Thursday, 7 November 2013

And if everyone was jumping off a cliff...

  I guess that I am still doing this series... I must be enjoying Rune Factory 4 more than I am aware.  Don't be too surprised, it is the mark of a good game!

  Left pondering his dilemma, and unsure where to go looking first for rune spheres, Lest is accosted by a chip squeak monster in the middle of town.  The little pest steals a Ventuswill feather, a gift to Lest that defensibly means a lot to him.  Lest certainly can’t let this minor monster steal such an important trinket, and his new mission to chase after the chip squeak, south and out of the main gates of Selphia.

  Further chasing causes the chip squeak to visibly move to the next region ahead of Lest, over to the east towards the forest.  Alright I’ll say the cliché line:

  Ha-ha-har-hmm.  It’s almost like it’s leading me somewhere…

  Chasing it again leads to more scenes where the chip squeak leads the way right into the forest, and further chasing leads to more scenes where the chip squeak just leaves as Lest enters, once to the north, then once more down a … cliff?  That’s new!

  The chip squeak scenes draw the player’s attention to a passage down from the cliff top and into a cave network, a long one with far more dangerous and filled with level appropriate enemies.  The Yokmir cave network is a tough challenge for the unprepared, prompting me to immediately regret rushing after the chip squeak and not blowing the whole thing off for time forging.  One blessing, though, is that there are only a few regions in the maze that block further progress until you destroy the enemies.  I found it amenable to run through cave zones rather than stand and fighter in every region, and I found getting lost in the maze created a maddening, near constant supply of monster to fight.  Advice: save your sanity – kill the ones you have to, and leave the ones you don’t.

  Also noteworthy is the immense material wealth of this region.  Anyone short on iron, stone, bronze, and other metals could return her indefinitely and find a wealth of metals to harvest.  Trouble is, I’m now kicking myself for not stopping by and using Prince points to order that my backpack be increased!  I have so little that I can carry!

  The chip squeak continues to lead the way, but Lest will have to deviate in his path.  Switch gates block the way forward, and switches are typically close, but seem further away than any region that I’ve ventured through yet.  Careful pacing is needed to adventure here safely, and the chip squeak is fairly obviously now stopping to make sure Lest finds it again.

  The exit from Yokmir cave is conveniently located just south of the boss chamber in Yokmir forest, where Ambrosia/Amber was fought earlier.  The chip squeak again takes all of the guesswork out of this game, and leads slowly into the boss chamber.  If this sojourn ended with another tussle with Ambrosia, it might be anti-climactic, but as it happens, Ambrosia, who always showed up on successive days to challenge Lest to rematch before, got the day off today.

  Dead Tree is the boss waiting for Lest today, and it is a lot more powerful.  Like Ambrosia, it is fairly slow moving, but it hits for a fair bit of damage and has a few tricks Lest will find hard to dodge.  Careful timing and pacing is needed to stay in this fight to the end, but like all of the others so far, Dead Tree is only stalling.  Rune Factory 4 has yet to bring any true challenges.

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