|Two years? Only level 1 after two years?|
|Everyone else seems to be level one, so why is Darum so powerful?|
|I almost called him Odin|
|Did the game forget to called them biomonsters?|
"'Darum! I have your daugher Teim locked in Nido tower. Pay 50,000 meseta in one month if you ever want to see her again.' To get the money, Darum turned to crime."
This letter doesn't make any sense. It was meant for Darum. It gives the motivation for his crimes. So, shouldn't Darum have it? This still doesn't explain why Darum, a strong burly man who can steal from anyone unmatched, is resorting to crime in order to rescue his daughter instead of... rescuing his daughter. Also, the letter gives 1 month, but Nei was attacked 7 months ago!
With the letter in hand Kyle muses that we should be able to convince Teim to come with us. I'm not sure how a letter showing she's being ransomed gives her a reason to escape her kidnappers, as if freedom itself wasn't enough. I found Teim in Nido where there was a definite lack of scoundrels. She was waiting patiently on the third floor in an open area. The only locked door was right at the beginning. Why is she here--at the farthest point from the entrance--unguarded?
|Why defend her ourselves when we can pretend she's someone else?|
What I want to know is, where's all the money Darum's been hoarding to pay the ransom? Based on the music, I'm guessing the game wants us to empathize with this crazy exchange, but the moment is completely dulled by the absurdity of the situation. Did Teim want to die? Darum can't recognize his own daughter's voice? The whole event is over so quickly I almost missed it.
The next town is Oputa (shortened to Opta). Located here is a musician who teaches piano. Apparently not to me though, as he's merely a sound test implemented inside the game (no bardic skills for me). Finally, I find someone that tells me where the biosystems lab is located, in the southern part of town. Bad translation aside, I find the lab south of the town.
|I want to learn piano, not just listen to you play|
Inside the biosystems lab the enemy difficulty continues to rise at a rate where upgrading equipment is necessary to stand a chance. It feels like I'm barely maintaining an equal footing with the enemies in each area, and leveling up hardly makes a difference to attack and defensive powers.
|On the lower floor, hazardous material will harm the party|
|See, I drew a graph. Sure it doesn't line up exactly, but it's close enough|
A garbage dump is the only other location I can access. Rumors of water traveling vehicles leads to me to believe I'll find one here; however, it turns out other people are rummaging through the junk as well. At the bottom I find two people discussing a jet scooter, but there's no way to ask for it. Making sure I've explored everywhere I made my way back up wondering where to go next as I exit.
|I almost left before fully exploring this part of the dump|
Able to travel the seas I decide to search the overland before following my only other lead of an island that's home to a tree whose leaves allow me to breathe underwater after being turned into gum. There are colored dams, which need colored key cards to access according to the manual. The only other location of interest is Piata. Here I find even better armor, at a most premium price.
|Damn dams blocking my passage|
[Note: I say Shir would have been Kili because I had planned to name her that; however, there's a bug in the game that doesn't allow you to change her name. This was one of the most annoying moments I had in this game, reloading multiple times to ensure I was selecting the correct option. Sorry Killias, I tried.]
|Except for the things you steal|
Overall the dungeons have been increasing in size and complexity, and this mountain is yet another step up. There are caves to travel through with no clear indication of where they exit. Luckily the tried and true left hand rule overcomes the immensity of the mountain, and I find the tree at last. There's no other features to the mountain, no treasure to find, and the other trees are useless.
|I can't tell if that's the sky or water|
|Sorry Mario, but your princess lies in another castle|
Why would I take the time to bring them up to an "equal" level with the rest of the group? I can't think of anything unless I'm forced to use them at some point. The extra time to level and cost of equipment is preventative. Currently the party is stuck with Kyle and Nei, so the choice of one or two more members means that Kyle and Nei will always have more experience. I'm not sure there's any reason to have a hunter, thief, or biologist in the group? The wrecker might prove helpful if I'm facing off against a lot of machinery, but techs are a pain to use in battle.
Overall, combat is pretty simple. Most of the time you'll be just attacking. If you want to do anything else, then you're in for a cumbersome experience. The combat menu first presents two options, Fight and Strategy. Strategy leads to Order and Run. Order is used to assign specific instructions to a party member: Attack, Use Tech, Use Item, or Defend. Attack allows you to choose which group of biomonsters to attack (default is the left one). Use Tech brings up a menu of combat magic. Use Item gives the option to select an inventory item for that character. Defend increases the defense of the character.
|Selecting Nafoi is a short six button presses away, at least it destroys most things|
One of the biggest annoyances outside of battle has recently been healing after battle. With increased HP, and increasing damage per fight, healing is a real drain. To heal, I have to open the menu, select tech, select the character, select the spell, select the character to use it on, then all the menus close.
I've been trying to move faster while healing, which has led to another issue... selecting the wrong spell. Both Nei and Fera have Res (basic healing) as their first spell; Kyle has Ryuka (Return to town). Going too fast has caused me to go back to town on more than one occasion.
|Healing, only four menus to navigate|
There are some good points to the game, so don't take this mostly negative post to mean I'm not enjoying it. I haven't had to go out of my way to grind, as exploring seems to have been sufficient thus far. So far, the way forward hasn't been hard to find, and I'm still anticipating the mysteries to be uncovered.
Session Time: 6h03m (Total Time: 10h25m)