Friday, 17 April 2015

Let's Play: Breath of Fire IV - Part Four

 Part Three


 Day One: Don't Bomb Finland

 So, off to Sandflier Valley. It's down to the south, and is a bit of a mess.

 There are bits of dead sandflier all over the place, and strewn amongst them are chests with items in. One of which is in an area blocked off by a sandflier rudder.

 You also need to move this to get through to the next area.

It's kinda cute, I like it.
  After this there is a ship with an anchor, and to use this you need to move the winch to make the anchor go down, and then stand on it.

 For whatever reason, the anchor goes back up, despite there being no one to operate the winch and make it go back up.

 And it's just an anchor! It's not like there's some fancy sensor on it or anything.

 It's a small thing, but it's kind of bugging me.

 On the other side of this is yet another mini game!


 You do need to do this, but unlike the plying and bribing dudes for information ones, you can actually do this one a whole bunch and it is worth doing.

 The basic gist of this mini game is that you need to hire a shovel and a dog. You could just hire the shovel, but you really need the dog because otherwise you're literally just guessing at where stuff is and you have a limited number of goes.

 Hire the dog and it wanders around a small yard, barking at certain spots before heading back to its master.

 You need to remember where the spots are and then go and dig there in order to find items.

This is an item called a 'Molotov'. Vyacheslav Molotov
will never live the bombing of Finland down. And he's dead.
So there's a life lesson: don't bomb Finland.
 I'm not going to lie, since I have this game on PC, I totally drew on my screen to make this easier.As you can see, there's not a hell of a lot landmarks on this screen to make remembering where the dog stops. (Pro-tip: draw with something that won't damage your screen. I used a coloured pencil really gently. And wiped it off straight afterwards.)

 It's a bit like those Blockhead demons in Okami, but with only ever three spots to remember and teetering on the line of much easier than Blockhead Grande and much harder than most of the other Blockheads entirely because the dog is so slow.

 Oh hey, another Capcom game. What is it with me and Capcom?

 I'm pretty sure that you'll find the sandflier parts on your first go, as long as you get all three of the spots the dogs marks out for you. Apart from that, it's random items of varying levels of usefulness.

 Still fun though.

 Okay, there is one kind of strange thing about all this. Mostly that the trader in Sarai said that he needed the materials to make the parts for them, but you actually get a set of sandflier parts from the valley.

 However, considering what happens when they return to Sarai, this makes more sense.

 Upon returning to the Sarai tavern to meet up with the sandflier merchant, it turns out that the Fou Empire has sent a squad of soldiers there.

 They're led by a blonde dude with too much mascara on his lower lashes who is questioning the merchant from the beginning of the game about the monster he saw. (Which is probably Zog.)

 As you can see, he's a complete douche.

 Nina does not stand for this and rushes to the merchant's side, demanding to know why the blonde dude is a being such a dick and pointing out that the war has ended.

 A matter in which she's actually incorrect.

 What happened in the case of the war was actually a ceasefire, not an end to to the war. Wars generally end with treaties of some kind, but this war does not seem to have had this happen.

 After telling her this, the blonde guy seems to realise that she's a Wyndian, which... she has wings, bro. How did you not notice before?

 I get the not immediately recognising that she's a princess, but her wings are a dead give away as to her race/nationality.

 Since such a ripe opportunity does not present itself every day to an ambitious military officer, he decides that they're going to capture her too. A statement that Nina takes as him knowing something about her sister.

 To his, still admittedly douchey, credit, the blond guy summons a Warrior Spirit to fight her. So he is taking her seriously as a potential threat.

 Nina ends up fighting this monster on her own.

This is a cool looking monster, btw.
 Since she's not got the best physical attack,  a good strategy is to spam Sever here until Joh falls over.

 By the way, when Nina uses this spell, she says the name out loud. However, they clearly just wrote this on a piece of paper and put it in front of a Japanese actress without any kind of pronunciation guide, because she says it 'Seever'.

 It's adorable.

 Since she just took out a boss on her own, it's understandable that Nina is a little... tired. So Zog rushes in to her defence.

 Our foe here tries to belittle Zog by talking about knights and princesses and how Zog didn't rush out earlier.

 While doing this, he says this:

 I bring it up because... I don't know, it kind of looks like a subtle homophobic comment.

 It probably isn't, to be fair. Just a really odd way of phrasing a cowardice insult.

 Either way, this guy is a total dick.

 He ends up getting a bit of sword in his eye when Zog hits something so hard that it actually snaps the King's Sword.

 While he's reeling from that, Nina and Zog make good their escape, soldiers hot on their heels when the blond guy yells what we're all thinking at times like this.

The Fou Empire has two kinds of soldier: Elite and utterly incompetant.
 They manage to escape their pursuers through the time honoured tradition of hiding down a side passage from people who logically must have seen them go down there, but for some reason never follow them. Possibly they're like those things that we had at school and you prgramme to go around, and they were programmed into a straight line.

 After the soldiers have headed off, the merchant from the crater appears and advises them to head to Chamba so they can circle around the troops and get back to Cray without risking being captured because they helped him earlier.

"By the way, you can keep the clothes you got from my wagon,
they look good on you."
  There is a problem though, Chamba is a hexed area, and therefore can only be safely passed through by purifiers. People with special armour to protect them who work to clear the area of the hex.

 I'll go into more detail on the hex when they actually go into it in the next part, but for now it's enough to know that it's incredibly dangerous.

 The leader of the purifiers, a hot Grassrunner named Tahb, tells them that the only way that they can get through the hexed areas of Chamba safely before next year is if they can talk one of his workers into guiding them through.

 Unsurprisingly, they can't.

 While talking to him about this, there is this section where the camera approaches them like a monster in a horror movie and just after he says they're lucky that monsters don't just bust through the gates, something bursts through the gates.

 It isn't a monster though, according to Tahb it's a woman named Ershin. She is heavily armoured and agrees to help Nina and Zog through the cursed areas of Chamba. Tahb attempts to talk her out of it, but she basically intimidates him into letting her.

 She also speaks in the third person and when she is thanked for agreeing to help them, she says this:

Um, thank you Ershin?
 Yeah, she's more than a little scary.

 We'll get to see her in battle next time, in Part Five.

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