Part 59: Farewell Wrap up & More SidequestsLast time, we were too late to stop Mohs, and Ion died after reading the Score of the Seventh Fonstone.
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Dammit, Ion... Arietta"s Answer
: ...You killed him! Anise, you killed Ion!
: Please, wait! It"s only because Mohs had taken us hostage...: Papa, be quiet! Yeah, I did it. Want to make something of it, Gloomietta?!: Ion helped me so much. This is beyond avenging Mommy, Anise. I"ll avenge Ion, too!
: ...Accepted!: Anise!: I have to finally settle things with her!: I"ll send someone to tell you the time and place later. And I"ll never forgive you if you run away!: Anise! A duel? This is foolishness! Can"t you talk about this? I"m sure Arietta would understand...: Mama, be quiet!: But Anise...: Shut up!
: Let"s split up and look for her.: Yeah...I don"t exactly buy Anise"s act of not caring about having played a part in Ion"s death. Let"s go find her.
: Sometimes, people want to be alone. I"d like to leave her to herself, personally. And besides, there"s something I"m more worried about than Anise... Yulia may in fact have truly read a Score of destruction. If that"s so... then what Van is doing may actually make a certain amount of sense.Jade drops something big on us here, but we"ll get to that later. Priorities: let"s find Anise.Skit: Thinking of Anise: Anise... where"d she go? I think I know how she feels.: She"s being crushed by the weight of what she"s done. She"s blaming herself for everything. If we leave her alone... it"ll destroy her.: We"ve got to find her.I think we can infer that Luke is speaking from experience here.
She didn"t go far.Guilt of the Traitor
: Look, everyone"s worried about you. Oliver and Pamela, too...: Don"t talk to me about them!: ...Come on, Anise. You couldn"t have done anything differently. He was holding your parents hostage.: No!
: Mohs ordered me to report everything Ion did. Trying to stop the war, spending time with you guys... I reported it all!
: Anise... that"s all-: Listen! The attack on the Tartarus, the ambushes by the Six God-Generals, it"s all my fault!: Wasn"t that all because you were worried for your parents?
: When I was really little, he got scammed for a ton of money and got deep into debt. Mohs bailed him out. Since then, my parents have worked for the cathedral without pay. I... I couldn"t disobey his orders...: ...I know.: I hated it all along... Ion was so trusting, it really hurt to have to lie...: Yeah.: But I... I loved Mama and Papa.: Anise... you did the right thing.
: Poor Ion... it"s all my fault... and now he"s dead...!
: Anise... here, take this. I picked it up in Mt. Zaleho. It"s a fragment of the fonstone from the Score Ion read.: Ion"s fonstone...
: ...What do you want to do now? Do you want to stay in Daath?: ...No. I"m going with you. I think that Ion would have wanted to help you, if he had lived.: Thanks. Let"s head back and see everyone, then.
I actually go against the grain a little here and enjoy Anise"s betrayal subplot. When you realize that she"s been reporting on our activities from the start, a lot of events start to fall into place. How the God-Generals always found us being just one among many. I can also see her motives for it, too. Back in part 1, Anise had only traveled with us for a bit, so she had no reason to trust us with her hostage situation over just continuing to work for Mohs and guarantee her parents" safety. For the first half of part 2 Ion was mostly out of our party so there was no reason to bring it up, and in the second half Mohs wasn"t really acting against us any more, so again no reason. Then come part 3 her parents are straight up taken hostage, and alerting the party at that point wouldn"t have worked to her benefit either. She had no idea where Mohs even had her parents, and if she"d told the party, they couldn"t have done much to help. Hell, they could have made things worse by asking her to drop Mohs false info, and if he caught win her parents were just dead. Basically a lot of
to say that upon deeper inspection, this is a pretty well structured betrayal plotline. Also Ion"s death triggers Anise"s transformation into a much more likable character, so that"s nice bonus, too.
: It appears you"ve calmed down a bit.: Yes, Colonel. I"d like to stay with you all and think about what I should do from here on.: Stay strong, Anise.
: What should we do next? It would be hard to pursue the Score further until the Order has been restructured. And we don"t have the first clue about where to search for Asch...: I... I"d like to put Ion"s final reading of the Score to use.: You mean the bit about finding out how to clear away the miasma in Belkend?: You"re right. Ion sacrificed everything to give us that clue.: I agree. That"s all we have to go on at the moment.: That said... we will have to deal with this issue eventually. We stopped Van"s vision of a world where the Score can"t be read. But it"s not as if we fully support the Score, either.: Once things settle down, we should hold the summit about what to do with the Score.: Yes, you"re right.Skit: Regret: Ion... it"s all my fault... I"m sorry... You"d only lived a few years... I should"ve... I should"ve died instead...Yes, that was a one line skit. Here"s a longer one.Skit: Ion"s Legacy: So we rejected the Score, but now we have to rely on the Score Ion read to us...?: Ion said to treat the Score as one possibility out of many. We aren"t being forced to obey it.: He wants it to be used for the future of the world... not as an unbreakable rule, but as a guide in making decisions.: Ion"s Score is always accurate. Luke, are you saying you don"t trust it...? Or you don"t want to trust it?
: ...No, I"m not. I know it"s accurate. That"s why I"m following it. But...: If this does succeed, you may be tempted to follow the Score again in the future... right?: How long can we go on saying "just this once" before it becomes a habit?: So you"re going to ignore Ion"s Score? Please, you can"t do that!: ...I won"t. I"m just frustrated with this gap between ideas and reality...Sometimes I really love this game"s writing. God damn.Okay, so I know this totally kills the mood that was just building from the last update but... Ion"s death just triggered a whole new batch of sidequests to complete, so....Sorry.
At least we"ll have some more plot relevant skits along the journey.Skit: Two Different People: Arietta was truly fond of Ion, wasn"t she?
: As was Anise. But the two of them were thinking of different Ions.: Ion was a replica, after all. The Ion that Arietta liked is long gone...: How sad that those misunderstandings have led to a duel...At this point in the conversation Luke, Tear, and Natalia slide out of the conversation, leaving Jade and Guy.: ...The same thing could easily have happened with Luke and Asch.
: Natalia and Tear, huh... yeah, it could have.
: ...I know this is my doing, but fomicry truly is an unethical technology.If you haven"t been picking up on the hints, this replica business is starting to really get to Jade. He"s been having a lot more emotional outbursts as of late, and is speaking his mind too freely in places where he"d usually check himself, leading to party members getting irritated with him. It"s unsettling to see his cool facade slowly slip away.
There"s a lot to cover from this point on, so I"m going to be skipping a lot of the unimportant, non-voiced text between the party and these no-name NPC"s. First up, we can now get Luke his third arte book. Once again, it costs us so much the party insists we truck it all the way to Luke"s mansion to mooch off his mom.
So the same shit plays out again. Luke offers to do something for his mother (in this case, cook for her), he fucks it up horribly, but Susanne is moved by her son"s love and gives him an outlandish sum anyway. Another party member comments on this, and she reduces it to what is coincidentally the exact sum we need to buy the book.
Slag Assault Is a pretty nifty earth arte. It"s kind of like rending fist, if it were slower, did more damage, produced earth FoF"s, and sent a little shockwave along the ground. It"s not bad.Next up is the second half of Natalia"s artes sidequest. You remember, the one back when we had Asch in the party, and we had to truck it all to port Sheridan to learn Gallant Barrage? I"m actually going to transcribe this one, because the dialogue is interesting.
: General Goldberg! What are you doing here?!: Princess Natalia!
: This man is my archery instructor. I will not allow you to mistreat him.: I would not dream of it! We have come here searching for General Steele under His Majesty"s orders.
: General Steele? Do you mean the blind General Steele?: Who"s that?
: A Kimlascan hero who devastated the Malkuth army at the battle of Rotelro.: General Goldberg, I will not return to Kimlasca.: But His Majesty is concerned for your health.: ...After I lost my sight, I reevaluated my life. I bid farewell to the me that could only live through slaughter. Please convey this message to His Majesty. The Steele who once taught archery is dead.: ...I understand, I"m sorry to here that.: General Steele... no, Master, are you truly blind? You don"t appear that way at all...: It"s true. I can see nothing. But I can sense Your Highness" presence. As well as that of the Necromancer who robbed me of my sight.: I thought so...: That was your first battle, and my last.
: Nor would I. That is how it is on the battlefield. Your Highness, I will now give you my final lesson.: Yes, Master.: Of the artes I used, this one is the most suited for Your Highness.: Suited for me?: You have learned well, Your Highness. My fonic arte, Healing Force, is now yours. This is a healing arte, and it is truly worthy of you, Your Highness. Please use that fonic arte to heal your companions.: I will use this arte for the sake of my friends, and for the sake of the people of my country.
Healing Force is a pretty unique spell. Once cast it creates a field that automatically heals party members standing near Natalia for a decent amount of time. The problem is that the range of the arte is pretty poor, so unless you run your fighters up to her, it"s not that helpful.: Necromancer, when the chaos of this conflict ends, do you believe the world will find peace?: No... it may become peaceful temporarily, but it won"t last long.
: What are you talking about?! Kimlasca and Malkuth signed a peace treaty!: The Order of Lorelei is on the verge of collapse. It holds the potential to spark a new conflict. Unlike in fairy tales, the world doesn"t live happily ever after.: The Necromancer is correct. The history of mankind is the history of war. Peace does not last. That is precisely why it is precious.
: Yeah, we have to do everything we can to make sure peace lasts as long as it can. What"s really important is what happens AFTER we"ve achieved peace.Again: this game"s writing just shines sometimes. Give me another JRPG with that realistic an outlook on the future after the game"s events conclude.
Okay, next. This guy and his dog the guy we rescued from Aramis Spring an update back have found some Ice-Nine, and if we don"t get rid of it, it will germinate and turn everything to ice. No, I"m not making that up. So our party decides the best thing to do is chuck it into a volcano.
: Now I will destroy the whole world...Okay, okay, I promise to stop making Cat"s Cradle jokes.
At any rate, this has the effect of solidifying the majority of the lava flows in the dungeon, which lets us explore some new areas. There are two particularly important things we need to pick up here.Mieu Fire 2
Yeah, we have one more Mieu power to pick up. Well, not new per-say but... well, read on.
: Luke, you"ve gotten so smart.: You"re making fun of me, aren"t you?
: Luke, you really should just get use to the Colonel"s jabs.
: That"s harsh.: Fonons! Now the Sorcerer"s Ring will get even more powerful.: Wait a minute... I thought the ring could only hold three fon verses. It can"t get any more powerful without engraving another verse, right?: I would suppose so.: Whaaat? And here I was getting all excited...: Mieuuu... I guess the show is over...: But it"s not like anyone told us the limit is three, right? Go give it a try.: You have a point. Let"s at least try and see what happens.
: Well, did it work?: ...I don"t think so...: Hmm...? Would you show me the Sorcerer"s Ring for a moment?: Sure.
: The end of the verse was previously illegible from being worn away.: So you mean...?: Mieu, try breathing fire.: Okay!
: Hmm? It looks like it went a little further...: ...Hmm, yeah. Kind of boring, but...
: Not "kind of", seriously boring...
: What"s wrong with it? I think it"s cute.
: You really do have a soft spot for all things cute, don"t you?: N-no, it"s not like that...: Is this all right?: Sure. The fon verse has been repaired, and the ring has its original power back.: Well then, I"m happy!
Mieu Fire 2 is some seriously bullshit. It"s required for a lot of endgame sidequests, but good fucking luck finding this without a guide? Let"s list the requirements:-Mieu Wing.-Rescuing Shu and his dog from Aramis Spring.-Knowing to go talk to them in Keterburg after Ion"s death.-Knowing where exactly to then go explore in the dungeon for it.Whatever. This new version does not ever go out, so it will travel the length of the screen.
We"ll use it to pick up one more thing before leaving the dungeon.
That other thing being the Flamberge. Tales vets will recognize this one. Though it"s unfortunately much less powerful than the weapons Guy and Luke are carting around, I have a soft spot for it since it"s literally a sword made out of fire.
Here"s a close up. I love the design, too bad it"s outdated. Oh well. We"re about to go pick up its counterpart in a minute anyway.
I"ll show this off, first. Remember this fonstone at Surrey Hill that we couldn"t reach? Now that we have both Mieu Wing and Mieu Fire 2, we can finally reach it. The reward is a few chests with some decent loot, including a bow for Natalia which, if I didn"t have her arena weapon, would be downright gamebreaking at this point. Okay, next up Mt. Roneal. Why? Because Mieu Fire 2 wasn"t obscure enough: we need to go deeper.
Heading deep, deep into the Sephiroth, we find a path that forks.
One end, we find what is arguably the most annoying puzzle in the game. We"ll get back to this one.
On the other path we find... an exit to the world map?
Yep! It leads to a section ringed by mountains, covered by a snowstorm that prevents the Albiore from landing here.
As you can see, there"s another entrance to Mt. Roneal on the other side of this area. We head inside to this new back entrance.
First off, here"s the counterpart to the Flamberge: the Vorpal Sword. This one is a blade of pure ice, and again it has a cool design but doesn"t cut it for our needs at this point.Interestingly unlike the Flamberge, this sword is only blocked by the fact that you need to take the back entrance to Mt. Roneal to get here. If you use the map glitch I showed off in the recent bonus update, you can glitch yourself into the ringed off area and grab this sword as early as the first visit to Engeve. While it"s outclassed now, the Vorpal Sword will rock the shit out of anything in the early game. I won"t lie: in my Unknown playthrough I glitched to get this sword ASAP, because fuck spending 2 hours fighting the Liger Queen.
Okay, so what are we doing out here? Well, we have to set up a couple things so we can complete that insane block puzzle you saw earlier. First, we Mieu Wing up to this path.
Room 1 introduces a new puzzle mechanic: light the fire, the door opens. Simple.
Room 2 turns things up a notch: both fires need to be lit by the same flame, or the door won"t open. This is where you"d get stuck without Mieu Fire 2, since the flame goes out before it can reach both torches.
And room 3 introduces the worst part of the whole puzzle, these mirrored pillars. You need to shoot the fire so it hits the first torch, reflects off the pillar, and then hits the second, all in one go. Getting the proper positioning for this is, you can imagine, awful. Advice to those playing along: You can use L1 and R1 to rotate Luke while standing still. This will save you much agony.
All this so we can position one of the reflectors for the puzzle. Now we backtrack all the way to the back entrance area where we got the Vorpal Sword.
Heading to the north instead of Mieu Winging up the tree leads us to the puzzle"s ground floor. Can you see it? We need to position all the torches so that we can stand in that spot in the upper right and fire one shot that will reflect multiple times to hit all 12 torches.Now, we have to run all the way back through the world map, and back to the Sephiroth proper, back to that fork in the road where I showed you the block puzzle for the first time.
One well placed shot, and puzzle complete.
This opens a door on the ground floor. Yes, we have to go ALL THE WAY BACK to the block puzzle"s floor again. Fuck this sidequest.
The door leads to yet another isolated area of the world map.
Symphonia fans may notice here that the monster models here are a shout out to Symphonia"s way of denoting monsters on the world map. The monsters themselves don"t actually look like that though. The monsters in this back area are serious business, mostly being slightly depowered versions of bonus or hidden bosses. No, really.
What the hell, alternative versions of Sand Worm?! Get out of here, I haven"t even shown him off yet!Okay but really, why the fuck are we out here?
This is why. The Refined Flightstone, which ends our Albiore troubles. In addition to letting us land in any terrain, it gives us a forcefield that we can use to cruise right through bad weather. Fuck you, nature!But yeah, this is even more bullshit than Mieu Fire 2. There is zero indication that there"s even a whole back area to the Mt. Roneal dungeon, let alone this being there. The only real nudge the game gives you is that we"ll be heading to Mt. Roneal very shortly again for story related purposes, but nothing gives you any incentive to explore far enough in to find this. Hell, the party actually says they need to rush back out. This game.
Crusin" in style, baby!
Now that we have the Refined Flightstone, we can use it to bypass this whirlpool. I don"t know if I"ve shown this off before, but right next to Ortion Cavern is another cave entrance, blocked by a giant whirlpool. But now that nature is our bitch, we can get in.
Oh, and right at the start there"s a conveyerbelt puzzle that requires Mieu Fire 2 to proceed. I don"t get this: it"s clearly meant to stop players without Mieu Fire 2 from getting in, but you need that anyway to get the Refined Flightstone, which is also required for entry. Why the dual authentication?
Inside we find a bunch of cheagles that Dist has trapped in cages. He was using them for fomicry experiments, but since they"ve abandoned Ortion Cavern he"s just left them to rot. We just use a lot of Mieu Fire 2 to flip switches and get them out.
Oh, and the mirror gimmick of reflecting the fire returns in the form of these giant crystals in the cave wall.
We go along until we find this last cheagle, which can"t get away because its escape route is blocked.
Luckily Dist left a huge mining laser sitting around. Helpful!Oh, and the laser is on the same power supply as trio of replica machines surround it, so turning on the laser means turning on the replicators, too.
Again, turning it on involves bouncing the Sorcerer"s Ring off mirrors. Is this how Dist had to start it, too? How annoying.
Fare thee well, cheagle.
Dist"s security system: a ton of replica ogres.
This battle is fairly novel, in that you actually do fight six of them. It starts with three, and as you kill them the other three trickle into the battlefield. We"ll see this mechanic again in the future. However despite this, they"re still just mooks, and they fall easily.
If you go to the Cheagle Elder, he"ll give you the Dark Seal and Holy Symbol, which are key items that increase the duration of dark bottles and holy bottles, respectively. Not too bad a reward, actually.Just two more things, I promise.
First, we can get more of the catalyst weapons. McGovern has one of the swords, or more accurately his son does.
His son won"t fork it over until we find his lost rappig. What the hell is up with these damn rappigs?
Anyway, it"s two feet from town.
Easy enough.We can actually get one more but... it"s not in a side quest.
We have to go back to the fucking Abandoned Factory.I just... why? What?! How the hell would anybody know to do this? And that"s not even the worst of it!
You Mieu Wing up a ladder...
Which leads you here. See that yellow switch? Mieu Fire it.
See more: Does Beef Broth Go Bad? How Long Does Beef Broth Last Once Opened?
This sends a second cart back up to the main dungeon entrance in Baticul. We take that one.
And there"s another catalyst weapon, just sitting in a chest!
I have no words. Sorry, but that"s all I can take for now. We"ll pick up with the plot next update.Next Time: A forbidden power reveals itself.Synopsis:Arietta flew into a rage when she learned of Ion"s death and challengedAnise to a duel. She said that she"d send a mediator to inform Anise of thetime and place, and left. Oliver and Pamela tried to comfort Anise, but sheran out of the room. Anise must be blaming herself for Ion"s death, thinking she can neverforgive herself. We can"t leave her alone...we"ve got to find her. Anise told me that she had been following Mohs" orders, keeping watch onIon, all for her parents" sake. If it was me, I"d probably blame Ion"s deathon that too, but Anise said that she herself had killed Ion, and couldn"tstop crying. I felt sorry for her, but I also thought she was really strong.So I gave her the fonstone from the Score Ion read on Mt. Zaleho, the onlything that Ion left behind. We then decided to head for Belkend, following the Score Ion read for me.According to that Score, we should find a way there to do something about themiasma. Let"s trust in the final Score that Ion read. It does go against ourtrying to get rid of the Score, but for now it"s the only thing we have to goon. Ion, show us what we need to do.