Beware the Plague!
Adventures with Daddy Lighthouse

When we last left Leo and Liz, we had just made a new friend who wanted to travel with us to Ai Hanumu, and there are a lot of places available to explore on the way there.

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First, let's look at our newest party member. Being an available protagonist, Urpina is pretty good all around. She has good Strength, Skill, and Speed, and comes with good levels in every single skill. She comes equipped with a sword, so that's what I ended up having her use first, and she was pretty good.

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When we try to return to Silmium, Urpina asks us not to enter the city again. Leo asks her if there's something wrong with the city, also commenting that it's big and convenient. She just responds that she begs of us not to enter the city for any reason. Leo says if that's what she wants, we won't go back.

Liz feels that it's pretty suspicious that she doesn't want to go back into her own city. Leo tells her that it's not good to bully little girls, referring to when Liz said that to him when he was asking her about Scarlet Shards.

He walks off and Liz gets annoyed.

I didn't remember if I had any plans on what to do next from last time I was playing, other than gathering materials to make new weapons, and I didn't feel like going and reading the last entry, so I just decided to wander around.

I started a new strategy of unequipping everyone except the battle party and re-equipping them with the best stuff before each battle. There's an "unequip everyone that isn't in the party" button so it's pretty easy (and probably expected of you to do). I generally just do the auto-equip thing then swap around a few things (sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad).

It's easier to keep track of the best equipment this way, plus I can really focus on the characters' strengths more. Before, I was trying to upgrade everyone's equipment, which was really draining all my materials. Now I can focus on keeping just enough to equip a single party. Of course, the party makeup will always be a bit different, so I want to have multiples of some stuff, like if I'm using more mages or whatever, but I don't need to have like 7 mage robes in the inventory.

Anyway, I noticed a few things I could easily upgrade right away, but I wanted to get to a blacksmith with a discount, so I went to Gladion and started to head north to get back to, well, most of the areas in the game.

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... And I just get a little (repeated) cutscene about the guy with the urn. And... it doesn't let me actually go through the gates. I just keep getting this scene and then it places me back in Gladion. So... I can't go back.

And there aren't many provinces I even can really go to, out of the ones that I've already been. There's Gladion, the one south of there with the big minion war that I'm avoiding, the new one where we found Urpina... actually, that's it. We're stuck in those three, forced only to move forward into new areas if I want to find blacksmiths...

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Passing by Lug again, we saw Doppelganger Leo running out of the city.

Liz asks Leo if he saw him this time. Leo says that there must be someone who looks like him, but Liz says that it's not just that they look like each other, but they're identical.

Entering Lug, a girl there seems happy that Leo has returned, and says that she prepared the thing for him. But Leo has no idea who this girl is, and asks if they know each other.

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She laughs and says he's being weird, and then gives him the thing. We receive a... "warm package."

Leo asks what it is, and the girl seems a little, maybe only playfully, annoyed that all we're doing is joking around. Leo's the one that offered to help out, after all. She tells us to hurry up and take it to Ibex Forest before it gets cold.

Leo tries to ask what's going on, but the girl leaves. Liz seems mad and scolds Leo for being careless, saying that if he didn't know her he should have told her that more clearly.

Leo says that she must have gotten him mixed up with Other Leo. Liz says the package smells good, and suggests they open it. Leo says it's not his package to open, and that would be mean to mess with someone else's stuff like that, and decides to take it to Ibex Forest.

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Then these like... goat things came out of nowhere and surrounded us... I was... kind of scared honestly hahaha.

Liz laughs and asks Leo if he's okay. He says he is, other than the fact he's covered in drool now. Liz says that it seems the package was ibex food. Also I didn't realize that such an animal even existed, but I guess ibex is an actual animal with huge horns like that. Anyway, she says she wishes she could have petted them.

Returning to Lug, the girl appears again and is glad to see that Leo somehow managed to finish his task. She says that those ibex always have such a ridiculous appetite that whenever someone goes to feed them, they always get trampled, so no one ever wanted to have feeding duty. So Leo offering to take on that chore was a real life-saver.

But she gives us a reward for helping out, 5 pieces of latex! Which is nice because we can use those to make equipment, and anything other than the plain elemental crystals can be pretty obnoxious to try to collect.

Liz complains about having to go through all that hassle, and says the next time she sees Other Leo, she's definitely going to capture him.

I still want to find more blacksmiths, so I head to Castle Parm (which honestly sounds like it should be short for Castle Parmesan) to see what the area northeast of here is like. That also happens to be in the direction we're headed in the story, anyway.

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The Marquis of Parm (lol) appears and asks us who we are and where we're going. Leo introduces himself and says we're going past the northeastern border. The Marquis finds it interesting that some farmer from Yaxart is traveling all the way outside the northeastern border, and says he has to ask the reason for this trip.

Leo says that he's looking for Ai Hanumu, and the Marquis has to ask him if he heard him correctly. He asks Leo why he's looking for Ai Hanumu, and he says we're headed there to sink the Scarlet Shards.

Also, I just noticed he said we're going there to sink the Shards, and I think he may have been saying this the whole time, and for some reason I just kept reading it as "return." I don't know. I can't really remember exactly what was said before, but later he says something like "there must be a lake or something in Ai Hanumu, because we have to sink the Shards in something."

Anyway, upon hearing this, the Marquis asks Leo if he's the hero from a fairy tale or if someone put a curse on him. Leo seems a little annoyed now, and says that it's neither. This is just something he has to do.

The Marquis asks if he thinks it's going to work out (I'm guessing like he means, if we can really find Ai Hanumu or whatever), and Leo says he can't know until he gets there. The Marquis seems pretty fascinated by Leo's determination, and says he wants to see how this all turns out for himself, and says he's going to come along. Leo seems fine with it.

But Liz seems mad. Why didn't he ask first? Leo says if he asked, we might've said no. Then Liz asks why Leo would even take a liking to such an obviously suspicious-looking guy, and scolds him about needing to be more careful.

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But now we have a new friend! His name is given as Thiago Lisboa here, even though he never actually introduced himself. We even got a trophy for recruiting him! Not that it was hard... he pretty much forced his way into the party.

The trophy is called "The Fang of the Venmous Snake," and Thiago seems to be have a bit of a poison theme, with his goth-like appearance, and he actually comes already knowing some poison-inducing weapon arts.

Personally I think he looks pretty cool, and I've really enjoyed having him in the party.

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On the other side of Parm, we get to Cerenaif Province. Liz just kind of smiles and says we've arrived in Cerenaif, like she does whenever we get to a new place.

Leo replies that it seems like a pretty unsafe province. I mean, there's someone getting attacked right in front of us.

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And indeed, there seems to be someone being chased by some kind of demon or something right there in front of us. But I'm looking for blacksmiths and not really wanting to get tied up in quests and stuff right now. I know it's weird to just... leave stuff like this, but the whole game is like this and I just really want to find a shop...

The entire north side of this area is water, and there are a couple little port towns there. After checking out what towns are available here, I realize I still need to move on, so I head to the northeastern port town of Zegna. We get a Dwarven Ring as a welcoming gift, and that unlocks another trophy. It's called "Even if you gather that much armor..." and I didn't go look at it yet (since you have to exit the game to open the trophy app thing) but I think it's something like collect 50 or 100 pieces of defensive equipment.

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Our reward for cruelly leaving that person behind to get attacked, besides the new equipment and achievement, is that we get to take a boat! The next province is across the sea, so we get to sail there. Neat!

Also, while travelling, we passed by this place called "Hazard Reef" and saw an identical ship crash into it and sink. Kind of scary. I was worried that we were going to crash into it, too, and I don't want to be stuck in another place with no blacksmiths...

But we sailed right past it and ended up in a town called New Wise.

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Here, the captain of the boat we were on (or at least, I assume that's who she is) told us that this is as far as her boats go, since beyond this point there are navy ships and stuff that make the waters too dangerous.

Liz and Leo talk about how the only way to get beyond the northeastern border is to continue along this path by boat, so we have to look for a boat willing to take us north.

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Just then, our good buddy Phoenix appears. It lands on a lighthouse across the strait, and then flies away. So, that probably means there are going to be monsters pouring out of this lighthouse or something...

Liz says that Phoenix seems to like tall places lol.

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And that begins our adventures in the Ilfee Sea area! I thought I was just here to look for blacksmiths, but it seems I got myself into something quite a bit more. The little stretch of land we start on doesn't have too much to see. There's the town of New Wise that we arrived in, and south of that is a little mine.

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North of New Wise is Old Wise, which seems to be abandoned now and overrun by monsters. Further north is another lighthouse called Sugar Castle, and that's as far as we can travel by land. There seems to be some sort of whirlpool just off the northern coast with a ship stuck in it, and there are all kinds of things in and across the water that we can see. But we can only travel to these few places now, so it looks like we're going to have to secure some kind of sea travel if we want to move any further.

Old Wise has only an Easy battle in it, so I decide to try it out at least, just to try out our new characters and try a new formation, and let everyone else get some rest.

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The formation that Thiago introduced us to is called "Brave Rise." Unlike the other formations, it doesn't give any kind of stat boosts or BP discounts to the members in certain positions, and the BP doesn't increase by one every turn.

Rather, this formation starts with 5 BP instead of 3 or 4 like our other formations, and every time either of the front two members deal the finishing blow to an enemy, the BP rises by 2. If you can quickly defeat enemies, you could get a lot of BP and quickly overpower the enemies.

We can't defeat enemies quickly, especially not making sure certain characters get the final blow, so this isn't very helpful, but fun to play around with in easier battles.

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The formation that Urpina introduced to us is called Royal Hearts. It simply raises the attack power of the two front members, and allows them to protect the two rear members. This is pretty useful as long as you're willing to sacrifice the speed of Double Combine in place of extra strength. Of course, it's good if you have someone who can cast Hard Fire to boost the speed of allies, too. But if you bog down your characters with equipment that drop their speed to like, 1, even Hard Fire is not going to help.

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In Old Wise, nothing really happened. Thiago did do this maniacal laughter pose when leveling up, though.

Feeling a bit defeated, I decide to just head back into New Wise to see if I can get a ship home at least, or if we're stuck here now on this tiny strip of land.

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But we ran into this hottie...! His name is given as Lewis.

Leo approaches him and tells him we're looking for a ship headed to the northeast. Apparently, though, there's some kind of plague in Edinport right now, so the routes there are closed, and he doesn't know when they'll be open.

Liz is worried about what we should do after coming all this way. Finding a land detour is going to be hell. Leo says that if there's no boat, that's really the only option.

We're given the option to go back immediately, or to wait around a while. I was originally planning on going back, but we found a hot dad here, so I decided to wait. I was really hoping we'd get to see more of him.

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And we did! Stepping outside the city, we run into Lewis again, and he asks if we decided to try waiting around for a boat. Leo says that finding a land route would have been too much backtracking. He says if we're hanging around, how about helping him out with a bit of work. Or like, two bits of work.

He then formally introduces himself as Lewis Darling (cuuuute hahaha), the lighthouse maintainer of Ilfee Sea. He needs to repair the lighthouse, but there are some materials that he needs. We can get some spirit coal from the mine to the south, and some crystals from the northern Wise.

We're given the option to say something like "What? An errand?" or "Let's do it."

Of course, I'm always pleased to service a bearded Daddy, so we choose the second one.

We head to the southern mine first to find some spirit coal. Lewis tells us that we need to look for some that has a lot of spirit energy, but there are some full of evil energy, too, so we have to be careful.

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After a battle, we end up finding three things: divine coal, spirit coal, and devil coal. Lewis says that we've found enough, and comments that the quality is kinda whatever. Liz says that all these coals look the same and wonders if there's really any difference. Lewis says of course there's a huge differences in them. Then we're off to the ruins of Wise.

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When we get to Old Wise, Lewis tells us that we can find huge crystals of great quality here, though he's not really sure why. And then we set off to look for them. We get into another battle, and Thiago glimmered a really awesome spear counter art.

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We find a nice crystal, and Lewis says we're going to head back to New Wise and depart for Battlwick. Yeah, that's really the name. And I'm just kind of helplessly following Lewis around at this point and it's great because he is beautiful and keeps talking to us as we do stuff.

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When we arrive at the even tinier strip of land where Battlwick is, there's a huge commotion because there's a giant bird's nest on top of the lighthouse. This is the lighthouse that we saw Phoenix land on earlier, so maybe it put the nest there.

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Lewis says we have to go see what the trouble is at the lighthouse, so we follow behind him. When we arrive, some of the navy personnel are already there, fighting with monsters in the lighthouse. They pretty much try to shoo us away, but Lewis steps up and introduces himself (again with his full name "Lewis Darling" lol) and says he's here to repair the lighthouse and demands to be let through.

The navy guy seems to recognize him, but then tells his that since the nest is there and monsters are infesting, that this is no longer a lighthouse, and Lewis can't just run in and out as he pleases. Leo interrupts and basically tells the guy to shut up and that we're going in.

This only makes him angry and more adamant to keep us out, though, of course.

Stepping away for a bit, we talk it over with Lewis. Leo warns him that wherever Phoenix lands, some nasty monsters seem to appear, so we need to be careful about what we do next. Lewis says the only way to repair the lighthouse is by going to the top of it, so we're going.

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Despite the fact that the battle preview said there was only one Normal battle here, it seems we're now getting into three battles in a row. I guess because the navy is also getting in our way.

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The final battle is against this Dark Ifrit and a gaggle of undeads. Joy!

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It was a tough fight, but nothing particularly noteworthy happened throughout. The end came down to just Liz staring down the big guy. She shot an arrow at it and won.

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Afterward, we help Lewis remove the nest from the lighthouse and he asks us to give him some coal with spirit power. We're able to choose from the three coal types we picked up before. I picked divine coal even though one of them was literally called "spirit coal." I don't really know if this choice affected anything.

And then Leo sees another crystal and wonders if it was something that Phoenix left behind.

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As we're leaving the lighthouse, Liz notices something off the coast. It appears to be one of the navy's ships, but Lewis says they're something strange about it. It looks like it's just drifting aimlessly.

It ends up drifting over to Battlwick, so we go to check it out.

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... And it's full of corpses. I feel like every SaGa game has to have some kind of weird death boat in it. But I'm sure everyone is pretty excited because we love corpses and necro stuff. And this is a literal boatload.

Lewis says it seems that the plague he told us about earlier must have gotten to the ship and killed everyone aboard.

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We find a navy officer who still seems to be alive. It's the same guy from before. Leo asks him what happened, and he stammers out a bit of a clue. It seems that some Sugar Castle creeps infected them with the plague or something. Also he used a word that is also slang for sex to refer to "putting it in" (like, giving them the disease) so it sounds like these Sugar Castle people had an... interesting way of spreading the plague.

And honestly if this guy has a plague why are Lewis and Leo like hugging on him...

Well, I guess if it's only transmitted through penetration, then... Well, then that also ruins my plans for what to do with all these corpses.

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Lewis suggests that we set the boat afire and let it burn at sea. Liz seems concerned about it, but Lewis says it's an infected ship, and it's what the navy guys would have wanted. We send the navy guys off to sea with a moment of silence.

Leo asks Lewis if he understood what that guy was talking about with the Sugar Castle or whatever. Lewis says there's another lighthouse called Sugar Castle, but recently some suspicious characters have been hanging around there. And from what that guy was saying, it seems like they might be the ones responsible for the recent plague outbreak.

They must have been using that boat to transmit the plague to Edinport, and the navy had to suffer their fate because of that, too.

Then Lewis tells us that we probably are infected with the plague now, too, so we shouldn't go back to New Wise because we'll spread it there. Liz freaks out because we're all going to die. But Lewis says that if we go to Sugar Castle, we might be able to learn something we can do about it, since the people from Sugar Castle manage to get by without being affected.

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Taking Lewis's boat back across the sea, we start getting attacked as we approach Sugar Castle. Lewis says we have to abandon ship, but Liz says she can't swim.

Somehow we end up on the shore anyway, and it appears that Lewis carried Liz back safely. He says that being lifeguard is also part of his duties as lighthouse maintainer.

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And it seems that these shady people of the lighthouse are those disciples of Savnok. We don't get a chance to ask them about how to avoid dying from the plague, because they immediately summon a monster to fight us.

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And, it's this thing... a recolor of that other enemy that I couldn't defeat, which is the whole reason I'm running around wildly now looking for blacksmiths and stuff. And it has a Maelstrom attack, too. Though this one's name is Dark Kraken, which is a lot easier to understand than our pal Virgin Oil.

So it seems like I might be stuck here. If I can't defeat this and I can't go back to any city because we're infected with the plague... there's not really anywhere to go at all.

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Fortunately we were able to defeat it, though. It's not nearly as tough as the one that came out of the urn, and its Maelstrom attack doesn't seem to confuse the party, either.

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After defeating the Savnok guys, we seem to be cured, I guess. Lewis says that Savnok is the Dark Lord of Plague, and there seems to still be people following him. Leo says it's because people are afraid of plagues. Liz thinks it's weird that if you're afraid of plague that you would pray to a god of plagues. Leo says it's because they think if they align themselves with the plague that they'll be spared from it, but part of growing up is learning not to believe in stupid stuff like that.

But, um, apparently it was working for them, so...

Back in New Wise, a woman is talking about how the plague has been eradicated and even the people suffering from it were cured miraculously. She says he has to be a blessing from the gods. Liz seems a little annoyed and complains to Leo that no gods did anything; we're the ones that stopped the plague.

Leo says it's fine -- we can go to Edinport now.

Lewis meets back up with us and thanks us for everything that we did for him.

We get to choose what Liz says in response.

We can either thank him or... ask him to come with us!!!

Of course, that's what I pick, and then he says he'll come with us if it's okay with us. Then we can choose how Leo responds, either asking him to come again, or saying this is where we part ways. I don't know why you have to ask twice.

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Lewis is fast and strong and sturdy. Not really good for magic but seems good for pretty much anything else. He only comes with a few weapon levels already, and training one up from level 0 seems a bit difficult, so I'll probably stick to what he already knows for now.

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He also taught us a new formation, "Counter Hazard." This formation reduces the BP cost of reserve arts (interrupt, counter, and protect arts) by two, and has everyone stand in a little triangle so there's one person at point in the front. The two "middle" people don't get the BP reduction, though.

This is great if you have two characters with good protect and interrupt arts, then you can put a character with a good counter art in front. They could counter when there was something to counter, and the others could protect and interrupt when there wasn't an opportunity to counter.

Also, in the menus and stuff, Lewis's name is always written out in full (Lewis Darling). Hehehe.

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And not only did we get a new Daddy, we got a new boat! We have our own boat now I guess (or perhaps it is Lewis's boat) and we can now just walk onto the water and Leo will be replaced by a boat and we can freely travel over the seas.

It doesn't work on other water -- like the water in the north where the polar bears were or whatever, but it makes sense. It's not like we're picking up the boat and carrying it on land, so we can only really go back into the waters where we docked it.

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We're able to take the boat to Ria, which is west of Ilfee. There's a lot of little towns here and stuff, but I don't really want to get mixed up in it. Still just looking for blacksmiths.

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Lewis's pants are... kind of wild.

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Also he glimmered that sword art where they like... lounge on the ground and lazily swipe the sword up. It's super weird.

And yeah, that's where I'll stop the stories for today :)