Wild Arms 3 Part 18: The Dying of the Light

Going to go ahead and post this on Gogglebob.com on August 29, Ponytail Day. Growing out your hair and strapping it into a ponytail is the new fashion all over Filgaia. Some people get the urge to yank on a ponytail, but pulling one will cause it to explode, blowing both of you to smithereens.

Previously on Wild Arms 3: After a lovely little jaunt into a sewer, Janus unleashed his true power, and left the party reeling. Well… I mean… that is the plot explanation of what happened… But our gang kind of still has 90% of their HP, so “reeling” may be a bit of an exaggeration.


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Regardless, we are out in the open wasteland looking for shelter.


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This walk to Little Rock is not that long, but it can be difficult if you actually are stumbling from the Janus encounter.


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And here we are. You must “discover” Little Rock with your radar, but the geography gives you a pretty significant clue for where to look.


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Rock around the Little Rock.


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Fun fact: Little Rock Arkansas was not named for this. It had something to do with a Frenchman looking at the local geology.


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So Little Rock is worse than most Wild Arms 3 towns (which are already pretty lousy). Practically everyone in town is talking about how this used to be a successful mining town… but heavy emphasis on “used to”.


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It can’t be all bad here, as there is a duplicator hidden in a random crate. You need to be successful to have that kind of rare item hanging around.


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Also, if you are paying attention, you will notice that the residents of Little Rock are the same NPCs that Jet encountered during his opening dungeon. None of the NPCs seem to distinctly note this, but they each have different dialogue for Jet that seems to indicate he is slightly more familiar than the rest of the party.


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Who knew that little girl from the intro was an ARMs-meister?


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There is a treasure chest that is currently inaccessible thanks to a broken bridge. You would think someone in town would work up the courage to jump over and see what is in there…


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Virginia is totally mentally writing her own book about this whole adventure.


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For reasons that no one can explain…


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The sound test for Wild Arms 3 is hiding in Little Rock’s inn. The canon explanation is that the place is staffed by a frustrated musician, but whatever; if you want to listen to all the music from Wild Arms 3, here is where you hang out. Note that more songs are added as they appear in the game, so you won’t have a full list at this point. Also note that the names for the tracks are sub-kazaa quality. Just be glad half the tracks aren’t attributed to Weird Al…


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Gaspar is that old man you could see in the previous screenshot, or during Jet’s intro dungeon…


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And his diary from when he was a child notes that he would like to sail on “the ocean blue”. But there’s no “blue” ocean in Wild Arms 3! It’s all sand! Sand filled with monsters! Is this some kind of flourish-based continuity error, or foreshadowing of a future plot point? Hmmmmm.


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Anywho, whatever the lore relevance, the sad finale for all this is that Gaspar is still sitting downstairs in the pub, so leaving town or sailing the seas never happened.


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Yeah yeah, sucks to be you, Gaspar.


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Anywho, let’s hit that shrine. Even a “fallen” shrine should yield a clue or two.


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Look at that beautiful, yellow ocean.


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When you die and become a zombie (don’t laugh, it eventually happens to all of us), your hands grow two times as large as your head.


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Alan Smithy, you immersion destroying cad. This is a tip that you should save multiple save files, even if it does make your PS2 chug. Surprised they didn’t outright say, "Now go to Electronics Boutique and buy a PS2 memory card just for saves from this game."


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So there are not many clues that you can do this, but if you figure out that Little Rock’s residents are obviously Pike’s buddies…


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And scan the right spot a little north of Little Rock…


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You will find Jet’s introductory dungeon.


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You don’t ever have to return here (revisiting two out of four introductory dungeons is mandatory), but if you do it now…


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You can scoot up to that treasure chest that triggered Jet’s pit trap…


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And use the new Steady Doll to retrieve the treasure from afar. No need for another fall down to spikey town!


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Migrant Seal acquired! Note that Jet’s opening dungeon crawl was very reminiscent of Jack’s introductory dungeon in Wild Arms (1), and that also had the punchline of coming back later in the game to obtain worthwhile rewards.


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Okay, now we can go to our real destination for the day.


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Bah, can’t tell this ruin from the last one…


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At least it is supposed to look slightly different. And weirdly symmetrical…


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“Anybody? Can we naturally sense gods, or is it because of the mediums? I can’t remember a life before this adventure…”


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So you sense a big waste of time?


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Gallows? You got something?


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Sensing nothing is in and of itself concerning.


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Are we too late? (spoilers: yes)


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Spoilers: you won’t.


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Let’s go get that Shine, Mario!


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There are two staircases on either side, and a path forward down the middle. We are going to head left first, and encounter a simple puzzle that involves two tools. Uh, that is to say, two of the tool items. I don’t want you to think I am calling Gallows and Jet tools (even if Jet totally is).


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Simple puzzle, simple solution.


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This guy has a little more to it. Move blocks into position as they “mirror” and move blocks on the other side.


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Still, not a big deal if you can immediately visually identify which side of the room is perfect for a three-block bridge.


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Treasure!


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Random encounters! There are two main monsters in this dungeon, and one is a color swap of the original Gob creatures from Virginia’s opening dungeon. They are only marginally upgraded.


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Why so serious?


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But they drop potion berries, which are the next upgrade up from the heal berries we have been using since the adventure started. You can feel the progress!


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If you went forward at the start of the dungeon, you’d find this room that ends in a locked door. Taking the side stairways lead you to puzzles and (eventually) these balconies at the top of the room. We are currently on the “left” balcony…


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And once you are up here, use Gallows’s frost doll to blast the window and let the light shine through.


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Casting daylight on these orbs is the answer to opening that door. Now we have to go take the right path to activate the other orb.


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Here is the other main creature of the shrine, Fairylight.


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These weirdos usually come in large packs, and they will either completely wreck your party with light-based magic, or…


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Emoticon at you, which does nothing. Feast or famine with these guys.


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Now we are hitting the other side of the dungeon for that other switch.


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Lit torches on one side, unlit torches on the other, and a mirror in the middle.


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Light up in perfect symmetry to open the door forward.


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And be sure to run headfirst into the glass to break it so you can make your way through. It is going to be amazing if our party makes it through this adventure without brain damage.


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Remember: if there is a treasure chest you cannot immediately reach, use your steady doll.


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And now we have the other orb uncovered. The right path was a lot easier than the left…


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Let’s blow this… whatever we are calling this.


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Those aren’t reflected gems, this is apparently transparent glass. And Gallows is going to be picking its shards out of his hair after he runs through it.


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Next section is the same as the first: way forward is blocked, and you have to head left and right to dislodge the blockages.


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And find a few treasure chests along the way. For the record, unless it is a duplicator-locked chest/door, almost all treasure for the rest of the game is either cash, healing items, or the items to double reward exp or cash. A Gimel Coin sometimes gets thrown in there for good measure.


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Block pulling puzzle.


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Moving this block moves that inaccessible block above in a mirrored fashion. Are you noticing a theme in this dungeon?


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Block on switch, move on.


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Another mirror/torch room.


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This one requires two things…


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Lighting the proper torches and…


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Tossing the proper crates so the boxes match the immovable boxes at the other end of the room.


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If you do just one of the tasks in this room, but not the other, the door will not open.


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Oh. Sometimes you get duplicators, too.


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No “puzzle” of blasting a window with ice here, just a simple “pull the switch” ends each of the puzzle wings.


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Jump down, try the other side.


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I admit: I found this puzzle to be the wiliest in the dungeon, but it is mostly because it can trick your brain into thinking it is more complicated than it is.


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This is another room where the blocks on one end move to match the blocks on the other end, but you only have three blocks, and the switch that you obviously must activate is part of a gap that would require four blocks.


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Do not try to build a bridge across that incorporates the switch like I did.


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Simply build your three-block bridge like last time…


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And then move one of the blocks on the other side to mirror-activate the switch on the other side.


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The trick is that you only need a two block bridge during the second part of the room, so you can sacrifice the spare block on the switch after you cross the first bridge. Don’t try to do it all at once!


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The next puzzle room is shaped like the first puzzle room we saw, but the trick this time…


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Is to steady doll-dislodge the blocks so they can be “double” used as a bridge.


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And then use the steady doll if you want to grab that treasure. No need to drive yourself nuts with building another bridge.


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Second switch down.


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We are done with solving puzzles for this update.


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Does anyone feel bad about how much of these sacred Guardian shrines we, ya know, actively break? That glass could be hundreds of years old!


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As was predicted at the entrance, this place already got trashed before our arrival.


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And… uh… covered in spiderwebs? Are these magic spiderwebs? Or do Guardians serve the function of keeping the bugs out?


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They told you last week!


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Dust?


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Like at the last shrine, Gallows seems to be capable of gathering ambient Guardian energy.


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Woo! New medium! That’s number six!


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Thanks, Flash!


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I am telling you: dust.


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“I have some compressed air if you think that will help, Gallows.”


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Forget dusting, it’s time for a dustup.


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Even if the villains are already done here, you ought to have a proper boss fight.


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Behold!


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It is the Mono-Eye Titan! Apparently, this cyclops is resistant to dark, but weak to light. Gee, did we just acquire a light medium?


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Keep that moon medium handy, though, as a resistance to dark is good for your defenses.


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As Virginia demonstrates.


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You can equip/switch mediums during a battle. The newly acquired Flash Hit will up your HP and AIM stats. For the HP bonus, (after these fights) I usually keep the Flash Hit medium on Virginia.


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Also convenient for Virginia: the SOS Invisible skill will defensively “hide” the user when their HP gets critical. Light resistance is situational, and Initiative ups the odds of getting a preemptive strike before a battle. These skills are not all that useful, but they’re not terrible.


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Anywho, this eyeball is weak to light, so let’s see what happens when we summon our new, light-based Guardian. I’m not certain it is evident from his appearance here, but Stare Roe has always had a sort of Beetle x Power Rangers motif.


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So that obliterated our opponent. This fight is no more complicated than described here: defend against dark, attack with light. No real tricks beyond that, unless you count “learn you can equip and shuffle mediums in the fight menu just like the pause menu” as a trick.


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A dark ring is useful for defending against dark attacks. But what are the odds we will have to fight an enemy with dark attacks again so soon?


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Guess the eyeball being blasted cleared out all the… whatever was stuck to the walls. Not going to think about it.


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Hey! It’s that thingamajig again!


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And this time, we get an explanation.


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“Is that like a figma?”
“Well, it is sinful…”


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A chonk? Is there a chonky boy around?


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“I am the smartest person in this party, and you complimenting me is like a toddler telling an accountant they are good at math. Now continue your explanation, peon.”


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Oh we getting Catholic all up in here.


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“A long time ago, humans used the guardian energy to stop the world from decaying. This lost prehistoric culture viewed the guardians as living bio-plants and sealed them in rural locales of the world. The world is feeding off this guardian life force…and continues to survive.”

So there was previously the implication that the Guardians were helping us on our quest because they liked humanity or something. Now we have the clear statement that the Guardians have been more or less enslaved, and that has been the status quo for centuries. Oops?


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Yeah, I guess oops.


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The Baskar religion is about peace and living in harmony with the planet and the Guardians. But there is also a significant level of contrition and atonement there. Sorry our ancestors enslaved you, gods! And we’re not doing anything to free you! It would be bad for the economy!


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And, yes, it appears that trapping the gods themselves didn’t even work out all that well. Double oops!


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The theological implications of the gods of Filgaia not so much liking the place as having divine Stockholm syndrome are staggering.


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And this also adds a lot to Gallows’s rebellion and apparent rejection of his faith at the start of this story. Gallows is a self-centered 20-something, but he also knew damn well his religion and destined profession are based on enslaving a (holy) race.


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Screw you, chock!


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“This thing is like the original sin we continue to carry on our backs…Living on this planet means carrying a burden of sin…I know it sounds crazy, but…that just gives us more reason to live. We can’t let the guardian’s support go to waste.”

But it looks like Gallows has come around on the responsibility of knowing you owe your life to the sacrifices of others.


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“Even if they did completely blow it on keeping this planet alive.”


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Gallows leveled up to rank Jesus.


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We learned about Original Sin, now it is time to go.


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But maybe we got time for one more?


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I believe the producers are trying to wedge in as many boss fights as possible.


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In the grand tradition of this dungeon being all sorts of mirror-based, please enjoy the negative version of our last boss.


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Hecto-Eye Titan is the literal opposite of our last opponent: this thing is resistant to light, but weak to dark.


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But it still uses dark-based spells.


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And we don’t have any dark spells of our own! All we got from the Moon Guardian are gravity spells, and those are a totally different element.


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Oh, but we didn’t look at Stare Roe’s spell list last fight. We have Spectre, which is the light attack that could have helped last battle. Clearance is your “esuna” or “remedy” spell that clears status effects. Valiant is technically a status effect that boosts your damage output when HP is critical (which can be utilized really well for a Gatling attack). And reflect is exactly what it says on the tin: the ability to reflect spells back at the caster.


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Hey, wasn’t reflection the whole theme of this dungeon?


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And that’s the answer to this fight: have Gallows use his Extend (target-all) ability on the Reflect spell, and bounce back all those dark attacks on Hector for massive damage. Everybody else can shoot along, but the frequent reflected weaknesses will make short work of this dork.


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The damage isn’t massive, but it adds up quickly, and you will take very few hits, as Looky Lou uses magic nine times out of ten.


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I want to say this is one of the few bosses that went down equally quickly in my cheating and normal playthroughs. You just have to know to cast reflect immediately.


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If it distinctly dies from a reflected spell, you will score a dark gem for your troubles. These consumable items cast generic dark magic, but they are extremely rare before obtaining your own dark spells.


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Can’t transform a planet if the old gods are still kicking around, Gallows.


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You are strong enough to beat not one, but two giant floating eyeballs, so I think you can handle it.

We are done with this dungeon/shrine now, and it will literally never be mentioned again. That said, while we are here, I am going to note something of a spoiler-y nature: the plot of this dungeon coupled with its geography is brilliant. Next update, we will learn that the villains that have been eating Guardians got their start effectively a few blocks down from the shrine. So couple the fact that this place feels “empty” with how the local townsfolk have been commenting that their town/region went to crap when the local shrine fell into disrepair (and their town has apparently been crap for a while), and a quick bit of unspoken storytelling emerges: this Guardian/shrine was first on the villains’ hitlist. Because it was right next door! So, yes, the party was too late to save Stare Roe, but the good news is that this shrine was literally the first casualty of this war, and the poor bug god never had a chance.

I mean, yeah, that isn’t very good news, but at least it is one less thing for the party to feel guilty about.


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And speaking of those villains…


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Program Heart possession? Bro, if this gets into some Ansem wizbiz, I am out.


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Ah. Finally getting that “fort” up and going.


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Divine Fortress Asgard! Oh man! Asgard was just a summon for Marivel in Wild Arms 2, but in Wild Arms (1), Asgard was an enormous golem that was part transportation for the party and part loveable pet. Remember that Ka Dingel explosion I mentioned a few updates back? Well, the party only survived that because Asgard sacrificed his big robotic self to save everybody. Love me some Asgard, and some kind of “Asgard”, whether it be a nickname or a more literally robotic echo, appears in every Wild Arms title going forward, too.


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At least they’re a golem again this time.


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Asgard is tall, but, like, not building-tall like previous appearances.


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Asgard appears shadowed here. Still an imposing figure, though.


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And they are ready to fight!


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Asgard’s big deal has always been their defense, so please enjoy watching Asgard identify Janus as a threat and barrier all over the place. And, yes, it did take an awkward minute or so for Asgard to assess the situation.


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Malik may not have been responsible for this project, but he did his homework.


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“Do you really want us to answer that question, Janus?”


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“Don’t worry, Janus, Asgard is still working out some bugs. It is not because they immediately sense you are evil incarnate and will betray us immediately.”


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“Gonna kill you some day, robot.”
“Affirmative.”


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Janus out!


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Is it?


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And by “fighting spirit” do you mean “immoral, murderous fish dude”?


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“There are two types of people in this world. Those who use, and those who are used. Janus Cascade…Which might you be? And us?”

You sure you don’t already know the answer to that question, Lee?


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Yes, winding up on the wrong end of that Soulcalibur is going to be hilarious.


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With that little introduction out of the way, somewhere around here the anime intro updates to include Asgard, too. I am very fond of how Asgard looks sufficiently like a demon, a robot, and a tall guy wearing a trench coat. Excellent design. High marks.


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So that’s it for today’s update. We will venture forth to… Crap, we ran out of leads again. Can somebody clue us in on our next destination back at Little Rock?

Next time on Wild Arms 3: To the lie-b’ary!

One Response »

  1. Pingback: Wild Arms 3 Part 23: Luck of the Villainous | Gogglebob.com

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