Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mystic Ark, Part 7 - Pharaoh

 The Machines, Sarah.

Found another gouged heart laying on the floor beating. I bet Edison is a scientist.

This game would have a lot more gravitas if these disembodied hearts belonged to someone who had been emotionally shattered in some way, rather than just random people. That way, your quest to save them could involve fixing whatever it is that shattered them, rather than simply putting them back together immediately so that they can give you Random Busywork. It would be ten times better of a game.

 Back to the shrine, turn the heart into a figurine, run back to the machine world, resummon pets bring other characters back out... the usual.

This game...has never ceased to be weird.

"I am an important man!" says Edison.

 First Edison, now Capone? Maybe this world isn't machine-colored, it's gray-scaled for Oldness. In any case, time to take on the thuggish ruggish Capone.

 Isn't that basically the modern GOP's party platform?

 What follows is an incredibly tedious segment where I have to do some menial work in the basement of a pub. These worlds really do take a long time to get going, don't they?

 The barkeep pays our hero 70G for all his work rummaging around in her basement.

Well, joke's on you, lady. I stole some booze.

Capone wanted the booze, but when I brought it to him he proceeded to drop me into a dungeon for no reason. WTF? And why do characters in this game love trapdoors that waste your time so much?
And why am I following the lead of a middle finger?

 "I got a middle finger for you right here! POW!"

 Miniboss fight! "Craaaab people" he says. Remeer alone can handle it. Escaping from the pit is a simple matter from here.

Dirty pit? Don't you bring Ann Coulter into this! attracts the serpents.

 Is this shelf full of Ann Coulter's books?

That's right, asshole!

 This guy has some serious nerve asking our hero for help after he cast our hero into a pit for no reason. However, since Remeer is a faceless RPG hero who does everything he's told, he goes along with it. This guy has about as much free will as that blonde kid in Lennus 2. Wonder how long until Remeer does a world-ending Great Union type deal because someone asked him to semi-politely.

 At this point I get a SWEET upgrade for Kamiwoo. With the Rock Hook equipped, he becomes Kami-WOOOO, with the power to collapse buildings.

 I also rescue the kid of some shopkeepers. He just up and vanished randomly, nothing interesting to learn here about the circumstances. Thing is, if there were person-specific reasons why these people turned into figurines and left their disembodied hearts behind, the game could tackle some pretty serious issues with the emptiness that people feel. Maybe Edison was a drunk and lost his will to excel. Maybe little Graham here was wankin' it too much and stopped caring about his studies.


First of all, she looks like a six year old. I know that 6 is Japan's equivalent of 17 year old barely-legal American jailbait, but I'm gonna have to pass.

Wonder what would happen if you chose the female character. Would this guy want you to gay-marry his daughter? Mystic Ark IS progressive!

 Upon entering a new area, I receive some good news... and some bad news.


 Whoa, this looks like a high-end attack item. Gonna hang onto this one.

 In a new town, there's no sound, which makes communication with shopkeepers very difficult.

Now I'm really wondering what exactly is causing these bizarre problems in the Machine World. Places without color, places without sound... and why is it called the Machine World? I imagine all hell will break loose later in the world, like what happened in the previous one.

 We communicate via text on a pad until Remeer learns sign language. Very quickly.

 "I got some sign language for ya!"

Mr. Colbert! I thought we asked you to leave!

My God. It's like modern-day Shanghai.

Point is, something under ground is doing bad things to this world, but few are aware of it and those who are can't do anything about it.

 A forest with odd bells laying around leads to yet another town, where I find...

 ...some sort of mainframe computer. It's shorted out, and I'll need the help of the local scientists to get it working again. Why do I need to get it working? What's going on? I don't know, but as long as it leads to the fourth Ark then it's all good.



More fetch quests follow. I'm sure some people like fetch quests, and if you do, this is absolutely your game. It's a lot like Dragon Quest, except that when it comes to time-sinks this one skews far more towards fetching than level-building.

This one was obscure enough for me to check a guide. Had no idea I was supposed to go back and smash one of those bells that were laying around.


Man, what's with all these guys getting in here? We need to beef up security or something.


Einstein with a SLAM!

Remeer steps in and uses an ark to power the huge broken machine, now that they've tweaked it. So...uh... what does this thing do?

Edison and Einstein go back to save Shanghai, while Remeer is left in the machine-dungeon underneath the Machine World. Finally, time for the action to kick in for this world.

There are some fairly badass-looking mechanical foes here.

Got Remeer's final spell, Full Health. As the name implies, it fully heals one character. The second-to-last spell he got is Kill, which is an instant death spell. Odd to have the hero of a game getting instant death spells, isn't it? Usually that isn't the domain of the hero, unless you're playing a Persona series game.

Onward into this dungeon. This may or may not be the last dungeon in the Machine World, we'll see.


  1. You're totally right that a bit more character development could have made this a better game. Maybe we can patch more dialogue in here?
    Having an extended black-and-white world was a good idea. Great name translations for the guys here, by the way.
    I was also comparing this hero to the one in Lennus 2! Odd coincidence.
    Could this be the most Japanese JRPG in a bad way? Even after people make your life suck they still get to tell you what to do because they're from here and you're a foreigner. Its total subordination of the traveler to the people visited has to come from a different ethical perspective, to say the least.

  2. Hey, lay off on Capone. If he don't get no tolls, then he don't get no rolls.

    And number one on the threatdown... BERALITE.

    Suikoden 1 also rocks the insta-death on the hero.

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