Friday, 10 April 2015

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

 Part Two


 Day One: Sarai For the Inconvenience

 With Nina off to complete her quest for the sandflier parts, Zog is left to wander around the desert town of Sarai by himself. What will he find?

 People who can't help him and mini games.

 There is a remarkable number of mini games in this section.

 The first one involves plying a dude with food and drink in order to fill some kind of 'Happy gauge'.

He's not gonna be the cheapest date.
 Now, don't worry, Zog's not doing anything untoward here, he's just bribing him for information on sandflier parts. I mean, if no one can help him, he might as well, right? He can track Nina down and help her out if she's not having any luck.

 At this point, she is the only person he knows, after all.

 After being plied with food and alcohol, this guy informs Zog that there is an information broker hanging around outside the inn. He also gives Zog two antidotes, which is nice of him.

 Said information broker needs to be paid for his information, that's what makes him a broker.

 To be fair, he doesn't attempt to charge when asked who Zog is, probably because he doesn't know anything.

 When it comes to information on the sandflier parts, we have to deal with yet another mini game!

 It's not so bad, you may want to grind some zenny if you worried you don't have enough though.

 The basic gist of this one is that you need to guess how much money he wants and you have a limited number of guesses. I think I went up to a hundred and fifty, but I can't be sure. He's not going to turn down too much money, so the only real reason not to overshoot is to save cash.

 In return for the money, he explains that there is a guy behind the tavern who sells the sandflier parts on the black market.

 Heading back to the tavern reunites Zog with Nina, who is in the process of being swindled by a con merchant.

 As protagonists do, Zog talks her out of it.

Nina, you're such a cutie-pie.
 Well, to be fair, she is a sheltered princess and isn't the heir, so it makes sense for her not to be super prepared for the world.

 (And the dude to the left of Zog warned him about the Highlander, so that's how he knew if you were wondering.)

 In order to get to the black market, they need a password, and the only dude who can give it to them has recently left town. So it's time to chase after him.

 He can be found on the trail between Sarai and the cliffs at an oasis.

That's a lot. Well, at this point, anyway.
 Don't worry though, he's bluffing. He gives them the password for free. Since they went to the trouble and all.

 I have my suspicions that he was originally intended to send the pair off to get something for him, or to demand the thousand zenny that he mentions above and there's a bit of a mini quest to get it, but they wisely cut that.

 I've been playing The Night of the Rabbit lately and that game is rife with 'you've done a thing for a bloke, but the bloke suddenly wants you to do an extra thing for no real reason'. It's a cute game, but that gets really annoying after a while. Capcom was probably trying to avoid that. Or they had more important things to deal with.

 On the way back to the tavern I found a dude who gives you information about varying things, like how to learn extra abilities and how to use combos.

 In short, you can learn abilities by guarding during battle. If an enemy uses an attack like, say, Burn, on you while you're guarding, you can learn it.

  It took me an embarrassingly long time to realise how to use Burn with Zog because it's not on the magic menu, it's on the abilities menu, which is one screen over. That makes it sound more complicated than it really is, but it also makes me sound more sympathetic with my shocking ineptitude.

 As for combos, if you have Zog use his newly acquired Burn ability and Nina her wind spell Sever, they stack up to create a magic combo. This does more damage and is really satisfying when you play around and find good combos.

 He's got a few other bits of information too, but nothing amazingly special aside from those two.

Thank you, dead eyed street performer.
 Look at him, he looks like he should be standing in front of a table with a child's birthday cake and a bloodstain on it while you ask him questions about Phoenix Wright's latest client.

 If that's even a he. Which just adds to the Phoenix Wright-ishness of it all.

 Back to the Capcom game we're playing.

 Now they have the password, the bar keeper who had been really rude previously allows the pair to head into the back of the tavern where a black market merchant awaits.

If you're wondering why getting the sandflier parts is such a massive pain in the neck, the answer is given by the merchant, who says more or less the same thing I just did.

 The answer is this:

 Yup, there's been a war. Against the Fou Empire, and we've already seen what they're like.

 So you can hardly blame the guy for being cautious, especially since the Empire has had a habit of 'hexing' places in the past.

 Nina asks if this means that he doesn't have any, and he tells them that if they go to a place called Sandflier Valley in the south and get him the materials, he can make them the parts that they need.

 So that's where we'll be heading next time, in Part Four!

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