Once I’ve started up the game, I move on to the next location. It’s labled as Palu Forest.
Urgent music plays as Heath explains what we’re supposed to do. Apparently there’s a mansion in the forest, and our intel says that there’s a Witch hiding there. Leon seems excited about finally fighting a Witch. Heath continues to say that the Witch uses the Water Lapistier to augment her power. He says that Lapistier are stones that feed off God’s light and pollute the world. If a Witch has one, it makes her that much stronger. We’re supposed to take it and give it to Johannes so he can purify it.
Heath then requests that Cecille join us this time. She’s apparently a healer. Leon makes some joke about her being slow. Actually, he’s right on the money this time – she really IS slow. (In a game like this, slower characters get turns less frequently) Alph wishes that someone named Saki was here. Lucia, who I guess came along, asks who Saki is.
Wait a minute. Why the heck is Lucia with them, anyway? Isn’t she supposed to take care of things back at the Garden while they’re away? And as far as they know, she can’t fight either. So what’s the point of bringing her along?
Oh wait. She followed them because she wanted to see the Witch. Makes sense – she probably wants to know if it’s one of her friends. She repeats her question about who Saki is. Theo briefly explains that she’s another of the Garden Children. After that, Heath tells us that we’re moving in. He wants Lucia to stay out of the fight, understandably.
Anyway, I’m brought to the same “what now?” screen that shows up before every mission. As usual, I choose “Action.” I can talk with Lucia, Heath, or Theo. I move down the list, and choose Lucia. She informs me that there isn’t really a Witch in there. Interesting to know. Maybe the recon guys messed up? They talk a little more, with Alph saying some cheesy line about how Witches are the “evil shadow” that disrupts their peace, and if Lucia doesn’t want to be next, she’d better stay out of the way. Ouch. (OK, so the way he said it wasn't quite THAT harsh...but that's basically what he said.)
I talk to Heath, and he tells Alph that Witches are beings that hate the light and want to pull the world into darkness. Funny, because besides being a textbook Tsundere, Lucia seems like a decent person. When I talk to Theo, I get a conversation about how the Lapistier supposedly glows, and Theo says something about how he likes stones that don’t glow. Like the one that he and Alph share. Hm. This is new. They go on to say that Alph and Theo both have one half of a stone, and that it was with them when the Church found them. This seems random, but it’s obvious to any Genre Savvy player that it’ll be important later on. I save on the world map, and continue.
Once I choose the option to advance, Heath tells me that I have to talk to my comrades after battles in order to have them feeling their best. I’m then given a little notice saying that “intermission” is now available after battles. Basically, this means that after each fight, I’m given the option to talk to someone that I used in that fight. I’m given a few options of what to say, and if I say the right things, their little heart icon starts to fill up. If I do it enough, then…well, I’m actually not totally sure. I think it helps me and them do better when we battle together.
We enter the mansion, and some random woman labled “mansion owner” is talking about how if she brought the Lapistier to the council, they’d think better of her. Alph randomly runs up to her, and exclaims that they’ve found her. The woman, understandably, asks who the hell he is. Heath introduces them. The woman seems annoyed that the Church is greedy enough to come and take the Lapistier, and so she decides to fight back.
I now have Alph, Theo, Leon, Heath, and Cecille. I only have to bring Alph in, but I have enough space to bring in all five of them. So I do that. Since Theo was killed off in that first battle, he’s still only level 1. Cecille, the only new character, is level 3.
My opponents are all human this time: three Fighters, two Archers, and the mansion owner, a Cleric. That probably means she can heal herself or her allies, so I’d better be aware of that. Also, the opponents in all battles do have randomly generated names, so from now on I’ll refer to them that way.
Looks like the “spell” that Alph learned in the last battle was really an ability called “Rifle.” His class is “rifleman,” see, so he uses that gun in a lot of his special attacks. It's kinda nice, because his regular attack uses a sword, so this skill will let him attack from a few squares away.
A few moves later, I’ve taken out Aaron, one of the Fighters. Alph has been attacked a few times, though, and he’s low on HP. Good thing it’s Cecille’s turn. Basically, Cecille's character class says she's a “Priest.” Obviously, she’s a healer, and she’s got Water-based magic. So far, the only spell she’s got is “Aid,” which is the same healing spell that Lucia had last battle. She can only move two spaces at a time, but she’s able to move close enough to Alph to heal him a little bit. Hopefully he won’t die.
A bit more struggling with the touchscreen issues (no, I don’t want to shoot Theo!), but I get it to work. I kill off Dave, another Fighter. Leon’s been hurt a little, so I heal him the next time Cecille is able to move. Unfortunately, he’s attacked again by the remaining Fighter, undoing almost all of the health I healed. Heath levels after attacking Alec the Archer, and Leon finishes off the remaining Fighter. He levels to level 3, which conveniently heals all the damage he’s taken. I love it when games do that. Luminous Arc 2 doesn’t, though, probably because it makes things a little too easy.
Becky the Cleric, the woman who was in the scene before, heals Alec. Then she moves further away – smart woman. Unfortunately for Alec, her efforts mean nothing – I kill him off in two attacks. After that, Theo kills the other archer, and levels to level 2. Good thing, too – like I said, he was only level 1. Cecille no longer has enough MP to heal anyone. Becky attacks Alph with water, putting him into his “seriously injured” crouching stance. So I have Heath heal him. Also, that Catseye I was wondering about before? It cures blindness. How? No clue.
Also, I just figured out that Leon has the same voice actor as Rasche from the second game. Which is pretty pathetic – personality-wise, Rasche is basically Leon minus the constant flirting.
I have all my characters over by Becky. This shouldn’t take long. Cecille, thanks to her “two squares at a time” issue, is way behind. Alph attacks the cornered Cleric, and levels. He’s level 4 right now. He attacks again on his next turn and takes her out, ending the battle. Congrats, you guys, you just killed an innocent woman. Aren’t you proud of yourselves?
My spoils are 800 Rico, a VitaMint, a HolyFthr, and a Cape. Holy Feathers are revival items, which should be useful. I use my intermission to talk to Theo. But first I have to watch another regular scene.
The woman comments that she was probably too greedy (I guess she’s not dead yet), and we get the Water Lapistier. After we go back to the forest, Leon comments that Witches aren’t so tough. Yeah, you just keep thinking that, Leon. Lucia seems upset, and when Alph tries to ask her about it, she tells him not to talk to her and runs off.
Heath then informs us that Kingston is coming to visit the little nearby town, and that he wants the rest of the group to come along. Alph asks him if the woman was really a Witch, and Heath assures him that she was.
Later that night, Lucia comes up to Alph and says that of course Heath would tell him that. She says that the woman wasn’t a Witch, but that she wasn’t innocent either. (OK, guess I was wrong about that.) Guess she was going to use the Lapistier for her own selfish reasons. Lucia says that the woman got what she deserved, so Alph shouldn’t be upset. She also informs them that real Witches are way more powerful, and that the group will need plenty of training before they’ll be able to defeat one.
OK, time for my intermission. Theo says “Yay! We defeated the enemies!” I can either tell him “yeah, we’re the best,” “don’t get cocky,” or “you really helped me out.” That last one sounds like what he’d want to hear, so I choose it. Looks like that was the best choice – he gives me yet another VitaMint.
Now I get a silly little thing called “Life of Kopin.” I get these after every chapter from now on. They’re these stupid little things where a critter called a Kopin tells me bits and pieces about what’s going on in his crazy life. He informs me that he’ll be keeping an eye on me from now on - complete with him staring at me. Because that’s not creepy at all, right?
I’m back on the world map, with two new destinations. One is just a place to pass through, where I’ll have a battle. I can’t see past there, but presumably the next place is the town. As usual, I’ll stop for now.