TALES OF HEARTS To meet with hearts RPG "Grampa always said to help those in need. And for a pretty girl with a big chest in need, help them if it costs you your life!" - Shing Meteoryte "To the eternal tomorrow, spread your wings and fly!/ To gather up the pieces of your heart" - "Eien no Ashita", DEEN "I sure do hate big, garish ASCII art titles." - GreenFire1 Let's get the pourparlours out of the way, because I've got a guide to get to. I'm GreenFire1, known almost everywhere else on the Internoots as Caphi, and this is a walkthrough for the excellent game produced by Namco Tales Studio and distributed by Bandai Namco: Tales of Hearts. Quick note: The characters in this game are named after rocks. Lots of them. In fact, pretty much every single one. That said, I don't know all of the rock references. So I'm going to inform you, the Gentle Reader, of all I can, and if some geologist out there can give me a tip, this would be much appreciated. Also: I'm a pretty cool frood, but I am not amazing at Japanese. Thus I am open and welcoming to corrections. For that, or indeed for any corrections and comments at all ever, I can be contacted through [greenfire1] at [gmail] dot [com]. Finally, bear with me on directions. On the field, I will refer to north. North means up and to the right, as the compass says. In towns and dungeons, I will usually use traditional directions like up, down, left and right, because these do not always follow the same directions on the field. These correspond to what you see on the DS. There's an exception to this: sometimes, at intersections, I will instruct you to turn left or right or go straight. This refers to directions as seen by Shing (or the character you've set to display). I'll try to only do this when you're facing up so that it make sense. The format of this FAQ is UTF-8. If you want to read the Japanese text in some sections of the guide, switch to UTF-8 now. Finally, as far as I'm concerned, this FAQ is protected under an Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivative open license. This means that you can take it and use it for whatever you want, but I'd appreciate it if you would a) leave the text as it stands and b) credit me for the work. Thanks! Okay, enough of this. This is a walkthrough to Tales of Hearts, and through walking we will do. Without more delay, let us begin: To Meet With Hearts RPG, Tales of Hearts. ###### Version info ###### 0.4 - Menu guide, walkthrough up to beginning of Nibelg. 0.7 - Combat system, Soma Build/Evolve guide, Heal Stone guide, walkthrough up to the end of Artificial Psyche Cendrillion 1.0 - Changed Richia's name, walkthrough up to the end of the game, strategy menu, general cleanup 1.2 - Lots of cleaning up, list of moves. Secondary update: Updated Innes' move list with proper French. 1.3 - More cleanup, fixed Heal Energy percentages, changed some names (Richia again, Grossular, Ameth) 1.4 - Moves now have Japanese with them. Fixed the name of Kornerupine. Secondary update: fixed the names of Clinoseraph and Chlorseraph. For the future - Complete shop guide, ranks and details on the move list, final Soma abilities on the move list, and Japanese labels. ###### Credits ###### Skayle, for a lot of miscellaneous translation help, mostly "Sleeping Princess" Xellos623, for the proper name of Mobile Crystal Castle Cendrillion Sui89, for informing me of the way to get the two extra chests at Norquin Kurusu and Shadow_Rush, for being very helpful with Innes' tech names ###### Table of Contents ###### (search for the index in the form #XXXX# to jump) Introduction Version Info Credits Table of Contents menu - Menu Guide lmbs - Combat System sbse - Soma Build/Soma Evolve explanation heal - Heal Stone Guide wtXX - Walkthrough -01- The story begins -02- Emotionless Kohak -03- The first town, Cunos -04- Fear restored -05- The suspicious painter girl -06- Oath at Mt. Grim's peak -07- Hot-springs uproar -08- vs. Crystal Knight Chalcedny -09- Imperial Capital Estrega -10- Charault drowning in sadness -11- At Odett Sluice -12- Sign up! Raio Grand Prix -13- The Imperial Army's attack -14- The secret of Rignatol Garrison -15- Guardian Knight Kunzite -16- Chalcedny's Spiria -17- Escape through the underground waterway -18- Schehere, Desert of a Thousand Nights -19- Oasis reunion -20- Bridgetop Holy City Pransul -21- Fight at the Cathedral -22- Battle of Pransul -23- Cry, but take it -24- Let's go, to Nibelg Island! -25- Final battle! Zerom Fusion Silver -26- The "Forest of Thorns" takes off -27- What the Quartz Richia said -28- The informative Soma Link -29- The clouds clear -30- Hisui and Richia -31- Strong! Chlorseraph -32- Goodbye, Beryl -33- Find that airship!/Sad Soma Link -34- Quiet at the capital! ~ Peridot again/Chalcedny's Execution -35- Kohak and Hisui's home -36- Long-range Spir Link/Collector Strigau -37- Black Moon, "Gardenia" -38- Imperial Castle captured -39- Paraiba's speech -40- Bamel Volcano, Purgatory Dragon/Spiria right here -41- Entering Cendrillion -42- The calcified world -43- Platform of Hope, Jack Seed -44- Spiria of the World ###### MENU GUIDE #menu# Menu options, left to right: Item Battle Custom - Skills (after tutorial 1) - Link Attacks (after Gale Arc get) - Strategies Weapon - Soma Build (after tutorial 1) - Soma Evolve (after defeating Fear Lilie) - Accessories Heal Stone (after completing Penderoak) Library - Monster Guide - Collector's Guide - Summary - World Map (after completing Penderoak) - Battle Memo (after tutorial 1) Links (after obtaining Link Psistone) System And because people ask for this, Strategy menu overview Target - Target near enemy - Target far enemy - Target different enemy - Target same enemy - Target weakened enemy - Target healthy enemy - Target flying enemy - Target enemy chanting artes - Do what you want Off/Def Balance - Defend and heal only - Defend and heal preferred - Fight with balance - Attack preferred - Attack all-out EG Use - Balanced use - Use reasonably - Just use it - Go for it - Full power! -- (these are basically increasing order of how much more or less the AI will use compared to its EG regeneration) ###### Combat #lmbs# Tales of Hearts basically kinda wants to be ToDR Portable, so if you happened to have played that, you can skip most of this this. Replacing the original Tales system of TP is the Emotional Gauge, or EG. EG is consumed whenever you do anything ever other than run around like an idiot. This means using movement abilities, using a normal attack, using a tech... Fear not, though. Whenever you stop doing things, EG will recover by the value given by your EG regeneration stat. So EG really is kind of like TP, except it goes by the combo rather than by the entire battle. The plus side of this is that you can recover EG quickly by stepping out of battle for a moment, swinging your weapon a couple times, and waiting for the EG regeneration to take effect. The other gauge, the one that appears to replace TP, is the Combination Gauge, or CG. It's consumed at any time you give a character a command, either through the combat menu or through a Link Attack Panel. This makes micromanagement a bit problematic for veterans, but I think you'll live. A character who is in combat will drain their own CG when given a command. A character who is not in combat (including Support Cameos) will drain from the character giving the command, namely the player character. CG regenerates whenever you attack or use a skill. The rest of the combat system is contained in Soma Skills. Action Skills (see "Soma Build/Soma Evolve") allow you to hop backwards and forwards while guarding, double jump, attack while airborne, and even use your Hi-Ougis. Meanwhile, a Support Skill allows you to put up a magic shield, and others increase the effectiveness of some of your actions. Note that Tales of Hearts contains no truly random encounters. All enemies can be seen on the field as little blobs or wolves or birds, or, in the case of Zerom, a weird little pineapple monster on legs. Monsters will chase you around on the field, but Shing runs faster than them, and they get bored after a little while. However, if you are ever struck from behind or while moving away from the enemy, you begin the battle stunned. When you get the Sorceror's Ring, you can actually stun these enemies, which makes them immobile. You can walk around or even through a stunned enemy without triggering battle. ###### Soma Build/Soma Evolve #sbse# Soma Build is the new system by which stuff happens, rather than gaining stats and skills by leveling and getting new equipment. Here's how it works. There are three options under the happy little sword icon in the menu screen. In order, they are Soma Build, Soma Evolve, and Accessory. We are putting aside the Accessory menu for now. In Soma Build, you can exchange your raw materials (obtained on the field at Soma Points, from treasure chests, and from beating stuff up) for abilities. There are four types of Soma Skills. Parameter has to do with stats. The types are HP, EG, EG recovery, Body (attack and defense), Mind (technique attack and defense), and Sub Ability (hit, evade, critical). These are straightforward. You pay for them, you get stats up. Parameter is a little muscle icon. Parameter Skills also come in three sizes, Small, Medium and Large. Action refers to special moves you can do in battle. It's stuff like double jumping, air dashing, dashing forward or back while guarding... technical gameplay stuff. Anyone who likes playing Tales on Manual needs to take some, because the Manual control is an ability under Action. Action is the green pair of boots. Support is passive abilities. Drop rates, healing, a few others. Miscellaneous things that it's nice to tack on. You probably won't directly see these things, but they're generally nice. Support is a blue... icon. Thing. Finally, Battle. This is important. Battle is all tokugi and spells. Anything at all that can be bound to the B button goes here. It's the purple thingie with stars inside it, and you see the same icon on the menu. (That menu icon, by the way, is where you bind skills and set up your Link Attacks). When you've gotten a character enough of their own Soma Build abilities (which varies, as each character demands different reagents to power up), you can Soma Evolve the weapon. That character's Soma doesn't look any different in battle, but all their stats go up. In addition, each of the three Soma Evolve options offers something different. The red one on the top is Parameter Abilities and Support Abilities. In other words, after the weapon is Soma Evolved, you get only one new skill, but far more Parameter Skills and four Support Abilities for the next level. (Specifically, you get four of each Parameter Skill type, and depending on character and weapon, some of them will be Medium or Large). The blue one in the middle is Parameter Abilities and Battle Abilities. You have four new Tokugi to earn and a lot of stat ups, but you get a single new Support Skill. If you haven't guessed, the green one at bottom is Support/Battle. You get one small Parameter Skill for each stat set, but your full list of passives and techs. You always get the same set of Actions for any given rank of Soma Evolution. You can ignore these things if you want, but if you can tell what they are, there are some sweet moves available to you. I'm not sure how I played Tales without Backdash and Aiming Dash, myself. You still have to earn these abilities by exchanging items. Your choice of Soma Evolve only makes them available to you. ###### The Heal Stone #heal# The Heal Stone is received from Beryl after the party first sets sail to the continent of Oldmyne. It replaces the Food system of previous Tales games since Tales of Eternia, and is more flexible and powerful. When you open the Heal Stone menu, you will see several blank lines. "Clicking" on any of these lines will open up a menu with three entries. The first entry is the trigger. Most triggers are things like "All/any units under X% HP during/after battle", but as the game progresses, things like "Any unit dead during/after battle", "Any unit afflicted with X during battle", "Unit takes X type damage during battle", and so on become available. The second entry is simply how much HP to heal. This much HP will be restored to all characters once the trigger is met. These triggers simply add their percent value in Heal Energy points to the cost of the heal, and go from 5% to 100% in increments of 5. The final entry is an additional effect to be applied when the trigger takes place. These include the revival of dead units, a status up/down for 30 seconds, temporary resistance to status ailments, and so on. They add a variable cost to the Heal Energy cost of the trigger. An extra tab at the bottom of the menu reads "Manual", and allows you to spend your Heal Energy on anything you wish out of battle. Healing is limited by two factors: Heal Energy and healing charges. The Heal Stone has limited Heal Energy which is restored by Heal Energy points in dungeons, or by paying at the Heal Stone shop at the rate of one gald per Heal Energy restored. Healing charges are more trouble. It is the number displayed just in the lower corner of the menu. You can buy more (at a steep price) from the Heal Stone shop, and they are replenished at the end of each battle. During any given battle, the Heal Stone can only be triggered that many times, including at the end of combat. In addition, using the Heal Stone manually consumes a healing charge from the next battle, so if you plan to use it for healing, try to get it all done in one shot. ###### Battle Skills #arte# * - You must select the BLUE (Parameter/Battle) or GREEN (Support/Battle) Soma Evolve to get the skill at this level. SHING METEORYTE Tokugi - Kairenjin 海連刃 Kanji: Ocean Link Blade Soma: 2 Attributes: Slash EG 5 CG 8 Atk 150 Hits 3 Shing makes a single slice that hits three times. Ryuuseishou 流星 Kanji: Flowing Star Impact Soma: 3*, 4* Attributes: Strike EG 6 CG 9 Atk 160 Hits 1 Shing punches the enemy with Asteria's buckler. Chisaishou 地砕衝 Kanji: Earth Crush Impact Soma: Initial Attributes: Aerial, Slash, Strike EG 5 CG 8 Atk 220 Hits 2 Shing does a falling attack, slicing enemies and slamming them into the ground. Shouseijin 翔星刃 Kanji: Flying Star Blade Soma: 3 Attributes: Aerial, Slash EG 5 CG 8 Atk 230 Hits 1 Shing dashes upwards through the enemy. Shunjinshou 瞬刃衝 Kanji: Blink Blade Impact Soma: 4*, 5* Attributes: Aerial, Slash, Strike EG 7 CG 10 Atk 190 Hits 4 Shing stabs three times, then punches. Shippuusen 疾風閃 Kanji: Rapid Wind Flash Soma: 5 Attributes: Slash, Strike EG 9 CG 14 Atk 240 Hits 2 A short dash, a punch, and a short dashing slice. Hienshousen 飛燕翔旋 Kanji: Swallow Flying Spin Soma: 4 Attributes: Aerial, Slash EG 8 CG 13 Atk 310 Hits 3 Two upward slashes into the air, then a spin slash. Zesshouzan 絶翔斬 Kanji: Sever Flying Slash Soma: 5* Attributes: Slash EG 13 CG 20 Atk 310 Hits 1 A powerful upward slash. Shishisenkou 獅子戦吼 Kanji: Lion War Roar Soma: 4* Attributes: Aerial, Strike EG 15 CG 23 Atk 330 Hits 1 Shing projects a lion-shaped aura around his body, knocking enemies away. Soukouga 爪吼牙 Kanji: Claw Roar Fang Soma: 6*, 7* Attributes: Slash, Strike EG 15 CG 23 Atk 360 Hits 3 A stab-punch-stab combo. Toryuu Rengekiha 屠龍連撃破 Kanji: Dragon-Killing Linked Attack Rend Soma: 7* Attributes: Slash EG 19 CG 29 Atk 410 Hits 6 Shing slashes up and down, stabs three times, and finally slashes up. Shikoureppa 獅吼烈破 Kanji: Lion Roar Violent Rend Soma: 10 Attributes: Slash, Strike EG 28 CG 42 Atk 590 Hits 4 Shing slashes, thrusts, punches, and projects a lion aura. Ougi - Kuuretsusen 空裂閃 Kanji: Space Divide Flash Soma: Initial Attributes: Aerial, Pierce, Light EG 4 CG 6 Atk 180 Hits 1 A piercing, mid-range ray. Bakuenken 爆炎剣 Kanji: Burst Flame Sword Soma: 2* Attributes: Aerial, Slash, Fire EG 7 CG 10 Atk 220 Hits 1 Shing creates a small explosion with his sword. Raijinken 雷神剣 Kanji: Lightning God Sword Soma: 2*, 3* Attributes: Slash, Light EG 10 CG 15 Atk 210 Hits 2 Shing stabs with his sword and sends lightning down the blade. Raijinga 雷迅牙 Kanji: Lightning Quick Fang Soma: 5*, 6* Attributes: Aerial, Slash, Light EG 12 CG 18 Atk 280 Hits 1 Shing disappears, then drops from the sky on a lightning bolt. Shoukoujin 昇煌陣 Kanji: Rising Shine Formation Soma: 3* Attributes: Aerial, Light EG 13 CG 20 Atk 300 Hits 1 Shing slams his sword into the ground and produces a light aura. Toryuusen 屠龍閃 Kanji: Slay Dragon Flash Soma: 6* Attributes: Slash, Fire EG 14 CG 21 Atk 320 Hits 4 Shing slashes upwards and spawns a tall pillar of fire. Shuusouraizan 襲爪雷斬 Kanji: Advance Claw Lightning Slash Soma: 8*, 9* Attributes: Slash, Light EG 17 CG 26 Atk 380 Hits 2 Shing slashes upwards, then comes down with a bolt of lightning. Seijinzeppa 星塵絶破 Kanji: Star Dust Slicing Rend Soma: 6* Attributes: Aerial, Slash, Light EG 14 CG 21 Atk 450 Hits 5 Shing dashes forward, ripping apart everything in his way. Seieireppa 星影連波 Kanji: Star Shadow Connect Wave Soma: 6 Attributes: Aerial, Light EG 14 CG 21 Atk 370 Hits 3 Shing fires three crescent waves of light. Kuuha Tenretsujin 空破天裂陣 Kanji: Space Rend Heaven Divide Impact Soma: 7 Attributes: Aerial, Pierce, Light EG 20 CG 30 Atk 430 Hits Lots Shing rapid-fires a piercing light from his sword. Hiou Zesshouzan 緋凰絶翔斬 Kanji: Scarlet Phoenix Sever Flying Slash Soma: 9* Attributes: Aerial, Slash, Fire EG 16 CG 24 Atk 470 Hits 4 Shing slashes an upward arc of flame. Ganzan Messaijin 岩斬滅砕陣 Kanji: Stone Slash Ruin Crush Impact Soma: 8* Attributes: Strike, Earth EG 21 CG 32 Atk 460 Hits 4 Shing slams the ground, shooting rocks at the enemy in front of him. Senkoureppa 閃光裂破 Kanji: Flash Light Divide Rend Soma: 8 Attributes: Pierce, Light EG 22 CG 33 Atk 490 Hits 5 A combo of many stabs from low to high. Zeppa Raijinshou 絶破雷迅衝 Kanji: Slicing Rend Lightning Quick Impact Soma: 9 Attributes: Slash, Light EG 23 CG 35 Atk 520 Hits 6 Shing dashes forward, then up, then dives in a storm of lightning bolts. Shouha Ressenkou 翔破裂閃光 Kanji: Flying Rend Divide Flash Light Soma: 9*, 10* Attributes: Slash, Light EG 25 CG 38 Atk 540 Hits 7 Shing throws an enemy into the air, then pierces them with light. Juukouraiha 獣哮雷波 Kanji: Beast Roar Lightning Wave Soma: 10* Attributes: Aerial, Light EG 29 CG 44 Atk 560 Hits 4 Shing creates four arcs of lightning. HISUI HEARTS Tokugi - Harisuzume 針雀 Kanji: Sting Sparrow Attributes: Aerial, Pierce EG 5 CG 8 Atk 180 Hit 3 Hisui fires three bolts. Ressoushuu 裂想蹴 Kanji: Divide Thought Kick Attributes: Strike EG 7 CG 11 Atk 180 Hit 1 A powerful kick that knocks back an enemy. Kiritsubame 斬燕 Kanji: Slash Swallow Attributes: Pierce EG 8 CG 12 Atk 180 Hit 4 Hisui bounces four small arrows off the ground. Arataka 荒鷹 Kanji: Wild Hawk Soma: Initial Attributes: Aerial, Pierce EG 8 CG 12 Atk 240 Hit 1 A powerful shot that pierces through enemies. Hanaoshidori 華鴛鴦 Kanji: Beautiful Mallard Attributes: Aerial, Pierce EG 10 CG 15 Atk 270 Hit 4 Hisui fires four bolts in each direction. Yarikamome 槍鴎 Kanji: Spear Gull Attributes: Aerial, Pierce EG 17 CG 26 Atk 390 Hit 6 Hisui rapidly fires three bolts from each hand. Ougi - Kijinagi 雉薙 Kanji: Pheasant Charge Attributes: Aerial, Pierce, Wind EG 9 CG 15 Atk 300 Hit 3 Hisui drops three rising bolts of wind at the enemy. Tsumujigarasu 旋風鴉 Kanji: Whirlwind Crow Attributes: Aerial, Pierce, Wind EG 11 CG 18 Atk 320 Hit 4 Hisui fires a bolt down at the enemy which creates a whirlwind. Amadzuru 天鶴 Kanji: Heaven Crane Attributes: Wind EG 14 CG 21 Atk 350 Hit 6 Hisui fires a bolt into the sky, and a laser comes from that point to attack. Tobihisame 鳶氷雨 Kanji: Kite Hail Attributes: Piercing, Wind EG 18 CG 27 Atk 430 Hit 8 Hisui fires four bolts into the air from each hand. Maiuzura 舞鶉 Kanji: Dancing Quail Attributes: Strike, Pierce EG 19 CG 29 Atk 350 Hit 4 Hisui fires a bolt into the ground. It then shoots up from below target enemy. Tokitsubaki 朱鷲椿 Kanji: Ibis Camellia Attributes: Aerial, Pierce EG 21 CG 32 Atk 490 Hit 2 Hisui fires a ball of energy which explodes on contact with an enemy. Kazefukurou 風梟 Kanji: Wind Owl Attributes: Slash, Wind EG 22 CG 33 Atk 520 Hit Lots Hisui fires a ball of energy which moves in an arc, hitting rapidly on contact. Chirisagi 散鷺 Kanji: Falling Heron Attributes: Pierce, Wind EG 24 CG 36 Atk 470 Hit Lots Hisi spawns an energy ball which rains arrows downward. Heal Artes - First Aid ファーストエイド EG 27 CG 27 Restores 30% of HP. Cure キュア EG 40 CG 40 Restores 70% of HP. Nurse ナース EG 49 CG 49 Restores 45% of HP to all allies. Raise Dead レイズデッド EG 109 CG 109 Revives one fallen unit and restores 75% HP. Recover リカバー EG 73 CG 73 Removes all status ailments. Water Artes - Ice Needle アイスニードル EG 8 CG 16 Atk 190 Hits 5 Fires five ice needles in a spread pattern. Splash スプラッシュ EG 10 CG 20 Atk 290 Hits 2-3 Creates a fountain of water that throws an enemy. Ray Needle レイニードル EG 25 CG 50 Atk 570 Hits 8 Calls a pillar of rain upon an enemy. Aqua Gazer アクアゲイザー EG 32 CG 64 Atk 820 Hits 6 Fires a torrent of water at the enemy. Wind Artes - Wind Cutter ウインドカッター EG 6 CG 12 Atk 220 Hits 3 Shoots three small wind blades. Stream Arrow ストリームアロー EG 12 CG 25 Atk 330 Hits 3 Calls three wind blasts around the enemy. Cross Wind クロスウインド EG 23 CG 46 Atk 600 Hits 4 Four waves of air strike the enemy. Air Thrust エアスラスト EG 30 CG 60 Atk 690 Hits ? A chaotic vortex of air hits any enemy that touches it. Cyclone サイクロン EG 40 CG 80 Atk 980 Hits 8 A huge cyclone darkens the screen, sucking in and damaging enemies. BERYL BENITO Tokugi - Panic Cream パニックくりーむ Attributes: Strike EG 13 CG 20 Atk 340 Hits 6 Beryl smacks an enemy with her brush, then rubs it in its face. Orao Rush おらおラッシュ Attributes: Aerial, Strike EG 16 CG 26 Atk 410 Hits 3 Beryl smacks the enemy over the head three times. Dizzy Typhoon でぃじータイフーン Attributes: Strike EG 19 CG 29 Atk 380 Hits 5 Beryl rushes the enemy, spinning around. She is briefly dizzy afterwards. Ougi - Glorious Arch ぐろりあすアーチ Attributes: Aerial, Light EG 6 CG 9 Atk 160 Hits 1 Beryl swings her paintbrush and creates a short arc of rainbow. Chirechire Sand ちれちれサンド Attributes: Strike, Earth EG 8 CG 12 Atk 190 Hits 2 Beryl sweeps some dirt at the enemy. Slash Colors スラッシュからぁず Attributes: Aerial, Slash, Water EG 11 CG 17 Atk 290 Hits 1 Beryl tosses a piercing glob of paint through enemies. Guruguru Ribbon ぐるぐるリボン Attributes: Slash, Earth EG 20 CG 30 Atk 490 Hits 5 Beryl's paintbrush projects a vortex of energy. Hanama Loop はなまＬＯＯＰ Attributes: Earth EG 23 CG 35 Atk 460 Hits 6 Beryl spins her paintbrush around, creating a damaging aura. Boost Artes - Sharpness シャープネス EG 20 CG 40 One ally's Attack is raised 30%. Barrier バリアー EG 20 CG 40 One ally's Defense is raised 30%. Astion アスティオン EG 20 CG 40 One ally's Tech Attack is raised 30%. Resist レジスト EG 20 CG 40 One ally's Tech Defense is raised 30%. Water Artes - Ice Needle アイスニードル EG 8 CG 16 Atk 190 Hits 5 Fires five ice needles in a spread pattern. Splash スプラッシュ EG 10 CG 20 Atk 280 Hits 2-3 Creates a fountain of water that throws an enemy. Ray Needle レイニードル EG 25 CG 50 Atk 570 Hits 8 Calls a pillar of rain upon an enemy. Aqua Gazer アクアゲイザー EG 32 CG 64 Atk 820 Hits 6 Fires a torrent of water at the enemy. Embrace End インブレイスエンド EG 48 CG 96 Atk 1280 Hits ? Creates a huge ice prison that damages enemies within and without. Earth Artes - Grave グレイブ EG 5 CG 10 Atk 150 Hits 1 Causes a stone spike to strike from in front of the enemy. Spike Stone スパイクストーン EG 14 CG 28 Atk 350 Hits 4 Creates spikes along a stretch of ground. Stone Wall ストーンウォール EG 20 CG 40 Atk 620 Hits 1 Giant rock walls spring up on either side. Massive Rock マッシブロック EG 35 CG 70 Atk 750 Hits 1 Forms a giant boulder that rolls along the battlefield. Ground Dasher グランドダッシャー EG 46 CG 92 Atk 1100 Hits 6 Massive rock spikes assault from below. Dark Artes - Shadow Edge シャドウエッジ EG 9 CG 18 Atk 200 Hits 1 A lance of darkness stabs up from the ground. Dead Soul デッドソウル EG 18 CG 36 Atk 440 Hits 3 A column of rising ghosts springs up from under the mage. Negative Gate ネガチブゲイト EG 24 CG 48 Atk 490 Hits 4 A ball of dark energy forms around the enemy. Plague Maggots プラーグマッゴツ EG 38 CG 76 Atk 780 Hits 6 Evil hands attack the enemies from the ground. Hammer Artes - Pikohan ピコハン EG 6 CG 12 Atk 140 Hits 1 Drops a tiny hammer on the enemy. Pikopiko Hammer ピコピコハンマー EG 20 CG 40 Atk 550 Hits 1 Drops a giant hammer on the enemy. INNES LORENZ Tokugi - Charge Shark シャルジュシャーク French: Charge Shark Attributes: Aerial, Slash, Strike EG 5 CG 8 Atk 190 Hits 1 A single strong thrust. Force Rouge フォルスルージュ French: Red Power EG 5 CG 8 Innes' attack is increased for the duration of the form. Mermaid Jeune マーメイドジュヌ French: Yellow Mermaid Attributes: Aerial, Strike EG 5 CG 8 Atk 150 Hits 1 A rising charging kick attack. Ancre Press アンクルブレス French: Anchor Press Attributes: Slash, Strike EG 7 CG 11 Atk 160 Hits 1 Innes thrusts the blade of her axe forward. Morse Fang モールスファング French: Walrus Fang Attributes: Slash, Strike EG 9 CG 14 Atk 220 Hits 1 A single powerful swing. Angel Rosee エンジェルロゼ French: Angel Dew EG 10 CG 15 Innes recovers 15% (?) HP. Percer Shark ペルセシャーク French: Drill Shark Attributes: Slash, Strike EG 10 CG 15 Atk 290 Hits 4 Innes slams the blade of her axe forward, then thrusts three times. Mermaid Griffe マーメイドグリフ French: Mermaid Claw Attributes: Slash, Strike EG 12 CG 18 Atk 310 Hits 2 Innes kicks, then slams her axe into the ground. Orque Devour オルクディバウア French: Orca Devour Attributes: Slash, Strike EG 13 CG 20 Atk 330 Hits 3 Three strong swings. Ancre Snag アンクルスナッグ French: Anchor Snag Attributes: Slash, Strike EG 17 CG 26 Atk 390 Hits 2 Innes thrusts with her axe, then slashes upward. Guerrier Rouge ゲリエルージュ French: Red Soldier EG 18 CG 27 EG regeneration decreases, but Innes is immune to Guard Break (?). Rafale Rouge ラファールルージュ French: Red Wind EG 18 CG 27 Innes gains a Penetrate value when dashing, and her run speed increases. Morse Charge モールスチャージ French: Walrus Charge Attributes: Slash, Strike EG 21 CG 32 Atk 480 Hits 4 Innes makes one strong swing, then dashes forward while kicking. Esprit Rouge エスプリルージュ French: Red Soul EG 18 CG 27 Defense decreases, but Innes gains a Penetrate value against Artes. Vortex Bal ヴォルテクスバル French: Vortex Dance Attributes: Slash, Strike EG 24 CG 36 Atk 540 Hits 7 Innes strikes once, then spins her axe above her head, then strikes again. Physique Rouge フィジックルージュ French: Red Body EG 25 CG 38 Tech Defense decreases, but Innes gains a Penetrate value against attacks. Venus Rouge ヴィーナスルージュ French: Red Venus EG 35 CG 53 Defense and tech defense decrease, but Innes gains a Penetrate value. Ougi - Burst Glace バーストグラス French: Burst Ice Attributes: Aerial, Slash, Strike, Water EG 6 CG 9 Atk 180 Hits 1 Innes swings her axe with a water element. Baleine Breath バレーヌブレス French: Whale Breath Attributes: Aerial, Water EG 8 CG 12 Atk 200 Hits 3 Innes slams the ground and springs a fountain of water. Baleine Howl バレーヌハウル French: Whale Howl Attributes: Slash, Strike, Water EG 11 CG 17 Atk 280 Hits 2 Innes swings down and up, tossing her enemy. Dolphin Ballet ドルフィンバレ French: Dolphin Dancer Attributes: Slash, Strike, Water EG 11 CG 17 Atk 300 Hits 2 Innes leaps and swings, then calls a fountain of water. Bulle Blade ビュルブレイド French: Bubble Blade Attributes: Water EG 11 CG 17 Atk 300 Hits 3 Innes tosses some balls of water upward. Dolphin Cirque ドルフィンシルク French: Dolphin Circus Attributes: Slash, Strike, Water EG 14 CG 21 Atk 340 Hits 2 Innes swings her axe up, then leaps up on a fountain of water. Grosse Vague グロスヴァーグ French: Great Wave Attributes: Water EG 17 CG 27 Atk 410 Hits 1 Innes projects a big wave. Calamar Grip カルマールグリップ French: Squid Grip Attributes: Strike, Dark EG 19 CG 29 Atk 380 Hits 1 Innes grabs the enemy and damages, possibly stealing an item. Mer Tornado メールトルネード French: Sea Tornado Attributes: Slash, Water EG 20 CG 30 Atk 420 Hits 4 Innes spins her axe and generates a tornado around her. Icicle Epee アイシクルエペ French: Icicle Sword Attributes: Aerial, Pierce, Water EG 22 CG 33 Atk 470 Hits 3 Innes jumps into the air and fires a torrent of water downward. Glacier Bite グラシエバイト French: Glacier Bite Attributes: Slash, Strike, Water EG 29 CG 44 Atk 730 Hits 3 Innes creates a field of ice before her, then summons icicles from it. KOHAK HEARTS Tokugi - Saishinkyaku 砕心脚 Kanji: Crush Heart Kick Attributes: Strike EG 5 CG 8 Atk 200 Hits 1 Kohak kicks once, knocking the enemy backward. Shippuukyaku 疾風脚 Kanji: Rapid Wind Kick Attributes: Aerial, Strike EG 9 CG 14 Atk 180 Hits 3 Kohak kicks the enemy twice into the air and then once into the ground. Hiouzanka 緋桜散華 Kanji: Scarlet Cherry Scattered Petals Attributes: Strike EG 12 CG 18 Atk 320 Hits 2 Kohak knocks an enemy into the air and then smacks it away. Kuuga Ranshuusen 空牙嵐蹴旋 Kanji: Space Fang Storm Kick Spin Attributes: Aerial, Strike EG 23 CG 35 Atk 460 Hits 6 Kohak double-kicks an enemy into the air three times. Ougi - Kasenrin 火旋輪 Kanji: Fire Spin Wheel Attributes: Strike, Fire EG 7 CG 11 Atk 160 Hits 5 Kohak lights her baton on fire and then spins it at an enemy. Enbujin 炎舞陣 Kanji: Flame Dance Form Attributes: Fire EG 13 CG 20 Atk 300 Hits 2 Kohak spins around, producing fire. Hououtenku 鳳凰天駆 Kanji: Phoenix Heaven Drive Attributes: Aerial, Strike, Fire EG 17 CG 26 Atk 420 Hits 3 Kohak leaps, then dives wreathed in fire. Gurenkourin 紅蓮皇輪 Kanji: Crimson Lotus Emperor Wheel Attributes: Aerial, Fire EG 19 CG 29 Atk 380 Hits 4 Kohak jumps and tosses her baton wreathed in fire. Maou Engekiha 魔王炎撃波 Kanji: Magic King Flame Attack Rend Attributes: Fire EG 21 CG 32 Atk 500 Hits 5 Kohak makes an arc of fire in front of her with her baton. Heal Artes - Heal ヒール EG 40 CG 40 Restores 50% of HP. Heartless Circle ハートレスサークル EG 45 CG 45 Gradually restores 30% of HP to characters standing in the circle. Resurrection リザレクション EG 90 CG 90 Gradually restores 60% of HP to characters standing in the circle. Raise Will レイズウィル EG 67 CG 67 50% chance of reviving a downed character and restoring 50% HP. Antidote アンチドート EG 45 CG 45 Removes Poison, Waste, Stone, and Curse statuses. Fire Artes - Flare Bomb フレアボム EG 4 CG 9 Atk 170 Hits 1 Fires a small fire bomb. Flame Gun フレイムガン EG 15 CG 30 Atk 390 Hits 5 Shoots a flamethrower that gradually damages. Burn Strike バーンストライク EG 28 CG 56 Atk 660 Hits 3 Summons some flaming comets from the sky. Explode エクスプロード EG 36 CG 72 Atk 720 Hits 2 Creates a large explosion where the enemy is. Sunburn サンバーン EG 45 CG 90 Atk 1130 Hits 2 Summons a lot of fire from the ground. Wind Artes - Wind Cutter ウインドカッター EG 6 CG 12 Atk 220 Hits 3 Shoots three small wind blades. Stream Arrow ストリームアロー EG 12 CG 25 Atk 330 Hits 3 Calls three wind blasts around the enemy. Cross Wind クロスウインド EG 23 CG 46 Atk 600 Hits 4 Four waves of air strike the enemy. Air Thrust エアスラスト EG 30 CG 60 Atk 690 Hits ? A chaotic vortex of air hits any enemy that touches it. Light Artes - Photon フォトン EG 10 CG 20 Atk 190 Hits 1 A flare of light appears over the enemy. Spark Web スパークウェブ EG 12 CG 24 Atk 360 Hits 3 A web of electric energy damages and stuns enemies. Ray レイ EG 26 CG 52 Atk 540 Hits 7 A miniature star shoots several light rays at the target. Flash Tier フラッシュティア EG 37 CG 74 Atk 740 Hits 1 Light explodes from a rune on the ground. Starlight スターライト EG 40 CG 80 Atk 1080 Hits Lots Summons a lot of multicolored comets from the sky. KUNZITE Tokugi - Majinken 魔神剣 Kanji: Magic God Sword Attributes: Aerial, Slash EG 4 CG 7 Atk 180 Hits 1 A wave that travels along the ground. Majinken-Shouga 魔神剣・翔牙 Kanji: Magic God Sword, Flying Fang Attributes: Aerial, Slash EG 5 CG 8 Atk 170 Hits 1 Kunzite leaps into the air and projects a ray of energy downward. Kogahazan 虎牙破斬 Kanji: Tiger Fang Rend Slash Attributes: Aerial, Slash EG 6 CG 9 Atk 190 Hits 2 A classic up-down slash combo. Rekkuuzan 烈空斬 Kanji: Violent Space Slash Attributes: Aerial, Slash EG 8 CG 12 Atk 210 Hits 2 Kunzite leaps through the air spinning. Kuuha Souryuushou 空破双龍掌 Kanji: Space Rend Twin Dragon Palm Attributes: Slash EG 13 CG 20 Atk 340 Hits 2 Kunzite delivers two powerful blows using his left and right arms. Majinrenzan 魔神連斬 Kanji: Magic Sword Link Slash Attributes: Aerial, Slash EG 13 CG 20 Atk 350 Hits 4 Four ground waves in rapid succession. Kouryuugaren 咬龍牙連 Kanji: Bite Dragon Fang Link Attributes: Slash EG 23 CG 35 Atk 530 Hits 6 Kunzite impales an enemy, then punches it repeatedly. Ougi - Kuuha Senmeidan 空破穿命弾 Kanji: Space Rend Drill Fate Bullet Attributes: Aerial, Slash, Dark EG 9 CG 15 Atk 300 Hits 5 Kunzite spins into the enemy like a drill. Senkuu Kyoueijin 穿空鏡影陣 Kanji: Drill Space Mirror Shadow Formation Attributes: Slash, Dark EG 12 CG 18 Atk 310 Hits 3 Kunzite dashes forward, then zigzags back and forth into the air. Jaryuukouga 蛇龍交牙 Kanji: Serpent Dragon Combination Fang Attributes: Slash, Dark EG 14 CG 21 Atk 360 Hits 5 Kunzite attempts to impale an enemy and then cut it with all four blades. Jaeiresshuugaku 蛇影裂襲顎 Kanji: Serpent Shadow Divide Attack Position Attributes: Slash, Dark EG 17 CG 26 Atk 370 Hits 4 Kunzite hits an enemy into the air, strikes it twice, and then stabs it. Shinkuuretsuzan 真空裂斬 Kanji: New Space Divide Slash Attributes: Aerial, Slash, Wind EG 18 CG 27 Atk 390 Hits 6 Kunzite spins around in place. Makuuga 魔空牙 Kanji: Magic Space Fang Attributes: Pierce, Dark EG 19 CG 29 Atk 420 Hits 6 Kunzite charges up and projects a spear of energy in front of him. Shuneisatsu 瞬影刹 Kanji: Blink Shadow Temple Attributes: Slash, Dark EG 22 CG 33 Atk 470 Hits 6 Kunzite dashes up, down, and back, leaving two slashes each time. Shiryuuseneizan 刺龍穿影斬 Kanji: Thorn Dragon Drill Shadow Slash Attributes: Slash, Dark EG 26 CG 36 Atk 490 Hits 10 Kunzite stabs repeatedly, impales the enemy, then rips them apart. (The actual combo only reaches 5.) Spoil Artes - Spoil Weapon スポイル・ウェポン EG 20 CG 40 One enemy's Attack is lowered 30%. Spoil Armor スポイル・アーマー EG 20 CG 40 One enemy's Defense is lowered 30%. Spoil Mind スポイル・マインド EG 20 CG 40 One enemy's Tech Attack is lowered 30%. Spoil Resist スポイル・レジスト EG 20 CG 40 One enemy's Tech Defense is lowered 30%. Wind Artes - Wind Cutter ウインドカッター EG 6 CG 12 Atk 220 Hits 3 Shoots three small wind blades. Stream Arrow ストリームアロー EG 12 CG 25 Atk 330 Hits 3 Calls three wind blasts around the enemy. Cross Wind クロスウインド EG 23 CG 46 Atk 600 Hits 4 Four waves of air strike the enemy. Air Thrust エアスラスト EG 30 CG 60 Atk 690 Hits ? A chaotic vortex of air hits any enemy that touches it. Dark Artes - Shadow Edge シャドウエッジ EG 9 CG 18 Atk 200 Hits 1 A lance of darkness stabs up from the ground. Dead Soul デッドソウル EG 18 CG 36 Atk 440 Hits 3 A column of rising ghosts springs up from under the mage. Negative Gate ネガチブゲイト EG 24 CG 48 Atk 490 Hits 4 A ball of dark energy forms around the enemy. Plague Maggots プラーグマッゴツ EG 38 CG 76 Atk 780 Hits 6 Evil hands attack the enemies from the ground. Black Hole ブラックホール EG 44 CG 88 Atk 960 Hits 6 A dark vortex sucks in and damages enemies. ###### Walkthrough ###### #wt01# Sleeping princess in the Forest of Thorns Princess dreaming for a thousand years Long is her hair of emerald Like rose crystal are her cheeks Sleeping princess in the Forest of Thorns Never awakening from her slumber Damned by the poisonous thoughts of the devil with scarlet hair Within the spines of the Forest of Thorns Dream forever and ever as the world ends Now we are treated to a scene of a young man and woman running away from a woman in a purple cloak. The girl calls her "Sorceress Incarose". This is where we run into our first reference; "inca rose" is a name for the mineral rhodochrosite. After a bit of chase, Incarose corners the two against a cliff. The man wants to fight, but the girl has a better idea: she tackles him over the cliff as we fade to black. Someday, the black moon will fall And the white moon will crumble Prayers for release wither Consumed by the monsters that live in dreams And pearly tears, too, shatter Wrapped up in thorns, until the day the nightmares come to life... Until the hero stops the nightmares. ==== TOWN: Quiet Fish Village Shibul ==== Out of nowhere come fragmented cries: "Find...! Get...! For...!" and then an admonition to pay attention. A sword slash! Here we meet our main character, Shing, and his grandfather Zex. They are doing sword training, and Shing is getting owned again. He reminds himself that he wants to learn to use Soma, and Zex exposits that if Shing keeps thinking of Soma as a mere weapon, he'll never beat Zex. He says that the thing Shing needs is "here", and points to Shing's chest. Shing thinks it's his heartbeat, which Zex corrects. It's the thing that underlies spirit and feelings: Spiria. (Get used to hearing that word.) Zex then adds the unbearably cheesy line: "Spiria is the world's greatest strength... and the world's greatest curse." Also, with great power comes great responsibility, and also truth, justice, and the American way. He babbles on about this sort of thing for a while, reminding Shing to strengthen his Spiria, but Shing just wants to go eat. Zex sighs and gives in. After the meal, we get another round of exposition. This one is about Despir Sickness, the wasting disease running around screwing with Spiria, and which is currently afflicting our guest's neighbor. Shing happily joins in the exposition, explaining that using Soma, you can Link with someone's Spiria. Zex won't have any of this idiocy, but Shing reminds him of one of his sayings: "Always help a person in need, and always definitely help a pretty person in need!" The guest, knowing a chance when he sees it, says that the neighbor's daughter is pretty good-looking herself, and Zex immediately changes his tune. Shing now wonders what the deal is with Soma users, being that Zex is one and his dead mother is also one, but Zex isn't listening. No, he's monologuing about Zerom and what became of "her". The guest says that if Zex can't help her, no one can, and Shing continues mouthing off (for your, the player's, benefit) about how, to perform a Spir Link, it is necessary to be a Soma User. So basically, we're about ten minutes into the game and we've already learned about Spiria, Soma, Spir Link, Despir Sickness, and we've heard about Zerom. That's actually about all the terms the game is going to need us to remember, so keep them in mind. Hopefully the rest of this walkthrough won't be made of such walls of text. Anyway, Zex agrees to see the patient once and heads out, and tells Shing to (what else?) stay put. Shing takes offense to this, saying he's not a kid and he doesn't have to take orders anymore, but Zex disagrees, and tells him that his Spiria is still weak. Gameplay start! Step out of the house, and Shing continues griping that he's at the ripe old age of 16 and should be allowed to leave the village. This is the small, out-of-the-way village that just about every single Tales game starts out in. Its name is Shibul. Fortunately, you're not going to destroy this one or get banished from it. Wander out of the house and to the east. You're looking for bodies. But first, drop by the fish stand to the south and get "Sumeruika Cuttlefish" x 2. Okay, plot time. Bodies are to the shore at the north. Proceed there. Shing wonders if the two are dead, but they aren't. Attempts to apply CPR go... well, in a sense. But the two are looking for the Soma user Zex, and hey, we know someone by that name! Shing points them to his house and explains that he wasn't trying to do anything funny. Kohak is fairly convinced; Hisui isn't so sure. Incidentally, Shing's last name is now known to be Meteoryte. And you have also just met the Hearts siblings. Kohak's name means "Amber" in Japanese; Hisui's means "Jade". "Jade" isn't a very masculine name, but then, neither is "Hisui", so I'm not going to care. Kohak and Hisui find the house, but of course, Zex isn't there. Hisui accuses Shing of being a liar. Shing is not, of course, and to prove it, he's going to... show them Zex's Soma! This'll end well. Asteria get! Hisui is expecting another Soma, and accuses Shing of lying again, but gets the boot from his sister. Shing tries Asteria on for size, and Kohak warms up to him again, saying that a weird person can't use Soma. Shing nearly admits that he's never used Soma before, but immediately backpedals and offers to take the two to the Soma Offering Rift. ==== OVERWORLD: Western Continent Penderoak ==== Welcome to the tutorial. The first tutorial is the use of the A button. Fancy that. You use it to attack. Kill the wolves. The next one is Soma Build. You turn in items and get abilities. BUY CHISAISHOU. It's one Earth Psistone to buy and it will serve you well forever. Do it now. I also recommend Backstep and Aiming Step as soon as you can. The next tutorial will be the use of the B button. If you bought tokugis, the first one you got should be bound to all the tokugi triggers. Test out your skills. The third one is about the Y button. It's used to guard. Later, as you get Action and Support Skills, it will be used to Magic Guard (by pressing down with the Y button) and to dash (by pressing directions). The chests, in order, contain [Apple Gummy] x3, [Life Bottle] x2, and 350 gald. Kill some wolves while you're at it. ==== TOWN: Soma Offering Rift ==== The vault is sealed by psychic energy, but Kohak has been reassured by "her" and opens it up with some sort of beam thing. Elrond get! Don't get too excited, you won't get to use it for a long time. Shing and Kohak bond over their dead mothers; Elrond is Shing's one memento of his. Incarose decides to crash the party, hitting Kohak with her Coma Beam. Shing draws Asteria, but Incarose just dodges and fires a beam again. But wait! Zex blocks and does his "fly you fools!" routine. Shing won't hear any of it, activates his Rage Aura (tm), and paralyzes Incarose. He grabs Zex, Hisui grabs Kohak, and the two get out of there. ==== TOWN: Shibul ==== Follow the beaten trail and enter Shing's house. Shing panics at Zex, so Hisui pushes him out of the way and uses his healing arte while Shing angsts about how it's all his fault Zex is having a problem. But worse off than Zex is Kohak; Hisui's healing arte has no effect against the Coma Beam! Looks like you'll have to use... dun dun dun... Spir Link! ==== SPIR MAZE: Kohak Hearts ==== Trippy, innit? Welcome to the Spir Maze, which represents peoples' minds. Take a moment to drink in the surroundings, including the weird-looking monster that jumps out of nowhere and starts eating Kohak's Spiria. Yeah, fun times. Battoh! If you have Chisaishou, use it against the Buraia, the ground-based one. You get two hits and it's weak to striking damage, so you should own it in short order. Take out the Ekinasea with guts. Shing guesses that he just killed the fabled "Monster that eats dreams", Zerom. Fun times. By the way, you do have a time limit in this dump. It's called the Link Counter, and it's more of a step counter. Red chests will randomly restore the counter, and killing a monster also restores it. Just watch out; running out of Link Counter is a game over. Your goal here is to make it to the orange point on the map, the Linker Point. Later, rinse, and repeat until you're done. You get a little bit of Link Counter every time you make it through a stage. You can also leave at an exit point, if you really want. At the end, there is a giant crystal thing of doom, and a girl with long green hair. Shing does his usual asinine hotblooded thing, breaking through her barrier and everything, but is immediately distracted by the big pretty crystal. Our new friend explains that this is "Spirune", the very core of Spiria - Kohak's soul, basically. She introduces herself as Richia, an old friend of Zex. Shing finally notices that she has "emerald hair", and calls her out as the "Sleeping Princess". Richia tells Shing that it's dangerous now that Incarose has found Kohak, and to run away, but Shing would rather fight her for Zex's revenge. He summons up his Rage Aura, but suddenly changes tack. He says he never expected to find Richia in this girl, and starts advancing on her, looking like he wants to do something unclean. A couple of Zerom show up, but Shing's RAGE AURA takes them out. Richia panics at the Rage Aura, apologizes to Kohak, and retreats into the Spirune. Suddenly, Zex's voice comes out of nowhere. In one moment, Shing calms down, a couple of Zerom charge the Spirune, and... Shing is forcibly ejected out of Kohak, and her Spirune rises up out of her body and divides into a bunch of pieces, scattering themselves across the globe. #wt02# Oops. Kohak's looking a little out of it, of course. Not to quote or anything, but nice job breaking it, hero. Hisui starts beating up Shing, but emotionless Kohak tells him to stop. A single fragment of Spirune shines from her chest: Kindness Spirune x1 get! By the way, Zex isn't dead yet. Shing pleads with Hisui to use his healing arte again, but Zex turns it down. Shing touchingly swears he'll take whatever orders he's given, if only Zex won't die. Zex tells Shing to grow strong Spiria, and adds that it's not an order... it's a promise. Fortunately, Elrond isn't totally useless at the moment. Kohak produces a Spirune Beam that conveniently directs you to where to go next. Also, Incarose is back up. Okay, enough of this. Back to gameplay. You're exiting out the south end of the village this time. Oh, and you get a tutorial about Titles. They give little stat boosts; honestly, the best ones by far are the ones you get from doing a trillion battles or getting big comboes. The one we just got is "Apprentice Soma User". Shing comes pre-equipped with "Dreaming Boy". Pick whatever, honestly. Go down the path. (The sigh just says "North: Shibul Village", so ignore it.) It's a straight run to the next cutscene, which is an honestly not very healthy looking log bridge across the river. Kohak starts walking across it, prompting Shing and Hisui into a panic, and then collapses, which prompts them into a bigger panic. After a no doubt epic rescue scene denied to us, the gamers, Shing and Hisui berate Kohak, telling her she could have died. Kohak agrees. She's not afraid of dying? Nope, she's not afraid of dying. Shing tries to apologize, and Hisui doesn't give a gently caress what Shing has to say. It's a straight run from here again, and a sign helpfully informs us that south is Cunos (which I really want to spell Qu'nos). ==== TOWN: Riverside Town Cunos ==== #wt03# Kohak's Spiria starts acting up again; apparently there's a Spirune nearby. One villager remarks on how odd it is that Eucles' door is locked, and another one talks about a weird light in the sky north of here. But we don't know anything about that. Go southwest and cross the bridge. Enjoy the fight! The woman calls Pompadour a "peanut-size guy", which pisses off Pompadour excessively. He kicks her shop backpack thing, and she begs him not to harm her precious Soma. This gets the attention of the party, and Shing steps in to fight off Pompy. Afterwards, a woman explains why Pompy was so disgruntled; a bad case of Despir Sickness has hit Uran, the girl he's stalking, so Pompy was trying to beat some Soma out of the shop. The proprietor thanks Shing, who responds it was nothing, and explains with another of Zex' maxims: "Always help a person in need, and help a pretty girl with a big chest at the cost of your life!" She is flattered, and introduces herself as Innes Lorenz (look up lorenzinite sometime), owner of the shop "Every Day is a Peaceful Day". Hisui asks her for some Soma, but Innes can't turn a profit from the spirit of a brother fighting for his sister. Aw, too bad. Go up the ladder and head around, behind the waterfall, for [Dark Psistone] x1. Now go down south and run into Uran. She doesn't have Despir Sickness at all! But the stargazer Eucles does, and therein lies the problem. She runs off to the observatory; meet her there. The door is now open. As soon as you enter, Shing swipes a copy of "Sleeping Princess". What a thief. Go upstairs. And there's Uran! Shing asks her what the deal is. She doesn't have Despir Sickness, but she's worried about Eucles. He's obsessed with the "Sleeping Princess" story and thinks the moon is going to fall, and asked Uran to run away with him. The one with Despir Sickness here is Eucles... and he's probably being affected by one of Kohak's Spirunes. Uran says he's probably gone to Lagos Cave to the west, so chase him down! But first, meet with Innes. Hisui breaks down and says he'll sell anything she wants in exchange for any Soma that can help, and even Shing gets in the act. Innes sighs and lends you a Double Bowgun Soma, and Hisui thusly joins the party. Gale Arc get! Incidentally, this is where you get the Link Attack menu. You may set up to two (later, four or six) techs or items to panels on the touch screen, then use them to command in battle. In fact, you can also set characters who aren't in the battle to these buttons as well, once you get enough. Also, you can find hidden items that let you summon in other Tales Series characters, and even other Namco characters like Klonoa and KOS-MOS. Welcome Hisui to the party. He's an archer, a wind and water mage, and a healer. Yes, this hotblooded guy is the game's primary healer. Have fun with that. He comes with First Aid already learnt. Shing and Hisui both swear to protect Kohak with their very bodies, and gain the title of "Body Guard". Leave the village south from the screen you ran into Uran. Head down the path and turn west. Collect the Soma materials if you feel like it. The chest to the east of this map contains [Earth Psistone] x2. If you haven't bought Chisaishou, now is the time. Simply proceed north on the next screen, saving if you wish. The chest contains [Wind Psistone] x2. Standing at the mouth of the cave is Eucles, angsting about why Uran won't believe him. Hisui mouths off to him, and he panics and runs away. Come on, Hisui isn't that scary. (Is he?) Kohak's targetting laser now confirms that Eucles has her Spirune, so into the breach we go. ==== DUNGEON: Lagos Cave ==== Creepy, innit? Possibly also your first experience with flying enemies. Try not to let them hit you from behind. If you're patient, stand facing them and let them swoop at you, then take them out. A chest at the south end of this map contains [Wind Psistone] x2. The southern (left) path up out of this hole forks. To the left is a boulder you can't deal with yet; to the right is a chest containing [Water Psistone] x2. The northern path has a Soma Point to the right and an exit to the left. Take it. This next screen forks. The left fork leads to [Light Psistone] x3 and [Earth Psistone] x2. The right fork heads out to another room. Take that too. Go straight for a [Wind Psistone] x2 and then go down and check the fountain for [Ancient Stalagmite] x1. Backtrack and take the other path. You will be shown to a path back in map 2. Zip on through it. We're back on map 3, on the other side of that one wall. Save. The chest on top of the stairs contains a [Water Psistone] x1. And there's Eucles. He wants Shing and co. to go away, but Shing tells him that Uran's really worried about him. Eucles goes off on his ranting about how the moon is falling and if he stays underground with Uran, he can save Uran's life. Well. He's got Despir Sickness, and Kohak's Spirune is glowing inside his chest. Mind-diving time! ==== SPIR LINK: Eucles ==== We can't see any Zerom crawling around this place, but there are manifestations of Eucles' fear and insecurity; "Inner demons", as the saying goes. Well, they're all the same creepy crawlies to us. To the Zerom, too; one wanders in and noms down on the blob. Take it out! Hisui can't believe he's looking at fairy-tale monsters, and wonders if he's dreaming. You can't worry about that, you've got a dude to clean up. This is not standard Spir Link procedure. Apparently Eucles' mind is not that complex. The game will send you right to business. ==== BOSS: Fear Lilie ==== Ground-based punk. Kill him to death, backdashing when he's about to strike. (You did buy Backstep, right?) Have Hisui heal when necessary. It doesn't make much of a difference whether you command him to do it or have him on a panel. If Hisui is on his other side (which mine did a lot) and draws aggro, be a hero and hit Lilie in the back. Don't be afraid to use Apple Gummies. Shing collects Kohak's Spirune. Eucles is still scared, but he can tell it's natural and that he'll have to overcome it using his own courage. Well then, let's install Kohak's Spirune! And suddenly, Kohak freaks out and backs away from Shing. Oops. Now get used to Kohak saying nothing but "kowai" for the entire next chapter of the game. FUN TIMES. Fear Spirune get! #wt04# Incidentally, you just gained Soma Evolve from beating the Zerom! When you have enough Soma Skills bought up, you can Soma Evolve, gaining a new set of abilities. You'll always get a basic set of stat-ups, techs, a move, and a passive. Picking the red one gives you extra stat-ups and passive abilities, the blue one is extra status and techs, and the green one would be support skills and moves. A complete guide is elsewhere. Also, for all you Manual players: Manual is an Action (green) Skill buyable at Shing's second Soma Evolve level. It costs a single Light Psistone. Now get out of here and head back to Cunos. ==== TOWN: Cunos ==== Uran tries to approach Eucles, but he says he isn't worthy because he thought his own life was more important than hers. She doesn't buy it, crying that it's fine if he values his own life more than his, or if he likes the stars more than her, because... she loves him, and is happy just that he's safe. Awwww. Kohak, of course, is still scared. Shing tries to reassure her, but he's scary too. Oh well. With the lovebirds united, her Spirune laser goes off again, this time to the south. Specifically, the southern city of Henzera. Get moving. Oh, but on the way out, Innes hands you the Link Psistone, which unlocks the Link List option in the menu. There are random NPCs with Spir Mazes in need of cleansing, and this thing will let you keep track of the ones that you have completed or left incomplete. And this completes your menu options. The road to Henzera is simply the opposite way from the road to Lagos. Unfortunately, there's a bridge on the way, and Kohak doesn't want to cross it. Shing tries to reassure Kohak, but again, he's the scary one here, which Hisui wastes no time pointing out. But Kohak is also scared of Hisui shouting at Shing - "Nii-chan... loud voice... scary...." Hisui apologizes, and takes Kohak across the bridge himself. Our heroes now make it to a clearing, but Kohak is scared of this one too. There appears to be nothing she isn't scared of, but this time, she's vindicated by a pack of wild somethings. Now, you'd think Shing and Hisui could take out the monsters easily, but that wouldn't leave anything for our new buddy Chalcedny, Crystal Knight of the Valeia Church to do. He thinks Kohak has Despir Sickness, and offers to cure her with his Soma. You know, the flying one. Too bad we know that what Kohak has can't be cured by Soma. It can only be cured by more cowbell. Besides, we're Soma users. He can leave it to us. Chalcedny shows off his BFS some more, then gets bored and walks (can't he fly?) off. Press forward! You will see the entrance to Henzera immediately as you enter the new map. ==== TOWN: Merchant Town Henzera ==== #wt05# Welcome to Henzera! Say hi to our next target. She is an artist. When you have control, grab the chest behind the inn for 800 gald and a [Brau Liquid] x1 (?) from the other chest next to the ramp. Now head up the ramp and talk to the kid again. Shing tries to be friendly, but she snaps at you not to look at her painting, as you will clearly steal her idea. Shing has no idea what she's talking about, and the artist kid will have none of it. Now we head to the inn. The guy behind the counter is being a dick, and demands 300 gald for a room for three. Like we'll let that go; the last town charged only 100 gald! Luckily, his wife shows up and berates him for being rude to guests, and we get a free stay instead. Always a nice deal. After a night's rest, head back up. The armor shop guy calls Shing over and asks where he's from; surprise surprise, he's from Shibul Village too! Shing swallows it, Hisui doesn't. The weapons shop owner knows an opportunity when he sees one, and blasts the armor guy before inviting the gang over to his own shop. They chat about stuff and Beryl's work for a while. And this is the part where we run into Ecaille, personal aide to the business mogul Chen Ta-ren, who is looking for Soma users. Hisui's not so sure, as usual, but Shing thinks it might not be a bad idea to ask the local mob boss for some info. So off to the mansion with you. Chen Ta-ren's the fat thing across from the table. He thanks you for taking up his job offer, but we just want to ask him some stuff. Nope. Chen is a man who only gives free stuff to pretty girls, and if we want something from him, we'll need to "give and take". Besides, it's only a little job; there's a Soma user out there who wants his head. So we're to be bodyguards. And suddenly, there is the Soma user in the flesh - the artist loli, who Chen identifies as "Beryl". She says Chen posted her on an escort job, but thieves appeared out of nowhere and stole the goods; now the client wants her Soma as compensation. She accuses Chen of putting her up on an impossible job just to get her Soma. Chen claims Beryl was sleeping on the job, and furthermore, that since she ran out on the client with the collateral, she is in violation of contract. Beryl's not done. It's Chen's fault she's a criminal, and now her dreams of being the Imperial Painter are in ruins. In fact, the bandits were probably hired by Chen! That douche! Chen wonders why he'd go to so much trouble, to which Beryl can only call him a liar. By now, she's glowing with Spirune, and Kohak is resonating. Shing and Hisui try to jump her, but Beryl accuses them of being in cahoots with Chen as well. She teleports out. Chen wants you to track her down, but Shing wants to know if Beryl spoke true first. Chen denies it; he just likes to keep his losses low in case stuff goes wrong. But now he's glowing, too. Everyone in this town is so suspicious all the time. Shing and Hisui guess that Beryl is holding on to the "Doubt" Spirune, and Shing wonders if Kohak really has such an emotion in her. He wouldn't be wondering if he remembered the CPR fiasco, but whatever. Anyway, they take up Chen's job offer. Chase Beryl down! She's in a shack out the southern exit from the mansion hill. It's the one you can go on top of. And there is our quarry, Beryl Benito (a double serving; benitoite is a rock too). We just want to clean up her Spiria, but Beryl, of course, thinks we are out to steal her Soma and takes Kohak as a hostage. Shing starts playing psychiatrist, and Beryl falls right into it. "I can't believe in anyone, can't believe in anything, can't even believe in myself! I want it to stop! Someone... help me!" Begin the Spir Link. ==== SPIR LINK: Beryl Benito ==== Two Beryls. Because the first one wasn't annoying enough. Black Beryl accuses you of being Chen's accomplices and Chen of shattering her dream, nothing we haven't heard before. The white one says Chen was going to help lead her to success with her next painting about Heroes. Then both of them speak in unison, saying he lied to them to steal her Soma. That was odd. Shing thinks so too; it's almost like she wanted to believe in people and that got her hurt, leading to her raging suspicion. Head into the Spir Maze. It's got three stages. Shing wants Beryl to trust him. The Beryls try to call him presumptuous for forcing his way into a girl's Spiria and expecting trust, but flub the word, which pisses them off. A big ugly Zerom butts in, and Shing pushes the Beryls out of the way. ==== BOSS: Doubt Ritoma ==== He spawns Echinacea and is invincible while doing so. If you're keeping up a solid assault, they go down fast. Both Ritoma and the minions are weak to Wind; unfortunately, Hisui's Wind Cutter isn't very good at hitting him when he's airborne. Make sure you don't get so damaged that Hisui can't First Aid you. Ritoma casts Grave and Negative Gate at low HP. Beating Ritoma convinces the Beryls that you really do want to help them. They fuse into a black-and-white Spirune. Doubt Spirune get! Real Beryl's doing fine, but Chen and Ecaille show up. Beryl goes defensive, but Chen says she's off the hook; one Innes Lorenz beat up the thieves and recovered the goods! Hooray! Chen hands Innes the contract, giving her rights to Beryl's Soma; Beryl is outraged, but Shing assures her that Innes isn't a bad person. Head to the inn. Shing and Hisui are about ready to install the Doubt Spirune into Kohak, but Kohak is scared (surprise!). So we leave her to eat up and get her nerves. Pink-haired girl sees a chance, and asks the innkeep to leave a note for that girl's friends - that is, us. The innkeeper defers to "Lady Peridot Hamilton"... then reads the note and shouts at Kohak to run away! Too late. Peridot clubs Kohak over the head and disappears. Later, we receive the note. It tells us to bring the Spirune to Mt. Grim, and boy is that a name not to be scared off. And it's signed by "Lady Peridot Hamilton, Crystal Knight of the Valeia Church". Aw, nuts. But we have to do it for Kohak, so off to the west! Beryl joins us on this expedition, so, uh, Thiers get! (There's also a Poison Charm in the hut where Beryl was, but I didn't want to break the mood.) ==== DUNGEON: Quaking Mountain Grim ==== #wt06# The mountain path is crumbling, and parts of it are blocked by big stones. Above the big stones are conveniently placed little stones. If you can drop the little stones, the big stones shatter, and you can carry on. That's about the whole gimmick. A detour immediately in heads up to a Soma Point. After it, head to the right first. Again, the split up the mountain heads to a Soma Point. The low road passes by a crappy shack, inside which is [Fire Psistone] x3. The next offshoot contains [Faerie Tail] x3. Right after that, take the right path first; you will be taught about pushing, pulling, and rock dropping. Drop the stone and go back to take the left fork. After this is a straight run to another drop rock. Drop it. That's what this entire side of the mountain was for. Head all the way back to the first fork, and take the left path. On the next screen, walk straight for a [Dark Psistone] x2. Taking the path up the mountain, take a left for... nothing, except a scene of the mountain crumbling. Carry on, and go straight rather than taking the recently-cleared trail for the [Earth Psistone] x2 from the first screen. Now go up said trail, and the detour at the bend just has a Soma Point, by the way. Around the bend is the next screen. The path splits up and down. The up path takes us to a Save Point, and later, the end of a dungeon. The lower path takes us back down to a [Earth Psistone] x2, up to a [Piyohan], and up a long and twisty path to a [Life Bottle] x2. Along this long and twisty path is another of those densest rocks ever. You know what to do. After collecting the loot, wander back to the save point. To the left of the save point is a [Silver Ore] x2. Save, and walk the winding path to the very top. Peridot and Kohak are there! Kohak is crying because she is (what else?) scared of heights, and her blubbering is annoying Peridot. She kicks Kohak over, and Shing charges. Shing tells Kohak to run, but Kohak's paralyzed; Peridot grabs her! The poor girl is getting hostage'd far too often lately. Peridot demands that Beryl bring her your Spirune. Beryl takes the Spirune, and "trips" in the hammiest way possible. The Doubt Spirune is forcefully installed into Kohak. Beryl then tells Kohak to run away from the mean lady. Kohak doesn't trust her. Good job, Beryl. But then Kohak struggles out of Peridot's grip (using Elrond, no less) and runs away. To the other peak of the mountain. My, my, what have we got ourselves into? ==== BOSS: Peridot ==== She's fast, I'll give her that. Also her Flame Gun isn't terribly damaging, but it has a ton of hits and reaches far. The thing is, she's also a softie, so if you can lock her up, a team combo will knock down her HP fast. Command your forces and use the Link Attack Panels! Peridot whines about how mad her captain will be and takes off. But you have bigger things to worry about; the battle destabilized the mountain, and Kohak is going to fall! Shing tells her to jump and he'll catch her, but she thinks he'll just run away like Peridot. Shing jumps over the gap himself, and asks Kohak to take his hand. He says he can't run away, because Kohak's problems are his fault... so by his own life, he will protect Kohak! Awww. Kohak's morale doesn't last long; another quake hits, and she cries that now Shing's going to die too. Shing says no, believe in him and everyone else. Yep, Kohak believes, and they jump together. Shing says that doubt and trust are two aspects of one emotion. Trust Spirune get! Hisui tells off Shing, but Shing points out that it's the first time Hisui used his name. Hisui admits that Shing saved Kohak (twice now, actually), and actually manages a "Thanks." All's well that ends well, and Shing proposes they go eat. Hooray! Get back down the mountain. On the way back to Henzera, Kohak stops at the bridge. Shing says he'll take her across the bridge. Kohak asks, he won't let go of her hand? Shing says he'll never let go. Aww. They cross, and Kohak says that though she was scared, she made it... because she was with Shing. Awwwww. Beryl agrees, and Shing is moved to tears. Hisui isn't taking this so well, so move along. Chen Ta-ren greets you into Henzera, having learned a lesson about trust himself. But wait! The Spirune Laser is acting up again! It appears to be pointing to the continent of Oldmyne. Beryl has her own plans, mostly involving Innes, who, as you remember, currently owns Beryl's soul. Shing thought she was going to stay with him, being part of the party and all, but Beryl paint-squeegees his face and runs away. After food, you need to head south, to the port. So, uh, do so. ==== TOWN: South Penderoak Port ==== Meet our new ship and Captain Sango. Beryl is here too, to everyone's surprise. She ditched Innes to continue following her dream of being the Imperial Painter. And for her next work, the subject will be... us! Shing wants to know if she really wants him to model for a Hero painting, but Beryl says she's changed her mind. Instead of a painting about "Hero", it's now going to be about Adventure, which an idiot like Shing is perfect for. Hisui asks if he can beat her. Kohak says no; she is a party member. Shing welcomes her to the gang. Beryl gets the title "Agreement Evader", and you can enter the Field on the continent of Penderoak. The Field is all those generic maze-like places you go through; from now on, on that continent, you can choose to enter the world map instead, which makes life much easier. There aren't even random encounters. Talk to the guy out front to start sailing for West Oldmyne Port. Oh, and on the way, Beryl gives you the Heal Stone and the World Map. The World Map is exactly what it says on the tin. The Heal Stone gets its own section in the guide. ==== TOWN: West Oldmyne Port ==== Peridot is plotting with her teammate. Eh. The Imperial Capital Estrega is southwest of here. But that is not your goal yet. Just proceed along the road until the party crosses the path of some smoke. They head to check it out, and now you are in... ==== TOWN: Healing Town Goose ==== #wt07# Welp. There's no smoke to be found here. Actually, Goose is the obligatory hot springs town, which, of course, produces lots of steam... Shing's the only one out of the loop. A passing scuffle between a local girl and two young ruffians knocks Beryl and Kohak into the flower pond. Kohak starts undressing right there in the pond, flustering everyone. Beryl drags her away to the hot spring. You can actually exit west and visit the giant tree. A chest along the path contains 600 gald, and you can get [Tuning Fork Branch] x2 from the tree itself. Also, within town, grab [Hot Springs Seaweed] from the flower pond on the southwest end of town and a [Gelp Liquid] x2 from the pot outside the bath house. Talk to the old guy standing outside the inn/bazaar. It's a waste, as there appears to be a severe lack of Despir Sickness around here. The girl from earlier, Sasha, sneaks in to apologize for knocking Beryl and Kohak over earlier, but runs away. Chase her. She finally admits that she was really nervous and afraid of people, calling it "Shy Sickness". Oi, there's our case of Despir Sickness right there. But... it's already handled. The Crystal Knight of Valeia came in, went into her, cured her, and took away a glowing stone. And now that same knight has gone to the village hot spring. You know, the one where Beryl and Kohak are. Uh oh. Run! You make it there just as the three meet up. Shing, like an idiot, rushes headlong into the hot spring. The ladies' half. For his trouble, he receives a savage beating and the title of "Dangerous Predator". After everything is presumably cleared up and the girls are dressed, we are back to business. Shing demands the Spirune back from Peridot. Peridot says he's got a lot of nerve after that fiasco. Shing apologizes, but Hisui knows what's important here and demands the Spirune again. And then our old friend Chalcedny walks out of the inn. He's the much-vaunted Captain, it turns out. And he's not going to give up the Spirune, because it has the power to destroy Zerom and cure Despir Sickness. Last I checked, the Spirunes cause Despir Sickness, but whatever. Chalcedny keeps laying it on, about whether Shing thinks curing one girl is more important than ridding the world of Despir Sickness. Shing can't really argue with that. Peridot wants to know if she should beat some more out of Kohak, but Chalcedny says that the one they've got is enough. Hisui takes objection to this, but the giant-gun man from earlier smacks him over the head. His name is Byrocks, by the way. Chalcedny orders his unit back to the Imperial Capital Estrega. Shing yells at him to wait, but Chalcedny says his Spiria is wavering and that he's still weak. Then the Chalcedny Squad exits stage right. Fortunately, Hisui should be okay. Kohak still wants to get him some cold water, and wouldn't you know, there actually is some. Go pay the grand old tree a visit. Beryl finds the tree picturesque, and wonder if there are faeries there. And there they are! They're called Fluere, and Shing and Beryl soak up the sight. Kohak doesn't. Shing decides he can't have a world where Kohak isn't affected by such a beautiful sight, and Hisui agrees. With Hisui well and Shing's resolve solidified, it's off to the Imperial Capitol! Now Innes shows up, and says that as long as you're off to Estrega, you should take a letter to a guy she knows named Garnet. Hisui wants no part of it, but Innes knows a good shortcut to the Capitol as well, so Shing agrees. The shortcut is through an ancient tunnel called Andele Pass. Hop to it. Oh, and now's a good time to have a first run-in with... er, that thing. It's babbling about mabo and curry and mabo curry. Shing thinks it's a talking monster... wrong. Kohak thinks it's a talking tanuki... also wrong. It's "Windam!" ...yeah, I don't know either. But he gives you that Tales staple, the Sorceror's Ring, so it's not all bad. Try out the Energy Shot. You can't test it out on Windam, but you can use it on Beryl, which is almost as good. Note that you can indeed use the Sorceror's Ring to stun enemies at any time. Get out of town, loop around it, and take the southern exit from the map to get to the Andele entrance. Save and go in. ==== DUNGEON: Andele Pass ==== #wt08# For being a Stone Age construct, Andele is very high-tech. Levers and spike doors and stuff? Handy. First, go off north for [Dark Bottle] x2, then come back and go through the spike gate. If you don't feel like a fight, burn down the web with the Sorceror's Ring; otherwise, get trapped and knock yourself out. Go to the end of the hall, open the gate, and head up. Loop all the way around, handling webs as you see fit, until you get back to a crossroads. To the right here is the exit, down is a Heal Energy (30%), and left is more stage. We are going left at the moment. Skip the next paragraph if you don't care about loot. Shoot the switch through the gate with the Energy Shot, then loop back around where these switches are. Flip the one to the right now. Down is a [Black Scarf], an accessory which reduces Dark damage taken by the equipped character by 25%. Sweet deal. To the left is a puzzle. Numbering the panels 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Step on 5, 6, 7, 3, 4, 8, 7, 3, 2. The gate opens. What did I tell you? High tech. Go claim your prize, a [Blind Check]. Now exit. Check out the giant lithographs here. The left one is Hanekujira-sama, the Great Winged Whale, deity of the Valeia Church. The right one depicts a bunch of Zerom. Kohak is scared of it. Move on. Immediately in, up is Heal Energy (15%). Down is another of those puzzles. Same setup, this time the solution is 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 7, 6, 2, 3. You win another [Dark Bottle] x2. At the next cross, up is another Heal Energy (15%), and down takes you around the next two gates. It doesn't really matter how you get around. On to the next cross, where up gets you 800 gald and down takes you to the exit. But before leaving this place, go north and get [Phantom Bird Talon] x4. Ahh, sunlight! Save and prepare for a boss battle. And there's the Chalcedny Unit. Hisui wonders what the plan is. Shing knows what the plan is: "Have at them, full power!" Chalcedny recycles his argument about the needs of the many and the needs of the one, but Shing's not listening anymore. Chalcedny calls Shing a foolish kid. Shing retorts that if sacrificing one person's life to save the world is an adult, he'd rather be a child. "A fool who can't even get back the smile of the girl before his eyes can never save the world!" Chalcedny tells Peridot and Byrocks to stand down, and Peridot sighs that Shing hit the captain's berserk button. He's going to take you on by himself. He asks Shing for a name, and Shing gives it to him. "Understood. I'll carve that name on your gravestone. Along with the epitaph, 'The fool who couldn't protect a single thing!'" ==== BOSS: Chalcedny ==== Enjoy the music! Chalcedny flies, has two Penetrate, can escape comboes, and has stupid amounts of range. If you've got Shouseijin (the rising slash), use that. Otherwise, knock him out of the air and deliver death from above with Chisaishou. Either way, it's not necessary to win here, but winning nets you a bunch of exp, gald, [Light Psistone] x5, and [Gold Ore] x5. Gold in nature is chemically inert, by the way, so it rarely if ever forms ore. Lucky you. If you won, Chalcedny hands over the Shyness Spirune. Otherwise, he leaves. One way or another, Shing grabs Chalcedny's dropped pendant on the way out. Go forth. ==== TOWN: Imperial Capital Estrega ==== #wt09# You're greeted with the site of the massive main entrance to Estrega, the Zirconia Gate. This is what I have to work with, folks. A hidden chest in the corner contains 1000 gald. Inside, there's Chalcedny arguing with some soldiers. He wants them to find something important, a present for some Paraiba, but they're just making fun of him. He draws his blade, but Shing blocks it. He asks if Chalcedny is really about to kill someone over petty insults. Chalcedny says Shing doesn't understand his feelings for Lady Paraiba and summons up his Rage Aura, bowling Shing over. Some more Crystal Knights show up, and Shing is captured. Just what we need. Kohak runs off after him, but gets lost in short order; go up the stairs and around behind the shops. Kohak's about to run away again, but suspicious guy in an purple trenchcoat stops her. And wouldn't you know, this sketchy character is handyman Garnet. Deliver Innes' letter! Innes needs to deliver a couple Soma to the church. Hisui asks if Garnet can get them into the building. Exit east. Cut to Chalcedny and Shing in the church. Meet Chalcedny's dad, Labrado Arcome. He's high up in the Church, and he recognizes Asteria. Looks like he knew Zex. Labrado takes you up to his study, and dismisses Chalcedny. He asks about Shing's mom and grandmother. He knows Incarose too, and he's surprised she's still alive. Labrado then asks what Shing's in the Capitol for and invites him to join the Crystal Knights, but we are rudely interrupted by a couple of government officials by the names of Grossular and Kornerupine. The military folks want the Church to give up their stuff on Soma, and Arcome doesn't want the government to have their hands on Soma power. It comes out during this conversation that the town of Charault has been struck with Despir Sickness. Shing gets disgusted that the military is treating Despir Sickness offhandedly, and says he might as well take care of it himself. Grossular knocks him over and leaves, grousing about how the Church just produces undisciplined monkeys and what the country needs is trained soldiers. Back to business. Arcome offers his job again, and Shing turns it down. So Arcome beats him and locks him up. Oi. Shing gives Chalcedny's pendant back though. Chalcedny asks him why, and Shing replies that everyone feels the same when they've lost something precious. Chalcedny stalks out. Check the door to the northwest. Shing tries it, but it's locked. He wonders what everyone else is doing right now. Nice segue, Namco. Move towards the soldiers. Okay, we're in. Go to the left door and check the box on the desk. We've found Shing's Soma! And also the Shyness Spirune, if you lost to Chalcedny. Also check the bookshelf here for a [Peach Gummy] x2 and the side of the desk for a [Gryun Liquid] x2. Back out to the main hall, go up the stairs on the left end of the building, and exit right, then enter the tower and rescue Shing. Leave, but on the way out, Kohak's Spirune Laser goes off again. However, Chalcedny and his old man are watching too. Arcome recognizes Kohak's anklet as belonging to "Iola". It looks like we're trapped, but Innes is down below. It looks like you're going to have to jump! Arcome demands Chalcedny capture Kohak, but they're distracted by a blast. Chalcedny flies down, but Innes takes him out. Oh yeah, she's a Soma User too. Surprise. The party runs. So now the Church and the military are following the Spirune Laser. Better hurry it up. Innes is tired of her employees skipping out on her and decides to just start traveling with you at this point; Folseus get! Leave the Capitol. You're heading to Charault, which is north. Just go east and make the first turn north after leaving Estrega. Pass through the campsite, then go straight and due north until you arrive at... ==== TOWN: Lake City Charault ==== #wt10# By the way, the sign on the way here said "West: Odett Sluice". Pay attention to that. Welcome to the city of Charault. Or rather, the entrance. As the name says, Charault is built on top of a lake, so you need to ask the boatman to get you to the actual town. The people of this place seem pretty down for some reason. Even the gondola guy. Okay, so there's one person in Charault who isn't hyper-Despir'd, a girl named Marin. The rest of them have it bad though; a couple are ready to kill themselves. Hurry up and find the Spirune! But first, some crates on the left end of town cough up [Apple Gummy] x1. A bush a little up from that gives us [Edge Beetle] x2. And another crate back at the center island contains [Rainbow Fish Scale] x2. Marin gives us one good lead; an artist named Smisona. Beryl knows the name; "Tomorrow's Artist". But some time ago, he started making sad paintings of tragedies. Shing doesn't get it, but a lead is a lead. Off we go! He's out the west end of town. Beryl's excited. She points out "Dream of the Full Moon" and "Sisters in the Crystal Palace". Well, there'll be more of that once we cleanse Smisona, won't there? ==== SPIR LINK: Smisona-sensei ==== No stages. Just take out the Zerom. ...er, there's no Spirune here. Smisona is a disillusioned old wreck, and Spirunes have nothing to do with it. Oh, and he's been pretending to be blind all along. Beryl is understandably shaken up, but we haven't any time to waste. Marin shows up with another tip; a maid in her mansion up north. Away! Back to the center island, and take the gondola to the north. Looks like this mansion is a depression hotspot too. Carry on up, and there's the maid, Cassity, about to throw herself into the lake, and her boyfriend Alec holding her back. Hurry up and Spir Link! ==== SPIR LINK: Cassity ==== No stages again. Rip the Zerom apart. And again, there's no Spirune. Cassity lost someone and, as the old story goes, doesn't want to be responsible for Alec's death. Old. And a waste of time. We have another lead though: Cassity's employer, Marin herself! She shows up, reveals that yes, she is carrying the Spirune, and then leaves, telling you to come to the sluice to the west. Give chase! ==== DUNGEON: Odett Sluice ==== #wt11# Not much of a dungeon. There's Marin. Opening up the gate, flooding the city. Wait, that's no good at all. The party confronts her, and she jumps. Ugh. Shing jumps in after her. Meanwhile, the rest of the party closes the sluice to stop the flood. Innes gets the title of "Kairiki Lady". Shing and Marin are washed up pretty close. Collect Shing and Spir Link. We have a Spirune to retrieve. ==== SPIR LINK: Marin ==== This one actually has stages! The Grief Echinacea summon more of themselves, so kill them fast. After four maps of this noise, we find Marin with the Spirune. She won't cough it up, so meet the ugly of the week. ==== BOSS: Sorrow Daria ==== Shouseijin slices and dices. Keep up your guard when not comboing, as Daria's favorite tactic is to dash across the screen while damaging all it touches. Take back the Spirune. Sadness Spirune get! Kohak immediately breaks down because she thought Shing was going to die in the river. Marin tries to jump again, but Kohak reminds her that if she did that, a lot of people would be sad. Now backtrack to Marin's mansion in Charault. ==== TOWN: Charault ==== Marin apologizes to Alec and Cassity for what she did and asks Shing why he helped her out. Well, we know why, but Shing manages to be a smooth bastard: "Do you have a special someone, Marin? Grampa said that 'the smile of a beautiful woman is the most powerful weapon on Earth'. You are the most beautiful I've ever met, Marin. You'll defeat him for sure." Marin and Kohak are both flustered. Innes shows up with information. Weird stuff is happening in Yuraio - possibly Despir Sickness stuff. Let's take our leave. On our way out, Marin gets a visit from... Chalcedny, who asks if she's well, and calls her "Paraiba Marin do Rey". And refers to her as Her Lady the Empress. Oh good. He asks after the Despir Sickness in Charault, but Marin says it's fine; some nice traveling Soma Users came through and solved everything. Chalcedny asks if they were trying to fix a girl's Spirune; yes they were, does Chalcedny know them? He says he won't forgive Shing, and Marin tries to convince him that we didn't do anything bad. Chal gives up and asks if she knows where we went, and she doesn't, so Byrocks suggests they just follow the trail of Despir Sickness. Back to us. Go all the way east, save at the campsite if you like, and continue on the eastward path. After that, Yuraio is northwest. ==== TOWN: Entertainment City Yuraio ==== #wt12# People are talking about the "Raio Grand Prix", which, not to make too fine a point of it, is this game's Arena. Shing is all for it! Beryl isn't so much... until she hears the reward. 100000 gald. Isn't that always the way. The trash bins near the entrance contain [Holy Bottle] x1. Exit west, and enter the arena. Go out the north ramp and check out the pre- show. The MC is rambling on about heroes and courage and stuff. The crowd is eating it up. Kohak doesn't like the noise, and Hisui wants to get out of here, but then the MC shows off the trophy. And no guesses what's embedded in the sword. It's glowing, and the crowd is getting more and more hotblooded by the second. The MC asks, who will be the winner of the trophy, 100000 gald, and the title of World's Greatest Hero? The crowd and the sword resonate, and everyone believes that they will be the winner. We'll have to teach them a lesson, won't we? Shing and Hisui both want to be the one who wins the Spirune for Kohak. You can choose Beryl or Innes for a partner at this point. Kohak doesn't want any of this. She doesn't want you competing at all. But who cares what she thinks? She's not going to be the WORLD'S GREATEST HERO! Talk to the guy in the hat standing in front of the door to begin the party. It's you and your partner against a two-round battle against Hauser Egg and Mawsnap, followed by three Piyopiyo and a Coccoco. Monsters from the field. Do what you do best. It turns out that Hisui did well too. The next round of the game is at King's Cross, a tower off to the east. Shing and Hisui are still angry, and everyone else wants them to be done please. And then he arrives. This is Ameth. He's a womanizer, a douchebag, and very very American. Also his music sucks and he's hitting on Kohak. He's also the former World's Greatest Hero, somehow, and he's got the fanboys to prove it. Ugh. We're going to have to overturn this bastard. Shing and Hisui both agree. Innes and Beryl want his body. And again, I say ugh. Grab your partner and head out of town to King's Cross. ==== DUNGEON: Tower of Heroes, King's Cross ==== MC runs his mouth some more. Shing and Hisui carry on with their feuding. Finally, we are allowed into the tower itself, and Kohak, being worried, follows. Oi. Shing and Hisui get serious, and the party is back together. Hooray! It's all upstairs from here. Go forth, fighting monsters on the way. This next map is bweh. Grab the [Oil Nut] from the hanging vines, place them on the torches, and then fire your Energy Shot. This lights up the tablets long enough for you to read them. If you don't have the nut, the torch just burns out immediately. We're taking the left half first. Go up, take a left, and grab the [Safe Birth Shell] x2. Now go to the right. The chest here is a Fake, but it also has [Razorfish Fin] x2 if you beat it. Grab the nut, light up the torch, and get your first letter: P. Now go down. The right path is some more nuts and 500 gald. The left path is your second letter, A. Now for the other side. Straight forward is another Fake containing [Protect Mark]. Go to the right for now. The letter here is M, and there's also a chest at the end containing [Dark Psistone] x4 and some more Oil Nuts. To the left, you immediately find [Wind Psistone] x2 and, what else, Oil Nuts. Next to the last letter (U) is a Heal Energy (20%). Go back to the middle and enter PAMU. Battle the Fake if you want [Razorfish Fin] x5, and proceed up the stairs. The next floor has a Heal Energy (30%), and the chest on the base level contains [Panacea Bottle] x3. Up the helix with you! Another chest in the middle of the second landing gets you [Water Psistone] x4, and the one at the edge of the third landing is [Earth Psistone] x3. The next one is a rotating doors puzzle. Go north and head to the end of the hall to fight a Fake for a [Kama Frog Oil] x5. Now go down two, right, up, and get the [Dodge Ring]. Go back to the right and down all the way, then turn right and loot the [Fire Psistone] x3. Go back to the bottom and go right, passing one door for a [Safe Birth Shell] x2. Then go all the way right and fight the Fake for [Iron] x5. Move one door going north for a [Light Psistone] x2. Backtrack all the way to the lower- right corner, go two blocks left, moving one door, and turn up. Go through the door for a Fake battle over [Razorfish Fin] x5, then go back through the door and exit by turning that door again. We're almost at the top. Beryl and Kohak are scared of the height, but Shing and Hisui press on. Because they are going to be THE WORLD'S GREATEST HEROES. There is an [Edge Beetle] x1 and a Heal Energy (40%) on the base floor here. The floors on the next level will collapse, but Shing will notice a sound if you're about to step on a broken panel. If you're paying attention, you can make it through without fall damage. The chest here contains [Apple Gummy] x4. The chest on the next level has 1000 gald, and the last chest has [Light Psistone] x2. Welcome to the top floor. Plot is on the north side, but stop by the east for a [Strong Strike Belt] and the west for a [Wind Psistone] x3. Approach the north end of the Cross rooftop. Ameth, that dick, shows up on an airship. Shing calls him a cheater, but apparently there Ain't No Rule about using an airship to get to the top of King's Cross. Seriously? He jumps over you and starts molesting Kohak, talking about how he is (no kidding) KING OF YUUSHA. Shing has had enough of this idiocy, and Hisui has had enough of Ameth badtouching his sister, so Ameth gets out his whip. Time to show him what a real hero is like. ==== BOSS: Ameth ==== ARGH. He has bombs and a whip. He's not that fast, but he's annoying, not least because his bombs inflict Weight. He's weak to stabbing and earth. Shing's Kuuretsusen, Hisui's shots, and calling in Beryl for Stone Spike sounds like good ideas, but in general, combo him as hard as you can; he has a lot of interrupts, one of which is a triple bomb toss, so get in damage when you can manage. Show no mercy and know when to use First Aid and Apple Gummies, the usual. For your trouble, you get a Grade Counter! Ameth can't believe he's lost. He tosses a smoke bomb and dashes for the sword, but Hisui shoots the sword out of his grasp, leading to a picture perfect showdown between Shing and Ameth for the trophy. Or not. Ameth jumps back into his airship and flees. Dick. Oh well. We have the Spirune. Nope. Hisui insists on a showdown anyway. Shing or Hisui, which one is Kohak's "Hero"? Both of them summon up their Courage Auras, and the force of it knocks the sword (conveniently) onto the north King's Cross platform. Kohak tries to get it, but monsters show up. Drawn by the smell of Ameth' smokebomb, probably. Seriously. Dick. The girls are safe, but Shing and Hisui are in trouble. But wait! Kohak summons up her resolve and takes back her Spirune! Courage Spirune get! She runs out and takes out all the monsters using... something. I have no idea. But we have Kohak back! Shing and Hisui resolve their differences, admit that they were being dicks, and say that Kohak was braver than either of them. The MC agrees, and declares Kohak Hearts to be the World's Greatest Hero! ... Innes objects, to no avail. Kohak gains the title of "Brave Heart" and Innes gains "No Awards". ==== TOWN: Yuraio ==== #wt13# Anyway, after the awards ceremony, Hisui suggests everyone relax at the Hotel. You can now fight in the Arena, by the way. But it's about time for another meeting with Windam! I don't even care about this thing anymore. He adds a second function to the Sorceror Ring, the Energy Blow. It knocks things around. You can use it to stun enemies as well as the Energy Shot, but it has less range. Moving on. You can play a little minigame in the big open space on the way out. It's not hard, and if you do it, all characters get the title "Box Breaker", which is +30 physical attack. At the hotel, everyone wants to take it easy, but the fare is a bit steep. Innes asks Beryl to pay, and Beryl will have no part of it. Shing and Hisui ask her to do it for Kohak's sake, but that just pisses her off. She's tired of everyone doting on Kohak all the time (her soul is only in pieces across the world), and spitefully pays and storms out. Shing follows her. And tailing the pair is a face we haven't seen in a long time... So now it's just Shing and Beryl on a date of sorts. Beryl wants to go sketch the empty Arena, so head there. The date doesn't last very long before Incarose shows up. Shing wants blood for Zex, but Incarose blasts him into the wall. Beryl pulls a canvas out of nowhere and hits Incarose over the head. It's not very effective. Shing tells her to run. Incarose knocks Beryl out and starts beating her, and Shing uses some sort of Evil Rage Aura. The rest of the party feels the blast from all the way in the suite, and rush over to the rescue. Garnet tips Innes off that Kornerupine and his military cronies are in the area. Innes wonders why and what it means to us. Back in the arena, Beryl calms Shing down, but the aforementioned military cronies march in right on cue. Kornerupine asks what happened to his cute girlfriend, and Shing asks what their business is with Kohak. Beryl rages that "cute girlfriend" can't possibly mean her. Hisui's party shows up, and Kohak's Spirune Laser points straight into Kornerupine. Kornerupine starts gleeing about Zerom and Despir Sickness and how he wants to study them. This always ends well. He asks you to share what you know with him. You can refuse or accept. If you accept, one of the soldiers summons up his red Rage Aura and captures everyone present, so go directly to Rignatol. If you refuse, that guy still summons a red Rage Aura, gains red eyes of doom and monster strength, and tosses everyone into the arena before jumping in after them. Oh, and Beryl gains the title of "Canvas Attacker". After laying the beatdown on the evil soldier, head out of town. Talk to Innes about Kornerupine. She tells you that his base is probably Rignatol. Leave town and wonder down to the intersection, where you are ambushed by a bunch of soldiers, one of whom is an Evil Soldier. Innes sneaks off, but everyone else is very captured. ==== DUNGEON: Military Garrison Rignatol ==== #wt14# Path join up! Kornerupine wants you to spill for him. Hisui says absolutely not, but Kornerupine grabs Kohak, so you have to go along with him. He leads you to a small room. He wants to know if you know anything about the purple-armored dude lying on the ground. Honestly, we do not. Examine the dead guy and talk to Kornerupine again. Kornerupine reveals that he is a "Mechanical Human". He starts nerdgasming again, and asks where we think Psistones, psychic artes, and Soma come from... and Zerom, too. Just then, a soldier comes in bearing orders from one Captain Silver. Kornerupine whines about how Silver is always in his way, and leaves. Sergeant Morga says that this was a save by Kornerupine's rival, Captain Silver. Lucky you. He wanders off. Right about now, Innes is sneaking in. Unfortunately, she's noticed by Morga and gets into a scuffle. Back in the room, Kohak's talking about the precursor race that Kornerupine was about to spill on, the Quartz. (No, seriously.) Beryl asks where she read it, and Kohak says she remembers hearing it somewhere. Hmmm. Sarge Morga goes flying through the door, and Innes rejoins the party. Hooray! It's time to begin the exfiltration of Rignatol, and grab that Spirune on the way. First, head south, shoot the purple switch-ish thing with the Energy Shot, and head out to the cliffside for [Fire Psistone] x3. Come back and go down the ramp to grab [Life Bottle] x3, then go back up, east and around and take the elevator up. Cross the sky bridge and take the elevator down, and save if you like. Carry on up and right. Nothing is out the door, so take a left turn and head out to the big open space. A chest against the wall has [Phantom Bird Talon] x4, and out the west door is Heal Energy (40%). There is another switch on the right corner of the open space, so shoot it and proceed down the ramps. The big catwalk here is a dead end; exit and cross the narrow beam, picking up [Light Psistone] x3 from the other side. We're back on the metal side of the base. Go up through the door and pick up [Gorgon Shell] x6 from the chest in the small room. Head back and move out into the big platform. Behind the door on the upper-right wall is Heal Energy (30%). Go down and to the right, and trip the switch to drop the bridge to nowhere. Now you have access to where we started from, and you may save and get supplies at the machine. There's another chest to your right which contains [Apple Gummy] x5. Now we go down again. You can go up and to the left to get where we want to go, in which case skip the next two paragraphs. First we are going down and to the right, where a chest beneath the catwalk brings us a [Mind Ring]. Then we proceed down and left, to the elevator, where the chest contains [Aqua Psistone] x4. Nothing interesting is outside (unless you want to pick a fight), and the elevator takes us back up to the floor we started on. Go all the way back and down all the ramps. Behind a door to the up and left is a chest full of [Razorfish Fin] x3. Bottom floor looted, we are now going to advance. Go to the second level and take the upper-left exit, which brings us to what I will call the center room. Save. The lower half of the center room has three exits: the side exists, and the front door of the entire dungeon. The front door will be important later, but right now it's useless, and Kornerupine has locked the left door. Which brings us to the upper side of the center room: the stepping puzzle. Note that there are three consoles on the edges of this place, a red one, a yellow one, and a blue one. We will take them in order. First, the red one. For reference, I will array the puzzle as a grid thus: 11 12 13 14 21 22 23 24 31 32 33 34 41 42 43 44 It's that classic flip puzzle everyone has ever heard about, with a catch: you are stepping on things rather than merely flipping them. To which I say ugh. Let's get the party started. Shoot the red console with the Sorceror Ring; either mode will do. You can shoot the console again to reset the puzzle. A solution is 43, 33, 34, 12, 22, 21. You can reverse either half if you want, but there you go. With the door open, claim your [Dark Psistone] x3. Now shoot the blue one. The blue one is honestly kind of sad. The solution, for all you slow learners, is to step on 42. You win 1200 gald. Finally, shoot the yellow console. The solution is to walk over any two opposite edges: for example, 11, 21, 31, 41 and 44, 34, 24, 14. Find a [Consent Mark] behind the door. Now for the final puzzle. If it goes away, shoot any of the puzzle consoles to make it appear and reset it. Just walk over 12, 22, 21, which reduces the puzzle to the lion head puzzle. Solve it like a champion, save, and walk through. And, uh. Zerom Jars. Kornerupine is using the Spirune to spawn angry angry Zerom, which he is fusing to humans to create monster humans. With Rage Auras, red eyes, and monster strength. He calls himself a genius for engineering such a thing, too. Dick has ceased to describe this man. Innes tells him off and adds that he has a tiny penis, so he releases the Zerom-soldiers and runs for it. Fight for everlasting peace! From this point, the base will be full of Zerom-soldiers. Step carefully. On the plus side, they've gained a weakness to light-element. On the minus side, they've also gained the ability to cast Grave and Spike Stone. Kornerupine is fleeing out the right exit. Chase him, but he's locked the door behind him. The Spirune Laser confirms that he's moving upward. Go out the left door, which is now unlocked. The opening in the top-right wall yields a chest of [Earth Psistone] x4. Shoot the switch while you're at it, but don't take that catwalk. It'll be important later, but it's useless at the moment. Instead, you want the top catwalk, which takes you to an elevator. You can take this elevator up or down. Take it down first. An elevator shaft down is here, but the elevator itself is missing. Don't worry about it for now. A cave leads up into a small room with [Wind Psistone] x6. Take the big catwalk down, leave, and go around outside. Pick up 1500 gald, and then shoot the switch to get a shortcut back to where we were. Take the elevator all the way up, then take the other elevator all the way up. Make a left turn down to another cave room. Get the [Safe Birth Shell] x4 and Heal Energy (30%), then go back out and zap the switch. Recognize this place? Good, because we're headed back to the big bridge o' doom. Save and take the elevator up, and get onto the bridge. Confront Kornerupine! Innes and Shing make short work of the Zerom-dude minion. Kornerupine whines about how those things are supposed to be invincible. Neither the Church nor Silver recognize his genius. Shing tells him off (quoting Innes and everything, unsuccessfully), and Kornerupine snaps. If no one recognizes his great genius, he'll just... smash them all to death! He fuses the Zerom in the soldier to his Anger Spirune, then to himself. Aw nuts. ==== BOSS: Kornerupine ==== That One Boss. You know the one. No one likes this douchebag. He has invincibility on practically everything he does, and that one bloody rolling attack. Make the most of your combo work, and use Kohak's spells and Shing's Bakuenken when possible. Try to let him move as little as possible. "Lorenz... child... Silver... the Sorceress... no one realizes my talent!" Well, that explains a lot. Shing beats down the Zerom, and we can take back Kohak's anger. Shing hesitates before installing it, and Zerom-soldiers show up. One of them growls about how he must kill you for the sake of peace. It's Sarge! Kohak doesn't want to kill him, but it can't be helped; he smacks Kohak, and the Spirune goes flying in the ensuing scuffle. Sarge advances on Kohak. Looks like we're screwed. A familiar purple Mechanical Humanoid shows up. Woo! He takes out Sarge and all the rest of the Zerom-soldiers, then leaves. Innes mumbles about the revival of Quartzia's legacy, and more Zerom-people show up. Innes grabs Kohak and the Spirune and tells you to leave Kohak to her, and to go "where the letter goes". The robot comes back, and the team makes a run for it while he handles the Zerom-soldiers. As you flee, the robot calls after you to halt. Skits immediately afterward explain to the slow that a) you are to find Garnet, and b) Shing has no idea what innuendo is. Hisui hasn't the heart to explain. In any case, you now meet a traveling family with the Caravan Guild by the names of Orb and Cindy. They're on their way to the Imperial Capitol, but from here, the fastest way is through Dozmore Forest, a dangerous route full of monsters and evil things. And they have a little daughter, Ann, with them. Wait, Imperial Capitol Estrega? We're going there! You sign on with the Caravan, and Orb offers his goods in gratitude. Resupply here however you wish. Cindy (the blonde) sells accessories and Heal Stone stuff (identical to the shop in Yuraio, actually), and Orb has a supplies shop and a Materials shop. Say yes to the second question Orb asks you to advance to Dozmore Forest. ==== DUNGEON: Dozmore, the Scary Path ==== #wt15# Take a right branch for [Panacea Bottle] x4. Nothing important is on the next straight forward, so fight a monster/get a Soma Point of you wish, and turn left. Follow this path to its end for a [Reverse Charm], and go west to see a scene where Orb breaks down some sort of force wall thing. Ann is impatient and rushes forward, but is shortly ambushed by a monster. Robot to the rescue! Beryl identifies him as "the monster from the garrison". The machine introduces itself as not a monster, but "Identification code IS206-mark-11 Jack-type Mechanoid". Unwieldy. He helpfully supplies us with the original identification code his master assigned him: "Kunzite". Much better. Hisui wants to know what he wants with us. His directional system is malfunctional, and he needs to get to Estrega. Once again, that's where we're going! Shing welcomes Kunzite to travel with the party, and introduces himself. Hisui wants nothing to do with Kunzite, but Shing points out that he saved Ann, and besides, he's got a Soma on his arm. He can't be a monster. Kunzite joins the party, and Vex get! I like Kunzite. He's lacking on Attack for some reason, but he has decent HP and outrageous EG regeneration, which makes him an amazing tank. As far as Battle Skills, he has the "Spoil" series of debuff spells, and the tech list I believe is commonly known as "Judas style", as well as a Dark/Wind spell list. Update his Soma Build if you plan to use him. By the way, a skit here reveals that he is a "Guardian Knight", a mechanical servitor equipped with an artificial Spiria. Just in case you care. Keep moving. Go south at the fork and shoot the tree with the Energy Blow, knocking it into the river. It will stop at a convenient couple of rocks downstream, enabling you to cross. Not the most amazing puzzle in the world, but whatever. Go back and take the north road, and cross your new bridge. Don't go straight here. Bump off to the left instead. First, take the up path and burn down the plant stuff with the Energy Shot, revealing a [Hitter Mark]. Turn around and take the exit south. Make the first right and fire the Energy Blow into the boulder. Then go back, continue south, and shoot the dead tree. You know how this works now. Backtrack all the way to the fork on the previous map. Now you may take the straight road south and cross the bridge. The only thing of note for the rest of this map is a [Lost Vine] x3 behind the burnable plants. Beryl wants to rest, but Ann wants to hurry up to Estrega. Why? A marriage promise! Shing finds the whole thing very lovely, and Hisui thinks he's imagining Kohak. Kunzite recognizes the name: the current "vessel" of Richia. Hisui thinks Richia is some sort of ghost or fairy; she's the "she" Kohak thinks has been inside her for a long time. Beryl and Hisui are both skeptical of the whole thing, but Shing knows that Richia exists. He's met her: the emerald-haired woman inside Kohak's Spir Maze, remember? Ann wants less talk and more walk, and so does Hisui. Press onward! We come upon a save point and a Heal Energy (100%). Go right and down. There's a path to the right here, but the only thing down there are monsters. Further down is more burnables to the left. Fry them and pass, and on the next screen, fire your Energy Blow into the rock and pick up the [Feat Mark] on your way out. Head back to the save point, and go left. Cross one bridge, and continue left without turning. Follow the winding path to another intersection, and turn to the right. On the next screen, cross the dry riverbed and then blow up the other rock with the Energy Blow. Go back to the previous screen and take the road down, crossing the dry river once again. Shoot the dead tree, and go all the way back to the bridge on the previous screen. This time, take the path down, crossing another bridge, and go over the tree bridge on the next screen. Run down the dry river. It looks like you're home free, but monsters suddenly appear in droves. Damn. Shing yells at Kunzite to cover Ann, but Kunzite says that we can handle these monsters ourselves and that his business with us is over. The party somehow handles all the monsters, but Ann is very scared, and Shing and Hisui are very pissed. Kunzite gets the title of "Cold-hearted Mechanoid". The first path after this to the right gets us nothing of importance, and neither do the crossroads; actually, the whole thing serves no purpose other than to trace a giant swastika in the middle of the forest. Maybe the game is urging us to be at peace with nature. Or maybe some level designer over at NTS got bored. I don't care, so ignore the two intersections and go straight. We're out of the dungeon! Save at the campsite. Estrega is more-or-less due west. ==== TOWN: Imperial Capitol Estrega ==== #wt16# When you get there, Orb gives you a [Anti-magnetic Psistone]. Chalcedny is reporting to his father along with the rest of the Chalcedny Squad (and getting chewed out for failing so hard) when Her Excellency the Empress drops by on a visit. And oh look, it's our old friend Paraiba Marin do Rey! Marin asks Arcome not to scold Chal too hard, and the two discuss the events of the last few Spirunes. Meanwhile, Kohak and Innes are already in town. Kohak wonders why Innes hasn't installed the Spirune. Innes says she has something to ask about the Spirune, but Chal butts in. Byrocks sneaks in and gets Innes at gunpoint, and Chal calls her a smuggler and tells her to cough up the Spirune. Chal then asks where Shing is, declaring that he can't run away. Kohak starts, "Shing--", which is, of course, Shing's cue to jump in: "won't run!" He smacks Byrocks out of the way, and Hisui and Beryl join the party. Chalcedny says he's glad he met Shing here, but there's no time; the military is up to bad things, and war is on the horizon. Chal doesn't want to hear it from the guy who values one girl over the world. The military sucks anyway, and he can just cut them down. Kohak says that they aren't normal soldiers, but Zerom-soldiers who know no fear or pain. Her Majesty the Empress steps in and tells Chalcedny that you helped her out. Well, that shuts him up. She begs Chal to listen to what we have to say, and just to rub it in, asks where the old, kind Chalcedny went. She doesn't understand Chalcedny anymore. Chal can't take it; not when he became an adult for her sake. And there goes the Anger Spirune. Damn. Chal angsts some more about how she doesn't understand his feelings and summons his Super Rage Aura. Byrocks calms him down, and Chalcedny faints. Byrocks Spir Links. You have Kohak and Innes back. Set up your party, update Soma Builds, and Spir Link! ==== SPIR LINK: Chalcedny Arcome ==== Kunzite follows Kohak into Chalcedny just as the Spirune Laser goes off. He asks what the laser is and what happened to Richia, and Hisui explains the thing with the shattered Spirune, carefully leaving out the bit where Shing is responsible. Kunzite joins up with you again, theorizing that restoring Kohak's Spirune will also bring back his master. Three maps later, Byrocks has cleared Chal's Spirune of Zerom, and there's Kohak's anger. He tries to grab it, but the Spirune starts glowing. The party arrives, and Kunzite confirms Richia's mental pattern in the Spirune. He declares that he will save his master. Byrocks won't let him have the Spirune. ==== BOSS: Byrocks ==== He shoots and he casts spells, mostly Flash Tear. Fun times. Try to get up close and combo him into the ground. Just pay attention when he's flashing, because he's usually casting. Sometimes you can knock him out of it, but not always. Be ready to Magic Guard. Byrocks still wants to fight, but a second Spirune in the form of Kid Chalcedny intervenes. He hates bullying, because his dad would always make Paraiba sad and he couldn't do anything. (Did we get that he loves Paraiba yet? Just making sure. There are always slow kids.) He wanted to become strong so that he could make a land where Paraiba always laughed and was happy. That was his dream... Aww. Kunzite's going to grab the Spirune anyway, but Dream Spirune Chalcedny says he won't forgive anyone who stands in his way, be they the military, his dad, or Shing. Then he kicks everyone out of his Spir Maze! Kunzite returns Kohak's Spirune, despite Shing's protests. Anger Spirune get! Kohak gets back her anger and gives Shing some sort of look. Chalcedny gets up and rages some more, but immediately notices his beloved Empress lying on the ground, knocked out by his Rage Aura. Oops. Paraiba tries to tell him to listen again, but the military shows up. They tell Chalcedny to come with them, and he surrenders in penance for hurting Paraiba. Byrocks decides this won't do, grabs Chal and escapes using his BFG. The soldiers are about to give chase, but get distracted by our party. You know, we just escaped from Rignatol? Good times. The party runs too. Make like you're about to leave, and everyone ducks into an alley. There are now warrants out for Chalcedny, Byrocks, and Shing's entire party. And the gates have been sealed. Chal and Byrocks have skipped town to the Holy City Pransul off to the north. Looks like it'll be a war, all right... between the Valeia Church and the military. Splendid. Go find Garnet. He's in the same place he was last time, and he's going to help us get out of here. Head west, to the jail. Garnet makes like he's nicked you. But really, you're going to jailbreak immediately... underground. Open up the grate at the back of the room and hop in. Garnet joins up with Incarose and Grossular to do a "just as planned" routine. We can't catch a break. Enjoy the sewers! ==== DUNGEON: Capitol Underground Waterway ==== #wt17# Shing helps Kohak down, but they immediately go back to not talking. Can you feel the UST? Save. A word on the structure of this dump. The main channel has three rooms plus an inlet on the north end and an outlet on the south end. Branches extend to the east and west, sometimes capped with reservoirs and lesser outlets. We come in on the west branch of the middle channel room. Go out to the main channel, shoot the light, and immediately turn around. Run down to the water-level-reduced room and pick up a [Waste Charm], then go around and back to the entry room for a [Blue Scarf]. Go back to the main channel (you'll know it by the light thingies along it) and go left-down. Shoot this light, too. Carry on to the end room, where a chest yields [Mini Mamster Teeth] x3. Now go under the water flow and turn around to the other side of the main channel. Take a right on the closer side of the channel and follow it to the reservoir. A chest here awards 2000 gald, and just on the other side is Heal Energy (500). Go back to the main channel and cross the bridge; don't bother with the other side of the stream. Turn again in the second room, on the south side. At the end of a really long hallway is a pool and our exit, but first, go back up the long hallway and grab the [Continuation Bracelet]. Go all the way back and save. There's nothing else interesting in this dungeon, though there's another save point and a Heal Energy (60%) at the north end of the main channel, and a Heal Energy (40%) at a location we will be visiting at a later time. Having saved, ensure you are prepared for a battle and exit. Everyone's pleased to be outside again, but Kohak is still miffed. Shing says he understands if she's mad that he broke her Spirune, but he... Kunzite interrupts. He was told that the person who broke Kohak's Spirune was the Soma Knight of the Church. Dammit, Hisui! Shing comes out and admits that he shattered Kohak's Spirune, and Kunzite gets violent. Kohak tries to object, but Kunzite knocks her away. You are given the chance to set up your party however you wish, though you cannot use Kohak, or, of course, Kunzite. ==== BOSS: Kunzite ==== He's more or less as you know him, with more HP. He casts stuff and comboes like a bandit, and Rekkuzans all over the field. He also turns invincible when casting Negative Gate, which'll usually be targetted at Shing, so when you see him casting, either dodge or magicguard. If Hisui is in your party after you win, he will urge Shing to deliver the finishing blow. Either way, Hisui is ready to finish Kunzite off himself. Kohak asks him to stop because Kunzite is important to Richia. Kunzite isn't done, though, so Kohak puts a stop to this idiocy. Shing didn't shatter Kohak's Spirune... Kohak and Richia did. Yep, there's the bomb. Kohak explains that Richia has been living inside her for as long as she can remember, as a being of pure Spiria. As part of Kohak, she used her energy to seal the Zerom and suppress Despir Sickness... until she was found by her enemy. Incarose. Shattering the Spirune was a desperation measure, to keep her away from Incarose. She hasn't talked all this time because she was afraid everyone would be angry and leave her, but Kunzite seems to have forced her hand. Oh well. Shing isn't angry, and he won't leave her. Back then, he thought everything was his fault, and so he worked to save Kohak, but now he's doing it of his own will. Aww. Kunzite accepts Kohak's story, and he'll willingly work with us now. Hooray! Onward to the Holy City Pransul! The path north is marked with a sign claiming it heads towards Charault and the Schehere Desert; if you remember, we actually took it to Charault. We are going to have to cross the latter to get to Pransul, so away you go. Head towards Charault, and turn east. Take the exit north; the sign informs us that to the north is Schehere Desert, and to the east is Yuraio. Keep moving. Well, we're clearly in a desert. Or a beach, at least. This place isn't sure what it wants to be, really. This is indeed Schehere, and the route to Pransul is through there. After the characters discuss it, you gain the Oldmyne continent Field. Save, supply, and continue to the east. ==== OVERWORLD: Schehere, Desert of a Thousand Nights ==== #wt18# This big space is full of Soma Points, monsters, and one Heal Energy (80%). Exit west. ==== DUNGEON: Wasteland of Doom ==== It's actually more like "Wasteland of Death", but I think "of Doom" always works out better. Anyway, surprise Sandworm! It scatters the party. We're down to Shing and Kohak. By which I mean just Shing; a sandstorm blows Kohak away. Search for her! Up is a Soma Point and a Heal Energy (80%). More importantly, go down the ramp to the left and through the tunnel. Another Heal Energy (60%) is here. Continue upward, going around the ramp, and exit up. Shing's at the end of his rope. But then he hears Kohak's voice. The Spirune Laser shows up again! No, it's not the Spirune Laser, it's... Soma Link! We're going to be seeing a lot out of Soma Link from now on. There's nothing here, so just exit top-left. Now over to Hisui and Kunzite. There are tiny Sandworms in the stage here. They will spit rocks at you, but you can run up and fight them if you want. They're not hard. Two ramps lead up out of this hole. The left one goes nowhere. The right one lets you continue, and has a Heal Energy (40%). Keep following the ramps, grabbing [Aqua Psistone] x3 and [Rosemary]. In the second area, go through the tunnel, turn left, and grab [Schehere Cactus Spines] x2. The rest of the stage is pretty much a straight run. Exit at top right. Finally, Innes and Beryl. This level has a gimmick; you can Energy Blow the cacti, and they will leave behind Schehere Cactus Spines. If you touch one, you get hurt. The tunnel here just leads to Heal Energy (50%). Up the ramp and over the tunnel is a [Red Scarf]. Up another ramp to the right is another Heal Energy (30%). Cross over the second tunnel, break down the last cactus, and exit. Go up two ramps. Going around to the right gets you Heal Energy (80%). Go left instead, down the ramp, and... ugh, I hate this map. Ramp to the right, go down and around, ramp to the left, around again, ramp to the left, ramp up, turn straight left, get out of here. We are almost done. We're back to Shing and Kohak. Kohak talks about her dear friend Richia, who has been with her since she was born, and before that with her mother, all the way back for 2000 years, always making sure the Zerom and the world never meet. Both of their resolves are reinforced, and the Soma Link laser makes a reappearance. They walk off together, and both gain the title of "Soma Linker." Walk forward. Say hi to our old friend the Sandworm. The Spirune Laser points straight into the pit. Yep, this is what it has come to. Kohak's Spirune eaten by a Sandworm. It knocks our heroes away. Shing comes to. Everyone else pops up from the sand. Hooray, everybody's together! You may go back and explore the stage with a full complement if you really want to. When you're ready, just move forward and challenge the Sandworm. ==== BOSS: Sandworm ==== This thing annoys me. It's vulnerable to repeated smacking in the face (sorta), but it hits very hard when it happens to break out. Its favored tactic against me was to dive over Shing into the sand and slam my casters (I was using Hisui and Kunzite at the time) into the ground. Also, be warned: at 1/4 HP, it adds its tail to the battle. The tail has all the same attacks, but will usually chase a different target. Of course, they share HP. You get Soma Link skill sharing for beating him up. Soma Link is the local name for relationship values, and when they get high enough, your characters start sharing Support Abilities. Shing picks up the Spirune and installs it. Kohak breaks down and cries. These are not tears of sadness, but tears of joy... Happiness Spirune get! Everyone's Soma Link goes up. Aww. Now exit west and get to the Oasis. ==== TOWN: Oasis ==== #wt19# The party relaxes and talks about Richia and Soma Link. Supply and save! Then exit west, this place is boring. Back in the Schehere Desert proper, loot the big space if you like, then leave north. Leave the campsite west and proceed in a northwest-ish direction. We're not there yet though. First we have to pass through Lajin Cave. ==== DUNGEON: Lajin Cave ==== You can pick up a [Silver] x1 immediately upon entering the cave. Carry on to the fork. Don't pick up the item here. Instead, turn right and loot the [Sage], then turn back and go left. (The item is a fake. If you pick it up, the floor caves in, and you have to climb back up, picking up the Sage anyway. Which you can do, but I'm trying to save you trouble.) You can go left and explore the rest of the bottom floor for a [Dark Psistone] x3, 2300 gald, and [Peach Gummy] x3. In fact, do so, since we're not falling down here on my watch. Back up on the upper floor, take the straight path into a twisty path. The shiny here, 200 gald, is safe, so pick it up. Going right here takes us to Heal Energy (50%) and [Ancient Fish Fin] x3. Follow the left fork to the exit, and do not pick up the shiny, as it is another trap. New map! Make a left turn. Three shinies lie along this path. The first one, near the root, is a dud, though not a trap. The second, on the corner, is a safe 800 gald. And finally, at the end is [Silver] x1 and a pit. Tricky, this cave is. Grab the Silver if you like, or if not, you can explore this basement by returning to the entrance and then going straight. The basement contains [Lavender], [Heal Bangle], and, far off the trail, Heal Energy (50%). Now check out the sticky red web beyond the save point. The bats around here eat this stuff, and their fangs are the only things that can cut through it (apparently), so you have to go collect, and I wish I was kidding about this, 3 [Count Bat's Red Fang]. Go kill bats until you can break through the web. I hate this dungeon so much. Okay, so the next room kicks off with an intersection. The straight path leads to another sticky web of doom, hooray. Behind it, if you have the patience, is a [Life Belt] and [Silver] x2. On the other side of this map is the exit. Yay! Get out of here. Proceed north to Pransul. On the way, you hear Ann yelling for her Papa and Mama. Uh oh! Forward! Orb, Cindy and Ann are being harrassed by Evil Soldiers. Give them a beating. Army guy can't believe his Evil Soldiers were beaten, but the clergyman assures him that it's just because we're Soma Users. Wait, what's a church guy doing with the military? Well, we have to press on to the Holy City. Schehere Desert and part of Markis Road (the place you're on) become available as Fields. ==== TOWN: Bridgetop Holy City Pransul ==== #wt20# In we go. Innes spins a sob story to smuggle Kunzite in, and we're good. Though Chalcedny knows we're in town and he still wants our head. Go up the big helices on the left side to see a cutscene about Pransul, then go across the rest of the bridge and pick up [Holy Salt of White Moon] x1. Go through the arch and cross over the big bridge. Supply, rest, save, and do whatever else you need to, then cross two bridges to the north. The team starts talking tactics, but some little brats interrupt the proceedings with balls to the back of Beryl's head. She chases them, and her scream is shortly heard. The party runs after her to investigate. ...it's Peridot, big sis to the little monsters. Seriously. Shing asks where Chalcedny is. She's less than cooperative, as are Spin and Nel, but we have a new destination: San Tecus Cathedral, the center of operations for the Valeia Church. Exit west and enter the Cathedral. ==== DUNGEON: San Tecus Cathedral ==== #wt21# Everything here is a Crystal Knight, which means weak to Dark. Just thought you should know. What we are going to do is make a clockwise circuit around the cathedral, so exit left. Pass through the hall and don't take the side door. Welcome to the left-side Big Room. Go down and left a bit, take the elevator, and flip the switch, which makes the ramp available to us. Take the upper- right elevator, flip the switch, take the ramp back down, and take the other elevator up. Once again, flip the ramp switch, take yet another elevator up, and leave this room. The side door in this hall leads to [Winged Whale Carving (Yellow)]. This is important. Take it, and continue on your circumnavigation of San Tecus. In the next room, carry on to the big middle platform and defeat the Crystal Knight that spots you. He coughs up a [Winged Whale Carving (Blue)]. Flip the switch, too. Exit this room from the other side, and pass through the hall. Say hi to the right-side Big Room. Take the elevator down. Find the other elevator directly up and to the right of this one, and take it up twice. Break the crates with the Energy Blow, go through the door, and fight the Crystal Knight for... [Holy Salt of White Moon] x3. Disappointing, I know. Cross the bridge, claim the [Feather Charm] from the chest, and then battle the other Crystal Knight for [Winged Whale Carving (Red)]. There we go. Go out the left, flip the ramp switch, and open the chest for [Holy Salt of White Moon] x2. Now go back to the right-side Big Room. Take the elevator down twice. Now take the ramp down for Heal Energy (100%) and a [Zaneishoutou Emblem] (?). Go back up the ramp, take the third elevator down, go directly down and to the right, and take this elevator up to a [White Scarf]. Then take that elevator back down and leave. Break the boxes. Now you have a shortcut! Go through the double doors instead. In the cross room, go left for [Verbena]. There appears to be nothing in the room to the right, but grab the [Winged Whale Carving (Green)] off the table. Go up out the cross room. This is the organ room. Save. Check out the organ, and select the second option. Insert the whales, Blue, Green, Red, and Yellow (or options 2, 3, 1, 1). Play the organ, then take the right side elevator up. Go through the new door, and check the left chamber of this place for a [Shining Psistone] x2. Save and advance. Both Shing and Chalcedny have heroic resolve. Get ready for awesome. ==== BOSS: Chalcedny, Peridot, Byrocks ==== Enjoy the music! I would take out Peridot first, since she's the softest, fastest, and most annoying. At that point, you can remove Byrocks or send Chalcedny into the stratosphere. If you happen to have Shing's Seijinzeppa, use it on Peridot and Byrocks, who are grounded and vulnerable. Oh, and Chalcedny uses his Hi-Ougi at low health. So be ready to Life Bottle like a champion towards the end of the match. You win two sets of higher-end elemental Psistones. Chalcedny thinks he isn't done. Kohak disagrees, and Chal accepts his loss and returns the Dream Spirune. Nope, Byrocks grabs it. Labrado shows up and drops the party into a pit. You're now under the cathedral. Start by shooting the switch across the stream to extend the bridge. Now cross the stone bridge, go up the ladder and get [Ancient Fish Fin] x3, and then go down the other ladder for [Silver] x4. Go back across the stone bridge and break open the grate with the Energy Blow. Shoot the switch, cross the bridge, climb the ladder, break the grate, and exit. Go all the way up the spiral staircase, exit from the Great Winged Whale statue somehow, save, and go back to the room with Chal and pals. #wt22# Chalcedny wants to know just what his dad is up to. Chal actually wants to help you out now, but Labrado and Byrocks are against it. Labrado says it's all to protect Iola's daughter from people who would misuse Richia's power. There he goes, dropping names again. And then the military arrives, 100000 strong. War has begun. Chalcedny's on his way, but first, he orders Byrocks to return the Dream Spirune while holding his father at BFS-point. Dream Spirune get! Chal says that the war is between the army and the Church, and that you guys should get out of here and return to your quest. Like we can do that! Let's go help defend the south gate! That dick Grossular is here with his Zerom-soldiers. He orders them to break down the gate in the name of Her Majesty the Empress, Paraiba Marin do Rey. We know that Marin would never go for this, but we also know that Grossular's a massive douchebag. Our heroes make it to the front gate, and there's... the churchman who was with the army idiots earlier! He ducks into a side room. Chase him. This side room contains the giant lever that opens the south gate, and the traitor flips it. Welp. The city has officially been breached by Zerom- soldiers. Chal runs to defend the second gate. Go help him! It's not very effective. Byrocks and Peridot report that the entire city is crawling with Zerom-soldiers. Chalcedny asks Shing to join forces with him. Of course we will! Let's protect the city! Head to Peridot's house. The party arrives (of course) just in time, as Sister is being attacked by Zeromsoldiers. Peridot's little siblings are also missing. Everyone resolves to protect them with Peridot. Everyone's Soma Link goes up! Go down the stairs. Two of the children are under attack. Destroy the Zerom- soldiers! Spin and Nel aren't these kids, but aren't you glad we saved them anyway? Run back up the stairs and exit toward the cathedral. Soldiers are trying to get into that house. Beat them up and enter. Ann and family are here! So is Nel. Spin isn't. Where is he? Nel can't say. Dammit, child, this is an emergency! Nel finally spills that Spin went to "Crescent Moon Beach". She couldn't say because it was their secret place, but Spin is in danger. So off we go! But first, check the bedside table for [Water Psistone] x3. Exit, and go down to reach Crescent Moon Beach. Not very secret, is it? The Zerom-soldiers think so too. Crush them. The day is saved! Go up. Epic battle is ensuing in the cathedral! Unfortunately, the Crystal Knights are losing. Labrado is also in a bad spot. He tries to bargain, offering up Chalcedny and the secrets to psychic artes, but, y'know, the monster soldier isn't listening, and more are attacking the sanctuary where all the kids are. The party tries again to hold down the line, but the soldiers break through. Orb! Ann! Nel! Suddenly, a Zerom-soldier turns into some sort of white stone. Kunzite identifies this as "calcification". We're headed to the east gate. Go to Peridot's house. Everyone's reunited, woo. The party explains everything to Chalcedny, who responds by... declaring his intent to surrender to the military. He still hasn't lived down the sin of hurting the person who he most wanted to protect. He tells Peridot and Byrocks to stay here, and they don't buy it; both of them are with Chalcedny no matter what happens. Beryl's wondering what happens if the Crystal Knights aren't around to cure Despir Sickness. Kunzite confirms that a human whose Spiria has been completely consumed by Zerom will calcify; calcification is the natural end of one who has no Spiria, after all. Shing angsts that saving the world is impossible for a kid like him. Kohak asserts that it is not impossible, if they just wake up Richia's true body in the Forest of Thorns and seal away the Zerom for good. And now, for the final Spirune and the final Spirune Laser. It points into the ocean, to the west. If you take it back, Richia will awaken. Hop to it. Leave the house and go down the stairs. Spin has a plan to get you guys out the east gate. And the plan involves singing. They distract the gate guards with hymns while we run out of here. Eh. Whatever works. Onward! Grossular summons Incarose and asks why she didn't tell him about the calcification phenomenon, but gets distracted by the prospect of gloating to the captured Labrado about how awesome his trained, calcified monster-soldiers are. No one cares about Grossular. Moving on. You've exited the city north somehow. Turn west. At the campsite, the Spirune Laser goes off again. But again, there's nothing to the west but ocean. Uh oh. In any case, save and continue. ==== TOWN: West Markis Port ==== #wt23# Garnet meets you here. Being that he is an all-around useful guy, the party asks him if he can take them out to sea. Sure, fine. He takes Kohak, and Innes stays behind to watch her. Leave and wander off. Shing's Soma Link Sense goes off. Kohak is frightened! Run back to the port. On the boat are soldiers. Smash them. These bastards are strong, but they aren't Zerom-fused. Garnet walks out with Kohak tied up. Garnet introduces himself as a member of the Imperial Military Special Operations Soma Unit, and another Soma User rushes Hisai with drills to demonstrate. Kunzite wants to show off his own Soma, but Innes leaps in to hit him. Interruptions over, Garnet continues with the introduction. Imperial Military Special Operations Soma Unit Captain Geo Strigau, and... Major Innes Lorenz. Their squad wants their hands on the power of an awakened Richia so that they can remake the world. This never works, by the way, but don't tell him that. And then Garnet introduces himself properly... as Imperial Military Special Operations Soma Unit Captain Isaac Silver! Kunzite wonders if Silver is "him", but Incarose puts a stop to that with one of her Evil Beams. Shing sees red again, but Incarose shoots him with the Evil Beam too. Kohak surrenders. Silver asks Shing if he wants to join him, but Shing wants nothing to do with him. Not with how he's treated Kohak, and not if he's in league with Incarose. Silver orders Innes and Strigau to take Shing out. Everyone's ready to fight, but Beryl will have none of it and does her teleport trick. Innes says she'll chase us down and deploys. Strigau volunteers too, but Silver says leave it to Innes. They're setting sail for the island of Nibelg... and then the Forest of Thorns. Innes starts laying the beatdown on the party. Shing asks if she really lied to them all this time to remake the world. Innes says she doesn't care about the rebirth of the world, but what she wants is the rebirth of that man. Shing says that Innes' feelings are the same as his, so he believes in Innes. Innes is confused. Shing explains: even though he wants to save Kohak, he would never betray his friends to do so. Therefore, Innes won't kill him. Make sense? Not to Innes. Yes, she'd obey an order to kill him for her captain's sake. She demonstrates, but Shing just takes it as proof; if Innes really wanted to kill him, that blow would have killed him. Innes yells that she really is serious and starts beating up Shing again. Shing reminds her of all the times she helped him out, and she cries that it was all for the Captain. And yet she can't kill him after all. Surprised? Finally, graceful and composed Innes breaks down. Shing convinces her to let him help her show the Captain her real feelings, Soma Links with her, then collapses. Hisui heals him, but Incarose shows up to taunt Innes and then leaves. Innes tries apologizing to Shing, but he repeats Zex's line about "helping a pretty girl with a big chest at the cost of your life". The party does a big "you have my sword" routine, and Innes' Soma Link with the party goes up. Hokay, where are we going? Shing uses the Soma Link Laser to connect with both Innes and Kohak, and both of them can feel her fear. It's not going to be easy to get into Nibelg, but Innes, of course, has a plan. First, we need a ship. Guess whose ship we're using? It's your friend and mine, Captain Sango! We're going to go back to talk to Chen Ta-ren, and get his help to break into Nibelg Island. Beryl has reservations, but Innes says she'll take care of it. ==== TOWN: South Penderoak Port ==== #wt24# Ecaille greets us at the port, and again, we're leaving everything to Innes. Remember, Ta-ren only gives free stuff to beautiful women? Head off to Henzera. This would also be the first time you have to go through an area you have the Field of, so soak up the world map if you wish. You can even visit Shibul and Cunos. ==== TOWN: Merchant Town Henzera ==== In Henzera, go to the Chen Firm mansion and head to Chen's office. Chen agrees to sell us a ship. Just as the deal is wrapping up, some Special Operations soldiers show up. Oi, we can't have that. Chen shows us to a secret passageway, and makes us promise not to rat him out if we're captured by the Special Operations Unit. Well, we don't plan to let that happen. Leave through the secret pass, talk to the Chen Firm employee to be let out, and skip town to South Penderoak Port. And yes, the ship that has been sold to us (for the cutprice sum of ten billion gald, though not really) is that of Captain Sango herself. [Ship License] get, so set sail for Nibelg Island! You get the rest of Markis' Field. The team wonders how to get into the island. Shing suggests the same method they used to get Kunzite into the Holy City, but the military net is too tight for that; even a rat will get caught by their biosensors. There is a way though. A technique to suppress Spiria responses, but it will involve the entire party being out cold for the duration (effectively dead). Everyone agrees to it. The cargo passes the search! No Spiria response is to be found in any of the boxes. Plan success! ==== DUNGEON: Special Operations Unit Base Nibelg ==== Meanwhile, the army guys are torturing Kohak to get the location of the final Spirune. Silver shows up to taunt her with the knowledge that Innes has killed everyone by know. Kohak has the Soma Link Laser, so she isn't fooled. Incarose confirms that Innes has betrayed Silver. Kohak's Soma is telling her that Innes hasn't quite "betrayed" Silver, but is acting on genuine feelings. Silver dismisses Soma as a mere weapon and tells Strigau to get the answer out of Kohak however possible. "Dick" has really sort of lost all meaning here. On that depressing note, we return to our party. It is dungeon time. A chest behind some crates just up and left from you contains [Flame Psistone] x1. Wander downward, save, and take the elevator. Beneath the platform here is [Holy Bottle] x3. On the upper-left side of the room, down the ladder is [Liquor Bottle] x4. Leave through either door. Take the upper door on the other side of this hall for [Sound Spring Water] x6. Wander down all the way out (down and to the left for two rooms). Chests immediately outside the front door contain a [Grape Gummy] x2 and [Blue Rosemary]. All the way out on the docks is a [Cornered Rat's Protection Charm], [Life Bottle] x1, Heal Energy (60%), and [Cancer Crab Shell] x3. Back to just outside the front door. There are elevators on either side of the building, which lead up to other elevators you can take down. The left one takes you down to a room with [Copper] x4, [Tuning Fork Branch] x4, and [Shining Psistone] x2. The right side elevator takes us to the storeroom we started in. From the left storeroom, exit and take the lower door across the hall for 1800 gald. Unlock the door to the "foyer" out the down end of the hall. Turn around and go all the way up. Welcome to the Nibelg Big Room. Go forward, turn and head towards the center. Shoot it with the Energy Shot. Allow the platform to take you down, then go out again and cross the glowy bridge. Go around to the top-right wall, and inspect the big glowy red thing. It gives you a temporary boost to the range of your Energy Shot. Head down towards the center, shoot it, get on the platform, and then shoot it again to go down to the base floor. First off, go up and right and inspect the machine there to unlock a door out of the Big Room. That door takes you to a hallway from which you can obtain 1500 gald. Pick it up at your leisure. Meanwhile, the ground floor itself spoils you with [Peach Gummy] x3 at the right corner, and a [Misty Symbol] near the top corner. When done, shoot the center pillar without standing on anything, then take the lower-left platform up. Get the [Blue Saffron], move to the right (the door is locked), and flip the switch to create another light bridge. You can now circumnavigate the middle floor of the Big Room at will, so it's time to use this to our advantage. Go get the Sorceror's Ring buff, go back across the new light bridge, and shoot the center from the lower-right, then ride the platform up. Unlock the door down from you here if you like; it only lets you go back to the beginning of the dungeon. Flip the switch to generate another light bridge. Cross it and grab [Ocean Psistone] x2. Flip the light bridge at the top corner of the floor if you want, and use the machine at the upper-right wall to unlock the door we care about. Backtrack to the lower-right elevator, take it to the middle floor, and use the door we just opened. The first side room contains [Druggist's Glove] and Heal Energy (70%). Before you can get to the second one, Special Ops soldiers are heard approaching. The party ducks into the side room. Innes knows this room. It's the room of Captail Silver's daughter, Lapis, suffering of Despir Sickness from the tender age of three. Shing asks if she's Innes' kid, and she wonders why he would think that. Her real mother, Pearl, died from a failed attempt to produce a Psistone-powered cannon, and that's when Silver broke down. Lapis went into a shock coma and hasn't opened her eyes since. Attempts to cure her with Spir Link have all gone nowhere. Innes asks if we'd like to see why. Spir Link. Well, that solves the mystery; little Lapis is missing a Spirune! And who should show up but Captain Silver? He's come to give the unconscious girl a present: Elrond! Works out well for us, though. He promises Lapis that she'll wake up soon, and even though her mom won't be around, he will make her as unto a princess. Just a little while... his "Sleeping Princess"... Ugh. Silver leaves, and the party Links Out and grabs Elrond. Time to rescue Kohak. Go directly across the hall, walk around the big pit, and leave on the door closest to the left side corner. Once again, walk directly across the hall to get to where Kohak is. Strigau is still beating her. The rest of the party gets nice and worked up, but Shing summons the Evil Rage Aura and starts shouting. Kunzite gets fed up with this noise and just hits Strigau, which soaks up Shing's aggression too, and the Rage Aura melts away. The Special Ops men have Rage Auras of their own, though. Rip them apart! ...Shing wants to actually rip them apart. Kohak calms him down. One of the soldiers sounds the alarm while he's freeing her. Oi. Better hurry it up. Silver has probably gone to the very deepest part of the base. Exit out the lower end of the hall. Mercifully, the alarm stops when the cutscene ends. Go around down and to the right and climb down the ladder. While you're here, see that block? Push it to a position flush against the upper-right end of that row of buttons, then shoot it down-left with the Energy Blow. If done right, the three blue crystal pillars will go down. Grab the [Storm Psistone] x2 from under the platform and exit down. Climb down the ladder. The chest in the right corner has [Gravity Psistone] x2. Now climb down the ladder at the left corner of this platform. Grab the [Pretty Bug Feeler] x4, climb up the tall ladder leading to the high platform, and flip the light bridge switch. Cross it, flip the next switch, and cross again. Descend the ladder and claim the [Void Psistone] x1 down and to the right, and if necessary, the Heal Energy (50%) up and to the left. Now take the ladder to the mid-level and go around the high platform. There should be two ladders here. Take the one up and exit. Go up the ladder for [Dark Bottle] x2, and go under the platform for [Magic Beast Claw] x3. Now repeat earlier protocol for the red buttons. Exit down, descend both ladders, claim a [White Button] from the chest below, and save. Then exit, passing the crystal pillars. #wt25# Pretty, innit? That is a Mother Zerom, which gives birth to other Zerom. Innes doesn't remember the machine, so it must be new. Silver confirms, and says that it will lead him to the Forest of Thorns, where the Quartz named Richia sleeps. Yes, right here is the doorway to the Forest of Thorns. The Quartz left their legacy all over this planet; Soma, Zerom, Mechanoids, and the Forest of Thorns as well. Incarose tells Silver to leave you to her, but Silver has other plans. He doesn't approve of her involvement in that whole Zerom-soldier fiasco, which was very much outside his orders, and now Zerom-soldiers are all over the place and out of control. He asks Innes if she'll also raise arms against him. She says she will, to stop him and correct his mistakes. They reminisce about the old days for a while. Silver says that in those days, the world was just being born, and that it will now be born again. Kohak tries to solve things by talking, but Innes says that it is her job to stop Captain Silver. But not hers alone: she asks the team to lend her their strength. Of course we will! Innes' Soma Link with the entire party goes up. Silver muses that the Zerom-soldiers gained powerful bodies, but their Spiria went out of control. Which brings him to his next point: he's going to show us the power of Zerom fusion, which is apparently completely different. Who thinks this will end badly? He casts something and merges with his pet Mother Zerom, and boy is he ugly now. Put the sucker out of his misery. ==== BOSS: Silver ==== He is, of course, weak to light, which makes him weak to Shing. But he's also weak to water, which is Innes' element. Subtle, Namco. His Final Prayer rains damage upon your units, which is always a bucket of unfun, and he does some annoying things with that lancer of his, too. Silver doesn't want to go down, but his legs start calcifying. He can't believe it; he thought he could overpower the Zerom with his Spiria. Kunzite says no; Zerom eat Spiria, they don't care if your Spiria is weak or strong. Which makes the problem one of hubris, of course. Silver can't believe he's doomed his men to calcified Zerom food, and Rage Auras. Innes tries to calm him down. Incarose, as she always does, crashes the party with an Evil Beam to the cieling. Silver shields Innes with his body. He curses himself for not being able to protect Pearl or Lapis and regrets pretty much his entire existence. The last Spirune manifests, and Innes says to him that the same light that shines from the Spirune is in his own Spiria too, for Pearl and Lapis. Silver apologizes... and both the Zerom fusion and the calcification go away. He returns the Spirune, and Shing tells him to make Innes happy. Er... that's not how it works, Shing. Incarose, once again, has to spoil the moment with a knife to Silver's back. Silver tells Innes to take care of Lapis and dies, with Innes crying over his body. Shing Rage Auras, blows everyone to the ground, and fights Incarose. She taunts him that he needs more power, more anger. Now, this speech should be setting off alarm bells for anyone who's watched Star Wars, ever. Shing's Evil Rage Aura gets bigger, and he wants blood badly, and Incarose just keeps laying it on; he's weak, his friends will all die because of him, she even says she'll kill Kohak herself. Shing's Evil Rage Aura is going crazy. Incarose makes an weird noise and gets knocked into the wall. Kunzite reveals that Incarose is a Mechanoid too. Shing doesn't care, he wants to hurry up and restore the final Spirune to Kohak. Love Spirune get! Kohak jumps back; Richia is warning her of something. Whatever she's being told, she can't believe it. She asks Shing what he's doing here, and calls him... Creed Graphite! Kunzite knows the name. Innes doesn't detect an enemy, but the enemy is Shing himself. Get settled in your seat. Believe it or not, Tales of Hearts is just getting started. Creed takes out the entire party. Incarose reports to Creed, who happens to be her master, not unlike Kunzite and Richia. Kohak exposits about Creed: the last psion of Quartzia, the master of the Sorceress Incarose, who imprisoned Richia and destroyed the world... the Devil with Scarlet Hair. What is he doing inside Shing? Creed thanks Kohak for introducing him, but he doesn't care about a Celreid. He wants to talk to Richia, and he's got just the motivation for Kohak. Incarose kicks Innes and tramples Beryl, nearly smashes Kunzite's casing in, and grabs Hisui by the arm. Kohak forces Richia out, and Richia refers to Creed by name again just for good measure. Creed says she got away before in the Spir Maze (remember that? very beginning of the game?) but can't run away this time. She replies that his sinful nature hasn't changed after 2000 years. Creed wants her to open up the gates of the Forest of Thorns. So he still wants to release "that", says Richia. She can't give him access to the Forest of Thorns, no matter who he kills. Ouch. Then she goes away, leaving Kohak in the lurch. He tells Incarose deal with Hisui, and she breaks his arm. Kohak panics, and forces open the gate herself. Creed gloats that he doesn't need Richia anymore and seals her up. Now he decides he'll just take Kohak bodily with him into the Forest of Thorns... and unleash "that" which has been sealed in the Forest of Thorns for two thousand years! ==== DUNGEON: Mobile Crystal Castle Cendrillion ==== #wt26# Welcome to the Forest of Thorns. It's just a name, of course, its true nature garbled by legend and oral tradition, as happens to just about everything. But here it is. It's original name: the Crystal Castle Cendrillion. As Creed, go out the lower door and go right. Pass through the door and approach the console in the center of the room. Creed's bringing back a couple of old Mechanoids, and his first pick is Corundum. You will learn to hate Corundum with a burning passion, I promise. The next one is Chlorseraph, but he doesn't feel like moving yet. Meanwhile, back under Nibelg, Hisui has patched himself and the party up. Arrange the party and enter the Crystal Castle Cendrillion. Leave through the same portal Creed used, but go down the other (left and up) path instead. Whoa, Mother Zerom. Everyone freaks out, but Hisui says it's not the time to lose our nerve. We have to rescue Kohak, don't we? Kunzite helpfully adds that the Mother Zerom aren't the only thing sealed in here; if Creed were to unleash "that" which Richia sealed, the world would end. Strigau corrects this. If "that" were to be released, the whole world would not end... just our world. Drillface overpowers and captures the party. Cut to the next room, where Creed and Richia's real bodies are locked up inside the big crystal! Creed shoves Kohak into the chair and gives her ten seconds to fully activate the Forest of Thorns. Corundum opens her mouth, and you should start hating her in 10, 9, 8, 7... Richia comes out, tells Creed that he's mistaken and starts trying to repeat her old sealing trick. Creed reminds her that he taught him everything she knows about artes, sends her back to her seat, and restores her to her original body. Well, he doesn't need the Vessel anymore, so... Kohak invokes the power of the Soma Link Laser, and Shing fights for control of his body. He tells Kohak to run. Creed takes over again, says he'll get Shing out of his way right now, and stabs himself with Asteria, then transfers himself to his original body. Creed taunts Shing and Kohak as Shing bleeds. Strigau shows up with the rest of the party in tow, and honestly, we look pretty screwed. Incarose tells Creed to leave the party to her, and Creed says why not? All he needs is Richia, after all. Set up your party and prepare for battle. ==== BOSS: Incarose ==== Oi. She's fast, tough, and very very annoying. Fortunately, you don't actually have to win. Either way, Creed steps in and charges up his Evil Beam at still-bleeding Shing. Kohak freaks out, Soma Links with Richia, and activates Cendrillion for her. Oops. Richia pleads with her not to activate Cendrillion, but Kohak can't hear her. Richia tries casting, but Kunzite stops her; any more effort will damage her Spiria. He pleads with her to just run on her own. Richia teleports herself and all the Soma Users out instead. But Creed's already won; Kohak activated Cendrillion for him. Kunzite starts up his self-destruct, but Chlorseraph puts a stop to that. The scene closes on a shot of our villains. Our heroes appear at the Forest Gate. Soldiers appear, but Innes tells them to go take care of the calcified and runs off herself to take care of Lapis. Kohak and Richia are individually freaking out, so Hisui slaps them back to the present and everyone bolts. Out at the Nibelg docks, the party gets a front-row seat to the rebirth of the Great Winged Whale, a. k. a. the Forest of Thorns, a. k. a. Crystal Castle Cendrillion. The island of Nibelg shatters as Cendrillion takes off, and the party is dumped into the ocean. We join Shing, Richia and Hisui, washed up somewhere on Penderoak. Richia doesn't want to witness any more deaths. She heals Shing, but runs out of power, so... more CPR. Not nearly enough chest compressions, but whatever. They both somehow turn out okay, though Richia's out from the exertion. Shing can feel the closest Link: Innes, somewhere to the northwest. Hop. There's a Zerom on the path! Crush it and move on. ==== TOWN: Merchant Town Henzera ==== #wt27# Innes has been waiting for you, so enter the bedroom in the inn. She fell into the ocean after the island was shattered and was picked up along with Lapis by Captain Sango. Hisui asks just what the hell Creed Graphite is. Richia wakes up and exposits that he was one of the last members of the race of the White Moon, actually the dead planet Quartzia. She's one of them too: Quartz Richia Spodune. And our planet, Celland, is about to suffer the same fate as Quartzia. Richia tells of how Quartzia had a golden age of magitech based on the psychic artes, and how that power inevitably got turned to war. And from that Psion War were born weapons: Zerom, evolving weapons that fed on Spiria. But that's not the only thing that came from Quartz. Richia's sister, Flora, was the inventor of Soma, that which connects Spiria together, as well as the Crystal Castle Cendrillion. And Creed made "that", to produce a world without conflict; a Queen Zerom that would consume all the warlike Spiria in the world. Its name: the Black Moon which Floats in the Sky, Gardenia. Two thousand years ago, Richia, along with Creed and Flora, was there for the launch of Gardenia. When it was released, it consumed the warring Spiria all right. Along with the rest of it. The entire planet was calcified, all at once. Six billion Quartz' Spiria were completely consumed. Only the few on Cendrillion - Creed, Flora and Richia - were spared. Flora sacrificed herself to seal Gardenia and the system was forced into sleep mode, but the damage was already done. Worse than done - Creed couldn't accept that Flora was gone basically by his hand. And that's Creed's motive. He believes that if he unseals Gardenia, he will free Flora and somehow restore the Spiria of Quartzia. That's been what he was trying to do for two thousand years, and it is not going to end well. Richia then used an arte of her own design to seal away both herself and Creed, but both their Spiria escaped. To Celland. Shing is pissed. As far as he's concerned, the entire thing is her fault, and Celland shouldn't have to put up with Quartz's conflicts. Richia pleads with him to help her stop Creed. Shing just wants to know one thing: why was Creed Graphite inside his body? Richia can't answer. Hisui has his own question: was she, back in Cendrillion, prepared to kill Kohak? Richia can't deny it. Shing and Hisui both decide they have no more business with Richia or anything to do with Quartz, and go off to search for Kohak. Innes at least agrees to stay and help Richia with whatever she can do. Leave. Shing feels Kohak's Spiria, far to the south. We're going to need the help of Captain Sango again, so head down to the port and take the ship. ==== TOWN: Seminabiz Port ==== Leave. Welcome to the continent of Seminabiz. Go north at the one intersection on this map; no one said Seminabiz was interesting. Save at the campsite, move on to the next map, and go straight to reach our next destination. ==== TOWN: Foggy Village Rave ==== #wt28# No one wants to talk to us. Aww. Go to the inn. A voice squeals about vermin, and its owner stomps out of the back room. It's Beryl! She's got a job here, but she's apparently not doing well at it. Kohak is here too, but Beryl doesn't like the man who's taking care of her. And there he is! This is Dr. Tekta. Thankfully, he reports that Kohak is doing fine physically, but is a bit out of sorts. She's been calling for "Shing". Innat sweet. Go visit her. Beryl also rejoins the party. Kohak's being kept in the big place on the upper-right side of the village up the hill. You can't miss it. Kohak is happy to see that everyone's safe, especially Shing. They retell the story of what happened 2000 years ago. Kohak also wants to help. Shing and Hisui want nothing to do with it. Kohak and Shing have a falling out, and Tekta breaks up the moment with bad news: monsters. They're gone now, but one guy is wounded, so we have to clear the beds. Get out of the healers' house. Tekta takes the moment to bring up the price of medical care in a place like this, and asks if we'd like to pay it off with a job for him. There's this guy, you see, and he keeps saying "Creed Graphite" over and over again... yeah, now the party is paying attention. He lives to the northwest of the village (that's up around here), and his name is Zirconia. Tekta needs some Soma Users to Spir Link the guy. Hop to it. He is indeed mumbling Creed's name to himself. Tekta says he's been this way for about 17 years (!). Spir Link. ==== SPIR LINK: Zirconia do Rey ==== He was the Emperor. Sweet deal. Wonder what went wrong? Grossular is reporting on some Valeia Soma Users doing shifty things out on the Prans Sea, and Zirconia declares that he's going out there himself. He's also name-dropping like a champ: Richia and her church, Incarose and her mission... oi. Shing guesses that Zirconia was Creed's former host. We need more info. Forward into the breach! Two mazes later, we find Zirconia again. He treats us to another flashback. Hey, there's Tekta and young Zex... and Labrado... and a woman wearing Elrond and another wearing Chalcendy's Wahrheit. The one with the jetpack is Iola Hearts, which makes the other one Dona Meteoryte. Hey, this seems familiar... Dona's ready to smash Creed into the ground, but Iola tells her to think of Tekta's feelings, since Zirconia is his dad. Tekta says it's fine, he's ready. Also, Iola is Richia's Vessel and both Iola and Dona are pregnant. Guess with who. The old party is all set, and Creed shows up right on time. The team gets into battle formation around Iola and draw their Somas. Creed laughs and starts casting. The flashback ends. Two more stages later, Zirconia congratulates us and shows us his last flashback: the final battle between Creed and the old party. Creed's pretty much destroyed the team and is about to kill Iola. She begs for someone to help her for her child's sake, and everyone stands up just in time to see Creed shoot a hole through Iola. The entire team Soma Links and starts sealing Creed. Richia joins in too, lending her arte talents to the circle. Creed is pretty much sealed, but Richia has had to retreat to the child's Spiria because Iola is so drained. Tekta tells Creed to give up, but Creed's Guardian Knight does what she does best. Creed says his body is at its limit, and does a scan... thing. There are two possible targets: the babies! He grabs Dona and flies off. The guys try to help her, but Incarose gets in the way. Tekta tackles Incarose into the ocean. Ugh. Zex says he'll take care of Tekta and leaves Iola to Labrado. Creed is busy possessing Shing. Dona yells not to underestimate a mother's love and seals him away, right there inside Shing, using all of her remaining power. She apologizes that she couldn't seal him away completely, but with her last words, tells baby Shing that she believes in him... that his Spiria will never fall to him. Shing wants to know why Zex never told him. No, he wants to know why they didn't just kill him, and Creed along with him. A Zerom appears, but Shing's in no mood to be fighting. Set up the party and prepare for battle. The Zerom here are all from the Maze. There's just a bunch of them. Kill them. Zirconia starts using the Zerom Aura again. The party Links Out. Talk to Tekta. #wt29# Hisui wants to know what he needed us for, since he's a Soma User. Tekta says that Incarose destroyed his Soma seventeen years ago. He was able to save Zirconia and Dona along with Zex, but Dona had already used up all her life energy to seal Creed. Zex's wish was that Shing never be told. He wanted to give Shing a peaceful life, for if Shing's anger and hatred ever exploded... yeah. That's what Incarose has been trying for all this time, after all. Shing still wants to know why they didn't kill him, since he couldn't uphold the faith Dona and Zex put in him. Hisui and Beryl chase him, but Kohak stays. She thinks that anything she says to Shing will just cause him more pain. Tekta convinces her to go. "Please, go save Shing. Not with words, but with the force of your true feelings." Go chase Shing. Simply leave out the upper-rightish end of the village. Shing is still angsting. He says he can't do anything, that his weakness lead to Creed's rebirth, etc. and summons up a Rage Aura. Zex's and Dona's faith, and even the promise he made to Zex to grow a strong Spiria... he betrayed all of it. He couldn't even protect Kohak. She says he's always protected her just fine, and breaks through the Rage Aura. Oh no! Shing can't control the Rage Aura! Kohak thanks Dona and Zex for believing in Shing and not killing him, so that she could meet him. Say it with me: Awwww. The Rage Aura disappears, and Kohak collapses. He asks why she did something so dumb for him. She replies that he's done so many dumb things for her sake, and repeats the line about believing that Shing's Spiria will never fall. Hisui and Beryl arrive and heal Kohak just in time for a message from everyone's favorite evil alien, Creed Graphite! He declares that from now on, Celland's existence is Zerom food, and releases a ton of Zerom; 1,520,233, by Corundum's count. Then he offers the Celreid a way out; he'll stop if they offer to him the Quartz with emerald hair, Richia Spodune. The world is doomed! Kohak disagrees; we can save the world ourselves. Hisui won't allow it, but Shing is with her. The Soma Link Laser shows itself, and Hisui, fed up with this idiocy, shoots a bolt at Shing. Shing blocks and makes the clouds part in a deliciously symbolic shot. Oh, subtlety. Oh well. At least Beryl is in. Shing, Beryl, and Kohak's Soma Link go up, Shing gains the title of "Trample the Earth!", and Kohak gains the title of "Linked Hand in Hand". Our next order of business is Yuraio, where Innes has gone to get her hands on an airship. Get back to the port and set sail for Oldmyne. You get the Field of Seminabiz. #wt30# Hisui is on his own boat. Talk to the sailors at the front of it. A Chen boat is under attack by douchebags who want to get their hands on the emerald-hair woman. Innes and Richia are there; Hisui jumps on to help. Both Richia and the dicks' hostage are freed, but Hisui is knocked into the water. Richia jumps in after him. Blossoming 'ship says what? Richia is having trouble with the fact that if she dies, Gardenia gets unsealed combined with her whole "I don't want anyone to die" philosophy, since in the current crapsack world, the two often don't really go in the same direction. She asks Hisui to take her to Gardenia, the Black Moon, and he agrees. Hey, there's Innes' boat! Hisui uses Gale Arc to signal their location. Richia thinks it'll be dangerous. Hisui orders her to trust him, and gains the title "Who Sees For Himself". At East Oldmyne Port, everyone is back together! The party properly introduce themselves to Richia. To Yuraio! Hisui's and Innes' Soma Link with the party go up, and we're on our way. Windam gives you the Energy Whip. Leave and head west on the field. We're heading up Mt. Breime. Beryl doesn't want to go up, but screw her; we're going anyway. ==== DUNGEON: Thundering Mountain Breime ==== #wt31# Save and begin climbing the mountain. At some point, you'll learn to use the Energy Whip to cross bridges. If you hit an enemy with this thing, it'll send you right into battle instead of stunning the enemy. Continue on. The fork down goes nowhere, so go up. At the next intersection, you can continue straight and use the Energy Whip to snag [Breime Plum] x2. Don't actually touch the plant, because it hurts, if the spines all over it weren't an indication. Go back and continue up the mountain. Take the "up" path at the next fork. Cross the bridge. Turning left takes you to a dead end. Instead, turn right, go all the way around, using the Energy Whip to cross the gaps, and exit on the lower path. Cross left and go up. Kunzite gets tossed onto frame, and Chlorseraph follows. Richia asks what Flora's Guardian Knight is doing here, and Chlorseraph says he doesn't answer to that title anymore. All he wants to do at the moment is... kill Richia. He smacks Beryl and overpowers Innes. It's up to Hisui now. Kunzite tells him not to be dumb, as Chlorseraph is the latest Ace-type combat Mechanoid. Chlorseraph demonstrates by smacking Kunzite around. Hisui asks if Richia still believes in him, and shoots the mountain immediately behind Kunzite. Chlorseraph taunts Hisui's poor aim, but gets washed away by a torrent along with Hisui, Kunzite, and Richia. Hisui leaves the party. Exit right. Continue to the right, even as the bridge collapses out from under you. Ow. The rest of the party is safe, but uneasy, so Richia starts singing. Kunzite has some character development, and his and Hisui's Soma Link go up. Back to business. Remember that ladder we didn't go down? We've been deposited just on the wrong side of it. Inside the shack is a [Lightning Psistone] x2, and the shelves yield [Gelp Liquid] x2. The Psistone is going to be important; we can use it to blow up all the piles of rocks lying about this area. I'm going to assume you have one whenever I ask you to blow up a pile of rocks, but if you don't, just go and kill one of the wandering Ramuh Souls (glowing balls, can't miss them). They may drop them in battle and are guaranteed to cough up a stone after defeat regardless. For now, leave the shack and head down the mountain, picking up more [Breime Plum] x2 at the bottom. Go down the ladder and explode the rock pile to the left for [Red Button], then descend another ladder. Travel to the right, and if you wish, you can explode this rock pile to reach Heal Energy (70%). Cross the bridge down. The lower path here just leads to another briar of [Breime Plum] x2. Take the upper path and you reach a clearing of sorts and another trail up. In the open space, blow up the rocks to reveal a [Counter Bracelet] and a save point. Save, take the ladder, and exit up. Snag the fruit, and continue up for Heal Energy (50%). Exit back down, go right and enter the cabin. Loot 2000 gald, check the barrels next to the chest for [Violet Liquid] x1, take [Chamomile] x1 from the shelves, leave, and blow up the rocks to get your hands on some [Spare Chains]. Now go down the ladder (or the long way through the ramp), save, and head left, fixing the bridge with your new chains. Exit left. Tap the Heal Energy (80%) and get the [Pathos Mark] from the chest, then leave right, blowing up the rock pile. Hey, we know this song. So does Kohak. Using clever strategy, our heroes save our other heroes from their imprisonment on the island of doom. By which I mean, push the rock into the stream and then go down and push the fallen planks in as well. Hisui and Kunzite have rejoined the party! Save and prepare for a fight; Chlorseraph wants to finish the job. The party gets some nice, if sappy, lines about the nature of courage. Kunzite's Soma Link with them goes up as he asks them to lend him their power, and he gains the title of "Hot-Blooded Guardian Knight". ==== BOSS: Chlorseraph ==== Well, the two cleavers he carries around aren't just for show. Like Kunzite, he can put up a merciless combo, unlike a lot of enemies up until now who have just had individual annoying maneuvers. Well, it's what you get for the first real boss of the second half of the game. I like using Kunzite for this one, but then, I like using Kunzite in general. When you win, Chlorseraph whines that he's the latest Ace-type. Kunzite can't believe his combat power, and Shing tells him to believe in our Spiria. (I love these context-sensitive victory quotes. There is a lulzy one for Shing, Kohak, and Beryl just for this stage, too.) Chlorseraph isn't done though. He charges, and Kohak takes the hit for Beryl. Hisui wants to see it, but Kohak won't show him; Shing asks to take a look, and Kohak gives in. Kunzite wonders what the difference is, and Innes just chalks it up to "a maiden's heart". Beryl is fed up with everyone doting on Kohak again. She only took a cleaver for you, whiny little brat. She says she could have handled Chlorseraph without Kohak's help (which my experience says very no to), and kicks him for good measure. And uh. Chlorseraph's still alive. He charges Beryl again, and Kohak takes the hit again and collapses. Kunzite rages and tosses Chlorseraph into the river, but the damage is done. Beryl feels terrible, but the important thing now is to get Kohak to Yuraio and have her treated as quickly as possible! Cross the bridge up, grab the last [Breime Plum] x3, and exit stage left. You can tell we're almost done because the rain is clearing up. Unfortunately, the bridge to Yuraio is out. Luckily, Beryl knows of a village called Brange just up the mountain. Shing asks how, but Innes puts a stop to that; we need to get Kohak somewhere safe. By the way, there's a sign here that actually directs us to Brange. Whatever. Follow the long and winding way (and I do mean long). ==== TOWN: Brange, Village Above the Clouds ==== #wt32# The mountain face in this town is covered with beautiful paintings; that one is of Charault, the lake town. Beryl's Gramma Helio is quite pleased to see her. So yeah, this place is Beryl's hometown. Oh yeah, Kohak is still quite wounded. Helio invites you to her place to rest. Helio's is the inn of this town. Meet Beryl's... monster... thing... I dunno... it's name is Berul, anyway. She's surprised it hasn't keeled over dead yet. The party takes Kohak to the bedroom. No, not that one, it's full of junk. The one upstairs. Beryl sighs. She said she'd never come back to the village until she had achieved her dream of being the Imperial Painter. Kohak apologizes and Beryl quickly backpedals and says it's her fault. In any case, Kohak's to rest over night, so Helio treats us to dinner and her special peach pie. Helio isn't getting any younger, though, so Richia offers to take care of the dishes and let Gramma take it easy. Explore the village. Enter the gate in the mountain, head up the ramp, and check out the giant mural. Its painter shows up, exposits about the village, and then hits on Innes, asking her to be a model for him. Anyway, continue up the mountain. Stop in the house on the way and check the rack near the door for [Grape Gummy] x2 and the tabletop in the other half of the house for [Emperor Mushroom] x1. Nothing's upstairs. Beryl's admiring the sea of clouds at the top of the mountain with Berul. Arago, the old lech from earlier, has come here to chat. He says she hasn't gotten any bigger (if you know what he means), and she says she hasn't changed any either. She's not as great or beautiful as Innes, nor as strong or brave as Kohak... I hope you like angst. Arago won't have any of this idiocy. He brings up Beryl's Grampa, the former Imperial Painter. That just pisses Beryl off more, and she whines that she won't paint the same picture as Shinhala. Arago approves of this tack. He encourages her to paint her own picture, the best one the world has ever seen, and encourages her to go back because Gramma is worried about her. The team is at this point prepared to just let Beryl go. She has a wonderful community here in Brange, and the fight with Creed will be dangerous. If Beryl wants to stop fighting, that's just fine with them. Beryl, of course, heard all that, and is all for it. She never wanted to become a Soma User or the world's savior. She wanted to become the Imperial Painter, in case we forgot! Go back to Helio's to pick up Kohak. She doesn't take the news about Beryl too well, but it can't be helped. Shing tells Gramma to give Beryl a message: "We will protect your future as Imperial Painter". Way to rub salt in it. Anyway, journey to Yuraio continue! There's a shortcut out the back end of the village: go into the mountain, but turn left. Goodbyes are interrupted by a surprise Zerom attack! The entire village is afflicted with a voice-stealing strain of Despir Sickness. Innes assigns the party members to different tasks, and Shing's is to go check on Beryl. Remember where Beryl went? She's in that house up the mountain. Enter the room upstairs. She's wondering what she can do all by herself, since we've left. Only we haven't! She asks Shing to help her out. Naturally we will! She's already checked out Berul and Arago for Zerom, and both turned up negative. Go around the village and collect Hisui, Innes, and Kunzite, then talk to Richia near the exit. Incidentally, search the pots near the house near the exit for [Violet Liquid] x1. We've checked basically everything that moves for Zerom infection, even the Cloudsheep. Nothing. Shing thinks it might be the Spiria of the land. Hisui says that's impossible, but Beryl has an idea. There is a place in this village where all the Spiria of the people, Cloudsheep, and land are unified. Go back to Helio's house, save, and enter the room full of junk. Surprise! It's a huge painting! Shinhala made it when Beryl was a baby, and it's said that the Spiria of Brange's dead reside within this painting. Right now, we're Spir Linking into it. ==== SPIR LINK: Shinhala's Painting? ==== Nice place, isn't it? Zerom confirmed. Go! Four stages later, we get to the end. Nothing's here, but something warns Beryl that the Zerom is coming. Say hi. It's not quite as ugly as some of our old friends were though. Either way, engage! ==== BOSS: Love Diansus ==== It's not that annoying. Not immediately, anyway. It does, however, spawn clones at what appears to be 75% and 50% health. On the one hand, that makes the fight a lot more of a hassle, but on the other hand, it gives you more targets to hit. This means Shing's Seijinzeppa. Kohak's Burn Strike/Explode, Kunzite's Negative Gate, Hisui's Arataka... However, do be careful of that hex barrier it puts up. It inflicts Feather, the opposite of Weight, on a character and it knocks them back, which with Feather generally means all the way across the screen. You can get juggled this way. Diansus has worn the party out. But the same whatever warns Beryl that the Zerom isn't dead yet, and she returns Kohak's favor! Luckily, she's not badly hurt. Beryl suddenly realizes that the voice is the emotion that her Grampa, Shinhala, left inside the mural for her. She Links Out. Richia understands too; Shinhala painted his love for his granddaughter into the great mural. Oh, and the village's Despir Sickness is indeed cured. The party points out that if Beryl hadn't been here right now, the Zerom would have run rampant in the village. Kohak thanks her for saving her (twice, if we count the Cendrillion incident), and the party takes leave of Gramma and Beryl. Beryl isn't satisfied with this, naturally. Gramma sends her off with hope and a blessing. Beryl joins up with the party, and there is much rejoicing. But remember, her main goal is to make her amazing painting. Shing wishes her luck on her "Adventure" painting, but Beryl has changed her mind yet again. The theme of this one will be "Useless Resistance". Shing promises that before this is over, she'll be painting "The Heroes who Saved the World". Soma Link Laser! Beryl's Soma Link with everyone goes up, and she gains the title of "Future Master." The next map is a straight run. Save at the ensuing campsite and move on. Afterwards, Yuraio is just ahead. ==== TOWN: Entertainment City Yuraio ==== #wt33# Exit on the up-right ramp, and go all the way up. The airship is missing! The purple hair punk says that its owner, Ameth, has gone to the Casino. The Casino is in the hotel. Take the elevator down. Ameth is indeed there with our purple punk friend. Unfortunately, the proprietor and the clientele don't take well to our presence and go so far as to blame Richia for their Zerom related woes. Kunzite and Ameth put a stop to this foolishness, and the party follows Ameth out of the Casino. In short, the airship has been taken to Rignatol. If you'll remember, that place is currently overflowing with Zerom - now, no doubt, doubly so. But we're going there anyway! ==== DUNGEON: Military Garrison Rignatol ==== The airship is parked atop the main gate. Now, the nice folks inside would love to let us in, but they're probably busy being calcified by hungry Zerom. Go inspect the hole to the right. The only people who can fit through are probably Shing, Kohak, Beryl, and Richia. Kunzite and Innes help get them in. Forcefully. Leave this dump, go up, and take the Big Elevator, then enter through the front door. Some soldiers are still alive! That won't last without our help though. Smack the Zerom. The major problem here is that the base's primary power Psistone is kinda broken a lot, and most of the soldiers have fallen to the "white death". Just what we need. Richia restores the giant Psistone a little bit, but it's not enough to power up the entire base. It is enough to open up the big front door, so let's go collect our party. There's a spare power source underneath the base, and we're going to go fetch it and power up the elevator to the top of the main gate. Exit left, by the opening right next to the save point. Don't take the elevator up. Instead, wander to the right, grabbing the [Gravity Psistone] x2 from the chest, and exit. Okay, the gas room. First, cross the bridge to the left, then cross again up into a narrow passage. Our business here is to Energy Blow the odd section of pipe, then Energy Shot the gas plume to light it up. Cross back over, light the other gas plume to your left, then continue left and claim [Gryun Liquid] x1 from the chest. Now return to the entrance. Travel up ramps, grab the [Precious Steel] from the chest, and then Energy Whip across the gap using the square things. The gimmick here is that the box anchors don't work without light for some reason, so we need to light them up. With fire. Anyway, hookshot your way over the narrow gap where we used the Energy Blow earlier. On your way, break and light another gas plume just above near the raised island where the chest is. The exit is just a few ramps away, but you can hookshot down to the aforementioned island for a [Passion Ring]. Now leave. This map has a new gimmick: shoot the crystal thing with the Energy Shot to light it up, then Whip yourself over the gap. Go down two ladders. See those pink rock things? Shoot the top one from below (it's a bit tricky), which reflects the Energy Shot into the light. Grapple across. Move left, taking one ladder up and a big ladder down. Make a detour left and down yet another ladder and check the junk on the ground for [Shine Psistone] x3. Back up the ladder and to the right. Go up another ladder, and shoot the prism from below and to the right. Grapple across the gap and take the elevator down. The chest here contains [Savory] and the shards are [Sweet Psistone] x2. Go back up the elevator and back over the gap, then take the right ladder down. Shoot the prism from down and to the right across the gap, and cross it. Go down this ladder and up a very tall one to the left to get [Talisman], then backtrack. Shoot the prism from below and to the right yet again, cross, and climb down the final ladder. Behold, the Giant Psistone. Shiny, isn't it? Innes and Kunzite collect it. Violently. The debris to the left is [Sweet Psistone] x2, and the stuff on the right side is [Void Psistone] x2. The elevator on the very left corner of this map is a shortcut. Return to the center room with the Giant Psistone. Having set it, exit left, and this time take the "down" catwalk. (If, for some reason, the catwalk is raised, the switch can be found against the upper-right wall. It is a purple gem thing activated by the Energy Shot.) Exit, continue down, and say "yes" to raise the Main Gate. Who should be waiting for us at the top but our old friend Sarge Morga! And he still wants to kill us, and our families, and our children. For everlasting peace, of course. He turns into a big ugly. Put him out of his misery. ==== BOSS: Rage Camelia ==== Not as ugly as it could be, I guess. 10 Penetrate means that when you have him comboed, you do not let up, ever. When he puts up his invincibility, get out of the way and swing your weapon a few times to restore your EG, because you want a solid meter when it's time for the assault, I promise. Innes is ready to crush the big ugly. Kohak stops her; Sarge is, after all, only thinking of protecting his peaceful world. Yeah, that doesn't change the fact that he's a brainwashed Zerom-man. Kunzite gets tired of this noise and finishes off the big ugly dragon monster. In his death throes, he Soma Links and de-biguglies, but he's still dying. Thusly, Sergeant Morga entrusts his future world of peace to us. The party is broken up, but reaffirms their mission to save the world. Kunzite reflects that if a Mechanoid delivers the kill, no one's Spiria has to suffer for it. Innes has the airship prepped, so we can take off whenever. To the skies! No one knows how to fly an airship... Innes thinks she can do it with the help of a manual. She gets the title "Terrifying New Driver". Now, to be fair, she's doing okay until Creed butts in. The airship explodes, and the party only lives by Richia's defense spell. Speaking of which, Richia isn't looking too great. The party decides to take her to the Oasis. Exit southeast. ==== TOWN: Oasis ==== Planning time. How do we get to Cendrillion? Shing suggests getting the help of Chalcedny and his flying Wahrheit; like that'll ever work. Richia has another idea. Through her Soma Link with Cendrillion (she was there when it was made, remember?), the party can Spir Link into the whale itself. We'll need the help of the Crystal Knights for this, so off to the Imperial Capitol with us. Everyone's Soma Link goes up. Kunzite gains the title of "Who Has Seen Hope". You can exit west to the Field. Head to Estrega. ==== TOWN: Imperial Capitol Estrega ==== #wt34# Shing bangs on the gate, but... uh, we're wanted, remember? Peridot drags him away. Hey, we haven't seen her in a while. The military has not been treating the Crystal Knights well, as predicted. Chalcedny is jailed within the capitol city. It is time for us to sneak through the waterway once more, this time into the city. Leave and find the exit we used last time. ==== DUNGEON: Imperial Capitol Underground Waterway ==== The party makes introductions with Peridot. Enter. Go around the reservoir and trek up to the main channel. When there, make a right this time; the light valve in the lower room has been reset, so we can't go around the outlet. So instead, go all the way around the inlet. Essentially, we're completing the circumnavigation of the main channel that we left half done last time we were here. There is a dude at the inlet with Despir Sickness, but I'm going to leave his case for another time. Continue down the main channel. Right after Peridot talks about her relationship with the Chalcedny Squad and Shing breaks the box, pass through and turn. This is the same ladder Captain Silver took us down through last time. Chal is still angsting about his sin, but we don't have time for this. We need him to lend us Wahrheit's power to Spir Link with the Great Winged Whale. Operation Break Out commence! But first, fish [Apple Gummy] x3 out of the first cell toilet and [Root Liquid] x3 from the second. Return to the waterway. Go down to the main channel and make a right. Shoot the light valve, go up and around the inlet, down two rooms and turn at the upper branch exit. Check the ladder. Shing should use the Energy Whip to bring it down. You've escaped, but soldiers show up! After an undoubtedly epic offscreen battle, leave and go up the stairs. Remember this place? Shing was once imprisoned here. Now it belongs to Byrocks. He has bad news for us. The date of Chalcedny's execution... has been changed. By which I mean it exists. Time to go save him! The sound of Byrocks' still unnamed Soma goes off in the distance, and Byrocks and Peridot bolt. The party and the Crystal Knights follow. Chalcedny's already tied to the pole like a witch, and the way Grossular's talking about the Church and Soma, he might as well be. Chal's receiving the capital punishment for attempting to assassinate Her Majesty the Empress (really), and the method of execution will be... a familiar BFG. Grossular asks if Chal has any last words. Chal only requests that his pendant be given to Paraiba. Grossular points the gun, and Chalcedny says goodbye... "This isn't goodbye!" What does that make Peridot and Byrocks? If you said "Big Damn Heroes", get yourself a cookie. (If you added "sir", make it two.) They tell off Chal for being selfish and causing a lot of people a lot of worry. Grossular gets bored and fires, but Shing and co. block! Shing tells Chal not to die before he brings back Marin's smile. Grossular takes a shot at Wahrheit next, but Chal is too fast for him. He's thought of some good last (not) words for us: "As I promised, I will protect you and your world. So trust me and wait for me!" Grossular sics his soldiers on us, but the Crystal Knights can handle them! Actually, the military doesn't feel like beating up anyone, let alone the Church's Soma Users, over petty noise. Chalcedny joins the team, and Shing gains the title of "Brother in Arms". Skip town. Richia, Kohak, and Hisui are talking about using "that" Psistone. A gigantic one, buried in a mountain far to the north in Markis. The only way there is from South Oldmyne Port. Leave the city, but don't go into the Field; for the first time in a while, I'm asking you to take the roads. Go southwest. The road from the campsite to South Oldmyne Port is straight. If you can't get there, this walkthrough cannot help you. ==== TOWN: South Oldmyne Port ==== Captain Sango is already here. Let us set sail! Everyone's Soma Link goes up again; this game likes to keep it coming. ==== TOWN: North Markis Port ==== Step out into the white, snowy road. Cross the open field. The party runs into another force wall thing. The password is "Iola." Move on. ==== TOWN: Hidden Village Norquin ==== #wt35# A woman mistakes Peridot for Kohak. I have no idea how; everyone from this hole has black hair. Sheera, Hisui's and Kohak's aunt, ends this idiocy. She has the entire village pretty thoroughly under control, and doesn't appreciate us bringing Crystal Knights into it. She's convinced that the Chal Squad is out to destroy the village. Richia tries to talk sense into Sheera, and you'd really think she'd listen, since her ward, master, and goddess is giving an order. Instead, she locks Shing and co. in a room, confiscates their Soma, and takes Kohak, Hisui and Richia to her place to talk. Sheera basically won't have Kohak, Hisui, or Richia doing anything dangerous, and that includes saving the world. What a bother. And she most definitely doesn't approve of traveling with a Crystal Knight, whatever Kohak says about their trustworthiness. She forbids our intrepid heroes from leaving the house. Check the cupboard for [Brau Liquid] x2 and the book on the shelf for 1200 gald. Talk to Sheera, then go back to the room upstairs. Kohak wants to screw the rules. She jumps out the window, and Hisui and Richia follow. We're now outside the house. Approach the entrance, but go up the ramp to the west at the last bit, then go up another ramp and reach a chimney. Kohak jumps in. Meanwhile, Beryl is trying to open the door, but falls right into Sheera's explosive trap. Kohak arrives just in time. Everyone's safe. Let's get out of here! Innes picks up the title of "Squishy Fat". Grr, Beryl. Kohak has to stop at the big tree at the center of town: the "Amber Cherry" tree (in Japanese, "Kohakuzakura"; presumably Kohak is named after it). It symbolizes hope for Norquin: after every winter, it always blooms and produces fruit without fail. Oops. Sheera was hiding behind the tree the whole time. She set up that bomb Psistone to protect the village, or something. The Hearts kids don't get it, and Kohak guesses it must be the influence of Despir Sickness. No dice; Kunzite can't confirm any Zerom. Sheera reveals the real reason: the giant Psistone we're chasing contains the final wishes of Iola, to protect Norquin... and her children. That's why the barrier is out there: Iola's feelings maintain it from within the Psistone. That means if we drain it... Shing breaks out his trademark "your feelings are the same as mine" line. Just as Sheera acted to protect what was left of her sister, Shing will protect Kohak. Shing's, Kohak's, and Hisui's Soma Links go up. Off we go. Exit north. Cross the field, and exit again. The giant Psistone can be seen in the distance, and it is indeed gargantuan. Forward! This is the lake, such as it is. Go onto the ice, hop on the floating ice cube thing, and ride it across. The lower ride here takes you to Heal Energy (80%). Follow the upper ride, and keep riding to the top of the screen. Now, you could exit now, but where would be the loot in that? Ride left, and head up the slope. The avalanche is perfectly normal. Now ride back to the beginning. There's now another path out, so take it and ride up. Ride all the way up, go back up the hill (no avalanche this time), and get the [Torn Aurora Leaf] x2. Now, I know I promised more loot, but honestly I have no clue how to get the remaining chests here. It baffles me. I've tried everything on every island before and after the avalance and... barghle. In any case, if anyone has any good info, please drop me a line. LINE DROPPED! Sui89 tells me that the lake freezes over later in the game, and I have confirmed that if you return to the area after reaching Rapunzel, it is indeed totally walkable. For reference, there is [Ancient Dragon's Big Fang] x5 on the left and [Im Kingstone] x5 on the right. Anyway, ride back to the entrance, and then ride back to the exit. Giant rock in a meadow! Kohak thanks her mother for protecting her all this time, but... anyway, resolve strengthened. We are going to Spir Link with the Mobile Crystal Castle Cendrillion! Save, and talk to Richia. We're going to send the playable party in while the Chalcedny Squad help Richia hold the link, basically. Richia entrusts Kunzite with the [Psychic Lock], which anchors us to reality as we pass through the Double Link. ==== DUNGEON: Artifical Psyche Cendrillion ==== #wt36# Yes, Dungeon. It's not an official dungeon, but it doesn't behave much like a Spir Link. The Spir Maze, such as it is, appears to be in water. Shing doesn't see the problem, since isn't it normal for a whale to be dreaming of water? Anyway, start the dungeon. This map is basically one big circuit. Let's start by turning right, which of course means we are going clockwise. But first, go down-right for a moment and immediately up for [Poison Jewel]. After going down the pink ramp, go straight for [Grape Gummy] x2, then return to the ramp and make the right turn. Carry on with the circumnavigation, and turn right after the next pink ramp for [Sweet Psistone] x2. Keep going straight on our trip around the stage, and right after the next pink ramp, go straight and get [Black Button]. Now turn directly around, go up the pink ramp, and turn right at the first intersection. Save and move on. Use the Energy Blow to move the block onto the pyramid. Derp. Run straight across the hall. Everyone can feel the wishes of Cendrillion, and send their wishes to it as well. A person appears out of Cendrillion's blowhole projector thing; Kunzite knows her as Flora Spodune, Richia's older sister, who made Cendrillion in the first place. Well. It's a recording of Flora, to be sent if Cendrillion were to be reactivated. She tells us to stop Gardenia, or Bad Things will happen. Then she shows us what happened right after the fateful day... Corundum is reporting on the fate of Quartzia: zero life signs on the planet's surface, and six billion bodies calcified. Creed yells at Richia to put the Spiria back, but she can't, because Gardenia has eaten it. Now Gardenia starts moving towards Celland, Creed starts raving about Gardenia not behaving, and Richia is crying. Flora runs in and switches places with Richia, gaining control over Gardenia and sending it into hibernation. Creed still can't accept that Gardenia is a monster, but Flora is only concerned with the safety of Creed and Richia. She casts a spell to evacuate them and the Mechanoids, and stays in Gardenia to keep it sealed away. That's the whole story of Gardenia's launch. Flora urges us not to allow Gardenia to be unsealed, and gives Kunzite [Data Psistone], which contains all the development data of Gardenia. Kunzite has another question, but Corundum puts a stopper on this party. We need to get out of here. Take the warp. I love the patterns on this stage. Immediately take the path off to the left and follow the circle to a dead end with 1800 gald. Return to the save point, take the other path, and double back at the tangent to reach [Flame Psistone] x2. Now go back to the save point again, and go straight. Don't touch the big red box yet. In this middle area is Heal Energy (70%) and 2600 gald, and, far off the trail, [Mythical Beast's Horn] x2 (though really, the gald was further). Now go back to the center, and shoot the cube of doom with the Sorceror's Ring. You'll have to fight a Ruby Golem. A gate at the left corner of the map opens, but the map is now crawling with Rubies. They respawn on the field if killed, multiply in combat, and cast fire spells. Fight or avoid them as you wish, and exit. Puzzle times. Note the timer. The puzzle isn't reset if you run out, but you do have to fight for the right to continue. So really, you're just interrupted by combat once a minute. You can use the purple switch of some sort to reset the puzzle. Go down the corridor to continue. Good god this map is huge. It's just like the last map, but there are three boxes of doom: red, yellow and blue. Okay. Go down from the save point, go to the left, and turn. The first intersection goes to the right and leads to Heal Energy (50%). The second goes up and sorta to the left and leads to [Wounded Tiger Chant Charm] and the blue cube of death. Now, I would save the cubes until I was done exploring, but you can trigger it if you want. Fight a Sapphire Golem, area gets filled with blue gems of evil, you know the thing. Press forward on the path of justice, rounding the exit warp and going straight at the intersection (it's a dead end). Turning down-right at the next intersection leads you down a very, very long road that rewards you with [Gelp Liquid] x1, [Void Psistone] x3, and the yellow Cube. And I'd actually trigger this one now just for how stubbornly out of the way it is. Would you want to come all the way out here with Rubies and Sapphires wandering the corridors? We already have to get back through a crowd of Topaz. Anyway, zap the Cube and beat down the Topaz Golem. Make the long trek back and continue, stepping to the left for a [Jeweled Branch] x2. There's a Heal Energy (40%) in it for you if you make the circle around the red Cube. In any case, shoot the Cube and go through the routine. And now we have gone all the way around the stage. Save if you like, and begin the circle again, breaking the giant blue cube on the way if you haven't. We're heading to the exit now. Puzzle times. I have no idea what this is, but you're on a two-minute timer. Solutions are welcome. Walk down the hall. We find ourselves at the very map we entered on. Save and head for the exit. Oh no, the exit portal's shrinking! Richia and the Chal Squad are reaching the breaking point, but a familiar drill sound interrupts our escape: Geo Strigau! He's a collector of sorts: a collector OF SOULS! No, seriously. He's collecting the Spirunes of Celland, and Gardenia is an easy way to access all us Celreid at once. He shows off part of his collection, and boy is this guy creepy. And guess who else is in his collection? The one Spirune guaranteed to drive Innes to murderous rage: Lapis Silver! The whole thing was his plan from the start. Sabotaging the Psi-cannon, killing Pearl, sending Silver on the way to destruction... Destroy him to pieces. ==== BOSS: Strigau ==== I never found this bastard hard. His attacks are more annoying than anything, especially the rock throwing one. He doesn't even Hi-Ougi. Innes is ready to crush his skull in, but Kohak stops her, saying such hatred wouldn't make her a very good mother to Lapis. Creed interrupts with an Evil Beam to Strigau's face, and the Spirune goes flying. We don't have time for this! The portal is closing, and Richia's team is straining just to keep it existing. Innes still wants to get Lapis' Spirune, but no luck. The party is forcefully pulled out of Cendrillion, and the Psistone shatters. Innes is angry, but we have bigger worries. Zerom have broken into Norquin and they're headed for the village. Richia and the Chalcedny Squad collapse, and tell us to go on without them. The party disagrees. Innes gets the title of "Spirune Chaser". To Norquin! Uh oh, the gate is broken through. Zerom are attacking! Chal and Richia run up to protect the Norquin...ians. Smash the Zerom! Two rounds (only?) of this noise later, the Zerom are beginning to overpower our heroes. They get a second wind, but Zerom have already broken through. Sheera calls in her last trump card: using the Amber Cherry. Beat up one final wave of Zerom. The village is saved, but once again, we have bigger problems. Cendrillion is almost ready to awaken Gardenia, and Creed gloats about the Spiria of the Celreid being the rebirth of Quartzia. #wt37# Gardenia breaks out of the black moon, and it is an ugly piece of work. Richia is certain that there's still something we can do to stop Gardenia. Shing suggests using Wahrheit again, but there's no way Chalcedny can take more than a person, perhaps, up as far as Gardenia. Kunzite has an idea though. The development data of Cendrillion talks about it as an Evolved Soma. It's possible that we can Evolve Wahrheit the same way. That would make it possible to carry the whole team up to Gardenia. To pull it off, though, we'll need two items. The first one is the Flarehorn of Volgageors, the Purgatory Dragon, and the second is a Zerom Stone. Funny story about the Zerom Stone though. It's currently with Her Majesty the Empress Paraiba Marin do Rey. Because Chalcedny gave it to her, as he promised. Idiot. Oh well. No point giving up now. Happy fluffy bunnies ensue, and Kohak gains the title of "Hearts Successor." Get out of here. Well, no. Before we go, go back up towards the well, turn, and go all the way to the end for [Torn Aurora Leaf] x1. Now get out of here. Our destination: north Markis Port, and from there, the Imperial Capitol Estrega! On the way out, Shing and Hisui bond over their respective 'shipping partners, Kohak and Richia. Their Soma Link goes up. You also get Gelda Snow Plains' Field. Hisui gets his own "Hearts Successor" title. Meanwhile, Corundum wants please to not be wired into the system anymore. Creed doesn't care. More reason to villainize the guy, I guess. He tells Shing to bring it on. Now, you can trek all the way across the Field (or the roads if you really really wanted), or you can just go the port and sail to South Oldmyne Port, which is the very bottom option and puts you right next to the Capitol. However, that area has no Field yet, so you can take the roads, or you can choose the third option from the top, which is West Oldmyne Port, and which allows you road-free access to Estrega. Any way works, really. ==== TOWN: Imperial Capitol Estrega ==== #wt38# Well, the gate is down and all the residents are calcified. Marin is probably in danger. Chal runs off after Marin. Chase! Innes takes Kunzite and Beryl to search for survivors. The rest of us, chase after Chalcedny! Chalcedny's trying to break down the front door of Macus Palace, but remembers that, oh, he can fly. He takes off. We still have to chase him, though, but first, run back and meet up with everyone else. Well, we couldn't stop Chalcedny and they couldn't find any survivors in the Imperial District, so we're even for failure. Suddenly, Kunzite spots one: Ann! Being attacked by a Zerom! Lest you think we get to do anything cool, like crush them, Kunzite takes it out handily. Anyway, there are more survivors, and they've holed themselves up in the inn. Hooray! We need to get entrance to the castle. Some faceless NPC opens up the waterway (yes, we're doing this again) and gives us [Key to Macus Castle]. Once more into the sewers with us! ==== DUNGEON: Imperial Capitol Underground Waterway ==== Make your way back to the main channel. We exit in the lower room of it. Turn right, go all the way around the inlet at the upper end, go down one room on the other side, and exit up, upper branch. Once again, Shing uses the Energy Whip and opens up the hatch with the Key. ==== DUNGEON: Macus Castle ==== The chests at the top corner of this storeroom contain [Lightning Psistone] x1 and [Flame Psistone] x1. Exit up the stairs. Behind the door to the left lies a [Violet Liquid] x1, behind that to the left, nothing of note. So leave up the stairs. A hall later, we come to a round table room. Chests here contain [Efficial Ring] x1 (I don't know what it is either) and [Magical Aroma] x1. The door to the left has nothing (but it'll be important later), the one to the right leads to Heal Energy (100%), and the door down just leads out to a balcony. Now just exit up the stairs again. The exit down in the next room leads to a library, but no loot. So keep advancing. In the next room, we find Chalcedny entrapped by... slime or something. Ew. Talk to him, then fire the Energy Shot. It's woefully ineffective, but a military woman wanders in and tosses a bomb into the Zerom slime. Shing zaps it, and a lot, but not all, of the slime gets destroyed by the blast. Hooray! Innes recognizes the woman as Captain Plena, and the device as Plena's special "flame-thunder bombs". She chews out Innes for not doing her job of protecting Captain Silver. I'd call those extenuating circumstances, myself, but whatever floats the Captain's boat. Innes has no explanation, but reminds the good Captain of what's important now: the bombs. Plena doesn't want to hear any of it from Innes, and walks out. Innes explains for us that Plena was one of the officers who was working with Cap Silver on the Psistone Cannon, and also her roommate at the Academy. In any case, we have to get more bombs from her if we're going to beat the slime-Zerom. Go back down to the round table room and take the left door. We arrive just as Plena's kitty, Platta, wanders off. Let's get some bombs! ...er, Plena doesn't have any more. Richia asks her to make some more, and the presence of the Emerald-hair Princess forces Plena to change her tune. And while we have the ingredients (Flame Psistone and Lightning Psistone), the recipe just ran off with Platta. So we have to hunt down the cat. Return to the ground floor and go in the left door. There's the kitty! Sadly, it's too fast for us to get. We need to find ourselves some bait, something Platta likes. Innes has an idea. Leave, enter the right-side kitchen door, and inspect the barrels for [Gummy Burning Sake]. Return to the left side room and catch that cat! After an epic struggle, it looks like Platta's about to give in. But suddenly, Zerom! Yes, the kitty has Despir Sickness. Spir Link and fix it! ==== SPIR LINK: Platta the cat ==== No stages. Just beat up some Zerom. Recipe obtained! Return to Plena. She mouths off to Innes again, and Innes is done dealing with Plena's noise. Who's the one saving the world again? Plena gives in. Flame-thunder bomb get! Return to the slime room, set the bomb, and shoot it. Save and go through. Labrado and Grossular are having the same argument again, and Labrado has the upper hand this time; all the fairy tales and lore passed down in the Church have come to pass, even the Black Moon. Marin doesn't care about any of that. She's just concerned about Chalcedny. Grossular, being a douchebag, tells her he broke his promise and bolted, dropping the pendant which Grossular so kindly saved. Marin goes into a depression, thinking Chal has abandoned her, and the Zerom infects her. She screams that no one, nothing, not even herself cares about her, then Zerom- fuses along with Labrado and Grossular. Well, it's our job as Soma Users to cure the everloving crap out of her. ==== BOSS: Lonely Veronica ==== My, can this one cast. Black Hole is her favorite trick. When you see it, zip away as fast as you can. Also watch out for the jumping. The jumping hurts. #wt39# Veronica/Paraiba continues screaming that she's useless. It attacks Kohak, but Chalcedny blocks and asks us to leave it to him. Now everyone give the man some privacy. "Lady Paraiba... I only wanted to see your smile, but I didn't know how to make you... so I thought I'd change the world for you, with my own power. Then an idiot told me, 'A fool who can't even get back the smile of the girl before his eyes can never save the world'. Unfortunately, those stupid words are true. Before I could do anything else, I had to tell you the feelings in my heart!" (At this point, Marin tells Chal to run before she kills him.) "Your Majesty Paraiba Marin do Rey! From the moment I met you, I... I loved you! And I still will... even if you try to kill me here! I'll love you forever!" Marin struggles out that she loves Chalcedny too, Soma Links, stabs herself, and de-uglies. She asks if Chalcedny's all right, and he replies that it's his line. Marin tells Chalcedny that he doesn't remember, but the first time they met, he was just a baby. She even changed his diaper. Maybe that's when he fell in love? Chalcedny is understandably flustered. Marin then gets back to business. She orders Grossular to organize a strike force, and commands Labrado to command his Crystal Knight Order to find sanctuary for the sick, children, old, and women. They start protesting, but new, confident Marin puts a stop to that noise. Chal asks her what she wants him to do. She only wants him to stay, and support her when she appears before the Macus Empire. The people cannot see an injured or weak Empress at a time like this. She calls him her Knight. It's a very touching moment, until Shing opens his fat mouth. Anyway, it's time for Her Majesty the Empress's address. Richia casts some stuff on Marin to transmit the message all over Celland. She explains the existence of Zerom, Gardenia, and the Sleeping Princess, but tells the citizens not to lose hope. Some douchebag asks what she's planning to do if she couldn't even stop the war between the Church and the Army. Another one accuses her of hiding away and protecting only herself. Another one starts defending her, but Marin admits that she was running from her duty as Empress and allowing the Zerom to invade. (Cue the heroic theme, "To Spiria, Bring Hope".) Then she asks for the help of everyone, because she's such a fool. She pleads with everyone to shut off their Spiria of despair, sadness, and anger. Some douchebag, or possibly the first one, asks what something intangible is going to do against the Zerom. Shing fields this one; you can't see or touch it, but you can feel it. "The burning feelings of wanting to protect someone!" He urges them to reach out and communicate with that person. Even though he hasn't done that for Kohak yet... Kohak reminds him that the entire world can hear him. Oops. At least the people are happier now, and their rising spirits are exactly what Her Majesty wants to hear. With feelings like that, hearts all over the world will become linked, and with that power, we shall beat the Zerom down! ...no one said Tales of Hearts was subtle. Just to drive the point home, Power of Friendship bubbles start rising up out of the capitol square. "With Courage, which transcends fear... Kindness, which protects with love... and light, which does not bend to despair... this warm Love spreads throughout the world. Flora, I finally understand clearly. What your utopia needed is... people who unshakingly, unwaveringly tell their feelings and join their Spiria. It was always so obvious..." Everyone's Soma Link goes up. ...no one said Tales of Hearts was subtle. Talk to Marin. She agrees to give you the "Ruby Eye Pendant". Now that's over, there's one more ingredient left for the Soma Evolve: the Flarehorn. Goose has some information on it, so pay it a visit. ==== TOWN: Healing Town Goose ==== #wt40# The party reminisces warmly on the first time they all met, right here in this town. A scream comes from the... north... east... this is why I don't use compass directions in towns. Anyway, it's Sasha. The children report on a sorceress in a purple robe, and boy, we have a passing acquaintance with someone who resembles that. Incarose was looking for directions to Fluere for some reason, so go chase her down! The elder is begging Incarose not to kill the Fluere, but Incarose is supposed to capture the little buggers dead or alive. We get there too late, but Peridot and Byrocks have an ambush planned, and Incarose is vaporized. Sweet! The elder is not in a great shape, so take him back to the inn. He tells us of a volcanic island to the southwest: Mt. Bamel. Again, we're through a place where we lack a Field, so the party automatically leaves via the roads. And somehow, Incarose lives. Ugh. She can't let us get our hands on a flying Evolved Soma. In any case, go southwest. ==== DUNGEON: Bamel Volcano ==== Our destination, stupidly, is the bottom of the volcano. Let's begin the stage. Save. Up the ramp is nothing but Soma, and you have to use the Energy Whip to get over the lava floes (convection, what's that?). On the ground path, just go around on the black rock, and go up the second ramp, again defying physics using the Sorceror's Ring. Turn around and cross more excessively hot streams of molten rock. Pass the first branch up the mountain, and exit by the next, entering the inside of the mountain itself. (Good god, at least Phantasia and Eternia tried to address the heat issue.) In this happy area, there is purple gas that will damage you. Try not to stand in it, or be in it when the quakes start. At the three-way road, go left, run straight up and right through the gas without turning, and continue across the bridge. Go up the ramp, and hook your way across the gap to your right if you want a [Red Sage], but be aware that you'll have to circle around a bit. Likewise, hook the piller to the left for [Aegis Shell] x3. When finished, go up and around (taking a detour ramp to a Heal Energy (100%)) and finally exit right. The gimmick in this chamber is that you shoot the pink stalk things with the Energy Blow and they give you temporary immunity to evil purple volcano gas. So shoot the nearest one and wander along the right path. Turn up at the first intersection, shoot the pink puffball again, and turn down-right, and finally exit the poison field up. Now Energy Blow the pillar and continue upward. A section of earth collapses, and we are separated from the Chalcedny Squad. They go off to the bottom of the volcano on their own. Smack the pink ball. This bit is sensitive. There is a ramp to the left, and a field down from you. Take the ramp, turn up, and rise out of the gas. Go through the opening. Go all the way down here. You pass by a Heal Energy (80%) and a save point. Use them, then leave. This area adds a new gimmick: when the quakes hit, rocks fall from above and damage you if they land on you. Down the ramp and go to the right. At the island, such as it is, go up and take the long path to [Ancient Fish Fin] x3. Turn around, go all the way back, and head left, stopping at the island for [Pickpocket Master's Glove]. Go all the way left and up, take the ramp down, and exit left. Take the branching ramp and push the rock. Now go back to the previous screen, go back up the ramp, and take the higher exit. Back on this screen, go across the center pillar and make the down-left turn. Head right at the first branch and push the rock, lowering the pillar again. Now go back up, but keep going instead of turning back towards the center pillar. Loop all the way around, go across the center pillar at its middle height, and exit once more to the previous screen. Go forward. At the island, detour on the up path and return to the pillar map for [Dark Firefly] x3 and Heal Energy (60%). That done, return to our island and go right this time, pausing to pick up [Precious Steel] x4, and finally looping around one more time to the pillar room for our last pillar-destroying rock drop. Return to the island one last time, and Energy Blow the pillar. Cross over, and leave on the lower exit. Cross the central no-longer-a-pillar, and get out of here for good. Save, and go up for [Dragon Ash] x1. Then go down. This is the mouth of the volcano, and it's all downhill from here. Miscellaneous Soma Points and monsters are lying on the spiral, but nothing I'm at liberty to care about. The Chalcedny Squad isn't here, but Volgageors shows up. Prepare for battle! ==== BOSS: Volgageors ==== Look at that Penetrate. Just look at it. 15 of it. That's how you know this is going to be a long fight. He has an annoying claw combo that poisons, and of course, fire breath. Try to keep it surrounded; if it catches one or two units, the other on should be wailing on its back. If nothing else, that'll reduce its guards (did I mention it has fifteen of them?) for when the assault starts. And please, set up your Heal Stone. Beryl claims victory for our "burning Spiria", but... yeah, this joke is done. You get the [Purgatory Dragon's Blazing Horn] for your trouble. This is the Flarehorn we came here to get. But what's taking Chalcedny so long? Oh, only his crowning moment of awesome. (Why does that guy get all the best moments around here, anyway?) Peridot and Byrocks are having banter, because that's what teams do around here, when Incarose decides to butt in, as she does. She says that the Incarose the Chal Squad destroyed in Goose... is not her only body. There are three Incaroses here! Better yet, she actually had a total of seven bodies but is down to four. Three is more than enough to take Chal though. Chalcedny and the Incarose Squad have an epic battle. One of them goes down, but another threatens Peridot, giving the third a window to Evil Beam Chal. Peridot tosses her sword to Chalcedny, and just in case you thought this scene couldn't be more awesome, let's summarize: he is dual-wielding with a BFS in one hand and taking on the villain's right-hand womanbot in duplicate. And winning. Epically. But the epic win has not come without its price. Peridot and Byrocks are stranded and wounded. They tell Chal to go on and join our fight. Chalcedny tries to rescue them, but can't. They make their final speeches, mostly involving Chalcedny being their little brother, and he tearfully turns around. Finally, Peridot and Byrocks say their goodbyes to each other. Talk to everyone. They are blissfully unaware of the Chalcedny Squad's fate. Chalcedny flies in. Where are the others? Chalcedny briefly explains about Incarose, and tells us to hurry and use the Pendant and Flarehorn. Shing isn't satisfied, but the volcano is going to erupt soon, and we have to get moving on the Soma Evolve thing. Everyone gets set up, and... Nothing happens. Chalcedny starts raging, but Kohak administers a hug. She tells him to calm down, because the purpose of Soma is to connect people. The Spiria of Peridot and Byrocks is still with him. Right on cue, their Soma Link Laser connects to Kohak, then to everyone in turn, and they tell Chalcedny how much the Chal Squad still believes in him and loves him. "Let's go, my Soma! Strong... high... into the great sky... "FLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!" Kohak dubs our new airship the "Wings of Hope". The Soma Link Laser connects to it from the volcano, but fades away. Rest in peace, Peridot, Byrocks. ... Well, now that's over, the party is having some trouble flying the airship. However, everyone's Soma Link goes up. We're back in Goose! While Chalcedny is being treated, Richia is running out of Spiria from all the crap she's been through, and she's starting to calcify. Enter the inn. Chalcedny wakes up, but he can't move his body. He confirms that Wahrheit is the memento of Iola Hearts, but Hisui says no; it's evolved through the bonds shared by the Chalcedny Squad, so it's become a new Soma. Chalcedny disagrees; it isn't evolved by the bond of the Chal Squad, but the bonds of everyone. Innes suggests a new name for it: "Lianheit." Everyone approves. Oh, but Cendrillion is about to move. Everyone rushes out, but Chalcedny asks Shing for one thing: promise him to come back in one piece. You have the full continent of Oldmyne as a Field. Flying Soma Lianheit: Launch! You can now go wherever you want. Use Y to land or launch Lianheit from anywhere on the Field Map. ==== DUNGEON: Mobile Crystal Castle Cendrillion ==== #wt41# Creed leaves for the bridge, leaving us to Incarose, Chlorseraph, and Strigau. Corundum begs once more for release, but Creed can't be bothered. Cut back to us. Exit up. Then talk to Creed's chair. Richia tries to free Corundum, but Creed has set up a trap of some sort. Richia promises Corundum to save her soon. Exit left. We're back to the room full of Mother Zerom. Kohak gets the idea to use the flame-thunder bombs to blow them up. Anyway. Go down, save, and check out the teleporter platform. It's locked down, but we can order a Mechanoid to unlock it for us. So go to the Mechanoid storage room. It's to the right. Check out the console, and say hi to our new friend, an IS337-mark-11 Jack-type Mechanoid. He wanders off and activates the Teleport for us, so go back and take it. Basically, there are two energy channels to the door that need to be connected to go through. We will take the top room first. For starters, get [Float Cotton] x3 and [Grape Gummy] x3 from the chests. From left to right, the panels you need to solve the puzzle are a left turn, -, L, right turn, backwards L, and finally |. I hope that made sense. Use the purple gem thingie to reset the puzzle if you screw up. Anyway, go out and into the right channel room! Collect [Red Lavender] and turn your attention to the puzzle. Push columns 4 and 5 from the right in, and then pull the second column from the left two out. Puzzle finished! Leave and go through the door. Loot [Magical Aroma] x1 and take the Teleport. See this crossroads? Go up and left for [Dark Firefly] x3, down and right for [Poison Psistone] x3. Take the Teleport on the last path. Near the entrance is Heal Energy (100%). To the left is [Dark Psistone] x4, to the right a [Root Liquid] x1. Note the gimmick with the bottomless channels, which act as icy floors in other RPGs. Anyway, leave. From the left opening here, slide down, left, and up to claim [Lucky Ring], then slide right from the top wall. This is the tricky part; while sliding, grapple one of the pillars, then slide right again to reach the [Ocean Psistone] x3 on the other side. From this point, we can take the four elevators downstairs. To do this, begin sliding across, grapple one of the non-center pillars, and then just slide up or down. The upper two cells are tricker; you'll need to slide around them to reach them from above. The lower-left and upper-right lead to the switches we need to get out of here, or rather, they lead to switches that open up the switches that we need to get out of here. Get them out of the way. By the way, from the lower-left island, you can make it to the last edge cell, where there rests a [Seraph Bird Feather] x2. Just remember: when navigating this area, the pillars and the Energy Whip are your friends. Anyway, go down the ladder in the upper-left island. Slide down, grapple the pillar, and slide left to get to one of the switches! Activate it. Leave the chamber, slide up, right, and down, grappling the right side pillar. Activate the other switch. Now we're going to loot this dump before we leave. We will achieve this feat by sliding to the very top of the map, floating in one of the top corners, and sliding down, towards the center, and up. The left chamber contains [Ancient Fish Fin] x2, and the right one contains [Piyonon]. Slide to the bottom-right corner of the map, up, and right. Go up the lower- right ladder. From the left wall of this cell, slide down, left, and down. Save and take the Teleport. Everyone's ready to go, but the Mechanoid knocks out Richia and declares that instead of the Bridge, we're going to Hell! Chlorseraph has taken over our Mechanoid. It activates the port, which, as promised, does not take us to the bridge. The Port then locks, and the Mechanoid feeds itself to the nearby Zerom. If you can't read this minigame, you can make it a great deal harder on yourself than it's supposed to be. Richia needs two minutes to unlock the Teleport, and while that happens, you are expected to defend her from oncoming waves of Zerom. The Zerom stop if you fight one of them, but so does the clock. However, here, you can destroy the Zerom with two uses of the Energy Shot, or one use of the Energy Blow. The Energy Shot, of course, also stuns them on the first hit. After two minutes, the party escapes under cover of flame-thunder bombs. You get [Fragment of Black Moon] x2. Now that we've escaped, celebrate by getting [Protect Symbol] from up and left, [Elixir] x1 from down and right, and Heal Energy (100%) from down and left. Save and take the elevator again. Welcome to the Cendrillion bridge, where Strigau waits for us. Innes rages at him, but he just says that her angry Spirune will look pretty next to Lapis'. Innes says she doesn't want to hear his bad taste and orders him to return Lapis. Strigau gets pissed again, saying Innes says the same thing his mom did, and activates his Zerom Rage Aura. Prepare for battle! For Lapis! ==== BOSS: Possessed Strigau ==== Same bastard, only stronger, tougher, and more annoying. Strigau rages some more when you beat him, and the Zerom fused with him come out for Lapis' Spirune. Innes dives and covers Lapis' Spirune with herself. Shing and co. are ready to beat them down, but Richia uses the Cendrillion system to seal them instead. I haven't gotten to say this in a while: Lapis Spirune get! Strigau calcifies, his Spiria absorbed by Gardenia, as Creed helpfully appears to exposit. He shows us the effects of Gardenia consuming the Spiria all over Celland. He kicks Cendrillion into warp drive. The party is ready to beat him down, but we're a little worn out from fighting Mother Zerom and Strigau... like that's going to stop our brave heroes! Ora ora ora! and all that. Shing charges and slices across Incarose's eye, then moves on to Creed. Creed is as hotblooded as Shing is right now, but Incarose declares Shing too dangerous and Evil Beams a console, teleporting Creed out and breaking the shield thing over the bridge, opening Cendrillion up to the outside. Somehow. Lianheit swoops in and rescues the team, crash landing on a pure white landscape. Welcome to Quartzia, the calcified White Moon. ==== OVERWORLD: Quartzia ==== #wt42# Richia is calcifying too. She doesn't have much time left, and without her, Lianheit won't fly. To the northwest is the dead capitol of the Quartz, Wonderidel. This is our destination. Nothing lives in this dump but Zerom. No Soma Points or items, either. Go north at the first intersection and tend northwest. ==== TOWN: Crystal Capital Wonderidel ==== Calcified, top to bottom, just like the rest of this planet. Richia's target is the Center Dome. Chase her. Richia charges up the big crystal tree, turning on all the machines. Of course, she's still running out of power. In any case, what she's looking for is the Access Pass to the "Platform of Hope" which launched Gardenia in the first place, Jack Seed. Richia starts calcifying, so get her to a place to rest. The right machine acts as an Inn for 600 gald or functions as a Heal Stone shop. The left one is an item shop. Enter one of the elevators on the sides of the room and enter Richia's and Flora's room on the left side of this level. Access Pass get, but what's this? It's Chlorseraph's brother, Clinoseraph! He's calcified though. Oh wait, he isn't, and he is stealing Richia's Spiria. Oops. Spir Link and save Richia! ==== SPIR LINK: Clinoseraph ==== Clinoseraph's is not a normal Spir Maze, and you guys are sealed inside it. Suckers. Chlorseraph shows up too. Instead, it's a reenactment of the way Wonderidel used to be before the launch of Gardenia. The scientists are talking about the imminent launch, so it looks like we are being treated to another flashback. Fun times! But we have a Richia to find. Enter the Center Dome, save, and take the Teleport, then go down the stairs and take the other Teleport to Cendrillion. Exit up. Creed and Flora are talking about the launch of Gardenia. Flora's having doubts, but we know how Creed thinks. And if she won't do it, Richia can, after all. Past!Richia shows up right on cue, and she and Creed wander off to keep preparing. Flora offers to make Creed's favorite Rave Tea, but he just whines about her treating him like a kid. Chlorseraph assures her that he and Lino will always be there for her. However, Lino knows that there's not much the Aces can do to stop Creed and Richia. He says he'll talk to Creed and leaves Richia to Lor. Exit down and witness Corundum doing her own setup. Activate the console and then inspect the Mechanoid tube for [White Holy Mother of Order], KOS-MOS' head thing, which lets you set KOS-MOS' R.CANNON or G.SHOT as Link Panels. Also, the chest here has [Shine Psistone] x4. (Note: If you already have the artifact, you find [Red Chamomile] instead.) Leave Cendrillion, and exit the Center Dome left. Richia is singing for the other Quartz, and they're pretty confident in their soon-to-be-not-warlike planet. She stops, and one little monster wants her to sing more while another wants her to play Hide and Seek with them. She tells them not to fight anymore, and man, this planet is way too hopeful given that we know how it ends. Lor shows up to talk to Richia as he promised Flora. For a moment, Richia splits into two; one insists on launching Gardenia, and one wants to listen to him. Guess which one is ours? Past!Kunzite appears and spirits Richia away before this noise can continue. Present!Kunzite says that Richia and Past!Kunzite have gone to Latwick Forest to the southwest. Our job, of course, is to follow. Take care of any Material and Accessory shopping needs you may have, and leave Wonderidel. Go southwest. ==== DUNGEON: Latwick Forest ==== Save and go straight for [Seraph Bird Feather] x2. Turn left instead and walk the winding road, turning right momentairly for [Brass] x2 and going left at the final fork. Place look familiar? Richia and Past!Kunzite are here. Richia is, even 2000 years ago, trying to convince Kunzite that he's more than just a robot. Our Richia takes over and reflects on how this was once her nice, pleasant world... Creed shows up to get Richia. She asks if it's okay even if Flora isn't there, and he says it's his and Richia's present to her. Well then, he asks her to come with her, to the Black Moon that will bear a new world: Gardenia. Richia's voice says no, but her text says yes, and Past!Richia follows him along as Present!Richia pleads for someone to stop her. Too late, though. Gardenia is launched. Just to rub it in, Present!Richia has to watch everyone get drained and calcified. She begs for forgiveness. Shing screams at Gardenia to stop, but Lino's voice says it won't stop, and everyone Links Out. And it turns out we somehow cured Clinoseraph after all. He had been dreaming all the memories that entertained us and tormented Richia for this long. Actually, she's still trapped in there, watching Lino's dream over and over. Bad times. Chlorseraph is ready to dismember Kunzite, but Clinoseraph is concerned about saving Flora. Chlorseraph jumps out after him. Kunzite guesses his plan: he'll take Richia's Spiria to Jack Seed and use her energy to rescue Flora, sealed inside Gardenia. To this end, he's already stolen the Access Pass. Hisui gains the title of "Hot-blood Heart". Jack Seed is through Latwick Forest. ==== DUNGEON: The Real Latwick Forest ==== Our destination, as before, is the Fluere tree. However, there are more chests! The first one contains [Drained Grass Seed] x1, and the second has [Fragment of Black Moon] x1. Exit. At the next intersection, you hear the Seraph twins talking, but you may take the left turn instead. Going straight at the next intersection leads to [Drained Grass Seed] x2, and going left takes you to [Fragment of Black Moon] x1 and an exit we're going to take later. You can get it now or later; to advance, take the straight path from the entrance to the map and leave. Chlorseraph declares his true motive: to wipe out both the Quartz and the Celreid, leaving an eternal world of only Mechanoids. Sounds uncomfortably out of Mega Man X, but whatever. Clinoseraph says he doesn't care what Chlorseraph does, as long as he doesn't get in the way of killing Creed and Richia and bringing back Flora. ...yeah, both of these guys have a few screws loose. Both the brothers decide that they have to destroy one another, and honestly, it would be fine, except for the detail where they still have Richia. Kunzite challenges them for Richia's Spirune. Chlorseraph asks Kunzite if getting back Richia really matters, and shows us that Richia is so tormented she's offering her own life to reverse it. Will Kunzite follow that order? This entire time, the quest Richia has had him on was going to end in her death. Kunzite can't answer this, and Lor continues to taunt him. The entire party steps up and shoots down Lor's noise, and Kunzite himself realizes that he truly wants Richia to live. We won't let Richia sacrifice herself. We'll protect her! Kunzite Soma Links with the entire party. Chlorseraph can't figure it out: how does Kunzite do stuff like this with a fake Spiria? He activates his Link-Drive Mode system with Clinoseraph, allowing the two to fight as one unit. Kunzite's Soma Link with the party, of course, goes up, and he gains the title of "Like Human". Aww. Smash them. ==== BOSS: Double Seraph (Clinoseraph and Chlorseraph) ==== I hope you like dual bosses. Chlorseraph does the same crap he used to. He should go down fast, though. Clinoseraph will be annoying by casting spells while hiding behind a healthy Penetrate value. Oh, and try not to let Chlorseraph corner you. He'll never let you go. Chlorseraph, as usual, wants to fight again, but Clinoseraph has other plans. He taps Richia's power and teleports the both of them to Jack Seed. But he forgot the Access Pass, so we're going to chase him down. Sucker. Leave this map, wander off to the left, and take the other exit mentioned earlier, picking up the loot on the way if you haven't already. Go straight and then right on the next map for [Fragment of Black Moon] x2. From the entrance, take the left and turn at the next crossroads. Go straight for 3000 gald, then go left and leave the forest. Go through the next map to reach Jack Seed. ==== DUNGEON: Jack Seed, Platform of Hope ==== #wt43# Incarose is here, too. She's arrived just before the twins. Looks like we have a full house. Inside, Clinoseraph uses Richia's power to activate Jack Seed. Incarose shows up, so Chlorseraph tells her off for that stunt she pulled up in Cendrillion, which gives Clinoseraph the chance to backstab his brother, saying that his weakness is getting in the way of his whole "save Flora" plan. The one who kills Richia, and Creed, will be Clinoseraph. Incarose isn't too happy with this plan, of course, so she and Clinoseraph start up their own fight to the death. Meanwhile, it's Jack Seed-infiltrating time for us. There are two paths leading up from this ring and two long ramps descending from these paths. We are taking the right one first, as it leads to only a [Im Kingstone] x2. Go back up and take the left ramp, which leads down to [Shine Psistone] x6 and a puzzle. Basically, you use the Energy Blow to kick the green rock and the pink rock into the Seed Unit in the center, which makes it open up a teleport. Do so. Later versions of this noise will pile on the gimmicks. Completing the puzzle, such as it is, activates an elevator, creates a bunch of paths, and opens up the side paths out of this place. The side paths lead to the other seed-thing puzzle that unlocks the other teleporter. (I hate this dungeon.) Again, we're doing left side first. Go up the long and twisty path, and at the end, turn about for [Ocean Psistone] x6 and then check out the puzzle at the bottom of the map. Simple rules here. The rock can go over spaces but not through the crystals. If one hits a crystal, it resets itself. You can walk through neither the crystals nor the pits, but you can walk through the seed-rock. Kick the seed two spaces down and three to the right, one down and four more to the right. One more down and to the right will finish this half of the puzzle. You've probably guessed that the pink seed crystal can be found by climbing the other path from the starting room. So once more, climb the twisty trail. Of course, the item is symmetrical too, and it's a [Flame Psistone] x6. For the puzzle, just kick the seed three left, four up, and then just go around and kick it left into the Seed Unit. Go back to the entry room and take the newly activated elevator. There are three branches here. The right one leads to [Gravity Psistone] x6 and continues to a passageway with Heal Energy (60%) and a Misty Seal. The center one leads to the exit which we'll care about later, and the left one leads to the next puzzle. This puzzle adds a fresh level of annoyance to this puzzle. There's the usual Seed Unit and two uncolored seed crystals. You need to kick the crystals into the colored energy fields at the corners, then into the Seed Unit. Nothing harder, just another hoop to jump through. Let's start with the top seed crystal. Grapple it with the Energy Whip, then grapple it again from the right. Pull it into the green field. Kick it down to level with the Seed Unit (six spaces), then simply kick it left. Oh, and the item here is [Rose Gold] x2. For the pink seed, grapple it up, then pull it from the right. Pull it up two spaces (you need to move it a bit to the right), then push or pull it to right next to the floating diamond. Kick it up once, then go to the point on the other side and grapple it. At this point, just pull it into the aura. Now that it's colored, just move it one to the right, kick it up to the pillar, and slide it right into the Seed Unit. Now leave this dump. Save! Continue straight, as the sides are sealed. Rino's and Inca's battle has concluded, and it looks like neither has won. Clinoseraph apologizes for being too weak to save Flora with his last robot breath, and Richia's Spiria flies back into her body. She's not awake, though. Beryl goes over and pokes Clinoseraph, and his artificial Spiria falls out. We get [Clinoseraph's Core]. As we leave, Jack Seed announces that Incarose's "Special Program" is being activated, and it begins retrieving the dead Guardian Knight bodies. The light bridges from here lead to four exits. I will refer to them as up, left, right, and down for convenience. The down exit is important, because the system crystal within it will open up all the seals in the previous room. I'll get to them later. Right exit contains a [Star Psistone] x2. The left exit leads to Heal Energy (90%). The top exit's crystal doesn't say anything important, but the chest behind it has [Magical Aroma] x1. Now we attend to the gates opened on the lower platform. On the way there, note the absence of Guardian Knight bodies. Anyway, keep going to the save point, where the seals were. Take the right path for [Storm Psistone] x6. Now take the other path, where the next puzzle is. There are streams of blue and yellow energy here. Where they meet, warps appear. Note that there are four "origin pools", which I shall label up, down, left, and right. Up and down are blue, left and right are yellow, and each has its own "gate", where you can redirect the stream. There are also four possible portals, also labeled up, down, left, and right. If that's clear, and even if it's not, just go down at the fork and flip the gate. This directs the left stream to the down gate, which we will take, since the down stream is also directed to the down gate, mixing blue and yellow. See how this works? Loot [Dead Bug's Thousand Beads] x2 and, up yet another elevator, [Ancient Dragon's Big Fang] x2. Return and go counterclockwise around the very outer edge, flipping the first switch you see. This directs the right stream to the up gate, opening up said up gate. Take the up gate to [Ashibata Branch] x2 and Heal Energy (100%) up the elevator. Go back down and trek around clockwise, flipping the first two switches you encounter. The right portal should open. Take it. From this place, go up and loot [Void Psistone] x6, then go back down. Now direct the up and left streams to the left portal, and take the left portal. Go down and take the new portal to a [Gungnir Shell] x2, then ride the portal back, walk right to the center, and finally take the center portal. Walk right, save, and take the elevator. Richia's awake, but she's about to follow through on her plan to use up her own life stopping Gardenia. Kohak tries to stop her, but Richia isn't paying any attention. Finally, she passes out. Press on, we have stuff to do. Take the final elevator. Kunzite says he'll donate his Spiria to Richia. The rest of the party does not approve; Kunzite's Spiria is as valuable as any of their "real" Spiria, so all of them will donate. Kunzite doesn't like the tactics of such a thing, but a flying blur makes the point moot by knocking everyone out and kidnapping Richia. It's Incarose! Upgraded with the weaponry and speed of Chlorseraph, and the armor and power of Clinoseraph. She decides to test out her artes, too. Boy, that's a problem. Incarose shoves Richia into the power chair, and Jack Seed starts activating. Using her power. The party Soma Links. Get ready. We're going to destroy Incarose once and for all. ==== BOSS: Incarose-ILL ==== GAAHHHHH. It has the annoying powers of Incarose (which, recall, you weren't supposed to win), and it has, as promised, the speed and combo power of Chlorseraph and the defense and casting of Incarose and Clinoseraph combined. Try not to get caught in the Black Hole. Oh, and it has a Hi-Ougi. Don't be afraid to use your own, and generally use everything you have: the Link panels, items, Hi-Ougis, and all your combo skills, because this thing is as annoying as it is ugly. Uglyrose can't believe she was defeated by Soma Users. Shing tells her that her feelings aren't linked to anyone, so... yeah, you know this speech. Incarose tells Shing not to make laugh and tosses Richia over the edge before starting her self-destruct. Shing jumps after Richia. Incarose asks what she's supposed to wish for other than the wishes of Creed, for whose sake she was created. Kunzite tells her that all she has that's real is her loyalty to Creed. She just taunts him with the fact that Shing and Richia are dead. The party doesn't believe a word of it. They push Incarose into the power chair, and Jack Seed starts taking her power instead. The system is ready for transfer! Meanwhile, Shing has Spir Linked with Richia. She asks what he's doing here, and starts whining that they're both as good as dead and all she's worked for the past 2000 years is for naught. Shing's Soma Link Laser has something to say about that. Richia asks what good the Soma Link Laser is supposed to do, and Shing admits that it's a small amount of power. However... when it's connected with the world, it becomes infinite power. The rest of the party still believes that Shing and Richia will come back alive. As long as that keeps shining, they can stand up to any despair! Richia doesn't swallow it and harps some more on her sin. "To Spiria, Bring Hope" plays again, and Shing reassures Richia. We will protect her; we will defeat Gardenia! ...no one said Tales of Hearts was subtle. Richia says she wants to live, and Shing tells her to live by that light. Everyone's Soma Link goes up. Shing shouts to everyone to fly with him to Gardenia, and one by one they all jump. Lianheit swoops in to grab them, and enters Jack Seed's transfer beam, flying up into space. Towards the Black Moon, Gardenia! ==== TOWN: Observation Point Rapunzel ==== Creed's noticed our arrival, and hurries on up into the Core Dome. This is the data collection deck, Rapunzel. The Mechanoids here aren't looking so awesome. Buy whatever you want and stock up here. Also save. From Rapunzel, you can exit out the front door and go back to Celland or Quartzia. From Celland, just hover Lianheit over the structure in the desert and press A to go to Quartzia or Rapunzel. When you're ready, head toward the back until you find Corundum. She's babbling about orders to not let us through. We can't have that, but Corundum summons some robots and continues whining about orders, and she's really breaking down. The party handles them easily. Corundum says she still won't open the teleport, because of nothing less than Orders. Richia talks some sense into the girl and releases her. Hooray! Well, sorta. Anyway, Corundum starts opening up the Teleport into Gardenia. There's a delay before the preparation is complete, so Beryl wants to have a word with Shing. Walk out to the entrance of Rapunzel and she'll call for him from the bridge up above. Take the elevator on stage left, and take another to join her. Beryl is a little overwhelmed by the fact that we've really come as far as the Black Moon, and Shing says it's the best model for an Adventure painting. I don't know if he's teasing or not. He promises to protect the future where Beryl is the Imperial Painter, and Beryl says she's changed her mind on that too. Her new dream is to, with Shing... Kohak is listening, so Beryl changes tack. She says she always hated herself, with no courage and no pride... but! Shing and Kohak trusted her, so she learnt to like herself a little. She can paint whatever herself she wants on her Spiria canvas. She drags Kohak onto the bridge and declares that Kohak can do the same. Then she describes her new, final dream: "To draw a 'World where everyone I love lives happily together' painting!" Beryl ditches the lovebirds, and Kohak's about ready to confess to Shing, but our heroes get distracted by Celland up in the sky. Shing calls out to Eucles the astronomer. Kohak angsts about how afraid and overwhelmed and weak she is, so Shing asks her to hold his hand for a moment. It's trembling. Shing's as scared as she is. But he says that no matter how big Gardenia is, it's a world of nothing. A lonely world, without any feelings, and only Mechanoids. Celland, from here on Rapunzel, shining with warm light like a jewel... what does it look like? Kohak says the answer is "Spirune". Yep. The network of emotions and light that wraps the world is like the Spirune of the planet. And that's why we can be`at Gardenia: because the Spirune of the entire world is connected to us. He believes in that power. Kohak believes in it too. The Soma Link Laser shows up, and they hug. The entire party collapses behind the elevator frame. Richia asks if Shing's plan is really to Spir Link with Gardenia. Shing's sure it'll work. Richia asks Kunzite to stop him, but Kunzite is all in. And we have Innes' axe, and Hisui's bow, and Beryl's paintbrush. Everyone leaves with renewed faith and vigor. Kohak's trembling has stopped. Shing's, too. Everyone's Soma Link has gone up. Shing and Kohak both gain the title of "Spiria of the World". Beryl gains the title of "Spiria of Dream". Corundum's preparations are complete. The Teleport is active. Hisui gains the title of "Spiria of Trust". Innes gains the title of "Spiria of Hope". Kunzite gains the title of "Spiria of Mind". Enter the Teleport to begin the dungeon. ==== DUNGEON: World Savior System Gardenia ==== #wt44# The gimmick here is the crystals. The Energy Shot makes them extend bridges, and the Energy Blow makes them go up and down. So to start, shoot the first crystal with both and go right. Zap the crystal, but don't raise it yet. Instead, go right for a [Blue Chamomile], then raise the platform, go over the bridge, grab [Peach Gummy] x4, and continue forth. Pass the next platform and get [Fragment of Black Moon] x1, then go back, smack the crystal, and go up. Before taking the next platform, there's a [Red Verbena] to the right; when you're ready, extend the bridge and raise the platform. Just follow the path, send the bridge from the next platform, and Energy Blow the last two. Congratulations, the first room is over! This next room has five paths out. The very center one is the exit, but it's blocked. The far left one will be helpful later, but it's useless to us now, as it's also blocked. The far right one leads to [Grape Gummy] x3, but nowhere important. Meanwhile, the flanking paths both lead to big drop rocks that will clear the obstruction on the middle road, and the right one also has a [Void Psistone] x3 in case you need it. When you smash the crystal, it also leaves behind a shiny [Star Psistone] x2. That's all for this room for now. Nothing of note is in this big hallway, except more of the creepy "belly of the beast" atmosphere. Leave it. And this room is there to make up for it. This place is more of a maze than the Wastelands of Death. To start, go up the ramp and turn right. Down in a pit is [Seraph Bird Feather] x2. Now go back to the left, turn up, and meet the gimmick. The jaws really just take timing. Simply charging through them is impossible. You need to trigger them by walking right up to them, and then dash through while they're opening back up. Anyway, pass the jaws, pass some more jaws, grab the [Flame Psistone] from the chest down in the pit, pass even more jaws for [Dark Firefly] x3, go back through those last jaws, and descend the ramp. (Hate the jaws yet?) Off to the right is a chest you should have noticed getting the Feather earlier, and it's a [Passion Brace]. Also, now that we're on the ground for good, notice the gas that's been going off for a while. If you run into it, your movement controls get reversed. Go up, and skirt the corner of the big jaws on the ground, turning left. Go down past the gas and find [Gravity Psistone] x4, then go back and up the ramp. Charge bravely through the spikes, since it doesn't look like you can avoid them, and go down into the pit for [Peach Gummy] x3. Carry on to the right. After the next ramp, go straight up to find Heal Energy (100%). Then go left, take the jaws like a hero, pass through some more (avoidable) big jaws, and take this ramp up, once again soaking the spikes. Turn right for [Death Stalker's Sting] x3. Left is the elevator out of here. Collect [Rose Gold] x2 before you go through the membrane... thing. There is a Sandworm hanging here, but before we can fight it, we have to get it down. So save and leave left. It's DNA. This DNA works wholly unlike your biology teacher taught you: there are only two colors, and to make it work, they have to be opposed. But first, fetch the [Star Psistone] x1 at the back of the ground floor. Use the Energy Whip to steal the blue block from the center, go up the blue path, stand on the little platform, and use the Energy Whip to exchange your blue nucleotide for the red one. Now go back down and start up the red helix. When you get to the barrier, use the Energy Whip again to exchange your red block for the blue one. The barrier gone, leave out the top and fry the big bulbous thing in this room with the Energy Shot. Our job is now half done. But before you leave, go back up the blue helix, and install the block we're holding into the rung just past the blue barrier to remove it and open up... an empty room. Disappointing. Anyway, get out of here, save, and enter the right-side DNA room. Get [Grudge Psistone] x1 from here, then snag the red block from the pit and start your climb up the red helix. Switch the red for the blue, then climb the blue spine and switch the blue for the red here. Go back down, climb the red spine, and switch the red just before the barrier. Go out the top of the red spine and fry the ball. There's no good reason to finish the puzzle, so just go, save, and fight the Sandworm. ==== BOSS: Abenthol ==== Say it like a chemical, not like a medicine. It's just like the Sandworm, but angrier, and it adds its tail in at half health instead of a quarter. Also note that it can Petrify on touch. It's weak to fire. You can save after it dies a horrible, burny death. Then attempt to advance, but the floor collapses. Okay, so a note. That room with the five paths? Going back here takes you back to it, specifically the blocked left path. There are two things that happen here. First, the opening to the right leads to Heal Energy (100%). Second, the ramp leads to a drop rock that opens up said left path and gives you a shortcut of sorts out of here, and a shortcut back in, since it takes you past the maze room. Once again, the crystal shatters into [Star Psistone] x2. But today we are pressing onwards! First, go left for the loot. Up from here is a path to an island with [Ancient Fish Fin] x2, down on the blue island is [Red Rosemary], and up around the hill is [Blue Savory]. Return to the entrance. Go straight, climb the hill, and cross the bridge. Pick up a [Float Cotton] x3 at the top, then go down the hill and under the bridge. Climb two ladders and leave. We're going to do a little side area now. If you don't care, just go through the big Teleport and I'll tell you when you can start listening again. For the rest of you, take either of the little teleports. I'll say we're taking the one on the right. The way this works is that if you're on the sand too long, you get dropped into the lower level. At the lower level, there is also sand, but you can't drop through it. The lower level is also divided into two halves, each with its own exit back to the sand room. Begin by simply crossing the sand left, then getting the treasure chest up from you, which contains [Dead Bug's Thousand Beads] x2. Now go down-left-ish, towards the other chest, which contains [Gungnir Shell] x1. Walk down and to the right. Just do it. Falling is fine; our goal is the right side pit. When there, make your way to the top of the map and pick up the [Blue Crystal Rod], from Namco's early work Tower of Druaga, which will let you summon its hero Gilgamesh and Link Attack his Chrom Magic Sword. Get out of the pit. Go to the square of solid ground poking out from under the fence and run into the whirlpool to slingshot around it, then return to the area where once was some beads. Go in a generally up-type direction over the stone, past a couple of fences that look kind of like [ ], and run into the sand whirlpool, coming out the side where rests a [Fragment of Black Moon] x1. Now drop however you wish, and collect from the pit [Im Kingstone] x1 and [Hourglass] x1. Go up the stairs, go down to the bracket-fences, and run into the whirlpool from above and left on the map. Proceed downward and rightward until you find a chest with [Sardonyx], then go around the fence and across the sand towards Heal Energy (100%). Now use the whirlpool from down and right for [All Divide]. Make your way however you wish back to the portal, and take it. Back in the portal room, take the left side portal. Cross the rocks downward, and get the final item from this place, [Elixir] x2. Sweet. Leave, and finally take the main portal. Those of you who do not like items, start here. This is the last area where anything of note happens. Beyond the big green wall at the end lies only the final boss of Tales of Hearts. Save, use gummies, and take a deep breath. Enter the Core Dome. The party tries to convince Creed one more time that reviving Gardenia won't bring back Quartzia, but he's still not listening. Flora Spodune herself tries too, but Creed still won't believe it. Flora calcifies in the middle of her speech, so Creed fuses with Gardenia himself, takes control of the system, and returns Spiria to Flora, but tries to eat Richia instead. The party protects her with a big circle of Soma Link Laser. Creed just gloats that he'll eat that very power and bring about the rebirth of Quartzia. Begin battle. ==== BOSS: Gardenia Core, Gar Stoma, Gar Spores, Gar Cell Wall ==== Yes, the boss has multiple parts. You only have to defeat Gardenia Core (Creed) though. In fact, Garstoma, the thing in the back casting, will kick you away. I'm going to recommend having someone set to targetting "different enemy" or "casting enemy" just to keep it off your back, because Creed also casts, and Shing should really be targetting him. The tricky thing here is that Gardenia Core also has countermeasures against anything getting up close with it. Shing's Seieireppa has range, does okay damage, and is pretty efficient and knocking down guards, too. Feel free to Link Attack or (ideally) Shououjineizan at all possible opportunities, since CG regenerates as you attack. If the core knocks you behind a Garwall, I suggest use Seijizeppa or Raijinzeppa to pierce it with courage. Creed's still moving. He re-eats Flora, and is horrified at what he's done. He cries that he can't stop Gardenia anymore, and the party makes a wonderful speech about how anything is possible if you connect to other people with feelings. Creed shouts not to make him laugh; what's he supposed to connect, the pain of losing everything you know and love? Fine, then. We'll just Spir Link him. Gardenia has a wall to prevent that, but Richia uses a Good Beam to break it. ==== SPIR LINK: Creed Graphite ==== The party is isolated in a sea of stars. Richia lights it up, but the stars are still there. Surprise, surprise: it's the souls of the eaten Quartz! Creed appears to crash the party. He says that since time has stopped inside the Gardenia Spir Maze, he can still restore all of Quartzia. Gardenia disagrees and starts eating them anyway. He yells at it to stop. "You're a bottomless well of stupid!" "The warmth which even a Mechanoid like me is able to feel... how can you not comprehend it?" "I thought you were scary, but... well, you're just pathetic!" "We'll beat you up properly, and open your eyes!" "To you, who lacks the courage to accept his own weakness..." "Our bond will never crumble!" ==== BOSS: Creed Graphite ==== Now this is a final boss. He has a ton of guards, he can teleport, he's really fast... oh, and he actually changes elements on you. Every time he does so, he regenerates automatically. Watch the colors on that fabulous collar of his. And stay on top of your HP when he gets to half HP or so; his Hi-Ougi, Dead Star, hits basically the entire field (unless you're on the opposite end or something) and hurts a lot. Knock down his wall of Penetrate as fast as possible and then get in as much damage as possible before he escapes and shifts. Everyone Links Out, including Creed. Gardenia, however, is still perfectly active. It opens its big mouth and starts absorbing everything! Kohak flies off, so Shing jumps after her and sticks Asteria into the ground. That doesn't work, so Shing stabs his own foot instead. Kohak gasps, but Shing says he can't give up. For Innes' future with Lapis (Soma Link Laser), for Beryl's big dreams (Laser), for Hisui's fist against his face (Laser), for what Richia and Kunzite worked for these 2000 years (Laser)... Chal and Marin, Peridot and Byrocks, Orb, Cindy, Ann... "You're wrong, Gardenia. Being alone only begets endless darkness. But being connected by your feelings... creates infinite light!" ...no one said Tales of Hearts was subtle. Enjoy the light show. Anyway, Gardenia starts exploding, so it is time to escape. Shing wants to bring Creed along, because Creed is like a lonely Shing. Seeing all the same things Shing did, growing up in Shibul with Zex, meeting everyone, but with no hope of connecting with them... But there's nothing for Creed there. He urges Shing to go, live, and enjoy his future. Shing is dragged away, and Richia says her final goodbye before taking leave, too. Before getting swallowed up by the Gardenia explosion, Creed remembers the Fluere, his gift to Flora... And so, Gardenia winks out of existence. Back on Cendrillion, Corundum confirms the destruction of Gardenia. Shing is still broken up about Creed, but after all, it's what he and Flora wanted... Richia tells Shing that you can't save everyone, but his kindness brought something to Creed's and Flora's hearts. Weeping Shing thanks them. Oh, and the fragments of Spirune are returning to Quartzia! It probably won't be immediate, but this way, Quartz will slowly return to life, even if it takes hundreds or thousands of years. As for Corundum, she will stay and manage the Soma Link Server on Cendrillion. Before going away, she demands that the Celreid use her to link some interesting emotions. Richia is still on her way out. She has a single request for Kunzite before she goes: to find his own meaning and live as his own person. Hisui will have none of that talk! He points out a way for Richia to survive... inside Kunzite's Spir Maze. She can sleep inside a world of stopped time, just like the world within Clinoseraph. Richia has a problem with that: Kunzite would have to go to sleep as well, just like Clinoseraph. Hisui asks Kunzite what he plans to do. Kunzite restates his job as a Guardian Knight, and begs Richia to go with Hisui's plan. He will protect Richia until his body breaks down... that is his Spiria's wish. Everyone agrees, so Richia gives in. Beryl asks if, that day, Richia will come have her picture painted, and the children of the world can hear of the thrilling, glorious story of adventure. Richia replies that it would be amazing. She then thanks Innes for her strength. Innes says Richia is a strong woman too. Kunzite's confused; Richia's combat power is nowhere near Innes'. (Haha, it's funny because he's a robot.) Kohak has a lot of things she still needs to tell with Richia, but Richia already knows them all. She's been with Kohak since Kohak was born. Finally, Richia turns to Hisui. She'll never forget his kindness, or his hot blood. He awkwardly says he won't forget either, her stubbornness or her warmth. Hisui then leaves Richia to Kunzite, and Kunzite makes it a promise: "To protect Richia unto eternity". Kunzite's turn to say goodbye to Shing. He compliments Shing on... err, a lot of things, and Shing is as annoyed by all the tough words as I am. Shing says he won't say "goodbye", because they're always connected. Richia says that she still has to say "goodnight". "Goodnight, crybaby... and kind, brave hero. Goodnight, my friends linked in emotion... my dear family." Everyone returns the good-night to Kunzite and Richia, and the two go into hibernation. ... Sleeping princess in the Forest of Thorns Princess dreaming for a thousand years Feelings overlapping with her true friends Princess entrusting the sword of dreams Sliced by the hero, the Black Moon Someday reborn, the White Moon The high-flying whale becomes a star Sorrowful dreams evaporate like dew Dreaming princess in the Forest of Thorns Princess weaving the threads of emotion Guarded by the knight of steel And a twinkling star embraced to her breast Dream forever and ever... Until the world awakens. ... ==== EPILOGUE ==== Everyone's back together, and gazing up at Cendrillion, which now looks like an emerald star in the sky. It reminds Kohak of Richia's hair. Beryl asks Hisui if it's okay to cry, and Hisui says there's no reason to; the green and white moon is proof of Richia's dreams. Innes asks if everything's truly ended. But hearts connected together don't have an end, only beginnings. Shing and Kohak have something to talk about, and it's the moment you've been waiting for all game long. All that talk about sharing and connecting emotions, and we haven't yet seen the important line, have we? "U-uh, I-I-I... Kohak!" ...yeah, no. Kohak breaks up laughing, and Shing complains that it's difficult. He takes a deep breath, and tries again. "Kohak, I..." THE END. Take that as you will, 'shippers. Tales of Hearts is over. Continue with a star, start an NG+, do whatever you want, but not in this game will you find a proper ending to the love story. Have fun with that. ###### TRANSLATION NOTES ###### I've tried to get all the references (rock and fairy tale) right, with the help of the Tales of Hearts message board. Labrado, Cendrillion, and even Richia are no more than good guesses, and if this game gets an English release, I take no responsibility for confusion. If I can be bothered, I might make a table, though. Also for the parts of Gardenia core, which (Stoma, Spore, Cell Wall) are all characteristic parts of plants. And I'm pretty sure Zerom are named after plants, on that note. They have names like Echnacea, Briar, Iris, and Balsam... ToH is full of this noise, and if I missed anything, drop me a line, please. I can't stand not getting references. Great Winged Whale: Hanekujira-sama. Strict literal translation makes this "Lord Wing Whale". I like mine better. Very likely the biggest liberty I took with this thing is calcification. The actual word used here is "hakuka", which is best rendered as "whiteization" or "whiteination". I really couldn't think of a great way to keep the, er, white- ness of the word. Oh, and there's this thing where Namco customarily translates "gummy" as "gel". I don't do that. Deal with it. Liquids: "X Likido". They're colored crap in bottles. I have no clue what these things are. I'm asking for help here. (I have received several emails informing me about the merchant in Henzera who exchanges one of each Liquid/Licid/Likido/thing for an Elixir. I'm not asking what the items do. I'm asking if there is an actual translation for them in a language that I don't know. The guy will be in the shop guide whenever I finish it. You can stop emailing me now.) Finally, one of those things I hate about translating Japanese is that common sentence structure goes subject-object-verb, better known as Yoda-speak. This is mostly not a problem, but, for example, the final scene sees Shing saying "Ore ga, Kohak wo..." Now, if I wanted to retain as much meaning as possible, I should write something like "I Kohak (love)". That's dumb. I just thought you should be informed.