Hope you’re all healthy and ready for February 13, Tobacco Day. I wanted to give my father homemade tobacco so I went into the mountains to pick tobacco leaves. But when I burned some leaves to check its scent, the smoke pattern from the fire was mistaken for a distress signal, and I was mistakenly rescued.
Previously on Wild Arms 3: The gang detonated an Ark excavation site (on purpose this time!), but felt a weird energy immediately after their explosive escape. They assume this is demon-related (and they’re right!), so they decided to ask Granny for advice.
You’re not Granny! Shut your flower hole!
Here we go.
Poor old lady doesn’t beat her grandson nearly enough. It gets harder when you’re older.
“We have no idea.”
Our world is in peril? The Guardians can no longer stand the terrible destruction plaguing our planet?
So there is a silly narrative trick here…
We get a wipe that sort of implies that Granny told the whole story that Siegfried told the Prophets over the last two updates. This way, the player and the playees are all on the same page with the history of the Demon War. However….
Virginia and friends may not have picked up on some of the finer details.
Dammit! It was only a three-and-a-half-hour lecture!
“You could have at least given us four chairs.”
This… might be my favorite joke in the game? It is simultaneously a compliment, an insult, and a reference to Wild Arms lore. I don’t know if something similar was in the original Japanese, but this English localization is gold for nailing that one from all angles.
Also, always happy to see Granny cranky. The world is at stake, but that is no reason to insult your elders.
Clive is the smartest party member for all sorts of reasons.
Granny sending us to get feet pics…
“Shane? You got a boat?”
“Then who is taking who?”
Shane is surprised that he is getting pimped out by Granny.
Fun fact: Tim of Wild Arms 2 was a -pillar-, too. That job was… Okay, you ever notice how Shane and Gallows have a grandmother, but no parents? Well, it might be because a -pillar- traditionally has an awful time buying life insurance…
“Do I get some kind of teleportation orb to do that?”
“No! That’s later! Now get out of here!”
Shane is the good grandson.
D’aww. You’ve been helping Shane! You can change the names of our spells in a game feature that most people forget about!
Everybody in this world gives the weirdest directions.
Shane uses dark magic in combat, and has a command that lets you… Just kidding. Shane isn’t going to do crap beyond narrate the occasional mural.
And away we go, Shane in tow.
On a sidenote, you can do a bunch of optional quests at this point, including a few that would amaze Shane in more ways than one. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t acknowledge Shane as a member of your party in any real way, so it is a major missed opportunity for Shane to be astounded at the world at large.
So, like Infinitum, World’s Footprint is technically physically close to Baskar, but you have to navigate all around the continent to actually find a strait to get there.
May as well get to it. For reasons that will be explained in the near future, this is one of the last times we will have to motorboat anywhere.
Going to miss you most of all, monster based on a zodiac sign.
That tiny white dot in the top left is us parked at the shore relevant to this dungeon.
This is like the third time we heard about this crater. This is relevant to a mandatory dungeon, but I don’t know why the designers felt the need to clue you into the crater so many times. It’s a crater! It’s a pretty significant and obvious landmark before we know we have to go there!
Local apes all gone.
Here we are. We bump into some kid in a baseball cap on our way in.
Shane will be our tour guide for our adventure today.
The Guardian Lords are a recurring set of Guardians that have been relevant since the original Wild Arms. I would tell you more, but they’re going to be the focus of more than a few updates soon enough…
“Please do not touch the 2,500 year old murals. Brother, I am looking at you.”
“… In another room. Sorry. I started my spiel too early.”
Museum visiting hours are 9-4, and please remember to donate. It is contributions from visitors like you that keep the monsters at bay.
Whoops! No one has been contributing lately!
These book monsters arrive in large groups, and cast spells that ratio down your HP. Really quite annoying when you encounter them early in the dungeon. Or late in the dungeon. Any time, really.
Like the book monsters we encountered way back at the Prophet Laboratory, they are vulnerable to fire. Get Bradbury on their lack of asses.
The mere potential for learning in this dungeon is giving Jet the heebee jeebies.
At least we get some puzzles first.
If we try to walk forward, the door closes on us.
So we can… try to read?
Ice repels mud, apparently.
Fun fact: I misread this command as “proceed quickly”, and spent a solid five minutes trying to move through the area as fast as possible.
Quietly means you should use the ol’ sneak command. Move with all the respect of a Looney Tunes character slinking across the room and you are golden.
“We didn’t have Photoshop then, so please be kind to the artists of this piece.”
“First, let us go back approximately 2,200 years…This is a painting of when the -neosapiens- first came down to this planet.”
“They are believed to be the progenitors of humans.”
Hey, when was the last time we heard about “neosapiens”? I believe a demon was talking…
“I’ve been there! It’s nice! Lot of treasures in the basement!”
Elws have been briefly mentioned around lore here and there, but this is the first time they are plot-centric. It will also be the last…
“They were elves. Obviously. But we wanted to be different in the first Wild Arms, and now we’re stuck with the inordinately silly term.”
“Elws are mentioned in folklore, just like the demons. They are said to have been a beautiful race, with long, pointy ears. Many traces of their everyday lives are excavated even to this day. This was when the two races…two different cultures came face to face.”
“And given they are only mentioned in folklore, you can guess the conclusion of that meeting. Let’s move on to the war room.”
Please take a moment to stand around and contemplate these ancient stick figures.
A silly little “treasure puzzle” here requires a tool we do not have yet. We’ll be coming back later…
Christine was a car, not a doll! Get it right!
I guess Christine did put people to sleep… with her hood…
Next art showcase.
We had a good thousand years there.
So here’s a bit of a divergence on what we “know”.
Things were good with the two races on Filgaia for a little while, but then things took a turn, and Filgaia turned into a warzone. Remember when Siegfried made it sound like all war on this planet was the fault of cranky demons? And every other myth blamed the demons for everything? Turns out Filgaia had some bad times just because of plain ol’ racism.
“Do you suppose the gigantic turtle god still remembers that? Do you think we should ask?”
Okay, enough of this bummer. We’ll learn more in a room or two.
Wild Arms 3 only gets more and more blatant with its “you should probably fight some monsters here” alternating hallways.
“Visitors to the museum are encouraged to try some of our dumbass puzzles to proceed.”
It’s steps you are supposed to take between the various switches. If you don’t immediately understand that, you can brute force this dungeon by trying every permutation of button order.
You must press the switches in the proper order, and the whole puzzle resets if you step on the wrong switch at the wrong time.
That is generally to your benefit, as at least you don’t have to try every “password”, and only find out you got it wrong at the end.
And your reward is another piece for the gallery.
The Neosapian Hatfields and the Elw McCoys.
2,200 BG (before game) – 1,300 BG: Good times.
1,300 BG – 400 BG: Nothing but war.
Can you imagine the level of destruction that had to happen to see a ceasefire after nearly a thousand years of sunk cost fallacy warring?
“I’ve heard about this one crater…”
“Enough with the crater!”
Yeah, “smart enough” relative to the 900 years of war.
Maybe we’ll find a moral mural in the next room.
We get rock in this battle, and we’ve got a full triangle.
These are probably ancient Baskar artifacts, and I do not give a damn.
People walk on all fours at some point in Filgaia history?
“This planet was so much better before nine centuries of scorched earth.”
And how did that work out?
“…. They failed. Obviously.”
Guess our ancestors did a genocide!
“The remaining neosapiens repented for all their sins, and vowed to do everything in their power to revitalize the environment. Amidst the fervor of pro-environmental sentiments, the last Elw -Mariel- gave rise to the Baskar creed.”
There she is! Mariel was an Elw from Wild Arms 1, and arguably the most friendly Elw in that version of Filgaia. Here we have confirmation that Mariel at least founded the Baskar religion (which, reminder, was also responsible for finding and utilizing Filgaian leylines).
“It is said she parted company with the Baskar after a bitter disagreement. However, the Elw race are said to have great longevity. That is why to this day, we continue our efforts, and pray that our separated paths will one day cross, yet again…”
And there is the implication that Mariel is still somewhere on Filgaia. So once again going to note that the solitary girl at the Secret Garden, a garden that is a short horse ride away from Baskar, is a dead ringer for Mariel of Wild Arms 1. And she is wearing a hat to hide any potential elw ears. Even if that whole area is optional, this would be another nice place for the party to say something about confirming history…
Anywho, in case you missed the obvious parallels, we are going to get a quick lesson on colonialism here.
“Colonizers are bad and you should feel bad,” is the blatant message of this section. You cannot disagree.
But our whitest party member wants to move on.
I respect Wild Arms 3 for this bit.
This is the second time we discover that the exalted ancestors did some pretty heinous things, but whatever, we just have to live with that, and do our best to make the present better. There is no forgiveness or excusing the ancients, just the drive to do better in the here and now.
We can be better people than our ancestors.
…. And then you can fight a diglett.
These weirdos were potential encounters anywhere in this dungeon, but they only popped up (ha!) recently.
They attack by turning their heads into spikes, and the attack is called “Excellent Thinking”. This is why videogames were invented.
They look like Pokémon, and they have a stupid move that works like a stupid Pokémon game.
Great Booster boosts all of their stats, and it takes forfreakingever for the game to cycle through all the “pow boosted, def boosted, mag boosted, eloquence boosted” messages. And then when you fight a group of six of them? It’s like that stupid bat fight in Final Fantasy 4. And the worst part? Even with their gigantic boosts, they still go down in one or two hits. Complete waste of time!
Otherwise, nothing to write home about here.
This is good! Weather Vane confers an ability that prevents surprise or “just one party member” ambush fights. Unfortunately, you need a full set of four to completely eliminate all surprise encounters, as the surprise randomizer seems to be based on individual party members. One Guardian comes naturally with this skill, so we need another two Weather Vanes. One day…
Now we’re at the… is that a tree? A giant tree? I get that reference!
Took 50 years from the birth of the last Elw for anybody to do anything new about all this devastation.
“We’ve been there. No big.”
“He said you fought a guy trying to make a new mom? That is not mentioned in the mural.”
Virginia is immediately overcompensating for her Daddy being involved in, ya know, worldwide calamity.
Yeah, right? Seems like that whole “demon” thing would get mentioned somewhere.
Just casually throwing that out there while standing in front of the Yggdrasil mural seems beneath Clive, but here we are.
“Within these mural chambers like only facts about the past. It is up to the people of the present to figure out how we want to interpret this. We may still be in the dark now, but I’m sure we will find the truth within them.”
Man, if anyone was paying attention to these murals, they would probably spend the rest of their life crying in the shower. Assuming Filgaia has enough water left for showers…
“’Looking for a shortcut can lead you astray…’ That is what my professor always used to say. Yes, I understand now. I am always jumping to conclusions…”
Are you? I feel like somebody needs to put together the Yggdrasil Disaster with the (apparently) human-based “Demon War” and draw the immediate conclusion that neosapians need to be locked in a cage for their own good.
One more mural to go!
One more puzzle to go!
Match the colors to the switches. Also: destroy the Ark.
Mostly just a matter of using the Mighty Gloves to put the square box in the square hole, but you do have to use Virginia’s fire to get a red block.
And what does the last mural contain? Find out next time!
But first a quick summary of what we learn if we put our various lore dumps together:
(“Conjecture” is clearly labeled as such, and, to my knowledge, is neither confirmed nor denied over the course of WA3 materials)
- Filgaia was originally inhabited by Elws.
- Terra was originally inhabited by Neosapians.
- Elws had a pretty good time of it living in harmony with the nature and Guardians of Filgaia
- Neosapians were technologically advanced, and discovered ways to “evolve” into stronger forms.
- Some Neosapians continued to be “simple” Neosapians, some evolved into Demons.
- Demons were so named because they dropped their empathy and/or ethics on the way to evolution.
- Demons warred for supremacy for a while.
- This warring completely wrecked Terra.
- Eventually, demons and Neosapians hopped in the Ark to head over to Filgaia.
- Neosapians and Elw got along for a few hundred years.
- Conjecture: Neosapians came over with star-crossing level technology. It is pretty easy to be friendly with the locals when tech is keeping everybody comfortable.
- Eventually, Elw and Neosapians began to fight.
- Conjecture: It is entirely possible Neosapian tech was doing bad things to Filgaia, and Elws wanted that to stop.
- Alternate Conjecture: Or, as Siegfried eluded to, the Neosapian/Demon infighting never stopped, and the Elws just got tired of their noisy, destructive neighbors.
- Whatever the reason, Elws and Neosapians proceeded to fight for 900 years.
- Neosapians had technology on their side, Elws had Guardians and associated arcana (magic).
- Eventually, the war ended.
- Somewhere in the midst of that war, the last demons and dragons died out, leaving behind only Hyades and some scattered artifacts. At the very least, Siegfried was killed sometime after arriving on Filgaia.
- Conjecture: The war ended because the demons died out, and only “regular” Neosapians remained.
- This warring wrecked Filgaia, but it was still generally habitable for Neosapians.
- However, the Elw could not survive, so they mostly left.
- One last Elw, Mariel, founded the Neosapian Baskar Colony.
- In an effort to save Filgaia, the Baskars set up the Guardian Shrines/Chocks to siphon Guardian power, essentially sacrificing the gods of the Elw to extend the planet’s life.
- A few years after that, the Yggdrasil Project was founded to find ways to save the planet without committing deicide.
- The Yggdrasil Project was apparently going pretty well until the Yggdrasil Disaster
- The Yggdrasil Disaster was instigated by… something… and then… something… happens, and now Filgaia is worse than it has ever been.
- Ten years later, Virginia fights some gobs.
And that’s our Filgaia timeline! Please look forward to filling in the last few gaps before the game ends!
Next time on Wild Arms: Finally, we all get to hang out.