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Old Dalan looks cool. He is easily distinguishable, as, unlike most citizens of the city, he has distinctly Indian features and a non-Western accent. Also, I think he’s the only man in the entire city with a pink cat. He knows Vaan, and is willing to help him get into the fete to go steal from the treasury. Unfortunately for Vaan, a fetch quest is in order. Go get a sunstone. The sunstone will show the way into the treasury. And you need the Crescent Stone, too. I’m not really sure why, seeing as how Kyte, Vaan’s friend, figures out how to open the passageway to the sewers that lead to the palace with the treasury; but, yes, the Crescent Stone is somehow important. Mind you, I don’t know how; it could have just been a rock that Dalan picked up one day.
By the way, Zodiac Spear: as some of you know, you need to not open certain treasure chests if you want to get it. Now, the important thing to know is that you cannot know what treasure chests you cannot open without a guide. The first one of these chests is outside Old Dalan’s house. There are about half a dozen chests scattered around Lowtown, and this might be the first you see; there is nothing special about its appearance or what’s inside of it. You just can NOT open it or you lose the opportunity to get the Zodiac Spear.
But an even better example of how screwed up this is? A bit later on, there is a room full of treasure chests. In one corner, there are two right next to each other. One of the two is safe to open. But if you open the other one, you are just screwed. You have no good reason to believe you should not open that other chest. You might think, far after the fact, that any number of these chests seem special; however, you would also reasonably think that about a number of other chests in the game. There is just no way of knowing. It is ridiculous.
By the way, strangest thing: the first time I opened the chest in the palace by accident. I reloaded the game and the chest was gone! I reloaded again and it was there once more.
Back to the Lowtown part of the game…
The people in Lowtown actually represent the majority of the city’s original population. They were forced down here when Archadia invaded two years ago. If they have money, they can afford to move back into the upper part of the city. You’d think they’d be bitter, but many of them have given up. The younger children don’t all recall actually living on the surface, and at least one of them is confused as to why the adults consider the Archadians to be enemies.
There is a cool courtyard down here; an open plaza with ivy growing on it and some cool lighting. It is surprisingly pretty in contrast with the rest of Lowtown, which still somewhat resembles the storage warehouse it once was.
The Demented Merchants are hilarious. One of them advertises his hand-crafted swords and offers to let you see them. He just won’t sell them to you. Another begins talking about his wares, but turns you away because he doesn’t sell to children [emphasis his]. You’d think he was selling liquor the way he’s talking.
I had to go to the Giza Plains (possibly a take on the Gaza Strip) to find a sunstone that the nomads there could give me. Along the way, I had to battle some hyenas. In one of the battles, these seemingly-innocent white rabbits interfered by casting CURE on one of the Hyenas.
By the way, the cactoid dance is funny. Wibble-wobble. They’re like those things from Animal Crossing. Remember Animal Crossing? Whatever happened to that series?
Fighting the Flowering Cactoid was an exercise in patience. It has a very high chance of parrying attacks, and even with Panela in my party, it took a long time to take down. This was exacerbated by the fact that, twice, it ran off to find a mob of enemies to help it, and if I didn’t catch up quickly enough, it began healing itself!
I wonder if there will be some romance between Vaan and Panela.
Oh, almost forgot to mention: in the Giza Plains, I encountered the werewolves. I really ought to listen when people warn me not to fight something. I tried attacking the werewolves; these are gigantic creatures, humanoid wolves with cleavers. And I was just plain curious. Yes, I died. Very quickly. Very painfully.
Anyway, I got the sunstone from a kid who had been sent to make them. Basically, you take a shadestone, then find the Dark Crystals, which absorb sunlight, and use the Dark Crystals to fill the shadestone with their light; tada, sunstone. As for the kid himself, he was laid up for a bit – seems he tried to tease the werewolves and nearly got himself killed.
Balthier is my favorite character. British, “Spike”-like, voice, cool outfit, lots of memorable quotes, and he uses a gun. Mm, also, he’s a sky pirate and would fit in well with Vyse and the gang. Plus he’s good-looking, but that’s just a bonus.
Okay, something I have to say about Vaan’s voice: he has the most hilarious laugh. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it sounds really fake and whiny. I’ve heard it twice so far, and all I can think is, “this is not an adventurer.”
Playing this game gives me the urge to play an MMORPG I have never played. It’s like I’m playing this game and I keep thinking, “Man, I really feel like playing FFXI.” But I have never played it – at all. I just feel like I know exactly what it would feel like; a group version of this one.
I like their explanation for guest characters. “Think of Amalia as a ‘guest’.” Heh, classy. Speaking of which, Amalia is kewl.
All flans shall now be known as “jelly tits”. Juvenile, yes, but also an accurate description. Look at them. It seriously looks like they have more breasts than a fertility goddess. That said, they’re hideous beyond compare.
When I fought the Firemane, a gigantic flaming horse… of fire…, I used the Water Mote I had been saving up on it. The results were splendid. I did over 300 points of damage. Overall, the boss was cool looking, since he occasionally burst into magnificent flames and unleashed his ultimate attack, but he wasn’t terribly difficult.
A line I like, from when the party gets captured shortly after taking down the Firemane:
Amalia: They think me a common thief.
Balthier: Better than a common assassin.
Seems Balthier has some lizard-men on his tail. What is the name of that race?
Oh, by the way, it seems that at least part of the dungeon in which they look up the party does not have a roof. Seems like a glaring oversight, though I suppose it doesn’t matter if the walls cannot be scaled.
After being stuck in this dungeon for a while, I go exploring and find myself getting into a fist fight against a bunch of these large, round-bellied creatures with sharp teeth and big muscles. I keep forgetting exactly what they’re called. Anyway, the fist fight was kind of cool. We are in a little arena and Balthier jumps in to join the fight and save Vaan from getting his ass kicked.
Also, judges are back! And much cooler than they were in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. They’re now fanatical law-enforcers; of course, they didn’t much change the design; they have these cool capes and awesome helmets. I would be intimidated if I had to confront one of these people.
Ba’Gahman, I guess, is the name of Baltheir’s enemy.
By the way, Fran’s voice… sounds suspiciously like the voice of whomever did that of the unicorn from “The Last Unicorn”. Good movie, by the way. You should see it, or better yet, read the book. Great fantasy read.
Also, Basch lives! So, it turns out that maybe he didn’t betray his kingdom. It might have been his twin brother. I don’t get how that works out…
I fought the Mimic Queen. Incredibly easy battle. It was like she was one of those queens from the Alien movie, dropping pods that ran around and… the comparison stops at the point where the mimics eat electricity (What’s with mimics and electricity in this game? Just bizarre). Anyway, easy boss fight. Not very scary. Though the Mimic Queen is kind of cool looking, what with her rainbow design.
Also, on my way back to Dalmasca, I saw a wandering lizard-man with a spear. I wonder what that is all about.
Oh, and when we get back to Dalmasca, there is this point when Vaan talks to himself. It is kind of weird because he is talking aloud. Is there any real reason for that?
One last thing: the moogling. Awesome term.