Wild Arms XF: Plot musings

I just finished the game, and I was surprised to find that quite a few facts about the story were left unresolved by the end. Nothing major, mind you, but enough to make me wonder:


*What ever happened to Yuria (Felius’ lover?)

*What was the origin/purpose of Strahl Gewehr and its connection to Iskander Bey?

*Why did Alexia fail the Guardian test?

*Did this story take place on its own world, or on a previous Filgaia? (I thought the former, but some references at the end made me wonder.)

*What was the point (storywise) of the time trip? (Besides allowing Clarissa to see her mother one last time.)

*What was it that Tony (the dog) did during the final battle?

Not exactly errors, but these annoyed me too:

*The King having time for a dying speech WHEN HE WAS BEING CRUSHED BY A GIANT ROBOT!! Hey, I get it, this was a game for really heroic (and villainous) speeches, but come on!!

  • Edna/Weisheit’s death being so off-hand. Did the heroes see them die? Or do they believe they might still be alive?

Are the answers to these given anywhere? Or is a sequel that investigates them in the works? Anybody know?

In-between rumors I’ve heard online, plus my own guesses, I have come to the following theories…

  • YURIA IS CLARISSA AND ALEXIA’S ANCESTOR! Think about it: Weisheit claimed that she had landed hundred of years in the past. Only someone with her DNA was supposed to be able to use Iskander Bey’s full power; yet both Melissa and Alexia could do it. It would also explain the resemblance between all four of them.

  • Yuria made Strahl as a replacement for Iskander Bey. After all, they were both obviously Eru technology artifacts, and who else in Filgaia (except Weisheit) knew about it?

*Clarissa and Alexia were ACCIDENTALLY SWITCHED AROUND during the incident in the time trip. In other words. “Alexia” was always Clarissa, and “Clarissa” was always Alexia! That would explain why “Alexia” could not perform the ritual herself. Apparently, she needed genes from Alexia’s father’s side of the family, that Clarissa lacked. The fact both girls were wearing the same clothes when the building collapsed points to this. Of course, this doesn’t explain why neither of them could remember their childhoods. That’s some extremely convenient amnesia, unless the Eru weapons caused it (but why?)

  • “Tony” was actually a Guardian all along- the Guardian of Desire, who has always taken the form of a Wolf/dog in the series! Only a Guardian could have weakened the Clysmian. Though why was he acting as a common dog for all the game is still a mystery. Maybe it was a result of “Alexia’s” botched ceremony?

Anybody else has any opinions here?

Yuria: impossible to know since all 3 were sent to different dimensional planes. I think your hypothesis is correct about the ancestor bit.

You say that as if there should be a connection between the 2.

Alexia test: good question. I had the feeling Alexia and Clarissa had been swapped at the castle incident. That would explain why Clarissa was capable of talking to the Guardians early on in the game.

Tony wasn’t afraid and neither was everyone else. The final boss couldn’t understand that and people fear what they don’t understand. That was the whole ironic twist to the end. Its possible he was a Guardian. If that is the case, it would tie in well with the fact that Clarissa is really a princess medium and why he reacted strongly to her early on in the game. I’m surprised you caught that. I totally didn’t think of it.

I agree that the way Weisheit was taken care of was anti climatic. But I enjoyed what he did to Edna. That was a nice twist.

Overall how’d you find the game and how it fit into the series?

I can’t get at a PSP, so I can;t play this game. But I did want to ask you guys something: what did this game do with the setting that was interesting? Not the plot or characters, but the setting. What information about the world did the game give that was different from the other games? What’s the explanation for Guardians? Are there any new nonhuman races? What’s up?

For the record, I’m cobbling together a Wild ARMs tabletop, and want all the worldbuilding material I can.

There are no non-human races. They took the Wild Arms lore with the Guardians being as gods that bless the land. They have a military conspiracy. You have the whole princess in your party scheme. The setting is wild west, the music has the WA feel (the kinds of instruments and the way its delivered). They have the usual anti-war sentiment. They have references to the Elw. There are golems. Honestly, the only reference missing is the one with the Pale Rider.

Overall how’d you find the game and how it fit into the series?
While the story definitely has its “too soap opera for its own good” moments (like the King’s death) in general I really enjoyed it, especially after I realized the Clarissa/Alexia switch. Despite being incredibly unlikely, if you think about it, it gives a new, ironic take on several of the story’s events- in particular, that the King was killed by his real daughter and that Rupert was killed by the actual daughter of the woman he’d murdered.

The graphics were great (for all that they were barely animated), all the characters (even the despicable villains) were memorable, the music was good as usual for WA, and the gameplay was fun, specially the class system, except for the absurd victory conditions of some of the battles. Quite possibly this is the best WA game since the first!

V: Here’s some World Data from WAXF for you:

-The world is mostly desertic EXCEPT for the kingdom of Elesius, where the story takes place. Why is never made clear. There is mention of a Sand Sea like in WA3, complete with sand ships, but the rest of the seas seem made of water.

  • The Eru, disappointingly, are just another race of humans- though they come from a different world.
    -The closest to a new race here are the Zortroa, a wandering tribe of humans who developed the art of “bonding” with monsters, which ranges from the ability to heal them to actually merge with them. They’re pretty tragic, as their only goal was to recover their ancient land, which made them pawns of the bad guys.
    -The Eru artifacts were coded by DNA, so only specific people (or their descendants) could use them.
    -The ARMS in this game are actually devices that allow people to “download” skills from special repositories. Basically, an artificial version of the Job System from FF5.
    -The Guardians are far more spiritual than in the other games: only the women of the Royal Family of Elesius could harness their power, and even then they required to pass a special ritual first. Otherwise, nobody else could even contact them. They were still worshipped, tho.
    -This game reveals the existence of the Clysmians, who are opposites to the Guardians- spirits that would destroy Filgaia given the chance. They need mediums to manifest as well, however. I’m sure we will see more of them in the future.

That’s all I can think of for now. Hope that helps! :slight_smile:

To each their own, I guess. It’s the only WA game I was incapable of finishing.

Really? Why? If you feel like discussing it.

I already had a whole discussion with Sin about it… wasn’t sure if you saw that thread or not.

The main reason was the equipment. In the fourth chapter, in order to buy a piece of equipment for each class (or even each major class that I use) I would have had to sit there trying to find the items necessary to synth it for hours. The requirements are so enormous and the costs and waiting necessary so onerous that I simply gave up. It’s rare that I do that in a game (FF3DS and Disgaea are the only other games to share that dubious distinction). I felt the whole synth idea was terribly done; essentially, fighting story battles would never give you the ability to buy any new equipment at all.

As for the story, I felt it wasn’t going anywhere. I disliked the constant re-fighting of the same people over and over again. I know WA3 does the same thing, but the fights there are short and make up a small percentage of the gameplay, whereas WAXF contains nothing but fights. I didn’t really like any of the characters, either, particularly the villains, who were a walking mass of cliches and totally unenjoyable. I couldn’t stand the English voice acting, so within half an hour I turned it to the Japanese voices, but they weren’t much better.

I also didn’t like the sheer amount of classes available. Some of the battles required specific strategies to beat, and the huge number of abilities (and some of them are tied to innate attributes of specific weapons) made it frustrating and difficult to plan out a strategy, sometimes trying to second-guess what the game wanted you to do.

Cid: I actually agree with several of your points.

Yeah, the synth system sucked. It bugged me that your Drifters could not collect stuff while you were engaged in story-related battles, as they could in say, FF Tactics. And the amounts? Some equipment required literally dozens of the same items! And let’s not mention the prices… even with the game’s money cheat, I never had enough for making one of every ultimate gear like I wanted to.

I also agree that some of the battles felt superfluous, especially the two next-to-last battles, which were effectively a replay of previous battles with the SAME boss! The characters even acted as if they were seeing the Clysmian for the first time!! I get the strong suspicion that the game’s makers might have felt the story was too short and added the extra battles to lengthen it.

However I had the opposite reaction to the characters: sure, they were mostly cliched stereotypes (especially the bad guys) but I felt the variety helped make up for it; heck, half the game shows us the interaction between the “bad guys” in scenes the rest of the characters never see! And the dialog helped, too; I think it was mostly well-written and well-acted. Sure, much of it was over-the-top, but that WAS the point.

I also liked the class system, though I agree there were too many classes, and while the weapon system was interesting, having to synth to keep up with the enemies was a pain. Also, I’ve never understood the “one class cannot use the equipment of another” idea that RPGs have been dragging around since the days of Dungeons and Dragons. Sure, it makes them more distinctive, but why can’t a wizard just grab a sword and whack somebody with it? OK, he probably could not do it as well as a warrior (and most of the time doesn’t need to) but if pressed by circumstances, what prevents him?

How about my theories above, Cid? Any opinion?

Right!? I always think this and people never see why I think so.

Its unrealistic to think that a wizard couldn’t grab a sword and fight. He might hit with a fraction of the power that a warrior might hit with, but it’d still be POSSIBLE. It makes sense that someone with no magic abililty can’t use something magical, but it doesnt make sense that someone without sword skills can’t flail it about.

Yes, the villains interacted, but none of them said anything remotely interesting. Once their basic personalities and goals had been established, they just sort of played their part while being mysterious/badass/fat and nasty.

I’m pretty sure I had the Clarissa <=> Alexia theory in the back of my mind almost as soon as I saw the king’s death scene. Not sure if I ever connected all the dots consciously though.

I didn’t make it far enough into the game to comment on any of the others. (And yes, that’s another thing that kind of bugged me… you’d think you’d get four chapters into a 5-chapter game and have some sort of clue about most of the backstory…)

Cliches?! CLICHES!? And what do you say about WA5? Come ON :P.

The equipment thing is overblown. Yes there is a lot of it, but honestly, if you think for a second, you actually don’t need to buy 10 million sets of gear, just 1 per character. You just set them up with a 1 slot skill to keep a specific class’ gear. If you ever HAVE to use a class, like how you have to use grapplers like in Elensia, the game gives you multiple sets of gear. The weapon upgrades are modest AT BEST. Class specificity doesn’t matter once you’re past the half way point of the game. At that point, you just hybridize your characters to have specific skills, like accelerate, to turn them into killing machines.

Sorry, I’m a packrat. When I see a shop selling stuff, my first and immediate reaction is to buy everything, and if I can’t afford it, to play through a dungeon or two and buy it then. It’s how I play RPGs. As for picking up equipment in battles, while I generally tried, it’s often almost insanely difficult to do given the challenge of story battles. If they wanted to give you equipment, they should have had it as battle spoils as in FF Tactics, not require you to waste one of your characters to go off treasure hunting while you’re fighting for your life.

There are several reasons the cliched characters didn’t bug me as much in WA5. Firstly, there’s generally a smaller story to gameplay ratio, so I saw less of them. Secondly, they were well acted, and thirdly, at least some of them were actually funny.

They were stupid and childish.

As for the equipment, don’t blame the game for your OCD. Its not because you can walk into a supermarket that you clean off the shelves. You get what you need for your meal and you pay. If you can’t strategically prioritize your purchases, you have big problems.

Treasure hunting is brief. You get 6 drifters and you just send em back to the same places til they get you what you need. You use the skip days option to save time. I spent minimal time treasure hunting for anything except to get the items to kill Ragu o Ragula - which was optional.

Haw! I have the same buying tendency as Cid- it’s just one of the things in my To-Do-In-Every-RPG list: get one of every item. And I must admit that I didn’t even think about the disarming option until Sinistral pointed it out to me. Also, I didn’t figure out the synth system well until late into the game. Dammit, a guide would have been a tremendous help here, but I think they didn’t even bother translating it (There seems to be less and less game guides available these days. Another sign of the coming “death of the paper media” they keep talking about?

Any of the characters, by him or herself, would have become a bore soon enough. But I found their interaction with other characters- especially the villains, who were so different from each other- kept me hooked, especially since they often revealed important things by conversation (especially Edna, who couldn’t keep her mouth shut even to protect her own secrets. Haw!)

Btw, favorite moments in the game:

-When Levin’s father “disowned” him- only for then to be revealed it was his way of freeing him so he could join the rebellion. Nice touch!

-When Clyde died because- Edna, of all people, botched his summoning plans. That such a master planner was undone by the one character he always looked down on (and correctly so) was an unexpected twist.

Sin, RPGs are not supermarkets. In every other game I’ve ever played, including strategy games, I’ve had no problem picking up whatever I needed to ensure my people were at their maximum capacity. It’s hardly unreasonable to expect that experience to remain constant.

Treasure hunting may be brief (assuming you have unlimited cash somehow) but it’s very, very, VERY tedious. There’s also a few dozen locations you can send people to, and no indication of what items are found where, meaning if you’re not using an FAQ it’s just trial and error - and once you have found what you want, you need to sit there sending people over and over again. It’s just a really badly-thought-out system.

The locations of items is not random. Once you’ve sent people somewhere, you know what’s there. By logic, advanced items are in later maps and less advanced items are in earlier maps. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out.

Re: the shopping, I never had problems gearing up my people either. I just didn’t try to empty the store in the process. I cherry picked what I could with what I had. Again, the upgrades and differences between items were small, further reinforcing my point that its silly to tear your hairs out about it. It barely takes a few minutes to get what you need before moving on. RPGs aren’t supermarkets, but shops in RPGs are supermarkets. Some have more stock than others. Learn to shop.

The only part that’s stupid about the equipment system is that there are 3 variants of every item. It creates the illusion of diversity since the items are not substantially different from one another.

Yes, but you also have to keep track of 3 different classes of items, each of which have about eight different levels; do research into which item of which class is retrieved in which area; and match it up with the numbers you need for the equipment you need. Then spend your time going back into stores, synthing the correct items and equipping them, take note again on what you’re still missing, and try all over again. All in all it’s just far too much work.

And let’s not forget that for the majority of the game, you don’t even have access to most areas, meaning it’s quite likely you can find the level 5 version of the item but not the level 3 version which you need in order to get to the level 5 version because you neglected to get the level 3 version earlier.

And maybe that’s how you’ve shopped in RPGs, but I haven’t. I’ve never had any problems buying everything for all my characters, with some very small exceptions (like that accessory in Nisan in Xenogears which is like two hundred times as expensive as anything else). Most RPGs are built to allow you to do this and I’ve gotten used to it.

One way that I save money in games to use for buying Equipment is that I buy the minimum number of healing items possible. Especially if one of the party members happens to have an equivalent healing spell; it’s much better to just rest and recover MP for free that buy a lot of healing items. I also sell any surplus equipment if I need money- I only want one of every piece of equipment, except in games where keeping everybody armored to the max is important.

One thing I noticed about THIS Wild Arms game is how easy it was to get through the game with minimum items. I gave everybody 2 heal berries, 1 revive fruit (except to Labyrinthia, since she had a revive spell- the only one in the game, in fact, which I think was retarded) and one nectar (for that annoying Vitality Point drain; my least favorite part of the combat system, except when I was draining enemies of VP, that is) and that was usually enough for every battle, even the final one. Ironically, this game had an astounding variety of expendable items (considering they are usually rare in the Wild Arms series) though I ended up using very few of them (mostly because I kept saving the money and synth materials for equipment.)

Your inability to read at this point in your life continues to amaze me. I addressed the multiple classes of items as you called them and said the difference between them was negligible. I acknowledge that its dumb to have so many, but it honestly doesn’t matter if you stop and think for a second about how insubstantial the differences are. You whine about lacking access to earlier items. This can be a pain but if you visit the shops, you’ll find they gradually upgrade their stock as you progress through the game. They gradually have pre-synthesized items that aren’t quite as good as the synthesiziable items ready to go. Even if you choose to not upgrade, we return to my original argument that the differences between upgrades doesn’t substantially alter the fight anyway.

What makes this game stand out is how you play it matters. Its not about gearing your guys out the ass. You actually have to THINK through hard parts instead of just using brute force. RPG players have become too lazy to get out of their routines.