By Phil Schipper / September 6th, 2013
WARNING: SPOILERS for Tales of Symphonia abound! If you don’t want to be spoiled, please stop reading. You have been warned.
Another week, another seal in the journey of world regeneration. At least, that seems to be the goal lately in our Tales of Symphonia stream series. In Session 4, we set forth with this in mind towards the third seal, located in the region of Asgard.
Asgard proper is a city built on top of the ruins of an ancient civilization. The main things that go on here are research, excavation and tourism (as evidenced by the fact that there are three different inns in town).
Our own research lead us to the most well-preserved part of the ruins, which… a couple of guys were getting ready to blow up. Needless to say, Raine, the resident teacher in our group, was not down for that. She summarily gave the offenders a royal beatdown… and accidentally started the bomb. Luckily, Lloyd, the dumbest person in the party, somehow figured out how to disarm it.
It turned out that they were trying to get rid of a beast that demands constant sacrifices. Raine, smartly enough, volunteered to be the sacrifice in order to lure the thing out, and we all jumped in to fight it. The thing had big wings and blades on its feet and made for a relatively long, tough fight. We did really badly against it, but in the end it was technically our victory, earning us a slab that told us where the real Seal of Wind is located: in the Balacruf Mausoleum.
Unfortunately, that location is not only a long ways away from any city, it also turns out to be a dungeon full of traps. While it’s admittedly not as big as the other two Seals we’ve been to, it has an interesting mechanic. In order to solve the puzzle at the end, one has to read and interpret the runes along the walls. These runes have to be lit by torches. In turn, those torches can only be lit if the wind blowing past them is stopped by switches. You can see where this makes for a lot of backtracking, so progress in the dungeon was pretty slow.
Eventually, though, we learned the color code that’s required in order to open the doors to treasure and to the Seal itself. Five colored pinwheels decorate the second-to-last room in the area, and by using the Sorcerer’s Ring (now able to blow wind) we started each of them up in the order that the runes had given us.
This led up to another boss fight, an easier one. The guardian didn’t give us much trouble, especially once we all ganged up on it with melee attacks, so before long we’d opened up the Seal of Wind. And that was it! That’s all we had to do. And we’ll see you next time…
Except it wasn’t. On our way back out–before we could even get anywhere near a save point–an unexpected foe came back to fight us a second time. The assassin that had been after Colette for some time attacked once again. And, just like the first time, we completely bombed the fight against her. Leading, predictably enough, to Game Over.
That meant doing the entire Seal of Wind a second time… almost. Because some of us still remembered the sequence of colors from earlier, we just raced right on through and hit the pinwheels without doing anything else, then beat the guardian a second time. We made sure to come back to the assassin battle in good health. Then, the gloves came off: I, the veteran player of the group, switched to play my best character, Lloyd, for this one battle.
I opened by using a special Unison Attack called Pow Blade against the assassin’s guardian. That put it out of commission for a few seconds, and we focused on the assassin for a little while. By using Lloyd’s Beast attack at the right time, we were able to stop the pair from fighting us at the same time. In seconds her guardian was done for, and we put our full power to fighting her. At that point, the battle was pretty much decided, and we won the day. After being defeated, she ran off, leaving us with some cryptic words.
We made camp outside, but on the way out Colette tripped and fell. Lloyd noticed that the pain didn’t bother her, and realized something was up. In the most shocking twist ever to grace this game, Lloyd actually came up with a pretty clever plan: bring Colette some coffee, then see if she thinks it’s hot or cold. He played the situation for a minute, making for a rather funny scene, before confronting her for the truth.
So, it turns out, every time we released a Seal, Colette not only became more angelic, she became less human. The Seal of Fire took away her ability to sleep. The Seal of Water made it so that she didn’t get hungry, and even if she did eat she wouldn’t taste it at all. And here, she lost even more, no longer able to feel anything with her body at all. Lloyd felt sorry for her, unable to understand why she wouldn’t tell the others about it.
But, it remained a secret between the two of them, and we set off to hit one more location before ending off the stream: a beautiful lake town called Luin. Except it wasn’t beautiful anymore–it had been absolutely, completely destroyed. The only apparent survivor? The assassin, who finally revealed her name: Sheena. Sheena told us that it had been a Desian attack. She begged us to go help the people of Luin, who had all been captured and taken to the nearby Asgard Human ranch.
And that’s where we’ll head off to in Session 5, to avenge the city of Luin. It’ll be a bit later than usual: Saturday, September 7th, at 4 PM PDT/7 PM EDT/11 PM UTC. Join us then on our Twitch channel to see the next session live, or catch up on our other sessions in the past broadcasts section.
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