In Which the Chosen Love Interest is at Last Introduced
All right, another update today, just because. Last time, we were heading into stage 3-2: Tree Ruins.
The ruins are, as you might expect, overgrown with plants. As such, there's some roots on this screen I can examine (there's also a random chest, but I'll leave it, because I'm going to go through here again later). Ein recognizes that the roots make it hard to walk, and when we move on, Serene almost trips I can say that we should rest, call her clumsy, or suggest that she's getting old; I choose the last option to get an affection drop out of her. She also notes that she's the same age as Ein (?).
The next screen has an ape sleeping on it. Examining it allows me to launch a sneak attack, and doing so reduces its HP by half when I fight it. In such a state, S-ranking it with Disaresta is a simple matter, and the Meat it drops replaces my Silver Dagger.
The third screen of this area contains some rubble, which I can have either Ein or Fia search. Ein, unfortunately, will only find a rock. Asking Fia to take a look reveals a Thunder Onyx (worth 2500 points). That's it for this area right now, so I move on to stage 3-3: Treetop Ruins.
After the team talks about how same-y and ugly the ruins are (careful with that fourth wall, guys; it's the only one we have), I'm given control. The screen I'm on has some roots I'll hold off on examining for now, as well as a treasure chest. Unfortunately, it seals itself when we try to open it. I'll be able to do something with the chest later, so I'll leave for now.
We arrive in an outdoor area with a door and an egg to examine. When I examine the egg, I can either take it or break it. Seeing as complete idiocy has gotten us bonuses in the past, I try breaking it. One timing minigame later, the egg is shattered, and all I have to show for it is a 2000-point bonus and another point of Strength for Ein. Unfortunately, the bird that laid the egg in question promptly returns, makes a rather correct decision regarding the fate of her egg, and attacks us. I then have to fight two birds, neither of whom pose much of a threat. S-ranking them grants me ten Eggs, which is five more than I would've obtained by just taking the egg. They replace the Harpie Talon, because honestly claws aren't that good at this point. Also, Lina can master the Egg for an Over Skill:
- Egg: Egg Shot: Level 1, 1-hit physical non-elemental attack for 35% of the target's HP, destroys all remaining Eggs
Notice that a significant number of Lina's Over Skills involve murdering people with food.
Anyway, examining the door reveals that it's locked and has no visible means of being opened. Examining it a second time causes Serene to suggest breaking it down, which accomplishes very little. I am then forced to leave the screen and return
, which causes a feather to appear out of nowhere. Examining this feather, in turn, causes Ein to hear a bird from above, which causes him to realize that we can go that way. Unfortunately, we're immediately beset by angry birds that knock us off the branch. We then drop into the smallest stage in the game, stage 3-4: Pelga Nests.
Upon landing, Serene asks if we're all right, and fortunately enough, we are. Serene then notices that her hitherto-unmentioned pendant that does not appear on any of her art and only exists within the context of a single sidequest has gone missing! Meanwhile, a red-haired woman in a pointy hat hears us, and promptly decides to help.
Unfortunately, she spends so long mulling over how she's going to rescue us that she falls and lands on top of Ein. After a "hilarious" scene where she fails to realize that she's sitting on top of Ein, she apologizes and I'm given a rather...odd choice.
Now, Ein can either say that the landing hurt or assure Cierra (yeah, I'm not going to keep this up any longer) that it's okay because she's soft (JAPAAAAAN!). Now, the latter option is supposed
to be the one that you'd choose for Cierra, because it lowers affection with everyone else while raising Cierra's affection (while the former option just lowers everyone's affection), but it's bugged. You see, the game hasn't actually started tracking Cierra's affection yet, so it'll be reset to its base value no matter what. Furthermore, that first option lowers everyone's affection more
than the second one. As such, I choose it and Cierra assumes that Ein was suggesting that she's overweight.
Anyway, the branch breaks and we fall back to area 3-1.
With that, I'll leave it here. I know it's something of a cliffhanger, but the next section is rather long, and at least I got to the point where Cierra is actually introduced. Join us next time, when we venture into a land that has caused countless players of this game to simply give up. They meant to resume at a later date, really! Yes, I am well aware that their Riviera
cartridges are now so thick with dust as to be unplayable, but that doesn't mean anything.
I remember playing this game when it first came out for the GBA back in 2005 or so. It was my first exposure to the typical cookie-cutter anime rom-com humor (oh the damage it must have caused). I remember it being...an okay game, and I was willing to overlook some of its storytelling flaws thanks to the graphical style (minus the environment copypasta) and the music. It's certainly interesting to look back on it six years later with a new perspective and snark at the triter aspects.