Going to give the ol’ block quotes a workout today. And speaking of today, today is September 5, Food Chain Day. I just learned this word in my textbook yesterday. I thought that food is linked together like a chain, but I was wrong
Previously on Wild Arms 3: We went to the village of Little Rock, and then explored a dungeon. This week, we are going to…
Oh, this just screams redundancy.
We might have the same basic trajectory in this update, but at least the townsfolk have decided to update with a new quest.
To the laboratory! … You can’t hear it, but I am pronouncing that in an extremely German way. It sounds cooler.
Keep going past those last ruins…
And see what we can see over here.
Once again, the map icon is the same as any other ruin, but… does this place have, like, a fence? That’s new…
So every dungeon we have explored so far has looked appropriately ruin-y. You know the drill: switches and traps you might expect to see Indiana Jones outwit while he is trying to obtain the golden donkey or whatever. This “ruin”, though? We have clearly just stepped into an abandoned reception room.
Has some quick flashes of… something.
“Brain… hurt… must… order… office supplies…”
I really do appreciate how Virginia will freaking murder Jet over making stupid comments, but is immediately concerned the minute Jet has so much as a tummy ache.
Relative to normal Jet parameters, of course.
Repression: fun for the whole family.
Welcome to the Leyline Observatory. I am surprised no enterprising drifters have stolen those comfy chairs.
Your enemies for this dungeon will be zombies, sentient books, and the occasional skeleton dinosaur.
There are two kinds of book enemies here. The most common is basically a spell book, and uses random elemental attacks. Your party cannot distinctly be weak to any given element, but you can pump up resistances if you want to save a little HP.
And zombies want to give you the heebie jeebies. Note that anything undead around here is weak to light magic, and you just scored a light spell in the last dungeon. The book monsters are all weak to Fahrenheit 451.
Here are the comic books (alternative book monsters) you will encounter. They are mostly in the latter part of the dungeon, but let’s give them a look now while we are talking about fighting.
These creatures can inflict “glass” on your party members.
Glass is a status effect that will freeze any actions for three turns, and if you are hit with a physical attack during one of those turns, you’re instantly dead. The good news is that these books are generally accompanied by other books, which only use magic attacks. The bad news…
Is that they may occasionally appear with a Bonedrake. If that happens, kill the dino quickly, as those suckers only use physical attacks, and if they target a glassed party member, it ends poorly.
Once again, use light magic on these undead dorks, and they will go down relatively quickly. This is another excellent reason to equip Virginia or Gallows with that light medium. Virginia uses magic effectively quickly, and Gallows hits even harder magically.
So this “dungeon” is definitely very mechanical in nature. Previously, we only ever saw the hollowed-out tanker ship in Jolly Roger as an indicator that this world had any sort of recognizable modern conveniences around. Everything else has been repurposed “ancient tech”.
But treasure chests are timeless.
Lockers and lab coats? Not so much.
If this was Earthbound, you would have just acquired a new item.
But here’s an item we can use.
The radar is Jet’s second tool. It will make a tone if there is a treasure in the room, and will display a flashing reticle if the treasure is within sight. Treasures that are in treasure chests are kind of obvious, but this is ideal for finding items buried in barrels, crates, or any other thing that can “hide” useful items. Any given town is just lousy with items concealed in barrels…
Note also that if you are trying to complete that “find every treasure” quest, the radar is amazing for checking dungeons for anything that was missed on an initial run. However, the radar will not beep for treasures hidden in the next room over, so to speak, so if there is a hidden door or passage that leads to treasure, you are out of luck. In other words, the radar is wonderful, but not simply a win button on finding everything.
Let’s call this foreshadowing! Also: we could have been buying candy bars this whole time? Who is selling those?
There is a door at the end of this passage, but…
It is locked. Let’s go back and see if we can find a clue forward.
This console next to a giant machine looks promising!
But it requires a password. Anyone have a hint to that one?
I could have dealt with multiple choice…
So there were some books back in the other room…
“The Leyline Observatory is funded by a special organization, where we research and study -leylines-, the energy network that sustains the planet. By analyzing leylines, we strive to refine energy that sustains the planet. If successful, we will be able to deter the decay of this planet, and breathe new life into the environment. May our blood and tears become the blessed rain, and our toil the light that warms the flowering greenery. We must bear the fruits of our research.”
This update is going to be lousy with book learnin’.
There is nothing I would like to read more than an internal memo from ten years ago.
“Four of you will be assigned to the night shift this month. You must enter the elevator using your name as the password, before you can begin your shift. P.S. Bryant, please let Inkapilia know. Benedict, you’re last so please empty the trash before you leave. Any questions, please ask Vilente, who comes in before Bryant.”
Oh! Oh! It is one of those “who placed first” puzzles that I used to hate in grade school! I am good at those! Thanks to a general need to see these stupid word puzzles over as quickly as possible!
It was Inky that was responsible for activating this elevator. Eat it, Vilente.
Spoiler Trivia: This facility had seven employees. All four mentioned here are designated by last name, because you would already recognize two of them by their first names. The third will be relevant to the plot as it goes on, and then there is the fourth, Pete Inkapilia. Pete Inkapilia…. Seems to exist exclusively for this puzzle. The other six researchers have huge impacts on the plot and individual members of your party, but Pete… Pete just gets the elevator going.
And with that password entered, the gears start turning. Literally. Even if I am not making a GIF of it…
Now this door is active…
And we can ride an elevator to the next area. Going up!
Similar structure. This is basically an office building, so do not expect any exciting dungeon layouts.
Here is an example of the radar shouting, “Yo! Over here!”
They were totally studying that fossil, and we are totally robbing the place.
“Underneath the crust of Filgaia lies a network of leylines, which act as blood vessels to supply life energy to the planet. Atop these leylines lie geologic stratum strong points, called leypoints. It is interesting to note that many guardian shrines can be found atop of leypoints. Not only do leylines circulate the life energy of the planet, it is also assumed that they connect to leypoints to amplify the energy mutually. In a sense, leylines and leypoints are similar to the blood vessels and organs in a living organism. This comparison paved the way for the Filgaia Theory, which views the planet as one single life entity.”
This is the “scientific” explanation of the chocks from last update. Basically, yes, Guardians and leypoints and Baskar Shrines all work together to keep the lifeblood of Filgaia going.
A decade after the lab was abandoned, the passive aggressive chalkboard messages remained. If you missed the radar above, this message will clue you in to head back up and give it a look. Though I don’t know anyone that plays JRPGs that would think to check a chalkboard but not a locker…
Oh yeah! I keep forgetting to call our horses to this new continent. And I will continue to do that after we get out of this dungeon.
Looks like we have our next locked door. Though I suppose that whiteboard did offer more than one clue…
Use the radar in the next room, and you will find that ID cards are easy to find with advanced technology.
A key by any other name.
This book on luck is sealed with a duplicator. Using a duplicator on a book is almost always a waste, but this one does explain an important game mechanic in greater detail…
“Some may boast about physical strength, as some may boast about magic. But how many of you boast about luck? How many of you out there on the battlefield take luck seriously? Well, let me tell you this. That powerful one-timer, the Critical Hit, and the ever so handy Defender; these skills are activated by chance and governed by luck. And what about those death blows and the various status ailments the enemies throw at you? These can actually be prevented by skills and luck. And the booby-trapped treasure chests you get after winning a battle–the chances of you successfully defusing it also depends on luck. It can be said that almost every action you take in battle is affected by luck. Having read this, I hope you take luck more seriously from now on. If you do, there’s no doubt you’ll emerge victorious in the wasteland.”
Confirmed: luck is important. I mean, assuming the game works like it is supposed to work. I am still a little gun shy after playing too many Final Fantasy games where criticals are determined by moon logic…
“The progenitors of the human race are said to have arrived on this planet long ago, on a ship that soars the heavens. However, there is no mention of where our forefathers came from. Without any absolute evidence backing up this folklore, many have come to view it as a mere fairy tale. On the other hand, there are those who take the folklore seriously, citing the fact that the human race seemed to appear in history overnight. I strongly believe that solving the mystery of the ship that soars the heavens will one day shed light as to the true origin of the human race.”
Wild Arms? I know you love yourself some Trigun, but please don’t go full Trigun. It makes things so… complicated.
Looks like activating the elevator got some monitors up and going.
“The experimental record data was damaged. By piecing some of the words together, it seems to have something to do with environmental data and stimulation patterns dating back 1,000 years ago. It appears the scientists were trying to revitalize or transform the environment artificially.”
Given the books lying around this place, this should come as no surprise. The voodoo that science do around here was all in pursuit of improving Filgaia.
Moving on up.
I assure you, this is a different floor from the last time you saw this layout.
I mean, for one thing, there is more money here.
Yes! A JRPG tradition!
But it is duplicator-sealed…. And you can’t read it anyway! Wait… Jet has amnesia, so he is either six months old, or 2,000. Let’s try someone with a valid driver’s license.
And Clive is told he’s not mature enough, either! He has a kid! He is one of the few PS2 JRPG heroes confirmed to have seen a naked lady!
So the joke/solution here is that the forbidden warning is based on your Migrant Level (currently a “three” up in the corner there). Once you clear 18 Migrant Seals, you’ll be allowed to see the Adult Mag… and what a day that will be.
So anyway, don’t waste a duplicator on this book… yet.
“She came by again last night. Whenever I’m lost in a labyrinth of contemplation, she reaches out her tiny hands…Who is she? Actually, it may be wrong to define her as a real person…As long as I don’t tie myself down with logic, she is just she… I’m at a point where I can’t live without her anymore…I can’t continue my research without her…I can’t concentrate…I want to know more about her. I am more interested in her than I am learning the mechanics of the generator.”
I’m sure some random dude fantasizing about a little girl will have no lasting on the plot or be a clue to something that has been randomly mentioned since back at the start of the adventure.
Oh! A mimic chest! Haven’t seen one of those since Melody’s dungeon.
The mimic was actually kind of difficult a few dungeons back. Now we have leveled up, and the trap is… two mimics. They can score some lucky criticals and make your life miserable/dead, but mimic fights are now about as difficult as regular encounters.
And we score an accessory that protects against the “Glass” status effect. For more information on glass, please scroll back up to that bit with the comic books.
“Demi-humans may look and think like humans, but they are different. Demi-humans called Elws are said to have once existed on Filgaia. These Elws are said to have fought off the demons using the power of guardians. Originally, the Elws were a peaceful race, but lead by the blacksmith warrior Vassim, they fought to save the planet. Other men who were said to have been revered on an epitaph are Fulcanelli, who performed the secret ceremony, and Blavatsky, who had insight about Filgaia. After the end of this bitter war, the Elws vanished, and no one has heard from them again. According to one theory, since the Elws were closely tied with nature, they are believed to have died off from the decay of the planet. Are the Elws extinct? No one knows for sure. The demi-humans Elws have long been forgotten in the pages of history. Perhaps we will remember them, when this planet returns to verdure.”
The Ruins of Memory library made reference to demi-humans that were magically similar to, but separate from, the Baskar, and now we get a name: Elw. Elw are Wild Arms Elves, and have appeared in various Wild Arms titles. Note that the proper names in this book are echoes of Elw characters from Wild Arms (1)… but they are barely ever going to be mentioned again in Wild Arms 3. We got no time for elf business…
“The end of the great war gave birth to the fundamentalism of nature, Baskar. Secret ceremonies were held using the power of guardians, and two sects of Baskar were established. One as a religious group for those who had nowhere to turn to, and the other as restorers of the decayed environment. Shortly after the flames of war had died out, the Baskars tried to rejuvenate Filgaia through the use of guardians. Guardians, which were considered to be the power that sustains the world, were attempting to do just that. The Baskars were said to have set up chocks, a structure signifying the belief in guardians, over the leypoints. These chocks were used to suppress the expansion of the wasteland, and at the same time, amplify the guardians’ powers, while supplying energy to the world. However, the spreading of the wasteland was more severe than expected, and the chocks only worked to delay the decay, instead of revitalizing the environment. These chocks became referred to as guardian shrines, and play a ceremonial role today. The rejuvenation of Filgaia would have to find a new, different approach…”
Looks like modern Baskars are a mix of “religious Baskars” and “nerd Baskars”. This dichotomy is easy to see with Gallows and Shane.
“Artifacts left behind by the great war brought about a new power to the human race. Machines, capable of activation through the use of will as an extension of oneself… Artifacts from Ruins: Memories. Otherwise known as ARMs. Today, ARMs commonly refer to portable machine weaponry, but originally it encompasses the technology used to make them. To this day, no one knows who these memories belong to. But the fact remains, that we have come to depend on its powers.”
Did you think I was making up that ARMs acronym back at the Ruins of Memories?
Enough reading! Let’s hit the next elevator room.
Hey, this isn’t an elevator…
The party separates, and Virginia can interview her boys for their opinion on this place. Gallows once again inadvertently hits the nail on the head: any and all scientists are insane.
Jet is muttering to himself…
“Implantation of the sample completed on time. Adjusting time schedule by 02. Everything is proceeding smoothly. The project was feared to be blasphemy against divine nature, but the favorable progress helps to ease our collective conscience. This is a significant leap forward to the theory. The outcome will be proven once the project begins to take shape. Adam Kadmon is about to be born.”
Adam Kadmon is a sin against God? I would not want to be in the same room as that guy…
“Will the seven of us earn a place in history as the creators, or as immoral sinners? That will all depend on the completion of the sample. The seven of us have come this far, so that we can deliver another tomorrow for the planet…”
I admit I take it for granted because it will be repeated over and over starting at the end of this update, but I believe this is the first we have confirmation that this whole place was run by a team of seven. Such a lucky number!
Clive just wants Virginia to read more. Note that he is not telling that to any of your other companions.
“Son…My only regret is that I was unable to show you a world full of verdure…But wait…I will overlap the new world formation onto your figure. A new life… A life that must carry the burden for generations… Adam Kadmon…You are our only hope…Guide this Filgaia so that it will once again be filled with greenery…You are the world’s hope…I am counting on you–for all children of this planet…”
So Adam is a blasphemy, but also the hope of the world? Sounds about right.
Guess that is all we are getting out of these consoles.
So absolutely not talking about this Adam Kadmon character, let’s talk to Jet…
Who starts clawing at the walls like a cat.
Oh. Hidden door. Of course Jet knows how to activate a hidden door in a place we have never been.
Totally normal thing to have happen.
“If you rotate the camera just so, you can see there is kind of a gap…”
“What are you talking about?”
It is progress that Jet is telling his companions about his unease at all.
“There’s a lot of science-y stuff around. Do you think they downloaded your brain or something?”
Stop haiku’ing at us and get a move on, Jet.
Clive, for the only time in the game, tells one of his friends to stop thinking.
You were going to go through the secret door anyway, Virginia, but it is nice to have an excuse.
Giant transparent tubes. Is the image of a fully grown human floating in a tube something that exclusively comes from fiction, or does that happen to people in reality? The only real-life example I can recall was when my Uncle Goku floated in a tube for a couple hours after his fight with the Ginyu Force.
Everyone has a different reaction to the tubes. Most of the party just finds it ominous, but Jet is particularly having a bad time.
“How can Filgaia possibly be a living planet?’ The theory that tries to answer this extremely simple, yet difficult proposition is the Filgaia Theory. In order for life-forms to continue existing on Filgaia, it is necessary for the life-form to regulate itself. Every species of life-form works together as a single organism to control the planet’s environment. Surprisingly, there have been cases of self-cleansing, where foreign elements have been expelled. This function is very similar to ours. From a universal standpoint, Filgaia is regarded as a single life entity. Currently, the Filgaia Theory is moving forward with systematization. By regarding the planet as a life-form, there are also plans to heal or revitalize the environment. We look forward to providing the results of this research.”
Boring books in this secret passage…
“The Guiding Word…is the magical password. The Guiding Word…is my name, and the key to open the gate. The Guiding Word…will be lost in the sea of words, if we rely on conventional wisdom…”
Prepare yourself for the dumbest puzzle available.
Here it is. We need a password to proceed.
Probably entered “Adam” or some variation on it a thousand times after that “The Guiding Word is my name” hint. Nope! It is simply “Guiding Word”. Screw you, the very concept of this puzzle.
Let’s get out of here.
One final room with a few books.
“The many secret ceremonies stored inside the information library Hyades gave people the means of creating new life. Golem. This is said to mean, ‘unborn child’. A steel machine that carries out orders in a detailed and precise fashion. Yes, it is a machine… However, not only does this mechanical golem carry out orders, it compares past memory and data to perform the most appropriate action. It has a will of its own. In fact, it is safe to say it is a life-form with its own personality. It is not a life born from life, but a life born from truth…That is a golem. How close is this truth to god?”
Now we’re getting into the forbidden knowledge! And, apparently, Hebrew is a language on Filgaia!
“Its discovery was a coincidence. The first group of scientists, which later went on to form the first council, came into contact with the wisdom, deep within a ruin. The ruin was named Mimir’s Well, and was set up as a base of operation to analyze the wisdom. The wisdom was determined to be a crystallization of wisdom, dating all the way back to the great war. Due to its advanced and dangerous nature, the wisdom was concluded to be technology of demons from folklore. This wisdom, or artifact left behind by demons, was accumulated and stored inside an emulator zone—a memory area similar to human memory. These can also be considered as memories left behind by demons. The scientists named the information library that existed inside this emulator zone -Hyades-. Hyades, and the wisdom left behind were analyzed by the group of scientists for many years to come. Their goal was to utilize the power that once destroyed the planet to try to rejuvenate the planet. Wisdom is something that wavers. Its value and its use are not to be used in one place.”
Gee, weren’t our resident villains talking about Hyades…
But let’s see what is over here on the table…
It’s half a photo!
Anybody in there look familiar? I know you want to focus on the dude with the glasses and pigtails(?), but maybe those other three…
You must actually have a memory of your own if you want to proceed.
Open the menu, and select the other photo half that you found during Virginia’s opening dungeon.
And here we are. Looks like we had tape readily available.
If you would like further information on this picture, absolute spoilers for a plot twist or confirmations or something that won’t happen for a while, like, we are talking about Chapter 4 spoilers and we’re on Chapter 2…
From left to right, confirmed:
Leehalt Alcaste, Melody Vilente, unknown, Malik Bendict, unknown, Werner Maxwell, unknown
So that leaves Pete Inkapilia, Elliot Enduro, and Duran Bryant for figuring out who is who. Despite having huge impacts on everything, Elliot and Duran are only ever talked about in the plot, never seen as a sprite. Duran’s whole deal is that he was manipulated by a dream demon, which puts him as the most spiritual/most insane, so let’s turn to the Baskar dude with the glasses. He is also ultimately responsible for the explosion of the reactor, so him being on the side of the rest of the “bad guys” makes thematic sense. Elliot Enduro is responsible for Adam Kadmon, and Adam was distinctly noted to be made in Elliot’s son’s image, so it tracks that he is the dude between Malik and Werner. Also, it is just fun to have the two dads next to each other. And then that leaves what I presume to be Pete at the far edge there, the other side of Werner. “Presumed Pete” certainly looks female, but with the full list of names (in the English script), it looks like there is only one distinctly female name in the lot anyway (Melody). Also, thanks to prevalence in the plot, every other character winds up with a confirmed gender. It is possible “Pete” was a weird translation of an original Japanese name that someone didn’t think too hard about because Inkapilia only appears twice in the whole script (once for this update’s puzzle, and another update later when the Council of Seven is named officially for the first time). I have no idea, but Pete could very well be Peterella or something in the original. It makes no difference to anything if that name got mangled along the way. Regardless, we are putting Pete on the end there by process of elimination.
Also, to be clear on something that I have seen floated before: that is absolutely not Virginia’s mother. Ekatrina Maxwell used to work with Werner, but we have no reason to believe she is in this picture. Like, heck, could you see Virginia seeing a picture of her father and mother in labcoats, and she doesn’t say anything about it? Preposterous.
End of Spoilers
Man! It has been a productive day! Jet had some flashbacks, Clive got to research along with the old guard, Virginia is discovering daddy clues, and Gallows… got in some cardio! Rad!
I refuse to believe Virginia did not already relay her entire life story, like, six times over the course of the train ride over here.
“Dear mother in Heaven, today I found out where dad used to work.”
“I worked there, too, honey.”
Aw, Jet wants to learn more about his teammates.
“Well he sure ain’t that weirdo with the white hair. Who would want that guy as a father?”
She normally doesn’t have much patience with Jet, but involve her father, and Virginia whips up to eleven inside of seconds.
Choose your response carefully, Jet.
This should be an excellent bonding experience for these two. A great way to build trust is…
Oh. Oh no.
He said not to freak out!
Once again, the Wild Arms franchise is amazing when it comes to… let’s call it “text box pacing”.
High marks for presentation all around.
“That dirty-minded pervert of a father! I’ve come to grips with him leaving me, but what about Mom? How could he do this to her? Well, yes, it might’ve been wrong for me to assume Daddy was dead, but if he was alive and well, I just wish he would’ve come home to see us.”
Virginia is shouting/working through some stuff.
…. Just. Just don’t.
So… like a father, then? Okay.
“I know, I know…I know my father wasn’t like that… I was always such a daddy’s girl…I loved him so much…There’s no way he could be such a person…I’m just so happy…So, Daddy was doing fine…I wish he would’ve told us himself…I wish I could have let Daddy know I’m doing fine, too…”
Aaaaand meltdown completed.
“You guys want to go explore another dungeon while we give Virginia a minute?”
Wait, might need the full party for this.
It’s Melody Vilente! Just felt like throwing in her last name for no reason!
She’s still so happy to see Clive. Looks like someone has a nemesis!
Oh, Asgard is here, too.
“Asgard is actually made of an unobtainium mesh, you philistine.”
Sister got demoted to golem herald here.
Asgard! Could you please stand somewhere with better lighting?
If you recall, the Gemini Circuit was what Melody was heisting back at her dungeon.
Clive, I have seen your world. “A machine” should be guardian-damned shocking to you.
Big deal, even Jet can level up.
Hey buddy. You forget to equip your left hand this morning?
Were you expecting any weaknesses on this demonic fortress?
We can make a big deal about Asgard learning or whatever, but that means their training-wheels battle is going to be pretty boring.
Asgard’s high-power barrier will block any and all attacks of any nature. There is no way to “break” or bypass this barrier.
However, these hits do accrue FP for later, stronger attacks, and Asgard cannot attack while barriered. So, basically, just make sure you are not using your best moves on a turn with a barrier in place.
Asgard optimizing data is creepy and ominous… but damned if I can figure out what that does. Probably just means you’re going to get punched again.
So punch back.
Despite the plot bookends of this being so impossible/difficult for everyone, this is a very basic boss fight. Don’t worry about Asgard “learning” or whatever: this is not one of those deals where using your best attack will be recorded so it will never be effective against Asgard again.
Virginia, you’re starting to sound like a non-Goku character in Dragon Ball Z.
Oh, then we get Krillin’ed.
Welp. The party is dead now. Guess I spoke too soon, as this update was rewarding for the party until everyone, ya know, died. We’ll never learn anything more about Virginia’s dad now. Everybody get together and write your eulogies for the party for next week.
Next time on Wild Arms 3: Hey, Asgard, wanna go hang out at a firepit or something?