Catch the Fairies!
Phoenix Trouble in Rhea
With... whatever the hell that was we just did... out of the way, let's... go running around again. Because that's what this game is about. On this week's exciting episode, we're traveling back to Ria. That coastal place with all the little "land pockets."
I head back to one of the towns and find Sunburn Kindacaspar, who Leo asks about Ai Hanumu. He asks if we really just asked about Ai Hanumu, and laughs, saying he doesn't know anything. Leo says if he keeps laughing we don't necessarily have to be nice to him. The guy straightens up and suddenly suggests we go see the Fairy Stone, and maybe we'll learn something there.
While it says "Fairy Stone" in English above it, the name everyone uses to talk about it and the name it's labeled in Japanese is "Rock with a Hole in It."
When we get there to see what the guy was talking about, it doesn't seem like much. Leo wonders why there's a hole in there, and says it'd be hard to fit through, but maybe Liz could fit. Liz gets mad and says when they were kids, she fell in a hole and couldn't get out, and all Leo did was laugh at her, so she's not going to try.
Leo doesn't seem to remember this ever happening, but Liz insists it does. Then to herself, says that it would be super embarrassing if her butt got stuck.
Then a battle starts, though I'm not sure why, with some plant monsters. We're forced to use a formation called "Stone Burden" that causes everyone to stand in a line and doesn't grant any kind of bonuses. It also only starts with two BP. Even still, it's not a very rough fight.
Before the battle, the description of Fairy Stone was "A rock with a hole in it." Now it says that, but there's an added line: "It emanates strangeness." And nothing is said about what just happened, and there doesn't seem to be anything else we can do with this. We don't get any kind of conversation or anything with Sunburn Kindacaspar, either.
Wandering around Rhea some more, we find these like... trap things (like that classic cartoon box-propped-up-on-a-stick type) which were apparently laid about by the fairy hunters. But we can't really do anything with them.
Then we head to the abandoned village north of Muros. We find this guy named Griffin dancing around. Not to be confused with the best Harvest Moon marriage candidate of all time.
Let's comment on this... interesting design.
Firstly, I want to praise the designer for the mustache. It's big, long, and even seems strung through some kind of giant beads or something. Any attention to making mustaches fantastical or whatever receives a big thumbs-up from me.
But then... he looks like some kind of weird goblin-human hybrid, with his tiny body, giant lightbulb-shaped head, enormous ears, and tree-branch eyebrows.
I... want to be into him because of the great mustache, but... the rest of him is just... so creepy looking? I mean, I love baldies but his head has a huge crown like a baby or something. And like... yeah, he's just too weird-looking to be hot. Sorry, Griffin. He's still cute, though, in the Pikachu kind of way.
Anyway, Liz says watching him is like watching the circus and looks pretty entertained. Noticing us, Griffin demands to know who we are and what we think we're doing spying on someone else's training. Leo says we're not here to spy or anything like that.
So he says that if we're just passing through, we should show proper etiquette as martial arts masters do. Leo says he's not a martial arts master either, he's just a farmer from Yaxart.
Griffin asks if we're here to plant seeds or something, and Leo tells him we're looking for Ai Hanumu, and asks if he knows anything. He says that there was apparently a type of martial arts from the Empire there that was never handed down. But he doesn't know any more than that. Leo says if he travels there, he'll be able to find out about it himself.
So, we have a new party member. Mustache Gremlin gets put on the bench next to the 40 other randos we've picked up in this game. His stats aren't too terrible, though. He started with L22 in every weapon level, and his Skill is a whopping 15! Speed is 12, and everything else is mediocre.
Heading further north, we find a "Festival Stage." Liz seems pretty excited about it, and pretends to be a dance instructor leading a troupe. After we're done, a dancer shows up on the stage after we leave. So we go right back.
She tells us that if we have any fairies, she'll offer them, too. Leo tells her we don't have any, though, and she tells us if we ever do, to bring them on a Wednesday.
There doesn't seem to be much more we can do at the 'festival stage,' so we head back to that one giant glowing death fire cocoon thing we saw earlier. The one Phoenix had perched on.
There's a girl here, and Leo asks if this is the big cocoon that Phoenix landed on. You know, to make sure we're not mixing it up with some other massive fire cocoon.
She says she saw some big fireball thing appear and then run away, but was that a bird? (Leo referred to it as "Bird on Fire," which they do often, probably more often than actually saying 'Phoenix,' though they do say Phoenix sometimes. I'm guessing "Bird on Fire" is kind of like "Big Long" lol)
Apparently she didn't see any bird, but when the fireball came and lit up the cocoon, it disappeared and it was like nothing ever happened (um, other than it's glowing red now?) and the cocoon and everything seems perfectly fine.
Liz asks what this giant cocoon even is, but then quickly regrets asking and says she doesn't really want to know. But of course, the girl tells us anyway. This is a fairy cocoon, and fairies mature into their true forms within. And she seems pretty excited, because the fairies we're used to seeing are just in their larval stage -- a human has never seen a grown fairy, because they don't show their true forms in the human world.
And then, a fairy appears...!
For a brief moment before turning into a monster. Because everything turns into a freaking monster in this game.
It's just a fireball, though and pretty easy to dispatch. The girl is surprised that of all things, fairies turn into monsters, but Liz suggests it's probably from Phoenix's curse, since after all, everywhere Phoenix lands seems to turn into some kind of freakish monster pit.
Leo agrees and warns the girl that it's probably dangerous to go near the cocoon from now on. We can't fight any more monsters here, but we're given 80 fire crystals, 30 water crystals, and 30 rainbow crystals as a reward for completing this... one-event, one-battle quest.
Still looking for things to do in Ria, we try talking to Fairy Hunter Guy again. I'm pretty sure we talked to him before, but if not, this is Fairy Hunter Guy and he doesn't want us to bother him. That's about it!
They only thing left in Ria that it seems we can even interact with is this seal. Liz comments that this isn't where seals are supposed to show up, and we're given the option to let it be or chase it away. Letting it be doesn't seem to do anything, and there's nothing else left here, so I try chasing it away. Leo shoos at it and it goes into the water.
And, uh, we're done with Ria for now, because I can't figure out how to progress anything going on here. Fairy Hunter Guy won't talk to us other than to tell us to shut up, and interacting with any of the Fairy Hunter equipment and traps scattered about just has Liz comment that they must belong to the Fairy Hunters. Fairy Stone and the cocoon don't seem to do anything anymore, and even though it seems to be eternally Wednesday, we have no fairies to give to Fairy Miko. We can go back to the abandoned village where we found Griffin and fight some Fairy Hunters for seemingly no reason unlimitedly.
So, we're out!