The Wishing Tree!
Adventures in Kei Province
Are you ready for some Rico? ^___^ How about a huge string of fetch quests?
Because there's a lot of Rico.
Pretty much any time he was on the screen, I was mashing screenshots >_>;
Rico started out with martial arts, but I swapped him over to a greatsword because I thought he'd make really nice use of it, plus I was hoping to learn some new roles since he already had a few martial arts known when I got him.
He did glimmer a cool new greatsword art, though, that Gabriel hadn't glimmered this whole time, in his first battle.
I don't know a good way to translate this. Drain Cut? But he dashes quickly at the enemy and cuts right through them. Does good damage and lowers their Strength, which is very useful.
Too many people do this pose... But holy moly, 14 HP gain!
Also, here's the formation that we learned from Rico. It's called Hook Martial (?) and it lowers the BP cost of martial arts for the person standing in front.
Anyway, I had gone all the way back to Yaxart and Megdasse so I could write down what types of blacksmiths there were there, but when I got back to Kei, there was not this pack of crows pecking at something on the ground.
On further inspection... It's a dead body! Since it's a SaGa game, you know everyone was trembling with excitement. And, as expected, Liz and Leo search the corpse and find firmly grasped in the hand was an Emblem of Byakko. So, we take it and give the guy a proper burial. We even make him a headstone out of... something (maybe it was that iron ore? LOL)
Heading back toward Nangoon, I heard a 'thwap' sound and noticed there was another arrow sticking out of the tree where we found the other notes before. Liz notices that the arrow is fashioned with crows' feathers.
Reading the note, it says to take the Emblem of Byakko to the person waiting at Builio Gate.
The guy seems to be expecting the Emblem, but he seems confused and a bit upset that we were the ones that brought it to him, as if he were hoping for someone else. But, what's done is done, and he gives us his gatekeeper's badge in return.
Okay, whatever. Also I wish I would have screencapped more of this conversation.
So, we head back toward Nangoon to see what kind of blacksmith they have. But... there's another arrow sticking out of the tree. Is this going to become a thing...?
Liz opens the letter, and this one asks us to bring the blacksmith's sledgehammer to the bartista in Owtie Arbor. Well, I don't have the blacksmith's hammer, so I figure I'll just go up to Owtie and see if there are any clues.
On the way there, I notice that the mountain hut where we met Marian and Rico now has smoke coming out of the chimney. This wasn't there before -- the place always seemed to be empty, except when Rico was hiding out in the basement.
We enter, and this guy inside totally freaks out. I mean, that's a natural response to strangers intruding on you out of nowhere, but in games, that's a pretty strange response. He seems paranoid about something, and constantly asks us to leave.
But upon seeing that we have the gatekeeper's badge, he comments that it must be his turn next, though there's no explanation what that means, and Leo asks if he has a sledgehammer, since he seems to be a blacksmith, and he indeed does.
He gives it to us, shoves us away, and tells us never to come again. Going again makes him shout at us for not listening.
Giving the sledgehammer to the barista, she also comments that it must be her turn next, telling us we've got some guts. Maybe she knows how weird that blacksmith guy is?
Well, whatever. Let's try to head back to Nangoon. But, of course, there's another arrow in the tree. Now we need to bring the emerald ring to the doctor near Rowsui Tower.
But not far away I can see that... Nangoon has hearts coming out of it? So, let's go ahead and stop by there and see what that's about.
There seems to be a noble in town that's quite popular with the ladies. From the vapid look on that woman's face, it seems like maybe he's hypnotizing them instead lol.
But, hey, he is wearing an emerald ring! And, like any normal person, Leo just marches right up him and asks him if we can have it. The girl gets annoyed and tells Leo off for being so rude (finally some said it...) and the nobleman says if we want an emerald ring we should just get one for ourselves. Though, he's saying it in a helpful way -- he tells us that the blacksmith can make it.
So, we head back to the blacksmith's place, and he yells at us for coming again, but Leo demands he make an emerald ring. He seems really shocked at first, but becomes happy to accept. But he'll need us to gather the materials, of course...
He tells us that the nomadic shepherd's tribe knows the whereabouts of the emeralds, but it's a closely-guarded secret. And by closely-guarded, I'm assuming he means "unlocked with yet another fetch quest."
Arriving at the encampment, the nomads seem upset because the sheep's food is rapidly running out, which means the people's food is also going to be running out, since they live off their flock.
But the shepherd says that they recently heard of a tree that will send their prayers to their gods if they send the prayer to the tree with an arrow.
So, we head over to the tree again. Liz observes that the new arrow seems to be the type used by the nomad tribe, and not the crows' feather arrow we're used to seeing here.
The note attached sounds like a prayer, and asks "Please ward away the monsters."
So, it's a problem with monsters destroying the food source perhaps? Maybe they're destroying fields or something. In the desert. Oh, maybe the sheep eat mandragoras?
A little wandering and we find some monsters. These must be the ones that are causing problems for the nomads.
After the battle, Gerome becomes the first member of the party to learn a second role other than Leonard. Many characters have the ability to equip more than one role now, but none of them actually know more than one, so this was pretty cool. Also, it boosts his Skill level by a lot, which is nice, because I've been having him use a bow recently, and he's pretty fast, so he'll be good at paralyzing enemies before they can attack.
After returning to the encampment, the shepherd informs us that the gods answered their prayers and the monsters are gone. Leo tells him that it wasn't any gods -- we were the ones that killed the monsters. Despite the lack of proof, they believe us and are very grateful. They offer us their best sheep, but we instead ask if they could tell us where to find emeralds.
The shepherd gives us some directions toward the spire-shaped mountains to the south, near where we fought the monsters. We head down there and find an emerald quite easily.
But a monster comes out! It's some kind of glowing wolf thing named Baku. It wasn't too hard to defeat, though.
So we fight off the monster, take our new emerald to the blacksmith, have him forge a ring for us, and then take it to Rowsui Tower.
There's a guard here, and we ask her if there's a doctor nearby. She says there used to be one around the tower often, but he hasn't shown up in quite a while. Leo asks where the doctor may be, and the guard responds that she doesn't know -- but have you heard about the tree that grants wishes?! She's wanting to try it out, too...
It seems the tree is gaining in popularity, and I can only assume this is a clue to go look at the tree again.
Liz comments that there's no way we can respond to this endless barrage of arrow requests. We take the newest one and read it -- "Please bring me some delicious soft water." It's signed by the Owtie barista.
Liz says at this point, they're not even prayers or wishes, people are just asking the tree to run errands for them.
I don't know if she's always supposed to be mad, or if her face is just like that, but I always interpret everything she says as being said in the angriest tone.
She complains that her tea is no good because the well water here is too hard, and it ruins her fine tea leaves, which ruins her great tea parties. She seems pretty stern about the whole thing, and we get the option to tell her "Good water would be nice" or "Then go look for some yourself." I'm tempted to pick the second one, but, you know, I'm a good guy. A good guy who kills miners in front of a baby to steal all their materials that they were already offering to give me a hearty portion of...
It wasn't very hard to find the water because we saw a horse drinking from Pot Falls, which is just south of Owtie Arbor. The horse was not here before, and Liz gets the feeling that if the water is good enough for the horse, it's good enough for the tea. I mean, it's a really nice horse. Plus this is like, the only water source besides wells in Kei province that I know of. We have the option to take this water or look elsewhere, but I just decided to go with this water. I mean, it's such a nice horse!
We take the water back to the barista, and we have the option of handing it to her, or rubbing it in her face and saying "now go find your own!"
Of course, I just give it to her. She does seem to lighten up a bit when she thanks us, at least.
The horse is running all over the place now. Each time we examine it, it dashes off to another area, and we can examine it again... Leo and Liz make different little comments about it each time, like how it's such a nice horse, and it would be nice to catch it, but we can't catch it while it's running around, and it will probably only stop once it gets tired, the nomads would probably think it's a nice horse, too...
Eventually it seems to just loop back in circles and start the conversations over from the beginning, so I give up interacting with the horse for now.
There's another prayer from the nomad tribe on the tree now, asking to please return the runaway sheep home. Even though we told them that we were the ones who vanquished the monsters before, and they seemed to believe us, it seems they still believe the tree will deliver their prayers, I guess.
We go and talk to the shepherds to ask them about their troubles. When I read the note (since Japanese doesn't distinguish between plurals -- though in this case, English wouldn't distinguish, either!) I thought that maybe one sheep had run away.
But it seems all of the sheep have run away. I can't remember why -- I think they got spooked by more monsters or something. But we can now find the sheep scattered all around Kei Province, and pick them up as we find them. I don't know how we're exactly carrying all these sheep, though... or maybe we're herding them and having them follow us? I thought maybe we were going to have to do something with the horse, like get it to herd the sheep for us Twilight Princess style.
While looking for the sheep, we pass by the tree again, and the requests are still piling up. The newest one is from a Kohan guard, saying he wants to eat some sheep steak. Well, we have some sheep...
But, I don't want to give away the poor shepherds' sheep, so I make sure to visit the encampment before heading off to Kohan. A shepherd counts all the sheep to make sure we found them all, and we did find every last one. I wonder if it's possible to visit Kohan first and give one away...?
We're thanked for our help and we set off to Kohan.
Leo asks this pink guy if he's the one that sent the request, and he says he indeed is wanting to eat some sheep steak. Leo asks why he doesn't just go have some then, and the guard says that there's a lot of danger about recently, and the guards' posts have been divided up (I'm not exactly sure what this meant, so I'm probably understanding it wrong) so he can't have any.
Leo says it's a shame and we just move on. There's no real clues or anything, so I go chase the horse around a bit more, since it's the only interactive thing left in Kei, and because we had commented the shepherds would like it and so I have a hunch they'll trade me some steak for it, and this time, instead of circling back around to the beginning, it stops at Pot Falls to drink again. While it's drinking, Leo lassos it and captures it. I guess he learned this on his own farm...?
We take the horse to the shepherds, who indeed love it, and offer us an entire sheep in exchange! Leo takes it gratefully. I really hope we don't have to go slaughter a sheep now...
I head back to Lohan and give the sheep to the guard, who is pretty excited about it. He'll share the meat with his fellow guards, too. Perhaps the problem was that he would normally have gone to the shepherds himself for the steak, but because of all the duty he has to do now, he's unable to travel all the way there?
It should come as no surprise that there's more arrows sticking out of the tree now. The newest one asks us to bring the two-headed snake staff to the target in Nangoon.
After reading the letter, we notice that there's smoke coming from the well again -- the one where Savnok's necromancer was hanging out before.
Heading inside to investigate, we find this doctor guy. And yes, he looks exactly like Doc, but his name isn't displayed as Doc, and Liz and Leo don't seem to recognize him. They didn't even bother to recolor him. I'm surprised no one comments on the fact that Doc has a twin who wears the same outfit. (BTW, I'm assuming this is the doctor we were instructed to give the emerald ring to, and that doctor was described as one near Rowsui Tower, and Doc's hut is literally right next to Rowsui Tower, just on the Yaxart Marchiam side... so maybe this really is him, and there was a bit of an oversight in the writing?)
The most paranoid person we've talked to yet, the guy cowers away from us and asks if we've come to kill him. Leo notices he has a two-headed snake staff, and says we've only come for the staff. The guy is reluctant to believe us, but eventually hands over the staff and begs us not to tell anyone that he's hiding out in there. Leo says he won't tell, but if he's wanting to keep his location a secret, he should probably put out his fire.
The guy still seems terrified even as we leave. But at least we have the staff, and now it's time to head to Nangoon.
Our emerald-wearing nobleman friend is there, and we ask him if he's the one who's supposed to receive the staff. The guy seems to know something about all of this, and asks us where we found the doctor.
And Leo just tells him he's hiding out in the well. Leo, you promised!! Leo wonders what the doctor was doing in there, and the noble says he's probably hiding in there so he doesn't kill him. Then he says he's just joking. Leo finds this strange and we head off.
We find two new requests on the tree, which is really getting full now. The guard from Rowsui Tower wants her crush to notice her, and another asks for revenge against the monsters that killed their husband.
We head to Kohan, where Liz and Leo find a woman in mourning, and like any decent person would do, Leo just walks straight up to her and asks, "Someone die recently?"
The woman says that her husband was killed by monsters at the Great Arch, and she wants those monsters to be killed.
We head to the great arch, and another shady guy appears. He warns us to leave, but Leo says we've come to slay the monsters that killed the widower. The guy assures us that there are no monsters in the area at all, no matter what we've heard, and urges us to leave again.
There doesn't seem to be anything we can do, so we head back to Kohan and tell the woman that there are no monsters at Great Arch. But she knows there has to be -- no human could have given him wounds like that.
She thanks us for our troubles, and is happy just to know that we cared enough to try.
Not far from Kohan, I could see this little angry bubble thing coming from Builio gate, so I decide to go check that out real fast. Maybe this guy knows something about the monsters?
Instead, it seems that he's frustrated because the guard from Rowsui Tower has feelings for him. And there's nothing wrong with her, but he can't return those feelings, and he's distraught over wondering what to do about it.
This seems related to the other letter that we got on the tree, so we head to Rowsui Tower to see what the guard there has to say.
The guard seems to be head-over-heels for the gatekeeper. Instead of finding a way to break it to her, Liz remembers that you can make a tea from mandrogora root that is said to work like a love potion.
Okay, that sounds pretty shady and non-consensual, but... I guess that's what we're going to do.
So I go back to the "strawberries" and pick them, and a mandragora pops out, and everyone loses 1 LP. But we somehow manage to snag a root. Leo complains that we have to go as far as endangering our lives for these tree letters.
We deliver the root to the guard, and Liz explains that she can make a love potion from it, and she seems ecstatic about it.
All the troubles seem settled enough, so we head back toward the tree. At this point, I'm just checking the tree constantly to see if there are new arrows.
Indeed, there is a new one. Though this one seems to be much more similar to the first one we had received, fashioned with a crows' feather arrow. It simply says, "Come to the great arch."
Liz thinks it's a bit weird, but we decide we should try going and see what's up.
This is where that Savnok-looking guy warned us to get out, so I can't imagine anything good is going to happen here...
There's some rando here, and he seems pretty angry. He demands to know just what it is we're trying to do. Leo says we just came because the letter on the tree asked us to. I guess we've been ruining all his plans?
Leo asks him what the hell he's even talking about, and the guy responds that we're only supposed to take the items after the kill -- they're proof of the assassinations. But we haven't even killed one person!
Leo finally gets what's going on, but the guy is outraged, and he and his gang attack us.
Balmaint glimmered the Serpent spear art that poisons the enemy, and Caspar glimmered Aim, which is a spear art that makes you act very slowly, but has high accuracy and attack power. The animation for it is pretty cool -- in other SaGa games, there's not much animation for Aim, so I liked that.
I'm not exactly sure how she concluded this, but Liz says that the Emblem of Byakko was meant to be the first and only proof of assassination, but by taking it for ourselves, we set off a chain of assassination attempts.
Leo says it's a shame we caused so much trouble for the Kohan guards, but at least no one else had to die.
It seems like everything was going to wrap up soon, so I went to the tree to see if there were any more letters. Maybe a thank you or something?
But the tree fell as we approached it. It seems the weight of everyone's desires was too much for it. Leo says it's good for the Legend of the Wishing Tree to finally come to an end.
Where the tree fell, we find four screaming roots. I'm not sure what value these will have, but these are the only ones I've ever found, so hopefully they'll be useful in crafting some great items later on.
There are hearts coming from Nangoon again, so we go check it out. The nobleman and the lady he was with are here again. The noble comments that he heard the tree that answers prayers has collapsed. Leo says good riddance, as there was some kind of assassination war going on.
Someone who can control who enters and leaves, someone who can forge counterfeits, someone who can serve poisons in food, and a doctor who can craft poisons... The nobleman mentions that it seems like all the people we were supposed to have killed may have actually been playing a role in something bad.
Leo says it sounds like it if you put it that way, but then what about the nobleman himself? We were asked to get his ring, after all.
The nobleman laughs and says that people of high positions like himself are the target of many enemies. In fact, just the other day, he drank some poisoned tea...
I'm not exactly sure what the next thing he said meant, but it was something ilke... back to the subject of the Emblem of Byakko that we found in the beginning -- do you know of the term 'probable murder'?
I don't really understand what he meant. Leo says he doesn't know.
He doesn't elaborate, either, and says that, in any case, it seems that somehow we ended up helping him even if we didn't intend to, and he wanted to offer us his gratitude. Then he left.
With that, I finally got to head into Nangoon to check out their blacksmith and look at what I needed to upgrade a lot of my equipment. When I went in, I noticed there was now a "conversation" option that wasn't there before.
The lady from before notices us, and asks us if we're still traveling all around. Leo asks her if she wants to come. And now we have a new party member!
Her name is Julia (pronounced the Germanic way -- the "j" sounds like a "y") and she seems very powerful from the start. She has great Intelligence and Concentration, and her elemental levels are all 5! She also has high levels in staff, martial arts, longswords, and foils.
To be honest, this whole "prayer tree" subquest was a lot of fun, even if a lot of it was just fetch quests. They all played out a little differently than one another, and there were some battles thrown in here and there, too. And in the end, I think the conclusion to the little 'story' was pretty interesting. Even though everyone was acting strange or paranoid, I didn't really think much about it. Though, it makes you wonder if perhaps they really were part of some kind of evil plot, and the assassinations were meant to stop something even more terrible from happening...? I kind of like that it's left unclear -- I like having stuff to wonder about.
For all our troubles (this took like all evening and into the night to play through), we did get four screaming roots and a powerful new party member, so that's great, too. Oh, and Julia taught us a new battle formation called "Magical Shower."
I did run around and do a little blacksmithing before heading to bed, so we have a few new upgraded weapons. Someone on the GameFAQs board detailed how learning new magic arts works, and explained why flux wasn't doing anything for me. You have to have a variety of elemental staffs, and they can either upgrade current magic arts or teach new ones, depending on the element and the character and what you already know... I'm not going to explain it now, but I understand it at least, and I have a couple different staffs and am ready to try it out. I've also been using Liz as a mage sometimes and she seems pretty good at it. I feel like she's just good at everything, really.