The Festival of Regina Leone
I don't know why I feel like I need to show this screen every time. We go back to the house and select another Wonder, which takes us to Vaftom, one of the most important places in the unsaga world.
Vaftom is probably the most heavily populated city we'll ever come to, and its founding is related to the festival. Basically, long ago, Iskandar had "conquered" the world. It's... not entirely explained what "conquered" means, but it sounds like he more expanded the frontier in legends, but... considering Lilean and Petran tribes are pretty much shoved to the edges of the world and stay mostly in hiding, Chapas are restricted to their tiny village, and Anubito people seem nearly extinct and bent on revenge, I'm going to assume he's a "hero" akin to "heroes" like Christopher Columbus.
When Iskandar died, Lord Dixon returned his body to the Isle of Elve to bury him, and was proclaimed guardian of all the lands. When Dixon died and was buried next to Iskandar, Dixon's wife Regina Leone went up to the mountain behind the mausoleum and lit a fire. People were so moved by the fire that they turned it into an eternal flame, and it started to draw visitors. They started to have a festival of sorts, that was very chaotic and lasted days (like, uh, a Burning Man kind of thing? Or at least what Burning Man used to be). There were so many regular visitors to the isle and festival that a town started to form on the isle, which eventually became Vaftom. The people were so unruly that an expansion of the Knights of Iskandar were stationed to keep order.
One of the commanders of the knights finally brought order to the festival and named it after Dixon's late wife Regina, and it became a three-day festival that ends with a ceremonial lighting of fires on the mountainside to send off the deceased of the year. The knights are still stationed in Vaftom's temple, and this is where Jeanne Maure is from.
(This is the only story in the game's manual... is the story of the founding of Vaftom and the festival LOL)
I've found that the best way to see the art of the inns is to go to talk to people and hover over the 'exit' option. This is the least obtrusive I could get the menu to be. Here's the Strelitzia Inn in Vaftom. Pretty busy-looking, compared to the other small-town types of places we've seen so far.
In the center of Vaftom is Iskandar Plaza. This is where the now-regulated festival takes place. The first two days are full of street vendors and live entertainment, from bards to fire dancers.
Usually in each character's story, you're required to visit the festival to continue to the game. I was still able to select the Flying Island adventure even without visiting the Plaza, but... I wanted to go because you get a fun cutscene. All seven main characters can visit the festival during their story, and you usually see interactions between them. So all their stories must take place during the same time frame, though none of them could canonically happen with one another because they all contain contradictions to each other.
Anyway, we find Ruby has actually opened a fortunetelling stall at the festival! It seems like her. "Look at all these shmucks, an easy way to make some gold..." I can hear her saying that to Hiro. And Hiro fruitlessly trying to convince her it's a bad idea. Who knows what the heck everyone else was doing at this point, though. But yeah there's no actual explanation you just see her at the booth XD
Armic wanders by her booth and she says she gets a reading from him that today will be his most fortunate day in twelve years or something, but as she's babbling, he just wanders off. Then fireworks go off and music starts, and Ruby is entranced.
Floats, confetti, everything XD The big evening festivities have begun.
Ruby just abandons her stall and runs to the nearest stranger she sees and is like "HEY LET'S DANCE." It happens to be Mythe. You can actually recruit Mythe into your party in Ruby's scenario, so I thought he was an interesting choice. He seems very distracted, though.
They dance a bit, but then Mythe is too caught up in whatever he was thinking about and just wanders off. Ruby's having a tough time making friends tonight hahaha.She's a bit annoyed.
The last part of the cutscene is the same for every character's festival FMV. It's the lighting of the fires on the mountain. People lay flowers at the edges of the streets in memory of the people they have lost.
The decaying mausoleum where Iskandar and Lord Dixon are buried. (BTW, the inside is some super convoluted maze)
I think this is some kind of tent/tarp thing between the mausoleum and the plaza. Honestly I thought it was a book the first time I saw this. I still don't really get what it is lol. The flower depicted on whatever it is, though, is a Strelitzia, which is the flower symbolic of Iskandar (and is the flower used in the game logo, and the flower behind the menu during adventures). Actually, speaking of, all seven main characters have a symbolic flower. Ruby's is a narcissus:When on an adventure map, the 'background' image behind everything is a watercolor painting of a narcissus by Tomomi Kobayashi. She loves flowers so the idea to have every character represented with a flower was probably her idea. On her official site, you can find a ton of flower paintings she has done, along with some character concept art (mostly Saga), and... a bunch of FF7 slash doujin. Not kidding, she's a huge Cloud x Sephi fan. (EDIT: She has since redone her site and made it a bit more like a professional portfolio, so if you're looking for the gay FF art, you're out of luck now. There's still lots of flowers and cute girls/women, though!)
Sorry for the tangent; here's the lighting of the fires! I don't know why they made all the people these weird blue silhouettes, but I actually think it's kinda neat looking, especially when they have the defined characters standing among them.
Ruby enjoys the sight of the fires. Most characters just have a 'staring' moment here. Laura gets a little bit more, which I really like a lot.
The fires are lit in these shapes. The middle is again a strelitzia, the left looks like a phoenix or something, and who knows what the right is. This is probably explained somewhere. There's actually some official source that even gives the names of the two moons. I forget where, though.
If you try to go to the plaza before or after the festival, you just get a close-up of the art.
While the festival isn't particularly significant to most of the stories, I like how it acts as a sort of unifying factor between all of them. I always look forward to seeing the festival scene.
And now that the festival is over, we can continue our travels to the Seven Wonders.