A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Most people who follow my LPs know I'm something of a fan of the Harvest Moon series. Well, that series has a sort of franchised Spin-Off, the Rune Factory series, with all the farming and romancing, and less of the "sitting around watering your crops and brushing your cows everyday until you die." While you're waiting to get a few more Love Points for the next event, or waiting for your crops to grow, you've got gear to craft and dungeons to crawl. Or maybe it's the other way around -- while you level grind your way to beat the next area and gather up crafting ingredients, you've got a farm to tend and a town full of clever, goofy, vibrant villagers to befriend. I've found the series a little hit-or-miss, falling madly in love with some entries and only being meh about others, but on the whole, I'll recommend it with a big smile, particularly the recently-released Rune Factory 4 for the 3DS (Which I absolutely adore).

    And this one! Rune Factory 3, released for the DS somewhere between 2009-2011, depending on where you were in the world. This is the US version I'm playing, so that'd have been released in 2012. It was made by the now-defunct Neverland Company (a moment of silence, please), produced by Marvelous Entertainment, and released in the US by Natsume and in the UK by Rising Star Games. I'm never sure how to look at videogame review scores, particularly scores for less obviously popular games, but I will say that the people who like this sort of thing found it was the sort of thing they liked, and it's still well-loved by Rune Factory Fans. It's pretty fast-paced, and you rarely feel like you've got nothing to do but pass time (you do, however, sometimes have to do a bit of grinding), and I generally find the gameplay solid and fun. The plot's nothing to write home about, but does its job. But my favorite element to Rune Factory 3, as most games of this type, is the townspeople. Let me get this out of the way: the title of this LP is pretty much accurate. This game's characters have a streak of the charmingly nutty, and that's what makes me really excited to share it all with you!

    This LP, at least initially, is going to be updated a bit irregularly, though hopefully less irregularly than my troubled Thracia 776 LP: for the moment, it's a project I can take with me a bit more easily, and something fresh to do while HM64 is winding down. I'll be doing a little narrative for it, though from time to time I'll either interrupt myself or do a side-column on the mechanical aspects of what's going on.

    Index


    Cast List
    Spoiler
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    Ramza
    Our amnesiac protagonist, who fell from the sky. It turns out he's half-monster, specifically a wooly, a sheep-like monster. Isn't he precious? He intends to keep his dual nature under wraps for now, to avoid discomforting the villagers, or being turned away. That's about all he remembers at the moment.
    While somewhat meek and easily overwhelmed in social situations, he's ultimately kind and good-natured, and an unexpectedly courageous warrior once you get a sword in his hand.


    Shara
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    A kind and generous girl who raises flowers with love and care.
    Family: Wells, Monica
    Shara set up Ramza living at the Sharance Tree: she's a rather mothering sort of girl, bursts of playful sense of humor aside. She loves the more harmless stripes of monster, and would probably qualify as a friend to all living things, even weeds.


    Collette
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    Works at the diner. She'll out-eat anyone in town... unless she's distracted by food.
    Family: Blaise, Rusk

    Marian
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    Outgoing girl who's training to become a doctor. However, her treatments don't always go as planned...
    Family: Marjorie

    Karina
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    Unbelievably lazy girl who works at the general store. She's usually napping on the job.
    Family: Hazel

    Pia
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    The bathhouse assistant. Ditzy girl with a bit of a fishy secret...
    Family: None

    Sofia
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    Sherman's spoiled, haughty daughter. Takes after his habit of speaking in opposites.
    Family: Sherman, Evelyn
    A member of the always-bizzare, always enigmatic De Sainte-Coquille clan. Opposite-speak is not noted with bright red text. It'd be very convenient if Ramza could see the font color, but also less fun.


    Sakuya
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    An inn attendant who loves to travel. Sells items she finds in dungeons.
    Not a fan of monsters.
    Family: Shino


    Carmen
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    Loves fishing and her brother. Helps out at the family fishing resort.
    Full of energy and easily excited.
    Family: Carlos

    Raven
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    Likes to keep to herself, and doesn't interact much with other people.
    Has a warm side to her.
    Family: None
    Tends Gaius' blacksmith shop, selling weapons. Whose idea was it to put her in customer service?


    Daria
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    An excitable and eccentric artist of many mediums. She LOVES rainbows.
    Family: Her Art

    Wells
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    The town's mayor who also runs a flower shop. He's stubborn, but soft on his granddaughter Monica.
    Family: Shara, Monica
    He's also not a fan of monsters at all.


    Monica
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    Likes to keep to herself, and doesn't interact much with other people.
    Has a warm side to her.
    Family: Shara, Wells
    What the game neglects to mention is that she likes biting strangers who approach her or her sister.


    Gaius
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    The town blacksmith. Loves forging weapons and items. A dwarf.
    Family: None

    Blaise
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    A three-star chef who's laid-back... Except when it comes to the kitchen.
    Family: Collette, Rusk

    Rusk
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    The Diner's Pastry Chef. Not a fan of vegetables... Or much else, really.
    Family: Collette, Blaise

    Marjorie
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    Once a great witch, she's now the town doctor. Marian's unpredictable antics keep her busy.
    Family: Marian

    Hazel
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    The serious, hardworking owner of the general store. She worries about her daughter Karina's laziness.
    Family: Karina

    Sherman
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    An arrogant glutton who's amassed a vast fortune.
    Speaks in opposites.
    Family: Sofia, Evelyn
    The De Sainte-Coquille family is a staple of the Rune Factory series, being generally wealthy without any sort of source of income...And incredibly bizzare. All the patriarchs look like this, and somehow never pass this down to their children. Most of them are big eaters, too. I suspect they might be their own species.


    Evelyn
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    A misguided fashionista who'll use anything for an outfit... and we do mean ANYTHING.
    Family: Sherman, Sofia
    The normal one in the family. Boy, is that sure not saying much... She considers her father and sister's habits to be tiring, but she loves them.



    Shino
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    The town inkeeper, and Sakuya's mother. She seems to have a hidden past...
    Family: Sakuya

    Carlos
    Quote Originally Posted by The Game
    Extremely passionate about fishing and life in general. Loves his sister and can be overprotective of her.
    Family: Carmen


    Without further ado, let's get started!

    Opening Video

    Spoiler
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    ...Oh, wait. There is some further ado.
    If I cut the first few updates in the places we'll need to do votes, they'll be ridiculously short. So instead, I'm going to gather up all our basic stuff voting in one place.


    First off, we need a name for our protagonist! His default name is "Micah."
    He's a pleasant, kind of mild-mannered young man, inclined to laugh nervously and get pushed around as he plays straight man to the nutjobs around him. He's a Rune Factory protagonist, so...Amnesia. As usual.


    Second, we need a name for our farm! It's default name is the "Sharance" Farm, because of its location -- more on that when the game starts. Everything in the area is called Sharance, pretty much, and it's a perfectly meaningful name in context. The word "Farm" will be added to whatever you pick.

    And finally... In the combat tutorials, we're given the choice of one free weapon, from a variety of types. These types each have their own skill category, so what type we have as our first weapon will get a little head-start towards being used and made when we can upgrade...But we're by no means stuck with it forever.
    So let's see our options!

    The short sword is the simplest weapon, with a reasonably quick attack speed, decent swing width and reach. They're a bit weaker than other weapons, but are straightforward and balanced. Also, they can fully use shields, and are the only weapon that's true for. Guess where the game, or internet in general, will tell you this directly?
    If you said 'nowhere,' you win a prize.


    The longsword has the widest swing and have good reach, but they're slow to wield, so you won't get off a lot of attacks, and you'll sometimes be left vulnerable. They're often rather defensive.


    Spears, as our hero here says, have the best range...But unlike the sword weapons, there's no arc to the attack: you just pierce in a straight line, hitting everything along that line. They're good for keeping your distance, but I sometimes have trouble with accuracy.


    Uh, basically this. Axes are power, but they're slow and kind of unwieldy. They're not the same as axes for chopping wood.


    Hammers are somewhat odd weapons, slow and heavy. They're very likely to send foes flying or just knock them straight out, and have good odds of a critical hit.
    Axes and Hammers actually share a skill, unlike every other set of weapons.


    Dual Blades are the weakest weapon on average, but they're also the fastest. You can't use a shield with dual blades, but you can keep hitting the enemy nearly non-stop, in a hurricane of blades.


    Staves are strange. They've got good magical attacks, and work well charged, unleashing little spells. Of course, their physical attack isn't all that great. To really get the most out of staves, we'll ultimately need to make our own.


    So, cast your votes!
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-02-23 at 10:11 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Everyone's A Little Bit Crazy: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Actual Early Game spoiler:

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    Clearly your character should be named Lambo Part 2.

    ...No. ;p


    Hmm...how about Renard? I am rather fond of such a name...

    As for the farm...well, why not have it be Renard Farm? Named after yourself of course.

    And for the weapon...I guess a short sword?
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    ...How does one cuddle mercilessly?
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    Curse your Introbulosity!

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    Default Re: Everyone's A Little Bit Crazy: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Oh my, Rune Factory 3! Fun game. It's a shame I never finished it, never getting all the way through the third dungeon. I should pick it up and actually complete it. Not to mention actually marrying someone in a Harvest Moon game. Seriously, the only time I've ever married a girl was in A Wonderful Life, because the game ends after the first year if you don't. I'm not that good at commitment, it seems.

    And yes, everyone's a little bit crazy. Okay, maybe not a little bit. Seriously, Harvest Moon is good for having characters with quirks, and Rune Factory even moreso. But RF3 really takes the cake in characters. Have fun choosing, everyone.

    As for choices! I don't have much to recommend. I usually put my first name for the character and last name for the farm, although that won't quite work here. I suppose we could have Link living in the Deku Tree, although that's just me being silly. As for weapons, I'd probably recommend the Sword/Shield or Spear early on. You frequently want to hit quick and run away early on, and both do that well. I think Longsword is best for crowd control (although the Whirlwind skill of the Spear is great), which is more of a concern later.

    I've found that focusing on fishing/cooking has the side effect of boosting up your stamina quickly through use and allowing a lot of food items, so I didn't have any problem with the character picking up and learning new weapons.
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Name: Kyubey
    Farm: [I Abstain]
    Weapon: Hammer or Staff
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    Psychology has nothing to say on the courtship of dragons, but science will surely catch up in time.
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    The short sword is the simplest weapon, with a reasonably quick attack speed, decent swing width and reach. They're a bit weaker than other weapons, but are straightforward and balanced.
    Shortswords are actually the best weapon in the game, save for advanced post-game staves. The reason being that the other weapons only get half the stats from the shield if any at all.

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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I thought I remembered that being the case, since it's true in Rune Factory 4, but I couldn't verify it at any sources I could track down, since I don't like posting things I can't find any support for, having started reading internet guides in the era of "The invincible Katori will protect your greenhouse from being blown away in a typhoon" or "You can find Mew if you push the truck."
    ...So thought to myself "Nah, there has to be *something* else that can use shields fully, right? I'm just being a derp, yes? Everyone wouldn't forget to mention this, right, so I'm bound to be not remembering correctly? They're not being that deliberately unhelpful to verify my shoddy memory, yes?"
    ...
    My new rule is just to trust nothing. Except I guess you because you agree with me, so I'll add that in.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-01-02 at 11:12 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Name: Link
    Farm: Ordon
    Weapon: Short sword and shield

    Let's go full Zelda on this.
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    Originally Posted by Keld Denar
    What can I say? When life gives you lemons, you BLOW THOSE LEMONS TO BITS WITH YOUR LAZER BEAMS!
    Avatar by the wonderful A Rainy Knight.

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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Oh fancy, another story style LP from Deme, but this time with dungeons and grinding?

    Yes please.



    No preference on the name, but for starting weapon I'll vote for Hammer/Axe. Them sharing a skill sounds like it'll get us a bit more variety in weapon types we can see, and the mild-mannered straight man (as he's described) being a power attacking barbarian once he leaves town sounds like it could be played for laughs.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Well, how about Ramza for the character? I think it fits in three ways, none of which I'd spell out.
    As for the farm, the big honkin' tree screams either Faxanadu or Eolis.
    Weaponry? I say magic. My true preference is spoilery, and those already in the know already know why.

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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I can't think of all three reasons, but instinctively like Ramza just for the reasons I can think of. Care messaging me with them? Now I'm just curious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Quote Originally Posted by MeatShield#236 View Post
    Name: Link
    Farm: Ordon
    Weapon: Short sword and shield

    Let's go full Zelda on this.
    I would agree with this.
    Quote Originally Posted by jamieth View Post
    ...though Talla does her best to sound objective and impartial, it doesn't cover stuff like "ask a 9-year-old to tank for the party."
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    As a fan of FFT, I'll throw in with Ramza, despite not knowing enough about this game to get any connections.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    As a fan of FFT, I'll throw in with Ramza, despite not knowing enough about this game to get any connections.
    Knowing little about FFT but plenty about RF3, I concur. Because puns.

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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Welp, I'm getting to playing this puppy. Since we have a tie between Link and Ramza, I'm going to use my authority as the person who's playing this game to break the tie.
    So the winner of the 'Blond Hero Reference Battle' is... Ramza!

    It's also fairly clear that Short Sword is the winner for the weapon, since all alternatives are kind of scattered.


    This does, though, leave us a bit of a problem. All the farm name suggestions are either specific to a character name, or references to a game I never played, so not overwhelmingly cheering.

    What I'm going to do, then, is play to the bit where the farm is named and take a little break while you guys come up with or shift farm name votes around. If nothing sings out or gains popularity, I'll go with the default. I suppose I will add the small spoiler that our farm is inside a giant tree, if that gets the juices flowing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Hmm...

    I would say "Lon Lon", but the characters clearly have no concept of modern things so that wouldn't work...

    Maybe...Wooly Farm?
    Last edited by Trobby; 2014-01-05 at 04:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    ...How does one cuddle mercilessly?
    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    Curse your Introbulosity!

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Quote Originally Posted by Trobby View Post
    Maybe...Wooly Farm?
    Wooly Farm... how amusingly appropriate. I'll change my vote to Wooly Farm.
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Hmmm. Giant tree house, huh?

    Oakbough? Oakenbark? Hausbaum?

    Actually, I like Oakenbough. Sounds kinda fancy and nature-y, and it has a good flow and ring to it.
    Anemoia: Nostalgia for a time you've never known.

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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    While Igros or Gariland seem more appropriate for Ramza, I'll vote Wooly Farm.

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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I'll vote for Golden Oaks.
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Neither Golden Oaks or Oakenbough fits in the 8 characters... While Wooly does.

    I've finished the update, too, it just needs to be edited down to size (I thought I wanted to show the farming tutorial; I was mostly wrong, excepting some high notes. I just do it for the free time. My raw screenshot count is nearly 300), the images resized, and put together. This is all deeply impaired by the fact that I've been sick for the past several days, crushing my hopes of being energetic enough to do anything.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-01-07 at 08:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Well I'm excited, Harvest Moon was one of my favorite games to play, and Rune Factory is even better!

    Thanks for playing and sharing these great games!

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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Alright! I've managed to pull myself together long enough for this! I'd say it's a short update, but it's actually pretty long. Probably screenshots.

    Chapter 1: Me, The Mystery
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    Certain things are forbidden, when starting a tale. One cannot begin at the absolute end, of course, though one can begin at the middle and worm back. No one's ever quite refused 'once upon a time,' and yet it says things about a story that, in many cases, one wishes to avoid.
    No one should meet in a tavern, for example. No one should ever remark that two families are alike in dignity, or steal the clever contrast between the best and worst of times.
    And under no circumstances should a story begin with "it was a dark and stormy night."

    Of course, no one told that to the weather, and so this tale begins with the sound of the wind and the rain, howling against the sides of the little flower shop.


    And a wooly falling from the sky, hitting the ground with a tremendous crash.


    The girl must have heard the sound from her room. She gasps.


    "What are you doing all the way out here in town...?"
    She glances left and right, trying to find a sign of the wooly's passage in the rain. It was like he'd fallen from the sky. Because he'd fallen from the sky.


    That resolved, she begins, through a no-doubt painful process of some lifting, mostly dragging, to bring him inside.




    And is stopped before she quite has to work out how to get his wounded body up the stairs.





    The old man's expression sours instantly.



    "He's hurt! I need to help him!"
    "Well, you coulda done that somewhere else! What'd you go drag it in here for?!"
    The conversation avoids, just barely, shouting -- not in temperment, but in the way of two people trying not to attract attention, or wake sleeping family.


    Then, more appeasingly,
    "Anyway, I'll take care of him myself. I won't let him bother you."


    In the end, he can't say anything to that. With a grumble and the occaisonal below-the-breath muttering of "When I was your age, we listened to our elders, you know," he moves aside, and watches as the girl carried the prone creature up the stairs.


    She treats his wounds as the rain howls around her. Mostly, they just need some patching and bandaging, a little washing out from where the mud had clung to his fur.



    And there, after she'd left to give it some peace, as the night emptied out into morning and the rain gave way to a clear, bird-chirping dawn...

    There's a flash of white light,


    And our story begins properly, with a young man lying in a stranger's bed.


    The world swims into focus. It's dark at first, and my head hurts like you wouldn't believe... But slowly, I feel my fingers and my toes. There's a faint taste of blood in my mouth.
    My clothes are cold, and kind of damp. I'm wearing clothes. These bits of information filter in slowly, until a bedroom takes shape around my bleary eyes.


    It's not a familiar bedroom. I've never seen it.

    I sit up, even though I'm kind of banged-up. Come on, limbs! No arguing! We can do this.

    With that... Why am I so sore?

    Uh, The strangeness of the bedroom suddenly feels...A lot more important.

    No, no. I've never seen anything here before! I look again and again, and it's all completely unknown!



    I start running, down the stairs and out through - um, some sort of florist's, maybe? It had flowers -- and into the streets, my heart pounding.
    Will I be chased? Am I in trouble? Should I have waited there, and it would have all made sense, maybe after a cup of tea? I'm not sure.

    I slow down as I run, though. My body still feels heavy...
    And none of what I'm seeing looks like anything I've seen before.


    Yeah, maybe I'm still dreaming. It feels kind of real, but doesn't it always feel real, when you're dreaming?
    I mean, I can't actually remember how my dreams feel, so... Maybe? Maybe I forget they feel real.
    There's someone up ahead, though.



    Oh, there's a girl in this dream, too. She's...Kind of a pretty girl. There's something about her, standing silently and looking at something above. A...sort of dignity, or an aloofness. Like a bird, living high above the world...
    ...Actually, it sounds kind of crazy, when you start saying 'oh, this is how it is in my dream.'
    It's probably not a dream, and even if it is, I should respect its dignity!


    I hope I'm not bothering her.



    Oh, I... I guess I am.
    "...Was it something I said?" I mutter, not so much at her as after her.


    But before she can leave, or answer, whichever...
    Someone else calls out to her and starts walking up.



    "I don't usually see you around here by the tree..."
    Tree?
    "..."
    The quiet girl doesn't say anything, though.

    "Oh!"
    I was going to slip away, since I don't want to interrupt them or anything, but then the second girl notices I've been standing here this whole time.


    She asks that.
    Yes, that's definitely what she asks. It's a very ordinary question.

    It's such a simple question, even a child should be able to answer it. It's asked all around the world, every day. It's literally the first thing someone meeting you for the first time will say.
    So...
    Why am I drawing a blank?

    No, not just a blank, I realize.
    I didn't know where I woke up, or what this place was.
    I couldn't tell you a thing about how I got to that room.
    Or what sort of room I should be waking up in, what sort of town streets I should walk on a light spring morning.
    This is beyond blank.

    "..."
    I fall silent, the shock of this realization making me go numb.


    I...I don't remember who I am.

    "...Yes. I...can't remember my name," I feel silly, admitting it, but... If I can't remember anything, there might be something wrong with me.
    So I should probably tell someone.

    But she keeps smiling blithely, only a confused glint in her eye changing.
    "You can't remember your name? Why not?"


    I mumble. I'm still hoping I can find something -- anything. Anything to make me feel like there was a yesterday.


    Amnesia? Does that mean I hit my head or something? Could I have some sort of brain damage that's keeping me from remembering?

    I chuckle uneasily, putting aside my panic with a smile.
    No, wait, I probably should be panicking, right?
    Because that's the right thing to feel if you think you might have some sort of brain damage, right?
    How do you even check for that?


    Well, if she doesn't know, how should I?
    "Um, maybe there's...some sort of doc--"



    Oh, um. OK. Alright.

    She turns to the other girl.
    "Raven, could I ask you a favor?"

    "Yes. I'll explain in a bit."

    Then she turns back to me.


    I freeze for a minute. I really don't want to just give up on finding my name, not unless it's a last resort...
    But I really should answer her.


    I blurt, finding the first idea for a name that comes to mind.
    I have to admit, I feel better, having something to call myself. Ramza. Alright, OK. I can be “Ramza.”
    At least until I can remember, Ramza will do.

    The girl giggles.



    "Now, Raven...About that favor... Could you take Ramza to the Sharance Tree?"
    Wait, what about seeing a doctor?
    Shouldn't we be more concerned? I mean, I don't remember why I have amnesia -- maybe there are other things wrong.

    Can I still do math?

    1+1=2.

    "Yes, you. Could you do that as a favor to me?"
    4x4=16. That's the same as 8x2 or 14+2.

    "...
    Okay..."



    A^2+B^2=C^2. That's triangles, isn't it?

    "Well, then. I'm going back to my house to see my grandfather."
    Wait, how do I know the answers I'm coming up with are the right ones? If I was wrong, thinking I was right, how would I know the difference?


    Uh, what about --
    Excuse me, but...

    If they're not worried, then maybe I'm OK? I mean, I'm talking just fine, so that's good.

    I guess I should just do what I can for right now.

    I ask the red-haired girl who the other girl (she never introduced herself, I realize.) keeps calling Raven.


    I get the feeling no one's really as worried about this as I am...


    Up the steps leading up what I had thought might have been some sort of odd cliff, but...
    As I look up, I realize...


    It's a tree. An enormous tree, covered in pink buds.


    I think I can say with confidence I've never seen a tree this size.
    ...Um, sorry, that was a lie. I can say it with confidence, but I can't actually believe it for sure.
    But it seems unlikely.



    I climb up the steps to...Someone carved a door in here. How odd.
    Well, down the rabbithole I go.


    There's a giant room in here!



    No, scratch that! It's basically a house!


    While I’m looking around, the girl – Um, Raven – turns and starts towards the door.

    Maybe she wants to say something, but doesn't know what to ask a guy with no memories?
    I wouldn't know how to talk to me, either. Let's give her the benefit of the doubt, I think, as I flash her a smile that probably comes out more timid than I mean it to.

    "Yes. My work is done."
    "Wait, before you go... Why did you bring me here?"

    "Now that I've done so, I'm leaving."

    Before I can tell her I hope I see her again, the girl whose idea this -- whatever this is -- was comes running up.

    "*Pant, pant*"



    I answer, a little bit more cheerfully than I have been. I feel better knowing that, wherever this is going...At least someone knows.
    Anyway, she seems very friendly, so why not be friendly back? Or even if someone's not that friendly, it can't hurt either, right?


    What does that have to do with my amnesia, exactly? Are they implying I live here? No, wait.
    They know this place, but needed me to introduce myself. So that can't be it.

    I guess I should be neutral.


    Probably. I think if I had, I'd have thought of this as one sooner. I know things, just not...Um. Things.
    Like myself.
    ”Great!”




    "Staying here? What are you talking about?!"
    Shouldn't I be seeing a doctor? Or trying to find where I actually live?
    Do I have family? What if they're worried?

    She just smiles, all sweet and innocent.

    "You're going to be living here now, Ramza!"


    ”Exactly! There’s a lot of things you don’t remember! You don’t even know who you are, or what you’re doing here!”

    Um, I'm not sure how reasonable it is to go from that point A to this point B...But...

    She is right.

    "Also, I think that there must be a reason you ended up in this town, Ramza."
    Really?
    "A reason...?"


    That doesn't sound like a very good reason at all!
    But no, there's something more important than saying that.


    "Of course! I even got permission from my grandpa!"
    "Your grandpa?"


    "So don't worry about it, and make yourself at home!"
    Well, if she went through all that trouble...



    "And that's Raven over there."



    Oh, she spoke to me!




    "Come, follow me!"

    Shara whistles happily as she trots me over to a box on the other side of the room.



    ...Do I have any of those?
    Do I need any of those?
    ”You should put any items you’re not using regularly in the storage box!”

    That does seem to match my idea of how backpacks are. So that's something.
    I know how backpacks work.

    "Did you get all of that?"
    "Uh, yeah. It's...A box. You put things in it, so it's not like that's complicated."
    ”Great! Let’s move on!”



    "Are you interested in cooking, Ramza?"
    Is...Is it really a good idea to let a guy who isn't sure if he can tie his boots operate a kitchen?
    Not that I don't think I should, I mean, I might be a really good cook. I might have been a chef or something... It'd be a shame not to try and find that out. Or maybe I've never so much as touched rice.
    I guess I just don't know what I'm interested it.

    "I think I should try, at least."
    I mean, it can't hurt my memory to try things and see if I'm trying new things, right?


    "If you have a kitchen counter, you can cook! Talk to the chef in town. He can get you a kitchen counter and different kinds of cookware. You should talk to him when you get the chance."
    "Yeah, I guess I should." I should at least get to know the people here, while I try to work things out.



    Well, that's handy!

    "The calendar also displays the birthdays of people you know."

    "Speaking of which, my birthday is Spring 11th! And Raven's birthday is on Spring 29th."

    ...I just realized...
    I don't even know when my birthday is, either.
    I had wanted to answer her with mine.



    Just smile and laugh, just smile and laugh...


    "Whose diary was it before now?"
    "These things just come with the house; they don't belong to anyone. Until now!
    Anyway, you can write down what has happened to you in it."


    Ah, she's right! What if I've got different types of amnesia? I might wake up tomorrow just as confused as I woke up today!

    I really think I should see a doctor... I mean, how do you even check for that before it happens?


    Eeyup. I know what a bed is, still.


    For the first time, I feel like she's taking this problem seriously.


    "Let's go downstairs next."
    “Hm? What’s downstairs?”
    ”You’ll see…”



    I'm not sure what I imagined at the base of the tree...

    But it certainly wasn't all of this. I run ahead of Raven and Shara, looking around at the whole scope of it.







    That's...kind of odd. What's wrong with the rest of the soil?
    Oh, well.

    "Yes. The fields are a little overgrown, but you can consider cleaning them up as part of your rent."

    The fields are an absolute mess... I hope I'm up to it.

    ...M...maybe?



    Well, these'll get me started, I suppose.
    “Thanks!”
    "Both of those items should come in handy. Also, since we're here, why don't you try tilling the fields some?"
    "Sure."
    ...I've given up.

    But before we can get to that...

    A monster shows up! I thought this place seemed peaceful... But it had a menacing look in its eyes.



    If it wants to fight...


    I'm not going to let it hurt the girls.

    As they flee, I find myself looking the monster right in the eyes. Its posture, expression, the way it's holding its weapon... There's no room for doubt.


    I said that so automatically, I kind of forgot: all I have on me is a hoe.
    ...I'm not even sure if I know how to fight.


    "Use your hoe as a weapon!"
    ...Well, I guess it's too much to expect her to be an arsenal as well as a real estate agent, right?



    I don't want to have to, but...
    I don't see another choice.


    Ow!

    What do I do with this thing? What do I do?
    The hoe's not a good weapon -- I just sort of flail around with it.
    I hit the fields about as often as I hit the monster, at least at first...

    But then I relax. I stop trying to think about the hoe. Or about the monster. About anything. My body tenses, and I think...
    I feel like it knows the way, even if my head's a mess. Is this what they call muscle memory?
    Eventually, the orc collapses under another blow.
    ...It didn't leave a body, though. Not even an unconcious figure -- there was a bolt of light...And it was gone. There wasn't even blood on the hoe.
    How strange.


    I run back to where Shara was waiting.

    "That was incredible!"


    Still, it's easy to see she's unsatisfied. I can't blame her, I mean... If it had just gone a different direction, this whole thing would have gone differently. It was pointless.


    "Yeah, I feel bad too..."
    Wait, what was that last bit?


    "Oh! Well, I've only read about it in books, so I don't know the full details..."

    That sounds...kind of nice.


    Well, that explains the lack of sign, other than the mess in the field, that there was a fight.
    "Yes. The tools and weapons we use are imbued with magic. This magic allows us to send the monsters back to the Forest of Beginnings unharmed."

    "Is that right...? Wait, why the tools?"
    "I guess it's for situations like this."
    ...Well, that makes sense, I guess.


    I guess our friend there wasn't alone.


    "Shara, go somewhere safe!" I can do this. I can do this.
    "OK."


    A short man comes running up, a hammer in his hands and an impressive array of weapons with him. But... He's nowhere near close enough to cover for Shara.

    "What weapon do you want?"

    I'm just guessing -- at what I can use, as well as what he might have.

    But a shortsword's not complicated, so it seems good for me.

    "Alright, here you go!"

    I'm not sure...It's a really good idea to toss a sword around a field. But I guess I don't know.


    Hey, I caught it without chopping off my hand! Good work, me!



    With an actual sword in my hand, everything works neatly. Not that they don't get their licks in, but... It's different.


    My body moves in a fluid, easy series of sword-sweeps. I barely even need to think about it.


    But...Fighting like that's exhausting.


    Everyone regroups back near the center.

    Uh, well, I don't know for sure, but...
    "Call me Ramza."


    "You're pretty strong."
    "Thanks."


    Raven?
    "She came to get me when she saw the monsters."


    I think my smile's less uneasy than the one before.

    ...Or maybe I still have a ways to go, because she just walks away.


    I don't know what I could have said...


    "Anyway, I'm going to head back to work."



    Yeah, I'm glad he was there to lend me... Oh, the sword!

    "Wait, I should return this --"
    "Keep it. Consider it a welcoming present. Besides... It'll give me the opportunity to make a replacement."

    He waves his hammer like a third hand and is off. Well, Raven excepting, the people here seem pretty generous...

    And even Raven really helped, when she could have just left. I'm sure once we get used to each other, we'll be friends.
    I hope, anyway.



    “No, I’m fine.”
    These are just scratches. I don't want her to worry.
    "Still, I can't believe those monsters attacked all of the sudden..."

    "Does that happen a lot around here?"
    Should I be on the lookout for more trouble?


    "The monsters around here are mostly gentle."


    So things are getting riled up around here, huh? I guess I really should keep an eye out.
    Then her voice turns a 180 and she says, cheerfully,

    "By the way, you're quite strong, Ramza!"
    I can't help but suppress a laugh.

    I just did whatever popped into my head...



    "Well...They were pretty strong." I'll be feeling those hits for a while, I'll tell you that.

    A-amazing? Me?
    "Thank you very much."


    "I think you saw how well I did with that."
    "I don't mean as a weapon!"


    "Sure, I suppose."
    She nods and looks about eagerly, before settling on a spot in the upper corner of the field.

    "Hi-yah!"





    How...How did she do that?
    "I want you to clear all of those weeds off of the field."

    I can pick up some of the stuff that went everywhere during the fight while I'm at it, too.
    I...sort of get carried away. Like, very carried away.


    Eventually, I get around to actually clearing Shara's patch of voodoo weeds, assembling them into a monstrous tower of plant life, several feet above my head.
    Soo.... Things I can apparently do: Fight, possibly math, and stack weeds like a boss.

    Who the heck am I?
    Putting aside existential questions, after that, she walks me through many basics of farming, leaving me with 3 full-grown flowers, a crop of 9 more planted, some apparently useful dried weeds, a bit of lumber, and my pockets full of junk.

    "And that's all you need for farming!"




    "What?"
    ”I forgot to explain RP!”
    "RP?"
    "Yes, it's very important."


    ....What?


    "...What are you talking about?"

    This is getting strange. I...I think I might need to see that doctor after all.


    Maybe I do have brain damage. Maybe this is all a dream.
    "I...I see..."


    "When you run out or RP, you'll lose strength, just like if you were attacked. If you run out of strength... You faint."

    Alright. I'll just... File this under concern for my health.




    "It doesn't already have a name?"
    "No one will mind if you change it! The tree's the same, but the farm is yours now!"

    Weeell~...
    If I'm not naming it for the tree, then... What do farms have? Crops, I guess. Fruits. Weeds and rocks apparently. Um... I've heard some farms keep monsters, like Buffamoo and Woolies...

    "...Wooly Farm?" I suggest.

    "You have kind of strange taste in names, Ramza."


    "Yes, I do!"
    Ugh, like being shot through the heart.


    "I have more to tell you, but I need to set up my shop first."

    "Okay! I'll come see you later."


    "Well, if you go down from here, there will be three stores. The middle store is where I live, the flower shop."
    ...The middle?

    ...Isn't that where I woke up?

    Then she looks me over once more, carefully. I've been hard at work, and I was fighting before that...
    And I'm still not sure about all of this, of course. I must look kind of pathetic.
    So with a gentle little smile, she asks,


    “No, of course not! You’ve been a really big help.”
    She hasn't done anything wrong! I don't know what I should be doing, exactly, but... I know for sure that Shara's trying her best to help!


    "Okay! Thanks so much for everything!"
    "It was my pleasure. Well, if you'll excuse me, then."


    I find myself sighing like a deflating balloon at her retreating figure.



    While I think, I sow the extra seeds she gave me.
    What am I thinking about? Well, she gave me a place to live... But should I be living here? I mean, I must already have a home somewhere. And a family, and friends... I should be trying to find them.
    The first thing I should do is work out where I am. "Sharance," doesn't tell me a lot. If there's only one or two places that are along the road to or from Sharance, I'll go look there, until I find someplace someone's seen me. A backwards trail.
    But if there's more places, and 'where I was going to' and 'where I was coming from' can't be told clearly... It might be a better idea to wait here. If you're lost in the woods, you shouldn't keep moving. You should wait until help finds you, right? The same principle might apply... If I can't work out where to go, it might be better to wait until someone comes looking for me. At least then, there's no chance of us missing each other!
    ...Assuming there is someone.
    No, no. I shouldn't worry like this.
    OK, I'll look into what the surrounding towns are like... And in the meanwhile, I'll do my best here at Wooly Farm!


    Mechanics Chat
    See Three Posts Below, it ran too long for this post.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-01-11 at 08:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    The only thing I have to say is: don't till under your entire field. Having places for random herbs and branches to spawn is very useful in the beginning.
    Thank you to zimmerwald1915 for the Gustave avatar.
    The full set is here.
    Quote Originally Posted by darthbobcat View Post
    There are no bad ideas, just bad execution.
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Yeah, I made that mistake in... I think it was 2. Tilled it all at the very beginning because I had nothing else to do that day and I figured I'd need to have it tilled eventually.

    Derp.
    Quote Originally Posted by jamieth View Post
    ...though Talla does her best to sound objective and impartial, it doesn't cover stuff like "ask a 9-year-old to tank for the party."
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I'm both far too lazy and far too worried about junk like soil resting and crop rotating, as well as a nice supply of junk, to ever actually till the whole field at once.... But I can verify for new players, it's a good idea to leave some 'down space.'

    Embarrassingly enough, I didn't leave enough character limit space to include this in with the first chapter. Oh, well. Never take your screenshots when some manner of flu is descending upon your brain.

    Mechanics Chat
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    Hallo and welcome to Mechanics Chat, where I talk about the game not from the perspective of our amnesiac hero, but from my perspective, and hopefully with the perspective of other guides, aides, and forum members, to supplement the fact that I don't quite know the game inside and out. I've played it, but we all know that's not the same thing.

    For starters, you'll notice that I cut what seems to be a lot of the tutorial dialogue. Most of it's boring, so that's why. But if I cut it, why'd I do the tutorial?
    Well, one reason. The tutorial takes place in timeless space, and gave me the chance to gather up extra wild grasses and weeds from our field. As the people above me note, we want this junk. Money, light healing, crafting ingredients, presents... It's good junk.

    The second thing you'll notice is that I had Ramza agree with Shara that, yes, the monsters are strong. This is the game's way of initially setting the difficulty: I went with the 'easy' option. The main difference is the toughness and strength of the enemies -- it's a basic numeric difficulty adjustment.
    #1, I don't like things that are difficult. I'm pretty much a soft creampuff of a human being. I'm a weenie, and I'm not ashamed.
    #2, I'm already playing with the handicap of screenshotting while fighting.


    The third thing... You won't notice at all: any reference to it was in the tutorial stuff I cut.
    But let's talk about farming. The farming works, in broad strokes, like so: you plant your seasonal veggies or flowers, you water them, they grow, you harvest. When you harvest things, you can get rune spirits or runeys -- little collections of the Rune Factory series' magical energy that is in all things, including you. I'll talk about them later, remind me. When you don't water crops, or plant them out of season, they will eventually wither and turn into withered grass. You want this to happen sometimes...
    Because the soil has its own properties, which I'll generally call "Health." I'll show it off more fully when we get a tool to help actually see it. Health determines things like your growth rate and the level of your produce (or, at least, it can't hurt; seed quality has more to do with it, though), and if you plant your crops in the same place multiple times, the health of the soil will go down. Well, you may ask, how do you fix that? There are two basic strategies, and we'll probably be using both of them for the LP:
    #1, You till withered grass into the soil, basically using it as a mulch. I'll show my favorite way of getting withered grass later; this is running long.
    #2, Let the soil rest for a while, changing out where you plant. This has the advantage of giving more junk new places to crop up.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-01-12 at 10:57 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qwertystop View Post
    Yeah, I made that mistake in... I think it was 2. Tilled it all at the very beginning because I had nothing else to do that day and I figured I'd need to have it tilled eventually.

    Derp.
    Note that you can hit tilled soil with the hammer to return it to non-tilled soil, if you find yourself in this position of overtilling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by darthbobcat View Post
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Or you can buy some out-of-season seeds or some cheap seeds, plant them there, let them wither, and pick up your withered grass, and that'll de-till it as well. Or actually grow things there, and just let it rest.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-01-12 at 03:51 PM.
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Oh, by the way: the second update's taking so long because I appear to have gone slightly overboard, and it's definitely going to take more than one post to get done. So, you'll be getting two updates in the ambiguous future, very close together.

    For those following HM64 (As I'd like to think all patient people should), the update there's taking a while because I've been both away and sick, but I've got the game play done, there's just a bit of writing left and editing, which shouldn't take too long. As soon as I can get over the fact that Hulu Plus has a decent amount of Ranma 1/2 on it. Or stop being lazy. One of those.
    LPs:
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    Moemon Leafgreen (Complete)
    Long Live the Queen (Complete)
    Harvest Moon 64 (Complete)

    Rune Factory 3 (Ongoing)
    Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 (Ongoing)

    Azure Dreams (On Hiatus)



    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Yeah, there is a lot that happens in the beginning and a lot of interesting characters to run across. A lot of VERY INTERESTING characters.

    Take your time.
    Thank you to zimmerwald1915 for the Gustave avatar.
    The full set is here.
    Quote Originally Posted by darthbobcat View Post
    There are no bad ideas, just bad execution.
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    Air Raccoon avatar provided by Ceika
    from the Request an OotS Style Avatar thread



    A big thanks to PrinceAquilaDei for the gryphon avatar!
    original image

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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Chapter 2: Down the Rabbit Hole
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    Ok, I've got a garden planted, so I guess I should go see Shara.


    The town has a lively air, now that it's started to wake up properly...

    When I get to the place with the three shops where Shara lives (A road sign marks it as "Flower Way,") I see a girl standing there, just sort of milling about, without any real sense of urgency or destination. If it was possible for her to be asleep standing up, just basking there with the morning sun shining through her long silver hair... That's what I think she'd be doing. As it stands, she's...Probably awake, right?

    "Um..." I don't want to disturb her, she looks so peaceful, but... She lifts her head and glances, yawning all the while, my way.


    Her eyes flick open and glances up and down at me.
    "Your name is Ramza, right?"

    "That's...right." I say, still hesitating over having just sort of given myself a name. "Um, how did you know that?"

    "(Does it really matter?) ...Shara said something about that, when she walked by. New guy, name of Ramza, he'll be working on the... You get it, right? (I don't have to explain it all, do I?)" She sighs, like it's a lot of bother.
    "Um, well, she told you right. I'll be working the farm here while I get my bearings."
    She nods sympathetically.

    I think she's trying to share sorrows, but... I don't mind working on the farm.
    Then a though sneaks across her features and she sighs.


    "Well, it's a general store, um... What sort of things do you sell there?"
    "Seeds. Cooking ingredients. Crops. Things like that..."
    I can't help but chuckle a little. I mean, it's not like I could avoid a shop like that as a farmer, right?
    "Well, uh... I think you sell a lot of things that I'm going to need."

    She only sighs and shakes her head weakly.
    "(I guess I can't stop you.)"

    She falls silent and I worry I've offended her by, um, patronizing her. Her store, I mean, not her as a person.
    "Well, uh, I'll see you around. People to see, things to do, all that..."

    She shrugs as if it makes little difference, and having excused myself, I head to Shara's.

    I step into the shop, and it's definitely where I woke up. ...Did I just crawl in here to sleep or something, under the cover of dawn? I should apologize, as soon as I work out what for.
    The shop smells of all the fresh flowers they have cut and growing about the store. Come to that, the whole town seems covered in flowers, so they have some demand.

    That was just a reflex, because she sees me and walks over.


    "Well, you asked, right?" I'm still looking around -- there's a really wide variety, and some of them must take a lot of care to manage.

    "Hee hee. Thank you! We sell flower seeds and some magic seeds too!"

    "Magic seeds?"
    "Yes. They're..." But before she can finish her explanation...


    A figure darts down the staircase, and leaps on me,

    and just decides to start attacking me!



    I thought the monsters here were mostly peaceful!
    ...Wait.
    That's a little girl.


    The man behind the other counter, who to be honest I hadn't noticed before, calls out.


    Shara grabs the girl -- Monica -- and holds her back.
    "Got you!"



    Um....Dragging you away, it looks like.


    Monica's still thrashing about, bloodlust gleaming in her eyes. You sure she doesn't need to go back to the forest of beginnings, too?


    Eventually, yowling like a cat, Monica is pulled up the stairs. After a few minutes, Shara returns.

    "Who was that atavistic war-child in a ribbon?" I am still watching the stairs.
    "That's my sister... She doesn't like strangers."
    Hehehhe...
    "Boy, I'll say."
    That's... putting it mildly.


    "She.... bites?"
    Shara shrugs with an embarrassed smile.
    "Well, anyway..."

    Well, anyway?!
    Well. Anyway...

    "This is one of the magic seeds I was talking about."
    She takes a large, striped seed out of her bag. I'm not even sure you can plant it in a single section of soil -- that's the sort of size I mean.

    "They're really amazing. Just throw the see on the ground, and it grows in an instant."

    "Really?!" That's incredible! If all seeds were like that, farming would be easy! Oh, but I guess crops wouldn't cost anything more than seeds, and the real farmers would be the people who could produce the seeds...
    Oh, but at least everyone would get fresh fruit and vegetables all the time that way!
    But back to reality.... Or what I'm guessing is reality, anyway.

    "It'll grow into a magical plant that will follow you like a pet and help you out. Different magic seeds will help you out in different ways. The more powerful you are, the more powerful the magic seeds will become."

    This elicits a glowing smile.
    "Tee-hee. ♪ Do you really think so? I'll give you this, then."

    This... Shara's being so generous.
    "Are you sure?!"
    "Of course."
    I'm really touched... By this sort of kindness for a total stranger! I...I want to be that sort of generous person in my new life here!

    "There are lots of other kinds of magic seeds out there. Be sure to come back here and buy a bunch!"
    "Okay!"

    "Anyway, did I tell you about the bulletin board yet?"
    "What bulletin board?"
    "It's in front of this building. Follow me."

    I'm not sure I need directing to just outside the house, but...


    Follow her I do.
    "What's it used for?"
    "Bulletins, of course! Well, actually... When people need help with something, they'll post a request on the board. You can take the request and help that person out...But only once per day."
    That sounds kind of silly, doesn't it? Well, who am I to question village custom?

    "Become good friends with people, and you'll get more requests from them. You'll see all sorts of requests."


    "The board's updated every day, so check it often for new requests...And that's all you need to know! There's a sign for more information if you want it, though."
    "Thank you."

    "I actually have a request for you already, Ramza. You should try accepting it now for practice."

    ...
    ...
    But... But I was just talking to her.
    ...
    "...It's not very comfy to sleep with your head against the bulletin board like that...Just so you know. (Believe me, I've tried."
    Karina, who's been watching this, calls out.
    "Thanks..."
    I straighten up.



    I guess I'll accept it anyway.

    I catch her on the way back into the flower shop. Monica's there, too. I'm watching my fingers and toes. And limbs.

    "Well, since this is your first request, let's start with something easy. Why don't you go around to everyone's house and introduce yourself?"

    That's all? Well, at least it's something I was going to do anyway.
    "That's right. You're new in town, so you should get to know your neighbors." She claps her hands together when an idea occurs to her. "Oh, and don't forget to see Daria. She lives in the house over by Privera Forest."

    I should head by there, too, then.
    "Okay!"
    "Once you've talked to everyone, come back and talk to me again."
    "Gotcha!"

    But before I go out, I probably should try actually talking to Monica again. I'm sure as long as I don't startle her...


    "I'm Ramza." There, see? A perfectly civil introduction. I was nervous for nothing.

    I offer her a hand to shake.
    "Don't come near me! I'll bite you!"

    "Ah!"
    All my hopes are short-lived.

    "You're a weirdo stranger!"

    This doesn't seem to be going well.

    "I told you not to come near me!"


    "Owwwww!"
    Those teeth are sharp!

    "And you'd better stay away from my sister! I can bit lots harder than that!"

    I'm not running away scared, I am making a tactical retreat.
    I mean, I have lots of people to meet, right? People who won't bite.

    Of course, the first person I ran into was... Kind of... strange.



    Really?! Well, that's wonderful news! Call off the search!
    ...I'm not sure what sort of last name "Newcomer" is, but I'll take it!
    "Uh, listen, then, this might sound a little strange, but... I can't remember a thing... Have we met somewhere before?"

    And then, without missing a beat...
    "I'm Sherman. What's your name?"
    "Umm... Ramza."
    I think I'm losing my grip on the situation, but he just beams away.

    "Oh, Ramza. Well, starting today, we aren't acquaintences."
    "What?!"

    I'm not exactly sure what he's even trying to say there.
    "No, nevermind... Listen, could you tell me where I'm from?" Or what I'm doing here, or anything?
    "I'm happy To dissapoint you, but I know all about that, so I can't tell you a thing."
    ...
    ...
    "What?!"


    I have no idea what's going on, and I think I just need to stop trying.

    I think I need to go rest my head. Or at least get out of the sun.

    So I head into the next shop, my head feeling like a beaten puppy.

    The shop's an astounding array of weaponry and armor -- it almost feels less like it's on display, and more like they simply ran out of places to put everything.
    "Wow! There's so many weapons!"


    Oh, I thought I might find Gaius here, since I'm guessing this is the blacksmith's... But I didn't know Raven worked here.

    "Were all of these weapons made here in the store?"
    "Pretty much." She delivers it in a flat voice.
    "That's amazing..."
    Who knows how long it must have taken to make all of these -- no, more than all of these. The shop sells weapons, so there are weapons made here that are even somewhere else.

    I smile and hope that, one of these times, it'll put her at ease.
    "Do you make them too?"

    She just pauses and stares at me for a while, her only response a little gasp, like she's taken aback.
    Is... Is she not used to people smiling at her? Am I just creepy-looking? Do I have a creepy smile?

    I stand there, waiting, hoping I don't have a creepy smile. Maybe I shouldn't smile until I get a good look at myself.
    She doesn't move, only watching me -- the only movement her alarmingly cold and bright blue eyes. Like something at the very bottom of a glacier, hidden away in a deep crevice, looking back at me.
    And at last, she finds something to say.


    "Huh?"
    "This is a weapon shop, not a place for idle chat.
    If you're not going to buy something, then leave."



    ...Ok. Yeah. I shouldn't have -- there's work to be done.
    A ringing echoes out over the shop's floor, hammer on metal, clattering through the uneasy silence.

    Gaius calls out, to no one in particular.


    There's a sound of cheerful whistling as he sets down...Whatever that was...

    And emerges to the other side. He stops when he notices me.
    "Hey, is there anything you want to buy?"

    "Umm...."
    I was just about to leave, is what I'm about to say -- I don't want to bother him while he's working, after all -- but he shrugs before I can say anything.
    "Doesn't matter to me, really."

    "Please take your time, and make yourself at home!"

    "What? But..." Raven was just...
    I turn to look at her, wondering again if I'd done something to bother her particularly, since it's not like this is a store-wide policy or anything...

    "Oh, it's nothing..."

    Anyway, if Raven doesn't want to talk to me, that's alright. But I wouldn't mind another word with Gaius -- I don't think I thanked him well, earlier.
    "Hello there."

    "What was your name again?"
    "It's Ramza." At the moment.

    "I just make the weapons, though, and leave it to Raven to help sell them."
    I shift around and laugh uneasily on the whole topic of Raven.
    ....But then, he doesn't seem to actually notice.
    "Well, just give me a shout if you ever need a weapon!"
    "Will do... Oh, by the way, the sword you gave me is very nice, thank you."
    He nods appreciatively.

    "I just make weapons because I like to. I don't have any great ambitions of becoming a master smithy or anything like that... Still, it's nice to hear my work appreciated. I'll keep it in mind you like that balance, though."

    I could just leave now, and not worry about it... But if I did something wrong to Raven, I really do want to understand it.
    So I approach her behind the counter.
    "Umm..."

    ...I can't think of anything to say!

    "..."
    "..."

    "..."
    "..."

    "..."
    "...What do you want?"
    "Well, Raven... Um, your name's Raven, right?"
    She tilts her head, bird-like.
    "Yes."
    Right, it's not like we haven't been introduced a few times now.
    "Well, umm... Uh..."


    "I know."
    Wait. She was there for that.
    "Oh...That's right. of course you do."
    She looks away, hiding her face... But her eyes are still on me.

    And she mutters something I don't hear clearly.
    "What?"
    "..."
    "...Nevermind. I'll see you later, alright, Raven?"
    After another pause, almost imperceptibly, she nods.

    Well, at least that went better. Now, let's see... There's a couple of paths I could take from here, but let's head south, through the center of town, first.

    Wow! It's a beach!
    Well, it's the beach of a lake. But it's still some nice sand and some beautiful blue water.


    And a house, presumably with people inside!

    Walking in, I'm immediately struck by two things: the scent of fish, and a charged emotional atmosphere.

    A sporty-looking girl with hair the color of the ocean, her skin a little red from the sun, says, with tears on her face.
    I've walked in on something... Kind of personal, haven't I?


    What a heartfelt moment!


    The two are standing in the center of the shop/house, the world almost constricted down to the two of them.
    "I am devastated beyond words, brother!" proclaims the girl, a sob shaking her voice. "But it is time for me to make my own way! I must leave..."

    Oh, how sad, a brother and sister parting like this... Her destiny pulls her away from her family...
    "To go fishing!"

    ...Wait. It's...clear that this is some sort of fish and fishing supply store. So...couldn't she fish here?


    "Oh, my dear brother..."
    She sobs openly.

    And then it all defuses, as she opens one eye and notices I've been standing here.
    "Oh, hey! It's a customer!"
    She says, in a suddenly clear and un-teary voice.


    They both turn to look at me, the brother bursting into a bright smile.


    "What? Oh, y-yes?"
    A resort? What exactly is this place?


    What? Now everyone's all smiles! What was with the tears and the sappy melodrama?

    "That's right! It's like taking a trip to an exotic tropical island!" says the brother -- Carlos, I'd assume, since it's Carlos's Resort -- proudly.


    "Ha ha ha, You flatter me as always, Carmen!"
    He stops laughing and adds, to me,
    "The cost is a bit high, but you can fish all day! If you're good at fishing, it's a great deal!"
    Carlos laughs to punctuate his sales pitch.
    I'm not sure I can afford any cost, high or otherwise...
    I wonder if I'm any good at fishing, though.



    This place is...kind of strange.

    "So stop on by! Either me or my sister will be behind that counter there! Feel free to ask us anything!"
    "Yeah! Stop by anytime! We'll be here waiting!"

    "Alright..."
    I guess I should introduce myself, though. They seem like nice people, even if they're a little nutty.

    "Do you like fishing?"
    Asks the sister, when I try to think of a way to open a conversation.
    "Fishing?"
    "Yes, fishing!"
    "Uh..." I think about it for a while, but I can't remember ever fishing. Maybe I did, and enjoyed it? Maybe never?
    "I guess I like it..." Innocent until proven guilty, fishing!
    "Really?! That's great! I just can't get enough, myself... The dance of the lure, the feel of the rod in my hands..." Overcome with feeling -- about fishing -- a tear springs to her eye. And then she opens them very wide, the gleam of passion coursing through them. "And the moment the fish peaks its head out of the water!"

    I'm a little taken aback, but... When you put it like that, fishing sounds like it really might be fun.
    Then she smiles, and adds,

    "Oh, sorry! I tend to get carried away when it comes to fishing!"
    "You must like it a lot."


    She thrusts out a hand, and I shake it.
    "I'm Carmen. Who're you?"
    "I'm Ramza." Innocent until proven guilty.
    "Ramza? Nice to meet you! You can usually find me by the lake! Come by and see me any time!"
    Alright! That was a nice introduction.

    I turn to her Carlos, too. Introduction-by-proxy probably wouldn't be enough for Shara...I'm not sure it'd be enough for me.
    "Hello."

    "Ramza." If I say it enough, maybe I'll feel certain with it.
    "Ramza, eh? I'm Carlos! I run this resort with my sister!"
    "Just the two of you?"
    "Just the two of us, a brother-and-sister team-up!"
    "That's pretty neat!"
    I wonder if I have siblings...

    ...Good taste?
    "I think we're gonna get along great!"

    "You think so...?"
    "I know so, bro'! By the way, be nice to my sister! I'm sure you'll get along, too." Then he pauses, leans forward, and his face becomes very serious.
    "But no funny business, though! You got it?!"


    Then, he just leans back and is all smiles again.
    "Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting to know you, bro'!"

    Anyway, that went well! If there's no one else on the beach, I'll go look at the east end of town now.


    I wonder what sort of store this is... The East End doesn't have as many buildings as Flower Way: just a giant house and a little shop.

    Entering the shop, there's a sharp and sudden smell of dried herbs, and... Something bitter and a dangerous smelling, like something toxic.

    A girl in a two-pointed hat is brewing something -- the source of the smell -- in the back. As she turns, sees me, and dashes towards the front...

    Her expression is beatific. I can't remember seeing a person so happy. Oh, standard exceptions apply, I guess.

    She leans forward, speaking in a clear and eager voice, her eyes the color of a thistle darting up and down across me.
    "So what hurts? Your head? Your chest?" A fiendish gleam lights her eyes. "Someplace you can't tell me?"

    "Uh...what?"

    Oh, uh, is this...some sort of clinic? It just caught me off --


    ...Get that away from me.
    "No, I'm not sick..."
    I lie, but... I think that's some sort of blowgun! Made out of a trumpet! Made out of lots of trumpets, maybe even! Indescribable!

    "Don't be nervous! It only hurts for a second! Although, sometimes the pain can linger for a bit..."
    I back away slowly.


    I'll take the brain damage, I think.
    I can talk and move around and operate farm tools, that's undamaged enough, right?

    She creeps towards me like a predator preparing to pounce.

    My...My savior!


    The old woman approaches us, stopping Marian in her tracks.
    "I'm sorry... She never listens to me..."

    "I hardly think you can call a treatment just as likely to fail as it is to work a "cure"... And anyway, he says he's not sick."
    Marian blinks.
    "What?" She turns to look at me. "Really?"

    She wasn't listening at all.

    "Honestly, Marian... You silly witch, trying to play doctor..."
    Ok, I might have been a head-trauma patient, who abandoned that right to avoid being a 'needles in my everything' trauma patient, but...
    Even I think that was the wrong thing to say.

    "It's not silly, Grandma! You're just old fashioned!" Marian glares at her grandmother, digging her heels in to prepare for what I suspect might be an old battle. "There are some things that magic can't heal. Us witches need to adapt to the times, too."
    "First you need to learn how to properly administer care to a patient! Then you can talk about what kind of medicine to use!"


    ...That's not what she was saying at all.
    "Ah! I know!"
    She looks back at me with a gleam in her eye.

    THAT'S NOT WHAT SHE WAS SAYING AT ALL!
    But I don't want to make her upset... How do I get out of this?


    "Great! So if you get sick or poisoned, come see me! We sell medicine and stuff here! Grandma works on the weekends, though, so be sure to come during the week!"
    "Like I said, let me get back to you on that..." And mainly visit on weekends.
    "Fantastic! I'll be waiting!"

    I laugh a little, under my breath.
    "She's not listening at all.."

    "Anyway, you're...Ummm..." She realizes only now that she's never seen me before.
    "Oh, my name's Ramza. It's nice to meet..."
    "Oh, that's right! Ramza! A doctor never forgets a previous patient's name! Yes, of course! How are you, Ramza!"
    Oh, she...didn't realize that at all.

    "Um, I don't think we've really 'met' before..."
    "Of course we have! You're Ramza! Boy, you sure are forgetful!"
    Wait, does she... No, I'm not going down that road again. Check for over-ruling strangeness first, have hope second.

    "Jeesh...I can't seem to get through to her..."
    "I'm Marian! I'm an apprentice doctor and witch! Stop by anytime if you get sick! Be absolutely sure you will!"
    Not this again...
    "Rembember: Anytime! Anywhere! For whatever reason! ...Except weekends."
    "I-I'll remember that..."

    And now her grandmother, whose name I didn't hear during the conversation... But she sure saved my skin back there.
    "Um...Hello..."

    "Yes, that's right."
    "My name's Marjorie. People used to call me a witch, but now I'm just an old woman..."
    Aw, that's a sad way to look at yourself...
    "My name's Ramza. It's nice to meet you."

    "Um, thank you..."

    "I'm also a doctor, but I've been leaving most of that to Marian these days...Would you rather be treated by me, or by Marian?"
    She smiles like that's an old joke of hers, but... I'm not sure what answer she's expecting. Does she expect I'll go for the girl my own age to treat me? Or for the not-scary doctor?
    "Umm..."
    "Normally, I would expect you would want to be treated by a cute girl like Marian, but that girl can be hazardous to your health..."
    "...Huh?" Admitting that about your own granddaughter....Gutsy.
    "Anyway, it's nice to meet you. I'll try to reign her in, so you can visit the clinic safely anytime."
    "Nice to meet you too."

    I think I'll clear out of here before Marian forgets what "I'll think about it" means.

    Well, let's see who lives in this big, imposing house.


    Oh. Sherman lives here, it seems.
    "Yuck!"
    A woman in an...eccentric outfit has a plate of food that he's devouring limitlessly, despite his protests.
    "Yuck!!" he says a third time. He doesn't have to eat what he doesn't like, does he? Or is this more mindgames?
    He plows through the first serving in his hands, and beams.
    "More!!!"


    Says the woman, whose clothes are accented by stuffed animals -- I thought they might be real at first, but I think that monkey could act as a shield in a tough fix...
    She reaches into a shopping bag...

    And hands the contents over to him.
    "The 3-star chef's cooking is very terrible, I must say!"
    He digs into it. I think I'm getting an idea about how this guy talks...
    But it makes no sense at all.

    "Yuck!! Yuck!!! " He cries out again.


    He's certainly enthusiastic in action, if not in words...

    "Sure thing," says the woman. "I'll have to thank Blaise."
    Then she sighs and shakes her head,
    "But you really do eat too much, Father. Don't you think so?"


    He pauses. He thinks. He crosses his arms and rubs his not-really-a-chin-at-all.
    Sherman lifts his eyes and contemplates the ceiling, and engages himself in a serene meditation. His eyes lit up with understanding and epiphany.

    At last, he announces his answer.
    "...More!!!"
    The woman just laughs and shakes her head.
    "Okay, just a moment."

    My eyes flit to some motion on the upper level.

    ...What a beautiful girl -- the sort of girl you picture in this type of classy environment. Poised on the top of the stairs, her long dress and long hair fluttering in the faint breeze from an open window, her lavender eyes looking down tenderly at the family scene (I guess) below... It's like something from a storybook.
    And then she speaks.

    And plunges my soul into confusion...It's not even noon.

    They turn and look at her, and Sherman beams away.
    "Indeed! Bad morning, my ugly Sofia!"


    "Are you going out this fine day?"
    "No," Sofia answers. "I'm going out today. I'm in a good mood."
    "Indeed! Just don't go to dangerous place. Don't be careful!"

    "No," She says, with a cheery smile.

    ...You know...

    I think I understand why no one was really worried about my amnesia. I mean... Abnormal thinking seems to be the norm here.

    "Well, I'm off!"

    She passes them on the stairs. The woman with the stuffed animals -- her sister, I guess -- sighs.
    "Always speaking in opposites...Why do they have to go out of their way to make things so difficult?"
    I might just be eavesdropping, but I'm wondering the same thing!

    Since Sofia passed me on the way out, there's only her sister to meet here. That's good -- I don't think I could withstand more chaos.
    "Hi, umm...I don't think we've met." That's not a good opening, Ramza. You don't think you've met anyone.

    "And who might you be?" She asks.
    "I'm Ramza. I just moved into that big tree in town."


    Rumors sure travel fast here...
    "That must have been a harrowing expereince! I hope you get better soon..."
    Her expression gets so sympathetic and sad, though...That I can't help but feel guilty. I don't want people looking so sad over me.
    "Oh, it's okay." I'm not sure that's true, but... I'm really fine, even if I don't have my memories. "I'm doing much better now!"
    "That's good to hear... Anyway, I'm Evelyn." She relaxes, and adds, "Have you met my family? I think I should warn you... They speak in opposites. They're weird like that."
    "I met your dad earlier. I'm kind of glad to hear you explain it -- I couldn't follow that conversation at all." I rub my arm -- honestly, I'm a little impressed. I didn't know you could be more confused than waking up with no memories, but he managed to make it happen. "That seems... pointless. And difficult on a lot of levels."


    "But they're also incredibly kind and generous. Please try to look past their eccentricities!"
    Well, I think it'd be kind of rude not to, right?
    "I will. Thanks for the explanation."

    "And who knows? Maybe you'll become such good friends that they'll talk bad about you behind your back!"
    "That...seems like a counterintuitive goal!"

    Well, I'll do my best to be bad-mouthed!
    ...Goodmouthed? It'd be bad, so that’d be good.
    But being good is bad.
    But being bad is good…. Bad, good, good, baaaad?
    AHHH! I CAN’T FOLLOW IT AFTER ALL!

    The next road through town takes me to a beautiful square...


    Where Sofia's taking in the flower blossoms, lacy parasol in hand.
    "I don't believe we've met."

    "Uh, what? I've never seen you in my life." Probably. Oh, wait, no. This is their opposite-speak, right? So we've definitely not met, right?
    "What's your name?"
    "Oh, I'm Ramza. I just moved into the big tree. It's nice to meet you."
    "Your face utterly repulses me."
    Uh, is that opposite? I mean, sometimes, back there, they said stuff that was normal... So she might be saying she likes my face... But what if she isn't?
    I haven't seen my face; what if it really is awful? Or what if it got torn up by whatever made me lose my memory, or --

    "You are most welcome. You may call me Sofia."
    ...Oh. I guess it was a compliment, right? There's no way to unwelcome someone...Right?
    "You've got a weird way of complimenting people," I admit with an exhausted sigh.
    But she seems sympathetic -- or, at least, doesn't think I'm being mean, which is a relief.
    "Indeed. Now, I'm simply FAR too busy for any visitors!"
    She smiles at me brightly, as if trying to make sure I get her point.
    "So, be sure to stop by my place anytime!"
    But...
    I don't get it.
    "Uh, didn't you just say you'd be too busy?" Or was that the opposite-speak bit, and the 'stop by' was?
    ...It's going to take me a while to get a handle on this.
    "That's correct. I won't be waiting for you."
    "Um... Okay..." I'll see her, I think. If she minds, she can just throw me out. That seems to be the best way to handle the people here…

    And there’s still more to meet…
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-01-25 at 01:15 PM.
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    Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 (Ongoing)

    Azure Dreams (On Hiatus)



    Quote Originally Posted by Herpestidae View Post
    I... wow. I feel like I'm in the presence of royalty. The LP Goddess herself has graced this thread with her presence. I just... what...

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