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"I'm sure a detailed description of sailing around to various islands and sinking the grappling hook would be almost as exciting as another round of Fight The Monsters. Too bad for you that I'm going to skip that, too."
     -Jeanne, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker Part 10

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Skies of Arcadia : Part 8
By Jeanne
Posted 03.02.05
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
The first half of today's double recap special brought us through the Tidustastic South Ocean and its many irritations. Unfortunately, the natives didn't roll out the welcome wagon for our heroes until Vyse wowed the village elder with his patented Eyes of Purity. On the way to visit the king, they encountered De Loco and his Red Lizard. We stopped right before the imminent battle. Oh, the suspense!

The triumphant sounding ship battle music starts up as the camera lovingly caresses every curve of De Loco's ship. Interestingly, the phallic ship has three phallic cannons sticking out the front, making it even more penisy. Just when I think that can't possibly happen. "Heeheehee! Fear the power of the invincible [Red Lizard]!!!" De Loco screams in ecstasy. Well, I do kind of fear it, but for different reasons.

Unfortunately, my ship still sucks. I don't know what happened to this magic cannon thing I'm supposed to have. I also never really bothered to upgrade the ship, except for a couple of cannons I found in my inventory -- one of which is totally useless. In addition to this, I must be extra stupid, because no matter how hard I try to avoid the stupid flamethrower, I still get hit. Plus, I'm constantly subjected to De Loco's high-pitched "Die muthafuckas!!!" screamfests. Because he's crazy.

Holy shit.

The good news is that a braindead earthworm could win this battle -- the flamethrower doesn't do any damage that can't be healed easily in the next round. Plus, a couple of bitch-making sessions with the Harpoon Cannon send the Red Lizard down in flames. Which is all ironic and stuff. Speaking of ironic, it's De Loco's refusal to repair his "perfect machine" after the first round of damage that causes his downfall.

Back on the bridge of the flaming Red Lizard, De Loco's bubble keeps smiling away as the freak himself throws a giant fit, complete with Suikoden-style punctuation. In fact, he spazzes out so completely that he eventually passes out. Take some Ritalin, for crying out loud. The Vice Captain of Exposition is all, "Um, sir? You need to steer the ship and stuff." Living up to his name, VCoE says something about returning to Moon Stone Mountain. I'll file that one away along with "Lost City of Rixis" in my "Places I'm Going to Later" mental folder. We don't see what happens to the incapacitated De Loco, but we do see a rather sad shot of the Red Lizard sputtering away, trailing black smoke.

The crew of the Little Jack is totally stoked. However, Vyse einsteins that the Valuans are most likely after the Moon Crystal (NO!!!!), so they need to hurry their asses up and get to it first. So we're back to the king again at the also-creatively-and-not-at-all-conspicuously-named "King's Hideout." Inside the tiny treehouse, the king sits upon a makeshift throne, flanked by a couple of attendants. Jesus, ego much? You're in a fucking hut.

The king already knows who they are, as "the high priests informed [him] of [their] arrival." You can choose whether this was by mystical means, or if everyone in this game has a cell phone. Because cripes. "They also told me that you drove off the fire-breathing ship that was destroying our land," King Ixa'taka continues. Okay. I would like to point out here that the treehouse has windows, and this battle took place just a few feet away not two minutes ago. I'm getting the idea that this guy isn't too bright. Plus, he has blue hair, a red cap with yellow horns sticking out the side of it (with decorative flags hanging off them), a purple and white tank top, and a lavender skirt thingy. So obviously, he doesn't have any fashion sense either. At least he has the good grace to thank Vyse and the others for saving his ass.

Alas, King Ixa'taka is po' at the moment, so he is unable to give them cash for their good deeds. Or maybe he's just stingy and he's using his "exile" as an excuse. But he's willing to do anything else that they ask. Including that. But if Vyse were to sample the forbidden fruits of homosexuality, he wouldn't choose this lame bastard. So it's back to the Green Moon Crystal.

The camera does this really weird zoom in on the king, as he dorks, "The Green Moon Crystal? Perhaps you speak of the legendary Sacred Green Stone." I've already had my say on this matter, so let's move on. Apparently, the Valuans also approached him regarding the Green Stone/Crystal. Unfortunately for everyone involved, he doesn't know its location. "However, if the Stone did exist, it would probably be located in the Lost City of Rixis," he says, bringing us full circle. I like how he doesn't know where it is, yet he does. Also, why did the elder say that this guy has it when he obviously doesn't? I feel screwed with, here.

Fina, once again displaying her Powers of Expositional Knowledge, informs us all that Rixis was the Old World capital of Ixa'taka. "You are correct. And it is said that the buildings... even the streets were made of pure gold," the king contributes. You can only imagine the extreme reaction of Pippi to this bit of hearsay. I think she manages to use up the planet's supply of punctuation as she insists that they head right on over to the place.

"Calm down, [Pippi]. You're embarrassing me," Vyse snots, like his lack of intelligence hasn't embarrassed them all about ten times as much during the game. We then establish that there's a reason why the city of Rixis is referred to as "Lost." The king has this really weird fingers-on-forehead pose as he sadly informs them that Rixis, a.k.a. "the City of Mists," might no longer exist. I would imagine not, if the thing was made out of gold -- you'd think that would be completely pillaged by asshats in about two days.

But all is not lost! The king says, "One of my High Priests knows a great deal about the Old World. His name is Isapa. If anyone would know, it would be him." Or, well, Fina, since she seems to be the Keeper of Old World Knowledge. But no one makes that suggestion. Because if Fina actually knew the answer, then we wouldn't be able to experience the next fabulous dungeon quest. You see, Isapa is one of the unfortunates who were forced into slavery at Sacred Mountain/Moon Stone Mountain, according to the king. "So, the Valuans kidnapped one of your High Priests and he's being held prisoner in Moon Stone Mountain..." Pippi tards. Christ in a crock pot.

Pippi may have a grasp of the obvious, but she's just a woman, and therefore can't plan a course of action. She asks Vyse what they should do. So I get another opportunity to boost Vyse's swashbuckler rating via an obvious choice. Hmm, should I try to rescue Isapa, or should I say "fuck it" and try to find Rixis by myself? WWVD (What Would Vyse Do)?

After several long moments of reflection, I finally consult the GameFAQs walkthrough because this shit is tough. I guess I'm supposed to pick the rescue option. Who knew?

It must suck, being 25.

We establish that breaking into the mines is going to suck balls, but Vyse is, like, the coolest guy ever for doing so. The king gives them directions -- south of Whorteka, in case you care -- but doesn't really get off of his rear end to help them, the jerk. Not that I really want his crappy, fashion-impaired help anyway, but I'm kind of in a bad mood.

It turns out the squat cylindrical island we passed on the way in is Moon Stone Mountain. That makes my job easier, since you can't really miss the thing. Upon disembarking, Vyse ends up on a ramp that spirals up the outside of the cylinder. Nowhere to go but up. On the way to the entrance, Vyse passes a fenced area with a large, metallic gate. Inside are some typical mine accoutrements such as a mine cart on a track and some kind of lift. When Vyse's unable to open the door, he notes, "This door has been welded shut... It looks like they're serious about keeping the Ixa'takans in here." I'm so happy for moments of revelation such as this, because otherwise I would think that the Valuans were kind masters who let their enslaved workers run free.

A simple 'I'm fine. And how are you?' would have sufficed.

Vyse continues on up the ramp, since none of the Valuan zippo soldiers noticed him through the fence's bars. A moment later, he reaches an unguarded opening. So far, so easy. I would say too easy, but when was the last time it was difficult to break into a guarded area in an RPG? The tunnel leads to a lit walkway with some more mine carts and tracks on the level below. A conspicuous blue square spans the walkway, but Vyse, oblivious as ever, just stomps across it without any second thoughts. When a sinister beep sounds, Pippi is all, "Oh shit." "Hmm... well, it doesn't look like anything happened. It was probably nothing," Vyse shrugs. Idiot.

But oh noes! The camera pans up to the ceiling, where a glass panel is located directly above the blue square. None of the party members notice it, because no one thinks to look at their surroundings. These people are morons. Speaking of morons, the scene switches to the room directly above, where the newly recovered De Loco sits at a metallic desk. And our good friend Fruity is there as well (you'll recall he was exiled to Ixa'taka back in Part 3), informing De Loco that the Ass Pirates crossed the Shit-tastic South Ocean and are headed this way! Originally I was thinking that De Loco must have a newer model of cell phone whereas Fruity has an old crappy one, but then I remembered that Fruity got rid of his Vice Captain of Exposition. No wonder he's behind the times!

De Loco lies that, "Yes... I ran into them north of [Wh]orteka. They ummm... narrowly escaped my Flame Cannon." Fruity -- still in his white and gold uniform and pink shirt and tie -- doesn't buy De Loco's story. "Vyse was responsible for my demotion. I will make sure he suffers and I will prove to the world that I am Valua's greatest Admiral," he announces to...another of Valua's admirals. Smooth move. He continues to talk about how cool he is, and how he'd like to make Galcian his small-penised bitch. Then, with a gay flourish of his cape, he informs De Loco that he's going to "exterminate some pests." Yeah, I bet that mine is full of all sorts of icky bugs and stuff. Oh wait, he means the Ass Pirates. Got it.

Coming soon to a fanfic near you.

After Fruity leaves, De Loco snits, "Idiot. Perhaps you should have stared into the mirror a bit longer this morning... I think you have a hair out of place." Hee. He then shows that he's not the type to get over negative events in his life as he Sekhmets for a while about paying Vyse back for damaging his Red Lizard.

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