Get that Package Back!
After getting nothing more than a nice view for a bit, we leave Fugar's place and have to start looking for information "the hard way." Which basically just means travelling around and asking random people in inns. But first, we will go shopping. Like always, the process is the same -- zoom out the world map, click on the next town in the list, and visit the inn.
I usually like to start at the top item on the world map list that I have unlocked, which means we go to Wanda first, and...
Immediately run into a cutscene. Oops. I guess we're not shopping or gathering information for now...
Here we see Vearst, whom Ventus thinks is a dangerous-looking guy, with his gigantic build and crooked face. But we all know Vearst. He's really a big cuddly lug who likes to blow bubbles. But Ventus doesn't know that.
We head over to the carrier's guild and ask Jameela's dad (I don't really know if he has his own name lol) if he has any work for us. He says he has a package to deliver to Iskandaria, but there's no way he's letting a runt like Vent take on the job unless he has a bodyguard with him, laughing him off when he realizes it's just Ventus and Tiffon alone.
Which is kinda funny because is super strong even canonically -- she travels the whole world breaking into monster-infested houses and stuff just to swipe up some treasures, delivering them to shady people and stuff... she's probably one of the most well-suited people to this job, honestly. And Ventus is indeed a little twerp but he's one of the legendary Seven Heroes of this world, so I guess he's canonically strong, too.
But yeah, we need a bodyguard. Tiffon suggests we should go ask that big blue brute (alliteration~) outside. Even if we can just get him to walk into the guild house with us is enough -- it's not like the guildmaster is really going to know if we take the "bodyguard" along with us.
So we go out and approach Vearst and... as expected, he stumbles over in fright and scolds Ventus for sneaking up on people. Ventus tells him he shouldn't act like that when he has a body like that or something. And with what has already become the trend, Tiffon has to be the one to talk to people because Ventus is such an inept little bugger. She asks the big guy what he's doing here, and apparently he was with a group of adventurers that was headed to Escata (also a note: he refers to it as "home" and says they originally came from Escata, so I guess he's actually from there -- I wonder if he's Henri's version of Captain Steiner or something...), but he woke up late and they left him behind (lollll). Ventus asks why he doesn't just.... go catch up with them, but Vearsts says it's too scary to go alone.
Well, as you know, Escata is a little past Iskandaria, so this works into Tiffon's plan pretty well. She offers to escort Vearst back home as long as he'll do her a favor -- come stand in the guildhouse and keep his mouth shut.
Jameela Big gives us the package after seeing we have a bodyguard, and we're set. We head out on to the road to Iskandaria, and Vearst is worried that we might not be okay with only three people. Ventus assures him things will be fine, putting him in charge of carrying the package, and offering to let he and Tiffon take care of any monsters they might happen across.
Vearst and Ventus move ahead quickly, but Tiffon seems to be a bit more cautious or lost in thought or something. We just see that she is a bit behind, and takes a moment to pause before following the two.
And now we're on another travelling adventure.
There's not too much to say about these, like always. Since I'm also working on finding all the English names of everything for The Strelitzia Inn, I'm discovering a lot of interesting stuff. Most enemies seem to have a "rare" monster art that they almost never use, so I have to sit and spam something like Earth Veil or something over and over and wait for them to do it; for example, Skeletons actually have this art called "Dead End" which has a wild animation with them slashing a lot, and it even inflicts blackout! It took Ventus down in one shot. So that's pretty scary! But that also explains why they hardly ever do them. What's cool, though, is that I'm getting to see a ton of unique animations and sprites I never saw before thanks to these.
And I'm just saving the state at the beginning of battles where I need to do this and then restoring the state once I figure out the name of the monster art or whatever. I don't want to sit and waste all of my item durability on one battle each adventure just for this...
And a quick overview of our new party members -- if you remember from Mythe's scenario, Tiffon has good Fire Making but bad pretty much everything else Making. And she has a big, fat Phobia panel in the middle of her Growth Panel that can't be removed, making line combos impossible for her, and wasting a valuable skill slot, too.
Vearst, on the other hand, has great Spirit and Magic making alongside great Water Making, too. His Strength and Endurance are terrible, but he makes a really great mage and support character with his high LP and defensive Makings.
Not too far down the road from where we started, a Gatorgrass appears and scares Vearst, causing him to drop the package. A Gianne (the rank 2 Wildling monster with the mask) scoops it up and runs off with it, to Ventus's frustration. But they can't run after the package now, because they're faced with a deadly Vegeplast blocking their paths.
With Ventus's Spear and Tiffon's Knife, the Gatorgrass isn't a terribly difficult battle. We also have a bulky blue bodyguard boy (ALLITERATION~~) to use as a meat shield and keep our people playing with pointy products plenty protected (HEHEHEKEKEKEKKEHKSDGj)
After the battle is over, Ventus scolds Vearst for losing the package, but Tiffon jumps in and scolds Ventus instead, saying the package was his responsibility, not Vearst's, and a true carrier like Briza would never be irresponsible like this.
Ventus is a bit humbled and Vearst just kinda stands there. I guess this is why Tiffon was acting hesitant before -- she probably noticed how dumb Ventus was handing his package over to Vearst. But if she knows how important the carrier business is, why didn't she just scold him then?
Somehow we know that Dagul Bos's lackeys were the one who took the package. No, this is not explained at all, but somehow Tiffon just... knows. So we head to Dagul Bos's Castle. We can't just walk in the front door, of course, so we look for another way in. Heading over to the side of the building, we find what is obviously a small, unguarded door, and Tiffon thinks this is probably the place we can get in. Ventus sarcastically asks her if her "sixth sense" tells her this, but she replies elegantly by asking if it's a compliment. Ventus harrumphs and the trio heads inside.
Inside the castle, a lot of routes are blocked off to us. When we try to go into certain areas on the map, Ventus will just say "this place is crawling with Dagul Bos's men" and we won't be allowed to move there. Even though the whole place is crawling with Dagul's goons. Like forty-seven Aquans on the same space...
I also got a good screencap of a Gianne (hey, I wonder if this is the one that stole the package? haha) using Toxin, so you can see its face when it moves the mask away.
When we get into the dungeon, Ventus gets the idea to release all of the prisoners, so we can use the commotion as a chance to grab the package back. It makes very little sense, so Tiffon retorts that this must be Ventus's sixth sense. He responds that he's very flattered. It's really corny, but I love this little sixth sense joke between Tiffon and Ventus. I also just really love Tiffon so whenever she's mocking Ventus or whatever, it's always a great moment, hahaha.
In the last of the prison cells, Ventus starts to fight with an Anubito inside, thinking he's one of Bos's guards or something. But the guy responds that the Anubito belong to no one. He asks Ventus why he's letting the prisoners escape, and Ventus sounds like he's about to make some kind of racist remark about Anubito, but Musol cuts him off and offers to lend his assistance as thanks for freeing him, changing the topic by asking for Ventus's name.
And so now we have gathered another party member already. Musol showed up in Laura's scenario, but I don't remember if he amounted to much there. He's got huge Strength and Metal Making, but that's about it. But those are both very useful Makings to have, so it's not bad. He also comes equipped with an Axe and an Axe Arts panel, has high starting HP, and a good bit of LP, too. So he's a great addition to the party when you meet him.
Here's a cool sprite of Ventus using Magic Arts, btw! I will never get over how cool the sprite animation is in this game. Everything just looks so great~
After letting the prisoners free, Dagul Bos's "men" that were blocking our path before seem to have scattered, because we can access the rest of the castle now. We head to the upper level bridge and find not only the package, but the Dragonheart Wine, too!
Ventus vows to carry the items himself this time, but shortly after making that promise, a Pinhut and Minoton appear and attack us on the bridge. The battle causes Ventus to drop the items over the balcony, but they seem unharmed... now we have to go find them yet again.
But when we get to the items again, Kalandorn appears and thanks Ventus for making it so easy to get the Dragonheart from Dagul Bos. Ventus realizes he's somehow been used in Kalandorn's nasty plot. Kalandorn allows him to take one of the items with him, and Ventus chooses the package, refusing to give it up for his own personal motives. But he swears that the next time they meet, Kalandorn will "go down."
Also, I can't remember if I ever mentioned that the vampire dude is named Kalandorn. The game never officially introduces him as such, they just suddenly start referring to him as Kalandorn.
With all of that out of the way, though, we're in Iskandaria, and can deliver the package and get our payment. And now we still have no real leads on where Dragonheart is at this point and what Kalandorn wants it for or why he killed Briza. So now the world is open to our free exploration and information gathering, but we'll get into that more next time...