Hey! Listen up! It is is November 7, Harmonica Day. You’re considered a master harpist once you learn how to play chords. But how do you play chords on a harmonica? You can blow multiple holes if you hold the harmonica vertically and blow with your mouth and nose, but that doesn’t seem right…
Previously on Wild Arms: We didn’t join a cult, we just think they have some neat ideas. And they need a little help dealing with some mysterious Drifters (who are obviously Maya and friends), so we are going to earn some more cult cash to save the day.
So now we enter Survey Point #17.
Have we ever actually been to a “hectic” dungeon? Those things are usually as dead as tombs…
Well, shucks, without fear of innocents being hurt, all sorts of crazy nonsense can happen.
Maya wasn’t even mentioned up to this point, but Virginia only ever has two people on her mind.
I guess the Wild Arms 3 official font has a # in there.
There are a few treasures in crates and barrels here at the entrance. There are plenty of lil’ things to be found at Survey Point #17, but, for some reason, none are found in treasure chests. I wonder why that is…
Let us begin the dungeon properly.
Be sure to use Jet’s radar to determine which boxes contain valuable heal berries.
Any local NPCs may have cleared out, but the monsters are still stalking the halls.
So let’s give ‘em all a hand for sticking around!
These Captor dorks can be annoying.
The “thumbing” move distinctly does not involve thumbs. This bothers me. Captors can use a move to reduce accuracy (by poking your eyes out), or a different move that cancels your turn. Either one is unlikely to be deadly, but does make the battle drag on a little longer.
The Urchin Bug creatures are only ever a threat because they come in groups of a craptrillion. Fun fact: you can only multi-target opponents if they are grouped together, and whether or not a monster exists in a group is apparently determined by a capricious octopus named Danny who can never keep his story straight.
Growth Eggs may be a random drop in this dungeon. This means that, with some grinding, you could max out your points for repeated summons. Summons aren’t useful enough to justify such a thing, of course, but it is an (unreasonable) option.
Lotta boring hallways so far at this Survey Point.
Now here’s something that is never boring.
“Maya, why do we always fight when our families are around?”
"We are distinctly here for you, yes, but only because we are being paid to be!"
There is not a heterosexual explanation for these two.
I have to admit that this is a very good point that you rarely see in JRPGs. Hey, comic relief rival characters, you know we’re actively saving everyone, right? Why don’t you stop wasting time and go ahead and help save the world?
“Can’t we all just get along? And maybe kiss a little bit?”
I choose to believe her current character portrait is literal, and Maya got bored halfway through that speech, and started appraising gems.
“Fight for the good of the world, huh? Why don’t you leave that to a superhero? Sorry, but I’m not interested. I’m only interested in gems. One of these days, I’ll find a gem so big, I won’t be able to carry it. Ah-ah! Not a word!”
The girl’s got goals.
If there were such a thing as The Absent Father Gem on Filgaia, then Maya and Virginia could truly team up.
A formal invitation.
This is just the weirdest courtship maneuver, but I kind of get it.
Thanks for stopping by!
It was worth a pointless, pointless try.
Guess we better catch up to ‘em. Hey, were they walking back to the entrance just because they heard us coming?
Keep using the radar for hidden treasure! Or hit the circle button next to every object you see!
Did you think today’s update would be devoid of “important” plot?
Malik is here, and he’s ruminating on his failures regarding his jar-woman.
Have these two met? I want to say no…
Yeah, looks like a no.
“The real heroes are here! We’re in the back!”
You’re one to talk…
“Pssst, Maya, this is one of those guys trying to destroy the world that I was telling you about.”
“They want mah gems!”
What? You expected her to think you were here for the lucky card barrels?
I appreciate how Maya routinely casually reveals that she genuinely knows what is going on (but doesn’t care).
All out attack!
If you can create ladies in tubes…
You can make your own monsters, too.
This would be a clue for what to do in the impending battle if said impending battle wasn’t wholly pointless.
But let’s get on with it.
This “boss” is a collection of four color-swaps of monsters you’ve likely seen before (technically all are from random encounters you potentially could have avoided/missed).
These things must have more threatening names in the original Japanese… Right? Here is Hound the Lizard.
Feline the two-tailed cat.
Donkey the Spikey Boy.
And Flier the Giant Chicken. He’s a giant chicken, I tell you!
They each have different elemental resistances and weaknesses.
And, as you may expect, they each have their own vaguely unique attacks.
“He’s right behind me, isn’t he?”
The clue of Donkey directing the creatures seems to be nonsense, as these things can and will attack random party members regardless of Donkey’s actions.
Feline will pump up its allies’ speed/evade stats, so you may as well target the cat first.
Kill it before it toys with you.
Despite the even odds here, there is very little to worry about.
Flier likes to negate your own buffs, so take out that cockatrice wannabe if you are the one player on Earth that utilizes buffs effectively in Wild Arms 3.
Time to die, artificial monsters.
This battle truly is no more difficult than a random encounter. Your reward is the Bullet Clip, an FP skill that may automatically refill your ammo when you hit zero. This sounds like something that would be inordinately useful on a character with a low bullet count (hi, Clive!), but it is not reliable enough to really make a difference. That one turn defending to reload is worth it compared to the Skill Point investment Bullet Clip requires.
I would disparage this pointless boss fight if not for the fact that it allows Virginia to righteously note that Maya could have helped.
Is Maya supposed to be Scottish? Or did she just watch one episode of Ducktales, and decided Scrooge McDuck was her hero?
A wink that says “I knew you could handle it. Also, I bought that new corset you said you liked.”
But they spanked his Donkey!
Particularly given pre-fish-guy-Janus kicked your collective asses…
Maya hates fighting when her girlfriend isn’t the opponent.
Virginia hasn’t had this big of a win in ages.
Here it comes.
Maya must assert some level of power here. Wouldn’t want to look like you are capitulating for your SO in front of the talking cat.
“I was getting tired of you ‘playfully’ shooting me.”
Maya may have learned how to play nice, but “shake” is still outside of her skillset.
So we’re all one big, happy family now. Not that they will be helping in battle at all…
This means we get to keep all the random treasures.
Here we go! Parallel buddy puzzles! And the double entendres just keep coming!
We’ve seen this in a Wild Arms game before: you open a path, the ally opens the next gadget, everybody has a fun time.
This is our opening puzzle, so the only real way to “lose” is to fall in a nearby hole.
So one puzzle down.
Have I showcased one of these before? Here’s what happens when the guardians hate you for joining some other dude’s cult.
Every once in a great while, you may have to fight with just one character for approximately three turns.
But I swear your evasion jacks up when alone. This is “low level” Wirginia on the PS5, and she is handling herself well for being pretty damn squishy.
Even if she isn’t reciprocating all that well.
She was doing alright!
She doesn’t even get bonus experience for fighting alone for three rounds? Boo.
I just like to imagine Virginia fighting four monsters on her own while her seven teammates are like, “Hey, where’d she go?”
“Actually, I’m a little reluctant. After all, all my victories and glory have been won by myself alone…”
Never stop playing hard to get.
These two are going to have the most messed up kids.
Going to be!?
Slightly more complicated cooperative switching here. If you fall off, you have to start over (and, more importantly, Maya insults you).
Still, nothing too difficult here. Note for posterity that these puzzles are 100% based on Virginia’s toolset. Funny how that works out.
Other characters are allowed to participate in other hallways.
Should we be saving? Yes.
Maya knows exactly how to get under Virginia’s skin.
“You know what? You’re an incurable fool. A bond based on nothing will and can be broken without reason, at a blink of an eye. But our bond now is bound by a common goal–although it’s just temporary, it’s still reliable. Is there any other point in arguing!?”
I mean… true enough?
The third and final big boy puzzle. This one sees our heroines chased by an encroaching spike block.
You must toss some fireballs at the spike block, or it will catch up and reset the room (presumably crushing someone in the process).
Be sure to cover Maya’s rear, too!
In a cute turn against tradition, Maya will fail to activate her last switch.
But she does come around on not leaving Virginia to be crushed to death.
Return the favor, and make sure Maya is safe.
See? Teamwork makes the dream work.
And here’s why you should have saved at that gimel coin.
Same old argument over wiping out all of humanity for the sake of three people…
I believe this is our first confirmation from the bad guys that they were members of the Council of Seven. The good guys were just assuming up to this point.
Big, scary plans for the planet!
Maya hear ya. Maya don’t care.
Nobody ever thinks to just walk past the big bads…
She’s not wrong!
The polite choice is always to leave a conversation you find uninteresting.
Considering how ineffectual these prophets have been…
“And when I say ‘I’, I mean ‘some random monster I’m going to summon’.”
Two is less than four! That is better than the last battle!
Do you think maybe cooperation and teamwork are the themes of this dungeon?
Humpty and Dumpty were random encounters in the final dungeon of Wild Arms (1). They didn’t look exactly like these egg-shaped dudes (in Wild Arms, they kind of looked more like rabites), but they had a similar light/dark twin pairing. Wild Arms 2 also had Zyclus and Zetrim, which were twin super bosses that looked more like angry penguins. So it is hard to say if these two are another Wild Arms franchise monster (like other Prophet summons), or something wholly original. Humpy and Dumpty are at least evocative…
Humpy is the smaller twin, and strong to light, but weak to dark.
Humpty is your support monster. It will buff Dumpty to hell and back.
Dumpty, meanwhile, is the combat mage that is strong to dark, but weak to light.
It will continually perform elemental attacks that hit the whole party. Dark is coincidentally what it used here, but all elements are on the table.
Over in PS5 land, you can see that these attacks can eat off like a third of your max HP.
As per JRPG tradition, take out the lil’ support dude first.
Here is an important moment from the PS5 fight. Clive is dead because his magic resistance is terrible. So Jet starts the next round by accelerating to use a revive fruit. Then Virginia Mystics our best curative item, a potion berry. Now Dumpty can wreck the party with yet another magical attack, and Clive (and everyone else) will survive. If it was simply Virginia using a revive fruit before Dumpty’s action, Clive would be dead again.
Whether it be with arcana, gems, or a summons, exploit Dumpty’s weakness to light to do maximum damage with your mages. With constant attack-all onslaughts, the longer Dumpty survives, the more likely you are to lose this battle (or at least lose all your healing items).
Always happy to earn a duplicator.
Malik doesn’t even say goodbye, and we still have a little dungeon (and yet another boss) left to go. Let’s save this area’s explosive finale for the next update.
Next time on Wild Arms 3: Those cats were fast as lightning.