Having just obtained the key to Viper Manor from Dipshit, the Dragon Keeper and World’s Worst Rent-A-Cop, Serge, Kid and Nikki are ready to explore the grounds and maybe, just maybe advance the plot an iota or two. Now, an iota is a unit of measurement rarely used in reference to story advancement, but it’s late and I would rather be playing Halo: Reach, so things might get a little trippy in this post.
Taking the key and leaving Dipshit in my wake, I head to the front of the Manor and gently slide the key in and…ahem. Uh, we go inside. I had to kill two guards who were guarding the door, but hey, casualties of war. Wait, we aren’t at war, so why would a young man deep it okay to commit murder to break inside this place? Dude, this kid is a serious delinquent! Well, I for one refuse to contribute to this morally bankrupt endeavor. I quit! But not out of rage! No, sir, I quit out of my duty, my solemn vow to never be a bad influence on the youth of this great world. Good day to you!
Okay, I’m back. Sorry about that whole piety thing I went on. Turns out I just needed to shoot a few grunts in the face on Reach. All better now. Where were we? Oh, right. So…the interior of Viper Manor. It’s smaller than I thought. (THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID) Inside is a statue of a snake, which, upon examination, asks for a code. So, like a moron, I try a random number. Which prompts a trap door to open beneath me and drop me inside a cage. Maybe Dipshit isn’t the dumbest person around these here parts.
There are guards surrounding the cage we are in, but Kid manages to piss them off enough that they OPEN the cage to come inside and beat us. And by that I mean we beat them. FREEEEEEEEEDOM! Furthering his new found status as a criminal mastermind, Serge and the gang strip the guards and disguise themselves in their uniforms, which happens to be my favorite part of Star Wars: A New Hope. Downstairs from here is the prison, but there is no princess in detention block AA-23. And yes, I did that from memory and it is accurate. Go look it up.
Heading back up, I find the dining hall and Glenn, who you may remember from earlier. He heads out, but I overhear a guard mention that General Viper has a guest and monsters have been roaming the Manor since his arrival. Strange, no? Finding Glenn again, he has scribbled the code for that snake statue on a piece of paper. This might come in handy. The chef in the kitchen is Orcha, another potential party member. He is too busy cooking to notice me right now, so screw him. Further exploring leads to a room with a harlequin sleeping on a couch and two guards blocking the way to the treasure vault. They ask me for the password and 4 options appear. As I try to figure out which one I want, they stand aside, telling me the password is silence and I may enter. W.T.F.
Nabbing the treasures inside, I notice an odd pendant on the wall. I grab it and…it’s another trap, this time depositing me in a cage inside what looks to be a laboratory. How trite. A purple-haired woman in a white lab coat completes the scene. She can tell we aren’t really guards, despite our uniforms, but is still kind enough to let us out, so she is all right in my book. And yes, I have a book. She introduces herself as the genius of Viper Manor, Luccia. Hmm, her name is close to that of Lucca’s from Chrono Trigger. She even looks a little like her, although Lucca didn’t speak with a Russian accent. Oh, she also tells me I am her guinea pig and then sicks a turnip looking creature on me. *Yawn*
She is impressed with our fighting skills and says for us to go. This lady is daft, as they say across the pond. She ignores me even when I try to talk to her, so I am guessing some hurt feelings might be involved. Women. Looking around, there is some white critter in a cage and I head over for a look. He talks! His name is Pip and this is a quote: “My dweam is sail de vast sea someday.” Kill me now. I thought Poshul was bad, but this begs the question: what demographic are they going for here? Is something lost in translation and in the original Japanese Pip is a total bad-ass? Somehow, I doubt it.
He asks me to unlock the cage and I do so only with the intention of killing him. Obviously, this isn’t a choice that the game will let me act on. I bet a WESTERN RPG would! Anyway, Pip stays inside the cage for now, planning on making his escape later. I’m sure somehow my actions here will result in him joining the party, so now my self-loathing is at an all-time high. As I go to leave, another annoying JRPG trope rears its ugly head as Luccia then informs me to return again later if we need her help. Well, we actually need it right now, but don’t let that stop you, skank.
Continuing on, the next room is filled with traps. That’s what the dragoon inside says, anyway and I tend to believe me, what with all the spikes and everything. The puzzle in this room is a doozy as it involves 4 statues, one of which is missing a shield. On the wall is, you guessed it, a shield. Thank God I went to college, otherwise this might have been the end of the blog! A door opens and there is a treasure chest. Could this be the Frozen Flame that was mentioned earlier? No idea because there is some mist blocking it. That guard from earlier says only the general can through it. Guess we’ll be coming back later. I hate unfinished business.
The next room finds Zoah, who answers all manner of questions about the 4 Devas, including that Dario died 3 years ago and Karsh refuses to talk about it. His death occurred soon after he became engaged to Riddel, General Viper’s daughter. Something fishy is going on here. Actually lots of fishy things are going on here and I am getting confused about many of them. I’m sure this mystery will be further revealed as the game progresses because, besides saving myself and probably the world, I am a problem-solver in my spare time.
Speaking of Karsh, he is in the the very next room. He reveals quite a bit, such as he was sent to retrieve Serge for the guest visiting from Porre and about General Viper’s history, which isn’t that relevant. If you care to know more, Google it. Oh and this is fun: there is a chest in his room, which he stops you from opening, unless you try to do open it 20 times. After that, he gives up and lets you have the item, which is a Dragoon Gauntlet. JRPGs: gotta love em. Also: what idiot figured this out without the use of a strategy guide? This is the kind of prank I used to pull on people who thought you could bring Aeris back to life in Final Fantasy VII. Yeah, yeah, I didn’t warn you about spoilers of a 13 year old game that gets referenced on the Internet every day. Sue me.
On that rather nostalgic note, we will end it for this week. We learned a lot, but still didn’t advance the plot much. But here’s a sneak peek at next week’s blog: EXPOSITION OUT YOUR EARS! A HOMICIDAL LITTLE GIRL! THE VILLAIN IS REVEALED! AND ANOTHER BRANCHING PATH! Be sure to check back next time and I hope my suffering through a 10 year old JRPG has provided some level of amusement for you. Now…Reach!