance clear.
So Virginia is going to make herself clear.
“There you go again! You can only do so much by yourself. If we stay together, we can do that much more! The four of us have different likes and dislikes, so we should all support each other.”
Virginia defaults to the unimpeachable “we all like different flavors of ice cream, so we should march into Hell together,” defense.
Is… is there more of a glimmer if there are five? Is… is there some math involved here?
Clive, once again, reveals his impeccable observation skills are myopic.
“Remember when we all nearly killed each other on a train? Good times! We’re a team!”
Gallows found that funny, but, at this point, he may be a little buzzed.
Virginia Maxwell: all the normal insecurities of a teenage girl, but with dual wielding.
“Yeah, you’re missing something! Never thought anybody could say stuff like that with a straight face. But you do have a point. Drifters would never leave their mark if all they did was drift.”
Every time Gallows is not seen on screen, he is pounding another shot of tequila. So, yes, that was a surprisingly coherent response, given the situation.
Smiling on the outside, super duper smiling on the character portrait.
Gallows is in!
Clive is in!
This is the most joy anyone has experienced in this bar… ever.
But we haven’t heard from Grumpy Bear yet.
Virginia really felt like she had to appeal to Gallows and Clive. Jet gets the stick.
Guardians, I love the direction of this game. Bonus points for Clive’s eyes bouncing with the camera.
You just conquered a quartet of gods as a team, Jet. Did you ever do that alone?
Actually, what have you done?
“Wannabe Drifters!? Okay, tough guy! You say you work alone, so fill me in! Tell me what you’ve done! Tell everyone here all about the great things you’ve been able to do all by your fantastic self! Hey! I’m talkin’ to you! Oh, before you start mumbling excuses, let me ask you what you were doing in the car with the Ark Scepter? You were plannin’ on makin’ off with it, weren’t you? And what happened? You blew it! You didn’t have what it takes to steal it, cowboy! And here you are, sayin’ you work best when you’re alone. Where did you get such a big head?”
Oh yeah, have I mentioned that Virginia Maxwell might be one of my favorite videogame protagonists ever? Just figured I’d throw that in here right now for no particular reason.
“More than one person can be a failure!”
“Don’t you drag me into this! This is about how you suck.”
I might give Gallows flack for being a slacker, but I feel like this is how I would interpret my situation if I were in their place. Just have fun venturing into the unknown (or you go insane).
What was that? Who you talking to, Clive?
… Did her eyes just turn into stars?
Clive, by virtue of being the one guy with a paying job, has been our de facto leader thus far. Now we’re going with the real cover girl.
“Well…We have three goals: To find the ruins where the Eternal Sparkle lies…To work as a team…And, lastly… To make the Eternal Sparkle ours!”
So Virginia reviews the squad goals.
You don’t like… objectives?
Gallows very wisely states “don’t fight it, dude.”
Jet would probably have an even higher agility stat if he could ever heft that chip off his shoulder.
Okay! Time to go fetch the Eternal Sparkle! Or its seal! Whatever! Ruins time!
… After bumping around the inn while looking for treasure. A neat thing about this town is that most of the “buildings” seem to be hollowed out of some large ship, so you can explore the “back rooms” of all the places we already visited in this update. Emilia even has a spare Dragon Fossil hanging out backstage.
But once you leave the inn for real, you’ll find…
Our super best friend! Janus was last seen by the party during the great train robbery, but we know he was spying on everybody at the Fallen Sanctuary, too.
For some reason, Dario is taking note of this random little girl. Little. Girl. Little girl. Just emphasizing that for no reason.
Virginia got no time for these losers. I admire her restraint at not immediately going into citizen’s arrest mode.
How many different ways are we going to have to tell this jerk to shut it?
Virginia is absolutely the kind of woman who got her vocabulary from the very specific books she was reading.
“Sister, chill. Aren’t we all working toward the same goal of releasing unspeakable, ancient evils on the world?”
Virginia needs a moment.
“Yes? Why spend 150 gella when you can let someone else do it?”
“You were actively shooting at us, like, yesterday!”
“Then again, I have wholly accepted the people that were almost actively shooting at me…”
Party’s full, ask again later.
As a show of trust, Janus is offering the name of the next dungeon.
“Come on over if you want. Maybe we can have another boss fight!”
“But no battles in towns! Gotta get going.”
So we can do whatever we want right now, but it is indisputable where you are supposed to go next.
Though directions are helpful.
To the southeast!
You will never suffer more random encounters than when you are trying to find a new location.
Note that Gimel Coins are precious commodities that allow you to save and continue, and they cannot be purchased. But they can be random drops, so don’t worry about their usage.
Over here seems nice.
Is Ruins of Memory a pun? It seems like it could be.
Really rolled out the red carpet for these “ruins”.
There are three main monsters skulking around the place. The first is the Blue Book, which is likely to cast buffs on other monsters. Said other monsters will appear next update.
Eat it, Kelley.
Moving on in…
Okay, I am starting to see the whole “ruins” aspect here…
Good place to hide, though.
Maybe not a great place to hide.
Looking for the ˹Eternal Sparkle˼! We just covered this!
Only a villain doesn’t acknowledge that no means no.
Laying it on thick there, Janus.
We have the literal power of gods now! We already beat you when we were level 3!
“I’m trying to save money on bullets this month.”
Clive trusts Virginia… but is willing to offer a little skepticism.
“Is this going to lead to my death? Only probably…”
“What about the Gobs that robbed your hometown?”
“Those were monsters. And they’re all dead now.”
“Skeptical forever” of a guy that tried to kill you is an acceptable situation.
Clive: still working on not being the guy in charge.
Janus was once a good guy! Or he thinks he used to be. Or he wants to believe he used to be…
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Okay, well, sometimes Dario will piss on your leg and tell you it’s raining.”
“They were demons. That’s about the story. Pay me now.”
Cannot emphasize enough how little their “information” will help in any way.
“Could you please call me by my actual name?”
So we’re all one big happy party now.
… Well, not for real. You didn’t expect Janus and company to come with their own tools, participate in battles, or even exist beyond the boundaries of their inevitable, end of dungeon betrayal, did you? They’re just kind of “there” for the day. Be glad they don’t actively steal any treasure chests. That’s the next dungeon!
And that’s where we are going to stop for the day. That ARMs explanation ate up my typewriter ribbon budget, and there is a whole silly dungeon ahead to conquer. Will we remember anything interesting in the Ruins of Memory? Find out next time!
Next time on Wild Arms 3: Janus betrays even more people than expected.