Anime Was A Mistake: Let's Dunk On Ni no Kuni 2


She looks incredibly bored in this shot. I know it’s just that you caught her mid-blink animation, but it looks like she’s just phoning the whole “protest” thing in and really doesn’t want to be there. “Yeah, give us back our lives, or whatever.”

Sure, why not. Replace Leander with her, since his plot arc seems to be over for now.


Update 35: Facebook Was Never Good

Bracken: “Hey, you said you were here to see President Vector, right?”

Evan: “Yes, that’s right. I am Evan, king of Evermore, a new kingdom in the Heartlands. We have come to ask President Vector to sign a pact with us and join our union of friendly nations.”

Bracken: “Wait, I think I heard about you guys - Goldpaw and Hydropolis already signed up, right?”

It seems like absolutely everyone gets news faster than Evan does.

Bracken: “And now you want us on board too, huh? Well, I guess I don’t need to tell you this, but now’s not exactly a good time…”

Tani: “You can say that again! If he’s setting his kingmaker on his own people, imagine what he’d do to us!”

I dunno, I think having Leander and Tani die off wouldn’t be too bad.

Hipster: “He didn’t used to be like that. Bracken and me - we founded this whole company with him. We know him better than anybody.”

Evan: “You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was all Doloran’s doing.”

[Insert three lines of Evan explaining shit we already know here]

Decadus: “Based on what we have seen and heard, it would seem that the President has been quite seriously infected by Doloran’s evil influence.”

Decadus: “Queen Nerea, being highly skilled in the magical arts, was capable of resisting the darkness enough that restoring her to her senses was a relatively simple task.”

Oh boy we’re in Kingdom Hearts now. I can’t wait for Evan’s nobody, Avxne, to come out of the woodwork and try to murder him. I think we knew all along that Doloran was a Xehanort.

Evan: “You said that you and President Vector used to be close, didn’t you Bracken?”

She said this literally so close that if your monitor resolution is high enough (1440p should do it) you can probably see her saying it from here.

Evan: “Is there a way you could remind him of those times, perhaps?”

This part kind of makes no sense to me. Evan is now suddenly an expert on how to remove Doloran’s purple crap, even though the first person he “saved” was Pugnacius who no one knew was being possessed until after Doloran showed up, and Nerea who largely saved herself.

Roland: “Try to snap him out of it by jogging his memory, you mean? Yeah, that could work.”

Bracken: “Well, this right here might be a good place to begin - it’s where the three of us started out all those years ago.”

Bracken: “We used to do all our work in the room right through there. It’s still just how we left it.”

We’re then tasked with another “find the shiny” mission. You can see it as soon as you’re given control again. It’s under the stool to the left of Boy Sampson.

Evan: “What’s a memolith?”

Bracken: “Well, you take a crystal and run a tiny magical current through it to record visual data. Then you can run a light beam through it, focus it with a prism lens, and watch the data back whenever you’d like.”

Bracken: “By which I mean it’s… it’s a device you can use to record memories. Let’s play it back and see what we have here…”

Bracken: “That was… wow… that was from way back when we first started out.”

Tani: “Perfect! Then we can use it to jog the president’s memory, right?”

Roland: “I’d say so. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all. Sure would be good to have a couple more just to be sure, though…”

Evan: “Are there any other memoliths from back then, Bracken?”

Bracken: “Hmm… Zip was kinda hot on destroying sensitive data. If it wasn’t essential to the running of the company, it all got wiped.”

I’d like to take a moment and point out how little sense this makes. Zark decides to preserve the office they worked in as a reminder to himself… but then goes and destroys all of the recordings he made in a world where he is the only person who even has a computer. It’s kind of nonsensical.

Bracken: “I took a look in the database just now, and it seems like four memoliths are unaccounted for. Which means there may be another three out there somewhere.”

We need to head for the factory, which is absolutely the worst and most annoying dungeon in the game.

Welcome to the Factory Floors, the only place more visually annoying than The Abyss.

Bracken has a way of tracking the memoliths, but…

Before we do anything, I’m going to post the map of the factory floor and explain why this place sucks ass.

You’ll notice the giant blue thing in the middle. This first floor only has one of these, which makes it by far the easiest one to traverse. We can rotate the blue thing to control which path we go on, only it resets every time we leave the factory. Why is this a big deal, you ask? Because there are at least five sidequests that require us to go back through here.

We also run into some new enemies. BL-Ast Bots are effectively clones of Roland, using only a rifle to perform ranged attacks, which is weird because at no point do we ever get a rifle. BL-Ade bots are clones of Roland with a sword, and Bl-Udgeon Bots are clones of Batu with a hammer. They’re not hard to defeat, but they’re REALLY tanky.

Thankfully, we’ve got Bracken. For just 2 MP, she can put down a healing field that heals enough damage that we can pretty much tank hits with reckless abandon on normal difficulty. One of these fields will last usually for an entire regular combat.

After a few combats against enemies we’ve fought before (Spanglegoos and fairies) we reach the first furnace. These have to be turned on to activate the consoles that let us move those colored platforms.

Bracken teaches Evan the Kindle spell, which allows him to light the furnaces.

With the console active, we can now switch the position of the blue platform.

So, why is this area such a dick? Well, let me explain sort of the way Ni no Kuni 2’s navigation works (for the most part).

Normally in this game, you can’t fall off of anything - usually the game has very strictly placed invisible walls. Now, you might notice something in the distance: the blue platform has changed positions, which stops us from going back the way we came to get to the archives.

See that cog directly across from Bracken?

You can fall from there to reach the bottom. There IS a no-falling route to get to the blue panel, where you use a console on the other side of it to turn it, but falling like this is actually REQUIRED later on. I got stuck a few rooms ahead of this one on my first playthrough because I had no fucking idea that you could do this.

For our efforts, we get a pair of boots that I immediately equipped to Bracken.

Once we fall, we can simply walk across the blue platform and reach the archives.

Finding the memolith in this room isn’t exactly a challenge. Also, I’m pretty sure Bracken’s last line is a plot hole - they didn’t move the old offices over here because the old offices are still on the other side of the city where we started in the first place! Just the way you left them! You gave an entire speech on this!

Oh boy, a crowdfunding reference.

The memoliths we’re going to find aren’t in chronological order, and don’t really make a lot of sense when taken together.

It also kind of bugs me that Zark and Bracken have barely aged, but Trey looks like he’s about fourty years older.

The Smartstick Lab is the biggest dick of a location in this game. Why, you ask? Because there are no trip doors leading to it, and it is the focus of all of those sidequests that require us to come back here later.

First up though, we have a new wyvern reskin exclusive to the factory.

So yeah, no trip door up here, where there definitely should’ve been one.

This is the layout for the Smartstick Lab. If we needed to come back here, we’d have to do the puzzle in the first area and this one to get there.

This floor is a bit different in that there’s two furnaces: a blue one and a red one. The blue one is easy to reach - we simply walk across the platforms in their original position.

From there, we turn the blue platforms to reach the red furnace. What I should mention as well is that the enemies here are on a pretty short respawn timer, so unless you know what you’re doing in advance you’re probably going to run into repops.

We then need to turn the red switch, so that we can reach the other blue control panel on the far side of the map.

Post-Magfest update:

I didn’t get a picture of the signature but I signed it “Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum”. Let’s dunk on Ni no Kuni 2.

Anyway, like I was saying, we have to go to the far end to use that blue control panel, as opposed to using the one closer to the red furnace. If we were to do that…

We’d run into a higglestone - one that wants an item we can’t possibly have yet. There’s an achievement for finding all of the higglestones, and I pity anyone who tries because there’s two of them in the factory.

There’s a save point just beyond the puzzle, which I only really used because of how hard the enemies here hit.

Once we head up the stairs, the Smartstick Lab is right there.

Surprisingly, the developers modelled the smartstick - which is really impressive because I don’t think it shows up anywhere in the game. There was the thing Zark had during the fight with Bootleg Alexander a few updates ago, but I went back and looked and it looks like that’s a different model altogether from all of the ones here.

Bracken: “We were a team back then… we all thought the same way… wanted the same thing…”

Bracken: “How did it all go so wrong?”

That about does it. Next time, we’ll go through the third (and final) puzzle.


Have fun! I’ve been to Magfest several times; unfortunately, I’m not going this year.


Update 36: BU-llshit

Once we reach the third area of the factory, we’re almost immediately herded into a cutscene trigger.

Batu is the best character in this otherwise garbage game.

This map has a new contrivance: not only do we have the switching platforms like we did in the other two areas, we now also have platforms in that central cylinder area that change position when the switches are pressed. This is also the worst designed room in the goddamn game.

The first door switch is easily reached without lighting either the blue or red furnace. It’s a straight walk right there.

The blue furnace is just past the first door switch… and then we have to walk all the way around the room to get to the blue platform switch.

So as you can see, we can reach that second door switch… if we had the red platforms as well.

As if we didn’t need another reason to hate Zark, Bracken explains that this is how he tests his employees. I feel like if Hideo Kojima couldn’t get away with Quiet and the “she breathes through her skin” thing, Level 5 shouldn’t be able to get away with this shit.

The red furnace is on the right side of the room - with the blue platforms moved, there’s a tiny bridge between these two staircases that allows us to access it (you can see it in the screenshot before this one).

The red switch located nearby moves the red platforms so that we can now reach the other switches in the center area.

This spot right here is where I got stuck when I played this game the first time. Like I said in the last update, the game usually has invisible walls on every path to stop you falling off. You can actually complete the other two puzzles to get here without ever having to drop down. What you’re supposed to do is drop onto the blue platform… but since the game never lets you do this anywhere else, I didn’t expect they’d let you do it here.

Jumping down and across gets us to the second switch, which we saw earlier.

Oh, and here’s the other reason this is the worst room in the game. If you miss a jump, as I did here, you fall to the bottom level full of enemies.

I forgot to grab the third switch in a screenshot, but it’s in the middle across from the second one. You have to flip the red switch again and then walk across the red half-platform to the other side.

I think it’s a general rule of stage design that any area that has a bigass podium like that probably has a key item on it.

I have to wonder if that guy’s job is like, “chief fuckup officer” or something. CFUO.

Bracken: “There’s… there’s one more I want to show him.”

Evan: “But I thought you said there were only four?”

Bracken: “There were four listed as missing in the database. This one’s… it’s more of a personal record.”

Bracken: “The Chief Engineer’s office is just up ahead. I’ll tell you more when we get there.”

Welcome to the only other warp point in this godforsaken shitpit of a dungeon. I took the time right away to go back and do some kingdom management stuff - remember, we’re making way more KG than we can hold in the collection bin and haven’t been able to warp without losing progress up until this point.

With the money, I upgraded the Institute to its maximum level and also did this research because really, most of our costs in this mode at this point are going to come from upgrades and research.

Evan: “What’s on it, Bracken?”

Bracken: “Well, uh… I guess you could say it contains one of the most important memories of my whole life.”

Bracken: “…Anyway, with this and the others we should have more than enough to make Zip snap out of it. He’ll be in the reactor control room. It’s just upstairs. Come on!”

This looks like a boss arena, mostly because it is. See this blue panel back here? There’s at least one sidequest that asks us to look at this thing.

Oh shit. You know, I realized it’s kind of a plot hole that Bracken needed to bypass the security system in the first place given that she works here and all, but I actually have solid proof that Broadleaf was changed ENTIRELY during development of the game. I’ll get to it… a bit later.

Oh look, it’s one of those things from Bioshock. All we have to do is start quoting Karl Marx at it and it’ll go away.

This is one of the points I have that kind of proves how Broadleaf changed. We have two rather difficult (for the AI, at least) bossfights back-to-back, with this one being the first. I’m pretty sure that this was originally supposed to be a mid-boss fought way earlier in the dungeon, but then the developers changed it and decided not to just scrap the fight. The fact that they already had assets made for it kind of proves how mismanaged this game probably was in development.

Anyway, BL-Iterator is a fucking annoying bossfight that I have no idea how you’d do it on Extreme. It starts by spamming groups of three slash beam things that are pretty easy to dodge, though the AI for some reason doesn’t like dodging these. They’ll try to block instead, which is a losing proposition because these beams hit multiple times.

The boss also has an attack where it rolls up into a ball and then homes in on someone while dashing forward. It has to “rev up” for a few seconds, so you can use that to do damage and regain some MP, but you can’t knock it out of that state.

The real reason this boss is kinda bullshit is this attack. It’ll charge up in the center of the room. If you don’t have a zing attack handy (or a charged special) and knock it down immediately, it does a nigh-undodgeable screenspam attack.

Now, here’s the even worse part. Let’s say you decide to switch to Bracken and try to get a heal field down because even mashing the dodge button lost you about half of your HP during the screenspam attack. Notice how the boss is charging up again in the background. Bracken doesn’t have any attacks capable of knockdown, and neither Evan nor Roland’s AI apparently wanted to use their zing.

The boss then snaps to your position and unleashes a beam that hits for a good 600-someodd damage on normal difficulty. I’m not saying this is a hard boss by any means, because with the amount of healing items we have I was able to revive both Bracken and Evan as Roland and top off their HP, but it’s just kinda bullshit.

At about 40% HP, the BL-Iterator goes into rage mode. Most of its attacks remain the same, only now all of its projectiles are red and do more damage. The boss is also a bit faster.

Oh, and now instead of shooting ONE giant laser…

It shoots three. This is almost a guaranteed death if you don’t have the dodge timing down just right.

The BL-Iterator fight lasts several times longer than it had any right to. At least everyone gets a levelup.

And now we can take an elevator up to see Zark.

Zark: “…Gah. Really?”

Zark: “So you’re the intruders, huh? Makes sense, I guess. Who else could’ve gotten around my security measures but you, right, Bracken?”

Roland: “President Vector, there’s something you need to see.”

Evan: “Show him the memoliths, Bracken!”

Bracken: “Time for a trip down memory lane, Zip…”

At this point, the game plays the memolith cutscenes we already saw in the last update, so I’m not going to bother repeating them here.

Bracken: “There’s one last memory I want to show you.”

Zark: “How about that, huh? A custom leg made just for you by the world’s greatest engineer - you’re gonna love it!”

Bracken: “This isn’t my leg! I want my leg! I want… my…”

So I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Zark is kind of an asshole. I mean, it’s pretty obvious she lost her leg because of him in the first place.

Zark: “We’re engineers. We solve humanity’s problems.”

No, you solve practical problems. Problems like how do you stop that fucking scout from capturing the control point? Seriously Zark how have you not seen Team Fortress 2, it’s been around for over a decade.

Bracken: “I…”

Zark: “We solve humanity’s problems, and we solve each other’s too, right? You lose a leg, I make you a new one. I lose a hand, well… I hope you’d do the same for me.”

Bracken: “Oh, Zip…”

Bracken: “But I would never do that. This leg… this leg is what gave me the courage to carry on - what got me where I am today.”

In a bad JRPG whose development could best be described as pure chaos and an utter disaster?

Bracken: “You were the best engineer, the best boss… the best friend anyone could have.”

Bracken: “You had a good heart. The best. You have to remember. You have to!”

Zark: “I… I remember now… I remember everything. What… what have I done?!”

Bracken: “Zip? It’s you, isn’t it? The real you?”

Zark: “Bracken, I’m… I’m so sorry. If it wasn’t for you I don’t think I would have remembered…”

This cutscene of the cog falling is like a full minute long and I don’t know why.

Zark: “Damn it… if he reaches the reactor, he could trigger a total meltdown! If that happens, Broadleaf and everything around it will be gone in an instant.”

I wonder if Zark built a giant nuclear bomb into his headquarters because Doloran told him to, or if it’s just because he’s an idiot. If Hydropolis is any indication, it’s probably the latter.

Evan: “What?! Then we have to stop him!”

Zark: “You’ll have to find him first. He’s equipped with full optical camouflage. I can’t see him on any of my monitors, but judging by the patterns of interference, I’d say there’s a good chance he’s on top of the tower.”

Bracken: “The elevator will take us to the roof! Come on!”

Is he talking about the elevator, or the fact that this game exists?

Evan: “Calm down, everybody! There must be a way!”

Zark: “… I’ve got it.”

So many made-up words I thought this was a Tom Clancy novel.

Bravo Seven we need to scoot the goose, I repeat we need to scoot the goose, possibly with a side of fries. Alert ACRAP that we’re going to need a sitrep stat.

Bracken: “The reactor will go critical, and the core will fuse. In other words, we’ll wind up with the world’s most expensive hunk of junk. You sure about this, Zip? She’s your baby.”

Zark: “It’s that or risk the lives of every single person in this country. You think I’d hesitate for even a second? I’m the Executive Director of this company and the leader of this nation. Nothing is more important than my people.”

One ass-pull later, and we have our stairway to a really, really shitty boss fight. Next time, we’ll fight Bootleg Alexander and witness Ni no Kuni 2 attempt to rip off Crash Bandicoot, bad camera angles and all.


Update 37: Boy Sampson Becomes A Man

Now that we have a way to the roof, we can leave the elevator bot (who somehow survived this entire thing and is now useless because the only two floors he can take us to are destroyed) behind and head to our second bossfight.

Somebody order up a stupid-looking boss?

Naturally, Alejandro (shorthand for Bootleg Alexander) immediately sends us to his own private hellscape.

So, Alejandro. This boss is absolute hell for the AI - they simply can’t handle him. Really, there’s not much of a point to reviving anyone if they die, and I’ll show you why.

Right away, we can see the boss’s weak point. Simple, right?

Not really. Alejandro has a ton of health, and it takes a good minute of hitting his weak point (throwing in the occasional circle cut from Roland) to break it. Now, intrepid viewers might notice that the exhaust pipes on his underside are charging an attack…

This is his first AOE attack. The AI is typically okay at avoiding this one, because the boss doesn’t move while using it. However, they tend to run underneath him to attack (ignoring the weak point altogether) and get caught in it as the fight goes on.

Eventually, a second weak spot opens up on Alejandro’s chest. This one has significantly less armor, thus we can actually hit it for a decent amount of damage. This is where the AI starts really getting screwed up.

Once we take off about a quarter of his HP, the boss goes into rage mode.

In case you’ve been wondering “Where are the higmakers?” the answer is here, inside these flying turret things. The turrets work more or less just like the ones we used to take down Discount Leviathan, only with a far slower rate of fire.

The turrets come down so we can hit them, and Alejandro immediately starts spamming lightning bolts everywhere. These aren’t particularly hard to dodge, but you’re probably going to run into a few of them trying to bring the turrets down.

While you CAN still attack Alejandro in this stage, he has a fuckload of HP and no weak point. The AI, of course, will focus solely on him and ignore the turrets.

The turrets will continuously spawn even once you have enough higmakers to perform their special attack, but unlike Discount Leviathan’s fight, there’s no point to having more than the minimum which is something like 12.

These higmakers… do exactly what most of our existing ones do for a special and form cannons that hit for some 600 damage a shot.

Using the higmakers opens a weak point on the boss’s other leg, only…

I missed a dodge and the fire AOE almost oneshotted Roland.

And then the boss decided to use his other AOE attack, where he spews steam and rapidly spins to hit you. I had switched to Bracken to put a healing field down, and Roland immediately ran into the steam and died.

Bracken died shortly afterward from the AOE, but I somehow managed to get a frame-perfect menu just as Bracken died and was able to revive everyone.

The AI then proceeded to run right into the fire and a subsequent steam attack that killed both Roland and Evan before I could switch back.

The rest of the fight is basically just chasing the weak points on the legs until you finally break one, then hitting his chest for the kill.

Oh god dammit. Don’t tell me this fucker has a second-

Yep, he’s got a second form. Thankfully, the second form is mercifully short.

Your only goal here is to survive until the cutscene: Alejandro will use both of his AOEs and his lightning attack from phase one simultaneously, and the AI will probably die within seconds. He’s also completely invincible. Evan and Roland were both dead in the… twenty seconds or so it took for this to end?

Alejandro is lovin’ this shit.

And now… it’s time for Boy Sampson to become a man.

Lofty: “I dunno, mun, but we’d better get out by yur! Sharpish!”

Evan: “No!”

I’m going to stop here for a brief aside. Remember how I have that theory about the game’s plot being changed multiple times during development?

In this cutscene, Evan’s voiceactor is noticeably… different. Normally, Evan’s voiceactor is a woman by the name of Claire Morgan - she had a bit part in Witcher 2 and oddly enough played Leo’s garbage son in A Way Out (shoutouts to Panzerskank and Kaubocks for their amazing LP of that game).

For this cutscene and the one immediately following it, Claire Morgan gets replaced with a different VA. It’s sort of hard to tell who it is, but in the next cutscene it becomes obvious that it’s the same VA who does the blue-haired plot ruiner in the between-chapter cutscenes. That VA is a man whose name I am not going to give you and that I ask you not to look up. The reason for this is that IMDB kind of gives away who the blue-haired boy is. This game is a shitpile, but I’m going to leave that particular revelation where it goes because it’s kind of what made me not finish the game the first time I played through it and a large part of why I decided to make this godforsaken LP in the first place.

The only explanation I can come up with for this that makes any sense is that the plot was changed after the developers had already gotten all of the art assets and voiceover work done, and for whatever reason Claire Morgan wasn’t available to record the new lines. My guess is that this had something to do with her being in A Way Out, which released the same week this game did. As far as I can tell, this kind of thing is highly unusual in game development, especially for a game with the budget Ni no Kuni 2 had behind it.

I’ll explain what I think was originally supposed to go here, but Evan (the catboy, not me) will explain that a bit in this cutscene.

Evan: “Not now! I won’t run away! Not again… not ever!”

Behold! Deus ex plot bullshit!

Oh man, I can’t believe everyone died in a second nuclear explosion. This is pretty much the best way Ni no Kuni 2 could end and…

Boy Sampson just straight up became Shenron.

Unfortunately, we do not get to control Man Sampson… actually, let’s call him Horner Sampson. Instead, Horner simply grapples the boss while we get to play Crash Bandicoot.

As you can see, Alejandro’s new weak point is on top of his head. If Dark Souls 3 taught us anything, it’s that giant, dragon-like enemies can be easily murdered by doing a plunging attack into their skull. Zark makes another light staircase… only this one is made of those disappearing blocks from Megaman 2.

The first time up the staircase, Alejandro will try to hit you with lightning as you jump up. The lightning doesn’t hit the entire platform, so you can dodge it by being in one of the corners.

By the way, the camera angle is totally fixed and half the time you’re jumping at platforms you can’t see.

This is the part where this gimmick becomes shit. Half of these blocks randomly disappear with no clear logic as to which ones will do so. This means you’re probably going to fall down and have to climb all the way back up.

I fell off this thing a good three or four times trying to do this… including on this attempt.

A few jumps past that, you hit the end of the platforms and have to dive down to hit Alejandro in the face.

And with that, Alejandro is finally dead.

Oh, and Horner is back to being Boy Sampson again.

So, here’s where the plot was clearly changed. I’m pretty sure that Zark was originally supposed to die, and then at the last second someone at Level 5 decided to completely reverse that decision. It kind of makes no sense given that up to this point, he’s basically a stock Ghibli villain: he hates the environment (as evidenced by Broadleaf being in the middle of a polluted wasteland) and loves war (as evidenced by him owning a fucking gunship and a giant killer Final Fantasy ripoff) and in a Ghibli film that’s pretty much a recipe for death… you know, given how literally every Ghibli movie has the whole pro-environment, anti-war messaging going on.

If I had to guess, the suits at Level 5 probably figured that killing Zark off would be too depressing for a Ghibli film (and I’ve seen quotes from Hayao Miyazaki that sort of insinuiate he hates depressing films) but at the same time there’s like thirty Miyazaki quotes about films having to have a message.

So I want to ask all of my readers: what do you think the message of this game even is? Because if there is one, I sure as hell have no idea what it is. Don’t make a bad game? Don’t hire the janitor who cleaned one of the buildings Studio Ghibli worked in and expect quality animation? Don’t be a complete fucking idiot who gets New York nuked?

Wait I know, it’s “Never do bossfights on Extreme.” That’s gotta be it.

Zark: “So you were able to regain your original form, even if only for a short time.”

Zark: “There’s no way I would have been able to stop the core from melting down, that’s for sure.”

Tani: “Well, all’s well that ends well. But if you didn’t scare me with that talk about the kingdom being wiped out…”

It’s really strange that this is Tani saying this and that Bracken has only one line in this entire cutscene. Bracken has already pretty much passed the point of being plot relevant.

Zark: “I’m no president. I don’t deserve to run this country.”

At least he can admit it, unlike a certain other president in the room. Anyway, we’re about to run into a lot of shit we’ve already seen before, so I’ll make it brief.

Evan: “What’s that? Listen, everybody!”

Zark gets off scot-free for probably working several dozen people to death.

Well, at least we know now why the dragon was on there.

This cutscene is where it becomes immediately obvious that they changed Evan’s voiceactor. I’m pretty sure that in the original scene, Bracken was probably supposed to take over after Zark dies.

Evan: “Yes, and if we join forces with the other kingdoms, we may just stand a chance.”

Zark: “I see. And of the big players, there’s only Ding Dong Dell left now. That could be… difficult.”

Zark: “But I can tell by your face that you’re not going to back down. Luckily, we’ll be right behind you. You have my word, as president of Broadleaf.”

Zark: “You’ll be going with our new friends, Bracken?”

Hell yeah she will. It’s good too, because I think the plot void has already finished devouring Tani and is now dragging Leander into its gaping maw.

In this scene, Evan’s voiceactor is back to the usual one.

Evan: “Yes! It was such a surprise! You would never have guessed from looking at him.”

Evan: “It does, yes. President Vector is back to his old self. I’m sure he’ll put his people first from now on.”

Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “Timrod, why are you doing this scene in its entirety? I thought you hated Bluehair McPlotruiner and wanted to get him off screen as quickly as possible.”

Evan: “I only hope that I can forge such firm friendships. I’ve a long way to go before people look up to me like they do Zip though. I’m nothing like him…”

I saw this line when I first played through the game and I’m like “Holy shit. This game is going to do a complete 180 in the next chapter. It’s going to finally have a fucking plot.”

I mean, can you even imagine how good of a plot that would be? Everyone close to Evan technically has a reason for betraying him: Batu is a pirate who was ready to murder a child in cold blood and could easily be out to take Evermore for himself. Roland is an ex-president who got his own people nuked and is shown to have never given a single fuck about the people he got killed - he could easily go the route the humans took in Disgaea 1 and try to take over the isekai realm for himself. Bracken works for a guy who is clearly an evil bastard and could easily be a manchurian candidate.

Maybe if we keep believing, this game will finally grow a plot. We’ll find out… at some point. We still have at least 10 sidequests to grind, after all.


Update 38: My God, Is That A Plot?!

What’s this shit? This guy looks a lot like Munokhoi (one of our early recruits from the pirate base) but it’s actually not him.

Is that… is this a fucking plot? Those look an awful lot like bullets on the table, and that thing next to them looks like some kind of fantasy grenade. I don’t get why there’s a candy there but okay.

Oh fuck! Roland is selling our shit out! I fucking called it!

The guy in the robe looks a lot like Leander. Shit, just imagine if he was corrupted the entire time and Nerea had no idea. My god, this game actually has a plot! There’s actual conflict! Anime wasn’t a mistake!

You can’t see it very well, but Roland is clutching a bullet with a skull and crossbones on it. The pink and purple color scheme is a little odd, but just fucking imagine when he caps Batu in the back of the head. I’d assume Bracken isn’t far behind.

Holy shit he’s even got the smirk of evil. It’s like everything I ever wanted - and at the end I bet there’s a fucking awesome scene where Evan just runs him through with a sword. God DAMN is this gonna be good.

This game just did a complete 180 and I am fucking loving this shit.

Batu: “Roland? What poppycock is this you’re peddling, man? Ye were sleepin’ on the job and had yerself a little dream is all!”

Man, just imagine watching Evermore tear itself apart because its chief consul is a traitor. This could very well be this game’s Nier Automata Ending C route moment.

Batu: “Hmm… well, I ain’t about to believe such things o’ one of our own without proof, but… ye seem convinced matey, that’s for certain.”

Or I mean, maybe it’ll be the equivalent of FF14’s “My Left Arm” moment, given how much FF14’s story sucks and how much NNK2 rips off of it.

Roland: “I have to say Bracken, things have come impressively far impressively fast since you arrived in town.”

Bracken: “Of course they have! Why else would you have made me Minister of Ingenuity?”

I’m imagining Bracken looking at Batu’s corpse and going “But… why?” shortly before getting blasted in the face.

Decadus: “Bracken is an asset indeed. But we have made precious little headway in other areas - not least the question of how to encourage Ding Dong Dell to sign the declaration.”

You know, I hope when Evan inevitably winds up stabbing Roland to death that he loses his cat parts and it’s just like Ico. That’d be cool.

I wonder if Roland kills Bracken himself, or has Leander do it.

God dammit Zark, no one wants to… wait, is he going to catch a bullet? Definitely come in then!

So remember how I said that our entire objective in Broadleaf was to jack Zark’s airship? Mission accomplished.

Bracken: “That was quite an entrance, Zip. To what do we owe the pleasure?”

Zark: “Well, I just got done fixing Broadleaf after all the… uh… trouble, and I thought maybe I could come over and offer you guys a little help.”

Nice try Zark, but the game has an actual plot now.

But first, we have to break his ugly-ass face off the ship.

Before that though… we haven’t touched kingdom management in some time, so I went ahead and boosted the coffers as well as made enough buildings to reach kingdom level 3.

We now have a mandatory airship training segment. The airship is… not the best thing to control. It can’t stop on its own… at least, not normally.

On the way there, let’s fly by this ice continent. Surely there’s nothing there.

So yeah, there’s a giant wreck of a bomber in the ice wasteland. There’s no story missions that take place there. Again, this is probably something that was in an earlier version of the plot that they took out. There’s a ghost somewhere who will mention that at one point, the isekai realm and the real world had a war, and that plane was one of the casualties.

The only way to stop the airship is to go into landing mode, as seen here. There’s a blue chest here we couldn’t have opened before, so let’s open it.

We just sent Bracken’s attack rating to hyperspace. This is why we want the blue chest spell, and why we got it so early. On a side note, this is why you also want to shelve any sidequests you have between Hydropolis and Broadleaf, because the airship makes things SO MUCH FASTER.

There’s a scene that didn’t capture properly where Leander says he has something he wants to talk to us about (ie; usurping Evermore) so let’s promptly ignore that and go sidequest grinding.

Right near where that box was is a tainted monster. We DEFINITELY want to kill this one.

Gryndl has a unique model (or rather, is a unique edit of the wyvern model). He’s super easy to kill, because he spends most of his time charging fireballs and can be knocked down if hit by a spell during this time.

Poison, by the way, is a fucking AMAZING status effect. I don’t think there’s any enemies that use it. It hits for a good 400-ish damage every few seconds and lasts for what feels like forever.

It drops a sword that has as much attack rating as Bracken’s hammer did. I equipped it to Evan because it’s kinda unfair to give Roland any more of an advantage than he already has.

I also fought yet another tainted whamster on everyone’s behalf, because he drops a hammer that is somehow even better than the one Bracken has. His attacks are uh… mostly just jumping and stomping for an instakill because he’s 10+ levels higher than the party.

The Steelpounder doesn’t have poison on it, but it has a stronger attack rating and boosts how much MP we get per attack. It would not at all be a bad idea to replace the traitor with Batu and have him run the poison axe.

There are also a bunch of sidequests we can do right now in Hydropolis and Broadleaf - but we don’t want to do any of the Broadleaf quests right now. There is one quest in Hydropolis we ABSOLUTELY want to do right now though.

Thetis has a skill we absolutely, positively are going to want if we plan on doing any of the higher-level tainted monsters. It unlocks the next tier of healing items at the general store.

Tidewash Cave is essentially a pushover at this point. The enemies inside are so low-level they won’t aggro onto us, so we can just walk right through and grab the stuff.

Basically, you just run through and near where the dreamer’s gate is, there’s a blue sparkle to pick up.

The reason we don’t want to do any of the Broadleaf quests right now, by the way, is that they all require us to go back into the factory, and there’s a few more that unlock after Leander’s speech. We have most of what we need anyway - we’re at 41 citizens and need 50.

I also grabbed two new people at Swift Solutions. Candy is important if we want to see the one use for higgledies in this game… which we can’t get until kingdom level 3.

Glaucus isn’t great but he has a shield unit which is very useful for skirmish mode.

And here’s a quick look at why we’re not doing any Broadleaf quests right now.

This one requires us to go to right near the smartstick lab (remember, the most annoying place in the factory to get to) and fight a tainted monster.

This one actually takes place in a cave somewhere, and we COULD get it done but Kent isn’t really unique in any way.

More factory floor shit which we don’t want to touch right now because I swear there’s at least two more of these.

On the upper floor of the factory, we can meet Yu Narukami, protagonist of a much better JRPG. The only reason we’re doing this quest is that it gives us a pretty good ring.

He just kinda turns into a generic Gears of War marine.

Since I really do not feel like making multiple factory floor runs, let’s just continue with the plot.

Decadus: “There are reports of certain resources being… unaccounted for, and of a suspicious hooded character having been sighted.”

Decadus: “These, along with several other developments, have become a cause of some concern.”

Batu: “A robed swab, ye say? An’ a shady sort to boot? Hrmm…”

Batu: “So we’ve a thief among our number, eh? That ain’t good. That ain’t good at all…”’

Tani: “Yeah, because he’s obviously the one doing the stealing.”

Bracken: “Guess it’s not such a surprise - security around here isn’t exactly what I’d call tight.”

Batu: “What say we convene a little pow-wow to talk about how to catch this pilferer of ours, hm? Tonight, after dinner perhaps?”

Roland: “Sorry, can’t make it. I’ve been working too hard. Need to catch up on a little sleep. But if it’s urgent, feel free to go ahead without me.”

You know, that guy in The Godfather (the book at least, I’ve never seen the movies) got fucking murdered for calling in sick with a cold. You’d think someone would question this, but…

Nope, the king’s a dipshit ten year old.

Oh man, Batu is so dead. Should’ve brought your army with you, dipshit!

Roland: “Don’t mention it. Let me know if there’s anything you need.”

Roland: “I guess I am kinda used to performing on a bigger stage. Maybe it’s time I went somewhere that they appreciated me a little more. “Enemy” is a relative term, after all.”

Next time, we’ll see what happens when Batu confronts Roland.


That seems kinda weird, given that the whole “Roland is from a different world” thing has only come up… what, twice? so far, and they seem pretty intent on forgetting it.


Update 39: So Close, And Yet So Far

I mean, it was probably just Leander and he’s really boring, so I’d say that’s questionable at best.

Roland: “Last night? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Roland has never heard of night before. He outlawed night two years ago.

Evan: “Roland…surely not?!”

Batu: “Surely so, lad! Or did ye think it a coincedence that our precious resources only go missin’ on this traitorous dog’s watch?”

What precious resources? We’ve already established that we had to pay off Niall to get wood… twice. I mean, we’ve got those fish markets but I don’t think fish count.

This is another place where the plot starts running into issues. We’ve never seen Roland tell Batu ANYTHING about him not being from this world, let alone being POTUS. You’d think that it would be something that isn’t important enough to show, but the game has done that plenty of times already for shit that is way less plot-relevant.

I’d also like to say that someone asked me today if I’m going to play Kingdom Hearts 3, and I responded by saying “Why? I have all the dumbshit plot I need from Ni no Kuni 2.”

Roland: “…”

Evan: “There must be some mistake, mustn’t there, Leander?”

Decadus: “One should not rush to judgment on the basis of hearsay alone, but… I must say, this does seem somewhat… irregular…”

Evan: “What?!”

Batu: “There ye have it! Now sling yer hook before I sling it for ye, ye scurvy swine!”

Roland: “So that’s how much trust I’ve earned, huh? Good to know. Maybe I would be better off somewhere else.”

Roland: “Someplace my talents will be appreciated…”

Well, there you have it folks. Roland’s going back to post-apocalyptic New York to actually do the job he was elected to do.

Evan: “Roland, you can’t!”

Decadus: “Not even the slightest attempt to defend himself. One cannot help but wonder whether Batu’s accusations are well-founded.”

Evan’s response is to do the phantom jerk. Fuck off, Leander.

Tani: “And we sent Khunbish after him, but he hasn’t reported back in either.”

Welcome back to Ding Dong Dell, where we’re about to run facefirst into another plothole.

All of the doors and side paths we used to sneak through here the first time are blocked off, so our only real option is to walk Roland straight up to Mausinger’s throne room. You might ask why this, of all things, is a controllable gameplay segment and not a cutscene. You’ll find out pretty soon.

On the way there, we can meet that sorceress who tried to kill us with skeletons back at the start of the game. I like that they don’t even name her.

Just outside the throne room is a save point, which we might want to use.

Roland: “Your majesty…”

We haven’t met Vermine before, but he’s in a bunch of the cutscenes at the start of the game.

Vermine: “I have been following your work with great interest. To have made an almost viable ruler of young Evan is quite the feat! Yes, a sterling achievement!”

So, if Vermine reminds you of anyone, particularly a certain German dictator whose first government position happened to be chancellor, that’s intentional. Ding Dong Dell is… not particularly subtle when it comes to what it basically is.

Roland: “I’m flattered.”

Mausinger: “I remember very well how you thwarted my designs for our young friend. But rest assured - I bear you no ill will on that account.”

Mausinger: “I have been… examining your nature. Your actions. And I have decided that you and I may be able to come to an arrangement.”

Roland: “Glad to hear it. And good of you to come straight to the point. Shall we get down to business?”

The question is, why would Mausinger even WANT Evan at this point? He’s already been exiled and Evermore is on the other side of the continent from Ding Dong Dell.

Mausinger: “…Very well. I believe in making the best use of the talents of those in my employ. But I will require you to prove yourself first.”

Roland: “Oh yeah?”

The entirety of the castle is now open to us… though there’s not much of interest in it.

Roland: “You… you’re one of Batu’s men.”

Khunbish: “Aye, that I am! Khunbish is the name!”

Boy am I glad I remembered this part and made an icon for this idiot at the start of the LP.

He’s honestly more of an incompetent dipshit, but yeah sure why not. Off with his head!

Khunbish: “Curse you, ye devils! Didn’t I say already? I was looking for Master Roland!”

Roland: “For me? Why?”

Khunbish: “Heh! Heh! Forgive me, yer honor! Seems I made a blunder!”

Roland: “Hm. You sure did. And why am I not surprised?”

Mausinger: “Now, Mr. Crane, to our test. Let us see where your allegiance truly lies.”

I’m not even going to question how Mausinger knows Roland’s last name, which he has never told to anyone at any point in this game. In fact, if you don’t know about the whole citizen profile thing, this is the first point at which you can learn Roland’s last name. This entire scene confused the FUCK out of me when I played this the first time.

Basically, Mausinger knows as much or more about Roland than we do - and there’s absolutely no reason for it. My only theory here is that maybe at one point in an earlier draft of the plot (which didn’t contain the nuke at the beginning) Mausinger had someone from the real world feeding him info or something.

Roland: “…”

Mausinger: “Is something the matter? Surely you are capable of such a straightforward show of commitment. Or could it be that we have an impostor in our midst?”

Roland: “Don’t get ahead of yourself. Let’s just say I prefer to use my own methods.”

I can’t believe Roland just capped a guy. I mean, he only did that three or four times in the initial escape sequence.

Tani: “Khunbish never came back after we sent him out to look for him either. Where did Roland disappear to?”

Tani: “We have to go out and look for him! He might need our h-”

Batu: “He needs nothin’ from us, girlie! And he’ll get nothin’! The man’s a turncoat and a traitor, damn him!”

Evan: “He isn’t! He can’t be! I refuse to believe it! It must be some sort of strategy of his… musn’t it, Leander?”

Vermine: “To have formulated such a thorough strategy in such a short time is… really quite something, I must say.”

Mausinger: “Impressive indeed. It seems I was entirely justified in welcoming you into the fold.”

Mausinger: “…Now, there is another favor I have been meaning to ask of you. The Mark of Kings - have you heard of it?”

Roland: “Sure. It’s handed down from generation to generation of royals here in Ding Dong Dell as proof of the right to rule. And without it, it’s impossible to access certain places. It works as a kind of key too, correct?”

You know, I’d say that only a nation of complete morons would require using a one-of-a-kind necklace to actually be able to run their country, but then I remember that Goldpaw and Hydropolis are a thing.

Mausinger: “Precisely. It is a pendant of brightest, blazing red. A beautiful object, indeed - and a necessity if one wishes to enter our nation’s king’s cradle.”

The real question is, why would Mausinger even need to do that? He already has the kingsbond, we saw it way back at the start of the game when he communed with Oakenhart. Anyway, pay attention to how Mausinger describes the mark.

Roland: “Let me guess - you don’t have it, and you want it.”

Mausinger: “You are admirably concise as ever. We have searched the castle high and low, and yet it is nowhere to be found. Which leads me to believe that it is not, in fact, here.”

Roland: “It sure isn’t. It’s around Evan’s neck, every minute of every day. It won’t be easy to get a hold of it.”

Roland: “…but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I need a few things - and a little time.”

Mausinger: “And you shall have all that you need. There is no other to whom such a task could be entrusted, after all.”

So in case the game hasn’t made it painfully obvious, Roland has not actually betrayed Evan. While I understood even the first time through that it wasn’t something overly likely to happen, I still think it would’ve been a good twist.

Our first task is to go talk to Captain Buck. He’s in the room just before the dungeons, which means we’re effectively walking the exact same path we did the first time we left the throne room.

Roland: “There’s been a change to the postings for some of the guards. All men assigned to the night shift on the east and west blocks are to patrol the outside of the castle instead.”

What we’re doing here is making it possible for Roland to escape once he’s done what he actually came here to do.

This could be part of a Loss edit.

In case you don’t recognize it, we are now back where we first started the game, at the bottom of the staircase leading to Evan’s room.

Unfortunately, there’s a slight hitch. Someone, in the probably months that have passed since the start of the game, came around and locked the door.

Roland: “Locked? Well, nothing this little guy can’t fix.”

Roland is now going to do a series of ass-pulls more egregious than Adam West Batman.

Roland: “Yeah. It’s time to get the Hydropolitans to sign the Declaration. But we have to think beyond that, too.”

Roland: “Most of all, we need to think about what to do about Ding Dong Dell. They won’t be making peace with us anytime soon.”

Tani: “Pah, they won’t be letting us close enough to even shout about peace - the whole area’s crawling with soldiers!”

I never showed it off, but if you attempt to walk into Ding Dong Dell there are soldiers guarding the bridges that will wall you off.

Evan: “There is a way we might be able to get past them, you know. It’s a path open only to members of the royal family called the Kingsway.”

Tani: “What’s that when it’s at home?! And why have you never mentioned it before?”

Evan: “Well, because we wouldn’t be able to access it without the Mark of Kings.”

If I had to guess, Tani, I’d say it’s because even the writers have no idea what the fuck is going on half the time.

I’ll skip a few lines where Evan repeats what we already know about the Mark of Kings.

Roland: “If it’s that important, you can bet that Mausinger will be looking for it too.”

Evan: “It… it was given to me when my father passed away, but… Well, I…”

Evan: “Well, there are hidden rooms in the castle, you see. I thought it would be safest there. In the one connected to my chambers.”

Evan: “They were designed so that the royal family could hide in times of emergency. And, with the help of the mark, even escape if need be.”

One of my favorite things about Uncharted 4 is when the villain goes “Fuck it, we don’t need the cryptic bullshit journals” and just hires a PMC to blow shit up until they find the treasure. It’s kind of a wonder that Mausinger hasn’t just done the same. Then again, that’d be good writing.

What I can’t believe is that Evan is too dumb to have seen right through this.

There’s a useless sword in this chest which isn’t even close to being as good as the one we got off that tainted monster earlier.

So for reference, these lines confused the hell out of me when I played this the first time, because I had no idea whether it was supposed to mean that the mark in the chest was a fake or what.

Honestly, I STILL don’t know what the fuck it was supposed to mean. At first, when I revisited this for the LP, I had the idea that he was doing a Sonic Adventure 2 Robotnik gambit where he knew Roland was lying about Evan still having the mark because the real one is green.

But then the next scene will kinda confirm that Mausinger expected that to be the case anyway because he’s on another level from the plot and knows that Roland isn’t actually a traitor.

This is the real mark, by the way.

Roland: “Wait - or maybe he was just using me to find this place…”

I kind of wonder if this is a reference to an earlier draft of the script, where the color of the mark actually matters in some fashion.

Roland: “Oh, uh… just looking for something.”

Mausinger: “So it was hidden here all along. And hidden very well. Believe me when I say we searched long and hard.”

The 47th annual isekai realm smug-off ends in a draw.

Mausinger: “Indeed it is. I am so very glad to not have believed you for a moment.”

Mausinger: “Now, if you would be so kind as to hand over the Mark…”

Roland: “I don’t think so. This belongs to the king. My king.”

Roland: “Of course, if you’ll sign the Declaration, I’ll be happy to make you a trade.”

Mausinger: “You speak of your pathetic union. Though I hardly think you are in any position to bargain.”

Roland: “Not interested, huh? Well, let me know if you change your mind.”

Mausinger: “Hah! To send a spy was most… cunning. I must confess, I had not thought your young protege capable of such subterfuge.”

Sick burn.

As I said earlier, this line kind of implies that Mausinger somehow knows about the nuke. How, I have no idea.

Mausinger: “It had to be done. And I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

Roland: “I’m sure you would. So what is this dream of yours exactly?”

Mausinger: “For too long, our kind have suffered at the hands of the grimalkin. My dream is a simple one: to see our feline oppressors prostrate themselves at our feet.”

Roland: “Revenge, in other words?”

Revolver Ocelot, Mausinger is not.

So yeah, Roland just got shot with a crossbow.

Also, surprise! Mausinger isn’t being possessed by Doloran. No, he’s that much of a dick by himself.

In reality, a crossbow bolt would not come out nearly that easily, or without massive amounts of bleeding.

Next time, we’ll save that dipshit in the dungeon and then escape from Ding Dong Dell in possibly the dumbest way possible. Then, it’s sidequest grinding time as we hopefully reach Kingdom Level 3.


Update 49: Sidequest Grinding, the Final Frontier

We now have to go back for Khunbish, which is probably a giant waste of time because that guy is borderline useless.

Roland will say something about trying to take a route that avoids guards, but there’s really only one route to the dungeon as most of the doors are now closed.

It doesn’t matter much though, because all the enemies here will die in either two or three basic melee attacks.

Mostly, this is just like the dungeon in Broadleaf - the enemies here are all roughly analogus to the robot enemies there. There are a couple of gun-toting mice who can knock you out of a combo, but since we’re a good 9 to 10 levels above the majority of the enemies here, it’s not really anything to worry about.

So yes, Roland apparently either planned out that Batu was going to send someone after him and that person was also going to get caught - or he’s pulling stuff out of his ass.

Roland: “Charming. Listen, calm down and ask yourself this - if I’m a murderer, how come you’ve still got breath to curse me with?”

Well, clearly it’s because Roland is actually the president from one of those bad mid-2000s shooter games where enemies can take like twelve pistol bullets to the skull and not even flinch.

Khunbish: “I, er… that is, umm… ahem.”

Roland: “I shot you, sure, but not with real bullets - with ones designed to make you look dead.”

Khunbish: “With what now?!”

I’m pretty sure that line has been used in a porno somewhere.

So yeah, uh…

Roland: “Stay calm, it’ll wear off before long. At least, it’s supposed to.”

Roland: “My turn now, I guess. Well, down the hatch.”

One thing that’s always kind of bothered me about fantasy scenarios like this is that no one ever thinks to check for magic. You’d think the first thing Mausinger would’ve done is had his guards pat Roland down for magical shit.

Decadus: “You have seen through our artifice, your majesty?”

Evan: “Of course I have. Roland would never betray us, at least not so clumsily.”

Evan: “I have to say, I expected more of him.”

Decadus: “The plan could have been executed with a little more finesse, I concede.”

Batu: “What in blazes are ye both blatherin’ about, curse ye?”

Evan: “In order to decieve one’s enemies, one must first decieve one’s friends. Is that not what they say?”

Batu: “What?! Ye mean to say this whole sorry mess was one of the blasted scoundrel’s confounded schemes?”

Decadus: “I might not have chosen to put it quite that way but… yes.”

Decadus: “These devices allow one to surreptitiously watch over a location remotely through the use of scrying magics.”

I was okay when Persona 5 did this because Persona 5 had at least solid gameplay. This, not so much.

Decadus: “Being familiar with sorcery of this kind thanks to Queen Nerea’s surveillance of Hydropolis, they attracted my attention right away.”


Remember when Leander wasn’t just a re-worded 4chan meme from 2007?

Decadus: “Upon sharing my concerns with Roland, we investigated together and discovered the presence of an agent of Ding Dong Dell in our midst.”

Decadus: “The first step was to make a show of expressing certain… disloyal behaviors in full view of the eyes.”

Decadus: “The next was to make sure our allies, too, grew suspicious of his motives. This is why he contrived to carry out his dubious liaisons just as the guard was being changed.”

There’s another series of cutscenes coming up, but I’m going to skip them for now because it’s sidequest grinding time. We’re going to reach Kingdom Level 3.

Before we go back into the factory (and as it turns out, we had all the factory-related sidequests so we could’ve done those earlier) I wound up doing this quest where we deliver a package to this asshole kid. Why, you ask? Because he has a military unit that is better than our current spear unit and I wanted to grind some skirmish mode sidequests for loads of KG.

He asks us for a couple of items that we already have in spades thanks to all the grinding we did.

Dark crystals are super common in the factory, and we had 15 of them so I just handed those over too.

Next up is getting that quintillion-core processor for Andrew. We already had another quest that needed us to go to the Smartstick Lab, and the enemy carrying the processor just so happens to be on the way to the lab.

Blitzer 2.0 is essentially a weakened version of the first factory boss. He goes down pretty quickly and we get our quest item.

Next up is going into the lab, which for some reason is now locked and summons enemies to fight us. Fortunately, this only happens once.

Roland has so much attack power right now that I actually managed to kill the entire enemy group in a single flatliner.

From there, we just need to interact with a computer and unlock the door for that guy we met a few updates ago.

Andrew is EXTREMELY important if you plan on finishing Kingdom Management mode. We’ll see why as soon as this update concludes.

Oz has a military unit, but shields don’t really do a whole lot.

Next up are these two. Price is useless, but Morgan actually comes with an unlisted side benefit: she adds new items to the general store in Evermore provided that your healing item research level is high enough.

Price’s quest is also one of the most dickish in the game if you haven’t been grinding skirmish mode.

In this skirmish, we have two allied robot units that we have to protect. They will run headfirst into the enemy until they die. The robots cannot attack.

As you might notice, one of the robot units only has their leader left. The recommended level for this skirmish is 17. Our army was around 20-21 and still barely made it.

I also stopped to pick up a person I had bought through Swift Solutions but forgot to pick up (it wouldn’t have made much of a difference anyway).

Morgan is in Capstan, so I picked up this quest. Remember how, a bunch of updates ago, we researched that spell that lets us talk to ghosts? This sidequest requires that spell.

There’s also these two people we could pick up if we were desperate. One has a pretty long quest chain for a useless citizen and the other requires a fuckload of crafting.

Morgan here has a simple request: buy the most expensive item in her shop.

She also sells Savior’s Tears, which are not only a resurrect but also a full heal. They’re incredibly expensive, but also a massive help in tainted monster fights. Sage’s Secrets heal both HP and MP and are also useful for tainted fights.

Oh, fuck off.

The Sundelion is in a hilled area near Ding Dong Dell. There’s a level 70 dragon patrolling around, but all you have to do is just spot the blue sparkle from the airship and land right near it.

This is why Morgan is incredibly useful. Not only do we get one step closer to Kingdom Level 3, we also get the ability to buy high-level healing items at a discount.

By the way, I haven’t mentioned it and probably regret not doing so, but if you plan on doing all the sidequests, Morgan has one that particularly sucks.

You see, “smelly shoes” aren’t a single item - “smelly” is actually a curse that can be randomly generated on certain pieces of armor. We have the facility to dispel curses, but thankfully I never sold any gear so we had exactly what we needed to do this and get a bunch of extra KG.

Next up is killing Skrych for some guy back in Broadleaf. Skrych is highly annoying, and flies around more than the average wyvern chieftain.

He also has some severely broken hitboxes and moves around so much that it’s hard to melee him.

There was another generic tainted monster nearby that I killed for this quest, which I forgot to get a screenshot of. Whatever.

Several largely uneventful quests and one tainted monster later…

We’re now at Kingdom Level 3. Technically, we no longer need to do kingdom management - I believe we have everything we need to actually finish the game at this point. I’ll leave it up to the readers as to whether we keep doing kingdom management or not… but I do want to show what you should do if you’re playing along at home.

As soon as we unlock KL3, we finally find out what goes in that empty spot next to the Institute of Innovation - an upgraded version of it. Unfortunately, most of the upgrades that the Higher Institute has require us to have levelled one specific person up all the way… and we haven’t quite gotten there yet.

You want to immediately upgrade the Higher Institute as high as you can (we had enough to get it to level 3) and get the two research-based upgrades out of the way first. What we really want at this point is the extra 20% discount on buildings… but that requires us to level the institute up to 4 first.

Next up is this place, the Hyper Hubble Bubblery. Like the Higher Institute, the Hyper Bubblery does NOTHING until level 2 or 3… but once we level it all the way, we can get some of the best healing items in the game in the general store.

I also upgraded the Higglery to level 4. With a bit of luck, we’ll be able to see the one thing the Higglery is actually good for before the end of the game… possibly before we finish Ding Dong Dell. I may actually have to do another sidequest update after we finish that in order to have enough time to show you what the kingdom looks like fully upgraded.

By the way, you might also ask: is Kingdom Level 3 the final level? No. There’s a Kingdom Level 4 that exists solely for bragging rights which requires every single building and every citizen - all 100 of them. A bunch of citizens don’t even show up until post-game.

I checked my end-game save from my first run, and the LP kingdom is making a bit more than half of what my first run did. However, that’s because in my first run I kind of ignored the Institute until it was useless and idled the game so I could upgrade Aranella Square and the bar to max.

Next time, we’ll go to Ding Dong Dell after a series of cutscenes, and also reach Chapter 8.


Side Update: How To Break The Game

If you’ll remember, back when we got the first sidequest for Martha, we got a second one to visit all of the randomly-generated dungeons in the game and finish them. This is not the worst sidequest in the game - the actual worst sidequest is a post-game one needed for Kingdom Level 4 that requires you to have done 200 errands for Swift Solutions. However, it is a LONG sidequest and also requires a few kingdom management upgrades that exist solely for this quest.

We’re going to do this, mostly because I want to be able to finish kingdom management by the end of the LP.

One thing that’s real confusing about this sidequest is that you don’t necessarily know where all the dreamer’s gates are… but the sidequest will tell you, so long as it’s your active sidequest. It will put a marker on the next gate in order of difficulty.

Before you start this quest, you’re going to want to build the Dimensional Lab (there’s an upgraded version you can get at KL3 but it’s largely meant for NNK2’s equivalent of the Pit of 100 Trials/Chrysler Building/Mementos) and get a couple of research items done.

The big one is this one, which will outright show you where the exit to each floor is. The first two items will reduce the amount the danger gauge builds, and the rest I mostly got just to show off how useless they are.

Our first target is right near the Forest of Niall, easily accessed by the airship.

As long as you’re on the sidequest, the game will show you which route you have to take through these mini-dungeons to reach the dreamer’s gate.

You can’t see it because the door was almost in a straight line forward from the entrance, but we now have an addtional option for our “detection section”.

Notice how Roland has that little door floating around him - that’s what you get from the door detector research. Even though the description says it only detects nearby doors, the detector is always active and will get brighter the closer you get to the exit.

When we reach level three of this four-level dungeon, the detector kicks in to notify us that the door is behind our current position. This is kind of an annoying trick the game pulls where the door is off-camera and is actually just inches from where you are.

In fact, it’s right there.

The boss on the final floor is a carbon copy of that one we fought as Evan way back when. It goes down extremely quickly due to the fact that it’s about half our party’s level.

Two down, seven to go.

Next up is the Eert Grove, which as far as I can tell is a copy-paste of Sundown Woods.

I don’t really understand why the developers didn’t just put the doors on the map, or make these locations (which usually have nothing else in them) a single room.

The Eert Grove is six floors, but most of them for this run turned out to be extremely fast. Here, I took maybe four steps forward and the detector is already emitting a strong glow.

On Floor 2, the door was literally right in front of the starting position. Here, we can see the idol detector on Roland’s back. The idol detector actually works as advertised: it pops up when you’re within a certain range of an idol and gets brighter as you get closer. In this case though, we got through the maze so quickly that there was no point.

The third floor has the “floor of respite” modifier, which means the danger level won’t increase. This floor was more or less one room, and with the detectors on it was beyond simple to find the door.

The reason this quest is the worst is because of how tedious it is. Most of the monsters up until the fourth or fifth maze are going to be well below our level. You might ask why I didn’t do these at a more appropriate level, and the answer is mostly because I wanted to show off how trivial the research makes these and didn’t have the money to spare. Plus, the item drops in most of the dreamer’s mazes suck.

The final boss of this maze is another golem-type enemy. This one, while a bit higher level than the last boss we fought, still goes down in seconds.

The next target is by Makronos, but I waited a bit to do this one… because there’s still another set of research we could be doing.

The one I have active here adds a THIRD tracker, which tracks chests. This is primarily in the game for the final dreamer’s maze, which actually has items worth a shit in it. Why they let you start researching it as soon as kingdom level 2, I have no idea.

But here’s the question: could we make this already dead-easy, mindless sidequest even easier? Why yes, yes we can.

I left the game idle for… a while… and built the Multi-Dimensional Lab, a building only available at kingdom level 3. In addition to having two more “slower danger gauge” upgrades, the Multi-Dimensional Lab also has this one, which… you’ll see. I actually upgraded a bunch of shit in kingdom management mode to get our income closer to where my first run’s was while I was waiting for this stuff to finish.

For the sidequest-related mazes, we absolutely do not need any further upgrades. In fact, we’ve already got more than enough.

By the way, one thing I forgot to add because I didn’t really understand it myself: the way research in this game works is that each research costs a certain number of points, minus the discount from any upgrades. Every second, the game subtracts the total IQ of all of the citizens in the building from that total, meaning that upgrading buildings will make research go faster as it lets you cram more citizens in. The game never tells you this at any point.

Enough talk though, let’s land at Makronos and head to the Shrine of Pining. We were here not all that long ago and fought a tainted monster, so now it’s time to do the Dreamer’s Maze.

The first floor is dead simple - the door happened to spawn maybe ten steps down the hall from the start point. Shrine of Pining is a major jump up in difficulty from the earlier mazes, however.

All of the other levels of this maze look like this, with a large staircase right near the spawn point. The first thing you’ll notice about this place is that if you don’t have the advanced door detector upgrade, your door detector won’t be present at the start because the levels here are so much bigger than any of the mazes we’ve done so far.

You’ll notice that we also have a blue chest marker on our ring. The ring will spawn a new marker for any chest in range, though nothing in here is worth picking up.

The other trick is that even though the detector is pointing to the right, the door is actually upstairs.

You can see there’s no hallway over there and no door.

For reference, this is what the chest detector looks like when it’s near a chest.

The rest of this dungeon is more or less the same floor copy-pasted a bunch. In every single instance, the door wound up being upstairs. On the fourth floor, we get a new floor modifier. This one causes a bunch of extra monsters to spawn, which can either be nothing or kind of a big deal if you’re in the Pit of 100 Trials.

Yep, that sure looks overcrowded to me.

On the 6th floor, I purposely let the danger gauge go to level 2. This raises the average enemy level from about 34 to about 37. It’s not a big deal, really.

Final boss here is a reskin, which spent most of its time charging up an attack that it never got off because I kept knocking it down.

One other shot I wanted to show off quick: double chest indicator.

Next up is Tidewash Cave, which actually has its own trip door. Thankfully, you can in fact land on the tiny island it’s on using the airship.

Tidewash Cave is a step back and a step forward from the Shrine of Pining. The levels are smaller, but…

There are now enemies scattered throughout the maze rather than grouped up like they were in the previous ones. In fact, this got a bit annoying once I hit danger level 2 later on in the dungeon.

Most of the floors here are nondescript caves, so I’ll hit the highlights.

On floor 3, we run into a “Rumpus Room”. Other than being a term so old-fashioned even my grandparents are probably too young for it, the Rumpus Room is basically an unmarked miniboss. This is why the door detector is important, because the miniboss is significantly higher level than the other enemies on the floor. Here, I took the time to seek it out.

For this part of the game, it’s basically a trash enemy, but if we had done this at the first opportunity we could have (back when we first got the boat) this would be a pretty difficult fight.

The fifth floor also has a few new things to it. First up, we have the “fast-filling danger gauge” modifier. At the level of upgrades we have, this basically equates to the danger gauge filling up about as fast as it would without them.

We also run into a random merchant. This guy just sells materials that we can already get at the general store, but without the discount we get there.

The faster gauge is enough to boost us into danger level 2, which raises the level of the enemies enough that they’re now in aggro range for us. This makes things significantly more annoying. Thankfully, Tidewash Cave only has seven real floors.

The last two are mercifully short.

On the final floor, we have an idol. I COULD have used that to lower the danger gauge, but I wanted to see what the boss was first.

Naturally, it’s the revenge of Spider-Squid. With the superweapons that Roland and Bracken have, this thing went down way faster than it did when it was still a boss enemy.

Oh, and if you’re ever wondering why I don’t bother with any of the chests… you see the notification in this pic where we got a starfall sword? That sword is maybe seven less offense than the one Roland found in Evan’s room during the last story segment.

The blue chests in the mazes cost orbs to open, but we had a ton so I opened one up… and got absolute trash, even for when we first could’ve done this maze.

Now comes our most challenging maze yet… and this one actually proved to be more annoying than difficult.

I went ahead and got the second idol locator upgrade. This is mostly important for the final maze, but is useful in this maze because it’ll tell us if an idol is anywhere on the floor.

The Sublime Shrine is just north-east of Broadleaf. Unlike Tidewash Cave, the enemies here are our level even before we reach the gate itself.

Floor 1 has yet another new modifier - Items Aplenty, which increases the drop rate. I didn’t stick around though, because the door was right behind the start location.

On Floor 2, we run into another random NPC type - Higgledies that will give us items if we talk to them.

Seraphic Silk is pretty hard to come by, and you need a bunch of it for a sidequest in Hydropolis that’s available now but that we couldn’t do because we lacked any way of getting it.

There’s a couple of random NPCs that do basically the same thing.

Floor 2 proved to be significantly more annoying, mostly because of the way random encounters in dungeons work in this game. Inside a dungeon, the entire zone is treated as a battlefield - you can actually pull out and swing your weapons around at any time as well as do combat-only skills like Bracken’s heal field.

The problem is that random encounters are always a group of enemies, and because of the way the dreamer’s mazes are laid out, that group might encompass six or seven enemies spread out across an entire floor - and you have to kill all of them before you can interact with the exit.

Sublime Shrine is actually high enough level that it drops gear upgrades - nothing better than Roland or Bracken’s weapons, but stuff that is definitely an upgrade for Evan. Sleep is kind of a shitty status effect: it puts an enemy out of commission for like 5 seconds or until they get hit. It’s more useful for the enemies than it is for the player.

Floor 3 I want to show off mostly because it’s a trick! This is one of those floors like we saw in Shrine of Pining, where there’s a staircase on the side. You’d think the door would be up there, but…

It’s actually on the ground floor, hidden behind a pillar.

The dungeon stays pretty uneventful until we run into another new NPC on Floor 7. This guy will reset the danger level to 1… at the cost of all of the pink orbs we’re carrying. The only way he’s ever going to be useful is if you’re in the 100-floor dungeon, because the idols cost 5 to reset and I think double in price every time you use them.

We also run into a new enemy: the light incarnate. Guns in this game tend to add darkness damage to weapons, and Roland actually has a dark-based special attack, so this thing goes down fairly easily compared to the other ones we’ve fought before.

By the time I reached the door to the boss, the danger level was almost at 3. This was mostly due to all the fights that we probably wouldn’t have had to do if we had done this after Ding Dong Dell.

I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to reset the danger level or not. The average enemy level at danger 2 was actually a bit beyond the party’s - Roland and Bracken both hit 48 but I was seeing 51s and 52s pretty consistently.

I saw this, then I went back and reset the danger level.

The incineraptor here is identical to when we fought it as a boss, minus the boss health bar.

Between spamming circle cuts as Roland and Bracken and Evan beating on it, the boss spent most of its time on the ground until it died.

Sixth Chaos Emerald complete, three to go.

The next one is in the desert near the Sky Pirate Base. I started going there… and then I remembered something.

Near this area is a trip door and a level 69 dragon whose sex number energy is too strong for us to penetrate.

However, just BEHIND the dragon (you can squeeze through without fighting it) is an unassuming red chest containing…

A new outfit for Roland that turns him from a shit version of William “Bushido Bill” Adams into Viggo Mortensen’s character in The Road. Each character has four alternate costumes, most of which require us to be in the final chapter (or post-game) to unlock. However, one of the outfits for each character is in a chest on the world map.

Bracken’s is hidden just to the west of Goldpaw, and turns her into Ada Wong.

Evan’s is near one of the other mazes we haven’t been to yet in the desert area near Broadleaf.

It makes him look like he went into the costume area for a live-action version of Aladdin and just kinda came out with whatever.

Tani, Batu, and Leander also have alternate outfits but since we’re not using any of them at the moment I’m not going to bother to grab them right now.

Crooked Cavern is our next maze location. I’m pretty sure the “intended” time to do this is after Ding Dong Dell, but fuck it: gear upgrades!

The enemies here are still more or less our level before we get to the gate, meaning we’re going to want to err on the side of caution when deciding whether to lower the danger level.

You definitely also want to pick up as many items as you can here: the next few mazes all have crafting items that are beyond what we can buy at the general store, even after I built a few more gathering buildings to upgrade the level of what’s available there.

We haven’t even gotten to the gate yet, and I found a spear for Leander that rivals Evan’s sword.

There’s a spirit in here too, which I never bothered to talk to the first time I played through this because I still didn’t know about the talk to ghosts spell.

Crooked Cavern may as well be Tidewash Cave - same rooms but with higher level enemies. The first floor had a bunch of chests on it, but none of them had anything good apart from a bunch of high-end crafting materials. I got the three Seraphic Silk for that sidequest in about 30 seconds.

By the way, remember that bone mail we found forever ago off a tainted monster? It finally starts dropping here, as does the steelpounder (Bracken’s hammer).

This dungeon has a few new palette swaps. Meet the Darkness Incarnate, which goes down about as easily as the Light-based one did.

Of course, there are also dark-based goos…

And an NPC who trades orbs in exchange for increasing the danger level. I felt like living on the edge and just accepted it blindly, bringing us to DL2 by floor 2.

If we hadn’t gotten grass-green thread for that one sidequest way back when, this is where it first starts dropping.

There’s also dark-based fairy enemies which aren’t anything to write home about.

Floor 7 brings us both a new level type and a new NPC. Slow-filling danger gauge works exactly as advertised. I had finished the third level gauge upgrade before I started this dungeon, so the gauge on this floor was raising extremely slowly.

The fortune teller will make it so the next floor always has a special type, and will then tell you what that type is in exchange for a fuckload of money.

Just before the final door, I let the danger level tick up to four. This made most enemies over level 60, which as it turns out actually isn’t a bad thing. If you notice, Roland is almost level 49 when he was 47 just a few dungeons ago.

I also forgot that idols only lower the level by 1, so I used two of them to get the danger level back to 2. The boss, as it turns out, was pretty easy even nine or so levels above the party.

Zagg is a total pushover when he doesn’t have scenery to jump onto. I purposely got hit by an entire chain of attacks and it didn’t even come close to killing Roland, even with the scant amount of armor upgrades I found along the way.

And that’s the seventh chaos emerald out of… nine. After a quick stop at Evemore to drain the coffers, it’s time to go to the penultimate dreamer’s gate and hopefully find some worthwhile shit.

I mean, apart from this wand, and a ring for Roland that increases all of his damage by like 10%, along with some other minor armor upgrades.

If you’re wondering how much I managed to grind kingdom management mode during this whole thing, the answer is that the LP kingdom is now actually better than my first playthrough’s kingdom in terms of income, and I still haven’t upgraded a few of the big-influence buildings all the way.

I also did that sidequest with the seraphic silk.

Our next stop is Blowtorch Cave, which I grabbed the warp point for when getting Evan’s alternate outfit. There’s no enemies between us and the gate, but there is one group out of the way. Let’s just check and…

Hoo boy, that’s not good. They’re a good 10+ levels higher than us. We want to go in, stay to Danger Level 1, and…


This dungeon has a new enemy: the Skelepaladin, a dark-element skeleplasm that has a new multi-hit attack that can and will instakill via stunlock on Extreme.

There’s also the light-type fairy enemy, which… heals other enemies. Great.

Not much interesting happens until Floor 3, when we get an effect that boost all EXP earned. I got Bracken to level 50 here, which I believe is higher than I was at this point in my first playthrough. The fact that I built the second-tier training ground in Evermore and got the extra EXP boost upgrade definitely helps.

But you know what, fuck it. I went all the way through Floor 3 and got… THIS.

I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen a weapon from a tainted monster get beaten by a random drop.

However, I dicked around so long that by level 9, even with rushing to the doors, I was at DL3. What’s the worst that could happen?

Oh right, I get oneshotted. Thankfully, we upgraded the General Store (to maximum, actually) and have Soreaway Sweets, which restore HP to everyone. I didn’t game over here, either. I mean, how much worse could it…

Oh right. I used a ton of revive items here.

I dropped the danger level all the way to 1, because I was honestly afraid I was going to game over.

Floor 10 has one of the most dickish effects in the game if you’re not ready for it. This floor type disables one type of elemental damage. If your best weapon by a mile happens to be that element (thankfully, no one was using light at this point), you get dicked over pretty hard. The door spawned right behind the starting point, so it was real short.

Floor 11 was a Floor of Respite, which is guaranteed to have an idol (along with not raising the gauge while you’re on it). I took advantage of that and paid 10 orbs to the idol to get back to level 1.

The next idol, by the way, is 30 orbs. Mr. Reset definitely comes in handy (he spawned on the next floor but I didn’t use him) at that point.

The only other good drop I found was a ring that boosts all damage and also boosts sword damage, so I equipped that to Roland straightaway.

On Floor 15, I turned Extreme off and paid the 30 orbs to go back to danger 1.

Meet the Porchestrator. He’s a unique model (as far as I know) but he’s relatively simple for a boss.

His most damaging attack requires a long charge before he does a forward dash attack that carries him clear to the other side of the room. This is by no means a threat because it’s dead easy to dodge.

The real threat is his sword, which can hit a full 180 degree arc in front of him and has some insane range. The Porchestrator also can’t be knocked down, so you have to hope he doesn’t turn and hit you mid-swing while you’re behind him getting hits in.

Eight down, one to go. I stopped at Evermore again, and uh…

Advanced institute status: fully levelled, all important research completed.

Aranella Square costs 240,000 KG to max out without that research done.

By the way, even though this is a side update, it turns out you definitely want to level the training ground because it gives you more EXP for your citizens. Whoops.

It’s time for the final charge. The last door is in the frozen area that is never used for anything.

Shivery Shrine has a tainted monster in it that I did go ahead and kill, but killing tainted monsters is going to be fucking pointless. Remember how I said this game’s gear progression is broken? There’s a way to make it even more broken.

We can see right away that the enemies are way higher level than we are. Get used to that.

Doombo is a dark slime that, like all other slimes, is highly damaging and has broken hitboxes and also splits when it loses HP.

I can’t tell you how many healing items I wasted on this.

Roland finally hits level 50, and we also get a bow that is going to be a trash drop after we finish the final dreamer maze.

Behind Doombo is a ghost that tells us about the Faraway Forest, which is the 100-floor dreamer maze.

In this maze, I didn’t fuck around. I ran right for the exits, dodging as many fights as I could.

On Floor 3, I ran into this fucker. Do not talk to him.

Here we can see a fuckload of high-level enemies guarding the door. The trick to these kind of rooms is that enemies take a good couple of seconds to spot you even if you run right past them. If you run along the outer edge of the room, you might have just enough time to interact with the door before combat can start.

Well, that’s not good.

Thankfully, the door was right behind the starting position.

The rest of the dungeon is pretty uneventful, but here you can see what I’m talking about: the enemies are about to engage and I’m just slipping through the door.

It’s a good thing I did too, because there’s no idol here.

Time for a rematch with BL-Iterator. He’s exactly the same as he was in Broadleaf, only without the crazy sword beam spam attack.

Instead, he likes to waste time by rolling around a lot.

I swear, he spent like two full minutes just rolling around.

And with that, we have the last dream fragment.

Milleniyah gives us the key to get into the Faraway Forest.

We also get her as a citizen, which is pointless. Her skill doesn’t unlock anything and she can only really be effective in the dimensional lab… which we’ve already almost maxed out.

The Faraway Forest is on an island east of Broadleaf.

Unlike the other dreamer gates, the Faraway Forest is truly random: it uses all of the existing rooms from the other gate types as well as a few new ones. The enemies are also somewhere between level 65 and level 70 to start… and get harder the deeper you go. I believe the danger gauge also goes higher in the Faraway Forest than it does in the other mazes.

As you can see, the trash drops from the Faraway Forest outdo pretty much anything you can find in the base game. They get even better if you somehow manage to do it on Extreme.

The only bad part is that you’ll find a lot of items like this, where the second bonus is a series of question marks. This is because it’s used for a system that only exists in the paid DLC… but they still put this shit into the base game to fuck you over.

Honestly, just running into the first floor or two of the forest and exiting will get you gear good enough to finish the game with and then some. Nothing that drops between now and when we finish the game is probably going to be better than what we’ve got… including tainted monster drops.

Now you know how to break the game. The question is… should we? If yes, I’ll stream a farm session in the forest and grab more gear.


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Side Update: We Broke The Game (kinda)

I did three more Faraway Forest runs on Extreme on stream. These were the results.

With the gear I found there, I was able to kill a tainted monster I never killed on my first playthrough. Batu is now super strong and super naked. I replaced Bracken for him because Bracken kept getting oneshotted. We have another hammer with almost as much attack power if we want Bracken as well.

We also found some real good armor. Batu has the second-best equips.

Leander I used mostly because his dodge roll is the fastest, which is useful because in the Faraway Forest you’re practically required to run away from/dodge encounters so that you can make it to the gates. While his spear has the second-highest attack value of any equipped weapon we have, his attacks aren’t typically as damaging as Roland’s.

Leander has the third-best armor, mostly because his attacks aren’t all that useful. However, his spear makes him a confusion machine that can stunlock enemies.

Unfortunately, I never found a sword for Roland with more attack rating than the one he’s been using. His gun, however, is a different story.

Roland has our best armor, because he’s the best at knocking shit down, which is how you win when the enemies are 50+ levels higher than you.

With the gear we have (plus a sword if I can grind one), we are in more than good enough shape to destroy the rest of the game. The question is, who are we bringing along, assuming I don’t find a better sword? Post your opinions and I’ll check before the next update.

Edit: I went back in and as it turns out, the best gear in Faraway Forest is in those blue chests that require a fuckload of orbs to unlock. You’re intended to have a research done that we can’t do yet (I think it requires a person from Ding Dong Dell) done so that you get three orbs every time you pick one up. Anyway…

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Update 41: The Final Fantasy 8 Sewer Segment Only More Anime

Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing a half-naked Batu in these cutscenes because I did this part before the massive amount of sidequest grinding in the last real update and the Faraway Forest runs that got us the gear we’re going to use to break the rest of the game.

Evan: “We were so worried about you, Roland! But now you’re back, and that’s the important thing.”

Roland: “Look, I want to apologize. If I didn’t have to trick you all, I wouldn’t have done. I’m sorry…”

He’s only sorry that the writers didn’t leave in the draft where he actually turns evil and the plot actually went somewhere.

Batu: “Well, ye certainly had me goin’, lad! Hook, line, and blessed sinker!”

Tani: “You had all of us going, you horrible man!”

Bracken: “But I think we all believed in you, somewhere deep down.”

Thanks, Bracken. Too bad I don’t believe in you because you were too busy getting your ass oneshotted in Faraway Forest and wasting all my recovery items, even if your attack animations are way better (read: shorter) than Batu’s.

Decadus: “Did my gifts prove useful in the end?”

I mean, if you count the whole teleporting forward instead of rolling thing that let me get into a bunch of the doors and chests in Faraway Forest, sure I guess.

Roland: “Sure. Lock-picking bugs, frog pills… you sure know how to keep things interesting.”

Roland: “And here’s what made it all worthwhile. Evan, this is for you.”

You’re going to give me a game with an actual plot where I can enjoy more than just mindlessly grinding for equipment that will utterly break any semblance of balance or gear progression? You shouldn’t have!

There are almost moments where I think this game looks good, and then I remember that it’s almost impossible to get a still picture of it without the entire artstyle falling apart.

Roland: “Now you can open the Kingsway and get back into Ding Dong Dell without having to go through all those soldiers.”

Roland: “Mausinger was desperate to find it, just like I thought he’d be. It might just be the bargaining chip we need to get him to sign the declaration.”