It's a game with the good kind of bugs! Let's Play Bug Fables

Put your Let's Plays in here.
User avatar
Whilimbird wrote:
Wed Mar 09, 2022 12:33 am
I’ve noticed you don’t get a lot of comments on this forum, so I’d just like you to know that I’m here and I’m loving this LP of yours!
Thank you. We definitely get a lot more discussion on the Something Awful side, but it's good to know people are reading here as well.

FYI, anyone reading here, I'm running a bit behind on the next update (as I said on SA earlier), my life's a bit chaotic right now but hopefully I'll have one ready before too much longer.

User avatar
57: A Fog of Confusion

Image 34 - Dodgy Business

Image

This isn't exactly where we left off last time, but before we head out on our mission, let's take a quick stop at Shades'. It might be a while before we get back to town, and we have enough Crystal Berries to afford something.

Image

I thought about this for a while, all of the medals remaining are good but I think Defence Exchange is the one I'm most likely to make use of in the LP. Front Support's just too expensive for what it does, MP-wise, and while Electric Needles is great, it fights against my desire to let the bosses show what they can do.

Image

As you might expect, this is exactly the same as Power Exchange, just in reverse. Kabbu tends to like this one, but I'm not going to have him equip it just yet. Onto the pile it goes.

Image

All right, let's head out.

Image 06 - Outskirts

Image

It's been a while since we've come this way; we need to head south through the Outskirts, toward the caves.

Image

Image

As we pass by here, let's notice the digging spot up on that ledge again. We still can't reach it, even now, but it's something to keep in the back of our minds.

Image

Into the cave we go.

Image 025 - Caves

Image

Immediately, we can see the Queen is waiting for us with one of her soldiers. Let's not waste our time with the enemies here, let's just head straight to the rendezvous.

Image

As soon as we get close, the conversation will start automatically.

Image

Image If there was any other way, I assure you I would take it.
Image The Forsaken Lands... Do the rumours hold true?
Image Many dangerous beasts roam in the Forsaken Lands. Some even disguise themselves in various forms.

Image

Image But heed me! Nothing in this land compares to the horror we will live if the Wasps get the sapling.
Image I've heard that Termites dislike Ants heavily. Would they open their doors?
Image We can only hope they realize this matter concerns them as well.
Image Having a Queen with us is not the worst insurance.
Image Let's proceed at once. You are to keep me safe, but I will support you where I can.
Image Leave it to us!
Image Be careful out there, my Queen. The real horror would be a kingdom without you...
Image My loyal subject, I thank you. Please wait faithfully for our return.

Image

Image

Well, that's interesting! Elizant will finally be joining our party for this mission. She won't actually fight with us, unfortunately, but having her along does give us the ability to use a new skill. Let's check that out.

Image

Royal Decree is a skill any of our characters can use, and it appears in all their skill menus. For 5 TP, this gives both Attack Up and Defence Up to the entire party, with a duration of two turns. That's a bargain in terms of both action economy and TP economy, and it's definitely worth keeping in mind; I can't say I use it all that much, honestly, as I usually find it to be overkill, but it's definitely powerful.

This skill can only be used while Elizant II is physically following the party. If Team Snakemouth get separated from her for any reason, it will disappear from their skill menus.

Image

The soldier also has a bit of new dialogue if we talk to her now.

Image

Image

Anyway, let's move forward! We can finally smash this boulder and see where that leads.

Image

Well, for starters, the enemies on this side are much stronger!

Image

Image 04 - FIGHT!

Image

Image

These guys look familiar! We fought Belostoss before in Stream Mountain, but if we hadn't explored that optional dungeon, this would be our first encounter with them. Their stats seem a lot less outrageous now than they did then.

(Interestingly, this fight is still using the early-game battle music, rather than "Team, It's Getting Serious!". I think they've probably tied the music to the area, and this is technically the same room as the other side we explored in Chapter 2.)

Image

Why not try out Royal Decree?

Image

Image

It's a really straightforward skill. Elizant comes in from offscreen to give us some encouragement and boost our stats, simple as that. (I do think it'd have been nice if we'd see her hanging around in the background like some of the other characters we've escorted, but oh well.)

Image

Image

With the stat boosts, Kabbu can do an Under Strike and inflict pretty heavy damage on both of them.

Image

Image

Image

And with a relay from Leif, Vi can inflict quite a bit more.

Image

Chompy contributes the best she can. (Unfortunately, even a party-wide attack boost doesn't work on her.) It's not quite enough to kill the Belostoss.

Image

Image

Kabbu shrugs off a couple of giant boulders to the face. Between the defence boosts and Super Blocks, they could be a lot more harmful.

Image

Let's clean this up. I'm not going to show the rest of this fight, it's pretty straightforward to finish both of them (all we have to do is get Vi in front and have Leif relay to her).

Image

These guys are still worth lots of EXP, somehow.

Image

Image

Also, Belostoss are one of those enemies that, peculiarly, can drop cooked food. Sure, we can take a Leaf Salad, I guess.

Image

This looks like a new enemy! What's this odd snail?

Image

It's shockingly nimble for a snail, it actually leaps up and tries to dive-bomb us!

Image

Image

Definitely a new enemy. Let's do some spying, then.

Image

Image Beware its sedatives. I shall drag it out of its shell when it retreats!

This is the Ironnail. It's more or less an upgraded Numbnail, but it has some new tricks.

Image

Here is me forgetting that Leif can't get through this thing's defence. A lot of the enemies around here are very difficult to damage with base attack; the game gives you plenty of tools to deal with defencive enemies, but it definitely expects you to use them.

Image

Image

After Vi attacks it, the Ironnail retreats inside its shell. This is a defencive stance, increasing its base defence to 5. Ironnails will always do this after being damaged by a non-flipping attack (it didn't hide after Leif's attack because he did zero damage).

Image

Kabbu's horn attacks can flip it out of the shell, and also deal damage.

Image

This way, Vi can attack again and get some more damage in.

Image

Unfortunately, that leaves Chompy trying to get through the shell, and that's not going to work.

Image

Ironnails have very similar eye lasers to Numbnails, but they get to fire twice. Each hit of this does 4 base damage, and can inflict sleep if not blocked.

Image

This battle's over now. Let's just switch Vi in front and finish it off.

Image

There we go.

Image

These things don't give us quite as much EXP as the Belostoss, for some reason, but they're still pretty lucrative. Seems like the game's back to thinking we're at a reasonable level for the content.

Image

Let's move along.

Image

Those two enemies are all we can find in here for now. If you look up, you might notice there are some platforms above us; there's more to this cave still, but we can't get to it from here. Let's take the path to the south.

Image

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands (Recommended listening!)

The path takes us outside, and we immediately get a discovery for the new area! (We'll check that in a moment.) Take a moment to listen to the music here. This song is quite memorable, and quite different in style to a lot of the rest of the game; it has a soothing and mysterious quality.

Image

There seems to be a character waiting for us here, and we walk straight into a conversation.

Image

Image Patton! So this is where you crawled to after your exile...
Image Who's this guy?
Image Oh, just a little scientist.

Image

Image Oi, oi, my stuff never hurt nobody... too badly.
Image ...I do not have time for a trip down memory lane.
Image You all seem pretty, uh, buzzed out. Must be real serious.

Image

Image Boy, that sounds rough. It wouldn't help my research at all, either.
Image If you've got any tips, it'd help. This is some thick fog...
Image Nothing to be done about that, but...

Image

Image So long as there's not a forked road, if you keep your eyes open you should be fine.
Image Patton... Thank you for your assistance.
Image Now, about that there exile...
Image We will discuss that when the kingdom is safe. Please keep your... trinkets... here for now.
Image Hehehehe. Alright. Drop by if you ever want a peek at 'em!

Image

And with that, he heads inside his house.

Image

And we regain control. The fog in this area makes itself immediately apparent; honestly, it looks quite nice, and gives this area a bit of a dreamlike quality. Let's check the banter here.

Image So these are the Forsaken Lands...
Image I can't see anything! Where are we even going?!
Image There should be some clues to the way forward. Let's keep our eyes on our surroundings.

This echoes the hint Patton just gave us: there are clues in the landmarks that might help us figure out which way we need to go. This will make more sense momentarily.

Image

Image

Also, the discovery we just received also reiterates this hint. Sounds important!

Image

Before we get to exploring, let's check out Patton's little hut.

Image

He's definitely operating some kind of lab out here.

Image

Image Just keep your eyes open! It is that simple.
Image And, uh, come visit later? Without the Queen?

Well, that's suspicious, isn't it? (We'll have to do this.)

There's also a banter, of course.

Image That mask's all weird.
Image Think he's wearing it just for show?
Image Dunno. I kinda wanna try it on!
Image This place seems to hold a few dangerous substances...
Image I would wager it is for his safety.

Wearing a mask protects you and the people around you. It's a good idea.

Image

Looking around, there's not a whole lot we can do here, but we can inspect this shelf...

Image

Image Elias - Dr. Patton's Patent Pending... Anti-Obfuscation Ocular Lens.
Image "Speccy" - Aphid Feed a.k.a. Apheed.
Image John - Dr. Patton's Patent Pending... Snakemouth Oil.
Image Jerry - 1 (one) "genuine" Spuder Spy Card.

Heh. Snakemouth Oil. And it appears Patton was responsible for Jerry's totally legitimate cards. On the other hand, we know Elias' telescope works, so maybe not everything he does is a con?

Image

For better or worse, we can't do anything else here for now, so let's head back outside.

Out of curiosity, though... let's test something. Patton wants us to come back without the Queen, but what would happen if we sequence broke and came here before she joined us?

Image

Well, if you come here too early (which you can do any time after getting the Horn Dash to break the boulder), you'll find his hut is just boarded up.

Image

Anyway, let's look around. There's a label on the side of his hut, but I can't really make any sense of it; I think maybe he's living inside half a bottle? This doesn't seem to convey any useful information for us.

Also, there's a path east.

Image

Image

There are boulders here, but most of them don't hide or block anything. We'll still smash them to be sure.

Image

There's also a path to the south, and another to the west. We have a lot of choices here!

Image

Let's start off by heading east.

Image

...Wha?! It loops around?

So, yeah. If you hadn't quite realised yet, this is the gimmick of the Forsaken Lands: it's something of a Lost Woods type area. The paths connect in strange ways and can basically warp you around, backtracking doesn't always take you to the place you came from, it can get pretty confusing (and I'm tempted to say non-Euclidean). The hints Patton was talking about do exist, but some of them are subtle, and not every area has them, so a bit of trial and error is going to be inevitable (especially since there are secrets on some of the 'wrong' paths). Honestly, the calming music helps a lot here; this could easily get frustrating, but I often find exploring here gives a bit of a Zen feeling instead.

Image

Image

There are some boulders in this corner we can smash, too, but once again they don't really conceal anything.

Image

Let's head west. Back "the way we came".

Image

This is actually a new area! Let's have a look around.

Image Why are there pipes all the way out here?
Image I assume they were built by the Termites, for some reason.
Image ...Uh, yeah. But why?
Image I-I don't know...

These pipes are definitely worth noticing, they'll be important in a bit.

Image

Image

We'll get started cutting some weeds and smashing some rocks. They're still not hiding much of anything.

Image

Image

Image 55 - Team, It's Getting Serious!

Image

Well, let's get this snail out of the way, I guess. We'll spend the first turn hitting it, let's just speed past that for a moment...

Image

It does something new on its turn! Ironnails, in addition to their eye beams, can charge up.

Image

This gives it +2 charge-up and one turn of Defence Up, as well as readying a specific move for its next action. There's one further subtlety here: while it's in this charging stance, it won't retreat inside its shell after being hit, so despite boosting its defence there's a sense in which it's more vulnerable now.

Image

We could kill it, but let's see what it'll do instead.

Image

The turn after charging, it does this speedy charge and barrels into someone. This deals 5 base damage, though it's effectively 7 after accounting for the charge-ups; it hurts, but I think on balance this is less threatening than the eye beams.

Image

We can finish things easily from here.

Image

But before we do, let's have Vi heal herself a bit (and see that equipping two Heal Plus medals definitely stacks: Secret Stash is still a perfectly effective move!). Victory Buzz will give us back the TP after the battle ends, so it's worth doing this.

Image

Image

Image

And from there it's easy to finish the battle.

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands

Image

Back to exploration.

Image

Image

In one of the weeds over here, we can find a Squash. This area is where they're actually from; we could get a few of them early by stealing them from the bandits, but they're very plentiful and easy to get here. If you like using stat-boosting items, it's pretty easy now to stock up on these and turn them into Squash Tart and Plumpling Pie.

Image

Image

More Squash here. Unlike many items that can be found inside weeds, these Squash respawn and can be collected again and again.

Image

Image

Image

We can smash some boulders to reveal these stairs, and climb up to get closer to the pipe (which is blowing out air), but there doesn't seem to be any way for us to interact with this right now.

Image

Image

Let's head further west?

Image

This is definitely different! Is that a CD?

Image Remember, there must be some hint as to the proper path!
Image It's just hard to see with all this fog.
Image Ugh, can't we just try all three ways?
Image With a few seconds of patience, you'll save hours of circling around!

Sorry, Kabbu, but we're going to be checking all the paths regardless...

Image

Uh, hello?

Image

Whoa! What is this thing, and why was it pretending to be a friendly ant?

Image 55 - Team, It's Getting Serious!

Image

Well, it's certainly some new enemies!

Image

Image Huff... Huff...
Image Heck this. You're going DOWN! As if you could put us to sleep after that scare!

These are Mimic Spiders. They pretend to be ants in the field until we get close, which is pretty creepy, but once they reveal themselves they're pretty straightforward.

Image

Image Kabbu's probably the best one for this job. Hope we don't waste too many skills...

And Plumplings are the Seedling variant for the area; in fact, they're the final Seedling variant we'll encounter! These have the most defence of anything we've seen yet, at 3, but they have low HP, so any piercing attack rips right through them.

Image

Let's get started.

Image

Image

Image

Image

This isn't quite enough damage to take out the spider, but it's pretty close.

Image

The Mimic Spider runs up to Leif and bites him; I miss the block and he gets sent to sleep. That's a bit annoying.

Image

And here's the Plumpling's attack: just a straightforward pounce for 5 base damage. Plumplings are a very simple enemy, and this is literally the only thing they can do. The challenge with Plumplings isn't their attacks, but getting through their defences.

Image

Let's clean this up.

Image

Kabbu can finish off the Mimic Spider.

Image

Image

And Vi's needle skills are perfect for taking out Plumplings. I like Needle Toss in particular here: it's slightly cheaper, and if there are multiple enemies around, you can spread out the damage if you don't need all the hits to kill it. Kabbu's Under Strike is also a good choice.

Image

These enemies aren't worth quite as much EXP as the snails or Belostoss, but they're still interesting to fight.

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands

Image

Anyway, that was spooky! Let's move along.

Image

Shall we head west?

Image

Uh. Well. Oops.

Image

What's this way?

Image

Heading south from Patton's brings us back to this hub-ish area. This place is confusing!

Image

If we head under the bridge, there's another new enemy!

Image 55 - Team, It's Getting Serious!

Image

What are these things?

Image

Image If we had more time, we'd consider domesticating it, but... Vi, you know what to do.

Image

Mothflies are a real insect, though they're not at all closely related to moths. They're flies, or gnats.

Anyway, they're a flying enemy, so we're going to need Vi to get them down.

Image

Image

Image

Image

With a bit of careful planning, we can optimise our damage distribution and have Chompy finish off the one in front.

Image

Mothflies' attack is pretty basic, they just ram into us. They're not particularly scary, especially not in small numbers. (Although we haven't seen everything they can do yet.)

Image

Let's just finish this.

Image

They're also not worth much EXP. They're a bit underwhelming for an enemy this late in the game, aren't they?

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands

Image

Image

Let's head further south?

Image

Um. Nope. That path apparently loops us back to this side.

Image

Before we head onward, let's go back?

Image

Here's proof that going back the way you came doesn't always take you to the place you just left! Let's try another path we didn't take before.

Image

Image

Image

Going south from here...

Image

Also brings us back here!

Image

The "hint" in this room is that the CD on the east side has a chunk gouged out of it. We need to go this way.

Image

Aha! This is somewhere new, at least.

Image A dead end...?
Image Too early to say. Let us inspect.

(She does participate in banters sometimes! I was beginning to wonder.)

Image

We quickly find ourselves facing a broken bridge, and our team stop to have a conversation.

Image

Image Let's look around. We've always found a way.

Image

Image

Image Uh, yeah...
Image These lands are disorienting as is. Would there be a path we missed?
Image Not in this direction, from what we've seen...
Image Are you, uh, 100% sure?

Image

Image Vi.
Image My Queen?
Image You shall carry us one by one across the ravine.

Image

Image We've tried this approach, and...
Image If it was a vast canyon I would reconsider, but there is no time.
Image Vi, this is an order. You must try.

Image

Image We'll support, Vi. Come on, try it out.
Image You... can do that?
Image Been practicing.
Image Then there is no longer an excuse! Vi, fly with haste!

Image

Image

Image

...Yeah. This is how flying is unlocked. It's not a new ability, Vi just refused to do it until explicitly ordered (and when there was absolutely no alternative). We did know she could fly before, she just only ever did it in cutscenes, but we can now force her to do it any time we want. As you might imagine, this opens up some new possibilities for exploration. Vi's flying is, in fact, the last field ability for us to get.

Image

We also get Fly Drop, the final team skill! This is Vi's team-up with Kabbu, and she'll literally pick him up and drop him on the enemy. It's a single-target blow, dealing (Vi's attack + Kabbu's attack + 3) damage and piercing all defence. It has its uses, but it's a bit inefficient to spend two actions on that compared to her needle skills or Kabbu's Under Strike. Still, it's a neat skill and I'll definitely show it off soon.

Fly Drop used to be more powerful; it was nerfed a bit in v1.1, and used to do (Vi's attack + Kabbu's attack + 5) damage. I'm not entirely sure why they felt this nerf was necessary; it was strong, and fairly popular among first-time players for its ability to deal with defencive enemies, but ultimately it was still an attack that does one big hit and nowhere near the most broken thing you could do.

Image

Image Well, Vi, you finally have no choice.
Image I'm just doing it 'cuz the Queen asked me to!

Image

Well, let's get on with this!

Image

(I apologise for the low quality of this GIF, it was really difficult to compress this animation under 2 MB.)

Image

Anyway, this is how Vi's flying works. She'll pick up Kabbu and we can travel horizontally with free control (though she certainly doesn't look like she's enjoying it much). We don't gain much by way of vertical height, more or less staying at whatever altitude we launched from. And there's a distance limit, which isn't much longer than the gaps here. So it doesn't obviate all platforming, it just allows the devs to design different sorts of challenges instead.

Also, look at Leif, just magically levitating himself on ice and bringing Elizant along, he's not even using his wings! I think he's just making Vi carry Kabbu because he thinks it's funny.

Image

Second gap, same as the first.

Image

And we've reached the far side. There's a path to the south, but also some enemies we should probably take care of. (Also, do note the pencil pointing south, that's the hint here.)

Image

Image

The Ironnail is alone, so we can take it out pretty effortlessly.

Image

Let's not dwell on this.

Image

Interestingly, Ironnails can also drop Numbnail Darts. That said, I don't have room for it and it's not particularly useful.

Image

Image

And it turns out the big pumpkin was actually a Plumpling in disguise! They do that.

Image

It's also hiding a Mimic Spider behind it. Sneaky.

Image

This seems like another job for Needle Toss! Sadly, I missed the third shot (it can be easy to mess up aiming this skill), but it's still pretty effective: it makes quick work of the Plumpling and lets us get some damage in on the enemy behind it.

Image

We'll just quickly finish off the spider after that and move along.

Image

Image

There's another Squash in the weed up here. These things are everywhere.

Image

Image

If we head north (the 'wrong' path), it brings us back here.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Backtracking! Let's take the south exit now.

Image

What's this area, then?

Image Lots of chasms here...
Image Well, Vi, you know what to do.
Image Ugh. These gaps are too far apart! I can't carry Kabbu that long!
Image Hmm... It seems these rocks are blocking the wind's flow...
Image We could use that to push us forward.
Image Where is all that steam coming from, anyway?

The banter (in addition to ragging on Vi) gives us a pretty good hint.

Image

Image

If we smash this boulder, it opens up airflow from the pipe.

Image

Image

And we can use this airflow to help us cross! If we're aligned with it, we practically rocket off to the west, where there's another platform.

Image

Image 55 - Team, It's Getting Serious!

Image

Well, that enemy looked like just a normal Mothfly, but it has friends! What is this thing?

Image

Image We should be able to freeze them all at once, anyhow.

Did you think Mothflies were an easy and uninteresting enemy, and wonder what they were doing in this area? Well, here's at least part of the explanation.

Image

Let's get started on this.

Image

Image

Image

Image

This isn't enough damage to destroy the cluster, but it's pretty close.

Image

The Mothflies still attack us like normal.

Image

And Mothfly Clusters can attack us the same way, they just do a bit more damage.

Image

Image

That could have been much worse.

Image

Vi can knock down this one, it'd be a waste to have her kill the cluster when it's on 1 HP.

Image

Image

Kabbu can do that with Under Strike instead, and get some extra damage on the other Mothfly while he's at it.

Image

Image

This isn't quite enough to kill both, but we'll do what we can.

Image

Image

One more attack from the last remaining Mothfly, and we're home free.

Image

Let's move along.

Image

It leaves behind a Honey Drop. We don't have room for this.

Image

There's nothing in this boulder either, but we may as well smash it.

Image

Image

The bridge south is also broken, but we can naturally fly across.

Image

There's a lot going on here. There's another pipe blocked by a boulder, and an arrow on the ground pointing to the east. We should probably go that way.

(Also, shh, this arrow was added in v1.1, it wasn't always here.)

Image

But what if we don't?

Image

This path doesn't warp us back, there's a new area here! (Although, do note, Elizant II has mysteriously disappeared. That's an indication that we're not on the critical path... but it also means that we've temporarily lost access to Royal Decree. No need to worry, she'll be back as soon as we go east again.)

Image Hey... that scrap has the Ant Kingdom stuff on it!
Image Huh. Were those the tanks Elizant used while searching for where to settle?
Image They seem damaged. She probably abandoned them here.
Image So we are walking in historic ground! What a grand honor!
Image You should let that Neo guy know, right?
Image Indeed!

The banter here is cute. And also offers us a bit of insight into history.

Image

Here's a better view with the Ant Kingdom insignia visible.

Image

This battle has three Mothflies, but they're still not particularly threatening.

Image

Let's just move past them.

Image

Image

Also, this is here.

Image

This battle has two clusters! That's a bit more intimidating, potentially.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

We can do enough damage to get rid of the first one immediately, at least.

Image

Image

And, so far, they're still just attacking us normally.

Image

Hmm. Let's just keep attacking, I suppose?

Image

Image

Image

Image

We couldn't quite take this one out, but at least we got rid of the small one?

Image

Here's a new thing Mothfly Clusters can do! When they're the only enemy remaining, they can spawn two Mothflies.

Image

Image

They also get to attack immediately, which is bad news for Vi this time around...

Image

Well, that's annoying, isn't it? (Though, do note, the spawned Mothflies have only 4 maximum HP, instead of 9. Other than that, though, they're identical to the others.)

Image

Let's get Vi back up, we're going to need her.

Image

Image

With such low HP, it's trivial to have Vi swat them.

Image

I seem to have made an error, though! Leaving the main cluster alive means it can just spawn more of them.

Image

Image

Image

Am I having deja vu?

Image

Image

Image

This time, let's finish off the cluster so we don't have that problem again.

Image

Much better.

Image

Image

Now we can finish the fight easily. Mothfly Clusters aren't the most difficult enemy necessarily, but they're definitely annoying! (And we haven't seen everything they can do yet either.)

Image

With the enemies out of the way, let's get our bearings.

Image

There's a path to the south...

Image

But it loops us back to here. Oops. Let's get back there and try another way.

Image

Image

Image

We can bounce our way up here. What's to the north?

Image

Another warp back.

Image

There must be another path here.

Image

What about this mushroom?

Image

There we go! Uh, what's this place?

Image This place has seen much better days.
Image Why'd all these bugs wanna live here?
Image Their choice of home is not the only strange thing about them...
Image They do give off a peculiar feeling... Let's be on guard.

Well, that's nicely mysterious.

Image

We can definitely see some strange bugs milling about in the distance, amidst the ruins. But there's a save crystal here, and we've been getting lostexploring long enough for one session, I think. We'll pick up here and investigate this place next time, before we go back and get lost in fog again. See you then!

User avatar
58: Lord of the Flies

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands

Image

Last time, we started exploring the Forsaken Lands, got lost in fog and warping paths, eventually finding our way to this strange little village. Let's have a look around.

Before that, though... let's move some medals around.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Let's try something a little different today. I was thinking it's about time to show off all the poison medals, since we have them all, but stacking them all on a single bug feels a bit overplayed. So, instead, let's separate them into offensive and defensive piles, and give those to Vi and Kabbu respectively. There's only one Weak Stomach, but there are other ways to get poisoned (we do have a Poison Cake on us), and Eternal Venom means we should only need to poison Kabbu once per fight. Kabbu's also temporarily taking all of the HP Plus medals for himself, to help him tank better.

(Kabbu doesn't have quite as much defence with this setup as you might think, since he's getting -1 from both Favorite One and Reverse Toxin. But Back Support and Defence Exchange will cancel those out, and then double Poison Defender will bring him to +2.)

This ought to be fun.

Image

With our medals accounted for, let's start exploring this place. There are some bugs we can talk to here...

Image

But we can't understand them. What language is this? (This looks even more unsettling ingame, these scribbly symbols all rotate and shake.)

Image Uh...
Image Something about these bugs rubs us the wrong way.
Image Indeed. They seem intelligent, but avoid conversation.
Image They can be all weird if they want. Let's keep looking around!

There's a banter for these bugs but it's not particularly enlightening, Team Snakemouth are as confused as we probably are.

Image

So let's keep exploring.

Image

One of Venus' buds is hanging out in this ruined house.

Image

Image

Let's see what she has to say.

Image

Image ...But now it's full of these weird mask-wearing bugs. What's their deal?

It seems like she doesn't know what they are either. Also, it's good to get some history of this location.

Image

Let's also take the opportunity to get some healing, especially since we've been moving HP Plus medals around (remember, those only increase your maximum HP, putting one on will not increase your current HP).

Image Please come by again, I'm always up for a chat.

Thanks, Venus.

Image

Let's look around some more.

Image

On the east side, there's this fallen pillar.

Image

If we dig underneath it, there's a buried item we can find. (This one can be pretty tricky, you can't really see it's there before you get close.)

Image

Image

It's a Lore Book. How did this get here...? Anyway, we'll have to go check this out at the next opportunity.

Image

Back we go.

Image

And up the steps, we have more of these odd bugs.

Image

Okay, I guess? Sure.

Image

Not much to see on this side, just more rubble. Although there's a weed growing up on the ledge there, we should try to get to that.

Image

Image

Uh, sure.

Image

There are some weeds on this side in and around the ruined building, but there's nothing of note in them. Also, you can drop down from here to get to the Lore Book if you want, though you'll still need to dig your way out afterward.

Image

Up here, there's a big tent we can go inside. Let's explore the rest first, though.

Image

This building looked suspicious, but there's nothing inside.

Image

Thanks. You too?

Image

We can fly across to the ledge now.

Image

The weed up here has a Magic Seed in it! Those are always useful.

Image

All right, let's go in.

Image

Uh. Who or what is this?

Image ...! T-Team, I feel a great threat. Be on guard!

If we check the banter, Kabbu seems pretty alarmed.

Image

If we get close, it starts trying to talk to us...

Image

Image Click me for video!

Image 35 - Reckless for Glory! (Bonus Boss)

Image

Oh.

Image

Well, whoever or whatever this is, they definitely want to fight us. Let's rearrange our party a bit, and do some spying.

Image

Image It's charging up! Leif, we've gotta block it!

Image

Meet the False Monarch, another one of the Bounty bosses. This thing's pretty interesting: as Vi's spy dialogue told us, it's literally a swarm of Mothflies under a trenchcoat. (When I first saw the bounty board and that one of them was called False Monarch, I was expecting something a bit different, but this works too.)

I also find its design reminiscent of the Beanbean residents from the Mario & Luigi RPG series (hey, it's not precisely Paper Mario this time!), especially Cackletta and Fawful. That's fun.

I've got a bit of a weird plan.

Image

Image

Image

We're going to use Sharing Stash despite being at full health, just to set up regeneration.

Image

And let's have Kabbu taunt.

Image

Image

Image

Now we'll use the Poison Cake on him. He's got Eternal Venom equipped, so this will suffice to keep him poisoned for the entire fight, and make sure his defences are active. (I used Sharing Stash earlier to waste less of the TP restoration from the cake, and because we can't really set up that regeneration later without healing the poison.)

Image

This leaves Chompy free to draw first blood for once! Good for her.

Image

On its turn, False Monarch makes a very aggressive start. This attack is nasty! It opens its cloak and sends forth a swarm of Mothflies to dive-bomb us. These deal 5 base damage per hit, it can launch 3-5 of them, and they inflict poison if not blocked. That's quite the barrage! If you aren't prepared for this, it can be devastating: that's a lot of damage to spread across the party! If it weren't for Kabbu's Taunt, we'd be much worse off.

Image

At the end of the turn, Kabbu recovers 2 HP from Sharing Stash and 2 HP from Reverse Toxin. That's quite substantial! (Though, truthfully, I'm a bit disappointed. The rounding for Reverse Toxin is kind of weird, and I'd hoped to get 3 HP per turn from it if Kabbu had more than 20 maximum HP. It heals 2 HP if your maximum is 10-29, and 3 at 30+.)

Image

Another perk of this strategy is that we're guaranteed to trigger Favorite One every turn.

Image

Image

Getting a bit fiddly here: Leif and Vi swap positions again, then Leif attacks twice so that Vi can save up her charges.

Image

Kabbu's going to keep doing this.

Image

As is Chompy.

Image

This is new. At the start of its turn, it summons two Mothflies. It doesn't always do this, but it doesn't cost it an action to do.

Image

The first Mothfly immediately attacks (though it's not terribly intimidating, and they're easy to block). Taunt works on freshly spawned enemies too, even if they weren't on the battlefield when Kabbu used it.

Image

Then the False Monarch does its actual attack. It walks up and unleashes a swarm right in Kabbu's face! This deals 7 damage at base, and inflicts Attack Down for two turns. (Good thing we don't plan on having Kabbu attack anyone.)

Image

Then the other Mothfly attacks. It wasn't any more effective than the first one.

Image

We get healing again! This will be our last turn getting 4 HP, so let's enjoy it while it lasts.

Image

Here, we can see what's different between these Mothflies and other ones we've seen. Like the ones Mothfly Clusters can spit out, these have only 4 maximum HP but are otherwise identical to regular Mothflies; here, though, they also get a permanent Attack Up and Defence Up.

Image

Image

Leif's just going to keep attacking, while Vi saves her charges. If I wanted to eliminate the Mothflies, Icefall does that quite nicely, but let's see what they're going to do.

Image

Image

And we have another round of taunting and biting.

Image

Here's something new! The small Mothflies can rejoin the main gestalt, healing it for their current HP. If you leave them alive, they can undo a lot of the damage you're dealing (though here, Spiky Bod on Kabbu rendered that pretty ineffective).

Image

And here's another new attack. Throwing the crown is very similar to the previous attack, it's also 7 base damage and can inflict Attack Down (though unlike the swarm attack, this one doesn't inflict it if you block).

Image

Image

And the other Mothfly rejoins the group too.

Image

We only get the healing from Reverse Toxin now. Still, that's not nothing. (Honestly, though, looking at the numbers in this fight makes it apparent what a questionable proposition it is: especially with the multi-hit attacks, we'd probably prefer to have another point of defence, even if that'd mean taking some poison damage.)

Image

We've got three charges built up now, so let's use them.

Image

We swap Vi in front again.

Image

And use Hurricane Toss.

Image

Vi can attack again, letting Leif save his charge (and doing more damage anyway).

Image

Taunt is working well, let's not stop now!

Image

And Chompy does what she does.

Image

More Mothflies! Yay?

Image

Image

Image

We can definitely handle two Mothfly attacks and a crown hurl.

Image

After the usual end of turn effects, here we are. We're making progress, though we still have a ways to go.

Leif has two charges and we've got multiple enemies, so, hmm. Icefall would be enough to eliminate the Mothflies here, but we have the TP and Ice Rain gets more value out of the charges.

Image

Image

Image

Image

We can inflict a lot more damage on the boss this way.

Image

Image

This also seems like a good opportunity to use one of Jayde's Stews! We'll recover some TP and get Kabbu right back to full.

Image

Image

The taunting and biting continues.

Image

This time, it uses the dive-bombing swarm attack, but only hits 3 times.

Image

We're getting closer. We could almost certainly finish things now, but I'm going to play it on the safe side.

Image

Image

Image

Image

So we'll go through a familiar pattern once more.

Image

And take one more crown attack. That could definitely have been worse.

Image

Now Vi's at maximum charge. We don't really need it, but as proof of concept, let's do the poison things we set her up for.

Image

Image

Image

We'll use these Spicy Fries to give her Attack Up and also trigger Weak Stomach.

Image

Yeah, that's definitely enough damage! We're finished here.

Image

The False Monarch is done for.

It does have one other attack we didn't see, the charge-up that the spy conversations allude to.

Image

Image

It spends a turn charging, gaining +2 charge-up and Defence Up for a turn.

Image

The turn after charging, it unleashes this massive swarm attack that hits the entire party, and has a mashing action command. This can be quite painful: it has a base damage of 7! Of course, considering it's telegraphed, Leif's Bubble Shield solves the problem if you can afford the TP cost.

The False Monarch is an interesting fight, especially if you don't know what it's doing. Its main weakness is that all of its attacks (except the charged swarm, which Bubble Shield blocks) are single-target and therefore subject to Taunt. If you stack Kabbu's defences high enough (which is even easier to do with, say, the Do Nothing medals), you can render this boss almost completely harmless. If you don't do that, though, you can definitely end up fighting an uphill battle here, and the dive-bombing Mothfly barrage can easily take down your more vulnerable bugs if it's being spread across the party. And the Attack Down debuffs combined with the summoned Mothflies healing it can really impede your progress.

I almost want to call this a puzzle boss, given it's more or less solveable, but of course you can still just power through it with conventional tactics if you want to. That's pretty solid design.

Anyway, let's get back to the game.

Image

Image

The swarm of flies dissipates, leaving behind the crown for us to claim.

Image

And we're back in control. Um. That happened.

Image What was UP with that thing!?
Image I struggle to comprehend how a mass of flies could behave that way...
Image This tent was here before them, right?
Image We wonder if... Elizant stayed here at some point.
Image This ain't fancy enough for a queen, right?
Image If they were traveling, there'd be no place for too much luxury.
Image Sadly, there's no real way to be sure. But it's fun to speculate.
Image Yeah.

Our team seem more interested in speculating about the history of this place than the entity we just fought.

There's nothing else to interact with in here, so let's head back outside.

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands

Image

Image

The strange bugs we saw before are gone now. If we look around, we can see the masks they were wearing lying on the ground.

Image Everyone's gone...
Image Was everyone a bunch of Mothflies in hoods too?
Image A mystery... Just what in blazes was going on here...?

We will probably never know.

Image

There's another mask.

Image

Venus notices they're gone too, but doesn't elaborate further...

Image

For better or worse, we're done here. That was an interesting little excursion! (Before we leave, I'm going to revert our medals to the build we were using before, this experiment was just for the False Monarch.)

Image

Image

Image

Image

Let's take a shortcut back; we should probably go claim our reward for the Bounty, and turn in that Lore Book while we're at it.

Image

Oh, hi there Elizant.

Image

Oh, right! Before we head back, there's a short detour we should probably take while we're here.

Image

So let's head west instead of into the cave.

Image

Remember this area?

Image

Image

Now that we have Vi's flight ability, we can make use of the airstream here...

Image

And fly over to this cave entrance.

Image

In we go!

Image 025 - Caves

Image

What's this area?

Image Whatever they were gonna build here... They gave up, right?
Image Most likely. It has this chaotic messiness only an abandoned area can possess...
Image It seems there's something high up. We may need some sort of special ability to make it through, though...

Duly noted. Let's explore a bit and see if we can get a handle on what the puzzle is here.

Image

First things first, though, let's clear this enemy out.

Image

It's a lone Ironnail. I'm not really in the mood for this; one Needle Pincer from Vi is enough to get rid of it.

Image

Let's just move along.

Image

We need to get up to that ledge, somehow. There's a boulder up there blocking off airflow from that pipe, and we probably need that... but how do we get up?

Image

Image

Image

Well, if we have Leif freeze an icicle in this tiny puddle, it'll get us just enough elevation to make the jump. (If you have difficulty getting up, you can also try having Vi fly from atop the icicle.)

Image

Breaking the boulder frees up the airflow.

Image

Image

Which allows us to fly all the way to the west ledge.

Image

Though there's a Belostoss waiting there, and it comes with a Mimic Spider. In the interest of time, I'm going to gloss over most of this fight too; with the first strike, we have enough damage to kill off the Mimic Spider with just our normal attacks, but I'm going to leave it alive so we can maybe see more of its attacks and hit the Belostoss with one of them instead.

Image

And here we go. This is their other main attack, spitting bubbles that can poison us (though not if we block, of course).

Image

From here, it's easy to finish them both off. (Once again, Vi can make quick work of defensive enemies with Needle Pincer; I'm feeling impatient.)

Image

We're getting close to ranking up again. Not bad!

Image

With the enemy gone, we have a better view of what's here. There's a lever we can flip... let's do that.

Image

What did that do?

Image

From this vantage, we can just begin to see it: it turned on that chimney at the centre of the room. What can we do with that?

Image

Well, if we get back up here...

Image

We can fly over and into the vertical airstream.

Image

Image

Which enables us to get quite a bit of altitude! Once we've flown up high, we need to land on the pipe up here.

Image

There's not much to see on the west side...

Image

But to the east, we can barely see a passage on a ledge below us! Let's fly over and drop down.

Image

There we go. Let's see what's over here.

Image

What's this?

Image

Image

Image Life Cast is a really interesting medal! It costs 2 MP to equip, and causes the equipped bug to spend HP instead of TP to use skills (but also gives them a 1 point discount on all skill costs). At face value, this might not seem particularly great, but you can do a lot of tricky things with it, ranging from "kind of neat" to "pretty broken". For instance, it's a great way to enable medals like Last Attack that trigger on low HP; alternatively, the cost reduction combined with a source of HP regeneration (or Vi's healing skills) can make it easy to spam something like Taunt or Bubble Shield Lite indefinitely. If you want to get clever, this will absolutely reward you.

It is worth noting that there's a hidden effect: if you combine it with Image Life Stealer, the amount of HP you recover from that medal's effect will be halved. I guess they anticipated that being an overpowered combo (e.g. equip Last Attack, use Hurricane Toss or Ice Rain at an HP value that would enable Last Attack, then heal to full from the damage and do it again next turn); it's still pretty effective even with that nerf.

I can't say I've personally used this medal a whole lot, but it's a good one.

Image

After grabbing the medal, there's nothing else up here, so we can drop down and discover where we are! It's all the same cave.

Image

Let's get out of here.

Image

Image

Wait a second... we can reach that digging spot now, can't we?

Image

Image

Image

Image

It has a Crystal Berry inside! We can finally knock this one off the list.

Image

Anyway, let's go see Doppel for our reward.

Image 34 - Dodgy Business

Image

Image

Image Ah... I see you defeated that nasty False Monarch...
Image May I have that crystal it dropped?

Image

Image ...Yes, this is a genuine deal. Here is your reward.

Image

Image

Image Nice doing business with you. Please find the other bounties and your reward will be waiting.

(Only one more to go!)

Image

Our reward this time around is Image Last Stand. This costs 4 MP to equip, and (similar to Last Attack) increases the equipped bug's defence by 2 when they have 4 or fewer HP remaining.

2 defence is enormous, and this can contribute quite a lot of survivability (especially when combined with other defence boosts). You can use this proactively by keeping a tanky character low on HP (it doesn't matter how low your HP is if nothing can deal damage to you), or as an emergency measure for a more fragile character.

The worst thing I can say about this medal is that you may not need it, and that keeping a tank low on HP can be slightly risky if you're bad at blocking (and there are some attacks, like for instance Golden Seedlings, that are too strong to be completely negated). Still, this medal is very, very good if you know what you're doing.

Anyway, we're done here for now, let's go turn in our Lore Book.

Image

On the way back, passing through the square we can notice that Utter has new sidequests to inform us about. Let's take a look.

Image

Image

We should definitely look into this.

Image

Image 18 - In the Court of the Ant Queen

Image

Let's go to the library first, though.

Image

Image

Let's see what this one is.

Image

Image The Era of Deceit. After the Day of Awakening, not all bugs stood equal in society. Many ants, bees, wasps and others failed to evolve with the rest. Many long disputes and frustration occurred because of this. Thankfully, with the passing of time, all bugs experienced the Awakening.

Just what happened to give the bugs sapience, anyway? We don't know much of anything about the Awakening. Maybe we'll learn more later?

Image

Image

Image

We're not far from the mines, so we may as well go see Isau.

Image 37 - Defiant Root

Image

Back to Defiant Root.

Image

Before we go see Isau, there's actually something new we can find here now!

Image

If we climb up here, we can just about see a roof to the west...

Image

And now that we can fly, we can get over to it!

Image

There's a very sneaky medal hiding behind the pot here!

Image

Image Fortify finally completes the set of Leif's status spells. Like the others, it costs 2 MP to equip. Fortify costs 2 TP, and grants Defence Up for 2 turns.

I can't say I've personally made much use of this skill (especially in comparison to, say, Empower and Break), but it will reliably do what it says on the tin. If you frequently find yourself wanting a defence boost, this will get the job done.

Image

Okay, let's actually go see Isau. (This seems to be the "ooh, shiny! a distraction!" update, doesn't it? This trend will, unfortunately, probably continue for a bit.)

Image

In case you've forgotten, Isau's clinic is at the far east side of town.

Image

Let's talk to her.

Image

Image Why, yes! that permit... You saw my request?
Image Yep. We'd like to hear more about your miracle cure.
Image You see, I've been studying Bugaria's flora and their properties for many moons now.
Image I've found a combination that should heal any illness!
Image Woah, that's a berry maker right there!

Image

Image You are a noble soul! I will gladly lend you my strength!
Image Heheheh. Thanks.
Image We're assuming the missing ingredient's not going to be easy to get.
Image Have you all heard of Snakemouth Den?

Image

Image Excellent! Although the white Sophie Petal I seek actually grows over the den itself, I hear.
Image I haven't found a way to reach that high place.
Image So we should try to get really high up?
Image Leave it to us!

Image

Image I'll be counting on you! Don't get hurt!

So, yeah. This quest wants us to try to reach a higher level in Snakemouth Den, which we might be able to actually do now that we have Vi's flying. It becomes available on the quest board once we see the cutscene unlocking the ability. (I hadn't planned to interrupt the Forsaken Lands and do this immediately, until I realised it made sense to go back for Doppel and the Lore Book anyway... anyway.)

Image

If we talk to Isau again, she'll request a key item. Let's see if she reacts to the Bug Ranger Plushie.

Image

Sadly, no. It's been a while since we've gotten anything special for this; I wonder if we've already seen them all?

Image There's no rush. Please take your time looking for it.

If we back out of the menu without choosing an item, Isau says this. She's pretty patient, but this quest is fairly short, so we may as well solve it now.

Image

So let's use our Ant Compass and go back to the mines. This is also a convenient opportunity to show something else off:

Image

In addition to the usual tunnels, this person is also here, and now has Snakemouth Den as an available warp location also! I'm not sure exactly when it gets added to the list.

Image

Image

Regardless, it will conveniently bring us right to the entrance! Not bad.

Image

Image 12 - Snakemouth Den

Image

Snakemouth Den is the same as we left it.

Image

Although that doesn't mean there aren't new things we can do! We were supposed to look up high, right?

Image

Image

We can fly east across these pillars, where we found a Mushroom very early in the game. It doesn't look like this will lead us to Isau's medicine, but there is a Crystal Berry trapped in that vine!

Image

Image

It's a simple matter to knock it free with the Beemerang.

Image

Let's just take this and go.

Image

This room seems like the next natural place to investigate... behind those vines was a bouncy mushroom, where we were able to go up and find a block to use in an early puzzle. Is anything else up there?

Image

Hmm.

This is very easy to overlook, if you don't know the trick to it...

Image

Image

We can actually land on top of the open door here!

Image

Image

And then, landing on the door gets us close enough that we can fly the rest of the way to this ledge! (Vi can't carry Kabbu quite that far in a single trip.) What's through the passage here?

Image

Oh! Well, that looks promising, doesn't it? (There's no music out here, just silence and a few minor sound effects.)

What's this discovery, anyway?

Image

Image

Image

Looks like we're in the right place! (And we also get a history lesson.)

Image So serene...
Image To think so much suffering goes on under this paradise...
Image Don't let it stop you from relaxing!

There's a banter here too, of course. It's not surprising Leif would be unsettled by this, really.

Image

Image

And the Sophie Petal we need is right here for the taking.

Image

If we wanted to, we could actually warp out of here with the Ant Compass (strange as it is given where we are, the soil around the tree counts as diggable, and that's enough to be able to use it). But let's not; I want to take a bit more of a look around Snakemouth Den still.

Image

There's a bit of new content we can see inside the lab area.

Image 73 - Lab Over Snakemouth

Image

To start with, there are a handful of new banters (which can be seen any time after completing Leif's Request), including one in this room.

Image Must we truly come back here?
Image It'll be quick, ok? It's just to make sure we didn't miss anything.
Image You can wait for us here, Leif. Do not force yourself.
Image It's not that big of an issue. Let's not stay too long, though...

I promise I have a reason for being here, it's not just to torture Leif.

Image

Let's head in a bit farther, until we reach this room. There's another new banter here.

Image

Sorry, Leif.

Image

This enemy's in the way, let's just plow through it and keep moving.

Image

Image

Into the containment room.

Image Zommoth... We... I...
Image ...

Image

I don't think we're going to be learning anything else here, and Leif is suffering, so let's not stay.

Image

The actual reason we returned here, is that there's a secret we can find here now that we have Vi's flying. To start with, let's climb up this makeshift staircase.

Image

Once we get up high enough, we can fly over to this ledge. It's hard to see, but there's a place we can land. (I've been told you can get up here early, without flying, if you freeze the enemy that was here and use it as a platform, but I've never tried to do it.)

Image

Is that a crack in the wall, right in the corner?

Image

Image

If we're very precise, we can dig into the ground here, and slip behind the wall further east.

Image

Image

Uhh... where are we? (The music goes completely silent as we enter this room, also.)

There are some computer screens with plantlike entities displayed on them... if we get closer, we can inspect them.

Image

Um. Did the Roaches create Venus, somehow? What? Is that what this means?

Image

Image

Also, who or what are Mars and Pluto? Are there two other godlike plant beings out there in the world somewhere? (Also, wow, Pluto is fairly young, which might give us a rough timeframe of how recent the Roaches' disappearance was...)

Are Venus and her possible siblings related to the Healing Sophie we now know grows here? That would make a certain amount of sense, I suppose...

Image

For better or worse, there's nothing else here. This room is something of an easter egg, it's just here for lore purposes and there's nothing tangible to find, but I wanted to make sure I gave you all a chance to see it, since it's very easy to miss.

Image

Let's use our Ant Compass and get out of here. Yes, it works in this room too.

Image 37 - Defiant Root

Image

From the mines, it's a quick trip back to Defiant Root and Isau's. Let's deliver the petal.

Image

Image

Image Easy peasy!
Image We can feel magic within it. It's sure to be what you need.
Image Oh, how can I ever repay you!?

Image

Image Your help was priceless! I hope this humble reward is enough.

Image

Image ...I mean, it's cool. But is it enough?
Image Don't be like that, Vi!
Image N-No, she's right. Your help really was priceless!
Image She's always like that. Don't worry.
Image Nonsense. Here, have just a little extra!

Image

Image Heheheh.

Image

Image T-Thank you, Isau. We hope your research goes well.
Image Me too. For the sake of all bugs out there... Huh? What's this?
Image Is there an issue?
Image I think this petal's got some seeds in it! They're super tiny, see?
Image I'll try planting a Sophie here, too. That should save explorers a lot of trouble!
Image It's gonna grow great, you're super kind!
Image Heheheh. Well, let's toast to that!

Image

And with that, the quest is complete. Isau's pretty generous (and Vi gets rewarded for being a pest again!).

Image HP Core is our reward. For 2 MP, it will allow the equipped bug to recover 2 HP at the end of every second turn. (It behaves very similarly to TP Core, which we're already familiar with.)

I find this medal a bit underwhelming, personally (and prefer other methods of regaining HP), but it has its uses and may well serve your purposes, depending on your build. It can pair reasonably well with Life Cast, too, if you're using that.

Image

Image

And if we leave the area and return, we can see that Isau's managed to get a Sophie plant to grow!

Let's end the update here for now. This was a bit of a disjointed one, out of necessity, but we accomplished a lot and acquired quite a few interesting new medals! (And uncovered more mysteries than we solved. That seems to be a pattern here too...) Next time, we'll get back on track and continue exploring the Forsaken Lands. I'll see you then!

User avatar
59: Primal Screaming

Image 37 - Defiant Root

Image

Last time, we defeated the False Monarch, and got a bit distracted from exploring the Forsaken Lands to do sidequests and find some secrets in Upper Snakemouth. We left off here in Defiant Root, after delivering the Sophie Petal to Isau.

Image

We're almost ready to return to the mission, but before that, one last minor detour on the way back.

Image 36 - Lost Sands

Image

Now that we can fly, we often don't need to bother rotating these bridges. There isn't anything new we can discover this way, but it's often convenient.

Image

Image

Image

Here's our stop, the room where we were ambushed by bandits all the way back in Chapter 3. There's a secret here that flight allows us to finally grab.

Image

Specifically, we want to fly over this sinkhole here.

Image

When we reach the other side, the camera rotates to show us what's behind; there's a staircase of rocks we can climb here.

Image

Image

There's a digging spot up here on top of the cliff.

Image

Image

And it has a Crystal Berry inside!

This brings us back up to 4 of them. It's not enough for us to buy something useful immediately, but it's easy to forget this is here (honestly, I often do) and I wanted to grab it while I remembered. We're in the home stretch where these things are concerned, there honestly aren't too many left to find.

Image

Anyway, that's the detour. Let's use the Ant Compass now.

Image

And let's make our way back to the Forsaken Lands. I'll skip most of the journey, we know the way by now.

Image

Image

Oh, right, Elizant's with us! We can see her again once we reenter the cave.

Image

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands

Image

Okay. We're back. We know the correct path now (or at least up to where we stopped, anyway), so it shouldn't take long to get back there.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

And we're back to the room with the pipes and chasms. We've explored past here in one direction, but there's still quite a bit we've yet to see here.

Image

Image

Image

To start with, we need to head back west. The enemies are back, but they're the same as before, so we'll just beat them and move on.

Image

Let's actually pay attention to the arrow this time!

Image

Image

To start with, we need to smash this rock and expose the pipe.

Image

Image

Now we can actually get further east!

Image

This platform is just a staging area. We need to land and recharge our flying distance anyway, and it gives us another airstream to change directions.

Image

Image

That lets us reach this platform to the south. There's a Mothfly Cluster waiting for us, so let's get it out of the way.

Image 55 - Team, It's Getting Serious!

Image

It's two of them at once. This isn't a particularly difficult or interesting fight, so I'm just going to move past it - we've boosted Vi's attack enough now that with some clever use of Turn Relay, we can take out one of these on the first turn, and from there it's pretty simple to clean up the second.

Image

Though not before it gets to spawn Mothflies (which prolongs things a bit, but honestly not much else). I didn't manage to get it to happen while recording (one downside of killing these too quickly), but it's worth noting that just like in the fight with False Monarch, the small mothflies can merge back into a Mothfly Cluster to heal it by their current HP.

Image

We're getting close to another rank up, though!

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands

Image

With the battle out of the way, let's take a look around where we landed...

Image

There's a path south, and another pipe blowing air east, but if we head to the western edge of the platform, we can just barely spot another off in the distance! (I think the weed is here to help you spot it, if you walk over to cut it the platform will be in view, but it's still not hard to overlook.)

Image

As soon as we start flying west, we can see there's a Lore Book on the platform! (How did it get there?)

Image

Anyway, we'll grab it. We can take this back to read later, but for now let's keep moving along.

Image

Image

From here, we have two paths. Let's check the south first, I guess?

Image

Image

Well, that's certainly not right! It warps us back to the start of this room. Could be worse; let's just retrace our steps.

Image

So, clearly, we need to fly east.

Image

This is actually a bit tricky to line up. We have to start flying just south of the pipe, then swerve into the airstream so it catches us.

Image

Still, we make it across.

Image

We can figure out where to go in a moment; first, a snail.

Image 55 - Team, It's Getting Serious!

Image

It has a Mothfly with it, but this is still a pretty trivial fight.

Image

Image

Image

A single Needle Pincer is usually enough for these guys. If you can afford the TP, it's a really efficient way to deal with them.

Image

Image

And with a bit of relaying, Vi can swat the Mothfly too.

Arguably, it's a downside of the Turn Relay system that once you start stacking attack on a single character, it's usually more efficient to just give them as many turns as you can. On the other hand, it creates a possible "level-up" moment for the player when they figure out they can do it, and giving players opportunities to feel clever is good game design.

Image

Regardless, we finish the fight and get just enough EXP to reach Rank 23!

Image

Image

Image

You know the drill.

We don't get any other bonus at this rank, just the one we choose.

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands

Image

Ironnails drop these pretty often, but they're not particularly useful. I'll no doubt throw it away soon enough to make room for something else.

Image

There's only one way to go from here, north. Once again, we need to swerve into the air current to be able to get enough distance.

Image

As we fly north, we can intersect this second airstream, but trying to follow it is a trap right now...

Image

Instead, we want to land here and let Vi rest first. If we'd tried to go east immediately, we'd end up running out of energy and falling into the chasm.

Image

Image

Landing first makes it an easy trip, though. There's a Mimic Spider waiting for us.

Image 55 - Team, It's Getting Serious!

Image

Two Mimic Spiders, and a Mothfly. Hmm.

Image

Image

It might not be very threatening, but the Mothfly's easy to eliminate right away, so may as well?

Image

Image

Image

Everyone else will get some damage in on the first spider.

Image

Their bite's still nothing special.

Image

This, however, is worth revisiting. I completely forgot to cover an aspect of this attack last time we saw it, and it's noteworthy.

Image

What's this weird status effect on Vi?

The Mimic Spiders' spit attack has two sizes of bubble. The small ones inflict poison, but the large ones inflict this. It's called "Sticky", and it's another very rare status effect. Only one other enemy can inflict it, and that's a postgame superboss. It's kind of like an alternate take on Ink: it prevents the afflicted character from using items (and can't be cured with items). Also like Ink, this was a new addition in version 1.1, and in earlier versions of the game Mimic Spiders only inflicted poison.

Unless the entire party gets hit with it at once, the effect is honestly negligible, since you can just use Turn Relay and have another bug use an item instead. (This circumstance here is one of the rare times it does matter, since Vi's wearing Heal Plus but the other bugs aren't.)

I'd genuinely forgotten this status effect existed.

Image

Image

Anyway, back to the fight. Kabbu and Leif will start bashing the first spider.

Image

Image

And we'll have Vi heal everyone with Sharing Stash. Despite the theming, Vi's healing skills aren't actually items and she can still use them (just like in the fight with Astotheles).

Image

Chompy finishes off the first spider.

Image

Image

Image

We endure another round of spitting. (Only poison bubbles this time, those tend to be more common.)

Image

And from here, the rest of the fight is a known quantity, so let's keep moving.

Image

Now that we've ranked up, we're back to getting just pity EXP.

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands

Image

Now that we've gotten rid of the enemy, let's look around the area.

Image

There's a boulder we can smash up here, blocking another pipe.

Image

Image

Removing the boulder frees the air current, but we don't want to follow this one. It's a shortcut back to where we entered the room. That's useful if we want to go back (since the path we took here is one-way), but we don't need to right now.

Image

Instead, we'll take this path east.

Image

Finally, a new area!

Image Impressive. Pumpkins have managed to grow in these barren lands!
Image Time for lunch!
Image Well, I do enjoy Plumpling Pie. It has been some time...
Image They grow in the Golden Settlement too, yeah?
Image Then this must be an act of mercy from Venus!
Image It's just pumpkins, Kabbu...

The banter here is pretty cute (and, also, a rare one in which Elizant II participates! She's been pretty quiet before now).

Image

Before we can look around too much, this Ironnail insists on being in the way.

Image

It has a Mothfly Cluster with it, but we can still just power through this (especially with the bonus turn from first strike).

Image

We'll get Vi in front and just stab.

Image

Image

Then relay to her for two more hits on the Mothfly Cluster.

Image

That brings it low enough that Kabbu, Leif, and Chompy can do the rest. We might've made Vi a bit too powerful?

Image

Ironnails are still giving actual EXP, unlike the other enemies here.

Image

Now, back to exploring.

Image

There's a path to the south, but it's blocked by a giant mushroom!

If you played Bug Fables long enough ago, this might look weird to you: the mushroom is a new addition as of v1.1, and wasn't here before. You used to be able to try going further south, but couldn't do anything there other than waste time (it's a puzzle that can't be solved without something we don't have). I'm not sure what I think of this change; I kind of liked getting an early look at something mysterious, but if enough people found it frustrating I can't really fault the devs for solving it like this.

Image

We're obviously going to need this block for something. There might've been a bridge here once, but there isn't one now!

Image

Can we climb up this pile of pumpkins, perhaps?

Image

...Well, we probably could have, but this one's alive!

Image

All that means is that we have to freeze it first, though. (As is the case with other enemies designed to be part of a puzzle, this fight is only a single Plumpling, and it will respawn immediately if killed.)

Image

With the Plumpling frozen, the staircase actually works.

Image

And this gap is narrow enough that we can fly across.

Image

Let's take a look around here.

Image

This path north is probably wrong, but we may as well try it out now?

Image

...What.

Okay, so this is the downside of them adding the mushroom. They seem to have forgotten to change where this false path lets out when they put it there, so you get stuck in the mushroom if you go this way. Oops.

Image

That said, if you just try to walk north for long enough, the party will eventually clip through it and escape. No harm done, really, it just looks awkward for a while.

Pardon me while I get back up there.

Image

Here we are. Where we need to go certainly isn't obvious yet. Before that, though, a snail.

Image

It has a Mimic Spider with it, but that's not really enough to make this threatening.

Image

Let's move on.

Image

Well, there's our hint. That's definitely an arrow pointing upward. How can we get up there, though? (We can't get any closer to the arrow from here; it's hard to see from this angle because the game makes it transparent, but that dark shadow just south of Kabbu is a cliff face.)

Image

Up here is another weed with a squash in it; we'll take it, I guess. I can get rid of the Numbnail Dart for this.

Image

Here's a better view. It sort of looks like we might be able to dig under that log, but we can't. Just past that, though, there are some breakable rocks.

Image

Image

Image

So let's smash them.

Image

There's not much of note in the alcove behind them, except this block we can move. We're going to need that. Maybe we should move it over toward the pile of pumpkins?

Image

Just like before, though, when we get close one of them reveals itself to be a Plumpling. Let's freeze it and build some stairs again.

Image

Image

Image

There we go.

Image

And now we can get up. (If the geometry starts causing problems getting up, sometimes flying can work a bit better than jumping. You gain a similar amount of altitude that way, but have a bit more control.)

Image

Anyway, we can reach the top of this pillar. It seems a bit like a dead end?

Image

But if we remember where the arrow was, and fly south, we can get across to the other ledge.

Image

And from here, finally, there's a path further east.

Image

This area looks a bit different; I think we're getting closer!

Image That rocky formation stands quite tall!
Image It's just inviting us to climb it, isn't it?

The banter here suggests we should go up. We'll definitely add that to the list.

Image

Before we get too far, though, another snail.

Image

This time, it's joined by a Plumpling. (I know I've said this before, but I do enjoy how varied the formations manage to be in this game, even with relatively small numbers of unique enemies.)

Let's do something a bit different.

Image

Image

Image

With careful aim, Needle Toss can be pretty effective here! (In general, I really like it against Plumplings, since with Vi's current level of attack she can one-shot them.) I wouldn't recommend this unless you're confident in aiming it, but it's fun if you are.

Image

Image

And then Kabbu can flip the Ironnail out of its shell, leaving Vi to finish it off. The numbers just worked out perfectly here.

Image

On we go.

Image

Image

There are more mushrooms here, but they're just cosmetic this time. (Also, we can see a Mimic Spider in the distance.)

Image

From this side, we can see there are two paths here, in addition to the one leading north we saw earlier. Lots of ways to go!

Image

First, though, let's deal with these guys.

Image

This isn't very intimidating. Let's just beat them and move on.

Image

Only pity EXP from that formation.

Image

Behind where the spider was is a bouncy mushroom.

Image

So let's go up.

Image

Now we can wrap around to this side; we could see this mushroom earlier from where we entered this area.

Image

Image

If we stand in the centre up here, we get a prompt to inspect the area. Let's see what happens.

Image

Image ...It's just a big rock?
Image Think of that big rock as their Hive, Vi.
Image It's more than close enough. We've just got to go north.

Image

In addition to a pretty strong hint to the correct path, that conversation gives us a Discovery!

Image

Image

Image

Here's hoping we can do something about that.

Image

If we check the location again after getting the discovery, we get this line.

There's nothing else up here, so let's go back down.

Image

We know we need to go north, but I've been showing where all the false paths lead so far, so why stop now? Let's just check these two right quick.

Image

That one brings us out here, for some reason. We could just turn right back and go north toward progress...

Image

But I wouldn't do that to you.

Image

...sigh. This one's a bit irritating. I'll go solve the puzzles again, be right back.

Image

All right, we're back. Only one path remains.

Image

So north it is.

Image

There's a yellow save crystal here. You can probably guess what that means, with how scarce these have generally been.

Image Is that glass? How weird...
Image What's weird about glass? We've seen heaps of it.
Image It's where it's placed, and the area we're in. Dunno, it just feels like it's not natural.
Image These lands turned out to be full of strange trinkets. I'll have to bring Neo sometime...

This is a cute one, although with the wistful tone I wonder if it was meant to be seen on a return visit here, instead of this first one?

Image

Let's heal up and save before going any further; that seems prudent.

Image

Also, I've just remembered I never made use of the MP we gained from that rank up. Let's try giving Vi First Plating; this goes very well with Power Exchange, or any similar type of glass cannon strategy. I'm not doing anything very sophisticated here, we'll just stick with what we've been using otherwise.

Image

We won't get very far east before hearing a roar from offscreen.

Image 13 - It's Getting Scary!

Image

Image

Image

Image With a good ol' beatdown!
Image Now, everyon-

Image

Image CRUSH this insolent creature that dares defy our most sacred mission! Have no mercy!
Image ...That works, too. To battle!

Image

Image Click me for video!

Image 29 - Team, This One's Stronger! (Miniboss)

Image

Whatever this is, it's pretty big. Let's spy on it, but first, let's rearrange things to get Kabbu in the back of the party.

Image

Image We must keep an eye on when to block, and stop it from calling reinforcements!

Image

This is the Primal Weevil: a bigger, angrier version of the Weevils we fought quite a while ago. Honestly, it's less intimidating than it looks, it's just a miniboss and we've been fighting much scarier things (like, for instance, the False Monarch last update). I'm going to give it a chance to show what it can do, but in normal gameplay it's often barely a speedbump.

Image

We'll start off by having Kabbu taunt it.

Image

And we'll have Leif use Royal Decree to buff everyone. It's a bit unnecessary, but this is one of the few significant fights where we'll have access to this, and it's a cool skill.

Image

Vi can just attack normally. With the boost to her attack, this hits pretty hard.

Image

Chompy gets to contribute too.

Image

On its turn, the Primal Weevil attacks Kabbu with a tail swipe. This does 6 damage at base, but Kabbu can nearly nullify it between the defence boost and his Super Block bonuses.

Image

One turn in. Let's keep going.

Image

Image

Vi and Leif will just attack. We could save up the charge bonuses, but we're not really going to need to; it's not that kind of fight.

Image

Kabbu keeps up the taunting.

Image

And Chompy keeps chomping.

Image

Here's the call for reinforcements Kabbu mentioned in the spy. Primal Weevil can whistle to call Weevils to join the fight. I think it will only do this while alone, I've never seen this fight end up with multiple Weevils at once.

Image

As usual for summoned enemies, it gets to attack right away. I'm not sure if I've pointed this out explicitly before, but Kabbu's Taunt even works on enemies that weren't present when he actually used it. Despite looking like a status effect on the enemies, it's actually global.

Image

Here's where things stand now. We could kill the Weevil, but honestly it's not all that threatening...

Image

So instead we'll just keep attacking the boss.

Image

Also, let's refresh Royal Decree, since it's worn off already. (Whoops. I messed up the sequencing here, I should have had Leif use this before Vi attacked to not waste a point of damage. Oh well.)

Image

Kabbu will keep taunting.

Image

Chompy does her thing.

Image

Ouch! This attack is pretty interesting, and one I wanted to make sure we got to see (especially since it's a cool animation, and it's easy to miss out on).

The first hit deals 5 damage at base. If you block it, the attack ends there, but if you don't, Primal Weevil will grab the bug, charge through and then launch them for an additional 3 base damage when they land.

Image

Image

The normal Weevils still have the ability to boost their attack before striking, they'll sometimes do that.

Image

Still, we're not doing too badly.

Image

Let's just get rid of the Weevil now, since we can do it with one hit.

Image

In retrospect, I should have done those in reverse order. This isn't exactly optimal gameplay, but then, I'm certainly not trying to do that.

Image

Kabbu will keep taunting.

Image

And Chompy will keep chomping.

Image

This is new! Just like the small Weevils, Primal Weevil can boost its attack at the start of its turn. This doesn't cost an action, so it will attack immediately afterward.

Image

Another tail swipe. This hurts a lot more when we only do a normal block, especially with the attack boost! Things aren't looking great for Kabbu here, all that taunting is starting to add up.

Image

We can work with this.

Image

Vi keeps doing what she does.

Image

Though we'll have Leif relay to her, so she can heal Kabbu. Even if we're going to use an item rather than her skills, it's better to have her do it since she's the one with the Heal Plus medals.

Image

There we go.

Image

And now he's healthy enough to taunt again. (Unfortunately, our Royal Decree has run out again, and I didn't refresh it this turn... between that and the attack boost, the next hit might hurt.)

Image

Chompy keeps going.

Image

Ow. I missed the block entirely this time, which pretty much undoes the work we put in healing Kabbu.

Image

Once again, though, this is not exactly catastrophic.

Image

Image

Two uses of Secret Stash gets Kabbu right back to full. We could probably have just finished things, but there's nothing wrong with playing it safe (and there's still a bit more to see).

Image

Now he's healthy enough to taunt again.

Image

On we go.

Image

There we go! This is definitely one of the nastier things it can do (and I'm terrible at the block timing for it, which definitely does not help). This shriek attack is just like the one Madesphy used, hitting the entire party for 3 base damage and inflicting Numb for 1 turn (if not blocked). The animation looks a lot like the attack boost at first, the only difference in animation is the gleam in its eye during the wind-up.

If you're on low health when you get hit by this (or you get unlucky and it chains it), the fight can turn against you pretty quickly out of nowhere. If you know it's coming, you can equip Numb Resistance in advance; otherwise, the best countermeasure is just staying on top of healing.

Image

Although in our case, First Plating kept Vi from getting numbed, so it's not quite as bad as it could have been!

Image

Image

We'll just keep attacking for now.

Image

And there's its final attack! This looks a lot worse because it's hitting Vi's -2 defence, the base damage is 4 per hit. Still, this can hurt!

Image

Now that we've seen everything the Primal Weevil can do, I see no further point in keeping it around. Let's just end this.

Image

Image

Image

Simple enough.

Image

That wasn't too bad. As I said earlier, in my experience the Primal Weevil is usually a pretty underwhelming miniboss: it doesn't have enough durability to stand up to the kind of damage output most builds can manage by this point, so it's easy to kind of just roll over it without seeing anything it can do. But if you let your guard down, it can actually be threatening, since several of its attacks do decent damage and the party-wide Numb can catch you off guard.

Image

Image

Image No problem!

Image

Image

Image

Image You there! You defeated this beast? You have our thanks.
Image As said before, no problem.
Image You must be soldiers from the Termite Kingdom, or am I wrong?

Image

Image ...!!! Cross, she's...

Image

Image Indeed. I bear grave news. Bugaria - and your kingdom - are at risk of a great calamity.
Image ...What do we do, Poi? No one would cross these lands for a cruel joke.

Image

Image Come on! What if it's really serious!
Image I-It is! I beg of you, you must let us talk to your rulers!

Image

Image ...Alright. At the very least, you saved us the trouble of capturing this beast.
Image We'll meet you back at the gate after delivering the Weevil and informing the Royal Guard.
Image Please wait for us there.
Image You're taking it with you?

Image

Image Right...
Image Thank you for your concession. We'll meet you at the entrance.
Image I do warn you though, the King will not be happy to see you.
Image Nor the Queen. So best of luck.

Image

We fade out briefly, as the Termite soldiers collect the Weevil and take it away. (Not at all suspicious...) When it fades back in, they're gone.

Image

Image As expected, Ants are still not welcome in their land. Such is our history.
Image It will be okay! This matter concerns every Bugarian!
Image Just do your magic Queen diplomacy!
Image ...Let's go.

Image

We regain control, and the music finally resumes. (The entire scene after defeating the Weevil plays out without background music.)

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands

Image

There are actually two exits from this area; let's head west first.

Image

Does this look familiar? We're on the upper level of a room we visited earlier.

Image

Image

We can knock down this ruler.

Image

Which creates a shortcut we can use to backtrack, if we want. (It's a bit hard to tell from this angle, but this is the room with the broken bridges where we unlocked Vi's ability to fly.)

Image

Image

We'll launch ourselves up and head back.

Image

That was fast! The crystal's already turned blue.

Image

This seems like a decent stopping point for now. Next time, we'll head east, and finally arrive at the Termite Kingdom. It remains to be seen how warm a welcome we'll get there...

User avatar
I posted this comment over on SA and realised I should mirror it on this side.

So, um, I should probably apologise for having gone MIA, and for the general pace of updates having slowed down recently. I've been going through a lot offline (including a move and a new job, which are proving difficult to adjust to, and a family health emergency) and it's been cutting into the time and energy I'd normally have to work on the LP. I'm hoping the pressure is going to ease up a bit from here out, but I have a feeling we're going to be looking at more of a ~2 week update schedule from now on. Thanks for bearing with me and I hope you're still enjoying the LP despite my haphazard updating.

User avatar
60: Termite Territory (Part 1)

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands

Image

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!

Image

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.

Image The Termites live here? Really?
Image Not the most inviting of entrances, that's for sure.
Image Do not judge, my friends. Some of the most astounding technology lays beneath this dome!
Image You can be smart and look ugly, you know...

Image

This is another rare banter that gets a reaction from Elizant, which is nice to see.

Image

Let's cross the bridge and get closer.

Image

As soon as we reach the far side of the bridge, we walk right into a cutscene.

Image

Image You're free to go in. But, Ant Queen... I'd suggest you go directly to the castle.
Image It's straight ahead from the plaza. The less people see you, the less fuss there will be.
Image I understand. We thank you once more.
Image We've had many years of peace. Don't make us regret letting you in.
Image (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.

Image 64 - Termite Capitol (Recommended listening!)

Image

(Check out the new music. The Termite Kingdom's theme is very calming with a distinct techno element. It's quite fitting.)

Image

Image I hope you'll meet me at the table for the negotiations.

Image

Image ...Yes, see you there.

Image

Image Did you really just call the Ant Queen "Lisa"?
Image It's too informal!
Image 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.

Image

Anyway, the game gives us back control after that conversation. Let's check the banter before anything else.

Image The Bee Kingdom's also inside a structure, but it feels way more oppressive in here.
Image Well, duh. My Kingdom's full of paint and happy stuff. This city's all dull!
Image Some bugs are born in such a place, and don't get to see the lush Bugarian Outskirts...
Image Most Termites don't like sunlight, we hear. So they probably don't mind this.
Image 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...

Image

Image 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.

Image

So let's take a quick detour back outside. (The screen fades out for a moment while we hear the door opening noisily.)

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands

Image

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.

Image

We can talk to Poi and Cross again. In addition to the dialogue, they also each have a banter.

Image The guards in this kingdom are varied, huh. In shape and all.
Image I've heard this kind of Termite holds a potent cannon in its head!
Image They're BORN with a cannon? Why do Bees get, like, one tiny stinger!?
Image (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.)

Image

Cross doesn't have much to say either.

Image The guards in this kingdom are varied, huh. In shape and all.
Image This one seems super bulky! Like Kabbu!
Image I'm going to take this compliment.
Image They seem well versed in the use of long-range weapons, too.
Image 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.)

Image

Just to the west are some rocks we can smash.

Image

Image

Image

Eventually, we find a cave entrance.

Image

Let's go in.

Image

There are some familiar faces inside! Elizant must have arranged for them to follow us and build the tunnel as backup.

Image So the Ants just managed to tunnel all the way here?
Image So it seems. They are dangerously close to the Termites, though...
Image 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!

Image

Amber's here, ready to help us with storage as usual.

Image Bringing miners, and even Ms. Amber to such a dangerous place...
Image Sometimes I wonder if the Queen considers the dangers of her requests!
Image We're sure she does. But it's still something that needs to get done...

This banter acknowledges that this might be quite risky.

Image

Image I suppose this is the farthest we can build this tunnel to.

I guess they got as close as they dared.

Image

Also, Diana is here, and we know what that means. New shortcuts!

Image

Image

Image Those berries don't even taste good...
Image We don't think her taste would be the only weird thing here...
Image Oi, I'm doing you a favor, okay? Just sit and watch!

Image

Image

Image We're in your debt once again, Diana. Thank you.
Image Well, I'm off! See you some other time, folks!

Image

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.

Image

Image

Anyway, unlocking the shortcut was the main reason we came out here; let's head back inside.

Image 64 - Termite Capitol

Image

Back to exploring! As befits a new town, there are lots of things to see and people to meet.

Image

Image

Image O. M. G.! Can't wait to tell my friends on the Termanet about the incoming war!

...I have many questions.

Image ...Termanet?
Image No clue.
Image Seems to be a technology unique to this land. For communication.
Image We should tell H.B. about it!
Image (I... I don't get how it works.)

Our team seem pretty confused too.

Image

Image

This guy's too busy, he doesn't have much of anything to say to us.

Image S-Sir! Please, sit down for a bit!
Image He's super ignoring you.
Image Overworking's global, huh.
Image You can't work if you collapse! Sir, please listen to meeeee!
Image 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.

Image

This person seems a lot calmer.

Image

Image She is really shy, and hides herself beyond the dense fog.
Image 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...)

Image We wonder if those scarves are the fashion around here.
Image Most likely. I don't like them much, though.
Image If you want, Leif, we could look around and buy you one.
Image No, thank you. We were just wondering.

Heh, Leif still gets fixated on fashion sometimes, but still can't be bothered to participate.

Image

Let's see what's inside this building?

Image

It's an item shop! Let's have a look around.

Image

Image You know how to use the self checkout, right? Just press (A) near an item.

Image

Image

Image ...Aww...

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.

Image

Image Alright then.

There's also a banter here, of course.

Image Malbee would stomp her if she read on the job at the factory!
Image This store seems mostly automated, so she mustn't have much to do.
Image That's worrying... Will there be a shop with no one running it at some point?
Image Silly Leif. Gadgets could never replace our fellow bug!

Leif has some thoughts about automation eliminating retail jobs, apparently.

Image

If we talk to the other customer in here, we'll learn there's something called DineMite. I wonder what that is?

Image The Termite Kingdom's quite impressive, but all this store food makes me miss Fry's cooking.
Image Machines can't really match Kut's expertise.
Image 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.)

Image

Let's check out the inventory, finally. There are some neat new toys here.

Image Squash (9 berries)
Image Shell Ointment (20 berries)
Image Aphid Shake (15 berries)
Image 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.

Image Mega-Rush(tm)
"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.

Image

Let's head back outside; there's nothing else to see in this shop. (Also, there's a convenient save crystal right here.)

Image

What's this giant slab thing?

Image

Apparently it's some kind of display, though it's not working right now.

Image So this rectangular gadget provides swift news to the populace?
Image Or, uh, it did. Guess it's not working right now...

I'm sure this will be important later. Let's move on.

Image

Is that Samira over there?

Image

Image

Image O-Ok. I'm always here if you want to hear me play.

As usual, she lets us listen to music if we want.

Image Samira's doing well enough to afford an escort here, huh.
Image 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.

Image

Over here is the way to the palace.

Image

Image You have come with the Ant Queen, so you're an exception.
Image Still, behave yourselves in front of the Queen and King!

The guards have a bit of dialogue.

Image

Image We won't hesitate in throwing you out the door.

I'm seeing a general theme here.

Image

We could head to the palace now, but let's finish exploring the city first. What's this place over here?

Image 65 - DineMite Beats

Image

There's unique music in here; what is this place?

Image

Image They are harvested from the Plumplings that roam around the wilds.
Image What if one mixed a Squash with some defense boosting ingredient?
Image My appetite flares up just thinking about it...

Dan's here, and has recipe hints on offer as usual.

Image This guy is even here...
Image Where there is food, there he is.
Image You have to admire his dedication to his culinary quest.

This is clearly some kind of eating establishment, anyway. Let's look around more.

Image

This person certainly has opinions.

Image Is it, uh, healthy to just eat one food?
Image Delicious as it may be, we reckon it's not.
Image We don't even know what's in it...!

What do they sell here?

Image

Also, who is this and what are they wearing?

Image

...Okay then.

Image Hm. I quite dig this fellow's style.
Image He looks lame. You've got bad taste.
Image Oof...
Image Respectfully, Vi? You don't know the first thing about fashion.
Image Hey!

Fashionista Leif returns with a vengeance!

Image

Let's talk to the clerk.

Image

What's a Mite Burger? Let's buy one and find out.

Image ONE MITEBURGER COMING UP!

Image

Image 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.

Image

Image ONE ORDER OF FRIES COMING UP!

Image

Image 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:

Image 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?" :rimshot: )

Image DineMite's the cheapest place around! And yum!
Image We cannot help but pity this poor worker.
Image The conditions don't seem too bad?
Image It's the music! We'd go insane after a few hours!
Image When you put it that way... At least I know how to annoy you now!
Image Don't. We'll freeze your mouth.
Image 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...)

Image

Let's get out of here.

Image 64 - Termite Capitol

Image

Image

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?

Image

The guard here helpfully tells us what we can find further east.

Image

Let's check it out.

Image

There's a lot going on here too.

Image Awesome! They've got conveyors on the floor!
Image Very convenient. A lot of Termites must move about daily here.
Image The air is thicker here... Is it fog or smoke?
Image There's a lot of pipes and stuff. Probably smoke.
Image We hope their researchers aren't taking air for granted...

With how enclosed this space is, the air quality seems like a real concern.

Image

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...

Image

There's another familiar face! We met Layna the firefly at the Golden Festival, which feels like ages ago.

Image

Image 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?

Image

Let's see what this building is.

Image

Well, whatever it is, it's fancy!

Image

Image 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.

Image 15 berries!? Why is it so expensive!?
Image Maybe there's higher demand?
Image At least we've made good savings during our journeys, so...
Image Just 'cuz we're richer doesn't mean we should be spending more!!!

Vi's not exactly wrong here.

Image

Let's look around a bit. There's not much to see on this side...

Image

Image

But the elevator is functional! We're on 1F, but let's check out the others.

Image

2F first.

Image

Image

This looks like some kind of communal room, there are a bunch of guests staying here.

Image Even the Termites get tourists? Wasn't this, uh, iso... isole...
Image Isolationist.
Image It's a rough trip, but only Ants were truly banned from this kingdom.
Image 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.

Image

Image 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.

Image

This ladybug doesn't like the look of things here much.

Image

Image 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.

Image

...they have a microwave.

Image

Image

And just like she hinted, we can actually use it to cook items.

Image

Just to demonstrate how it works, let's throw in this Squash.

Image

Image

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.

Image

That's all for this room; let's head up to the roof.

Image

Image

Let's head outside, I guess?

Image

There's another familiar face!

Image

Image Well, what's a journey without some risk?
Image I don't regret it. The Termite Kingdom has a very different vibe.
Image It's technological and convenient, but it feels a bit lonely...
Image Have you found what you were looking for, Kenny?
Image ...Yeah. I'm satisfied at having seen this beautiful world.
Image Where will you stay, in the end?
Image Let's say the end's at the beginning.
Image Uh, we'll see you there, then?
Image 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.

Image

If we go to the edge of the balcony here, we can see another building with an open window in the distance.

Image

And we can fly over to it!

Image

This house is empty, but I guess we can burglarise it?

Image

This wasn't theirs to keep anyway. (These are starting to pile up, we'll have to drop by the library soon.)

Image

Image

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.

Image

Image

If we drop down between the buildings, we can see there are some people hanging out in the alley.

Image

Image

This person will ask us for a berry. Let's see what happens if we decline first.

Image Sorry, maybe in the future...
Image Right...

Yeah, we can do better than this.

Image

Image T-Thank you...
Image ...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.

Image ...
Image What, you don't take kindly to beggars?
Image If I want berries, I go and earn them!
Image ...But he looks like he can't, it must be rough...
Image Vi... Let's share what we can!
Image Yeah!

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.)

Image

This person is also here.

Image

Though he has nothing to say to us.

Image Careful, everyone. We may be cut just by standing near this dude.
Image He does seem very, uh, sharp and volatile.
Image You're scared of a random guy after all the stuff we've beat up!?
Image Let us please stay away, alright? I'm tired of random fights...

There's no way he's going to be important for anything.

Image

Let's move along, we can't do anything else here for now.

Image

The guards don't have a whole lot to say.

Image

Image

Here's the Colosseum entrance. Do the termites have neon signs?

Image

Image

There are more buildings to the east. Let's talk to this guard first.

Image

Interesting. I wonder if Vi will see a kindred spirit here?

Image If he doesn't wanna fight, he shouldn't!
Image Thought you were all about smackdowns.
Image But I LIKE smackdowns! I do them 'cuz I want to!
Image I, too, believe we should all choose our fate.
Image 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.

Image

Let's see what this building is.

Image

Another shop! Are they selling bombs here?

Image

Image

Yes, yes they are.

Image This shop doesn't have the most welcoming staff, does it?
Image They're quite reserved despite selling such explosive items...
Image 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:

Image Clear Bomb (20 berries)
Image Sleep Bomb (30 berries)
Image Numb Bomb (30 berries)
Image Frost Bomb (30 berries)
Image Spicy Bomb (20 berries)
Image Burly Bomb (21 berries)
Image 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.

Image

Image

The "bomb master" is very curt and barely has anything to say if we interact.

Image

There's an elevator here, though. Let's check out the other floors.

Image

Guess we'll go to 5F first. (What's in 2 through 4? We'll never know.)

Image

Image

There are a couple of rooms up here.

Image

Let's talk to this person.

Image

Image They exist all over Bugaria and beyond, and they adapt easily to their surroundings, so many subspecies of them exist!
Image 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.

Image Who'd ever wanna research dumb Seedlings?
Image First of all, they're adorable.
Image Don't forget, what we take for granted is most exotic to them!

Heh.

Image

Anyway, let's check the other side. This seems to be some kind of gym?

Image

Uh, okay. Let's not bother her.

Image What determination! She won't stop!

Image

Image

Heh, this is an entertaining one. (I can't tell if Kabbu or the person exercising here is the butt of the joke...)

Image

Image

Let's head up to the roof.

Image

There's someone up here, so let's start with that.

Image

Image To see what the sky really looks like...

Seems like not all the termites are satisfied with their lives here.

Image What's he looking at? It's just the dome ceiling.
Image Some call it day-dreaming, Vi.
Image Oh, it's like when I think of being super rich and famous!
Image Err, yes. Let's go with that.
Image I hope his dreams come true. Mine sure are!
Image (You're not half-bad sometimes.)

Another cute one.

Image

If we head over to the west side of this roof, we can get a nice view of the Colosseum from above.

Image

Also, if we get right up to the ledge, we can inspect it.

Image

Image Such a large building, just to celebrate fighting...
Image What's wrong with that? Showing off your cool moves is great!
Image I guess it'd depend on how willing the fighters were...

Image

As you may have guessed, it's a discovery!

Image

Image

Though I'm not sure how much this really tells us, it's a nice bit of colour.

Image

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.

Image

Let's head back down.

Image

Image

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.)
Last edited by Explopyro on Tue Apr 19, 2022 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
60: Termite Territory (Part 2)

Image 64 - Termite Capitol

Image

We've reached the docks.

Image They have a pier too! We should've just ferried in.
Image I don't think their pier is very inviting...
Image There's some catapults and everything. We would've gotten sunk.
Image What's the point of a pier if there's no boats!?
Image I'm sure they've got plenty use out of this area without opening it up for tourism.
Image Don't explain it! I just want to feel mad about it!

Let's have a look around.

Image

There are some people to talk to here also.

Image

Image Couldn't they make an anti-smoke gadget?

Some of the residents here do seem to have issues with the air quality.

Image So they're exchanging their air for many commodities...
Image The Bee Kingdom just throws all the smoke into the sky!
Image ...Why not just live in the open like the Golden Settlers?

I don't think you're going to get an answer to that, Leif.

Image

Here we can get a better view of the catapults...

Image

Image Any unknown ships coming in? KERPLOW! Fire the catapults!

Well, that's hostile.

Image

Anyway, if we come to the far edge past the catapult here, we can just barely see a platform off in the distance.

Image

Image

If we fly over, there's a Crystal Berry for the taking! These are always nice to find.

Image

And back we go.

Image

Let's check out the end of the pier.

Image

Image But I really want to swim...

That's a bit of a conundrum, isn't it.

Image You can do it. Just... dip your arms in the water.
Image You hate water, stop telling him to swim.
Image But he doesn't. You know, it'd be nice to see him triumph over his fear...
Image We... we should take a swim too! To inspire him!
Image ...No.

That went... places.

Image

Image

The last thing to check out here is the building.

Image

Apparently it's the water treatment plant. So the termites do care about sanitation, just not about air pollution...

Image

Image

Image I hope that someday I get to go outside and visit Bugaria.

Some of the Termites definitely want to see the rest of the world. Maybe if we play our cards right with the royals, we can help them do it?

Image Nice glasses.
Image This must be a Termite in charge of this big machine.
Image He mentioned water, right? So this pumps water everywhere?
Image With so many tall places, it must be helpful to not have to come down.
Image They've got nothing on our super honey network!

That does raise some interesting questions about the technology levels of the various kingdoms, actually. Everyone's very surprised by how advanced the Termites are (and they do apparently have the internet, so there's definitely a difference there), but the Bees also have industry and robotics, and there's ancient Roach magitech everywhere; it's a bit odd that our team react more to it here than they did elsewhere.

Image

This worker doesn't have as much to say. (And, also, shares the same banter as the previous one.)

Image

There's not much else to see in here, just some machinery and display screens.

Image

Let's head back and check out the Colosseum.

Image

Image

Image

There are a lot of people we can talk to by the entrance here.

Image

Image Hmph. Worry not, this time I won't forget!
Image Uh huh.

I'm sure this is just an offhand exchange that won't mean anything later. Also, there are some banters:

Image I can't believe someone can forget to eat!
Image Mhm.
Image Yup.
Image ...Anyways, let's go.

And for Yatanta (the one in pink):

Image There's already guards here. What's his job supposed to be?
Image Probably a cleaner, after all the fighting.
Image He could help carry in supplies, too!
Image Boooooring.

Fascinating.

Image

Image

There's a sneakily-hidden Lore Book behind one of the crates on this side. It's very difficult to see it without just walking into it.

Image

Image

The guards by the entrance don't have a whole lot to say.

Image

...Fuzzo's here?

Image

Image We'll have to study more to make a profit here...

If he's here with the snail, I wonder where the rest of the caravan are.

Image You've gotta respect their commitment to trade.
Image Well, making a profit's hard work!
Image I'm just glad the snail made it here safely...

Image

Just past Fuzzo, there are a few others.

Image

I wonder if we can do anything about this?

Image Their society is advanced, but it seems some bugs do struggle.
Image Is it just part of industrialization?
Image Or they're super competitive!
Image ...Rather than discuss their situation, let's try to improve it!

...Sometimes you have to talk to them to learn how, you know. But sure, let's try.

Image

Image You seem to be upset. I was wondering if I could help you?
Image No. You can't. Scram.
Image W-Wait, I...
Image Don't mind her. She's been so cranky!
Image You'd have to be some sort of Colosseum hero just to make her look at you.
Image A bit cranky, eh Vi.
Image What, you tryin' to say something?
Image ...A hero...

It doesn't look like we're going to be able to do anything about this just yet.

Image That child looks so... disheartened.
Image Go, Kabbu. Don't let us stop you.
Image Don't take toooooo long!

The banter for her suggests we should keep trying, but we don't have any way to get her to open up right now. Let's move on.

Image

Let's see what's inside here.

Image

Image This is it. Their hall of blazing glory!
Image It looks a little... normal, you know?
Image They must've chosen to keep it outdated. In the name of culture.
Image That just sounds lazy!
Image Don't let historians hear you...
Image Whatever.

Kabbu seems more enthusiastic about the place from this vantage than he did from above. Perspective changes matter, I guess?

Image

Let's talk to the attendant.

Image

Image Right now we don't have any fights happening... Come back later when we do!

Well, that's disappointing.

Image Aww...
Image Getting paid to run this place could be chill. We may consider it if we quit exploring.
Image Is that so? I've always thought of being a gardener.
Image I don't wanna ever quit exploring! ...But, y'know, I'd run a shop.

It's nice to know they think about this sort of thing, I guess.

Image

We might not be able to watch or participate in any fights here yet, but we can look around at least. We know these people!

Image

Image

Bub and Rob have made it here. (Good to know they're not still imprisoned!)

Image these two have pretty much seen the whole continent.
Image Except the Ant Kingdom...
Image ...Maybe if we find the Everlasting Sapling, we could revoke that ban?

Definitely something to think about.

Image

Image

Image

The merchant caravan are here, offering their usual services. They've got a larger stock than usual, but it's just more basics. Here's the full list:

Image Spicy Berry (12 berries)
Image Burly Berry (12 berries)
Image Magic Seed (18 berries)
Image Crunchy Leaf (3 berries)
Image Honey Drop (4 berries)

Nothing new to see here, it's all offered at the standard prices. Still, it's convenient that they're here.

Image

The guards won't let us past, so we can't see the actual arena.

Image

There are a few more people to talk to on the other side.

Image

Image He suddenly disappeared though. I wonder if new challengers will take that picture now.

That's mysterious.

Image I-Is it okay for children to witness such battles?
Image Weren't you inspired by plays and books?
Image That is completely different to a Colosseum!

Kabbu, make up your mind. Do you like gladiatorial combat or don't you?

Image

There's also this person.

Image You go, super regular normal dude!
Image Vi's found a hero, eh?
Image Wha- No! I'm my own hero! I should be HIS hero!
Image *Sigh*.

This one always amuses me.

Image

The guards won't let us through on this side either.

Image

Well, we've seen the Colosseum. We're clearly going to have to come back here later; we can't actually engage with the place now, so let's head back.

Image

Image

Image

We've now explored all of the Termite Capital except for the palace itself. This update's already getting quite long, so we'll pick up there next time. I'll see you then!

User avatar
So, uh, I may have screwed up earlier and used a few of the wrong screenshots when I first posted update 60 (which ended up showing talk icons instead of the actual dialogue I wanted). I've found the correct ones and spliced them in, we should be all good now. If you don't want to read through the entire update again, these are the lines that I accidentally left out:




User avatar
061: Colosseum Clash (Part 1)

Image 64 - Termite Capitol

Image

When we left off last time, we were exploring the Termite Capital. We've seen most of it now; all that's left is the palace, so we can't put off our meeting with the royals much longer. Let's head in.

Image

If nothing else, it's much easier to see in here!

Image Now this is a better mood.
Image My eyes appreciate the light! But I do wonder... did their throne have to be in the last floor?
Image Well, duh. It's the throne. Come on, Kabbu!

Our team seem to agree. Let's have a look around.

Image

The guards are still pretty suspicious of us.

Image

Is that some kind of wire sculpture? We'll get to that in a moment; let's talk to the attendant here first.

Image

Image It's... a heavy task.

What could she mean by that?

Image How adorable. The Queen's got lovely servants.
Image I've seen the things they can carry! It betrays their small body!
Image Woah. I've GOT to see that!

I do find it a bit odd they're this impressed with the termites, when this kind of strength is also something ants are known for.

Image

Anyway, let's check out this thing.

Image

Image

Whatever this sculpture is supposed to be, it counts as yet another discovery!

Image

Image

Arguably, I'd have said it looked modern rather than postmodern, but I'm not going to pick nits over something like that. (How could I? There aren't any lice in this game.)

Image

There's one other attendant we can talk to here.

Image

Image ...Wait, you're with the Ants?
Image ...Oh, look at the time! I must go...

Isn't that friendly.

Image

There's also a stained glass image of the Termite royals at the back, though we can't interact with it.

Image

At the far side of the room, we can see Elizant waiting for us.

Image

Image Um, Queen?

Image

Image You gonna go in?
Image ......
Image I'm a bit nervous.
Image It's not often a Queen's the one requesting an audience.
Image If only it was just that. I cannot help but think that if I fail, we are all doomed.

Image

Image

Whatever Kabbu was going to say, he doesn't manage to get it out because the guards interupt.

Image

Image Our royals will now grace you. Don't pull anything funny.
Image ...Let's go.

Image

Image

Image

Image Is that so? What is it, dear?
Image They said a visitor that will surprise us has arrived! They should be here soon!

Image

Image

Image ......

Image

Image

Image

Image Your eminences...
Image That is KING Hector IV and Queen Layra II to you, Ant!
Image My apologies, King Hector. Queen Layra.

Image

Image Dear, watch yourself. You'll faint from disgust.
Image ...What is your business!?

Image

Image

Image My people have been hurt, and the artifacts of old have been taken...
Image The artifacts? So you did find them, after so much struggle...
Image And then you incompetently lost them!
Image ...Indeed. The Wasp King holds power I had never witnessed.

Image

Image Nice to meet you!
Image I-It is my honor.
Image Sup.

Image

Image He was injured in the attack. It would not have been prudent for him to come.
Image Such a varied team... It seems just about anyone can get into Bugaria nowadays.

Image

Image

Image What's it to us, then? You ruled poorly, and got your trinkets stolen.
Image You presume we should worry? As if our great defenses would be felled by some Wasps.
Image This dome of ours has survived storms without a single scratch.

Image

Image And will soon obtain the full power of the Everlasting Sapling, shall be of no threat to you?
Image F-Flame, you say?
Image That sapling is a darn myth that drove your mother insane!
Image Oh, how many more moons we could have had with her, if she hadn't been so obsessed!

Image

Image Watch your tone, Ant!
Image We found the mask, the tablet, and the key. Or were those myths as well?!
Image The Wasp King is heading towards the Giant's Lair, an area none dare to tread!

Image

Image You think I would travel the wasteland personally, and bear brunt to your crass tone...
Image If all of Bugaria weren't facing great peril? You think of me so pathetically?!
Image I accepted and respected our treaty, after our negotiations turned sour.
Image I am not asking you to change your mind in that regard...
Image But if you care for your people, you won't turn a blind eye to the danger heading our way!

Image

Image Dear, calm yourself. You're being blinded by the past.

Image

Image Ants are unrefined in many ways... They cannot match our intellect either.
Image But they do not yield under pressure, and work very hard. It is nature's way.

Image

Image Layra, you were always too soft!
Image And you too stubborn. That is why I am by your side.

Image

Image

Image Although it would be for the best for our nations to try and reconcile...
Image Right now, what we need is a way to head towards the Giant's Lair.
Image A way to cross the sea.
Image Dear, weren't the scientists...

Image

Image

Image Will you help us, then, in protecting Bugaria?

Image

Image You say your knights lost to that puny Wasp? You think our soldiers wouldn't match up?
Image I wish for proof of the enemy's strength.
Image We do not think you'd wish for their visit upon your kingdom...

Image

Image Before then, I would have you participate in our ancient tradition.
Image Ah... The Colosseum!

Image

Image

Image If your people best our brave warriors, then we might be in a real pickle.
Image Your knights will face off in glorious combat, and then I shall decide!

Image

Image I would like for you and me to discuss some other matters as the fight goes on... if you don't mind.
Image Leave it to us, my Queen! We'll do well!
Image Mhm. They'll see we're not joking around.

Image

Image You will find the Colosseum around the residential district of our kingdom.
Image Do not dally. Your kingdom is against the clock, after all.
Image We'll start the ceremony shortly after you arrive.
Image I hope you can provide a good show!

Image

Image Do not fail!
Image You can count on us, Your Majesty!
Image Let's go to the Colosseum!

Image

Well, that was certainly... something. One gets the impression the prior conflict might not have been entirely Elizant II's fault, whatever she seems to think. King Hector (excuse me, Hector IV) is very irascible and seemed to be looking for excuses to get mad.

That could have gone worse, but they're still not taking us very seriously. We're going to have to change that. Of course, the mere fact there's a Colosseum here meant we'd no doubt have ended up fighting there at some point...

Anyway, that was a very long discussion, but we're back in control now. Let's have a quick look around the throne room before we head back to the Colosseum.

Image

First up, we can talk to Elizant again, though she doesn't have that much to say. There is a banter, though, that's a bit more interesting.

Image She really shut that king up!
Image Her words had me nervous... I'm glad we've been given a chance.
Image She's no Elizant, but... we're warming up to Lisa a bit.

Looks like Leif's adopting the nickname too? (He has more excuse than Vi does, since he knew her mother and might want to differentiate them.)

Image

Image

The guards here are even more hostile than most of the earlier ones. How pleasant.

Image

There's not much to see on this side.

Image

Of course, we can talk to the royals again, and there are also banters for them.

Image The Queen is, um... big.
Image That is not a matter we should discuss here. It's very sensitive!
Image They both seem to have met the previous Queen. So they must be very old as well.
Image Or Termites just live longer, who knows...
Image That's the beauty of our people. We're the same, but so unique!

Honestly, to me it seems less that Layra is unusually big, but that the other races' queens are surprisingly small. (If you use the workers for scale, even she is on the small side compared to real termite queens.)

Image

Meanwhile, King Hector offers us typos. Oops. (Normally I'd just correct the typo if I were trascribing it, but it's his only line here...)

Image He's sure packing a lot of anger for a short guy!
Image Really? YOU'D make short jokes? At a KING?
Image I never get to! I've gotta take the chance!
Image Just, uh, make sure he doesn't sic the guards on you...

Vi, he's got enough of a Napoleon complex as it is, let's not exacerbate things.

Image

We can explore a bit back here, but there's nothing to find.

Image

Image

On the other hand, this is sneakily hiding out of view behind the step! We'll just take that, so long as the royals don't mind.

Image

Image

Anyway, we can't do anything else in here for now, so let's be on our way.

Image

We'll head to the Colosseum shortly, but there are a few minor things I want to do first.

Image

First off, this termite has new dialogue.

Image

Image Ha! Tough luck! Our soldiers will destroy you, and we will record it and share all over the Termanet!
Image Can't wait to text my friends about this!

How charming. Someone really believes in us.

Image

Anyway, let's take a minor detour.

Image

And pay a quick visit to Amber.

Image

I've got a very silly plan. I've been dithering for a while over what to do with our stockpile of Dark Cherries; I think this is going to be fun. We're going to need all five of these for it, so let's take them out.

Image Here you go! As if it was new.

Image

We're also going to need an equal quantity of Spicy Berries.

Image

Image

Image

Image

And a microwave.

Image

Image

Image

Making explosives in a microwave seems like it couldn't possibly go wrong in any way, surely! Let's keep doing this.

Image

There we go. Five generous servings of Cherry Bombs.

Image

Also, make note of the Hustle Candies. I took a quick detour via the Ant Mines to make two of those, which are the other part of this plan. Since it's been a while: if you don't remember, Hustle Berries are only available in the shop in Defiant Root, then combining them with flour makes these.

If you are playing along: this plan is incredibly silly and wasteful, do not copy me. Save your cherries for a better occasion.

Image

Image

All right, preparations are done so let's be on our way.

Image

Image

Image

I think I skipped talking to one of these guards last time, but their dialogue hasn't changed. It's a bit weird this one recommends using the conveyors to reach the Colosseum, since there aren't any more of them between us and the entrance... I think I know what he's trying to say, but this line is a bit awkward.

Image

Onward.

Image

We've already spoken to everyone here too, so we can just head in.

Image

Before that, though, let's just remember these two. Terrie is upset, but she won't talk to us because we aren't fighting champions. That seems like something we'll be able to fix shortly.

Image

In we go.

Image

Once again, we've been here before. Nobody here has new dialogue, except at the counter, so let's get things started.

Image

Image Excuse me?
Image It's whatever. Everyone's looking forward to a new challenger.

Image

Let's see what he says if we decline first.

Image Don't take too long. The king gets grumpy.

All right, fine.

Image

Image Alright. Please cross through the left door.
Image I placed a bet on you for kicks and giggles, so good luck.
Image If I give you some berries, can you bet higher and pay me later?
Image ...No.
Image Aww...

Image

(Despite saying we should head to the left door, we don't actually have to. The screen fades out and the Colosseum sequence starts automatically.)

Image Click me for video!

(For the video portion, I've left the entire Colosseum sequence in one video rather than splitting out the fights.)

Image

(Oh, that's what they meant by "a heavy task". Can Queen Layra get around on her own, or does she need to be carried everywhere?)

Image

Image The honor of our kingdom is on the line!

Image

Image

Throughout this sequence, we'll periodically cut to the crowd to see what they're yelling about. I'm forced to present these in GIFs because there's no good way to capture them in screenshots with the way the dialogue bubbles overlap.

Image

Image Than with the ancient tradition of our ancestors!

Image

Image

Image

Image Without further ado, let's begin!

Image

Image

Image

Image It fits us perfectly. Focus on the battle.
Image We'll do awesome like always!

Image

Image They shall face fierce beasts from the Forbidden Lands!

Image

Well, round one at least doesn't seem too bad.

Image

Image 29 - Team, This One's Stronger! (Miniboss)

Image

Image

Well, he wasn't lying when he said this would be a warm-up. We can finish this in a single turn, and I see no reason not to.

Image

Image

Image

Image

A quick Needle Toss from Vi can eliminate the Plumpling and deal heavy damage to the Mimic Spider behind it. (I love doing this, it's so satisfying.)

Image

Image

Image

Kabbu and Leif get their attacks in, then Leif relays to Vi for the final hit. It's exactly enough damage to finish it off.

Image

Nothing to it.

Image

(Leif agrees!)

Image

Image

Image You will now face Cross and Poi! The bravest of our border guards!

Image

Image

Image We won't go easy on you. Give it your all.
Image It was your trust that got us this far. We will honor you with a good fight!
Image Yeah, yeah. Let's go!

Image 29 - Team, This One's Stronger! (Miniboss)

Image

Image

Well, this is something new at least! Let's see what we're dealing with here. (After getting Kabbu in front, I don't think I want Vi leading this one.)

Image

Image Everyone, watch out for his sword and cannon! We must fight with honor!

Image

Image Termites handle the cold well. Guess it's up to us if we want to gamble on it.

Image

These two have some interesting moves, but they don't quite have enough HP to be a proper threat at this point. We'll take things slowly and give them a chance to show what they can do. (And also conserve our resources; you may notice we don't recover between rounds, so pacing ourselves isn't a terrible idea here since we know a third fight is coming.)

Image

Image

We'll have Kabbu hit Cross, to pierce his defence, while Vi goes after Poi instead.

Image

Chompy doesn't have a choice, she has to attack Cross since he's in front.

Image

As his name might suggest, Cross has a crossbow. This deals 4 damage at base.

Image

While Poi has the fontanellar cannon; we've heard plenty about this, but now we get to see it in action! It launches two poison globs, each of which hits for 3 base damage (and inflicts poison if you fail to block it).

Image

That wasn't too bad, though with both of them focusing on Kabbu he's low enough to be in danger.

Image

Image

For now, we'll keep spreading the damage around.

Image

Vi will heal Kabbu, though, that's probably a good idea.

Image

And Chompy keeps doing her thing.

Image

This turn, we see some new attacks again. Cross has this bite attack, which is 5 base damage (and makes contact, so Kabbu can do counter damage with Spiky Bod).

Image

Poi has a close-range attack too, a straightforward sword slash for 4 base damage.

Image

Let's just keep doing what we're doing.

Image

Image

Image

After Vi attacks, we'll have Leif relay to her to use Sharing Stash. We should keep ourselves topped up here.

Image

Chompy makes with the chomping.

Image

Image

This turn, it's just a repeat of the same attacks as last time (though they made worse choices of targets; Cross isn't getting through First Plating on Vi, and Poi takes counter damage from Kabbu).

Image

We're nearly finished here. I like these guys, but they're not particularly difficult.

Image

Image

Image

Rather than finish them, I decided to have Vi and Chompy skip their turns, and give Cross and Poi a chance to maybe show us their last remaining moves.

Image

Image

Image

No such luck, though; it's just the ranged attacks again. Oh well.

Image

There's not really a point delaying this further.

Image

Image

Image

And that's that! Will the third round be much tougher?

Before that, let's take a quick look at what else Cross and Poi can do. They each have a melee attack and a ranged attack (all of which we saw), and a few items they can use (which we didn't).

Image

Image

Image

First off, they have Succulent Platters. These work a bit differently to the ones we can use, though: they're single target, and give them 4 turns of HP regeneration (the duration ticks down at the end of their turn before we see it displayed). They can both use these, though they'll only ever target themselves.

Image

Image

Image

And then they have Spicy and Burly Berries to boost their stats. Again, with the way the duration works, they'll only ever effectively benefit from either for a single turn.

It's a fun little fight, though it's usually over too quickly for them to do anything interesting.

Image

Image I-Incredible...
Image Please forgive us for having to beat you up.
Image Eh, it's all in good sport.

Image

Image

Image Oh my... Dear, Poi and Cross are not easily beat.
Image W-Whatever! You're not claiming victory so easily!
Image Now, you will face a captured creature that instills fear in the most hardened veteran!
Image Oh!? You'll... Are you sure!?

Image

Image 13 - It's Getting Scary!

Image

Image

Image We've gotta beat it AGAIN!?

Image

Image My dear public deserves better, so much better!

Image

Image

Image 66 - Mothiva's Grand Stand! (Recommended listening!)

Image

Image

Image

Image Ohohoho! Her voice is as smooth as ever!

Image

Image W-What are you doing here!?
Image No way we'd let you steal any Queen's graces.
Image When I heard you were coming... I just had to crash this party!
Image What do you gain from making this harder for us?
Image Yeah! We're on the same team!

Image

Image If we defeat you, we'll show we're superior to you.
Image And then the Queen's gonna HAVE to tag us along!
Image This is ridiculous! You realize you could be dooming us all!?
Image What if the Termite King loses trust in the Queen!?
Image What if you lose to the Wasp King without our help!?
Image Have you gone completely, utterly insane!? Have you lost all intelligence?

(God damn, Kabbu.)

Image

Image The Ant Kingdom's way better in our hands than with you LOSERS.

Image

Image I said we'd NEVER speak of that again!
Image ...Zasp. You've helped us many times. Can't you talk some sense into her?
Image Don't misunderstand. I'm not doing this only for Mothiva.

Image

Image Ugh, I want the Primal Weevil back.

Image

Image

Image

Image How serendipitous. I'm looking forward to this.
Image The fight starts... NOW!

(Sorry about this, but the character limit rears its ugly head, and we'll be splitting the update here. Back momentarily.)

User avatar
61: Colosseum Clash (Part 2)

Image 66 - Mothiva's Grand Stand!

Image

Image

Unlike before, "Mothiva's Grand Stand" keeps playing, and will serve as our battle music as well. It's a pretty unique battle theme, and I quite like it. We heard it before, briefly, when they confronted us in the Golden Hills, but I'm pretty sure this is the moment the song was written for.

Also, you may notice we can already see their health bars. Zasp and Mothiva don't get new bestiary entries or spy dialogue in this fight, but they do have increased stats. They each get +15 maximum HP and +2 damage to all their attacks, but otherwise this fight is exactly the same as back in Chapter 2, their movesets and behaviours are exactly the same.

So. Instead of fighting them normally, let's give Mothiva the experience of being pelted with fruit in front of a huge crowd (we have to do it ourselves, the crowd don't seem inclined to).

It ought to work as long as nobody brought a gun.

Image

Not quite yet, though, we're going to use this first turn for setup. Vi starts things off by hitting Zasp with a Needle Pincer.

Image

Image

And a neat little trick here. Normally we wouldn't be able to rotate the party after acting, but Leif has an extra action thanks to Strong Start, and if he relays that to Vi, everyone will have actions and we can change the formation.

Image

We'll do another Needle Pincer, this time from the back. (I'm not actually sure if these shenanigans get us any more damage in this specific scenario, it's a bit marginal, but it's enough and I thought it was neat to show off.)

Image

Image

Now. Time for some candy.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

After two Hustle Berries, we'll end up with five actions total next turn. Convenient, since we have 5 sets of Cherry Bombs.

Image

Chompy does her thing, of course.

Image

...Oh. No. I'd forgotten Zasp could do this. That's going to complicate things.

Image

Aside from taunting, he has access to the same ninja combos he used last time we fought him.

Image

Mothiva has her usual music-based attacks, including this giant note that hits everyone.

Image

The best laid plans (of mice, and men, and bugs). Zasp's taunt renders Kabbu unable to use items (and, even more irritatingly, Kabbu is one of the ones I used a Hustle Candy on). We're still going to go ahead with things, but it does mean this turn won't go quite as cleanly as I planned.

Image

Leif starts with the fruit. This one's chosen the Burly Bomb effect.

Image

Image

Just like before, Zasp reacts and charges up when he sees Mothiva injured.

Image

Image

Since he's taunted, Kabbu isn't able to do anything other than attack. May as well. If we KO Zasp this turn, he'll lose the charge-ups anyway.

Image

Bombs away! This time, it's a Poison Bomb.

Image

Image

Zasp reacts again, but that's not going to be a problem.

Image

Since he's literally on 1 HP, and we still have more fruit.

Image

Boom. (Also, oops, I clicked too fast and aimed at Zasp instead of Mothiva, which wasted a bit of damage. That won't end up mattering, though.)

Image

Chompy, go bite her for us.

Image

Image

Mothiva usually prioritises reviving Zasp, though it isn't a guarantee. He recovers 8 HP now, instead of 5.

Image

Also, the poison does its work.

Image

So, the taunt prevented us ending the fight that turn, but we can certainly do it now. (The original plan was to reduce Zasp to 20 HP or lower on the setup turn, then hit Mothiva with five bombs, which if the numbers cooperated would be enough to KO both of them on turn two. This take went awry in an interesting way, which I thought was more fun than one where everything went perfectly.)

Image

Boom.

Image

Just go to sleep already.

Image

Well, that was completely ridiculous.

Image

Image

Image Huff... Huff... is this... enough for you!?
Image C-Come on. Just drop it.

Image

Image

Image Fine. Fine! Whatever! ...I give up. You win. Are you HAPPY now!?
Image I concede. Team Snakemouth. Today you're better than us.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image Hehehe. Oh my dear...

Image

Image

Image Make sure to come to my next show! You'll get even closer to me!

Image

Image

Image What the... I can't believe they're cheering for YOU!
Image Justice is quite popular with the crowd!
Image Maybe Termites just have awful taste! Ugh!

Image

Image C-Come on, everybody! Say my name one more time!

Image

Image

Image Theatrics aside, there are serious things to discuss. You fought well. We shall see you there.

Image

And there ends the Termite Colosseum sequence. That was fun! I knew we'd be fighting Mothiva and Zasp again at some point, but I didn't really expect it to be here on the first time through. (Also, there's a certain irony in a miniboss rematch being replaced with a different miniboss rematch, even if being our rivals this one's definitely more fun.)

Image 64 - Termite Capitol

Image

Or, well, it's almost over. We have another conversation with them in the lobby.

Image

Image We'll go on ahead.
Image No weird tricks.
Image Just shut up. I don't want to hear you ever again. Ugh. BYE.

Image

Image

Image

Image No time for the inn! Let's get going to the palace!

Image

With that, we regain control. We'll head back to the palace shortly, but there's a decent amount of new dialogue to see now that we're the champions.

Image

Image

Bub and Rob are impressed with us now.

Image

Image Come back later if you want to fight again. If you keep it up I'll keep betting on you!

The receptionist, meanwhile, seems to have found a new money-making scheme.

Incidentally, he's not lying. We will eventually be able to return here and replay the Colosseum whenever we want, though it'll be slightly different. The first two fights are the same, but the third actually will be a rematch with the Primal Weevil.

Interestingly, neither Cross and Poi nor the Primal Weevil can be refought in B.O.S.S. (either in rush mode or individually); if you want to fight them again, you have to do it here instead. And, speaking of B.O.S.S., once you finish the Colosseum, fighting Mothiva and Zasp there will use their upgraded stats instead.

Image

Anyway. This termite is a fan of ours now.

Unfortunately, Super Regular Normal Dude back there doesn't have any new dialogue.

Image

Let's get out of here.

Image

There's a bit more new content to see on our way back to the palace.

Image

Image

The guards here are impressed with us now.

Image

One of the pair here is gone...

Image

Image Finding him will be a pain...

This sounds like it's going to be a sidequest, doesn't it.

Image

And, speaking of sidequests. We're champions now, so can we do anything to help Terrie?

Image

Image C-Champions? Woah...
Image Guess we've met her standards.

Image

Image Wha? Termites know the Bug Rangers?
Image Not many... Mostly some old timers, back before things got really strict.
Image There was this one show, everyone really talked about it for a while.
Image I didn't know you were real!
Image Heheheh.
Image Sorry, but it's just a coincidence.
Image ...Bleh.
Image Could you let us know what troubles you, at least?
Image Y-You'll laugh at me.

Image

Image Look, I've been saving berries for a whole moon.

Image

Image But the day I saved up enough, someone snatched it! I'm so angry!
Image That sucks.
Image Dunno if we can help...

Image

Image Easy to say...

Heh. Um. So, can we do something about this? (Somehow, I don't think this is really just about a plushie...)

Image

Yes, very hard to find. We wouldn't possibly know where to get one.

Image

Well, we can't exactly test the Bug Ranger Plushie as the wrong answer this time! But what if we give her something else?

Image Is this a consolation prize? Cuz I don't want it.

Image

It hurts, but, well, we do have it...

Image

Image Kabbu, are you sure? For a kid you just met?
Image Team, don't worry.
Image The Rangers inspired me to explore, yes.
Image But... I don't need them any more. Think of all we've been through.
Image The Spider, the machines and bandits... the Beast.
Image We did that all together, and they were real adventures.

Image

Image So it's time to hand this down, so that a new child may dream of exploring!
Image ...
Image ...Kabbu...
Image Y'all okay there?

Image

Image

Image Oh dear! You found one!?
Image IS IT REALLY FOR ME!?
Image Indeed! Someday, you can be as strong as him!
Image H-How much was it?
Image I'm gonna go get my savings!
Image It's free, don't worry.
Image Use those berries to buy some good food!
Image Really...?
Image Y-Yeah! On the house!
Image But you've got to take good care of it.
Image I will! It's gonna look like new every day!
Image T-Thank you. We don't meet kind bugs every day!
Image It was nothing. We do need to get going, however.
Image And they say money can't buy happiness.
Image Tch. How dare Kabbu be this cool...
Image Heheh. Onward to our next good deed!

Image

We don't get any tangible reward for this (and, honestly, it'd kind of ruin it if we did), but it's a really cute scene, and there is an achievement.

Image

In a way, this is Kabbu's personal quest, a rough counterpart to Vi's Request and Leif's Request (each of which also had associated achievements). This doesn't count as a sidequest for purposes of the quest log, though.

Image

Image

They each have a new line of dialogue now that we've completed this. And there's also a new banter for them:

Image You're strong, Kabbu. We would've kept our toy.
Image Yeah... you have, like, a being nice superpower!
Image Look at how happy she is! You can't tell me it wasn't worth it?
Image ...Yeah, it was.
Image Yup.

Aww.

Incidentally, I don't think there are any further reactions you can get by using the Bug Ranger Plushie in incorrect locations from here on out, so giving it to Terrie right away doesn't cause us to miss out on any content. (I'll hang onto it on one of the parallel files I'm running, so if this turns out to not be the case, we'll still get to see them.)

Image

Let's head back toward the palace.

Image

Image

Image

Oh, looks like they fixed the display screen! Let's have a look.

Image

Image With this, we can finally see all those who are in need...

That sounds interesting. Is this the sidequest board here? Also, let's check, there's a new banter.

Image So this rectangular gadget provides swift news to the populace?
Image No need to wait for the guards to change the leaves!
Image This bug seems addicted to the flux of information.
Image Let's hope the screen doesn't get broken again anytime soon...

Wait, how exactly does this work? All the other quest boards are manual bulletins, how is this reading the information from them? (Then again, we should probably be asking why the others are all interconnected as it is... eh, it's game mechanics, let's not think too hard about it.)

Image

Anyway, let's check it.

Image

It is, indeed, the sidequest board, and there are five new quests for us.

We'll ignore these for right now, but we'll be back before too long.

Image

Image I was always rooting for you! Please, sign me an autograph so I can brag to all my friends on the Termanet!

This lady has a very selective memory! I certainly don't remember it like that.

Image

Let's head back to the palace and see if we managed to accomplish any of our diplomatic goals.

Image

Image

Image

Image Oh yes. That's what we're here for.

Image

Image Oh sweetie. You've got to get over it.

Image

Image I'll start, then.
Image We acknowledge your plight. The Termite Kingdom stands much to lose over this issue.
Image Our finest engineers have been working on a prototype vehicle.
Image It is able to operate and travel under the water. It should be just what you need.

Image

Image Ehm, I like to call it Submarine for short.

Image

Image I thank both of you from the bottom of my heart. Our people will be able to fight back now.
Image Um, so it goes under the water? W-What if it breaks?
Image It is impossible for it to sink! It is our most advanced machine!
Image ...Err, yes. But what if it does?

Image

Image

Image Alright then. Very reassuring.
Image Sigh. It's stationed at the pier, in the rightmost part of the city.
Image Our head of research should be there to explain how it functions.
Image Excellent. We shall draw it to the Outskirt Pier, to make sure everything is in order.
Image ...And, Queen Elizant.
Image Yes?
Image If you'll have them, please let some of our people travel with you. They are eager to see your land.
Image ...! You will cease the separation?

Image

Image

Image You better repay it when the time comes! Or else!
Image She will. Our Queen is honest and honorable.
Image Thank you, Leif. To have earned your backing is most pleasing.
Image Please, go and make haste.
Image ...And protect Bugaria. Don't make me regret any of this.
Image We're counting on you, after all.

Image

Image

I think we'll have to count this one as a success. Guess we're getting a submarine now?

Image

Anyway, we're back in control.

Image

Image But I doubt some Wasps can even scratch it!

Image

The royals each have a bit more dialogue, though nothing too spectacular.

Image

Anyway, let's head back outside.

Image

Image

Wait a minute, there are six quests here now! Another one got posted while we were talking to the royals, I guess. Let's take a look at all of these now.

Image

(This one shouldn't be a surprise!)

Image

Image

(We had a hint about this one too.)

Image

Image

Anyway, we'll accept all of these.

Image

But we've been going for a while and it's getting late, plus there's a save crystal right here. This seems like a good place to wrap up the update for now; we'll start with these sidequests next time, then get us a submarine and see what we can do with it! I'll see you then.

User avatar
62: Sidequest Smorgasbord (Part 1)

Image 64 - Termite Capitol

Image

When we left off last time, we negotiated with the Termite royalty, narrowly avoided causing an international incident when Mothiva and Zasp crashed our Colosseum challenge, and convinced the Termites to let us use their experimental submarine to travel to Rubber Prison, where we hope to confront the Wasp King and get back the artifacts he stole.

We also tripped some flags that activated the sidequest board and filled it up with quests. We'll be tackling those today.

Image

Here's a quick glance into our quest log, as a reminder.

Incidentally, this is actually the last batch of new sidequests before the postgame. It's not the last of the side content in this game by any means (we still have another Bounty and some battle gauntlets to get to, and there are some new quests in the postgame), but this is probably going to be the last enormous sidequest roundup update.

Let's crack on with it.

Image

I've barely taken two steps and we've already found one! We'll start here, then. If they're all lined up like this, this should be easy!

Image

Image Indeed. What seems to be troubling you?
Image I haven't been able to sleep well for a while... And it is starting to affect my work performance!
Image But I cannot stop! I-I must work, or else...!!
Image Geez, you gotta learn to take it slow, dude!
Image I can't! I must...
Image Look, maybe we can deal with your sleep issues first. Any clue on what it can be?

Image

Image I love sweets, so maybe you can get one of those for me?
Image It is worth a try. We will come back if we find anything.

Image

As someone who frequently suffers from insomnia (this might not be a surprise if you pay attention to the times I post updates), he has my sympathies.

Luckily for us, this quest is pretty simple. Tarar wants a Image Drowsy Cake. You can make this by mixing a Numbnail Dart with a Bag of Flour, like he suggests, or you can also just buy one from the merchant in the Golden Settlement. Be right back.

Image

I knew this was coming, so I prepared in advance and have one in Amber's storage. It's not actually much further to just go buy one, though.

Image

Back to Tarar. If we back out or give him the wrong thing, he does have an amusing line:

Image G-Geez... Did you forget what it was? It was some sleeping thing with flour...

Enough of that, let's give him the cake.

Image

Image What if I eat one of those and oversleep...?!

Image

Image But I cannot miss work! Wait, I know!

Image

Image Uh, are you sure that's safe to consume?
Image If I eat both this cake and the shocking thing, maybe...
Image I'll be able to sleep for one second and be shocked awake right after!
Image That doesn't make any sense!

Image

Sleep deprivation isn't good for your thinking skills. (In humans, anyway. This quest line is a nod to the fact that termite workers don't sleep, and spend their whole lives working nonstop until they die.)

Image

Welp. The quest isn't complete yet! Now he wants a Image Shock Candy. The quickest way to get this is to go to Defiant Root: you can buy an Agaric Shroom from the merchant just outside Crisbee's, then buy flour from him and make it there. (Or, if you already know you're going to need it, you can prepare it in advance and save yourself the trip. It's a lot less annoying that way.)

Image

Before we give this to him, he has a couple of new lines again! If we back out:

Image Come on... I need to sleep or I will go crazy! But I can't just sleep like this!

And if we offer him the wrong thing:

Image That doesn't look too appetizing... It needs to be some shocking candy!

Well, he knows what he wants. This plan seems utterly mad, but he won't take anything else so let's give him what he asked for.

Image

Image So... Will you give us the reward or not?
Image Yes, thanks! It's not much, but it might help you!

Image

Image I hope my work efficiency improves after this. Maybe I will finally get that promotion!
Image Heavens, we hope they don't promote you into more work...

Image

Poor guy. We did all that so he could get a single second of sleep? (I'm not sure if this plan will work out the way he wants, either. We can use both of these items on the same bug in battle, and they'll just end up simultaneously asleep and numb... I don't think sleep paralysis is very restful.)

Anyway, this was a pretty easy quest. Normally I'd expect a quest that tutorialises recipes like this to be earlier in the game, but I guess theming wins out here (or maybe it's meant to be a reminder to keep experimenting with the cooking system, and encourage players to try status builds?).

Image

The reward is our fourth copy of Image TP Plus. These are always nice to have; it's good to have more options! I personally tend to prefer going for regeneration with things like TP Core or Meditation most of the time, but there are times when a higher maximum is what you need to get the job done.

Image

We can talk to Tarar again, but this is all he'll have to say. Best of luck to him, I guess.

Image

Let's be on our way. One quest down, lots still to go.

Image

We'll head into the eastern part of town.

Image

There's Layna! She's another one on our list. We'll walk past her for now, though; there's another easy one we can knock out right away first.

Image

We'll also pass the Colosseum entrance for now. Don't worry, we'll be back.

Image

Let's go into the bomb shop building.

Image

Specifically, to the apartments on 5F.

Image

This fellow in the room on the left is next up. Let's talk to him.

Image

Image And you're the Seedling guy, right? You're in SUPER LUCK!
Image We've been fighting Seedlings for ages!
Image Mhm! Seedlings have so many variations, too many for me to research on my busy schedule!
Image So I want you to gather some data on their behaviors for me! Don't worry though, it's easy!
Image Just defeat them in battle and your experiences should write themselves!

Image

Image Once you have that, talk to me and I will give you your reward!
Image Sounds simple enough. Let's go trample them.
Image (50... So much violence!)

So, this quest is a gimme. We need to rack up 50 kills across all the various Seedling types.

Image

I've literally never reached this point in the game without having it already complete. We're far past the mark even when just looking at the basic ones! (This does, unfortunately, mean I've never seen the dialogue if you talk to him without completing it, and won't be able to show it for the LP. I do want to do a minimum kills challenge run at some point, but not enough to put the LP on hold.)

Anyway, let's talk to him again and get our prize!

Image

Image Take this as a token of my appreciation, I made it during my spare time. I'm sure it will be helpful on your quest.

Image

Image Heheheh. I knew those Seedlings would be good for something someday!

Image

Let's take a look at this medal!

Image

Well, that's a mysterious description. Image Seedling Affinity costs 1 MP to equip, and what it does is increase the odds of Golden Seedlings appearing. Specifically, it increases them by a factor of 2.5, so in normal encounters the odds go from 1% to 2.5%... but in Seedling Haven, they go from 7.5% to a whopping 18.75% chance of a Golden Seedling spawning.

This makes it nearly trivial to find Golden Seedlings! If you want to grind (either for EXP, berries, or Tangy Berries), the fastest way is to take this thing to Seedling Haven and beat up a couple of them. They're not much of a challenge at this point, especially if you have Ice Rain (which is the only multi-hit skill that can actually hit them multiple times).

Also, I don't think I've discussed it before, but there's an oddity to the mechanics of how Golden Seedlings spawn, which this medal makes it easy to exploit. Golden Seedlings replace other Seedling-type enemies, and the game rolls the odds when you touch the enemy and the battle starts. But if you run away, they don't turn back (a sensible design decision, to let the player regroup if they're in a bad position to deal with it). If you run away and then reenter the battle, the game will roll again for all the non-golden Seedlings and attempt to turn them golden. The normal odds are too low for it to be practical, but with this medal they're high enough that you can realistically keep running away and reentering a battle until it's composed entirely of Golden Seedlings (if, for some reason, you feel like fighting three or four of them at once). It's silly and ridiculous (and also an interesting challenge, they're scary in numbers!); try it out if you think it sounds like fun.

Anyway, that's that quest done. We're really churning through them today!

Image

Image I hope that Medal's been more than worth it!

Takkun has new dialogue once the quest is complete. He really has no idea.

Image

With that, we're done here, let's head back for our other quests.

Image

Image

There's Yatanta, and his brother is nowhere to be seen.

Image

Image Heheh, yes! We saw your request. Your brother left without lunch?
Image Mhm. He's always rushing! And then faints from exhaustion in the wilderness.
Image I can't deliver today, it's too busy. I'll pay a pretty berry if you take this to him.
Image Alrighty! Where's his post?
Image Hm... Today he was supposed to patrol around the broken bridges in the Forsaken Lands.
Image Just walk west from where the Weevils hang around. He should've made it before fainting.
Image He's strong, but... please hurry.

Image

Image This smells pretty good, wow.
Image He's annoying, but I do love him! It's my super nutritious survival box!
Image Leave it to us!

This one's pretty straightforward. We have the lunch, and we know pretty much where to go (the only weevil we saw was the Primal Weevil miniboss, so these directions are very concrete).

Image

If we talk to him again, he'll repeat the hint about the location. We can do that.

Image

We're done here for now.

Image

On our way out, we'll stop and talk to Layna now.

Image

Image Huh? Who are you?
Image We're Team Snakemouth. We've come to aid your request.
Image Really? I didn't expect anyone to take notice of it so quickly! Thank you!
Image You lost your pet, right? Hits close to home. We'll get it back to you.
Image Nero doesn't trust others. If you find him, he will flee quite quickly.
Image ...So I'll go with you. Without making sure he's safe, I can't go home in good conscience.
Image Are you sure of this? The Forsaken Lands are quite dangerous!
Image It's the only way. I know I'm asking a lot, but...

Image

Image Thank you, once again.
Image Is there any place Nero likes to run off to?

Image

Image Do you know where that is?
Image Yeah, we went across it while coming here. Shall we depart?
Image Mhm. Let's go.

Image

Image

Layna joins us and will be coming along for this one. She can come with us for the lunch delivery too, it's fine. (It's pretty much on the way, it's in our best interest to do both of these at once.)

Image

Let's head out and get on with the search.

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands

Image

Image

Here we are at the Primal Weevil room. It's really not a long walk.

Image

We'll just head west.

Image

Oops, Layna disappeared, since this room isn't on the critical path of her quest. Oh well. She'll be back soon enough; now, where's Yatanta's brother?

Image

Image

All we have to do is drop off the ledge to where the ruler bridge is, and there he is. (I think part of the purpose this quest serves is to help make sure players find this shortcut?)

Image This must be Yatanta's brother. Let's give him the lunch!

Kabbu tells us the obvious in a banter. Let's do it, there's no reason not to.

Image

Image Uh... that's not it...

Kabbu will scold us if we try to give the wrong thing, or back out.

Image

So let's give him the lunch.

Image

Image

Image

Image So my brother sent you here, huh? When I get to work, I get so pumped out and forget to eat.
Image Here, take this as thanks for saving me!

Image

Image Well, time to finish my patrol and head back home! See you out there!

Image

And he heads off. That was pretty simple! (I think the theme of today's quests is "please don't neglect basic self-care".)

Image

Our reward is a second copy of Image HP Core. You can stack both copies on the same bug for a 4 HP boost every two turns, or spread them out so multiple characters get recovery. It definitely opens up some possibilities. These also go pretty well with Life Cast, if you want to do things with that.

Image

We're really knocking these quests out today! Let's keep going.

Image

And there's Layna back.

Image

There are some enemies here, but we'll just hurry past them. Layna is strictly a noncombatant, she won't appear in combat with us and doesn't have any animations to see.

Also, while we're in this screen, there's a minor novelty here; let's take a quick look on another file.

Image

If we didn't get the discovery earlier while Elizant was with us, we could come up here and get it now, and see a slightly different conversation.

Image The Termite Kingdom's just a big rock, huh.
Image Think of that big rock as their hive, Vi.

Image

Heh. Thanks for making us feel bad about missing it the first time, game?

Image

Anyway, back to adventure.

Image

Layna will immediately call out when we enter this screen. (It's more obvious it's her who's speaking ingame, screenshots don't capture the gestures and lip flaps and leave the speech bubble arrows looking ambiguous. This has been a persistent issue throughout this LP and I wish I had a better solution.)

Image

So let's jump down.

Image

Then we'll fly across this gap. It's much easier to backtrack through this room than it was to get through it forwards!

Image

And when we land here, the mushrooms blocking the way south are gone. That's clearly where we have to go. (Or they were never here; as I mentioned before, the mushrooms were added in v1.1)

Image

Let's see what this new area is!

Image

Image

Image Don't worry, everyone. Do you see those shrooms?
Image They're shrooms alright.

Image

Image

Image Magic!?

Image

Image Seems it wasn't a waste to bring you with us.
Image Bring me to the shrooms, and they'll light up the way with hints.

Image

Image

After that brief conversation and demonstration, we regain control. Before we try to solve this puzzle, let's check the banter quickly:

Image This area is much foggier than the others.
Image Careful, team! We must watch closely where we walk!
Image Not a place we should wander around without a guide...

This feels a bit awkward when, in the current version of the game, we have the guide with us the first time we come here. It made more sense when you could just stumble in here while exploring.

Image

Image

Image

If we ignore the glowing spores and just go haring off in whatever direction, the screen will white out on us and we'll be warped back to the start. So let's try not to do that, shall we? There's a specific path we're going to have to feel out to get through here.

Image

We'll start here with the mushroom Layna showed us. These spores are heading vaguely west, maybe slightly southwest?

Image

Image

If we head in that direction, we eventually reach another mushroom with glowing spores. These are a bit hard to see, but they're going south-southeast, toward the screen.

Image

Image

Here, we have to go west again.

Image

Image

Now the spores point north, slightly northwest.

Image

We'll have to dig under this stick.

Image

Image

And this mushroom wants us to go west/southwest.

Image

Image

Finally, we've reached the exit!

I have to admit, I don't care much for this puzzle, and find it a bit frustrating. The spores are hard to read and not quite indicative enough (I think they should probably have blown a bit farther than they do, to make the direction more obvious), so it feels a bit cryptic and trial-and-error even when you know the solution. I've cut out all the failures, but I probably wasted 10-15 minutes faffing around here while recording.

Anyway, regardless, we got through it; let's move on.

Image

There's Nero!

Image

Image

Image I-It's so cute...

Image

Image

Image Hm? What's that?
Image It seems to be holding some sort of glowshroom! Although not like the ones that guided us.
Image Oh, Nero. You wandered off for this?
Image Is that, like, a super rare shroom?

Image

Image Nibu! Nibu!
Image So helpful. It truly is the perfect pet.
Image More than a pet, he's a real friend!

Image

Image Although I wouldn't mind staying in the Termite Kingdom a little longer.
Image Really? I can't wait to be outta there...

Image

Image Right, Nero?
Image Nibu!
Image ...You're right. Just saying thanks isn't enough, so would you take this?

Image

Image I found it while looking around, and its contents are most incredible!

Image

Image Of course it's enough! We wish you luck on your journey!
Image We should be fine going back, so don't let us hold you back any longer.
Image Make sure to say hi if you're back in the city!
Image Goodbye, Nero...

Image

And they leave.

Image

Image Books are priceless, Vi. I'll have you know that.
Image Agreed. You could use a little bit more culture.
Image If no one wants to buy it, it's worthless! Why do you think libraries rent 'em!?

Image

Heh.

Image

Anyway, with that, the quest is complete! That was a cute one.

Before we leave, though, what's this little area we find ourselves in?

Image Looks like we reached a dead end.
Image Drat... Should we investigate or turn back?

The banter makes it obvious there's something here, at least.

Image

Looking around, there's not much to see, though. There are a bunch of weeds (none of which have anything in them), a sign, and a hole in the cliff?

Image

Image

Uh, what's this? ...Should we?

Image

Image

If we come over to the hole, we do indeed get a prompt to leave items.

Image

I'm not going to miss this Mite Burger we bought, so, sure. Let's try that.

Image

Image

...Is that spider wearing flowers? Anyway, it seems like she liked it, she even paid us!

Image

...She gave us 20 berries (plus the Crystal Berry). Mite Burgers usually sell for 10!

Image So... We can give our items to that spider?
Image She gives a LOT more berries than shops do! We're gonna get rich!

If we check for a banter by the hole after doing this, our team will comment on it. This is a whole thing. Pinky the friendly spider lives here, and she'll "buy" items from us for double the price they would fetch in shops. (And give us a Crystal Berry the first time.) That's nice of her!

Image

...Let's try something. Does she like spider capsules, do you think?

Image

Image

Image

That's a LOT of cash!

Technically speaking these are handled just like any other item, but Longleg Summoners have a very high sell price relative to what it costs to buy them (you pay 10-19 berries at the gacha in the Wizard's Tower, their sell price is 18 berries), so they end up being the most profitable thing to give her.

One other wrinkle: unlike every other item, Pinky won't pay extra for Dark Cherries, she'll only give the same 50 berries as shops do. I guess she doesn't like those?

Image

Anyway, having met Pinky (and gotten her crystal berry), let's head back.

Image

Leaving that screen warps us right back here, we don't need to navigate the mushroom maze again. I appreciate that.

Let's head back to the Termite Kingdom. (We'll skip the backtracking; the bridge makes it a bit less tedious than it would be otherwise, or we could just use the Ant Compass and head back via the mines.)

Image

Here we are.

Image

There's a bit of new stuff to see, again, including checking in with the people we helped. But first...

Image

Image

Do you remember Rose here telling us that she had a very shy friend who lives in the Forsaken Lands? Apparently, she meant the spider. If we want to go see Pinky again (and sell her stuff), we don't need to navigate the mushrooms again, we can just talk to her and warp there.

Image (No) Oh, sorry for asking then.
Image (Yes) Ok. Let's depart right away.

Image

She'll bring us right to Pinky's area.

Image

Image (No) Oh, alright.
Image (Yes) Let's go, then.

Image

And we can talk to her again to warp right back. With this option for fast travel, this becomes an effortless money-making trick as long as you don't mind some walking (you can fill up an entire inventory with Longleg Summoners, sell them to Pinky, and repeat until you have all the berries you want, making occasional stops at the bank to offload if necessary). We didn't really need any more money-making tricks by this point, most players should be flush with cash, but this is a thing you can do if you feel the need.

Image

Let's see if Layna has anything new to say.

Image

Image It may be a bit too violent for Nero, though...

She's contemplating going to the Colosseum, that's all. Guess she missed seeing us fight.

Image

Nero only has the usual to say, really.

Image

Speaking of the Colosseum...

Image

Let's check in with the siblings here.

Image

Forgetting to eat isn't usually a good idea, but I've absolutely been there.

Image I can't believe someone can forget to eat!
Image Mhm.
Image Yup.
Image ...Anyways, let's go.

I can't really say anything to add on to this banter.

Image

Yatanta is grateful, also.

Image

Let's take a quick detour in here.

Image

If we revisit the Colosseum after beating it, we can see they took down the painting of the previous champion and put up one of us! That's nice. (Vi looks very smug there, doesn't she. When did we pose for this?)

We will be able to battle here again (though it's just for fun, you don't get anything notable for it), but right now the receptionist just repeats his previous dialogue congratulating us. I don't remember exactly when this becomes available.

And... my nemesis, the character limit, has returned. I have to split the update and this seems like a good place; back momentarily.
Last edited by Explopyro on Tue May 17, 2022 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
62: Sidequest Smorgasbord (Part 2)

Image

The next quest I want to tackle starts elsewhere. We had a request from Artia, all the way back in the Bee Kingdom Hive.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image 40 - High Above, Bee Kingdom

Image

There she is, just on the west side from the entrance.

Image

Image

Image Yup. Don't make a big deal out of it, ok?
Image ...Alright. I'm looking for the blackest, darkest of all paints.
Image I need it to complete my masterpiece. To challenge Jaune's reign as the best artist of the Hive.
Image You sure you can handle that?
Image ...A job's a job. Where can I find it?
Image Your soul is a dark grey... But anyways... I've heard it's with someone in the Termite City.
Image He hates being around in the open, a lover of the darkness. So cool...
Image Sounds like you two would get along pretty well.
Image Don't speak nonsense... I simply admire him. I would meet him myself, were it not so far.
Image Get it done, Vi. The pay's good.

Image

Well, this is interesting. Is this really a good idea? Vi doesn't seem to mind, despite Artia professing to be Jaune's rival... well, regardless, I guess we're going to do it.

Image

Image If you don't know where to start, search the darkest parts of the city...

If we talk to her again, this is all she'll say.

Image

Okay, let's trek back to the Termite Capital.

Image 64 - Termite Capitol

Image

Remember these people in the alley?

Image

Is this our guy?

Image

Image Uh... excuse us...
Image ......
Image We heard you have the blackest paint. We're interested in that.
Image ......I have no business with you. Scram, if you know what's better for you.
Image Eep! B-but we need the paint!
Image ......
Image Uh, let's leave him alone, team...
Image We need the paint, Kabbu.
Image I know, but it doesn't seem like we can get it now...
Image Let's ask Artia what to do and come back later...

Ugh, this is going to be a whole thing, isn't it? Looks like we need to trek back to the Bee Kingdom again.

Image

Image Let's ask Artia what to do and come back later...

If we try to talk to him again, still no luck, just a repeat of the hint to talk to Artia. Guess we have no choice.

Image 40 - High Above, Bee Kingdom

Image

Image

Image Yeah. He won't budge, though. Sorry...
Image ...Drat. I feared this would happen. Listen up...

Image

Image Boyfriend's a pretty vague description...
Image We have... similar tastes. You will know when you see him. Now go, your pay's waiting...

Image

...Okay, let's go to the Ant Kingdom. Sigh. (What is it with artist bees and fetch quests?)

Image

For now, we're just going to pass through the castle. We've got a stack of Lore Books piling up, so we do need to stop in at the library soon, but we'll get to that. For now, let's just press on with this errand.

Image

Image 34 - Dodgy Business

Image

Naturally, the first place we'll check is the Underground Tavern. Let's talk to Reed first, maybe he'll know something?

Image

Image Vi... What do you want?
Image A-are you Artia's boyfriend?

Image

(Or he could cut out the middleman. That works too.)

Image We are doing a request for her. She asked us to get the blackest paint.
Image But the guy that has it doesn't want anything to do with us.
Image I see. I know she wants the paint, but...
Image I really didn't want her to get involved with that guy.
Image I may be a tough guy, but she is my soft spot. wouldn't want to get her into trouble.
Image But since you're going in her place... I suppose I could assist you.
Image I used to know the guy but we have had a... falling out. So I couldn't get the paint from him anyway.
Image He'd probably do something horrible to me if I went myself. But he still owes me a favor from long ago...
Image So here, give this to him.

Image

Image Don't you dare open that, it contains sensitive info. Info for his eyes only.
Image Just give that to him and don't ask questions. He will give you the paint.
Image You know, just saying that makes us even more curious.
Image Uh, Leif, don't. Alright? Wouldn't want to never be able to sleep again knowing something could happen to us.
Image Listen, just do this and everything will end without issues.
Image I can trust you with that, can't I, Vi?
Image Yeah, yeah. I know, Reed. Just leave it to me.
Image Good.
Image (This is sooo shady...)

What kind of mafia business have we gotten ourselves involved with, anyway? (Or is that note just a legal declaration that we are not Anish Kapoor?)

Image

Image We know, we know.

If we talk to Reed again, he'll just reiterate the situation. Let's be getting on with it, then.

Image

Image

Well, in a moment. We've got enough Crystal Berries, we may as well pick something up from Shades while we're here. Electric Needles is really good.

Image Kehehe! Here you go my lovelies...

Image

Image Come back if you still have any berries left to spend! Kehehe!

I don't necessarily plan to use Electric Needles any time soon, but it's a really nice medal to have, and it can definitely come in handy. (On my first playthrough, it's what I used to beat the Devourer, I was terrified of it after getting destroyed early and didn't want to even risk it getting turns. It's slightly less busted post the nerf in v1.1, but it's still a very good medal.)

Image

Anyway, let's go see if this note changes anything.

Image 64 - Termite Capitol

Image

Image

He still doesn't say anything to us, but we get the option to give him something.

Image ......You'd better leave if you want to see tomorrow...

Offering the wrong thing gets us death threats. How lovely.

Image

Image

Image Huh, we got a response!
Image ......Fine. Here is the paint. But I do this favor for Reed, not for you.

Image

Image ...We no longer have any business between us. Leave.
Image Gee, what a moody fellow.
Image Well, we got the paint, let's deliver it.

...All's well that ends well? I hope?

Image

If we try to talk to Tennent again, he'll just repeat this and tell us to get lost.

Let's just take the paint to Artia and forget all of this happened.

Image 40 - High Above, Bee Kingdom

Image

Image

Image ...Don't waste my time.

That's all the reaction we'll get from the wrong item or backing out. Let's give her the paint.

Image

Image

Image Yes... I can feel it. It's like I'm staring at a deep abyss!

Image

Image Jewelry is for denizens of the light. I have no need of it, after having seen such darkness...

Image

Image Seems like a fair trade, the brightest object for the darkest one...
Image Hehehe... soon, Jaune's art reign will be over and Artia's will begin...
Image Yeah, I doubt that!

Image

And with that, this quest is complete! It's a bit tedious doing all that backtracking, but at least the reward is decent, and the dialogue is fun.

(As I alluded earlier, this quest is almost certainly a reference to the incredible pettiness and controversy surrounding Vantablack, the blackest known substance. VANTA is for "vertically aligned nanotube array", it's extremely expensive and difficult to manufacture, and the artist Anish Kapoor somehow acquired exclusive rights to its use as paint. This, very naturally, pissed off the greater community of artists, which led to Stuart Semple creating the pinkest pink; he offered this for sale to anyone except Anish Kapoor, provided they legally attest that they are not Kapoor and will not give it to him. It keeps going. There's a whole rabbit hole of hilarious petty feuding here, and it's well worth a look if you want to waste a couple hours.)

Anyway, that was a fun digression.

Image

Image ...Are you sure this was alright, Vi?

Image

Image Huh... Guess you were helping out Jaune too, then.

If we talk to Artia again after completing the quest, we can see this conversation, which is pretty cute. It's nice to see Vi's confidence in her sister, after everything. (Apparently there wasn't any need to worry, at least on that front.)

Image

We're done here for now.

Image 34 - Dodgy Business

Image

If we check in with Reed, he has some new dialogue we can see now too. (Actually, we can see this conversation any time after getting the paint, we don't have to have delivered it.)

Image

Image

Image

Well, he may not have forgiven her completely, but this seems like a good start. (And, no, we never will know what Vi did to piss him off.)

Image

We still have one more sidequest in our log (Alex's request), but let's not get to that just yet; it's one we'll want to wait a bit for. There are a few unmarked sidequests we can complete now, so while we're trekking all over, let's address those as well.

The first of these is in the Golden Settlement.

Image 26 - Golden Lands

Image

Image

Once again, we need to head to the east side of town.

Image

Kenny's here now. Let's talk to him.

Image

Image The Golden Settlement does have a very serene mood.
Image I think after seeing the world, this is the place I enjoy the most.
Image You just needed to make sure, huh.
Image Yup. It made me happy to see you around, too.
Image It was nice seeing you too!
Image I know this comes out of nowhere, but I want you to have this.

Image

Image I just feel... grateful for having met you.

Image

Image Haha! Don't worry. You've given me plenty.
Image You're a cool one. Ask us if you need anything.
Image I will. I wish you the best in your own journeys!

Image

Well, it's nice to make friends! (And get another Lore Book for the pile!) We get this for talking to Kenny at each of the different points of his journey (we saw him first in the Golden Settlement, then the Bee Hive, Defiant Root, the Ant Kingdom, and finally the Termite Capital, before he returned here).

Keeping up with Kenny's journey is kind of a game-spanning sidequest, except that you don't know there's any reward for it until after you've finished. Kenny doesn't move locations until you talk to him in the previous one (which can make it a bit of a pain to figure out, if you forget where you left off with him). He won't leave the Termite Kingdom until after the Colosseum sequence, so this is pretty close to the earliest we could get this Lore Book.

Image

If we talk to Kenny again, this is all he'll have to say.

Image

That's all there was for here.

Now, let's head back to the Termite Kingdom again...

Image 64 - Termite Capitol

Image

Image

If we go into the inn, there's someone in the lobby we haven't seen before!

Image

Image Uh, maybe? I dunno...
Image Hmm... HMM...

This banter certainly makes things look suspicious. Let's talk to her.

Image

Image You seem... familiar. Have we met before?
Image Never seen a Termite before coming here, so...
Image ...Oh, you're from that sign at the inn.
Image Pardon me? The inn? Could you mean the inn in Defiant Root?
Image Right! You do bear a heavy resemblance!
Image He didn't take the sign down? That guy...
Image Why'd you come here? Doesn't seem much cooler.
Image I wanted to offer a genuine, warm inn experience in this kingdom.
Image But a lot of tourists want something different, like an apartment.
Image Ironically, many come to enjoy our grey skies... So business struggles.
Image I've set a colleague to run it for me, and it's like I'm not even needed.
Image Why not go back?
Image ...
Image Doesn't seem like you're happy here, and you're missed there.

Image

Image ......You're right. I really was a fool...
Image I had everything I ever wanted, and I left it for this whim of mine.
Image I heard the Ant Kingdom's doing escorts. I think I'll take the first trip back!
Image We'll see you back at Defiant Root, maybe.
Image (He's going to be jolly!)

Well.

So, remember ages ago, when we first visited Defiant Root and I mentioned an unmarked sidequest involving the innkeeper? Yeah, this is it. If you talk to the innkeeper there and ask what he's upset about, it will start this sequence where we can find his erstwhile partner and encourage her to move back.

Image

If we talk to her again, she'll say this.

Image (Let's drop by Defiant Root soon...!)

And if we check the banter after this conversation, Kabbu suggests we check on them in Defiant Root. Let's do that. (Conveniently, however we travel, she'll get there before us.)

Image 37 - Defiant Root

Image

Image

There's the sign! And we can see them both standing behind the counter now. Let's go see what's going on with them.

Image

Image

Image

If we say we're just passing by, we'll only get this reaction.

Image

This is a bit more interesting, though.

Image Heheh. I'm so grateful we met! We're doing great!
Image I really missed my room... I left something nice for you!

Image

Image Keep on trucking, you two.

(We'll see what she's talking about in a moment.)

Image

And if we talk to Wayde, we'll see he's very pleased with this result.

Image This inn's got its smile back.
Image ...I'm not gonna ask for a reward this time. I guess it's fine.
Image I'm happy for them... Some do get their friends back.
Image It'll be okay. Let's rest up.

The banter's interesting too, even if Kabbu brings a bit of a somber note.

Image

If we head outside and climb the stairs next to the inn building, the door up here is open now! (This door can be incredibly aggravating, because you can see it early and see there's something on the other side of it, but there's no hint about how to open it. The Detector medal will constantly go off here, too.)

Image

Image

All that's inside is this Lore Book on the table. Still, we'll take that! This is definitely one of the more cryptic ones to find, in my opinion, because it's easy to just not stumble into the trigger condition for this "quest".

Image

Image

Well. We have a LOT of books now. Let's go to the library.

Image 18 - In th Court of the Ant Queen

Image

Image

Let's check in with Libren, too. We should have enough Discoveries for a reward.

Image

Image ...

Image

Image Looks like you have enough for the next reward tier! Here you go!

Image

Image That seems to be all for now! Come back once you have found more Discoveries!

Nice, I'll always take more of these.

Now for Brooke.

Image

Did we find any books, you ask.

Image

Look how much that shelf filled up! We're getting pretty close now.

Image

Let's read some books!

Image Youngling Care. Since the Day of Awakening we mature faster, but our infant stage is still critical. There can be events where the caterpillar or grub stages get interrupted, causing unforeseen consequences. If one is not careful, the youngling can turn into a dangerous lesser bug! Nurseries must be protected and treasured at all costs, so that our future generations don't suffer such a fate.

This is concerning, and explains why Maki might be so worried about Yin...

Image A Study of Magic. Magic is uncommon, and few bugs are able to use it. Some bees theorize that crystal exposure can grant magic powers, but testing yields no fruit. A legendary wizard that lived in these lands used to experiment with crystals to learn their magic properties. But he suddenly disappeared, and all knowledge of how crystals relate to magic disappeared with him. Rumors have said that he might be living in the Far Grasslands, but no traces of him have been located.

We've met this guy! (Unfortunately we can't talk to him about his research, but it's still interesting to hear about. And how old is he, anyway, if he was doing early research into magic?)

Image The Mother Crystal. Deep underground, below the Forsaken Lands, it is said a massive crystal resides. Said crystal might be linked to why Bugaria is such a haven in this area. Ancient Roach texts suggest it fell from the heavens during the Day of Awakening, piercing the earth. They said the crystal's aura protects Bugaria from the outside world's great perils. Some say that it is tied to Goddess Venus, the local deity of the Golden Settlement. Although personally, I would prefer not to speculate using local folklore. Further study is necessary, but the Termites prohibit anyone from digging in the Forsaken Lands. Until relations between the kingdoms improve, reaching the crystal is currently impossible.

There are a lot of interesting tidbits in this one, including that the "Day of Awakening" may have been caused in part by the impact of a magical meteorite. Is that why there don't seem to be any humans left?

Image The Dead Lands. The gigantic feral beasts that surround Bugaria... it's uncanny how we've gotten used to them. Elizant I braved the Dead Lands, riddled with those creatures, to ensure our peace. Although Bugaria is protected by the Mother Crystal... I struggle to write when I think of what could happen should that crystal lose its power.

Gigantic feral beasts don't sound good (is that what we saw moving around in the fog from the telescope?). I also wonder if the large crystal we can see in the Ant Mines is connected to the Mother Crystal somehow. Is it the same one, a fragment that broke off, another similar one, or something else entirely?

Image The Northern Kingdoms. Far beyond the swamplands lay the Northern Kingdom, home to many kind of beetles. They are very traditionalist and hold honor above all else, however many travel to Bugaria to escape the Dead Landers' attacks. The trip to Bugaria is hard enough. But the north houses the swamps, filled with more dangerous creatures. To avoid the Wasps' hostility, most take the long route around their Kingdom. It's the most insane of trips. Truly, the lives of the northerners aren't easy...

Some intriguing tidbits about Kabbu's homeland. Also, uh, what are "Dead Landers"...?

Image The Eastern Lands. To the far east of Bugaria lay the Dead Lands we fear so much. Monsters everywhere, and a feeling of utter dread. Who knows how, but I braved the odds. Eventually, I reached the Eastern Kingdom. It is so different compared to Bugaria... It has many exotic fruits and materials that cannot be found in our kingdom. Many of its denizens live in a very closed community that shuns outsiders. The only exception to this seems to be a rare species of bugs that resemble fruits. Although friendly, other Eastern bugs appear to stay clear of them. Is their smell too sweet? If I don't make it back to Bugaria, I'm glad I got to meet them...

And, to wrap things up, some information about the Eastern Lands (where the "fruity bugs" like Tanjerin, Cerise, and Skirby hail from). It sounds very peculiar, to say the least.

Image

Whew. That was a lot of books! We're done here for now; let's head outside, and go meet up with Alex finally.

Image 17 - Ant Kingdom

Image

He lives in this house with the fish designs (was it a sardine can or something?).

Image

Image

Image Well, I suppose you know what to do then. Striders. The scourge of the seas!
Image You see, I used to love the sea...

Image

Image Now I just want revenge! But I have no way of fighting them. So please, go in my place! Give them my anger!
Image A-are you sure we need to beat them?
Image Yes! Beat 10 of them, that should teach them!
Image They're all over Metal Lake, so you will need a way to go through the water.
Image Your reward is here waiting with me for when the task is done. Go now!
Image Sounds like an easy job! Let's do it!

So, this is pretty simple. Alex wants us to murder 10 Water Striders. We already fought a few of them in Stream Mountain, so we could head there to grind if we wanted, but once we pick up the submarine we'll presumably be able to fight them at sea. (I did say before that the enemies in Stream Mountain were from this chapter.) This quest can wait for now.

Image

Image Argh! My revenge isn't yet sated! You need to beat 10 of them! Go go!
Image I suppose we will need to see how many we have so far in our Library.

If we talk to him again, Kabbu will hint that we can use the bestiary to track how many we've killed, just like other quests of this nature.

Anyway, for now we're done here.

Image

Let's pay a visit to Artis! He should owe us a few medals, since I've been dawdling on picking them up.

Image

Image ...
Image Hmm! Good job, folks! You defeated that hardened Mothiva!
Image Was it too challenging for ya? You deserve a reward. Here, take this!

Image

Image Oh ho! You've been on a roll! Beat Primal Weevil too, eh? Here, take this as well!

Image

Image Come back later when you've bonked some extra hard heads with that Medal, will ya?

We get rewards for beating Mothiva again, as well as for the Primal Weevil. (Also, we get to see how Artis' dialogue works when we have multiple rewards queued up, I can't remember if I've let that happen before in the LP.)

Image

With this fifth one, we now have the full complement of Image TP Plus medals. You know what these do by now, and you know when you want more of them.

Image

For beating Primal Weevil, we get Image Resist All. For 3 MP, this is actually kind of a bargain: it gives 50% resistance to each of Poison, Sleep, Numb, and Freeze, so you save 1 MP over using one each of the respective resistance medals. It also stacks with other resistance medals (just like they do with each other), so you can equip another resistance medal with this to become immune to that status. It has some utility on defensive builds, if you're worried a missed block will ruin your strategy.

(Also, this now enables you to have Sleep Resistance on every member of the party at once, if you want to use Drowsy Cake as your primary healing item or something. But I wouldn't really recommend that at this point in the game.)

Resist All isn't the most interesting medal, but there are times when it can come in handy. I'm certainly not sorry to have it.

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands

Image

Before we finish this update, I have one final loose end to wrap up. Let's take a jaunt over to the Forsaken Lands once more.

Image

Image

Specifically, let's pay a visit to Patton. Remember, he hinted before that he'd like us to come back without the Queen... though do we want to?

Image

Image Indeed. Thanks for your help.
Image Hehe. I see the Ant Queen is no longer with you... So I suppose you could be interested in my services, then?
Image We are unsure. This seems really shady.
Image My friend, you are wrong there. All I do is honest work!

Image

Image Picked a wrong bonus during Ranking Up? I can fix that for you.
Image For a price, of course. Hehehe...

Image

Image

Image With Stat Conversion, I can extract all your level up and stat bonuses and convert them into potions!
Image What you do with the potions then is up to you. But that's where my second service comes in, the Potion Conversion.
Image With that, I can change one potion type into another. That way, you can change the bonus you would receive.
Image Uh, what do you mean by "extract"?

Image

Image Give it some thought, alright? You know where to find me.

Image

Image

As I've hinted a few times before, Bug Fables does have a full respec option available, if you decide you don't like the decisions you made on level-ups. Patton here is in charge of it. Technically, you can come here as soon as you've reached the Termite Capital and Elizant leaves the party, but regardless, it becomes available roughly halfway through Chapter 6. I think this is a hint that the game really wants us to be thoughtful about our builds now (though, admittedly, from a game design standpoint I kind of think it should have been earlier, to make mistakes less punishing while the player is still learning?).

For the sake of the LP, I'll be sticking with the build the thread voted for (at least until the postgame, where I will probably use this to demonstrate some alternative strategies). But let's do a demonstration of how it works, because the system's kind of interesting.

Image

Image Hehe... A wise choice. But do come back if you change your mind!

If we back out at any stage, Patton will say this.

Image

Let's try the Stat Conversion.

Image

Image Ok... Let's start!

Image

Image

Image Come back later if you need any more of my services! Hehehe...

Um, that was pretty unpleasant... let's have a look.

Image

The first thing we can notice is the status bar: we're definitely back to our starting stats!

Image

And our Key Items page is full of potions! Even though we've been picking MP every level, we won't see just MP potions here, the other potions correspond to permanent stat boosts we've gotten (both from extra level-up bonuses, and the rare stat-up berries). Everything can be redistributed. Here are the various potions you could see here:

Image Super HP Potion
"A.K.A. the 'Spud Buds'! A double portion of potato potion! Increases the party's HP by 1."

Image Super TP Potion
"A.K.A. the 'Fat-Tea'! If you're not opposed to adipose... Increases the party's TP by 3."

Image MP Potion
"A.K.A. the 'Nano-Narcolepsy'! A power nap between turns can do wonders. Increases the party's MP by 3."

Those three correspond to level-up choices (I do think the third should probably have been named 'Super MP Potion' for symmetry, the fact it's not makes things unnecessarily confusing). Then there are four for each of the permanent stat boost berries (I know we haven't seen the defence one yet, but it does exist, shh, what a spoiler):

Image HP Potion
"A.K.A. the 'Aphid A-Fib'! Extracting aphid cuteness has never looked so humane. Increases an ally's Max HP by 1."

Image TP Potion
"A.K.A. the 'Berry Brew'! The Economical Alternative to exploration! Permanently increases the party's TP by 1."

Image ATK Potion
"A.K.A. the 'Not-so-funny Honey'! Leave your enemies in stitches! Increases an ally's attack by 1."

Image DEF Potion
"A.K.A. the 'Shell Queller'! Numbnail ministrations dull painful sensations. Increases an ally's defense by 1."

The descriptions on all of these are amusingly silly, too. Anyhow... you can use the potions to get the stat boosts back, or you can have Patton convert them between types to swap the bonuses. Let's demonstrate that.

Image

Image

Patton can only convert the potions that correspond to level-up choices, not berries or the occasional extra bonuses. No converting Heart Berries into MP for us. (This is why I think the MP Potion should have had Super in the name, it would be more intuitive for him to explain this.)

Image

Image Ok... Let's start!

Image

Image

Image

Image Come back later if you need any more of my services! Hehehe...

If you try to give him the wrong item (either a non-potion, or a potion he can't convert), you get this message instead:

Image I can't convert that. Come back with something I can actually work with!

Image

Anyway, that's how Patton's services work! Once you've turned everything into potions (and swapped the potions you don't like for ones that you do), you go use the potions again and get your stats back. Or you could leave things as potions, if you want to do a low-level challenge (maybe in B.O.S.S.?) without starting the game over. The more drastic the changes you want to make, the more you have to pay Patton, since he charges 15 berries per potion conversion (on top of the 75 berry fee to make the potions in the first place). And, of course, it can be a lot of menuing to go through.

Just don't forget to re-equip Hard Mode when you're putting your medals back on, if you're using it. When he says he's going to automatically unequip your medals, he means it, it even removes the ones that cost 0 MP.

Also, there is an interesting quirk here: we got a bonus of 1 HP to each party member on reaching Rank 21. This is, internally, treated the same as a Heart Berry each, rather than a HP level-up... so Patton turns it into three HP Potions, not one Super HP Potion. That means that, if you want to, you can take those bonuses and stack them all on one bug, or otherwise distribute them unevenly once Patton's done his thing. (I personally prefer not to do this, because it doesn't feel quite fair to get extra advantage from the respec service that isn't possible by playing naturally, but it's in the game if you want to do it.)

Whew. That was a lot to cover (I think this might be the largest single update I've done?); we'll leave the update here for now, and pick up next time with the submarine. I'll see you then!

User avatar
Just a quick heads-up: I've realised I've made a mistake. We should have had one more Lore Book than we did; I apparently literally walked past it and forgot to pick it up. So, next update we'll have to rectify that...

User avatar
So, uh, this isn't an update. I'm running behind schedule; I was hoping to get the next one out sometime this week but I am absolutely not on track to make that happen. With the upcoming long weekend in the States I should have some more time to work on the LP soon, hopefully, so it shouldn't be too much longer.

I do have some other Bug Fables news, however. I have just been made aware (thanks to the Bug Fables discord) that Moonsprout Games are partnering with a company called Makeship to make Team Snakemouth plushies. There's no information on pricing there yet; from what I can gather ordering will open June 3 (Friday week) and stay open for 21 days (and it's a sort of crowdfunding thing where they'll only get made if enough people are interested, I don't know the threshold).

To be honest, I'm not a fan of this kind of FOMO-based sales model, but it's often the only way indie companies can afford to have their products manufactured, so it is what it is. I have a feeling I'm going to end up buying these. (I already have the Collector's Edition, which came with a Vi plushie, but this is the first time they've done ones for Kabbu and Leif, and this Vi looks like it's going to be a different design.)

Just thought that might be worth a heads-up, if anyone else might be keen on these.

User avatar
63: Subbing Out (Part 1)

Content warning: This update covers a minigame which is an homage to another indie game with a sordid and unpleasant history, and I feel obligated to discuss that context. I'll give a more specific warning as we get closer and clearly mark the boundaries of that discussion, so you can avoid it if you need to. (The discussion in question is in Part 2.)

Image 63 - Forsaken Lands

Image

We left off here last time, after investigating Patton's respec options (though I've made no changes to our stats).

We're still here, because I need to pick up something I forgot about; there's a collectible near here that I literally walked right past without noticing. (I knew it had to happen at least once during this LP, I'm only surprised it took this long!)

Image

Image

Specifically, it's in this area, just west of Patton's.

Image

Image

Do you see anything?

Image

There it is! There's a Lore Book here, hidden among the grass; it can be pretty hard to spot (though the Detector medal will at least tell you it's here, if you're using that). I could have grabbed this one several updates ago, when we first came to this area. Regardless, we have it now.

Now let's head back to the Termite Kingdom.

Image

I'll cut out the journey. It's not terribly long now, thanks to our myriad shortcuts.

Image 64 - Termite Capitol

Image

Let's head to the docks and check out this submarine.

Image

Image

Image

The conveyor belts do help make this journey a bit quicker.

Image

And here we are.

Image

Image

This isn't particularly noteworthy, but if we check inside here, all the workers are no longer here.

Image

Also, these people weren't here before, and seem to be waiting for us.

Image

Let's talk to them.

Image

Image Oh, you're the winners of the Colosseum, right? So you will take us to Bugaria, yes?
Image Let's get going, time is money!

This dapper fellow seems like some kind of tycoon? The Termite Queen did say they'd be sending some people over to start businesses...

Image What fancy clothing.
Image This Termite seems to be rich... I wonder what he deals with.

I guess we might find out soon!

Image

Image

These two with him don't have a whole lot to say, though the banter about them is slightly more interesting:

Image These girls... They look exactly the same! They're twins!
Image The Termite Gen and Eri!
Image One of them's missing a blue ribbon, eh...

This is amusing, although I do find it strange for them to find identical twins so remarkable. We've already seen lots of identical workers and soldiers from the various races.

Image

At the actual pier, we can see the submarine, and Elizant is waiting for us with the termite technicians. Let's talk to everyone.

Image

Wedge only has this to say.

Image Oh, I'm so excited!
Image To ride the sub?
Image N-No. That's terrifying, actually...
Image ...
Image Scientists are coming with us! There will be a technological exchange!
Image Oh, right. That's pretty exciting, actually.
Image It is?

The banter is a bit more interesting.

Image

Elizant is over here with Biggs. Let's talk to them.

Image

Image

Image

Image It can truly travel under the tides?
Image Give it a whirl. You'll have the time of your life.
Image Bugs have never been able to travel this way!
Image Wew... okay. I'm gonna trust it.
Image We can finally go get the Everlasting Sapling!
Image And beat up the King, too!
Image This long journey's nearing its end.
Image But we must not rest until we're victorious!
Image It's a bit too early to rally.
Image Let's head to the Outskirts Pier. We must pick up our reinforcements.

Image

Image Just dive with (B) when there's danger. Just in case!
Image Let's 'give it a whirl', then. Time's running out.

Image

Okay then! We can now interact with the submarine. There are a few more lines of dialogue we can see before getting in, though nothing too noteworthy:

Image

Biggs reminds us how to control the sub.

Image

And Elizant reminds us where to go.

Image

Let's get in!

Image 67 - Snug as a Bug in a Sub

Image

And we're in control of the sub! Every RPG has to give you a ship at some point, right?

This doesn't open up the world as much as you might expect, because it's confined to Metal Lake, but Metal Lake itself is a new area to explore and there are several locations we can reach now by sea (some places we've been before, and some completely new places). For now, though, we're just doing a test voyage and need to go to Outskirts Pier; we can fully explore the sea later.

Image

Image

Interacting with our starting location would let us disembark and go back to the Termites' pier, but let's not do that. (It's kind of interesting that their dome extends out over part of the sea...)

Image W-We're really underwater...
Image Y-Yep...
Image At least we're, um, safe as long as we are in the submarine. Let's keep going.

We can also check for a banter here, though it's hard to tell who's speaking since we can't see inside the sub. I could make guesses (e.g. I'm pretty sure the first two lines are Kabbu and Vi), but nothing concrete enough to attach portraits to it.

Image

All right. Let's get a feel for this area. We can move the sub around just like normal movement, and if we press (B)...

Image

We can submerge.

This is more of a novelty than anything else: while submerged, the enemies around won't notice or react to us, but touching them will still start battles as usual. All of the things we can interact with here behave the same whether or not we're submerged.

Image

Speaking of battles, there are enemies here, so let's fight some. We need to kill some water striders to complete Alex's quest.

Image 55 - Team, It's Getting Serious!

Image

There's a new leaf animation with lily pads for battles at sea, which is pretty cute.

Image

And when we get into battle, we'll see that we got out of the sub and are doing battle on top of the lily pads.

Otherwise, battles here are no different than battles on land. The only difference is that, in the sub, we don't have any way to initiate first strikes (I thought at first that maybe being submerged would let you surprise enemies, but it doesn't).

There are a lot of Water Striders and Diving Spiders around here, which we haven't seen since Stream Mountain. They're much easier to deal with now, between our ability to boost Vi's attack, or Leif's Ice Rain giving us the ability to do massive damage to everything at once, so I'm going to skip past the combat.

Image

At our current level, the spiders still give us a bit of EXP, but the striders aren't worth any.

Image 67 - Snug as a Bug in a Sub

Image

Defeating enemies at sea still yields berry drops, they'll just float on the water's surface and we can collect them by touching them with the sub. Don't ask me how that works.

Image

After that battle, I decided to check the bestiary to see how many more kills we needed, and we're a lot closer than I expected. Usually I don't have this many kills when I get here, I must have done some extra fighting offscreen back in Stream Mountain. We're close enough that I definitely want to finish this up now.

Image

So let's look around a bit more. What's that off in the distance?

Image

That looks like Metal Island!

Image

If we try to get off here (or any other location), though, the game won't let us. We need to finish the test voyage before we can really explore.

Image

Just to the south is another strider, though, so let's fight that while we're here.

Image

There we go! This is easy enough, and will get us over the threshold for the quest.

Image

Striders aren't worth any EXP to us now, as I said.

Image

While we're at it, may as well fight this one too?

Image

This one's mostly Diving Spiders. If you haven't been to Stream Mountain yet and are trying to get 10 strider kills just here, you'll probably need to make multiple visits so the encounters respawn. There are fewer of them than you'd imagine given they're the main overworld sprite you see.

Image

Let's just move along.

Image

There's another strider to the north...

Image

We can see landfall just to the west, but we may as well fight the strider first.

Image

More spiders.

Image

Easy enough.

Image

Image

Image

There's Bugaria Pier! We could explore Metal Lake a bit more, but we wouldn't be able to accomplish very much, so let's disembark for now and return here later.

Image 23 - The Sailors' Pier

Image

Image

Image Indeed. That was an experience like no other...
Image I-I'm glad we've all made it.
Image S-Same...
Image It was surprisingly sturdy.
Image So this is Bugaria. It's greener than I'd heard of.

Image

Image And the breeze so heavenly!
Image It is my pleasure to welcome you to our land.
Image What's our next step, then?
Image I will escort our allies to the city, as part of our deal.
Image Wedge, was it?
Image Yes, Queen?
Image I trust the royals have briefed you on your task.

Image

Image Team Snakemouth!
Image Ready to go!
Image You are to take the Subaquatic Maritime Neotransport, and head towards Rubber Prison immediately.
Image By ourselves?
Image When the ship is fixed, we'll send reinforcements. But we're at risk of being sunk again. We have no time, anyway.
Image Please, wreak as much havoc as you can. Clear a path for us.

Image

Image Err, yes. Deliver as much justice as possible.
Image I have a small gift for you.

Image

Image

Image It's more than enough. Thanks.
Image We're at the crux of this long chapter of history. Spare no dime in your preparations.
Image Leave it to us! Together we'll triumph!
Image I'm all fired up too! I'll start work right away!
Image We're all counting on you.
Image ...Good luck, my friends.

Image

Elizant leaves, taking most of the Termites with her.

Image

And with the cutscene over, we regain control. Let's have a look around the pier before anything else, there's some new dialogue here now.

Image

Image Go on ahead, and soften them up before we get there!

First up is Wedge, who's going to be working on repairing the sunken ship.

Image How fortunate that Wedge's so efficient!
Image And enamored with Bugaria.
Image And super fired up!
Image Oh, he's blushing. He must have heard us...

Heh, this is cute. (Though it does make me wonder if we're always having these conversations right in earshot...)

Image

Image Guess this means you can get to Metal Island for free, eh?

Remember this ant from way back when Eetl gave us a delivery for her? She has an interesting little tip here.

If we never paid the fare to go there (either the initial 300 berries, or the cheaper 90 berries after beating the Card Masters) before the ship was destroyed, this would be the first time we could go to Metal Island. You can be stingy if you want to, but this is a huge delay (remember, we went there early in Chapter 4, and you could go as early as Chapter 2!).

Image

Image Looks a bit weird but pretty sturdy, it should be able to survive the Wasps!

And this diver ant comments on our shiny new submarine.

Image

Image

We could get right back in the sub and ship out again, but let's not just yet.

Image

There's a bit of new dialogue and content we can see in the Ant Kingdom, and we have to go turn in Alex's quest, so let's take care of that first.

Image 18 - In the Court of the Ant Queen

Image

First up, let's head to the throne room. Elizant's back, after all.

Image

The guard at the entrance has this to say now.

Image

It looks like a lot of the rubble has been cleaned up, but they haven't gotten around to replacing the stained glass window yet, they just boarded it over for now.

Image

Image

Zaryant has some new dialogue too.

Image

As does Elizant II, but this is all she has to say now.

Image Elizant II...
Image Team, we've got to finish this!

The banter for her has changed again, though there's not a whole lot to it. I do like how they show our team's changing attitude toward her in these.

For now, there's not much else to see in the palace. Let's head out.

Image 17 - Ant Kingdom

Image

Let's go see Alex.

Image

Image

Image Yeah, now for the reward!
Image Sure, sure, here you go.

Image

Image Phew, I already feel much better. Maybe I will sleep well tonight at last.
Image Thank you. I won't forget what you did.

Image

That was easy. And it's always nice to find more Lore Books; we'll turn those in soon.

Image

Image Don't have much, but it's something.

If we talk to Alex again, he seems much more pleasant. I'm glad this seems to have helped him.

Image

While we're here, let's just check our bank balance real quick... that's a lot of berries! Interest tends to get out of control pretty quickly once you establish a balance here (and it was even more absurd in prior versions, before the nerf).

Image

Anyway, we're done here.

Image

Image

Uh? This building is new! What's going on here...?

Image

Image Come play fun games to earn tokens, which you can use to trade for unique prizes! Only here, at the Termacade!

The Termites really work quickly, don't they? (This is the plot of land where the Ant workers were doing construction for most of the game; seems they finally finished this building and then sold it to the Termites.)

We can also talk to the attendant waiting outside.

Image

Image You are new players, aren't you? Since this is our grand opening, here is something to get you started.

Image

Image You can check how many tokens you have in the Key Items Menu.

Image

This also gets us a discovery! Let's check that out.

Image

Image

Well, this certainly seems interesting!

Image

If we check the Key Items menu, like the attendant suggested, we can now see there's a counter for arcade tokens over in the top right corner.

Image

There's also a banter for the attendant:

Image They sure hired the, uh, peppiest Ant for this job.
Image You can't sell games with a frown!
Image M-Maybe she's really happy! Just... on the inside?

Heh.

Image 65 - DineMite Beats

Image

Let's head inside and have a look around. The Termacade uses the same music as the DineMite restaurant did earlier.

Image

Image I hope you have a great time here at the Termacade!

So this is where the "Termite Gen and Eri" ended up, they're the staff for the arcade. It looks like there are two different games we can play here; we'll ask for the details about them in a bit.

Image The Termacade is incredible! This is the power of science!
Image Eh, it's no Honey Factory.
Image Does the Factory have GAMES, Vi?
Image W-Well...
Image Termacade wins. Time to go for a high score.

If we check the banter here, we can see this place definitely brings out Leif's competitive side.

Image

The other Termite twin is behind the counter here. Let's check this out.

Image

She has a bunch of options available, but let's just chat first.

Image Ah! Sorry! I can't talk during work hours... Come back after getting a high score?
Image I hope you have a great time here at the Termacade!

Looks like we're going to need to impress her before we can learn much here... let's have a look at the other options.

Image

Image

We can buy tokens for 3 berries each. Good to know, because the free sample of 15 tokens isn't going to go very far.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image I hope you have a great time here at the Termacade!

And the Exchange option lets us trade in tokens for prizes! There are some really intriguing things here... let's take a closer look.

Image Bag of Flour (10 tokens)
Image Magic Seed (25 tokens)
Image Spicy Fries (35 tokens)
Image Tangy Berry (50 tokens)

First up, we have some consumables. Clearly, termites really like Spicy Fries. These are overpriced if you convert it to berries, but if you're winning the tokens from the games and have nothing else to spend them on, at least there's some decent stuff here. Also, this is the only place other than Skirby's that you can buy Tangy Berries.

Image Empower+ (120 tokens)
Image Enfeeble+ (120 tokens)
Image Fortify+ (120 tokens)
Image Break+ (120 tokens)
Image Charge Up+ (120 tokens)

Five new medals! These are upgraded versions of all of Leif's status spells; instead of being single-target, these versions hit all allies or all enemies respectively, and last 3 turns instead of 2. Each is 3 MP to equip. Empower+ and Enfeeble+ cost 6 TP to cast; Fortify+, Break+ and Charge Up+ cost 5 TP to cast.

This is the only place to get these, so we've certainly got some work cut out for us.

Image Venom Ribbon (90 tokens)
Image Shocking Ribbon (90 tokens)
Image Drowsy Ribbon (90 tokens)

And, lastly, we have three new ribbons for Chompy! We've had the Pretty Ribbon for a while, but here we finally get access to some alternatives. We'll definitely need to get these and see what they can do for us.

Image

Let's have a look at these arcade machines.

Image

This first one is just the high score listing; the other two are the actual games. (Also, look at that CRT scanline effect on these monitors! It's a really cute touch.)

We'll need to beat 9500 points in Mite Knight, and 4500 in Flower Journey. (In older versions of the game, the high score for Flower Journey was 5000; the devs lowered it a bit because too many players were struggling with it. I think they changed that in v1.0.5?)

Image

Image

These other two machines let us play the games. Flower Journey costs 10 tokens per go (so you can try it right away with the sample), while Mite Knight is more expensive at 25. For now, we'll decline.

Image That's alright! Please check out our other games!

We'll be back here momentarily. Let's get a few last errands out of the way, then we can spend the rest of this update playing video games (inside a video game, as you do).

Image 18 - In the Court of the Ant Queen

Image

Let's go drop off our Lore Books at the library first.

Image

We've picked up two more since last time.

Image

Image

Image Woah. You've gone and returned all of them!
Image We can read in peace now.
Image That took way too long! Can't you give us something for it?
Image ...Alright, alright. You did go through quite a bit.
Image I've got this on me, I hope it helps you out.

Image

Image Eh, it'll do.
Image Thank you for letting us still use the premises.

Image

Looks like those were the last two! There are 26 Lore Books in total, and those two were the last ones we needed! We get a Crystal Berry for turning in the last one, and also sidequest completion credit, but of course the real reward is getting to read them.

Image

Incidentally, look at that! Our quest log shows no active sidequests, we've completed every last one we accepted! There's still one Bounty remaining, but otherwise we are rapidly running out of side content (until the postgame, anyway).

Image

Let's read some books!

Image The Giants. Every day, more ancient artifacts pop up. Given their size and unknown purpose, scholars believe "Giants" roamed these lands. They could have existed all over the known world, in giant kingdoms to protect them from the Dead Lands. When the "Day of Awakening" happened, the Giants must have vanished. Only their artifacts remain. There's no way to know, is there? Maybe they caused the awakening themselves. Perhaps they fell to the Dead Lands, or created them themselves? Maybe someday they will return to reclaim their old home? Maybe they have left for another world? I am a bug of facts, but even I am reduced to daydreaming about their fate. At least we have their monuments, showing us glimpses of days past.

The bugs don't seem to have much more than speculation to go on where humanity is concerned. Though if we judge by the Termacade, there are at least some functional artifacts around if the termites can reverse engineer things from them.

Image The Day of Reckoning. The following cannot be confirmed, having been retrieved from a book in a Roach Village's ruins. According to this book written by Rodrick the Roach Scholar... What we call the "Day of Awakening", the Roaches called the "Day of Reckoning". It was an event where they "woke up to the world". They share our belief that before that day, we were not that different from the lesser bugs amongst us. A cataclysm happened suddenly, which banished the once fabled Giants to another world. Only bugs and some other creatures were left in this world. After said cataclysm, the roaches became sentient, giving birth to civilization. Other books by Rodrick mention fires raining down from the sky and destroying the earth. Expeditions have not found craters or traces of such a disaster. Its constant mention in Roach texts suggests it was a big part of their culture. Or could it be a religious creation myth? Rodrick... were you lying? How are we supposed to find out!? Curses... I'll keep this book hidden away until I can find the truth. I'll head into the Eastern Lands once more, if I have to.

This one is even more speculative, and reads more like the researcher's journal than an actual published text!

I really do enjoy how these Lore Books flesh out the world, and give us hints about the backstory in an in-universe voice that allows some things to remain mysterious. (Sometimes it's better to avoid giving too much detail; that can make the constructedness of a game world feel a bit too palpable.)

Image

For better or worse, we'll be done with the library for a while! (Though we still do have a few discoveries left to collect, at least.)

Let's go play some games! (After a brief intermission, the character limit once again is forcing me to split the post.)
Last edited by Explopyro on Mon May 30, 2022 1:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
63: Subbing Out (Part 2)

Content warning: This update covers a minigame which is an homage to another indie game with a sordid and unpleasant history, and I feel obligated to discuss that context. I'll give a more specific warning as we get closer and clearly mark the boundaries of that discussion, so you can avoid it if you need to.

Image 65 - DineMite Beats

Image

Welcome back to the Termacade. I can't put this off any further.

Image

Image 150 tokens will cost 450 berries. Shall we do the transaction?
Image There you go! Your token total is now 165!
Image I hope you have a great time here at the Termacade!

I'll buy 150 tokens to start. I'm going to need loads of them in the end to buy all the prizes anyway, so may as well start off by giving myself a nice buffer.

Image

Let's start off with Flower Journey. Before we play, we should probably ask about the rules...

Image In Flower Journey, you control a little Bee looking for pollen!
Image You've gotta avoid Wasps and logs by flying with (A)!
Image You'll slowly earn score as you play, or you can collect flowers!
Image The more you get in a row, the better your score gets!

This sounds pretty simple.

Image

Let's play!

Image Have fun!

Image 68 - Flower Journey

Image

Here's the title screen. Once again, these games have a really cute old-school CRT styling to them, I think it's a nice touch.

Image

And here's the game itself! Flower Journey is basically Flappy Bird, though there are a few other things going on.

Image

The game controls with a single button. You press (A) to flap and gain a bit of altitude, while you're constantly falling otherwise. Every gap you pass through earns 15 points; colliding with an obstacle is game over.

Image

Image

These orange flowers are a collectible. They're worth 10 points initially, but there's a chain multiplier, so these are where you can rack up the big points as long as you don't miss any of them. The second is worth 20, then 30, and so on until you break the chain by missing a flower and have to start over again. Losing your chain hurts, but sometimes you don't have a choice; it's better to break the chain than die and end the game.

Image

There are also wasps as a new kind of obstacle. They can spawn in all kinds of locations, move around a little (they don't move at the same speed as you or the posts), and will kill you if you hit them.

Image

Image

Lastly, these honeycombs are an invincibility power-up. After collecting one, you will flicker briefly, and can pass safely through posts and wasps that would otherwise be fatal.

Image

Eventually, something will go wrong, and you'll collide with an obstacle and die.

Image

Image

Upon which the attendant will tally up our score, and convert it into tokens. That first run wasn't very good... can we do better?

Image Click me for video!

Image

Image

Image

Image

There we go! I think this might honestly be the best run I've ever had for Flower Journey. I expected it to take longer to get a good one, quite frankly, but I actually got it on my third try this time around! I don't know the exact formula for how many tokens you get; I had thought it was a straightforward 1% of your score, but as we can see here, it's not quite that.

I've seen a lot of people get frustrated with this minigame. There is, unfortunately, a strong RNG element to it: placement of the flowers, wasps, and honeycombs is completely random, so if you get unlucky it can just ruin your run (a bad flower placement makes it impossible to keep up your streak, and a bad wasp placement can just end the game immediately). On the whole, though, I really enjoy it when I'm in the right kind of mood, there's a kind of zen feeling you can get from zoning out while playing it.

Flappy Bird is one of those games that I always think is older than it actually is; it's such a simple game that I keep thinking it has to date to the Atari 2600 era or something like that, but it actually came out in 2013. (Also, no discussion of Flappy Bird would be complete without linking to SethBling using code injection and ACE to execute it inside Super Mario World.)

Image 65 - DineMite Beats

Image

Let's move on to Mite Knight next. What's this one about?

Image In Mite Knight, you'll help the Termite Knight reach the top of the tower!
Image Use (Up), (Down), (Left), and (Right) to move around!
Image If you hold down (A), you can raise your shield to block enemy attacks and move without turning!
Image To attack enemies, just press (Up) when in front of them! You'll earn points for beating them!
Image You can drink potions to heal up when it gets rough! But most importantly...
Image Find the Gold Key in every floor to unlock the way upwards!
Image If you get lost, just wait a bit. A compass will show up to help!
Image Try to clear the game fast, and without taking damage. That's the recipe for a HIGH high score!
Image I hope you have a great time here at the Termacade!

Okay, this one definitely sounds a lot more complicated than a Flappy Bird variant! Let's have a look; I'll explain how this works as we go along.

Image

Image Have fun!

Image 69 - Mite Knight Game Start

Image

Once again, we get a cute title screen.

Image 70 - Mite Knight

Image

Mite Knight is a kind of 3D dungeon crawler. On starting the game, we'll find ourselves in control of the Termite Knight in a 3D maze. We have a health meter that goes up to 6 hearts, and we can already see some of the elements we'll be dealing with: lots of walls and narrow passages, green potions that are health pickups, and hostile red ants to fight.

Image

I'm not sure why the timer wasn't in that initial screenshot, but we can see it now! This game has a 5 minute timer, and we need to complete the dungeon crawl before it runs out.

Holding (A) raises the knight's shield, as you can see here. With the shield up, you can strafe left and right instead of turning, so it's useful both for moving and protecting yourself. You can't be harmed from the front while the shield is raised, but you also can't harm enemies.

Image

All enemies take two hits to kill. You damage enemies by bashing into them while moving forward, as long as your shield isn't up (though if you let them walk into you, they'll hit you instead). You get 10 points for the first hit, and 110 points for the second, so each enemy you kill is worth 120 points.

Image

Each floor has a gold key hidden somewhere. Picking up the key earns you 500 points, and also lets you open the exit to the next floor.

Image

Here we can see there's an icon in the corner showing we've collected the key.

Image

Image

Somewhere on each floor is one of these caged enclosures. The goal is inside, and this lock is what the key is required to open.

(Also, in this screenshot, you can see we've taken damage. Getting hit costs one heart, and collecting a green potion restores one. Collecting potions doesn't give you any points, and it won't let you pick them up if you aren't injured.)

Image

Image

You get 400 points for opening the door, too.

Image

There's a new enemy type inside here. These wizard guys look like on our friend in the Far Grasslands; they have a projectile attack, but still take the same two hits to kill.

Image

Once you beat all the enemies in the enclosure, you can take the stairs up to the next level. (You do have to kill them first, the stairs won't work if you try to sneak by.)

Image

Starting from floor 2, the wizard guys can appear as regular enemies in addition to inside the enclosure.

Image

And on floor 3, there are always two of them inside the enclosure. This can get tricky!

Image

When you exit the third floor, the game is complete and it computes your final score. You get bonus points for all your remaining time and health. (I don't know the exact formula here, but health counts for a lot more than time.)

Image

Image

Once again, the formula for how many tokens you get isn't completely obvious to me, but it's roughly 2/3 of a percent of your score.

If you die before finishing floor three, things are... a bit worse.

Image 71 - Mite Knight Game Over

Image

Mite Knight has its own game over jingle, which is a nice detail.

Image

Image

And our score doesn't count for anything! You just get a measly 2 tokens as a consolation prize and told to try again. If you aren't confident in your ability to finish the dungeon, it's a bit riskier trying to earn tokens here than in Flower Journey.

So how do we do well at this and beat the high score?

The advice the attendant gave is a bit misleading; it's technically correct, but thanks to misplaced emphasis, a lot of people get the wrong idea when playing this game. The vast majority of your score comes from killing enemies and finishing with full health. Finishing quickly is a nice bonus, but time remaining doesn't contribute as much to your score as it seems, and you will generally end up with a better score if you explore and kill all the enemies than if you rush straight to the exit after finding the key. (Also, you don't need to worry about getting hit, so long as you grab potions afterward to stay healthy.)

Let's do this.

Image Click me for video!

(This game will probably make a lot more sense to you if you watch it in motion, I don't think screenshots are the best format to show it off.)

Image

Image

Image

Image

There we go. That took me a couple of tries; I actually was a bit surprised this run ended up being good enough, because I only had 5 health remaining and less than a minute on the clock, but I guess I got lucky with enemy spawns and there were enough to kill to make up for it.

Image

Image

Beating both high scores gets us an achievement!

Image

Here's the new high score table.

Image

And once we've gotten that, if we come over to the counter and talk to the attendant...

Image Woah! You've crushed all records! I crown you the ULTIMATE GAMER!

Image

Image They said it was to input in a menu, or something...
Image Anyways! I hope it was fun, it'd make our job really worth it!

Beating the high scores in the Termacade gets us another Menu Code! HARDEST is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, if you want to play through the game on a higher difficulty. The way it works is actually kind of interesting, in that it's a "we gave the enemies bigger numbers" type of mode, but applies them at interesting times.

All enemies get 15% more HP and do 1 more damage (on top of their Hard Mode stats), right from the start. Then, after you defeat Venus' Guardian, all enemies' damage is increased by 1, and once you start Chapter 4, all enemies' defence is increased by 1; both of these bonuses are global, and apply to enemy types you'd have encountered previously (so, e.g., Seedlings' stats change over the course of the game as these bonuses get applied). I do quite like that the defence bonus comes along right as you start to get access to defence-piercing abilities; this mode does a better job of trying to keep up with the player's capabilities than baseline Hard does. If you look at enemies' stats in the Bestiary in this mode, it will show their stats as if you were to fight them now (including the bonuses if they're active), which has tripped me up when trying to look up the stats of early bosses, so that may be worth remembering.

So what happens if you equip the Hard Mode medal while playing this mode?

Image

Team Snakemouth's sprites get replaced by Pibu. This is just a weird cosmetic thing and I'm not sure why they did it, but that's what happens. You can play through the whole game as pillbugs if you want, though the animations often look quite strange. (For purposes of getting reward medals from Artis, HARDEST considers Hard Mode to be active regardless of whether you equip the medal.)

Another weird quirk to HARDEST mode is that Chompy gets +1 to her attack (so she'll do 3 damage normally, and 4 with the Pretty Ribbon). I'm not sure why (maybe she's treated internally as a monster?), but it goes a long way toward letting her still be useful in this mode, considering literally everything has defence for most of the game.

With the unlock of HARDEST, we've covered most of the content here at the Termacade. We still need to buy and demonstrate all the prizes (either by winning tokens or just buying them), which I'll get to shortly, but there's something we need to talk about first.

Image

The inspiration behind Flower Journey was obvious, but was Mite Knight based on anything? A lot of it seems too detailed and specific to have been invented for a single minigame. And, as it turns out, there was indeed a specific source of inspiration.

Mite Knight is a reference to "FIGHT KNIGHT", an indie game that was seen as something of a "sister project" to Bug Fables because they were successfully crowdfunded around the same time, and both contracted Dangen Entertainment as their publisher. It was supposed to be some kind of first person beat-em-up dungeon crawler with retro aesthetics, in which the eponymous knight fistfought enemies while climbing a tower. The Bug Fables team made this minigame as a reference to a fellow indie project. So far, so good. But.

Fight Knight had a troubled development cycle, went dark for a long time, and many presumed it had been cancelled. I wish I could stop there and just say "this is a reference to a game that never existed", as I had been originally planning.

Content warning for discussion of industry abuses, sexual abuse, rape, gaslighting, mental illness, among other things

However, it resurfaced in late 2021 with a prospective release date. At around the same time, one of the writers on the game, who goes by "Wren" and "rivalerose", published this harrowing account of her abuse by the lead developer (including sexual abuse and rape, physical assault, unpaid labour and financial abuse, and gaslighting), abetted by the rest of the team. Many other unsavoury details shortly emerged. Two other members of the team came forward with corroborating accounts.

In addition, I want to link to these two posts by someone who spoke out in support of her, then documented the coordinated abuse and harassment they received in response, and the sort of hate speech frequently used by supporters of this game.

Many of the worst elements of the internet gleefully rallied to support Fight Knight in typical ignominious fashion, especially as the game neared release. Fight Knight did eventually release in late November 2021.

I'm not going to mince words about this. I believe Wren, and therefore I feel an obligation to discourage people from purchasing and/or playing Fight Knight (as she has requested). If you support this game, you are supporting an abusive rapist and his enablers, and no video game can be worth that. We cannot ignore this sort of behaviour, or we allow misogyny and other forms of bigotry to fester in our communities, and the games industry to become even more of a foetid cesspit than it already is. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

I am sorry to digress into such heavy and unpleasant topics from an otherwise positive LP of a game that has very little to do with this, but I thought it was important not to leave this unaddressed. The only reason I know about any of this is because seeing Mite Knight in Bug Fables piqued my curiosity about the inspiration behind it, and I suspect I'm not alone in that. I don't blame the Bug Fables team for what appears to be an innocent nod to a fellow indie project, but to fail to discuss this now would be to let that inclusion advertise it. (Even now I'm second-guessing myself, because part of me fears drawing more attention to a game that should rightly fade into obscurity.)

Do with that knowledge what you will.

Content warning ends here

Right. Uh. Where were we?

So as not to end this post on such an unpleasant note (hello mood whiplash, I'm sorry but there's no easy way to do this), let's buy some tokens and get all the prizes.

Image

Image

I just made a big withdrawal from the bank and bought the remaining tokens. (This took a couple trips, but the screenshot above shows the final balance after the last one.) If you want to earn them by playing the games instead, I prefer Flower Journey to Mite Knight: you're risking less up front, you're pretty much guaranteed profit after a bit of practice, and the game takes less time to play. But it can still take quite a while.

870 tokens is the amount we need to buy all of the things we care about.

We have enough now, so let's start buying.

Image

Image Alright! Here you go!

Image

Let's just repeat this process and get everything else now.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

And there we go! That's everything.

Image

The medals and ribbons can each only be bought once, after which they'll be marked sold out; the consumables can be bought as many times as you want, so once you have all the medals etc, those are your only outlet for any further tokens.

Image

As I mentioned earlier, these medals all cost 3 MP, and give Leif access to these upgraded skills. Empower+ and Enfeeble+ cost 6 TP to cast, while the others cost 5 TP; the buffs also last for 3 turns instead of 2.

These really make Royal Decree look like a bargain in retrospect, don't they? (Although Royal Decree does only last 2 turns.) If you're playing this more like a traditional RPG with a balanced party, and have a big TP pool to work with, these can be pretty useful. Although I will say, I personally often prefer the small versions, because they cost less TP and you often only really need to hit one target.

Your mileage may vary with these, but it's always good to have options. You know exactly what you're getting with them, and you should know whether or not it will be good for your strategy.

Image

Image

Image

These, of course, are for Chompy. But what do they do? Let's go test them and find out!

Image

Let's go to our house. Remember the pet bed here? We can use this to change Chompy's ribbons. If we hadn't bought the house, we could also take her to Professor Honeycomb's lab in the Hive and use the jar there.

Image

First, we leave Chompy in the bed.

Image

Image

Now we can take off the ribbon she's currently wearing.

Image

Image

Image

And once she's not wearing a ribbon, we can give her any of them.

Image

Here's the Venom Ribbon.

Image

The Shocking Ribbon.

Image

And the Drowsy Ribbon.

Image

For now, we'll put the Pretty Ribbon back on, but we'll see what they all do shortly.

Image

This Seedling must be getting really sick of me testing everything on it...

Image 04 - FIGHT!

Image

The first new thing we'll quickly see is that, once we have multiple ribbons, Chompy gets a new flower added to her menu! Change Ribbons is new.

Image

Image

We can choose a ribbon and she'll switch to it. Do note that doing this takes Chompy's full turn, so if you want to take an action with a different ribbon you'll need to set it up the turn before using it.

Image

With the Venom Ribbon equipped, she gets yet another action added to her menu! In addition to her usual attack (which would do 2 damage, without the Pretty Ribbon's boost), she can spend 2 TP to do Poison Bite. Let's try it out.

Image

Image

This does exactly what you'd probably expect. It's the same damage as her normal attack, but also tries to inflict poison (with a 2 turn duration, but it'll tick down immediately).

Image

With the Shocking Ribbon, she gets Numbing Bite instead. This one also costs 2 TP.

Image

As you might imagine, this is a bite that inflicts Numb. Though Numb duration is capped at 1 turn on enemies, so it will wear off immediately; effectively, this is just a bite that can make the enemy skip their turn. That's still pretty good!

Image

Last up, the Drowsy Ribbon gives us Drowzy Bite (sic). Once again, it's 2 TP.

Image

Image

And, as you may expect, it sends the enemy to sleep for 2 turns.

There is definitely some possible utility in these, though considering you need to either spend a turn setting up, or forego the Pretty Ribbon's damage bonus, they end up being pretty situational. I can definitely see being able to disable an enemy using Chompy's turn instead of one of Team Snakemouth's actions being quite useful, though!

The ability to swap ribbons mid-battle was added in v1.1, and in prior versions you could only swap out ribbons at home or at the lab (in which case you really needed to be planning ahead). I think it's a bit unfortunate how much these end up paling in comparison to the Pretty Ribbon, especially given how much earlier we were able to get that; they end up feeling more like a novelty than a legitimate alternative, to me, but I also can't think of a way to rebalance them that would avoid that.

Regardless, Chompy is certainly a lot more capable now than she used to be! That's great.

Let's leave things here for now. Next time, we'll head out to sea for real.

User avatar
64: Dancing With Danger (Part 1)

Image 23 - The Sailors' Pier

Image

We're starting off today back at the docks. Last time, we took a brief voyage in our shiny new submarine, before being distracted by sidequests and video games. For real this time, let's head out to sea.

(Before that, though, here are some fun articles that seemed apropos. A study was recently published showing termites have made oceanic voyages; I genuinely wonder if the Bug Fables team were knowingly referencing this. Oh, and the state of California now officially classifies bees as fish, apparently.)

Image

Let's ship out.

Image 67 - Snug as a Bug in a Sub

Image

We have full freedom to explore Metal Lake now; the game will no longer prevent us from making landfall at any of the points of interest.

Image

For better or worse, though, most of the landmarks around are literal floating rubbish. We can't interact with it in any meaningful way, it's just obstacles.

Image

Image

Here more or less in the middle, east of Bugaria Pier, is Metal Island.

Image

Let's get off here.

Image 72 - Summer Holiday at the Metal Island (TM)

Image

It's Metal Island! We've been here before, and seen almost everything. There is a bit of new content, but mostly, this is the same Metal Island we know. We can go play cards or buy tea and Tangy Berries, you know what's here.

If you never pay the boat captain's fee (either before or after defeating the Card Masters), this would be the first time you see Metal Island at all; it would also have been completely inaccessible during the period between the ship being destroyed and us getting the sub.

Let's go for a walk.

Image

Image

Oh, right, Stratos and Delilah are here! They were hinting there's a dangerous monster somewhere in Metal Lake that can't be reached without a boat... and we have a boat now. We've got to look into that.

Image

And this fellow looks unfamiliar! Who's he?

Image

Image Someone's happy.
Image Who wouldn't be after eating Master Slice's food!
Image It's pretty good!
Image It's only natural, having taught 5-star chefs such as Kut...
Image Now I can blog his recipes for the common folk!
Image ...Err, won't he get upset?

Image

Image And he's probably not wrong.
Image I've collected many recipes while blogging.
Image If you want any, I can share them with you! ...For a price.

Image

Heh. Let's check the banter too.

Image Figures a food blogger would visit Metal Island.
Image A food what?
Image Yel's a critic who judges others' food, choosing to recommend or warn against establishments.
Image WOAH! That sounds like Leif's dream job!
Image We're probably too picky for that...

(Whatever happened to Leif's insatiable appetite? Or was he just suffering through it the entire time, because the alternative of not eating is worse?)

Anyway. This is Yel, the food critic (yes, he's named after Yelp.com). He's a new NPC who was added in version 1.1, so you may not recognise him if you played an earlier version.

Image

If we talk to him again after meeting him the first time, we'll get this menu. He's basically a quality-of-life feature, offering a shortcut to completing the recipe log without needing to experiment or look up the formulae. But let's see what he says if we decline first.

Image Oh! Um... hi.
Image Blogging seems really fun.
Image It really is! You need a strong stomach, though...

Heh. He seems a bit timid.

Image

Let's try buying one.

Image

Image

Image

Simple as that, he'll tell us a random recipe we don't know yet, and it gets added to our log.

Image

There it is.

This is really cheap, at only 5 berries per recipe (usually cheaper than buying the ingredients and cooking the thing would be, even). I do think cooking them as I go along is fun, but if you don't happen to enjoy that, Yel's here for you.

Let's buy another.

Image That's what I like to hear! Today's recipe is... Sleep Bomb!
Image By mixing Spicy Bomb with a Numbnail Dart, the results are incredible!
Image Interesting...

The dialogue seems to always be the same, no matter the recipe (but I had to find out for sure). Now that we know that...

Image

Image

Let's just buy everything at once.

Image I knew blogging would make me rich someday! Here we GO!

Image

Image

Image You, uh, didn't have to explain all of them in one go...
Image Nonsense... How else would you cook them properly!?
Image We'll make you proud!
Image We'd better do. We're so hungry now...

Image

Image

After that, checking our log shows us at... 69/70 recipes completed? What's up with that?

Well, there are a small handful of recipes that Yel is unable to teach. Specifically, the three chefs' specialities (Crisbee Donut, Tangy Carpaccio, and Queen's Dinner), for obvious reasons since you unlock those via sidequests. And Mistake and Big Mistake, the latter of which happens to be the one we're missing here. We can remedy that lack easily enough next time we visit a chef (honestly, I was surprised I didn't have it already, but I did a lot of reloading saves during the first cooking update to show different versions of the cutscene).

Image

Once there are no new recipes he can teach us, Yel gets new dialogue:

Image Oh, it's you. I don't really have anything to teach you anymore...
Image W-We just wanted to say hi...
Image Y-you... you did? *sniff*
Image You were supposed to feel happy!

That's cute. He seems so surprised to encounter basic courtesy...

Image

While we're here, let's talk about something. Remember this Ant Mines shortcut? It's still here, and we can still use it (and, conveniently, the game doesn't track the location of our sub, it'll always be waiting for us at whatever dock we go to so we can't misplace it). But... it isn't always here.

Image

If this had been our first visit to Metal Island (via the submarine rather than buying passage earlier), we'd find the path not yet completed and Diana waiting for us instead.

Image

Ouch! It's expensive, too. You don't actually save berries by putting off the Metal Island visit (or, well, I guess you can just keep coming here via sub and never open the shortcut if you want?). The secret hidden bonus you get for coming via ship earlier is that this shortcut opens for free.

We know Diana's deal by now, and her dialogue is always the same, but I like her animation so let's see it one last time.

Image

Image Those berries don't even taste good...
Image We don't think her taste would be the only weird thing here...
Image Oi, I'm doing you a favor, okay? Just sit and watch!

Image

Image

Image We're in your debt once again, Diana. Thank you.
Image Well, I'm off! See you some other time, folks!

Image

Once we pay Diana for it, the shortcut is there as usual and we can use it. I'm not sure if this one ever gets completed automatically if you don't pay her.

Anyway, let's get back to the canon timeline.

Image

We're done on Metal Island, so let's head back out to sea. (Yes, Yel really is the only new content here in Chapter 6.)

Image 67 - Snug as a Bug in a Sub

Image

Let's head southeast now.

Image

What's that island trying to hide in the corner? (Let's fight the strider first, though.)

Image 55 - Team, It's Getting Serious!

Image

It's only a single strider, which is pretty trivial to deal with for us.

Image

Let's move on.

Image

Image

We can land at this island! What could be here?

Image

This place is a bit mysterious, isn't it? There's no music, only the sounds of rushing water.

Image What's that?
Image What's what?
Image A... beat? Music? How alluring...
Image Let's see if we can find its source.
Image I really can't hear anything...

Or at least no music we can hear! If we check the banter, it seems at least some of our team are hearing... something... (What's the bug equivalent of a siren, anyway? Is this a trap?)

Image

There's also a save crystal right here, and we can see Venus off in the distance. (If we do save here, our file will just list our location as "Metal Lake", no clues there!)

Image

Let's explore.

Image

This river splits the entire island and the only way to cross over is by flying.

Image

We don't need healing, but let's see if Venus has anything interesting to say?

Image

Climbing the water, you say? Interesting. That's definitely a hint.

That's all Venus has to say, though.

Image

There's clearly a back side to this island, too, but how do we get there? Those rocks seem to be blocking the path pretty thoroughly... well, that's a puzzle we can solve eventually.

Image

Image

Image

I want to try something different with our medals here. We just got the upgraded status spells last update, so why not try them out? They're expensive TP-wise, though, and we don't have a big enough pool to support using them long-term... so let's try Life Cast! It gives us a bit of a discount, and HP is easier to restore than TP, so that should let us spam them more easily. Leif's getting both HP Cores to help with that too.

I had to take off Strong Start to fit in everything I wanted here; I usually don't like taking that off once I've gotten it, but it's not a huge loss here. We'll see how well this ends up working.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Despite Venus' hint, we don't actually need to climb the waterfall here. We just need to get behind it, where we can find this cave entrance. What could be inside here?

Image 25 - Caves

Image

Image The beat comes from here! We must climb to the top!
Image We might need a special ice move for this...
Image (Bleh... Why can't I hear it!?)

Apparently the waterfall we need to climb is in here!

Image

Image

Image

The "special ice move" we need is Leif's icicles. We've had it for so long now that it's easy to forget, but technically speaking this skill is optional, and we don't necessarily have to have it! (Remember, he learns this on entering Upper Snakemouth, where the Lab is. That entire area is part of Leif's Request, which is not mandatory content even if most people tend to have completed it by now. So the hinting is for those people who haven't to know they might not have what they need to progress here.)

Without the ability to make icicle platforms, we would be unable to proceed here. Vi's flying can be a substitute in most other places it's needed, but not here.

Image

Image

Making our way up the waterfall is painstaking and, frankly, tedious. We need to go one platform at a time, winding our way up the river, and falling in the water forces you to start over from the beginning.

Image

It's not exactly difficult, but it can be a bit tricky, especially when the water is something of a staircase: you can only jump onto an icicle one level up, not two, so you do need to pay some attention to where you're placing them or you might set yourself up badly.

Image

Image

Eventually, we reach this top level, and can see an enormous spider web. Should we really be here?

Image

Image

Well, whether we should be or not, we're here now. Nothing else for it.

Image

Do not touch this mushroom! It launches you right back to the entrance! That's a handy shortcut for when it comes time to leave, but right now having to climb that waterfall again would be incredibly frustrating (which absolutely did not happen to me on my first playthrough, why are you looking at me that way).

Image

What's over here...?

Image

Image

Image Click me for video!

Image 35 - Reckless for Glory! (Bonus Boss)

Image

As you may have expected, this island is home to the fifth and final Bounty! Say hello to the Peacock Spider. What's this fight going to be about?

Image

Image It has constant reinforcements that it powers up... Our priority should be this spider!

Image

Peacock spiders are a real organism, and they really are very colourful (or at least the males are, in parallel to their namesake). They use vibrations and dances in mating rituals, though I don't know if this makes any audible sound.

This is a neat little fight: the core gimmick, as Kabbu's tattle dialogue suggested, is that it primarily plays a support role to the minions that it summons. (And at 95 HP and 1 defence, it can stand up to a bit of punishment too, though we've fought more durable bosses.)

Image

We can play support too. Let's boost our defences. (You can see the effects of Life Cast here, it discounts every skill's cost by 1 but makes them cost HP.)

Image

Image

Image

Vi will play support too for now, restoring Leif's lost HP and setting up regeneration for everyone.

Image

Also, Chompy's going to spend her first turn changing into the Drowsy Ribbon. A disabling ability seems like it could be useful here?

Image

The first thing the Peacock Spider does is a dance that calls an ally. On Hard Mode, it's always a Diving Spider that shows up; on Normal, it could be a Jumping Spider instead (which is rather less dangerous).

Image

Then it immediately pulls out this combo attack on Kabbu! This is pretty nasty: it has a base damage of 3, and hits the same bug three times in a row. (Of course, this does let you rack up a lot of counter damage with Spiky Bod if you're good at the timing; two out of three isn't bad, but I rarely find myself hitting all three, it's tricky.)

This is actually the Peacock Spider's only damaging attack, and it prefers to spend its turns doing other things (as we'll soon see). But that doesn't mean it's weak.

Image

The newly summoned spider gets to attack immediately too. Diving Spiders' spit attack, if you recall, hits 2-3 times across the party (Kabbu got unlucky this time!), so these can rack up a lot of damage quickly.

Image

What shall we do now?

Image

Image

For now, I want to keep boosting. Charge Up+ synergises really well with Favorite One, actually, you can get to +2 or +3 across the party very quickly.

Image

Image

We'll cast Empower too. That's a lot of stacked attack power.

Image

But let's not use it this turn, because our HP is starting to get low again; Vi's turn is better spent healing.

Image

Can Chompy's Drowzy Bite keep this spider off us?

Image

Well, not this turn, but we'll let her keep trying.

Image

This is a much more common sight from the Peacock Spider than smacking us in the face. It has a variety of boosting dances which it can use to power up its friends, and a lot of these do scary things. This yellow one grants its ally a permanent +1 action for the rest of the battle.

Image

Image

Image

Though, thankfully, it doesn't take effect this turn, so we only take one combo attack.

Image

Here we can see the x2 status icon on the spider. Also, thanks to Favorite One, Vi and Leif are at maximum charge! (And have Attack Up on top of it.) Let's take advantage of that.

Image

I thought about doing this, but 9 HP is a lot... that could be risky.

Image

10 TP is a lot too, we don't quite have it.

Image

Image

Doughnuts can fix that problem, at least.

Image

Now let's try a Frost Relay! How damaging will this be with Leif and Vi both at +4?

Image

(Sorry about the GIF quality here, trying to fit this animation into 2MB was quite difficult.)

Image

Well, it was a lot of damage, but honestly less than I expected. Before this, I hadn't realised that Frost Relay only incorporates charge-up boosts on each character's first hit (unlike other multi-hit attacks, like Hurricane Toss, Ice Rain, or even Frozen Drill). We could have done a lot more damage had I chosen a different skill. Still, that was fun.

We'll have Kabbu relay to Leif to make up for the action deficit (he's one over since I had him use the doughnut first), and end our turn.

Image

Chompy's still not having any luck with Drowzy Bite, sadly.

Image

Image

Image

The Diving Spider goes first this time, using its first action to spit two bubbles and then shield itself.

Image

Image

Image

Then it immediately goes again, this time with a 3-hit combo; I don't do nearly as well blocking this time.

Image

The Peacock Spider uses a different dance this turn. The red dance, naturally, boosts attack.

Image

The attack boost is permanent, too. We can't use Leif's Cleanse skill to cheese this fight, since most of the boosts are things he can't remove. (He can remove the bubble shields, at least. If you're really desperate, you can at least remove the permanent boost by killing the spider.)

Image

Image

Let's boost ourselves up again. The whole party's back to +2 charge!

Image

Image

Also, this seems like a great time for a Jayde's Stew! We could use some more TP, and also get Leif out of danger (or set him up to spend more HP on buffs again, either way works).

Image

Chompy can't do anything this turn. Poor Chompy.

Image

Image

Image

This first combo could have been much nastier if aimed at someone other than Kabbu; between his Super Block+ medals (and some good luck with timing on my part), and the buff from Fortify+, it takes a lot of the sting off. This spider is scarier than it looks, it's taking double turns with boosted attack.

Image

Image

Image

After the second combo, it bubbles itself up again. We won't be killing this spider any time soon, it seems...

Image

Ouch! Apparently the Peacock Spider is getting sick of dancing and would rather beat us up. It doesn't usually use this attack so frequently. (I'll take whatever counter damage I can get, but it still hurts.)

Image

At least we have a full complement (or nearly) of charges here. How should we use these?

Image

There are better ways to take advantage of them, but I remembered I still need to show off Fly Drop. We haven't seen this yet, so let's use it!

Image

Fly Drop does one really big hit, piercing defence. It's not the best choice here, but sometimes you want one big hit and it can generate satisfyingly big numbers (well, for this game) if that's a thing you're into.

The animation is also quite fun, there's nothing like dropping Kabbu horn-first on the enemy.

Image

Leif, meanwhile, tries out Frigid Coffin; it does decent damage, but doesn't manage to freeze. (The odds weren't in our favour here, since we'd frozen it once already during the Frost Relay. It starts with 75% freeze resistance, so it's at 93% resistance here, or a 37% chance of success with Frigid Coffin.)

Image

Chompy still can't do anything productive, sadly.

Image

Image

Image

Image

We got a bit lucky there: both combos went for only two hits.

Image

Not there, though. There's no way Vi would be surviving that, even with perfect blocking.

Image

What to do?

Image

Well, we have plenty of TP, so Kabbu's Pep Talk can get Vi right back into the action.

Image

Image

Image

I think it's probably best to spend the rest of this turn regrouping rather than going on offense again, though.

Image

There we go! Finally, Drowzy Bite actually sends the spider to sleep. Have we earned a bit of respite?

Image

What's this? Did the Peacock Spider just smack its ally?!

I call this move the wake-up slap. It will always do this if its ally is suffering a disabling status effect (sleep, freeze, numb); it deals 1 damage, but cures the status so it can attack. This attack also can't kill, it would leave the spider on 1 HP instead.

Image

Then goes right into its turn, which is another dance. This is the healing dance, a slightly different colour red than the Attack Up dance we saw before. (Honestly, it's underwhelming, 2 HP barely matters... this is the closest it can come to outright skipping its turn.)

Image

Image

Image

Image

The Diving Spider goes immediately into its turn after that, hitting us with a combo and then shielding itself. It only took one turn, though (I'm not sure if it's intended behaviour that it didn't get its extra turn).

Image

Well. Status effects definitely aren't the answer...

Image

Image

I've had enough of this spider. Let's just get the shield off and kill it?

Image

Image

That spider is definitely dead.

Image

Let's have Chompy switch back to the Pretty Ribbon. Now that we've seen how status effects work (or don't) in this fight, it's silly to keep trying them.

Image

Killing the spiders only goes so far, though! If it's ever alone, the Peacock Spider immediately calls for more.

Image

And immediately boosts it.

Image

Image

Then the spider immediately focuses down Vi. That could have gone better.

Image

So, killing the spiders really isn't worth it most of the time either, since it basically just resets the buffs on it. That can be worth doing if it's accumulated enough of them, but it's not really a viable strategy in this fight, and most of the time you're far better off just focusing damage on the boss.

Image

Let's get Vi up again, to start.

Image

Image

Defence and healing seems prudent.

Image

Chompy will do what she can, though unfortunately it only matters so much. The spiders almost always block her access to the boss.

Image

Image

This is a lot less painful than taking two combos a turn, at least, so killing the spider did get us a minor benefit?

Image

Here's another new dance! This is, as you may have guessed, a charge-up dance.

Image

The charge-up dance gives +2 charge-up for the next attack. This is one of the more dangerous boosts, especially when it also has Attack Up; when the two of those combine, it's often a good idea to kill the spider before it attacks if you can.

Image

Here, though, I'd rather kill the boss instead; scary as it is, we're healthy enough to weather the hits. Leif will boost us first.

Image

We've had our fun with the fancy team attacks, let's just use good old Hurricane Toss.

Image

It's not quite enough for the kill by itself, but it definitely brought it within killing range.

Image

Leif, do the honours!

Image

Chompy's doing her best to help.

Image

Image

Ow.

Image

That said, the fight is over.

Image

Get out of here.

Image

Peacock Spider is worth a lot of EXP, more than enough to get us another Rank Up!

Image

As usual, let's get ourselves more MP.

Image

For reaching Rank 24, we get a free bonus of +2 maximum TP. That's pretty nice! You certainly won't catch me complaining about it.

Image 25 - Caves

Image

Like Spuder before it, the Peacock Spider looks very silly once it's been defeated.

Image

And, like the other Bounties, we get a trophy to take back as proof for Doppel.

Image

Now that the boss is dead, there's a new banter here:

Image If...if we weren't explorers, we might have met our end to that spider.
Image We were completely baited by it...
Image Not me. I couldn't hear it at all!
Image What matters is, no other unfortunate soul will meet its end here.

The Peacock Spider is very clearly meant to be a take on the legends of sirens luring sailors to their death with irresistible music.

As a boss, it's a bit gimmicky, but I quite like it overall. (We saw pretty much everything it can do; the only thing we didn't see is the Defence Up dance, which behaves just like the Attack Up one, but has blue sparks and boosts defence instead.) It's pretty rare to see a boss take a primarily support role like this (especially when it's supporting disposable minions, rather than another character). That said, it's a bit more interesting in theory than practice, because the fight is structured to make it almost entirely futile to do anything other than focus damage on the boss. It's still a good change of pace from the other bosses we've been fighting, and a way to remind us that normal enemies can still be intimidating with the right context.

On some level, though, I wonder if the Hard Mode changes might be for the worse in this fight. On Normal, you have the additional consideration of "what type of spider do I prefer to be fighting", which might affect whether or not you want to kill the one in front of you and roll the dice on what will replace it. By making it only Diving Spiders, they've made the difficulty more consistent, but removed some of the variance that makes it interesting...

Image

Image

Now that the boss is dead, there's nothing else we can do in here, so we have no reason not to launch ourselves back out via this mushroom.

Image

Image

Let's get out of here.

Image

Image

We need to fly back through the waterfall to get out of here.

Image

Venus doesn't have anything new to say, but we still need to investigate the back half of the island.

Image

We can't get over the rocks, but if we build a path far enough out in the water, we can find there's a gap between them.

Image

Image

So all we have to do is make a path around, and we can reach the far side.

Image

There isn't anything of note to be found in the weeds here.

Image

It looks like there's some kind of campsite up on the cliff there, we'll definitely need to investigate that...

Image

Image

If we walk all the way around, we can eventually find some rocks we can climb up to get back to the front of the island. It's a bit quicker than building our way around with ice again, but we're not quite done here yet, so let's not.

Image

Image

Let's climb up.

Image

There's not a whole lot to see up here, except this message we can read. What is this?

Image

Image There's such a soothing beat... How could I leave this place behind?

Image

This person definitely didn't survive. We do get a discovery, though...

Image

Image

This doesn't tell us much of anything we didn't already know, but all right. (This island is, creatively, known as "Peacock Island".)

Image

Let's not drop down just yet, we should check out the upper ledges here.

Image

Image

It might not be immediately obvious, but we can fly around here and find another ledge to land on.

Image

Then fly across again to reach this cliff.

Image

There's not a lot here, but there is a diggable spot!

Image

It has Dark Cherries inside. I certainly won't complain about these.

Image

From there, we can just jump down.

Image

That's all there is to see here! That's Peacock Island. Let's head back to our sub.

Image

Image

Image

Let's head back to the Ant Kingdom; we should probably make a quick detour to turn in the bounty, while we're at it...

Image

Image 34 - Dodgy Business

Image

Let's talk to Doppel.

Image

Image

Image May I have that crystal it dropped?

Image

Image ...Yes, this is a genuine deal. Here is your reward.

Image

There's our second copy of Last Stand, to parallel the two copies of Last Attack we got earlier. This can be a bit tricky to use, but with two of these you can do some serious tanking.

Image

Image Well, would you look at that. You actually did it.

Image

Image You weren't kidding, Doppel. They were quite troublesome to deal with.
Image Knowing Bugaria is safe from those monsters is a great relief!
Image ...Ain't that the truth. I'll give you something extra, for all the trouble you've gone through.

Image

Image Neat! Thanks, Doppel!
Image Take care, you brave bunch.

Image

Image

For defeating all five Bounties (and reporting them in), we get yet another achievement. And also a Bond Berry, which is a nice bonus as rewards go, especially since we've been getting plenty of useful medals along the way.

Image

If we talk to Doppel again afterward, this is what he'll have to say. Did he actually have altruistic motives all along? We'll never know.

Image

Image

While we're here, let's buy this from Shades finally.

Image Kehehe! Here you go my lovelies...

Image

Image Come back if you still have any berries left to spend! Kehehe!

Image

Well, we don't have any berries left to spend. But this is all he has left now, which means there are only two Crystal Berries left to find in the rest of the game. We're definitely in the home stretch here.

Image

For now, let's head back outside.

Image 17 - Ant Kingdom

Image

Fry's right here, so let's make that final recipe we're missing, shall we?

Image

Image

Image

Image

For completing the recipe log, there's another achievement. These are coming along rapidly now, aren't they? (Though, clearly, judging by that gap there are still quite a few left.)

Image

Amber can have those Dark Cherries for now (and the Big Mistake too, why not).

Image

Let's head back out to sea again. (And split the post, sigh, the character limit is a thing. Back shortly.)
Last edited by Explopyro on Wed Jun 08, 2022 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
64: Dancing With Danger (Part 2)

Image 67 - Snug as a Bug in a Sub

Image

Let's head north this time.

Image

What are those docks?

Image

Oh?

Image

Yep, it's the Fishing Village. There's nothing new we can do here, but it's nice to see everyone again.

But what if...

Image

If we'd never visited the Fishing Village, we would see this message instead on trying to land there, and things would be a bit different. What happens if we discover the village from this side instead?

Image

Well, we can land here, at least, and we still get the discovery...

Image To think we missed this settlement during our mission! It's a nice place.
Image That's why exploring's fun! There's secrets everywhere!
Image They seem a bit wary... Have we intruded?

The banter is a bit less cheerful, Leif at least notices something seems off.

Image

Image

Talking to the inhabitants is also a bit odd, they mostly seem confused.

Image It seems this is actually a small village!
Image They seem a bit wary... Have we intruded?

Checking the banter for either of them gets us this similar banter. They're not going to open up to us, are they.

Image

Image

We can still grab the collectibles here easily enough.

Image

What if we leave this way?

Image

Image

Image

Image My village... What did you do to it?!
Image We didn't do any-
Image SILENCE! YOU WILL NEVER GET AWAY WITH THIS!

Image

Image

From there, it goes straight into the Riz fight. He has much better reason to be alarmed this time around, so it makes a bit more sense we're fighting him, but the fight is ultimately the same.

Image

Image

Image

The conversation after beating him is the same regardless of how we got here, so I won't show it in full again.

Image

Image

Image

Image

And once he heads back into the village, everything will be the same as last time we were here (and we can now get the quest to bring Rizza a Nutty Cake).

Image

After that, the location name here will update to Fishing Village.

Okay, let's get back to the main timeline again...

Image

Image

Southeast of the Fishing Village, we can start to encounter Wasp soldiers flying around here...

Image

Image

Image 24 - Oh No! WASPS!!

Image

We can fight them, though they're no different to the last several times we've seen them.

Image

Though I'm not sure if I've shown this before - the Wasp Scouts' needle attacks can inflict poison. (We haven't seen very much of Leif's poisoned sprites either, I don't think.)

Image

Anyway, let's move along. We're not getting any EXP from these.

Image

Image

Hm, another one?

Image

It's another one.

Image

We know what these fights are like by now.

Image

Are we close to our destination?

Image

Image

Yes, we have. We can get off here, at any rate...

Image 75 - Rubber Prison

Image

Image

Image

We get a new discovery as the camera pans down over Rubber Prison. It looks like there are several levels here; this place is big! (Also, the music here is new, and has a nicely ominous militaristic feel.)

Image

Image Your fears aside, could you tell us a bit more about Rubber Prison? It's new to us.

Image

(Why was Vi raised knowing this, anyway? The way she phrases this, it sounds like something she was taught as a young child, but she's from the Bee Kingdom and Rubber Prison is the ants' facility... or was she such a miscreant as a child that Queen Bianca or whoever raised her felt the need to threaten her with it? This line's always seemed just a little weird to me, but there's some interesting potential depth in thinking about it.)

Image Things got that bad after Elizant went to sleep?
Image So it seems. It's quite the secure facility, yes? The Wasps taking over is quite troublesome.
Image Meh. We'll just snoop around and beat 'em up. It's what we do!
Image Heh, that's a good plan.
Image Let's go, team! We must clear the way for the others!

Image

After that conversation, we regain control. Let's check out the discovery first.

Image

Image

Image

Well. This place should be interesting to explore. (Also, we have all but one of the Discoveries now!)

There's also a banter, of course.

Image So many bridges! This prison is huge!
Image Are there truly so many wicked in Bugaria?
Image Well... if they're all here, we wouldn't notice.

Leif isn't exactly wrong...

Image

Image

It took me until now to remember I hadn't actually used the Bond Berry we got from Doppel. Oops. Well, it brings us to 21 maximum TP now. (6 of that is from TP Plus medals, but still.)

Image

The only path we can take right now is along these sunken pillars. They're not quite close enough together that we can jump easily between them, so we need to use either Leif's icicles or Vi's flying.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Flying is a bit less tedious, but either works just fine.

Image

Image

Over here, hitting this switch makes the fences recede.

Image

Which lets us get up to where this Wasp soldier is.

Image

This is new! The leaves are grey here...

Image 24 - Oh No! WASPS!!

Image

There's not a lot I can say about these battles to make them interesting right now. There will be other enemies around this area later. Wasp Troopers fold pretty quickly to Needle Pincer.

(The battle background is intriguing, though - are those jacks being used as caltrops or barricades?)

Image

That said, while the Wasp soldiers have the same stats as they did before, the ones here get boosted EXP yield again (as we've seen happen with them a few times before), unlike the ones we fought in Metal Lake.

Image

Image

Across the bridge, we can reach the save crystal we saw earlier...

Image

Image

And also this switch, which turns on an elevator that makes a shortcut back to the entrance.

Image

This door is locked, so this is functionally a dead end for now.

Image

This seems like a good place to wrap up the update...

Image

Image

Before we go, though, I wanted to revisit the view from the Bee Kingdom's telescope. From this vantage, we can see the layout of Metal Lake (which isn't as big as it might have seemed at first; the only major points of interest are Peacock Island, Metal Island, and Rubber Prison), and also Rubber Prison itself, which is built into a tyre! (Hence why it's rubber.)

Next time, we'll break into the prison and see what awaits us inside. It's looking like our dungeon for this chapter is a pretty enormous actual dungeon, so that should be interesting. I'll see you then!

User avatar
65: Team Snakemouth Goes to Prison (Part 1)

Image 75 - Rubber Prison

Image

When we left off last time, we'd just arrived at Rubber Prison and explored a bit of the entry area. It's time we actually broke in.

Image

The door to the right is locked, but we passed by this boulder on the other side.

Image

Smashing it reveals an entrance we can use. Let's head inside.

Image

Well, this isn't promising. This could be a dead end, if we can't get past that portcullis somehow. What does the team think?

Image Not one. Not two. THREE gates.
Image It's a prison, what'd ya expect!?
Image Being an upstanding citizen has its perks... I'd loathe to be imprisoned here.

The banter points out the gate problem, but doesn't offer much of a hint as to what we can do about it. There is a sign, though.

Image

Image Please ask management for access to prevent getting trapped inside.

That sounds a bit ominous. We have to get in somehow, though.

Image

If we get closer to the gate, we can see a switch on the far side, but we don't have any way to hit it from here. (Also, this is not the sort of gate we can dig under. Trying that proves futile.)

Image

Maybe we should try going back outside?

Image

The sign told us all the grey switches are connected. We're going to have to use the one out here. It's a bit of a puzzle, though, because we can't just hit it or the gates here will come back up and stop us progressing.

Image

It's not a very hard puzzle, though, as long as you remember Vi's Beemerang Halt. (And don't get tripped up by the controls: this is the first time we're required to use Halt since getting Bee Fly, and that can be awkward because pressing and holding (B) now makes Vi fly instead. You need to press and release (B) to throw the Beemerang, then press it again and hold to make it halt. If you weren't in the habit of releasing the button before, this can be a confusing moment until you figure it out, but it's not a problem once you readjust.)

Throw it here...

Image

Hold it in place while we climb up...

Image

Then release to toggle the positions.

Image

Now, when we go back inside, the gate is down and we can get further into this room. This is a good introduction to the kind of puzzles we're going to be seeing here: this is far from the last time we'll see this switch mechanic.

Image

Past the gate is... another gate. Yay?

Image

The switch to toggle it is right here, but it does cut off the way back. We don't have a choice, though.

Image

At least there don't seem to be any more gates here. And there's a switch on this side too, meaning we can't actually trap ourselves inside. (Does this actually work as a security system, or is it just so much theatre? I guess at bare minimum it does slow the rate anyone can get through this corridor...)

Image

Of course, there's also a Wasp soldier over here. We're going to have to fight.

Image

Image 24 - Oh No! WASPS!!

Image

Remember these guys? The Wasp Driller isn't technically a new enemy, but the only time we've seen one before this was in the miniboss fight with General Ultimax. They're in normal battles now; it looks like the Wasps' elite troops are here.

Image

We'll start off by attacking with Vi.

Image

After being hit, they go into a guard stance, which increases their defence to 3.

Image

Vi's got enough attack now to just power through it, but that's less than ideal...

Image

Kabbu's flipping attacks, on the other hand, can break their guard. (This was a bit sloppy of me, it would've been much better to attack with him first.)

Image

Leif's unboosted attacks have a hard time here.

Image

And Chompy can't get through at all when they're guarding.

Image

On its turn, it burrows underground rather than attacking.

Image

This is annoying, but not much of a problem.

Image

Leif's attacks can get it back aboveground.

Image

Of course, it then immediately goes into guard stance, which might be more of an issue.

Image

(Here I am again, forgetting to break the guard before having Vi attack. Oops.)

Image

Image

It doesn't matter, because Kabbu and Chompy together do exactly enough damage to finish things. One Wasp Driller by itself doesn't pose enough of a threat for these kind of sequencing mistakes to be a major problem, but when you're fighting multiples or they're with other enemies, it can be more important.

Image

They're worth a lot of EXP to us right now! Somehow I don't think it's going to be long before we rank up again.

Image 75 - Rubber Prison

Image

Let's move on. We'll take this Crunchy Leaf it dropped, I guess.

Image

All that, to reach another dead end? Let's hope not...

Image

Image Otherwise, we must assume you are a prisoner. Have a good day.

Well, here's the actual security.

Image

Image

Interacting with this terminal gets us the prompt to show an item. If we do as the sign suggested, and show our Explorer Permit...

Image

The door opens. (There aren't any interesting messages for trying other items, it will just say "AUTHORIZATION FAILED".)

Image

In we go!

Image

Well, this room looks more complicated!

Image H-Hovering cages!? Even for criminals, isn't that a bit excessive?
Image We don't want to think about what one must do to earn such a cell.
Image Good thing I can fly...

While Vi reminding us she can fly is a good hint for what to do here, it does raise the question of how the ants usually traverse this room... although the wire bridge looks broken, maybe it normally extends all the way to the platform we're on.

Image

If you don't want to fly, there are ramps down into the thorns, so Leif's Bubble Shield is an option too.

Image

Flying is a much more efficient way to get around, though.

Image

Image

At the far side of this bridge, a Wasp Bomber is waiting! These guys react quickly, and start chucking Spicy Bombs from pretty far away; you do not want to get hit with these if you don't have Crazy Prepared equipped.

Image

Image 24 - Oh No! WASPS!!

Image

Like the Driller before it, we fought a Wasp Bomber before alongside Ultimax, but they've become normal foes now.

Image

Image

Wasp Bombers are one of the rare enemies in this game that require two hits to flip.

Image

So we'll just relay to Kabbu and take care of that.

Image

Image

Image

Once flipped, they go down pretty quickly. Especially when they're alone or in front, you can take the bombers down quickly (which is good, because they have access to all the bomb types and most of them aren't much fun to get hit with). Needle Pincer also makes quick work of them.

Image

It's not quite as much EXP as the Drillers, but they're still giving us plenty. Not bad.

Image 75 - Rubber Prison

Image

With the enemy out of the way, let's figure out this room. There's probably a key hidden somewhere, because the door north is locked.

Image

From the bridge, we can see some platforms among the spikes, and there's a switch on the far one.

Image

These platforms are only reachable by flying, you can't get onto them from the spikes if you try the Bubble Shield method.

Image

Now let's get to the switch.

Image

What did that do? There was a sound like something moved, but we can't see anything different from here...

Image

Image

Image

Image

If we make our way over to the west side of the room, we can see the brown cage is gone now. The switch caused it to lift away, revealing this smaller cage with a key inside.

Image

We'll just take that.

Image

Image

Image

The mushroom here doesn't send us anywhere in particular, but we can use it to gain some altitude and fly into the air current. I'm not entirely sure what the intended way to get around this room is (or why the current is here, since you can get anywhere without it), but this works to get back.

Image

Now that we have a key, we should be able to open this door.

Image

Image

Let's move on.

Image

There's a lot going on in this room: we can already see there are multiple levels, and there's a save crystal here too. Let's check the banter before we start exploring.

Image Being here makes me so uneasy...
Image Why? It's not like someone like you would ever end up behind bars.
Image Just from the idea of it...!

That's not much help, though I do appreciate the character insights we get. (I'm not sure whether Kabbu is trying to say he's personally afraid of imprisonment or morally opposed to the concept for anyone; I could see it being either, really.)

Image

Let's have a look around. We'll start out with the east side.

Image

It's barely a few steps before we encounter an enemy. There are a lot of Wasp soldiers here!

Image 24 - Oh No! WASPS!!

Image

This is different! There's a lot of enemy variety here, but it's not just the wasp soldiers, it seems like they've freed some bandits that were locked up here and teamed up with them!

It's also a good way to get a sense of how much our team has grown, because the bandits' stats haven't changed since we last fought them.

Image

That was an easy fight, we'll just keep moving.

Image 75 - Rubber Prison

Image

Is that Venus locked up in a cell?

Image

Well, we can't get inside yet, and we also can't go any further east, there's some kind of portcullis blocking the exit too. Also, look on top of the cage Venus is in: there's a lever up there, we'll have to get up somehow. Let's explore some more.

Image

As we head back west, there's this sign on the wall that gives some direction (though it's not all that helpful yet). The Giant's Lair is our ultimate goal, but I doubt it'll be as simple as just crossing a bridge.

Image

Image

Further west, we find more wasps.

Image

Wasp Scouts are here too. Alone, it's not much of a threat, but once we start seeing these mixed in with other enemy types, it's usually a good idea to prioritise them so they don't call reinforcements.

Image

The Scouts have had their EXP yield adjusted too.

Image

More Crunchy Leaves? All right then.

Image

We can't progress to the west either, we'll need a key for that. (Also, once again, note the lever on the upper level.)

Image

There's a moveable block in this cell, though. We must be able to do something with that...

Image

Image

Image

Image

After a bit of manoeuvering, we can use it to complete a staircase with these boxes and cages along the wall.

Image

Image

And that enables us to reach the upper level. What can we do here, though? There's an exit to the north, but this one's also blocked with impassable spikes, so we can't go that way for now.

Image

It might seem like the corner platforms are too far to reach with flying. That's the puzzle here...

Image

The trick is realising we can land inside this cage to rest.

Image

That gets us close enough to fly the rest of the way over.

Image

Now we can flip the lever here. What did that do, though? Nothing is immediately apparent...

Image

Image

But if we check back east, it's caused a cage to descend on this side. Now we can reach the other lever!

Image

Image

Image

Image

The same procedure lets us cross again.

Image

Image

This time there's no mystery about what hitting the lever does, the game shows us immediately! The way east is open now.

Image

Before we leave, though, there's a bit more in this room.

Image

There's some kind of enemy in this cell (hard to see behind the bars), and one of the grey switches. Some of the bars are broken...

Image

The gap is big enough that Kabbu's digging can get us through.

Image 55 - Team, It's Getting Serious!

Image

New enemies! (Also, there's a quirk here with the battle music. The wasps' battle theme takes precedence if any of their soldiers are in the fight, regardless of other enemies, but we can still hear the other theme here if none of them are present.)

Let's see what we're dealing with here.

Image

Image He's flailing that chain like it's a leaf! Watch out for those kicks!

Image

These are Ruffians, some of the more dangerous prisoners the Wasps seem to have released. (But they left the shackles on them?) They're actually the only completely new enemy type here, the rest is just different arrangements of Wasp soldiers.

They have 16 HP and 1 defence; they're not quite as tough as the Wasp Drillers, but they're decently sturdy.

Image

Image

Image

Image

We'll start this off with just normal attacks, for now.

Image

The first attack we see from them is this kick. It's a straightforward attack that deals 4 damage at base.

Image

They also have this overhead smash, also 4 base damage.

Image

That wasn't so bad. Let's keep going.

Image

Kabbu finishes off the first one.

Image

Image

Image

While Vi and Chompy get started on the second.

Image

Kabbu gets kicked again, but he can handle it.

Image

And from here, we can easily finish this.

Image

Image

That wasn't too bad. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of them before long.

Image 75 - Rubber Prison

Image

Now. There's a grey switch in here; let's flip that.

Image

Image

With the switch flipped, let's look around again.

Image

Toggling the gates lets us get in to see Venus!

Image

Image

Image

This is all she has to say, though. We're in decent shape so I'm not going to bother paying for healing, but it's definitely worth remembering she's here.

Image

Also worth noting is that toggling the grey switch raises the gate on this side, which could have been a problem if we'd flipped it before getting the block out.

Image

Now, let's head east.

Image

Image

Interesting. Looks like someone's been taking inspiration from the Honey Factory...

Image

There's another sign with directions here. Some of these locations sound interesting, but how do we get to them?

Image This security is impressive! Yet it couldn't stop the Wasps at all...
Image Well, duh. They fly.
Image We've got magic shields, too.
Image S-So I am the only one stopped by it, huh...

Heh. Poor Kabbu. (Of course, this conversation also serves as a reminder to the player of how to deal with these floors, it's been a while since we've seen them.)

Image

For now, let's head east and look around.

Image

Image

In addition to the stationary platforms we're crossing, there are two more electrified platforms acting as elevators on the north side. And there's a whole wall of cells: there's a lot going on in this room!

Image

Image

Hm. That's interesting, maybe we'll be able to exploit that somehow.

Image

We'll be back to explore this room fully soon enough, but for now let's head outside.

Image

We're on the bridge one level up from the entrance.

Image

We can weave our way through the barriers made of jacks, and quickly find there are soldiers here too.

Image 24 - Oh No! WASPS!!

Image

Here we have a Scout and a Driller. That could be annoying.

We'll use our first turn to take out the Scout, to prevent it calling reinforcements. We can deal with the Driller after that...

Image

Ow! This drill combo can be nasty (though that's exacerbated a bit here by Kabbu having Favorite One on, its base damage is 2 per hit). Also, it's not treated as a melee attack, so we can't get counter damage on it.

Image

Now that we've reduced the fight to just one Driller, we can deal with it as usual.

Image

A bit of back and forth later, we finish the fight. That's a lot of EXP.

Image 75 - Rubber Prison

Image

That's a lot of berries, too. And also a free Mushroom. Sure, why not.

Image

Image 55 - Team, It's Getting Serious!

Image

Further along, we quickly find another battle. Here we've got a Ruffian and a Burglar.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

A full round of basic attacks isn't quite enough to take out the Ruffian, so we'll be taking attacks from both of them.

Image

Vi's First Plating makes this kick harmless, though it wouldn't have been that bad anyway.

Image

And the Burglar reminds us not to underestimate him: their full-party dash attack can still be pretty annoying.

Image

Now we can start to clean up.

Image

One attack from Leif does for the Ruffian.

Image

Image

Image

Here, I miscalculated slightly and ended up leaving the Burglar alive. It would probably have been better to just spend a few TP to get the kill now...

Image

Because he decided to go for the dash attack again. I managed to Super Block this time, which made it much less painful, but it's still irritating.

Image

So let's just heal up a bit before we finish the fight. (This can be a good habit to get into, sometimes, especially if you're using Victory Buzz and/or TP Core medals. When your TP regenerates, it's wasteful to stay at maximum anyway. Of course, this kind of micromanagement is a bit pointless here when you can just buy healing from Venus, but I tend to forget to go to her...)

Image

Now we finish things.

Image

Note that we only get the boosted EXP yield from the wasp soldiers, the various bandits around here won't give us any.

Image 75 - Rubber Prison

Image

Let's keep moving.

Image

Is this just a dead end? Well, let's do the fight, at least.

Image 24 - Oh No! WASPS!!

Image

Here we have a Driller and a Bomber. At least they don't have Ultimax supporting them? I'd really rather not get hit with bombs...

Image

This is a bit unorthodox, but it should work. Leif starts out by boosting everyone with Empower+ (I left that on, though he's no longer using Life Cast).

Image

Image

We haven't used Under Strike in a while, but it's a decent choice here! (Thinking about it, this might've been a good place to use Fly Drop, too.)

Image

Regardless, that's brought it low enough for Vi to finish off.

Image

Image

Image

Now we can use our remaining actions to start hitting the Driller.

Image

Image

...If he wants to skip his turn, I guess that's fine. It's easy cleanup from here, especially since we still have the attack boosts.

Image

Wow, we're already quite close to ranking up. That's going quickly.

Image 75 - Rubber Prison

Image

Image

That particular battle drops a key. We'll just take that, thanks. (This can be easy to overlook, if you're not the sort of player to habitually fight every enemy. This bridge is otherwise a dead end, though, which should probably be a kind of hint...)

Image

Image

Image

Once we have the key, though, there's nothing else to do here, so let's head back inside.

Image

Now, let's explore this mess.

Image

First up, there's a Ruffian loose over here.

Image 55 - Team, It's Getting Serious!

Image

It's another pair of them.

Image

Image

Image

Image

After a few hits, I realised basic attacks would come just slightly short of eliminating the first one. We can fix that, though.

Image

Even after the penalty from Strong Start, Leif can squeeze out a bit of damage with Frigid Coffin.

Image

And the freeze boosts Chompy's damage just enough to finish it.

Image

Leif gets kicked in the face, but otherwise things are looking pretty good.

Image

Let's just keep going. We've got this.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Basic attacks aren't quite enough to get the kill, but I don't want to spend any more TP this turn.

Image

Here we go! This is more interesting. In addition to the kick and bash attacks, Ruffians have this attack with their ball and chain. Not only is this more threatening at 6 base damage, it also inflicts Defence Down for 2 turns.

We've seen all of the Ruffians' attacks now. They're pretty straightforward as far as enemies go.

Image

Let's just clean this up now.

Image

Image

That's a bit awkward, we're a single point short. Oh well.

Image 75 - Rubber Prison

Image

Image

Well, let's keep looking around. There's something inside the cell there, but we have to get the gate open to reach it...

Image

So let's check out the rest of the area.

Image

Image

Let's start from this side. Those are some familiar faces!

Image

Image

Apparently this is where Cenn and Pisci were taken after we helped get them arrested.

Image We've got to respect these two for not taking the chance to run.
Image Perhaps they've truly taken our words to heart!
Image Wonder if Maki'll give 'em a second chance...

Maybe these two will get the chance to turn over a new leaf. (Assuming they want to.) For now, though, we'd best leave them be.

Image

Image

On the central platform, we have another grey switch inside a cell.

Image

Image

And like before, we can dig under to reach it and flip it.

Image

Image

We can now investigate what was in the rightmost cell.

Image

Well, that's not particularly exciting. This must be what the prisoners are typically fed here.

Image

Image

Image

We'll head back and flip the switch again.

Image

Image

Then ride the platform up to the top level. Let's have a look around: we can immediately see there's a locked door here, for one thing.

Image

This cell on the left just has barrels inside. (This is another one controlled by the grey switches.)

Image

Image

On the right side is another cell, which has a grey switch inside. The markings on the wall are a nice touch, but also raise some questions. Between the switch and the fact there aren't any bars here, this isn't a practical cell to imprison anyone in... maybe it used to be, and they converted it?

Image

Image

From the elevator platform, we can also fly to the mid-level cells, so let's check those out too.

Image

This one just has a switch inside. Let's hit it.

Image

Image

Image

While in the centre, we can find a Burglar, and some kind of book?

Image

This Burglar isn't an enemy, and will talk to us instead of fighting. Some of the prisoners seem to have decided staying put is the better option.

Image It's kinda weird to not have to fight.
Image Some people do regret their actions. We must allow them to make amends.
Image ...At least while their crimes are small enough to forgive.

The banter highlights our party do have some disagreements on the subject of rehabilitation.

Image

We can also pick up the book. What could this be for? (The item description contains part of the text from the game's opening narration...)

Image

Image

From there, we can fly to the third cell on this level. This one would have been blocked by a portcullis before we flipped the switch in the left cell.

Image

All that's in here is another one of these keys.

Image

Image

Proof of concept, the switch in here controls the gate also. Let's not lock ourselves in? (I have some questions about the design of this place...)

Image

From there, we'll just drop down.

Image

Before we open the door at the top, let's head back and check out the cafeteria. We do have two keys, after all.

(Back momentarily, once again I'm forced to split the post thanks to the character limit.)
Last edited by Explopyro on Mon Jun 20, 2022 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
65: Team Snakemouth Goes to Prison (Part 2)

Image

Image

Image

Image

Those keys work here too. Let's head in.

Image

Image

You don't have to wait long after entering before boulders start being launched across the lower level. What kind of cafeteria is this?

Image This is the most hardcore cafeteria we've ever seen.
Image The food fights in here have to be awesome!
Image With those cannons, I don't think anyone would dare...

Um. Yeah.

Image

Image

So, there are cannons all across the lower level, rapid-firing boulders across the room that then crash into the ledge we entered on.

There isn't an obvious pattern to them, and they come very quickly. If we get hit, we'll be squashed and sent back to the beginning of the room, so there's very little margin for error.

Image

That said, if you're careful (and get lucky with the pattern), you can absolutely make your way through to the bouncy mushroom.

Image

That mushroom launches us up to this crawlspace above the ceiling.

Image

And from there, we can drop down to this ledge on the other side of the cannons. There's a Wasp Bomber waiting to ambush us, though.

Image

Image

For now, though, let's just run from this fight.

Image

And head back...

Image

Oops. Squish.

Image

Right. So. What on earth am I doing?

Short version is, getting through here right now is a mild sequence break. This room is part of a puzzle that's meant to be solved another way, so we should leave and return later (and that's why I'm not actually finishing the room). But if you are stubborn (or lucky) enough, you can just get through now by brute force.

Also, the puzzle itself is just obscure enough that some people don't realise they can solve it, so a fair number of players just do end up breaking the sequence here. So I wanted to make sure we got to see both ways.

Image

Right. Let's get back to the cellblock.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Let's use our other key here.

Image

What's to the north, then?

Image

Another room with quite a few exits! This place can be convoluted to get around. Let's check the banter first?

Image Working in a prison isn't glamorous at all.
Image You think the Queen sends the lazy guards here?
Image Maintaining this prison is not a game! She must send her best!
Image (Why not both?)

Heh.

Image

First off, we have a grey switch to our left.

Image

Although we can't flip this one from up close, or we'll get stuck in here! Let's just put that back.

Image

Image

There's a sign on the wall here, drawing our attention to the weak bridge once again. There's no way that won't end up being important.

Image

Let's head outside first.

Image

Image

Before anything else, there's a Wasp Scout waiting here.

Image

It has a Ruffian with it. Still, this fight is pretty straightforward, and there's nothing interesting to show.

Image

Image

It gets us enough EXP to rank up, though!

Image

Image

We'll continue getting more MP, of course. There's no special bonus this level.

Image

Hm, that's a Honey Drop. The enemies around here seem really fond of dropping basic items today.

Image

Image

As we cross the bridge, we can see some pretty obvious cracks. That must be what the signs have been warning us about...

Image

For now, let's see what's over on this side.

Image

Image

What do we have here?

Image Sometimes, it's easy to forget even a prison needs a normal office.
Image Bleh.
Image Sitting here processing paperwork... this is just as much of a prison as the cells.

Leif's comments can be really incisive, sometimes.

Image

Image

There's a hole which needs an item over here, but we don't have anything that fits. Looks like we're going to need to search for a crank again...

Image

There are also some falling water droplets in here, and a fountain we can freeze. We'll no doubt need to make use of those.

Image

But first, let's get this Driller out of the way.

Image

There's only the one, so this isn't anything special.

Image

Let's just move along. (The EXP yield is still pretty good, though it's decreased a bit since we ranked up recently.)

Image

(Yet another Crunchy Leaf. I'm ecstatic here.)

Image

Let's solve the puzzle here. We can freeze this droplet, to start.

Image

Image

And use the ice block to complete the staircase along the right-hand wall.

Image

Before we climb up, though, we need to freeze the geyser.

Image

Image

Now, we can climb up and fly across.

Image

Image

With the geyser frozen, we can land on it to recharge our flight distance, then make our way over to the bookshelf.

Image

We get another book for our troubles (with another snippet of the introductory text). That's two of these now, but we still don't know what they're for.

Image

Regardless, collecting that book is all we can do here for now, so let's head back.

Image

Image

Image

Back across the bridge.

Image

Now, to explore this room further.

Image

We need Leif's Bubble Shield to cross the thorns here.

Image

Hm. These gates being raised could be a problem...

Image

Image

For now, though, we'll climb up here and see what's waiting.

Image

First off, this Burglar's right in our face.

Image

This fight's not entirely trivial! Two Burglars and a Ruffian could be a bit dicey.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Even without any attack boosts, Leif's Ice Rain can be very potent! I like using it in situations like this, sometimes, to soften everything up and keep them off us for a turn. (Mostly, I'm not in the mood to deal with the Burglars' dash attacks.)

Image

Image

Image

We'll finish off the first enemy.

Image

And, for that matter, let's have Chompy go ahead and bite the Ruffian. Their attacks aren't so deadly it's worth foregoing damage to avoid them.

Image

Well, especially if they go after Vi while she has First Plating on. That worked out nicely!

Image

Image

And there goes the Ruffian. Simple enough.

Image

Image

Unfortunately, normal attacks aren't quite enough to take out the Burglar, and I'd rather not spend more TP here.

Image

Figures, there's the dash attack again. (I've always liked the balance this game strikes with power growth, in that these returning earlier enemies are still capable of presenting some threat, but do feel significantly less intimidating than they used to be.)

Image

Now, let's finish things.

Image

Moving on.

Image

With the enemy out of the way, it becomes more apparent that we can't get any further here so long as these gates are raised...

Image

Image

Image

So we need to head back and flip a grey switch. It's easy enough to do, we just need to use the Beemerang to trip it so we don't get stuck on the wrong side of the gate here.

Image

Now let's head back.

Image

Image

Now the gate here is down, and we can get further in.

Image

Let's head south first...

Image

We come out down here!

Image

Image

There's a lever we can flip on the wall here, which lowers the spikes.

Image

From here it's more obvious this is the central area from earlier and that we've opened up a shortcut. If we need it, we could say hello to Venus and get some healing, but I don't feel the need.

Image

Let's get back to exploring.

Image

Image

Image

Here's another of those signs. We'll no doubt need to go to both of these places...

Image

First up, though, more Ruffians!

Image

This one has a Wasp Scout with it. Once again, there's nothing particularly novel to show in this fight...

Image

So let's just keep moving.

Image

Image

The way to the Gym is blocked by a gate, so we'll come back to that later.

Image

Image

Since the gates that way are down, let's head toward the Security Room first. There's a Wasp Bomber at the top of these stairs, though...

Image

The bombs can be pretty tricky to dodge here.

Image

This Bomber comes with a Thief, which is a novel combination. Unfortunately for them, they're both a bit of a pushover: one Needle Pincer from Vi is enough to take out the Bomber, and still leave us with enough attacks remaining to take down the Thief before it can do anything.

Image

So we'll keep moving.

Image

Image

Image

There are a lot of paintings of Elizant I along this wall... We know this place was built early in Elizant II's reign, but there aren't any images of her to be seen. Knowing what we do about her insecurities, it's not a huge surprise she might have tried to compensate.

Image

Conveniently, there's no railing on the far side here, and we could drop down if we wanted to. (I suspect this is mainly to prevent getting trapped up here if the gates are raised.)

Image

Let's go in here.

Image

Image Why's this the security room? It doesn't seem special at all...
Image There must be something hidden around here.

This room definitely warrants further investigation: there's a lot to look at.

Image

For now, though, there's a save crystal here, so let's use the opportunity to take a break and end the update.

Next time, we'll pick up exploring Rubber Prison from here. I'll see you then!

User avatar
Honestly amused at the prisoners going “What? No I don’t want to make a break for it. Shoo, before you ruin everything!”

User avatar
Whilimbird wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:44 am
Honestly amused at the prisoners going “What? No I don’t want to make a break for it. Shoo, before you ruin everything!”
I've always appreciated that too, it's a good way to play with our expectations. (Though it certainly isn't all the prisoners, we've been fighting the various ones who did choose to leave and join up with the wasps.)

Post Reply