Welcome to a farewell to Norse Mythology on today, January 16, Back Talk Day. It’s a day a wily stranger replied to an interrogator’s question, ‘Who are you!?’ He replied with a calm and gentle answer, ‘A stranger.’
Previously on Wild Arms 3: I am guardiansdamned tired of this tower! We beat Malik! Melody! Leehalt! Janus! We have single (eight) handedly defeated every damn villain we have ever seen in this game! Now there’s some damned rumbling upstairs, so we have to deal with that.
Here we are in the room where Werner and Jet just inexplicably saved the world.
Yeah, I have the same reaction to most computers.
So we are getting out of there.
You know this one from every JRPG/adventure game that has ever existed. Press a square and it switches color, but any adjacent squares change color, too. Obviously, you want to change all the colors over (to red, in this case), but it gets complicated when the “wrong” blocks keep flipping.
Or it isn’t complicated at all.
And moving past there to an elevator, we are officially done with having to do anything more with this dang tower. Welcome to that room from all the cutscenes we have ever seen in this place.
The ponderin’ orb being broken is new.
“What kind of man breaks into a tower and steals another man’s orb!?”
“Could it be that someone else is in our base who understands our technology?”
“Hi guys! Werner here! My kid and her friends are on their way up, too!”
This would be the point that Leehalt distinctly snaps.
I do enjoy the raw desperation on display here. If you really pay attention to what the Prophets have been doing all chapter, they have only marginally eked out a few victories against dying gods, and have returned home after nearly every battle (win or lose) drained and begging for more prophet juice. They did not reformat the world, they did not beautify any rocks, and did not revive a single mommy. Just super-duper failures here that now don’t even have their glowing core.
“Heh heh heh heh…It is all over for us. All our hopes have been severed. There is no future…However, Werner…There is still one duty we must carry out. That is revenge…I was always envious of you. Your work, the fruits of your research–you were always one step ahead of me.”
Also, I always enjoy the trope where the villain that claims they have been trying to do good for the world finally breaks and admits it’s all about jealousy.
In more ways than one!
“Bro, I didn’t get together with Ekatrina to spite you. I did it because she had a sweet can.”
“I am well aware of Ekatrina’s sweet can!”
“No, seriously. I was trying to save the world! For most of our time working together, I could barely remember your name. I always confused you with Pete!”
“And I thought I was the counter-expert…”
“Hey Daddy. Talking about mom?”
Is it better if Melody and Malik always knew Leehalt had a Maxwell fixation, or do you figure they are hearing about all this for the first time?
“My daddy is immaculate and the most important person on the planet! Stop picking on him!”
… I don’t see the resemblance. Virginia, could you put on this ridiculous hat?
The capper for Chapter 2, ladies and gentlemen!
Werner is over in the corner. He… uh… dropped his glasses.
Arguably, this is the polar opposite of the Janus fight that finished Chapter 1. There, Janus was the most dangerous he had ever been in battle, and was fighting alone for the first time. Here we are fighting all three Prophets simultaneously as one complete boss, but…
All of the Prophets have dropped their distinctive special abilities and barriers. Melody does not have her poison blocker, Malik does not have his super speed, and Leehalt even just uses regular attacks (not counters) for the first and only time across Wild Arms.
So, basically, this fight is little more than a formality. The only real danger you might experience is if the Prophets all decide to gang up on one of your weaker party members for a couple consecutive rounds, and even that is statistically unlikely.
Mind you, this is a fun battle for plot/gameplay synergy. The Prophets are at their absolute limit, so there is no more time for calculated counters or complicated tactics. They are about seven seconds away from just trying to hit the party with Pete’s old broom.
See? They’re not doing great.
Yeah! Teleport back home to mama! … Wait, don’t do that.
Maybe getting shot in the face was the true beauty all along?
Best way to end this chapter. Eat it, Leehalt.
I’ve commented before that I really appreciate the distinctive “level” of old school JRPG acting/animation going on in this game. That said, I would be cool with a remake just for a scene where Leehalt starts coughing up his insides mid-cackle. Heh Heh HAWRF.
And that’s the last battle of the chapter, ladies and gentlemen. We have successfully conquered what is easily the longest narrative chunk of Wild Arms 3.
Sure! This was about hope! Not about the fact that we just sniped three shambling zombies.
“This is a teachable moment,” Virginia explains as Leehalt’s arm falls off.
So the bad guys all teleported away, Yggdrasil’s core is missing and presumed to no longer be a threat, and it is time for everybody to head home.
“It came up a couple of times…”
“Seriously! Dad! This is important!”
“Two years before that, I was… mowing lawns? I… cannot recall what ‘mowing a lawn’ entails…”
“Unless we are idiots. We… we’re not idiots… right?”
Well, yes. Duh. But why/how is kind of the question there.
“Because it is stupidly complicated and I don’t feel like getting into it.”
Could you stop sucking for, like, ten seconds, Werner!?
“Is that why I don’t have a memory of a better world?”
“No, I am explaining why you’re falling down. You have multiple problems.”
“That counts as a compliment! You heard him, guys! Daddy praised me!”
You know where he lives now, Virginia. Just camp out at Green Lodge.
So Virginia presumably passes out in the grass as her boys just watch Werner walk away, but we need to check back in on the orb room for a moment.
It is not established where the Prophets went, and it is entirely possible that they just “feint teleported” or turned invisible at the end of the battle. So one would assume this scene takes place about ten seconds after the heroes left the room.
“All hope is lost, but at least no one is shooting at us anymore.”
Eh, it happened to you three once before. Maybe you’ll get better again?
True! Thanks for playing.
A spark of life… or… something?
The main core is missing, but we might get a little juice out of sparkly here.
“Never seen a lad fake explode before?”
“During the battle with the Drifters, I pretended I was dead, allowing me time to fission my body. What the Drifters thought they defeated, and what you thought was dead, was just my duplicate figure.”
“Oh, we should have known something was up when there was just a cut log lying where you had been.”
Janus looks out for Janus.
Barely any gas in the tank, but just enough to torture an underling.
Love that Janus tells the three scientists that they are out of "magic".
Maybe it was because you kept calling a rebellious malcontent “the sacrifice”?
Hm? Sparkly has something to say?
I cannot imagine this is going to end well for anybody.
The sparkle becomes some barely perceptible pointy dude.
“Look! A slug god worked just fine for Xenogears!”
“It did not!”
Would everybody stop saying that!?
“Don’t you try to sass me, slug.”
Is “slug” or “slug head” more insulting?
So we get an actual battle-battle between Janus and Unknown Slug. No, we do not have any control over the proceedings.
Despite Slug Head being mostly transparent, Janus gets some good hits in.
Until he doesn’t.
Amusingly enough, we have seen Janus with his bayonet-ARM and the Dark Spear, but we have never seen Janus fight barehanded. Unless you count that time he kicked Virginia across the room…
This slug is cruising for a bruising.
Bum bum bum (again).
Oh, and this happens.
He might not explode this time…
But Janus is down for the count.
Dark Spear is still keeping it together, though.
You were never infamous for your intelligence, Janus.
“You might have picked up on this if you listened to literally anything we said.”
So Janus thought he was powering up for himself…
But turns out it was all a trick, and the spear was vaguely sentient in dripping an addiction down Janus way…
Haha! You got played by an inanimate object!
“Like some kind of sacrifice?”
Janus only dies twice.
Janus, after spending an entire chapter routinely fighting gods, opts to die an atheist.
And that is really it for Janus. Going to go ahead and confirm that the big bad of Chapter 1 is now 100% deceased, and never coming back. He may be mentioned again, but he is dead-dead-dead. I’m not kidding!
Because we have a brand-new bad guy.
Well. Sorta new. As we talked about back at Ka Dingel, Siegfried was arguably the number one bad guy of Wild Arms (1). He was kind of working for his Mother (hey, Malik, you guys have something in common!), and Mother was technically responsible for a whole hell of a lot of destruction, but Siegfried is your main antagonist for most of Wild Arms. He was the final boss! That counts for a lot!
So, suffice to say, this is kind of a big deal even without establishing that he killed Janus, was the owner of the Dark Spear/those magical masks of Chapter 1, and is a capital-D Demon. This is like if Sephiroth decided to crash Final Fantasy 9 in the third act. … And now he inexplicably looked a lot like Nightmare of Soulcalibur.
But we will address that bit of plagiarism later. This is the official end of Chapter 2, so we get a save break. Only eight more chapters to go!
… Kidding! Please come back!
But I’ll come back to you later, Wild Arms 3.
This is the closing screen for my Wild Arms 3 on the Playstation 5/“straight” playthrough. Compare it to the previous, PS2/New Game+ shot, and you’ll see actually paying attention to battles has caused me to waste an extra hour. Funny how that works.
Anywho, we will pick back up at Chapter 3 in a couple weeks, as I need a break from capturing screenshots after… 25 weeks?! It took that long to get through Chapter 2? And there are four whole chapters in Wild Arms 3, so we’re at the halfway mark? Dang…
Next time on Wild Arms: An art appreciation interlude.