Legend of Mana (FIN)
Welp in a strange turn of events I did not expect at all, I somehow triggered the end-game quest at the "home" to begin while bouncing around looking for my cactus some more. I need to thank everyone for their discussion on the matter as I likely would not have picked it up for a few more days otherwise, but the journal here left me with nuttin' but MANA ON THE MIND.
This made no sense to me. I did NOT go anywhere new, complete anything new, get any new AF's out on my map nor do anything else that seemed relevant. I visited some local's and came back home to forge me some new equipment and the "Cage of Dreams" just started out of nowhere.
And thus my first run of LoM officially comes to a close with Bud still sick on my floor and my Cactus still missing! And ya know what? Knowing damn well I missed as much as I did, I will still contend the ending was every bit as satisfying as I'd hoped.
My time with Mana here, in summary, FAR exceeded my expectations. That isn't to say it is "the best game I ever played" (it wears all it's flaws on it's sleeve) but I'd be lying if I didn't state "I sure wish LoM-Styled became a sub-genre of light RPG's altogether". I'm more then content in the peculiar way I feel this is more a "to be continued" than a "fin" for me. Having good reason to re-experience this title a time or two is nothing short of comforting and that is not something I typically feel after the credits roll, ever.
@ Mesh and Aeolus -- Since I finished I figured I would check out the cactus hints for the hell of it. FOR F**KS SAKE, HOW DID I MISS THAT!!!???
You were so close too. She even has an entry in your NPC Journal (in a rare instance where one of those Journals was actually useful for something; they're otherwise full of either redundant or misleading information).
Also, yeah. Cage of Dreams kinda comes out of nowhere. At least the game is kind enough to stick the trigger to that particular quest in a place that the player will inevitably end up in (provided they don't just straight up shut the game off after completing one of the arc finales).
Its too bad that you're stopping here since as was mentioned before, the other two major quest arcs are definitely better in the writing/presentation department versus the Dragoon arc with its far more straight forward setup (both in accessibility and writing).
And speaking of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, FE:Conquest. Welp! That's what I get for rushing in a turn too soon. And by that, I mean a dead Silas from having his Speed debuffed by one point too many and eating a double attack from Hinokopter's remaining copilot. Fucking Seal Speed. On the plus side, it gave me a reason to peek ahead and see just how badly my stat screwed Corrin really was. Yikes. Its suddenly a good thing that I suddenly have a whole new chapter to go and get him some extra levels on.
Also plowed through another dungeon in Xenosaga III. For a game that's supposedly on overtime, that dungeon sure was a complete waste of time.