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  -Part 1 :: [10.24.04]
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  -Part 6 :: [09.18.13]


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"If memory serves me correctly, in the other versions of the game, Tellah actually began the game with the entire range of spells, but couldn't utilize the more powerful ones as he had 'forgotten' them. This could only be circumvented by using the risky Recall skill, which would allow him to cast a random spell from his extensive catalogue. This is one feature I'm actually glad was left out of this version; I mean, what's the point in possessing an entire library of spells you can't even use?"
     -Ben, Final Fantasy IV Part 2




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Wild ARMs : Part 6
By Ben
Posted 09.18.13
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
I hope nobody's going to flash. I don't need to see that shit.
 
If only it were that simple. With the Trio mere inches away from the blessed teleporter that will return them safely to solid ground, something tells them they should consult the all-knowing Gamefaquon just in case they missed something in this godforsaken place. And guess what? They totally did. A new Rune, to be precise. And even though they already missed out on one of the fucking things back in Part 5, if I'm to keep up any pretense of being thorough, I can't deliberately allow another one to slip through their incompetent fingers. My conscience just won't allow it, and more importantly I don't want to get any ranting emails due to me skipping over any more of these very important optional Runes. So lucky old me gets to experience the entirety of the Pleasing Garden for a second time, and Cesuelia eventually secures the services of Stare Roe, Guardian of Light. It's a win-win, except for the part that isn't.

Well, I may have no skin left on my face (or alcohol in my house), but I made it back to the Ship Graveyard. I just can't wait to go and report back to our good friend Dan the Douche. The Trio walks in on him typing up his eBay listing and sweating from his morning jog, but they're too dense to notice. Rudy practically throws Anna's sorrow-emitting bracelet at him, and he gasps "You found it for me in the 'Garden'?" No, dickweed, they found it for you in the waste disposal. And after what I went through to get the cursed thing, I'm in no mood for a prolonged conversation about it. But because the universe hates me, Dan's on a roll and now starts waffling about human nature or some shit. "If only we had the sense to distinguish 'courage' from 'stupidity'..." he sighs. Dan, I think I've been recapping this game long enough to know the difference. Just saying. He goes on that Anna's death taught him an important lesson about what's truly precious, and I'm pretty sure he's talking about the street value of her jewellery. Gotta recoup that loss somehow. But because he still doesn't want the party to see him for the massive bellend he is, he bullshits "Many people think that 'courage' is power...real power is when you surpass your own desires to protect something dear." You mean like abandoning your wife to die?

Since they're more easily convinced than a group of two year-olds, this tripe makes quite an impression on the Cliché Trio, Indy especially. "'Courage' slowly builds up inside Indy..." the narrator reveals. 'Vomit' slowly builds up inside me, but you don't see me making a song and dance about it. Also, are we all getting the hint that 'courage' is shaping up to be an important theme in the plot? I could be wrong, as the game designers are displaying yet more of their trademark subtlety here.

 
Gee, what gave you that idea? *hides Cap'n Seymour voodoo doll*

The long and short of this scene is that Indy acquires yet another new ability I'll never use. Once Dan's finished his spiel, the camera suddenly pans outside to eavesdrop on a random NPC duo's conversation. It looks as contrived as you'd expect. Anyway, these two nobodies start chinwagging to each other about the convenient arrival of a merchant ship, which I'm sure is helmed by someone we've never met before. Not only that, there's a rumour of a ghost ship having appeared in the Inner Sea, so it looks like there's yet another fun-filled dungeon on the cards. That's three and counting for this recap, which should at least provide mitigating circumstances for when I finally go batshit crazy and set fire to the nearest Western-themed drinking hole. Once they've finished ejaculating exposition, the gossiping NPCs return from whichever game designer's rectum they appeared from and Rudy sets out for the dock, figuring he should just get this over with.

As soon as the group arrives at the dock, they're greeted with the unwelcome sight of the Ass Candy. What, you thought Cap'n Seymour wouldn't be involved with this ghost ship rimjobbery? As soon as he catches sight of his new bride and her companions, he practically jizzes all over them: "You guys always seem to appear when I need you. My soulmates!" Ugh. Not now, not ever, in any universe. "Can you guys give me a hand again? Pleeaase?" he whines, no doubt hopping in place like a child begging his mother for a new toy. Yes, a naval captain really did just say "pleeaase". This is just embarrassing. Is it too soon for Cesuelia to file for divorce?

'Meanwhile, me and my friend here are going to crack open the red wine and catch up on Breaking Bad. Have fun, guys!'
 

Cap'n Seymour elaborates that he needs the Trio to get rid of the pesky ghost ship, due to it scaring the sailors and affecting trade. I know sailors are superstitious and all, but really? Rudy and the others don't even have the energy to protest, having gone straight from one self-pitying wanker to another, so they silently agree to take care of the terrifying ghost ship and its nightmarish crew, by which time Rita will probably have scarfed down half of Feelgayer. Go prioritizing!

The good captain generously allows the Trio to make any preparations they need before setting out, and you'd better believe I make Rudy high-tail it to the save parrot as soon as the text box disappears--there's no way I'm taking any chances after the horrors of the Pleasing Garden. Within moments of confirming that they're ready, the Ass Candy ferries them out to sea, where the spooky, transparent sprite of the Ghost Ship awaits (now that it's officially a dungeon it's important enough to be capitalized, I guess).

 
Our vampires are different?

Cap'n Seymour opts to stay in the skiff with his young sailor buddy, so Rudy gives him the middle finger before scrambling up a rope ladder onto the deck. Someone's been going overboard with the ambient lighting again, and the Ghost Ship is bathed in a creepy sensual purple light. I'm surprised the sailors are all so terrified of it, given that it's lit up like the inside of a cabaret bar. Fix the holes in the deck, have someone making cocktails, bring out a drag act, and they'd be right at home. This is the part where I disappoint those of you looking forward to the sweet taste of schadenfreude, but I don't really have much to report in the way of misfortune here--the Ghost Ship, as dungeons go, isn't all that bad. Okay, the holes in the ground are annoying to move around, the random battle rate is still eye-wateringly high, and parts of the ship are in near-total darkness, but I've experienced far worse prior to this. Put it this way: after the Sand River and Pleasing Garden, I can take whatever they throw at me (NOTE: That is NOT a challenge, game designers).

The group works its way through the labyrinthine hull of the ship, fighting possessed, scissor-wielding dolls and diminutive green goblins calling themselves "vampires". You know, the usual things one would expect to find inhabiting an abandoned ship. In one of the cabins, Rudy notices a log book left open on the table and gives it a quick glance, hoping to find some clues as to how the ship came to be abandoned. Instead, he finds something better--the location of a long-dead crewmember's drugs stash. According to the log book, "the stuff" is behind a hidden door next to a bed, but whoever wrote the instructions wasn't any more specific than that, which means Rudy has to individually check each cabin. There are brief moments of excitement when skeletons in a few of the rooms spring to life and attack the party--so unexpected!--and then Rudy finally locates the hidden door with the promise of various mind-bending stimulants beyond. Just a few more steps, and all his pain up to this point will be worth it.

If only the living didn't speak in this game, either.
 

But, surprise! There are no drugs behind the door, or alcohol, or even waterlogged porno magazines, or anything else that could reasonably fall under the term "the stuff". Instead, Rudy finds a trio of out-of-reach treasure chests cut off from the group by a huge hole in the floor and a protective fence of wooden boxes. Okay, that's tantamount to trolling. Maybe he'll catch an airborne strain of herpes from this room, too, just in case he hasn't been sufficiently slapped across the face already.

Rudy is too pissed off to continue leading the party, so Indy takes over for now. That's my pathetic attempt at an explanation of why he's currently the group leader, anyway. Leaving the tantalizing booty behind, he proceeds to the bow of the ship and starts talking to a nearby floating fireball--as you do. Given that this is a haunted ship filled with all manner of hostile supernatural creatures, I know I'm shocked when this fireball doesn't turn out to be the friendliest mass of fire around. Claiming that "the dead will roam the wasteland", it morphs into its true from, an undead pirate captain, and drags the Trio into the requisite boss battle. I guess it was only a matter of time until the zombies showed up.

The boss has an array of attacks, including the preposterously-named Banishing Buster Anchor!, but Cesuelia quickly fucks its shit up with liberal castings of her Flaming and Sueicide spells. Rudy empties his PENIS into its face for the finishing blow. With that, their work here is done, so the Trio prepares to disembark. Miraculously, they aren't forced to walk all the way back through the ship--there's a handy rope ladder just below them. Without a care in the world, Cap'n Seymour and his young companion slowly float into shot on their skiff, making me wonder what they hell they've been up to while the Trio did the dirty work. Actually, if Cap'n Seymour's involved, I don't want to know after all. We cut to the deck of the Ass Candy, with the Trio (plus Scabbers), Cap'n Seymour and an assortment of crewmen watching the Ghost Ship sloooowly sink beneath the waves. This process involves several phallic pillars of light thrusting up into the heavens, because the game designers clearly hadn't filled their penis quota for this hour of game time.

 
Penises!

If you were wondering what the backstory behind the Ghost Ship is, keep speculating--we never find out. An uninformed or cynical observer might conclude that it was simply a filler dungeon designed to add on another 15 minutes of game time, but we know better than that, right? All that matters is that having completed Cap'n Seymour's second request, maybe there's a chance the Cliché Trio can actually get on with saving the world now. Unless any other useless fuckwad has a task for them to fulfill first, natch.

"You guys have helped me not once, but twice," Cap'n Seymour says once they're back on dry land. Yeah, and don't they fucking know it. He continues by saying that his pride and honour are telling him to grant the Trio the use of the Ass Candy. Firstly, I wasn't aware the man had any pride or honour, but more importantly, I now have a ship! Woohoo! Yeah, I know that this new gameplay feature basically amounts to getting lost while running around fulfilling the whims of lazy NPCs, but in a slightly different way than before. Let me at least enjoy the delusion that I've accomplished something after ten hours of this shit.

The group obviously snaps up the captain's proposal, but Rudy figures giving them his ship is the least he can do after all the crap they've endured for him; if he were to throw in 10,000 gella and a few strapping sailors, then maybe they'd be approaching even. Oh, and Cesuelia could do with some annulment papers, too. Before our favourite Silent Protagonist can get one of his friends to propose this, Cap'n Seymour chooses this precise moment to ask them why the hell they're journeying all over creation. No time like the present to stop being a self-absorbed twat, huh Cap'n? When they tell him the story so far--which, thankfully, I'm not forced to read--he goes "Wow, I had no idea something like that was happening..." That'll be because it didn't directly involve him. Self-centred he may be, but he does at least offer his navigational services to the Trio. I bet Cesuelia's thrilled at the prospect of spending weeks at a time out at sea with her creepy fake husband.

Your ship? You should probably be offering your kidney at this point.
 

One of Cap'n Seymour's crew, Tom, comes scurrying down the gangplank and requests leave to return to his hometown, Adlehyde. He helpfully adds that it was destroyed by monsters--uh, I think we already know, Tom, what with its princess being right here--and that he wants to rebuild it. Wow, that's a big job for a single person. When the captain grants his request, the two of them share a long, meaningful look--again, I don't want to know--and then Tom rushes off. I have no idea why he didn't just hitch a ride on the Ass Candy, but if he wants to trek across a vast expanse of wasteland and navigate both the Sand River and the Mountain Pass, more power to him.

Once Tom's left the dock, Cap'n Seymour sighs "He is a very talented person..." Yes, I'm starting to get the picture of the kind of work he carried out on all those long voyages. No wonder he wanted off that fucking ship as soon as it came into contact with dry land. Sensing that the Trio would quite like some time away from him too, he tells them he'll be waiting at the dock when they're ready to set sail. This gives Rudy ample time to dash back into town and play one last round of Talk to Everyone, a welcome alternative to spending another minute in Cap'n Seymour's company. It seems someone circulated a memo around Ship Graveyard, as most of the townsfolk are now creaming themselves over a legend of a "sleeping giant" in a nearby ruin called the Giant's Cradle. Next dungeon identified! Thanks, NPCs! Now you can go back to doing whatever you fill your time with when you're not imparting information to passing heroes.

 
Who said videogames can't be educational?

One Stetson-clad NPC has quite a bit of knowledge concerning the sleeping giant--God knows how--and kindly tells Rudy all he knows: "If you seek the giant without a soul, you must present the missing heart. A piece in blue, another in red...I wonder what it means?" Indeed. Then again, I find myself asking that about every other line of dialogue, so it's not like this half-baked riddle is anything out of the ordinary. The only place Rudy hasn't visited since getting back to town is the beach, so he heads there in the hope of finding a random beachcomber who'll shed some light on this cryptic bullshit. Of course, he doesn't, but he does find the three inaccessible treasure chests from the Ghost Ship, debris from the wreck having washed up on the shore. The contents of the chests is nothing special, but at least he can now move on, safe in the knowledge that he hasn't missed out on anything important.

Information-gathering complete, the Trio can now leave this depressing shitpile behind forever. For some bizarre reason, the Ass Candy is only accessible from the beach on the world map, even though the group was just at the beach in town exploration mode. Whatever. It's been a while, so they choose to sail to Adlehyde for their maiden voyage--hey, if every random dick and his brother can delay their mission with inane fetch quests, they don't see why they can't enjoy a little free time themselves. Aside from the discovery that I can still get into random battles on the ship (thanks so much for that kind gesture, game designers!), the crossing passes without incident. The only excitement comes from a Lubricator-in-a-bottle Rudy manages to fish out of the ocean. I hope he disinfects that before he uses it.

And on that gripping note, we're going to have to leave the Trio for now. I know I promised another meeting with Calamity Jane and McDull in this recap, but...uh...they're running late. Yeah, that's it. They'll definitely appear next time, though, along with Emma, the scientist who really loves her machines, and the much talked-about sleeping giant. See you then!

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