This is being initially posted on Gogglebob.com on June 27, Giant Stag Beetle Day. General Bartholomew loved stag beetle so much, he made stag beetle armies and stag beetle poems. In return for his love, a giant stag beetle threw himself in front of a flying bullet to protect the General and was killed in action. Today is a day to honor love that crosses the wall of species…
Previously on Wild Arms 3: We’re on a quest! The Eternal Sparkle was sealed behind three mystical shield/mask thingies, and we attempted to procure at least one of ‘em. Unfortunately, that dastardly Janus stole it right out from under us, and now… Uh… we got any leads?
Maybe we can go back to where we heard about the Eternal Sparkle in the first place.
Well that was easy! People in town did say that Sterling seems to know everything.
We even get straightforward directions. Nice!
Everybody is so anxious to see us leave.
Hannah the Barmaid has comments about Janus. Apparently, he is well known and well loathed.
Still not certain how these save dolls know Spanish…
Okay, enough of Jolly Roger. We will return one day to claim our boat, but for now we are heading for a train.
Finding train stations is usually a matter of finding train tracks and working backwards.
Here we are, way the hell west of the tunnel.
For the record, this is likely the station you were supposed to stop at at the end of the intro. Geographically, it fits.
Tony returns! Game design tip: if your ticket counter is so hard to find that you need to have an NPC spout off directions, maybe just go ahead and rearrange your buildings.
Luckily, Wild Arms 3 doesn’t force you through the hardest puzzle of reality: figuring out train schedules. Let me tell you about my recent encounter with the Paris metro…
Tony lives in a shack by the tracks: confirmed.
Pan that camera around to find the ticket booth.
Our next destination is the only target available, but a few more train stops will appear as the game progresses. I don’t think there is even a flimsy excuse for why you can only ever travel to plot-mandated locations…
Buy a ticket, and the train arrives. Tony is apparently the only usher on this entire rail system.
Welcome to Westwood. Is that the train station with all the lifelike robots? I’m probably thinking of something else…
There is literally no one else here, so what are you talking about Rick? Are we to believe whole other teams of Drifters made it off the train before us?
Walking is all JRPG heroes do!
So our next destination is obviously the next town over.
Yes, it is a long walk to our next destination. Would be nice to have a new mode of conveyance…
See? I was just talking about that. There is this super obvious chasm in the geography that will be relevant in a moment or two.
New area, new monsters. These dorks will inflict status maladies. I think the most common issue with these guys is “Disease”, a status effect that prevents healing until it is cured. “Amnesia”, another sickness that prevents EXP accrual, is on the menu, too.
Oh yeah, there we go. Amnesia. Oftentimes, if a monster uses particular status effects, their trapped chests will mimic the problems. Being inflicted with amnesia from a treasure chest means you have no way to heal the ailment before the results screen where you then get zero experience.
And you might earn an accessory that distinctly guards again said problem. Memo Pen could be found in Ruins of Memory (appropriate!), but you could theoretically earn enough for the whole party by grinding on these plains.
These birds also stalk the area. They are the first of many creatures that will attempt to steal from your party. Kill ‘em fast before you lose all your good stuff!
Okay, destination set. Welcome to…
What was the name of this place? Claiborne? That might be right.
Most towns from here on out will have conveniently available ARMsmiths. They all have the same upgrades/costs, because Big ARMs is big into price fixing.
Talk of the town seems to be the local bar owner and her niece.
A random book in a random house holds the solution to a boss fight we will see in a few updates. Talk to everybody, kids!
Virginia Maxwell: more daddy issues than Parenting Monthly.
Do we really want to trust a guy who so consistently says “horsies”?
So the big get for Claiborne is a quartet of horses (horsies) that you can purchase for 2,000 gella. You do not have to purchase them immediately (they are not required until after you complete the next two dungeons), but if you’ve got the dough, nab some mobile chevaline. Naturally, I’m buying those horses right now, and we’ll take them for a go once we get out of town.
Pike is out back! He inexplicably has the ability to change the name of anyone in the party.
Yes, the big deal job Pike was moving from home to pursue is shoveling horse hockey for the rest of his days. I guess he left his one-horse town for a four-horse town.
Pike always remembers his friends.
Here’s that bar with the angry bar wench and her adorable niece. Martina will be vaguely relevant in the near future.
Martina hasn’t heard from her mom in a while. Don’t go on a globe-trotting quest to find her, Martina!
Myra looks like the villain in a story starring adorable orphans.
Another bookcase confirms that ARMs still operate on “magical syncing” rules like in Wild Arms (1). Not much is made of it, but it seems like the fact that everybody in the party can use an ARM is unique. Team Janus and Team -APPEARING SOON- both do not have mandatory ARM usage across their gangs.
And yet another book gives a few details on the Followers of the Eternal Sparkle. The three attributes of wisdom, agility, and strength do neatly match up with the “Eternal Sparkle’s” smart, fast, and strong companions in Wild Arms. Then again, the same could be said of many, many four-person villain gangs…
Now let’s play with our horsies!
Horses move dramatically faster than walking. They also kind of work on Ocarina of Time rules, and naturally accelerate to a top speed that is slightly more difficult to steer.
And at max speed, you can jump canyons. This is why horses are mandatory: a number of crevasses across Filgaia require a horse jump.
You can still use the radar to find towns/dungeons/treasures while galloping along, and you can still encounter random battles, too.
Horse battles are visually interesting, but gameplay boring.
There may be some minutia I am missing here, but horse battles are almost exactly the same as regular battles (and considering what “boat battles” look like later, this is welcome). The only difference seems to be that a number of “stopping” status ailments (like sleep) do not occur while on horseback. Also, for the record, there is exactly one “required” fight on horseback, and that’s about that.
Note that if you find treasure, you have to dismount to collect it. You have to dismount for dungeons and towns, too, but this feels more… annoying.
The horses did just pay for themselves, though…
Also, for anyone keeping an eye on geography, you can see how far the train took us from our previous stomping grounds. The answer is: not very far. (The highlighted green square is where we were, the two red dots to the West are where we are now.)
Okay, enough about horses, time to advance the plot. Random NPC, give us directions to the next dungeon.
Serpent’s Coils is a quick gallop to the east.
Yeah, because in this world of endless monsters, everybody is just floating around on barcaloungers all the time.
Next dungeon time. As Virginia warned, the assumption is that Janus has gotten ahead of us yet again, and should be our antagonist. Oh, if she only knew this is where she will meet her true love…
There is exactly one kind of random encounter in this dungeon, and it is these Jelly Blob dinguses.
They are completely immune to physical attacks.
But they are weak to every element you can currently use. You might have expected the “monster that is weak to magic” archetype to appear immediately after you gained magic (like in Chrono Trigger!), but it looks like the designers decided to wait a dungeon.
You should just about be reaching the level where you can use a spell in the first round at this point in the game, so blast these suckers the minute you can muster up a spell. If you can get Gallows to a decent FP level quickly, you can use his Extension skill to wipe out a whole army in one move.
You will earn a lot of elemental gems in this dungeon, as literally the only way to kill these things is with an elemental attack, and that guarantees a matching elemental gem drop. Whatever your party configuration, I recommend you pick up at least one Fire Gem along the way. It will come in handy for an upcoming boss fight…
Moving right along. Not unlike Ruins of Memory, Serpent’s Coil seems to wrap around in a loosely symmetrical manner.
There are more switches to open doors here, though.
There is also a loose “map” function in this dungeon. I will take a quick look at that next update, so hold your horsies.
Hmph, this is annoying.
Like a lot of JRPGs, you can only jump down ledges, never “up”. So to hit the switch to open this door, we’re going to have to jump down and circle around the dungeon to get back to the door. Irritating, but not exactly insurmountable.
There we go…
That opens the door. Now we just have to…
Confession: I am replaying Wild Arms 3 for the first time since its release. When this happened on this playthrough, I grinned ear-to-ear for a solid five minutes.
Virginia, could you be more polite?
And less racist.
Like, come on.
A talking cat!?!
Oh, good. They are looking for the Dragon Balls.
Timid Boy just nods. Oh! Timid = Tim. I just got a Wild Arms 2 joke in Wild Arms 3!
Blonde is right on the money.
“Well, granny believes in us…”
Virginia and Blonde are getting along like two old buddies here.
“Hey! We get clues from random townsfolk sometimes!”
Get ‘er, Virginia!
Blonde is not entertaining this conversation any longer. Thanks for opening the door forward, stupids!
Don’t explain why she’s mean, panda backpack, explain why you have some kind of talking cat creature.
Janus actively tried to kill the party twice, but if you really want to piss off Virginia, call her a phony.
Looks like Virginia is going to need a moment to collect herself, so we’re going to pick this up next episode. Don’t worry, Virginia! I’m sure you’ll get to shoot that blonde soon enough!
Next time on Wild Arms 3: So good, we’re doing it twice.