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Take a powder, and Let's Liveblog Eternal Sonata!:
(points) "Crab Nebula."
So, I'm now starting a liveblog of Eternal Sonata for the Xbox 360! (Eheh, and there's another bit of media that I'm planning on starting a new one for once that arrives... maybe. If I get a new My Sims
Agents entry in before it does, I'll wait until it cycles around again.)
Eternal Sonata, as I've mentioned in places, is my killer app for the Xbox 360. Yes, on this system with seemingly mostly FP Ses
and sports games, the game that convinces me to get it is an RPG. (And since then, I've bought my first Final Fantasy since 3 for the DS: Final Fantasy 13, and the series entry with the next highest number is Final Fantasy 6 Advance. But this isn't about these.)
Storywise, it's a fictional account of the dying dream of famed Polish composer and pianist Frederic Francois Chopin. But is it just a dream, or is he actually in a different reality? This question comes up both inside and outside the dream, and the contrast between the answers is quite striking, as you'll see.
The detail level will mostly be according to what I feel like, but probably:
So now that we've started, let's have some cutscenes!
- The dialogue will mostly be "<character> says that...", or even at gist level. Sure, I can pause cutscenes, but if that gets annoying for me, I'm not going to bother.
- When I go somewhere, I'll tell you. I might not say how I got there in too much detail, but then again, I might.
- When I run into a new proper name, I'll give you a definition.
- When I run into a new enemy, I'll tell you a little more about it than I will in future encounters, but I will at least mention them. ("After grinding on some Earth Movers and Angel Goats...")
- When I gain a new item, I'll tell you about it.
- When a character levels up, I'll tell you, and tell you the new stats.
- When the party levels up, I'll talk about the new rewards... and limitations.
- When a character gains a new special move, I'll tell you about that.
- And hey, I'll even talk about the background music, giving its category, number, and name, and... I guess the... feel of it?
If you don't like cutscenes at all, certainly you're free to hit Start then B to skip over each one; otherwise, you're probably going to be judging them on a case-by-case basis and therefore want to see all of them at least the first time. I personally do not skip cutscenes unless I've already seen a certain one that play session, like say I lost against a boss that had a significantly long cutscene preceding it; if I don't skip it, I'm watching a cutscene I just watched, and that gets annoying.
The first cutscene features the girl from the front of the box, a cute young teen, standing at the edge of a cliff in a very red world. She seems to be trying to convince herself to do something, because it's for the person who means the most to her, and his life is more important than hers, and that makes it easy.
And so, she lets herself fall off. As she plummets headfirst, she thanks everyone simultaneously, for although her time was short, it was the best time she's ever had. Thinking of the person, she wonders if a blown kiss would reach him from there. She doesn't think it would...
Now, a new scene. Lovely
scenery, relaxing, almost sleepy music (Field: NO. 01, "Reflect the Sky, Blossom of Life"), and... narration, telling us about the natural beauty of the location, comparing it to a concert. (By the way, I like the voice of the English narrator better.) It tells us about the town of Tenuto, which is called the "Village of Flowers".
: an Italian term meaning "sustained" or "held".
It also mentions a harbor town that can be seen from Tenuto. The lights seem like diamonds in the night.
One thing I noticed was that it said there are no shops in Tenuto. Basically, all the items there are to buy have to be bought elsewhere, is what I took it to mean.
Back at the field of flowers, a woman and an adorable little girl walk. Apparently, the woman is the girl's mother. The girl asks about waves. The woman says it's because of the moon, which is true, but then she goes on to say it's the beauty of the moon that excites the waters and causes waves. When the girl asks if it's true, her mother asks if the girl doesn't feel her heart fluttering when she looks at the moon. She does. That proves it, right there.
She notices a puddle, though, and asks if it, too, makes waves like the ocean does. No, her mother says, because there isn't enough water in it, and you need a lot of that to make waves. The girl thinks that's weird. She goes back to look at the puddle, and her reflection within. Her mother tells her that how much water there is is the most important part, and says that the same is probably true of people. She speaks of things that charm the hearts of people in the same way: wealth, vanity, status, image, and power. People drawn to them make waves, and fear exacerbates them. And the number of people involved makes the waves all the bigger. And this is what leads to terrible conflicts. The girl walks back to her. The woman says it's probably going over her head. Well, yeah! What is she, 4? 5? 6, maybe? And you're talking about that?
Oh, but it gets better. She tells her, as they walk away from the puddle, that if such a conflict were to happen during her lifetime, she might just have to jump into that sea
, because that'll calm down the waves. And however difficult it may be, her effort will bring joy to the person who means the most to her. The girl cheerfully agrees. Oh dear.
The woman goes on to say how insulting it is to compare sea water stirred by the moon's beauty to human desire. Sigh.
October 16, 1849, 10:48 PM
Number 12 Place Vendôme
A physician and a woman are watching a man sleep in bed. The woman notes that the man seems to have calmed down, not seeming to be in pain as he was. The physician figures he may be having a pleasant dream. The woman hopes that means he's on his way to full recovery, but the physician has heard that the most pleasant dreams often come prior to death. This upsets the woman. The physician apologizes, and hopes it's merely an old wives' tale. The woman says "Frederic..." as we look at the man. Apparently, he's Frederic.
Chapter 1: Raindrops
'Path to Tenuto
(Tune: Field: NO. 10, "A Relaxing Place")
The girl from the beginning emerges from a tunnel onto the path. She guesses she took longer than usual, notes that her mother is likely worried about her, and decides she'd better get home before dark.
By the way, leave her idle long enough, and she'll sneeze. She never does so in a cutscene, however.
Let's check status by pressing Y and selecting the girl.
The girl's name is Polka.
: Lively Bohemian folk dance in 2/4 time.
Next: 200 Exp.
She wields a Cute Umbrella (ATK +5. Very lovely umbrella.) and wears Handmade Clothes (DEF +4. Handmade clothes that have been repeatedly altered over the years.) Wait, does that mean that this is essentially the same outfit that she wore in that other cutscene? Anyway, she has no Accessories equipped.
Light: Orange Glow
Dark: Shade Comet
Orange Glow is a healing move that determines which party member within 25 feet of Polka needs the most HP and heals him or her. This potentially includes Polka. Of course, since Polka is the only one currently in the party, it will automatically heal her if used.
Shade Comet is a long-range attack that fires at one enemy and also damages ones near the target.
Now, we're checking out the "Items" and "Item Set". What's the difference? Well, consumable items in Items can only be used outside of battle. To be able to use such an item in battle, it has to be stocked in the Item Set. However, the Item Set only has just so much capacity. Right now, it has a capacity of 10. The only consumables you have are Floral Powders (a single-target healing item that recovers the target's HP by 50%. Like Orange Glow, it selects its target based on who need it most). Floral Powders take up 2 of that 10.
Now, let's see this Party Level thing. There are six Party Levels, but we only have access to the first. In it, we get infinite Tactical Time. The Action Gauge is stopped when you're not moving, and allows for 5 seconds of action. normal attacks that connect add a little time to the Action Gauge.
There are slots for viewing Score Pieces, Photos, and Piano Music, but you have none. I'll tell you about each as I come to them. The regular Music slot is for listening to any music you've run across in the game, outside of the Score Pieces and Piano Music. It's divided into three tabs: Event Sequence, Field, and Battle. The only Event Sequence listed is NO. 01, "Remember Me". It's the music you hear on the title screen. There are 22 pieces in this category. I've already told you about 2 of the 31 pieces in the Field category. I haven't run into any battles in this file, so I haven't any Battle music listed. There are 9 pieces, though.
Leaving that behind... up the road is some sort of sparkly thing. This is a Save Point. When you walk up to it, it flashes once and chimes, and light swirls around it. You press A, and can elect to save the game. You choose your device, and which one of the 10 files you want to use. (I'm choosing 02.) You confirm it, press A when the save is complete, and press B to return to the game.
Up farther, I encounter a hopping round thing: A Very Very Empty. To engage it, I run into it.
In battle for the first time (Tune: Battle: No. 01, "Make the Leap"), Polka says the animals aren't very strong, so their defeat will come easily, but to be safe, she wants to review. You can either view the tutorial or not. For the purpose of this blog, I'll go ahead and do it.
The turn order goes from fastest to slowest. This refers to your SPD stat. The higher it is, the earlier in battle a character will move. The Left Stick is for movement, by the way. She tells you what I told you about the Action Gauge earlier.
She has you Attack whether you're at the enemy or not. The A button is for normal attacks. When you attack, she says she's remembering how to do this. She also tells you more stuff I already told you. When the Action Gauge runs out, it's the enemy's turn. Partway through it, Polka tells you about the Next arrow, which tells you which character is Next in battle. You get another turn. Once that runs out, the VVE will attack during its turn, at which point, Polka will tell you about blocking. When the Shield icon and "Chance!" appear, you have to press B to block attacks. If the attack is weak enough vs. your DEF already, it'll do no damage; otherwise, the damage is merely decreased. Your turn comes up again. Polka then tells you about running away. If you want to run, you have to hold down LB and RB during the entire turn of a party member, or you won't get away. All the basics covered, it's time to finish off the VVE. Once I do (Tune: Battle: NO. 08, "Well Done"), I gain 25 Exp and 3 Gold.
From this point, except for bosses, certain enemy types, and certain specific spots, you can try getting the drop on your enemies. You do this by running into them in the back. When this happens, your entire party gets a free turn, and you're approaching from a side that makes the enemies have to turn around to attack you. It isn't so important when all the enemies can be wiped out in one turn anyway, and you have a higher SPD, but otherwise, it's pretty helpful.
Beyond the second VVE, the path forks. The right fork ends shortly, but at the end is your first chest. Chests are red and blue. This chest holds a Peach Cookie (a single target healing item that recovers 1000 HP, currently more than Polka has. It takes up one slot in the Item Set). I cross the bridge and go through a rocky arch to transition to the North Section.
Near a flying flag, I take on my first battle with more than one enemy at a time. Thankfully, I get an ambush round and use it to take out the first and my normal round to take out the second.
I suppose this is as good a time as any to talk about the layout of characters in battle. On the battlefield, you can imagine six initial slots. One side, determined by which side you approach the enemy from, is where your party will be, and the other side is where the enemies that enemy represented will be. Each battle has up to three enemies. In near-to-far terms, the center slot will always start with an enemy in it. If there are two, the second enemy will be in the near slot. If there's a third, it will take up the far slot.
The same is true of your party. There's currently only one member. She appears in the center slot of your party's side. When you have multiple members, you can arrange them on the menu. Members in the first slot will be where I said, the one in the second slot will be in the near slot, and the third (if there is one) will be in the far slot.
Near the flag, Polka can look out at the sparkling ocean, if you wish. Onward over a bridge I send her. Near a sign, I defeat another 2-VVE group.
Through another arch, Polka reflects on how tired she is, and that there are many people in Ritardando. She wonders why none will buy from her.
: Gradually slowing.
And now... She spots a chipmunk, and kneels, reaching her hand out. It approaches, and runs off. She feels it doesn't want to be touched by her, either. (Well, yeah, that's true of most wild animals, whether the person is ill or not.)
Now there's a scene of her trying to sell Floral Powder back in Ritardando. A young woman passing by remarks that she didn't know people still made it. Given that there's mineral powder now, why would Floral Powder be needed? While she doesn't mean to be rude, she does feel the need to point out that it's not useful anymore. Polka is somewhat discouraged by this news.
She doesn't have much time to be at the moment, however, as two men engage in fisticuffs offscreen. One is laid out on the hard stone walk. After a bit of watching and looking around, she approaches him, asks if he's all right, then holds his hands over him, closing her eyes. There's a green glow, and sparkles, and bubbles. A small crowd gathers. When the special effects dissipate, she asks if he feels better now. Well, he's able to get up. He displays his gratitude by telling her to stay away and not to touch him, and running away. You know, because she's going to harm
him immediately after healing him. The crowd, too, has dispersed. One boy is suitably impressed. He tells his mother that she was glowing. The mother tells him to come back (He was just standing there, several yards away!), and not to go near anyone who glows like that. He asks why, but she gives the freaking classic parental non-answer. They leave, leaving poor Polka alone and disheartened.
Back from the flashback, we can snag another Peach Cookie from a chest, and engage another 2-VVE group. This is enough to bring her level up to 2.
Another battle, and farther up, I reach Tenuto.
(The music here is also "Reflect the Sky, Blossom of Life".)
I save at the Save Point near the entrance.
Next time: Tenuto and more!
So far, so good. I'll be following this, mainly since I really like this game. Are you going to do the Mysterious Unison
Oh, and I had no idea that you can listen to the in-game music. And I've played through the game almost twice. So this has been informative.
edited 29th Jun '10 12:07:34 AM by DYRE
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Yes, I plan on doing that part.
Taller than Zim
THEY ARE AFTER THE BREAD!
"No, the Singularity will not happen. Computation is hard." -Happy Ent
(points) "Crab Nebula."
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
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Trying to leave the village at night, by the way, causes Polka to say that it's dangerous to do so. Well, yeah, there are all those Very Very Empties! ... Well, seriously, we'll see why those are dangerous in the dark later. For now, it's off to the forest! It's up the stairway and down the path to a round opening.
Heaven's Mirror Forest
(Tune: Field NO. 12, "Illuminated Lives". It's pretty, yet foreboding.)
So now, Frederic's stats.
- Lv. 1
- Age: 39
- 1045 HP
- 0 Exp.
- Next: 200
- ATK: 20
- DEF: 14
- MAG: 17
- SPD: 11
He wields a Pine Baton (ATK +8) and wears a Gentleman's Coat (DEF +5).
- Light: Sacred Signature
- Dark: Piu Grave
Sacred Signature is Frederic's "Orange Glow", so to speak. It executes in less time, however.
Piu Grave is a short-range attack in which Frederic hits the enemy a couple of times, then shoots an aura upward for more damage.
Since Polka's SPD is currently higher, I place her in the second slot.
This area is slightly more complicated than any area I've been in so far, but the "wrong" paths are all short and often lead to chests. And also often guarded by man-sized bird-things sporting rams' horns on their heads. Like this one that I sneak around and get the drop on.
Battlefields here are mostly dark with odd splotches of light. I can't count on being in a position to heal, though if I approach enemies from the left, the party is placed in and near a relatively large patch.
This chest has a Poison Whitecap in it; see the Ritardando Sewers section for info on that.
I like that Frederic says "You foolish creatures!" when there's only one.
Finally, a battle with two. I find that these things are called L'Opera Knights. They currently have a higher SPD than either member of my party, so even though I can eliminate one in the preemptive strike round, the other gets a chance to act. But it only comes right up to the two before stopping. How nice of it!
- Lv. 2
- 1260 HP
- ATK: 23
- DEF: 17
- MAG: 21
- SPD: 14
- Lv. 3
- 1301 HP
- ATK: 21
- DEF: 17
- MAG: 27
- SPD: 16
I make a tactical error: I should have simply gone ahead and engaged that L'OK instead of trying to run away and go for another attempt at a back attack (which also works sometimes), and now Frederic has very little HP. Hopefully, I can heal it next battle. Oh well. At least I can report that L'Opera Knights have L'Opera Breath... and L'Opera Tornados. And they can L'Opera Heal.
- Lv. 3
- 1476 HP
- ATK: 26
- DEF: 20
- MAG: 25
- SPD: 17
- Lv. 4
- 1504 HP
- ATK: 24
- DEF: 20
- MAG: 31
- SPD: 19
In the next area, more battles.
- Lv. 4
- 1694 HP
- ATK: 29
- DEF: 23
- MAG: 29
- SPD: 20
It appears that, when leveling up, ATK and DEF always increase by 3, while MAG and SPD always increase by 4. At least with these two.
In the next area...
- Lv. 5
- 1710 HP
- ATK: 27
- DEF: 23
- MAG: 35
- SPD: 22
I save at the Save Point.
- Lv. 5
- 1915 HP
- ATK: 32
- DEF: 26
- MAG: 33
- SPD: 23
I remember there was an item I forgot, so I go back. On the way...
- Lv. 6
- 1918 HP
- ATK: 30
- DEF: 26
- MAG: 40
- SPD: 25
characters can each defeat a L'Opera Knight in a single round. (But because these things use pseudorandom numbers, and who knows the seed or could take advantage of it if they did, it's by no means certain.)
Anyway, I get the Walking Parasol (ATK +7, an improvement of 2 over the Cute Umbrella) for Polka.
- Lv. 6
- 2139 HP
- ATK: 35
- DEF: 29
- MAG: 37
- SPD: 26
Frederic gains a new Special Attack: Coup de Grace!
Coup de Grace is a Light short-range attack with Strong Knockback. Do I really want to replace his healing move with it...? Nah...
Also, in my missed item collecting, I find a Copper Necklace (DEF +2). The game's first Accessory! I equip it to Frederic, as he's going to be getting up close and personal with a certain boss while Polka fires off Shade Comets.
I arrive in a large clearing. Doesn't that just scream "boss area"? It should. There's a large boar here, ready to boar our heroes to death! This Forest Boar's Charge, Winning Shot, and War Cry are pains, but the creature is eventually defeated, and drops a Bamboo Shaft. (Its stats will be examined later.)
- Lv. 7
- 2129 HP
- ATK: 35
- DEF: 29
- MAG: 45
- SPD: 28
- Lv. 7
- 2366 HP
- ATK: 38
- DEF: 34
- MAG: 41
- SPD: 29
The reason certain stats changed more than usual is because it's showing their effective
stats rather than what they'd have with items equipped.
The Party Level has changed to 2, now. What does this mean?
You can still take as much time as you want... at the start of each turn. However, once a character moves, the timer will count down even if the character stops while it's still his turn!
Polka guesses it's kind of dangerous there, but doesn't recall the animals being that aggressive. Frederic brings up the question of whether or not he answered correctly. He's pretty confident, however. Instead of answering, she urges him to come on.
(Tune: Um, I notice that Event Sequences 03 "It's Up to You" and 05 "Time Together" are in the list, but I don't know when they play.)
They arrive at a field of flowers, and these flowers are what Polka wanted to show him. As they look, it appears they got there just in time; the flowers are blossoming! They transform from regular pretty flowers to a spectacle of pulsing light, spreading over the field. Polka says they're called Heaven's Mirror, as they're like a reflection of the night sky on the meadow. This is the only place in the forest that they bloom. In addition, they're nocturnal bloomers. During they day, they absorb sunlight through their leaves, and at night, at exactly 2 AM, they give it off. Frederic agrees about their beauty.
Polka also gives their other name: Death Lights. This is because of the association between darkness and death, as well as the flowers' blooming time. She gives Frederic the choice of what to call them, but also says that Death Lights is what most people call them. People thought they looked like the light that guided people to death, because of their different behavior. A lot of people don't like them, thinking them a bad omen. Polka figures that's how people think of her.
She now asks how Frederic can tell which world is real, if what he's experiencing is so realistic. (Well, while I have reasons to believe that it's not merely a dream within the strict confines of the story in the game, but I often experience dreams that seem realistic at the time
, even though they're not consistent with reality.) She now reveals that her thoughts at the time were of leaving Tenuto. She wants to go out into the world and live her own life, even if the world is just a dream. (Man, I'm getting The Silver Chair
flashbacks...) She doesn't know how much time she has left, but she wants to make others happy in that time. As the flowers struggle to live on though they are called Death Lights, she wants to work toward her goal even if others don't want her around. Frederic asks where she wants to go. She decides to go to Forte Castle and talk to the Count about the taxes on floral powder, which are hurting everyone in the village.
She feels Polka should be happy he couldn't read her mind, as it means he can't use magic, and therefore doesn't have an incurable illness. (Um, Polka... Sacred Signature? Piu Grave?) She invites him to stay the night at her house, and says she'll tell her mother he's coming. (No, not like that...) Especially since he's a guest in this dream world, a rare occurrence, indeed! Frederic stays behind a bit, recalling a few of the things she said about the flowers.
Back in the Ritardando hideout, Beat relates that it's the first time he'll be going outside Ritardando. Allegretto says it's not like they're going on a picnic. Beat recalls what they are
intending to do out there: get the leaders to lower taxes on items beside mineral powder. This would ostensibly allow people to buy more, especially in cases where people can't currently buy at all. Allegretto is proud of what he remembered, and says they can't actually solve the underlying problem by stealing bread. However, Beat reveals that he doesn't know where they're going. For some reason, this causes Allegretto to take back what he said. He climbs the ladder and says that they're going to Forte Castle.
Topside, I only get a little ways away before Allegretto decides he wants to check up on the sewer kids.
There's a woman selling Tenuto flowers here. Also, a woman whose husband swiped her dentures and took off. She says he's not getting dinner, but that we should get ahold of him. Also, she lets on that she always keeps a spare set of dentures.
I can enter the cave at the beach here, now.
(Tune: Field NO. 13, "First Step")
It's an eerie diversion. The cave is torchlit all the way down. A small side area has writing on the wall: "It hurts...but I can't...escape the pain..." Allegretto finds it kinda creepy. The cave, by the way, is actually a tunnel that comes out where we started controlling Polka. However, at the other end, Allegretto says it's not the way to Forte Castle, and turns around.
By the way, that Saber we won? It has an ATK of +12, an improvement of 7 over the Hunting Knife.
Back to the sewers!
- Lv. 5
- 2119 HP
- ATK: 40
- DEF: 26
- MAG: 29
- SPD: 24
New Special Attack: Sky Divider!
- Lv. 5
- 1878 HP
- ATK: 28
- DEF: 23
- MAG: 19
- SPD: 23
Sky Divider is a 2-hit Light attack with medium knockback.
I start seeing numbers and stars appear off to the side as I attack enemies, but I'll save that for the tutorial.
Something I neglected to mention is that there are wanted posters of Allegretto in the sewers. You know, for all the people who go there and don't know about him.
Speaking of people there, I talk to the kids. A boy, Ad, is bored and wants to go outside, but knows better than to do so. Allegretto would like for them to have better blankets, but this is the best they can have right now. A girl, Phony, asks if he's going outside the city. Sym, another boy, wants to know where that good bread comes from. The other girl wants the Rat Tail I won in battle. Boy, living in a sewer, even a pretty one like that, has made her unsqueamish, huh? She thanks us and gives us a Stick.
: Composition for full orchestra, consisting of four contrasted sections or movements.
: Short for ad libitum
; Passage played as performer wishes.
I take it out of the sewers... and to a man hanging out near the dock. He thinks we don't believe a day can be measured. He assures us that you can, and says you just need a stick. Like this one? Yep! He goes on to explain the idea behind a sundial. Then he gives us some dentures from his pocket. We can't, as in literally
can't, give them to the elderly woman, nor do we want to, at least not directly. Anyway, I head out past the residence to the east.
Allegretto warns Beat that he'll have to watch himself, as it's not the same as fighting rats in Ritardando. Beat tells him not to worry; he'll take good pictures. Allegretto tells him not to waste time with that; he needs to help fight. Beat gets upset that it's called a waste of time. Allegretto says he can tell him about it later, and urges him to get moving.
(Tune: Field NO. 14, "Animals Everywhere")
And here's another battle in which we can't sneak around back!
It's another Tutorial opportunity! Allegretto explains the stuff about the Action Gauge that I already did when the Party Level changed, but calls the amount of time you have to think about what you're going to do "Tactical Time".
He also explains Echoes. Those are the numbers and stars I mentioned. The Echo Gauge at the right tells you the hit level your party has scored on enemies since the beginning of battle OR the last time you used a Special Attack. The higher the hit level, the more powerful the Special Attack. Healing moves heal by more; Attacks do more damage. Whenever you connect with a normal attack, that's one more hit, but to increase the power of Special attacks, the actual count needs to hit a certain minimum number at each level: 4, 8, 12, 16, 24, and 32. And when you use a Special Attack, the Echoes get used up. At 24 and 32, characters say some kind of phrase before calling their attacks.
The other things he explains is that some enemies change form and attacks depending on the light level. For example, the lowly Very Very Empty becomes a relatively mighty Great Coconut when it enters shadows! (This is why the Path to Tenuto would be dangerous at night.) Great Coconuts have the healing move Murmur, and the attack Moldy Breath, among others. Before, the battlefields with VVEs on them didn't give them opportunity to change. But on this battlefield, there are rocks that provide shade.
I find a Copper Necklace and give it to Allegretto.
There are quite a few Florite Mice and L'Opera Knights in this forest, in addition to the VVEs.
- Lv. 6
- 2365 HP
- ATK: 44
- DEF: 31
- MAG: 33
- SPD: 27
- Lv. 6
- 2113 HP
- ATK: 31
- DEF: 26
- MAG: 21
- SPD: 26
The next section sees me finding a Serpentine Lock (ATK +8, an improvement of 2 over the Arquebus), a weapon for Beat. Another chest has a Light Guard (DEF +11, ATK +1; an improvement over either outfit). It can be worn by either, but I give it to Allegretto and have him hand his Mail Shirt down to Beat.
There's a man here who's painting a picture of the forest, but he's low on green paint. We'll come back to him later.
Down the other part of the fork, I save at the Save Point.
Next Time: We start off with a boss!
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Well, I take on a 2-VVE party first.
- Lv. 7
- 2614 HP
- ATK: 49
- DEF: 39
- MAG: 37
- SPD: 30
- Lv. 7
- 2351 HP
- ATK: 36
- DEF: 31
- MAG: 23
- SPD: 29
I head down the steps and toward the boss area.
This thing reminds me of a koala, a lizard, and a moth all at once. And then it breathes fire. It's a Baby Dragon, and it's accompanied by two Florite Mice. It has moves like Knock Out... and that's all he gets to use before he's slain. I've seen other moves on past playthroughs, though. Anyway, it drops the Stone Sword Hilt accessory.
- Lv. 8
- 2867 HP
- ATK: 53
- DEF: 42
- MAG: 41
- SPD: 33
- Lv. 8
- 2592 HP
- ATK: 39
- DEF: 34
- MAG: 25
- SPD: 32
Beat gains Power Smash!
Allegretto says that if they don't hurry, they'll get caught in the rain. Beat isn't worried, as the hideout's roof leaks badly, even when it drizzles.
A mini-documentary? In my
RPG? It's more likely than you think!
That's right, in different places in Eternal Sonata
, the game talks about the life of Chopin as it relates to one of his pieces. The information is related in text over a still image as the piece in question plays. I won't talk about the images unless I find them interesting. A lot of them are architecture and statuary that I don't know, and therefore may or may not be related to the subject.
I also can't speak to the factual accuracy of the statements made.
I mean, there's a gold statue of a man on a horse here, and it's telling me about a woman called George Sand, whose real name was Aurore Dudevant. Dude. She was a famous published author of popular romance novels in Paris. The first time he saw her, he asked a friend if she was really a woman, for she defied cultural norms regarding women, wearing pants and smoking cigars in public, which was not the done thing in, y'know, the early 1800s in Europe. (As a side note, I've heard of some women taking masculine pseudonyms so their books would sell; I don't know if this was true of George or not, but it may have been a factor, albeit unmentioned in this game.) By this time, Chopin himself was a famous pianist in Paris. Their relationship "must surely have been the talk of the town." Chopin's health wasn't great, and it is speculated that the attention society paid them made things worse. Sand took Chopin to Mallorca, a Spanish island, to rest, but they left separately and met at a border village to avoid attention. They lived there for a while, his health and happiness improving... but then the rainy season began, and Chopin caught a cold, bring his TB symptoms back. The landlord, fearing contagion of this then-incurable illness, evicted them. They went from there to the Valldemosa monastery. There was still rain... ...which is said to have been the conditions under which this piece was born. George stayed with him, unafraid of infection.
Aaand back to the game's story!
We shift to Polka and Chopin. It's started raining, as Polka notices. Chopin notices that it makes the plants look more alive. Polka remarks that rain is a blessing from heaven for Tenuto's flowers.
Now I can tell you about Piano Music. When you go through one of those mini-documentaries, the piece gets added to the Piano Music collection, and you can read the text at the same time. You cannot, however, watch it with the pictures without getting to that point again.
I save at the Save Point.
I "can't" tell you about Power Smash yet, but I can tell you about the Stone Sword Hilt. It adds 2 to the ATK of its wearer.
There's a short diversion to the left here, and there's a VVE here. No sweat, right? Well... remember how at first, if you encountered a VVE, it was just
a party of VVEs, and then later, the battlefield had small shady areas that would turn VVEs into Great Coconuts if they got there, but you could probably stop them? Yeah, here, most of the battlefield is shaded, so at least one VVE is likely to be a Great Coconut. If you approach it from the right side, though, VVE in the center and near slots start off as VVEs. VVE in the far slot on this version of the battlefield start as Great Coconuts regardless.
I go back and follow the path a short ways, diverting to grab some Pretty Clothes (DEF +10, an improvement of 6 over the Handmade) from a chest.
After some fighting...
- Lv. 8
- 2343 HP
- ATK: 38
- DEF: 38
- MAG: 50
- SPD: 31
And she got Nether wave! It's a Dark attack that starts only hitting the enemy in front of her, but then shoots a spread shot that damages enemies beyond.
After going up stairs and a little more fighting:
- Lv. 8
- 2596 HP
- ATK: 43
- DEF: 37
- MAG: 45
- SPD: 32
Beyond some stairs, I get a Glowing Tail out of a chest. Up the stairs and farther away from the screen I get a Wet Umbrella (ATK +15, an improvement of 8) from a chest. I go back past the stairs and cross a bridge.
Beyond a VVE and up some more stairs, I come to the North Section. Plenty of opportunities to fight here. The central light in battlefields is gone, however, so it's Great Coconuts when it's not L'Opera Knights.
Up some stairs, I fight a Great Coconut facing out of a bottleneck so I can open a chest with a Hunting Coat (DEF +12, an improvement of 7 over the Gentleman's Coat) in it. A couple more fights later, Polka levels up. Next fight, Frederic does, as well. I save at the save point, and proceed...
Polka notices thunder. Frederic asks about shelter, but Polka knows of none. She is able to tell someone's coming. A young man in black, red, and white, and wearing a monocle, approaches them. He asks if they're looking for something in that weather. He is, himself, but he's not finding it easy in the rain. He figures the two would make good entertainment. He hates it when his clothes get wet. Uh, okay.
Battle transition! He can't stand natural smells, it seems. Dude's fast, and has powerful attacks. I can't win this fight
, even if I block his normal attacks; he pulls out Blood Scent and knocks out Frederic. Polka lands some attacks, but his DEF is too high for her to do much. He uses Blood Scent on her, knocking her out, as well. Then he complains about dirt on his clothes.
As the two lay there, he realizes he doesn't have time to play around with them. (He sounds not entirely unlike Shadow, circa Sonic Adventure 2
.) He needs to find a particular glowing creature. As he departs, he gives them his thanks for the workout.
Back in Paris, 11:23 PM, the woman notices the letup of the thunderstorm. She asks about Frederic. The physician relates that, like the weather, he seems to have settled down. The woman hopes he's all right. The physician thinks he's all right, in contrast to the violent spasms of earlier. The woman speculates that it was the lightning that startled him, but the physician thinks there may have been more. He figures tonight will be crucial.
Back in the forest, Beat looks around and notices that the rain and lightning have stopped. Allegretto asks Beat if he was shaking back there. Beat denies it, but Allegretto thinks he was holding onto his camera for dear life. Beat just wants to hurry up and get.
I've been through this part of the forest before, as Polka and Frederic. I save at the save point, and continue on my way. All the chests I encounter along the way are empty.
Oh yeah, Power Smash! It's a short range move, not terribly useful at the moment.
I fight my way through the forest, gaining the two a level up each! I get to where Fugue beat up the other two player characters, but they're not there. I find, however, a man stomping on a green platform. The platform isn't the target of his ire, however; he's mad because his "hag" complains all the time, so he took her dentures and is stomping them to pieces. It is implied that you told him that she's not going to give him dinner. He realizes the extent of her ire, and decides to go back and apologize. He realizes, however, that if she finds out about him smashing her dentures, she'll do worse. I hand over the set that Mr. "I want to eat time" found. He gives me green paint.
Say, wasn't there someone who was running out of that? I save at the Save Point I passed, and head back, intentionally fighting any respawners. I deliver it to him and get long johns in return. No, the P Cs
can't wear them. I fight my way back through, earning another level for the two, and Shadow Assault for Allegretto. If you haven't guessed, Shadow Assault is a Dark special attack. It's short ranged, but that's fine. He's generally attacking in short range, anyway.
Beyond the platform a ways, I run into a village.
(TUNE: Field No. 03, "Different, but the Same")
...Oh my. I believe I was just hit with the significance of that. Anyway. Up the path a little ways, Allegretto complains about not finding a house until after
it's stopped raining. Beat notices someone. He goes up the steps and asks the cute kid there if she lives in that house. He says she does, and introduces herself as March. She and her sister are the forest's guardians. Allegretto thinks it must be tough, with just the two of them. March doesn't think it is; while it's dangerous at times, she finds her sister always takes care of things. March is surprised at the number of guests they have.
Speaking of, she turns around to see that Polka is up and about. March tells her she could stay in bed if she wanted. Polka is wondering where she is. Rather than answer this directly, March relates that Polka was found unconscious at an entrance to the forest, and the agogos let her know. She also says that her friend might be taking a walk, trying to get inspiration for his music. Allegretto asks what agogos are, and March describes them as "round creatures". They don't approach humans, and haven't been showing up; March considers Polka lucky that they took a liking to her, and is surprised that they came to her about rescuing a human being. It's a first, as far as she knows. I should mention at this point that March has ears that point outward, unlike the rounded ears of the other characters. Polka seems surprised that they rescued her even though she's... she doesn't say what. March advises her to rest, and says she'll fix her some warm food. Then she realizes she doesn't even know the girl's name. Before Polka answers, however, Allegretto says her name for her. He gives her occupation, and explains that he heard someone say her name. Beat compliments her on her magic. This scares Polka, possibly because people not being afraid of or hostile to someone who can use magic is a new experience...? Or something...? She starts backing off, then runs off. Beat wonders if they said something wrong.
Polka passes Frederic coming the other direction. He's picked a snack, but Polka's too scared to care. Once with the others, he asks if something happened. March is concerned about her running around while she's still recovering. She does note that the path doesn't go far, so she shouldn't get lost.
But then a scream is heard; Allegretto identifies it as Polka! She might be in danger!
(TUNE: Event Sequence NO. 14, "Rapid Fire")
Perfect time to loot the village and go shopping!
...What? Hey, the shopping bit should help us help her!
The display near the house has a Score Piece in it! My first one this playthrough!
Score Pieces, while not really integral to the game, do have a use which I'll explain later. Right now, just know that you can go to your Score Pieces and hear them played. However, they're only marked by the position in the menu, and by the notes written on the staff.
The inside of March's house holds a Twilight Feather and a Club Clover.
...Oh, very well, I'll explain these, too. I haven't explained Glowing Tail, so I'll do that now. A Glowing Tail is a combat-use item which recovers its target's HP and gives the target Shining Body temporarily. This is useful if you want that character to only use Light Special Attacks for a while, or, in a pinch, just recover HP when you feel it doesn't matter.
The Twilight Feather's only effect is to heal Shining Body. So if you want a character with Shining Body to be able to use Dark Special Attacks, this is what you use first.
The Clover series of items recovers a set amount of HP to the entire party. Club Clover's amount is 3000.
On a box inside a building to the right, I get Floral Powder!
Down the curved ramp, I find a shop. I buy Frederic a better baton than the one I... I forgot to equip on him... But hey, the new one is a Cork Baton (ATK +18). I buy Breast Guards (DEF +21; ATK +1) for the other guys, as well.
I can admire the natural spring and stuff, but now it's time to save Polka!
Next time: Plains as the Nose on Your Face!
(points) "Crab Nebula."
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. He drops the Long Sword when he dies.
- Lv. 11
- 3337 HP
- ATK: 49
- DEF: 58
- MAG: 31
- SPD: 41
- Lv. 11
- 3651 HP
- ATK: 65
- DEF: 61
- MAG: 53
- SPD: 42
- Lv. 10
- 3068 HP
- ATK: 59
- DEF: 50
- MAG: 53
- SPD: 38
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 Count 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 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, indicates 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 do 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.
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: 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, the 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.
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.
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.
He also gains Coup de Jarnac!
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 the problem, 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!
Welcome to Purgatory!
Don't own an Xbox system, but I've heard good things about the game, and it certainly seems like you're having a good time with it. I'll be keeping my eyes on this topic, and I certainly wish you the best of luck.
Also, I guess Mt. Rock could refer to Rock & Roll...which was undoubtably created after Chopin's time, so this thought process doesn't really prove anything now that I think about it.
(points) "Crab Nebula."
I don't know if you have a PS3
or not, but it's also on that system. I understand that has a bit more to the story than this one, and a couple more playable characters.
Yeah, that was my reasoning for why it's not his dream: if it were Chopin assigning musical terms to places, the mountain would be named something else.
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known
to get one of those.
Total posts: 10