Last month, I wrote about the first leg of Lost Odyssey and how much I was enjoying it. The second disc and first half of the third have been even better. The worldbuilding is mysterious and intriguing, with each new section making me want to know more about the immortals Im playing as. The narrative gets richer with each new set piece, the bond the characters have growing as they face off against enemies that come in a variety of forms.
Lost Odysseys storytelling acts almost like a counter argument against magic and immortality. About halfway into the game, your party enters the great city of Gohtza. Its a technological marvel, revolutionised by magic industry. But when you talk to the citizens, they reveal that many people have lost their jobs due to magic automating their positions. Although the new industries have great benefits, theyve also resulted in a stratified society where those who arent part of the elite are suffering. The contrast between the wealthy aristocrats and the people in Low Town is stark.
Adjacent to Gohtza is the city of Kent. Their people have been decimated by the magical meteor which struck them at the battle in the opening of the game. They are full of hatred at the immortal they blame for their loss (good thing they dont recognise said immortal is the protagonist, Kaim!).
The argument for immortality doesnt fare much better. The burden of long life takes a terrible emotional toll on those who carry it. You learn at the end of Disc 1 that Kaims wife, Sarah, is still alive. During their search for Sarah, the party hears rumours about an Old Sorceress who is very dangerous. You have to confront her since she has sealed off a cave your party needs to cross.
That ends up taking your party to Kaims old house. Within its walls, your party uses a series of magic mirrors to travel from the decrepit state the mansion has become to the past where everything is spick and span.
The dissolution and messy remains are metaphorical for the Old Sorceresss state of mind. She is surrounded by four Bodies of Thought, each utilising one of the elements. They take turns attacking her from all angles, but never turn their attack against the party. The partys goal is to save her from killing herself. Since each of the Bodies is comprised of a different element, you have to be careful how you fight.
During the battle, the Old Sorceress will unleash a desperate scream. This changes up all the elements so that an approach that worked previously wont be effective anymore and might actually hurt her. Its only after you defeat all the Bodies of Thought that you realise Sarah is underneath the veil of the Old Sorceress. Driven to depression by the realisation that her daughter was dead, she had been torturing herself for decades.
Even after destroying the Bodies of Thought, Sarahs depression nearly overwhelms her again. Its only thanks to her grandchildren, Cooke and Mack, singing an old lullaby, that Sarah finds some semblance of serenity. As Sarah realises Kaim is back, they slowly make their way through the world together, supporting each other through their grief. Kaim is driven by his desire to avenge his daughter, while Sarah finds motivation in the love of her grandchildren.
Having a kid of our own gave this situation much more gravity. More than any of the Dream flashbacks or cutscenes, this battle revealed so much about the plight of immortality. What would seeing the deaths of those dear to them, and the number of them accumulating with the passing centuries, do to their minds? What seems like a boon for Sarah and Kaim is actually a curse. Their desolation increases with every passing year. Theres an understandable reason why Kaim doesnt seem all that eager to retrieve his memories.
Their amnesia takes on an entirely new wrinkle when they confront the man who caused their memory loss, Gongora. Gongora is a fellow immortal and a powerful magician who wants to build a magic engine called the Grand Staff. In your first battle against him in the Experimental Staff, he annihilates your party. Im so grateful for this gameplay/narrative choice. Multiple RPGs come to mind where you confront an ultimate villain for the first time and proceed to give them a spanking. The villain laughs it off and says something along the lines of, Ill be back for you later. But because youve already defeated them, they dont seem as deadly anymore (one of the examples that immediately comes to mind is Seymour from FFX).
In Lost Odyssey, theres no doubt who has the upper hand. But its not just Gongoras physical and magical abilities that make him so powerful. Having retained all his memories, he accuses Kaim and his fellow immortal of being traitors to a noble cause. Their memory loss was a punishment for their misdeeds. This accusation makes them question if their odyssey is even a righteous one. But Gongora seems to be struggling against demons of his own as hes in a mentally fraught state in the Experimental Staff. Its not clear yet whos on the right. It would make for a surprising twist if it turned out that Gongora is actually fighting for a good cause, while Kaim and company, having lost their memories, are actually the villains. As Kaim states, If the record of a thousand years shows that I am really a traitor, then Ill have to accept that, and pay the price.
Magic has obvious positive effects, like being able to heal the people around them. But in the merchant town of Saman, its had a strange influence. The villagers walk around in a zombified state, shrouded in a purple aura, giving free rein to their egos. One of the wealthy merchants in the city openly brags about the wealth hes accumulated through corrupt methods. A man in the Erlio Family House spends all his time talking to a doll. Cant you see Im quite occupied right now? Stop bothering me, he snaps at you. Then to the doll, Darling, I love you so much. You are the one that I love the most in this world. A car called Zak laughs at you and calls you pathetic. Another car called Jack complains, Ugh, every day I go around dealing with rude people and carrying their heavy bags. Then they kick me when Im not running well. If youve ever wondered what your car thinks of you, magic can tell you the truth.
Its these weird encounters in each of the towns that reminds me so much of what I love and have missed about JRPGs. Every city feels like a brand new experience full of quirky denizens. Its been a long time since Ive been this excited about seeing whats next in the journey.
Theres a lot of variety in the gameplay and boss battles. In the Experimental Staff, some of the areas are giant puzzles where youre shifting machines and opening up new pathways. Wind caves, slippery slopes, and thieving enemies, make the ice canyon a gruelling trial. The battle preceding the Experimental Staff, which is against a Mantala, can be extremely difficult if you dont plan each step. Thats because every time you attack the Mantala, it hides in the ocean and summons smaller Mantas in its place. You have to time your attacks, defensive manoeuvres, and spells to perfectly align the strongest blows on the Mantala. Otherwise, the battle can go forever.
Fortunately, theres not that much grinding to do when it comes to experience points. Any time you enter a new area, your characters will level up quickly to where they should be. The reason you still need to engage in fights is to increase skill link levels from the mortals and get SP from bands to learn new abilities. I did find a way to grind my characters beyond their normal levels at the Numara Atolls. Silver Kelolons dot the beach side (theyre akin to the metal slimes of Dragon Quest in giving you a heck of a lot of EXP). If your party has gained the Gamble spell, which is done by praying at all the Kelolon statues in Tosca Village, it makes beating the Silver Kelelons feasible on a predictable basis. I overpowered my characters within a few battles.
Each of the characters gets their chance to shine in battles and more importantly, the story. In an optional cutscene with Ming when you escape Numara, she sees a monument off the shore and recalls a past battle. She saved the city by turning a huge Arthrosaurus into stone, which was how the monument came to be. But the flashback causes her pain and its not clear why, making me wonder about her past. Cooke and Mack are always getting into trouble, including one scene where they hijack a magical train in the hopes of communicating with their mother again. Their hopefulness through some of the darker moments in the game help the characters cope with their circumstances. Jansen, the comic relief, turns against his benefactor, Gongora, in favour of the immortals. He lifts up the bag of gold Gongora had bribed him with and says hed throw it back out of a sense of outrage, but then decides to keep it since he figures thered be no point in giving up the money. Jansen always remains in character, even in his outrage.
The dreams in the first disc focused on Kaims memories. In the second, there are several dreams that your pirate immortal, Seth, regains, and theyre heartbreaking. That is, if you take the time to read them. As I mentioned in the first part of my Lost Odyssey retrospective, I really wish there could have been a way for these sequences to have been more seamlessly integrated. The way it currently stands, the two things that take me out of the immersion of the gameplay are the long load screens (I know Im playing off disc, but some of these load screens are really distracting) and the dreams. I want to read them as theyre very good, but every time I do, it feels like Im being sucked away from the world. At the same time, I realise theyre an additional layer, meant to add texture to the narrative, and entirely optional. Just their existence is something Im grateful for. Who knew reading the story about a shoemaker could be so emotional?
I know some people, including myself, have described Lost Odyssey as a spiritual successor to Final Fantasy. While theres some truth to that, especially due to the developers being who they are, theres also a lot the game does to weave together its own distinctive identity. This middle act is where the game went from being a lost odyssey to an epic one. I cant wait to see how it all ends.
Read this article:
- The Nike Adidas Puma Olympic Battle Will Have to Wait - Barron's - March 26th, 2020
- Christ Provides the Antidote to Fear Amid Coronavirus - National Catholic Register - March 26th, 2020
- The Vampire Diaries: The 10 Most Hated Storylines | ScreenRant - Screen Rant - March 26th, 2020
- Today's Gospel in Art - The Annunciation of the Lord - Independent Catholic News - March 26th, 2020
- Doctor Who: The Top 10 Tenth Doctor Episodes, Ranked According to IMDb - Screen Rant - March 26th, 2020
- 48 SECONDS FROM IMMORTALITY: The story of the 1990 Concord Minutemen - Goshen News - March 24th, 2020
- Ginkgo: The Tree of Immortality | NCPR News - North Country Public Radio - March 24th, 2020
- Boost your spirits with fun rom-coms - Boston Herald - March 24th, 2020
- Alex Salmond: from the brink of independence to a court room - FRANCE 24 - March 24th, 2020
- With only 4k miles, this 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300SD will outlive us all - Autoblog - March 24th, 2020
- We're as lonely as a cloud but the Romance isn't dead - The Guardian - March 24th, 2020
- How Altered Carbon: Resleeved Connects to Season 2 | Screen Rant - Screen Rant - March 24th, 2020
- In Times of Crisis, We Need To Inject Reason into Debates over Faith - The Libertarian Republic - March 24th, 2020
- Neutralize COVID-19 hysteria with faith and kindness toward neighbors - Washington Times - March 24th, 2020
- '80s Movie Quotes Every Kid From the '80s Knows By Heart - Best Life - March 24th, 2020
- Questioning the Shutdown | RR Reno - First Things - March 24th, 2020
- Liberty shackled and the future blighted: RIP Europe, 312 - 2020 - The Conservative Woman - March 24th, 2020
- Westworld series refresher, what you need to know before season 3 - Show Snob - March 24th, 2020
- Immortality by 2050: Humans very close to everlasting life - February 27th, 2020
- Sports Perseverance leads Tres Tinkle to cusp of Oregon State immortality Kyle Hansen 9:38 AM - KPAX-TV - February 27th, 2020
- Syracuse basketball has clinched immortality for the 2nd straight season - Inside the Loud House - February 27th, 2020
- Why Dodgers' Great Willie Davis Received a Grand Total of Zero Hall of Fame Votes - Sports Illustrated - February 27th, 2020
- Everything You Need to Know to Watch 'Altered Carbon' Season 2 on Netflix - Newsweek - February 27th, 2020
- Local News Mom spreads kindness to honor her young son who died in 2018 KMTV Staff - KMTV - 3 News Now - February 27th, 2020
- Alfred Jarry at the Morgan Library - Apollo Magazine - February 27th, 2020
- Features | Strange World Of... | The Strange World Of... Tom Smith/ To Live And Shave In LA - The Quietus - February 27th, 2020
- Mocking mediocrity - The New Indian Express - February 27th, 2020
- Three more movies coming in 2020 you need to check out - The Badger Herald - February 27th, 2020
- The Legend of Maula Jatt not for faint hearted, children: Bilal Lashari - The Nation - February 27th, 2020
- The 100-year life: how to prolong a healthy mind - The Guardian - February 27th, 2020
- The Philosophy of Julia Ward Howe - zocalopublicsquare.org - February 27th, 2020
- Story Time: The prophecy of eternity - DAWN.com - February 27th, 2020
- 'Altered Carbon': Takeshi Kovacs is the definitive and imperfect sci-fi hero of this generation - MEAWW - February 27th, 2020
- Celtics will retire Kevin Garnett's No. 5 next season - 98.5 The Sports Hub - February 14th, 2020
- Canucks: Yes, the Sedin twins belong in the Hall of Fame - The Canuck Way - February 14th, 2020
- Should Liverpool start Curtis Jones vs Norwich - Rousing The Kop - Liverpool FC News - February 14th, 2020
- Ageing is 'optional' amid emerging economy for immortality - The National - February 13th, 2020
- Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool close to immortality - but their lasting legacy is already painted across Merseyside - Liverpool Echo - February 13th, 2020
- After Legendary Career With Boston College, Brian Gionta Will Be Immortalized This Weekend - Sports Illustrated - February 13th, 2020
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: What has the original cast done since? - Metro.co.uk - February 13th, 2020
- Understanding 'Afsos': What Does This Gulshan Devaiah Dark Comedy Want To Say? - Mashable India - February 13th, 2020
- 'Afsos' Review: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells the Tale? - - Rolling Stone India - February 13th, 2020
- Lost Odyssey Brilliantly Explores The Tragedy Of Being Immortal - Kotaku - February 13th, 2020
- Mo Isom speaks on intimacy during Convocation week - Lee Clarion Online - February 13th, 2020
- Popular music festivals from around the world for music lovers - Republic World - Republic World - February 13th, 2020
- Canucks: 3 takeaways from 3-0 shutout win over Blackhawks - The Canuck Way - February 13th, 2020
- In Amazon web series Afsos, black humour and a high body count on the road to immortality - Scroll.in - February 13th, 2020
- Its that time when love is in the air - The New Indian Express - February 13th, 2020
- Ghost Knight: A Dark Tale is a new 2.5D action platformer, powered by Unreal Engine 4 - DSOGaming - February 13th, 2020
- Jenny Offill's Novel Weather Looks at "Climate Dread" with Humor and Plenty of Gloom - TheStranger.com - February 13th, 2020
- The Mysteries of the Sh'ma - Mosaic - February 13th, 2020
- Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones has finally quit smoking - Tone Deaf - February 13th, 2020
- A Cyberpunk 2077 Themed Xbox One Controller Could Be On Its Way - Player.One - February 13th, 2020
- Fame, immortality and a paw: The Tiger Trail - The Auburn Plainsman - January 27th, 2020
- GELFAND: on Tom Brady and Immortality - Zone Coverage - January 27th, 2020
- Remembering Rob Rensenbrink: the overlooked Dutch master who came within inches of immortality - These Football Times - January 27th, 2020
- Stockton at heart of Braden's immortality with A's - MLB.com - January 27th, 2020
- The Good Place FINALLY Revealed (Yep, It's Disappointing) - Screen Rant - January 27th, 2020
- Immortality | Definition of Immortality by Merriam-Webster - January 16th, 2020
- Immortality | Superpower Wiki | Fandom - January 16th, 2020
- Chip Walter is dying for you to read his new book on immortality. Or is he? - NEXTpittsburgh - January 16th, 2020
- Will immortality take place by 2050? | Columns - Grand Haven Tribune - January 16th, 2020
- Immortality: Lowry and Arcidiacono to Have Their Numbers Retired in February - Villanovan - January 16th, 2020
- On the brink of immortality | LSU - American Press - January 16th, 2020
- Liverpool are already a masterpiece: next goal after the title - immortality - Telegraph.co.uk - January 16th, 2020
- Williams and Baldens new X-FACTOR series to explore mutant immortality in the Marvel U - Comics Beat - January 16th, 2020
- PLAYLIST: A celebration of dance pop and the immortality of 'Tala' - Rappler - January 16th, 2020
- Eagles great Harold Carmichael on making the Hall of Fame: 'I feel like I'm dreaming' - CBS Sports - January 16th, 2020
- Steve Aoki to Perform at the Agora in March - Cleveland Scene - January 16th, 2020
- Sealed for Your Protections - North Bay Bohemian - January 16th, 2020
- 2020: The Year of the AI-Powered User Experience - Datanami - January 16th, 2020
- Disintegrations Closed and Open Beta Dates Announced for Later This Month - PlayStation LifeStyle - January 16th, 2020
- Klay Thompson to be joined by Warriors teammate Curry at WSU jersey retirement Saturday - FOX 28 Spokane - January 16th, 2020
- Corofin primed for All Ireland in bid to create history - Galway Advertiser - January 16th, 2020
- Blade of the Immortal Episode 15 Release Date, Streaming, and Preview - Otakukart News - January 16th, 2020
- Will Marvel Again Show Love Story Of Dark Phoenix And Wolverine? - Pop Culture Times - January 16th, 2020
- How childhood friends and star WRs Marvin Mims and Jaxon Smith-Njigba wound up on the doorstep of Texas football immortality - The Dallas Morning News - December 13th, 2019
- The humming bug that has bitten one and all - Telegraph India - December 13th, 2019
- Ranking the 10 Stanley Cup championship teams of the 2010s: Blackhawks dynasty, Ovechkin's Caps and more - CBS Sports - December 13th, 2019
- 'Influencing is heading into the void': Natasha Stagg and Kate Durbin on the future of social media - Document Journal - December 13th, 2019