Mayday, everybody, it is May 1, Wet Towel Day. To feel like a wet towel means to feel heavier with each tear you shed. You can also take it as regret for being born in this world. If you take the opposite view, though, things like guardians and monsters are probably happy they weren’t born as humans.
Previously on Wild Arms 3: We explored an ancient, fallen (in more ways than one) city, but it was missing its all-important power source. There are some rumors that this gem might be at a nearby tower, but there are also rumors we may run into a certain infamous family there…
So let’s head on in to Caging Tower.
The first thing you’ll notice is that treasure is around.
But we can’t get to it. Boo. Looks like this will be another “ruin” that lives up to that description.
At least there is a way forward before the collapsed balcony.
Pretty boring dungeon so far…
Ah! Here we go! According to the local lore, Caging Tower is an ancient facility designed to capture monsters. And how do you catch ‘em all? With a pokéball! “Bubbles” appear in various rooms across Caging Tower, and they will capture your party if you make contact. You either must avoid the bubbles entirely, or, if you are captured, “wiggle” the controller until you are released. If you fail to wiggle properly, there is a penalty that will be addressed soon enough.
So the bubbles fade in and out of sight, and all you really have to do is be careful about not running right into them. Easy peasy.
This is the… bubble generator?
Blow it up.
Now the bubbles are gone, and the door is open. Get ready to do this another ten times.
The following hallway looks like the corridor from a couple screenshots back, but this one includes a treasure alcove.
Funny how there was only ever one dungeon where Maya had “already” opened all the treasure chests, and that has never happened again. Maybe these are gifts for Virginia?
Whatever, moving on.
Here is the cage room. If you fail to wiggle out of a bubble, you will be teleported to this area.
If you get captured in the previous bubble room, this is kind of a shortcut forward (though you do miss the treasure room). If you get bubbled in any future areas, it is a setback to have to “restart” from this floor. Note that if you are never captured (possibly due to a bubble-fear caused by listening to the seminal Trouble by Shampoo repeatedly when excited about the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers movie), this room is very confusing.
Did I mention there were monsters in this monster-caging tower?
These Nybbas things have… Uh… I am not comfortable with their appendages.
I genuinely have no idea what they were going for here. Tusked wizard gremlin?
They are definitely fond of the typical, generic monster spells.
May as well blast them with light magic.
They drop an accessory that can nullify the glass status effect. Probably something around this dungeon that can turn you to glass…
Other monsters include these quadrupeds from the previous dungeon…
Gorg wants you to hold still.
Does only one head have the paralysis venom?
Put ‘em on ice.
It would be cool if the tower intended to capture monsters had all sorts of monsters from across the game, but, nope, mostly just those three.
Now for more bubble hijinks.
These jump plates will always take you to exactly one other spot on the floor. You cannot control your “super jumps” to access more interesting locations.
So make your way over these holes to find your way forward. Note that even though this is established as a proper vertical tower, falling down a hole will only set you back to the entrance of the room, and not drop you to a lower floor.
There. That’ll bobble your bubbles.
Ho-hum, more treasure.
AP Ammo confers the DEF Null ability, which has a chance of negating the enemy’s defense stat. This would be super useful in battles with monsters that have insane defense (like Power Trask from the last update), but it is only a chance of negating defense. Maybe you have better luck than I do, but I am not going to waste skill points on a chance when those points can go to more guaranteed abilities like ATT Plus or (eventual) Finest Arts.
So let’s just get out of here.
Maya? Seriously? Have you ever seen another Drifter on this planet? Janus doesn’t count. He’s dead now.
Incidentally, if you don’t count the brunch dates that are obviously happening between scenes, we have not seen Maya and her family since that cave we blew up way back in Chapter 2. Since the last time these two gangs met, our side saved the world from the Prophets, met an unstoppable demon, conquered a dragon, opened a new shipping channel, and recruited the high gods of the planet. Alfred hasn’t even changed his vest.
She has literally already told you that before.
“Cool. Do they have cash?”
There is strong evidence that Maya is the only person on Filgaia that truly understands the joys of sarcasm.
“Saving the world! Important! Are you getting this?”
Virginia is elated. Jet is embarrassed for both of them.
Yeah, you knew this was coming.
Family Fight 4: The Final Fight Forever
I love that this conversation continues into battle mode. You have one last chance to negotiate with your girlfriend, Virginia!
She’s not wrong. If Maya gets and holds onto the Teardrop, the bad guys’ plan is equally foiled.
Virginia has doubts, though.
Consider it foreplay.
We’ve seen this setup before. Note that while this is the fourth time we’ve had this fight, this is only the second time we fought Maya in her “default” Calamity form. The previous two battles saw Maya costumed-up.
However, this battle predominantly does not work like the first Maya fight at all. Maya actually does nothing, and, as long as her comrades are still kicking, they initiate a triple tech that targets all characters for… let’s say “general damage”. If you are not leveled up, this move will wreck your side. If you have completed a few of the optional sidequests available at this point in the game, though, it is not much of a hit.
So your first priority is taking out anybody, which will stop the triple tech onslaught. Alfred has the lowest HP, Todd has the same "light his hair on fire” poison problem, and Shady the Not-Cat has an elemental weakness to water you can exploit. You can’t really choose wrong on who you want to take down, just make sure you focus on one opponent, as there is no benefit to spreading the damage around.
Once you drown one of these losers, they will go back to their usual, separate attacks that deal tremendously less damage. Until you do that, you will suffer every round.
Todd can still heal his teammates, so maybe he should take precedence.
Maya does nothing while the triple tech is a possibility, but once one teammate is down, she’ll join the fun. Her perilous gatling ability is no longer only a desperation move, so keep everyone’s HP up.
Alfred never, ever gets more than one move despite appearing in four different battles across the game.
Calamity Jane is Maya’s “upgraded” super move. It does serious damage, and can technically be used any time after the triple tech is down, so it could be used when two of her teammates are already wrecking your HP.
The only upside is that it is a single-target ability, so at least your whole team won’t be dead from a bazooka to the face.
If you have reached this point at low levels, and defeated one Schrodinger, this is basically a RNG race. Maya has equal odds on using her simple handgun as her entire arsenal, so hope for the best.
And don’t forget to shoot back.
Oh! Oh! I hope she turns into, like, a giant robot this time.
Maybe a superhero?
Nope, Virginia is calling it.
“We are bringing up the rewards screen right now and you are going to think about what you have done!”
“I came here because a random NPC mentioned the place and we didn’t really have anywhere else to go!”
Weird date night?
Maya knows Virginia’s song.
See? They know each other well at this point.
And just like an old married couple, they always have the same fights.
I feel like Maya’s “depending on how you look at it” is some kind of progress.
Huh. Guess the battle did continue.
Look, I’m not going to claim to have any sort of gaydar, so this wasn’t really something I noticed on my initial playthrough back when I was in college. But seriously? How did I not notice the “just kiss already” staging that happens every five seconds when these two are together on screen?
Show this screenshot to anyone! Tell me what they think is happening! I cannot be imagining this!
I’m not just isolating screenshots here! The camera lingering is 100% intentional.
You don’t see Virginia pulling this crap with -any male character in the game- (Which, side note, is practically every character other than Melody…)
And Maya finally relents and allows herself to be into it.
The romantic arc of Wild Arms 3 has reached its conclusion. That was sex. You just watched sex.
“I don’t want to kiss in front of the boys.”
“So, are we one big party, or…?”
Guess we can just pretend they are helping us climb this tower in some way.
May as well hit this big switch with the weight of an 8-person gang.
Sweet. Elevator works now.
There are only three stops. We are currently on the fifth floor, and that’s the highest location for elevators.
The first floor elevator stop puts us on the other side of the collapsed bridge, so now we can reach that treasure we saw at the entrance. Our first Mega Berry is going back to the garden as soon as we leave, and…
The Black Pass is one of the most important “random” treasures you will ever find. You will see why once we get out of this cage.
But for now, we’ll see that the third floor is the “cage room”, so that will be useful if we ever get bubble-captured (we won’t).
And that’s where we are going to take a break for this week. We still have about half of a tower left, and you know things are always interesting when Maya is around…
Next time on Wild Arms: Maya is no longer around.