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SapphireBlue2010-12-12 13:19:59

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Last time, we were about to go to another town to find Nicolai. Before we can get there, though, we’ll have to go through two non-plot battles. Well, it’ll be a good chance to level up.

Before that, though, I’m going to use the money I got from the last battle to buy those weapons I couldn’t buy before. I do so, and return to the world map.

First place I have to go through is the “Wahl Plains. I no longer have Heath, so hopefully I’ll be getting some new companions soon. My opponents here are two Triheads (red Cerberuses), two Roosters (blue Roosters), and two Minnopis, which look like plant men with clown noses. I’ll just say this now: there are a LOT of Palette Swap monsters in this game. I’d say there are less than 10 types of monsters that all enemies in this game are derived from.

That said, I begin the battle, and…oh cool, Cecille can move three squares now. And it would seem that Alph has a Flash Drive now. No, I’m not talking about the USB things you plug into computers. Flash Drives are special attacks. Every time a character does something, this orange gauge goes up. It can go up to 3, and each character learns three Flash Drives over the course of the game. There’s an attack for each level of the gauge. Since this is the beginning of the game, Alph’s new Flash Drive will only be level 1. I can use it every time his gauge gets that high, or I can wait longer and use it more than once. I’ll be keeping an eye on that for now.

Theo’s new skill is called Focus, and it can raise his accuracy. Pretty useless – he’s an archer, he already has good accuracy. Alph has a new skill called Chasm, which hits three targets – the one in front of him, and the ones to either sides of that one. Leon is now level 7, and…hey look, he’s got a Flash Drive too!

Cecille is level 6, and has learned a water-based attack spell called Aqua. Alph is level 9. I’ve just used his Flash Drive, and it’s called Burst Drive. It attacks two enemies in a row and can paralyze them. Leon’s is called Edge Slash, and it has a chance of lowering the enemy’s defense. Humorously, when I use it, it does just that right before the enemy dies.

My guys are leveling like crazy, so I’ll just tell you what level they are when I start the next fight.

OK, battle’s over. It was easier than I thought, considering it was four on six. My spoils are 1200 Rico, two VitaMints, and an Antidote. I decide to Intermission with Cecille. She says “You’re really strong, Alph. I envy you.” I can say “It’s all because of your help,” “My training’s really paid off,” or “I’m not that strong.” I pick the first option. The trick to these Intermissions is thinking about the character’s personality, and what they’d want to hear. And…she’s grateful, but it seems that wasn’t the best option.

OK, back on the world map. I save, and move on to Eurus Way, where my next unimportant battle will be. At the moment, my character levels are as follows.

Alph: 9 Theo: 6 Leon: 8 Cecille: 6

Oh. Looks like I’m fighting humans this time – five Thieves and two Bandits. The Bandits have bows. Theo is killed partway through the fight, but I res him. Then Alph dies later, but that’s not so bad because he’s a bit overleveled. And then Leon dies. I’m out of Holy Feathers, so it’s up to Theo and Cecille to finish the remaining enemies. Which won’t be easy, but it will help them level. And dang. Cecille’s Aqua spell is strong, and…oh wait, she’s dead too. And somehow, miraculously, Theo manages to finish by himself. Nice job, kid!

My spoils are 1600 Rico, an Ammonia, an Antidote, and a Catseye. I don’t really know what the ammonia does, but it probably heals some status problem or other. In honor of Theo winning the battle, I’ll do the intermission with him.

He says “Those enemies were really strong! Are you used to all this fighting, Alph?” I can say “Of course! No problem!” “No, not yet,” or “Don’t be such a scaredy-cat!” I know he wouldn’t want to hear the last option, so I pick the middle one. He’s glad to know I feel the same way, but since I don’t get a gift, I guess it wasn’t the best answer.

Anyway, on to “Port Town Ridget.”

Everyone’s surprised at how peaceful the town looks. After all, there was just a battle there. Theo asks where Lucia went, and Alph says he doesn’t know and he doesn’t care. Leon teases him by acting like he sees Lucia, and Alph asks where. Of course, she’s not there. Cecille asks if he’s really that worried about her. Theo says he hopes he finds her soon, and Alph exclaims that it’s not like that. Oh, please. Alph totally likes her. I mean, she’s got “love interest” written all over her. Even if she is a Witch.

Cecille says those two will never grow up, and Alph says she’s not grown up either. Leon says some stupid stuff about having to change Theo’s diapers, and how he and Cecille used to take baths together(!). And then he turns the topic serious, amazed at how far they’ve come from that point. They can see the town from there, and…

Well, it’s not in good shape. It sounds like it’s been a while since the attack, but there’s a lot of damaged buildings and stuff. A random man says that it was Vanessa. Cecille asks if there’s anyone hurt, and says she can help. But it turns out no one was hurt or killed. It sounds like a stranger was healing civilians during the battle. Hm…Lucia had a healing spell when we fought with her. Could it have been her? Cecille remarks that only people from the Church can use healing magic.

All of a sudden, a dark-haired girl with a ponytail shows up out of nowhere. Turns out that it’s the Saki person that they’d been talking about. Apparently, Heath has ordered her to accompany us. She’s supposed to use her tracking skills to help hunt down Witches. Leon asks her where to find Nicolai, but it seems that he went to the Western Continent. Leon asks if she’s serious, and she says that her information is always correct. She gives Leon a demonstration, saying that he went to the flower shop the other day to talk to someone named Julia. Leon stops her, saying that she’s right about the accuracy thing.

Turns out that Ridget runs a ferry service, and that we could go to the Western Continent right now.

My options come up. There’s a shop, so as usual, I go there first. I buy armor first, because I just bought weapons at the Holy Congress. And…actually, the weapons here are the same kind that I already have. There is a new staff for Cecille, though, so I buy that after selling my old stuff.

When I select “Action,” my options are to talk to Saki or Theo, or go to the library. I’ll talk to Saki first. Everyone is happy to see her, but she says that Nicolai went to the Western Continent to find Witches. This is a little worrisome, but we’ll see what’s going on later.

Talking to Theo assures us that it was the Witch of Immolation that attacked this town, but we still don’t know who helped out the civilians. Saki doesn’t think it was someone from the church, so was it a Witch? That shouldn’t be possible – healing powers are obtained by asking for God’s permission to use His holy power. A Witch couldn’t do that…right?

I go to the library. As usual, there are three books. They are entitled “The Shadow Clan,” “The Great Sea,” and “The Appeal of Forbidden Fruit.” Alph says that the first one is about Saki’s family. Apparently, she’s from a small clan from the northern part of the Western Continent. They have special powers, and many of them do intelligence work for the Church. However, it sounds like they were attacked by bandits during a ceremony a while back, and only one person survived.

The next book is about the Saint Sea, but there’s nothing really of interest in that one. The third one is about Witches, and how they are born with the knowledge of Rune and are really mysterious. It was obviously written by Nicolai. He’s kind of crazy about the Witches…but that’ll become obvious once we find him. I try to go to the world map and save, but again, it thinks I wanted to move on. Good thing I saved after I went shopping.

Everyone’s talking about how beautiful the ocean is. And all of a sudden, the blue haired girl with the mushroom hat shows up. Remember her? She’s the one who warped in and took Lucia. She introduces herself as the Torrent Witch, master of water. She has some seriously funny voice acting – I wish you guys could hear it. Then she says her name is Mel.

Leon is confused. How can a kid like this be a Witch? Alph calls her "midget witch" and asks her what she's doing here. She says she came to check on Lucia’s Rym, but she didn’t expect us to be so rude. So she decides to punish us in a fight. Greeeaaat.

Anyway, Saki joins us for this fight. She’s level 12. Alph is level 10, Theo and Leon are level 9, and Cecille is…er, level 6. She’s going to need to do some serious work this fight.

Anyway, I begin. First thing I do is save. Like I said, you can save in battle and reload your save files from there. There’s one slot that’s just for battle saves, and you can only have one at a time.

My opponents are Mel and five Mikopins, little blue Kopins with mushrooms on their heads.

Saki moves first. Her class is “Ninja,” no surprise there. She has two attack abilities, FireCard and VoltCard, as well as something called SpdJutsu that raises her already-high Speed. She also has a flash drive already.

Right now, I’m just moving everyone forward. I use a skill that Leon has called “Charge,” which raises his attack. The enemies move, including Mel. All the characters say silly little things when it’s their turn. She says “time to punish evil!” Interesting.

The Mikopins are close enough for me to attack now. I kill off one of them, and leave another wounded. Theo is now level 10, and he learns a new skill. Leon is now level 10 as well. The Mikopins are fairly easy to kill, but they’re pretty strong, too. Mel heals one of her Kopins. Cecille levels to 7, and learns a flash drive.

It’s Theo’s turn, and he attacks a nearby Mikopin. Alph levels to level 11. Saki, having been significantly wounded, goes off to heal. Alph is attacked by Mel, who does a good amount of damage with Aqua. Cecille heals him. Alph is Aqua’d by two of the three remaining Mikopins. Honestly, Vita Mints are much more useful than Cecille at this point – they heal 100 HP, and she can’t heal much more than 30. Man, she needs to level. Good thing heals and buffs always give 30 exp out of 100.

Theo kills a Mikopin. Leon is Aqua’d by the two remaining Kopins, as well as Mel. He dies. Cecille heals Theo for exp, even though he doesn’t need it. Alph kills a Mikopin. Theo uses Focus for exp. Saki attacks the one Mikopin left, and levels. Mel heals the one she attacked. Cecille heals pointlessly again. What? She needs the experience. Theo is now level 11. I use Alph’s flash drive on Mel, and she’s paralyzed. Theo kills the last Kopin.

I could have killed Mel with Alph, but I think I’ll let Cecille finish her. Cecille attacks, and is level 8. Just FYI, FireCard and VoltCard suck. They do nothing to Mel. NOTHING.

Mel is no longer paralyzed. I can't let her heal herself, so I let Alph take her out. He levels to 12, and the battle ends.

My spoils are 1800 Rico, a ToxiCharm, an FP-Fizzy, and a MagiSoda. I will intermission with Cecille again.

Mel is pissed…and then she starts crying. She starts complaining about Alph. She says she feels sorry for Lucia, having this “screwy brat” as her fated kinship. Fated kinship, eh? Yep. Love interest. Wonder how that'll work out?

All of a sudden, Lucia shows up. Alph asks her what Ryms and fated kinships are, but she just tells him to shut up. How could he do this to Mel? Alph asks again what a Rym is, but Lucia and Mel just leave.

Well, apparently, we’ve reached the Western Continent. Guess we’ll be seeing Nicolai soon.

And now for my intermission. Cecille asks if I have something to ask her. My options are “teach me how to pray,” “is being a priest hard?” and “where were you born?” I’m not sure which is the best answer, so I choose the second one. She says that she just hopes that her prayers are helping someone.

Kopin says that one of his Kopin friends was attacked by an evil monster, and simply wishes him good luck.

That’s all for now. So far we’ve seen three Witches, and only one of them seems anything close to evil. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

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