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DarkHamsterlord
Jul 8, 2010

Corpse Party, bitches.



Wild Arms XF, or "Wild Arms: Crossfire," is a strategy RPG spinoff of the Wild Arms series, developed by Media.Vision and released on the PSP in 2008. The game follows the story of Clarissa Arwin and her companion Felius, who travel to the kingdom of Elesius in pursuit of the man who stole Clarissa's mother's sword, Iskender Bey.

Wild Arms XF is a class-based strategy RPG. Each character can change their class before battle, and much of the strategy revolves around selecting the correct class to counter your enemy's forces. You can also mix and match the skills of various classes; as you level up your class, you learn its skills and can then equip them while playing as a different class.

I bought Wild Arms XF just because it has "Wild Arms" in the title, and it kind of introduced me to the strategy RPG genre (I had played SRPGs before, but never really got into them before this). It's still one of my favorite games in the genre, likely due to a combination of it being my first, and me being a huge Wild Arms fanboy. The beginning of the game can feel a little bit restrictive, as a lot of encounters seem to have one "correct" strategy and set of classes you're meant to use, but as you progress and gain more options, you're able to approach the battles more freely and the game gets to be a lot of fun.

This LP will be primarily screenshot, with videos for the (atrociously) voice acted scenes. The video content will also be transcribed and presented with screenshots, if you just can't stand to hear the voice acting. I'll also be providing Tindeck links to all the music, and you'd better click them because it's all incredible.


Prologue: Seed of the Dandelion

Act 1: Path of the Founding Knights
Act 1-1
Act 1-2
Interlude - Class Roundup 1
Act 1-3
Act 1-4
Act 1-5
Act 1-6
Act 1-7
Act 1-8
Interlude - Class Roundup 2

DarkHamsterlord fucked around with this message at Jun 28, 2014 around 20:45

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DarkHamsterlord
Jul 8, 2010

Corpse Party, bitches.

Music: Crossfire



"The land is covered in flames, and those who battle sadness leave behind a trail of tears. And yet--

Some still strive for a glimpse of what lies beyond the sorrow..."




Welcome to Wild Arms XF! I've got nothing to say here that hasn't already been said in the OP, so we're just gonna jump right in and start a new game.

The song that plays on the title screen, Crossfire, is Wild Arms XF's requisite remix of Courage, the Wild Arms main theme.


Video: Prologue

Generally video links are just for if you want to hear the voice acting, but this scene actually has a fair bit of animation (well, if you can call "still images with special effects" a form of animation), which comes across a bit better in video than screenshots.

Music: Wind that Blows During the Interlude





I know you're here, Rupert! Show yourself!
...



Music: Beauty and the Shining Sword



--! The same dirty trick as before...




The blond-haired woman shoots at her attacker, but...






With a swing of his sword, he deflects the shot.



Well, that's a little harsh. You're the one who asked me to show myself in the first place!
...
Return my mother's sword! There's no way you could use it anyway.
... Hate to admit it, but you're right. No point in dragging this thing around if I can't get at its true power.



But I have to ask--why can't I get it to unleash that huge blast of energy again?
How should I know? Even I don't know how it works. My mother was the only one who could wield it. She wanted to use it to--



Bwah hah hah! That's rich. What a ridiculous dream.
How...how dare you!
Hey, watch it with the death glare, missy. You're gonna spoil that pretty little face of yours.
Enough already! Just return my mother's sword!
All right, all right. Here...




Rupert tosses Iskender Bey, and it lands point-down in the dirt.



Heh. You're as gullible as they come.



Rupert quickly closes the distance, placing himself between the sword and the girl.

(He had another sword?!)



Now who were you calling a coward, missy?!







What the--?!



Felius! Th...thank you.
You need to be more cautious, Clarissa. You can't just rush in like that.
drat, I was so close, too... Oh well, I suppose wherever little missy goes, big brother is sure to follow.




Felius attacks, but Rupert dodges away.



So give me back my mother's sword!
Sheesh! Settle down! Is that all you know how to say?



You know...if, as you say, there's no way I can use the sword's power... And you honestly don't know of any way to unlock said power...



Then I suppose there's really no reason for me to let the two of you live, is there?
Felius! Watch for his draw!
I see it!
Oh, you do, do you? You really think you can foil me that easily?



It is a relief to have found you, sir. I'm afraid our scheduled meeting time has already passed.
I'm kinda in the middle of somethin' here...
Forgive us, sir, but we were asked to ensure that you arrive at the harbor in time. If we tarry too long, I worry that you might miss your vessel. Should that happen, the next passenger ship does not depart until--
Fine, fine. But what about these two pests? You gonna stall 'em for me?
...No. We'll eliminate them.

The robed men step forward.



Hate to skip out on the fun, but I guess I got no choice...
Rupert, wait!




The robed men activate some sort of device, and...

Music: Slap the Cheek in a Mood to Kill





It looks like they're not just here to stop us.





We're brought into the Tactics menu, which precedes every battle in the game. From the tactics menu, we can adjust our party, change classes and equipment, take a look at the map, and view the win conditions of the battle.

Most of these things are locked to us right now, though. Pretty much all we can do here is look at the map and check the win conditions.




A simple objective for a simple mission. This game actually has quite a bit of mission variety, but for now we just have to murder everyone.



"Everyone" being Rupert and four generic enemies, from the look of things. There aren't really any preparations to make at this point in the game, so we just jump right into the battle.



Music: The Painted Future Set Upon an Easel





Different from most SRPGs, the battlefield in Wild Arms XF is divided into hexagons, or "HEXes," rather than squares. HEXes can have different effects (mud will decrease a unit's speed, while wooden planks will increase it, for example.), and different heights as well. If a HEX is too high, your unit won't be able to climb it. The "0 h" in the top-right corner is indicating our current HEX is at a height of 0.

Over across the right side of the screen, we have the turn order. Each unit's position in the turn order is determined by his or her Reflex stat; if a unit is fast enough, it is possible for them to go multiple times before a slow unit gets a turn.

Right now it's Clarissa's turn, and we have a few options. For now, we choose to move her.




Clarissa has a Move stat of 3, so she's able to move up to three spaces away from her current position. Moving a unit will not end their turn, but some Original Commands (abilities) cannot be used after moving. After moving, we choose to attack.



A unit's attack range is determined by the weapon they have equipped. Clarissa is a unique unit in that she's able to equip Strahl Gewehr, a gun that allows her to fire infinitely in a straight line, as long as nothing obstructs her line of fire. However, the farther away your target is from Clarissa, the less accurate and powerful her attack will be. Most units can only attack their immediate surroundings without the aid of an Original Command. Clarissa's weapon, Strahl Gewehr is also unique in that it levels up with her; other units will need to replace their weapons periodically, but Clarissa can continue to use Strahl Gewehr for the entire game.

We choose to fire at Strider Tarata.




Wild Arms XF is very transparent with its numbers. When you choose to attack a unit, you're told exactly what your odds of hitting are, and how you'll affect the target's stats.



Next up after Clarissa is Rupert's turn. With each turn he has, he moves farther away from the battle.

We progress toward the enemy line, with Clarissa taking shots at the enemies with each of her turns. Felius can only attack adjacent HEXes, so he's forced to wait after his moves until we close in on the enemy.




After a few rounds, we finally get close enough for Felius to attack.



His attacks hit much harder than Clarissa's, though he's less versatile thanks to his short range.

I'll take this opportunity to explain some of the status information displayed across the bottom of the screen. HP and MP are self-explanatory, as are ATK and DEF. MAG indicates the strength of your character's magic attacks, while RES indicates their magic defense. I've already explained the MOV stat, and CLM shows how high you can climb. If a HEX is more than three "height levels" above Felius, he can't climb up it, since his CLM stat is 3.

VP requires a bit of explanation. Each piece of equipment has a weight value. At the end of each turn, whether you perform an action or just wait, your VP will decrease by your character's overall equipment weight. Once your VP hits 0, you'll take HP damage equal to your equipment weight each turn. You can't drop below 0 HP this way, but running out of VP is still a very very bad thing.




The battle continues, and we're able to flank this enemy unit with Clarissa and Felius.



When you have an enemy flanked and target them with a standard attack, you'll perform a Formation Art.



Formation Arts give a significant boost to your damage output. The projected damage for Felius' attack was 38, but since Clarissa joined in, we hit for 51 instead. You can also do a three-way formation art by forming a triangle around an enemy, and a six-way formation art by surrounding an enemy on all sides. Note that the damage and accuracy for Formation Arts are determined solely by the attacking unit's stats, which are then boosted by a flat amount. The stats of the supporting units are not used in the damage calculation at all.

Setting up Formation Arts to increase your damage output is a very important part of battle in this game. But enemies can do Formation Arts as well, so it's just as important to ensure your own units don't get surrounded.




As the battle progresses, Rupert eventually reaches the end of the map. Once he reaches this point, he spends each turn simply waiting.

We continue moving closer to him and eliminating the enemies. When either Clarissa or Felius gets close to Rupert, a cutscene occurs.





He swings his blade, and...



Hmph. This would've been easier on both of us if you'd gotten yourselves squished under there...



Anyway, I gotta get a move on. But quit followin' me around, missy--or next time'll be your last. As long as you remember that, I'm sure we'll get along just fine.
And just when we'd gotten this close...!
...See ya 'round. I'll figure out Iskender Bey's secrets myself--even if it takes me a lifetime to do it.



Rupert turns around and leaves the battlefield.



And the battle continues as before.



We eliminate the final enemy, and the mission is won.

Music: The Victorious and the Lost Ones





After each battle, the spoils screen comes up, and we're awarded Gella and items. This screen is kind of silly, because the "Gella Earned" value ticks down to 0 and is added to the "Total Gella" value. Except it starts ticking down instantly (literally the first frame it appears), so you can't really tell how much Gella you earned from a battle unless you know your total Gella going in. It's not really a problem, it's just kind of goofy.



And then we get our experience. EXP is just regular character experience, while CSP is Class Skill Points, experience for your character's current class.

Each character also has EXP and CSP multipliers, which are determined by that character's contribution in battle.




Music: Stagnation Brings Impurity to the Truth



Wyman: Heh heh... I never though this little vial would come in handy...



--?!



It's too late, Felius... They're already dead.
So it would seem.
They poisoned themselves when they realized they'd lost... What kind of secret did they share with Rupert? What could they have been willing to die for in order to protect?
... Not only did he get away...he managed to cover his tracks completely.
One of the robed guys said something about a ship. He must've been headed for a harbor somewhere...

Music: None



Hey, what's that? This looks like...some sort of badge? Did this belong to Rupert?
Hmmm. He must have dropped it in the skirmish earlier.



It looks like the kind of symbol you'd find in the emblem of a royal family, if that helps any.

Music: Make a Wish to the Wind and a Vow to the Light

Yes, that's it--a royal seal! I saw one just like this... The royal seal of Elesius!
...Elesius?
It's an old country on the eastern continent, across the sea... Hold on a second... I could've sworn I saw this in one of Mother's notebooks...



I didn't do anything. You're the one who figured it out, Clarissa.



I must've been so young that I don't remember anything about it.
I bet we can catch a ship to Elesius from one of the harbors nearby.
You intend to pursue him?
...Yeah. I don't know what Rupert is planning, but I can't allow him to use Mother's sword for evil! Will you...come with me?
...



Thank you, Felius. I feel like I could go anywhere with you by my side.
If we're to catch Rupert and reclaim Iskender Bey...
We need to head across the sea--to the kingdom of Elesius!



Video: Opening

Music: Honki no Uso (True Lies)



And with that, the opening animation plays and the prologue comes to an end.

Compared to the fully animated openings of the previous games, Wild Arms XF's opening animation is fairly disappointing, but it's worth watching regardless. The opening theme, Honki no Uso, was performed by Kaori Oda and composed by Noriyasu Agematsu, with lyrics by series composer Michiko Naruke. Honki no Uso is Michiko Naruke's only contribution to the soundtrack of Wild Arms XF.


Tune in next time, for the beginning of Act 1!

theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!


That is some music for the first battle.

As a huge SRPG nerd, I am following with interest!

Krysmphoenix
Jul 29, 2010

BAHAMUT.
Torch 'im.
I don't want to see
even ashes left.


DarkHamsterlord posted:

Honki no Uso is Michiko Naruke's only contribution to the soundtrack of Wild Arms XF.



Still, we still got Elements Garden around. Between them and Koda Masato, they've done a drat good job of emulating Naruke's half Wild West flavor.

Anyway, always glad to see another Wild ARMs LP. I really like how they handled the classes in this game, although there are a lot of things they could have done better. I can explain why VP is bullshit but there are missions later that handle it a lot better.

Wild Knight
Mar 27, 2010

Foul villain! I do not flee. I will never turn my back on you and run away!

[he says, running away]


VP kind of sounds like total bullshit, but I'm guessing there are ways to replenish it. I guess it's intended to punish sitting around with your thumb up your rear end, if I'm understanding it correctly?

I am super psyched for a new Wild Arms LP, it's been way too long since the last one, and it's great to see the one entry probably no one played. Seems like a mostly logical extension of 4 and 5's combat into a SRPG.

DarkHamsterlord
Jul 8, 2010

Corpse Party, bitches.

theshim posted:

That is some music for the first battle.

All of the music in this game series is

Krysmphoenix posted:

I can explain why VP is bullshit but there are missions later that handle it a lot better.

Wild Knight posted:

VP kind of sounds like total bullshit, but I'm guessing there are ways to replenish it. I guess it's intended to punish sitting around with your thumb up your rear end, if I'm understanding it correctly?

Yeah, VP isn't my favorite mechanic... There are items that replenish it, but keeping your VP up is really a hassle. On the bright side, it affects enemies too, so by the time you're running out of VP they'll probably be running out soon as well.

Krysmphoenix
Jul 29, 2010

BAHAMUT.
Torch 'im.
I don't want to see
even ashes left.


DarkHamsterlord posted:

Yeah, VP isn't my favorite mechanic... There are items that replenish it, but keeping your VP up is really a hassle. On the bright side, it affects enemies too, so by the time you're running out of VP they'll probably be running out soon as well.

Last Update posted:


Yes, assuming players and enemies run out of VP at the same rate, they'll clearly be out of VP by the time you go through all of yours twice.

Also this really shows just how stupidly arbitrary enemy stats are. Like that enemy has like a fourth of the HP he should normally. And most of the time they have way more VP than you do.

EDIT: gah, said once, meant twice.

Krysmphoenix fucked around with this message at May 14, 2014 around 00:46

DarkHamsterlord
Jul 8, 2010

Corpse Party, bitches.

Krysmphoenix posted:

Yes, assuming players and enemies run out of VP at the same rate, they'll clearly be out of VP by the time you go through all of yours once.

I guess it's more like "By the time you're out of items to refill your VP." It's not often that battles last long enough for that to happen though, unless you stall a whole bunch.

PotatoManJack
Nov 9, 2009


I remember when this came out, I looked into buying it, but for some reason never did. I'll defintiely be following this!

Getsuya
Oct 2, 2013

The dream and romance of any REAL man!


VP is this game's way of saying 'You're not solving this mission the way we want you to'. It's still very possible to go through missions your own way and take your time if you miss the 'correct' way, but it's pretty darn annoying. I love the story and art and classes and music of this game but I just kept giving up because I'm not good enough of a strategist to figure out what they wanted me to do and it was annoying following one of those step-by-step guides that literally tells you exactly where to move on what turn and what to do. There was no happy medium.

CmdrKing
Oct 14, 2012

Maybe if I called it 'Interpretive Stabbing'...

Getsuya posted:

VP is this game's way of saying 'You're not solving this mission the way we want you to'. It's still very possible to go through missions your own way and take your time if you miss the 'correct' way, but it's pretty darn annoying. I love the story and art and classes and music of this game but I just kept giving up because I'm not good enough of a strategist to figure out what they wanted me to do and it was annoying following one of those step-by-step guides that literally tells you exactly where to move on what turn and what to do. There was no happy medium.

While certain aspects of map design are definitely WAXF biggest flaw, I never really felt the game wasn't cluing me in on what it intended me to do. Although occasionally doing it my own way was actually simpler, just grindy or needlessly risky.

Anyway, much to say but not without getting ahead of ourselves. Love the game, following with interest, etc.

Picayune
Feb 26, 2007

Dog-Disciple Of
Shadow And Flame


Oh, man, I bought this (because I love the Wild ARMs series like whoa) but I never finished it because I got bogged down in unnecessary grinding. Now I can finally find out how it ends!

CmdrKing
Oct 14, 2012

Maybe if I called it 'Interpretive Stabbing'...

Picayune posted:

Oh, man, I bought this (because I love the Wild ARMs series like whoa) but I never finished it because I got bogged down in unnecessary grinding. Now I can finally find out how it ends!

XF is one of those games that only gets better as you get further (although in this case it's because the worst aspects of the overall design are front-loaded), so depending on exactly where you quit I'd advocate picking it back up.

Getsuya
Oct 2, 2013

The dream and romance of any REAL man!


Oh hey are you going to show off the crossover content you can get by hooking up Wild Arms XF with Wild Arms 5 (I think it was 5...). You had to like hook up your PSP to your PS2 with both games in or something like that. I was always curious about what it does, but I never owned both games at the same time.

Krysmphoenix
Jul 29, 2010

BAHAMUT.
Torch 'im.
I don't want to see
even ashes left.


Getsuya posted:

Oh hey are you going to show off the crossover content you can get by hooking up Wild Arms XF with Wild Arms 5 (I think it was 5...). You had to like hook up your PSP to your PS2 with both games in or something like that. I was always curious about what it does, but I never owned both games at the same time.

That was a Japan only thing, it unlocked some of the sealed crystal battles. In the US version those crystals were unlocked from the very beginning. Since DarkHamsterLord already did Wild ARMs 5 (archived too), technically he's already showed it off.

vilkacis
Feb 16, 2011



Sweet, I've been hoping someone would LP this since it's one of those games I've always wanted to play but never cared enough about owning the required hardware. That opening's a bit disappointing in its non-animated-ness, compared to the others... but everything else looks and sounds nice. And the combat seems like the logical next step from the one in 4/5.

Bookmarkin' yer thread, pardner.

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.


I kind of like the idea of a soft time limit enforced by gear. Are there some classes that are just heavier-equipment than others, or is there a good variety within classes?

BlazeEmblem
Jun 8, 2013

Uh oh. Do I use Ariadne thread or Goho-M?

Nice, I love this game. And all of the silly voice acting. I will follow this earnestly.

scissorman
Feb 7, 2011

How absolutely ridiculous

I agree with the sentiment, great to see this game played here.

One question, how is the interface?
One thing that always bothers me about older strategy games/SRPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics is the clumsy interface, e.g. lacking basic details like showing movement range for all enemies at once.

TKMobile
Apr 30, 2009


Very, very interesting. Never having a PSP, I had to miss out on this but I'm digging the sprites and designs immensely.

...Well, almost all of them. That Iskender Bey sword looks particularly difficult to wield, and not just because PLOT is keeping assholes like Rupert from getting to the cool sword-powers like laser beams or mountain splitting or whatever the sword purportedly can do.

DarkHamsterlord
Jul 8, 2010

Corpse Party, bitches.

Glazius posted:

I kind of like the idea of a soft time limit enforced by gear. Are there some classes that are just heavier-equipment than others, or is there a good variety within classes?

The better a piece of equipment's stats are, the heavier it is. You could equip a unit with a weaker weapon to conserve weight, but a general rule of thumb is that melee classes that use heavy weapons and armor are going to lose VP faster than wizards.

scissorman posted:

I agree with the sentiment, great to see this game played here.

One question, how is the interface?
One thing that always bothers me about older strategy games/SRPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics is the clumsy interface, e.g. lacking basic details like showing movement range for all enemies at once.

The interface is decent. You can only see the movement range for one enemy at a time, and some of the menus are kind of awkward to navigate, but you get used to it pretty quick and it's not a problem after playing for an hour or so.


I'll be posting the next update later today, by the way. I don't have any schedule in mind with this LP, but I want to update at least once every two or three days.

Krysmphoenix
Jul 29, 2010

BAHAMUT.
Torch 'im.
I don't want to see
even ashes left.


DarkHamsterlord posted:

The better a piece of equipment's stats are, the heavier it is. You could equip a unit with a weaker weapon to conserve weight, but a general rule of thumb is that melee classes that use heavy weapons and armor are going to lose VP faster than wizards.

Except the heavier melee classes tend to have more VP to go around too. Honestly, I'd say the fastest characters are the one who lose it the most because more turns = more chances to lose VP.

Honestly, it's not a big deal, just annoying. There were only two times I actively planned around VP in the game (one of which I wanted to lose all of my VP, ironically) and in New Game Plus where I had tons of super powerful but heavy equipment from the beginning. It's mostly there to discourage spending a million turns using passive recovery skills from some of the later classes

theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!


In a way, VP at least serves to balance out speed a little from becoming the god stat it tends to be in SRPGs, or at least that's my understanding - there's an actual downside to getting more turns, as opposed to that unit just being better than anyone else.

Maybe I will end up changing my opinion? We shall see!

DarkHamsterlord
Jul 8, 2010

Corpse Party, bitches.

Krysmphoenix posted:

Except the heavier melee classes tend to have more VP to go around too.

Which is why I said "lose VP" instead of "run out of VP"

(VP was never much of a problem for me, so I couldn't really remember which units tend to run out first. So I worded it in a less specific way)

DarkHamsterlord
Jul 8, 2010

Corpse Party, bitches.

Music: Wind that Blows During the Interlude




Each act of the game is divided into numerous sub-acts. Each sub-act contains at least one story mission, and a few events.

Music: A Stroll on the Town with You





For it to be this ordinary? It may seem that way, but remember, Rupert might have connections here. We mustn't relax our guard.
Yeah, I guess... But we should at least check out the town.
You want to go sightseeing?
No, of course not! Just, you know, to gather information! The locals might be able to tell us something useful.
Then I'll be right by your side. Wherever you go, I shall follow.
You always are, and you always do... Thanks, Felius.



And we're put into control. Towns in Wild Arms XF are made up of a series of menus. There are NPCs to talk to, and the Shop, Synth. Shop and Bar serve gameplay purposes. We head into the shop.



Once we select a destination, we're brought to yet another menu. Gilliam there has an orange exclamation point by his head, which means talking to him will progress the story.



Hmmm......Sorry. Can't recall anyone like that...



But isn't Fast Draw one of those skills you can't lean, even if you've got an ARM? Anyone brandishing a skill like that 'round here would stick out a fair bit, I think. I bet you'll catch his trail before too long, huh?

After speaking with Gilliam, we talk to the shopkeep.



Which gets us a sub-sub-menu. The stores in Wild Arms XF are all-purpose, so we can buy items and equipment here. We can also talk to the shopkeeper, but he's got nothing interesting to say. We leave the store and head into the Synth. Shop.



You visit them to improve your weapons and armor, basically. They can even make completely new items for you! Unfortunately, this here shop is closed for now. The shopkeeper's fallen ill, I'm afraid. Come back another time, won't you?

We can't actually use the Synth. Shop yet, unfortunately, but these will prove very useful to us later on. We head to the bar next.



Battle Fanatic just explains Formation Arts to us, so we talk to the bartender.



The Hire function is used to hire generic units to fight with you, but we can't make use of it until later in the game. Talking to the bartender is required to advance the story, though.



As for that badge...well, it looks like the ones people on royal missions wear. You wouldn't see any old Drifter carrying that, that's for sure......That's about all I can think of. Sorry I can't be of more help with your questions.

We're finished in the bar, so we head out to the outskirts of town.



The outskirts house nothing but NPCs. Most of the NPCs in this town just offer gameplay hints, so we just head straight for Heinz and talk to him.



There's some kinda "Drifter welcome program" going on, so the guy in the shop's distributing maps to all of us. Why don't you go grab one for yourselves?

We head to the shop to do so.



Oh, don't worry about payment. We're giving them away for free to Drifters as part of our welcome campaign.

Obtained a Map of Elesius!



Huh... The Kingdom of Elesius is pretty big, isn't it?
In this wide of an area, the odds of us running into Rupert are extremely slim.



Do you want to give up?
No way. Elesius may be large, but compared to the whole of Filgaia, it's just one country, after all. I'd say we're in decent shape. At least we're making some progress, right?
True enough.
If there aren't any clues in this town, we'll just have to try another one. It looks like there's a small village just past the checkpoint northwest of here.
We don't have any solid leads yet, so let's just do what we can for now and check it out!



Now that we have our map, we're allowed to exit the town and continue on our way.

Music: Filgaia Extra Land



Upon exiting Port Atriage, three destinations appear on our map. Our ultimate destination is the town of Poliasha to the northwest, but to get there we have to pass through the Trader's Road and then the Windhalt Gatehouse.

The red exclamation point indicates an event, so we head north to the Trader's Road.


Music: In the Sunlight



The ship was packed tight with passengers, after all, and the port wasn't much better...
That's true.



...



...?

The dog stares at Clarissa for a moment, then turns and leaves.



All right, that's enough rest for now. That village is still quite a ways ahead, and we need to get moving if we want to make it by nightfall.



Are you tired?
No, it's not that... The Kingdom of Elesius seems like such a beautiful, peaceful place. There's still so much greenery here...
Indeed.
But Rupert is lurking somewhere we can't see......And I can't help but think that he's planning to use Mother's sword to destroy all of this tranquillity.
I guess that's a possibility. Is that worrying you?
...



...?
I'm concerned about the way you make all of these problems your own.
What do you mean...?
Iskender Bey belonged to your mother, Melissa. You may be her daughter, but that doesn't make you responsible for the actions of the man who stole it.
...!
Thank you, Felius... I...I appreciate your concern.
I'll help with whatever you want to do. So it's all right to do the things you want to do, rather than those you feel obligated to do.
...



That sword isn't a tool for ruining lives. Mother believed that sword would help her on her quest to transform Filgaia into a land of abundance.
That path is a dangerous one.
Yeah...you're right. So let's be careful...



You never know when we might run into a wild beast or something...
That's a good idea.



You can now use the "Change Class" menu.

Wild Arms XF's main gameplay mechanic has been introduced. The event scene isn't over though, so I'll go into detail on it afterwards.



BOOM

Music: Footsteps Which Lead the Way to Peril



That was certainly something...
C'mon, Felius!




(This dog... I saw him earlier...)



Mean-Looking Man: That merchant tried to mess with us. He's a criminal and he needs to be punished!

...He's telling the truth. You shouldn't get involved in this. You don't want the Martial Guard on your back...
The martial who?

Mean-Looking Man: I'm guessing you're a traveling couple, eh? Hmph. In that case, I'll be collectin' a toll from you--once I take care of this godforsaken mutt.

You may not believe this, but that white dog came to my defense when those goons attacked me...
No...I believe you. He knows just as well as I do that none of this is your fault.



Our ARMs are ready, Clarissa.
Yep. And I guess we've got a faithful white knight by our side now, huh?
...





And we're brought to the Tactics screen. Dog has joined our party.



During the previous scene, we unlocked the Change Class menu option.



At the moment, we have access to four generic classes: Secutor, Elementalist, Fantastica and Gadgeteer. In addition to the generic classes (of which there are 16 total), each character also has an exclusive class that only they can use. Clarissa's exclusive class is Dandelion Shot, and Felius' is Halberdier.

I'm going to post a detailed breakdown of all our classes in a couple updates, but for now, here's a quick rundown of what each of these classes are:


Dandelion Shot is Clarissa's exclusive class. It's the only class that can equip Strahl Gewehr, allowing Clarissa to fire in a straight line for an unlimited distance. The Dandelion Shot has all-around stats and its focus is split between dealing damage and support roles.
Halberdier is Felius' exclusive class. The Halberdier uses polearms, and is focused on damaging enemies. The Halberdier has high attack and defense stats, and possesses the skill "Overflow," which increases the power of attacks with each enemy defeated.
Secutor is a generic class, usable by anyone. The Secutor fights with swords and axes, and uses strong physical attacks to damage enemies.
Elementalist is a generic class, usable by anyone. The Elementalist is a spellcaster which can attack with all four of the game's main elements: earth, water, fire and wind.
Fantastica is a generic class, usable by anyone. The Fantastica is a support class, with buff and debuff skills.
Gadgeteer is a generic class, usable by anyone. The Gadgeteer is a support class that uses items to support other units. For the most part, a unit can only use items on itself, but the Gadgeteer can use items on adjacent units. It also possesses the Mystic command, which extends the effective area of an item, allowing one item to target multiple units at once.
Crossbreed is dog's exclusive class. It does dog things, and is the only class dog can use.

Now that I've explained all these classes, I'm going to proceed to not actually change anyone's class. This battle is like an extension of the prologue's tutorial, and introduces some new mechanics. To keep things simple, I'm leaving Clarissa and Felius as a Dandelion Shot and a Halberdier for the time being.



From the tactics screen, we can also view the map. These numbers indicate where our party will spawn. Clarissa is 1, dog is 2, and Felius is 3. In later missions, we'll be able to choose which unit starts on which HEX, but the starting positions are locked in this battle.



We're up against three Fantasticas. The win condition is to defeat all enemies.

With our preparations complete, we begin the battle.




Music: Birds Soaring Over the Battlefield



We're not out on a pleasure cruise either, you know! We can hold our own against anyone!






As of this battle, we now have access to Original Commands! Original Command is just Wild Arms' name for abilities.



As you would expect, you spend MP to use Originals. It's worth noting that some Originals can be used after moving, while others cannot. Howling Shot, for example, cannot be used after moving. Also worth noting is that "Ignores the 'flying' attribute" in Howling Shot's description is a lie.

Anyway, we begin the battle by moving in toward the enemies. They start far away, so we have to spend a couple turns closing the distance.




Joining us in this battle is dog. Dog has very high move and climb stats, and fairly high attack, defense/resistance and HP. He also has no Originals, cannot use items, and cannot equip things. He can move and attack and nothing else. Dog lacks versatility, but he's surprisingly useful thanks to his high stats. And since he can't equip things, his weight stat is 0 and so he never loses VP.



We close in on the enemy and start to attack. Since two of the enemy units are standing in a line, it's a prime opportunity to try out an Original: Clarissa's Howling Shot, which attacks all enemies in a straight line.



And it misses one of them, defeating the point. It did deal 45 damage to the other target though, which is more than a standard attack.



The enemies then move into an ideal position for Felius' Shockwave, which hits three spaces in front of him. It's almost like this battle is a tutorial on Originals or something. (I don't think the AI is actually programmed to set these things up for you, it's just a happy coincidence.)



We continue eliminating the enemies, and are even able to set up a three-way Formation Art in the process. Clarissa's standard attacks were doing about 30 damage to these guys, but with the aid of Felius and dog, this attack dealt over 60 damage.



Since all the enemies in this battle are Fantasticas, they spend most of their turns buffing each other and debuffing us. Once in awhile they attack, but dying isn't really very likely in this fight. We eliminate all three enemies with ease.

Music: The Victorious and the Lost Ones



With this, the part of the game that really feels like a tutorial is mostly over. Major gameplay mechanics are introduced through most of act 1, but the battles from now on require at least a little bit of strategy, unlike these first two.



After the battle, Clarissa learned the Dandelion Shot OC skill. As a unit gains CSP, they learn their class' skills. Later on we'll be able to equip a select number of skills to each of our units, allowing us to mix and match our classes. Equipping the Dandelion Shot OC allows Clarissa to use Dandelion Shot Originals regardless of her class. We're not allowed to equip it until the game gives us a tutorial on it, though.



Music: Trembling to the Distant Thunder



Martial Guardsman Braddock: Well, you're gonna regret picking a fight with the Martial Guard in Elesius! I can guarantee you that!



A textbook thug through and through... Well, that just confirms it--now I know for sure this is all their doing.

Video: Dog

Music: In the Sunlight



Done what???

What's this... There's a tag on your collar? Are you somebody's pet? Let's see...



So your name is Labyrinthia? That's a mouthful. I'll just call you Labby. ...
...Labby...? ...
So are you a boy dog, or a girl dog? I'd better check to make sure!
...!





Watch it with the nose! Huh? Hey! S-stop! Bad dog... No! Bad dog!! What's gotten into you?! BAD! NO! Stop it! I'm serious... Eeeekk!



...



...
...



Dog turns around and leaves us.



What was that all about...?



Oh! That's right!


Music: Even Only Fragments of Hope Held Close



All right, that should do it. It's a pretty crude splint, but it should at least get you walking again.
You have my gratitude. But...are you going to be all right?
Me? I'm fine! This is barely a scratch.
No, it's not that...
Oh. What do you mean?



The...Martial Guard? Those men from before? We've only just arrived in Elesius, so... Who are they?
They're Drifters hired by the state. As you can see, they use that authority to do pretty much whatever they want.



Why would the kingdom of Elesius employ such people, unless they're planning to start some sort of war?
That's what I'd like to know. The king's reign was supposed to bring us an era of uninterrupted peace. But instead... *sigh* I can't imagine how it went so wrong. Our quiet lives have been shattered over the last few months. It's not only the tyranny of the Martial Guard. Just getting by from day to day has become a grueling ordeal.
I had no idea...



When the soldiers from before report what happened here, they'll probably slam the crossing gate shut.
Sounds like we'll need to hurry, Clarissa?
Yeah, but...
Don't worry about me. It's not far to the port, and you've patched me up right. Hurry on now, before the gate's closed!
We will. You be careful too, all right?

Clarissa and Felius leave.



Such a spirited girl. Like a wildflower blooming in a barren field. Elesius sure could use a bit of her hope and resilience right now...





Meanwhile...

Video: Windhalt Gatehouse

This video features a great voice actor.

Music: Trembling to the Distant Thunder





Hmmm. Looks like a good opportunity to show command what we're capable of. You lot--don't get cocky just 'cause the target's a woman, you hear?!




Hmm... It looks like this is the checkpoint, but what's with all the activity? This couldn't possibly...could it? Indeed, it must be! This is all because of me! *sigh*



And with that, Act 1-1 comes to a close. Tune in next time, for an actual interesting battle!

DarkHamsterlord fucked around with this message at May 15, 2014 around 21:46

Krysmphoenix
Jul 29, 2010

BAHAMUT.
Torch 'im.
I don't want to see
even ashes left.


DarkHamsterlord posted:



...



...
...



Dog turns around and leaves us.



God I forgot how many ellipses this game has. Labyrinthia get's a pass because he's a dog, but that's no excuse for you Clarissa!

Still, it's a shame the "Crossbreed" class never gets anything cool. I guess having MOV and CLM 5 is nice but...eh. Good for setting up Formation Arts though.

EDIT: Actually Labyrinthia's RFX is surprisingly low. Lowest in the party at least. Just means the early enemy encounters are even slower.

Krysmphoenix fucked around with this message at May 15, 2014 around 19:03

Nondevor
Jun 1, 2011

How is that for an enigmatic answer?


There seems to be a surprising number of Wild West-themed RPGs with dog party members (see Metal Saga). Not that it's a bad thing, mind you!

Widestancer
Mar 29, 2014

Red Text Fund




I am so glad that you're doing this LP. The original Wild Arms kept me from selling my PS1 (I got burned BAD by spending all of my money as a kid from mowing lawns on Beyond the Beyond and 2 memory cards for it) way back when and I've adored the series ever since, even with all of its foibles.

Does this have any form of Arc-En-Ciel? That attack in one form or another has plagued me throughout several games in the series.

vilkacis
Feb 16, 2011



That map gives me some serious Chrono Cross overworld vibes.

DarkHamsterlord
Jul 8, 2010

Corpse Party, bitches.

Krysmphoenix posted:

Still, it's a shame the "Crossbreed" class never gets anything cool. I guess having MOV and CLM 5 is nice but...eh. Good for setting up Formation Arts though.

EDIT: Actually Labyrinthia's RFX is surprisingly low. Lowest in the party at least. Just means the early enemy encounters are even slower.

Yeah, it's too bad Crossbreed doesn't at least have some skills or a single Original or something going for it other than mobility and the VP thing. I mostly use Labby for setting up Formation Arts and opening treasure chests.

And thanks for the tip on his RFX, I'll be sure to correct the spot in the update where I said it's high.

Widestancer posted:

Does this have any form of Arc-En-Ciel? That attack in one form or another has plagued me throughout several games in the series.

Yes, Arc En Ciel is in this game. But as far as I can remember, it's only used by an optional enemy.

Picayune
Feb 26, 2007

Dog-Disciple Of
Shadow And Flame


'Fantastica' is the best class name.

Raitzeno
Nov 24, 2007

What? It seemed like
a good idea at the time.


Picayune posted:

Oh, man, I bought this (because I love the Wild ARMs series like whoa) but I never finished it because I got bogged down in unnecessary grinding. Now I can finally find out how it ends!

You and me both. Looking forward to it.

TKMobile
Apr 30, 2009


So, I don't think it's quite been revealed yet, but in this canon are ARMs still just guns, super guns and/or any special weapon like Iskender Bey?

DarkHamsterlord
Jul 8, 2010

Corpse Party, bitches.

TKMobile posted:

So, I don't think it's quite been revealed yet, but in this canon are ARMs still just guns, super guns and/or any special weapon like Iskender Bey?

It's been talked about enough that I'm willing to explain it. ARMs are a device that allows you to change your class, which is why in the latest update Clarissa said "Let's make sure our ARMs are functioning properly" and then we unlocked the ability to change class.

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.


Has every ARM got the infinite diversity of class change inside it, or is that just the party and everybody else is factory-locked?

CmdrKing
Oct 14, 2012

Maybe if I called it 'Interpretive Stabbing'...

Glazius posted:

Has every ARM got the infinite diversity of class change inside it, or is that just the party and everybody else is factory-locked?

The general implication is that each arm has a particular class/set of classes within it.

Getsuya
Oct 2, 2013

The dream and romance of any REAL man!


Judging by the first update, the ARMs in this world look a little like Digivices.

DarkHamsterlord
Jul 8, 2010

Corpse Party, bitches.

Glazius posted:

Has every ARM got the infinite diversity of class change inside it, or is that just the party and everybody else is factory-locked?

You buy and download new classes for your ARM (under normal circumstances in other countries. The sale of ARMs and classes is banned in Elesius), and everyone with an ARM can do it. Some NPC in the next town talks about this in a throwaway piece of dialog. I plan to include that in the update, but I don't really think mentioning it now is a spoiler.

Lotish
Dec 10, 2008

I pick up my Devil Axe...
...and DEVIL!


I only ever played Wild Arms 1 and tried a little of Wild ARMS 2, but I remember in those games ARMs were fairly rare. I guess that's changed by the time this game rolls around?

With it being class based, do we get our own generic units to build into whatever classes we like?

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CmdrKing
Oct 14, 2012

Maybe if I called it 'Interpretive Stabbing'...

ARM stands for something different in each game, even the ones where they're functionally the same thing. Since they're different stuff, they also have differing availabilities and ease of use. The first required biological compatibility that was exceedingly rare in humans, the second as I recall was something anyone could train to use, third required a sort of mental synchronization so you had to train quite a while to use a particular ARM, fourth there were genetic/biochemical markers for how compatible someone was with them and a substantial portion of the backstory was gene therapy to make more ARMs people. Don't remember what ARMs actually were in the fifth game, and in this game it's back to basically anyone can train to use them.

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