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"'The Tear Drop belonged to my mother...' Cesuelia sighs, initiating Poor Me Mode. Pour me another drink and I'll be OK. 'It's very dear to me, but I'll give it up for the sake of my kingdom. The monsters can have my Tear Drop...' Good Lord, the sacrifices this young woman makes! Giving up an old trinket her mother bought from a market stall for 10 Gella just so that her subjects can cling on to their miserable lives! It almost brings a tear to my eye."
     -Ben, Wild ARMs Part 3

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Skies of Arcadia : Part 4
By Jeanne
Posted 06.14.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
The last time we checked in with our favorite Ass Pirates, they were on their way to save Vyse's dad and all the other captured Ass Pirates. But they couldn't just fly straight to Valua, oh no. They had to meet up with a crotchety old sailor with a heart of gold and force him into helping them. Damn kids. Upon reaching the Lower City of Valua, Drachma went off to get his big ol' harpoon cannon installed, and the three of them decided to meet up at the inn later. We rejoin our heroes at this point.

Vyse and Pippi walk around the city a bit, talking to a few whiny povs, and end up running across someone's redheaded stepchild. "You guys look like sailors...Stupid ones, at that. Why else would you come all this way to see a dump like Lower City?" the kid brats. Oh, you mean Lower City is a crappy place? Why didn't someone tell me?! This kid's red hair combined with his less-than-wealthy status has earned him a nickname: Ron Weasley. Pippi points out that Ron is as annoying as Vyse used to be when he was younger. Vyse protests that he wasn't quite that annoying. Ron gets all pissy and insists he's a bigshot in Lower City. Yeah, I could tell he was really important by the way he was standing all by himself in the street. Vyse talks down to Ron, telling him that they don't have time to "play with little kids," which only serves to piss Ron off further. He vows that he will "remember this." I know I'm quaking.

No, I'm trying trying to translate game dialogue without repeating words.

The two Ass Pirates head into the nearby tavern. There are a couple of patrons, both of whom are extreme whiners. Vyse talks to the Tavernkeep, who conveniently informs him that the execution of the Ass Pirates will take place the next morning. Whew, they got there just in the nick of time! Apparently, everyone's all excited about the "show," which only proves to Vyse that Valua is even more terrible than he had originally thought. Next, they're going to show the Valuans killing babies just in case we didn't quite comprehend that Valua is a Bad, Bad Place. Because we're all stupid like that.

Vyse and Pippi wander around some more, talking to some more whiny povs who have nothing new to tell us, and then buy some weapons and items from the local shops. Now, if everyone here was really so gosh darn poor, then why is their merchandise more expensive than the last, rather prosperous town that I was in? Maybe that's why they're poor -- buying a damn Tylenol is enough to bankrupt them. Anyway, I stock up on healing items just in case I'm going somewhere where I have to build levels. Just a hunch.

Their random errands and obligatory cut scenes finished, Vyse and Pippi finally make their way to the lower part of Lower City. There are even more whiny povs in this area. Sweet Jeebus. One guy talks about how they're so poor and downtrodden that they might as well die. Well, if they died, they wouldn't be annoying me with their whining. The only person who isn't whining is a little girl who is drawing crap on the sidewalk, and she still has an eyerollingly bad bit of dialogue. She's heard that they eat white bread in the Upper City. "I've never eaten white bread, only hard, black bread...I hear people never chip their teeth on white bread. I'd like to try it sometime..." We get it.

At the inn, Vyse informs the innkeeper that Drachma will pay for their room. This makes me happy because I spent all their money on items. Ha! The two Ass Pirates go to their room, which thankfully has three beds, and Pippi says she's too worried to sleep. "...I'm sure they're okay," Vyse brushes off his dad's impending death. "Let's at least try and get some rest while we can." They talk about how it'll be nice to sleep somewhere other than the Little Jack, and Vyse bitches about the old, loud engine on the ship. Of course this means that Drachma shows up just in time to hear him say that, which only serves to make the old guy bitchier. Great, Vyse. Drachma tells Vyse that if he doesn't like his Little Jack, he can just shove it. Okay, that came out wrong. Let's move on.

Pippi brings up the execution again. Vyse fills Drachma in: "They said it's going to happen in the Coliseum. They said that when they execute [Ass] Pirates, it draws a huge crowd." Pippi starts freaking out, and begs Vyse to do something. I have three choices: "Let's try and save everyone right now!", "Let's sneak into the Coliseum!", and "Hm...I...I don't know..." I'm just going to make an educated guess that choice #3 isn't the way to go. So I choose the second option, which turns out to be correct. Go me! Yes, I just sounded excited over a correct choice in a video game. You don't have to rub it in. Vyse plans to sneak into the Coliseum the next morning when the Ass Pirates are brought in. Pippi asks why they don't try to save them right now, and Vyse tells her (since he is the big, strong, smart male and she's the dumb, helpless female), "If we start frantically searching everywhere, we'll probably get caught by the Valuan Guards and if that happens, we're all dead." Yeah, because breaking into the Coliseum right before the execution when the entire population of the city is there is a much safer plan. Dumbass.

Each one of the three repeats the entire plan in full, for no other reason than for "someone" to overhear them from the window. You'll never guess who it is. Just play dumb for now, and remember to act surprised in a moment. Vyse and the others hear someone at the window, but the spy runs away before they can see who it is. Pippi boosts Vyse up onto the rooftop, which means she's infinitely stronger than your average RPG female. Pippi's buff enough to propel Vyse high into the air, where he takes off after....Ron! Why, it's Mr. Weasley who was listening at the window! Vyse chases him through the entire town, and the game designers decided to make this part interactive. Whenever Vyse reaches the edge of a rooftop or whatever, I have to pick the direction for him to jump. It's pretty intensive, and by "intensive" I mean "a braindead monkey could do this."

When Vyse finally catches up to Ron, the little rascal is in the process of lifting the cover off a manhole. Vyse picks Ron up with one hand, dangling him over the ground. Dude must take steroids. "Put me down, you glass-eyed freak!" Ron politely requests. "What the...? You're that kid from this afternoon!" Vyse einsteins. What, did he not notice the red hair? The same exact clothes? Is he stupider than Tidus after a lobotomy? Ron yells and screams some more, in all caps, no less, and Vyse drops his ass on the ground. Pippi and Drachma reach the scene at that moment, and Pippi also realizes that it's the "annoying kid." "Who are you calling annoying?! At least I don't have hair like a scarecrow!" Ron screeches. Well, I have to give him that one. Ron gloats that he heard their entire plan, and then points out that he could turn them in to the local guards. "Well...that really leaves us no choice. We're goin' to have to kill you now, boy," Drachma says, as if he's announcing that he's going to have burgers for dinner. Pippi freaks out, because she's the nice kind of pirate. "Humph! If you're going to kill me, then kill me! It's not like anyone would care! I don't even think the rats would miss me," Ron wanks. Oh, please. It hurts when my eyes are rolled back this far in my head. But it's not over. "I've pretty much given up on life in this dump! If I'm dead, at least I won't have to search the garbage bins for food every night." Here, let me kill the little bastard. Drachma is not taken in by the passive-aggressive guilt trip act, and prepares to send Ron to the big garbage bins of food in the sky, but this time Vyse stops him by asking Ron what the deal is with the manhole. Wow, could that sound any more wrong?

Ron explains that the hole conveniently leads to catacombs under the city that have been there for a long-ass time. Now, however, they are sewers, and of course Ron lives there because his life sucks (in case we forgot that detail). Vyse puts two and two together, apparently recovering from his earlier lobotomy, and asks if the sewers lead to the Coliseum. Whereas it would be funny if they didn't, rendering this whole scene pointless, you know they do. Ron's all "Dude! I didn't know you were serious!" "Yup. If we take the Catacombs to the Coliseum, we can sneak in without worrying about the guards," Vyse tells the kid who thirty seconds earlier threatened to turn him in. Also, how the hell does Vyse know if there will be guards or not? Well, of course there aren't, but why make that assumption? Oh, right -- ASS Pirates, ASSumption. My bad.

Ron laughs his ass off at Vyse's stupidity, convinced that our favorite non-gay Ass Pirate is going to bite it. He tells Vyse to just give it up, prompting another speech about what the Blue Rogues are all about. Oh, brother. "Can't do that. Blue Rogues never give up! Especially when their friends are counting on them." He proceeds to lecture Ron on not being a quitter, even though the kid is most likely orphaned, lives in a sewer, forages for food in the garbage, and has still managed to make it this far. The camera gradually zooms out on Vyse's face, as he pronounces, "Even if you run into a storm, there's always a way out. No matter how bleak things seem." He blabs on in this vein for a bit, and Ron says, " what are you trying to say?" Okay, Tidus. Then Vyse announces the entire plan again for those of us who weren't paying attention the first five times or so. He prepares to return to the inn. Ron wonders why they haven't killed him yet. "You're going to be at the Coliseum with us tomorrow, too," Vyse informs him. Just great. "You said that you've grown tired of living, right? Well, I just want you to see something interesting before you die." Ron reacts to this with confusion, probably wondering if Vyse is a gay pedophile (well, he is a pirate, just like Captain Hook). After that, this game's nighty-night music sounds, and the scene is over.

But wait! Vyse, for some odd reason, slips into Wankese. Did the game designers get together for a "Let's Show How Much We Hate Jeanne" convention? I mean, really. "Now we had a plan...With our objective in mind, we hurried back to the inn, crawled into our soft, warm beds, and were fast asleep." Ah, thanks for clarifying. Dumbass. "Morning came much too soon. The skies were so dark that it felt like the sun had deserted us. Quietly, we all hoped that this wasn't an omen." But it was. Everyone died. The End.

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