We are here for Wild Arms 3 on March 6, Candle Day. I don’t think there’s much point making holidays for commodities… Things like candles you buy out of necessity anyway, so why waste making a special day for it? We only have 365 days a year, so I think we should use each one for something more meaningful.
Previously on Wild Arms 3: We acquired two out of four god-gods, and opened up a brand new shipping route thanks to serpentcide. Now we will… Uh…
Oh! Right! We should go find that dragon!
A healthy number of NPCs across the world are currently chattering about Laxisland and it being some kind of dragon hub. This should lead our intrepid adventurers down the newly opened strait to find our newest (and kinda final) town.
Laxisland is only available by slaying Balal Quo Naga and accessing the inner sea. On a related note, Laxisland and its related dungeon are the only locations of interest that are available after opening the inner sea.
Freaky, semi-transparent tentacle monsters stalk the area. We are sequence breaking a tiny bit here: the game suggests visiting this area all over the place, but it is technically not required until after you complete another three plot dungeons. This means the local monsters may be outside of your level-based comfort range.
However, thanks to WA3’s VIT and encounter systems, individual monster battles are not too draining when you are “underleveled”. Would not want to face a boss with that kind of disparity, though.
Welcome to dragon country.
Laxisland is the last town we will see in this Let’s Play in a very “technically” sense. There is one more town available that we have officially seen (but did not get to explore), and there is another area that is something of a quasi-town (insomuch as there are no random monster encounters). Other than those guys, just taking a moment here to note how sparsely populated Filgaia has gotten…
Laxisland and The Fraternal Order of Bobs welcome you. Try to survive the experience.
Our omnipresent merchant Roykman gives us directions to the other last town. Gawrsh, wonder if we’ll be acquiring a new mode of transportation soon.
The local ARMs shop is essential.
I’m… sorry? Uh… is something lost in translation here, Zim? You want me to own dolls that kill the owner?
Nobody lives forever!
So the Kramer Dolls continue the tradition of Wild Arms granting a musical tool that summons monsters. In Wild Arms (1), Jack acquired the ugliest guitar that played the worst song, and it awakened demons whenever played. In Wild Arms 2, secret playable character Marivel earned the Microphone, and it allowed her to sing a Kirby-esque ditty that roused rumbles.
Now Gallows has a “doll” that generates a little band. When used in a town or “safe” area, it does nothing. When used in a dungeon, it will immediately instigate a random encounter. When used next to a super boss, it means you gonna fight a super boss.
An important thing worth noting here is that in both Wild Arms and Wild Arms 2, the “fight super bosses” tool was not accessible until the game was nearly complete. Jack’s Guitar was in the absolute final dungeon, and Marivel’s My Mike was the secret third tool that could only be found by completing a secret dungeon (to get Marivel’s second tool) available only to the secret character (Marivel), and then revisiting a dungeon that would otherwise have no reason to ever be revisited… And you could only do all this after about 80% of the plot was completed. In Wild Arms 3, the Kramer Dolls are plot mandated comparatively early in the game, and, if you know to head over here immediately, you can nab ‘em like 60% of the way through.
What does this all mean? Well, we can tackle nearly all the optional bosses well before the end of the game…
And we will address that soon, but let’s nab some more dragon lore while we are here.
I like that Wild Arms 3 has a random knight running around. The Huskarls would be proud (if we didn’t kill them).
“Do mechanoids dream of electric sheep? Could they be capable of dreaming of things beyond their reach, as all living things are? Here in Laxisland, town of draconic tradition, we have an intriguing anecdote. It says that dragons bestow their powers upon the brave warrior who slays them. But, it also says that one who quenches a dragon’s limitless thirst also assumes the might of a dragon. What could a dragon, with all that it possesses, possibly yearn for? Could it possibly be something that cannot be had on the fiery battlefield? Ask not what dragons can do for you…Ask what you can do for dragons, as the old saying goes. Such may be the quickest route to grasping the power of a dragon, but we cannot be certain, for all who have tried have died.”
So the NPCs in Laxisland are almost unanimously focused on three things:
1. There is a dragon in the mountains to the south
2. The dragon kills everybody
3. To tame the dragon, you must know what a dragon wants
There will be a quiz on this later. Fail and die.
I am not kidding.
And I note that the NPCs are almost unanimously focused on dragons because we have got Roswell here focused on aliens. Ha ha. Silly Roswell. Aliens will never be relevant in this guns and sorcery JRPG.
Love your hat, Nalice. I think it is namazing.
Enough of Laxisland. Watch those open flames, guys!
The obvious thing to do here would be to head over to the unavoidable dragon dungeon.
But we got a new tool, and I am fixing to use it.
This little sojourn is happening on the “real”, Playstation 5-based playthrough. No “cheating” has happened on this save file… so I’m going to have to earn some cheating…
We are very deliberately equipping Gallows with the Luceid-based Weakness ability, the Schturdark water element invulnerability ability, and the Goddess Raftina medium for its Copy Ability spell. Schturdark’s Attack Blocker and Luceid’s other skills (FP Plus, Restoration) will also be helpful.
Since our first visit to the town of Little Twister back at the start of Chapter 2, this well has taunted us with warnings of a creature.
Let’s play a little ditty to wake ‘em up.
Say hello to our first super boss.
Kraken I do not believe has distinctly appeared as a “relevant” monster in any previous Wild Arms titles, but its general positioning and appearance is reminiscent of secret “super” boss Gatlorg in Wild Arms 2. I must put “super” in quotes for Gatlorg because he was kind of a wiener of a super boss. However, there is another connection we will see shortly…
So we are super under-leveled for this fight. Virginia, one of our better magic casters, just hit Kraken’s weakness, and it did a whopping zero damage. Did not even break the effectiveness barrier…
Not looking too promising with physical attacks, either.
Meanwhile, Kraken has a physical attack that absolutely will fell the majority of our party in one hit. Some characters weather two blows if they’re lucky, and Gallows can survive three hits with barely enough HP to endure because of his surprisingly high defense/HP.
And we’ve got a grand total of 8 potion berries to attempt survival here. Was picking this fight a misstep?
Maelstrom seemingly seals the deal on that question. This is the strongest water attack in the game, and our party is literally going to drown in it.
Clive and Jet have miserable magic resistance, so this move eats off more than their maximum HP. Virginia barely lives thanks to her mage-y defenses. And Gallows? Well, Gallows is completely unaffected, as he has water ward equipped.
Now here’s the thing: Gallows has the best magic attack in our party, and he has Weakness equipped. Virginia literally cannot do any damage, but Gallows can eat off 2000 HP with a decent hit thanks to Weakness. Good thing he’s the one that survived, eh?
And speaking of hitting Kraken…
Copy Ability (which, at this point in the game, you likely need to build up some FP during the battle to use in the first place) allows you to steal Kraken’s two chief water spells, Hydro Launcher and Maelstrom. Maelstrom is the strongest water spell…
And Kraken, its user, is inexplicably weak to water element attacks.
And now it is just a matter of praying the RNG doesn’t (literally) murder you.
The only way Kraken can damage Gallows now is with a physical attack. All of Kraken’s other abilities are water-based, and Gallows is completely immune to water. Gallows can survive three physical attacks… though Kraken is capable of getting a critical hit that would be homicide at anything but full health. Just to be on the safe side, it is a good idea to top off Gallows whenever possible.
That said, I can state that I completely ran out of Potion Berries, and it came down to the wire. Even with hitting that weakness (nearly) every round, it took something like thirteen turns (after the initial setup phase). That is forever in Wild Arms 3 battle time!
But it is all worth it.
Couple of things happened here: for one thing, Gallows was the only one to survive. If I were really paying attention, I would have attempted to revive the whole party before the final hit. Unfortunately, I was not counting Kraken’s HP, and I was happy a single party member survived at all…
You will also note in the previous screenshot that, thanks to using the Ward Water and Weakness skills so many times, Gallows received a 9.9 multiplier on his earned experience. And this is a super boss, so the exp reward was always going to be substantial…
So Gallows jumps from level 41 to level 59. Our slacker is now the most accomplished drifter on the team!
But that is not why I tackled Kraken so early. Our prize here is the Comet Mark (amusingly enough taking the inventory slot where our Potion Berries used to be) , which “incrementally increases physical attack power”. This is the other weird/deliberate connection between Kraken and Wild Arms 2’s Gatlorg: Gatlorg previously dropped the Power Boost, which was an accessory that enhanced your physical attack.
If you remember that from Wild Arms 2, you might ignore the Comet Mark, as the Power Boost did boost your physical attack, but not in any way that was memorable. Let’s see if that is the case in Wild Arms 3. Here is Clive gunning down a balloon without the Comet Mark.
Comet Mark confers the ATT Plus ability. It requires a whopping 10 PS points per each of its four levels. This means that, at level 42, Clive can only equip ATT Plus if he wants to use it at max power.
But it is well worth it. Approximately 800 damage versus over 3,000? I don’t know the exact computation on how ATT Plus works, but it sure looks like it does something like four times extra damage.
And additional bonus: since it is technically a skill that activates every time Clive uses the attack command, he gets a bonus 0.1x multiplier every time he shoots an opponent. As you saw with Gallows last fight, that can add up quickly.
So that’s the story of how I got the “weak” version of my WA3 party to be The Drifter Destroyers. From this point on, Gallows can use Weakness (possibly combined with Virginia assisting with Raftina’s ability to inflict an opponent with a weakness), and Clive can use ATT Plus, and both of them will be doing about 2-4 times the amount of damage they would normally be doing at this point in the game. Virginia will be available for healing duty, and Jet… well… Jet just has to look pretty.
And Let’s Play bonus: since these are both PS abilities, I can turn the attack bonuses off if I ever want to play it straight.
… Well, I guess Gallows is permanently nearly twenty levels ahead now… But still!
High off the fumes of a defeated Kraken, we now resume our dragon slaying already in progress.
Let’s rescue Daphne once and for all.
As previously mentioned, this area is technically optional at this point, but is heavily clued as somewhere you want to visit immediately. Likely as a result of this design, Dragon’s Lair is more cerebrally difficult than level-gated difficult.
Without being a teleporter maze, Dragon’s Lair is Wild Arms 3’s teleporter maze. Every room has a pile of exits and entrances, and you have to sus out the exact route through these ups and downs to not accidentally exit the place and reset the whole dungeon.
And you have to endure the whole thing while watching your HP get chipped away by monsters.
Aiming for a ladder to the west seems like a good start.
Oh! Our first undead opponent since we acquired Raftina.
Using Requiem will obliterate these creatures immediately. If they are all attacking as a group (as in it reads Necrosaurus A B C, unlike the picture one back), using Gallows’s Extend ability with Requiem will wipe out the whole encounter in a turn. Alas, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to when monsters are grouped together…
Back to dungeoning.
Back to monster chests.
Imitators are upgraded mimics, but they are fairly ineffective.
I think we are past where trapped chests are high risk/high reward, and are mostly just trolling at this point.
Anywho, may as well blow up some walls to make progress.
And, in what feels like a completely backwards move, you occasionally have to throw yourself down a pit to make progress.
See? We fell near the entrance, but up on a cliff that would be otherwise inaccessible.
If we were to jump down and enter that doorway in the picture, it would mean leaving the dungeon.
But we are trudging forward and blasting unusual looking rocks.
Here’s another hole that is made for us.
And another wall that is made for bombs.
Watch those steam jets. They could eat off a whole, like, 3 HP.
In fitting with the “puzzle” theme of this dungeon, some of the encounters are very puzzle-y.
Thunderdrakes are completely immune to physical attacks, and will only take damage from magic. Unless…
You hit ol’ Thunderdrake with thunder, in which case they are slightly powered up (“slightly” because I did not notice significant gains in either playthrough), but become corporeal.
Now we can feed that dragon some bullets.
Anyway: new hat.
It is Wild Arms canon that appropriately Western headwear can startle your opponent enough for a preemptive strike.
We were told that a number of other dudes fought the dragon, but how did they get there and seal up the entrances behind them?
And why did they leave all this treasure behind?
Might want to save if you see this spot.
Very close to the finale, but if you take a dip for those crystals, you will have to repeat a lot of the dungeon.
Here is where we want to go.
And that entrance should do it.
Okay, little further. I do have to state that this dungeon is terrible at conveying progress being made. Though that may be deliberate…
Now this surely is the end.
It just reads as ominous.
Ah, yes, definitely done now. Not making a GIF, but a little rumble happens here.
And the way back is blocked. I guess that’s why there were so many pathways that had to be bombed open.
No choice now: you either get a dragon to fly you out of here, or you’re stuck in this mountain forever.
Though the game does do its best to remind you to get equipped for a battle now.
This is a literal point of no return, so saving is now disabled. Try to survive!
I see the light.
The old man that gave you the dolls also technically gave you the directions to this dungeon, so you cannot get here without the means to summon your opponent. Play it again, Gallows!
Look! Up in the sky!
Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
Lombardia! There is nothing indicating that Lombardia of Wild Arms 3 is the same Lombardia of Wild Arms 2, but they are remarkably similar in name and looks.
(Compliments of the last time I did a screenshot LP. Thanks, me!)
Wild Arms 3 has significant callbacks to Wild Arms 1, but direct references to WA2 are few and far between. That said, if you really want to headcanon this Lombardia into being the same Lombardia as in Wild Arms 2, you could make the argument that since that Lombardia came from another dimension…
… Wild Arms 2 is later on the timeline than Wild Arms 3, and Lombardia is the only survivor of the Wild Arms 3 world being devoured by another dimension.
… But that’s depressing.
Anywho, like in Wild Arms 2, Lombardia is a dragon that is a transformer, and she likes fighting as much as the next Decepticon.
So let’s get our ARMs on.
Also, like in WA2, Lombardia has unsettling telepathic powers.
“Phhht I’ve seen ultimater. Call me when you reach Atma level.”
Gonna get all “answer me these questions three” in here…
It’s just the “advance dialogue box” arrow, but it really does look like Lombardia is drooling green slime.
Okay, fight time.
Lombardia doesn’t have any distinct weaknesses, but she’s a gimmick fight.
Some of the Laxisland townsfolk will warn you of this, but Lombardia has a very set pattern wherein she powers up for three turns, and then unleashes fury that ultimately should put you in the ground.
However, we have a dispel spell, so we can do damage with the rest of the gang while Gallows casts Eraser after Lombardia’s every buff. If you’ve lost track, Eraser is a mandatory acquisition from back in Chapter 2, and not one of our new spells.
Double your attack strength? Not on my watch! Eraser! Eraser! Eraser!
Missile Might will destroy you if you leave Lombardia mighty might’ed. If you cast Eraser immediately, it is more like Missile Meekness.
And after her deluge, Lombardia needs a good sit down for a few turns. You can transform her into scrap at will.
She doesn’t technically have any weaknesses, but if you hit her with most anything during the rest period, she takes significant damage.
And that’s that. Even if you tackle this challenge at low levels, you can win if you recognize the pattern and attack during that opening.
But the “battle” isn’t over yet!
Remember all that nonsense about what a dragon wants back at Laxisland?
Well, you have to answer a couple of multiple choice questions to confirm you do understand Lombardia.
The proper way through this dialogue labyrinth is to suck up to the flying ultimate weapon.
Amusingly enough, this dialogue kinda sorta happens in Wild Arms 2, it is just not dialogue you have to actively navigate.
“We both like flying. And being metal. And shooting missiles. We’re practically twins!”
“Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a God…”
Dammit! Follow-up questions!
Keep it ambiguous!
“We can’t give a dragon anything like honor. And power’s kind of out of our reach, too!”
“We have heal berries. Have you ever had a heal berry before?”
Okay, make it good, guys…
Haha! What idiot would choose “Uh…” when faced with an unstoppable dragon?
So, did this just for completion’s sake…
If you choose the wrong answer at any point in this process, Lombardia will obliterate the whole party. You get to continue (if you have a Gimel Coin), but it does technically count as a game over. At least this visual novel has some tension!
And, yes, you then must start the whole process from the top of the battle, not just the dialogue tree section. At least you don’t have to redo the whole dungeon!
Okay, fast-forward through another fight and back to this question.
Didn’t we just do that? Twice?!
“Seems like it might end poorly for you, though.”
“Look at your teeth, girl. You are a battle machine!”
Oh. Oh! Maybe I’m a dragon!
“Powerful dragons get nothing out of fighting and burning things on the battlefield. If they did, then you’d be pretty satisfied with all the fighting you’ve done so far.”
Lombardia and The Hulk would have a lot to talk about just being left alone.
“Crap. I did not expect these humans would hit me with an introspection beam.”
You know, aside from the monsters patrolling every square inch of the place, Filgaia is pretty peaceful.
This seems like some circular logic.
That’s the closing yell, folks.
“You and your ‘therapy’ have bested me, mortals.”
“Want to change your name to Lombardia Junior? The kids can call you LoJu.”
“Nice to meet you, ancient weapon of untold destruction that is responsible for countless murders and maybe a genocide!”
“Here is a coupon for a free appetizer at Gunner’s Heaven.”
“Do I have to give up my voice?”
“What? No. Why would you think that?”
“Can we sing a song about it?”
“No. But I have missiles. Want to blow up some rocks?”
Now, finally, the battle officially concludes.
… Wait. Did Lombardia just drop her own remains? Do they belong to a friend?
And we fly!
Lombardia has her own stats. Her attack, magic attack, speed, and accuracy are all based on the stats of the party, but her defense, magic defense, evasion, HP, and luck are all independent.
And she has her own skills, too. These abilities were mostly seen during the battle a moment ago, and we’ll have the opportunity to use them all when Lombardia enters battle…. Eventually.
But for now there are no encounters in the skies, and we can fly around Filgaia at will.
We can land anywhere but the sand sea, forests, or particularly rocky ground. When settled, Lombardia just stands there and presumably scares the daylights out of any passersby.
Lombardia also has the ability to launch missiles and demolish distinctive rocks across the overworld. This is required occasionally, but is mostly tied to hidden quests and treasures.
Here is the terrain where Lombardia cannot land. This is an impediment two or three times across the game.
And that’s everything you need to know about our new airship. The world is now a dragon snack!
Next time on Wild Arms: We learned how to commune with a living weapon, so now let’s shoot monsters for money.