Board 8 > To gain +3 to inspiration, BCT plays Tales of Berseria. *spoilers as I go*

Topic List
Page List: 1, 2
BlueCrystalTear
11/30/21 12:05:17 AM
#1:


Guys, I havent been gaming much, and I think thats negatively impacting my inspiration to continue with many things, including the triple rankdown topic (which I only realized had purged yesterday - whoops - but I know how to get back anything I didn't save). So thats why Im forcing myself, in hopes that this will get me out of this rut, and asking you guys to hold me accountable. If all goes well

So yeah, I appreciate the help, as well as any comments. I wanna know that people are reading this.

For a heads up, I started on Saturday, and my opening write-up is going to overlap those two sessions.

Playing on Moderate, by the way.

Write-up in next post (it's already done). If you're not familiar with one or more of my in-jokes, feel free to ask.

HERE WE GO.
---
BlueCrystalTear | GNT BB4 Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner
#FearTheDeer | [For lease] | ((FREE HUGS)) | You're living your own life. You're you.
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
11/30/21 12:05:28 AM
#2:


The opening AMV is clearly set in the distant past, and I immediately started wondering if it was going to be like Tales of Graces with a childhood arc. Thank goodness it wasnt. I have no idea whats going on other than daemons running afoul.

Adult Velvet says her undying passion is revenge on one man. Arthur, I presume?

We then go to when Velvet was 16 y/o. Her sister Celica, previously mentioned, had died during the Opening. At least this way Im not controlling an 8 y/o who moves awkwardly, though Velvets voice at this point is far more chipper than her adult selfs. Anyway, her little brother Laphicet is ailing and the medicine only keeps that illness at bay.

I naturally look around here a lot out of fear that I dont come back, because of that opening sequence. Celicas grave is outside, and the villagers talk about her quite a bit too. Its quite obvious that shes not truly dead. They wouldnt mention her this freaking much if she wasnt relevant later. Now, she may be dead dead, but her spirit may find a way back. Or she might have just been sent to the daemon dimension. I dont know at this point how exactly, but its blatant that shes coming back from the dead.

There are a few threads here as well, like Laphis friend wanting to play with him again and a few other things. Something tells me that these arent going to happen and that the town will be written off a second time. Or maybe Ive played too many JRPGs.

The villagers are bemoaning that they cant trade with the nearby city, Taliesin. Sounds like theyre looking for the Wright stuff. okay, Ill see myself out.

I buy another Apple Gel (geez, only 200 gald to start with?) and head into the woods to bring home the bacon. I dont quite understand this battle system yet because it feels just like button-mashing, even more so than prior Tales games, because all four buttons key artes, so you only use artes. At the very least this means theres no TP management to worry about, but it feels like combos are going to rack up no matter what. Well see what this becomes, but right now I couldnt tell you the difference between any of Velvets artes.

I also note that she has a sword but seems to use her feet and fists more. Against boars. Go figure. I rather liked the oinkleboars skit that made me smile.

The end area is the summoning circle from the opening scene, which is supposedly a terrestrial portal. I dont think thats hogwash given what I saw, but I can only theorize at this point what actually transpired that day. I backtrack and build up a bigger cache of pork and am then rushed by five other boars who are mad at me. Velvet thinks its because I killed their friends and family. It probably is. I kick the crap out of them - they're weaker than Bozoblins - and one of them turns out to be a daemon, which Arthur quickly dispatches because the writing wanted him to be there to do that. Convenience! That always happens, doesnt it?

Velvet is choked up about killing the boars friends and while I can understand that, Im not lame, Im not a joke, and Im not an alt. Bacon is bacon, and youre bringing it home. Best not to think about anything other than the tasty meat. Shes still learning.

I head back to the shop to find out that the medicine hasnt come in, probably because of daemons. Great. Just great. Also this Niko chick is kind of obnoxious, but she and Velvet seem to have a good thing going. I did like the Xillia 2 reference of Rollo, so thats something. (I stopped here and came back two days later).

I get back home its still there and Laphi hasnt exactly been listening. Velvet seems kind of overbearing. And then I go through a pointless sequence of cooking a meal for him. Curious as to why this didnt teach me any cooking mechanics, but whatever, its a short scene.

The next morning, Laphi isnt there, and Velvet, being overbearing and not realizing that more fresh air might actually do her brother some good, panics. The first lead is from the shopkeeper, who says that Laphi had copied a book to sell to him in exchange for something that wasnt the compass hed been drawing pictures of.

I find Laphi in the woods and Velvet caves to let him pick Princessia flowers for Celicas memorial. We go to do that and are attacked by a daemon. I cant damage this monster. Thinking were dead, Laphi gives Velvet a present: The comb from the shop. As it comes in to kill us Arthur magically saves the day. AGAIN. He always needs to be there, and hes being glorified. Theres a VERY good chance that the man Velvet has it out for in the cold open was indeed Arthur, and that Im supposed to think of this as a major twist. When the opening AMV showed him near the portal. What was he doing there?

Velvet wakes up and Laphi gives her the comb. Then Velvet wakes up again and thinks its gone all Inception on her ass, but nope still has the comb. Walking outside, shes met by a horde of daemons. Everyone in town is either dead or daemon that much is clear. I make my way through the town and the forest, only having to flee a battle once (couldnt avoid it) and end up at the cape again, where Artorius and Laphi are waiting. Laphi says RUN but its too late Artorius traps Velvet here and performs the same ritual in which he sacrificed Celica (that cross in the sky was so familiar). Just as I had expected, hes the Big Bad. Like hello? Could they have made it any more obvious? At least they gave this reveal far earlier than expected. I was thinking that theyd present it as a twist later on, but thankfully they realized that their audience would be wise enough to pick up all the telltale signs. Especially the Hey, Arturius, isnt he awesome? skit. (Why am I getting "Oh Benjamin, you so loyalty" vibes from that?)

I know Laphi survives, by the way, since I know the names of the party members. Well Velvet, Laphi, and Magilou immediately come to mind, so yeah. This is why I expect the same of Celica: Since Laphi's alive. PLEASE DO NOT SPOIL ME since that's about all I know,

Velvet suddenly has superpowers, where shes become part-daemon yet requires daemon souls to survive. I forget what Arturius called her, but he explained it. And then, the same daemons who were impenetrable before start going down easy. And, uh, yeah. That was boss... at least until Arturius points out the corpses of the villagers... including Niko, who's most likely dead. Good throwaway there - wasn't expecting her to die so quickly with that buildup being thrown out. Velvet is MAD. She is so attached to her baby brother that she's going to hold nothing back. Arturius makes short work of her and she ends up rotting in a prison cell for three years, feeding off daemons that were sent there.

Suddenly, Seres - who had picked up Laphi's comb from when Velvet had been restrained - comes down and says that she's Arturius's malark (what the hell is one of those anyway?) no longer. She also explains that the plan was to open up the portal and then close it again seven years later. Arturius is seeking fame, fortune, and immortality - typical JRPG villain stuff. He's living in the capital, being seen as the hero of the land. Velvet is one of few people who know he's actually the monster who caused the daemonblight in the first place.

At any rate, I begin my ascent up the tower and it's pretty quick that I get to arm myself. Some named sword that Velvet calls useless is in here, since it's too big for her. Velvet and Seres quickly take care of a guard, and Velvet gets dressed in some new duds.... CLEARLY she likes watermelon. CLEARLY.

And thats where I stopped for the night.
---
BlueCrystalTear | GNT BB4 Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner
#FearTheDeer | [For lease] | ((FREE HUGS)) | You're living your own life. You're you.
... Copied to Clipboard!
Murphiroth
11/30/21 12:31:31 AM
#3:


Best Tales cast and probably my favorite Tales in general

... Copied to Clipboard!
KamikazePotato
11/30/21 12:31:57 AM
#4:


Tag

---
It's Reyn Time.
... Copied to Clipboard!
UshiromiyaEva
11/30/21 12:37:47 AM
#5:


... Copied to Clipboard!
Xiahou Shake
11/30/21 1:23:43 AM
#6:


Excellent game - enjoy! (Also tag)

---
Let the voice of love take you higher,
With this gathering power, go beyond even time!
... Copied to Clipboard!
NBIceman
11/30/21 10:05:15 AM
#7:


Oh, sweet, this should be a fun topic. Second-best Tales.

I've always loved the Berseria opening in Aball because it kinda feels like a setup for a slice of life fantasy short story instead of a long JRPG. An isolated village in a somewhat dark world with a girl whose problems are less "world-ending cataclysm" and more "my brother is sick but I can't spend all my energy on that because I'll be under a lot of pressure to get married soon and I may or may not be in love with my dead sister's husband... who everyone else hates." Sets up Velvet as a likable and compelling character even before everything goes completely to hell with the sacrifice.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
Peace___Frog
11/30/21 10:19:58 AM
#8:


Enjoy!

---
~Peaf~
... Copied to Clipboard!
colliding
11/30/21 10:24:44 AM
#9:


Best Tales game

---
while you slept, the world changed
... Copied to Clipboard!
ElizeLutus
11/30/21 10:55:33 PM
#10:


Tag
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/02/21 10:33:24 PM
#11:


Sorry for the wait - had some computer trouble (I'm playing on PC) when I sat down to play yesterday and ended up having to replace my CMOS battery. That was a pain in the you-know-what.

I learn about mana souls or w/e from Seres (some kind of secondary currency?) and overhear two goons in cool helmets talking about a secret passage under the watchtower. Eavesdropping is ALWAYS at the most opportune time - so cliche. Velvet, resourceful as ever, is willing to stage a jailbreak in order to create a diversion so she can get through there, and possibly gain additional muscle. She's already high on my "WOULD NOT FUCK WITH" list.

The next goon I encounter is female, so it's nice that these villains don't discriminate (hard to tell under those helmets). I beat the crap out of them and Velvet incites the jailbreak (there some Jaguaros here), with Aifread (Tales' "Cid") being mentioned alongside Melchior. Those names wouldn't be mentioned so casually now without any payoff later, so I'll just put this reminder here. I go through to sweep for items and notice that some boots I pick up have a random skill of +30 HP. Nice. A few whackos, indecisive idiots, and a shivering goblin - who warns about the exorcists of the world running rampant and Artorius being at the top of the world - are still here, but the boots are the only useful thing.

And then I leave the cell block to find someone who's absolutely cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs in the most hilarious way: Magilou. She speaks in rhyme in her perky voice (who's voiced by Erica Lindbeck - aka Futaba and FFVII Jessie - had to look it up because I went "WAIT I KNOW THAT VOICE!"). I can already tell that she's awesome, given how much she had me laughing immediately. Velvet ain't laughing. She quickly goes "Enough of this!" and talks about crushing her to death if she annoys her again. Well I can already tell the character interactions are going along swimmingly. I find a Life Bottle, someone who's smartly waiting to charge the rear, and a Sage plant (those can regenerate!!!) in the rest of the cells. As you can see, I'm being quite thorough. But now that you have an idea of how I play, I'll just sit back and enjoy this...

Boss fight is interrupted when the guy mentions the sword we found earlier. Okay then. I presume he's a party member, too. I also use an Apple Gel and am left wondering... how does that taste after three years and a lot of bloodshed? I... don't wanna know. I head all along the watchtower. The riot quellers show up and get quelled themselves.

FYI: I'm still just mashing buttons instead of using any strategy. The battle system is a little too much to adjust to right now since they're just giving me text and have only demoed the basics.

Velvet makes a daring jump from the tower in torrential rain and uses her daemon claw to survive. Cool stuff. Some nonsense about an oath being a curse and then we're on our way... to the front. Velvet expects fewer guards. She's a smart cookie. She also wastes no time in telling Oscar Dragonia that it's time to die. He realizes the battle's not going his way, and ALL HADES BREAKS LOOSE. His malaks have daemonblight and one of them becomes a dragon and goes for Velvet... and then Seres gives herself up out of nowhere. #Blindside! I was expecting her to be furthering her own ends, not for her to die here (that said, it would've helped me understand all this more if I'd known a little more about malaks). We get a montage of past scenes, though I hadn't yet become too attached to her. She mentions the oath thing again, and that her price was her life. Velvet consumes her and gains the Sorcerer's Ring! Time for Break Souls, it seems.

I beat the dragon daemon - only Break Souling a second time at the end of the battle (to not waste a second soul). Velvet (Therion - that's the word I was missing!) attempts to kill Oscar, but his surviving malak teleports them both away. Rokurou and Magilou show up and Magilou is as hysterical as ever. "It's your lucky day, fishies!" is making it obvious that she's the best comic relief in Tales since Jade Curtiss. Erica's dramatic delivery is so perfectly adorkable. This is even more apparent on the shipwrecked scene after Velvet mistakes the malak boy for Laphi and she wants warm soup and hot tales and words cutting deeper than northern winds. My goodness, she's GREAT! Apparently she was thrown in the clink for "unlicensed witchcraft" - hey, at least it wasn't Salem! I was so disappointed that I didn't get to hear the dramatic rendition of her tales of WOE.

It's odd that 1) Magilou and Rokurou aren't fighting with me yet and 2) the game is only telling me about starting battles with 3 souls and only getting up to 5. I figured that out once I realized that Break Souls DIDN'T carry over. I am also told those mana souls are actually Katz spirits and am hit with so many cat puns that even Magilou is groaning. OMG. (I happened to really chuckle at "Kitten Caboodle.") I get a ten-gallon hat, but despite being Hat Fetish Guy, don't really think it suits Velvet at all.

Malak Kid has the same fixation with compasses as Laphi, so there's that. He leads us to a secret path to a storehouse in Hellawes, so I'm in. Rokurou wants a weapon that isn't a priceless heirloom, yet won't say why said sword is priceless. Different. Magilou is a goldmine; why does it not surprise me that she's a pyromancer? The townspeople also revere Artorius and the exorcists even though they're the true villains. It's nice to see the outside perspective from the start. Refreshing, even, instead of "OH NOES THEY WUZ EVIL TEH WHOLE TIME!" We got to see that Artorius WANTED this for the sake of glorifying himself. Fuck him. Fake heroes give real ones a bad name.

Speaking of, Villain Teresa (who Malak Kid is working for) shows up as we're talking to the shipping guild, and she seems... nice for a villain. For now. She's working for the Abbey - the obviously corrupt Catholic Church like villains - as the Exorcist in Chief here. She doesn't recognize Velvet, but does recognize that she's cold in that getup. At the end of it, Velvet volunteers to capture Lizardfolk smuggler Dyle for the guild so they can clear their names.

Rokurou gets a weapon and Magilou goes off to kill her betrayer. I encounter undesirable townsfolk galore, such as xenophobes who think daemons have lost their humanity, snow war kids, and global cooling. I get out and start beating up monsters, mashing buttons as either Velvet or Rokurou. I even get a flashback from before Artorius executed his vile plot, and Velvet's voice change is so jarring. She went from perky to... angry all the time. So interesting. Princessias signify betrayal, huh? I didn't think that was quite it...

I still don't know the difference between martial and hidden artes. All of Rokurou's hidden artes use elements... which is which here? I also must note how common it is for generic enemies to drop weapons. I take it I can sell those for a fortune? Or is there some kind of synthesis?

I get to the village and meet Eleanor Hume, an Exorcist who I'm pretty certain is a party member (I know that name). She's... crying? A little girl comes up once Eleanor leaves and tells us the Lizardfolk daemon is in a cave to the north. Seems like this little speck on the map has a very different view of the Abbey and all its rules, in part because the Abbey doesn't protect them. Interesting. A tale of two worlds within one. What else is new? Seems like these patrols are there to be openly honest that the Abbey employs dirtbags. I mean, what employer doesn't?

I stopped at the inn. That's enough for tonight. (You can answer my non-plot questions all you like!)

(I really shouldn't write THIS much as I play tbqh...)
---
BlueCrystalTear | GNT BB4 Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner
#FearTheDeer | [For lease] | ((FREE HUGS)) | You're living your own life. You're you.
... Copied to Clipboard!
Murphiroth
12/02/21 10:40:56 PM
#12:


There is an equipment system that's pretty complex and the game doesn't explain it super well so I didn't engage with it too much.
... Copied to Clipboard!
NBIceman
12/02/21 10:46:47 PM
#13:


Magilou's intro scene is legitimately one of the best character intros I've ever seen in fiction. Tells you so much about her in ninety seconds.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/02/21 11:45:21 PM
#14:


NBIceman posted...
Magilou's intro scene is legitimately one of the best character intros I've ever seen in fiction. Tells you so much about her in ninety seconds.

Yep, I knew right away that she was crazy in the best way possible. THAT is how you introduce somebody you want the player to remember. I can already tell "I'm never gonna be able to forget her, am I?" I like that.

A few more things:
-Oscar seems like the generic "White Knight Swordsman" JRPG protagonist type. It's refreshing that he's a bad guy here. Guy thinks he's Flynn Schifo, but gonna be honest here: I certainly like him being a villain vs. Flynn being hardly playable. Flynn wasn't done too well, but as a man is pretty much who Oscar thinks he is. Or so is my initial assessment. I look forward to killing him later.

-I like what they're doing with the cast here. One of the reasons Abyss worked so well is that they had just six primarily playable characters (plus Ion, Mieu, and ...Asch the Bloody...), but all were from different backgrounds and factions. They're trying to replicate that here. Velvet is a therion - a part-daemon who feeds on other daemons to prevent a full transformation. Rokurou is a full daemon. Magilou is probably human, but I am so fascinated by her that it doesn't matter. Eleanor is an exorcist who certainly betrays the Abbey. Laphi is a zombie. And I forget who the other guy was (please don't tell me).

-I get the part about the weapons having skills that you get to keep if you master them. So I just leave it on a character until they've learned it, then move on to the next one. I do intend to sell all these extra weapons, especially if they're exclusive to one character.

-It's interesting how Rokurou has that huge sword as well as two daggers, but I presume that's a normal samurai kind of thing. You see that referenced a lot in JRPGs for a reason.
---
BlueCrystalTear | GNT BB4 Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner
#FearTheDeer | [For lease] | ((FREE HUGS)) | You're living your own life. You're you.
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/03/21 7:31:47 PM
#15:


Just playing for a little right now.

I take care of a little selling weapons - they're not worth anything, which explains a lot - and the inn. I hear from a villager that the Abbey sends nonbelievers and people branded as criminals to villages like this one because they don't care to protect them, and anyone who knows that the Abbey is full of shit comes here on their own. Interesting. Should be pretty blatant that the Abbey is dictatorial from that alone

I learn about cooking - kinda, since I don't know what "Stun -10%" has to do with cooking (does that reduce the rate at which I stun enemies, or the rate at which they stun me, or something else?) - and Velvet hasn't missed a beat. She can't taste anything, however, because of daemonblight. Fucking Artorius.

I button-mash through a bunch of weak, redundant enemies... until I meet the Bat Baron, who gives me quite a few problems. Thankfully, he's weak to Break Souls, so I whip all those out to pummel him. Still costs me some items, but no biggie.

Velvet won't admit that Artorius taught her. Don't blame her, since she's gonna kill him. Rokurou still won't explain about his big ol' sword, either. Rokurou is a drunk - and being a daemon doesn't help matters. I would advise he wean his intake downward...

Break Souls are a little to abusable at this point. I'm using them a LOT to, y'know, beat the crap out of stuff. And then they die so there's really no downside. Ah well. I'm hopeful this will get more complex as I go.

At any rate, I really gotta get going, so I'll catch y'all later!
---
BlueCrystalTear | GNT BB4 Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner
#FearTheDeer | [For lease] | ((FREE HUGS)) | You're living your own life. You're you.
... Copied to Clipboard!
ElizeLutus
12/04/21 3:34:00 PM
#16:


IIRC Stun -10% means you're stunned for less time. But someone can correct me if I'm wrong. It's been a while since I've played it.
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/07/21 12:03:04 AM
#17:


The Lindsey Stirling concert was fantastic, if you must ask. But this is not a topic about that. This is a playthrough topic.

I beat the crap out of Dyle by repeatedly tapping the A button (360 controller). It's a boring fight. I don't know any of this combo stuff in this game - it feels more random what works the best than it did in Graces or Xillia. Afterward, he explains that he was the scapegoat and that he only participated in the smuggling operation for the benefits the guild offered him. The whole guild was involved, and he wants to kill a good number of them - the ones who let him take the blame. Velvet subsequently chops off his tail to bring back as "proof" he's dead and lets him do what he wants with killing people in Hellawes (in part so nobody follows her when they realize she was the one who incited the jailbreak). being a Lizardfolk who just lost his tail, he's obviously in pain... pain that abruptly stops. Huh. He also says he regrets leaving home to be a sailor... obviously also. He mentions "becoming human again" - so wait he's not a typical Lizardfolk?

I get a warp bottle, but that's useless because... there's a warp pad just a little bit away. I'm back in Hellawes before you know it, learning about future dungeon Mt. Killaraus, noticing a typo ("fare share" and it's not a cabbie's pun), and finding a drunk Magilou talking about holding hands at the bar. I was so hoping we'd get a voiced bit there. Anyway, Velvet threatens the shipping guild with exposing their involvement... and they don't seem to realize that Dyle told her his side. Morons. One would think "How do you know that?" would be the initial response of anyone with half a brain. Gotta wonder why Velvet didn't ask Dyle to repair and crew her ship though >_>

I'd already purged my equipment by the time I get to the "Enhance" tutorial, but that's okay. There's plenty of extras and I can enhance some of this stuff a little. So I do. Then I go out, beat up some more enemies, and do more. Hey, they drop items like there's no tomorrow (also the game tells me NOW of all times that drop rates increase as I kill things [hoping to get chain encounters soon] and that Mystic Artes increase chances exponentially, so... that's good to know, and good to save here, since I presume Mystic Artes aren't a thing for another 20 levels' worth of EXP).

On the way back to the ship, I see a skit about Velvet's eating of daemon souls causing them to revert to humans. She's now wondering if Niko could be alive (it's possible, but it would severely soften the impact of the #blindside when it happened), because it's... an interesting thought. Anyway, I have a boatload of weapons to deconstruct from fighting all these weaklings, so that's nice. We'll see where I go next... or not. The ship's keel is splintered, so she's hopeless. Damn.

However, Hellawes isn't gonna be so welcoming. Oscar showed up to tell his big sister - Villain Teresa - about what happened on his way back to Artorius, and she connected the dots when he described Velvet. She's IMMEDIATELY out for blood because how dare Velvet take her baby brother's eye out. Magilou, in true Magilou fashion, stowed away on a ship and got captured because she stuck out like a sore thumb. Also in typical Magilou fashion. So, uh, I may have to kill Teresa sooner than I thought. Quite interesting for these white-clad religious folk to be the villains, I do say. Also, Velvet's Twin Whip is fun as fuck.

The shipping guild warns me that Magilou is going to be executed (though obviously not) as a tactic to lure us out into the open. Velvet formulates a plan: Go ask Dyle (why didn't that occur to her before?) if he can captain a ship for us... then we go in, kill Teresa, save Magilou if she's not already dead (for some reason they think she will be), and steal a ship while the city is in tatters. I go through Beardsley for more equipment synthesis (it's weird how there's only a weapon shop - but hey, the item menus make it easy to navigate) and head into the caverns.

Dyle agrees to help while Velvet distracts the guards at the entrance. Oh boy, this is gonna be fun! After Velvet's nightmare - which leads Rokurou to ask her who Artorius is (does he know, or was he in the hoosegow too long to know what that asshole did?) - I head out. Aside from two thugs guarding the gate... there's nobody here. Everyone's all barricaded inside... except another bunch of thugs outside the church. I wipe the floor with them but Applehead (the malak who looks like Laphi) ends up sending Velvet sideways... with Villain Teresa trying to sacrifice him. Velvet explains that's something's about to explo - BOOM! Dyle sets the warehouse ablaze. Velvet punches Villain Teresa and for some reason chooses not to lop her head off... and soon we're in a fight with her. GREAT. This is why you take an opportunity when you see it. Kill the fuckers! Anyway, Teresa's way weaker than I'd anticipated, so I win the fight easily. Eleanor - turns out she's a henchwoman - shows up as reinforcements, so Velvet uses Applehead to create an explosion and gets aboard the ship as planned. Hellawes, however, is history as a port city. And who do they have to blame? Teresa. Artorious will blame Velvet, however, since he probably figures she's gonna kill him.

On the ship, Magilou embellishes like Magilou does. She was telling Teresa and her lackeys an exaggerated tale of WOE that was... probably completely fictional. Man, she's something else. The kid tells me how to use a compass just before it gets blown out into the water, though he's not as enamored with it as Laphi would've been. Malaks' purpose is... to be tools. That's sad. Like... aren't they human?

With Number Two (is this the Laphicet whose name I know?) in the party and Magilou oddly not, I fight the Pirate Reaper guy - who screams "PARTY MEMBER" - and win handily since he only has to get down to half health. Why is Moderate difficulty so easy? IDK! He's the First Mate, but he's the brains of the operation. Benwick is this other guy who's kind of a cheerleader, I guess. He takes us forward. Seems like the kid is the healer. Finally... not that this was needed given how weak everything I've fought has been.

Tutorials galore, including about dire foes (random encounters from multiple high-Grade fights). The only way I will know how strong these are is by fighting one.

Anyway, turns out they were trying to warn us that it would be suicide into going into a narrows up ahead where the Abbey has this majestic gate. They want to get through it too, and need our help - and they know we're useful because word's already gotten to them that we were the ones who blew up the port of Hellawes. How sweet of them. They don't have a compass, either, but they do have a shop... and a reputation. Dyle doesn't like getting involved with them based on the rumors he's heard. Chances are many of those are untrue - lies spread by the Abbey. Magilou is still being useless, but highly entertaining. I swear the laughs never end with her.

I clean up the area (there's another Earth Ring here, in addition to the one Applehead has) and stop for the night.
---
BlueCrystalTear | GNT BB4 Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner
#FearTheDeer | [For lease] | ((FREE HUGS)) | You're living your own life. You're you.
... Copied to Clipboard!
skullbone
12/07/21 12:19:09 AM
#18:


BlueCrystalTear posted...
FYI: I'm still just mashing buttons instead of using any strategy. The battle system is a little too much to adjust to right now since they're just giving me text and have only demoed the basics.

Spoilers this never changes for the whole game if you stick to Velvet as your battle character. I remember some late game fights that were won by just spamming my square attack and R2.

---
skull
... Copied to Clipboard!
MysteriousStan
12/07/21 9:02:59 PM
#19:


Yeah I enjoyed the battle system and artes but...it's not exciting haha.
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/07/21 10:36:32 PM
#20:


I did try playing as Rokurou and he felt clunky to me. Velvet is more fluid and drawn-out. I'll try Applehead but he doesn't seem too fun since, well, he's a straight-up spellcaster at this point. That may change later. Tear is fun as fuck to play as when you change gears multiple times per battle and Rita is also insanely wild, but IDK if this kid has those traits just yet. Magilou feels like she might play like Rita but I'll know it when I see it.
---
BlueCrystalTear | GNT BB4 Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner
#FearTheDeer | [For lease] | ((FREE HUGS)) | You're living your own life. You're you.
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/09/21 11:40:38 PM
#21:


I go through the cave for a little and Eizen officially joins the party... for now. He warns us about some "Reaper's Curse" and Velvet thinks it's hogwash. "If it lands on tails, I'll flip it to heads myself." I like the way she thinks. Questions everything, trusts nobody, and doesn't give a fuck. AND she likes watermelon. All that said, the depressive symptoms are all too relatable, and I hope she finds reasons to enjoy life again. I know that'll be hard after Artorius ruined everything but we'll see.

It doesn't take long after getting a full party of 4 that I get ambushed by my first Dire Foe. This fight is, suffice to say, rough, but doable, especially since it happened right after I'd changed the difficulty to Hard. I go through four Life Bottles that I'd thankfully went back to buy, and am told that the same foe will gain strength each time I encounter it, and I should run if conditions are not favorable. It's not like me to run from a battle unless it's blatantly unwinnable, but I'll keep that in mind.

The game also gives me tutorials that refer to Number Two as "Laphicet" so Velvet's clearly going to rename him, because let's face it: Villain Teresa is cruel and heartless and treats everybody as disposable except for her baby brother. I can't wait to kill her later. I gotta wonder if there's significance to the resemblance between Number Two and the Laphi from the past... because it wouldn't surprise me if Artorius's pawn ended up becoming a malak that he gave to one of his trusted lieutenants. I still don't quite understand malaks and how they work and it kinda feels like the game expected me to from the start. Odd. After the kid is nearly killed by a scorpion since he didn't say anything, taking Velvet's "keep your mouth shut" too seriously, Eizen does say that this is the first time he's seen a Malak escape an exorcist... and that his will has been sealed away so he's a blank slate free of personality. This confirms that Artorius and Teresa are horrible people, and that malaks really shouldn't exist as tools. They should be treated just the same as humans. "Slavery" is the word that comes to mind. It's awful. Artorius will certainly NOT go down in history as the hero he's seen as right now, that's for sure.

Next scene is at the end of the cave, before getting to the Fortress (where I presume I'll have to fight a henchman like Oscar or Eleanor) when a Turtlez - the voice does not match He/She/It AT ALL - is there and, well... Velvet basically threatens him into giving her market prices. It's glorious. Anyway, I spend way too long getting rid of excess weapons/armor and synthesizing improvements. I think it's called "being overprepared." Even Rokurou (his name is "Sixth Son" and I totally should've picked up on the "Roku" part there) is frightened. Applehead is shocked at the prospect of getting a name. This poor kid has been so abused he's never even had an identity. That's a fascinating character story waiting to happen and I'm excited to see where it goes.

I take down another of the same Dire Foe despite everyone only having one Soul to battle with... except for Velvet after a miraculous stun, and BOY did I use that to great effect. Not much else to report here aside from a blatant Tales of Phantasia reference (I haven't played that... or Zestiria, which is set in this same world, for that matter, because of all the bad things I heard about that one). Anyway, after seeing that I have to take the back way in and taking out a couple of Lizardfolk daemon soldiers, I decide it's a good place to stop for the night. Not really much happened outside of battles so I tried to keep this interesting.

Question is - do you guys prefer this or would you rather these be shorter? Just curious.
---
BlueCrystalTear | GNT BB4 Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner
#FearTheDeer | [For lease] | ((FREE HUGS)) | You're living your own life. You're you.
... Copied to Clipboard!
NBIceman
12/10/21 12:15:17 AM
#22:


I've got no problem with long writeups for Tales games, as anyone who read my character ranking is likely aware.

---
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/11/21 10:03:20 PM
#23:


FYI: You guys can add me on Steam, which is BlueCrystalTear there also.

Right now, and this is rhetorical so please don't answer, I'm wondering since I haven't played Zestiria... is Artorius mentioned there? It's intriguing since I want to know how he's remembered by history (since Zesty is 1000+ years later), whether it's as the infallible hero he thinks he is or as the villain Velvet so badly wishes to kill. Food for thought! But I want to play this blind tbh.

I enter Vortigern to a skit where Eizen keeps saying he's the bad luck charm that caused us to arrive when the daemonblight was spreading. Velvet knows how to frame this optimistically: The bad guys will be disorganized, and Rokurou adds that a group of four can more quietly sneak through the chaos. At least as long as one of those four isn't Magilou, who would be telling stories about how dramatic her life is. WOE is me!

There's a battleship in the canal, which we need to sink. This place is beautiful. In the next room, Eizen says something rather inspirational to the guard: "If I'm not steering the wheel of my own life, then I'm not truly alive." He tortures the thug, who doesn't get the point - if he's a thug, he's following somebody else's ideals, not acting on his own. This costs him a finger - Eizen is ALSO someone you do not want to fuck with. I could rant about this for hours. I could rant about how every job I've had has considered me a cog without humanity nor an ability to make decisions. I could rant about how being me and making my own choices gets me in trouble, because people don't like that. But I will leave it there. You guys get it. I already like that theme here. It's early on and yet this may already be my second-favorite Tales, after Abyss (there's no topping that one jsyk).

Rokurou and Eizen LOVE each other's banter. They both like fighting and talking trash, so it's only natural that they'll be sharing stories over a pint. I beat up weak enemies - including a praetor who claims he studied under Rokurou's father. After he says, yes, he is a Rangetsu, Rokurou tells a story about a kitchen knife maker clan related to him, at least until they all killed each other. Fascinating. The ship is rigged to explode, so I go after the key. Why the ship first? So the gate wouldn't open to let it just sail out. I figured it'd be fine either way because JRPG so I did it the way I would (turns out I did it correctly). Also of note: Velvet just does NOT care about death at this point. #2, however, does, and he's still understanding what it means to live. Villain Teresa was really that abusive.

When I get back up top, I see the ship is tilting. A nice touch! I also like the close-quarters combat on the catwalks (what did that boulder I pushed do?). I get the key and a compass, and #2 starts to recognize his autonomy. His fascination with the compass is just like Laphi's - and, well, he's going on the adventure he wanted to. (I missed a sidequest of "checking the door" since I climbed onto the roof, thinking it was there and Velvet would bash the door in if I checked it, but I doubt this matters for later.) Velvet also tells #2 to rub sugar into the swollen wound to ease it. I don't buy that. Google says eating sugar makes inflammation worse. Whatever, here ya go:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UIB9Y4OFPs

This Mauritz silk sounds incredible: Durable, breathable, comfy, stretchy, AND sheen? Sign me up! The skits here have been good and are showing a budding chemistry. Sadly, it's not translating to Graces-level winquotes. These are... too standard, and #2 doesn't even have any. YET. Missed opportunity. Could've been hilarious.

I take care of both levers - clearing the area before the second, figuring it'd pull me out of the dungeon. After opening the Katz chest, I can't help but think... if I have hundreds of Katz souls, how many of these things are there? It's excessive, meow!

Boss ends up being on the roof: The thug Eizen clocked, who's actually a daemon. Funny how the Abbey uses daemons as much as they condemn them. Because he's an idiot, the kid has the compass out of his bag and the daemon takes it. I'm suddenly using a Mystic Arte on this but it gets ruined by some moron's desire to put a tutorial in the middle of the cinematic. Like do you understand what series this is? Anyway, I wipe the floor with this guy, and there's a cinematic where Velvet shouts "LAPHICET!" because he got knocked sideways when trying to get the compass back. Traumatic flashback, anyone? She wasn't going to let it happen again, and she succeeds this time. Suddenly, that's his name and the kid is shocked to actually be a person, not a number. It's wholesome. Magilou also quickly proves how much I missed her.

I wind up in Zekson, where Eizen shares information, some of which I know to be out of date, with his contact. I find this Katz with mini-games that are pretty... whatever. What's notable is the prize: This absolutely ridiculous "Normin" suit - apparently the name for furries in this world. I immediately equip it to Velvet and her winquotes are suddenly hysterical. You have this adorable... thing... that's a killing machine. I may equip these - I did do a full replay of Abyss where they all solely wore their Abyss Man costumes, and that was so hilarious I can't see myself playing Abyss any other way. But part of why it was so funny was because I already knew what their reactions looked like. And it's still kind of jarring to switch between the skits, where they're dressed typically, and a costume - something I know they FINALLY fixed in Arise.

What say you guys? Do I go with the fursuits for a while, or just go as-is?

I did stop after a little weapon-smithing, which was too much given the ridiculous amount of drops I'd gotten in Vortigern. So I should be able to max out what I have and what I'm going to use, including a few things I bought here that I didn't own and this Celcite Blade I found lyin' around.

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDear | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/12/21 1:18:52 PM
#24:


Just played a bit this morning, only little stuff...
1. I think I did enough with smithing for the day. There were just so many things. Only Calcite things I bought were boots and weapons for Rokurou and Velvet, because they had all available skills mastered.
2. The Abbey controls information by controlling the seas of the islands. They can send messengers and therefore share whatever news they want. This is why the destruction of Hellawes is being kept quiet for now - they don't want people to fear or think that the Abbey is too weak to handle a few daemons.
3. Magilou can't keep her mouth shut when it comes to prison escapes. Hilarious. Another good threat and the barkeep is kept quiet.
4. The inn is called Maxwell's Rendezvous. Obvious Xillia reference is obvious.
5. Crabs and lizards regrow things, got it. May be handy in a boss fight later.
6. Eizen's contact enjoys rule-breaking. Would life be fun if you just did whatever the Score told you to?
7. The people here really think the Abbey is infallible and are the heroes of the land. I can only imagine the kind of riots there will be when the truth comes out that Artorius was responsible for the daemonblight in the first place, just so he could "end" it and make himself look good. What a fraud.
8. The second mini-game is just comboing, and the scores I can get are pretty bad due to a lacking damage output.
9. I learn about the "Expedition" stuff and that's how I get new recipes, ingredients, and perhaps... TREASURE! I don't know why Velvet and Magilou don't get the purpose of making a worldwide map. Nobody cares about those places because nobody knows about them. If we find out and become the first to care, we could get valuables - or even find another civilization. The early Sylphjay gets the worm!
10. No sooner do I learn about back-attacks, advantageous encounters, code reds, and mob encounters do I end up fighting twenty gibbons at once. That was a FUN fight - let's do that again!
11. I get a game over against the Dire Foe here... he only had 100 HP left. WELP. Gonna have to start again from there... tomorrowishly, most likely.

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDear | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
colliding
12/12/21 1:22:08 PM
#25:


Eizen and Rokurou are basically Zoro and Sanji with swapped personalities and I'm okay with that

---
while you slept, the world changed
... Copied to Clipboard!
MysteriousStan
12/12/21 2:25:01 PM
#26:


Berseria my favorite Tales cast for sure. Kind of want to replay it now actually haha
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/15/21 1:29:26 PM
#27:


colliding posted...
Eizen and Rokurou are basically Zoro and Sanji with swapped personalities and I'm okay with that

Not sure who Zoro and Sanji are, but... okay.

MysteriousStan posted...
Berseria my favorite Tales cast for sure. Kind of want to replay it now actually haha

Glad I could help with that!

No updates. I lost to that Dire Foe again the other night and gave up for the time being. Gonna get back to this for another go at that today, but it's Survivor finale night so I'm not gonna have much time.

I'm also getting my COVID booster on Friday so that may knock me on my buttocks, so you guys know.

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
ElizeLutus
12/16/21 10:06:42 PM
#28:


Dire foe fights are fun, but I'd recommend waiting to go back to try them.
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/18/21 12:31:41 AM
#29:


I made it to Loegres without a Dire Foe encounter tempting me, and was immediately treated to more Magilou hilarity: Improvisational lying. Because I still had the Normin suits on for lulz, this scene was even better. They all look like they're performers in those! And it sells so well with Magilou here. Velvet going "Coo coo" was amazing since, well, I couldn't see her face... or Magilou's given how the textures of the head got in the way. But since I haven't experienced the game as normal, I revert back to the regular costumes for the time being. There are bound to be scenes in this city that they'd interfere with, and would only be hilarious if I knew them for the serious things they are.

As expected, the people of Loegres are up Artorius's butt, and they're also informing me about fellow villain Prince Percival, who I undoubtedly will get to kill later. These assholes are ruling the land in peace for the sake of glorifying themselves, though I can't be sure Percival knows that Artorius created the daemonblight just to make himself the hero by ending it. The city also boasts extreme xenophobia, and unlike where I live, it's not something hidden beneath the surface - the guards are very open that they'll kill anyone who doesn't "fit with the image." So I naturally hate this place, much like I hate where I live now. Velvet is just as quick to, even though she's not completely sure what "the Abbey" even is - just the extremists led by Artorius who people think are the saviors when they're really the villains. Gotta wonder what'll happen when these people see the truth.

Exploring and smithing yadda yadda yadda... (the army buys from this shop? Am I supposed to be impressed?) What DOES impress me is the castle - yup, this is the heart of an empire, and I am here to cause it to crumble. The empire, not the castle, because the powers that be are corrupt and fraudulent. Artorius's speech makes me ill - this reeks of "Catholic Church" IRL. The others are stunned that Velvet would want to kill the pope, and I don't blame her - but he's a villain. Oddly, Velvet is so focused on her brother's murder - Laphicet #2 is confused - that she forgets the even worse things Artorius did. He killed Celica (and HIS UNBORN CHILD inside her) to CAUSE the Opening (does Velvet not know that? Didn't she see it and connect the dots?). He is brainwashing everyone into being the sheeple that they are. And he is extremely pro-slavery. In all senses of the word, he's an awful human being, not a hero. The idiots are all talking about how "historic" this day is (that word is meaningless; EVERYTHING is "historic" these days, no matter how infinitesimal). One guy is at least doubting him, but doesn't think he's in it for power or money. This is why I'm sure it's glory.

Rokurou hasn't seen his target. Magilou goes off to find hers. It seems like each of the playable characters is tied to one of the antagonists in some way - a good thing, seeing as the last time that happened was Abyss. Velvet is tied to Artorius. Rokurou to his guy (Melchior, was it?). Laphicet to Villain Teresa. Eizen to Aifread (JUST A HUNCH THERE). Magilou to IDK yet. And... I still don't know if Eleanor is the 6th party member like I thought I saw or if she's a henchwoman, but she's one-half of the equation.

Most of the stuff around town is just morons (i.e. people who think donating money to the church will grant them salvation) but I get this absolute GEM at the cathedral (beautiful place btw... complete with Ganondorf music) where Velvet accuses this old bat priest for "gawking" at her corset for making a judgmental comment about her being full of sin based on how she dresses The priest forces Velvet to confess her sins... and Velvet recaps the entire game so far and the priest is HORRIFIED. I am laughing and cheering at the same time. GO VELVET! What a freakin' BOSS.

I go to the tavern and... the lady in charge makes a very bold statement saying that Velvet's brother died before her eyes. This explains a lot to Laphicet #2, who was enjoying the mabo curry (never tried that - being a nerd, the only curry I make for myself is Persona 5's LeBlanc Curry, and yes the recipe exists). I take on the first job - why not go in order? (the "Magilou's Menagerie" made me chuckle) - and then... we get a Rokurou and Eizen drinking scene. CALLED IT! Good conversation here. They bond over whiskey and talk about Velvet's folly and where she gets the intense stubbornness and passion that's driving her. Aifread's apparently the same way. Can't wait to meet him, but we'll see if he's even on our side... or if he'll even be in this one or simply mentioned. Varies by the Tales.

After doing the serving mini-game for Laphicet and Velvet - it's quite easy and thankfully didn't give me Dahngrest flashbacks - I leave town and get the sidequest about the Gigantos of this one. Got it. Can get intel from towns and such about a target and get rewarded when I kill the thing. Should be pretty easy to do another 20 hours into the game tbh. I don't bother with the warp bottles - no need for one here - and ensure everyone is Level 17 before reentering the port. I fully expect these red crates to be... incendiary.

I get 1200 gald in the port for defeating that big bat earlier that I just went up and killed relatively easily (just using a couple items IIRC), then go set fire to the warehouse. I get caught red-handed by Henchwoman Eleanor, and subsequently beat the stuffing out of her, killing her two malakhim and... oddly sparing her. She summons a mascot character... and then Magilou appears out of nowhere to threaten it as the "traitor" she's after. I... don't know if that's a malak or a Morgana clone, but there you go. Not quite sure what it did, but at the very sight of Magilou, it turns tail and RUNS. I'll probably have to kill it later, seeing as we "witchnapped" Magilou to prevent the issue from getting worse. The storehouse apparently contained medicinal nectar that the Abbey was going to distribute to doctors, but something tells me that's a lie. I'd guess the Abbey was, in reality, using that nectar for something more nefarious that they could blame on daemons and control people on the other continents. Karen gets stuck on firefighting duty. "It's your fault I'm a wimp!!" POOR BABY! People like her piss me off, projecting their insecurities onto other people instead of trying to understand the other side of a situation. Instead of trying to figure out another perspective, she just makes assumptions.

I get back to Doegres and stop for the night right outside. The caravan has dispersed, at least. Seems like the sheep headed back to the barn. Speaking of sheep... time to count 'em. Good night~

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/18/21 12:41:16 AM
#30:


Also, an inconsistency: I am pretty sure I saw Villain Teresa during the speech. Why was Karen only just docking? Would they not have been on the same boat? And why was Karen caught up in a storm, yet we weren't?

A little confusing!

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
NBIceman
12/18/21 12:45:34 AM
#31:


Just a small hint since you enjoyed Velvet's confessional so much - all the party members have different conversations with the priests you can encounter in the churches depending on who's selected as the onscreen character. I think some might take a while before they're able to be triggered, though - don't remember the details offhand.

---
Chilly McFreeze
https://i.imgur.com/UYamul2.gif
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/18/21 10:00:24 PM
#32:


NBIceman posted...
Just a small hint since you enjoyed Velvet's confessional so much - all the party members have different conversations with the priests you can encounter in the churches depending on who's selected as the onscreen character. I think some might take a while before they're able to be triggered, though - don't remember the details offhand.

Good to know, thanks! I'll have to pay that some mind and see if I can switch to see what the others have to say (I HAVE to see Magilou's, but Eizen and Laphicet intrigue me too). I've kept Velvet as my on-screen character the entire time. Nothing foreign to me after having primarily Sheena, Tear, Judith, Cheria, and Leia on screen before. I like the aesthetics, okay? xD

Didn't play today. Have been sick - aftereffects of the COVID booster. And tonight's the NCAA volleyball championship so I'm watching that because my team is in it. #OnWisconsin

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/21/21 12:20:07 AM
#33:


Sorry for the hold-up.

Saturday was perhaps the greatest volleyball match I've ever seen.
Sunday was a championship party FOR said volleyball team... that was kind of a letdown.
I don't know what happened to tonight.

I'm very, very busy tomorrow but should try to squeeze in an hour. Wednesday is looking like the day I'll pound out many hours as of now.

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/21/21 11:53:27 PM
#34:


I enter the capital and get this LOADED skit where Eizen learns about the encounter with Eleanor - and that she's troubled by Artorius sacrificing one for the good of many (I think she sees herself as expendable... also she kinda reminds me of Niko from earlier in the game, hmm...), that's quickly followed by talk of Bienfu actually being a malak... Magilou's malak... and that she was either a fraud or kicked out of the Abbey. This is followed by Rokurou doing an impression, and Laphicet... becomes laugh-i-cet!?

...I'm sorry.

The next skit says that Artorius may be commanding a god. Because I've played way too many JRPGs, this means there's a good chance we kill Artorius halfway through the game and have to fight this "Fifth Empyrean" thing as the final boss. It could also be a total throwaway planted there for people like me who overthink every word. Velvet is like this also with Artorius's speech. She's overthinking it for vile intentions, which clearly do exist. It may just be something simple.

I do a bunch of weapon synthesis, play the restaurant mini-game as Rokurou and eke out a win, and then take on the Missing Scholar request. Velvet thinks there's a lot more to it than they're telling, but she's not going to ask questions. Get shit done, ask questions later... if they still matter, anyway. I need to be more like that.

The game points out a "Code Red Daemon" to me along the way, and it turns out he's actually pretty weak! I have had more difficulty with horde battles than I did with this guy. He goes down like a chump. Skit afterwards gives Rokurou some character development: His ancestor was a samurai who came from Japan... somehow... to this land and brought the bushido code with him. The Rangetsu clan lives and dies by their honor and their blade. When Velvet told him where his sword was, he owed her a great debt, and he's a man of his word. He'll even DIE for such a thing - and four of his older brothers are dead from doing just that. The fifth one is someone I can assume we'll be meeting, yes?

Anyway, I stop there for the night. I'll play some more tomorrow though IDK how much just yet. I won't have too much time to dedicate to this for the next week for obvious reasons. Gotta wonder if Artorius sees himself as Jesus...

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/22/21 11:54:27 PM
#35:


Trekking through the marsh, I beat up a bunch of weak monsters (one of which was a "Code Red" and it was just as weak as the marmots) as well as a Dire Foe - the wolf thing from earlier that I finally get to kill. I also burn vines off boulders to push them to become stepping stones. Seeing as this was indicative of me being the first person to come through here in the last 3,000 years, I was surprised to see two goons guarding... something? I kill them and their malakhim and it turns out they have the guy I'm looking for and many others mining for vermilion ore that apparently a dragon left behind, since there's no volcano nearby. This is used to make opiate nectar that we burned at the port - it's an addictive drug. This is all starting to come together, and I presume task #3 will be the same way.

I still have no answer for why nobody else had burned or cut those vines to utilize the boulders like so. It's really dumb and adds nothing to the game, and is put in for "realism" reasons when it does the opposite. I certainly haven't seen any boats here, so how did those slaves get there?

One thing I'm not really enjoying here are the winquotes. They're all very generic and impersonal, and nothing hilarious like Graces had all the time, and nothing badass like... at all. I wish those were better, though I do wonder if Magilou will have some good ones once she's playable. What's taking her so long?

Something that irks me is the kill recognition in battles is wonky. I get a kill sometimes, but it's credited to someone else, and with souls and whatnot, this matters a LOT. In other Tales games, I go "oh well" and it's no big deal. Here, it is a big deal because it can disrupt my ability to battle. It's minor, but worth noting that I've noticed it. Another annoyance? Spending 40 minutes at a weapon shop just unloading everything, making sure you make no mistakes. The weapon drops are excessive. All that said, I'm still loving the game, but thought I'd let you know why this update is pretty paltry for how much time I played. That and, well, that lake road was also quite lengthy with very little happening.

The third objective is to foil an ambush on the Royal Medical Society - in other words, it definitely has to do with opium smugglers. It's, uh, nothing epic or anything - I just beat up three weak Gibbons who can transform into humans. Apparently that makes them daemons even though they're even weaker than the apes I've been fighting, probably due to numbers. The smugglers run off during the fight, but it was that medicine - the same stuff we blew up in the Zekson port. Laphicet starts wondering if he's useful, and Eizen says his healing artes are indispensable despite his gloom. He's not used to freedom. Poor kid. He's too young to have to deal with this. At least Velvet calls Magilou dead weight, and she doesn't reply. Isn't she with us? We took her with us after we beat up Eleanor in the port...

QUESTION: Can I sell the salvaged items with no penalty? Or is there some reason to keep them? (This counts the chipped copper coins, pirate flags, and whatever other junk that's not used in smithing weapons.) Let me know, thanks!

Speaking of Eleanor, my theory that she's actually Niko from the opening of the game, who somehow survived and was brainwashed by Artorius, feels... right, to be honest. He's controlling her because she's useful to him, like a malak often is to these bastards. I'm also toying around with the theory that malaks themselves are reincarnations of humans, but that's probably too next-level for now and probably as wrong as Marta's never-ending wet dream for wimpy Emil was. Uhh... never mind.

Entering the capital, I get a skit about wanted posters that reminds me of the horrendous likeness they used of Yuri. Laphicet doesn't understand and wants one. Rokurou uses it as an opportunity to create a little chaos. I go back to the hideout, expecting to see thugs taking our contact away. But no, Tabatha's there, and she tells me that Artorius and his cloister of villains has headed to some cave... but they used artes to erect a wall to seal it off to intruders. Velvet infers that they must have a key, and Tabatha (Baskerville is her last name... wasn't that the last name of the one we were looking for?) says her people are looking into it. In the interim, she gives me the bounty to get that: Kill High Priest Gideon, the guy who's at the center of the opium ring. Hey, I get to take out some trash early - yay!

Velvet thinks just like I do - she noted that the tasks were all related, related to that opium distribution, and interprets this task exactly for what it is and the reasons why. I would have simply said "He's got something to do with the opium, right?" The Church is smuggling this "medicine" that's extraordinarily addictive, so we gotta put a stop to that. She's having anger issues, because she's not cutting off Artorius's fingers one at a time. He's trying to summon Innominat, and methinks he'll succeed - and that becomes the new threat, and we get to travel the world as perception of Artorius changes from him being Jesus Christ to him being the world's most hated fiend. It's gonna be glorious. But I must stop there for tonight.

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
NBIceman
12/23/21 12:03:30 AM
#36:


Wanted posters are maybe the best Tales running gag.

Also, congrats on the Wisco win. I ragequit the tournament after my Longhorns managed to disappoint again but at least y'all cleaned up Nebraska for us!

---
Chilly McFreeze
https://i.imgur.com/UYamul2.gif
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/23/21 12:07:03 PM
#37:


NBIceman posted...
Wanted posters are maybe the best Tales running gag.

Also, congrats on the Wisco win. I ragequit the tournament after my Longhorns managed to disappoint again but at least y'all cleaned up Nebraska for us!

Yeah, especially physical ones. I'm hoping they actually have a few of them and they look like they were drawn by a 6 y/o. Or heck, they even re-use Yuri's for Velvet, and she's like "I look like a man in this."

And thanks! I know the feeling. My Badgers kept disappointing as well - we kept losing heartbreakers, including three in the finals - until this year. It's our first title so that's really awesome. We were "the best volleyball program to never win the trophy" and wanted to shun that label. It was a BIG storyline here how our fifth-year badasses Dana Rettke, Sydney Hilley, and Lauren Barnes came back just to win some hardware. I can't think of another time I've been THIS satisfied by a championship, solely because of the story.

Should play more later today, but not much. I'll actually have the most time on Christmas Day itself since I'm not doing anything. My uncle and aunt who host Christmas got the COVID so... yeah.

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/25/21 12:01:00 AM
#38:


I really wish I had more to do but things are pretty fucked up with my Christmas this year. Again, my uncle and aunt getting COVID is part of it (they live two-plus hours from me, and nobody else is stepping up - me because I don't have the capacity in this apartment), but the Packers playing tomorrow and my sister asking for things to center around her schedule are also contributing factors.

So yeah, here I am playing a JRPG on Christmas Eve, yay.

First thing is a skit where Laphicet shows that he is indeed a young boy by wanting to watch bug fights. LOL! But yeah, they make opium because it's banned and thus they can sell it for high black-market prices... and it's so damn addictive that it's bound to make a LOT of dough. At any rate... the red scarf is a mark of the Bloodwings? Odd. Were those gibbons.......? (I also have to pay gald to rest here, which is odd since it's mandated by the plot. Not that it's a problem, just noting...)

Eizen talks to Tabatha about Aifread, but there's no info - just that the bad guys might've wanted this relic the pirate crew found, something that Eizen isn't going to talk about because he doesn't want any Abbey thugs hearing about it. Velvet then has a nightmare where she just screams in pain instead of killing Artorious, so her subconscious desires are still most strongly toward "save Laphi" as opposed to "kill Artorious." This is very complex, and I'm awoken by Laphicet #2 in a choke hold. Well then. Velvet needs to control herself if she wants to get her revenge. And hey, Magilou is tagging along again, so not all is bad! Right away, she even makes a joke about crocodiles to scare Laphicet...... and Eizen says they primarily eat witches. Oops! And THEN she tells a story about an escaping prisoner who got eaten by one, which helped them learn how to make mabo curry to scare Laphicet AGAIN.... only to be punched into the water by Velvet so they can make "Witch Blood Curry." I'm LOLing for reals! (Why isn't she playable yet? At least she's here - this party is already joking around with each other, and it's awesome. THIS is how you do a JRPG party!)

There are as many blue slimes in this sewer alone as there are in an entire Dragon Quest game, so... yeesh. Magilou also suggests this may be a trap, but Velvet can't make sense of that if they're going to ignore daemons. Something tells me that they're NOT ignoring us. They're luring us to a ground where they have a huge advantage. It's what villains do. Gideon is a villain - and apparently people are only clamoring for the church now because malak artes are effective against daemons, and the church introduced malaks as a "tool." In other words: Most people are racist in this world. Gideon's also probably mad that Artorius is getting the spotlight... but all those sheeple means the church makes even more money, which is what he probably wants if he's smuggling opium.

I'm finding it quite annoying how often my kill gets stolen here. Because that determines who gets a soul or bonus EXP, this is absolutely relevant. I get a kill and the game credits it as someone else. Does it have something against me or something?

At any rate, I think that's enough mashing the B button for now. More tomorrow probably!

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/25/21 1:06:33 PM
#39:


Forgot to mention: "Barona" is clearly a reference. Was that not the capital in Graces? I forget a lot of cities unless they're from Abyss or stand out in general tbqh.

We get into a library, where Laphicet is enamored with the ancient books Magilou finds behind a hidden shelf. I notice a red book that screams "PULL ME TO OPEN SECRET PASSAGE" but Velvet just steals it for the kid to read later. Rokurou wants her to lighten up even though they're there for an assassination. I kind of agree tbqh. I look around the library and read a few books. The thing that stands out the most is "Legate V: Shigure Rangetsu." So... Rokurou's brother - the fourth son, I would guess based on the "Shi" (traditional Japanese for "four" though that's fallen out for "yon") - is a praetor? Imagine that. There's also population trends (the empire's population is about 700,000 after the Opening halved it, and then it increased a little and held steady) and some bullshit about people enslaving malakhim being considered "heroes" but that's the Abbey for you.

There's this AMAZING Magilou skit - the "Magikazam" one. She tries to take away the boy's pointless worry... only to pointlessly worry about that pointless worry pointlessly. Incredible. This had me giggling. And she's right: We should dispel pointlessness with amusement... just so long as the guards don't hear us and sound the alarm. We would not be able to complete our assassination that way. Or do things like juggling four thugs with that water claw Break Soul attack.

I get into yet another huge cathedral area - the Abbey can never get enough of those - and corner Gideon, only for Henchwoman Eleanor to show up. She's blindly bound to her duty as a praetor and gives me some Flynn Schifo bullshit about "he's the Abbey's to punish" - sure it is. I beat the shit out of her and Magilou repossesses Bienfu - renaming him Cass or something (a lot happened here). This gives us the green light to kill Eleanor. Velvet eats her malaks and she's scared, but Velvet instead just knocks her out with a swift punch to the gut. This is probably because of how weak-willed this Karen is.After she falls, Velvet corners a cowering Gideon. He goes into excuse mode saying he got all these people addicted to an opiate for the sake of financing the Abbey's construction of the temple. Uh-huh. So it's "for the Abbey" to cause people to die from overdoses. You're not protecting the people there, buddy. When Velvet implies that it was Artorius who sent her - I think that was intentional, to cause a rift. Gideon turns into a Lizardfolk daemon and storms off. This does not surprise me, but we must make haste because he's getting away. And hey, with that malak power tethered to her, Magilou is finally playable! She controls... alright, I guess.

Gideon has already met his end by the time I get to him. Some gryphon daemon is devouring him, and Velvet doesn't give a shit since the thing isn't attacking us. A conscious - but completely worthless - Eleanor is, and Velvet openly mocks her, saying she has no malaks left and therefore no exorcist power. Eleanor just falls to her knees and cries. I'd feel bad for her if she didn't keep getting in my way. In fact, I find it unintentionally hilarious that a henchwoman is this miserable by her own doing. Maybe she made the wrong call in joining the Abbey. Also hilarious: Bienfu's legitimate FEAR of Magilou using him as a pin cushion. She's a real sadist to him, and that's bound to produce constant amusement. Poor thing. (His reaction when Velvet says the objective is to kill Artorius is GOLD.) We need four Greater Malakhim as keys, and we have three: Two of which we stole and one of which we aligned with. After Laphicet passes out for the night and we wake up, Velvet also thinks "Innominat" is a false god created as an excuse to control people. Like the Catholic Church tries to make "God" into "everything." This is most certainly commentary on religious just the same as Abyss had in droves. I naturally am drawn to it.

There's this great "Malak Ranks" skit where Bienfu goes from introducing himself to being heartbroken by Magilou, since he's the "greatest servant" she has. Not how you should put it, Magilou! "Without you, I'd be a whole lotta nothing." would work better. Make him feel valued! Even though this mascot abuse is kind of hilarious and makes me like Bienfu just the same as I did Mieu. "Pitiable mascot" > "Obnoxious mascot" every day. The BEST part of the skit, though, was "Don't judge yourself by a label given to you by other people." Which is something MANY people in this day and age need to take to heart. American society in particular is obsessed with labeling people nowadays and judging them by those. It's prejudicial and discriminatory, and it needs to stop here much like it does in Midgand.

People around town are noticing more soldiers about, but they're not saying anything because why would they? They don't want people to fear the High Priest's death. Who knows what Eleanor told them... she was a wreck! An idiot merchant is getting chalices engraved, but he may have missed his opportunity - by the time they're all produced, Artorius may be dead. Eizen also manages to get a sailor to give up Nectar for alcohol. That's an improvement, as Nectar kills you more expediently. Alcohol... well, it won't harm you much if you keep it to one beer an hour, and only once a week. Something tells me this guy is gonna harm himself by getting drunk, though.

There's this existential skit centered around Laphicet, which gets me to realize two things. One is that Laphicet is a really fascinating "kid character" in that he's having an identity crisis after having been freed from slavery; Villain Teresa saw him as a tool and not as a living creature, so he's wondering what his place in the world is. It's absolutely fascinating for a kid as young as he to be the one with this storyline, and it's way better than the "obnoxious moron" kid types. Two, in contrast to Graces where everyone was jubilant with each other and was just having fun as a unit, this group does a LOT of arguing. I get the sense that they don't exactly like each other, except for Velvet/Rokurou and Rokurou/Eizen. Laphicet doesn't really have complete relationships yet because he's so far an incomplete character - his development is only just beginning, and his relationships will flourish from there. This set of characters is bound to have hilarious reactions for the rest of the game because they often only tolerate each other. Magilou is the pariah of the party and I expect it to stay that way even as they start to grow appreciative of her. Which they will - but I think Rokurou's trolling and Magilou being crazy will both be done more and more in good fun as the game goes on.

I clear out every enemy in my way along the Danann Highroad for three reasons: 1) to get Magilou skill points, 2) to test out this "character swap" thing (I don't like it because it costs 1 BP and doesn't really add anything, but perhaps I'm just bad at it), and 3) to see if Magilou is fun to play as (she's really not). I must note how flawed the battle system here is. 25 hours in (this counts my time writing notes for this) and I'm STILL just mashing buttons no matter who I control. It's not like there's TP conservation or crazy fun combos. It feels like how you combo here doesn't matter. You can go AABX or AXYA or BBBB and... they all produce the same result of whoop-ass. Even the supposedly "strong" enemies go down easily, and I'm playing on Hard. Perhaps I should up the difficulty to Intense?

At any rate, I am done for right now, and I've hit the character limit. Merry Christmas, everybody!

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
CybrMonkey
12/25/21 2:12:06 PM
#40:


BlueCrystalTear posted...
There's this existential skit centered around Laphicet, which gets me to realize two things. One is that Laphicet is a really fascinating "kid character" in that he's having an identity crisis after having been freed from slavery; Villain Teresa saw him as a tool and not as a living creature, so he's wondering what his place in the world is. It's absolutely fascinating for a kid as young as he to be the one with this storyline, and it's way better than the "obnoxious moron" kid types.
Laphicet may be my favorite kid character in any form of media.

---
Lurker extraordinaire
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/25/21 11:48:19 PM
#41:


CybrMonkey posted...
Laphicet may be my favorite kid character in any form of media.

tbh his storyline is so fascinating for someone his age, so I can totally see this argument. And he's likable and relatable instead of annoying. In terms of Tales... there's nothing remarkable about He Whose Name Rhymes With Penis (Symphonia) in any direction, Abyss had a certain obnoxious traitorous [expletive] who got away with murder and then some, Vesperia's Karol was more unremarkable than bad, Xillia had Elize who was made great by Teepo, Xillia 2 had Elle who wasn't even playable, and I never played Zestiria. Most of these didn't have this kind of storyline or relatability in any shape or form, and the one who did still wasn't as intriguing. Laphicet's storyline is incredibly mature for a kid and is the product of him being freed from his shackles.

As I noted before, there's also ties between each protagonist and an antagonist - just like Abyss did brilliantly: Velvet/Artorius, Rokurou/Shigetsu, Laphicet/Teresa, Magilou/Eleanor (via Bienfu), and Eizen/Melchior. Game says there will be a sixth character and if what I heard is correct, that will change this quite a bit. I wish that had been unspoiled for me, but let's be honest: Eleanor screamed "party member" from the getgo. The scene in Beardsley was not starting a villain's storyline. Her wearing her emotions so openly screamed "turncoat" right then and there, and I think us beating her and Velvet devouring her malaks and Magilou repossessing the last is what will get her to realize how much wrong she's done. If she's this sentimental, why is she using slaves like they don't have sentiments?

There's really nothing worth noting in Zekson - at least until Laphicet acts... just like the first Laphi. Velvet wishing she'd been able to travel together with her brother was a touching sentiment, and the fact that it was to #2 makes me rather... suspicious. Is Laphicet #2 the same kid, just... frozen in time and "repurposed" by fiends? I know this is the twist I'm supposed to expect, because they're being particularly obvious about it. The scouts then return and, alongside the guards, are attacked by a pendulum-heaving malak... which resembles the description of the one who abducted the captain when he went to prison. There's apparently a lot of confusion going on, which is good for us. I'm also confused, because they didn't give me a cutscene, just description.

Eizen runs off and I pursue him... I find him getting into it with this other malak, some guy named Zaveid the Whirlwind (I swear I've heard "Zavied" somewhere...). They ask Velvet to let them settle it "their way" but she doesn't want to waste time fucking around, so she and the gang beat the shit out of them both. Well that was unexpected! I win handily and get a cool new potentite that gives everyone +1 BG so long as they have +5 to their equipment. Easy to do. More Mystic Artes, baby! Zaveid heads off after the barrier shatters - did Laphicet just do that by himself...? The party doesn't think Zaveid is a killer - he seems like the "third party" type to me, and we'll have to fight him again. Also of note: Magilou is exactly what the winquotes needed. FINALLY we get some fun ones. They're still not Graces level, but still.

This place is being built on a spot with majestic energy, which is why it's not in the capital, and it's guarded by malakhim-conjured animals. After she asks for new slaves, Artorius calls out Eleanor's emotions just as I had mentioned above. Her hatred alone can't kill. Eleanor is also alarmed by the gryphon being kept in the capital, where it could break out and eat more people. Artorius dismisses her because she's not a high enough rank for the knowledge, and she doesn't seem to take this well. I think she''s starting to realize how evil the Abbey is, and thus she's complicit. It's odd that she's lived this long, honestly. One would think her emotions would've gotten the best of her by now just like Velvet has. Artorius is scared, because he knows full well that 1) Velvet knows everything and 2) that Velvet wants to kill him.

I enter the monolith and it's definitely majestic. They're using a lot of taxpayer money to build this for merely selfish reasons, not because the populace can benefit. This will probably end up being a monastery or something that's sealed off and is considered the "Sacred Grounds of the Abbey" - if the Abbey still exists by then, of course... and this place isn't destroyed by an earthquake. At any rate, I kill a ton of these pigs, rats, and Gorgons, disable the security, and don't see anything else worth commenting on. Gonna stop there.

Hope you all had a better Christmas than mine!

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/26/21 1:37:29 PM
#42:


Back at the Ziggurat, Velvet talks about Seres and that a new malak like Innominat apparently is won't work in tandem with Artorius as well... she also gives Laphicet orders again. She could've been gentler and not been as mean as Teresa was to him. Poor kid. He just needs to heal her long enough for her to kill Artorius before probably dying herself. He's certainly not expecting a kamikaze, though I presume he knows Velvet wants revenge. Laphicet is conflicted and Bienfu thinks Velvet's insane - nobody really knows what the whole story is the way I do. And I don't blame her for wanting that. I DO blame Artorius for building this wastefully huge temple in the middle of nowhere on the backs of slaves, though.

At any rate, I enter the big door expecting I have to beat the crap out of Eleanor again. I don't. I instead end up in an unwinnable fight against Artorius, and he chooses to summon Innominat to become stronger. After a lot of healing, the World Series of Villains shows up and Villain Teresa, vile hypocrite that she is, tries to give Laphicet an order and he resists. This resistance opens up a portal and the five of us jump through; the only antagonist to join is Eleanor, who they should probably just kill. Melchior conjures a tracker of some kind as the portal closes. Lots happened there - Laphicet awakened to full power (he'll probably get winquotes and Mystics now), Melchior mentions "what happened to Aifread," Rokurou's brother got name-dropped, and Villain Teresa was shown to be this self-righteous asshole slave driver who I still can't wait to kill. Gideon's already dead, and frankly Eleanor should join him but IDK why she ends up joining us. Unless she just saw something in her heart...

After a nightmare involving Celica and Seres, Velvet jolts up and finds Laphicet, ALSO having a nightmare where he's saving Velvet. Velvet knows he saved her life so she has to save his. This place... it feels like where endgame Xillia took place (Maxwell's schism). Velvet takes a clearly ailing Laphicet - his power caused him to have a fever - and runs. I look everywhere in case this is a "find the other three" sort of thing (it's not) and all of a sudden my exploration ship returns. I don't know how that is possible to know, but, hey, #GameLogic for ya. I'm not gonna ask questions.

Velvet knows there's gotta be an exit somewhere - after all, if there's a way in, there's a way out. It takes her a considerable amount of time to ask where the hell she is - that would've been my first question! This section is pointlessly long and uneventful. I would've found it more enjoyable had this place been more like a maze or if there was a puzzle, instead of a mostly linear path with a dead end or two thrown in. Eizen shows up to say this is an earthpulse - a flow of nature's energy - and that the shock from Innominat and Laphicet's powers colliding tore a rift, which let us escape. We're very much glad to be alive because Artorius could probably kill us alone, but he had Villain Teresa, Oscar, Eleanor, and Melchior to back him up. We're gonna have to kill that garbage one at a time. They're all proud slave owners who have a superiority complex on the basis of religion. In fact, they'd fit right in if they lived in Alabama.

Eizen warns that Laphicet will turn into a daemon at any time and that, without a pure vessel, there's no way to stop it. Not sure how that'd happen - is it in their biology? Or would being around Velvet make daemonblight contagious to him? This doesn't make much sense, until Hemchwoman Eleanor shows up and says that exorcists offer their own bodies as vessels for malakhim to enslave them for the Abbey's purposes. So... at least they're not as diabolical as it seems from the outside. They're giving up parts of their souls, too. Since they just need a body, Velvet offers to kill her, but Eleanor says she'd jump before that could happen. Tough negotiator here, for a Karen. Velvet agrees to allow Eleanor to do her thing and then duel her; win, and Eleanor does whatever Velvet wants. So now I do have to kick the crap out of her.... or not. Velvet and Eizen get transported to where Magilou and Rokurou are making a 10 gald wager (why so low?) that Magilou obviously loses. Velvet is so hellbent on revenge - why stop?

I still don't get things like this dead-end wall.. why did they build it over a path when there was nothing to seal back here? Thankfully, the Turtlez has set up shop down here, and Magilou threatens him about this merchant-eating harpy. HILARIOUS. I needed this bad - I have a lot of crap to get rid of! There's also a skit about earthpulses being the embodiment of Empyrean gods, so ancients dug temples to be closer to them. It's unclear quite how we got to where we are.

Unfortunately, I get a game over just at the end of the dungeon, when a horde battle overwhelms me and I can't escape in time... because I couldn't find a save spot, I have to do all this again, so there won't be another update today. It's gonna be purging junk equipment, re-farming, re-killing the Code Red, etc.

But that can't be now because 1) I gotta go and 2) I'm pretty livid lol

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/26/21 11:33:14 PM
#43:


I lied. I made pretty good time getting back to where I was and clearing the dungeon. I then get what's about as epic a 1-on-1 duel as Velvet vs. Eleanor was going to be: Velvet wins, Eleanor becomes HER malak, basically; Eleanor wins, Velvet dies. It's a battle of disciples of the fiendish Artorius, and it takes me two tries but I figure out how to dodge her attacks and win handily. Was originally going to finish her off with a Mystic but that didn't happen. The after-scene is, well, them outplaying each other until Eleanor doesn't have a weapon and... she breaks down. Again.

Laphicet wants to go with Velvet, and the book he took from the Villa is about Innominat - but it's written in an ancient language and we need Magilou's friend Grimoir to translate it. We gotta find her, and that should be pretty easy given how Eizen has some sylphjays in his employ. Magilou also bets Velvet 100 gald that she gives up before killing any of the villains. Well, considering Eleanor is now Velvet's oath-bound bodyguard, that's ONE less we'll have to kill any time soon. Artorius will throw a fit. Villain Teresa and Oscar are probably gonna be the first two to die, then Melchior. Shigetsu probably survives. Artorius and Innominat do not, though Artorius probably expires at the end of the second act, with the final push being to kill a god. Welcome to JRPGs.

Artorius gives Henchwoman Eleanor a task via Melchior's communication arte, and it's a top-secret task of getting Laphicet to the Abbey in Loegres. She's so obviously a spy, so we can't trust a word she says. I think since she woke Velvet and Eizen up that she won't get away with any of it - though how much did they hear? Velvet promptly threatens her that if she betrays the party, her arms an legs become daemon food. Eleanor thinks that Innominat is being summoned to wipe out daemons, but that's clearly a cover. Eleanor won't like the truth and will firmly switch sides.

Guy talk about... women's deceptions. I've been there. One girl I was chasing turned out to be succubus. They're clearly talking about Eleanor being a villain... and then Velvet overhears and threatens to eat them. The age-old problem here. Eleanor says that her own tears are real and doesn't like people who fake-cry. Even so, I don't trust her. (P.S. I am not using her until she learns a few skills from lesser equipment, at which point I'll give her a try.) We then get the girl talk about men; men can be taken at face value because they're too simple. Even so, I'm a man and I am NOT simple. This gets sidetracked quickly.

Laphicet activates Binding Order for the first time and takes out FOUR harpies with it. Holy shit! There's also a fun winquote about Velvet's sword, but it's simply "fun" by comparison to the others. Laphicet finds a chunk of brightsteel at the base of a huge boulder with blue things jutting out of it. Magilou makes another MAGIKAZAM joke. I hope this is a running gag. Zaveid talk about him being the wind-user... and Eleanor taking in the information to use against us later. She is so fascinating. She's this "good girl" type who's actually a henchwoman. After Rokurou breaks a guy's sword... he tells us about a guy called Swordbreaker. GEE I WONDER WHO THAT IS. (Gotta be Shigetsu, based on Rokurou's reaction, brothers, broken sword, etc.) Eleanor also tells him off for banditry. Nice.

There's this amazing "Physically Escalating with Cuties" skit where Eleanor is PISSED at Bienfu for... only wanting to tether to her because he finds her attractive. He wants only FEMALE vessels because of his boner. "Above Laphicet's head" is definitely the way to put it, but... not in the way one would think. STILL LAUGHING XD. The mood's then killed by a shirtless Rokurou. I'm too straight to see that. So is Eleanor... though she's also quite xenophobic, like most of these Abbey assholes. "A daemon is always going to be a daemon" well sure, but... that doesn't make them BAD. Perhaps this trip will open her eyes to see that daemons aren't always that bad. Rokurou... decides to make that tough by taking Swordbreaker on 1-on-1 and attacking Laphicet when Laphicet realizes Rokurou is about to die. Eleanor and Velvet quickly tell him he's gonna get it if he touches the boy. I think those two are actually taking a shine to one another. They're both disciples of Artorius and have some personality traits in common; it's just that one is a therion and the other is a xenophobe. This relationship is going to be fascinating, and that's what this game is doing so well. I feel like I can already describe a majority of these seven's relationships with one another. That counts Bienfu.

Rokurou swiftly apologizes and says he'll give a better warning next time. He also gives insight into why he's like he is: He's hellbent on revenge, too, and there's someone he wants to defeat in a 1-on-1 swordfight. That's his brother, the legate praetor, and the reason he's not using his family heirloom sword is because he intends to stick it through his brother's back. He can't let anything happen to it. I must wonder if this Stormquell sword is his brother's... which would mean he's probably on this continent. There's also Stormhowl, which was the blade this Kurogane guy from Magilou's likely-embellished tale (she's such a great storyteller; I'd listen to her tales around the campfire every single night if I could!) wanted so badly to top. Stormquell is the mimic, but it's certainly a master work in and of itself, and... we'll probably have to kill this daemon Swordbreaker. Be warned.

I go into the cave to find a zombie uprising. Great, just great! I find myself getting Slowed a lot but stumble upon a Slow Ward, so that... will help whoever I'm controlling. I get this scene where Velvet tells Laphicet to not trust Eleanor, because her intentions are unknown. I do hope the "I'm #1, Eleanor's #2" didn't give the poor kid flashbacks to being under Villain Teresa.

Then I look at the clock and realize it's time to wrap it up. Where did the last two hours go!?

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/27/21 6:00:48 PM
#44:


Here we go. As Velvet, I manage to be a zombie wrecking ball in a horde encounter by constantly spamming Break Souls and Mystics. It works because they're easily dazed. I light a torch to open a door but don't get the Zelda "the path is open / chest is revealed" sound effect like I expect to. Darn!

I end up in a 1-on-1 between Rokurou and Shigure, where I'm supposed to be surprised about what the game already spoiled for me. Shigure is your cliche Japanese super-saiyan samurai with an attitude to match. He's already taken down Kurogane - the Swordbreaker - and he seems to think that Eleanor has betrayed the Abbey and threatens her. Even though it was Laphicet hijacking her body... I can already see her start to turn, since she's covering for him a bit later on. Shigure's malak is Morgrim, a cat that looks like a Rollo rip-off, but her powers are unclear because Shigure packs a punch with a sword. Bienfu seems to think Morgrim is a lazy, chubby cat.... that he has a crush on. Velvet doesn't care that she's a she. If you gotta kill, you gotta kill.

Soaring Dragon is pretty awesome btw.

I hit a good endpoint - before talking to Kurogane (who I also presume is Japanese for obvious reasons). I kind of don't have time. Still made some headway.

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/28/21 12:13:56 AM
#45:


I'm hoping that people are still reading these >_>

Kurogane removes his head to use as materials for Rokurou's new swords.... okay then, I don't quite get the need to do that (nor does Magilou, the expert in all things bizarro). Those two have a lot in common, the same resentment for Shigure and Stormhowl. Should be a good partnership.

Eizen is scheming a plan to kill Shigure when Rokurou strikes him down, so we won't have to deal with him AND Artorius in the same room. Nice. Eleanor is a little clueless as to Artorius's true nature (Velvet never mentions Celica... did she not realize what I realized the moment I saw the cross burning in the sky?), and despite making progress in seeing daemons as normal people, she's still got a ways to go. I'd think Shigure and his thugs approaching - thanks, Bienfu, for scouting - to kill her "traitorous" self will be yet another wake-up call. Poor thing is having her own world torn apart, like she's a North Korean who escaped. Eleanor can't bring herself to kill her exorcist buddies even though they've misconstrued her as a traitor... but Rokurou can. That said, it wasn't fatal enough - if he can't kill a lower-level praetor, how's he gonna stand against Shigure?

A follow-up skit to the "Physically Escalating with Cuties" involves "Dropping Your Defenses and Your Towels" and other classic bangin' literature. My, Bienfu is NAUGHTY. Laphicet is not and just wants to... communicate better. I foresee Laphicet being a fantastic husband to a lucky girl someday, but that's no matter to me. Magilou does have some "Imitation Game" fun when Rokurou's sword is revealed to be a reject. Magilou also embellishes the rivalry, in her usual awesome fashion. HAVE ERICA LINDBECK NARRATE MY LIFE PLZ k thx

After taking care of some weapon business in the port, I notice the time and again wonder where the last hour has gone... time flies when you're having fun, right?

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
NBIceman
12/28/21 10:26:08 AM
#46:


I'm still reading! Just don't really have much to add to this particular stretch of the game. Glad you're enjoying it, though.

---
Chilly McFreeze
https://i.imgur.com/UYamul2.gif
... Copied to Clipboard!
Alanna82
12/28/21 10:54:19 AM
#47:


Have you seen Erika Lindbeck's "Karen from three houses" joke? Its hilarious. (I don't think it has spoilers for three houses, its just about an original character.

My husband and I met Erika Lindbeck before. I have a piece of artwork signed by her.

---
Don't mess with a Bunny!
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/28/21 3:39:41 PM
#48:


NBIceman posted...
I'm still reading! Just don't really have much to add to this particular stretch of the game. Glad you're enjoying it, though.

Yeah, the only truly interesting thing at this point is Eleanor starting to turn. Rokurou vs. Shigure will most certainly become interesting when I boot the game up again. I'm just trying to entertain.

Alanna82 posted...
Have you seen Erika Lindbeck's "Karen from three houses" joke? Its hilarious. (I don't think it has spoilers for three houses, its just about an original character.

My husband and I met Erika Lindbeck before. I have a piece of artwork signed by her.

I have not - may have to look into that. I'm adoring her as Magilou and already liked her as Futaba and Jessie (FFVII), so she's high on the list of people I want to meet. Not sure when it'll happen since conventions are dying out because COVID, and the one big one near me that's still alive had her as a headliner in 2020 (February, right before the apocalypse) so earliest we'll see her again is 2024. I envy you!

Cons are nice for those. Velvet's VA, Cristina Vee, was supposed to be at said con in six weeks until she decided to take the year off from cons. Looking over the list, the only VAs from this game I've met are smaller parts - Elizabeth Maxwell (aka Sae and Urbosa) at a different (dead) con and Bonnie Gordon at the very first con where she was a guest (right after she was on The Quest, a reality show for RPG nerds that didn't get advertised, but I 100% recommend it). Both autographs are still on my wall. The picture with Bonnie and her buddy from The Quest, Patrick, should be somewhere on my Facebook still.

Only Tales character I have a piece of custom signed artwork for is Leia. I had it commissioned and Lauren Landa happened to love it. And before "pics or it didn't happen," here ya go...
https://i.imgur.com/09YgynM.png

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...
I beat Shigure and, uh, the plan never happens. He just walks away having shattered Rokurou's new blades. The cat says everyone knows Eleanor to be a traitor, yet she brushes it aside with Abbey this, Abbey that. She'll wake up before long. There's a fun skit of Eleanor monologuing and everyone overhearing, despite her talking about sewing Velvet's outfit. I bump into the bandit from before and he's going to Loegres to open a restaurant for "Bandit cuisine" - the rough, greasy-spoon type foods bandits make in their camps. Might be a good way to reform more bandits, too, since they'll feel like doing entrepreneurial endeavors, too. There's a scene at the inn where Rokurou is practicing incessantly to beat Shigure... gotta admire his dedication even if he's extraordinarily stubborn. And Eizen's crew are very skeptical of an Artorius henchwoman coming aboard. It's that dynamic that fascinates me most right now, and whether we'll be able to get Eleanor to flip her loyalty by seeing how evil the Abbey actually is. Anyway, there's nothing better to do here, and Kurogane is tagging along, so... off we go into the wild blue yonder!

At least until there's a COVID outbreak on the ship... er, I mean Corsair's Scourage. Apparently you can only get it at sea and it's quite contagious for humans, but you can't transmit it over land. There's a flower named sale'tomah that can produce medicine for it, so we randomly get to detour. Which... okay then. Not sure why this was necessary plot-wise. This conversation between two fishermen about the prison island's patrols thinning out, dismembered body parts in fishing nets, and the theory about prisoners being used to feed, uh, Velvet was interesting, but it didn't need to be in this port, did it? Nor did the conversation where Magilou mentions suing Rokurou via the EEOC (despite not being in his employ) and Eleanor learning about the Bushido Code. I am still curious as to how Rokurou's ancestor made it to a different planet from Japan...

Eizen says this bridge was secretly funded by his crew to help Reneed become a bustling port, but after that the Abbey took over sea travel. Bastards. The goal is to destroy them so the people can prosper, yes? Also wouldn't shock me if something happened to this bridge; you don't have a cutscene like that over something so trivial, so it's probably more than that. News of High Priest Gideon's passing has made it here, alongside telephone game rumors that the daemons were huge, three-eyed horned things. How flattering.

Of course, the flowers are out of stock because the Abbey sealed off the forest due to another "big" daemon that they're too inept to kill or even locate. A young man is lamenting his father's foolhardiness and the father mentions that Westgand will be prosperous in "a hundred years or a thousand." This fascinates me because I figure this place ends up being very, very different in Zestiria, but I'd rather not torture myself by playing that. The rain would make me miserable, though. (P.S. the scout ship has access to the Amarcian Subcontintent with "three warring kingdoms"... so is this the same planet as Graces, or not?)

A few other little things before I stop for now:
-There's this nonsensical card-matching game that makes zero sense even as I play it. I try twice and give up because I still can't make heads or tails of it.
-Bienfu's "Hammer and Thongs" thing sounds... kinky in the most hysterical way. What does he think this is, a porno?
-Eleanor inquires about the Reaper's Curse and... Eizen really does seem to bring misfortune to those around him. Or, in Bienfu's mind, he just THINKS it does. Eleanor rejects a reunion when Bienfu hits on her again. Poor thing. Honestly... is there another JRPG series that abuses mascots the way Tales does? In Symphonia, Corinne DIED, though was very forgettable; in Abyss, Mieu took a LOT of abuse - poor guy; Bienfu is a punching bag similarly, but I can't say he doesn't deserve it from the women especially. I mean... "Physically Escalating with Cuties" says enough.

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
NBIceman
12/28/21 7:31:28 PM
#49:


I won't stand for this Corrine slander.

---
Chilly McFreeze
https://i.imgur.com/UYamul2.gif
... Copied to Clipboard!
BlueCrystalTear
12/28/21 9:33:45 PM
#50:


NBIceman posted...
I won't stand for this Corrine slander.

I don't remember anything in particular that Corrine did. Care to refresh my memory?

---
BlueCrystalTear | You're living your own life. You're you.
#FearTheDeer | ((FREE HUGS))
... Copied to Clipboard!
Topic List
Page List: 1, 2