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Storyline text and attempted translations from...


  Western Gaia Lowlands  

West of the town, a more intense tune plays (track 9 遠雷 / "Distant Thunder").

Having an ally changes combat significantly. Watch your partner's back, and try to stagger attacks to keep enemies stunned as long as possible. Pay attention to how any computer-controlled characters behave, too, as they'll react to nearby enemies that you may not have noticed. They'll also get stuck on awkwardly shaped terrain sometimes, and you'll have to free them before going on, so there are downsides, too.

Incidentally, The Boy should open any treasure chests that monsters drop. His higher Agility gives him a better chance of avoiding traps, and his higher HP makes him better able to handle any that go off anyway.

This region also has the first common enemies with noticeable invulnerability frames. The Bee Bees (Buzz Bees) cannot be hit while taking off, so after knocking one down, either get your hits in while it remains on the ground or wait until it gets fully airborne before attacking again.

Anyway, there's another town not far to the west.

キッポ村 Kippo Village KIPPO VILLAGE

"Color of the Summer Sky" plays here, so apparently they aren't having the same problems as in Pandora proper.

となりの 王国は たいへんだって
いうねえ。この村は いたって
I hear the neighboring kingdom
is in dire straits. Things are a lot
more tranquil in our village.
I heard about the kingdom.
It's too laid back here!
むすこのディラックは いそがしい
とかで ちっともかえってこない。
My son Dirac says he's busy or
something and never comes home.
It's not even that far away......
My son Dyluck's too busy
to visit me!

So this must be where Dirac is from. He's not the only interesting character from here, though.

大砲屋「ワシの いえだじょー。
Cannoneer: This's my home.
 I've even got a wife upstairs!
 Ghyo hyo!
CANNON MAN:Dis's my home.
 Da misses is upstairs.

She's almost disappointingly ordinary.

ウチのだんなは きょうだいが
おおくて あたしでも時々
誰が誰だか わかんなくなるよ!
My husband has so many brothers,
sometimes even I can't tell who
is who!
My husband's brothers all
look alike!

The town also has the usual inn, and an item shop with some new (and relatively expensive) equipment, but nothing else of any importance.

Upgrade if you have the money. In particular, the Cheongsam has high enough defense, for this point in the game, that it should make The Girl more or less invulnerable to the monsters in the area, provided that she has a full set of equipment.

  Western Gaia Lowlands  

Continuing north, the adventurers pass by a large depression with a pair of caves at the very bottom, presumably Gaia's Navel. However, The Girl wants to go save Dirac first, and it seems like a bad idea to upset her, so we'll keep going north instead. Near another cannon outpost wanders a man who apparently has nothing better to do than roam the wilds being pessimistic.

And, like all NPCs in a combat area, he can make a nuisance of himself, since the button for attacking doubles as the button for talking to NPCs.

 あそこのどうくつには まものが
: You're coming from Gaia's Navel?
 The cave over there is full of
There are many monsters
in Gaia's Navel.
: I saw a child get washed inside
 in a flood earlier. By now, he's
 probably...... the poor thing......
I saw the floodwaters
sweep some kid into it!!

Shortly past him, an odd rock formation acts as a teleporter into...

妖魔の森 Imp Forest HAUNTED FOREST

妖魔 (youma) is one of those words without a good equivalent, but it's in the same general category as "monster" and "ghost".

"The Boy Heads for the Wilds" plays again in this misty forest that looks much like the one that the teleporter near the Water Temple leads to. Looks like we're on the right track.

Porons (Chobin Hoods) overrun the forest entryway, and they combine the range of bows with relatively high attack power. Try to close in and take them out as quickly as possible. Floral barriers make the Sword the weapon of choice here until weapons with more range become available.

I'll note here that most monsters (as well as player characters) have two different hit recovery frames, one of them used for minor damage, the other for major damage (probably determined based on fraction of maximum health). Porons ignore weapon damage when in their minor hit recovery pose (standing with a shocked look), but not when in their major hit recovery pose (splayed out on the ground). Save your attacks until the invulnerability wears off. On a related note, if more than one attacker hits at more or less the same time, the game sometimes combines the damage and applies it all at once, which can mean the difference between a major stun and a minor one.

Nikita may appear in the area, selling the same supplies as at Nikita's at the same markup as usual, and can also save the game.

Combat areas have a limit of three total monsters and NPCs on the screen at once. If Nikita doesn't appear, kill more Porons, then check the area again.

The next screen has some sort of impassable skull totem barrier.

『オノのような じょうぶな
 武器でもないと とても
『I'll never be able to cut this without
 a sturdy weapon like an axe!
[BOY]:We won't be able to
 cut this without an axe!
 ドワーフのかじやが あるって
[GIRL]『...I've heard about a dwarf
 blacksmith in Gaia's Navel.
[GIRL]:I've heard there's a
 Dwarf blacksmith in
 Gaia's Navel.
『Maybe he'll have a good weapon......
 There's no helping it. I'll agree to go
 to Gaia's Navel!
 There may be some good
 weapons there. We'd better
 go to Gaia's Navel first.

That settles that. Sometimes the easiest way to win an argument is to never have it. To the cave!

ガイアのヘソ Gaia's Navel GAIA'S NAVEL

The eastern cave mouth just leads to Nikita and a dead end, so the party enters the western one. Like in the forest, "The Boy Heads for the Wilds" plays here.

Though mostly harmless, Batlers (Blats) can cast Balloon to immobilize a player. Try not to give them the chance. Goblins (Kid Goblins) don't pose much threat either, especially since they all doze off at first (this isn't actually Asleep status, for what it's worth), though they ignore weapon attacks while in their minor hit recovery, like Porons. They may also drop Headgear for The Boy.

The real trouble here comes from Green Slimes (Green Drops). Their attacks can leave you Poisoned, they have actual evasion and defense unlike any previous monsters, and they like to split off new Green Slimes. Also unlike previous monsters, they become immune to weapon damage when in their major hit recovery, but stay vulnerable during minor hit recovery. Regardless, take advantage of the three-monster limit (treasure chests also count toward this limit), and try not to get cornered.

A lava pool soon blocks progress, but like most early puzzles, the solution is simple. Striking a switch in a side room lowers a column of rock to release a pool of water onto the lava, cooling it enough to walk on. Another larger side room off the next chamber contains a treasure chest poorly guarded by Goblins.

『魔法のロープ』が 入っていた!
Inside the treasure chest
was the Magic Rope!
  Found the Magic Rope!

The first of several rare reusable items, the Magic Rope transports the party back to the entrance of the current dungeon area.

Continuing on, the party eventually comes to an empty room with a stairway to an empty ledge and another stairway that only goes halfway to the ledge where an exit leads north. Unsurprisingly, the next room has another switch. It drops a large rock into place to connect the two ledges...

Previous Part: Something to Stew On

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