Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Text Play: Breath of Fire (SNES): Issue #9: Foked In The Boat

It's like I was saying, some things are just harder than they need to be.

So, when I left off last issue, I said we were finally going to get our boat ride to Scande. Unfortunately, as RPGs so often do, this one has made something of a liar out of me. Just when it seems we're finally going to be able to get on the boat and go, the Dark Dragons show up again and make the party go through one more battle for the ship. Beat the enemy leader, and his minion signals some off-screen backup to sink Ross's boat. And we begin to see why I chose to have the title be a play on words centered on one that means “focused” but sounds like a sex act.

I gotta stop talking about the game for a minute here, because there's a joke, perhaps a really good one, that I had wanted to make to go along with that last line. The fact that I can't really reveals my own shortcomings in regards to doing things like this. I'm underequipped for doing my own video work, which leaves me pretty much stuck to doing writing like this. Normally, I wouldn't call that a problem for me, but in cases like this one, I'm essentially limited to making the words on the screen work and hoping I can maybe find some YouTube videos and art postings to make the more esoteric jokes work a little better. I'll get into this topic more later, but I really need to learn how to do video and voice work on the Web if I expect to get anywhere in this modern world. And now back to the game, I guess.

The captain that Ross has hired to run his ship tells you that there's a Dark Dragon ship that you could jack if the North Cave, which would be the one we came through to get to Auria from Tantar-Tuntar a while back, wasn't blocked by a big rock to the west. To deal with that, you'll need either a really strong guy to punch the rock away or explosives of some sort. Since the really strong guy won't be joining the party just yet, the only option is to blow the rock up.

Now, it turns out that one of the fish guys from the shop in Auria can help with that. And he's got a name: Gobi. Keep that in mind, it'll be important later. For now, he wants a gold bar in exchange for the bomb. The good news is that you don't need to get the 65,000 gold to buy another one because there's the one in the cave to Bleak that I talked about earlier. The bad news is that you've gotta go the long way through it and come back out through the front gate to get it.

At least by this point, there are four people in the party, and they're all most of the way to level 20, which means that the monsters in the Bleak cave are within an inch of being one-hit kills, and the ones around Auria are well beyond being a joke. It's the ones in the North Cave that can still really hurt you. And hurt me they did. On the way to blow up the rock, I got into a fight with a team of Shadow monsters, which I tried to take, out of habit, and wound up getting the hero cursed. Being unable to use his dragon morphs while trying to take the Dark Dragon ship made the endeavor harder than it needed to be, but it wasn't impossible. I just wound up getting the hero killed, but fortunately, I did manage to revive him just in time to get the XP at the end of the boss battle.

Of course, Apple's Rules of RPGs have to apply here, too, so instead of having the ship captain come to you once you've captured the ship, you've gotta haul ass back to Auria and tell the sumbich that you've done it. The good news is that at least the game doesn't make you go back to the Dark Dragon base on screen. Once you tell the captain, Ross and his daughter will accompany everybody to the new ship to see them off. Just before the team sets sail, Gobi shows up and asks to come along. I'll tell you right now, this guy may have been one of the character models for Jar-Jar Binks. It'll become clear why I say that next issue.

For now, though, the issue at hand is that a small fleet of Dark Dragon ships has shown up to stop the one the party has stolen to head for Scande. As in all things, there's a hard way to do this and an easy one. The hard way would be for the four party members that we control to Star Wars their way out and potentially have a ship when it's all over. The easy way, and the way the story goes, is to listen to Gobi, who panics and says the only way out is to blow up the ship with all the gunpowder on board.

This leads to everyone being cornered in the powder hold by a stronger version of the monster that was guarding the ship while it was still docked at the base. This one wasn't as much of a problem because by this point, I'd managed to get rid of the curse status and could use the dragon morphs again. Of course, when this one goes down, he ignites the gun powder, leaving the party just enough time to get off the ship before it blows.

The resulting explosion is enough to take out the three enemy ships, and perhaps by no small chance, also causes a wave that washes the heroes, Gobi included, onto a typical tropical island. The chapter ends with Gobi suggesting that he take the party to his home city of Prima, which is on the bottom of the sea. To get there, the party needs a special item called Gills to breath under the water. So Gobi sells it to the party for a million gold. The offer has to be accepted or the plot can't continue.

Because the Gills are in Prima, you're now in control of Gobi alone, because he's the only one who can breath underwater at this point. As much of a pain as it was to have to work with Nina when she was going after the Wizard earlier in the game, she was actually a halfway decent fighter compared to what's to come, and she had guards with her to boot. Gobi, on the other hand, really is a complete pussy by comparison, but we'll suffer through that next issue.

So, for now, this is To Be Continued in Issue Number Ten: Little Yellow Fish. See you then, folks.

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