^ *click the pic!!* ^ Track: DaguerreoPart IX: No take mirror!!!
Brief Synopsis: We learn that a 'clue' for Kuja's mysterious homeworld "Terra" lies in Ispen's Castle! We get there, Amarant splits saying teamwork is stupid, he eats his words after "winning like a loser", and we join up after finding four artifact mirrors that tell us how to get to Terra. RELEASE THE ELEMENTAL SEALS!!
Sorry, not much plot here, but I think the Terra event deserves its own Chapter and there's a lot of little crap to talk about meanwhile the way. And we're coming to the end of the game, so why not cover a few other misc details??
= "Alright let's go find the Chocobo Air Garden...Damn it's gonna take forever
to find a moving shadow on the world ma---- oh shit there it is." *dead pepper*
= This sequence of events is the best. Never has treasure hunting been so intuitive.
to the full ordeal)
= Ipsen's Castle is one of those places that looks long and confusing but I manage to find the boss within about 10 minutes. Go up-up-up. And...Tada~
. Also, I'm sure it doesn't need to be said, but an upside down castle (where the 'weakest weapons' are the 'strongest') is just too fucking cool. I MEAN C'MON LOOK AT IT.
= Furthermore... HMMmmm
. I wonder why all of Gaea has wooden chests, but Ipsen's Castle curiously has these fancy 'blue
' ones. The FF9 world is somewhat curious in that way, I'd reckon more than half of the stuff outside of the Mist Continent only exists due to the connection with Terra.
= Seriously, how cool is this battle ground? It's a side room to a 'grand hall'. The screenshot here and for the next battle screenshot really don't do it justice, but a lot of FF9 battle grounds are beautifully intricate like this. ...and it gives ya something to look at while the battle 'loads up'. : / (it may not sound it, but I actually get lost in the visual detail -- they're quite lovely)
(I also tend to watch Netflix in the background during the game's many "wait times")
= Again Zidane proves to be a tip-top character that avoids common JRPG hero tropes. When Amarant decides to 'do things his way' (leaving the party in favour of working alone to find the treasure in Ipsen's Castle), Zidane doesn't give him any sort of "B-b-b-but--!!
" or "we're a TEAM
" shenanigans. He lets him do thing his way and doesn't put up a fight --- Amarant's an adult, Zidane knows that, and he lets him do what he wants. When Amarant 'falls behind' Zidane comes to get him, not to gloat, not to rescue him, but just to check up on him (indeed, "You don't need a reason to help people" rings true to his character). I also like how the situation resolves, there's no grand apology and no big friendship/teamwork speech --- it just is was it is.
= Can't say I'm crazy for the Airship Theme
in this game. I think it's that really rough-sounding synthesized electric guitar at the beginning that sorta kills it. xS
A little off-topic, but holy crap I forgot how awesome the Tales of Vesperia worldmap and its (literal) airship looked
= Whale.... Zombie. WHALE-ZOMBIE. WHALE-FUCKING-ZOMBIE.
I mentioned above that I tend to watch stuff while I play games, this is one of those times where the battle was getting started, I turn my attention to the TV, look back and this fucking thing appears giving me a good jump. Of all the weird fiends in this game, this is surprisingly ... random and pretty freaky looking (daresay not very "fantasy-esque"). Definitely cool and creepy.
= Quan's Dwelling I always felt is a weird place, it's completely optional, looks awful, but you get a ton of Vivi backstory, some Quina and Qu-race details, and you get a number of items from here. I think it does help answer two things: Why Vivi is sort of 'different' from other black mages (apparently surging 'imagination' within Quan perhaps working reciprocally with the peculiar upbringing of Vivi himself)
And perhaps literally seeing the world through Quina's eyes:
I'm not really sure I made much sense of the "using your imagination bit" which is why Vivi can see Quan's spirit or why Quina sees a giant smorgasbord of food piled up, but it's a charming sidequest that I *totally* had no idea existed
my first two runs of the game. ô_ô (what can I say? I never really paired a party with Vivi and Quina together nor did I think to bring them to Quan's place).
= Hey I think Daguerreo is as great as the next person does, but BOOKS AND WATER SHOULD DO NOT GO TOGETHER DAMMIT. >:(
It makes me all nervous :(
Nevertheless, I am a huge fan of plot-unrelated villages. They tend to be the coolest places. As seen in the header image, Daguerro itself beautifully meshes a very tranquil water environment with an old and ancient library; the warmth from the lights collides beautifully with the dark blues of the water.
= I FORGOT to mention this time and time again! But the game's dialogue is DEFINITELY made even more effective by it's "timing". I've posted a few gif'd scenes where this happens and they make it work to a comedic/dramatic element all the time. At times the dialogue boxes take pauses between words to visually[?!] represent how speech is said. Another effective instant of this is when dialogue gets, literally, interrupted by someone else's dialogue [box].
This can make a voiceless game feel surprisingly 'natural' and it definitely make it more interesting than having the whole text box come up right away.
= There is nothing more pleasant than hearing the battle SFX swoop, followed by the cutesy harps and orgels that sound off when a Friendly Monster battle happens
, I always loved how it completely 180's my battle expectations and makes me smile a little. I'm not sure if I like whether or not the trivia itself is SO DAMN SPECIFIC
, you literally need to read and remember every detail written on random statues and books you pass by.
A small shame the FF10 battle theme wasn't proactively called "GUTS", like the Ragtime Mouse's trivia card implies :P
Oh and here's some fun trivia about the peculiar amount of EXP the battle rewards you:
The money and the EXP received from the Ragtime Mouse is a Japanese language pun. Gokurosan is "good job"; the number five in Japanese is Go; the number nine is Ku; the number six is Ro; and three is San. Writing 5963 can thus phonetically be pronounced "good job". The Ragtime Mouse gives 23852 EXP, which divided among four party members is 5963 EXP each. It also gives 59630 Gil.
= THE MIRRORS TO TERRA.
I love this segment and I've wanted to talk about it ever since I started this playthrough. Particularly I love how the characters get divided up into parties of two in order to fight the elemental guardians.Garnet and Eiko:
The girls! The 'sisters'! They got things to chit-chat about! It's funny that in some ways Eiko is much bolder character than Garnet. I imagine an 'older Eiko' would be a unique character to see.Freya and Amarant:
They're quiet, but efficient workers; and well Amarant would prefer Freya to working with any kid. I do like that Amarant's a "changed man" now, Zidane finally rubbed off on him and he wants to fight to help people. Aw. <3 :PSteiner and Vivi:
Steiner respects the black mage! Plus if you're going to a place called "The Wind Shrine", it'll be good to have tag along with a man in heavy armour to keep you grounded ...literally.Zidane and ...Quina??
Quina: "Ah, Zidane. You want go with me!"
Zidane: "Well... I sort of got stuck with the leftovers..."
Quina: "You no have to explain! I so happy."
Quina: "There old saying in my tribe... 'Leftovers good!'"
Someone said it better than me, but Quina is an underrated character because "...[while] she may appear to be only about that grub, she has her layers too. Quina is representative of the joy in life. She is way more free-spirited than Zidane and decides to dedicate most of her time on enjoying the little things in life. That's what we learn from her. In spite of the chaos and grief that is present throughout the game, she keeps a relatively positive head most of the time. The time she diverts from her happy nature is when those aim to take it away from her.
The whole sequence is quite thrilling anyways, I love how it chops itself up between the teams to check on how they're all working together.
I'm a LITTLE disappointed that only ONE boss is playable, as it would have been a fun challenge. I mean, the "bosses" you don't fight look pretty legit
(a special shout out goes to the Fire-Naga Amarant and Freya see; her "hair" is made of a snake's body and she can lift herself up with it; see it here
). *Thanks Mongoosey!
^ *click the pic!!* ^ Track: ??????????????
Till next time!