Much Exposition and Little Combat
When we last left our hero, he had narrowly survived an encounter with a mad creationist mechanic, and was subsequently welcomed aboard the Yggdrasil. Now, we can explore the thing.
I'll start in the Gear hangar, which is where I regained control of Fei after the last cutscene (and across the entire lower level of the ship from the nearest save point). It contains a Gear shop selling the following items:
- Z9-1500 (1800G): 9 output, 1500 fuel
- WELT-03000 (1400G): Usable by Weltall, has 3000 HP
- MS 9 (1500G): Defense of 90
- Iron GWhip (1600G): For Brigandier, 16 Attack
- SnapperGWhip (2000G): For Brigandier, 18 Attack
- Other equipment:
- Resp Circuit (2500G): Response +20
- Def Circuit (2500G): Increases Defense
- C Circuit (250G): Raises Agility in desert terrain
- MagneticCoat (4000G): Response +25
- Lens Cover (2500G): Prevents camera damage
- Engine Guard (5000G): Prevents engine failure
- Tank Guard (3000G): Prevents fuel leaks and draining
- Ar Repairer (4000G): Prevents armour damage
- Motion Guard (4000G): Prevents slow
A great deal of that stuff will disappear from shops after a while, so it's a good idea to stock up early on. Fortunately, I'll be doing a bit of grinding later, so I'll be able to afford it.
...Wait, how am I fortunate to have to do any sort of grinding?
Anyway, I can also talk to the people working on each Gear in the hangar. The guy servicing Weltall has this to say about it:
A well balanced Gear in offensive, defensive, and Ether abilities. But it has some parts that cannot be disassembled... I guess you call them 'blackboxes'...? They don't cause problems in maintenance, but they just get on my mind every time that I see them.
Interesting. Brigandier is also here, and the mechanic working on it says this:
It is specially tuned for desert battles. The power of the Hover-thrusters in the legs are especially worthy of attention... Oh, and the eyepatch and feather decorations were added later at the young master's request. We didn't know what to do when young master said, "Destroy one sensor and put an eyepatch over it...without weakening the ability to reconnoiter..."!
So there's the story behind Bart's Gear having an eyepatch: he wanted it to look like him.
The hall outside the hangar contains a room where I can rest if I want to, along with a medical room (where the nurse can weigh my characters) and a mysteriously empty room. Across the hall from the hangar, meanwhile, I find the Gun Room. It isn't named that because they control the guns from it, but rather because it contains a gun.
Maison is here, selling some items:
- Power Ring (200G)
- Stamina Ring (150G)
- Speed Ring (1200G): Agility +1
- GuardianRing (2000G): Increases Defense
- Aquasol (20G)
- Aquasol S (100G)
- Rosesol (100G)
- Rosesol S (300G): Restores 20 EP
- Zetasol (100G): Revives a dead character
- Physisol (10G)
- Mentsol (20G)
- White Star (500G): Grants wind resistance and earth weakness
- Brown Star (500G): Grants earth resistance and wind weakness
- Red Star (500G): Grants fire resistance and water weakness
- Blue Star (500G): Grants water resistance and fire weakness
- Hard Star (800G): Supposed to increase Defense but doesn't
- Speed Star (1000G): Hastes the user
- Omegasol (50G)
- SurvivalTent (150G)
(Each of the "Star" items last for 5 turns, except the Hard Star, which does nothing and thus lasts forever.)
All the stuff there is too expensive for me at the moment, so I respectfully decline to purchase anything before heading down the stairs to the engine room. There, I learn how Bart and Sigurd both got their eyepatches: there was some engine trouble, and Bart tried to deal with it. Sigurd also helped, and they each lost an eye to it.
With that done, I head into the elevator in the hall, and I find myself at the door to the bridge. Once inside, I talk to Sigurd, and the ship reaches Bart's hideout (which is behind a mountain range, on the coast).
We're immediately greeted by some kids, who shake Bart down for souvenirs, as kids are wont to do (he gives them some amber he found in the cavern). After the kids run off, Bart heads to his Gear and leaves Fei and Citan to have tea with Maison.
Maison leads us to the hideout's dining room, where he immediately gets us some tea. Somewhat infamously, Citan drinks his tea by causing it to levitate to his mouth, because the designers were too cheap to get a tea drinking animation. Maison then reveals that Bart is actually the last of the great Fatima dynasty, the former royal family of Aveh. The current ruler, Shakhan, claims that Bart died of an illness, which has allowed him to wander about unnoticed. His goal is to eventually reclaim the throne from Shakhan's evil clutches (you know he's evil because he's forced a king out of power).
Maison then continues, explaining that they use piracy to accomplish their goals in order to balance out Aveh and Kislev's power (and to get their stuff, because excavating ancient superweapons is hard). He also says that they can't put any plans into motion at the moment because Marguerite (shortened to Margie), a religious leader in the city of Nisan and Bart's cousin, is imprisoned in Bledavik. Shakhan wants the Fatima Jasper, a Fatima family heirloom that points the way to a great treasure.
Supposedly, the treasure can save Aveh if it is ever in danger, which is probably why Shakhan wants it. Fortunately, Margie only has half of it, with Bart having the other half. Citan asks what the Fatima Jasper is, and Maison responds that only the heirs to Aveh and Nisan know that.
Citan asks what the treasure might be (despite the fact that he already said he doesn't know), and Bart barges in, wondering what everyone's talking about. Citan fills him, suggesting that the treasure might be a Gear. Bart then realizes that he has some picture scrolls that depict something like that.
Anyway, there's a shop in this room, which sells the same stuff as the one on the Yggdrasil, plus Gear parts from Bal's shop (though the MS 6 is replaced with the MS 7.5, which costs 1000G and has 75 Defense). After not buying anything, I head to the planning room, which has a big screen on the floor.
Bart uses the screen to display a picture of a guy on a castle, with a giant red humanoid with wings kneeling before him. Supposedly, the guy in the picture is King Fatima I, making a pact with a giant that allowed him to found Aveh. He then displays a second image, which shows the same giant being locked inside a strange-looking light gray thing. Bart explains that it shows the first king sealing the giants away to protect the kingdom in the future.
Naturally, we need the Fatima Jasper to get at this. And getting that requires that we rescue Margie. Bart asks us to help him with the rescue, and Citan is happy to help. Fei, however, is not, because he's sick of people making him fight.
Anyway, I'm supposed to go to the Yggdrasil dock, but first I sneak into Bart's room and steal his Iron Whip. As I try to leave, Bart enters, forcing Fei to hide in the corner (or not, because he's still fully visible).
When I do head to the dock, I find Bart at the Yggdrasil, where he wants to talk. This music
starts playing as Bart apologizes for not considering Fei's feelings. Fei still refuses to help, though, because he doesn't like fighting, and with how all his fights up to this point have gone, who can blame him?
Bart proceeds to tell him about how he wasn't the reason people died in Lahan. He tells Fei not to run away from the reality of his situation, and that he could end the war with his skill. Afterwards, he sends Fei off to see the mechanic about his Gear.
The mechanic in the base's Gear hangar gushes about how incredibly awesome Weltall is, though there are things he doesn't understand. Basically, the same thing the guy in the Yggdrasil said. Fei spends a bit of time staring at the Gear, until Citan and Sigurd catch up with him. They take Fei to see Bart, standing atop the Yggdrasil. This is what he says to himself:
Hey, dad... Can you hear me? Ever since I first looked in Fei's eyes I knew... He's the same as me. He'd understand me. Or so I thought... Did I just imagine it? I have no confidence. If I follow after you, dad...It'll just be like I'm some decoration. At the moment, I can't even carry out your will, let alone rescue Margie... I told him he was only running away but I'm really the one who wants to run away...
With that scene, Sigurd now asks Fei for his help. He then explains that they'll be leaving for Bledavik tomorrow morning, and tells Fei to get some rest. At any rate, I have to rest in the upper level to advance the plot, so I do that.
Naturally, we can't have a plot-mandated rest without something happening during the night. In this case, it's some Gebler folks breaking into the base. Their names are Broyer, Helmholz, Stratski, Renk, and Vance
. They're here for our Gears, of course. I mean, why else would they be here?
Anyway, the alarm sounds, and I'm told that there are five normal Gears along with a larger one. I then have to head to the dock despite Fei not wanting to fight, and I immediately see civilians rushing to the Yggdrasil. Citan tells Fei to get moving, but he refuses to do anything, instead deciding that this is the perfect time to wonder about that "slayer of god" nonsense from earlier.
After that, I'm dropped into a fight between Bart (plus two redshirts) fighting one of the invading Gears. It has weird whip-blade things extending from its shoulders, and it's called the Swordknight. Wild Smile disables pretty much everything it can do, making for an easy win.
Meanwhile, Citan's asking Maison about a Gear he picked out of the stuff in the hangar at random. Maison insists that it still needs maintenance, but Sigurd suggests that Citan might not be challenged enough by it. Citan says that it's been 5 years since he last piloted a Gear, and wonders if he's still good enough.
Naturally, he's a total badass with the Gear, which is called Heimdal. I have to use it to fight Broyer and his Aegisknight, which has giant shields on its arms and can drop my Defense. Citan only has his first Deathblow, but it's more than enough to crush the Aegisknight. After the fight, he learns Renki, which allows him to target everyone with the next Ether he uses.
After the fight, Citan thinks for a moment about his opponent's persistence, deciding that he has to have used "that stuff". Specifically, a performance enhancing drug called Drive. Citan and Bart then need to fight a pair of Wandknights, Gears with giant laser rifles. They have an attack called Power Beam that can do significant damage, but they can't stand up to our Mighty Heroes.
After that fight, some kids get caught by the last of the intruders. Before he can do anything to them, though, Fei arrives to stop him. This next opponent, the Clawknight, has a giant claw and a razor-sharp disc. He is also quite weak to being punched in the face.
After that fight, the team is united to deal with the last threat here, a gigantic thing that appears to have transformed from a drill (it's wierd). This Gear, Schpariel, can turn into a drill to attack, make the floor shake to damage everyone, damage our armour, and be very nearly shut down by way of Wild Smile. Then it's just a matter of punching it until it stops moving.
The post-battle rewards include a new Ether for Bart, Heaven Cent. This one drops a penny on a single target from above, dealing very little earth damage because Bart's Ether sucks. I also get a Beam Coat, which reduces beam-based damage.
After we're done getting rid of the intruders, Fei decides that since Bart fights to protect his people, he's all right. He decides to help Bart out in order to figure out what he wants to do while protecting people in danger.
Next time, we'll head to Bledavik and get to rescuing Margie.