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Nyperold

[table of contents]
Orge Champ, Twins, Rebels, Revolutionary Étude, and The Chorus Plains
So I go off to the left, and find a pretty big blue dude with a BFS and two L'Opera Knights. The guys waste no time in putting themselves between Polka and the things. Allegretto asks Frederic if he's sure he's up for fighting, since he's probably still recovering, as well. Frederic says he's all right, and to just keep those creatures away from Polka.

In battle, though, Polka isn't on the field, so we're just destroying the enemies. A good portion of both the left and the right of the battlefield is shaded, so if I need a Light Special Attack, it should probably be in the middle. I eliminate the L'Opera Knights, and focus on the big dude, the Ogre Champ. He has as his attacks: Big Smash, Decapitate, Ground Strike, and possibly other stuff. It drops the Long Sword when it dies.

Beat

Allegretto

Frederic

Polka goes to her knees. Allegretto asks if she got hurt, but she's all right, and thanks him. Frederic is relieved, but notices something unfamiliar. It looks like a little glowing ball. Allegretto assumes it's an agogo. Polka thanks it for saving her. Beat wants a picture of it, but while he's getting his camera, it disappears. Allegretto blames Beat, wishing he could have touched it, and Beat apologizes. Polka gathers from Allegretto that the young boy's name is Beat, and more gently says that they're probably shy, and will likely come out again. She goes on, gathering that the older one's name is 'Retto, and asks if it's short for something else. (Well, unless there's an "Alleg" about like there's a Sop for Rano, an Ad for Lib, and a Sym for Phony...) He gives his name as "Allegretto" and claims to have a little store in Ritardando that has trouble keeping things in stock. Beat supresses a fit of giggles. He asks why she, a powder seller, is all the way out there.

Flashback time! At Solfege's house, Polka tells her mother that she's going to see the Count. Seems a popular guy these days! Solfege is upset about discussing it with a guest in the house. Polka reiterates the effect that the low price of mineral powder is having on floral powder sales. She thinks the Coungt will understand if she talks to him. Solfege doesn't think she can go there by herself. Instead of pointing out that their guest is likely coming with  *, she says she's made up her mind, and tells Solfege not to try to stop her. She holes herself in her room before Solfege can do anything. Solfege tries to convince her that they'll survive somehow, even if floral powder isn't selling. No response. She asks if Polka is listening and tells her to answer if she is.

Back in the present, Allegretto asks if she's listening. She claims to be, and says she's going to Forte.

Inside, the four and March are sitting around a table. Beat asks Frederic to say his name, which is pretty long, again. He does: Frederic Francois Chopin. Pretty weird name, too; it's not an instrument, a musical instruction, a genre of music, an element of music... I mean, it must be so foreign to them! Anyway, he says they can call him Frederic. Beat doesn't think that'll pose a problem, as he says he's good at remembering people's names. March asks about Forte, and wonders if Polka means Forte Castle. She does. March warns them that Forte's not particularly friendly, and says that it's nicer in Agogo Forest. She adds that the Count is responsible for the mining at Mt. Rock, and says he's making some kind of medicine. (Okay, here's one clue that maybe this isn't purely Chopin's dream: in a land where every proper name has a musical meaning, there's a place called Mt. Rock.) Beat correctly identifies the substance. March tells them of her sister, Salsa, who's gone to ask that the mining be stopped. Allegretto gets it, and guesses that she stayed behind to watch things. March further explains that the agogos will lose their homes if nothing is done. Polka, who didn't know this, was going to ask that the amount they're selling be reduced. March decides this is perfect, and asks them the favor of delivering Salsa's hat to her if they should happen to meet. Allegretto is unsure how, as they don't know what she looks like. March lets on that they're twins, so that won't be a problem. Allegretto figures they can handle that, and decides that he and Polka can go together. Polka seems unsure, though March and Beat also seem in favor. Beat points out that if she collapses again, the agogos might not be there. (Of course, given that the reason she collapsed was that she was attacked by a man with big stats...)

Meanwhile, back at the flash, we see Polka as we hear Solfege's pleas. Out of Solfege's earshot, Polka apologizes to her, and says it's about more than the floral powder: she wants to something meaningful with the little time she has left, and the power that she has. This realization was inspired by Chopin. She's not going to let other people's fear bother her; those who want to stay away, can do so. She'd been seeing other people as enemies 'til then. (Um, that dude in Ritardando? You didn't seem to think him an enemy when you healed him.) But she's going to start trusting people now. She figures the end result will be that she might become a Heaven's Mirror. (...Literally?)

This causes her to decide she'd like to go together. Allegretto thinks they should get going. He asks Frederic what he's going to do. He, too, was headed for Forte. Beat is excited, but Allegretto thinks it's getting crowded. He doesn't know the half of it yet!

Outside, Polka thanks March. She invites them to stop by anytime they come through. The four leave, and Beat mildly laments not getting a chance to take a picture of the glowing agogo. Allegretto reminds him that they can go back later. Polka thinks he's right, and is sure he'll be able to get a picture next time.

Back inside, March wonders what they mean, as she's never seen an agogo glow. She speculates that it may be an illusion.

Chapter 2: Revolution

Forte Castle Throne Room

A young man on a throne is laughing off the suggestion of a man in his 50s or 60s. He wonders what Andantino could possibly do. He asks if they think they'll start a revolution just by saying they oppose the government. The older man tries to mitigate this satisfaction with lack of action by relaying reports of their attempts to disturb the peace. He thinks putting a stop to it before it gets worse might be best. The young man identifies the older as Legato for us...

Legato: Notes played without interruption between them, indicated by a slur.

.. and tells him to stop worrying, as disturbing the peace is what rebels do. (They also destroy your superweapons if you're not careful, y'know?) He contrasts that with a revolution, which involves toppling a country's government. He asks Legato if he thinks Andantino can that. Legato doesn't believe so. The man doesn't think Forte castle will fall regardless of Andantino's followers. He says Andantino knows that, but they continue to fight, and asks Legato why he thinks that is.

Revolution

Let's learn some more music history!

So, there was an insurrection in Warsaw, Poland on November 29, 1830: The November Uprising. At that time, Poland was Russian territory, but more and more people wanted independence. On the 2nd, however, Chopin had left for Vienna. Some say his friends warned him to leave before the rebellion came, but apparently, he had planned the trip many months ahead of time, when he didn't know rebellion was imminent. The mini-doc reiterates both Chopin's talent and his frailty. Chopin's friends wanted him to "fight" using his piano as a weapon. (Not, of course, a physical battle, as Crazy Awesome as that would look.) Chopin arrived in Vienna on the 23rd: three weeks after he left, and six days before the uprising. To give you an idea of the rate of travel, he went an average of 16.5 mi(26.5 km)/day, which seems slow, but, eh, this is the early 1800s. Technological limitations and who knows what else made the journey much slower than we'd need to take. Today, we can buy a plane ticket from one to the other online. Anyway, on September 8th, 1831, Warsaw fell, and the rebellion was defeated. When Chopin learned about it, he was in Stuttgart, Germany. His feelings evoked by the defeat inspired him to compose "The Revolutionary Étude". Chopin loved Poland, and the failure of it to win indepedence was difficult to bear. (Good thing he never knew how much longer it would be, or the brief period of time that independence would last, or how long it would be before it gained its current independence.) The mini-doc speculates that it may have been more difficult to bear the fact that he was safe in a foreign country, as if he'd abandoned his homeland. And he'd never return.

Back to the enthroned man. Apparently, the question he posed was not rhetorical; he actually expects some kind of answer. It's obvious that Legato either doesn't know or is unwilling to answer for whatever reason. The dude in charge says there must be someone backing them; if they didn't feel they could win, they wouldn't fight. Their backers, then, are the true enemies of this government. He feels they can let Andantino play out their game, especially as they're one step ahead of them.

Those allergic to dandelions may wish to hold their noses, because we've just entered the...

Chorus Plains

Chorus: Depending on context, a group of singers, music composed for a singing group, or a refrain.

(Tune: Field NO. 15, "Dive into the Vast Expanse")

One of my favorite tunes in this game, though I prefer the gentle, relaxing ones.

Now, for the first time in the game, there are more than 3 party members. The three in the first slots are your active party. The rest get Leaked Experience. I move Polka into the 3rd slot, since she's slowest.

Before I do anything else, I trade Allegretto's Saber for the Long Sword (ATK +20) we just won. Also, I want to go back.

The boy in the village deems himself an expert, and says glowing agogos don't exist. So, as much of an authority as that, huh?

Back over at the area where I fought the Ogre Champ, there's a Poison Whitecap. Also, there's a man who comments on the lack of agogos, a boy wants to be old enough to enter the forest, a woman who says it's inappropriate to enter the cave except during coming-of-age ceremonies, and a man who claims approaching the cave will earn you the wrath of the gods. A sign says not to enter, and if you try, he tells you he told you never to go near it, and you don't. Also, now, if you go inside the house, you can talk to March to have your party's HP restored.

But back to the Chorus Plains. It's a gorgeous landscape.

Off to the left is a chest with a Leather Hide (DEF +13), which is a slight improvement over Frederic's Hunting Coat, but more of one over Polka's Pretty Clothes, so I equip them on her.

This section of the Plains is populated by Angel Goats. First things first: in the field, you can't sneak up on them. They turn too soon and too quickly. Don't even try, and don't try to get away for another go. You risk having your back attacked. In combat, in addition to hitting you with their horns and front hooves regularly, they have Feather Flare, a long-range attack, Assemble, a short-range attack, and Ride of Three Hundred, in which the goat charges a character. Fortunately, each enemy party here is just two Angel Goats.

I keep seeing pieces of paper as I approach the bridge. The bridge, by the way, is blocked by three normal goats. Despite Allegretto and Polka's asking them to move, they don't. Beat has the idea of feeding them something. Allegretto agrees to try.

Well, there's one piece not far to the south. Another can be found along the right side of the fence. A third piece is half on the road I came in on.

Back to the goats. Each takes a piece and goes away. The third one requires a little extra pleading.

Crossing the bridge to the North Side causes a fade transition. If I find the monsters here to be too much, I can make the Angel Goats reappear by crossing back.

First, off to the left is a party of three Angel Goats.

Farther along the left is a chest with a Jezail (ATK +15) in it. A marked improvement over Beat's Serpentine Lock.

The refugees from the Spore Creature Creator are called Earth Shakers. They hit with their wings and tails, and have the Long Tail (it spins, hitting us with it) Special Attack, but I'm not in battle with them long enough for them to do anything else. I'll tell you when I face more. It is possible, albeit difficult, to get behind them in the field.

Also along the left is a man with some normal goats. He asks for a pair of Long Johns, so I hand them over. A goat bleated in his ear when he was resting by a bush, and when he stood up, his long johns got caught. He gives me Goat's Milk in return.

Polka

Frederic

Off to the left, at the far end, I get a Club Clover.

I can walk onto the dock, but aside from the gorgeous view, there's no reason to.

To the right is another section, a detour around the lake. There's an Angel Goat and an Earth Shaker here.

Allegretto

I swap out Allegretto and put in Beat. I save at the Save Point.

Farther along, Frederic notices someone. A woman in twin drills and a Bare Your Midriff outfit with a Cleavage Window is warning some floating weirdos away from her goats. Polka goes to help her, and the others follow.

In the ensuing battle, she replaces Polka.

The battle is against two Maledictors. They use Spiritus at long range, but I'm not in battle with them long enough for them to do anything else. Again, I'll tell you when I face more.

The woman uses a bow and arrows as her weapon. Unlike with Beat, you have to aim her bow when attacking from afar. However, it automatically focuses on one of the enemies. You can change which one, though. I'll go ahead and reveal a secret to doing massive damage: Stay back. The farther away the target is, the more damage her arrows do when they connect. Also, headshots do more damage.

?????

Frederic

He also gains Coup de Jarnac!

Beat

He gains Night Shot.

The woman thanks them for saving her goats. Beat asks about the weird guys who used magic. Frederic noticed that aspect of them, and concludes that they must be terminally ill. He wonders why they would attack, and comments on a strange, evil look in their eyes. The woman is surprised they don't know, and informs us that it's the result of prolonged mineral powder use. Allegretto is surprised at this, and repeats what she said. Polka remarks that mineral powder use is up in Ritardando, and that's what keeps floral powder from selling. Allegretto seems to have come to a conclusion, himself. Beat wonders what it is, but Allegretto challenges him to figure it out, starting with why mineral powder is the only thing that's not taxed. Beat's response is that the count is doing something nice for his people. (By heavily taxing all other forms of medication? And actual food?) Allegretto blames his looking through that camera lens for his failure to see, and asks if it isn't strange that mineral powder is the only thing. Beat figures it's okay, because it helps lots of people. The woman concedes that, but reveals that it comes with serious side effects. It turns out to be more like a poison which leads to insanity, and eventually, death. Polka thinks that's horrible. The woman, stating that grazing time is over, invites them into her house, which isn't too far away.

At the table, she introduces herself as Viola...

Viola: tenor violin.

...and the cute little red critter as Arco.

Arco: violin bow.

Polka thinks he's cute, too. Allegretto repeats what we've learned about mineral powder. Frederic thinks there must be some reason to want to distribute it. "He cannot possibly want to kill all of his own subjects, can he?" Viola has heard that there are lots of dark rumors about him. Allegretto points out that if that were his objective, there are easier and faster ways to do it. Polka posits that he may not know. Frederic wonders if that's really possible. Viola is unsure; mineral powder is useful, but that doesn't make it good. Those involved might not realize what's wrong until it's too late. And on a larger scale, nobody doing anything about it will make the effects unstoppable. Since they can see, they need to be the ones to tell them. Polka says that the convenience blinds them to the danger. Beat and Allegretto make similar statements. Frederic doesn't see any option but to go to Forte Castle, whether Waltz knows or not. He thinks they should talk in person. Viola is becoming convinced that they'll be able to make a difference, and decides to join them. She's also hoping for payback; she's lost a bunch of goats as a result of his doings. Allegretto is, for some reason, not all that happy about the increased party count. Viola makes it worse by saying that Arco is coming, as well.

I start by taking a look at things.

First, Frederic's Coup de Jarnac is a Dark Special Attack. It hits enemies in the back as well as the front.

Night Shot is the Dark version of Vivid Shot.

Now then, Viola. She's 26. She wields a Worn Bow (ATK +30) and wears a Wool Robe (DEF +18). Not that we can see the robe.

Her Special Attacks are Sacred Strike, a long-range attack, and Bone Crumble, a short-range attack.

The chest in the back of the room has Club Clover.

Back outside, there's a Letter Carrier wondering where the three letters he had for Viola are. Uh, oops?

Also, I save at the Save Point.

Next Time: Hold It!
18th Dec '10 9:17:08 PM flag for mods
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