Combing the Desert
Last time, Fei and Citan set a course for Dazil to get Weltall repaired. The town's due west of Blackmoon Forest a ways, in a desert that starts immediately after we exit the forest.
Before we go there, though, I should talk a bit about Citan.
Character Analysis: Citan Uzuki
- HP: Very High
- EP: High
- Attack: Very High
- Defense: Average
- Ether: Average
- EthDef: Average
- Agility: 13
- Weapon of choice: Martial Arts
Basically, imagine getting Thunder God Cid right at the start of Final Fantasy Tactics
. Citan has more HP than anyone else will have for a long
time, is tied for second-highest attack growth, and has enough Agility that he'll consistently get two or even three turns for every one that the slower characters get.
His Arcane abilities are entirely support-based, and exceptionally helpful. Right now, though, he only has one: Sazanami, which restores HP to a single target for 2 EP.
Anyway, the party heads to Dazil
, fighting off some Sand Sharks on the way (they don't do anything interesting that I'm aware of). The town makes much of its existence by way of excavating ancient artifacts and giant robots. Naturally, we should be able to find both information on what's going on in the world and replacement Gear parts here.
Citan suggests that we head to the local Ethos workshop (where they make giant robots for the Lord), but there's stuff to do in town first. No big list, though, because there isn't anything hidden in the scenery here.
Talking to some of the local militia reveals that Kislev is doing something in the north, which would be more useful if not for the little fact that the entirety of Kislev lies to the north of Dazil
. I also learn that the normal soldiers aren't worried about anything Kislev might do, because they know that Gebler will stop them.
I think I see why this war was going so poorly for them.
I then check out the equipment shop, which sells the following things:
- Magical Rod (50G): Rod, attack power of 4
- Arcane Rod (100G): Rod, attack power of 6
- Leather Whip (60G): Whip, attack power of 2
- Martial Wear (50G): Armour, defence of 2
- Fencing Wear (80G): Armour, defence of 4
- Martial Cap (30G): Headgear, defence of 1
- Fencing Cap (40G): Headgear, defence of 2
- Power Ring (200G): Accessory, increases Attack by 2
- Stamina Ring (150G): Accessory, increases Defense by 2
It shouldn't be hard to see why I don't buy anything from this guy. I do, however, sell all my old useless equipment for a decent for a decent profit.
Across the street, I find the item shop, which has these:
- Aquasol (20G)
- Rosesol (100G)
- Physisol (10G): Removes physical status effects.
- Mentsol (20G): Removes mental status effects.
- SurvivalTent (150G)
I buy a few Physisols and head off to a nearby bar. It contains some losers talking about how they were able to get stuff from the ruins by following the army convoy. It also contains Joey "Big Joe" Balboa, a former pro wrestler who get hit on the head one too many times and decided that his true calling in life was to be an Elvis impersonator.
No, really! (Okay, I may have altered it a bit, but whatever. He's Big Joe, okay? What more do you want?)
Anyway, Joe is not entirely pleased with the noisy treasure hunters, so he runs them out of the bar. He's the game's recurring comic relief character.
Okay, enough messing around. Time to go see about fixing our giant murder machine.
The Ethos workshop is on the west side of town. You can tell it's important because it looks nothing like any of the other buildings. Citan talks about how the Ethos workshops are the only places in the world that officially repair Gears, then we ask about getting Weltall fixed. Unfortunately, they don't have the types of advanced military Gear parts we need.
After failing to get what we need from the Ethos, Fei asks about simply not fixing Weltall so he wouldn't have to pilot it. Citan responds by saying that we should at least move it farther from Lahan, because as he learned offscreen, it's an advanced Kislev model that the Gebler forces stole. So, we need to get Weltall away from the area to keep another fight from destroying Lahan again.
So, in order to pull this off, we're going to need to find some Gear parts on our own. Doing so involves driving out into the desert and hoping we find the correct parts. Fortunately for us, there's a place where we can rent a vehicle to take into the desert. The keys are even already in the ignition, so Citan heads out into the desert right away (presumably paying for the rental out of his own pocket, because it doesn't cost me anything).
As soon as Citan leaves, the rental guy mentions a group of desert pirates, who obviously wouldn't be very good for Citan's health. So, Fei has to head into the desert after him.
Finding Citan requires that I head west into the desert. Soon, I get to a series of identical screens of sand. The only way to navigate is to just head straight, following some military Gears. Along the way, I fight Sand Men (who have guns and clubs, which are functionally identical) and Sand Sharks.
After a bit of aimless wandering, Fei encounters what can only be described as a giant flying donut with deflector shields. Following it, Fei finds another group of Gears to follow. Here, Fei can fight Aveh Soldiers, who are basically Sand Men with a different sprite. A bit more wandering leads Fei to a group of guys on motorcycles. This leads Fei to a cunning plan to steal a bike and continue through the desert by way of cutscene.
After riding the blocky polygon motorcycle around for a while, Fei finds himself attacked by some Aveh Gears to the tune of some dramatic crisis music
! Fortunately for him, Citan shows up in the nick of time, having made the repairs that were needed off-camera. We're not done yet, though, because the Gears still work. Naturally, this leads to Fei being forced to fight again.
The Troopers I fight are not difficult in the slightest, but they do bump Fei up to level 10, where he learns the InnerHealing ability. This restores HP like Sazanami.
Worth noting: almost every healing Ether in the game doesn't heal Gears. Instead, they remove any armour damage the Gear has taken.
Fei also learns his second Deathblow, Senretsu, because I'd managed to get all the experience I needed for it on the way here. I'll go over it later.
Immediately after the battle, a strange guy in a black cape with a mask shows up, standing on top of his Gear (which is the commander Gear from Lahan, just so you know). He talks about Fei's desire for battle or something, then starts freaking out over the guy in an anime sequence. This guy triggers some memory or another that Fei doesn't deem entirely sure about.
Anyway, some awesomely overblown villain music
starts playing, and the man introduces himself as Grahf, the seeker of power (a title nobody who's played this game can possibly forget). "Here we go again," Citan says to himself in a bout of foreshadowing.
Grahf talks about Fei's power and how he needs it. He claims responsibility for sending the Gears into Lahan to "awaken" Fei or something. Fei asks why he needed to do this, and gets the following response:
"Who cares why! It does not matter how many of them died... They were wretched vermin, only living from day to day without ever fulfilling their prescribed destinies! And have you forgotten? You were the one who destroyed the village. I did not lift a finger."
Fei does not
take that well. Grahf talks about how destruction is in Fei's blood and such, and Fei responds by pointing out that Grahf was the one who caused it. Grahf then says that this sounds like something Fei would say, and that "Your basic nature remains unchanged."
Fei then thinks to ask what Grahf needs his power for, so Grahf tells him.
"You know very well... It is to destroy... mother god..."
Even if Grahf's grammar isn't clear, his intent is, and Fei informs him that he will have no part in it. This causes Grahf to compare Fei to his father, leading to this immortal line from Fei:
"My father? You mean my dad? You know my father!?"
Grahf then goes on about how he killed Fei's father or something (it'll be cleared up later), then sends a giant sand worm at Fei in order to increase his power to a usable level.
Cue boss music!
The enemy here, the Wyrm, will counter all forms of attack by absorbing 60 Fuel, which could be a problem. So, to get around this, I fight using only Guided Shot, which has the unique property of getting a different animation when used in-Gear. Instead of a wimpy little energy ball, I launch a massive
laser beam that does significantly more damage. Three of these do it in with little trouble.
After the fight, Weltall breaks down again (last time, I swear), and some Aveh Gears arrive to capture us.
The next thing we know, we're in the holding cell of an Aveh sand cruiser. Fei dreams in anime about three people: Grahf, an old man with a moustache, and a red-haired guy. The 'stache guy tells Grahf that "I'll never let you have him...even if it kills me!" (referring, of course, to the red-haired guy). Fei then wakes up to Citan explaining things. He asks Fei if he's hurt, and this
starts playing as he confirms it. What Grahf said is highly disturbing to Fei.
Well, I'll leave you here. Next time, we'll see about fixing the whole "being captured" thing.