60: Termite Territory (Part 1)
63 - Forsaken Lands
Last time, we finished
getting lost in
exploring the Forsaken Lands, fought a Primal Weevil and had a brief encounter with the Termite Kingdom's border guards. Let's head onward!
It's a pretty impressive view from up close. I don't know what, if anything, the glowing green crystals mean, but they're certainly something new.
Let's check the banter.
The Termites live here? Really?
Not the most inviting of entrances, that's for sure.
Do not judge, my friends. Some of the most astounding technology lays beneath this dome!
You can be smart and look ugly, you know...
This is another rare banter that gets a reaction from Elizant, which is nice to see.
Let's cross the bridge and get closer.
As soon as we reach the far side of the bridge, we walk right into a cutscene.
You're free to go in. But, Ant Queen... I'd suggest you go directly to the castle.
It's straight ahead from the plaza. The less people see you, the less fuss there will be.
I understand. We thank you once more.
We've had many years of peace. Don't make us regret letting you in.
(To treat a Queen in that manner...)
Things are definitely going to be a bit tense for a while.
After that conversation ends, the screen immediately fades out while they let us inside.
64 - Termite Capitol
(Check out the new music. The Termite Kingdom's theme is very calming with a distinct techno element. It's quite fitting.)
I hope you'll meet me at the table for the negotiations.
...Yes, see you there.
Did you really just call the Ant Queen "Lisa"?
It's too informal!
You two gotta learn to relax! Let's look around and catch up!
That certainly happened.
This always gives me pause, a bit, and wonder whether I've been pronouncing "Elizant" wrong because I can't quite see where Vi gets "Lisa" out of it. (Unless she's pronouncing that more like "Liza"?) It's just a bit odd.
And, honestly, while this scene inevitably makes me laugh, it comes out of nowhere and I think they could have gotten the same effect by just having Vi call her by name instead of "Queen" or "Your Majesty" as she always did before.
Anyway, the game gives us back control after that conversation. Let's check the banter before anything else.
The Bee Kingdom's also inside a structure, but it feels way more oppressive in here.
Well, duh. My Kingdom's full of paint and happy stuff. This city's all dull!
Some bugs are born in such a place, and don't get to see the lush Bugarian Outskirts...
Most Termites don't like sunlight, we hear. So they probably don't mind this.
Some bugs are really weird. It's that culture thing, I guess.
We get a thoughtful one here. The Termite Kingdom has a very distinct atmosphere, and our protagonists aren't sure if they like it yet.
We've got a lot of exploring to do, this is a pretty huge town and there's a lot to see (even before we get into the negotiations). Before that, though...
If you want to leave, just go through this gate here.
This guard kindly informs us that, despite how it may look, the gate isn't locked and we can leave whenever we want to.
So let's take a quick detour back outside. (The screen fades out for a moment while we hear the door opening noisily.)
63 - Forsaken Lands
There's not that much to see out here, but there is a bit (and we couldn't see it before thanks to the cutscene trigger stopping us), so let's get it out of the way before we go out on the town.
We can talk to Poi and Cross again. In addition to the dialogue, they also each have a banter.
The guards in this kingdom are varied, huh. In shape and all.
I've heard this kind of Termite holds a potent cannon in its head!
They're BORN with a cannon? Why do Bees get, like, one tiny stinger!?
(I... I like my horn...)
This is a real thing that some types of soldier termites have! They're called fontanellar guns
and can launch sticky chemicals a distance of several centimetres. (Though the comparison to bees' stingers is apt in another way, too: in some species of termite, using this tears off their mandibles, though they can often survive without them.)
Cross doesn't have much to say either.
The guards in this kingdom are varied, huh. In shape and all.
This one seems super bulky! Like Kabbu!
I'm going to take this compliment.
They seem well versed in the use of long-range weapons, too.
Even if they've had peace, they're not eager to see it threatened.
This one's cute too.
(These banters will be repeated if we check any of the identical termite guards throughout the town; there are two distinct types. All the other guards use the same sprites as Cross and Poi, so I'll be using the same portraits throughout.)
Just to the west are some rocks we can smash.
Eventually, we find a cave entrance.
Let's go in.
There are some familiar faces inside! Elizant must have arranged for them to follow us and build the tunnel as backup.
So the Ants just managed to tunnel all the way here?
So it seems. They are dangerously close to the Termites, though...
Eh, if they stay clear of the dome it'll be fine!
That's very optimistic, but let's hope she's right I guess!
Amber's here, ready to help us with storage as usual.
Bringing miners, and even Ms. Amber to such a dangerous place...
Sometimes I wonder if the Queen considers the dangers of her requests!
We're sure she does. But it's still something that needs to get done...
This banter acknowledges that this might be quite risky.
I suppose this is the farthest we can build this tunnel to.
I guess they got as close as they dared.
Also, Diana is here, and we know what that means. New shortcuts!
Those berries don't even taste good...
We don't think her taste would be the only weird thing here...
Oi, I'm doing you a favor, okay? Just sit and watch!
We're in your debt once again, Diana. Thank you.
Well, I'm off! See you some other time, folks!
As usual, once we feed her, Diana connects this area to the Ant Mines for us. That will definitely come in handy later, so we don't have to trek through the foggy maze again.
Anyway, unlocking the shortcut was the main reason we came out here; let's head back inside.
64 - Termite Capitol
Back to exploring! As befits a new town, there are lots of things to see and people to meet.
O. M. G.! Can't wait to tell my friends on the Termanet about the incoming war!
...I have many questions.
Seems to be a technology unique to this land. For communication.
We should tell H.B. about it!
(I... I don't get how it works.)
Our team seem pretty confused too.
This guy's too busy, he doesn't have much of anything to say to us.
S-Sir! Please, sit down for a bit!
He's super ignoring you.
Overworking's global, huh.
You can't work if you collapse! Sir, please listen to meeeee!
Kabbu's nagging's global too...
This workaholic character is actually a reference to the fact that worker termites don't sleep. They literally work constantly until they die.
This person seems a lot calmer.
She is really shy, and hides herself beyond the dense fog.
I should visit sometime soon.
Make note of this, maybe we can meet her friend later? (We still haven't explored all of the Forsaken Lands, there's that section that's blocked off by the mushrooms...)
We wonder if those scarves are the fashion around here.
Most likely. I don't like them much, though.
If you want, Leif, we could look around and buy you one.
No, thank you. We were just wondering.
Heh, Leif still gets fixated on fashion sometimes, but still can't be bothered to participate.
Let's see what's inside this building?
It's an item shop! Let's have a look around.
You know how to use the self checkout, right? Just press (A) near an item.
We can sell her items if we want, though the game hangs a lampshade on it. It sounds like she'd be using her personal funds.
There's also a banter here, of course.
Malbee would stomp her if she read on the job at the factory!
This store seems mostly automated, so she mustn't have much to do.
That's worrying... Will there be a shop with no one running it at some point?
Silly Leif. Gadgets could never replace our fellow bug!
Leif has some thoughts about automation eliminating retail jobs, apparently.
If we talk to the other customer in here, we'll learn there's something called DineMite. I wonder what that is?
The Termite Kingdom's quite impressive, but all this store food makes me miss Fry's cooking.
Machines can't really match Kut's expertise.
Or Crisbee's baking! Um, guess we know where to go after the mission.
This is cute. (And, actually, not just flavour text, this is hinting at something we'll learn later this update.)
Let's check out the inventory, finally. There are some neat new toys here.
Squash (9 berries)
Shell Ointment (20 berries)
Aphid Shake (15 berries)
Mega-Rush(tm) (15 berries)
We can buy Squash here, if we're too lazy to go cut down weeds in the Forsaken Lands; that can definitely be convenient. Also, we can finally buy Shell Ointment in unlimited quantities (there were only two available prior to this point). Aphid Shake is a bit underwhelming now, though it can still do the job if you want to use it. And then there's the new item, which is pretty interesting.
"This power-packed, 90% sugar drink boosts attack for 3 turns and grants a charge-up! But you'll need to rest after..."
Sell: 7 berries
What this does might not be immediately obvious from the description. When you use it, it grants Attack Up for 3 turns and +1 charge immediately, but when the Attack Up buff expires, it inflicts Attack Down for 2 turns. (It's not a hard-coded 3 turn delay, so if you stack the buff further with items or skills, you can put off the downside.) It also triggers Weak Stomach.
This can be a really effective way to boost if your strategy wants burst damage, and the downside isn't hard to play around (though I like that it comes with a tradeoff). On the other hand, Squash Tart comes without the downside, so you have alternatives available. Squash Tart is a bit better if you're using Hard Charge, since the charge-up from Mega-Rush(tm) would be wasted in that case.
(Also, this item's name is, of course, a blatant reference to the infamousPaper Mario badge
I'm not going to buy any right now, but these are pretty great. I honestly never used them that much, because I'd got in the habit of using Spicy Fries or Squash Tarts already, but they're fun.
Let's head back outside; there's nothing else to see in this shop. (Also, there's a convenient save crystal right here.)
What's this giant slab thing?
Apparently it's some kind of display, though it's not working right now.
So this rectangular gadget provides swift news to the populace?
Or, uh, it did. Guess it's not working right now...
I'm sure this will be important later. Let's move on.
Is that Samira over there?
O-Ok. I'm always here if you want to hear me play.
As usual, she lets us listen to music if we want.
Samira's doing well enough to afford an escort here, huh.
Hard work always pays off!
It's good to see her, even if we're still putting off buying songs. (I promise we will eventually.) Let's move along.
Over here is the way to the palace.
You have come with the Ant Queen, so you're an exception.
Still, behave yourselves in front of the Queen and King!
The guards have a bit of dialogue.
We won't hesitate in throwing you out the door.
I'm seeing a general theme here.
We could head to the palace now, but let's finish exploring the city first. What's this place over here?
65 - DineMite Beats
There's unique music in here; what is this place?
They are harvested from the Plumplings that roam around the wilds.
What if one mixed a Squash with some defense boosting ingredient?
My appetite flares up just thinking about it...
Dan's here, and has recipe hints on offer as usual.
This guy is even here...
Where there is food, there he is.
You have to admire his dedication to his culinary quest.
This is clearly some kind of eating establishment, anyway. Let's look around more.
This person certainly has opinions.
Is it, uh, healthy to just eat one food?
Delicious as it may be, we reckon it's not.
We don't even know what's in it...!
What do they sell here?
Also, who is this and what are they wearing?
Hm. I quite dig this fellow's style.
He looks lame. You've got bad taste.
Respectfully, Vi? You don't know the first thing about fashion.
Fashionista Leif returns with a vengeance!
Let's talk to the clerk.
What's a Mite Burger? Let's buy one and find out.
ONE MITEBURGER COMING UP!
Come again for an explosive dining!
I have no idea what "fatty termite stuff" is, but this is a decent item. It's nothing spectacular (especially compared to Sharing Stash), but there aren't many items that grant HP regeneration so it does have a niche.
Our team aren't kidding about not knowing what's in this: it's not a recipe we can recreate, and the only way to get these is to buy them here. You'd think they might be made of wood or something.
ONE ORDER OF FRIES COMING UP!
Come again for an explosive dining!
We can also buy Spicy Fries here. This is pretty convenient, and they're cheap (actually cheaper than buying ingredients and cooking them!). Though considering you can go next door and buy Mega-Rush, it's a bit superfluous.
If you have a full inventory when trying to buy something here, he'll say this:
You wanted takeaway with no space? Come DineMite later?
So, yeah, the Termite Kingdom apparently has fast food joints. (No bars? A termite walks into a bar and asks "where's the bar tender?"
DineMite's the cheapest place around! And yum!
We cannot help but pity this poor worker.
The conditions don't seem too bad?
It's the music! We'd go insane after a few hours!
When you put it that way... At least I know how to annoy you now!
Don't. We'll freeze your mouth.
This place makes you cranky... Let's order and get out!
Also, the banter for the clerk here is fun. Leif has the right of it, I have to say. (I don't actually mind this music track, but I spent just long enough working retail in the past to know that that often doesn't matter...)
Let's get out of here.
64 - Termite Capitol
There are a lot of moving pipes and gears around, it definitely gives this place an industrial feeling. Also, take a look at the posters on the building, we can see Mothiva among them. Apparently she does shows here too?
The guard here helpfully tells us what we can find further east.
Let's check it out.
There's a lot going on here too.
Awesome! They've got conveyors on the floor!
Very convenient. A lot of Termites must move about daily here.
The air is thicker here... Is it fog or smoke?
There's a lot of pipes and stuff. Probably smoke.
We hope their researchers aren't taking air for granted...
With how enclosed this space is, the air quality seems like a real concern.
Also, it doesn't come through in the screenshots, but the conveyor belts here are running, and we can ride on them if we want to. It can make it a bit faster to get through this area (though it's honestly superfluous, it's a fun little thing). Walking on conveyor belts always makes me think of airports...
There's another familiar face! We met Layna the firefly at the Golden Festival, which feels like ages ago.
Coming of age rites be darned, what will I do if something happens to you?
It seems like her pet's gone missing. Maybe we'll be able to help with that later?
Let's see what this building is.
Well, whatever it is, it's fancy!
Okay. Come back if you feel sleepy!
Oh, it's the inn. It's a bit pricey, but it's good to know this is here if we need it I guess.
15 berries!? Why is it so expensive!?
Maybe there's higher demand?
At least we've made good savings during our journeys, so...
Just 'cuz we're richer doesn't mean we should be spending more!!!
Vi's not exactly wrong here.
Let's look around a bit. There's not much to see on this side...
But the elevator is functional! We're on 1F, but let's check out the others.
This looks like some kind of communal room, there are a bunch of guests staying here.
Even the Termites get tourists? Wasn't this, uh, iso... isole...
It's a rough trip, but only Ants were truly banned from this kingdom.
Good thing our team's not banned anywhere!
There's one banter in here, which we'll see both for the area and the individual guests. Let's talk to some people.
It wasn't fun getting lost in the Forsaken Lands, but it was worth it to see everything the city has to offer!
That's definitely a long journey.
This ladybug doesn't like the look of things here much.
It doesn't taste as good as something prepared by a chef, but it gets the job done.
While the butterfly here has a useful tip for us.
...they have a microwave.
And just like she hinted, we can actually use it to cook items.
Just to demonstrate how it works, let's throw in this Squash.
It works just fine and gives us the item we expect! So, when various characters say the microwave "isn't as good as a chef", what they mean is that it can't be used to make any of the chefs' specialities (Crisbee Donut, Tangy Carpaccio, Queen's Dinner); otherwise, you can prepare any recipes you like here. It's pretty convenient.
That's all for this room; let's head up to the roof.
Let's head outside, I guess?
There's another familiar face!
Well, what's a journey without some risk?
I don't regret it. The Termite Kingdom has a very different vibe.
It's technological and convenient, but it feels a bit lonely...
Have you found what you were looking for, Kenny?
...Yeah. I'm satisfied at having seen this beautiful world.
Where will you stay, in the end?
Let's say the end's at the beginning.
Uh, we'll see you there, then?
Yeah. I'll head there after I visit the Coliseum. I hope we'll meet again.
It sounds like Kenny's figured some things out, and might be done travelling at last. We'll have to go find him again once he settles down.
If we go to the edge of the balcony here, we can see another building with an open window in the distance.
And we can fly over to it!
This house is empty, but I guess we can burglarise it?
This wasn't theirs to keep anyway. (These are starting to pile up, we'll have to drop by the library soon.)
Uh. Did whoever lived here fall prey to the False Monarch, perhaps? (Maybe that's how another Lore Book ended up there?)
That's all there is to see here.
If we drop down between the buildings, we can see there are some people hanging out in the alley.
This person will ask us for a berry. Let's see what happens if we decline first.
Sorry, maybe in the future...
Yeah, we can do better than this.
...May the blessings of our ancestors be with you.
When he asked for a berry, he meant it; a single one is all he'll take from us.
There's also a banter, of course.
What, you don't take kindly to beggars?
If I want berries, I go and earn them!
...But he looks like he can't, it must be rough...
Vi... Let's share what we can!
Is this... character growth? (We've had a few scenes to this effect now, so it's not exactly new, but it's still nice to see.)
This person is also here.
Though he has nothing to say to us.
Careful, everyone. We may be cut just by standing near this dude.
He does seem very, uh, sharp and volatile.
You're scared of a random guy after all the stuff we've beat up!?
Let us please stay away, alright? I'm tired of random fights...
There's no way he's going to be important for anything.
Let's move along, we can't do anything else here for now.
The guards don't have a whole lot to say.
Here's the Colosseum entrance. Do the termites have neon signs?
There are more buildings to the east. Let's talk to this guard first.
Interesting. I wonder if Vi will see a kindred spirit here?
If he doesn't wanna fight, he shouldn't!
Thought you were all about smackdowns.
But I LIKE smackdowns! I do them 'cuz I want to!
I, too, believe we should all choose our fate.
It's easier now than it was back then, let us tell you that.
Sometimes she's more understanding than we give her credit for. Also, for all that there are predefined social dynamics for a lot of these species, Leif's recollections seem to suggest it's more social construct than biological inevitability in Bugaria.
Let's see what this building is.
Another shop! Are they selling bombs here?
Yes, yes they are.
This shop doesn't have the most welcoming staff, does it?
They're quite reserved despite selling such explosive items...
Eh, it's whatever. A deal's a deal!
This is the bomb shop. They sell every type of bomb here (except Cherry Bombs, those you still have to make yourself). I've seen a few players not learn bombs exist until getting here; the recipes are just obscure enough that they're not hard to overlook without realising. (If you wait to use a Spicy Bomb from here to complete Crisbee's quest, the reward looks a lot more underwhelming...) Anyway, here's the full inventory:
Clear Bomb (20 berries)
Sleep Bomb (30 berries)
Numb Bomb (30 berries)
Frost Bomb (30 berries)
Spicy Bomb (20 berries)
Burly Bomb (21 berries)
Poison Bomb (28 berries)
They're a bit more expensive than the ingredients would be, but you're paying for convenience. It's perfectly reasonable to buy them here if you want them.
The "bomb master" is very curt and barely has anything to say if we interact.
There's an elevator here, though. Let's check out the other floors.
Guess we'll go to 5F first. (What's in 2 through 4? We'll never know.)
There are a couple of rooms up here.
Let's talk to this person.
They exist all over Bugaria and beyond, and they adapt easily to their surroundings, so many subspecies of them exist!
I'd love to catalogue them all, but I am so busy here I cannot leave...
This sounds like it'll be a sidequest later.
Who'd ever wanna research dumb Seedlings?
First of all, they're adorable.
Don't forget, what we take for granted is most exotic to them!
Anyway, let's check the other side. This seems to be some kind of gym?
Uh, okay. Let's not bother her.
What determination! She won't stop!
Heh, this is an entertaining one. (I can't tell if Kabbu or the person exercising here is the butt of the joke...)
Let's head up to the roof.
There's someone up here, so let's start with that.
To see what the sky really looks like...
Seems like not all the termites are satisfied with their lives here.
What's he looking at? It's just the dome ceiling.
Some call it day-dreaming, Vi.
Oh, it's like when I think of being super rich and famous!
Err, yes. Let's go with that.
I hope his dreams come true. Mine sure are!
(You're not half-bad sometimes.)
Another cute one.
If we head over to the west side of this roof, we can get a nice view of the Colosseum from above.
Also, if we get right up to the ledge, we can inspect it.
Such a large building, just to celebrate fighting...
What's wrong with that? Showing off your cool moves is great!
I guess it'd depend on how willing the fighters were...
As you may have guessed, it's a discovery!
Though I'm not sure how much this really tells us, it's a nice bit of colour.
If we check again, this is the message we get.
This is one of the easier discoveries to overlook, I think; I've definitely had playthroughs where this was the last one I got.
Let's head back down.
That's all for this area; let's head further east. We'll come back to the Colosseum later.
(Also, unfortunately, character limit issues mean I need to split the update here. Back shortly.)