It might be Labor Day some place, but here it is September 4, Mannequin Day. Pull out your mannequins and dress them up. They deserve to wear some clothes.
Previously on Wild Arms 3: Gallows saved the world through hugging. I’m as surprised as anybody. However, the real threat was revealed as a “Dream Demon” named Beatrice. She isn’t supposed to be able to impact the real world, but this is a videogame, so she manifested a dungeon somewhere out in the wilderness. Let’s go there!
After we talk to some of the Baskar locals!
Beatrice cannot impact the real world (like the Guardians!), but she is apparently using something like an ark scepter to get this plot going.
Videogame power scaling is in full effect.
Alright, let’s be on our way.
If you can see in the top left, the Secret Garden is just north of this spot. We technically could have walked over here.
But why walk when you have a dragon?
Welcome to Demondor Pillar. If you google “Demondor”, the top results are all Wild Arms 3.
Welcome to whatever is happening here. At least there’s a door!
Getting all Beast Machines up in here.
Yeah, but you felt this way at the party last night, too.
“Should I console him? Offer a rousing speech about friendship?”
“We weren’t doing anything else today.”
So I guess the technorganic structure of this place is supposed to confirm that Beatrice is a Dream Demon in the Wild Arms 3 definition of “demon”: she definitely comes from Siegfried’s old country (planet) in some fashion with her love of metal tissue.
And I don’t know if this all means that when we are solving puzzles in this mechanical-flesh tower, we are hurting a sentient tower-creature…
Whatever! Use dem bombs.
Is this dungeon supposed to be like a human body? Are we dealing with stomach acid? Did we enter through…. Nope, not thinking about it.
We cannot quite get over to that platform from the overpass here.
May as well fight some monsters while we figure this one out.
Gargyoles still gonna garg.
Are they hidden, or made out of animal hides?
Well, they are named “bombs”.
They are pure white, so hitting them with a dark attack will ruin their day.
Also available: other round boys.
You may recall the Tin Man / Steam Gear boss from a few dungeons back. These guys are remarkably similar.
Just don’t let them make you sad.
Okay, back to the puzzle. There may be a more elegant way to coordinate this trip, but using the Change Crest to teleport over to the white gem is the way out.
Wild Arms 3 loves its towers.
The next challenge room is basically platforming. The white gems stay in one place, and you must teleport over when they have proper footing available.
Once you are on the faster moving platforms, you really have to coordinate your throws.
Or, if you know what you’re doing, you can go for par 2.
Pillars in pillars…
The first group of these already had some cracks. In order to “crack” and then eliminate these obstacles, you must use the game’s favorite method of freezing…
And then firing. After that, a bomb will do ya.
I know what a room like this means…
In a weird way, this is the last “straightforward” dungeon in the game. Every dungeon past this has some significant gimmick.
But for now: Gespenst the Ghost.
He’s got some kind of dark aura, he is strong against dark attacks, and he is weak to light attacks. At least he is themed well!
Ghost Rider here feels like he would be more at home in Darill’s Tomb.
Bro really digs the darkness.
So light ‘em up if you want to move this thing along.
This guy pretty well defines the concept of “mini boss”, so there is not much to worry about.
And if you really want to embarrass him, he is 100% undead, so using Requiem will obliterate Highwayman in one hit.
You could have equipped Dark Rings to weather his attacks, but it is not remotely necessary.
Guest architect Georgia O’Keeffe designed the doorways.
“Do you think we could ride them?”
Oh yeah, Jet is still grappling with that whole “artificial lifeform” thing.
“We have always thought of you as a man. Well… like… at least a mini man? A boy?”
"No, he’s something different. Mini man sounds right."
“I’m just like the giant death demon we just demolished.”
Gallows is all out of hugs.
Clive’s over here like, “Should I tell Virginia I still think her dad is a robot?”
Revenge is a good reason to save the world (?).
“Thought I was going to get some memories out of the deal! But nooo! I distinctly recall not finding any memories!”
“I was getting paid.”
“Not now, Clive.”
You got some other planet you can visit, Jet?
He actually apologized! This place must be getting to him.
“Maybe we should start a book club? Maya and I were talking…”
No pressure. Just have to find Sulky here a reason to live.
Let’s see if we can get through this mental breakdown all in one update.
Because you damn well know we will have an answer before we leave the dungeon.
So let’s get to it.
This looks like another “hallway” room, but there is a switch we have to boomerang.
Have I noted yet that the doors in this place have teeth?
This room has some different elevations that appear to be inaccessible at the moment.
Hard to parse in a screenshot, but some of those gems are “floating”.
Whatever, moving on.
Everyone is working together! Except Jet!
The next room has these mobile serpent traps. If you get hit by one, you will lose health, and most likely be knocked off the platform by the recoil.
And there is a trick in this room…
Use the Gale Crest at the spot in the previous screenshot, and you’ll soar over to some treasure. Jump back with Jet’s radical sneakers.
Power Boost is pretty straightforward. If you weren’t already kitting Clive out with every power-boost skill in the game, this could be useful for him. But since he is likely already using all of his skill points, Jet might be the best runner-up.
We now return to snake dodging.
Now we are up top.
If you want to repeat the lizard room, feel free to drop down and collect the gems. If you actually want to make some progress, Gale Crest over the gap.
And then jump along.
It’s generally easy to tell when a Wild Arms 3 dungeon is about to end.
Or maybe I’m just used to it at this point.
If this pillar was supposed to be like a body, we just reached the mouth.
“Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem?”
“I was unable to confirm any type of control device up until now…But I believe this receives orders from remote locations to mass produce monsters automatically…”
Super. Just super.
Virginia knows what to do with monster producers.
“I’m sorry? You want me to not shoot the monster machine because it has wi-fi?”
A very good point!
Going to be real awkward when we shoot Clive.
Or… moot point.
The girl exists at the speed of thought, but she took a leisurely trip over to her tower.
“This is going on your permanent record!”
“Who liked those nerds? Nobody. That’s who.”
We covered this last week!
“My wish has been the same over the past one hundred years…I want my own world…I don’t wanna live inside the boring library any more…I want another Filgaia—one where I can live…”
Honestly? If I was trapped in the internet for a century, I think I would be willing to destroy the world to get out, too.
And speaking of surviving things…
Somebody around here is doing a good job of ruining Beatrice’s day.
Always have a backup dungeon available.
“If I cannot punch the little internet girl, I am going to take it out on you.”
“I thought maybe you could join us now? Maybe be a summon or something?”
“Your bosses are dead, remember? We killed them? Totally dead? Because we shot them?”
Welp, can’t argue with that.
So fight we shall!
Going to plan ahead and equip wards against instant death attacks…
Asgard has been creeping around the corners of the plot since they returned from the past at Ruins of Memory, but we haven’t actually fought them since back at Infinitum. And, at that time, they were still suffering from power issues thanks to Werner’s disrupter bullet. Before that, it was either a plot battle or they had effectively just been born. So this is a longwinded way of saying that we have not fought Asgard at full power ever.
And Asgard is anxious to show us all of their tricks.
So they’ve got an attack that hits everyone for significant damage (well, significant when you’re not over leveled).
And that earth splitting move that outright killed us way back when Melody was around.
That ability always cleaves your HP in twain. It cannot kill you, but it certainly stings.
And sometimes he just punches ya.
Wide Barrier is rarely used (or at least I didn’t see it a lot on my two playthroughs), but that is an instant death attack that hits the entire party. To my knowledge, it is not 100% instant death (unlike Humbaba’s ability a few dungeons back), but it is very likely it will take out anyone without a Death Ward equipped.
For trivia’s sake, this is the attack that was teased in earlier battles, but never used for anything but plot progression, because Asgard was low on battery power.
Asgard has no weaknesses, so fire away. You basically just have to manage your HP relative to how often you are hit with “halve HP” attack.
Eventually they will get contemplative.
Asgard, you gonna drink that?
Woof. My good ‘bot, could you not stand in front of the teeth machine? It’s weirding me out.
“Glad to help?”
“Now activating moral protocol.”
“I am depressed as all hell.”
“Query: Have you tried not being an idiot?”
Sometimes it takes an immortal fighting robot to tell you you’ve been a dumbass.
“Maybe see a therapist?”
Asgard has discovered the greatest battle available is the one against your own ego.
Extremely loud incorrect buzzer.
There she is now.
“Asgard and I are going to start a jam band.”
“I kinda had fun hanging out and travelling with these chatterboxes. I was able to experience disgust, shock, and anger, more so than when I travelled alone…”
You experience all sorts of new emotions when you suffer the many odors of Gallows.
“One time I saw a cow.”
Stirring music and all that riot.
Baby steps, Asgard.
Thanks, 87% of Astro Boy stories.
Jet, maybe next time you can have a heart-to-heart with somebody before you riddle them with bullets.
Asgard has always had the orders to protect the Prophets…
And since they’re burning in Hell, Asgard had to find a way to the afterlife.
“That’s messed up, new best friend!”
“Worry not…By no means did I throw this fight. For as long as a golem is a golem, there is a fundamental rule he must follow. ‘A golem must secure his own safety to the best of his abilities.’ You are the true victors.”
And with his final breath, Asgard reveals he uses he/him pronouns.
And Asgard disintegrates.
Remember that, Jet.
“I absolutely was going to leave you dorks to hang out with my robot buddy, but that plan isn’t looking so great now.”
“Did you seriously think you were a free agent for the entire game? You ain’t Shadow, Jet.”
Jet is always going to be unfriendly, and that’s Jet. Some people are just like that.
In fact, let’s talk around Jet Enduro a little.
As we are in the homestretch here, I have been thinking about why I always found Wild Arms 3 to be “good”. Actually playing through the game again twenty years after its release has proven one thing: it ain’t the gameplay. There is nothing bad about the general activities of Wild Arms 3, but there is nothing particularly amazing here, either. It’s good, but not something that would somehow inspire the Wild Arms 3 Four Job Fiesta Challenge or something. Absent the game part of the game, that leaves me to fall back on “it’s the characters”. And the characters are pretty great! And I gradually realized that, thanks to the plotting, the stars of Wild Arms 3 come off as a lot more “real” than many of their contemporary RPG protagonists. These are relatable characters in a fantastic situation. And, while they gain powers based on ephemeral gods, they are recognizable as real people.
So let’s talk about the most real person of them all: the robot baby clone of the planet.
On paper, Jet Enduro aka Adam Kadmon is complicated. His whole backstory is that he was a science experiment to see if the spirit of the planet could be transplanted into something more human-sized. Along the way, one of the scientists lost their son, so, he decided the new Filgaia would look like his boy. Then, the whole place went sky high, but “Adam” was rescued by Virginia’s father. For reasons partially altruistic and partially as a sort of “backup plan” for attempting to save the world, Werner raised the newly christened Jet to be… a confused drifter. He never told Jet his secret origins, and he set him off on a quest to merely survive in a crapsack world. Shortly thereafter, Jet coincidentally wound up with Team Virginia (set on that path not by Werner, but by Pike, a random dude who was starting a new job shoveling horse crap), and Jet managed to get caught up in saving the world through sheer inertia (and a little bit of greed). By the time his origins were revealed (first hinted at the end of Chapter 2, and then definitively established at the end of Chapter 3), Jet was able to save the world in just the right way at just the right time. His favorite weapon is actually an ethernet port to the planet, and his very soul remembers the best the world can be.
But none of that really matters for actually knowing Jet. Jet is a surly teenager that begrudgingly likes his allies, and fights for a world because he knows deep down it is the right thing to do… but mostly because of peer pressure.
Jet is just kind of there most of the time. And that’s brilliant!
Let me tell you about how Jet would be handled in most any other game (other titles in the franchise included). Jet’s “mysterious past” would be emphasized about 10,000% more, maybe with villains continually taunting that they know exactly what is going on. His secret origins would be revealed, and maybe some puppy he has been caring for would be thrown off the side of the flying castle. This would enrage Jet, and he would summon The True Power of the Filgaia Sample. Leehalt would shout that exact phrase as the scene unfolded. Jet’s hair would change color. His ARM would transform into a blazing white. His Level 4 Super Ability would be unlocked, and his new tool would allow him to interface with terminals that you had been seeing in dungeons since early in the game. After an epic battle, Jet would have the ability to transform at will (when you have enough MP), and the ending would definitely see Super Jet saving the world by… I don’t know… bicycle kicking a meteor or something. Oh! But before that, we would have a “triumphant” final battle where Super Jet has all his hyper abilities unlocked with unlimited energy, so you can go hog wild on the main antagonist (who may have been Jet’s real father all along).
Yet in Wild Arms 3, Jet finds out he’s The Filgaia Sample, and… it mostly just annoys him for two dungeons before he gets over it.
Look, I’d probably have the same reaction to finding out I was a clone baby.
And that’s the crux of it. As much as I love a heightened reality story where someone doesn’t just get mad at their dad’s boss/murderer, they get Legendary Super Saiyan mad at the alien who wiped out their entire species (who also is their dad’s boss/murderer), sometimes it is nice to play an RPG where characters have very real limits and emotions. Jet saves the world with his “secret origin powers” once because he is in the exact right place at the exact right time. After that? Being Adam Kadmon is neither a burden nor a boon, it just is. And that’s real! It is possible that tomorrow you will find out you are adopted. But it is extremely unlikely you will find out that your birth parents are royalty, aliens, wizards, or whatever was going on in the Animorphs universe. It is something that can happen and that you would have to reckon with, but the chance of you getting a magical laser sword out of the deal is low. That’s reality.
And that’s Jet in a nutshell. He has a big, secret past… and it doesn’t matter. Jet is Jet through and through, and he barely changes one iota after his dramatic reveal. This information will change him, the course of his life will be different with this information… but not right now. Give or take inn stops, there are probably like three days left in the Wild Arms 3 plot/timeline. And Jet isn’t going to have an epic epiphany in there. He is just going to find a reason to keep fighting thanks to his golem frenemy. And after that? Who knows! It is Jet’s future to make!
Jet is an ordinary, surly teenager hanging out with his friends, and he discovers his own fantastic origins. Then he gets back to being an ordinary, surly teenager hanging out with his friends.
And which of those friends is going to have their showcase next? Guess we’ll find out soon enough…
Next time on Wild Arms: Screw you guys, I’m going home.