Saturday, 22 February 2014

Side Quests, Building Weapons, and Heading Into the Home Stretch (The Last Remnant)

It's time for some side quests. First order of business: Finding Lob Omen.
I can feel things beginning to wind down in the game, or build up towards a climax I suppose. Everyone needs to head to Undewalt to talk with the God Emperor to see why he chose to help the Conqueror. Before doing that, I've opted to hammer out a few more side quests and look into upgrading a few weapons. It's basically checking off boxes on my "To Do" list prior to ploughing toward the end of this game.

Be careful if you spot this thing in the
aqueducts of Nagapur. It's really strong!
The quest that I really wanted to get sorted out was helping Jager get back Lob Omen. I wanted to make him the leader of a union as his Unique Art, Beowolf, is pretty darn good. So, having the ability to summon Lob Omen on top of this seemed like a good way to make him even more formidable. To do this we had to sneak through the aqueducts of Nagapur and enter Wyrmskeep. It was largely an uneventful trip through the waterways, though I did come across a rare monster that I'd been meaning to hunt while wandering around there: Death Tank. He was easy enough to kill, but I did need to be careful in the main chamber of the aqueducts, as there is a new boss hanging around for an extra mission: The Fiery Gates. I tried engaging the thing once before and got wrecked as I was a good 30 battle ranks lower than it, so I made a point of avoiding the thing this time.

Upon entering Wyrmskeep, it was all about chasing Lob Omen hither and yonder. The thing would be hanging out with other monsters, so I needed to do a lap of the place, fighting everything I saw. He wasn't tough by any means, so the whole quest did feel a little bit tedious constantly seeing him run off after a battle. The process repeated itself three or four times before we finally had him, but now Jager can summon a Remnant from time to time, and the creature has already been quite useful.

Our second side quest took us to The First Path to close
some magical gates.
This mostly came from the next quest I did which had me venturing into the first Sacred Path. A yama in Melphina asked me to go there and close some magical gates, as he worried they could be dangerous and there were powerful monsters in the area so he wasn't able to handle it himself. I want to open all of the paths and gain full access to the Final Fortress at some point, so I figured I might as well do this quest.

The monsters here were about the same strength as my characters, but easy enough to beat. The ones that were summoned when approaching the magical gates were much stronger, though, and were often some of the more annoying types like giant birds, powerful evil eyes, and such. The last gate in particular was extremely challenging. It had a proper boss accompanied by two groups of powerful homunculi, and two more high-end evil eyes. There was a lot of one shot mechanics being thrown around and the boss had a powerful area of effect attack. Lots of wipes ensued as I tried to figure out a way to beat these guys. The time I was victorious was a bit of a fluke as Jager was able to summon Lob Omen and the thing wound up tanking half the enemy unions taking a lot of the heat off of everyone else. It was still a long, hard battle, and I still needed to play smart, but Lob Omen's presence made the whole thing far more manageable.

Fighting the boss at the final gate in the First Path. This attack
was, how shall we put this...problematic. =p
This quest was pretty nice because I was getting a bit bored with how easy the game was becoming after finishing up the six bases. Being plunged back into more challenging content was most welcome. Also, I am pretty curious about the seven paths and the Final Fortress. They drip of mystery and leave me wanting to learn more about them.

These quests out of the way, I decided to hunt some rare monsters, and general components to upgrade weapons. A lot of my teammates have constantly been harassing me to help them find this or that for some upgrade they're working on, and I want to get a better sword and shield for Rush as well.

Traversing Mt. Vackel on the way to
This element of the game can be pretty time consuming and a tad confusing. First there's the matter of finding out what components a specific upgrade needs, then figuring out where to farm them. The easiest way to do the latter is consulting an online guide, as the game is very bad at explaining itself (and this isn't limited to just crafting, but really most facets of the Last Remnant would benefit from better in-game help for the player to understand how various mechanics and the like work). Some components are only available after completing guild missions of various sorts where the rewards are different magazines and periodicals that teach everyone how to find these parts. This can draw out the game, especially if you need to kill a certain rare monster to complete the mission and thus get the magazine. Farming these rares might be something for the hardcore completionist to consider, but it doesn't appeal to me a whole lot.

They say Undewalt has seen better days, but it looked pretty great to me. =)
I don't know how absolutely necessary getting these fancy weapons will be for finishing the game. They may well fall under "nice to have" but I'll be able to make due without them. Granted, if I were to try and go for one of the toughest forms of the Conqueror for the final fight, it would be a whole new ball game, but I'm not going out of my way to do that, so going for top grade weapons may not be all that important. For now, it's more of a leisurely stroll through various locations, keeping an eye out for potential stuff I can use, but if I miss out on something, it's not the end of the world.

All of that out of the way, it was time to head to Undewalt. This required trekking across Mount Vackel. There wasn't much in the way of exploration here, mostly just heading down corridors from one subsection to the next, but given that we were on a mountain it did make for some nice vistas to look at along the journey. Arriving in Undewalt, it's a very large, pretty city. After all, the God Emperor does live there. Some folks were giving the impression that the place was on the decline, but I didn't see it. The place looked pretty great to me.

Meeting the God Emperor.
During our audience with the God Emperor, we finally learned why he was helping the Conqueror. Turns out the man in red is actually a Remnant that was laying dormant under the city. He's fully sentient like all of the other races of this world, and has his own ambitions. In the ancient past, Remnants were worshiped as deities, and it looks like he may be trying to bring that back, and the God Emperor wants to help. So does Wagram, it would seem, as he has finally made another appearance in the game, having been absent since the destruction of Nagapur. Basically, they're both supporting the Conqueror and think he should be treated as a god. The God Emperor also told David not to interfere and have the other dukes to do likewise.

The area beneath Undewalt looks a lot
like the Sacred Lands above Elysion.
This would explain why the Conqueror would sometimes glow red, and why he needed to be careful around Irina. With her power to control Remnants, she can probably control the Conqueror if she's strong enough, a troubling issue for him, no doubt. It would also explain why Rush was glowing green in Nagapur when he fought the Conqueror, why he was constantly going on about Rush awakening, and why Rush had vague recollections of a forgotten past when he entered that white room in the Sacred Lands. In all likelihood, Rush is also a Remnant.

So, it's an interesting revelation, and I'm glad the game finally got to the point with it. I am left wondering how his parents found him, then, why they took him in, and why their daughter just so happens to have Marion's Blessing. It just seems like too many important events tied together to be mere coincidence. Did they have their own plans for the world via a sentient Remnant and someone who can control them?

Entering this room, it became blatantly obvious that there were connections
between the Conqueror and Rush.
Hopefully we'll find out soon. I'm pretty sure my adventure is coming to a close. The Conqueror is marching on Elysion now, and I need to face him at the Holy Plains. The game is really emphasizing that Rush and company are barreling toward a final showdown with the guy, so I guess we'll see. Hopefully we'll be able to put a stop to his plans, and learn the rest about Rush's origins.