Well, yes, I did make this UltraFunk reference at the end of my Final Fantasy Text Play, but it was either this one or a Coke reference, and this seemed the better choice.
But anyway, picking up from last time, we were going to the Inn to rest up and saw a dude dressed up as what Internet geeks, nerds, and dweebs like me would call a ninja. The dude's actual name is Shadow, and he's technically an assassin, but we'll get to him in a bit.
Before we get there, though, an important thing to note about South Figaro is that this is the first place in the game where we can get special pieces of equipment called Relics. Generally speaking, these things can be equipped by anyone who joins the party, though there are a few that only specific party members can use. I'll try to mention important and/or unique ones as I find them, but for now, this first one I'm getting is probably the most important one in the game. It's something called Sprint Shoes. If you put it on somebody in the party, you can move around in caves and towns faster. It's not that the walking speed in this game is bad or anything. It's just that this was before many games like this had a toggleable sprint move, and it just makes things a little easier to get around the towns if you can move quicker.
As for where to find Relics, there are special shops in a lot of towns with a hexagon-like symbol on them that sell a variety, though not all can be bought at all stores, and some can't be bought at all.
And with that out of the way, let's get on to looking around South Figaro. This is not only the first Relic shop in the game, and our first meeting with Shadow the Ninja, but also our first encounter with a Rent-A-Chocobo barn. There's hardly any reason to use this or any of them, but they're the barns with the Chocobo icon on them, the bird.
There are some major plot points that happen here, but all the ones I was thinking of happen later. There's a scene where we have to take an old man a drink to get him to tell us something. I had thought it was here, but to get the guy his cider, we have to hork a merchant's costume, and we don't get to do that until Locke comes back here on his own later.
So what we have to do here is get new equipment, stock up on supplies if we need, and then head north, first to an empty house in some foothills where Edgar looks around saying things like “Oh, look, these are his favorite dishes.” and “This is his favorite tea.” It seems that Edgar knows who lives there. As we leave, Edgar says it's his brother Sabin. Back outside, there's a guy outside who says we need to go into the mountains to find the person who actually lives in the house.
The actual path along the mountains we need to follow is east of the house. Edgar's tools come in immensely handy in this part of the game. I don't think I've explained the ones I've got at this point. The first one on the list is one called the Autocrossbow. Basically, it's a crossbow combined with a machine gun, which attacks all the monsters at once. The second is the Noiseblaster, which puts out a sound wave that confuses enemies. The last, for now, is the Bioblaster. This one shoots poison gas at the enemies. So far, this has been the least useful one, because a lot of the things we're fighting here are either resistant to poison, or are actually healed by it. The other two are pretty good, because the crossbow attack is pretty strong, and confused enemies beat on each other instead of the player party.
Some of the monsters have good things to steal as well. There are these guys called Brawlers that have bandannas that can be stolen and used for armor on Locke and Terra. I had hoped to get three, because we get Sabin at the end of this, and I think he can use it, too, but I only got enough for Lock and Terra, so that'll be good enough, I guess.
On the far side of this mountain, called Mt. Koltz, we meet a guy called Vargas, who was training in martial arts under his father, alongside Sabin. Thinking that his father had chosen Sabin as his successor, Vargas killed his father and went after Sabin, but ran into the party first, so he's going to fight us, too, for some reason. He's got two bears we have to kill off before we can even touch him. Once the bears go down and we've beat on Vargas for a little while, he gets bored with us. Just as he does, Sabin shows up and explains that their master had actually chosen Vargas as the next master. Naturally, Vargas won't have any of it and tries to blow the party, along with Sabin, away. Somehow, Sabin knows how to resist, and it's up to him to finish the fight.
Funny thing, this moment in the game. See, Vargas has this slow death move he uses on Sabin. Sabin, of course, has his own special moves that can be used in battle, too, but it's one of those things that's never really explained how they're used. Apparently, we're just supposed to know how to use it. It does say in the instruction manual, but that assumes players like me would have read it before getting to this point. I can't remember how I figured this out the first time.
So, Sabin's got Tekken moves by way of a Blitz command on his battle menu. There are D-pad-and-button sequences that translate into kung-fu moves. Using the simplest one, a quarter clockwise turn on the D-pad, is enough to beat Vargas, who realizes that his rush for power has cost him everything before he dies.
Afterwards, Sabin discusses things with his brother Edgar and says he's joining the resistance because it's what his master would have wanted. From here, it's off to the Returners' secret base in the mountains, but that's for next time. I'll get started with that in Issue #004: Three Concurrent Paths: the Introduction.
Until next time, stay safe, have fun, keep gaming, and DFTBA.
Oh, and one last thing before I go for the night. There's a Let's Player I've been watching a bit of lately. Guy's name is Sooo Mungry. He does quite a lot of interesting stuff, from the looks of things, but I've been watching his Sly Cooper LPs, because it looks like a fun series. Here's a link to the one for the first game. Enjoy!
Anyway, see you next time, folks!