Tuesday, May 31, 2005

June is coming on...

Well today is the last day of May. June is coming on and so is my full-time schedule at work.

I spent today getting some errands done. I got out $50 at the bank to give my parents for my account with them, then I went to school to see how much my books were. They will be cheaper if I buy them used, so I'm going to wait.

Then I went to church to pay my deposit for Oasis, the college retreat at the end of June. I had gotten money for this at school, but it turned out there was enough money in my parents' SCRIP account to pay the deposit. The SCRIP account is basically an account you can set up with the church where you get money put in towards camps and stuff from stuff you buy with gift certificates the church sells for grocery stores and stuff.

Since I had $30 in my wallet with nothing to use it for, I headed back to school to buy the recommended book for my class, which was like $25 new, and which I should probably buy new since it comes with a CD which I may need. (Used books don't always have the CD's in them). But the one copy that had been there in the morning was gone. So I walked around the store looking at the English books mostly, looking for a cheap novel or anthology of stories or poems. In the History section, I spied a paperback tome (don't you love that word?!) sitting with a few other stray books on the bottom shelf. It was Anne Perry's Traitor's Gate, which I read for extra credit for my History of England class my first semester in college. I picked it up. It was really cheap. So I thought, "Hey, I'll get this."

So, for $7.09, including tax, I got the book (it was $5.75) and a $0.89 bag of Twizzlers (I was hungry). Not bad.

When I got back to the bus station, I went to EB Games and bought another GBA Video.

Right now I'm watching "Top Ten Eating Contests" on the Travel Channel. One of them was Madison's annual Lutefisk festival. Lutefisk is cod soaked in lye. That's the same stuff put in oven cleaners that is supposed to kill you if you swallow it. Ew.

But the worst was the Pickled Quail Egg Eating Contest, which happens somewhere in Texas. It's so gross..............ewwwwwwwww!!!!!

Other than that, not much to report. I keep playing Tales of Symphonia. The game is interesting. There is so much overworld in the game, you can easily get lost while trying to find someplace, especially if you're walking (you can ride Noishe, Lloyd's pet, if you activate long-range mode for the region, but the monuments you must examine to do this are hard to find).

I finally beat Iapyx, the Guardian of Wind, at Balacruf Masouleum. I was having a lot of trouble. Finally I actually took a good look at the Player's Guide. It said to have Kratos or Raine use Nurse to heal the whole party at once. Neither one knew Nurse. Since I had Raine in my party at the time, I decided she should learn it. Problem? Raine learns Nurse at level 26 if she's used First Aid over 50 times. The First Aid use requirement wasn't a problem, but Raine was only at level 23. Oh dear.

So I made a plan. I would go out into the field and deliberately run into monsters to trigger fights to build up Raine. This took a long time, and I had to backtrack to Asgard (the closest city) a few times to stay at the inn to heal up and buy some supplies in town. Although I got so much money from battling that buying items was no problem (cause only the weapons, some rare items, some pointless charms to prevent poison or paralysis, and the really nice food cost a lot).

Finally I headed back to Balacruf to fight Iapyx. Around this time as well I had actually taken a look at the Compound Unison Attack table and had fun checking out Photon Tempest (Raine + Lloyd), Firey Beast (Genis + Lloyd) and Pow Blade (Colette + Lloyd). I also tried some other combos, like Photon Blast (Colette and Raine). The main problem in all of this is that poor Kratos grew past level 26 without learning some attacks he could've learned, like Healing Wind (an area attack), because I used Raine as my healer instead of him. This is a pity, especially now, but more on that in a minute.

When I got to Iapyx, using Nurse constantly outside of battle due to fights with monsters and the stupid spikes that are there as traps to protect the mausoleum, I used my new Psi Tempest attack (a powered up version of Tempest, one of Lloyd's attacks) to attack the flying bird. Genis was pretty decent too, since I'd disabled his wind and lightning Techs (since Iapyx is strong against wind and lightning). Eruption, his powered up fire attack, did him good. Colette did ok with her Angel Feathers attack, the reward of having broken the Seal of Fire. I did have to use Life Bottles like crazy (Raine doesn't learn a "raise KO" attack until later in the game) to keep my people alive, especially Lloyd, since he's the one that orders the Unison Attacks. (I don't know how to set it to anyone else). Finally, after a lot of sword slashing and some use of techs, like Psi Tempest and the defense tech Guardian (which helps block Iapyx's powerful Air Thrust to a point), my Unison Attack guage finally filled up. So I pressed X to launch the attack. I figured this would at least seriously injure Iapyx, since he had lost more than half his HP already...I was using my Magic Lenses to keep can check the HP even without officially using the lens...just select it, view the HP, then press B to cancel.

Anyhow, I launched the attack. It was Photon (Raine), Angel Feathers (Colette), Beast (Lloyd) and Eruption (Genis)...I think. At this point I forgot about the compound unison attack formed when Lloyd uses Beast and Genis uses Eruption in the same Unison Attack. They combine to do Firey Beast. It was this added power that super-powered the Unison Attack, KO'ing Iapyx. Yay!!

After the usual visit from Remiel, I tried to leave and stupid Sheena and her guardian showed up again. I beat her in one try though, thanks to Raine. (Her Nurse attack is cute...little nurses run around, and then everybody gets healed). She leaves, then you go back to Luin, which is destroyed cause they were harboring escapees from the nearby Asgard Human Ranch. There you meet her again, and she joins the party.

I almost immediately switched out Colette for Sheena in my battle party, making a party of Lloyd, Sheena, Genis, and Raine, a good balance of sword users and magic users. Actually Sheena's a pretty decent fighter. One of her seal moves can drain HP from enemies, a pretty useful move which keeps her alive. So I fought with her for a while, while trying to find the hard-to-find city of Hima, and after that, the Asgard Human Ranch. You visit the ranch twice. The first time you encounter Kvar, the Grand Cardinal in charge of the ranch, and find out the truth about Exspheres and about how Lloyd's mom died. Also, you find out interesting clues that Botta, the guy you had to fight at the Iselia ranch, might not be what he seems, and neither might Kratos, who appears to know Botta better than a couple encounters (at the Martel Temple in Iselia, where you first meet Kratos, and then later at the Sylvarant Base near Triet)would suggest.

The second time you split into two groups to infiltrate the ranch and shut down the guard system. I made the mistake of taking Kratos with me as a healer instead of Raine. It's just that when I talked to Kratos, he really wanted to go with me, so I let him. But because of the aforementioned blunder (him not learning some attacks), he's not as useful as Raine. The other person I brought along is Sheena, since she's a decent fighter. That left Raine, Genis, and Colette to deactivate the guard system, and Raine is really hard to control in battle. (You do actually switch between the two groups).

I had trouble finding the ranch, though I played for hours last night. I finally found it when I played this morning. It was a pain cause I had to fight numerous stupid monsters, including grasshoppers that poison you and cockatrices that can petrify you. The problem was I was out of Panacea Bottles to heal these things, and it would take Raine forever to think of using Recover, so I sometimes had to wait till the end of the battle. I finally stocked up on some at the refresher machine at the ranch.

That's all. Bye.

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