Part 3 - Rudy the Wandering Youth
Previously, we spent half an hour talking to poeple and reading books. Today, we get to the final character route, and finally meet our gunslinger.
Music - Hope
We open with narration and a gradual pan across a pastoral village.
A devastated environment filled with ferocious monsters plague the people of Filgaia who desperately try to cling to their land.
“Dream Chaser” here was localized as “Wanderer” in Alter Code F, and “Drifter” in 3, 4, and 5, IIRC. Drifter certainly fits the Western aesthetic the game is going for, but I feel Dream Chaser is pretty cool too.
This seems a bit odd to me, because there’s a bunch of dialogue in the village that states that Surf is definitely not Rudy’s hometown, and suggests he just got here fairly recently. If so, isn’t he already a Dream Chaser?
You turned out to be OK. By the way, what’s your name?
Rudy, you’re stronger than you look. The horses seem happy. Here’s today’s pay.
Sorry kid, this is all the village can afford. You should see if the mayor has any more work for you. Thanks again! See ya.
At this point, we gain control. Let’s take a look at our new character, shall we?
Rudy has the highest VIT (and thus Defense). His HP and attack are middle of the road; slightly less than Jack’s. His SOR, MGR and RES are abysmal; he folds like paper from magic attacks and will pretty much always be going last, barring stat-boosting items/equipment.
His only special ability right now is Hand Cannon, which does exactly what you think it does. Rudy is unique in that his special abilities (the ARMs mentioned in one of the books last update) run off of bullets, not MP. I’ll go into what that means when we pick up another ARM for him.
We’ll go see the mayor… eventually. But first thing we do is talk to this guy again.
By the way, Rudy. Can you help out with the horses?
Wandering around the stables, there are some horses and chickens. The horses just make a neighing sound effect when interacted with, and I’m pretty sure they don’t even move. But just like Legend of Zelda, you can pick up and throw the chickens.
Around the back of the… barn (or whatever that is), there are some crates.
Smashing them gives us a Heal Berry, and…
Our first stat-booster. Hardy Apples increase VIT by 1. I’ll probably hold a vote on who gets what after we’ve got a few more under our belts.
Up in the actual stable building, we find this boy, named Tony.
Do you want to know why?
Ha ha ha. I can’t tell you! Maybe when I get back.
No?.. Hmm… You didn’t find out, did you?
Well, this child is clearly planning something wholesome and won’t be causing any trouble in the near future.
On the other side of the stables’ fence is this child, who is surprisingly well-versed in the local history.
But the last seed was used to kill a monster, so there are no more. You wanna hear more?
Long ago, a monster prevented the villagers from collecting berries from the cave. The villagers hired many bounty hunters. But the monster kept coming back to life over and over again.As everyone began to give up, one of the bounty hunters had a brilliant idea. His idea was to plant a Holy Berry seed inside the monster while it was regenerating. The Holy Berry sprouted and sealed the monster with its magic. Nobody believes the story anymore. It’s considered a fairy tale.
I don’t blame you. No one believes in the story anymore.
Over by the village well is this man.
I hear the world is coming to an end. It must be an OMEN!
Crazy doomsday cultists always spring up this time of year.
In a crate next to this house (actually the Mayor’s house; we’ll see the inside… eventually) we find the STR-boosting apple.
This guy over near the entrance seems to be the village greeter. They always seem to have one, despite the population of the average JRPG town being smaller than the staff of your local Walmart.
We’re not allowed to leave the village until we talk to the mayor.
You’re okay, but we’re trying to keep this kid named Tony from going outside. He’s a pain in the…
And the greeter has something to say to us, as well, if we try to leave the village right now.
Man, if I wasn’t married I would love to live a life filled with adventure.
This guy is the village store. He doesn’t sell anything particularly useful; that Long Knife there is the weapon Rudy currently has equipped. Gella is the currency of Filgaia.
Oh?! You don’t… I’m sorry to hear that. Pardon me.
Inside the house is this woman, who serves to confirm that Rudy is indeed a Certified JRPG Protagonist, dead parents and all. Next is the house next door to the mayor’s (See? I’m on my way!), which houses Tony’s family.
With my husband’s injury, we couldn’t take care of the horses ourselves. Where is Tony? He’s probably causing trouble somewhere.
We could use a hand around here, with me sick in bed… Thank you! If there were still Holy Berries in the Berry Cave, I wouldn’t be here. My son and I were talking about this earlier.
Tony is the boy who’s definitely not plotting anything over in the stables. We get a hint here of what his plan is.
Ha ha ha. Rudy, you’re merciless. This village used to be lively back when there was still some berry trade here.
Ha ha ha. You don’t have to be nice. I’m bored too. To the south, there is a city holding a festival. I want to go.
Past the empty house on the other side of Tony’s is this man, who’s bored in his hometown but won’t let you say you are as well. I feel that canonically, Rudy would probably say he didn’t find it boring, and would actually mean it; he may be a silent protagonist, but he does get some characterization, as we’ll see later. Though, haven’t we heard somebody else mention a festival recently?
In the crates nearby (covered by the Yes/No prompt in the screenshot), we find another Heal Berry.
Stories of her battles with monsters are famous. She’s probably very beautiful.
To the south of the stables is this boy, who clues us in on the local gossip, while admirably demonstrating kid logic. “She beats up monsters. I bet she’s gorgeous.” Next stop, the mayor’s house, finally.
The mayor’s wife serves as an inn. Her husband is upstairs.
Thanks to you, the stables are in great shape! Take these as a token of my appreciation. Long ago, I found these Bombs while exploring ancient ruins. You may find them handy.
This is much better pay than a single Heal Berry! The Bombs are Rudy’s first tool. Unlike Jack or Cecilia, he doesn’t start with one.
These bombs will destroy most small objects. Walk next to the object you want to blow up and push the Tools button. It will go off in a bit. These magical bombs will never run out. In the good old days, magic berries could be found in the cave to the south. We would use the bombs to clear debris from the cave. Now that all of the berries are gone, we no longer need them. The world is fading and our village is starting to feel the impact.
Uh, the kid outside said that the story of the monster in the Berry Cave was so old nobody believes it anymore. And yet here you say that these bombs, that you found, were used in that very cave. How old are you, Mayor Pifer?
As the mayor said, the Bombs will destroy crates, loose rocks, etc. Place them with the Tools button (default Square) and then wait for them to go off. They can’t be moved once placed, but also don’t hurt you when they explode, so they’re safe to use in cramped confines.
As we go to leave, this man literally runs into Rudy.
Excuse me! I must talk to the mayor immediately.
What do we do?
The mayor paces around his rug for a bit.
The Berry Cave is full of monsters. There is not much we can do. I must talk to the townsfolk about this situation. Please keep this quiet. We can’t have people panicking.
We regain control now. Speaking to the mayor nets us this:
The cave to the south is full of monsters. Dear, oh dear…
And the man who came to inform the mayor has this to say:
I don’t have time for this. That troublesome kid!!!
Note that this guy is probably the one standing by the entrance who told us that he’d love to live a life filled with adventure. What does he even do?
Since the Mayor is keeping Tony’s departure quiet, most of the townsfolk have the same dialogue. Only Tony’s parents have updated, aside from what we’ve already seen.
Tony! Tony! Where could he be? I hope he’s not causing trouble in the village…
My son Tony… He may seem wild, but he’s really a good kid. His smiling face has helped me through my illness.
They don’t know he’s left town yet, but they do seem to sense something’s amiss.
And the “adventure” guy is back at his post, doing… whatever it is he does. Must be essential work.
Music - Into the Wilderness
And now we get to leave the town of Surf. Rudy is the only character who gets to leave his starting area before his scenario is over. We could go exploring, and even reach the others’ areas as well as the next town; but we’ll save that for a bonus update. Out on the overworld, the random encounters include Balloons, Pillbugs, and an enemy we’ll see later this update.
The Berry Cave is only a short walk from the village. Let’s see if we can find Tony; he can’t have gotten too far, right?
Music - Cold Darkness
No one from the village is allowed in here! What am I to do?
At the entrance to the cave, we meet the cowboy assigned to guard it. If we came here as anyone else (or presumably somehow got Rudy out of town before seeing the mayor), he’d be blocking the entrance and tell us the cave was off-limits.
Past him, we find this sign. That second part, “Bats bring danger,” is part of a warning. Don’t worry, it’ll be elaborated on later.
Large crates cannot be lifted and thrown; they must be broken with bombs. Most have items in them; this one contains a Heal Berry. On our way to the next room, we get our first random encounter.
Music - Critical Hit!
Balloons are still not a threat.
Even though Rudy’s slower than they are and doesn’t quite one-shot them unless he gets lucky on the damage roll. They have 35 HP, remember.
In the next room, this lever moves the statue out of the way, allowing progress.
Proceeding south, we find these crates. None of them hold anything, although the chest has 50 Gella.
With another 50 in a chest just offscreen.
This sign is directly above the last chest. Sorry, but you’re blocking the way, so you gotta go.
As we proceed, we encounter the second monster found in the Berry Cave.
Goblins are the most dangerous enemies in the Berry Cave. They almost always beat a level 1 Rudy in initiative, have 40 HP and thus can’t be one-shot without a crit (or the Hand Cannon), hit decently hard, and frequently come in pairs. Make sure Rudy never dips below 20 HP, and if you encounter two of them, heal if Rudy’s below 40 HP.
Continuing on, we find another switch, which means another statue is likely nearby. We don’t want to flip this one yet, though.
Because this one has a crate in front of it, preventing it from moving. Blowing up the crate (which is one of the rare large crates to contain nothing) allows us to flip the switch and move on.
And we find the final enemy encounter in the Berry Cave. The Tatzelbelm, localized as Tatzelwurm in Alter Code F, looks like a lizard in this game, but was redesigned to be a land-dragon-thing in ACF. They can also appear on the world map.
They have 70 HP, so Rudy frequently takes three attacks to finish one. They also have a fire breath attack (called Flame Tongue in this version, and Baking Breath in ACF) that they almost never use. However, they’re weaker than the Goblins and the only monster in the dungeon consistently slower than Rudy, so they’re actually less threatening, even in rarely-encountered pairs. Most of the time, they show up alone or with a Balloon, which makes them even less of a threat.
Even so, it’s still fun to let loose on one with the Hand Cannon. Rudy’s still level one here, and dealing around 30 damage with a basic attack, keep in mind. The Hand Cannon is a pretty big boost to his attack power.
In the next room, we find this sign. “Slow and easy” just means “ease off the dash button you moron”; there’s no stealth mechanic in this section.
What happens if you run? Well, if you’re running when you hit this bridge here, some bats come out and afflict Rudy with the “Bad Omen” status condition. Bad Omen causes all enemy attacks to target the afflicted character, and outside of battle, it increases the random encounter rate. Since Rudy’s solo (and generally the guy you want attacks focusing on anyways) and more random encounters means more Exp, you could actually see this as a boon rather than a detriment.
There’s also these rocks at the end of the walkway to trip you up if you’re running when you hit them. Here, it’s more of an inconvenience than an actual danger (they don’t deal damage themselves). The treasure chest pictured contains a Holy Symbol, which cures the Bad Omen status you may or may not have gained on the way.
There’s also a treasure chest below containing a Heal Berry.
From there, we head north to this downward staircase.
Which leads us to this cluster of crates. The large one reveals a Heal Berry when bombed.
At the bottom, we find this curious-looking wall. Well, years of playing Zelda games have conditioned me to use high explosives when walls look unusual, especially deep underground. I should look for a job in the mining sector.
Inside, we find three treasure chests, containing a Power Apple, a Hardy Apple, and this, the RES-boosting apple.
Back in the main room, we cross under the bridge we dashed over before and find this large crate, containing a Heal Berry.
Further south, we find these switches, and two statues this time. Flipping the right switch moves the bottom statue, which gets caught on the top one if it’s there.
Therefore, the correct solution is to flip the left switch first.
In the next room, we find this, which will refill the bullets in one of Rudy’s ARMs. I’ve used a whole one bullet, just to demonstrate the Hand Cannon’s power. I think the game expects me to use more of those in random encounters than I do at this point. Still, it’s nice to have, and I’ll almost certainly use it sooner or later.
Past the save point there, we finally find Tony. Let’s see what he has to say for himself.
The berries are on the other side of this blocked passage.
He can actually be talked to twice more for more dialogue.
I know it’s not safe here, but I have to get those berries for my wounded father!
Aren’t you a [Dream Chaser]? I’ve heard about you. Can you move those boulders? Please, I’ll be a good boy. I’ll do all my chores.
See? Tony directly calls Rudy a Dream Chaser here. Then we blow up some rocks with a young child standing about ten feet from the bomb.
I have to get back! My father is waiting for these berries back home.
But he seems fine.
The next room is a long, wet cavern. I’m not really sure what to call it; “lake” and “pond” don’t seem appropriate, since Rudy can wade through it, but “puddle” seems too small.
We pick up a bandanna for Rudy along the way.
And it seems like these would be the Holy Berries. Dunno what that glowing monolith is, but I don’t think it’s important.
This is what we came here for (kinda), so let’s take 'em. Tony shows up at this point, having finally dredged up the courage to walk in.
With these berries, I can heal my father! Let’s hurry! I’ve got to get them to him right away!
And they leave.
Then the room starts shaking.
The monolith grows dark.
And then cracks in half.
Looks like it’s not just the room shaking, it’s a full-blown earthquake.
The camera pans down, past this other cave…
And this castle…
To end on this building. This is our first time seeing the outside, but this is the Curan Abbey, where Cecilia’s scenario takes place.
Back at the entrance to the Berry Cave, it looks like the entire village is here to greet us.
Why do you always cause so much trouble?
I came to get these berries to heal father’s wounds.
Are you two OK?!
What was that earthquake all about?!
I have always told you not to come here…
You’re safe, that’s all that matters. Let’s go home.
Boss Fight - Zombie
Music - What Crawls in the Dark
As everyone starts leaving, the dog notices something.
A blast of air ripples out of the entrance to the Berry Cave.
And red eyes can be seen in the darkness inside.
The monster emerges and lets out a mighty roar.
Music - Battle ~ Mid Boss
And then the fight is on.
First, I equip the Bandanna I forgot about until the fight.
The first of the Zombie’s two forms of attack is just a basic physical strike. It doesn’t hit particularly hard; the Goblins were doing almost as much damage.
The second is Rotten Breath, which hits considerably harder. Despite what you might expect, it doesn’t inflict any status effects, though.
ARM Lock-On is Rudy’s level 1 Force ability. It guarantees the ARM you use with it will hit, no matter what. It’s an okay Force power, especially at the beginning of the game when Rudy’s ARM accuracy is at its worst. Still, Hand Cannon has an 89% accuracy even at base, so you can get by without using it.
Shown: the final hit on the Zombie, after gaining a few Force levels.
Zombie has 750 HP, so it doesn’t take too long plugging away at it with the Hand Cannon to bring it down. It took all my remaining bullets, and you’ll probably have to heal once or twice, though.
The healing light from the Holy Berry reduces the Zombie to sludge.
And it does.
Tony’s Mom pulls Tony back away from Rudy.
Music - Omen of Ostracism
…?! What happened, Mom?
You have brought tragedy to the entire Village of Surf.
I know about you. You possess the [ARM]. The forbidden power! I know I shouldn’t have, but I looked through your stuff the other day. The [ARM] has brought doom upon us all!
This line exists specifically because it’s entirely possible to beat the Zombie without ever actually using an ARM. It takes about three times as long, but it can be done, especially with the healing supplies I have from doing the other two routes first. This scene doesn’t change at all if you do, so there isn’t even really a point to doing so.
The Dream Chaser, Rudy, has cursed us all…
That earthquake was probably caused by Rudy!!!
It’s hard to tell, because they use the same sprite, but this Generic Villager and the guy saying the line immediately previous are two different people, and both are different from the guy also using the same sprite who spoke before. I know, it’s confusing.
Be quiet everyone!!! Rudy. Thanks for saving the boy. But you opened the forbidden path and put us all in danger. You also possess an [ARM]! You will be judged for this according to our village law. Do you agree, Rudy?
We must get back to the village at once. Rudy will be judged there.
I’m sorry, Rudy… Even though you’re a [Dream Chaser], you still have violated our law. We must judge you. You have no choice. Please come with us.
But thou must! At this point, we get the Yes/No prompt again. Accepting takes us back to the Mayor’s house.
Music - Alone in the World
He’s just a [Dream Chaser]. It may be cruel, but he may bring harm upon us all.
Again, more people who refer to Rudy as a Dream Chaser. I’m beginning to suspect that the opening scrawl was a localization mistake or something.
When the seal was broken, it caused an earthquake that damaged the entire village.
I’m presenting these lines by text box because it’s impossible to know who’s speaking them. I tend to assume each text box is a different villager. Also, nothing in the village is actually damaged. Designing new tiles for damaged buildings is hard.
We regain control here, but only until we get downstairs.
I took him in, so I’ll inform him of our decision.
Mayor Pifer walks over to Rudy.
I mean, I feel like the first sign of a kangaroo court is if the accused isn’t even allowed to be present, let alone defend himself.
Then you know what we’ve decided. I must ask you to pack your things and leave. And please, don’t come back.
Talking to Mayor Pifer after he passes sentence on Rudy gets us this:
Your actions have brought chaos to this village. If you have any conscience at all, please leave.
Well, he’s certainly not happy with Rudy. His wife has this to say:
I heard from my husband that you committed a crime. Please don’t visit me.
Let’s go talk to the folks around the table.
Two identical villager sprites sitting right next to each other. And there’s a third sitting directly across from them! It’s like somebody knew some goon would try to SSLP this game 20 years in the future and deliberately made it difficult!
I knew it. You can’t trust strangers.
You’ve desecrated the way of life we hold so dear.
I think you guys might be overreacting a bit to Rudy’s heinous crime of “shot a zombie with a gun to save the life of a young child”. I’m all for gun control, but I feel exceptions can be made, and this might be a good time for one.
Also, it’s time for another round of NPC Chat, because everyone’s dialogue has updated. Most of it is about how much they hate Rudy for being a lawbreaking scumbag now. It won’t take that long, though, because a bunch of the villagers are in the Mayor’s house busily convicting our protagonist. Tony’s house is next door, so let’s start there.
Tony’s Mom now hates us forever. His father, however, seems a bit more reasonable.
It was all my fault. Please forgive me. If I didn’t get injured, none of this would have happened to either you or my son. I beg your forgiveness.
He’s also beating himself up over this. I don’t think you chose to get hurt, Tony’s Father. Unless you did something Darwin Award stupid to get that injury, I don’t think this can be pinned on you.
This guy is the one who asked us if we thought the town was boring earlier.
This is what the kid who told us the story about the Berry Cave has to say.
And this is the kid who was gaga over Calamity Jane earlier.
Shopkeeper Cowboy won’t sell to us any more. Which is fine, because I never bought anything from him anyways.
The Official Town Greeter now hates all Dream Chasers because of Rudy. And with everyone else in the Mayor’s house, it’s time to leave.
Well, right after we hear what Tony has to say.
I know that you did the right thing and that they are wrong. I just want to say, thank you. I’ve gotta get back. Thanks again!
This is the final time we’ll be seeing this in this LP.
Within him is a power he never asked for… the skill to use the forbidden ARMs. He still wanders the world in search of his soul, unaware of his inborn power…
Now, I forgot to check Rudy’s stats before I recorded the next update. I did, however, go through his prologue twice more, and his stats ended up the same both times, so I’m relatively certain that this screenshot is accurate aside from Exp totals and possibly Luck, although both playthroughs had Rudy’s Luck as BAD at the end, so the game might set it to that?
That’s it for this time. Join me next time for another bonus update; this time it’ll be what-ifs, alternate dialogues, and even a glitch or two!