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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Deme's Avatar

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

    The story doesn't really overlap, though I will say it's pretty hard going back to 3 after 4 -- the Rune Factory series is (I guess was) really good at adding quality of life upgrades through the series. ...Except maybe that RF4's way of seeing character events is mega-stupid.

    I've been trying to review spouse options for, like, the last two in-game seasons.
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    Moemon Leafgreen (Complete)
    Long Live the Queen (Complete)
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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...

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    That's good, I want the LP to remain unsullied.

    Even just having started playing, I can tell there are some really strange game mechanics, I already had to look up how the character events work and it just made me cringe when I thought about trying to get as many as possible.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I've been playing Rune Factory 4 for a while now (thanks to this wonderful LP), but I'm still confused as to how events show up. Are there triggers for each one or do they show up randomly?
    Spoiler
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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.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    It's random. They won't, to my knowledge, spawn on days before festivals, birthdays, or festivals. You can save the night before, if there's an event the next day find it, and reload until it's the event you want.

    Totally random. It's a total pain in the butt.

    Oh, though some events have requirements before they can happen, even randomly. These are usually other events. GOSHDARNIT SMILE PRACTICE I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN NEXT TIME I PICK UP THE GAME.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-04-02 at 08:52 PM.
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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...

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    For RF4 they are random with the exception of the marriage events (events that allow you to marry). The marriage events have a pre-condition of three dates with your interest as well as having completed certain other random events.

    Ninja'd
    Last edited by Javan; 2014-04-02 at 08:54 PM.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Well that's... unfortunate. So I have to wait until an event happens, then savescum until I get the one I want? Bleh. Not sure why they couldn't have done it based on affection levels, especially because GOSH DARN IT XIAO PAI I HAVE YOU AT 11 HEARTS! AND I'VE BEEN DATING YOU FOR OVER TWO SEASONS! JUST TAKE THE DARN ENGAGEMENT RING!
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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.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I just beat the final act of RF4. Ragnarok was beaten more-or-less by chance, he didn't throw out any of his big "you're dead if you're caught by them" attacks. I quite liked the town event system myself, it feels much more natural than the RF3 requests. That said, it would've been nice if Memories had a guaranteed trigger, I think IRL weeks passed waiting for that to happen.

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Just caught up on this LP and I have to say, you weren't kidding that everyone is mad here. The characters seem to be lacking your touch where you change your LPs into fanfics. I'll still be following along though.

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Actually, while I'm delaying everything by trying to work out how to improve the LP: what do you guys want to see out of it?
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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...

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Since it's been a while, and I'm trying out some things differently than I have been previously in this LP, I'm doing a short (1-day) update!

    Chapter 8: A Field Of Flowers, A Mountain of Bones
    Spoiler
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    This morning, I get up...

    And check in on Alma. She's doing well, so I figure I'll ask her to help me out at the bottom of my field.
    That's where I have most of my crops right now -- I guess I need to work out how to organize them better for care by our efforts -- horizontally, not vertically, like I have been.

    I like thinking about farm work. There's nothing complicated or existential about it.

    Your cabbages grow, and you pick them.

    You plant seeds while your buffamoo pushes you around so she can water things.

    There's no place in it for questions like "Is there something I'm supposed to be doing?" or "Am I causing someone unhappiness, somewhere out there? Is someone waiting for me, hoping I'll show up, and they'd say 'welcome home,' but I haven't come, and maybe I'll never come home because I don't know what home is, oh god what am I doing here?"
    ...
    ...
    That last one wasn't really much of a question, I'm sorry.
    I'm fine, really. I'm not scared or worried, honest. I'm OK.

    If you keep to a routine, you don't have to worry about things like that. So I get up, I check my mailbox...

    And, after mulling it over, I decide that I want to see what Shara has to show me.

    As I left, a light rain began to fall. At least it'll help Alma with the watering.


    "But there's good stuff other than sleep that if you slept more, you'd miss out on, right?"
    "...Maybe... But there's nothing better than relaxing."
    Maybe that just bothers me because I'm kind of envious. Sometimes I think all this activity is the only thing keeping me from worrying.


    But at least I get to see a lot of people.
    "Good morning, Shara..."

    "What?"
    "Aren't you here because of my letter?"
    "Yeah, but..." I sort of expected you to tell me where we're going before we go...
    "Then let's go! ♪"
    I guess I can't get her to tell me by hoping hard enough.

    "Aren't you at least going to tell me where we're going first?"
    "Nope! Tee-hee. It's a surprise!"
    "Have you ever considered maybe I don't like surprises?"
    "Ramza, everything's a surprise to you, isn't it? And you like lots of things, so you like lots of surprises. ♪"

    ...I feel like there's something wrong with this problem, but I can't think of how to word it...

    "But for this one, we're going to head to Privera: Entrance! I'll give you more directions when we get there."
    With a happy hum, she proclaims, "Let's go!"



    Walking with her, I get a sort of more solid sense of Shara than I usually get. I bet someone like her would be pretty good with magic...But not really fist-fighting; I mean, all she carries with her on the road is a watering can.



    "The meadow?"
    I've never seen that before...
    "Yeah, let's go."

    Before we do that, though, I stop and say Hi to Daria; it's not likely I'll be back here today.

    "Y-yes...?" This conversation starter feels familiar...
    "Your field... can I dye it a new color?"
    "Uh..." Wait, wait, don't tell me...

    "Rainbow II? Wasn't the first rainbow color enough?"
    "If I paint your field with it, it'll be a thousand times better! A blinding explosion of color!"
    "Uh, I kind of need to be able to see my crops. Sorry."

    "Well, that's simple; I'll paint your crops, too!"
    "You'd have to be over there just about every day, Daria."
    She thinks about that while contorting her mouth.

    "While I'm not opposed to sacrificing for art...That project might make it harder for me to complete the rest of my work!"
    "...And for me?"
    She waves her hands.
    "I'm sure beautiful artistic rainbow veggies would sell like hotcakes! You'd make millions under my artistic direction, dear assistant!"
    "...Right. Well if it's not to be, it's not to be."
    She deflates and pouts a little.

    I dodged a bullet there. Now, about that meadow...


    Shara runs ahead of me, beckoning me out into the tremendous field of flowers.

    She all but leaps for joy as I stand, gaping. Are all these flowers just growing here? I can't believe I've ever seen something like this.
    "We're here!"


    "Just look at all of these flowers!"
    She twirls, kicking up a swirl of petals and rain.

    "It's beautiful."
    No, that feels...Somehow insufficient.
    The air is full of the scent of the flowers, which rises up at me. For a moment, I feel some odd weight, like a reminder just out of reach, teased out by the smell. I could almost remember -- another day, another set of flowers -- but it's gone before I can speak.
    "It's...Really wonderful. Thank you for bringing me here."

    "Really? I'm so glad that you like it! I like to come here sometimes and give the flowers a little water."

    So they're not entirely wild-grown, even if no one planted them.

    "And...sometimes I talk to them too," she admits with a sheepish smile. "What I'm feeling, whatever I'm thinking about...I tell them everything.

    I know they're just plants, and they can't understand what I'm saying. But talking to them somehow makes me feel better anyway."


    I remember what Raven was saying before -- that flowers reflect the heart of the person who grows them. So these flowers, tended just for the love of them...
    Arise with the color of her heart.


    "What?" She looks so surprised -- but that's hardly astounding.

    "You've given them so much care and attention. Now wonder this field is full of beautiful flowers!"
    "Thank you..." a big blush spreads across her face.



    She fidgets in place, trying to think of something to say. At last:
    "Ramza...Have you remembered anything yet?"

    "Well, I --" Shara is Wells' Granddaughter. If he's taught her any of his feelings about monsters... There's no person worse to tell what I was about to say.
    The last thing I'd want is for someone like Shara to turn on me. The words go empty in my throat.
    "...haven't. Nothing."

    "I see...I'm sorry, Ramza. That must be scary."
    I feel guilty, but what am I supposed to say? It's not as easy as showing someone a field of flowers...

    "It's alright. I'm doing OK, and...I think I'll remember something. Eventually."
    "I hope so. Good luck!"

    We fall silent, looking over the flowers and the rain.


    "I'll walk you there."
    "Oh, don't worry about it. We can save that for another date.♪"


    "Thank you for today. I'll see you soon.♪"

    She runs off with a giggle.

    ...
    ...
    W-wait, was she being serious?!
    About that being a...date?

    Aaaah! With a rush of embaressment, I teleport home. Raven's standing nearby when I appear.

    "Oh, yeah."
    Her expression is grave.
    "...Because it's a monster?"
    The question throws me off-guard.
    "Huh...?"
    "Never mind..."

    Gaius said Raven likes monsters, right?...She probably thinks I was being a brute.

    "Well, anyway, the answer's no. I heard he was causing trouble, that's why I said I'd handle it."

    ...But that's something I only say to her retreating back.

    The bulletin board has a bunch of requests, but...

    This one catches my eye particularly. I like friendship.

    Carmen passes by just then and sees the notice in my hand. She smiles.
    "That's from Carlos, right? Good for you! It's a good man that my brother trusts."
    "...A good man?"

    "But I still haven't found a guy better than my brother. It's a serious problem."

    I also run into Sakuya running back into town, looking a little beaten up.
    "What happened?"
    "Monsters. Like always..."
    "Like...always?"

    "They always start chasing me whenever I have food with me..."
    "Really?" File that under 'People it'd be a disaster to tell.'

    "You can't just expect to steal food and get away with it!"
    She just laughs and goes on.

    To business...
    I think I'd do good getting a workshop to make armor; I mean, I can't really use weapons in my wooly form.
    Anyway, I go and ask Gaius about it.

    "Uh...When you feel like it...? When will that be?"
    "Now."
    "I thought so..."
    I am sure it will be magically done when I turn around.
    "It'll be done soon."

    I head down to see Carlos next. The rain's gotten heavier.

    Uh...I wonder what it could be...

    Oh, wow!

    Sometimes, I wonder what happened to my life that resulted in my having random men's arms shoved in my face like this.
    Over the wall of his muscles, I mumble,
    "Yes...They're pretty impressive, Carlos..."
    I bet he even lifts, bro.

    "Think of this as a toast to your first step into the world of fishing! Congratulations, Ramza! So from now on, I expect you to be a regular customer!"
    "Heh...You're quite a salesman, Carlos!"


    Free stuff!

    Get fit, brah.

    Next up, the mansion...Where Sofia seems troubled by something.

    "A gold brooch. The size and shape seemed to randomly depict that black thing."
    "Black thing...?"
    What black thing would that be, anyway?
    "It was so beautiful that it's been haunting my dreams..."
    "You hands are shaking..." Even I'm not so thick I can't tell it's bugging her...
    "Uh, I'll keep my eyes out for...um. that black thing....So cheer up, OK?"
    She nods and braves a smile.
    "That's the spirit."

    Let's head to the diner; I want to learn some new recipes. I buy a bunch of recipe bread, most of it for accessories.



    These aren't all of them, but one of them even has a little extra! I guess he baked it with extra...Extra...
    ...
    ...
    "What exactly is in recipe bread, anyway?"
    "There are things you're better off not knowing, kid."

    Riiight. Well. Since the inn's nearby, I drop by to see Pia...But she has a distant look on her face today.
    "What's wrong?"
    "Oh, it's nothing. Really, nothing. Or maybe something? I mean, if you can talk about nothing, it's something, right?"
    "What is it?"
    "...I just had a funny feeling, that all. A big family came by, and...That just makes me feel strange."
    "A family?" Why would a family make her feel strange?

    "my chest starts to feel prickly." She laughs, but something about it seems desperate. "I wonder why?!"

    ...That's...actually really very sad to hear.
    "I think that's called being sad, Pia."
    "Why would I be sad? They're having a good time and enjoying the baths, too. Besides...
    Things like that have nothing to do with me."


    Is that so...
    "Well, if you do decide you're feeling sad, I'd be willing to listen to what's bothering you, OK?"
    That may be going too far, but... Pia's so cheery, it's kind of hard to imagine her feeling sad or lonely.
    She giggles.
    "Thanks! I think I feel a little better."

    Well, I'm glad I can help.
    ...Still...I wonder about where someone as...unusual-looking as Pia comes from.

    I go home to examine those recipes I got, and I see two I particularly want:

    A pair of gloves...

    And a new shield.

    Of course, I don't have the materials for either, so I'll just have to be on the look-out!


    That's why I stop and mine on my way to the settlement, too.

    When I arrive, I get a chance to ask something that's been on my mind for a while...



    "Will!"
    She hushes him before he can continue screaming about how I only come up to Kuruna's waist.
    "I'm sorry."
    "Oh, no. That's okay." We sort of shuffle around.

    "That he talks is kind of...surprising."
    I'd question the ethics, but...There's Alma to think about -- it's not much more ethical for me to have her around, from I guess a half-monster's perspective.
    "His sort of spirit commonly can learn a number of phrases, but having the foresight to learn when to use them...Is not a strength... Um, if I might be honest, comerade..."
    "Yeah? Go ahead."
    "I was more surprised when I heard you speak. It's...not exactly common for woolies to learn anything like a whole language, is it?"

    Oh. Right. Shoot. Panic grows inside of me.
    "Uh, well, that is..." I squirm about. Come up with something convincing! How would Dad have learned it? "...I'm not sure. To be honest...I don't remember anything from before, um, about a week ago."
    "A week? And you're sure you're OK to wander around on your own like you are?"
    This again?
    "...Maybe not, but...I've found a place to settle, and I remember a little more than when I started, so..."
    A sigh escapes her, and she looks at me sadly.

    "Still...It is rather concerning to learn, comrade. I had many questions for you... But it seems neither of us has any answers. Oh, but...Speaking of memories... Please remember to see Zaid about that errand."

    "I will."
    Questions? Well, maybe I'll have an answer one day, Kuruna.


    ...Speaking of memories...

    "Their...memories...?" Could something like that have happened to me?
    "Yes. It's actually a monster that eats the past of its reader."
    ...What a scary idea. Does the past cease to exist?
    "It might just be a myth, but I'd still like to find out more about it. I'm always looking for information about it in my research."
    "How would you fix something like that?"
    "That's another thing I don't know anything more about. But if it interests you, I'll tell you what I find."

    I doubt it's relevant, but it would be nice.
    I go talk to Zaid, as promised.


    "Yeah, I'm ready. Uh, what are we supposed to do?"
    "A big complicated mess, that's what!"



    Zaid's a stronger warrior than I am...But he's also got the defenses of paper.


    Some of the monsters we fight drop some cloth for us to use; I'm pretty happy, since I was worried about making those gloves.

    Also, I regret not being able to change back and mine out these things. It's a tragedy.
    "What's the problem? Quit staring at rocks. If I wanted to watch people stare longingly at rocks, I'd have lived with other dwarves."



    Is that... a dragon skeleton?
    "But we'll need to beat the monsters first."
    "You got it. Alright, Ramza. Get to it!"

    "*sigh* ...Fine. I guess I'll help."


    THESE AREN'T CHESTS AT ALL! OW! THEY HURT~!

    Once I calmed down from chest-related panics, we worked out a division of labor. Zaid kept the monsters off of me...

    While I dismantled the local gates. Eventually, the place was empty.


    "Okay."



    "Found it?"
    "I think so. Is this what we're looking for?"
    "Bingo! Let's go take it to Kuruna!"

    By the time we go back, the fireflies are out. I thought they needed more water...But there's definitely something shimmering in the air.



    "The cactus flower?"
    "Yes, it's a flower that grows on a giant cactus southwest of here."
    "And that's what we need to get? Alright, but...Can it wait until another day?"
    "Of course, comrade."
    "Wait, that's not what you told --"
    "Shh. He's tired, so let him attend to his own affairs for now. Thank you, for when you can. I'll be counting on you, too, Zaid."

    He puffs himself up like a courting bird.

    Zaid and I part ways after that, though.

    Since I can't help her more, I feel bad...Maybe there's some other way I can help?
    After a bit of searching, I find that that big thing the owl's sitting on has letters on it -- requests, of a sort. That's certainly handy.

    Alright, I can catch fish!

    "Kuruna, I think I can help with..."

    "...You mean about the fish, right?"
    "Oh, yes. Of course. That's duty as well, if you choose to accept it."
    "Uh, sure. You know me! For the settlement!" The sound of my own nervous laughter echoes the oasis. I've already had one close call today...
    "Excellent. So, we're running out of fish in the settlement."
    "...Well, we ARE in the middle of a desert. Not exactly an ample supply of ponds!"

    "Indeed. Summer fish are about the only option."
    "Makes sense." I noticed that with crops, too. "But you'd like a more diverse selection than that?"

    "We univir once had access to entire rivers and oceans of fish. I need to recapture that proud history."
    "Is history really in something like fish?"
    "Well, H-History is in all things, comrade."
    Impressive...
    "I want fish from seasons other than summer. Spring Masu Trout, fall Pike, and winter Pond Smelt. Could I ask for these 3?"

    Where will I get all of these? ...No, Kuruna's been so nice to me. I can't let her down.
    "But I think I can manage it. I won't disappoint you."
    If there's a place with summer fish in Spring, then surely, elsewhere there might be other fish?

    "I wish you luck, comrade. Our proud settlement awaits news of your success."
    "And you'll get it!"

    Alright, let's head North where the road forks, see where that takes me...


    Brrrrr.
    It's cold here, with the river almost freezing. I bet we can get winter fish here!


    Wooh! Caught it one!

    Now, to find some fall fish... There's only one other way out of town, so if that's not it, that's all:

    It's out beyond Sherman's mansion, and I've never had a reason to go there...


    But the valley, with a breeze blowing orange leaves down, the air cool and smelling of frequent rain and its wet soil...
    It seems like a good candidate.


    No fish here, and I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be tangling with these guys... Let's just move along.

    To a cave where all the water is full of fish. Looks like we have a winner!

    And the first fish I pull is the sought-for pike.


    I do, though, stay and catch some fish for me, like Salmon and mackeral!

    And that's all of them; I'll bring them to her first thing tomorrow.



    Further fishing goes...less well.


    I go home, cook up some supplies,

    and store some goods:

    I've got plans for many of these.
    There's only a few hours left in the day, but I use them to ship and do a bit of logging before going to bed.


    Edit: Actually, while I'm at it... Let's re-poll about who people would like me to do requests for first.
    Because now I have a bunch and can't decide.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-04-14 at 06:10 PM.
    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...

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Nice update.

    Request Poll:
    Raven
    Zaid
    Karina
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Oh enjoyed the update especially seeing Ramza's thoughts.

    Hmm on the votes,

    Ondorus
    Sofia
    Raven
    Thank you to starwoof for the awesome Astrid avatar.


  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I wouldn't worry too much for settlement villagers: requests you take on the owl don't count as a bulletin board of letter requests, so they're not competing with the others. I can basically just cycle through the three of them as their requests emerge.
    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...

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Kuruna
    Raven
    Pia

    ...it seems like we can hardly agree around here.
    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

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Well, that's only natural, with so many flavours of madness.

    Pia
    Shino
    Daria
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  16. - Top - End - #106
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    SamuraiGuy

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

    Raven, Gaius, and Shara. They seem like the most interesting (read: least crazy) characters in the town.

  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Alright, so, this and my other updates might be a little delayed, because I seem to have hit upon some unusual (for me) mode of stress and need to chill the heck out for a bit. I have been working on an update, I just kind of need to step away from feeling the need to do a bunch of things, or possibly anything, until I calm down a bit.
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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...

  18. - Top - End - #108
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    No worries Deme.
    We are not going anywhere.
    Take all the time you need.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Chapter 9, Part 1: Your Loathsome Face
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    My shortest crops are in today for a quick replant... It's raining, so there's not much for Alma to do -- I guess that's pretty lucky for her, right?
    I want to plant some more crops later today, but first...

    I should probably go give those fish to Kuruna, before I do anything else. It's just going to sit uncomfortably in my day, even if I have to come back later.

    I hand off the rest of the fish, too.

    "Oh, I'm always more than happy to help the settlement! You've been so nice, after all, and it's got its own troubles, too."

    "It didn't used to be like this..."



    "Isn't scarier, worse monsters a more likely answer? I don't think you can blame --"

    "Their hands are red with the blood of slaughter!"
    Kuruna's composure disintigrates into pure fury, and I feel a cold chill creeping up my paws, like it's actively sucking the warmth from the desert.

    "But don't you need some proof of --"

    "Their steps are opression, their breaths are disaster, their hearts beat to war drums! They leave the toilet seat up, even the women! And --"
    The humans she percieves...The monsters Wells percieves...They're the same.

    I flinch back, and try to smooth things over.
    "I'm sorry. I, uh, didn't realize they were so vicious."

    At that, the anger drops out of her, and she shakes her head sadly.

    "I didn't explain the Hornless' malevolent nature clearly enough. I thought their misdeeds were obvious to all."

    When Kuruna's thinking of the settlement, she seems so elegant and proud... She seems almost motherly, and kind...
    It's like a difference of night and day.
    "If you remember nothing else I tell you, I ask that you remember this."

    "Even if the Hornless did not perpetrate this particular injustice, they are evil. Never forget that, comrade."
    She drew up a hand and placed it close to her heart, examining me carefully, trying to draw out whether or not I understood it. I don't believe her... But what am I supposed to do but nod?

    "Someone like you, whose exotic features the hornless would fear or covet..."
    Exotic? Well, I guess blonde wool isn't common exactly... But I'd hardly think of myself as exotic-looking.
    "You must beware those Hornless barbarians, comrade."

    "I...Understand." No, I don't. I don't.
    ...But what am I supposed to say? I don't want to make her mad.

    She nods.


    "But the struggle against the Hornless will not end in a day. I will have more trials for you at a later date, comrade."
    "...I'll, uh, be sure to come back then."

    I am a filthy liar. I'm sorry, Kuruna...
    I just don't understand you at all.



    Well, the reward is nice...

    While I'm sighing over this, I catch Kuruna staring at something with her hand on her heart, leaning forward onto her toes just a little, as if she was about to take flight.
    I followed her gaze over the desert cliffs to a bright pink bundle off in the distance, rising up over a little town.


    [color=royalblue]"It is the symbol of the region."
    "Is it an old tree?"
    "Yes, according to legend, people here gathered around it. Runes gathered around it, too -- the legends say it grows from the heart of the world. It might have been here since the beginning."
    "...The...Beginning?" She does not, or cannot, answer my question. But a heavy sigh leaves her.

    She says it too low to hear clearly, but I think that was it.
    "What was that?"

    "I'm sorry, I just remembered I had to do something."
    "???"

    Oh, well. I teleport home and transform, prepared to go about an ordinary day.
    Thank goodness for teleporting, or I'd never have time to go to the settlement and back.


    Sakuya has a request for me in my mailbox. I kind of wish these were more exact... Well, I haven't shipped anything, so I might be good to go.
    I head over to see her first, so I can know where to go. And it's close, anyway.

    "Yes."
    "Good. I wanted you to get me some Bamboo Shoot. One of my customers said he's never had it before."
    She smiles brightly. "You have to keep the customer happy, even if it means taking a custom order sometimes!"
    "Then could you find me some cloth?" I want those gloves!
    "I'll see what I can do, but I can't make any promises. But bamboo shoots are all over your field, so it's an easy bit of extra value provided!"
    ...How devious.
    "Bamboo Shoot? Yeah, okay."

    ...What?
    When did this become a quiz?

    "You dig it up, of course."

    "Well, thanks for doing this for me."

    Actually...I have one right now. Like she said, they sprout out of the fields nearly nightly.


    "You've proven that you can be counted on."
    "Oh, it wasn't much..." This was a test?
    "Reputation is everything to a merchant or supplier -- or even a customer, if you think about it. You'll do things for a regular you might not do for someone who may not return. If you're going to be in the business, you need to build a reputation for dependability!"
    ...What sort of work does she think farming is?


    Well, let's see...She's laid out 3 boxes, each carved of wood and inlaid with an unusual pattern. They each smell strongly, whether it's their woods or their contents or their perfumes, I can't say.
    Hmm...
    "How about the sweet-smelling one?" I gesture to the box on my left.

    "Different souvenirs... You really do go a lot of different places." I wonder if any of these boxes are from somewhere I've been?
    "Well, it is my job. You have to travel around, getting to know the different places." Then she nods her head and laughs, "Although, I pretty much love to travel."

    "Ha ha..."

    A souvenir of this town...It's kind of an interesting notion. You don't often think about souvenirs from where you live.
    "You're welcome. Just let me know if you need anything."




    Jam!

    I run into Evelyn outside of the Inn, fresh from a bath.


    I bet, but... Well, she understands that because she's family.
    "Maybe I'll hire you as a translator."

    And I find the subject of that little conversation enjoyinh lunch...A safe distance away from her father's zone of consumption.

    "Weird?"
    Uh...Uh...
    Oh, gosh, she wants me to answer that...

    What do I say, what do I...
    "Nah, you're interesting."

    I think that's good, right? She's definitely smiling. Does she make opposite faces, too?


    ...Best of luck to you. You'll need it.


    "Yeah, I know what you mean...I'm happy I came here, too." Even if it wasn't intentional. Or explicable.

    And my daily stock of recipe bread:




    I met Pia on the road, singing a song about baths. Nothing about baths in particular, just baths, baths, baths, repeated with different notes.

    "That's right! I do love baths! They're absolutely good!"
    "Huh...I guess I like them, too."

    "What?! How?!" If I were any less forward, I'd be going in reverse!
    Well, some mysteries will have to remain unsolved. On the bulletin board today is...


    A message from an even more mysterious girl.


    Before I tend to that, I do some shopping for extra seeds.


    And I buy a brand new tool!

    And stop by to get some cologne, too.


    "What does that even mean?"
    "I'm not sure. That's what Gransfather called it. It must be some old expression."
    I'm going to try using it! It'll be the bee's knees!
    ...Nevermind. That sounds dumb.

    Let's just go see Sofia.

    "So, which is it? Do you want to eat or not?"
    "I don't wish to eat!""

    Why make a request, then? Well, Sofia will be Sofia...
    "Alright, then, I'll just be going --"
    "That's why I requested you bring me something to eat! Oh, but it must be something cooked or prepared!"

    "Wait, what?!"
    ...That contradicted what she just... If she's going to speak in opposites, can't she just do it all the time?!
    No, it's no good getting worked up...
    "So... you WANT to eat, then?"
    "No!"


    At this point, I'm almost laughing. It's like juggling water on quicksand.


    Evelyn comes stomping over, eyebrows furrowed and finger waving in our faces.


    Sofia flinches backwards. Her haze dips ground-ward and she bites her lip.
    "I don't understand."


    "I'm sorry, Ramza. I'm sure you hate having to listen to my sister's babbling."


    After a brief glance at the despondant-looking girl behind me, I smile and answer,
    "No, it's okay. It's my fault, too, for not being able to follow... I mean, no matter how you look at it, understanding's a two way street."

    There's a sharp intake of breath, like half a gasp, behind me. Sofia wobbles like a newborn fawn, her lavender eyes big and open. When she sees I'm looking at her, she turns her head away sharply.
    ...Uh, did I do something wrong?

    "So...What does she want me to do, exactly?"


    "That's simple enough." I turn back to face her. "So I just need to bring you something cooked, Sofia?"


    "I don't think you needed to berate me like that!" Or...uhh....compliment me, I guess. That's high (low) praise...
    "But I'll bring you what you, uh, 'don't want.'"

    She claps politely. I actually do have some cooked food on me -- specifically, I never leave home without bamboo rice. Hopefully, that'll be enough for an elegant-if-eccentric lady.

    "Absolutely not!"I'm utterly famished!"
    "So...I guess I did a good job, then?"
    She nods. I'm getting the impression...That it might just be better to read her body language than her words.
    "Here's a reward for your troubles!"


    Wow, that's a lot of money!
    "I thank you profusely," she says with a cheery smile, which means she's definitely thanking me.



    Evelyn laughs.

    Oh. That...Might have been a bit loaded for my introductory phase.

    "Oh, duh! Okay, see ya again soon!"

    "I really hope that's the opposite-speak talking..."

    Uh, what is the opposite of beating someone with a rusty hoe, anyway?


    I step outside -- the sun is peaking out through the clouds, the sky is clearing, and I replay that last conversation over again in my head, until I realize...
    She called me "loathesome."
    ...
    ...D-does....Does Sofia think I'm cute?

    ...No one's ever thought I was cute before.

    Probably.

    I run home, cook my turnips, and ship my cooked items. Then I head out towards the forest, to see Daria...And to do a few other things.

    "You're welcome!"
    "...What for?"
    "...Nevermind."
    Actually...

    I's like some company for what I'm doing next. Looking for plain cloth!
    "...Oh, Okay."


    ...She really does use a hammer...

    And off we go into the woods.
    "While I'm out this way, I want to plant some strawberries."

    There. The spring climate of this area makes it perfect for growing strawberries basically until the end of time.
    "Excellent taste, my dear assistant!"
    "...Taste in what, exactly?"
    "The bright green of the leaves! The bright red of the strawberries! The texture of strawberry jam splattered on a canvas!" Daria swoons into her hands. "But that's my assistant for you! I can't wait to have some of the material you'll make for my work!"
    "...Wait, you use jam as paint?"
    "Who wouldn't? It's so shiny and colorful, and the texture is at times smooth and at time globby, for a variety of uses! It's not enough for paint to add color, it has to add weight!"
    How heavy does that make your canvases, though?

    "...Doesn't that attract, like, flies?" Though judging by some parts of her house, I doubt hygene is a big concern, and she just waves me off.
    "The flies can be a statement," she says haughtily.
    "...About what?"
    "Annoying things! Like this line of questions. Come, my assistant!"
    She charges onward, leaving me hurry after her.

    Since I want cheap cloth, we'll mostly be fighting orcs. Now, Daria's not really agressive, but she'll swing her hammer around when I'm getting beaten on, and...

    Sometimes she does this. Just fires off a rainbow. It doesn't seem to do anything, but maybe if she was better with magic?
    Not that it really matters to Daria, who just happily summons rainbow after rainbow, yelling about how her attacks are "marvelous" or "artistic."


    After a while and some moving about, though, we finally find our target:
    "At last, cheap cloth!"
    "Oh, going into textile projects? They're really fun, since you get to make rainbows of both color and texture! It's sublime!"
    "...Something like that. Thanks for helping me get it, Daria."
    "Any time. It's very rare I get asked to help someone...We'll have to do this again, but not now. For now, I must depart!"

    And she dashes off back towards her house.
    Well, I need to be getting back to mine.

    I teleport home and rush upstairs...

    I finally have the ingredients for my first crafting project!
    Um, let's see...Some stitched here and you cut it like this, and how exactly am I expecting this to be useful to me as a wooly? Oh, well, I'll just fudge it a little and...

    Presto! Gloves!


    It was still early enough that I could go take a bath...So I figured that'd be what I should do.
    At least before going back and checking my soil with my new magnifying glass to see where to plant my new seeds.

    Yeah, this looks good, then!
    I lay them out, happy to have some more money to come in. Now, what next...? Probably do some logging.

    I log straight until midnight, seeking out every wood in the field. Surely I'll have enough for a forge soon, right? Surely?

    ...Oh, that is it. THIS FIELD SHALL BE A WOODLESS VOID, WHERE NO LOG MAY REST! BY THE MONSTER BLOOD IN MY VEINS, I WILL BE A MONSTER UNTO ALL LOGS!

    Yaaay.

    The next day, I check up on Alma on our way out...

    She looks worn out.

    "Alma, you can rest for a while, OK?"
    "Moo."
    I don't speak buffamoo. Sorry.
    We could maybe do with some extra help here...I'll have to see about that.



    We have moondrop flowers in today, as well as a couple of cabbage. I'll be sure to save a flower for ingredients.
    I cook and ship what I can, as usual...


    And check my mail. I wonder where Karina might want to go?

    She wasn't at the item shop, which is where I'd expect her...Maybe I'll find her elsewhere, I guess. But first, the flower shop!

    A smile? Monica's not menacing me? Success!
    "Did you get her a gift?"

    ...That was short-lived.
    "Hrmmm... I'll let you get near my sister today. But only today!"
    Actually, she didn't answer my question. Did she forget?
    "Really? How generous." Hopefully, she won't detect that sarcasm.
    "But you'd better give her something she loves!"
    "Okay."

    I do have some flowers...Well, alrighty!


    "You must be proud; she's a very nice young woman."
    This causes him to narrow his eyes, but then he relaxes and laughs.
    "I feel so happy, but a little sad, too. It's a complicated feeling."
    He pauses in reflection, his eyes a little misty. His little girl growing up...I can't imagine that feeling. I can just wonder if my parents are alive, or what...
    "Although she's a bit too hard on Monica."
    ...She's not hard enough.

    I head upstairs to see her, to the room where I woke up...
    Actually, I haven't found the chance to ask Shara about that.

    "Actually, yes. I got you a flower I grew."
    And not a weed, like usual. Not like she'd notice the difference.

    "You grow beautiful flowers, Ramza. I'm so happy to see them coming out of the Sharance Tree's land."

    Next is the forge...

    "In fact, I don't think my shop would've lasted a week without her running the business side of things! Ha a ha ha!"
    Oh, so theirs is a business partnership...? But Gaius would definitely need someone like that...
    "I don't think that's an exagerration."


    "Anyway, I want to build a forge!"

    "Which is right now, of course."



    ...That's...a lot of recipe bread.






    That's a lot of knowledge, just plopped into my brain. But that'd cover all the basic weaponry...And then some.

    Anyway, I think that's enough for now.

    Upstairs, Raven's looking at a beautiful pendant in the shape of a cherry blossom.

    "Yes..."
    "It's shaped like a flower! That's pretty neat!"
    She looks away and blushes. Her hands twine around the ends of her long red hair.
    "It's for Shara...It's her birthday today..."
    "Oh, that'd look great on her! I hope you get the chance to drop it off."

    Speaking of dropping things off, I do sort of have to see where Karina is...


    Where she is is standing by the shore. The rain's falling on her lightly, her eyes fixed on the ripples spreading across the lake. Something about her normally drooping posture is different today -- she's standing straighter, her arms drawn inward from the chill. Her mouth's turned downward a little, and her eyes seem...Almost sad. She closes them, and then she looks, um, properly like Karina again, I guess.


    "Um, I'm here about your job request?"
    "Oh...right...(What was that request about again?)"
    "Uh, it sounded like you wanted to go somewhere...Uh, any of this ringing a bell?" I try to ease her back into doing...Whatever we were supposed to be doing.
    "Oh, that's right." She turns her head and doesn't look at me when she speaks again. "Actually, I think it's time for me to leave this town."
    "Oh, okay."

    "I'm running away. I'm done being here."
    "Whoa. Uh, isn't this a little sudden?"

    "What?"
    "I made up my mind a long time ago. (One week, actually.)"
    I sigh.
    "Is that right...?" I guess her relationship with her mom isn't good, so that might be part of it...
    "You're from out of town...(So you understand, right?)"
    "I'm not sure I count, really." After all, I don't remember it. Anyway, maybe I lived in a small town like this one. Or maybe I lived in a big, crowded city...
    Someone like me living in a city might be hard, though. It's easy for me to find isolated places where I can transform, because there's so much space and so few people here. In a city...It might be hard finding a less crowded space, and being a monster would call more attention... If I lived somewhere like that...
    I must have been...I don't know the word. Lonely, maybe. When there's a part of yourself you can't express...That's sort of lonely, isn't it?

    She disregards this.
    "But I guess we should go hear what Evelyn has to say first."
    "What? Why Evelyn...?"
    "Well, she knows the most about the city."
    A hint of dreaminess arises from the stoic landscape of Karina's face. "I'll bet there are tons of people like her in the city. People who have fun jobs and only work when they feel like it..."

    Isn't Evelyn rich just by being Sherman's daughter, though?
    "Uh, I think Evelyn gets to live like that because she was born rich. I don't think growing up in the city had anything to do with it."

    She rejects my reality and subsitutes her own.
    "Oooookay..."
    "Anyway, can you just find Evelyn for me? We can talk after that."
    "What? You're not coming...?"

    That feels kind of like BS to me.
    *Sigh*

    Before I go do that, I'm going to stop by the apothecary...I feel like this will give me a headache.
    When I arrive, Marian's got a perplexed look on her face.
    "What's got your puzzler puzzed today?"

    "Collette told me the same thing when I accidentally gave her a paralyzing agent instread of some medicine..."
    "I...I see..." Uh, does someone really need lessons in empathy? "Well, what that means is, to think about how you'd feel if someone gave you paralyzing agents?"
    "But I'd know it's for the good of medicinal science! I'd be thrilled!"
    "Ah. Well." I rubbed my head. "What if you, uh, didn't know that?"
    "I see! I should explain all the good I'm doing! Thanks!"
    ...
    ...I didn't help anyone at all. I'm sorry, Collette...
    But it's good to know she at least means well.

    I check for Evelyn at her home, but she's not there. Instead, I find her heading home from the Inn.

    She laughs devilishly.
    "Oh, are you asking me out on a date?"
    Uh, uh, uh... I'm embaressed already...
    "Not exactly. It's a bit difficult to explain. It'd be better if you just came with me."
    "Oh, so it's a surprise?"
    "Well, it sure was a surprise to me..."
    She laughs in spite of how I'm sweating.
    "Sounds exciting!"

    Phew. This is getting really strange.
    "I'm glad you're being a good sport about this."
    "Oh, it's no problem. I like a little mystery!"
    "Ha ha..."
    *sigh*
    Karina...



    Evelyn smiles.
    "I guess you're my surprise today."
    "Uh, sure...(What?)"
    I shrug at her. Her face grows grave.
    "Anyway, Evelyn, I was thinking about moving to the city."

    "The city? Which one?"
    Karina shakes her head.
    "It doesn't matter, as long as it's a city. Anyway, I was wondering what kind of clothes I should wear."


    ...*That's* what she wanted to know?
    "Yeah. Why?"

    That's the least important thing I could think of! Where's she gonna live? What work's she going to do? The city's a different culture entirely, and--
    Calm down. Calm down. Concern's all well and good until it ends in yelling.

    "You're a little strange. Anyway, what do you think, Evelyn?"

    Evelyn steps back and her eye pans up and down Karina's body.
    "Let's see..."

    "What? I can just have it?"
    "Of course."



    "Great!"

    "She just gives her clothes away? It really is just a hobby for her..."
    I mumble as I follow after them.


    "Curry...?"

    I don't understand fashion...
    She picks out a dress on a hanger.
    "This one, then."




    Both girls turn towards me with expectant stares.

    That go right over my head.

    "Ramza..."
    "What?"


    Eep!
    "Oh, sorry...!"


    I retreat a safe distance away, when I hear them talking.
    "What?!"
    "In a good way, of course."
    "Oh. (Phew.)

    "Ow, hey! Let me get out of it before you start sewing!"

    Other people's half-heard conversations are...Well, they're something.
    "Oh, sorry. I got a little carried away."
    "It's...okay. (It'll heal, I guess.)"

    "Hee-hee. Anyway, it's done! Here you go. Oh, it's perfect!"
    "It really is. This is amazing. Ramza, come take a look!"




    In rough terms, what she was wearing was like her usual clothing...In broad strokes. But where there had been lace there were painted dandelion greens and half-worn flowerpetals, the fabric glittering...something that was totally unrecognizable -- I thought maybe fish skin -- tidied and nearly coated in gleam and glitter.
    "It's just...Wow. (In every way.)"

    So now I understand how Evelyn designs.
    "Ha ha... Karina, you really think you need...something like this, to go to the city?"
    "City people are much more...sophisticated than people out here. (Something like that.)...Anyway, I'm not done yet."


    She takes out the pendant I'd brought her the other day.

    "Oh, yeah. I borrowed it from Sofia. You made it, right?"
    "Yes."


    ...
    "Right, Ramza?"
    Uh, when was this?
    "Oh, I remember the pendant. I didn't know you broke it, though."

    "Hm..."
    "Anyway, thanks, Evelyn. Let's go, Ramza."


    I chase after her. This isn't how you plan to move! Er, run away! Whichever!

    "Bye bye!"


    "Wait, Karina..."
    She holds up a hand as a barrier.
    "Don't try and stop me."
    "Wow. I've never seen you this motivated before." If only she had a non-terrible idea to be motivated over.

    "...Even I have some feelings about some things. (Mostly, just boredom.)"
    Maybe I underestimated her, all along...
    "I only have one question..."
    "What?"


    "..."
    I wish I knew. If I did...Would I find someone there? Would I still be stuck, but in a different place...?
    "If you find out, can you tell me?"
    "Oh, you want to run away, too? ...See, you understand just fine."
    "That's not it. I...I might have already been running away."
    Outside the bubble of this town...What's out there for me? 'My' life only exists inside this town. My past only exists outside of it...Staying here, I don't have to worry about the past if I don't want to.
    But that's definitely running away from what I might find. So I do need to find the city, too.

    "...But this is the first time you've even asked about that."
    "Uh. Yeah. I guess you're right..."
    I sigh.
    "Thanks in advance, Karina."
    "...Well, I still need to ask (I'll get around to it...Eventually.)"



    After that bit of exhaustion, I want an easy request. Getting a snack for Collette can't be hard, right?


    "Sure did!"
    "Good! This shouldn't be a difficult errand for you!"
    That's what I'm counting on.

    "I could really use a tiny snack. Just a nibble!"
    ...How big is a Collette-sized snack, anyway?
    "I think I can handle that. What do you want?"

    "3?! That's not a 'nibble!'"
    That's a meal!
    She just laughs, like she was expecting that.
    "Says you! It is to me!"
    "I wonder what it'd take to make you feel full..." A one-person locust swarm...
    "Anyway, I'll take care of it! 3 Rice."


    While I'm there, I buy some recipe breads, including a new type: the Farming Bread!

    Not an upgrade, but it could be useful.





    Since I'm running by it anyway, I head into the inn. Sakuya's in a sort of contemplative mood today, tracing little G signs on the desk in front of her.

    ...This is starting to sound like one of those dirty sort of reveries. It's not that kind of inn, is it?

    By that logic, aren't ships that pass in the night connected? While it's true they can connect, and may have a memory in common...I'm not sure I'd qualify that as a connection in a real sense.
    "Isn't that amazing to think about?"
    I shrug, but she continues, heedless of my lukewarm reaction. Which...actually, I like that better. It's interesting to listen to Sakuya talk about her passions.


    What would that gain? We're already neighbors...


    I go and quickly buy the rice...

    Only to find that Collette had left the restaurant. So I naturally started tearing up the town to find her... When I realized she's probably with Marian.



    Delivery made!

    There aren't words for the sound her ploughing into 3 bowls of rice simultaneously made -- it was a great crunching rumbling, like an earthquake tearing up land.

    "Guess she was right about that being a "tiny nibble" after all. She tore right through that!"
    "Done! You're a life-saver! Thought I was gonna starve for a sec there!" She flexed backwards in tilting her head up, finger on her rice-laden lips, her whole posture gone into thinking. Then she snapped back with a smile.
    "Hey, you grow veggies, right? I'm sure you could use this for when I -- er, I mean, YOU get hungry!"
    She bobbed up and down happily.
    "Well, it won't be long till I'm hungry again! Ta-ta till then!"





    This is running on the long side, so look below for the rest!
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-05-03 at 05:58 PM.
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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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    Chapter 9, Part 2: Setbacks
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    After that, it wasn't long until it was time to head out to the settlement.

    My cucumbers were grown, which was nice indeed.

    Anyway, today I'd like to try and help out Kuruna some more!

    "I'm ready!"

    Southwest, Southwest...Alright.


    OH SWEET MERCY THAT IS A BIG THING! THAT IS TOO BIG FOR ME TO THINK AT A NORMAL VOLUME RUN!

    After more running, we hit the place where the cactus flower might bloom...

    And more enemies. And the plants that rise up and try to eat you.
    ...This is a bizzare desert.

    I immediately bee-line for the gate.

    And recall something about fighting in this shape.





    These big guys hit like airships! I need to retreat and heal and...

    And...
    "Can't...Go...On..."
    And that's how I ended up collapsing in the middle of a desert.

    ...And the next thing I knew...

    I was in human form in the apothecary.
    "How did I...end up here?"Is Zaid OK? No, I can't ask about Zaid. I'll just have to trust he's OK.
    "A traveller carried you here."
    Oh, shoot, if I transformed while unconcious, does Zaid know?
    "You need to be more careful."

    Well, at least it's not a lot.

    I clearly need to be stronger if I'm going to help Kuruna...
    And I need better equipment. I have the materials, so I should forge that shield.

    At first, it's hard going; I don't know much about making shields, after all... But I do get the hang of it. Eventually.
    Luckily for me, even when I fail, I can just clean off the materials and try again. I wish cooking worked like that.

    Yes! This is my second crafted item!


    I also make a sword. Not because I really want a sword, but just for practice.

    And to learn a little bit more about forging, of course.


    I also learn to make Pickles (It's the same as pickling turnips, but with cucumbers)...

    And how to juice a tomato I found in the desert (easier than juicing apples, level with juicing oranges).

    Then I take an evening bath...And go out to do some fishing.

    I do some fishing in that little area where I caught that autumn fish; they're plentiful there and very high-quality, even if I have to dodge monsters to get to it.

    And some of these are just really big! Look at this thing!
    I do a little training in the desert, but nothing I'd call remarkable.

    ...I feel like my progress is stalling, but there's really not much more I can do than try a little harder each day.


    Well, we'll hope for the best tomorrow.

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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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    So Daria just sprays rainbows everywhere? Do they actually do something non-obvious?
    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."
    My Homebrew

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

    She also hits things with her hammer... My guess is that it's a magical attack, but since her magic attack is 0, it doesn't do any damage, and we'd need to equip her with some magic-boosting gear to see results.
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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!

    Story progress, all right.
    And additional personality, I like it.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

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

    Yeah, some more story and characterization, it will be interesting to see how our dwarf 'friend' is going to react. Also, got lucky at the nearby used store and found the game there.
    Thank you to starwoof for the awesome Astrid avatar.


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    Chapter 10: Skelefang
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    It takes a good while to water all my crops myself; I guess I'd already forgotten, even though Alma's only been with me for a little while. I need to rectify this.

    Still, there's morning left when I get this letter from Raven.

    This is the first time I've seen any sign she doesn't hate seeing me...Maybe I've misread her?

    I head down that way, though I do stop by the flower shop.

    "Yeah, she is." That long hair, those big blue eyes... She's a pretty girl, by a wide margin. Actually, most of the girls here are-
    "Oh, do you have a crush on her?"
    Wh-wha-what?! No, that's not -- that's not why I care what she thinks of me or anything!

    "Are you sure? Tee-hee."

    I can't keep the blush off my face. I don't even know what it's doing there! Stop giggling, Shara!
    "L-look, just let me try you cologne!"
    "Tee-hee, ha ha... Alright, alright... Well, at least I'll always know how you feel about aaaannnyone~! But I'll only reccomend the people I like for you, Ramza!"
    "...Cologne." I say, as I contemplate crawling into a hole and dying.
    "Today's scent is..."

    "D-delicious Delight...?"
    "People who like cooking or eating will like this one."

    Ok, now to see about that letter...

    Ugh, now I feel embarassed just looking at her!
    "I see.
    ..."
    She says nothing for a minute.
    "Ummm..."

    She turns her head and calls out to the far side of the shop, where Gaius is hard at work as usual.


    Is his only response. I doubt he heard us.
    "Let's go."

    She's definitely looking at me...So... She's taking me...Somewhere?
    She shrugs, like it's nothing important.

    "This is part of the job."
    "Job? Oh, today's request...?"
    "We repaired Sofia's item, so we're going to deliver it."
    "I see."
    I can't imagine why I'd be going along with this...

    She nods at me in a sort of resolved way.
    "Let's go already."
    "Oh, okay."

    When Raven walks, she walks very quietly; her feet don't make as much sound as you're expecting. She watches the falling petals with a little smile, delicate as a whisper.
    She down when she sees me seeing that smile, but then I smile back, and it doesn't quite leave her face yet.
    It feels like its own little victory.

    We run into Karina on our way to Sofia's house.
    "Hey, I had a question."

    "Well, yeah."
    My thoughts about working are well-established!

    ...I guess what seems odd to her seems odd to her.

    We head to Sofia's house and head up to her room.


    Raven hands a small package, tied with white spring, into Sofia's hands. When she opens it, she gasps.

    "This pendant...!"
    Is that the pendant Karina borrowed? How many pendants does Sofia own, anyway?
    "I fixed it, so I brought it back."


    "Ha ha..." What a Sofia-ish response.
    "It is a very important pendant. I'm so unhappy it's fixed. Thank you, Raven."


    She really is like that with everyone, huh? I guess I should at least be glad that it's not me, specifically. Raven's just...withdrawn, I guess.

    "But why is Ramza with you? And you said that you never make delivieries."

    "What?"
    I look at Sofia. And back at Raven. And then at Sofia. Then at Raven, who's starting to look like she'd rather be somewhere else.
    "Is that right?"
    "..."
    Because she didn't need me to make a delivery... And she didn't even need to make a delivery...


    "Oh, okay...Well, see you later, Rave-"

    "Wait."
    She holds up a hand, then clenches it. She looks, just for a second, very small.

    "...I...haven't paid you yet. So you need to come back with me."
    "Oh, alright."


    "So, uh...How's your Buffamoo?"
    "Alma? She's a little worn out, but she's taking a break. I bet she'd like some company, though."[/color]
    "...I bet so... Maybe another Buffamoo?...Or a Wooly?"
    "Yeah, maybe." That'd be a little awkward, but I could use some wool...Well, maybe if I ask nicely. I don't say that, though...

    Talking like that, more easily than I'm used to seeing Raven talk, we walk back to the forge.
    She runs back in and starts rummaging through the storage.

    "Well then, I guess I should..."


    She walks around the counter and comes closer to me.

    "What?"
    "Your reward. You helped me."
    "...No I didn't. I just walked with you."

    She looks away, a hint of redness on her face.
    "...Before, too..."
    "Th-thank you, then."

    "..."
    She put my reward chest next to me. And for a moment, I thought she'd go back behind the desk, and that'd be it.

    "Huh...?"

    "..."
    Still, I think I understand what she wanted to say. Maybe just a little.
    "...It was a nice walk."


    My reward's a couple of iron and some copper.

    As for the bulletin board...

    I just saw Pia, so I may as well accept her request and run right back to her.


    "Yeah. You need an ingredient for the bath?"
    A nice, clear request. Full marks, Pia! I'm surprised.
    "Do I ever! I need you to bring me a Squid!"

    She looks at me blankly, like I've just stopped speaking a reasonable language...That's how I feel talking to Pia some of the time, though...
    "Says who?!"
    "Says me! I've never heard of anyone bathing with squid!" I mean, what, would it just float there limply? What's up with that?


    ...She's serious about this. Well, as serious as Pia gets.
    "I, uh....can't wait."

    "Oh, everyone's going to be so happy~! It'll be amazing!"


    "Yeah, they kind of do... Hey, can I see some cooking supplies?"

    Boy, these are pricey...But I bet they'd come in handy, too.
    "Give me a pot."
    There goes all my income so far...

    *sigh*

    I just buy a single accessory bread.

    Not great, that.

    I run home to cook some crops and try out my new pot...


    And make some warm milk, good for a good night's sleep.

    I head out to see Daria and water my strawberries...
    And decide to keep heading out towards where the Buffamoo roam.

    "Come on...How's a nice place to sleep and food for a bit of work sound, huh? There's even another Buffamoo there for you to hang out with, and the work's not too hard..."

    Well, that seems to have convinced her.
    Let's call you Ovelia.


    And then I go catch a squid for Pia's request.


    ...This just keeps getting more and more bizzare.
    "Uh...those are words I never thought I'd hear. But thanks!"

    "What's the matter?"
    "I just remembered something Sakuya told me! I told her I wanted to put squid ink in the baths, but she said it'd just stain people's skin!"

    Squid ink? So she wasn't planning on having whole, dead squid just floating around in the bath...I guess I overestimated her strangeness.
    "Well...Yeah, it would. Duh!"

    "Well, maybe one day..." I hope not, but...It's hard seeing her sad. Her feelings are just sort of contagious, even if they're strangely-aligned.

    "Huh? Oh, that's right. You like to eat squid, don't you?"
    Raw or cooked, as she says it...


    "The tuna was just swimming along, minding its own business, when -- KA-BLAAAM! A giant squid CHOMPED it down!"


    I wait a moment, and then have to ask,
    "Uh, is that the entire story? I mean...It's kind of...Short."
    "The sea isn't exactly big on storytelling. That's just how things happen -- they rush in, eat a thing, and that's all there is. Little flickers of light against the darkness of the waves...And then silence."
    She looks up, lost in her own thoughts for a moment. I remember what I thought when I first saw her -- just who or what is Pia, anyway? She's always strange, but just there...I remember how I didn't know what she was at first.

    Then she snaps back into focus and isn't some alien thing, a visitor from a world I can't imagine -- she's just silly little Pia.

    "I...see. Good luck with that." She giggles, and my smiles becomes less uneasy and more real.
    "Well, I'll take my revenge later tonight! Here's a token of my appreciation!"


    Well. That was a thing.

    My reward is a very big egg.

    I run through the desert under the cover of darkness. Yesterday was...sure something, and I feel a little embaressed. So I head to the request list for the settlement...

    And see Kuruna's trying at it again. I really need to talk to her; I'm never moving here.


    Just say no. Just say no. ...That'd be rude, wouldn't it, though?
    "Oh, well...There's a lot I need to do so I can't..."
    That was not just saying 'No,' Ramza.

    She sighs while her brow furrows.
    "But there are humans out there...Is this settlement not enough for you?!" Her eyes are like blue fire, burning with indignation, something like fury on her face.

    "It's not that --"
    "Liar!"
    I stop for a moment, because...she's right.
    How could it be enough? Because Kuruna...There's a part of me Kuruna wouldn't ask to move in. That she'd never let move in. That I'm sure it'd just sicken her to see...

    And I can't abandon "that me." I can't abandon his hair and his hands and his face -- not when I've seen it, and known it was mine.
    Of course, I don't really know that I'd be any more welcome the other way around, but... The way things are now, at the very least, I can go here sometimes. There's some place for all the bits of me, so surely...
    Surely that's the same as there being somewhere for all of me, right?

    But I can't explain that, either. Other than that, there's nothing wrong with the settlement...
    "I'm not lying...This is a great and special place. I like visiting here.
    But I know I can't stay where I'm staying now, or here, forever -- I mean, one day...I want to find my home, so..."

    I shake my head. That's true, but compared to what I just thought, it feels like an excuse.


    "For example...?" Asks the inexplicable judge, jury, and executioner of Elder Kuruna.

    "Well..."



    Some of these I've only heard about, from people around town just chatting, but...I intend to see them.

    "I love exploring places like that," I say honestly, and I'm relieved to find something I *can* say about this.

    "..." Kuruna's face relaxes, and she sighs. "You must have a lot of time on your hands."

    "It's not that... I keep myself pretty busy...I'll probably be working past midnight again tonight, too..." That's right; I've still got so much to do.
    "..."
    She seems to think about this, and at last says something almost like a confession.

    "I have never left this desert. So...I'm a little jealous of a wanderer like you..."
    "Kuruna..."


    "Well...You do, I guess."

    She says that a touch too loud. You know...She doesn't look much older than me (assuming Univir age the way humans do) when she's surprised. She's the elder, but...What does that mean here, exactly?

    "I wish I was born a minotauros instead."

    "Aw, don't be that way...I think you're beautiful, Kuruna. But...that's not what I meant."
    She stares at me like I've grown a second head, a little bit of redness on her cheeks, blending the markings on her cheeks closer to that blush. Then she looks almost amused, like it occured to her that the person arguing with her self-image is a wooly.

    "I meant...Your concern, and the way you welcomed me here. There are things here that can't be found elsewhere, and you're one of them."


    "I will leave the matter there. This isn't much, but I wanted you to take this home with you."
    "Thank you..."

    *sigh*
    "Ha ha ha ..." Why did I expect her to?

    I step outside into the cool night air and sigh.

    This place she loves...Is her entire world. It's a small world, hot at day and cold at night. And outside these walls, everything wants to kill you.
    She loves it, and she's almost afraid of what's outside...

    "She could really use a vacation. It might help her loosen up..."
    But I wonder... What sort of face would she have, if I could show her that field of flowers?



    These shoes are noticably better than mine, which does give me an idea...While I work on getting, let's say, a hat, why don't I try upgrading what I have, too?

    I find Ondorus in his tent, reading a large and heavy tome.
    "What's that about?"

    "The elder, or native, dragons."
    ...Hm...There's something about that that's just on the edge of my mind, but...
    "I can't say I remember anything about that."


    "Norad was once the home of the dragons."
    "Where are they now?"
    "Well, that's some of what I'm reading about. No one knows where the water dragon lives anymore... But the Wind Dragon Ventuswill's seat in Selphia has been undisturbed for...Well, frankly, an unusual length of time...It's an interesting read."
    "I'm sure it is."


    I go fishing in the Oddward Valley's Cavern Pond for a while...

    And cook up my egg, among other things, at home.

    Let's get to work upgrading some things!


    First, I'd like a boost on my gloves, since my shield and my monster form don't entirely work.



    And I made a lovely, lovely hat! Well, it's more of a hood...But it'll help my defenses, is what's important.
    ...But all that's exhausing.


    Here's how I'm looking with the new equipment. I think that's enough for tonight.

    It's raining pretty heavily the next morning, so at least there's not a heavy amount of work waiting to happen...

    For which I'm sure Alma and Ovelia are grateful.

    Cabbages are in today, which means tonight is a night of replanting.

    Checking the mail today...

    I can't imagine for the life of me how those statements are related. I better go see.


    "Hurry! There isn't a moment to lose!"

    Everything in Daria's life is very urgent.
    "...Hey, when your request said you needed your assistant, did you mean me?"
    Because, uh, when did that happen?


    "*Sigh* I'm still not sure I'm your..."
    "What am I going to do without paints? If I can't paint soon, I'll die!"
    She grabs my shoulders and shakes me, overcome by the suffering of not painting.
    "That seems a little melodramatic."


    "3 different kinds?" She does use grasses to help paint, doesn't she?

    "I'm still not sure about this 'assistant' business..."

    Well, I just happen to have some grasses.


    She's so happy she seems like she's about to burst into song.
    "I can paint once again! I owe you my life."
    "No need to go that far." I'm pretty sure painting withdrawl is not a thing that really happens.

    She shrugs.
    "Maybe I did overreact a little."
    "..."
    "But that's how precious my art is to me! And you, my assistant, are the one who makes it possible!"
    Aw, that's almost flattering.
    "Thank you very much."



    Well, at least she pays well.


    The town bulletin board has another urgent-sounding request from another urgent-sounding girl...


    Today's cologne is...


    So...The entire town?


    "Or were you just admiring how pretty I am? Just kidding! Ha ha ha!"
    I'm glad she answered that pre-emptively, to avoid us all being emberassed.
    "Uh..."
    What was I looking at again?



    "Um....A little?"
    Her having problems with restraint doesn't surprise me...
    "With any luck, those come with maturity."
    I wonder if she'll have to be as old as you before she's matured.

    Well, let's see.

    "You mind handing this to Collette?"
    She hands me a bottle full of a rich brown liquid, thick and slightly syrupy. It smells, like she smells, bittery and herbacious.

    "Medicine. I carelessly mixed up prescriptions, so I want you to exchange it."
    Isn't mixing up prescriptions...insanely dangerous?

    INSANELY. DANGEROUS.

    "E-Explode...? How do you make exploding medicine?!"
    "Well, good luck!"
    ...I...I'll need it.
    "She's not listening..."

    I go running to see Collette right away.

    "Oh, I can't wait to drink it."


    "Wait, take this instead!"

    "The medicine you got before will make you explode, so Marian want to exchange it with this one." This all sounds absurd.


    "I'm glad you didn't explode."
    She smiles, only momentarily disturbed by the idea of becoming a Collette splatter all over the walls.
    "Well, could you go throw away this dangerous medicine somewhere...?"


    I'll just hold onto this...

    And get my daily recipe breads.





    I got some bonuses. Yay!

    And then I headed back to the Apothecary.


    When I arrive, the building shakes and a loud boom resounds.
    "What the...?"

    There was another loud shaking and exploision.

    "I have a bad feeling about this..."




    What a relief.


    Oh no.



    Collette moves towards us slowly, her steps labored.

    ...Dangit, Marian.
    "I thought you switched the medicine out..."

    What am I complicit in now?

    To my surprise -- maybe to anyone's -- Marian looks properly surprised.
    "Is that...?"
    Shame? Or dismay?


    Nope.
    "What?! That's it?!"
    "Oh, that's right. Here you go."
    "Ummm..."


    "I-I see...(Hey, why do you put up with this?)"
    "(Because it's important to her...And...Well, it'd be great if it did work.)"


    Hm...Well, she was trying to fix it...

    Bleg.

    I head over to see Sofia next.

    Ok, that's definitely opposite.
    "At this rate, she'll be recognized by the world..."

    I'd consider doing the same. At least with the stuff she really likes...
    "And when I told Evelyn my untrue feelings, she left sulking and didn't come home..."
    "Ha ha..."


    "Only really weird people can accept their eccentricities, after all."
    "Wait, I'm not weird!"
    "Oh, you can't help that. We're all weird here. I'm weird. You're weird."
    "How do you know I'm weird?"
    She looks at me with a faint smile, like something between amusement and confusion and says simply,
    "You must be. Otherwise, you wouldn't have come here."

    Her statement leaves a chill in my spine, and she walks on obliviously.


    Of course Pia would like my cologne...

    "Yeah, they definitely know what they're doing."
    "But I can't wait till Sakuya goes on another trading trip!"

    "...You mean squid ink?" I don't like the way this is sounding...

    I head out to the settlement. Today, I want to go and do that errand for Kuruna! Or at least make a second try, now that I have better gear...

    When I stop by, Kuruna's tent is suffused with a white radiance.
    "What was that glow just now?"

    "Wow! You can use healing magic?"
    "Of course. It's a part of Univir superiority."
    I do not tell her about the healing magic I bought from the witches.


    This is not who I was expecting to like my cologne.

    This, though, I'm less surprised with.



    "We'll get it today!"
    "Of course!"

    As we march out into the desert, I keep looking at Zaid. What does he know? Was he the one who brought me to town? No, wait, he wouldn't have come close -- he ran away just seeing me near the tree.


    "Zaid...About what happened before..."
    "Yeah, hey, man. I'm sorry for leaving you in the lurch like that...But it was all I could do to get away myself! A-anyway, no harm done, right? Right?"
    So he wasn't the one who brought me back...
    "You...didn't happen to...see something, um, a little strange, did you?"
    Shape-shifting. A little strange. Right.

    "What? You must have gotten your head knocked around! There wasn't anything to see. At least, not when I was there..."
    "Oh, right. It must have...just been a dream."

    As long as he doesn't ask me what I meant, it'll be fine.


    "...Are those...fish?"
    "Of course! This desert's like an ocean, but with sand!"
    "How does that even work?"
    "Look, knowing how things work is Ondorus' deal! I just hit things!"
    ...
    "Hitting things is the most important part! Anyway, fish! Fish for them!"
    I'll have to fish here sometime.



    When we arrive, I go to trying to take out the gates immediately; otherwise, the fighting will never end.

    But Zaid couldn't quite stand up to the onslaught all by himself, which meant...
    *I* had to stand up to the onslaught. All by myself.
    Greeaaat.

    Still, with enough punching, I eventually managed to whittle all but one away somehow...

    You're last, scorpion pal... Down you go!


    When the dust settles, Zaid shakes himself off and comes towards me.

    Now that the fight's over, I notice something I hadn't before: the ground shakes, just every so often. It feels almost like...footfalls. At the time, I'd thought it was just, you know, the big dudes punching me. But that's not it. On the ground, there are footprints embedded deep into the sand.

    "Hey, Zaid..."


    "These footprints are pretty big. Do you know what animal they belong to?"

    "I see..."
    "Anyway, look over there."

    "Be careful when you get the flower. Don't get poked by that thing!"
    Why am I the one climbing it? ...Oh, well.
    "I'll be careful..."


    Ow, I did get pricked a little.
    "Got it!"
    "Great! Let's head on back."



    On our way back, it's clear: the shaking is even worse.



    A chest full of food? Well, I won't complain.


    When I arrive, everyone's clustered around the big gate in the back.

    "A monster stormed the settlement gates!"
    "Kuruna!"


    A silence passes between the two Univir. Eventually, Kuruna asks,
    "Can we not avoid a fight?"

    Still, she straightens her robes...

    And unseals the gate. She steps through with her head held high.



    Her voice is calm as water, or the desert sky at night. Her gesture holds no hesitation, and she looks at me with certainty of a variety absolute. I can't imagine I'd ever be that certain of anything.
    "Please escape while you can."


    ...Healing magic or no, she's still going to get herself killed! I just can't allow it!

    "Can you leave this to me?"
    Is all I ask.


    "I'll be fine! I'm actually pretty confident in my own strength."
    Ha ha ha, I'm going to die.


    "Then I leave this to you."

    "Please, be careful!"
    110% dead.


    Toast for courage.





    No, that's not important!



    The great skeleton charges, and as I leap out of the way, I see Zaid crumple like a ragdoll. He'll probably be OK, but I don't exactly have time to check.
    When I hit it, bits of it break to pieces and fall, to be buried on the sandy floor... But then...


    It throws sharp bits of spine at me! How does it even do that, exactly?
    Dodging between them's more-or-less impossible, but what else can I do? I can at least take as few as possible...

    After enough hits, it's left with nothing but a strange, floating ball of...It looks like flesh, but my paws hitting it makes it feel harder than that.

    Either way, it's a gross punching bag.

    But not for long:

    Eventually, it regenerates the bones around it, pulling them back from the sand, to be broken down again.


    It's been wearing me out, so I break into my food supplies. Pudding, give me strength!


    Sometimes, as I dodge terrible skeleton-heart lasers, I wonder about how my life has come to this. How did this happen, exactly? I'm just a normal half-wooly, half-human shapeshifting farmer!
    ...Er. Wait. No, none of that is normal.
    Well, anyway, how did it come to this?
    But then I think...About how resolved Kuruna looked, walking into something so dangerous... I never wanted to protect anything more than in that moment. It was just natural to try and do it instead: I couldn't let the settlment fall, and I couldn't let Kuruna suffer.
    And I'm glad for a minute.

    And then I wonder what the heck I'm doing being philosophical when there's a giant laser on a laser chain crackling the wool off my back.


    But I think I'm making a dent on it! It's starting to feel cornered, which naturally means...Well...
    It means that I've got to get really good at dodging tail-swipes, because they're coming fast and furious.

    We fight for what feels like hours; I heal with magic, it rebuilds its skeleton around it, we repeat this song and dance. But eventually, and by the skin of my teeth...


    It's done. The thing at the heart of the creature sputters and flares, blasting rune energy into the air.



    And then it collapses into a pile of bones. I drop to my knees.

    "Time to tell Kuruna the good news!"


    I'll post more about the boss, possibly with a video, when I am not feeling like I wish I could dissolve into a pile of goo.
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    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...

  26. - Top - End - #116
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I liked the pacing of this update.
    Nice.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I agree with Javan about the pacing in this update. I also enjoy the whole, Ramza get philosophical and then realizing now might not be the best time.
    Thank you to starwoof for the awesome Astrid avatar.


  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Chapter 11: And I'm Javert
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    I stagger back into the settlement, a ragged smile on my face. I honestly feel close to collapsing onto the hard desert ground.


    Kuruna and Ondorus both jolt upright from their positions, leaning in weary vigil amongst the tents. Kuruna takes a few hesitant steps towards me, then clears the distance and reaches out a hand toward me, concern and relief muddled on her face.
    "Are you hurt?"

    "No, I'm fine."
    Mostly. I might want a little rest, though.
    A lot of rest.
    Sleep for several days.


    "Yeah, that was one tough monster."

    Kuruna nods and then looks skyward, up to that vast blanket of stars.
    "But why did that monster attack us?"
    "Hmmm..." Ondorus mulls this over, and eventually asks,


    ...
    Oh.
    Dear.
    Is this all my fault?

    "Yes, he just brought it back for me. What about it?"

    How exactly does it...? I mean, it doesn't have a stomach. Probably. Or if it has a stomach, it doesn't have a mouth. Just lasers.
    "That must be the reason why it attacked."


    Woops.
    "So that was a Skelefang? I thought they were all extinct. Had I known there was one out there, I would have left that flower alone."
    It did have an extinct-ish look about it.

    She sighs and turns back to me.

    "Don't worry about it." It's all handled now, and I've beaten up an endangered creature until it collapsed into a pile of rune energy.

    "Well, I do still need that Cactus Flower if you have it...But that can wait until tomorrow."
    "Okay."

    With that handled, I say goodbye to Zaid and decide to head on home.

    I fish a little...

    And plant some cabbages.
    Then, exhausted at last, I call it a night.


    The next day, I set Alma back to work on the lower field and Ovelia on the upper left.


    The cherry grass is in bloom, and I send one off and keep one for emergencies, because I foresee emergencies.


    I have a letter from Sakuya in the mailbox that could use tending to.


    There's a festival tomorrow!
    I do get a lowdown of the rules, but the basic gist is: fish. catch them.

    Carmen's as excited about this as you'd think, and Shino's...

    Well, slightly concerning, really.


    "Yes."
    "I actually had orders from Blaise and Marjorie. But I have something else I needed to do. Do you think you could deliver them for me?"

    "That's fine." That's not a complicated request -- I go all over town anyway.


    A cold chill runs through the air, like the gaze of a demon.

    I do not say anything.


    "this Tomato goes to Marjorie."
    "Yeah, okay."
    Sakuya smiles cheerfully.
    "Well, thanks for doing this for me."

    I deliver it to Blaise first...

    "Sakuya asked me."
    "I see. Thank you. Please thank Sakuya for me for everything she does. We have a lot of customers who are picky about ingredients and Sakuya is a lifesaver."

    "Really...?"
    So Sakuya's relied upon.

    Well, anyway, time for recipe bread!




    Not a great selection, but not a bad one, either.

    It starts to rain as I walk along, heading towards Flower Way. Pia, who wasn't in the inn, is standing there...

    On a large tail, her little cloak off, exposing a daring outfit to the rain.

    "Uhh..."

    "Pia. Your feet..." I try to work out how to phrase the question. 'You do not have feet today,' is not exactly tactful. Nor are 'where are your feet?' Nor is 'Feeeeeeeet.'
    That said, whatever this is, it probably explains her head-fin-things.

    Pia pulls away from her angry rambling about the rain.

    "Yes..."
    She just smiles brightly.

    "Oh. Well, I'm a mermaid. Okay?!"


    For a minute, I just stand there, absolutely stunned. The part where she's a mermaid is -- I guess, not surprising. It makes her story from before make sense, and so on... But...
    She just said it so easily. No fear or concern -- none of what worries me at telling even just one person. But she -- I guess everybody knows.
    I can't help but be stunned and envious of that sort of confidence.

    "...So why..."
    Pia is quiet for a second, and then she giggles quietly.
    "I want to eat some Squid."
    "What?! Is that your reason for being here?"
    A mermaid on land...to eat squid?! The ocean's full of squid!

    She doesn't answer that.
    "That's settled, then, right? I'm all wet, so the fins are out!
    ...But Tomorrow's going to be worse than rain. It's the Catch the Most Fish Contest!"



    "Yep! I love fishsticks!"
    I feel like a dangerous statement just left my mouth, just a few seconds after its departure.

    And so she leans forward, glaring daggers and knives and swordfish noses at me.
    "You sicko! You don't actually EAT them, do you?!"
    "Uh, of course I do! Nothing wrong with that!"

    She turns in a huff, nearly tripping over her slightly unwieldy fish tail.

    "...I'll...just go."

    When I go to the Apothecary, I find Marian minding the desk, sighing sadly over the Catch the Most Fish contest (I suspect no one will talk about anything else today).
    "The Catch the Most Fish Contest, huh...?"

    "It's not that...It just needs to be more dangerous!"
    "Wait...What do you mean by 'more dangerous'?!"
    She smiles faintly, and I try to soothe her.
    "...Maybe someone will get a hook caught somewhere and need treatment."
    "Ooh, you're right! I'll get out my surgery gear!"
    ...At least she's happy.

    I go upstairs to see Marjorie.

    'Tree boy'?

    "This is for you."
    "Oh? This is..."
    "This is from Sakuya."
    "Now, did I ever ask her for this...?"
    "What?!" I was delivering for nothing?


    "P-please don't startle me like that."
    "Oh, you're here for Sakuya, aren't you? Then that's the least you can do. That girl always indulges me."
    "Sakuya does?"
    She really does seem to go the extra mile for her customers...Or, in this case, makes me go the extra mile...
    "Oh. She's a really nice girl. Unlike my granddaughter."




    I head back to the inn after that -- Pia's returned and gotten back on her literal feet, chatting with Sakuya.

    "What?! No..." I'm good for a while yet.

    She turns to Shino anyway, moving forward irrationally.
    "Ms. Inkeeper? Can we get the bath ready for one?!"

    Sakuya's fist emerges from her sleeve and bangs the back of Pia's head.




    Another smack.
    "What's the deal?"


    Sakuya turned back to me and looks perplexed.

    "Wait...what are you doing?" Should I be happy you're hitting my friend?
    "I thought we'd do some stand-up comedy to draw customers in,"


    "What's the deal?"


    Is she still doing the routine?...Or did she never know about it?

    Sakuya sighs.
    "That's about how well it's going..."
    "Um, so..."
    With a shrug, Sakuya drops the manner.
    "Oh, well."


    "Well, here's your compensation."




    Pia salutes.
    "Robert!"
    *Smack!*




    They turn back to me.
    "No? Well, this is your real compensation."


    "Ah..." This was exhausting...


    I think Shino shares my opinion, watching this exchange like a quiet hawk.



    ...Fleece, huh? I'll be able to use this.


    It's been a while since we've helped Carmen out, so I should see what's up with her.
    I catch up with her on the beach.

    "Yes, thanks to you, I've been able to fish pretty well."
    She winks at me.
    "Very good then! So why don't you show me how you've improved."

    Hey! I'm still pretty what?!
    "You catch them in Sol Terrano Desert. But be careful of the monsters."
    "...They're really. Um. Nice people," I mutter, hoping to be a little too low to be heard.
    "What, the pineapple things?"
    "Oh! Oh, them. Oh, well, they're not bad, either. By monster standards."
    She might not really even know about the settlement, given how long they've been apart... Actually, I feel somehow relieved.
    "Well, if you say so. You're pretty hardcore when it comes to fishing hazards, Ramza!"


    "What?! Already?"


    She pounds me, less gently than she intends -- probably, but maybe she's just that intense -- on the shoulder.





    I finish my talking to people (It's about the fishing contest, nothing interesting) and head out fishing in the desert.

    Let's see what I can...

    Drat.


    There, better.

    I fish up a sardine, and head on back to Carmen post-haste.

    "I've got some fish for you!"


    "Good work! Well, here's a treat from your master!"

    "Keep on practicing! Now, dismissed!"
    Ha ha. What a scary master...
    Still, I think it's a bit more of a joke to her than other people's 'position.' Probably.

    "Thank you."



    My reward is salted salmon, a nice treat.

    I head back to through the desert.

    I find Zaid by the entrance, frantically polishing his sword. This seems to be his default action, like a buffamoo grazing or Pia singing or Colette eating.
    "Why are you always repairing your weapon?"


    "Huh...? Was that the name of the weapon?"
    "*sigh* You don't get it..."
    "?" What's there to get? Aren't elaborate weapon names for people who yammer on about sword hands and demon powers?
    "How are you supposed to fight without naming your buddy?"

    "Is that how it is...?"
    I've been with my sword a while without any troubles...
    "That's how it is. That's why you're weak."


    I finally bring Kuruna that terrible, annoying cactus flower.

    "Oh, no...problem?" I do not entirely believe myself.
    "I'm terribly sorry for involving you in all this commotion." she wilts slightly, picking up on my own weakness.
    "It's okay. You couldn't have known some giant dinosaur bones weren't extinct!"



    Ooh, a recipe bread!
    "Oh, before I forget!"
    "What?"
    "There's something odd going on a little bit noth on the settlement."
    She brings her hand to her chin and looks thoughtful.
    "After you arrived in the settlement, we discovered a strange orb. No one knows where it came from, and no one can remove it..."
    Her brows furrow.
    "It's very strange."

    "An orb...?"
    Like the one in the forest? Maybe it has something to do with my memories again...
    "Kuruna, do you think it would be okay if I took a look at this orb?"

    Kuruna does not look as surprised as I'd have expected -- she looks like she thought I might want to know, even if I've just realized this myself.
    "Certainly. I will open the gates. Feel free to take a look."

    "Thank you!"
    I go running.

    And eat my recipe bread.

    The space is just north of where I fought the Skelefang.

    It has an almost shrine-like quality.


    The earth and sky, reflected on the orb. It gleam attracts me to it instinctively.

    "Kuruna said that this orb appeared when I came to town. How strange..."
    So, did these orbs come into being when I lost my memory?
    But...This place...

    It feels like it was waiting for this orb, too.

    I reach out my paw...


    Like before, it rises and breaks.

    Then it all goes black. There's a voice and a sense of weight. Someone's got a hand on my shoulder, and I realize it is not my shoulder, now, but my shoulder, once.

    The voice is an older man's -- not my father's. I can't seem to place who, but at the time, I knew.


    My own voice. This wasn't long ago.


    The man pats my back, to still my nerves. In my hands, my clutched sword, held like a delicate flower, jostles worryingly, and I remember this.

    That's not exactly comforting to me. I mean, that wasn't then, but now... Now, I wonder what happened to them.


    Is this town alright? Did I do my job well? Did, somehow, impossibly, it all go up in flames and all the kittens got stuck in trees and monsters roamed the streets and not in a friendly, urbane way?
    I don't want to dissapoint anyone.



    "I'm glad you think so," I mutter in perfect time with my past self. I don't think of myself as a hero -- I don't think of myself as much of anything.


    The patting turned into a heavy thump almost worth of Carmen.


    The same feeling that made me decide to stop Kuruna, or something like that, filled me then. The continuity between the two feelings, on the different sides of that black void...
    It makes me realize that there was something else on the other end that's the same as on this end.


    ...Wait.

    I feel a little silly, because I was really worried about that...But I'm also, like, super-relieved. I want to tell people that, but, uh, I've already told everyone that...

    I sort through that scene a bit more.

    "I was protecting a town..."
    I'm trying to reach for it -- for its buildings or its people, or its landscape or...something.
    "Where was I a member of the guard...?"

    Think...Think...You just had that whole scene...

    I was just short.

    But I have something:

    Alright! My new step!

    ...But first, I guess I'll talk to people.

    "Sounds like a plan. Do you ever do that?"
    A bright red blush is on her face, and she completely drops her whole guard.

    Hm, so she's a sweet-eater, huh? I'll have to recall that. It'd be nice to do something for her...

    "Oh, by the way...I, uh...took care of that orb?"
    "Oh, I see. I thought that might be the case...What was it?"
    I shake my head.
    "I'm not sure. But...these have...my memories in them."
    "Your memories? Comrade, you mean, you remember more of your past?!"
    She stoops down towards my level, clear excitement on her stretched-open face.
    "What was it?"

    "I remembered...my real name."
    She took a deep intake of breath and nodded.
    "...It's Ramza. I actually am Ramza."

    She looks at me emptily for a second, and then stands up.
    "Oh, I see."
    "Hey! This is really exciting! You could be a little happier!"
    She smiles.
    "No, but you really must be relieved. I'm happy for you, comrade. If I see any more, of course, I will alert you."
    "Thank you, Kuruna."


    The Owl today has a request from Ondorus that looks interesting.


    "Do you remember the cactus that you picked the flower from?"
    "How could I forget?"
    It sure started a lot of trouble...
    Ondorus nodded without humor.
    "I would like you to sprinkle Formula A on that cactus."
    "No problem."
    It'll be good practice.



    "Okay."

    "Yes, you're right. If there are other Skelefang, it'd be nice to them, I guess..."


    "I don't think she'd understand."
    I nod.
    "Gotcha."

    I run across the desert, doing a little mining along the way. And, you know what? Something hits me.

    I'm Ramza.

    I'm myself. I am me, and not someone else. I mean, my memory's not all there, but... I know who I am. I think.
    I feel.

    I'm sure.

    "I'm me!"

    I run back to the cactus, a laugh rising up to the big, wide desert moon.

    I WIN, AMNESIA! I'M THE WINNER!

    ...Now, what was I doing, again? Oh, right.




    I clear out the enemies first, to give me some room, and sprinkle some over the plant.




    The flower grows back *immediately*.
    "Look at that cactus... That was amazing! I should head back to the settlement and tell Ondorus."

    ***


    "The instant I gave it Formula A, the flower grew right back."


    "Anyway, thank you. It isn't much, but please, take this."

    "I hope you can help out again sometime."




    I'm not sure why he thinks I can use this -- with a wooly's paws, even gripping it would be a formidable task...But, well, lucky for me, I can.

    I head home in the pouring rain, trying to work out the rest of my night, when...

    Sakuya calls out to me.



    "Well, actually, I had an extra lunch made."
    "...It's 10 PM."

    She shakes her head back and forth wildly, expunging that I said anything from this discussion.

    "What? Really?"
    "Of course! It's yours! Well, come by to get it later. It..." She chuckles, "It is a little late for lunch."

    "Yeah, okay."
    "See ya."
    ...Well, that was...something.

    Since I have some time this evening, I decide to look at something. See, there's a part of the Sharance Tree I've never been in before...

    Down this ladder.


    It's a room...full of sculptures.


    I think they might be trophies.

    I hear footsteps, and turn to see...

    Shara. What's she doing in my house in the dead of night?

    "Yeah. What is it?"

    "When I do certain things? Like what?"

    How wonderfully useful.
    "Okay!"
    "This room is also connected to the Labrynth world. It's...a world for fighting. I'm not clear on all the details, but you should check it out!"

    "Shara, why'd you come here?"
    "I'm the main heroine, so I need to get some screen time every chapter!"
    "...What does that even mean?"
    "Don't worry about it too much; I just like checking up on you."


    I decided then...To head to this "Labrynth World" to find out what it's about.



    A strange place, that's what it's about...

    At first it's a whole lot of nothing, but after a while, the identical rooms give way to clearings with monsters that block themselves behind and in front of me. Guess I've got to take them on!


    Wow, this lightning staff hits like a truck!
    They're a little tough for my blood, honestly, but I make my way through a few areas...


    Until I come, face to face, with the most monstrous of my ancestors. It's like staring down a giant, and some primordial wooly instinct bids me to act submissively in the face of an incoming headbutt, for truly, it is my superior, and has precedence in all matters in the flock.
    By the time I realize wait, that's dumb, I've got a magical stick and we are not discussing apple-eating or grazing here, it's already butted me in what I'm sure was an attempt at my midsection or head, but due to the differences in mass, was my entire body. In short: goodnight.


    "I'll just ask for 507 Gold today."
    "Thank you."

    I head home and do not go back in the basement.


    I put my things away...

    Make some food...


    And some weapon types I don't have yet, to increase my expertise in my spare time.



    This lets me learn some new weapon recipes, including a sword upgrade.


    And I am making that *immediately.*


    Mild experimenting with some crafting also lets me make a ruby ring: it's the same as the rings I know how to make, but with a ruby. It's not that great an accessory, but...I can make it, so it's good to practice.

    The rain's falling, and I've done a lot -- and learned a lot -- today. I'm more than happy to call it a day well spent and get some rest.


    Mechanics Corner: Labrynth World and Skelefang
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    About the Skelefang
    He's apparently weak to Fire, Light, and Love magic, and I wouldn't be against recommending magical attacks: most of this guy's big hits can be avoided just by being far enough away at the right times, so peppering him with magic isn't a bad idea. Also a good idea: fast-hitting physical options, like the wooly form or double-swords (if you don't send Zaid packing, which I believe you can do: I kept him for narrative convenience, but that did leave me with my options limited), because you'll only be dealing damage when his exoskeleton's down, and thus, you want to deal enough hits to knock it away as quickly as possible.
    His four attacks are as follows:
    The one where he shoots little spines at you. This is the hardest of his attacks to dodge entirely, because the spines don't spread evenly. That said, individual spikes don't deal too much damage, so you can usually just aim for a spot with few spikes and take the hit and run at him. Like most of his attacks, this is exclusive to his bony form.
    The one where he rakes the ground, sending little golden shockwaves. I, uh, can't tell you much about this one. There's a reason it wasn't screenshotted: I was almost never near enough to him to see it for more than a half-second, and never got hit. There are 3 or so lines, directly in front of him, with some but not great range. Just move to the side, and you're good. This, too, is a bony-form attack.
    The one where he swipes his tail at you. DANGER! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! This. Will. Hurt. If he's beserked (flashing black), this would flat-out kill Ramza in a single hit. Before that point, it'd still take out a massive amount of health. It's a melee attack basically centered directly in front of him, maybe a bit to the side, though, so dodging it is not hard: I found when fighting in wooly form that the form's attack patterns would usually send me moving somewhere (and I'd decide that should be 'away') often enough that I'd rarely get hit with this. Bony form attack.
    The one where he fires a laser ball on a chain: This one will hurt a good deal, but is super easy to dodge: the orb at the heart of the skelefang (this attack can't be done with the exoskeleton up) will get a blue ring around it as it charges up, so it telegraphs it. When that happens, this is your cue to run. The laser chain for the laser ball has a limited range, so if you start running directly away, and have enough space to run, it will probably never catch you. It moves about as fast as the main character, provided you're not wearing shoes that screw with your speed, so you'll usually have a head-start and it won't catch-up.


    The labrynth world is a series of randomly-generated dungeons with minibosses at the end. Unlike most dungeons in Rune Factory 3, when you encounter enemies, you must defeat them all and all gates to progress. As you saw here, right now, this one kicked my butt, so we'll be back later. If ever. To be honest, I did my run without ever even knowing it existed; I only realized it must have been a thing when I went through the Sharance Maze in Rune Factory 4. It's also host to this game's multiplayer, which isn't relevant to this LP... And either isn't relevant, or soon will not be relevant, to anyone else, either.



    I'll be on vacation next week, by the way. I'm going to Sedona, Arizona. Which is, unfortunately, currently on fire.
    Last edited by Deme; 2014-05-22 at 01:29 PM.
    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 - #119
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    Okay, that's an amusing turn of events. I like how the game deals with your name.
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -A.C. Clarke

  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Default Re: We're All Mad Here: Let's Play Rune Factory 3!

    I, uh, never realized the basement had dungeons either. Actually, I never finished RF3. The last thing I recall was wanting to complete all the dungeons by the end of the in-game year, for whatever reason.

    I'm wondering if I should just start up a new game when I get back to it.
    Then again, I have a bad habit of restarting and never finishing games...
    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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