Friday, 24 April 2015

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

 Part Five


 Day Two: Dragons, Aye

 I totally forgot to talk about how Ershin acts in battle.

 She's very slow, not too magic-y and has high defence and attack.

 She attacks by shooting her fist at people.


 Anyway, back to the plot.

 They meet back up with Cray, and it turns out that the item we found in the Sandflier Valley that was called the Sandflier Parts weren't actually parts, we really needed to get that guy to make the parts we needed.

 Which kind of sucks.

 But, oh well, Nina and Cray are back together and everyone's safe.

 There is a mildly creepy moment where Ershin tells them that Ershin says it appears as though their sandflier was attacked by a dragon.

 They're understandably shocked by this, and asks how she knows this, but Ershin just replies that Ershin appears to be able to sense these things. Also, that she's sleepy.

 Okay, I get that the way I talk about Ershin's dialogue is kind of annoying, but I really want to get across how she usually speaks in the third person, but doesn't always. When she was laughing in the last part, she didn't say 'Ershin shouldn't have laughed', she said 'I was in error'.

 She's got such a unique speech pattern that I really want to make it clear how she talks. (By the way, Ershin is a great way of showing how you can have a character with a repeating speech pattern without giving them an annoying and repetitive catchphrase *coughAxelendcough*.)

 Cray, being the gentlemanly cat-dude that he is, offers them a place to stay for the night since they were so helpful. Then this happens.

  According to Cray in the cut scene, this is where someone, presumably the Fou empire, is holding Elina.

 In their attempt to find her, they make their way through a literal dungeon, while fighting some enemies.

Not pictured: the bloody corpse of Anastasia Steele
 Weirdly, there's this pretty palatial room not too far from the dungeon itself, it almost looks like some kind of throne room, or somewhere else that a monarch or emperor would hold court.

 Once they get in there, a couple of people appear, including this guy.

This is not a good sign.
 He's told by the guy in green that it continues to grow, and that is also not a good sign.

 The hat trick of bad signs continues when Lord Yuna says that he is greatly pleased by this. Nothing good ever comes of people being 'greatly pleased'.

 In order to sneak past these two, the gang head behind this convenient curtain between a chair and the wall. Once they get to the other side, there's a pretty cut and then we go to Nina and Cray talking about what's just happened.

 It turns out that they both had the same dream, and Ershin adds that Ershin says that it was Zog's dream.

 Apparently it was caused by something called the 'Dragon's Eye' and it's a possible future. From this, Cray asks if Zog can get them to the place they saw in the vision, which Ershin replies to with her customary 'apparently so'.

 They quickly run this by Zog, because why not, and he's totally cool with it, because he has nothing better to do and these are nice people.

 I've genuinely seen media, where in this exact kind of situation, they wouldn't just tell the person in Zog's shoes what was going on for the sake of forced drama later on. Good on Capcom for not pulling that crap here. Especially because that's really hard to pull off when the person who feels betrayed never has dialogue that that audience can see or hear.

 Since they can't get the sandflier to work again. they need to head out one foot. Cray comes up with a plan that has them hugging the coast and heading north.

 On the way I ran into one of my favourite enemy strategies in the game. It's called 'Command' and it has one of the enemies, like a Red Cap, commanding other enemies to attack a specific party member.

 I mostly like it because after the reticule targets a party member the subordinate enemies do this:

 It's adorable.

 On the way north is a place called Kurok, it's just a valley, but there is an interesting guy there named Rwolf.

I said he was interesting, I never said he was nice.
 He's one of the Masters in the game who teach various skills and can affect how the characters level up. This was a feature in Breath of Fire III, and I really like it.

 It's a bit like the Strength Bonus I always had on Zell and then had on Nina in my Final Fantasy VIII, but less awkward and I don't have to make a decision between that and a stat boost.

 Also, if you fulfil this dudes requirements, you get some awesome spells.

 After Kurok, they make their way to a dam that's damming some kind of... mud river?

 It's a bit weird, but I also still kind of like it.

 In order to continue their journey, they need to make their way across to the other side of the river.

 Usually, there are a lot of people on the damn, but at the moment there are some serious problems that they're having with a dragon who lives in the area. Normally he minds his own business and swims near the bottom of the river, but recently he started acting really strangely and is threatening the structural integrity of the dam, so most of the workers on the dam legged it.

 Fortunately, there's no problem with them making their way across, so with a warning to be careful from a friendly dam worker, they head on their way.

 We'll carry on with the journey next time, but I really want to show you guys a cool thing about the battle mechanics in this game.

 Since we have more then three members of the party now, we can't use all of them in battle in a single turn. However, because of the way the battle system is set up, we can switch between the person in the back and one of the others in the front while giving commands.

 Which is far preferable to the weird and totally arbitrary way in which party member swapping was set up in FFVIII.

 The other bonus to the battle system is that the entire party gets experience at the end of each battle.

 Also, you aren't forced to have Zog in the battle party at all times.

 They managed to separate the battle party from the field party enough so that he's always in the field party, but you aren't forced to have him always with you, meaning that if he gets knocked out and you can't revive him, he's not taking up valuable space.

 Thank the gods.

 There are also advantages to having party members in the back in battle, they can restore their AP incrementally over turns, and they can assist the battle.

 Here's Ershin's assist move:

That's a gross name for a monster, by the way.
 Badass. I love it.

 So, we have some dam traversing and dragon dodging to do next time, in Part Seven.

 See you then.

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