Wild Arms 3 Part 09: Three-Faced Monster

This is being posted on Gogglebob.com on June 20, Mach Day. It’s the birthday of the inventor Mach, who created a flying machine that flies at the speed of sound. When an engine is classified as mach 2, it means it has the power of 2 Mr. Machs.

(This fact is simultaneously true and false. Maybe it is true on Filgaia…)

Previously on Wild Arms 3: Our intrepid band of Drifters decided to become official, and they all synced their Facebook statuses to “in a relationship (with treasure)”. Now we’re on the trail of The Eternal Sparkle with the marginal assistance of Janus Cascade and company.


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So here we are at the Ruins of Memory.


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A random townsperson distinctly mentions it, but Ruins of Memory was a museum at some far-off time. Since then, it has been looted to all heck, so don’t expect to find any awesome artifacts today (wait… isn’t that why we’re here?).


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Is the implication that this museum fell into ruin sometime recently, and housed items from ancient civilizations, or is it that this was an antique museum that housed even older artifacts? And what happened to all those Artifacts from Ruins of Memory?


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So there is a switch that we need to activate to proceed. But there is glass blocking our entry!


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What is a gal to do?


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The answer is run into glass at top speed! It doesn’t make a lick of sense (why was this glass not broken by someday else like the display cases in the same room), and seems genuinely masochistic (do you know how long it will take to get the broken glass out of Virginia’s hair?), but the way forward is only available by crashing into glass displays. Whatever!


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Now we’re on our way.


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The next room has a boomerang-activated switch. It is hard to believe nine parts in, but this is our first “real” dungeon with the whole party working in concert. The previous dungeon was mostly just a boss rush…


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It was mentioned last update that there are three main monsters in this area. This dork is the toughest of them all, and generally arrives in packs of two. There isn’t anything complicated here, they just hit hard and likely take a full party of fight commands to drop.


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Moving on, we have some torches that can only be extinguished by Gallows and his ice doll. At least switching between characters is an easy matter of hitting the shoulder buttons.


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There are some minor treasures in this dungeon, usually hidden behind glass. I really cannot emphasize enough how weird it is that the “story” dictates that no one ever thought to break these specific glass panels before.


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Minor block puzzle ahoy. Break glass, move box, activate switch.


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Here is (kinda) enemy numero tres. It is some kind of skeletal warrior creature, and it generally receives an attack boost from the Blue Books if you don’t eliminate them first. They can show up in groups of four, so be careful with your more fragile characters if you are afraid of being drafted into the skeleton army.


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Aw, our first post battle treasure chest.


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So you can always receive a “drop” from a defeated enemy. Sometimes, though, enemies “drop” treasure chests that are trapped. The traps vary with locations, and can be anything from a simple “booby trap” to status effects to (in the final bonus dungeon) a trap that lowers your experience level (!). At least you are warned what you are risking so you can choose whether you think it is worth the danger.


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Any one of your four characters can open a treasure chest. The idea is to pick the player with the best luck stat, as that is how your treasure nabbing prowess is judged. The luck stat varies as you play through the game (it is not just a constant upward climb like other stats), and, no, you do not get to check who is at BEST luck while you are in battle. Maybe remember to check that when you enter a dungeon.


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So Jet failed his luck check, and the booby trap destroyed any loot we might have received from the battle. We still get EXP and Gella, but items are out of the question if a chest explodes. Later traps may drain HP or inflict post-battle poison or alike, but leave the treasure safe. Ultimately, it is… a weird system. I guess it further reinforces the idea that your dudes are lil’ tomb raiders constantly dealing with nonspecific danger? Or it was an excuse to use the Luck stat for something other than criticals? Whatever.


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Here is a better look at some skeleton that may or may not drop decent loot.


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And back to the block puzzle. Yes, you will encounter multiple random battles while trying to solve a puzzle.


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But sometimes there is a payoff. If you’ve been paying attention to the victory screens, you’ll see that this is a much larger sum than you’ll win from grinding every monster in this museum. This basically means this treasure may as well be labeled “ARM upgrade”.


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We have looped around to the entryway of the dungeon. This is the same room where we met Janus, but now we are up on a ledge previously inaccessible due to the nearby rubble. Progress! Kinda!


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Oh! A Gella Card! This is a consumable item that you can use on one (1) enemy to double its Gella payout at the end of a battle. As you may have already guessed, bosses have a tendency to drop the most cash, so use it when you are fighting a singular boss. When a boss is a “group” of enemies (like we’ll see in this dungeon), you still can only use it on one opponent, so it is less effective. So solo bosses or metal slimes, exclusively.


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For whatever reason, this room has a self-locking door. Guess this is the wing of the museum where they used to trap children so they would learn more.


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This is a room full of statues, and one statue looks a bit different.


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We have anything around here that might help this statue along?


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Maybe some light explosives?


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The switch was beneath the crumbling statue. … Wouldn’t the weight of the statue have activated the switch anyway?


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A little further along, and a switch lowers a wall so we can easily return to this area from the main entrance. This shortcut will come in handy for something coming up shortly.


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It’s the library! That’s the best part of any museum!


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Each of these bookcases is a little bit of backstory that dates this museum as not too far in Filgaia’s ancient past. A prescient note about tech from the ancient demon war could apply to our own planet…


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Wild Arms established that “demons” in Filgaia were basically what we would consider biologically robotic (oxymoron?), or at least heavy metal. This was a minor point in Wild Arms 2 (where your “demon” dragon airship was a Transformer), and is back and prominent in Wild Arms 3.


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We could have had a Giant’s Rock? Dang.


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Oops.


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Baskar residents made reference to some “other” race running around the world, and this book reinforces that there are demi-humans that are magically similar to (but stronger than) Baskars. Wonder where those dudes got to?


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Oh this nonsense.


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As was established in Virginia’s opening dungeon, Wild Arms 3 once again features consumable Duplicator keys that open doors and treasure chests. Now, we have a duplicator-book. You can read this book, but only if you use a duplicator. And you know damn well that duplicator could be used to get a real treasure, and not just the treasure of knowledge. Luckily (?), we don’t have a duplicator at all right now, so the debate of “wasting” one is moot.


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Anywho, if you are wondering why no one ever found the key to the Eternal Sparkle in this pre-looted museum, it is because nobody ever thought to check this wall. Maybe the natural defense of being bored by so many books turned drifters away?


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Blammo.


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Treasure! A Growth Egg is a consumable item that will expand your…. whaddyacallit… MTC? The points that allow you to summon Guardians repeatedly. Everybody has one MTC right now (in a normal, not New Game+ playthrough), but a Growth Egg could expand that number to a whole two, meaning you can summon a guardian twice before needing a good lie down. Gallows is probably the best candidate for this, as his magic stat influences summon damage.


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And our first accessory! Or whatever you want to call this!


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So every Guardian Medium comes with its own default Personal Skills. You can also use “accessories” to add new Personal Skills to mediums.


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Accessories are “equipped” on a medium, not a character, so you have to juggle mediums amongst the party if you want to switch up these skills once they have been assigned.


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And, importantly, accessories are consumed when they are attached to a medium. Status ward protecting against amnesia isn’t that amazing of a get, but some of the later accessories are really quite amazing, and you don’t want to blow ‘em on the wrong medium configuration. As an easy example, you don’t want just one character equipped with all the mediums that ward against a specific element. It doesn’t stack like that! Spread the love around!

And on an extremely related note, accessories usually have at least one “treasure chest” location, but they are often carried as rare drops by specific monsters. So if you use accessories inappropriately, you are not completely out of luck… if you have a lot of luck. And there are those that say you should never use the first “type” of an accessory you find, as if you sell said accessory, you will eventually be able to purchase an infinite quantity of that same accessory from the Black Market. But that won’t be available for a good long while, and requires an absurd amount of gella…


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Back to the third treasure chest that is sealed by magic. So we do not have any duplicators, but if we find any duplicators, we have the choice of either opening a book or a treasure chest in this dungeon.


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And in order to leave this room, we have to hit a switch behind a pillar. This is where you are forced to discover that Jet’s boomerang tool can be directed around objects with the control stick. Neat!


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And speaking of tool usage, time for synergy!


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Gallows ices a torch to lower a platform.


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And Virginia tosses a tinder card to relight the torch to use said platform as a makeshift elevator.


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Teamwork makes the dream work. Right, Janus?


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“The Eternal Sparkle…Only a select few have actually come in contact with it. But one thing is for sure…It’s much greater than any jewel or precious metal known to man.”

Um… greater how, Janus?


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Janus? Buddy? Where ya goin’?


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“A great power is bestowed upon the one who comes in contact with it. It grants a spear that can destroy all life. That is the Eternal Sparkle’s true essence.”

Oh. Wish you had mentioned the whole “destroy all life” thing before we left town.


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“But that’s all rubbish if you ask me. There are, however, avaricious people in this sick world, that would do or pay anything to get their grubby little hands on it.”

Glad to hear it! Everybody can understand grabbing world-annihilating power simply to make a buck.


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Please don’t act surprised, Virginia.


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I mean, were you seriously not expecting this treachery from the guy that has not helped at all and only ever tried to kill the party?


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They got an ATM that accepts creepy death masks around here?


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Kind of disappointed the rest of the party is feigning betrayal, too. Clive would show solidarity with Virginia any day, but Jet and Gallows should just be like “duh”.


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So fun fact…


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These three shields are related to a very prominent character from Wild Arms (1). In said game, he was one of the “Quarter Knights”, and had three buddies at nearly all times. They were not named Hieraco, Andro, and Crio. They were (Lady) Harken, Alhazad, and Belselk/Berserk (and, eventually, Boomerang replacing Belselk). I’ve always kind of wondered if this is a mistranslation between sequels, though it is hard to find information on the original Japanese script. Regardless, this “Eternal Sparkle” always seems to have three buddies.


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One shield has been found right here, a second is (inevitably) in another dungeon, and the third has already been claimed by some other Drifter. Looks like we have something to do for the next few updates!


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And Janus decides to start waxing philosophical about how he isn’t evil, he’s just winning.


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“I am an idiot, and I acknowledge that.”


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“The game is played” primarily with the circle button.


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“Like me! I am super-duper trying!”


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You really don’t want a dude carrying a bayonet to get that mad.


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Right. You guys.


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Oh no! They have a triple tech!


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So boss battle. This is the same setup as the fight against Dario, Romero, and Janus at the end of the introduction areas, but now there are very different gimmicks happening.


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At the opening stage of this fight, Romero and Dario will only ever take two character-specific actions…


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And said actions seem simple, but they significantly buff their stats. Romero increases his evasion, and Dario increases his defense by protecting his dong. Luckily, these buffs do not stack, and they will continually use the same (now) useless move throughout this phase.


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Janus is the only one that attacks, and he can initiate the previously mentioned Trinity attack. It only hits one character, but it can hit hard.


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And if he’s feeling saucy, Janus can hit everybody with that Multiblast attack, too. Guess who you should be aiming at.


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So I’m level craptillion, and I wanted to see if you could game this battle to somehow kill Dario/Romero first. Using a maxed-out Gallows summon seems to indicate you can’t. Janus must be defeated first, and his buddies have absurd defense for this phase to keep them standing and encourage you to shoot elsewhere.


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Dario and Romero are still standing, but Janus needs a breather.


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Time to go follow the white rabbit.


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Janus is leaving his toadies to cover his escape.


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Team Rocket is not a democracy.


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Toodles!


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It is four against two. Good luck, you losers!


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“You! With the glasses! Please aim away from my face! Thanks!”


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Next phase. Dario and Romero will now take “normal” damage, but still retain their general buffs from the first phase. They will also now attack with basic attacks… but not much else.


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Sorry, they do not actually draw on untold reserves to defeat the party.


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So, whereas Phase 1 can get kind of dicey with Janus’s various assaults, Phase 2 is little more than a waste of time. Which was Janus’s point… But still!


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But did you die?


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Gallows, stop picking on them. I know they were trying to kill us, but they got betrayed, too.


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And look at ‘em. How can you feel anything but pity?


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Hey! A duplicator! We needed one of those!


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Yeah, it was rough for everybody that has ever said “I told you so”.


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Like this guy.


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Never trust people that have actively shot you multiple times ever again.


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Clive, you’re a great dad.


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“Dario would probably stick it in his pants for some reason.”


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To the ARMSmobile!


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Virginia was sad, but now she has a goal that certainly involves adventure, so she is back on top.


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So away we go!


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May as well see if anyone has some clues back at the only nearby town.

And that would be where we end this update for today… but! We may as well enjoy some light savescumming to use that one duplicator we received.


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After saving back at town (not pictured), we return to the Ruins of Memory…


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Use that shortcut we unlocked…


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And hit the library.


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The book titled “You might find this interesting” reads only “Try talking to Armengard everyday to see what she says.” This is bullshit, and a complete waste of a duplicator. Who in the hell is Armengard, and why should I care!? We’re on Part 9 of this Let’s Play, and I can’t find a trace of Armengard anywhere here. For costing a duplicator, Armengard should be part of every single update or something. Whatever! Friggen’ first duplicator book in the game, and it is a bust. Lesson learned.


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So we reset the game from our last save point, venture back into the dungeon again, and use the duplicator on that treasure chest this time. A… name tag?


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You may have noticed that every NPC in every town has a name. Well, you can change their names as need be with the Name Tag item. This is entirely superfluous, and would have been more amusing back in the day when videogame rentals came with videogame “used” saves. Would have been amazing to be playing through a rented, completely normal version of Breath of Fire 2, but Rand’s Mom is named SoundGardenRules.

Anywho, this means that both of the duplicator “treasures” in the Ruins of Memory are useless, so go ahead and hold onto that duplicator until a later date. There are exactly as many duplicators in this game as there are duplicator seals, so you can come back later if you really want this nonsense checked off.


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And we’ll pick the usual nonsense back up again next time at the Jolly Roger. Gentle audience, don’t get tricked by any glaringly obvious villains or duplicator "treasures" in the meanwhile!

Next time on Wild Arms 3: I choo choo choose horsies.

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