If you’ve got to go wild, you’ve got to go Wild Arms on February 20, Weather Forecast Day. We cheer for the weather report man, for his bold act of making a memorial day for weather forecasts that are never correct!
Previously on Wild Arms 3: Shane took us to a local art installation, and taught us all about the history of war, elves, and environmentalism. There is one last mural to see, though…
And here we are… even though apparently the final room of this dungeon can contain random encounters.
The Baskars love their art, history, and cliches.
Really hit a creative wall there, eh?
“Ever hear of a metaphor, Virginia?”
“Also, this mural was Granny’s responsibility, and… it’s been a rough year.”
I love the idea of a dungeon filled with monsters and puzzles ending with a “only who can prevent forest fires” message.
Sorry, Gallows, wasn’t any room in our backpack behind the 99 heal berries for art supplies.
Jet notices something relevant.
Back to talk of the Guardian Lords.
Even Gallows remembers their names! They must be important.
This is a fun recurring bit in the first three Wild Arms titles: the four Guardian Lords represent the intrinsic wills of humanity… but #$^& is always so @&*$%ed, nobody can ever find them when one of these games actually starts.
Fun Fact: Just for funsies, on my “second” playthrough on the Playstation 5, I actually went out of my way to find one of the Guardian Lords before this cutscene (you can technically find all of them before entering this dungeon). And, as you can guess, absolutely nothing changes about this dialogue. Boo.
Well, considering your dad is very visibly involved in some of this planet business, I’m going to say this stretches back to before you got off your duff.
“Kind of a bummer place to end the tour. I mean, the Guardian Statues used to be here, and I guess the ancestors thought that whole blank wall thing would work well with the splendor of the gods and… Sorry. Just sorry. Our culture sucks. Please do not leave a Yelp review.”
You have a moment if you would like to stay in this room and ponder.
But once we get going…
“Didn’t we kill you, like, three times!?”
The Prophets return! And now they are in their demon forms! This would be a pretty kickass reveal…
…if you hadn’t already booted up the game at least once before this scene to see their cool, anime-intro-based versions.
You are welcome to interpret the Prophets’ various demonic deformities as you so wish. Leehalt already looked the least human from the get-go (he’s blue, da ba dee), so he mostly just has a third eye and horns. Melody has demonically enhanced cleavage, hedgehog hair, gnarly goat antlers, and pelvic tauros horns. Malik is the most dramatically mutated, and is now Bird Person.
I like the implication that Virginia only recognizes Malik by process of elimination.
“Were they always so… obviously evil?”
… It’s never puppies.
Consider this a callback to that fight back at the mine. The Prophets have always had the ability to create/summon monsters, so here is a set of “better” opponents.
Can you deduce the obvious movie reference happening in this fight?
There’s an elemental weakness here, but be careful…
Scarecrow casts reflect on his enemy party pretty quickly, so unleashing an arcana barrage is not recommended until you have bashed his brains.
Leonhardt has the courage to use powerful physical attacks.
And Steamgear’s tin heart inflicts status maladies.
Like all metal men, Steamgear does not appreciate lightning.
Be careful with the unpleasantness of a party member being confused.
Leonhardt is very weak to elemental attacks, but Scarecrow’s reflect magic does add a little risk.
I enjoy any dark magic that includes a question mark.
Anyway, assuming your entire party doesn’t simultaneously catch confusion, this fight goes swiftly. Two out of three of these goobers went down in the same round. Oh! And we get one of Clive’s kid’s books out of the deal.
We now resume our reunion already in progress.
Speaking of which…
Nice that the Blue Menace gets his own blue effects.
“There used to be… more of you? Right? I’m not misremembering?”
We never get any flashbacks to when the Prophets were all working together at the Yggdrasil Project approximately fifteen years back. That said, I would love to know if Leehalt was this much of a suck up then, too. Is this why he now hates Werner so bad?
Malik is definitely a bird person, as he eventually is seen actively flapping/flying. However, his head is… difficult to parse. Hummingbird demon? Would work well with the whole "moving so fast he’s vibrating" thing…
“I figured you would be cool with these people that shot you a bunch.”
Didn’t you already do that? I mean… it kind of looks like you already did that…
“We just beat a hay guy. Do your worst.”
Like we haven’t heard that one before…
No fight? Laser beam? Nothing?! All talk with these demons…
“I mean, I could see how he was kind of sexy, but…”
“No! The bad dreams!”
“I thought they would be less… hairy.”
Gallows hastily wrote a “what I learned on my trip to the museum” report on the bus ride back.
Sounds like somebody didn’t learn the lessons of history…
More demon slaying! Less talking!
Halle acknowledges that it was the Elw and “their” Guardians that repelled the demons last time (note: not something that was distinctly acknowledged via mural), so reclaiming the lost Guardian Lords is probably a good idea.
“(‘Looking for a shortcut can lead you astray…’) What we currently know…is that a demon is trying to do something with this planet. Do you remember the words that blue demon knight, Siegfried said to us…?”
Whether because he is the least spiritual of your four god-summoners, or because he is dedicated to not taking shortcuts, Clive wants to explore alternate routes.
Granny got no time for this nonsense. Granny gotta get back to her cave.
“An invasion from another world can only be dealt with by the power that sustains the world, guardians…With such limited options, there’s really no use thinking about it. Plus, I’m sure we’re all hungry. We can’t come up with good ideas on an empty stomach. I’m going to fix some dinner. Join me if you like. In fact, I suggest you spend the night.”
I don’t know if this is Granny sweetly acknowledging everyone needs a rest, or she thinks this will be their last meal…
Granny’s home is like one of three houses where this party ever canonically sleeps.
We going to finally deal with your trauma, Clive?
“Listen up, young one…There are those who view the work of archaeologists as pointless, but that is untrue. If we are able to investigate and pinpoint the cause and origin of Filgaia’s decay, we may be able to find a way to reverse it.”
“And think of all the random treasure chests we have found. That must be worth something.”
“Please fixate on this phrase for the rest of your life. I got it off a cereal box. Captain Crunch had this delightful maze…”
But, as we all know now, there is more than a little magic involved in the archeology of Filgaia (“magic”, or whatever you want to call “everyone lost their memory a few years back”), so Berlitz was more than a little confused by the state of things.
Berlitz can get a lot of information out of a pile of dirt.
The one guy on this planet that knew he was looking at nanomachines but didn’t get exploded a couple years prior.
And now we recall the bad times™.
“Berlitz, if I let you die, we’re going to have to change the seating arrangements for the 87th time.”
Clive, somehow, doesn’t remember this part every six seconds.
“If I ever have a granddaughter, please make sure she is as cute as a button.”
“Second regret: maybe start carrying a gigantic ARM so you don’t get killed by security systems like me.”
“I spent too many of my best years perfecting mustache maintenance. Don’t waste your life like I did.”
“Or at least one where they can have water?”
Oh yeah. Guess the fact that there has been a place where we could find nanomachines all this time could be relevant.
Clive seems to have a moment of doubt at visiting his mentor/father in law’s grave, but gets over it.
“Clive, do you ever think about how we choose to sleep in our overly elaborate outfits?”
“Would you like me to narrate…”
Clive acknowledges the Guardians would probably be helpful, but he is more interested in the demon’s plans. He is not so much saying the whole Baskar route is wrong as imitating the mighty Vic Viper and keeping his options active.
And maybe we should get some sleep, too.
“Unlike him, we are probably not going to die there. Probably.”
“Do you need a Clive snack?”
Really, really does not want to see dad’s mangled corpse.
In the interest of Clive’s welfare, we are going to take forever to actually visit that dungeon.
For once, we do not get weird directions, but a map to interpret. We can take a look after the cutscenes conclude.
So let’s get into the nitty gritty of Wild Arms 3.
The first full chapter of Wild Arms 3 (which would be parts 1-13 of this Let’s Play) is introductions from top to bottom. There are the four (obvious) introduction dungeons for the main characters, the first “everyone” dungeon that introduces the Guardians, a dungeon to feature Janus ‘n pals, a dungeon to present Maya and her delightful family, and the final dungeon of the chapter confirms the “demon threat” and the Prophets all in one go. Chapter 2 (parts 14-38) is 100% “chasing the Prophets”, with their formal introduction to the party kicking off the chapter, and the finale being decisively storming their base and (partially) reconciling with their benevolent/errant fourth member, Daddy. Every bit of Chapter 2 involves being told where to go next, and the only iota of freedom available is when you must find a pair of statues before the Nidhogg Pass. After all that, we get to Chapter 3… and that is going to be something different.
This is not readily apparent to a new player, but Wild Arms 3 Chapter 3 is heavily inspired by Final Fantasy 6’s World of Ruin. Once you obtain the Radical Sneakers, you can start doing all sorts of things across the world, but now the plot is outright stating it: go do what you want. You’ve got options! And while a lot of these options will eventually become mandatory (the final dungeon of Chapter 3 all but says “you must complete more sidequests” if you haven’t already), the level of “customization” available at this point in your adventure is laudable. If you know where you are going, you can immediately grab an airship, the most powerful gods on the planet, and conquer a few super bosses before the next “plot” dungeon. And even if you do not have a clue where to go, all the NPCs at this point in the game are dropping various hints about locations and potential treasures. So, basically, even if you weren’t following a FAQ (or Let’s Play!), it is right about here that if you hear about a cool dragon in an undiscovered town, you can now go off and find a cool dragon in an undiscovered town.
So you get to enjoy some role-playing in this role-playing game!
What does this mean for the Let’s Play? Well, I have now played through Wild Arms 3 in rapid succession on two different systems, so I am confident in saying I know a thing or two about an “optimum” run on maximizing plot and side content. While this LP will not match exactly what happened in either play through (there was some experimenting going on that… sometimes didn’t work) We are going to take a route through the “optional” content earlier than most people would likely explore these areas, because… well… Because there are more than a few treasures (and vehicles!) we can find along the way that makes the rest of this journey a lot easier. And, yes, this is likely going to skew the difficulty curve, and create a few situations where the “mandatory” plot doesn’t 100% make sense (like the mentioned-this-update bit where you can already have the Guardian Lords while everyone is talking about them like some mystery), but, hey, if a game gives you freedom, you take it.
The “map shred” mentioned during the dialogue is now a usable key item.
That’s where we could go…
But we’re not going to!
Next time on Wild Arms: “It’s a-me, Mario! And I’m-a dead forever!”