Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Arzaac
Jan 2, 2020




Fun fact, that HP plus medal was the last thing I needed for 100% completion on my playthrough. I thought I needed a later upgrade to grab it, and by the time I had all upgrades and was backtracking to find all the items I missed I had completely forgotten about it!

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




Twelve by Pies posted:

He's talking about himself and Vi. They crossed through the desert at different times, as they mention in a later banter, but they still both went through that gate.

This is probably it, yeah, I just think the line is written awkwardly. The way he's phrased it, to me, sounds like he's talking about them crossing together, and that obviously didn't happen (inserting the word 'each' would probably be enough to fix it).

Twelve by Pies posted:

Without saying too much spoiler-y I will say that while I never found the dashing unlocking here to feel awkwardly placed, it definitely makes the later point where you get Dash Through feel weird, like "Wasn't I already able to do this?" Knowing that it wasn't in earlier versions suddenly makes the whole thing make more sense as to why you can't do certain things at this point despite ostensibly having the ability for it.

Yeah. This is honestly one of the biggest reasons I'm going out of my way to cover the version differences. As much as I sometimes appreciate having the faster movement, I think this is the one change I seriously would prefer to revert.

Arzaac posted:

Fun fact, that HP plus medal was the last thing I needed for 100% completion on my playthrough. I thought I needed a later upgrade to grab it, and by the time I had all upgrades and was backtracking to find all the items I missed I had completely forgotten about it!

Oh wow. Seriously? That's pretty funny, although I can definitely see how it would happen.

There's definitely a later upgrade it makes sense to think you'd need for getting it. The rock honestly doesn't look like it's quite high enough for the Beemerang to work.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




21: Defiant Root (Part 1)

37 - Defiant Root



Last time, we left off having just arrived in the desert town of Defiant Root. As usual with a new town, there are all kinds of places to see and people to meet, so let's get started on that.

First, though, a banter:

Not much has changed. There's quite a few places I want to visit...
Really? I usually just zoom past the town unless I need the inn.
We're not familiar with the area. What's good in town, Kabbu?
North of here is a commercial district. The baker makes fantastic honey treats!
Seriously!?
The mayor's around here too, I should greet him when I get the chance...

This town is Bee Kingdom territory (the Hive is up the nearby tree, whose root the town is named after), but Kabbu is the one who knows it best, since he spent some time recuperating here after the journey from his hometown. We'll be getting a lot of comments from him about the locals and such.

Let's talk to the gate guard first.



...I know that already.
Just doing my job.

There's also a banter, of course:

Vi, you're the only Bee explorer, right?
Huh? Uh, yeah! That I know of...
We've been thinking it's a bit weird, to see so many Bee guards, but only one explorer...
Look, they're not guards because they want to or anything, okay?
They were born to be guards, so they guard. That's it.
That's a bit somber...
...That's just how the Hive is sometimes.

This is interesting, and definitely raises some questions about bee society and how it functions. The real question, to me, is why Vi seems willing to accept this reasoning for the other bees but not herself. (This banter is shared between all the bee guards.)



Let's just check everything out systematically. First up is a clinic?



We're not sick, just passing by.
That's okay. If you're ever feeling bad, drop by. First consult's free!

There's also, of course, banter:

Isau is such a relief to my eyes. She's treated many of my wounds.
Your trip from the north sounds anything but fun.
...
Really though... it's not so bad to have someone else take care of you, right?
Can't argue with that.

We get more tantalising hints about Kabbu's prior adventures, though nothing concrete.

Despite this, Isau can't actually treat wounds for us in gameplay terms. She's just here. Maybe she'll become relevant for something later.



As we come outside, we can spot this person walking around.



That's all he has to say. Sounds like the ladybugs aren't the only ones getting a bad reputation as a result of the bandits, the dragonflies are starting to see knock-on effects too.

Poor Dran... He's had it rough lately with all these bandits.
Mhm... even though he is such a fine fellow, it's hard to escape superficial judgment.
...
He'll be fine. And if he's not, we can help.



I love that Kabbu actually calls this out.



Let's check out the next building.



Looks like this is the local tavern! There's a quest board and some familiar faces here.



Vi still absolutely refuses to interact with this particular bee, and won't let the rest of the team talk to her either.

Great... she's here too.
Wonder what she's up to.
Don't know, don't care.
Isn't Vi being a bit too mean...?

All right then. Let's go meet some new people, then.



This is all the proprietor has to say.

That eyepatch... so cool!
Seriously, Kabbu? Those are for covering wounds, you know.
Yeah. Can't believe you're so insensitive!
W-Wait, I said it was cool out of respect!

This is a cute bit of commentary, I like this. Kabbu also seems like the type who would genuinely compliment battle scars, anyway.



The other person behind the counter just points us in the direction of the quest board.

It's quite convenient to have quest boards all throughout the kingdom.
Must be a drag to update all of them...
Works for us, though. Completing these gives super good stuff!
Indeed. Let's check up on them every now and then.

The mechanics of how the boards get updated are probably best not thought about, despite the game drawing our attention to it.









There are three new quests for us now! We haven't met Crisbee or Vivi yet; Kut we definitely know. Looks like there's going to be some cooking in our future, among other things. I'll grab all of these for now, though we won't be doing them in this update.



I am certain he's fine!
Or maybe he...



Kina's hanging out here too; you'd think Leif would know better than to jerk her chain by now, but apparently not. (Leif is such a troll.)

Kina's search for Maki continues...
That's cute and all, but she better not forget her job!
Knowing her, she's already finished. She's scary efficient when making time for Maki.

Though that raises other questions, doesn't it? We usually see exploration teams working as a unit (to the point Eetl won't give permits to un-partnered bugs), but Maki and Kina have been operating separately each time we've run into them...

Anyway, let's talk to Dan too.



By mixing flour with different ingredients, it's possible to create so many different pastries! I must taste all of them!

He has a solid hint for us, too. As we'll see shortly once we get to the bakery, the cooking system is about to open up dramatically. Flour can be mixed with almost everything, and will roughly double the number of recipes available to us. It's worth experimenting with.

Ah... we can't help but be hungry around this bug.



Oh? We just might order some stuff, then...
Don't mind if we join you!

I'm including the screenshot in this banter, because Vi's unimpressed expression completely changes the meaning of what she's saying.

That's everything to be seen in the tavern, let's keep exploring.



To the south, we can find a big well and someone else to talk to.



Right, go down the well. Understood.

I dunno why bugs stay here. It's all sandy and stuff.
...You know, yeah. We wouldn't make this a permanent stay.
It's a very tightly knit community, with strong traditions!
Can't they just do their traditions somewhere nicer?
...I swear, Vi...

What this has to do with this person or the well, I'm not sure, but it's nice to get some insight into what everyone's thinking.



Right, down we go.



That said, there's not actually anything to see down here. Maybe it'll become important later.



What's this little stall about?



Only one way to find out.

We can see this banter first.



There's also a sleepy pillbug here.

...
Um, Leif? Is something on your mind?
We want it.
We're not getting any pets!
We really really really want it.
Whatever. Talk to the merchant. But I ain't helping you buy it!

Leif's love of cute little critters strikes again. Let's talk to the merchant and see what's going on here.



A bed bug... rental service? Sir, what exactly do you mean?
It's all in the name. This pillbug here is incredible, I tell ya.
If you're tired, he will lull you to sleep and heal you fully!
Let's rent it, team.
Seriously!? This sounds like a huge scam!
B-But the pillbug...
...Look. I don't ever do this, but if it'll earn your trust...
First rental's free, how's that? As soon as you sleep, though, he'll come back to me.
This is quite the interesting business model...
Well... if the first try's free, I can't say no!
Yes... yes!
You won't regret it. He'll show you his super powers!

11 - Key Item!



He'll do his best, so take care of him, okay?
We will. Oh, we will.
D-Don't forget we must return him...

The Bed Bug goes into our Key Items menu, and we can use it from there, once, as a portable inn to fully heal ourselves (outside battle only, of course). Once we do, though, it'll disappear from our inventory and go back to Morty, and he'll charge us 30 berries if we want to rent it again.

It's a pretty useful little feature, though honestly I usually forget I have it and never end up using it (there are enough healing points distributed across the game world that you're never that far from one). I suspect it's mainly here for the sake of puns, though of course it can come in handy in a pinch.

Hey. How's the little guy doing?
We couldn't be happier.
Just don't hang onto him TOO long, okay?

I don't think Morty quite realises who he's dealing with; let's hope this doesn't become a problem.

I must say, Morty's services were better than I expected.
It's super useful to rest anywhere! If I was him, I'd charge WAY more!
The idea that our dear bed bug could be rented to another bug... Team, we must keep renting at all costs.
Uh, just remember we don't own it or anything, okay?

Yeah, this isn't going to end well. Leif, don't steal people's pets? Please?



That toy car looks a bit suspicious, doesn't it?



Yes, we can use it as a staircase. It is, in fact, the only way to get to the upper level.



There's a free Berry Juice we can grab up here.



Looks like this is the mayor's residence. We met him before at the Golden Festival.



Mayor... thank you. I'm currently on a mission, however. I'll come back again.
Anytime, Kabbu. Bring your friends, too!

The mayor's a nice guy.

Getting to the mayor's house is super weird, isn't it?
Eh... we think it's a cute method.
Regardless of the route, this is a great place to live in.
He can easily oversee the whole town from here!
Look, all I'm saying is he could've paid for some stairs.

I guess it makes sense to use what you have? Though it is a bit weird they constructed this building without any inherent way to reach the upper level (maybe the bees built it, or at least someone else who could fly?).





We can walk along this balcony to the eastern side, but the second entrance is locked and we don't have any kind of key.



We haven't finished exploring this screen, but let's check out the northern sector of town first.



This is the commercial district of Defiant Root. There's a lot to see here. Let's check the banter first:

Business is booming.
There's so many shops, and they all sell unique items!
We simply cannot skip going to the bakery!
We feel there's more to this place. A little supply gathering detour won't hurt.

Look, it's Fuzzo!



...I'm bad at this, so I'll only say it once. Thank you.
It was no problem! Now, for a rew-
It was nothing! We look forward to buying from you in the future.
Heheheh.

The rest of the caravan are probably somewhere nearby too. For all that it's very much a recurring schtick, it's fun how many different ways they find to play with Vi asking for rewards for everything.

These merchants really get around.
Defiant Root's the best place to restock, you know? They get lots of stuff for cheap!
You're surprisingly well informed...
If it's about money, it shouldn't surprise you.
Yep! In business, knowing's half the battle!

Now to check out the shop.



That's a dumb question. How would she have our items if she wasn't?
Perhaps they work in shifts, and transfer items between each other...
So is she Amber or not!?
Dunno.

Again, the game draws our attention to things like this. Don't ask how Amber gets here, just be glad that she is.





Please do check my other wares.

This is a standard shop where we can sell items, unlike the one in the Golden Settlement. That one's a weird exception, most shopkeepers are happy to buy our things.

There's also a banter:

That dry bread looks go-...
Leif?
Are you alright?
Some sand just fell on it...
Nothing some shaking can't fix!
You have fun eating it. We've got standards.

Leif doesn't seem very impressed by their wares. That said, let's take a closer look:

Dry Bread (7 berries)
Crunchy Leaf (3 berries)
Clear Water (3 berries)
Agaric Shroom (7 berries)
Hustle Berry (11 berries)

Aside from Crunchy Leaves and Clear Water, this is all new! Let's see what they do.

Dry Bread
"Defiant Root's preferred snack will leave you thirsty. Restores 3 HP to an ally and 3 TP."
Sell: 3 berries

Dry Bread is actually a cooked item; as you might expect, it's what you get if you cook flour by itself. It's okay, though don't buy it, we can literally make it cheaper next door.

Agaric Shroom
"This mushroom gives you a very short-lived energy burst. Restores 6 TP, numbing the eater."
Sell: 3 berries

We could have found these dropped by enemies in the desert, but we didn't luck into any. This is yet another item that inflicts a status on the eater, and in fact this is the first source of Numb status we've encountered. We'll talk about Numb more once we encounter enemies who inflict it; right now, this isn't really worth using.

Hustle Berry
"Scientists say it's a bean. No one cares. Eating this will grant you an extra turn... next turn!"
Sell: 5 berries

Hustle Berry is a very interesting item (even aside from the fact it's obviously a coffee bean). It's based on the "Hustle Drink", a dummied-out item from Paper Mario 64 that saw a lot of use in the Pro Mode and Master Quest ROM hacks. Effectively, this lets you give up the user's action this turn, in return for an extra action on the next turn (kind of like using Turn Relay between turns, instead of within the same turn). It may not seem powerful, but there are definitely some clever tricks you can set up with these, and I've seen them used to very good effect in challenge runs. They've also been made cheaper in v1.1, they used to cost 18 berries.

Agaric Shroom and Hustle Berry can also be used as ingredients in cooking, but let's save that discussion for the huge cooking episode that's clearly going to be coming soon.

38 - Make it Crisbee!



Just west of the shop is Crisbee's Bakery. He's obviously our local chef.



When we talk to him, he mentions the quest we accepted, but we're going to ignore that for now. In addition to cooking, Crisbee also sells some items.

Oh, you noticed? I practice a lot, so I have leftover pastry and ingredients...
So I thought it'd be nice to sell them! Just press (A) near 'em and I'll tell you more.

There's also a banter, of course:

Ah, good old Crisbee's. It's nice to see this place again.
Again, Kabbu?
Mhm. On my first trip here, I would eat here every day.
I must say, I've heard the food's gotten even better!
Is that so? Now we've got to taste some...
A bee chef out of the Hive, huh...

Well, Crisbee seems to be a carpenter bee, and they're not eusocial like honeybees are, so it makes sense that he's relatively independent.

Let's see what he's selling:

Honey Drop (4 berries)
Bag of Flour (4 berries)
Nutty Cake (10 berries)

Once again, there are new items here. Let's look at them in some more detail.

Bag of Flour
"A bag of flour! Use it to bake many different things. Restores 1 TP."
Sell: 2 berries

Obviously, you don't want to be eating raw flour, but this is an ingredient that can be used to make lots of different things (pretty much every item in the game can be cooked with this). It's very similar to Cake Mix from the Paper Mario games. Crisbee's shop is the only place we can get it, but it's cheap.

Nutty Cake
"This cake's flavor is simply nuts! Restores 3 HP to an ally and 6 TP."
Sell: 5 berries

This is a basic recipe, made by mixing a Hard Seed and flour. I suspect it's here mostly to suggest the sorts of things we can try to make; we'd save a few berries buying the ingredients and making it ourselves.

We'll be back to explore the possibilities in more detail, and help Crisbee with his training, but for now let's continue getting to know the town.



Next to these shops is a smithy, apparently.



Is that a wanted poster for the desert bandits next to this person?



Interesting.

This fellow seems to be diligently guarding this sign.
Huh. I think I saw him when I left the Hive, but he looked a lot happier.
It's not like we know what's going on in his life. We shouldn't be too nosy.
B-But being nosy is a part of helping others!
...
Fine...

This is a fun conversation, too. Apparently we're not going to learn more about this right now. Someone he knows was injured by the bandits, that's all we've got.



A new frontier of WEAPONRY awaits! By my CLAW!

Okay then. Engira's a bit eccentric, isn't he?

Nice claw.
I don't get what's the big deal with it.
Well, he's the blacksmith... so long as it helps him out, it's all that matters!

If you look closely, you can definitely see has an artificial claw on one arm.



This is the last person for us to meet in here, but this is all she has to say for now.

Miss Butomu! What an honor!
Uh, is she special? She makes Medals, right?
Well, yes... but there are many tales of her strength. Of her journeys!
She'd slowly travel across the lands collecting materials, and no obstacle would be a match for her!
They say she walked right through a boulder!
Now that's gotta be fake...

And an interesting banter to round things off.

There's nothing we can actually do in here right now, just meet these characters. As you might have guessed, they'll each have sidequests for us later, but that's a ways off still.



There's another merchant for us to meet.

Hey, Kabbu, is this your dad?
What? Vi, we look nothing alike!
You look pretty similar to us.
Excuse me? The green hues are completely different!
Eh... Maybe all beetles just look the same.
Wow. So do all bees.
Hey!

After a banter, of course; this one always makes me smile. (As far as I can tell, his colouration and Kabbu's seem to be the same? I'm not sure though.)



Uh...
Worry not, I only wish to help. I've got some powerful berries on me.
Hmm. Just how powerful?
These berries can boost your combat abilities when eaten.
You can't really share them though... You'll have to decide who eats which.
Those sound quite helpful.
Bleh. Knowing these merchants it's gonna cost us a wing...
You're not wrong, traveler. I'm selling an HP boosting Heart Berry right now. 100 Berries.
What!?
Just think of the HP, Vi.
Just think of the 100 Berries, Leif!
Err, we'll come back when we've decided, sir.
Don't take too long. Who knows when they'll spoil.

This is something new! In addition to medals and ranking up, there are a handful of permanent upgrade berries around that can increase our stats. Sun here is a major source of them, though he's certainly not the only one, there are several to be found elsewhere as well. (Do note that while I say "permanent", the respec mechanic we will eventually get access to does allow redistribution of these bonuses, so mistakes can be corrected.)



I can afford this, and I want it.

Use it well, travelers.



This goes into our Key Items menu, and we can use it from there. I'm not making any decisions just yet about who gets it, I'll put that up to a vote in the thread.

I still have a few berries I can sell you, travelers. Come back later when you're interested.

Sounds like he might still have more; let's see.



...Travelers, I made my price clear. I will not be swayed.

drat. I want this even more than the Heart Berry, but I don't quite have enough berries. I'll be back for this later.



The next building is closed.



Who's this?



S-Sorry...

He doesn't seem to have much to say to us.

Shady mosquitoes are everywhere, huh.
Hey. The juice seller in the Golden Settlement is honest.
Indeed. Vi, you shouldn't generalize a whole group!
Geez, I was just saying...

(I have to admit I'm cheating a bit here: I spliced in this character's dialogue from a different file. Shay here is one of the Card Masters, and I didn't realise that having started the quest would make me get his quest dialogue now. Apparently you can face them out of order if you want, which is a thing I never actually knew you could do before; that said, I'd prefer not to do that, and we'll cover the Card Masters quest later once we can complete it.)



Also, it's kind of hard to see, but there's a hidden passage here between the boxes!



What's this?



Err, where... no, WHEN did you hear that?
Kut mentioned him. His ingredients carry more toxins than you could imagine.
Do we even want to ask?
Look. We're buying these. And cooking them.
No way! Do it with your own berries!

Well then. A poison shop.



Kuku. If you're interested in pain, get close to its vessel and press (A) to call me!

Edgy. Let's check out his wares.

Poison Dart (8 berries)
Poison Bomb (28 berries)
Danger Shroom (3 berries)
Danger Spud (3 berries)

The Poison Dart is new, and a counterpart to the Numbnail Darts we've been finding: it can be thrown to make a 2-power attack that attempts to poison, which is a bit underwhelming. Otherwise, we have a convenient source of Poison Bombs if we don't feel like preparing them ourselves, and finally a way to buy Danger Spuds without having to hunt enemies (which is the best part here). Not too bad!



This alley also has a magician.



Here, I offer charms which can change how battles go for you, for only a few berries.
I have a few different charm types, which is how long their effects will last. The longer they last, the more berries they cost of course!
Could I interest you in any charms?



For now, let's ask for more information.

Simple! Once you're charmed, there is a random chance my magic will activate in battle.
Depending on when it activates, different effects can happen.
Like granting a boost of power when attacking, or increasing your toughness before an enemy attack...
Even recovering your HP or TP depending on what happens!
Charms only last a few times, however. Once they run out, you can just come back and reapply them to benefit again!
The charm types only change how long they last, but buying in bulk can net you a nice discount.
So, might I interest you in any charm?



Aw. Come back if you ever change your mind, alright?

Let's see what our party think before we make any decisions about this?

Ooh! The charm dancer! We simply must purchase one!
We thought you weren't too keen on fortune...
I've seen these work with my very own eyes. There's no luck involved.
Uh huh... Maybe just one, then.

Kabbu's attitude here is kind of interesting, especially since (according to external materials) the unnamed fortune-teller in the Golden Settlement is her brother.

Anyway, this is Charmy. She's Bug Fables' equivalent of Merlee from Paper Mario (even to the point of being found in the back alley of a desert town, good grief). If we choose to purchase her services, we'll occasionally get random bonuses in battles until it wears off.

Let's take a look at the mechanics (shamelessly cribbed from the wiki):

There are five possible boosts, each of which can trigger at a specific time. There's a 5.5% chance of the bonus activating, after which there's a randomly-determined cooldown of 3-8 turns before another bonus can activate (though the cooldown doesn't persist between battles). Here are the effects and their associated timing:

Attack Up (for 1 turn, on one character). Can trigger whenever a character attacks, if that character doesn't already have Attack Up status.
Defence Up (for 1 turn, on the entire party). Can trigger before an enemy's attack.
Healing (20% HP to the entire party). Can trigger after an enemy's action.
TP Refund (half the amount spent, minimum 1). Can trigger after using a skill that costs TP.
EXP Increase (1.5x). Can trigger at the end of a battle.

(When compared to Merlee's bonuses in Paper Mario, these are a lot more balanced.)

If we want to purchase this service, there are three packages available:
Cheapskate (10 berries): 5 charges
Regular (20 berries): 12 charges
Overcharmed (40 berries): 23 charges

Interestingly, it looks like "regular" is actually the best value, although you might still prefer Overcharmed just so you have to refresh it less often.

I'll admit I rarely use this service: even though the effects are entirely positive, I don't much care for them arbitrarily throwing off my plans. That said, it's pretty cool and I'm glad the option exists for the people who like it. This is the other thing I'll be taking votes on this update: do you want me to show this off?

Anyway, this is the last service available in the commercial district! Whew, there was a lot to cover here. Let's get back to the rest of the town.



I've been thinking of going on an adventure up there myself. But it's hard to find the time...
(Not like he's missing much...)

This person's wandering around in the foreground. There's also, of course, a banter:

Say, the citizens of this town really enjoy that pattern on their clothing, don't they?
Well, they're simple to weave yet appealing... I could see why it'd be a hit.
Oh. We should open our own clothing line! With squares instead of triangles.
No way. Circles would look way better.
I'll keep my triangles, thank you very much.

Seems like no discussion of local industries can be complete without Vi wanting to disrupt it.



Looks like the next building is a museum! Let's check it out.



Ancient artifacts, or historic pottery... we take pride in all of it!
Wooow...

I can't tell if Leif is legitimately impressed or being sarcastic here.

This moth looks just as old as the rest of the museum.
Heheh. You don't get to talk about being old!
Vi!
O-Oh. Sorry, I...
Heh, it's fine. Walked right into that one.
Phew...

I'm glad Leif took that okay, I could have seen that going badly.



There are some signs to check near the exhibits.



The union of those two clay artisan species made to the creation of all of Defiant Root's buildings, and our land's famous clay pots!
If you are interested, please consider purchasing your very own masterfully crafted clay pot as a souvenir!



Is this a museum, or a marketing scheme? Anyway, we get a discovery the first time we read a sign in here. Let's check the other one before we see what it is.





Historians deduce that these tools were made by either roaches or giants.
As for their use, they might have been used as traps to keep invading troops away during times of war in these very lands.
No consensus on their use or creation methods has been reached yet.

Jacks would look pretty weird if you're bug-sized; they're just a bit too big and dull to work well as caltrops, but it makes sense that's their first guess as to what they are.





The discovery is just for the museum itself.



There's just a bit more to see west of the museum, before we can move on to the next region of town.



This sad lady doesn't have much to say, but the banter is slightly more interesting:

Something seems off about this young lady.
Hmm? ...! Her leg...
Ah... We should probably shut up.
I pray she did not hear us gossip...

It's hard to see, but if you look closely, she has a peg leg. Could she be the friend of the butterfly in the smithy who was attacked by bandits?

Regardless, there's nothing we can do about that now.



There's a Lore Book sneakily hidden back here. It's been a while since we've found one of these!



Also, we can climb up the front of the building here.



Looks like somebody's hiding behind the boxes up here!

What the-!? ...Yikes, we didn't see him there.
Eep!
Interesting spot. Shall we see what he has to say?

Let's talk to them, I guess.





This person's acting surprisingly shady for someone selling legitimate merchandise. That said, it's completely legit, we can buy overpriced Spicy Berries here if we want to. Right now, though, I don't need any.

Fine. Don't tell ANYONE else about this!

As far as I can tell, there's no angle from which you can see this character's sprite. According to someone on the wiki, it's a pillbug, but I can't confirm that.



Let's finally go west.



Here we are. The elevator to the Bee Kingdom. Woo.
Gets the job done.
If we're going up, let's make sure we don't need anything from down here.

They don't have much to say about this area.



Up the stairs is this door, but we have no way to open it right now. There's not even a lock we can find a key for. Put a pin in this for much later.



The sign on the wall of the inn shows two characters, but we can only see one person inside. Wonder what that's about?



Uh... so he's sad, basically?
Indeed.
You're dying to talk to him, aren't you.
...No. When it's grief like this, only time can heal it. Let's not meddle.
Kabbu?

Heh. I don't think they believe you, Kabbu.

Anyway, let's talk to him.





The game just puts the option to be nosy right here, how are we not going to take it?

Oh, thank you... It's alright.
Some complex things happened, and I'm coming to terms with them...
I am grateful for your patience. Don't let it bother you.

Well, that was cryptic. Presumably we'll learn more about this eventually. (Anyone playing along, make sure you talk to him, it's necessary to start a minor sidequest much later in the game.)



We've never seen that instrument before, actually. Is it... an artifact?
Isn't it just a rock with holes in it...?

Samira's here, offering her usual sound test services. She has nothing new to say about that, but that banter was new.



Is that Diana? We haven't seen her in a while!



She doesn't have new dialogue, she just immediately offers to dig a shortcut for us. Of course I want this.

Oh, that's what I'm talking about!
Those berries don't even taste good...
We don't think her taste would be the only weird thing here...
Oi, I'm doing you a favor, okay? Just sit and watch!



Phew... All done! Thanks, y'all!
We're in your debt once again, Diana. Thank you.
Well, I'm off! See you some other time, folks!

The screen fades out, and when it comes back she's gone. The dialogue was identical to the last time we saw her, but at least we get a new shortcut!



The guard's dialogue is the same as others we've seen at these, but there's a new banter about her:

Hmm... It's a bit weird to see Ant Guards so far from the city.
With the mines, we could say they're not too far...
Mhm. These tunnels were a super great idea!
Guess we'll have to give the Queen credit for that...

And with this, I've hit the character limit; see you in the next post.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




21: Defiant Root (Part 2)

18 - In the Court of the Ant Queen



We come out here, under a sign for Defiant Root. Just to our left, the stairs up to the Ant Palace, and to our right, the exit to Golden Settlement.



Also, this lady is here, and we have a quest from her.

Oh, great! I really, really want to visit the Bee Kingdom... but the Queen hasn't allowed us to leave yet.



Sorry. Nothing yet.
Aw... I will be waiting here.

We haven't been to the Hive yet, so we don't have what she's looking for. That's the dialogue we get if we don't give her anything, but what if...





Yeah. Would that do?
It's not a Bee, so... no.

Heh.



I went to check my bank to see if I'd had enough for the Bond Berry, but no such luck. Oh well. Let's get back to Defiant Root.



Just be careful with the monsters on the way.

Looks like there's a bit more of the Lost Sands we can explore past this exit! Let's check it out.

36 - Lost Sands



So this is where our caravan friends have gotten to!

This place's got a good view of the big tree.
And the Bee Kingdom...
It's amazing to see such a large living being!
Makes you feel tiny sometimes, doesn't it?
Nah. When you're at the top, you feel like the coolest bug in the world!

Some interesting perspectives here.



Gotcha...

Cricketly certainly has her priorities straight.





While Huscada is, characteristically, a bit nicer about it. Let's check their shop:

Magic Seed (18 berries)
Burly Berry (12 berries)
Succulent Berry (10 berries)

They've changed their stock a bit: we can now buy Succulent Berries, but they don't have Spicy Berries so we're stuck paying inflated prices in town for the time being. (Or we could go back to Bugaria Outskirts and find the caravan miraculously there also, and get it at the usual rate... but let's ignore paradoxes for now.)



Let's head east first.



The Lost Sands sure love their rock formations...
And their thorns.
Perhaps one day, these barren places will be home to new settlements!





There's nothing we can do here. There are clearly platforms to the east amidst the spikes, but we can't get to them, and up on the cliff we can't progress because we'd need to knock down a log from the other side.



So let's try the other route.



Those vast walls cover the desert, don't they?
Mhm. When you see the Lost Sands from the Hive, it's one big box!
That can't be a coincidence, can it?
Nature works in most mysterious ways. It's possible it's mere chance.
We should ask Neo sometime...

I suppose a sandbox would be quite mysterious to bugs who don't know much of anything about humansgiants.



There's also an enemy here.





We're getting close to ranking up!



The battles here are worth quite a lot of berries, too.



For some reason, there's always a Crunchy Leaf in the weed up here.



More spikes we can't cross.



So let's keep going south.



This floor is unbearable. So uneven...
It could be fun to roll around all the hills!
And ruin my fur? You're nuts!
We concur.
Killjoys...

This one's cute. Kabbu's silly side is coming out again.



There are a couple of enemies to take care of here.



These battles aren't terribly interesting still, but I do like that they're mixing in old enemies with the new ones to switch things up. Midges are still annoying!



While it's not the best idea (the Midges will still counter!), there were enough enemies here I decided to demonstrate Kabbu's new Dash Through skill.



It's a simple button-mashing command, and it hits all grounded enemies for +1 damage relative to Kabbu's normal attacks. Not bad. Just like the rest of Kabbu's horn attacks, this also ignores 1 point of defence, and flips enemies if possible.







Another combination we haven't seen yet, now we have a Midge and a Thief.



I decided to deliberately miss the action command to show how enemies stealing items works. They can take anything we have, and once they do they'll hold it over their head.



Now we have a problem: once they've stolen an item, enemies will run away on their next turn and take it with them. Can we get it back?





Attacking won't do it, he's still got it.



Freezing him will keep him from running away, at least.



Kabbu finishes the Thief off, and in so doing gets the item back. Obviously, killing the enemy works, but Kabbu's actually doing double duty here, because any flipping attack is sufficient to make them drop the item.



Finishing this battle is enough to rank up, at least!







As usual, I choose MP.



Our bonus for reaching rank 11 is Vi learning Needle Toss! This is the first of her needle skills, which means the Poison Needles medal finally has a use.



That description isn't particularly helpful, is it? The most important thing to realise here, though, is that needles are piercing: this skill ignores all defence. We'll take a closer look at it in a moment.



Let's go further south.



This area looks different!

Water... Need... water...
We're close to... the Hills... Hang in there...
(We're not thirsty, but perhaps we shouldn't boast this once...)



Also, there's a Chomper in our face as soon as we step into this area.



This is a pretty simple battle (Chompers aren't very intimidating any more), but it gives me a convenient opportunity to demonstrate Needle Toss.





Vi splits her Beemerang into two needles and flies up, then takes aim. While the skill claims to target "all enemies", that's because we can aim the needles separately: each needle can hit at most one target. Like Icefall, the reticle moves automatically and we press (A) to launch. The needles pierce all defence and deal damage equal to Vi's attack.

In this case, I missed the second hit entirely (this can be tricky to aim, especially against targets with tiny sprites, like here), but if it'd hit, the damage would be reduced if it hit the same target. Each subsequent hit deals 1 less damage, or 2 less if the damage was 4 or more, though it will never be reduced below 1.

It's an interesting skill, though often not quite as effective as you want it to be. I like it though.



Anyway, let's finish the battle.



There are a bunch of weeds to cut down here; if you look closely, there's a bouncy mushroom peeking out behind them.





As we cut down the weeds, we get close to a cactus that reveals itself to be an enemy.





Another easy battle.



Yet another Succulent Berry. I have way too many of these now; this playthrough is showering me in them for some reason.



Using the mushroom launches us up to here, where there's a log we can knock down.



It doesn't look like there's much over here...





But we can jump down to find this medal!

Strong Start is a medal that opens up some interesting options. For 2 MP, the equipped bug gets to start with an extra action on the first turn of every battle, but in return, the exhaustion penalty reduces subsequent attacks by 2 damage instead of 1. That's not as big a downside as it sounds, though, for two reasons: one, it only applies on the first turn of the battle, and two, it only applies to the bug wearing the medal, so you can have them relay to someone else instead. This medal's really good.



I usually give it to Leif, but it's great on pretty much anyone.



Let's head east?



Not the most exciting of places...
Given deserts are just a bunch of sand... We're surprised it took this long to find a barren spot.

There's nothing here, or at least nothing we can do. Just more spikes we can't cross. Let's go back.



Let's go south again.



We come out here, behind this gate we saw earlier in the Golden Settlement!



Hitting the switch here opens the gate, allowing us to use this path as a shortcut. Of course, this is mostly moot, since we now have tunnels in both locations anyway. Regardless, I won't complain.

Now that we've explored the western side, here's an updated map of the Lost Sands. There are still some areas we haven't been able to get to, but we've seen a majority of it now.



Speaking of the tunnels, that's where I'll be going.



This person seems to want to talk to us; I overlooked them last time I was here.

Is there a need to wear a cloak inside a mine?
It's super dusty! We should wear cloaks here too!
Eh. We bet she just wants to look mysterious...

Let's talk to her, I guess.







This cloaked ant will offer us fast-travel to some locations, in case all the other options we had weren't enough! Going to the plaza is free, but some later options will cost a handful of berries. To be honest, I'd completely forgotten she existed; we're definitely gilding the lily a bit here.

Anyway, let's go back to Defiant Root.



Specifically, after those battles (and a quick visit to the bank), I can now afford to grab the Bond Berry from Sun.



I do not have any more berries with me at the moment, but I might find some more in the future. Please come back some other time.

If we talk to him again:

I no longer have anything that might interest you. Be safe, travelers.

We've cleaned him out for now. He will periodically get more berries, though, so it's worth checking in with him at the start of each new chapter.







There's no reason not to use this one right away, since TP is shared across the party. The game still asks me to choose who give it to, so I gave it to Vi, but it literally doesn't matter. Anyway, we have 14 max TP now.



Going into the menu to do that reminded me that I picked up a Lore Book earlier, so let's make a quick stop at the library before wrapping up the update.





Looks like you have enough for the next reward tier! Here you go!



That seems to be all for now! Come back once you have found more Discoveries!

We can also claim this, though it's kind of underwhelming. The next couple of rewards for these are much better.







Let's see what this is about!

Lesser Bugs. After the Day of Awakening, many bugs changed form. We "evolved" to be able to live as we do now. But not all bugs evolved. Some remained untouched by the Awakening. We call them "lesser bugs". Spiders, Midges, Weevils, and some others did not gain sentience. They remained unchanged. The causes for that are still being researched. But unless another "Day of Awakening" happens, it will be difficult to study the changes. However, it's been concluded lesser bugs have become more ferocious and will attack bugs that come near them.

We'd already noticed some of these patterns, but here it is in detail.



And with that, we'll wrap things up for now! Next time on Bug Fables... Cooking! Sidequests! Cooking Sidequests! See you then.

In the meantime, how about some voting? (a) Who gets the Heart Berry? (b) Should I buy Charmy's services?

Explopyro fucked around with this message at 19:16 on May 30, 2021

Slaan
Mar 16, 2009

I GAIN POWER FROM EATING PEOPLE, JUST ASSUME I'M ALWAYS VOTING TO EAT PEOPLE







Kabbu, what do you know about the doll Ranger that we don't?

HP to Leif
Get cheapskate charm

Quackles
Aug 11, 2018

Pixels of Light.


Ah, Overcharmed. Another Hollow Knight reference!

(You can wear more Charms in Hollow Knight than your listed capacity through a certain method, at the cost of taking double damage while you do.)

Araxxor
Oct 20, 2012

My disdain for you all knows no bounds.


Slaan posted:



Kabbu, what do you know about the doll Ranger that we don't?

HP to Leif
Get cheapskate charm


I think that just might be a "it's an action figure" quip.

Quackles posted:

Ah, Overcharmed. Another Hollow Knight reference!

(You can wear more Charms in Hollow Knight than your listed capacity through a certain method, at the cost of taking double damage while you do.)

Incidentally, the charm system in Hollow Knight was inspired by Paper Mario's badges.

Alxprit
Feb 7, 2015

A lady after my own Soul-Heart.

I also agree with giving HP to Leif. I'm sure you're going to want to do Things with Vi later, so Leif is the only real choice for the "balance" of it.

ChaosStar0
Apr 6, 2021


Give it to Kabbu and Overcharmed

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


Give it to Leif and don't waste money on unpredictable charms, buy the cheapest charm.

Twelve by Pies
May 4, 2012

Again a very likpatous story


Personally I never really found much use for Vi's needle skills, but my first playthrough was without the Hard Mode badge so maybe they're more useful if you're doing Hard Mode.

Give HP to Leif and since you said charms can throw off planning but I do think you should show them off, Cheapskate charm it is.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




Slaan posted:

Kabbu, what do you know about the doll Ranger that we don't?

Araxxor posted:

I think that just might be a "it's an action figure" quip.

This is always how I interpreted that line, although I can definitely see how it might read as something else. (I don't know, the trope has come up often enough that my brain practically autocompletes "it's an action figure" to "it's not a doll". That said, this is supposed to be a plushie, I've never heard one of those called an action figure...)

Araxxor posted:

Incidentally, the charm system in Hollow Knight was inspired by Paper Mario's badges.

I knew it was similar, but I'm not sure I knew they said it was explicitly their inspiration! Interesting.

Quackles posted:

Ah, Overcharmed. Another Hollow Knight reference!

(You can wear more Charms in Hollow Knight than your listed capacity through a certain method, at the cost of taking double damage while you do.)

This, I did not know; that's pretty cool. (I still haven't played Hollow Knight...)

I'm honestly surprised you didn't react to the Hustle Berry, I thought if anything in this post was going to get your attention it would have been that

Alxprit posted:

I also agree with giving HP to Leif. I'm sure you're going to want to do Things with Vi later, so Leif is the only real choice for the "balance" of it.

Leif can do Things too, which I definitely want to show off at some point, but I'm seeing a lot of this reasoning so he's probably going to end up with it for now (which is fine!). Most of the time I just end up giving Kabbu all the HP boosts, honestly; it'll be nice to do something a bit different!

Twelve by Pies posted:

Personally I never really found much use for Vi's needle skills, but my first playthrough was without the Hard Mode badge so maybe they're more useful if you're doing Hard Mode.

Needle Toss is honestly on the underwhelming side, though you can definitely get tricky with it (e.g. disabling or poisoning multiple enemies, if your aim is good); the second needle skill is the one I used a lot. One thing I don't think I mentioned, but which definitely helps, is that each hit rolls separately for status effects, so you can pretty reliably apply status with them.

That said, I don't think their real strength starts to show even on Hard (except maybe against some superbosses). On Hardest, enemies with 2-4 defence are pretty common, so I valued the piercing more highly. Even then, it's probably true that you can outdamage it with Hurricane Toss at sufficient levels of boosting, so I can see why you'd find it underwhelming.

As much as this game definitely pushes you in a few specific directions, build-wise, I like that there are still lots of different ways to do things and that every skill has niches in which it's valuable.

Quackles
Aug 11, 2018

Pixels of Light.


Explopyro posted:

I'm honestly surprised you didn't react to the Hustle Berry, I thought if anything in this post was going to get your attention it would have been that

I did actually have some thoughts about the Hustle Berry, too - arguably the reason that this game can just offer it freely early (ish) on is that the game is already balanced around you having multiple turns through the exhaustion mechanic (so it's basically a free Turn Relay).

In Paper Mario: Master Quest, two Mario turns... like, Mario basically has the power of two out of three Bug Fables characters in battle, with the partner being the third. So imagine getting two Bug Fables character turns twice, without exhaustion. Yeah. We have Hustle Drink as an endgame item, and it's still going to be good despite various nerfs to cancel certain strategies (most notably, having Repel Gel remove the Hustle effect).

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




Quackles posted:

I did actually have some thoughts about the Hustle Berry, too - arguably the reason that this game can just offer it freely early (ish) on is that the game is already balanced around you having multiple turns through the exhaustion mechanic (so it's basically a free Turn Relay).

In Paper Mario: Master Quest, two Mario turns... like, Mario basically has the power of two out of three Bug Fables characters in battle, with the partner being the third. So imagine getting two Bug Fables character turns twice, without exhaustion. Yeah. We have Hustle Drink as an endgame item, and it's still going to be good despite various nerfs to cancel certain strategies (most notably, having Repel Gel remove the Hustle effect).

Yeah, I think this is right, even disregarding the Repel Gel exploit you're fixing.

Truthfully, the plain Hustle Berry is not something I see much reason to use, but (as we'll discuss next update), the recipes including it more or less serve as this game's version of Double Dip, letting you get recovery while preserving action economy. That's a thing that becomes very important at the far edges of the battle system, like challenge runs.

But as there's no Double Dip equivalent in this game, you can't quite abuse it the same way you can Hustle Drinks in Paper Mario (converting item use turns into full Mario turns, and probably comboing this with Danger/Peril boosts). Or perhaps a better way of putting it is that (as you said) extra actions are already a core mechanic in Bug Fables, so one more way to mess with them ends up being a lot less imbalanced than it is in PM64.

Hwurmp
May 20, 2005

I LIKE TO MAKE VAGUE THREATS TO PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET BECAUSE I AM TOUGH GUY. P.S. ASK ME ABOUT THE TIME A GIRL BEAT ME UP IN GRADE SCHOOL. HER NAME WAS SUZIE SHE DREW A BIG WEINER ON MY FOREHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm your hustleberry

Alien Arcana
Feb 14, 2012

You're related to soup, Admiral.

Explopyro posted:

The real question, to me, is why Vi seems willing to accept this reasoning for the other bees but not herself.
I don't know that Vi is accepting the reasoning. Her exact words are "That's just how the Hive is sometimes." She's just stating a fact: bees of the Hive often have their lives decided for them. Vi ran away from that, but most don't.

Explopyro posted:

Though that raises other questions, doesn't it? We usually see exploration teams working as a unit (to the point Eetl won't give permits to un-partnered bugs), but Maki and Kina have been operating separately each time we've run into them...
At this point we've met a total of six exploration teams: Levi and Celia, Gen and Eri, Maki and Kina, Mothiva and Zasp, Stratos and Delilah, and our own Team Snakemouth.
The only other duo we've ever seen split up like this are Mothiva and Zasp. And even they don't seem to stay separated for very long.
Something's definitely up with Maki and Kina.

Explopyro posted:

After a banter, of course; this one always makes me smile. (As far as I can tell, his colouration and Kabbu's seem to be the same? I'm not sure though.)
Nah, Kabbu's right: the merchant's elytra (wing case) is slightly darker, and his legs are definitely yellower.

Explopyro posted:

Well, that was cryptic. Presumably we'll learn more about this eventually. (Anyone playing along, make sure you talk to him, it's necessary to start a minor sidequest much later in the game.)
UGH, this bit really made me angry.
There's never any explicit indication that you need to talk to this guy. I didn't stay at the inn when I first arrived (took the tunnel back to the Ant Kingdom instead), and never had a reason to afterwards, so it took me forever to figure out how to start this sidequest.

Explopyro posted:

I suppose a sandbox would be quite mysterious to bugs who don't know much of anything about humansgiants.
It took me a worryingly long time to realize it was a sandbox. I don't know how the giant shovels and whatnot didn't tip me off.

Explopyro posted:

Our bonus for reaching rank 11 is Vi learning Needle Toss!
Ahhh, Needle Toss. I don't use it much in ordinary gameplay, but it's a key part of one of my favorite anti-boss strategies.

Explopyro posted:

Strong Start is a medal that opens up some interesting options. For 2 MP, the equipped bug gets to start with an extra action on the first turn of every battle, but in return, the exhaustion penalty reduces subsequent attacks by 2 damage instead of 1. That's not as big a downside as it sounds, though, for two reasons: one, it only applies on the first turn of the battle, and two, it only applies to the bug wearing the medal, so you can have them relay to someone else instead. This medal's really good.
Wait, the exhaustion penalty only applies on turn 1? That's much better than I expected. I never used it because I figured it'd be a huge liability in long battles.

Explopyro posted:

In the meantime, how about some voting? (a) Who gets the Heart Berry? (b) Should I buy Charmy's services?

Give the Heart Berry to Leif. He's hungry.
Go ahead and buy the Regular Charm. I don't usually bother with the charms at all but we should probably show it off for the LP.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




Alien Arcana posted:

Nah, Kabbu's right: the merchant's elytra (wing case) is slightly darker, and his legs are definitely yellower.

Good to know. Guess my eyes just aren't good enough to notice.

Alien Arcana posted:

UGH, this bit really made me angry.
There's never any explicit indication that you need to talk to this guy. I didn't stay at the inn when I first arrived (took the tunnel back to the Ant Kingdom instead), and never had a reason to afterwards, so it took me forever to figure out how to start this sidequest.

I never had trouble finding it just because I tend to talk to everyone anyway (and it's not like you have to stay in the inn to see the dialogue), but yeah, it could have been handled better. It also doesn't help that it's not technically a "sidequest" in the proper sense (which I should have said), it doesn't use the quest log or anything so the game doesn't give you much information about it.

I suspect players who go out of their way to talk to everyone stumble into completing this without quite realising what happened, but anyone who doesn't can easily get stuck.

Alien Arcana posted:

It took me a worryingly long time to realize it was a sandbox. I don't know how the giant shovels and whatnot didn't tip me off.

Honestly, me too. Even with the big red plastic walls.

Alien Arcana posted:

Wait, the exhaustion penalty only applies on turn 1? That's much better than I expected. I never used it because I figured it'd be a huge liability in long battles.

The game could probably have afforded to make this clearer, because that's a really easy misconception to come away with (I think I thought it worked that way at first too). It might have been worth it even then, because you could plan around it and just avoid relaying to the affected character (their first turn is still at full strength regardless).

For the record, in case I wasn't clear, it does double all exhaustion penalties on that first turn (e.g. if you had 6 attack to start with and attacked four times, it'd go 6-4-2-0).

Between the fact the penalty only applies on the first turn, and the fact you can avoid the penalty entirely either by using turn relay or some action that doesn't care about exhaustion (this is the reason I tend to give it to Leif by default, moves like Break etc don't care about exhaustion at all), Strong Start might honestly be a bit too good?

Alxprit
Feb 7, 2015

A lady after my own Soul-Heart.

And I never ended up using it, but it definitely would have come in handy for early stuff... oh well, it is what it is. Hoping to see lots of strategies I never even fathomed come up here.

Alien Arcana
Feb 14, 2012

You're related to soup, Admiral.

Explopyro posted:

I never had trouble finding it just because I tend to talk to everyone anyway (and it's not like you have to stay in the inn to see the dialogue), but yeah, it could have been handled better. It also doesn't help that it's not technically a "sidequest" in the proper sense (which I should have said), it doesn't use the quest log or anything so the game doesn't give you much information about it.

I suspect players who go out of their way to talk to everyone stumble into completing this without quite realising what happened, but anyone who doesn't can easily get stuck.

I usually do talk to all the NPCs. I think what happened is that the banter for the innkeeper includes Kabbu saying, specifically, "Let's not meddle." So I didn't. And then I forgot that there was a dialogue option I hadn't taken.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




Alxprit posted:

And I never ended up using it, but it definitely would have come in handy for early stuff... oh well, it is what it is. Hoping to see lots of strategies I never even fathomed come up here.

I'm certainly going to try, although doubtless I won't be able to cover everything!

Alien Arcana posted:

I usually do talk to all the NPCs. I think what happened is that the banter for the innkeeper includes Kabbu saying, specifically, "Let's not meddle." So I didn't. And then I forgot that there was a dialogue option I hadn't taken.

Ouch, I can absolutely see this. The banter is definitely misleading.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




22: The Great Bugarian Bake-Off

Last time, we picked up a couple of sidequests for chefs.





We've also recently learned about several new ingredients. There's a lot of cooking ahead of us today.

Before that, though, we'll need to track down some ingredients. Specifically, Kut's requested a Tangy Berry, and we're going to need to hunt down a Golden Seedling to get one of those. Let's take care of that first.

06 - Outskirts



04 - FIGHT!



I was prepared for this to take quite a while (Golden Seedlings have a 1% chance to replace any other seedling-type enemy), but would you believe I found one on literally the first encounter? I could hardly believe it.

We're a lot better prepared now than we were last time we saw one of these, so let's get ourselves a Tangy Berry.





First things first, Kabbu gets in the rear and taunts it to keep it from fleeing.





Leif and Vi get some hits in.





I decided to try to get fancy here, and have Leif use his second turn to toss a Numbnail Dart. These guys have 60% resistance to sleep (the only status they're not immune to), so I thought it might be fun to try, although as you can see it didn't take. It does damage, anyway.



Yeowch. Not unexpected, but still. If the damage looks too high, well, I had put Hard Hits on in anticipation of needing to grind a while before I found one (may as well get some extra berries, I thought). Without it, there might have been a chance for Kabbu to have survived the hit.

Regardless, though, he deals a point of counter damage thanks to Spiky Bod, and that definitely helps.



We've got this now.



07 - Battle Won!



These guys are worth a lot of EXP.



It also drops a huge pile of stuff. I don't think we've seen a yellow berry drop before yet, those are worth 10 berries each.



That's not what I was expecting! I think this might be the first time I've seen a Golden Seedling encounter drop other items. I suspect this is pulling from the encounter's normal drops.



The Tangy Berry was indeed there, it was just hiding behind Kabbu's sprite and all the other loot. Just what we needed.

Tangy Berry
"An exotic berry that isn't native to Bugaria. Restores 8 TP and cures an ally's paralysis."
Sell: 15 berries

Golden Seedlings are guaranteed to drop these when you kill them. Just looking at it, it might seem a bit underwhelming (though it's definitely not a bad item!); the real value is in cooking them.

We have everything we need now.

38 - Make it Crisbee!



Let's go help Crisbee first.



So I had this idea for a dish... I'm gonna need a Spud. Then I can make something really good! Um, probably.

This quest is pretty simple. Crisbee's going to ask us for ingredients, we bring them to him and he'll cook the thing. What if we try to give him the wrong thing?

Hmm... I don't think that'll do. Please bring me the right ingredient!

Okay, okay.



Ignore the rest of that stuff for now, please. We have a Danger Spud, that's what he wants. (If we didn't already have a bunch of these, remember the poison shop in the alley sells them.)

Yes! This is perfect!
I'll get right into it. Wish me luck!



Crisbee cooks by sliding things into his oven.





Yam Bread is okay. As you might expect, this is what you get if you combine flour with a Danger Spud.

How's it look?
Honestly? Pretty good.
Awesome. I'm ready to step it up a little! Just a little.
Let's see... Try to bring me a Succulent Berry. I'll try to make something super tasty!

All right. That's not too hard either, we're swimming in these (and if we didn't have one, we could get it from the caravan just south of town).



Yes! This is perfect!
I'll get right into it. Wish me luck!





I'm so glad I was right... The Succulent Berry's real flavor comes out when you bake it!



Succulent Platter is another new recipe, just a Succulent Berry cooked alone. This lets the entire party get HP regeneration, though it doesn't heal anything immediately when you use it, you have to wait for the end of the turn. If you use it outside battle, it heals each bug 4 HP. A bit situational, but it has its uses.





A... A bomb?
Then I'll bake it with an Abomihoney! I'm so excited!



We're curious, but mostly worried.
It's, um, really risky... but the legend says it'll bring honey to a new level!
I was really scared to try before but... I've trained so much! I think I can pull it off!
Team, let's believe in Crisbee! If we don't, why did we take that mission?
I mean, you're right, but...
If it's forbidden, it's probably super delicious. Let's do this.
Okay, geez! We'll bring it! I've got a bad feeling, though...
Oh, thank you so much! I won't disappoint you, I promise!

Well, that certainly escalated quickly. This sounds like a really bad idea, are we sure we want to do it?

A lot of people get stuck at this part of the quest, because the game gives you very little by way of hints for how to make either of these things. There is that one conversation early in the game where Vi says not to combine too much honey, which helps, but the Spicy Bomb in particular stumps a lot of people. I've already covered how to make it in the LP, of course.

We still need an Abomihoney. I've shown one way to get this before (combining two Honey Drops), but there's also another way.





Huff. Okay, here it goes! Wish me luck!



Here's the "cooking failure" animation for Crisbee, Abomihoney is considered a "bad" recipe.

Ah... I really did try... I'm sorry.



Come again, won't you? I'd love to keep improving!

So, yeah. Too much honey gets these, as Vi warned us early on, but so does overcooking honey. We have everything we need now.







If we say no:

Alright. No rush. But please bring them soon! I can't wait to get started!

Let's do it, I guess. What could happen?

Yes! This is perfect!
With these... I'm going to cook the forbidden recipe!







...it's alive? I expected a soggy bottom maybe, but this?

29 - Team, This One's Stronger! (Miniboss)





And now we're fighting... monstrous honey blobs? (Look closely at the background here, and you can see Crisbee hiding behind the boxes! He's animated, too, you can see him shaking in fear while the fight goes on.)

Let's get some information, I guess.



If it pulls anything funny, we'll use our ice magic to deal with it. Let's end this.

The Strong Start medal is really convenient for spying, among other things, since using Spy doesn't build exhaustion.

Anyway, these Abomihoneys don't look that scary, though they're definitely different from what we've been fighting so far. Let's see what they can do.



Kabbu attacks the first one. After being hit, it collapses into a puddle: it's effectively underground like this. You may recognise this behaviour from Underlings, it's very similar.



Leif's ice attacks can hit them and force them to surface.



Leaving Vi free to hit it again, though it'll go under again once she does.



If they're underground when their turn comes, they'll use this bite attack from underneath. It hits for 4 base damage, and they surface after using it.



While above ground, they use this bite attack instead. This also hits for 4, though I find it a bit easier to time blocks for.



It's our turn again.



Kabbu finishes off the first one.



Leif was feeling a bit ganged up on, so Vi heals him.



Leif attacks the remaining one.



It goes after Vi this time.



So far, so good. At this point, the battle's a foregone conclusion.



That wasn't too bad!

That said, we didn't see the most interesting thing they can do. I did manage to get some footage in an earlier recording session (that ended up being unusable for other reasons), so let's have a quick look:



Instead of attacking, Abomihoneys can also transform into a bomb! This gives them Defence Up (unlimited duration, which means you can't remove it), and also queues them up to explode next turn if you don't kill them. This attack seems to become more likely the lower on health they are.



The explosion does 10 damage to everyone (and also, as a suicide attack, robs you of the EXP you would otherwise get). Kabbu only lived through this because he'd used Sturdy. Obviously, you don't want to let this happen.







After being destroyed, they leave behind this... thing. That's terrifying. We'll talk about this more in a bit.





Abomihoney is super dangerous! Doesn't matter how good you bake it.
S-sorry... I guess the "forbidden" wasn't just for show.
It's okay, Crisbee. Even if it wasn't food, you cooked it to perfection!
Shame we couldn't eat it though...
Hmm... Wait up, okay? I'm gonna try again. Not following any old legend! This dish is all me!



That looks like Glazed Honey and a flour bag?







Well, this is nice!



I made some more for everyone!
Woah... It's super yummy!
Incredible... We must have more!
It's all thanks to your help! If you bring me a Glazed Honey and a Flour Bag, I'll make you more!
You've earned yourself a regular.
Heheh. You're gonna be famous in no time!



We're best friends now. Come whenever you want, and I'll bake you some real tasty stuff!



That completes this quest! There's actually quite a bit to talk about here, as far as rewards go.



First off, we get to keep all the items we helped Crisbee make, which is nice enough.

More importantly, though, we've now unlocked the first "chef's speciality" recipe: only Crisbee can make these doughnuts, and he couldn't do it before we completed the quest. They're one of the better TP-restoration items, and certainly the most cost-effective. I'm definitely going to be stocking up on them; they tend to be something of a mainstay for most of the rest of the game.

Interestingly, if you try to have Crisbee cook any of the recipes involved in this quest (Yam Bread, Succulent Platter, Abombination) before making them during it, he won't be able to make them successfully and you'll get a Mistake instead. We really did help him learn! Fry and Kut could both make them already, though.

If we talk to Crisbee now that we've finished the quest, we'll get his standard dialogue:





Oh... that's okay. Crisbee's always open!

This is also what you'd see if you talked to him before accepting the quest.

Let's talk about the Abombination. It's a fascinating little item that's very tricky to use, but can be quite rewarding once you figure out what to do with it. A demonstration:



It essentially lets us harness the Abomihoneys' explosion attack! It does 10 damage to everything onscreen, enemy and ally (although if there are any Abomihoneys around, they'll get healed by it instead), modified by defence. We haven't encountered shielding mechanics yet (either for us or for enemies), but that's the only way to avoid being hurt by the explosion. It does destroy the shield, though (as of v1.1), to make it harder to spam them. Abombination also restores 40% of maximum TP, rounded up, but only if it damaged an ally (if everyone is shielded, no TP for you).

10 damage is enormously powerful. As you might imagine, these are a mainstay of challenge runs, though for playing the game normally I think the downsides outweigh the benefits.

Fry and Kut can actually make these earlier in the game without consequence, I just thought this would be the most natural place to talk about them. Crisbee can now as well: the Abomihoney battle is a one-time thing, and this just works like a normal recipe from now on.

While we're here at the bakery, let's talk about the new recipes we can make with flour (and our other new ingredients). There are a whole bunch:

Drowsy Cake (38)
"This cake's super yummy but puts you to sleep after eating it! Restores 7 HP and 7 TP."
Inflicts sleep (2 turns)
Sell: 5 berries
Made by combining and

First up is Drowsy Cake. We already knew about this item since we could buy it in the Golden Settlement, but now we can make it ourselves with flour and Numbnail Darts.

Poison Cake (30)
"This cake is delicious, but... not recommended. Restores 11 TP. But really, don't eat it."
Inflicts poison (2 turns)
Sell: 6 berries
Made by combining and or

Shock Candy (33)
"This candy's shockingly sweet! Restores 9 TP, at a shocking price."
Inflicts numb (2 turns)
Sell: 10 berries
Made by combining and

Similarly, combining poisonous or shocking ingredients with flour can get us similar results for other status effects. Poison Cake can be really good for poison-based strategies if you're not using Weak Stomach, and presumably we'll get medals to take advantage of Numb eventually too.

Succulent Cookies (14)
"Delicious cookies made from Succulent Berries! Restores 3 HP, then recovers 2 TP for 3 turns."
If used outside battle, recovers 3 HP and 6 TP.
Sell: 1 berry
Made by combining and

Mushroom Gummies (34)
"Sweet treats made from mushrooms! Restores 3 HP to the party, and cures poison."
Sell: 4 berries
Made by combining and

Sweet Pudding (35)
"A simple, plain pudding. Restores 6 HP to an ally and 6 TP."
Sell: 7 berries
Made by combining and or

Leaf Croissant (36)
"Extra leaves for extra crunchiness! Restores 5 HP to an ally, 4 TP and cures poison."
Sell: 4 berries
Made by combining and

Honey Pancakes (37)
"A delicious and sweet morning dish! Restores 1 HP and 6 TP to the party."
Sell: 8 berries
Made by combining and

Combining familiar ingredients with flour gets us several new permutations of healing item. Mushroom Gummies and Honey Pancakes both offer new party-wide healing options, while Leaf Croissant and Sweet Pudding are both efficient hybrid recovery items for their price point (compare Sweet Pudding to our old favourite Drowsy Cake). Succulent Cookies are honestly kind of weird, and also sell for less than the value of their ingredients for some reason.

Spicy Candy (40)
"This spicy candy will rev you up! Restores 5 TP and boosts an ally's attack for 2 turns."
Sell: 12 berries
Made by combining and

Burly Candy (41)
"This candy's actually good for you? Restores 5 TP and boosts an ally's defense for 2 turns."
Sell: 12 berries
Made by combining and

With Spicy Candy and Burly Candy, we finally have an alternative to Spicy Fries and Burly Chips. These also activate Weak Stomach, so it's a matter of whether you prefer HP or TP recovery; they're both great.

Hustle Candy (39)
"This candy will pump you up some time later! Restores 6 TP and grants a turn next turn!"
**Prior to v1.1, recovered 4 TP
Sell: 8 berries
Made by combining and

Hot Drink (43)
"This boiled drink pays off later! Heals 5 HP, cures status effects, and grants a turn next turn."
Sell: 7 berries
Made by combining and

These two recipes are the reason you should never use a plain Hustle Berry. By incorporating the Hustle effect, these let you get either TP recovery or status recovery without any loss of action economy (they give back the action you spent to use them). Hustle Candy in particular is a mainstay of many challenge run strategies.

Numb Bomb (59)
"This high voltage bomb's ready to go! Toss it at enemies to paralyze them!"
Inflicts 5 damage on the targeted enemy
Inflicts 3 damage on other enemies in blast radius
Inflicts numb (1 turn) on enemies hit
Sell: 15 berries
Made by combining or and

Finally, we have the Numb Bomb, which is just like the rest of the bombs we've seen and can inflict the Numb status.

Which means, I guess, we should talk about Numb. It's a pretty straightforward status: it immobilises the affected character, but increases their defence by 1. This makes it a bit more practical than sleep for disabling purposes (at least you don't heal them), but makes doing damage afterward a bit harder. It's powerful, but hard to inflict for long durations.

Let's go to the Golden Settlement and see Kut. It's not far thanks to the tunnels.

27 - Kut it Up!





I need a Tangy Berry to cook my newest idea.
However, they are really rare. It's rumored that only Golden Seedlings carry them.
If you ever find one, bring it back to me and I will cook you my greatest dish!

Sounds promising. And since we've planned ahead, we can do this now.



Alright, then. Hand it over.

If we give him the wrong thing:

Hey... That's not a Tangy Berry! Don't try to pull my leg here!

Sometimes these lines are kind of fun, honestly.



Let's give him the real thing, though.

Hmm! You actually found one!
Alright then, leave it to me!



Here it is... My magnum opus!



Now that's an item!

This is a dish only I can make.
Just bring me a Tangy Berry, and I shall prepare it for you, free of charge.
Thank you very much for this.



Another quest completed! That was a lot quicker.



Just like with Crisbee, we get to keep this. And we've now unlocked Kut's speciality: he can make more of these whenever we want (provided we find Tangy Berries, that is, which is a bigger ask than Crisbee's recipe). This is by far the best HP-healing item we've seen thus far, and it heals the entire party!

While you can find Tangy Berries earlier than this, the quest doesn't appear until you reach Defiant Root for the first time, and Kut can't prepare this recipe until you've completed the quest (so don't waste the berries trying beforehand).

There are a few other recipes that use Tangy Berries, but none of them quite live up to this one:

Tangy Jam (52)
"A jam made from a Tangy Berry mixed with honey! Restores 12 TP and cures an ally's paralysis."
Sell: 20 berries
Made by combining and

Tangy Juice (53)
"Juice made from CRUSHING Tangy Berries! Restores 8 TP and cures an ally's status effects."
Sell: 17 berries
Made by combining and

Tangy Pie (54)
"This pie's citrusy flavor lingers for hours! Restores 4 HP to an ally, and recovers 2 TP for 5 turns."
If used outside battle, restores 4 HP and 10 TP.
Sell: 13 berries
Made by combining and

None of these are exactly bad, but they're not that impressive either; I'd recommend sticking with Tangy Carpaccio. (That said, I do have questions about that dish: does it even make sense to prepare a citrus fruit Carpaccio-style? Given the scale, I think Tangy Berries are probably something like a kumquat...)

There is one more recipe (and a really good one) that uses Tangy Berries, but it requires an ingredient we've yet to discover.

That's the second cooking quest done. We're finished now, surely?

26 - Golden Lands







Of course not. Once we've completed both Crisbee's and Kut's quests, these two quests appear on the boards. Let's chat up Aria first, since she's right here.



It was our pleasure, Acolyte. You look well... What seems to be the issue?
I'll be brief, to not waste your time. I'm planning on giving the Goddess an incredible offering.
An offering? Like a LOT of berries?
Goddesses don't need money. Bet it's a bunch of food.
That is correct.
It is?
Seriously?
I wish to give Her a banquet worthy of one as great as She is.
I have prepared several dishes, that I have. But I'm missing... something grand.
What sort of dish are you looking for?
It's hard to say. Something I cannot simply buy would be excellent.
We could ask Fry, Kut or Crisbee to make something. Their specialty, perhaps?
I've heard the chef Fry has been planning his "masterpiece".
The Goddess would be overjoyed to taste something that divine!
So uh... You think she'll give us something for it?
Of course. Venus is generous, kind and loving. If you make her happy, She will reward you.
Fry's masterpiece... We'll do our best to get it for you, Aria.
You have my thanks, Team Snakemouth. I'll be waiting here for you.
Let's make sure to make one for us too, Kabbu.

If we weren't already motivated to get Fry's speciality, Aria wants us to help her get one for Venus. Let's go see what Fry's planning, then.

21 - Fry it Up!





Alright, let's get to the chase. I had an idea for the ultimate dish...
Combining the most sweet thing with the most tangy feeling...
It will surely be something out of this world!
I need two dishes not found anywhere else, which will contain these qualities!
Once you have found them, bring them back to me! The reward will be well worth it! Hahaha!

Fry is definitely referring to the specialities of the other two chefs. Come on, Fry, we just got them! Do we really have to give them up so soon?





If we decline:

Hmph! Let's stop wasting time and get those ingredients!

And if we don't have them in inventory:

...You don't have them! Remember, I need the Sweetest thing and the Tangiest flavor to cook my best dish.
Bring me those 2 ingredients and I will get down to it!

Okay, okay, let's give him what he wants.

Ohoho! You actually did it! I am impressed!
Those ingredients are perfect for the ultimate dish!
Let's get right to it!



Yes, he just puts the doughnut and sliced fruit into his pot and stirs them around. This really doesn't seem like it should work...

Ahaha! Here it is! The ultimate dish!



Well then. He wasn't kidding.

This is something only I can cook!
Just bring these ingredients back here and I will make as many as you can eat!
Thank you very much for this!



That completes the quest. This is Fry's speciality, and what an item it is. Queen's Dinner is one of the best healing items in the game (nearly obsoleting the Tangy Carpaccio we just learned about, unless you're trying to do Weak Stomach things). If you want an "oh poo poo, save me" button in battle, this is it.



I'd really like to keep this, but Venus has a prior claim. We can always make more of them later when we come across more Tangy Berries, so let's go see Aria again.



If you try to give her the wrong thing:

...
Uh...
This isn't grand enough for Venus.
Sorry, we'll get back on it.

Let's give her the Queen's Dinner.

...
...So?
...Yes. I can tell that this dish is something worthy of giving to Venus.
Nice! So we just have to deliver it to her, right?
Indeed. We must venture to the top of the hills and deliver it to Her.
You go on ahead, I shall catch up in a bit.
Alright. See you at the top.

Not quite done, we have to deliver it personally.

Please go on ahead, I will catch up with you in a bit. Venus awaits at the top of the hills.

Aria just has this to say if you talk to her again. Let's go.



Thankfully, the way to Venus is still open, we don't have to repeat any of the puzzles.

28 - Harvest Festival





When we approach Venus and talk to her, Aria immediately shows up.

Vi! Kabbu! Long time no see! I'm especially glad to not get spooked by you, Leif.
Uh, sorry. We can't help it.
Goddess... I have brought you a humble offering, with the help of these brave explorers.
Please enjoy it to your heart's content, so that our village may be blessed for just a bit longer.



Aria! You know the festival's more than enough!
But thank you. I can tell it's going to be wonderful. Let's share, shall we?



A-Awesome!
Can earthly ingredients reach this flavor!?
We're gonna have to hunt for more Tangy Berries...
I-It was beyond my expectations. Thank you so much for sharing with me, Goddess.



Team Snakemouth! You're getting a healing discount from yours truly! Only 5 berries now!



It was our honor!
It was worth it as soon as we tasted that dish...
Please take this Medal too, as a token of my gratitude.



Prayer may not seem like much now, but it's sneakily good. This costs 3 MP, and makes the "Do Nothing" action heal 2 HP. That's okay, but the real power of this medal rests in the fact it's not the only medal that enhances Do Nothing, and you can stack them (there's an entire build there). Do note that any medals like this only function the first time the equipped bug does nothing in a given turn, you can't keep relaying turns and healing further.

I'm so relieved you enjoyed the offering.
I sure am glad I don't constantly monitor everyone, it would've ruined the surprise!
Come back again, yes? You are most pleasant company.
Anytime!



And with that, this quest is completed as well. The healing discount persists for the rest of the game, and Prayer is a solid medal, so I'd say we made out pretty well in the end.



If we talk to Venus again, that's all she has to say.



Likewise, talking to Aria when we get back to town yields this new line.

With this, we wrap up the Great Bugarian Bake-Off. Finally, there's no more cooking to be done.



There is a bit more eating, though! The thread agreed, pretty universally, that Leif is the hungriest and therefore should get to eat this.





Bringing him to 10 maximum HP.

37 - Defiant Root



And there was a general consensus in favour of seeing what Charmy can do.



While most of the votes were for Cheapskate, there were a few votes for more, and I think we have a better chance of seeing a variety of effects if we do that, so I'm going to put my thumb on the scale a bit and purchase Regular instead. (Let's say it averages out. Shh. Maths totally work that way.)

Alright! Let's start then!



Purchasing a charm gets us this nice little animation.

There you go! Now you're all charmed up.
Who knows how it will help you out? Might even get you out of a pinch!
Come back later when you want more charms!

Guess we'll have to see what that ends up doing for us.



Next time, it's a homecoming for Vi (like it or not), we're heading into the Hive.

Explopyro fucked around with this message at 03:57 on Jun 28, 2021

Alxprit
Feb 7, 2015

A lady after my own Soul-Heart.

Playing the game the first time it took me a LOT longer to find my first Tangy Berry, because I had never naturally run into a Golden Seedling until... geez, I can't even remember, but I think it was in Chapter 6 around the time you get a certain thing that makes it easier? The way I played the game with more balanced level ups, and a massive focus on TP, these recipes were nigh essential for me being able to survive some of the postgame challenges. That and another one we haven't seen yet, but that I think is the other Tangy Berry recipe you're referring to. Hey, items are meant to be used, right?

Yes, you can buy Tangy Berries on Metal Island, but I'm a perennial hoarder.

Arzaac
Jan 2, 2020




I can't even tell you how many Queen's Dinners I made. They were just so useful, I always had one or two lying around my inventory. This did break the bank quite a bit though...that's what Spy Cards are for.

Quackles
Aug 11, 2018

Pixels of Light.


"Oh. My. Self!" made me snort.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




By the way, I didn't mention it in the update, but for anyone who finds huge dumps of recipes boring, this update was the last one that's going to be like that. We've now covered 56 of the 70 recipes in the game, and the remaining 14 will come in batches of 4-5 as we discover a handful of new ingredients. There are surprises yet to come, but we've definitely seen a majority of the game's consumables by now.

Alxprit posted:

Playing the game the first time it took me a LOT longer to find my first Tangy Berry, because I had never naturally run into a Golden Seedling until... geez, I can't even remember, but I think it was in Chapter 6 around the time you get a certain thing that makes it easier? The way I played the game with more balanced level ups, and a massive focus on TP, these recipes were nigh essential for me being able to survive some of the postgame challenges. That and another one we haven't seen yet, but that I think is the other Tangy Berry recipe you're referring to. Hey, items are meant to be used, right?

Honestly, my first playthrough was pretty similar to this. I stumbled into a few Golden Seedlings relatively early (nowhere near as early as in the LP though!) but didn't work out how to kill them until much later; I think I had some kind of mental block about using Taunt. I completed the quest as soon as I could buy the berries, and then they became a mainstay; I wouldn't say I used them willy-nilly but I definitely burned through several in most boss fights.

There's no shame in using items, that's what they're there for! (Bug Fables is pretty good at encouraging you to use stuff, too, between the small capacity you have and the fact nothing is too hard to replace.)

Arzaac posted:

I can't even tell you how many Queen's Dinners I made. They were just so useful, I always had one or two lying around my inventory. This did break the bank quite a bit though...that's what Spy Cards are for.

Oh, same. Once it's reasonably affordable I usually keep 2-3 on me at all times; berries just kind of stop being a problem once you get far enough into the game.

It does frustrate me a little that they obsolete the vast majority of recovery items, admittedly: there are still other items worth using, but Queen's Dinners definitely have a homogenising effect on your inventory late in the game. There's so much variety in recovery items early on that ends up hardly mattering...

Quackles posted:

"Oh. My. Self!" made me snort.

I really enjoy that entire scene, but that's definitely the best line by far.

Not The Wendigo
Apr 12, 2009


The difference between how Aria talks about Venus and how Venus talks about Venus ("yay picnics!") is delightful.

Also, that you can directly reach Team Snakemouth by posting a quest.

Arzaac
Jan 2, 2020




Oh also, there's one very VERY important detail about the Queen's Dinner: healing all status effects means it heals your poison attacker too. Guess what I accidentally did on the final boss with no way to inflict poison?

(I did still end up winning though)

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




Not The Wendigo posted:

The difference between how Aria talks about Venus and how Venus talks about Venus ("yay picnics!") is delightful.

Also, that you can directly reach Team Snakemouth by posting a quest.

Oh yes. It's the little touches like this that really elevate the game's writing, in my opinion.

Not to put too fine a point on it, one of the reasons I enjoy Venus so much as a character is that she's allowed to be a character like everyone else. She may be a goddess, but that doesn't stop her being a person. That said, it does kind of make me wonder where Aria's over-the-top religiosity came from, when Venus seems to want to discourage it.

Arzaac posted:

Oh also, there's one very VERY important detail about the Queen's Dinner: healing all status effects means it heals your poison attacker too. Guess what I accidentally did on the final boss with no way to inflict poison?

(I did still end up winning though)

This is one of the bigger disadvantages to poison strategies, yeah. I was trying to get at this by pointing out Tangy Carpaccio might be better if you're using Weak Stomach (since you can't trigger it with a Queen's Dinner), but that doesn't acknowledge the other side of the problem, that Queen's Dinners will take away your buffs in a status-heavy strategy.

There was definitely a point in one of my playthroughs where, instead of Queen's Dinners, I was using Tangy Carpaccios and TP items separately so I could maintain poison buffs. There's another item we haven't seen yet that does group healing with a bit of TP, and doesn't cure status, but it's less practical for other reasons.

I'm torn between, as a player, getting frustrated with this (because the game doesn't give me a good option to do what I want for these strategies), and thinking it's good design because it creates real tradeoffs. I definitely want to do a deep analysis of the pros and cons of poison as a strategy, but that's going to come much later in the LP I think, a lot of the points I want to cover involve things I've yet to show.

Alien Arcana
Feb 14, 2012

You're related to soup, Admiral.

Explopyro posted:

Not to put too fine a point on it, one of the reasons I enjoy Venus so much as a character is that she's allowed to be a character like everyone else. She may be a goddess, but that doesn't stop her being a person. That said, it does kind of make me wonder where Aria's over-the-top religiosity came from, when Venus seems to want to discourage it.

I imagine at least part of Aria's behavior was taught by her predecessor. We know from her diary that she was being groomed to take over as priestess long before she actually met Venus. She also may have thrown herself into the priestess role extra-hard, if she felt guilty for having doubted that Venus existed.

Also, I think the game kinda understates how important Venus is to the Golden Settlement. Isn't she keeping the place in perpetual autumn or something, so that they can grow crops year-round? If the entire community can only exist because of Venus' direct intervention, and Aria knows that for a fact, it makes sense that she'd be super-respectful even if Venus herself doesn't feel like it's a big deal.

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


Just want to chime in that I didn't mind the cooking update at all. It's a useful reference post for when I've forgotten what a specific item does when you're using in combat.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




Alien Arcana posted:

I imagine at least part of Aria's behavior was taught by her predecessor. We know from her diary that she was being groomed to take over as priestess long before she actually met Venus. She also may have thrown herself into the priestess role extra-hard, if she felt guilty for having doubted that Venus existed.

Also, I think the game kinda understates how important Venus is to the Golden Settlement. Isn't she keeping the place in perpetual autumn or something, so that they can grow crops year-round? If the entire community can only exist because of Venus' direct intervention, and Aria knows that for a fact, it makes sense that she'd be super-respectful even if Venus herself doesn't feel like it's a big deal.

Good point. I think that makes sense.

I keep forgetting about the "perpetual autumn" thing, I genuinely don't remember if the game ever says so explicitly but I think it's pretty vague if so. (The art book is out for general purchase now but I haven't had a chance to go through it yet, I wonder if there's more detailed lore in there...)

Torrannor posted:

Just want to chime in that I didn't mind the cooking update at all. It's a useful reference post for when I've forgotten what a specific item does when you're using in combat.

Thanks! This is good to know. (Although if you want a reference, there's also the appendix page I'm maintaining for exactly that purpose; that might be more convenient?)

Twelve by Pies
May 4, 2012

Again a very likpatous story


I'm actually kind of reminded of Steiner from FF9, he's the only party member that calls Vivi "Master Vivi." Vivi is pretty obviously a kid and the other party members treat him as such, and he clearly doesn't hold himself in that high a regard, and the only real reason given for Steiner's reverence is "He has unimaginable power." So I guess Aria is the same way, even if Venus herself is pretty laid back, she's still incredibly powerful enough that Aria can't be casual to her.

DACK FAYDEN
Feb 25, 2013

Bear Witness

Twelve by Pies posted:

Vivi is pretty obviously a kid and the other party members treat him as such, and he clearly doesn't hold himself in that high a regard, and the only real reason given for Steiner's reverence is "He has unimaginable power."
Vivi also explicitly has Magic Sword mechanics with Steiner, I always read it partially as Steiner just being like "this small lad is a valued teammate of mine, and I respect him, unlike his rear end in a top hat friend with a tail, and he makes me hit things with lightning which is cool".

Zushio
May 8, 2008


Master is a dated English honorific title. It is considered to be the diminutive form of Mister and applied to young men before they have reached adulthood and debuted in society. Typically this was a high society thing, but usage did spread to other social classes before fading from everyday use. There is still moderate usage of the term in various English speaking places.

In the case of Steiner he speaks and addresses everyone in a formal manner, mostly modeled after Shakespearean dialogue. He addresses Vivi as Master because it's just the proper way to refer to a child in the way Steiner speaks. Same as he might refer to Zidane as Sir or Dagger as Lady. It is a sign that he respects his team and views them as equals to be sure, but I also feel like Steiner is the kind of guy who would refer to street urchins as Master.

Master As An Honorific

Zushio fucked around with this message at 19:44 on Jun 6, 2021

Twelve by Pies
May 4, 2012

Again a very likpatous story


The way Zidane reacts to it would indicate that it's unusual.

quote:

Steiner
"It may be difficult with just the two of us. We should seek Master Vivi's help as well."

Zidane
"Why are you calling him 'Master'?"

Steiner
"You fool. That black mage has unimaginable powers..."

I guess it also depends on how Steiner addresses Vivi in the Japanese version of 9, which would make a difference. I assume it's not -kun though I suppose it could be, if it's -san then yeah he's probably just being formal, if it's -sama then it would indicate that Steiner holds Vivi in especially high regard and isn't just being formal. I don't know Japanese and I can't actually find info about the honorific he uses though.

Zushio
May 8, 2008


I agree that the quoted exchange indicates that Steiner is using it because he either feels respect for Vivi's power, or due to fear of that power and trying to get on Vivi's good side. It doesn't suggest to me that Stiener is putting himself in a subservient position, just using the term that would come naturally for a young man he respects.

To me Zidane's question reads as wondering why anyone, let alone Steiner, would respect Vivi in any way. The way Steiner responds also makes me think he is more in awe of how naive Zindane appears to be about how powerful Vivi really is. Zidane is also a poor thief and unused to society etiquette and language.

It is also possible, given the translation, that Zidane is asking thinking that Stiener used Master to imply someone he takes orders from, but Steiner replies thinking mistakenly that Zidane is aware of the higher society usage of the word. Steiner's answer just happens to make sense for either word usage. It's always possible the whole exchange is a bad joke about the very discussion we are having about it!

It's open to interpretation though, I agree. The original Japanese script could probably clear it up entirely, but that is a little beyond my skill level.

Zushio fucked around with this message at 06:59 on Jun 7, 2021

VictualSquid
Feb 29, 2012

Gently enveloping the target with indiscriminate love.


Trying to find the answer to this question taught me two things:
There is no easy to find script dump of ff9 on the internet.
All the ff9 character have extremely detailed wikipedia pages, but not on Japanese wikipedia.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




23: The Queen on High (Part 1)

37 - Defiant Root

Last time, we did a lot of cooking and learned a whole lot of recipes, and our three chef friends each discovered their own speciality. Since you probably haven't been counting, we've now seen 56 of the game's 70 total recipes. There are still quite a few items to learn about, but the variety is pretty frontloaded.





I took the opportunity to do some cooking and fill up my inventory with a variety of things (including a bunch of Crisbee Donuts, you can never have too many of those); this is what I'll be carrying around for now, and I have a few more things in Amber's storage.



Back to the mission. Our next stop is the Bee Kingdom, which we can get to via this elevator on the west end of Defiant Root.



Uh huh. Get us up?
Sure thing. Hop on, explorers.
We're not done talking about your issues, Vi. We're just saving it for later.



Leif seems pretty fixated on getting Vi to talk, but she's not having it.



Everyone hops on the elevator and up it goes.





We're going to be having a conversation in transit, it seems. The effect here is pretty neat, you can see the leaves and knots on the tree trunk go by as you go up.



Indeed, we'll protect you if they speak poorly of you.
Hahahaha... That's... not really going to happen, ya know?
Huh. So they don't tease you?
Just, uh, a little bit.
Vi... could it be the Hive has done nothing to you?
...
Nonsense. Why would she be so unwilling otherwise?



I am?
The Hive didn't do anything. I did.
Vi. What did you do?
My sister kept teasing me, okay? Saying exploring's a job for other bugs.



So I got really mad and said a lot of mean stuff to her... and ran off.
Told my boss to shove it. Told the Queen she had no idea what I'm capable of!
Vi...
So in this story, you're the mean one?
Kinda. They had it coming, though.



All you have to do is say you're sorry. And it'll get fixed.
No way!
Even if I was super mean, they still teased me all the time! I'm not gonna say sorry!
Not even to your close sister? It's your family!
She can say sorry first! I'm not gonna lose after making a big scene!
...
Look. The mission's most important, okay? I don't wanna talk about this anymore.
We're almost at the top... you're not off the hook, Vi.



With that, we arrive at the top! (As you might expect, it's the usual thing where the tree's exactly as high as it needs to be for the conversation to fit.) We're certainly learning more about Vi's conflict with the other bees, seems like there were some other aspects she wasn't telling us (or was in denial about).



The logbook notification suggests we've gotten a discovery.





Not much to say, though.



We can talk to the guard here to go back down whenever.

Enjoy your visit to the Hive!

That's all she has to say otherwise. There's also, of course, a banter here:

The Hive's gigantic!
Mhm. Most bugs just see the main area, though. Most of it's just honey and housing.
So most of this Hive is honey? We'll have to investigate...
That honey's for bees!

Maybe bringing Leif here isn't a great idea? His endless hunger is even enough to squeeze a bit of patriotism out of Vi, apparently.



Let's go in.



This is interesting. A security checkpoint?

What a peculiar room.
This is the scan corridor. So they know we're clean or whatever.
That's weird.
Yup...

Enlightening.



Um, what?



The scan is apparently a lattice of laser honeycombs?



"Huh"? You saying we're not clean or something?
It's not that... Hmm, well... Yes. Okay.
Alright. You've been cleared to pass.
...



That wasn't cryptic at all. At least they opened the door for us.



Onward.

39 - Drums of War



As we enter, the camera starts on this stained glass image of the Bee Queen, then pans downward to reveal...



...a lot of soldiers waiting for us. That's ominous.





Vi, is this normal?
Uh, not really...
Hold it, folks!

Someone calls out to stop us from offscreen.





W-What?
Was it us?
Most definitely.
Is Leif okay!?
Dearie me. We've caused a scene. Could you come with me? I'll check it out ASAP.
You sure you wanna trust her, Leif?
Yeah. We don't have any leads right now. Nothing to lose.
Guide the way, doctor!

The scanner seems to have reacted to whatever's going on with Leif. I wonder if there were communication issues of some kind here; she's not quite reacting like she wanted all the soldiers there.



We fade back in to see we're in some kind of lab.

15 - The One Left Behind (Leif's Theme)



Doctor, is Leif okay?
According to the tests, ancient crystal fragments lie within you. If I'm not wrong, you can use magic?
Yeah. After we woke up in Snakemouth, it just suddenly came to us.
So that wasn't a super bad lie?
...You still doubted us?
Given the weirdness of it, I'd tally it to healthy skepticism.
Magical powers are a common side effect of a body being linked to these crystals.



Something else?



Er, put us under?
You know. Fast asleep.







Leif, you had this sort of power?



...Sorry. We don't know what happened. We're not too keen to be put under, however.
An involuntary self-defense mechanism...
Leif, was it? Give it some thought. Your condition is fascinating.
I'm starting to get worried...
Don't be. We feel fine.
We're getting closer to the truth, although there's much left to answer...
Well, I think we'll leave it at that for today. Sorry for distressing you.
It's okay, really... Thanks.
Welp... We're going to be late to the meeting, aren't we?
Ah, yes. The Ant Kingdom brought the materials for the key replacement, right?
I've heard there's four other explorers looking around the Hive.
Could you round them up in front of the throne room? I'll meet you there when I finish some things up.
Crow!





Round up the data! We have work to do.
Ah! Y-Yes, Doctor.
Great... A walk around the Hive.
Can't be the worst thing. We'd like to get to know this place.



Doctor H.B. might have the worst bedside manner ever, but in addition to raising further questions about Leif, she's gained him a new skill.

After that conversation ends, the Bee Kingdom's area music finally kicks in.

40 - High Above, Bee Kingdom

Let's check out our new skill before anything else.



Bubble Shield Lite is a defencive ability. This lets Leif cast a protective bubble on any one bug (including himself), making them invulnerable for the turn. As you might imagine, this can be quite handy, and 3 TP isn't too extreme a cost. It can stand up to nearly anything; one of the only exceptions is the Abombination item we learned about last time.

Let's check out the lab. First off, a banter for the doctor:

So Professor Honeycomb's not the only prestigious researcher around.
Those two are always fighting... if they're so smart, they should act more grown up!
(C-Coming from you, Vi!?)

This one's cute.

I still need some time to process the data, could you find the other explorers?
They should be around the Hive somewhere.

If we talk to her again, she just encourages us to get back on task.

H.B.'s lab is impressive, but we'd rather not be here...
Her proposition was quite startling, but at least she didn't press the issue.
Maybe she can open you up, Kabbu, to find out why you're so nice.
Not in a million moons!

And that's the general banter for this room. Always gets a chuckle out of me.





There's a big computer over here (with a face!) but it doesn't want anything to do with us.



Yes. You know any Card Masters?
Well, I'm a bit busy... I-I can help you find them later.

If we talk to Crow, we get this conversation about Card Masters. This is, in fact, the reason we can't complete that quest this chapter: Crow's too busy to help us with it. (It's reasonably obvious from this that she's Card Master #4.)



If we'd come here without the quest, we'd just see her griping about how much work there is.

H.B.'s running poor Crow ragged!
Science looks like a lot of hard work.
It's like, uh... the thinking version of exploring!



The last thing to see in this room is over here. There are two medals sitting on this table for us to check out.





Inspecting either of them also triggers this conversation:

Woah! That medal looks cool!
Let's snatch it.
No! Let's see if we can convince H.B. to give it to us somehow.

Sadly, we can't do this Leif's way. And the doctor is too busy right now to entertain any conversations about this, so they're just going to have to tantalise us for later. Both of these medals are handy quality-of-life things, we'll appreciate having them once we can get them.



Let's head out of this room and get our bearings.



We come out here, under a sign for HB's lab. If you look over to the left, you can barely see the save crystal near where we came in.



We can check this hologram, though this is all it has to say. You can see how the game styles dialogue from automata differently, though: we get these blue-on-black text windows, and it occasionally flickers random characters over the text to make it look like it's glitching out (which you can see the screenshot caught here).





Heading back to the entrance where the crystal is. Let's check the area banter before anything else:

Still feels weird to be home...
Despite everything, surely you're a little happy?
Well... I did miss the honey fountain.
We'll miss it too...

Leif is still obsessed with food.





The soldiers guarding the throne room don't have much to say.



Let's be methodical about this, we'll go anticlockwise around the entire Hive.



There are some young bees here.

(Psst! Leif!)
(What? Why are you whispering?)
(Don't tell Vi, but... Doesn't that little bee look like her?)
(Ohhh... yeah. She does, doesn't she? She looks so annoyed, too.)
You suck at whispering!!!

This conversation's cute. There's some truth in this, too (even if I don't actually think they look that similar, sprite-wise): eusocial insects have a higher degree of genetic similarity to each other than most other species, so it would make sense if a lot of them looked alike.



Over here, we apparently have a Mothiva fan. Nobody tell her.

Ah. Children are so pure!
Vi is right here.
Not in the mood.
It's not funny if she won't react...
Leif, you should take it easy on her while we're here.
Fine...

Leif continues to be a troll.



There's another pathway here.



Let's see what that area's like, then.





Yup. And it's super duper off limits!
First the ants, now the bees... I cannot help but feel excluded.
It's just how stuff is. Sorry!

Just like the Ant Palace, there are "off-limits" areas here which we won't get to see.



It would be great to have you at next year's festival.
You can count on us.

Here's a familiar face! Jud lives here when she's not running eating contests.

Ah... we want to join another eating competition.
The Golden Festival is the only one, though.
That's impossible. Eating is the best. How can it be once a moon?
Don't be such a glutton, Leif.
Indeed. You must watch your figure!



Kabbu seems to have some body image issues, doesn't he.



Can you get us in then, Vi?
Noooope.

This guard won't let us past, and Vi either won't or can't help. (This is another area that doesn't exist ingame and is just implied for flavour reasons. I continue to appreciate that they do this.)

Vi, can't you convince this guard to let us pass?
Noooope.

The banter just reiterates this.



Oh look, more people we know!



Let's start with Kenny.



Uh... you think?
The air is clean, and the people are nice. There's a great view and good food.
Think you'll stay here?
...No, I don't think I will. I want to see what else the world can offer.
May we meet again, explorer!
May we meet again, indeed.

He's still searching.





We met these two ladybugs at the Golden Festival.

These two seem to be together a lot, don't they?
Two friends traveling across Bugaria... not that unlikely, right?
They should become an exploration team already!
Shame. They don't seem like they can fight.

It seems to be working out all right for them so far.



Gen and Eri are two of the explorers we need to find for the meeting, as this banter suggests. Let's talk to them.



Thanks again, we owe you for back in the desert...
It was no problem. You would do the same for us.
They would try, at least.

Leif can be kind of an rear end in a top hat sometimes.

We'll make up for it, you'll see.
Mhm. Hey, Vi? You're being real quiet.
Oh? Uh... sorry. Just thinking.
The Hive is SUPER cool! We have to come back together when we're not on the job!
Everyone's really nice. And they let us drink from the fountain for free!
Y-Yeah... Glad you like it. You ready to meet up?



We'll see ya there, Team Snakemouth!



And they walk off.



Hmph.
Vi.



Look at us, Vi. This is serious.
...
You're mad over petty things. You're acting like a child.



We're not finished.



Instead of acting so proud, won't you be happier if you fix things?
...
Vi, Leif is right! We never know what can happen. Friends are so precious to lose over nothing...
...But what if she doesn't forgive me? I was really mean...
If you really mean it, and show it, she'll forgive you. You're sisters!
......
F-Fine. I'll try.
Hmm. You're more mature than we expected.
Shut up!
We're on a mission now, but...
W-When we have time, I'll try and apologize. Okay? Are you happy now?
You promise?
I'll do it! I don't need to promise it like some kid!
Heheheh. Alright, Vi. We believe you.
We hope it goes well. Life's too short to have dumb fights.
Sigh... I feel all tired now.
Let's go find the other explorers, okay?

That was pretty heavy. We can definitely see where Leif is coming from (he's lost his entire family), and Kabbu sounds like he might be speaking from experience too. Only time will tell whether Vi will actually be able to make this better.

For now, though, we have more exploration to do.





Elias here has built a telescope. We'll check that out very soon.

We've been thinking for a while... what are those things some bugs wear on their eyes?
You mean glasses?
Never heard of them.
They're this fascinating gadget that helps bugs with poor eyesight see better!
Really? That small trinket improves eyesight?
Really cool huh? They started being sold a while ago.
It's good to see some things do get better with time.

Interesting that they apparently didn't have glasses back in Leif's day.

Let's check out the telescope.



Look, there's the pier!
Oh, there's the Golden Hills! Can't see Venus, however.
And there's Snakemouth. Wonder why we feel so drawn towards it...

This banter suggests some of the things we might be able to see. Let's take a look.



It's really easy to tell the Lost Sands are a sandbox from this height.

The telescope starts in that position, but we have full control here, we can pan the telescope around and look at everything.



This jungle-esque area is just next to it: the Wasp Kingdom's territory.



We can see Metal Island (as well as some others) out in the lake.



There's Bugaria Outskirts, but the foggy area is unfamiliar!



The Golden Hills.







And the gigantic wall and door are an actual human house. All of Bugaria does seem to be in this house's backyard. Don't ask me why it has a constant stream of water pouring out.



If you position the telescope roughly here and wait long enough, you can eventually see a big amorphous shadow move past in the fog, though it's too fuzzy to make out any detail. It's quite mysterious. It could just be a big animal, I guess? Or it could be... something else.



After we look through the telescope, we get a discovery.





With that, we're done on this balcony.



Let's head back inside.







Y-Yeah, thanks...

Talking to this bee and being encouraged to sample the honey fountain fully restores our TP for free. That's handy.

What a nice bee. It warms my heart!
So tall. Cheerful, too.
Even I can't get mad at Vilma...
I feel bad, though. All that honey for free...
Not us. We intend to keep eating.
How are you two not fatter!?

Okay then.



They sure managed to outlive even some of the new generation. Is this the power of science?

This guard has a neat little tidbit for us.



This place certainly seems crowded! Let's talk to the person outside first.



The banter is a little more interesting:

Hmm...
What's up?
It's nothing. I'm just thinking about clothing...
Gonna buy some?
No, no. I'm happy with how I look.
I'm not sure how to feel about others wishing to change their image...
Bugs can do whatever they want. If they wanna wear a big hat they can do it!
Can't say we oppose that view.
You're right. It's not my place to judge others, even if I'm not going to wear clothing myself.
Geez, it's not like you cut the scarf off of her. Stop apologizing!



Oh, that explains the crowd. It's Mothiva. Joy.

41 - Bugaria's Latest Sensation! (Mothiva's Theme)



Delaying the inevitable just reveals this store is mostly stocking her merch. Just what we wanted to see.

That scarf is so pretty!
Mothiva's a crook, but her clothing brand is pretty high quality.
Wait, what? Isn't it only those red balls?
It seems any item she helped create has a small icon... Look at the scarf's corner!
Ugh, that sucks... No way I'm going to buy it.
You could just cover her logo up.
Nuh uh! She ain't getting one berry from me!

Whatever else you might say about her, Vi does have principles.

Before we talk to Mothiva, there's another quick banter:

It's them!
Let's get the meeting underway. Maybe they've even repented!
Doubt it.





Cheers break out from the crowd periodically while she talks.

Ugh! How can she be so popular while being such a jerk!
Ignorance is bliss for this crowd...
Um, Mothiva?
More fans? Ohoho-





A-Ahahaha! Sorry, show's over! I hope you'll join me in my next tour!



The crowd complains, but does disperse.



We didn't do anything! And you're the jerk!
Your mere presence ruins my vibe, can't you tell?
Maybe you can steal some of ours when we're not looking.
Why you...
Enough! We're not here to fight you. We have a mission, can't we cooperate?
We need not hog the glory. If we work together, we will all be recognized!
Sigh. So naive. What good is fame when shared with the likes of you?



Look, just go to the darn meeting point. We can settle this later.
Hmph. I'll go, but not by your barking. See you don't keep me waiting too long.
And get Zasp to go too, okay? I can't be bothered after seeing you three.



At least she's going, I guess.

40 - High Above, Bee Kingdom



It's a shame her defeat didn't humble her one bit...
We'll have to be careful, we never know what they'll be planning...

Let's go find Zasp, I suppose.





You've got some nerve walking into the Hive!
Hmph. Pipe down. I'm here on explorer business, just like you.
Come to steal more credit, we assume?
If you expect an apology, you won't get it.
Ngh. So you're proud of your actions?



We saw an opportunity and took it. It didn't work out, but it's not the end of the world.
As you can see, even without the artifact, she is still respected.
Who's gonna respect someone so petty? Bet they wouldn't if they knew the truth!
Vi! We're not going to start badmouthing others!



Hmph. Look, we don't care. Can you just move it to the meeting point?
That, I can do. Business is business, after all. My interests are not petty banter with you three.
Yeah, yeah. Just go.
Mothiva must be waiting, anyways. See you there.

He leaves too.



Vi will say this line after talking to whichever explorer ends up being the last one (Mothiva, Zasp, or Gen and Eri).

If we'd talked to Zasp before Mothiva, we'd get this line from Kabbu just before he leaves:

We'll notify Mothiva as well. You won't wait for long. See you there.

instead of Mothiva telling us to give him orders.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, we still have more exploration and such to do, so we'll be keeping them waiting a while yet.



There's actually something we can buy in this shop!





This is one purchase you won't regret!



Thank you, thank you! Please visit Fashion Bee again!

We need this for a sidequest, of course. Hopefully Vivi will like this.



If we keep going around, we can find this area. Is that a whole pile of boomerangs?









Heheheh. Of course. My tools are the best there is!
Um, we seem to have forgotten your name.
Oh. Hmm... Right. I'm Professor Honeycomb. Renowned scientist of the Bee Kingdom!
...Or I was, until that Doctor H.B. took my spot!
H.B.'s creations all use weird tech she found studying the old roaches, you see.
Disgusting. While I do use ancient crystals, the roaches didn't create them. I'd never use borrowed technology for my experiments!
I'll create the perfect A.D.B.P. through my own superior intellect.
What? The Beemerang isn't good enough yet?



When I finish the Mk III... They will seem like children's toys!
What? Can't you upgrade mine again?
I'd consider it, if only because of the data you've helped me round up.



That's really not how physics work.
And then I'd reclaim my spot as the Bee Kingdom's lead scientist!



Maybe later. But for now, begone! You're getting in the way of my research!
Yikes. Fine. Let's come back later.

She might have a fair bit to say, but there's not really anything we can do here except look around.

I'm busy! Shoo, shoo!
HACK HACK COUGH!
We should go before we make her faint...

If we talk to her again, she just encourages us to leave.

I knew I'd seen her somewhere before!
She seems to have a bit of obsession with the A.D.B.P.
I thought it was A.B.D.P.
I already told you it's the Beemerang!

I still don't enjoy typing these acronyms.





There are even more piles of boomerangs everywhere and not much else in here. The professor does seem to have a one-track mind.

Woah, look at all these Beemerangs!
She seems to have been working on the A.D.B.P. somewhat obsessively...
And she's not even done yet. Her work ethic is admirable, given her age...

For all that, though, we can't do more than look around. We'll have to come back later to learn more about upgrades, I guess.



Let's finish exploring the Hive proper.



This person doesn't have much to say.

What a fluffy bee!
Bumblebees are pretty cute. Not cuter than me though!
We don't dare to disagree...

This is actually pretty interesting: apparently the Hive is open to other species of bee too!



Just past there is an exit that leads to the Honey Factory.



In addition to the guard, there are these helpful gears above the path to indicate where it leads.



Apparently the factory's not inside the hive itself, but across this bridge.

We're... We're so high up. No fence, nothing...!
Just keep looking straight, Kabbu. It's not a long bridge.
Ngh... So high up...
Look. If you fall, I'll catch you, okay? Just get moving!
Vi...! ...Very well. I won't give up. Let's go!

Kabbu doesn't do well with heights.



The guard stops us from going any further, though, so let's head back.



We've almost completed the circuit now.



Good luck getting someone to buy THAT portrait...
At least wait till she draws it before judging!

There have been hints before that the Hive is something of an artists' commune (among other things) but this is the first we've seen of it.

My, these paintings are quite... unique.
Artia really needs to add some color sometimes.
We agree, but maybe she won't be happy if she does.
Someone who's happy in a gray world... is that truly possible?
You're really overthinking this...

Well, it probably wouldn't be great if you're a bee, that'd make it a lot harder to find flowers...



There's another exit here, surrounded by art supplies, but it's blocked off by this sign. Presumably this will open up later.

And with this, we've completed the circuit. Everyone necessary for the meeting is here, but let's talk to them all first:



It's nowhere someone like you should be in!



Shut up, or we'll take even longer!

Vi is really not pleased to have to deal with these two again.





Meanwhile, Gen and Eri are a bit restless.

If we check for a banter on any of them, we just get this:

Let's gather everyone so we can get the meeting started!

I'm pretty sure you're supposed to see this one before everyone's here. Anyway, enough dawdling.







Oh, nah! She gave us the parts. So we're good to go.
She's shameless, that's what she is!



Be on your best behavior, for even glancing upon our Queen is a privilege.



Are you the same Mothiva...?





They open the doors and everyone files in.

(Continued in next post thanks to the character limit.)

Explopyro fucked around with this message at 16:27 on Jun 10, 2021

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




23: The Queen on High (Part 2)

42 - Bianca, Queen of All Bees





Once again, the camera starts out high and pans down.



Oh! Adorable, aren't they? Welcome!



Y-Yes!



(Shut up!)

Mothiva's really laying it on thick here, isn't she.

Uh, yeah. It's nice to be back...



U-Um...
We have heard of your exploits here. You have brought pleasant surprises to my days.
That's great, Vi!



The Hive is wonderful! Makes me wish I was a bee!



This line does suggest that at least some of Vi's complaints are based in fact, even if she may have exaggerated them.



H.B.?
Yes, my Queen.

H.B. comes in from offscreen.



The core of the Honey Factory, which we owe this great kingdom to, has turned out to be an artifact.
Under normal circumstances, we would have to deny even the Ant Queen her request.
However, she has provided us with all we need to build a new core.
R-Right! Kina should have delivered them to the factory already...
Fufufu... Yes, I have gone there and gave a quick examination.
With my incredible intellect, I can quickly create a suitable replacement. All due to these materials' incredible quality!
It's quite a simple ordeal, isn't it? Almost feels like we've gone through a bit too many formalities...



Ahaha! If you are true to your word, that would make me most happy.
For I would like to invite you to accompany the doctor to the Honey Factory and witness this pivotal exchange.
You are not obligated to go, but it would warm our heart if you did...
Yes. YES!
Sure thing! We would love to see even more of the kingdom!
Yes. For one, seeing honey being produced sounds delicious.



Um, thanks. We'll go.
Vi...
Q-Queen?
Contrary to what I believed, it seems the outside world did you some good.
You look so grown up! Your team has my thanks.
Ah! Um, you're welcome, Queen.
I... I haven't changed at all. I'm still the same Vi!



W-Well! Shall we go?



No need to be so ruthless, my dear guard. Ahaha!
But you are indeed free to go unto the factory. It's to the west of my throne's entrance.
Vi, please take care of everyone as they explore. As sure as I am that there will be no issues.
...Yeah. I will. You can count on me!
Dismissed!
Sigh... Let's go, Zasp.
About time.
Now, teams. I still have to pick up some tools. We'll meet up there.
Don't let the wind blow you off the bridge!

(I'm sure Kabbu just loves hearing that!)

Everyone leaves.



Even we are disarmed by her words. They remind us of Elizant.



Even so, you shouldn't have badmouthed them.
Fine. I'm sorry, okay!? And I'll, uh... I'll fix stuff. Slowly. Can we just do the mission?
Heheheh. Alright. Let's go, team.

With that, we're finally back in control. There's a bit more to see in this room before we leave, though.



Please enjoy your visit!

Queen Bianca doesn't have much more to say, but the banter is more interesting:

Say, Vi. The Queen mentioned a mother knowing best...
Just a bee thing, really.
Do you think of the Queen as your mother?
Not really... She's the Queen before anything else.
I'm sure she does think of you as her daughter, though.
Dunno... Everyone's her daughter to her. Does it make anyone special then?
That's another way of thinking about it...
You two are overthinking this! Let's get going already!

It's interesting to think about what the familial dynamics for sentient eusocial insects must be like.

Also, I want to highlight this one because I've seen a surprising number of people react to the earlier "daughter" line with something like "wait, she's the princess in disguise?!" and, well, no. They're bees. That's not how bees work, and I'm glad the game goes out of its way to acknowledge this. (I don't have anything against "exiled princess" as a trope, but it has no place here.)

There's one more banter for the room:

This throne room is so pleasant, and the smell is fantastic!
That's what a bunch of honey and flowers will do to any place, really.
The Queen's demeanor also lightens up the mood. Shame we're here for business.
Eh... I'm sure I can get you both back in.
Oh? You're willing to come back?
...Let's go!



The guards by the door both say this. We should probably be on our way.



Let's take a quick detour to the Ant Mines first though. We bought that hat, after all.



Oh, great! I really, really want to visit the Bee Kingdom... but the Queen hasn't allowed us to leave yet.



Oh! That's really cute!
But I'm cuter, right?
You are! All Bees are SO CUTE!
...Err, thanks. Here you go.



I found this while digging here, but it should be useful to you.
It'll be pretty good.
We're glad we've made you happy!
Hee hee... it is so cute! I am totally wearing that once I get my leave! Thank you very much!



A second copy of Numb Resistance could prove useful, we're going to be facing a lot of Numbing enemies soon.

If we talk to her again:

Thank you for that hat! I really treasure it.

That takes care of the last sidequest we currently have the ability to complete. Let's head to the factory.



When we start crossing the bridge to the factory, Vi calls out at the halfway point.



Oi! Calm down!
A bridge's not the best place for sudden outbursts.
Look. Everything in the Factory's super expensive! And they don't let you leave mid-tour!
I see... We should shop beforehand, then?
Yup! Let's save some berries!
Or we could spend a little not to have to go all the way back...

This conversation is a pretty important hint. Entering the Honey Factory is a genuine point of no return (at least for the rest of Chapter 3; nothing becomes permanently inaccessible in the long run). There is a shop inside, but its selection is limited and the items are marked up, so it's probably a good idea to get your items in order now (that said, Amber will be inside, so storage isn't off-limits).

This is also a good time to go buy medals or complete sidequests if you still need to.

Having said that, I've taken care of everything already, and we're ready to go in.



We'll head into the factory next time. Something's obviously going to go wrong, in order for us to have dungeon gameplay... but how?

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Alxprit
Feb 7, 2015

A lady after my own Soul-Heart.

An early line has Vi say "reased" instead of "teased", and one of the screenshots of talking to Honeycomb is either out of order or meant to be something else, the one mentioning roach technology.

It was interesting to see how they applied bug logic to scenarios like this with the hive and the queen and everything. I've had a few friends who are interested in nature appreciate their commitment to at least trying to address how real bugs work here.

Other than that, not that much to say here, the dialogue speaks for itself more or less.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply