So now I'm running around Tenuto, and like any good adventurer, I'm entering people's houses and taking their stuff, like a Peach Cookie. A man outside calls Polka "Chris". What kind of name is that? Is that a musical term I've never heard of?
I go up one of the roads and cross a small footbridge to a flower field. A quick stop at the shed to complain about the mess and pick up some Floral Powder, and I go into the field to see the twins, Sop and Rano.
: Highest female voice.
They tell Polka about the flowers blooming, and about how they'll make great floral powders, and how they'll put them in nice containers, and how much fun it'll be. Well... if you enjoy doing it... who cares it won't be profitable anymore, huh...
In the back, over by a rock, I pick up an Angel Trumpet. (This is a single-target item that brings a KO'd character back from KO and restores some HP.)
Back in the village proper, I send Polka home... but I don't have her enter yet. I send her over to the stream, where she remembers that she should fetch water later. (I'll come back here later...) Now, I send her inside.
A woman is cooking. There are... baguettes? in a basket on the table. Polka is home. The woman welcomes her back, says she must be exhausted, and says she's made hot stew. Polka stands there a few seconds, then approaches to about a yard away from the woman before asking her mother if she's afraid to touch her. Her mother perceives that she used magic in Ritardando, though she asks rather than assuming. Polka asks why people avoid her. Her mother says that they're afraid she's contagious, even though it's not the case. (Um... if she believes that, why did she not go hug her? I know if I had a daughter, and she asked that, I'd probably give her a big hug, especially if I knew I wouldn't get sick. Hey, I think I'd be willing to expose myself to minor illness (a cold, for example) to give my hypothetical daughter a hug. Or son. But anyway.) She goes over and... hugs her? No, places a hand on her shoulder, and offers herself as proof it's not true. Polka doesn't fear death from this illness, but she's sad about not making friends, regardless of what she does. Her mother says, "Polka..." and looks at her.
The next day, a teenage boy carrying bread encourages Beat to run.
: Temporal unit of a composition indicated by the movements of a conductor's hand.
A younger boy, Beat, also runs with bread, calling for him to wait. He calls him Retto in English, but I think he's called "onii" with an honorific at these times. A woman runs out, waving a broom. She asks where they're going with her bread. Apparently, Beat and "Retto" are repeat offenders. She considers poisoning the dough. (I think she's just speaking in anger, though; inadvertantly poisoning an actual customer would be bad for business.) After a few seconds of looking around (and not trying the sides
of the shop), she heads back in.
Beat is relieved, thinking that was close, but "Retto" says it was easy. Beat would hate to see hard. "Retto" sets off so they can deliver the bread. Beat is okay with that, but he doesn't like the rats. "Retto" asks what he expects; his recipients live in the sewers, so there'll be some rats. And they're carrying fresh-baked bread. Even non-rats would be attracted to it. Beat asks what they'll do if they get attacked. "Retto" tries to assure him, reminding him that he took care of them last time. Beat seems dubious. "Retto" points out that the people who get to live in houses aren't the ones who need their services.
(Tune: Field: NO. 02, "Mediocrity for All")
So now let's check out these two.
"Retto" is short for "Allegretto".
: Tempo between allegro and andante.
- Age: 16
- Lv. 1
- 1160 HP
- 0 Exp
- Next: 200 Exp.
- ATK: 21
- DEF: 14
- MAG: 13
- SPD: 12
He wields a Hunting Knife (ATK +7) and wears a Mail Shirt (DEF +6).
- Light: Sun Slash
- Dark: Phantom Wave
Sun Slash is an attack in which Allegretto hits an enemy 5 times in rapid succession, then again. It has weak knockdown.
Phantom Wave is an attack that has some range to it.
- Age: 8
- Lv. 1
- 960 HP
- 0 Exp.
- Next: 200 Exp.
- ATK: 16
- DEF: 11
- MAG: 11
- SPD: 11
He wields an Arquebus (ATK +6) and wears Stolen Clothes (DEF +6: Clothes found in a rich merchant's closet.).
- Light: Vivid Shot
- Dark: Rapid Shooter
Vivid Shot is... unusual. It lets Beat take pictures of enemies, which he can sell for Gold, depending on how good the merchant gauges it to be. Also, there's something you can do on a second playthrough involving them.
With Rapid Shooter, Beat fires his rifle a few times in rapid succession. I suppose it must be more powerful or something, because otherwise... I suppose it could extend Beat's shooting beyond the amount it would normally allow.
See, Beat's weapons are all rifles. Rapid-fire rifles. And he generally aims for
you when he's shooting with them, so no worries about that. But if he's up close, he hits the enemy a couple of times, then fires.
Okay, remember what I said about party layout? Well, this is where I put it to good use. Since it can be hard to tell if an enemy party has one or two members, I make it clearer from the outset by putting the character with the higher SPD in the second
slot so I can see more of the battlefield at once.
Oh! Another thing: all player characters have a common inventory. Any item picked up by any PC may be used by any other PC, even if they aren't together, and even if they haven't met yet. Thus, the 5 Floral Powders, the 3 Peach Cookies, the Angel Trumpet, and the gold Polka has collected are all available for this party's use now. I shouldn't need any, but just in case...
Now to explore the town. The fountain, for one thing, has 10G in it. I also pick up a second Angel Trumpet near some crates. I send Allegretto into the nearby underground path, which gets deeper and deeper, terminating into their hideout.
There's a chest in back, which is inaccessible from this part. He remembers a book about fighting which had some generally good advice about attacking enemies from the back but watching your own back. (Not just in terms of ambushes, but in general. It's harder for enemies, and impossible for your party members, to block if they're being attacked from the back. B makes you turn around in those instances, but you still get hit.) There's a Save Point here.
Back to the surface. You can enter the edifice in back, the Mandolin Church, if you want, but it won't help you now.
: Pear-shaped instrument with 8 strings tuned in pairs, fingered the same as the violin but having a fretted keyboard. It is played with a plectrum.
(Tune: Field: NO. 07, "Peace Valued")
Down into the sewers.
(Tune: Field: NO. 11, "Underground for the Underhanded")
I save at the Save Point.
One of the aforementioned rats is up ahead. It never turns around, and it's kind of at a bottleneck, so I can't sneak around back. So, front to front!
Okay, so it turns out Beat may have forgotten how to fight. Allegretto questions this. Again, we're going the tutorial route just for the blog's sake.
We start with Item selection and use. You use LB and RB to cycle through the list of items, and X to use an item.
Next, Special Attacks. To use a Special Attack, press Y. You can't use them up, although they do take time to execute. But it's a little more complicated than that: the light level at the spot you're standing will affect what Special Attack comes out. There are different things that can affect your light level, but most of the time, this will be a function of the battlefield itself.
A couple of Sun Slashes finishes the enemy off, and I proceed forward.
Another rat. This time, there are two. It becomes important to note that these particular enemies, Florite Mice, give off light
, so if you're standing close, you'll use a Light Special Attack.
Far at the back, there's an encounter with three Florite Mice. My strategy is to have Allegretto defeat the close one, since he's in the close slot, then have Beat shoot the far one, then bring Retto up to take out the middle one. The far one is still there, and it's able to attack Allegretto since it has a higher SPD than Beat, but it does little damage.
The encounter is enough to level the two up!
- Lv. 2
- 1187 HP
- ATK: 19
- DEF: 14
- MAG: 13
- SPD: 14
- Lv. 2
- 1397 HP
- ATK: 24
- DEF: 17
- MAG: 17
- SPD: 15
I get another Peach Cookie here. Then I back up to a makeshift bridge, cross it, and fight a party of two. Hey, it's good Exp.. Then I recross the bridge, cross a stone bridge closer to the entrance, and fight another party of two on my way to a chest with an Angel Trumpet. Farther back, I go through an opening to the center.
I fight a party of three, and for the first time this playthrough, I see one of the powers of the Florite Mouse: the ability to heal a wounded ally. But it's not a powerful enough power to overcome my attacks.
I fight some more.
- Lv. 3
- 1415 HP
- ATK: 22
- DEF: 17
- MAG: 15
- SPD: 17
- Lv. 3
- 1635 HP
- ATK: 27
- DEF: 20
- MAG: 21
- SPD: 18
By the way, when you level up, it adds the same number to your current HP as to your Max HP.
Over in the right side, it doesn't help me progress immediately, but it takes me to a chest with a Poison Whitecap, a single-target item that afflicts an enemy with the Poison status. Nothing special, it just does damage once a turn until it dies.
Going into that room makes the enemy party respawn, so if I find I have to grind a bit later, I can. I shouldn't have to, though.
Anyway, I find a switch which debars a pathway. Fight some more, get another Peach Cookie, make progress.
- Lv. 4
- 1645 HP
- ATK: 25
- DEF: 20
- MAG: 17
- SPD: 20
New Special Attack: Fire Blast!
- Lv. 4
- 1876 HP
- ATK: 31
- DEF: 23
- MAG: 25
- SPD: 21
Fire Blast is basically Rapid Shooter for light areas. I replace Vivid Shot with it.
Back in the West Side, but on the east side of it, there's a Save Point here. Hm, I wonder what that might be indicative of...
(Tune: Event Sequence: NO. 14, "Rapid Fire")
Once I arrive at the back, I get the answer to my rhetorical question: a HUGE rat. I don't mean huge for rats
, I mean like a foot taller than Allegretto! Allegretto cautions Beat, since it's after the bread. Beat tells it that they've got people waiting for it, and that there's not enough for them.
(Tune: Battle: NO. 02, "Prepared to Fight")
Allegretto has enough SPD to go first, thankfully. First target: the accompanying Florite Mice. Once those are gone, we turn our attention to the main enemy, called Bread Gang. It has some significant attacks, considering our DEF and HP. It also has a move called Restore, which, well, restores 4600 HP. But with some perseverance, we triumph. The spoils? A Peach Cookie, a Saber, and... a Rat Tail. The Peach Cookie, I've told you about; the Saber, hopefully you get the general idea, and I'll fill in the detail later; the Rat Tail is weird, but important. That's for another entry, however.
The battle brings them to the brink of leveling up (their next battle will do it!) but for now, let's have some cutscenes!
An adorable little girl thanks them for the bread. Allegretto cautions her not to eat it all at once.
Beat asks why bread is so expensive; its expense is the only reason they steal it, it seems. He wonders if the baker is being greedy. Allegretto points out that it's not her fault; it's the high taxes. And in Ritardando, everything needed for daily life has high taxes. This means that there are many children who are unable to get decent meals. Which is where they come in. The only thing that's not taxed is mineral powder. Hey, we've heard of that! That's that stuff that's replaced floral powder in the marketplace! It's cheaper, thanks to the lack of taxation on it. Beat figures the Count of Forte isn't so bad, if he makes this medicine cheap.
: Loud, strong.
And hey, because he could've been any rank:
: Beat, method of measuring beats.
Allegretto says nothing, but you can tell he's wondering. Beat also figures they have the bread problem taken care off. Allegretto cautions him not to get cocky. Now it's time for them to drop off the rest, and have some themselves.
Back in Polka's house, her mother calls to her, because she's been in her room all day. She asks, more quietly, what she's going to do with her, figuring that what happened is still bothering her. She reasons that stopping her from going to Ritardando would be a good course of action, as she gets hurt when she does. She calls Polka to pick flowers later.
Back in the hideout, Beat recalls that the magician girl wasn't around that day as she was yesterday. Allegretto noticed it, too. Beat thinks he should've taken a picture. Allegretto asks if he's still messing around with that, thinking he needs to use his two eyes, and that he'd see things more clearly if he weren't looking through bent glass. Beat points out that photography's not about that, and that the "bent glass" is called a lens. He goes back to eating, clearly miffed.
Allegretto goes back to the subject of the girl, saying you have to feel sorry for her, noting that she won't be around much longer. Beat doesn't understand. Allegretto points out that she could use magic, which in this world means you have an incurable illness. And it's always fatal. (But at least it's not FATAL
, right?) This was something Beat didn't know, and figures in light of that that magic isn't so great, or at least not worth the cost. Allegretto figures the world to be messed up, given that. Beat realizes that's why no one wanted to go near her: they didn't want to catch it. Allegretto points out that while that's what people think, the disease isn't contagious, and that it's just a rumor that it is. He reflects that people don't tend to trust each other unless it's about something that might hurt them, and they ignore almost anything that doesn't help them. Beat groans about this. Allegretto continues, saying that as long as they can eat, they don't care about the starving. Beat says that's why they steal bread. Allegretto ponders for a little while, then has an idea. He stands up, saying that they'll leave first thing in the morning. Beat's so surprised, he drops his bread!
Now we see Ritardando.
(Tune: ...I can't tell. I think Event Sequences NO. 02, "Can You Recall Your Dream?" and NO. 07, "A Light in the Palm of Your Hand" may have been involved, since there they are.)
...What? Credits? Now? This is the first game I've ever seen to put credits like this at this point in the game. Most of the games I've seen, if they have credits, save it for the end, or make them available from the menu. Star Fox Adventures
does the latter if you've collected a certain Cheat Token and dropped it in the Well, but otherwise does the former. Even Final Fantasy XIII
has its opening credits run if you pop in Disc 1 and let it go. But in this game, it's pretty much a cold open until these cutscenes, which occur after you beat a boss
- Story Director: Hiroya Hatsushiba
- Character Design: Kumiko Yoshioka
- Technical Director: Shigefumi Nakahara
- Art Director: Nozomi Shibahara
Now we see the flower fields.
Hey, I've seen that surname in a couple of places: Neku, from The World Ends with You
, and Hikaru from Lucky Star
- Chopin Pieces Performed By: Stanislav Bunin
- Allegretto: Sam Regal
Apparently, this is the other spelling of "Riegal". The role that stands out to me is his role as Minoru Shiraishi in the official dub for Lucky Star
, but other might recognize such roles as (going be the titles on the Wikipedia page) Maki Ichinose in Bleach
, Clovis La Britannia and Claudio Darlton in Code Geass
, Shirou Emiya in Fate/stay night
, Shino Aburame (at least in episodes 23-24), Zaku Abumi, Baki, Mubi, and Chishima in Naruto
, Viral in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
, Taniguchi in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
, Tristan Taylor (ep. 1-10), Rex Raptor (ep. 2-131), and Arkana in Yu-Gi-Oh!
, Donatello in the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
, silabus in the .hack series, and Wallman in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
, among others. Yeah, I left out a lot, but... I don't know. I could mention 'em all, but if I skipped over one you would have included, either here or with the other voice actors, you're certainly welcome to post them.
Now the shot of the field has moved such that we see Polka, standing and holding flowers. Speaking of whom:
She's had a few anime roles, such as a few in Bleach
and Kodachi Kuno in Ranma ½
, but is seems like more of her work has been in Western Animation
, and whoa, lots more video games. Selected roles in the former category: Nazz and May Kanker from Ed, Edd, 'n' Eddy
, a baker's dozen roles in Sabrina: The Animated Series
, and a few characters I've never heard of in Dragon Tales
. And in the latter: Martha Turnipseed in Destroy All Humans!!
, Commander Sarannis and Dorothee in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
, and minor characters, some of which she's not credited for in the work.
Yeah, apparently, it's fairly common to have little boys be voice acted by women. And also, her The Other Wiki
article explicitly states that this is most of her work. ... You know what, this is a pretty extensive list. I'm going to be lazy and let you look up her filmography. Chances are, you've heard her.
- Polka picks another flower and looks at it.
- Frederic François Chopin: Patrick Seitz
Hey, he's a few months older than I am! Again, I'm going to let you look him up.
Next, we look at the path connecting Tenuto and Ritardando.
"Kaori... Kaori... Kaori!"
- Planning Director: Takeshi Yamamoto
- Map Director: Kaori Tosa
- Character Model Director: Junichi Kobe
So if you don't like the character models, you know who the main person you have a beef
- Motion Director: Yasunori Takahashi
- System Graphic Director: Motonori Nakamura
Back in the hideout, Beat is rushing around.
- Event Director: Rina Okamura
Beat picks up a toy horse. It's like he's deciding whether or not to take it.
- Field Program Director: Takayuki Kashiwagi
- Battle Program Director: Kenji Sugizaki
It's nighttime, and we're looking at Tenuto again. Now some names get diagonal billing.
I wonder if that's the same surname as Nobue and Chika
. Or, for that matter, the judge of a certain trial that absolutely had to preempt all other programming for a while. Seriously, that was insane.
- Monster Design: Nobuya Aoki
Now it's diagonally the other way.
- Sound Programmer: Kunimi Shibui
- Camp Programmer: Morio Inuduka
"Camp"? They actually programmed this game to have Camp
? Or am I going to have to worry about enemies waiting around for me to respawn so they can whack me again?
Back in the hideout.
- Programmer: Takashi Asai, Yoshiharu Miyake, Shuhei Rokumoto, and Munehito Yasui
Beat is tossing somewhat.
- Character Model Designer: Tomohiko Okubo & Tomomi Kawabata
- Motion Designer: Yuko Matsuda
- Map Designer: Kentaro Hata, Akira Tomino, Tsuyoshi Kaita, and Yusuke Okamoto
Important to note that these are designers
, not the directors
that I listed earlier.
Allegretto seems to be sleeping peacefully, but Beat sits up, too excited about tomorrow to sleep, and saying that it's too early, anyway.
- Visual Designer: Kentaro Ishihara...
Not to be confused with Mr. Tadakichi's vet
...Sayako Fujino, and Akiko Takahashi
Beat, seeing that Allegretto is asleep, decides to climb a ladder, go down a junk-cluttered tunnel, and climb another ladder in order to look at the stars.
- Event Designer: Seungmin Oh & Risa Shinada
- System Graphic Designer: Mai Fukuda
- Sound Director: Kazufumi Sato
- Sound Engineer: Kohei Sagara, Riei Saito, Etsuko Shimada, and Ippei Shiraki
Beat notices that he doesn't see many stars, as his location is not conducive to stargazing.
- Sound Advisor: Yusaburo Shimojo
Good to have someone with sound advice.
- Development Support: Maiko Tsujita & Eri Shiba
Note: "Development Support" is not a euphemism, although I suspect it could easily be used as one. "Hey, sweetheart, what kind of 'development support' you wearin'? ... OOF!
- Project Manager: Takeshi Kaneda
Now we see the cliff overlooking the sea, and Ritardando.
- Assistant Producers: Yuichiro Sadahiro, Masaki Morishita, Asana Inoki, Maya Yamada (all NBGI)
Polka looks at the city.
- Producers: Shinji Noguchi & Hideo Baba (both NBGI)
As we look at Polka, her mother approaches her. She had looked into her room, and, not seeing her there, didn't know where she went. She remarks that Ritardando is beautiful at night. Polka, her view of it perhaps colored by her experience, feels it was more beautiful when she was little. Her mother thinks that's just the way our memories work, but it's just as beautiful.
Okay, I'm going to tell an amusing story that I think I may have told in Troper Tales
before, but I'll tell it here, too.
So back when I first got my Xbox 360
, I was trying to figure out how to hook it up. Well, at one point, I had the sound working, but not the picture. Now, Eternal Sonata's attract mode consists of playing cutscenes, and the cutscene that was playing was this one. I had read the article on Anti-Poop Socking
, so when I heard this next line from my TV:
"You'll have bad dreams if you stay up too late. Come on. Let's get some sleep."
I thought, "Is my Xbox 360
telling me not to play it now?"
Anyway. Back to the game.
She turns and walks off, but Polka stays, wonder if Ritardando is really the same as it's always been.
- Developed by: Tri-Crescendo Inc.
: An instrumental composition of 3 or 4 movements usually beginning with an allegro followed by andante, adagio or largo, then the minuet, trio or scherzo.
A voice startles Polka. It belongs to a man. He says it's not, and that it used to be much more beautiful. He says she has a heart that sees the world with open eyes. She asks who he has, and what he's doing out there this late. Rather than answer either question just yet, he explains the fading of the world over time, and how imperceptible the change is from moment to moment.
We're back in Paris. 21 minutes have passed. The woman watching over Frederic asks the physician if what Frederic is seeing is just a dream. The difference may well be relative. The physician wonders what brought that on. The woman is unsure, but it entered her mind while watching Frederic's face. The physician thinks that might be true, and that Chopin, might not just be having a dream, just because his eyes are closed. But he thinks that if Chopin gets to thinking that he's in the true
reality... another woman, sitting on a couch, posits that he may never return.
Back at the cliff, Polka is surprised that he can use magic, but then remembers the downside that they share. Chopin says she's right. She asks what kind he can use. He says he can use any kind, and that that whole world is in his dream. Polka breaks into a giggle. Awwww! :) She says he's a strange man, though she says it kind of... playfully. Frederic asserts that it's true, that even she is just a part of his imagination. She tests this by asking what she's thinking. He answers that she doesn't want to use magic in view of others, which is understandable, as no one wants to be hurt.
Rather than answer that, she decides she wants to show him something in the forest. He asks if she means right now. She says yes, because it can only be seen at night.
So now, after all that, I'm in control of Polka again. I decide to drop in on the neighbors. Apparently, the house to the far left is where Sop and Rano live. Polka plays an alphabet game involving fruit with them if I talk to them. It quickly ends when one girl goes out of turn. The far right house is where the old man and the boy live. The old man calls Polka "Julia". What is with these far-out names, gramps?
This time, when I go through the arch and to the left, the stream has something in it that I can fish out: Floral Powder.
I enter Polka's house. She announces that she has a friend with her, introducing him as Frederic when her mother turns around. Her mother, identified as Solfege, is surprised.
: System of vocal exercise employing the syllables do, re, etc.
Polka asks what's wrong, but Solfege says it's nothing. Frederic asks her to pardon the intrusion. Solfege doesn't think he looks like he's from around there. (Well, if what he says is true, he's from allllll
around there.) Frederic says he's been on a long journey searching for something. Solfege invites him for a dinner, though she apologizes for it being only leftovers. Frederic declines, but Polka persuades him otherwise. (Noooo, not that way...)
I take Polka into her room, where I have her take an Angel Trumpet off a potted plant. She can also notice that the book that was sitting on the dresser is gone. She thought she would get to read it before bed.
I save at the town Save Point.
I'll tell you Frederic's stats...
Next time: Death Lights!
edited 18th Jul '10 8:41:24 PM by Nyperold